Podcasts Archives

Shire Network News #175: Robin Shepherd

Shire Network News #175 has been released. The feature interview is with British foreign policy specialist and non-insane person (the two tend to be mutually exclusive these days) Robin Shepherd about a new TV documentary in which the UK’s foreign policy is portrayed as completely in thrall to sinister, shadowy "Zionist" businessmen, who manipulate politicians and journalists from the shadows. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News asking you to "Consider This!"

US President Barack Obama has been in office for 10 months now.  While that’s not very long — heck, it’s barely long enough to win a Nobel Peace Prize — I think it’s worth taking stock of where he is on some of his campaign promises and Presidential goals. 

Let’s start with the closing of the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  He said he’d close it in a year, but two months away from that date even he doesn’t think that’s going to happen.  But he did make a big splash when he moved Kalid Sheik Muhammed, the 9/11 mastermind, to the target of his mastermindedness, New York City, to try him in federal court, right alongside guys who commit mail fraud.  Yes, the guy who planned the largest terror attack on the US is going down the same path as Nigerian scammers who send you letters promising you large sums of money.  That seems adequate, no?

How about that lynchpin of his presidency, health care reform?  Well, looks like the tough sell just keeps getting tougher.  With only 38% of Americans favoring the plan proposed by Obama and the Democrats, this is looking like those mothers of yesteryear who gave you castor oil for what ails you.  The worse it is, the better it must be for you. 

Well then, how about the economy?  Sounding very fiscally conservative, he told Fox News (yes, that Fox News), "It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession."  What he failed to note is that he is the one adding to the debt.  In a scene reminiscent of Mel Brooks’ "Blazing Saddles", he’s holding a gun to his head and threatening to pull the trigger if he doesn’t start behaving.  In Washington these days, it’s not so much that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.  It’s more like the left hand doesn’t even know there is a right hand. 

Then there’s the idea that the world loves us now, all because Obama is the anti-Bush.  A new day would dawn in foreign relations.  Except that it’s not.  In his recent trip to Asia, this self-proclaimed "first Pacific President" not only didn’t get any concessions from China, he participated in a press conference where questions were forbidden.  Way to stand up to those Communists, Obama.  Not even the eeevil Bush ever bowed, er, stooped that low.  Later, he lost the participation of Japan in refueling US warships destined for Afghanistan.  On the upside, he did get some pretty cool pictures of the Great Wall of China.  I’m told that, from up in space, Barack Obama’s ego is visible to the naked eye.

Oh, there was almost a foreign policy win with Iran, to get it to ship its uranium to Russia to keep it from building bombs.  Except that last week, shock of shocks, Iran reneged

Well, never mind what the rest of the world thinks!  They say they love us, but their actions say something else entirely.  Let’s look at the domestic polls to see how his own people love him.  There was such enthusiasm a year ago, when people flocked to elect the first African-American as President of the US.  Well, since then, the bloom has fallen off the rose.  His poll numbers dipped below 50% in November, 10 months after taking office with one of the higher initial ratings in recent history.  Now, pretty much all Presidents get into this territory sooner or later; even Reagan hit it in 10 months.  But that means that Barack Obama, the post-racial, feel-good, history-making, hope and change man of the hour is tied for the 3rd worst drop in ratings in the past half-century.  The eeevil Bush took 37 months to make it there.  Heck, Nixon took 25!  Nixon!

So it appears, then, that The One(tm) has fallen short of wildly exaggerated expectations.  Who’s to blame?  I’d say the guy who set those expectations.  A former Obama supporter has come out with a T-shirt of the iconic Obama poster with the word "Hope" on the bottom, but it’s smeared, as though painted in watercolors and then rained on.  Below the word "Hope" is the phrase "is fading fast". 

Something tells me that Obama is no different than he was just 10 short months and one Nobel Peace Prize ago.  It’s just that people have now actually taken the time to see who he really is.  I kinda’ wish, though, that they’d done this prior to the election.  A new face in the Oval Office doesn’t make enemies lose their self-interest.  Heck, it doesn’t even do that for allies!  It doesn’t magically turn the economy around, nor make budget-busting proposals palatable (especially when you complain about budget-busting as though someone else is doing it).  I’ll tell you one thing it does, though; it gets a populace to finally consider this.

Shire Network News #174: Ian Wishart

Shire Network News #174 has been released. The feature interview is with New Zealand journalist and author Ian Wishart, who explains why New Zealand is, if you can believe such a thing, even more PC, multi-culti and obsessed with apocalyptic global warming than Canada. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

I’m in Cleveland, Ohio on business today as I record this.  (Please leave your condolences on the web site or our Facebook page.)  I watch a bit of TV in the hotel room while I’m here, mostly news channels.  And being away from the hustle and bustle of the household scheduling give me time to see a lot of news.

One thing I’ve noticed this week is that there’s so much nuttiness in the world today.  An Army officer going on a shooting rampage against his own soldiers.  Swine flu running rampant.  People unable to identify who Joe Biden is.  It’s just bonkers.  And I think those who are running their countries may just be leading the way.

And you know, we don’t hear the word "bonkers" enough. 

So, from the home office in Camillus, NY, here are the Top 9 Signs Your National Leader Is Positively Bonkers

9 – Gets the important shout-outs to his peeps before getting to the more mundane issues of a mass-murdering, al-Qaeda-loving, Muslim army officer.

8 – He wants to ship nuclear material to Venezuela.

7 – He doesn’t realize that the Venezuelan socialist utopia has shortages of food and water, not nuclear material.

6 – He’s currently running Venezuela.

5 – Spends a month on the golf course pondering whether to send 30,000 more troops to the war, or maybe 35,000 instead.  Or perhaps 35,762.  Decisions, decisions.  Fore!

4 – Thinks that if only he could chase out the corporations and citizens who have been bankrolling his socialist utopia, then he’d have his socialist utopia.

3 – Attacks a country called Georgia in order to score some chicken barbeque and pork ribs.

2 – Thinks that wiping a country off the map is a sober, considered foreign policy.

And the number one sign your national leader is positively bonkers:

He thinks that, when spending money doesn’t create jobs, the solution is to spend more money.

Yes, nuttiness can be a trickle-down phenomenon.  Consider this.

Shire Network News #173 – Tehmina Karzi

Shire Network News #173 has been released. The feature interview is with Tehmina Kazi, Director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News asking you to "Consider this!"

Do you remember when George W. Bush, that shredder of the Constitution he, got so upset with unflattering coverage of his policies by MSNBC that he barred them from press pool interviews, and sent his minions to declare it an invalid news organization?  Yeah, me neither.  But let me ask you; if he had, don’t you think this would have caused a constitutional crisis, at least in the minds on the Left?  Right, me too. 

But let’s back up a bit and hit some recent history.  During the Sunday talk shows on October 18th, Obama mouthpieces David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel went on the offensive against Fox News, saying they were not a news organization because they have "a perspective".  The implication being that every other news organization plays it precisely, straight down the middle.  (I’ll wait for you to finish laughing before I continue.)

Later in the week, Jake Tapper of ABC News, was apparently the only reporter remotely concerned that this was, y’know, rather chilling.  He asked the President’s spokesman why it’s appropriate for the White House to decide what is or isn’t a news organization.  The answer came back from the spokesman, "You and I should watch sometime around 9 o’clock tonight. Or 5 o’clock this afternoon."  So, what news programs are on Fox News Channel during those times?  Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. 

OK, someone needs to explain to Barack Obama, President of the United States, the difference between "news" and "opinion".  So we here at Shire Network News … er, well perhaps we should call it "Shire Network Opinion" just to make things perfectly clear.  The distinction is apparently something of a difficult concept to the folks who are running my country.  Anyway, we’d like to help with understanding that distinction.

Glenn Beck is an opinion show.  Sean Hannity spouts opinion.  Shepard Smith is a news anchor.  Additionally, the TeleTubbies are not real, Dick Cheney is not Darth Vader, and Burger King is not an actual monarch.

The problem is that, while the presence of Hannity and Beck on Fox News is apparently enough to disqualify it as a true news organization, the presence of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, also opinion pundits but from the liberal side of the aisle, doesn’t disqualify MSNBC from being one.  I mean, heck, both of them were invited to an off-the-record briefing by the President. 

See, liberal opinion is "news", while conservative opinion is "sedition". 

Later that week, the most recent Nobel "Peace" Prize winner stepped up the war.  When the White House made a cabinet member available to the press pool, they specifically said that pool member Fox News was not allowed.  All of a sudden, all the other news organizations were roused from their slumber, got together and said that if Fox couldn’t get an interview, none of them would do an interview.  This brave, if belated, action made the White House blink, and Fox was allowed in.

It should never have gone this far.  Yeah, Presidents, Prime Ministers and Grand Poobahs from all over the world have had their issues with the press, and some organizations in particular.  But freezing them out is more for a Castro or Chavez then a leader who purportedly is preserving, protecting and defending a Constitution that includes freedom of the press. 

You want to complain, Mr. President?  You’ve got the bully pulpit.  But when you start being a bully, don’t be surprised if the kids on the block gang up, take their microphones and go home.  A truce was recently called, so the bully has learned his lesson and gone back into his house.  For now.

Odd, and slightly disconcerting, that the press had to educate our government on the Constitutional restrictions placed on that government.  But then, isn’t it always that way?  Government only responds to push-back; just ask General George Washington.  And anyone looking to give it more and more power over us should really consider this.

Shire Network News #170 has been released. The feature interview is with Asia Times columnist "Spengler", who recently revealed himself to be David Goldman. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

I did not have a segment this week.  (Well, I did, but I forgot to send it to hold Tom Paine.  So it’s in the queue for next week.)

Shire Network News #169: Ian Plimer

Shire Network News #169 has been released. The feature interview is with Professor Ian Plimer, author of "Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science". Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

This is a tale of two countries.  Both have what they call "freedom of religion".  But one imprisons people for converting to a religion that is not the official one.  The other does not. 

Now tell me, which country would you believe if it told you something?  OK, one data point does not a trend make.  Fair enough, then, let’s continue.

Clearly, simply writing something down on paper does not necessarily mean that a country will abide by those things written.  Let’s take a look at a recent event by the country that has freedom of religion but doesn’t, and see the manner in which it practices it.

Two women were arrested on March 5th and later "convicted" of converting to … well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it?  Let’s just say, converting to "a non-approved religion", and we’ll let your imagination get to work.  Into the slammer with them.  [I’m sorry, but I know I’m going to mangle their names.]  Maryam Rustampoor, 27, and Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, were tried on August 9th and told to recant their faith, which they did not.  Back to the slammer, this time with a death penalty on their heads for daring to practice "freedom" of religion.  Oh, and by the way; medical attention for these young ladies?  Not gonna’ happen.  Injury, meet insult.

The other country?  Well, let’s just say that nobody gets sent to prison for simply believing.  Sometimes doing based on believing can land you in hot water, but just believing?  Well, not even the guys at Gitmo, not even the ones who were shooting, and then released to shoot again, were incarcerated for believing.

Oops, I think I slipped up there a bit.  Well, just pretend I still have you pondering about that particular country, just for a bit.

Now, let me ask you; who comes to the defense of these poor women, still in the hoosegow, awaiting their sentence, for believing?  Not some astroturf organization trying to boost an overall image of their religion, but a group dealing specifically with Christian persecution worldwide.  The web page of International Christian Concern lists place after place where Christians are not the most welcome folks, and indeed this incident is currently mentioned on the front page.  They’re not drumming up feigned offense at perceived slights.  Bodies rotting in slums, rape, murder, physical assault; all for believing

The countries mentioned in the current articles on the front page include Somalia, India, Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan, Burma, Iraq, and one of our mystery countries, Iran.  Are you catching a trend here?  Most of these are Islamic countries with the occasional Hindu and officially atheist country thrown in. 

But Iran gets the Oscar this week for Best Persecution in an Official Capacity for sentencing to death two young women for believing.  For them, there will be no Brian De Palma movie made.  (That broad brush is reserved for the military.)  The United Nations will not pass a resolution on their behalf.  (That remedy is reserved for when Israel so much as blinks.)  The media will not report on them.  (They have better things to do. Michelle Obama’s outfits must be investigated.)  No, Iran gets a pass because Iran knows the world, and so far, the world is ignoring these potential martyrs.

And by the way, these are martyrs; people who could die solely because of what they believe.  If you go on a shooting rampage and get killed in the process, or if you get captured and sent to the Guantanamo Hilton, with 3 squares a day and your every religious requirement fulfilled, buddy, you ain’t a martyr.  I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

And finally, the other mystery country is … well, it’s any of the many countries in this world that was founded on New Testament and/or Old Testament principles — that old-time Judeo-Christian ethic — in which Western civilization is steeped.  Now, none of them are perfect because, so far, they’ve been run by imperfect humans.  But people don’t get incarcerated simply for believing, no matter the religion they’re coming from or going to.  So if you think that one culture and its religious foundation is just as good as any other, and if you think that one country’s word is as good as the other, well then I think you need to take just a bit more time to Consider This.

Shire Network News #168 has been released. The feature interview is with SNN contributor Meryl Yourish about the "Obamacare" debate. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News asking you to "Consider This!"

This just in: Religious texts are not universally revered.  Liberal ministers shocked.  From the AFP article:

Christians voiced anger and dismay Tuesday after a Bible, which was part of an exhibition inviting viewers to add their reflections, was defaced with offensive and foul-mouthed scrawl.

Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art has decided to put the Bible in a glass case after the exhibit, called Untitled 2009 and part of a show entitled Made In God’s Image, was vandalised.

Artist Jane Clarke, a minister at the Metropolitan Community Church, asked visitors to annotate the Bible with stories and reflections, as a way of making it more inclusive.

But visitors to the gallery took the invitation a bit further than she had anticipated.

"This is all sexist pish, so disregard it all," wrote one person, while another described the Bible as "the biggest lie in human history" and a third wrote: "Mick Jagger and David Bowie belong in here."

The oh-so-easy point to make here — one made innumerable times on this podcast — is that if this were the Koran, then the phrase "voiced anger and dismay" could very likely be the mildest thing you’d read, especially if this took place in, say, Denmark, and included a few cartoons.  We’re repeating ourselves, but it’s worth repeating.

Now, Breibart.com has a link to other articles about the Metropolitan Community Church, and they are, unsurprisingly, a very liberal church.  I part ways with my SNN brethren and "sistren" on the issue of same-sex marriage.  I’m against it, and thus I am on the opposite side of the debate from Metropolitan as well.  They have, in my opinion, ignored what the Bible says on the subject of homosexuality.  And so it comes as no surprise to me, frankly, that the general public around the Metropolitan doesn’t take the Bible seriously; the Metropolitan doesn’t.  Thus this church may actually be having an effect on their community, though likely not in the way they planned.  Its irony in motion.

In addition, the display was rather self-serving.  Clarke said, "Writing our names in the margins of a Bible was to show how we have been marginalised by many Christian churches, and also our desire to be included in God’s love."  Oh please!  What do you mean by "marginalized"?  Thieves, murderers, guys who cheat on their golf scores and, yes, homosexuals are welcome in any church.  No one’s being marginalized.  Ya’ wanna’ come to Jesus?  Then come on down.  Ya’ just wanna’ find out what this whole "Christianity" thing is?  Pull up a pew and we’ll let you know.  Ya’ wanna’ be coddled and told you’re not really doing anything wrong?  Wellll, that’s not going to happen because we all do things wrong, and it would be lying to tell you otherwise, and that would also be wrong.  (Can I have an "Amen"?)

I would hope that the folks running the Metropolitan believes that theft is a sin.  If they do, then saying so is no more marginalizing thieves than saying what my church believes about homosexuality marginalizes gays.  We’re both doing the same thing, so this "holier-than-thou" attitude, so often attributed to conservative churches, seems to have a nice enough home at Metropolitan.  Irony is now becoming rampant.

Finally, this "desire to be included in God’s love" that Clarke mentioned is, for someone who knows their Bible, a given.  How well she knows it is her business (though she is a minister, the church’s former pastor), but here’s a quick refresher.  Most folks, churched or not, know the line, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."  This is Jesus standing with an adulterer and against some religious leaders.  Without asking, she’s already included in God’s love.  No need for liner notes with her name, no parades, no fanfare; it’s there.  Clarke’s own words seem to call that guarantee into question.  There’s no reason why her community would think any differently. Instead of salt and light, it sounds to me like the Metropolitan is presenting bland shades of gray.

Oh, and by the way, there is another line in that same Bible story that isn’t repeated as often as the "first stone" line.  The last thing Jesus says to here is, "Go and sin no more."  Can you believe it?  By calling what she did a "sin", He was marginalizing her!  Consider this!

Shire Network News #167 has been released. The feature interview is with Charles Winecoff, a contributor to the Big Hollywood blog for conservatives working in the creative arts. He says coming out as a conservative was harder than telling people he was gay. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News asking you to "Consider This!".

Candidate Barack Obama said that we needed health care reform in the US, but blasted fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton for proposing a mandatory insurance requirement.  President Obama now thinks this is a feature, not a bug; a benefit that we just need to get on board with.  But there’s more, much more!  If you act now…  (Oh, sorry, I was channeling Billy Mays for a second there.) 

Anyway, while there are many positives to the proposal, here are the Top 9 Benefits of ObamaCare(tm):

9 – No more pesky Canadians crossing the border to avoid their long waiting lines.  Ours will be just as long.

8 – We’ll be the envy of the third world.

7 – Health insurance will be just like car insurance; you have to have it, it’ll cover less as you get older, and your children can trade you in during our Cash for Clunkers program.

6 – Getting rid of of Grandma & Grandpa sooner means cost savings to you, not including the Christmas & birthday presents you don’t have to buy anymore.

5 – Electronic records means that your medical history will soon have its own Facebook page.

4- Medicine will no longer be prescribed subject to, as Scott Ott has called it, "diagnosis discrimination"; simply based on a doctor’s opinion.  Government bureaucrats will now be on a level playing field.

3 – It’ll make David Letterman forget all about Sarah Palin.

2 – Cost-cutting measure: close rural hospitals.  It’s OK that farmers will be travelling farther for health care, because we’ll mandate they buy an electric car.

And the #1 benefit of ObamaCare(tm):

If we had already had it, Michael Jackson would still be alive.

Yes, and Christopher Reeve, too, I imagine.  Consider this.

Shire Network News #166 – Bruce Bawer

Shire Network News #166 has been released. The feature interview is with Bruce Bawer, the Oslo-based US author of "While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within" and Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom about his experiences as a gay man in what he thought would be a more tolerant European society, and what happened when he ran into radical Islam on the streets of Amsterdam one night. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

News coverage this week

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News asking you to "Consider This!"

I’ve heard this sentiment many times.  "Why do we pay pro athletes millions of dollars a year, but pay teachers so little?  Which is more important?"  Indeed, it is true that occupations like teachers, fire fighters, and police aren’t paid in accordance with their importance in our society.  Instead football, basketball and baseball players, who strut and fret their hour upon the field and then are heard no more, are lavished with huge salaries and signing bonuses.  Who decided that was how society should remunerate people?

Frankly, we did.  We pay the athletes when we pay big ticket prices at games, when we watch the Super Bowl commercials, and when we buy sport memorabilia.  And we pay our teachers when we give their jobs over to the government, when we vote for politicians who waste our tax money on pork barrel projects instead of salaries and when we cheer while spending ourselves into huge debt.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying professional sports, but if you want to know why the disparity, there it is.

Here’s another, similar sentiment.  When Private William Long was gunned down by a Muslim who was upset about US military actions, it garnered a bit of coverage.  The Commander-in-Chief did come out with a statement on the incident, 2 days after the fact.  But aside from some conservative blogs, it was soon forgotten.  Here was essentially a kid, who’d hadn’t yet seen combat, killed in his prime.  He was willing to lay down his life for his country, and he wound up doing just that soon after finishing basic training.  This was a kid worthy of having the country hear his story; worthy of mourning.

When singer Michael Jackson died…well, you know what happened.  Here was essentially a man who was obsessed with his appearance to the point of overindulging in plastic surgery, and was taking a cocktail of pain killers as a result (and a cocktail of mood enhancers, hinting at the cause of the indulgence in plastic surgery).  Here’s a guy who dangled his child over a balcony, although the lineage of his children is now in question.  Speaking of children, here’s a guy who has had very questionable relationships with young boys.  And, oh yes, he had some hit songs in the 70s and 80s.  Since his death, there’s been non-stop coverage of it and its aftermath.  Who decided this is how news coverage should be doled out?

Frankly, we did.  We decided when people flocked the Apollo Theater and Neverland Ranch.  We did when we conferred on him the title of "King of Pop".  We did when we did all this while ignoring or brushing off his Howard-Hughes-like behavior, becoming no better than the codependent Yes-men and Yes-women he surrounded himself with.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a song on the radio or buying a vintage copy of the "Thriller" album.  But if you want to know why the disparity, there it is.

I don’t know, maybe I’m turning into my dad, who didn’t quite get the whole deal made over the death of John Lennon.  Or perhaps I’ve always been him; I didn’t quite get it either.  Yeah, the Beatles were music legends, but really.  You see video of girls crying when the Beatles came on stage, but just recently, as news of the release of Michael Jackson’s last rehearsal tape leaking hit all the evening cable news outlets, one channel was replaying a concert that the Jacksons did just a few years ago.  Yup, crying girls. 

This isn’t a generational thing; it’s a celebrity thing.  It’s image and packaging, and it’s ignoring what’s important to elevate that which is, essentially, a facade.

It’s kind of like electing a President who promises change, and then doesn’t, or who promises fiscal responsibility while spending us into a level of debt previously unimaginable.  But he says the right things and makes a good speech, and the Left in this country just drools over it.  You can almost hear the teenage girls crying in the audience, and the teenage boy on the old "American Bandstand" show saying, "Well it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it; I give it a 95."

If we don’t watch it, we might look right past obvious problems, buy into the image and elect a Michael Jackson, or a John Lennon…or a Vladimir Lenin.  Some might say we already have. 

Oh, and as a public service, and in case you missed it while watching the Michael Jackson coverage; there are reports that North Korea will be testing an ICBM and more nuclear devices soon.  Y’know, you may want to consider this.

Shire Network News #165 – Letterman v Palin

Shire Network News #165 has been released. The feature interview is with Israeli historian Yaacov Lozowick, author of "Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel’s Wars" and a former peace activist who found himself voting for (gulp) Sharon. Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

What do Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, G. Gordon Liddy and David Letterman all have in common?  They’re all on NOW’s Hall of Shame.  When the ladies in the Left wing calls a fellow liberal "sexist", it must be way beyond the pale.

And it was.

(The YouTube video is no longer available – CBS took it down – so here’s a blog post on the subject.  Essentially he said that there was an embarrassing moment at a Yankees game that Sarah Palin attended; during the 7th inning her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.)

Yes, others like Leno and Saturday Night Live have done similar jokes and the Palins have had to laugh it off.  But the campaign’s been over for 8 months now, and Letterman’s still doing teen pregnancy jokes?  Guess he must be all out of vicious Obama jokes.

When I was asked if, for my segment on SNN, I’d like to take a crack at Letterman, I said "Yes … and I’d like to talk about him, too."  >cue rim shot<  Well the fact is, I tried to come up with a Top 9 list that could both have 9 items and yet say what I wanted to say about this.

The Top 9 Other Topics David Letterman Also Thinks Are Funny

9 – Hit and run drivers (as long as they hit a Republican)


How about The Top 9 Topics David Letterman Thinks Aren’t Funny

9 – Jokes about President Obama’s daughters.


The Top 9 Ways to Make the Joke Funnier

9 – Add a minister, a priest and a Rabbi walking into a bar.

8 – Toss in a few lines from "Who’s on First?"

Eh.  I just couldn’t come up with 9 things that fit those categories without winding up in the same cesspool that Letterman jumped into.  And I won’t go there.

In his first "apology", he said he meant to make the joke about Bristol, age 18, not Willow, age 14.

So he meant to ignore the 14-year-old daughter that was really there at the game, and instead say that the 18-year-old daughter she left home somehow wound up in New York and got … yeah, well, see, that extra 4 years of age takes (what passes for) a "joke" from "inappropriate" to "comedic genius".  I mean, if he’d actually said "Bristol", why then we’d all be laughing. 

Well, about a week went by, and he came to the conclusion that the "joke" was tasteless and the "apology" was inadequate; a conclusion that should’ve taken 7 milliseconds rather than 7 days.  He finally took personal responsibility for the content, and the Palins accepted.

So what are the lessons we should all learn from this?

Lesson 1: If you’re going to tell a joke about statutory rape, don’t.  Just don’t.  It’s one of the cheapest of cheap laughs. 

Lesson 2: If you haven’t learned lesson 1, then at least be sure you know what you’re talking about.  If you’re going to attack someone’s reputation, at least get your facts straight.

And lesson 3:  If you find yourself listening to someone who hasn’t learned lesson 1, laughter & applause is not the appropriate response.  Hey, audience; consider this.

Shire Network News #163 has been released. Instead of an interview this week, "Tom Paine" in Australia joins Meryl Yourish in Richmond Virginia, and "Brian of London" in Tel Aviv for a three-way discussion about life, politics, Jihadi’s attacking on every front while Obama sits back, peers hawkishly in the opposite direction and says "War? What war?", how to get one’s political comedy mojo back and the vitally important topic of moat-dredging. It’s a LOT more relevant than you might think.  Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

That scourge of the world, that Auschwitz of the West, the human rights debacle commonly known as "Gitmo", the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, is going to be closed, much to the relief of anti-war activists everywhere.  It was on January 22nd of this year, 2 days after taking office, that President Barack Obama signed an order to shut it down within the year.  With 9 months left on the clock, how’s that going?

This past week, the fiscal year 2009 spending bill included Obama’s request for money to handle this.  However, House Appropriations Chairman David Obey, a Democrat, stripped the $80 million from the bill because the administration had not actually presented a "concrete program" to close it.  In short, Obey … didn’t.  So it seems that Barack Obama doesn’t really have an "exit strategy" for dealing with this problem; he’s just throwing money at it, something the Left is exemplary at.  And while cooler heads in the Democratic party are prevailing, one would think, one would hope, that the coolest head ought to be at the top.  Well, just keep hoping.

At the same time he signed the order to close Gitmo, Obama also suspended the proceedings of the Guantanamo military commission for 120 days.  He’s said during the campaign that, “by any measure our system of trying detainees has been an enormous failure,” and declaring that as president he would “reject the Military Commissions Act.”  So how’s that going?

Well, now the administration is becoming more open to using tribunals because of the difficulty in trying these cases in the federal court system.  Some may still be, but one administration official said that the more they looked at it, the more the tribunals didn’t look as bad as they did on January 20th.  Apparently, he was the spokesman for other officials who were busy putting out the fires they’d set on their bridges behind them.  If things look much different "the more you look at it", that sounds like you should have been looking at it a bit more in the first place, before shooting your mouth off and throwing red meat to your supporters.  You’re the President, or you were running for it then, and cooler heads ought to have … well, you know the drill.

No, what we have is a pandering President proclaiming pompously panaceas promoted primarily by pernicious panels of people.  Pathetic.  We can only hope that, going forward, the leader of the free world will take just a little more time to consider this.

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