Sunday, May 07, 2006

Capitol Hill Follies

If Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D.-GA) had any sense of class or decency (and the evidence suggests that she doesn't), she'd send a bottle of champagne to Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D.-RI). Ok, maybe not champagne. Maybe a nice fruit basket.

McKinney is the cretin who accused the Capitol Hill Police of being racists for trying to enforce the rules. McKinney tried to bypass a metal detector - which she's allowed to do, provided she's wearing the pin which idenitifies her as a member of Congress, which she wasn't. When a police officer tried to stop her, she assaulted him and then held press conference after press conference claiming the incident was racially motivated.

Well, in a way, she's right. Like most of her generation of black "leaders", McKinney plays the race card every chance she gets. When her party was outmaneuvered in Georgia and her district gerrymandered to where Democrats were the minority, she claimed it was based on race. It couldn't have had anything to do with the fact that earlier, during her first stint in Congress, right after the 9/11 attacks, she accused President Bush of complicity in the worst attack ever on U.S. soil. Naahhhh. Had to be "whitey". McKinney suffers from "Carpenter's Syndrome". When you're a member of the racial grievance industry....

Lucky for her, Ted Kennedy's son, Rep. Patrick Kennedy came along to bump her out of the news cycle. What a piece of work this guy is! Early Thursday morning (about 2:45 a.m.), Kennedy slammed his car into a Capitol Hill Police barricade at the corner of First and C Street. He staggered from his car claiming to be late for a vote even though the House had been closed for hours. Capitol Hill Police wanted to perform field sobriety tests, but their supervisor ordered them all to leave the scene. Then the supervisor drove Kennedy home!

Kennedy claims he wasn't drinking. A waitress at a nearby bar, the Hawk & Dove, says otherwise. So do the Capitol Hill Police officers on the scene. They thought Kennedy was drunk and wanted to give him a sobriety test. Only their boss decided it was his duty to play chauffeur to this privileged git.

Where to begin? How about at the beginning? I mean, you have to feel a little sorry for this guy since the deck was stacked against him from birth. His parents are Joan and Ted "Manslaughtering Cheater" Kennedy. Talk about being pre-disposed to alcoholism! It would be a minor miracle if he weren't a booze hound.

Now, Patrick Kennedy is 39 years old - basically my age. In 1987, while a student at Providence College (what's the matter? had Harvard already met their quota for Kennedys?) he did a stint in rehab for cocaine abuse. Do the math - he was 20! He has since developed a reputation for a guy who uses his famous name and office to get special treatment. There's video tape of him from three years ago trying to avoid an airport security checkpoint. When confronted, he berates and shoves the checkpoint attendant - a woman. Whatta guy! Earlier this year he was involved in another auto accident in his home district where he was apparently speeding through a parking lot.

Kennedy claims that he has a problem with prescription medication. He has wrapped himself in the victim's mantle and has checked himself into rehab. I would ask if he has a sense of shame, but knowing he is the son of Ted Kennedy, the question's rhetorical.

Now, if you or I crashed a car into a police barricade and staggered out reeking of booze, there's likely nothing we could do to avoid a field test. This would be followed by a night in jail, a date in court, a court-ordered alcohol education program, substantial fines, increased insurance premiums, and restricted driving privileges.

Not little Patrick Kennedy. Instead, he's going to get a six-week vacation and a date on the Oprah Winfrey show.

The Kennedy clan have gone from being "American royalty" to the Jackson family of politics and we have descended into a full-scale celebritocracy.

Where is the outrage?

Long time, no blog

Greetings, loyal readers! (Or reader, as the case may be.) It's been about two months since I vented my spleen about the state of the world. Since I am easing back into this, I thought I'd catch everyone up on what's been going on these last eight weeks.

I last blogged from Tirana, Albania. I was there for work, as usual. Frankly, Albania ain't much too look at, but I was glad to get the assignment again since my brother and sister-in-law are there. I should amend my earlier statement. Tirana isn't much to look at. I'll bet there is plenty of beautiful Balkan countryside in Albania, I just didn't get to see it. If you are ever considering traveling to that part of the world, I recommend not going there in February. It wasn't particularly cold, but it rained nearly the whole time we were there (almost three weeks).

After Albania, I spent the rest of March stateside crawling the walls, waiting for my next trip. Luckily my next trip was a vacation to Brazil. I took my Mom down to Recife to meet my girlfriend, Ana Maria Bezerra Sales. I also delivered an engagement ring to Ana making her my fiancee. We spent four days in Brazil and had a really good time. I also took the Foreign Service Written Exam (the first step towards becoming a Foreign Service Officer) at the U.S. Consulate there. I was sorry to leave Brazil and Ana but my next trip beckoned.

I'm writing to you from my next destination, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This is my fourth trip to Jeddah. I have to confess: I pretty much loathe Saudi Arabia. It's hot and dusty and no fun at all.

What's to like? Not much. For starters, what infuriates me the most is how the Saudis subjugate their women. I mean, can you imagine living in the 120 degree heat of the desert and having to wear a long, black dress and a black headscarf when out in public? It's nigh on cruel and unusual punishment. Frankly I think the men here know that they don't have what it takes to truly love and please a woman and so they subordinate them. I gotta hand it to them, though. They've brainwashed the women into thinking it's for their own good, while the men walk around in their long, white dresses.

Your average Saudi doesn't work - at least not much. For that they have all manners of foreigners. From Americans and Europeans to perform the skilled labor (lawyers, engineers, doctors) to Pakistanis and Bengalis to do all the menial labor (domestic servants, food service, sanitation). They are obsequious towards the former and condescending, bigoted and cruel towards the latter. Again a reflection of their so-called "manhood".

You have to time when you go out for a meal because they close all the shops during prayer time. I would have much more respect for the Saudis and their puritannical culture if I didn't know it was rank hypocrisy. I mean, I would respect their piety if they all, or at least a significant number of them, stopped to pray during prayer time. But they don't.

As for the prohibition on alcohol, that's looked at with a wink and a nod. Everyone knows that in the homes of the rich and powerful and the royals, alcohol is consumed. In fact, it's rumored that it is the royals who are largely responsible for what traffic there is in drugs and alcohol in the Kingdom. And they are well-known party people as soon as they set foot outside the Kingdom.

In all, I highly recommend that you NEVER come to Saudi Arabia, if you can at all help it. Stick to Brazil. Better food, better weather, better women.

Luckily I am getting out of this gilded hell-hole tomorrow night. I fly from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur to Ho Chi Minh City. I was there in 2004 and had a great time. I can't wait to get there. I'll write you once I get settled in.