The Journal


Serving the Metropolitan Area


Since 1872


April 24, 2022





By Jack Parnell - retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate


Syndicated by Acme Features



"Look at me. Pay attention to me. Be fascinated by me. Love me. If you can't love me, then go ahead, hate me - at least you're paying attention." 




- Donna Britt in the Washington Post on the narcissism in America (before Donald Trump’s election)


          During his time as Senator, Pa always availed himself of opportunities to take an early winter break from Washington each other year, teaching a seminar for newly minted Congresspeople... dems and pubs, the both... up at that Harvard School of Government.

          By the turn of the Millennium, however, them seminars became a painful partisan experience like to passin’ the kidney stone. At the last ever held, newcomers segregated themselves like high school cliques in cafeterias, so the whole charade was scrapped before I came in. "The venom quotient," observed Washington Post columnist David Broder, had increased "faster than the ideological polarization." His colleague, Dan Balz, predicted: "When all of you reach the nursing homes, you are going to be leaning on your rockers and beating on each other with your canes because you still won't have resolved those arguments from the 1960's."

          Like Mr. Hyde said... not the ex-Congressman nor English doctor monster-maker, but my junior year Civics teacher in Miller's Ridge... "the worst day of your life will be when you finally get out of high school, only to discover the rest of your life's nothing but high school!"

          Everybody knows spoiled kids, and what becomes of them... except those (like yours truly) with the family affluenza to mop up the damage. And, though it hurts to say so, gumment has been a bad parent; spoiling Americans rotten with permissiveness, promises and the pandering... on everything from taxes to Medicare, handouts to plague un-unemployed couples hauling down a hundred forty thousand yearly or suckers who signed up for thousands of dollars in junk education from the onliners to cross-dressing Mexican flag-burnin' terrorist Boy Scout marriages. "We can attribute much of the 'crisis in confidence' to unrealistic expectations of leaders," concluded one Phillip Shaver, taker of psychological polls... "a kind of adolescent rebellion encouraged by leaders themselves. Politicians too often lack the nerve to get behind policies and programs that take anything away from their constituents."

          From adolescence, over the past few years, we have devolved back into early childhood – throwing tantrums and bowls of oatmeal at the wall – and I’m not just talking about Ol’ 45.  All of us collaborated on cutting taxes on the rich, tossing food stamps, paper towels and circuses at the unrich and stimulizing the both; and with funds borrowed from Saudis and the Chinese (and, until around the start of the plague, the Russians) and ran 'round burnin' dollar gas like rotten kids as filched their parents' titanium cards.  Gas spikes to five when our friends, the Saudis, cut deals with Mad Vlad Putin and we whine… drops back to two, we party… goes back up to seven on the Ukrainian thing, we whine again.  Big crashes, bright lights, loud noises, sweet and salty smells, spattering blood... these are the sensations as excite apes and children and infantilize grownups, as oughta know better, and the debt ceiling keeps going up, along with mortgage rates.

          Hey!... pay attention to me!

          Kids are supposed to be rotten... the expectation, though, being that they'll grow up, which I now see many as not doing.  Instead, a culture of showboating and disrespect wafts upwards from the schoolyard where, as the aforecited Donna Britt observed: "in-your-face too often results in in-your-grave" to the political debate podiums as cover everything from Chief Executives on down through the Congress and the States to Don Jones’ local showdown for Commissioner of Sewers.  It's not: "I want what you have, too," says talkin' headshrinker Jane Ciabattari, it's: "I want what you have, and I want you not to have it. I want to take it away from you, and if I can't do that, I'll spoil or destroy it."  

          Ukraine is the template but we’re not so far behind here in the Land of the Free – where organized anarchists and atheists down in San Diego snatch away permits for Easter services, rejected poets round up slackers to picket the little magazines as then go out of bidness.  Wealthy teenage girls stage beatdowns of the nerds from poor families for that Tik Tok there in China; Wal-Mart runs up half a mil in legal bills, appealing this dollar judgement to some gimp who found all the store handicap parking spaces taken by Wal-Mart employees, then marks up our shampoo and Purell to pay for 'em...

          Entropy loves its lawyers!  They’ll be raking in the plague revenues until 2080, if we make it that long!

          Now it may well make sense to certain virtuecrats whose self-proclaimed expertise on moral hazard slides over into e-con'mics... specifically, on calling upon God to justify that them as who don't already have it don't deserve it. Take Larry Mead, as in "The New Politics of Poverty", concluding that... "various technical corrections" having left the unemployed with an "inequality of prospects", they stop looking for work, making unemployment their fault. Victims of liberals and a nwordish culture of insolence, "expressive lifestyles" and rock (sic!) music, welfare mothers and unemployed men develop psychological deviance which, Mead avows, "is so important that a number of poverty experts have recently written statements about it!"

          Unfortunately, it is not (nor will it ever be) hip to be cruel. "I have learned to be suspicious of those well-meaning men who were noisy liberals or even Communists in their youth, only to become hard-edged and even savage right-wingers in their maturity," wrote James Michener (as may be excused for his paleo-liberalism by his having lived long enough to have actually voted for FDR somewhere ‘bout the time of these remarks). "I find such men abhorrent, never to be trusted."

          Although when FDR did institute his WPA… he called it the Works Progress, not Welfare

          Wonder what Woodie Guthrie would've said 'bout them music publishers, suing girl scouts for singing "This Land Is Your Land", among others, ‘round the campfire?

          Probably something grouchy, as that slouchy Old E-con-mystic, John Kenneth Galbraith grumbled, a while back: "A society where the rich are obsessed by stocks and everyone else by lotteries can never be a productive, progressive, happy place. It will not be a place where hard work is the main value, or where people make sensible education choices."

          Hell, I'm no tin angel. I've been to Memphis... been to Vail, too, and on the clean coal lobby’s dime! Might say a House that can't keep its own in order would have trouble policing foibles of the public. Might be right. So, as President, I'd refrain from makin' laws against Hank Bucous, 46 year old mechanic and Kiss-personator fanatic on Miller's Ridge as goes all batshit over those Korean boys taking away our music and our teenage daughters and says so on the anti-social media... I wouldn't even make Federal cases of all that end-zone dancing or put folks in jail as defended or derided Derrida. There's real trouble out there... like President Joe aping all that Romanian harvesting of fetal tissue from abortions being sold on the London market like purple potatoes, or the Chinese creeping into Siberia while the big, ogly bear still has its gaze turned towards Kyev, just like Big Tom Clancey (Mister Tillerman’s nemesis) warned they'd do!

          I was told, back in the day, by a lady Perfessor down in Texas, that kings and queens of Old Mexico afore Columbus lived lives of luxury and power... but, every so often, had to justify their privileges by climbing up a pyramid to dance before their subjects, then pull jagged stingray spines through their earlobes, lips and places as can't be mentioned in family papers while the mob just howled with glee. Somethin' to ponder...

          "The naked skin on the head of vultures," Darwin said, "is generally considered as a direct adaptation for wallowing in putridity; but we should be very cautious in drawing any such inference, when we see that the skin on the head of the clean-feeding male turkey is likewise naked."