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The Earth is Flat Award

A celebration of the inane, insipid and asinine...

web posted February 21, 2000

Enter Stage Right is no fan of John McCain but even we are compelled to register our outrage when he was ambushed by news that a member of his family owned slaves over a century ago.

Some time ago, McCain made the comment that no one in his family -- which is originally from the southern United States -- had ever owned slaves. Well, the shrilly liberal Salon magazine took it upon themselves to find out if that was true and on February 15 presented McCain with information that William Alexander McCain, his great-great-grandfather had owned 52 slaves. Historical records show that McCain owned a plantation and later died during the Civil War as a soldier for the Mississippi cavalry.

"I didn't know that," McCain told the magazine. "I knew they had sharecroppers. I did not know that."

Nor did he have to since he didn't own the slaves.

It was a beautiful "coup" for the online magazine which has done little but bray on the behalf of the Clinton administration since its founding a few years ago. McCain and George W. Bush have both had troubles over the issue of the Confederate flag and Dubya even (unfortunately) spoke at Bob Jones University recently -- an institution that maintains a ban on interracial dating.

The issue of race has given Republicans problems for decades now and this was Salon's chance to stick it to the party -- and its two golden boys -- one more time. McCain, known for his temper, should have unleashed it at Salon's reporters. He is not a slave owner and is not responsible for the actions of a man in 1860. Asking questions about a man's past is within the rules, but trumpeting those of another human being and linking them to someone else is the worst in journalism, just what we've come to expect from Salon.

As a commodity, hypocrisy is a fairly plentiful one, especially when one considers the world of politics. As usual, Canada's government has a surplus ready to be used at any moment.

Take Joerg Haider's surprise and unannounced 48-hour visit to Canada last week. Howls of outrage were record while Haider avoided any official contact with government officials during a visit that seemed to make little sense. That outrage was also displayed by Lloyd Axworthy, Canada's foreign affairs minister, who through the media told Haider to keep his "repugnant" views to himself while in Canada on a private visit.

"We will look with great care at what he says and does to determine whether it exacerbates or enhances some of the statements that we have found so repugnant in the past," he said, one week after announcing that Canada would limit diplomatic relations with Austria after the country's conservative People's Party formed a coalition government that includes the Freedom Party.

The problem with Haider -- at least for Axworthy -- is that he is responsible for a sum total of zero deaths. Not one. Zip. Zilch. Is Haider a sympathizer or actual Nazi? Too early to tell but when it comes to hosting leaders with blood on their hands, Axworthy has no problems when the victims and perpetrators aren't white.

Last fall, Enter Stage Right told you about a Francophone summit in Canada which saw guests like Laurent Kabila, president of Congo, Hun Sen, president of Cambodia, and Gnassingbe Eyadema, president of Togo enjoying some red carpet treatment.

Kabila's regime, locked in a bloody civil war fueled by tribal rivalries, has reportedly ordered massacres of opponents, imprisonment of political foes and extra-judicial executions. Sen's government has squelched political protest and imprisoned scores of demonstrators, with five people being executed without trials in 1997, according to human rights groups. And Eyadema has been accused of arresting opponents in run-off elections last June, opponents whose handcuffed bodies turned up on beaches after being thrown from planes.

Canada maintains full diplomatic relations with both the Congo and Cambodia.

Eyadema and several other leaders attending the summit -- including those from Rwanda, Burundi, Burkina Faso -- were granted full diplomatic immunity during the summit to prevent possible arrest for human rights violations.

"There is a very clear distinction between people who are invited to attend an international meeting under the auspices of an international organization. UN rules are applied to what you can and can't do," replies Axworthy.

Haider's comments were at a minimum insulting and at worst indicative of his true beliefs, but the crimes of Kabila, Sen and Eyadema are much worse. It demonstrates several clear facts about the Liberal government of Canada. 1) If the victims and perpetrators aren't white, diplomatic and military action aren't to be used. 2) If you make remarks like those of Haider's, prepare to be treated worse than men who actually order people to be killed.

Hypocrisy isn't expensive, especially when measured in people's lives.

At the risk of becoming predictable, Fox's recent television special, "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire," is simply the latest in a long string of notices that the apocalypse is truly near.

If you missed it, the program was a special on which a millionaire picked a bride from a group of women paraded before him in swimsuits and wedding gowns. The bizarre cross between a beauty pageant and quiz show drew huge numbers -- especially among women aged 18 to 34, of which a third of all with televisions on had watched all or part of the program. I guess that also explains the enduring popularity of the movie Pretty Woman which saw a prostitute picked up and eventually married to a wealthy man.

I'd say that the popularity of the show proves that all women want is money or they dream of being prostitutes themselves -- which is all the 50 contestants on the program really were when you think about it -- but I'll suspend judgement until the next special: one which will reportedly see a female millionaire choosing from a field of male contestants.

"At the end of those two hours, if you turned down the volume of your TV and you listened real carefully, you could hear Western civilization crumbling around you,'' said Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University's Center for the Study of Popular Television.

Thompson may be overdoing it since ancient Rome also had its share of gaudy spectacles designed to keep everyone entertained.

Look what happened to it.

The Vinegar in Freedom Award

There is an old Serbian proverb that says vinegar in freedom tastes better than honey in slavery. This award is meant for events and people Enter Stage Right considers to be positive.

web posted February 21, 2000

It may take a village to raise a child, but it only takes a First Lady and candidate for Senate to stiff a waitress.

While campaigning in Albion, New York recently, Hillary Clinton and her campaign entourage were treated to a free meal at the Village House Restaurant by its owner. After completing a meal reportedly worth $600, Clinton's group left without tipping the waitress -- single mother Trish Trupo who makes all of $5 000 a year, not including tips.

Aside from the jokes of late night comedians, that could have been the end of the story. But 46-year old Peter Kessler of Florida sensed an opportunity to both embarrass Clinton and see that Trupo received what she was entitled to.

Kessler made a comment on FreeRepublic.com that perhaps someone should take up a collection for Trupo. That, with help from media coverage, unleashed a flood of money from across the United States and around the world, one that has resulted inTrupo being "tipped" with up to $1 000.

"That's just another wild story, I wasn't permitted to pay," Clinton said after the story broke out into the mainstream media. The First Lady reportedly called Trupo to apologize but still sent no tip.

The tip -- along the free meal -- are a telling indictment of the mind set of a person who hasn't held a real job in decades. Although Hillary Clinton can talk a good talk, when it comes down to it, she has little -- if any -- understanding what the average person goes through. Although it's fine to sink billions of dollars into social spending that has solved nothing, when it comes time for the personal action, Hillary's mind is somewhere else. Perhaps her new $1.7 million home.

Full kudos to Kessler, his campaign, and all those who sent in their money. It both exposed Hillary Clinton for what she really is, and for making sure that Trupo got what she deserved.

Send your tips to:

Trish (Hillary's Waitress)
Village House Restaurant
16 East Ave
Albion, NY 14411-1613

Liberals talk about having a heart...conservatives demonstrate it.

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