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Monday, April 26, 2010

HAMILTON: "If the earth didn't just move for you Honey, we'd better get out of here fast!" P. L. Inkletter frantically tells his Missus with magnitude

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
26th April 2010

Monday: Again I blurred day and night, 'retiring' for the 'night' towards midday from the day of Sunday; if you can make sense of that, well done.

I wanted to speak to Janny before she set off for the 250 km drive north from Balingup with her serious bruises on both legs and an arm, and she felt confident she would do the drive okay, with several stops. That chat was at about 9 this morning, and the next several hours involved some gardening and research online for writing matters, and I couldn't consider sleep till I'd made some progress with this and a related phone call.

In my stupor during the afternoon, having left the bedroom door open, I heard Janny and The Dear Leader arrive home, and my darling wife spoke to me before closing the door to let me sleep on; I saw her bruised legs, and they were a sight not to see! Nor was her left arm. Massive bruises, and she is very lucky not to have broken anything or knocked her head last Thursday when the trip-over happened. I let my gratitude be known to the higher world that she fared so well, all things considered.

I surfaced by arrangement around half six, feeling profoundly tired and nowhere ready to rise; however, things needed attending to, including giving a lift home for The Dear Leader, and unloading his luggage from the six days away.

As always, Q&A was worth watching, despite Germaine Greer's attempts to be her usual 'Germary Germary quite contrary', and before I knew where I was, it was Lateline time: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Ms Sales, attired very pleasantly and smartly in a light grey jacket over a white longsleeved blouse, complimented with subtle-effect makeup and loose falling flared hair, and her only jewellery being gold stubbed small pearl earrings, interviewed David Frum on-screen from Washington, looking very acceptable in a dark grey suit and lilac shade shirt, set off with an olive green sheen patterned tie, and an impressively manicured, fertilized, and watered artificial turf defining his upper forehead line (making me wonder if Mr Frum had acted on the observation by Danielle Crittenden, "...most women, given a choice, will prefer a tall man to a short one, a thick-haired one to a bald one..." in her book 'What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us…').

Ms Sales used the opportunity represented by Mr Frum's willingness to discuss very well, and this articulate, intelligent, and moderate conservative waxed analytical while actually answering Ms Sales' questions: doesn't it translate to a far more informative experience when the interlocutor is not facing an electorate's vote!

It became evident why some prominent folk in the Republican movement are unhappy with this fellow, because his neck hardly displayed any sunburn at all. God forbid that observations of reality actually be fearlessly stated by notables within any party, even if these observations don't appear to support the party's electability.

One of the wonderfully astute things Mr Frum said was "…we also always have to remember we are connected to the right. We are not hostile to them, we are in a continuum with them, but we have to be a coalition and it can't always be true that the loudest and most extreme voice gets to make every decision." What piqued and impressed me here was his use of the underused concept 'continuum', and the fact that he used it perfectly.

Having admitted I found him refreshingly astute and a balanced voice of relative moderation in many ways, I don't agree with his opinion in everything; of course, this should be less a surprise than would be finding a person who agrees with everything someone else believes in.

Back to some more of his wisdom: his comment "…we are in this very sick relationship with China where they lend us too much money too cheaply. That creates a lot of debt opportunities for American households..." was most accurate; he called it a "sick dynamic", and rightly so. However, the consumer credit mentality of the American (Australian, British, …) citizen is more the problem than the opportunity to borrow.

Mr Frum's assertion "the first job of an economic leader is wealth creation" is a qualified truth as far as I'm concerned; wealth creation is essential of course, but it also needs wise attention to ensure the egalitarian opportunities to do this and benefit from it; I'm not sure to what extent he was isolating the President's role to being an 'economic leader' by his choice of words, but anyway, I don't accept that a President's (or Prime Minister's) role is solely that of economic leadership, and some of the other roles, if properly fulfilled, will attenuate, at times, financial wealth creation.

His description of the likely demise of the cap and trade scheme legislation due to the threatened withdrawal of support by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham as a "mercy killing" from the Democrat's point of view was funny but savvy.

Ms Sales pursued Mr Frum on his point in passing that Sarah Palin will never be President, and he gave insightful reasons based on research; when I first heard her and considered her statements during the 2008 campaign I decided that if the U.S.A. even elected John McCain with her as his running mate, then they had gone more completely mad than I thought they were, based on the simple fact that she would have been the emergency President-in-waiting beside an elderly man. I was staggered by McCain's poor judgment on that one. Not because she is a woman, but because of the substance, or lack thereof.

He made a quick reference to strong national defence: I think Obama needs to be very careful in his watering down of his nation's defence, and he needs to understand what his nation's enemies respect.

Ms Sales explored Mr Frum's resignation from the conservative think tank The American Enterprise Institute, and he shone, in my opinion, in his remarks about it. And after he gave a lucid rejoinder he added "I see myself as a strongly committed Republican, but I'd like to navigate by the facts and not by my wishes, and there is a lot of fanciful thinking inside the Republican Party these days."

He sensibly noted that Obama's health care plan is here to stay; he even noted the benefits within it. He then said "So you don't build your politics on fantasies … I'm telling us bad news for sake of generating success in the future." Here is one very persuasive man, flavouring what he says with intelligence and insight.

When Ms Sales raised the article "Unpatriotic Conservatives" which Mr Frum wrote in 2003, he interrupted – politely, despite being animated and flustered by the attribution she applied to it – and vigorously defended what he claims he actually said, not what people think he said, and while I haven't read it, I would not be the least bit surprised, judging by the man's acumen in this interview, if his defence is right. Ms Sales said she had read it, and I have no doubt she had, for she is one journalist who puts in the hard yards, from my observations, to be well researched and informed, before interviewing her subjects.

Mr Frum finished with "My mission in my politics has been consistent over the past decade, which is to build a party that stands for free enterprise, stands for a strong national defence, but is connected with the broad centre of American public opinion." He isn't perfect, and probably would admit this, but I wish we had a lot of politicians and politically involved folk in Australia of his calibre; and this despite there being in all likelihood much political philosophy I could take issue with him on. High quality on both sides of the political divide is good for a nation's advancement.

In terms of cogent analysis and opinion per minute, overlaid with the fragrance of decency, this interview is right up there, and I thank Ms Sales and Mr Frum for bringing it about.


Gladys Hobson said...

Glad to hear Janny arrived home safely.
What a remarkable lady!
Amazing what you get done in a 24 hour day — or do you get more hours for good behaviour in Aussieland?

Payton L. Inkletter said...

Gladys: Yes, Janny, aka Missus Inkletter, is a remarkable lady, and she arrived home safely, though badly bruised.

Now the power of words to paint inaccurate pictures is something to marvel at, for again you express amazement at what we get done in a day in the Inkletter fold downunder: relatively very little in fact.

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