Friday, March 26, 2010

26 MAR 10: Out in a Blaze of Glory?

The man stood facing an overhead TV set. President Obama was talking about health care reform in Iowa, and the man was talking back to the screen in negative tones. The fact that the President was appearing on Fox News Channel did not appear to faze him in the least.

The manager of the Oakland Park Laundromat on South Lumpkin Road was ready to vent Thursday, and I was the closest person nearby to hear it. I'm thankful to say the manager stopped after a few minutes - while my clothes drier amazingly went 50 minutes on a single quarter.

"They ought to be shot. If I had been there, I'd have shot 'em," the laundry manager said. Only minutes earlier, Fox News had mentioned several attacks on Congressional offices - even at offices of health care reform opponents. The doomsayers who warned me of food riots two years ago may have missed the target.

(Well, wait a minute -- the health care reform act does require nutrition information on restaurant menus and vending machines. Will people start tipping over machines because all the candy bars are sugar-free?)

Moments later, the laundry manager clarified his comment about shooting members of Congress. "Not everybody - just 34 of them." This manager told me he was a Christian, but this isn't quite a tithe of all U.S. House members.

Which 34 House members does this man want to shoot? "The ones who agreed to that backroom deal. And that's unconstitutional." The manager apparently wants every meeting involving Congress to occur in public - apparently not realizing the U.S. Constitution was created in closed-door meetings.

Based on his comments, this laundry manager would shoot Rep. Sanford Bishop - since Bishop admits his final vote was swayed by the executive order barring federal funding of abortions in health care reform. Bishop also says he applied "W.W.J.D." thinking to his vote. The laundry manager has determined that stands for "Working with a jumbled democracy."

"Don't you see how they're taking our freedoms away from us?" the laundry manager asked me.

"Well, I don't have health insurance - so I'll have to buy it...."

"This isn't about health insurance." This man wouldn't even let me meet him two-thirds of the way.

"I'm a Christian," the laundry manager explained. "President Obama is a socialist.... First he banned the day of prayer...."

"The National Day of Prayer?! He banned it?"

"That's what they said on TV." Then you'd think the National Day of Prayer web site would be shut down, or at least mention that action - yet it doesn't. Maybe they unplugged cable TV, because the news was too depressing.

"Watch the news at 5:00 this afternoon...." the manager continued.

"The 'funeral procession for liberty' the Tea Party is putting on?!" I interrupted. "They're having that at the Government Center."

I might as well have told this man California had fallen into the ocean - because for all his knowledge, he didn't seem to know a thing about it.

It quickly became clear this man has at least a deep-seeded distrust of President Obama, and at worst outright hatred. He repeated the claim that the President is not a U.S. citizen - so if Orly Taitz needs new witnesses in federal court, I may have found one.

"So where do you plan to move?" I finally asked the man. I joked to some friends this week I'm so upset with the thought of socialized medicine in the U.S., I might just move to Canada.

"I'm not moving anywhere," the manager answered. "This is my home. I fought for my country, and I'll die for my country." That could be the problem. If he lived in Washington, he might try to take other people with him.

I let the gentleman speak his piece, then said "thank you" and returned to my clothes. While he's certainly entitled to his opinion, should I keep going to a laundromat where the manager openly talks about shooting members of Congress? It's not like he's a 100-percent right-wing extremist. After all, some of the instruction signs on the wall are in Spanish.

As I took my clothing to the car, I told the manager: "Don't get yourself on the police blotter." But then again, it may be too late. Venting to a blog that's read by police officers could be enough....

The laundry manager certainly isn't the only one, uh, annoyed by health care reform. WTVM reported Thursday the act includes a new ten-percent tax on tanning salons. If you want more bronze, you'll have to plunk down more gold.

Georgia's Governor still wants to challenge health care reform in court. Sonny Perdue said Thursday he'll hire several "pro bono" lawyers to pursue a case at no charge. Isn't it nice to see Josh McKoon's work with the Education Park Coalition is getting noticed in Atlanta?

As for that "funeral procession for liberty" - the Columbus Tea Party's downtown demonstration Thursday evening attracted only about a dozen people. The tax day rally outside the Government Center last April had at least 100. Perhaps most of the crowd decided to follow the lead of the liberal political action group - and they've Moved On.

-> Our other blog starts with poker, then goes in directions you might not expect. Read "On the Flop!" <-

BLOG EXCLUSIVE: An alert blog reader and radio listener tipped us off Thursday to a major development on the dial....

This email was forwarded to me through a chain of forwards, the original email says it is from Ed Bostic:

"I have resigned from WGSY - Sunny 100. Those of you that live here will soon hear another syndicated morning show from a guy in Los Angeles you've probably never heard of. Please use this e-mail address to contact me effective today--Ed Bostic"

Bostic spent several years as the Sunny 100 morning host. He outlasted TV news co-hosts Chuck Leonard and Jennifer Serda - but the hairspray of Tammy Terry apparently was too tough.

We tried the e-mail address for Ed Bostic Thursday, asking what led to the resignation. We received this reply, which we're going to assume is legitimately from him:

I've spent 12 years trying to do the best radio show possible. I was told early in my career that you'll never hear about what you do right only what you're doing wrong. I have found that to be pretty accurate. Although the ratings were good and the listeners seemed happy there was always scrutiny and meddling that really wasn't necessary. Changes being mandated by people not involved with the station that make no sense and provide no benefit to the listener. We seem to lose sight of the fact that we are doing this FOR the listeners and not to satisfy the whims of others in the radio profession. Eventually it takes a toll. Professionally and emotionally. I had to choose whether or not to stick it out and continue this way or make a change and try something new. I chose the latter. I love Sunny 100. It was part of who I am. I'll miss it and the friends I've made during my time there. No immediate plans.

Ed Bostic probably is right, when he says radio personalities only hear about their mistakes. The Tea Party movement seems to operate the same way.

But who are these outside meddlers, who aren't involved with Sunny 100? That's not a very nice way to describe radio advertisers....

Ed Bostic's prediction of "another syndicated morning show" on Sunny 100 may be inaccurate. The station's Facebook page indicates the new morning host is Edgar Champagne -- who's been on the air middays at WAGH "Magic 101.3." A double-shot of Champagne before 12:00 noon could be a dangerous thing.

E-MAIL UPDATE: We promised several other items from the InBox. One takes us back to Wednesday's review of a raid by Columbus Police....

I read your article about the Golden Cue. I have appeared before Council and requested a change in the silly alcohol ordinances also. As you may know, you cannot play poker in a restaraunt because contests of skill are not allowed. I guess we'll not be getting a Dave and Buster's any time soon. I was contacted by one of the "Golden Cue 3" and had to convey the bad news that when he posted bond and then did not show up for court he stood convicted. However, they can still work in a restaraunt because you don't need an ABC card to work in a restaraunt. That's right, the bartender at Applebys can be a convicted rapist or murderer but the barback or janitor at the Cue can't forget to renew his card. Makes a lot of sense?

Bill Mason, Attorney

Wow -- if a convicted rapist can work in a restaurant bar, I don't dare order a "bloody mary."

I've heard stories of inmates working in restaurants -- such as Lee County prisoners cooking fast food. If the salt on your fries tastes funny, it might not be salt. It could be an illegal substance.

Now to the current energy mess in Columbus, which we also mentioned Wednesday:

Thanks for the heads up about Atmos natural gas bills..My gas bill jumped up $200 this month...I tried to think how I could have used that much gas..Calling today for a new meter read...Thanks again..

As cold as this past winter was in Columbus, I'm frankly surprised my natural gas bills weren't higher. This month's bill is in the 55-dollar range. Yes, it pays to wear your jogging socks to bed.

(BLOGGER'S NOTE: A message we promised about Phenix City government requires us to make follow-up calls. We couldn't do that Thursday, but we'll post that message when we're able.)

One of today's topics was the result of a blog reader's tip. To offer a story tip, make a PayPal donation or comment on this blog, write me - but be warned, I may post your e-mail comment and offer a reply.

BURKARD BULK MAIL INDEX: 530 (+ 19, 3.7%)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.

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