Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Cinch Review

New York Nanny Bloomberg takes a really big gulp (but this battle was lost long ago)

The world seems agog at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest attempt to forcibly improve the health of his subjects. He is proposing—and seems very likely to be able to fully implement—a ban on the sale of sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 oz at restaurants, movie theaters, sports arenas and street carts (i.e.: pretty much anywhere other than standard grocery stores, where fortunately you’ll still be able to take home a 2-liter Pepsi and embrace death by high fructose corn syrup).

A move like this is tailor-made for lengthy expressions of outrage over the incremental loss of freedom in modern American society. And, you know, have at it, by all means—but as for me (who happens to be a citizen of New York City), this particular effort is only good for chuckles. Is reducing the size of the available drink actually going to keep those who want to drink more from doing so? Are such people too dumb to realize that they can just order two 16 oz drinks in order to get the more fully-thirst-quenching 32 oz quantity which they desire? No one is really being prevented from doing anything here. It’s merely a perfect example of government nannyism run amok, expending pointless effort and over-regulating private enterprise with the vain goal of altering gluttonous human nature. A good knee-slapper is what it is.

As to the broader question of the rise in power of the health fascists, I believe the decisive turn in that battle was fought and lost (or won, depending on your point of view) years ago, and it too happened in New York. Continue reading New York Nanny Bloomberg takes a really big gulp (but this battle was lost long ago)

The Cinch Review

Sure was glad to get out of there alive: Bob Dylan receives Medal of Freedom at White House [video added]

There was more than a little bit of “Day of the Locusts” about the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House this afternoon, which I watched via C-Span. Bob Dylan was the last to be introduced, and also the last to receive the medal, which is odd, since otherwise they seemed to be following alphabetical order. Hmmm. Zimmerman? Or were they trying to create some drama regarding Bob? (Why would they do that?) He was the only recipient wearing shades, which he kept on throughout. He stayed pretty low-key, not even applauding other recipients as far as I could see. When standing beside President Obama and hearing the citation read out, he shifted restlessly from side to side. Quick handshake with the President afterwards but no real words exchanged, in contrast to how it went down with several other recipients. I personally didn’t notice Dylan smiling even once.

I somehow don’t think he was planning to hang around for dinner. Nevertheless, congratulations to Bob. His country has now honored him about as highly as it can, and that’s better than a kick in the pants. Surely?

In about thirty days he kicks off a new tour in England. I suspect he’ll be considerably more comfortable on that stage, as always.

UPDATE: Video clip below.

It has to be noted that wearing the sunglasses throughout was a major statement of aloofness, as was the lack of a simple smile (contrasted dramatically, I might add, with President Obama’s grinning). I guess I’d see it as Bob trying to keep himself from appearing acquiescent to the political aromas floating around. Others will make of it what they will.

The Cinch Review

2012 Medal of Freedom ceremony at 3:25 p.m. today on C-Span

[Update: My brief take on how the ceremony went is here.]

C-Span now has a page up dedicated to the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony scheduled for today, when Bob Dylan and a dozen other notables will be conferred with the award. (Via Expecting Rain.) There will apparently be a link on that page to live video, scheduled for 3:25 p.m. Eastern Time. C-Span 1 can also be viewed at this link.

Merely a chance to see Dylan cringe for a while and then get a medal draped around his neck, but historic all the same.

(The story of Jan Karski, who is being awarded the medal posthumously, is one that deserves to be highlighted.)

The Cinch Review

Searching for a Soldier’s Grave

A superb rendition by three Americans named Floyd, Marcia and Evelena of this deeply poignant old song, as resonant today as it ever has been. (Via YouTube.)

You ask me stranger why I made this journey
Why I cross three thousand miles of ocean waves
Like many others my loved one was killed in action
And that’s why I’m here, I’m searching for his grave

Somewhere here among the many thousands
Of Americans who all died true and brave
That’s where I know I’ll find him resting
So I’m here, I’m searching for his grave

Beside each cross mark here all around me
I’ll kneel down and gladly say a prayer
For all those loved ones back home across the ocean
Whose heart like mine is buried over here

When I come to the spot where he’s sleeping
I know it will cause more heartaches inside
But I’ll long to be by his side once more and tell him
Tell him I love him and I will until I die