Pounding Moonbeams ...
When self-righteous people—in government and business—make self-righteous statements that have a total disregard for the truth, my teeth itch.
These last two weeks have been a field day for folks who have what Hemingway called a “built-in, shockproof s**t detector.”
An example is President Bush’s lecture and scold to the World Economic Forum on the Middle East at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, four days ago. He said:
Too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail. America is deeply concerned about the plight of political prisoners in this region, as well as democratic activists who are intimidated or repressed, newspapers and civil society organizations that are shut down, and dissidents whose voices are stifled. The time has come for nations across the Middle East to abandon these practices, and treat their people with the dignity and respect they deserve. I call on all nations in this region to release their prisoners of conscience, open up their political debate, and trust their people to chart their future.
I urge every reader to read the lead editorial in today’s New York Times on the Justice Department’s report on FBI agent accounts of grotesque prisoner abuse by U.S. authorities in American prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba that directly violates American law and the Geneva Conventions.
The lead of that editorial can be found under In the News at right.
When people in business and government say stupid things that are patently self-serving, I call it pounding moonbeams.
Many years ago I worked with a guy named Smith, and one day we were swapping stories about our days in the Army. He came up with a phrase that has been etched in my memory for nearly 50 years. I have not heard it elsewhere.