Friday, April 10, 2009

Obama Reaches Out to 'Moderate' Pirate Community

After maintaining his silence for two days, President Obama will soon make his first public statement about the pirate attack upon an U.S.-flagged vessel off the Horn of Africa. After several inquiries and a few well-placed bribes, Exurban League has received an early transcript of the President's remarks:

Good evening. As you know, early yesterday, Somali-based pirates attacked the Maersk Alabama, a freighter carrying relief supplies to Kenya. While we do not yet know all the details, the Alabama's crew re-took control of the vessel and forced the pirates off the ship.

Since the pirates are still holding the captain, I have sent FBI negotiators to facilitate his safe and speedy release. I assure his friends and family that I will not stop until this man-made disaster is resolved in a peaceful, tolerant and ecologically- sound manner.Obviously, this incident has raised many concerns among Americans. There have been calls for justice and even violence against the misguided perpetrators. But such an emotional reaction has led to the disparagement of entire groups with which we are unfamiliar.

We have seen this throughout history.For too long, America has been too dismissive of the proud culture and invaluable contributions of the Pirate Community. Whether it is their pioneering work with prosthetics, husbandry of tropical birds or fanciful fashion sense, America owes a deep debt to Pirates.The past eight years have shown a failure to appreciate the historic role of these noble seafarers. Instead of celebrating their entreprenuerial spirit and seeking to partner with them to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.

Some of us wonder if our current Overseas Contingency Operation would even be needed had the last administration not been so quick to label Pirates as "thieves," "terrorists" and worse. Such swashbucklaphobia can lead to tragic results, as we have seen this week.

To address this issue, I have instructed Vice President Joe Biden to create a cabinet-level Czar of Pirate Outreach and Buccaneer Interrelation. In addition, June 1-7 has been designated as Pirate Awareness Week, during which all federal buildings will fly the Jolly Roger and sponsor sensitivity training. Thankfully, my American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will fund free grog and hard tack for all attendees.

Finally, to all pirates listening to international broadcasts, shortwave services and ship-to-shore radio, let me say this:

Ahoy, me regret arr relationship has set sail in a scurvy manner. Arr people share many mutual 'alues and concerns on t' raging main. Perchance, could ye handsomely release the cap'n o' the ship and I assure that no harm will come t' ye or ye hearties. Let us smite t' reset button and launch our seabond on a new pegleg. Savvy?

Godspeed t' ye and t' ye beauties. Aye, me parrot concurs.

Posted by Jon at 4/9/2009 11:15 AM at

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  1. Rod,

    I started reading your blog after a discussion amongst bloggers about trying to move political discourse to be more respectful and informed.

    Many of my Republican friends were upset about the nuts on the far right with their attacks on President Bush.

    Now, it is beginning to feel like you are no different than the extremists on the left who resort to satirical attacks instead of serious discussions.

    Is this piece the sort of piece you want to see liberal bloggers promoting about a Republican President the next time the tide changes?

    Is this sort of discourse what makes you proud to be an American?

  2. Alden (Orient-Lodge),
    Lighten-up. This is funny stuff. It is clever. It was not cruel or mean-spirited. It is not inappropriate humor.

    Political cartoons, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, SNL, and late night talk shows routinely lampoon those on the right. Conservatives and conservative positions are much more often ridiculed and satirized than are liberals and liberal positions. Popular culture, Hollywood, and mainstream media tend to lean left, so we hear a lot more humor aimed at Republicans than we do Democrats. Look at how often Sara Palin was the butt of jokes.

    Political humor is as old as politics itself. This piece is nothing of which to be ashamed. I think those on the left think that for some reason that Obama should be exempt from the normal type of criticism and scrutiny and satire that applies to other politicians.

  3. Rod,

    I apologize if I don't take the divisiveness that I believe is continuing to damage our political system lightly enough.

    It is true that the piece you linked to is moderately funny, just as some parodies attacking the former President were. However, I recall all to well the attacks by conservatives when the previous commander-in-chief was ridiculed and I worry about the double standard.

    Beyond that, I am concerned about what the divisiveness of so much political satire, on both sides of the fence, is doing to our communities and our country.

    How do we move towards a country where people can say good things about one another, instead of taking every opportunity to ridicule one another?

    Or, are we content to move in the direction of Thailand where protests from both sides damage the country?


  4. It is funny! :)

    Whether divisive or not - these are Americans at risk and our President should not be diddling about with this. An attack on an American ship is akin to an attack on American soil. He shouldn't hesitate to put that warship at work.

  5. Thought this would be a lot different, but it is good for a nice laugh. Thanks.

  6. There's going to be political divisiveness until one side completely crushes the other. As long as each major party can gather 45 percent of the vote without much trouble and as long as elections are decided by less than 10 percent of the electorate, divisiveness will follow. Satire or not.