Empty Honors

The great mystery of the week: for what did President Obama receive the Nobel prize? According to the Nobel committee, it was for “pre-election rhetoric” rather than anything he has done since being sworn in. Well, that’s a relief!

Let’s examine exactly what the President has accomplished. US economy – worse. National debt – larger. War in Iraq – same. Afghanistan – worse. Olympics coming to Chicago – no. Health care reform – not yet. He has spent an inordinate amount of time apologizing to the world on behalf of the United States and he has appointed czars to help promote socialism.

So, according to the Nobel committee, you can be nominated for talking about things you would like to do and then not doing them. Based on that, every Miss America contestant from the beginning of time should receive a Nobel prize for desiring “world peace.” Hey, I want world peace too, do I get one?

Al Gore described Obama’s award as “well-deserved.” But then, Gore got his award for a mockumentary on climate change. There are at least nine major factual misrepresentaations in An Incionvenient Truth, but that didn’t bother the Nobel committee. So Gore is probably just pleased to have someone who has done even less be the recipient of the award; it somehow justifies his own.

One thing that Obama has done is to award Harvey Milk the medal of honor for his role as a gay rights activist. Which leads me to another empty honor. Governor Schwarzenegger has just signed a bill into law creating Harvey Milk Day on May 22 (a bill he previously vetoed). Both the medal and the holiday are based on Milk’s accomplishments. I thought I should list them…

He was gay

He was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors

He was killed

(cricket sounds here)

You might recall that George Moscone was killed the same day as Milk. Moscone did much more for San Francisco than Milk. In fact, although the movie depicts Milk as a vocal activists, he was not. He was not killed because he was gay, so even his “martyrdom” is a fabrication. He was killed because Dan White was mad that he could not get his job back after he retired. So White killed the man who took his job (Milk) and the man in charge (Moscone). The movie depicts the whole thing differently, but movies can earn honors for people that they don’t deserve (reference Al Gore, above).

All three of these honors were given because of who the recipients are (or appear to be), not because of what they have done. In fact, none of them have actually done anything.

Truth be told, giving honors to people for who they are rather than what they have done does not honor them, rather it dishonors the honor and all those who have previously received them.

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