Michael R. Shannon
Michael R. Shannon is a Virginia-based public relations and media consultant with MANDATE: Message, Media & Public Relations who has worked in over 75 elections on three continents and a handful of islands. Michael’s columns have appeared on his own News & Messenger site and AmericaSpeakOn. The Tampa Trib has published some of his columns, as has Black Velvet Bruce Li. He was an editorial writer and columnist for the Dallas Morning News, and has been in politics and journalism since 1972. As consultant to The Israel Project, he has made a number of trips to Israel where he worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their efforts to promote a positive image of Israel. Shannon has also conducted media and message training workshops for MFA and Israeli Defense Forces spokespersons along with representatives of various non–governmental organizations. During the UN Court trial in The Hague, Shannon worked closely with the MFA in its international media outreach. You can reach Michael at
. You can also read more on his blog, "The Whole Shebang (mostly)" at http://michaelshannon.wordpress.com/. Look for Michael's Book, "A Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times: (Now With Added Humor!)".
The bad old volcano days are but a distant memory for Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. That’s when he was trapped in Florence Italy for almost a week during April 2010. European air travel was canceled after an Icelandic volcano, with a name no Virginian could pronounce, spewed ash and gas into the skies over Europe, canceling the Lt. Gov’s flight plans.
Now you may contend a politician stranded by hot air is a situation rich in irony, but it’s not funny when you are the strandee. The particularly humiliating part was almost no one noticed.
No Amber Alerts for Bill Bolling. No thwap, thwap, thwap from helicopters searching overhead. Just an empty coffee cup, abandoned on a lonely desk in Richmond. The Commonwealth even managed to conduct both a special session of the legislature and the annual Shad Planking in Bolling’s absence, with no one — other than a few thousand shad — inconvenienced in the least.
But it’s a situation that won’t be repeated. On Election Day Democrats suffered losses in both the Senate and House, but the loss of two Senate seats created a 20–20 tie, which makes Bolling ‘Mr. Tie Breaker’ and rockets him from vestige to Viceroy.
For those in two–income households who have been wondering what the long–term effects of parking children in daycare would be, the results are in and the news is not good.
Quite a few members of the daycare generation are currently occupying Obamavilles in New York City, D.C., Oakland, CA and points in between. This is a natural outcome of society’s reliance on strangers to raise our kids. The daycare generation’s formative years led them to become accustomed to large, mostly benevolent, third–party organizations that dried their tears, filled their tummies and enforced the rules for sharing.
Inside this primary–colors utopia the daycare generation finger–painted signs, beat on the furniture, sang songs and it was absolutely free! At snack time Juanita never charged little Belgium or Saskatchewan for the goldfish or juice boxes.
It’s only natural, now that the daycare generation no longer depends on KinderCare, that they turn to the largest organization of all and ask Uncle Sam to make everything all better.
This week Obama is once again firing up his Canadian–built Magical Mystery Bus and driving through North Carolina and Virginia as his re–election campaign begins on the taxpayer dime. Somehow the symbolism of Obama back in the bus is supposed to inspire Congress to pass his contemptible “jobs bill” and at the same time convince the rubes that Obama has the common touch.
Here in Northern Virginia the impact of the tour will mostly be felt by motorists who are likely to see, and be inconvenienced by, impromptu road barriers blocking portions of the highway. Strangely enough, these barriers will not have been erected by the Secret Service to bar potential assassins.
On the contrary, the burning tires and hijacked Jersey barriers are the product of panicked House and Senate Democrat candidates, desperate to avoid being associated with the Obamatross a little over two weeks before the November election.
And no wonder, currently Obama’s disapproval rating in Virginia is 52 percent, which puts him somewhere between Dan Snyder and E. coli. Yet, like the professor who doesn’t realize it’s his halitosis and not his intellect that intimidates students, Obama originally intended to have his 2011 Vanishing Jobs Tour stop in Danville, Newport News, Charlottesville and Fredericksburg.
There’s a woman who lives near me with a personalized license plate that proclaims she’s a WICCAN. If her idea of theology is a penetrating discussion with a pecan tree and she wants to proclaim her lasting commitment to cellulose; that’s her right. Even though the sentiment appears on a plate issued by the Commonwealth.
She’s joined by motorists displaying plates with DRUID, PAGAN and even VEGAN.
Although the thought processes behind the adoption of these belief systems are opaque to me — much like the decision to go out and get a tattoo — knowing religion–oriented plates are out there is not disturbing.
However, one can’t say that for atheists who are very easily disturbed. Evidently their dedication to their lack of faith is so fragile that exposure to slightest whiff of Christianity has the potential to propel them backwards into darkness and superstition. The next thing you know they’re eating Wednesday night dinner in a Baptist Fellowship Hall and wondering why there are never any salt shakers on the table.
It’s tough enough trying to be a Christian in this secular world without taking misleading doctrinal advice from non–believers who deny the divinity of Christ.
But some Christians obviously can’t resist because Hindus, Buddhists, Zen masters, Wiccans, pagans, fire worshipers, polytheists, agnostics, atheists and Unitarians continue their work of trying to get us to follow the “real” teaching of Jesus.
The latest advice comes from the religion columnist for the WaPost: Lisa Miller. Lisa is a conflicted Jew. The kind who goes to a Reform synagogue and says prayers for Israel, but her bizarre philosophy of moral equivalence leads Miller to believe Israelis are mean to Arabs. So she feels like it’s time to redefine the word “Israel,” at least for prayer purposes.
Fresh from altering the intent Jewish prayer, Miller turns to occupy Wall Street with helpful advice on how Christians should respond to this civic tantrum.
I’ve been wondering how many of the Occupy Wall Street squatters are actually enraged Netflix subscribers or retirees with Netflix stock in the 401K?
The timing is about right. In August Netflix increases the fee for plans that include video streaming and DVDs by a shocking 60 percent. In September the company announces it’s amputating the DVD side of the business and naming the new entity Qwikster. And in October Netflix was planning to introduce beer commercials during streaming programming for everyone not subscribing to the new ‘premium plan.’
No wonder protesters are preparing to punish capitalists and any corporate employees above the level of ‘barista.’ But participants in the March for Generalized Outrage are too late. The market has worked its magic and bulls bearing sell orders got there first.