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August 22, 2010 - Ray Hall (Archive)

The story of Balaam and his Ass occurs near the death of Moses with the Israelites camped east of the Jordan River. After the Israelites defeat two kings on their side of the river neighboring kings become uneasy and send messengers to Balaam King of Ammon to persuade him to curse Israel. God tells Balaam in a dream not to go, but if he does, God warns him to say only what He commands.

He went anyway, but God sent an angel to stop him, but only Balaam’s Ass understood the angel and balked. Balaam beat his ass to get around the angel and the ass is finally given the power to speak and tells Balaam about the angel and allows Balaam to see the heavenly messenger.

Finally, the angel tells Balaam that the ass was the only reason he didn’t kill him. Balaam and the Israelites are successful and the incident of a talking ass is only one of two stories in the Bible where an animal speaks—the snake in the Garden proved to be a talker.

So, who best needs Balaam’s Ass? Who, or what politician has blundered so badly that they really would have been better off listening to an ass? There are plenty of deserving candidates; Mommy Grizzly, Sara Palin, one-half of a former Governor is always good fodder for liberal conversations. Rush Limbaugh and FOX commentators can be relied upon to make the dumbest of asses look bright, but I tried to pare the list to the most deserving:

RUNNER UP: Lou Dobbs. Thank goodness after losing his television show this Presidential Wannbe can only be heard on low budget radio stations and on his own web page. However, any ass, purebred or otherwise, could tell him he has milked the immigrant issue for all it’s worth and that the Senate will never pass an amendment to eliminate the natural born portions of our Constitution.

RUNNER UP: Rick Lazio. After an incessant drumbeat from the usual “right wing conservatives” against building a Muslim community center two blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood erstwhile Senate candidate Rick Lazio picked up the gauntlet.

Mr. Lazio, ignoring his Republican Primary opponent, was quick to cut an ad saying a “terrorist imam” wants to build a $100 million dollar mosque near ground zero in New York City. He somehow manages to connect Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic candidate for Governor, to the Imam and challenges Cuomo for defending the building of the mosque and castigates him for not questioning its funding sources.

Mr. Lazio needs Balaam’s Ass. Like Balaam, he needs to be saved from himself. His lackluster Senate race was memorable only for jumping in Hillary Clinton’s face and now he is boxed in over the mosque dust up. If that ground, two blocks from the fatal September blast, is going to be desecrated by building a mosque where a Hamilton Coat Factory once stood then we must close the Pentagon.

Muslims use a Chapel less than one hundred feet from where the plane crashed into the Pentagon—two or three hundred Muslims each week bring their prayer rugs without incident or objection.

THE RECEIPIENT OF BALAAM’S ASS: President Obama. Count me as one the “Professional Left” Robert Gibbs complained of so sharply.

“I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested,” Gibbs said. “I mean, it’s crazy.” The Press Secretary said in a recent interview with The Hill. The Press Secretary didn’t stop there. “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That's not reality."


We must assume the Press Secretary was speaking for the President because he didn’t soften his remarks the next day.

Yes, if I’m one of the “Professional Left” I’m mad as hell with the President. Mr. Gibbs Canadian healthcare would be a good start and if the Republicans want to cut spending nearly 43 cents of every tax dollar goes to the Pentagon.

I’m disappointed that President Obama did not use the power of his office. He left all of the heavy lifting to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. It happened to be Pelosi and Reed who worked to pass good legislation. President Obama would have settled for any health bill and he entered the fray after the battle had already been lost.

President Obama could well do with another ass for a spokesman.


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