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OBAMA: HONORING THE DEAD AND DISRUPTING THE LIVING
OBAMA: HONORING THE DEAD AND DISRUPTING THE LIVING
By Alexandra York
It began in Paris on Thursday, June 5th. My hotel was a half block from the American Embassy on the Right Bank. Hours before President Obama arrived in town, the security around this area tightened, which was to be expected because he was scheduled to stay at the Ambassadorís residence. [My own hotelís management (who knows well the neighboring hotelís management) told me that the President actually stayed at the exclusive and very expensive Crillon Hotel, which is virtually next door to the Embassy. I couldnít verify that with certainty, as it was confidential, but I wonder. . .] The next day, after going to Normandy Beach to honor the dead, the President came back to Paris again, where Mrs. Obama and the children joined him, having flown over in a separate plane on our tax-payersí dime, tooóthis extravagance at the very same time Mr. Obama is telling CEOs at home to stop taking private planes!
On Saturday, my husband and I had reservations at a Left Bank restaurant and hopped a cab not too far from Place de la Concorde (which was largely closed because of the Presidentís staying either at the Embassy or the Crillon) to head across the nearest bridge to our destination. But the bridge was blocked to traffic. Gendarmes waved us on. And on and on and on. Every single bridge to the Left Bank was closed to vehicles. Why? None of the police knew specifics, but told me that Obama was on the move; I speak French so I could ask. Finally, deciding to walk across the last bridge, we came upon throngs of people waiting in excitement for a glimpse of . . . President Obama, who had decided he wanted to light a candle at Notre Dame Cathedral. Understand: Paris was paralyzed because of this. After a great deal of walking to find a street open, we finally took another taxi through obscure Left Bank back streets (the driver had a map out because so many avenues were closed) and arrived at the restaurant $45 later in cab fares (normally $7) and an hour and a half late for dinner. Our reservation had naturally been canceled by then as a "no show," so we had to eat at the lone table available, next to the kitchen, which was soon to close. Mr. and Mrs. Obama had a relaxing dinner at a restaurant near the Eiffel Tower. The couple is well into their forties. I wonder: How many times did they dine in the city of Paris and visit Notre Dame (a top tourist attraction even for young neophytes) in private life, as do most people who are genuinely interested in learning about and experiencing other cultures on their own initiative and acquiring the attendant sophistication of worldly and historical knowledge?
The next day, this President and his wife and children went to visit the Pompidou Art Museum, so the city was closed again to the rest of us. After Mr. Obama left Paris to return to the U.S., Mrs. Obama and the children stayed on to do more sight seeing and shopping, so traffic around our hotel was unexpectedly still closed off on Monday, and we had to go the long back way to the Gare, nearly missing our train to Le Mans for the races. I wonder: How many times did Mrs. Obama shop for clothes in Europe (as did Mrs. Kennedy and Mrs. Reagan, for example) when in private life? Mrs. Obama and the children also went in their separate plane to London for shopping and fish and chips. I wonder: When was the last time we saw a Presidentís wife and children flying around by themselves in a separate plane, shopping, and taking in the sights (all on our dime) while and even after their husband-father was on "business" for our country?
And in Egypt even before France, photos of the man I call a "narcissistic swaggart" [one who swaggers about, bragging only about himself] and his family showed them visiting the Pyramids, the Sphinx, and more. Imagine what this was like for "regular" tourists, who had paid their own way to see these sights only to find them closed off for the Obamaís family excursion? I wonder: How many times did this whole family visit museums or historic sights together anywhere before, even in the U.S.? Finally, I wonder: In the end, what must that family holiday now here, now there, have cost tax payers, who are being told by this same President to tighten their belts during an economic "crisis" that he in his vast experience and superior wisdom has determined can be brought under control only by "My Administrationís" (he likes the possessive) outrageous spending and dangerous dictates?
While we were in Le Mans, Obama and wife flew up from D.C. for a pretty expensive one-night "date" (the plane, complete with all the security people and the limousine, etc.) and froze traffic in our home city of New York in order to see an all-Black musical. Even though we paid for this lavish evening with our taxes, our absence spared us the suffering of physical restraints on our freedom of movement, but other New Yorkers did suffer, indeed, as different zones were blocked off for the couple to enjoy a sweet Greenwich Village dinner and a Broadway show. I wonder: When was the last time the Obamaís flew to New York City for one evening to attend a Broadway show in private life?
Now then: while our possibly duly-elected President, Barack Obama, attempts to shackle the rest of us to his locomotive speeding Left very fast, we might at least shout "Halt!" on the family outings that disrupt the world and pick more of our tax-payersí pockets for personal entertainment. On the other hand, perhaps we should encourage this Imperial, "Get-out-of-my-way-Iím-having-fun" behavior, because the more time Mr. Obama and brood are out "on the town," heíll be away from Washington town, which mightódream on!ódistract him from his arrogant, self-centered, itís-all-about-Me-and-what-I-want absorptions and his all-too-obvious desire to move beyond being a mere Rock-star President and usurp the power of a King, with the total ability to dictate his subjective will to the rest of us, then, obedient "Subjects."
But on the other hand, not even a king (or a puppet king with personality disordersódonít get me started; itís another article!) ever acts alone.
Which brings me to the final "I wonder" that, perhaps, others or history will answer: the frightening but magnetic hypothesis that all of this public "me-adoration-my family-her clothes-our life" cavorting (much as Obama and his family may enjoy the perks and power like kids let loose in a candy store), might be a smokescreen for a deeper motive, known by some and unwittingly played out by other, as Lenin carped, "useful idiots." And that motive would be to obscure the end goal, the hidden agenda, by providing cheap gossip fodder to distract us, We the People, as this poseur of a President and his cohorts in the Administration and Congress inject their lethal Socialist-Fascist ideology into the governmental bodies that will cause us to succumb first to a spiritual death, followed eventually by burial in the Collectivist grave of a tyranny from which we may never again fully arise.
So to end where I began in Paris: As the French no longer but once had the espirit to say: Attention! Resistance! In other words, "Wake up and resist."
Writer/lecturer Alexandra York is the author of FROM THE FOUNTAINHEAD AND THE FUTURE and Other Essays on Art and Excellence and CROSSPOINTS A Novel of Choice. For lighter reading: OVER THE YEARS: Poems, Lyrics, Songs, Prose.
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