The un-hired goons

The original meaning of the word “goon,” according to my dictionary, is “a ruffian or thug hired to help break a strike.” When the bosses put a few “goons” together, they had themselves a goon squad, and it’s accurate to say these guys weren’t real big on discussions or negotiations.

Over the years, the concept of the goon squad has stayed around and broadened somewhat to where it can be used to describe a variety of thuggish, threatening endeavors. In this election year, there appears to be an unusually high number of Republican supporters who may be crossing over into The Goon Zone.

This whole picture began to gel when I read of the local Republican businessmen who pitched a total tizzy about the Michael Moore appearance at UNR. Here were a bunch of alums who got so bent at the thought of Moore coming to the campus to make fun of the ever-lampoonable Dubya that they began flexing whatever financial muscle they had to stop or somehow subvert his performance. They had enough financial clout to inspire UNR prez Lilley to brew up a letter reminding everyone that, hey, this is America, and Michael Moore is an American, and he has an opinion, and what part of the concept of free speech do you geniuses not quite fricking comprehend!!! (Not Lilley’s exact words.)

A review at this time is appropriate. In the United States, (1) Michael Moore is free to offer his show to UNR, (2) UNR is free to hire Mr. Moore, and (3) people who don’t like Moore are free to crab about it, demonstrate outside the event, and indeed, threaten to cease financial contributions to the university. But number three is OK only if (4) the university holds its ground and refuses to cancel Moore’s show. Thank God it did. Special kudos to Jeff Champagne, student vice-president of programming, for hanging tough in the face of some unexpected pressure.

Can you imagine similar threats raining down upon UNR from local Democrat alumni if Ann Coulter or Brit Hume were hired to speak on campus?

Further into the realm of goonball antics, it must be noted that an awful lot of Kerry/Edwards yard signs have been stolen these last few months, and a large number of Kerry stickers have been peeled from Democratic bumpers. (Wouldn’t you love to catch a sticker-stealing zealot in the act? If for nothing more than just to laugh at his donkey ass.) It seems safe to say that more bumper stickers and yard signs have disappeared this year than in the previous 14 elections combined. What that says is (1) people are seriously inflamed about politics these days, and (2) alcohol sales appear to be holding strong. It also says Democrats should think twice about putting one of those feisty little “F*** Bush” stickers on the car, unless you’re lookin’ for two flats, a busted antenna, and a potato pounded into your tailpipe.