Current Events 2/19/13

The panel responds to questions about the State of the Union, Pope Bendedict’s resignation, and some MMA Controversy?


  1. Do you buy the statement by the police that they did not “intentionally try and burn down the cabin” that held Chris Dorner?


Monique- I buy it. After all, Dorner “hid” less than 100 feet from the manhunt command center. With a series of “allegedly unintentional” moves, LAPD (et al.) is either acting incompetently or maliciously.


David- Look at it this way. I’m ex-military, I’ve killed multiple cops, I’m barricaded in a building in the woods, and I have had days to plan PLUS I am bound and determined to not be taken alive. I have rations and ammo for days and days, and you don’t know what weapons I possess.

Come get me.

Yeah, Ida sent a round of Willy Pete in that house as soon as infra-red said there was only one person in there and melted everything. Sorry, don’t believe it for a second.


EJ- No, I do not buy the police explanation. One way or another the police was going to subdue Chris Dorner, and since their attempt at confronting him led to a fire fight which another officer lost his life, it seems like burning Dorner out of the cabin or to his death was the only plausible action. Of course, they cannot admit that which is why I do not buy the explanation that it was not intentional.


Steve- Not at all. The police knew what they were doing. I believe that they were trying to flush him out of the cabin. However, they had to take the necessary measures to see that he was captured dead or alive. There is actually audio of an officer stating that they were going to set the cabin on fire. I don’t think they intended to kill him, but I do think the fire was set intentionally.


  1. How do you rate Carnival Cruise officials on how they handled the “Triumph” crisis that stranded 4200 people?


Monique- They may want to rename the ship.


David- What could you do? Its a HUGE boat, no power, no nothing.

Oh I know! How about proper maintenance, we send a few ships to AT LEAST get off the elderly, and since we have the Coast Guard sending food and water out there ANYWAY, how about bringing some people back? You know who I feel for? The poor people that had to WORK on that boat, and the ones that have to CLEAN that deathtrap.

I will say that the offer of 500 bucks is a joke. They would have been smarter to not offer any money and just wait on the lawsuits.


EJ-  Poorly. I have a few reasons as to why I would never go on a cruise but the crisis on the Triumph adds another one to that list. I’m unsure as to why Carnival didn’t try to do an airlift to at least free some of the passengers from the hazardous conditions that were onboard. I’m far from an expert on things like this but there had to be a way to expedite the handling of this crisis instead of allowing the boat to just drift aimlessly before docking in Alabama on Thursday night.


Steve- As good as can be expected. I mean how do you pay back those thousands who suffered on that cruise. They are offering $500 cash, refunds, and vouchers for another cruise. I don’t see any more than ten percent actually taking another cruise with Carnival, but the thought was there. The $500 is kind of a slap in the face if you ask me. Hopefully they will offer each individual a public apology. However, in the long term, I am certain that some of the cruise members will file some sort of lawsuit, because that is just how we do things nowadays.


  1. The filibuster brought on by the Republicans against Chuck Hagel and his confirmation was the right move?


Monique- If Republican senators are using the filibuster as a means to receiving answers regarding Benghazi, then you’d think that such a move would have been better used in delaying Secretary of State John Kerry’s nomination and confirmation. It seems weak and contrary to delay the Secretary of Defense nomination, after so quickly confirming Kerry.


David-  I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think Congress should have to approve cabinet heads anymore. Think about it. If Obama wants to talk to the head of Timbuktu, he picks up the phone. If he wants some changes of the Education Dept and knows someone who has ideas, he can just ask them and ignore who has the pretty business cards. The only offices that we should worry about are the Supreme Court and based on who has been thrown up there from both sides (Souter/Ginsburg, etc) Is Congress really that good a judge?

Obama is going to be held accountable (by history, not by the media or the public) by EVERYONE he appoints, he can’t scream- hey Congress let me have Clinton, that’s not my fault!


EJ- The nomination process of Chuck Hagel felt like politics as usual. He’s not the best candidate for the job, but after the Susan Rice nomination failure it just felt like the Democrats were going to force Hagel through and the Republicans were going to block Hagel’s nomination, because as the opposition that’s what they were expected to do. Was the filibuster the right move? Yes. The Republican party was just exercising their right to block the President’s nominee.


Steve- Funny how Republicans disagree with Democrats even when it comes to confirming one of their own party members. Yes I do think it was necessary because Hagel is a wild card, and has not been forth coming with his answers to the Senate.


  1. What is your reaction/opinion on President Obama’s State of the Union address? What were the highs and lows of the speech?


Monique- My initial reaction to the State of the Union address was “typical political speech optimism: what president wants to negate the progress of his own nation?” The diplomacy and psychology of it was textbook perfect. For every negative aspect he listed, he also mentioned two or more potentially positive solutions. That’s the kind of speech designed to make Americans feel good about America. The education and energy reforms President Obama hinted at are definitely the high points. If this nation wants to be great, then the great dumbing down of America must stop. One low point would be the blanket statement of support for Israel. In light of the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it may have been more appropriate to define “support.”


David- No reaction. Obama has been such a colossal failure that I’m just not that excited by his words. I continue to be proud that a black man was elected in my lifetime, but I have no desire to hear a word he has to say anymore.


EJ- To be honest: I didn’t watch. I’m an Obama supporter and I voted for him in 2008 and 2012 but I’ve admittedly grown tired of the speeches and promises. I’m waiting for action.


Steve- I think he did well. I am one of the biggest critics of the Obama administration, but he held his own, and surpisingly did not attack Republicans like I thought he might. I think his immigration stance is good if he sticks to it and that was the highlight in my opinion. While even though it was a strong moment for him, I do not like how he singled out so many people about his stance on guns. I did not mind the couple who just lost their daughter and I think that got his message across. After he went on and on with name after name, he kind of over did it. Overall though, he did a pretty decent job.


  1. Is Pope Benedicts XVI resignation the right or wrong move?


Monique- Considering the historical implications of trying the Pope for crimes against humanity, I’d say that resignation was definitely the right move. With the Vatican City offering indefinite shelter, so long as he doesn’t need to leave, he’s worked out a hell of a retirement package. Fortunately, resignation doesn’t absolve one of crime, so, even if he’s never tried, he’s still locked up.


David- The Catholic church is in trouble. They need new blood and a new direction and soon. The question is, after a Polish and a German, will we get an Italian or do we get one from Africa or South American? If they choose another aged European, not to sound racist, they have made a huge error.  I’m not saying just pick a Pope based on location, but all things being equal?
Take a guy from a GROWTH area.


EJ- There may be more than what meets the eye when it comes to his resignation but if Pope Benedict XVI is retiring due solely to health concerns than it is the right move. The travel demands of the position is very difficult, and it’s even more difficult for someone who is not in good health. Hopefully, the conclave will take age and health concerns into consideration when electing his successor.


Steve- It is Pope Benedict’s right I suppose to resign, so I guess it would be considered the right move if he feels he is not fit to be Pope. However, it is said that he really did not want to be Pope in the first place, and never really had his heart into the job. He really should not have accepted the position in the first place. I don’t know, I am not Catholic, so maybe the rest of you can educate me on if he really had a choice or not.


  1. The next UFC Pay-Per-View will feature the first openly gay fighter, Liz Carmouche. Will this have any impact on the sport? Or, is the fact that she is female limit the impact?


Monique- I think the impact of the LGBT community participating in sports is great, though not        on the way a sport is conducted. The greatness of the impact resides in the presence of open      LGBTs. Everyone likes their sports heroes, LGBTs are finally getting theirs too. As to Liz             Carmouche, Lesbians who like UFC will be impacted. In fact, she might even be opening the     door for more Lesbians to step into the ring.

(Side Note: This particular Lesbian will refrain from stepping into the ring, though not from verbal pugilism).


David- As the MMA guy, I know some fans don’t care about women fights, I also know guys that will drop everything to see two women get into the cage. Is it great that we have a top-level gay fighter and the UFC is ok with it? Absolutely. Would it mean more if it was GSP or Jon Jones? Sure, but its better than having some guy that’s been irrelevant for a decade come out.


EJ- I’m admittedly not a fan of Mixed Martial Arts but I can’t see why Liz Carmouche’s sexual orientation would hurt the sport. I’m not sure there is much impact either. She may bring some elements of the Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender community towards MMA, but I can’t see fans of MMA being turned off because she’s a Lesbian.


Steve- This will be talked about throughout the PPV, and why? It really makes no difference whether or not she is gay or not. She is in the profession of her choice, and if she is healthy to fight, then so be it. I don’t think there will be any impact on the sport, except maybe more gay women will come out and attempt the sport. Because she is a female, I don’t see it being a huge factor at all. If it was a gay male fighting, it would open more cans of worms, and people would start criticizing the sport.

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