1) Last week there was buzz going over the news media sources that twitter was all atwittered because of a news conference that Prez Obama held… in fact, twitter had about 6,000 twits worth of twittering all due to the Bam’s news conference.
And, ain’t that the truth…all kinds of stuff and a lot of it is negative no matter what he does or says. I mean if, he says one thing then peeps go… that’s the wrong thing to say or do. And, if he goes the other way… hey… that’s all wrong, too.
So… it’s no surprise then when he had stuff to say about Syria and the Ukraine that folks had stuff to say… only… it had nothing to do about the political import of his message and was all about… his sartorial acumen.
Yep… his taste in clothes was now the issue… particularly his choice to wear a tan suit in the summertime… and… according to some, a baggy one at that.
Yeppers… his taste in clothes was now deemed to be worthy of some pundits criticism.
Look it, I know I am talking at deaf ears when it comes to some people and how they feel about the Jackie Robinson of the presidents… but still… now… it’s all about what the dude is wearing? Ya’ll run out of stuff to criticize him about so it’s “Let’s knock his choice of clothing as being proof of how unpresidential the guy is!”
Never mind that previous Prez’… like Ronnie Reagan, Ike and Bush the first… have been photographed in tan summer suits at one time or another … all while doing prez stuff… official and so-called important prez stuff.
I hate saying this but the only tweet from the right side of the aisle that even came close to making sense was from conservative blogger Michelle Malkin who tweeted “I don’t care that Obama’s suit is tan. The problem with the suit is that it’s EMPTY.”
I disagree with her politics… but at least she understands that clothes don’t make the man rather it’s the man inside the clothes that count… it’s just that her opinion about what type of man is inside of them clothes is all wrong as far as I am concerned.
Now, this leads me into two columns I read over the past few days that raised some issues and made some points about the tone of some pundits’ words of late in regards to always seemingly criticizing the Bammer no matter which way he swings on any given issue or political strategy… and lately, and somewhat strangely, from both the so-called liberal and not so liberal punditry.
In his column Hamill makes some of the same points that I just did above about the Bamster… for instance when all sorts of warmongering Jills and Joes jumped on Obama’s butt for saying he had “no plan yet” on how to deal with ISIS… Hamill said “He gets criticized if he reveals a plan and when he doesn’t reveal a plan.” He then points out when George the Second “… told us all about his plans of shock and awe before bombing Baghdad in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks, in which Saddam Hussein and Iraq played no role. Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, also insisted that Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. They found no WMD. So they bragged about creating a ‘democracy’ in Iraq. But, this nation where Al Qaeda had no foothold under Saddam was soon flooded with radical Islamic jihadists.”
It’s the next Hamill statement that (1) elicits the image of Humphrey Bogart’s Rick standing in a Casablanca casino being told by Claude Raines’ character Captain Louis Renault that he is “Shocked that there is gambling on…” as he collects his “winnings” from a casino flunky… and (2) states the obvious…
But, Hamill hints that maybe everyone forgets that Barack Obama was elected twice on promises to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Which he essentially has done. But, then gets pounded on… even by Hamill’s own rag… the New York Daily News… for having no plan to wage war against so called radical Islamists… aka ISIS… that are terrorizing and murdering folks in the Mideast.
So what is Hamill’s retort to that?
Listen up folks because it’s a retort I agree with… whole heartedly, and most assuredly, I am 200% in agreement with…
“At this point, no plan for war is a good plan for America.”
Hamill goes to great lengths to point out the war mongers are beating up on Bam because he says he didn’t have a plan on fighting ISIS… for golfing after an American pundit got murdered by them same pukes…
Now… about this golfing stuff… The man was on vaca… he interrupted his vaca… and don’t even say he takes too many vacas because I pointed out in a very recent WTF column how absurd that was compared to what some other prez’ have taken in so far as vacas go… even in times of the nation’s greatest times of strife… and… yes… I agree the pics of him smiling in a golf cart may not have been the best “optic” for the prez to present at the time… the fact is what the hell is the poor slub supposed to do… go around wearing sack cloth and ashes and swearing vengeance on the blood of every mother’s son?
But back to Hamill and his points… he says the hawks be hammering Obama for this that and every other damn thing… he ain’t being presidential… he can’t make a decision… he then says…
“Excuse me, but maybe that means Obama is actually thinking twice before sending any more American soldiers to die in a foreign war.”
Hamill says… “Senator John McCain asked for more air strikes, advisers and Special Forces in Iraq. That sounds eerily reminiscent of the start of the Vietnam War.”
Yeah… remember that one? The Big Muddy itself? That really got us going all gung ho and caused what? … thousands and thousands of bodies coming home in pine boxes? Not to mention how many wrecked lives?
About the only thing Vietnam accomplished, in the end, was to make some war profiteers rich. Made us look like damn fools and cost a lot of blood that probably never should have been shed… shed on both sides of those who did the fighting.
Hamill also points out that “Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein says Obama was ‘too cautious’ on ISIS.”
And, I’ll let Hamill continue running the ball… because his words are right on the mark…
“Excuse me, if her kid or grandson was in uniform ready to serve over there, would Obama be too cautious?”
And then Hamill makes the point that ya might never have seen coming… he is here not to praise Caesar or to hate on Caesar… instead…
“Because not one of these cops-of-the-world mentioned the atrocious way our military men and women, who were cheered as heroes as they marched to Kabul and Baghdad, have been treated since they came marching, limping and wheeling themselves home.
A half million of those heroes are homeless, one in five suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder and 22 commit suicide daily.”
He then further states…
“This should be Obama’s primary “military” concern.”
“How in the name of the red, white and blue can we dare ask another American soldier to serve in Syria or Iraq until we as a people serve our veterans fighting for survival at home? … Before we send another dime in foreign aid to any nation on Earth, we should make sure that every veteran in America has a home, medical attention, full benefits and a J-O-B.”
I am tired of reading about young men, and now women… coming back dead… I am tired of reading about young vets being without jobs … being psychologically destroyed… being homeless… being all of those things.
Especially, when they were told they were doing their country proud… they were keeping the world safe and providing the bedrock for creating a democracy worldwide.
Ya know the BS that these proud, brave, and slightly naïve, young peeps got… all the rah rah rah and then when it’s all over and they have gone through hell and back… they get forgotten for the most part when they get back to the US of A. And, if, they are the “lucky” ones to come back… is it in one piece? Body, Soul and Mind? All in one piece that can easily find their way back into the “normal” life of being a citizen?
“It’s cold blooded murder.”
“Yes, sir, that’s exactly what war is, but this way we’re not killing some poor nineteen-year-old son of a bitch who joined up because he liked the uniform. We’re going to kill the bastard who sent him out to die and doesn’t even know his name. With all due respect, sir, I have killed people, and I know exactly that it feels like. Just once, just one time, I’d like a crack at the people who give the orders instead of the poor dumb bastards who’re stuck with carrying them out.” (Admiral Robby Jackson to Secretary of State Brett Hanson from Tom Clancy’s book… “Debt of Honor”)
All of this is to say… I am not foolish enough to think we don’t need a military that is ready to respond in any worst case scenario if it should occur.
Point blank… we had a right to go after the bastards who perpetrated 911…. I waved my flag proudly. Yep… me the left winger… anti Vietnam guy… anti war guy… still am if you haven’t gathered that yet…
But, here’s my take… we are not the police men of the world… we are not the all powerful force that everyone seems to think we are… we don’t have an omnipotent power that allows us to go into wherever and wave our magic wand of democracy and make it all good. That’s fairy tale bullshit… always was and still is…
In fact. it’s damn presumptuous, rude and obnoxious of us to think, or believe, we can go around creating democratic states where none existed before…
I just read in the NYDN that the great sage of all sages… Linda Stasi… asks the question “How is it that President Obama can’t put down a bunch of 13th century thugs?”
Ask the damn Russians’ why they left Afghanistan with their tails dragging between their ass cheeks…
These folks live that life and it is not for us to tell them how to live or not live.. that’s one of the reasons we sometimes have problems in places like the Mideast… we see stuff from our point of view and not the peeps’ point of view who live there… It’s called having an ethnocentric view of the world… it’s also called racism.
One last word… Remember Bush/Cheney’s vow to bring democracy to Iraq?
How’d that work out?
We have got to get over ourselves and understand democracy may sound real good and we may even believe it works but it isn’t for everyone just because we think that way. Each country has to go through its own process and find its own way.
We need to fix our own problems before we go around fixing others. We need to feed our own; we need to employ our own; we need to help our own; we need to make ourselves strong once again. And, then maybe… just maybe… we can go out and think about saving the world from itself.
But, until then no more new wars… no more mothers’ and fathers’ children dying for stupid stuff… no more.
Does this mean we practice isolationism? No… it leaves tons of room for us to go out and provide humanitarian aid and to still use certain of our military whenever a foreign government asks for aid be it military or humanitarian or both.
We just need to judiciously apply the uses of those abilities and capabilities a lot better than we have previously.
3) I don’t always see eye to eye with Richard Cohen an op-ed writer whose work appears at times in the NYDN… but… I do appreciate that more often than not he puts some thought into what he says before he says it. I think he is an example of a person who has reasons for his opinions and states them rationally with little to no histrionics involved. In short… whether I agree with him or not… he is a breath of fresh air in a sea of punditry gone bat shit crazy.
On Tuesday (9/2), Cohen writes in a piece that speaks specifically about something I just mentioned to some degree of length here in this column. He started off his piece explaining there was a video from the 2011 of the Egyptian Arab Spring where a reporter from one of the major nets said in a voice over… “This is the sound of a people rising… when a people rose and made themselves a new country, a new world, a new life.”
Cohen then writes… “That new life today looks depressingly like the old one. The military government of Hosni Mubarak has been replaced by the military government of Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. In between came the interregnum of the popularly elected Mohammed Morsi, unfortunately a leader of the repellent Muslim Brotherhood. He is now in jail.”
He then says this is something that is “…so utterly American… Here… is the charming American belief in a better day, in the wisdom of the people… in short, in democracy.”
He even takes the Obama administration to task for following that train of thought when he… Obama… said he wanted nothing less than “elections that are free and fair” and “should result in a government that’s not only grounded in democratic principles but is also responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.”
Mighty white of him to think that way… eh?
Cohen then makes the following points…
- The U.S. pulled the rug out from under Mubarak… never mind that he was America’s steadfast ally. Egypt is the most populous and powerful of all the Arab states and it had made peace with Israel.
- For the United States, spreading … has gotten us into no end of trouble. By dumping Mubarak, we appalled the Saudis, who don’t have quite the touching regard for democracy that we do.
- The Jordanians, too, think democracy is just dandy for France, for Britain, for a whole lot of nations, but not, please, for the one called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
- Israel also was not cheered. For it, democracy in the Arab world is downright scary.
- The United States made war in Iraq for a number of reasons… nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, a nonexistent link to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 2001, and, also to transform the place into a democracy that would be… no kidding (his not mine commentary)… a model for the entire Middle East.
- Following World War I, democracies in Central and Eastern Europe popped up like mushrooms after the rain. Soon, most veered right, embracing intolerance, extreme nationalism and of course anti-Semitism. The autocratic regimes they replaced often protected minority rights. The people felt otherwise and politicians sooner or later gave the people want they wanted.
Cohen says this is a realistic way to look at the world…
Then Cohen iterates something else I have just mentioned when he says “ Realism is often not pretty to look at… but neither are the consequences of ignoring it… it does not mean that the U.S. has to be inert and, say, allow the slaughter of the Yazidis or the depredations of the Assad regime, including torture and gassings. But when it comes to a kind of sentimental desire for democracy in places that have never had it, the realists’ cynicism is likely the best approach. They appreciate that what works for us may not work for others and that our national interest, and that of our allies, may entail a certain healthy hypocrisy about democracy: Everyone should have it — but not quite yet.”
And ya know… he is entirely and unquestionably correct.
This time at any rate… wait until the next time his column appears and then I’ll probably being saying… that stupid so and so…
Richard Cohen can be found periodically on the op-ed pages of Washington Post and of the New York Daily News and reached at email@example.com
4) On Tuesday (9/2) a North Carolina judge overturned the convictions of two men who have been in prison for 30 years in prison for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl.
Why is that?
Primarily because another man’s DNA was recently discovered on evidence from that case.
Henry McCollum, 50, and Leon Brown, 46 (half brothers) were convicted in the 1983 slaying of Sabrina Buie in Robeson County. Lawyers for the men petitioned for their release after DNA evidence the crime scene pointed to another man. That man, coincidentally, is serving a life sentence for a similar rape and murder that happened less than a month later after the Buie case.
Here is the back story… Buie was found in a rural soybean field, mostly naked… a short distance away, were two bloody sticks and a cigarette butt. Remember that cigarette butt…
Authorities said McCollum, 19, and, Brown, 15, confessed to killing Buie.
So, WTF???? Why would a court set them free if they confessed?
Well… maybe because both dudes have very low IQs and that, according to the lawyers, they only confessed after hours of badgering questioning. And… no physical evidence was ever found, or presented, that connected them to the crime.
Now… that cigarette butt… remember that DNA sample? Came from the cigarette butt found at the scene. And it don’t match of these two folks DNA samples. AND… some fingerprints taken from a beer can at the scene? No match, either.
That other guy? The one in prison for the similar type of crime? His DNA was a match for the cigarette DNA…
A lawyer for one of the men said, “It’s terrifying that our justice system allowed two intellectually disabled children to go to prison for a crime they had nothing to do with, and then to suffer there for 30 years… Henry watched dozens of people be hauled away for execution. He would become so distraught he had to be put in isolation. It’s impossible to put into words what these men have been through and how much they have lost.”
Now here is the reason why… beside pointing out how freaking injust the justice system can be sometimes… I picked this piece to write about… it was not immediately clear how soon the men will walk free.
Procedure requires that they return to the prisons where they have been serving time before they can be processed out… because… paperwork had to be processed…
Pleaseeee… someone should have gotten on the stick … the governor or whomever… the judge… I don’t know who, but, someone should have given a high flying fluck and told some pencil geek to stay up all night if he had to and just get the paperwork down and get these men the hell out of jail by the next day.
It never ceases to amaze me had dumb stuff can be sometimes, and, how we get so hung up on some things that should be so damn simple all because of bureaucracy.
5) There’s this joke from back in my younger days that I used to hear a lot whenever we would drive by some men… let’s say four… at a work site and they more or less were holding up their shovels by leaning on them while one guy was doing some work… raking… digging… whatever… it went… “Just like NY”
What’s that ya say? … one worker and four supervisors…
Which brings me to my Labor Day weekend Friday… started off well enough… an off day from work… slept in until the dog rousted me out of bed… damn critter thinks he runs the house.
So, I got up; had breakfast; read my paper over a pot of black coffee and then went and laid down and napped until 9:30 or so.
When I awoke I checked the supermarket sales…hmmm… one place had fresh lobsters $3.99 a pound… 6 hour sale… special today only… starts at 2…. And ribeye steak at a good price too…well, good for these times anyway… @ $5.99 Lb.
Hmmm… surf and turf …
So, I went out to the grill… emptied the ashes… an started a wood fire with some apple and maple woods… good blaze going… made sure it was going good and hot… left to go get lobsters… and… yes, I had someone keeping an eye on the fire…
Get to the store… line almost out the store for the lobsters… screw that… change of plans… no lobster.. but baby back ribs at $2.99 a pound… ribs and steak… and some farm fresh corn on the cob… that small kernel yellow and white kind… hmmph… that’ll do just fine…
Adjust and adapt…
Now, on the way down to the grocery store I saw the traffic was all backed up, coming back… Adjust and adapt… alternative travel route… I headed the other way to the Merritt Parkway… driving down the parkway… see one of the flashing alert signs… accident up ahead with a 2 to 3 mile backup.
Adjust and adapt…
Kept going until I saw it was backing up… just made the exit for the connector to I95…. Whew…
Merrily rolling along now… what the… construction… damn… they been working on this bridge for.. well… just forever it seems… okay… next exit and I can back road it across town and home.
Adapt and adjust…
OK… moving again… awww, mannnn… slow traffic… now what… they be tearing up the road…
Here’s where that joke… “Just like NY”… comes into play… Practically at a dead stop… crawling along at a good 2 mph… a big steam shovel is ripping up some asphalt roadway… and I see… 1… 2, 3…4, 5, 6…hmm… another one, and another one… that’s 7… hmmm… at least 9 guys standing with shovels… supervising… hell they took the just like NY and they more than doubled it up…
Then… about 20 feet up the road… 3 cops standing around talking… as traffic is virtually at a standstill… all they needed to complete the stereo type was some donuts and coffee in their hands.
Finally… I get through all this… a 15 minute drive home turned into a 45 minute drive instead.
Get the groceries into the house … grab a cold soda outta the fridge… plunk my butt down… thennnnn….. a thought germinates within my grey matter… who the hell is paying them guys?
My taxes one way or the other, I bet… sonofabeetch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6) We all know that Monday was the day we Americans celebrate the American worker and what he has achieved… economically and socially.
Anyone know why, or how, Labor Day first came to be? Raise your hands… hmmm… don’t see too many hands out there… including my own…
Here’s the skinny… I just happened to spy this in Sunday’s NYDN…
The strike was eventually settled and suddenly the government… Congress and President Grover Cleveland… realized something needed to be done to appease a lot of pissed off folks… they quickly passed and signed legislation for the holiday… i.e. Labor Day.
Wanna know something? I did not know that… ever. Wasn’t something I knew and then forgot… I just never knew that… ever. No one ever taught me that in any school… ever… not high school or college.
And, that’s a sort of sad thing, ya know. We should know our personal history… and… yes, including our labor history. Because whether you like unions or not… whether you have ties to labor or not… labor did a lot for us all.
Five day/40 hour work weeks… 8 hours a day… overtime… paid vacations and holidays… a lot of peeps shed some blood and got some bones broke.. some died…
Next time Labor Day comes around… remember why the day really is… Like Veterans Day… Memorial Day… Fourth of July… it ain’t just a day for cookouts and parades..
It has a meaning… get to know it… and then… remember and honor it well.
7) I have really tried to keep an open mind on this Duck Dynasty dude… the so-called “outspoken family patriarch” Phil Robertson. I really have… no matter what he lets slip past his lips… I really, really did try. But… now… in a Tuesday (9/2) interview with Sean Hannity (Fox News) he said, “I’m just saying either convert them or kill them.”
This guy is a minister???
He says, “I’d much rather have a Bible study with all of them and show them the error of their ways and point them to Jesus Christ. However, if it’s a gunfight and a gunfight alone, if that’s what they’re looking for, me personally, I am prepared for either one.”
This quack’s dictum of “convert or die” was no better than what ISIS says to Christians, Yazidis, and other minority religious sects who live in their self proclaimed “holy caliphate”.
If, he is what religion is now supposed to be about… especially Christian religion… then brothers and sister we got a hell of a heap of trouble coming down the pike at us all.
Somehow, something tells me that if God is looking at us all then he is just shaking his figurative head in befuddlement… and… if he is the one who created us all… then he must be thinking what the fuck did I do now? Can I get a do over?
Hell, yeah… you’re God. Just, if, there be any wrath… spare me!
8) I have now seen or at least read it all. I am ready to meet my maker. There’s just nothing left.
Yep, right on his very own radio program he said… “She is going to win. Here’s what Hillary is going to do. She’ll say, ‘do you remember when America was good? Do you remember when we had jobs and we were building towards a brighter future, and things were really happening? Clinton administration, we had it under control. Things were good, and they weren’t great, we’re going to do better. We’re going to replant our flag in the traditional things that you understand.’”
Recent polls show she’d be the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic nomination and the modest favorite to win the presidency.
Me? I’m still undecided…
There’s just something about Hillary…. something a tad off… if ya’ll catch my drift…
9) Article in today’s (9/3) NYDN leads off with “The first day of school costs a pretty penny.”
For example at Public School 107 in Brooklyn, parents of kindergartners are asked to buy specific brands of paper towels like Bounty, as well as Pampers or Tushies baby wipes and unscented hand soap.
The total expense comes to $42.50.
Parents at Middle School 51 in Brooklyn asks that kids show up to school with a whopping 27 different supplies, including two highlighters, four folders, a stapler, hole-punch and 24 ballpoint pens
I got one thing to ask… if it is public school, and, peeps pay taxes, and, some of them taxes are supposed to go to support them public schools, then, why aren’t the taxes covering the cost of supplies that are needed to help educate the kids?
Something just seems wrong here… Where’s the money done gone to?
Just asking is all…
10 This week’s gratuitous pictures…
Esti Ginzburg (24) is an Israeli fashion model
And another thousand words…..
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