From Heroes to Zeroes

April 22nd, 2014 No comments

link New drone strike in Yemen kills Al Qaeda militants | Fox News.

Rabid and fanatical as they are, you would think that at least some of the Al Qaeda militants might get an epiphany about the future of their chosen profession.

When they consider that if taken prisoner by the Americans, they can be pretty much guaranteed a civil and protected lifestyle even if it is within the confines of a prison.  They are given clean clothes, a floor that is not dirt, indoor plumbing, regular feedings which will likely make them fat during their stay and above all, respect and support by the American media.   Even the threat of being water-boarded has been removed as a tool in the pursuit of answers to skill testing questions, since, well, that’s inhumane.  The worst that can happen is that they pipe Justin Bieber or Beyoncé music into their cells to encourage cooperation.

On the other hand, if they are just standing around in Yemen or some other middle eastern outpost plotting to do unsociable things, they are afforded no such civility.  They just hear a faint and increasingly loud whistling sound, then nothing.  No pearly gates, no 72 virgins; they become desert vapor. They are not afforded the charade of a civil trial, habeas corpus, interviews by CNN and extended incarceration.  Those kinds of niceties are reserved for militants that actually create havoc and murder people and are lucky enough to be taken prisoner for their deeds.  If you are just standing around looking guilty, you’re legitimately a pest to be wiped out as if you were a fly at a picnic.

Not being lawyers, we aren’t clear on why terrorists who are caught red handed and admit to their activities are feted and given celebrity status whereas people who are merely hanging around with undesirables get the working end of a missile.  We are not seeing the outrage which erupted around the ‘rights’ of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and the resultant turning of his military trial into a civilian show trial.   This should be a strong hint to all potential terrorist inductees.  The glamour part of their existence is over.  The political currency derived from the kabuki of protecting the rights of terrorists has been spent by this administration.  That political theater is done.  Now they’re all expendable.

In truth and for pragmatic reasons, this is a far more efficient way to rid yourself of enemies than the old fashioned of way of sending in troops, suffering casualties and creating havoc.  The previous administration should have thought of that. We can just take out people that may be threats.  Hmm, seems civilized.  Once they figure out how efficient this really is, we can see them using the same methods domestically and Miranda will just be the name of a country singer.  When that happens, people had better choose who they hang out with wisely.

 

 

 

Not Hank Too!

April 10th, 2014 No comments

link Hank Aaron Compares Republicans That Oppose Obama To KKK « CBS Atlanta.

Et tu Hank?  In his day, Hammerin’ Hank was a breakthrough character.  In the days before it was acceptable to have ‘coloreds’ (as blacks were then referred) as members on athletic teams, Aaron was a pioneer in the sports world and to this day exists as a hero to millions.  But unlike what many people may think, he was and still is celebrated not because he’s black, but because he was good.

Had he batted .187, no one would have heard of him.  This is the case today in all professional sports, whether it be baseball, basketball, football and even hockey. There are numerous black and Hispanic players ascending to prominence because of their natural abilities.   Talent is obvious and is recognized.  Nobody would insert someone of questionable talent into the big leagues and deflect any criticism of such a person as being racist in nature.  If they stink, they stink.

Odd then that such a circumstance exists now with the incumbent President of the United States. Despite a term and a half of demonstrably inept management capabilities, poorly thought out programs and misguided national policies,  the only fall back that tribal supporters can defend with is that all criticisms are rooted in racism.  It’s as if they kept pulling out the Charizard card in a Pokémon game as the all powerful one stop defense play.

Back in the day when Bill Clinton was president, any time that he was cornered on his policy failures, his wife Hilary famously declared that there was a ‘vast right wing conspiracy’ against her husband.  Despite the claim by many that Bill was in fact the first black president, they were reluctant to play that race card, because even for the Clintons, that was a stretch.  So the right wing card was the one played.  We can bet every last dollar in the kids’ trust funds that if and when Hilary decides to run, any opposition against her will be characterized as ‘anti-women’.  Boy, the fat transsexuals with harelips but no political or discernible talent should run for office because no one will be able to knock ‘em.

Aaron may have been a great ball player in his day and it’s likely that his early experiences in life has colored everything else in his worldview.  That’s understandable.  Turkeys will mistrust humans even if they’re vegetarians. The greatest irony in Aaron’s sentiment is that this is exactly the mindset that sought to exclude him from the game 60 odd years ago.  They sought to exclude him despite his talent because he was black.  He’s now excusing the President for his lack of abilities because he is black.  In doing so, he diminishes the achievements of those that have come before him and those that will yet come.

Sharpton, Jackson, Belafonte, all are discredited for their irrational utterances; but you too Hank?  Say it ain’t so.

 

Just Me And My Gang

March 27th, 2014 No comments

link Barack Obamas first visit to Brussels to cost Belgium more than €10m | World news | theguardian.com.

With the ever escalating costs of moving political dignitaries around, maybe it would have been more efficient to move the mountain to Mohammed as the old proverb goes.  It would have been cheaper for Hollywood set builders to create a mock up city of Brussels on an LA movie set and bring the heads of Europe there than to fly half of DC to Europe.  Even with union labor, it shouldn’t cost much more than a couple of million dollars especially if only facades were built.

Instead, the Presidential entourage to Europe is composed of 900 staffers, numerous airplanes, limos, food tasters, door openers and secret service agents for a simple meet and greet.  This massive movement of people is like a summer migration of wildebeest on the Serengeti plains; probably visible from space.  Hasn’t anyone heard of Skype? Couldn’t they use Dropbox to exchange a few messages?  It’s as if a hundred years of advances in communications never happened as the politicos meet in the fashion they have established for thousands of years, with big delegations, pomp and circumstance.  The only apparent concession to modern times is the omitting of the elephants and palanquins.

The real problem is the accepted delusion that politicians and sundry dignitaries are in need of coddling, deferential treatment and expensive security at all.  Sure, someone’s going to hurl a few eggs once in a while, but for the most part, the scrum around politicos is pure theatre.  In real life, no one wants to be near those guys.  And let’s remember, since they are politicians, there’s no shortage of them; they can be replaced.  They’re as common as lawyers at an accident scene, not Faberge eggs.   If there’s any security detail needed, it’s probably back at the home turf where the constituents really hate them.

If a phone call or Skype conversation doesn’t meet the needs, the logical thing to do is to convene somewhere that’s so hard to get to, very little security is needed.  It would reduce or  eliminate the cost of the regal entourage, fleets of cars, food tasters and assorted hangers-on’ers.  A bare, isolated wasteland with no civilization and no paparazzi or protestors; Newfoundland pops to mind.