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Archive for the ‘President Obama’ Category

Thank God!

The mid-term elections are over. The attack ads are off the air and everyone can go back to being friends once more. That’s the bullshit of elections. These people or their “staffers” rip and tear, and spit on and smear their opponents for nine months and then have dinner with them. I’d wear a bulletproof vest and carry a Kalashnikov if I had been an opponent of one of these people…win or lose, and was invited to join them for a meal.

“I have a plan to reduce taxes; to spend more money on education; to create jobs; to help the elderly; to remove tax loopholes; to do this, that, and the other thing. I will do anything to get your vote!” No you won’t, you lying sack of excrement. If you have a plan to do all that you say, why won’t you tell us what that plan is? Are you saving your plan because you think your opponent will tear it to shreds? Are you holding off on revealing it because you’re concerned that your opponent will adopt the best parts of it and strengthen it for his/her own purposes? Have we become a land of such secrets that we won’t reveal what we’re going to do until we’re in the office? If you had to answer “Yes” to any of those questions, I don’t want you in office because you’re a sneak and if you hide things from me now, what the hell will you hide when you’re in office.

Being a politician is now the scariest job in America according to a poll of three thousand people by Career Builder. I can see that. You can get more rejections than a mean drunk at a hooker party, but that really is beside the point. I’m not certain I see how many of these people can accept the scariest job in America and then turn around and screw the very people who voted for them. If I hear, “We’re going to make America great once more,” one more time, I’m going to puke…again…and again…and again. What does that statement by so many United States Senatorial and Representatives actually mean? Really, what does it mean? Is it that we won’t be sending our young men and women into harm’s way anymore? Does it mean that we will close our borders to illegal aliens and send back those who do nothing but create problems? Does it mean that hospital costs, prescriptions, groceries, and gasoline will finally be sufficiently reasonable that the elderly won’t have to make hard choices about how to live? Does it mean that public servants such as police, fireman, and school teachers will finally earn a living wage? I was shocked that kindergarten teaching was the only job mentioned in the Career Builders list. Being the wife/husband, boyfriend/girlfriend of a cop or a fire fighter might also be considered one of the scariest jobs in the nation. Those people don’t know, from day to day, whether or not their partner will return or if they will have to go somewhere to identify the body. That’s pretty darned scary to me, my friends. Can you say, “We take our protectors too much for granted?”

I refuse to be classified as Republican or Democrat. I believe anyone who labels themselves in that way is a complete and utter asshole. In this most recent election, I voted both sides of the aisle. Does that make me the fool? I surely hope not. My Congressional representative is a Democrat and has done a good job for our district. My vote for governor was for a Republican because I believe he will do the best job for the state. For some of the other state offices, I voted both parties. Those for whom I voted appeared to have the best interests of the state, not a party, in their platforms. Is it going to work? At the state level, yes; at the national level, I sure as hell hope so.

I’m quite happy to see that one party now has control of Congress. For the Republicans, it’s an opportunity to show that they can govern; that they are not just the party of “No.” For President Obama, it’s an opportunity to show that he can work with the opposition party for the good of the nation.  Will Mitch “Lizard Lips” McConnell demonstrate that he is not just an opportunist and not merely attempt to pull everything apart that has anything to do with Democrats? Will Nancy Pelosi finally fade into the background where she belongs? Dammit, something has to be done to unlock the gridlock under the dome. Is this Republican ‘sweep’ the something that will bring order out of the chaos we’ve been in for the past several years? If not; if control of both Houses by one party doesn’t work to get us moving, I would venture that the “Empire” is just one step away from falling.

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Is a seat in the United States Senate worth over 100 million dollars? Is it worth $86 million? How about $78 or $72 million? What is worth spending those kinds of dollars? It seems that ever since the Supreme Court struck down the ruling on campaign contributions, PAC’s of all types and sizes are going wild with the money they are throwing around to get their candidate into a Senate seat. Senator John McCain was disgusted when he recently spoke to a Washington reporter. McCain, as we know, was one of the authors of campaign finance reform.

Back to the big bucks…Democratic incumbent Senator Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis, the state House Speaker who is challenging her, could retire for life with the money that is pouring in from their party as well as from “independent” sources. In Colorado, Democratic incumbent, Mark Udall and his challenger, Republican Cory Gardner are wooing voters with over $86 million. And Udall is in trouble, in part because of his support of the Affordable Health Care Act.

If the Republican Party takes control of the Senate as it has the House of Representatives, it’s time for many people to be frightened. Obama might as well take the next two years off because he sure as hell isn’t going to get any bills passed by a Republican Congress. Senior citizens may as well take classes in shoplifting and other crimes to supplement what will surely be a reduction in Social Security…if it’s not cut altogether, along with Medicare benefits. Am I sounding like an alarmist? You-are-goddamned-right, because while Obama care is not perfect, the Republican House tried more than 40 times to get it repealed and failed each time. Can you imagine how fast it will go down the tubes if the entire Congress is controlled by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner? Neither has the courage to stand up to the Tea Party extremists like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Joe, “You’re a Liar” Wilson and other crazies who put themselves ahead of their constituents and the Republican Party they are supposed to represent.

If the 113th Congress was the least productive group ever to occupy the halls, the 114th will be one of the most productive, and Barack Obama may go down as the President who vetoed the greatest number of bills. The question then becomes, will Congress, with majorities in both houses be able to override those vetoes? If so, what will that mean to Mr. and Mrs. Average American?

How have we come so far away from where we started? Our founding fathers didn’t agree on everything that appears in the Constitution, but they at least had the ability to discuss questionable phrases and clauses within that document. In addition, there has always been a certain degree of rancor in both houses, but in the overall, things were accomplished, and we, the people, were better off because of it. That’s not so today.

Twice I voted for this President. I believed his rhetoric, and I still believe that he has the best intentions for the nation in his heart. Today, I believe he was not ready for the job; today, I believe that if he had waited; had gained more experience; had learned to listen to some of the more seasoned members “on the hill,” that he would have been better prepared. His failure to involve members of Congress from the onset of his presidency has cost him dearly with both parties. His inexperience in foreign policy has alienated many of our allies. His choices for department and division heads have been questionable, at best, and downright stupid in a number of cases. Could I have done a better job? Don’t be ridiculous. Could Hillary Clinton, his opponent for the nomination, have done a better job? I have no idea. Personally, I believe that Mrs. Clinton has a long list of people who did not serve her husband during his time as leader of the free world, and should she ever win the presidency, those folks would be wise to hunker down and hide.

I shudder to think how much money will be spent on the 2016 Presidential campaigns. My singular hope is that between now and then, a campaign finance reform bill will be passed by Congress, one that the Supreme Court will find acceptable, and that will make campaign spending more respectable. It’s time that “We the people” take back our rights; that instead of being led like sheep, we begin to howl like wolves and say that the rich may not be allowed to buy the United States Congress; that the rich may not be allowed to buy a President they can control; that there is a middle class in America, and we are sick and tired of being screwed by those who believe they can control us with their money.

 

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Respect is a two-way street. Respect is to be expected from the lowliest of lows to the highest of the highs. From the time that I began my second career in higher education, I learned that when respect is given by the head of the institution to those who are in subordinate positions, those subordinates tend to feel more empowered in their jobs. Respect up and respect down is a very simple concept.

President Obama screwed up. He screwed up in a way that I’m not certain even he understands. Granted, the President of the United States is, arguably, the most powerful of all world leaders [It says so on page three of the Prexy Handbook]. He’s trying to serve out a term with a Congress that either doesn’t care for him very much or downright hates him and calls him “that uppity n…….r behind his back. He’s confronted daily by another asshole civilian who screws up and gets himself captured by ISIS or ISIL or al quaeda  or some other terrorist group. He’s got problems with America’s economy and the gold diggers on Wall Street, so, all-in-all, he has a few distractions on his mind.

IT DOESN’T MATTER. Tomorrow, he could be ordering those two US Marines, who saluted him as he left his helicopter,r to put on fatigues and go face some terrorists. They respected him enough to offer crisp and smart salutes. He disrespected them by giving them a toss-off with a right hand holding a coffee cup. They respected up; he didn’t respect down, and he was wrong. Leave the goddamned coffee on the helicopter; put it in your left hand. After all, you are left-handed; don’t salute at all; just nod to each of them. Is this all you think of our service men and women? If that’s the case, why the hell should they respect you?

Anyone who has served in the military for any length of time understands the importance of saluting a commissioned officer who is senior to you in rank. Inside, you may think that the person you are giving a salute is one to whom you’d rather be extending your middle finger. It’s the rank and the uniform that you are respecting. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the person wearing it.

I wore the uniform, on and off, for a period of 12 years. I’m proud of my service to our country. I can still offer up a pretty damned crisp salute. I expect no less of people who might, for whatever reason, offer one up to me.

MR. PRESIDENT…You owe those two Marines a public apology. Never forget that respect is a two-way street.

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When are Americans going to become sufficiently pissed off that they are going to demand action be taken to bring together the Executive and the Legislative Branches of the Federal Government  to begin to cooperate?

The Speaker of the House of “Representatives” [who do they represent other than themselves] won’t bring a Senate-passed immigration bill to the floor. Then he blames the President for not doing anything about immigration reform. In California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, illegal immigrants are pouring across the border; yet, one recent poll shows that only 38 percent of Americans are concerned. If I tried to haul my butt over the border to Mexico, I’d be tossed back in the Rio Grande like an unwanted fish. Mexico’s immigration laws are far stricter than those of the United States…and they enforce them. Yes, we have border control, but it’s a bitch to patrol almost 1,896 miles of river when you’re also attempting to cover desert crossings, along with the various entry points along the four-state border. In addition, the number one priority for the customs and immigration folks now is blocking drugs from coming into the United States and blocking money from going back into Mexico to support the cartels. Many have said that we have already lost the war on drugs. Are we also giving up on the war against illegal immigrants? If the United States House of Representatives has anything to say about it, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” However, 62 percent of Americans don’t really give a damn!

According to a story in the Washington Post, the House is active in another area. It seems that Congressmen no longer will be “…required to list any of their domestic or foreign travel that was paid for by an outside group.” While they still must file such information with the House Ethics Committee, it no longer appears on the financial disclosure form which Congress members must submit annually. If anyone – other than a member of Congress because they find it so simple to lie with a straight face – can look me in the eye and tell me that this isn’t an ideal way to buy votes, I’ll eat whichever hat that person chooses from my collection. How many Americans are mad over this? Are you, or you, or you?

Earlier this week, a main commuter road and the bridge which spans it were shut down because of accidents. The road narrows at the bridge to barely two lanes. The bridge clearance is only ten feet, six inches. The first accident involved a tractor trailer and ripped off nearly his entire top. First, the trailer and truck had to be removed; not a simple task when your roof is damn near completely destroyed. This also meant that the bridge had to be inspected for potential structural damage. The following day – not 24 hours later – a truck carrying 700 pounds of live lobsters smashed into the same bridge with a similar result. Sorry, I couldn’t get there fast enough to grab any lobsters. Here’s the point of this story: That bridge has been on the government funding list for as far back as I can remember. Now, I understand that Congress is refusing to act on President Obama’s highway funding bill that will replenish the trust fund that would help to make repairs on not only the bridge noted above but on roads and bridges all over the country. Anyone in his or her right mind who votes to allow his or her Congress person, particularly in the House of “Representatives” to stay in office is a fool. It’s time for a house cleaning. In addition, it’s time we put term limits on both Senators and Congressmen for the sake of our country.

In all probability, most Americans were probably more disappointed with the outcome of the USA/Belgium soccer match than they are with the manner in which our country is now being governed. If you ask the man on the street about our government, he might say, “Yeah, nothing’s getting done but I’ve got a job; a family to support; a mortgage to pay, and besides I’m only one person and one person can’t make a difference.” He’s right; the President of the United States receives hundreds of thousands of letters each day. They are gone through by staffers who decide which ten – that’s right, ten – the President will get to read. In other words, the President isn’t listening to what we say or what we want him to hear. Our relative importance to the nation is being judged by a bunch of staffers. I know that the President can’t read all those letters, but who are the people who are looking at them? Are these staffers any more qualified to say which letters are sufficiently important for the President to read? I’m certain that the same thing is true of members of Congress. They are so important that they must have their letter-reading staffers also, and those staffers determine whether or not our Congressman or Senator gets to see what we’ve written. Government service is supposed to be honorable and representative of how you and I vote. It certainly has lost a great deal of its luster to this voter.

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Recognizing fully that there are approximately seven billion people on earth who are more intelligent than I, far be it for me to suggest or dictate possible foreign policy decisions to those in my own nation who are in a temporary, at best, position to do so. It seems somewhat as ridiculous as attempting to tell General Motors how to make an ignition switch for their vehicles or how to tell American tourists which mountains to climb in the Middle East. In other words, speak well of what you know well and speak not of which you know nothing.

That having been said, I would propose that Congress begin impeachment proceedings against President Obama if he sends one soldier, sailor, marine, airman or woman, coast guardsman or woman, or even a member of the Boy/Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls, or member of the 4-H into harm’s way in the Middle East before he clearly, articulately, and demonstrably proves well beyond the shadow of anyone’s doubt that we have national interests at stake in that region other than the protection of our oil interests or the interests of the so-called one percent. Please, do not tell me in the vaguest of terms that terrorists will use bases in the Middle East to plan and carry out attacks on our nation. I will not believe you. If you believe that to be the case, strengthen the protection of our borders at home; increase the use of HUMINT and other intelligence-gathering resources abroad, and devote greater resources to the same type of attacks that the terrorists carry out, i.e., sneak attacks on their targets before they can carry out their attacks on our targets.

It’s an entirely new era of warfare into which we have entered and America is lagging well behind the curve in terms of how it should be fought. Remember the days of the Napoleonic wars when great armies would face each other on the battlefield and exchange fire? Then, when the soldiers of King George III attempted to engage the “American Rabble” [note the capital ‘R’ please}, they were rudely shocked by the guerilla tactics of the Patriots. Those tactics plus planned operations such as D-Day, Operations Overlord, King Too, Charger, Casanova became the way to fight. What about civilians? Well, insofar as possible, America and its allies attempted to respect and reduce civilian casualties with noted exceptions. Today things are different. The people who are America’s enemies today prefer to use civilians because they are aware of America’s horror at seeing non-combatants used, abused, and slaughtered. Our enemies don’t care who they kill as long as they, the dead, don’t believe the way they, the terrorists, happen to believe on that particular day. Politely, we used to call it tribal warfare; it is not. ISIS or whatever the hell they are calling themselves are nothing more than a gang; no better than the Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings, the Aryan Brotherhood, the Michigan Militia, or the Wah Ching. They proclaim to be religious jihadists, but that, I believe, is merely an excuse to kill others unlike themselves.

In 1961, President Kennedy stated that we were sending “advisors” to someplace called Vietnam. It wasn’t a popular decision, but we trusted Jack the war hero to do what was right. The advisors were followed by more advisors and then marines and soldiers who weren’t “advisors,” but who were right in the thick of things. The guys who fought and died in that war were patriots; make no mistake about that. The reason they were asked to fight, I regret to say, were never clearly spelled out. As a consequence, many people back in the states didn’t understand and blamed those who fought and died as much as they blamed future administrations. I didn’t like him and didn’t vote for him, but thanks be to God for Richard Nixon’s intelligence in ending that war that claimed over 58,000 American lives.

Now, this current President – for whom I voted twice – who has nothing to lose because he can’t run again is talking about sending 275-300 “advisors” and Special Forces to “train” Iraqi forces. When do the “advisors” and “trainers” become companies, regiments, battalions, and armies who shed blood? When might we reach the point of saying, “We need more young men and women so by executive order, we’re reinstating selective service?” That is, perhaps extreme, but maybe extreme is what is required to wake up the American people to the fact that our people are dying and the only thing we’re told is “…because it’s in our national interest.” Dammit, give me specifics, not glittering generalities, because right now, I’m thinking that your national interests are not my national interests nor are they in the national interests of those mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters who have gold star flags hanging in their front windows.

If Iraq divides into three states, we all know what will happen. The most war-like state will soon absorb the other two. They will then, in all likelihood absorb Syria and move on Iran. The United Nations will condemn them and they won’t give a damn. The Israelis will fight them and eventually use a nuclear weapon to defeat them, or perhaps by that time, the war-like state will have nuclear weapons and the world’s Armageddon will have come about. Only at that point will some sage declare, “It’s Obama’s fault for not sending in “advisors” and “trainers,” and once more, I will have been proven wrong…but it won’t really matter to me; I’ll be dead.

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The nation is more than 5,000 years old. It’s been fought over, pissed on, divided and subdivided. It’s been invaded by more conquerors than any of us can begin to imagine. And America, in its naïveté thought that they we, a nation formed by immigrants from all over the world, with our less than 400 years of experience and only one civil war thought we could bring a lasting democratic form of government to Iraq? What the hell kind of arrogance is that? Better yet, what kinds of stupidity is that?

America is a developed, highly technological, and somewhat futuristic nation. In parts of Iraq, they still stone people to death or cut off a limb. In its worst gangster days, Americans killed members of other gangs. In Iraq, if there is a feud, one kills not only the offending party but the entire family…mother, father, sisters, brothers, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nephews, and nieces. Why…Because they want no one left to ever come after members of their family. I don’t know about you, but that to me is just a wee bit obsessive. In America, we can’t remember who our BFF was a year ago. In Iraq, they remember offending remarks or actions that go back thousands of years.

When we went to war to remove the dictator Saddam Hussein, did we honestly believe that we were doing them a favor? If we did, it was even greater naiveté plus stupidity on our part. The pot of humanity is always at the boil in the Middle East. Are we so ignorant that we haven’t seen that during our brief history? Have our ambassadors and various secretaries of state had their collective heads buried so far in the sands of the Middle East that they haven’t understood the mentality that pervades the region? Forget the few civilized members of the population in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, for while the few are trying to modernize their countries, the many are at war with both the few and with other ‘tribes.’ That’s what they are…tribes. Only in this case, the tribes have access to modern weapons and are not afraid to use them. They are not even afraid to strap explosives to their bodies and kill themselves if it means they can gain an advantage over another tribe or another invader, an infidel if you will.

Being religious is one thing; being a radical religionist is something quite different. The people to whom America and its developed country allies are trying to bring peace and harmony are completely unaware of the meaning of either of those words. When we pull our troops out of Afghanistan, do we believe that radical Muslims won’t attack Kabul, Kandahar, Heart, or Gardez? How stupid can the leadership of America be?

“It is in our national interest to remain in Afghanistan,” says President Obama. “We must invade Iraq because they have weapons of mass destruction that could be used against us,” said President Bush. Both statements were bullshit; pure unadulterated, straight from the butt bullshit! I find it impossible to agree with Fox military analyst, Retired General Dr. Robert Scales, when he insists that we must stay in the area to prevent chaos and to keep an eye on Iran. Why, why must we do this? We have satellites; we should be growing our HUMINT; we should not be sacrificing the lives of young American men and woman simply to support corrupt administrations that we put in place and that are attempting to bleed American dollars from a budget that could be far better spent on home projects.

If we stay in the Middle East for any reason, any reason at all, we are making a mistake. There are enough people in the countries I’ve named who hate America, Americans, and everything for which we stand that the jihadists will never quit. Hell, they’ll never quit anyway. All we have done is to provide them with the weapons they can use to carry on their wars…and we gave ‘em the good stuff, too!

While it is difficult for most civilized people to believe that anyone would choose to live under a code such as that proposed by Shariah Law, particularly females, we should not forget that it wasn’t until 1839 that women in America were allowed to hold property; that their rights were subsumed to their husbands before that time. Today, we talk of equal rights for women in this country when we all know that equal doesn’t mean equal at all. Therefore, if the radical Muslims wish to fight and create a state where the laws of Mesopotamia and Methuselah once reigned supreme, fine, let them have it. Better that they should kill one another and wipe out their entire race of people than to have them continually pissed at American invaders or corrupt government in their own lands.

Am I saying that America should just pull all of their troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan? Sure; why not; I don’t see how things could get any worse. Children won’t get educated in the area; women will be treated like crap; men will get pissed at their neighbor for stealing some goat’s milk and they’ll feud over that until one family or the other is eliminated; there will be chaos that Ayatollah’s won’t be able to control. The nations will be composed of the haves and have not’s – oh, gee, that sounds like today’s America – and the anger will eventually be turned back toward the United States. It’s at that point that we unleash our technological fury in such a manner that not one city, town, village, or person remains alive. Will that start WWIII? I rather doubt it because enough cooler heads will have seen the idiocy of the Iraqi and Afghani immorality and agree that strong action was demanded. “What about the United Nations,” someone will doubtless ask. Certainly the UN has done some wonderful things to help nations that have evidenced a desire to be helped, but there comes a point when nations that demonstrate their unwillingness to follow a peaceful path to development must either be abandoned or destroyed. Both Iraq and Afghanistan have proven so inept in putting honest governments in place; have demonstrated a total inability to control their own people; have sucked so much blood from the young men and women of other UN nations that it’s time the UN cast them aside and let them destroy themselves as part of a natural order.

President Obama, please, please, please, get those soldiers, marines, airmen and women, as well as naval personnel out of the area and brought back home. We don’t need any more gold stars in windows. Let’s concentrate on what needs to be done in America for Americans. You have a year and a half left; let this be your legacy…you brought home the troops.

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Is there any politician or CEO left in this country who will accept responsibility when things go wrong? When President Obama introduced the Bergdahl  family in the Rose Garden, it was all about how he was responsible for bringing Bowe home safely. Now that Congress is getting its hackles up, the President appears to be shying away from responsibility and keeping his mouth shut. When General Motors announced the recall of the various Chevy cars, one of which had already caused 13 deaths because of a faulty ignition switch, who was blamed? Seems to me that not one of the sons of bitches who were in power when those cars were produced had the balls to step forward and say that it was their responsibility. It took new CEO, Mary Bara to accept the bitch slaps that GM was receiving on all fronts…and she did. Now that GM has released its report that has already lead to the firing of fifteen individuals – with more to follow, I’ll bet – Congress is blaming Bara for not reporting all of GM’s failures. Congress is still the old boys’ network and any chance they have to take a shot at someone other than one of their own, they go at it both barrels.

Years ago, I was throwing a tennis ball against a brick wall that was part of Holy Family School in my hometown. At one point I missed; the ball struck and broke a window. To use an often overlooked phrase, “I was scared shitless.”  Heck, I was still in elementary school…and it wasn’t Holy Family. I ran home and told my mother – Dad was at work – what had happened. Her solution was simple. “You march right back there; find the nun who’s in charge; tell her what happened and that it was an accident; then you tell her that you, not your Dad and I, but you will pay for the damage somehow. Now go.” Me, alone, off to see the top penguin. Since I didn’t know much about nuns, only horror stories told by those who went to Holy Family, I was terrified. The school was about a hundred yards up the street. It was like the Green Mile; I felt I was marching to certain death by crucifixion. See, I still remember some of this stuff. Anyway, the school door was locked so I had to go to ‘the nun’s house’ next door. I was greeted pleasantly enough and asked for the “head nun.” Things get kind of blurry after that except for one thing; the mother superior spoke to me gently and thanked me for coming forward. There was no ruler across the knuckles; they didn’t pull out a couple of boards and some nails; no one told me that I had committed a sin that would prevent me from going to Heaven. They were nice. I remember that I had to erase blackboards after school, but I don’t remember for how long. I also remember the relief I felt as I walked home. I was kind of proud that I told someone I had done something bad and had been forgiven. I’m not even certain I knew what the word, “responsibility,” meant. Today, I can look back and say, “Yeah, I accepted responsibility.” The lesson must have stuck because I believe firmly that I should accept responsibility for my actions, good or bad. It’s a code I’ve tried to live by all of my life, but I think that it was my mother who instilled that into me when she sent me back to Holy Family on my own. Can you imagine the majority of today’s parents doing that? I’ll let you picture in your own mind how today’s mothers would handle that situation.

It seems to me that everyone rushes forward to accept praise and will even exaggerate a bit to overemphasize the word, “I.” However, if the shit hits the fan, those same people revert to their old “duck and cover” drill and hide until the air is clear. Did President Obama personally bring home Sergeant Bergdahl? Of course he didn’t. Who knows how long negotiations were taking place to free the sergeant? Who knows if any Americans were involved in the negotiations? Chuck Hegel might have initiated the negotiations by speaking with people in Qatar, but I don’t know. I’m certain, however, that it was a team effort to free Bergdahl. Was he on the verge of being killed? Who knows? Who cares? “No man left behind” is not some rah, rah bullshit; it’s a code and a damned good one. We had to give up five bad guys to get him? So what? I have no idea why the hell we’re still in Afghanistan in the first place. Look at Iraq. It’s already falling back into the hands of those we oppose. Are we supposed to send our troops back so more Americans can die? We damned well better not or I’ll lead the march on Washington. These people are primitives. Let them have their 2,500 years of stupidity. They’re wrong, but I’m not willing to give up one more American life to show them just how wrong they are. If they wish to remain in the Stone Age, fine; let’s cut off all aid and tell them to get along on their own. Perhaps that, in and of itself, will be enough to force us to give up our dependence on foreign oil or whatever the hell the Iraqis and Afghanis are giving us. If our own Muslim population starts to complain, ship them back where they came from. If you’re in America, act like an American. If you want to help your country, get your ass back there and help them that way. I am just plain tired of this nonsense.

Repeat after me: “If something good happens and I did it alone, I’ll keep my mouth shut. If something good happens and my team was responsible, I’ll praise my team…all of my team. If something bad happens and I’m responsible, I will step forward, admit my error, and take whatever punishment is due. I will do all of these things because I am a responsible person. I don’t need to give myself accolades, only those who did the grunt work.” You can leave out the last sentence if you wish. In fact, you may wish to rewrite the entire credo; just remember it’s never ‘I’ when something succeeds; there is always a ‘we’ somewhere in the mix. As for the failure, sure, it could also be a team effort, but if you were top dog, accept the blame and move on. End of sermon.

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Let me get this straight…America invades Iraq because a bunch of Saudi terrorists brought down the World Trade Center, killing over 3,000 people. The guy who planned the attack, Osama bin Laden is, himself, a Saudi, but because Saddam Hussein is training terrorists – we think – much as Libya, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle Eastern countries are doing, we are going to war in Iraq. No one complains.

We use as an excuse that Saddam and his cronies have weapons of mass destruction. Secretary of State Colin Powell, now nicknamed “Dupe,” goes before the United Nation and proves that those weapons exist with a series of outdated photographs and a magnificent PowerPoint presentation. No one complains.

We go into Iraq; dig Hussein out of a hole in the ground, don’t find any weapons of mass destruction; and don’t find Osama bin Laden. We lose nearly 5,000 American troops killed and over 32,000 wounded, and it is fully ten years later before we find bin Laden and kill him. No one complains.

We pull our troops out of Iraq so they can go into Afghanistan after we’ve set up a ‘wink-wink’ democratic government in Iraq. We haven’t heard about it yet, but Putin probably called Obama and said, “Hey, Ace, those Afghans are really tough. We got the hell out. Why are you goin’ the hell in, man; that’s nuts!” Of course, Obama doesn’t listen; his generals don’t listen; and, more troops get killed. No one complains.

Fast forward to today. The Ukraine is in turmoil. The country is $35 billion in debt. The President, Viktor Yanukovich, is not a favored person in the City of Kiev and the Parliament finally sends him packing. He goes to Russian – hey, the Ukraine used to be part of the old Soviet Bloc – and asks for some help. Russian President, Vladimir Putin, recognizing that his country has a naval base in part of the Ukraine, says, “Of course…we have to protect our interests as well as yours.” Meanwhile, in the Crimea, a part of the Ukraine, the citizens are yelling, “Bring on the Russians; we love ‘em.” Back in Kiev, the Ukrainian Parliament is saying, “Russia, keep the hell out of our business.” Of course, they’re saying this in Russian because Ukrainians are just Russians in disguise. Who complains? I don’t hear anyone in Europe bitching about this situation. I hear that President Obama has a chat by phone with President Putin telling him to stay the hell out of the Ukraine or there will be consequences.

What the hell business is it of ours if Russia and the Ukraine want to draw down on one another? Did Russia complain when we went into Iraq? Did we not see what happened to the Russians when they went into Afghanistan? Didn’t we learn from the huge mistake we made in Vietnam; the French got their collective butts kicked and we didn’t learn our lesson there until over 58,000 American men and women were buried? Even when those who survived came home, they were spat upon and called horrific names.

So what the hell does President Obama think he’s doing? What, we have too many 17-22 year olds? Does he want to send more of them into harm’s way?  We don’t have enough problems on the domestic front; we have to look for more on the international stage? Meanwhile, the American media is having a field day and fomenting more than its usual share of rabble rousing to fire up their ratings.

I’m not fond of this current Congress, but if the President takes steps to interfere with what is an internal struggle, I suggest that impeachment proceedings begin because this President has overstepped his authority. We have – as useless as it as – a United Nations which is supposed to be the guiding force in conflicts such as this. It is about time that the American government in general and the American President  in particular, step back, sit down, pop open a can of Bud, and start using their collective heads for something more than a cork for their ass.

I believe it was H. Ross Perot who said, “Wake up America.” Any mother in this country who has a child wanting to join the armed services at this time should think twice. It appears that this President, just like his predecessor, has no qualms about sending our young men and women off to be slaughtered just to salve their own machismo…get over yourselves, please.

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“I used to read your blog, but then you got boring…but I’m back now.”

Boring? Me, boring? Moi?

Damn straight, Skippy, and don’t you forget it.

The reader who sent me that comment was absolutely correct, and I thank him or her for doing so. There’s no question that there are plenty of times I climb up on the soapbox and pontificate about this happening or that. In so doing, I get diarrhea of the mouth compounded by mental constipation. The result is what can often be found on this blog. I think I may have said this before, but let me reiterate that I really don’t write for any reason other than to get people like that reader quoted above to react; good, bad, or indifferent, I don’t care.  If someone reads something I’ve written and thinks I’m mistaken in my view, I want them to come back at me with an opposing view. If the man or woman can back it up with research, I’ll even print the response on the blog.

Right now, for example, I’m somewhat irritated with the President of the United States and his minions. The problem is that I haven’t read the Affordable Care Act in its entirety so I’m on shaky ground when I begin to criticize it. First, it was late being rolled out; part of the reason for that was that the House of Representatives kept trying to get it repealed – Forty-one freaking times they’ve tried – but it was still rolled out to the public…late. Not only late, but people couldn’t get on the web site to sign up. The company that built the web site screwed it up…badly. Therefore, why was it rolled out? Why didn’t the President, as chief honcho of this bill, have the balls to come right out and say, “We’ve got some problems here, and we’re going to hold off on this thing until we get those problems resolved?” That would have been the transparent thing to do. There is no shame or embarrassment in saying that you moved to quickly in an attempt to bring a health plan to the public – “which seven of my predecessors were unable to do” – and that you, as Prexy, are going to have a bipartisan committee review portions of the Law – note upper case – because it is a Law, passed by Congress and signed by the President, before putting it before the public.

There is no question in my mind that people like Rand Paul, Eric Kantor, Ted Cruz, and some of the other Tea Party Crazies – that’s how I’ve come to describe them; even capitalizing the last word – will look on this as a significant victory, but we all know they’re so full of crap that when they breathe, they smell like great granddaddy’s outhouse, so who cares about them. And some members of his own party will have harsh words about the President’s inability to stand his ground, but frankly, that’s bullshit!

In its current format, the Affordable Care Act is a bad law. It hurts people. In some cases, people can’t even keep their own doctor…after having been told by their leader that this would not be the case.  In other cases, people are going to have to choose between food and medical insurance after having been told that the insurance would be “Affordable.” In other cases, people can’t get the care they need because the hospital that can give that care is “outside of their circle.” Listen to the American people, Mr. President. This act that you signed into law is not good. There is not one person in this country who wouldn’t agree with you that the nation is in need of a national insurance plan. In addition, what works here in Massachusetts, may very well not work in Mississippi, Minnesota, or New Mexico. Personally, I believe you would have been wiser to demand the governors of the fifty states to present plans for their states to a Federal health agency for approval. At the point of approval, the plans could be launched with the backing of some federal dollars, raised by a national sales tax of one or two percent on everything from dog food to diapers and allocated by population density. Plans from one state would be honored by those of other states. Don’t worry, abuses would soon be noticed.

Mr. President, you and I both know that the health care needs of the people in West Virginia are not the same as those in the people of Colorado. I’m not into making invidious comparisons, but attempting a national health care law seems to me like make a one-size-fits-all shoe. Yes, we are fifty states that are united, but in health care? I have no idea what governors do at a governor’s conference, but when the issue of health care became so important, it seems that the governors should have recognized the problem, taken their heads out of their butts, and gotten busy. There’s no question there would have been some ‘foot-draggers,’ but that’s where the federal government could have stepped in and provided a little incentive to get things going, e.g., no more federal funding for a governor’s pet project. Certainly, this wouldn’t have been a feather in any President’s cap, but spinning a story is done every day in Washington; what’s one more?

You, Mr. President, and many members of your inner circle, will say, “It’s too late. It’s the law of the land and we will stand our ground and work this thing out.” That’s all well and good, but you know damn right well that the next Republican president is going to try his/her damndest to repeal that law…and they will succeed.

These things I know: In 2016, the country will have a new leader. I will be 82 years old. Tom Brady will still be the quarterback of the New England Patriots and LeBron James will still be leading the Miami Heat to NBA titles. Gay marriage will still be the issue it is today although many of the homophobes will have gone quietly away. America will still be at war somewhere, but we won’t call it a war, and caskets of young men and women will still be landing at Andrews, mothers, dads, and siblings will be there with moist eyes, but whoever is the new leader will find some excuse for continue the slaughter. The NRA will still be saying that guns don’t kill people, but there will be more shootings at schools and colleges and nothing will be done. We still won’t be free of our dependence on fossil fuel and cancer will not have found a cure-all.

These are the things I know. What I do not know would fill the Smithsonian a thousand times over. What I’d like to know is if our current President has the courage to say, “This isn’t working, but I’m going to make damned certain that before I leave office, each state in this Union will have health care for all of its citizens supported by both state and federal funds.” Isn’t that worth a try?

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The fact that there is a great deal of pissing and moaning over the remarks made by Phil Robertson in GQ Magazine is not necessarily a bad thing. In his comments to People Magazine, he is quoted as saying, “I will not give or back off from my path.” That sounds like a man with the courage of his convictions, and no matter what the Arts & Entertainment network might feel, courage and conviction are two things that this country has been sadly lacking for the past decade or so.

 

Robertson believes what he believes. The backlash toward A&E would appear to indicate that there are a helluva lot of people who might darn well feel the same way or, at the very least, believe that the man has the right to free speech under the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Obviously, yelling, “Fire” in a theatre is not free speech because it infringes on the rights of those in the theatre. If this ‘free speech’ liable or slanders another party, that is an infringement on their rights. In these and other cases, freedom steps aside and prosecution steps in to take control.

 

Whose rights did Robertson trample? I’m not so certain that he did anything except to express his own personal beliefs. This is how he views the world and he’s willing to stand by his views. There are so few people today who, if put into a situation such as he was, would answer so honestly and candidly. Take any member of the Congress of the United States. If anyone of them were to be asked, “Do you believe that homosexuality is a sin that will preclude those practicing it from getting in to Heaven,” they would hem and haw and you know you would never get a straight answer. If President Obama was asked, “Do you believe that the Affordable Care Act is the proper document for all Americans?” do you honestly believe you would get anything but gobbledygook? Of course not.

 

President Harry Truman was a straight talking person, often called a son-of-a-bitch because of his no nonsense honesty. The same could be said of General George Patton, as well as Osama bin Laden. “What, are you nuts?” you ask. No, bin Laden spent his life trying to destroy America; he made no bones about this; he was focused, and when he spoke out, his words were to the effect that he wanted to destroy America. He didn’t equivocate; he did not give long and convoluted speeches. He knew where he stood and he made damn certain that we knew where he stood. We finally realized that his continued efforts were not in the best interest of America and therefore, he was dispatched. Some say he was martyred. I prefer to think of it as eliminating a potential danger to the citizens of the United States. The unfortunate thing is that too many of his disciples are not committed in the same manner that Obama was. Too many of them are not jihadists but just out and out murders wearing the disguise of jihad.

 

Truthfully, I don’t watch Duck Dynasty. It’s just not a program in which I have an interest…until now. I may have to start watching it to get a genuine conservative view. Robertson’s comments to Bible study group recently were fascinating: “…over the last 2000 years, “the sins are the same” and “humans haven’t changed. We get high, we get drunk, we get laid, we steal and kill,” he stated. “Has this changed at all from the time God burnt up whole cities because their every thought was evil?” The man makes a damned good point. If there is one person out there who has not broken at least one of the Ten Commandments at some time in his or her life, I want to meet them. People lie, cheat, and steal. Others take the name of the Lord in vain; still others covet their neighbor’s wife, and sometimes commit adultery. Ask a 13 or 14 year old what he thinks of his parents and he or she will tell you their ‘dorks’ or something worse; seems to me that a commandment just went out the window on that one.

In church, we’re told to obey the commandments of God. We’re told to lead good lives; to love thy neighbor as thyself. All of the things we’re told will get us into heaven. How do we know that? How do the priests, ministers, rabbis, and imams know this? Have they been there? Have they talked to God? I don’t mean to be heretical here, but please, don’t be so hypocritical as to pretend to know the entrance into Heaven. Sure, I could be wrong…but what if I’m not. What if there is no right or wrong way to enter into Heaven? What if the sinner who did one good thing in his or her life is just as welcome as the person who lived just a mundane life of doing no good or no bad?

I believe Phil Robertson has opened a few eyes. I believe his honesty, while perhaps shocking, is also refreshing. He has said exactly what he believes, broken now laws by doing so, offended the hell out of a large group of people, but he sure didn’t beat around the bush!

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