Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ben Breedlove: Ben BRED Love

--Another life ends too soon. Ben Breedlove
died on December 25th, 2011, after opening his
Christmas gifts. Just 18, his inspirational
You Tube videos moved millions....

including me, as I suddenly realized he fulfilled
the promise of his name, as if it were a command:
"Ben, breed love." And he did. Can anything be
finer than that?

May angels sing thee to thy rest, as Shakespeare
so peerlessly said. May we all examine our names
for higher meanings, moving us to act accordingly.

The U.S. and Iran: Exports vs. "Experts"

******TRY to be Responsible--BACK OFF******

--How about some sanity and concern for the New Year?
Mr. Obama deserves to lose his re-election bid if
he takes the advice certain "experts" in his circle are
giving regarding sanctioning/embargoing Iran's oil exports.

(1) Stop the "superpower" bluster, USA. We haven't won
any major wars since WWII--that's right, look it up:

Some may wish to consider Grenada and the First Gulf
War as meaningful victories; I don't. (At least we employed
rare admirable restraint in those instances.) We lost in
Korea, that peninsula is technically STILL AT WAR.
Afghanistan is STILL replete with warlords, the Taliban,
corrupt government, etc., after NINE YEARS. Why did we
think we could succeed where Russia and others failed?

We lost 55,000 American soldiers and Vietnam to the
Communists, where U.S. tourists travel today. Let's not
dwell overmuch on Iraq, the ill-intentioned, incompetent
governments at home and abroad which occasioned great loss
of U.S. blood, treasure and time, not forgetting the many
thousands of civilian Iraqi deaths. Other "brushfire"
skirmishes, involvements in the Arab Spring, etc., don't
qualify the U.S. as a superpower. We only reign supreme in
agribusiness and nuclear bombs. Our influence HAS its limits
as well as its consequences. WHO doesn't know that?
--Most of the current crop of 2012 U.S. presidential
candidates, that's who.

(2) It's rank folly to underestimate Iran, a cradle of civilization,
a nation far older than ours, a survivor of many wars and
invasions. Would we go to WWIII over the stupid oil question in
the Strait of Hormuz, whether the putative Iranian blockade would
stop 20 or 40% of the world's oil? (The media has used both of
these percentages.)

We in the West may look with suspicion and disapproval at any
Theocracy, but like it or not, THAT IS IRAN. By the way,
they haven't forgotten the CIA's 1953 meddling which toppled
their government, or the USA's friendship with Shah Reza Pahlavi,
who used electric shock on dissidents while we looked the other
way. --Superpower or super bully? Isn't that what we called the

Iran is more dangerous than some other countries because public
and international opinion matter very little there. Bearing this
in mind, do we really want to pointlessly provoke a dangerous
denouement with Iran?

America and Iran: the world is watching, back off. We will not
forget or forgive any major missteps at this critical moment in
the global economy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

"Grinchy" Knuckled Down by Public Shame

I got MY Christmas present, in spades.
John Boehner,"fearless" U.S. House Speaker,
wrapped the DC year up in a squeaker.
I should have suspected an eventual cave,
as he did cry in public months back. There's
no shame in male tears, but that shows
me the man IS vulnerable to emotion and
others' opinions--too bad he's often
impervious to logic and good sense. The
surprise was Sen. Mitch McConnell, who
recovered his mental acuity long enough
to advise Rep. B. to herd his cats into
temporary submission.

The American worker gets some well-deserved
holiday relief. But expect the Winter of
our Discontent just after the New Year....

I guess I'm the Grinch now.

[P.S.: Please check out my comment under
the immediately preceding post for a bit
more about the "$40 a week" mass media
blast. Best Hopes for 2012, y'all.]

Thursday, December 22, 2011

DC Drama: Who Stole Christmas?--Not the Grinch

The wearing of carefully understated suits and
being seated around a conference table does NOT,
U.S. House Rep. Speaker Boehner, prove you and
yours are able and willing to get down to work.
Intransigence on so many important fronts just
shows how utterly bankrupt, morally/ethically/
practically our "democratic" political process
really is.

The skulking actors driving this embarrassing
farce are Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, Grover
Norquist and Speaker Boehner. Their only true
concerns are maintaining their lofty positions
and defeating Mr. Obama in 2012. Meanwhile,
all but the super rich are held hostage, as
respect for our vaunted process continues to
spiral downward. Somehow this recalls the
New York Teapot Dome scandal to me, in the
arrant stink of it, if in nothing else.

So as we all try to make the best of this
largely dispiriting holiday season, we're
sure the Grinch didn't steal Christmas.
If Dr. Seuss were writing today, the creature
would look like Speaker Boehner.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Technology IS NOT Enough, Virginia Tech!

I fail to understand or even be amused by all
the students and the president at Virginia
Tech who today stated their confidence in their
campus wide "alert system", which consists of
email blasts and texts to students' cells. Er,
excuse me, but many people STILL resist keeping
a cell turned on and in their hands at all times.
In ADDITION to these worthy-enough electronic
methods, there must be police in cars with electronic
megaphones driving around all the main campus drags,
warning people to seek shelter, lock doors, lay low,
etc.--the MOMENT any campus official ascertains a
gunman is loose there.

Cells fail, run out of minutes, lose battery charge. PCs
freeze, get hacked, attacked by worms, bagels, etc.
I have a PC, have a cell. They are extremely useful, even
fun to have. But:

Personally, I trust in God and my own wits. Those
have saved me in many a dangerous situation, including
my own kidnapping (gun involved) 30+ years ago....

Technology is NOT enough, everybody.