Thursday, November 28, 2013

Some of My Best Friends are Great Satans


I guess all anyone really needs to know about the international accord reached with Iran is that they will continue to enrich uranium and they will not dismantle any centrifuges. The international community is strapped with having  to accept these terms in the hopes a broader agreement can reached at a  later date.

Taking the Iranian nation on their word is a giant leap of faith whatever your preferred denomination. Both the Saudis and the Israelis have made their opposition known. As of yet no word from the Mormons and  Amish.

With the Obama administration’s poll numbers in free fall and continuing  to slide one can’t help wondering if any accord is a good one if only to defray attention away from even bigger debacles.

Notable Obama  Democratic cheerleaders like Sens. Menendez of New Jersey and Schumer of New York have voiced their disapproval. Sen. Schumer pointed out in a letter to Secretary of State Kerry that the agreement “would not require Iran to even meet the terms of prior United Nation Security Council resolutions.” Those terms explicitly stated a complete suspension of nuclear production.

Trusting the Iranians may be tough to swallow for Americans who haven’t forgotten the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the kidnapping of American personnel from our embassy. They were held in captivity for 444 days. That coupled with the fact that Iran is a ready ally for any terrorist organization in the world that wishes harm to the Great Satan can be discomforting. 

This mode of diplomacy is eerily reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain’s  with  Herr Hitler. The Munich Accords were also a first step with the promise of more concessions coming from Hitler at a later date. Well, we know those concessions never came to fruition. I would venture to guess that when we re-visit this plan with the Iranians in  six months – duration of Part 1, the Iranians will  invoke a much harder line especially when we are about to appease them with lifting  some of the very sanctions that brought them to the negotiating table in the first place. Ostensibly, losing that leverage now reduces any significant long term gains. In the short term it further de-stabilizes  the most volatile region on earth.

Perhaps the president and his secretary of state should have consulted the sage Yogi Berra before forging ahead with this agreement because “it feels like déjà vu all over again.”

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Polar Bear Club


I know there are  righteous African-Americans  who find the infamous Knockout game as repugnant as I do  but it seems they aren't  repulsed enough to come out in public to condemn it. Unlike the white civil rights workers who risked life and limb to fight against racial injustice in the South of the Sixties. Where’s the Attorney General offering guidelines for enforcement and prosecution on this matter. He’s probably still busy trying to figure out what happened with "Fast and Furious" and ways to railroad that exonerated sick, punk George Zimmerman.

And where’s the president. Now surely one of those  hooded perpetrators we have seen in the videos punching out elderly men, women and children could have been your son if you had a son. Just as you said, Mr. President, that Trayvon  could have been.

There is something underfoot and all Americans of non-color should take note. There is no government institution  that seems willing to support and safeguard you from crimes perpetrated against you and your family by the marauding gangs of predators who have, for the most part, been brought up as wards of the state.

For months these vicious attacks have been going on and it took until last Saturday for Rev. Sharpton to condemn them as “deplorable.” What is even more deplorable is the fact that the subject was not brought up earlier. Especially when it has been reported that some of the attacks have resulted in fatalities. And all have resulted in injury.

I suppose the righteous reverends reserve their  rage for people like Paula Deen who used the N-word  something like 35 years ago.

When one of the targets  of these assaults pulls out a weapon and kills the attacker the African-American community will predictably lock arms and demand justice for the innocent attacker. They’ll dust off his third grade picture, hide all recent photos  and hate laden tweets. And the media will tune up their violins.

Indeed the media isn’t sure these attacks are racially motivated. I  almost swallowed my tongue when I came across the paragraph below from a story by the Associated Press’ Colleen Long:

“While some of those attacked have been white, and some suspected attackers black, experts  said the incidents are more about preying on the seemingly helpless than race or religion.”

I think it’s time that  people  who can’t depend on pigmentation protection should find the means to protect themselves. Be alert and on the lookout for  these cowardly reprobates. Economically,  boycott those companies who always cave to the vitriol of the good reverends.  If they give in to them,  go  elsewhere to buy. Let the reverends and their constituencies provide the economic shortfall.

And prepare yourself to ignore the multitude of voices who will want to wheel out the platitudes of helping these young people with more aid, more free meals,  more before and after school programs. More this; more that. More. More. More. To that I say, enough; enough; enough.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fifty Years Later


Everyone remembers where they were on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. But I remember where I was on another date also etched deeply in my memory: January 20, 1961.

The night before and early morning hours of that Friday brought down upon the Mid-Atlantic states  a significant snow storm. The morning radio had already proclaimed the glad tidings of a snow day off from school. But the severe cold weather and snow precluded outdoor activities. We were stuck inside. A captive audience for one of the most brilliantly delivered presidential inaugural addresses of all time. I had never heard such eloquence, such patriotism, such hope; and indeed a stroke of belligerence, warning friend and foe alike “that  the torch had been passed to a new generation of Americans.” And that we would remain a beacon for freedom throughout the world whatever its cost.

I can still see the steaming  clouds of breath emanating from our young president’s mouth, a testament to the bitter weariness of January, as he braved the harsh elements coatless upon the steps of the capitol. He showed a strength and resilience which made me proud to be an American. More importantly his address made me aware what the concomitant responsibilities of an American were: honor and service to country.

To many people today those words sound trite even foolish. But they still resonate with me. People will say it was a different time; a different era.  And it was to be sure. Until our collective naiveté was shattered  in Dallas.

Another president assumed the Oval office with almost the same amount o f promise. He, too, was educated at Harvard and was brilliant. He, too, was going to be transformational. He too was a visionary who would bring us all together. The American family united once again. As I watched this president be sworn in, I had an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was angry at myself for not having voted for  him. I would be reduced somehow, I thought, in the years to come  having to admit the omission. Because on that day he reminded me of John Kennedy.

It soon became apparent, Barak Obama, like Dan Quayle, was no John Kennedy. The wit was wasn’t there. The anecdotes and ad libs were missing as well. His banter with the Washington press corps. seemed stilted and staged. He stumbled badly when his teleprompter mal-functioned. He was thin skinned; not erudite. He was unwilling to work with the opposition or admit mistakes. He assembled an incompetent cabinet, some with tax evasion problems – hardly the best and the brightest. Instead of encouraging self reliance he worships at the altar of big government. The inverse of that wonderful phrase from 50 odd years ago: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

JFK has evolved from a man to an ideal in the years since his death. But like any man he was subject to the pratfalls of humanity and they have been amply delineated. Yet  they haven’t lessened his enduring message of hope and freedom. Rest in peace, Mr. President.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Occasional Caucasian

Oprah Winfrey recently weighed in on the President Obama’s fall from grace and his loss of credibility with the American people due, of course, with his lack of honesty detailing the tenets of the Affordable Care Act. According to Ms. Winfrey, a lot of the president’s troubles are the result of racism, not his ineptitude. Question – was she talking about black racists who consider him white; or white racists who consider him black? After all he is bi-racial. No answer needed. I’ve never met a bi-racial person who ever considered themselves white rather than black.

It appears when things start going south for the president some ally of his can promptly whip out the race card to explain away the terrible job he has done with the economy, the Affordable Health Care Act, formerly known as Obamacare, and his foreign policy. Unless you capitulate to his every whim; even if you feel it will result in certain failure, you are racist.

I suppose Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and President Hollande of France are equally suspect of being racists because of their opposition to the administration’s willingness to forge ahead with easing sanctions against Iran despite their feelings that the proposed agreement, supported by the administration, did little to assuage the fears of our allies about the prospect of an Iran with a nuclear weapon capability.

But closer to home, there are still real pockets of racism. There is no disputing that. And we can only hope that in the near future it can be lobotomized from the American psyche. Or we can wait until they (the Southern and old time racists) all die off, as Ms. Winfrey would have it.

But let’s not be naïve. Racism is a double-edged sword. We only hear a one-sided version because whites against blacks racism fit a familiar and accepted narrative that allows the race hucksters to thrive and divide the will of the righteous. In the past six months there have been three reported episodes of black racism against whites. Delbert “Shorty” Belton, an 88-year-old WWII veteran from Spokane, Washington, was beaten to death by two black juveniles in August. That same month, Christopher Lane, a 22-year-old Australian baseball player, was shot to death by three bored juveniles in Oklahoma, two of which were black; then in September in Union Square, New York, a reprobate by the name of Lashawn Marten, 31, spewing the venomous phrase “I’m going to punch the first white man I see,” punched Jeffrey Babbitt, 62. Mr. Babbitt eventually succumbed to his injuries. Marten assures us he is not racist. That’s comforting.

After the headlines faded so did the stories. Who will stand with the families of those victims. If the Revs. Jackson and Sharpton were more men of the cloth than men of green silk fiber paper they would truly stand for injustice wherever they find it.

As for Ms. Winfrey, as of late, she has all the sincerity of a game show host. I’m not so sure President Obama is the only one who has lost credibility with the American people.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Break in the Ranks


I’ve often thought  the Obama administration is a mirror image of the Nixon administration. Enemy lists, IRS audits for those who disagree with edicts from on high, the stifling of criticism. When the Watergate scandal became front page news and Nixon’s poll numbers dropped precipitously, the people cried out for his ouster. But it was his own party -- the Republicans -- who started the mechanism for his removal from office.

Throughout the last five years, there was nary a word  from the Democrats  spoken out of turn about President’s Obama’s less than stellar performance and none at all from the adoring media. But like rats jumping off a sinking ship self preservation trumps adoration.

Former President Clinton came out recently and in so many words called President Obama a liar. And advised him that he should honor his commitment to the American people about keeping their health insurance if they liked the plan in which they were enrolled.

Now that Mr. Clinton has broken ranks other Democrats have followed suit, most notably Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Landrieu . Now I know President Clinton and Sen. Landrieu are not disagreeing with the president for altruistic reasons. Landrieu is up for re-election in 2014 and stands little hope of holding her office if the Affordable Care Act is implemented  with its own inherent, pre-existing conditions.

Likewise, Mr. Clinton is positioning himself for his wife’s presidential run in 2016 and knows that sticking by the president is like dousing her with gasoline and advising her to walk over some hot coals. Mrs. Clinton has remained silent letting Bill do the dirty work (although both are practiced at the art of deception) while she ostensibly stays above the fray. After all she has enough of her own baggage to carry, i.e.: Benghazi and the entire debacle of the Arab spring.

 Now maybe the intransigent administration may have little choice but to heed the will of the people who were wary from the beginning of replacing the best healthcare system in the world with what is proving to be the worst.

Believe it or not there are  still a few stalwarts in the Democrat party who are totally oblivious to the current political winds. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz  actually  said that many Democrats will want to run on Obamacare in 2014. And, of course, Harry “Three Tongue” Reid is confident  the problems with the Affordable Health Care Act will be resolved.

I guess some rats wait until the last moment before the ship capsizes.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Tale of Three Leaders

Was anyone really surprised when the talks recently broke down regarding an Iran nuclear pact.

It comes as no surprise to Israel’s Prime Minister Bebe Netanyahu. The Iranians have been playing the international community for years. And though they appear to be willing to sit and talk doesn’t necessarily mean they’re willing to negotiate and allow international inspectors to determine for themselves independently how far along they are in their pursuit of nuclear power.

Many were encouraged with the election this year of a new president, Hassan Rouhani. Considered  much more moderate than his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad --Attila the Hun would have been considered more moderate—there was reason for optimism.

President Obama ever the progressive sought a face-to-face with the new leader in September when he was in New York to address the United Nations but was denied by the Iranians, citing complications such a meeting would invoke in Iran. That might have been an omen as to the success any talks might produce. Instead they chatted on the phone.

It was a nice gesture for both. But  we are still at the crossroads of a potentially dangerous situation. The recently completed talks have accomplished nothing except, of course, the stalling of time which is  an advantage for the Iranians who have refused to put a halt to its nuclear program for up to six months in exchange for modulating the sanctions now in place.

But also important, they have refused to put a stop to the construction of a heavy-water reactor near the city of Arak which would be capable of producing plutonium, which like enriched uranium, can be used for bomb making materials. Once this facility is operational a military mission to destroy it would have grave environmental consequences.

Again time is of the essence and the bickering back and forth gives Iran more time to develop weapons and Israel less time to secure its long-term safety. Netanyahu can see the endgame. Once Iran has a nuclear weapon  Israel’s security would be non-existent. The Middle East would be even more de-stabilized than it is now – hard to imagine.

Netanyahu has said repeatedly that Rouhani, unlike Ahmadinejad, who was a wolf in wolf’s clothing, is a lamb in wolf’s clothing. Hopefully, President Obama will abandon any efforts to ease the harsh sanctions until Iran negotiates in good faith. And that’s unlikely.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ranting Rand Paul

Those who are employed in the ever-shrinking private sector look with disdain at the typical government worker. They enjoy inflated salaries, extended benefits, time off for every holiday. There are even discussions in some states about getting Ground Hog’s Day off (hyperbolic license invoked here). No stress and most importantly no real service or products produced. Cost of living increases are automatic, unlike the private sector where increases are measured in performance tied to profitability. No such burdens in the public sector.

 And when public employees are called upon to actually do something it usually results in an item in a monologue on a late night TV show. We’ve seen how the Affordable Care Act portal is functioning. Hey, the jokes write themselves.

One such staff is under scrutiny now. And the fact that it works for a Tea Party favorite has supplied additional fuel to the controversy.

Rand Paul was recently taken to task for lifting parts of a  speech from Wikipedia. Although taking personal responsibility, his staff, like many others, serve as a buffer in the government sector. They insulate their bosses from awkward situations, impaling themselves on the sword instead of the person whose name is on the door of the big office.

 A typical senate staff is comprised of 34 members. You would think that ample to research and write a short speech, report or position paper. Apparently not. And Sen. Paul, a White House hopeful in 2016, was made to look foolish having to explain the happenstance. Justifiably, he was taken to task by the liberal media led by Rachel Maddow.

According to a senior advisor, the senator’s opinions and ideas are his own, but there are staff members he has relied on in the past to provide supporting facts and anecdotes — some of which were not clearly sourced or vetted properly.

When I heard that I thought of pizza cartons and half finished bottles of beer and a group of staffers sitting around a table to decide which “anecdotes” to use for the senator’s upcoming appearances.

Staffer 1:“What about  the one about that old catfish Mike that old codger told us about in Lexington last year?”

Staffer 2: “Does Rand even like fishing?”

Staffer3: What does it matter? It’s the story of steadfast striving to achieve. It fits all his policy initiatives and I think it would really resonate with the folks at that manufacturing plant. A lot of factory workers fish.”

Staffer 2: “Wait, wait. I got it. What about the a story of the senator working part-time in high school to save enough money to buy that ’60 Chevy. Then he could say  he washed and waxed that sucker  every weekend.”

Staffer 1: “Sucker, yes. Perfect .That fits nicely with his position on personal responsibility. But did he really have a part-time job in high school? Or a Chevy?”

Staffer 3: “Didn’t everyone?”

Staffer 2: “I guess. But shouldn’t we run it by Rand?”

Staffer 1: “I think he’s in there with Doug and Gail working on his weekly op-ed piece for the Washington Times and ways to embarrass Gov. Christie.”

Staffer 2: “ He’s too busy. Let’s not bother him. We’ll ask him tomorrow. Anybody want another piece of pizza.”

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Obama and Buyers' Remorse


It’s been one year since our presidential election. And overall things are going downhill faster than President Obama can promise his core constituencies another handout, bailout or exemption. And with the benefit of hindsight we can now see how duplicitous the Democrats were in making promises they had no business keeping. Who doesn’t have “buyers’ remorse?”

Who now wouldn’t have preferred Gov. Romney? Whether you admit it or not he would have been running the country with  class and efficiency. Instead of the  ineptitude  that seems the hallmark of President Obama’s team e.g.: Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the  IRS scandal, surveillance on friend and foe.  As each day goes by we have another reason to be disappointed. So do our allies.  At this point it’s getting embarrassing. Don’t get me wrong I don’t plan on relocating to Estonia anytime soon. But I would like to see something other than Jay Carney, the president’s press secretary, parse, obfuscate, and even at times, evade answering direct questions. And when he does answer a question it’s usually to tell us how well the economy is improving. Or why something is the fault of the Tea Party.

We should cut Mr. Carney some slack, I mean the man has as tough a job as  Baghdad Bob had  toting the party line for Saddam Hussein. There never seems to be a problem in the Obama White House. It’s sort of like Candy Land. But if someone in the press corps.  should have the gall to ask about the myriad of mishaps they are always assured that the latest miscue is being remedied at that very moment and that the president knew nothing about it. But, now having learned about it, he is in command and taking charge.  The president seems to learn a lot about what’s going on in his administration from TV. Maybe he should pare down his staff and subscribe to CNN. The Republicans would be happy for the spending cut.

Yes, he likes taking charge. Like when he took control of the Syrian chemical attack accusations made by Syrian rebels. Textbook leadership. Delegate it to someone else. In this case, President Putin.

Now his legacy piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare is proving problematic. The rollout was a fiasco. Even Obama zealots would agree. Now they’re going to fix it. It appears there’s nothing they can’t fix. Unfortunately they have many opportunities to use their restorative powers.