Quick Hits

This weekend and next are not going to present enough time to thumbsuck through the many issues which should be discussed here, so, with a tip of the hat to the late, great Jimmy Cannon, herewith a few paragraphs to enrage a few and, perhaps, interest a few others:

1. Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee even though his party despises him, and rest of us can not listen to him for five minutes without wanting to scream. He will not be elected president either. When the President is re-elected, therefore, seven million pontificators will kwell about his great comeback, and what it all means. But he will still be a Democrat and loathed by his opponents for that reason and because his father was black. If he can get over those things (as ridiculous they are as a reason to oppose his ideas), he will have, indeed, mounted a comeback. That seems quite unlikely.

2. They went home, read a few polls, and saw that nobody gives a rat’s behind about the supposed “evils” of government spending and regulation or the deficit, and seem more absorbed with our sinking economy and the need to fix bridges, highways and schools. Nonetheless, Congress comes back and decides to have the same fight about the same stupid things and this time think that punishing people who depend on government assistance is necessary if the government is going to also assist people fix what was broken during the last serious hurricane to hit us. The phrase “out of touch” does not even begin to describe how asinine and, ultimately, destructive this is.

3. If Elizabeth Warren becomes a United States Senator in January, 2013, will she still say the things she says now? We certainly need for her to do so, since, despite her professorial background she speaks in direct and clear sentences that even the ignoramuses with whom we share this country should be able to understand: as in “nobody in this country got rich on their own.”

4. By the way, on the subject of proudly stupid, your blogger is honored to see things posted here, then ridiculed, finally show up in regular columns written by people who get paid to do this.

5. If you are trying to convince people against the death penalty (something your blogger does not favor, while recognizing the right of a sovereign state to disagree unless the Supreme Court holds it to be a “cruel and unusual” punishment), don’t try to convince people that Troy Davis was “innocent” unless you can show he had nothing at all to do with the death of Officer MacPhail. With minimal study of it, the issue appears to be whether Davis actually pulled the trigger when the officer was shot, and that, perhaps, the identity of the specific shooter is relevant under Georgia law at least for the imposition of the death penalty. There appears to be no question, though, that he was with others, with whom he acted “in concert” (as the law likes to say) and that Officer MacPhail was killed while preventing Davis and others from doing whatever they were doing to a homeless man. That governments should not be in the business of killing people is one thing; to say that Davis was “innocent” is quite another.

6. On another issue which might enrage a few people, the Jewish person writing this stuff continues to be amazed at how Israel is portrayed in reference to people who have never once accepted the idea of a “Jewish state” to exist within the sliver of land allocated to it now referred to as “1967 borders with mutually agreed to land swaps.” It is hard to see how declarations of statehood are going to bring peace when President Abbas describes the “Holy Land” as the birthplace of “Christianity and Islam” pointedly omitting the reference to one other religion. The current administration of the Israeli government, and their cozying up to reactionary forces in our country deserves much of the criticism it receives, but if having a less than ideal government warranted all that people seem to want to drop on Israel, fairness suggests that the United States should have been dismembered at least during the Bush Administration.

7. John Lackey is flat out terrible, and worse yet, does not seem to notice that. Carl Crawford has been a grievous disappointment though there is reason hope that a second season in Boston might be better. With a now very poor rotation, Youkilis injured and the bullpen overworked, the prospects for a good postseason, assuming hte Red Sox get that far (they will) are not very good. On the other hand, the 2004 team was down, as we always note, 0-3 in the ALCS, and the 2007 team down 1-3 in the ALCS that year, and were far less than perfect teams which won a world championship. Anything is possible. What is certain is that Terry Francona is an excellent manager, the best the Red Sox have had in the 54 years they have occupied much of the concerns of at least one guy. To try to pin this nightmarish September on him is beyond absurd.

8. It is absurd in the same way as people who saw nothing wrong in Vice President Cheney’s company making money off a war commenced by bait and switch tactics and fearmongering, who now want to take the President to task because the government tried to help a company that went bankrupt, render inadequate the word chutzpah (pronounced anyway you want it). Similarly, the people who say that it is time to stop blaming the Bush Administration for our national and international economic crisis either know better and just say this stuff for political advantage, or are way too idiotic to take seriously.

That’s all for now. Happy New Year to those who celebrate it.

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2 thoughts on “Quick Hits

  1. cmaukonen

    Re: The death penalty and other atrocities. George Carlin once said that America likes to kill brown people. I disagree. Americans like to kill people. Regardless of their skin color.
    I was eating lunch today at the food court at Tower City. They have monitors that play the Coming Attractions to the theater there. Of all the ones they showed only one did not show somebody getting blown to bits, immolated by fire, pushed off of some sky scraper to certain death or some other form of grizzly demise. And the one that didn’t show this was a very poor remake of Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs.

    Even to new Muppet Movie had a Muppet being electrocuted. (Such fun for the little ones, eh.)

    And it has been that way for a very….long…time.

    NEXT

    Re: Israel. What is so conveniently forgotten is that the ONLY reason we – this country – supported the formation of the state was the cold war relationships the Arab countries had with the Soviet Union and their embracing of socialism. IE nationalizing their oil. Lest we forget that Egypt, Iran , Iraq, Syria and Lebanon all had socialist or socialist leaning governments after WWII. it was a marriage of economic convenience that has since gone sour.

  2. Barth

    I wrote a long answer to you, about Nazis and feelings of guilt coupled with the certain knowledge that the suriving refugees of the Holocaust were not actually going to return to their pre-war homes and the British mandate in Palestine, but it got eaten up by the log in system.

    And, by the way, Israel, too, was and remains a socialist country, well more socialist than the U.S. The portions of the left which love to Israel bash come up with all sorts of reasons that the United States has historically supported a Jewish state in about half—the Negev half of the former Palestine mandate, but the intertwining of the cold war with Middle East politics really did not begin in earnest until 1967. The 1956 Suez crisis really had different “lineups” with the US and UK not entirely on the same page, to put it mildly.

    I cannot do anymore I/P debates since they always end up with some reference to “the Jews” coupled with the insistence that I understand that antipathy toward Israel has nothing to do with seeing Jews as some secretly influential force distorting what would otherwise be best for the United States. So at least we have that assurance.

    And, then, I can just refer you to two of my attempts to address these issues, here, http://edsbarth.blogspot.com/2009/01/public-service-from-public-servant.html and toward the bottom of this, http://edsbarth.blogspot.com/2010/06/echo-chambers-and-critical-thought.html.

    I have waded into this a few other times, too, but really my heart is not into it tonight.

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