Tuesday, September 02, 2014

There's No Place Like Home

No matter how good a vacation I have it's always great to get back home.  Especially to my own bed.  More on the trip later.  For now, I'll just say we went to the Indian Art Market in Santa Fe and lots in between.

This is just to let you know I'm back and primed for election season.  On that note, there should be no under informed voters at least among those who travel by car.  Nearly every chain  motel in the country serves a free breakfast.  In the breakfast room there are often complimentary newspapers if they haven't been delivered directly to your room.  There is always a television set usually tuned to CNN.  People watch and listen and talk.  That's good to know.

One comment on the current news cycle before I head off to overdue yard work.  It's about the issue of the cloud being hacked and nude photos of celebrities being made public.  Don't they know nothing uploaded to the web is sacred?  And deep down, do you wonder if they really wanted it to happen?  Why else would one post nude photos of themselves?  Any where.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vacation, Sweet Vacation

The President does it.  Congress does it.  Schools do it.  Europe does it for a whole month.  What?  Go on vacation.

Now it's our turn.  In a day or two we'll be gone for a week or two, whatever suits the mood.

It would be nice, too, if the rest the world would take a vacation.  In Iraq, in Syria, in Ukraine and here at home. Take a breather.  Get some rest.  Come back relaxed.  I'm hoping to enjoy some good time with good friends and tranquil scenery.

I'm praying nothing in our travels reminds me of guns or violence or dead kids, for any reason, or frenzied media or over taxed cops.  Wishful thinking?  There was a time it could be accomplished by not turning on the TV.  That seems to no longer be the case but wishful think I will.

We'll see if the wish comes true when I return.  In a week or two, whatever suits the mood.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Police Overkill?

It scares me when I see the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. It seems to be coming more and more common place and I wonder if it isn't time for police departments to go back to the very basics of training and make some adjustments.

While the stories that make the most headlines seem to be between whites and blacks, it's not just that.  We have plenty of white upon white conflicts in our area and someone usually gets shot.   Whatever happened to taking a suspect down with a billy club?  Do they even carry them?  Or even mace or tasers? Why must it always be lethal gunfire?

I listen to a nearby sheriff always ask us to put ourselves in the officer's position.  I get that, but must he always use his gun?  Recently an officer even took out a black Lab in a van because the dog lunged at the partially opened window when the officer approached. Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of dogs knows this is going to happen if someone gets too close to 'his' vehicle! A walk through any parking lot teaches that to you.

So what's the deal? Not only does the training have to be more inclusive of less lethal techniques perhaps the character and personality traits of those applying to serve need closer scrutiny too.

It seems to be going the other way with little departments like ours getting military surplus vehicles which are hardly called for in most circumstances.  Between the militarization of police departments and the focus on lethal methods of taking a suspect, I'm very leery of police.

I don't believe there is mal intent.  Rather a certain sloppiness in execution because of the ease of what is acceptable procedure.

It's a dilemma when in some circumstances officers are forbidden by higher authority from even doing their jobs.  The border mess is the best example. To the circumstance where one shot is all it takes on the other end of the spectrum.  In the case in Missouri it was several shots.

It's the people in between who bear the brunt. Anyone can make a move that seems threatening when there is no such intent.  But to be killed for it?  It's a slippery slope and it's time to throw some sand on it to stop the trajectory!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Finally, the President stepped to the fore and did the right thing.  In two actions actually.  Dropping relief supplies to the stranded Christians and striking the ISIS forces.

I could be snarky about a lot of this, but I'll leave it at he finally did something constructive.  I could add a lot of other things he could and should be doing in the region and Ukraine but I'll let that too rest.

 It's the week end. The weather is hot and getting hotter.  Gaza has rampted up it's assault on Israel once again.  Putin is being Putin and Obama is off on vacation.

Next week will provide plenty of grist for the mill. 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Will Obama Do The Right Thing?

Whether or not Obama should take action to help 40,000 refugees from the horrors of ISIS should be a no brainer.  He should. For once he should be decisive and immediate.  Babies are already dying.  The elderly will soon follow and then every one else.  They are dying from thirst in 100+ degree days - and hunger. All for being other than radical Islamists.

The question is, will he?  I doubt it.  He'll ponder it to death.

From what military experts have been saying, in order to deliver humanitarian relief to these religious refugees, the first action must be eliminating the ISIS troops closest to their location.  Otherwise any humanitarian drop would likely be futile, with ISIS getting there first then killing any survivors anyway, photographing the carnage and posting it to You Tube.

We have some logistical problems, however.  With everyone in the region mad at us or discounting us, we have no place from which to launch a attack in a timely matter.  We're talking about days and hours.  Not weeks or months. Is there a way?  Of course their is. But we need to move on it NOW.

Where is the rest of the world?  Who knows.  With Hamas promising to resume their attacks on Israel if all their demands aren't meant and Russia ramping up their own sanctions against us, the rest of the world seems to be cowering with their tails between their legs.  Right there with us.

Once we would have taken the lead and the others would follow, but there is no leadership from any one any more.  It need not even be boots on the ground but rather air strikes. Take them out, drop the relief supplies then turn tail and run if that's what we're wont to do.  But do it!

For once in your Presidency do the right thing.  Do something other than entertain dictators and human rights violators in celebration at the White House!  Don't dither.  There isn't the time.

And don't use us as the reason to take no action.  We're tired of war.  We have no stomach for it.  Well, that wouldn't necessarily be true if the recent wars in which we have been engaged had been fought to win.  Not disengage leaving behind unhinged masses of haters of all others but themselves.

It's a sorry state in which the world finds itself. It's an even sorrier state in which the world finds our  President and his lack of leadership.  That's what I have no stomach for.