Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Bundy Bungle

Ah, shades of the old west.  The good guys versus the bad guys.  Only this time the good guys wear both white hats and black and camo as do the villains.

The problem with the story about the ranchers as good guys versus the Feds as bad guys, it's wrong.  The ranchers are the ones breaking the law.  If you doubt me, it's well documented in this article on Breitbart.

Mr. Bundy does in fact owe the Feds a backlog of grazing fees and no matter how unjust or how much he doesn't want to believe the land belongs to the Feds, it does.

The complications arise with the involvement of Dingy Harry Reid and his cohorts being in cahoots with the Chinese who want to build a solar farm near by and possibly expand the enterprise onto the land used by the Bundy's sometime in the future.

As repugnant as Harry Reid is and as questionable as his character and actions are,  no one has as of now found any illegalities in what he's doing.

It's hard to look past him because of his nature and his history.  There is nothing likable nor sympathetic about him, but then the citizens of Nevada keep him in office.

Everyone is sympathetic with the Bundys.  Everyone responds to the innocence of the old west, cattle grazing peacefully on open range as far as the eye can see.  No one sympathizes with the Feds with guns drawn and tasers at the ready awkwardly trying to round up cattle.  Who's in charge of public relations here?  Obviously the Feds.  They're not very good at it.

Reid is correct.  This is not yet over.  Regardless of the disservice being performed by all the FOX entities by ignoring the facts of the case and trying to lionize the Bundys, the fact remains, a backlog of grazing fees are due the government.

If it's to end peacefully, I'd suggest Mr. Bundy pony up those fees then work to change the status of the land through legal channels.  The Reids do not own the entire justice system though with this administration they have the upper hand. They won't always and providing a path for change will take time anyway.

I believe Mr. Bundy is well intended and the Feds are acting like the bullies they portray so well. Still, nothing is gained by refusing to see the errors of their ways and getting their backs up against an unbeatable force.  Better to be smart about it.  This is one time where brains just might prevail over brawn.  One can hope so.  Yee Ha!

Friday, April 11, 2014

No Guts, No Glory

Hillary, you haven't seen anything yet!  The shoe toss was merely an indication of what you're likely to face in a run for the presidency.

Sure you laughed it off.  You have presence of mind enough to do the expedient thing. But did it bother you more than you let on?  Is that why you canceled your speech to the Western Health Leadership Academy in San Diego?

Or is it because Sean Smith's mother was planning to be part of a protest?  Remember Sean? One of the four Americans killed in Benghazi on 9/11/2013?

C'mon, what difference at this point does it make now? Well, to a lot of people it makes a huge difference and if you think you're going to be able to evade the "what really happened?" question for an entire campaign season you're sorely mistaken.

I know it was tough having to face the families of our fallen Americans as they arrived in flag draped caskets at Dover. Was it hard to lie to them about a really bad YouTube video having been the cause? You did lie, didn't you? All the evidence seems to point that way.

It's going to be a tough campaign.  You have no experience at running anything what's more a nation as complex as ours.  Your time in the Senate was merely marking time for more ambitious pursuits. You had to settle for less than first prize and yet you've been having trouble listing any accomplishment what-so-ever in that lesser position.  Secretary of State.  Unless you consider having the word 'overcharged' in place of 'reset' on the button that was to be symbolic with our new U.S./Russian relationship.

It's too late to alter the outcome of your tenure at State, but you could do a lot by coming clean about Benghazi.  If you insist you were no more than an innocent bystander, don't be surprised if the voters think you should remain a bystander to the presidency.

The truth though.  Well, it would give you a whole new image, something unique in the world of politics, and the American people are a forgiving lot.  Think about it.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

It's Hagel's Turn To Scold

I've been wracking my brain trying to remember when this "21st century" way of doing things came into vogue.  I hadn't heard it until Russia fixed itself on the Ukrainian border and was told by our Secretary of State that action was very "19th century".  He didn't have much success with the line.

Now it's Chuck Hagel's turn.  It seems Japan isn't too thrilled with the North Korean's missile tests nor the Chinese sabre rattling over a few chunks of rocks to which they both they both lay claim.

Hagel compares such actions by the Chinese with the Russians and the Ukraine and tells them they must better respect their neighbors; that in the 21st century countries just cannot go around redefining their borders by violating territorial sovereignty with coercion and intimidation.

Just to show how much he means it, he's having two ballistic missile destroyers sent to Japan.  Is this a bit of intimidation and coercion of his own? Especially since he says they are both defensive and offensive in nature.

There was a time it would give China pause.  After all, it's more threatening than sending MRE's to the Ukrainian army rather than weapons while our ship sat off shore.

As far as North Korea is concerned I'm betting it is wasted effort.  They live in their own little world and do whatever they want.  That makes them extremely dangerous because one never knows.  The saving grace is that so far their technology is such they are not yet a huge threat.

China is a different story.  If they chose to get really aggressive they'd flick Hagel off  his podium like a flea. Like the wolf in The Three Little Pigs, we huff and we puff and but then run out of breath.

Japan reminds me somewhat of Israel.  They are between a rock and a hard place with hostiles too close for comfort.  Regardless of all our platitudes, I doubt they're confident we have their back.

George Bush used to be accused of being all hat and no cattle. At least he had the hat. This President doesn't even have a beanie. And the cattle don't exist.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

The Loss Of Individuality

It's getting to be an awfully lonely world out there. Especially if the way you think is not the norm for where you are.  Individuality is no longer tolerated.  Opinion something to be disparaged.

In some cases this may be just, but if the opinion comes from information well studied it should be praised and considered, not condemned.

I look at the president of Mozilla who resigned after a mere two months in office.  His crime?  Several years ago he signed a petition in support of prop 8 in California.  The prop that was for the ban of gay marriage.

Being his personal opinion and long before his current stint at Mozilla he had every right to do so, but no.  Not in today's climate.  Then there is the group of Dartmouth students making ridiculous demands of the university, like spelling 'women' 'womyn' on rest room doors, and rather than telling them to take a hike, those in charge dithered.

Just like our President dithers on foreign policy, never having the courage to take a stand in fear of repercussions. If he had the courage we expect of our presidents he would have held firm on his red lines, but no.  It's easier to hide behind what everyone else is doing. Nothing.

It may be 19th century, but the individual Mr. Putin is accomplishing his goals.  Now North Korea has drawn a red line regarding their interpretation of aggression from the south.  That too may be pretty 19th century but knowing from past experience I'd take them at their word.  They have no use for this 21st century ideology only we seem to be following.  They, as with the Russians, ascribe to good old fashioned getting it done rather than talking it to death.

The world is being talked to death with no positive outcomes.  John Kerry is running around the world talking and talking and getting shunned every place he lands.  He no longer has the stature a Secretary of State once would have had.  He's just another man in diplomatic clothing running around talking.

It's sad.  Once we were a country made up of stunning individuals of great accomplishment.  Now we're just another country of people just trying to make their way led by a dysfunctional government.

If we can't find within our own ranks to get beyond our isolationist ways of thinking, declaring all who disagree an enemy, then we'll just be another state of junk waiting for the strong man to decide what to do with us.

Right now that strong man is Putin.  There is a reason why he keeps his ties with the likes of Syria and Iran. He knows our ties are all like us.  Weak, unsure, lacking conviction and bound together with the clones of 21st century thinking.

It gives a different meaning to the good old days, doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Get While The Getting's Good!

"Throw them all out," has been a refrain from voters for some time.  Especially as the Congress becomes more and more dysfunctional.  Apparently some have heard the call and have chosen to depart before taking one more chance with the voters.

In some respects it cheers my heart.  In others I'm sad.  Some really good people are leaving. I guess it's like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Currently 48 members of the House and Senate have made known their intentions to leave their seats before the November elections.  The number includes 26 Republicans and 22 Democrats. The rest that should move on are in the hands of the voters.

As I look over the names I see some who have more than served their time, like 30 terms in the House.  That's 60 years.  I wonder when that Congressman last had a fresh idea.  Others have had 2 or 3 terms and hope to move on to the Senate.  Some even are leaving to try for a governorship.  Good move.  They'll learn how to actually govern.

I suspect the rest are leaving for one of two reason.  They know they're on shakey ground and don't want to face the humiliation of losing.  Or, as are we, they're just plain tired of how business is done in Washington and have had enough.

Ideally we'll have a workable mix after the elections.  A combination of experienced members who truly want to change the way business is conducted and put country first.  A group of newcomers who feel the same about the country.  Country before party.  Maybe even there could be challenges to the leadership in both the House and Senate.

Maybe Speaker John Boehner is a better leader than I think he is.  It just seems to me he hasn't provided a very strong voice for the Republicans.  The same goes for Mitch McConnell in the Senate.  Neither have been the squeaky wheel on issue differences. Boehner has been in the House for 20 years, McConnell in the Senate for 30.

As for the Democrats, what can I say?  She won't, but I think Nancy Pelosi should consider retiring.  Some of what she says is so wacky that I wonder if she's getting senile.  Again, the same holds true for Harry Reid.  Unfortunately that siren, power, maintains a strong grip on both of them. Reid has been in the Senate for 51 years, Pelosi in the House for 25.

Time for some fresh faces, ideas and new blood? You bet!