October 11, 2013

It seems like yesterday . . .

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:35 pm

A warning flag flew in Berkeley recently.

Something’s happening here but it isn’t clear exactly what that is.  There’s a group of nuts over there telling us we got to beware of spending limits.  The President isn’t providing effective leadership.  Congress isn’t legislating.  The Supreme Court seems to specialize in legislating from the bench.  You don’t have to read every word on every page of “Project Censored 2014” to realize that freedom of the press is displaying symptoms of  rigor mortis.

The people who died fighting in World War II were told the sacrifices were being made for the Four Freedoms (can you name them?) and Democracy.  They paid the ultimate price for Americans to have the right to vote and the clowns in Washington demonstrating their hypocrisy and cynicism couldn’t make their attitude more obvious if they went across the bridge and urinated on the graves in Arlington National Cemetery.

If LBJ were in the White House this week, he would have called the director of the FBI, gotten the dirt on Boner, and the shutdown would have ended by supper time.  Radio talk show host Norman Goldman asked his listeners last week if they had heard or seen anything in the mainstream media reporting that there are two stealth illicit love affairs that involving a leading GOP spokesman.  LBJ would have tracked down that information and used the threat of announcing it in a press conference to make Boner an offer he couldn’t refuse.

If a fellow who was known for charm and charisma was in the White House last week, perhaps he could have offered Boner the chance to trade his trials and tribulations for a chance to live in the Ambassador’s residence in Paris.  Who could resist a chance to have diplomatic immunity in the country that made wine tasting an art?

Folk wisdom teaches:  “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar” but Al Capone said “A kind word and a gun will get you a lot further than the kind word alone.”

There were news reports this week indicating that the shutdown had been engineered by two wealthy brothers and the mainstream media is doing a lousy job of reporting on the political motivation behind the charade.

We might just as well write a column about the pathetic spectacle of an adult human dragging an itty bitty dog on a sidewalk.  Baron Siegfried L. von Richthofen III was a combination Husky and German Shepherd who weighed more than 80 lbs. and if a person tried to drag him down the street, the effort would soon resemble two opposing rugby teams having a rope pulling contest.

Fifty years ago today, things were about to change radically in the USA but the man in the street didn’t have a clue and so went blissfully along without a care in the world.

The music industry wasn’t doing well.  Sales were off.  The folks at Capital Records were preparing to lay off all the workers at their plant in Scranton Pa.   Top secret.  Don’t let this get out!

The layoff notices were to take effect the day after Thanks Giving.  Folks in Scranton could start the Christmas Season (back then, boys and girls, it didn’t “Officially” start until the day after Thanks Giving) unemployed.

President Kennedy got shot and the mood got even more morose.

In anticipation of a TV event the following year, some songs by a British group who had long hair like girls’ began to get airplay and sell well.  The songs sold so well that right before Thanks Giving, every one of the layoff notices were rescinded.

In Berkeley, the Free Speech Movement hadn’t started.

A local newscast in New York City, that fall, carried dual leading stories.  Oakland beat the Jets and Heidi married the goatherder.

When the day of the TV event, in early 1964, arrived the CEO at the World’s Laziest Journalist’s HQ asked:  “Are they the guys who saved Irene’s job?”  When the answer was affirmative, the response was:  “Well, how bad can they be, then?”  Thus Scranton Pa. can claim to be the first place in the USA where that British band gained adult acceptance.  Some folks thought that the long hair was a symptom of deep psychological problems and found their catchy tunes completely unacceptable.

Beatlemania hit.  Conspiracy theories became a facet of the pop culture.  LBJ decided to send American boys to straighten out the mess in Vietnam.

Speaking of Conspiracy Theories, a new one is gaining traction in the R & D Department at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory (located in or near California’s “gold country”).  A radical faction is asking:  “Could Obama be a Republican mole in a long range plan that was subsidized by conservative money?”

The shutdown and default would not sound credible if the Republican had also won the White House in 2010, but with the “they hate Obama” angle added to the story, the rubes believe the charade and the actors can stick to the script.  So, it would seem, the reelection of President Obama was essential for the implementation of the showdown over the shutdown.

If, hypothetically speaking, the Republicans are expected to do poorly in the 2014 Mid Ter Elections but they, with some stealth help from the electronic voting machines that deliver unverifiable results, succeed in holding control of Congress, could the lackeys in the mainstream media keep a straight face while delivering the “completely unexpected” upset results delivered by the voters shtick (with the word “backlash” appearing multiple times) that has become a staple of the folks delivering the Election Night news?   They will if they value their weekly paychecks.

Could Obama have Boner arrested for Sedition?  This hypothetical question doesn’t matter because he wouldn’t do that even if he could.

Has the mainstream media said anything to reassure the citizens?  If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, there will not be any detrimental effect on the NFL season or the World Series.

If President Obama offered to cut the income tax rate for billionaires to zero percent, raise the retirement age to 70 (or 72?), and makes some cuts in Social Security payments, Boner could make the shutdown and debt ceiling issues go away in a flash.

Commuters in the San Francisco Bay area may have to put up with some inconveniences while Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) management breaks the unions, but just think how happy that will make the Bohemian Club posse.  The BART trains were operating on normal schedule on Friday morning but a 72 hour strike notice had been issued.

The politicians in Washington should be gone home for the weekend and therefore the truckers’ protest should only inconvenience weekend tourists.  Pay no attention to the issues, don’t worry about the absent politicians, focus your anger on the fact that the middle class tourists will be asked to bear the burden of the political protest.

Is it true that the State Department has issued a diplomat’s passport to former basketball great Dennis Rodman?

The news industry lackeys who had access to Washington personalities were being stonewalled on any actual news or insights this week.  They had to make it seem like getting a “no comment” sound byte was a major scoop.  The best a rogue pundit could do was to point out that the Republicans’ attempt at branding their party as the one for “conservative Christians” was beginning to make them sound like Col. Kurtz reciting a poem about the hollow men.

Eric Cantor was showing up towards the end of the week as a Republican spokesperson.  What up wid dat?  Is Boner about to be a goner at the Speaker of the House office?

For more on the decline and fall of the free press story do a Google news search for “Leonard Downie.”  Rogue pundits could be ahead of the curve and be the first hint that a tsunami of 1963 nostalgia (and conspiracy theory) stories are about to land on your computer screen.


[Note from the photo editor:  We would have preferred to use a publicity still from the Chickie run sequence in “Rebel without a Cause” as the illustration for this column, but we didn’t have time to track down the owner of that image to get permission to use it, so we selected a photo of a “fire danger” warning flag, taken recently in Berkeley CA, as the photo because we think a warning flag (or a white flag of surrender?) should be flying at the Republican Headquarters this week.]

In “Scoop,” Evelyn Waugh wrote:  “Only one thing can set things right – sudden and extreme violence, or, better still, the effective threat of it.”

To evoke that 1963 feeling, the disk jockey will play these albums:   “Introducing the Beatles,” Elvis’ “Fun in Acapulco,” and Cool, Calvin & the Surf Knobs’ “The Surfer’s Beat.”  (Surf Knobs?  WTF?  It was a tell-tale physical indication that a guy knew a thing or two about surfing.)  We have to go see if we can get tickets for “The Fantasticks.”  Have a “‘Perils of Pauline’ finish” type week.

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