September 5, 2014

Ice cream, Ferraris, and more War

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:29 pm

crop of right rear

President Obama’s reputation for playing chess while his opponents are playing checkers may be resurrected this fall because he now has a chance to put the Republicans into a binary choice situation where they can’t win no matter what choice they make.

If President Obama asks for Congress to authorize the drone strikes in Iraq via the War Powers Act, then they will have a choice of either: A exemplifying the “Alligator mouth, hummingbird ass” warrior concept and denying him backing for the drone strikes they encouraged or B confirming that he is the commander-in-chief and has their backing for the bombing missions.

If he wins the Forever War he will be a national hero. If he doesn’t and the conflict hasn’t been resolved by the end of his second term, at least he won’t have gotten himself impeached for ignoring the War Powers Act.

If President Obama does not seek a War Powers Act approval for what he is doing, he could provide the Republicans with a chance to prove that their mastery of hypocrisy has reached the highest level because they could then Impeach Obama (and probably get a conviction in the Senate) for exceeding his authority to order the drone strikes which would ignore the fact that President George W. Bush essentially did the same thing and was never held accountable for his cavalier disregard for the War Powers Act.

Would the Republicans have the temerity to impeach Obama for something that duplicated what George W. Bush did? Wouldn’t such blatant hypocrisy make the November mid-term elections very interesting?

Diverting America’s attention to the beheadings of journalists will get much better ratings than a long and monotonous explanation of the legal intricacies involved in debating the possibility of a violation of the War Powers Act and so the old TV adage, “If it bleeds; it leads” will help network executives to make a decision that will win the audience’s approval.

Obsessing on beheadings will cause a very dramatic bit of blowback. If folks get used to beheading videos then the terrorists will be obliged to up the voltage and slowly increase the gruesome factor for each new installment of their “execution of the week” reality TV series.

That, in turn, would only serve to taunt America’s citizens into fully endorsing the “Apocalypse Now” philosophy expressed in Col. Kurtz note: “Drop the bomb, exterminate the brutes.” That, in turn, would mean that America would become fully (i.e. bipartisan support) committed to a long and brutal war which already has been called “The Forever War.”

It is now just a curious historic footnote to note that reprisal killings were condemned at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trails.

When George W. Bush first announced the “Shock and Awe” TV specials, many Democrats objected citing moralistic reasons. Now that President Obama has gotten most members of the Democratic Party onboard for the “Forever War” future historians can revisit the summer of 2014 and try to isolate the factors that were involved in the slow and gradual process that dissolved the Democrats’ initial reluctance for not endorsing and approving the Bush war plan.

The fact that the marketplace for punditry is glutted with conservative voices means that any columnist who is inclined to argue the minority opinion (What? Me Irish?) might just as well try to piss up a rope. (WTF?) The best that the World’s Laziest Journalist can hope for is to provide innocuous and esoteric bits of information that hold the attention of regular readers and realize that the anti-war movement is moribund.

Students at the University of California at Berkeley were on the forefront of students who protested the war in Vietnam. Now anti-war sentiment is as antiquated as tie-dye T-shirts. (Yeah they abound in Berkeley but when was the last time they were worn in “fly-over country”?)

California’s highly praised public education system was blind-sided by Prop 13. Homeowners rushed to save them selves a paltry amount of tax money and thereby delivered a stealth bonus to corporations that ultimately caused the University of California system to boost the costs of a college education to much higher levels. Now, a goodly number of students are from wealthy families from outside the country come to Berkeley for their college education and so they could care less what the latest war protest in the USA is about. Many of the students, who can afford to go to college, are committed to preserving the status quo and so they just ignore war protests. The people who have to get student loans to attend college would suffer economic devastation if they miss classes to chant “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” and get expelled. At that point they would be SOL (surely out of luck) because they would be out on the street and still owe their student loans. So they watch it on The Evening News.

We have seen some reports that high risk loans for car buyers seem to be a viable threat that a new banking crisis could occur if enough car buyers default on their loans.

Home foreclosures seem to have fallen out of favor as a news topic but the number of homes being foreclosed is still at a formidable level.

Speaking of cars, over the Labor Day Weekend, the World’s Laziest Journalist spotted an Olive Drab Ferrari (F-40?) in Berkeley CA. We know that such a tidbit of information isn’t even close to being political punditry but since real attempts at political analysis is extinct in the mainstream media, then we have to select the perks for our effort that appeal to us.

After posting this column, we will feel obliged to go to Oakland and cover a September 5 protest against the militarization of America’s police departments. We may get some news photos or we may get some stock shots and information for use with future columns mentioning the new protesting trend.

If our attempts to provide some modicum of analysis rather than political propaganda are unique in the attempt, then like a celebrity chef we can add unique ingredients to our recipe for writing columns (such as finding an Olive Drab colored Ferrari F-40 in Berkeley CA) and shrug off any criticism that Edward R. Murrow would disapprove.

If we can do that then we have reassured our self that our attempts to provide an Alamo style stand against the conservative MSM owners’ management of opinionating is worth the effort.

We had never heard of cheese and corn flavored ice-cream but when we found that flavor being offered at John’s in Berkeley, we knew it was our duty as a columnist to become a proxy taste tester. We got a twofer because we learned that it was a delicious surprise (with corn nibletts added) and that the price of a scoop had gone up (for the first time since 1968?) to a buck and a quarter.

This week Armstrong and Getty reported rumors that eleven commercial airliners have gone missing in Libya. (“They” can monitor your phone calls and e-mails but apparently when airplanes disappear they can’t be located. Go figure.) The boys speculated that some terrorist spectacular may be scheduled for next week’s anniversary for September 11. Keep America scared! You stay very scared San Diego and thus you won’t need a laxative.

“Nuremberg Diary” (Farrar, Straus and Company New York © 1947), by G. M. Gilbert contains (on pages 278 – 279) this quote from Hermann Goering: “Oh, that (a U. S. Congressional declaration of war) is all well and good, but voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

We challenged the disk jockey to come up with some “chop off his head” songs to accompany this week’s column and so now he will play “with ‘er ‘ead tucked underneath her arm,” (AKA the Anne Boleyn Song), the Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” (because of one particular line) and the theme from “Sleepy Hollow.” We have to go check the long term results of Operation Paperclip. Have a “Grosspflicht” type week.

crop of shield

February 24, 2011

The Tattlesnake – Jon Stewart Interviews Hermann Goering Edition

STEWART: My guest tonight served as Adolf Hitler’s air force chief and one of his closest advisors — let’s welcome to the program former German Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering! (They shake hands and sit down while the audience applauds.) Let me just say, sir, thanks for being here, and you look pretty damn good for a man over one hundred years old who supposedly died in 1946! What is that – Oil of Olay or Botox or something?!

GOERING: Ha, ha! Goodness gracious, no! I never died, I just moved to Argentina! I also lied about my age to get in the military and have taken good care of myself in my old age! And it’s amazing what modern medicine can do! Ha, ha!

STEWART: Goodness gracious?!? What – is this a 4-H Club convention?!

GOERING: Ha, ha! Millions of good solid Americans from the heartland of the country talk like that, Jon!

STEWART: Oh, yeah, and out on the coasts all we do is yell ‘m**her-f**ker’ and ‘go for the gay’!

GOERING: (Grinning) You said it, I didn’t!

STEWART: In your book, you say the Nazis were misunderstood. You say they had doubts about everything they did. You were one of the Nazis close to Hitler – it sure didn’t seem you guys had any doubts when you started World War II!

GOERING: Wait, let me address this Nazi thing – in Germany back then, everybody was a Nazi – you had to be one to do business, it was just a fact of life. Besides, the Nazis were just the name of a political party, like the Republicans today. I mean, we had good Nazis and bad Nazis. It’s wrong to condemn all Nazis for the extreme fanaticism of a few. You know, we really weren’t all fascists!

STEWART: But you were one of the head Nazis, convicted of war crimes like condoning torture!

GOERING: Tut, tut. I had documents in my desk at the time that show how much doubt I had about the decisions we were making and listed all of the things that could go wrong. We were just trying to protect the nation and acted on bad intelligence! Everything we did, we did for our country! Our top military staff believed that intelligence, incidentally.

STEWART: So you invaded Poland based on lousy intelligence reports?

GOERING: There was all kinds of paper flying around back then, pro and con. But we couldn’t take a chance with the nation’s security that Poland or another potential enemy like France might attack us, so we invaded first. The respected Gen. Jodl made the case to the public at the time.

STEWART: But you established a special office to provide you with the intelligence you wanted!

GOERING: I had no special intelligence office – somebody else set that up. There were three million men in the German military back then – any one of them could have done it.

STEWART: What about the torture? Are you saying you didn’t order torture?

GOERING: Not torture like you saw at your Abu Ghraib prison. That kind of thing was done by bad apples – you know, low-level noncoms acting without orders. We ordered enhanced-interrogation techniques that our best legal minds said were acceptable in order to defend the country from terrorists. This was after the Reichstag fire remember, where Communists and other undesirables conspired to undermine the government and attack the public violently. We couldn’t afford to let any technique for getting information out of the bad guys go unused.

STEWART: What about the concentration camps? Are you going to deny the Nazi concentration camps that killed millions of innocent people?

GOERING: Look, we had socialists, Communists, unionists, liberals, gays and other malcontents all bent on destroying our way of life. This was during the worldwide economic depression and we were trying to get people back to work, and those groups were fighting us on balancing the budget and creating more jobs. We only put people in camps who refused to work and would rather laze around collecting welfare from the taxpayers, like freeloading teachers and bottom-feeder nurses! Those were just work camps for unionists and commies who wanted to suck off the taxpayer and collect a paycheck for doing nothing!

STEWART: Ha, ha! ‘Suck off the taxpayer,’ huh? Now I know why you liked those camps! (Laughter.)

GOERING: Ha, ha! I didn’t mean it quite like that!

STEWART: But, seriously, what about the Jews — why did you target them for annihilation?

GOERING: We never targeted the Jews, Jon. That’s all revisionist history written by the liberals. We were just trying to protect the Jews from angry Germans who were blaming them for all the nation’s problems by putting them in camps, but things got out of hand when some rogue elements took it upon themselves to start executing people. I mean, you go to war with the army you have, and we had some kooks in the Wehrmacht at the time. Certainly if I had been aware of what was going on in those camps I would have put a stop to it, and so would have Hitler, but we were busy defending our country against several powerful aggressors, fighting in a two-front war.

STEWART: What about Adolf Hitler? He’s now acknowledged by the world as one of the biggest monsters in history, yet you loyally served him. Are you telling me you don’t think he was a monster?

GOERING: Oh, fiddle-dee-dee! The man was a vegetarian who loved animals and didn’t drink, and he only had one testicle – does that sound like a monster to you? (Laughter.)

STEWART: Did you guys, like, call him ‘One Ball’ behind his back? (Laughter.)

GOERING: Ha, ha! No, he would have had us shot! Ha, ha – just kidding! (Laughter and applause.)

STEWART: Well, our time is up. Okay, folks, the book is ‘Soaring with Eagles’ by former Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering. Thank you for coming in, sir! (They stand and shake hands.)

GOERING: Thank you, Jon, for helping me sell my book and rehabilitate my image by portraying me as a feisty old grandpa instead of a vicious war criminal responsible for the death, dismemberment and torture of millions!

(Applause. Cut to commercial for Burger King’s new Super Lethal DOA Beef ‘n’ Bacon Triple-Stack Axis of Evil Whopper with Cheese.)

Watch Jon Stewart’s Feb. 23, 2011, interview with Don Rumsfeld here.

© 2011 RS Janes.

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