March 13, 2015

A bruin in bear country

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:28 pm

Alfredo at de Young




[Note: This column is an attempt to achieve humor by supplying a hypothetical answer to the question: “What would it be like if a Leprechaun celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by writing a political punditry column?”] 

Technically it is still winter, but Berkeley has switched to using the summer clock set for Pacific Daylight Time and for some, it’s time to start spring cleaning. The decision about which team to support in the annual UCLA vs. USC football match-up has been made and we are not about to let any facts play a role in a decision to reconsider our choice.

To some that may seem a tad illogical but the sad fact remains that some people make their political decisions in the same uninformed blind prejudicial manner.

The implications attached to the fact that most of the conservatively owned media is not paying much attention to the long term implications of the Republicans communications with Iran is another subject that will also be ignored by the so-called journalists in the USA. If the Democratic politicians dared to question any move that George W. Bush made while he was president, their patriotism and sanity would have been subjected to immediate and unrelenting ridicule and derision, but it the President happens to be a mulatto Democrat, well then, anything the Republicans do in response to Obama’s program is portrayed as an example of partisan politics at its best.

If, as with the Iran-Contra affair, a Republican President ducks providing material with the potential of being incriminating, well then, the conservative press moguls just have a good laugh but God forbid that a measly (have your kids been inoculated?) Democratic woman should not provide full transparency regarding her e-mails.

If the mainstream media is ordered to ignore Operation Stingray, why should the World’s Laziest Journalist spend Tuesday, March 10, 2015, doing some fact checking and collecting background information on the news potential of that topic, when, instead, it was a perfect time to go see the new Botticelli to Braque Masterpieces from the National Galleries os Scotland exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco? The fact that the world class museum is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the North Beach area where a fantastic Italian cuisine lunch was available at a very affordable price just made the choice to have a great time in Frisco seem so much more preferable to wasting time on something that Fox News deems to be a topic that appeals only to conspiracy theory lunatics.

On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, the World’s Laziest Journalist attended the regularly scheduled meeting of the Berkeley Police Review Commission and we realized (opinion alert!) that they were given a “myth of Sisyphus” task when they were assigned to investigate the events that occurred on the evening of December 6, 2014. They decided to hold a special meeting next week and invite the Berkeley Chief of Police (or his designated representative) to come back.

The Berkeley Police Review Commission faces a myriad of difficult problems that only become more complex and baffling when they are examined. For example, the topic of getting video equipment that police officers can wear while on duty seems to be a popular idea this week. However, as it was pointed out at Wednesday’s meeting, the cost of obtaining the equipment and providing security for the hardware is insignificant when compared with the cost of providing storage for the digital material, which would also be required.

During this week, CNN seemed (opinion alert!) to have had a Cronkite moment when the talking head noted that the USA is sending citizens to fight and die installing the American Way (i.e. Democracy) in foreign countries, while the perception in Europe is that the government in the USA is fast approaching a point of complete gridlock, which means Democracy ain’t working. Could avid Republicans conclude that CNN just doesn’t have a sense of humor?

Hilary’s e-mails, the Logan Act, and local politics in Ferguson Mo. are just some of the distractions intended to entertain and amuse the workers in the media while staunch Republicans (opinion alert!) eagerly await the inauguration of President-elect JEB Bush. Some preliminary events are scheduled but the inevitable inauguration of JEB and the restoration of the Bush Dynasty is (for them) a sure thing that will happen faster than you can say “Broward Federal Savings and Loan.”

Hilary or JEB? If you don’t know now who will get your vote, why not just flip a coin?

After a happy-go-lucky columnist, who covered the Oscars forty years ago, passes his 28th birthday, there comes a day when he is bound to assess the process of running around to things like the Berkeley Police Review Commission meetings and say: “I’m getting too old for this ****! Perhaps I should just join a group at one of the conveniently located Berkeley Senior Centers and settle down and learn to sew and do some book reviews.” Life could then be like living a Beach Boys song.

Speaking of writing movie reviews, the Employees Recreation Committee at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory gave a standing ovation following a screening of “Conspiracy Theory,” starring Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts . . . but then they called for an immediate investigation into why the main stream media seems to be willfully ignoring this ahead of its time bit of Hollywood magic.

The most popular joke at the Conspiracy Theory Factory this week was: “What’t the difference between the airplane that Harrison Ford crashed on the golf course and the one that crashed into the Pentagon? Answer: The NTSB found more debris to use for a subsequent investigation at the Penn Mar gold course than it did at the Pentagon crash site.”

Maybe if CNN just had a Cronkite moment, it’s too early to abandon the online political punditry game. Then, again, perhaps we should just write a novel about a life-long IrishCatholicDemocrat, who (on a lark) decides to run for Congress as a Republican in one of the nations strongest Liberal Democrat districts and . . . wins.

Fukushima, polar icecap meltdown, and Civil War in Syria might make it seem like the golden age of pessimism has arrived..

Good sportsmanship is important and no matter which team wins the game this year at Thanksgiving, the captain of the loosing team will shake hands and say “Good game!” to the captain of the winning team. Good Republicans (opinion alert) might consider that the Supreme Court could both literally and figuratively speaking, see these two decisions as a chance to “win one for the Gipper!”

With that in mind, and being aware that Liberal punditry is becoming extinct, if the United States Supreme Court invalidates Obamacare and/or declares the concept of gay marriage as unconstitutional, we can only hope that the disappointed Democrats will greet the decisions with a spirit of good sportsmanship and that they say in unison: “Good game!”

In Berkeley, where the University of California’s local team uses blue and gold colors and an image of a resident of bear country, it is relatively easy to show a preference for the outcome of the annual UCLA vs. USC game because the one participant in America’s greatest cross town rivalry features blue and gold and graphics that depict a bruin.

Would “St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin” make a good column headline? Does Dublin California celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

If the Republicans won a majority in Congress and the Senate by promising to end political stagnation and the end result is complete legislative gridlock will that have a deleterious effect on JEB’s inauguration in January of 2017? **** NO! ! ! Thank God for the electronic voting machines that leave no way to verify the results!

The closing quote was said by Knute Rockne: “Show me a good and gracious loser and I’ll show you a failure.”

Now the disk jockey will play the Beach Boys “Be true to your school,” “Shut down,” and “God only knows.” We have to go buy an Irish Rovers’ album. Have a “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” type week.

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