March 14, 2014

Land of the “Ever Young”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:11 pm

Three American Presidents share Irish ancestry; Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and Obama.  In recent years, that fact has made the Republicans uncomfortable, but this year, as St. Patrick’s Day approaches, their worst nightmare will bring their propensity for hypocrisy into play:  the Republicans hate the Communists and they hate Obama so being forced into a binary choice will deliver an uncomfortable decision: racism or McCarthyism?  The fact that some Republicans seem to be endorsing Putin over the American president in the Crimean Crisis speaks for itself.

Would it be ironic if some genealogists offered a theory that St. Reagan and Obama were related?

“It takes too long to retrain them!” is the punch line for an ethnic joke that might “get your Irish up,” if you were offended by that sort of attempts at “humor.”

Is it true that Adolph Hitler, who was a well known vegetarian, gave himself a dispensation from the usual rules by ordering corn beef and cabbage every year when Saint Patrick’s Day was celebrated at Berchtesgaden?

Is it true that one of the founding members of the Black Panthers would astound his posse by producing evidence that he held dual American and Ireland citizenship because he was born as an “Army brat” son of an American Air Force officer serving at a base on the Emerald Isle?

Ernesto Guevara Lynch’s son became known to the world as Che Guevara. You don’t find many references to that fact when St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are being held in the United States.

In the U. S. vs. Mexico war, induced by offers of higher pay than the American army paid and land grants, a group of gringos led by some Irish with military experience, fought on the side of Mexico.  They were called Batallón de San Patricio (Saint Patrick’s Battalion).  Many of those who survived battle were hanged (30 simultaneously) for treason.  Some (urban legend?) escaped and became Mexican landowners.

In the WTF file we see that on Monday many of the employees of the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory plan to be wearing green T-shirts with the word “Diego Garcia” printed on them.  When asked what they symbolize; they shrug their shoulders and say:  “It’s a mystery.”

John Wayne was a member of John Ford’s “repertoire company of film makers” and many of the films featured a recurring group of actors (AKA the usual suspects”) but some of his most memorable films featured Maureen O’Hara (who made many films directed by John Ford) as his costar.  The best and best known would be “The Quiet Man” from 1951, in which John Wayne sang “Wild Colonial Boy.”

[In “Ned Kelly,” Mick Jagger sings the same song.  Wouldn’t it be interesting to hear what a good sound man could do making a mash up of the two versions?]

In “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Irish History and Culture,” written by Sonja Massie, readers learn (page 191) that sparks flew when William Butler Yeats met James Joyce, who, upon learning that Yeats was thirty-five years old, said:  “I’ve met you too late” and elaborated the age meant that he (Joyce) wouldn’t have any influence on Yeats.  Subsequently the fellow summarized Joyce by saying “Never, have I encounter so much pretension with so little to show for it.”

What is it like in Ireland?  According to a reliable source, “In the summer the rain is warm; in the winter, the rain is cold.”

Aren’t sailors on the USS O’Brien the only crew in the U. S. Navy that is permitted to wear green baseball caps rather than the regulation Navy blue gear everyone else must use?

For many years, the St. Patrick Day celebration in New York City was very popular with college students because back then the State of New York had a drinking age of 18 and was surrounded by states where it was 21.  Talk about “Aye, lad there’s the rub.” Eventually political pressure was used to convince New York to change it’s drinking age laws to 21.

Self-deprecating humor is a hallmark of Irish wit.  St. Ronald Reagan told a story about knocking on a farmer’s door during the Iowa primary season.  The local looked at the former movie actor and sputtered:  “You’re . . . you’re . . . you’re.”  St. Reagan tried to offer a hint:  “Do the initials R. R. help?”  The fellow turned and yelled into the interior of the house:  “Momma, come quick and meet Roy Rogers!”

George Berkeley has been described as being the only philosopher from Ireland.  He traveled to the United States.  A town “near Harvard” was going to be named after him, but an error by a court clerk changed the spelling of the town to Berkley.  A city in California was also named for him.  The Californians weren’t content to just spell the name correctly’ it was also decided to build a better University in the city a few miles East of San Francisco.

The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in San Francisco this weekend is being touted as the 164th installment of the annual celebration.

The California town of Dublin will also have a parade this weekend.

[Note from the photo editor:  We dug up some photos from a past Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Frisco.

Hat tip to a clerk at San Francisco’s Beat Museum for that obscure historical sidebar item about the Saint Patrick’s Battalion.]

William Butler Yeats wrote:  “The best lack all convictions, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

Now the disk jockey will play the Rolling Stones’ “Flight 505,” the Irish Rovers’ “The Unicorn,” and he rarely does dedications, but just this once, for Clint Eastwood, he’ll play John McCormack singing “The Empty Chair.”  We have to go try to solve the riddle:  “Why can’t Irish employees be given a lunch break?”  Have a “Sinn Fein (it’s pronounced Shin Fain and means “Ourselves alone”)” type week.

June 22, 2012

No Más Mierda, Mitt, Por Favor


June 20, 2012

Mitt Interrupted


May 19, 2012

Romney’s Believe in America or Don’t!


May 16, 2012

The News Magazine Shock Doctrine


February 24, 2012

War, Ashes and Shatner

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 1:40 pm

Ash Wednesday in San Francisco
Rev. Michael Carter speaks on Ash Wednesday

Clergy prays on Ash Wednesday

The assertion that President Obama may have botched his chance for reelection in November because he didn’t start a war during the week of February 19 to 25 may sound absurd as that week comes to an end, but how will the President’s spin specialists respond if, right before the 2012 Presidential Election is held, the Republican candidate tells the voters that it is too late to stop Iran from developing an atomic weapon and that the last chance to prevent that development came during the last full week in February?

Usually avoiding American involvement in a new war is portrayed as a wise course of action, but with the Republicans this year the standard rules of political conduct seem to be in disarray, if not total chaos, and that leaves open the chance that the candidate who eventually wins the Republican Party’s nomination and who will attempt to limit President Obama to one term in office may not hesitate to point back at the last full week in February of 2012 and say that was when President Obama had the last chance available to use a surgical military strike to put a halt to the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

During the week of February 19 to 25, pundits and or journalists suggested that Iran might want to use a preemptive strike to protect their own country. The news media in the USA ran a story suggesting that Iran had individuals inside the USA doing scouting reports for possible terrorist activity.

If a President has solid intelligence asserting that another country is going to launch a preemptive strike against the USA, doesn’t that mean that the President should launch a preemptive strike against them to defend America from a new Pearl Harbor-type attack?

Some altruistic personalities were suggesting that the week would have been a good time to launch humanitarian air strikes against Syria to protect their citizens in much the same way as the war for humanitarian reasons helped diminish the carnage in Libya last year.
Now that the principle of war for humanitarian reason has been established (by President Obama) can any Democrat rationally defend a choice to skip waging a new war for humanitarian reasons?

The Republicans love to frame the issues and debates for the Presidential elections and so if they make the assertion that a surgical strike against Iran should have been launched this past week, then the Presidential campaign might be based on the idea that the winner should be the one who can most duplicate the war-like attitude of George W. Bush.

Wouldn’t it be über-ironic if George W. Bush’s brother used that bit of inverted logic to win the Presidency in November of this year?

If President Obama doesn’t attack some country soon, his fall reelection campaign might sound like a flashback to San Francisco in the Sixties. “Make Love, not War” and all that.

It seems that Occupy San Francisco has faded into history. The Republicans love to treat a problem by removing the symptoms. Where have all the Occupy Protesters gone?

Page one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wednesday, February 22, 2012 edition, reported “Peter Cukor, 67, was killed at his home in Berkeley minutes after reporting a trespasser. Police were responding only to emergency calls at the time.”

Since the Berkeley Police Department was busy monitoring an Occupy Berkeley Protest, critics immediately demanded a complete investigation into the BPD response to the citizen’s call on the non-emergency line.

Occupy Cal has been moving a protest encampment around to different locations on the Berkeley campus.

Occupy Oakland, Occupy San Francisco, and Occupy Berkeley encampments have been dispersed. The news media seems to have become distracted away from any questions about where the Occupy protesters have relocated.

On Wednesday, February 22, 2012, the San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP) had members of the local clergy present a letter to a representative of Wells Fargo Bank asking their bank to put a halt to foreclosure proceedings in the state of California until a study could determine if the paperwork had been done carefully and legally.

Would the clergy’s protest have received more news media coverage if any of the Occupy groups had provided additional protesters? There were no San Francisco Police Department officers in riot gear monitoring the possibility that the clergy protest might get out of hand and necessitate numerous arrests.

The Occupy San Francisco protesters have disappeared and news coverage of the possibility that the city will host the America’s Cup yacht races has become the hot controversy for local political observers.

To some cynical observers, it may seem that the politicians in San Francisco are giving away too many concessions to various parties. To others, the America’s Cup races promises to bring additional tourist revenue to the area.

If some average San Francisco citizens were to suddenly have the chance to do the tourist routine in Fremantle, Western Australia, which would they rather see: Bon Scott’s statue or the Museum with a yacht that won the America’s Cup?

Recently the World’s Laziest Journalist noticed what seemed to be a
T-shirt with a typo. It read: “Beat me up, Scotty!” Then we realized that was a San Francisco (Republican?) thing.

This week, folks in fog city learned that tickets would soon go on sale for a local venue for “Shatner’s World: We just live in it.” Wasn’t that predicted ages ago by the Mayan calendar?

Former area resident (and columnist) Hunter S. Thompson has been quoted as saying: “I wouldn’t recommend alcohol and drugs to anyone. But they have always worked for me.”

Now the disk jockey will play The Iron Butterfly song “Beyond the Milky Way,” the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil,” and Scott McKenzie’s “What’s the Difference?” We have to go see if flower power is still happenin’. Have a Haight & Ashbury type week.

February 2, 2012

A GOP Gaffes Triple Play!


January 31, 2012

The Lying of the Right: The Bush Taboo


June 30, 2011

Captain Queeg in the Oval Office?

Filed under: Guest Comment — Tags: , , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:26 pm

Here are the elements, which would indicate that all the ingredients for America’s worst political nightmare, are now simultaneously, in play:
1. Congress has twice in recent weeks gone on record saying that President Obama exceeded his authority and committed a violation of the War Powers Act.
2. President Obama has already delivered evidence that his much vaunted political negotiation skills are overvalued and may be inconsequential at best.
3. The Republicans would not hesitate to use the threat of Impeachment proceedings as a bargaining chip in the budget crises negotiations.

The Republicans have delivered circumstantial evidence that they are all in accord regarding a reevaluation of values for the tax structure, Medicare, the Social Security Program, the President’s power to pick and choose America’s wars, the mission of the United States Supreme Court, and union busting (to name just a few). Asking if they are unscrupulous enough to initiate political blackmail to further their agenda seems to be an unnecessary diversion into an irrelevant debating point. Wouldn’t the harshest critics of the Republican Party concede that the disciples of Ayn S. Rand would cheerfully be willing to do anything to achieve their goals?

If President Obama is vulnerable to political blackmail in the form of Republican threats to immediately initiate Impeachment proceedings for violations of the War Powers Act, then his effectiveness as a President is crippled and rendered useless.

If the Congress has twice voted to endorse the idea that he exceeded his authority with his military actions against Libya (which they have) then, at any moment of the Republican leadership’s choosing, they can use the threat of immediate impeachment proceedings as a bargaining chip during any closed door negotiating sessions for other issues (such as the debt ceiling).

When that threat was delivered, the President would then have an extremely difficult decision to make: He could remove the Republican advantage by immediately resigning or he could put his selfish instincts for political survival ahead of his patriotic instincts and blithely ignore his own vulnerability to manipulation via extortion and blackmail threats and quietly give in. Using his past negotiating record as the basis for any “tells,” how well do you think he would be able to stand up against any such hypothetical coercion?

At any moment, the debt limit negotiations may turn into a variation of the “Let’s Play Master and Slave” game.

If President Obama chooses to ignore the implications of complete ineffectiveness for his party (and the country); then the Democrats will have a very difficult choice to make. They can either make the impeachment threat themselves “Resign tonight or we will make the move to start impeachment proceedings in the morning” or they can let Obama undertake a kamikaze reelection campaign which will reek of self-destructive hubris.

If the Republicans want to impeach President Obama and have the grounds to do so available today, why would they hold off on making their dream come true? The Sadistic appeal of getting every possible negotiation concession first and then impeaching him should be rather obvious.

An ineffective negotiator who wishes to sell his meager accomplishments as his credentials for reelection might remind some cynical critics of the ridiculous spectacle of an extremely old woman walking down the street in a scanty showgirl’s costume.

The Democratic Party option of using political blackmail to force one of their own to resign from the Presidency may be repugnant but it would give them a slim chance of starting an immediate reorganization effort and a valiant effort to hold onto the Presidency for their Party.

If Obama resigns or is impeached out of office, Joseph Biden would have the monumental challenge of simultaneously contending with the challenges of an administration transition, budget decisions for this and the following year, and (if he chooses) a reelection campaign with about a year until the 2012 Elections would be held.

If Obama does not resign immediately, then the Republicans could use the extortion ploy to gain every possible concession from Obama, then they could cripple his reelection bid with a delayed Impeachment Proceedings for a violation of the War Powers Act.

Early in President Obama’s term in office, columnist Ted Rall called for Obama to resign. Rall may have been a tad premature, but as time goes on it is becoming clearer and clearer to partisan pundits that Rall may have been exceedingly accurate in his assessment.

The conservative partisan pundits will delight in a prolonged period of tormenting the President and his supporters. It would be variation of the concept of a Sadist’s Valhalla.

The progressive pundits will be prone to encouraging a rapid transition and reinvigorating the efforts to produce a larger voter turnout in the fall of 2012.

Columnists who perceive that their mission is to produce a constant stream of disapproval of the status quo will have an abundance of available topics in the next few weeks, no matter what happens.

Have any of the nation’s elite political pundits done a critical evaluation of this year’s football season from the point of view that it might be a part of a coordinated Republican union busting agenda?

Will any of the partisan progressive pundits ask if the air strikes against Libya are being conducted by the Condor Legion?

Will any Democratic Party toady propagandist say when the “not days or weeks” air campaign against Libya becomes an event of longer duration than the Battle of Britain?

Is news in America skewed? How many updates have you seen or heard about the meltdowns in Japan?

Portrayals of the Palin vs. Bachman rivalry as a cat fight between harpies may have great entertainment value, but it also carries the subliminal message that the Republican Party has women (plural) who are qualified to seek the nomination and that, for the men in the liberal media, means it is business as usual to ridicule the women. The implication is that the Republicans are more prone to taking women seriously and they expect women voters to vote accordingly.

Is having a negotiator in the budget talks who has been compromised, better than having no negotiator at all? To some cynical columnists President Obama’s chances of using negotiations to avoid an impending disaster, based on his past negotiating track record, are nil and none.

One more thing before we do the closing quote: The commentators are all noticing the strange Republican behavior. Could their seemingly irrational, arrogant, reckless, and belligerent attitude be explained (by those pesky conspiracy theory nuts) by the idea that they are relying on the electronic voting machines to protect them from any possibility November 2012 Election revenge that any disgruntled voters might wish to inflict on them?

In the book “The American Home Front 1941 – 1942” (Grove Press paperback copyright 2006 on page 3), Alistair Cooke wrote: “It has become the habit of historical narrative in our day to assume that history is an inveterate believer in dramatic irony and throws out to sensitive people, and to journalists with a flair for the dramatic, hints and early symptoms of impending glory or disaster.”

Now the disk jockey will play “Tom Dooley,” “Marie Leveau” and “I surrender, dear.” We have to go watch a fireworks display. Have an “If not now, when?” type week.

May 12, 2011

Judo Joe Obama


May 7, 2011

D.C. Establishment Does the Usual Obama-Jama on Osama Drama


December 18, 2010

Advice To Obama On The Rope-A-Dope

Filed under: Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 7:09 am


July 19, 2010

FDR to Obama: Listen to the Past



June 3, 2010

What a Difference Two Words Make

Filed under: Commentary,Opinion — Tags: , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 5:48 pm

Al-Qaeda operatives attack several states in the southern US, causing the deaths of 11 Americans outright, poisoning many others, destroying fishing, tourism and other businesses for generations to come and costing America billions of dollars. CIA spy satellites immediately identify the Al-Qaeda home base that masterminded and launched the attack, and bipartisan voices are raised in Congress and throughout the land demanding the president call in air strikes to destroy the base and send in the Marines to kill off any terrorists left alive. With the world’s support, President Obama acts that very day, ordering the military to bomb the Al-Qaeda base ‘back to the Stone Age’ and putting the Marines on alert. “I will not sit still,” says President Obama in a speech to the nation, “While organizations that plot and profit from destructive acts and cause vast devastation to our nation exist and thrive. We will take every available course of action to put them out of business permanently.”

Replace ‘Al-Qaeda’ with ‘British Petroleum’ and it makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

© 2010 RS Janes.

May 30, 2010

CNN: BP’s ‘Top Kill’ Has Failed

CNN reported Sunday morning (5/30) that BP’s ‘Top Kill’ scheme to staunch the flow of oil gushing from the seabed of the Gulf of Mexico has failed. (Read the CNN story and see the video here.)

Next up, BP plans yet another ‘cap’ that won’t work any better than the first one.

Carol Browner, former head of the EPA and an adviser to President Obama, has confirmed that this is the worst environmental catastrophe in American history.

For an appreciation of just how horrible and far-reaching is this disaster, read “10 Things You Need (But Don’t Want) To Know About the BP Oil Spill,” by Dana Perdomo, Alternet, here.

I have to wonder: How much is BP playing us? I’ll bet gas will be up to $5 a gallon by the end of summer and it will be blamed on the big oil spill – BP and their corporate colleagues will rake in even more billions while the oil continues to flow from the bottom of the Gulf.

The only thing that will stop this from happening again is criminal prosecutions for negligent homicide, gross malfeasance, and fraud, with senior BP execs going to jail and the US government seizing their assets and disallowing any past, present or future profits from this mess. Of course, common sense would also dictate that all offshore drilling leases should be cancelled.

I won’t hold my breath, made shorter by air pollution from the byproducts of BP’s main source of income.

April 11, 2010

Would Palin Really Like to Compare Her Experience on Nukes with Obama’s?


“Now, the president, with all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer and as a part-time senator, and as a full-time candidate, all that experience, still no accomplishment to date with North Korea and Iran.”
– Sarah Palin at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, April 9, 2010, as quoted by Media Matters.

In fact, as Media Matters points out, as a US senator, Obama traveled overseas to investigate nuclear stockpiles in other nations, co-sponsored a nuclear non-proliferation bill with Republican Sen. Richard Lugar in 2005, introduced another bill, the Nuclear Weapons Threat Reduction Act (S.1977) in 2007, and did his college thesis on Soviet nuclear disarmament long before entering politics. Actually, the Nobel committee cited Obama’s lengthy record of trying to limit nuclear weapons as one of the reasons he received the Nobel Peace Prize last year.

What experience does Sarah Palin have in this area? Zip, zilch and zero.

If I were an inexperienced beauty pageant contestant like Palin I wouldn’t get snarky about anyone else’s lack of experience in anything – it only tends to remind the public – that large majority who aren’t part of your personality cult – of how vacuous and ignorant you really are.

BTW, Bush, Cheney and the GOP had eight years to ‘accomplish’ something in regards to Iran and North Korea. What did they have to show for it? Increased atomic and missile warhead testing by the N.K. and an accelerated nuclear program by Iran, in response to Republican threats of invasion. Obama’s been in office for a year; let’s see what he accomplishes in eight.

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