May 2, 2014

“Attack, attack, attack, never defend”

Filed under: Commentary,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:31 pm

crop of burning money

When Richard M. Nixon ran for Congress after WWII, he ran in the district being served by Jerry Voorhis, who had received a high liberal rating. Nixon ran on a campaign that charged that the incumbent’s support of labor groups was a subtle circumstantial indication that the incumbent was pro Communist.

U. S. Senator Max Cleland was a triple amputee because of wounds received in combat in Vietnam and was awarded a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. When Saxby Chambliss decided to run for that seat in the Senate, he attacked Cleland charging that some of his votes in the era immediately after the attack on the World Trade Center indicated a lack of patriotism on Cleland’s part. Chambliss, who graduated from college during the Vietnam conflict, was exempt from military duty because of bad knees due to a football injury. Chambliss beat Cleland.

In his book “The Strange Case of Richard Milhous Nixon,” former Congressman Voorhis states that Nixon’s political advisor Murray Chotner’s strategy playbook included: “Third – attack, attack, attack, never defend.”

When John Kerry suddenly was anointed the “front runner” after the leading candidate, Howard Dean, suffered what all the best known pundits diagnosed as a complete emotional meltdown, the Republicans just happened to have (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) done the paperwork for a group of veterans who had military records similar to Kerry’s and who were relentless in attacking Kerry’s combat record, which was supposed to be the centerpiece of his campaign.

With these past campaigns in mind, it seems quite likely that if Hilary Clinton wins the Democratic Party’s nomination and becomes a Candidate for President (technically she won’t be “the first”), then the Republicans will foil her quest to become the first woman President of the USA by saying that is precisely the reason citizens shouldn’t vote for her. The cultural atmosphere will be saturated with misogyny until Election Day.

The Democrats will be left to defend the idea that it is time for the USA to have its first woman President and the Republicans will feel like the good old days are back as they attack, attack, attack.

They will spice things up and avoid a Johnny one note aspect for the proceedings by manufacturing skirmishes that revive the Vince Foster, Monica Lewinski, and Benghazi issues.

Jon Stewart ran a segment titled “the Broads Must Be Crazy,” which seems to be an attempt to defuse the expected tsunami of misogyny that the Republicans will unleash. The Republicans are very adept at shrugging off any logical responses to their headline grabbing antics.

Any pundit, who dares to suggest that the Democrats should make a preemptive strike and start now attacking the Republican front runner, would be subjected to a smear campaign that would be a career ending grand finale no matter who that victim might be.   If you don’t believe that just ask Dan Rather.

The news media seems completely oblivious to the implications for democracy of the fact that JEB Bush went from political pariah to front runner without participating in a single primary election campaign. That doesn’t affect the fact that bringing democracy to foreign soil is always considered a valid reason for waging war in a remote location.

Richard Nixon became a U. S. Senator in a political battle with Helen Gahagan Douglas, who, as an actress had played the role of Hash-a-Motep of Kor in the 1935 movie “She,” was the Congressional representative from California’s 14th District. As an actress, Ms. Douglas is credited as being the first to deliver the line: “She who must be obeyed!” Nixon hinted that her voting record in the House of Representatives was similar to that of another well known pro Communist Congressional representative and that the implication was obvious.

Online, there are differing accounts as to who was the first woman police officer in the USA. Whoever it was is reported to have drawn men from all over the country to be arrested by the law enforcement pioneer.

The Sioux exemplified the Native American variation of the Republican philosophy of “keep ’em pregnant in summer and barefoot in winter” while another tribe (the Cheyenne?) had women warriors.

Uncle Rushbo has always nurtured a good old boy in the locker room condescending attitude towards women. Didn’t Frank Sinatra use the terms “frail, skirt, and mouse” to designate a woman? Weren’t his most ardent fans of the female persuasion?

Liberals tend to project their values on their opponents and so the Democrats will not want to hear any predictions along those lines regarding what the Republican strategy will be to win the election. We have read some books that advise trial lawyers to neutralize the other side’s case before it is presented but the Democratic Party seems reluctant to use that methodology in National politics.

Journalists who are always anxious to project an “I’m just as cool as Frank Sinatra” image will probably go along with a Sexist campaign against Hillary because what’s not to like about a metaphorical chance to be a member of the rat pack? Also the conservative owners of the media that employs them will give them certain “do you like your job” hints that they should go along to get along.

If the Republicans go the complete ring-a-ding-ding route and attack Hillary for being a woman, what effective response can the liberal citizen journalist use? The fact that she is a woman can’t be denied and if the Democratic response starts on a defensive note, well then Jerry Voorhis would say that they are off to a bad start.

Conservative talk show hostess Laura Ingraham has said that a woman politician should not emphasize a point by shouting it because if she does, invariably she will sound shrill.

We have (many moons ago) heard a news story that asserts that an infant girl will pay more attention to a the voice of an unknown man than she will to the voice of her own mother.

Feminists have pointed out that Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astair was doing and she did it backwards while wearing high heeled shoes. The Republican response will be: “Yeah, backwards . . . that sounds like how a woman would do it!”

Republicans might go as far as having Uncle Rushbo revive the old Laurel and Hardy shtick that included the line “You can never hit a woman, Oliver . . . you have to kick them!”?

L. A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s girlfriend, V. (Vivian) Stiviano announced this week that she expects to be a successful Presidential nominee sometime in the future.

In a speech to the League of Women voters, on April 16, 1969, President Richard M. Nixon said: “Certainly in the next fifty years we shall see a woman president, perhaps sooner than you think. A woman can and should be able to do any political job that a man can do.” There is only one more election left which can render this prediction as accurate.

Now the disk jockey will play Nancy Sinatra’s “These boots are made for walking,” the Jefferson Airplane’s “Plastic fantastic lover,” and Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.” We have to get back to reading Amanda Vaill’s new book “Hotel Florida (Truth, Love and Death in the Spanish Civil War).” Have an “For no good reason” type week. Enjoy National Free Comic Book day and the Kentucky Derby on Saturday and Cinco de Mayo on Monday.

September 6, 2013

War = jobs, jobs, and more jobs!

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







San Francisco sentiment appeals to Democrats this week?

Americans are being duped by the cable experts into making two extremely dangerous assumptions.  First they are expected to believe that the launching of Cruise missiles will be achieved with sucker punch efficiency and second that Syria will disregard any opportunity to use their “stand your ground” philosophy to foil the attack.  Among all the hypotheticals, no one addresses the possibility that Syria may have access to weapons which could sink the American ships, the moment the first Cruise missile is launched.  If that were to occur, the idea of an iron clad guarantee for preventing boots on the ground scenarios would immediately be rendered irrelevant and invalid.  That, in turn, will lead the world to a nostalgic revival of the Bush era “no one could possibly have foreseen” line of reasoning, which always did seem a tad disingenuous.

After thirteen years and approximately a half a million words of criticism of George W. Bush’s foreign policy, President Obama made it apparent that our efforts have been irrelevant and ridiculous because he will, if he continues with his plant to attack Syria, soon compel all Americans, not just good Bushies, to adhere to the Bush axiom that folks are either with the Bush Dynasty or they are with the Terrorists which could be deemed patriotism via blackmail.

President Obama seems poised to either:  A. become a Bush clone or B. foil a neocon plan to resume the Bush master plan (which includes a new war in Syria) by some clever passive aggressive moves that will put the Republican Congress in a position where they must choose between ignoring public sentiment or giving Obama a chance to get off the hook by denying him a macho path to use American troops to save face. If they choose to let Obama off the hook, some Conservative analysts might interpret that as being an example of a humiliating vote of non confidence

If Obama is determined to become a Bush clone we will support whatever course the country is compelled to take, but, simultaneously, we will use our right to free speech to express disapproval and scorn for Obama the man in future columns.  If, conversely, he is indulging in some high level game playing to let Congress take responsibility for making an attack or preventing the President from making such a move, we will endorse whatever the country does, but we will also use our right to free speech to blame Obama for maneuvering the country into a position of extreme vulnerability for being run by a man who will be scorned and ridiculed by Muslim culture countries which revere macho conduct and a patriarchal form of governance.  Several columns may be needed to express our disapproval of such a poor foreign policy stance.

We submit to all readers both Republican and Democrats that President Obama should resign if he is repudiated by the vote in Congress.  If he gets authority to attack Syria and uses it, he owes his supporters, campaign donors, and especially the people who voted for the man who offered an alternative to the Bush program a resignation for fraud and dishonorable conduct.  The concept of conduct unbecoming for a politician is an oxymoron but it expresses the depth of his deception.

When we heard that President Obama was going to follow the Constitution and ask Congress for authority to deliver some of the old ultra-violence via some Cruise missiles, we hastily pulled out our 1965 copy of “Death in the Afternoon,” and prepared to write a column comparing the Obama move to that of a bullfighter who fools the bull, but then as the new week began to unfold in Washington, we wondered if it was the Democrats who were going to experience the moment of truth.  Later in the week, it seemed as if Obama might be the one to experience the moment of truth.

How will the Peaceniks in Berkeley, who were ebullient when Obama became the first American President of Pan-African heritage, respond to an invitation to attend a Support the Troops and Obama rally rather than any new anti-war protests?

Theoretically, by having a Democratic President take up the standard of the Bush Cheney foreign policy, it should mean that the last few holdouts to enthusiastic support of the Bush policy are compelled to make the change and unite the entire United States in the Bush camp, but there are some pragmatic considerations that might cause some problems.

Online some photos have been posted purporting to show American Troops objecting to providing support for Muslim rebels in Syria.  Is this stealth racism?  Would the troops be more enthusiastic if the Commander-in-Chief was a fellow named Bush?

If President Obama is sincere in his intention to lob some Cruise missiles into Syria and if he expects the World’s Laziest Journalist to recant and renounce previous columns that had a cynical tone regarding the need for an invasion of Iraq, we will be glad to provide some very enthusiastic propaganda but only if we get some very impressively large paychecks.  Otherwise, we will continue in our efforts to enjoy the right to free speech and voice some objections to the various gaps in Obama’s logic that we notice.

The Obama move to get Congressional approval for an attack on Syria has restored our faith in cynicism.

When he appears before Congress to Testify, should Secretary of State John Kerry, make a subtle appeal to patriotism by wearing his military medals?

Some journalists have suggested that the Saudis might subsidize the costs of a missile strike against Syria.  Could we have some lawyers look at the text of that vague verbal agreement to see if their offer covers any residual costs such as hospital care for wounded personnel or not?  Will patriotic Republicans have some objections to turning the American Military into a de facto mercenary force?

Some Administration folks have made the absurd assertion that the use of missiles against Syria is not war.  Didn’t a famous Democratic President make the argument that when an attack was made on Pearl Harbor, a state of war existed?

Has any of President Obama’s recent statements reminded his supporters of the dilemma faced by Captain Queeg’s crew?

Was this week, Putin’s equivalent of the Cuban Missile Crises?

A recent news radio news report stated that former President Jimmy Carter had said that the United States is no longer a functioning democracy.  Is Carter about to form a mutual defense treaty with Brad Friedman?  Friedman’s web site the Bradblog, which continually questions the accuracy of the results produced by the electronic voting machines, has earned him some mentions by mainstream media pundits who designated the computer voting critic as a certified member of the Lunatic Conspiracy Theory Association.

How long will it be before Jimmy Carter is predicting that those voting machines, with unverifiable results, will give JEB Bush an unfair advantage over Hillary in the 2016 Presidential Election?

During the week, Randy Rhodes and Mike Malloy mentioned a Bush era analysis that predicted that the USA would conduct efforts to destabilize the governments in several Middle Eastern countries including Syria.  America’s free press prefers not to give such information any consideration.

Mike Malloy is conducting a fundraising effort to pay for some improvements for his website and radio program and those folks who believe in fair and balanced commentary should be enthusiastic about keeping one of the few remaining Liberal voices active.

(We have warned Uncle Rushbo that when all Liberal voices have disappeared, there will be very little motivation for folks to continue paying him to provide the opposing Conservative point of view so maybe it would be a rational act of self preservation for Uncle Rushbo to surreptitiously help keep Mike Malloy funded and active in his mission of upsetting conservatives.)

While Obama asks Congress to sign a blank check, we tend to see it as a replay of the scene where Cool Hand Luke says he is standing in the rain talking to himself rather than a new chance for Obama to make an inspiring speech that evokes echoes of Churchill reassuring the Brits that “we shall never surrender!”

Richard M. Nixon resigned rather than subjecting the country to a Constitutional Crisis.  We urge Obama to drop the war or follow Nixon’s example.

[Note from the photo editor:  Those Democrats who are not teetotalers will be very likely to appreciate the sentiments expressed by a sign we saw in San Francisco recently.]


April 20, 2012

Storytelling makes a comeback

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:32 pm

Is this the Republican budget philosophy?
Columnist’s file photo of “the magic love bus”
”So this little old lady walks into the showroom . . .”

Guernica happened 75 years ago, on April 26, but that story is not liable to be noted much in American media during the coming week because the military tactic of using bombs to kill civilians is anathema to Obama’s reelection team because they want to project an image of Lincoln-esque nobility for his term in office and the Republicans (the American Republicans and not the neo-fascists in the Spanish Civil War) do not want to hear any criticism of the American military adventures started by George W. Bush and so it was with great joy that the World’s Laziest Journalist accidentally encountered a second chance last weekend to photograph the art installation in San Francisco titled “Defenestration” because that provided a striking visual metaphor for the Republican budget philosophy. “Defenestration” depicts useful household items being recklessly tossed out of a building’s windows. The Republicans seem intent on throwing out useful social programs so that the taxes on millionaires can be either greatly reduced or eliminated.

This week’s news stories about the role the Secret Service played in President Obama’s trip to Columbia provide a columnist with a chance to make a casual allusion to a half century old novel titled “The One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding,” but it also provides a rather tenuous chance for the team at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory’s Research and Development Department to unleash some trial balloon speculation about the possibility for something more dark and sinister such as a Republican spawned plan to reinforce their contention that President Obama is an inept manager.

Is there anyone in the Republican Party who could arrange for the Secret Service to be humiliated and left looking that bad? Could it have been a gigantic Political Dirty Trick which would just add more evidence to the Republican assertions that Obama is a poor administrator? Would any Republican be that unscrupulous?

This week the Los Angeles Times published pictures which may stir up anti-American sentiment in the Middle East. Won’t what that newspaper did be as helpful to the American mission in Afghanistan as someone spreading thumbtacks on the route Sisyphus will use and then forcing him to work barefooted?

When Guernica was bombed, a contingent of journalists was in the nearby city of Bilbao. When their dinner was interrupted by news of the bombing, they raced off to cover the news and get the chance to hear survivors tell their stories.

Since neither conservatives nor progressives want to read about Guernica, perhaps the fact that April 26th is also National Story Telling Day, could provide us with a chance to morph the focus of this column to the topic of storytelling?

Back in the day, when Jack Paar was the host for NBC’s Tonight Show, talk show guests were given ample opportunity to tell amusing and entertaining stories. Now the only reason for someone to be on a talk show is to sell some new bit of entertainment such as a movie or album. The stealth talk show sales pitch spawned a new word. Such unpaid ads can be called promobabble.

Traveling and story telling seem to go together like ham and eggs ever since the guy who wrote the “Iliad” the “Odyssey” was in J-school.

As we recall, TV personality Herb Schriner wrote a history of mobile homes.

War correspondent Ernie Pyle traveled about the United States before World War II writing columns in a Chevy coup that had a modified trunk that functioned as his portable office.

Jack Kerouac made a career out of writing about the adventures on the road that he experienced with his pal Neal Cassady.

John Steinbeck wrote “Travels with Charlie” in the early Sixties. Some critics compare that with Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Travels with a donkey,” which may have provided the motto for travelers with this sentence: “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”

If that philosophy appeals to you, then you might want to do some Googleing and investigate the possibilities offered by spending July in Paris taking the travel writing course offered by Rolf Potts. (What would the boss say about an assignment to go report on that learning experience? Maybe we could include some reports about the 24 hour race at Le Mans for sports cars and get a twofer for our money?)
Speaking of an endless summer on the road, we noticed that the University of Sydney is offering their students who are studying United State Politics a chance to spend their winter (our summer) studying at UCLA. Hey, fellows, what about turn about is fair play? Gees any student who got into that program and who knows how to surf would only be a MTA bus ride away from The Call to the Wall surfing contest in Malibu while they were calling Westwood their home.

If they believe that turnabout is fair play shouldn’t UCLA students get a chance to study for a semester (our winter their summer) in Sydney?

Personal note: If things go as planned we intend on doing our Christmas shopping in Paris (France not Texas) and perhaps attending Christmas Eve midnight Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral (has this year’s Mass been sold out already?). If that doesn’t happen, then we will change to Plan B and opt for celebrating Christmas in the traditional Australian way; i.e. on the beach (Bondi or Cottesloe?) in a bathing suit.

Speaking of “On the Road Again,” on Friday April 20, 2012, on CBS radio’s World News Roundup, they mentioned that a statue of Willie Nelson would be unveiled in Austin later in the day.

Tom Wolfe wrote an article for the Sunday magazine section for the New York Herald Tribune and got enough material for a book by joining a busload of hippies (with Kerouac’s buddy Neal Cassady doing the majority of the driving) going from San Francisco to the New York World’s Fair. A documentary film about that expedition was released last summer. Many folks have written about their attempts to imitate the Kerouac “On the Road” exploration of America but the fact that Tom Wolfe wrote about Ken Kesey’s installment in that category inspired many more subsequent imitations.

Now (thanks to a news tip in the form of a comment posted about Kerouac for a recent column) we have learned that a modern attempt to chronicle a similar adventure for something called the “magic love bus” will be posted online as that story unfolds. (Google tip: “magic love bus.”)

Who hasn’t wanted to write their own version of “a savage journey to the Heart of the American dream”?

Early in the Online era two fellows traveled about in a mobile home and produced the magazine “Monk” on a computer from their mobile office. Don’t they still maintain an online web site?

The history of cars and California are intertwined and mystery writer Charles Willeford may have produced a minor classic novel on the topic of used car salesmen with “The High Priest of California.”

Southern California used car legend Cal Worthington was a regular guest on the Tonight Show during the Johnny Carson phase of its history.

In the late Seventies, former President Richard M. (Tricky Dickey) Nixon in an interview tossed out a quote that Americans were like little children and needed to be told stories. Fact checkers with access to Lexis/Nexis should be able to find the exact detail about the origin of this obscure bit of Presidential history. President Ronald Reagan was a gifted story teller and usually managed to work a folksy story about ordinary Americans into most of his Presidential speeches.

Didn’t the New York Times do a trend spotting story about the resurrection of the dead art of story telling recently? Doesn’t that provide conclusive proof that story telling is making a comeback?

Speaking of used cars and California, earlier this week a little old lady (from Richmond CA) walked into the new car showroom at McKevitt Volvo in Berkely CA and asked what they would offer as a trade in value for her car parked in front of their establishment. As luck would have it, the World’s Laziest Journalist just happened to walk past there and got some car-spotting photos to use on his photo blog. She was driving a 1960 MGA (with the old style yellow California license plate with black letters [used up until 1961]) in mint condition. By Thursday afternoon, the sports car was sitting in the middle of their new car showroom (with 10,238 miles on the odometer).

We sent an e-mail about this classic example of tales from the used car trade to the tips editor at Jalopnik.

Columnist Herb Caen used the term “Little old lady” so often that he resorted to the initials “LOL” and his regular readers knew what that meant. Caen’s Name Phreaks department used to take note of people with names that were either very appropriate or inappropriate for the job they held. A used car salesman who worked on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco, named Bob Cheatum, was submitted by readers so often that he was given Hall of Fame status.

After Aimee Semple McPherson told an incredible tale about being kidnapped, journalists asked some skeptical questions about the details and she responded: “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

It’s been a sad week in musical history, so the disk jockey will play some songs that will always evoke American Bandstand memories for this columnist; “The stroll,” Fabian’s “Tiger,” and Duane Eddy’s “Forty Miles of Bad Road” plus “Cripple Creek Mountain.” We have to go and check the Porchlight calendar for this month’s story telling competition in San Francisco. Have a “You’re never going to believe this, but . . .” type 4/20 day.

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