Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bill O'Reilly, War Correspondent

Except he wasn’t.  He claimed that during the Falkland Islands War, he was in a war zone.  He was in Argentina covering a demonstration.  Some shots were fired--over the crowd’s head.  No one was killed.

It’s ok though.  O’Reilly is no Brian Williams.  We expect Mr. Williams to be truthful, and he should have been fired.  We hold O’Reilly to a different standard; i.e., we expect him to embroider, to make stuff up, to lie like a rug.

Some people who watch Fox News think they are getting real news.  Those people are called idiots.  They deserve O’Reilly.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sally Kern of Oklahoma City

On April 19, 1995, 168 people, many of them children, were killed in a bomb blast in Oklahoma City.  Over 600 people were injured in the blast, carried out by Timothy McVeigh, since executed, and Terry Nichols, currently serving a life term.

This past week an Oklahoma legislative committee endorsed a bill to protect “conversion therapy.”  This refers to “therapy” that is supposed to cure homosexuality by such methods as prayer, psychiatric counseling, or aversion therapy.  The committee is chaired by Sally Kern, a Republican representative from Oklahoma City.

According to today’s Times, in 2008 Rep. Kern described homosexuality as a greater threat to America than terrorism.  

That is one sick woman.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Candidate night in Carbon County

All the Democratic candidates for county office appeared at a candidate’s forum in Jim Thorpe this evening to make a pitch for votes.  What an impressive group of people they were.  The positions open this year include Prothonotary, Sheriff, District Attorney, Recorder of Deeds, Controller, County Commissioner, and Coroner.

Three people are running for two commissioner seats and five people are running to succeed the current coroner, Bruce Nalesnik, who is retiring from that position.

I came away from the meeting impressed with the caliber of all of the candidates.  Everyone is well-qualified, intelligent, and reasonable.  At a time when so many Tea Party kooks and ideological misfits are running for office, it is refreshing to know that in Carbon County, at least, the Democratic Party is fielding candidates whom voters can support with confidence and pride.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Warren vs. Clinton

I received a call tonight from a nice young women who asked me for $200 to elect progressive Democrats.  After I laughed, she went on to say that her organization was only supporting progressives like Elizabeth Warren, not Blue Dog Democrats.  I asked her if Hillary Clinton was considered too conservative, and she said the organization was evaluating all candidates, and no decision had been made on Clinton.

I said that I was putting my efforts and money into defeating a fracking pipeline, and she said, “You do know that Hillary is supporting that pipeline.”  I told her I was talking about the PennEast pipeline in Pennsylvania, not the Keystone XL.

I finally hung up, no money pledged.  My heart is with Warren, but she has said she is not interested in running for President, it is too late (yes, two years until the election, and it is already too late), and I’m not sure she would make a good president anyway, since she has very little administrative experience.  I guess it is Clinton by default.

Plus, I have a pipeline to stop.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hope for Obama bashers

Many of the letters to the editor critical of the President published in the Morning Call are not only critical, they are downright ugly and vitriolic.  The letters are sent by people who not only don’t like Obama’s policies, they loath the man himself in irrational hostility.

I have been concerned about these Obama haters.  They have less than two years left.  What will they do after he is no longer president?  Where will they vent their spleen?  They’ll be adrift, uncertain of their purpose in a world without a President Obama.  I pitied them.

Then it hit me.  They can turn their irrational hatred against President Hillary Clinton.  That will give them another eight years.  They’ll have a whole new purpose in life.  

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Consider the source

My mother seemed to have expressions that summed up situations in just a few words.  When a person said something really stupid, she would simply say,”Consider the source.”  With those three words she could dismiss both stupid people and the stupid things they said.

Former New York Mayor Giuliani said President Obama doesn’t love America.  Before you get too upset, consider the source.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Obama and the crusades

Why is it that just about every utterance of the President is attacked, disputed, or belittled.  In a recent speech the President noted that various religions at one time or another had done terrible deeds in the name of god, and he mentioned the Crusades and the Inquisition as examples.

People went nuts.

Maybe the President was talking about the members of the First Crusade.  According to a Christian chronicler of the time, when the Crusaders reached the town of Mainz in the Rhineland in 1096, they broke into a hall where Jews had taken refuge.  

“Breaking the bolts and doors, they killed the Jews, about seven hundred in number, who in vain resisted the force and attack of so many thousands.  They killed the women, also, and with their swords pierced tender children of whatever age and sex....  Horrible to say, mothers cut the throats for nursing children with knives and stabbed others, preferring them to perish thus by their own hands rather than to killed by the weapons of the uncircumcised.”   (From “The First Victims of the First Crusade,” by Susan Jacoby in The New York Times, Feb. 15, 2015, P. SR5.)

Actually, we don’t have to go back to 1096.  In the 1990s Christian Serbs were slaughtering Bosnian Muslims.  

Fanatics killing people in the name of various gods, which has been occurring for millennia and shows no sighs of abating, is about the most irrational and stupid thing I can think of.  If you balanced the good religions have done against the harm they’ve done, I think the harm side would win out.