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Vietnam Vets Disrespected Again

It was bad enough when they first came home, but now about 40 years later, Vietnam veterans are taking it on the chin again:

Via William Jacobson, NBC’s affiliate in Washington, D.C. reports that police ordered tourists and Vietnam war veterans who were visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to leave the memorial at one point on Friday.

After one group of veterans went around the barricade, “the park ranger told them the wall was closed,” NBC’s Mark Seagraves reported. “Later another group of vets showed up and moved the barricades. At that point, the memorial filled with vets and tourists. That’s when police came and moved everyone out.”

This photoshop from Ed Driscoll needs to be on every blog in the country:

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Ted Cruz is G-d, and Other Thoughts

Sorry for the lack of blogging this month. My rage at our current political situation has built to a point that goes beyond the English language, but it’s good to know there are at least two people in Washington, D.C. that are giving me some representation (even though I don’t live in Texas or Utah).

I fully supported Ted Cruz’s filibuster and now that it is done, I fully support the implementation of Obamacare. I’ve got a laundry bag packed full of I Told You So’s and I’d hate for them to go to waste.

More later…until then, here’s some music:

When Red Lines Meet The God Complex

Years ago, I was in a Barnes & Noble (in the days when you could still find one) and I saw a book called “Richard Nixon: A Psychobiography.” The book purported to be a psychological portrait of President Nixon and, granted, his psyche I’m sure is an interesting study, but I passed on the book figuring it would be just more “Nixon was the devil, JFK was God” drivel that is crammed into the American History section.

Nevertheless, in the age of Obama, I have to think that our current president might make an interesting psychological case study for some impertinent (by liberal academic standards) researchers in the field. While Nixon was a man of many complexes and neurosis, with Obama, we may be witnesses to a pure, full-on God Complex. This term is defined as:

“….an unshakable belief characterized by consistently inflated feelings of personal ability, privilege, or infallibility. A person with a god complex may refuse to admit the possibility of their error or failure, even in the face of complex or intractable problems or difficult or impossible tasks, or may regard personal opinions as unquestionably correct. The individual may disregard the rules of society and require special consideration or privileges.

This notion was on full display today when President Obama stated, with regard to Syria:

“I didn’t set a red line, the world set a red line,” Obama said. “My credibility’s not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line. And America and Congress’s credibility’s on the line.”

Now, you can of course make that argument that he knows full well he set the red line, but he’s trying to cover his ass and knows his foot-soldiers in the Media will help him out. In fact, NBC’s Chuck Todd, one of Obama’s most loyal reporters, called this not a lie but a “new answer.” But I have to wonder if this doesn’t go beyond just being a sleazy politician. Notice what Obama says after stating he didn’t set the red line: The world set the red line…the credibility to be lost is the international community’s, that of the U.S. Congress and America as a whole. But Obama is not a part of any of those groups in his mind. He is Obama…he, like Evan Thomas once noted, is above it all. He is never wrong, always right and when something does go wrong, it is our failing, not his:

EVAN THOMAS: Well, we were the good guys in 1984, it felt that way. It hasn’t felt that way in recent years. So Obama’s had, really, a different task We’re seen too often as the bad guys. And he – he has a very different job from – Reagan was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is ‘we are above that now.’ We’re not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, we’re not just provincial. We stand for something – I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God. He’s-

MATTHEWS: Yeah.

Yeah, indeed.

Taking The Electorate ‘Back to School’

What difference is there between the two main political parties anyway? That’s a question that’s come up a time or two recently. Today we have the latest example as Speaker of the House John Boehner states he will support President Obama’s request for Congressional authorization of the use of force on Syria in light of recent chemical weapon attacks. Naturally, many are outraged, including myself and it led the great Matt Drudge to opine:

It’s a fair question, but I think we need to step back a bit and look at the big picture.

Irodney-back-to-schoolt’s time for the conservative base of the GOP to take the electorate back to school and hit them with the message that while the GOP has lost its way in many respects, it is the only political party that offers intellectually honest debate on the issues of the day. The Democrats has shown their true colors like never before in the run up to this Syrian disaster in the making. While George W. Bush was called the devil for taking us to war in Iraq, the concerns the Democrats had then are now gone. The reasons for supporting a strike on Syria are the same reasons so many “neocons” supported striking Iraq. Bottom line: it doesn’t matter what the facts on the battlefield are…it’s about who is in power at home. A Democrat is in the White House, so military action is okay.

Boehner_cryingAnd it’s okay with the GOP leadership in Congress. Unlike their Democrat counterparts, they aren’t so much loyal to their party as they are to the system. Boehner, Cantor, McCain, Graham and the rest see themselves as Philosopher Kings and see the Democrats more as peers than as political enemies. Boehner holds firm on the old tenants of “politics ends at the water’s edge” and all that. Despite the fact he gets stabbed in the back at every turn, he is loyal to his religion which is manifest in being a part of the ruling elite. The Democrats are loyal to their religion, manifest in their own power, no matter what the costs, intellectually or otherwise.

I welcome a 2016 GOP presidential debate that consist of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Chris Christie. All three have different views on foreign policy. The smartest thing one or all of them can do is turn to the camera during one of them disagreements and say “Look at what’s happening here. We Republicans have many different intellectual views on these important issues. You won’t see this in the Democrat debates. That’s because they are intellectually dead as a political party. We make mistakes, have inter-party squabbles, but it’s always over what is best for our country, not what’s best for the party.”

I’ll grant you the hue on this hypothetical is a bit rose-colored (I seriously question the intellectual honesty of Chris Christie, but whatever), but now is the time to make these points . It’s also a good time for the conservatives in the Congress to challenge their party leadership, not just on the issues, but for leadership post. It won’t be successful, but timing is everything when you’re trying to make an impression on the public.

“Noli Timere” in the Modern Age

All of Ireland was on hand today to say goodbye to poet Seamus Heaney.

His voice quavering, the son of Seamus Heaney has told mourners of his father’s final words, minutes before his death.

At a requiem mass in Dublin, crowded with mourners, Michael Heaney described how the poet and Nobel laureate, who died last week at the age of 74, had chosen Latin for the message to his wife, Marie. His last words were “in a text message he wrote to my mother just minutes before he passed away, in his beloved Latin and they read: ‘Noli timere’ – ‘don’t be afraid.’”

BeowulfI find this interesting. I think most of us during flashes of pretension think about what we might say on our death beds. I suspect Heaney, ever the artist, wanted to make an impression with his, but while simple, I’m not sure I can think of any words better with which to part the living world. They are words that at first glance don’t sum up a life but offer advice to the living. Or perhaps they do offer up a summation of Heaney’s life. Though it’s arguable, I think it does take some measure of courage to be an artist and question “being,” which is what art ultimately is. I fear there isn’t enough of that in the United States where we have developed a paralyzing fear of doing nothing even when it’s the most responsible thing to do.

John Kerry Takes On Syria

Kerry-SyriaThe red line is thicker than black-strap molasses but now, Secretary of State John Kerry (who served in Vietnam, by the by) is on the case:

“What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. … [It] is a moral obscenity,” he said Monday afternoon. “By any standard it is inexcusable … [and] it is undeniable,” he said in the State Department’s press room.

A tweet:

In fairness, most administrations get their dander up over WMD’s over mere gun violence, but the numbers are hard to ignore.

But don’t worry, Obama is cookin’ something up:

President Barack Obama did not made a statement today, and Kerry did not take questions.

He’s diabolical.

Electro-Shock Therapy Making A Comeback?

One-Flew-Over-The-Cuckoos-Nest-Blu-ray-3Makes sense to me. Not a day goes by when I don’t have the urge to stick my head in a wall-socket. Might explain the headaches. Anyway, despite what we witnessed in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, it’s actually pretty effective for severe depression:

 

The Mayo Clinic calls the treatment, which has a reported success rate of 70 percent to 80 percent, the “gold standard” treatment for severe depression. The most common side effect, according to proponents, is temporary short-term memory loss.

“I was afraid, to be honest with you,” said Ron Spesia, a 71-year-old Fort Myers Beach retiree who suffered a deep, multi-year depression that did not respond to medication. He had 12 treatments and said he started feeling better after the third. “Then one day I decided, ‘Hey, you know what? It’s time to put the big boy pants on and pursue this.’ Smartest move I ever made.”

If it’s one thing this country needs now more than ever, it’s big boy pants. That should be the 2016 slogan, “A chicken in every pot and a pair of big boy pants covering ever rump.”