Guess I could have said apologetic regime but maybe I’ll save that one for another day. The latest apology should really not be a surprise. Obama himself has done a ” masterful” job at apologizing all over the world to all sorts of folks for all sorts of things.
For the most recent administration example we can thank Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor ( what a mouthful of a job title that is) Michael Posner. For what did he apologize and to whom? The what is of course, the evil Arizona law which no one in the Obama Administration has apparently read, even Homeland Secretary Napolitano. But she still would not have signed the law. Try and figure that one out. For the who of the apology, why that noted paragon of human rights, China.
Bill O’Reilly had a couple of great comment about Posner’s apology on his show last night. I really enjoyed his comment that China would probably like to have Posner replace Hilary as Secretary of State. The other comment was much more troubling and more reality based. He posed the question as to how China handles its illegal immigrants. Hint, it isn’t with a law like Arizona’s nor is it necessarily via deportation.
Arizona Senators McCain and Kyl took issue with posner’s mea culpa for the United States and demanded an apology. Isn’t that great, demanding an apology for an apology. Shucks, they may get one. That is one thing the Obama Admnistration is quite good at doing.
While we are on the subject, wonder what other countries are due an apology? Let us see. Maybe to Great Britain for winning the Revolutionary War, Germany for WWI & WWII, Russia for buying Alaska ( Obama might like that one) France for the Louisiana Purchase- not paying enough the list goes on and on and on and on.
Our 34th president, native of Texas, grew up in Kansas and spent his latter years on his Gettysburg farm,appropriate for a general, huh? Just finished an excellent bio on Ike by author Stephen E Ambrose. In actuality, it was not a true bio since it focused on Eisenhower’s two terms as president and the eight years following. But there were plenty of allusions to the WWII years and the interim between 1945 and his election.
It was a unique read for me since Eisenhower was the first president I remember, although not hardly at all as a child. We were a quite non political household other than my mom being quite anti Republican. It was an odd feeling reading about events that took place during my childhood but of which I was totally oblivious.
Anyway, the book was a fascinating read in several areas. Deficit spending seemed to be Eisenhower’s bete noire, quite ironic for a career military man. He seemed in a constant struggle to keep military spending under control, often maintaining he knew better the needs of the military than did the Joint Chiefs.
I have read much that indicates he was a do-nothing president, charges that were even voiced during his time in office. I came across with a much different impression. There were a significant number of foreign policy crises, none of which lead to war, although a number could have had they not been handled well.
To name a few. There was the Suez crisis of 1956 involving Britain, France and Israel, an ongoing struggle with the Soviet Union ( sometimes below the surface but always there ; ‘U-2 flights, atomic weapons etc ), Quemoy and Matsu( islands off China coast) , Korea, Berlin, and so on. I came with an excellent impression of Eisenhower’s calmness during these crises since oftentimes all his advisers were pushing for war to one degree or another.
All the while he continued our nuclear buildup; an exercise that was slowed a bit from time to time by efforts at disarmament. The failure to achieve meaningful results here was quite disappointing to Eisenhower.
Things were also intriguing on the political/domestic fronts. Eisenhower was rather apolitical and both parties, Truman in particular, tried to get him on their ticket. He worked reasonably well with the Democrats, not always so well with his own party. It was amusing to read his thoughts on occasion about forming a third-party. He was always quite popular, but never could bring the Republican party along for the ride.
Ironically, one of the strongest parts of the book for me does not show Eisenhower at his best. This made the book much more balanced and not just a tome on Eisenhower’s greatness. The civil rights movement was picking up steam in the 1950′s, particularly in the area of education. The Supreme Court decision of 1954 on Brown vs Topeka being a case in point. Ike seemed to drag his feet in this area, not showing the leadership that he showed in other areas. His southern sympathies seemed to carry more weight than they should have . Consequently, progress was glacial, although he did send troops into Little Rock, albeit with great reluctance.
A couple of observations. Eisenhower is quite well known for his warning about the “military-industrial complex.” There are at least a couple of other areas in which he turned out to be ahead of his time. He was quite concerned about the growing dependence on imported oil and even imposed some quotas. The other area actually concerns an individual. Nixon was his vice-president for both terms although he often damned him with faint praise nd seemed always on the hunt for someone better, even in the 1960 election. There must have been something worrisome there that later blossomed into a mess.
A great president? I don’t know but his stock rose as a result of Ambrose’s work; fair and balanced to coin a phrase.
…..wasn’t it supposed to be over and done by now? Something about December and deadlines and agreements and how Russia has smoothed it all over and wasn’t all the Arab world going to fall in love with us? You remember the speech in Egypt that was so great, do you not?
And just the other day, Defense Secretary Gates held out hope for the sanctions to work. And now Hilary has given an interview that kinda says Iran is not the real problem since they don’t have a bomb,yet.
Don’t I remember somebody using the phrase “axis of evil” and being roundly condemned for it. Why that cowboy diplomacy that makes the world hate us,how dare he!
And yet, today I read that Iranian President Ahmadinejad has told his atomic agency to significantly enrich the country’s stockpile of uranium. And German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg referred to the farce being played out just like in the past. “The outstretched hand of the international community has not only been taken but pushed back.”
What did Herr Guttenberg mean do you think? We will agree with the UN plan maybe says Iran. If more sanctions were imposed it would a 4th round, if you’re counting, and neither Russia nor China seems all that excited about it.
I just feel that I have written all of this before and yet here we are again. Wonder what Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel think about it all? Are they watching closely?” Bet your sweet bippy” they are. In fact he is in Russia as we write on a “long-planned trip.” Wonder what they will discuss?
If one spends just a modicum of time online, one is well acquainted with Google. Search engine giant, owner of YouTube,etc. It has to be called ubiquitous and would probably like to be known as somewhat altruistic. After all, its motto is “don’t be evil.”
So, one has to wonder why, way back in 2006, it struck a deal with China censor search results there. To obtain its Chinese license , Google agreed to omit content that the Chinese government found to be objectionable. Google execs struggled with their decision since it seemed (actually did) go against their motto. Dollars and cents anyone?
But now, some 4 years later there may be a change of heart. Google says it will stop censoring its search results in China and may leave the country entirely. Why, it has discovered human rights activists are being tricked by hackers into opening the email accounts . Currently Google has about 30% of the search market in China versus about 60% for local rival Baidu.
One Clothilde Le Coz, who is the Washington director for Reporters Without Borders, has long criticized Google for its behavior in China, but is not quite patting them on the back. The Chinese government, of course has no plans to change its demands on internet companies. Nor did it accept responsibility for the hacker attacks.
What is also interesting is that Google briefed the White House on its actions. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs would provide no details. I seem to remember that the head honchos at Google were, and probably still are, big Obama supporters.
Might this action impair Chinese-American relations? Does our government have its fingerprints on this action? Or, is Google being used by the Administration in some way? Who knows. Sure is fun to contemplate though.
If none of the preceding is the case, why in the world is Google threatening to pull out now, of all times. Just cannot believe the Chinese government has been playing nice and, all of a sudden, precipitated the hacking.
We have at last left the oughts and entered the decade of the what, not teens yet. Let’s just call it pre-teens for now. So, we get not only year-end reviews, but end of decade reviews. Some actually have been rather good. I enjoyed Sports Illustrated’s issue of the decade and montage that ESPN did this am. How quickly we forget things that make the news. Some of the all decade stuff seemed eons ago.Right now, Tiger Woods still makes headlines for sports and gossip mags.What will his wife do, when will he play golf, what sponsor will drop him, next(AT&T being the latest) and with whom will they replace him?
What strikes me most is two things. One I have alluded to about the transitory or near disposable nature of an event. Tiger will like that. Example,Charlie Sheen is arrested for alleged domestic abuse. another in a checkered career. Who cares, not his tv audience or his fans. The second and more compelling is how unpredictable the ” news” really is.
Look back at the decade at images that drew us. Of course, the 9/11 attacks come to the fore. What about the death of Michael Jackson, or the election of an unknown , minority senator as President. Global warming now dominates the news in many ways. Alas, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have come and stayed.
What about the rise of Google, You Tube, Twitter and Facebook and the fall of General Motors and the worst recession in many a day. No longer can one live without a cell phone and what you have no Ipod? What a heathen you must be, me too.But what about those things that began the decade with us and are still here. The intractable Middle East with its Arab-Israeli issue, how we relate to Russia and China and vice-versa. Those are still around but whatever happened to the doomsday of y2k?
So, another decade launches and those who purport to tell us with any certainty what will happen should revisit a quote from a former head of the U S Patent Office who offered to resign since everything that could be invented had already been invented. His name was Charles Duell and the quote dates to 1899.
As we bask in the warm afterglow of Copenhagen which if you remember featured Obama, Hilary, algore and Hugo Chavez among others. There were some deals made, perhaps even more than we know about. But,all in all, the issue of climate change and what to do about it and whose lifestyle shall change and who is gonna pay for it all; remains an elusive commodity.
When possible solutions are discussed we often hear of cap-and-trade, carbon offsets, green technology,etc. Bet that even algore doesn’t comprehend it all, And now, I am reading that our pets are a greater danger to our environment than the evil suv.
But, there may be a simple solution that is already in place. China has had one child policy in place since 1979. Now, a national newspaper in Canada, the Financial Post is advocating that the world should adopt this policy. This is according to an article by one Diane Francis. Among the benefits that would be derived would be one billion decrease in world population in just 40 years. What a magnificent idea this would be. The complexities of climate change would fade away. There would be fewer of all the nasty things in the world- cars, suv’s, coal-fired electric plants, etc. To say nothing of the $ that would be saved on schools, roads and so on.
It wouldn’t work, couldn’t be implemented , not legal. Not a big deal. There are ways around all the legal niceties. Besides, since China pretty much owns us, they could probably provide assistance with the set up. Pass a law, one year lead time and we could set the standard for the world to follow.
And never think that there are probably people out there, perhaps even serving in te current administration, that would be strong advocates of what now seems like an extreme solution.
There is a very controversial trial scheduled for New York City. It involves people ,one in particular,Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who were involved in the masterminding of the 9-11 attacks. Many people have weighed in on the fact that the trial is being held in lower Manhattan, not far from Ground Zero itself. There have quite cogent arguments both for and against this particular decision. But there are so many elements of this decision worth discussing no matter what one thinks of the locale.
The Attorney General, Eric Holder said it was his decision and he informed the President as he was flying to China. He further said that he discussed it with his wife and his brother who is a retired Port Authority officer and lost friends in the attacks. He told Jim Lehrer that he told Obama of his decision, not that he consulted with him. I’m sorry, just not buying that one even though David Axelrod backed it up. Trying for a little plausible deniability it seems.
Second item that is generating concern. The decision has been made to employ civilian over military courts. I read comments that compare this trial to Nuremberg and how those trials did not advance the cause of the accused and thus this trial will not. Problem, WWII was over and those trials were military tribunals. This little insight may be telling in that regard. Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano says 9/11 type attacks should be condidered”man cused disasters ,” what ever that means.This backs up the Attorney General’s position nicely.
Finally, and bear in mind that the trial will occur at some future date, listen to the President(himself a lawyer) answer a query from NBC’S Chuck Todd about concernS over the legal rights the defendants are getting. Read it carefully. ” I don’t think it will be offensive at all when he’s convicted and the death penalty is applied to him.” That is a stronger guarantee than Joe Namath made when he promised a Super Bowl win way back in 1969.
Ok, to his credit Todd had a great follow-up. He said that using a civilian court over a military one was a way to show the fairness of our legal system. Now, you have just said he’s going to be convicted and given the death sentence. Ole Chuck is getting real close to losing White House access. Now, the President fires back.” Look, what I said was that people will not be offended if that’s the outcome. I’m not prejudging it.” Only one problem with those last 2 sentences. They are wrong. Not being a well-trained legal mind, I cannot be certain. But, has he not poisoned the case? Must not have had TOTUS close by.
This trial will be a doozy.
We are all familiar with Mr Gore or algore as Rush likes to call him. He has won an Oscar and an Emmy and apparently made lots and lots of money in his climate change(aka global warming ) mission. Along the way, he has in some quarters reached a near oracle stage. His pronouncements are legendary and accepted by pretty much everyone, particularly the members of Congress. He isn’t received there with awe but with something akin to it.
My question is whether you can be a mogul, a wealthy climate change entrepeneur and at the same time be dedicated to with near religious fervor to your cause. Now, bear in mind that I don’t much care if Gore gets wealthy from climate change(wait, he already has) because he will not be the only one. As he said, he is just putting his money where his mouth has been, Electric cars(how and from where will we generate all the needed electricity) but not all of it.
Gore still speaks in somewhat apocalyptic terms regarding climate change. We are in the front car of the roller coaster and it is headed for a crash. Then he praises the administration’s climate committment as well as that of China. They are planting trees like crazy and will soon lead the world in solar and wind power. A number of these statements came in an ABC interview just recently. I didnt see the clip so I can only imagine the impact which they must have had. Oh, he’ snot quite ready to become a vegetarian as some climate changers would advocate.
I suppose my problem, such as it is, lies largely in the sacrifices which he urges on many, if not all. Save energy, economize, cut back, etc. They do not always gibe with his own lifestyle. My main issue always seems to come with te house. Mr Gore has a mega sized home in Tennessee. More power to him(no pun intended) but imagine the electricity it has to use, no matter the source. So, he buys carbon offsets or something. What exactly does that mean? From whom does one buy them, are they costly,etc.
Now, he has his books printed on recycled paper, donates proceeds to charity,etc All well and good. But I shall the topic of Mr Gore with two comments . In January, 2006, he predicted that we only had 10 years to save the earth and the second to paraphrase Dr Donald Mallard Of NCIS who made a similar statement regarding Gibbs. With Mr Gore and climate change, I always seem to have more questions than answers.
If you are, I have a bet for you. What if the wager were this? Do you think that Iran will get nuclear weapons? And just to make it interesting, ler’s put a timetable on it. Let’s make it in say, three years. What do you think?
Based on events of the past few days, combined with previous known activities and stated aims and rhetoric, I am afraid that the answer to our hypothetical bet is yes, I may be off on the time frame, but the again, who knows. I don’t think the Administration does.We have just learned or Iran has revealed, take your pick, that Iran has a 2nd uranium enrichment plant and there are also 2 previously unknown sites in and around Tehran being used to build nuclear warheads. This latter info comes from the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The IAEA ( International Atomic energy Agency is looking into theses claims. The NCRI is also the who forced Iran to reveal this previously unknown 2nd uranium enrichment site.The gropu also revealed the existence of site #1 in Natanz.
What does Mr Obama have to say? he spoke today at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. “All nations have the right to peaceful nuclear energy(betcha hadn’t heard of that right before).Those nations with nuclear weapons must move towards disarmament. those nations without nuclear weapons must forsake them. Let me see if I get this. The nuclear nations club is composed of the United States, Russia, China, Pakistan, India, and Israel as far as we know. Anybody in there planning on disarming? Well us , Russia, we shall see. That is about it.
Now factor in those statements with the earlier Iranian info and mix in this next. Just a couple of years ago, then Senator Obama agreed with the National Intelligence Estimate that said Iran had shelved its nuclear weapons program and had only peaceful intentions and Bush was lying yet again. Fast forward and what do we have? A member of the “axis of evil” who Obama once called too small to be a problem; now being a real problem.
Allow me to close with this. Why would a nation with all the energy resources of Iran ever have planned all this effort just for nuclear energy? Maybe I am greatly oversimplyfing but it just seems that there were red flags all along the way.
So now we say, you have got to stop this or, or what?
Politics aside for a moment, you just gotta love the Clintons. They are sort of the essence of the phrase -the gift that keeps on giving. Witness the past several days. Bill just got back from a diplomatic tour de force in North Korea. Singlehandedly(maybe not singlehandedly) he obtained the release of two American journalists held by the DPRK. It is the same North Koreans that described Hilary(the actual Secretary of State, more on that later) as “by no means intelligent” and “a funny lady” . So there. There is a bit more. They also took her to task for “remarks unbecoming for her position everywhere she went since she was sworn in”. Quite different from the reception that Bill got, being treated as almosta head of state.
More, why certainly. A couple of days ago, Hilary was in the Congo and took questions from the audience. ABC News reporter Kirit Radia reported on this exchange with a Congolese student. Through a translator he asked what ” Mr Clinton” thought about a trade deal between China and the Congo. Hilary pretty much lost it. ” You want me to tell you what my husband thinks? My husband is not Secretary of State, I am. If you want my opinion, i will tell you my opinion. I am not going to be channeling my husband.” That is just a great exchange. One tiny problem. The translator made a slight mistake . The questioner really wanted to know what Mr Obama thought. Now, imagine, if you will, the translation back and a puzzled audience wondering why she called the president her husband.
Meanwhile, where is Bill? How about an early birthday celebration in Las Vegas. Hubba, hubba. Besides with their relatively young ages, it will mean we will probably never have to say, they’re back, because they will never leave.
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