The ongoing turmoil in Egypt is in its sixth day with no obvious end in sight and it is far too early to know the outcome. Perhaps even informed speculation is premature. But speculate we do for many reasons. Egypt is a major American ally and has been for several years, at least back to the Carter presidency.( More on the Carter connection a bit later.) Egypt is the most populous and probably most influential Arab country with a very large army and air force and is a very close neighbor of Israel. And so we wonder about many things. How did this uprising or revolution begin? Was there a trigger event? What ( not if) outside influences are involved? Vice-president Biden’s comments to the contrary, Mubarak seems unlikely to survive. If he goes, then what or who? Who do we favor, the government or those opposing the government?
The UK Daily Telegraph has an article today stating that we have backed Egyptian dissidents who have worked on regime change for at least three years, ostensibly trying to bring about a democratic government. Of course in its 6,000 year history Egypt has never had such a government and is unlikely to have one any time soon.
Much of the above referenced speculation is drawing parallels between this uprising and the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979. The result of course was an Iran with which we still have issues. Some are calling this a Carter moment for Obama, i.e. Carter”lost” Iran and Obama could be well on his way to “losing” Egypt.
Meanwhile the turmoil, including rioting, looting, organized prison breaks etc continues. And at least three countries, Israel, Turkey and the United States have begun evacuating their citizens with others preparing to do likewise.
The turmoil will eventually end and answers to most if not all of our questions will come. But what kind of outcome will that be?
- “Obama to Egypt’s Coptic Christians: “If I were in your shoes right now Iâ€™d be…” “LEAVING! What a GOOD idea!”” and related posts (directorblue.blogspot.com)
- Egypt According to Sharon (narmer.wordpress.com)
I have heard it said that a sign of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different result. Based solely on that criteria I may be crazier than I sometimes seem to be. I shall attempt to illustrate my situation by virtue of three examples, two of which can be grouped together.
From time to time while delivering mail, I will stop at a fast food establishment for some refreshment. Today was one of those days. My mistake, alas, was in the place I chose. Hardee’s and I have not had a very good relationship in recent years primarily due to the excruciatingly service that seems to be their trademark . And so it was today. Here I am,the only customer in the building and I waited almost 5 minutes, finally departing with no beverage. Having had these experiences several times, it begs the question, why do I continue to subject myself to this? See title.
Exhibits B & C
Our next two examples fall into the same category. In our little town of Elizabeth City one is frequently encouraged, nay admonished to shop at home. The multiple benfits to the local economy are extolled, etc. However, although I agree with this sentiment to a point, I have had two instances withinh the last severral days that are changing my opinion, On the verge of runbning out of ink on our computer printer, we went to our local Office Max only to discover that they had every kind of Dell ink cartridge imaginable save the one we needed. Wal-Mart, same result, Ordered it from Dell, got it in 2 days. The secpnd example concerned my faothful companion, The World Almanac and Book of Facts, which I have bought the last few years. Lo, and behold, no one locally seems to have it, Yet another, aarrgh!!!
So, do my behaviors indicate a problem severe enough to require me to never shop again? Or, do I resort exclusively to the online world( except for food)? Yet another unfathomable dilemma.
………….. and the one who tamed The Wild, Wild West. On Tuesday evening we were searching for a viewing alternative to Obama’s State of the Union address. Lo, and behold we discovered a great choice on PBS, of all places. Seems that the network has a series on The Pioneers of Television. Tuesday’s episode dealt with television westerns and was a real treat to watch. Westerns were a viewing staple in my childhood and as it turned out in my wife’s as well.
The show was composed of interviews with many actors who appeared in the shows, clips from the shows themselves and wonderful historical trivia that delighted me no end. Where to begin? Guess that an explanation of the title would be apropos.
During the 1966-67 season CBS noted that Gunsmoke was showing its age and the program that had been s0 dominant was slipping. After all, 12 seasons should be enough, right? Not necessarily. The outcry was significant and even reached to the U S Senate where Robert Byrd expressed his displeasure. Now, that may or may not have had any impact, but at the least it allows me to think just a little more positively of the late senator. Shucks, he liked Matt Dillon, just as I did.
On the opposite side lies another senator who brought about the demise of what remains as one of favorite tv shows ever,The Wild, Wild West. Who was the offending senator and why did he go after Messrs West and Gordon? The senator was Rhode island Democrat John Pastore. In his place as head of the Senate subcommittee on telecommunications, he held hearings on the effect of tv violence, particularly on children. The Surgeon General testified at these hearings as well. Shortly after the hearings CBS issued a mandate to all its shows to tone down the violnce.When The Wild, Wild West did not satisfactorily do so, it was summarily;y cancelled in early 1969. ( No, I was not scarred by the violence.)
There were a number of other enjoyable things from the PBS show. I was struck by how many actors talked about the biggest stars with such fondness. Acotrs such as James Arness( who got his role courtesy of John Wayne) Barbara Stanwyck and James Garner were lauded for their kindness and how they set such a positive tone behind the scenes.
There were some priceless interviews with actors now deceased such as Arness and his brother Peter Graves. My #1 was the Robert Conrad interview of course. I learned from him and the shows narrator what a genuine tough guy he was, even suffering a concussion when a stunt when awry. Then there was Ross Martin, his running mate,an erudite man who spoke 5 languages and added such finesse to the show.
The show revived some wonderful memories of my teen years and has created a wish to do some dvd shopping. Think the wife may have liked Bonanza better though.
- CBS Planning Wild Wild West Reboot (seattlepi.com)
The tragic events that took place in Tucson, AZ about two weeks ago have garnered much attention and have generated a lot of commentary and analysis. Sadly, the event draws our attention, sometimes for good reason and sometimes not. There are an almost innumerable number of ways to discuss the event and I have pondered just how to do that. I have noticed that at least one media source focused on just one aspect of the tragedy(Sports Illustrated) and I shall attempt to do so as well.
Having said that, it is still exciting to see the great progress made by Rep. Giffords who headed to rehab today. Our prayers go with her as well as for all those adversely affected by the shooting
But the aspect that I want to focus on is a person who has been quite visible and quite outspoken since the event took place. That is Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. Like most people outside of Arizona and probably law enforcement circles I had never heard of the sheriff until a few days ago. But now methinks I have heard far too much.
But, first a little background. Sheriff Dupnik was first appointed to his post in 1980, then elected and re-elected six more times. He is a native Texan, aged 75. Although I heard him say that he graduated from the university( presumably Arizona) with a degree in psychology, he actually got his degree from Keeler Institute in Chicago which is probably a fine institution even though he failed to mention it by name.
Until being silenced by the local district attorney’s office a couple of days ago, he has been the “face” of the investigation or maybe the voice would be more accurate term.I haven’y been fortunate to hear or read all of his statements but some of which I am aware have been real humdingers. Before elaborating, this makes one wonder about his media experience. It would seem that in a county as large as Pima, there would have been a number of somewhat high-profile cases, requiring his interaction with the media. Admittedly, there were probably none this high-profile. But with someone who has been described as fond of the limelight, how he could he say some of the things he has said.
This statement came on January 8, the day of the shooting when he opined that Arizona was the “mecca for prejudice and bigotry.” Bet the chamber of commerce and tourism people cant wait to use that one. Or, a comment that the Bush-era tax cute and their recent extension (which Obama favored) was some kind of motivation for violence. In the same interview with Sari Horowitz on a Washington Post blog he maintained that rush had published his office’s email address, nearly crashing the system. Only problem, Rush didn’t do it. Of course, he had had already blamed Rush by name, before it was learned that the shooter was an apolitical guy.
There are calls for his recall(no pun intended) but I think there are misguided. The voters of Pima County have voted for him 7 times, they surely should get their money’s worth. Makes one wonder how that happened, huh?
- “Comments from Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik via the AP:” and related posts (scaredmonkeys.com)
- Bummer: Pima County Attorney muzzles Supercop (hotair.com)
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