Tarheeltalker

Are you rejoicing yet?

A couple of days ago ,a headline  in our local paper read thusly: Bin  Laden killed, America rejoices! I  suppose that  I failed to get the memo, since I  have not felt the urge to jump for joy. I have given a bit of thought to this event since its occurrence and perhaps even more thought to its aftermath. Of course I  am not alone in writing about these thoughts. Time magazine already has an issue devoted to all aspects of the event. Hooray for instant journalism. My son has written a  thoughtful post about  reactions to the killing/assassination that explore among other things the part that revenge plays.

For now I have thoughts that are more political in nature. There has been a significant internal debate in the  Obama administration about releasing a photo confirming  Bin Laden’s death. Personally it would be quite unseemly to do and many who are calling it a necessity( Sarah Palin for one) remind me of people who cannot avert their eyes from auto accidents  or any number of other disasters.

I actually applaud the President’s decision not to release a photo. But what intrigued me was his choice of words in describing the decision. We don’t “want to spike the football.”  Now as a football fan I know to what he refers,as does almost any sports fan. Laying aside the thought that this was an overly casual choice of phrases I infer that he sees no need to gloat and/or overly politicize the event.

Not to worry though. There are other available to carry the water for him in that regard. For example, Barbara Walters says that she would hate to be  a Republican running against Obama in 2012. Her sidekick, Joy Behar, said that maybe we should just skip the 2012 election completely, just not even bother. Others such as E J Dionne and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin have voiced or inferred similar sentiments.

After pondering this for a bit it finally hit me. Think back to 1991 just after the end of the Gulf War.George H W Bush is basking the glow of  an approval rate of over  90%  .The election is just  over 18 months away. Game over? Nope. In that instance the state of the economy was arguably the deciding factor. I think that will again be the case. For example gasoline prices are almost 3x higher than they were just over 2 years ago.If  there  is no discernible change in that number as well as others  in the economic realm, anything can happen in 2012 and probably will.

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May 6, 2011 Posted by | Foreign Policy | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Location and Location

A couple of days ago, I shared a slightly tongue-in-cheek poem about our good friend Al ( protector of the environment) Gore. So, we and others wonder, where is the goracle these days? I assume most,if not all,  of the snow has left Washington and he was not  located in a makeshift igloo. So, where might he be?

Granted, this may violate top-secret government information guidelines, but I think I know where he is or at the least where he is headed. It would be the desolate regions  near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border to meet up with his compatriot and climate change brother in arms, Osama bin Laden.

Yep, bin Laden is now part of the Gore team. Some weeks ago bin Laden declared on  al-Jazeera that  he deplored climate change. He went on to condemn the United States and other developed countries for causing climate change, even including  an obligatory criticism of George Bush junior. He went on to compare United States politics to the Mafia (Chicago maybe?) and calling Americans the true terrorists.

What had to warm algore’s heart though was his assertion that his was a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions. He added, “speaking about climate change is not an intellectual luxury-the phenomenon is an actual fact.” Who knows, Gore may have even helped him write the statement. Sounds Gore-like does it not?

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Culture, Media | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Washington Style Jeopardy

My apologies to Alex Trebek and the real  Jeopardy which is a show I watch from time to time and try, with mixed success, to keep up with thecontestants.If you have seen the show you are familiar with the premise.  A category is listed that provides answers to questions. The contestants attempt to give the correct response  in the form of a question.

So, here we go with  a few questions for you to consider. Hint, the  answers are somewhat political .

  1. The President did  a phenomenal job his first year in office.
  2. My children are fat.
  3. My children are and always will be, perfect in every way.

Question, give up ? Of course, it is Michele Obama. The first statement was made to ABC’s Robin Roberts. Numbers two and three were made in the context of publicity for the First Lady’s  highly touted childhood obesity campaign.

Speaking of that, please do not let this become yet another crusade against the fast food industry , who, with its highly advanced advertising campaigns and devious mind control forces people to eat pizza, burgers and fries every meal. Thank you!

Besides, I though hungry in America was a greater problem than obesity. Or, can we somehow have both?

Bonus points question or answer,as it were.

algore’s new blobal warming buddy.

Who is Osama bin Laden? Correct!!

February 9, 2010 Posted by | Culture, Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Much Ado About Yemen

The little country of Yemen is very newsworthy these days; more so than in a while. The map shows the country’s position and an interesting one it is. One can see it shares a border with Saudi Arabia and how it juxtaposes with Iran, Iraq Egypt,etc. And of course there is that little thing about the Christmas Day bomb attempt by a young Nigerian who was allegedly trained and funded by al-Qaeda from Yemen, whew! 

But the Yemeni news continues. Seems that the terror guys have posed threats credible  enough to get both the United States and Britain to close their embassies in Yemen. This on one hand, while on the other we offer financial aid and training for Yemeni police and military. Full power of the United States at work and will spare no effort. So said the President, in words to that effect, and no more diplomatic presence. If we’re scoring ladies  and gentlemen, we will give this round to Osama and friends ( Yemen is an ancestral homeland for the bin ladens) are we not? 

I heard a retired general on Fox this morning, can’t remember his name, who called Yemen a “petri dish” for terrorism. Now, biology was never  a strong  subject for me but I believe that has something to do with an environment where things are grown. If that is the case, this impoverished country with a near non-existent economy will loom increasingly large on our radar. 

Yemen,et al

January 3, 2010 Posted by | International politics | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wisdom(?) of Jimmy Carter

President of these United States, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Governor of Georgia and Plains,Ga’s favorite son. Who is it? Why, of course, it is James Earl Carter, Jr. I was living in Georgia at the time Mr Carter came  from   nowhere and  became   president. For a long time I thought that he was not a very good president but probably our best former president.

The C-SPAN historians rankings see him a better president than I did; ranking him 22nd in the year 2000 and 25th in 2009. At least his rankings are headed in the right direction. Anyway, back to his post presidency  period.  He left office in 1981 at the relatively young age of 57. Since than he has been quite involved in Habitat,which was founded in Georgia, in election watching, and in the Carter Center. Founded in 1982 by he and his wife, the organization has worked to ease suffering and  advance human rights worldwide. His work there earned Carter the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize.

So, no problems right? Just a moment. Personally, I have been nagged for some time with the feeling that Mr Carter was more sanctimonious than necessary and tended to speak with an air of superior moral authority.He has been outspoken in recent years about the cause of the Palestinians versus Israel and has not earned friends in Israel for that. His 2006 book, entitled,Palestine:Peace not Apartheid, was not only pro-Arab but “blessed” with a number of factual errors.( For example, Arafat never called for the destruction of Israel. )He published  a new book this year about peace in the Middle East and in at least one interview about that book called his previous one balanced-Ok.

Among other things that Mr Carter has done is to monitor elections around the world. His Carter Center has monitored more than 70 elections in various countries in the last 20 years. Lots of moral high ground here.

I think he honestly believes that he holds the moral high ground, so what must be the reasoning for his latest comments. Yep, calling Joe Wilson’s comment  indicative of racist attitudes that still exist, rooted in racism is the terminology he employed. Wilson’s son, predictably, disagreed. Not so predictably so did the Obama Administration through spokesman Robert Gibbs. Nor did GOP chairman Michael Steele think much of the comment.

So, why did Carter make the comments? To stir up controversy, don’t  think so. I think he genuinely believed what he said,whether or not he was familiar with Joe Wilson. That is the kind of ting that has me wishing he would drive more nails and stay more out of politics.

Gotta get this in. His latest Mideast book has been “endorsed” by none other than Osama Bin Laden. Wonder what his opinion on that might be?

September 16, 2009 Posted by | Culture, Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

500 Million Lethal Hog Farms

Only in America and only from the minds of the ruling political party could come such creative and colorful comments as those in our title. For these 2 gems we may thank the Speaker of the House, Ms Nancy Pelosi and Robert F Kennedy Jr, environmental lawyer and co-host of a radio show on the Air America network,number of listeners unknown.

Ms Pelosi was speaking about the need to pass the Obama stimulus plan(known as Porkulus in some circles) and very soon because we are losing 500 million jobs every month that we waste in not passing the stimulus. Wow! We should maybe pass several stimuli bills to account for all those lost jobs. Wonder if  she meant 5 million, 50 million, 500 thousand or just whatever number was handy at the time. Not to worry, facts are not the issue here. That will be proven by our next speaker.

RFK Jr was testifying before Congress and was asked a question by Rep Steve King(R, IA) about a quoute allegedly made by Mr Kennedy in 2002 that large scale hog farmers in this country are more dangerous to the United States than Osama and his terrorist network. Rep King asked if the quote was accurate and the response by Mr Kennedy was “I believe it and I support it. “He accused Mr King of asking an inflammatory question but then went on to say(repeatedly jabbing his finger in the air) that Osama has no power over this country and cant make us alter our Constitution but  such altering was happening every day because of the big  hog farmers. I say, wow, once again . Wonder if Mr Kennedy hates pork products or has been unduly deprived of such. Cannot imagine how hog farmers have altered the Constituton. Oh yes, the 31st amendment that mandates sausage and bacon must be served in every restaurant in this country open mre than 15 minutes daily. Poor Osama, he cannot even out do hog farmers. Maybe he will just give up his terrorist activities now after aeeing how futile they are in comparison.

Ya Think ?

February 5, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments