Tarheeltalker

Meet the Sheriff

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?

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January 22, 2011 Posted by | Culture, Media | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Un-Christian behavior

Never been to Gainesville,Fl before although I have been nearby. I also have never met Pastor Terry Jones who leads a small church of about 50 folks named the Dove Outreach Center. Remarkably, Jones has managed to make himself notorious  on an international level, quite  a feat in itself. He has received a number of death threats and has started carrying a gun himself. So, what has this heretofore unknown person done  to draw attention from  Gen David Petraeus, Hilary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, Eric Holder , Rush Limbaugh, ( who appropriately  calls him a lunatic) Robert Gates, Angelina Jolie and countless unnamed but now angry Muslims worldwide?

He has for some inexplicable reason announced a plan to burn many copies of the Koran on of all days, 9/11/2010. How many copies seems  to depend on how many gullible people send  them to him. That is by far the easier of the questions involved. Based on some earlier actions, Jones seems to think that Islam is evil. I will agree that there are followers of  Islam have done some evil things and alas if his plan goes through they will probably do more of those things. ( Gen Petraeus is quite concerned about that.)

I have given  a lot of thought about why Jones is doing this. Publicity, notoriety, name recognition ? He has gotten all of those to be sure. But , assuming he is a legitimate Christian minister, which I have no reason to doubt, what is doing for the furtherance of his ministry or for the “image” of Christianity or for that matter his native country. Oh, just a qualifier. He actually has the right to do this but for me it’s one of those “rights” that just because one has it, one does not need to exercise it.

Cannot  imagine the potential damage he can carry out, unless by some miracle he chooses to call a halt to the event. At this point, that looks unlikely.

Some words from a song came to mind today that at least from a Christian perspective define my feelings quite well. The artist is Wayne Watson and the song  came from his 1988 album The Fine Line. The title is “That’s Not Jesus.” I will just relate a line or two that seems to fit what is happening with pastor Terry Jones.

  •                                     That’s not Jesus, he doesn’t carry on that way,
  •                                    Just some flesh and blood like you and me
  •                                    Somehow gone astray
  •                                    That’s not Jesus, no matter what they say 
  •                                    He doesn’t  need us to defend  him
  •                                    He just wants us to obey

                                       

                       Shalom and amen         

September 8, 2010 Posted by | Religion | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Self-appointed Kitchen Cabinet

It is no secret  what “objective” journalist Chris Matthews thinks of President Obama. I almost hate to mention the “tingles” episode that occurred during the 2008 campaign, although I have seen the word used quite well as  a nickname for Matthews. Not so long after Obama took office, Matthews proudly admitted that it was his job to make sure that Obama succeeded.( Remember for a moment that Rush was roundly criticized for hoping that Obama failed.) I cannot  recall any approbation at what  Matthews said.

But  at least  Matthews is consistent. He remains firmly on the Obama/Democrat bandwagon. In a  recent interview with Democrat senatorial candidate Joe Sestak ( from  Matthews’ native state of  Pennsylvania) who is running against Republican Pat Toomey, Matthews openly longed for Sestak and the Democrats to do well in November by saying this.” I hope your party gets organized and wins this thing.”

But, there is even more. Matthews seems to be moving beyond the cheerleading/publicizing phase into the advising stage. I actually watched the video clip with Matthews providing this advice, so I am not making this up. His first piece of advice was to replace Def Secretary Robert Gates with, guess who? You will never get this one, so I’ll just tell you.  It is  Hilary Clinton. Wait, there is more. He has two options for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; either Treasury Secretary of Chief-of-Staff. No mention of who would succeed Mrs Clinton ( Bill maybe) or what would happen to the current hatchet man,Rahm Emanuel.

This advice brought to mind something used by a number of former presidents, the “kitchen cabinet.”  I believe Truman actually coined the phrase for his group of informal advisers, although it was quite popular with Jefferson and Jackson among others. Guess the only difference is that Matthews is self-appointed. But just think of the benefits. The Democratic National Committee could pay Matthews annual salary  of  $5 million and he could continue his tv show just like it is and work for the White House on the side. Better than Obama accepting Michael Moore’s offer to replace Emanuel, huh?

September 4, 2010 Posted by | History, Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Observations about “The View “

As most everyone knows, not because they watched it necessarily, President Obama was on the daily gossip fest known as The View. Ostensibly he appeared on that show since it’s the only one of its kind that Mrs Obama watches. ( Wonder if  she will be able to watch it while she  and one of her daughters are in Spain? Not to worry, surely someone will Tivo it for her.)

Not sure exactly why, but it just doesn’t seem to be the best venue for  a presidential  appearance. Why then might he make such a choice? Obviously, it has nothing to do with his wife’s viewing preferences. It doesn’t , right?  Anyway, I have obviously not watched the program but I am a bit familiar with its approach and the ladies who are its hosts, its panel, it’s whatever. I happened to see  a still photo from the set and was struck by how, pardon the expression, so ga-ga some of them looked, almost star struck.  The exception seemed to be  Barbara Walters who has interviewed world leaders before, when she did work closer to real news. The other two who come to mind are Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg.

Both of these individuals come from the far left side of the spectrum and seem inclined to say whatever comes to mind. Without repeating it verbatim, you might recall the extremely crude joke  she told about George Bush at a Democrat function, at which then Senator Obama  was in attendance. From  watching CBS Sunday Morning I understand that Ms Behar now even has a show of her own. And just recently she had the time in her hectic schedule to bash Rush, even calling his wife ” Eva Braun”s sister. Of course, having called him a terrorist in the past what can one expect. I share these tidbits just to give you an idea of those lovingly crowded around the President.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs official reason for Obama’s appearance was that it provides an opportunity  to talk to people ( read women) where  they are since they have busy lives. Or was it all a political show since  his support among women voters has plummeted? Sounds much more plausible. Besides the show drew its biggest ever audience in its 13 year existence. Hard to believe it has been on that long. How could I have missed it? Guess that’s another reason for all the channels from which to choose.

From som eof the comments I read the opinion was  divided on whether the appearance was beneficial to the President. One comment asked  is he sacrificing the dignity of the office and answered their own question  with a yes. They went on to say the even so the pluses would outweigh the minuses.

By the way, where was Oprah?

July 31, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Big Mess at the Agriculture Department

The Department of Agriculture and its head, Tom Vilsack  are not really a high-profile combo. But they are sure in the news these days. Kinda reminds me of an oft-repeated comment about baseball umpires. They are doing a good job when they are not noticed. But alas, for Mr Vilsack  that will no longer be possible. Whether he even retains his job is probably open to question. Would that not be  ironic if Ms Shirley Sherrod whom he fired and  has since tried to rehire retained her job and he didn’t?

A couple of things have intrigued beyond the actual firing/re–hiring. One is the fact that the White House said it was on board with the action and then after the media firestorm began to build, the President disavowed any connection to the firing. Could not resist that disavow. Mission Impossible was always one of favorite shows.

Ok, number two was a media type David Rodham Gergen, comparing Ms Sherrod to Nelson Mandela who by the way spent 27 years in a South African prison, led the country for  a time and would have to be considered an internationally known figure. Quite  a stretch, even for the liberal media.

Finally, a comment from Ms Sherrod, but not what you might think. Her epiphany she said came when she realized that it was not black vs white but rather rich vs poor. There are many comments that one could make. Rush called  it the idea of Obamunism which isn’t bad. I remain  convinced that it does not have to be  a situation of one side vs another. But when one of Ms Sherrod’s  latest media comments ( and she is all over the media now) is that she will not appear on Fox News since they are both biased and racist . Gotta wonder  on what basis she formed her opinion, do you not?

July 22, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Justice Elena Kagan

Same song, second verse. On May 27 of last year I wrote about Sonia Sotomayor and  named her as a Supreme Court justice well before the vote took place. Since that proved to be  a no-brainer decision, thought I would just repeat the process in what is proving to be an annual event for the President, the nomination of  a new member of the Supreme Court.

Today was the first day of the hearings, the most pro forma day I guess. What have we learned? Can’t  use the experience line that was used last year so the refreshing change is the phrase  de jour. Senator  Feinstein calls her brilliant and the President calls the arguments against her “thin gruel ,” whatever that is.

The President also rejected the contention that he was remaking the court to suit himself, citing two  interesting names who support Ms Kagan’s nomination. This is almost funny. One is Ted Olson, who one thinks would know better. The other is Kenneth Starr, yep that Kenneth Starr. Bet  Bill Clinton freaked when he heard that name from his past.

So, we can could  call it  a dog and pony show except  I like dogs too much. Or we could use Rush’s label. It will be the ” don’t ask, don’t tell” hearings. Better yet, call off the hearings, have the vote and get it over with. Might save some money that way. Still, it would be great if someone like Ann Coulter or even George Will were providing questions. Nice try Sen Sessions.

June 28, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Congressman Unleashed

Anonymity is like a warm blanket. So said  Vanessa Redgrave,aka Job to Tom Cruise in the 1996 movie Mission Impossible. Betcha that Rep Bob Etheridge  from North Carolina’s second district would pay dearly for a measure of that sort of invisibility  about now.

The 7 term Democrat has been caught  in the full glare of the media spotlight due to an event  that occurred just last week. Here’s a guess that it is his first appearance on Drudge and  he hopes his last. What did the  still part-time farmer and former  Superintendent of  Public Instruction for North Carolina do to garner such attention?

Seem sthat last week he was on his way to a Nancy Pelosi fundraiser when he encountered a couple of college students  with  a video camera  who asked him if he supported  the Obama agenda. He demanded to know who they were and when they declined , he grabbed the camera from one person and grabbed the other by the wrist. He persisted in asking for identification and when they did not resond he grabbed one by the  neck and shoulders, refusing to let go. The individual finaly slipped away.

Today, a  few days later, Etheridge finally released  a statement. ( WTVD, the ABC  affiliate in Raleigh had previously left 11 messages requesting comment.)  He acknowledges having seen the video and expresses his regret for his reaction and apologizes to all involved.

Now what? The aforementioned tv station confirmed with DC metropolitan police that no charges had been filed,  which is quite fortunate for Rep. Etheridge. Was it an a ssault ? Follow the link on Drudge and watch the 1: 11  for yourself.  I watched and was disturbed by Etheridge’s reaction, regardless of whether he was provoked. He had a rather tight grip on the wrist of one individual and refused to let go when asked. This is the same congressman who has encouraged college students to get involved in politics.

Granted, there may have been an element of entrapament, emphasis on maybe. That in no way justifies a physical confrontation. Very curious as to what the  reaction will be inside the Beltway. Any doubt that it will be partisan in nature? Good thing Rush will  return tomorrow. This is right up his alley!

June 14, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What might have been but was not to be

I have never been much of a golfer but I have often heard that  the golf course is  a great place for making deals. Business deals, movie deals, sports contracts, etc. Imagine for a moment  if  President Obama, an avid golfer, played a round  on the links with  Rush Limbaugh, also an avid golfer  and a  thorn in the Democrat side. Or as author  Zef Chafets calls him in his new book, An Army of One. 

Chafets book is coming out shortly and an excerpt was a New York paper yesterday. Last summer when the book was being written, Chafets asked Rush if he would be willing to play golf with the President. Rush sais, yes, out of respect, I would but it won’t happen. So Chafets calls Obama adviser David Axelrod, whom he knows, but  his calls were not returned. He then contacted an unnamed White House staffer and  made the proposal. Supposedly, the word came back, whether from Obama or not is a bit unclear. Limabugh can play with himself. On yesterday’s show, Rush had just a classic response. They must have me confused with Bill Clinton. I have to admit that I loved the response. 

You had to know the Obama people would never agree to such a proposal since the Democrat base would have gone nuts. But as things turned out, the Dems look  rather silly and Rush is having the last laugh. Hope the  book sells well.

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Than We Expected?

The President has announced his nominee for the Supreme Court seat of the retiring John Paul Stevens. What a shock, he has picked another woman and thus according to him this will  make the court look more like the  country than ever before. But would Solictor General Elena Kagan actually do that? Perhaps we should take a closer look.

Now, upfront we should note that these descriptions are not meant as criticisms of the nominee, but as observations in light of what the President said. Ms Kagan is Jewish which will mean  the Court would have 6 Catholics and 3 Jews. She is single and in fact has never been married. Unlike Justice Sotomayor whose humble upbringing was repaetedly stressed, Ms Kagan  is the polar opposite. She is, as the New York Times puts it, “a creature of Manhattan’s liberal, intellectual Upper West Side; hardly a typical upbringing. She served on the faculty of the Chicago University Law School with guess who? Yep, Barack H Obama.  How about that for irony or wonder if this is fulflling  a long range goal since Kagan was on the nominee short list last time around.

So, maybe the Court will not really look more like America but just seem to . What is interesting is somethinmg that Rush brings up. Not sure if I agree wholeheatedly but it sounds very plausible. He maintains that Obama is in fact nominating himself. It has been noted that they  served on the law school faculty together and it seems that her record or lack of same mirrors that of the President before he was elected. She has as her judicial hero  the late Thurgood Marshall and adheres very strongly to his  philosophy that the Court should exist almost solely for the benefit of  the “despised and disadvantaged,” whomever the Court perceives those to be. She is reputed to be post partisan, a consensus builder, as was the president. Perhaps more telling is how she views the Constitution. And how is that? Kinda hard to say, given the paucity of the written record. But, hazarding a guess, I would use the words  living and changing in there somewhere along with oh, maybe the framers didn’t really do all that great a job but we have surely improved it.

But, in all lilklihood, she will be confirmed even if all Republicans  vote no, which they will not. But what will be interesting is if the topic of same-sex marriage comes up. Ms Kagan is actually on the record here. And her view is not that of the typical liberal. That just might liven up the proceedings a bit.

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Too Much Money

Can one have too much money? I have no clue, since I don’t think I have ever been  in that position. I can remember being told by a prospective employer that they could not afford me , since I made too much. That was somewhat ironic since  I was working a lot of unpaid overtime at the time and we were struggling a bit to make ends meet. But thanks anyway, Tom’s Foods  for the ego boost.

But, now I learn that it may actually be  possible to be making too much money. My source for this knowledge is none other than President Obama himself. I will confess in the interest of full disclosure that I have thought on numerous occasions that this or that celebrity or media  personality ( Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer for starters) or pro athlete or actor made wayyyy  too much money.

But I shall  explore the President’s opinion first before sharing any more of my choices. Just this week the President was speaking in Quincy,Il promoting the  idea of  financial reform over which Congress is itself battling. He made this statement.” Now, what we’re doing, I want to be clear, we’re ( read Democrats here) not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.”

Of course, there have been posts galore , replete with crowing conservatives saying we’ ve got him. Not so fast, folks. I  believe that there are lots of people who believe that very thing and I suspect that they overwhelmingly vote Democrat. It was actually a rather safe thing for him to say, playing to the base, as it were.

But, just for kicks, wonder what Obama supporters like Eric Schmidt and the Google guys thought of his comment as well as all  his Hollywood  friends ? Believe I have that one covered as well. All he need to do in response  to such a  query would be to place those folks and others like them into the “fairly earned ” category, lumping Rush, Glenn Beck etc in another category indeed. The quote actually reminds me of a phrase I have read several times in regard to baseball teams swapping players’; a trade that benefits both teams.

May 1, 2010 Posted by | economy, Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments