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Thoughts on Events the Week of April 7

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on April 13, 2014

More violence in schools: A Pennsylvania teenager is the latest to run amok in his high school and shoot and kill 20 students. Oh, Wait! That didn’t happen! This disturbed teenager didn’t kill anyone. Why not? Because he didn’t have a gun; he only had a knife. So, though he got into the school, and got close enough to students to slash 20 of them with his blades, no one died. It is much less likely someone will be killed in a knife attack than in an attack with a gun. Schools are a lot safer, if the nut cases can’t get a gun. Think about it. Thank harder.

Ukraine: I’m still taking the under on Putin’s invading Ukraine. I’m assuming, of course, that Europe will be alarmed enough by Putin to enact the sanctions that will discourage him. Leon Wieseltier, whose opinions I respect, does not think Europe will have the will (more on Wieseltier another time), but I do. If Europe doesn’t, it’s their problem. It’s their continent, after all, and they must decide how to live with their neighbors.

After listening to the neo-cons blast President Obama for not doing more about Ukraine, Secretary Kerry’s reference to Teddy Roosevelt’s comment about being in the arena resonates. Though the neo-cons bloviate, they have not provided a single, sane alternative to Obama’s course, other than to institute more sanctions sooner. That is a judgment call if ever I saw one, and a call I think Obama got right.

For sanctions to be effective, which we know they can be, they need to be applied gradually, to give Putin time to reflect, reconsider, and feel the pressure from his own constituency, in this case oligarchs, who will be first to feel the pain, and to feel it the most.

Cynthia and I are still holding onto our tickets for our Baltic Sea cruise this fall.

Art Mocking Life: It turns out that former President George W.  Bush has artistic talent. Who knew he had a talent of any kind? Several of his pieces were shown on TV recently, and some were impressive. His portrait of Vladimir Putin, I think, is excellent (maybe Bush did see into his soul), worthy of hanging in a gallery, which, coincidentally, is what I think Bush should be doing, though not in a gallery.

Scott Brown: The erstwhile U.S. Senator from Massachusetts has filed to run for the same job in New Hampshire, or Vermont, or wherever. Brown will find, oh, never mind, I don’t think sufficiently much about Brown to have an opinion about him.

Coming Attractions: Oops!  I’ve done it again, promising thoughts on reforming Plutocracy before they are written, but I will deliver timely. Also soon to come, more thoughts about Leon Wieseltier.

2 Responses

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  1. Bob Keller said, on April 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    History is already beginning to view President Bush more kindly. This will, I believe, increase over time and he will emerge 50 to 100 years viewed as one of our better and more respected Presidents. Still, I find him an enigma and his recent foray into paining only adds to that mystery.

    Of course you do not share that view. I respect your opinion, but remain puzzled by your views of President Obama. The evils we generally assign to Bush have doubled or tripled under Obama’s guiding hand. The oppression of civil liberties, the NSA spying wholesale on citizens, the constant, unrestrained and brazen lying to the public about virtually anything and the corrupt abuse of power by a vindictive and paranoid President have allowed Obama to surpass Bush.

    It is a tragedy. I had hoped his 2nd term would be a genuine watershed moment in American history.

    • EloiSVM42 said, on April 22, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Wizard –

      For people who agree on so much, you and I have diametrically opposing views of President George W. Bush and President Barak Obama. Bush says he will leave it to history to judge him, and I am happy with that. Fox News, not history, may be beginning to view Bush more kindly, but even conservatives with whom I speak see Bush as an extremely inconvenient truth they wish would go away.

      I am a fan of Obama, but I think you misjudge my opinion of him. As I have said and written, other than Obama’s being a very intelligent grown-up, I see little difference between Bush’s and Obama’s actual policies. I see Obama as a barely center left Democrat, at best. That’s why I said I feel like a loser either way.

      You mention privacy and surveillance policies. I agree with you about this, and it proves my point. Obama left Bush’s policies in place, and has even enhanced some of them. It’s despicable. There’s no difference between them, oh, except Obama did away with torture.

      Obama’s signature achievement is Obamacare, and it is merely a first, halting step toward where we need to be from where we are, i.e., with the most expensive healthcare system in the world, per capita, and health and welfare standards that rank 70th among the world’s nations.

      I certainly think Obama lies, but no more than any other politician, and you know he’s not paranoid. But, if you are thinking of the Cleveland IRS one-off misadventure, and Benghazi, those issues are settled to the satisfaction of everyone but Fox News and Darrell Issa. (My spell checker doesn’t even recognize Issa, and neither should we.

      As for that intelligence/grown-up difference, it has, among other things, gotten us out of one useless war, and is keeping us out of others, and I admire Obama for it. Lesser men might, and have, leapt into such situations, to our detriment.

      Obama and Bush will doubtless go down in history with a mixed, though fascinating legacy, but in different directions, as opposite as our views on them.


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