peripateticblogger.com

Thoughts on Events the Week of October 16

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on October 29, 2017

Who’s deadest?: This week, after four American soldiers were shot and killed in an ambush in Niger, the government and the media debated what is the best way to console the families of those who have been killed in our perpetual wars.  President Trump said he sends the best sympathy letters and makes the best and most phone calls to gold star families of any president ever. Others disagree.

If we really want to honor the lives of our soldiers, my recommendation is that we don’t send them into our unnecessary battles in the first place. To me, the president who sends the fewest letters and makes the fewest phone calls – ideally none – wins.

And what in the hell were these soldiers doing in Niger in the first place?  Did you know they were there? I didn’t.  Yet we learned this week that we have troops there and all over the place without anyone’s having mentioned it to the American people, let alone its having been authorized by Congress, unless you count some panicked, overreaction legislation enacted immediately 9/11, so long ago that children born then now have driver’s licenses, or even stationed in Afghanistan.

The truth is that we don’t know what is going on with our military, and yet we are now spending more than $700 billion on it every year and giving war surplus materiel to municipal police departments. We don’t know who our friends are, or our enemies. We don’t know what the hell we are doing or where we are going. It’s long past time to stop and think, or vice versa.

Harvey Weinstein: Actually, I don’t give a damn about Weinstein’s personal life, though apparently the legal system should. But the recent news about Bill O’Reilly and him has me wondering how Clarence Thomas got to be on the Supreme Court, not to mention President Trump, after doing the same sort of things Thomas  did to Anita Hill.

Thomas’ nomination was sent by the Senate Judiciary Committee to the full Senate on a tie vote (7-7), without a recommendation, and he was approved by a vote of 52-48, not a ringing endorsement. It is a steep drop off from Thurgood Marshall to Clarence Thomas, unquestionably the least qualified Supreme since Reconstruction.

I wonder what the Senate thinks about its consent of Thomas today. A couple of the Senators on the Republican controlled Judiciary Committee at the time – Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch – are still around. Let’s ask them.

Sudden Thought: It seems an interesting coincidence, or maybe not, that just as our younger generations seem less interested in privacy, our security systems are being compromised all over the place. I regret the more cavalier attitude toward privacy; I still value mine. But I don’t mind the breakdown in security so much. The government keeps too many secrets anyway.

Football: It is never fun when my beloved Oklahoma Sooners play Kansas State in football. They always give us a tough, nail-biting time. I cannot remember a game, even when we win, that has been easy and fun, and I cannot forget a couple of times when we lost to them that were particularly miserable. Bill Snyder, KSU’s excellent coach always seems to get his team especially fired up for Oklahoma.

We beat KSU on the road in Manhattan, KS this week: 42 to 35. KSU played well and led most of the game, but we pulled it out in the last seven seconds. Actually, we were in position to win it with a field goal, but ended up getting a touchdown instead. And, it wouldn’t have been so squeaky if it hadn’t been for an unusual turnover – a long snap way over the punter’s head that gave KSU an easy score.

Our defense played miserably again. Things will have to change there. Oddly, even with the defense stinking up the place, I never thought we would lose the game, our offense was playing that well. I was confident Baker Mayfield just wouldn’t let it happen, and he didn’t, scoring four touchdowns – two by air and two by land.

The Dallas Cowboy win over the San Francisco 49ers was anything but a nail-biter. Dallas won 40 to 3, or something like that; I didn’t even bother to go back and check. Ezekiel Elliot ran for 219 yards, and when you can run the ball like that, you are going to win the game. The 49ers didn’t have enough time with the ball to score 40 points, even if they could.

Status of the States: I have no specific beef with any worst state this week, but, have you noticed how the worst states are so heavily over-represented in the Trump administration? A coincidence? I think not. It’s like Trump knew exactly where to go to find the worst, least qualified people to fill his posts.

Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions is from Alabama, and the least qualified member of the cabinet. He is a truly odious bigot, xenophobe and homophobe…just the man you want to run a Justice Department.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is from Texas. His appointment was a cruel joke at this expense, and he’s too stupid to get it. During his short-lived campaign, he promised to eliminate the Energy Department.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is from Oklahoma. He is a sworn enemy of the EPA, and sued it more than a dozen times to dilute its efforts to protect the environment, as Attorney General of that state.

Director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, was a congressperson from Kansas. Even a Republican – Rand Paul – voted against his nomination (Pompeo’s actually said to be pretty smart.)

From South Carolina, come both Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget – who wants to cut every welfare program and give the money to rich people; and Nikki Haley, who is U.S.  Ambassador to the United Nations. (Actually, Haley seems, at least, to be trying to do a good job.

Compared to this lot, Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake from Arizona, my own personal state, look not so bad.

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. George Brose said, on October 30, 2017 at 6:24 am

    Stephen,
    I did know that we had forces in Niger, in fact we have forces in almost every African country that might have two Muslims in its population. We deal with each government, convince them that we can prop up their regime with some ‘advisors’. Give them a bunch of surplus equipment, and stash it in unmarked warehouses around each country.

    I hesitate to quote how many countries we are doing this in ,but I think 80 would be a conservative number. We have an Africa Command that was based in Stuttgart, then there was talk about moving it onto the continent, I think in Djibouti, but don’t quote me on that one either. I did see some RFPs a few years ago seeking ‘experts’ to advise the Africa command. This is nothing new, just an extension of the School of the Americas mentality where we train the military in Western Hemisphere nations to conduct torture and extract intel to support Milton Friedman’s Shock Doctrine that has been going on since the coup in Chile in 1973. We do want to rule the world, or at least be pulling the strings behind every tinpot dictator we can buy or coerce. And if they don’t cooperate we’ll do our best to undermine them and replace them. And they freakin’ know it. If you don’t believe me, ask Manuel Noriega. Oh shit, he died in a prison in Florida. We didn’t like when he started thinking for himself and we invaded and jailed him. I’m sure we would like to do the same with Angela Merkel and Putin, but just don’t have the PR boys who can sell the idea.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *