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But It’s a Dry Heat

Dry as it might be, the sometimes scorching Arizona heat seems to take its toll on the sanity of some of the State’s residents. Arizona has a long history of putting nut-cases in positions of leadership. It is the land of Ev Mecham, a former Arizona governor and loose cannon who represented only “the good people” and looked down his nose at others he referred to in derogatory terms like “pickaninnies”. The shortest path to the governor’s office in Arizona seems to be to run for Secretary of State where you can lie in wait for the impeachment of the elected governor.

Arizona has a well documented history of filling the State legislature with bigots and imbeciles that make observers from the civilized world conclude the heat may be dry, but insidiously destructive to brain cells. Russell Pearce and Sheriff Joe Arpaio are two of the State’s reining bigots making national news on a regular basis. J.D. Hayworth, a crazed hate peddler is currently running against John McCain and has driven McCain babbling incoherently off the cliff into a world of senile delusion.

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Shaving Israel with Ockham’s Razor

Does a bad child’s behavior reflect on its parents? Most agree an ill behaved child reflects a lack of parenting and discipline. It appears Israel is becoming our delinquent child. With each passing day, more and more people are beginning to believe it’s high time for a little discipline. Spare the rod and spoil the child. Time for some tough love.

Israel is our ally and we are hers. There can be no question about that. America was the midwife at the birth of Israel as a nation. Our cultures are inextricably intertwined. Israel is an important economic ally. She is of critical importance to America strategically. She is our canary in the mine shaft in the Middle East. The Jews are a well spring of culture, intellect and creativity. Our histories are so tied together as to be inseparable. The Jewish culture has survived and prospered for 3,000 years. I have no doubt that when the curtain is finally drawn on this great play we call civilization, the Jews will be the last to leave the stage. Israel’s survival and prosperity are not only in their own best interests, they are in the interests of all freedom loving Americans. We cannot turn our backs on Israel any more than we can disavow our relationship with a brother or our own child.

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Have We No Cyber-Shame?

Somehow we’re doing this with a straight face. I keep looking around to see if I’m the only one laughing, but even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is acting as if she’s serious. Google is threatening to pull its operations out of China because someone cracked into some of the Google gMail accounts. No one knows for certain who is responsible, but Google engineers say the cyber-attack was sufficiently sophisticated that only the government of China could have pulled it off. If you believe the anti-healthcare tea sippers in this country, that would be proof the government wasn’t involved, but that’s another story.

So at the moment, we know someone cracked some email accounts. We don’t know who. We don’t know why. But we stand in righteous indignation over the high crime that may have been perpetrated by the Chinese. Surely someone is joking.

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Hopefully for Israel, Elephants are the Only Animals that Never Forget

With the holiday season upon us, social gatherings abound. I seized the opportunity to attend one recently. Who am I to turn down free food? There was a promise of excitement. It was to be attended by an eclectic group of writers, politicos and intellectuals. It was to be an evening where one conceptual piñata after another would be clubbed and beaten to the delight of the provocateurs present.

I walked into the room and came face-to-face with an elephant. It was huge, but no one seemed to be paying attention to it. I couldn’t imagine how it got there. Siegfried and Roy were the only guys on the planet that could pull off this stunt, but they were nowhere to be seen. I grabbed a glass of wine and slowly worked my way around the elephant. I said hello to a number of the guests as I walked through the room. Some were actually leaning against the elephant that was calmly standing near the double doors leading out onto the patio. No one said a word about the imposing pachyderm.

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John McCain means well, but . . .

John means well, bless his heart. Senator McCain continues to prove the American electorate made the right choice last November. He criticized President Obama’s recently announced plan to press the conflict in Afghanistan because of establishment of a deadline for beginning the removal of American forces from the region. Admittedly, the Senator was baited by one of Fox’s consummate windbags, Sean Hannity. And admittedly, the “maverick” still has a level of obligation to march along with the Republican Party’s vacuous position of divisive adversary of all things “liberal”. But the man who wanted to be president should be strong enough to stand above the crowd when it comes to issues critical to our nation’s future. Shall we consider his position?

With regard to the deadline, McCain says, “Well, the danger is that it’s hard to get the loyal support of the people who have to live in the neighborhood after you leave. They’ll hedge their bets, whether it be governments or people in the region. Also, the threat is that the Taliban and other Al Qaeda just stay back in the weeds until we leave. That is the danger that’s always been associated with setting arbitrary dates.”

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McChrystal Blew It

General Stanley McChrystal is the center of controversy because he forgot one of the critical lessons that every soldier learns.  There is a chain of command.  Working through the chain of command is absolutely critical to the successful operation of the military.  Any soldier that successfully survives basic training has learned that moral orders from superiors are not suggestions; they are orders to be carried out without question.  They also understand how the chain of command works and they understand why it exists.

How has McChrystal forgotten this fundamental lesson?  He is a four-star general, a graduate of West Point, and given the part of his military resume that is public (much of it is cloaked in secrecy), a successful military commander.  Yet, he has taken his recommendations for pursuit of the war in Afghanistan public rather than to his immediate superior, the Secretary of Defense and ultimately to the Command-in-Chief, i.e., the President.  His actions compromise the President’s ability to analyze the situation in Afghanistan and to plan a successful strategy for the conflict.  Why has McChrystal violated the most fundamental rule of military structure?  Ego; what other explanation can he have?

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Our Media in the Hall of Shame Again

In perusing the news coverage for the past week in Arizona’s leading newspapers, I find exhilarating stories about how the U.S. Mint is paying a tribute to the Grand Canyon, certainly information I couldn’t live without and of course I was spellbound to learn about the nine women that were rescued from a fake reality show in Turkey.  A company in Mesa is going to make “eco-friendly” golf balls.  In Tucson, it was reported a child’s health can be jeopardized by being kept too clean.  I was tickled to learn Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon had joined with 16 other mayors to tout volunteerism.

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