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Marco Rubio Plays with Cuban Balls

Cuba Highlights (4 of 243)After more than fifty years of shear idiocy, President Obama has taken a giant step toward normalizing relations with Cuba. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has publically opposed the action. He’s definitely got more chutzpa than I could muster even after my fifth Cuba Libre. He actually stands before the cameras and spews his rubbish with a straight face. It’s a performance worthy of an Academy Award or maybe even a seat in the U.S. Senate. He’s not alone. Other two-faced politicians (John McCain for one) have expressed opposition to the move.

“It rewards the oppressive and brutal dictatorial regime of the Castro brothers” sayeth the Rubio types. “We must intensify the embargo so they’ll move toward democracy” intones the straight faced senatorial comedian. “The people of Cuba want the same freedoms we have here and without the embargo, they won’t get them” he says.

His arguments carry a lot of weight with me because I know he stands firm in his conviction that we should not do business with countries that don’t have an appropriate level of freedom and democracy. Oppress your people and you’re not doing business with us. Continue reading

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Talking to Stumps

Sure, I’m generalizing. So be aware I acknowledge there are exceptions to what I’m about to say. At last count there were twelve. Not bad for a group of a few tens of millions. It’s increasingly difficult to pick a descriptive name for the group. Call them FOXites, tea baggers, right wing-nuts, religious zealots, conservatives or Republicans, each group disavows automatic inclusion in the other, but the reality is that by superimposing each group’s demographic over the others, the boundaries are barely blurred. Sadly for some (namely conservatives and Republicans), their labels used to carry an element of pensive respect, but those were the days of William F. Buckley and other educated, intelligent icons of their philosophical sect. Buckley and his ilk have been replaced by the likes of Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly and numerous other doctrinal windbags that don’t even believe in their own theater. They pander to the under-educated, intellectually lazy “patriots” that find a three piece jigsaw puzzle a formidable mental challenge. They’re making a mockery out of the American political system by feeding nonsensical populist rubbish into the unfiltered minds of the philosophical zombies that roam the range contributing little beyond mental defecant to the discussion of the substantive issues confronting America today.

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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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Obama’s Nobel – Joy or Joke?

President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Can’t you hear the FOX hounds howling? My friend picked me up for a round of golf the morning of the announcement and much to my surprise hadn’t heard the news. When I mentioned it to him, his eyebrows climbed to the top of his brow. “You are kidding?” he gasped. As you might have guessed, J.J. isn’t the President’s biggest fan.

For the entire twenty minute drive, J.J. alternated between rant and a mad mumbling about the injustice of awarding a freshman President the Nobel. The seething continued onto the practice range and for eighteen holes of unsettled golf. If he did start to calm down, I would subtly bring it up again. His golf game did finally fall apart; my strategy seemed to work as I had hoped.

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Single Issue Voters – the Scourge of Democracy

I had the good fortune of being present for President Obama’s commencement address at Arizona State University last week. It was just the President, me, Lisa and about 75,000 of our closest friends. The man is a tremendous speaker and knows how to touch the hearts of those in his audience. There were a few protesters outside the stadium carrying signs entreating the President to “stay out of their piggy banks.” I asked one of them how he expected the President to pay the bills that have come due, but the only response I got was some sort of rehashed FOX “tea party” drivel that made as much sense of putting horseradish on your forehead.

The President also spoke at the commencement ceremony for Notre Dame, the nation’s best known Catholic university. Once again, his appearance was punctuated with a number of self righteous protesters, this time trying to draw attention to both themselves and to the commonly known fact that the President opposes abortion personally, but supports the right of a woman to make her own private and personal decisions.

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Hate in the Time of Wireless

Shucks. Call me a closet romantic. Call me naïve. Call me blissfully unaware. I desperately want – or maybe need – to believe that our society moved beyond racial and cultural disparity into the “enlightenment of equality for all” many decades ago. Intellectually I know that’s bullshit. Just last week my ex, Vermin, brought this to my attention in all of its repulsive vividness by way of the modern marvel of wireless technology. I trust he was simply pushing a semi-concealed button, the location of which he knows from insider information he received many years ago. I’m not positive that I did not wish to remain with my head firmly planted in the sand.

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Size Does Matter

We called him “Fryer” Tuck. He was 6’6″ and weighed about 265 pounds. He was as quick as some of our running backs. Our senior year, we won our high school league football championship. Tuck played tackle on both offense and defense. I played defensive end. When the ball was snapped, all I had to do was loop around behind the Fryer.  It was like following a road grader. He’d take out three of the opponent’s players and I’d have a clear path to the quarterback. I didn’t even have to get dirty.

I saw the Fryer at my fortieth high school reunion a couple years ago. He’s actually slimmer than he was in high school, but he is still an imposing and intimidating physical specimen of a man. In the years I’ve known him, I’ve never seen him try to physically intimidate or bully anyone. He was a gentle giant, always helping the guy up that he’d just knocked down.

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