Some random observations on recent events:
- What is Barack Obama thinking about with Syria involvement? Candidate Obama talked about dumb wars. He got us out of one of the dumbest in Iraq, andis ending our involvement in Afghanistan – although our initial reason for going in was valid – but we are getting embroiled in one of the most complicated situations in that part of the world. Yes, it would be nice if U.S. involvement would bring an end to the killings of thousands of people, but that is a Utopian fantasy at best. The worst is being embroiled in a civil war in which I do not think one per cent of Americans could identify even two of the insurgent factions, although when you start with Al Qaeda as one, you have to ask “What is Barack Obama thinking?
- Does not the Iran election make his involvement look even more foolish? While it is too soon to speculate on the effect of Hassan Rowhani’s election on world events, it is clear that the Iranian people have sent a message to the theocratic dictators of that country. If greater engagement and influence by the United States is a possibility, it is not helped by choosing the Sunni side in the Syria quagmire.
- Thanks Bill Clinton for manning up. Clinton’s comments that Obama could look like a “wuss” if he didn’t engage in Syria is a level of sophistication we might expect from George W. Bush. Clinton can’t do better than that?
- Can we debate the serious issue of government surveillance rather than Edward Snowden’s status? It was perhaps hoping for too much to think that the release of secret government information about surveillance would focus on the merits of the snooping rather than whether the leaker was a hero or a traitor. That, however, is what has dominated discussion in the blogosphere as well as in the hallowed halls of Congress. I don’t care what the guy is called. Why are my phone records going to the government?
- Speaking of the Congress, is there a competition between the Kings for who can be the biggest clown? Peter of New York leaped to the forefront by saying journalist Glenn Greenwald should be prosecuted for reporting on the NSA security issue. Steven of Iowa cannot be far behind, particularly since the immigration issue is working its way to the House.
- With the riots in France over same-sex marriage, will French Fries be replacing Freedom Fries in the Congressional dining hall? While one does not normally associate traditional marriage values with France – at least traditional in our sense – do the riots opposing same-sex marriage mean the French will be allowed back into the right-wings theocratic fold.
- Speaking of God, what is it with the new Pope? Thus far, I have criticized Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, the media and Congressional Republicans. But Pope Francis must have the Vatican insiders – including what he referred to as the gay lobby – spinning. It is too soon whether he is a true breath of fresh air in a moribund and archaic body, but he is off to a great start.
- Is Jon Stewart on his way to becoming the next Wally Pipp? I don’t know if there has been a new Wally Pipp since the original, but John Oliver is not making me miss John Stewart.
- For an athlete, is there anything more embarrassing than the hockey goalie replaced during the period? During the Boston-Pittsburg series, Pittsburg replaced its goalie after the starter gave up three goals in the first period. I know replacing a pitcher happens all the time – indeed, they are not expected to go the whole game – but it must be humiliating to skate off in mid-period.
That’s it for now.