The Widdershins

So much, so little…

Posted on: February 11, 2015

Folks, there is so much to say and so little time to say it today. I am pretty sure when the aliens dropped me on this rock to live amongst the good earthlings, they left a good bit of alien DNA in this quickly deteriorating meat suit of mine. “How do I know?” you say. During the past week recuperating from whatever it is I have, the antibiotics have stirred up and unleashed stuff I know can’t be of this world.

The good news is that I’m on the mend. The other good news is that I’m not feeling strong enough to do one of my interminably long and loquacious posts. Given the steroids and inhalers and the litany of selections from columns A, B, and C of the pharmacopeia menu, I could easily fire off 26,000 words and never would any two ideas come within the same zip code of one another.

But there are some things that need to be said today. I’ll try and be brief.

Kayla Mueller

Kayla Mueller

Kayla Mueller was the best of what humankind has to offer. She was exceptional. Although Kayla’s journey was short, it was a path built upon remarkable goodness, traveled with purity of spirit, and remembered without a hint of regret. Her family and friends will miss her the rest of their days. We need to remember them and especially her.

Jon Stewart and Brian Williams are about the best New Jersey has to offer. Add Bruce Springsteen and you have what is easily the holy New Jersey Trinity and undoubtedly the three wisest men from the Garden State. I know this is true because they would have never nicknamed New Jersey the Garden State.

Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show. I will miss him for more than his brilliant satirical wit and his insightfully acidic tongue. During the years of being my mother’s caregiver, she insisted on watching “her boyfriend” each evening. Jon brought her much happiness. For that I will always be grateful.

Jon Stewart and Brian WilliamsBrian Williams was and will continue to be the guy I want to give me 22 minutes of news headlines. He was a volunteer fireman at one time and I respect and relate to that. He is also wickedly funny. These days the requirements of building one’s personal brand required him to climb out from behind the desk and be a “personality”. He did that and was good at it. In this age of personality driven everything, perhaps he jumped a little too far beyond the desk. Perhaps the “drive to please” drove his misremembering, but pleasing others is never a good enough reason to tarnish your credibility when it is your stock-in-trade. I, for one, will forgive him that foible.

Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before Congress is so wrong on so many levels, it would put to shame an ant farm cranked up on blue ice meth. I won’t begin to list them other than to say this: Never before has any Israeli Prime Minister allowed an Israeli issue to become partisan and politicized.

It seems this John Boehner invite was scored by Ron Dermer, the new Israeli Ambassador. He’s same guy who was an acolyte of Frank Luntz and a full-blown Republican operative until he gave up his American citizenship to take up residence in Bibi’s bum.

This speech is a political speech. This is a speech plotted to alter American foreign policy. This is a speech designed to weaken a President trying to walk a tightrope of negotiation between Iranian nuclear policy and Irani generals advising the Iraqi troops fighting ISIL. This is a speech designed to make the Middle East, unfathomably complex on a good day in terms of policy, a never-ending quagmire of blood and treasure for generations.

Here’s what the politicians are afraid to say: When anyone says Netanyahu is Israel, they are willfully ignorant or just plainNetanyahu and Dermer stupid. Netanyahu’s party currently has only 18 seats in the Knesset. His coalition is best described as a “wink, a hope, and a prayer”. His policies are not popular. Former advisers call him dangerous. His approval is on a well-oiled banana peel. Yet he continues to subscribe to that harebrained testosterone trait exemplified by Cheney and Rumsfeld, “If you admit wrong, you are weak.”

Something that has been absolutely nonexistent in any discussion of Netanyahu’s tantrum to come is this: Are we willing to participate in causing the world to live a real life Groundhog’s Day? I’ll explain.

Netanyahu’s position is no Iranian nuclear power — period. Not just ending enrichment — nothing even conceivably reaching enrichment by years of refinement even with on-site inspection and verification can be considered. Translation: No nuclear power for a country starving for an electrical grid. In addition, he wants increased sanctions while the Iranians are still at the negotiating table. And most of all, Netanyahu wants to bomb the existing processing facilities in Iran. Facilities that were built and operational during Dubya’s administration.

Netanyahu Job RatingAs always, he wants us to either participate in the bombing or like the ever watchful big brother, wants us to stand guard as he acts in contravention of virtually every treaty, convention, and U.N. mandate to the contrary. And then he wants us to veto any sure-to-follow United Nations’ sanctions.

Now here’s the thing: What do we do then? Iran will reconstitute its nuclear program within two to three years. They will be loath to negotiate because negotiating got them blown to smithereens three years previous. Do we Groundhog’s Day it again, and again, and again? That guarantees at least two things: (1) A permanent Middle East preoccupation premised upon just about the most unpopular policy possible; and (2) A constant state of U.S. war footing with increased hostility that does nothing but make the world, and our part of it, infinitely more dangerous. It is this second point that serves as Netanyahu’s guiding credo: If all your neighbors’ houses are burning, they will never commit arson against you.

We just spent 13 years learning the idiocy of that policy by eradicating a top line predator from the Iraqi political ecosystem. Are we again that unimaginably stupid?

I have dozens of Israeli friends — all with beautiful families. They deserve better than Netanyahu and Dermer, his political incubus, trading on their safety and gambling with the future of Israel.

Take the conversation in any direction you might like.


19 Responses to "So much, so little…"

Excellent post. Agree that the media rampage against Williams is way overdone. If they’re going to relentlessly attack a news person for spouting some BS, how about going after everyone at Faux News?

My family & I are sick about Stewart leaving. I bet Comedy Central is also, first Colbert, now this.

Prolix, hope you get well soon!

What Annie said.
Jon Stewart is my only source of reliable news, except for the BBC. I.too, am a fan of Brian Williams, and I don not believe that he varnished a thing about Katrina.
I don’t pretend to know a lot about the I/P situation, but I remember having dinner at a local eatery back in 2004 and seeing a group of people wearing “Jewish Republicans” tee shirts with “George W. Bush is the best friend Israel ever had” quoting from some speech made by Netanyahu on the back. That did it for me. However, Boehner and Netanyahu can commiserate about their appallingly similar approval ratings. I also have to wonder what would have happened if Nancy Pelosi had invited the President of France to address Congress during the Bush admin. What fun, huh?

I am a fan of Israel, have been and always will be. I’m just not a fan of Netanyahu and the way he seems to believe he can treat the relationship. He’s like a serial abuser or a cheater, he will never do it again until he does. I began to question the relationship when we expelled an Israeli spy about 20 years ago — I’ve bypassed all domestic sources of news and go straight to the English Israeli press. I highly recommend the practice.

@1 and 2, I have noticed Jon’s energy level sagging not just since Colbert left, but ever since he finished the “Rosewater” film project. I think he has wanderlust for doing some other things. I will miss him terribly.

What do y’all think about Larry Wilmore’s show? His show legs are still wobbly, but I’m lovin’ a big lot of the “Keepin’ it 100”.

I have always like “The Senior Black Correspondent”. He should do well.

@4: Always enjoyed Larry’s segments. His show is still a work in progress and that’s okay if C.C. will give him some time.

We have been watching (laker & I), and we like his comedy schtick in the beginning, but think he needs to come up with more variety for the rest of the show. Colbert didn’t do “The Word” or “Tip of the Hat” every night. He rotated the bits around, and often did things that were entirely original and only done that night. So far, Larry (cute dimples!) has the same lackluster-ish panels of four people I’ve never heard of, followed by the Keep It 100 segment, which I am mostly bored with. I think he should break it up a bit. Have his panel of 4 once a week and have an interesting guest, one-on-one, like Stewart and Colbert did. Ditto for the Keep It 100. Every night is too much. It’s just not that funny or informational, which should be two goals for his show. Do something else…have a short music performance, make fun of Faux News. i think he’s trying too hard to be different from Stewart and Colbert and the result is his show is vanilla. There’s nothing wrong with taking a page from Stewart & Colbert, they had two of the most interesting, funny, informative shows ever. Why run away from that?

I wish CC would lure John Oliver back from HBO. We don’t get HBO (I hate paying for TV), so I never see him anymore.

I wonder if they’ll give John’s show to Sam Bee?

and I don not believe that he varnished a thing about Katrina.

Well apparently he did, at least about the floating bodies around the Ritz Carlton. That’s according to the assistant mgr who was there at the time. That area and the F.Q. were the “high ground” during the flooding, as well as parts of Uptown. Perhaps that was an image he retained from another part of the city. Either way, I’m not going to fault him for it.

Prolix, glad you are on the mend! Thank you for being able to distinguish supporting Israel from supporting its leader. If only more people were able to do that, we might be able to have a more intelligent discourse on the topic of I/P.

Ah, John Stewart. He did an incredible job for many years…he has earned the right to explore other avenues, but boy, we will miss him!

RIP Bob Simon (60 Minutes). I’ll never forget his segment on “Curveball”.

Prolix, I just saw the part about you being sick…my bad! 😦 Feel better soon.

I grew up in the same neighborhood as Bob Simon’s brother Jim, who was also an international journalist. His sons are all journalists also, Jim Avila on ABC (I think he was on NBC before); and two others that are less famous. They had pictures all over their house of Jim with famous people he had interviewed. One of the other sons used Avila, which I think was their mothers maiden name. Just some useless trivia I remember.

That skooks is a hoot.

That skooks is a hoot.

And this is the time of year when he can be crazy and it’s okay. I think though, that his wife is sane so she sorta balances things out. 😉
He does write some serious stuff but he’s a nola guy so he keeps to that and La. issues most of the time.

This is so freakin’ stoopid and these people look like complete redneck idiots for pulling this crap! 👿

Note that the poll on the linked page finds 85% agreement with SCOTUS.

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