Afghanistan and the eye of the Tiger, oh my

 Today I have a few words — figuratively speaking — on subjects of which I could discuss with thousands of words. However, I don’t want that and if you read this blog, you surely don’t want that.

 First off, Afghanistan and the upshot of President Obama ordering 30,000 additional troops into whatever it is we are fighting over there.

 Flip a coin. Heads, you approve of the additional troops. Tails, you disapprove. That is how I look at the announcement of additional forces. I initially thought we should have gone into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks. Today, I’m not so sure. The only thing I am sure of is that we shouldn’t have invaded Iraq. That war is what one might call unjust, not to mention illegal. I haven’t heard it called “Bush’s Folly” or “Shrub’s Folly,” but it should go down in history that way.

 If the search and destroy mission for Osama bin Laden and gang should  not have been a federal criminal investigation — with help from the military and CIA — many of the troops and material poured into Iraq (not to mention the billions of dollars) could have went to Afghanistan.

 I guess the American in me believes that we should find some kind of victory both in Iraq and Afghanistan and leave. We need to figure out what it is we are there to do because I am not sure what our goals are now in those countries.

 As for Obama sending more trooops to augment the more than 70,000 already there — and the allies sending 5,000 more to help the almost 40,000 NATO and other foreign forces in Afghanistan — I say: “Let’s see if it works out.” He has offered a timetable, albeit a seemingly short one.  So if the situation doesn’t improve by whenever it is Obama wants a withdrawal to begin, then we get mad and jump up and down and say: “Bad Obama. Bad, bad Obama.” This seems as good as anything else I can imagine.


 Next subject. Le Tigre. El Tigre.  Ang Tigre. The Tiger.

 Tiger, Tiger, Tiger.

 Why is the mainstream media doing stories on what was, initially, a rather odd car crash involving Tiger Woods?  Do viewers and readers of the media have such uninteresting lives that they MUST know the details of all the indiscretions of this sports (sports?) star? I have the most uninteresting life  imaginable, at least at the moment, and I don’t care about Tiger Woods” intimate moments. Let me be a bit more specific. I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S RECTUM ABOUT THE TIGER WOODS SCANDAL.

 Tiger Woods has not been elected to greatest golfer in the world or highest-paid sports star in the world. We do not own Tiger Woods. He has no obligation to tell the public zip. Sure, every star of every kind blames the media when things start to go South. But if anyone has a case against the media, this time it is Tiger Woods.

 It makes me both angry and sad to see great newspaper and broadcasting outlets report the latest on this scandal. Why don’t they report something really earth-shaking, like this?

Happy Thanksgiving, World leaders!


Even those at the highest reaches of world power need time for a little relaxation during the Thanksgiving holidays.  Here, White House aide Reggie Love tosses the Nuclear Football to President Obama in the outer Oval Office.

Don't judge an unsolicited opinion by its deliverer

The idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover” has been around in one form or another for probably, well, let’s just say a very long time.

Nonetheless, if the adage is cliche to one or the other then all I can do is provide a response with an acronymn, delivered in the phonetic alphabet, kind of like you hear fighter pilots do in movies. My phonetic message is: “SIERRA, ALPHA, TANGO, SIERRA,” which is short for “sorry about that s**t. In other words, don’t judge a book by its cover suits my needs insofar as this — hopefully — short post exists.

I stopped to talk with a neighbor upon returning from the store. After a few words or so, he launched into a discourse about how the elections in Virginia and New Jersey today should tell the tale of just how screwed up that blankety-blank Obama is doing.

Now I wrote a line or two about this yesterday saying I don’t think these few scattered elections are going to tell anything about how Obama is doing in office, the state of the Democrats or the future for the divisions within the Republican party. So, I told my neighbor I didn’t think the elections will matter one damn bit except in those states. He went just right along with his rant.

I have never discussed politics with my neighbor. He probably doesn’t even know I blog or have what some refer to as a “liberal” blog. I don’t particularly see EFD that way, but whatever works. I am a liberal in the good sense, but mostly a moderate and conservative on other matters and even libertarian on still others. The neighbor’s take on matters is rather obvious, a “watch Fox News all-the-time ultra conservative Republican.” This is obvious because he spouts the party line every time I see him.

What puzzles me is why he thinks I would like to hear his, mostly wrong, political opinion. Is it because I look like a redneck? I get along with some of the rednecks who live around here. I don’t get along with some of the crackheads. So is that why my neighbor targets me as a Limbaugh-boostin’ Obama hater?

The same happens when I am in the waiting room at the VA clinic. Some guy wearing a World War II GI-rene veteran ball cap — thank him for his service — comes in and starts blasting away at how Obama is ruining this universe, not to mention the Corps, Semper Fi! Of course, at the VA you’re liable to get some long-hair guy wearing a biker’s vest with Vietnam veteran patches who either starts saying the same type of thing, or else he goes off on the Republicans, which he blames all the way back to Dick Nixon.

Surely it isn’t just me. My past mental health counselor labeled me as  having a narcissistic personality disorder, so that statement should be a sign of progress, yes? Well, perhaps not. The point is, why do people who you really don’t know that well or at all approach you and unload upon you with their opinions — or the opinions of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Limbaugh and Fox News?

The same goes for religion. I don’t mind having a rational discussion about religion but I don’t like people who get in my face and tell me I’m going to Hell when in fact they don’t know me well enough to know where I might be going. Nederland, Texas, for instance. I have had very civil discussions about religion with Mormon missionaries who neatly parked their bikes outside my place and were extremely polite. They even gave me a Book of Mormon, which I have somewhere.

But I am getting out of the octagon here. People approaching me about religion, I think, would be less likely based on how I look than politics. The truth  is, though, I have to think that a good many people who give me their political outlook unsolicited do it because, well, I’m not sure why they do it. I guess the weather became to passé.

Some probably do see in me the look of a Limbaugh-Palin conservative: Shaved head, overweight, unhappy looking most of the time (although that is from chronic pain and not from figurative pains in the ass), known to wear ball caps with the Houston Astros logo. There you go.

If that be the case, then I wish people would cease and desist. Stop judging this book by its cover, or whatever the hell else it is that’s wrong with you!

O bitch-slaps Beck and Fox once again

  For quite awhile now the loonies of right-wing punditry land have had a pretty free hand in telling lies on their opponents with little consequence. But no less than the president of the United States is now challenging the veracity of Glenn Beck and Fox News and friends.

 The White House responded Wednesday on its blog to charges Beck and others have made regarding Obama’s attempts to gain an Olympic bid for Chicago. White House blogger Jessie Lee wrote on a post titled “Reality Check: Trying to Turn a Point of Pride Into a Moment of Shame” that the Olympics were once a point of pride and unity for the country but …

 ” … once again Fox News’ Glenn Beck program has shown that nothing is worthy of respect if it can be used as part of a partisan attack to boost ratings.”

 In the words of some long forgotten barfly who sat in the bar stool next to me in Jim’s Lounge back during my Navy days in Gulfport, Miss.: “You got that right!”

 Obama’s folks are no longer playing nice and letting completely absurd untruths to slide by. The White House Blog post noted:

  “RHETORIC:    BECK SAID VANCOUVER LOST $1 BILLION WHEN IT “HAD THE OLYMPICS.”   Glenn Beck said, Vancouver lost, how much was it? they lost a billion dollars when they had the Olympics.”  [Transcript, Glenn Beck Show, 9/29/09]

 “REALITY:   VANCOUVER’S OLYMPICS WILL NOT TAKE PLACE UNTIL 2010.   Vancouver will host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games from February 12 – 28, 2010 and March 12-21, 2010, respectively. [, accessed 9/29/09]”

 You can read the rest for yourself and see how the Obama administration has a whole new ballgame under way in dealing with even its most powerful critics.

 Obama has snubbed Fox more than once lately and his avoidance has been nothing if not matter-of-fact.

 More thoughtful pundits say Obama is making a mistake not talking to the large audience watching Fox News. But the fact is, his electoral base is not the typical Glenn Beck watcher. Plus, Fox has become increasingly even in its overall news coverage — forget talk shows like Beck, O’Reilly and Hannity — more biased toward the right. The ads Fox took out falsely claiming other news outlets avoided covering the events of the recent Tea Partyista’s march on Washington are just some of the more blatant examples of the cable channel heading toward a dominant role as a right-wing propaganda tool.

 I am happy for this boldness towards Fox and demagogues such as Beck. Their lies do nothing but obscure information the people need about their government. Likewise, it becomes more difficult to govern and to be governed.

The short and short of it: Mrs. O's legs.

What a week. We saw another round of shouting over health care reform. The Scots let the only Lockerbie bombing prisoner go home because of cancer and the terrorist got a hero’s welcome in Libya. Locally, we had a freak tornado that hit Kohl’s, Wal-Mart and the Parkdale Mall. And of course, we had the First Lady’s legs.

Yes. As a “Time” magazine article proclaimed: “Michelle Obama and the Shorts Heard Round the World.” Yes. The golden rule of journalism is “Let no news hole go unfilled.” And fill it they did when the First Lady deplaned Air Force One in Arizona sporting a pair of shorts. Would the world have been anymore shocked had she walked down the steps of the presidential jet wearing a wet T-shirt and hot pants? Okay. We will just let that image hang for a minute.

The controversy was one mostly invented a bored White House media who had nothing better to do while following the First Family. I mean, I didn’t hear many REAL people who were up in arms about Michelle Obama’s legs.

“While nobody would make Mrs. O wear couture in Arizona in August, the truth is, she just didn’t look particularly good in shorts. Her arms are much admired. Her legs are just, you know, legs,” opined “Time’s” Belinda Luscombe in her piece about the shorts flap.

The criticisms of Michelle Obama incensed editors of the “Jamaica Observer” who saw racism as a possible motive why the media and Obama critics made her shorts such a big deal.

“That the US first lady created such a stir though is, in itself, quite remarkable and instructive.

For on reading through the streams of commentary, we couldn’t help detecting a rather nasty streak of something that bears a close resemblance to racism.”

Wow. Criticism and criticism about the criticism. All over a pair of shorts.

Although I  support the Obamas I must say that I rather admire the First Lady for being comfortable in her own skin. With that said, I am also a very big supporter of shorts, probably more than the average American.

I wear shorts — a lot. The mean annual temperature where I live is 72 degrees. Mean doesn’t mean it is 72 year-round. But it is comfortable enough down here on the upper Texas coast that I can and do wear shorts every month of the year. Shorts are my official pants even though blue jeans were once reserved for that title. If I am not working or at least if I am not working outside my abode, and if the weather isn’t too cold, you will likely find me in a pair of shorts.

My legs aren’t as shapley as Mrs. Obama’s, I must admit, even though the “Time” correspondent doesn’t seem taken with the First Lady legs. But I don’t care. I wear shorts for comfort not for style. And like Mrs. Obama — to paraphrase ZZ Top — I’ve … “got legs. I know how to use them.”

Quite simply, I walk on them — mostly wearing shorts.