Posts Tagged ‘George W. Bush’

Scandals, baby, and a burning oil rig

July 26, 2013

[<B> Note:  The legal department insisted that this column be clearly labeled as a work of fiction and attempt at achieving humor so that it would be exempted from the ministrations of a member of the fact checkers’ union.</B>]

 

Since JEB Bush and Hillary Clinton both have such a commanding lead in the mad scramble for their respective party’s Presidential nomination, the World’s Laziest Journalist News Organization conducted some polling to asses the likely winner of the (hypothetical?) expected 2016 match-up and have determined that the race is, at this point, too close to call.

 

Mrs. Clinton, a former Little Rock Arkansas housewife, became known during Obama’s Second Term for her efforts to establish a political strategy consulting firm in Washington D. C.  Then she decided to become her own top client and run for President.

 

JEB Bush, who has been Governor of Florida, is a recognized authority on academic matters and he runs a Journalism consulting firm which lists Fox as its top client.  He also has been a top military advisor for the fellow who occupied the White House before the Obama Recession devastated the American economy.  JEB, before he entered politics in Florida, was a famous musician who might be best known as a pioneer in the mariachi surf sound because of his no. one hits “Swimming to Miami,” “Alligators in El Paso,” and “Deficit wipeout!”

 

Speaking of Florida’s and America’s political future, the Astrology desk at the World’s Laziest Journalist News Organization is predicting that Congressman George Zimmerman, who was a famous crime fighter before he entered politics, will win reelection to a second term in the 2016 general elections.

 

Conspiracy Theory aficionados are speculating about the possibility that an investigation is needed regarding their suspicion that a bit of a combination psy-ops and jury tampering might have occurred in conjunction with the George Zimmerman acquittal.

 

Liz Cheney has upset some Republicans by announcing that she would like to run for the Senate from Wyoming.  When her father suddenly announced that he had concluded that the best running mate for George W. Bush should be Dick Cheney some curmudgeonly Democrats objected because the rules specifically state that the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate can not be from the same state.  Dubya was a Texan and the Dickster was living in Texas, but when the objections were raised . . . faster than you can say “Poof be gone!,” Dick Cheney was suddenly a Wyoming resident.  Why shouldn’t the same magical logic apply to his daughter?

 

Speaking of forgotten past news items, this week in San Francisco a bicyclist was charged with vehicular manslaughter and the case was being described as a first.  Wasn’t there a pedestrian killed by a bicyclist on Ocean Front Walk at the Venice Beach back about 1978 or 79?  Didn’t the AP move a photo on the wire (at least for a regional split) of a related protest? 

 

Did anyone else notice that in the last full week of July 2013, both the Uncle Rushbo and the Norman Goldman/Mike Malloy factions of talk radio seemed (cue the Hallelujah Chorus song) to be in agreement about one thing:  Americans don’t care about the birth of a kid who might be the King of England 65 years from today.  Heck the American media seems this week to be ignoring the trials and tribulations for one of Michael Jackson’s kids.  Back in the day couldn’t he make world headlines by holding his kid over the edge of a balcony.  Are news editors that fickle?

 

The Armstrong and Getty radio show criticized CBS Evening News for using the royal birth as a lead item.  Apparently the CBS news team doesn’t care about the fact that Iraq has been determined to be in a state of Civil War (should the USA send troops?) and that Syria’s Civil War may also need some American troops.  It’s as if CBS had sent a guy to cover the Battle of Britain and he sent back a report about how the Princess was handing out candy bars in an air raid shelter.  Wouldn’t CBS have wanted something more hard news-ish?   One day soon, won’t the “Peace in our time” era be celebrating its 75th anniversary?

 

This weeks news story about another accident involving an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico reminds us that we have intended to write to the Columbia Journalism Review and ask them if the continuing series of ads proclaiming that British Petroleum has helped the Gulf area return to normal, which accompany the CBS Evening News Broadcasts seen in the San Francisco Bay area are seen in the same context around the USA and does that constitute a conflict of interest?  If the phrase Ethics in Journalism isn’t an oxymoron, then could the folks that teach journalism consider the BP ads an example of applying the “hide in plain sight” principle to the concept of bribery? 

 

Should the Columbia Journalism Review call CBS out for a conflict of interest?  Maybe we’ll send the URL for this column to the editor of that publication and ask about that.

 

Was there any other criticism this week of CBS Evening New that we missed?

 

Private Eye, a publication in Great Britain, epitomized the prevalent opinion for most Americans with their headline:  “Woman has baby.”

 

We have heard an unconfirmed report that the folks who participated in the Occupy movement are planning on having a reunion in Kalamazoo soon.  Our reaction to that was to suggest that a famous Kalamazoo resident should come out of retirement and help them with a benefit concert. 

 

Isn’t the “Elvis isn’t dead” exhibit in the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory’s Hall of Fame a perennial favorite with the tourists who are granted the rare privilege of a tour of the facility’s campus?

 

Why is there so much secrecy surrounding the annual “Conspiracy Theory of the Year” award ceremony?

 

Some dismal Democrats are asserting that Detroit’s bankruptcy ploy is a shameful attempt to destroy the pensions for people who worked for that city all their lives.  The Democrats say destroying lives and stealing pension funds as if that were bad.  In a country with a large contingent of homeless citizens, isn’t it appropriate to have voters’ attention focused on a city full of empty and abandoned homes?

 

If a Republican politician is caught in a sex scandal he can just ignore it and win reelection, but if a Democrat is accused, an immediate resignation becomes a matter of national honor. 

 

The drugs in baseball scandal seems to be a news story on steroids and it won’t go away.

 

The stalled bridge story in the San Francisco Bay area might win national attention if some New York based editors ever stop to think that perhaps the crumbling interstructure meme has gone to the extreme and the West Coast Oakland Bay Bridge stall out story may soon be used to exemplify the idea that America is now building new bridges that are already unsafe the day they are opened. 

 

We have been reading some political history and apparently up until 1946 the Thirties were called The Republican Depression.  After the end of WWII, the Republicans renamed it the Great Depression and folks like Dick Nixon won elections in large numbers.  The communist hunting California congressman won his seat in Congress in a district that had been home to a fellow who had scored high on the liberal side of the conservative vs. liberal measurement scale.  See how well a good bit of spin can work?

 

In a week where the bitching about the NSA surveillance of e-mails and phone calls was seeping into some Republican talking points, no one suggested that if the snooping is as good as its proponents say it is, then perhaps the NSA will finally be able to figure out who made huge profits on the short sale of airline stocks at the time the World Trade Center was attacked.

 

It seems like the World’s Laziest Journalist will, once again this year, miss the Hemingway Days festivities in Key West.

 

[Note from the photo editor:  There were a good number of historic photo opportunities happening lately but getting some photos of a rally that protested the verdict in the George Zimmerman trail was the only event we were able to attend and photograph, hence our ability to select the best frame to accompany this column was a bit limited.  We did the best we could with the resources we had.]

 

Anton Chekhov has been quoted as saying:  “The word “newspaper-writer” means, at very least, a scoundrel.” 

 

For no particular reason the disk jockey wanted to play us out with songs about drinking in Mexico so he will play Heino’s song “In einer Bar in Mexico,” Marty Robin’s “El Paso,” and Waylon and Willies’ “Clean Shirt.”  We have to go celebrate Mick Jagger’s 70th birthday.  Have a “get off my cloud” type week.

 

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/bob-patterson/50824/polls-politicians-and-petroleum

 

http://bartblog.bartcop.com/?p=14181

 

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Turnabout is fair play

February 8, 2013

“Turnabout,” the 1931 novel by Thorne Smith was given a very strong recommendation that sparked a relentless search in used book stores from New York City to Los Angeles.  The story is about the struggles of a married couple who became the victims of an ancient Egyptian god’s practical joke when he magically (as ancient Egyptian gods are permitted to do) switched their minds into the other’s body.

Our quest to find that obscure literary treasure came to an end in Los Angels many moons ago.  The book delivered the expected level of entertainment and in an odd twist of fate that copy of that particular paperback was handed off to the fellow who had given the original recommendation because he wanted to re-read the hilarious antics again.

It turned out that the concept of two fictional characters trading minds had previously been used in an obscure short story, written by A. Conan Doyle, about a student and one of his professors.

The concept of two disparate personalities switching host bodies was used in the Tom Hanks film “Big” which told the tale of a father and young son who experienced that particular transformation.

In a week in which Republicans were castigating a Democratic President for not following the rules of warfare and the Dems were shrugging off the criticism with studied nonchalance in the “I can’t hear you” mode of saying “bugger off,” the entire staff at the World’s Laziest Journalist headquarters was coping with a strong attack of déjà vu . . .

President Obama let an opportunity to investigate the possibility that George W. Bush and his posse might have (subjunctive mood) exceeded the bounds of good taste slip away and then when Obama gave his acceptant speech at the Nobel Peace Awards, he sounded a tad bellicose.  Now, the Obama supporters approach the subject of impeachment and charges of war crimes with a very Karl Rove-ish sounding collective voice and the Repubs (does that word mean folks who visit a tavern for the second time in one night?) are snickering with fiendish delight.

Isn’t there an old legal adage that states “Silence Implies Consent!”?

So if Obama was silent about any possible Bush complicity in war crimes (and he was), then, at the very least, the possibility has to be considered that Obama was an accessory after the fact for any (hypothetically speaking) Bush War Crimes.

The German High Command in WWII went to great lengths to insure that the citizens of their country didn’t know what was happening and thus they had a legitimate claim to say to the members of the various allied armies that occupied Germany after the war was over that the average German in the streets didn’t know what was being done in their name by their leaders.

George W. Bush made goddamn sure that his policies were reported by America’s Free Press and thus insured that sooner or later Americans would be accessories before, during, and after the fact to his dirty deeds, if, indeed, there were any.

How many conservatives completely ignored the precepts contained in Robert Jackson’s opening statement at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial and cried;  “He (Bush) didn’t know that there was no WMD’s!”?  More than a few.

Any debate, at this point, over which Party’s guy did or did not commit war crimes is an exercise in futility.

The War Crimes Studies Center operates on the University of California Berkeley campus and since they haven’t made any headlines about launching an investigation into the possibility of any Bush war crimes, that aught to settle the question once and for all.

By a remarkable coincidence, John Yoo, who led the team of legal advisors that George W. Bush used to insure that he never, either deliberately or accidentally, did anything which might arouse suspicions of potential War Crimes, works on that same campus and perhaps the War Crimes Study Center could invite Yu to be a guest lecturer who would be able to suggest to other countries what effective measures could be used to insure that their leaders would never commit a War Crime.  Isn’t preventing War Crimes as the Yoo team did, just as important as studying other countries’ War Crimes?

On Thursday February 7, 2012, Senator Diane Feinstein explained to excitable, gullible political activists that their concern about civilian casualties from drone strikes are based on only seven or eight fatalities and that efforts to allay their fears and rectify their gross misperception, based on a regrettable clerical error, should be made.

The fact that the Dems now sound like Bush supporters and the Repubs sound like some old Berkeley peaceniks, might appeal to some people with a connoisseur’s appreciation for irony (Isn’t the dictionary definition of irony:  saying the exact opposite of what you mean?  Don’t many people often incorrectly use that word [irony] when they mean poignancy?).

The cavalcade of confusion this week on talk radio is what brought the old literary gem, Thorne Smith’s “Turnabout,” to mind this week.

Many of Smith’s comic novels were turned into classic movie comedies and later TV series.  His novel “Topper,” became a hit movie for MGM in 1937 (with Cary Grant as the ghost George Kirby) and later a popular TV series in the Fifties.  Smith’s “The Passionate Witch” ultimately became the 1942 hit movie “I Married a Witch” and subsequently that morphed into the TV series “Bewitched.”

Smith’s novel “The Bishop’s Jaegers,” which told a story about a rich geek accompanied by his adventurous secretary and recounts their reactions when they land in a nudist camp.  It was ahead of its time when it was published in 1932.  Apparently it is still a little too edgy to be adapted into a film script today.

The acquisitions librarian at the World’s Laziest Journalist headquarter’s tried for twenty years to acquire a copy of “The Bishop’s Jaegers.”  At one point he balked at the chance to purchase a collector’s hard back edition for a hundred bucks.  Ultimately, at a used bookstore on Wilshire Blvd., in Santa Monica, he stumbled across a used paper back in the bargain bin for a dime.

Isn’t it rather poignant to note that Germans are not afraid of nudity but they are ashamed of their country’s participation in war crimes while Americans are terrorized by the concept of a nudist camp but are completely unfazed by the remote possibility of any hypothetical involvement in War Crimes.

At this point, some of this columnist’s faithful readers might expect this column to segue into a column’s end quote using Australian outlaw Ned Kelly’s final words, but that, like a War Crimes trial for an American leader, aint’ gonna happen.

In an opinion piece titled “Fear and Loathing in the Bunker,” published in the New York Times on January 1, 1974, Hunter S. Thompson predicted:  “ . . . an American invasion, seizure and terminal occupation of all oil-producing countries in the Middle East.”

Now the disk jockey will play “The Age of Aquarius,” “Springtime for Hitler,” and Randy Newman’s “Let’s Drop the Big One Now!”  We have to go dig up a new wedge issue.  Have a “no foul, no harm” type week.

Who ya gonna call?

January 10, 2013

“Did Mr. Houdini really make the elephant disappear?”

“Yes,” I said.  “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

Did President Bush make the expenses of running two wars disappear?  Telling the truth to Dubya’s loyal admiring fans would be as cruel and vicious as trying to take away their guns would be . . . and just as unproductive.

Modern Society is fueled by misperceptions.  Ridiculing the Emperor’s new clothes has always been a sure fire way to become an outcast.  A book of literary criticism summed it up in its title:  “Naked is the best disguise.”

In the early part of the Twentieth Century, there was a Congressman (everybody in Congress was a man back then and so the correct designation was Congressman) who was very popular and seemed destined to land in the Senate or the Governor’s office in Minnesota . . . until he criticized the role that bankers were playing in the effort to get the United States into the War to End All Wars.

That fellow, as a young lawyer, got into trouble when a bank sent him out to foreclose on a farm and he returned with the money that paid the farmer’s loan up to date.  The Bankers were furious and fired him.  He got his revenge by becoming a political activist who worked on behalf of farmers.  To show their gratitude, they elected him as their Congressman.

When a European member of nobility got shot and millions of soldiers were called on to die in the ensuing war, some influential decision makers in the USA saw the fracas as a sure way to increase profits for certain businessmen.  The fellow, who had been born in Stockholm Sweden, started saying things like:  “The war-for-profit group has counterfeited patriotism.”

Wasn’t patriotism what fueled the British soldiers’ charge into machine gun fire in the subsequent battles for “no man’s land” in WWI?  According to information we stumbled upon in a non-fiction book by Len Deighton, a curious thing called “the creeping barrage” may have augmented the patriotism.  It was alleged that in an effort to encourage soldiers to participate in the charge against the German line, an artillery barrage was laid down by the British.  It started behind the front line.  The shells were gradually moved farther forward and the soldiers in the trenches had the option of taking their chances with the barrage or running at the German line and see if they could get past them.  The image of brave young men running enthusiastically at the dreaded Bosch was very reassuring to the families on the home front.

The American Congressman had sealed his fate and his career in the halls of Congress was doomed.  He remained popular with his constituents, but they just couldn’t reelect him because of his views.  He tried in vain to become governor, but that didn’t work.

He was quoted as telling his son “In war it is not safe to think unless one travels with the mob.”

His achievements faded into the history books but not his name.  His son, Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. became a celebrity pioneer in the field of aviation.

In an article on a notorious TV appearance by the singer Madonna, writer Norman Mailer hypothesized that celebrities (and politicians?), who were rascals, would be forgiven so long as they didn’t commit the one unforgivable sin, which is going against type.  Hence celebrities who project an image of virtue are dealt with severely, by the media and fans, when they are caught in a scandal.

You could be a cynic who tells America that Houdini didn’t make the elephant disappear, but showing them how he did it would be completely unacceptable.

Did Robert Capa fake his most famous picture?  According to his biographer Richard Whelan, Capa was a rake-hell who often embellished his achievements with heaps of exaggeration and so the possibility that the “Falling Soldier” photo was an elaborate ruse is irrelevant.

Why is it that Elvis Presley was drafted but James Dean wasn’t?

When we first encountered a best selling history of the USA that had a title that (we thought) hinted it would be a “tell all” expose, we had visions of giving it a place of honor in the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory reference library.  Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be “more of the same” that breathlessly described how various legendary American heroes had made the elephant vanish into thin air.

[Note from the photo editor:  the photos we had of Banksy’s Los Angeles art installation called “The elephant in the room” have disappeared from the World’s Laziest Journalist’s photo archives and so this column will run without an accompanying photo.]

Is it hard work to be the World’s Laziest Journalist?

Did a well known folk singer really “burst on the scene already a legend”?

Was Amy Sample McPherson really kidnapped?

Did one bullet really do all that damage in Dallas?

Did a famous editor lie to a little girl named Virginia?

Are Federal investigators still trying to learn who made money on short selling airline stocks on Sept. 10, 2001?

Did Building 7 ever really exist?

Was President George W. Bush really able to reduce taxes, wage two wars, and not make a significant increase in the deficit?

When it comes time to make the call always remember the old journalism axiom:  “Always print the legend.”

Now the disk jockey will play “Do you believe in magic,” “That old black magic ” and“ Magic moments.”  We have to go try to score some tickets for Houdini at the Hippodrome.  Have an “abracadabra” type week.

What? Romeny lie?

October 19, 2012

At the next debate, President Obama should be accompanied by a guy in a full fire fighting outfit like George W. Bush was when he spoke at the World Trade Center because if the challenger, Bishop Romney, tells any more lies in the next debate than he did in the last one, surely his pants will catch on fire.  The President should announce the reason for have that unusual escort before the debate begins.  Is there an incongruous aspect to watching a bishop tell lies non-stop?

When Republicans ask their own children:  “Do you use dope?” do they really want to see an example that their offspring can fib as blithely as the bishop does?  Shouldn’t they just look for needle tracks on the inside of the elbow area of the kids’ bodies?

Did Mitt really win a Medal of Honor in Vietnam while serving a tour of duty under an assumed identity?

What’s not to love about a California ballot proposition that does the exact opposite of what it sounds like it will accomplish?

Charles E. Willeford’s novel “The High Priest of California,” was about a used car saleman.

Is it true that if he is elected, Mitt Romney will be the only President ever to have previous experience as a congressman, a Senator, and a governor?

After all the conflicting stories about polls, will the results from the electronic voting machines have any credibility?  Hell’s bells if the news readers announced on the programs for the election results that JEB Bush had gathered enough write-in votes to be named President, would there be any recourse for skeptics?

Would it be ironic if Mitt Romney is proclaimed the election winner via electronic voting machines results that are one monumental lie?

Speaking of credibility will the arrest of the assessor in Los Angeles county have a direct affect on the (approximately) thirty-five year old effort of the Marina (del Rey) Tenants Association’s call for an investigation into the relationship between the Los Angeles County board of supervisors campaign funds and some real estate developers who provide large amounts of money for those re-election bids?  Will this case revive the concept of “influence peddling”?   For more on the assessor’s arrest,  click this link:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-assessor-20121019,0,2209709.story

Who is better at proclaiming his innocence Gerry Sandusky or Lance Armstrong?

Arlen Specter, who died recently, was the author of “the single bullet theory.”  Did you know that some of the crucial findings of the Warren Commission were contradicted by a second, less well known, Congressional investigation?

Oscar Wild may have set a standard for American politics when he wrote:  “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.”

Now the disk jockey will play the Mills brothers’ song “Be sure its true,” Johnny Cash’s version of “Rock Island Line,” and Ronnie and the Daytonas’ song “Antique ’32 Studebaker Dictator Coup.”  We have to go find the Liars’ Hall of Fame.  Have a “testify to that under oath” type of week.

Beat from the Start

March 28, 2012

Coping with sporadic stints of volunteer file clerk typist duties for the Marina (del Rey) Tenants Association down in the Los Angeles, while simultaneously trying to “get a handle” on some unfamiliar new topics in the San Francisco bay area caused a “Eureka!” moment for the World’s Laziest Journalist when a paradigm for all the diverse issues began to form.

During hard times what’s not to like about a sure-fire way to make a new fortune, reelect incumbents and bilk voters?  Is there a common thread here connecting the long battle in the L. A. area with the new issues in theSan FranciscoBayarea?  What if you can get politicians to give you free land for your business, get them to build the building where you will conduct your new enterprise, get some tax breaks thrown in if you can, and then soak the voters for as much of the money in their bank accounts as you possibly can?  Wouldn’t you then feel obligated to use some of that loot, to subsidize the reelections of the politicians who handed you that windfall license to steal?  Could Liberal pundits please call such campaign contributions “tithing” and not make snide remarks comparing the cash donations to “kick backs”?

We noticed this possible pattern recently after being asked if we could help the Marina Tenants Association write up an annotated report on the long close relation ship between real estate developers and various members of the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors to be submitted to the new California Attorney General.

Baseball fans inSan Franciscoare upset because the baseball team seems to be asking a city in theSouthBayarea to get some land, build a new baseball stadium, and then let the Giants baseball team move-in and charge more money for seats and season tickets.  The fans for that baseball team think they are being exploited.

The folks urging government expenditures to lure theAmerica’s Cup boat races to the San Francisco Bay Area seem to be asking for the rights to develop various Piers after the city gives them the real estate.  In return for the added recession era municipal expenditures such as additional traffic control and police work, the locals will (if they can’t use a helicopter, airplane, or yacht to get close up views of the competition) get the chance to buy expensive binoculars and telescopes, and thus boost some local businesses, if they want to try to get a glimpse of the race participants doing their high speed version of the Sunday duffers roaming about the bay.

Didn’t George W. Bush exploit his close connection with and access to the occupant of the White House to get land via eminent domain?  Then didn’t he get the citizens ofTexasto subsidize building a stadium on that land?  At that point, didn’t he help (in exchange for a bit of stock?) a group of businessmen buy a baseball team and move it into that very stadium?  Eventually didn’t he sell his share of that team and make a tidy profit?

If you see a familiar pattern in these random examples of self made fortunes, then perhaps you need to consider seeking professional help to break you of this terrible propensity toward conspiracy theory lunacy.

Back to MTA problem.  The invitation/challenge arrived when we were trying to “digest” a vast quantity of information of, by, and about the Beat Generation writers as part of the preparations for doing a column about a new book focusing on an assortment of relevant topics.

The challenge of writing something new, concise, and well documented using a vast array of newspaper articles that were published over a fifty year period seems daunting, to say the least.  Concurrently reviewing information about writers and poets who felt that they were beat before they got their careers started, for a future column, conjures up comparisons to the old Myth of Sisyphus story.

The fact that all this is swirling around in the World’s Laziest Journalist’s “in box,” while efforts are being made to coordinate information about attempts to revive the Occupy Wall Street series of political actions while a suspected war criminal is getting a heart transplant begins to overload the “current topics” circuits.

Could the fact that the Conservative noise machine is drowning out all the concerns about wealth inequality getting worse be compared to the battle the Beats had in various courts for using words that were condemned for being “Obscene!”?

Could the uphill fight use the pod people in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” as a basis for a comparison the futility of fighting the tsunami of Fox Propaganda?  Isn’t trying to warn members of the proletariat that they seem to be voting against their own welfare when they vote Republican a lot like Dr. Miles J. Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) trying to convince his town that something bad is happening?  Isn’t the blank look response in both cases identical?

Since this column is being written in the city that was, for many year, Philip K. Dick’s hometown, could we channel him to cook up a science fiction column describing how it would have been if the Beat writers had time traveled back to Berlin in 1935?  Didn’t William L. Shirer describe in one of his books about life during the Third Reich era how Hitler told his associates when they entered the Chancellor’s office, that when he final left there they would carry him out on his shield?  Isn’t that how the Republicans view their “mandate”?

The Bonus Army, Beatniks, and OWS protesters and the homeless seem to be connected by a long continuous series of aggravations for the ruling class. 

Couldn’t the never ending efforts of the wealthy to train the little people to pay their taxes and not complain be compared to the work Sisyphus was assigned? 

Could the “stand your ground” law be compared to legalizing lynching?

Some years ago (1994?), the Los Angeles Times made a commendable effort to draw attention to the fact that a cozy relationship existed between various real estate developers and the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, but they were unable to neither instigate any legal investigations nor win a Pulitzer Prize for the series of stories they published.

It is flattering to be asked to make a new effort to do what they couldn’t accomplish, but the overwhelming feeling is that the next time we hear about Sisyphus’ rock, our response will be:  “Been there; done that!”

It has come to our attention that some motorcycle gangs assert that if a person picks a fight with one member, the attacker will have to contend with the entire club membership to win the battle.  Do the wealthy and the politician secretly hold that same philosophy?

It seems that if a tenants’ association attacks a group of politicians, they have to fight all the politicians to win any ground and if they do make any progress, a Republican majority in the United States Supreme Court will declare it unconstitutional.  Rest assured your attempts will be beaten down.

Why do the New York Giants play their home football games inNew Jersey?

Aren’t the Giants moving out ofSan Francisco?

Maybe we should write a column about the two big cites that lost a team called “The Giants”?

Remember how reassuring it was to hear Harry Harrison on WABC inform his audience he was broadcasting from the “GreatestCityin the world!”?

Who paid for the new stadium where the Yankees play baseball?  Hmmm.  Maybe before we go running off to the Marina Tenants Association offices, we should detour throughTimes Squareand do some additional fact finding?  Wouldn’t that be a far, far better thing to do in a far away better place?

In “the Rolling Stone Book of the Beats,” Richard Meltzer, on page 72 of the paperback edition, wrote:  “His (Jack Kerouac’s) actual bloody masterpiece, and one of the great, great works of the English language, is <I>Big Sur</I>.”

Now the disk jockey will play Ornette Coleman’s “Shape of Jazz to Come,” Slim Gaillard’s “Slim’s Jam,” and Cecil Taylor’s “Unit Structures.”  We have to go look up the California Attorney General’s snail mail address.  Have a “totally cool” week.

The column with no photo

March 16, 2012

The conflict inAfghanistanhad its Tet Offensive moment last Sunday, when a soldier, whose name wasn’t initially released by the Ministry of Truth, went on a shooting rampage.  Just because the Peaceniks believe that proves that the war inAfghanistanis unwinnable, they are ready to call it quits.  President Obama can now sound like George W. Bush and urge the folks to continue fighting the war inAfghanistanfor no appareanet reason or he can mimic Lyndon Johnson and decline the Democratic Party’s nomination.  By mid-week, President Obama was recycling many of the Bush clichés about staying the course.

On Tuesday, Rick Santorum won two more primaries and thus underscored the sourceless contention that Mitt Romney is not a member of the <I>Herrenvolk</I> and thus ineligible to receive his Party’s Presidential nomination.

The Republicans believe in a Republic which means that only eligible people (men who own land according to the Founding Fathers) can vote and thus they will have no philosophical objections if the Party elite perform an intervention and deliver the Party’s Presidential nomination to someone who is a member of the <I>Herrenvolk</I> and is obviously qualified to reestablish the Republican domination of the White House.  (A Republican has been in the White House for 28 of the last forty-four years or 36 of the last sixty years.)

During the week we saw an item online that asserted that inEnglandtwo reporters involved in the Murdoch-gate phone tapping scandal had attempted suicide.  Don’t the Brits call the investigation Operation Weeting?

The Porngate scandal inIndiadoesn’t seem to be getting much play in American media.

On Tuesday, Uncle Rushbo fresh from a day off for golfing, started his program with a meticulous examination of the meaning of the numbers for oil prices and oil production.  Since there had been an item online reporting that a Canadian study asserted that Conservatives tended to be less educated and more insecure than Liberals, we marveled that the man who flatly stated that there is no Republican war on women, was able to mesmerize his audience, reputed to number 20 million, with facts and figures that might tend to bore all but a very specific college classroom full of students ready and eager to join the BP assault on undersea oil reserves around the globe. 

Does Uncle Rushbo’s disk jockey have permission from the artist to play the old hit “I’m the Pied Piper”?  We ask that quesiton because, apparently, he has the magic touch and can lead his vast audience into some very arcane and esoteric facts and figures and not suffer any perceptible amount of listener defections. 

On Thursday, Uncle Rushbo was mesmerizing his millions of listeners with a discourse on the history and purpose of the strategic oil reserves.  That, in turn, made us wonder what would Lenny Bruce have said about Limbaugh’s “slut” slur?

Speaking of adventuresome college radio, this week we heard a well done report on KALX (the UCB student radio station) from North Gate Radio about fecal transplants.  It was one of those unusual bits of news that usually shoots to the top of the list on odd news websites such as Fark and/or Obscure Store.

The World’s Laziest Journalist has noticed that using a photo to illustrate the columns usually means a better chance of catching the reader’s eyes, but the challenge (and time consuming nature of the task) of finding an appropriate still shot and then getting the photographer’s permission to use it is very daunting, and so (after struggling with learning to include the photos with the posting) we often resort to taking an appropriate photo and using that. 

It works out rather well if the columnist manages to get some shots of some news worthy events that are mentioned in the column, such as arrests at a “No Justice; No BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)” protest, or some events at Occupy Oakland or Occupy Cal; but for a week when there are no high news value images available, that means either running a mundane weather shot or mooching an extra shot from a former high-school classmate who covered the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance, a high profile car event held in Florida, for the Just Above Sunset Photo website or not using any and losing a chance for the column to be more noticeable.

The World’s Laziest Journalist missed such a photo op inBerkeleylast weekend, when Louis Frakaan delivered some controversial comments at a speaking engagement at theUniversityofCalifornia’sBerkeleycampus.

Wasn’t there some concern in the early days of the Internet media revolution that quality content would be accorded diminished value as “bells and whistles” graphics were added to various web sites? 

Here is a hypothetical example of how an item without a very noticeable graphics can loose reader appeal.  Recently we picked up a copy of “The New Journalism” by Tom Wolfe (“an anthology edited by Tome Wolfe and E. W. Johnson” [Harper and Row paperback edition]) and began to assemble some information for writing a column about the 50th anniversary of the start of the “New Journalism” branch of news reporting.  The publication of “Joe Louis the King as Middle-aged Man” in Esquire magazine in 1962, is cited by Wolfe as a significant milestone in the demarcation of the birth of the trend.

The anthology includes all of the essential examples of the New Journalism (called “Gonzo Journalism” by Hunter S. Thompson) but it also piqued our curiosity.  Does You Tube offer a hilarious obscure example of “Parajournalism” (as Wolfe dubbed it) that consisted of video of Hunter S. Thompson interviewing Keith Richards?  We learned that several versions have been posted there and a still shot from that tsunami of mumbled unintelligible syllables would serve as bait for luring unsuspecting new readers into the latest example of this columnist’s attempt to preserve the traditions of “thee dot journalism” . . . if we could figure out how the heck to insert such a still shot touting that interview before the (self imposed) Friday morning deadline. 

In the past, the World’s Laziest Journalist has made efforts to draw attention to the idea that Philip K. Dick, in his speculative history work of fiction titled “The Man in the High Castle,” seemed to accurately predict Hunter S. Thompson’s life and writings.

Our efforts to draw attention to that coincidence have been just as successful as our Hans Brinker-ish efforts to warn Liberals that Karl Rove will use delegate gridlock at the Republican National Convention as a smoke and mirrors diversion to hand the nomination to JEB Bush. 

The Conservative pundits will ignore the JEB angle because they don’t want to tip Rove’s hand and the Liberal commentators can’t or won’t acknowledge that scenario because . . . they receive their generous paychecks from media owners who don’t want any spoiler material put into the national debate . . . until it’s too late.

Perhaps some folks who have a rare form of diarrhea and are in need of some therapeutic bacteria are not the only ones who qualify for fecal transplants?  Could that concept be used as a metaphor for the Liberal voices employed by Conservative media owners?

The topic of objectivity vs. a reporter’s emotional involvement with a news story got an example of the inherent dangers on Thursday night when a KALX reporter on the evening newscast became overcome with emotion and had to hit the cough button.  The story was about an event at a zoo inGermanyto draw attention to the arrival of a new bunny.  Unfortunately during the course of the media event, the bunny was trampled to death by the attending journalists.  The reporter seemed on the verge of tears when she deactivated her microphone for a few moments.

In “The New Journalism,” Wolfe describes the task facing subservient “wordproles” (on page 44):  “The reporter . . . (manifests) behavior that comes close to being servile or even beggarly. . . . They supply mainly ‘vivid description’ plus sentiment.”  Then they are free to (as Liberace once put it) “cry all the way to the bank.”  (Do you honestly think that any on-air personality at Fox would dare show any sign of disapproval if JEB gets the Republican nomination?)

Now the disk jockey will playRoyOrbison’s “Workin’ for the Man,” Gene Autry’s “Here comes Peter Cottontail,” and Bing Crosby’s “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling . . . .”  We have to go find our green T-shirt and green Branch Motor Express jacket.  Have an “Erin go Bragh” (Ireland forever!) type week.

 

Come on, baby, light my Debt Crisis fire!

July 28, 2011

During a week in which a request to evaluate the efforts of a rookie blogger to explore the bridge between spirituality and psychology arrived in the e-mail inbox and world events delivered a cornucopia of news that ranged from the effect the death of Amy Winehouse had on the Forever 27 website to the Democratic President using Ronald Reagan’s method to (make an attempt to) bypass a recalcitrant group of U. S. Congressional representatives, the World’s Laziest Journalist decided that it was time to use a new installment of his version of the three dot journalism style of columning to evaluate the challenge to future historians who will work very hard to revisit this historic week that is just outside our doors right now. 

Will future books about the summer of 2011 care about the weather?  How many books will be written about some aspect or interpretation of the Summer of 2011 Debt Crises Debate?  How many books will interpret the Obama Administration in relation to the outcome of that debate?  Obviously one or several biographies  of <a href =http://www.forever27.co.uk/forever/>Amy Winehouse, who died at the age of 27</a> last Sunday, will be rushed into print.  Will the Murdoch summer be just an example of one of the challenges that Rupert faced in his lifetime or will it be the starting point for numerous books on some additional arrests and assessments of the art of journalism at this point in history?

Historians tend to examine segments of contemporary culture as isolated topics much as a coroner examines body parts separately, while daily newspapers, news broadcasts, and weekly news magazines attempt to deliver a snapshot of a living subject.  Some books have been written attempting to deliver the portrait of a particular year, but most books tend to select a very specific topic from the pages of history and examine that segment of the world in close detail.   

Some years are more interesting to historians than others. 

For example, this columnist has read a number of books (more than a dozen) about World War II, but it was only while reading Laurence Thompson’s book “1940” that we learned Europe experienced sever winter weather in the early months of 1940 and that it had a direct effect on the course of the early stages of the fighting in World War II.

According to Thompson (“1940” William Morrow & Co. New York © 1966 hardback page 16):  “From the end of December until mid-February, with only a single break, Britain experienced its coldest winter for forty-five years.”  The British censors quashed coverage of both the war and the weather. 

William K. Klingaman noted in his book, “1941 Our Lives in a World on the Edge,” that the weather at the beginning of that year was very cold and harsh in Europe.  Didn’t the scientists announce some kind of “New Ice Age” theory?

CBS radio journalist Larry LeSueur covered World War II from Russia and titled his book about the period from October 1941 to October of 1942:  “12 Months that Changed the World.”  Didn’t sever winter weather tip the balance at Stalingrad? 

Every year is important to world history, the trick it to know which ones are very important while they are occurring and then write a book about how you knew it all along.

In the summer of 2011 here are some items that caught this columnist’s attention.  (Will historians concur with our selection?)

The folks covering developments at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory are reporting a rumor that a roll out ceremony is approaching for something new.

The Democrats resisted the efforts to bestow on President George W. Bush additional rights and privileges as part of the Republican quest for an Imperial Presidency.  The Republicans are conducting a remarkable goal line defense against a debt crisis settlement.  The Democrats are ready to insist that the Democratic President use all available means (Signing statements, Executive orders, line item vetoes, etc.) to circumvent a financial disaster.  If President Obama uses Imperial Presidency powers now, that will set a precedent for the next Republican President (JEB in 2012?) to have what George W. wanted and was denied.

Is President Obama playing chess while the Republicans are playing poker and holding a royal flush cleverly disguised as the unverifiable electronic voting machine results?

Recently Brad Friedman poured (metaphorically speaking) gasoline on this hot conspiracy theory by noting that hackers have gained access to most business computers and to the Pentagon’s files, but the electronic voting machines are considered “unhackable.”  That smug attitude is challenged by most knowledgeable hacking specialists.  

Radical conspiracy theorists are asking if Rupert Murdoch is doing things in the USA that would give him the power to manage National Politics in his new country.  They see connects between the methods used in Great Britain and a series of humiliated and disgraced Democratic congressional representative who are resigning. 

If, when future historians write about this summer, it turns out that the confidence in the electronic voting machines was an overestimation, and if many of the 2012 congressional district contests result in stunning, unexpected Republican upsets, will the scholarly writers become infected by the “conspiracy theory” germs and connect the two separate conspiracy theories?  Can’t you just see one of those college professor authors viewing events with perfect hindsight crowing:  “It was so obvious back then but folks just couldn’t see it!”? 

The blogger who had some success with a column about “William Randolph Hearst, Charles Foster Kane, and Rupert Murdoch,” was almost inspired enough to write another one with the headline:  “Al Capone, Don Corleone, and Rupert Murdoch.” 

Folks who think that some of the items that the World’s Laziest Journalist uses in his columns are too esoteric, arcane, and inscrutable, might not get the joke about the “inside baseball” humor for movie fans hidden in the fact that the Berkeley Seven Flashback film series followed “Godfather” (Part I) with the rather obscure “From Here to Eternity.” 

Some folks in the San Francisco Bay Area who prefer the Summer of 1968 to this year’s, were given an offer they couldn’t refuse:  “One grand prize winner will also receive a tip for two on the Magic Bus.”  Ken Kesey fans will want to check out the promo being offered by the San Francisco Bay Guardian and also click on the <a href =http://www.magicbussf.com>hippie bus San Francisco</a> web site.

Will the summer of 2011 come to be known as “the Summer of Republican Love for the Debt Crisis and all the political opportunities that came with it”?

Has union busting spread into the realm of American Sports?

Is there a <a href =http://psycheandspirit.net/>bridge between religion and psychology</a>?  To this columnist it seems more like a “cusp area.”  Are we going to have to write a “Got Philosophy?” column after the Debt Crisis is settled and this historic summer comes to a close?  If we do, maybe we could cross post it there?

Speaking of Global Warming, why isn’t Fox News refuting the concept by using some live feeds from Australia where it is winter and there is sure to be some fair and balanced winter wonderland scenes to cancel out the deleterious effects that the American heat wave is having on skeptics of the so-called scientific theory?  Who doesn’t love video of cute reporterettes in ski bunny costumes?  Refute that, Mr. Peabody!

Alan Ginsberg has said:  “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix . . .”  (Where they having a Debt Crisis debate back then, too?)

Was 1968 really all that good?  Now the disk jockey will play <a href = http://www.musicimprint.com/Chart.aspx?id=C000028 >1968’s top ten albums</a>, then you tell us if that was a good year or not.  We have to get ourselves to the Beat Museum to see how our efforts to score a speaking gig there during this year’s Litquake are going.  Have a “flower power” type week.

“But, George W. Bush’s ma let him do it!”

June 6, 2011

President Obama’s propensity for inept bungling has delivered a no-win choice of profound importance to the Democratic Party’s doorstep.  After delivering a rebuke to Obama on Friday for his aggressive policy towardsLibya, the Democrats can either take it to the next logical level by impeaching Obama or they can ignore the President’s failure to abide by the War Powers Act and thereby affirm the Bush Administration policy that the Constitution had become obsolete and irrelevant toAmerica. 

Has President Obama become the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to be subject to arrest inThe Haguefor war crimes?  We dare him to go there and prove us wrong.

President Obama’s rash decision to oust Col. Qaddafi may have provided the Republicans with an opportunity to make their dream scenario of Impeaching America’s first President of Pan-african heritage come true. 

If President Bush’s invasion ofIraqwas an impeachable offense, the Democrats can now either move to impeach Obama for ignoring the War Powers Act or they can, by letting a second blatant violation of the law slide past, scrap that inconvenient part of the Constitution.

If Obama failed to get the Congressional approval necessary for the attempt to intervene inLibya’s internal affairs, then it would seem logical that he must be impeached for such a flagrant violation of his oath of office.  If the Bush program of using Presidential authority to violate the Constitution and order troops into battle has replaced the method specifically established in the Constitution, then the question of immediate concern becomes:  When will the Republicans make the determination of what other parts of the Constitution have also become outdated? 

The Republicans, to participate in a move to impeach Obama, would have to completely ignore the fact that George W. Bush set the precedence with the invasion of Iraq and, like a woman with an “A” brand on her forehead giving a speech urging chastity, blithely make the case for the immediate impeachment of the President who has ignored the Constitution and the law of the land.

Such a brazen move would seem to be a bit hypocritical, but, in the past, the Republicans have never let a trivial matter such as blatant hypocrisy inhibit their efforts, so why should they suddenly let scruples hinder their program now?

Lefties and Progressives have always asserted that the Republicans were sanctimonious hypocrites so why should the party of “don’t do as I do; do as I say” stop inches short of the goal line just because of the threat of a bit of name-calling?  Didn’t their mothers teach them the axiom about sticks and stones?

The World’s Laziest Journalist has speculated during the George W. Bush “lame duck” period about how long it would take the Republicans to find a basis for moving to impeach the (then) President-elect.  Expecting Republicans to let a chance to make their dreams come true pass as a show of good sportsmanship may be a tad overly optimistic.

If the Republicans moved at a slow deliberate pace, they could spend all summer besmirching the President, and then make their move in the Fall.  

If they were successful, my former classmate (in first and second grade), Joe Biden, would be sworn in and immediately have to contend with rebuilding the Democratic Party brand while (presumably) running his own reelection campaign and competing in the various primary elections in early 2012, while simultaneously conducting the business of day to day politics as usual.

If they failed to get Obama impeached, he would then have to fight to improve his image of being a Bush family clone, while raising funds for his own reelection, and contending with the various primary elections, which usually are not a high priority activity for a sitting President.

His critics on the Fox Network would be relentless in their unfair and biased condemnation of him for doing what George W. Bush had previously done.  Obviously such heavy-handed punditry would generate some “sympathy backlash,” which would benefit Obama, but since most folks are reluctant (especially if they are not of Irish heritage) to assert an unpopular opinion, the majority of the country would be in a mood to treat the President very harshly. 

The word temerity (which has the ironical meaning of being “ballsy”) would be bandied about recklessly if the Republicans did try to impeach Obama for doing that which George W. Bush had previously done, but that would be countered by the folk axiom that “Nature favors the brave.”  Foreigner Rupert Murdock would make damn sure that Americans were continually assaulted by “pro-impeachment” partisan punditry.

Democrats who feared being tainted by an association with a President facing both reelection and immanent impeachment, would get very tired of hearing Fox talking heads tell the joke in which the Lone Ranger says to Tonto:  “Look at all those Indians, Tonto, we’re in a very untenable strategic position!”  (or words to that effect.)

Will Uncle Rushbo (will both he and Mike Malloy read this column?) be reluctant to gush about the vulnerability of Obama for impeachment proceedings or will he perceive it as an opportunity to be a leader of the <I>de facto</I> lynch mob?

Progressive bloggers will be reluctant to mention Obama’s vulnerability because they will not want to take the chance that they have inadvertently opened Republican eyes to a gambit they had not already noted.  (Karl Rove enthusiastically encourages all underestimations of his cunning and shrewdness.  [You don’t believe that?  Just ask him if the World’s Laziest Journalist has him pegged with complete accuracy.  Go ahead.  We dare you to ask him.  {He will probably deny knowing me.}]) 

Cynical columnists, who delight in venturing into taboo territory, might write a spoiler column about this opening for a possible Republican strategy.  Any such renegade pundit would probably get more Democratic appreciation if they just inject obscure and esoteric cultural minutiae into their efforts.  Such as?

Up until Thursday, June 2, 2011, this columnist had never heard of the writer fromDublinnamed Charles Lever.  On that day we betook ourselves to the location inBerkeleyCAwhich is our secret source of pop cultural delights and bought four books:

Bernard Shaw’s “Major Barbara,” H. G. Wells’ “Tono-Bungay,” Hesketh Pearson’s “Oscar Wilde His Life and Wit,” and Robert L. Heilbroner’s “ The Worldly Philosophers.”  We purchase all four for less than a quarter of a dollar.

Two of the books, Pearson’s and Shaw’s, mentioned the Irish writer named Charles Lever.  We consulted “The Penguin Companion to English Literature,” edited by David Daiches, and learned about the existence of a 34 volume collection of his work or a 37 volume collection edited by Lever’s daughter. 

The four books contained enough raw materials for about a thousand columns in the Life-Arts field.

However, on Friday June 3, 2011, a friend lent us a copy of Douglas Brinkley’s “The Majic Bus,” and since we are very enthusiastic about road books we will have to read that one. 

Then we went for a walk and stumbled across a bargain bin copy of Donald L. Miller’s “Masters of the Air,” and since we have a mystical connection to B-17 bombers from WWII, we will have to read every word of that book before writing a review.

That night we finished watching a VHS tape of “Mr. Smith Goes toWashington,” and realized there was enough new material in that old film for several columns.  The year 1939 is considered by some critics to have beenHollywood’s Halcyon Year and Mr. Smith was nominated for 11 Oscars™.  The theme of an honest man fighting a political machine backed by media ownership, might have some relevance for non Fox-addicted political thinkers.  The idea that patriotic idealism is preferable to greed and bribery might be worth a column. 

Form follows function as any fan of architecture knows so it’s obvious why today’s bloggers are flocking to the “thee dot journalism” style of column writing. 

In Atlas shrugged, Ayn S. Rand wrote:  “You who prattle that morality is social and that man would need no morality on a desert island – it is on a desert island that he would need it most. Let him try to claim . . . that a rock is a home . . . reality will wipe him out . . . .”  Slyly injecting a problem in semantics into a discussion about morality might fool some Democrats (in an Irish pub?) but teabaggers won’t let such a blatant verbal equivalent of thee card Monty chicanery slid by unchallenged. 

Perhaps we should do a column about Ms. Rand’s use of poor logic to confuse the audience?  Maybe we could slip some references to James Norman Hall’s novel, “LostIsland,” into the discussion of morality on remote Pacific atolls?  Maybe we could couch this debate in a column about the Tiki sub-culture inAmerica?  Then again applying the rules of logic to the words of Ayn S. Rand would, as far as her fanatical supporters are concerned, be as futile as trying to pick the fly’s excrement out of the salad.  Why didn’t she use “Triumph of the Will” as the title for her book about John Gault?

Didn’t Ms. Rand use her middle name of Sally while performing a bawdy Vaudeville act before her first book was published?

We have just exceeded our self imposed “three e-takes” limit and so we will call the disk jockey in from the bullpen and he will play Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire,” “It’s All the Same” (from “Man of La Mancha”), and Lynn Anderson’s “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.”  (Making promises in the Rose Garden isn’t the same thing?)

We have to go buy some more bargain used books.  Have an “I, Don Quixote” type week.

The Missing John Wayne speech

May 31, 2011

People who have been fleeced by swindlers often had soaring moments of euphoria, based on expectations of “easy money,” right before they experienced the OMG “The Money’s gone!” revelation that “things aren’t what they seem.”  The Sixties philosophy of “Don’t harsh my bliss” might be used to avoid any mention this week of the potential for future dangers of the results from the electronic voting machines because good manners would require most conspiracy theory lunatics to let the Democrats revel in their moment of ecstasy.   [Wasn’t there a Roman politician who while he rode to his coronation, had a fellow reminding him that “this too shall pass!”?]  That would be rude and we won’t touch that topic . . . the hell we won’t            !

It might not be very polite to point out that if the results of the New York 26th Congressional District’s special election cause the Democrats to bet everything on that issue in the 2012 elections; it will be too late to object if the results, which can not be contested, produce what appears to be a massive nationwide repudiation of health care (and by extension the Social Security program itself).

Did acting rashly get Gen. Custer into trouble?  Should the Democrats read up on the philosophy of an ambush before going “all in” on Medicare?

Brad Friedman has worked relentlessly to bring the issue of the reliability of the electronic voting machines to the attention of the voters who belong to the Democratic Party and if America gets hustled into a humiliating “winner take all” contest in 2012, the “I tried to warn you” bragging rights will be of little consolation to him and other sincere partisan political pundits if he gets the rights to express that sentiment.

The World’s Laziest Journalist will, if the Democrats get skinned alive by the 2012 election results, will have his reaction measured on the Nihilism Meter (which measures from one to ten shrugs of the shoulders) and turn his attention to other topics.

Has Banksy been active in theBerkeleyCAarea recently?

In his book “Profoundly Disturbing Shocking Movies that Changed History!,” Joe Bob Brigs reports that the film “Ilsa She Wolf of the SS” the lead character, Ilsa (Dyanne Thorne), was based on the real life historical figure of a woman named Ilsa Kohler Koch.  Is she related to some Americans who have been dabbling in philanthropy and political causes recently?

John Wayne teamed up with actress Marlene Dietrich for three movies in the early Forties.  One of them, “Seven Sinners,” was a tale of life in the South Pacific and we are desperately seeking a chance to see that movie.  Is it on VHS?  Would that be one of the films shown as part of the Forbidden Island Monthly Monday Night Cult Movies series inAlameda?

Speaking of John Wayne, we’ve watched a number of Western movies on Video tape recently, and have noted that they almost always feature a speech with a hero elaborating onAmerica’s principals of honesty, fair play, and a code of conduct using the principle of chivalry for the treatment of captured enemy soldiers. 

We are waiting for some politician to give a stirring speech in Congress reminding America that the country holds itself to a higher level of principles than those exemplified by the Inquisition, Genghis Kahn (of “Citizen Kahn” fame?), and the Gestapo.  We have abandoned hope for such a Frank Capra moment to occur in Washington D. C.

The World’s Laziest Journalist isn’t being paid to shill for the Democratic Party and so we feel free to continue our criticism of the Bush war crimes even if they are being embraced by his Democratic Party successor. 

Advocating human rights for people suspected of conducting terrorist activities is as outdated and antediluvian as it would be to suggest that the Hayes code be reinstated.

In the 1940 movie “Dark Command,” directed by Raoul Walsh starring John Wayne, the script writer just had to inject some political propaganda and have a character assert that the Civil War was about cheap labor and not over the South’s campaign to continue the efforts ofAmerica’s founding fathers to administer the Constitution’s establishment of state’s rights.  Is it any wonder that soon after that Congress had to hold hearings to reveal to the voters how communists were infiltratingAmerica’s pop culture to sway their thinking?

Partisan political commentators must always follow the party line but curmudgeonly columnist critics of contemporary culture don’t have to be so boringly predictable.  They can, if they choose, vacillate between liberal and conservative from one paragraph to the next.  If the net result is to make readers stop and think about what the columnist is trying to say; that may be a clever way to lure readers into starting to think for themselves and not letting Fucks News do it for them.

When George W. Bush first announced his intention of using combat soldiers to bring democracy to Iraq, did any of the critics on the Left think that by 2012 the Democratic Party would be adhering to most of the aspects of the Bush administration methodology such as an attack on Libya without any Congressional approval (or debate even) or torture or attempts to straighten out the Social Security “mess”?  Are we there yet?

If the Democrats go “all in” with the Medicare Issue and the results are a Republican landslide, will FDR’s New Deal then be as much of a quaint anachronism as is Howard Hugh’s movie “The Outlaw”?  Will the Democrats then still consider critics of the electronic voting machines as conspiracy theory lunatics . . . or prophets?

According to Steven Bach, in his book “Marlene Dietrich Life and Legend,” (page 292) the actress during a radio broadcast to boost troop morale for the Allies, suddenly adlibbed this line:  “<I>Jungs!  Opfert euch nicht! Der krieg ist doch Scheisse, Hitler ist ein Idiot!</I>”  It took Americans a short time to realize that reducing the German’s morale level was as desirable a goal as was boosting the spirits of the American soldiers.

Now the disk jockey will play “See What the Boys in the Backroom Are Having,” “Please, Mr. Custer,” and John Wayne’s version (from “The Quiet Man”) of “Wild Colonial Boy.”  We have to go see if we can locate a VHS copy of “Destry Rides Again.”  Have a “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (Didn’t he get fired at the 1940 Oscar™ Awards?) type week.

Déjà vu and the Ox-Bow Incident

May 10, 2011

If (subjunctive mood) a country of wild warriors used the concept of spreading “freedom of speech” as a red herring for wars of aggression disguised as altruistic wars for humanitarian reasons and the dissemination of democracy in despotic lands, would anyone be surprised if a fellow, who believed the “tell it like it is” meme, was soundly condemned for providing an opposing point of view?

Progressive talk radio host Mike Malloy has become embroiled in such an oxymoron situation because he mused (on air) about the possibility that George W. Bush ordering of  some military action which precipitated a massive amount of collateral damage in the form of civilian death and injury augmented by a massive amount of damage to the host country’s infrastructure might have an amazing degree of similarity to Hitler’s methodology, which is often exemplified by the unfortunate and regrettable bombing of Rotterdam.  The authorities inRotterdamhad sent word to the German military thatRotterdamwas to be accorded “open city” status.  Regrettably that bit of intelligence was not relayed in a timely manner to the troops andRotterdamwas reduced to rubble. 

Freedom of Speech was one of the four Freedoms for which theUnited Statesfought in World War II.  Therefore the thought that some über-patriotic members of the Teabag branch of the Republican Party would not apply the old “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” philosophy to some freewheeling, stream-of-consciousness dialogue is an incomprehensible contradiction, but like the WMD’s, the word that Rotterdam was an open city, and the science fiction stories about polar bears facing extinction because folks are running their vacuum cleaners too often, a miscommunication occurred and people have challenged Malloy not for the fact-checking reasons but because they wanted to apply the Archie Bunker rule:  “Stifle!”

Inadvertently, Malloy’s efforts to point out the philosophical oxymoron have only goaded his critics into some overzealous examples of their own subjunctive mood speculation that comes perilously close to being un-Christian threats against the health of him and his family.  Obviously this situation is not the time for Malloy to echo the “Bring it on!” Bush style swagger.

Is there a teabagger who hasn’t read Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s classic novel, “The Ox-Bow Incident”?  Shouldn’t Malloy calmly and rationally use that example of American pop culture to subtly point out the error of their aggressive rebuttals?  Isn’t it über-ironic that they should be attacking him for exorcizing one of the rights they are prepared to die for to defend?

Perhaps, Malloy’s lapse in logic is his assumption that the “We’re just good patriotic Americans” crowd is castigating him for using his right to freedom of speech?

This may sound a tad “conspiracy-theory-nut”-ish, but could it (that pesky subjunctive mood rears its ugly head again) be that the folks who are sending him the acerbic missives are radical Muslims disguising themselves as teabaggers to carry out a fatwa against Malloy ordered by some mullah?  Don’t all mullah’s look alike in their turbans and robes? 

Don’t death threats sound more Sharia law-ish than something that patriotic Americans would advocate as a response to the opposing point of view?

Aren’t the real members of the teabag movement sending e-mails to their fellow travelers urging them to do a bit of stealth Malloy monitoring as a way to prove conclusively that the are reluctantly endorsing “freedom of speech”?  Did Hitler encourage Germans to listen to foreign broadcasts to experience first hand their political propaganda?  Heck no!  The German authorities authorized to carry ammunition (Schutz-Saffel) feared that any such contact with the Allied Forces would produce aSt. Paul’s moment.  Did the Germans have freedom of speech or second amendment rights to carry arms? 

So if the Germans were against those rights, doesn’t that mean that Teabaggers would automatically take the opposing point of view if some nefarious group tried to silence free speech in theUSA?  Of course!  Hence the people trying to silence Malloy must be people who hate Malloy’s expression of freedom?  Who did George W. Bush say hated Americans and attacked theWorldTradeCenterbecause of their freedoms?  Didn’t he say thatAmerica’s freedoms were precisely the reason for that attack? 

Well, then, is it not obviously logical to conclude that the people who want to censure Malloy for using his inalienable (always blame it on aliens, eh?) rights must be foreigners and possible Mullah directed automatons carrying out a fatwa sanctioned by Sharia Law?

The fact that the phrase “Christian fatwa” is an oxymoron only serves to add a bit of redundant proof that the folks condemning Malloy’s use of American freedoms must be un-American. 

Any minute now the posse of lefty pundits will arrive and say:  “Back off!  Malloy was just saying:  ‘In a perfect world, unintended collateral damage has consequences.’”  It’s not like Malloy was delivering a blanket condemnation of vigilante justice for Osama.  He was just using sarcasm to draw attention to the numerous parallels between Bush’s agenda and that of the fellows who were convicted atNuremberg.  Does Dick Cheney have a world famous art collection?

The other Liberal talk show hosts aren’t going to hang Malloy out to dry, are they?  That would be like in the movie “Cool Hand Luke” when Luke (Paul Newman) turns to Dragline (George Kennedy) for some moral support and gets a shrug and “Don’t look at me, mother” reply. 

Heck, if Bush had done something wrong, wouldn’t theWorld Courtsend some law enforcement guys toTexas(or would the Texas Rangers provide some “interline courtesy” and make the collar for them?) and drag him back to their country for a new war crimes trial?  They haven’t, so everything must be copasetic. 

Younger Americans should be encouraged to tune into Malloy and listen in a non judgmental mode because years from now, Malloy may well be considered a noteworthy example of the radio personality in American culture. 

What young American wouldn’t appreciate the hypothetical opportunity to turn on a radio tonight and tune into XERB and listen to Wolfman Jack?  Does Serious Radio have a Wolfman channel?  Could listening to Malloy be compared to hearing Jean Sheppard’s radio program?  Are today’s disk jockey couples trying to walk a mile in the moccasins ofTexand Jinx Faulkinberg? 

Whatever.

If, as a renowned clergyman from Oakland is predicting, the world is going to end later this month, [Note:  the World’s Laziest Journalist, an ordained minister, is trying to intercede and get a stay of execution order issued via prayers and supplications.] shouldn’t folks be loading their memory banks up with “once in a lifetime” experiences to replay in Heaven rather than disputing Mike Malloy’s idea that Americans are not entitled to a “Get out of Jail” card for war crimes?  

In “Cool Hand Luke,” the captain said:  “What we have here is . . . failure to communicate.”

Now the disk jockey will play the Doors song “Soft Parade,” “the ballad of Ruben Carter,” and Ernie Ford’s “Shotgun boogie.”  We have to go bail a friend out of jail.  Have a “How many fingers, Winston?” type week.