Catching Up On Random Rants, Continued

It’s not that I haven’t had much to say these days.  I have just been busy as all get out.   So I will attempt to burn on a few things while I’m here.  I miss communicating with the readers and other bloggers.  I look forward to catching up on whats been on your mind.  Meanwhile, here’s what’s been on mine.

First and foremost;

Rest In Peace Senator Kennedy

Once he got over trying to be president he became one of the greatest public servants ever.  Much respect!   

Mourners stand on the steps of the U.S. Capitol

The Healthcare Bill,

Protesters at a town hall meeting with Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter

Been watching this one a while.  Overall I’ve been silent and a bit discouraged to talk about it for a few reasons.  Number one, all of the outburst at the town hall meetings where folks act a damn fool.  Two, the misinformation from people like the Governor turned quitter who said that there would be “death panels’.  I mean be for or against the bill but to lie about it is just ridiculous and really speaks to how most politicians really are not interested in serving, let alone democracy.  Three the clear racism within the debates.  It’s still the elephant that folks don’t want to talk about.  But Representative DAVID SCOTT (Democrat, Georgia) broke it down recently in an interview on NPR.    Here is some of what he had to say about opposition communication he has received:

“These are things I’ve been getting in the mail. First is a picture of Obama painted up to look like the clown from Batman, the Joker, from Batman. On his forehead is a sickle. Underneath it is said, death to all Marxists, foreign and domestic. You know, where that’s getting at, from the (unintelligible) reference. Then it says, to nigger David Scott. You were, you are, and you shall forever be nothing but a nigger.

The Ethiopian cannot make himself white – taken from Euripides. And then, here’s another letter: Congressman David Scott, regarding the government health care legislation. First, you are a member of the Congressional bank caucus. You’re a racist, because whites don’t have membership. Secondly, you should not be re-elected next year. You’re going down to defeat and any of your colored constituents ain’t going to stop it…..When you’ve people making claims, I want my America back, they weren’t saying that before.”

Exactly!  What they are saying is that they want a white face in the White House.  Period.  And then when you look at some of the stupid folks who talk; like the guy who said, “I don’t want the government in my medicaid.”  How stupid is that?  I am utterly convinced after watching this thing go on that for most of the detractors it’s simply an issue of race.  A black man can give them salvation but they be hard pressed to take it if it came from him. 

I also take issue with the Obama administration taking a step back from the public option.  That’s what this has all been about in terms of what was promised.  I’d rather see him go down like a soldier than to put a weak bill into play in order to garner enough support from republicans who will curse him regardless. 

What is most disturbing about the debate is how there are so many Americans without a lick of health insurance, who can’t afford to see a doctor and whose only option is the emergency room, standing up fighting against something in their own best interest for racial reasons.  But that’s the thing about race.  For many it trumps even the most basic and fundamentals of common sense.  Just think about it, as the economy went sour and all these folks were losing their jobs, the very politicians who were in charge of the coffers and NOT offering them anything, those who cut unemployment benefits etc. are now rallying them against having at least some options of health care regardless of the amount of money they do or do not make.

I tend to agree with someone else I heard on the radio recently who broke it down this way.   Newt Gingrich said so long ago that if the Democrats were to pass a successful health care bill that the Republicans would basically be toast.  For many republicans I believe this is how they feel and they may be right to a degree.  One thing I know the republican party, regardless of the reasons, they are perfectly willing to rile up racist to sing the rhymes.  And for America thats a sad thing.

QUICK HITS

Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino pauses during a news ...

 I know it’s old news but I have to catch up right?

Were you buying what Rick Pitino was selling?  I’m not judging the man’s character at all.  I mean I have made my share of personal blunders.  What gets me however is the way these cats often try to cover things in the media the way they do.  The man impregnates a woman that he’s not married to in a restaurant!  Hits it another time or two and then gives her money for an abortion.  But he can’t really just admit that.  Oh no his attorneys want us to believe he dropped 3 Large on her for health insurance.  Hey, it’s a distinction without a difference!

And what is up with this crazy ass woman?  In strict ghetto terms she had Pitino by the balls initially, (no pun intended) and could have gotten a thing or two out of it.  But to demand all the things like a house, two cars, college tuition for kids that the coach didn’t father, a monthly treasure and then to finally say, “Oh what the hell, just give me $10 million and call it a day..”  This is what you call STUPID!  He did the right thing by going to the FBI.  She thought she was going to be in his pocket terrorizing him for the rest of his natural days.  Now she’s going to jail.  DUMB!   Greed is a mother for ya! 

The Saga Continues

 Minnesota Vikings' quarterback Brett Favre (4) looks to pass ...

Ok, so I don’t give a damn about Brett Favre.  But I will watch and hope he gets his ass kicked.  It’s not that I don’t think dude should play.  He is just such a Prima-Donna.  He sits out camp and just shows up with this BS story about how Brad Childress called him the other day to give him one more chance to come back – and THEN he had the never to invoke his daughter in the decision.  Basically he said, “I don’t fear lineman chasing after me, but when my little girls walks up to me crying and saying, ‘Daddy, I want you to win one more Super Bowl, that moves me.”

What?  Man just do what you do.  Show up, chuck the ball all over the place, throw pics, divide the locker room, cash the check and take your ass back to Mississippi and do another Wrangler’s commercial.  See ya next year Brett!

And really, I don’t blame Brett as much as I do Brad Childress.  He is all but holding Brett sausage for him when he takes a leak.   It’s pitiful how he put his coaching career not to mention the whole team’s future into Brett Favre. 

Ok, my final burn – Lebron “Not The King” James

I used to be such a big Lebron fan.  I traveled by car for 6 1/6 hours to Columbus, OH to see dude play in high school.  His NBA career has been stellar and I am still amazed by his talents and physical presense.  But his head is just too damn big nowadays.  Before he was polished, corporate and a downright bull on the court.  Now he’s arrogant and I think he really thinks he is a king.

It took me a while to come to this conclusion on James.  The first episode was the time he played a preseason game in Rochester N.Y.  (look it up I don’t have all the time to site everything today- it’s there) Anyway, folks spent all this money to watch him play in a non NBA city.  Not only does Lebron NOT play, he gets up during the game and walks to the scorers table, and as the crowd stands and claps in anticipation, shrugs his shoulders and sits down laughing.  That was weak – not the way you treat fans!

The second was the whole handshake gate after Orlando bounced the Cavaliers out of the playoffs.  He still continues to act as if it was OK not to shake hands.  But he knows that’s BS and yet he refuses to even man up on that.

Third was “dunk gate” when the college kid dunked on him in camp, only to have Lebron have the Nike cronies seize the tape.  Of course TMZ (those media vampires – that’s another blog) got a hold of the tape.  It wasn’t even a big deal.  But Lebron is so interested in keeping a rep that he tries to not allow the kid his place in the sun.  As Jim Rome often says, the cover-up is mostly always worse than the crime.  Part of Lebron’s hype as a younger man was via the Internet.   If something another kid does helps him out, let it be.  But nooooo can’t do that!   And if he thinks Shaq is going to help him land a ring… in the words of Senator Clay Davis from The Wire…. ‘Sheeeeeeet’

While Kobe is in someones gym working on his game, Shaq is touring the nation doing reality TV.  As Chad Ochocinco would say, “Child please.”

Catching Up on Random Rants, Part 1

You know sometimes my life is so busy, (well most of the time) I have quite a few things that I would like to burn on that I don’t get the chance to.  Most of the time it’s because I am a writer.  Instead of wanting to give a quick headline with a photo, I’m more inclined to giving a more detailed take on something.  If I don’t have time to write in detail, usually I just let it go even if I really wanted to delve in.  Well so many things are piling up I just decided to do an overall quick hit thing with topics that have caught my eye.  I’m sure I will miss some things that I thought blog worthy, but let’s just see how much I can eeek out.

CELEBRATING A LANDMARK DJ

Let me give a shout out to my man Casey Kasem who founded America’s Top 40 over syndicated radio some decades ago.  He recently retired and it made me think of my Top 40 memories with Casey. 

The program used to come on my local radion station ‘WRBR’ in South Bend, Indiana when I lived there on Saturday mornings.  I hate to date myself but I remember Casey playing, “Love Will Keep Us Together” by The Captain and Tennille.  What I got into the most was the personality of the host (Casey) and how he would wove stories about the artist or people like me who loved the music and how it effected us.  This was told most illustrated with his Long Distance Dedication portion of the program.  This is where Casey would read someones letter about some couple who were in love, had hundreds if not thousands of miles between them, and no matter what the problem was, if Casey would play a particular song that would make it alright.  When Casey got through reading the letter, you almost wanted to cry sometimes.   One of the songs that got a lot of Long Distance Dedication play was Samantha Sang’s Emotion. 

This one hit wonder was released during the hey day of “The Bee Gees.”  The brothers wrote, produced and sang back up on the song and as a result it sounded just like one of their own.  The song is still a classic if you ask me.  That thing was number 1 for a while!  Anyway, like many Americans I looked forward to Casey Kasem’s voice on my radio every weekend.  It was just as much of a ritual for me as going to school or church.  He was a great DJ. 

Enjoy the remaing years!

STANDING UP FOR W!

After years of praising George W. Bush as a man of resolve, former vice president Richard B. Cheney now hints at a less flattering opinion of him.

I never thought I would see the day that I had to get the back of George W Bush.  But I am a principled man.  My beefs with Bush were never unwarranted nor unjust.  I only need two words to sum it up; Iraq and Katrina.  That being said I find his bumbling vice president to be even more hideous in his back stabbing of the president.  Dick Cheney has a memoir coming out.  I mean just step back for a moment and take that in.  “Dick Cheney has a memoir coming out.”  I mean what kind of shit is that?  This gansgter of secrecy and deceit is writing a freaking book?  Oh yea I’m sure it’s going to be forthcoming,  right?  Right!  And I saw Osama Bin Laden at McDonald’s trying out the new Angus Burger.  Get a load of what this guy let fly out of his mouth recently concerning the president, his boss.  According to a story on the washingtonpost.com,

“In the second term, he felt Bush was moving away from him,” said a participant in the recent gathering, describing Cheney’s reply. “He said Bush was shackled by the public reaction and the criticism he took. Bush was more malleable to that. The implication was that Bush had gone soft on him, or rather Bush had hardened against Cheney’s advice. He’d showed an independence that Cheney didn’t see coming. It was clear that Cheney’s doctrine was cast-iron strength at all times — never apologize, never explain — and Bush moved toward the conciliatory.”

What is really scary in this statement, “He’d showed an independence that Cheney didn’t see coming.”  This confirms what many of us knew from the beginning.  Cheney was running the White House.  Bush was a miserable follower who allowed himself to be strong-armed into Cheney’s Mussolini like policies that put the nation at risk.  Later in his second term, Bush manned up some and did some things differently.  Perhaps he reflected or whatever.  It ain’t like Bush was going run again.  No since in trying to win public points.  Perhaps it was just that, reflection.

Regardless Cheney in addition to being one of the most significant GANGSTERS of American crime history in that he made so much money on American misery ala Iraq and Katrina within his company Haliburton, tortured many around the world, lied and pontificated from on high a panic that some American still believe in.  If that were not enough in the words of boxing promoter Don King he is also “a practitioner of rat-finkism!  He throws W under the bus!  A man who put him on in the first place.  I honestly don’t think I have ever witnessed a more arrogant self obsessed narcissistic person in my life!  And to think, the Republican Party is wondering why it has to resort to disrupting town hall meetings to try to find a voice in America.  It’s ridiculous. 

WHY DOES AMERICA CARE WHAT SARAH PALIN SAYS?

Palin by kps186media.

Speaking of “death panel lady” herself; why is she still on the news?  Think about it.  Before John McCain picked her to be his running mate, how many people outside of Alaska knew who she was?  Once she got on the campaign trail, what did she do or say of significance?  Since she lost the campaign, what has she said or done of significance?  I’m talking about stuff that would make her relevant and worth listening to within a leadership perspective since she wants to be a national player.  Even the job she had she quit!  I don’t think I am oversimplifying at all here.  Is the party so poor now with choices and ideas, that the standard is Sara Palin?  I would think hard core conservatives would think she was some Affirmative Action case at best.  Every time she opens her mouth its a disaster in that either she says something stupid or you don’t understand what the hell she just said.  If Michelle Obama talked like her, she and the president would be the laughing stock of the nation.  For me, it goes back to racism.  For all the stuff white folks say about excellence, qualifications or the lack thereof when it comes to black folks, Sara Palin is the ultimate trump card when it comes to what these same racist whites are willing to accept. 

vick-dungy-reid.jpg

Speaking of racism – that’s all I can think of when it comes to many of the reactions I see regarding Michael Vick.  Let me explain.  Vick’s transgressions have been well chronicled.  So there is no need to break them down further.  But this is a nation that talks out of both sides of their mouth. 

How many times do people say, “Do the crime, do the time?”  – Vick did the crime and the time.

How many times do you hear people acknowledge that we live in forgiving nation of second chances?  – And yet so many believe Vick should not play in the NFL. 

When someone says he deserves a second chance.  I’ve heard many say “I’m not saying he can’t have a job.  I just don’t think it should be in the NFL.  What does it say to the kids?” .. and all that dumb stuff.  What they are really saying is, “That nigger shouldn’t make millions in the NFL while I struggle to make my mortgage.”  So they want the man to be punished the rest of his life or live a life free of getting paid to do something that the average Joe can’t do.  That’s just good ole fashioned haterism! 

 

Then I see these people on TV with their signs.  “Hide Your Beagle, Vick’s An Eagle.”   I laughed at it myself.  Cause obviously they thought it was funny!  I saw one lady with a sign who posed for the camera while smiling.  Is this a joke to her?  Obviously it ain’t that serious except that Michael Vick when he was on top was a dark skinned black man who made a ton of money and carried himself with a lot of swagger.  Some whites in America hated that.  I live in a town where our defensive end killed a woman in a drunk driving incident, then drove drunk again.  He’s black as well, but he’s low key,  humble, and is on his way to a hall of fame career.  These fans in Philly are hypocrites.  They pick and choose.  I used to hear it said all the time, “It’s not about the crime, it’s about those who stand accused of the crime.”  Yea we are a forgiving nation alright.  Just depends on who needs the forgiving. 

The same folks who want Vick, a convicted felon to get a regular job have no problem with a convicted Rush Limbaugh making over 100 million a year to spout hate on the radio.

And best of all.. this is a Christian nation right?  These same people who preach the bible and can forgive David for impregnating the wife of one of his top soldiers Uriah and then killing him to try to cover it up and can’t forgive a man for his own sins against animals.   Uhhhh Ok… Amen.

And what is up with Eagles owner Jeffery Lurie.  I can understand the man being an animal lover.  I share that same love as I had dogs as pets most of my childhood life.  I can understand him not wanting to be burned by Vick off the field.  But he obviously thinks he can help him on the field or else he wouldn’t have signed him.  But the statement he made, “I needed to see a lot of self-hatred in order to approve this.” 

Say again?  You want the man to be repentant of his criminal actions or to hate himself?  Do you hate yourself for your sins Jeffrey?  Whatever.  If Michael Vick scores touchdowns and helps the Eagles get deep into the playoffs this year or next, Philly fan will be riding Vicks d*%#. 

That’s all I got for now… be back later with takes on Pitino and LeBron. 

Paula Abdul, American Idol and Pay Equity for Women

*** I admit, I have never been a fan of American Karaoke Idol.  But when I heard about Paula Abdul leaving the show, I thought to myself, “Straight Up?”  I mean, that is a lot of money to turn down in light of what she, Simon, Randy and that other lady does.  Which is much of nothing in the whole scheme of things.  I said to myself, “Paula must really be rich and set for life to walk away from a ‘job’ where you get paid millions to basically, let’s face it, show up and do much of nothing.  But after hearing Michel Martin’s comments, I can definitely see the other side of it.  I still don’t care about American Karaoke, but I do believe the subject matter to be very relevant! 

 Michel Martin, Host of NPR’s “Tell Me More

Michel Martin

Finally, and I can’t believe I’m talking about this either. But I have to weigh on Paula Abdul’s decision to leave “American Idol.” I know, I know. Sonia Sotomayor she is not.

Ms. PAULA ABDUL (Entertainer): …that, I, you know, there’s something, first of all one thing that I was kind of – I was kind of surprise you picked that song. But when, well first of all, you’re like this bright light in this competition. You, you’re…

MARTIN: Now published reports suggest she is leaving because she wanted a raise from the approximately $3.5 million in salary and benefits she receives now to somewhere in the range of $10 million and the producers said no.

Now 3.5 million sounds like a lot of money and it is. I wouldn’t sneeze at it until you consider that host Ryan Seacrest just signed a deal worth something like $45 million for the next three years. Simon Cowell is said to be making some $30 million a year. And Randy Jackson is said to be making close to that, for doing what exactly? The same thing she does.

Of course, reporting about entertainment salaries is notoriously unreliable. The people who get paid to put out these stories have all kinds of incentives to lie in either direction. But let’s just assume that the reports are within range of accurate. What exactly does any of these three men do that merits their receiving three to 10 times the pay for doing the same work as Abdul does? Anybody? Anybody?

Could I just tell you ladies and gentlemen, this is what pay equity is about. It’s about women getting paid the same as men for doing the same work. A gap that’s been so well documented that it hardly bears arguing anymore. A December 2008 study by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think-tank, estimated that women in all occupations in all parts of the country and in all education levels experience this gap and it amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages over the course of a 40-year career.

Paula Abdul

I would submit it’s so taken for granted that it actually generates headlines and no small amount of unflattering commentary when women like Barbara Walters or Katie Couric or Julia Roberts actually do manage to get the same pay. The attitude seems to me, why do they deserve that? I don’t know. Why does anybody?

I understand that pay is often not about what you deserve but about what you can negotiate. And I get that it’s hard to feel sorry for anybody who makes that much money for doing something that doesn’t look all that hard, coming up with new trite things to say about bad singing and worse clothing. And I get that pay can often hinge on intangibles, star power, chemistry. But in that score, it’s hard to argue that there should be any difference at all.

As Paula said in her statement on Twitter announcing her departure, she has clearly been integral to the success of this iteration of “American Idol.” Her loopy Earth mother routine, her mesmerizing incoherence, it’s hard to argue she is somehow less compelling than the three other regulars on the show.

Even her off screen antics, ethically questionable as they may be, generate buzz for the program. And while I think the allegation that she had a dalliance with a contestant is serious if true. If it is true she should’ve been fired and she wasn’t.

I have a minister friend, a community activist who will sometimes mention to me some person who’s getting jammed up and assessing its overall importance he’ll tell me, that’s too bad but ain’t marching for him.

Now I can see why you might say, I ain’t marching for her. But maybe somebody should be. Maybe all those teen and ‘tween girls who are so busy texting and calling in and generating millions of dollars in profits to that show should ask themselves, if Paul Abdul can’t get paid the same money for doing the same work as Randy, and Simon, and Ryan, can I?

A Son’s Perspective

cmac and lil c 09 

Recently I did a series of post about expressing my thoughts about each of my children.  My son Christian decided to write his own little observation about his father.  Here is goes.

I can fondly remember walking into my father’s room across the hall as he watched those late night Laker games. He would just be sitting on the bed or with his laptop watching and (if the time was right….or sometimes it doesn’t even matter) YELLING at the TV.  It was like coming into a “Daddy Zone” if you will.

A situation I could always remember is Daddy’s head poking out of the door stating the next mission of the day. Missions such as “Hey Chumney, you wanna go to the Y?” or “Hey Man, you wanna go watch a game with me?” OR the suspenseful “Hey Christian, you wanna go somewhere?”….Where is “somewhere”?……YOU DON’T KNOW!!!! BUT I dared not explain to my dad that I was unaware of our next destination because “It doesn’t matter, your with your dad”.  I could remember thinking that there is a 1% possibility that we were going to a retirement home to watch old people play backgammon for hours but this didn’t matter because I was with my dad.

My Dad has always been the organized and inquisitive type. Much like myself save for the organized part. You can tell that he was raised in a house where things “had to be done” to keep the house “running” (as if the house would explode if the dishes weren’t cleaned everyday). So because I can sense it, I can believe the “in my day” moments and just abide with no questions asked. I remember last year he was trying to teach me in the “Way of the List”. The Way of the List is an ancient art in which you carefully “List” your scheduled activities of the next few ydays, months and years. It takes years to perfect apparently because I could only get to about “5 minutes” ahead of the present. This grasshopper had no idea what he was going to do 2 months from now. This is just another sort of thing indicating that this man was just a little ahead of the game, which is delightfully reassuring in a father.

Playing basketball against each other was always a kind of loving rivalry we had. Pretty much every time we played against each other (which go back as far as i can remember playing basketball) he would win. I at first would always think of my game plan which was basically “man if I just run around enough he’ll get tired then I could save my energy to take him to the hole when i needed to” but to my utter demise the plan would backfire, and I would only notice that my plan failed when the game was 28-Daddy 8-Christian.  (The game winning scrore was 32.)   At this point I’m taking my very sweet time getting the ball when it goes out of bounce because this is the only break I get from this daddy machine. My Plan-B was “GET AWAY FROM HIM AND SHOOT!!!” I can DEFINITELY remember this working one time! It was a bright and beautiful day the first time I beat him when SUPPOSEDLY he didn’t let me win.

Every once in a while the dreaded “Father Son Talk” would resurface. This was always a time where I DID NOT want to say what was on my mind or my view on certain subjects but he would get it out of me anyways.  Why is this?  This is because he would set the mood for some serious talkin. We would either go out for a walk or a drive or just a little lunch.  Before I would eventually give in and start letting him know things I would just think “Man I better tell him SOMETHING or else we’ll never leave”.  Everything would eventually come out but the pretentious moments before were a little challenging, but my dad knows what questions to ask and will eventually say, “Just come out with it”.  This would ALWAYS throw me off balance even though I KNEW it was coming, a  little chuckle would precede me spilling all I knew to spill.

We have recently discovered we have a more similar taste in music.  I can say I haven’t appreciated music all my life until about a few years ago but it’s a great thing to REALLY explore.  This came into view after I picked up the guitar last December.  I started playing and I was already hip to some of the more detailed and immersed music such as Pink Floyd and The Eagles.  I sent my dad a link of a sample I did of some Pink Floyd.  I smiled when I got the message back “Freakin Pink Floyd!?”.  This is just another topic to explore with my father this year.

I always look forward to trying my best to impress him with what I’ve learned thus far.

I Love you Daddy ^.^

Christian 

Beer Conversations, or Buds and Suds Part 2

Anderson Cooper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, so I said I would take a couple days before revealing who my beer bud would be.  The answer will probably be different depending on where I am in my life.  But presently I would pick CNN’s Anderson Cooper to guzzle some suds with over conversation.  I’ve always liked AC even back in the day when he was a correspondent.  His demeanor has always come off to me as being very business like and yet very sincere and distinct.  I’ve never seen him with an air of taking himself too seriously.  But he brings with news just enough personality where you at least get the feeling you can see a part of his makeup.  He is so relaxed and unconventionally fresh in front of the camera.  It makes me that much more comfortable digesting the news as he reports it.

Added to the intrigue is the fact that I just finished with his book, Dispatches from the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival.” The book is a moving memoir of Cooper’s life as a child of celebrities, his family and life as a war and disaster correspondent.  There is no doubt that his ventures have shaped his life in ways that I can only imagine.  And from what I’ve gotten from the book, he’s always been cool with that.  I get the impression that Anderson’s life is an adventure and a discovery all at the same time.  I feel the same about my life.  I’m sure many others do too.  The thing with Anderson is that he seemed ready to admit that all along.

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I would talk to Anderson about his experiences in Sri Lanka after the tsunami, as well as some of the nations in Africa like Niger and Somalia during the wars there.  Of course we would have to hit more on what went on in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  This seemed to have affected him the most of all the places he had seen.  This was because he never thought his own nation would respond to a disaster with what appeared to be the same level of  ineptitude as he had seen in several third world nations.  That just messed him up.  I would try to get more details than what he shared in the book.   Things he feels people should know even if they don’t think they want to. 

I believe this would be a fascinating, disturbing and enlightening experience.  I know I would come away from a conversation with him better than when I started.

Now as for a beer choice.  Well I’m buying so Anderson can have whatever he wants.  For me, it’s Widmer Hefeweizen on tap; tall cold and frosty with an orange. 

widmer

War Games, Power Politics and American Journalist

Euna Lee and Laura Ling

“Well I suppose most everyone got what they wanted here ultimately.”   That’s what I told my mother who asked me about the whole North Korean/American Journalist thing.  She wasn’t too sure what I meant but she called me not long after Laura Ling and Euna Lee landed at a Burbank airport not too far from her home.  It was the initial topic of conversation.  Do you think they paid North Korea, she asked.”

I went on to explain to mom that North Korea wanted respect.  They are viewed as a rogue nation of tyranny for the most part.  The leader Kim Jong Il is a wild man to say the least.  Their nation is rather poor in the whole scheme of thing but they spend much money on a strong military.  They want to be a superpower but their rep as missile shooting fools trying to perfect nuclear weapons doesn’t help them get the love they want.  North Korea does want love from the nations that’s for sure.  But they want it on their terms no doubt.  So if that means threatening everyone in the world who opposes them they will do just that.

In the midst of the latest world tensions they get something that they can use for an advantage.  Two female American journalist.  Puts them back front and center.  Jong Il likes front and center.  Anyway, some trumped up charges and a 12 year sentence of hard time, throw in some  negotiations later – they get to “pardon” the women, get a former American president to show up, and they can look… dare I say, ‘benevolent.’

“No mom…they didn’t pay North Korea.  That would make them look like a terrorist state.  North Korea wanted street cred with the other nations.  Believe me, before Bill Clinton got on the plane it was a wrap.  This was no Jesse Jackson going to Iran on his own neck and dime to bring back some hostages.  Things were already worked out.  With North Korea pardoning the women, the charges stick and they admit to nothing wrong.  Jong Il gets Clinton to fly his ass all the way out there for the photo op.  (Why not Hillary the S of S?  Cause she isn’t a present or past president and she’s a woman.)  No rogue nation can pull that off.  I mean did you see that pic of Jong-Il smiling?  Smiling?”  He looks like he’s taking his 5th grade school picture!  “Dial it back emporor!  Try to look a bit more communistic!”  Well the point is,  Kim Jong Il got what he wanted.”

…Continuing, “In the meantime, Bill Clinton, always looking for a way to shine knew it was shooting fish in a barrel.  I mean your talking about ‘Sweet Bill Willie from East Philly, a true political diva.’  The hard negotiating had been done by Obama’s people.  He didn’t say that he brokered the talks, but he didn’t have to.  Many news organizations are doing that for him.  This goes into his post presidential legacy.  The fees just went up to get him as a speaker and another incident with this much juice will call for another major book deal. – So he got what he wanted.

In the meantime, what most Americans like you and me care about is that the two journalist made it home safely.  Reasonable minds knew they wouldn’t spend 12 years doing hard time in North Korea.  They just got caught in the political mix and were truly pawns for North Korea leadership.  They had to wait till all the power players jockeyed for their positions.  – That’s the story mom.”

Beer Conversations, or Buds and Suds

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The recent ‘so called Beer Summit at the White House got me to thinking.  Who would be an interesting person to have a beer with.   I can think of a few.  But before I ask the reader to chime in, I think it best to lay out some ground rules.  I mean every fun game like this one can have it’s own set of rules.  You can make your own up when you play the game.  For my rules only the following apply:

1) It has to be someone living – though they don’t have to be well known.

2) It can’t be the president, Oprah or Jesus. I’m just sayin!

And that’s it!  If you like you can say what the conversation would be about.  And oh and by the way…. what beer would you pick to share this conversation over?

I will share my picks in a couple days.