Saturday, January 31, 2015

And the Theme Is???

From today’s San Francisco Chronicle:

Page 1 – San Francisco:  Coroner tries to ID dismembered body.

Page 2 – Pakistan: At least 56 die in major Shiite mosque blast.

Page 2 – Islamic State:  Swap deadline ends for hostages.

Page 2 – Sinai Attack:  Egypt raises the death toll to 32.

Page 2 – Afghanistan:  Three U.S. military contractors killed at Kabul airport.

Page 4 – Iraq:  Militants kill top Kurdish commander.

Page 4 – Nigeria:  Chad planes bomb militants

Page 5 – Ukraine:  Artillery fire kills at least 12 civilians.

Page 5 – India:  A mysterious toxin may be killing thousands of young children.

Page 6 – Afghanistan:  Pakistanis seek shelter across border.

Page 6 – South Africa:  Parole for apartheid death squad leader.

Page 7 – Florida:  The latest assault case against George Zimmerman (killer of Trayvon Martin) has been dropped because ex-girlfriend recants.

Page 7 – Connecticut:  Dedication to the victims of the Newtown massacre not to include the shooter’s mother.

Page 7 – Detroit:  The last charge against the police officer who shot a 7-year-old girl by mistake is dismissed.

Page 7 – Alabama:  The driver who crashed a tractor-trailer on Interstate 20 says he lost control while distracted.  He took his hands off the wheel to pull a loose tooth.  He had his tooth in his shirt pocket to prove his story.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Piling On!

In football, piling on is a penalty.  Not fair, the rules say.  I’ve been noticing how piling on is a staple, voiced by those who comment on what’s going on in the world.  It doesn’t matter what side you’re on – it’s still piling on.  For example:

The evil Koch brothers are spending a fortune to promote their political agenda.

Belichick and Brady are doing bad things to innocent footballs.

Republicans are more anti-Obama than pro the good of the country.

Obama doesn’t have the personal political touch that Bill Clinton had.

Russians, and especially Putin, are bad guys.

Iranians can’t be trusted.

Our government is gridlocked.

Health care costs are out of control.

Lobbyists and unrestricted spending control politics.

Income inequality, the cause du jour, will destroy America.

Global warming will destroy humanity.

Etc., etc. . .

Choose your poison.  It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about.  Say it loud enough and long enough and you will be believed.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Opinions of the Week – so far:

Larry Wilmore is doing OK.  Three nights into his new show I am pleasantly surprised.  I didn’t think a black-focused comedy show would have crossover appeal, but so far I’ve been wrong.  I hope he keeps it up.

I read about Obama’s State of the Union, but didn’t want to sit through it.  Anything new that was going to be said had already been leaked.  I’ve seen enough of these speeches where Democrats stomp and cheer if the President is a Democrat, and Republicans sit on their hands – and vice versa.  It’s a meaningless charade.  Having said that, from the clips I’ve seen I think I would have enjoyed watching Obama get feisty.

Who cares whether the Patriots deflated the balls last Sunday?  They won 45-7, people.  Blaming the result on ball pressure doesn’t account for a hopeless Colt team.  So the Super Bowl is next.  I tried to remember what happened in last year’s big show.  I remembered that the Seahawks won, but against whom and by how much?  I drew a blank.  Had to Google it to find out.  I’m sure Peyton hasn’t forgotten though.

Iraq says they need more military support from us.  What a surprise!

The Afghans can’t get their new government together.  What a surprise!

As the U.S. strikes ISIS in Syria, we quietly don’t mess with Assad’s air force.  What a surprise!

European bankers have decided that more austerity isn’t the way to get their economies moving.  What a surprise!

Thursday, January 15, 2015


I’m a David Carr fan.  What he writes about media in the New York Times is usually interesting and insightful – worth reading.  So it was in a piece I read today, in which he makes a case for freedom of expression.

The starting point for what he talks about is the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo, the first since the terrorist attack on its people.  Instead of their usual print run of 60,000 they printed 3 million copies and then an additional 2 million to meet the demand.

Two large pictures accompanied Carr’s column.  One would assume that the cover of the magazine under discussion would be in one of the pictures.  No way.  He described what the cover looks like, but we saw no image of it.  I saw it somewhere, maybe on TV, but in looking for it in the newspapers I read, the Times, the Wall St. Journal, and the San Francisco Chronicle, it hasn’t appeared.

This is not an accident.  Either there is an unpublicized agreement in the media to not print it or the publications are fearful that printing it is dangerous and not worth the risk – or both.  In any event, the bad guys win this round.  Who needs government censorship when self-censorship gets the job done? 

This cowardly behavior is shameful!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Good But No Class!

Even with four turnovers Ohio State was clearly better than Oregon last night.  Disappointing for the Ducks.  Interesting that had the new BCS process not been in play the Buckeyes wouldn’t have had a chance to play.  It would have been Oregon vs Alabama.  Also disappointing when the Ohio team, with a 15 point lead and seconds to play, chose to score a meaningless ‘thumb in your eye’ touchdown rather than taking a knee and letting the clock run out.  No class!

Also no class, the United States.  Leaders from around the world and more than a million Frenchmen turned out to promote liberty and freedom of expression on Sunday.  But the best the U.S. could do was to send our Ambassador to France.  An unfortunate decision by the ‘leader of the free world.’