Saturday, June 26, 2010

Patton, McArthur, McChrystal

I’m not a betting man, because I hate to lose. Nevertheless, on Tuesday afternoon I started to send an e-mail to UPI’s Constant Readers, offering even money that General Stan McChrystal would be fired. This impulse was prompted by the breaking news that he was being called home by the president after details of a Rolling Stone article revealed that the general is not happy with our current leadership. He is not The Lone Ranger—no pun intended—in this regard, but I digress.

I decided to wait the story out, and instead of jumping on it, I made guacamole-and-bacon sandwiches, opened a cold beer, and watched “The Friends of Eddie Coyle” instead. The conclusion of the breaking news story seemed certain at any rate, and I really like this gritty little ‘70s-flashback movie that no one has seen. No one bets with me because of my eerie prescience on current events and election outcomes, so why waste their time with a rhetorical challenge?

The McChrystal affair left me somewhat conflicted. I have a special place in my heart for Special Operations soldiers of any rank or branch. They are mavericks by nature, and independent initiative has always served them well in accomplishing missions that don’t conform to standard military doctrine. Insubordination in all walks of my working life has occasionally served me well, although there have been stare-downs and reprisals after the fact. Leaders—no matter how competent they may be—need a clown standing to one side to occasionally shout “You’re full of it!” and do something completely off the books.

In this respect, George Patton was one of those clowns. When it came to leadership, he was one of the best generals in American history when it came to winning battles. But, as Omar Bradley told him in 1944, “George, you just don’t know when to shut your mouth!” Patton was busted down repeatedly and relieved of commands; as the oldest general in the American Army in War II, he figured he had nothing to lose, and so said whatever was on his mind. He had a unique, somewhat eccentric way of looking at things, and “eerie prescience” or not, he had a way of exasperating those above him in the food chain of command.

Douglas McArthur was another top general whose leadership abilities were extraordinary. Like Patton, he was an exceptional egotist. Maybe that’s a prerequisite for top leadership command in the field. They came from the horse-soldier traditions of leading from the front. A commander on horseback directing a mass of troops was a priority target back in the day; the dark side of the leadership tradition is that they were quickly cut down. Like Patton, McArthur had a politically insubordinate manner of sounding off to his superiors when he thought they were wrong. Both men paid the price for their temerity. I think it’s still mentioned in high-school history classes that McArthur was fired by president Harry S Truman for bucking the system on the conduct of the Korean War.

(Should you care to learn the lessons of history regarding what I’m talking about here, read William Manchester’s American Caesar, an outstanding biography of McArthur, or Ladislas Farago’s Patton: Triumph and Ordeal, a biography that chronicles the flaws and gifts of George S. Patton. Both generals were also authors; Patton’s War As I Knew It and John Gardner’s On Leadership—highlighting McArthur’s principles—are excellent reads. For those challenged by the written word, there are the bio-pics, respectively titled “Patton” and “McArthur”. Hint: read the books before viewing the movies. Get some real context.)

All that being said, I have a stunning admission to make: Bobama was right, this time. He had to fire General McChrystal. There are some lines that can’t be crossed. Like it or not, a key factor that distinguishes us from Third World banana republics is our constitutional tenet that the civilian government maintains ultimate control of the military. Whether you subscribe to Benjamin Disraeli’s notion that “war is too important to be left to the generals,” or Patton’s obverse view that “war is too important to be left to the politicians,” we are, by virtue of The Founding Fathers’ design, not subject to military coups by commanders who may consider their geopolitical views to be the ultimate opinion on any given matter.

I keep flashing back to hushed conversations over pitchers of beer in NCO clubs in 1974 Germany. Watergate was at its height, and the sergeants who really ran the modern army were concerned that the Commander-in-Chief [President Nixon] might go completely off the rails, declare a delusional state of emergency, and order the armed forces into defensive—and possibly offensive—postures that would call into question the legitimacy of his orders. No soldier in the American army is required to obey what he might consider an illegal order, no matter the rank of the person who issues it. However, if called into question for disobedience, you’d better be darn well prepared to defend your perception that said order was immoral or illegal.

What we discussed in theoretical terms in 1974 bordered on mutiny or sedition. I’m sure it wasn’t the first time, but as sworn defenders of our country’s values, we had to draw the line between politics and the common welfare we took an oath to defend. If Tricky Dick Nixon ordered tanks onto the White House lawn, declaring a state of national emergency because “sinister forces” were trying to remove him from rightful leadership of the country, would we obey those orders? If he ordered us across the wire into the Soviet Union—provoking a war to cement his office as a “wartime presidency”—would we gather the troops in our charge and roll?

It sounds ludicrous these days, but those were real concerns at the time. The previous year, the world had come perilously close to thermonuclear holocaust because of the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Saigon had not yet fallen. Chaos and uncertainty were not concepts that were invented day before yesterday.

We had several schools of thought on the matter. Whether we came down on the side of blind obedience to orders or desertion under fire, we kept our voices down and our conversations personal. Fortunately, we were never put to the test. Watergate resolved itself on the home front, and we never had to break the chain of command.

General McChrystal broke the chain of command, as did Patton and McArthur. I can understand the reasoning in every instance, but as a former soldier, I know this is wrong.

What I don’t understand—and I am not alone in this questioning—is why in the hell General McChrystal would allow anyone from Rolling Stone magazine within a hundred yards of himself.

I used to subscribe to Rolling Stone. To my great chagrin, my mother-in-law used priceless first editions of the magazine to light fires in a wood-burning stove. Rolling Stone was my cultural touchstone, keeping me current on entertainment trends, musical milestones, and cultural values. I learned my skepticism of social mores from Hunter S. Thompson’s observations, and cultivated what I consider a healthy sense of anarchy from the general tone and reportage of the magazine.

Rolling Stone also confirmed what I had learned from my own early forays into journalism: the power of the written word, whether true or false, is a far more powerful concept than many of its practitioners realize. Celestine Sibley, an old-school journalist from the 1940s through the 1980s, once told me at a seminar that I could judge the efficacy of my writing by the volume of the hate mail I received in response. “They may say they hate you, but the fact that they responded at all means you reached them on some level, and that’s what matters.”

General McChrystal is about my age, give or take a few years. That means he is old enough to remember the lesson that was hammered home about the same time Ms. Sibley gave me a life lesson. Wikipedia—the dubious online encyclopedia—has a version of the incident that is at variation with my own spotty memory, so I’ll try to recite what happened according to the faintly firing synapses of what’s left of my memory.

Richard Nixon had a Secretary of Agriculture named Earl Butz. Flying back from some political event that required his presence, Mr. Butz found himself in the company of singer Pat Boone, and John Dean, the Nixon staffer who later gave a lot up to the Watergate committee. My memory has it that a Rolling Stone reporter was also present.

The gist of the conversation is uncertain, but thinking they were “off the record,” Mr. Butz made an infamous comment. Asked something about black people, Butz replied: “The only thing the coloreds [sic] care about is loose shoes, tight pussy, and a warm place to shit.”

Sorry, kids. That’s verbatim, and the kind of remark that sticks for a lifetime. It found its way into the mainstream media, with a lot of euphemisms for “good sex” and “a warm bathroom.” Within 48 hours, Earl Butz was out of a job. Whether he believed what he said, or thought he was making an off-color joke, or wanted to shock Pat Boone, he was a public figure, a person of responsibility, and directly associated with the presidency. In his own way, he broke the chain of command.

When the McChrystal story broke, I thought immediately of the Butz scandal of so many years ago. It was one of those “What was he thinking?” moments. He’s old enough to remember what Rolling Stone did to Earl Butz. He’s certainly old enough to remember Rolling Stone trashing Bill O’Reilly a while back. Two years ago, the magazine was totally in the tank for Obama, publishing pictures of him on the beach in Hawaii and gushing over his bare torso like a teen magazine fawning over Justin Beaver or Leif Garrett. I led this column with a cover from the presidential campaign where [RS publisher] Jan Wenner channeled “Star Wars” with claptrap about “A New Hope.” Was all this not enough of a clue for General McChrystal that he was in the presence of the enemy? Every casual TV viewer knows the basic Miranda rights, especially the part that says “anything you say can, and will, be used against you.”

As the blame-fixing makes the inevitable rounds, I’m hearing that these importune remarks attributed to General McChrystal were actually utterances of lesser staff functionaries, delivered in the haze of a world-class drinking bout in Paris while they waited for an airline flight delayed by volcanic ash emanating from Iceland. Dissect that last sentence; does any part of it excuse the breach of protocol that occurred?

General McChrystal is a fine soldier, a hero of past endeavors who was tasked with trying to fight a war in a country where wars cannot be won, with one hand tied behind him. His frustrations are obvious. No matter what branch of government service we may be engaged in, we can think what we want about those who hold higher offices. To a degree, we may remark upon the incompetence of our nominal leaders to those peers we trust and confide in. If we have perfected the art of sarcasm and tacit insubordination, we may speak truth to power in rare moments of ethical conflict and moral certainty. However, you can’t badmouth the boss to his face and not brace for retribution.

General McChrystal was relieved of duty as theater commander, and consequently has resigned from the Army. He did not have the resilience of George Patton when it comes to demotions. Few modern commanders possess that tenacity. On Tuesday, when I considered offering my wager, I thought that The Red Herring would replace McChrystal with some incompetent political hack. (Assertions to the contrary, there is no shortage of these critters in the officer corps of all service branches.) Instead, Bobama has made what I consider to be only the second truly presidential decision since taking office: he appointed General David Petraeus as General McChrystal’s replacement. General Petraeus is largely responsible for turning the war in Iraq into a nominal victory, and is the sort of skilled ground commander we’ll need to affect some sort of stable solution to our announced withdrawal from Afghanistan.

I can say what I like about the bumbling, cynical egomaniac who occupies the White House, at least until he orders Cass Sunstein to shut down the Internet and throttle free speech. I don’t represent anyone except the millions of possums hanging outside bedroom windows worldwide, and we’re not beholden to politicians. I refused OCS [Officer Candidate School] twice, preferring to be a gentleman by nature of my upbringing, and screw the “ossifer” part.

General McChrystal chose his path, and walked it with dignity and courage. I hope that Stanley McChrystal, the civilian, will become a voice for reason and positive change in the uncertain days to come. His future is not denied or uncertain; he has only to master the virtue of what Bradley said to Patton: “You can’t keep your mouth shut!”

Keep talking, Stan!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Duct tape is amazing stuff. The “Mythbusters” crew has manufactured a working cannon, a passable suspension bridge, and a seaworthy sailboat out of it. Until last week, it was used to repair the worn-out armrests of my high-mileage wheelchair.

I finally had to break down and order replacement armrests for the chair. It was either that, or re-upholster the old ones with more duct tape. You see, two Sundays ago I had an emergency that required me to rip the duct tape off my armrests and wind it around my head to keep it from exploding. Subsequently, it took the better part of last week to stem the flow of blood leaking from my eyeballs.

No, I wasn’t physically injured. I willingly subjected myself to what I knew would be a harrowing, unpleasant ordeal, and to pay the price for my foolishness.

I watched Oliver Stone’s movie “W.” for the first and last time.

I doubt I will ever watch another Oliver Stone movie.

As a writer, producer, and director, Oliver Stone has created some outstanding works. His screenplays for “Salvador”, “Talk Radio”, “Scarface”, “Year of the Dragon” and even “Conan the Barbarian” are excellent. “Platoon” and “Wall Street” are regarded as minor masterpieces. “World Trade Center”, “The Doors” and “Nixon” were honest enough looks at history. The man has an impressive résumé, and is capable of consistently producing entertaining, thought-provoking movies.

Oliver Stone is also capable of producing bombs like “JFK” and “Alexander” and pornographic trash like “Natural Born Killers.” He’s nothing if not eclectic in his movie-making.

(Yes, I said “Natural Born Killers” is pornographic trash. Portrayals of graphic violence in the context of telling a story on film is acceptable; Sam Peckinpah was a master at this. Stringing together endless vignettes of random, senseless bloodshed, and then justifying it by saying it’s a commentary on the glorification of mindless violence in our culture, is akin to saying that skin flicks by John Holmes, Linda Lovelace, and Marilyn Chambers are commentaries on love, affection and morality.)

I thought Stone had scraped the bottom of the barrel in 1994 with “Killers”, but I was wrong. “W.” is the scum that leaks through and collects on the underside of the barrel’s bottom. If ever there was a movie that didn’t need to be made, this was it. At least in “Nixon” Stone had the decency to portray that unlikable president as a man with a tortured, conflicted soul. I know that Stone is an unabashed liberal given to some wild-eyed ideological leanings, and this spills over into his movies. Most of Hollyweird has a left-leaning bias, and discerning moviegoers who don’t agree with it simply take it in stride and ignore the source. James Cameron’s anti-capitalist, anti-military themes in “Avatar” didn’t detract from his entertaining—if derivative—story. Even unrepentant, unforgiven “Hanoi Jane” Fonda has made some good movies. When talented moviemakers exploit their celebrity and make clueless personal remarks about politics, it is normally to be transcended. Sometimes, as with Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep, they learn to shut up and go back to doing what they’re good at.

I knew from word-of-mouth and other sources that I would not enjoy watching “W.” I knew the movie was coming out of left field, so to speak, and was a partisan ideological screed. Like a looky-Lou at a horrifying traffic accident, I also knew I had to see this. (The fact that “W.” and 2007’s “Lions for Lambs” have turned up on Encore™ so quickly speaks ill of their box office success. Most Americans don’t want to pony up their hard-earned dollars for crap, unless it’s mindlessly entertaining crap like “Iron Man II” or those “Twilight” turkeys. Liberals dismiss the reticence of average Americans to pay good money to see their country trashed as further proof that the general public is too ignorant to accept the intellectual “truths” of their boring movies.)

What I wasn’t prepared for when I sat down to watch “W.” was the outright character assassination of our 43rd president. I visited liberal blogs and saw countless other outrageous examples of the hatred progressives had for George W. Bush, including the thinly-veiled calls for his assassination, but I let it slide as freedom of speech and clueless idiocy. I’m certainly not shy about trashing our current president, who I just referred to in a previous post as “an inept dipshit.” However, I don’t present my opinions as anything more than what they are, and I don’t particularly care if my two dozen or so readers agree with me. I don’t run ads on this blog, and I don’t charge admission. I just say whatever sparks to life in what’s left of my mind, without the expectation of influencing anyone or convincing them that my interpretations of reality are so profound they should be accepted as some modern-day gospel.

Oliver Stone portrayed George W. Bush as a nose-picking, drunken, megalomaniacal buffoon who couldn’t find his dog when it was standing at his feet. In the world according to Stone, Bush was a failure at everything in life, and only achieved the presidency because of his family’s wealth and influence. Yes, George W. had a drinking problem. So what? The last time I counted, I have nine DUI convictions on my record. Yes, George W. floundered about in his formative years, searching for a sense of purpose, and failed at some of his youthful enterprises. Haven’t we all done that? Stone interprets Bush’s fundamental spiritual faith as some kind of hillbilly delusion that God is speaking to him from the burning tumbleweed. I talk to God every day, but I don’t handle snakes or roll on the floor babbling in tongues when I do so. My table manners at home aren’t the best, but I chew my food with my mouth closed and only pick my nose when no one is around. Stone’s “W” chews and picks simultaneously in one scene, with chunks of a sandwich dribbling out of the corner of his mouth while he speaks and wipes boogers on the tablecloth. (Supposedly approving the Patriot Act with Dick Cheney at the same time.) And I always know where my Ninja terrier is at any given moment…most of the time.

There were two things I appreciated in “W.” Josh Brolin looks amazingly like George Bush in some scenes, and Richard Dreyfuss bears a disturbing resemblance to Dick Cheney. Veteran actor James Cromwell doesn’t look anything like George H.W. Bush, but he has the only good line in the movie. I paraphrase: “Junior, you got another DUI, and now you’ve got this girl knocked up. This is unacceptable! Who do you think we are, Kennedys?”

About fifteen minutes into the movie, the pressure inside my skull reached a crisis point, and I had to scavenge the duct tape off the armrests of my wheelchair to keep my head from exploding. That containment made the blood run out of my eyeballs. I used to have the bad habit of hanging up on aggravating phone callers, and when they called back, I’d apologize and tell them my bullshit sensor had overloaded and kicked me out of service. Thus it was with “W.” My BS meter spiked, and several gaskets blew a leak.

Thank God for duct tape!

(P.S. While I am currently convinced I’ll never watch another Oliver Stone movie, I see from my research at the IMDB—Internet Movie Data Base—that Stone is currently working on a movie titled “Travis McGee.” I am a great fan of the late John D. McDonald, and read every one of the “McGee” thrillers as fast as he wrote them. I may have to rethink a total boycott of Stone movies. If he can come up with something entertaining that is true to the title character, Stone may find a measure of redemption in my book. However, the very concept of redemption is totally alien to Stone, as he so vividly asserted in “W.” I’ll have to cogitate on this a while.)

Addendum: "Suck it up with a straw!"

One thing that I totally failed to mention in the previous post was the culpability of the “green” crowd in the current ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. As long as there is rampant finger-pointing making the rounds, I nominate radical tree-huggers as largely to blame for the oil spill, because of their opposition to any form of shallow-water drilling in the last twenty years.

An oil rig blow-out in shallow water would have been a cinch to fix, compared to the logistical difficulties of trying to fix a boo-boo a mile deep in the ocean. The best analogy I’ve heard to attempting this is fixing a fire hose upright, turning on the water, and sitting on the resultant stream with a coffee can to try and stop the output.

And then there is the alternative of dry-land drilling, which—according to the bunny-huggers—is completely out of the question because it might disturb a few of the caribou who nuzzle up to the Alaska pipeline for its frictional warmth as the oil passes through.

I wonder how much attention will be paid to the eight scientists who claim their report to The White House on the Gulf oil spill was altered to falsely allege they supported a moratorium on offshore oil drilling, when in fact they suggested no such thing?

My opinion on furthering America’s foreign-energy-dependency was stated in the previous column. I’ve lived “rough” with nature most of my life, and believe me, nature can be rough. As those web-cams in the Gulf graphically illustrate, Mother Nature can be unforgiving when rudely disturbed.

I’ve gathered water samples for the EPA where a manufacturer of telephone cable was dumping crap into a local watershed. I don’t hunt animals for sport, and I winced when the only way to control the growth of ivy up the side of my house was by widespread dissemination of herbicide. I capture and throw most non-lethal insects out of the house, as opposed to swatting them. I have weathered severe thunderstorms in a jungle hammock, and felt the tingle of nearby lightning strikes. I don’t know if any of this makes me an environmentalist, or ecologically correct, but in every instance I felt a harmony with the planet we live on. I respect the power of nature, and regret that the bozos at BP upset that equilibrium with their arrogant disregard of environmental protocols. While we have exploited the ecosphere in the past, I think that given the power of modern technology, we can utilize natural resources without destroying them or defiling the planet we have to live on.

That being said, “alternative energy sources” are still some years away from becoming practical realities. All these surreal “green” advocates saying the Gulf oil spill is our wake-up call to “switch to alternative energy sources” are ignoring the inconvenient fact that the technology isn’t here yet. Yes, there are electric cars. Yes, there is solar and wind power generation available, but as stable, reliable alternatives, the technology isn’t quite there. I am reminded of Jackson Browne and other anti-nuclear rock stars singing their protest songs, blissfully unaware of where the juice that powered their electric guitars likely came from. The upshot of their protests against nuclear power has set that industry so far behind in development that it, too, is unviable as a way of off-setting our dependence on oil.

That brings us to a final aspect of the oil spill crisis that I failed to touch on the previous post. While pursuing his latest photo-op in Louisiana last weekend, Bobama inadvertently admitted his mortality. Meeting with anguished local community leaders, he stated “I can’t go down there and suck [the oil] up with a straw.” Did I just hear the resounding “thud!” of an inflated ego crashing to earth? Was this a hint that our Maximum Leader might occasionally sit in a darkened room in The White House, holding his head in his hands and muttering “This is a lot tougher than I thought it would be!”

It took eight years for the Bush presidency to sink into the 40 percentile approval rating. Bobama has accomplished this astounding feat in only eighteen months. His own fervent acolytes are turning on him now. Those who hailed him as the new messiah are now realizing that Bobama is just a little tin god, and a cynical, inept one at that. All the arrogance in the world won’t prevent your feet of clay from further erosion, Mr. President.

Suck that up with a straw.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Greasy people; oily thoughts

The noted sportswriter Red Barber once remarked that his job in journalism was easy. “All I have to do is roll a blank sheet of paper into the typewriter, sit there, and wait for the blood to come out of my forehead.”

This isn’t journalism, and I haven’t played a journalist on TV for years, but I know the feeling Mr. Barber spoke of.

It’s right at two months into the Gulf of Mexico disaster, and my thoughts about it have been as murky as beachfront property in Louisiana. I tried to send an audio bonus to Constant Readers last week; a 13-minute song to tell them I was still on the job, and listening to what I considered significant music while I chased my muse. The song had too many megabytes for most ISPs, and was rejected by everyone’s server. Copies of the lyrics went out with notices that this post is up on UPI. (If you’re a drive-by and would like to become a Constant Reader, send me an e-mail saying so. The link is in my profile, at right.)

Let’s start with an e-mail from a Constant Reader:

-------Original Message-------

Date: 14-Jun-10 2:34:36 PM
Subject: The ineptness is criminal

“If you read the comments at this link, the devastation of the Gulf becomes clearer. Federal delays and red tape, mismanagement, failure to use proffered help from the beginning, etc., have destroyed southern Louisiana's (and the nation's) economy i[n] multiple ways. The six-month moratorium has compounded the problems. ACORN-like paid volunteers spend more time taking breaks than being effective while genuine, knowledgeable volunteers are being turned away by the feds.

I am furious. Top-down criminal negligence and dithering cannot be tolerated. How many economic sectors does this adolescent playboy want to destroy?”

From: Possumtrot
Date: 16-Jun-10 4:20:41 PM
Subject: Re: The ineptness is criminal

I like the term "adolescent playboy." I think it's a totally inadequate term for the gravity of what's going on; JFK and RFK were adolescent playboys when they were handing poor Norma Jean around like a joint at a '60s rock concert. Willie the Zipper was an adolescent playboy with his "bimbo eruptions."

Bobama is a sinister entity trying to single-handedly destroy America, or at least weaken us to the point that his Muslim/Communist masters can gain irrevocable power over our ability to determine our future.

I no longer give the benefit of the doubt that Bobama is an inept dipshit. I have an institutional mind-set for conspiracy theories, and so tend to self-skepticism, but I've become convinced that the SOB is either waging a racist, one-man jihad, or acting on alien orders. My apolitical significant other is even more certain of this, and actually surpassed me in ruthlessness the other night when she said she wouldn't flinch if Bobama got himself assassinated. Maybe my past has softened me, but I think impeachment is the order of the day. I'm already reduced to a Third World mentality, because I wouldn't flinch if a coup was in order.

We have gone that far into the gutter.

I’ll stand by what I said in that e-mail. China now owns 900 billion dollars [$900,000,000,000; lots of zeros, huh?] of our national debt, and is willing to accept payment in mineral and other natural resource rights, and probably some prime real estate. Does anyone remember the 1980s, when there was a sudden realization that the Japanese were buying up huge chunks of America?

You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Last night, the president was on TV, breaking his own precedent for never giving an address from The Oval Orifice. I have a game board called “Obama’s [Bullfeathers] Bingo” that someone sent me. I printed it out, put it into a document protector, and gathered a cup of quarters to mark the squares during a presidential pronouncement. It sounds childish, but playing along at home at least makes it tolerable to listen to Bobama’s utterances. (The board consists of frequent clichés deployed by The Red Herring; when you get five in a row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, you win the prize of being empowered to stand up and yell “BULLSHIT!” at the top of your lungs.)

I had nine quarters on the board last night; four of them were placed in the first five minutes of his “reassuring” speech. I didn’t get a “bingo”, but I still muttered “bullshit!” numerous times as he babbled on in his best Harvard rhetorical style. Skilled demographic analysts showed that I am not alone in my disdain for the efficacy of Bobama’s speech, but given my predisposition to loathing of petty, tin-god socialist despots, it doesn’t take much to trigger my disaffection.

Going back to the e-mail reply I’m standing by, allow me elucidate a couple of points:

I sincerely believe Bobama—my newest moniker for El Presidente; not as disrespectful as the Ted-Kennedy-inspired “Osama Bamalama”…without the “.” behind the “B”, it is his name, after all—is embarked on a conscious crusade to weaken this country. Whether he believes that the humility borne of weakness would serve us better diplomatically, or he is acting on behalf of a more sinister purpose embodied by radical Islam’s long-term goal of global domination, his means and end remain a detriment to America.

When the BP oil rig blew up in April, Bobama immediately declared a moratorium on offshore oil drilling, rescinding his previous announcement that new permits for such drilling would be issued. Now, outcries are beginning to be heard that this moratorium will harm the Gulf region—and ultimately America—as much as the oil spill itself. The bottom line is, by refusing to explore and exploit our own natural resources, we become even more dependent on foreign oil supplies. Besides Russia, who controls most of those petroleum resources? Why, the predominantly Muslim Arabs, of course. It’s become a stereotype: when you think of “petrodollars”, you think of a swarthy guy wearing a bathrobe, with a tablecloth wrapped around his head and a camel in the parking lot. Although these guys were something of a joke until the late 1960s, the OPEC embargo of the ‘70s woke us up to the fact that they hold a great deal of power, and if they get off the ideological reservation, this can become a problem. The Islamic tenet of dhimmitude—subservience by infidels who are not liquidated in the name of Allah—is not a joke. Just as Soviet Premier Khrushchev proclaimed the inevitability of communist domination, so do today’s radical Muslims swear that the domination of Islam will occur. Owing to whatever missteps of history and circumstance you’d care to ascribe, those people are now in a position to make it happen.

Diplomatic and economic bargains are best arrived at from positions of power. If both sides have “nothing to prove”, so to speak, then they can arrive at mutual accommodations. If one side is dying of thirst, face down in the desert sand, then the other side, holding the canteen, becomes a god. Self-preservation should be based upon self-sufficiency, not begging for mercy.

There is not, nor will there ever be, any proof that Bobama is a closet Muslim. As I told a “birther” a while back, even if there is anything tenable to such a far-fetched idea, steps will have been taken to make discovery and disclosure impossible. Still, his do-nothing attitude toward Iranian development of nuclear weapons, and his proactive inactions toward increasing American dependency on foreign oil largesse, do nothing to dispel the notion that he is acting on behalf of forces that are totally antipathetic to the idea and ideals of America. Four trips to the Gulf coast, and the subsequent photo-ops, have not stopped one barrel of oil from gushing into the water there. Why is it only today—16 June—that he is meeting with the chairman of BP? Why have other oil companies—like the Dutch and Norwegian enterprises—who have a great deal of expertise in controlling oil spills, not been contacted? Why has there not been an executive order rescinding the prohibition on foreign-flag vessels sailing into Gulf waters and pitching in on capping this horrendous gusher?

A pundit gave a very succinct summation last night, after the “reassurance” speech: “The only affirmative action proposed by the Obama administration is increased taxes and a takeover of the petroleum industry.”

“I no longer give the benefit of the doubt that Bobama is an inept dipshit.” Yeah, I’m on the fringe of going from “PG-13” to “R” with my rhetoric, but, you the casual reader have never perused my personal communications. I save my big words for these columns, and use the shorthand of thug-prose for my casual speech. I do tend to self-skepticism when it comes to conspiracy theories of assessments of “the bigger picture”, but my gut is telling me that Bobama is not a bumbling idiot trying to affect the ivory-tower theories of his ideological mentors. There is something darker in play here.

Jimmy Carter was an inept dipshit. He got to The White House on the basis of being an outsider in the wake of Watergate and Gerald Ford’s placid caretaking. Carter was an absolute disaster, paving the way for the greatest presidency of the 20th century: Ronald Reagan’s administration.

Much has been lost since then, especially the path of greatness that America trod for the previous 200 tears. Compared to Bobama, Jimmy Carter was a paragon of ethics, morality, and efficiency. I think perhaps Mr. Jimmy meant well, but he got eaten alive by the sharks that swim in De Cesspool.

Finally, it was pointed out last night that blaming the previous administration may play well in the election campaign, but if you get elected, continuing to blame the previous administration implies that you are going to rectify the problem. I have seen nothing forthcoming from any corner of the current government except suggestions about increased taxes, expansion of said government into the oil business, and a lot of finger-pointing and demonization of capitalism. Yes, BP is to blame for this disaster, but as I pointed out long before the TV pundits seized on it, when it was stated to me that “It’ll be a long time before I fill my car up at BP station again”, if we give in to collective—and mainstream-media-generated—anger and boycott BP into bankruptcy, we, the taxpayers, will end up footing the bill to clean this mess up.

I haven’t said half of what I wanted to here, and not nearly as clearly as I’d like to have said it. However, if you read between the lines, I think you’ll get my drift. At least it’s not as dense and murky as the oil scum drifting in the Gulf of Mexico tonight while Dudley Do-Nothing makes meaningless, reassuring speeches as he leaves huge carbon footprints with his four trips to the Gulf shore for photo-ops and PR damage control.