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General Interest, Politics

IS IT JUST ME (TWO)?

Is it just me or are there others who don’t remember trusting (or not trusting, for that matter) Walter Cronkite all that much? Wasn’t something that occurred to me all that often. I don’t ever remember any “What would Walter Cronkite do?” moments when making life decisions. While I sure didn’t dislike the man and if I ever gave him any conscious thought at all considered him to be a consummate professional, a reassuring part of the cultural landscape and probably a really nice guy, he wasn’t in my mind my uncle. I had plenty of uncles, even a real Uncle Walter, none of them remotely like him. And as far as him being an “American Icon” or a Great American, did he have any huge talent I don’t know about other than reading news reports on TV?

Maybe some volumes of poetry or something, a great novel or two published under another name, perhaps being a virtuoso on the oboe or a great painter or sculptor or composer or an innovative philosopher? Did he invent stuff? Was he a secret Great Statesman? Or was he just an earnest guy doing do his job well and lucky enough to become rich and famous and smart enough not to make a complete ass of himself in the process like so many of his colleagues do? Is it just me, or is that who Walter Cronkite was? All in all, a damned good legacy, and one I get the feeling he would be just as happy with as the being called “the most trusted man in America.”

Is it just me or does the word “birthers” conjure up images of grimy, illiterate midwives from centuries past with Cockney accents? Awright now, let’s have the menfolk outta the ‘ouse and let me change the straw ticking! All of a sudden the right wing, fresh out of ideas, voted out of power at the national level, unable to explain away their disastrous 8 years in power, is now grasping at the straw of claiming that Barack Obama was not born in the United States and thus ineligible to hold the office of President, an issue long since put to rest in the minds of the sane and undesperate. They even have a name for their movement, Birthers, and a jackass Congressman from California proposing to waste valuable legislative energy in the midst of several pressing national crises on a bill to make it a law for all presidential candidates to produce an original birth certificate (There’s already a Constitutional requirement for this proof.).

Can’t these guys just take a time out and come to grips with the facts of life? Maybe realize that they destroyed a once-thriving Republican Party by driving out all the smart people and that the road back to power is not through acting really crazy?  And just maybe a little reflection might lead them to wonder just what the hell they were thinking when they handed the mantle of leadership to Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and (!) Sarah Palin. Come on, right wing people, you’re scaring us now, snap out out of it! Stop with the foaming at the mouth already and beg the calm, smart people to return and help save the 2 party adversarial system. Don’t make us put you on sedatives, ’cause we will.

Is it just me or shouldn’t official corruption be considered more of a crime than a sport? Right now it seems that our state and federal legislatures, our courts and appointed officials of every political persuasion are in a stiff competition to see who can be the most greedy and self-serving son-or-daughter-of-a-bitch in the country. And without naming names that are already splashed all over every media outlet on any given day, there’s a lot of really accomplished thieves out there in officialdom land. And they have the nerve to complain about corrupt cops when they are in effect their bosses and setting such a vile example? Please! Isn’t it time to start sending these clowns to jail for a really long time when they are caught with their hands in the public cookie jar or taking bribes? Ten or fifteen years in a real slammer with real criminals (which is what they are, by the way) and forfeiture of any assets they obtained through their crimes ought to give the rest of them something to think about when temptation strikes.

And the hell with worrying about their sex lives or the state of their marriages, that’s just immature bullshit that has no bearing on anything public, go after the damned thieves. Why should Bernie Madoff get 150 years for ripping off rich people when our corrupt leaders are starting illegal wars for profit, taking bribes from corporations, rigging the system to benefit themselves and stealing from everybody and getting away with it?  While long jail sentences would not completely eliminate corruption, it just might keep the stealing down to a discreet minimum so we can get things done. Is it just me or do we need stiff regulation now more than ever? There’s sure no shortage of rules and regulations (laws) imposed on the average citizen, no? And when we break them we know we risk long incarceration in a decidedly unpleasant penitentiary. Who died and made these people kings, above the law? Wasn’t there a revolution around here in 1776 to eliminate royalty, that whole “all men are created equal” deal and the concept of equal justice before the law? As a wise man once said: “Something smells like fish and it ain’t fish.”

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