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General Interest

FLIPPING THROUGH THE PAPERS AND THE DIALS

A typical day’s meandering through various news sources:

So, the world’s foremost expert on non-verbal communication just died. Wonder how he let anyone know he wasn’t feeling well? Did they get it? Or did they completely misunderstand? Let’s just hope it wasn’t a case of the ultimate acid test of his life’s work failing him in the end.

Good old ex-Prez Bill Clinton came back in a big way this week, rescuing two young female journalists who were being held on trumped-up charges by North Korea. The Big Dog probably didn’t need a whole lot of convincing to undertake that mission.

Bubba’s better half, meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is headed on a diplomatic mission of her own, to talk to the president of Somalia (who knew they even¬†had one?). Not actually in Somalia, of course, since that place hasn’t had a viable government in a couple of decades, with the president’s people controlling only one medium-sized neighborhood in the capital city of Mogadishu. The meeting will instead take place in Nairobi, the capital of neighboring Kenya. “Birthers,” the adopted name of American nincompoops who claim our president was born outside the United States and is thus ineligible to be president, are suspicious that she’s only going there to get the Kenyan government to destroy all copies Barack Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate in exchange for her not mentioning the 1,000 people killed during an especially “spirited” election campaign last year. Hard to say just what’s the deal with a lot of African nations. Or those wacky birthers either, for that matter.

The Washington Post reports that the congressional fight over the Health Care Reform Bill has generated $52 million in advertisements. Which sort of makes you wonder, don’t these people in Congress all work in the same building? Who are the people these ad campaigns are aimed at when no one else but the people in Congress get to vote on pending legislation? Don’t they talk to one another? Seems like a pretty convoluted way to communicate over something so vitally important, no? What if the guy you’re trying to convince of your point of view doesn’t watch the same shows you do or read the same papers? No wonder it’s taking so damned long…

Speaking of Health Care, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa said in an interview with the press that President Obama’s plan would lead to nationalized health care and that would be a disaster. Maybe the guy figures the Federal Government is incapable of running an efficient health care system that takes care of millions and millions of people quite well. Something like say… Medicare, Senator, the “public option” that’s been in place for half a century and works just fine? That 800 pound efficient and economically sound gorilla in the room that you and your your colleagues pretend is invisible? Or maybe he’s worried we’ll become like Britain with their socialized medicine, where people get high quality medical care and live longer than we do? Again, it’s hard to say what’s the deal with some of these people.

New York sport writers and radio jocks are putting their 2 cents in on how much prison time former N.Y. Giant football player Plaxico Buress should serve for accidentally shooting himself in the leg. What? Who asked them? No one else was hurt, the guy was shot and then lost his job, but still sports knuckleheads want him in jail. Who the hell are they? When did prison become the answer to everything in this country? Anybody who’s spent even one night behind bars realizes that having 2.2 people in prison is just a tad excessive, especially when you consider that the next largest prison population is in China at 1.5 million out of a population more than 4 times larger that ours. The expression: “Lock him up and throw away the key!” used to be reserved for actual public enemies, not stupid people or stoned people or poor people. A lot of us have gotten pretty cavalier about other people’s liberty lately here in the Land of The Free. It’s beyond nasty when we trail China in human rights.

On a related note, The New York Times reports that President Obama wants to reform the inhumane system we have for detaining illegal immigrants. Maybe when he’s done with that he could look into fixing the booming growth industry that locking up regular American citizens has become.

Once again speaking of crime, there was another maniac killing a bunch of innocent people, this time in Pittsburgh, no surprise at all in a nation where it’s easier to obtain firearms than health insurance. The only puzzling thing in all these horrible incidents is that there never seems to be any shortage of neighbors and acquaintances of these homicidal psychos stepping forward and registering their public shock, calling him in “the nicest guy in the world” and “the last person you’d ever expect to do something like this.” Never does it seem to occur to them to just shut the hell up and reflect on their poor character judgement skills.

And of course all the news outlets you can think of have been featuring in ultra-heavy rotation the reports of Paula Abdul not returning next season as a judge on the reality TV show “American Idol.” Many Americans figured our two wars must have ended, the health care crisis got solved, the recession was over, cures found for all the major diseases and all our corrupt politicians entered monasteries in abject repentance. The euphoria soon passed.

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