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October 20th, 2014
11:04 am

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THE HYSTERICAL VERGE: SERIOUSLY, FOLKS, WE ALL NEED TO CALM DOWN AND GET A GRIP
People, specifically the American people, are pretty freaked out right now because of what they see as a world, a country, a society, a culture, everything-- spinning out of control, with no good end in sight.
 

Maybe it’s informational overload, maybe it’s the day-in-day-out drumbeat of doom from Fox News Channel and Right-Wing Talk Radio, maybe it’s just living in a rolling, historical moment of multiple changing landscapes and sea changes – or maybe it’s all Barack Hussein Obama’s fault.

I’m here to say: the sky is not falling, the world will go on, we shall survive, and seriously, we all need to calm down, get a grip, and get off Obama’s case.  The hysteria sweeping across large swaths of the United States and simmering in others, largely fueled by Obama Hate, is unwarranted.  In fact, the only thing that really would lead to all hell breaking loose in the U.S. is, God forbid, if something happened to Obama.  Jeering and slagging the guy as inept, idiotic, evil, and illegitimate might make Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity rich, and you feel good, but remember, not everyone who hates Obama with a passion is as rational or law-abiding as Rush, Sean, or yourself.  Be careful about feeding the animals.   And consider:

Do you remember the gas crisis and shortage of the mid-1970’s?  Or the late 1970’s, when mortgage rates went into the high teens?  Are we suffering like that in those days?  No.  A gallon of gas and mortgage rates are both in the low threes.

Remember the 1980’s?  When the Japanese were cleaning our clock as far as cars, electronics, and productivity were concerned?  Who’s cleaning our clock today?  No one. China? They wish.

Remember when the 1990’s gave way to the 2000’s and your 401K became a 201K?  Has your 401K taken a dive since Obama took office and the Stock Market went from 8K to 16K? No.

Remember when fears of too much national debt and the weakening U.S. led to a panic that resulted in gold hitting $2,000 an ounce, and fears of it going to $3,000?  Can’t even make it to $1,300 these days.  And that’s in those diluted-by-debt dollars.

And about all that debt -- $17 trillion and counting – the markets and our debt holders don’t seem too concerned, seeing as the 10-year Treasury Yield is at 2.2% or so today.
 
Everyone’s getting government assistance in Obama’s “entitlement society”?  Check how many million of those “moochers” are working poor Americans who qualify for SNAP or CHIP because no one will help Obama get the minimum wage up to some barely-liveable level.  In the meantime, all that assistance to the alleged “takers” fuels more jobs in grocery stores and health care and the like for the “makers”, and profits for the business owners.

In a related note, consider your child, or niece or nephew, or grandchild, or yourself, who can’t find a good job in his or her field, despite having an education, because corporations and businesses don’t want to pay U.S. professional wages, or will only do so on a contract/no benefits basis.  Do you think all “those people” at the bottom getting an education will solve things, seeing how you and yours aren’t getting to where you want to be now, without the added competition?

What about National Security? ISIS is coming! No it’s not.  Not here.  Maybe a lone wolf, sure, but the best way to increase the odds of a lone wolf attack is to increase the number of lone wolf candidates, and the best way to do that is for Obama and the U.S. to “lead from the front”, put more U.S. “boots on the ground” in Iraq, and Syria, etc., and otherwise act all macho and obnoxious and deadly.  Which got us into this mess in the first place, starting with 2003's "Shock and Awe".  No, going slow and doing the bare U.S. minimum while pushing the Middle Eastern locals to handle as much of their own business as possible is the sanest and safest course for the region and U.S. security.

Worried about Ebola?  Go get your flu shot.  That has a much better chance of infecting or even killing you or a loved one.  Ban travel from West Africa?  To where?  Europe, since there aren’t really any direct flights from West Africa to the U.S.?  How?  Checking visas in Rome, or Brussels, or Paris?  Are we then going to quarantine every non-African on every plane from Europe that started in West Africa when someone has the sniffles or gets airsick?  Where does it end and what would it cost?  Face it: the travel ban is a simple-minded solution for simple-minded people.  Which may explain why the GOP thinks it’s a political winner. (I'm not saying Republican politicians are simpled-minded; I'm saying they think you're simple-minded, and open to being easily frightened and then pandered to.)

We have had three Ebola cases here in the U.S.  Three.  And we have a hospital in Texas to thank for even having that many.  Obama’s on the right track telling us all to chill out, and in sending more medical and military assistance to West Africa so that, you know, like Dick Cheney used to say about starting Middle Eastern wars to fight terrorism, we fight Ebola over there, so we don’t have to fight it over here.

I could go on for a lot longer.  But you get the idea.  FDR said in 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression, that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself.  That pretty much holds true today.  I would add this: the only thing we have to fear from Obama is Obama fear itself. What we have to fear from a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, well, we may find out soon enough.
Careful what you wish and vote for, people.  In the meantime, please try to stay calm, and uninfuriated, as best you can.  The sky isn't falling, no matter what you're hearing or fearing.


--the nag

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October 1st, 2014
05:32 pm

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Well That Only Took Four Hours
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson stepping down is a start.  A big start.  Now let's see some more heads rolling...like those of the supervisor who "mistook" gunfire for car backfire in 2011 and the advance team morons who failed to vet the Mandela Memorial crazed, fake interpreter or the armed felon in the CDC elevator, as well as those responsible for the White House fence jumper/runner two weeks ago.  And give a bonus to the off-the-clock SS agent who tackled the runner on his way to Miller time.  Good catch!

Let's give this President the protection and the respect he needs and deserves, his family as well.  Maybe more of the latter will lead to more of the former-- eh, Secret Service? Don't take your cues from Rush or Sean, leave any Southern "good ole boy"/anti-Liberal/Fox News views at home.  This ain't no foolin' around.  Do your F---ing jobs right, or get the F--- out.

--the nag

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08:18 am

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SECRET SERVICE DIRECTOR PIERSON MUST GO-- NOW. BRING IN JIM CAVANAUGH TO FIX THINGS.
FIRE HER:     HIRE HIM: http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Video/130417/tdy_boston_atf_130417.video-260x195.jpg

I watched C-SPAN's late-night replay of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson's Tuesday appearance before the House Government Oversight Committee, and I was appalled.  The President of the United States and his family are not safe as long as the Secret Service doesn't change its sorry act, and Pierson clearly is not the director to effect that change.  I saw a soul-less bureaucrat exhibiting thinly-veiled hostility to being questioned and seeming indifference to the recent horror show of security lapses surrounding the President.  This is a nightmare -- the President needs to clean house at the Secret Service, starting with Pierson.

Strike One: the deranged fake interpreter next to Obama at Nelson Mandela's Memorial Service last December.
Strike Two: the armed felon in the elevator with Obama at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta on Sept. 16th.
Strike Three: the fence jumper who made it not just into the door, as the Secret Service claimed, but deep into the White House, on Sept. 19th.

All three occurred on Pierson's watch.  The several shots that hit the White House in 2011 were before her time, but she did her bureacratic best Tuesday to defend the Secret Service's indefensible response or lack thereof to that potentially tragic event.

New blood and new thinking are needed ASAP at the Secret Service.  And my recommendation for a new SS director is Jim Cavanaugh, former ATF agent and current MSNBC-TV analyst.  I love this guy -- he's my favorite law enforcement dude.  He's got the experience and the smarts to bring an intelligent, common-sense approach to the table.  He'll cut through the B.S. and right the ship.

White House phone: 1-202-456-1111
.

--the nag

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12:14 am

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JUST ANOTHER DAY ON THE YAHOO! BEAT

YAHOO!


Thus ends another day/month of doing what I can...here are the 9/30/14 highlights:

Ferguson demands high fees to turn over city files

NormanG 15 minutes ago

The Ferguson PD hid the shooter and his identity, and still hasn't come up with a police report, and now the City is breaking Missouri law charging ridiculous fees in an apparent effort to hide public records. The only thing that wasn't hidden was Michael Brown's dead body, which lay in the street for hours. It's infuriating and an embarrassment. Much like the slew of ignorant, hateful, racist posts found in Yahoo any time "Ferguson" shows up in a headline.

FCC considers petition to ban 'Redskins'

NormanG 5 hours ago

The entertainment value of this is PRICELESS! It's a scream how offended so many people are by the idea anyone could be offended by the slur 'redskin'. The energy and anger so many posters put into defending the NFL team name and bashing everyone who doesn't see it their way is amazing. If any of the 'get over it' crowd has more than three books at home (phone, TV Guide, Bible), e.g. a dictionary, look up 'redskin'. Find us a complimentary definition. Good luck!

3 Times Obama Administration Was Warned About ISIS Threat

NormanG 8 hours ago

I'd like to know: if Americans are supposed to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and not look to "Uncle Sugar" for help, then why is it Uncle Sam's job to step in to protect Syrians and Iraqis? Why can't these citizens and their well-equipped governments take care of themselves by stopping ISIS? ISIS kills with arms we paid for and delivered there; our bombs kill civilians, creating more ISIS fans, which IS a threat to us over time. It's MADNESS.

--the nag

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September 30th, 2014
02:02 am

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CATCHING UP WITH THE NAG
    words. On election night, Mitt Romney remained stoic, Ann Romney ...

The dearth of nag posts over the past few years led one inquiring mind to query me as to whether I remained thankful in September 2014 that Brainy Barack Obama and Joltin' Joe Biden pounded Millionaire Mitt Romney and Posin' Paul Ryan in November 2012.

My response (short version: Yes) led the correspondent to pepper me with a raft of additional questions in the form of charges, the tone and nature of which Fox News would be proud, and the answers to which fill in a lot of gaps about what the nag's been thinking about Obama and the state of things during his quiet time.  The nag's quiet time, of course.  It's been anything but quiet for the grown-up in the White House.

You can read the lively exchange
here if you like.



--the nag

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September 24th, 2014
09:06 pm

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LOOKING FOR HEALING, NOT VILLAINS, IN THE RAY RICE-NFL-BALTIMORE RAVENS MESS


Long-time nag readers, or at least any who were here in the past couple of weeks, may have noticed that I did something recently, which I rarely, if ever, have done:
I deleted some posts, and edited another for content, not spelling or grammar.  Let the healing begin.

Three developments which would go a long way toward fixing the mess that ex-Baltimore Raven Ray Rice, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti all find themselves in.  Presented in order of desired appearance:

1.  Goodell announces he's granting the appeal of his second, harsher, Rice suspension.

Goodell's statement: "As I've said again and again, I got it wrong when I imposed only a two-game suspension on Ray Rice.  But that's on me, and upon further review, I was wrong to give myself a "do-over", which violates any NFL player's in-league due process rights."

2. Rice announces he's taking the whole 2014-15 NFL season off.

Rice's statement: "While I appreciate the Commissioner's decision on my appeal, which I filed in large part to protect all NFL players' in-league due process rights, I want to announce that I have no intention of trying to return to the NFL playing field this season.  It's far more important that I take the time now to get the counseling and help I need, so I can be the husband, the father, and the man that I want to be for my family, and for the city of Baltimore.  Football can wait."

3. Bisciotti announces he's putting Rice back on the Ravens' payroll in a non-playing capacity.

Bisciotti's statement: "I remain greatly disappointed with Ray's behavior in that casino, and I'm likewise disappointed with my handling of things up to now in the wake of that awful night.  I applaud Ray's decision to put healing ahead of football, and I want to support Ray and his family, financially as well as morally, as he makes that effort.  Ray Rice has done great things on the football field over the years for the Baltimore Ravens, but during that time, he's done even more, off the field, for the people and the city of Baltimore.  I know we all hope and pray that Ray can return to being that force for good in the community-- and I've got his back."


--the nag

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September 22nd, 2014
11:30 pm

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If you get confused, just listen to the music play
https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=HN.607995708152676533&pid=15.1&P=0

I'm all about "Althea", my favorite Garcia/Hunter song, right about now.

--the nag

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September 19th, 2014
07:41 pm

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WHAT I HOPE FOR, FOR THEN AND FOR NOW
Concerning what Ray Rice did to then-fiancee Janay Palmer at the Revel casino in February, for both their sakes, I want to believe it was an aberration.  Although I’ve never been a Ravens fan, I’ve always had a soft spot in my football heart for plucky little backs who run for their lives as well as yardage.  And Ray always seemed liked a good guy, without a whiff of anything untoward.  I felt for Janay from the moment we saw the first video, and I liked her as well as felt for her once I saw her in that excruciating, staged joint press appearance with Ray.

So I want to believe this assault was a horrible one-off.  I want to believe he dragged her as he did then stood around in the aftermath due to being drunk, and at a loss, like Marty Robbins’" El Paso" gunfighter was after shooting his romantic rival-- shocked by the foul, evil deed he had done.  I want to believe his phone call words to someone, probably his agent, “I’m going to be arrested tonight”, meant he got it at that point. I want to believe Janay’s heart-wrenching words after regaining consciousness, “How could you do this to me?  I’m the mother of your kid”, were also encouraging somehow because there’s no “again” at the end of the first sentence.  But given what we know about domestic abuse and abusers, I know my hopes rests on some thin ice.  So I can’t go all nag on it and tell you, Believe It!

I can only say again that I hope it’s so, for Ray Rice and Janay Rice’s sakes, and, no matter the truth about their past relationship, I hope they both find healing and peace going forward.  And I hope Ray Rice’s reputation can somehow be restored to the point where he can return to the good work he's done for so long for Baltimore, a sorrowful city that needs Ray Rice the man far more than it needs Ray Rice the NFL running back.



--the nag

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September 17th, 2014
04:20 pm

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THREE HEARTBREAKING THINGS IN THE ADRIAN PETERSON ABUSE MATTER
http://www.nps.gov/nri/resources/customcf/story/Slavery_TheLash.jpg Adrian Peterson Mugshot Photo: Smiling NFL Star Arrested, Indicted for ...

There's so much that is simply heartbreaking to me as far as Adrian Peterson beating his pre-schooler bloody with a tree branch is concerned.

First and foremost, obviously and awfully, the vicious physical pain and mental terror visited on a 4-year-old child by his father.

Second, the not-so-tiny, or not-tiny-enough for me, slice of the American public that views what most of us call blatant child abuse as nothing more than justifiable parental discipline, for whatever misguided reason.  Such as, religious ('spare the rod, spoil the child'), cultural/geographical ('it's a southern/Bible Belt thing'), social/political ('we stopped hitting our kids and look where that's gotten us'), or personal ('I was beaten by my parents and I turned out just fine.')

Third, the tradition of parents whipping black children in the U.S. South, as hinted at by Peterson himself as well as by his lawyer and explicitly voiced by Alabama-born Charles Barkley in defense of the East Texas native and fellow African-American.  It's an explanation of horrifying historical origin that excuses nothing in 2014 but which illustrates the tragedy of abuse as learned behavior, with the abused later becoming the abusers.  This so-called "tradition" can be traced straight back to the Slavery days of the U.S. South, when and where it was considered advisable, and very often demanded by the law, that black slaves of virtually any age be whipped.

Whipping, as corrective or preventive discipline intended both to punish and to promote desired behaviors and outcomes, both on the plantation and out in public.

Not criminal, if a slave was treated with overall "humanity", and the whippings didn't "maliciously dismember or deprive a slave of life."

It's just so heartbreaking.

--the nag

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September 15th, 2014
11:16 am

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THREE BEHEADED WHITE ENGLISH-SPEAKING MALES IS NOT A GOOD REASON TO RUSH INTO WAR


"Remember the Maine!" =>  Spanish-American War
"Saddam has WMD/Aluminum Tubes/Don't Wait for the Mushroom Cloud!" =>  Bush/Cheney Iraq War
"ISIS is beheading Americans and other English-speaking White Men!" =>  ?

You have to hand it to ISIS: it knows how to get the West's attention, in particular the USA's. ISIS understands our midset about the value of a few of "our" lives versus, say, the 170,000 Syrians killed in the past couple of years thanks to the Assad regime we're about to help by bombing ISIS in Syria.

It's a sad commentary on our self-absorbedness.  And our politicians are right there with ISIS as far as knowing the road to America going to war is paved with American fear, and they play to it, shamelessly. Hopefully, for the right reasons.

ISIS exists because the USA birthed it by invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein and his Sunni-dominated Army, and supporting Al-Maliki and his Shiite regime without strong-arming Maliki into giving the Sunnis a stake in Iraq's future.  As a result, Saddam's military and political talent was left powerless, p.o.'d, and ready to hook up with any group which could help them reclaim some standing and get some revenge.  Such as ISIS, formerly known as Al Qaeda in Iraq, given life by the deadly stupidity of "Operation Iraqi Freedom".  Thanks, Cheney.

One good reason the USA needs to stop ISIS is that ISIS is our baby and has shattered what little stability existed of an mostly-instable region, which has ominous implications for innocent people there as well as the continued flow of Middle Eastern oil and thus the world economy.  Down the line, ISIS is bad news for Israel, and ISIS-inspired losers will be a threat to white, English-speaking American men, women, and children right here in the United States.  Which adds up to a good argument against unilateral U.S. action: the more it's just us, or looks like just us, the greater the ISIS recruitment impact and the bigger targets we become.

I hope we'll do two things: number one, calm down a little bit, and number two, base our decisions on why and especially how we go to war with ISIS based on American national and global interests and not hysterical fear.  It's crazy to charge in there with guns blazing merely to make the Middle East safe for white, western freelance journalists and aid workers, male or female, who stray into war zones out of recklessness or hubris, or even for noble or godly reasons.

--the nag

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