Friday, September 19, 2014

I just got back from Paris and the news makes me want to puke

This is what comes from what I see in
the newspapers, not from French food.
Hey, I had a perfectly nice time in Paris. I ate runny, stinky cheese. I ate deliciously creamy butter. I ate baguettes by the basketful. I ate pommes frites. I ate extremely fatty liver with the consistency of velvet. I ate  meat that was doing the butterfly stroke in deep pools of obscenely rich sauces. 

And yet I came home weighing two pounds less than when I left. You can chalk that one up to alluring Parisian streets that almost grab you by the collar and demand to be strolled, and to nearly perfect weather that made the strolling easier. 

Walking around looking for the next place to eat evidently works off more calories than living on dry chicken breasts, or blowing a couple of hours every week in a stinking, sweaty health club. Call it the Crank Diet.

But when I get home, what do I find?

Thanks, Lindsey Graham, for ruining everything

I found the same old same old. Let’s start with Republicans like John McCain and  Lindsey Graham frothing at the mouth to demand we put “boots on the ground” in Syria to “defeat” a bunch of thugs in ISIL. 

Unfortunately, what “boots on the ground” is really code for is “American dead bodies on the ground.” You don’t commit troops to combat without significant numbers of them getting killed, some of them getting gravely wounded, some of them sustaining lifetime psychological wounds. 

None of those troops will be Lindsey Graham. And guaranteed, with the kinds of wars we’re fighting these days, there’s no victory at the end of the conflict

Personally, I’d rather see the U.S. track down and capture the sick-o who did the beheadings of their innocent victims. President Obama took out Osama bin Laden. We can take out this creep, too. Evidently, we and the Brits already have a good idea of who the hooded man with the knife is

So sniff him out. Hunt him down. And while I usually oppose capital punishment strenuously, I wouldn’t go into paroxysms of grief if, in the course of some special forces operation to capture the sick bastard, his own head should accidentally happen to fall off. The same goes for his bosses.

A nation of busybodies

Then there’s the business of throwing people off athletic teams for abusing their significant others and their kids, and spending hours of television time discussing it. Hey, don’t get me wrong. I am strongly – very strongly – opposed to either spousal abuse or child abuse. But we seem to be enlisting the wrong people to do the law enforcement. 

Spousal abuse, child abuse, and rape for that matter, are felonies. They should be investigated by the police. 

When credible evidence of who perpetrated such crimes is found, the police should make arrests and prosecutors should prosecute. The guilty would lose their player status simply by virtue of being in prison. 

The same, by the way, goes for college campus sexual abusers. It’s not the business of private institutions, whether sports franchises, or sports leagues, or universities,  to investigate, try, prosecute and punish felonies. When you get amateurs doing this work – and make no mistake, college panels and football commissioners are amateurs – they’re bound, sooner or later, to get it wrong, hurt innocent people, and probably exacerbate the problem. Let’s stop being a nation of busybodies and just call the cops whenever an assault happens.

Justice delayed is, uh…
Who said anything about justice?

Speaking of cops, what’s with the cop who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9th? I’m writing this on September 19th, for the love of Mike! If anybody but a cop went to Ferguson and shot somebody dead, the case would be investigated, an arrest made, the perp charged with the crime and bail set, all likely before sunset. In this case, you’ve got the city of Ferguson dealing with the problem by handing out comment cards. So here’s my own comment:  I want to vomit a second time.

Okay, okay, a small hurrah

If there’s any good news, it’s that Scotland voted not to secede from the Brits. Hip hurrah. Listen, the first I heard of this was two days before the voting began. I have no brief either for or against either the Scots or the rest of the Brits on this. My concern was, and still is, that secession might be contagious. That concern wasn’t at all mitigated when Reuters ran a story saying that one in four Americans are open to their own secession.

I thought we fought a civil war over this. Now what? Do we have to put “boots on the ground” in Texas, too? 

Or maybe we should just go ahead and let Texas secede. But at the same time, we should build a wall on their border with us, impose a tariff on their imports, strictly limit or even prohibit immigration of Texans to America, cut Texas out of the U.S. power grid, and in general treat them with the hostility we generally reserve for, say, Cuba.

Okay, so I’m feeling cranky to be home from Paris and back in the office. You got a problem with that?

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