Ramblings From the Ragged Crumbling Edge Of The Reality-Based Community

Saturday, March 13, 2010

On Asking Stupid Questions 

...this little story caught my eye today because it seems to me that it captures the raw essence of the hopelessness of ever seeing peace in what was once called Palestine. In fact, the story made me even chuckle a little because of its absurd tone-deafness: the Netanyahu government isn't going to investigate the actual decision to try to blow up peace talks by building homes in east Jerusalem but is instead going to investigate why the announcement was made just as Air Force 2 was touching down at the airport...

Joe Biden was "insulted"? Bet not. I'm willing to put a few dollars down on the proposition that Biden was - as we used to say back in the day - Pissed To The Max, not just about the fact that Israel decided to announce its decision about housing construction in east Jerusalem right at that moment but also that it was - one more time - going to move in a direction that most of the world sincerely doesn't believe it has a right to move in. The whole situation answers the question "Why isn't Jack K. the Vice President of the United States". OK... so it doesn't entirely answer the question, because there's a whole list that can be distilled down to 'because it would be a really bad idea', but part of the reason for why not is that I would have immediately gone back to the airport and flown that glistening 747 out of town as quickly as the engines could spool up (with maybe one rooftop high-speed wing-waggling "see ya, pal" pass over Bibi's digs thrown in, just to be cordial)...

Joe didn't do that, though. He stayed and glowered, and the insult was only part of it. In fact, it may have only been a small part of it, because you can only stay mad at stupid intransigence for so long before the whole effort just becomes a useless tiresome indulgence. The fact of the east Jerusalem housing is the problem; the timing of the announcement is just a simple artifact of the inability of right wingers everywhere to manage their message if they don't have the US media in on their game. If Bibi Netanyahu has any sort of agenda for stamping out wasteful spending, he could probably point it in the direction of this investigation because it is clearly a total waste of time and money. Nobody cares why his government is too stupid to figure out that the United States would be irked at the announcement of the housing construction in the middle of the Vice President's visit; why the announcement was made when it was is a stupid question to ask and misses the point entirely....

What everybody wants to know is why Bibi and his crew are seemingly trying to create the potential for more conflict and violence in the only Holy site shared by all three Abrahamic religions while offering a lame Bushco-like insistence that they really do want to have peace talks. It is for historians to decide what were the motivations of the Netanyahu government in metaphorically shoving a pie in Joe Biden's face. On the ground, in real time, the announced inquiry is a worthless exercise, asking stupid questions that nobody really cares about...

Sunday, March 07, 2010

A Missive From Mike 

Dear Fellow American,

You have been selected from a sample of political leaders in your area to take part in a
Nationwide Survey on the Obama Agenda called ASK AMERICA.

...this is how a letter I found in the mail box the other night begins. It came from the Republican National Committee (even has a blue facsimile signature by that political genius of a leader, Michael Steele) and goes on for two pages of widely-spaced text full of bullet points and numbered lists that convey the general impression that our beleaguered nations needs to turn its desperate eyes to the next Joseph McCarthy to stem the raging tsunami of Obama socialism threatening to sweep it away. The survey goes on for 32 questions, 31 of which generally are of the tone:
Do you think that Barack Obama sucks?

O Yes
O Majorly
O Well,
O Don't know

Question 32 asks "would you like to give lots of money or oodles of money to us?"

...I am, admittedly, just a little conflicted about this. On the one hand it is certainly flattering to finally be recognized as 'a political leader'. At the same time, the judgement of the RNC in spending money to send a survey to the likes of me is so seriously called into question that it tends to cheapen the accolade just a little bit. Still, I will not let my new friend Mike Steele down; I will absolutely fill this survey out because Mike wants America's voice to be heard. It's the least I can do, and answering "No" thirty two times won't unduly inconvenience me...

Of course I won't be sending any money (Mrs. Jack K. says I should tape a penny to the survey with a note saying that's what it - and the Republican party - are worth to me, but that's just harsh). And even though Mike asked me to use a postage stamp on the return envelope to help him save much-needed funds, I won't be doing that either. It says right there on the envelope that no postage is necessary if mailed in the US; a stamp on this envelope is one less stamp for all those other envelopes I need to mail, and economic conservatism starts at home, I say...

I can't really say why I got this survey. Perhaps the RNC is sending this thing to registered Independents in districts that McCain won last time. Perhaps my new friend Mike is just crazy. Perhaps the RNC thinks I won't have the guts to answer "No" 32 times and not use a stamp on the return envelope since my name is prominently displayed on the front of the survey. Whatever the reason, this certainly doesn't look like "A Game" material from the sort of cash-strapped national political organization that I would be looking to for leadership in these trying economic times. In fact, it looks pretty goofy to send me a blatantly push poll worded survey, but I'll do my part because my friend Mike wants to know what I think...

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