Frontier Former Editor

December 27, 2007

Amateur night at the White House and the State Department

You’ve probably heard the latest from Pakistan by now, so I won’t bore you with the details of that particular bloodbath.

But if anything will finally illustrate to the most know-nothing Bush and GOP supporters that we’ve had bipolar kindergarteners running this country’s foreign policy since January 2001, the fallout from Bhutto’s murder should suffice.

In a peanutshell (quite adequate to contain the substance of 21st century American foreign policy):

  • The spawn of Reagan-era U.S. policy toward Afghanistan blows up the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
  • Bush (heavily under Cheney’s influence) declares global war on terror and extorts the cooperation of an already-unstable, nuclear-armed Muslim country (Pakistan, in case you haven’t read the news for the past 2.5 decades) in said GWAT.
  • Bush (or Cheney) orders the invasion of Afghanistan – probably a reasonable rat hunt since we helped spawn the rise of the Taliban as well as the other warlords  in that perverse Flanders Field of a rock farm.
  • Bush – channeling Cheney and a whole bunch of Nixon-Reagan era manifest destiny disciples – decides to bring democracy to the Middle East and to defeat terror by invading Iraq, thus distracting us from the Afghanistan rat-catching expedition.
  • While contributing to a rising Islamic radicalism and militancy by invading Iraq, the Bush administration is distracted (or bored?) from the Afghanistan expedition.
  • U.S. adventurism in Iraq and support of our man in Pakistan also help fuel a rising militancy in Pakistan while we engage in the schizophrenia of supporting Musharraf for his ostensible anti- al Qaida stance and criticizing him for his anti-democracy stance.
  • And after finally going through the motions of being a democratic society, Pakistan  one of its prime candidates shot and shredded.
  • And our fearless leader/decider’s response? He asks Musharraf to go ahead with elections.

Some may say that we have a bunch of psychotics running our foreign policy. I still subscribe to the theory that we have stupid amateurs who couldn’t figure out a Fisher Price shape and color box for ages 2 and under.

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August 30, 2007

Death in Venice . . . .

Filed under: anatomy, dead pool, homeland security, medicine, old times, public health, societal niceties, Venice — Frontier Former Editor @ 10:27 am

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(Mann o Mann, I knew that German short fiction class would come come in handy one day . . . .)

Ancient mass graves containing more than 1,500 victims of the bubonic plague have been discovered on a small island in Italy‘s Venetian Lagoon (see article and gallery)

August 29, 2007

And people wonder why we think the nation’s economy and sense of decency are out of whack?

 Queen of Mean? More like a petty bitch to me . . .

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Helmsley Dog Gets $12 Million, but Real Estate Billionaire Leaves Nothing to 2 Grandchildren

NEW YORK (AP) — Leona Helmsley’s dog will continue to live an opulent life, and then be buried alongside her in a mausoleum. But two of Helmsley’s grandchildren got nothing from the late luxury hotelier and real estate billionaire’s estate.Helmsley left her beloved white Maltese, named Trouble, a $12 million trust fund, according to her will, which was made public Tuesday in surrogate court.

She also left millions for her brother, Alvin Rosenthal, who was named to care for Trouble in her absence, as well as two of four grandchildren from her late son Jay Panzirer — so long as they visit their father’s grave site once each calendar year.

Otherwise, she wrote, neither will get a penny of the $5 million she left for each.

Helmsley left nothing to two of Jay Panzirer’s other children — Craig and Meegan Panzirer — for “reasons that are known to them,” she wrote.

(more…)

August 23, 2007

Summertime, and the living is sticky and sweaty and pretty damned uncertain . . .

I don’t even have to get drunk to be incoherent these days . . . I just open my mouth and start typing.

 We’re in week two of a nice little heat wave that has gone far beyond dog days. More like “someone’s going to go over the edge and kill someone else” days.

 We’ve already had one interesting little domestic tiff in my neck of the woods that added a Faulknerian or Tennessee Williams motif to the weather. Nothing special compared to the rest of the country, but something to break the routine around here.

And I still sit here wandering between the niceties of C++ and trying to keep my sanity.

My father spent some quality time in the hospital earlier this month after a confluence of bursitis, a cyst in his calf muscle, diabetic complications and other little things that resulted in his collapsing after I brought him home from a doctor’s appointment.

If anything makes you doubt your own mortality in a big damned hurry, try watching the senior chief petty officer who kept your ass in line learning to walk again and thanking you every minute just for spotting for him as he tries to make it out of a chair or up a couple of stairs. He’s going to be okay in a month or so, but it’s just the thing to knock one’s world into a cocked hat.

Today, we took him for the latest round of a year’s worth of eye surgery. He now probably will see better than I will for the rest of my life, but the capper of the day was sitting at a drive-in with him, eating a burger, drinking a milkshake and realizing that the last time we’d done that together was about 33 years ago.

I’m going to go give myself a dope slap and get back to abnormal now.

May 6, 2007

In threes . . . .

Filed under: dead pool, Uncategorized — Frontier Former Editor @ 1:53 am

The old saw about celebrity deaths coming in threes seems to have proven itself again.

I still remember the occasional Don Ho special on television as I was growing up, and over the years I remember him as a cross between a Micronesian Perry Como and the last monarch of Hawaii.

Tommy Newsome and I both share something in common besides the ability to appear dull as dirt – we both attended Old Dominion University. He was a music major. I was a grad student in history. Goes to show you what’s more marketable.

And Wally Schirra. The summer of 1969, I still remember my dad getting one in an endless string of Apollo paper models from the local Gulf service station and many others as we drove to my grandparents to celebrate my birthday and, the day before, watching the first moon landing. And I still remember Schirra as one of the commentators as the family hung around the television set.

Time flies . . .

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