I’m slowly coming up for air after all my recent travels and getting back into my old and familiar routine.
Many thanks to all those who have commented recently and I especially appreciate all the kind words of congratulations on my humble efforts to remain sober and improve my life.
For those of you who have missed my ‘daily’ dose of delectable damsels, you will be pleased to find that they have returned today in all their erotic glory.
I had a mental list of potential subjects that I wanted to write about this morning I was trying make my choice when I was somewhat diverted by a programme on the TV which has now become the subject for today’s blog.
My apologies if you find it a trifle on the serious side, and to my esteemed American readers, please try to understand my point of view, even if you do not agree with what I have to say.
This year, for every article which some may term as ‘anti-American’, I will do my best to include one in a later blog which some may consider ‘anti- UK’ – or at least ‘anti-something’ in the UK or maybe Europe. (That should be easy enough…☺)
‘Fair and balanced’ as they say on a well-known TV cable network….
Some notes on a Republican debate
Waking up late this morning, I turned on the TV to watch the morning BBC news before lifting my sleep-sodden body from the bed and embarking on yet another ‘Day in the Life of Mobi’.
But after succeeding in producing sound and picture through still bleary eyes, I misplaced the TV remote amongst the bed sheets, and ended up watching around 40 minutes or so of the latest Fox debate between the budding Republican candidates who wish to be chosen to represent their party in the forthcoming presidential general election.
I have seen many snippets of these debates on news bulletins over the past month or so, but have had no real desire to watch them at greater length, as quite frankly; they are pretty dire and for the most part, quite boring. To me, they are more a test of who is more adept at delivering snappy, witty and vote-catching ‘sound bites’, rather than a real examination of who is the most suitable to candidate to assume the highest office in the USA. (Or, indeed, who may make an unpardonable ‘faux pas’ that will provide the candidate with unwanted headlines.)
I can certainly see the value of a few, ‘one-on-one’, in depth interviews by knowledgeable journalists, and yes, maybe one or two ‘mass debates’ between prospective candidates might be helpful in trying to decide between two or more with similar views; but this never ending farce of trawling out five, six or seven candidates onto stage after stage, across the American countryside, is to me, little more than a ridiculous ‘Punch and Judy Show’ and does the American electoral process no great credit.
Heaven forbid, but I almost feel sorry for the candidates in having to parade themselves like prized monkeys before the good folks of countless ‘Hicksvilles’ throughout the USA who all joyfully assemble to exercise their democratic rights and to throw their ‘rotten tomatoes’ at the hapless would-be presidents.
The theory being that if they can survive that, they can survive anything – but I’m not convinced that this unbeliveably arduous and ridiculously expensive marathon is the best way to find a president for the most powrerful country on earth.
Feeling more or less ‘forced’ to watch, I did become somewhat fascinated by some of the proceedings. There was the ridiculous spectacle of Ron Paul justifying his almost pacifist views and trying to convince us that there is no need for America to go to war as ‘we’ (America) will still track down war criminals such as Sadam Hussein and Osama Bin laden to give them their just deserts…
Mr Paul, what planet are you on? Now don’t get me wrong, I hold no brief for the war in Iraq, but to claim that we could have sought out Hussein and had him arrested, tried and hanged without America’s involvement in the war is just plain poppycock; ditto, Bin laden. He wouldn’t have even been in Iraq for your gallant forces to track down if Nato hadn’t gone to war in Afghanistan.
And then Mr Paul made his most outrageous statement. He even gave the example of Adolph Eichmann, claiming that it had been possible to track down and execute him without going to war. What on earth is he talking about? Eichmann was an escaped Nazi mass criminal from the Second World War who fled to South America and was eventually tracked down and captured by the Israelis.
Now I know that there is zero chance of Ron Paul becoming the next president of the USA, but come on guys, this man is a total crackpot, yet he still enjoys widespread support from many who believe his nonsensical distortion of history.
Then you have the estimable Rick Perry whose command and use of the English language is so appalling that he makes George Bush appear like an erudite Churchillian orator. I reckon my three year old niece can express herself better than this budding president from the largest state in the Union.
So what did our Rick have to say about the recent scandal of US marines urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban. He said he felt sorry for them, that they were only kids, and he went on to heap opprobrium on both Obama and Clinton for their expressions of outrage over what these soldiers had done.
Now let’s get one thing clear; what these ‘misguided’ American soldiers had done was in clear contravention of all accepted rules of war, including the Geneva Convention on the conduct of war, to which the USA is a signatory. As members of the US military they violated laws of war, including prohibitions against photographing or mishandling bodies and detainees. It also violated the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice, which governs conduct.
On top of that they jeopardised the recent attempts at peace talks with the Taliban, which quite frankly is probably Afghanistan’s only feint hope of achieving any semblance of democratic peace going forward.
Then Mr Perry went on to compare what the marines had done with some of the despicable acts which had been carried out in the past by Al Qaeda in Iraq!
Ermmm… Ricky baby…. These guys were Taliban in Afghanistan… not Al Qaeda in Iraq. Nobody is pretending that the Taliban are a bunch of ‘fair play’ choir boys, but come on, get your facts right, and please try to understand the difference between the Taliban and Al Qaida. Even pacifist Ronnie understood that!
Sheesh! One of these guys may end up being the president of what is still the most powerful military state this world has ever seen.
(By the way, what was all that patriotic crap that the President Obama and his cohorts kept trying to ram down our throats about the American soldier is the finest, the bravest and most honourable in the world? Yeah…pissing on dead bodies… very brave, very honourable…)
Then the debate inevitably turned to the unbelievably liberal American gun laws – the notorious 2nd Amendment to the US constitution which permits all adult citizens to own and use guns in self defence
I suspect that there are very few non Americans in the western world who don’t think that the American gun laws are completely crazy. Sure there is a massive amount of gun violence in all so-called civilized countries, but I challenge you to find any country that doesn’t suffer more deaths, per capita, by guns, than the USA. (I am not counting central and south America as so-called civilised countries)
It is a complete nonsense to allow every American citizen to buy and keep a gun with virtually no checks or controls over their ownership. The net result is that America is an extremely violent society where hardly a week goes by when there isn’t yet another horrific tragedy in which often dozens of innocent people have been shot and maimed by some deranged gunman.
Can you believe it? A year or so back, there was a huge hullabaloo over attempts by congress to restrict access by the public to assault weapons? And guess who won? The gun lobby of course. Not content with the public owning hand guns and single shot rifles, the worthy citizens of America can also own assault weapons – you know semi- automatic rifles and even weapons such as rifle grenade launchers. If this isn’t world gone mad then I don’t know what is.
Yet candidate after candidate swore their allegiance to the second amendment and the freedom for all to bear arms. They even quoted their voting records in Congress and /or state legislatures to confirm to that they had never wavered in their beliefs that it was right and proper for every citizen to freely bear sufficient arms to shoot up and destroy every other citizen in his/her neighbourhood, and, no doubt, far beyond.
I don’t know if it was me, but as I watched the candidates speak on this subject, I thought I detected an ever so slight hesitation, or maybe even a barely noticeable reluctance to say what they were obliged to say. A bit like the poor citizens of North Korea having to express public grief over the death of their dear despotic leader, or face unimaginably unpleasant consequences.
Let’s face it – the second amendment is a bit like the ‘elephant in the room’. I strongly suspect that a vast majority of right thinking, intelligent Americans know that it is an inherently flawed piece of legislation
But they would no more dare to even suggest that some gun controls should be cintroduced than your local pastor would dare to question whether God really created the universe, even though I suspect many in this day and age of scientific discovery, may think just that.
The gun lobby is just so powerful and it wends its insidious path throughout all strata of American society; politicians and political parties alike, that no one dare gainsay them, for to do so would be tantamount to political suicide. It is one of the many corruptions that run to the very core of 21st Century American politics.
As many of my readers will know, I am no fan of Obama. Frankly I never have been, even when he was at the height of public adoration with his wonderful oratory and his promise of ‘change’ and to get rid of the entrenched corruption in Washington. But silly me; I looked at his record in Chicago and his associations with some highly dubious characters and I feared the worst.
But when he was elected by a landslide I, like many others, became swept up in the excitement of the occasion and hoped against hope that he might actually achieve something.
Of course it wasn’t long before disillusion set in and he became a salutary lesson in how an inspired orator is not necessarily an inspired leader. He has shown himself to be a weak, vacillating president, with poor leadership qualities and has become completely subsumed by the Washington machine and its vested interests. Washington has eaten him alive and is still spewing out the pieces.
So on the face of it you would think that with state of the American economy and the dire state world in general and America along with it, that virtually any viable candidate put up by the Republicans would be a shoe-in in the upcoming general election.
You would think so wouldn’t you? But what a shower they have come up with! Romney is clearly the best of a very bad, totally inept bunch, but even he leaves so much to be desired.
Sure, over the long years of campaigning he has learned how to speak and behave in a ‘presidential’ manner, but we all know from Obama that a good orator doesn’t necessarily make a good president.
We also know that Romney is a liberal conservative who is trying desperately to move to the right to attract the hard core GOP support. Nothing wrong with a liberal conservative in my book, (but I’m a European), but for many who want Obama out, rightly or wrongly Romney is not the president they are looking for.
But he is trying desperately to convince them that he is, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all that come Election Day, many undecided independents along with a sufficient number of disgruntled right wing republicans will stay away, to let Obama in for a second term.
The problem with Romney is that he is an opportunistic hypocrite, who secretly nurtures liberal views on subjects such as healthcare, gun control and abortion which he would never dare to admit to in public. I suspect that many of the public also feel this in their bones.
So having listened to this hypocritical diatribe for as long as my flesh and blood could stand, I finally succeeded in retrieving my remote control from under the bed clothes and switched over to Al Jajeera…..
BUTT…BUTT…BUTT…BUTT… I don’t give a hoot!…