Monday, September 16, 2013

Is It Fall Yet?

I've noticed some odd things lately. For instance, I have a younger friend who serves in the Coast Guard. They have a local base, which makes sense since our city is on the ocean. But what puzzles me is why he needs to go to New Mexico for updated training. Does someone just spray paint a line in the sand to make a pretend coast, or does the Pentagon pay Halliburton a billion dollars to ship a million gallons of water to the desert in order to make the "beach " seem more real?

The Air Force Academy football team has a quarterback who must be a very tough guy. Not only will he graduate as a professional warrior, but no doubt he has already absorbed a lifetime of pain just from his last name - Awini. Can't you just hear it" "Awini! What a weenie!" Mercy.

Son-in-law Dane has picked up another skill that may come in handy sooner than we think. Somehow, he got the inside dope on "urban foraging," and he promptly found his way to fifteen pounds of plums and grapes without paying a nickel. Maybe I should learn something new. Leading a kazoo ensemble? Coaching deaf athletes? Garage sale pricing strategies? Or how about coffin carpentry? That last one is sure to come in handy some day.

I'm beginning to think that Pope Francis is either a genuinely humble person, or that he has the best PR guy in Italy on the payroll working furiously from a tiny hidden office in the Vatican. Did you catch what he did last week? His Holiness accepted a donated car that's something like 29 years old with 180,000 or so miles. He can drive, so there's no one to hire. No plexiglass or bulletproof siding, either. The plan is to just use it around the grounds at Vatican City. It all sounds great, although I hope someone has checked Francis' eyesight within the last twenty years or so.

Sometimes I'm right. President Obama spent most of his speech time last week talking about the need to discipline Syria militarily, but then the door was opened to no attack if the Syrians give up their stocks of poison gas. Russia is now helping that to happen, and so everyone gets something. The U.S. doesn't have to act as world heavy again for awhile: Syria gets to continue making was on its own people, although without chemical weapons, and Russia looks like a winner for having put the other two parties together. Who's not happy? That would be the American Right, the smartest of whom realize that Obama's still a couple of steps ahead of them. So what's left? A chorus of whining about how Putin comes out a winner and Assad gets to keep attacking his countrymen. One dope tried calling out the President for "chickening out".  Another solemnly reminded us that the nation had endured "humiliation" before. They're just trying to avoid having to wear the "I'm a Moron" sign around their necks.
And OK, sometimes I'm a little wrong. True, I wrote against attacking Syria, but that, of course, was when I didn't know about this other business, which was already getting serious discussion. I had plenty of company. At least I'm not comparing diplomacy to elementary school playground strategies.    


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