Conversations From The Common Ma’am

David Gregory is now a possible felon for showing an empty magazine, not attached to any gun, on TV. NBC checked, got conflicting answers, prior to the show. The conflict is pretty standard when dealing with multiple government employees. He was showing what they look like, which is information for those who’ve never seen one. Now, police are screaming, right along with anti-gun groups about what a horrible crime he committed. In plain English…####. Consider – a mother who’s never handled a gun finds such a thing in her son’s room. Now, she know what that strange item is…now she can do something that may prevent another idiot from killing.

On a smaller scale, I had a problem with DMV over a registration issue. Spoke to 11 DMV employees, got 11 different answers. Had to go closer to the top to get a stupid issue resolved because those working with the public use their own translations to explain the law. In one case, I suspected the employee got bonuses for collection of fines as there was a sense of glee as she said – “Pay $500.” There is an obvious lack of training and a more severe lack of communication. It seems equally spread among all civil service employees in all state and federal offices.

This is the result of hysteria after the CT shootings, with the anti-gun lobby using those deaths for their agenda. Fear and panic are not foundations for good laws. Look at DHS and TSA if you question my statement.

Michael Hayden, CIA Director, 2006-2009, comments on “Zero Dark Thirty” and Benghazi.

“When I was at CIA I asked my civilian advisory board to tackle some tough questions. Among the toughest: In a political culture that every day demands more transparency and more public accountability from every aspect of national life, could American intelligence continue to survive and succeed?”

It’s worth a bit of time to read his editorial. The above comment is something I’ve often thought, recalling Nicholson’s line from “A Few Good Men:” “You can’t handle the truth” and it returns often when I hear politicos or special interest groups calling for transparency. In some issues, No, we can’t handle the truth; in some cases, reporting too soon or too much undermines US security. Wait until the mission is over, or all the facts are in, rather than using partial information to try to hang your opponent. McCain should know better, but he was one of the loudest; he (and others) blatantly used a horrible event for political purposes.

On Zero Dark Thirty -“It’s only a movie.” Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy were investigated for their writing because some of the information was supposedly top secret only. It turns out they used information readily available if one does their homework and investigations went no where. Great imaginations can come pretty close to reality.

On Benghazi:

“An intelligence analyst may attribute an attack to al Qaeda, whereas a policy maker could opt for the more general “extremist.” It’s still not clear what happened in this case (or why) and both speakers could technically be correct, but it is never a good thing for the analyst to be drawn into a debate to explain or justify the word choices of the politician. Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper’s office seemed forced to do just that in late September.

Surely what happened before and after those fateful hours in Benghazi is of national importance and our political processes need to adjudicate these questions. But at their heart these are now more political and policy debates than intelligence issues.”

Putin signs anti-US adoption bill

So this is how powerful leaders play pay-back? He’s pissed at Obama over a human rights bill that effects some Russians so he uses babies? Wow – are we back in middle school? Now, those children are denied homes and sentenced to a childhood in pretty scary orphanages. Russians aren’t big on adopting their own, apparently – rather like Americans.

I’m always puzzled by Americans going overseas to adopt, as there are so many babies and children here in the US desperately needing forever homes. (Too many see adoption of a child on the same level as adopting a pet – if it doesn’t live up to expectations, give it back.) Is this because only blonde, blue eyed babies are acceptable? Do they need a more dramatic story when they brag of their good deed?

Remember that long abortion fight in the US? The one where it’s God’s will that all babies must be born? Who’s going to raise them? Obviously, not a large portion of childless American couples. Hypocrisy on all levels on this one, and childishness from a world leader. Maybe this will be a good move for our own needy kids dreaming of parents and a home.

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  • A bit more ruminating – input from readers will be greatly appreciated:

    I may be very late to this particular thought, but in reading news sites this afternoon, one suspicion became far more clear. When we’ve had more democratic leaders, both domestic and international peace seems attainable. When conservatives, especially those with a religious agenda, are at the helm, rhetoric is inflammatory and chauvinism replaces rational thought.

    It’s not just the US. Look at the Middle East, as the Muslim Brotherhood takes over where we’ve helped to remove dictators. Our alliance with Israel will soon be put to the test as differing religious texts are waved in one hand, grenades in the other.

    “May you live in interesting times” is most certainly a hellish curse.

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