Remember those days of AM radio when every radio station played the same songs endlessly? Some of them were really good, but by the time you heard them for the umpteenth time, you felt like screaming and throwing your little radio in that pool.
There are now two folks on that one hit wonder list for me that make me want to toss my TV through the window. The first has been Dubya for some time now. His “lessons of 9-11” song in its various riffs makes me twitch and throw nerf balls at the TV. Every time Dubya is on the tv set now with his snarky little “heh, heh, heh” and his ability to mangle even the easiest of adjectives, I grab the remote. To me, he’s like an endless loop of “Billy, Don’t be a Hero”. That was one of those songs that used to torture my young eardrums to the point I felt they were bleeding. I hated this song the first time I heard it. Yet, it became a one hit wonder and I know there were some folks out there that bought enough to make it a hit.
Some where about a month ago, Obama joined my list of one hit wonders on overkill. This time it’s one of those songs you think you like the first time you hear it, but after the radio stations play it the umpteenth time, you start thinking you’ll choose ritual suicide over one more listen. Then there’s the attempted follow-up to the song, or the rip off of that song where ever one has the same words and the same basic theme so you think you’ll never turn on the radio again because it’s spawned those evil spin-offs. It’s like a horror movie! They’ve invaded your radio and they’re every where! Well, it used to be just AM radio, and there’s no place else to turn. Now, thankfully we have alternatives.
I have to admit it, the media has overexposed Obama to the point, I have to turn the TV off now when they do a story on him. For CNN, it seems like Obama is on an endless loop and he’s always singing that same damn song. It’s the one that sounds like it should be meaningful, but after about a 1000 repeats, you begin to realize that some studio hack took the latest cool words and threw them together with a very simple melody they call a ‘killer’ hook. It’s that same killer hook that becomes endless torture after awhile because it’s so repetitive that you can’t get it out of your ears, even when you’re begging the Greater Ethos to wipe your memory clean.
The thing about these one hit wonders is that even if they don’t have substance or style, like a good Gerswhin tune or a great Rolling Stones Riff, they sell to some one. Just for a period of time, the public is all tripped out over them and the radio is more than happy to oblige if it ups their numbers. Pretty soon, those folks have gone over to the next one hit wonder, and the rest of us get twitchy when the stupid song shows up on an oldies station. Unfortunately, unlike music with a lot of alternatives, there’s very few alternatives to the few remaining newspapers and the news channels. If you don’t search out the alternatives on the internet, you’re stuck with that damned endless loop.
So I was going to torture you with some of the worst of the touchy feely sixties one hit wonders that sound a lot like Obama’s speeches but I just couldn’t do it to you or me, for that matter. I really associate Obama more with the Archies “Sugar, Sugar”, but I couldn’t bring myself to post it. So, I’ll leave you with one of the songs that got ripped off a lot because it’s got that 60s touchy changey hopey feel and a killer hook that every one used to sing over and over and over and over and over and over and over ….
Plus, I can still take listening to it a few times without screaming.
Well, in the first place he is incredibly arrogant, haughty, full-of-himself, and entitled. He appears to have almost no empathy for other people. On the other hand, he is very good at using people as long as he wants something from them, and then throwing them under the bus when he no longer needs them. For starters, just ask Rev. Wright, Rev., Pfleger, the members of Trinity United Church of Christ, “former” advisors Samantha Power and Austen Goolsbee, Jim Johnson (former VP committe member), whoever created the “Great Possum Seal,” the “progressive” bloggers who supported him unstintingly for months, and his own grandmother. In fact Obama has added a new cliche to the American vernacular, “He (or she) wasn’t the person I once knew.”
This picture was sent to me earlier this year by a friend that is a Buddhist monk. We are both of the faith typically called “Tibetan” Buddhism. As such, we’re pretty much automatically labelled enemies of the Chinese People. I wanted to share this picture with you because of several things going on right now concerning His Holiness the Dali Lama, the candidates for President, and the upcoming Beijing Olympics.
This picture demonstrates the real force being the so-called rioting monks and the violence last April in Tibet. It was posed so China could justify the disappearance of over 10,000 Buddhist monks and nuns. You are seeing this correctly. It is a group of Chinese soldiers holding monk garb. This was taken by a friend of ours right after some of the riots. I think you can figure out the rest for yourself.
I decided to re-open this issue since I was also speaking to my Lama today. A lama is a spiritual teacher along the lines of a Rabbi in Judaism. His wife, Ang Dawa, is an activist for the Sherpa peoples. They both are from Nepal but were born in a section where the line between Nepal and China is more relevant to countries than native peoples. The Sherpas are indigenous people living in the Himalaya Mountains and you all probably know them best for their incredible mountaineering skills. Ang Dawa has just been elected to the new Nepali parliament and has been an activist/journalist for the UN for many years for Human and Women’s Rights. She just wrote an article in the local newspaper stating that there are basic human rights and they include being able to practice religion as you see fit, including becoming monks and nuns. It was a very generic article on human rights and mentioned no countries by name. However, there are over 10,000 tibetan buddhist monks and nun–many of which are Sherpa–unaccounted for after the april/may so-called uprisings. This includes some of the senior most and most respected rinpoches. They have simply disappeared.
While I am not surprised the President George W. Bush has decided to attend the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, I had held out some hope. This week there have been several headlines out there concerning both the Olympics and the struggles of the Tibetan people to maintain their cultural identity and practice their religion. There have also been some activities on the parts of presidential candidates. I argue, both activities are essential windows into their approaches to Human Rights.
“But other Republicans — the so-called foreign policy pragmatists, many of whom have come to view the Iraq war as a mistake — say the administration’s policy shifts highlight the more confrontational nature of Mr. McCain’s foreign policy, particularly in his approach toward Russia and his embrace on Friday of the Dalai Lama, whom the Chinese regard as the fomenter of a rebellion in Tibet. They say the meeting will only antagonize China before the Summer Olympics, and at a moment when the United States is seeking its cooperation on economic issues and negotiations with North Korea.”
At the same time, we see this move from the Obama Campaign.
As reported by Advertising Age, it appears that the Obama campaign is going to be a major TV sponsor of the Beijing Olympics.
“It’s official. Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign will be among the TV sponsors of NBC Universal’s Olympics coverage. In the first significant network-TV buy of any presidential candidate in at least 16 years, the Obama campaign has taken a $5 million package of Olympics spots that includes network TV as well as cable ads. According to NBC’s political file, the campaign had initially requested information about 500,000, $2 million and $4 million package of Olympics spots. The network also offered the candidate a $10 million package.”
So, let me ask you a question. Aren’t the progressives supposed to be the ones concerned with Human Rights and standing up for them regardless of the economic consequences? Is it way too cynical of me to see this move by the Obama campaign as finding a way to profit and gain votes from an event that highlights a country that mistreats its peoples? This is Communist China folks! Monks and Nuns disappear there. Google and MIcrosoft have had to build limits into their software to suppress free speech in this country.
Oh, btw, after the Chinese government protested the publication of Ang Dawa’s statement of basic human rights, there were threats issued to the publisher of that paper in Nepal. The paper has been been barred from further publication.
Is this the type of thing the Obama campaign should be sponsoring with campaign dollars?
While the East Coast-centric press is following the very junior senator’s campaign to look presidential and world leaderly, there’s a major oil spill in my back yard. I live about three blocks from the Mississippi river in New Orleans and for the last three days, my home and my neighborhood have smelled like diesel. My nose is burning and I have a headache. About 9,000 barrels or 400,000 gallons of nasty, unrefined, sludgy oil spilled in the river that is the life blood of America’s trade–we’re loosing about $275 million in trade every day that it’s closed. That’s not a good thing for an economy teetering on recession.
There are a variety of issues going on with this huge spill and the coverage by the national media has been pathetic. The West Bank area of New Orleans along with two downriver parishes are in a state of water emergency. Their water purification facilities have had to close access to the water coming from the Mississippi and they’re about to run out of potable water. These two parishes were some of the hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina and the small towns scattered around the parishes are still experiencing problems even three years after the devastating storm. Just when these folks thought they were winding down their stormy relationship with FEMA, they’re now depending on the agency again. This time for drinking water and the oil washing up on their levees and coastlines.
Here we go again.
There was an article in today’s NY Times on the devastating spill. We have yet to see the full environmental impact, but I think it’s safe to say, if you like to give baths to birds and swamp critters, we’re going to need you down here shortly as this putrid puddle is making its way down river to the environmentally sensitive wetlands and swamps. These same areas protect New Orleans from any hurricanes this year. The swamp grasses slow down hurricanes as they move on shore.
July 25, 2008
Oil Spill on Nearly 100 Miles of Mississippi River By ADAM NOSSITER
NEW ORLEANS — A sheen of oil coated the Mississippi River for nearly 100 miles from the center of this city to the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday following the worst oil spill here in nearly a decade. The fuel-laden barge that collided with a heavy tanker on Wednesday was still leaking.
The thick industrial fuel pouring from the barge could be smelled for miles in city neighborhoods up and down the river, even as hundreds of cleanup workers struggled to contain the hundreds of thousands of gallons. Some environmentalists worried about reports of fish and bird kills in sensitive marsh areas downstream, though officials said they had so far heard of only a handful of oil-covered birds. Booms to protect areas richest in wildlife, at the river’s mouth, were being deployed, officials said.
The Mississippi remained closed to all boat traffic, stranding about 65 vessels. The effect on the area’s economy was thought to be significant, with this city’s port estimating a loss of at least $100,000 a day and probably more as the river remained closed, and petrochemical facilities dependent on it for shipping were threatened with a bottleneck, the Coast Guard said. Some suburbs stopped drawing drinking water from the river.
“We’ve had a number of large spills in the New Orleans area, but this is a heavy, nasty product, problematic in the cleanup,” said Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau of the Coast Guard, adding that it is of the sort normally used to fire up boilers at power plants.
“It’s a significant spill, if for nothing else because of its impact on the water supply,” Commander Ben-Iesau said. “We’ve got a lot of commerce dependent on this water supply, so we’re scrambling to get it cleaned up.”
On Thursday afternoon, the picturesque walk along the Mississippi at the French Quarter, normally full of tourists and pedestrians, was nearly deserted as a pungent chemical stench wafted up from the oil- covered water. A few skimmer boats, deployed to suck up the oil, constituted the only traffic on the nearly half-mile-wide river; a plastic boom to contain the fuel hugged the rocky shoreline, and the seagulls had disappeared.
“It’s going to take a good couple of weeks to get it all off,” said Petty Officer Jesse Kavanaugh of the Coast Guard, surveying the oily muck. Officials were unable to predict how long the river might remain closed, however. “We’re hoping days, not weeks,” Commander Ben- Iesau said.
The 61-foot barge that has been leaking heavy fuel oil for nearly two days could be seen underneath the mammoth Crescent City Connection bridge. It was carrying 419,000 gallons of the heavy fuel it had just picked up from an oil distributor when it collided with a 600-foot tanker ship around 1:30 a.m., just off this city’s Uptown neighborhoods. The tanker did not leak.
Coast Guard officials said the tugboat operator pushing the barge, from the local DRD Towing Company, was improperly licensed, possessing only the equivalent of an apprentice certificate. They said the incident was being closely investigated, though no blame had yet been assigned.
Oil continued to leak from the barge Thursday afternoon, and the Coast Guard was deploying a diver to check the flow.
Mayor C. Ray Nagin told residents of the city’s neighborhoods on the east bank of the Mississippi that they could safely drink the tap water, though he was more cautious about water in the one neighborhood on the west bank, Algiers. Meanwhile, water intake facilities in the neighboring parishes of St. Bernard and Plaquemines remained closed. There were no respiratory risks, officials said, despite the sometimes heavy odor.
As the oil slick moved downstream, officials remained concerned about the impact on the Delta National Wildlife Refuge, at the mouth of the Mississippi, and they were scrambling to place booms around it. Tens of thousands of feet of the plastic booms had already been put in place Thursday. If the oil flows through the main pass, or outlet, and on into the Gulf of Mexico, the effect will be limited; but if it seeps into the secondary passes, there is a more serious risk to the environment, they said.
“I’m very concerned, but I don’t think it’s a calamity of the proportions of Exxon Valdez,” said Robert A. Thomas, director of the Center for Environmental Communication at Loyola University. “Here, you’re talking about an enormous amount of oil, but it’s in a river that averages about 450,000 thousand cubic feet per second of flow,” he said.
“It’s going to flush this stuff out,” Mr. Thomas said.
Officials were generally guarded about the possible effects on fish, plants and wildlife in these rivers of grass and marshlands, but some in the state’s environmental community were not.
“When it goes down to the area where there are no longer levees, it gets into the swamp,” said Wilma Subra of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. “It’s going to contaminate the marsh.”
Ms. Subra said she had heard reports of dead fish and birds, and of people vomiting, but officials and the local Sierra Club could not confirm these reports.
Is it just me or is this a HUGE story that deserves front page coverage? Shouldn’t it be the lead story in TV News? We’re not talking chump change or small problem here.
Yesterday, a Rasmussen Poll demonstrated that the majority of American’s are not buying the Obama Magical Mystery Tour.
“While Barack Obama has touted his travel to the Middle East and Europe this week as a “fact-finding” trip, 63% of Americans do not believe it makes the Democratic candidate any more qualified to be president.”
I’ve been looking around in the foreign press for coverage of Obamapalooza.
This is from Germany’s Der Speigal
Initially Obama wanted to hold his speech at the Brandenburg Gate, but the proposal drew widespread criticism in Germany. Given its charged history, Chancellor Merkel said, through a spokesperson, she thought the choice had been “odd.” And even today, criticism continues about the hubris of holding a speech on such a grand scale when he hasn’t even been elected president yet.
“If a person who hasn’t even been nominated as the official candidate is allowed to hold an address like an elected president, then one has to ask the question: What’s going to happen if a truly elected president (like Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan demands the same?” Peter Ramsauer, the head of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union party, told the Schwäbische Zeitung newspaper. “Are we allowing Germany’s great sights to become stages for the American election?” He said he would have expected “better instincts on the part of Obama’s campaign managers.
There is also some discussion about Obama’s assertion that the European Allies are not doing enough in Afghanistan and the War Against Terror. There’s some pretty good indications that while Germans like Obama, Merkel and the government of Germany aren’t that impressed.
Barack Hussein, why don’t you just go home? Your visit to Israel this week is not because you’re looking out for the wellbeing of Israel and the Jewish people. You’re coming to Israel looking for the Jewish vote; your goal is to
speak with the Jewish American voters through the press coverage of this tour to the holy land. You want them to think that you took the time off from your busy campaign to further peace in the Middle East. Your hope is that enough stupid Jews will misread the message and take it as an act of support for Israel.
Don’t use us or our land as a photo-op to transmit a twisted call for support to Jewish-American voters. You don’t fool us. We know who you and your friends are.
This is from the UK publication the Economist:
Foreigners would be wise to temper their Obamamania, if only to limit future disappointment
There are reasons for them to be more cautious. Marvellous orator and skilled electoral tactician though he may be, Mr Obama has not repealed the basic laws of politics. Most obviously, he may not win. Rasmussen, a pollster, rattled the Obama machine this week by showing the two candidates tied, and most other analysts agree that the bounce he enjoyed after seeing off Hillary Clinton has been small and short-lived. Mr Obama still definitely has the edge, but opinion at home diverges sharply from that in most of the rest of the world
Second, President Obama would not be answerable to the world that so adores him. A president is elected by America’s more ambivalent people, and is accountable only to them. And his powers are mightily constrained by Congress, which is even more immediately accountable to its electorate.
Finally, there are some disquieting signs of a tendency on Mr Obama’s part to tailor his message to whichever audience he is talking to. All politicians do this of course. But Mr Obama’s two-steps have become Astaire-like. For instance, in his primary battle with Mrs Clinton, Mr Obama laid out a timetable for a virtually complete withdrawal from Iraq within 16 months of taking office, specifying a rate of one to two brigades a month. Since starting to campaign in the general election, he has fudged this clear line: he committed to withdrawal again this week (see article), but he has also been careful to give himself wriggle-room on its pace. Similarly, he once talked of negotiating with the Iranian leadership without preconditions: now he talks of the need for “preparations”.
Both these alterations make sense, but many Europeans won’t like them. Other bits of pandering could be more costly.
It seems many Brits don’t trust the junior Senator and his ability to change message based on the target audience.
More telling is that other polls show that Obama is not getting a bounce from this trip AND he still has a huge portion of the democratic party that has yet to join his cause. So far, the only fawning over Obama by a foreign leader has been that of the Jordanian Monarch. Other leaders remain cautious and rightly so. Most do not like being used as political props by the Obama propaganda Machine.
Something that has not come out in the U.S. media is this Saudi Cartoon showing both Obama and McCain in the pocket of Israel. The ADL has condemned this as anti-Semitic and rightly so. It seems there is some skepticism in all parts of the world.
This cartoon was published in the Saudi newspapers Al-Watan and Arabnews last month.