The New Yorker also noticed that a jerk (one of many) is on the loose. That’s the trouble with the internet and 24-hour cable news: anyone can spout garbage (this blog is a case in point!).
The only comment I agree with, as difficult as it is to side with an idiot, is the bit about extra time. A 45-minute half should be 45 minutes. I can think of no other sport that adds time at will to each period. Spoils the purity of the so-called “beautiful game”.
One needs a strong will to keep an open mind, when confronted by media reports on the Ukrainian “situation”. If one swallows the take of a single source, whether Fox or RT or slightly unbiased channels, prejudices and biases are easily strengthened. The New Yorker tends to have a balanced view, which reveals the idiots and idiocy. One passage in a piece by the editor is telling:
But not all those most directly involved in this crisis evince an understanding of the complicated politics of Ukraine. It is worth remembering that, in the back-and-forth of Ukrainian governments since 1991, both the pro-Russian leaders, like Viktor Yanukovych, and the pro-Europeans, like Yulia Tymoshenko, have been brazen thieves, enriching themselves at fantastical rates. Both sides have played one half of the country against the other.
Sadly, political leaders seem to have fallen into the trap of being driven by biases. Sides are hardening; rhetoric is losing nuance. Hypocrisy is ruling over common sense and intelligence.
I have only one concern: will natural gas still flow freely (at a price, of course) to Germany from Russia? We have decided, after years of trouble with dependability of an oil furnace, to change to gas. I have my prejudices against gas, but dependability won out. Now that we have decided, the main route of gas--through Ukraine--is in question. Perhaps, I am at fault for the controversy. Someone is trying to punish me for something....
But, gas seems to be the new weapon. The United States wants to sell gas recovered by the means of polluting its ground water. Powerful lobbies seem to be driving policy and “diplomacy” in Washington. Perhaps, the United States dislikes Russia, because they do not buy enough. That is a better argument than the neo-con wish to re-ignite the Cold War, although not necessarily more correct.
The only news reports than upset me are ones stating that European politicians are considering using their gas reserves to help Ukraine. Russia has threatened to cut off gas deliveries to Ukraine, because they have not paid for past deliveries. If you do not pay for you electricity, the switch is pulled. Why would Germany send gas to a deadbeat country, whose citizens hate Germans but are happy to exploit feelings of guilt? Although they do not pay their gas bills, Ukraine decided to increase defense spending. Who is going pay?
Being selfish, all I care about is heat for my house. I pay my bills...
The following is an intelligent piece from the New Yorker. Despite the horrible lessons of the past, politicians still need to “save face”, whatever they feel that is. It is almost like little boys proving who’s the strongest.
Nations should rely on sport to solve these petty urges.
Unlike Fox News, I am fair and balanced. I have an opinion and admit to seldom being “right”.
To that end, I offer a view from a publication I have read and trusted for decades. This is an extreme view, but does make some good points. There is no black or white, but the gray is either very dark or very light.
I wrote that I have had dealings in both counties and that I would choose Russia. I do not want to choose either, preferring the life I have found in Europe. This is not perfect, but life here is far better than most, if not all, alternatives. Russia would not be a fun place to live or work, and Ukraine would be worse. It would be best to tie these two cats in a sack and let them fight it out.
The United States, that beacon of liberty and freedom, continues its slide towards being ranked with Uganda. From Salon:
“Fox News gets something right about anti-LGBTQ discrimination: “In Arizona, you can do that now” Tony Perkins is a bigot, but he's right about one thing: Discrimination is already the law of the land in Arizona”
I did not plan on ever returning to Arizona, but now I have an additional reason for that decision.
Of course, there are other states on the list...and the list seems to be growing. The country of my birth continues its journey in the wrong direction. People touting the Constitution seem to have not read this document. The most-overlooked item of the key documents of the nation is the bit about separation of church and state. Too many want the church to rule the land, not unlike in Muslim nations. They missed the irony in Bob Dylan’s song:
The reason for fighting / I never got straight / But I learned to accept it / Accept it with pride / For you don't count the dead / When God's on your side.
Going off on a tangent, this refrain will chime over the much-desired invasion of Iran. Of course, these fine folks do not recognize--or know--that both sides worship the same god. The problem is humans...
Of which, this is the prime example. This guy has proven to be an idiot. But, this has to be the most-ridiculous utterance to date, as found in Salon:
Glenn Beck supports anti-gay Arizona law because “freedom is ugly”. The right-wing media mogul says freedom can require letting some people oppress others
I guess that he does not understand freedom, which is proof of his stupidity. Perhaps more-stupid are the people that listen to this jerk...
But, this guy is a close second:
“Tucker Carlson: Making businesses serve gay customers is “fascism”. Does this mean Carlson thinks segregation is freedom? (Yes)”
There must be something in the Bible about a plague upon the land...
Note to self: stop reading Salon and watching Fox News!
Fortunately, there is still someone able to make humor from stupidity. That’s why I have been reading the New Yorker for decades.
Before I start, let me reiterate that I am not a communist!
Something is wrong with the world in which we live. Well, at least in parts of the United States. If you do not believe me, check out or read about Las Vegas.
I just read an article in The New Yorker about clubs in Las Vegas. It seems that hotels are earning more from clubs than from gambling. Perhaps, that’s because high rollers now dump their money in Macau. Anyways, back to the club phenomena and my point about what’s wrong with the world.
A few points found in the article prove my conclusion. First, people pay five to one hundred thousand dollars for a table near the DJ. Second, the DJ can earn one hundred and fifty thousand dollars--one allegedly earning 300 thousand--for a “performance”. (I put that in quotation marks, because I do not consider playing music to be performance, even if the guy spend his valuable time mixing canned sounds with a computer program.) And, third, someone paid one hundred thousand dollars for a bottle of Champagne. Okay, the bottle was large, but still... According to the article, customers can spend half a million dollars on drinks in a night! No club would like to have--or would even accept--me as a customer. No, worry. I am not a club person...
Scanning headlines tries the patience of anyone with a a brain and a bit of compassion. I wonder if either of these characteristics are present in a Republican. Republican politicians might have a brain, but the wiring is faulty. One must merely visit Salon, among other titles, each day to grasp this fact:
Shutdown will cost many Americans their food
With federal funds now being denied to food programs,
GOP congressman tells Salon he's not familiar with the issue
And, there is always a second agenda:
Fox News, Republicans overjoyed that the EPA’s been shut down
With 94 percent of the staff on furlough, there's no one to enforce those
I have given up being angry. But, recent news from the United States explains why there have been so many wars throughout history. Humans reach a point where they can no longer accept the stupidity.
Here is one minor example from the New Yorker:
House Republicans claimed outrage on behalf of cancer-stricken children. Perhaps they should reread the provisions of Obamacare
On the bright side, there is plenty of fodder for humorists:
I discovered an interesting sentence in a recent New Yorker article:
“A recent study found that the easiest country in which to establish an untraceable shell company is not a tropical banking haven but the United States.”
The United States! That beacon of financial purity that rails against corruption and tax evasion. I wonder how many members of Congress control a shell company. Is anyone still surprised about the hypocrisy?
The article is about mineral wealth in Guinea and an Israeli business, who has acquired the rights to its iron ore.
Worth reading (especially the second-t0-last paragraph), if you have yet to be convinced of the absurdity of the World of Fox in which we must live...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.