Saturday, August 28, 2010

Beck OutFoxes Them All, Egypt Captures 190 Rockets Wandering In Sinai

Dana Milbank
Matt Lewis

"Blacks don't own Martin Luther King," - Glenn Beck
"Hello, you sick twisted freak." - Glenn Beck
"You know, we all have our inner demons. I, for one — I can't speak for you, but I'm on the verge of moral collapse at any time. It can happen by the end of the show." - Glenn Beck
"I could give a flying crap about the political process.... We're an entertainment company." - Glenn Beck

By the time I finish typing this paragraph, the Glenn Beck rally at the Lincoln Memorial will have ended. For Glenn, it was a big success, with thousands of people attending on a beautiful morning. It certainly was the most debated rally, mostly over the chutzpah of having the rally on the anniversary that Martin Luther King gave his famous speech at the same location. Glenn claimed that it was a coincidence, that he didn't know until a staff researcher informed him. A pundit who is also a college professor said that it is possible that Glenn was ignorant of the significance of the date, especially the way that history is taught in schools these days... I have to admit that I wasn't aware of the date either, until this flap was reported in the news. And I find it interesting that none of the followers of Martin Luther King bothered to plan any rally at the Lincoln Memorial until after Glenn started making noise about it. Also interesting is how the Reverend Al Sharpton, once considered a wacky fringe personality, has become a mainstream representative for Black issues.

Even though Glenn tried to draw parallels between his rally and King's ideals in the weeks leading up to the rally, he wisely did not mention anything about it during his own speech. In fact, I'm not really sure why Glenn had this rally other than to physically prove his popularity. And Sarah Palin's. It wasn't supposed to be a political rally, but it was. Most of the people interviewed gave a vague, politically oriented answer as to why they attended. It was supposed to be a tea party rally, but it wasn't. There weren't many signs other than "Don't Tread On Me," which is every anarchists favorite flag and phrase, dating back to the glory days of protesting, the '60's... The closest thing that Glenn approached, was a religious and moral tone, except he was the only one preaching to the choir.
"Something beyond imagination is happening. America today begins to turn back to God. For too long, this country has wandered in darkness," - Glenn Beck
Personally, I think that Beck was crazy like a Fox to use this date and time, to stir up some softcore controversy that would be sure to get his rally publicized and debated. The ones who came for controversy, to see some street theater, protesting, and maybe a fight or two were disappointed, as well as most of the television crews sent to film it all for posterity. Normally, Glenn has a book that was just published to publicize, otherwise he usually doesn't attend the rallies he plans, so perhaps he's taking his religious messiah thing seriously. Which is a skitterish path to follow for any ex-alcoholic to follow, and is usually followed by some kind of dramatic psychotic episode, making for a delicious aftermath sometime in the next few months for all of you cynical voyeurs out there... Will any controversy come out of this mildly inspirational rally? Most of it will be drummed up by Fox News. Watching it on television and on the web, I found it to be boring. It was one of those things where you had to be there to get drummed up by any Woodstockian cultural fervor, custom made for those who are more patriotic than you or I, and will pray for America's soul. To them, I say thank you...

Back in the real world, Egyptian police seized more than 190 rockets in the Sinai peninsula, along with landmines and ammunition. The interesting thing about this was they date back to the 1967 Six-Day war and the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict; meaning that they have been stored or buried in the desert all this time. the munitions were on their way to the tunnels Hamas uses to smuggle weapons into Gaza. Of course, Israel plans to retaliate, plans to bomb the Hizbollah arms caches in Syria have been leaked, and by this time tomorrow some more of the smuggling tunnels also will have been bombed... Israel has pumped itself into such a frenzy over Iran, that it seems to be frothing at the mouth, straining to bomb somebody, anybody that questions its macho behavior, anybody who thinks it is a weak, girly-state to sit down with  the Palestinian Authority...

Hopefully, this is all of the old ordinance, and it will stop Hamas from going ahead with its plans to do violence to stop the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. The question here is, who in the Egyptian military or government is sympathetic enough to Hamas's plans that they would give up this old cache that almost everyone had forgotton? Will Hosni Mubarak's investigators be allowed to find out, or will they be co-opted? After all, Jake, this is Cairo, not Chinatown...

This weekend is the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina wiping out New Orleans. Have we learned anything from this disaster? Yes, we have learned to respond faster to the devastation in Haiti and Pakistan faster than we reacted to save the lives of our countrymen in New Orleans. Locals have been saying that the flooding could have been prevented if only the Army Core of Engineers had listened to them and not built the levees the way that they did. The Core did their own studies, and fudged the data to prove their own argument, and went ahead with their own plans, which resulted in disaster years down the road.
I have been saying to all of my friends for years that they Army Core of Engineers should have been disbanded after WW11, that they have caused more damage with their faulty projects all over our country. where I used to live, the Army Core screwed up making the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor, again, not listening to the local fishermen and creating a harbor that silts up with the first storm every year, which closes the mouth of the harbor. The Core had a long-term contract to pump the sand out of the harbor mouth, but they also took time off every year so that their employees could go back to Maryland for the Christmas holidays, which is when the first storm would hit, closing the harbor until the Core came back to work. These guys always prove to be less than useless, and should not be trusted to make anything. Unfortunately, they are in the middle of making a concrete and steel ring that is supposed to stop storm surges, and I will bet you that it, too, will become a billion dollar fiasco...

Occasionally I find ideas or lines that I have written popping up in the mainstream media, places like the Jay Leno show, on the Daily Beast, in the New York Times. Today the spokesman for the White House used a variation on what I had said in two of my posts, so I guess I'm moving up in the world. Of course, I link to these places shamelessly all of the time, so it's tit for tat. But I'm going to sign out patting myself on the back, extolling the influence of the Grumpy Old Man. So, with my apologies to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, feel free to sing along:

Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin' Grumpy.
Hello lamppost,
What cha knowing?
I've come to watch your flowers growing.
Ain't cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in' doo-doo,
Feelin' Grumpy.

Got no deeds to do,
No promises to keep.
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you,
All is Grumpy.

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