What’s the Thinking?


Well, time to get back to carping, uh, I mean commenting on the mystifying times in which we live.  Everyone knows we humans are supposed to be rational animals.  So, whenever I observe something mystifying, I try to envision the process which led to that thing, condition, event, etc.  Sometimes I write about it despite the empirically verifiable fact that no one seems to be clamoring for my opinion.  With humans, backtracking a thought process can be a complex undertaking.  How to explain Callista Gingrich’s “look” is an example.  What choices led to that?

But something far more amazing deserves attention.  There is a new fascinating technology that has driven all else from mind.  It’s the repair-in-a-can goo I see on TV.  Jeez, a guy sprays stuff on a screen door, puts it in the bottom of a boat and floats it around.  Instead of, as the announcer points out, wasting thousands on repairing your most valuable asset, instead of hiring licensed subcontractors, if your structure has leakage issues, why don’t you people seeking to renovate, buy a couple of cans of building fix-a-flat instead.  That’s the marketing message.  Yeah, why bother to get a problem diagnosed and repaired by a professional when ya can get spray cans of rubberized liquid to stop up holes in roofs, drains, pipes, etc ?  Who cares what might be causing the problem, just spray until the visible dripping stops.  Good plan.  The guy touting it’s floating around in a boat with a screen door for a bottom, for Pete’s sake.  That’s gotta be the gold standard for proof of efficacy.  Case closed.  Stop wasting money on competent professionals, just spray the hell out of whatever seems to be leaking.  To quote Christopher Walken from an unrelated context, “Zowie!”.

Well, Iowa is over.  The feeding frenzy of drivia overkill surrounding the caucuses is over.  Or just beginning.  Sigh.  With months of blowhards venting to look forward to, I confess to being daunted by the hyper-excited state of election media coverage.  If only the actual voters and stakeholders had the energy the media does in pursuing the non-stories that are the republican candidates.  The only rational explanation for the dead pan demeanors of the media reps reporting on this travesty of a presidential candidate field is–botox.  How else could they all refrain from laughter or disdain being evidenced by a frown, a sneer, a tongue-in-cheek smirk, other than by paralysis of facial muscles.

After all the hyperventilating over Iowa, turns out, the votes aren’t binding and it’s not winner take all, and the total number of votes toward nomination are relatively insignificant to begin with.  It was, essentially, meaningless.  Millions spent, for…uh, what?  The thought process here is…what?

It was daunting watching the interviews of caucus goers.  One woman opined that she thought one of the candidates had “good family values” and, since she has a family, she voted for him.  Seriously?  That’s the criteria?  Espoused family values?  Come on!  This is a country of 310 million people who own a bunch of valuable stuff, have a lot of conflicting interests and have complex businesses to be taken care of.  It requires a pretty rarefied set of innate talent, intelligence, education, ability and skills to manage the collective affairs of 310 million people.  We need a far more restrictive set of required qualifications than that someone espouses family values.  Come on people, focus.  This is a job interview for CEO of the free world–at least for the moment–and ya can’t be voting for every gonzo goofball that pops up on the TV screen.

And since the media is obviously starved for real news, why has there been no outcry over the president’s signing of the defense spending bill that included the nullification of the right to due process?  How is that possible anyway?  To repeal a constitutional amendment without, no pun intended, due process?  How can that be?  Isn’t there a required process for repealing a constitutional amendment?  And how is President Obama looking himself in the mirror after that?  The right to detain people indefinitely without due process goes against accepted legal principle and practice that has been firmly rooted in English and United States law for nearly 800 years.  President Obama taught constitutional law.  He knows better.  And for him to say, well, don’t worry, I won’t detain American citizens without due process is silly.  How long will he be in office?  And then what?  Who might possibly follow at some point downstream?  This is really dangerous stuff and the media has barely a peep to say about it.

Yeah, Mr. Pres, how about Clause 39 of the Magna Carta?  Remember that?  Clause 39 read “No man shall be taken ,imprisoned, outlawed, banished or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land.”  That was the basis for the sixth amendment to the constitution, part of  the Bill of Rights.  The forerunner of the Mayflower Compact and the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution–you remember that, no?

Remember Maud DeBraose and her eldest son, William, walled up in Corfe Castle by King John?  Starved to death in the early thirteenth century, without trial, representation or even formal charges.  That was one of the events which lead the Barons to compel King John to sign the Magna Carta in the first place.  That was what they were referring to, among many other incidents, when Clause 39 was included.

Clause 39.  800 years.  And our president signed the damn defense bill that pitched it overboard.  That’s not exactly the change I was hoping for.

Election 2012.  Clowns at the circus or a cynical president who will sacrifice any principle to get re-elected.  Hardly the battle of the Titans, no?  What’s the thinking here?

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