Monthly Archives: May 2013

Bill Keller wins – meet the new Joe Lieberman

The once (and never-again-please-I-beg-you) Editor of The New York Times, Bill Keller, steps up to speak out about Syria:

As a rule, I admire President Obama’s cool calculation in foreign policy . . . frankly I’ve shared his hesitation about Syria, in part because*, during an earlier column-writing interlude at the outset of the Iraq invasion, I found myself a reluctant hawk. That turned out to be a humbling error of judgment, and it left me gun-shy.

*Good old Bill, predictable fellow that he is, still thinks it’s all about him. (The whole sorry thing is here.)

Of course, there are important lessons to be drawn from our sad experience in Iraq: Be clear about America’s national interest. Be skeptical of the intelligence. Be careful whom you trust. Consider the limits of military power. Never go into a crisis, especially one in the Middle East, expecting a cakewalk.

Now, here we go . . .

But in Syria, I fear prudence has become fatalism, and our caution has been the father of missed opportunities, diminished credibility and enlarged tragedy.

Looks like he got over that gun-shyness thing just in time for Sock It To Me: Chapter II. I think John McCain and Ms. Graham should have the guy over for a few cocktails and high fives.

I have to detox and it’s Wayne LaPierre’s fault

RockArtTeh stupid out there is wearing me down right now. The lure of this machine in my lap is in hiding or so faint I can’t even hear it.

Not surfing. Not bookmarking. Not posting (maybe some easy stuff). I will avert my eyes and hope for a refresh – I will define success as expelling (or at least containing) knee-jerk, reactive outrage that these days rises too quickly, too often and causes me to make rude noises.

BUT BUT BUT . . . in lighter news: Whatever Works will soon be handing out spare keys to two friends who’ve shown some interest in co-blogging.

They’re both male. They’re both actors. One is 18 and a bit bent and quite liberal. The other is 40, very bent, and very very conservative. Both are fun. And smart. And I like them a lot. And if we pull this off, I hope you do too.

(Hellooooo, Orhan . . . your key still works, if you want to, ya’ know . . . )

Hey, it works for Vladimir Putin.

Gas explosions for profit or bombs for ideology. One good. One very very bad. People still dead. Threat still there. How to choose, how to choose . . . XL baby, XL!

Today, Upworthy brings us a video by activists opposed to the construction of a fracked gas pipeline under the West Side of Manhattan. It includes footage from a PG&E gasline explosion at a similar installation in San Bruno CA. In 2010. Eight dead. 38 Homes leveled. It happened two miles west of San Francisco International Airport. And I never hard of it before. Pipe-from-Sanbruno-explosionDid you? From Wikipedia:

In January 2011, federal investigators reported that they found numerous defective welds in the pipeline.  . .  . On January 13, 2012, an independent audit from the State of California issued a report stating that PG&E had illegally diverted over $100 million from a fund used for safety operations, and instead used it for executive compensation and bonuses.

It’s an all too familiar story.

This graphic shows the blast zone that would be created if an explosion similar to the one that occurred in San Bruno, CA, last year were to happen in Manhattan at the location of the natural gas pipeline proposed for the city by Spectra Energy.

This graphic shows the blast zone that would be created if an explosion similar to the one that occurred in San Bruno, CA, last year were to happen in Manhattan at the location of the natural gas pipeline proposed for the city by Spectra Energy.

But back to New York, the city that never sleeps . . . the pipeline, already under construction, is the project of Spectra Energy. Were their project to suffer an explosion like San Bruno, or like the dozens of others that have happened around the world, it could kill tens of thousands, maybe maim hundreds of thousands, and might even take down the economy of NYC.  The Federal government is spending hundreds of billions, perhaps a trillion or more, to keep us ‘safe’ from terrorists. But developing alternate energy sources is too expensive.Here’s that video from Upworthy:

Security or civil liberties – what’ll it be?

boston policeIn an earlier post, I quoted (and agreed with) Ron Paul in his expression of concern about the militarized nature of the response to the Boston bombings. In the comments, I responded to a polite challenge from jamesb who put forward a common question: “If those two young men had walked into a house and held someone hostage with bombs…..”

I replied:

james, there will always be dilemmas confronting us when we try to balance state security with civil liberties. Which, as a society, do we decide is most in need of protection? Hostage crises, for instance, have happened throughout history, whereas the US Bill of Rights stood alone for centuries as an enormous step forward for mankind.

“Jonathan Turley, a Constitutional lawyer, says it best at his blog in a post titled “The Pavlovian Politics of Terror”:

“My greatest concern is that the Boston response will become the accepted or standard procedure . . .

. . . as a thousand papercuts from countless new laws and surveillance systems slowly kill our privacy, we might want to ask whether a fishbowl society will actually make us safer or just make us feel that way.”

Jim  Wheeler agreed:

Legislation enacted out of fear is fraught with peril, e.g., The Patriot Act.

Just wanted to put this out there.

A spoonful-of-sugar for a grumpy day. A leave-me-alone day. Or any day.

William “Bill” Louis Tchakirides, May 24, 1946 – April 27, 2013

Blog friend Bill Tchakirides of Under The Lobster Scope fought the good fight. His wife posted this on Sunday. Go in peace, friend, go in peace.

Under The LobsterScope

Bill Tchakirides age 66, retired, of Shepherdstown, West Virginia died peacefullySaturday, April 27. Bill was born May 24, 1946 in Waterbury, CT, the son of the late William Tchakirides and Doris (Barsale) Tchakirides, formerly of Bristol and Farmington, CT, now residing in Manassas, VA. Bill is survived by his wife Ellen Louise Smith of Shepherdstown, WV and by his children Cassandra Corrigan and husband Matthew Corrigan of Manchester, CT; Penelope Cantor of Williamsport, MD; William “Buddy” Tchakirides and wife Rachel Neal-Tchakirides of Milwaukee, WI; five grandchildren, John, Milo, Jason, Aden and Jacob; his sister Ellen Forbes Gerhard and husband Jeff Lychwick of Gainesville, VA and several nieces and nephews.

Bill was proud of being a father, a grandfather and a liberal.  He was an artist and a patron of the arts.  Of the baby boom generation, he worked as a Stage Director, Network Manager, College and Prep School Teacher…

View original post 167 more words