Wednesday, April 15, 2009



(April 15, Boston, Mass) The utterly ridiculous and absurd are now replacing reality and substance. At least for the “silent majority”, whoever they are.

From coast to coast today right wing conservatives of every stripe joined with anti-Obama, anti-taxation, antigovernment, anti-everything and anything that hints at our government functioning for the greater good, held protests to basically hold protests. Using the Boston Tea Party motif, these activists turned out in numbers well below what the right wing pundits who organized this charade expected. In some locations the turnouts were so pathetically low they were hardly noticed. In some places the planned protests did not even materialize. Wonder why?

The shear lunacy of this wholly fabricated non event defies the facts and plain truths of the issues these bozos claim to be riled up about. Every tax return that was required to be filed by today was for income earned in 2008. This “silent majority” may be comprised of the majority of Americans with short term memory deficits, those comatose for the past eight years and the simply simple who feed their paranoid hungers with the drivel spouted by the Rush Limbaugh’s and Bill O’Reilly’s of the media entertainment world.

The problems these imbeciles are taking to the streets over, encouraging a “mass” revolt against “the system” , all have their genesis during the Bush years. They seem to be unable, unwilling or incapable of acknowledging that George W. Bush, the worst president in our history, presided over the single largest expansion of the federal government since the New Deal, as well as the record deficit spending that has helped clog our economic arteries.

Apparently all these “fed up” regular folks believe that all their problems and the problems plaguing our country today began on January 21, 2009 with the inauguration of President Barak Obama. The absurdity of their complaints implies an unprecedented collective idiocy that is all the more amazing in its blatant deceptiveness. There stances on the various issues are simply not based on reality.

These protesters are so devoid of the ability to consider any issue objectively that they allow themselves to be manipulated by media blowhards far removed from the lives of the “regular working people” they claim to represent.

The Republican Party is experiencing mass seizures and shivers suggestive of the death throes. Their ass beating last November has obviously induced a viral type of frustration and anger that would be laughable if not for the ‘just below the surface’ element of gross irresponsibility it represents.

Not too much should be read into this “movement”. Today’s cockamamie “protests” are more of a collective right wing bowel movement then any real grassroots activism. For there to be a “loyal opposition” there must be two well defined, clearly articulated competing philosophies of policy and practicality. All the right wing and the GOP offers is shallow bullshit draped in pseudo-patriotism, misguided, often self righteous anger admixed with a strain of real hatred. This particular mixture got them pretty far last November didn’t it?

Talk radio galoots and ignorant pundits will not foment a mass upheaval no matter what they think or intend. Their hyperbolic tripe will not inspire their audiences to anything more than half-assed, bogus “protests” where the question of what precisely is being protested can barely be answered or ascertained.

While the “silent majority” where polishing their pictures of Ronald Reagan, oiling their shotguns, praying for the end of abortion, evolution, and modern science, the waves of “Middle of the Road” independents, “The Voting Majority”, passed them by. Actually, they trounced over them and their tired rhetoric, disproven theories and neo-conservative zealotry. They can call the results of last November’s elections populism or socialism; their juvenile, narrow minded labels are as meaningless as are their current grievances.

Oddly, this slender segment of society has only themselves and their arrogant republican politicians to blame. The GOP was hijacked years ago by hardcore right wingers largely obstinate just for the sake of being so. They constructed “movements” based on “social issues” that did not age well with the majority of voters who now identify as “independents.” People of good conscience, common sense and practical reasonableness fled from the ever shrinking tent of the GOP, ran from those self appointed leaders of that “movement” and now find themselves in the true, quantifiable, majority that swept president Obama and Democrats into office as the back draft of the horrible Bush administration was heading south.

Perhaps some good will come of today’s spectacle of cheap, political theater. Possible some of these people and others not as far out on the right as these clowns, will come ot realize they have been poorly served by their elected leaders, talk radio / cable TV heroes and their “core issues”. The country has passed them by. The scale and scope of our troubles are far too vast for petty partisan petulance. The GOP lost the election resoundingly and they should either participate in identifying solutions or simply get out of the way. If all they can do is support the freak shows conducted today, they will exiled further into the political wilderness as others more responsible, rationale and reasonable seek to govern. We need such people now more than ever. There is no longer any time or patience for the loudmouthed tactics of the right. All the gas bags, windbags, douche bags and scum bags should stuff their mouths with their tea bags and head on home.

Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 13, 2009



The USS Bainbridge is named after Commodore William Bainbridge, a famous
19th century US Naval Officer who fought pirates in the same waters
Captain Phillips’ was captured.

(April 13, Norfolk, VA) With three Navy Seal executed accurate shots from the stern of the USS Bainbridge, the first US mariner held for ransom by Somali pirates was freed on Sunday. The permission to use deadly force was issued by President Obama from the White House late Saturday. One of the four pirates is in custody of the Navy while the hostage, Captain Richard Phillips, is en route home. Phillips’ captivity began after a failed hijacking by Somali pirates on April 7. He is reported to be unharmed and in good physical condition.

In recent years pirates, primarily based out of Somalia on the western horn of Africa, at the mouth of vitally important Gulf of Aden, have seized over 60 ships and held the ships and crews as hostages. Virtually all of the hijackings were resolved after the ships owners decided to pay ransom. An estimated $80 million has been paid to pirates over the past 7 years. The American freighter, Maersk Alabama, was the first US flagged ship to fall victim to the increasingly brazen west African pirates.

The Gulf of Aden is extremely important to international maritime shipping. Virtually all of the crude oil and petroleum products exported by Saudi Arabia must transit through the Gulf. Keeping the vital waterway and immediately adjacent shipping lanes secure has become of prime importance in recent years as pirate activity has grown. Currently an international armada and a NATO led group patrol the vast area. Despite the enhanced international naval presence the pirates appear to be able to hijack with impunity. Just since Captain Phillips rescue, three ships have been seized.

Some of the first photographic images of the Maersk Alabama incident showed three US Navy warships surrounding a 26 foot life boat containing the four pirates and Phillips. The contrasts in capabilities were stark and just another illustration of the asymmetrical engagements the United States will confront in the years to come.

Since September 11, 2001, we have seen the challenges of confronting asymmetrical actors. A small band of radical terrorists were able to launch the dramatic attacks on US soil in 2001. Based out of a lawless region of Afghanistan they were able to prepare, plan and plot in isolation. As “non state actors” retaliation becomes a thorny issue for several reasons not the least of which is the difficulty locating terrorists when they reside in “safe havens” within sovereign nations.

Somali pirates are prime examples of such “non state actors” operating from a lawless country which is basically an ungoverned, failed state. To launch military strikes against their shore bases raises a variety of questions regarding the nature of the action, the rules of engagement and international law.

Piracy, over the centuries, has always been considered a crime on the high seas punishable under the auspices of well defined, internationally recognized, maritime law. During the 17th and 18th centuries justice was usually swift and deadly. When US Navy Seals fatally wounded three of the four Somali pirates, they were acting within long held, established tradition regarding piracy. The questions are now how to prevent or at least minimize the occurrence of this high seas crime.

Some of the questions now being discussed at the highest levels of our government have actually been answered already. There is no and never has been any ambiguity for how to bring pirates to justice. As mentioned previously, putting the current rash of pirate hijackings and kidnappings in historic context, the methods and legal justifications for dealing with them is well known. Piracy has never been tolerated and it should not now. The fact that shippers have chosen to negotiate and subsequesntly pay ransom for their ships and crews has established a very dangerous precedent. As proven on Easter Sunday, the United States will not negotiate with pirates; the only payment they will receive from America will come in the form of deadly force.

Piracy is not terrorism although the two are cousins of a similar mindset often with similar motives, aims and rationales. In some ways piracy can be seen as terrorism if it presents a national security threat. If interruptions in commercial maritime activities such as the timely delivery of crude oil escalates to the point it creates shortages, then it can be considered terroristic. One concern is that we are seeing how difficult it is to “bring terrorists to justice.”

With piracy there is no need to get bogged down in troubling issues of precisely how to prosecute them as terrorists. Pirates should be prosecuted according to the established laws of the high seas which includes the use of lethal force on the scene and the death penalty from a maritime court or other state sanctioned court after apprehension. Some are already arguing if pirates should be tried in US criminal courts. Provided the well defined body of piracy law is enforced, in whatever venue they may find themselves legally, they should be dealt with swiftly and accordingly: there is no legal defense for piracy, plain and simple. The United States must muster the fortitude to deal with it plainly and simply.,2933,514719,00.html

Copyright TBC 2009 © All Rights Reserved