CNN Sure Can Pick ‘Em

by baldilocks

Almost as if it isn’t an accident

I saw this yesterday. Dean Obeidallah is a radio host and CNN contributor.

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For the record. Captain Presson was the recipient of many decorations, including the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts.

I almost feel sorry for Obeidallah. One has to be incredibly stupid to step into that gaping hole.

Obeidallah apologized – with some Trump bashing thrown in for good measure, of course. But we all know that this guy’s ideological forebears would have called the man a NAZI even if they did know that he was wearing the uniform of the US military. That’s what actually happened 48 years ago – and even 13 years ago.

John Kerry’s 1971 testimony before Congress, anyone?

The words of Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) in 2005, anyone?

I don’t even like to think about all the foul words and drawings directed toward GIs during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

It’s just not good publicity to denigrate the memory of a dead GI on Memorial Day weekend. At least not this year.

But I suspect that the tide will turn again and it won’t be long.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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The Dogs that Didn’t Bark at the ZZ Top John Fogerty Concert

John Fogerty & Billy Gibbons 5-27-18 via David Kontner on Youtube
I’m not as a rule a concert goer. The first one I had ever attended my wife took me to when we were first dating (Kenny Rogers) but you can count the number of concerts I’ve been to on the fingers of both hands with plenty of fingers to spare.

That being said my youngest son remembering that I had a Creedence greatest hits CD in my old car, upon hearing that ZZ Top and John fogerty were going to be at Mohegan Sun Casino on Memorial Day Weekend bought tickets so the pair of us could go (my wife declined to attend the concert preferring the slots)

We sat with our backs against the wall at the highest level directly opposite the stage from which I could see the entire crowd as well as the stage it was a climb that my newly senior citizen discount legs objected to but after a rather forgettable opening act Fogerty took the stage and the place was really rocking and the very middle aged crowd was moving and signing along with the 70+ yer old singer who shared the state with a pair of his sons.

The fact that all of these songs are still regularly played on the radio speaks to the quality of his music.

ZZ Top followed, like Fogerty they have been doing this for 50 years, unlike Fogerty the star of the show wasn’t so much the songs but their guitar work which the large side screens focused on, with a few exceptions like when the crowd joined in for the chorus of “Sharp Dressed Man”

Fogerty also joined them on stage both to get a birthday cake for his 73 birthday and for a rendition of the classic song 16 tons

I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected but there was an aspect of the night that in this day and age that was as pleasant a surprise as inexplicable decision of an attractive blond woman to ignore the entireties of her friends to sit in the seat she paid for with them on the other side of my son and instead sit next to me.

The complete lack of any political message or political statement by any person on that stage.

Now it’s fair to say Looking at the demographics of crowd in attendance that, despite the lack of MAGA hats and the location deep in blue state, it likely overwhelmingly was filled with Trump voters.

Furthermore given their age Fogerty (born 1945) and the ZZ Top guys (all three of them born 1949) wealth and Iconic status are not likely to give a damn if their opinions upset anybody either in the media or the crowd. If they wanted to opine on the president for or against there would have been nothing to restrain them.

They didn’t. The came to play and perform music and their audience came to hear them play and have a good time and that what they got.

But isn’t it a shame that we’ve reached a point in America where the lack of politics at a concert is so noteworthy?

China and Patience

The adage goes that you don’t want to see sausage or laws being made.

The same can be said about reading or watching news. If you know something about a subject, you likely will be dismayed by the news.

For me, that is the case when it comes to U.S. coverage of China.

For the past three years, I have studied the language, history, economics, and politics of China. I’ve traveled throughout the country, spending months in four separate trips.

Now I have to endure sophomoric accounts about China.

Axios.com, a prominent website for Washingtonians, has been shouting from the rooftops for the past week.

Here is an excerpt: “Trump showed you can turn China into a villain on trade. But a smart politician could turn China into a unifying villain on virtually every topic — a reason to move fast and together on infrastructure, immigration, regulations, space, robotics, 5G, and next-gen education.”

Turning China into a unifying villain? That sounds like something straight out of Ronald Reagan’s playbook–not the left–when dealing with the former Soviet Union. More important, China’s politicians are a lot smarter than the Kremlin geriatric ward of the 1970s and 1980s.

Axios and other media outlets often miss the point.

What China has most of all is patience.

For example, the country has committed itself to a massive public transportation system. In a recent visit to Luoyang, a “small” city of two million people, I saw the project of building four subway lines at a cost of billions of dollars. The roads of the city have come to a virtual standstill during rush hours because every major road is a building site. The project began in 2016 and won’t be finished for another year at the earliest. In the past decade, China has built nearly 2,000 miles of subway lines–more than the systems in the United States and Great Britain combined.

Drivers may honk their horns in occasional frustration, but nearly everyone I talked to understands that the public transportation system will cut traffic and lure many tourists to this attractive town, which boasts a number of top-flight locales, such as the Longmen Grottoes and the Shaolin Temple. Simply put, the locals are proud! Here is some background information about the city’s building plans: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-09/19/c_136621169.htm

Remember the massive infrastructure program President Trump touted during the campaign? It remains mired in Congress because the Democrats apparently don’t want to give Trump a win before the midterm elections.

Moreover, just imagine what would happen in a major U.S. city if there was a plan to build a massive transit system. Protesters would claim the digging was creating a major environmental hazard or desecrating some forgotten trove of bones. Road rage would soar. Cost overruns and corruption would be rampant.

One of the major differences between the populations of the United States and China is patience. At the end of a major endeavor, most Chinese realize that something better will happen.

That’s one of the major weapons China has over the United States—one that most journalists don’t understand.