Open Forum (And I Predict A Cranky One)

At least I know I’m cranky. I made the mistake early this morning of trying to watch Biden’s press conference from the “summit,” or whatever it is, since no substantive action from the attendees is likely, especially absent clear leadership from the U.S. The most notable moment was the President insulting the ABC reporter who attempted to remind Biden that his too-late sanctions had not functioned as a deterrent to Putin, followed later by Fox News (but none of the other media sources) gleefully replaying video of Sec. Blinken, Jen Psaki, Kamala Harris and others stating directly that sanctions were intended as deterrents.

That wasn’t the most disturbing moment, though—those would be Biden’s stuttering, dead-eyed, confused, energyless, weak answers to all the other questions. How in the world did Donald Trump manage to blow the first debate against this zombie? How stupid was it that Trump boycotted what would have been a third debate, when it would have given more Americans a chance to actually watch who they might be electing? He has some nerve complaining about the election when he tossed away two opportunities for a head-to-head comparison, while letting Joe talk as much as possible.

And I again found myself musing, seeing Biden’s support in one poll inch up slightly from 37% to 39%: Who are these people? What is it they support? How can you watch a performance like Biden’s yesterday and think, “WOW! I sure feel proud and secure knowing that this whiz is in charge! Well, time to go out and buy some more 5 dollar a gallon gas!”? 20% I could understand; 20% of the American public needs Post-It notes to remind them to put on their shoes after the socks. But 39%?

But I digress. This is your column—I’ll shut up unless you make me come back here.

38 thoughts on “Open Forum (And I Predict A Cranky One)

  1. Jack wrote, “I made the mistake early this morning of trying to watch Biden’s press conference from the “summit,” or whatever it is, since no substantive action from the attendees is likely, especially absent clear leadership from the U.S.”

    Interesting, I was up early at about 4am and prewrote this open forum topic and that was without watching the press conference….

    An observation from my upper mid-western perch.

    Has anyone else getting the overall perception that the United States of America appears to have dramatically shifted their foreign policy from position of a towering world power with strength and confidence to a position of being conciliatory, pandering, weakness and fear, in my opinion the latter is a position of a cowering follower not a world leader? I do understand that there’s an art to diplomacy and we should, at the very least, listen and take into consideration the opinions of both friendly and adversarial nations, but this kind of projected shift in foreign policy in the volatile world we live in right now seems to leave a bit of a power vacuum and could potentially be dangerous.

    Are there ethical issues to consider when a world power seems to have chosen to step away from its leadership position as a world power?

    What say you?

    • That’s typical Democrat administration. Happened with O. While Trump didn’t reassert American *leadership* in any kind of cooperative “follow us because here’s why” he did reassert American confidence and “hey we’re going to do this, feel free to join us” attitude.

      Again, before O, Bush engaged in a “leadership” style foreign policy leaning towards a “we’re going to do this anyway, feel free to join us” mode.

      Before him, Clinton in typical Democrat flavor, tried to couch everything in a “subordinate to to the UN” rhetoric even while a lot of the actions taken were definitely initiated by the United States.

      We’ve been here before. It’s just a lot more dangerous to have a Democrat in charge now that our competitor nations are gaining ground in capabilities – and especially a Democrat who is clearly addled – well, more addled than the rest of that fetid team of squishes.

      • Frankly the last Democrat to be any kind of world leader was JFK, and that was more style than subsatance. Everyone hails his turning back Krushchev from placing missile in Cuba while ignoring the fact he essentially did a quid pro quo by pulling the Jupiters out of Turkey. LBJ led us into a messy war that JFK had been trying to extricate us from, then made the military fight it with one hand tied behind its back. Carter, well, the less said the better. Clinton just stood by and let the Rwandans chop each other up, then tried to act like the Third World’s policeman while fence-straddling in the Blakans, making us look pretty weak. Obama might as well not have bothered, I think he wanted the US to look weak because he was the cllosest thing to a pacifist ever elected president. He appointed Chuck Hagel as SecDef for no other reason than he was an anti-war Republican, then fired him when he turned out not to be good at winning wars. This idiot? His record speaks for himself.

          • The Biden administration is simply the Obama Restoration. The mantra is still “leading from behind.” What a joke. That’s the Biden administration foreign policy, Steve W.

          • That’s RIGHT! Why isn’t there any mention these days about Obama asking Putin, on a live mic, no less, to back off so Obama could get re-elected so he could then give Putin what he wanted on missiles in eastern Europe? And Trump was in bed with the Russians, and they got him elected?

  2. Jack wrote, “And I again found myself musing, seeing Biden’s support in one poll inch up slightly from 37% to 39%: Who are these people? What is it they support?”

    That 37%-39% is the Democratic Party’s unwavering base that will support anything Democrats do, if for no other reason because they’re not Republicans, they’re pure Borg like partisans. I’ve met some of these people in the Madison Wisconsin area, they’re rose colored partisan glasses, aka permanently attached industrial-strength weapons-grade thickened ideological blinders #Cornelius Gotchberg, are quite effective on their psyche, they’re quite “special”.

  3. “…Fox News (but none of the other media sources) gleefully replaying video of Sec. Blinken, Jen Psaki, Kamala Harris and others stating directly that sanctions were intended as deterrents.”

    And this is why Fox News exists. The previous claims by the administration are dumped down the memory hole by everyone else in the hopes that Americans will forget and can be lied by denying those claims never happened.

    “How in the world did Donald Trump manage to blow the first debate against this zombie?”

    Hubris. Nothing else to say here. It was, in part, his election to lose. He had help from a media-led assault and a pandemic he could not have predicted, but he should have learned to communicate better and he didn’t.

    • Not to mention a media and a resistance that took the death of a petty criminal at the hands of an equal opportunity bully cop and projected it onto all 700,000 LEOs and all 235 million white people in this country, not to mention onto him, while the pandemic crippled his ability to respond and the Democratic mayors and governors abandoned their sworn duty to protect the people they governed.

  4. Was just thinking of Marshall University and their teams being called the “Thundering Herd,” which I think is one of the all-time great nicknames for a football team. I propose the EA commentariat be dubbed “The Thundering Herd” as an apt rejoinder to “echo chamber.” Plus, the image of aggressively stampeding cattle has a John Wayne, “there’ll be no shilly-shallying” or “the hell I won’t” aura to it. And until I just looked it up, I didn’t know Marshall University dates back to 1830 and was named after the other Jack Marshall!

    • I had to chuckle when I read this. My best friend is a proud Marshall grad and keeps our circle well caught-up on all things Thundering Herd. I’ll be having breakfast with him tomorrow morning and will be sure and tell him his school made the blog – in a good way!

  5. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/25/eu-strikes-gas-deal-with-the-us-as-it-seeks-to-cut-its-reliance-on-russia.html

    This is maddening. Gee, whiz, Europe wants to start buying liquified natural gas from the United States. Surprise, surprise, surprise. They’ve been getting forty percent from Vladimir Putin Gas Company, er, Gazprom, for decades and all of a sudden, they think maybe it’s not such a good idea to rely on that big bear next door for heat by giving him steak. So, Biden is going to sell the Euros natural gas. But of course, he won’t let anyone drill for natural gas. Brilliant. And selling gas to the Euros will address the climate crisis. Evidently U.S. gas contains less carbon? Who knew? Insanity. Didn’t Trump block the Nordstream Two project (which Biden approved) and try to get the Euros to build ports to allow them to acquire U.S. LNG? Boy, he was sure a jerk and Putin’s cockholster.

  6. And Republicans are a threat to democracy?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10650859/AOC-Biden-danger-losing-support-progressives-young-Democrats-doesnt-cancel-student-debt.html

    AOC says Biden needs to cancel student debt by executive action because young people that voted for him won’t vote for him again unless he delivers on forgiving their debt. Are we living in Mexico now? You get a washing machine if you vote for the Democrat? This is democracy? Votes are for sale? All they cost is ten thousand dollars of the taxpayers’ money? Why doesn’t the DNC at least pay off the student debt. At least that’s how it works in Mexico. The party buys to washing machine.

    • I’ll be surprised if they don’t postpone the restarting of payments again, though. They are surely smart enough to realize that eliminating all the debt isn’t practical, but I think they may delay reactivating enough to get past the midterms.

  7. It’s my opinion that President Trump lost the first debate because he was too loud-mouthed and too argumentative to do the one thing Vice President Pence did in his 2016 debate with Tim Kaine: keep his mouth shut and just let his opponent talk himself into a hole.

    • Debates. Hah. There was no way on earth the Dems were going to let Trump win. He could have been a combination of Bill Buckley and Gore Vidal and it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference.

  8. Well it looks like Biden may have just announced he was sending troops into Ukraine.

    Did…he mean to do that? Or is this more incoherent rambling?

  9. Do you think there is any ethical obligation to tell a child they are adopted? I had a friend some time ago who told me that they adopted their child from his sister. She was six at the time. I asked them if she knew, and he yells over “Hey Abi, you’re adopted.” The girl yells back “I know” and keeps right on playing. However, today I was reading a story about a guy who found out he wasn’t adopted until well in his thirties. He felt betrayed his parents would keep a something like that from him and a lot of people were asking why it mattered. I can see it mattering for medical reasons, but is their other reasons? Is it really a betrayal of trust?

    • I think there is. That type of information, like an extramarital affair, is bound to get out by people in the know. If you don’t tell your child he or she is adopted, someone in the family will eventually do it and probably not in the way you would have done it. The six-year old girl will never be stunned by a revelation from a cousin whose parents indiscreetly talked about the adoption in front of him, but that 30-year old has a right to be hurt that he wasn’t provided that information.

      • When Mrs. O.B. told her/our then five or six year old daughter (whom I adopted when she was no more than one or two –she just turned 48 last month, so, it was a long time ago) she was adopted, she promptly ran to find her two years younger brother and reduced him to tears by telling him, “Hah, hah! I have TWO dads, and you only have One. Hah, hah, hah!” Whereupon he ran to his mother and complained, “It’s not fair. Sarah gets everything. She has two dads and I only get one.”

        For the reasons A.M. lists, telling kids they’re adopted is the only ethical and practical option. Frankly, there are probably times it’s appropriate to tell kids they’re adopted, even if they aren’t. Our host has been been down this road.

    • Most open-source libraries are small enough that developers should be able to read all the code before they use it. The larger open-source libraries are usually produced by companies who sell professional versions to commercial users, and the responsibility for ensuring they are safe resides with the sellers.

      Part of the problem with open-source code usage is that people use it willy nilly without checking it to see what it does. People also let the open-source libraries auto update the version whenever a new one is pushed out. Lock the versions down! Do not let them auto update! Even if malicious code isn’t added, changes may be made that break all your software.

      Some of the ethical responsibility falls on the developers using the open-source libraries to help police the community and be smart about what they use and how they use it.

      There will always be bad apples in the world. Taking that into consideration is part of being an ethical developer.

      • At least open-source software has the built-in, non-removable feature that if someone DOES inject malicious code, it’s possible to for others to find it. You can’t say that about closed-source software at all.

        Of course, the problem then is that you have to actually have people looking for it, which you may or may not have. If you don’t, it really doesn’t matter.

        –Dwayne

    • Ugh. That is just nasty.
      How could anyone trust that man enough to use his code in the future?
      That sort of thing is one of the reasons the IT department at my company gets so extreme in some of the things they do.

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