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Reading Between the Lines

When the Founding Fathers were thinking about Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press, I doubt that they had Moammar Gadhafi’s demise in mind or any other of those sordid details.

I like my news, too.  I like to know what’s going on, so I sound urbane and informed, but the news has become like a frienemy who barges in with too much information.

There is our frienenemy at the window talking and yammering away about herself, her latest operation and the details of her divorce and/or colonoscopy.  We excuse ourselves for some herbal tea or maybe an Excedrin when she starts knocking on the back door.  We can hear her voice all the way from the medicine cabinet.

We open the door and say we need to take a nap, but she is as deaf as a doorpost, clueless, and does not stop.  Finally, we think about doing away with her or maybe sending her to the hospital.  Maybe a little strangulation or a slip or fall, but we don’t because we have dogs and kids to feed and a mortgage to pay.  Besides, orange or those awful horitintal black and white stripes aren’t good on most people, and on it goes with the news as well.

I understand their need and desire to impart the news.  I (sort of, provided it’s not too gruesome) want to know what’s going on, but do we really need pictures of Gadhafi and his son in their most current, unpresentable states when a nice general description would do?  Something like:  “Head Nut Offed Today” or “Head Nut’s Son Met His Maker after one Last Sip of Water and a Last Drag off a Cig” followed by some terse description.

I know that people were mad at him.  I know he was asking for it; I just don’t want to watch.

 

You Scratch My Back and I’ll Scratch Yours

How shocking is that?  The Obama Administration planned on sending 50 refurbished armored tanks for $77 million dollars to Moammar Gadhafi of all people.  That would be like giving a penknife to Hitler and generally unwise.    

Buying and selling things like machine guns and military supplies, even to opposing sides at times, helps keep the economy running like the well-oiled rickety machine it is.  Yet the White House and the State Department suspected that Gadhfi was up to his usual no good when he asked for the extra shipment in 2009 to increase his ground defense, and he got his sons, Khamis and Saif, to do his bidding as well.  So long as it didn’t have too many pointed objects and only a single gun attached, the State Department only raised one or two of their collective eyebrows and reluctantly okayed the order.  Shortly thereafter, much of Europe followed Gadhafi’s call into the wild, though theirs probably remained stationary. 

What no one questioned was why the sudden interest from the Libyan leader and sons.  A few weeks ago while Tripoli was burning and Gadhafi’s supporters were firing at the rebels, they learned that he long ago knew trouble was a’brewing and wanted to increase his defense forces when it finally came a’calling.  This nixed the deal for the Americans even if the sale would have helped our economy and the BAE, the British company that has a defense arm called BAE Systems, which is the government’s 12th largest contractor.  If ever there were a textbook example of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” kiddos, this is it. 

As for me, I wouldn’t have sold Gadhafi one armored tank because there are certain people who should never have any sharp objects of any kind, including a plastic serrated knife that comes with a McDonald’s salad.

In no particular order, they are:  Moammar Gadhafi, Ahmadinejad, Napoleon, the Marquis de Sade, Klaus von Bulow, Joseph Goebbels, all Nazis and skinheads, the Mexican drug cartels, the man that caused me to buy pepper spray and more that I can’t think of right now.   But they top the list because they don’t know how to play well with others.