Reaction To Obama’s State of Union Shows God Made Americans into a Mad Race of People?

NavyPresident Obama started slowly  in his State of the Union speech, warmed up a bit as he went on and ended with a flourish in a salute to a poor bastard Army Ranger who was deployed ten times to war zones and ended up being severely injured; we all clapped for the courage shown by this young man in fighting back from injuries that would have destroyed most of us.

Obama’s speech had a strange quality about it; he spoke in the first five or so minutes about how well the country is doing “adding 9 million jobs” and “cutting the deficit in half,” but the bulk of the speech seemed to suggest otherwise. Of course we had the usual statement that we have to straighten out pre-kindergarten education an idea that has been bandied about for decades as if the solution to our educational problems lies in our schools rather than our homes. The best teachers cannot compensate for a house of turmoil; and, being who we are we pretend the turmoil is not the real problem.

I was heartened to see that the president dared mention Ukraine. He said: In Ukraine, we stand for the principle that all people have the right to express themselves freely and peacefully and to have a say in their country’s future.” It wasn’t much since it pretty much could apply to every country in the world but at least it showed he was aware something might be happening there.

But what most struck me about the speech was not so much what the president said but the response of the Members of Congress to his words. We had the usual clapping by the Democrats while the Republicans sat on their hands; and every once in a while all the worthies joining in together, especially when it related to our military.

I came away from it thinking that we’re a nation hooked on war. I’ve reviewed my impression by reading through a transcript of the speech that includes the times people applauded.

President Obama said: “Citizenship means standing up for everyone’s right to vote.” The group applauded.

He said: “Citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day.”  There was no applause.

Then there was this. After talking about supporting the Syrian opposition President Obama said:  “Here at home, we’ll keep strengthening our defenses and combat new threats like cyberattacks. And as we reform our defense budget, we have to keep faith with our men and women in uniform and invest in the capabilities they need to succeed in future missions.” There was a standing ovation with both Vice President Biden and Speaker Boehner joining in.

He went on and according to the transcript said:

We have to remain vigilant.  But I strongly believe our leadership and our security cannot depend on our outstanding military alone. As commander in chief, I have used force when needed to protect the American people, and I will never hesitate to do so as long as I hold this office. But I will not send our troops into harm’s way unless it is truly necessary, nor will I allow our sons and daughters to be mired in open-ended conflicts. We must fight the battles — (applause) — that need to be fought, not those that terrorists prefer from us — large-scale deployments that drain our strength and may ultimately feed extremism. So even as we actively and aggressively pursue terrorist networks, through more targeted efforts and by building the capacity of our foreign partners, America must move off a permanent war footing. (Applause.)”

The transcript indicates that there was applause at two times as the president spoke those words. I did not recall it so I went back and looked at the video.  When President Obama said: But I will not send our troops into harm’s way unless it is truly necessary, nor will I allow our sons and daughters to be mired in open-ended conflicts,” I had my impression reaffirmed since only one or two people clapped. Everyone else sat silently. Both Biden and Boehner remained stone faced and unmoving.

When President Obama said, “America must move off a permanent war footing.” The applause was at best modest. Again Biden and Boehner sat stone faced with arms at their sides without moving.

A minute or two later President Obama said: “As we speak, American diplomacy is supporting Israelis and Palestinians as they engage in the difficult but necessary talks to end the conflict there; to achieve dignity and an independent state for Palestinians, and lasting peace and security for the state of Israel — a Jewish state that knows America will always be at their side. (Applause.)” This was a robust standing ovation with both Biden and Boehner joining in. That’s what our Congress wants to hear that we’re ready to do battle.

G.K. Chesterton wrote:

“For the Great Gaels of Ireland

Are the men that God made mad,

For all their wars are merry

And all their songs are sad.”

I guess it wasn’t just the Irish who God made mad. Here in America talk of peace is met with stoney silence while talk of war produces a cheering mob. Anchors Aweigh!

 

 

 

5 Comments

  1. Matt,

    You should attend the Q & A for the Whitey premiere at the Coolidge Corner Theater tonight. After the screening there’s a Q & A with Carney, Kelly, Weeks, The Filmakers, etc. Should be interesting.

    • Jim:

      I have to tell you the best thing that happened to me was when Judge Stearns moved Whitey’s case from February to June. The reason for that is I would have had to give up my Florida vacation. Right now I’m in Florida so probably won’t be able to attend. I’ve read it is sold out. It would be interesting but nothing new will come out it – I wrote earlier about the filmmaker being relatively ignorant of the true happenings. Carney will pitch the secret meeting between O’Sullivan and Whitey; Kelly is looking to get some business in his private law firm so he’ll tell us what a bad guy Whitey is; Weeks will grimace and tell how bad he felt killing people and how “Jimmy” was like a big brother to him. He’ll let the suburban ladies stand close to him so they can tell their grand kids of how they dared to come close to a murderer. It would be fun – but I’d rather enjoy the sun. Thanks for mentioning it.

      • Matt- Did you see the politician Michael Grimm former FBI agent and military soldier after the speech? He threatened a reporter who asked him about his campaign finance scandals he has been caught up in last 3 years. I would want you to see what he says to the reporter when he thought the microphone was off, Is that the mentality of the FBI fraternity? Echoes of Todashev rang off in my mind. This guy also pulled a pistol out at a bar and told all the white people to get out and acted like a buffoon.

        • Doubting:

          I read about Grimm’s interaction with the reporter. I didn’t know about the other parts of his life. I just Googled him and see he graduated from Baruch College in 1994. He was on active duty with the Marines during parts of the years from 1989 to 1991. The limited active duty times suggests he joined the reserves and was activated on a couple of occasions. After college he became a special agent in 1995. The Google entry says he was certified as an undercover agent but I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. He left the FBI in 2006 citing exhaustion.

          Google also has this about him: “In 2011, The New Yorker magazine reported that Grimm had been the subject of an internal investigation into allegations he abused his authority as a FBI agent in a nightclub in 1999. According to the article,[4] written by Evan Ratliff, the incident resulted from a dispute between Grimm and his date’s husband. A former NYPD officer working as a bouncer at the time said that Grimm remarked about the husband, “I’ll fucking make him disappear where nobody will find him.” Grimm reportedly then returned to the nightclub twice, pulled out his gun once, and brought FBI and NYPD officers the second time.

          Grimm said the article was written by a reporter “on a witch hunt” and that “this incident was fully investigated and I was cleared of all of the ridiculous and absurd allegations. To further entertain this partisan attack on my exemplary career and service to this great nation would be to give [the allegation] credence, of which it deserves none.” The New York Police Department and U.S. Justice Department have refused to release documents regarding the incident.[5][6][7] Ratliff subsequently released additional material corroborating his article.[8]

          This is a problem with some FBI agents, not many but some, who investigate the wise guys is that they start to think like them. His recent episode with the reporter tells a lot about him. If it hadn’t been recorded then he’d have probably denied it. What is it that makes a guy say “I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony” or “You’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.” The articles on Grimm written about his time in the FBi and the FBI’s use of informants that are footnoted in the Wikileaks article on him are well worth reading. it sort of supports every thing I write about concerning the FBI’s sordid dealings with informants.

          • Matt- I was wondering if you had a chance to review my comment on the Jimmy the gent/Whitey? Would you agree that William’s enemies contributed to the tall tale of Whitey?