Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Bear-Assed Nekkid

October 10, 2015

OK, it’s obviously “a thing” now: in his big-stage public appearances, Barack Obama is making damn sure that he gets photographed in front of a state flag that sends an additional message beyond the usual shoutout to local homies.  This time, it was port-of-call San Francisco –for an in-and-out DNC fundraising performance at the Warfield Theater.

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Introduced by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Steph Curry, Draymond Green and a half dozen of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, Obama arrived in California riding his highest approval ratings in the Golden State since the start of his second term in 2013.  Sixty percent of the state’s registered voters approve of Obama’s performance, while 33 percent disapprove. [ The remaining 7 percent are too high to care. ]

And although POTUS’ public remarks ostensibly focused on a hot-button domestic political topic  –“the gun massacres that we see with growing frequency in this country“–  that big-ass bear behind him was marching under a red star that evoked ongoing massacres in another country … on the other side of the world.

Talkin’ ’bout Syria, where Comrade Bear is strewing his scat all over the countryside.  I don’t think it’s mere coincidence that Saturday’s fundraiser was held at San Francisco’s Warfield Theater. Get it? War Field theater?  Golden State Warriors?  This time, Team Obama’s intellectual montage imagery is making a veiled statement about international affairs in the Middle East. But what, exactly?

Well, for one thing, Brer Bear appears to be walking right toward the Stars and Stripes.  That may not be such a good idea, and may not turn out well.  Why, just last week, a resourceful Montana hunter heeded his granny’s advice and fended off a bear attack in hand-to-paw combat:

While hunting elk, Chase Dwello came face-to-face with a grizzly. The bear, who had been asleep, was now awake and startled. Dwello was knocked to the ground and tossed around by the grizzly, his head clenched in the bear’s powerful jaws. He survived by keeping his cool … and shoved his arm down the bear’s throat when he got the chance. He was lucky; the grizzly gagged and left him beaten and bruised.

Turns out that large animals like bears have a sensitive gag reflex.  Let’s wait and see what Comrade Bear will choke on.  Perhaps a hockey stick.

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Hawk Eyes

September 15, 2015

Sergei Eisenstein probably would have considered it a clever (but cynical) real-world example of intellectual montage.  Others might call it an understandable visual error or write it off as an amusing coincidence worthy of little more than a quick double take. But I’m always looking for the meaning and message in the scenic backdrop, so when I saw two gigantic flags arrayed behind Barack Obama during his recent trip to Des Moines (literally, The Monks’), I felt that something didn’t look quite right.

Why was a huge flag of Mexico prominently displayed onstage behind the President?  Oops!  My bad.  Upon closer examination, turns out it’s the state flag of Iowa.  Despite the fact that Iowans are known in Midwest colloquy as “Hawkeyes,” the state flag actually depicts a eagle … just as does the national flag of Mexico.  And Iowa’s tricolor of blue-white-red might sometimes somewhat resemble the green-white-red tricolor of Mexico –in the right (or wrong) shade of light. So, at a quick glance, an Eastern Seaboarder who has never before laid eyes on Iowa’s state flag might understandably think he’s looking at the Mexican flag. And wonder why.

640px-Flag_of_Iowa.svg

In 2001, a survey conducted by the North American Vexillological Association (NAVA) placed Iowa’s flag 42nd in design quality out of the 72 Canadian provincial, U.S. state and U.S. territorial flags ranked.

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I’m thinking it’s no coincidence at all that the Iowa flag loomed large behind President Obama’s left shoulder. I’m thinking that somebody in Obama’s advance team also noticed the similarities in flag design, and made sure that the Iowa flag formed part of the backdrop.  And I’m thinking it’s a none-too-subtle message to Donald Trump … and to all the Latino voters enraged by Trump’s stupidity and arrogance.  There may not be a tremendous number of Mexican-American voters in Iowa, but Iowa is just the beginning.  And Donald Trump won’t be around at the end.

Montage (for Independence Day)

what’s present in the visual representation:

  • a tricolor flag … but not El Tri
  • an eagle
  • a thin serpentine object in the eagle’s beak –it’s (merely) a caption banner

what’s absent (but supplied by the mind of the viewer):

  • snake (don’t tread on me?)
  • nopal cactus
  • Lake Texcoco
  • islet in the marsh
  • laurel wreath

new combi-nations (the image of the theme):

  • founding myth(s)
  • divine guidance
  • our future united states –the hybrid MexAmerica coming into being

Viva Los Nuevos Estados Unidos!

 

Tee 42

August 12, 2013

From Oak Hills to Oak Bluffs, Dufners and duffers have been trudging up the fairways and tiptoeing across the greens.  When the pros and their imitators weren’t playing a few rounds of golf, some business somehow got done:

A memorandum signed by President Obama on Monday … [authorized] Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to empanel outside experts to review U.S. surveillance technologies, particularly how the government can maintain the public trust.  The memo was released as Obama vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard.

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The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies will examine the technical and policy issues that arise from rapid advances in global telecommunications. The group will assess whether U.S. data collection “optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust,” the statement said.

Neither the White House nor Clapper released details on the size or composition of the panel.

If there are any vacancies on the RGICT, you’re in luck: Lunghu’s temporarily available for this crucial public service assignment!  After Labor Day, that is …  Right now he’s on vacation.  And even though Lunghu is more of a Vineyard Haven kinda guy rather than an Oak Bluffer, both the President and he agree that it’s best to stay far, far away from Gay Head.  Even though the Menemsha Inn serves GREAT seafood.

Be seeing you!

 

Down in Egyptland

April 11, 2012

Lunghu thought he was just joking around when he casually remarked last month that Israel wouldn’t be satisfied with bombing Iran –they’d want Jonathan Pollard released from federal prison, too.  Some literalist in Tel Aviv must have thought that sounded like a good idea …

Israeli President Shimon Peres has dispatched a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to release convicted spy Jonathan Pollard.  The Pollard issue took on new life this week after his wife, Esther, said he had been hospitalized in extreme pain.  Pollard has been hospitalized at a prison medical center in Butner, NC, since April 4, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons said Monday.  

What’s the medical diagnosis?  Let’s ask a couple of defense attorneys:

Pollard’s lawyer, Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, said he suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney stones.  Pollard attorney Eliot Lauer says his client’s medical problems have included loss of balance, fainting, repeated falls, extreme dizziness, severe nausea and excruciating abdominal pain in the area of the gall bladder and pancreas.

Sounds like pancreatitis.  Inmate Pollard needs a low-fat diet, but from his photo, it doesn’t look as though he’s been keeping kosher.

would you buy a lightly-used classified document from this man?

In an emotional meeting with President Peres, Esther Pollard  said she did not want to become a widow.  Peres responded by appealing to Obama to release Pollard as a humanitarian gesture. The Israeli president’s office refused to release the letter [to the press], but officials said it noted the dramatic deterioration in Pollard’s health, Peres’ belief that Pollard does not pose a security threat at this point and the strong ties between Israel and the United States. 

The Associated Press has been doing its part to earn its AIPAC stipend by issuing three articles on this topic in the past three days.  Despite the fact that:

The White House issued a statement Tuesday saying American policy on the issue hasn’t changed and that the president has no intention to release Pollard.  Pollard delivered hordes of documents to his [Israeli] handlers, and the full extent of what was betrayed has never been revealed.  American officials [have told Israeli diplomats] they were convinced Pollard had an accomplice [and once] offered to release Pollard in exchange for the name of the other spy. … Much of the American military and intelligence community remains opposed to releasing Pollard.

South of the Border

Israelis are also showing themselves to be tone-deaf on another international relations issue: the Egyptian presidential elections.

Israeli legislator Binyamin Ben-Eliezer says former Mubarak spy chief Omar Suleiman would be the best president for Egypt in terms of Israeli interests, saying that Suleiman views relations with Israel as a strategic “cornerstone”.  Ben-Eliezer is a longtime friend of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Somehow Lunghu thinks that an endorsement from an Israeli politician is exactly what any Egyptian presidential candidate in  –or out of–  his right mind would desperately want to avoid.  Mr. Ben-Eliezer should instead have adopted the Brer Rabbit strategy of endorsing Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, on the grounds that his American mother is secretly a friend of Israel.  What, too subtle?

Dis-Oriented

November 8, 2011

Faithful readers will know that Lunghu is not a fan of Cousin Nicky –he’s just another duplicitous quarryman, after all– but at least he’s somewhat candid in conversation with a lodge brother.   Leaving aside (for the moment) the question of whether the “overhear” was heartfelt and impromptu or carefully scripted, let’s briefly consider what the actual impact on international relations will be. … Okay, that’s enough time pondering:  the answer is –not much.  Unfortunately.

Cousin Nicky meets King Candor

But how about the impact on domestic French electoral politics?  For Nicky, that’s what really counts, now and throughout 2012.  Although DSK is out of the way, his pudgy successor/rival François is now the beneficiary of the nation’s mounting malaise français.  That isn’t good for Nicky’s re-election prospects:  he’s got to make it through to the second round of voting in order to ultimately triumph as the champion bulwark against godless socialism.  To do that, Nicky needs to repeat his 2007 strategy of siphoning votes from the National Front by playing to the fears and prejudices of conservative French voters.

Step 1:  [2010] round up the usual suspects the Roma/gypsies/zigane.

Step 2:  [2011] Reconquer North Africa.  Algeria and Morocco are wonderful trading partners with (mostly) accommodating governments, but Libya! Libya!  C’est incroyable!

Step 3:  [2011 & beyond] Awaken the sentiments of anti-Semitism that lightly slumber in the bosom of many a faithful French patriot.  This tactic needs a particularly subtle touch since Nicky himself is Jewish on his mother’s side of the family, and all of France knows it [hence his frequent and fervent professions of his patrimonial Catholicism].   Calling Benny (a man even Israelis hate) a liar in front of the world press is truly a masterful stroke!  Getting Obama to agree and commiserate is just glaze on the ham.  Nicky gets to have it both ways:  French Jews don’t like Netanyahu either, and French anti-Semites have to grudgingly admit that at least Nicky’s no momma’s boy.

Will it be enough to get Cousin Nicky another five year lease on the Élysée Palace?  That remains to be seen.  The campaign has just begun.  La guerre n’est pas fini.

Forget About Us/ Put the Blame on Me

September 20, 2011

Note to Rick Perry:

Lunghu doesn’t insist that Barack Obama throw Israel under the bus, but WakingtheDragon would definitely like to see Netanyahu and the rest of his criminal crew serve as wheel chocks while we back-and-fill out of the quagmire they’ve dragged us into.  That would be a good start toward getting Lunghu’s vote in 2012.

So, Mr. President  –be bold, show some leadership, learn from the example of Russia & China, and don’t veto that Security Council resolution when it comes up for a vote.  Otherwise, Team Obama will be seen to fold in the face of craven politicking by the GOP, blatant extortion by AIPAC, and duplicitous manipulation orchestrated by those puppeteers lodged in the shadows.

What’s the alternative?  Articulate the compelling vision of a new Middle East that includes a Palestinian state  –because there will be no peace wthout one.

Oh.  One more thing.  Is Lunghu the only guy around who finds it extremely coincidental that Turkey has been experiencing a series of terrorist bomb attacks shortly after it challenged Israel on the issue of aid convoys to Gaza?   Sure, you could always blame it on the usual suspects –the PKK– in light of Turkey’s recent heavy-handed incursions against Kurdish rebels based in Northern Iraq, but on the other hand maybe not …  Remember Iskenderun!