Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Dispatches: A Day at the Ritz, Obama on a Roll, Boehner in Denial, Dead Nurses and Children, and Jimmy Massey in Stripes

My father can tell you exactly where he was on this date 71 years ago. He was a seventeen year old kid sitting in the Ritz Theater in Muskogee, Oklahoma when the manager stopped the film, walked on stage, and told the audience that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. At that moment, for ill and good, this country changed forever. By the time the war was over he was in the navy, serving in the Pacific. One of his best friends, the guy I'm named after, was dead on some Philippine island. And the United States of America had become the preeminent world power. Mainly because we had a major hand in defeating some truly evil fucks, Americans became utterly convinced that not only were we always right and good, but a ravaged world needed us to be the planet's police force. It is an attitude that permeates our national character to this day.

It still astounds and angers us when others on this blue ball don't think we're always right and good. It aggravates us to no end when people feel we are exploiting them and the natural resources of their country. Finally, it genuinely pisses us off when other governments don't do what we want them to. What we did as a nation nearly three quarters of century ago was indeed right and good. It was, perhaps, our greatest moment and achievement. However in triumph we morphed into something that at times can be arrogant, overbearing, and downright deadly. We don't like to admit it. In fact, some will read this and accuse me of practically committing treason. It is the truth though. And deep down we all know it.

Be that as it may, on other fronts, Barak H. Obama's approval rating, according to a AP/GfK poll, has reached its highest level since he put out the hit on Osama bin Laden. It sits, at the moment, at 57% and a majority of Americans believe he will improve the economy over the next four years. Of course almost of all that support comes from registered democrats. The poll finds that nine out of every ten democrats approve of the job he is doing while only two in ten republicans think the same way.

Other encouraging news is that the unemployment rate has hit a four year low and 146,000 new jobs were created in November. Someone should send that news to one John Boehner. Mr. Boehner, head of the republicans in the house of representatives went before the press to explain no progress has been made on the budget. He is demanding the president submit a new plan that is, "going to take a step toward us." The big sticking point is the whole tax thing again. Boehner, who is apparently unaware of recent election results, appears to be still kowtowing to the glittering two percent, the extraordinarily wealthy among us, who will have to absorb a tax increase under the Obama plan. Congressman, does the name William Barret Travis mean anything to you? You might want to take a look at how things turned out for him.

A couple of days ago two Australian DJ's decided to call the King Edward VII hospital in London, pretend to be the Queen and Prince Charles and inquire into the health status of the Duchess of Cambridge. She was there due to acute morning sickness. Yes, it was just a prank and all in good fun. Everyone had a great laugh when the call was played on Australian radio. Earlier today, according to Reuters, the nurse who initially fielded the call, Jacintha Saldanha was found dead in her home. The cause is still not official, but London's Daily Mail has reported that police feel it was a suicide.

In Iowa deer hunters discovered two bodies believed to be Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins. The two girls were last seen on July 13th of this year as they rode their bicycles near a park. No word on the cause of death is available yet. NBC NEWS reports authorities are "leaning" toward reclassifying the case as a homicide.

Here in Oklahoma City, yesterdays "The Oklahoman" ran a story by Tim Willert regarding the status of Mr. Jimmy Lee Massey Jr. Massey was ordered to stand trial on charges of drug trafficking. Specifically he is accused of being in the methamphetamine business. His co-defendant is Francisco Gomez. This sort of thing isn't unusual in this town and state. In fact at times it seems like more Oklahomans cook meth than do pot roasts. However, Massey along with Luis Ruiz, is also charged with the murder of Carina Saunders. Her dismembered body was found in a duffel bag not quite 14 months ago. Since then rumors have swirled and public disclosure of evidence has been scant. No trial date has been set in the case.

So there we have it. Pearl Harbor Day, Obama on a roll, Boehner in denial, a dead nurse in London, two dead children in Iowa and Jimmy Massey in the dock, but not for murder, at least not yet.

All in all just another gray December afternoon. Hopefully, as the song says, everyone will, "be good, for goodness sake."

sic vita est


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