U.S. Government Policies Are For The Birds! ...by Bill Knell
When it rains, it pours and it now appears that our dysfunctional government is even more messed up than anyone could have imagined. While campaign ads run ahead of this year's big election touting the wondrous accomplishments of the powers that be, us regular folk are left to ponder the million dollar parties held by the GSA while half of all American families are living at the poverty level or below and the paid female entertainment specialists engaged by the Secret Service are getting STIFFED for their fees (can a video or calendar of those hot girls be far off?). But now, there's more...
Just when you thought it was safe to watch the news there are more government debacles to consider of equal or greater stupidity. This time the GSA big spenders are back for another round of dumbness with kickbacks, while the geniuses that dictate our foreign policy are screwing up everything everywhere and the FAA got caught with its Fly open proving they are just for the birds.
Now I know where those gavones at the GSA got all that extra cash to party hardy... The Washington Business Journal reports that the GSA was getting around nineteen percent in kickbacks from contractors that were permitted to claim a special energy-efficient tax deduction. They had to write a check to the GSA for the cash value of the deduction. Wow, and I thought that only the Mafia knew how to put the squeeze on legitimate contractors. Still, I guess I would rather have my contract canceled by the GSA than the Godfather.
If you are going to make a mess of something, I say go all the way! It looks like All The President's Men (oops, forgot Ms. Clinton) are taking that advice big time. There's a little trouble in Big Red China. The blind Chinese dissident who decided to escape and hold up at the U.S. Embassy in the land of the pagoda just before this year's big meet and greet between Beijing and Washington has everyone all atwitter.
First they say Chen Guangcheng asked for Political Asylum, then they say he left the building (the embassy folks probably out too much MSG in their food) saying he was told by someone at the State Department that the Chinese Government was threatening to kill his family. So says the news media, but who knows? Nobody can get a straight answer out of any of the parties involved in this situation. The good news is that the Chinese Foreign Ministry now says the dissident can apply to come to the USA as a student. It's unclear whether or not his family will be able to join him or if he will actually be able to leave.
My wife met some Chinese students from Red China (yes folks, it's still a Communist Nation) when she was still in college in Arizona. They were brought to school each day on a bus, followed around by Chinese security, not given a chance to casually interact with us scheming capitalists and watched closely until the bus came to pick them up at the end of classes. I guess they did all that in case those young people were homesick and wanted a taste of Marxism here in the land of the free and home of the naive.
While all this stuff is going on in Beijing, the Russians decide to get feisty and show the world that they know how to make headlines as good or better than everybody else. Russian senior military commander General Nikola Makarov warned that if the the USA sets up a planned missile defense system in Europe, he will launch a first strike to take it out. He went on to say that any NATO bases hosting that system would be legitimate first strike targets. Whatever happened to Perestroika? And everyone thought that Bush II was the only one ruining America's image abroad. Maybe so, but he didn't have the Russians ready to launch missiles at us!
Not only have our fearless leaders been spreadin' the love abroad, but they are making friends and influencing idiocy here at home as well. A passenger who filmed a recent bird strike on an airliner this past April and released it to the media received a nasty letter from the FAA. Grant Cardone was probably expecting a thank you note for filming something which could potentially be used to examine exactly how bird strikes impact airliners, but instead he received a reprimand for not properly stowing away his iPad before the plane took off. Given that most airline passengers are treated like meat in a seat on flights these days, that doesn't surprise me.
It's no wonder that a recent TV series called Pam Am failed to attract enough of an audience to avoid cancellation. Anyone who watched it probably thought the network and the series was making all that stuff up about how Stewardesses and Stewards (OMG...I mean Flight Attendants...sorry!) once treated their customers. Today's flight crews are more like the matron you would find at theaters years ago. During Matinee showings they would go around pointing a flashlight at kids that talked too much. Anyone that threw popcorn at them would probably get clunked on the head with the same flashlight.