Thursday, July 20, 2006

David Reinhard Vaults into Lead in Oregonian's Dumbness Contest

Okay, I think I'm onto the Oregonian. Perhaps it's the summer doldrums or the heat, but I believe they're holding a secret contest among the staff as to who can write the dumbest sentence of the month. Peter Ames Carlin was clearly in the lead with his blog question, "Is it acceptable to pay a hooker in cocaine?", but when it comes to sheer dumbness nobody down there can touch David Reinhard. I've come to expect stupid blustery headlines from him, like "On the Ground in Baghdad", when he's actually sitting at his desk in SW Portland. That's why I didn't even blink at today's headline: "Let there be peace in the Mideast, but not just yet". David, some of us have been following this problem for decades, and one thing we never worry about is peace breaking out too soon. Can you say "intractable"?
So let's not even count the headline, which - to be fair - could have been a joint effort of the Oregonian's editorial brain trust. No, we're going to skip right to the text and a gem from this paragraph in which General Reinhard is looking ahead to the cessation of the latest fighting between Israel and Lebanon. He writes, "When will that time come? Sometime after Israel destroys the Hezbollah infrastructure in Lebanon -- its headquarters, weapons stockpiles and supply networks -- and before Israeli military operations there reach a point of diminishing returns in terms of international and Lebanese opinion. Not a moment sooner, not a moment later." Let's look at the point of diminishing returns in terms of Lebanese opinion. Apparently, the Lebanese are still enjoying the attack but David sees a point sometime in the future when they might turn against it. You know how fickle people are. One week they're in favor of the bombs and the brutal deaths of their countrymen, and then the next, they just don't seem as enthused. Maybe they're undecided right now. Maybe they're not sure how they feel about it. David thinks we should keep track in case this doubt turns to all-out "hating it".
David, if that's what you're waiting on - an opinion poll of the Lebanese people - I can pretty much guarantee that they'd like the shelling to stop right now. I can also guarantee you first place in the contest for dumbest sentence by an Oregonian columnist, but who knows? Peter Ames Carlin is just getting started.


At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said. Reinhard is a dipshit.

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reinhard might be right. Lebanon is, and has been under Hezbollah occupation. You think the Lebanese people actually WANT them there? Israel's actions are collecting support from some very unusual places. Here is from the ARAB TIMES (Kuwait):

"While the people of Palestine and Lebanon are paying the price of this bloody conflict, the main players, who caused this conflict, are living in peace and asking for more oil from Arab countries to support the facade of resisting Israel. With the Palestinian Authority close to collapse and the Lebanese government beginning to give up responsibility for what is happening in its territory, Saudi Arabia has been forced to come out of its diplomatic routine and indirectly hold Hezbollah responsible for what is happening Lebanon. …

This war was inevitable as the Lebanese government couldn’t bring Hezbollah within its authority and make it work for the interests of Lebanon. Similarly leader of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has been unable to rein in the Hamas Movement.

Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of these irregular phenomena is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community."

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

A few days ago, two Arab kids living in Israel were killed by a Hezbollah rocket. The Arab people in the neighborhood blamed the government of Israel. I don't think the people of Lebanon are going to blame Israel's massive raids on Hezbollah. Claiming that the fighting should stop just before opinion turns and the Lebanese stop seeing what a nice favor Israel is doing for them against Hezbollah, sounds a little farfetched to me.

At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Jewish people have been living in fear for years from rocket and personnel attacks. Diplomacy has failed. Withdrawing from held territory has failed. Returning territory has failed. Neither the carrot nor the stick has worked. The present armed conflict is a logical outcome of sustained failure by the Lebanese government to govern all of Lebanon. Let those who think the present offensive is excessive spell out clearly the practical and reliable actions that Israel could take to disam the Hizbollah.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

You're asking what the solution is to the Middle East. I'm not sure there is an answer to that, short of completely wiping out one side or the other, which I can't endorse. That's basically the way America was founded - the Indian side was ground down with only a few remnants left.
This current plan is excessive, and I don't think it's going to work. Countries that are broken have more of a chance of producing terrorists and hatred than prosperous ones, so I don't think breaking Lebanon is going to help.
My solution would be for Israel to have a technological way to block the rockets at the border. Some sort of protective field. Thanks for writing in.

At 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "solution" is to finally allow both sides to fight until one admits utter defeat. No more having the UN or Western Powers exert pressure to agree to a ceasfire, forcing Israel to leave the battlefield and allowing their opponent to claim that as a victory. Let Israel pummel the crap out of Lebanon and Hezbollah until they admit defeat and surrender. Let Lebanon know what a detriment it is to harbor terrorists, capitulate to terrorist, allow arms to cross your boarders and wind up in the hands of terrorists. You can bet that Iran and Syria are looking at this and calculating how the World reacts. So far, the World for the most part, has taken the position that Israel is doing what has long needed to be done. I don't think Iran and Syria are all too happy about that.

At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And here is what HBO's ultra-conservative right-wing nazi Bill Maher (you ever write for him, Bill? Just curious)has to say on the subject:

"However, for those who have watched Maher move further and further to the left over the years – so far so that his current television program seems like an hour-long excuse to bash conservatives – it was quite surprising to read the following: "I have to say, watching George Bush talk about Israel the last week has reminded me of a feeling that I hadn't felt in so long I forgot what it felt like: the feeling of pride when your president says what you want your president to say, especially in a matter that chokes you up a bit. I surrender my credentials as Bush exposer - from the very beginning - to no man, but on Israel, I love it that a U.S. president doesn't pretend Arab-Israeli conflict is an even-steven proposition."

Shocking to say the least. However, he wasn't done:

Lots of ethnic peoples, probably most, have at one time or another lost some territory; nobody's ever completely happy with their borders; people move and get moved, which is why the 20th century saw the movement of tens if not hundreds of millions of refugees in countries around the world. There was no entity of Arabs called "Palestine" before Israel made the desert bloom. If those 600,000 original Palestinian refugees had been handled with maturity by their Arab brethren, who had nothing but space to put them, they could have moved on — the way Germans, Czechs, Poles, Chinese and everybody else has, including, of course, the Jews.

To his credit, Maher even had more to say on this subject:

But I digress. I really wanted to say that, for all those who accuse the likes of myself and the birthday girl of being unpatriotic, or hating America first, the feeling I've had watching Israel defend herself and a US president defend Israel (a country that is held to a standard for "restraint" that no other country ever is asked to meet, but that's another story) just reminds me how wrong that is. I LOVE being on the side of my president, and mouthing "You go, boy" when he gets it right."

Refreshing, considering the usual Hollywood "if Bush did it, it MUST be bad" ideology.

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I did have a contract with Bill Maher's old Politically Correct show on cable, before it went to ABC.
He had a provision that if they didn't use a joke of yours by a certain number you would have to wait several months before trying again. For that reason, and the limited number of jokes he told each night, I didn't follow through.
I think Bill Maher's an American hero and he approaches things on their merits as opposed to which team supports them.
I don't think you have to look too far back to find a time where vast numbers of today's anti-Bush crowd showed him the support. I thought the scene right after 9/11 where Bush talked at ground zero was absolutely great - when he took the megaphone and addressed the rescue workers. The discussion turned to how he could hear them and how those who brought down the towers would soon be hearing from all of us. I felt a lot of pride in that statement. Remember how we were united back then. Then it all went to hell over Iraq.
The anti-Bush crowd is driven by his deeds - not by a prism of hatred through which everything Bush does looks bad. There are some things that I was excited about too, like the Mission to Mars talk. Of course, it was all spin, but I am not opposed to cheering on Bush if he does something I agree with. I can see Bill Maher's point here. You did leave off his next line though, which explains more of where I'm coming from. Bill Maher: "I LOVE being on the side of my president, and mouthing "You go, boy" when he gets it right. He just, outside of this, almost never does."

At 7:12 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Make that Politically INCorrect. I achieved blog Zen by being incorrect on the word incorrect.

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think Bill Maher's an American hero and he approaches things on their merits as opposed to which team supports them."

I agree, although I vehemently disagree with most of what he says. Now, are you willing to concede the same about Dennis Miller? Do you consider him an "American hero". I see no difference other than ideology.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...


Dennis Miller is much like Bush. He gets a ton of publicity when he rants about anything. It’s his TV character. Bush’s character is reciting what his handlers tell him to say. His reward is kickbacks from those handlers, maybe a new toy to play with, or a quickie from Condi. In both cases, they sell out to the crowd they are performing for. This is ok for an actor, but for the president, it’s wrong.

Miller is not a puppet. Bush is.

At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

laurelhurstdad, were you your hightschool debating champion?

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I thought about Dennis Miller as I wrote that believe it or not. I see a lot of difference in the two, but it would take a new post to explain it. Dennis was very frightened by 9/11 and turned to an authoritarian ruler to keep him safe. I paid twice to see him perform. I love his mind but I think one of his filters is incredibly primitive. He's one who just wants the US to start clubbing people till there's nothing to fear again. He's got a state-of-the-art Neo-Cortex hooked to a Stone Age set of instincts. He's smart as hell but he's a frightened follower. Bill Maher is a Bad Ass.
I must say that was a hell of a comment you made though, as tests go to see if I like someone purely on beliefs. Frankly, I find some of Maher's comments about marriage and hooking up with that one person - (he's against it) - to be quite shallow, but his approach is sure working for him.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

Debate champion? As a matter of fact, yes. Both in high school and college. But that was a long tine ago, before Vietnam. If I thought you were a worthy opponent in a debate, I would invite you to my home to have a good conversation and a cool beverage. (You can respond to me, and leave Bill out of this, by responding to any entry in my blog LaurelhurstDad). But alas, you are a child weaned on Fox ‘news’ and incapable of rational debate.

I’ve given up using polite speech when it comes to debates about Cheney and his boy-toy. It’s time to just scream out that this administration has failed at every level, be it domestic, moral or foreign. And to cut to the chase, yes, Bush is an asshole that needs to be removed, along with his handlers. I leave it to the reader to determine a method.

I'm tired of people pussyfooting around the elephant running our country. To hell with people who use correct language and proper debate tactics to discuss how our country has been taken away from the people and given to the very rich and powerful. It’s time to say this out loud.

Bush is too stupid to be a crook like Nixon, and not pretty enough to get away with the horrors that Reagan bestowed on our economy. Ford was a simpleton who was bought by Nixon, and Bush the First engineered the ‘hostage release’ so his boss could win under false pretenses.

There have been good Republicans. I remember Wayne Morse and Tom McCall. There were many others, but the party has devolved into greedy, purchased simpletons who just want to get what they can now, from the lobbyist who pays them. Long-term thinking is not in their mindset. We are dealing with evil people who need to be removed from their positions. By any means possible.

I watched a buddy die in Vietnam. He was saving the world from an assumed commie threat. His death was pointless. Our soldiers dying in Iraq are dying so Bush can pay his backers and Cheney can die rich.

You, Anonymous, are probably just a young, privileged kid who has not tasted the splattered blood of his friend. I don’t wish that on anyone. But anyone who supports this war (or Reinhard’s bile) should be condemned the jungle or desert and witness the mothers, wives and children massacred in front of them. Make that YOUR mother, YOUR wife YOUR child. Maybe then you’ll understand that war is hell.

Until then, shut up. (As your hero Billo says.)

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

laurelhurstdad, you forgot to compare Bush to Nazis. With that being said, I'm through with you. Obviously I am not qualified to debate you because you served in Vietnam. How do I counter such a Kerry-esque argument?

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