“I think the test is before Obama and other American leaders as we speak. Right now they can make a series of decisions. Regardless of what’s happened in the past, right now is a moment where the fate of the United States hangs in the balance. And the test for all of them is going to be where they can overcome the mistrust, the deep ideological divisions, in some cases just political opportunism and say, this is bigger than any one of us, and we’ve got to make sure that we do what’s right for the American people. And that’s a challenge. That’s not something that another country can do for us.”
President Obama held a press conference today outlining his response to the growing unrest in Iraq. Like his other statements on the region, Obama insisted the problem is more political than military. That’s a convenient rhetorical stance, but meaningless in the real world. War is the continuation of politics by other means, a fact we learned in the blood and fire of our own Civil War. Lincoln could have rightly claimed that the core problem was political, but he didn’t withdraw the Union Army from the field.
While digging a shallow grave the other day, my accomplice said, “when I die, I don’t want anyone to cry or be sad. I want my funeral to be a party! They should get a keg, play loud music and have a great time!”
Not only is this sentiment clichéd, it’s also unrealistic. If people are that giddy at your funeral, you were probably a complete jerk who everyone is glad to be rid of. (And with my accomplice, we would be.) But, as King Solomon once plagiarized from The Byrds, “a time to laugh, a time to weep.”
It is perfectly natural to be sad at the departure of a loved one. You realize you won’t see that person again on this side of mortality and that’s an awful feeling. I have no need to short-circuit the grieving process for those I leave behind. So when I die, I want tears. Lots and lots of tears.
What was it like to have been in the lab when Edison sparked the first light? When Michaelangelo touched his paintbrush to ceiling? When mighty Prometheus bequeathed the element of fire to humanity? If you're lucky enough to follow me on Twitter, you witnessed a similar kiss of The Muse as I created what is sure to be the blockbuster comedy of Summer 2016.
It began quite innocently.
Then, the spark...
For the past year, I’ve predicted Hillary won’t be the Democratic nominee; I still doubt she’ll even run. As the Lion of Tuzla fumbles through her book tour, it’s easier to see the evidence for that counter-intuitive claim.
Yes, Hillary has mountains of cash, a ruthless political machine, ubiquitous name recognition, and a mostly loving press. She is “inevitable,” although less so than she was in 2008. But these vast advantages still aren’t enough to overcome Hillary’s fundamental flaw: she’s a horrible candidate.
Horrible doesn’t quite cover it. Hillary is an atrocious, contemptible, dreadful, execrable, ghastly, heinous, insufferable, lousy, piteous, repellent, rueful, shoddy, unholy, woeful and wretched candidate. And she’s a terrible liar.
Sitting in the boardroom, a dozen social workers, salesmen and developers were waiting for the Health IT CEO to kick off the meeting. As we rocked in our chairs, my boss — an MSW-cum-Chief Sales Officer — complained about his “black sheep” cousin who was shaming the family name.
“The rest of us went to college but he’s stuck in the Army,” he said.
“Sounds like a good start to me,” I replied, as the only employee with military experience.
Those assembled rolled their eyes while my boss looked at me with pity. “He enlisted, Jon. He obviously isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.” Pausing for a beat he added, “no offense.”
None taken, jerk.