Rutger Hauer–R.I.P.

Closing Thought–25July19

Yesterday we lost an icon…..Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer)…..Hauer’s most notable role as the homicidal android ot he gallant knight in Ladyhawke,,,,,for me Nighthawks was an iconic movie as well….but now he is gone….but not forgotten…..

Dutch film actor Rutger Hauer, who specialized in menacing roles, including a memorable turn as a murderous android in Blade Runner opposite Harrison Ford, has died. He was 75. Hauer’s agent, Steve Kenis, says the actor died July 19 at his home in the Netherlands, the AP reports. Hauer’s roles included a terrorist in Nighthawks with Sylvester Stallone, a former CEO of Wayne Enterprises in Batman Begins, and one of the heroes in the big-budget 1985 fantasy Ladyhawke. He won a supporting-actor Golden Globe award in 1988 for Escape from Sobibor.

I enjoyed all his movies…..my favorite ending to a film was one the Hauer starred in….a modern version of a 60s TV Western “Wanted Dead Or Alive” ……..

In the modern version Randall had to track down a terrorist played by KISS front man Gene Simmons….after lots of twists and turns Randall captures his man and sticks a grenade in the handcuffed baddie’s mouth and leads him to the cops by the pin….

He tells the officials on hand that his fee was to go to the widow ofm his friend and his million dollar bonus goes to…..he pauses….looks at the terrorists an says as he pulls the pin “F*ck the bonus” and walks away as the grenade goes off.  Great Ending!  Must be seen to appreciate!

Good bye old friend….you will be missed.

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The Greatest Show Of The Week

Today the most anticipated show is going to happen….finally we get to hear from the person the issued the Mueller Report…..you may have your own opinion and I hope it is from reading the document but I am not naive…your opinion has been given to you by your favorite news outlet……me? I read the report and now I want to hear from the man himself.

I realize that most Americans do not have the time to watch all the many hours so I will give my take and the take of a couple of outlets as well….

Robert Mueller has wrapped up his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. Here’s how it’s being received:

  1. Fox News’ Chris Wallace was more than unimpressed. In comments made during a break in the testimony (and quoted by President Trump), he had this to say, per the Daily Beast. “This has been a disaster for the Democrats and I think it’s been a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller. … He has been attacked a number of times and you would think that almost anybody else would have defended his own integrity and the integrity of the investigation and over and over Mueller just sits silent and allows the attacks from the Republicans to sweep over him and says nothing.”
  2. At Vice, Jason Koebler is one of many calling out Mueller’s frequent halts, though he blames technology. The hearing “quickly devolved into the world’s most boring pop quiz,” he writes. “We should not have to watch as he asks lawmakers for a page number, flip back and forth through his papers, and finds what they’re referring to.” And for that Koebler faults the “Justice Department’s PDF and Congress’s outdated rules about using technology during hearings.”
  3. Aaron Blake offers a number of takeaways at the Washington Post. He leads with this one: That Republicans were trying to “undermine” the report by “tripping up” Mueller—and were effective in doing so. Blake points out a number of instances where this was the case. Among them: when Rep. Collins asked whether “collusion” and “conspiracy” are “colloquially” the same. Mueller said no; Collins then read the report’s line about them being “largely synonymous.” Blake argues that’s a shade different from “colloquially the same,” but writes that “Mueller didn’t seem to have much of an answer.”
  4. At CNN, Chris Cillizza saw two different hearings underway. The Democrats’ “blueprint” emphasized Mueller’s service and that Trump obviously obstructed the investigation; Republicans yelled and railed that Mueller “unfairly persecuted” Trump. “The whiplash is stark,” Cillizza writes. “And means—stop me if you’ve heard this before—that people will likely hear what they want to hear coming out of this hearing.”
  5. At Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley writes the Republicans worked to drive home the idea that there was no point to Mueller’s probe because, as Mueller repeatedly stated, he could not ultimately indict Trump due to DOJ guidelines—impeachment falls in Congress’ hands. But “at Wednesday’s hearing, no Democrat has even said the word impeachment; instead, they’ve asked largely redundant questions about the same set of apparent incidents of obstruction of justice outlined in the report. The strategy seems to be to get Mueller to discuss the criminal-ish things Trump did on television in such a way that public opinion shifts toward impeachment without Democrats having to push for it.”
  6. Greg Sargent of the Washington Post tries to redirect the focus. “Some of the best minds in journalism are only looking at optics of Mueller’s struggles, but not at optics of Repubs raging at Mueller for refusing to clear Trump,” he tweeted. “Others are pretending not to understand news value of having things stated on live TV.”
  7. David Axelrod deemed it “very, very painful” then clarified, tweeting, “Not a commentary on the content. The report is damning. That was reenforced today. He has been an exemplary public servant, as people are both sides attested, but he clearly was struggling today and that was painful.”
  8. Laura Ingraham tweeted her opinion as well. “Here’s some advice. Don’t build a big hearing around a lawyer who told you he didn’t want to be there. #MuellerHearing”
  9. Writing for Slate, Dahlia Lithwick pores over Mueller’s morning exchange with Rep. Lieu—and Mueller’s afternoon clarification. Mueller’s answer to Lieu’s questioning was interpreted by many to be an admission that if not for DOJ guidelines, Mueller would have indicted Trump. He subsequently corrected himself, saying no determination as to whether Trump committed a crime was made. “The one bit of news that seemed to have been news has been clarified back into the same exact legal language as was carefully crafted in the report,” she writes. “It was a misstep that was misunderstood and then retracted, a perfect capsule performance of how dragging an unwilling witness into a polemical hearing was never going to go well.”
  10. Yes, the hearings were dull, writes Amanda Marcotte for Salon, and it’s “hard to avoid the conclusion” that it would be more useful for Democrats to question Mueller’s witnesses rather than questioning him about questioning them. “These are the witnesses, of course, who have not yet testified before Congress because Trump has successfully blocked all congressional subpoenas, which don’t have the force of an impeachment inquiry behind them. That isn’t to say that Democrats didn’t get some interesting comments from Mueller. But what did emerge ended up offering even more evidence that impeachment is the only remedy at hand to hold Trump accountable for his likely crimes.”

There you have the highlights of the hearing….now you know all there is to know without having to sit through the whole thing….believe me it was boring and damn dry…..

I learned more by reading the report than I did by this testimony.  My opinion was that this was a waste…DEms playing by rules that NO longer apply to politics.

I do not think that many minds were changed by this exercise…..so I ask what was the point here?

Now can the country please move on to real solutions to the problems we face?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Terrorism And Its Fuel

With all the drama in DC (personally I think it is mofre reality TV than a descent drama) the whole topic of terrorism has taken a back seat to the players and their silly, silly rhetoric.

Since I write about foreign policy and national defense I am always reading stuff that most MSM tries to ignore.

We all know what terrorism is, right?

We know what the consequences are for not taking it seriously.

But truly what fuels these cells hatred?

Since September 11th 2001, the U.S. media and government have demonized Muslims and fetishized the US military so much that many Americans do not understand what a devastating impact our foreign policy has had on the Muslim world. It is the duty of every American to question their government’s action, we need to get this idea out of our head that patriotism means blind support for our military adventures in the Middle East.

Osama bin Laden has been painted as a maniac, a man so insane and blind with rage that he toppled the Twin Towers because Allah told him to hate Western culture. But the fact is bin Laden made his motivation for attacking us very clear: US intervention in the Middle East. If we don’t address the root cause of terrorism this cycle of violence will never end.

Bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa was entitled, “Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holiest Sites (Expel the infidels from the Arab Peninsula).” The title makes bin Laden’s goal clear. After the Soviet Union was driven out of Afghanistan and collapsed at the end of the Cold War, bin Laden turned his eye on the United States. The US support for Israel long angered the rich Saudi, but it was US troops occupying the Arabian Peninsula that really stoked his rage.

It’s About Time We Recognize What Fuels Terrorism

Keep in mind that geopolitics has a 3rd law…..”For every action there is an equal and opposition reaction”….sounds familiar right?

Knee jerk reactions to world affairs leads to interventionism and war….neither of which does anything but make terrorists stronger.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”