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Drinking Coffee Through a Straw

on January 31st, 2013

Socotra coffee
(Vic enjoys a piping hot cup of java with a very stiff neck. I look my best in the morning. Life is getting better. Photo http://filmmakeriq.com)

That pretty much sums up the morning. The neck is slightly better- I applaud my decision last summer to save some of the more potent painkillers in the event of another emergency. A single dose got me through the night and ready to confront the day.

I could not manage to tip the big coffee mug to my lips without going into spasms, a hazardous maneuver to conduct over the keypad to the lap top, and found the answer in a package of soda fountain straws. I could lower my upper torso down close enough to grasp the plastic tube wit my lips and suck the hot coffee up and transfer it to my upper alimentary canal.

Life was getting better. Each day a step forward. Who knows, I might get used to sucking up my Dazbog Russian-blend coffee with a straw.

But reality collided with recovery and I wasted the precious discretionary hours before work. There is some powerful stuff going on out there beyond the balcony which is bereft of paint and based on the howling wind and plummeting temperatures, appears likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

I don’t mind the balcony furniture piling up in the second bedroom. These days, I am pleased to have one.

So, I am going to note in passing the fact that GDP stalled in the 4th Quarter, even declining a bit. Although “surprised” (isn’t it curious that bad economic news is always “surprising” the experts?),  the media explained that it was probably the weather or something.

It could not be that Sequestration is looming without any agreement and the symbiotic relationship between DoD and private industry is seriously disturbed. That is not going to be good news for the industry, which in Virginia employs a couple hundred thousand people. I am not surprised by the connection. I am surprised that the experts are surprised.

That is entirely possible. I walk around these days in a state of nearly constant surprise.

Not about some things, though. I am not surprised, for example, that the public hearing about the horror at Sandy Hook featured gun-rights people- obviously deranged and irresponsible citizens- “heckling a bereaved father.”

You probably will not be surprised to learn that the news was manufactured through the artful editing of the videotape. No matter- today’s low-information citizen got the message that was important: supporters of the Second Amendment are insensitive idiots.

That is possibly true, but it is not what happened. I was sipping cold coffee through my straw. MSNBC took the raw video of the event and cut out a long pause between the conclusion of Neil Heslin’s remarks and some members of the audience mentioning the Second Amendment.

The story, as it emerged this morning, was that Mr. Heslin was “interrupted” during his presentation as he clutched a portrait of his murdered son.

It did not happen that way, but I am not surprised that our media friends need to get the message right, even if it is not true.

These are the same helpful citizens who manufactured news through the late campaign. Some representative examples include:

1. During last year’s presidential election Andrea Mitchell was caught manufacturing a Romney gaffe where none existed.
2. During last year’s GOP primary, Ed Schultz edited video of Texas Governor Rick Perry to make him look racist.
3.  In April of last year, the “Today Show” was caught editing audio of a 911 call to make George Zimmerman look racist.
4. In August of 2009, Contessa Brewer sliced and diced a photograph so it wouldn’t look like a black man attended a Tea Party carrying a firearm.

And yesterday it was Sandy Hook and a grieving father.

I am not surprised. You know who owns a 49% share of the once proud Peacock network? Of course you do. It is General Electric, whose CEO Jeffery Immelt, who also serves as the Administration’s Job Czar.

immelt
(Titan of Industry Jeffry Immelt. Photo General Electric.)

GE has had a pretty good run lately. They make the big windmills that are marching across the nation, slicing the birds and producing power only when the wind blows. Showered with TARP bail-out funds, the Administration wants to make more Federal largess available for alternative energy sources that…well, don’t work.

They might, someday, even if wind and solar require conventional back up energy for those times the wind is not blowing, or when the experts are surprised that the sun has gone down.

In 2010, Jeff’s company had a good year. GE reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and indicated $5.1 billion of the total came from US operations.

GE’s American tax bill? None. Zero. Zilch.

In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

People talk with disdain about the Koch Brothers, those conservative kooks who made their own fortunes. There is a much better way. Attach yourself to the Government, and let the Feds pick the winners and losers.

Fixing the news? Shoot, there is only so much that can be sipped through the media straw, and these days, it is helpful to meter just how much. You do not want to confuse people with facts.

Somehow, I am not surprised. Are you?

Copyright 2013 Vic Socotra
www.vicsocotra.com

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