Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

EL TANGO DE SANGRE

tango

As if President Obama couldn’t top the absurdity of the image of him standing with Raoul Castro in front of a five-story high image of Che Guevara in Cuba, the pictures and videos of the President with an Argentine tango dancer in Buenos Aries in the wake of the Brussels attacks takes the cake.

I visited Argentina in the late 1990s as part of an official Department of Defense delegation. As is customary, after an obligatory late-night Argentine beef dinner our hosts treated us to a tango show where the head of our delegation was given the opportunity after the performance to dance with one of the alluring female tango dancers. The professional tango dancers were terrific. It was a wonderful experience which I will always remember. I often used to joke with my colleagues that I should take a few months off and go to Argentina to study the tango, if only my wife would approve.

Nevertheless, set aside the question of whether or not the President of the United States should allow the cameras to capture him with a tango dancers leg wrapped around him. The fact that this took place in the wake of a horrible terrorist attack in Brussels likely aimed at Americans makes me scream, “My God, what was the President thinking.”

As a long list of commentators already have said, President Obama should have cut short his Latin America trip when he was in Cuba and gone back to Washington, D.C. to meet with his senior national security advisors. Terrorist attacks in Europe are not background noise, the new normal or not America’s problem.

Beyond behavior I believe was wholly inappropriate when blood still staines the floor of the airport and subway in Brussels, President Obama couldn’t help again apologizing for past U.S. policy. Why the President of the United States keeps apologizing to countries that can’t begin to approach what America has done for the world bewilders me. Argentina in particular has nothing to brag about. Between the succession of dictatorships, the Juan and Evita Peron regime and providing a safe having for Nazi’s, I think they should apologize to us.

I long for the day I can aging be proud of my president. Unfortunately, given current circumstances, it doesn’t appear that day will come any time soon.

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Filed under: The Presidency, , , , , , ,

“13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI”

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“13 Hours” ranks up there with the best war movies ever made. It’s a gripping movie that arouses your patriotism, touches your heart, and peaks your anger. My top ten list of great war movies, in order of release date, are listed below with links to the Internet Movie Database.

They Were Expendable (1945)

Twelve O’clock High (1949)

From Here to Eternity (1953)

In Harms Way (1965)

Patton (1970)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The Patriot (2000)

We Were Soldiers (2002)

American Sniper (2014)

13 Hours (2016) 

What all these movies have in common is that they not only portray combat realistically, it shows those who fight and die for our country as the complex, compassionate and patriotic people they really are. There’s a reason the American Warrior and the U.S. Armed Forces are the most respected class of people and institution in America, and they are it.

War movies at the top of my list, made in the twentieth century, didn’t have the advantage of the sophisticated, real-life-effect computerized graphics movies today have. But great graphics alone don’t make a good movie. Too many filmmakers today believe that all you need is eye-popping destruction and that will drive people to the box office. Moviegoers haven’t changed in the past 100 years. They want a good story, well acted, and well told.

To be sure, “13 Hours” has plenty of great graphic effects, but they don’t overshadow the story of the bravery and sacrifice of a small group of men who fought and died for their comrades. We’ve heard a lot about Benghazi on the news over the past three years. It’s become a hot political topic divided along party lines. For that reason, along with the fact that the story has received scant coverage in the mainstream media, many of not most Americans have tuned out to the story.

Michael Bay did a great job of making the movie as apolitical as possible. There’s no mention of Hillary Clinton or the Obama administration attempt to cover up what really happened in Benghazi. Nevertheless, the debate over Benghazi is too well known, if not well understood, and you can’t watch the move without asking yourself, Why did the President, the Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor lie to the American people and believe they could get away with it. Why didn’t AFRICOM deploy assets to support the beleaguered diplomatic post and the CIA annex?

The movie never explains why AFRICACOM or EUCOM never launched an effort to support those fighting and dying in Benghazi; but can you imagine them not taking action unless ordered not to from above? I can’t.

There’s no need for me to summarize the plot of “13 Hours.” You know the gist of the story. But no matter what you think you know, I guarantee you that you’ll come away from the movie with knowledge and insight you didn’t have before. I give “13 Hours” five stars.

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“The Transplants” a novel by Ed Ross. Click on image.

Cover and Photo

 

 

 

 

Filed under: Movies-TV, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

HAVE WE HIT BOTTOM YET?

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During the nearly five and a half years of the Obama presidency, America has been moving in the wrong direction. The U.S. economy continues to struggle through the longest and slowest recovery from recession since World War II. From Benghazi to Ukraine, U.S. foreign policy has collapsed. U.S. world leadership has receded to a low not seen since the 1930s. Have we hit bottom yet?  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

POLITICAL VINDICTIVENESS

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Nothing demonstrates how petty and vindictive President Obama can be than the closure of national memorials and parks. They weren’t closed during previous shutdowns and it takes more money and personnel to keep vets away from the Vietnam Veterans, Korean War, and World War II memorials than it does to allow access to them. President Obama simply wants to make the shutdown as painful as possible for everyday Americans and blame it all on Republicans. This inexcusable behavior should anger every American. This is beneath the office of the President of the United States.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL LOSE THE 2012 ELECTION

Eight months out from November 6, despite bad economic news and President Obama’s virtual tie in head-to-head polls with Gov. Mitt Romney, the dominant wisdom is that the presidential election will be a close race, but President Obama likely will win reelection. Let me add my opinion to the small but growing number of conservative pundits that believe it won’t be a close race, and President Obama will lose. Here’s why.

Pollsters and pundits tell us this year’s election is all about the economy. They debate with each other about how the unemployment rate and the price of gas will affect the election. They cite the roll these factors played in past elections. And they bombard us with polls about how voters think President Obama is doing his job, President Obama’s and Gov. Romney’s likeability ratings, and head to head polls on how people would vote “if the election were held today.”

They’re right, of course, the state of the U.S. economy, jobs, and the price of gas are what concerns Americans most. Election Day, however, remains months away and there is a wild card in this election that I believe, in the final all-in hand, will give Gov. Mitt Romney the winning cards. That wild card is President Barack Obama.

In the 2008 election Sen. Obama was a rock star. Americans superimposed on him their hopes and dreams as if Barack Obama was an empty vessel to be filled with them. His candidacy was historical and his promise of a post-racial America was compelling. John McCain looked old school, erratic, and past his prime. Barack Obama presented himself as an acceptable, even a desirable alternative.

After 40 months in office, however, Mr. Obama remains an enigma to most Americans. Despite the countless speeches he’s given, the liberal/progressive policies he’s pursued, and the endless analyses of him, we still don’t know the inner man. Barack Obama is more like the ideal actor from central casting sent to play the role of a Democratic president than a man of the people he portrays himself to be. He reads his lines with eloquence and feeling, but he has failed to touch the American heart with sincere emotion?

What we are left with to judge him is a record of failure and misdirection.

The U.S. Supreme Court appears about to declare the signature achievement of President Obama’s first term in office, Obamacare, unconstitutional, as his domestic-policy cabinet secretaries continue to seek the regulate every aspect of American life.

His anti-fossil-fuel energy policy has prevented America from recovering from the great recession, killing rather than creating jobs. His Environmental Protection Agency seeks to “crucify” U.S. oil and gas companies.

Racial tensions in America have increased rather than decreased under President Obama, as many Democrats play the race card at every opportunity to solidify their base.

Now, as the President campaigns for reelection, he seeks to misdirect our attention from his record and focus on other issues that divide rather than unite Americans. His surrogates say Republicans have declared a “war on women.” President Obama, with U.S. deficit and entitlement spending spiraling out of control, attacks Republicans that offer solutions without providing solutions of his own.

Still, the majority of Americans say they like him personally and his Republican opposition say that he’s a “nice guy.” Where I grew up, nice guys didn’t try to run their neighbor’s lives or ask them for money only to waste it and ask for more.

Nevertheless, as we approach Election Day, truly independent voters, and that includes some registered Democrats and Republicans, that will determine the outcome, must decide if they will vote for President Obama, Gov. Romney, or just stay home. Their answer to a nagging question likely will determine how most of them will vote. Is electing President Obama worth the risk?

As President Obama whispered to outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, “After the election I’ll have more flexibility.” What voters know they can expect in an Obama second term is an attempt to solidify the progressive agenda he failed to achieve in his first term and go beyond it. Even without majorities in both houses of Congress, President Obama’s executive orders and his cabinet officials regulations can make an immense impact on American business, the American people and U.S. foreign policy.

According to a recent Pew Survey poll, today, just one in three Americans have a favorable view of the federal government, a 15-year low, a statistic that should, and likely does, deeply worry the Obama presidential campaign, because it includes a large number of Democratic voters.

Not all Democrats like what’s been coming out of Washington, D.C. these past 40 months. Not all Democrats are progressives or liberals. Not all Democrats share Barack Obama’s social-democratic, big government vision. Like most Republicans and Independents, they don’t want the kind overbearing, oppressive federal government the see looming on the horizon.

This doesn’t mean that the majority of members of the Democratic coalition won’t vote for President Obama. What it means is that many of them won’t vote at all while most Independent voters will vote for Gov. Romney.

My guess is that even if the polls reflect a close race down to the wire, unless President Obama can garner a consistent 50 percent or better, he’ll lose big.

Filed under: Politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,

WIKILEAKS: Another Fat Lip for America

Logo used by Wikileaks

Image via Wikipedia

The fat lip President Obama received last week on the basketball court is similar in many ways to the fat lip America has received from the latest Wikileaks release of sensitive State Department communications. Both are embarrassing because they reveal vulnerabilities and actions best not made public. Neither is a debilitating injury when properly treated. The President’s fat lip, however, only required a few stitches. America’s fat lip requires major surgery. (More)

Filed under: National Security, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SARAH PALIN’S SRLC SPEECH

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Palin’s comments about Obama’s comment about her and her criticism’s of the president will receive the most media attention, but her remarks about US energy policy are excellent. She demonstrates a command of the issue and a way forward for the United States to become less dependent on foreign oil. It will be interesting to see if she does something similar on other issues in  future speeches.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

OBAMA AND ISRAEL – Time for a Reset

Is a US Central Command (CENTCOM) briefing team from General David Petraeus, rather than Israeli construction in East Jerusalem and Vice President Joe Biden’s embarrassment in Israel, at the heart of the current rift in US-Israel relations, or is it just an excuse?

Read my full column at http://ewross.com/Obama_and_Israel.htm

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ATTITUDES TOWARD ISRAEL

Do President Obama’s attitudes toward Israel simply reflect his own biases or do they reflect a shift in broader American attitudes toward Israel? It’s a fair question to ask.

Writing in US News & World Report, John Farrell points out that, “It has been more than 60 years since the victors of World War II agreed to the establishment of a Jewish state in the Middle East. The members of the great generation that fought and won the war are mostly gone. I bet that 100 times as many Americans could name the judges on American Idol as could identify David Ben-Gurion or Harry Truman.”

Farrell has a point. While support for Israel remains strong among older Americans whose attitudes have been shaped by events long past, there is a growing segment of the population that doesn’t share them. Indeed, Barack Obama himself is in that group. Islamic influences on him as a child aside, there is little in his experience that fostered positive attitudes toward Israel or Israelis.

For most of the 30 odd years since the Camp David Accords, and especially since the First Intifada, Israel hasn’t been seen as a nation struggling for survival but as party to on-and-off negotiations about land, refugees, and issues few Americans really understand or appreciate. When violence breaks out between Palestinians and Israelis the media tends to show Israeli solders killing Palestinian civilians while it shows Palestinian youth throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers.

While the American people, since 9/11 the victims of Islamic terrorism themselves, have gained a greater appreciation for what Israelis have experienced for decades, I’m not sure this has increased support for Israel. Increasing numbers of Americans buy into the argument, as General Petraeus apparently has, that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essential to changing Islamist-Jihadist attitudes toward Americans. Israel, therefore, becomes more an obstacle to peace than an ally.

Read my other sidebars at http://ewross.com/Sidebar.htm

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