I am amazed at how quickly some issues can be resolved, seemingly faster than the Starship Enterprise at warp 9. Alternately, I am also amazed at how slowly some issues get resolved. These issues move more slowly than a centipede in maple syrup.
As I am writing this, there is all kinds of terroristic turmoil taking place in Paris. As you are likely aware, there was a very well planned attack executed on a French magazine. Their crime? They (the press) had the audacity to exercise free speech and to make cartoons that satirized the Islamic religion. (This is very similar to the Danish cartoonist that is still under 24/7 security protection for cartoons he drew ten years ago! This was discussed in a previous blog.) Three shooters entered the magazine publishing offices and killed a dozen innocent people. They obviously had training, as they were quick and precise in their attack. The hub-bub on TV now was that two of the attackers had taken hostages in one location, while one of their sympathetic friends took hostages at another location: a Jewish deli. Two hostage situations at the same time within 24 hours after the initial attack on the magazine. What a nightmare for French security forces! Ultimately, the three gunmen were killed, but sadly, hostages at the Jewish deli were also killed.
The point is this, the French security apparatus moved quickly and decisively in handling these situations. Although innocent lives were unfortunately lost during the assault, the rapid security efforts should be commended as both decisive and timely.
Need an example of a slow response situation for comparison? Remember Benghazi? Oh yes, we all suffer from short term memory on occasion. On this occasion the American ambassador in Libya came under attack. The compound that he was occupying was attacked by a group that was a little too organized to be a random crowd of displeased Libyans. This was the initial report from Washington. The attack took place because disaffected Muslims were upset about some movie. Yeah, right. Another DC cover-up. Unfortunately, this was a very feeble attempt at a cover-up. The real story is that this attack, which took place on September 11, was conducted by a militia that was originally organized to combat Gaddafi. The Ambassador to Libya, another embassy employee and two former special forces personnel were killed during this attack. The U.S. response to the attack? There wasn’t a response. No attempt was made by our government to save our citizens in Libya. Rumor has it that the military had a reaction force and airstrike on the way, but were called back at the insistence of then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
A quick French security action versus a slow, non-action on the part of the United States. Who would have thought that?
Need another example? Recently, the computers were hacked at Sony. This hacking allegedly took place because Sony was going to release a movie entitled The Interview. The plot of this movie included the assassination of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un. Consequently, some group calling itself the Guardians of Peace hacked personal information of various actors and actresses and intercompany messages with the warning that the movie should not be released. Supposedly, over 100 terabytes of information were stolen from Sony. I have difficulty fathoming a terabyte, but it sounds like a boatload of information to the average person.
Anyway, when personal emails were released, that is when the proverbial defecation hit the ventilation. Someone had the audacity to say that Angelina Jolie was a ‘spoiled brat’. Other personal messages mocked the POTUS for being black, even though the ‘mockers’ were significant Democrat supporters. But it was amusing to an outsider like me to see that no one was really concerned about the hacking of the Sony computers until the comments about Angela Jolie became public.
We have an example of two quick responses to a situation. The first decisive and quick action was by the hackers. They also displayed no small measure of technical expertise. The second quick response was by the actors and actresses that came to the defense of Sony, in general, and Angelina Jolie, specifically. If there was a red ICBM fire command button located in Hollywood with the missiles aimed at North Korea, someone would have pushed it! Some of the idiotic comments that came from Hollywood celebrities concerning this event were priceless. The media took great efforts to suppress the stupidity. It was indeed entertaining.
Another example of slow? Do you recognize the names of Nadal Hassan and Dzhokhar Tamerlan? I know you would instantly recognize them if I mentioned Fort Hood shooter and Boston bomber. Yup. These are them. Nadal Hassan, an American citizen born in the US, killed 13 military personnel and wounded 30 others on November 5, 2009. His court martial finally took place four years later, without much fanfare and little publicity. As a matter of fact, I was unaware it had taken place. He was found guilty on August 23, 2013, and sentenced to death on August 28, 2013. It took almost four years to try this monster for killing thirteen people!
The jury is still out on Tamerlan, as it has not yet convened. Tamerlan and his brother took the April 15, 2013, occasion of Patriot Day in Boston to set off a bomb filled with ball bearings inside a pressure cooker. Three people were killed and 264 wounded. Many of these wounded were injured seriously, as many of them lost one or two limbs. So here we go again. Two terroristic activities that should be cut and dried, but have taken forever and a day crawling their way through the judicial process. Wouldn’t you think we would have passed laws after 9/11 that would have expedited the judicial process for terroristic acts?
Are we all tired of the gridlock in Washington, DC? Time for a federal budget? Time to address social welfare programs? We were so tired of gridlock under the former congress that we voters gave the Republicans control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives in the last midterm election. Last Tuesday, January 6, 2015,the new legislators were sworn into office. Bill Maher, that great political pundit and part-time comedian, chided the new congress on Tuesday night for not having accomplished anything as of yet. Now that would be fast!
But you do know who is speedier than a little bunny on steroids. That would be our President, Barack Hussein Obama. How fast is he? He is so swift, that before one piece of legislation has been forwarded to him, he threatened on Wednesday, one day after the new congress was sworn in, to veto any legislation being proposed by the Republicans. Now that is quick! (Not to mention incredibly stupid!) What are the principle issues causing the ‘veto’ threat? The first is the proposal to proceed with the XL pipeline project. As one senator pointed out, the XL pipeline proposal has been on the table longer than it took the United States to win World War II! The second item of contention is the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare. It appears the Republicans want to repeal the law. It only took a majority to pass the act, but it will take 2/3 to repeal it. Even if the numbers are there, Obama has threatened a veto. After all, his name has now been associated with the act. There are other issues that will be proposed by the new congress, but rest assured, the POTUS will put jet fuel in the inkwell of his ‘veto pen’.
But wait – there’s more! President Obama has not only placed the threat of vetoes on a fast track, he has also been on the fast track in issuing executive orders since the midterm election. Realizing that congress would be controlled by the Republicans, he loaded up his executive order pen with rocket fuel! Do you know how many executive orders the POTUS has issued between the midterm elections and the three months before the new congress convenes? Two? Three? No, our over-achieving, fast-moving POTUS managed to squeeze in six executive orders before the new congress convened. Does illegal immigration and amnesty ring a bell? Now that’s prompt – and efficient!
So, I have come to the conclusion that speed can be attained when necessary, and slow can be attained when convenient. In the meantime, if you were hoping for the government to achieve results with compromise and eliminating gridlock, you may once again experience an example of stagnant, feet-dragging inefficiency.