Mr. Wow Blog
Mr. wOw’s Random Thoughts
12:00 am | October 6, 2011

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Point of View | Comments: 46

Mr. wOw ponders assassinations, Anderson Cooper, Amanda Knox, Steve Jobs, Sarah Palin –and B., his very own birthday boy

The always-intelligent, but often too cutesy Rachel Maddow recently expressed “concern” over the drone assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American who renounced his citizenship and has been working for years with Al-Quaeda. (The deaths of quite a few U.S. soldiers were laid at his door in Yemen.) Rachel pondered the legalities of executing an American citizen without a trial. Ron Paul, the presidential candidate, is not one to “ponder.” He wants Barack Obama impeached over this action! Mr. wOw is at sixes and sevens. I understand the concern, and expected the extreme negative reactions: “Next thing he’ll be killing us here, if we say anything he doesn’t like!” But I also can’t cry for Mr. al-Awlaki. He made his bed, he was a traitor, he was happy to see his countrymen slaughtered. I’m all for the assassination of bad people. Especially if a simple drone can be employed, not putting our guys in jeopardy, or using assassination to depose a despot without going to war. B. said, “You know, he was essentially a propagandist, so we killed him because of what he said. I don’t think that’s a healthy precedent.” Uhhhhh … I get that, but I am still glad Obama is picking off terrorists and their helpers. Never knew Mr. wOw was so bloodthirsty, did ya? (Marlene Dietrich briefly considered accepting Hitler’s offer to come back to Germany as World War II exploded– the better to knock him off, she thought. I feel I’m in good company!)

* * *

So Chris Christie won’t run for prez. Too bad. As I posted last week, it would have been amusing to see him challenged on his remarks that homosexuals were “born that way and not sinners.” Imagine Michele Bachmann jumping all over that. Oh, well. That fun is over. Unless Chris changes his mind.

* * *

I have no idea if Amanda Knox is really guilty of killing her roommate, Meredith Kercher, several years ago in Italy. From what I read of the case, the evidence was indeed sketchy. Knox is free now, after four years in an Italian prison, cleared of charges. Amanda’s grasp of the Italian language wasn’t good at the time of her arrest, but two years into her incarceration it had improved enough for her to defend herself at her first trial. It’s even better now. And her tearful protestations of innocence, in Italian, went a long way, I think in swaying the jury. Moral of story? Buy some of those Rosetta Stone language lessons before you travel to a foreign country. It’s unlikely you’ll become involved in a murder, but … it’s best to be prepared.

* * *

Memo to CNN: Do you want Anderson Cooper to be a respected anchorman, or do you want him to be Joy Behar? Mr. Anderson’s giddy foray into daytime TV, via his syndicated show, “Anderson,” has been an embarrassment. More than that — he is already involved in a terrible event. Some kid was encouraged by Anderson’s producer’s to “do crazy stuff” and the kid skateboarded himself right into a coma. Cooper is silly. He needs to hone his skills as a journalist before giggling over the casts of the various “Housewives” shows. Despite his furrowed brow, his white hair, his tight tee-shirts and his globe-trotting reportage, he doesn’t convince me as a newsman. Cooper’s anti-bullying stance is admirable, but he diminishes himself with a daytime program. Not to mention his tiresome, perennial New Year’s Eve camp-fest with comedienne Kathy Griffin. (An event dire beyond redemption because Griffin hasn’t been funny in years, and all AC does is giggle and blush.) Anderson and CNN need to chat.

* * *

Rumor: Madonna to perform at half-time at the Super Bowl. Reaction from devoted fan Mr. wOw — Oh, my God, please don’t do it!! I beg you on hands and knees, don’t. Not unless you decide to go all chanteuse on the crowd and sing a few sultry ballads. No more leotards. No more strenuous “dancing.” Some people — Mick Jagger, Tina Turner — can carry on their youthful antics and gyrations into middle-age. Some people cannot. Some people is you. The ability remains, but the surrounding vibe is risible. (David Letterman has already had fun, showing “Madonna rehearsing” — his audience screamed with delight at a clip of some older woman, dressed up like an antique vaudeville performer.) Madonna, your movie, “W.E.” is beautiful and evocative, though challenged because your name is associated with it, as director. The Super Bowl won’t help “W.E.” You are still young and sexy at 53, still vital, still viable — a great, great star. But please don’t try to make this particular touchdown.

* * *

Movie recommendation: Caught this over the weekend on one of my 500 cable channels. It is called “Japanese Story” and starred Toni Collette. Not a perfect film, and it contained a shocking mid-movie twist that I never saw coming. But as it ended, I found myself crying. I don’t know if “Mr. wOw cried — go see it!” is much of an incentive, but after all, this is coming from a guy who is okay on assassinations!

* * *

The death of Steve Jobs has affected me unaccountably. Maybe because I love my iPod so very much. Whatever. He was 56 years old and a genius and a man who had a vision and didn’t give up. Maybe it’s silly, but I feel a loss.

* * *

Sarah Palin announced she will not run for president.  So many unpleasant things to say. Why bother? Why believe her? Why care? But … thank you, Levi Johnston.

* * *

Finally — happy, happy birthday to B. You are the greatest. How have you survived … me?! And wasn’t our waiter cute, and didn’t we both suffer having finished off a whole bottle of champagne? I love you.

  • chipgiii

    Ahhhh all is right with your world.  Now Palin isn’t running either!  Though that was never a surprise to me.  I’ve said it in the past, I agree with Palin on some things, but she is not smart enough (JMO), and certainly not electable.  I think even most conservatives feel that way.

    7:59 am | October 6, 2011
  • Andy
    Andy C

    RIP Steve Jobs.  Perhaps since it struck a personal chord, but more likely, the man was a genius and still so youn.  So, yes, it struck me deeply as well and so, I repeat, Rest in Peace Steve Jobs.

    Oh, so glad The Palin isn’t running.  If you believe the percentages, and I rarely do, but this somehow struck a chord:  74% of the people polled did not want her to run.  Only 14% did and the rest didn’t care one way or another.  You can’t fix dumb.

    Once again, it was the prosecution that lost the Amanda Knox trial, though I’m not sure about her guilt or innocence.  Too many questions left unanswered.  This was not a slam dunk as it was in OJ and Casey’s trials where it was evident they were guilty and somehow got off, but I do grieve for the parents of the girls that someone killed.  A neverending nightmare for her parents.

    8:19 am | October 6, 2011
  • chipgiii

    Mr. Wow,
    I have become disgusted with the justice system.  Not in Italy, here.  Just have someone close to you get themselves in a jam and you will know.  It is a process that lawyers play games and charge you enormous amounts of money.  When the well runs dry, you are out in the cold.  The lawyer is all about winning and winning is often plea bargaining: he collects a check and puffs his chest while the charges are mitigated, and thus the penalty.  Guilt or innocence has a very tiny role in many cases today.  Prosecutors are equally rotten as they are all about win loss records to help their resume. 
    Cops are far too often the worse offenders: they nearly always lie on police reports to bolster their arrest.  You could read a thousand DUI arrest, and every single one of them will say the person was slurring their words, or was showing coordination problems… Not a sympathizer for drunk drivers, but that check out that odds defying stat.  What happen to Amanda Knox is often done right here in the US.  Multiple interviews, badgering, all in an effort to trip the person up.  How many young people cave just to shut the officer up and tell them want they want to hear?  Even if it is self incriminating and not true?  I would be many. 

    Over the past twenty years I went from someone who held police officers to a higher standard, and gave them a great deal of respect – to someone who finds they lie more often than the very people they arrest, but have a self perception:  “it’s okay cause I’m a cop.”  I’m sure there are many good cops and many good prosecutors out there, and I am positive there are many of both who should be fired, disbarred, and some jailed themselves.

    8:56 am | October 6, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Chipgiii…
      I’m afraid I share your disappoinment and distrust of our judicial system and policemen.  I’ve had my experience with cops and it was eye-opening and scary. And this was back when I was only 16.  Have you ever passed a couple of cops chatting?  I know they see the worst and are cynical, but still I always think, “Are these guys really the people I have to turn to if I have trouble, need help?!”

      On the other hand, I sure wouldn’t want to be arrested  in Italy!

      10:05 am | October 6, 2011
  • Chris Glass`

    Steve Jobs was a visionary one of those wonderful people ahead of his time and we all benefited from his having been here. He probably packed more in the years he was on earth than most people do in multiple life times.

    Thank God we don’t have to go through a campaign of Palin for President. Michele Bachmann is frightening enough with her edicts. She’d have us living in the dark ages working as slave labor.

    The reality of the Amanda Knox case is that the prosecutor was looking for facts to back up the scenario he had concocted in his head. He’s done this before with other cases that have also been over turned. Amanda’s demeanor at the first trial played right in to his hands. You could see that she believed in the American way of justice and never thought that she might actually be convicted. Italy is a different country than the US and an entirely different justice system. Serving two years of what could have been a much longer jail sentence opened her eyes to the fact that she was no longer back in Kansas so to speak. She was literally fighting for her life and freedom. She is a changed woman for it. I am glad that she was found not guilty but I feel for her family who put their collective financial futures on the line so she could gain that freedom. Let’s not forget that Italy isn’t the only place we have to fight for justice. We have that fight here too at times. I feel for Miss Knox as she will have to live down the character assassination done to by the press and still going on with Nancy Grace of CNN fame.

    11:01 am | October 6, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Chris…

      Unfortunately, Mrs. Palin isn’t taking her trashy family and vanishing.  Maybe she won’t run for prez, but I fear she will never be out of the political waters–commenting, screeching, making trouble.  And the people who love her, still do–passionately.

      11:37 am | October 6, 2011
    • LandofLove

      I suspect that American society being what it is, Miss Knox will make millions on the book deals, interview shows, perhaps a movie, etc. And I wouldn’t doubt that Hugh Hefner is already on Line 1 for her. Lucky for her, she’s young and attractive, which the media will eat up.

      11:44 am | October 6, 2011
  • LandofLove

    Mr. wOw, I agree with you about Steve Jobs. There aren’t too many people who can say that they’ve changed the world.

    11:47 am | October 6, 2011
  • Mr. Wow…S.W.A.K.  How are you?

    Obama and assassinations – I couldn’t agree with you more. I believe what people that think as Rachel Maddow does on this subject need to keep in mind is “what” Anwar did. He renounced his US citizentry. He spoke those dreaded words “Death To America” and then set out to assure just that. Funny how so many are decrying President Obama is “too cerebral” and “not assertive enough” – yet it is HE and HIS administration that are bringing al-Qaeda to it’s knees. He is our commander in Chief and HE is directing our military right now and what they are doing is succeeding. When he’s wrong, I’m all for saying he’s wrong. I have no blind allegience to our President. But on this topic, as far as I can see he is doing everything right.   

    Chris Christie – I KNEW he wouldn’t run and I have been the only one among my inner circle to say that. Everyone thought I was crazy. I knew he wouldn’t run because I saw his hesitancy at running as a whiff of John Edwards. Me thinks there is something in Christie’s past (near or distant) that he KNEW would come out and he wants to keep it under wraps.  The vetting that comes with running for Governor and that of running for president is like day and night. And anyone that has an ego the size of Christie’s……with all the talking heads clamoring for him to run for president….the highest office in the land….and you don’t jump all over it? I am 100% sure he didn’t run because he knows what is in his life and he knows it could not withstand the light shone on it by running.

    Amanda Knox – We will never know whether she is innocent or guilty. I believe if she didn’t have a direct hand in killing Meredith, she does know something about it. The cautionary tale in all of this is behavior and appearances. She supposedly loved and cared for Meredith, yet the next morning after the death of your best friend, you are caught of tape in a lingerie store picking out sexy underwear and kissing and making out in public, spooning with your beau? You have a FaceBook page (or was it Myspace) that is filled with photos and videos of you half naked, making out with men and women, drunk, smoking weed, etc. etc. etc. Yet her family and friends find it offensive that the Italian press labeled her a party girl? 

    I think this is something all young people need to learn a lesson from.

    Anderson Cooper -   Okay Mr. Wow, I agree with you about Anderson and his new show, but “Kathy Griffin hasn’t been funny in years”…..that’s a low blow pal! :-) I love Kathy as much as you love Liz Taylor.   

    Steve Jobs - I too am mourning his loss. I hate seeing anyone die young. And 56 is definitely young in my opinion.  There are people that are starting a 2nd and sometimes 3rd life in their 50′s. But let us look at and marvel at the legacy he leaves behind. He was a trail-blazer.

    Sarah Palin – I couldn’t have said it better myself Mr. Wow, I no longer waste my breath on her. 

    Happy Birthday B!  From a fan of your guy from Wisconsin. From all of what Mr. Wow has ever shared about you via this site, you have a heart as big as your head and patience of a saint – which I can tell is well appreciated. 

    12:01 pm | October 6, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Belinda…

      Great to hear from you!   Actually, I was kind of expecting you on my Ten Commandments post. 
      No point in wrangling over Kathy G.  I think once Hollywood caught on—that inviting her to events was the proverbial serpent at the bosom–her material dried up. I think she was essentially banned.  I know I’m supposed to love her because of all her “my gays” stuff, but…meh. 

      Thank you for your shout out to B.  The man really is a saint.

      2:55 pm | October 6, 2011
    • DC4
      D C

      Belinda Joy — I don’t think ANYBODY could withstand the light anymore.  I know I certainly couldn’t.  I think my daughter could.  I think she attended a party once where there was pot, but she didn’t inhale. 

      4:10 pm | October 6, 2011
      • Jamie
        J G

        Haha, DC..
        I inhaled. Back in the 70′s, but I definitely inhaled. :)

        4:14 pm | October 6, 2011
  • Jamie
    J G

    I know this post won’t be popular, but so what. I’m not running for a popularity contest, so here goes….

    I own a macbook, iPhone, iPad with all the greatest apps imaginable etc. I get it. Steve Jobs was a revolutionary in the world of …. searching…gadgets. And brilliant gadgets they are. The best gadgets in the whole wide world.

    But unless I am wrong, and it turns out he is leaving all of his money, or even a small iota of his money to a cause that was close to his heart, say CANCER, for instance, he wasn’t an exceptional human being. As a matter of fact, (or not, consider it’s from the media) he was horribly unpredictable to work for, was not at all interested in giving back, and just was not that decent of a human being in the way of compassion or empathy.

    But I love iTunes.

    1:36 pm | October 6, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear JG…

      Don’t worry about being popular.  Mr. Wow, the assassin’s best friend doesn’t! 

      I know nothing of Mr. Jobs as friend, father or husband.  For sure he had his faults.  Who doesn’t?   But in knowing nothing, I sure can’t say he “was not that decent a human being.”  You know more, I guess. 

      He was a young man it is a terrible death.  As far as I know he never murdered anybody, so I am going to continue to be sympathetic. 
      I couldn’t live without my iPOD.

      3:01 pm | October 6, 2011
      • Baby Snooks

        The reality is none of these “techno titans” were known for their ethical standards. Most manged to steal from or cheat someone from day one.  Ayn Rand would be proud of all of them. Bill Gates at least manages to give a litlte of his massive fortune away each year. The others? Well apparently not so much. I suspect Warren Buffet is not so proud of all of them.But then he’s not so proud of most of his fellow billionaires who apparently think they can take it with them.
        Sarah Palin may have watched Rick Perry “crash and burn” and decided it might affect her “ratings” on the lecture and book circuit and decided to pass this time. Which is what Rick Perry probably wishes he had. Buried under the proverbial rock as they say. Nasty lttle rock. Which unfortunately reflected a very nasty man despite his protestation that the word “N*****rhead” had been “painted over.” Apparently so. No one is sure, however, of when it was painted over.  He had already lost most of his “lunatic” support with his curious position that we should send all the illegal immigrants back to whereer they came from, most from Mexico, that we should beuld the equivalent of the Berlin Wall along the border and just shoot everyone, and yet at the same time educate all their children including subsidizing their college education. Which sort of left people wondering if he ever stops to think about what he says at any particular moment. Apparently he doesn’t. I doubt he will be governor again. Or anything else. Perhaps he can join American Family Association as a spokesperson. And his wife can join him. Lots of revelations coming out about her. Definitely not First Lady material. Give her a henna rinse and teach her the art of heavy eyeliner and false eyelashes and the two of them could easily beome our next Jim and Tammy Faye.

        I suspect Romney will be the candidate. I will vote for him. But Obama will win. 

        6:57 pm | October 6, 2011
        • Baby Snooks

          Oh, and I forgot to add that he apparently belives some should be allowed to hire illegal immigrants and pretend they didn’t know. Depends on how much the some have given him through the years. He is, well, a mess. We may be financially stable. But stability is many things. Mental stability in particular. 

          And Happy Birthday to Mr B.

          7:24 pm | October 6, 2011
  • Jamie
    J G

    And as for the silver fox, well..any man that can suffer the death of a brother to suicide, the trials and travails of his extremely wealthy parents, and end up reporting from war torn countries, globetrotting literally around the world from New Orleans to Haiti to the Middle East, and buy and renovate an old fire station in NY and live in it is my kind of guy.

    As for his other side, I’m glad he knows how to balance tragedy with a bit of trite and ridiculous comedy.

    I mean, I love those NJ housewives too.

    1:43 pm | October 6, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear JG…

      Look, Anderson is okay, and of course his brother’s death was a terrible thing.  I just think he needs to be one thing or another.  He could be a great newsman or an entertaining, silly girl. 

      I don’t think he is talented enough to be both.  But that is only my humble opinion.  Which means…nothing. 

      3:07 pm | October 6, 2011
  • Jamie
    J G

    Sorry…..Happy Birthday to B.!! :)

    1:45 pm | October 6, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear JG…

      B. says thanks!

      3:08 pm | October 6, 2011
  • Rho

    Happy Birthday B!!

    As for Steve Jobs, he was a genius and left us too early.

    4:28 pm | October 6, 2011
  • Jamie
    J G

    There is no question that Mr. Jobs left us too early and died a horrible death. There is also no question that he can and should be considered maybe the most brilliant innovators of our time.
    He rewired our lives.
    My point is, (unless his estate planning proves otherwise) he was not a philanthropist in any way.
    AND, he was the 11th richest person in the world.
    I believe he will be remembered as the man who re invented our lives. Absolutely.
    But, should we be elevating him to a level of worship for rewiring our lives? Or, should we perhaps put a little more emphasis on someone like Bill Gates, who truly will go down in history for his philanthropy, and rightfully so.

    And yes, I know, I’m not a philanthropist. But I would be if I were the 11th richest person in the world.

    Time will tell…..

    4:41 pm | October 6, 2011
    • Jamie
      J G

      Ok, sorry. I believe my facts are wrong concerning his actual wealth. I just read he was the 42nd richest American. Not the 11th richest in the world.
      You get my point, hopefully.

      4:47 pm | October 6, 2011
    • B.eadle

      Last I checked…we are allowed to leave our money to whomsoever we select. If you want to leave a billion dollars to a charity then by all means do so. If he chose not to do that he has that right. Don’t be so petty. It was his money. He earned it. He can do what he wants with it. You have no right to place demands on funds he earned by his hard work. Could he have done philanthropic great things with it, yeah, probably, but he elected not to. he had that right. Are you by chance related to the Jackson family? Just keep bleedin’ them dry for your own pet projects.

      12:30 pm | October 7, 2011
      • Jamie
        J G

        Last I checked, I am not a member of the Jackson Family.

        No need to get so riled up.
        My opinion is simply my own bumbling opinion, but last I checked, I had a right to have one.

        And for what it’s worth, which is really nothing, I feel tremendous compassion and empathy for his surviving family. We really did lose a great icon of our time.

        12:44 pm | October 7, 2011
        • Baby Snooks

          He was a very rich man. Who shared little of it. He was a very brilliant man. Brilliant enough to take credit for the brilliance of others. As he did with his first “innovation” at Atari in which he cheated someone on a commission from Atari. For an
          “innovation” that wasn’t even his. It was someone else’s. His future partner in Apple. Who wrote about it. As did others  And as others probably will. About other things as well. He was many things. Mainly  a vulture capitalist. And probably more vulture than capitalist. Not my idea of a role model in any case. He dfied of a rare cancer. He lived longer than most do. He also had more money than most which allowed him to pay for treatment. others cannot afford. It was a tragedy that he died so young. But the media “praise” is a little too much. We have odd “heroes” in this country. Most are really more “zeroes” than “heroes” but they have lots of zeroes at the end of the “account balances” so we think they are “great men.” Great men are not always nice men. 

          I have a problem with people who are more generous with their mouth than their checkbook. He wasn’t even generous with his mouth.

          8:29 pm | October 7, 2011
    • DC4
      D C

      You aren’t a philanthropist because you aren’t growing money on trees in your yard?  Well that’s the stupidest reason I ever heard of not to donate to charity.  There’s nothing that says you have to have a certain amount of money in the bank to donate it to others. 

      1:47 pm | October 7, 2011
      • Jamie
        J G

        Yes, You are right.
        And last I checked, I am right with the world. I believe in giving back, whether it’s a simple smile, holding the door for someone, serving food to the homeless, donating clothing, volunteering in my hospital, or just somehow, paying the goodwill forward.
        ~Peace to all~

        1:58 pm | October 7, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    Mr. W,

    Not smart enough to know nuthin’ ’bout Christie or Cooper or Palin or Obama but I do know this: Thomas Jane – hubba squared! (You can FedEx him right over.)


    6:50 pm | October 6, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Dr. Sugar  (I like to think of you in “Suddenly Last Summer” mode)

      Mr. Jane, tho not a subject in this post, has been twice married and has a child.  He’s all grown up now. No more hustling on Santa Monica Blvd.  But if I was able to Fed Ex him, honey—what makes you imagine your address would be on the package?   I’m very selfish.   Just ask B.

      xxxmr. w

      8:37 pm | October 6, 2011
      • rick gould

        Maybe someone should take a “Chance” on Thomas Jane, playing Nicole Kidman’s “Sweet Bird of Youth” on Broadway ;)

        12:32 am | October 7, 2011
        • Mr. Wow


          You clever, clever guy!  Great idea!   He’s a little mature for the role, but not by much. 

          9:52 am | October 7, 2011
  • Paul Smith

    A gay who doesn’t count Kathy G. as an aunt must be as much a traitor as Anwar. Heroism and genius is so rare we hardly know what it means any more. Mr. Jobs was darling for investors, but creating slick gadgets to make the world more feverish hardly counts in my book. Anderson Cooper who pretends to be an anchor between trips to Brazil is a joke, but not a better joke than say, the Rev. Al. Sharpton. Look out for drones from Madonna.

    7:00 pm | October 6, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Paul…

      She’s not my Auntie Kathy!  Just saying “my gays” endlessly doesn’t do it for me.  But I am in the minority on that one.  All my gays seem to love her. 

      8:40 pm | October 6, 2011
  • Tee Zee

    I’m so glad Ailes and crew have abandoned Sarah and her empty tea bag, but there has been too much past vitriol on this site so nothing more than a fond farewell is necessary.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to Apple now that Steve Jobs has gone to greater reward…there goes all the good toys!

    Amanda Knox has a fascinating history to watch being played out, I wish her well.

    Happy Birthday to B!!!

    7:06 pm | October 6, 2011
  • On Chris Christie’s remarks on homosexuals being born that way, he already gets bonus points from me on being the rare politician who will speak – gasp – common sense or truth, instead of religious bigotry or just a lame remark designed to avoid answering the question, lest religious bigots call fire down upon their heads and then not vote for them.

    I would dearly love any candidate who, when challenged on statements like, “homosexuals are not sinners, they are born that way,” or perhaps, “why, of course I believe in the theory of evolution! I believe in science!” – would stand fast and cheerfully and eloquently reaffirm those statements. After all, the true test of a diplomat is that they can tell you to go to hell while making you anticipate the trip.

    7:41 pm | October 6, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Lila…

      Yes, and maybe he just didn’t want to be– in  a run for president,–challenged on that statement.  Or on his record as gov of NJ which hasn’t been so terrif.

      But, yeah—I like that he said it, of course.   And that he didn’t have to walk it back, as a presidential candidate, looking to placate the Right. 

      8:30 pm | October 6, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    (Mrs Venable: Strictly speaking, his life was his occupation.)

    Mr. W,

    I’m amenable to a time-share…



    9:02 pm | October 6, 2011
  • On Al-Awlaki: due process is great, but it sort of implies that someone is within your jurisdiction. If they are not in your jurisdiction, you can’t arrest them. And if the country they ARE in either refuses or is powerless to arrest and extradite? As it happens, Yemen was fully on board and actually provided us not only with permission to conduct the strike, but with the information needed to do it.

    As for the US citizen status – well, two things: 1) we are at war with Al-Qaeda, a non-state organization that transcends borders; and 2) Al-Awlaki was an Al-Qaeda planner and propagandist. The underwear bomber and the Fort Hood shooter were both connected to, and inspired by, him.

    Now for the conduct of wars: 1) Even conventional wars routinely cross borders: Germany invaded Belgium in 1940 to circumvent the Maginot Line to reach France, its target; the US carried out operations in Cambodia in order to strike at Viet Cong who were hiding over the border; we have routinely carried out operations on Pakistan’s soil in OEF. When the enemy is a nonstate actor like Al-Qaeda, we expect the war to cross borders that much more. 2) An American fighting on the battlefield against the US is fair game. John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” was captured, then was wounded while participating in a prison uprising that killed US citizens and Red Cross workers, all BEFORE revealing his citizenship. Once his citizenship was revealed, and because he was under our control, he was shifted into the Justice system and is now in prison for treason. If Yemen had been able to capture Al-Awlaki and extradite him, or if he had been in Afghanistan and we had captured him, he could have had his due process. But he chose to remain on the battlefield, outside our jurisdiction, untouchable by the US Justice Dept, and wage war against the US as a member of Al-Qaeda. That makes him an enemy combatant in my book.

    I am NOT in favor of a lot of the calls that DoD lawyers and the DOJ have made in recent years. NOT in favor of Guantanamo, of torture, of rendition to third-party countries. But I agree with this call.

    9:28 pm | October 6, 2011
  • On Amanda Knox, I also have no idea of her guilt or innocence. The forensic evidence was clearly botched beyond belief, but there are other kinds of evidence, and there was the bizarre behavior, the false accusation against the bartender, the changing stories under questioning. Some experienced prosecutors who have looked at the details think she was a scared college student who should never have been charged; others think she was lying, duplicitous, and should have been.

    But you are right about the moral of the story in a very basic way: wherever one travels, it serves us well to learn as much of the language as we can, even if it’s only a few polite phrases and “do you speak English?” More important, PAY ATTENTION to the people around you and do as they do. Ms. Knox did not, and that little detail greatly contributed to depriving her of four years of freedom.

    Is it right that someone was locked up for being a stupid kid? No, not by our standards, but unfortunately one is subject to local laws, local customs, local opinions, and the US Constitution will not save us when we are in another sovereign country.

    9:46 pm | October 6, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Lila…

      And for heaven’s sake, don’t go “hiking” along dangerous foreign borders.  (Although when those two got back here and started talking, my sympathy level nosedived.)

      10:02 am | October 7, 2011
      • Mr. Wow, I second that, 100%.

        10:20 pm | October 8, 2011
  • For B: Happy Birthday!

    9:46 pm | October 6, 2011
  • DC4
    D C

    Please extend my congratulations to “B”.  B is for Birthday, by the way. 
    I too am strangely affected by the death of Steve Jobs.  I knew it was coming, having had a front row seat to too many cancer patients’ struggles.  He fought a good fight.  He changed the world.  I raise my glass in his honor. 
    I’m sorry… who is this Sarah you speak of?  Was she anybody important? 
    Chris Christie looks like a fun guy to have a beer or two with.  He made the right choice, because running for President, much less BEING the President, kind of takes all the fun out of a person’s life.  Why would ANYBODY want to do it?  They’d have to be nuts.
    To be blunt, Superbowl halftime shows make me ill.  As one has marched many, many miles in a band uniform (junior high, high school AND college), I say, leave it to the professionals to entertain us at halftime. 

    1:43 pm | October 7, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear DC….

      I have often wondered about those who wish to be president—or think about being president.  Why?!!!!!!!   They have to be nuts.  (You have phrased it correctly.)  So, how scary for us that crazy people want to rule our lives.

      It will be interesting to see how Mr. Romney handles it once he’s in.  To what CrazyTown will he take us?   (I just don’t think Obama can win it.)

      1:58 pm | October 7, 2011
      • Baby Snooks

        People today who want to be president have a hidden agenda. Usually it’s hidden in the back pocket. Obama has proven that to me beyond a shadow of a doubt. But he will be elected. Romney is in. Herman Cain, who was beginning to look attractive, mainly because, well, because he’s black and the Republcans would LOVE to have a black man run to distance itself from the racism of some in the party, well, the racism of the Tea Party which strangely has LOVED Harman Cain although probably for the same reason as eryone else, “lookie here, we nominated a black man so we are not racists,” “but he’s gone the way of Pastor Perry. Herman Cain not only insulted Mitt Romney by referring to the Mormon Church as a cult but insulted Orrin Hatch. And that is a cardinal sin. A big, big no-no. He is now, well, roadkill.

        Romney will get the votes. But there will probably be a deal. And he will probably select a “moderate” Tea Party/Fundamentalist Christian type as his runnning mate. Whom everyone will then discover, as they discovered with Sarah Palin, is not so moderate.  And in fact is a raging lunatic like Sarah Palin.  Which will send Democrats, and quite a few Republicans, to the polls to vote for Obama. Which probably was the plan to begin with when it became obvious Hillary Clinton could not challenge Obama and Jeb Bush wouldn’t get one vote.  The dynasty must be preserved. Which probably is wise. The chlldren including the Clintons and the Obamas must be watched carefully and kept happy and none of the lapdogs are housebroken. As we see each time Kay Bailey Hutchison decides to run for another term in the Senate in order to run again for governor of Texas. She probably will run again. Now that Pastor Perry has become roadkill.  And possibly win.  Although of course as she did in 2006 she will wait until everyone else has announced. And then demand they withdraw from the race. And then point out the Bushes are behind her. Which they are. When they walk her.

        It’s sort of like having our own royal family.  And as someone pointed out the other day, at least we don’t have Charles and Camilla to look forward to.  

        9:01 pm | October 7, 2011
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