Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, April 25, 2013

A quick look at the headlines:

  1. U.S. Says It Suspects Assad Used Chemical Weapons (NYT) — U.S. joins Israel in saying this.
  2. Boston suspects ‘targeted New York’ (BBC) — It’s interesting that the BBC is leading with this (so is The Guardian), while you can hardly find it on the NYT main page.
  3. S.C. House passes bill to protect children against parental abuse ( — Every once in awhile, the Legislature does something that makes sense.
  4. Obama calls Bush ‘a good man’ (WashPost) — He sort of had to, since the occasion was the opening of the Bush library, but I thought it worth noting all the same.
  5. ‘Pimp Stick Quezzy,’ Columbia rapper, pleads guilty to prostitution ( — Well, that’s a shock. Some might think he was already sort of pleading guilty when he came up with the monicker.
  6. West Columbia bank robbery suspect arrested waiting on taxi ( — See, this is why we need better public transit. How’s a guy supposed to make a getaway if he has to wait for a cab?

28 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page, Thursday, April 25, 2013

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    It sounds like a “duh” to terminate the parental rights of parents who use drugs illegally. It isn’t. I was guardian ad Litem on a case where mom used a lot of benzodiazepines. She was tranqed up a lot of the time. When I’d visit the home unannounced, a trailer, it was clean, had decent quantities of decent quality food and toilet paper. I went to the kids’ schools, and the only reason the administrators knew about the kids was that they were good students. They were functioning just fine. The alternative was foster care. Why bust up a functioning family because some neighbor dropped a dime on mom, possibly as retribution? These bright line laws, passed in reaction to some awful facts, can end up with plenty of unintended consequences.

    1. Mark Stewart

      Kathryn is right on this. The law sounds sensible. But then I think about what that really means – terminating parental rights. Maybe we just need to start calling it “parental responsibilities” instead?

      That might put everything in a whole new light right there. It sounds like the legislator from Spartanburg is most interested in punishing the parent(s). But it is always the kids who get hurt. Always.

  2. Silence

    Time to see how much cojones the Obama administration has, now that Assad has crossed the red line. Do we have the collective stomach for another ground war?

  3. bud

    There is still considerable doubt as to whether Assad actually has crossed the red line. Either way this is something we should stay out of. Not sure the rebels are any more humanitarian than Assad.

  4. bud

    Actually Silence you have it exactly backwards. If Obama has cajones then he will NOT act in an aggressive militaristic manner. The cowardly thing would be to succumb to the likes of the war mongers and get our military involved in this civil war.

      1. Steven Davis II

        I hear it rivals the porn collection at the William Jefferson Clinton Memorial Library and Massage Parlor.

    1. Bart

      What a relief!!! It could have been an Al Gore presidential library opening with a wing the size of a stadium to house his hypocritical “carbon footprints” from his jets and energy guzzling estate.

  5. Bryan Caskey

    RE: Assad’s Chemical Weapon Use

    I know I’m going to get a lot of push back on this, but so what? The Assad regime has been killing thousands (I repeat, thousands) of people with conventional bullets, bombs, and such. What’s the difference in him killing a couple hundred with some sarin gas? I know that comes across as a little callous, but if we aren’t going to get involved when he’s killing thousands, why is there a huge imperative to do so simply when the method of the killing changes?

    Also, more to the practical side: One group of kill crazy Islamic lunatics (the Assad regime) is killing another group of kill crazy Islamic lunatics (Islamic fundamentalists). We should be so lucky, right?

  6. bud

    Bryan, indeed your characterization of the Syrian people as “crazy Islamic Lunatics” is an offputting over generalization. However, your conclusion, however reached, is correct. We should just stay out of this. Invariably when we intervene in these things it comes back to haunt us later. Remember the Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan? We sided with them against the Russians in the 1970s and lo and behold we ended up with the Taliban. But I will say this if we could help in some humanitarian way I’d have no problem with that.

    1. Silence

      I guess by bud’s reckoning we should have just let the Nazi’s wipe out all the Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Slavs, etc. No sense intervening, since it might possibly come back to haunt us at a later date. Let’s just stay out like we did in Darfur. That is obviously the sensible and strong thing to do.

      1. Phillip

        This doesn’t answer the question of whether we should intervene militarily in Syria, of course, but it is worth noting that the US did not enter WWII to save the Jews, and certainly not the Gypsies or homosexuals. As for intervention in Syria, if that is to happen it must have wide international involvement; the question of whether to intervene is one for a broad community of nations to decide, not the United States alone.

        Fascinating quotes from the article to which Brad linked. One was from the administration statement: “Given the stakes involved, and what we have learned from our own recent experience, intelligence assessments alone are not sufficient…only credible and corroborated facts that provide us with some degree of certainty will guide our decision-making.” The timing coinciding with the opening of the Bush library is eerie.

        And winner of the Unintentional Use of Irony Award goes to GOP Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, who in the same article is quoted as saying “It is important that we read the intelligence as it is laid out, not as we would like it to be.”

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Ah, but here’s the moral conundrum…

          We could get the participation, or at least the endorsement, of a “broad community of nations.” But the Russians and Chinese might still protect the Assad regime from U.N. action.

          So… whatever course is deemed best to follow in an attempt to stop the use of these agents, you’re left with a “coalition of the willing,” or inaction. Inaction, of course, favors those who want to keep doing what they’re doing to the people of Syria.

          What then is the moral course?

    2. Bryan Caskey

      However, your conclusion, however reached, is correct. -bud

      Stop the presses. Bud and I have reached an agreement on this issue.

      When bud and I agree on something (I think this may be a first) that has to be the end of the debate. I mean good gracious, we can’t even agree that “The Godfather” is a great movie.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        “The Godfather” is one of the best three movies ever made. The others are “Casablanca” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It sort of depends on my mood which one of the three I put on top.

        On an earlier post, Bud said that he thought “Godfather II” was better. In saying that, he’s in the company of a lot of critics.

        I’ll never agree. The first movie was complete and whole, telling a coherent and compelling story from start to finish.

        Godfather II was to me a compelling film, but in terms of plot was a mishmash. You had the flashback material with DeNiro, which was left over from the book (and is by far the best part of the film) sandwiched in with this tale of continuing descent into evil on the part of Michael.

        The second film is incomplete without the first, and maybe without the much-maligned third. It’s just not a stand-alone work, and for that reason, and others, I just can’t see it as touching the first film in greatness.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          To me, “Godfather II” is flawed in the way “Apocalypse Now” is flawed. It contains this gem within it, by which I mean Vito Corleone’s origin story, starring DeNiro. But then it’s cluttered up with the rest of the film.

          That’s even more so in “Apocalypse Now.” There’s this excellent retelling of “Heart of Darkness,” but it has all these little set pieces hung on it like a Christmas tree, such as the scenes with Robert Duvall (enjoyable, but a digression from the plot) and the USO show with the Playboy bunnies. It would be better, artistically, had it stuck to Conrad.

  7. Mark Stewart


    Yeah, I guess we should be so lucky, so long as we don’t stop to think of the innocent millions who are suffering through the civil war.

    Personally, it seems about time to respond with direct action. Of some sort.

      1. Mark Stewart

        Personally, I would go with a large scale amphibious landing to create a humanitarian “safe” (demilitarized) zone. Probably in the SW and extendng inland along the Lebanon border. But that’s just me; because it doesn’t sound like a military plan.

        I would be good with a significant cruise missle strike on the regime’s command and control facilities, however. As in a targeted one…

  8. Silence

    bud – I’m fine with not getting involved in Syria. The important thing is to keep your word – if you say that there’s a red line, you’d better be ready to back it up, or you lose creditbility.

  9. bud

    I guess by bud’s reckoning we should have just let the Nazi’s wipe out all the Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Slavs, etc.

    Any Nazi reference is intellectually lazy. I won’t make Nazi comparison to someone like Dick Cheney so I expect a similar amount of respect from those who criticize my beliefs and values.

    1. Silence

      OK, I take it back. I’ll restate the sentence: I guess by bud’s reckoning we should have just let the Third Reich wipe out all the….

Comments are closed.