Dan Rattiner's Stories

Latest News: Why Jill Abramson Was Fired, Ukraine and a Wobbly Europe

Jill Abramson just didn’t know her place. A member of the second sex, she’s one of these bossy women who can’t keep her mouth shut, who thinks she knows everything, who gets all emotional when she doesn’t get what she wants and who, let’s face it, doesn’t know how to dress to catch a man. She’s probably can’t throw a ball properly, has no interest in sports and besides all that isn’t much in the good looks department. She was lucky to get this job, God knows, and of course, as you would expect, she just screwed it up. She’s also short—wouldn’t even make a good waitress. I don’t know what’s with these uppity women anyway. They should get back to making babies. Stay in the kitchen. Isn’t it all about shopping? Who needs one of them stamping her little feet and running around with a rolling pin scaring the bejesus out of everybody like this? No wonder she got fired. She got what she deserves. Let this be a lesson to her. Jeez.

The latest news about Ukraine is this. The Europeans are suddenly talking about making friends with the Russians and putting distance between themselves and their old ally, the United States. Putin scared the hell out of them when he invaded Crimea. (Well, not invaded, just stood silently by when a bunch of anonymous soldiers with no shoulder patches came in and took over). Was this another attempt to conquer the world, right in front of them? Was Putin Hitler? No. He’s pulled back and is not trying to do that, after all. Actually Putin’s rather nice. Nice but strict. And it was the Russians who really beat up the Nazis, not those Johnny Come Lately Americans. We had to wait for them until 1944. And who is Obama anyway? Getting all upset about Putin by doing basically what was done with Cuba and saying we should all put sanctions on him, the biggest of which is to stop buying oil from Russia. That’s good for him to say. He’s not buying the oil. We are. Forty percent of Europe’s energy comes from Russia. Will Obama give us his oil to make up for it if we do that? No? Obama is mad at Russia because the Russians are sheltering Snowden. He wants punishment. And we should do it. Well, that’s so 1990s. Tell you what: If Obama orders McDonald’s to shutter all their restaurants in Russia until Putin gives back Crimea, we’d do our part with the oil.

There’s been a change in the attitude of South Korea toward the North in recent days. Last week, when North Korea started firing guns into the bay claimed by both the North and the South, the South Koreans fired back into the bay with their guns.

Before this, when the North fired guns, the South held its fire. North Korea was nuts. If the South fired back, who knew what the North would do? Better to protest diplomatically and courteously to the North. So that’s what they did.

But then came the game changer. Last fall, when their new, young leader Kim Jong Un upped the rhetoric and said he would invade the South and wipe it off the face of the earth, Obama ordered stealth bombers to fly around, swooping over North Korea. These are the planes that can’t be seen and from which we would deliver our massive nuclear blow to the North and the public could look up and there they were. Kim knows how this will turn out if he invades, Obama said. And that shut Kim up. So now when the North fires into the disputed waters, so does the South. Take THAT, Kim.

In late April, Obama paid a trip to the Pacific Rim to make nice to our friends there. He visited Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. But he didn’t visit China. This is like taking your kid to the zoo to visit the monkeys, the penguins, the seals and the buffalo but not the elephant. Everyone had a good time. But elephants never forget.

Last month I heard Texas congressman Joe Barton say of course they want to give the illegal immigrants a road to citizenship, but first they have to further tighten up the border with Mexico. It’s been tightening up, he said, and it is better, but it needs more tightening up and it’s not there yet, but when it is he’ll let us know.

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg introduced a blue dinosaur to the 1.2 billion people around the world who use Facebook. The dinosaur is a pro-active animal that wants to make sure you get all the personal privacy security you want on Facebook. He pops up every once in a while on your computer screen. Looks a little like Barney, the purple dinosaur for kids (but not too much like him, so they won’t get sued), and what he says is “sorry to interrupt. You haven’t changed who can see your posts lately.” And that’s supposed to get you scrambling to erase your arrest record and all the videos of naked people you put up there.

Here’s why a bomb threat temporarily shut down a college graduation ceremony at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut last week. The parents of one of the students had been sending her money to pay her tuition. Let daughter pay the school. It would be good for her to learn to do that. But daughter was not paying the tuition with the money. She had other things she wanted to buy. She wasn’t even going to school. And now it was graduation time and her parents were all excited about coming to commencement to watch her get her diploma. Time to shut that thing down. Daughter was not thinking clearly.

A school kid in Dowagiac Union High School in Michigan called his mother one Friday afternoon because he couldn’t buy lunch in the cafeteria at school because the school wouldn’t let him. He did have cash, but only $2, and pizza was $2.45. His lunch card was also in arrears by $4.95. He’d pay the rest on Monday, he said. The cafeteria worker refused, and since the lunch already was on the tray in front of this kid, the worker made the point of “no lunch for you,” dumping the tray with his lunch on it in the trash. (In fairness to the school, the lunch people are not permitted to give a lunch, having already served it to one kid, to any other kid.) Amanda Keown, the mother of this boy, Dominic, went to the school with $60 to pay not only her son’s overdue amount, but to clear the balances of 18 other students as well so they wouldn’t have to worry about that in the future. No lawsuit lady, she.

An American soldier, Pvt. Bradley Manning, was sentenced last year to 35 years in a military prison for sending sensitive national security documents to WikiLeaks. Manning declared himself a woman, visited a prison doctor who diagnosed gender dysphoria, and last month legally changed his name to Pvt. Chelsea Manning. The Pentagon is now considering transferring Manning from the tough military prison to a civilian prison where she can be given treatment, which may include hormone therapy. The Pentagon cannot deny treatment for a disorder diagnosed by a doctor, but military prisons do not have treatment for transgender disorders. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has given the Army approval to work out the transfer plan.

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