Monday, March 31, 2014

'Opening Day' gives our friends in Venezuela a chance to talk Cabrera rather than Maduro

(My new American Thinker post)


Like Cubans, Venezuelans are "baseball crazy". 
I had my personal introduction to their passion when I was in a taxi in Caracas a few years ago.  The driver had the Caribbean World Series on the radio and he was complaining about the national team under performing. 

At one point, David Concepcion, the great Reds shortstop who should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, popped out with men on base and the driver just went crazy screaming "Idiota."

It reminded me of my parents' stories about the Cuban team in the Caribbean World Series of the 1950's.  The tournament brought together the winter league champs from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico and Dominican Republic. 

This tournament made the Red Sox-Yankees games look calm. There were huge crowds, music, cigars, rum and language that your mom would object to.  That's Caribbean baseball!

Opening Day 2014 comes at a very difficult time for Venezuela.  The country is in chaos.  The saddest case of the daily violence was the recent killing of Adriana Urquiola, a young pregnant woman.  (Photo via Fausta's Blog)

We also read that President Putin is looking to Latin America for "expansion," an "in your face Obama" move. I guess that President Putin did not get the memo that Russia is "a regional power"

Don't blame our friends in Venezuela if they put politics aside and talk about Miguel Cabrera's new $292 million contract.   My guess is that most Venezuelans are very proud of Cabrera and all of the great players in the majors, like Elvis Andrus the wonderful shortstop with the Rangers.

I can hear the arguments down in Caracas: "Cabrera is the best but he is not Aparicio".   

Yes, Aparicio is still #1 down in Venezuela.

The Venezuela crisis has hit Cuban Americans very hard in the US. We know why they demonstrate.  We can see ourselves in those streets of Caracas.

Hopefully, Venezuelans will take a little time off today to watch baseball.  Or as my father said, no one in the Caribbean talks politics during a baseball game!

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


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Baseball had a rich history in pre-Castro Cuba


Pre-Castro Cuban baseball was a gem.  

My parents tell me stories of the Habana-Almendares rivalry or those great tournaments known as "La serie del Caribe".

Obviously, there are great Cuban players today.  Nevertheless, it's fun to read about that rich history of Cuban baseball in "The pride of Havana".... 


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Baseball opening day means reading "The Boys of Summer" by Roger Kahn

As we celebrate opening day across North America, we remember baseball history.

The Brooklyn Dodgers were one of the greatest franchises of all time.  They had a unique relationship with the fans.

Let me recommend a great book, "The boys of summer" by Roger Kahn


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Sunday, March 30, 2014

A great American hero died this week

(My new American Thinker post)


US troops finally left Vietnam this week in 1973.   Many of us still remember the POWs, like John McCain, returning home after spending years in Hanoi. 

Sadly, Vietnam fell to the communists two years later, in large part because the Congress cut the funding and let the North overrun the South

One of those men getting off the POW plane in 1973 was Jeremiah A. Denton who passed away this week.  

His story is worth sharing with all, especially the young:
"In July 1965, a month after he began flying combat missions for the U.S. Navy in Vietnam, the Mobile native was shot down near Thanh Hoa.
He was captured and recalled his captivity in a book titled “When Hell Was in Session.”  
“They beat you with fists and fan belts,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1979. “They warmed you up and threatened you with death. Then they really got serious and gave you something called the rope trick.”
The use of ropes — to cut off circulation in his limbs — left him with no feeling in his fingertips and intense muscle spasms, he said.  
Some of the most severe torture came after the 1966 interview, in which he confounded his captors by saying that he continued to fully support the U.S. government, “and I will support it as long as I live.”  
“In the early morning hours, I prayed that I could keep my sanity until they released me. I couldn’t even give in to their demands, because there were none. It was pure revenge,” Denton wrote. 
The tape was widely seen, and U.S. intelligence experts had picked up the Morse Code message.
But Denton theorized later that his captors likely figured it out only after he was awarded the Navy Cross — the second-highest decoration for valor — for the blinks in 1974. 
He said his captors never brought him out for another interview. But with the war’s end drawing closer, he was released in February 1973."
Mr Denton had a political career serving as a US Senator from Alabama.  He was the first Republican elected in Alabama since Reconstruction.  

Denton's political career was closely tied to President Reagan's political fortunes.  He was elected in the Reagan landslide of 1980 and then defeated when the GOP lost the US Senate in 1986.   

Mr Denton, and so many others who served in Vietnam, were simple men who endured hardship and served the US with honor.  They are just the latest heroes in a time line that goes back to Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, D-Day and more recently, Iraq.

These men really stand out, specially when compared with some of the lightweights serving in public office today. They make us proud of being US citizens.

RIP Mr Denton and we salute your service! 

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


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Baseball 2014 and a few predictions

Baseball is here and so are my predictions.

In the National League, I see Washington, St. Louis and Los Angeles winning their divisions.  The wild card will be a 5-team battle:  Atlanta,  Pittsburgh, San Diego, Cincinatti and the New York Mets have a shot with their young pitching.

In the American League, I see Detroit easily winning the Central.  However, the East and West will be very competitive.  The divisions will not be settled until the last week.

I see Tampa Bay winning the East and Texas the West.    The wild card will come from Seattle, Oakland, Boston, New York and Kansas City.

Again, anything can happen in the AL East and West.  No team is running away with those two divisions.  It will be one of the most exciting Septembers in recent memory because nothing will be settled until the last weekend.

We spoke with Dave Michaels about the 2014 season:


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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Very sad to hear about Noel Sheppard's death


Just learned that Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters passed away from cancer.  He was 53.

Brent Bozell broke the news hours ago:

"Our Noel Sheppard passed away yesterday (Friday) morning at about 5:00 AM. Say a prayer for the soul of a man we'll all miss professionally, and many, many of us will miss personally as well. Noel was not just a force of nature, he was a very good man.

How quickly this all happened. 

Just two months ago, Noel wrote about suddenly getting cancer at 53 called "Cancer's Ray of Hope." 

Nine days ago, he wrote us and said he was interested in writing about his "progress" -- and he put "progress" in quotes. We were all wishing for better news, and really couldn't imagine this was a battle that would end this way.
Noel joined us and was introduced to us by Matt Sheffield at the founding of NewsBusters in 2005, and he became our Associate Editor. It must be said that no blogger here was more prolific and more popular. We'll have more to say in the coming days."
RIP Noel.   We loved your work!

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Baseball 2014 will be very different without Tim McCarver calling games

It will be very different watching baseball in 2014.  

Tim McCarver retired after a long and successful career as a player and then broadcaster.  He was the best in my book.   



McCarver was the Cardinals' catcher when that team played in the 1964, 1967 &  1968 World Series.  One of his best moments was catching Bob Gibson's 17 K's in game 1 of the 1968 series against Detroit:



Speaking of books, Tim McCarver wrote some good ones about baseball:


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Two of my favorite baseball movies

Over the next few days, we will get to watch a few baseball movies.  Frankly, there are a lot of good ones, from "The pride of the Yankees" to "Field of dreams" to the more recent release of "Moneyball".  

Let me recommend two of my favorites.   

"61" is a very good movie about Roger Maris hitting 61 home runs in the 1961 season.  He faced a lot of adversity that year and performed admirably.

"Eight men out" is about the 1917 Chicago White Sox and the money scandal.  

Here are the two:



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The amazing Cy Young was born on this day in 1867


The amazing Cy Young was born on this day in 1867.  

Young won 511 games, completed 749 with a 2.63 ERA.   

One of his better seasons was 1892:  36-12 with a 1.93 ERA, 453 innings pitched and 48 complete games!

Of course, his name is now synonymous with great pitching.   The Cy Young Award is given each year to the best pitcher in the AL and NL.

We spoke about baseball with Dave Michaels in Saturday's show:


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Why didn't President Obama tell the Europeans to get serious about NATO?

(My new American Thinker post)


President Obama said all of the right things about NATO in his speech on Thursday - that we will act under Article 5 to protect members of the alliance.   

However, he forgot to tell the Europeans that they are not spending enough money or carrying their weight in the alliance.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial, there are too many NATO members not living up to their commitment:
"The combined GDP of NATO's 28 member states tops $30 trillion.
Yet with few exceptions, most notably Poland, NATO defense expenditures have declined since the end of the Cold War. The nearby table shows the relative defense spending in 2013 for some key NATO countries as a share of GDP.
Only four members—the U.S., U.K., Greece and Estonia—spent at least 2% of GDP on defense.  
At 1.9%, France last year fell short of the 2% that is supposed to be the technical requirement for membership. Mr. Rasmussen's Denmark spent 1.4% of its GDP on defense, Angela Merkel's Germany 1.3%, Italy 1.2%, and Spain 0.9%.
This is what a country spends if it thinks its main security threat is Belgium.  
And the trend is down, as a majority of NATO members reduced defense spending in 2013.
Among the more drastic defense cutters last year were Canada (7.6%), Slovenia (8.7%), Italy (10.3%), Hungary (11.9%) and Spain (11.9%)."
In other words, NATO is not much an alliance. 

I don't expect President Obama to tell the Europeans that the welfare state is draining their economies and creating chronic unemployment.   I do expect our commander in chief to remind the Europeans that they are not paying their full membership dues.

Here is the bottom line: It's tough to tell a mother in Kansas that her son should defend countries that won't even live up to their agreements.

P. S. You can hear our special Europe show with Michael Prade and Rosine Ghawji Plus follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


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Congratulations to João Cerqueira


Let's congratulate Joao for winning another award:

"Award-Winner in the Fiction: Multicultural category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News"


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Friday, March 28, 2014

1984: Does any one remember that the Colts left Baltimore on this day 30 years ago?

The Baltimore Ravens have been a very successful franchise.  They won 2 Super Bowl since the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996.

However, Baltimore used to have another team, the legendary Colts that so many of us remember from our younger days.   

On this day in 1984, the Colts moved from Baltimore to Indianapolis.  Mr Irsay, the owner who had bought the team in 1972, had the movers pack up the offices in the morning while the city slept.  It was a bit "sneaky" to say the least.  

Wonder how many fans remember in Baltimore?  At the same time, wonder if any are sorry that the Colts left?  The truth is that the Ravens have won the hearts of Baltimore by playing championship football!



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Will Brazil's leaders remember what happened in Mexico during the 1968 Olympics?

(My new American Thinker post)


Back in 1968, Mexico hosted the Olympics and then The World Cup in 1970. 

It was a moment of tremendous pride for Mexico.  It was an effort to introduce a modern Mexico to the world.  

To their credit, the Mexican government built new modern facilities for the tourists.    They promoted modernity and the incredible native heritage of our southern neighbor.

For the most part, it was a great success with the amazing Pele leading Brazil to a Cup victory. 

The 1968 Olympics were even bigger, although some Americans may recall that a couple of US runners raised their fists during the National Anthem.  It was also the games that introduced 19 year old George Foreman tothe boxing world.

In a few weeks, Brazil will host the World Cup and then the Olympics in 2016.

Let's hope that Brazil's leaders study something that happened in Mexico a few weeks before the Olympics, also known as the massacre of Tlatelolco Plaza:
"On Oct. 2, 1968, 10 days before the opening of the Summer Olympics in Mexico City, police officers and military troops shot into a crowd of unarmed students. Thousands of demonstrators fled in panic as tanks bulldozed over Tlatelolco Plaza.
Government sources originally reported that four people had been killed and 20 wounded, while eyewitnesses described the bodies of hundreds of young people being trucked away. Thousands of students were beaten and jailed, and many disappeared. 
It's obvious that the government overreacted no matter how reckless and irresponsible the demonstrators were. We don't know for sure but somebody fired a few shots. The authorities acted in "self defense" claiming that somebody shot at the soldiers from one of the buildings.  Nobody really knows but there were dead bodies all over.

Who authorized soldiers to be armed with "real bullets" in the middle of such a tense situation?  I've never understood that.  Panic plus real bullets can often lead to dead people.

The bottom line of this massacre is that it poisoned Mexican politics.  It gave the left a rallying cry and an issue that they still exploit today.   It was also an ugly stain on President Diaz-Ordaz, a reasonably responsible leader who deserved better.

Now, let's go to Brazil.

Over the last few months, Brazil has seen even bigger demonstrations than the ones seen in Mexico, 1968.  The BBC reported about the latest incident in Rio, the site of various World Cup games including the final game:
"The government in Brazil says it will send federal troops to Rio de Janeiro to help deal with a spate of violent attacks targeting the city's police.
The decision came after the governor of Rio de Janeiro state, Sergio Cabral, asked President Dilma Rousseff for government support ahead of the football World Cup in June.
On Thursday, three police bases in the city were attacked by suspected gangs.
Four police officers have been killed since February in similar attacks.
The attacks on police in Brazil's second largest city have heightened concerns about law and order ahead of the World Cup, which begins on 12 June. Seven World Cup matches, including the final, will be played in Rio.
Mr Cabral discussed the violence with President Rousseff in the capital, Brasilia, after Thursday's unrest in the northern Rio favela, or shanty town, of Manguinhos.
Police vehicles were set on fire and the police unit's commander was shot in the leg.
Rio's authorities have been trying to rid the city's favelas of drug dealers.
"It is clear that criminals want to weaken our policy of pacification and take back territories which were in criminal hands for decades," Mr Cabral said ahead of his meeting.
"The state will not back down. The public may be sure we shall act," the governor said.
The authorities in Brasilia did not give say how many federal troops would be sent to Rio or when they would be deployed.
Rio police have installed more than 30 bases in favelas in the past five years to drive out drug gangs.
Correspondents say murders have declined and the number of shootouts has dropped, but residents have often accused the police of using heavy-handed tactics.
The BBC's Julia Carneiro in Rio says the recent deaths among the security forces have prompted some groups to express solidarity with police and their families.
Rio de Janeiro is to host South America's first Olympic Games in 2016 as well as this year's World Cup."
There is a huge difference between Mexico 1968 and Brazil 2014.   

First, the Brazil demonstrations are bigger and over issues like taxes to pay for the Cup & Olympics plus crony capitalism; and, second, every person in Brazil will have a phone to send pictures or videos to the world instantly. (We've seen some of that in Venezuela)

It's true that governments have to control unruly crowds and protect citizens from firebombs or looting.  At the same time, let's hope that the Brazilian government understands that some demonstrations are out to provoke a massacre.  They will test the police and soldiers.  Let's hope that no one has real bullets, as was the case in Mexico 1968. 

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


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The Rangers will give the ball to a lot of young pitchers next week

No one likes to hear of injuries, specially to talented pitchers in your starting rotation. 

However, the injuries are what they are and the new reality will put the Rangers' farm system to a big test.

Evan Grant discusses this in a new post:

"The Texas Rangers’ opening day starting rotation will not feature Yu Darvish. It will not feature comeback kids Colby Lewis or Matt Harrison. It will not feature a single member of the 2013 opening day rotation.


What it will feature: A heavy emphasis on scouting and player development.
On a hectic day in which the Rangers’ spring training campus become more of a train depot than a clubhouse, the club closed the Arizona portion of the spring training schedule by announcing a starting rotation of Tanner Scheppers, Martin Perez, Robbie Ross, Joe Saunders and … Nick Martinez.
This came moments after general manager Jon Daniels announced that Darvish’s sore neck isn’t a long-term concern but will send him to the disabled list to start the season and that the Rangers were tossing recycling project Tommy Hanson onto the compost heap.
Instead, Scheppers, a setup man last year, will get the opening day start against Cliff Lee. He’ll become the first pitcher since 1981 and only the second since the end of World War II to make his first start on opening day. The other guy was Fernando Valenzuela, and the pomp didn’t seem to overwhelm him.
Scheppers will be followed by Perez, who began last year in the minors; Ross, another bullpen convert; Saunders, a veteran journeyman signed two weeks into camp after spending 2013 with Seattle and Martinez, who is 23, has exactly four starts above Class A and pitched all of 21/3 innings in the major league camp this spring. And two of those were on Tuesday.
If you are counting, four of those five are guys the Rangers discovered and developed. For an organization trying to emphasize that ideal in building a pitching staff, the numbers pop."
Yes, the numbers do pop!    Let's hope that the catcher's mitt pops too!

Logic tells you that most of these young guys will go back to the bullpen or minors when Darvish, Harrison & Holland return.   At the same, it won't be the first time in baseball history that a young guy takes an opportunity and runs with it.

I can't wait to see Scheppers and Ross take the mound.  I have a good feeling that fans will be happy with their output.  They have great arms and a great pitching coach in Mike Maddux!



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(Babalu post) Happy # 24 to TV Marti



On this day in 1990, TV Marti was born:
"The U.S. government begins the operation of TV Marti, which broadcast television programs into communist Cuba. "
TV Marti's mission is to bring news to the Cuban people.   It was born a few years after Radio Marti.  We congratulate all of our Cuban friends in the US for making the broadcasts possible.
I don't know if TV Marti reaches as many Cubans in the island as Radio Marti does.   My guess is that more Cubans have access to a radio than TV, specially given the blackouts.   At least, that's what I've heard from Cubans who've left the island recently!
Nevertheless, happy # 24 to TV Marti!

------------------------------------------------------

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Maybe the 'uninsured' want to stay 'uninsured'

(My new American Thinker post)


The Obama administration just changed the ACA again, as reported by Fox News:
"The Obama administration will grant extra time to Americans who say they are unable to enroll in health care plans through the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline, in a decision that swiftly drew Republican ridicule.  
All consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will now have until about mid-April to ask for an extension." 
Will it matter?  Probably not!

The ACA has a bigger problem than "computer glitches" or "high deductibles,"

In other words, the uninsured are not rushing to get insured.  Wasn't getting the "uninsured" insured one of the big reasons for passing this law?

The biggest news is that "the uninsured" are OK with it.  Again, how do you explain this Kaiser Poll via TIME?   Please read:
"The Kaiser poll, conducted March 11-17, also found that 50% of uninsured adults plan to remain without health coverage, despite the law’s new exchanges and federal subsidies to reduce the cost of premiums.
Two-thirds of the uninsured are aware Americans must have insurance or pay fines, while just 57% realize the law provides the subsidies, according to the poll."
Translation:  Some people in the US just don't care!  Sorry for being harsh but we've been bombarded by ObamaCare ads, speeches and news coverage. 

What planet are these people living on?  Heck even Jon Stewart and the late night comedians have been talking ObamaCare.

For years, the left has presented the "uninsured" as poor victims of "for profit" insurance companies, layoffs or expensive policies.  Yes, some people are indeed victims of bad policies or unfortunate employment terminations.  However, it looks like many are just "uninsured" and OK with it.

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Will demonstrations spoil The World Cup in Brazil?

The World Cup is a couple of months away and soccer fans are excited all over the world, specially in "futbol crazy" Brazil.

However, it looks like we will see demonstrations and much discontent with the government in Brasilia.  In other words, Brazilians are not happy, as the BBC reports:

"The government in Brazil says it will send federal troops to Rio de Janeiro to help deal with a spate of violent attacks targeting the city's police.     The decision came after the governor of Rio de Janeiro state, Sergio Cabral, asked President Dilma Rousseff for government support ahead of the football World Cup in June.
On Thursday, three police bases in the city were attacked by suspected gangs.
Four police officers have been killed since February in similar attacks.
The attacks on police in Brazil's second largest city have heightened concerns about law and order ahead of the World Cup, which begins on 12 June. Seven World Cup matches, including the final, will be played in Rio."
Let's hope that Brazil can contain the protests by listening to what many people are saying.  They are complaining about taxes and a very bad case of  Brazilian "crony capitalism" that takes care of those industrialists who support the government.  

Furthermore, prices are very high, specially for low income Brazilians.

Click here for our Latin America roundup with Fausta Wertz.  It follows our first segment discussion of "Cuba today" with Orestes Matacena.

Here is Wednesday's show:




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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Removing Maduro may be the only way to save Venezuela

(My new American Thinker post)

The big news from Caracas is that 3 generals were arrested in Venezuela:
"The unidentified generals were in contact with opposition politicians and "were trying to get the Air Force to rise up against the legitimately elected government," Maduro told a meeting of South American foreign ministers.
"This group that was captured has direct links with sectors of the opposition and they were saying that this week was the decisive week," Maduro said.
The stunning disclosure -- the first known significant threat from within Maduro's government -- comes amid a growing crackdown on the president's opponents after more than six weeks of street protests that have left at least 34 dead."
My guess is that they won't be the last 3 to get such an idea!  I have to believe that there are many Venezuelans in the armed forces who see what is going on in their country. 

Venezuela is in chaos, as Rafael Osío Cabrices tells us:
"The violent demonstrations that have rocked Venezuela for weeks are threatening to wipe out what little democracy is left here after 15 years of systematic erosion by the state.
The government of Nicolás Maduro has responded with massive military force, raiding offices and houses without judicial orders, imprisoning civilians in military compounds and applauding the killing of protesters by paramilitary groups."
The problem is that the Maduro government is not legitimate.  It was elected by stretching the rules and controlling the media and dissent.   The country is bitterly divided and it's hard to see how the anti-Maduro forces will calm down and respect his rule.

My hope is that the military leadership restores order, tells people to go back to work and supervises honest elections as soon as possible.

Don't get me wrong.  I don't like to see democratically elected governments overthrown or pushed aside by the military.   

We saw too much of that in Latin America in the 20th century.  It usually replaced civilians with bad military men. Can you say Argentina in the early 1980s?  Remember how a military "junta" got Argentina in a war with the UK over Falklands to distract people from inflation and a lousy economy? 

However, Venezuela's elections were not honest and its rulers do not respect those who disagree with them.

Something has to happen and replacing Maduro may be the first step to restore order. 

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


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Cuban-American, Dancing On The Hyphen by Amarilys Gacio Rassler

The Cuban American experience is very unique.  Like Amarilys, I am part of that generation that came here as kids, grew up in the US and has been going back and forth between two neat cultures.

In this book, you will meet Amarilys' family, grandfather, her love of cooking and our Cuban American story.

I should add that Amarilys was a "Pedro Pan" kid, or one of the 14,000 unaccompanied children who came to the US in the early 1960s.  She connected with her parents a few years later.

This is a great book for a long weekend, specially if you are looking for something uplifting in this rather negative world.

Please check out this book.   Here is the link to get it!

 You will enjoy it a lot:


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Missing plane coverage an endless stream of speculation

(My new American Thinker)

Like most of you, I feel horrible for the families of the passengers in that Malaysian plane. 

One of them is from our area,  Mr Phillip Wood.  He apparently visited his family a couple of weeks before the tragedy.  Mr Wood is a father and son.  We send our sympathies to his family.

The interest in the story is natural because so many of us fly.  We understand the vulnerabilities of air travel.  In fact, a friend's daughter had taken that same flight two days earlier.

However, the story has gotten out of control - a perfect storm of news outlets that want more and more "breaking news" segments.

My problem with the coverage is that we are just watching speculation.  There is very little information.  We don't really know what happened in the cockpit or whether it was a mechanical problem.

Nobody really knows.  So why so much speculation about this or that?  

My friend Bill Katz, editor of Urgent Agenda, and former newsman, got it right this weekend:
"It was pointed out last night that the section of the Indian Ocean being searched is, even in normal times, a vast junkyard.  There's always debris there.  Unless the searchers can put eyeballs on some of the objects "sighted" by satellite we'll never know if these were chunks of the missing airliner, or stuff that has fallen off ships or dumped as refuse. 
It won't be many days before the battery power runs out on the pingers that sound when a plane goes down.  The search authorities hope they can home in on these pingers before the power goes out.  So far, no luck."
So let's cut back on "the 24/7 speculative stuff" and update audiences when something tangible is known.   Frankly, I fear that it maybe a while before we have a clue of what happened in that 777. 

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Get Putin's attention by reviving the missile defense in Poland

(My new American Thinker post)


President Obama is in Europe and finding confused allies.  Don't expect to see thousands at a rally as we saw in the summer of 2008.

He does have one big card to play.  Of course, it would call on him to reverse a decision from 2009, or the days of the "reset" with Russia.

Rebeccah Heinrichs, an expert on nuclear deterrence and missile defense got it right yesterday:
"In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, several public figures, most notably former Vice President Dick Cheney and Senator Ted Cruz, have called to resurrect a plan to build missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic that President Obama canceled in 2009.
They’re on to something.  
The proposed missile defense sites would have protected the U.S. and Europe from Iranian missiles. They were comprised of 10 large interceptors (think bullets) that were to be placed in Poland – too close, too big and too few to affect the Russian arsenal.
Accompanying radar in the Czech Republic would have helped those interceptors “see” a long-range missile launched from Iran and would then shoot at it.  
Our allies mostly wanted the site for reasons unrelated to Iran. Poland, fearful of Russian attack and outright invasion, wanted American troops operating an American system on Polish soil. More importantly, it wanted the U.S. to fulfill its commitment to make this happen even though Russia would object.  
The U.S. had an ultimatum – and by canceling plans to build that missile site, President Obama chose appeasing Moscow over standing with Poland. And in that one decision, the stage was set – not for Russia “reset” but for Russia to undermine the U.S. in several other global challenges, ranging from blocking effective international action in Iran and Syria to invading a sovereign nation – and, if it is not stopped, possibly even members of NATO.  
In other words, Putin won that hand, and several subsequent ones, in this complex poker game that affects global stability.  
As pleasant as it sounds to turn away and live our lives oblivious to what may go on across spans of ocean, it simply isn’t the way the world works."
That's right.  It's time for President Obama to "reverse" himself and put the missiles in Poland and elsewhere. 

He doesn't have to admit the mistake of "the reset" or confirm that he is reversing the 2009 decision.  He can simply do it, rally the Europeans and stand up to Putin with strength.  It's about time! 

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.


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