What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 14, 2008


I was out shopping with my wife and so I missed this:

My first question: Where the hell was the Secret Service? Someone throws something at the President of the United States and there's no swarm of security protecting the president? And then the guy throws something else?? Where was the security on that guy?

CNN has the story. In it we find this paragraph:
Throwing shoes at someone, or sitting so that the bottom of a shoe faces another person, is considered an insult among Muslims.
Gee, is there a culture on the planet where throwing a shoe at someone is a show of affection??

I don't care that this involves the worst president ever. I don't care that that journalist was looking to insult the worst president ever. He's still president (and the worst ever) and the Secret Service is supposed to be on guard when stuff like this happens.



Infinonymous said...

I see no genuine security problem here. There was no threat to the president's life or health -- merely to his dignity and image. It would impossible to keep a president insulated from every shoe-wearing person on the planet. It would have been inappropriate to use deadly force against a guy who threw shoes but was unarmed. The footwear-flinger was subdued and apprehended. The president was never in genuine danger. This incident was a half-step above someone shouting "your mother wears army boots."

Perhaps the best way to avoid this situation would have been to refrain from having our president visit Iraq. From the perspective of many Iraqis, throwing a shoe at Mr. Bush -- architect of unspeakable misery in that nation after attacking the wrong country -- would be the least that should be done to him. I see no worthwhile reason for Mr. Bush to be antagonizing the Iraqis by visiting their country. He went to Iraq this week for the same reasons -- stupidity, arrogance, self-aggrandizement -- that generated his decision to attack that country five years ago. Under the circumstances, being forced to look foolish while dodging a well-considered symbolic shoe strikes me as poetic justice.

In Iraq, the shoe-tosser is probably a hero. And the incident occurred in his country. I see nothing the Secret Service or Iraqi security personnel did wrong. Does anyone have a suggestion regarding how they could have handled the situation better? Forced the journalists to ask questions and listen to the President's blather while naked? Shot the journalist (and perhaps a few others for good measure)? Unless someone has a better suggestion, I think those shoes were aimed far better than any arrows slung at the security personnel.

dayvoe said...

Infi -

Perhaps you're right. Certainly you're correct regarding the FIRST shoe. But the guy got to fling his SECOND shoe a few seconds later.

That's the part that bothers me.

Infinonymous said...

The shoe-tosser appeared to have been located in the middle of a throng of journalists. Getting to him in the few seconds that elapsed before a second shoe could be tossed may have been too much to ask of security personnel.

I suspect that room had been rigorously screened for weapons. In this context, tossing a shoe was -- as seemingly intended -- a symbolic expression closer to spitting than shooting.

Bush should not have been in Iraq. What's the point? Let alone a point worthy enough to offset the security risk? As a victory lap, his trip to Iraq is a cynical farce. The shoes were probably the high point of the trip. Perhaps it provided an outlet for Iraqis seething because American soldiers tortured their friends, or because American mercenaries killed their relatives, or because American mishandling of the attempted occupation destroyed their businesses or communities. We might have owed them an opportunity for catharsis.

Summary. No genuine security threat. No blame to assign to security personnel. No reason to be there. Poetic justice.

John K. said...

John K: Bush is worse than Grant for corruption? Bush is worse than Buchanon for failure to act? Bush is worse than Wilson for promising one thing and then doing another? Retake History at the high school level and this time pay attention.

John K. said...

John K: And as history has rendered, no one is worse than Carter.

EdHeath said...

Carter was worse than grant for corruption? Carter caused an American civil war when he failed to act like Buchanon? In fact, Carter was wrong when he suggested we would be sorry if we did not act to curb our consumption of oil? Oil imports were no more than one third of our consumption then, now they are two thirds.

President Bush allowed terrorists he was warned about to attack America and kill thousands. He invaded a country (with huge oil reserves) on false pretenses and then screwed up the occupation. He has plunged the United States into its biggest financial crisis since the great depression. Jimmy Carter did none of those things.

John K. said...

John K: No, Ed you loon. Grant was about the worst for corruption and Buchanon for lack of action. Carter had the worst economy in the modern era, coupled with this dreadful foreign policy, clearly is on the bottom. And we can't forget Wilson and his keep us out of the war promise. Not to mention his imprisoning foreign citizens. Of course, he is a lefty so that part is just fine. Back to history class for you ED. And pay attention this time.

John K. said...

John K: Uh Ed, did you forget all about the Iranian embassy and Carter's warning not to help the Shah.

EdHeath said...

About Carter's economy, Carter brought in Paul Volcker to the Fed, and Volcker has been praised as the man who brought staglflation under control (although he didn't do it during Carter's administration). Volcker thinks the government has a role in regulating banks. Reagan replaced Volcker with Alan Greenspan. Greenspan thinks government should stay out of bank regulation. Thus Reagan set the stage for our current financial crisis.

You do realize the Shah was deposed in a popular revolution? Carter was willing to the let the people of Iraq decide their own fate. Of course, the people of Iran probably would have moved to a more moderate government by now, except that Reagan started the still current sanctions on Iran, that have lasted nearly forty years. In addition, we armed and set Saddam Hussein on the Iranians. Millions died in the 1980's in a war we (Reagan) encouraged. But you are right, I shouldn't forget about Carter not wanting to help the Shah, just because the Shah’s secret police imprisoned, tortured and killed thousands.

Carter also tried to get us out of the global arms business. And since he left office, he has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. And Carter was certainly incorrect in warning us that we needed to reduce our dependence on oil, in continuing the 55 mile an hour speed limit (which Reagan overturned), in installing solar water heating in the White House (which Reagan removed) and in encouraging higher CAFE standards (that Reagan did not allow to come into law). A huge failure indeed, this Reagan. I mean Carter.

That’s what happens when you get your history from a recent (perhaps current) drug addict.

John K. said...

John K: So Ed you are comfortable with 8% unemployment and 19% interest rates along with 6% inflation? All this under Carter. Well heck you will be pleased when Volker and Obama bring it back. LOL LOL LOL

EdHeath said...

Obviously you are comfortable with billions of dollars of wealth in the stock market being wiped out as the market has lost 50% of its value under the current Bush. Obviously you are comfortable with millions of homes being foreclosed upon, because the current Bush couldn't be bothered to act. And these are things that have actually happened, not things you say will happen.

Paul Volcker (as Fed Chair) forced some tough medicine down the throats of the American people at the end of Carter's administration. That's what broke the cycle of stagflation, although it did so in the form a recession during Reagan's administration. Neither Richard Nixon nor Gerald Ford was able to stop stagflation.

John K. said...

John K: No Ed, I am not comfortable with people taking on loans for houses they could not afford. Rep. Frank and Sen. Dodd should be severly chasticed for that. Along with Carter who implemented the Community Reenvistment Act. And the fact that Volker acted at the end of the Carter admin does nothing for the first three years of the Carter admin. Remember, Carter said we should just get used to it. Kerry had that same message.

EdHeath said...

See, let’s put an end to that particular lie. The Treasury Department regulates banks, they are responsible for making sure banks have fulfilled the requirements for documentation and for checking to make sure the banks have checked to make sure the applicant for the loans actually have the income. But in the period from 2002 through 2007, Treasury couldn’t be bothered to do its job, and the Senate Republicans in charge then couldn’t be bothered to check if the Treasury department was doing its job. In fact, even after the Democrats took over the Senate in January of 2007, the Republicans blocked a record amount of legislation, so Chris Dodd couldn’t have done anything then anyway. But it hardly mattered, by then the housing bubble had burst and the damage was done (by the Bush Treasury department).

And by the way, Carter didn’t say live with it, Carter said live smarter. Conserve energy; drive smart in smaller, more fuel efficient cars at sensible speeds. If we had listened to him we likely be energy independent now, instead of trying to rob our grandchildren of oil. It was Reagan who lied to us, told us we didn’t need to worry about energy.

And my point about Volcker was that Carter picked the right man once he had the chance (Fed chairs serve four year terms, sometimes more, sometimes less, Volcker’s happened to start in 1979). But because economic policies have a lag, Carter didn’t see the effects of his wisdom during his term of office. Reagan dropped the right man because he wanted a guy who thought that markets would heal themselves. How’s that working out?

EdHeath said...

"If we had listened to him we would likely be energy independent now"

Ol' Froth said...

I'm also bothered that people who will take a bullet for the President wouldn't take a shoe for him. And I saw the Austin Powers movies, the right shoe, in the wrong hands, can be deadly.

EdHeath said...

"Who throws a shoe. Honestly, you fight like a woman."

Bush missed a plethora of witty comebacks, all of which would have been lost on the Iraqis anyway.

But he couldn't guess what this guy's beef might be?

jaywillie said...

The credit crisis, John K., is not because of the Community Reinvestment Act.

Just like a conservative, the first person you blame are those less fortunate than others (just like with the Auto package - blame the workers!).

And we're at 6% unemployment now, and climbing, with virtually 0% interest rates...do you think 0% interest is good, John???...yet for some reason you think that conservatives have the credibility to say which way is the right way to go with regards to fiscal policy???

Is Bush worse than Grant in terms of corruption?

Arguably. Grant never appointed a horse show judge director of a major government agency responsible for disaster management and relief and then sat by and watched an entire city drown as his crony botched it every step of the way.

Of course, Bush's politicization of the Dept. of Justice is unmatched in our history. And Grant never allowed a covert operative's status to be revealed for potlical vengeance.

I suppose if you, John K., recalled your highschool history, you probably would have went with Harding, whose presidency, in terms of corruption, is much more on par with Bush in terms of scale and just how much in permeated his administration.

The way Bush and his cronies have raided our Treasury is symbolically tantamount to Harding losing the WH china in a card game.

Of course, we've barely even scratched the surface of Bush's corruption(Abramoff alone wins G'dub the gold medal for corruption). And there is the larger is of corruption as it relates to the Republican Party of George W. Bush - Tom Delay, Duke Cunningham, etc.

When you consider the moral hypocrisy of Bush's compassionate conservatism, he's administration and the politics he represents are among the most incredulous in our nation's history.

It seems that you would be better served saving your remonstrations of Ed and come to grips with the facts regarding Bush's presidency.

I still don't understand why you associate modern liberalism/progressivism with Woodrow Wilson. Modern liberals do like Woodrow Wilson, nor is Wilson one of the forerunners of moderal progressivism.

As liberals, we can criticize Bush for illegally detaining individuals, for spying on our own citizens, for torturing, etc. precisely because we oppose the things that Wilson did as president. I really don't think you'll find any liberals that support any of the measures Wilson took during the war.

More importantly, since none of us supported Wilson or, for that matter, were alive at the time(in fact, I'm fairly certain that there is no one alive today who voted for Wilson, as they would be well over 100 years old), I'm not sure you're aware of how stupid you sound making that argument. It makes even less sense since you support policies of G'dub that are essentially equivalent to some of the steps taken by Wilson, at least in principle, or at least in the sense that they are diametrically opposed to traditional American political principles.

You can't support the suspension of Habeaus Corpus and then use an example of a man who supported similar policies as an attack against your political opponents. It just doesn't make sense.

It's why I won't associate Lincoln with the modern Republican Party, because modern Republicans have more in common with old Southern Democrats of the Civil Rights era than they do with the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln. It's comparing apples to oranges.

I would say that Buchanan's inaction in letting the country fall apart is tantamount to Bush ignoring numerous intelligence warnings alerting the administration to an imminent attack. I mean, I really don't know how else you interpret "Bin Laden determined to strike inside US" unless we're just going to say that words don't actually mean what we all know they mean.

But, more broadly, I would blame at least the last 3 or 4 Presidents for inaction in dealing with some of the major problems we're facing - a number of which lierals were warning about decades ago. Of course, much of this inaction, with regards to the Republican presidents Reagan, Bush I and Bush II, is simply a result of a now discredited political philosophy that believes in inaction and magic! (ie, things will just magically fix themselves if we allow greed to run rampant)

As for Carter, it's just not accurate to say that his foreign policy failed on the scale that G'dub's has. Carter didn't oversee the collapse of America's reputation and standing with the global community. He didn't support the absurd and untenable policy of pre-emptive war. And calling him out for not supporting the Shah - and if you knew anything about history you'd know that the US's support for that brutal bastard was largely what led to many of our problems with Iran - is just ridiculous. The Shah was a violent, oppressive dictator and this country had no business forcing his rule on the people of Iran, when they chose for themselves to depose him. That's hardly standing up for a nation's soveriegnty and a people's right to self-determination, both bedrocks of Western democratic ideals.

Sherry said...

jaywillie, bravo!