<![CDATA[OPINIONS UNLIMITED-----Solicited and Unsolicited<br /> - Blog]]>Sun, 22 Apr 2018 16:47:24 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Two Rand´╗┐om Observations.]]>Fri, 20 Apr 2018 01:45:59 GMThttp://opinionsunlimited.us/blog/two-random-observations       I.   During the past two days, I have been watching a lot of TV news shows as well as listening to radio news as I ran errands around town.  Now, since I am very interested in American History I admit to, perhaps, being a little overly sensitive when people, who ought to know better, seem unaware of the passing of historically significant dates.  And since yesterday was the 243rd anniversary of Paul Revere's ride and today marks the day in history when that "Embattled Farmer...fired the shot heard 'round the world.",  I am  chagrined that in all the broadcasts I witnessed from Wednesday morning through his evening, NOT ONE mention was made of these two historic days!  It is possible that mention was made of them and I just missed it, but I doubt that that was the case.  The current generation of news broadcasters is historically tone deaf preferring to use any extra time in their nightly news shows highlighting a puppy who found it's way home after a storm or a little blond girl who was given a hockey puck at a Stanley Cup game to calling attention to watershed moments in the country's history.
      II.  So that's what I did Wednesday and Thursday.  On Monday and Tuesday, I watched (three times) my recording of the George Stephanopolis interview with James Comey from Sunday night, the 15th.  Several things struck me about the interview, but the most ironic were the instances where Mr. Comey (with brow knitted in concern) was relating how  he was getting ready to tell the President about allegations that he (Trump) was involved with prostitutes in Moscow and that the Russians had taped the encounter and, therefore, may "Have leverage over him (Trump)".   Later in the interview, Stephanopolis (with his brow also knitted with a concern I don't believe he feels) asked,  "Do you think the Russians have something on Donald Trump?"  The equally sober response from Comey is, "I think it's possible---I don't know."
           The problem here is that neither of these two guys gets it.  The terminology of "having leverage" over the President or of "Having something..." on him implies information that the Russians may have which they could threaten to make public which would be embarrassing to Mr. Trump and, thus, compromise him.
            What Comey and George S. don't understand is that Trump is incapable of embarrassment.  If the myriad public gaffs which he has already committed--from the crotch grabbing comments on Billy Bush's bus--to the snarky remarks about Carly Fiorina's face--to not knowing China is NOT party to the TPP--to not knowing what comprises the Nuclear Triad--did not embarrass him, nothing the Russians can say will have any effect. 
          And even if Moscow were to release something that they think is embarrassing, the White House would just call it "Fake News" written in the Cyrillic alphabet.]]>
<![CDATA[A Recommendation for Your Personal Library.]]>Thu, 29 Mar 2018 14:45:37 GMThttp://opinionsunlimited.us/blog/a-recommendation-for-your-personal-library             This past Wednesday, I got to attend a very interesting event put on by the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) at a local hotel.  This was the most recent edition of their Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Lecture Series,  and it featured one of my favorite legal and Constitutional scholars, Alan M. Dershowitz, Professor Emeritis at Harvard Law.  To say that I enjoyed myself is a colossal understatement! Professor Dershowitz's remarks and the Q&A period which followed were extremely interesting and entertaining and kept the audience riveted.
            He spoke, among other things, of our seemingly increasing inability to discuss politics across party lines in a civil manner, of the tendency of some to "criminalize political differences", and of major media outlets increasingly taking sides in lieu of the "honest broker" role most of them once tried to play.  In short, it was a series of thoughtful and clear eyed discussions of several present day issues and the dynamics currently surrounding political discourse in our country.
             In fact, the event itself was an example of the sort of tone that, in Professor Dershowitz's stated point of view, political interactions should have in this country.  Here you had a self proclaimed liberal thinker, a man who has done verbal battle with Bill Buckley, addressing a room full of (mostly)Texas Conservatives having his remarks periodically interrupted by applause and then getting a standing ovation at the end!!  I wish you could have been there.
            But in lieu of that, I recommend you obtain a copy of Professor D's book "Trumped Up" which explains one of the several points he made on Wednesday.  That being, how "criminalization of political differences endangers democracy" though a series of essays and opinion pieces written over a period of time and which address important issues of politics, the Constitution and the Law.   I found it fascinating, and I hope you will too.
<![CDATA[Let's Strive for Accuracy...]]>Mon, 26 Mar 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://opinionsunlimited.us/blog/lets-strive-for-accuracy
           As John Cameron Swazey, host of "The Camel (cigarettes) Caravan of News"  (that I watched on our 7 inch TV in my youth) used to say, "Hop-scotching the world for headlines".  Or, in my case, just trolling the media for items which have interest, but lack accuracy.  Here are three recent examples

         1.  How come the Yahoo news feed is now referring to Stormy Daniels as a "FORMER ADULT FILM STAR"? As I said in a previous post, I've seen her website-----there seems to be NOTHING "former" about it.  And, in addition, during the much anticipated Anderson Cooper "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday, Ms. Daniels indicated that "business" has picked up since her allegations were made public.  Sounds like a pro to me! 

         2.  Also, while we're on the subject of Ms. Daniels and Cooper, last week Stephen Colbert was at pains to make the point that, in his opinion, the Stormy Daniels story just won't go away no matter how many times Anderson Cooper airs photos where the camera slowly zooms in on her bust line. Colbert maintains that this practice has caused Mr. Cooper to rename his show from "Anderson Cooper 360" to "Anderson Cooper 36DD"---that being Ms. Daniels' chest size according to her website and a video interview with (I think) Howard Stern. However, I checked the accuracy of this particular claim with an independent expert on this subject, and that person immediately replied, "She may be wearing a 36DD bra, but you can tell by the "spillover" (which is a technical term of art used by beauty pageant  judges) that those ARE NOT 36DD boobs!"

         3. Lastly,  I'm watching CNN this past Thursday morning as I always do on mornings that I'm using the treadmill. And I don't even know the name of the show I'm watching, but it's hosted by a guy named John Something-or -Other who, based upon every broadcast of his that I've  seen, absolutely despises the President.  During Thursday morning's show, John and his panel of three women were discussing the juvenile behavior being displayed by both parties in a schoolyard style exchange that has taken place during the past few days between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden (the former VP).  The latest volley fired was Trump calling Biden "weak"  both physically and mentally.  Old John went on and on about name calling, bullying and the lack of decorum by a "President of The United States" and asked the panel what they, as women, felt about it and how women's attitudes would affect the mid-term elections.  The group generally thought the behavior to be childish and posited that other women would feel the same way (although none of them predicted a Democratic landslide in November because of it).  What interested me most, however, was that the panel was nearly 10 minutes into the discussion before one of the women pointed out to the host that he shouldn't forget that it was Biden who initiated this fight.  While giving a speech on the issue of sexual assault of women, the former VP said words to the effect that if he had been present when Mr. Trump made those disparaging comments about women on the ET bus, he (Biden) would have taken him(Trump) "...out behind the gym and beaten  the hell out of him."  The woman panelist went on suggest to John that, knowing the Trump temperament, a comment like that can't be put out there without expecting a tirade in return. The self-proclaimed counter puncher will revert to form and, of course, he did.  Big surprise!!  I guess this story was not so much inaccurate as it was incomplete.
          But then, it was CNN.

           After I posted this item, I awoke this morning to the news that on Good Morning America, today, Ms. Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, announced that "We have a litany of...evidence...and it's going to be laid bare (emphasis added)...". How appropriate since Mr. Avenatti's client has a long history  of laying things bare.

  I apologize for the re-post---I just couldn't resist.
<![CDATA[Do You Need More Proof?]]>Thu, 22 Mar 2018 07:00:00 GMThttp://opinionsunlimited.us/blog/do-you-need-more-proof          In my last post, I suggested that we, as a society, have, in fact, passed "...through the looking glass."  Well if any of you need further evidence, let me refer you to the Oakland, California (where else?) coffee shop which has just announced a policy of refusing to serve police officers.  The shop claims to be doing this for the "...physical and emotional safety..." of its customers and staff. It  seems that, in the view of the shop owners, the Oakland cops have a  "legacy of...repression". And, in addition, they either represent or manifest or display (or, maybe all three) something called "Toxic Masculinity".   I'm not sure what that means, but it does make me wonder about the coffee shop's concern with "toxicity".  I say this because the coffee shop is named "Hasta Muerte" which, depending upon which on-line dictionary you employ, either means "Until the End" or "Until Death".  If the latter is the intended translation---which I believe it to be, then, in my view, it's time to get concerned about the ingredients they use to brew their coffee.  This shop could bring a whole new meaning to the phrase "A latte to die for..."
           Then, again, the news from the coffee shop made me also wonder about their "toxicity" terminology. To wit: if there is such a thing as "toxic masculinity", is there also such a thing as "Toxic FEMININITY" and if so, how does it manifest itself?  Could it be in the form of the "#me too" movement which has certainly proved toxic to the reputations, not to say the careers, of several Hollywood legends?
            Or, should we consider the latest, and certainly most pornographic effort to make political hay by making allegations concerning the President's past bad behavior. This, of course, being the "Stormy Daniels Affair" (pun intended).  Although, in Ms. Daniels' case, I would suggest that we'd have to change the phenomenon's name from "Toxic Femininity" to "TOXIC FEMALENESS " because, I've seen her website, and, while it is true that she is, indeed, female, Ms. Daniels is certainly NOT, a person who could be, in the classic sense, described as feminine!  Rather, she would be more accurately described. to use a phrase favored by my grandmother, as being---"Hard as nails".  In my view, that says it all.
<![CDATA[It Turns Out I Was Wrong...]]>Tue, 06 Mar 2018 18:33:24 GMThttp://opinionsunlimited.us/blog/it-turns-out-i-was-wrong          The Academy Awards Ceremony was not the Trump/Republican bashing diatribe that I had predicted it would be.  And I found out, from two news sources, this morning, that viewer ship of the broadcast was down about 20% from previous years.  Some of the news guys speculated that this is because if the inroads into the movie industry being made by the likes of Netflix, HULU, Amazon et al. and people are caring less about what happens in Hollywood.  I, on the other hand, think the fall off of viewers was because many people had an opinion similar to my own, in that they thought they were going to get preached at by the Glitz and Gown crowd and, therefore, opted out.  Good Call!

      However, The Oscars can still be a source of non-political celebrity causes.  And critics abound.  For example, according to an article in "The Week" on line by Lili Loofbourow, if the ceremony was a test of how the industry would address the #MeToo movement, then Hollywood failed!  The reason given is that, "No woman pitted against men for high profile awards won..."  There is no discussion of whether or not said women SHOULD have won based on the merits of their performance---but rather, just the fact that they (the women) did not win is assumed to be evidence of unfairness.
         Later in the same article, Ms. Loofbourow laments the fact that Rachael Morrison, the first woman nominated as a cinematographer (for her work in "Mudbound") did not win over her male co-nominees.  As it happens, I have some insight into this particular instance of  what Ms. Loofbourow would characterize as "unfairness" since my wife and I watched "Mudbound" just last night.  Now, I'm tempted to say something like, "I'm no expert on cinematography..." but that's not true!  I AM an expert since I watch movies a lot and can make my own judgements on their quality.  And, in my view,  Ms. Morrison's effort in "Mudbound" is far short of excellent.  The movie features long scenes of BLACK PEOPLE being photographed IN THE  DARK with, at best, a candle,  flashlight or small cooking fire providing the only light source.  In those scenes where white people are present, their faces are most often smeared with mud.  YOU CAN'T SEE ANYTHING CLEARLY! This film is  NOT a cinematic triumph----I found myself wishing I had a pair of night vision goggles.
              The funny part of this situation is that the snubbing of female nominees was only a sub-text of the Loofbourow piece.  The main point being made was to laud Frances McDormand's speech calling on Hollywood leading women and men to insert "inclusion riders" into their contract negotiations.  The inclusion rider, according to McDormand, allows the star to "ask for and/or demand at least 50% diversity in, not only casting, but also crew.  By the way, The French have a word for this---to wit: EXTORTION.
                The 50% rule would seem to work out nicely when the job applicant pool is binary, i.e.  Black-White or Male-Female, but what happens when you add in Asians, Native Americans and the other individually adopted identities (LGBTQ---and "unsure/questioning" , etc.) of which Hollywood is so fond?  How many ways can you split that hair?  For example, "No, I'm afraid you can't work on this movie, sir or madam (as the case may be),---we need a trans-gender Asian from a broken home to fill that Key Grip slot."
                   Moreover, another wrinkle in the numbers game to insure proper representation of diversity is the concept of the "equity rider" in contracts--- stipulating that the gender and racial makeup of tertiary speaking characters must match the ACTUAL demographics of the film's setting, rather than favor white men.  I'm not sure how they plan to establish the "Actual Demographics" for a movie set in say, the pre-Columbian period.   And, by the way, had this rule been in place on Broadway and applied to main as well as "tertiary" characters, it might have been a problem for "Hamilton" with its Black George Washington.  But, no matter, that's not Hollywood---it's BROADWAY--The Great (you should pardon the expression) White Way.
<![CDATA[They're STILL Not Over It...]]>Sat, 03 Mar 2018 16:58:52 GMThttp://opinionsunlimited.us/blog/theyre-still-not-over-it    So the latest big whup on CNN this morning was that the faculty of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania have voted to remove an honorary degree that was conferred on President Trump on the occasion of his delivering the commencement address at Lehigh in 1988.  The student body has subsequently concurred in this recommendation since Mr. Trump is not worthy.  He has, of course, made several rash statements over the years as well as being accused of engaging in misogyny.  This got me to wondering about the practice of removing honorary degrees "ex post facto" from other politically prominent people.  Take, for example, JFK's 27 + honorary degrees which some would say should be removed based on his habit of sharing girlfriends (not the least of whom was Marilyn Monroe) with Mafia Boss Sam Giancana.  Or how about William Jefferson Clinton?  Talk about "misogyny"---this guy wrote the book----and he has over 20 degrees we should take away!
       Anyway, what this issue comes down to is yet another manifestation of the behavior that proves that the left just can't get over the fact that they lost the election!  And it wasn't the Russians. It was that they had a rotten candidate who they all believed was entitled to the job.

  And OBTW---don't bother watching "The Oscars". With Jimmy Kimmel and the rest of that crowd, all you're going to get is a lot of "holier than thou" BS and cheap shots at Republicans in general and Mr.Trump in particular---and I say this as one who was not and is not a Trump apologist.

  Just sayin'
<![CDATA[Alice Ain't Got Nuthin' On Us...]]>Sun, 11 Feb 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://opinionsunlimited.us/blog/alice-aint-got-nuthin-on-us                  By my calculation, fellow citizens, we have now, officially, gone "through the looking glass..."

         I mean, really!  Let's start with the fact that we have a guy in the White House who, although his complaints about his treatment by some journalists often ring true, just as frequently behaves in such a way as to make The Queen of Hearts seem like a paragon of consistently held views,  civility and even tempered comportment.  I keep hoping Mr. Trump will make good on his promise to be "Sooo Presidential".  We need less, not more, hyperbole.  We get enough of that from the likes of Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff.   I was on board with the President's calling out of the many Democrats who sat on their hands even during the, theoretically, non-partisan (like praising the Capitol Building) parts of the State of the Union address.  But then, during a subsequent speech, he picked up on and then repeated the shouted "treason" remark from some guy in the audience.  That's just stupid.

    Speaking of stupid, here are some other examples:

         On college campuses, "free speech" has come to mean, you are free to express your views only if "WE" agree with them.  So, in today's environment, we have a talk to be given at Columbia by Alan Dershowitz, Harvard law professor, well known liberal thinker and defender of The Constitution being protested by radical students and faculty members in the name of "free speech". Go figure.

           It was recently announced that in 2019 the Cleveland Indians will remove the  "Chief Wahoo" logo from their uniforms.  This move was lauded in "The Week" as being a blow for "Basic decency".  Let's be honest here, sports fans. I don't care what the Indians do, but, at least, call it for what it is---one more case of bowing to political correctness.

          On a less politically charged topic, I recently came across a story about a San Francisco cul-de-sac called Presidio Terrace.   The neighborhood is apparently full of mansions, but the homeowners association was $14 in arrears on a property tax bill.  Because of this, the city supervisors ordered that the sidewalk, street, common areas and about 100 parking spaces in the neighborhood be auctioned off!  That was, in due course, accomplished and the price paid was $90,000.  But, the homeowners knew nothing either of the sale or original tax bill and protested.  Come to find out that the reason they were in the dark was that the SF tax guys had sent the $14 Bill to the wrong address!  The good news is that the homeowners' case was upheld and the city board of supervisors voted to cancel the $90.000 sale. The bad news is that the vote was 7-4, meaning. of course, that FOUR OF THE CITY'S SUPERVISORS THOUGHT THAT SELLING THE STREETS OUT FROM UNDER THE HOMEOWNERS WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!!!  THAT should worry you.  But then, again, it is San Francisco after all.

                Then there is the story I read in the business section of a USA Today last month.  It seems the Congressional Black Caucus has brought pressure on Facebook to disable its "multicultural affinity" advertising function which allows advertisers to target specific groups of potential customers. The CBC sees the function as discriminatory.  The interesting thing about this story is its relationship to another entry which was on the following page of the same business section. In an article entitled "12 easy ways your small business can make money", Number 7 reads: "Pay for targeted ads on Facebook.  They are easy to set up, and you can target your market very narrowly".  I guess we'd better not show that article to the Congressional Black Caucus lest they demand a meeting with the USA Today editors to complain about the recommendation being racist.  By the way, since we're on the subject does it occur to anyone that the very existence of something called "The Congressional Black Caucus" is, in itself, discriminatory?

                  In Texas news, a recent issue of "The Week" covered a story about a Dallas middle school which put out a call for a few dozen local men to serve as mentors at a "Breakfast with Dads" event for their 11-13 year old students who, otherwise, would have had to attend alone, and 600 men showed up to help!  All good news.  But what I wanted to mention is that the same story was covered last week by David Muir in his ever popular "ABC's World News Tonight".  In his human interest segment called "Person(s) of the Week" David described the event as as one where these selfless men paired up with students, giving instruction and advice on "...every day tasks like tying a necktie and playing the trumpet."  Really David ? Playing the trumpet is an "every day task"?  How about you stick to stories about puppies finding their way home after being caught in a typhoon.  That seems to be more your speed.
                 P.S.  Note to readers.
                  I know (and several of you have mentioned) that I have not been up on the net since Thanksgiving, but I plan to be posting regularly again starting with the above.  After all, men are still  being accused of (and often committing) sexual abuse, the "Russia Probe" has still not born the fruit the Democrats would like to see, the President still tweets and engages in malapropisms, you can still see the whites of Nancy Pelosi's eyes whenever she speaks and Maxine Waters still wants an impeachment.

                         SO, THERE'S PLENTY TO WRITE ABOUT---and I have no excuse for not making note of it.
<![CDATA[I Was Confused, But I Think I May Have Figured it Out.]]>Thu, 23 Nov 2017 08:00:00 GMThttp://opinionsunlimited.us/blog/i-was-confused-but-i-think-i-may-have-figured-it-out       What with all the talk in the news these last few days about rampant instances of sexual assault by all manner of men against all manner of women, I almost forgot to address myself to the other "sexual assault" story that caught my attention last week.  This was a piece that I saw last Saturday on the "Smerconish" show which airs on CNN.  The story covered the recent revelation that "The Pentagon" (by which I presume the reporters meant DoD) has agreed to pay for what is now called "gender reassignment" surgery for members of the US military.  Apparently this treatment is now being viewed as "...just another form of healthcare...".  The bulk of the air time was devoted to a discussion between the host, Mr. Smerconish, and a female doctor (herself a trans-gender person) and centered around military members who were born male, but now identify as female [a la Chelsea (nee: Bradley) Manning].  The new policy is reported to provide such military members access to a medical procedure called "vaginoplasty"---the purpose of which, given its name, seems to be fairly obvious.   The treatment regimen also seems to include fairly significant hormonal injections, but these non-surgical aspects of patient care were covered only in passing.   And any juxtapositioning of the more obvious man-woman, boy-girl, male-female differences (beards and breasts leap to mind)  and how to obviate them was not addressed at all.

Note: There was no mention made, at least in this case, of girl soldiers who wish to become boys, but I feel certain that that "CNN Special Report" can't be far in the future---probably hosted by Anderson Cooper who we may be sure that, unlike Charlie Rose, will not, in the meantime, have been fired from his job for being accused of sexually assaulting any women.

      Anyway, when I first heard this story I was gob-smacked trying to understand the rationale, if any, for this policy change.  Then it came to me in a flash-----this policy is the result of a War College Staff Study the object of which was to determine how to deal with two of the military's knottiest, but related, problems.  To wit: 
       First, we are in an era where the National Organization of Women (NOW) and the "diversity/inclusion" crowd have succeeded in their effort to insure that women will always be able to serve in the armed forces in any capacity they wish, including combat roles.
        Second, the knock on women in combat has always been that, in general, they lack the upper body strength of their male counterparts.  (Remember, there STILL ARE TWO Physical Training tests!)

        SOLUTION:  Create women soldiers who have upper body strength by starting with a man!  How clever! Why didn't I think of that?
         This policy would also have the probable added benefits of lessening the number of sexual assaults in the military as the "new" soldiers would, since they by definition have upper body strength, just slug their oppressors and it would create  a better "Command Climate" by allowing the Chelsea/ Bradley Mannings of the world feel better about themselves.

                                               IT'S A WIN WIN, BOYS AND GIRLS!!!!   Happy Thanksgiving!

<![CDATA[Allegations, Accusations and Guilt]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 08:00:00 GMThttp://opinionsunlimited.us/blog/allegations-accusations-and-guilt        I just got finished watching a couple of the Sunday talk shows and one of the main topics was the accusations made about sexual misconduct some 40 years ago by Judge Roy Moore, the Republican candidate to fill Alabama's vacant Senate seat.  It turns out that almost everyone (Republican and Democrat alike) is calling for Mr. Moore to "step aside" and quit the race because he is "unfit for office".  And as an aside, while reporting this story, Martha Raddatz of ABC News and several of the other commentators seemed to be very hard pressed to hide their glee at the prospect of yet another electoral problem for the GOP following last week's losses in the Gubernatorial races in Jersey and Virginia---which, by the way,  is a topic for a future blog entry. 
          However, notwithstanding that fact nor how you feel about this most recent episode in the rash of sexual abuse cases that is sweeping the country, there is a disturbing trend here.  And that is that an allegation by a news outlet or an accusation by someone claiming to be a victim of such abuse seems, now, to be tantamount to a "Guilty as Charged " verdict.  Moreover, there also seems to be a lack of consistency in this application of this "doctrine of accusations equal guilt" among the commentators and talking heads one sees on TV.   For example, Last week, I noticed that there was great skepticism among many of the "newsies" ( especially those with a Democratic bent) for the accusations made by Donna Brazile, in her new book, concerning Mrs. Clinton and the DNC colluding to  deny Bernie Sanders the Democratic nomination for President in the last election.  No, apparently there is no "there, there..." in  these reporters' opinions.  Nor are there calls for Bob Menendez of New Jersey to resign from the U.S. Senate because he is "unfit for office" even though he has not just been accused of wrong doing---he has actually been indicted! 
             And, by the way, if, as is being maintained in the case of Roy Moore, being accused of sexual assault forty years after the fact is a reason to be judged unfit for office, why were there no Democratic calls for Bill Clinton either to quit his run for president based on the accusations of Gennifer Flowers, et. al.  or, indeed, to resign from office following the Monica Lewinsky revelations?
              Now don't get me wrong.  I am not suggesting that Roy Moore is innocent of the allegations made about him any more than I am suggesting that Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman et. al.are guilty of the misconduct of which they have been accused.  All I am saying is that none of us, including the news outlets, knows the truth of these matters, and until we do know more, it is patently unfair to crucify people in public forums based on (so far) unproven assertions.  Please remember the uproar and demonstrations when, in 2006, three Duke Lacross players were accused of rape, had their names dragged through the mud and were subjected to death threats even though the accusations were later proven to be false.  As they say, "you can't unring a bell", so as a society we need to understand the possible unintended consequences of where we are going with this approach and to think twice before we decide to pillory someone in the "public  square" of TV news shows.


<![CDATA[I Don't Want to Seem Hard Hearted, But...]]>Sat, 21 Oct 2017 04:16:16 GMThttp://opinionsunlimited.us/blog/i-dont-want-to-seem-hard-hearted-but       I confess to some mystification over the recent wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth over the early October ambush, in Niger, of what appears, based on news reports, to have been a Special Forces A-Team.  This action resulted in several U.S. and Nigerian soldiers being wounded and four of their U.S. comrades being killed.  A tragedy certainly and one which the Army and DoD are rightfully involved in investigating so that any operational weaknesses/failures can be addressed and corrective measures put in place to, hopefully, avoid a recurrence.
         My consternation, though, is based on the reaction in Washington, D.C. which has Senators grilling DoD officials and wanting to issue subpoenas if they don't have their questions regarding the incident answered in a timely manner.  Moreover, some members of Congress are making noises like they were surprised to find that there were U.S. soldiers in Niger.  This makes one wonder what they (The Congress) thought the purpose of AFRICOM was to be when they authorized its formation in 2007. 
          And now, I understand that the FBI is dispatching a team to Niger to conduct its own investigation!  So what are we going to do now?  Every time there is a fire fight involving US Forces, are we going to send an FBI team to isolate the area with that yellow crime scene tape and conduct an investigation/manhunt to find "The Perps" ?
           This is not CSI Miami or NCIS Los Angeles or "Bluebloods", boys and girls.  This is combat.  And, as someone (I think GEN Mattis) pointed out to some idiot reporter the other day, it is dangerous and that is why we send soldiers with guns and don't send The Peace Corps. 
              But also,  as all professional soldiers know, the enemy gets a vote and, although we try as hard as we can to avoid it, sometimes the bad guys win.