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April 24, 2005 - Fangs Out, Hair on Fire

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World’s Laziest Journalist

April 25, 2005

By Bob Patterson


In the book Luftwaffe Fighter Aces, by Mike Spick, (Greenhill Books, London, Stackpole Books, Pennsylvania) readers learn (on page 13) that “aggression is essential, although it must be tempered with caution.”  Fighter pilots use the expression “fangs out hair on fire” to denote a rookie who throws caution to the wind in a display of bravado.  The author also states that the “Bring it on!” type “rarely lasts long.”


For the over-enthusiastic rookie “it is all too easy to be lured into an irrecoverable situation, usually through target fixation at the expense of keeping a good lookout.”


In WWII, Germany had two fighter pilots who each racked up over 300 “kills” and Spick goes into details about their tactics.


This columnist had found this fascinating book (copyrighted 1996) in a thrift store, and since it seemed like a good way to get some background information for a recent assignment, the book was added to the WLJ library. 


Initially, the columnist considered the purchase as a potential gift for a nephew’s birthday present.  What do you give to somebody who has the audacity to be born on the same day of the year that Adolph Hitler used to celebrate his birthday?


If a friend (say in Concordia Kansas) has a birthday on the 16th of this month, you just wish them a happy birthday and ask how much they enjoyed their birthday celebration.  (Was the Monty Python musical as good as expected?)


If, however, a nephew was born on the twentieth of April, the question becomes:  “How dare you celebrate on such a day?”  Yeah, he’s entitled to a little celebration (Did you run into anyone from Kansas while you were in the “Big Apple”?  Which Broadway play did you see?) - but shouldn’t he give out gifts as a mark of contrition for the inappropriateness of his birthday?


There’s not much this columnist finds on radio’s conservative talk shows to agree with, but there is one thing on which we do concur with Hugh Hewitt and the rest of the roster with similar talking points, and that is: the loose cannon liberals are totally wrong to compare the president to Hitler.


Hitler won one of Germany’s highest awards in combat, he wrote two books, and he was a speaker with the ability to mesmerize an audience.  What part of that resume sounds like it refers to Dubya? 


[While we were in college one of our teachers was a Jesuit priest who had been studying in Bavaria while he was a seminarian in the early part of the twentieth century and he had heard the firebrand upstart speak.  According to that teacher, part of the spectacle included a first aid station for the women who would faint during the speech.  It was, he pointed out, similar to the effect Elvis and the Beatles had early in their careers.  It’s an aspect of the German politician’s rise to power, that is rarely alluded to these days.  Do women swoon when Dubya speaks?]


That German politician did streamline things and consolidate government.  When Germany was threatened by outsiders who wanted to take control of their country, it was easier, he maintained, and more efficient to conduct the government’s business by consolidating functions.  The German Congress temporarily anointed their president as “Chancellor for Life” and permitted him to bypass an obstreperous loyal opposition and rule by edict.  No filibuster was going to slow down (let alone derail) their efforts to repulse a takeover by evil outside forces.


This columnist has plans to become a millionaire T-shirt mogul by selling ones that promote the idea that a third term for George W. Bush is not only wise but prudent in 2008.  This opportunity (which was available to the Democrats president Franklin D. Roosevelt and has since been deemed unavailable to Republicans [discrimination!!!]) might be a logical step if Americans are going to prevent Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda from gaining a tactical advantage while the Democrats stall America’s efforts at self defense by initiating governmental gridlock at a time when rapid response is essential to self preservation.  A legal third term might send Osama a message, eh?


The way the conservative talk show radio hosts are approving of every move that the Bush junta makes, we expect them to leapfrog ahead of the third term gambit and go right to the heart of the matter.  Someday soon we expect to tune into a conservative talk show and hear something like this hypothetical example:


The effort to put a Constitutional Amendment to change term limits on the fast track might not be needed if an American president can also be named Chancellor for Life.


The way things are going, the need for the American legislature to bestow a temporary “Chancellor for Life” on George W. Bush, might speed up some of the necessary steps in the War on Terrorism.  The move to amend the filibuster rules, may be a way for the Republicans to outmaneuver the Democrats efforts to delay and disrupt but it will take time.  Why shouldn’t an appointment that the president wants to make, be approved?  A Chancellor for Life could just name the people to fill the vacancies and then move on to more important matters.


The Democrats seem determined to make Tom DeLay’s campaign fund raising efforts part of their agenda.  They also seem to be willing to sit around and discuss the appointment of federal judges, rules of conduct for parliamentary procedures, and gay marriages, while anti-terrorist efforts are put on the back burner.


Soldiers will die while Democrats split hairs.


The Main Stream Media seems content to obsess on the various items of minute importance to distract the public from the very real threat by the fugitive in the foothills of Pakistan who has embarked on doing more than huffing and puffing, and has already blown down some structures in Manhattan.


A temporary Chancellor for Life could rule by edict, appoint the judges he wants, and get rid of the liberals pet projects that divert money that could be used to fight the war on terrorism more efficiently.


Can’t you just see some radio talk show host like (hypothetical example just quoted) Russ N. Behr (say it three times fast and you sound like a commie sympathizer) urging the ultimate streamlining and concentration of power for the president in the name of efficiency?  [Wouldn’t a real conservative talk show host spell it: RuSS with an “SS”?]


Are any of the conservative radio hosts talking about the cost of a war with Iran?  Are they afraid the old yacht philosophy might apply?  “If you have to ask how much will it cost, you can’t afford it.”


In a book titled Scoundrel Time, Lillian Hellman wrote: “Gatsby and his ambitions were peanuts next to those larger Gatsbys; they didn’t want love or Daisy, they wanted power and a new Daisy every week.”


We’ve heard (from Buzz Brainard on the Alt Country radio show) that Bruce Springsteen’s new album will be available in double disk format which means you can play one side on a CD player or flip it over and play the other side on a DVD player.   We don’t have a copy of that new work, so if the disk jockey will play Bruce’s song I’m on Fire, we’ll flap our wings and fly away for this week.  Next week we will try to provide some ideas to attract fresh blood to the roster of regular readers.  Until then, live like a president and run up your deficits with reckless abandon.




Copyright 2005 – Robert Patterson




Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
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