Michael P. Ackley has worked more than three decades as a journalist, the majority of that time at the Sacramento Union. His experience includes reporting, editing and writing commentary. He retired from teaching journalism for California State University at Hayward.More ↓Less ↑
Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell which is which.
We are greatly relieved to learn from Barack Obama that we are not at war with Libya. It’s true that our aircraft bombed the country (to save lives) and that our materiel and personnel remain in the Mediterranean, supporting sorties by other NATO nations.
And it’s true America is shelling out $10 million a day on the military adventure, but the administration thinks it isn’t war unless we put “boots on the ground.” No infantry, no war (and never mind all those dead bodies).
We’d also like to explain that it can’t be war unless we have some motive for fighting, like a threat to our citizens or national interests. No reason, no war (and never mind all those dead bodies).
Further, one cannot argue we are at war to protect our friends, as we really don’t know what groups constitute the rebels we are supporting. No allies, no war (and never mind all those dead bodies).
Finally, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says our involvement in Libya doesn’t rise to the “level of hostility” contemplated in the War Powers Act. Not enough hostility, no war (and never mind all those dead bodies).
We’re sure our president would appreciate our reminding the nay-sayers in Congress of the wise words penned by George Orwell in “1984:” “War is peace.”
“It isn’t sex addiction.”
So declared California clinical psychologist Jill Poke on hearing of the addiction defense of Rep. Anthony Weiner regarding his off-color Internet messaging and narcissistic photographs.
“One quote from his messages is all I needed to diagnose his ‘problem,’” Poke told us. “It’s in his correspondence with that overheated physical education teacher in Georgia, and it has nothing to do with the innuendo-laden content.
“His real ‘addiction’ can be found in his assertion, ‘I’m a very important man.’”
Poke noted that Weiner never had held “anything like a real job,” but had gone directly from school into the political milieu, going through the usual chairs of campaign volunteer, legislative aide and then elected official.
“This character has no real-world experience at all,” said Poke. “He has spent his entire adult life – if you can call it adult – first as a hanger-on of powerful politicians, then as a wielder of political power himself.
“In the latter role, he really believes he is ‘a very important man,’ even though most reasonable people would note he never has done anything outside the insular – some might say incestuous – world of politics.
“He likes the power; he’s addicted to the power. The sex stuff is just an offshoot of that.”
Asked if Weiner might regain his stature after undergoing the treatment he reportedly is seeking, Poke replied, “Only if he changes his name to Bill Clinton.”
Freudian typo: The Time magazine website carried a photo of Weiner, with the following caption: “Republican Congressman Anthony Weiner during a press conference at a hotel in New York, New York, USA, on 06 June 2011, where he admitted to a series of lewd online exchanges.” (our emphasis)
Naming the wrong political party could be a simple error, of course, but we’re inclined to think it’s actual journalistic bias creeping in subconsciously.
Democrats in the California Legislature pushed through a budget on Wednesday, just beating the deadline, after which each lawmaker would have lost a couple of hundred dollars a day in salary.
Of course, the budget is a total fraud and in no way balanced. Gov. Jerry Brown promptly vetoed it, so the question remains: Since the Legislature did pass a phony budget, do the members still get paid? Perhaps Controller John Chiang will write them bum checks.
How touching: The NBC “Today” show crew congratulated Natalie Portman on the birth of her out-of-wedlock baby, noting it would be beautiful and a good dancer. (The latter was a reference to Portman’s ballerina role in “The Black Swan,” and to the father, ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied.)
Maybe the broad-minded Ann Curry, Matt Lauer et alia will offer similar felicitations for less celebrated offspring of the unmarried – babies who constitute some 40 percent of live births in the United States. They could pick one a day from housing projects near their New York studio.