Letter From New York June 27, 2010

Or, as it seems to me…

The huzz-a-buzz this past week has been almost all about the sacking of General Stanley McChrystal, who, if you somehow have missed this, said (as did a number of his staff) many uncomplimentary things about White House staff and some diplomats and said them while a reporter for Rolling Stone Magazine was taking notes – a supremely stupid thing for a very, very smart man to do. He was summoned back to Washington, arriving with his resignation in his pocket, which was accepted. He was replaced by David Petraeus; arguably the most respected military man in the country right now.

To my shock, an article in the New York Post actually praised the President for doing this. Now, for anyone who doesn’t know the New York Post, it is owned by News Corp which is run by Rupert Murdoch and is generally very, very, very critical of President Obama. As far as the Post is generally concerned, the President can’t sneeze correctly.

It has been the biggest military/civilian clash since Harry Truman sacked General MacArthur during the Korean War [which, by the way, started 60 years ago this past week] for criticizing the President to Congress. I kept wondering what McChrystal had been thinking when he allowed this to happen. From what I have read about the man, he is very smart, very tough, a very good commander – but this wasn’t a smart thing to do and, unfortunately, Obama felt he had no choice but to fire the General. What the pundits have said is that replacing McChrystal with Petraeus was brilliant and that out of this sad mess Obama has been looking more like a Commander in Chief than before – hence at least some praise from The New York Post.

While this was playing out, the Gulf Oil Spill continued to gush. Obama spoke from the Oval Office and at the end of his speech referenced the Blessing of the Fleet that happens in the Gulf Coast, praying that God will protect the fisherman about to embark. It was held again this year, not so long ago. Obama talked a bit about prayer at the end of his speech and the way it has been going, prayer may be the best bet we’ve got. It seems sometimes that it will take a miracle of some kind to turn this around.

I’ve been told by friends in religious occupations that some have seen the Gulf Coast Spill as the harbinger of the End Times. Though I think that any event can be and has been construed as a harbinger of The End Times. Seems to me that we have been in The End Times according to someone almost since the moment Christ ascended into heaven.

Though not really religious I do pray in my own ways and will extend the Gulf Coast and the eco-disaster there to the things I sent heavenward to my personal Higher Power. I will remember it more when I pause and speak to God. We might all do well to do that if we’re so inclined…

If there are religious/spiritual people at Google, I am sure they are sending their thanks up to heaven as a Judge in New York dismissed the billion dollar lawsuit that Viacom had filed against You Tube, a Google company, for posting hundreds of thousands of copyrighted clips. The Judge declared Google/You Tube covered by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and therefore not at fault. Now if you don’t know what the DMCA is all about basically, as I understand it, it says that if you’re a website like You Tube and someone posts copyrighted material to your site, you’re not liable for copyright infringement if you take it down as soon as you are alerted to it. Which the judge decided Google/You Tube had done and so it was in the clear. Viacom has announced it will appeal. However the Judge’s decision is powerfully important and is cause for great celebration in Googledom. As I said, I’m sure that those who pray are saying thank you to their Higher Power.

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