Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What Is Not Said

"I'll never apologize for the United States of America. Ever.
I don't care what the facts are."
- George H. W. Bush, Vice President
1988 presidential campaign
(in reference to the shooting down of Iran Air flight 655

by the USS Vincennes )

Recently, Senator John McCain and Senatory Lindsey Graham and numerous others have made statements criticizing President Obama's position regarding the unrest in Iran. There has been a glut of video replayed of McCain singing "bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beach Boys "Barbara Ann" from the mid-April 2007 presidential campaign as accompaniment.

In contrast, I have been delighted by the deliberate, subdued tone of the statements coming from the White House. This President has shown a restraint in commenting on the events in Iran that was sorely lacking in the previous administration.

Likewise President Obama has received a great deal of criticism for his Cairo speech, including acknowledging the role of the United States in the 1953 overthrow of Iran's government, the first time an American president had admitted those actions. Those who criticize Obama take the position, consistent with the concept of American Exceptionalism, that to admit an error or wrong doing, on the part of the U.S., is to demean or diminish the dignity of our country, and to bring shame to us as a country, to us all.

I believe that the United States has done many things in the course of our history, both recent and older, which are greatly to our credit, things of which we should be justifiably proud. An objective reading of history however, shows me that we have done other things of which we should, in honesty, be much less proud, sometimes even ashamed. I do not see the acknowledgement of those things to be the essence of the shame, but the doing of them in the first place. Denial of the wrongs only compounds their evils.

Not only do we have on our national conscience the overthrow of a legitimate, democratic government of Iran in 1953, that was reversed by the 1979 revolution. There is the 1988 death of 290 civilians flying on a legitimate commercial air route while still in Iranian air space, when the USS Vincennes used surface-to-air missiles, SM-2MRs to shoot down the Airbus A-300, mistaking it for an F-14 Tomcat. The crew of the Vincennes were awarded Combat Action Ribbons for their actions, the captain of the ship William C. Rogers III was awarded the Legion of Merit, and the air-warfare coordinator, Lt. Col. Scott Lustig, received a Commendation Medal for heroic achievement, for maintaining his poise and confidence under fire. George H. W. Bush praised the crew for acting appropriately.

The United States paid $61.8 million, as a court awarded judgement for the deaths, after finding that the U.S. was at fault, but neither apologized nor admitted responsibility. There were accusations of a cover up, particularly after the United States tried to explain away the action of the Vincennes crew as a psychological condition, "scenario fulfillment". While I have not - so far - found any serious credit for the psychology of scenario fulfillment, it is described as a condition where individuals, such as members of the armed forces are unable to differentiate between the delusion of a training exercise scenario and the real experience, despite the clear indicators of reality. In the case of Iran Air 655, 18 members of the bridge crew suffered from an identical failure to identify reality from delusion.

I will leave comment on the military aspects of this event to Penigma, as he has a background in the armed forces that I lack. It does not require military experience to question why ribbons and commendations were awarded for delusional actions resulting in the deaths of 290 passengers (including 66 children). Above and beyond what were at best a bad response to the shooting down of flight 655, were the U.S. contributions to Saddam Hussein in waging war on Iran during the Iran Iraq war that lasted from 1980 to 1988. Some estimates of casualties are in the range of 2 million, and the weapons used by Saddam Hussein include some of his earliest experiments in massive use of poison gas as a WMD. The Iran Iraq War is in large part the reason that 70% of the population of Iran is currently under the age of 30. Currently, even as the Iran government is sending agents provacateur into Iraq against us, we are sending individuals into Iran to undermine the current regime.

One of the interviews criticizing President Obama included the commentator P. J. O'Rourke, who in response to a comment that the Iranians were unlikely to seek our involvement in their internal differences because of our past actions interfering with them, blew off the idea. "That was a long time ago. No one is going to remember all that stuff from the past." (I paraphrase his comments approximately) Rather, he asserted that we, as moral leaders of the world, should be setting an example by standing up for the rebelling factions. Even if the Iranian factions hadn't asked for our help - or our comments. This would be comparable to the citizens of the United States forgetting Pearl Harbor Day, AND 9/11, AND the Oklahoma City Bombing. This would be comparable to the USA telling the survivors of the Japanese American internment camps they should appreciate how morally superior we are as a country.

Similar statements were made by other conservatives/ right wing/ Republican hawks advocating a more aggressive policy, including John McCain. Senator Graham of South Carolina expressed not only the desire for more provocative statements from the President; he asserted that clearly the Iranians must be asking for our help because some of their signs were IN ENGLISH!

Apparently Senator Graham is unaware that not only is English the language of other countries besides the United States, but it is far more widely understood worldwide as the language of both business and diplomacy than Farsi.

It has been my experience when traveling abroad generally, and especially in the middle east, that the citizens of other countries have very good memories, very long memories, and consistently a better grasp of both history and geography than the average American. There seems to be a willingness to meet Americans half-way, in a spirit of good will, at least for individuals. Failing to acknowledge having ever done anything wrong anywhere at any time, is taken to be a foolish arrogance on our part that is incomprehensible to them. It is incomprehensible to me.

Thank GOD that Obama has the courage and strength to understand and admit our failures, in order to transcend them. Thank GOD that we have a leader who is finally sufficiently confident in himself to proceed carefully and with restraint; who will not let himself be stampeded or pressured into stupidity. A man who clearly understands the value of what is said, and also the sometimes even greater importance of what is NOT said, in being our face to the world.


  1. DG - I need to read your post more fully, and will do so - but in brief, GOP love of country is like a 3 year old's love of Mommy - Mommy can do no wrong, Mommy is perfect.

    Other, adult love, is one that loves the person but recognizes the small flaws, the small issues, recognizes that bad people in the US may do bad things - but that doesn't mean the country is bad.

    As such, apologizing for the meddling of bad people isn't wrong - but if you are blind to, or refuse to accept there are, bad people and their actions, if you insist that you are NEVER wrong, then no apology is ever ok.

  2. " GOP love of country is like a 3 year old's love of Mommy - Mommy can do no wrong, Mommy is perfect"

    I am clearly more cynical than you are Penigma. I wouldn't characterize ONLY the GOP as embracers of exceptionalism, the notion that we are special to the point of being exempt from the rules and boundaries we expect to apply to other countries - some more than others. This has been a fault from time to time across the spectrum of political ideology.

    I don't see this as a fault of immaturity, I see it as calculated intentional expediency. First step in listening or reading, ALWAYS figure out the intended audience. It will reveal greater depths and insights about what is said.

    No one has to address mistakes, or outright wrong actions if you simply deny them. If you can't ignore them, under pointed scrutiny, the next default behavior is often to lie. (Doesn't THAT sound familiar?)

    There are none so blind as those who would not see. Some of us are better than others at closing our eyes, and ears.

    I prefer not to be one of them; and to open my mouth along with my eyes and ears. That won't stop the denials and ignorance, but it may make those who chose that option more uncomfortable - I hope.

    Unfortunately, blindness to realities does not make for very good domestic OR foreign policy.

  3. DG -

    I concur that for some (such as the politicians themselves) this facile position (that your country can do no wrong) is a calculated distortion of both the truth, and what they believe.

    However, it IS what they believe their intended audience wants, and for the most part, accepts as fair.

    While "Johnny Gun-Totin Reneck Bigot" doen't exactly think the country never errs, he doesn't care. He figures the good FAR outweighs the bad, and so, the bad doesn't matter. Past that, "boys will be boys", and if we get a little advantage from our misdeeds, so much the better, after all, we're us, and they are them.

    In short, while they know there are flaws, they are flaws of no consequence. They are generally ignorant of the specifics and don't want to know. So while they aren't three (in intellectual or phyisical maturity/age), they behave as if they are. They have no interest in hearing about any flaws. They like Mommy just fine.


  4. K-Rod -- I will allow you to comment based on some thoughts/discussion with DG - if you delve off into profanity/obscenity, however, your comments will be deleted, and you will again be banned.

    That said, I don't believe we were speaking of Obama, nor did ANYONE hear say we loved him. What are you trying to talk about? It is not clear.

  5. Also,

    K - let's see, Bush took the deficit - starting from where he inherited as a surplus in the annual budget, from $4.8T to $9.2 T - I'm sorry, what is your complaint?

    Obama, in response to the collosal failure of oversight of the Bush-appointed SEC leadership - is spending money to try to create make-work jobs to keep the economy afloat - again, I'm sorry, what is your complaint?

    In so doing, he's running up a HUGE deficit, no dispute, which economists agree isn't an issue unless China calls in the markers (in the near term at least isn't an issue) - but, like Bush's deficits, creates tighter credit and bankrupts the government making governmental programs all that much harder to fund in the future as more of the budget goes to debt service. Now I personally think that sucks, but since bankrupting the government was a part of the Project for a New American Century crowd's line of thinking, meaning, make it so it can't fund anything thus killing off government entitlements, one might think you would LOVE these deficits. So again, I'm sorry, what's your complaint? You despise entitlement programs, one would think you'd live emasculating the country and the government.

    In short K, your comments were baseless, and ill thought out.

  6. K-rod, thank you for your comment; I welcome your participation here.

    I do have to agree with Penigma, in that I don't see the connection between your observations about the deficit and what I wrote about our relationship to Iran and their domestic upheaval, especially in the context of our 20th century history with Iran and current diplomacy.

    May I invite you to comment on that specific topic here?

  7. DG, as usual, you have taken an excellent topic and covered it thoroughly.

    While I am not a blind supporter of President Obama, I believe that calm, measured responses to Iran (and other nations that deliberately attempt to provoke the US) is a much wiser solution than one we saw out of the Bush administration.

    The Bush Administration, like many GOPers today, believes in gunboat diplomacy. This concept was hatched around the turn of the last century, but by the 1980's, we saw its result. The US's bad image throughout much of the world is in part due to our meddling with countries that neither want or need our meddling.

    Many people around the world like Americans, in general. However, just like the average redneck, (who can be in many cases nice, or even tolerable when alone), its groups of Americans that create problems. (and I'm not talking about the ugly American tourist) By groups of Americans I mean governmental entities. Congress. Presidential Administrations, etc. Throughout our history with the Middle East, Latin America, Southeast Asia, its rarely been individual Americans that cause the problems, its our government, and more precisely, our annoying habit of forcing our concept of democracy and morals on the rest of the world.

    The problem is, the rest of the world doesn't necessarily WANT our concept of democracy, and they have their own set of morals which have evolved in their society over centuries.

    I aplaud President Obama for not making hasty statements and would remind the GOPers who have been critizing him that it was a GOP administration (that had a lot in common with Nazis) that got us into the mess we're in in the Middle East today.

  8. ToE wrote:"The Bush Administration, like many GOPers today, believes in gunboat diplomacy. "

    In prepping to write this piece, I didn't want to trust my casual recollections of historic US interventions, both good and bad, large or small, constructive or destructive. So I put in a good few hours of research to refresh my memory.

    It was so lengthy, that I couldn't even include all of our interactions with Iran, much less the other instances. You are correct, in that while there were some interventions, some of them spectacular, in other countries to advance our interests, there was a distinct increase in the latter 1800s to early 1900s onwards. Those actions have been taken under both Republican AND Democratic administrations, and by both Liberals and Conservatives.

    There were contemporaneous opponents around the turn of the 20th century, some of them quite famous, like the author Mark Twain.

    Conspicuously absent for the most part was any remorse or apologies, although there was an interesting Apology Resolution to Hawaii for the overthrow of their legitimate government back in the 1800s, signed by Clinton in 1993. ANY sort of apology for interference with the governments of other countries - which Hawaii was at that time - are conspicuously rare.

    Of course, we would be very angry at even the possibility of such interference by another country with OUR government. I believe that is the very essence of the political concept of "exceptionalism".

  9. K -

    I had written a pointilistic response, but it was lost when I tried to post. It was a little longer and more caustic than I wanted - so here goes a hopefully better reply.

    First - my original point still stands. 90% of our debt has accumulated during 20 key years - those years were the Reagan and Bush Presidencies. Whether they were for tax cuts is both immaterial, in that those cuts in no way resulted in jobs, certainly not high paying jobs, and yet still saddled our kids and government with crushing debt.

    Obama's spending is no one's preference, and you're utterly incorrect about how people love Obama. I certainly don't, nor do most of my commenters. In fact, we mostly think he's FAR too timid about pushing you Republicans around in the same way Bush pushed Dems around. You'd bitch about it, but it was done BY you, so at a minimum to teach you a lesson, it needs to be done TOO you.

    As well, I'm hardly responsible for the debt facing our children. That rests with you far moreso than I (or other liberals or Democrats) - you've spent like drunken sailors on unneeded military programs, on unneeded wars, on corporate welfare, etc.. to the tune of nearly $8T. Indeed, even Obama's deficits wouldn't exist but for the financial collapse of the Bush lead economy.

    As far as Carter and Bush go, that's probably the most illogical part of your commentary. I'm quite sure you know Bush came after Carter, and your comment was a pretty feable attempt at suggesting people blame Bush for everything, but let's move past that infantile comment.

    You all give Reagan and Bush 1 credit for Clinton's economic successes, saying that it takes time for economic programs to materialize. By that standard, and it has a little merit, Carter was the genesis of Reagan's success, and Reagan was the genesis of the late 80's and early 90's economic meltdowns/financial system collapses.

    In truth, in 1978 when Carter started talking about misery index and mailaise factors, he'd been President barely 2 years. The economy was inherited from spending policies of Johnson and Nixon, and impacted heavily by the end of the Vietnam War and the oil embargo of 1973 and 1974. That you don't grasp this (seemingly) only reflects on your economic ignorance. Further, Carter appointed Paul Volkker, someone you may want to investigate - as he was given credit by PRESIDENT REAGAN for ending inflation by choking off credit. That was CARTER's policy, by the way, and while it caused a LOT of pain the late 70's, it worked in the early 80's, and we've never seen inflation like it since. As proof of this, Volkker initially was hated by Reagan, who bitched long and loud about tight credit in the early 80's because of his DEFICIT SPENDING - but eventually reappointed Volkker twice to the Fed Board Chairmanship once the policies of CARTER worked.

    Go look it up if you doubt me.

  10. Penigma - were you in the military when the Iran Air 655 even happened?

    Did you ever hear the term "scenario fulfillment" or anything similar in your training or service?

  11. Iran Air 655 even happened?

    Sorry - typo - that should be EVENT

  12. Yes, we "played a role", for pete's sake, let it go, it's history. Obama's speech made it sound like a tit for a tat, not a cancer "on our national conscience", DG.

    Dredging up the past in order to blame America first is not the answer."

    You rather miss my point K-rod. There is no way that we can go forward by expecting that Iran will forget the past, and it is not that distant a past either.

    It is pragmatic and reasonable to acknowledge that part of their position. And in particular to be sensitive to it when they may be in the middle of a new revolution that could end up benefitting Iran American relations.

    Why NOT apologize if we have something to apologize for - for a change?

    Being too aggressive in our stance plays into the hands of the hard-line extremists. There are many other factions in Iran that do NOT want to wipe either Israel or the US off the map. They will gain more ground if we just shut UP, and butt out.

    THANK YOU for addressing the topic.

  13. K,

    I read your posts that had been held up by the moderator tool for unexplained reasons (meaning, I can't explain them).

    Your reply was hardly anything more than simple regurgitation of other posts.

    "Refusing to apologize, doesn't mean you don't recognize something was wrong" - no, I suppose it means you're too arrogant to do what people do when they are wrong normally, which namely IS apologize.

    I've already responded about Obama's deficit - the responsibility lies with the Republican failure to oversee the economy, that is what is meant by YOU, and further, what is meannt by YOU is the Republicans in terms of their treatment of Democrats and Independents when they were in power. Bush was a jerk to Helen Thomas for starters, but to James Jeffords, to Harry Reid(Cheney walked up and told Reid "F-you" on the floor of the Senate), they had litmus tests for the DOJ, this list is truly endless.

    The fact that you want to equate DG and I with all Obama supporters (as you did in yoor initial reply) - but can't handle it when YOU are equated with Bush's conduct, and the fawning, approving of his actions by his political supporters (of which I'm reasonably confident you were one) - well, that's just your own hypocrisy it seems. Or are you saying you didn't vote for Bush.

    As for the tired out, useless meme' that recognizing the US has some responsibility in the world for it's conduct is the same as blaming America for terrorist attacks - K, that is the province of idiots. If you anticipate we'll engage in the kind of staged debate you seem to think is productive, you have a rude awakening coming. Admitting the US has had bad people do bad things, has made mistakes, isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength. It also allows you to move away from answering every problem with a bullet, and getting a bullet back every time there is a problem. Only the most immature people degrade into infantile rhetoric which refuses to allow for any discussion and casts the opposition as traitors to stiffle off discussion.

  14. DG -

    Flight 665 was brought down by the USS Vincennes - an Aegis - Ticonderoga Class CG. At the time, it's Captain's name was Buck Rogers (believe it or not).

    Immediately after the downing of the plane, the Navy and the US Government attempted to say it was justified. However, subsequent investigation showed the plane to be ascending, rather than descending as the TAC officer on the Vincennes claimed. It was on a predictable and routine course to Qatar (if memory serves), and our actions weren't justifiable.

    After initial clearing of the officers and crew involved, including, if I recall, initial commendations, most of the involved senior officers were either quietly reprimanded, or, in the case of the TAC Officer and the Captain, they were passed over and drummed out of the service. Rogers was cashiered in a not-private way.

    The concept of 'scenario syndrome' would not apply here. The ship wasn't in the midst of a wargame. However, they (the crew) based on film footage of the time, was seen to be encouraging shooting down the plane (encouraging the TAC officer) and was seen celebrating the shoot-down once the missile was confirmed to have hit the plane. That they may have confused a non-threat as a threat seems self evident, that they did so in an over-zealous way also seems self-evident. By the way, the Captain, who WAS held responsible, was not on the bridge, did not approve the shoot-down, and was still cashiered. Funny how the Navy holds people accountale for actions outside their direct control - but within their indirect control - but neo-cons can't do that - can't understand how putting warships in tight, tension filled waters, is a recipe for danger.

    These kinds of incidents are the kind that rational, resopnsible governments apologize for, pay reparations for. Admitting to this wrong, even if the President obviously didn't have direct knowledge or hand in the action, by saying "look, we put armed warships in a high stress zone, bad things happen sometimes, perhaps we should have bene more concerned about this kind of possibility and for that we are deeply sorry to the Iranian people, the passengers and crew, and their families" - that kind of comment ISN't a mark of weakness, it is the hallmark of a great nation. One great enough, proud enoug, to know it can withstand these kinds of failings and publicity and come out of it looking like a nation intent on justice, not just victory.

  15. K,

    You said you were 'merely pointing out that most Obama supporters...'

    Based on what research?

    Then you said "Go do your own homework" - that's the point, guy, I did. I pointed out some facts, and told you to do your homework if you doubted it.

    Lastly you pouted about Obama taking the deficit up 25% in one year (bold print left out).

    Except that 1.7T isn't 25% of 9.5T, and of course, Reagan DOUBLED the national debt in two years, and QRUADRUPPLED it in 6. I'm sure you care a lot about the debt, I mean, I am certain you decry Reagan, correct?

    As you said, do your homework, and then, try a calculator.

  16. For the record:

    I voted for President Obama. I am NOT an "Obama Lover" or anything of the sort. When I perform my civic duty to vote in a presidential election, I often find myself forced to make a decision based on what has been presented to me and to vote for the candidate that I believe to be offering the best of the available options. If I could, and I felt it would be useful, in this (and many recent elections), I would have voted for "none of the above". That being said, let's talk about the real topic here, the attitude of the US and its relationship with the world.

    For years the US has had an ugly image abroad. This ugly image started long before King George (Bush) became president. In fact, it started shortly after World War II, when it was clear that the US was starting to become a colonial power. The US abused its world influence in the Middle East and in Southeast Asia, all in the name of defeating the "threat" of communism.

    Now, history is 20-20, and foresight is legally blind. No one in the 1950's could know that the Soviet system would bankrupt itself and eventually collapse because its a failed economic model, (partly because no one bothered to do the economic analysis to figure it out) A containment policy and a policy of resisting communism caused the US to intervene and become hated in a number of areas of the world, to the detriment of tens of thousands of American lives. The blame for this goes to both democrats and republicans, because both parties invoked the "red scare" to produce votes.

    K-Rod: I am a supporter of President Obama, but I'm neither blind nor am I willing to give him a pass when he does things with which I disagree. I have a representative in congress, and 2 senators. I'm not shy about writing all three of them to tell them my opinion on various policies of the Obama administration.

    Do I think the Obama administration is perfect? Not by any means. Do I think the Obama administration is better than the last administration, or the "third term" Bush administration we would have had under McCain? Absolutely. But, Obama can and probably will screw up. He's human. The only perfect man was nailed to a cross 2,000 years ago.

    I've addressed my comments about the national debt in a different post, and won't repeat them here.

  17. ToE,

    This meme' of the right is nothing more or less than that - namely that the left is 'in love with Obama' and at that, blindly.

    Anyone, or perhaps I should say, any fool who believes that needs only take one read of "The Nation" magazine's recent articles to see that this is decidedly NOT the case.

    We are being cheated by Obama - by a party of Democrats so beholden to big business that there is little to distinguish them from Republicans. They are putting in toothless reforms, spending hundreds of billions to bailout Wall Street, but little to anything to effect real change.

    K-rod, and people like him, live in their little fantasy land of griping about "Obama lovers" because it's the only way they can rationalize things - they can't accept that in fact really bright, educated people abhore the power of Wall Street and what it's done to the middle-class in the past 30 years of unbridled capitalism, that they attmpted to bring about change in 2008, thought they'd elected someone who would do so, and are DEEPLY dissappointed at what they are seeing.

  18. I wouldn't say the left was in love with Obama but during the election the media was certainly afraid to criticize the first black man with a reasonable chance of winning. I think had Colin Powell run as a republican against John Kerry or someone like that you would have seen the same thing in reverse. Obama also hit a bit of culture shock when he got to Washington. It is all well and good to campaign saying you will clean up things but when you get there reality strikes. The congressmen cheering you on during the election thought you meant clean up the money all the other congressmen were getting, those wiretaps everyone thought you would stop suddenly sound very useful after a few daily security briefings, the speaker of the house still tries to treat you as a junior senator and your vp sticks his foot in his mouth on national television every couple days. The last time anything really got done in Washington was when Newt and crew got most of Congress tossed out and got elected on a platform of fixing the budget. Clinton was a governor from a small state and was not a Washington insider. The Soviet Union had crashed and so military spending was at a minimum and the economy was doing good. They managed to balance the budget and create a surplus. By the time Bush took over Clinton had been caught cheating on his wife and what was left of Newt and crew were spending money like drunken sailors. Washington corrupts you.

  19. TTuck,

    Thanks for the comments (as always) -

    As regards Obama, frankly, I'm pretty dissappointed. He's backed of so many campaign promises (promises which got him supporters and money, much less votes) - that I think he's showing himself to be less a naive' person unable to deal with the realities of Washington's insularity, than he is showing himself to be clearly a member of the insular club.

    He treats his fellow congressmen as if they are his peers, he treats them in a "Senatorial" way, instead of fighting. It makes me think he's not even interested in the topics, much less the fight. He's showing himself to be weak, and the country will suffer for it. Even on things he wouldn't have to fight for, he's backed off (like not taxing health benefits provided by employers). While no one trusts the Republicans (nor should they) to do any better, he's proving the Dems can be equally inept and ineffective, if not equally mendacious.


  20. K-Rod,

    Liberal and Fascism are oxymorons, we've had this discussion. I'm allowing you to continue using the term against my better judgement. It's a fatuous statement, it's grossly insulting, and you know it's something I find offensive.

    That said, IF you mean that things like affirmative action, or political correctness are against teh interests of the country, I could not agree more.

    I am a classical liberal, I believe in personal liberties, not the power of the state. You claim this is true of you, okay, but your other comments point to an entirely different person.

    That you aren't a 1960-1979 typical Republican, I have no doubt - you are FAR to the right of that clearly. But that means you support things like diplomacy at the end of a gun, a wasteful, bloated military, inaction in financial oversight, massive shift of assets upward, and the tactics that have lead to the destruction of the middle-class (such as the erosion of the Fair Labor Standards Practices Act) - while you may be a civil liberterian in your eyes, to the rest of us, you are simply someone who believes that the powerful should not be fettered by laws from taking everything they can from the less powerful.

    Regardless, you are rather naive' about what liberals believe about Obama. Read the Nation for a week or month. Obama is RAPIDLY beocming disliked for his inaction on key ideals, ideals of liberty by the way. You are apparently naive' about the intentions and nature of most liberals and I find your complaints (as well as your history) wanting. As I said, do your homework if you want to comment here, otherwise the lawyer(s), the priest, the veterinary specialist, the community organizer, the nurse, the banking executive, et.al. are going to serve you your lunch every time you post. Word of advice.