Friday, October 25, 2013


This week’s topic comes from Maria.

Retribution. AKA payback’s a bitch.

In 1972 8 members of a Palestinian group called Black September killed a pair r of Israeli athletes in their Olympic Village building and took 9 other athletes & coaches hostage. After a standoff and failed negotiatios the terrorists demanded aircraft to transport the hostages to Cairo.

The German’s had a plan – Operation Sunshine – to attack the terrorists in the building wherein they held their captives but that was dropped when the terrorists learned of the plan via television. Imagine that. A plan was hatched to attack the terrorists on the way to the airport. Again – foiled when the terrorists learned of the attack plan. Finally the Germans decided to attack at the airport.

Upon their arrival to the airport German snipers began firing and a pair of terrorists were killed – along with a German policeman. Within hours the remaining 9 hostages – being held in the helicopters that had transported them – were killed by the terrorists. In the ensuing shootout 3 terrorists survived and were taken into custody. Within 2 months those 3 terrorists were released by the Germans when Black September terrorists hijacked an airplane and threatened to crash same. Their price for the horrific crime – 2 months in a German peison.

Retribution. If the world has learned anything over the last 60 or so years it is that Israel does not take things lying down. They are nothing if not zealous in their responses to actions or perceived threats. Thus were Operation Wrath of God and Operation Bayonet conceived. Authorized by Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in 1972, the operation is believed to have continued for over 20 years – according to Wikipedia.

Over the years, direct assassinations, letter bombs and the like were the tools of the Israelis and Mossad as they extracted their retribution on Black September. The story has been told on screen and in books . Steven Spielburg’s movie Munich is one such chronicling of the events – based on the 1984 book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team, by Canadian journalist George Jonas . An interesting film with the usual poetic license taken but well worth watching.

So that’s one example of retribution. I’ll leave it to you to decide if the response was appropriate to the affront. Check out what the other LBC members have to say.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mobile telephony - LBC topic

Today's tpic comes from Ramana - Mobile Telephony. A great idea gone conmpletely and utterly mad. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Seriously folks - does everyone really need to be able to reach you whenever they want? 24/7/365??? Really? Do you need the same access? Really?

Texting? Sexting? Nekkid selfies? have we reached the upper limits of moral bankruptcy yet?

Texting - has the art of verbal communication gone missing? Have our thumbs replaced our vocal cords?

How many times have you been at a theater to see a movie and had the experience interrupted by a phone call or text message? Turn the damn thing off!! Tell the other idiots that get a call to turn their damn phones off too!! How often has your waiter or waitress gotten a phone call or text mesage when you were out to eat? How about the cashier at the local grocry/pick a store - any store - considering these days mo9st of those jobs are filled by "kids"?-

Don't get me wrong. There's a time and place for everything but really now - besides inhaling and exhaling is there really much else we need to do 24/7/365??? If Jim Croce had written Operator tof-day would uit be about a guy blowing up his ex girlfriend's phone at all hours? Would the song had the same heart?

I think not.

Why - you may ask - do I sound so negative about mobile telephony? My daughter - well over 30 - spends in excess of 50% of every waking minute on her cellphone. God forbid it becomes fully discharged and she is without it. It is her life. Smartphones??? Who're they kidding? They're huge contribiutors to the dumbing dowen of America.

Now on occasion I do find the videos shot by cellphones interesting. And it is nice to have a camera handy to take snaps at an accident or other newsworthy activity but we are dangerously close to creating an entire generation of paparazzi and that can't be good, can it? Has personal privacy totally left the building? Isn’t government intrusion bad enough for crying out loud.

Is mobile telephony sucking the soul from us?

There was a time, of course, when this was all still ver new.... remember that far back??

Yes dear readers - I realize mobile telephony has a place in today's world. Who needs an iPod when you can use a smartphone for the same thing. GPS? A good smartphone works just as well. Instant information at our fingertips. But really now - would your life be that much worse without mobile telephony?

Scuse me - my cellphone is ringing. Damn - it's all soooo confusing! Oh - and one of my very best friends was a prime mover in the invention and development of mobile phones. He was instrumental in the design of the switching systems that make the things work. He used to call me on the prototypes from Chicago. True story.

Friday, October 11, 2013

My greatest fear - LBC topic

My greatest fear has to be feeling powerless to help someone I care about. There are simply things I cannot do to help Lynn. I suppose that is not even really fear - but anger. I am mildly claustrophobic so I do have a slight fear of small ecnclosed spaces - I won't ride a full elevator - It is what it is. Everything else is manageable but it was not always so.

When I was a kid in Colorado I loved horror movies and they scared the bejeebers (nice technical term eh?) outta me. The first movie I ever saw was Tarantula (bonus points if you can name the megastar that made his movie debut in that one) and the thrill ride lasted until I was scared by Alien - the last truly scary movie I saw. Here's a clip of Leo G carroll in Tarantula - sort of Topper gone wild -

Along the way I've been scared by and of giant prehistoric flying reptiles (Rodan - I ran home from my cousin Greg's house, hiding under trees so if Rodan was circling the sky like a vulture he (she?) wouldn't see me and eat me after he and I saw that one), Werewolves, vampires, Abominible Snowmen, giant carrot people (the original Thing), body snatchers (the original rocked, the remake was damn good too)

Then there were the man-eating plants (Day of the Triffids)

Strange lobster-like thingees - (Lynn was terrified of this one - I always thought it odd she loved to eat lobster)

Anything with Voncent Price, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr was pretty much a frightening certainty. And of course Bela Lugosi's Dracula.

The last 2 really scary movies I recall are The Exorcist - saw it and then spent the night ine night alone in a strange house and when the resident cat leapt from the frisge to the stove I about went through the roof - and Alien. Some of my fondest memories are of spending Saturdays at the Uptown Theater in Pueblo, Colorado with Kenny and Tommy - alll 3 of us sitting with our legs curled up under us like we were around a campfire - so the monsters wouldn't get us from beneath our seats.

Todays world can be a truly frightening place. It's a shame we have allowed it to become so. But I'm still more scared by the old classics and I'n happy to be that way.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Ego - a fitting topic for my return to LBC blogging after a brief time in the weeds as it was described. Or was it the shadows. Regardless - I’m baaaaaaaaaack.

Everyone has an ego - and how we manage our ego goes a long way toward shaping what people think of us. Ego is continually on display in politics - the battleground wherein the overinflated egos of several of our politicians are on display in all their unwarranted arrogance simply - in most cases - as a means of posturing for position in whatever election comes next. There's the supremely arrogant (or confident as his supporters say) Ted Cruz - the Tea Party's latest darling since the fall of Sarah Palin, Harry Reid - that grand embarrassment to the great state of Nevada, John Boehner - he of the free-flowing tear ducts and the apoplectic former VP Al Gore to name a few. Where you fall on the political spectrum most likely determines whether or not you see any of them as egotistical jackasses or supremely confident leaders.

The common thread in those listed is they all have strong egos. Most leaders do. In fact try and name a leader that does not have a strong ego. Gandhi? I suggest he was supremely confident in himself and his humble facade masked a gigantic ego. He knew exactly what he was doing. His sense of self-worth was as comfortably worn as his clothes.

We can have conflicting egos - as a young athlete I was self-confident and assured. I wanted the ball in the big game - wanted the other team to run my way on the big down so I could stuff the play and loved being on the wrestling mat in a big tournament or dual meet. But put me in front of a 5'2" female that had the audacity to look at me, smile and god forbid talk to me and uh oh. It was find a rock to hide behind time. Knocking knees resembled a Dave Clark drum roll (well - Clark was a fraud - those recorded drum rolls were really Bobby Graham's). Speaking of Clark - his massive ego comes from his ability to make money back in the early days of the British Invasion (the musical invasion). Add in the adulation of millions of teen agers and in his case the result was/is an ego of massive proportions that is firmly in the winning isn't everything - it's the only thing camp.

Me? As I've said many times, I'm a simple guy. My ego is largely in check - but I have my moments. Blogging can be a grand way to put your ego on display and I've done that a time or two. I once mentioned my IQ - not to brag about the number but to show that IQ does not always relate to common sense and real-world smarts. Bad idea. A reader took me to task over that exercise. I read a lot so I fall into the camp of those who know a little about a lot of things. And as you know - a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. But I love the debate above all else so my ego can handle the occasional bashing as long as I get my licks on. And if I can offer any advice about ego, I say embrace your ego. It's a large part of who you are. It's a shaper of your personality.