Friday, March 18, 2011

Pedophilia and the Elites, Part Two

The Reagan Administration and Craig Spence

The story of Craig Spence is ultimately one of connections with powerful, wealthy, and influential people.  Craig Spence was little more than a correspondent for ABC News covering Southeast Asia out of Syracuse University during the Vietnam War.  After leaving ABC News, Spence parlayed his contacts with various Asian businessmen from China and Japan into a lobbying business specializing in Japanese commerce, for which he was registered as a lobbyist in January 1985.

Spence's name-dropping of various Chinese and Japanese politicians and businessmen was a personal quirk noted by virtually everyone who knew him, with one of his more famous self-professed associations being that of former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone.  Eventually, Spence would brag of his supposed employment with the CIA to multiple people, including prominent Chinese businessmen and Chinese Communist Party officials.

Spence's trademark was his ability to throw a party, and his seminars and parties were attended by a list of VIPs in Washington, many of whom were prominent in the Reagan White House.

"Not since Ethel(D-) Kennedy used to give her famous Hickory Hill seminars for great minds of our times during the days of Camelot has anyone staged seminars successfully on a continuing social basis in Washington. That's what Craig Spence has been doing."

   -from a 1982 New York Times profile of Spence entitled "Have Names, Will Open Right Doors."

Spence was a kind of bon vivant, a dandy known for his haberdashery and his connections with D.C.'s elite.  At one point, Spence's connections enabled him to visit the White House at 1 a.m. with a 15 year old male prostitute Spence passed off as his son and his VIPs in tow for an early morning tour.  Spence would later allege that his connections to Donald Gregg enabled him to pull off such a feat, an allegation that Gregg vehemently denied.

"White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater and several of his deputies have said repeatedly that they do not know if Mr. Bush considered it appropriate for male prostitutes to be touring the White House at 1 a.m."

   -White House Mute on 'Call Boy' probe, Frank J. Murray Washington Times

This changed abruptly when federal agents raided a house at 6004 34th Place NW on February 28th, 1989 after receiving reports of blackmail and possible credit card fraud.  What the Secret Service found in the raid was a switchboard serving half a dozen homosexual escort services operating under the umbrella of Professional Services, Inc.  From there, the investigators were able to trace Craig Spence's credit cards to $20,000 a month in male prostitutes procured from the homosexual escort services in question.

But that wasn't all: investigators found credit card documents linking Stanley Mark Tapscott, then assistant managing editor of the Washington Times, to the escort services.  Charles K. Dutcher, former head of presidential personnel in the Reagan Administration, was also linked to the Professional Services, Inc. escort services as well.  Significantly enough, Dutcher had also worked for Maryland Republican Rep. Robert Bauman, a man who resigned in disgrace after his patronage of teenage male prostitutes was revealed. Dutcher's past employment had also included a stint with then Vice President Dan Quayle during his days as an representative from Indiana.  

Sex scandals were commonplace then as now among congressmen, and there were several notable ones, including one that involved Dan Quayle and an insurance lobbyist named Paula Parkinson.  Quayle and his House colleagues Thomas Evans, Jr. and Tom Railsback took a golf trip with Parkinson to Florida, and Parkinson would go on to intimate in Playboy that their golf trip included sexual dalliances.  Evans and Railsback would lose their election bids in 1982 after news of the scandal broke, but Quayle would survive and continue on to re-election.  

It wasn’t anything unusual for political figures to be involved in unsavory sexual escapades, and with Dutcher employed by both Quayle and Bauman, and later linked to a homosexual escort ring, there were plenty of reasons to look closely at Bauman’s affiliation with various politicians.  But there was more: Todd A. Blodgett, who prepared President Reagan’s daily news summary, was also linked to Professional Escort Services as well via a charge on his credit card.  
Paul M. Rodriguez and George Archibald uncovered more in their June 29, 1989 front page article in the Washington Times:  
The documents show that a number of clients-lawyers, doctors, and business executives-used 
corporate credit cards to procure escort services and that a number of military officers from   the 
United States and allied countries-including one foreign officer using a “Department of 
Defense” credit card-charged male escort services.”  
Worth noting as well was the fact that the Secret Service, whose agents had conducted the raid, had never before been involved in a raid on a prostitution ring.  The district police were unaware of any prior involvement by the Secret Service in those types of raids, but what really raised eyebrows was the following revelation in the Rodriguez and Archibald article: 

Although the confiscated material was turned over to District police on the scene, witnesses    
 and law enforcement agents say the Secret Service kept one box of files containing names and 
 other information about high-level government officials who were clients of the male escort 
However, even though one box of files containing information about high-level government officials was confiscated by the Secret Service, which would later justify its involvement on the grounds that credit card fraud was committed, several names, including those of Dutcher, Tapscott, and Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole’s political personnel liaison Paul R. Balach would be leaked to the media.  Todd A. Blodgett denied making the charges, claiming that he had loaned his credit card to Benedict A. Hastings, a Boston antiques dealer, who in turn claimed that he and Blodgett routinely used each others credit cards and that his purpose in retaining an escort’s services was to hire a bartender who would wear a skimpy outfit. 
Three individuals who had either worked for Republican congressmen or in the White House directly were implicated in the bust, along with Craig Spence, a Republican lobbyist who threw parties at his D.C. home for Republicans and Democrats alike.  Spence would also be linked to Stephen L. Gobie, the male prostitute who ran a prostitution operation out of Massachusetts’ Rep. Barney Frank’s Washington apartment.  According to Gobie’s Washington Times interview with George Archibald and Paul M. Rodriguez, Spence was a regular client.  In 1982, Gobie was convicted of four criminal counts, three of which related to his sexual acts with a 15 year old girl whom Gobie photographed during sexual intercourse.  Barney Frank would later admit to writing letters on Gobie’s behalf to probation officers in Virginia on congressional stationery.  The letters Frank composed on Gobie’s behalf argued that his probation should be shortened, even though Gobie was convicted of engaging sex acts with a minor and taking photographs of those acts.  
But what is more notable is the list of luminaries who attended parties thrown by Spence, reprinted here from the November 13, 1989 Washington Times article by Jerry Seper and Michael Hedges: 

Among those who attended his parties and were featured at seminars he sponsored were        
journalists Eric Sevareid, Ted Koppel, William Safire and Liz Trotta; former Ambassadors 
Robert Neumann, Elliott Richardson and James Lilly; the late John Mitchell, attorney general 
in the Nixon administration; Mr. Casey and other CIA officials, including Ray Cline, former  
deputy director of intelligence for the agency; former Lt. Gen. Daniel O. Graham, an expert 
on the Strategic Defense Initiative who now heads High Frontier Inc.; Sen. John Glenn, 
Ohio Democrat, and Sen. Frank Murkowski, Alaska Republican; and Joseph diGenova, 
former U.S attorney in Washington, and his wife, Victoria Toensing, a former deputy 
assistant attorney general.”  
Within that list are prominent journalists, ambassadors, bureaucrats, and elected officials.  And yet the federal investigation of credit card fraud associated with the homosexual prostitution ring did not touch on the following individuals, as the Seper and Hedges article detailed: 
Among those not contacted by law enforcement officials or the grand jury were: 

  • Officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations who were identified in The Times as having                used the call-boy service and paid with credit cards.

  • Those running the prostitution ring raided in February, and persons who kept the credit card            records of visits with prostitutes by people who worked in the Reagan and Bush White Houses.

  • Any of several high-profile friends of Mr. Spence's who attended parties at his Kalorama home or           spoke for pay at numerous seminars he sponsored as a registered foreign agent.

  • Prostitutes who said they serviced Mr. Spence and military personnel whom the former lobbyist 
    • hired as bodyguards.  
According to Spence’s own associates, there was surveillance equipment at his D.C. house, which Spence used to record his guests in compromising positions.  The footage could then be used to extract concessions from Spence’s associates and guests in his business dealings, as a June 30, 1989 Washington Times article by Hedges and Seper detailed: 
According to many current and former friends, Mr. Spence was a dangerous friend to         
 cultivate. Several former associates said his house on Wyoming Avenue was bugged and had a 
 secret two-way mirror, and that he attempted to ensnare visitors into compromising sexual    
 encounters that he could then use as leverage. 

One man described having a limousine sent to his home by Mr. Spence and being brought to a   
            gathering at which several young men tried to become friendly with him. "I didn't bite; it's not  my inclination," the man said. "But he used his homosexual network for all it was worth."

The man, a business associate of Mr. Spence who was on the White House tour, said: "He was 
blackmailing people. He was taping people and blackmailing them."

One former friend said he saw an 8-foot-long, two-way mirror overlooking the library of Mr. 
Spence's home which, he said, he was later told was used for ‘spying on guests.’” 
Spence himself routinely bragged to his friends about his connections with intelligence figures, and according to a Chinese businessman who functioned as a sort of emissary for the Chinese Communist Party in Washington, Spence even alluded to his employment with the CIA: 

Mr. Spence made good contacts in Japan and among Chinese expatriates, often bragging of  his 
  close association with former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and appearing  in 
  public with a Chinese businessman who once served as an unofficial representative of   
 Communist China in Washington, sources said.
 The businessman said this week that he did not know exactly what work Mr. Spence did, but 
 that he often bragged about his contacts with Japanese businessmen and political leaders, 
 particularly Mr. Nakasone.
He described Mr. Spence as "strange," saying that he often boasted that he was working for the  
 CIA  and on one occasion said he was going to disappear for awhile "because he had an 
 important CIA assignment."  
According to the businessman, Mr. Spence told him that the CIA might "doublecross him,"  
however, and kill him instead "and then to make it look like a suicide.
The simple reality was that various Washington movers and shakers were attending parties at Craig Spence's house, laden as it was with surveillance equipment.  When the D.C. prostitution ring was revealed, Spence's $20,000 a month patronage of the gay escort services was revealed.  Many of the other individuals who were revealed to have frequented the escort services in question worked within the Reagan Administration or for politicos who had been exposed as pedophiles in prior scandals.  Additionally, individuals within the Defense Department were revealed as customers of the escort services as well.  

Despite the fact that Craig Spence was engaged in a likely blackmail operation whereby he plied Washington power brokers and influential figures with escorts in order to record his associates in compromising positions, the grand jury empaneled to examine the matters would not extend its focus beyond credit card fraud.  The grand jury was more notable for what it failed to examine than what it did examine.  

However, the story of Craig Spence would take a much stranger and insidious turn when a black  Republican operative and banker from Nebraska by the name of Lawrence King was linked to Spence and his Washington parties.  Lawrence King's name would show up on various credit card receipts from the same homosexual escort services that Spence had frequented, but further digging would reveal a bankrupted credit union and allegations from as far back as 1984 that King had been involved in the trafficking of minors to cross country sex parties occurring behind the scenes at GOP fundraisers and meetings.  

One of the names that would come up was none other than that of then-Vice President George H.W. Bush, who was allegedly witnessed at two of the sex parties thrown by King.  The girl in question was the foster child of King's first cousin Barbara Webb, and she would go on to pass four polygraphs administered by a Nebraska state trooper.  The social workers and police investigators who looked into her allegations and heard her story found her to be credible, but as in the Washington incident, credible allegations were overlooked to divert the focus away from salacious allegations of a sex scandal and towards a more conventional scandal: the disappearance of $40 million from the credit union run by Lawrence King, and its subsequent collapse.  

Next: Larry King, Franklin Community Credit Union, and George H.W. Bush's Link to an Omaha Child Sex Ring.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Astroturf in North Africa and the Middle East

The Saudi Arabian military is on the march to enter the tiny kingdom of Bahrain in order to quell the democratic uprising against Bahrain's beleaguered monarchy.  It's not surprising at all that the Saudi royals are less than enthused about the prospect of a successful uprising resulting in a democracy replacing a royal family so close to Saudi territory.  The cynicism of our times demands that we believe our own government will stand by fecklessly as "stability" is restored and convenient dictatorships are kept in place over the will of the people.

What's more surprising is that the Israeli government is bolstering the Gaddafi regime with mercenaries from other North African countries.  That's right, the Israeli government is supporting the regime of a man who confiscated the property of Jews upon his ascendance to power.  Stability. That's the key word, and if you really believe that the Israelis want democracy for Arabs throughout the Middle East and North Africa, you have only to look at their actions in regards to the Libyan rebellion.  They'd chose to align themselves with a brutally repressive dictator who has repeatedly called for the annihilation of Israel as a state and the Jews as a people.  The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know, isn't it?

The Israeli government is providing some 50,000 African mercenaries to provide the kind of fighting will that Gaddafi's own forces lacked in the face of the rebels, and the United States is backing the move.  Our government demanded immunity for the mercenaries in the International Criminal Court with a UN resolution.  That's right, the mercenaries can go around raping and killing and looting indiscriminately, with the full blessing of the United States government!  How's that hope and change going for Libya and the rest of the world?   Not well.

Now, if and when the U.S. government gets its hands on Julian Assange or any of the key players behind Anonymous and Wikileaks, those individuals will face greater punishment than the African mercenaries flooding into Libya to kill Libyan citizens rising up for self-determination and freedom.  That's the moral calculus our government engages in, and that's the reason Americans are targeted by terrorists decades after the fact.  It's time to put a stop to our government's interference in Libya and elsewhere, and to recognize that American lives are not safer as a result of American military bases in 160 countries abroad.  In point of fact, our lives and the lives of our children will face threats as a direct result of the resentments sown by the American military industrial complex abroad.

You've heard of astroturf in the United States, and the term has been used as a discrediting pejorative towards the Tea Party and other groups rising to resist the dominant political paradigm.  Welcome to astroturf in Libya and the Middle East, where people who rise to resist their dominant political paradigms and dictatorships are denied the opportunity for and their God-give to self-governance by the interference of foreign governments.  May God assist the people of Libya and Bahrain, and may they prevail in their fight for democracy, self-determination, and freedom.

Japan: Three Nuclear Reactors Now Partially Melting Down

The Fukushima Dai-ichi is reportedly undergoing a partial meltdown at three of its tsunami damaged reactors, with fuel rods said to be melting within the three reactors.  If this is true, there is no practical way to contain the meltdown, as the rods will likely melt through the containment barriers.  In practical terms, this means that Japan is facing a catastrophe of immense proportions.  The threat of three simultaneous reactor meltdowns will likely tax every bit of ingenuity and capacity on the part of the Japanese government and its engineers.  

In human terms, the above photo encapsulates the tragedy in poignant way.  That's a Japanese woman who has been exposed to radiation contamination, sequestered behind a containment barrier for individuals who have been exposed to unsafe levels of radiation, reaching out to her dog on the other side of the glass.  The simplest of gestures, one that you and I take for granted every single day when we reach out to touch our loved ones, is something this woman can only do from behind glass.  More than any other photo, graphic, video, or diagram that I've seen from the tsunami coverage, this photo shows the human side of the tragedy in a way that is simple and moving.  

You can help by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone, or you can visit the Red Cross's website to make a donation.   Even if you don't have money, you can still donate blood, which is always needed.  You can also contribute at, or you can text JAPAN to 50555 to contribute $10.  The Salvation Army is assembling a team to go to Sendai, Japan, and you can support their efforts by texting 'JAPAN' or 'QUAKE' to 80888, or you can visit

These people are facing a humanitarian crisis of stunning proportions, and many of the sites listed above also afford you the opportunity to contribute to humanitarian efforts in North Africa and the Middle East.  We in the United States, despite our considerable challenges and current political divides, are blessed beyond belief in comparison with our peers in Japan, North Africa, and the Middle East.  Open your pocketbooks, your hearts, and send your prayers on behalf of those who suffering in this time.  May God be with the people of Japan, North Africa, and the Middle East.  

Pedophilia and the Elites, Part One

Jeffrey  Epstein, the billionaire who eluded statutory rape charges after alleged encounters with 40 girls for the lesser charge of soliciting prostitution, has re-emerged as a news story in the past week due to his association with Prince Andrew of Britain.  It seems the world wants to know why a British prince would be associated with a Level 3 sex offender, which is Epstein's status in New York, Florida, and the Virgin Islands.  There's the taint of of guilt by association, given Epstein's 17 civil settlements thus far with girls he is alleged to have molested during their teenage years.

"I'm not a sexual predator, I'm an offender. It's the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel.

                    -Jeffrey Epstein, in an interview with the New York Post after his release.

But Epstein's behavior, and his close association with Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Woody Allen, and various other members of the jet set elite, is by no means an anomaly.  Of the men listed in the previous sentence, Woody Allen most certainly engaged in the same sort of behavior with his step-daughter by marriage Soon-Yi Previn.  The nude pictures Allen took of Soon-Yi Previn would figure prominently in his divorce proceedings with Mia Farrow, and the presiding judge would label his behavior "grossly inappropriate."  The behavior included full frontal Polaroids of Soon-Yi posing with her legs spread apart, with her vagina and face prominent in all of the pictures Allen took.  Additionally, Farrow alleged that Allen had molested their seven year old adopted daughter Malone (known at the time as Dylan Farrow).

Bill Clinton's peccadilloes are well-documented and oft-lamented facts of sordid presidential lore now; and Donald Trump, while never linked to pedophilia, has engaged in multiple extramarital affairs and re-marriages.  But what stands out about Epstein, more than anything else, is that with over 40 alleged victims, he managed to evade trial for statutory rape, instead pleading guilty to a single count of soliciting prostitution for which he served 18 months of incarceration and house arrest.

No ordinary man who did what Epstein is alleged to have done would have received so generous a deal, nor would their case have been submitted to a grand jury, which in Florida is unusual.  The recommendation of police to prosecute is usually sufficient in non-capital cases, but in the case of a Palm Beach billionaire, it wasn't sufficient.

Many of the distinctions drawn by the press in the aftermath were irrelevant from a legal standpoint.  It doesn't matter if you don't know that your sexual partner is lying about her age.  You're still guilty of statutory rape in the state of Florida even if you believe that your sexual partner is 18 years of age or older, because Florida Statute 794.021 imposes strict liability for the offense of statutory rape.  The fact that a 14 year old girl lied about her age before Jeffrey Epstein used a purple vibrator on her is irrelevant.  In the state of Florida, ignorance of the law and ignorance of age are not excuses, and the language of the statute explicitly codifies this:

"Neither shall misrepresentation of age by such person nor a bona fide belief that such person is over the specified age be a defense."

However, an excess of money and the ability to hire Dershowitz and Starr provides you with all the exception you need to evade culpability.  That's the key distinction one needs to understand about the wealthy and their behavior versus people of ordinary means who face culpability before a criminal justice system.  If you possess a certain type of drug for your own use, even though you aren't harming anyone else, you will likely serve more time for that offense than Jeffrey Epstein will serve for molesting underaged girls.  There is no comparison between the offenses as to which one is worse for society, because Jeffrey Epstein's behavior is clearly more damaging to the interests of society in protecting the welfare of children.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, could not plead ignorance of Epstein's tendencies, because he was photographed walking through Central Park with Epstein after Epstein had been convicted of soliciting prostitution and the details of the allegations against him were public knowledge.  Moreover, the fact that Prince Andrew stayed at Epstein's homes in New York and Florida, where Epstein and the Duke dined with Woody Allen and other guests in December of last year.

The audacity is breathtaking, especially when you consider that Woody Allen was one of the signatories of a petition demanding Roman Polanski's release from Swiss custody when he was arrested and faced extradition to face trial for his alleged crime of drugging and sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl.  But Epstein's regular dinner guests are even more surprising, when you consider who they are and who he has been revealed to be: newspaper publisher Mort Zuckerman, banker Louis Ranieri, Revlon chairman Ronald Perelman, real-estate tycoon Leon Black, former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold, and Tom Pritzker (of Hyatt Hotels).

And then there is the matter of Virginia Roberts, who appears in the picture below left with Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

Virginia Roberts spent four years as a masseuse with Jeffrey Epstein, during which time she repeatedly performed sexual favors for Epstein and his friends, a list that she alleges includes a well-known businessman, world-renowned scientist, liberal politician, and a foreign head of state.  At the time the above photograph was taken, Roberts was 17 years old.  For three of the four years that Roberts was in Epstein's employment, she was under the age of 18.  From the first encounter Roberts had at age 15 with Epstein until her final days in his employment, her relationship with Epstein was allegedly sexual. As a 15 year old girl recruited from a position as a changing room assistant at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago by Epstein's close friend Ghislaine Maxwell, Roberts never had any training whatsoever as a masseuse.  In point of fact, her formal training in the profession did not begin until almost four years later, when Epstein flew her to Thailand for her 19th birthday and enrolled her in a massage course.  In Thailand, Roberts would meet her husband, and she now lives in Australia, where she has begun giving interviews about her life with Epstein. Her allegations about times and locations are corroborated by flight logs, court documents, photographs, and eyewitness accounts.

Up until that time, Roberts was just a teenage girl transported around the world on Epstein's private jets, where she met the likes of Prince Andrew at various parties and was introduced by Epstein as his private masseuse.  The simple truth is that anyone besides Jeffrey Epstein would have been pilloried in the media for the obviously inappropriate association with an underaged girl who was clearly not an actual masseuse.  Instead, what the media has done is largely to focus on the alleged inconsistencies in the witness statements and errors by the police which supposedly caused prosecutors to let Epstein off the hook with the lesser charge of soliciting prostitution:

"The 14-year-old had told cops she told Epstein she was 18 because Robson warned her, "If you're not, he won't let you in his house."

As noted in the earlier paragraphs, Florida has strict liability with statutory rape, and neither ignorance of age nor a bona fide belief of age qualifies as a defense to statutory rape.  Any note of a 14 year old's deceit is irrelevant.  Under Florida law, it does not matter if you did not know or wrongly believed that your sexual partner was 18 years of age or older.  Moreover, the girl who warned the 14 year old was involved in soliciting other girls to come to Epstein's house for massages.  It is entirely likely and plausible that Epstein had explained to her what he wanted, including a false profession of age from any girl entering his house.

When Epstein was confronted with a list of male names investigators found on his home computers, he took the Fifth Amendment, indicating that his answers to their questions would be incriminating, according to the Daily Mail.  The investigators wanted to know whether or not any of the men on the list had engaged in sexual intercourse with the girls Epstein had procured as masseuses.

Additionally, the existence of a 22 minute taped interview between Epstein and New York Daily News reporter George Rush was revealed in an article by Palm Beach Daily News reporter Michele Dargan, but the New York Daily News has fought the release of the tape citing reporter privilege.  And who owns the New York Daily News?  None other than Epstein dinner guest and confidante Mort Zuckerman!   The tape is significant because it contains a number of admissions by Epstein which would confirm his abuse of minor girls, but according to Michael Fisten, one of the investigators working on behalf of one of Epstein's Jane Doe victims, Rush said that his publisher killed the story because the publisher knew Epstein.  Mort Zuckerman is the publisher of the New York Daily News.  At the very least, Zuckerman had evidence in the possession of his newspaper which would have aided the prosecution of an alleged pederast, and he chose to conceal it and hide the taped interview of his friend Jeffrey Epstein under the guise of reporter privilege.

As noted earlier, the patterns of this case are by no means an anomaly, and fit within the pervasive patterns of earlier sex scandals involving minors and the wealthy elites.  One of those scandals involved an orphanage in the Midwest, a Republican operative, and culminated in late night trips for VIP customers of a pedophile ring to the White House.

Next: Pedophilia and the Elites, Part Two: The Reagan Years

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The American Dream by Provocateur Network

Monday, Monday

Monday should see the beginning of a sell-off in Treasuries as Japanese investors withdraw their reserves in order to prepare for rebuilding.  Additionally, the trend in CDS costs for European debt indicates that a major event is on the horizon for the nations of Portugal and Greece, with possible ramifications for Ireland, Italy, and Spain.  The uncertainty of the past week, with the market dipping below 12,000, should continue into this week on a larger scale.  However, given the rigged status of the market, losses should quickly appear recouped by the latter part of the week.  Limited volume in trading is indicative of a small number of participants driving large movements to restore the losses of the broader number of trading participants.

The trend is building, much like the tsunami at sea, but we won't see how much volume is involved until the wave hits the shallows and crests.   Welcome to the next week: it's going to be interesting.  

Barry Gone Golfing: It's Just Something a President Does

You know, our president likes to golf an awful lot, and considering the alternatives, I suppose I understand why.  Back April of 2010, President Obama was confronted with massive volcanic ash plumes that prevented his attendance of the Polish President Lech Kaczynski's funeral, and the President had a rare hole in his schedule as a result.  He went golfing at Andrews AFB.

I can't say that I blame him. I have relatives and close associates whose funerals would come in second to a golf outing.  I hate funerals, though, because it's never really about remembering the deceased.  It's about catharsis and masturbatory rhetoric for the living.  I'm not nearly narcissistic enough to get into a competition to see who can pay the biggest respects with others who knew the deceased.  It's inappropriate.  If I had my druthers, I'd go golfing even if there weren't volcanic ash plumes to prevent my flight.  The exceptions would be my parents, my siblings, and their children.  I like my nieces and nephews on my wife's side as well.  I'd go for those funerals, though I pray I never have to where the children are concerned.

The president went golfing, which he does an awful lot anyway, but the part I didn't understand was why he couldn't be bothered to hop over to the Polish embassy and sign the condolences book.  Joe Biden and Hilary Clinton did, and it's just a gesture you make in those situations.  It's just something you do.

Here recently, the president went golfing in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.  North Africa and the Middle East are about to dissolve into utter chaos, and the commodities markets are out of control.  The banking system is still fundamentally insolvent.  One wonders whether or not the president is realizing the utter futility of his position, and the fact that forces beyond his ken are at work.

Probably not, but there has to be some inner sense that there isn't a whole lot he can achieve from the White House or the links in regards to the situations in North Africa, the Middle East, and Japan.  We're facing the specter of four simultaneous nuclear meltdowns in Japan.  The Republicans and Democrats are talking about temporary debt increases, which doesn't inspire confidence in the bond markets.  Then again, there's an argument to be made that our bonds shouldn't inspire confidence, since the chief bond buyer of late is our central bank.

It's just all-around bad, but with 22% real unemployment and 8% real inflation added to the already overwhelming and depressing ingredients listed in the above paragraphs, it's just not appropriate for a president to be on the golf links.  I hate to be one of those nattering nabobs of negativity, but the reality of the matter is this: it sends the wrong message.  The president can't be bothered to be behind his desk today, handling the pressing business of the world, because he's got a golf date and the reality of the matter is he can't do a damn thing about anything at the moment.  A president who golfs at a time like this either doesn't understand the gravity of the situation the world is in right now, or he's simply resigned to the futility of the matter.  Either way, such a president doesn't send an inspiring message or cut a figure of strength.

And that's exactly why the president shouldn't be getting his golf clubs out at the moment.  I had a golf date this Wednesday with my law school buddy and moot court partner, but I had to cancel when I realized that my wife's doctor's appointment was on Wednesday.  It's not that I can do anything at the doctor's office to expedite or help things along, but it's just something a husband does.  You go with your wife to the doctor rather than continuing on to the golf course.  In a time of international crisis and uncertainty, the President doesn't belong on the golf links.    He belongs in the White House, cloistered away and working, emerging from time to time to reassure the American people and elucidate on the courses of action being plotted and implemented.  It's just something a president does.