Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I'm going to start this entry by saying that I have a lot of respect for John McCain as a man.  The degree of torture he endured as a shot-down flier in the Viet Nam war was beyond what most people could have tolerated.  All this followed the  pressure of being a third-generation naval officer - both his father and his grandfather were admirals - and so he has been driven to succeed.  About his mother, Roberta W. McCain, all one needs to know is that, according to his friends, when he calls her on the phone, he says, "Hello, Mother, this is John McCain."  Every time.

By all accounts, except for what you hear on FOX News, McCain is a mediocre senator, not known for writing or urging the passage of great laws. I try to imagine the slamming that a decent, family-loving man such as Barack Obama would have received had BHO come home from the war and dumped the wife who waited out those agonizing years, in order to marry a beer baron's daughter.  But, that's his deal.  

This latest venture by McCain to the frontiers of reason involves his claim that illegal immigrants are responsible for the wildfires that have burned 700,000 acres across Arizona.  McCain, who finished a distant second in the 2008 presidential election, had this to say on Saturday:

"There is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who crossed our border illegally."

and then he said,
"They have set fires because they want to signal others. They have set fires to keep warm and they have set fires in order to divert law enforcement agents and agencies from them."

And then he offered the following substantial evidence.


Dude, if you have evidence of wrongdoing, you need to come forward with it.  If you don't then go sit down with a nice hot bowl of shut-it stew, as Doug Heffernan would say.
Latino officials and others were quick to point out that all that McCain was doing here is fanning the flames of intolerance, if you will.

McCain (2nd left) with Forest Service officials
A U.S. Forest Service official said that the widespread blaze was believed to have been caused by one "escaped campfire," but there was no reason to believe it was a campfire started by illegal immigrants.

McCain did not specify what sort of illegal immigrants he was speaking of, to be fair.  Quite possibly, he meant that we should check the status of actor Ryan Reynolds, who is a Canadian immigrant.  Or it could have been the erstwhile Oriole, Twin and Yankee pitcher, fun boy Sidney Ponson, who hails from Belize.   Let's not discount the possibility that martians landed in Phoenix and went camping, and made s'mores out of graham crackers, chocolate bars and the Sta-Puft Marshmallow man himself.  That could have been the source of the fire, right there, eh?

It must be nice to be a US senator approaching one's dotage, just going around saying whatever irresponsible thing one feels like saying, making unfounded allegations, blaming a whole group of people for what may have been an accident.  

I don't know who or what caused these wildfires in AZ.

And that's why I'm not saying that I do!

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