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Syria and Rockville

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Published on: Thursday, September 05, 2013

By Brian J. Karem

And now: Syria.

Last week our President with the furrowed brow spoke deeply and eloquently about the need to bomb Syria.

Syria we are told is engaged in the use of chemical warfare on its own citizens, and according to our President with the furrowed brow and Shakespearean timber to his voice is aghast at this development. Deeply worried, he told us this means a direct challenge to our nation’s ability to survive.

But as he considers himself the head of the oldest constitutional democracy, our President with the deep Hollywood delivery and the worried look of a concerned father, cannot take unilateral action. He wants Congress to come along for the ride.


The situation is not only entirely laughable, but if presented as a screenplay would have about as much traction as a “Howard the Duck” sequel.

Personally, I could not care less what goes on inside Syria. But more to the point, who are we to decide what another sovereign nation does to itself?

Not only is it bad enough we have painted ourselves into the corner of being the world’s police force, but we don’t even have the temerity to hold dear the ideals we supposedly defend.

Every nation on earth can see this administration and the most previous administration care little for fundamental rights.

We sacrificed those rights for the sake of the appearance of safety following the attacks on the World Trade Center.

We jettisoned free speech as whistleblowers came forth and told us about a variety of abuses in our own government.

The NSA apparently has cameras in my bedroom and listening devices on my credit card and in my underwear – just in case there’s a terrorist threat there I suppose. The DEA has my credit card information, telephone bills and my Christmas list just in case they deem it necessary.

No wonder why the Federal government released information last week that will allow states to decide whether or not they can legalize marijuana – best to keep everyone stoned so we don’t get too upset about our eroding civil liberties.

Meanwhile we can smile as President Obama pumps his patriotic chest and in that fine, deep voice tosses Congress under the bus.

Now if this sounds like I’m slightly upset with my federal government, it’s only because I am.

On the other hand, I am inclined to give my local government more of the benefit of the doubt.

Down in the mighty fun, fine ‘burg of Rockville, the city has finally hired a new Human Resources Director.

Some in the city are upset with the new hire because she comes from Texas.

After all we all know about the dangers of Texas.

But more to the point, the new HR director comes from a city in Texas embroiled in its own controversies that sound eerily familiar to the problems in Rockville.

Some may say, tongue-in-cheek, well at least we got someone who knows about the problem, but some with little sense of the theater absurd aspects of life are upset about the prospects of an HR director coming to clean up problems very similar to those she’s currently facing.


As I said when Rockville hired a new city manager, perhaps we can all sit back a bit and give the new hitter at the plate a chance to take a few swings.

Granted, I’ve not been impressed with the batting average of the new city manager and the new HR director seems to be coming to the plate with an arm tied behind her back – but who knows, maybe she can surprise us all.

I’m far more apt to give these local people the benefit of the doubt because their stage is smaller, their focus is narrower and they are far more accessible (don’t laugh) than the President.

I’m not inclined to be as favorable there because my civil rights are in danger and bombing Syria as a “warning shot across the bow” seems no more logical than when terrorists do that to us. We’re just the bigger bully.

In Rockville there are few bullies – just creeping ineptitude.

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