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Monday, May 2, 2016

Boldly Going Nowhere

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Blunders of 2004

According to the dictionary, to blunder is to make a mistake through stupidity, ignorance or carelessness. We all blunder on occasion, but it mostly goes unnoticed. Some people blunder in front of the whole wide world.

Howard Dean. The leading Democratic candidate for president after the New Hampshire Primary, Dean fell off a turnip truck during the Iowa Caucuses and went into a hollering tirade, shouting the names of states he expected to carry in the near future. He looked more like a chimpanzee on too much caffeine than presidential material. Even Democrats found this behavior outlandish so they settled on a taller man with less pizzazz.

Hunters and Trespassers. A deer hunter from St. Paul, Minn., shot eight deer hunters in northern Wisconsin, killing six of them, including a teen-age boy and a woman, after being told he was trespassing on their property. The trigger-happy Minnesota hunter was a Hmong (originally from Laos) and claimed the Wisconsin hunters made some ethnic slurs. Sticks and stones will break your bones but bullets will definitely get the job done.

Janet Jackson. During a musical performance at halftime of the Super Bowl, Jackson exposed her right breast, causing a great deal of moral outrage among viewers who were unaware of the structure of the female anatomy. At first, Jackson claimed it was a wardrobe malfunction. Later she recanted and said it was a last minute decision on her part. Major blunders seem to be commonplace in the Jackson family.

John Kerry. As the Democratic candidate for president, Kerry admitted he would basically do the same things that Bush did, only better. He spent more time talking about the Vietnam War than about the Iraq War. In the end, he couldn't figure out how he lost. Blunderers are often unaware of their own blunders.

NBA Basketball Players. Professional athletes are rather spoiled these days. Latrell Sprewell of the Minnesota Timberwolves rejected a two-year contract extension worth $14 million, claiming it was an insult and that he had a family to feed. Blunderers tend to exaggerate -- he could probably feed his family on half that much.

New York Yankees. After losing the first three games of the American League Championship Series, the Boston Red Sox swept the Yankees in the next four games to win the series, the only team to ever overcome a three-game deficit in the playoffs, and went on to the World Series where they won four straight games to become champions for the first time in 86 years. Losing four in a row to the Red Sox is a major league blunder.

Bill O'Reilly. As a conservative commentator on the Fox News Channel, O'Reilly has a daily show where he constantly criticizes others for their behavior. He was forced to pay a legal settlement (over $2 million) for sexual harassment to a former female producer of his show. Apparently O'Reilly made a series of sexually explicit phone calls to the woman who recorded the conversations. Let he who is without blunder cast the first stone.

Dan Rather. Prior to the November elections, Rather reported on the evening news that George Bush had not properly performed his National Guard duties and presented "official documents" as corroborating evidence. Even though the documents were quickly proven to have been fabricated, Rather continued to support the false story. Rather once claimed that even though Bill Clinton was a liar he was still honest. Apparently lying is a noble course of action when promoting liberal causes. Rather was relieved of his CBS News duties shortly thereafter.

George Tenet. Appointed CIA director during the Clinton Administration, Tenet told George Bush after the 9-11 attack that it was a "slam dunk" Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Based upon this intelligence, Bush engineered an invasion into Iraq. Sometimes a slam dunk rattles the rim and bounces out. Tenet resigned from the CIA for "personal reasons." When a slam dunk becomes a monumental blunder, things can get real personal.

A world full of public blunderers is like a barrel of monkeys -- you never know what the monkeys are going to do next and the bottom of the barrel always has a very foul odor to it.