Doberman held his left hand just under his chin. "I'm fed up to here about political shiftiness attached to funding for our troops," he announced. "Congress sent the president legislation containing more than number of dollars he asked for. I say sign now and get funds going.
Does he really want to keep dollars away from our service people while he stomps his feet like a child who didn't get his candy? He has plenty of time to fuss with the opposition about issues already on the table AFTER he is sure military folks are provided for."
Our old German was really wound up. "Then maybe he could declare how he refuses to sacrifice prompt funding because of stalling tactics from his opposition on the other side of the aisle. If the president's policies begin to work well, maybe the need for those timetables he dreads will not be as great. But our fighters need equipment and supplies NOW. First things first I say. Sign now and show you put our TROOPS FIRST, POLITICS LATER.
"And it goes for both parties."
"Is anyone else upset about television news coverage of the tragedy at Virginia Tech?" inquired the historian. "I firmly believe we have given that twisted, self-destructed idiot the fame and attention he sought. Do we have to know what he had to say? How many pictures do we want of him and his guns?
"It's a cinch he needed a lot of help understanding himself. So we need to work to determine what we might have done to help him even in spite of himself. And we need to think a lot about what we might do to prevent such a terrible event."
"Going back to the reason we saw such a deluge of information on television. Why did the directors and producers think it was so important to uncover small details and soak us in emotional responses?" pondered the philosopher. "We've talked about it before. It even has a label. Cheap Coffee Club Number 4, I think we call it.
"I am afraid I believe all that stuff was there in saturated form because TV production persons believe it is what we, the people, want to see. And it makes money for them.
"Perhaps it is like Pogo used to say, 'we have met the enemy and he is us.'"
The merchant was the next member with a point. "One thing which continues to concern me a lot is when information about loss of life among our service men and women is found at the end of a long report of hostile actions of the day. We should find those terrible statistics at the beginning, plus the details about the number wounded.
"You know the troops wounded are to be a continuing need for many years. Our present support system for providing long term care and other attention is seriously insufficient."
"We have a duty to perform on behalf of those who served us well in the face of our enemies," noted McBeane. "And we are looking inward at some serious problems within our nation as we try to protect our constitutional rights."
The cynic (sometimes called the sarcastic) got the last word. "In a paper the other day there was a letter to the editor about the Patriot Act. The person said we don't have anything to worry about concerning sneak surveillance by the government without a warrant if you haven't done anything wrong. On the other hand, just trying to get an aide in the White House to testify under oath causes uproar about individual constitutional rights."
"I am an aide to the lady in charge at my house and she maintains I have the right to mow today. See you tomorrow," said Doberman. The session was closed.
Richard Armbrust of Norwalk is the unofficial scribe of the Cheap Coffee Club, a group of retirees who meet each morning for coffee and conversation at a local restaurant. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.