Just A Coincidence?

 

It was early 1983, I believe, that the private investigative agency I worked for was hired to conduct surveillance at a campground on Panama City Beach. My boss and I were meeting with the gentleman who hired us, giving him an overview of how we would conduct the surveillance that evening. Since it was almost time to take up our respective positions, we stood up to leave the office when the gentleman, and I kid you not, asked, “Aren’t we going to coincide our watches?” I think I must have tilted my head like a puppy hearing a strange noise, but my boss missed not a beat, saying with impeccable diplomacy, “Yes, of course.”  

So we all stared at our watches while the owner counted, “five, …four, …three, …two, …one, …Mark!” “It’s a coincidence!” I blurted, while my boss practically pushed me out of the office, explaining that we really needed to be on our way. Outside, he observed that I hadn’t been that discreet since the time I tried to fit in at a lounge we were working by trying to casually light my cigarette and, instead, lit the filter, which flared up in glorious, attention-grabbing flames.  “So it’s not a coincidence?” I asked. He just shook his head and we went to work.  

To read the day’s news, however, is to see a blurring of the distinction between coincidence on one hand, and cause and effect on the other. For example:  

*  Obamacare’s requirement that health insurance providers must accept people with pre-existing conditions also forces providers to put high-risk customers, e.g., alcoholics and drug addicts, into the same risk group with healthy customers. Result: Last week, Democratic National Committee Vice Chair-person Donna Brazille took to Twitter to announce, “Just got off the phone with my health care provider asking them to explain why my premium jumped up. No good answer!”  Coincidence or an appeal to economic ignorance? 

*  Not long ago, the Education Department labeled the Head Start program down in Kanawha County, West Virginia as “deficient,” the ramifications of which are that the county must compete for Head Start funding in the future, rather than getting an automatic renewal of the funding. Consequently, county school officials sent transfer notices to some of the teachers who could be effected and stated that approximately half a dozen teachers could lose their jobs due to the Obama administration’s “deficient” assessment. Result:  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan faced the nation on CBS last Sunday and declared, of sequestration, that, “It means a lot more children will not get the kinds of services and opportunities they need, and as many as 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs. …There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can’t come back this fall.” Coincidence or bald-faced lie?  

*  The Environmental Protection Agency has announced it may have to shut down for all of three days as a result of the budget sequester, thereby allowing the nation’s energy producers a short respite from the harassment of federal busybodies. Coincidence or proof of God’s existence?  

Maxine-Waters.jpg*  Congresswoman Maxine Waters, (D-CA) warned that sequestration would cost some 170 million American jobs. Result: We learn that there are only 135 million to 143 million jobs to be had in America.  Coincidence or a typical appeal to her constituents?  

*  Announcing that sequestration would have disastrous effects on the nation, the administration preemptively released incarcerated illegal aliens into the United States general population. Coincidence or an act of aggression against citizens who believe in the rule of law? 

*  Attorney General Eric Holder has gone on record saying that budget cutting mandated by sequestration, “…is something that is going to have an impact on the safety of this country.” Holder warned that the Justice Department will lose nine percent of its budget by September 30, 2013, and that, “There are not going to be as many FBI agents, ATF agents, DEA agents, … They’re going to be furloughed. They’re going to spend time out of their offices, not doing their jobs.” Meanwhile: A GAO report finds that the Justice Department spent $11.4 million on luxury jet travel, unrelated to the Department’s mission, for the Attorney General and the FBI Director.  Specifically, “[T]hree individuals who served as Attorney General and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation accounted for 95 percent (659 out of 697 flights) for all Department of Justice executive non mission flights using DOJ aircraft at a total cost of $11.4 million.” Coincidence or appalling hubris?  

michelle-obama-600x450.jpg*  Under the Obama administration, the Veterans Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki promised speedier service for the nation’s veterans. The backlog of VA claims has risen 7 percent in the last year alone. These are claims for health services and related assistance to help these people put their lives back together in the aftermath of their selfless service in our defense. In Boston, veterans wait an average of 333 days, in Chicago they wait 431 days, and the average wait time in Los Angeles is 506 days. Simultaneously: Uniformed personnel are used as unacknowledged stage props while the First Lady announced who won the Oscar. Coincidence or a glimpse into priorities?  

*  The administration has stated that, “Narrowing the income gap is essential for ensuring social justice and harmony. We need to raise income levels of the poor and adjust taxes on the excessively wealthy.” The reality:  That statement was made by the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, in accordance with principles of the Communist Party of China and, by inference, with those of Karl Marx. Yet it reads like a Barack Obama speech or the Democratic National Committee’s platform. Coincidence or a common cause?  

*  Just today, Bloomberg reports that US incomes, in what is now the fifth year of President Obama’s economic policies, have experienced the biggest drop in 20 years.  Coincidence or an entirely predictable result?  

There are 26 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DocJay

    I was just thinking the same things Dave. 

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @Sandy

    Republicans fumed about the release of hundreds of illegal aliens.  Janet Napolitano now says that she didn’t have anything to do with this.   Coincidence or serious back-peddling?

    • #2
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    @TheKingPrawn

    That Lt. over her right shoulder appears to have her medals in the wrong order. Not to mention that if she’s a Lt. and has nothing but the two gimme medals, she is not the brightest bulb on the tree.

    • #3
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    @Pilli

    OK Dave, we need to get together and sympathize our watches over a cold beer.  (Before the sequester causes all FDA beer inspectors to be laid off causing a beer shortage.)

    • #4
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    @MrBrown

    The band or ceremonial sqaud they are from might be the LT’s first assignment, which could explain the lack of medals. 

    The King Prawn: That Lt. over her right shoulder appears to have her medals in the wrong order. Not to mention that if she’s a Lt. and has nothing but the two gimme medals, she is not the brightest bulb on the tree. · 32 minutes ago

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Reagan
    @Annegeles

    No military officer starts his/her career as a Lieutenant.  Before this she would have been an Ensign and then a Lieutenant j.g., and she should have at two or more other duty stations under her belt.   

    • #6
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    @SpudOChez

    What agent # were you?  008?  Or is that just for British Special Services?  You’d not only have to worry about watches but agent numbers to “coincide”.

    I’ve heard talk that the sequestration could end up as lose-lose for Obama.  I’m curious to see how the lamestream media spins it.  I just feel better knowing our Chief Executive is on top of things:

    Obama on Budget Cuts: ‘I Am Not a Dictator … I Can’t Do a Jedi Mind Meld and Convince Them to Do What’s Right.’

    (And please, in the future, if you are going to post pictures of both Mad Maxine and Moo-shell in the same post, could you affix the label NSFAL – Not Safe for After Lunch.  My roast beef sandwich started to go out through the in door.)

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    Spud O’Chez: What agent # were you?  008?  Or is that just for British Special Services?  You’d not only have to worry about watches but agent numbers to “coincide”.

    We didn’t use numbers at our little office, dontcha know.  So instead of Double-O-anything, I was Double-Or-Nothing.  

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    Pilli: OK Dave, we need to get together and sympathize our watches over a cold beer.  (Before the sequester causes all FDA beer inspectors to be laid off causing a beer shortage.) · 30 minutes ago

    Deal.  Or can deals be made under sequester?  This is all so confusing.  

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    Annegeles: No military officer starts his/her career as a Lieutenant.  Before this she would have been an Ensign and then a Lieutenant j.g., and she should have at two or more other duty stations under her belt.    · 13 minutes ago

    I’m not sure how various services show rank in mess dress uniforms, or whatever variation we’re seeing in the photo.  Could the young lady be an Army  2nd or 1st Lieutenant instead?  I’m honestly not sure.  

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Member
    @

    My guess is they are military musicians. Enlistment and promotion rules are sometimes radically different. Typically, an enlisted musician coming on board gets bumped up to E-6 after just six months. They have to do this to make the positions desirable for graduates coming out of university music schools with four-year degrees. For the Marine Band, boot camp and some other requirements of typical Marine enlistees are waived.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Member
    @jpark

    No doubt coincidence.  I wouldn’t want to post a comment that I might regret later.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DocJay

    Pilli, a beer shortage! I totally supersize with you.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Doc

    Oy that’s depressing. I need to go back and read the post above this one on optimism.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member
    @RobertELee
    Annegeles: No military officer starts his/her career as a Lieutenant.  Before this she would have been an Ensign and then a Lieutenant j.g., and she should have at two or more other duty stations under her belt.    · 4 hours ago

    All military officers start at lieutenant.  Naval officers, on the other hand…well, I’ll make no jokes about our lesser sister services.

    • #15
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    @ThePullmanns

    Dave, I think your post underscores that societal cognitive dissonance is often willful. We can’t believe the truth because it shows we don’t care about the truth. 

    –Joy

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Karen
    The King Prawn

    Dave Carter

    Annegeles: 

    O-3, i.e. Captain to the rest of the world. The medals she’s wearing are the Global War on Terror Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal, both awarded simply for being in the service during a specific time period. NDSM is 10 places above the GWOTSM.

    All that said, looking closer, she may be a Midshipman or something else. There is no sleeve design above her rank insignia. If so, what medals would/should she be wearing? · 2 hours ago

    I’m no expert, but I’m willing to bet that’s not a GWOT she’s wearing. They stopped giving that out 4 years ago, so she hasn’t been in long enough. It looks like the Navy Achievement Medal. The guy to right has one as well. My husband got married in his dress whites and wore the Navy Achievement and “pizza stain” on his uniform as an LT. They are all wearing cords/loops on their right shoulders which suggests they are Presidential Aides

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @DaveCarter
    Robert E. Lee

    Annegeles: No military officer starts his/her career as a Lieutenant.  Before this she would have been an Ensign and then a Lieutenant j.g., and she should have at two or more other duty stations under her belt.    · 4 hours ago

    All military officers start at lieutenant.  Naval officers, on the other hand…well, I’ll make no jokes about our lesser sister services. · 1 hour ago

    Oh geez, Bob.  Now you’ve done it.  

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheKingPrawn
    Karen

    The King Prawn

    I’m no expert, but I’m willing to bet that’s not a GWOT she’s wearing. They stopped giving that out 4 years ago, so she hasn’t been in long enough. It looks like the Navy Achievement Medal. The guy to right has one as well. My husband got married in his dress whites and wore the Navy Achievement and “pizza stain” on his uniform as an LT. They are all wearing cords/loops on their right shoulders which suggests they are Presidential Aides.  · 1 hour ago

    Edited 1 hour ago

    GWOT is still being given out. The end date has yet to be determined. Even if the above medal is something else, then she’s missing her GWOT.

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Karen

    As far as the VA goes, they’ve expanded disability eligibility requirements, so more people are filing claims. For instance, my husband was eligible for his sleep apnea while on active duty, but didn’t file a claim. I think if you do some poking around, you’ll be surprised how many Air Force personnel are taking advantage of this expansion. 

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Karen
    The King Prawn

    Karen

    The King Prawn

     

    GWOT is still being given out. The end date has yet to be determined. Even if the above medal is something else, then she’s missing her GWOT. · 1 minute ago

    You won’t find anything in writing about it, but I’ve heard from several people in different services that they don’t give them out anymore and haven’t in the last four years. They didn’t issue an end date. They just stopped. I haven’t known of anyone getting one lately. Have you? 

    michelle-obama-oscars-argo-w724.jpg

    The real coincidence is that with all the people that could have been put to be in this shot – check out the medals standing on the wings, they pick an LT without a GWOTSM to stand behind MO. I’d like to see somebody over at FOXNews ask why she didn’t have a GWOTSM.

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheKingPrawn
    Dave Carter

    Annegeles: No military officer starts his/her career as a Lieutenant.  Before this she would have been an Ensign and then a Lieutenant j.g., and she should have at two or more other duty stations under her belt.    · 13 minutes ago

    I’m not sure how various services show rank in mess dress uniforms, or whatever variation we’re seeing in the photo.  Could the young lady be an Army  2nd or 1st Lieutenant instead?  I’m honestly not sure.   · 1 hour ago

    O-3, i.e. Captain to the rest of the world. The medals she’s wearing are the Global War on Terror Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal, both awarded simply for being in the service during a specific time period. NDSM is 10 places above the GWOTSM.

    All that said, looking closer, she may be a Midshipman or something else. There is no sleeve design above her rank insignia. If so, what medals would/should she be wearing?

    • #22

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