Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

U.S. foreign policy in Yemen will fail in spectacular, unforeseen fashion.  I give you my solemn guarantee on this.  What?  Does anyone (other than the deluded covert ops people in Mordor) really believe ratcheting up the number of drone strikes in Yemen will make the average citizen in Amerika more safe?  The average citizen in Sanaa  (the capitol of Yemen, for those who may be geographically challenged) hates the drone strike policy and hates the corrupt military government, who are milking the al Qaeda threat for all the military 'aid' they can possibly extort.  Think this is winning us any friends in Yemen?  Think this will actually quench the desire for revenge on the part of future would-be jihadis?  Has it worked yet?  And if it hasn't worked yet, what makes anyone think it will succeed at some future point?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

More 'Heroes' In Action

How many more examples are necessary before Americans will relinquish their childish belief that every man or woman who dons a U.S. military uniform is a 'hero' out defending our freedom?  There are many, many instances out there of U.S. armed forces members brutalizing foreign civilians under occupation, brutalizing American citizens when they come home and become law enforcement personnel, brutalizing themselves or their loved ones because they can't cope with the stress, and now brutalizing for hire by Mexican drug cartels.

I have said this many times and will continue to say it: Modern military service is degrading to the human spirit.  In order to become efficient killing machines, recruits must first be stripped of moral and cultural inhibitions against violence and murder.  Why are people surprised when these thus-morally-corrupted individuals perpetrate atrocities, be it here or anywhere else on the globe?  Why do parents still glow with pride when they send their sons and daughters off to be part of the slaughter?  Why are even Christian parents not immune to this insanity?

We still keep sending them, and innocents still keep paying the price. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Let's Do It Again

These people are frickin' idiots:

Dempsey Outlines Syria Options

Do these people speak for you?  Because they certainly don't speak for me.  I most certainly have not given them my consent to go mucking around in the internal affairs of other nations, using my tax dollars to pick winners and losers, all with no idea of how this will ultimately play out.  When the CIA toppled Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953, did they foresee the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979?  When the U.S. backed Hosni Mubarak in 1981, did they foresee the Muslim Brotherhood in 2011?  When Bush I moved into Saudi Arabia in 1990, did he foresee al Qaeda in 2001?  When Bush II knocked off Sadam Hussein in 2003, did he foresee warm relations between Baghdad and Tehran in 2005? 

Then what makes these fools think this time will be any different?  Mark my words - this will turn out badly.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Idiocy and Apathy

It's been quiet around here of late.  I'm having too much fun working on my pet summer break projects.  But that doesn't mean I haven't been following the news - or lack thereof.

So, a quick 'quick thoughts' piece is probably in order.  I chose the title for this post based on my perception that the American public is, in the main, well - idiotic and apathetic.  That is, Boobus americanus spends entirely much too much time up in arms over things that are petty and ultimately irrelevant, and not enough time focused on the matters that will ultimately undo the republic.  Examples to follow.

1.)  Much ado is being made over Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's picture being on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.  The only proper response to this picture should be: So what?  Last I recall, we still have protected free speech in this country, so Rolling Stone should be able to publish whatever they want on their cover.  Moreover, it seems some people are worried the cover shot might result in Tsarnaev becoming a 'pop icon'.  I think it's pretty hard to become a pop icon when the caption on your photo says "THE BOMBER" in large print.  Moreover #2, Tsarnaev hasn't even been convicted yet in a court of law, so screaming "The Bomber" on the cover of your magazine might turn out to be premature.  And if you think the case against Tsarnaev is iron-clad (spoon-fed as it is from the federal government and its media mouthpieces), you're being entirely too credulous, my friend.  A republic needs citizens possessed of a healthy reasonable suspicion of all things government.

2.)  The response of the black community to the outcome of the Zimmerman trial is not helping the credibility of the black community.  It's one thing to shout "racist" when your children are being barred from universities and lynch mobs are operating in your neighborhoods.  It's an entirely different thing to shout "racist" when your team can't make their case in court.  Especially after what came out in court is that your guy was apparently bashing the defendant's head repeatedly against the sidewalk.  Increasingly it is looking like Zimmerman is the one having his civil rights violated, while the black community is coming off as the side with the true color blinders on.  In my neck of the woods, it's Latinos who feel targeted for prosecution, and surprisingly little has been said about their reaction to the Zimmerman verdict.

3.)  Sideshows like the Zimmerman trial and the Rolling Stone cover keep America's attention from matters that really matter.  While page one at Faux News is dominated by the Tsarnaev photo, little or no attention is being given to
  • the IRS selected scrutiny of conservative groups
  • the NSA spying scandal
  • efforts by the US to train and equip Syrian rebels
  • the farm bill (a perfect, shining example of how the government wastes enormous amounts of time and money haggling over legislation it has no constitutional authority to craft in the first place)
  • draconian legislation pending in our most populous state, California, to further infringe upon gun ownership
  • efforts by various state and local governments to nullify federal gun control and indefinite detainment laws.
Whether George Zimmerman went to prison or not is a subject that had little direct impact on the life of the average citizen, but there are many, many examples out there of government continuously straining to increase its control over what we do, with whom we associate, how we do business, where we travel, and with what we may defend ourselves should the day ever come (hopefully it won't) in which we have to defend ourselves from the government.  One would think these sad facts would stir up the nation to be increasingly vigilant and demanding of accountability.  Unfortunately, it seems more and more as though the public is becoming inured to the assaults on our liberties and that the republic may pass not with a bang, but with nary a whimper.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Picking and Choosing

Our betters in Mordor seem hell-bent on abusing, ignoring, and/or trammeling our constitutional rights.  Particularly it appears they wish to deprive us of the protections enumerated in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Amendments.  With the 5th, on the other hand, they have no problem.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Villains

Today, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham referred to Edward Snowden as a 'villain', which of course begs the question, Who is the real villain in the on-going saga of NSA spies gone wild?

Consider this:  for years now, the NSA and other agencies within the shadowy world of Homeland Security have been monitoring the private communications of U.S. citizens on a massive scale.  A massive scale.  All of this has been done in spite of the Constitutional requirement that such searches must first be preceded by the obtaining of a warrant, which under normal circumstances can only be obtained from a judge after demonstrating reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.  In this case, however, millions of warrantless, secret searches have been conducted under the authority of the USA-PATRIOT Act.  To restate, the federal government has been conducting millions of unconstitutional (and therefore illegal) searches, using legal chicanery to keep their dirty deeds veiled from the public.  Compared to this monstrous evil, what did Edward Snowden do that is so terrible?

He told us the truth.

And now, the federal government is using every tool at its disposal to hound and pursue Edward Snowden, including breathing out threats against any country that may offer Mr. Snowden sanctuary.

The words to describe this horrific juxtaposition of justice fail me.  We have become a nation where exposing the truth is becoming hazardous to one's health, a nation where those whose duty it is to protect and defend the Constitution now so regularly and thoroughly violate and disregard that document that its supposed limits on the power of the federal government have been rendered null and void.

It is clear to me, at least, who the real villains of this story are.  Mr. Graham, you and your fellow cronies are the true enemies of liberty.  Lines are being drawn, and you, by your words and actions, are drawing them.

On which side of the line do you stand, dear reader?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Perpetual War Day

Another Memorial Day, another day of Facebook posts filled with tributes to 'heroes'.  Many of these posts gush that the fallen 'heroes' will never be forgotten.

Forgotten, eh?  Americans seem to have selective memories.

Americans seem to have forgotten that Dubya Bush promised a "humble foreign policy" and "no nation building", yet we have spent almost 12 years mucking around in Afghanistan attempting exactly that.

Americans seem to have forgotten that Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice swore to us with straight faces that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, yet those weapons never turned up after almost a decade of war.

Americans seem to have forgotten that every man or woman who dons the uniform of an American soldier, sailor, or airman swears an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, yet on at least four separate occasions American armed forces have summarily executed American citizens without giving them the due process promised in that document.

Americans seem to have forgotten that in spite of the endless television commercials telling us that our armed forces are a "global force for good", those same armed forces have killed tens of thousands of noncombatant civilians in our vain efforts to mold the world in our image.

Americans seem to have forgotten that our 'heroes' have gunned down innocents and been caught on tape laughing as they did so.  They have deliberately targeted those attempting to give aid to the wounded in cold-blooded "double tap" operations.  They have murdered civilians and attempted to cover up the crime by making it look like the work of the enemy.  They have humiliated prisoners in their care.  They have urinated on the dead.  They have raided houses and villages in the dead of night based on faulty intelligence, and innocents have paid for the mistake with their lives.  They have, in some instances, turned over captives to some of the most brutal regimes on earth in order to have them tortured for information.  In other instances, they have done the torturing themselves, using techniques learned from regimes we were taught to despise -- Nazi Germany, North Korea, the Soviet Union.

Americans seem to have forgotten that time and time again, in the Shenandoah Valley, on the Great Plains, in the Philippines, in the air over Germany and Japan, in places like Wounded Knee and Mai Lai, our 'heroes' have wrought horrific death and destruction on civilian populations, people whose only crime was to be on the wrong side in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Americans seem to have forgotten that our 'heroes' are so traumatized by their experiences in uniform that over 2,000 of them have taken their own lives since 2001.

Americans seem to have forgotten that an estimated 1/3 of our female 'heroes' have been sexually harassed or assaulted by their male 'hero' counterparts.

Americans seem to have forgotten that the Constitution tasks Congress with declaring war, yet the executive has usurped this power and now feels free to commit American forces anywhere on the globe without congressional approval or oversight.

Americans seem to have forgotten how to ask hard questions, such as, Why are we being told that the war against al Qaeda will take another ten to twenty years?  And, Who profits from this state of perpetual war?

In George Orwell's novel 1984, the fictional state of Oceania diverted its citizenry's attention away from problems at home by waging an endless war abroad, a war characterized by an endless unbroken string of battlefield triumphs, but never any final victory.  Is that not what we have now?  How many times has the death or capture of some high-value terrorist been trumpeted to us by our masters, yet there is still no end to the fighting?  On the contrary, the 'war on terror' is being ever expanded -- ever more shadowy operators fighting in ever more countries, in secret battles funded by an off-the-books budget, in a campaign controlled by a tiny cabal in the highest seats of power, all while real liberty and prosperity is becoming daily more endangered.  No one seems to care.  No one raises the alarm.

When the good thing that used to be America, circa 1783, is irretrievably lost, will anyone notice?  Or will we be too busy remembering our fallen heroes?