memorial day
i have been trying to think of something substantive to post in celebration of memorial day. but since i can't, i'll just post my thoughts on what would be a good way to spend a memorial day.

first off, of course, is to say thanks to the soon-to-be-gone wwii vets. if you know any or see any about, let 'em know they're appreciated.

second, if you know anyone servind overseas, drop them a line. dosen't have to be anything spectactular, i don't even reccommend getting all gooshy, just say hi.

and third, do the thing that pisses off our enemy more than anything else: have fun. enjoy your family, have a cookout, get hammered, whatever you do. (assuming, of course, that you're lucky enough to have monday off :P ) turn off the tv, don't watch the news, don't obsess over the war or who said what on the hill. it'll still be there tuesday.

take a moment to remember those who have fallen and those who came before us and then spend the day doing what they sacrificed to allow us to do: enjoy freedom and make the most out of life.
i'm willing to pay taxes for welfare freedom
a response to the this bit of drooling insanity on the pg's letters page.

the last one on the page, titled "i'm willing to pay taxes for peace." here is my reply, if only i wasn't afraid of turning into a letters to the editor junkie.

To the Editor,
in a letter in wednesday's paper, tim pearce struck upon a really good idea. he wishes to no longer have to fund our country's military (one of the few legitimate purposes of the federal government provided for in the constitution) because he is apparently morally opposed to being able to defend ourselves and wiping the virus that is terrorism off of the planet.
using the logic of mr. pearce's argument, i would like to no longer have to pay taxes for all government programs that i am morally opposed to. this includes but is not limited to: unemployment benfits, government healthcare (to include medicare and medicade), social security, any and all forms of welfare, any and all foreign aid allowments, any and all programs designed to sponsor the arts, music, science, or any other private endeavor, public school systems, government subsidies for education, transportation, or any ailing company, etc. essentially, i want the 53% of my taxes that does not go to the military back, because i strongly disagree with any government funding of anything other than what is specifically provided for in the constitution, and i am morally opposed to government aid and redistribution of the wealth.
my religion and my conscience forbid me to allow these horrid practices to continue, and i cannot in good conscience know that my tax dollars are being spent on the victims of wealth redistribution. i believe that there are other ways to solve our problems, but i want the government to stay out of it and let the people fix it themselves.
so, as mr. pearce says, write your congressmen to let them know you support the military, and love your country, but are morally opposed to seeing it devolve further into a quagmire of socalism and misspent goodwill, and that you wish to see monetary freedom returned to the land of the free.

actually, i don't want all those programs eliminated entirely, of course, but i do think it makes the point.
the day after the day after the day after the day after...

if you should happen to go see that nutty day after tommorow movie (which, by the way, if "tommorow" never really comes, because it's always the next day, what does that make the day after a day that never comes?) print out a few of these and take 'em with you in case you run into any moo-oner's passing out their flyers. the sheer confusion in their eyes would be hilarious.

I finally read 'strength'
because i've been seeing on every freaking blog i read about how great it is, but i haven't had the vacation days built up to read it. but, eventually i broke, sat down, took some ritalin, and of course, it is everything promised and more. i'm going to read it again and take notes when i have a few days to kill, but if you haven't yet then call in sick tommorow and head over there.

my only other comment on it is that i didn't find it particularly deep, or subtle, or (dare i say) nuanced. the things he talks about are things that we all know but don't...connect in the way he does. it's less deep thinking and more blunt obvious blatant reality, explained in such a way that so many, many things you already knew but didn't fully understand (even if you didn't know you didn't understand) finally make sense.

it isn't some deep-thinking naval-gazing incomprehensible manifesto, and that's what makes it so good.
video shows...
for whoever googled me for "video shows american rangers killing iraqi civilians"...


you won't find it here, and if you do find something like that somewhere, you better do some serious fact checking.

not that something as insignifigant as "facts" matter to your view of the greater good...
the biggest news story out there.
i really, really want to know why, for so long, al-sadr's mob was the top news story while he was feeling his oates, holding a city hostage and defying the us.

then, he started to lose, and the only thing you heard in relation to that was that some tanks had to drive through a cemetary.

and now, he has surrendered, and peacably no less, one of the biggest achievements since the fall of baghdad, and what's on the front page of my newspaper? there's some local public schools shutting down.
politics and the catholic church
i mentioned before that the decline of the catholic church depresses me, even though i don't really have much room to talk because i'm not much of a practicing catholic anymore. but i used to be very, very into it, and it saddens me every time i see it further devolve into social capitulation that is rampant among some forms of prodestantism. (not meant as a criticism of prodestantism, but really...gay preachers? can someone explain to me how that is not a step toward moral relativism?) say what you will about the catholic church, they have been, if nothing else, a powerful force in generally improving the human condition for a long time, and a guidepost that has served as an absolute rule between good and evil.

but now, desperate for practicioners and trying to fit into a softer world, the rule has been relaxed. which is why this post by ragin dave made alot of sense to me, as he faces a church that no longer fits into what he believes, but rather seems to be run by the folks at cnn. from shabby dress codes to rhetorically stabbing in the back the troops deployed overseas, the catholic church is no longer what it is suppossed to be: an absolute line of morality, a rock in the rolling waves of public opinion and societal pressure that will guide and support us ordinary humans for our lives and the lives of our children.

eh i babble. go read what he has to say, it's interesting and thought provoking
the effect of the "new media"
i don't have any news support for this one, but it is an observation from my life.

a guy i work with, generally liberal but dosen't really follow the news, has started listening to savage's radio show. he listens to it primarily for the entertainment while he's driving and such, but now he's coming up to me with things like, "did you hear gore's speech? that jackass!" i don't know if it's enough to get him to check the "r" box, but at least now he's thinking more and getting a fuller viewpoint than he would just watching the evening news.

and i think that this is wider than just the one guy, people call those shows all the time talking about how they've been converted, but i think just generally people are getting much more than the "mainstream" press would give them, and are leaning farther right because of it. who knows what the long term effects will be, but it's promising anyway.
zell miller rocks...
this is kindof an old link, but some of the stuff miller says in here is pure gold.

The man now wants to be the commander in chief of U.S. armed forces? U.S. forces armed with what, spitballs?"

"Look, John Kerry couldn't find Main Street with both hands," he said. "You can't make a chicken swim and you can't make John Kerry anything but an out-of-touch ultraliberal from Taxachusetts."

and all from a longstanding, respected democrat. love it.
life without internet
sucks. my intarweb at home is broken on me, and the stupid cable company can't get anybody to come out to fix it until friday morning. i called them monday night. this is at least the third time i've had it go down on me in less than six months, although the worst by far. pretty soon it's going to be time to switch companies, although i understand the other options aren't much better. i had a really good rant worked up about this...but i couldn't get online to put it in here and couldn't be bothered to write it down elsewhere. ah well.

so, now i'm at work and i have to try to remember all the crap i've been wanting to post.

first thing coming to mind, japanese mustard gas found buried in north china. what? you mean they didn't store chemical weapons in big warehouses with neon signs that said "chemical weapon storage here"? you mean that they're even finding the stuff now, over half a century after the war is over?

in 2054 we're going to be finding barrels of sarin in the iraqi desert. unfortunatly, it will be way too late by then. and of course, cnn still won't report it.
abu ghar...agharib...abugrhhrb...the prison.
yeah, he mispronounced it. there's something for the lefties to have fun with without actully saying anything worthwhile.

i'll leave the political dissection to better minds than mine, but i do want to point out one minor thing. nowhere in the speech did you hear the term "insurgent", or "rebel", or whatever other pc term the media's come up with lately. every time he talked about the psychopathic islamofascist murderers, he used the correct terms, properly identifying them as either "terrorists" or "the enemy."

the.enemy. thank god somebody out there gets it.
vrwc homepage
you've probably seen kate's confession about her membership in the vrwc. i figured that since it's now public, we ought to have a public webpage, so i built a webpage around it.

keep in mind that i don't know crap about website design, so it's sortof a sucky page. i spent way more time then it should probably take to do this though, and i think it turned out rather well overall. i even figured out how to work the navbar and the table thingie.

take a look, and let me know what you think, any suggestions or ideas are more than welcome.

update: heh, i forgot to include the links...
a libertarian threat to bush?
well, the libertarians obviously think so. me, i'm not so sure.

i am actually more libertarian than republican (where libertarian is defined as "a republican without the morals"), and before the primaries i was thinking of voting libertarian. but then the dems put kerry up for their nominee, and i am now a solid bush voter. the chances of a libertarian actually winning the election are nonexistant, but a libertarin showing well would be an interesting statement.

but to me, and i think to alot of folks on the right, keeping kerry out of office is more important than making that statement. four more years of bush is preferable by far than suffering under kerry to people that would be potential libertarian voters. the chief reason for someone switching parties would be fiscal and social domestic issues, but the wot trumps all those, and besides, if the most liberal senator ever is allowed in office he would be far worse than bush.

i'm pretty sure that anyone politically astute enough to recognize the term "libertarian" would also know enough to know what is at stake, what kerry is like and how close the election will be. those things combined should be enough to keep the right in line.
this guy really, really pisses me off
found at house of payne, whom i neglected to mention in my earlier post.

some jagoff jarhead washout is now out there pulling a john kerry, talking about the horrendous war crimes he saw or heard of while in iraq. read the stories, because i'm telling ya, this guy is either a liar or a moron, or both, along with being a coward who apparently liked to talk tough but couldn't do the real job of a marine when it came down to it.

guess what, asshole. war is a rough business to be in. people get killed, hurt, maimed, burned, all sorts of shit. you don't think you can do it, don't effing sign up. we had people like this with me..."ohhhh i don't know if i can shoot somebody"...when you raise your right hand it is understood that some day you may have to do some pretty nasty things. i don't care if you are the hardest of the hard in the ranger corps or some remf pencil pusher, you are, first and foremost, a weapon.

one of my favorite "war crime" stories is one that he relates here, it's sortof an urban legend, and actually could be true, unlike very, very many of them. the story is soldiers (and i use soldiers to mean all branches) running a checkpoint when a car comes speeding at it, the soldiers fire warning shots over the car, then, when it still dosen't stop, they fire into the car and kill the occupants. now if someone can explain to me in some way what possible altruistic motivations the people in the car could have, which is the only way that this is even remotely a mistake, then i will eat my freaking boot leather. i can only think of one reason why someone would drive their car at a high rate of speed through a hail of bullets toward an american checkpoint, and it ain't to deliver fucking girl scout cookies.

is it a shame when someone without evil intent dies in such a scenario? yes. you have to wonder where the hell their heads are at, but it's still a shame. does an american soldier enjoy doing such things? no. only a fucking psycho would enjoy doing something like that, and the only psycho i see is the one with the "medical discharge"

is it a war crime? hell, no. like so many other things, it ain't pretty, but it's the only way to do business.

and as an interesting side note, the first time i read that story was in an underground iraqi newspaper, that the "insurgents" were using to try to drum up local support in the murdering of americans.

nothing like being judged by the company you keep, eh asshole?
how long....
do we put up with mike berg? i mean, certainly feel bad for him, he went through something that no one should ever have to.

then he came out saying all the things he said about how horrible bush is, and all that, well, alot of people say and think that way, and this guy just went through alot. so we give him a pass.

then, he drivels out some garbage like this, unfavorably comparing bush and rumsfeld to the savages that hacked his son's head off, spewing lines like "after 9/11 we should have stopped talking to the people we labeled our enemies and started listening...".

how long can a man be allowed to profitter the occasion of his son's death, to flog his dead son's body to advance his loony political ideas before the other foot comes down? i'm guessing not too much longer, i think everybody's just been ignoring the guy hoping that he'll go away without actually having to take him on; but much more like this and it'll be time to just stand up and say, stop it allready, it's pointless, it's annoying, and it's obscene.
and as a side note,
the geek empire is now over 1000 residents strong. i know that isn't much compared to what many get, but i'm happy with a few hits a day, and it's more than i was expecting. and i'm having fun doing it, which was the primary purpose anyway. hope you're having fun reading it, too.

i was going to give the great big oversized check to the 1000th visitor, but...it was me.

and of course, thanks to the folks that have linked and/or blogrolled me, especially the mudville gazette, ace, and of course the soon-to-be-famous llama butchers.

in celebration, i'm going to change my intro paragraph and add a bunch of people to the sidebar that i've been meaning to for about ever. but right now, it's miller time in the geek empire.
"98% Chance That This is a Military-Industrial Complex Psyop"
at least, that's what alex jones has to say about the nick berg murder.

everybody put on your tinfoil hats, now.

and check out this place.

they're both from this alex jones guy, who was on a real radio program on kdka as a credible witness. as far as i'm concerned, first time you use the term al-CIAeda you're a howling loon, but that's just me.

as i said below, he presents a bunch of "evidence", from possible cutting and doctoring, to the type of chairs used, to the skin color of the murderers and their jewelry (and that's the most damning evidence) that supports...something. and it's something sinister, something evil, something that goes all the way up.

and what is that something? well, they never really say. could be, cia killed berg, could be he was never killed at all, could be alot of things. but they can't seem to figure out exactly what it is. dosen't matter, it's a conspiracy, a cover-up and we all need to know...something.

welcome to the lunatic fringe. i'm not going to try refuting him point by point, because i'd be here all night and he's so obviously insane, it'd be like trying to argue with someone that thinks the teevee told him to kill the president.

instead, i think i'm going to take that time to work up an email to kdka...
rotting in prison
marwan barghouti convicted of murder

good news, another dirtbag behind bars. my favorite bits:

Barghouti, who flashed V-signs with shackled hands as he entered the courtroom, reiterated that he does not accept the court's authority

He said before the verdict that Barghouti would not appeal because he doesn't recognize the court.

time to start accepting, they have the authority to put you in prison for a very long time (like, say, 5 consecutive life sentances.)

Barghouti says he is a political figure and not involved in violence,

where "politics" is defined as killing civilians, as long as they're jewish or between him and a jew, and "violence" is building a fence to keep people like this out of the country.

and my personal favorite,
he believes there will be peace if Israel withdraws from the West Bank and Gaza.

in other words, there will be peace as soon as you leave, or, peace can only be achieved when we don't have anybody to try to kill anymore.

and finally, i was going to compile a list of copperhead fedayeen quotes, but got halfway and realized i would just be posting almost the entire article. but take special note that the term "terrorist" is used nowhere (even though i thought that was what we called people that blow up cars in public areas); the article talks about retailation no in at least 5 paragraphs, especially mentioning capturing isrealis as barganing chips twice; the quotes from and description of the terrorist are all very complementary, from noting his fresh haircut to the final quote that gives the impression of a martyred hero rather than justice being done...there's a few more things, but you get the idea.
i got a brand spankin new weber charcoal grill for my birthday (the girlfriend picked it out, and she did a good job of it). it looks like something out of "leave it to beaver", and i love it.

keep in mind, i live in one of those apartment complexes that are more like people-sized filing cabinets than actual domiciles, so the grill has sat in my living room since i got it, and i was threatening to light it up right next to the dining room window some night if i got bored and drunk enough to think it was a good idea.

but i had the past two days off, so tonite we decided would be the night, instead of trying to work on the 3 foot wide strip of grass between the building and the road we packed it all into my tiny car and drove to a local park, where there was a baseball game in progress and some people planning a church fair of some sort.

ignoring them and breaking out the beer and cow, i fired up a charcoal grill for the first time since i was probably ten and, after a few false starts, got it running. i then proceeded to grill to my little carnivoruous heart's content, filet for her, t-bone for me, kielbasa for tommorow, veggie kabobs to round the whole thing out. turns out mrs. dash makes a whole line of seasonings just for grilling, god bless her, so that part was pretty easy for a beginner such as myself. by the time i was done the grill was starting to cool, but we got some pretty tasty dead critter out of it.

anybody with any tips or tricks on how to use a charcoal grill, let me know, what we got out of it turned out pretty well, but i'm always looking to improve.

by the time we were done eating it was growing dark and everyone had left, but the girl had brought along her new croquet set and had allready set it up, so we played a few rounds of croquet in the dark, figuring out how to play the damn game along the way, while the pirates were soundly beaten by the padres on the radio. i'm pretty sure only extremely pretentious vampires play croquet in the dark...and us.

(an email from my brother, in iraq)

it probably hasn't made the news yet, i've been checking cnn and yahoo and haven't seen it, but it probably woln't be long. i think the family support groups already know. at approximetly 00:30 (12:30 am for you civlian types) may 17, roadside IED exploded and caused one of our hummvees (from second platoon, up near falluja) to vear off the side of a bridge.

Corperol emmerick was in critical condition after finding an air pocket and serviving the crash. he is reported to be back in with the unit at this time.

Specialist Carol Currean drowned. I didn't know him very well, only talking to him two or three times. even still, when i did talk to him, he knew me, and we talked like long time friends. he was shy, but nice, a decent person. his wife gave birth to a son while we at fort dix, and he went home for a few days to see his new born. he will be greatly missed by all.

Privet first class Mark Kinsecky also drowned. 20 years old, not married, had a child. he stayed in my room at dix, we hung out alot. the night before we left for kuwait, he and i and a few others went out to the bowling alley, and he bought drinks all night. (and it was a long night.) he was a good soldier, always knew everything in his field. in falluja, he worked hard and became an even better soldier. more then that, he was a nice guy, a good friend, someone that you'd want to know.

it's a damn shame. i wish i could say more, but don't know what else to say.

hope everyone is doing well.


(every once in a while those numbers start to look like just numbers.

they're not.)
homework from robert
a sentance using the term "copperhead fedayeen"

another similarity between the american press (and the far left) and the fedayeen, beyond the fact that they all prefer saddam to bush and have a strong distrust and dislike for the american military, they are all hated by our military. just like copperheads. and when confronted with a real military type in an aggressive manner, they run and hide for fear of having their asses kicked, which is an exceedingly wise move as most have been soundly beaten by a soldier at one point or another. just like copperhead snakes. so, three things that the american military hates and beats the crap out of every chance they get: the fedayeen, the media and radical left, and copperheads. far left copperhead fedayeen press is redundant, so we eliminate the repetitive parts and, voila, copperhead fedayeen.

as a technical note, i would define fedayeen somewhat differently, as to my understanding, the fedayeen were saddam's elite troops, similar (in position only, obviously) to the way that army rangers or spec ops would be compared to us lowly rank-and-file troops. it isn't, as far as i know, a term used widely in the muslim world as a denotation of respect, in fact, most of the hardcore islamists would hate the fedayeen, as the only authority they respected and whose only work they did was saddam, not allah. but i could be mistaken on this, my research of the finer points of islamic militicism would be considered...well, i'm not sure what the term is, i recognize the traditional tatoos of fedayeen, and know that they are saddam's hardcore loyalits so you're probably better off shooting first and asking questions afterward, i had assumed there was no wider connection on this to the world outside iraq, but i could be wrong.

and either way, it's a semantic point, the overall thrust of the term remains the same.
sneak preview...
on the way home from work tonight, i was listening to one of the rare lib talk shows out there, and as a guest he had this guy that was purportedly dissecting and debunking the nick berg video. i'm going to do more research tommorow, but two things struck me right off:
a. in the 20 minutes i listened to him, he stated and provided "evidence" that: nick berg was cia, and caught by al queda; nick berg was a nobody and the whole thing was a set up by the cia to make it look like al queda; nick berg was actually al queda himself, caught by the cia who then did this to make it look like aq killed him; the whole thing is a hoax perpetrated by lyddie england and the folks at abu garib; the exectution never took place, the whole thing is a hoax and nick berg is still alive somewhere, either in the residences of cia or al queda; the execution did take place but was edited in such a way that was "suspicious"...

there's more, but i can't think of 'em all right now...

2. the other thing that bothered me, and this seems to be "systemic" among people that are trying to keep the prison scandal on the front page right now, is that he kept citing the taguba report as actual fact, then criticising callers because they haven't read it. well, i have read it, from what i can tell the taguba report lists all sorts of things that the military is looking into, stuff it's heard rumors about and wants to find the truth about, things the inspector finds "credible" but has no substatiation for, but in no way states that these things are acutal fact. it is the preliminary to a real investigation.

so stop freaking citing it like it's the the holy word of god, or even an assertion of positive fact.
if you're lost
i'm seeing alot of hits coming here from yahoo and google searches related to the abu ghraib prison scandal. first of all, as far as i can tell the correct spelling is "abu ghraib", alot of the hits are coming here because i butchered the spelling on it in an earlier post. if you're looking for the pictures and "real news", you're in the wrong place, go here (click on the sidebar for photos, sicko). if you're looking for intelligent commentary on those pictures, you're still in the wrong place, try here, here, or here. if you want to read the grammatically incorrect rantings of a deranged vet, then welcome, here it is!

update if you did wander in here accidently and are wondering what the hell you're looking at, take the time to read this.

update the second and the hits just keep on coming. i think i'm going to start deliberately misspeelin werds more often, it's good for my treffik
more on the bonesmen connection
not that i'm big on the whole skull and bones tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, but i still think this is interesting: trudeau would've been at yale from 66-70, bush from 64-68, and kerry 61-65 (if any of these numbers are incorrect, let me know, i'm guestimating based on age and whatever else i could find).

huh. i wonder if they would like hang out and get drunk together and shit. i remember in newsweek i read that kerry said he remembered bush, and bush said he dosn't remember seeing kerry. but it's still just a funny coincidence.
trudeau throws stones
in this strip, gary trudeau, author of the "doonesbury" comic, slams the leaders of the vrwc as chicken-hawks, where one of the characters says...well, go read the comic and come back, it won't translate well if i try to transcribe it. but he criticises them for taking defferments during vietnam.

now, the problem i have is, trudeau was 18 in 1966, if my math is right, and where did he go? yale. (i wonder if he ever bumps into bush at the skull and bones meetings)

i'm not saying that you have to be ex-military to be a pundit, i'm just saying that it's sortof silly to bash folks that took college deferments when you did the exact same thing. if i knew how to photoshop i'd change the strip so that the last name listed there is "gary trudeau", or just write over every name with "bill clinton, alan colmes..." and so on.
fisking gene collier
if you don't live in pittsburgh, you've probably never heard of gene collier. he's a sports commentator and columnist for the local fishwrapper, the post-gazette. he's also a far, far left raving moonbat, and when he isn't busy misreporting local sports, he's misrepresenting international politics.

his column is, laughably, not published in the editorial section (then they might not have room for maureen dowd...who am i kidding, safire'd be the first to go), rather, it is published in the "lifestyle" section, presumably because...well, i really have no idea why. every once in a while he writes about something other than how stupid bush is, but it's rare and generally uninteresting when he does.

so, since i'm assuming nobody else out there reads this guy, i'm making it my duty to respond to what he has to say, because he consistently pisses me off so freaking bad, somebody's gotta do it.

this week, the title is "Bush I's book warned of misadventure"

There exists a perfectly instructive metaphor for the fast-festering Iraq misadventure, but unfortunately, it's in a book, and thus pretty much worthless to an administration that doesn't read much. No books (unless authored by departed staffers), no newspapers, not even reports written by its own people.

The Bush White House is a homework-free zone, where no one is accountable and everybody gets a daily gold star regardless of the actual degree of his or her dereliction.

getting warmed up...i only included this silly disguised ad hominem attack as a sample of the way ol' gene thinks (or, rather, dosen't). it is, of course, elementary to point out that gene has no idea how much the president reads, although in a speech he did admit he didn't read any of the recent books bashing him, he probably had other stuff to do, like, i don't know, running the country or something, that may have trumped al franken's book.

Headmaster Dubya, following a long weekend of devastating abuse allegations against the American military, even started the week by proclaiming that Secretary of Offense Donald Rumseld was doing "a superb job."

for a better rebuttal of that i point you to the recent vdh column (which of course i got via the llamas). but suffice it to say that the "secretary of offense" has supervised two wars, or really two major battles in the same war, with such grace in minimizing collateral damage while effectively destroying the enemy that he is considered by many to be the single best sec def in many years.

But as Dubya himself might ask, "Is our children learning?"

On Page 473 of a highly illuminating volume titled "A World Transformed," the authors -- Dubya's father, an actual elected president, and his national security adviser, Brent Scowcroft -- describe the tension endemic to a White House in the thick of the first Gulf War, Feb. 18, 1991:

well, at least he acknowledges bush 1 was elected, although i'm sure ten years ago he was bitching about the vrwc's manipulation of the people to get him in.

he then goes on to relate an anecdote of a fire in the white house as being comprable to the current situation in iraq, but it's boring and not terribly relevant so i'm cutting it out.

...but what if he'd read from the middle of Page 489?

"Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq . . . would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, there was no viable 'exit strategy' we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different -- and perhaps barren -- outcome."

well, this pretty much sums up the picture of iraq for someone that gets their news exclusively from cnn. however, neverminding the fact that our military and the world have changed from the time that bush 1 was in office, and taking the points one at a time, the coalition hasn't "instantly deserted" us, there's still plenty of international troops there. no french, germans, russian, or spanish, but last time i checked the definition of "coalition" wasn't "must have the french".

and once again, the "precedent of international response to aggresion" becomes somewhat useless when the international community insists on allowing themselves to be the subjects of aggression and violence. eventually, say after 12 years or so, somebody has to take a stand.

Maybe Dubya actually read "A World Transformed," and maybe he even got to Page 491, where his father and Scowcroft explain of the first Gulf War, "in international terms, we tried to establish a model for the use of force. First and foremost was the principle that aggression cannot pay."

But I doubt it. He's more likely to read books about Joe DiMaggio. Even if he had read his father's book, he'd tell you it doesn't matter because everything changed on Sept. 11, and even if he were disposed to seek the counsel of a dedicated internationalist like his father, he'd tell you he's more likely to take his instruction from "a higher authority."

In this climate, reading is anything but fundamental.

i don't really have to respond much to this, because he dosen't say much. he just simply excerpts a quote, and then goes on to more name calling. but the fundamental issue is that 9/11 did change everything. it proved that sitting back and waiting for our enemies to come to us, witholding our aggression from people that we know are plotting against us, is a really, really dumb way to go about conducting business, because under that policy things like 9/11 happen.

So it isn't that hard to imagine Rumsfeld, called onto the carpet last Friday to explain the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at American hands, saying that he hadn't read a report prepared by the Army in February outlining exactly those atrocities. Nor is it hard to imagine Gen. Richard Myers telling the same Senate panel that he hadn't read it either, and that it was "working its way up" to him.

and once again, maybe rumsfeld and myers have better things to do, like, maybe run a war and try to keep americans alive. but it was my understanding that rumsfeld had read the report, and was in trouble for not presenting it to the president. at least, that's what my leftie buddies tell me.

but if he hadn't read it, if it hadn't been given to him, and was still "working its way up to him", then i would say that that pretty much completely exonerates him, right? he can't be fired over something he was never told about, so thanks for the argument, anyway, gene.

And it's not surprising at all to have Dubya continue to call Red Cross-documented abuses "the wrongdoing of a few," when the Army report by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba not only says that the international conventions-flouting Guantanamo Bay interrogation protocols were adopted by the American military in Iraq, and thus the "softening up" of prisoners for questioning by intelligence officials was "systemic."

again, don't have to say much, except "softening up" != dragging naked prisoners around on a leash. i'm sure that the prisoners at gitmo aren't exactly living the easy life, but systemically making life difficult on them in order to make them not want to be there anymore, and therefore provide better information, does not mean that they went to the level of abuse that has been exhibited at grabanarab prison. "softening up" prisoners may mean that they don't get their daily ration of goat milk for a week after misbehaving. the point being, i don't know what went on, and neither does gene, but assuming the absolute worst of our soldiers and our policies there is not only "systemic" among the left, it is an incorrect way to approach the situation.

Is it possible to lose an election due to poor reading habits?

Yes, but luckily for Dubya, much of the public suffers from the same thing.

and, finally, a little stab at the stupid, ignorant readership among the "public". notice he does not specify conservatives, but means all of you ignorant fools out there, you are all so much dumber then he, because he reads alot.

guess what, gene, i read alot too, but i also live my life in the real world, and i know what is going to keep me safe and give me a better life. and it ain't you, or your system of thought.

for the original article, go here, and if you want to read more of his madness, go here, i reccomend the articles titled "bush is also wagin a war on science" and "it's time for the president to play the 'name the names' game", among many, many others.
dumb soldiers are still smarter than these guys
alternate title, "treasonous-bastard-dancing-on-the-graves-of-their-betters watch"

and as soon as i saw it, i knew who would be there, pfc sims, who died in a swimming pool in baghdad...

fuck you.

i'm too disgusted for words.

found the link at llamas, and i second the idea of putting this link on every blog out there, along with your thoughts, if you aren't too enraged and sickened to come up with any coherent ones, like me.
news shocker: american soldiers had sex...with each other!
um, can someone explain to me why this is a story?

soldiers have sex, sometimes even with each other, sometimes it's with people that aren't their wives, sometimes it might even be weird shit, voyueristic or groups or whatever.

"There were lots of affairs. There was all kinds of adultery and alcoholism and all kinds of crap going on,"

what the hell planet does this guy live on? so people in the army like to drink and fuck...am i suppossed to be shocked or appaled? i'd be more worried if they didn't.

and i know how desperate one can get after a few months in the desert, but does anybody really want to watch these two getting nasty? ick..
be a nyt columnist
i don't usually do quizzes, but couldn't pass this one up. it's the "which nyt op-ed columnist are you" quiz.

i somehow wound up with freidman at first, but after i tweaked some of the answers i got safire. and i feel much better now, thank you.
stray news
two things i've heard on the hourly news blurbs today:

a. some bimbo talking about soldier on soldier sexual abuse said that the pentagon has "no policy" on such abuse, implying that the pentagon condones it. hello? ever heard of the u.c.m.freaking.j.? do we really need to have some low pay grade beurocrat provide a statement that "rape is bad" in order to understand that the military does not condone such things?

b. i may have misheard this, but john kerry criticising the bush administration for not providing enough up-armor hmmwv's and interceptor vests. oh, i guess he wants us to go pick those off the 2 ton truck and bulletproof vest trees, since he voted against the funding to actually buy the highly expensive but necessary military gear.
to what lengths?
this is sortof off the cuff, but it's something i've been wondering since the whole torture scandal kicked off. (it turns out not to be one of my lengither and probably less well written posts, but i think it is an extremely interesting question anyway...)

the question is, to what lengths are we willing to go to protect ourselves?

i know that the motivation of the soldiers in abu garib is still in question, as well as the nature of the prisoners they did it to, but just for argument's sake; let's say that they were acting under orders to extract information from people who had been busted trying to set traps or ambushes for military convoys, and potentially had information related to others doing the same thing.

i know it's a bit of a leap of faith, and the way they did it seems like a really silly way to go about doing it (unless, of course, what they did is really as bad as the press would have us believe, a penalty "worse than death").

but just assuming that they were doing it for legitimate reasons, is it justified? humiliation, intimidation, sleep deprevation are proven methods of interrogation, especially in a culture as uptight as strict islam.

some of the things reported as "torture", such as threating the prisoners with rifles or guard dogs (threatening, not letting them bite, which is a mistake) are more in the realm of daily operation in such a place. if the prisoners don't fully believe in the power and willingness of the guards to hurt or kill them given the provocation...well, there's at least ten prisoners to every one guard, you do the math.

but on to the more provocative aspects. if it is proven that dehumanizing and humiliating prisoners is the best way to get reliable information out of them, then how far can we take it before we cross the line? physical pain rarely gives useful information, prisoners are more apt to give whatever their captors want to hear rather than useful truth. the threat of pain via intimidation and humiliation is generally more effective, from my amatuer understanding. so the problem becomes, how does one truly break a prisoners will, since that is the ultimate object in any form of interrogation.

if putting a prisoner on a crate and telling him he will be electrocuted if he steps off it, and cannot get off it until he starts answering questions truthfully (with certain questions where the answers are allready known mixed in to judge truthfulness) is proven as a reliable method to get useful information, is that justified? keeping prisoners awake and messing with their time-frame (i.e. serving them meals at odd times, telling them only an hour has passed when five really have and the other way around next time) is universally understood as one of the best methods of breaking a subject, but is it within the moral realm of the american psyche?

i'm not writing this as a means to justify what happened at abu garib, i don't know exactly what happened there and neither does anyone else who wasn't there. from the pictures it seems that these fools were acting either on their own volition, for their own entertainment, or taking "orders" way beyond where they were meant to go. but seperating it from that and strictly as a moral or philosophical question, how far is too far? if winning the war and saving both american military and iraqi civilian lives depends on humiliating, dehumanizing, and generally making terrorist captives suffer then how far can we go before we've crossed the line into mengele-esqe sadism? because that can be a very thin line, i'm tellin ya, but at the same time i for one am willing to do whatever it takes to cause these bastards to fail in their attempt at destroying everyone and everything they don't agree with. if that means doing unspeakable things to the ones we get (and that we *know* are said bastards), then i have to say i'm regrettably for it.

does that make me a bad person? i don't get a kick out of hurting other people, and am repulsed at the idea of doing harm to another person. but if doing so, to such creatures as could unrepentingly cut the head off a living human being or indiscrimatly kill thousands of innocent people, if making them suffer as much as a human being can live through can help us to find and defeat others like them, then i'm going to have to say i agree with it. agree with it, would be willing to do it myself if necessary, and hope that we do if that is what is needed.

i have no mercy for the less-than-human scum that commit such atrocities as 9/11, or the nick berg murder, or hundreds and hundreds of other less publicized events. and i have absolutely no objections to doing whatever it takes to wipe them out, so long as what we are doing is absolutely necessary to make that happen.
llama love
howdy, llama fans! i didn't do much blogging today, i was celebrating a belated mother's day/birthday/mom's birthday. but thanks for coming by, i hope you like what you see, and stop back again sometime.

and many llama snacks to the guys here, i really appreciate the (second time) mention from what i figure as being one of the best blogs out there (as you can tell by my linking and writing about something i see there about every five seconds). forget that glenn guy, if you aren't stopping by there regularly, you're missing out.
the time has come for another bold statement.

no more ambivalance, no more cowtowing to the whining of the left.

we can win this if only we have the balls to do so.

there was alot of whining, from what i'm told, after bush's "bring it on" speech.

well, lemme tell ya here friends, i heard that speech in the lobby/dayroom of our bombed-out-museum-turned-barracks, and it was one of the biggest morale boosts i got in my time over there. it made me proud of and instilled faith in my job, my uniform, my country, and my president.

the folks on ground know what is needed to win this war: courage. if they hit us and we flinch, they'll hit us twice as hard. but if they hit us and we hit back, with the full force of the strongest military on the planet, they think twice. it's true for every soldier doing the job on the streets of iraq, and it's true on an international scale as well.

if we vascillate and whine and try to be nice to them, then the sacrifice that was made by hundreds of americans will be in vain, because they aren't going to stop trying to kill us as long as we let them.

so what is needed now, on the small scale, is to find the people hiding behind those masks, and ensure they meet allah. on the large scale, a statement from our government that we are not afraid, that we are not backing down, and that we will chase these bastards to the ends of the earth if necessary. puncuate it by flattening a terrorist hideout in fallujah, or najaf, or baghdad, then all the better.

do it. say those words, that our soldiers say every day, and back it up:

something funny from...wonkette?
i usually don't bother reading wonkette, but i drop in there every once in a while to see what the big deal is, and the top paragraph now is
Reuters reports on Kerry's attempts to "dispel the notion he was aloof." He's taking the direct approach, asking one television interviewer, "Have you had a beer with me yet? I like to have fun as much as the next person, and go out and hack around and have a good time."

okay first, hack around? who the hell says that? apparently aloof politicians from new england.

second of all, i'm guessing the reporter hasn't had a beer with kerry because...well, i've never seen or heard of kerry drinking a beer. i mean, call me crazy, but i have a hard time seeing him down at the oasis, with a cheap whore, talking to the truckdriver next to him while sucking down a beast ice and screaming at the pats on tv.

well, maybe the cheap whore part. but i'm guessing that if the menu dosen't include $200 champagne and caviar, he's not there.
where to get your news
a caller on limbaugh's show (yes, i listen to limbaugh, so sue me, dosen't mean i always agree with him or make me a "robot") was talking to rush about the benefits of having a varied number of sources for news. the caller prefaced the call by saying that arabs that get all their news from al jazeera are doing themselves a grave disservice, and not getting the full story. he then went on to say that people who get all their news from rush are also doing themselves a disservice. okay, so far, i'm with him. he then went on to say that rush is just as bad as jihad tv, as bad as the propagandists from the third reich. i would say that he pretty much went off the deep end, say what you like about rush last time i checked he wasn't actively supporting genocide and terrorism.

but before the caller wandered off into the realm of moonbatism, he was making a good point. sure, listen to rush, watch cnn, read drudge, but don't do any any exclusively or unskeptically. personally, i listen to talk radio, read the post gazette, listen to npr (i don't have tv, so i don't watch either fox or cnn), and read a whole variety of stuff online. even if you don't have time for all that, just flipping back and forth between one news source and another for the variety of it is the only way to get the whole story. neither the nyt or rush are outright liars, but they both put their own spin on the news and if you pay attention to one to the exclusion of all others then you aren't getting the whole story, and are not going to make a really intelligent, fully informed decision.
you know i had to do this one
from the llama butchers, a meme titled "what makes you a geek?" where geek is defined as having way more knowledge than the general population about something that is of little interest to everyone else. and it has to be something you enjoy, not the details of your last colonoscopy or the depths of your crappy hamburger flipping job.
so, i'm sure i have at least ten, let's see what i come up with:
1. tech theater. not movies, but real theater, and not acting, but the backstage stuff; lights, sound, set.
2. comic books. i'm not even going to get more specific than that, there's too many to list
3. horror movies. both old ones and newer ones, from lugosi to romero to the ring.
4. computers and tech. i'm actually an aspiring geek on this one, i know enough to build my own box but am working on learning more, in hopes of becoming a professional computer geek. but i won't get more specific than just "computers", it'd be too long to list everything i know or want to know something more about.
5. fiction, especially horror books and fantasy books. stephen king (i've read every book he's written, even danse macabe), stephen donaldson, r.a. salvatore, david and leigh eddings, and so many more. classical lit, shakespeare, kafka. and so many others, douglas adams, george orwell, ayn rand, this list could very well go on forever, i love to read.
6. cars, especially mine.
7. military. just can't help it, love military stories, military humor, and insights about life in the military.
8. clint eastwood. especially the man with no name trilogy.
9. roleplaying games. mostly tabletop and neverwinter nights online.
10. writing. fiction and non.

that covers probably what i probably have the most knowledge of, but other stuff not on the short list, although it could be: art, guns, politics (obviously), monty python, security, pittsburgh bars, beer and wine, occult religions, pittsburgh sports and general armchair quarterbacking, american history, latin, ancient history, the crow movies and stories, the matrix movies...give me five minutes and i'll think of a ton more, i have interest and some knowledge about a wide variety of stuff, but i'm too much of an intellectual butterfly to really focus on one thing. just really like reading about and learning about all kinds of stuff.
modernizing islam
as someone who was raised catholic, and used to be a big fan of strict catholicism, i am always somewhat dismayed by some of the push by people within the catholic church to "modernize", to make the church more inclusive by modern standards and change policies on everything from women priests to open acceptance of gays. i personally don't see anything wrong with most of these issues, but it saddens me when a strong moral code like catholicism slips closer to the swamp of moral relativism that is predominant today.

having said that, i can sortof understand where the opponents of asra nomani are coming from. but at the same time, some ideas are really, really outdated. i wouldn't like to see a return to pre-vatican 2 dogma, and many mosques across the country aren't just outdated in their teaching, they are positively midevil.

and she's fighting to change it. from the post gazette:
So began her moral jihad against the leadership of the Islamic Center of Morgantown, which she has taken to the editorial pages of The Washington Post and The New York Times. By her account, puritanical Arabs, whom she labels Wahhabis, a disputed and pejorative term for the strict strain of Islam centered in Saudi Arabia, have seized control and are pushing a theological agenda that demeans women and teaches contempt for non-Muslims.

my first thought was, woah, there's muslims in west virginia? but then i read the whole article, it's long but a very interesting view of modern islam from a woman who is tired of being treated as a lesser person and is trying to change islam from within.
the rule
i think these guys, while exceptional, these guys are much closer to the rule in america. meaning that, 99.9% of americans would rather be able to do what they have done, than what the fools at abu garib prison have done. we aren't proud of the cruelty in our midst, we don't lionize people that commit acts of brutality.

unlike our enemies.

read what bill in dc has to say too, he says it much better than i anyway.
moral superiority.
compare this to this.

tell me now, after the world has been screaming that we have lost our moral superiority, compare these photos and tell me, tell me that we aren't better human beings than them.

perfect, no. morally superior? yes. the worst of us is still better than them.

and further proof, is anybody surprised by this? the world was shocked by photos of americans humiliating iraqis, but everybody expects this from the animals of al queda. hell, they've done it before. americans acting like shitheads are the exception, queda acting like brutal murderous shitheads has become commonplace.
on this date, 5,000 years ago
turns out, i share a birthday with bono and donovan, the singers.

and much cooler than that, this is the ten year anniversary of the day john wayne gacy was executed.

i also found out i got accepted into college, just a community college but it's a starting place, anyway.

i know nobody else cares about any of this, but hey, it's my blog, just scroll down to get to some more important stuff

it's also interesting to me to read the "one year ago" news, because at this time one year ago i was sitting in kuwait waiting to go north, and wasn't really catching much news.

my girlfriend asked me last night if i feel any older than i did last year. the answer, yes, i'm a fuckin ton older, it's been a bitch year for both of us.

but now we get to see where the next year takes us, and have the opportunity to make it better. which i certainly plan to do.
happy birthday to me...
that's right, it's my birthday, so today i'm going to restrain myself from poliblogging, even though there is some things i want to say and blogsplat was down yesterday. i'm thinking happy thoughts instead. you want to read a nice, straightforward summary of the continuting prisoner scandal, head over to the llama butchers.

blogger's new format is still ugly, but minimally servicable, which is all i ask. actually, the varying shades of tan theme is vaugely desert-camo...

so, yeah. i still have to work, but i'm going to be doing more comic books and trying to get myself into college than dumping more thoughts into the prisoner scandal.

i'm sure it can wait till tommorow.
and another thing...
about the article i linked earlier (which i got from allah), did anybody actually expect this to do any good for anything? the arab street is never going to love us, and i'm sure that there are probably plenty of folks over there that wanted an apology, got it, and still hate us. like in the conversation i posted earlier, you're never going to make these people happy, we can sit around and apologize for the crusades and for them getting kicked out of spain and for having better looking women and everything else, they're still going to hate us. all the bootlicking and asskissing and pandering isn't going to get us anywhere. unless we make fundamentalist islam the state enforced religion and declare war on israel, a good many of them are going to continue to hate us. do i care? no. as long as they sit down and shut up, they can hate me all they want. as long as they understand the consequences of screwing with america (i.e. death, or worse, having a giiiiirrrrrlllll pointing at your pee pee and laughing), they can go on hating me until the day they die, dosen't bother me a bit.

to paraphrase hillary clinton, you don't have to love us, you just have to fall in line.
calm down, already
wow, do we need a new news story. the past week, all i've heard about is the iraqi torture scandal and the fallout thereof. now, i know that what these people did is unconscionable. the way these people were treated is absolutely inexcusable, and needs to be corrected immediately. punish those responsible, insert new controls to prevent it from happening again, all that good stuff.

now, having said that, could we please just get over it? is everybody as shocked by this as the media is making out? you take a bunch of reservists (the 372 had already done several months in bosnia, if i remember correctly, then came back and got turned around and sent to iraq, they're in the same brigade as my reserve unit), stick them in the desert for months and months, give them absolute control over the lives of people that act like animals and spend all their time trying to figure out ways to kill you, what do you expect to happen?

i used to refer to baghdad as the wild west in the middle east, american soldiers there are told "run this jail" or "set up a police station" and are let loose to do it. the details of how it gets done are usually decided at platoon or squad level. which isn't to say that these people didn't know better, or that it was permitted, but you get the stray sadist and shit like this is going to happen. what do you do? nail him or her to the wall, learn from it, figure out how to stop it from happening. if they were told to do it, nail 'em all. anybody that knew about it, get them too. nobody that permits something like this has a place in the army i know.

but where is this orgy of self-flagellation getting us? demanding useless apologies from men that had nothing to do with it and have much bigger problems to worry about (and which don't do a damn bit of good anyway), investigating every crevice and nuance and showing these pictures 24/7, getting quotes and breaking out the proctiscope for every detail, where is it getting us? have we learned anything useful over the past few days? we knew it was wrong, and the folks doing it should be punished, but is interviewing their second grade teacher to see if they liked to hit their doggie and bringing paid finger-pointers onto cnn really what we need?

i, for one, can't wait for this story to finally blow over. unfortunatly, it is going to get worse before it gets better, and i'm sick of it already.

this would be a good time to bring osama out of the cave the cia's been holding him prisoner in for the past six months, give the press something else to talk about. or plant some wmd in the desert so that the engineers can "find" them the next day, something, any number of the wacky stunts the moonbats are insisting that bush is going to pull, this would be a good time to pull it, to push this story off the front page.
a fun conversation
a series of conversations i've had with lee, a liberal i work with.

after dick clark's book: leethelib- "i think george bush really screwed up, he would be fine, except he hasn't appologized, if he would only say he's sorry, it'd be so much better"

after fallujah: leethelib- "if only bush would appologize, that would make everything better. he would look much much better to the people in america, the arabs, and the world"

after the prison scandal: leethelib- "gee, if only bush would apologize, hell, i'd even consider voting for him, everything would be better and the world would be a happy place if only he would say he's sorry"

francisthegreat- "hey, lee, look at this, bush just issued an apology in the rose garden"

lee- "..........yeah, but did he take personal responsibility? see, he needs to do that, if only he'd take personal responsibility, everybody would love us blah blah blah...."
and another comparison...
just to mention, with all the screaming about george bush apologizing for the prison "torture" photos, for 9/11, for the war of 1812, etc.; whether you think that he actually should or not, can you see kerry doing that? personally, i don't see kerry taking personal responsibility for much of anything. hell, he can't even take responsibility for falling over while skiing.

i think the kerry response would involve more scapegoating, maybe an apology "on behalf of the troops", not a personal one for him but one in which he shifts the blame to the military.

wouldn't be the first time he's stabbed the military in the back, that's for damn sure....
too "simple", too "common"
Bush pauses to comfort teen

i know everybody out there is blogging on this, but i think it's important.

i think that this is a big part of why kerry is going to lose this election, can you see kerry doing that? the nuanced patrician being so personal, in public? this is why people still love him, why so many soldiers support him after going through a very rough time. because he's a real person. he comes across as more human and less politician, he genuinely seems to care about what is going on in the world, the real world of us proles, not just what will get him re-elected or what the un cultured types will think.
conservative punk?
that's right, it's not an oxymoron. i have always thought that alot of modern alternative music went pretty much hand in hand with right-wing politics, despite the fact that mtv et al. is so hardline left, politically. the spirit of individualism and power of working for yourself (because nobody else is going to) is one of the basline tenents of both. meanwhile, there is a group called punkvoter who belong in the cellars of the democrat underground, and claim to represent the feelings of punk artists and listeners. i was starting to think that i'm the only person who both votes republican and shops in hot topic, but it turns out the lead singer from the misfits along with some other punk artists have started a website called conservative punk, which is still young but is important in showing folks that not all their band geek role-models are pawns for george soros. i guess we're still a minority, but if you're a conservative that feels more at home at a ramones tribute with your doc martens than in the right-wing mainstays of a young republican sweater-vest club or country bar, you aren't alone.
dart wars!
a city wide nerf battle? where do i sign up?

oh wait, i guess it's for high school kids...

update they even have their own webpage. these kids are way more motivated than i ever was, that's for sure.
supremacy or preserving culture?
if you haven't seen it yet, over the past two days tony (of sand in the gears) has been the host of an interesting conversation about white supremacy and racism. interesting because the wn guys at least present their case in an honest, forthright, and intelligent manner. when you think of racists as hooded retards burning crosses in a throwback to the 60's, they're easy to dismiss, but these people are teachers and other highly educated individuals, who nonetheless think this way. there is still a ton of room for disagreement with them, but they put up a decent debate, much moreso than what you would expect from a group of stormfronters.
amd beats intel

for the first time ever, amd has outsold intel for the week. as a longtime amd backer for cheaper cpu's that work just as well and sometimes better, this is great news to me. i'm still looking forward to getting my new 64, very soon here...
prisoner scandal could get worse

i can't find anything solid about this, but this prisoner scandal is looking to get worse rather than better...according to bill lawson, the uncle of one of the accused soldiers, the crimes committed by mi and cia et al range from the somewhat mundane things being reported to serious crimes like rape, murder, etc.

now the taguba report, which alleges a whole range of stuff, from things as minor as dripping chem-stick juice on prisoners (it dosen't hurt, we used to have chem-juice wars for fun), to, again, rape, as well as sodomization and other things.

having said that, comparing this to the mass torture, rape and murder of the previous regime is asinine, and impuning the entire military based on the actions of a couple of assholes is also asinine. but don't doubt they'll try as hard as they can

well, this is a slow news day from what i can see...micah wright is an asshole, ted rall is an asshole, the people killing soldiers in iraq are assholes and even soldiers can be assholes. there's the rundown of the news. rosemary suggests figuratively bashing liberals for entertainment, but even that gets old after a while

so if you're bored, my dad wrote a letter to the editor (that's how people got their opinions out before blogging, i guess) to the local commie fishwrapper here. it was in response to a local guy that is a parent of someone that's in the same guard unit as my brother. the parent wrote in with the usual democratic talking points, bush lied, war for oil, blah blah blah. the thing that made it special was that this guy was claiming ownership of the opinions of all parents who have children in iraq, and, by proxy, all soldiers there as well. needless to say, this irritated the hell out of me and my even-farther-right-than-me father, and my dad felt the need to make himself known. there's a link to the original editorial in the letter if you would like the full backstory.

if nothing else, you can see where i get my insurpassable writing talent from (heh)

"You start to wonder after a while. I've been doing "Nightline" for over 24 years, I've been at ABC for 41 years, if that's really the impression I've left with people then I have failed in such a colossal way that I can't even begin to consider the consequences of it."

this is way late, but the quote's from ol' ted koppel, speaking as to whether people think he's a left-wing tool that is motivated strictly by ratings and anti-american politics.

judging by what i've seen out there on the intarweb, he's failed spectacularly over the past 41 years in the eyes of lots of people. i know he rates an f- for me.
adopt ted rall!

linkage from dean

along the lines of the "adopt a moonbat" idea posted earlier, dean and mike hendrix have started a letter campaign for ted rall, who did this cartoon, bashing pat tillman and calling him a "sap" and an "idiot". have an opinion? i certainly hope so, so send it to lee salem, of universal press syndicate, at lsalem-at-amuniversal.com. in an intelligent, constructive manner, please.

it's one small step, rall dosen't get the distribution of, say, boondocks or doonesbury, or even that modern times comic that winds up in the editorials, but this is way over the line and a start at letting the big wigs know that us folks in the readership don't approve.
how the left supports the troops

sorry, i forget where i got the link for this, somewhere out in the blogosphere, so thanks to everybody who is a right-wing wackjob blogger like me.

anyway, this is an indymedia post about "adopting" a soldier by sending him far-left anti-america propaganda, encouriging desertion and fratracide. somehow, they seem to think that sending a picture of a dead iraqi and a letter calling the soldier a murderer will be good for that soldier, when, of course, the last thing a person needs when doing that job is some asswipe writing a letter telling him he is a horrible person fighting an immoral war. this is the usual fumbling grab at getting a real military person on their side (and a *real* one, not some hack lying douchebag that dosen't have enough talent to photoshop for hustler), and will have nothing but the oppisite reaction of pissing a bunch of soldiers off. but none the less, it's bad enough when you catch the news and all cnn has on is war protesters, war protesters, anti-war politicians and the few losers that have tried to desert or go consciencous objector. now you're getting garbage in the mail from some wacko indymedia type, writing from either his parent's basement or his brand new unabomber shack, saying that everyone at home hates you and hopes you get killed. it isn't enough to make you question your job necessarily, but it is enough to distract you from it, or even just get you depressed for a few minutes, which is more harrasment than what anyone over there deserves.

the point being, words matter, and support matters. it matters in bolstering our troops and making a tough job easier, and it also matters for the morale of the enemy and whether you are going to feed their desire to kill more americans. this is true at home, in fighting against the lies of the anti-american crowd at work and school. and this is part of why things like spirit of america matter, because what those people hear over there can quite literally mean the differance in american lives. and it matters what our troops hear and see

i want to, but am too polite to, start an "adoption" program for dnc and indymedia folks, sending them right-wing propaganda to try and bring them back to reality. somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 or 12 daily emails espousing the virtues of patriotism, lower taxes, a gun in every home, and most importantly the value of killing asshole terrorists.

but i digress. i haven't mentioned it yet but i have a brother that left for iraq shortly after i got home and presently resides in baghdad, as well as a cousin still there. so what i'm saying isn't just some guy talking, aside from my own experience i still have an extreme vested interest in how the troops get treated over there and how the left wing encourages the nutcases that are trying everything they can to kill off my family. actually, everyone's family in america, if they had half a chance and despite what the mainstream news wants people to think, but more directly the people still over there in iraq.

words aren't cheap, folks, sometimes they can mean the differerance between life and death, and the differance between how one lives one's life. it can make the differance between a good day and a bad day, and before you say something you have to think whose day you are going to be making better, one of a fellow american or one of an islamofascist terrorist who wants you dead.

and i swear to god, if somebody starts sending leftwing hateful propaganda to my brother, i will personally get somebody much bigger than me to go kick their ass.

update ok linkage to citizen smash, which is where i had found the article, and who is also one of the officers (it's okay, though, i won't hold it against him) that the indymedia article was advocating murdering. nothing personal, right? scumbags.
geek celebrities
i'm back from the comicon, and it was a blast. i'll keep it short (i could do pages on the amount of crap i wasted money on) but the highlights were that i got to meet and get a signed copy of "day of the dead" from george romero, the zombie king himself. the original movie was filmed in the mall right across the street, and he is a very nice guy, my favorite quote from him was "you kids weren't even born when this movie was made. this building wasn't even here when we made this movie. it was just a parking lot full of zombies."

some other notable stuff, too, including an original andy lee and a discussion of old horror films with the artist of "edison's vampire", which i got a signed copy of also.

and, of course plenty of freakshow on exibit, from costumed stormtroopers to fantasy series models to garden-variety comic geeks, both amatuer and professional.

i now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging...
the bad with the good

from the usa today:

Egypt's Akhbar el-Yom newspaper splashed photographs of the U.S. soldiers posing by naked, hooded inmates on page one with the banner headline "The Scandal." Al-Wafd, an opposition paper, displayed similar photos beneath the headline, "The Shame!"

One of them showed a hooded prisoner standing on a box with wires attached to his hands. CBS reported the prisoner was told that if he fell off the box, he would be electrocuted, although the wires were not really connected to a power supply. Other photos, with the genitals blurred, simulated sexual acts.

now of course, all the soldiers implicated are up for courts-martial, and hopefully spend a good long time at leavenworth making big rocks into little rocks. there is no excuse for this behavior, especially in a prison environoment. while i won't say that treatment of iraqis is always 100% by the books, there is absolutely no justification for this.

the american military is not a group of saints. alot of people seem to think that either a. the military is the root of all evil, full of bloodsucking baby killers; or b. the military is a sancified hand of god working only for all that is good on the earth.

the military is composed of human beings. sometimes, human beings do good, heroic things, and sometimes human beings do horrible, despicable things. the person doing them is generally just another person like you or i, put in a stressful situation, and reacting either positively or negatively. the trick of the military is to pull the ones that act negatively before this kind of atrocity occurs. unfortunatly, being a human institution, it isn't flawless, and bad things are going to happen.

now, my concern about this (aside, of course, from the larger issue of the treatment of the iraqis) is that it becomes a weapon to paint the entire military as being like this; the image is presented that this is the rule, rather than the exception. from the same article:

"They were ugly images. Is this the way the Americans treat prisoners?" asked Ahmad Taher, 24, a student at Baghdad's Mustansiriyah University. "Americans claim that they respect freedom and democracy — but only in their country."

In Syria, Damascus merchant Sahban Alawi, 45, asked "what's the difference between them and Saddam Hussein? They are doing to Iraq more than what he did."

"The brazenness with which these soldiers conducted themselves ... suggests they felt they had nothing to hide from their superiors," said Kenneth Roth, [amnesty international's] executive director.

this is the further vietnamization of the war in iraq, and i hope that people stay smart this time around, and realize that people, in uniform just as everywhere else, are just people.

the press is always bitching about how the right paints all muslims as terrorists (which we don't, but that's an argument for another day), and that we should respect the group but hate the derrangements of a few. hopefully, for once the press takes it's own line and maintains respect for the military, while dencouncing the cruelty of a few.


howdy, thanks for stopping by. what you're looking at is the intermittent ramblings of an iraqi vet, college student, goth-poseur, comic book reading, cheesy horror loving, punk listening, right-leaning, tech-obsessed, poorly typing, proudly self-proclaimed geek. occasionally, probably due to these odd combinations, i like to think i have some interesting things to say; this is where they wind up.

"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us...We need the books that affect us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside of us.

ace o spades hq
bargain-basement allahpundit
a small victory
army of mom
babalu blog
beautiful atrocities
being american in t o
belmont club
blame bush!
castle argghhh!
citizen smash
the command post
common sense runs wild
curmudgeonly & skeptical, r
curmudgeonly & skeptical, pg-13
dean's world
drill sergeant rob
exit zero
enjoy every sandwich
feisty repartee
fistful of fortnights
free will
four right wing wacos
ghost of a flea
half the sins of mankind
the hatemonger's quarterly
hog on ice
house of plum
id's cage
ilyka damen
incoherant ramblings
in dc journal
the jawa report
knowledge is power
lileks bleat
the llama butchers
memento moron
the mudville gazette
naked villainy
nerf-coated world
those damned pajama people
professor chaos
professor shade
the protocols of the yuppies of zion
protein wisdom
the queen of all evil
seven inches of sense
shinobi, who is a f'n numbers ninja, yo
tall dark and mathteriouth
the nose on your face
the thearapist
this is class warfare
texas best grok
tim worstall
way off bass

other must reads: