Friday, September 28, 2007

Pirate Festival Review...Arr!

The 2nd Annual Portland Pirate Festival is over and I must say it was much better than the first iteration. The entertainment was top notch and food was better too. However this came at a steep cost. $15 for an Adult of 12 and over. It would be nice to ratchet the cost down to something equaling the price of a movie ticket. That would allow more money to be spent inside.

Portland Oregon should have the grandest Pirate festival since it was in our humble city that "Talk like a Pirate Day" got its start. I am not sure how much city involvement is present at the event but this could easily turn into an event that would draw people from around the country.

Anyway I liked and so did my kids.

Monday, September 24, 2007

While we sputter and mutter...

Lee Bollinger of Columbia University did a great job of hitting the "petty dictator" on the head in his blistering introduction of Presdient Ahmadinejad of Iran. Today was a great example of the pure power of free speech unleashed upon tyrants. To overtly contest the lies and brutality of the Iranian regime is exactly what an institution of higher learning is for. Bring the debate Ahmadinejad, but we are not going to mindlessly nod in favor of your crap. I only wish the intellectual truth squad could evicerate Bush too.

The photo here is of two men being executed in Iran for no other reason than they were discovered to be gay. I am sure there are probably some of the Christofascists in this country that would applaud such barbarism, but most of us see this for the barbarism that it is. It is an example of the backward nature of the Iranian government.

Ahmadinejad and people like him, no matter their nationality, need to be confronted nonstop, with an unending avalanche of truth, until what they represent dies away of its own accord.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Time in Iraq...sort of...

I have never been in Iraq.

I listen to pundits, read news reports, just like you. I have also been watching a lot of Youtube. There is a ton of video from Iraq, produced by all sides. You can watch, from the jihadists point of view, an attack on an American outpost. You can watch Marines clearing houses. You can watch contract drivers under fire. To the technically hooked up you can pretty much see whatever you want to of the mess of Iraq. And you also get to see the comments for each video, since all have attached posts. Usually combat footage has comments like this:

US poster:
We should kill all you F'ing rag heads!

Islamic poster:
All of you satanic Americans will die! Death to America!

US poster 2:
F' you! You F'ing camel jockey!

Islamic poster 2:
F' you! You F'ing American terrorist!

and so on...

Rarely is there much debate on the situation. Soldiers, on both sides, who are in the zone are the least politically correct of the bunch. They have no time for being diplomatic. Basically whether the soldier is American or a Jihadi the messages are pretty clear. "We're gonna kill you! We want to kill you!" There is no "lets work together to build a better world." War brings out the worst in everybody. I know I would fall easily into the warrior mentality should I end up in Iraq. You do not have a choice in a war zone. They have no time to empathize or sympathize. Only kill or be killed.

Thanks too all the assholes who brought this upon us. In the words of YouTube posters:

F' you! You F'ing F's!





Thursday, September 13, 2007

Strategy and Tactics are not the issue

Change the strategy or the tactics and the American people, by and large, do not care. To keep a war going long-term it better be real important. This war was not needed. The longer we stay there the worse the future may be. How many more American citizens and families have to be butchered until the Iraqi's solve their problem we helped create for them? As of today more than 27,000 families across the nation are having to deal with husbands, sons, daughters, and mothers that are out of commission. 3776 of them are dead and tens of thousands more are broken physically or mentally or both.

When Bush and his Republican thugs talk of a long war, or operations in Iraq keeping us safe, they are really talking about setting off little terrorist attacks in thousands of American homes each year. Because when the men come with somber faces and tears to talk to the family members of how this man or that was killed or wounded it is a little terrorist attack on the wellbeing of a family. All of a sudden violence is in the living room. The "thanks from a grateful nation" is pretty useless when you are having to come to terms with your partner being an invalid for life, or worse.

It sickens me when I head dunderheads talk about how much safer we are here. Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of American families living in limbo, anarchy, fear, and pain because of the stupid war in Iraq. Millions of citizens are indirectly effected by this stupid war on a daily basis. The longer it goes on the less of an abstraction it becomes and the more personal the loss to all of us. That is why you should NEVER go to war unless you have no choice and it is forced upon you. This was not the case in Iraq. Noble as the goal was, it is not worth the cost. One American family broken would have been too high a cost concerning Iraq.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Surge Report

I will now grade the report and the hearings on the report:

General Patraeus: A
Ambasador Crocker: B
Their Report: D
House: C
Senate: B+

Democrats: C
Republicans: D
MoveOn.ORG: F

Basically the report is designed to put a pretty mask on an ugly face. The general did a great job in this. However if I read between the penta-speak he seems to be trying to let everyone down as gently as he can. Remember that David Patraeus was a disenter as was Crocker, and neither were listened to in the early days of the war. Only now after years of straw-grasping has the White House decided to dump their shit in the laps of two guys who basically were, in 2003, wincing in anticipation of the crap storm to come.

To try and hang these guys as White House stooges is not only unproductive but wrong, and stupid. These, gulp, are the good guys. Of all the ideologues trotted out by Bush-co since the war began these two guys are the most realistic.

This is why I gave an F. There ad, I guess, is designed to shoot the only people, who might figure a way out of this, in the head. MoveOn should shut up. These guys we can work with. Remember they are not mush loved in the White House either. Neither was part of the making of this mess and both warned of the potential for catastrophe. They need our help in ending this not stupid and insulting adds. is proving their detractors right in thinking that they are only a bunch of political hacks that want to damage a political rival not help the nation.

Congressional response to the report is really dualistic. The House of Reps was all over the map and rather unhelpful themselves, not having a coherrent response. The Senate was a lot tougher and more coherrent crowd. Obama really was da-man when he came right to the point in asking how much longer.

Crocker was correct in day one, mimicking my own thoughts a bit, when he said that Iraq is not going to go away. Pulling out, staying, doing this or that, will not make the movie end. It is ironic and pathetic that the White House is now using the same arguments that the anti-war crowd used in 2002-3 in opposing the war, as reason we now have to stay.

As for moving forward leadership still seems to be scrambling on the hill and in the White House. Brian Bard, a democrat, wants to raises taxes to pay for the war and draft people into service until this thing is done. Some republicans want to pull the plug now. But most want to have their cake and eat it too. Nobody wants to have "war loser" put around their necks. So they will not do anything. This is why it is sooooooooooooooo important to be nice with Patraeus and Croker. To demonize them now is 100% counterproductive. Since they will most likely be the ones working on Iraq when the next President moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And simply dumping them on that day is shortsighted and offensively dilusional since who do we think we can put in there to get us out with the least amount of disaster.

And that is really what we are talking about, even the good general and ambassador. Basically trying to get out with the least amount of disaster.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Bin Idiot

Bin Laden, in his last tape, has begun to sink into catch phrases and other "polled" talk like any other stupid politician. As an American that does not like the war in Iraq or Bush all I have to say to Bin Laden is:

Someday we will actually have a bunch in power that will kill you and all your mentally retarded followers.

I can shave my dogs butt and tattoo "fight global warming" on it but that doesn't make him anything other than a dog. Bin Laden talking about the ills of the world is like the executioner talking about the ills of capital punishment. He is a seller of death, like many world leaders I know.

Bin Laden should convert to Islam and renounce his stupidity.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Circumstance is cruel

I find myself, from time to time, feeling sorry for ol' GW. I think it is preposterous to think that he wished this stinking mess to happen like it has happened. The idea that some how he and his brethren wish an endless engagement in Iraq. Oh many companies have made out like bandits, and that is what they are. But that is the nature of all wars. Some get rich while some die. There has never been a war where people didn't try to make an extra buck. From selling faulty arms in the Civil War, to bogus contracts in WWII, to Haliburton today.

Still circumstance is cruel. The circumstances that poor decisions have brought about do not care what God a President prays to or does not pray to. The cold mathematics of cause and effect simply grind out the present based on what you put into the past. And war, the most brutal of human actions, itself propagates so many unintended consequences that the perpetrator of war quickly loses control of his policy like Frankenstein losing control of his monster.

Remember Frankenstein did not wish to create a monster. He wished to do a greater good. Circumstances were beyond his control. So circumstances that he brought about, in the personification of his monster, led to his own destruction. Evil never leads to good. The best that can be hoped for is that the evil of war ends quickly. But it seldom does end quickly.

Look at the first Gulf War. We all think of it ending quickly and painlessly, but it did not end. Desert Storm was followed by a series of small engagements, a no fly zone, brutal sanctions, the most expensive post-invasion rebuilding plan since WWII, and the eventual invasion of Iraq in 2003, led by many of the same people responsible for the first Gulf War. Indeed in fifty years when the real history is written they will probably bracket 1991 and whenever we end the dilema of Iraq within a single conflict.