22 February 2008

What a Week

Well, I turn 30 today.

I slipped in a three-day pass for the occasion and was planning to go down to Benavides and get beaten with sticks. However, instead I will be driving to Louisiana tomorrow for a funeral. Jen's Grandmother fell asleep.

But that's not all for this week.

Kosovo declared independence, and GWB apparently recognized them. That's infuriating. There's an excellent article on GetReligion.org on the subject. I've been to Kosovo, and I've seen some of this sort of thing. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if NATO withdraws and Kosovo is not reintegrated into Serbia--complete with Serbian police and army protection for the Serbs living there, that there will be a humanitarian disaster, genocide, refugees, and the final destruction of hundreds more churches, monasteries, and holy sites. I cannot help but be moved by the appeal of the Serbian hierarchy to common sense and common decency, but I am afraid that the West, manipulated by a media with transnational and postnational ideologies and sold on the stereotypical depiction of Serbs as slavering madmen and Albanians as innocent victims, will not act in the right way. The genocide will go unnoticed and unremarked, for it is never in the interest of the media to stir up sympathy for Christians.

Musharraf, in Pakistan, lost an election. Or that is to say, his party got hammered. Of course everyone is celebrating since the Meme of the Week is that Musharraf is a brutal military dictator who doesn't respect "human rights". Of course, the fact that one of the main sources of discontent with his government is that he has been an American ally and supporter of the fight against al-Qaeda, is sometimes somewhat overlooked. I choose to reserve judgment until I know what the result is really going to look like. I mean, I'm in favor of civilian rule and democracy, but not at the cost of imposition of Sharia law and Pakistan turning into a haven for drug smugglers and terrorists. Not that it's the model ally, but it could get a hell of a lot worse.

In US News, Barak Obama is acting like a politician. To wit, he's whoring himself out and making contradictory promises to different people in order to garner endorsements. This is not a surprise to most people, since he is (wait for it). . .

A career politician!

Some of his supporters seem to think he's the Messiah or something. Nope, he's just another politician. If you really want to vote for "change," move to Canada or something. You've got three politicians running for Prez. Unsurprising, since the US political system pretty much requires you to be a career politician before becoming Prez. It sucks, but it beats systems that require you to be a general or head of the secret police before becoming Prez.

In other news, Obama is pretty much making shit up as he goes along during debates. A captain in charge of a rifle platoon? Platoons deploying piecemeal to different theaters? What the fuck is he smoking? That rings false, and it is false. Gateway Pundit speaks to the weirdness as well. You catch that drivel about using Taliban weapons? Seems Mr. Obama can't tell the difference between American troops and British troops. Kat of Castle Aaarrgh deconstructs that particular piece of fiction pretty well. Barak Obama is a liar. He's a liar either deliberately, or because he wants to sound informed without actually being informed. I hate with a passion people who lie to me and do so knowingly. Politicians spin constantly--they take facts and put an interpretation on them that is favorable to themselves or their causes. This is normal. This is human nature--sinful, fallen, reprehensible, and generally not ideal. But it is pretty much unavoidable. But to simply manufacture falsehood and slanders? Piffle.

I'm stuck with which ever idiot the American Peeple (bless their stinky feet and pointy heads) elect as CinC. But the more I hear Obama opening his mouth, the more I find myself hating him with a visceral passion.

Let's Talk Iraq and GWOT for a little while. I haven't done that much lately.

Mookie decided he wasn't going to declare war on the US and Iraqi government again. Isn't that nice of him? I'm thrilled. No, really. I'm thrilled this says one of two things. Either

a) Mookie has decided that going to war with the US and Iraq was a bad choice, career-wise that might end up with his corpse shown on the evening news, OR

b) Mookie has decided that he stands to win more by playing ball with Iraq and the US than he does by opposing us.

Either of these is good. Granted, he was going to flex and posture for a little while before making this official. Especially with the cute little rumor about the assassination attempt. But the prevailing opinion in Iraq seems to be that the Iraqis are tired of pointless conflict. This could be only temporary--there are other options open to him. But then again, Bill Roggio wonders how many folks would continue to follow him into a losing war.

PBS had a special on Haditha, the events and the subsequent witch hunt, egged on by that rarest of birds, an ex-Marine named John Murtha. Marines will understand why I can confidently refer to him as an ex-Marine. I don't watch TV, but according to all I've read, it was a balanced and reasonable presentation of the facts. If you wish to have an opinion on the subject, it behooves you to read this detailed analysis of the agreed-upon facts of the incident, and at least one lawyer's take on it.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government is quietly working towards national reconciliation, which was a hot topic in the press when it wasn't happening, but is getting ignored now that it is.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan, yet another media guy gets caught up for dealing with the Taliban. Look, it's my surprised face.

In Syria, bin Laden's Good Buddy and Father of Modern Terrorism died. It's so tragic. The Israelis are walking around whistling and almost seriously declaring their innocence, and the US isn't exactly sending Dick Cheney for a ceremonial appearance at the funeral. Couldn't have happened to a nicer mass murderer.

I have not yet addressed the John McCain Non-Story, but that's a post of its own. Preview: The story isn't so much the allegations themselves, but the way the NYT decided to handle and time the assasination attempt--and make no mistake, that is precisely what this is.

17 February 2008

It's Staff Duty Night!

Yes, folks. It's time for the glorious United States Army tradition of staying awake for 24 hours Just In Case some jackass attempts to steal the building, or a drunken private falls down the stairs, or the pizza guy gets raped on the third floor and the Chain of Command needs someone to blame.

So you get the Long Post.

In Local News, I have decided to endorse Robert Francis. My primary reason is that if the Republic of Texas decides to pay your fuzzy butt a salary, your ass should be in the courtroom and the office 5 days a week like the rest of your fellow government employees. Not out earning some ridiculous sum as a law school prof while also collecting a judge's salary. Perhaps I'm a cranky bastich. So be it.

National News:
There's a lot of whining on the ideologically pure Conservative front about John McCain. Yeah, he isn't the ideal candidate, and he's not my first or even second or tenth choice for Prez, for that matter. In fact, I can think of lots of people who I'd rather see in office. But you know who I absolutely DON'T want running the country?

Barak "Clueless Fuck" Obama, or Hillary "Sociopathic Wanna-be Totalitarian" Clinton

And staying home is effectively the same as voting Democratic. Sadly, the world is an imperfect place, given the strong two-party system in place in the US, you pick from the menu in front of you. I can't buy Big Macs at Long John Silver. So if I'm at Long John Silver, I don't stamp my feet and refuse to order because there are no Big Macs for sale. I pick from the menu. You can argue all day long about whether or not this is the best way to pick a chief executive for a nuclear-armed superpower with an economy big enough and complex enough that no two economists agree on how to make it work. I personally think there has GOT to be a better way, but then again I wouldn't be adverse to putting a knife in the middle of an arena and letting Hillary and Barak Obama fight it out. I think Hillary wins because frankly she's manlier than Obama. But I digress.

So given the choice between McCain and which ever knucklehead gets the nod from the Democratic Party, I come down with McCain. Grow up, stop whining, and accept reality. McCain got the nod, he's the dog we have.

Why do I care quite so much? Why do I not buy into the arguments that the Republicans should take four years 'off' to 'rediscover themselves' in the opposition?

I don't know. Might have something to do with the War. You know, that thing in the Middle East that's been going on so long that most of America has pretty much forgotten about it and moved on to worrying about American Idol and the verdammt Westminster Dog Show.

What's funniest to me about this uproar is the deep concern that some of these ideologues have that John Frickin' McCain is going to appoint (say it softly) activist judges.

No, really? What in the name of Klono's Curving Carballoy Claws do you think Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to appoint? Strict constructionists? At this point continuing to fight among ourselves is self-defeating and self-indulgent.

Meanwhile, Berkeley is being Berkeley. Is it something in the water? What would possess any person to permit their underage offspring to make an ass of themselves like this?

Staying classy, American Leftist style. You want a bigger collection of pathetic losers, check out Zombietime. As usual, the Left pretty much goes for "shock value" and sad attention-seeking. My favorite is the exceedingly plain chick with 'fuck bush' scribbled on her boobs. They are the kind of boobs no one would look at if they didn't have silliness scribbled on them.

The pro-United States counter-demonstrators pretty much have the lock on coherent message, sanity, humor, and class. Some individuals only have it by a little bit, but this Berkeley after all. If anyone was completely normal they wouldn't be living there.

Speaking of stuff that makes my physically nauseous, there's Kosovo's anticipated declaration of independence. Hooray. Just what the world needs-another Muslim state run by drug lords and genocides and supported by al-Qaeda.

But on the plus side, there's a new Indiana Jones movie coming out soon. It appears to be full of win. Either that, or the trailer is all the best shots.

10 February 2008

Why Barak Obama shouldn't be Prez, part 1,000

OK, we've already talked about how he promised to invade Pakistan, and doesn't know dick about Iraq and so on and so forth.

Let's talk about how he doesn't know dick about Lebanon.

This guy may be charismatic, but what in hell does he think he's doing running for President without knowing the first thing about foreign policy?

Domestic policy is all well and good, but it has a lot of room for error. Even if you flush the economy down the toilet, Americans can rebuild anything. That's why I'm voting for McCain even though he's too government-interventionist for me.

Screw up with foreign policy and you get lots of people killed. Potentially including me.

08 February 2008

Primary, Republican

OK, now I'm really tired of politics.

Most of my votes in the primary for offices other than the US Prez are going to be meaningless, because the incumbents are running unopposed. The exception is the US Senate race, between

John Cornyn,


Larry Kilgore.

Presuming that Mr. Kilgore's alleged website is not a spoof, I will vote for Sen. Cornyn on the grounds that I'm fairly sure he could pass a psychological evaluation, whereas Mr. Kilgore probably couldn't.

My dog for the day

Day by Day says it all, for those of us who are actual Conservatives.

Mitt Romney, the "moderate" governor of one of the most liberal states in the Union, was sadly the last, best hope for a candidate that I didn't absolutely hate. He quit yesterday.

It's frickin' sad and sorry when the so-called conservative party in the United States is presenting me with a choice between:

A) A literal madman.
B) A theocrat.
C) A tax-and-spend, gun-grabbing, anti-free-speech, pro-illegal-immigrant socialist.

Every choice I have is poisoned.

OK, enough venting.

What will I do?

I will not vote for Mike Huckabee in the Texas primary. He's a theocrat who wishes to amend the Constitution to support a particularly fundamentalist Protestant set of ideas, and I have no desire to live in the country he would create. Besides which, he's not terribly electable.

Ron Paul, I will vote against. Isolationism didn't work in 1936, and it won't work now.

John McCain is the alternative to the Wilderness. He may, or at least I hope, appoint judges who will be more interested in interpreting the law (vice judicially legislating, Democrat-style) than Hillary or Obama. And on the issues, I find little glimmers of hope that make me think that he is at least better than Hillary Clinton. The dog bites--but it bites less than do either of the Democratic dogs. And if I must have a dog. . .

Ultimately, I have two choices.

a) vote for John McCain
b) vote for Hillary Clinton/Barak Obama (to me they are nearly interchangable)

I can't "just stay home" in good conscience. That's abdicating my responsibilities as a United States citizen and free man. And while it might be worth it to vote for the greater evil as a means of letting America get precisely what we deserve for being so addicted to the government teat, there is a minor problem.

We are a nation at war. Or at least, I'm at war. The majority of the people in this country are at the mall. But I am at war and will be for the foreseeable future. John McCain will fight this war. Clinama (my neologism to indicate that I don't actually CARE who gets the Democrat nomination) will not. Clinama will surrender Iraq and by extension the entire Middle East to al-Qaeda and others of that ilk. After that, it is anyone's guess what the consequences will be, but they will be bad, because even our allies are halfway to surrender. That's the real deal breaker, and any so-called American who isn't thinking in those terms needs to do a serious self-assessment.

See also:
Foreign and Domestic, who jokingly endorses Clinton on the grounds that the last three candidates he endorsed dropped out.
Dr. Jerry Pournelle, who is so conservative he makes me look positively fluffy, endorses McCain--tentatively.
Lawdog reminds us that whoever gets elected as Prez, we need to remember that he can only sign laws created by Congress--and there are some conservatives running for Congress still.