Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sins of Bush #1 - The Iraq War

Soon we will begin the one-year countdown to the end of the worst presidency in American history. Bush's lies, crimes, errors, and misjudgments are so numerous and his real accomplishments so few that it's difficult to know where to begin. There is of course, the low-hanging fruit...Iraq, shredding the Constitution, dismantling of America's world leadership, Katrina, etc. There were also the hundreds of other misdeeds which have gone relatively unnoticed by the media and general public which deserve remembrance. In celebration of his impending return to blessed and deserved obscurity, it's useful to review at least some the outrages which Bush has visited upon our nation and the world. In that line I will periodically post on the many Sins of Bush.

Sin #1- The Iraq War
Iraq will go down in history as the magnum opus of stupidity. From it's inception, prosecution, and (probably someday) termination, the war in Iraq has been an object lesson in how NOT to pursue war and foreign policy. The war has accomplished the exact opposite of most or our main goals. It has;

Strengthened our worst enemies-
The Islamic death-cult called Al Qaida, which should have been cut off and left to die has instead grown exponentially, it's recruiting fueled by claiming a "Crusader" occupation of a Muslim country. Al Qaida which didn't exist in Iraq before the invasion has also enjoyed massive propaganda victories in the Arab world by pointing to the inevitable atrocities (both intentional and not) of US troops put into impossible situations. Muslims from around the world, crazed by those images and religious fanaticism have flocked to fight us. Our other enemy, Iran, has gained by losing a sworn enemy in Saddam and gained a friendly, perhaps client government of like-minded Shiite extremists.

Weakened our military
- Morale, readiness, retention have all suffered for no clear purpose. While our troops (including several friends and relatives of mine) have shown enormous strength and courage, there is no doubt that having well over half the Army and Marines either in-country or heading back soon makes it more difficult for us to confront other threats. Repeated year-long deployments with even less time back home for rest, retraining, and refitting has made it extremely difficult to maintain morale. If this war is so important to our security, why is there not a draft to supplement the military?

Destroyed America's reputation abroad
- Where our nation was once the leader of the free world we are now looked upon with contempt and suspicion. Most of the world sees the war at best as great folly and at worst as an effort to control the world's oil supply through violence. Whether valid or not, the loss of American stature will make it much more difficult to defeat the true enemy, Al Qaida.

Made America LESS secure from terrorism- The idiots who continue to chant that we're "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" apparently don't understand geography or the concept of modern air travel. If our enemies are gaining strength and numbers, how is having our troops in Iraq making us safer? You cannot triumph on the battlefield when it comes to terrorism. The idea is to take the wind out of your enemies sails, to show that what you have to offer is better than the other guy.

Divided our nation- At a time when the country should be united to defeat a common enemy, Iraq has completely distracted us. Look at the Port of Olympia Protesters (POOP) to see how crazy things are starting to get. Why after the horror of the 9/11 atrocity is the country so divided? The answer isn't the "liberal media".

Cost trillions- ...and trillions. Many billions of which have been wasted on ill-conceived and implemented projects. Many billions more have simply disappeared by graft, crimes which continue to go unpunished and until the Democrats took over Congress, completely un-investigated.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

DVR Freeze Frame - Sam Rockwell - Galaxy Quest

"DO I? DO I? For all you know, I'm "Crewman Number Six"! Mommy... mommy..."

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Interesting article in the Washington Post today about Gen Petraeus' involvement in selecting the next batch of Brigadier Generals. The article suggests this is part of a larger movement within the Army to retain and promote officers who have are "flexible, adaptive thinkers".
Whether or not this is actually a movement or just a PR exercise remains to be seen. But I can tell you from my time in the Army, this is something that has been needed for decades. The article highlights some of the biggest problems with the officer corps, namely the traditional promotion structure tends to reward ass-kissers and denigrates those who aren't.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Would you like a double-barrelled shotgun with that?

Cabela's finally opened today! I've been taunting my Dad who lives overseas but loves the outdoors with the fact that the superstore is exactly a 6-minute drive from my front door (without traffic anyway). Looking forward to checking it out.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Irrational Evergreen hatred

This week I've become addicted to the Olympians comment boards, especially on the many stories dealing with the protests. Anonymous boards always seem to attract comments from some serious nut jobs and a major theme has been how The Evergreen State College is the root of all this stupidity. Some of the following board posts illustrate the craziness.

Save the money..close the cess pool of nut jobs.

I believe that school should be closed down vs expanded, they have caused nothing but problems to this community. Thats all these greeners need is new facilities. If they are so environmentally friendly, they should live off the land, save money on water since most of them don't use it, they can sit around the low emission camp fire, smoke their weed and tell their tall tales.
-- Robert

I don't disagree with the assertion that many of these protesters are Evergreen students with maybe a professor or two thrown in. Evergreen has a well deserved reputation as being a haven for ultra-liberal teachers and students. Unfortunately that reputation leads many in this community to believe ALL students and professors at Evergreen are out-of-touch socialist, Earth Liberation Front sympathizers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
My experience at Evergreen was the most fulfilling and worthwhile of my academic career. I've attended 5 colleges over the years and TESC was by far the best. The outstanding evening and weekend studies program allowed me and hundreds of others to attain a degree while still working full time. I studied Management with a concentration in International Business. The program was tough, demanding and difficult. Most of my fellow students were just like me, working adults (often with families) trying to get ahead in life. Many went on to Masters degree programs at prestigious universities around the country. These were definitely not the wild-eyed, out-of-touch dip shits we've seen down at the port. Those people represent an extreme minority of the students and staff at Evergreen.
So like many Greener-grads, I get extremely irritated when those ignorant of what the school has to offer make comments about shutting it down.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gandhi's Rules for Civil Disobedience....OlyPMR-Style

Tonight OlyPMR has rewritten Gandhi's rules for civil disobedience.

1. The resister will harbor no anger
OlyPMR- The resister will be irrationally pissed off at anyone who disagrees with him.

2. He will suffer the anger of the opponent.
OlyPMR- He will never let any comment or provocation go unanswered without a retort or greater provocation.

3. In so doing he will put up with assaults from the opponent, never retaliate; but he will not submit, out of fear of punishment or the like, to any order given in anger.
OlyPMR- In doing so he will never put up with assaults from the opponent and will always retaliate but NEVER in a way that requires physical courage or emotional maturity. Such retaliation should preferably be against persons or property which have nothing to do with the resistor or opponent.

4. When any person in authority seeks to arrest a civil resister, he will voluntarily submit to the arrest, and he will not resist the attachment or removal of his own property, if any, when it is sought to be confiscated by authorities.
OlyPMR- When a person in authority gives a a resister a lawful order he will ignore the order. He will then be surprised and irrationally angry when the person in authority actually exercises said authority and arrests the resister.

5. If a civil resister has any property in his possession as a trustee, he will refuse to surrender it, even though in defending it he might lose his life. He will, however, never retaliate.
OlyPMR- (The analogy starts to break down a bit but...) The resister will gain revenge against his opponent by attacking the property and freedom of movement of average citizens, businesses and government officials who have nothing to do with the issue at hand. Such attacks will surely bring them to our point of view.

6. Non-retaliation excludes swearing and cursing.
OlyPMR- Swearing and cursing are the preferred method of communication with those who disagree with us

7. Therefore a civil resister will never insult his opponent, and therefore also not take part in many of the newly coined cries which are contrary to the spirit of ahimsa (nonviolence).
OlyPMR- A resister should insult his opponent whenever possible. We define "nonviolence" like George Bush defines "torture", so all our actions are nonviolent...because we say so.

8. A civil resister will not salute the Union Jack, nor will he insult it or officials, English or Indian.
OlyPMR- US flags, if carried at all MUST be carried upside down or with a gigantic peace symbol in place of stars. Such representations of the Nation's most sacred symbol will demonstrate how much we really really support the troops.

9. In the course of the struggle if anyone insults an official or commits an assault upon him, a civil resister will protect such official or officials from the insult or attack even at the risk of his life.
OlyPMR- We will take actions which the vast majority of our community (even those who agree with our motives) believe to be disrespectful and insulting. We will secretly believe most in the community don't have the balls or intelligence to come to our side. Though we will give lip-service to the concept of "honest and open" debate, we have no interest in listening to anyone else's point of view.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Best Veterans Day EVER!

Got this from my son for Veterans Day. There's a lot insincere "support the troops" rhetoric around these days especially from many of those who've placed them in harms way. So it's easy to be cynical and jaded about it all.
But my boy's heartfelt "thank you" truly put a tear in my eye.

OlyPMR helps the war effort

Question: What do the dopes of Olympia Port Militarization Resistance and the Bush administration have in common?
Answer: They are both comprised of radical, out-of-touch, dogmatists working feverishly to keep the Iraq war going forever.

Interestingly the OlyPMR was created to do the exact opposite. But "direct actions" like yesterday only serve to harden the hearts and minds of those whom they are supposedly trying to reach. Somehow I doubt your average soccer mom will be convinced to finally vote anti-war after seeing these guys throwing trash in the street and intentionally block traffic. Actions like these give the Fox News and Rush Limbaughs of the world a perfect opportunity to say, "Look! See how the evil anti-American leftists hate our troops!?" Doesn't matter if they're right or not because perception beats reality every time, especially to the typical distracted American. The end result is the war goes on and on and on.

And why do the peace-and-justice types always cry police brutality when the cops respond appropriately to violent protest?
As I posted at

When citizens intentionally physically block other citizens going about their business, it is not a "peaceful" protest.

When citizens destroy private property and throw trash on a public thoroughfare, it is not a peaceful protest.

When citizens refuse to comply with peace officers legal orders it is not a peaceful protest.

Citizens who engage in such activity are engaging in VIOLENCE and should not be surprised by a proportional response from those whose job is to maintain public order.

I went on to note that turning the focus from the Iraq war to a local government's relatively even-handed response, completely defeats the purpose of demonstrating in the first place. Isn't civil disobedience supposed to elicit a response from government? Weren't they trying to get arrested? If so, why complain, they got exactly what they came looking for.