30 June 2008

Iraq News (30 June)

The Good: The security responsibility of Diwaniyah province is set to be turned over today from Coalition Forces to the Iraqis, which will make it the tenth. The security has been mostly provided by the Poles and other members of the coalition, and has seen some level of Shi'ite extremist activity from the Mahdi Army. Interesting story about a chaplain at FOB Falcon in Baghdad at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ambassador Crocker is saying that more talks are possible with Iran, now that much of the illicit militia activity has subsided.

The Bad: A truck bomb has killed 7 north of Baghdad. The Los Angeles Times profiles the Hollywood-like, Sons of Iraq superstar, Abu Abed, who is now in hiding in Amman, Jordan. A former insurgent, Abu Abed has been credited with purging the streets of Ameriyah from the murderous Al-Qaeda goons. Now the Shi'ite-dominated government is after him. 10 KIAs have been identified by the DoD, their names are here.

The Ugly: From the "Over There" department, 30K troops are getting called up to Iraq unless Gen. Petraeus says they aren't needed. A newly-released Army study says that there weren't enough troops for post-invasion Iraq which led to the chaos and calamity following the fall of Saddam (Al-Jazeera English has more). No shit! Best...war...ever.

Abu Abed in Hiding (from LA Times)

In Between British Columbia and Washington

Culture of Conformity, The Kids Aren't Alright

Above The Influence: One Example of The Epidemic of Uncoolness from Today's Youth

The superb journalist, Kerry Howley, wrote an article in the LA Times discussing the nature of today's youth and their predisposition to side with socially conservative values and wussiness. She cites numerous bits of empirical evidence:

For every Paris Hilton, there is a Hannah Montana. Along with the sordid materialism of "The Hills," cable television has brought us cloyingly wholesome, kid-friendly entertainment from channels such as Noggin, Sprout and Playhouse Disney...Kids are more likely to wear bike helmets today, though not because bikes are more dangerous. Wealth engenders risk-aversion, and over-mothered kids are ultimately a sign that so much has been invested in them.

Looking around at our great nation's youngsters, I am inclined to agree with Ms. Howley. However, I disagree with her conclusion that this is beneficial to modern living since the kids aren't out of control. Rather, this is a fuckin' scourge upon modern civilization, since the future will be deprived of unconventional thinkers! It's no secret that society is tits up: corrupt politicians, people massacring each other in places like Zimbabwe, environmental woes, AIDS, terrorist thugs still not captured or dead, the dollar sucks, our national debt is out of control, and on and on. Our world needs critical and revolutionary thinkers to get us out of this mess. Unfortunately, most kids are satisfied being spoon-fed mainstream culture from the likes of American Idol and posting their boring pics on Facebook from the abstinence concert they got to "rock out" to during their summer break. That is, of course, if these poor kids even get to have a summer as their parents whisk them from college prep courses to cross-town playdates at the age of 8.

High school has been out of session in my neck of the woods for weeks, and I have only once wanted to hurl a half-filled beercan at some young punk driving too fast down my street. You wouldn't believe that WA once spawned the counterculture phenomenon known as "Grunge". In those days, I bet my mailbox, symbolic of the establishment and everything wrong in the world, would have been knocked down at least 3 times by this point in summer. Yet my mailbox still stands! The decline of hessian culture in the suburbs for young boys may have something to do with this, but a lack of underground activity in urban areas, like raves in the late 90s, is also apparent of a larger problem. So, parents, I beg of you not to micromanage your kids lives and let bygones be bygones. Try to ignore certain habits, like that incense they keep burning in their room when their scruffy looking friends come over, and remember that they have the rest of their life to work for "The Man" (like yours truly). We need unconventional ideas in these dire times, and it's best not to dilute their creativity with nonsense. For goodness sakes, if it wasn't for Gen Xers calling bullshit on abominable culture in the 90s, Mark Wahlberg might still be singing horrendously over-engineered tunes instead of making excellent movies like The Departed.

Do you want this to be the future of culture? I certainly hope not.

Milblogs Come And Go, But At Least Herpes is 4ever!

Drag. Turns out Suspect has decided to shut down my favoritest milblog, Iraq: The Purgatorium. He was my fave primarily since he was a pissed off dude and didn't like to sugarcoat the bullshit (the no hooah zone, if you will). Also, it appears LT G has been gagged by his chain of command for unknown reasons. Here is the requisite Alice in Chains tribute to those milblogs that are no more:

In the meantime, Some other milblogs to get your fix of life in the combat zone include:

Big Tobacco (on his way to the Sandbox)
Matel in Iraq (reconstruction in Anbar)
Navy Gal (IA in Iraq)
The Satirist At War (Afghanistan, not a POG)
Miserable Donuts (Officer perspective, right now in Basrah)

Some good aggregators of the milblogs to keep up with is Mudville Gazette, Thunder Run, and This Fucking War.

For politics, bouts of hate, and nonsense, please stay tuned to this blog! Otherwise, Hot Asian Babes can be found here.

28 June 2008

The Army Goes Megaman

Miltary.com has video of this new exo-skeleton gizmo for the military. U.S. troops will finally be able to take on Cut Man and Dr. Wily on the battlefield. R&D is a necessary part of the DoD, but questions arise when they spend taxpayer dollars on stuff like this and not on the shit already in use that needs fixin'.

DADT Crushes Military Preparedness

Argh! A decorated Army Sergeant has been booted out of the military for liking dudes instead of chicks and talking about it on 60 minutes (h/t Crooks and Liars). In reality, The Don't Ask Don't Tell policy is legislation designed to allow gay people to serve in the military while keeping geezers in the Committee on Armed Services and evangelical community out of our face. Being 27 years-old in the military qualifies me for old-man status, and the youthful military shares the same view on homosexuality that most young people in America do...that is they don't care. DC needs to realize that they are squashing military readiness by kicking out servicemembers for something that has no bearing on their job performance.

Now the Best Argument Against Gun Ownership is "You Guys Are Weird"

Seeing how the Heller case put to bed the ridiculous notion that the 2nd Amendment was solely intended for organized militias (I know, the whole "right of the people to keep and bear arms" verbage was pretty darn confusing), the best argument against gun ownership from totalitarian enablers boils down to cultural semantics of urbanistas vs. everyone else in the country.
  • The NY Times editorial board has stated that the SCOTUS decision was a victory for the "far right" (I doubt 4+ Million members in the NRA all classify themselves as "far right")
  • Kevin Drum says the whole gun confiscation argument "only appealed to an extremist fringe that's fueled by an inchoate rage against pointy-headed DC bureaucrats"
  • The Stranger (Seattle's Only Newspaper) drops the snark saying "Have fun! Try to not to blast away too many of your children your neighbor or yourself—even if is your Constitutional right."
  • Matthew Ygleisas simply refers to gun enthusiasts as "weird"
Prepare for the yuppie "Stuff White People Like" crowd to try and convince us we are a bunch of rubes and that we should embrace the urban culture of no-leash dog parks, bike paths, and snooty condescension of the majority of Americans. Try not to shoot yourself in the head to curtail the suffering of having to listen to them whine.

27 June 2008

Iraq News (27 June)

The Good: Major General Hertling has said that Al-Qaeda is defeated in northern Iraq, and U.S. forces are pursuing remaining elements into small towns and villages. This comes after news that the emir of the Islamic State of Iraq in Mosul has been killed in a U.S. airstrike. Long War Journal reports that the Mahdi Army has been decimated, while many young men in Sadr City (known to be the home base of JAM) are employed in the neighborhood guard to provide security. These employment opportunities are seen as crucial to provide alternatives to joining the militia, much like the Sons of Iraq program has kept many young Sunni men from joining the insurgency.

The Bad: The Middle East Times reports deteriorating security conditions in Mosul as they say the Iraqi Army is unable to maintain order in Iraq's third largest city. A bombing on a group of Sunni sheikhs has killed 3 Marines from MNF-W and many civilians west of Baghdad. More on our friend, Nicole Suveges, from the Washington Post. Iraq's soccer coach gets canned for losing 1-0 to Qatar. An editorial from a town in Wisconsin says Americans aren't sacrificing enough and are in a Sept. 10 mindset. Agreed.

The Ugly: The Wall Street Journal reports that the July 31 deadline for the Status of Forces Agreement, which will allow U.S. forces to operate starting in 2009, may be delayed. Disputes between the U.S. military and the Iraqis remain over some possible civilians killed in recent escalation of force incidents.

Neighborhood Guard in Sadr City (from Reuters)

Extreme Gonzo

Classic Ralph Steadman

Ralph Steadman talks about his relationship with Hunter S. Thompson for the upcoming Gonzo movie in the NY Sun. Sounds a lot better than the crap mainstream Hollywood is putting out.

Obama Ditches The Netroots

Netroots Left All On Their Lonesome by Obama

It is common knowledge that, while talk radio is generally conservative, the top blogs are generally liberal (see the top political blogs on Technorati). It would be natural for Senator Obama to side with the netroots on key issues they find important to earn their support. But the Huffington Post reports that the Obama camp and the netroots are diverging:

Obama's decision to embrace a compromise on FISA legislation -- a virtual slap in the face to some progressive bloggers demanding no legal immunity for telecommunications companies -- was the catalyst of the recent chatter. Other concerns arose days prior when Obama cut an advertisement on behalf of a conservative southern Democrat whose primary challenger was favored by the liberal blogosphere.

This rift has prompted The Next Right to begin questioning the relevancy of the left-leaning blogosphere, as netroots shamelessly change their tune to be more in line with Obama's policies. Obama voiced his disappointment with yesterday's SCOTUS decision to not allow capital punishment in the case of child rape. The "progressive" response has been totally weak to this ridiculous "eye for an eye" logic (espoused by guys like BillO, Townhall, and uh, I guess Obama), for criminal prosecution . Daily Kos gives a roundabout argument, so does Ygleisas, and only John Amato of CnL dares to speak out against the messiah by saying "He's running much farther to the right than he has to". One of the few issues I agree with the netroots on to prevent our society from looking like the dark ages, and they weasel out of it. What a bunch of pussies.

Pic From Jawa

Andrew Breitbart Rails Against Hollywood For Dissing Troops

This is a video of Andrew Breitbart, a libertarian, West LA resident, Hollyweird insider, and all around-good guy taking about the media infrastructure seeking to portray the military in a negative light. He's chatting with the From The Front Lines drive, which is raising money to send care packages to our troops. Usually, I take these attacks against the left with a grain of salt, since it is politically convenient to drop the "Support The Troops" meme to bolster your partisan political position if you're conservative. But Andrew is not a 527-bot, as evidenced by this Reason interview, so it gives his statements a lot more credibility.

Freedom Lives!

SCOTUS has ruled 5-4 on the constitutionality of the 2nd amendment, and it is indeed a huge victory for gun rights. From Yahoo News:

Silent on central questions of gun control for two centuries, the Supreme Court found its voice Thursday in a decision affirming the right to have guns for self-defense in the home and addressing a constitutional riddle almost as old as the republic over what it means to say the people may keep and bear arms.

Bob Barr issued a statement lauding the decision as "one of the Supreme Court’s most important rulings on behalf of liberty".

While the Supreme Court has put to bed the long-held debate over whether the second amendment applies to individuals or "official" militias like the National Guard, Reason takes a dump in the victory pie by saying that Justice Scalia interprets the amendment as only applying to self-defense and not protection from a tyrannical government. Also, the road ahead is not without challenges as authoritarian lapdogs in the media are still calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment and outlandish gun-control policies remain in place, such as Mayor Nickels of Seattle trying to limit law-abiding gunowners from having concealed weapons in the city.

On a personal note, my zombie protection kit remains free from confiscation by the feds at the moment. Thank goodness!

You Better Read This Book

Combat Zone Bonein' with Lara Logan

In light of the sad news from Baghdad about Nicole, this story is a bit on the lighter side, which I know Nicole would've found hilarious.

Lara Logan, who recently voiced her outrage at CBS on The Daily Show for not covering Iraq enough, believes that rockets and bullets are an aphrodisiac because she was involved in a steamy love affair while in Mesopotamia. According to the NY Post, Logan had a bonefest with some married contractor, Joe Burkett, as well as CNN correspondent Michael Ware, and the two men brawled like a couple of gel-haired meatheads during last call at the club trying to get their mitts on her. Hat Tip to CDR Salamander, who wonders the same thing I did, why wasn't she looking to me for a lusty affair? I'm guessing the answer to that lies in the fact that our salaries pale in comparison to our contracting peers. I always felt Lara Logan's reporting was overrated and shoddy, while Arwa Damon of CNN had far better journalistic coverage of the war in Iraq. Unfrotunately, Arwa is a bit plain looking, and therefore doesn't get the same attention as a blonde bombshell like Logan. Sorry, Arwa. Pictured below is the characters in this ridiculous soap opera from the war zone.

Hot Babe and overrated Reporter Logan Gets it On in Iraq Apparently, Women Find Fucked-Up Looking Noses Attractive Despite Arwa's Pastel Green Shirt, She Gets Ignored Joe Burkett, (I Found on Teh Google), also convicted of Kidtouchin' two teeneage boys in NY in 2007, I assume it was the same guy who fucked Logan

We Miss You, Nicole

A bit of sad news. Our friend, Nicole Suveges, was killed in action in Sadr City on Tuesday while working with the Human Terrain Systems attempting to bring order into one of Baghdad's poorest and most lawless districts. She worked with me my first few months in Baghdad and I always remember that she was incredibly intelligent, very outgoing, and had a good sense of humor. Her accomplishments in life are lengthy as she was an Army veteran of the Balkans conflict in the field of PsyOps, was working on her PhD at the prestigous Johns Hopkins School in political science, and was serving her second tour in Iraq. We miss you, Nicole!

26 June 2008

Greed is So Easy To Manipulate

The Justice Department has done the right thing and fully prosecuted Maj. Cockerham and his wife for taking over a $1M in bribes from a crooked Kuwaiti contractor. He claimed to want to use the money to build "a church", but he disgraced the officer corps by abusing the authority the country had given him. The American people trust the military with a lot: nukes, tomahawks, billion-dollar planes, M249s, VX, and the trust placed in us to not contract STDs while in a liberty port. It's ironic that this Major chose to be swayed by the item that influences all of our corrupt politicians...money. The ethics and necessity of contracting in a war zone is a little beyond the scope of this blog, but incidents like this one sure makes one want to abolish the contracting system.

Iraq News (26 June)

The Good: President Talabani is visiting President Bush in Washington and has thanked him for liberating Iraq. Not surprising since President Talabani is a Kurd, and Saddam waged a brutal campaign of genocide against the oppressed Kurdish people during the 80s. He was also there to discuss the Status of Forces Agreement beyond 2008, which Al-Jazeera English has some details on. 14 militia thugs have been arrested in the southern province of Nasiriyah. A retired Airman is trying to send a whole bunch of Chicago-style pizzas to the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Tony Soprano is selling some items from the Sopranos to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Brangelie have donated $1M to Iraqi kids. This blog is defiantly anti-celebrity for a variety of reasons, but this is an example of Hollywood doing some good. Money talks and bullshit walks.

The Bad: 10 U.S. soldiers have been killed since Monday, with three soldiers and an interpreter killed Tuesday night in Ninawa province. An IED in the holy city of Karbala has killed one child.

The Ugly: Whoever thought war would be so damn expensive? The Pentagon needs $100B to repair worn-out equipment, and Rep. Murtha claims it will come from personnel cuts. The LA Times suggests that the fear of being called a "flip-flopper" is preventing the presidential candidates from developing a viable Iraq strategy. I agree. There are a lot of moving parts and complexities with foreign policy in Iraq and trying to stick with positions from 2003/2004 when the whole reality on the ground has changed is foolish. Brooks writes a NYT go-Bush-go piece in which he describes the surge success due to the Prez, describing his position as "courageous", even though Bush hid behind Petraeus/Odierno the whole time and has been afraid to craft any future policy beyond the surge...which is almost over.

Mr. Talabani Goes To Washington

Environmentalists, Old People Want You to Drive 55

Adele Ferguson writes in the Port Orchard Independent that it's time to bring back the Carteresque policy of driving abominably slow on the freeway. She even suggests just doing it, regardless of the speed limit:

I have already begun taking my foot off the gas pedal and try to drive 50 mph on the various freeways. To no one’s surprise, I’m sure, I’m passed by everyone. I still think 55 mph is a better solution than looking forward to $5 or $10 a gallon gas in days to come.

WA drivers generally drive slower than the rest of the nation, and the fastest speed limit on me and Adele's side of the Puget sound is 60MPH. I do not recommend doing this in places like the Midwest (where the speed limit is often 75MPH) unless you want to end up a hood ornament on the truck that's trying to get Tulsa before sundown. But snarling up traffic with low speed limits seems to be gaining steam as the eco-friendly Treehugger directs our attention to the Drive 55 project. The site hosts a long list of reasons of why driving like an 86 year-old on Ambien is good for the environment and saves gas. It also has some really weird bumperstickers ("Drive 55 - Support The Troops") that will certainly enrage everybody trying to get to work as these self-righteous motorists tool along slowly in the left lane of the interstate. Of course, the best retort to this argument can be summed up by Mr. Sammy Hagar.

Obama Takes The Low Road On Capital Punishment

One of the Guys On Obama's Shortlist For Attorney General

Obama has voiced his disappointment with the Supreme Court's decision against the death penalty for treejumpers (aka child rapists) thereby confirming his commitment to barbaric practices for the state to use. The Boston Globe Reports (h/t Hot Air):

Asked about today's US Supreme Court ruling that sentencing someone to death for raping a child is unconstitutional, Obama said he disagreed with such a broad ban. "I have said repeatedly that I think that the death penalty should be applied in very narrow circumstances for the most egregious of crimes. I think that the rape of a small child, 6 or 8 years old, is a heinous crime," he said, adding that if a state determines the death penalty should apply in such cases, they should be allowed to impose it.

I wouldn't disagree with child rape being "egregious", but my opposition to the death penalty is ideological and can best be summarized by Nick Giellespie of Reason when he says "I'm against the death penalty because I don't think the state should have the power to execute. I think the state's role is to protect its population and it should do that using as little violence as possible." That and all the most heinous, tyrannical regimes utilized the death penalty willy-nilly (Stalin, Mao, Hitler, you get the idea).

Expect a bunch of the netroots to use their power to cater to their messiah on this issue, which shows how much of a joke the American left is when it comes to real progressive and human rights issues. To think I used to have hope that the mainstream left would get the death penalty re-abolished, don't I feel like an idiot. I guess they just want to hear about the important issues like what's on Obama's iPod (hint: if it's not the Master of Puppets album, I ain't impressed).

Let's Your Heart Beat For the Revolution

The Next Right has an extensive post about political blogging and how it resembles the pamphleteering done during the heady days of the American Revolution. This is a very idealistic and inspirational concept, but, IMHO, until the blogosphere can become more advanced in self-correction, it more closely resembles the lewd and crass graffiti found sprawled on the walls of Pompeii. The knucklehead who claimed he had a tawdry gay love-in with Obama is just one example of how people are too gullible on the internets. Despite the fact that the guy was too poorly dressed to be gay, the allegations got way too much credibility on the conservative-leaning Free Republic back in February. Until we develop our savvy, we would be wise to pay homage to the original bloggers of Pompeii. Some hilarious examples translated from Latin:

Let everyone one in love come and see. I want to break Venus’ ribs with clubs and cripple the goddess’ loins. If she can strike through my soft chest, then why can’t I smash her head with a club?

We have wet the bed, host. I confess we have done wrong. If you want to know why, there was no chamber pot.

O walls, you have held up so much tedious graffiti that I am amazed that you have not already collapsed in ruin.

Below is an early campaign ad that translates "Asellina and her girls urge you to vote for Fusius for Minister of Public Affairs" written by a "madame". I don't know who Fuscus is, but I'm writing him in.

McCain Goes For The Lowest Common Denominator

The Daily Show ridicules McCain for pandering to the youth vote with the Straight Talk Express Cribs or whatever the hell this ridiculous campaign ad is supposed to be.

I keeping telling the McCain campaign that they need to exploit the talents of Wilford Brimley or possibly Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz). I hear he's a conservative, and I'm pretty sure all the kids these days think the Fonz is cool. Aaaayyyy, Partial-Birth Abortion is For Squares

25 June 2008

A Hessian Session

Due to the marginalization of suburban, teenage male culture through a campaign of conformity from our largest media monopolies and public schools, it is now more important than ever to pay homage to our proud hesher traditions. What defines a hessian? No, it is not a mercenary from Bavaria in this context, but rather a lifestyle well-suited for males who came of age in the 80s and 90s. These youngsters would often be seen riding around on BMX bikes with Ratt T-shirts while setting off bottle rockets at the local 7-11. The musical and cinematic tastes of this demographic was superlative in its own right, and a dominant cultural paradigm has yet to supplant this unsung piece of Americana.

The Hessian Studies Institute of Los Angeles seeks to chronicle the history of America's young dirt-lipped Heshers, and they also define the seemingly nihilistic message into a broader contemporary perspective. From their "Lifestyles and Values" page:

Hessians values are deeply rooted in Romantic idealism, characterised by quality not quantity. Hessians seek to transcend life by living in harmony with nature. Metal music is part of the Hessian lifestyle, not the definition. In the vein of Faust, those that want the sensation of power can find it in metal. Nihilism is a tool of thought, not a destination; fifty years of depression, rebellion, beer, weed, whores and gore evaluates as a life experience that sums to zero. Hessians seek to travel beyond where metalheads will not go. Knowledge, power and worldly experience rank far above the pleasures of the body.

Where hessians seek rebellion from the establishment, our current youth avoid independence to conform to the branding schemes of the mainstream. This is like a needle through the heart for me personally, as angry youth are the creative force behind our greatest music, art, movies, and culture. Indeed, the hessian lifestyle of cynical commentary on dominant themes existing in society is a prominent force behind the blogosphere. To honor our Hessian heritage, here is a humble tribute set to Hammerfall's "Stronger Than All".

Of course I did see some teenagers eyeing my pickup truck today while I was at the Jack in the Box. Hopefully, they wanted to throw some thunderbombs at me or have me buy them some beer. If that was the case, there would still be hope for America.

Props to OYE

Wek from Operation Yellow Elephant was kind enough to send me a shirt for making it back from Iraq. Pictured wearing the "Sign Up or Shut Up" shirt is Mr. Bones, who has been to 5 duty stations and was at Burning Man 2001. That makes him more patriotic and cooler than the majority of these young conservative weenies who won't join the service.

The site is a must read in the blogosphere and recommended posts are:

The Beef Jerks
I'm A Teke Damnit
A dialogue with Jason L. Van Dyke, Esq.

Thanks, guys!

The Douche Epidemic

Similar to Disco in the 20th century, societal problems can escalate to full-scale cultural epidemics without proper vigilance. The Edge 103.9 helps promote awareness of the douche phenomenon in Scottsdale with this minimalistic yet inspirational video.

This is getting out of control. Time to stock up on water, ammo, and douche-repellent.

(h/t Hot Chicks With Douche Bags)

24 June 2008

Iraq News (24 June)

The Good: The new report to Congress on Iraq is available from the DoD, and it shows a huge decline in violence over the past several months. However, the report mirrors warnings from the brass about extremists still maintaining the ability to conduct spectacular attacks and that infrastructure is still bad. Anbar province, once known for its violent insurgency in Fallujah and Ramadi, is to be turned over to provincial Iraqi control (the 10th of 18 provinces) with the U.S. military in an overwatch role. This transition is crucial to get the U.S. military out of Iraq. The Prime Minister announces a new offensive in the volatile Diyala province. Fox news reports progress in Mosul following the Mother of Two Springs operation.

The Bad: A disgruntled city council member has gunned down two of our troops and wounded three in Salman Pak. This town, just south of Baghdad, was an Al-Qaeda stronghold but was purged of many extremist elements during the surge strategy of 2007.

The Ugly: William Kristol goes for the jugular against the MoveOn.Org "Not Alex" ad saying that they are insulting the troops in his NY Times Op-Ed. Azzaman discusses international oil companies hitting a snag as quarrelling still exists in Iraqi Parliament about the Hydrocarbon Law. Speaking of Parliament, the problem of low water levels in Iraq's reservoirs does not appear to be solved. Part 2 in WaPo about Al-Qaeda's propaganda apparatus, As-Sahab, which the article suggest Al-Qaeda is conducting an effective communications campaign.

There's Lies And Then There's Statistics. Violence way down in Iraq.

Who Would've Thought That Sex Sells?

Newshounds talks about BillO being in a tizzy over a controversial campaign ad for the Dems. A luscious young vixen comes over to some lucky poindexter's residence for some post-partying nookie, but finds out that he's a limp-dicked Republican! No money, no honey as they say in the Singaporean prostitution biz. This is an effective ad, because pretty much everything...ever... done by a straight guy has been for the purposes of getting some action from the ladies: the Spanish-American war, founding of the new world by Columbus, and the very creation of the internet. Voting patterns should follow a similar trend.

As you can imagine, BillO flips out, but it's a bit of a double standard as Fox News employs two total babes to critique the ad (Mary Katharine Ham and Heather Nauert). If Fox News was wise in getting McCain elected, they would employ a "sexy" male to market to the ladies...and that man is an unapologetic McCain supporter and sex symbol, Wilford Brimley:

Of course you could see through this siren-like ruse to get your vote, and pick Barr, the only damn candidate who doesn't want to steal all your money for suckass social programs or send all military-aged citizens to invade the Klendathu star system.

More Womens In The Military

GI Kate has more up on the project she's working on.

Cool Quotes:

  • "I've had a lot of women suggest that because we have a menstrual cycle, we couldn't possibly survive in a combat zone."
  • "In my own experience, there are so many women in the military who have more balls"
  • "Women are a little more intellectually flexible than men, and that can be beneficial"
  • "Get out of my way or I'll take you out"
VetVoice is publicizing the project as well. This has the potential to be a very interesting documentary as the concept of women in combat has yet to be digested by mainstream society. But I'm a guy, and it would be very difficult to explain this complex reality, so click on the links and get educated, damnit.

Obama Prez Seal Goes Down in Martyrdom

Yes, the Obama seal represented a certain hubris not seen since the Mission Accomplished banner that Bush unveiled 5 years ago, but why didn't I blog about it earlier? Because it wasn't until today that the seal had been "disappeared" (h/t Marc Ambinder) in a scene of martyrdom fit for our future messiah.

Add the seal to the other martyrs that have vanished down the memory hole to sacrifice themselves to the molten steel vat of righteous obscurity like the "Hillary is a monster" lady and the campaign office with Che. They'll be safe now from the blogging hordes that don't believe in hope and change , and they'll be in a better place (*snivel*).

UNprepared for Zimbabwe

Ed Morrisey has the details on Tsvangirai hiding in the Dutch embassy in Harare to gain support of Europe and to prevent being murdered by the Mugabe mob and his illegitimate government. Even though this crisis has been brewing since the March elections, all the United Nations could muster was a lousy "strongly worded" press release today:

The Security Council further expresses its concern at the grave humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe and condemns the suspension by the Government of Zimbabwe of the operations of humanitarian organizations, which has directly affected one and a half million people, including half a million children. The Council calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to immediately allow humanitarian organizations to resume their services. The Security Council will continue to monitor closely the situation and requests the Secretary-General to report on ongoing regional and international efforts to resolve the crisis.

There isn't anymore need to "monitor" the situation in Zimbabwe, after the proverbial plane has already crashed into the mountain (the wife of Harare's mayor has been massacred by President-for-life Mugabe, which is just one sad example) . Damnit, UN, less talkin' and more rockin'.

Unfortunately, this shows the true nature of the United Nations: a cornball international organization designed to fill the world community's head with nonsense about "making a difference for a better world" while being a thinly-veiled ruse to rip off money from western Europe and the U.S. Chalk this tragedy up to their laundry list of UNusually copious amounts of incompetence: UNclear future for Article 140 in Kirkuk, UNknown effectiveness of Iranian sanctions, and UNending genocide in Darfur.

Don't Worry! The U.N.'s watching these guys if they try anything funny

Marines Get The Sieg Heil Treatment in Berkeley

The Fun Never Stops In Berkeley (photos from ZombieTime)

Zombie covers the ideological sewer that was the 21 June World Can't Wait protest in Berkeley, and these confused, idiotic youngsters choose to give the nazi salute during the Star Spangled Banner. Whether or not this was directed at the Marine Recruiting station, the Pro-America bikers, or just society in general is as unclear as where these people are getting their free time and money from. However, if this crass display was directed at our beloved USMC, then it should be noted that the last 3 Sergeant Majors of the Marine Corps (the head enlisted Marines) were not white, ergo you probably aren't going to see any Marine recruiting ads at Stormfront in the near future. Truth be told, the U.S. military was lightyears ahead of the rest of the country in race relations. They were fully integrated in 1948 by President Truman, while the land of fruits and nuts (i.e. California) didn't have their racist policy of "restrictive convenants", which ensured neighborhoods remained lily white, ruled unconstitutional until 1954.

Of course, I have no idea why I'm drawing from history or constructing this post, since these protestors clearly used no reason to arrive at their conclusions and are only out on the streets to start trouble like the stray dogs that they are. Sometimes you just have to step away from the computer and punch a hippy in the face.

Oh wait, except leave this young lady alone. She's attractive, so she gets a free pass on this blog (yeah, I'm a dumb guy, whatever). Also, this furthers the commonly-held axiom that all good-looking women are crazy.

23 June 2008

Iraq News (23 June)

The Good: The Christian Science Monitor talks about Sadr calling for restraint of his Mahdi Army during the Maysan province offensive; however, this could indicate they are trying to regroup. Parliamentary blocs are pushing for resolution on the Provincial Elections bill, which is viewed as a major step forward for political progress in Iraq. 6 more international oil companies have been added to develop Iraqi oil infrastructure. These companies are non-Western (Turkey, Vietnam, Pakistan, Thailand, Angola and Algeria), which kind of puts a hole in the "No Blood For Oil!" meme. Jordan has returned 2,500 antiquities which had been looted from Iraq. Looted artifacts are symbolic of the chaos and poor strategy of the initial invasion of Iraq, and returning antiquities can help make amends.

The Bad: A female suicide bomber has struck a courthouse in central Baqubah, killing 15 near a courthouse. A subsequent mortar attack has killed 10 Sawha fighters at a checkpoint. Iraq has lost to Qatar, 1-0, in the world cup qualifying round. However, McClatchy reports that the Iraqis can still pummel the Americans in soccer, as the guys from the 10th Mountain lost 9-0 to a Sahwa team. Obviously, it was a friendly game designed to promote mutual cooperation.

The Ugly: The NYT reports that news coverage of Iraq is in the crapper, as far as major news networks in America go. That's why you'll find a lot of links on these posts to Iraqi news sites that are in English. Frank Rich says that opinions by Americans of Iraq were decided in early 2007. If that is the case, Americans need to re-evaluate the situation as reality has changed immensely since then.

Atrocity in Diyala (photo from NYT)

Transitions: George Carlin

George Carlin, known for his raunchy and hilarious humor, has passed away in Los Angeles (h/t Crooks and Liars for this sad news). Of course, his best role, IMHO, was as Rufus in Bill and Ted's, which conveyed the simple message our society should live by: "Be Excellent To Each Other".

R.I.P. George Carlin (1937-2008)

Obtaining Information From Iraq

Hilzoy at ObWi cites the NYT article on the declining coverage by traditional media for the war in Iraq. The decline of adequate American media coverage in Iraq has been a problem since around the Petraeus/Crocker testimony in September 2007. Lucky for us, there's a host of international media outlets and blogs still devoted to one of the most important issues of the decade (see the sidebar to your right).

Of course, television is so 20th century. Blogging, Youtube, and other forms of web media have become the new Videodrome. It meets all the wickets of being 1) a bioelectronic addiction, 2) the ultimate addiction, and 3) shattering your reality.

Long live the new flesh.

Iraq Not Going to The World Cup

Mexico VS. Portugal - More amazing videos are a click away

As evidenced by this Simpsons clip, the enjoyment and mania over soccer is confusing to me: "high-kickin', low-scorin', and tiiieeesss". But it's very obvious that soccer is a big deal to the Iraqis (seen last year during the Asia cup win), and it sucks that they lost 1-0 to Qatar and won't go to the world cup in South Africa (h/t Inside Iraq). Sorry, Iraq.

Petraeus Guidance And Application in the Punditsphere

Multi-National Force Iraq has released COIN guidance from General Petraeus. The directives are nothing new to people who follow counter-insurgency doctrine or soldiers with boots on ground. But two bullets of interest are applicable to bloggers following events while in our underwear back stateside:

  • Be first with the truth. Get accurate information of significant activities to your chain of command, to Iraqi leaders, and to the press as soon as is possible. Beat the insurgents, extremists, and criminals to the headlines, and pre-empt rumors. Integrity is critical to this fight. Don’t put lipstick on pigs. Acknowledge setbacks and failures, and then state what we’ve learned and how we’ll respond. Hold the press (and ourselves) accountable for accuracy, characterization, and context. Avoid spin and let facts speak for themselves. Challenge enemy disinformation. Turn our enemies’ bankrupt messages, extremist ideologies, oppressive practices, and indiscriminate violence against them.
  • Fight the information war relentlessly. Realize that we are in a struggle for legitimacy that in the end will be won or lost in the perception of the Iraqi people. Every action taken by the enemy and United States has implications in the public arena. Develop and sustain a narrative that works and continually drive the themes home through all forms of media.
Petraeus is speaking of countering the enemy's information war which seeks to portray the U.S. as bloodthirsty savages (frequently seen in Iranian media) or uses simple, emotional messaging about complex issues to incite indiscriminate violence (as seen with Al-Qaeda messaging). These information apparatuses are fair game under current military doctrine, but domestic media and DC politics remain off-limits for the military. This policy is designed to prevent military subversion of democracy, and even the superb COIN-themed Small Wars Journal steers clear of politics like a teenage couple from a prom night dumpster baby. Most high-ranking officers may harbor their own opinions, but are terrified of having their politics being broadcast...even to the point of not sharing them with subordinates during dinner at the chow hall. With this lack of engagement through mediums such as the blogosphere, a certain willful ignorance of the nation's punditry class is fostered. This has had terrible consequences over the past five years due to our apathy:
  • Incompetent Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld fails to listen to Gen. Shinseki's recommendations of having a much larger invasion force for Iraq, which would have crushed the Fedayeen and hindered the immediate outbreak of chaos. "Speaking Out" from former military leaders may have prevented much of the carnage and suffering the Iraqis have had to bear due to the destruction of infrastructure and the beginning of the insurgency.
  • The American left continues a campaign of misinformation and propaganda to denigrate military achievements for the purpose of electing "anti-war" candidates. Today's example is Juan Cole saying the U.S. has killed 310,000 Iraqis since 2003, despite complete lack of evidence. He even suggests an equivalent in America would be the total firebombing of Chicago...creepy! This Kos-like rhetoric mirrors propaganda in our enemy's media designed to subvert public support in the West.
  • A saber-rattling campaign against Iran exercised by the American right, despite overlooking any sort of "soft" options to isolate or remove the Iranian theocracy and not acknowledging that the current structure of the U.S. military would have immense difficulty supporting this mission.
Ignoring the political forces stateside that result in our foreign policy has negatively affected our country's military and ability to carry out the mission (see Admiral Mullen on Afghanistan). Career-driven military officers may fear reprisal from their civilian masters for speaking their mind, but the blogosphere provides a unique outlet, which most importantly can be done in anonymity.

And the rest of the world was ignorant, Because they weren't told more

Avenue Q Complains Up A Storm in Seattle

This is the "Sucks To Be Me" dance number from Avenue Q, which has its last showing at Seattle's badass Paramount theater tonight. The Stranger reports that some sensitive types walked out of the theatrical production because of the "offensiveness" of muppets singing about sex and booze. Seeing how "Meet The Feebles" already set the bar for grotesque and hilarious puppetry, these playgoers may have walked for a different reason. It "Sucks to Be Me" when you're a farmer in Zimbabwe, and Mugabe and his band of murderous thugs have just announced that they will stay in power through a campaign of brutality and intimidation (see Hot Air for details). It doesn't "suck" to be a college-educated, urban hipster who's biggest anxiety is that a burly construction worker gave their beloved golden retriever a stern look while walking on Park avenue. This generation has a knack for attaching melodrama to the most mundane of life's details (see the Twitter phenomenon), which effectively creates an atmosphere of self-absorption and neglect for pressing world issues. Pardon me for not making the show. Tix on the floor are 140 bones and the show starts at 8pm.

Although, I do empathize with the "Internet is For Porn" message below:

heh heh. Damn Straight!

22 June 2008

Closing Time Funnies

In regards to my post about the lottery earlier today and how it's exploitative of the poor and ignorant, well it turns out the guy who won the Mega-millions in Michigan is a registered sex offender.

Looking at Mr. Topous, it's not really a surprise.

The U.S. Military, Way Cooler Than Xenu

The recent Gallup data on the military has us clocked in at a whopping 71% approval rating (h/t Instapundit). Organized religion is at 48%, and all of Congress must be modeling themselves after Ron Paul, since they're in at a lousy 12% (they even lost to those diabolical HMOs at 13%). Not bad, but it indicates the American public isn't reading enough of this blog to get angry at my crass shenanigans. Time to try more outreach.

Female Approval of the Military Is Another Matter

The WA Governor and Her Dumb Priorities - No More Candy On Lotto Tix

Despite the fact that the issue of the Alaskan Way Viaduct remains a big freakin' question mark (a 1950s freeway in Seattle that is probably going to collapse next time an old lady in a Cadillac drives down it), Gov. Gregoire has decided to focus her attention onto more pressing issues... lottery tickets. From Today's Seattle Times:

Gov. Christine Gregoire's office on Thursday asked the lottery to pull the game, which features tickets that look like labels for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Jolly Rancher and other candies, after investigating a concern that it could be perceived as a game for kids. Lottery Director Christopher Liu asked the state's 3,900 scratch-ticket retailers to remove the game, but it may take a few weeks for the game to disappear from shelves and vending machines, said Jacque Coe, spokeswoman for the lottery.

It is common knowledge that the state-run lottery is an abominable racket, designed to prey on the poor and ignorant to fund a bunch of hokey government programs. The odds are so egregiously against the rubes who choose to partake in this scam, that it would make a bookie named "Tiny" from Jersey begin to question the ethics of gambling. Gov. Gregoire is just tossing this red herring issue out to the local press to express her liberal "compassion" in making sure kids don't get fat and greedy when they see Mom and Dad throwing down their rent check on these ridiculous tickets. The Governor has no plans of actually getting rid of the program, as she just tapped the lotto money fund to spend $700K on god knows what in Tacoma. Like most politicians, she's very big on the rhetoric of "compassion" for kids, baby seals, or trees or whatever, but can't stop feeding her ravenous addiction to the almighty dollar.

The Scourge of The Evergreen State: Lotto Tickets That Make You Fat

Get Your Ass To Mars

NASA photos from the Phoenix Mars Lander

It had long been suspected that ice existed on Mars, but the Phoenix Mars Lander offers proof that there is H20 on Mars, which sublimed from its solid state (ice) to a gaseous state (water vapor) in the footprint of the Phoenix Mars Lander. The Arizona Daily Star has details, pretty cool stuff.

Of course, this opens up a flood of philosophical and cultural questions for our currently earth-bound civilization. Will humans come back from Mars being super-intelligent from coexisting with the Martians ala Stranger in a Strange Land. Will ice become the most valued commodity in the galaxy ala Ice Pirates (which I thought was undeserving of a lowly 11 at Rotten Tomatoes when Jingle All the Way got an 18)? Or will it become a battleground between an evil corporation against Kuato and his band of rebels ala Total Recall? I for one plan on moving to the Red Planet as soon as sustainable living conditions are developed and the first casino opens in order to get off this lousy rock of authoritarianism. I just hope the immigration procedures aren't as harsh as this:

Best Reasons To Join The Navy

Yvan Eht Nioj, you jokels. Here's why:

This is similar to the video the recruiter showed me, but, of course, the IA program hadn't been developed back in 2002. Damn you Mr. Recruiter, you just made the list.

(h/t Sisu)

Iraq News (21 June)

The Good: Did you know that Baghdad was one of the most multicultural, cosmopolitan cities in the world until those thugs on horseback, The Mongols, destroyed it in the 13th century? You didn't! Well, now Iraqis are becoming more free to embrace their liberal outlook on the world as reported by Newsweek with liquor stores, barbers free to operate without intimidation from the militia, and a guy who likes Snoop Dogg. A "sticky" IED factory (bombs that gets attached to unsuspecting civilian cars) has been seized in Maysan. Stars and Stripes talks about the COIN efforts having huge dividends in small Iraqi villages. Oil production in Iraq has stabilized at 2.5M barrels a day, which is a post-invasion record. The Iraqi Oil Ministry wants exports to go all the way to 4M barrels a day. U.S. forces have detained 25 suspected Al-Qaeda in Iraq members during weekend operations throughout the country. Live Leak has footage of a JDAM drop on a Mahdi Army hideout in Sadr City (go to ~1:30 for the boom).

The Bad: One of our troops has been killed by an IED in Diyala province. The article also has information on anti-U.S. protests after Friday prayers because of the Status of Forces Agreement, which is still in discussion. Dr. Rubaie says the Iraqi government knows the location of the 5 kidnapped British hostages, who were abducted at the Ministry of Finance in May 2007. Hmm... I dunno, this dude is a bit of a shady character. Is it right to lead these people's families on? Also, I thought those kidnapped were in Iran. A Sadrist lawmaker has criticized Iraqi operations in Maysan province against militia elements (this comes as no surprise).

The Ugly: Iraq's reservoirs and the Tigris and Euphrates are at record-low levels according to Azzaman. This is definitely poor for agriculture, and considering Mosul Dam provides a good chunk of the electricity in Iraq (which is already in terrible shape), that's going to make things worse as temperatures climb to 120F for the inferno-like Iraqi summer. NY Times has a montage of photos after recent operations in Basra, Sadr City, and Mosul, which highlights security improvements, but still shows overwhelming poverty. Whistleblower from KBR talks about how the mega-contractor ignored cancer-causing chemicals at a water treatment plant in Basra.

Baghdad Liquor Sto' (photo from Newsweek)

21 June 2008

Big Pimpin, Bling Blingin' And Shit

Just got my sweetass economic stimulus check in the mail, and to keep America out of an impending recession, I plan on purchasing a diamond-studded grill from Mr Bling.com, a Dick Trickle's model racing car, and possibly some J-pron over the weekend. Oh wait, Keynesian economics doesn't work. Maybe I should spend it on the Crazy Lou for Prez fund, since he wants to impeach Bush because of Salmonella. That guy knows what's up and could be the last hope for America.

The Surge in Iraq is Over

Sigacts until early April 2008 (from Global Security)

Iraqi Civilian Casualties (from iCasualties)
U.S. WIA in Iraq (from iCasualties)

The last of the five "surge" combat brigades is scheduled to be withdrawn from Iraq in July, leaving total U.S. force structure at around 140K (h/t Gateway Pundit). Assuming that the primary purpose of the U.S. military in Iraq is to provide security for the Iraqi population, the statistics don't lie. Iraqi civilian casualties are down, U.S. casualties are down, and significant security incidents are down. It should be noted that the SIGACT chart only goes to early April when the "Shi'ite hit the fan", but I assure you, when the next one gets declassified, it will be down too. Not too bad. Of course there's still poor infrastructure, a huge refugee crisis, and unacceptable levels of extremism in Iraq, but the situation on the ground has vastly improved since the strategy was implemented in early 2007, when Iraq was rife with sectarian bloodshed. Think LT Nixon is a foul-mouthed shill for the administration? Well, here's an Iraqi in the Adhamiyah district of Baghdad who offers up mixed progress on his blog: "The worst period was between late 2006 to middle 2007; it was the bloodiest times for Iraqis so when comparing to those times the situation is less violent but please don't forget that at that time Baghdad was like a living hell". Mistakes from BushCo in 2002/2003 can't be undone, but strategy and policy can be implemented to attempt to improve a bad situation.