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Thursday, June 22, 2006
Psst, China. I have a deal for you...

The Axis of Evil. A quick review:

Iraq: Bush insisted they had WMD, fretted aloud that he didn't want "the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." Because, they had nukular weapons, see?

Iran: No nukes, less oil than Iraq, leader never "tried to kill my Daddy."


We'd better attack Iraq. We can beat them. Does that make us a bully?

Ain't that a bitch?

But I do want to talk about North Korea for a minute, because they could be a threat, and given the unstable nature of Kim Jong Il, that's no joke.

North Korea is one of the most isolated countries in the world, due in no small part to the fact that it's maybe the only remaining Communist nation left.

And don't hand me the "What about China?" crap. China is Commie like Bush is smart.

Since NK has been off the planet for the past fifty years, its leaders have had decades to fully indoctrinate the people on the evils of the West, some of it true, a lot of it hideous lies. The North Korean military may not be the best equipped, but it is disciplined, and would exact a high price on any country that tried to invade.

"Besides," you say, "if we attacked North Korea, the Chinese would get involved. Then we have a real problem."

I don't think so.

Bush needs to pay attention to North Korea, because they might be able to actually hit the mainland US with missiles. Bush's problem is that, after poking Kim Jong Il with a stick for four years, Kim is now showing W exactly where he ought to put that stick. Dealing with this threat is not something that George wants to do, because this is actually a legitimate problem, and he is, after all, a soft, effete, Ivy League doofus with a horrendous half-Connecticut, half Texas accent.

I'd like to help.

North Korea is not a problem that will go away on its own. If Kim dies, another nutjob will replace him. It is a cycle without end. My solution satisfies not only the Chinese, but, shockingly, the American business community.

George W Bush is, in addition to all of those other nice things I said about him, a Capitalist. China is, for all intents and purposes, an autocratically run Capitalist nation. China's markets are free and unfettered in a way that Sam Walton and other titans of industry could only dream. No environmental concerns, no human rights, no labor unions. Some guy falls in the sausage maker? Give the widow twenty bucks, and get back to work.

So, China doesn't really want to be in the business of defending North Korea. The Chinese will still sell them weapons, but that only serves to prove my point. They are not allies, they are trading partners. China would sell us weapons if we didn't have so many of our own already.

I say, go to China. Send Cheney! He's actually been successful in business, unlike the president, and he certainly understands the idea of a dictatorship that suppresses dissent and spies on its own people. He will offer them this deal:

Dear China,

We will continue to allow you to sell us cheap crap and never say a word about the trade imbalance. We will allow you to take our jobs, and will deal harshly with any US citizen that badmouths China. We will continue to let you buy our stocks, bonds, and otherwise finance out reckless debt. We'll help you look for oil, and build as many coal-powered power plants as you wish. We promise to never mention the words "human rights" ever again.

In return, you will cut North Korea loose.

After you militarily evacuate your population along the frontier, we will neutron bomb North Korea until 98% of the population is dead. Korea will be united under the direction of the South Korean government. You will have a grateful United States in your pocket, and a stable trading partner on your border.

China would take that deal in a Shanghai minute, and we might not even have to help them look for oil.

People might think I've gone mad, but when nukes are pointed at you, it's time to think outside the box.

posted at 7:05 PM


Monday, June 19, 2006

So, I've had a couple of drinks, and I'm pretty relaxed. Some observations:

I'm not what you would call hyperactive by any means. But I do tend to fidget, and I also like to pace if I'm up on my feet. These two activities are pretty much the only exercise that I get. But when I have drinks, I can sit still, and even I notice it. I understand the reason why that is, but I still think it's interesting, and wonder if I shouldn't stay a bit hammered all of the time.

My personality doesn't change at all when I drink, as it does with some people. I lived with three guys in a rathole house when I was in college, and it was a great deal of fun. These guys were big drinkers, and I wasn't. I'm still not, really. One of them, Matt, could get loaded on beer, and he would be just a goofier version of his normal, good-natured personality. But if you gave that boy brown liquor, well, it was asshole time, plain and simple. Matt got ditched a lot when he was drinking whiskey, and it's pretty shocking that he never got jailed for taking a swing at a cop. I wonder why that is...

Me, I just get sleepy, although I don't find that alcohol helps me sleep. If it did, I'd drink every night, probably. People who sleep well are more fortunate than they know.

The slight dizziness has its charms, as well. I suppose that people that don't like roller coasters probably don't care for the sensation, but I think the dizziness is sort of funny. I'm sure I'd feel differently if I had vertigo. Or the equally maddening High Anxiety.

I might invoke Mel Brooks while sober, but this appears to be a first, blog-wise.

So, the buzz is fading a little bit, and as you see, through disappointed eyes, probably, I'm the same boring ass that I always am. I've never tried heroin, and I'm not inclined to do so, but there are days I think it would be nice to be tranquilized all of the time, and never bother thinking about things going on in the world. That's escapist, I guess, but I haven't taken what could be called a legitimate vacation since I was in college. Chicago and New York in the heat of summer...

Great days, indeed. I wish I had taken photos.

posted at 6:53 PM


Saturday, June 17, 2006
2500 US soldiers.

Also, irony.

I wonder where men who took every imaginable route to avoid serving their country in time of war get the unmitigated gall to criticize men like
Jack Murtha, simply for suggesting that our adventure in Iraq is misguided.

I don't believe it is a prerequisite for leaders to have military service in their background, but when these leaders themselves tried so vigorously to avoid military service, I feel like they ought to at least listen to the men and women who have been in combat, instead of calling them cowards. It's just so disrespectful, and it tells you all you need to know about these people.

posted at 12:25 AM


Friday, June 09, 2006
Citizen Fantasy Camp

I voted this week. There were primaries to determine the matchups for the fall midterm elections, and some ballot measures, and various other races. Turnout around here ran about twenty-eight percent, which is pretty sad, but to be fair, we've been having elections here every fifteen or twenty minutes since 2002. Election fatigue sounds like a joke, but I think there is a case to be made for its validity.

Today was also Tom DeLay's last day of work as a Congressman, and I am happy to see him go. He's a corrupt, morally bankrupt individual, and those who know me best understand that these qualities, in and of themselves, don't really bother me very much. The offensive part is that he claims to revere God, and Jesus, and believes that no matter what he does, it must be correct. That's the line for me. Be a crook, just don't pretend that you aren't.

Assuming DeLay is not convicted of taking illegal funds from lobbyists, he will rejoin the private sector, naturally, as a lobbyist. Financially, he will become even wealthier than he has made himself over the past twenty years, since now, pretty much anything goes. So much unmonitored money floating around, and a man of influence like Hot Tub Tom will know how to siphon off his considerable share.

That's the game, really. It's about padding the nest. The corporations shell out, the lobbyists and the politicians reap the profits, the corporations write the laws, and the politicians make the rich richer. Understanding this is pretty depressing, but I'm a realist. Pretending there is an easy fix really isn't in my nature, even if I am an American.

Thusly, I do enjoy sports metaphors. Brace yourself.

If you are not a politician, you can at least be a fan. Being a fan has its charms, and it can be a lot of fun rooting for your team, and occasionally even heading to the game (the polls).

Picture yourself at the stadium, one of countless fans, yelling for your team. You're making as much noise as you can (voting), but the players can't hear you, because you're just one fan, and the stadium is a big place. Now, maybe you can get enough other fans to join in on your chant, and perhaps the players (politicians) hear you a little bit. Maybe you can even get one of them to miss a free throw (cheat on his wife), drop a fly ball (take a bribe on videotape), or maybe even hit a home run (actually vote no on the Patriot Act), but it's not easy to do, no matter how much noise you and the other fans make. Do you know why that is?

Because win or lose, the players will still be millionaires when the game is over, and you have to walk back to your car. And no, you can not ever get into the game.

posted at 10:34 PM


Friday, June 02, 2006

I'm not certain which is less surprising, that Marines overreact under great stress and massacre civilians, or that the United States government covered it up for over six months.

I'm not even mad at the Marines. If I was stuck over there, or in any war zone, I'm sure I would shoot at everything that moved. It can't be any good being freaked out 24 hours a day, and these guys are never truly safe while in theater. I know that the Marines and soldiers there are overwhelmingly doing a phenomenal job, but more reports are leaking out all the time, now in regard to the killing of 11 Iraqis at a town called Ishaqi.

The rhyme was unintentional, and not nearly as ironic as the name My Lai.

Speaking factually, the men and women of our military are stuck in an intolerable situation. They are not in a position to win, they have no timeframe on when the conflict and occupation may end, and they are being picked off in ones, twos, and fives. It has become a war of attrition, and as in Vietnam, we do not have the stomach for it.

No matter what we do, short of keeping a permanent occupying force in Iraq (numbering 600,000 or more), the results will be thus:

We will withdraw, the Iraqi parliament will remain fixed on petty squabbles, and the ayatollahs in Iran will take over the Shiite portions of Iraq. The Kurds will remain independent only as long as they are able to resist the Iranian military.

I suppose the only questions left to ask are, how much more than the $500 billion we've already spent will we still shell out, and how many more mangled and killed American military personnel will we sacrifice for this quagmire?

posted at 10:42 PM

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