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This page mirrored 11/9/2007
Quick public service announcement:
If you derive any kind of joy or happiness from the misfortunes of others, or from depriving joy from others... then at best you are immature, and at worst you have a mental illness.
I'm sick and damned tired of seeing Harry Potter spoilers everywhere.
Being unhappy doesn't give you a life goal to make others unhappy, too.
The internet is not a perfect cone of silence... sooner or later someone will find you.
Most current Republicans currently in the Federal Government aren't conservative either, just to get that out there.
I took a little sass today when someone who should have known better sarcastically said to me, "You know what's weird? The skinheads are marching in Toledo next month and every one of them is a conservative." I didn't know which sect of skinhead the person was referring to, so I didn't say anything... there are indeed one or two small conservative skinhead splinter groups.
But I did a little digging, and the people marching in Toledo next month (and they've caused trouble in the past) are members of the American National Socialist Workers' Party.
I know it's fun to compare Bush to Hitler and Republicans and conservatives to Nazis, but here's a little info for you: socialists are extreme left wing, as the American political sides are laid out. And the word "Nazi" is derived from the German word for "National Socialist." Democrats are also considered to be on the left side of the political spectrum, in case you didn't know. This places Democrats closer to Nazis than Republicans to Nazis, ideologically speaking.
Granted, Republicans, ideologically speaking, are closer to the evangelists, than are the Dems. So at least the Dems have that going for them.
When you proclaim that conservatives are Nazis, you only proclaim your own ignorance.
There's very few personal matters I put on this page, but I like to put the big things down so that years later, when perusing archives, I can remember context.
I had to put down our large, main cat yesterday, Tiberius. Over the last couple weeks he'd mysteriously dropped from 17 pounds to about 7, and then yesterday he couldn't even keep water down or walk across the room without resting. I obviously felt bad, but neither I nor the vet saw any miracle cures in his future. He was sedated and went down peacefully.
I was still an active duty Marine when we got him from the pet shop, and he performed his duties admirably in the time he had.
The red in his eyes isn't from the camera flash. It is the glowing furnace of hell. He was referred to as "Satan Kitty" by more than one outsider.
Fascinating article from the Beeb:
Most friendly, and most feared... I can't think of a single thing wrong with that. No better friend, no worse enemy.
Regulars of this site know I frequently decry the practice of suicide bombing, but I should make a clarification: I see nothing wrong with the tactic when applied to military targets. Historically, men have often been required to accomplish "suicide missions" in times of war. If your only military asset is a sneaky guy with a bomb under his burqua, then you go with what you have. This is where its real-world practice, and my assessment of it as a valid tactic, differ.
It sickens me to hear of a bus, or a cafe, or a school being bombed in order to further an ideology. Any organized strike against a civilian target, especially (non-combatant) women and children, is an act of Total War. Yet this happens all the time, and the peoples who were just exploded are considered by almost all to be the transgressors. Measured retaliation is always considered a reckless escalation. Why is the side practicing Total War given a pass, yet their civilian victims are not?
On 9/11 I was just as stunned as (most of) the rest of the country as I watched the towers burning over a choking internet. But I also remember thinking, when word came that the Pentagon had been hit, "At least that was a military target." If you're fighting a war, hit their military. If you're fighting a total war, Like General Sherman marching from Atlanta to the Atlantic, you hit everything you can, including infrastructure and commerce. But not even Sherman went out of his way to kill women and children. He wasn't an animal, after all, just a damn yankee.
Fighting a war with gentlemen's' rules while your enemy fights a Total War is insanity, but we live in an age where naked-man-pyramids and ripping a page out of a koran are considered cruel and inhumane torture, while our enemies still love webcasting as many beheadings as possible, much to the excitement of what is supposed to be the enlightened, self-hating elements of the western world.
What is honor, and why do some of us have a sense of it?
This is one of more abstract topics I've tried to discuss here on dtman, but it's something that has entered my mind like a mosquito that won't leave your ear alone.
Specifically, my thoughts are on the idea of whether or not the Middle East, as it is today, can truly be "westernized," and by "westernized" I mean that the idea of violence is more repugnant than the idea of upsetting your personal deity...or not following the dogma handed down by your local representative of your favorite dead prophet of your personal deity.
In spite of what you hear, America is not "losing the war in Iraq." The war in Iraq was won a long time ago, and now we're engaged in a struggle against those who wish a secular Iraqi government to topple, and those who hate America on principle. And we win battles every day... we win many more than we lose. A school opening up is a win. A hospital getting supplies is a win. A blogger in Baghdad complaining about American troop presence and how much he hates the puppet Iraqi senate is a win. But a car bomb blowing up in a crowded market gets press, so that overshadows everything good happening every day.
In Vietnam the newscasters had nightly body counts of enemy dead.... now which "grim milestones" are we keeping track of?
I feel like I'm already off topic.
Can the Fertile Crescent and cradle of civilization be... well, civilized?
I ask myself, "Well, why don't my neighbors and I in the Midwest resort to violence to solve our problems and settle our trespasses with our neighbors?" The first thought I come up with was, "I wasn't raised that way." So how was I raised? The answer to that is I was raised with lessons about King Arthur and Winston Churchill and the slaughter of Jews in World War II and mistakes made in the American expansion westward on the North American continent. My leisure time reading included fictional stories about heroic people sacrificing for those who would never learn of their sacrifice. Little league baseball taught me the value of giving up personal achievement for the good of the team. Our own popular culture, seen by many as the enemy of world civilization all by itself, questions the use of suicide bombing even when committed by clear "good guys." Battlestar Galactica discussed this issue in season 3 when humans were being ruled by force, and a human walked a bomb vest into a room filled with evil robots... and other humans that were collaborating with the evil robots. Even though it was a fairly successful tactic, it caused discord among the "heroes." Does the middle east have this type of openness and willingness to question morality ingrained in their very psyche, the way we do?
Does a culture that seems to honor only suicide bombers be truly civilized? Can a culture that enthusiastically stones a woman for getting raped be changed? When they'd rather see little girls die in a fire than let them be in public without a head covering? Can you do it without taking away an entire generation of their children, and undoing the cycle of insanity?
Can the war against islamic fascists be won while any are left alive?
Iraq isn't as bad as some. They had a mostly secular society while The Butcher of Baghdad was in power, even if some of those religions were more equal (and worthy of existing) than others. But while we try to instill liberalism in a middle eastern country, all of Iraq's neighbors flood the country with men and materiel and bomb belts to attempt to tear down everything we are trying to build.
They hate everything not deeply Muslim.
They hate everything about America.
So what do we do?
Maybe the problem is related to racial integration in the American south. The first generations of whites forced to live alongside blacks had the hardest time of it, and violence happened on a frequent basis, and entire groups were formed to organize violence in opposition to the segregationist policies. See: the Klu Klux Klan.
There are still Americans today who hate others based solely on race, and their preconceptions of people based on their race. Should we give up on that particular goal of racial harmony, then?
Do we stop trying to help anyone throughout the world, because entire societies can't be changed within the period of time between American elections? And don't even try to argue that societies can't be changed by force...
Do we quit because change is hard, or do we keep our eyes on the big picture and try to give the next generation of Iraqi kids better heroes than a dead guy from a book who advocates holy war or a suicide bomber... so the next time they get upset about something they strap on the laptop computer and invoke Churchill instead of a koran and a bomb?
That certainly seems to be the question to ask.
Today, for some reason, I was thinking about the sex-offender registry, where people caught urinating in public get vilified right alongside people who rape kids.
What we need is a registry for politicians, so you know if you have a crooked, legislating douche bag living in your neighborhood. This could be a general registry for every local, state, and federal elected official, or it could be specific, perhaps just every official who has ever voted in favor of things, say, like a sex offender registry.
Or both and we can make it filterable.
Today's the day we recognize the signing of the Declaration of Independence... which is odd, since it was signed on July 3rd and only signed by the president of the Second Continental Congress on July 4th.
And what's going on in the world, this July 4th? Same old thing, it seems to me. Everybody seems to hate us, and we seem to hate ourselves just as much. I'm not sure how long the center of that particular condition can hold.
Amusing to me is this terrorist situation at the Glasgow airport. It seems a bunch of muslim doctors in England... not disaffected, disenfranchised, ignorant, poor people... pulled off some sort of terrorist plot. The media is falling all over themselves to suggest that "non-Hindis" did it, or some such, to the extent of calling these five to nine muslim doctors a "diverse group."
Easy enough to roll your eyes, but why just sigh in sadness when someone has made fun of it with such style:
And why should I write anything as long as I can quote someone else?
So hey, Happy 4th! Go blow something up in memoriam of the sustainment of a colonial fixed position from bombardment of the British navy, as long as it isn't inspired by racism, or god forbid, culturism! (WOW that was a hard sentence to untangle)
Things that got linked.
Cleaning the Stalls
Bringing Down a Nation
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