Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!


Don't ever meet one of these in a bar!

Well, midnight (in both hemispheres)has come and gone. I saw 2007 in the same way I did 2006, drunk and enjoying every minute of being so. For you "Carry Nation's" or Kris Belland's (who is still a worthless piece of excrement by the way) out there-go F**k your self! For me that is the only way to bring in the new year. Always will be.

Today was pretty low key, all things considered. We got up late after getting in at about 1:30 am. "The monthly friend" showed up way ahead of time, making my plans for closing out the old year OBE.........so I sat up and watched TV till 4am. Of course one of the bennies of being on the right side of the IDL is that I can still get some 6 hours sleep, eat breakfast, drink coffee , and get a nap before the ball drops in Time's Square. After that off to catch the train and go to the shrine and say our New Years wishes. Me, I think a chapel pew would probably be a more important place to do so, but the shrine makes a pretty good place too. Fortunately, God is an equal opportunity listener.

We came back, and after a decent interval, I began to make dinner. As last night we observed Japanese custom, tonight was 100% American. Soup ( which I will post the recipe for you later), pork roast, potatoes, onions and carrots, blackeyed peas, salad, rolls. The S.O. sat on the couch while I did my best to impress her in the kitchen.

I am always more than a little amazed at the New Years holiday. Aside from the fact that you wake up a little hung over, and in some circumstances trying to figure out the name of the girl laying next to you, it is pretty much just another day. So why do we make such a big deal about it?

I think it has to do with the idea of the New Year, as yet, being an unwritten slate, a new parchment to be written on. Had a bad 2006? 2007 is a new opportunity to make all things right. Tomorrow will be just another day, but for this day, the world is your oyster. You can fix mistakes, start fresh, change your life. Or so you think. Then later in the week, bills, alimony, and every thing else comes due. You realize again how stuck you are. Oh, but for that moment!

First-for all of you who have taken time out of the day to read my scribblings and rantings-THANK YOU! It means more than you realize. Please keep coming back, commenting, and reading.

New Years is of course the time for resolutions. I have some. We'll see how I do in carrying them out:


1) Use this year to make preparations for the end of my contract. Scout out, seek out, beg for opportunities to get a different job in the place that I want.

2) Work out a lot more. 3 times a week on the exercise machines, the rest on treadmill. I can do it if I just get there, its getting off my ass in front of the computer and getting there that is hard.

3) I intend to become more strident in some of my postings here. And less so in others. I am disgusted with the way the "big boys" simply avoid reasoned thought and simply shoot the messenger. In that way many MILBLOGS and Liberal Blogs are exactly alike. Its wrong and I am tired of being made to feel like a lesser being because I just don't roll over and cry when these bastards try to lay you out with criticism. I also am going to call out MM at every opportunity-because she is a really mean spirited and intolerant person.

4) Speaking of postings, I am going to endeavor for some more balance. It has occurred to me that I focus too much on US politics-to no avail judging by my readership, while ignoring a decent explanation of the world that is Asia. I'm finding more and more that the way the expat blogs that I link to-the way they write about every day life is more me. Problem is I am passionate about my feelings about the war(s), the US Military and US politics. I've got to find a more interesting balance. Beer and Babes will always be on my "to do" list, however.

5)More than anything else, I want the war in Iraq to end. It is not going to happen of course, in fact if any thing its probably going to get worse when the president succumbs to the voices of the Charlatans neocons and authorizes a huge troop increase. Problem is he really won't go big by my definition of going big-its the same as Ann Coulter's-namely that US casualties figures won't be notice because people will be complaining about the incredible number of Iraqi casualties and the fact that 75% of Iraqi cities have been reduced to smoldering rubble. I sort of agree with her in that "We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war." - At least that would show the Iraqis why they cannot tolerate terrorists.

Of course that is not going to happen, nor should it. However after 4+years of Americans getting killed for a group of useless Arabs it is an understandable sentiment. James Fallows sums it up well when he points out:

For those reasons, I said, the United States needed to do everything it could to find a way to leave “decently.” Mainly this meant shoring up Iraq’s own security forces so they could maintain a semblance of order for a “decent interval” after we left. (Note to the young: “decent interval” was the cynical term for how long a South Vietnamese regime would have to survive after American withdrawal, in order for the U.S. to have left with “honor.”) Otherwise, I thought and said as recently as two months ago, it would be irresponsible just to go.

The findings of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group, mark a shift in the debate — and a change in my mind. This is not because the group has come up with a “good” idea where everyone else has failed. (To be fair, its ideas don’t seem worse than anyone else’s either — and they usefully straddle the divide between “cut and run” and “stay the course” by saying that the troops have to leave, but without saying exactly what the timetable is.) Rather it is because of the implied conclusion on which the panel’s findings (as reported) are based: that things are not going to get better, and the time for cutting losses has come.

This of course is entirely contrary to the Bush Administration’s position, which as of the president’s latest statement today still asserted that American troops must stay until “the job is done.” It’s at odds with many liberal hawks, and conservative hawks too, who say that the U.S. “can’t afford to lose” so must stay until we “win,” whatever that means. In fact, “winning” now amounts to some combination of: (a) leaving without appearing to be chased out; (b) leaving without an immediate upsurge in violence; and (c) leaving without al Qaeda-etc trainers quickly filling the vacuum, especially in the Sunni regions. Yes, we can’t afford any of those consequences of losing. But — because of misjudgment, mismanagement, and failures we will be ruing for years — they appear to be what’s in store.

If it is not in our power to prevent these disasters, then it is better to do as little extra damage to ourselves as possible before they occur. Sure, it is theoretically in our power to do more in Iraq. It’s just not possible in the real world. To start with: we’re not going to double the size of our military to sustain an open-ended presence in Iraq.

So the choice is between a terrible decision and one that is even worse. The terrible decision is just to begin leaving, knowing that even more innocent civilians will be killed and that we’ll be dealing with agitation out of Iraq for years to come. The worse decision would be to wait another year, or two, or three and then take that terrible course. If we thought a longer commitment and presence would lead to a better outcome, then the extra commitment might be sensible. But nothing occurring in Iraq in the last year has given rise to any hope that things are getting better rather than worse. (This, by the way, is the reason I have changed my mind: the absence of evidence that the chances for a “decent” departure will improve.)

So maybe the Study Group is made of geniuses after all. Begin leaving, as they (will) recommend. Don’t say exactly when you’re going (what’s the point?). Do as much as you can with the other regional powers to minimize the ripple-effect damage. And, as the study does not say, recognize that the United States has inflicted grave harm, including on itself.




6) I intend to post more about the real threat that is China and India. Who don't plan to play by the rules of fairness when it comes to trade, and are perfectly content to let 1/3 of their people become a "permanent underclass" which will allow them to keep wages low. The US tries to play by rules of fairness and decency-and gets screwed in the process. The worst part is the US government abets the process-because the "decider" is more concerned about rich people than real people.

7) I'm going to continue to enjoy my "joy de vie"-enthusiasm for fun and frivolity. I'd rather do that than turn into what I hate.

8) I intend to enjoy my freedom from mental slavery and rule by the PC "thought police". Read my lips-"Its good to be a guy"- "Femminists are worthless" -"Diversity is for pussies".

9) I will pray daily for Dr Chu's firing or untimely demise.

Not quite the magnanamous reading of the intentions is it? It's meant to be that way. I'm feeling feisty tonight.

I hope that for each of you the new year is all you wish it to be and more. Health, happiness, and wealth be unto you.

As the Japanese would say, "In this year too, please favor me."

Lets get on with it, shall we?

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