Thursday, May 31, 2007
Grasping at straws........
It is also the act of the White House Press Secretary pulling this analogy out of his ass.............
Yea , that's rich, comparing those two nations.
Korea and Iraq are nothing alike except for the fact that both nations have populations that a large group of frothing xenophobes among them.
First, the Korean War ended in a stalemate-an Armistice that has been in effect for over 60 years. It was a stalemate with an external threat, not one from within. Second, South Koreans where not actively attacking US Soldiers again and again( except in taxicabs and at isolated subway stations). Third, US Soldiers were there to deter against outside attack. From one particular nation.
So are we now saying that US soldiers are there to deter against.......(fill in the blank). Once again America is supposed to pick up the burdens of empire with none of the perks.
There are a few other things worth noting. A big one is that the Koreans are actually dedicated to improving their nation and not fractured into several major sub groups all of whom hate one another. They also don't have a useless religion stuck around their necks like their Arab brethren have around their necks.
Korea actually built its economy and took over 30 years to become a functioning democracy.
Not to mention that it directly contradicts what we said 4 years ago, 3 years ago, 2 years ago, even last year. But hey, we've changed our story so many other times before, why not now.
Oh and by the way, it makes a huge propaganda point for Al Quaeda which said we were seeking to occupy the Middle East permanently. Not to mention poll after poll shows we are not welcome by the majority of Iraqi civilians, and saying that we're going to stay for fifty years -- whether they like it or not -- just serves to create enemies at a faster clip.
50 years of General Order #1? Lets just say no now.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Another day in the universe......
Meanwhile on Vulcan, its hot and the Vulcans are still watching Earth for signs of intelligent life. So far they are finding none.
As for here on Earth, lots going on-very little of it good. Go here to catch up on the misery index.
In a small corner of the galaxy's most backward planet, however, things are just hunky dory-balance exists in the force. I hope it stays with us for at least the next 3 days till the S.O. and I return to Japan.
Yesterday, we were supposed to get up early, eat breakfast and try to get in 9 holes of golf before I had to be in at noon. My colleagues and I had engineered a plan-with an eye to what we knew was going to be copious amounts of alcohol served by our Australian hosts the night before-to divide up the close out work of getting data bases backed up, final reports sent out, computers packed up and "see you in Canberra" goodbyes said.
So. When the alarm goes off, the S.O. rolls over with a moan and starts ranting in Japanese about how tired she is. Fine, I tell her-we don't have to go. Roll over and go back to sleep. ( my thought was we still had time.......wrong idea there). I get up, grabs some O.J out of the fridge, watch the news. After about an hour head back to bed with an eye to see if I could persuade the S.O. to play my version of "closest to the pin".
40 minutes of off and on futile effort later. I come back to my computer and wait till I here stirrings from her direction. Golf is out. And I know when she wakes up, she will be hungry. ( Eat the stuff of the grill the Aussies shove at you next time!).
True to form, about 8:20 she stirs and the fun begins. Whats the plan Stan?
She decides that since we can't golf, this would be a good time to go (back) to the outlet mall-after breakfast of course. ( Told you!).
So off we go. Anna Miller's for a nice breakfast, then on out to the Waikele Outlet Mall. Over the course of the next hour and a half , we (read I) proceed to make some sweatshop owner in China richer. Now truth be told not all of the purchases were for her. I bought some shorts, a shirt and new pair of running shoes-something I desperately needed after some rap star wannbe absconded with my previous pair last month.
Back we come to the room, I change clothes and head to work. What she does-who knows? ( She went to the pool).
When I got back she was not in the room. Having figured out the Hawaii bus system she went off to shop some more. When she did return-she was hungry again. Truth be told so was I.
Which leads to a resteraunt recommendation: Won Kee Seafood Resteraunt in Chinatown, Honolulu. We had a hard time finding it based on the google map ( its at 100 Bretania Street) but once we did we could tell we were in a good place. Very authentic Hong Style chinese resteraunt with good food. Lots of folks eating who were speaking Cantonese-as did half the waitresses. Vegetables were very fresh, the hot and sour soup quite spicy, and all in all a great meal.
The golf we got in today. Golf tomorrow too.
Which means all is right with the universe.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Japan uber alles........
Breasts are not everything!
Work is over! Hopefully can post something more substantial tomorrow!
Quote(s) of the day..........
" These last couple of days have called for stout hearts, sound minds, and strong livers".
Monday, May 28, 2007
I would like to not forget what this day is about though. I'm not so sure that saying Happy Memorial Day is the right thing to say. Remember, now and always......seems like a better greeting.
So I leave you now with a picture of the submarine memorial at Pearl Harbor. 54 submarines were lost in WWII. Young men, probably under the water, sweating-all scared, when suddenly there world exploded and sea water came crushing in on them. They were all volunteers. Seems symbolic of the sacrifices that are being made by serving servicemen today.
Update: A sharp reader pointed out to me that the correct number of submarines lost was 52 not 54. I was going from memory what I thought I read off of the plaque. If you come to Pearl Harbor, its an interesting amount of time spent looking at the plaques-1 for each boat lost, plus names for other submarine casualties from boats that returned to fight another day. I am fascinated by submarines, so I found it interesting.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Speaking of Manana-I've decided the new immigration bill makes very little sense.
What say you?
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Its a classic........
Instead of shuttling back and forth to the ISS.
Yes, you guessed it, The Right Stuff is on TV.
"They call them aviators in the Navy! They say they are better than pilots".
And its got good footage of A-4M's landing on carriers. Remember A-4's?
Enough is enough!
For that matter, I have never accepted the premise that first amendment rights don't apply to serving active military personnel either.
Because neither statement is true. Especially for retired officers. The so-called "custom" never did exist and it does not exist now.
This was the article that set me off.
Gen. Sheehan's comments and a commentary subsequently published on April 16th have been cited by numerous media outlets and various politicians as proof of the problems within the administration. As a member of the active duty military, however, I find his comments appalling and
embarrassing. In his commentary, Gen. Sheehan wrote that to have accepted the job would have required "a great deal of emotional and intellectual energy" to coordinate the various governmental agencies, and ultimately, he wrote, "I concluded that the current Washington decision-making process lacks a linkage to a broader view of the region and how the parts fit together strategically." To which I respond: How about using your ostensibly powerhouse resume (former supreme allied commander, commander-in-chief of U.S. Atlantic Command, etc), to bring order to the chaos you cite, to recommend policy revisions and use the
immense reputation conferred upon a retired U.S. Marine Corps general to solve these longstanding problems? This position carried with it a direct line to the president; armed with such power, a capable man could surely have made a difference. But instead, the general only talks about the challenges -- and his personal discomfort.
So to sum: Gen. Sheehan is willing to allow the men and
women of our armed forces to continue languishing in a lethal environment that he believes to be dysfunctional, but refuses to get involved because it would be hard and might cause him to "develop an ulcer."
It sounds good, is red meat for war supporters and allows everyone who agrees with the writer to walk away with a self satisfied pat on the back.
Its also a very wrong point of view.
First of all, there is only one war czar, The President of the United States. If he cannot or will not get his cabinet departments to work together, the blame lies with him, not with the creation of another bureaucrat to blame. Gen Sheehan recognized the position as the pig in the poke that it is. Similar to asking for a Change of Command on the Titanic at 11:59 PM April 12, 1912. The General actually took a nice way to explain that, instead of the more effective, " this idea is as fucked up as Hogan's goat!"
Sheehan was right to refuse it and the fact that it did should tell you a lot about the real motivation of the administration in creating this job. Learn why here.
The administration sold the "surge" plan on the basis that it was the idea of new U.S. commander in Iraq General David Petraeus, the "brilliant" officer who had supervised production of the Army's new field manual on counterinsurgency. The administration then argued that having confirmed Petraeus's appoint to the top job in Iraq, Congress couldn't then turn around and pass legislation that blocked Petraeus from giving his surge plan time to succeed. Except the surge plan--more accurately described as the "escalation strategy"--wasn't the brainchild of Petraeus. No, the escalation scheme sprang from the minds of Frederick Kagan and retired general Jack Keane, prominent members of the American Enterprise Institute and luminaries in constellation of neoconservatives who got us into this Iraq fiasco in the first place.
The injection of Petraeus and the surge bought the administration six more months of "past bedtime" time, but as Ambassador Crocker's remarks indicate, six months won't be enough to accomplish whatever was supposed to be accomplished. Time has run out months before its time.
Little wonder then that as we hear that yet another timeline/benchmark can't be met, we get another smoke and mirror show about the new "War Czar."
Quite simply, if Sheehan really wanted to help the troops from his position now, he would run for office, or at the military lobby hard with Congress, pointing out that when it comes to defense issues-it has always said one thing, and then done another.
Its his right as an American. If a retired General supports the war he is just as entitled to speak out. Maybe if the two groups of folks had publicly fought this out in 2002 we would not be in the mess in Iraq we are now.
The popular contention is that retired officers speaking out, in effect becomes a lobby for the active duty military. I would ask the question, what is wrong with that? Its part of the job description since the Hatch Act prohibits military people from organizing politically. If it were not for the screams of many retired folks, the sins of Dr David Chu or the disdain of so called military supporters like Duncan Hunter for military personnel and veterans would never have come to light.
I've said before and I will say it again, this type of activism is a positive development, particularly if it means that more veterans-on both sides of the aisle, run for public office.
Disagree with their ideas if you will. But don't ever say they don't have the right to say them.
Do not go quietly- make them drag you out the door kicking and screaming!
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
25 years too late.......
Now if they would just come up with one that induced a more cooperative attitude.
I'm just going to veg on the couch and watch movies:
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
But I did want to make a quick point to a former President. Attacking Bush may seem the right thing to do, and God knows it sure feels good! Your message gets diminished by two really bad memories of mine:
1) Closing on a house at 15.5% interest rate-allowing my ex to f**k away our finances for the first time. ( Yes I should have learned then.........another reason not to stay married "for the kids").
2) Remembering that you were the man who gave away the Panama Canal! Tell me again , exactly what do the words "sovereignty in perpetuity" mean?
No matter how right what you may say now........I still cannot forget that. If I had one question to ask you, it would be that. "Why did you give away America's greatest engineering triumph?"
Go build a house. It was always ours and never theirs. And they never deserved to have it.
"The fact is no power on earth could have done what we did. We've done a lot of small, stupid things in the Canal Zone over the years, but we've never done anything operating the canal that we need be ashamed of."-David McCullogh
Monday, May 21, 2007
Just too funny!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Plus its frustrating any more. Going to any bar here is just too much work. I used to be able to chat up a girl fairly easily, now I just can't be bothered.
Call it the Wanchai effect. It ruins your reflexes-when you get to used to having the girls be the ones to come up to you. Wakiki needs a version of Neptunes. I gather that it once did have one.....now its all yuppified.
Not that there were not a lot of women out on the prowl. Its just that I'm not in the "target demographic" anymore. So aside from talking to the group out for the batchelorette party and trying to convince the bride to be that marriage is incredibly overrated, I hunkered down with the express purpose of getting drunk and watching people. Then about 1:30 in the morning stumble into a cab and head back to the other side of Oahu. You can say:
I did some prowling around Pearl Harbor this weekend. I need to find some time to get over to the USS Missouri. I can see it from a distance as I drive around. I also walked around the piers and watched the ships and submarines. The submarines in particular intrigue me. If aviation had not been so exciting I might have considered going into submarines. Except for two major drawbacks: 1) nuclear power training (way too much work!) and submarines don't get enough liberty.
That said, submarines are cool though. Even though from a distance you can't really see any thing except if the masts are raised on the sail.
The place I am staying must be a good one. All the Australians are here. We had our "get to know you" meetings today. For the first time I heard someone at one of these exercises say "Getting to know one another well at the bar" is an exercise objective. You can bet that did not come from an American! Its good to see the Australians get their priorities straight. My "friends" from the USAF could learn a lot from these guys.
I've got to get back to running. But not like these guys:
The Honolulu Triathlon was this weekend. You could see lots of bike boxes and some other unusual items at the baggage claim when I arrived on Friday. I never realized so many Japanese participated. 100 miles on a bike? Maybe. 2 Miles swimming? Not a chance. And we won't discuss the running. People forget that the runner from marathon died after completing the run. Important safety tip.
Now its time to get ready for the week. Work work work.........well maybe.
Mo-betta after some good sleep.
Friday, May 18, 2007
The weather is here........
Flight to Hawaii was OK, but my efforts to sweet talk the gal at the JAL counter into an upgrade were for naught.
No lost luggage this trip. It stayed attached at the hip-much to the chagrin of the rest of the people in the line at the rental car counter.
Now it is to bed. I should be staying up....but eyelids are not cooperating. Also since I am back in the land of the great firewall posting may be light for a couple of days.
So go over and see VPS.
Because women have choices, men have responsibilities.
Gil: That´s the difference between men and women.Women have choices. Men have responsibilities.
Karen: Oh, really?Okay, well, then, I choose for you to have the baby. You get fat. You breast-feed until your nipples are sore. I´ll go back to work.
After he collects his 400,000 dollar bonus though.
He will of course beam up to the Starship Project for the New American Century-the homeless shelter for the neocons and their bankrupt ideology.
Still, its nice to see another guy from DOD -who failed to stand up for the right sized force structure, and was the author of the other little thing, Iraq, get a good beating.
Now its time to go after Dr. Chu. Why you ask? This for starters:
Bush budget officials said the administration “strongly opposes” both the 3.5 percent raise for 2008 and the follow-on increases, calling extra pay increases “unnecessary.”
“When combined with the overall military benefit package, the president’s proposal provides a good quality of life for service members and their families,” the policy statement says. “While we agree military pay must be kept competitive, the 3 percent raise, equal to the increase in the Employment Cost Index, will do that.”
Yea right........try telling that to the family on month 16 of a 15 month tour in .....(fill in the blank).
More to follow..............
And so it begins.........
Hawaii-Norfolk-Japan-Australia-a destination to be named later. 5 countries in over 7 weeks. Doing my small bit to help the Australians defend themselves against the seething godless hordes to the north.
Or south. (Never know what those Penguins may be up to.......).
I'm not sure which set of hordes are threatening the land of Fosters at the moment. But you can be assured I'm on it. Especially if it involves going to an Australian pub.
To learn something from the sheila's.
To see if using the manners your mother taught you still scores points with them.
This is too long a trip-even for me who likes to travel. I prefer trips with gentleman's hours, beer in the evenings, a couple of strategically placed golf outings.
Sadly, after this weekend I won't see much I'm afraid. Just a windowless building for 14 hours a day.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though. I'm bringing the S.O. over for a week. Golf, sun, shopping :-( .....and hopefully some of that "love stuff".
If not there is always this:
And there is gotta be some of this somewhere on the route:
Time to go!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Objection your honor!
So after a couple sips of java, I just had to shake my head in disgust when I read this headline:
US Senate to vote on end to funding for war in Iraq.
The same level of sheer disbelief I had when I read about this little blunder by Ms Pelosi.
Every time I read something like this, I think about a scene from the movie, "A Few Good Men". During the trial , LTJG Kafee (Tom Cruise) objects to something that happens. The judge overrules him. Then a few minutes later Demi Moore's character, JO, renews the objection-again and again. The response remains the same:
"Counselor, your objection is noted. It remains overruled".
Or something along those lines.
After the court adjourns LT Weinberg decides its time to teach the good (looking) LCDR a thing or two:
Lt.Weinberg: "I strenuously object?" "Is that how it works? Hm?" "Objection." "Overruled." "Oh, no, no, no. No, I STRENUOUSLY object." "Oh. Well, if you strenuously object then I should take some time to reconsider."
JO: I got it on the record.
LT Weinberg: You also got it in the jury's head that we're afraid of the doctor. You object once so they can hear you say he's not a criminologist. You keep after it and it looks like this great cross we did was just a bunch of fancy lawyer tricks. It's the difference between paper law and trial--
LTJG KAFFEE: Sam--
LT Weinberg: Christ, you even had the Judge saying Stone was an expert!
LTJG KAFFEE: Sam, she made a mistake. Let's not relive it.
Nancy and Harry should maybe see the movie again. Because they are right were the defense team was in the trial of Dawson and Downey right now. In deep trouble.
In this context the jury is the American people and the Judge is the President. And no matter how many fancy lawyer tricks the good Ms Pelosi and Sen Reid pull there is still one fact they cannot escape.
THEY DON'T HAVE THE VOTES TO OVERRIDE A VETO.
So LT Weinberg's advice is quite valid for the both of them. You object and get it on the record. However to continue to beat the horse-long after he is dead-just to make your "base", losers for the most part, feel good- is just plain stupid.
And the American people know it. No matter how fed up they are with the war, no matter how stupid and lazy the Iraqis are, no matter how pointless this all is in the grand strategic sense of making any real difference in the make up of the middle east, the people are not going to let their Soldiers be left hanging without the resources they need to kill copious numbers of f**king Arabs. That's just the way it is.
So borrow a quote from Judge Randolph: "The objection of the defense has been
heard and overruled."
It's time to move on.
That's why I shake my head. I'm very much in opposition to the war and I join the host of wiser men than me that say, from a strategic standpoint, Iraq is costing us more than it is giving us.
However, you have to know what you can accomplish. And its time to drop the arguing , fund DOD, and then get on with putting Bush in his box.
One way to do that, as I have noted many times before is to attack not the end result, but the process.....e.g. put a note in the bill requiring the President to
put all of the war funding into the fiscal year appropriation. And that supplementals were to be an option of last resort requiring the advice and consent of Congress prior to submission as well as approval.
Still provides a problem for the President, supports the troops and requires the President to more accurately document what the war is costing the United States. An attack on the flanks that would be a lot more productive than the current frontal assault strategy that Mr Reid and Ms Pelosi seem to favor.
That's the difference between paper legislating and living where real people live.
And Nancy, real people do not live in San Francisco. They live in Fort Worth Texas, Colorado Springs, Ames Iowa, and a 1000 other towns where the majority of the populace thinks you are an idiot.
If I hear one more time from you in that pompous tone of yours about how there is a "New Congress" I'm going to have to board a plane and buy a baseball bat when I get to Washington D.C.
Its time to wake up and smell the coffee. And get something done.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Short angry rant........
However after watching Christopher Hitchens on TV at lunch today, I feel strongly compelled to rise in Rev. Falwell's defense. Christopher Hitchens, as an intellectual, has his moments but it is clear to me that on the whole, he is to be pitied.
This is what he said that really set me off-paraphrased
"This sad little troll of a man, proves that you can get away with no end of evil-so long as you put the word Reverend in front of his name."
UPDATE! Here is the whole statement. Updated commentary at the bottom of the post.
The empty life of this ugly little charlatan proves only one thing, that you can get away with the most extraordinary offenses to morality and to truth in this country if you will just get yourself called reverend. Who would, even at your network, have invited on such a little toad to tell us that the attacks of September the 11th were the result of our sinfulness and were God's punishment if they hadn't got some kind of clerical qualification?
People like that should be out in the street, shouting
and hollering with a cardboard sign and selling pencils from a cup. The whole consideration of this -- of this horrible little person is offensive to very, very many of us who have some regard for truth and for morality, and who think that ethics do not require that lies be told to children by evil old men, that we're -- we're not told that people who believe like Falwell will be snatched up into heaven, where I'm glad to see he skipped the rapture, just found on the floor of his office, while the rest of us go to hell.
There is so much so wrong with this statement. Regardless of my feelings on Rev Falwell's positions-which I will state again were deeply flawed-you have to give him the credit for the courage of his conviction. And to totally dismiss him is to dismiss what was probably a lot of good work-the work the church should be doing, by the way-working with people on an individual basis, feeding, providing clothing, providing assistance. Falwell as a minister was a public spokesman who got resources for a lot of those things. And there are probably more than a few people that were helped by the organization he started. Which is probably his real legacy that I personally believe, God will honor-if there is any justice in the world.
Evangelicals have hijacked the Republican party and have taken religion into an arena it has no business being involved in. In many ways they have a lot in common with the Islamists they decry. However to see Hitchens be allowed a public forum-to speak a sentiment that is dripping with hatred at a time that demands respect-well that's too much. Even for me. Shame on you sir!.
He was still a husband, father, and had a family. May God grant him rest and peace.
Update: I guess what bothers me the most is the vindictiveness of the statement coming so soon after the man's death. Were the slurs really necessary? As I see it, there's a line and Falwell has crossed over it. You will too. While he was alive-knock yourself out, trash his name, trash his ideas, argue to his hearts content. However, now-while his family still grieves, do you really have to go and piss all over him?
Furthermore, Mr Hitchens, what your statement lacks is context. Spend a few hours in a church in the south pal, and its easy to understand exactly where the man was coming from. That did not mean he was right-far from it, from a biblical or a historical standpoint. However it is fairly consistent with what is taught in evangelical churches. I've sat through plenty of sermons by guys like him. A lot of them are pretty good guys out of the pulpit. So just hate the ideas. Otherwise you are no better than what you postulate him to be.- my .02- Skippy-san
More opinions can be found over here.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Simple Tasks-Part II
You know, I think it somehow defeats the purpose of going on a run when, sweating, gasping, and wheezing, you head straight to the fridge for a cold beer.
Nonetheless, I did run again yesterday and even managed to stay awake and get my I-Pod mix set up.
Mine is a 30GB I-Pod which allows both video and music. So I have subscribed to some podcasts (Like This Week and Meet the Press). Also a bunch of Japanese Language podcasts which has proven to be quite useful.
My music is pretty well set-an even mix of Jethro Tull, Warren Zevon, The Providers, Kansas, Neil Young, REM, Rush, Journey, Jefferson Starship, Green Day, some Japanese artists, and one other album:
A Sam Kinison release called "Have you seen me lately?".
While listening with more than little bit of apprehension, especially when listening to some of his later stand up tracks like Jesus, The miracle caterer....... Too many hours spent in two many pews to listen with out more than just a tinge of guilt.
But its still pretty funny. Just like his classic introductory performance on the young comedians special:
Tell me you still don't laugh-or think about U-hauls whenever you see pictures of people living in the desert. There is some really funny stuff. On the train, I have to be careful not to laugh out loud.
Then I've really bulked up on a lot video space. I loaded the whole first Season of Star Trek Enterprise. I had not really had a chance to watch it, and being a bona fide star trek fan I knew I had to. I like all of the Star Trek series-except Voyager. (And yes a big part of that is tied up in the whole Janeway female Captain thing-get over it). Even that show had some redeeming qualities:
Resistance is futile!
I'm a Deep Space Nine fan truth be told-the thinking man's Star Trek. For now, I'm still trying to figure out if I like Enterprise or not only having seen a few of the episodes. I know a lot of critics attacked it, and you sort have to be well versed in Star Trek Canon to truly understand everything they are talking about-which boxes out a lot of viewers. That same history line gets the show in trouble-since it deviates from commonly accepted "history" for the period of the 2150's. But so did the other series, when the writers got themselves into a jam. So I'm not really sure what that fuss is about.
On the other hand it is kind of nice to see the characters interact with each other more. Its nice too, to find out that the Vulcans really were the pompous, snotty little
Subcommander T'Pol: Why didn't you let them finish treating you on the surface?
Travis Mayweather: Have you ever been to an alien hospital?
Subcommander T'Pol: Yes, in San Francisco.
More to follow after I watch more. However it is looking like the show has potential-that UPN never allowed to really bloom when it canceled it after 4 seasons.
I've also put a good cross section of movies on-including some of my old favorites like "My Favorite Year"
I've also put Last of the Mohicans there for an action fix.
All of this should stand me in good steed for something to do if I cannot sleep on this particular trip. And if not, I now where to go to find more.
Besides, I've still got to plow through my Truman book.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Simple tasks-Part 1
Speaking of being made to feel guilty, did you call your Mom?
No blogging yesterday as my body revolted against continued consciousness about 9pm last night. I'm not sure why as : a) I did not drink any beer yesterday and b) all I really did was play golf yesterday. Regardless of the reason, I was overtaken with an undeniable urge to go horizontal last evening.
And that was it. Game over.
I ran for the first time in about 3 weeks Friday. And Saturday. Having the I-POD is definitely a plus as I am finding that with the right mix of songs I find myself not thinking so much about how much I hate running. Did about a mile and quarter each time and thanks to Neil Young my rage factor was peaking about the same time that the run did. Maybe I can increase the number of calories I burn in a day.
Golf on Sunday was nice. As I said it was the first time I had touched a club in probably six weeks. Thanks to Mr Ping and his outstanding technology I still hit my driver reasonably well. However the effect of a long layoff comes very pointedly in one's iron play and short game. It takes a while ( about 10 holes in my case) to reacquaint your body with "where the grass is". Still, I broke a 100 which, under the circumstances, can be considered nothing short of a miracle.
We finished earlier than I planned on, which meant that the S.O. was going to drag me to her little circle of recycling shops. This is a sometimes fruitful endeavor, but most times its just incredibly boring for yours truly.
Especially if they don't have any dirty Manga books tucked away in the back corner.
Recycling shops are one of the more interesting features of life in Japan. Now, when most people think of Japan, at some point, you almost always here this phrase: " Its so expensive over there." That's true, but the trick to getting by here is to look around and comparison shop. And by second hand stuff whenever you can. Thus the popularity of the recycling shops-especially for parents with small children. Or Office Ladies on a budget. The save money here so they can buy the Louis Vuitton purse and the high heeled shoes they wear so well with a tight fitting set of blue jeans. Now you know how they afford it.
However for the S.O. its all about the china. Plates, cups, bowls-like she does not own enough already-anything that strikes her fancy. Today it was ceramic hibachis and large (and I do mean large) vases. Long story short, I end up having to park the car illegally, flashers on, while I pay for and lug this incredibly heavy large vase and figure out to get it into the trunk with out rolling around and breaking. While also trying to figure out how to get our golf clubs stowed in the back seat, without crushing the groceries we bought. It took a while to figure it out-all the while looking over my shoulder hoping the parking ladies don't show up. I don't need a ticket this week............
This is why I envy Spike. No such issues there. He's doing something manly, like figuring out which new electronic toy to buy. Plus he lives close to one of my favorite places on the planet-Wanchai.
Back at home we went out to a new Chinese restaurant we have been wanting to try. Its a little off the beaten path, small, however as we discovered the food is rather good and their set meals are quite cheap. S.O. said she thought they were Taiwanese. How the hell does one know this? Whatever, it was pretty good.
Came home with the intent of finishing loading some specific movies and some more music on my I-POD. I'm trying to get it ready for my upcoming trip to Hawaii where I will spend a lot more time than I should beating my head against USAF walls and trying to figure out how to defeat their stupid firewalls and surf blogs while I am watching the stupidity unfold before me.
In a follow up post I will offer up my suggestions for summertime I-POD viewing / listening. Hint: THINK SCI FI.
Can't do politics today!-Skippy-san
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Lex and I talk politics.
P.S. Its my blog so I get to be the rabbit.
I can't believe I missed it....
Flashy's birthday that is.
Stupid, stupid, stupid.........
That's what Michelle Malkin is.
Apparently, loyalty is a one way virtue within the Republican party and if one does not sing the hymn of "War without end-amen!"-the only correct response is to immediately abandon one's fellow republicans. It does not matter how much work these same Republicans have done, or what their voting record is-in the topsy turvy world that passes for informed discussion within the Washington DC these days, it is clear that "Dissent equals treason".
That's what the Town Hall Harlot wants you believe. Its also what a whole host of milbloggers and political bloggers on the right want you to think too.
Actual words matter not.
Reasoned thought matters not.
A track record of doing distasteful work for the President matters not one wit. Its only, "What have done for me lately?" that matters to this crowd.
Consider how quickly the cheerleader branded Trent Lott as a surrender monkey, for having the effrontery to suggest that maybe, just maybe, after 4 years of pissing away opportunity after opportunity, Americans have a right to be impatient with the Iraqis.
Now mind you, Lott never said anything about leaving or withdrawing-synonymous in this crowd with the word surrender-he simply said that:
Lott's comment Monday put a fine point on what Senate Republican stalwarts have been discussing quietly for weeks. It also echoed remarks made this weekend by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, indicating the GOP's limited patience on the war. "I do think this fall we have to see some significant changes on the ground, in Baghdad and other surrounding areas," Lott, R-Miss., told reporters. Lott declined to say what he thinks should happen if Congress does not see improvement in the security situation by then. But he said lawmakers have time before they must decide.Bush announced in January that he planned to send to Iraq 21,500 more combat troops, plus several thousand more support troops, in an attempt to tamp down violence in Baghdad and the western Anbar province. Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, said he could give a better assessment in September of whether the strategy is working.
Yea baby, that's really waving the old white flag that is................funny thing though, Lott has consistently voted with the White House and never mentioned the "W" word once. But the little bitch still wants him to get a White Feather.
And now comes a new object for their scorn. The delegation of 11 Republicans who are guilty of the cardinal sin of being "moderate" in a party of extremists are being taken to task for having the audacity to go to the White House and tell the President what 72% of the country already knows: That people are sick and tired of seeing Americans get killed in Iraq for a bunch of Arabs who won't help themselves. And that the public's patience with Iraq, the Iraqis and the whole stupid mess is pretty well used up.
Plus, the solutions that are being offered by the Bush administration just don't make any sense. Reza Aslan explains it
You can go here, here, here, here, and here to read bloggers who are unhappy that Congressional Representatives would actually dare to go tell the President the truth.
Seems the President is not too happy with them either. John Cole sums it up well:
While I am glad members of the GOP are finally beginning to come to terms with the fact that we are in a bloody version of Groundhog Day in Iraq, it is a little infuriating that it took political pressure in their home districts to drive home the point. Have they not been watching the news, reading the briefings, and, you know, paying attention?
Regardless, let me be the
firstsecond to tell the poor dears: BUSH DOES
He doesn’t care about your plight. Loyalty, to this administration, is a one way street. You simply need to understand that we are going to be in Iraq until the Decider/Commander Guy and his folks can figure out a way to blame the Democrats prior to the 2008 election.
Lets see. They voted with the President to oppose the most recent version of the war funding supplemental. They voted with the President to support previous funding bills. They say all the right things in public.
Their reward for all that work-to be cast into the outer darkness. That's what Republicans do to people who deviate from the party's script.
As for that contentious meeting with moderate House Republicans so widely reported yesterday (see yesterday's column, Bush's Bubble Breached), signs are that Bush and his aides were furious, rather than chastened, by the brutal reality check -- and by the fact that it was made
Jonathan Weisman writes in The Washington Post: "White House political adviser Karl Rove, furious that Republican moderates had divulged a confrontational meeting they had on Tuesday with Bush on the war, started yesterday with an angry conversation with the meeting's organizer, Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.), according to several GOP lawmakers. Dan Meyer, the White House's chief lobbyist, called the other participants to express the administration's unhappiness."
Karl does not just get mad, he gets even. Ask the Attorney General about that. You will be lucky to see dime one from the RNC next year guys. Besides when Dick Cheney gets back there will be hell to pay. And not one of these people has EVER, EVER actually voted against the President:
Cheney was even more dismissive of the moderates and their plea for an exit strategy: "We didn't get elected to be popular," he said. "We didn't get elected to worry just about the fate of the Republican Party. Our mission is to do everything we can to prevail on what is now, we believe, a global conflict, a fundamental test of the character of the American people."
Translation: You bastards are really going to pay for this.
Bob Alexander: Share? Share? You don't call a press conference. I call a press conference. You're nothing. Do you understand? You're nobody.
Like Cheney has any credibility anymore. But he's still dangerous for at least 18 more months. Especially as the scramble goes on for deck chairs here:
And the band plays on!
In the Republican party, unlike in life, moderation is not a virtue.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Back to basics.........
And I don't smoke.
Golden Week is over and now its back to the grind for much of Japan:
Tony Blair is gone.....sort of......well maybe in another month or so. Which of course will be be filled with plenty of words trying to answer this question:
The queen also came and paid a visit, giving the President a chance to host a state dinner, the first of his Presidency. That alone speaks volumes about what is wrong with the White House. Lexington over at the Economist thinks that Bush may be too much in love with British royalty:
The dynastification of American political life is weakening America's claim to be a democratic beacon. These days political dynasties are usually associated with the young democracies of South Asia rather than mature republics. The dynastification of its political life also points to a deeper problem: the fact that America is producing a quasi-hereditary political elite, cocooned in a world of wealth and privilege and utterly divorced from most people's lives. The rest of the world is gradually moving beyond “idolatry to monarchs” and “servility to aristocratic pride”. Even Britain has expelled most of its aristocrats from the House of Lords. Does America, which led the world in ditching monarchs, hereditary titles and forelock-tugging, really want to be the first country to start going backwards?
The argument about the war funding bill is dragging on almost as long as the war is:
And bloggers on both sides of the aisle seem to have no sense of humor about it.
There is an art exhibition I need to see.
Madame Chiang has restricted access to her blog.
And U-Tube is now blocked in Thailand.
Leaving E @ L with nothing to do but to contemplate one of the great mysteries of the world:
Angie: Have you heard the word of God? It's the greatest gift of all time. You have to trust completely in God. He'll forgive you of all your sins.
Sharon: Who forgives God?
No answer. The answer cannot be given, because the question the movie poses - if you believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, all-loving God - the problem of suffering, is completely unanswerable.
In other words, its just another week! On with the show.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Over at Phibian's place, there has been quite a dust up about the idea that biology compels women and men to make decisions about love and marriage. The Phib takes a woman to task for lamenting the fact that, in order to have a child she has to give up the good life of singledom.
Phibian's advice to women out there? If you want a non-rushed, non-stressed start to having a solid family? Start looking hard at 22; if you have not already clicked with someone yet. If at age 24 you have been dating someone for a couple of years, give him one more year to throw a rock at you. If after 3 years of dating, and you are 25 - if he doesn't want to make it a real relationship - ditch him. At age 25 there is still a large population of good men. If you marry a nightmare loser at 25 and get rid of him in 3 years, you will only be 28. You still have time. Not all the low hanging fruit is missing. By age 30 a few are left. Still there, but very few. After age 30 you need to accept that you may have to get a second-hand man, or a late bloomer. Still doable.
Great. So another woman gets to fuck over a deserving man monetarily, in order to "find herself" . That's crap. Some people can settle down, some people just cannot.
I read something very interesting today. It was an article about the Japanese view of sexuality as it arose in history. In a nut shell, Japan as most Asian cultures do, does not have the incredible hang ups about sex that Americans seem to have. Phrased another way:
" Much of what has shocked Western observers of Japanese sexuality through the ages boils down to a simple but crucial cultural difference: the Christian West traditionally idealized virginity; Japan idealized sex. "
Personally, I think the Japanese got it right and the so called "Christian" West got it wrong. Sex is great. I can't think of anything I like more. And it need not be tied to marriage to have value-nor does that pursuit necessarily diminish marriage and or the having of children.
One of the attractions for me about being in Asia is the sex. Sorry, but its true. To be able to go to some of the places one can go to and experience a virtual overload of sexual pleasures is indeed a great thing. That does not mean that I do not have romantic inclinations towards one particular girl, but truth be told-sexually she is just passing with barely minimal grades. That's OK however because the rest of the time, the company together is quite nice. More effort though would definitely be appreciated. However its probably not forthcoming. I think the law of declining return is starting to kick in. Bad choices again, eh what?
That's not to be critical. However couples with mismatched sex drive have a real problem methinks. For me sex is not optional-its a necessity. Not that I can't function with out it-provided one does not outlaw onanism-but at this point in life I just don't understand why I should. Its too awesome an experience to simply go without.
Sex provides so many highlights to the human experience. Most of the sweetest moments of life are tied to it. Things that just make you sweat on both the inside and outside. For example, that great moment when a woman undresses in front of you for the first time. The great mystery gets revealed: Shaved or unshaved; bushy or simply wisps of hair; pointy nipples or great large round aureola. You can never repeat it with the same woman. However the night that it happens-whether romatic or professional, it is a thing of sheer intensity.
The simple smoothness of the inside of woman's thigh, that part that runs right up to the promised land. Tell me your you don't get chill down your spine running your index finger along it. The feel of a woman's breast. Its curvature, its softness, the simple way it spirals to a peak at the nipple. The way it feels when shaped by the contours of a man's mouth.
The softness of a woman's lips. The eagerness or lack thereof with which she receives the touch of your lips and the ever so quick dart of one's tongue. The gentle touch of the side of her cheek as you inhale the fragrance of her perfume. The curve of the nape of her neck as you kiss it.
Having her legs wrapped around your head as you kiss and lick the honey pot-eating the Vagitarian Diet.:
"Alternate, gently sucking, kissing and licking…if she moans when you do something, note what you did…move away, kissing, then come back and do it again…if she moans again you have just learnt something she likes…"
In the comment stream over at the Phibian's place there is a line about prostitution "attacking marriage". That's one way to look at it. The other is that it preserves marriage, by providing a needed service that seems to be lacking with a whole bunch of brides these days. Namely the provision of blow jobs. Which for whatever reason a lot of women seem loath to provide. Laugh if you want to, but if more women would agree to "worship the bishop" the divorce rate might be a hell of a lot lower. That's why I don't see prostitution as that big a deal-it provides a needed service and probably saves more marriages than it destroys. Provided you can get over the idea that one should only have sex with one person-another flawed idea IMHO. To quote a line a line from a movie,"What we are looking for here is the illusion of fidelity."
I think that human beings have to believe in the illusion of exclusivity-even if they know its not true. And so long as that illusion is maintained, life can be quite fine. However for whatever reason our chemistry tends to revolt at open acknowledgment of sharing the wealth. Its a quirk of our personality that I am not sure why it exists. None the less it does. However, it does not hide the fact that both sexes are always seeking someone new and different. As a former Navy associate used to tell me: "There are four basic needs, food, drink, pussy and strange pussy".
Thus, men get angry if their woman takes another lover-even though they are more than willing to indulge in one night stands themselves. The need for that is defined in one reason-the strong desire to experience , if only once, that total submission visualized by the moment the woman looks up at you, while doing the deed, with a look asking for approval in her eyes. Men know what I am talking about-or should. I suspect women look out of their eyes wanting to see the same thing. That, for that one brief moment, the man is totally submissive to their will.
All of which makes very little sense, and sure as hell does nothing to promote stable home lives, fair raising of children, the earning of income. Nonetheless it constitutes the thing of fantasies-sometimes lived, sometimes postponed or denied-but always present in the human heart. It offends the "moral people", yet deep in their heart of hearts they understand it in a primal way. Casanova succeeded why? Because he knew how to arouse that in just about anyone.
So I say, it takes all kinds. I personally marvel at women who stay single because it works for them. That's because, until I got divorced I did not realize that women like sex just as much as men. I always thought we just badgered them into it.
Looking back over this, I'm sure it reads like a cheap romance novel-or a poor attempt at 19Th century pornography. But its a sentiment, its mine, and I want to pour it out. As I warned you at the beginning, if by now you are offended-its because you chose to be. Otherwise, take what you need and leave the rest.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
What I hope will happen: increased Congressional oversight of the systems that produce our senior leaders. Also, that junior leaders believe that our system of governance is capable of self-correction on even the most important issues.
What I fear might happen: inaction by political and senior military authorities, coupled with growing resentment and disillusionment by our junior leaders. I'm very worried about the communication gap between stars and bars, and I hope that my article does not make matters worse. As I said, I've been surprised by the emotional intensity of some of the responses I've received.
A well founded fear I think.
There goes the neighborhood.....
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now,--instead of mounting barbed steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,--
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I,--that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;--
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun,
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore,--since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,--
I am determined to prove a villain,
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the kingIn deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,--
About a prophecy which says that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul:--here Clarence comes
William Shakespeare-Richard III
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
There is a story here......
A nude U.S. soldier was struck and killed by an off-base taxi Saturday night, officials said Monday.
U.S. and South Korean officials are investigating the incident in which Spc. Vang B. Her, a 22-year-old fire control repairman with Company B, 302nd Brigade Support Battalion, was killed around 10:30 p.m. near Mount Soyo, about 3 miles north of Camp Casey.
The 46-year-old taxi driver is being held in South Korean police custody because he waited about 30 minutes before reporting the incident, Yangju police said Monday.
GI Korea and Lost Nomad are all over it.
Some people like him. Some people hate him. I fall into the former category because he pillories the people I want to see pilloried. Either way he is far more erudite than that windbag O'Reilly-although he is not objective either and one has to remember that going in the door. Nonetheless, this clip captures the frustration of 4+ years of helping Iraqis who won't help themselves:
In GWB's own words!
That ought stir these people up!
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Just another day.........
Counseling note to the S.O. :
Its called make-up / gratitude sex. Its good for you, I know it would be good for me. (Help me recover and produce a positive mental state-all that) It stops being about you when I buy you all of the stupid stuff you want, at which point it becomes all about me and receiving my well deserved reward for a job well done. Simple concept, easy to understand. For the life of me I really can't understand why you women have such a problem remembering it.
Cough it up, and things are fine. You get just about everything you want, within reason. Life is pleasant. Don't render forth and I can be just as sullen and withdrawn as anything you can do. If I have to I can ignore you for a lot longer than you can ignore me. I pay the bills.
Going without is not on the menu. Warkimasu ka? I'm a patient man, but there are limits. There will be a test on this. Try to get the answers right-its important.
Jack: I'm trying to get you laid, I'd appreciate a little help!
Yesterday was the Blue Sky Citizen's Matsuri(青空市民祭り） here. I stayed home to enjoy the solitude and the TV. S.O. went off into town with friends. About an hour and a half into it the phone rings. They are having a "Kimono walk" and she was going to try on a Kimono with her friends. Could I come on up and bring the camera?
Well you could have knocked me over. She hates wearing a Kimono-even though she looks absolutely beautiful in one. Can't say as I blame her, from what I understand just "suiting up" in one is a real chore. I've only seen her in a Kimono once, despite my entreaties to get a professional picture of her in one made at a studio. So I have to take advantage of the opportunity. Saddle up with the camera and the hair pins / combs she requested and off I go.
Turns out they were having a full up Matsuri (festival) going on in the city center park. Complete with belly dancing girls:
The usual School Band:
小ま茶Omacha (Traditional Japanese Green Tea):
And of course, the Kimono:
Doesn't she look great?
All good things come to an end, and unless we wanted to buy this particular kimono we had to get back to the store:
"Normal" clothes on again, while I waited-admiring the girls walking by, we decided that some lunch was in order. Over lunch, almost as a throwaway line, S.O. mentions that she wants to "just look" at the recycle / antique store up on the shotengai which is up the hill from the train station. That was not quite on my agenda.
"Oh and lets look at the jewellery store along the way!"
Damn. This can lead no where good.
Sure enough, as a result of that expedition, I end up having to go back-get the car-and take this home:
Like I really needed to buy this!
Not shown: a set of pearl earrings from the other store. Now I will admit, that both items were good prices and the S.O. excels at driving merchants down to their rock bottom price. But really, what the hell are we going to do with either item?
See note 1) above.
A wonderful thing........
Here it is 12:54AM on Sunday and I am awake. Combination of whacked out sleep cycle and being pissed off at the S.O. ( Like a prudent man I retreat to my computer desk and tune her out...its a better alternative than trying to discuss with her anything). She's asleep now-so I'm enjoying the peace and quiet.
Just saw SJS filing out with herd from the latest session at the MILBLOG conference. Its amazing that I can be sitting on this side of the globe and see that.
Several people had suggested I lengthen my planned US trip and go....its probably just as well I did not. A) I would not have been healthy enough to make the trip and B) between surfing
And ask them for money.
Crowd must be at lunch now-live feed stopped. I'll be in bed before the next panel starts. Which is a shame cause I'd like to watch it. Somebody take good notes please-beer is kicking in.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Made a decision
And, to tell the truth, it feels good to have made it. Now the rest just becomes planning and execution-which I always think is easier.
No fury like.......
A reader sent me this link to a column by Debi about the continuing outrage that passes for a law-The USFSPA, also known as the Pat Schoeder screw serving service personnel act-writing about the fact that if women truly were "liberated" they would not need this foul piece of so called legislation.
Far more enlightened than most women, she opines:
Point blank, they feel betrayed and dishonored as military retirees by the very government that should just as boldly support and defend them where their own hard-earned retirement benefits are concerned.
Personally, I don’t understand how any man can willfully take the retirement of a woman without feeling like a real schmuck, nor do I support ex-wives who greedily take retirement shares from their husbands in divorce. I’m speaking here as one who did not.
Women who make productive use of their years as military wives don’t feel the need nor possess any inclination to take what belongs exclusively to a man’s career.
That sums it up nicely.
What is interesting is the responses she gets from legions of money grubbing
Because you're an idiot the rest of us should be too? You didn’t take your share of the retirement you had coming that's your problem. The rest of us are getting every dollar we deserve for the hell these men put us through as military wives and guess what we laugh all the way to the bank because we still get it after we remarry someone who treats us decent. I can’t imagine how you have any female friends with how disloyal you are to your own sex.
Yea right.........you bitch.
Please go kiss the front end of a bus moving 50 mph.
Even if this were about equity-and its not- the law is very flawed and it screws not just men, but ever increasing numbers of women. As "the Donald" found out a couple of years ago.
Which is why, its so important that the Supreme Court agree to hear this case and strike the law down. Personally I doubt it will happen-but hey, once can always dream can't they?
But I'm not bitter or anything. H/T to the reader who sent me this. It got my rage factor up this morning-thanks.
For all you alimony collectors out there!
Friday, May 04, 2007
My advice to you........
I wish I could, but after still not feeling well for over a week, I caved in and went to the doctor yesterday. Who confirmed for me that yes, I had stuff in my lungs and it would probably be heading for pneumonia if we did not get some quality drugs inside me.
Then he told me I should not travel for a while. Can't say as I disagree with him. So like a real wimp and I cancelled my trip to the US next week. Meow Meow Meow:
Yes, my one of these hurts!
The real reason to start imbibing is that its going to be a long time till the end of 2008 and until then the world will have to witness two competing spectacles play themselves out. The struggle for Iraq and the struggle for the White House. Both seem as if they started too early and both look as if they will never end.
Watching the Republican debate this morning was humorous to say the least, with each candidate trying their best to ingratiate themselves to the losers who populate the party's "base". Same thing the Democrats did last week-playing to a different set of losers. Both "bases" are worthless, for reasons that I will expound upon some other time. Suffice it to say that I found a certain irony seeing the debate conducted in the Ronald Reagan library. The GOP has drifted so far away from the Gipper that he would weep seeing the morass that it is today. FDR would do the same for the Democrats. A pox on both of them.
Speaking of getting drunk, Phil opines that martinis should only be made with gin. I don't drink martini's so I'm not equipped to comment on the following statement:
I hate to get snobbish about it, but a martini should be made with gin or it’s not a martini. Call it a vodkatini if you must, but not a martini.
What say you?
I also find it hard to get excited about the DC madam scandal. Since I believe that prostitution should be legal-or at the least, decriminalized-I don't understand what is the big deal if a few capitol hill muckety mucks, sliced off a piece of ass on their own time, with their own money. ( Which makes me wonder if some of that ass slicing was on the taxpayer dime). Having been to Thailand where one can get a lot more for a lot less, I'm at a loss to understand how 1 hour with an American girl can somehow be worth 300 dollars. But to each his own. Whenever something like this happens, nobody ever says if Mrs. Muckety Muck was doing her bit to keep hubby satisfied-somehow I doubt it-which makes a lot of difference as far as I am concerned. Besides, there are more than a few people in DC who need to get laid.
Of course, it does not help that one of the offenders is a supposed defender of so called "abstinence only" programs. I've always thought that particular approach was reckless and down right silly-especially for teenagers ( or middle aged divorced men for that matter) as a means to keep them from sex and its dangers. As GWOTM points out very well:
People like to fuck.Sums it up pretty well. Especially the first two lines. I know I like to.
People will fuck.
Throwing money at teaching young people not to fuck doesn't work.
Spending money educating young people about fucking safely, does work however, resulting in lower rates of STIs and teenage pregnancy.
Advocate condoms not abstinence: it's common fucking sense.
On the subject of paramour's, FP's Passport blog has found an ultra-top secret memo from Paul Wolfowitz to the world bank. Seems that despite the scandal involving his well paid girl friend he is firmly in charge:
I am writing to you with a stern warning. It has come to my attention that many of you are turning your internet browsers to TradeSports.com, where there is an active market in “Paul Wolfowitz resignation” contracts for 2007. (For those of you who don’t know, this is a website where you can take bets on a variety of political events.)
I hope you understand that any attempt by World Bank Staff to buy or sell these contracts will be considered insider trading in clear violation of my anti-corruption guidelines. Your knowledge of normal World Bank personnel procedures gives you a clear information advantage in predicting whether I will be forced to resign. You must not abuse it. Please note: the Bank’s prohibition on insider trading applies not only to immediate family but also to significant others (e.g., girlfriends).
Some of you have already queried my office about whether it would still be insider trading if, when you buy “Paul Wolfowitz resignation” contracts (betting that I will leave before 2008), you also sell short “Alberto Gonzalez resignation” contracts. (This is a bet that my friend, the U.S. Attorney General, will hang on through end 2007.) My emphatic answer is no! Long Wolfowitz, short Gonzalez is only a “relative value play” that hedges out the value of loyalty to President Bush. You would still be guilty of insider trading on your Bank-specific knowledge. (And who says I don’t know enough about finance for this job!)......
Some of you may wonder how I can remain at the Bank when so many staff are openly seeking my dismissal. (Thank goodness most of you have tired of wearing those silly blue protest ribbons.) And what about the claim that my deputy, New Zealander Graeme Wheeler, told me I should resign at a supposedly-closed senior staff meeting last week?
Let me fill you in on the facts of life. Ever since the World Bank was founded shortly after World War II, the President of the United States has always hand-picked the President of the World Bank. That’s life; stop whining. We Americans may hold only 16 percent of the shares at the World Bank, but we insist on keeping its presidency as our birthright. So what if there might be better qualified candidates from the developing world or Asia? I am tired of hearing people say that South African finance minister Trevor Manuel would be far more effective in my job than I am. (Trevor is a good guy, but dream on. He has neither the right passport nor the right friends.)
Speaking of which: Some of you may also wonder whether World Bank staff, directors, or presidents are permitted to buy “George W. Bush Impeachment” contracts, which are also presently listed on TradeSports.com. Tricky question, but the bottom line is that your employment generally precludes political activity of this type. You will be relieved to know, however, that I have already instructed the Bank legal staff to allow exceptions to the insider trading rules for anyone who can demonstrate a truly compelling need to hedge against a change at the White House.
If you have not guessed by now-its a joke. But a pretty good one nonetheless.
I'm putting together yet another order for Amazon. I just received David McCullogh's biography on Truman and a Chinese cookbook. Since GWB always likes to compare himself to Truman, I thought I should learn more about the former president to judge for myself. I can't quite picture it, but the book sure is thick enough. Its going to take a while to plow through. I'm screwing up my courage to buy the two God bashing books that have come out recently- Hitchens' "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything " and Sam Harris' Letter to a Christian Nation. Not so sure that's such a good idea-the thought police are always out there! And as is my experience with Hitchens, anything useful he has to say gets smothered in his oh so British arrogance. However the premise is interesting so I'll probably buy them. I may wait till I get to Hawaii in the end of the month and sneak them out of Borders under a newspaper-like buying condoms, you have to do these things discretely.
Miss Izzy has some new definitions for the dictionary. Two classics:
5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Its going to be a long weekend for me. Not going to see many of these I'm afraid:
And I don't think I'll be chasing these either:
But wait till I get well!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
In his veto message his last paragraph:
Finally, this legislation is unconstitutional because it purports to direct the conduct of the operations of the war in a way that infringes upon the powers vested in the Presidency by the Constitution, including as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. For these reasons, I must veto this bill.
That's interesting. Which Constitution are you reading? Certainly not the one that resides within the national archives.
US Constitution Article 1 Section 8:
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And
To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
Article II makes the President the Commander in Chief, but nothing in the article makes that power absolute and not subject to regulation by Congress-especially in relation to the provision of monies for the Armed Services.
Don't like the bill? Fine, Veto it. Tell Congress you don't like it. That's a Presidential prerogative. But don't make things up that do not exist. Its bad form and its unbecoming of a "decider". It is however, useful in discrediting your opponents-a talent this administration excels at.
The little Gaijin..........
During the day, I think I "dated" a girl just like the English girl. Gambarimashou!
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Something for the debate this week.............
"Given that Bush isn’t really trying any serious regional diplomacy, I can’t escape the feeling that the surge was never designed to succeed in the first place, but just to give Bush the excuse to broaden the conflict to include Iran down the road (again, the animating aspect to this entire piece) because then he can say, “I tried, but Iran screwed us over and now it’s payback!”
Looking further ahead: This segment is obviously the most frustrating to contemplate, in large part because Bush continues to make our military fight under the worst possible strategic circumstances.
As I look to the next prez, only Giuliani makes me think he’s got the go-your-own-way courage to cut the deals necessary to extricate our combat troops from harm’s way in a reasonable amount of time while making that transition seem less like a “loss” and more just plain common sense. I mean, you take what you can get after a while, and what we’ve got is a free and safe Kurdistan, and relatively stable and safe and recovering Shiite Iraq, and that hell-hole called Sunni-land.
The notion that we somehow “lose Iraq” unless we fight it out in Sunni-land until all the bitter-enders have all met their bitter end is just goofy.
Since Bush seems unable to define anything short of that mythical desired outcome as “victory,” we’re in desperate need of somebody who can. Hell, the Balkans were a piecemeal victory/stalemate/loss that slowly but surely turned into something we’re all relatively proud of, so why do we think we’re ever going to reach some magical moment where everything’s perfect in Iraq as a whole so we can pull out with our pride somehow completely restored?
Simply put, Rudy’s the most Nixonian of the bunch, and we need a plain-talking hardass to make this work. He’s got just enough gravitas and just enough arrogance to pull it off -- unless the cast of “Law & Order” runs as a full-slate."
Read the rest here.