27 November 2012

Down time

Greetings to all.
For the next few weeks, most likely well into January of 2013, there will be no new posts here.

I am having serious, major computer troubles and do not see how this can be corrected until after the new year starts. I am using borrowed computer and computer time to post this.

I will try when possible to stay current with events, but make no promises. I will post here again as soon as I can get my old computer up and running again. Until then, I wish all a pleasant holiday season. Or, as nice a holiday time as possible in this messed up world.

One more note. I apologoze to all who have posted comments here on the old corner that I have not replied to. I am just recovering from personal health issues and have not been up to posting my replies to your excllent comments. Again, I apologize for failing to be prompt with my replies. I did not forget your comments, I just was not in any great shape to engage my old brain to form a coherent reply.

Sorry for the non posting for the forseeable future, but maybe life will be a bit more pleasant without my rants for the next few weeks and beyond.
semper fi

15 November 2012

Post election blues?............not with the current turn of events

Well, well, what a week. Man alive, who would have thought things would go so "well" after the recent election here in the empire?
Holy catfish folks. Not only do we get a flood of petitions demanding (well, at least asking/begging) for the secessionist gang in nearly every state, we have old "king" David of Iraq/Afghanistan "fame" stepping down as director of the "vaunted"(??) CIA due to some emails by his biographer/mistress.
Anybody who believes that "king" Davids' "reputation"/"legacy" may be damaged is and has been out to lunch for years. Think I am "piling on" poor little Davie?  Well, just check the links on the right side of this page, go to "Pen and Sword" blog. Yes, I know, there have been no new entries. Well, there is a good reason why, Jeff Huber died earlier this year. Man, I DO miss his insight and wit regards this "affair".  Jeff had skewered "king" David many times over the batshit of Iraq and the much "heralded/vaunted" surge. What actually happened was "king" David basically paid the Sunni militias to stop killing US/NATO troops and go kill Shia militia instead. Also, "king" David LOST/misplaced/could NOT account for something on the order of some hundreds of thousands of small arms like AK-47's. So much for the "surge" and the dear to the hearts of the neo-crazies, COIN.
Yes, Petraeus did get all sorts of high praise for COIN. He and his COIN were hailed as "new" and such, actually all COIN was/is is a repeat of the same old Phoenix program the CIA pulled off in Vietnam. Again, go and read some of the excellent analysis Jeff did during his life to expose the "sandbox" generals and the "bathtub" admirals. Man, Jeff knew his stuff cold and he was unafraid to name names. He would have a total field day for months with the current mess with poor old "king" David, the CIA, and the five sided puzzle palace (also know as the Pentagon).

Of course Delayus, er, um, uh, Petraeus will have his defenders and rightly so. However, I object to the bullshit they sling and the cover ups that WILL ensue if they have not started already. The lies and cover up will do zero to help, but may assist those still in office/power to keep some what "clean" and not get caught in the same net with the now former "king" David. The guy has been described as a "genius" in at least two articles I read today alone. OK, he may have been a bit smarter than the average general, but genius? No way Jose! Not by a country mile. Genius? Albert WAS a genius, E=MC2  and all. THAT is genius. COIN as "genius", not ever. no way.

According to one source, we now have petitions from ALL 50 states regarding secession. No kidding folks, it seems that EVERY state wants OUT of the union. We have been through this before people. Well, this just confirms my position regarding Americans and not just world history, but even the history of the USA. There was this thing called the "Civil War" back in the 1860's that dealt with seceding from the union. The states that wanted out lost, big time. This "movement" such as it is, will not go very far in my opinion. I will go even further, no doubt this will piss off many, but too damn bad, it is MY opinion. These clowns want out of the union mostly because a black man was re-elected. YES, I DO think this "movement" to leave the union IS due to racist ideas. The whole "idea"(??) that the USA was in a "post racial" era after the election in 2008 was and IS totally wrong. The racist talk/attitude in the USA ever since the 2008 election was not undercover in any way, it was and IS out in the open. Those who disagree must have been hiding under a rock with NO access to any form of media including the internet and were totally devoid of ALL human contact. A large number of my fellow Americans ARE racist and have never been able to accept that "their" White House was occupied by a black man and his family.

There, I HAVE said it, the USA IS a racist nation. We are NOT anywhere close to being "post racial" no matter who says we are. We SHOULD be past such attitudes, but we are not. I wish with every fiber of my being that we WERE past the racist past. Of course, wishing  doesn't make it so. All any of us can do is to live our lives so that we do not treat others who look different from us with the same respect we want to be treated with. Treat ALL people the way you want to be treated. If we all try, then at some future point in time, we just may get past our collective past. 

In the mean time, we can sit back and watch this all unfold. Will "king" David be called to testify at a congressional committee? How far will theses secessionist "movements" go? Grab a comfy chair, pop some popcorn, get your favorite beverage and watch the show. It has the promise to be one hell of a show. Just do not look for very much truth in it all, remember, this IS America and we still have Faux Noise on the tube.
semper fi

08 November 2012

Wow, the election is finally over..........for a while at least

Well for a short while, at least, we are done with the election and, best of all, no more suffering through those damn TV/radio adverts telling us all how "bad" the opponent is.
I have no doubt at all that nearly every human being who resides in the old US of A is extremely happy, jumping for joy even, that there will be no more political campaign ads. Well, don't get too excited folks. The 2014 mid-terms are ahead and we may start getting bombarded by them sooner than usual. Hell, the 2012 election seemed to have gone on for years if not decades. Man alive, these elections seem to never end. 

Well, for the sanity of the majority of Americans I have an idea. How about a Constitutional amendment that will limit ALL election campaigns to no more than three (3) months and they must end 3 full 24 hour days before we go to the polls. Any takers for this one? Seriously, there is NO valid reason whatsoever for the campaigns to go on for months and months as we suffered through this round. Sure the folks who make those damn ads get more money as the campaigns drag on for seemingly decades, but we, the people who watch the occasional TV program are the ones who suffer. No, I do not have tiro or any such device and will not buy one. Even having such a device and doing the old "fast forward" past the ads is too much trouble. Just limit them to three months MAX! Let the folks who make said ads get a different job. 

No doubt the supposed "left" is overjoyed. "Dear ;eager" also know as Gobomber or as Bill (Bill the butcher that is) calls the guy, our peace prizident has been re-elected. Big goddamn deal. Yeah, I know, you may say that last is "sour grapes". Not really, I knew the person I voted for had little to no real chance of winning.  OK, so why am I not jumping for joy? Any of the regular readers of this corner know I am not and have not been a "fan" of dear old Gobomber. I am not happy with the results because this president has used the espionage act of 1917 more often than ANY president since that law was enacted! You read that right, Gobomber has used that little used, before he won the office, than any other president including Shrub/Cheney. Almost takes your breath away does't it? Yeah, and remember this guy did win the Nobel Peace Prize. 

This same man, Gobomber also has NOT closed Gitmo as he promised to do when he was elected the FIRST time back in 2008. This president has authorized/conducted MORE drone strikes around the world than Shrub. 

"Dear leader" is also on record as being FOR cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid among other social programs that actually benefit real hard working Americans and those who because of illness or injury are unable to work. What he IS for are the continued cuts to the taxes for the richest 1%. Well, sure thing there charlie, after all, who do "we" think he works for? It sure as hell is NOT the working class or the poor. Nope, old Gobomber works for the top 1%. They contribute more money to him than we do. Hey, we, the working class and poor don't have the extra funds to send to any politician. What little we may be able to part with will never come close, not even collectively, to what just ONE of the top 1% will spend to get their candidate elected. face it folks, we live in a nation that IS ruled by the big money interests/people. 

Some commentaries have said that the presidential election alone will probably TOP $3 Billion! Three Billion dollars??!!! Now that IS some damn serious money. The spending for president, House of Representatives, and the Senate will most likely exceed(!!!) $6 Billion. Now, think about that figure for a few minutes. Yes, 6 Billion dollars were most likely spent by all the candidates who ran for federal office this year. That 6 Billion could have been much better used to provide meals for school kids, or medical care for those without and insurance, or to pay for teachers to actually teach our children.  Basically, this money could have gone for much better use. I am certain all of you good people have or could very quickly make your own "wish list" for that amount of money NOT counting spending it all on yourselves and/or your family members.  That money would make a nice dent in fixing our roads and bridges for another "off the top of my head" list of better uses for $6 Billion. See how easy it is to come up with better uses for the money, and I have NOT set out to make a list, just thinking out loud as it were. 

One bit of good news from the recent election follows. BOTH Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock LOST their bids for office! Well, that IS cause for a real celebration in my book. You remember Mr. Akin, he was the clown who brought up the subject(?) of "legitimate"(??) rape. Yeah, THAT guy. Well, he LOST the election! Damn, that IS good news.
On to Mr. Mourdock, he was the moron who told us all, women in particular, that IF a woman became pregnant due to being raped, well that would all be Gods' plan. Yeah THAT guy. Well, he LOST his run at elected office. Again, damn good news to me.

Now, before you all run out and taunt your "tea party" neighbors, hold on a minute. This does NOT mean that the "tea party" is done, finished, gone for good. Nope, those sort never actually quit. Not because they do not know how to quit, they really Do know how to quit, just not when. These clowns will be back, with a vengeance no doubt. Now I know that some "pundits" or whatever some bloggers/columnists (on the web in particular) are jumping with joy at the "tea party" losses. Sites like the Smirking Chimp for an example are loaded with that sort of "leftists" or "liberals" as they seem to call themselves. Well, if those people are actually "liberals" or "leftists" then I do NOT fit/belong on the "left" and do NOT ever call me a "liberal" or if you do, watch yourself if you are ever physically close to me. Why? Because any who call me a "liberal" of "leftist" will be the recipient of a size 13 boot to their hind end. Yes, I DO wear a size 13 boot. Hey, I am 6 foot 3 inches tall, large feet come with being tall. Don't worry too much though, I only weigh about 175 and being disabled means there will not be a true "full force" along with said kick to the rear. Please, though, do NOT label me as a "liberal" nor a "leftist". By the way, I am NOT a "conservative" either. Actually, I do not seem to "fit" any political party, though I do lean a bit towards the socialists more than any other. I mean lean in a political sense. I DO tend to lean towards my own right side as my left knee is very arthritic and "favor" my left leg/knee, which means I lean while standing to my own right.

All the supposed "liberals" who are celebrating Gobomber getting re-elected are disgusting to me. Will they ever even ask him to stop the drones? Will they even ever ask/beg him to NOT enforce the NDAA? Will they ask/beg him to NOT kill any human being unless said person has a fair trial first? Will they ask/beg him to finally CLOSE Gitmo? I could go on with the asking/begging for much, much longer. I have left out many other "questions" and I am 100% certain that all of you good people have your own lists of "requests" you would like to have Gobomber answer. Like, why does he think(??) he alone can place any of us, Americans included, on his "kill list" and then have any of us droned to death? I bet every reader of this small corner would love to ask the president of the USA THAT question among many, many others as equally important or nearly as important. Good grief folks, I could do an entire post/rant on JUST such questions. And the supposed "liberals" who populate many web sites/blogs are telling us all we should be so very happy that Mittens lost to this Gobomber guy. Well, to that I say bull shit! Those folks need to realize that the "lesser of two evils" is STILL evil! 

In some respects, it may have been better for us had Mittens won. First off, it would get many of the supposed "liberals" OFF their collective fat butts and into the streets, as they did (for the most part) during the 8 years of Shrub/Cheney. How many of you noticed how few real demonstrations there have been these past four years? Where were the anti-war demonstrations the past four years? Hell, the country has been at war during EVERY minute of Gobombers first term. It matters not at all that he "inherited" two failed/failing wars from Shrub/Cheney. As I said above, he has used drones MORE than Shrub/Cheney ever did. Gobomber has gone even further than Cheney would have even thought to try with the "kill list" and his "position" as judge, jury, and executioner. Man alive, I bet Cheney has huge wet dreams of doing that himself. Poor old "dead eye" Dick, his pacemaker may not handle much of those dreams. Fine with me, the sooner he and those like him "check out" the better the world will be for those who are still alive. Vile bastard. (Take THAT NSA) At least had Mittens won, we would be 100% certain that the end of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid along with many other social programs would be ending very soon. With Gobomber, all we know for sure, is that he WILL go along with the damn elephant gang and their "cuts" to the social programs that many Americans depend on to stay alive. Gobomber will cut those needed programs, he will just be a bit less vocal about it and no doubt will claim, as he did the past four years, that the Republican congress critters "made him do it". On that "made me do it" I call Bull Shit! He HAD a Democratic majority when he first took office in january 2009. What did he do with that majority? Nothing! Not one single damn thing worth doing. In short, he pissed it all away. He could have demanded a real national health care system that would have benefited ALL Americans. Not to be folks, nope, all we got was "Obamacare" which does NOT help the people, but it DOES insure obscene profits for the damn health insurance companies. Oh joy. Aren't I "glad" or "overjoyed" that our "dear leader" the good old USA "prizident" won re-election? NO! I am NOT happy one damn but. We got screwed again folks. OK charlie, so tell em what IS new? Well, FEMA seemed to have had a better response to hurricane Sandy than they did for Katrina. THAT is some good news. The bad news follow to that is, there is another bad storm headed towards those same folks who made it through Sandy. I hope all who live on the East coast are OK and staying warm and dry. You and your family and friends are in my thoughts.  While Katrina and then shortly after Rita did severe damage to my area of the country, at least it was not near freezing at night after those hurricanes. I hope all who are/were effected by Sandy and the next storm are safe, dry, and warm. 
On the subject of Sandy and its aftermath, any who want to help, I have a suggestion. Look up a local food bank in the storm damaged area and donate what you can to that type of organization. My experience with the local food bank here in central Louisiana is that ALL donations to the food bank are used locally. The local food bank does help other areas when they have surplus enough to do so. Most every donation to a local food bank stays in the area they operate in. I trust the food bank far more than I trust any other organization including the Red Cross.  You all make your own choices, but if you wish to follow my suggestion, I do not think you will be sorry for it. Just my own opinion and experience. Our local food bank is happy for ANY donations they get, even spare change less than one dollar. Also, keep in mind that even after the recovery from Sandy is done, there will always be a need at all local food banks. Yes, even in America there are many people who cannot afford a decent meal every day and need our help to stay alive. I cannot give enough praise to the food bank here in central Louisiana, they are some of the kindest, most understanding and caring people in the entire nation in my opinion. 

On that note, time to end this rant for now. Thank you all for taking the time out of your day to stop by and have a read. I appreciate every reader and I appreciate ALL comments. Well, OK, I don't much care for the spam, but those are easy to get rid of, so far.
To all, stay safe, warm, and dry. Unless you go swimming or get in a hot tub that is. In that case, get wet.
semper fi

31 October 2012

Where I get disgusted.........again

Well, here I go again.
Yes, the old guy (me) os once again highly pissed off (better to be pissed off than pissed on, as we used to say in my days as a Marine. Not that we were not ever pissed on, but, oh well......), or if you prefer more polite language (you really need to find other blogs if my language offends you, it is MY blog/corner here) I am totally disgusted, again. Or is that still? 
Either way, disgusted/pissed off/offended/sick of the "same old shit" (I DID warn about my language).

OK, so what "set off" the old guy today? Some internet articles is what. Yes, real news/opinion as opposed to total crap, i.e., "mainstream media". First off, a "hat tip" to an old internet/email friend, one Mike Whitney. Mike usually posts on economic issues, but every so often he comes out of his "econ" role and posts some very worth reading items. His latest at the Counterpunch web site today is one of his best ever. www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/31/afghanistan-the-smell-of-defeat/

Now it was not Mike who got me all wound up, nor is it his main source a certain Mr. Lind. I have read much by Mr. Lind when his articles get posted at Anti-war.com. I admit Mr. Lind certainly seems to know what he writes about. Recently, his main focus has been on what he calls "Fourth generation Warfare", which is to say, the types of wars we have been engaged in starting, my opinion, with Vietnam. This type of war is one in which the USA/NATO are pitted against non-state foes, such as the Taliban and/or al-Qaeda. In short what used to be called guerrilla warfare. As with Vietnam, we have lost in Iraq and ARE on the losing end in Afghanistan. 
That "we" are having our collective asses (hind ends for those who prefer "polite" terms) handed to us is no surprise to me. The US military did NOT learn the lessons of the Vietnam war/fiasco. All the military "seemed" to have learned from Vietnam was to never allow unattended access to the "press". This is why ALL media has had military "minders" and/or pool reporting of our recent wars. The best(or is that worst?) example would be the "embedded" reporters during and after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. 

What bothers me is that it appears that no matter which corporate candidate "wins" next Tuesday, we will have more wars in countries most Americans cannot find on a world map. As is/was true of both Iraq and Afghanistan and may still be the case for many in the USA. Hey, watching the "news" takes away from my time "texting" on my new "smart" phone. Oh America, we have smart phones and dumb people who buy them. And some of you think this isn't a "great" country? Well, we'll show you all who is or isn't "great". As soon as I finish this "text" message, maybe.

Yeah, I AM disgusted with so much in the USA, but in my opinion, that disgust has been earned. The dumbness, as it were, is active, not a passive thing. In the age of the internet, I believe it IS an active thing to be ignorant of world events. What with all the connectivity, cell phones, smart phones, tablets, etc I do believe it takes serious effort to be uninformed, aka dumb. 

Back to Mr. Lind. What really bothers me, and has done so since the first time I read his work, is that he is not, or seems to not be, anti-war. He comes across to me as being in favor of "war done right" rather than truly anti-war. I have not looked into his background, so I do not know, nor really care, if he ever served in any military. He seems very good at theory and he is persuasive, or can be. This ties in with some other articles I ran across that mention the possibilities of the coming election next week. No doubt some of you may have read articles by Mr. Ellsberg and Mr. Chomsky telling you to vote for Gobomber IF you live in a "swing" state, vote a "third party" if your state is a "lock" for either wing of the old war party. This is the old "lesser evilism" at work people.  OK, easy for me to say as Louisiana is NOT a "swing" state. We Do have more than a few "swingers" no doubt. Hey, we have New Orleans where "swing" is IN. Musically at least, any other form of "swing" is beyond my personal knowledge.  
As a Mr. Amos Burritt put things (also at Counterpunch) in an article dated 20 October 2012, Enough of the "lesser evil" voting. Amen sir! Damn right! About time we had some realism on the major web sites. Thanks for posting this one Counterpunch.www.counterpunch,org/2012/10/29/obama-in-2012-american-death-squads-in-2016/
Now, before you say;"Wait a second there old man. You need serious mental health intervention." Consider the basis of such an argument. IF Mittens "wins" next week, how many of you think the anti-war "left" will be revived? How many of you think that the "Occupy Movement" will roar back to life big time, should Mittens "win"? I don't know how you voted on those questions, but as for me, I'd say "bet the farm" on BOTH being 100% true. Hell, even the cliche 110% true. And YES, I am fully aware that one cannot ever give 110%. It is not possible, just consult an elementary physics text book. 100% is THE maximum anybody or system can ever give of itself. 
Mr. Burritt makes a damn good argument that re-elected, Gobomber will continue on his merry way. You know how that goes, unlimited drone attacks any where, any time, the "kill list" whereby Gobomber is now judge, jury, and executioner. We now have in the USA unlimited detention for ALL persons (YES even including US citizens) for an indefinite time period. And ALL of this plus more to come, on the sole "say so" of "dear leader" Gobomber. To paraphrase Mel Brooks from his film "History of the World Part One" It's good to be POTUS! Hell yes, he is now above any and all laws. And on his own word he has attained(?) these "heights". I'd say depths rather than heights as NO human being ever should have anything remotely near such authority. And to think, America used to be a democratic republic. Or so it supposedly started out as such. Quoth the Raven; "Nevermore". 

So, what to do? Should we all go and vote for Mittens, with the near certainty that this might revive the "left" in America? Do we just follow Mrs. Ellsberg and Chomsky and vote to re-elect "dear leader"? Or, do we vote for the candidate you feel might actually represent you and not the huge multi-national corporations? I would be the last person to tell anybody who to vote for, but my vote WILL go to a third party candidate. Hey, here in central Louisiana, we have NINE (Yes nine) candidates for POTUS who are NOT members of the war party. OK, that was a long winded way to say that on election day, I have 11 choices for the highest office in the land! Wow, an abundance of candidates. I will ask each of you, if you have yet to make a choice, to check how many candidates are running in the state you live, then read the policy statements/platforms of each. After doing so, make your best choice. True, no "third" party candidate has much real chance of winning, but it is YOUR vote, use it as YOU wish. Damn the war party, vote your best interests and not the biggest spenders.

One causation, and here I do agree that re-electing Gobomber may be the worst choice. If he is re-elected, who among the "left" will even try to hold him accountable? Wo among that gang has even tried since 2009? How many protests were there against the ongoing bankster bailouts? How many anti-war protests have there been since January 2009? Yeah, I thought so. What ever did happen to the Occupy movement? Lost in the shuffle? I do not mean to be nasty/critical of the Occupy folks, but I DO wonder what happened to them. Yes, I know, hurricane Sandy just got done with New York city. That is this week, where has Occupy been these last months?  They can't all be old and disabled like me. Oh, right, it IS football season. OK, that may be a bot over the top snark, but where is everybody who claimed to be of the Occupy movement? The Meet Up page I bookmarked has no new events even planned for months. 

So, in summary, the old guy (me) is disgusted again/still. He says vote the candidate who YOU think best represents YOU. He also says, no matter which war party guy "wins" we will have more damn fool wars of choice, less economic good news (for the common folks NOT the richest), and less freedom, of the net or any other freedom listed in the Bill of Rights. Neither Gobomber nor Mittens will do anything to undo the constitutional mess we are in now days. Neither of them will revoke unlimited detention without Habeus Corpus or access to a lawyer, neither will revoke the "renditions" by the CIA and/or "special Ops" types. Neither will wind down, let alone eliminate, the use of drones to bomb and kill supposed enemies. Drones WILL be common place in the skies of America, no matter which war party guy "wins" next week. Our civil liberties will NOT be restored by either Gobomber nor Mittens. Neither will offer anything worth having to the working class or the poor. Both will continue the all out assault on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid among other social programs, such as Foo Stamps and our schools. What will be done will be whatever increases profits for the richest of the rich and the multi-national corporations who profit from war. 
My one big question is; how much of this crap will Americans take before something finally snaps? How far will they allow themselves to be pushed before they push back? Or am I just an old, worn out damn fool for even asking such things? Maybe so, maybe so. And yet, as I live and breathe, I feel compelled to keep asking. 
semper fi

24 October 2012

And I was not going to talk about it.......

Well here we are, just a few days short of the "big day" in America. Yes, I mean the upcoming presidential election. Yes, I had told myself I would not blog about it. So much for my plans, they don't always succeed anyway, so no big loss I suppose.

Why rant on about it any way? Well, for starters, there are many voices, more than  I would ever care to try and count, that keep yelling at me that this is THE "most important election.....EVER!" Yep, that old line of total garbage. In all honesty folks, from my view point, it matters very little which one of the "big two" gets the "win" on 6 November 2012. Yes, I know all too well that the supposed "liberals" keep yelling at me, and all of us, that if (seriously folks, IF) Gobomber goes down in defeat, we and our country will be up the old proverbial creek without the paddle. Actually, we ARE there already. Don't believe me? Just check up on what now passes as our civil liberties in good old US of A. How about that First Amendment, you know, the one about free speech and free press, and freedom of assembly. Yeah, THAT one. Now, tell me how it is working out for us today, thanks be to Gobomber of course. Or what about the Fourth Amendment? You know it, it is all about being protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. How is the old Fourth working for us? I thought so. Not very well at all, and that applies to the entire Bill of Rights across the board. Just pop civil rights abuse into your favorite search engine if you doubt me. Seriously, look it up, don;t just take my word for it. Hell, far too many people in America Do just that, they take what somebody tells them as gospel, be that somebody the TV, papers, radio, or even the net. Check things for yourselves, it is the only way to really know what is truth. While I do my best to never lie to you good people, you should check my facts and not just take my say so as truth every time you read one of my rants. I promise I will never be offended by your fact checking of me, honest.

This current election is one of the longest ever in US history. It is the most expensive by far and it is still not quite over yet. Supposedly, the "big two" have raised nearly one Billion dollars each. THAT is some damn serious money in my small book. This does not even begin to count the funds raised and spent by the PACs and Super PACs or the races for the two houses of Congress. Senate seats are getting quite pricey as are those for the House of Representatives. Money drives politicos here in America. And it looks like that driver has his/her foot firmly planted to the floorboard, full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes! 

I admit that I did NOT watch any of the "debates". Not a single moment of the three "debates" between Mittens and Gobomber, nor the single "debate" between Ryan and Biden. Do I feel like I missed anything? Of course not, the net had all the postmortem and "analysis" a person could require and actually overkill on the dissecting of the latest "debate". Why do I put "debate" in quotes? Because what has been passed off as a "debate" this year were NOT actual debates at all. They were "debates". Which is to say, they had the title of "debate" but NOT the actual substance of REAL debate in any way. My personal opinion is that the last real debate in a presidential election was 1960 between JFK and old "tricky Dick" Nixon. What we have been served up this year is a very poor substitute for real debate. When the two sides demand that ALL audience questions must be reviewed before the debate even begins and the "moderators" must abide by a set script and never ask any follow-up questions, we do not have debates at all. We have, and get, stage managed crap that pretends, and not very well, at being a "debate".  If you think we have had real debates in this election cycle,please go and check the net for video of REAL debates. I bet "You Tube" alone has a wealth of examples. 

Why bother with the supposed "debates" any way? None of the REAL issues were ever even discussed, let alone talked about seriously during any of them. Just about every single postmortem of said "debates" I read told me so. The Iraq mess was NOT brought up, the disaster of Afghanistan was MIA, as was the shrinking "middle class" in America. What we were "treated" to was a list of "talking points" from the "big two" and we learned next to nothing worth knowing about. This, I am 1`00% certain, was by design. Keep the rubes dumb and in the dark, yep, treat us like mushrooms. Keep us in the dark and feed us manure. 

I did miss the multiparty debates on the net. Oh well, we just moved earlier this month and have been busy getting settled in here and unpacking. I did find that here in Louisiana we have nine (honestly NINE) extra candidates for president on our ballot next month. Wow! I am happy that we actually have choices. I did take the time to read the campaign statements/platforms of all nine and have made my choice. No, I will not tell you who is going to get my vote. I will say that if Ms. McKinney were on the ballot this time, she would get my vote again. 

All we get is crap and political garbage and they call it a "debate" or even worse, they call it news. Where is the truth in all of that? Why no mention of the president "deciding" that He can kill anybody, any where, at any time, even a US citizen? Why no mention of our eroded civil liberties? Why no mention of the sorry lack of decent health care? (Do NOT give me that Obamacare crap, it is NOT good for any except the insurance companies.) Why no mention of the missing and "off shored" jobs that used to be here for Americans? Why no mention of the vile zionist entity and its demands for war against Iran? Ah yes, you see where I am going now? Yes, into areas that NEED being discussed publicly and openly/honestly, but will NOT get anything of the sort, not from either wing of the damn war party, not as long as big money controls the two wings of that disgusting party. As I read again recently, America doesn't need a third party, it needs a SECOND party. Damn straight! What we get is the two wings of the vile war party and they have the audacity to call the country a "democracy". Holy crap, they are shipping the cow manure by the rail car load now days. 

I hope I stirred some to research the candidate of their choice. Hell, maybe you might even check to see who else besides the "big two" is on your own ballot and check the "minor" candidates in the state where you live. Maybe, just maybe, I even got some of you to think about the real issues, like the poor excuse of an economy that we in the USA have now, or the idiot wars of choice with more in the pipeline. If I have, then good. If not, well, I will have to keep trying then.
semper fi

15 September 2012

War without end............ever

Hold on folks, here we go again.
Death and destruction seem to follow the US no matter where "we" go. Yes, this is all to do with the death of the US ambassador to Libya along with some members of his staff this past week. I had decided to make no comment on this, so many other things going on here in the US and in my own personal life right now, finding the time to post is not as easy as it has been. Oh well, sometimes events just demand my time and the rest of life just has to sit and wait until I get back with them.

We are being told that some garbage movie is the main cause of this upsurge in violence against America and any of its representatives in the Middle East/North Africa. In addition to the killings in Libya, which I deplore as all life should be respected, there have been demonstrations with violence against US embassies in Egypt, Yemen, and Sudan to mention just three other countries supposedly "inspired" by a tenth rate (ay best) film that may not even exist.

What is that I just said? The film "may not even exist"? Yes, yes I DID say that, and with reason. I have not found a single web site, admittedly I have NOT checked the entire net, who has? Nobody is who, as it would be an impossible task to check the entire net. Nobody has that mush time nor the endurance/stomach for such and undertaking. The web sites that I have checked and they are sites that I respect have not made any mention of anybody seeing the entire film that seems to be the cause celebrate that set off this violence against America and its symbols.

I must state up front that I abhor ALL killing. I have seen more than enough violence and killing to last ten life times. Any who have been through war and combat can say the same. War, as some great philosophers have said, is just mass murder. The killing of ambassador Stevens is a crime and those responsible need to be found and made to answer for this killing. This needs to be done properly, by the appropriate agencies according to legal means, NOT by some drone strikes and/or "special" ops types in the dead of night. Yes, on this I am in disagreement with our Peace Prizident Gobomber and his side kick madam Secretary of State Hi-Larry Clintstone. More blood shed will not bring back any of the dead and will just add to the death and destruction of so many innocents. Killing is never the answer to a situation. Take it from a war veteran, killing solves nothing. As our "dear ;eager" sends Marines and drones to Libya to hunt down the "evil ones"/"wrong doers", as W. Shrub would call them, we are just going to perpetuate the killing.

Back to the supposed film that we are told is the "reason" for these outbursts of rage against America, who has seen the entire film? Anybody? Does the film actually exist? Is the "trailer" on You Tube the entire extent of it? If anybody does know, that person or persons are keeping very quiet as of today. Another thing about the trailer for said film,it was posted on You Tube back in early July of this year. Now, if the film/trailer are so offensive to Islam, why did it take so long to generate such a response? When the Satanic Verses first came out, a fatwa was issued immediately and poor Mr. Rushdie went into hiding the same day. Is it not very odd that a bit of garbage that insults Islam and the prophet posted in early July took until the anniversary of "9/11" to explode?
Also, the supposed "producer" of this film seems to be one hard person to actually pin down. We are told by some that he is an Israeli/American by one source. He is also described by others as an Egyptian who is a member of the Coptic Christian faith. He also seems to have more names than half the New York city phone book. OK, that last may be a bit exaggerated, but not by much from my searches so far.
Other reports claim that the actors who are in the trailer were unaware of the "true" nature of this film. Really? Just who are these actors and how reliable are they? Yes, I know, I AM raising more questions than answers. Life is like that at times. Will we ever get the answers to these questions? When we do, if ever, will it matter?
All this and an upcoming presidential election tossed in just to make life so much more "interesting" for us all. Oh, and as to said election, how many of you are fed up with all the calls, mostly from supposed "leftist" sites that this is the most important election EVER? How many times will Americans fall for that bit of tired old horse manure? Holy crap people, we got this exact (and I DO mean EXACT) horse crap back in 1992 when Billy Bob Bubba first ran for "war criminal in chief", er, I mean POTUS (president of the United States). And, remember?, 1996, we got the very SAME again. Don't forget the "stolen" election of 2000 or even the follow-ip in 2004. And, yep, recently back in 2008, ANOTHER goddamn "most important election EVER!!". Well, I call totally BULL SHIT to that. Stick THAT in your pipes donkey gang, AND smoke it as well, you deserve it and more. Oh, in case you had not noticed, I AM goddamn pissed at the two wings of the war party, the donkey and elephant gangs, other wise know as Democrat and Republicans. Or as they truly are, demo-cants and rethuglicants. Notice they BOTH contain "can't" in their names. Damn straight. Real truth in advertising there folks. Neither wing of the war party seem able to not only do something useful for the working class and the poor, they are unable to even care at all about us, until they come begging for our votes. It is a sham and a scam people. Once upon a time, this country (America) was a constitutional republic. It was never a true democracy, even the founders were wary of that, but they did give us a republic, as Ben Franklin supposedly told some person, we have a "republic IF we could keep it". It looks increasingly like we have not kept it, and we are all the poorer for that loss.
Staying with the election, a further comment is due. Check the recent post by John Lee at his web site Robinlea. The link is on the right side of this page. Basically he asks us to vote for ANY party other than the "big two". All I can say is "right on John!". As John states clearly, a vote for either wing of the war party is a vote for more war and more war crimes. Time to say ENOUGH! Enough bull shit. Enough of pissing on us and telling us it is raining.
Over at another site listed in the links on this page, Dangerous creation, David gives his look at the hippies. No, I wasn't a hippy in the 60's. I spent the later part of that decade and the first two years of the 70's in the Marines. Still, I believe in the ideals of the hippies. Things like "war is unhealthful to children and other living things". How many who were aware back then can remember the poster of the female Native American with the caption Better Red than dead? Yeah, that was a good one and very popular even with my fellow Marines. Hey, we were suckers for cute women, we were basically kids, until we got to Vietnam any way. Anti war posters were in many of the huts and shelters in Vietnam. Who was going to "punish" us for posting them all over the walls? What could they do to us that might be punishment" We were in bloody Vietnam after all. Where could they send us that was worse? Send us to the brig? At least we would not have been killing then, so they "allowed" the posters.
Believe it or not, at least back then, the military were more anti-war than one might think. Hey, we KNEW who would be doing the killing and dying, and it was NOT the kids who burned their draft cards. The old "prepare for war, pray for peace", those signs were around the area during boot camp.  We KNEW who was going to be in place when the proverbial "shit hit the fan". Hell yes, we'd be the ones bleeding our guts out for nothing. Just as the troops are bleeding today around the globe, for obscene profits for the very, very few and diddly shit for everybody else. Not very much has changed since the Vietnam war days. Some of the hippies sold out for a three piece suit, a corner office, and a BMW, but some of us, yes, even us vets, still hold to the ideals of treating ALL people as we wish to be treated.

Now, here is a question for you. I realize it needs to be asked of the leaders of EVERY religion, but they don't read this blog, and are sorrier for it if I might brag some. Just why is it that nearly every religion teaches tolerance and treating ALL people as we wish to be treated, why do they and their followers seem to NOT follow this "golden rule"?  And to some who may be very religious Christians, this applies to YOUR religion as well as any other. Your own Jesus commanded YOU to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". OK, so WHEN are you going to start doing so? Yes, I AM picking on you. It is way to easy and done far too often to pick on Islam. Also, I am not all that "up" on that faith.
Having lived through the fallout from that infamous beating given out by the Los Angeles police to Rodney King, I lived in southern California until the spring of 2000, even after all that he had suffered through that man asked the entire community; "Can't we just please get along with each other?".  That may not be a 100% accurate quote, but the meaning of his request is there. So, now I ask ALL people of every religion, no religion, creed, etc; can't we all just get along with each other? Is it asking too much to stop the wars and killing? Is the very idea of treating ALL people as you wish to be treated such a foreign idea that you are repelled by it?  OK, if not, then WHEN are we all going to start? IS today too soon? I think not, but then, who the hell am I? Nobody, nobody special at all, just a man who is damn sick of the senseless killing and endless damn fool wars of choice.
semper fi

17 August 2012

And yet........another post today

Well, here I go again. 
Yes, another post today. Actually this entry was prompted by an email discussion on the first post I did here today.

Some how, a friend and I got into a discussion after the post I put up here earlier today.
We got onto the subject of "gay marriage" and this was due to the mention of the eatery "Chick-fil-A. Yes, that outfit, which many of you know is quite anti-gay in their stance. The founder of said restaurant chain is a very "devout" christian. (Yes, I know I did NOT use a capital "C", the "beliefs of said type of person is more in keeping with the term xtian. as there is very little of Christ in said beliefs.)

I have to admit, for the record and the sake of honesty, that I have had a meal at one of the chains' places of business. We ate there once and that was some while ago. This was all before I had heard that the founder and the corporate officers are anti-gay. For myself, I did not think the food was worth the price nor was it very good in my opinion. It seemed to me that it was not cooked properly. Maybe they had a bad day or my taster isn't what it may have been once. No matter, I found the food to not be worth a "second" try.

Any way, what got to the two of us in our discussion via email was why should anybody get so angry about "gay marriage"?  I have placed quote marks around the term "gay marriage" for a reason. My reason is that personally I see NO need at all to refer to "gay marriage"and just call the marriage of two gay men or two lesbian women as marriage, no "need" to insert "gay" into it at all.

Now here comes the kicker; how does "gay marriage" hurt anybody besides, perhaps the two who are married? How does a gay or lesbian couple being married hurt me in any way? What harm is there in two loving people getting married to each other, assuming of course that they are not currently married as that would be bigamy which is unlawful. 

Maybe I am just too old or too much of an "unbeliever" to understand, but I do not see how any couple who love each other and wish to be married hurts me or anybody else. OK, I suppose I could make an argument that a third party is seriously "in love" with one of the two who wish to be married. Well, this happens quite often. How so? Well, say you find a member of the opposite sex  to be very attractive, but she/he is in love with another and not you. The two of them get married and live  a nice life together. You are "left out" as it were and perhaps a bit "hurt" by this turn of events. Happens every day I bet. Big deal. We can even change this some  what, make the object of your affection a member of the same sex. The couple still marries each other and you are still "left out" as it were. No doubt this happens often as well.
In neither of the above possible scenarios is anybody done long lasting real harm. Yes, the one who is "left out" may be saddened and it may take some time to "get over" being the one left, but no real, serious or permanent harm has been done. I would even go so far as to say that every person has been "unlucky" in love at some point in our lives. Hey, it happens, it is part of life.

Again, I keep coming back to my question; how does a caring, loving couple being married hurt me?  How does it hurt anybody?
And yet, the real question ought to be, why are we not all very happy to see a couple who love and care for each other get married? How can a decent human being not be happy when they see a caring and loving couple? OK, sure, one might say, keep it private. Well, of course, nobody needs to see "over the top" affection in public places. that is NOT what any marriage is about however. Gay marriage is NOT flaunting themselves in public. A gay or lesbian couple do not act differently in public than a "straight" couple. In most parts of the USA, any gay/lesbian couple will act very discreetly in public. The reason is they do not wish to attract undo attention to themselves. If they were to "flaunt" their relationship in public, well, lets just say that it wouldn't be looked upon favorably in much of the USA. 

In this world we live in today there is little enough real joy and happiness. This being the case, how can any sane human being get upset about two people who wish to be married and make a life together? Who has been genuinely harmed by love? Love is not destructive, it is a positive, a good and this life can use all the good it can get. 

One point that I want to make, one that I should not have to make but I think it needs being repeated as often as possible; gay people are NOT child molesters. Child molesters are pedophiles, they are NOT homosexuals. OK? Everybody got that? You best have as there just might be a test.

How can people claim to be members of a religion that says "god is love" and then turn around and condemn a marriage?  What sort of a "loving god" would condemn a marriage between two caring, loving, consenting adults? And some wonder why I refuse to believe in or follow any religion? How can a sane, decent human being be against a caring relationship and marriage of two loving people?  What sort of religion would condemn a loving marriage? Just how does such a marriage harm anybody who is not party to that marriage?
We do much, much more harm by not allowing a caring, loving couple to marry than any supposed harm can be done by their marriage, even if they be of the same sex. 

I realize this is a "hot button" issue for some politicians and their followers. It is not something I would rant on about either as I see no need to voice my opinions on what I think is a very private matter. OK, so why this rant? Well, because it IS an issue in the politics of the USA. This is most unfortunate. I see it as unfortunate because we should be mature enough to not care about what sex the two parties of a marriage are. What does it matter if the marriage is a man and a woman, or two men,or two women? Unless they want to reproduce, it should not matter at all. Even the reproduction can be dealt with as any competent doctor can tell you. 
While I believe that gay marriage, any marriage, should not have any bearing at all for any elected office, it IS a huge issue to many in the USA. It is an issue because some very, very immature people live in  the USA and many of those same immature are politicians. No doubt that Mittens and his "best bud" Paul Ryan (if he ain't dyin' he be a lyin', that sort of ryan) will make it an issue. And, of course the Gobomber gang will have to counter somehow or other. Now, to me at least and no doubt some of you as well, the real reason that "gay marriage" (those damn "  " again) is an issue is that it distracts us from the REAL issues. Yes, we are given uncounted hours of "gay marriage" pro/con and little to zero time for real issues like the damn fool wars of choice and the government debt, obscene credit card interest, ungodly student loan debt, and many REAL issues that not a single politician want to ever discuss in any way. The whole deal about gay marriage (no "  " this time!!) is to keep our minds off of the real problems, problems that the same politicians have created and have no clue how to fix or stop. The same can be said of abortion. The only male who might have any say whatsoever about abortion would be the male who  is the biological father of the unborn child who may or may not get aborted. NO other man should ever be allowed to have any real say about abortion. There I leave myself open to attack, but what the hell, I was a Marine and saw combat in Vietnam, so big deal, I can take it.

Once more, for the final time in this post any way, nobody is hurt by gay marriage. Nobody at all. The bigots who oppose gay marriage are disgusting and open themselves up to ridicule and scorn. We all should be happy to see a loving couple no matter what sex they are. This old world needs all the love and joy it can get, if gay couples wish to be married, we should all rejoice at the care and love they wish to share in a loving marriage. In a sane world, there would be no need for this post as the very idea of gay marriage, any marriage in fact, would be a given and the happiness of the married couple would bring joy to all who encounter them every day. All family members of each person in the marriage would be over joyed that their son/daughter had found a caring, loving life partner. We would no longer talk about gay marriage and only talk about marriage, plain and simple, the way life should be. We should all be happy to see a caring, loving couple. End of story.
semper fi

Random thoughts on a hot summers day

Greeting to all again.
The old corner has been a bit lazy of late. Oh well, we have had more than a few days of heat and humidity of late. There have been many days where we have the heat index at or very near 110 this summer here in central Louisiana. It reminds me of my first summer here, in 2000. Back then the state was in the middle of a drought and the heat index was in the 100's for weeks on end.
OK, that is one explanation for the lack of posts here. Another is that I have been devoting time to reading for pure enjoyment recently. I dug out a few books that I had not read in many years. Just recently finished ""The Sirens of Titan" by the late Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Also, a certain blogger, yes Bill, you, has kept my interest with his excellent posting of original work at his wonderful blog. (Bill, you said to promote you, is this OK?) The link to his site is among the links I have listed, check out "Bill the Butcher" for some very thought provoking and entertaining writing. In the opinion of this old guy, Bill is a master story teller.

While I have allowed my following of the "news" to slip some recently, a few things did catch my attention, so, buckle up, here we go, into the deep end...........again.

Recently there have been a couple articles at another web site where the author said that voting for any third party candidate was a "vanity" vote. Yes, the author is an American. Of course, what else could he be? To call any persons' vote for the candidate of his/her choice as a "vanity" vote is beyond disgusting. It reeks of pure "party politics". Of course said author wants us all to vote for Gobomber. And it also seems(??) that this election is, once again, the "most important" election ever. How many times have we heard that load of pure horse manure? Take a minute and think it over. Ready? OK, we hear this very same "argument" EVERY election. In 1980, we had "the most important" election ever. Now that one I'll grant them. Dad was so set against "saint" Ronnie that it MAY have been the "most important" election up until then. Old Mr. "peanuts" Carter lost and Dad died the Saturday after "saint" Ronnie won the election. OK, that one was important then, maybe.

Think back to the first election of Billy Bob Bubba from Arkansas. Yep, another "most important" election ever. And then when he ran for re-election, same story. And who can forget the stolen mess of 2000? Yes, another :most important" election ever. Well, Gore lost, mostly due to his own damn fault and NOT because Ralph Nader was running. Hell, Mr. Nader didn't grab enough votes to move the tally one way or the other if we look at the entire country. Would that Mr. Nader HAD won. No doubt the real rulers of the country would not have allowed him to be sworn in. Bets that he would have met with an "accident"? Maybe an accident that involved an automobile, as a sort of "gottcha" with a bit of irony added for free?

Again in 2004, we had another in the long line of "most important" elections ever. W. Shrub "won" that one also. Yes, Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 did have some small input in those "wins" by Shrubbie. And we cannot forget the "nine supremes" who aided his "win" in 2000. Ah yes, the "nine", bloody damn fools who serve the corporate masters. How else does one "explain" the Citizens United decision? It would appear that the "nine" know where their pay comes from and it is not "we the people".

In 2008, again, we had the "most important" election ever. Now, I'll grant that one some credit. The nation DID elect a "person of color". That was a real first, but unfortunately, it didn't quite turn out as expected. Yes, old Gobomber is NOT any "savior" of the common folks after all. How many of us have read articles by leftists who moan about the abuses being heaped on the poor and working class by "dear leader" Gobomber? True, the "left" is very careful when it comes to being the least bit critical of Gobomber.

Now we are being told that we "must" vote for Gobomber and whoever he "decides" to pick as his number two. It is so bad that those of us who refuse to play along with the two wings of the war party (the elephant wing and the donkey wing) and vote for third party candidates, are just doing so because of our "vanity". Well, I call BULL SHIT on that! Total BULL SHIT even. My opinion for this attack on those who vote for candidates other than the "big two" is because the donkey wing and its hangers on fear that Gobomber just might be debated even though Mittens is a much worse candidate than even W. Shrub was. Wow, think on that one for  a minuet or so. Mittens is worse than Shrubbie. Mush worse as I think he would sell off every asset still remaining in this country. Shrub just started wars he never could win. Mittens would bow down to the zionist entity and has done so already, witness his recent trip to that poor fake excuse of a country. He went begging for bucks in foreign countries folks. Since when did candidates for president of the USA hold fund raisers in foreign countries? To me, that sounds down right un-American, but then who the hell am I?

In a way, electing old Mittens may actually be the best thing we could do. Hold on a second before you get the tar and feathers out for me. Think about it a second. Mittens as "commander-in-chief", as our CEO in fact. If he holds true to Bain Capital form, he'll sell off everything that is not tied down and mortgage the rest to the maximum. In short, he and his "best bud" Paul Ryan will turn the USA into something worse than a third world country.
How is that "good" you ask? Well, we ARE on that very road right now. Don't believe me? Just look around this country. See any decent paying jobs available? See any recent college graduates unemployed? See any highly skilled people out of work and nearing the end of their unemployment benefits? See any folks on food stamps?  I bet it didn't take much looking to find all that an much more. So, the way it looks, the USA is already on the road to third world status. So, why not just go all out and get there sooner? The sooner the country bottoms out, the sooner we the people can start to rebuild. During said rebuild, maybe this time we can set real limits on greed. Yes, I know, greed is a human thing and cannot ever be eliminated, but I do think we could limit the absolute greed as seen on Wall Street and among the "too big to JAIL" banksters and other war industry crooks. While greed and envy are very real human emotions/feelings, there needs to be some limits to such greed and society can impose decent limits on it. We might also demand that our civil rights be extended to ALL human beings in the nation and make that stick. No more "talk" of rights, but real rights that are respected by all, not separate "rights" for the rich and "other" rights for the rest of us.
One thing that I believe that we all have forgotten here in America is that with our rights comes certain responsibilities. For far too long, those responsibilities have been ignored. That is one of the reasons the country  is in the state it is today. Everybody goes on and on about their rights, but very, very few ever mention, let alone act on, their responsibilities. Go back and read what the founders said about rights and responsibilities. If you want your rights, they come with a set of responsibilities. You don't get the one without the other. 
I take responsibility for my actions. I am ready to take full responsibility for my vote also. I WILL vote for a candidate for president who is NOT a member of either wing of the war party. So, I supposed if Gobomber comes out on the short end of the coming election, all you "true believers" in Gobomber can lay the blame for his defeat on me. No problem, I have found that I am very capable of carrying more than my fair share of the burdens. Hell, I was a Marine so another bit of mess to carry is no real bother.

Another thing that has me riled today was an article that said that being cynical was a form of cowardice. What the hell is THAT about? Also, who the hell is Henry Rollins and why should I or anybody give a flying crap about what he says?  He is one of those who is  quoted as saying that cynics are cowards. Another load of total BULL SHIT! 
Being a cynic and being public about it is NOT cowardice. In fact, in some areas of this country, it is an act of real courage to be cynical. Don't think so? Come down here to the "bible belt" section of the USA and try to be cynical about religion, any religion. Or, politics here in Louisiana. Some say that in Louisiana, politics is a contact sport. And they mean it, for real.
Now, maybe I might allow that being cynical is not exactly an act of courage IF, and only IF, all one does is make cynical comments and does not act on what one says. To just sit back and make comments while not doing anything might be a bit chicken. Either way, being cynical is NOT, in any way at all, an act of cowardice. In some cases, being a cynic IS a true act of courage. Go ahead and be the least bit critical of those in power in your home city and see how many "friends" you win over. Yes, I do put being cynical along side being critical. True, they are NOT exactly the same, but I think they are close. 
To just make cynical statements and not give any possible solutions might be a bit chicken, I'll grant you that. However, I refuse to see being cynical as anything close to being a coward. And Henry Rollins, who ever the hell he is, can put that in his goddamn pipe and smoke it.
Until the next rant at the old corner.
 Thank you for your time.
semper fi

17 July 2012

Drones.........more damn drones

Greetings to all who stop here and read. Thank you for your time.

Yes, drones are back, or rather, still in the news and therefore the topic here at the old corner. I am not a "fan" of these tools (drones), nor do I enjoy posting about them and their uses. OK, so why keep ranting on about the drones then? Well, they seem to be the number one "weapon of choice" for "dear ;eager" Gobomber (aka DOBO/Obama-fay). 
Many of you will have read how our (assuming you live in and are a citizen of the USA) president is personally responsible for maintaining his personal "kill list". How he and his special side-kick a certain Mr. Brennan, "agonize" over the choice of target for the drone force to "take out". By "take out" I refer to killing and not to a Chinese menu/meal. Take out can and does have various meanings, depending on where in the world one happens to be.
Some of you good people may have seen the article in the New York Times by a Mr. Scott Shane regarding the use of drones in the war OF terror. (It is not a war ON terror any more, but a true war OF terror. Or so it must seem to those who are on the receiving end of the drone strikes.) In truth, even the "special forces" raids in the dead of night must also seem a war OF terror to those whose homes are broken into by heavily armed foreigners, aka US/NATO troops. 

Full disclosure; I have not read the article by Mr. Shane. The reviews of it so far have basically said his article is a "justification" for the use of drones. He tells us that government officials, mostly un-named of course, believe that drone use is more "moral" and a "nicer" way to kill other people. Yeah, sure thing sparky. Dead is dead, no matter how one ends up dead. I doubt the surviving family members of the drone strikes feel any relief that their family member(s) were killed by drone rather than an actual human being at relatively close range. As I said, dead is dead, no matter how you end up dead. "Our" killing of "suspected"(!!) militants just increases the number of people who will now hate and despise the USA/NATO for the rest of their lives. Yes, we make enemies even faster than we kill them. Not quite how I'd go about trying to win the "hearts and minds" of other people, but then, I am just an old working class guy who is now unemployable due to disability and not some high ranking governmental official or military type. After all, why should any form of common sense enter into the foreign relations the USA has with other countries? No reason at all it seems, as our recent and current leaders seem to have little or no use for any form of common sense. At least they do not display any such common sense by way of their public statements and policies. Funny thing about that common sense, it does not seem to be so common of late here in the USA. Maybe we no longer teach it in schools, the way the Texas Republican party wants to eliminate the teaching of critical thinking in all Texas schools. Yes, that IS a real position that the Texas elephant gang made public. They may have pulled back from that, but I have seen nothing to indicate any such pull back. I know, that means that critical thinking will, if the elephant gang wins, no longer be taught to Texans. Hell, I was wondering if they ever were taught the subject. 

Another article or three popped up after the last rant here regards drones. It seems that the US Air Force(farce) WILL be awarding medals to the drone "pilots" after all. Yes, they will be eligible to be awarded such medals as the Distinguished Flying Cross among other possible awards for their "bravery". Yes, "bravery" IS in quotes. Just how "brave" does one need to be to kill from a distance of hundreds, if not thousands of miles, by remote control? You all can debate that among yourselves if you wish, for me, there is NO bravery at all involved in such killing. And as a combat veteran, I will go out on my limb and say that remote control killing is cowardly. There, I said it. The drone killers are cowards. If you think other wise, OK, but you will never convince me you are correct and I am wrong. No way, no how.

On an unrelated note, a list of "code" words has made the rounds recently. While a few seem to treat this list as new, I beg to differ. I have a copy of these words from an article posted at the Activist Post dated 28 February 2012. Yes, the same list as has recently popped up on the web. Why it made so little "noise" back in February I do not know. Odd in a way. Any way, a Mr. David Lindorff had an article recently on the web where he "incorporates" many words from said list into his article. Personally I think he did it wrong. OK, who the hell am I to be critical of his work? Well, nobody actually, just an old working class guy. I do think he could have, should have for a "professional" writer, done it much better. All he did was inject at random, in various places in an article that did not deal with the word list. He just "sprinkled" various words from the list at random all throughout the article. It made for a very odd read, as the "code" words would pop in like this power with no rhyme or reason and did not add to the sentence they were stuck into. See, the word power did NOT add to the last sentence. Why not do like this; then we have the power grid to deal with.....? At least it would have read better or easier. But, again, who the hell am I to be critical of an "accomplished professional" writer? Again, nobody at all, just an old guy from the working class, not an "educated" person with "credentials". OK, I need to stop picking on poor Mr. Lindorff. Hell, he might sue me if he ever read this post. Oh well, what the hell, if he can't take a joke or handle criticism he needs to be less public. Yes, I am still being somewhat snarky. Somewhat? OK, ok, I'll stop. 

An experiment with "listed" words follows. Hope it doesn't totally suck on toast.
The street gangs in the town recently discussed an attack on the local power grid. The leadership said it would be an exercise for the newest members. It would allow the top members to see who among the new members might take the hostage with the fewest shots fired during the evacuation of the complex. They may also have the opportunity for looting and explosion recovery. The participants would try their skills at making pipe bombs and chemical fire during the routine. They may also try to collapse power lines and also computer infrastructure as an extra credit portion of said exercise in breaking the National security.

Well, how was that? Please do let me know what you think of the above "experiment" as I would like feedback on it. All the words in italics are on the "watch" list or "word list" that the Feds  are supposedly monitoring the entire net for. Yep, this post may get me "noticed" by DHS or the FBI or who knows what alphabet soup outfit. Well, like I give a flying rats hind end. Actually, if any of you have a spare flying rats hind end please let me know, we are rather short on them here at this time. Any reasonable offer will be considered. Honestly.

OK, my point is this; go to Information overload and after you read the article, just take a few seconds to compare with my experiment above. I promise to not ask such in the future, or tallest not for some time as I understand that I am imposing on you all. Hey, you do not have to follow the link unless you wish to. I would never even try to "order" or "boss" anybody, particularly not any readers of this old corner stop. I may try again at some future time to do more with the "listed" words in a post. No, I am not even considering a move to pure fiction writing. I have little enough talent for ANY writing as it is. For some excellent story telling, check the site and link here for Bill the Butcher. There is a man who can write! He is very inventive and always a very good read. Warning, at times he does weave in a moral or three, but still a very good read. Damn good read actually. Check his site, you will not be sorry.

Thank you all for you valuable time with this post. Again, I promise to not ask your help like I did this time, at least not for some lengthily period of time. Honest. Really.
As always, thank you for stopping by and for your time.
semper fi

24 June 2012

Some changes and a few random thoughts

Greetings to all again.
Yes, another post and it has not been weeks since the last one. 
I want to point out some new items here at the old corner. I have added a link to "Lolcats". Yes, internet cats/kittens. Well, it is my blog and I like cats. So, I figured, why not share, so there is now a new link to that site in the links section. The other new link is to an excellent site that I found some short time ago. I should have put up the link sooner, for that I apologize. The site "Bill the Butcher" is a wonderful site with commentary and some of the best fiction on the web in my opinion. Bill has a super imagination and his stories will make you smile, and think among the emotions evoked by his writings. 

Actually, one of his latest articles titled "Drone Pilot" got me off on another rant which follows. I highly recommend reading this story as it is a very good description of the drone wars the US is waging in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and who knows where else.

Bill's story got me to remembering an article I ran across in the very early years of drone usage. I have not found the article I wanted to quote, but a simple google search for "drones + medals" brings up many hits. True, many are duplicates, still, many are interesting to me. 
I found it most interesting that active duty and recently retired military people have little to no good thoughts about the drone pilots getting medals for, of all things, bravery. Yes, back in the early days of the drone, an Air Force (perhaps Air Farce?) general was complaining to some reporter that he was trying to figure how to award medals to the drone pilots. As if that was a major concern for the military. Apparently it was as the general seemed quite upset that this had not been addressed at that time.

On to the search results. Well, there are many "hits" for my simple search of "drones + medals".  One article mentioned the "clinical stress" of the drone pilots. That article says the main source of this "clinical stress" is NOT the actual killing being done. Nope, the main source of said "stress" is the long hours and "inadequate staffing". A few of these pilots did seem to have some form of PTSD, however that number was quite small and an actual number/percentage was not mentioned. The article further noted that the "alarming" aspect of "burn out" was among the sensor operators of the Global Hawk drones. Also, "34% of them reported burn out and 25% showed clinical distress, the study found".  Here is the link to the article if you wish to read it in total. overstretched-drone-pilots-face-stress-risk.

Another version, with different percentages for burn out and clinical stress is at the UK Daily Mail. The article, which does NOT want me to link to, was in the 19 December 2011 issue and has the byline of Jill Reilly. It is basically just a rehash of the above linked article with differing percentages. Sorry that I am unable to provide a direct link. Maybe the Daily Mail does not like a Yank from linking to one of their stories. Oh well, and so it goes.

Even NPR has a story on the stress of being a drone pilot. The link is; High levels of "burnout" in US drone pilots. This is also from December 2011.

For a different perspective, I give you the following link. Yes, it is by a US Marine, that did not influence my adding it here. Just because I was a Marine does not mean I support anything they do or say. This Marine, however does hit it squarely in my opinion. One Marines View on drone operators. You can decide if you agree with him or not. As always, your comments are most welcome.

More on the subject of medals for drone pilots is here. Medals for UAV "pilots". Along with these comes this one. Give that drone a medal.

Another view on medals for drone operators is here. Air Force "valor" for operating drones. It looks like among active duty military, not members of the Air Force necessarily, the awarding of medals for drone operators is going over much like the proverbial lead balloon. Ouch. 

Continuing with the drone subject, yes, it does seem as though this blog post IS droning on and on. Sorry for the bad pun, I could not stop myself. I'll try and keep that sort of thing under control.
The Washington Post has a rather long article on drones and the future of the Air Force. The story follows; Combat generation:drone operators climb on winds of change in the Air Force of change. This gives a decent over view, but I recommend the new book from TomDispatch titled "Terminator Planet" subtitled "The first history of drone warfare 2001-2050" by Nick Turse and Tom Engelhardt. I have not read it yet, still saving to buy my copy. 

And, just when you thought it was safe to venture out of doors, here is an article from the good old Stars and Stripes news. It is a study by Bloomberg titled; "Drones most accident prone Air Force craft. Once again, the link gremlin will not allow me to give a direct link. I can inform you that it was written by Brendan Gregory for Bloomberg News and the date is June 18, 2012. Yes, very recent so it should be up to date. 

The last (I know, finally he gets to the end of this subject) is; With its deadly drones, the US is fighting a coward's war by George Monbiot in the UK newspaper The Guardian. I agree that using drones and other robotic weapons is a cowardly way to fight a war. Here is another quote from Mr. Monbiot that catches the sentiment quite well. "Without risk, there's less restraint. With these unmanned craft, governments can fight a coward's war, a god's war, harming only the unnamed." Well put sir. 
I have one more item to add on drones for this post. I ran across this while doing my research for this rant. The United States Air Force (air farce?) does NOT like to call their drones "unmanned aerial vehicles" (UAV's). They prefer to use the label "remotely piloted aircraft" (RPA's). And as a better writer than I'll ever hope to be said, "a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet". 

One "extra" if I may. I want to thank a good friend by way of email and articles, Mr. Brian Cloughley (the link to his web site is in my links here).
Brian has contributed a new "name" for dear old Gobomber. No, not "Mr. Hopey Changey" that we already had here. Brian came up with DOBO. What is DOBO you ask? Well, it is Disney Owned Barack Obama. Hey, if he is going to feel out to the corporations, he may as well get his kids some entertainment value from the deal. 
And with that, I say a huge thank you to all those who stuck with me until now.
semper fi

23 June 2012

My vote goes to......

As a follow up to my last post on voting, I have found my possible candidate.
I am not sure yet if this candidate will make it on the ballot here in Louisiana, if he does, I'll vote for him.
Here is a link; http://bear47.cheezburger.com/6355755008

For those who may not know, I like animals, but cats are my favorites.
Shnookums is my choice. Hey, we suffered through W. Shrub and Gobomber. Could Shnookums be any worse than they are/were? Surely Shnookums would be far better than Mittens Romney. Unless that is, if Fluffy makes a run at the office. 

22 June 2012

Election USA, vote or not

Oh joy, the election 2012 fast approaches. The question, or so I think it may be, is who to vote for. A thought or three on that will be the basis for this rant.
A very loyal follower of this small corner is a certain Mr. Lee. Since he found this hideout of mine, I don't think a post has gone by without a comment from John. For that, I offer my most sincere thanks. Comments, on the blog or in private emails, are the life blood of this corner. Without feedback, I cannot know if what I say has any resonance with the world. All that I ask of any commenters is that we try to stay civilized. John, you have done that and more. 
I may be out of line by singling out one person. Well, he has been the most prolific commenter here and he has offered much to think about. He is the main person behind www.28amen.org. I urge all readers to check out this interesting web site/idea. 

As to voting in the upcoming US election, I would think that any vote for either of the animal gangs is a waste. Here in the "great"(?) state of Louisiana, we are not allowed to use the "write in" option. It is against state law to do so. For another reason, we use an older "electronic" voting machine, or do so here in Rapides Parish where I have lived during my entire time in the state. There is no provision for any write in vote. Just another reason we cannot do so. My suggestion then is, vote for a third party. Contrary to any negative comments on third party votes, such a vote is NOT wasted at all. When I lived in southern California, I voted for the "Peace and  Freedom" party. I did so in 1972, the first time I could vote, as one had to be 21 at that time. I knew that Nixon would never get my vote and was unsure about McGovern. In the voting booth I saw other parties listed on the ballot (I had not received a sample ballot that year) and when my eyes came to rest on the "Peace and Freedom" candidate for president, I knew I HAD to vote for that person. I had already served four years in the US Marines and done a tour in Vietnam. Having seen war up close and all too personal, I knew I loved peace and I had always liked Freedom. My Dad and my grandparents instilled a love of freedom in me at an early age. My desire for peace was at its highest ever when I returned front the imperial war in Vietnam. The party won my vote that day and I was quite loyal to them afterwards as well. Some years after my first vote, I learned that the party were socialists. Oh, and how does a former Marine/combat veteran vote for a socialist party? Easy, I just marked my sample ballot before every election, went to the polling place, took out my sample ballot and cast my vote. Easy as pie as the saying goes. The "pie" you might eat, not the pi of mathematics, as if you need to be reminded.  Sorry for the poor attempt at humor, it just pops out every so often, no doubt another of my many faults.

If you are eligible to vote where ever you live, your vote, even if it is for a "third" or "minor" party is never wasted. That is propaganda pushed by the "big two" here in the old US of A. Do not believe it, ever. If you are eligible to vote, then do so, but be careful who you vote for.

Yes, I am still dumb enough (I do not consider myself at nearly 65 to be in any way naive) to actually think that voting does matter. {John, I am prepared for your reply to this.} Seriously, voting is the only legal way we have to change things. A revolt is not legal and I would never advocate the overthrow of the government. Yes, I am 100% certain that what passes for the government in the US is disgusting. Still, we need to do things legally. No, working to "change" either of the two "main" parties (actually, just the two sides of the same damn coin, as I have said many times before) will never work. Yes, this IS a dig at those who want to "reform" the donkey gang from the inside. What we in America do need is a strong, viable third party. We do have a few "minor" parties to choose from already. Unfortunately, none seem to be truly national yet. The Greens seem to be very close if not there by now. 

The thing I try to do, is to vote for the person I think would be best for us all. True, here in Louisiana, my choices are limited as no write-in votes are allowed. I ask that all of you look for the person you think will be the best for all the people and vote for that person. If the 28amen.org were adopted, the whole deal of voting would be much different. I think that difference would be much better for us all.

What changes would I like to see? Limit the time for campaigning to 100 days before the election. Yes, I know that we cannot stop those in office from making campaign speeches outside such a limit. We could, however, point out every time this was done and hold said politician to account, possibly by not voting for him/her. I'd like to see the "corporate personhood" eliminated.  IF corporations are in fact people, then when they break a law, put the officers of said corporation in jail. Limit ALL campaign contributions to no more than the salary/wages of those earning the national minimum wage for 8 (eight) hours of pay. As an example, if the minimum wage is $10.00, the maximum anybody could contribute would be $80.00 per candidate. Any contributions made illegally would be punished by a fine of 1,000 times the maximum donation limit. I'd like to see and end to the "fractional reserve" banking scheme that has ruined so many working class people. And end to excessive credit card interest rates. No credit card company would be allowed to charge more than 10%, or less, I am open to suggestions. A 5% maximum rate? OK, why not? I have not set much of this in stone as it were. Loan documents, for house, car, or any other purchase would have to be done in plain English. No more "legalese" to confuse the people. 

There are more changes that could be made to the US of A that would make life better for all of us. The top priority of course is a true national health care system. How shameful is it that the United States of America is the ONLY industrialized nation that has no national health care system? Extremely shameful to this old guy. A true national disgrace. But, as the video a few years ago made known, the USA is number 37!  Yes, there are 36 countries that have better health care than the US of A has. Now, if we only count the cost, well, then the US is number 1. Oh joy, we pay MORE for health care than any other country, and yet, we are only(!!) number 36. Amazing, and yet so very shameful. We CAN do better people. We need to demand better. 

We need a government that takes a serious look at global warming also. Yes, the Rio+20 summit was a total bust. Of course it was and it had about zero chance of being anything but that. The "powers that be" do not want any action of this now. How damn stupid can they be? The Pentagon (aka; the five sided puzzle palace) has done studies that say outright that climate change is going to impact, big time, on how and where the US military operates in the very near future. Hell, even the top brass at the Pentagon knows global warming is going to cause huge problems. How often is it that the US military gets things right? Not very often as we all know. And yet, we have the same generals and admirals telling us all that global warming will have major impacts on the military. Is anybody listening? Not, it seems in the halls of congress nor the White House. Shame on government. This is a problem that will not go away if it is ignored. I truly fear for the children and the future we are leaving for them. They deserve much better. We deserve better. There are so many things wrong with the way America is being run that I cannot even list them all in one posting. This will be a continuing line here at the old corner and will be addressed again, no doubt many times over.

Thank you all for your time.
semper fi