Thursday, May 31, 2007

Read Before Eating

I’m getting a little older each time the sun rises. But then too, who doesn’t? Bigger waist, thinner hair if you know what I mean. I think the weight gain bothers me more. I’ve cut back on food intake and seem to have stabilized at two pants sizes too big.

I just discovered a way to cut back further. This morning I ate breakfast while working online crossword puzzles. Had I read the news first, I’m sure it would have stymied the appetite for hours.

To lay a little ground work: The Iraq misadventure went to SNAFU before the first tank clanked its way across the frontier. It definitely went to TARFU when the residents of Baghdad went on a looting rampage as soon as the city was “liberated.”

Donald Rumsfeld’s fatuous remark on the anarchy went something like this:

"Freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."

I think I would award FUBAR to the situation about the time three American civilian contractors were murdered, and their burning corpses drug through the streets of Fallujah. It reached FUBAR then and it has stayed FUBAR ever since.

The multitude of mistakes made would lead one to conclude that the people running the war have rather modest intellectual abilities.

The American people are getting fed up with paying the price of casualties and the enormous cost of futile military operations. We have elected a congress that will refuse to appropriate the funds necessary to continue the prosecution of this idiocy. Congress imposed a deadline of September for a progress report from Multinational Force Commander General Petraeus. Already his headquarters is issuing press releases saying the good general might not make the deadline. I would think by now anyone who is wearing stars on his or her epaulets has lost credibility.

It’s been fairly obvious that Iran and Syria have ongoing clandestine operations. Syria is helping Sunni Al Qaeda and Iran is backing the Shia’a. But wait! A new player is coming to the party, and this is another part of the appetite suppressor.

Turkey is massing troops an equipment on the border of Iraqi Kurdistan. It would seem our NATO allies aren’t going to wait until we leave to solve the Kurdish problem. Oh, Joy!

And here is another little tidbit from the news. It seems several veterans of the 2nd All DOD Outdoor Invitational Circle Jerk have been out protesting while wearing BDUs with the insignia removed. All well and good, but the military is threatening to change Honorable Discharges into “Discharged under less than honorable circumstances.”

I bought a surplus BDU jacket a few years back. Love the pockets and it’s great for outdoor concerts for that reason and the fact it is warm enough for spring evenings here in California. I wonder if the Fed would pull my 3 Honorable discharges if I put it on and went down and picketed a recruiting office.

Reminds me more an more of ‘Nam. Audie Murphy, the last truly great American combat hero, demurred when asked to support our Southeast Asian insanity by saying he didn’t think he could be functional in a war such as we were fighting. It wasn’t terribly long after that I sorrowfully read of his death in an air crash. Vietnam produced no nationally acclaimed heroes and the most decorated soldier to come out of Korea later disgraced the Army by telling the truth about what was really happening in Vietnam.

Now to get away from the war for a finale: Dubya is now trying to catch the bus on CO2 emissions after thumbing his nose at the Kyoto Protocols, scoffing at climate change as an inexact science. Even now, “climate change” is a verboten phrase in government originated propaganda. The mandated expression is “global warming.” As my friend Dwight would say, “Hind sight is an exact science.” And that what seems to be happening on this issue.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Government’s Schizophrenia

Back in 1976 an anti-Castro militant by the name of Luis Posada Carriles is thought to have had a hand in planting a bomb on an airliner that took the lives of seventy-three people. Venezuela has instituted extradition proceedings which are being stonewalled over the Bush-Chavez pissing contest. In effect, the United States of America, the country of Laws not men, is harboring a man thought by many to be a premeditated murdering thug.

While all that is going on, several young marines are up against General Courts Martial in the deaths of some 24 Iraqis back November of ’05.

What is it with the Fed? Posada Cariles is thought to have killed in cold blood, while the marines are accused of being a overly enthusiastic in the heat of battle to avenge one of their own. The government can subject the guys who lay their lives on the line daily to the humiliation of a Marine brig while awaiting trial, but won’t allow another sovereign nation to try a mass murder suspect.

What a crockola.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Smug I Ain’t

There is a distinguished British think tank that goes by the name of Chatham House. Very prestigious, highly renowned. It takes its name from the premises it occupies in St. James Square in London. Officially it is an NGO called Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Listing many distinguished scholars, politicians, business executives, policy makers, and the like in its membership, it provides a freewheeling forum to explore international issues.

The Institute released a 12 page report today detailing the imminent collapse of Iraq with the probability of regional powers continuing the strife as they urge proxies to do battle.

prognostication mostly fits what I have been saying in this space since I started posting. Saddam and the Baathist party kept a lid on anarchy with draconian methods. Once the old infrastructure of border agents, secret police, and the Republican Guard was destroyed, all manner of internecine feuding began.

No amount of do-gooder nation building in the image of western Democracies has a snow ball’s chance in Hell of succeeding, regardless of the number of Americans who are sacrificed in this fool’s errand.

My only disagreement with the writer, Gareth Stansfield [website], is his position that an equal sharing of the vast petroleum revenues will stave off the chaos of ongoing sectarian, tribal, ethnic blood letting. Iraqis go from quibbling to suicide bombing at the drop of a nuance.

Keep in mind, it took the Lebanese 14 years to quit murdering each other, and then it was only by force of having the Syrian army come in and sit on things to quell the violence. Also remember that Lebanon hadn’t nearly as many schisms as does Iraq.

Blair and Dubya held a joint news conference today claiming they did the right thing by invading Iraq. I hope they convinced themselves, but several thousand aluminum caskets and tens of thousand maimed coming home is is a God awful price to pay.

To rub salt in the wound, Stansfield’s report says Iran has more sway in the events in Iraq than does the US. Let’s see our cost to boost Iran’s interest is a half trillion dollars, over three thousand dead, God only knows how many maimed for life, and a huge loss of prestige in the eyes of the world. What did they ever do for us?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Predictions Past and Present

I blew it big time on my call on the French presidential election. Now that the votes are in the rioters are out. Maybe if some more of those happy arsonists had voted, they could have saved wear and tear on their Bics. In the meantime, Mlle Royal is asking the college kids to go back to class while Sarkozy is having a good time cruising on his billionaire buddy’s yacht. Reminds me of Nixon and his bosom buddy Bebe Reboza. Key Biscayne and Casa Pacifica.

On another tack, Dickie was in Iraq and came away pronouncing that it is still dangerous. Nahhh, couldn’t be. He’s just saying that to drive real estate prices down. Never mind the hundred or so Americans that get sent home in aluminum caskets and the couple of thousand Iraqis who meet Allah in person every month. Or the ten thousand or so Iraqis who leave the country monthly. The rag heads only popped a couple of bombs while he was pontificating on the peril.

FEMA is finding it a little easier to help in the Greensburg, Kansas disaster. It is always easier to deal with a situation where the stricken area isn’t under 6 feet of water and has a population one thirtieth the size of New Orleans. Breast beating that the agency is now able to do what it’s supposed to do is pure eyewash. Let’s see how they do with a tsunami or another Cat 4 hurricane. They can’t even get a response plan together that has been in the mill for over a year. The Contra Costa Times is calling for Dubya’s resignation on the issue. That will happen about the time the University of Tehran opens the George Walker Bush Library.

The Kansas governor’s office complained that the National Guard and their equipment aren’t available to help in Greensburg because Dubya sent them to Iraq. Some disingenuous type in the Pentagon allowed that neighboring states are supposed to pitch in with troops and gear in such a case. Whoever made the statement obviously hasn’t looked at a map to see just where one might whistle up an NG engineering battalion and its organic equipment. I predict that who ever said that is destined to wear stars.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Minister of Petroleum

If you have had your email address for a while, there is a good chance that you have received emails from people who are purported to be Nigerian bankers, Generals, lawyers, or sweet young things living in a refugee camp.

They all have fabulous sums of money they wish to deposit in your bank account. To launder the money, as it were.

The gullible who have accepted their claims at face value have seen their accounts depleted overnight. Not just individuals either. British firms have suffered from this confidence game as well.

There are several ploys, some emptying your bank account others fleecing the victim for “service fees” and the like. Mostly these crimes are call 419’s for the section of the Nigerian penal code dealing with Advance Fee Fraud.

There is one online club that goes one better than merely deleting the emails. They fight back and better yet, they tell you how to turn the tables on the would be fraudsters. You can check them out

Today’s scambag came from the Central Bank of Nigeria, but the dns revealed the email originated in Beijing. Last week, I received news of an investment opportunity from Brazil. Today I received an email from Yahoo Brazil telling me they had taken appropriate action on the matter. The appropriate action was unspecified as usual; probably a discontinuance of email service to that particular address. More than likely that’s not a big inconvenience for the scammer, because free email boxes are easy to come by at a number of services.

On the other hand, thoughts of what would constitute appropriate action in the PRC sends just the slightest chill down my spine. Who knows, I might be a small link in the chain that provides the world with some more donated body organs.

I will say this about that, however. Just a while back solicitations to my prurient interests landed my mailbox daily. They all had Yahoo return address and after a couple of months of showing full headers and forwarding them on to
www.abuse@Yahoo.com I got tired of getting the same response. Namely,
This is to let you know that appropriate action has been taken immediately after your report, according to our Terms of Service.

After one Yahoo rep wrote me that they were taking appropriate action, I wrote back and told her that the emails I was complaining about all had the same url hyperlinked in the text of the messages. Shortly thereafter, I stopped receiving ads purveying f*** buddies.

If your kids have email accounts on Yahoo, you might want to think of looking to other carriers for free email. But if you have an evil turn of mind, go see the folks at 419 Eater and have fun. I did.

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