Archive for the 'Hypocrites' Category

Apr 14 2015

Stateside things.

Well its day 2 on the other side of the Atlantic. Waking up in a hotel upper floor and having to make myself ready to go work and not having the usual things around. In an acknowledgement to advancing years, I went to bed last night at 10:40pm. My younger self would have me beaten with an empty Yingling bottle.

But then again, I am waking up at about 6 each morning-which means its about 8 hours sleep for the night. Which hopefully will keep me from falling asleep in boring meetings.

I am enjoying getting to listen to NPR at its "real" time. Instead of having to down load Podcasts and replay the following day.

Marco Rubio joined the growing crowd on the clown car that is the ranks of GOP hopefuls who want to become President. I found his rationale for running interesting-and it was appalling to see the softball questions he was thrown this morning on the morning shows. For example when asked why he was running he went into his usual spiel about how he was running to restore the American dream. He was asked a question, about his reasons for running and his response went along the lines of, "blah blah blah, American Dream, and American has rich people and anyone can achieve what these people have done. 'America is great because non rich people can own houses and build a life her'".   

Which was fine, except as with all the GOP nominees the details are in the fine print of what they say they believe. Take Mr. Rubio. He wants Americans to be able have a home, a car, and life. But what the interviewer failed to ask him was the important follow up question: " How do you propose to help Americans to do this when, for example, you say you want to strip millions of those Americans of health insurance, by repealing the ACA and allowing insurance companies to go back to screwing them."  They did not ask him the all important question of what was his alternative? Then in a segue, they should have asked this follow up: Senator, "how would address the fact that increasing numbers of them are not allowed to enter the housing market because their wages are stagnant and their buying power is less than it was last year?"

This is what galls me about most of the media, they don't sake hard nosed questions-primarily because they are slaves to their corporate masters. And corporate masters don't like their ability to screw average Americans out of millions of dollars to be effectively challenged.

And then there is the weird history Rubio would prefer you ignore:

In 2012, The New York Times Magazine asked Rubio about this; here was the exchange:

After you became the first Cuban-American speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, in 2006, your mentor, Jeb Bush, presented you with a sword. What was that about?
Chang is a mythical conservative warrior. From time to time, if there’s a big issue going on, you’d see Jeb say, “I’m going to unleash Chang.” He gave me the sword of Chang.

From which mythology does this conservative warrior hail?
I think it’s a Jeb Bush creation.

But it's not a Jeb Bush creation. It's a Poppy Bush creation — it's a preppy in-joke of his. As Timothy Noah explained in 2012, Bush the Elder used to say "unleash Chiang" while playing tennis, as "partly an expression of sincere competitive spirit and partly a self-mocking acknowledgment that he had what his daughter Doro Bush Koch, in a memoir, lovingly describes as 'a bit of a weak serve.'"

And note that the proper spelling of the name isn't Chang — it's Chiang,as in Chiang Kai-shek, who was the exiled leader of the anti communist Chinese in the Mao era. Poppy was mocking anti-communists in America who wanted to "unleash Chiang" in order to topple the mainland Chinese government. As Noah wrote:


Unleashing Chiang would not have been a good idea because Chiang could not win (he'd already been whupped once by Mao's army) without the U.S. dropping a few atom bombs on mainland China, and perhaps not even then. (You'll recall we had a hard enough time with the Chinese in Korea.)

When Rubio discussed "Chang" with the Times interviewer, Noah chided him for not understanding the history behind the reference:

This blog gives Rubio an F in post-World War II history….

Since Doro knows its real provenance, I assume Jeb must, too. Rubio clearly does not.

But I'm with Brad DeLong, who thinks Jeb didn't get it:

… George H. W. Bush’s sons — even the smart one, Jeb — never got the joke. They, you see, didn’t know enough about world history or even the history of the Republican Party to know who Chiang Kaishek was, or what “Unleash Chiang!” meant. Hence Jeb Bush’s explanation that twentieth-century Chinese nationalist, socialist, general, and dictator Chiang Kaishek was a “mystical warrior… who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society.”

Precisely — Jeb took a joke about conservative zealotry and turned into a celebration of conservative zealotry.

It is going to be a long 18 months.



One response so far

Apr 03 2015

Coming full circle

Back in 2008, I wrote two posts about the subject of gay marriage, coming down rather firmly against the idea. The recent events in Indiana, coupled with the rather disturbing efforts of people like David Green to enforce their screwed up views of right and wrong have now convinced me that I was wrong and need to change my mind. Now mind you, I am really not a fan of any marriage, gay or straight-so completely useless is the institution in my humble opinion-but if we do have this screwed institution than who am I to care about sleeps with who and who marries who.  Watching the actions of that bag of hammers,  Mike Pence, made me a believer that I was on the wrong path.

Its especially a sweet revelation because it places me in firm opposition to others who should know better.

(By the way, prior to putting up that post-there was a Diversity Thursday post up taking the Secretary of the Air Force to task for something she should be taken to task for. But interestingly, in the comments, the supposedly egalitarian and oh so welcoming (sic) "front porch" got well and truly trolled by a commenter who brought up more than a few unpleasant truths, that caused them to have a collective fit. Kind of makes me wonder what the real reason for taking the post down was. A change of heart or not liking someone not backing down to the collective bullying that can go on in the comments section? Alas the post is down so we will never know).

But back to Indiana. 

I question the need to pass a law entitled "Religious Freedom Restoration". What, exactly, are they trying to restore? Is there something preventing the citizens of Indiana from going to church where they want? Are people not being allowed to voice their opinions? The answer to both questions is no-especially if one reads the garbage that passes for commentary over at say: The Federalist, Red State, or the Town Hall Harlot. Regrettably free speech, such as it were, is alive and well in those cesspools of humanity. "What problem are they really trying to resolve here?". Certainly its not about fixing gay marriage-its already legal in the state. 

As we saw in the Hobby Lobby case this is about one particular area, the outrage that a certain percentage of America feels when they can't dictate to others what they can and cannot do in life, by using the leverage of economics to hit them over the head. Hobby Lobby was trying to avoid his lawful responsibility as an employer. Indiana was trying to pass a feel good piece of legislation in order to allow discrimination, legal discrimination,  by zealots who were not content to leave a firewall in place between one's personal beliefs and one's public obligations.

The Indiana law was and is particularly egregious because as originally written it was designed to empower that type of discrimination. While not a license to discriminate-it does set the boundaries of the legal recourse against it:

These laws are instructions to courts on how to assess claims for religious exemptions to a wide variety of law. In general terms, they lay out (1) who can use the law; (2) what kinds of cases it will apply to; and (3) what standard the court will use to decide whether the claimant has a right to an exemption.

In two of these areas, the Indiana law as enacted and signed is broader than the federal RFRA or most other state laws. It provides religious protection to more businesses than the federal statute does, even after the Hobby Lobby case; and it explicitly provides a defense in actions between private parties, such as, let’s say, discrimination suits (the federal statute is silent on this issue, and federal courts are split). Beyond that, it allows businesses or individuals to challenge legal actions even before they happen—if they are “likely” to happen.

So when the “fix” is finally unveiled, read it carefully. And for a crash course in what shouldn't be there, look at the Arkansas religious-freedom bill that Gov. Hutchinson refused to sign on Wednesday. This bill makes the Indiana law look like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It begins with this reassuring finding: “It is a compelling governmental interest to comply with federal civil-rights law." But consider that federal civil-rights laws currently do not protect against discrimination by sexual orientation; the “finding” is not part of the actual statute; and, most importantly, the Arkansas legislature does not have and never has had the slightest power to set aside or reduce the scope of any federal law. It’s as generous as a “finding” that “in Arkansas, light is given permission to travel at 186,000 miles per second.”

I've seen a lot of writers argue that by requiring people to deal evenly with all people in the market place it somehow makes them "accomplices" in sin they disapprove of. That's complete and utter crap. When you enter the commercial arena you enter a legal world where you must live by your corporate responsibilities. Unlike what Mitt Romney said- corporations are not "people too my friend"-and thus don't have "free exercise" rights.  As Charles Blow wrote in the NYT, "I would argue that when you enter the sphere of commerce in America — regardless of your “deeply held religious beliefs” — you have entered a nondiscriminatory zone in which your personal beliefs are checked at the register, and each customer is treated equally."

I mean really, if you as a hotel clerk rent a room to a couple wanting to revel in some adulterous sexual delights, does that make you a participant in the act? Certainly not. All you care about is whether their credit card transaction was approved and that they don't damage anything in the room. What they do inside that room is their business-not yours. 

It is refreshing to me to see certain corporations recognize that they cannot sit idly by on the sidelines while this type of things goes on. When Tim Cook, CEO of arguably the most powerful corporation on the planet speaks out publicly, may be it is time for the worthless idiots like Allahpundit and Erik Erikson to stop and listen. (By the way,  just being on the same side as these guys should make you examine your own positions carefully. ).

This is where we are coming to what really offends the conservative side. They hate seeing their own tactics being effectively used  against them. Indiana is being justifiably made to suffer consequences for its own stupidity-and people like Tim Cook are hitting these people in the one area that really matters to them and their beliefs-their money. I hope it continues and I hope it really comes to hurt Indiana. When you find yourself to the right of NASCAR, maybe, just maybe, you have gone a bit too far.


And, for those of you keeping score at home, the following is a partial list of the institutions that are more progressive and that make more sense on this issue than Mike Pence does.


Dan Quayle's Old Family Newspaper



The state of Arkansas

Which gets to the point I wrote 7 years ago, "-marriage, like it or not, s evolving. And it should evolve because its current construct, as well as the demographics of those who practice it,  are changing dramatically. And if there are people who “want to be childless and partner less”- well they have their place too……..But in the end, short of a radical return to the 50′s, its coming. How we really live with it will be another story. If it makes marriage and divorce laws evolve to ones based on fairness and not entitlement-well then I guess I’ll have to welcome that change."

And so I have. Keep up the pressure, you Godless heathens! You are always winning if Mike Pence is losing.

2 responses so far

Mar 16 2015

Prior service does not guarantee future results.

Published by under Assholes,Hypocrites,Military

The last week has been full of news of Sen Tom Cotton (douche bag-AR), the freshman Senator from Arkansas who seems not to have a very good understanding of his place in the United States government.  Worse yet is the fact that my two Senators proved themselves every bit as worthless as I knew them to be, by signing on to his stupid letter-instead of fulfilling their purpose in the Senate, namely to tell the young man to take a seat and shut his freshmen mouth until he is spoken to or asked to vote on something. 

A sure sign that Cotton is on the wrong side of history is the glowing endorsement he got from William "The Bloody" Kristol. Kristol, who never met a war he did not like, and could not be bothered to actually serve in the armed forces, has been wrong just about , no I take that back, has been wrong EXACTLY,  100% of the time. 

What's truly astonishing is Kristol's total obliviousness to why self-criticism might be warranted in foreign affairs: For the last decade, even the places where Republicans earnestly did want to spread liberty have turned into costly debacles. They had dubious notions of what the military could accomplish. They failed to execute. They stubbornly denied anything was amiss for far too long. And as a result, Republicans, especially neoconservatives, lost the trust of American voters.

But still there are folks who want to tread in Kristol's misbegotten path-and our boy Tom Cotton, geographically challenged though he may be, is just the latest of Republican politicians to head down the wrong path with Kristol leading the way.

Thomas Friedman, who I have a love hate relationship with-did a pretty good job of explaining why Cotton was and is wrong in his column of March 3. Specifically he points out the very cogent points that our boy from Hicksville seems oblivious to.:

Netanyahu never made a convincing argument as to why walking away from Obama’s draft deal with Iran would result in either a better deal, more sanctions or an Iranian capitulation — and not a situation where Iran would continue to build toward a bomb and our only two choices would be to live with it or bomb it, with all the mess that could entail. In that sense, Bibi’s speech was perfect for Congress: I’ve got a better plan, and it won’t cost a thing or require any sacrifice by the American people. The guy could be a congressman. The U.S. position — shared by China, Russia, Germany, Britain and France — is: Given that Iran has already mastered the techniques to make a bomb and managed to import all the components to do so, despite sanctions, it is impossible to eliminate Iran’s bomb-making capabilities. What is possible is to demand that Iran roll back its enrichment and other technologies so that if Iran decided one day to make a bomb, it would take it a year — more than enough time for the U.S. and its allies to destroy it.

Tom Cotton does not seem much interested in answering that question-something some very astute political columnists have pointed out. 

But Cotton's supporters don't seem to think he has to correct himself or answer a question. After all he did, something that neither Friedman or Kristol did, he served in the armed forces.


To hear some people tell it, that's the end of the story. Tom Cotton cannot be criticized because he served in Iraq. Even by other people who actually did not leave the service to make money as a lawyer and start a political career, but stayed on active duty for some 30+ years

Lets put aside for a moment how basically flawed Cotton's ideas and his methods are with the letter.  It strikes me as more than passing odd,  that people think Cotton gets a free pass when he is wrong because he once wore Army green. Besides the fact that there are also veterans with a Democrat next to their name who have taken the erstwhile Senator to task, and it is quite clear that no one on the conservative side of the aisle is willing to take that into account when making criticisms; but the key issue in politics is not, "what did he do back then?", but rather "what have you done for us lately?". And Cotton is a Senator who has only been on the job for 65 days. He really has not done very much except show that he needs to take some remedial lessons on geography and history.

( Oh and for what its worth Tom, despite your valiant efforts in Iraq, the place is still a basket case and the invasion of Iraq was still the worst foreign policy disaster of the last 40 years).

Honorable service is not a "get out of jail free" card for poor decisions made subsequent to the service.  It's probably worth pointing out too that there are plenty of strident people who served honorably who,  in hindsight,  were real dicks, both in and out of uniform. The evidence in the case of Cotton sure looks that way.    

He's proving with each passing day to have some pretty bad ideas of what government is and is not supposed to do-and his stated public positions, especially about Guantanamo, hardly square well with a man who portrays himself as being supposedly compassionate and a Christian. The more you dig with him the more you find out, he's probably a pretty bad guy. So I thank him for his service and now,  respectfully ask him to stop being such a dick.

As Andrew Bacevich has pointed out repeatedly, the fawning adoration of a guy like Cotton-based solely on his military service-misses a much deeper point. 

Soldiers have tended to concur with this evaluation of their own moral superiority. In a 2003 survey of military personnel, "two-thirds [of those polled] said they think military members have higher moral standards than the nation they serve Once in the military, many said, members are wrapped in a culture that values honor and morality." Such attitudes leave even some senior officers more than a little uncomfortable. Noting with regret that "the armed forces are no longer representative of the people they serve," retired admiral Stanley Arthur has expressed concern that "more and more, enlisted as well as officers are beginning to feel that they are special, better than the society they serve." Such tendencies, concluded Arthur, are "not healthy in an armed force serving a democracy."

In public life today, paying homage to those in uniform has become obligatory and the one unforgivable sin is to be found guilty of failing to "support the troops." In the realm of partisan politics, the political Right has shown considerable skill in exploiting this dynamic, shamelessly pandering to the military itself and by extension to those members of the public laboring under the misconception, a residue from Vietnam, that the armed services are under siege from a rabidly anti-military Left.

Bacevich's entire body of recent work has pointed out that this attitude can be dangerous-especially with a public that gives lip service to trying to understand the underlying issues at play in the conflicts that caused the United States to waste the first 15 years of the 21st century. Cotton, sadly tried to exploit this in his Senate campaign last year. His military service does not give him immunity from criticism, in fact it should invite the opposite question, "Why did you not learn anything substantial during your time on active duty?".

As the mutual fund managers will tell you all the time, past performance does not guarantee future results. And a sitting Senator does not get a free pass on current poor judgment , just because he once was in the infantry.

2 responses so far

Jan 18 2015

Putting Fox News in their place.

I am back in "terrorized" Europe-having spent the last week in the Whining States of America, who-if judging by the news coverage-is collectively losing its mind about what's going on in Europe.  And let me be clear, I am not in anyway diminishing the severity of the incidents that happened in Paris and in Belgium. However, I think we need to put a more positive spin on things-namely that collectively, Europe is working together to identify the bad actors and get their hands on them. And as I noted previously-it was a terrible tragedy.

It was a busy week work wise-made extra difficult by both circumstances and the ablity of United Airlines to set new lows in customer service. The weather was crappy though, so I was able to watch a lot of American TV.

Thus it was fun for me to see, the French responding to the more egregious misreporting in the American news. In a segment entitled 'Shut the Fuck Up-Fox News", Le Petit Journal , CANAL + French version of the daily show provided a great put down of the lying liars at Fox. Since a lot of the videos showing translations on You Tube are edited to allow for translation I thought I would post the full episode here first. Its in French, unfortunately, but if you have any knowledge of the language whatsoever, you will be able to get the drift pretty quickly. I love the part where they post the news editor of Fox News' e-mail address and encouraged French viewers to e-mail Fox and demand an apology to France.

Hey, that's what the City of Birmingham in the UK did-as you will see in the clip below. Enjoy:


Fox News ! – Le Petit Journal du 16/01

Even David Cameron, no liberal he, was shocked at how stupid Fox could be. smiley

The translated version of the key segment featured below:




So the next time you hear someone ardently defending Fox as the "counter" to the so called Main Stream media ( which as I have told you repeatedly over the years , no longer exists). Show them this. And then tell them in French or English, to Shut The Fuck Up. (Or  ferme ta gueule ? if you wish).

UPDATE: Here is one more clip from an earlier segment. Check out the mocking "Barbie and Ken" reference.


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Jan 10 2015

Busy week.

And what a sad week it has been too.

The news from Paris is sad, tragic and sadly, all too expected in this day and age. In solidarity with the right of a free press to publish what it wants to and not be subject to censorship at the point of a gun- I am republishing one of the Charlie Hedbo cartoons. Oh, and fuck Mohammed too.



And maybe I'll publish another one too.  And while I am at it, fuck Islam. (Click to see propely).


As angry as this apostate religion makes me; as disgusted as I am with their stupid dietary laws, the shitty way they treat women, the clothing things they make women wear-and how frustrated I am that these people will not assimilate into European society, I also have to think hard on what the facts really are.

Contrary to the assertions of some, Islam is not overrunning Europe:(click to see properly)



A disgruntled and radicalized minority is indeed a problem as this week has once again shown us. But one needs to remember the world has over a billion Muslims. They are not going away and we can't kill them all-no matter how much some of our neocon masters would like to try. And I also have to remind myself that it is a minority. Most of the Hijab wearing set here in Germany just want to live their lives. (and they speak better German than I do).

So yea, I am disgusted and angry. I'm tired of Islam's sickness infecting parts of the world I like. I want the women to take off the hijabs and abayas, put on some dresses and shoes and dress like a Western woman.  But in the end, cartoonist Joe Sacco may have it right. And with his cartoon I will close. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives this week in and around Paris. The Western World HAS to prove that it is better than these thugs. ( Click to see the cartoon properly-its worth reading).


8 responses so far

Dec 23 2014

It is time for the airing of the grievances.

It is the 23rd of December and we all know what that means. It's time to break out the Festivus pole.

And it is time to break out the airing of the grievances.




And let me tell you, this year I have lots of them. With a lot of people. One reason I am not able to blog much anymore, besides the hectic schedule I am now keeping is that underneath it all, emotionally, I am tired. I am tired of what passes for knowledge in the blogosphere-such as it is-these days.

Take this complete bit of mental stupidity from the Phibian. He is referring to Barak Obama and a completely flawed push poll done by Navy Times

He threw away what we won in IRQ, it slowly back filling that mistake and is doing the same in AFG after a half decade of advertising retreat … so yea.

It is a tired old trope, and worse yet, there is no truth to it whatsoever. Phibian continues to defend our misadventures in these two particular hell holes-and this is spite of the rather significant shift in opinion by the folks who were charged with executing both of these mistaken foreign policy adventures. Let's be clear, the war in Iraq was a huge mistake and the only people who "threw any thing away" was the Iraqi people themselves. As I said, any other viewpoint is just plain wrong and should be meet by a cheery, "fuck you". Same is true in Afghanistan.  "Ultimately it's up to the Iraqis as a sovereign nation to solve their problems," [President Obama] said, "We can't do it for them."

Now that does not excuse us from the horrendous mistakes we made-most important of which was starting the damn war in the first place.

The view of the Iraq hawks – from liberal interventionists, such as his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, to neo-conservatives, such as his former Republican presidential opponent John McCain – is that the US and its principal allies Britain and Australia bear little or no responsibility for the disaster unfolding across Iraq.

In their eyes, it is Obama's fault for either failing to intervene in the Syrian civil war in 2011-13 or withdrawing US troops from Iraq in late 2011.

It is argued that by failing to authorize air strikes on Damascus and arm the rebellion against Assad's regime during the early stages of Syria's civil war, the administration created a strategic void for the extremist Islamists to exploit ruthlessly. Meanwhile, the "premature" decision to pull US forces out of Baghdad helped scuttle the semblance of sectarian peace that the Americans had brokered following the president Bush's surge of US troops in Baghdad in 2007.

Both accounts are wrong.

Start with the latter. It is true that the end of the American presence in Iraq nearly three years ago helped remove all that was keeping the sectarian rivals in check. But it is also true that the Bush administration in October 2008 pledged to withdraw all US troops by the end of 2011.

Remember, too, that during lengthy negotiations on keeping US forces engaged in Baghdad, the Iraqi government – representing a clear majority of Iraqis (not to mention its sponsors in Tehran) – demanded all remaining Americans would be subject to Iraqi law. This refusal to provide the same kind of guarantees that every nation offers to residual US forces was a condition to which no US government would agree.  

Moreover, the president's withdrawal of US troops from a widely unpopular war by the end of 2011 fulfilled an election mandate. To this day, a clear majority of Americans don't think the original decision to invade was worth it, nor do they support a major intervention today.

Phib, being a surgeaholic, wants desperately to cling to the myth that decision to invade Iraq actually achieved anything worthwhile. Unfortunately, the body of evidence-and,  regrettably the loss of 4, 486 American lives for nothing-tells us otherwise.

Which leads us to his snarky analysis of the poll. It is probably true that by and large the military would prefer a more conservative President. But his summation that the troops loved Bush and hate Obama, is not supported by the facts-or the details of the Navy Times poll. By and large many troops ( and there is a big difference by age and time in service) support his policies , even if they don't support the man. Furthermore, Bush may have talked a good game about how much he loved the troops-but in truth his decisions were bad for the military and no amount of rose colored thinking can change that.  Certainly it is not loving the troops when you squander a lot of lives. The most accurate data we have are on U.S. military casualties: 6,648 service members have died in Iraq and Afghanistan to date, a large majority of the deaths occurring under Bush's presidency. So spare me the "Bush cared, Obama doesn't" nonsense. When you send people to die for nothing, you are an uncaring, unfeeling,  son of a bitch. And that's what Bush did overall. He squandered the first 8 years of the 21st century.

What Phibian's post and more importantly the Navy Times poll does do is allow the service members to avoid blaming the real source of most of their problems, the uniformed leadership itself, from the consequences of some pretty bad decisions. If you read the comments on the post-for the most part they back up what I am saying ( as well as make you despair of the humanity of these people)-they can't bring themselves to talk in facts and numbers, just tired old tropes that were proven false a long time ago.

Furthermore, the military tends to grade itself on a curve as LTG Bolger pointed out, holding a higher opinion of it self than is probably warranted. Its a special kind of conceit and stupidity to think that simply, had a Republican been in office, things would be better for the military. Given the current state of the economy and the currently stated economic policies of the current front runners in the GOP it would have been equally as bad. But they would have certainly been deployed more and more of them would be dead. For nothing.

For me, that's the only thing that matters. Obama has brought our senseless participation in Iraq and Afghanistan to an end. That's what I elected him to do and that's what he did. Too fucking bad if Navy Times readers don't like it. And trust me-a lot of people still don't love George Bush either. Thus endeth the rant for today.

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Dec 17 2014

Turns out I was right all along……

I have been saving my comment on the revelations of last week for a while. I wanted to think through my thoughts and also to read other peoples take on them. Probably what is most disturbing out of all the reactions are the statements from the really callous people who actual support the practice of torturing people. Of course Dick Cheney is unrepentant, that’s to be expected. As Jon Stewart quipped: “Dick Cheney is so mean, his own heart ran away from him.”  What’s truly depressing for me though, is to hear the ringing endorsements of the practice from the same people who will lecture me again and again on how the United States of America is “exceptional”.

I went back and looked through some of my old posts and I found one I wrote in June of 2008 right after the Supreme Court ruled that the US had to bring charges against GTMO detainees. At the time, the denizens of the zoo known as Lex’s commenting section went positively berserk at the notion that the United States should somehow have to abide by its own laws, if it is to have any credibility in the world.  I wrote this paragraph.

The contention that the prisoners in GTMO have no rights because they are persons without status, so called “unlawful combatants” is weak. If they have no rights why bother to bring them to GTMO? Shoot them on sight. We don’t do that because we want to show ourselves to the world as being above that type of brute force justice and in so doing prove ourselves better than those we fight-and who attacked the US in 2001. The people coming unglued because the Supreme Court agreed with that premise hang that whole thread on the fact that they are not worthy of legal considerations because they are not fighting on behalf of a state.

And they call me naive? GTMO as currently set up makes for bad law and for bad PR. Given that we claim we have extracted lots of intel from these guys-then we have probably more than enough evidence to convict-the argument that it will expose intelligence is just flawed from the start, we have ways to get that out with selling the farm. The situation at GTMO makes a hell of a publicity problem even with our allies. Even if people are not being tortured there, a significant portion of the world believes they are-and so our moral authority is undermined, even with those who agree with us. Furthermore when exposed to deep scrutiny-most of the claims that valuable intel has been compromised in terrorist trials has later been proven to be a false claim.

I wrote that back in June of 2008. Now, six and one half years later it has become readily apparent how right I was then. And it convinces me even more that I was right to condemn the reactionary positions then and take the side of those who criticize our actions now.

Consider how much damage we have done to ourselves and our arguments that we are of a higher “moral authority”.

In a civilized society, there really would be no debate over this. And before 9/11, there wasn’t. Ever since, this country has slid and then fallen out of the civilized world and out of the core American traditions of humanity and legal warfare. Krauthammer can be seen as emblematic of that slide – someone whose early abhorrence at torture and defense of it only in its mildest and rarest forms has slowly succumbed to a full-fledged defense of a program that violated every rule he said should be in place to protect us from the abyss. This is not surprising. When you start to torture, the sheer evil of what you are doing requires that you believe ever more in its value. You can never admit error, because it would mean you have committed crimes against humanity without even the defense of acquiring any useful intelligence. You are revealed as monsters – and you cannot accept that of yourself or of those you know. And so you insist – with ever-rising certainty – that the torture worked – even though that’s irrelevant as a matter of morality and of law, and even though your own internal documents prove that it didn’t.

And so you become the monster you were supposed to be fighting. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

One final point too. The people who have seized upon the idea that Diane Feinstein was some sort of renegade who had no business publishing the report is itself, a flawed conclusion. The report need to be published for one reason-the US needs to start the process of recognizing its complicity and guilt in the shameful episode in our history.

The torture report is simply the latest and most graphic incarnation of an existential leadership crisis that has eaten through Washington’s moral authority and ability to govern, in the way road salt and rust eat through car mufflers in a Buffalo winter. “America is great because she is good,” wrote Tocqueville back in the day. “If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” We’ve got a lot of explaining to do, not just to the rest of the world but to ourselves. How much longer will we countenance the post-9/11 national security state, which Edward Snowden’s ongoing revelations remind us are constantly mutating into new forms and outrages?


3 responses so far

Nov 03 2014

Again it comes down to how many bother to show up

Published by under Hypocrites,Politics

Tomorrow is election day in the United States. Since I will be on my 5 year pilgrimage to the sacred soil in Charleston, I have already submitted my ballot via absentee. Fat lot of good it will do me, since my Senator is running unopposed ( thank you Citizens United and the inability of the state to have a two party system anymore). My worthless excuse for a Congressman is going to win in a walk thanks to his continuous sucking up to the demented folks in the tea party and and the governor has ensured that only he will be the guy to vote for in the election. This is what passes for constitutional governance in parts of the South today.  ( Meanwhile in New York, the GOP incumbent is under indictment, but is expected to win anyway).

Regardless,  be sure to vote. If nothing else it gives you a right to bitch.

By all odds the GOP will take control of the Senate which means the prediction I made way back in April of this year will start coming true. it ought to be a fun time to be one of the 10-15% of American citizenry that actually is sane and understands that the world we live in is changing. Sadly most of us understood too that the country was killing itself slowly a long time ago and began exploring other options.

But, for those of you stuck in the whining states of America next year ( as I may in fact be as well-at least for a couple of years) here is preview of the fun and games ahead:

In Kansas recently, Republican Senator Pat Roberts, who’s in a tough race for reelection, made a statement that left me puzzled. “A vote for me is a vote to change the Senate back to a Republican majority, and we’ll get things done,” he said. “And it means a stop to the Obama agenda.”

Wait a minute, I thought. Which is it—ending the status quo of Washington gridlock? Or ratcheting up the gridlock by obstructing President Obama? You can't "get things done" in Washington without the president's signature, and no matter what happens in this year's elections, he's not going anywhere for another two years.

Yet these two seemingly contradictory messages are at the heart of Republican Senate campaigns across the country. I’ve heard them from candidate after candidate. And the paradox behind them gets to the question political watchers are increasingly pondering: If, as seems likely, Republicans take the Senate, what then? Will the GOP see its takeover as a mandate for ever more extreme partisanship? Or will the party suddenly turn conciliatory, ushering in a new age of progress? A new Republican Senate majority will put the party at a crossroads as it tries to reconcile these two competing promises.



I'm a total pessimist-I expect a war of vetoes and override battles to ensue and nothing will get done in 2015. I fully expect to be victimized by another government shut down, and my stocks to take a beating when we default on bond obligations.  There are those who think things may be different, I think they are fools:

But with control of both houses of Congress, Republicans would be on the hook for Congress’s actions. They alone would get the blame if Congress remained dysfunctional—and they alone could claim credit if Congress actually passed bills with popular support. If Republicans passed such moderate, constructive legislation, Obama would be hard pressed to simply veto everything they put on his desk.

And of course we can never underestimate the desire to go "legacy shopping" on the part of Obama. " What scares me also is what Obama will agree to".

At least in the abstract, however, there are a number of bills a Republican majority could pass that Obama would agree to sign. Obama—the real Obama, not the left-wing warrior of conservative fever dreams—loves the idea of bipartisanship and has been frustrated by a GOP he sees as unwilling to come to the table. He has agreed in principle, in the past, to ideas like the grand bargain, which his base loathes. Liberals also suspect Obama is willing to allow the Keystone pipeline, a decision on which he has delayed in the face of intense pressure from environmentalists. Most liberals contemplating a GOP Senate majority have focused their preemptive ire on the image of a vengeful McConnell threatening more brinksmanship and shutdowns. But perhaps it’s the dealmaking McConnell they should fear more.

Some, in fact, are already worried about this. I recently asked a top Democratic strategist why he worried about a Republican Senate takeover when, after all, McConnell would still need Democratic votes to pass legislation and Obama could still block bills with a veto. “What scares me the most,” he said, “is what Obama will agree to."

In the meantime, your country will fall further and further behind in global competition that the rising multi-polar world will create.

This is your democracy America, the one your own stupidity created.

3 responses so far

Oct 29 2014

Going too far……..

The S.O. and I had a marvelous time in Austria-and for what it is worth, October is a great time to visit. The mountains are still glorious, there is a little early snow, but for us at least-the weather was nice and we did a lot of hiking. A good extra long weekend for all. Too bad I had to come back and read about this.

SEOUL, South Korea — U.S. Forces Korea has banned servicemembers from buying drinks for workers in “juicy bars,” which have long been suspected of involvement in prostitution and human trafficking.

While the military has maintained a zero-tolerance policy toward prostitution, buying drinks in exchange for female company was not strictly prohibited by USFK. That changed with a new policy letter released to troops on Oct. 15.

“Paying for companionship directly supports human trafficking and is a precursor to prostitution,” USFK commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti wrote in announcing the change. “This practice encourages the objectification of women, reinforces sexist attitudes, and is demeaning to all human beings.”

Oh really? What part of, "this is beyond your authority you pompous, moralistic, hypocritical, piece of shit", do you not seem to understand?

On the plus side, SATO travel is expected to be experiencing a record uptick in travel bookings to Thailand and the Philippines, while at the same time, the Army is training more SAVI counselors to deal with expected upsurge in sexual harassment, fraternization and fighting on base that is expected to ensue.

But hey, it makes the feminists happy, so what else really matters?


So, paying a girl for companionship is a sin, eh? I take it that applies also to stateside bars where you buy girls drinks in the hopes of taking her home later.  So, how exactly are they going to enforce this? If a GI is drinking with a girl in the bar are there going to be people looking over his shoulder to see how much he paid and how much change he gets back? Some GIs run a tab on their credit card. Will there be someone inspecting his receipt when he pays up?

I will reiterate a key point I have made time and time again over the years. The law of unintended consequences can be brutal. And this rule will be full of unintended consequences. I expect the bar owners will come up with some alternative business practices, they always do-like buying your drinks at the door and receiving a "receipt good for "X" number of drinks. Or better yet, having you buy songs on the juke box instead-and then get drinks as a "bonus".

This is a continuation of a really disturbing trend among the flag leadership of America's military today. Namely, that they think they can legislate morality with the stroke of a pen-even when the conduct is perfectly legal. ( Even if it is not necessarily advisable). This, quite simply and bluntly, is none of the General's fucking business.

There have to be limits. The idea that one gives up all legal and common sense rights, just because some prick does not want to piss off a bunch of feminist lackeys is astounding. Especially in a world were a guy can suck off another guy in the barracks with impunity, but a straight Airman or Soldier cannot buy a girl a drink or 4 and let her stroke his thigh while she pretends to like him? Jesus H. Christ! One may be concerned about it, sure. But the idea that you have to regulate every thing a guy does off duty is just fucking ridiculous.

And illegal.

As one wag pointed out, "This practice encourages the objectification of women, reinforces sexist attitudes, and is demeaning to all human beings.”-"Is he talking about buying drinks for the juicys or the annual visits by NFL cheerleaders? "

Its a good point. So too is the rather pertinent question of, are you going to ban women buying men drinks in bars? Or stateside going to a Chippendales bars?

The military is not a "moral profession".  I'm sorry, but that is the truth. Regulations should make sense and avoid creating incentives to break them. This stupid rule does not pass that test. 








6 responses so far

Jul 10 2014

Recent Reading

On the trip over to Normandy-I had forgotten to charge my I-Pad. So I grabbed a book from the shelf to read on the train. Boy am I glad I did. It was an honor to re-immerse myself in this book.


Schlesinger, a life long liberal, was also an outstanding historian. And a superb writer. He never struck a mismatched key. For the writing alone-this book is worth a read, but more importantly, it is a stirring defense of humanity in government, and the willingness to adopt a creed other than that which inhabits the current GOP: " I got mine, fuck you!"

One of the most interesting things about reading the letters of Arthur Schlesinger is the quality of the discussion between him and those like Joseph and Stewart Alsop and many others. They held differing view points-but because they had the shared experience of a demanding education, and having to actually earn their way onto a writing staff-and live under an editor, the quality of what they produced was far superior to what the intellectual children, who presume to even think they have a right to sit at the grown ups table, produce now. The Krauthamers, Chunky Bobo, the plagiarist Malkin, all the members of the Liars Club-cretins like William Jacobsen, John Hinderaker, Mark Steyn, 3/4 of the blogosphere ( especially the mil-blogs)-what they produce is trash when held up in comparison to the quality of the writing that went forth from the great writers of the 50's and 60's. Near the end of his life Schlesinger saw this decline of intellectual rigor-and rightly chastised it, particularly those who fell for the shame that was what he called "Gingrichism" in the mid 90's. Altogether great history-a story the above listed children can not even begin to appreciate.

This is worth the money to buy.

One response so far

Jun 30 2014

An open letter to Mr. David Green

For those who don't know, Mr. David Green, he is the worthless, religious zealot who runs Hobby Lobby. Today, in a decision that highlights just how political and out of touch with the law the Supreme Court has become-and how dysfunctional the American government has become-he was given a free hand to fuck over his employees.


Dear Mr. Green,


     First, I suppose, we should get the pleasantries over with:



The Supreme Court, in one of its worst decisions in a long time, just handed you a victory that you do not deserve-and is in no way fitting of your supposed reputation as a Christian. Need I remind you of Christ's warning to your kind?

"Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."

You believe, at least according to the statements of your Facebook page, that you are somehow being oppressed. I sure would like to know how. How is it you are being prevented-by the simple exercise of your corporate responsibilty to provide health insurance to your employees, some of whom might actually want or need , a good old fashioned, balls deep, at whatever time of the month they want, fucking? Without a condom if they so choose? How exactly is that keeping you from making the $3.3 billion in revenues last year that your worthless excuse for a corporation made?  Or better yet-how do you reconcile your supposedly devout beliefs with the  more than $73M invested in mutual funds, some of which invest in manufacturers of contraception, including some forms which are specifically named in the complaint, even though there exist several boutique mutual funds that specifically screen companies that are not in line with their client's religious beliefs? How do you sleep at night?

And please, Mr Green, worthless fuck that you are, how do you explain to those of us who actually do have a decent understanding of American History, The United States Constitution, and other such pertinent details, how you can fashion yourself as a champion of religious freedom, when in fact you are giving preference to one belief system over another? You want to know how I know that? Mr Madison told me-when he wrote rather fortellingly about what a worthless man you are:

"The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?"

And how too-does this particular case square with your rather blatant cases of anti-Semitism, you supposedly being able to "turn the other cheek".

In September 2013, a shopper reported being told by an employee of the store in Marlboro, New Jersey, it did not carry merchandise celebrating Jewish holidays. While the store carried Christmas items, they did not carry items related to bar mitzvahHanukkah, or Passover. The store employee told the shopper that these items were not sold, due to the owner's Christian values. In response, Hobby Lobby apologized for the employee's comments, stating that it has carried Jewish holiday items in the past, and would do so in test areas beginning in November 2013.


Of course it doesn't and just brands you as the worthless hypocrite I already knew you were. Would that I can grab you by the shoulders and slam your white haired visage against a concrete wall. But of course I can't. Your wealth buys you a level of protection your rather overworked employees will never be able to enjoy.

I despise you sir-and the supposedly upright things you believe in.  I have beliefs too-and your zealotry impinges on them. I believe that people should be free to have as much guilt free and consequence free sex as they can with whoever they want. I further believe that their employer should have no interest in what they do away from work or who they have sex with. I believe that access to health care is a right-and you as an employer should have to pay your fair share of that cost, because it is your responsibility as a corporate citizen. Furthermore- I do not believe that corporations have the same rights as you do individually. Corporations do not have souls.

A Christianity that seeks to rid itself of interacting with sinners or infidels is not a Christianity I recognize. A Christianity that can ascribe the core religious nature of a human being to a corporation is theologically perverse. Corporations have no souls. They do not have a relationship with God, as Jonathan Merritt points out here. And a Christianity that seeks to jealously guard its own defenses rather than embrace the world joyfully and indiscriminately is not one that appeals to me.


Here is the bottom line, you grey haired, Christianist freak: As a business owner-you are a corporate entity. Businesses are not people, and don't have the same rights as people do. As an individual, you have a right to whine to your fellow churchgoers about the decline of American society. Your business, however, has no right to dictate what insurance it will or will not pay for-and has responsibilities as a corporate entity to its employees first. Your church is not a part of that equation nor should it be.  How long till you convert to Christian Scientist? And decide paying for AIDS medications or chemo-therapy is against your beliefs?  A government has a responsibility to regulate its society-against the worst acts of its citizens, and Mr. Green, your beliefs are just as reprehensible as someone who steals from other people. You are stealing as well-just under a legal sanction to do so. Corporations are not people. If you can't live with that-you should close up shop. I mean its not like you will starve-you have a ton of money.

"This ruling chips away at the notion of a naked public marketplace, where we can leave our faiths behind and simply buy and sell goods and not worry about anyone else’s religion or lack of it. And that’s a loss. "

But you don't really care about that do you? I didn't think so you worthless excuse for a human being.  A real Christian knows where the boundaries are-and "renders unto Caesar, what is Caesars". That you feel compelled to impose your twisted and sick version of Christianity. Personally, these types of decisions, and the rabid beliefs of those who support it, do more to alienate me from the faith than it does to win me over to it. And I am a believer-just not your kind. America is as much about the freedom to sin as it is about the freedom to worship, and religion has no place in the work place or politics. If to be a "Christian business owner" is to be like you-then I will take a pass.

There is really no convincing you otherwise I know that-which is why this now has to be about hitting your where your heart really lies, in your pocket book. Labor unions need to organize truckers strikes against you. Other businesses need to refuse to trade with you. I count my blessings that I no longer live where your stores are located, but neither the SO or I will patronize your businesses. They and you suck.

This decision is a big loss for the United States and for the Christ you claim to love so much.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go to bed, maybe indulge in some Onanism, and go to sleep-praying for your imminent and painful demise.

I am ashamed to be a citizen of the same country as you.


11 responses so far

Jun 07 2014

Because I like beating a dead horse.

This will be my second and hopefully last post on the abomination that is the Harry Harris sponsored assrape investigation into the Blue Angels "command climate". Also known as its more common name, assassination by IG.

There have been wonderful comments made that , "since the events were substantiated as occurring", all objections to the way the investigation was handled and the timing of the complaint are irrelevant. And by implication it is perfectly fine to destroy a good officer's career as a result of one set of time.

I thoroughly reject that contention. And you Navy folks who are voicing it-may rest secure in the knowledge that you have completely sold your souls to Satan. Enjoy life in this brave new world you are creating with its protected classes and diversity bullies run amok.

If you have not read the investigation report, I think you should. It can be found here or here. Sadly, it is clear that the investigation team failed to look at some of the background issues that are also at play in a command like the Blue Angels or for that matter TOPGUN. They are not "normal" commands say that the Captain's VFA squadron was, a tour he did exceptionally well at.

Now perhaps it is because both the Blues and TOPGUN believe their own hype, about having the best of the best, that it sets folks up for the kind of dramas that ultimately created this vendetta by a butthurt subordinate and the subsequent with hunt. Personally, I think Maurice is right and this is a case of someone trying to get even when a selection board did not go her way, and now in the brave new world, the Navy is quite accommodating of this particular type of character assassination. But I think there is insufficient understanding of the group dynamics that are in play in an organization such as the Blue Angels or TOPGUN.

Some history. I was at NSAWC when the three weapons schools, CAEWWS, Topgun, and Strike were brought together in the ultimate "shotgun marriage".  The Topgun guys were our "neighbors" so to speak so we got to observe them up close. TOPGUN very much resented the merger and went out of its way to avoid integrating into the rest of the NSAWC organization. Like the Blues, they had their own set of traditions and rituals. They also like the Blues, have a huge set of powerful "alumni". You tinker with the organizations at great peril. The flag officers who ran the larger organization of NSAWC understood this. I remember having a conversation with one, who really felt that his efforts to reign in the outfit was having a direct impact on the way the rest of big Navy worked with him.

In the Blues, how the 8 aviators get along is more than just important, its a foundation on which their life is built. Thus I categorically reject the assumptions made by the investigators that the support officers were shunned. Anybody who has spent any time in Carrier Aviation knows there is a pecking order in the world, and learns to deal with it. After all in the Blues there are still plenty of good deals to be had.

But you are absolutely kidding yourself if you think a new CO can go in there and be an authoritarian from the gitgo. They have had people who tried to do that. They got run out of town on a rail. So the wise person is going to be very mindful of that and try to shape the change he wants subtly and carefully. Also the squadron is on the road a lot-and that creates its own unique challenges. I personally think CAPT McWherter was mindful of that and thus was trying his best to be collegial with his wardroom and foster camaraderie. Remember that? Much of Naval Aviation tradition is  (or was) built on it-and the best squadrons I served in were where the camaraderie was high and so was the interaction between the wardroom.  During my 20 years of flying, based on this criteria outlined in the CPF report, everyone of my CO's, including myself would have been fired. That alone should tell you it's an unreasonable standard.

Does that mean that there were things in hindsight, that could have been done differently? Of course there could have been. But a simple course correction would have sufficed-not a public shaming. I also don't think the incidents that are discussed are as numerous and non-stop as the report makes out. Seems to me there was also a lot of emphasis on the squadron's primary mission of good demonstration flying. And when you have a lot of young men together, the talk will turn to women and girls. And calling someone gay is still a accepted pejorative. It is a fact of life.

It may not have been right, but the Blues will be a unique organization.  It is not, just another squadron. And it never will be. And in making judgments on this case you should keep that in mind.

And for the record. Maxim style shots of women are not pornography-and people who say they are should be horsewhipped. As should subordinates who think it is their duty to "mentor" people of their gender. ( A key warning flag that this was a withchunt, mentioned in the investigation).

For those people, Professor Van Kreveld would like a chat with you.

3 responses so far

Jun 05 2014

The ease with which some people abandon their conviction.

Today was a sad day for me. It is probably the first day since I graduated from the Citadel, that I was ashamed to wear my ring. A ring I worked hard to earn-and usually wear with pride.

Why? Because it is disgusting to me, to watch legions of my fellow alumni, throw one of their own, CAPT Greg McWherter under the bus, solely to appease their own, pretty much flawed consciences.  The comments have been brutal on the alumni boards I monitor. And in the depths of hypocrisy, many are from the same people who rabidly applauded his ascension to command as the first Citadel graduate to command the blues.

I'll spare you the details-they can be found at Phib's place.  He has a good rundown on the case-and a copy of the investigation. He very ably points out much of the hypocrisy in it-and of the fine art, now being perfected, of assassination by IG.

Worth repeating:

You know I like words. Searching the document about poor performance of a Blue Angels CO and we have homosexual mentioned 18 times, gay 4 times, and the first clue, support officer 13 times. Safety 8 times.

He's been smeared as a sexist homophobe … all they left out was racist, but maybe I missed that.

In some ways, this is just another way to destroy the male oriented, warfighter, TACAIR culture. Tailhook was only the start – this has a similar genesis and is going to be used for the same agenda.

Ironically, the people who will be hurt most will be our female Shipmates – our fellow warfighters of all designators who know what the core of our business is, have a sense of humor, are secure in their womanhood, and as officers, are not going to break in to tears because they miss the drama of Middle School. 

It doesn't take long to figure out that this huge frag pattern that, like Tailhook, will destroy the careers of many good people and was started by a female support officer. Which one? Hard to tell … but with googlefu, you can narrow it downto a few possibilities.

Not really important who though – complaining, weak, and entitled administrative burdens have always been with us. It is what the institution does with it that is important.

Is this proportional? Look it over and tell me.


There is so much, that is wrong with this investigation-and The Skipper has done a great job of documenting it. There are so many things that are wrong with this investigation. Lets ask a few questions shall we?


The Navy proactively issued a press release within 24 hours of non-judicial punishment, to include release of the investigation. Was that based on FOIA requests from the press or did they do it so they could control the narrative?


Is it possible the high-castrati discussed how this case was to be handled before it was handled? I’d bet my stock portfolio it was. That’s unlawful command influence, and it’s against the rules. Just ask General Amos.


Do you think it a coincidence that a nuclear submariner was appointed to lead the investigation of an elite squadron? Is that not like asking a pole-vaulter to evaluate a baseball locker room? They are both sports, are they not?


Why is it CNATRA is not doing the investigation? They are the first flag in the chain. And where was TRAWING Six in all this. If these things were as rampant as was said-I GUARANTEE you they would have heard about it. The Commodore was too busy to do some discrete counseling? I know Greg McWherter would have taken it to heart.


Why did the accuser wait fifteen months after the commanding officer left to lower the boom?


If you are flying at 400 knots and pulling 4 Gs in a rolling maneuver with a guy’s wingtip 18 inches from your nugget, do you think it might be helpful to bond with that person and build trust? Would you feel comfortable flying next to him if you knew he would stab you in the back and look after only himself as soon as he deems it warranted?


The investigation says that he twice inherited a broken squadron. What of those who broke it? They’re good, then?


This whole affair stinks, not the least of reason which, I know the final endorser in the chain. The irony of this whole case is rich- because anecdotally , I know he treated his own JO's like shit. But he got a pass for it. Greg McWherter on the other hand got thrown on the ash heap of Navy history.

Don't kid yourself, for all the high handed rhetoric about the Navy doing the right thing, it did not. It f*&ked one of its own for no purpose. This is clearly a case of where the service was spring loaded to f*ck someone at the drive though.

Look hard at the investigation. You will find what you need on page 16, paragraph 45. I should warn you that the investigation as published is incomplete-since it does not include any of the enclosures -and thus lacks context.

But context is not what Harry Harris cares about.  He would throw his own mother under the bus if he thought it would improve his interests.  As such, he is the typical flag officer in today's Navy.

PS. Here is what a pornkin looks like. It ain't that bad, Which is yet another reason why his accuser can suck a big bag of dicks.

Oh, and for my brothers who wear the ring? Just blow me you chickenshit bastards.


4 responses so far

Jun 03 2014

Sideshow Bowe

It is with sad and undisguised disgust that I watch the collective conservative freak out of the release of SGT Bowe Berghdahl, the only prisoner of war held by the Taliban. In the early morning of June 30, 2009, Berghdal went missing from his unit's small outpost in Mest, a restive area in Paktia province. Within several hours, radio chatter from the Taliban indicated that they'd captured the soldier.

He spent the next five years in captivity, growing gaunt in the numerous propaganda videos that the Taliban trickled out to the press. On numerous occasions, they publicly threatened him with execution. Many Afghans and some Westerners in similar positions had been tortured, decapitated, or shot to death.

This passed weekend he was released by his captors in exchange for 5 prisoners being held in the concentration camp prison in Guantanamo Bay. And then the hounds of hell came rushing loose from the caves of the Glibertarian Kingdom.

And who was leading the way? Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods and The Town Hall Harlot herself.  She is pretty much setting a record for hysterical posts screaming about the man, which is a lot considering that this little specimen of female self loathing is always hysterical about something. But in this case-she has her well oiled plagiarism machine working till all hours of the night.

Over on Facebook or any of the normal blogs its no better either. The ranting is especially virulent. It runs along a consistent set of themes:

1) Obama negotiated with terrorists.Which is an interesting whine considering it simply makes him well, President, and is doing the same thing that Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush did.

2) Second, he released some bad guys.  People say he should not have done that. However, as the Christian Science Monitor points out-they were going to have to be released soon anyway:

But dealing with people you find odious – your enemies – is how most wars end. And with the US set for full withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of 2016, the prospect of a crushing defeat for the Taliban is pretty much nil. Getting POWs back, whatever the circumstances of their capture, a crucial goal.

Did Obama just swap five dangerous "terrorists" for Bergdahl, as Sen. Cruz alleges? It depends on your definition of "terrorism."

Four of the five men released into Qatar's custody, where they are supposed to remain for at least a year before being allowed to return home, were indeed senior members of the Taliban movement. The Taliban have been seeking the release of the five in exchange for Bergdahl since 2011, and there had been fitful progress in that regard, with Qatar acting as a mediator, since at least 2013.

Outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai has sought in recent years to find a reconciliation deal with the Taliban, and the release of the "Guantanamo Five" has been a part of those efforts.


Boo fucking who. The guy is home and that is the main thing.

3) And of course now we come to the real turd in the punchbowl-the guy is alleged to be a deserter. Soonergrunt over at Balloon Juice addresses this in a quite logical fashion:

I don’t know if SGT Bergdahl voluntarily walked off his camp and surrendered to the enemy or not. Just because a few fellow Soldiers in his unit say that doesn’t make it so. The most powerful communication system in an Infantry company is what we used to call “S-5–rumor control.” I’ve never been in a unit that wasn’t essentially a knitting circle with automatic weapons. Young Soldiers, for whom boredom is an almost constant companion (punctuated by moments of sheer terror) can give the most catty junior high school girls’ clique a run for their money. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily wrong, but I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in it without some corroboration. So I’ll hold off judgment on that. It’s also been brought up that he supposedly sent some emails to one or more people expressing doubts about US military actions. So did I. So have a lot of guys who then went out and did the very best they could do for their buddies and their country. It’s irrelevant anyway.

We’re getting out of Afghanistan, and the treaties to which this nation has repeatedly pledged itself require that we release Prisoners of War and repatriate them home. Taliban are distinct from Al Qaeda in this respect because Taliban could be considered the government forces of Afghanistan (whether legitimate, loved, respected, or not) while AQ isn’t anything but a bunch of thugs under international law. So this idea that we gave up valuable prisoners for one guy and that makes it a bad deal is bullshit on its face. We were going to release them. We were REQUIRED to release them under international law that we largely wrote. Whatever intelligence value they had was long since wrung out of them, in some cases literally. One of them had laid down his arms and pledged to work with the new government of Afghanistan prior to the Pakistani government taking him prisoner more as a propaganda tool and removing a potential political problem than anything else, I am given to understand. So we got something we wanted for doing something now that we would have done in a few months for nothing anyway. That’s not exactly brilliant poker, but it was pretty well played.

We don’t leave our people behind. That’s an Army value. The people ranting about this whole thing either don’t understand or don’t care about that simple concept. Whatever SGT Bergdahl may have done or not done, we don’t leave our people behind. If it hasn’t already, the Army will shortly start a 15-6 investigation, so called in reference to the Army Regulation that describes such things. You’ve probably heard the term “Board of Inquiry.” They are essentially the same thing. When the Army has concluded what the circumstances of SGT Bergdahl’s capture and captivity were, then they’ll make some decisions, but I’ll just note for the record that US POWs have rarely been punished for their actions or inactions while in enemy hands. Many, many of the POWs in Viet Nam, including John McCain signed documents created by their captors confessing to war crimes and indicting their fellow POWs and the US. Former CW4 Michael Durant, taken prisoner by a Somali warlord after being shot down in the battle of Mogadishu (Blackhawk Down) made problematic statements to a TV camera that were subsequently shown around the world. None of these men were ever subjected to disciplinary action upon repatriation to my knowledge.

So I’m glad that SGT Bergdahl will be reunited with his family, at long last.

David Graham over at the Atlantic points out much the same thing-pointing out too, that Obama made clear that he was not going to be bound by a stupid Congressional obstacle if it conflicted with his powers as Commander in Chief.  So much for the "he broke the law argument".

Obviously there is going to be an investigation. The Army will make a decision one way or another. And it will have to weight all the factors including what he suffered in captivity.  And somehow it will have to prove its case in court, if it has one. Personally,  I think all this public outrage is doing the defense attorney's job for him-it will make it impossible to prosecute, even if the Army did want to.

Clearly, however, the collective stupidity shown by all the usual suspects makes me wonder about how screwed up the land of my birth is becoming. Everyone needs to chill the f*ck out and remember this little tidbit of advice:



Nuff Said.

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Apr 15 2014

The impeachment of Barak Obama

It’s a double whammy of depression, of late. On a personal note-the ongoing churn at my place of employ is making the ability to enjoy the choice location more than a little problematic sometimes. As the S.O. and I settle into the new house , the more we like many of its features. The one obvious down side has been the lack of internet connection-but the porch and view from said porch offsets it to a great degree. And after days like this one:



I need the peace and solitude it brings.

So I have that bit of downward pressure on my life-offset in great deal by location, but it’s not enough to overcome the frustration of knowing I am right, being right, and being unable to make the types of meaningful changes that need to be made.

Adding to the downward pressure on my spirit is the realization that I will be returning to the US of A-not by choice as much as lack of one. And that when I get there-the downward spiral of US politics will have continued its decline into abject stupidity.

Especially since as many pundits predict-the GOP may take the Senate as well as keep the House. Once that is accomplished, I fully expect the Congress of the United States to do nothing (something they are already doing), but  they will begin a full throated effort to impeach Barak Obama.

It’s coming-you can rest assured of that. And since it takes 67 Senators to convict, and the odds of the GOP winning that many seats are virtually nonexistent, it will be another typically pointless gesture undertaken by the teabagger crazed loons who run and who support the current twisted political vision known as the Republican party.

The bulk of 2015 will be spent talking about it and the Fox Noise machine will kick into overdrive trying to convict the president in absentia, since they will be unable to achieve their real dream of ending his political career. (Remember these were the same people who were telling you that Romney was going to win big).

Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.), who has said there are enough votes in the House to impeach Obama, added: “We’ve also talked about the I-word, impeachment, which I don’t think would get past the Senate in the current climate. . . . Is there anything else we can do?”

Why, yes, there is, congressman: You can hold hearings that accomplish nothing but allow you to sound fierce for your most rabid constituents.

The Republicans in the House know there is no chance of throwing this president from office. Yet at least 13 of the 22 Republicans on the panel have threatened or hinted at impeachment of Obama, his appointees or his allies in Congress. They’ve proposed this as the remedy to just about every dispute or political disagreement, from Syria to Obamacare.


This kind of political fight is exactly the last thing the country needs right now-but when did the GOP ever make doing the right thing a priority? Certainly not since the middle of the 20th century.

So how will it happen? I predict they will use the “slow burn” technique. They will pass their 65th or so vote to repeal the ACA.  When that  gets vetoed as it surely must,  it will set forth the following scenario:  there will begin a series of hearings trying to establish that the President exceeded his executive authority by making decisions on extending deadlines and such.  Using those as the pretext they will turn over to the House committee that does such things a resolution demanding the impeachment of Obama for exceeding his legal authority as President. ( When he in reality he has not even used his authority near enough). The old canards will be dragged out: Bengahzi, IRS, and all the rest of the nonsense that has been long been put to bed.)  Fox will have hour after hour of commentary for its brain dead audience-hyping the idea of impeaching the President. Comparisons to Clinton's blowjobs will resound. This will all occur in May or June of 2015 with the actual trial set to occur in September of 2015 after the summer recess. ( allowing the illusion of justice and due diligence by allowing both sides time to prepare-it will also try to be timed so as to make Biden a real lame duck if they should get lucky and win).

Nothing of substance will be accomplished by the Congress in 2015. They will stall on the budget-and perhaps force another debt ceiling fight, hoping to use that to pile on in the process, leaving the country to tear itself apart politically. And in the end-the President will be acquitted, but there will be loads of sound bites that ultra conservative Presidential candidates can use repeatedly showing how the Kenyan usurper was never supposed to be in the job anyway. ( Popular vote or Electoral college results not with standing).

And Nate Silver will be pilloried again-for denying the Romney monster the victory they feel was rightfully his in 2012.

And in the meantime what happens to the country?  Wages will continue to stagnate and more and more wealth will continue to move upward-aggravating the tepid economic recovery by seeing more and more Americans slide downwards in terms of purchasing power. In fact, the country could slip back into recession because of the turmoil the impeachment crisis will create in world markets. Holders of 401K's-like me-will see themselves condemned to working for the rest of our lives at unsatisfying jobs ( as the comic mentions above) because the value of our accumulated savings will tank.

And that will be all occurring before we get to 2016. 

Now ideally, an impeachment drama would produce the kind of universal public outrage that will backfire on the GOP and make it a pariah in the elections of 2016. It can and should lead to a recognition of the flawed and selfish viewpoint of American Politics and economics that was legitimized by Mitt Romney in 2012 ( with his disgusting codification of the rhetoric that 47% of the American population are nothing but "moochers")-and seized upon by soulless men such as the Zombie Eyed Granny Starver , Paul Ryan.

But it won't. Primarily because that kind of outrage will come from an informed electorate-something the United States has not had for a long time. Only about 20% of us actually understand the issues in the proper context, and draw the correct conclusions from it. Another 30% subscribe to the "I got mine, so fuck you!" philosophy of the current teabagger controlled GOP-and the remaining 50% just can't be bothered to get up from the TV to learn anything. Or vote.

If that does not give you good reason to be depressed about the future of the land of my birth-you are not grasping the problem.

Its a bad news story, that could be easily fixed and could have been as long ago as 2009.

But it won't.

Welcome to the new dark ages.


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