Thursday, December 04, 2003

I really should be working

But the opportunity to joust is too good to pass up.

Let's face it, the UN fell apart years ago. You captured my point exactly - the UN hasn't committed troops to a non-peacekeeping mission since Korea. They are non-players, The Washington Generals of world History. If we didn't act, nobody else would have. If not us, who? If not now, when?

But, the have such fun committees and they throw great parties. To my knowledge, neither China nor SA are on the Human rights commission, but Libya is and Libya is there with the avid support of the despotic nations who put them there. Democracy may have spread to 120 nations so far, but the reamining 60 or so can still drum up enough votes to do some truly cynical things. Like putting Libya on a human rights committee.

Israel is the sole democracy in the middle east. How many Jews sit in Parliament in Egypt? Why are the Palis denied citizenship in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt? Goodwill? Fuck Goodwill, this is about survival. And what is at stake is whether there will be blogs allowed under the 4th Global Caliphate in the year 2107 (old reckoning). If not us, who? If not now, when?

The EU was inherited from the ECM, which was formed in 1974. The UN was formed in 1945 and fielded troops in 1949 for the war in Korea only after the Sovs walked out because the Security Council refused to recognize the PRC. Fair manner? Ask the non-Serbs dying in the concentration camps about fair manner. Repeat argument for Goodwill. Survival. If not us, who? If not now, when?

Doorstep? The world is less then ten years away from madmen with ICBMs. We'll see how the world feels about doorsteps when that time comes. If not us, who? If not now, when?

The people of the world spoke at the UN? Hell, the UN's own Charter doesn't even provide for that. The foreign ministries of the world spoke at the UN, but not their people. Most of those foreign ministres are party hacks or lifelong bureacrats with no greater loyalty then to their pension. If not us, who? If not now, when?

Ahh, and then the ad hominem attack on the man himself. Getting tired of this one, Shawn. The problem the Left has is that they have no policy outside of an intense hatred of GWB 43. And that is what's going to kill them in the election. While one side will be talking about Security at home and abroad, the other side will be marching with giant puppet heads in the streets. The Left only offers fear. Whatever vision they had has long since died, maybe in a hail of bullets in 1968, maybe when the Wall fell. I really don't care.

Outside of a Clark/Clinton or Clinton/Clark ticket, the Left in this country is doomed to marching with aged commies and filing lawsuits over election returns. Even if that ticket shows up, each side of the party will spend the election playing down the other side of the party.

The trip:
* If he brought the entire Washington press corps along with him, including bringing them in their own seperate airplane like he does for the big State Trips, he would've been accused of grandstanding.
* If he stayed in Crawford, he would've been accused of being insensitive to the troops.
* If he brought no press, it would've been called a coverup.
* If he brought some of the press and left others behind, he would be walking into Shawn's trap.
Face it, the man can't win in your book.

If not us, who? If not now, when?
The 4th Global Caliphate of 2107. It's capital will be Patterson, New Jersey.

We Blog because We Care

Man, could I use an editor, or what?

I'm not even going to send you the link to the "Impeach Bush" website. You would just misuse it.

Brave New World Order

Point by Point Analysis: The whole reason why we Blog.

* The UN
> What's the point of the UN? What's the point of us being on the security council? What's the point of us taking our case before them if we will refuse any response that departs from our worldview? We went to them becuase we knew we we imparting on a huge task, one that we would not be able to sustain with only the support of the "willing" (thanks, Tonga!). Maybe we're just ticked off that the world completely saw through the blustering and stupidity of the only person i the world willing to commit American troops to such an ill-conceived project.

* Despotic Libya / Human Rights Commission
> Say, how do they compare with our friends China (I still remember Tiananmen Square — do you?), Saudi Arabia, et al. We still choose good and bad totalitarians. Witness our Weapons of Mass Destruction debacle: Iran? Known nuke sites. IAETF is on top of them. N. Korea? Known nukes. Previous administrations we workng with them to stop the madness. Iraq? Nothing proven. Who do we attack first? Who do we negotiate with? This smacks of personal politics (finishing Pappy's legacy). Don't get me wrong: I am wel aware of the fact that both Clinton and Gore claimed that Iraq had WMDs *and* were trying to start a nuke program. I just think that, in addition to pursuing balanced economic policy, they pursued balanced foreign policy. Unfortunately, they let jack-booted thugs conduct some of the worst government actions at that time (Koresh, Elian, et al). So much for human rights at home. Oh, wait — that's nothing like locking up every Muslim you come across. Never mind.

Long and short: we engage China economically so that they will come around to our way of thinking (well, that's our pretext, anyway). Does it work? Starting to. Saudi Arabia? There's some increased activity on that front. Libya? Well, they're a pariah, aren't they?

* Democratic Israel is considered a pariah
> Repeatedly ignoring the UN on even the most minor of things and having usually only one voice (the strongest in the world) speak up for you when you flaunt will of the rest of the world. Israel took September 11th as an opportunity to send the tanks rolling (thank you, BBC, for letting me know — we were too absorbed to otherwise pay attention). Stop ruthlessly attacking Palestinians, especially when unprovoked, and follow the road map.

Just as the US has destroyed all of the goodwill available after 9/11, so too did Israel wear away any goodwill from the Holocaust. Just stop being jerks and work to get along. You can't live in a state of war forever.

* The EU
> How old was the EU at that time? Weren't they still trying to figure out where their offices were going to be?

* Slobadon Milosevic
> A monster. Why aren't we taking him before the World Court? Oh,wait. Hmm. Perhaps there is something to this "rule of law" thing after all.

* until such time as the US acted?
> We've always reserved the right to "do the right thing", but if we're going to need help, we have to act in a fair manner and be willing to be solicitous all along.

* The NATO one which can't seem to get it together on the Afghan mission?
> How did that happen? I thought NATO was our lapdog? It looks like we still love NATO.

* The OAS that ignores Hugo Chavez because they don't want to look like they agree with the US on Castro?
> I think we're only critical of Chavez because he doesn't play ball. At least, so I've read.

* The Pacific Rim that is scared shitless of the DPRK but remains convinced that Saddam and Kim Il Sung had nothing to do with each other?
> To their credit, they're caught between North Korea and China. Ain't no one gonna be able to militarily save them, if it came down to that. Best to not enrage the madman when he's right on your doorstep.

Suppose I made a product that was ultimately worse for the world and everyone refused to buy? Suppose I had enough might and no compunction about throwing my weight around? How would that make people feel? It doesn't matter if the product is ethanol or foreign policy, no one wants to have something stupid forced on them.

We say Democracy is such a wonderful thing, but then complain about it when it doesn't go our way. You have to choose: If you think the "election" of Bush represents the will of the people, how can you slag the vote of the UN against war? The people of the world spoke, and they found the evidence sorely lacking.

So who said that nations are not made of men, but of laws?

I sincerely doubt that the President, if he knows who Disreali was, understands anything about what he said. For a president, we have a "man of conviction", who knows what he knows and doens't care about anything he doesn't know. Everything I know about Disreali indicates that he was more than merely quotable, he was a man of intellectual curiosity. Our President nearly choked to death on a pretzel, all alone.

Billy Bragg was asked if hope was the opposite of cynism He said that the actual opposite was engagement. So far, I have failed to engage myself any more than complaining and being cynical. I am smart and I do read. For example, I read the story on the Washington Post that said that White House staff readily admits to dramatizing and dramatically re-enacting events in order to convey Bush's persona. I don't buy that. I'm not happy about Hillary's trip, especially not happy about what she said out there, and I voted against her. (Twice, if you count my 1996 Presidential vote). However, it would appear that she was legally elected and has acted in the interests of the majority of her constituents, which Bush can never claim.

Bush picked and chose press, using the opportunity to reward some and punish others. Apparently, there was some prep time and additional room (a KC-135 refueled fighters in-flight). Hate to be cynical, but I have an extremely low opinion of this administration, and that is borne of observation.

"Wasn't this just an excuse to snatch 24 hours with the greatest legs to ever grace the NSA?" — What?? Kissinger went to Iraq, too?? Oh, you mean Condi. Well, I hope she and Henry share a cell in the Hague.

It is no more the White Man's Burden to save the world than it is the Hispanic Man's Burden to save my lawn.

Why Blimps Sometimes Crash! by Dr. Seuss

When a ship, lighter than air
Is buzzing around, do take care!
If your pre-flight is no more than cursory
Your nose could end up in a nursery.

Synthesis: What the web is all about

Oh, The Humanity! The Humanity!

God, I miss hydrogen filled airships.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Why Computers Sometimes Crash! by Dr. Seuss

If a packet hits a pocket
on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted
at a very last resort,
and the access of the memory
makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket
has an error to report.

If your cursor finds a menu item
followed by a dash,
and the double-clicking icon
puts your window in the trash,
and your data is corrupted
'cause the index doesn't hash,
then your situation's hopeless
and your system's gonna crash!

If the label on the cable
on the table at your house,
says the network is connected
to the button on your mouse,
but your packets want to tunnel
to another protocol,
that's repeatedly rejected
by the printer down the hall.
And your screen is all distorted
by the side effects of gauss,
so your icons in the window
are as wavy as a souse;
then you may as well reboot
and go out with a bang,
'cuz sure as I'm a poet,
the sucker's gonna hang.

When the copy on your floppy's
getting sloppy in the disk,
and the macro code instructions
is causing unnecessary risk,
then you'll have to flash the memory
and you'll want to RAM your ROM,
and then quickly turn off the computer
and be sure to tell your Mom!

Since I haven't posted in a (very long) while, when I told Brian about this one, he reminded me it would be a good one to post here. Sorry for the long absense, fellas....

Monday, December 01, 2003

Our Brave Community of Nations

Which community of nations should he be taking his case to, oh Internationalist of the moment?

  • The UN one where Despotic Libya sits on the Human Rights Commission and Democratic Israel is considered a pariah?
  • The EU one that ignored Slobadon Milosevic until such time as the US acted?
  • The NATO one which can't seem to get it together on the Afghan mission?
  • The Anglosphere which is neatly divided between Utopianism and Realism*?
  • The OAS that ignores Hugo Chavez because they don't want to look like they agree with the US on Castro?
  • The Pacific Rim that is scared shitless of the DPRK but remains convinced that Saddam and Kim Il Sung had nothing to do with each other?

The President understands that which Disreali said decades ago - countries don't have allies, they have neighbors whose interests occasionally coincide with their own. Heavily paraphrased, of course. I give you Canada and Mexico. Both fought in WWII, but one landed at Normandy on a beach all their own while the other sent a squadron of fighters to the Phillipines in late 1944.

I don't buy the cynicism. You're smart enough to understand that of the two state trips last week, one was planned with photo op after photo op and even a little dig at the present administration, whereas the other was planned with an eye towards the troopies and little else. The press was brought along because the absence of the press would've raised even more eyebrows - "What was he hiding? What went on when the cameras weren't there? Wasn't this just an excuse to snatch 24 hours with the greatest legs to ever grace the NSA?"

*White Man's Burden! White Man's Burden!
What is the deal with Queer Eye? Campy queens dissing on straights? Don't we get enough "edgy" anti-WASP humor from BET's Showtime at the Apollo?

Mission: Accomplished

Wow. I guess the snow's falling pretty deep up North if you're falling for his line of BS. If it wasn't political, then how did the press corps get there? If he'd claimed to have personally landed AF1 or had put up banners with the words "Re-elect me" wallpapered behind him, would you think it was political then?

I remember when I first heard the name "Osama bin Laden". I was issuing a steady stream of obscenities because the president appeared to be hiding behind counter-terrorism in order to deflect the bad things he'd done of late.

But I don't hold it against Clinton any longer.

Presidents are politicians. Until you realize that, you should watch "West Wing" reruns on Bravo. And maybe a little Queer Eye.

A great President would admit that he had committed the lives of brave citizens for his own folly, take his case and apology to the governments of the nations, and then step down for having committed such disgustingly ego-centric acts. But that's just me. And, hopefully, over 50% of the Electoral College next go-around.