My rants and raves on politics, Peak Oil and anything else that comes to mind.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The Path To More War
President Ahmadinejad has been making big news lately. He's made a lot of people angry and he's being misquoted on a regular basis. Our nation's hatred of him is palpable. He has replaced Osama Bin Laden as the most dangerous man alive. Obviously I'm making an unfounded assumption that Osama Bin Laden is still alive (I still think he died in 1999).
The New York Times has really gone hyperbolic and the author of the piece, 'Iranian pushes buttons during visit' by Damon Winter, makes no attempt to write an unbiased account of Ahmadinejad's visit. Nor does he attempt to conceal his hatred for the man.
Ahmadinejad's remarks that the Palestinians should not be forced to pay for the Holocaust, has supporters of Israel seething. His remarks about gay people have the gay community angry.
Still, I'm not sure what to make of it all. It all looks like madness from my perspective. The mob is being whipped up into a frenzy. Every negative rumor about him is being printed and believed. Until now, I hadn't understood how effective the media has been in preparing us to believe that he is Satan incarnate.
We are definitely on track to wage war on Iran and Syria, before Bush leaves office. Things are building up perfectly to give Bush the war he wants. Soon enough, most of those students that booed Ahmadinejad will be drafted and let loose in Iran, to fight and die for their hatred of the man.
I doubt that right now, they are even thinking about the path they are being led down. That their actions now may lead them in a couple of years to a day when they be maimed or killed in Iran or Syria. Is their hatred now, worth an early grave or a lifetime as a paraplegic?
The threat that Iran poses to the US at this point is about the same as the threat that Saddam once posed. They have no nuclear weapons, and the IAEA inspectors insist that they aren't working one. Further, the IAEA inspectors tell us that Iran doesn't have the means to make one.
But demonizing Iran and convincing Iran that we will attack them, may bring us a self fulfilling prophecy. In daily life we know that there are repercussions when we constantly threaten a neighbor with bodily harm or death. Surely we should expect consequences if we constantly do the same to sovereign nations?
And what is up with Israel's attack on Syria? Was it a false flag event? Did they actually hit anything, or was the point to make it look like they did? Was it just a test of Syria's defenses?
The following link has President Ahmadinejad's speech in full.
The Largest Minority
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Creating More Enemies
Republican Congressman Peter King demonstrates bigotry and religious persecution.
Here he is last year, talking about how safe Baghdad is. He cites the example of amusement parks that are up and running, and filled with smiling happy people.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Stuff You Can Only Learn In A Library
h/t Crooks And Liars
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Republican Police Make a Political Statement At John Kerry Address
In a recent event at the University of Florida, the Florida Republican Police Department taser a young man for asking questions.
Too be fair, John Kerry never asks the officers to taser the young man. But then he doesn't try very hard to stop the police from torturing the young man. He simply says, let him speak. Then goes on as if the young man being tasered, is still paying attention.
You can see in the video that the police officers are having a good time as the torture this young man. They are smiling and laughing. Isn't this great fun?
As I've thought about this incident, I can't help but wonder if the police intentionally made a scene in order to disrupt John Kerry's address. It seems to me that the police intentionally made a political statement, making it clear what they would do to liberals that attempt to exercise their right to free speech.
Here you can hear him asking about Skull and Bones. Kerry says to let him ask question. You can also hear a student begging the cops to taser him.
This next video shows that he was a bit annoying. But I don't agree that this is good cause to torture him.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Check Out Roy Zimmerman!
More of his videos can be found here.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
h/t Crooks And Liars
The Mission In Iraq Is Not About Making America Safe
h/t Crooks And Liars
General Westmoreland Petraeus has given some damaging testimony as the hearing continues. The most incredible so far, is his statement that he has no idea if the war against Iraq will make America safer. He tells us that staying will accomplish the mission. But he doesn't tell us what the mission is.
So it is clear now. Our boys are killing and dying, not for the US Constitution, and not to defend the United States of America. They are killing and dying for a mission that has nothing to do with making the world a safer or better place. It has nothing to do with protecting America, or America's interests.
Our military is at war, in a fight that has nothing to do with America. It serves an outside, foreign interest. Our young men and women in uniform are killing and dying to satisfy the goals of a foreign power.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Republican Police Break Rev. Lennox Yearwood's Leg
h/t Free Market News Corp and Crooks And Liars
The Republican Police Department wrestled the Reverend to the ground, and broke his leg in order to prevent him from entering the Cannon Caucus Room on Capitol Hill, where General Petreaus gave testimony yesterday.
The crime he committed was the wearing of a badge that reads, "I love the people of Iraq." Evidently, you have to hate the people of Iraq if you're going near the Republican Police Department in Washington DC. They don't put up with that Love Thy Brother crap that Jesus preached.
Once the terrorists see this video, we'll be safe. They will no longer need to hate us for our freedoms.
River Is In Syria
Check out her latest post on Baghdad Burning.
Part of the success of the surge, is the creation of a flood of refugees leaving Iraq. Driving people from their homes and out of the country they were born in, is evidently an important part of Bush's plan to bring peace and democracy to Iraq. A nation with no people in it, is probably easier for Halliburton to govern.
Yesterday's report by Petraeus was interesting to say the least. The Republicans that spoke, did everything but perform fellatio on Petraeus. Heck, we don't know what happened in the head. Perhaps they lined up to service him in the bathroom stalls?
MoveOn.org took a beating from Republicans. They evidently know that many people are calling General Westmoreland Petraeus by the name of 'Betrayus'. Rep. Duncan Hunter told us that he hadn't read the Westmoreland Petraeus report, but he knew it was going to be informative and accurate. After all, Rep. Duncan Hunter has psychic powers. He slammed liberal bloggers for predicting that Petreaus would just argue that he needed another six months to gauge the progress in a Iraq and that we need to just keep on keeping on. Well, that is what General Westmoreland Petraeus said. But Rep. Duncan Hunter loved the way he said it.
War and Slaughter lover Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen continued the lovefest and condemned bloggers for not loving the slaughter of human beings in Iraq as much as she does. She expressed her love and undying devotion to General Westmoreland Petraeus and spewed venom and vile at anyone who accused her idol of working for the Commander and Chief of the Armed Forces. She made it very clear that she hates bloggers who want peace. She urged everyone to embrace the slaughter and butcher of other human beings, to embrace the lie of Iraq and to distance themselves from those that do not love war and cooking children alive with phosgene. Oh, yeah, and if you disagree with her about anything, then you are a terrorist. She is the only Patriotic American who has ever lived.
When Rep. Tom Lantos asked Petraeus where this war will be in four years and if we're in the same place, would it be worth it, General Westmoreland Petraeus began rambling about Al Qaida. He could've said that he didn't believe that this scenario would come to pass, but it sounds like he didn't expect the question. The first thing that he thought of was probably the truth, that this is the plan. He couldn't say that, so he answered a question that wasn't asked. From that exchange, I think that it is safe to believe that General Westmoreland Petraeus intends for the war in Iraq to be no further along in four years, than it is now.
I wasn't surprised when he told us that he hadn't anticipated much of what has happened in Iraq. His military career doesn't include any real combat experience. From his resume, it looks like he rose through the ranks by being reliable, and not from any real talent or skill. Where a qualified combat general would be trying to anticipate change on the battlefield, General Westmoreland Petraeus expects plodding conformity. He is surprised by change.
The real kicker came when he was asked about plans to build a new base on the Iran/Iraq border. He didn't know anything about it.
If Petraeus doesn't know about new bases being built or changes on the battlefield, then who does? Who is actually running this war, if General Westmoreland Petraeus isn't?
Monday, September 10, 2007
Republican General Petraeus
I've listened to as much of his speech as I can. Lag is bad on some of the video streams. So I've missed portions of his reports.
His points are as I understand them.
1. Good and bad stuff has happened.
2. Progress is impossible to measure.
3. No one could have predicted that things would be as they are today.
4. It is impossible to tell how things will turn out.
5. We should continue to do what we are doing.
6. In six months, I will come back and give you this same report.
Republican Party General To Speak on FOX Today
h/t Crooks And Liars
General Petraeus, the Republican Party spokesman for the war in Iraq, is going to give an exclusive interview to the Republican Television Network, FOX News.
I'm sure this interview is going to explain how the surge is working. but lest we forget, the purpose of the surge wasn't to surge, but to give the Iraqi Parliament a little breathing space to get their act together. That didn't happen, so obviously, the surge is a failure.
Over and over, the bush and his Republican Generals have decided on a tactic, thought up a mission for the tactic, then once it is obvious that the mission is a failure, they call the tactic a success.
To simplify, we're slaughtering Iraqis as a tactic to give them peace, freedom and a democracy. Though they aren't getting peace freedom and a democracy, the slaughter is a success.
The tactic has clearly replaced the objective. We are successfully slaughtering Iraqis, so Iraq is a big success. Forget goals and missions. We are successful because we have slaughtered over on million human beings. No other metric is necessary for the Republicans and their Military adjuncts.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Antiwar Movement
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Getting Blocked On Crooks And Liars
Hehe, I just got my IP blocked on Crooks And Liars for making fun of trolls. I guess my sarcasm wasn't obvious enough.
Check out this article there on GreenPeace.
Or just watch the video here:
It is a great ad, except as the Great ArchDruid reminds us, it is way late.
For one thing, 90% of the large fish in the oceans are gone. And if we don't catch the last 10%, how are we going to feed all of the new babies?
Our topsoil is blowing away. Our petroleum production has peaked and is in decline. With diminishing fossil fuels, comes a diminishing food supply.
We are standing on the edge of a population crash.
Mr. Greer argues, still people want to believe that there is still time to turn this around, that it isn't too late. But this is an argument I've heard all of my life. And the 11th hour has come and gone. No savior has stepped forward with a plan that allows infinite growth on a finite planet. And none is coming. It is impossible to expand our population and consumption indefinitely on a planet with a finite energy input. Just as it is impossible to expand spending forever on a fixed income.
Our planet has been endowed with a limited energy input for as long as it has been here. Hundreds of millions of years of vegetable growth has been inefficiently fossilized to produce coal, oil and gas. At the rate of one million years of fossilization, per one year of consumption, we've burned more than halfway through our endowment. An every year, we try to burn it faster.
Now we'll likely burn through what is left in half the time it took to burn the first half. In fifty years, we'll probably down to near zero. In theory, a person of my age could live long enough to see that happen. So what I'm discussing isn't for me, some sort of rhetorical exercise. If I'm lucky, I can expect to live through a decade or two of this mess. My youngest relatives, will grow up in a worsening environment. They'll see the food quality and quantity continue to decline.
And don't think that this Chinese scare on food is the end. It is just the beginning. As food becomes more expensive to produce, food manufacturers will be pressured to keep sales volumes up. They will have to find alternative things to put in food to bulk it up.
Back when I was in grade school in the 1970s, we learned about all of this stuff that is happening now. We learned about oil running out, fish running low, pollution being spread everywhere, water supplies declining... We had kids doing what this kid is doing. Except we did it with poster board and school displays. Our parents helped. And still, time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin, into the future (apologies to Steve Miller)...
Malthus explained it all. He was the first to make sense of all of this. If we were a rational species, we would've heeded his call and cut back on birthing babies so quickly. After all, a smaller population consumes less food and produces less pollution. Ideally, our population from the 1930s would've been the top end. Had that occurred, we could've continued our increasing technological lifestyle for at least another hundreds of years without worrying over Peak Oil or Peak Energy.
Even in the 1970s, when the "Limits to Growth" report was published, there was still time to push back the clock. Curtailing population and consumption growth might have helped to turn this around. I have some doubts, but I think if there is a time to pick last chances, that was probably it.
Now it is after midnight, and we're still acting like it is the 11th hour.
As others keep suggesting. Take this time to find ways to live with less, so that when you have no choices left, you'll already be comfortable with the new way.
Learn some hand skills. Start a garden. Learn an acoustic instrument.
I agree with folks that say we can cut 20% of our energy usage without losing much of our quality of life. But I expect to see a 95% cut in my lifetime. How will I survive that? I'm not sure I will, but I'm not going out without trying.