Thursday, March 29, 2007

They've Been a Bad Little Country

Iran says may not release British woman
TEHRAN (Reuters) -
Iran will delay the release of the only woman among 15 British military personnel detained last week if Tehran is faced with "fuss and wrong behavior" from Britain, a senior Iranian official said on Thursday.
Holy cow, this is the kind of crap we dump on the rest of the world all the time, isn't it? "You're a spoiled child, and we're the adult". This kind of pomposity is what makes other countries hate us, why does Iran think that it will work for them, now?

Someone will launch a military operation in Iran, and I suspect it will be England, since they're the ones being openly chastised in the world theater. And if England does jump in, will our troops be far behind to help?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Glass Half Empty

Iran 'seizes' 15 British Marines
A dispute ensued over whether the Marines were in Iraqi, international, or Iranian territorial waters, and the 15 were then seized and taken to Iran, the U.S. military official said.
I'm not saying that we're going to war right away. What I'm saying is that when they teach about this in schools, it will be reported as the incident that brought Iran in to World War III.

I would be so, so happy to be wrong.

See, here's the thing - every once in a while we see a news item or a blog post that talks about how military recruiting numbers are down, or how we're now spread so thin that we couldn't really defend ourselves militarily on a new front. Perhaps you recall reading about soldiers being taken off medical disability or individuals with criminal records now being accepted as recruits. I believe that all of these things are true.

If all of these things are true, then how in the world can the U.S. ever achieve victory on any of these fronts. Hell, I'm not even sure that I understand what victory is supposed to be, any more. These two wars that I'm thinking of, Afghanistan and Iraq, who exactly are we in a war against? The Afghani and Iraqi governments? Aren't they now constructs that we helped build? If we're not fighting the governments, than who are we fighting, and more importantly, who can we negotiate a truce or a cease-fire with?

Who's in charge of all this violence and conflict? Who's working towards all the killing and the destruction? Without clear sides, how can the war ever stop?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

World Got You Down?

Well, why wouldn't it? I mean, the country's being run by the most selfish people that exist in the 50 states, people who are literally strip-mining the populace of its will to be reasonable. Global warming is hotly (yes, you may smack me for the pun) contended. Corruption flourishes in almost every state government. Gas costs a million dollars and citrus fruit is getting really expensive.

Is there nothing that can cheer us up?

Of course there is! In the words of one of the commenters on Cute Overload:

Is teh polar blog!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More Moral Quandries

I've been home a lot lately, which you may or may not know. I had a DVT that did the whole "travel to the lung" thing, which, when it doesn't kill you, makes you tired as hell for a long time. So I'm just not getting out and about like I used to. This means that I'm having more political discussions with my dad than usual, because, holy cow, that man is home a lot. Recently, there have been two things we've talked about that I wanted to mention here. I actually got off my butt and am mentioning them. It's a minor miracle.

First thing: "pension relief" in New Jersey. The concept that raising the retirement age will save money for the state because older retirees won't receive as much in pension money is a wash. Those people are working for the state at full salary, people. And the odds are that if they're at retirement age, then they're at the top of the earnings scale. Paying out their pensions would actually cost the state less, wouldn't it? Am I missing something?

Second thing: Gonzales, replacing US Attorneys, should he retire, etc, etc. My dad said to me, "At least Gonzales is better than what we had before". I'm not so sure, though. Yes, I think that Ashcroft is a bit of a loon who has firm beliefs about the world and how it works that I think do that whole "causal disconnect" thing. I admit it, I think the man is nuts. But I think that Gonzales is self-serving and anti-Constitution. I think he, in addition to plenty of other government officials, has been successfully undermining the document that is the foundation of American society the entire time he's held his position. I find that I can't make a better/worse comparison between insane and amoral.