Saturday, May 26, 2007

Bye Bye Iraq

Ok, I didn’t wanna get into this. Really, I was trying to avoid this subject on my blog for the last, like, four years. However, with the inevitable folding of the democrats and the mountain of money they have begrudgingly handed over to our president, I feel I have to vent. Yeah I must once again shout into the wind only to have my voice met with a few sardonic replies and then be cast into the vacuous nothing that is the blog-asphere.

Well here it is anyway; the war in Iraq is stupid. It’s dumb on so many different levels that I will surely miss some points, but I will strive to hit the big ones. Also, realize that any argument you may hear on FOX NEWS (the leader in US propaganda) about why we need to be there is based on Rupert Murdock’s perverted sense of blood lust.

9/11 was one of the worst days in American history. Many people died in a horrible attack which was carried out with guerilla style tactics that we were, honestly, just not prepared for. I don’t even blame Bush for sitting in that classroom and continuing to read to those children. None of us would have wanted to be that man, at that time, on that day. But action had to be taken, and the American people wanted retribution. The president had to do something. Unfortunately, for most of the rest of the world and especially for us, he chose to rally the troops and run strait at Iraq in a huge hurry.

Here’s where it gets weird. He had video tapped confessions (hell, boasts) from this asshole named Osama bin laden who was implicated by the previous administration and who had been in the terrorist game for a while. Yet, the president had to carefully construct evidence in the form of yellow cake, WMD’s, aluminum tubes, and an asshole dictator to coerce a war on a country that either was only loosely involved or not involved at all with the whole thing. Why? I don’t speak for everybody, and I wouldn’t presume to, but I think most everyone would have been happy to go after Osama bin laden rather than topple Iraq. Frankly, I was a bit confused when the president said we were going to war in Iraq. Didn’t we just get hit with airplanes flown by terrorists? We didn’t get shot at with WMD’s. So, after all the other trumped up crap gets defunked what was the reason for going into Iraq?

Iraq harbors and promotes terrorists.” Well what country doesn’t? Ireland has the I.R.A., Sri Lanka has the Tamil Tigers, Libya has Muammar Qadaffi, and the list goes on. Now, before you start thinking that we are any better realize that America has been using the Special Forces to train foreign nationals to use guerrilla warfare for years. We have been the most active nation in the world for aiding and sponsoring global terrorism and we have been doing it long before Al Qaeda. “Oh, but we do it for the good of blah, blah, blah…” yeah, let Sheppard Smith read you another bedtime story. What this boils down to is that we are trying to pull the strings of other governments and in the process we are killing innocent people. It doesn’t make it any less our responsibility just because someone else is pulling the trigger. I won’t even get into the whole thing with Posada. Yes America, you are as guilty if not guiltier as Iraq was supposed to be.

“Well, Leaving Sadam in charge of Iraq? That would have been a better option?” (Sigh) Ok, Sadam was a fucker, but there are a lot of fuckers out there. Have we invaded North Korea, Sudan, or any other country that has some fucker dictator? No! We made Iraq that lucky country. Now, I think we may have lost sight here. Sadam killed a lot of people and he needed to come to some sort of justice. However, now there are daily bombings in the streets. Militias are running the cities with their own brand of thug-law and death squads roam around unchecked torturing and murdering hundreds. Then there are all the atrocities our poor soldiers have committed. I’m not saying they’re all bad, but I am saying that given a crazy lawless situation where there is no infrastructure to administer any reciprocity and some bad apples are going to do some bad things. In the process they are going to make us look bad. Bam! You have just lost the high ground America. I won’t go into the humanitarian abuses at the prisons.

“Well what should we do? Stop fighting over there so they can attack us back here in The States?” I love this argument. The complete lack of logic with a sweet luster of irrationality and followed with just a hint of denial…ahhhh, like fine wine. What the hell idiot? Let me make an analogy for you. You love your back porch. It is a comfortable, pleasant place to be. Then one day you get bitten by a mosquito and it welts up and itches. Now, what would most people do? Would they buy a citronella candle or maybe put up some screens to lessen the likelihood of getting bitten again? Well no, apparently they hire some high school kids from down the street to stand around in the backyard swatting at the little bastards day and night. Oh, and best of all, you get the local retard to manage the whole operation from beside you on the porch. Never mind it is costing a freakin’ fortune and all the kids are managing to do is get tired, sweaty, homesick and lose blood. You should defiantly just keep doing it. I mean, it should work…some day…right?

Here’s the thing. England was fighting with us and they got bombed by extremists. Spain was bombed too, and I guarantee to you right here and now that some day we will be bombed again. So, there is no way that by fighting a war somewhere else, the people you are fighting against will be less pissed at you. Try and understand that when people get pissed, they are more likely to bomb you.

So, now that we are there and haven’t found WMD’s and toppled a government, are we safe? Fuck no; Bin laden is still out there Al Qaeda is still operating (stronger than ever I might add) and most of the Middle East is emboldened to fight against the western occupiers. All we have achieved is to make ourselves look dumb and arrogant to the rest of the world. Oh, and we know, for sure, that Iran and North Korea are making nuclear weapons. So, are we going to run after them now? Most of our supporters are gone and we as Americans have the “Patriot Act” to show for it. Yippy! So, in the effort to protect ourselves from some obscure group of terrorists we have metaphorically shot our selves in the foot. Now we can enjoy even less freedoms than we had before.

If you haven’t guessed it already, I support a troop withdrawal. We have to face the facts that there is already a civil war going on over there and we caused it. All that is going to happen now is that our presence is going to ensure that the war drags on and that Americans will get killed. It’s as much a meat grinder as Vietnam was. Yup, we lost. But don’t beat yourselves up about it too much. The war was lost the second our president declared it on an ideal (terrorism), especially an ideal that gets stronger with the more martyrs you create. Here’s a tip for the future. You wanna win a war, then set reachable goals. Not some nebulous idea that frankly will require you killing non-combatants and maintaining a force in a foreign nation forever. I just want to hear one reason as to why we should stay. Still, there will be fifty more reasons to leave.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Don’t Tread on Me

More and more I have noticed that our rights are being eroded away with seemingly endless litigation, new laws, or local ordinances. I guess this struck me one day while I was listening to the radio and it just leapt out at me as to how many stories involved some fundamental freedom that is, was or will soon be taken away. It kind of astounded me that we can express that America is the land of the free when there are so many laws that take those freedoms away. Now, bear with me here. I am not talking about laws that protect us from each other. Such as speed limits, and littering laws, and of course murder, arson, theft etc. What I am enraged about is the government taking away free will. It really all boils down to fear.

For instance: Same sex marriage. Now, here you have two people who love each other and want to be with each other and want the same classification, title and rights applied to a straight couple. A marriage between these two people will have no bearing on anyone but them, so why should the neighbor across the street have a say in what they can and can’t do? This legal debacle is as insane as if you wanted to try and apply the same laws to mixed race couples. Fucking ridiculous. The foundation argument I have heard against people having this right is that it would erode the sanctity of, what they consider to be, real marriage (between two straight people), as though a staggering divorce rate wasn’t doing that already. All else aside; who the fuck gave someone, not in this relationship, the right to tell them what they can and can’t do? Why shouldn’t they have the same rights as others? When did the government get the ability to restrict who we can love?

I’ve read the arguments on both sides of the issue and overwhelmingly the disinters arguments always boil down to fear. They are afraid of something they don’t understand or can’t abide. They mask this cowardice in social arguments about how it will hurt community values and the roles of family. “How might it affect children?” is a common argument. Well, I’m sure that a child being raised in a home with two parents, regardless of sex, is better off than one being raised by the state. Yes, homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt.

I believe that a government is needed to protect the rights of its citizens, even from one another. A government should only enact laws that punish those who stand in the way of someone’s freedom of choice. I’m not saying that one shouldn’t be able to effect change in laws if it conflicts with their beliefs. Yet, at the same time that person’s moral compass should not be enforced on others who may not share his view. If we really want to say that we have freedom of religion in this country then you must be willing to accept and defend all philosophies not only your own view.

OK, here it is; there is no argument anywhere that is righteous enough or defendable enough to logically give reason as to why any two people should not be together in the same way as anyone else. That goes for any couple of age disparity (accepting minors), race, socioeconomic classes, or sex. The government should never have a say in what two consenting adults can do as long as it doesn’t directly hurt anyone else… ever. If you want a moral high ground then you have to be willing to live with something that you may not like. Otherwise you aren’t really an American patriot; you are truly yearning to live in a theocracy; one that aligns with your own moral idealism. America was founded on the concept of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If you can’t live with what that may mean for your neighbor then move to a country that was set up to restrict people’s rights.

On a completely different subject…

I was googling the other day when I came across this picture of Robert DeNiro from Taxi Driver. Weird huh?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

At Long, Long Last

For months I had been looking forward to the trip LJ and I would take back to Pensacola for my graduation ceremony. Was it weird to finally walk across the stage? Hmmm, it was kinda like the first time I had sex. There was all this build up for years, I felt like I was the last guy on earth to finally get it, and when it was happening I was too worried about screwing it up to enjoy it… not to mention all the spectators. It was good to have everything finalized though, if not for me then for all my fans out there (you know who you are). The expectations I had, for gatherings and lodgings, activities etc., were a bit high. Still, everything surpassed what I had imagined.

It’s kinda weird how some people can make you feel like you never left. My friend group down there (my crew as I refer to them) are just that sort. LJ has the propensity to worry and fret over every little thing. It’s not her fault; it’s just how she is. She was concerned that there would be a bit of a rift between us and our old crew, but as soon as we got there it was like old times. We couldn’t have felt more welcome.

Hell, everyone reading this was there so let me just take a step back and before I make this an epic novel, let me instead just say thank you. I had a great time. When I was a child my parents quickly discovered that I didn’t do too well with big groups of kids at my birthday parties. I would get upset and run away to be alone or I would be visibly stressed, however I must feel close enough to everyone down there that I don’t have those issues. Everyone who knows me also knows that I have a problem with crowds. Still, even on the night when everyone was at our hotel and there was barely enough room to sit I was completely comfortable. That is really saying something for me. You guys are totally my BFF’s and I won’t forget it when I conquer the world.

Now its time for some thank you’s…

Let me again say thank you to Mike and Ryan (and anyone else involved) with my cartoon portrait. I don’t have it here in Reno yet, but it’s on the way. I already have a place chosen to hang it. You guys rock… (sniff)…you rock really hard…really.


Though I know she’ll never read this, I wanted to thank my sister-in-law for the champagne she got LJ and I at Jackson’s. That was really classy. LJ and I were completely surprised. It also acted as a de-stresser for us. We were kinda pent up about the whole thing, but that really loosened us up.


Thanks Nana and Pa for the fancy watch you got me and have been holding for two years. Glad you could finally get rid of it and I love it. I haven’t gotten it fitted yet; however the weekend is rapidly approaching. I hope to check my watch as ostentatiously as possible, and as frequently as etiquette permits the next time LJ and I go out.

Last but certainly not least…

I wanted to thank my parents for the sword. My father had told me years before that he would get me a sword for graduating college; he made good on that promise with a real work of art. The sword is an authentic, hand made, replica of an 18th century naval cutlass. Let me just say that I have handled swords for sparring and replicas of all varieties and at all expenses not to mention more than a handful of the real deal. I won’t go too much into it, but this sword is really quality. I couldn’t have been more pleased. The inscription on the blade reads, “Life is good, Mark, and why shouldn’t it be? You’re a pirate after all.” Truer words were never spoken. I pick it up everyday, I go to Krispy Kreme with it, I check the mail with it, I have my co-workers through my lunch at me so I can slice stuff in half with it! I love it!

Thanks again to everybody, for the parties, the hangin’ out and everything else. If you feel like you didn’t get enough me time then just send an RSVP and come to Reno! Seriously, LJ and I miss all of you. Plus, I can wow you with my incredible snowboarding abilities (or falling as some would call it).