Friday, November 26, 2010

Depressing Current Events

North Korea attacked South Korea. We were all duped by a shopkeeper in Afghanistan. Tom DeLay was arrested for money laundering or some such. The TSA is still being a pain in the neck. I found out that each aircraft carrier we have commissioned carries the equivalent of many countries' actual air force. And we have these all over the world. And we wonder why people feel threatened by us. I wonder why we feel threatened by them.

Just your typical, happy-go-lucky Thanksgiving week, in other words. I hope everybody had a good one...I got to cook nearly our entire Thanksgiving dinner because my mom wasn't feeling well. It was actually pretty fun- I ran down the battery on my iPod and got to get very hungry cooking it all.

Since all that was going on, I don't actually know that much about the whole Korea thing. As near as I can tell, North Korea apparently shelled a small South Korean island, which of course made South Korea a little angry. North Korea subsequently issued a warning that war could follow if things got too heated. Like, if we got involved, things might get a little tense.

But, of course, we have to stick our big noses where they don't belong. Why we have to conduct military maneuvers with the South Korean navy in the first place...I have no clue. But I think that qualifies as butting in and getting involved. Just a little.

I still don't understand why we think we should have to be involved in every thing that happens on the planet. Or why, like the substitute on the Glenn Beck Program said this morning, other countries should "fall in line" with us. Yeah. Because we're the world's mommy. We have to save them from themselves.

Of course, I don't think North Korea will actually do anything. With the power shift currently going on there, I'm inclined to believe this is just saber-rattling to make sure people don't think that now, as their power structure is changing, would be a good time to attack them. Amidst all this, China isn't even trying to get involved. They don't want war breaking out in their backyard. Again. And I understand why not- they're in the middle of prosperity. They don't want to mess it up. ^.^ If we only had as much sense.

Monday, November 22, 2010

In the Name of Safety

I'm sick of this subject. Which is why I'm going to proceed to rant about it for a minute. Or more.
I love how much is done in the name of "safety." We have to be "safe." After all, we wouldn't want to be...uh....unsafe, right?! It's for the children! So that they can...uh...well, be seen naked by creepy TSA people you can't see! Yeah! Save the children from...

Inept and slightly stupid terrorists. Who won't even blow up their own seats. I'm not sure why I should be scared of that. But okay.

Safety. What is safety? The absence from fear? Yeah, right. People are always afraid of something. It's practically a rule from the Human Handbook. And if there's nothing logical and concrete to be afraid of, our minds will make something up. Classic example: vengeful, angry ghosts. Throwing away billions of dollars and tons of privacy in the name of making people "feel safe" is absolutely silly from that standpoint.

If we define safety as merely being able to get on a plane without being blown up...well, since the chances of your dying in a terrorist attack are pretty near non-existent, I think we have that all wrapped up. Mission accomplished. The TSA can go home now. Leave us alone. Buh-bye. Let us go back to regular fears, like possibly dying from heat stroke or electrocution.

There's also the logical hilarity of the arguments used to support these new measures. The "Underwear Bomber"? Please. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab didn't even embark on a plane in the United States, but rather in Amsterdam. How was that a failure of our security services, and how could any heightened security measures here have stopped him in any way? (Except of course, for that little measure we could have taken of revoking his visa, but that would have been way too simple!)

The other two "major" terror attempts in the past few years have also not been connected to commercial flights departing from the US- the "Times Square Bomber" which was in no way connected to airplanes or airports, and the Terrible Cartridge Bombs of Death, that were sent through the cargo and baggage areas of the airport. On a FedEx plane. Tell FedEx they must submit to rigorous security protocols. FedEx can be used to initiate terror plots against the United States!

Yet despite all that, the government continues telling us that, in the pursuit of "safety", it is essential that we ignore every area of transportation and mail that might actually prove to be a threat, and instead focus on the civilians of America. In other words, us. Somewhere along the way, we became the enemy...if we ever even had a real enemy in the first place. Which I doubt. We created a phantasm in our minds, and now shy at it reflexively. But like nightmares, the danger is very real.

But only in our minds.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Civilian Trials (once again)

Ahmed Ghailani, one of the men supposedly involved in the embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya (that occurred, um, twelve years ago) was brought to trial Wednesday- or at least, that was when he was acquitted of all but one out of 280 charges.

Yessir. Those poor prosecutors were unable to use statements he made under duress (the outrage!), and unfortunately their trail had gone cold since, apparently, terrorists are unlike regular people, and we can't bring them to justice immediately. Oh no. We have to wait twelve years. Actually, only six, since he was captured in 2004. And then sent to Guantanamo.


Despite the acquittals, Ghailani is still looking at anything from twenty years to life in prison. Go us. We now know that if you conspire to mess up a pretty government building, you can get life in prison.

Right. Okay.

In any case, the response to this is pretty typical. In fact, it's laughably familiar. Didn't we already go through this? The Republicans are mad because they only had circumstantial evidence to throw at him, and hence he's not...uh...going to go to jail for a long time. Guys, let me acquaint you with one of the beauties of the American justice system:

You can't send somebody to jail if you don't have proof. It doesn't work. No matter how much you absolutely know, deep down in your little heart, that Ahmed Ghailani committed grievous crimes against us, without proof, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. That's a good thing. It keeps innocent people from going to jail.

This does not prove that civilian trials won't work for terror detainees. It just means that we have a cultural block, and we need to get over it and realize that these people are just that- people, who deserve just as much courtesy and justice as any other human being. We afford the worst kind of people civilian trials.

And on that note, I'd also like to, once again, challenge that little thing. "They're not civilians!" people cry. "We can't try them in civilian courts!"

But... "They're not a military! We can't afford them the protections of the Geneva Conventions!"


This proves it. I know what these men are.

They're figments of our imagination. *nods seriously* This has all been a big trick played by our minds. 9/11 didn't happen. Guantanamo doesn't exist. Because there is not a netherworld between military and civilian, and hence these men must not exist.

In any case, and all joking aside, I have decided that most of these trials are merely a sham, in any case, as this quote from the NYTimes aptly illustrates:

"Had he been cleared of all charges, the administration would probably have been forced to take Ghailani back into military custody rather than see him released."

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. It just flat doesn't matter. Nothing matters in this crazy country we're living in now. According to the government (not only this administration's, but past ones as well), convictions, or non-convictions, by a jury duly appointed can be turned over at the whim of said government.

People ask how they can see us naked and pat us down in incredibly invasive ways for the mere crime of *gathp* wanting to travel?

That's how. Welcome to America.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Political Celebrities

So I suppose it was to be expected. Doesn't mean I can't enjoy the hypocritical irony.

You see, during the election (and after, and now) I remember people blasting President Obama because he was acting like a celebrity. I mean, he like, had TV cameras following him around all the time! He like, was feted like he was Brad Pitt or something! He had his own fan club! That evil man! How dare he think he's a celebrity or something? Politics isn't supposed to be a celebrity sport!


And now, the same people who said all that are lining up to fall down in loving adoration at the feet of the new political celebrity: Sarah Palin and "her Alaska". Maybe she'll take them out on that island so they can see Russia, and prove she's still fit to be President of the United States.

Sorry. That was low.

In any case, I find the hypocrisy there quite interesting. Hilarious, actually. Oh, the joys of American politics.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Well. It's been awhile since I posted, and for that I'm (sort of) sorry. Life has been nuts for me. ^.^ My mom and I attended a Students for Liberty conference in Austin, Texas on the 6th, which was awesome...except for the eight-hour drive to get there. Thank God for iPods and big books. (In addition, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo, and planning for another missions trip next year...and trying to raise money....but that's a whole 'nother subject, and we won't go into it.)

In any case, I figured I'd be a good blog author and post some stuff, just because I think that would help make my blog more interesting...and stuff.

The Pentagon has decided that repealing DADT would do practically nothing to the nature of our conflicts overseas and the makeup of the military. Really now? How surprising. Imagine that..."people are people, no matter how..." uh.... "strange." There we go. There are some pretty strange people in the world, let me tell you. Anyway, I don't think this study comes as a surprise to much of anybody except people who think gays are a literal abomination and that they should all be railroaded out of the military, along with Muslims.

In other news, a couple people in Washington are beginning to see that, hey, if we want to cut spending...we're going to have to give up some stuff! Like, we might have to stop handing out money like it grows on trees, or something. Huh, imagine that. That's...weird. I'm wondering when more people will catch onto the truth that we're not going to be able to have a utopia where we spend tons of money and reduce the deficit. Sorry, folks, it doesn't work that way. So, future retirees, buckle up and start saving money, because you're going to need it if you want to retire. Kids, save for college. Single mothers, find a good guy and settle down. Because this isn't going to be pretty, and people are going to be hurt in the short term. Loss and having to live a less exorbitant lifestyle sometimes is part of life. Get used to it.

However- and this is a big however- it would be far better to both cut $200 billion (or more) from our budget....but not increase taxes and "squeeze" an extra $100 billion out of Americans. Because people aren't going to like it. It's not going to go over well. "Yeah, we're cutting spending...but we need more money to do it!"


My favorite quote of this whole article? "It would stabilize borrowing within the next three years, balance the budget by 2040 and bring the debt more in line with historical norms."

We're going to stabilize borrowing. Not stop borrowing. Stabilize it. Yeah. We're going to stabilize the Titanic after that.

Oh, and don't forget this one: "Spending cuts outweigh revenue increases by about three to one, a ratio Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, called lopsided."

Wait. Isn't that...the point? don't have enough revenue. So you're cutting spending. Yeah. Wouldn't that be sort of the purpose of this venture?

Well, there you go. Your daily spurt of cynicism.

In other news, today is Veteran's Day! In the spirit of the holiday, I thought I'd copy my Facebook status from this morning relating to it:

A thank-you to all our veterans. Your sacrifice is appreciated, even if our politicians are dingbats and have put you (and are putting the current generation) in unnecessary danger.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


So...the Republicans took the House. Big surprise, whoopiee. In Texas, my home state, Rick Perry got elected to a third term. Awesome. I'm so proud of the voting Texans in this state. They averted....uh....Rick Perry's virtual carbon copy, Bill White, from getting into office. Go ya'll. Thank you so much for saddling us all with that man for another four years.

Mac Thornberry, our representative for the House also got reelected. For the ninth time. This'll be his tenth term in the House. Once again, I'm so proud we voted in a small-government candidate from the Republican party! You go Mac, keep voting for legislation like the PATRIOT act, TARP, and all that stuff, and reduce the size of that government!

Yeah. I'm....very excited about the outcome of this election, in case you can't tell.