Wii Friend Code

If you have a Wii, then hook me up with your friend code.

Here's my code: 4152 4403 2976 8797

My Mii's want to mingle with you!

2006 In Review : Iraq Edition

I've always enjoyed reading Baghdad Burning because it is a raw, unfiltered perspective of the Iraq war from the eyes of a seemingly ordinary citizen. (It might be a propaganda blog ran by Al Qaeda, but I kinda doubt it.) Anywhoo...

Today's post at Baghdad Burning is must-read if you have wondered how ordinary Iraqis are dealing with their 'liberation'.
This last year especially has been a turning point. Nearly every Iraqi has lost so much. So much. There's no way to describe the loss we've experienced with this war and occupation. There are no words to relay the feelings that come with the knowledge that daily almost 40 corpses are found in different states of decay and mutilation. There is no compensation for the dense, black cloud of fear that hangs over the head of every Iraqi. Fear of things so out of ones hands, it borders on the ridiculous- like whether your name is 'too Sunni' or 'too Shia'. Fear of the larger things- like the Americans in the tank, the police patrolling your area in black bandanas and green banners, and the Iraqi soldiers wearing black masks at the checkpoint.

This is it. This is the liberty that Bush delivered to the people of Iraq. They now live in a world where their family name could mean a death sentence in certain neighborhoods. They live in a world where the lives and deaths of Iraqi citizens are minimized to prevent political fallout in the United States. They are minimized because they aren't US soldiers, therefore the architects of the Iraq War do not care.

I encourage you to read the whole thing, because it is yet another devastating indictment of 21st Century Republican Foreign Policy. These fools led us into a horrific situation that easily could have been avoided if we had discussed the costs in a rational manner. However, it's clear that Bush supporters avoid rational debates at all costs, and now they want to 'surge' into Iraq again and damn the costs. It's time to say No. NO. NO. It's time to crucify the thieves of our Republic and leave their corpses for display as a warning to the next generation of Neocons.


Blogger Updating - Goodbye For Now?

Blogger is having some problems updating this blog to their new system. So, I there will probably be some weird formatting issues for a while until everything gets sorted out. I apologize, and hopefully everything will get worked out soon.


A New Year

For some reason I haven't been able to log on to my blogger account lately, so I haven't been able to post a winter solstice greeting. And now it's too late...

So what's on my mind?

We had a great holiday celebration at the Fresh Catch Houston base.

I have owned my Wii for over a month now, and I am ready to start posting my thoughts on the system. I love it so far, but the technology needs to mature. I'll be posting a review of Zelda and Wii Sports soon.

Chris Howard at Apple Matters thinks that Apple and Nintendo should 'play together'. This is something that I've heard for years, and I still don't understand it. Basically, the argument goes something like this: "Nintendo and Apple like white colors and offer complex technology with an easy, clean interface." You could say the same about my TV and my microwave. Or my car stereo and my alarm clock. I'd love to see them 'play together', but they don't really play in the same league.

In the political world, we will soon have a Dem Congress. Unfortunately, they can only sit on the side with us while Bush 'surges' further into dementia... Meanwhile, the Freepers are still faking laughter over Kerry's botched joke because it helps distract from the failures of their guttural bathroom-wall philosophy.

So, the blog rolls on yet another year. There will be a redesign sometime this Spring, and hopefully a Wii-friendly version of this page, too.

Happy New Year!


Say It Ain't So Joe

Last week I speculated that moderates may begin calling for the impeachment of George W. Bush. To wit, I present the first piece of evidence from Joe Scarborough's show on MSNBC. He's a moderate Republican, ex-Congressman from Florida, and he claims that he is an "Average Joe". After the Katrina debacle, I noticed that Joe's criticism of the President began to escalate. And now Joe floats the 'i-word' with a hypothetical Bill Clinton question:
SCARBOROUGH: Well, this is uncharted territory. And Josh Green, I want you, if you will, to imagine, how would Republicans have responded if President Bill Clinton had ignored the advice of all of his Joint Chiefs, his top general in the war zone, his former secretary of state, and 80 percent of Americans? Is it not a stretch to say that many Republicans would have considered impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton if this situation were identical?

JOSH GREEN, “THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY”: I think they would have launched a coupe. It probably would have been—probably would have been centered at Fox News. They‘d be going crazy, the way, you know, frankly, quite a few of them are beginning to get with Bush.

You know, we heard yesterday for the first time, you know, at least an admission on Bush‘s part that this line about how we‘re winning the war in Iraq is no longer operative. And he admitted to “The Washington Post” yesterday that while they‘re not winning the war, they‘re not losing. So at least he‘s come a small step down the road toward being where everybody else is, you know, most importantly his top generals.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, Mike Barnicle, as you know, I supported this war and I supported this man twice for president, and yet I‘m growing more disturbed every night by how isolated George W. Bush has become. All the Joint Chiefs oppose his plan for Iraq. His lead general opposes his plan in Iraq, and now he‘s going to quit because Bush has ignored him. Colin Powell opposes his plan in Iraq. And an “L.A. Times” poll is showing that only 12 percent of Americans support his plan for more troops in Iraq. Shouldn‘t more Americans be disturbed at this unprecedented example of a White House that‘s in—and you can only call it this—a bunker mentality?

MIKE BARNICLE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think, Joe, that more Americans ought to be truly depressed by what they saw today on TV, the latest press conference. We have a president of the United States who is isolated. He‘s delusional. He is stubborn. He has had one intervention that clearly didn‘t work, the Baker-Hamilton report. He is clearly in need of another intervention.

You don‘t have to be von Clausewitz to figure out that urban warfare in the city of Baghdad, comparably the size of New York City, a tremendously hostile environment now, will become even more hostile with the introduction of more American troops. It will do very little, if nothing, to lessen the level of violence in Baghdad. The only...

SCARBOROUGH: And you‘re just going more—you‘re only going to get more American kids killed...

There are a few of us that have called for Bush and Cheney's impeachments for years. But that number will double or triple when we send another fifty thousand American men and women to hunt snipe. Bush's willful ignorance coupled with Cheney's deranged ideology are placing our country in a very dangerous position. The clock is ticking, and we can't wait until January 2009 for a competent Commander-In-Chief. I say kick 'em out in January and install our first female President, Nancy Pelosi!


Iraq's Booming Economy

Newsweek is astounded that Iraq's economy isn't a complete black hole:
It may sound unreal, given the daily images of carnage and chaos. But for a certain plucky breed of businessmen, there's good money to be made in Iraq.

(Yeah, and I suspect that this "plucky breed of businessman" works in the part of town known as the "black market.")

The Iraq economy is growing because the majority of the population is no longer under Saddam's thumb. If they had any money saved, they could buy into the new life that had more or less appeared overnight. The UN's oil-for-food sanctions were lifted instantly, and the country's tribal social network created their own free markets. And just like America's first free markets in the West, there was great money made by certain plucky businessmen. (Nearly three billion dollars worth of crude oil were swiped last year alone.)

Newsweek might be surprised, but the rest of us shouldn't. Iraq is the ideal black market right now. Whatever you can't sell to the locals can be sold to any number of foreign 'visitors'. Everybody wants vehicles, weapons, ammo, food, electronics, broadband, energy, drugs, music, sex. And the security situation only drives the prices up.

Iraq is a long ways off from a normal, stable economic system. The Sunni population want a cut of future oil revenues, and it appears unlikely they will receive it. As a result, they have no incentive to play nice. And this draws the Saudi's and Al Qaeda into the mix. And this forces the Shi'a to put on their poopy pants and the cycle continues.



The Baker Hamilton Report : DOA

Last week I suggested that Baker-Hamilton Report was a whack-job and completely ignorable. Today, Kevin Drum makes the following observation:
Question: has a hotly anticipated blue ribbon report ever fallen into irrelevance so quickly? The Baker-Hamilton report was released only a week ago, and as near as I can tell it's now a dead letter. Within days, both left and right slagged it viciously, President Bush made it clear that he didn't think much of it, and virtually no one other than David Broder had anything nice to say about it.

Good question, but I doubt the President was ever concerned about the content of the report. This is something that had his Daddy's fingerprints all over it; it's a moderate, bipartisan diplomatic fluff job that incorporates military and energy perspectives and excludes all other viewpoints. In other words, his petulant hostility toward his father (and educated moderates, in general) rendered the report moot before it was ever printed. We might accuse Bush of ignoring reality, but this report ignored the reality of its intended audience. And ultimately, that is why this report fell into irrelevance. The right wing blogosphere mocked the suggestions, but the left wing blogsophere mocked the idea that the President might actually implement the suggestions.

So what is Bush up to? He's reviewing his Iraq strategy. Forty-five minutes at a time. His advisors "don't want to do it all in one session." I'm not sure what else has been on Bush's schedule lately, but I think I would be pulling a couple all-nighters right now if I was in his shoes. I doubt I could go to sleep at 9PM every night with this on my conciousness.

Bush has basically ignored Iraq for a whole year, because acknowledging reality might have compromised the Republican Mid-Term Elections. The public has agreed for a year that something is wrong in Iraq, but Bush and the Republicans only noted it a few weeks ago. And whatever you want to call it, 'Stay the Course' is still the strategy. If Bush doesn't make a serious course correction in 6-8 months, then I suspect that the American public will demand that Bush and Cheney must be removed from power. We can't wait for Bush to play 'catch-up' with 45-minute briefings. If he has been sleepwalking through Iraq and Katrina, there's no hope for him. We can't wait until January 2009 for new leadership. We need a reality-based leader NOW.


Tom DeLay Update

Last night I speculated that Tom DeLay doesn't write his own blog.

I was joking.

But I was right.

This is what Tom DeLay said on MSNBC last night:
Well, I’m not a very good writer. I have the ideas, and I have somebody else put the words together.

Yeah, that's right. So when you see Tom DeLay's name affixed to anything you read on the internet, there is a good chance that he did not write or research any of it. Tom DeLay just isn't the type of person that is capable of transforming ideas into a coherent narrative. Basically he points at a picture of Jimmy Carter and screams, "Baaaad! BAAAAAD!!!" and a team of Young College Republicans google the blogosphere to come up with a 1000 word blog post.

In a way, Tom's blog reminds me of the '94 Republican Revolution that has thankfully gasped its last anti-Clinton breath. They had a lot of *ideas* about what needed to be fixed in 'Merica. But they all failed to transform these ideas into coherent written law. Tom presided over a decade of leadership that generated a lot of noise, but ultimately accomplished very little. I expect nothing else from Tom's blog, no matter who actually writes for him.

He's offering a security blanket to the thumbsuckers that want to bring a nuclear winter to the people of the Middle East. His audience are there for the screeds against Jimmy Carter and the Liberal Media.

Eat Soy... And Turn Gay!

Big Scoop From WorldNetDaily:
Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality. That's why most of the medical (not socio-spiritual) blame for today's rise in homosexuality must fall upon the rise in soy formula and other soy products.

Yes. That's right. Soy products progressively destroy your "manliness" and turns you into a pillow-biter.

Except... This theory doesn't seem to make any sense. The people in Asia (the continent, not the band) have integrated soy into their diets for several centuries. Oddly enough, these people seem to be quite fertile. In addition, nobody appears to have noticed more gay men in Asia than anywhere else. If soy really did make men gay, then I would expect Asia to be muuuuuuuuuuch gayer than Mexico. Or Brazil. or America. But that's not really the case.

Is soy the perfect health food? No. Should we be concerned with the increased use of soy or any GMO product in our diets? Of course, but that's an issue that goes beyond soy, and that's not a real concern of WorldNetDaily.

But that's not the only leap of faith in this article. Here's a winner:
Research in 2000 showed that a soy-based diet at any age can lead to a weak thyroid, which commonly produces heart problems and excess fat. Could this explain the dramatic increase in obesity today?

No, it doesn't. The 'dramatic increase in obesity' in the United States is not demonstrated in the aisles of Whole Foods or Central Market. If you want to see the fattties get fatter, take a trip over to Taco Bell or Wal-Mart. Head down to your local Chinese Buffet. Take a look at what the fatties are eating, and I will guarantee you that it isn't soy-based. This has got to be one of the dumbest arguments that I have ever heard. You might as well say that America's obesity epidemic is a result of 100,000 that quit smoking. (I guarantee that more people quit smoking last year than started a soy-based diet!)
P.S.: Soy sauce is fine. Unlike soy milk, it's perfectly safe because it's fermented, which changes its molecular structure. Miso, natto and tempeh are also OK, but avoid tofu.

Not all soy sauces are fermented, some are now chemically processed. Also, soy sauce is somewhere around 15% sodium. Is it possible that soy sauce leads to a weak thyroid which results in heart problems and excess fat, and that's why there are so many obese people in America? It must be. Case closed.


Tom DeLay Blogs? There Goes The Neighborhood

TomDelay.com is now ready to "serve it" to the Democrats. I guess that means it's ON.

So why does TomDelay.com exist? Simple.
The importance of the blogosphere in shaping and motivating the current conservative movement is unquestionable- not only has it served as an important tool in breaking through the liberal MSM clutter but it has helped to keep our elected officials true to principle.

This blog is meant to further the online discussion in the marketplace of ideas.

Well, I can't wait. The conservative blogosphere has really kept their elected officials "true to principle", right? There are just sooooo many real conservatives in Congress now. I guess it's unfair to blame that on Tom, because he helped run the true Conservatives out of Republican politics. It's easy to forget that Conservatives used to want less Government and more personal freedom/responsibility. Tom helped bloat our government, sent our troops to Iraq without question, and turned private religious beliefs into a public litmus test...

Tom DeLay's glory days are over, but he presided over a national movement that will be held near and dear to the hearts of many Conservative Christian Fundamentalists. I can't wait to see how his blog will "further the online discussion in the marketplace of ideas." Actually, that's pretty lame. Even as part of a mission statement. And especially since you can't contribute to the "discussion" unless you are screened by an editor. (And I suspect that it's just one lonely Young College Republican that is editing and writing the content for this site.)


Iran's Influence in Iraq

The Baker-Hamilton Report says that Iran's influence in Iraq is strong and dangerous.

Really? But why?

Oh yeah. Iraq is mostly Shia. Iran is mostly Shia. And basically everybody else around is Sunni. It's only natural that Iran would respond to the people of Iraq after the removal of the Sunni Iraqi Dictator.

It's unfortunate that Republicans couldn't piece this together four years ago. Heckuva job, guys!

The Baker-Hamilton Report is basically a whack-job. Disregard it. Bush & Cheney will move forward in the direction they want. This report provides fodder for all sides of the debate, and that's about it. If your agenda involves staying the course or blaming the Administration, then this report will help. If you want an argument for bringing the troops home, then don't look here for anything.

Let's take a look at a few of the Report's suggestions:

Talk to Iraq's neighbors? That's not gonna happen, and there's no guarantee that it would improve anything anyway. Iran holds the cards here, and they would like us to sink our resources in Iraq forever. The complete collapse of Iraq would leave plenty of oil-rich land right on its border, so that's another reason why I don't see Iran providing much help.

Engage the Arab-Israel peace process? Oy. I'm not sure if I want Bush and Cheney working on that one right now. We don't need a world war...

Provide more training to Iraqi police? Good idea. But haven't we tried this one already? Yes, we did. And the police decided to seek revenge for past transgressions instead of working toward an equitable security situation. The Report suggests that we should embed our best troops within the Iraqi Police forces, and that may accelerate the training. I think I'd rather see our best and worst troops just come home. If the police can't figure out how to do their jobs, then this country is about to fall to pieces no matter what we do.

President Bush needs to keep in touch with the Iraqi government? Have they just been sending post cards for the past 3 1/2 years? "Doin' Great! Wish You Were Here! Love, Iraq" Why the hell does it take a group of ten adults to tell the President to have frequent contact with the Iraq government?

This report just makes it clear to me: Find a way to get out now. The Kurds and Shia sit on the oil property, and they constitute a majority of the population. The Shia are minorities in the Muslim world, and they are NOT interested in finding compromise with the Sunnis. They are going to shit on them for as long as possible. Al Qaeda is Sunni, and they are going to come into Iraq and knock in the teeth of the Shia. The Kurds have no desire to be "united" with the rest of Iraq. This situation is going to boil over whenever we leave. No matter if it's twenty years from today. These people hold grudges for centuries. Let's just get the hell out now and do whatever we can to contain the fallout. That's the future. Accept it.


This Ain't Right

Statement as of 1:50 PM CST on December 4, 2006

... Freeze warning in effect from midnight tonight to 8 am CST

The National Weather Service in Lake Charles has issued a hard freeze
warning for areas of southeast Texas and southern Louisiana north
of I-10... and a first freeze warning for areas south of I-10 to
the coast.

A freeze warning means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or
highly likely. These conditions will kill crops and other
sensitive vegetation.

Super Lame! This is just too cold for the beginning of December.