Thursday, December 3, 2009

This Wasn't Supposed to be a Political Blog

So I’ve read the president’s speech a couple of times and listened to it a couple more and I’ve come to a couple of realizations.

We are ungrateful bitches with the long term memory of a gypsy moth.

Also, we’re lazy.

No really. When Obama was campaigning he talked about the wars all the time. He made his intentions clear. He laid it out in bullet points.


2007 was the most violent year in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001. The United Nations estimated that violence increased 30 percent last year. Al Qaeda has built a stronghold in the tribal areas of northwestern Pakistan. Terror groups affiliated with or inspired by al Qaeda are flourishing around the world. As president, Barack Obama will:

Redeploy American Troops to Afghanistan: Barack Obama will deploy at least an additional two brigades (7,000 personnel) of rested, trained American troops to Afghanistan to reinforce our counter-terrorism operations and support NATO’s efforts to fight the Taliban.

Strengthen NATO’s Hand in Afghanistan: NATO currently has about 41,000 troops in Afghanistan. However, the force is short-staffed and some countries contributing forces are imposing restrictions on where their troops can operate, tying the hands of commanders on the ground. As president, Obama will work with European allies to end these burdensome restrictions and strengthen NATO as a fighting force.
Train and Equip the Afghan Army and Police: Barack Obama will strengthen the training and equipping of the Afghan army and police and increase Afghan participation in U.S. and NATO missions, so that there is more of an Afghan face on security.

Increase Non-Military Aid to Afghanistan by $1 billion: To prevent the country’s backsliding into chaos, Barack Obama would increase U.S. non-military aid to Afghanistan to $3 billion. This aid would fund reconstruction, police and army training, embassy operations, and local projects including efforts to impact the lives of ordinary Afghans and to give farmers alternatives to growing opium poppies. The aid would also be tied to better performance by the Afghan national government, including anti-corruption initiatives and effort to extend the rule of law across the country.

Strike Al Qaeda: Last summer, Barack Obama was criticized for challenging conventional thinking and saying that as president, if he had actionable intelligence about the whereabouts of al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan–and the Pakistanis cannot or will not act–then he will use highly targeted force to do so. At the time Senator Clinton said Obama’s statement was a “very big mistake.” Over the last few months, the wisdom behind Clinton’s assertion was called into question as the Central Intelligence Agency successfully took out senior al Qaeda leader Abu Laith al Libi, in North Waziristan, Pakistan, in January.

He gave speeches about it.

He told us exactly what he was going to do and we voted for him. We gave him 365 electoral votes and 52.92% of the popular vote. We cheered when he won and I at least cried.

Now he is doing exactly what he said he would do when he was running for president. He’s doing exactly what we told him we wanted him to do when we voted for him. He’s keeping his campaign promise.

Yet everyone has decided that he’s wrong. Either he didn’t think it through or he thought it through for too long or this is another Vietnam. Which is fine, everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I would hope that at some point we, the viewers, readers and listeners of political pundits start demanding that they get their damn facts straight.

Because, for real, I’m long past tired of having to set out the actual facts of an issue before I can talk about an issue. Tired of it but I’ll do it again because I have to.
This wasn’t his war. He didn’t start it but he wants to get us out of it in such a way that we don’t leave Afghanistan and their nuclear armed neighbor Pakistan, totally alone in the face of Muslim extremism.

He told us he was going to do this and we voted for him anyway. See above.
Sometimes war is necessary. I’m sorry but it is. It’s abhorrent but still, a practical necessity.

Given these facts, I’m happy with the speech last night. I still want some more details, like what his plans for Pakistan are and what he considers a successful conclusion to the conflict in Afghanistan. I’m down with helping out Pakistan. I was down with helping out in Kosovo too and I’m proud to have served during a conflict that was predicated on largely humanitarian grounds. It makes a lot of sense to stand up for Pakistan because, again, they’re nuclear power.

I would also like him to connect his definition of a successful conclusion to the time line that he laid out for withdrawal. And it seemed to me that he was conflating the Taliban with al Qaeda which is just wrong.

I was, however, very proud to have voted for him last night. He took responsibility for his own decision last night. He told us that he didn’t like the decision that he had to make but he made it and will do his best with it, though it might cost him a second term. Our president did what he thought was best for the nation and the world after considering his options and he stood up in front of the future officers of his military and took responsibility for that decision.

As of right now, he’s still got my vote.

P.S. Dick Cheney needs a smack in the mouth the cowardly son of a bitch.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This One is About Speeches

OK, yeah, there was a huge speech tonight and I may post about specifics later; once I have a chance to read the speech and get some research done. This post is about what I was doing while watching the speech.

I was believing the president. I mean, clearly everything any politician says has to be taken with a grain of salt and researched and fact checked, but he was credible. That was a refreshing change. I was thrilled right down to the ground to hear my president using whole sentences and proper grammar. Seriously, I missed that shit.

The other thing I heard while listening was an end date, January, 2011. Based on what I heard, and again, I am reserving full judgment until I get a chance to read the whole thing, I there was an end date. The light may just have come on at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I’m a person of faith. Not one of those obnoxious, in your face, evangelizing people, just one of the many, many people in the world who believe in some higher power. This is not an entry about what I believe, because seriously, who other than me gives a damn?

This is an entry about reality.

I’ve spent a not small portion of my time lately around atheists, which is something I enjoy. The debates are often edifying. But I’ve noticed something that I find rather amusing. Many of them are massive hypocrites.

Lots of people are, so they shouldn’t feel bad about that but it is a fact nonetheless.
If you spend time on any atheist website you’ll see what I mean. Essentially the rhetoric is all the same. Religion is responsible for all the evil in the world, it dulls the mind, religion is malicious malevolent and unworthy of respect. It is irrational and atheists are rational. Atheism is the only logical religion. By extension, people of faith are not rational. As religion is not worthy of respect, people of faith are not worthy of respect either. Silly little religious people, believing in things they can’t prove. Atheists know there is no god.

And right there, that last sentence? That’s where the wheels come off the wagon of this argument and I start laughing. Because seriously, guys, it makes you look silly. Totally aside from the condescending arrogance which makes you sound like nothing more than the most fanatic of extremists there’s something you need to understand.

You don’t know shit.

Really. You don’t know anything. You believe. You believe that there is no god but until you can prove it you should stop pretending that you can because it really cuts the legs out from under the rationality song you guys are singing.

I’m a Christian and I know that there is a god.

I’m an atheist and I know that there is no god.

These two sentences are fundamentally the same and there’s nothing rational about either of them. There's a point where any school of thought, including atheism, can veer into fanaticism and the point is right about the time people start using unsupportable blanket statements.

Unless and until someone can unequivocally disprove the existence of god you really need to shut up. And since you can’t disprove the existence of god, please shut up. You sound foolish.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I was originally planning to write an entry about knitting or hoop dance. (I knit. I hoop dance. Periodically you will read about these things. Deal with it.) It was going to be light and funny, very funny. Trust me.

Then some nutcase shot up his fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood.

I’m not in the mood for light or funny right now.

There’s not much I can say about the soldiers themselves or the senseless tragedy that happened that hasn’t been said by some author or pundit or the president himself, much more eloquently than I ever could.

However, I can damned well say something about the racist, ignorant, fact-free idiocy that’s coming out about the shooter.

Fucking stop it you dumb sons-of-bitches. You’re embarrassing yourselves and me. The blatant anti-Arab, anti-Muslim hate that is casually being spewed in the wake of the Ft. Hood shootings needs to fucking stop. I mean, people should feel free to be ignorant bigots but they shouldn't use dead American soldiers as an excuse.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rant on Motivations and Reactions


“He scares me because of how smart and smooth he is.” He, being the president.


Elderly citizens screaming against government run health care while still demanding protection for Medicare.


The accusation that the president is a racist.

Similar accusations that now Justice Sotomayor is a racist.

The Birthers.

Not linking them. Find their agenda if you must.

I’m not here to lecture, at least not right this second. I am here to ask a question. I know it’s easier and everything but, I need someone to explain to me please why it is that people choose fear over facts, lies over logic, profit over public good. It honestly confuses me.

Everyone knows that there are still racial issues in the United States, right? No one is unclear on this. The nation was predicated on racial inequity. It’s enshrined in the Constitution. And yes, times have changed, but not that much. Racism is still a major issue in America, mixed race president or not and the stuff I linked, that’s all based on and attempts to encourage fear of the “other.”

(This part is the lecture) So, people who allow their fear to make their decisions for them, people who fear the president because he is too smart.
(Oh look another parenthetical aside. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Seriously. He’s too smart? You are just ridiculous. What? You want a stupid President? We had one of those just recently and see where that got us.)

You people who believe that the president is racist because he acknowledges that there are still serious problems of race in this country, you who stampeded to point the finger at Justice Sotomayor because she very logically pointed out that experience informs point of view, you who leap in front of the accusation of racist behavior and then play the victim, you in the tinfoil hat, yeah, you who insist that the president was born in Kenya despite all logic and evidence. Stop it. Stop it right the hell now. You’re pissing of Ms. Potamus.

This is a time for serious people to have serious discussions and you are clearly not capable of having a serious discussion. Saying something racist and having your racist statement pointed out to you is not an opportunity for you to play the victim. It is an opportunity for you to grow the fuck up and examine your behavior.

While I’m on the subject and I’ll need you to lean close for this one. Come here. Are you listening? Good. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS REVERSE RACISM! Never use that term again. It’s moronic. The antonym of racist is accepting, impartial, non-racist. The reverse of racism is respect. The use of the term “reverse racist” makes it impossible for anyone to take you seriously and frankly insults my intelligence.

Oh, and all the people in America who are not white? You, you who are nodding and feeling smug, don’t think I don’t see you sitting there. When someone says something racist, and that someone may or may not be White because let’s not pretend that White people have cornered the market on ignorant fuckery, that is not the time to play the victim either or to score social points or to play the victim in a larger sense yourself. That’s what we call a teaching moment, a moment for you to help your fellow citizen, your fellow man get over their fear, not a moment for you to win.

Or you could just watch this.

And then work through your fear because this is a serious time and we need to have serious conversations. Your fear hiders those efforts.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

So, Remember That Whole Health Care Conversation?

The one that was going to be rational and fact based and have the best interests of the American people at heart? Yeah, neither do I because it never fucking happened. What we got instead was a summer full of lies, faulty statistics, other lies, cries of "Socialism, Communism, Fascism, and any other -ism that the less rational, most vocal segments of the debate could come up with. It's been terribly frustrating sifting through the misinformation to come up with some good, hard facts, or at least facts that seem a little bit credible.

But it is fall now, when semesters start, leaves fall and people at least pretend to get down to serious business and I found a piece of information that I find terribly interesting.

Recall, if you will (and I know you will because I just told you to) the president, when he was but a lowly candidate, spoke about cutting fraud, waste and abuse in the medical care field in an effort to help pay for his health care reform initiative? Recall how the right went up in flames and screamed about Socialism whilst they simultaneously tried to paint themselves as the defenders of Medicare? Recall the scorn and ridicule that FOX (I will not call them a news organization as they gave up any semblance of journalistic ethics long ago) heaped upon his head for making that claim?

It turns out they were right. Well sort of. A little bit and in the most entertaining way possible. The president got his numbers wrong alright. He low balled the estimate, at least according to this which you might want to print out and then tape to your face so as to force the idiot who simply regurgitates the FOX (still not going to call them a news organization) tells him when he goes home at night.

It's not going to change his opinion as he would have to engage the critical thinking center of his brain for that to happen but it may very well confuse him to the point where he wanders away to pester someone else.

Good luck, let me know if it works.

P.S. Someone let me know when I can get some decent health care.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This Is Me Doing Something Nice

It is important to remember while reading this post that I do not have chilluns. I do not want chilluns and for the most part I do not like chilluns. Also, I have perfect pitch which means that when I hear a note my brain says A# and if you mean to play a note and instead play three or four or just make some screeching noise that hasn't been heard since the Jurassic period I know it and it makes me want to kill you until you stop.

And yet...

This evening I went to a concert band performance given by our local sixth graders. One of my friends has a child who was performing and due to various factors, largely begging on her part and the rare urge to be nice to someone on mine, I agreed to go. It was excruciating.

When I was a child my concerts included all three grades on middle school and all four in high school so that the more experienced players could ramp up the volume and drown out the tragically bad new players in the lower grades. But oh no, now, due to the continued pussification of America each grade has their own concert and each section has its own song within that concert so we can highlight the progress of the chilluns and aren't they speshul snowflakes and...Oh My Holy Gods please fucking make it stop. Don't play that note again. It does not appear on any sheet of music ever written ever in the history of humans SHUT UP!


Because I'm a snarky bitch. It's a skill, one I am self-important and pretentious enough to share with the blogshpere.

You care. Your anticipated utter silence will be but a clever ruse to hide how much you care.