Saturday, September 30, 2006

Police Precautions

As I wrote about on my personal blog, last weekend myself and a friend were stopped on a curfew violation; the officer then made a rather harassing “joke” about me being a statutory rapist. A “joke” about committing a felony. Anyway, you can read all about the incident here. It’s not really important other than serving as an inspiration for this post. What I want to talk about the unfortunate necessity of being prepared for an encounter with the police.

The police have increasingly become adversarial in any sort of encounter with civilians. You’ve witnessed this countless times before: the police use SWAT teams when serving warrants on non-violent offenders, even the smallest towns have military APCs that their SWAT teams use, police treat any traffic stop involving teenagers as a drug possession in progress (think about how ridiculous that sounds), etc. Things were not always like this, but since the “war” on drugs and the increased criminalization of teenagers, things have changed. And unfortunately, we need to be prepared. Based on several incidents, some involving my friends or relatives, I’ve come to regard any encounter with the police as adversarial. As a result, there are certain precautions that I’ve come to adopt and that I urge you to consider as well. I’m going to appear to focus primarily on teenagers, but that’s only because of my experience and the fact that they seem to get an unfair rap more often than other groups. What I’m talking about has an application for everyone.

First, know your rights. This site has a good roundup (h/t: tomWright). The bottom line is that you have the right to refuse a search, and that Constitutional rights still apply regardless of your age. However, police will do everything in their power (and maybe more) to get you to consent to a search/otherwise waive your rights. Which brings me to my next point. When you have an encounter with the police, they will be adversarial, and they will use threats and intimidation to try and get you to waive your rights. Even the most cool-headed among us can become upset. Because of this, it is important that you run through scenarios in your head before hand. This is good practice in dealing with your response to any sort of stressful situation, but for the purposes of this post we’ll stick to discussing responses to police.

First and most importantly, keep your cool. I know it’s redundant, but it’s important. If you get openly upset, you cede the moral high ground to the police. It sounds tougher than it is, so make sure you are always thinking cool. Next, consider what the police could do to you. What if they start verbally harassing you? What if they physically harass you? Ask to search your car? Threaten you with being arrested? You have to think through every possibility before hand, otherwise you won’t be able to handle them when they come at you in real-life, at real-time. In my particular incident, I was too busy thinking about what I was going to do if the officer asked to search my car that I completely neglected the decision matrix I would work through if the officer started harassing me. Finally, figure out what, if anything, you’re going to do when confronted with the various possibilities of police action. That’s another part of the decision matrix I was talking about. In fact, why don’t we run through a decision matrix right now: Pulled over–officer begins verbally harassing you–you keep your cool and ask for his name and badge number. You have to have all these matrices on hand ready to pull out and execute or modify at a moments notice.

Lastly, something to consider keeping on hand in your car is some sort of recording device. In a lot of cases, the dashboard video camera won’t pick up the audio from a conversation between you and an officer, especially if you remain in your car. In these cases, the complaint report will be your word against the officer’s. It will help to have some sort of hard copy on hand that will back up your side of the story. If you do have a recording device, make sure to tell the officer that you are recording the conversation. Be polite, but firm. Make it clear that you are completely within your rights to record the conversation.

Hopefully these suggestions will help in any future encounters with the police.

Cross-posted at The Liberty Papers.

More masochistic bullshit

As I've pointed out before, there seems to be a tendency, peculiar to our civilization and culture, to navel-gaze, second guess, and otherwise hinder ourselves at every turn. The latest example of this comes from an Arizona memorial to the events of September 11th. According to the Arizona Gov., the quotes are being taken out of context. Let's look at said quotes, shall we?

"The memorial includes lines such as "You don't win battles of terrorism with more battles"; "Congress questions why CIA & FBI didn't prevent attacks"; and "Erroneous US air strike kills 46 Uruzgan (Afghani) citizens."

Right. I think we need to update the Pearl Harbor Memorial. It's kind of plain, doesn't convey the full "context" of the entire event. Here are my suggestions..."You don't win wars by fighting more battles." "Congress questions why the Army and Navy didn't prevent attack on Pearl." "Intentional Allied airstrike on Dresden kills over 25,000 civilians."

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

This bullshit simply has to stop.

Friday, September 29, 2006

A meme of 7

SJS, in his infinite wisdom (for a Navy guy) decided to tag me with a meme about two weeks ago. In the meantime, I've been busy getting picked up by the police and such, so I haven't had time. But now I do. Kind of. Anyway, without further ado, here it is:
Seven Songs

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your LiveJournal/blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.
Unfortunately, I haven't had much music listening time lately, but let's look at iTunes and see what's been getting played. According to iTunes, I have 4.07 Gb of music on my computer. Put another way, that's 2.7 days of music, if one was to leave the music running continuously. Not that much, actually. Anyway, let's look...

1. "Monday Night Football Theme" -- Alright, I haven't exactly been listening to this one nonstop, but anytime myself and another cadet see each other, this song always seems to be hummed/sung. I think it's that damn commercial.

2. "Angel" -- A little before my time, but Aerosmith rocks no matter how old you are. An especially poignant song given my current relationship situation, but since this *is* the No Angst Zone, that's all we'll be hearing about that.

3. "Collateral" Soundtrack -- So it's more than one song, but this entire soundtrack kicks serious ass. An eclectic mix of rock, classical (with distortion...think about that one for a sec), and soft pop, with a bit of Miles Davis thrown in. Great bit of music for whiling away the hours studying or driving at 0-dark-30.

4. "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" -- My particular favorite is the cover by the Pogues, but just a great song. "The young people ask me what are they marching for, and I ask myself the same question." Just like any good war movie is at its heart an anti-war movie, all good war songs are anti-war at their core. This one is no different.

5. "Tim Finnigan's Wake" -- Awesome Irish drinking song. 'Nuff said.

6. "CrushALot" -- By a local (Omaha) band called 8th Wave. Although they're often called "Pop-Punk," I think they're best described as "Punk with horns," because that's really what they are. Old school punk guitar riffs and some kick-ass horns straight out of a funk band. CrushALot is my personal favorite because it's got a sweet opening horn riff.

7. "What is Hip?" -- Three words. Tower. Of. Power. Second only to Earth, Wind, and Fire, but Earth, Wind, and Fire didn't perform a song that asked an important question. Oh, and it has a trumpet solo that is pretty damn cool.

So there's my 7. I'm not going to bother tagging anyone, but feel free to take it and run.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Curfews (and statutory rape)

As I mentioned in an email to the LLP group, a friend of mine was busted for a "curfew" violation, and it was strongly implied by the officer that I am a statutory rapist.

Alright, now that I have your attention, let's rewind. First, the situation. The friend of mine is a girl that I've dated off an on for the past couple of years, but at this point in time we are most definitely just friends. Very good friends, but just friends. I don't get to see her very often since I live in Ames and she lives in Omaha, so we try to see as much as possible of each other when I'm in town. Tonight we were both busy, but wanted to at least see each other for a bit. We decided to meet in the parking lot of a school near her Mom's house; she was on her way to her Dad's house so we were only going to be able to talk for 10-15 minutes. We're talking for maybe 5 minutes when a police officer of the lovely Papillion Police Department pulls up behind us and turns on his spotlight. He comes up to the car and asks for ID; my friend's ID is in her car so she goes to get it. He then proceeds to ask both of us, separately, what our relationship is to each other. At this point alarm bells are going off, but I decided to answer the question because I knew that my friend was in danger of getting a curfew ticket, so I really didn't think it was prudent to piss the cop off. Also, I had mentally drawn the line of refusal for when he asked to search my car, which as we know isn't an uncommon occurance in Sarpy County. Anyway, I told the officer we were just friends, at which point he got extremely sarcastic and stated that he finds "friends" just "talking" in places like this all the time.

Which may be the case, but it doesn't justify what happened next. He then asks my friend if there's a number where he can reach her parents. She gives it to him, and he calls her 12:40 in the morning. Now, keep in mind that my friend's mother knew her daughter was out, and knew that her daughter was going to be out until 1:00. Her mom wasn't mad at the curfew "violation," but was rather upset about being woken up to be told something she already knew: that her daughter was outside the house before 1:00.

The officer then tells my friend that he's "letting her off" and to get out of here, and comes over to talk to me. He told me that there would be plenty of time tomorrow for me and my "friend" to "talk." He also mentioned the fact that my friend was under 18 (she's 17), and I was over 18 (I'm 19), and that I should "think about that," in effect implying that I am a statutory rapist. Setting aside the fact that I am in fact NOT one, that's none of his goddamned business. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I was so pissed at this point that saying anything other "Yes officer" was likely to get me a night in jail for verbally abusing an "officer" of the "law." In retrospect, I should have asked for his badge number, but again, at this point I was so pissed that I wasn't thinking straight and was just trying to get out of the situation without spending the night in jail.

And to put a wonderful cap on the evening, as I'm driving through the neighborhood on my way home, I witnessed not one but two cars traveling well in excess of the posted speed limit. I guess that the PPD feels that harassing teenagers is a better use of its time rather than enforcing the speed limit.

That's all for now because it's late, but I am not done on this topic. I fully plan on addressing this topic much more in depth, including the folly and idiocy of curfews, and the need to be mentally prepared to stand up to police officers, because as many of us know, while there are a lot of good cops out there, there are also a lot of bad ones.

And finally, it's good to be back home in Sarpy County, the land where the police harass teenagers on a regular basis.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Quote of the Day

Caught part of Tucker Carlson's interview with Mahmoud "Whackjob" Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad asks whether Tucker is asking questions that he wants to, or that people have told him to ask.

Carlson's response: "Well, uh, Mr. Ahadminejad, we have a free press in the United States unlike in Iran."


Also, sorry about the lack of updates this week. School has kind of been kicking my butt.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

VAW-116 has WAY too much time on their hands

It's been a lot of doom and gloom over here, which, given the current world situation, is probably warranted.

But it's the weekend, I'm a college student and I'm not at Annapolis, so it's time to PARTY, courtesy of VAW-116. (Football scores notwithstanding.) First video is courtesy of Skippy, the other I found on YouTube while dinking around following looking at the first video.

NYT (and the Pope) Cave

There are days when I really lose faith in the West. Wednesday was one, when NATO decided that it's not willing to fight. Today is another. The Pope said he was "sorry" over the remarks. So he's "sorry" for calling a spade a spade, and calling followers of a violent and destructive "religion" for what they are. The NYT follows suit, saying the Pope should offer a personal apology because "it is tragic and dangerous when one sows pain, either deliberately or carelessly." According to the Times, "He needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology, demonstrating that words can also heal."

You know what is even more painful than being told that you can't use the sword to spread your abomination of a religion? Losing 2,996 of my countrymen in a violent attack one day in September. Losing 3,000+ of my country's soldiers for bringing freedom to YOUR region because you are too incompetent and lazy to do it yourself. Not that you would if given the opportunity, but at least we're giving you a start. Most of all, coming to the realization that there are many in the West who fail to see the difference between us and them.

We believe in the freedom to do what you want, provided it doesn't hurt others. We believe in a secular society that doesn't mix government and religion. We believe in giving people the freedom to practice whatever religion they want, be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or Wicca. They believe in killing those who want to change religions. They believe in the wanton murder of innocents. They believe in a destructive abomination of a religion, the only major religion that still has a concept of holy war.

We're better than them. Our culture is better than theirs. Our "religion" (freedom of religion) is better than theirs. And until people in the West start to realize this, there's going to be hell to pay.

I realize this was a bitchy rant, but that's the mood I'm in now. I am sick and tired of Muslims acting like toddlers every time someone "insults" their religion. This abortion of a "culture" has been destroying their region, and the world, for centuries. Something has got to go.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Never Forget.

(This post will stay on top all day; scroll down for new content.)

Turkish lawmaker violates Godwin's Law

In possibly the shortest time in history, as well. Only a day after the news story broke, a Turkish lawmaker has already compared Pope Benedict XVI to Hitler (and Mussolini, for good measure.) Let's do a short comparison: Hitler was responsible for butchering 10 million people in concentration camps, as well as starting a war that killed 60 million people. The Pope called out an ideology of hate and destruction for what it is. Those who follow that destruction of ideology and hate are responsible for the deaths of thousands over the past 30+ years.

I think I know who I would compare to Hitler.

You know, if I was the Pope, I would continue to fight fire with fire. They demand I apologize for "insulting Islam," I would demand that they apologize for not allowing Christians and Jews to openly practice their religion. For prohibiting the ownership of a Bible. For the killing of apostates. For the repression of women. For the continued adoration of a destructive and backwards lifestyle that has done more to harm world peace than anything else in the past 30 years.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pope in trouble

So the Pope is in trouble for making some remarks "against Islam." Setting aside the fact that these camel jockeys still don't seem to get the fact that we have freedom of speech in the West (for now) and there's not a damn thing they can do about it, let's take a look at what exactly the Pope said. "Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul." "Benedict quoted criticism of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad by 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who wrote that everything Mohammad brought was evil and inhuman, 'such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'"

First, I'd be interested in reading a transcript of what the Pope actually said, because what I get from that quote is that the writer of the news report decided to insert the fact that the Byzantine Emperor wrote that everything Mohammad (GFAP) did was evil, not that the Pope actually said it since it is not a direct quote. And that would be interesting, since it is inserted in a way that leads one to believe that the Pope said that all Mohammad (GFAP) did was evil. (Not saying I don't agree, just that the Pope saying that would be a bit extreme. Islam, as it is practiced in a large part of the world, is a blight on humanity. But that's a debate for a different day.)

Anyway, the real point is that more than a few Muslims (including the Brotherhood) is upset over someone making a statement that "Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul" and that commanding to spread faith by the sword is evil and inhuman.

Yeah. There are some days that I really don't like having to deal with these people. There are some days where I just want drop a nuke on the whole region. Regardless, they're freaking out because someone said that it is wrong to spread faith by the sword.


More on NATO/Afghanistan

Pretty good TCS column addressing the same topic I wrote about yesterday. The bottom line is that with a few notable exceptions, NATO is not willing or even ready to contribute to it's own defense.

h/t: Glenn

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sabres and Aces

Great feature in this month's Air Force Magazine on some rare color photos from Korea featuring F-86s. Well worth checking out. (PDF warning.)

NATO in Afghanistan

On Monday I posted about those who stand with us, and those who do not. Today yet another line has been drawn: "No new commitments for NATO Afghan force." This should serve as a wake-up call for those who decry the U.S.'s "unilateral" actions. Sometimes the cold hard fact is that we ARE the only ones who can do it. NATO is asking for 2,500 more troops. Only 2,500 more troops. That's one brigade of troops to be culled from 26 nations. No offense NATO, but we shit bigger than that. And here's what really gets me: the only countries that have really contributed are Great Britain, with 4,500, and Canada, the U.S., and the Netherlands with 2,000 a piece. Everyone else is either too busy with U.N. "peacekeeping" operations (Italy) or is unwilling to actually deploy their troops where they might be shot at (Germany).

Time to pay the piper, Europe. You got by during the Cold War under the blanket of U.S. protection. After the fall of the Soviet Union, you took the words "peace dividend" to mean "abolish the military." You didn't upgrade your military, and you sure as hell didn't develop the expeditionary capability necessary to function in today's global war. You sat back content to let the U.S. do the policing and bombing necessary for your defense. Sure, you bombed Serbia from 20,000 feet and you deployed troops when you knew there was no chance of violence, but you had no desire to get up close and personal with the enemy. Hell, WE had no desire to do so either, but at least we still kept the capability. Then 9/11, 3/11, and 7/7 happened, and you got a wakeup call. And when you woke up you found out that you didn't have the tools necessary.

And now you sit, in charge of a mission that is becoming more and more politically unpopular with your populace, and you can't find it within yourselves to contribute 2,500 more troops to assure that the job is done correctly. Or perhaps more accurately, you (with the exceptions noted above) are unwilling to deploy troops where they might be shot at, thus bringing in low approval ratings...we all know where that leads.

The more things change...

Liberty Papers

As I said previously, there was going to be some big news concerning myself pertaining to blogging. Last week, Brad asked me if I would be interested in contributing to The Liberty Papers. Of course, I said yes. For those of you who don't know, The Liberty Papers is a group blog that focuses on writing from a classical liberal perspective. (For a more in depth explanation, head here.)

Anyway, I'm both humbled and honored to be asked to join this great group of writers. One of the major co-founders of the site, Eric, is the closest thing I have to a blog godfather, while I've read Brad and Robert since before the Liberty Papers or even the LLP community.

As a programming note, you'll notice that I haven't really posted much on liberty/libertarian related issues over here in awhile, primarily because my blood pressure has been through the roof on the war. I think the plan is going to be for this page to continue with the personal/military/foreign policy/war motif and let my liberty writing be over at the new place. Expect some cross-posting, but not too much, so make sure you're checking out there for my liberty related work as well.

Monday, September 11, 2006

"World remembers 9/11 but many not crying"

So says the AP. And I'd say...well, yeah. The "We are all Americans" sentiment lasted right up until we started to act like Americans again and took decisive action. Then the old reflexive anti-Americanism took over, and things were right back to normal.

(Yes, I know France sent the de Gaulle and troops to Afghanistan. Yes, I know that Germany headed up the NATO mission. And there are plenty of people in both countries and governments that absolutely despise what the U.S. is doing. Take it for what it's worth.)

I found it interesting that of the countries the AP reporter chose to look at, only those we have recently liberated seemed to wholeheartedly thank the U.S.

Anyway, to those who stand with us, thank you. For all our faults, we remember those who are our allies and will never forget.

To those who, for whatever reason, do not:

This country, and those that stand with us, will defend Western civilization as usual while trying to dodge the sniping and backstabbing from those who oppose us at every turn while simultaneously taking the blanket of our protection for granted.


September 11, 2001.

8:46 A.M. EDT.

America was attacked.

Never forget.

Never forgive.

Never stop.

As I said before, make sure to head over to SJS's and check out his recollections of 9/11. He was at the Pentagon. Just keep scrolling.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Best summary of the American electoral system

Tarmac Saturday is on the way, but I'm watching South Park, and it's the "Vote or Die" episode.

Stan: "I just don't see the point of voting given a choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich."

"I guess I better learn how to pick between a giant douche and a turd sandwich because that's the only choice I'll ever have."

"Stan's vote for turd sandwich brings it's total to 37. That leaves giant douche at 1,410, meaning that giant douche still wins."

The whole episode is great, and should be required viewing around election season for anyone who believes the American electoral system is a crock.

Why is this news?

So, we're approaching the memorial of a day when 2,996 Americans lost their lives at the hands of murdering Islamo-fascist savages. What better way to help get us in the mood than to remember the "other victims"? Yup, the AP thinks that now is the best time to help us remember that there were some excesses in the immediate days after 9/11, which, although seemingly outrageous in hindsight, are rather benign when considered in the light of being just a few months after almost 3,000 Americans were murdered. But I think Abdallah Higazy, the "victim," says it best:

"Not all the victims of 9/11 were in the twin towers and the Pentagon," he said in a recent interview. "There were other victims, too."

Because, you know, losing your life suddenly on a September day due to a terrorist attack is completely the same as being wrongly imprisoned for a month. Idiot. Between this and the Senate not finding any connection between al-Qaida and Saddam my blood pressure is about to go through the roof.

Just remember this kind of masochistic tripe when we wonder why we've lost the will to fight.

And if you want to start remembering the day in a more appropriate fashion, just head over to SJS's place and start scrolling. He was at the Pentagon on the 11th of September and has posted his memories...really powerful stuff.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Won't be much posting tonight as I'm currently in the library finishing up my first AerE 261 project. The good Cdr has thoughts on Major Metzger's disapperance. Well worth reading, as always. Also, be on the lookout for some relatively big news concerning this humble blog's author.

Back to the saltmines, or in my case...

"This project is based around a proposal to fit a small duct on the underside of an F-15 fighter to provide a flying wind tunnel. The flying wind tunnel will allow wind tunnel testing at flight altitudes and velocities. The purpose of this project is to determine the optimal flight velocity and altitude in order to maximize mass flow rate while minimizing drag through the duct."

Fun stuff.

USAF Maj. goes missing

This is weird. USAF Maj. Jill Metzger has been missing from her base in Kyrgyzstan since 5 Sept. There is a 22-member OSI task force working with local authorities to locate Maj. Metzger.

It's not exactly every day that a USAF Major goes missing from a shopping mall, so this is definitely something to keep an eye on. Hopefully Maj. Metzger is recovered safe and sound.

How to tell you attend a State University

I hit a rut with my physics homework, so, since I don't have any class tomorrow (whoo!!) and can stay up a little later than usual (which should be evident by this 0200 post), I went for a jog around 0100. My usual path back to my apartment takes me by the ISU horse corral, where they keep the horses for Ag kids to mess around with. As I'm jogging by, I get the crap scared out of me when I realize there appears to be someone just loitering by the horses. Now, this area, while well lit, isn't exactly well trafficked, so it would be a prime spot for muggers, etc. So I give him/her a quick once over. Turns out it's two people: one appeared, in my non-glasses, vision impaired state, to be a rather "plain" female, while the other was a guy wearing a tucked in t-shirt, straight legged levis, a big belt, and cowboy boots.

As far as I could tell, they were on a "date" to look at the horses at 1 in the morning. Yeah. "Where do ya wanna go tonight hun?" "Why don't we go down and look at the horses." "That sounds like fun!"

You see some interesting things at 1 in the morning on a Wednesday night on a college campus, more so when you attend school in the middle of Iowa.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


A no confidence vote in the SecDef during a time of war?!?!?

Constructive criticism, by all means. We can only fix our mistakes when we learn from them. But a no confidence vote? Please. Like I said yesterday, this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. The whole article reads like some sort of really bad parody. The Dems criticize the SecDef about pre-war intel/WMDs, completely ignoring the fact that the Iraq War is really 2 separate wars (but that's neither here nor there), about body armor, about making America less secure, and about how Iraq is a quagmire. The GOP retorts with the Dems not supporting our troops, "Monday morning quarterbacking," and being the party of retreat and defeat.

And nothing gets done. And nothing changes. And no one in this country has any more understanding about what really IS happening, about what really IS going on, and about what we really ARE fighting about. But hey, that doesn't matter as long as the other guy loses in November.

This shit, on both sides of the aisle, is really starting to piss me off.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Prez states blindingly obvious

"Bush reminds Americans U.S. is at war." "Bush warns of Islamic caliphate." "Bush won't allow Iran to get nukes."

This is what President Bush should have been telling the nation nonstop since 9/11. Not beating the drumbeat of terrorism (since that implicitly allows the terrorists to win by terrorizing) but that we are in fact engaged in a global conflict for our civilization. A conflict that is being waged just as much in the cities of Europe and on the internet as it is in Iraq, Afghanistan, and a dozen other places around the world where Coalition forces are deployed. It's a war that won't have a defined end, and never really had a defined beginning. It's a war that's being fought based on 1400 years worth of history. It's a war where our enemies and friends can't be distinguished from one another, and are sometimes the same people. It's a war where we fight with a rifle in one hand and rebuild with a shovel in the other. It's a war that we have to win, because nothing less than 300 years of liberal democracy is at stake. And it's a war that I'm worried we're currently on track to lose, thanks to a lack of mobilization of the populace by our political leadership, namely, President Bush. We don't need to donate our pots for airplane parts and ration our tires, but we do need to donate our time to inform ourselves so we understand the conflict. Because as the President pointed out today, using the words of our enemies, our opponents in this conflict sure as hell understand what they're fighting for. And we need to understand that as well if we want to have any hope of winning. It's not hard; go read Osama's fatwas, or try the recent "Azzam" video. Our enemies take this conflict seriously, but for some reason, too many people in this country don't. Which brings me to my next point.

Of course, the "loyal opposition" can't see the forest for the trees and continues its drumbeat of IRAQ-IRAQ-IRAQ *cough*draft*cough* IRAQ-IRAQ-IRAQ. Lex and Salamander have already dealt with that subject; suffice to say that things are going to get a lot worse politically and domestically before they get better, if they get better. As I said in a comment over at the good CDR's place, those in the know about the war view the political process as a means to the end of victory, or at least the pursuit of it. Those who refuse to take this conflict seriously view the war as a means to the end of temporary political victory. Who cares if the Middle East falls apart as long as we win at midterms. It should be noted that there are plenty of both kinds of people in both political parties, but that should also go without saying because when it comes to the war I'm neither Republican or Democrat; I'm pro-victory, whatever that takes. (Incidentally, I'm actually libertarian, but that's neither here nor there.)

The bottom line is that I'm scared. The country isn't in a good place right now. We have an opposition who is anything but loyal, "blame America" is a relatively mainstream viewpoint, we are well on the road to having a broken down military (more on that later), and we, along with the rest of the liberal democracies, seem to lack the will to fight for what we supposedly hold near and dear. Is this any one person's fault? No. Like any major failure, it has too many components to count, ranging all the way from President Bush down to every single citizen who has either done nothing to educate his or herself, or if he or she has, is unwilling to correct others when they repeat blatant lies designed to hamper our war effort because he or she "isn't political."

It's not about politics; it's about the future of our civilization. And every day down the road we're on is going to make it harder to change tracks to victory.

Monday, September 04, 2006

U.N. to talk a lot, accomplish nothing

Somehow I don't think this will accomplish much: "U.N. to mediate Israeli soldier release." Setting aside the fact that the U.N. has nothing to negotiate with, I suspect that this will work about just as well as it worked out for Ron Arad. And what about Gilad Shalit? Guess he doesn't really matter.

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Yeah, so...Tarmac Saturday, not so much. It turned into Tarmac Sunday, and then it turned into "next week." It's time to beg forgiveness from you, my readers, for the world has conspired against me, and more importantly, against your Tarmac Saturday. I'm home in Omaha this weekend, to see some friends and to try and kick this nasty NASTY cold I've been suffering through for the past week. I think it was something in the air in my new apartment, because I feel 110% better now that I've been out of there for a few days. But anyway, if I haven't been sleeping, eating, helping my family out, or doing homework, I've been hanging out with a couple of people here in O-town; one a certain female, the rest my old high school buddies. So that has cut the blogging time to about nil. But, you ask, why didn't I post it ahead of time? That would be where the world conspired against me. Being sick as hell, starting pt for the semester, having the first real honest to god week of schoolwork, and being sick as hell (mentioned twice on purpose) will tend to curtail the amount of time one has to blog, especially when one also has to spend 6 hours Thursday afternoon/evening helping ISU DPS herd drunken college students around while they're trying to park. It was FUN, mind you (it always is...a lot of my really good "this is no shit" college stories involve parking from last year, plus we get to hang with our det. CO from two CO's ago; he runs parking for DPS and he's always got some great Air Force stories) but 6 hours in the sun while nursing a cold will wear you out, especially when you have pt the next morning at 0630.

But anyway, the cold is over, the homework is somewhat done, and I'm back in Ames tomorrow afternoon. So things should be back to normal around here, and I promise Tarmac Saturday for next week. Be sure to check out SJS's Flightdeck Friday for this week, it's one of my personal favorites: the Martin P6M SeaMaster, which was the Navy's flying boat jet powered version of an intercontinental nuclear bomber.