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Monthly Archives: February, 2015

Harf Should Really Just Shut Her Yap

In case you haven’t heard, there’s more stupidity coming out of the State Department in the form of something resembling words (and ostensibly logic, however bad) from the gaping maw of State Department spokeshole Marie Harf.

See, apparently we can just make terrorists not be terrorists anymore if we just offer them some jobs… maybe a $15/hour living wage… something. But we certainly can’t kill them all!

My reply to this would be, “Why not at least try?” But that might be too “nuanced” for some (and by “nuanced,” I mean, “politically incorrect.”)

And when anyone with a shred of common sense became publicly appalled at the vast amount of stupid, Harf decided to dig a little deeper by claiming her words were just way too “nuanced” for us conservative dolts.

“We cannot kill every terrorist around the world, nor should we try,” Harf said later. “How do you get at the root causes of this? It might be too nuanced an argument for some, like I’ve seen over the last 24 hours some of the commentary out there, but it’s really the smart way that Democrats, Republicans, our partners in the Arab world think we need to combat it.”

And by “nuanced,” we mean “stupid.” My mind certainly cannot process this much dumbassery in such a short period of time.

When I did my Master’s work in National Security Studies, I actually took a class called “The Roots of Terrorism” taught by an expert in the field – Paul Medhurst.  The work was interesting, in that it examined all aspects of international terrorism and allowed us to draw our own conclusions about its roots.

My conclusion was similar to this report.

While the report says that Western foreign policy and the perception that ‘Islam is under siege’ plays a role, they are not the main cause.

Instead, the four causes of radicalisation are: 

  • ‘Trauma’, such as the death of a loved one: Ten per cent of terror suspects became radicalised after a life trauma, says the report.

  • ‘Migration’: A third of all extremists ‘migrated to Britain alone’.

  •  ‘Criminal activity’: Two-thirds of the sample had criminal records.

  • ‘Prison’: Muslim prisoners who are not religious are often radicalised in prison. The report identified 60 known Islamist extremists operating in British jails.

The report also found that two-thirds of terrorists actually came from middle- to upper-class families, showing there’s no direct correlation between poverty, joblessness, and terrorism.

They’re also not really lone wolves, for the most part, and the vast majority were described as social and having lots of friends.

It’s not poverty and unemployment that prompt terrorists to attack their enemies. It’s ideology. And I would submit that no matter how many jobs you throw at them, that is not going to be fixed by giving them free shit.

Geeze, no wonder Harf went from a Middle East leadership analyst at the Agency to a spokeshole! Saying something stupid, and then condemning critics for not having a strong enough intellect to “get” her nuance doesn’t display too much analytic prowess!

FFS, Marie! Just shut your cock holster and stop embarrassing yourself and the administration!

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Too much stupid in this world!

Every once in a while, I run across something so completely idiotic on the Internet… so moronic… so cretinous, that I fight the strong, physical urge to:

a) buy an island, surround it with barbed wire, sharks with laser beams attached to their heads, and nests of machine guns, and move there; or

1) find the source of the stoopid, pop its skull open like a ripe coconut, and find a chimp with a bad case of tequila shits to fill said skull with smelly goo, which will still be preferable to what resides in its head now.

Why? Because what resides in said head now came up with this.

This… piece of dreck masquerading as a book attempts to persuade children (and the sniveling fucktards they have as parents) that measles, which is recently experiencing a resurgence thanks to several factors, including idiots refusing to vaccinate their fuck trophies and unvaccinated foreigners who bring this plague from their own shitholes, is really awesome.

Marvelous, in fact!

No, there are no side effects. As a matter of fact, you children out there should look forward to getting this bit of plague.

The book includes such inspired medical advice as :

  • measles is easily avoided by drinking melon juice

  • vaccines weaken the human immune system,

  • getting measles strengthens it (as does melon juice).

This bit of literary diarrhea has been around for about two years now, and luckily, the majority of people who wasted time and money reading this crap actually thought it sucked. Hell, some of the reviews are hilarious!

If you enjoyed this book, check out these other fine titles from the same author:

Abby’s Absolutely Abundant Abscess
Addie’s Adorable Adenoma
Adelia’s Addled Alzheimer’s
Andys Amazing AIDS
Anne’s Incandescent Anorexia
Annette’s Astonishing Aneurysm
Annie’s Awesome Asthma
Arnie’s Artful Addiction
Barack’s Baroque Barbiturate Overdose
Barry’s Bitchin Beri Beri
Beatrice’s Bawdy Bronchitis
Bella’s Beloved Bell’s Palsy
Bennett’s Breathtaking Boil
Bertha’s Blossoming Bulimia
Billy’s Bodacious Botulism
Bobby’s Bitchin Bubonic Plague

That said, if you don’t think there are cretins out there who will follow the dubious “medical” advice of this drooling harpy, you’d be mistaken.

Just in the past week alone, I had two people block me on Facebook, because I provided actual scientific articles for them to read about the efficacy and necessity of vaccinations.

One – supposedly a PhD (which in this woman’s case means Piled higher and Deeper) and published author named Ileana Johnson – became unhinged, accused me of being a government agent, and  demanded to know where I work. Then she glommed on to a part time writing gig I had listed on Facebook and screeched I was working for the “regime” and spreading its propaganda.

Another one actually had the gall to compare vaccine denying morons to Jews during the Holocaust. You just can’t make that shit up.

I only wish I was joking.

vaccine

Yeah, because asking for an immunization record before attending public school is something akin to making Jews wear yellow stars. What kind of twisted mental gymnastics do you have to engage in to come up with that bit of Godwinian excrement?

There are enough complete frothing morons out there who would not only buy this book, but also take its insane advice!

I mean, goodness! Why would you want to forego the joy of highly-contagious, potentially deadly diseases? Don’t be afraid, little boy! Here, have a lollipop!

Wouldn’t you rather get debilitating illnesses the natural way, because GOVERNMENT! BIG PHARMA! AUTISM! MERCURY! FETUS PARTS!

There are at least two idiots who took Messenger’s barely literate spew seriously, and most readers – even the ones who gave this feces-filled screed five stars – did so with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

I read an article recently – linked from the very libertarian CATO Institute – which is worth a read, if you have an open and rational mind. I agree with the writer, and I view anti-vaxxers somewhat like freeloaders.

The resurgence of measles is largely attributable to the confluence of two separate factors. On the one side there is a strong, if unacknowledged, effort on the part of some people to free ride off the vaccination of others. The self-interested calculations of many conscientious parents can run as follow: Of course, measles is a contagious disease, but it only spreads if there is a sufficiently large population of unvaccinated people in any given community. Taking any vaccine, including the measles vaccine, necessarily carries with it some risk of adverse outcomes. Vaccines could be impure or improperly administered, and even in the best of times, there is always a residual risk that the vaccine itself will transmit the very disease that it is supposed to prevent. So long as other individuals are vaccinated, the rational free rider decides that it pays not to vaccinate his or her own children. They receive the protection afforded by herd immunity, without subjecting their loved ones to the risks, however small, that vaccinations always present.

Freeloaders.

But back to the psychotic twatmold that wrote the load of bollocks…

It’s amazing that someone like this actually found someone to publish that pile of monkey droppings!

I’m  all for freedom of speech. I do, however, think that at some point, someone has to say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

You will not use freedom to try and convince kids that getting a disease that could lead to pneumonia, encephalitis, and death!

Measles isn’t marvelous. Small pox isn’t splendid. Whooping cough isn’t wonderful.

People used to die from these contagions, and this dumb twunt needs to be kept away from kids.

A few observations

So I’ve been sick for the past week. I get a couple of evil colds per year, and I thought this was one of those, but it turned out to be an evil, nasty, gross, phlegm-covered bacterial infection.

The bronchitis was not awesome. I wound up going to Urgent Care on Saturday, getting a nebulizer treatment, some oxygen, a Z-Pack, a steroid pack to reduce inflammation in my bronchial tubes, Tylenol 3 with Codeine, and an inhaler. I was also told to stay home and not bring this plague into the office, so I festered in bed for three days, doing nothing more than gobbling medicine, drinking hot tea, and moaning miserably on occasion.

The good (or bad, depending on how you look at it) thing is that I had the chance to catch up on the news, friends’ Facebook posts, my often-neglected Twitter feed, and my photography.

I played with Photoshop and did a few new art prints for my Society6 page. If you like framed prints, or even non-framed ones, check out the site and order something. It helps pay the bills, ya know?

Here are a couple of samples. cherry blossoms

blooms

I’ve also caught up with some of the causes that appear to be popular on the Interwebz lately.

Vaccines and anti-vaccine stupidity are once again in the spotlight, because some tool at Disneyland decided to take its plague to the amusement park and infect a bunch of folks with measles.

A few observations about this:

If, given the vast amount of scientific, rational, and factual evidence out there about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, you still choose not to vaccinate your spawn, do us all a favor, and keep your precious snowflakes away from society. That means keep the hell away from schools, sports teams, scouts, etc. No one wants your vat of plague, especially not children with serious immune issues.

Politicians – STAY THE HELL OUT OF THE DEBATE. IT JUST MAKES YOU SOUND STUPID.

I’m not a person who believes in government force. You don’t want to vaccinate? Don’t. If your kid dies of encephalitis brought on by measles complications because you failed to be an objective, rational parent, you should be charged. Otherwise, it’s on you. If you or your crotchfruit are proven to be “patient zero” in an outbreak, because you decided it was your right to parade your infectious ankle biter around other people without regard for their safety, you should be sued. Otherwise, it’s on you.

And vaccination is not a government conspiracy, you bloody tards. Try science.

Another observation: Some people’s lives revolve around “The Walking Dead.” Literally.

That’s all they talk about. That’s all they desire. Their lives on social media consist of counting down how many days until the next episode and searching out every photo of every cast member they can find.

Seriously. What?

I’m as big a fan of the show as anyone, but yet, my life doesn’t consist of half nekkid photos of Norman Reedus, posting to “The Walking Dead” discussion groups or collecting action figures.

ISIS/ISIL/IS: I’m sick of them. Can we please just nuke the lot of them? They’re savages, who have no respect for human rights or human life. Fuck ’em. High time we got serious.

Random thought: I wonder if the renovations going on in my office and the consequent glue smell can really make me high.

Also… Katy Perry… Shark… I don’t get it. No, I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. I was stoned on a lot of medication.

Some people are really good at crafts – knitting, crochet, art, etc. I’m not one of those people. My mom tried to teach me to knit as a kid, and the result was usually something that looked disastrously like a monkey knitted it with its toes. While high on meth.

Everyone gets record snow this winter. But not DC. Because we suck.

I love snow. I love big, fluffy flakes falling from the sky. I love 2 feet of the stuff lying on the ground while I’m warm and toasty inside with a mug of coffee and my woobie.

And by the way… Rob doesn’t understand the excellentness of woobies. Light, fluffy, warm, packable, poncho liners that are so comfy, that you don’t want any other blanket.

Ever.

He just doesn’t get it.

My cat Indy gets the woobie. He wraps himself in it sometimes, and looks really confused when he untangles. But then again, he attacks his reflection in the mirror, chews his own tail, and then looks shocked when it hurts, so he may not be the best judge of woobie goodness.

Crunch Time In The Fight To Stop An Article V Convention Call In The Old Dominion

I ruffled some feathers when I opined a few weeks ago about the possibility of a Article V convention. Now that several bills have advanced to the floor of the General Assembly calling for an Article V convention, there seems to be a real chance of passage of such a thing for the first time since Speaker Howell and the General Assembly wisely revoked Virginia’s previous call for an Article V convention over ten years ago. Many good conservatives like Ken Cuccinelli support such an idea. Nevertheless, the more I learn about not just the concept itself, but those behind it, the worse an idea it seems.

The people, and the money, behind the push for an Article V convention, are, shall we say, suspect. Mark Meckler, the President of the Convention of States project, was, of all things, a distributor with Herbalife, the purveyor of dietary supplements that works through a Mary Kay/Amway-style pyramid scheme. Mr. Meckler apparently made quite a killing, being near the top of the Herbalife pyramid. Meckler had never shown any real inclination to be involved in politics. This changed when he suddenly jumped into politics, co-founding Tea Party Patriots (TPP) with Jenny Beth Martin. For brevity’s sake, I won’t rehash the issues with TPP becoming a cash cow for its leadership here, but Google will quickly turn up a number of references should readers require them. Oddly enough, TPP, like Herbalife, distributed what it took in (initially through membership fees, then later contracted a large fundraising firm which kept up to 70% of every dollar taken in for TPP) through a pyramid-like scheme. I don’t believe in that sort of coincidence. Mr. Meckler then left TPP for the Convention of States project. It’s unknown how much they pay their employees, of course, but it is VERY well-funded. Here in Virginia, it is allied to the Middle Resolution PAC, which is bankrolled by Bob Bailie, an establishment Republican megadonor. In the interests of brevity, I also won’t get into the longstanding issues with Middle Resolution and conservatives, but like with regard to TPP, Google will be your friend.
There is one last tidbit regarding Mr. Meckler. He recently joined up with Living Room Conversations, a group that, based on their site, is very left-leaning. Their other public representatives include a co-founder of MoveOn.org, a former organizer of the Coffee Party, and Van Jones (!). I am not making this up.

The advocates of the Convention of States project have still failed to demonstrate how an Article V convention could be limited once called, or how they could guarantee the “one state, one vote” structure they propose, or how they could guarantee that the delegates would be strict constructionist Constitutional conservatives. Their constitutional law expert, Robert Natelson, argues that state legislatures have such power. As it turns out, he’s wrong. Given the political makeup of Virginia, does anyone think that, even granting the CoS advocates that they could set up the convention exactly the way they propose, that our delegate would be a Ken Cuccinelli or Dave Brat? It’s far more likely that the General Assembly would select, if not a Howell or Norment themselves, someone like… oh, Frank Wagner or Barry Knight, or if we roll snake eyes, Bill Bolling. Consider that. Then consider the delegates that states like, say, New York might choose. If we are lucky, they’d send Michael Bloomberg. It is highly unlikely that an Article V convention would be led by conservatives, and extremely likely that it would yield exceedingly dangerous proposed amendments, which would then have considerable momentum for passage through the state legislatures, by the same Congress that constructed the convention in the first place. This is why the left is pushing for an Article V convention through Move To Amend and Wolf PAC. Some suggest that penalties could be imposed on delegates who exceed the instructions of a state which appointed them to an Article V convention, but there is no case law supporting that such a thing would stand. None. Once the convention is called, it’s anyone’s ballgame. Some CoS advocates even insist that an Article V convention is not a constitutional convention. Black’s Law Dictionary says otherwise. It’s also worth noting that at the 1787 convention, every delegate other than George Mason and Elbridge Gerry, and one other gentleman (whose name escapes me at the moment) wanted to leave the convention option out of Article V completely, yet these three threatened to leave the convention unless a convention to propose amendments was added, and ended up doing so anyhow because it didn’t go far enough to suit them (they wanted the convention model that CoS advocates, and didn’t get it). A convention simply wasn’t among the vehicles the framers had in mind to restrain an overarching federal leviathan. Tremendous and unnecessary danger awaits the republic if an Article V convention should come to pass.

To sum up, it is desperately important for the General Assembly to defeat HJ497 and HJ499 on the floor of the House of Delegates, and SJ252 and SJ269 on the floor of the Senate of Virginia this week. Delegate Bob Marshall and Senator Dick Black have been absolute heroes on this issue. They need YOUR help! Contact your legislators (politely and concisely) and let them know you oppose these bills, and any call for an Article V convention.

Appropriating Chris Kyle

I saw “American Sniper” on its opening weekend. It’s hard to say I enjoyed it.  I’m not sure anyone can enjoy a movie such as this. I can say it was well-acted, well-produced, and well-written. I can say that Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood did a fantastic job with a very difficult subject. I can say it was a fascinating, sad, emotional, inspiring, and interesting look into the mind and heart of a man who saved hundreds, if not thousands, of American lives.

Whatever you may think of the Iraq war, the intelligence failures that led us there, the 9-11 Commission report, the Iraqis, or the hundreds of Iraqi threats neutralized by Chris Kyle, he was a warrior – and a very skilled one. He did his job, and he did it superlatively. He saved American lives, and there are warriors out there who are grateful that he was up there with that rifle, protecting them from on high. He was a father and a husband. His view of the war was certainly different than many others’, but having saved so many American lives, he was a hero.

As a friend of mine put it, “the simple fact is, when we deploy, we have a mission and an objective, that’s all. Politics, religion, point of view……don’t factor in. We go, we do the job, some of us write a book about it, and some of us just buy a bottle and move on.”

Some people just don’t understand that. From the first day “American Sniper” hit the theaters, attention-whoring celebutards rushed to condemn the movie, comparing it to Nazi propaganda and calling Chris Kyle a coward (to be fair, Seth Rogen walked back his stupid comment after being widely panned as a moron), while the usual crowd of leftist writers proceeded to use the movie, and Kyle’s life, as fodder for their continued EvilBooshIraqWarBad campaign.

Enter this dude. Now normally, I wouldn’t give Salon the time of day. Even without reading the article, you know this is going to be an EvilBooshIraqWarBad screed, but because this was written by ostensibly an American sniper, who claims to have served in Iraq, I figured I’d give it a read.

Salon describes the writer thusly: “Garett Reppenhagen served as a Cavalry Scout Sniper with the 1st Infantry Division in the US Army and deployed on a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and a combat tour in the Diyala Province, Iraq in 2004. Garett works as a Regional Director for Vet Voice Foundation and is a veterans advocate and social justice organizer.”

Social justice organizer… This alone sets off all kinds of alarms, but I decided to give it a read anyway. In this essay Reppenhagen describes events much differently from Kyle’s experience.

Unlike Chris Kyle, who claimed his PTSD came from the inability to save more service members, most of the damage to my mental health was what I call “moral injury,” which is becoming a popular term in many veteran circles.

As a sniper I was not usually the victim of a traumatic event, but the perpetrator of violence and death. My actions in combat would have been more acceptable to me if I could cloak myself in the belief that the whole mission was for a greater good. Instead, I watched as the purpose of the mission slowly unraveled.

I served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. During that time, we started to realize there were no weapons of mass destruction, the 9/11 commission report determined that Iraq was not involved in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, false sovereignty was given to Iraq by Paul Bremer, the atrocities at Abu Ghraib were exposed, and the Battle of Fallujah was waged.

The destruction I took part in suddenly intersected with news that our reasons for waging war were untrue. The despicable conduct of those at Abu Ghraib was made more unforgivable by the honorable interactions I had with Iraqi civilians, and, together, it fueled the post-traumatic stress I struggle with today.

He warns the reader not to take “American Sniper” as the sole view of the Iraq war. OK… he’s correct. Everyone’s experience in the war is different. I was also deployed to Kosovo, and I’m fairly sure that my one-year experience there was much different from Reppenhagen’s. That’s not an unfair warning. Like I said, everyone’s experience is different.

That said, what really bothers me is that the people trying to appropriate Chris Kyle’s story to their own experience. Reppenhagen obviously doesn’t get what “American Sniper” was about. This was Chris Kyle’s story. It was his war. It was his experiences. It was his point of view. This was one man’s account: Chris Kyle’s. And yet, Reppenhagen seems chafed that “American Sniper” didn’t tell his story, didn’t focus on his political views and his doubts, didn’t show his disenchantment with Abu Ghraib, the 9/11 Commission Report, or his view of the Iraqi people.

Guess what! It’s not Reppenhagen’s story. It’s Chris Kyle’s. And Reppenhagen seems to want to appropriate Chris Kyle’s story and apply it to his own experiences.

Know what? When you sell your own memoir and get a movie deal, you can tell your story. But the continued attempts to spew a political message using an American hero as a vehicle, while discounting his experiences or downright smearing him and what he went through is getting old.

Additionally, Jonn mentioned Reppenhagen was a candidate for the board of the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) in 2010. Interestingly, he was apparently good buddies with Stolen Valor phony Rick Duncan aka Richard Strandloff, and couldn’t tell the guy never served. That’s also interesting. Normally veterans are damn good at weeding crap out of their ranks. This guy… apparently bringing Strandloff into IVAW and “raising a lot of awareness” for his political agenda was important enough to overlook his fraud.

So yes, maintain a 360 point of view when it comes to “American Sniper,” but understand the movie and the book as one man’s point of view, and extend that objective 360 eye to the people who see it fit to criticize the movie.

Their motives aren’t as pure as they may lead you to believe.

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