Monday, January 28, 2008

Iraq Backstory pt2


An understatement

Stunning Unders t a t m e n t

Stop focus remember: NEVER attribute to conspiracy what you can explained by incompetence.

I was not terrible happy by the tone of inevitable failure. First the whole thing with troop levels. It seems the whole idea that Bush was in a room and would tell the commanders don't ask for more troops. Ask do you need more troops and they would say no. He would go out and say if they ask for more they will get more kind of thing didn't happen. I had an impression that a lot of people were hinting at that. Not the case. As much as i hate to say it Bush does seem to an absentee father in this thing. Some of it is probable the truth and some is just the way this show was put together. Second moving on I never got the go in clear every one out and leave an area. I have watched enough history to know that is not going to work. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure that out. You have the green zone clear. Clear a ring around that, secure the perimeters, repeat. Not quit that simple but really.

The other questions that i haven't quit figured out yet. Electricity and other essentials still aren't 100% yet. If i asked GE of whoever for a couple power plants and a working electrical grid in say 18 months, at the beginning it would be fix what is there in six, i will pay you pay you twice what is worth and the original cost if your people are gone and the Iraqis are running it them selves in say another six. I hope after the initial bs they didn't think they could do it on the cheap, but it looks that way. If the electric fails here its back up in a month top. Not the same and not that simple i know. But with enough money and a couple of brain cells it would get done. where is that mentality? Who in the world doesn't realize that there needs to be one guy over the civil and military for the reconstruction of an entire country. It could have been someone appointed, one of the general, Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld or bush but it had to be someone, one not a many.

There was a wonderful saying from scout, a little cheesy yes, failing to planning is planning to fail. Simple and accurate. Somehow people at the top didn't learn that lesson, maybe the communication was just that bad, maybe it is just a massive lack of leadership, something else you learn in scouts. i suspect it was some of each. In the end the leader needs to lead and if he doesn't, when its this important the people under him need to scream, then quit if no one listens and to every member of congress and explain the problem. If that doesn't work go to the press. The blame in the beginning falls mainly on Bush, but there is plenty to go around.

Added update: Agree or not he is a man of reason and is well informed. he makes some of the same points as I, he does much much better than i

The latter crap a year or so in to now is DC's fault mainly. How about this step away from the microphones, sit in a room, come up with some constructive ideas and rally people around winning. You, congress had to have a better idea of what was happening than the public in general don't talk do. The snipping continues even now. It seems to be going better now even with the latest up tic.

It is a horrible shame that we lost this chance to show American strength to the world. Three mistakes and it was over. Bush not standing up and letting fools run him over, disbanding the military and de-Baathification. I think it will eventually sort it self out. No one can now just remove the troops and let it all go to hell and add any more shame to this country and its military. i worry now that when we do leave there will be a weak government left behind that falls in a few years and we start over basically were we started or worse.

So has quit a number of interviews, Q&As and panels. There even one with Anthony Boudain, just for a little break.

This one is pretty on point about Iraq now and its future. Insightful and not stuff i had really heard before. What he says about the future of military history in schools is sad at the least.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Opinionated Iraq Backstory

Anyone today trying to explain their view of political and social philosophy needs to talk about Iraq. My view may not differ much from a very few pundits out there but as said etc. I am not a fan of beating a dead horses but this is worth the read for some points that are important beyond Iraq even if they aren't new.

First 1991, yes i know been there done that. Two, three points. There were good reasons and more to the point it was sold well and fairly easily accepted world wide. There shouldn't need to be a sales job for these sort of things, it should be pretty apparent. Now yes i except that oil in this region does probable play a role. However Rwanda and Bosnia are not exact parallels to Iraq and its not all oil all the time. The thing that loomed large and are at the root of most of the problems with the use of military in foreign policy then and now, Southeast Asia. The mentality of no civilian or military causalities at, not all costs but at high costs. The push to get it done and get out lead to two failures. We didn't go to Baghdad and put a bullet in Hussein's head, i can under stand the reasons, i just do not agree.
Even with that there was a chance. The Kurds, with the Iraq's army out of the picture i think could have taken over. Now there would have been problems, the reprisals against those in the regime, well not pretty. The other probable fall out would have been with Turkey. The Kurd take over didn't happen. From what i know after the war the short time we were there the Iraqi's asked to use their helicopters to move wounded. We let them and they dropped gas on the Kurds. I at the point the decision was made not to help them with our military i agree, but maybe we shouldn't have encouraged them.
From this it seems that the US has gotten a little gun shy and is under monumental pressure not to hurt civilian and get troops home. I don't want to hurt civilians and want the troops home don't get me wrong. It however leads to mistakes and stupid ones at that. Now may be if Bush 41 has told the generals to do all they to help the Kurd but not to actively engage in the fighting someone would have thought what could helicopter be used for. Not some sort of evil plan pressure and stupidity.
In the interim the Iraqis were playing games. personally after the first weapons lock on our planes, one warning then a bombing campaign then a re-invasion. no games.
The current little war. I had high hopes that it would be a restoration of American power. We had good reasons to use our military, it seemed we were going to be bold about it and do what we thought needed to be done. My thinking is that you take Iraq take over quickly, crush the military and that day tell countries like Iran, Syria and North Korea we will talk but if your going to play game, support terrorist and not allow basic human rights we have a problem and now will do something about it. I know China and others we didn't want to rattle to much would need a little calming for the time but very worth it. Show some teeth and use them when necessary. I had high hopes.
I think there was a push to get things done and create some uber reason to go into Iraq. I didn't think we needed that. They were playing game with the US plane, UN weapons inspectors and there were a couple of UN resolutions. End of Story. So the administration some how let it degenerate into "he lied". How many years will it be before it stops, please someone make it stop, the rabbits the rabbits i can't get away...please .. Sorry couldn't help it. So they couldn't find someone that might have some PR experience or may be Bush should have just stood up and said we were wrong, it happens, there are still good reasons and moved the story forward and back on point. An unbelievable opportunity post cold war to set some order, gone just gone.
In the beginning of the war it seemed that what the administration was telling us made a certain amount of sense. i was very obviously fooled. the screaming of Liar in my ears didn't help and i didn't want to listen to anything else those screaming were saying. It was a useless and misguided charge. If I close my eyes, ask someone to hold up some fingers and tell me how many then my best information is what I'm told if i repeat what they said are you going to scream liar at me forever, sorry rabbits. I Don't know why the administration was saying what they were.
Moving on i hate to say stupidity should be criminal but I am very tempted. The larger point, and it applies to the absolutely disguising, in the I'm going to be sick and in the intellectual sense, 911 truthers. if you are one take a deep breath and think. I had herd this form someone at Reason or Popular Science say something to this effect: NEVER attribute to conspiracy what you can explained by incompetence. I would also say by stupidity, apathy, target fixation and a lesser extent ignorance. think. Like I said I don't think there was some sort of evil plan, call it what you like, but stupidity, criminal, tempting
This is from PBS. I don't trust them much but Nova and Frontline seem to do a good job. I have some very small problems with this, good on the whole.
I could embed it from another source but i would like to do it from the original. Its not as glamorous but here it is.
To be continued in the next post.

Reasoned Self Doubt

I have as i hope most of us have found ourselves doubting what we are doing. My doubt about this project is more reasoned i hope. I will freely admit to a vast and at times overwhelming amount of ignorance on my part. My fear is that this clouds my judgment on the usefulness of the intellect that i have. Worse yet my intellect may not be as good as i think it is. By no means is it at any sort of great level at lest for now. I think intellect can be trained to do better, but is mine of any use to anyone but me now.

Does my ignorance cloud my judgment on what is in my head.
I do not ignore, nor should i or anyone, the emotional or metaphysical side of what goes on in ones own head. It comes into play because there reasonable arguments for both sides. The problem in this, i have little evidence that i have much of use to say and after staring at the wall i have some thought new to me, it seems someone has had it all ready. Not only that but has written a book and in some cases books have been written on that book. Ignorance, mine in this first instance leads to this doubt because i do not know, ignorance. It seems apparent watching and listening to media in general that they are even more clueless than i. that unfortunately gives me some hope. Have much of that is a reflection of the people.
Ok so one side i have scholars with double PhD.s that seem to make some sense when i understand them and the other the dribble that seems to be the mainstream. There is no real reasoned answer, so i suppose i should just push the reasoned doubt away and do my best to move on.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Clinton Idea

I have not been watching much of the Pres. race. i have been thinking and watching things far more interesting of important. Some Californincation, Iraq war info and some talks on atheism. i paused the vid on my computer for a drink or something and unmuted the TV to watch Sen. Clinton saying something to this effect: we should pay some people to go to homes of the elderly to cover their windows and insulate their homes. That will help cut their energy bills and lessen the over all need for energy and that helps with the global warming.

a side note: not an exact quote. if it doesn't sound like something she'd say look it up. i am not trying to twist this and will never try to twist someones words. it is very dishonest in the every day and intellectual sense. if you don't believe she said it then look at the statement by itself and use it as to help organize and challenge your own thoughts.

standing there with the "no" "no" "no" falling out of my mouth, i thought there is much to talk about but this really hits me in the head and i would love to turn and smack the person swinging the bat. Its not about who is saying it its about all those who seem to agree. I seem to remember in the little formal education i had something about communist countries paying people to sweep the sidewalks so every body would have jobs. this statement its not about jobs. it does seem very socialist. as for the energy, there is an energy problem, massive innovation is the only real long term solution. As for global warming, yes the planet is a little warmer, is the cure more harmful than the disease.

I personally am much happier if my family or friends of my grandparents do those thing. i feel even better if i do it myself and even better than that if they can still do it for themselves.

Take it in and think just for a second .

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Economic Stimulus For Economic Stimulus

I appears that the people at the top finally wake up to the scope of the problems with the economy. They are as usual playing the games they always do.
There is this: Health Insurance & The Stimulus
By Cindy ZeldinAs a component of the emerging economic stimulus package, Congressional Democrats are considering an increase in Medicaid matching funds to states. Congressional Republicans and the Bush Administration are reportedly cool to the idea, arguing that public spending on health care has little to do with rekindling the economy. The American public, I suspect, would beg to differ.

Medicaid has little to do with the short term. She goes onto make her argument but my eyes glazed i didn't.. misses the point.
There is also talk of giving this economic stimulus in the form of rebate to people that didn't pay any taxes. will they have to give it back next year like everyone else? If this does help keep things going and if they do not get a check are they not getting the benefit anyway?
I am not sure this will help much. If it does i think it will just push the tide off for a while and may in the end make it at least a little longer.
In the end could we just pass a clean bill that does the one thing its supposed to. Or at least the one thing we think will help. Please. Just a dream i think.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Keith Olberman v Bill O'Reily for the 100th useless time

I don't want to bring this up and the only reason i bring any of this up is to make a point.

First there is this. Keith Olbermann on Homeless Vets w/Paul Reickoff

Please ignore the comments, they are the kind of thing that helps no one and gives the wrong idea if you don't pay a little attention and think. Name calling never helpful.
Then here is the video of O’Reilly. I link here because it's the first place i found it and it has a written transcript.
O’Reilly Admits There Are 200K Homeless Vets, Still Says Edwards ‘Is A Liar’ Who Owes ‘An Apology’

More commits that i would be very careful while reading not to get drawn in. a comment from this page reads:
Edwards is pointing out that the people who have fought and put themselves in harm’s way for this country deserve better. He doesn’t own O’Reilly an apology. O’Reilly owes veterans an apology for dissing them in this way.
Comment by missmolly — January 18, 2008 @ 4:00 pm

Maybe Edwards my be making that point contrary to what O'Reilly said, i don't know and don't care. i think Edwards is a little out there and in general may very well be trying to make the connection that O'Reilly says he is. However does O'Reilly really need to apologize to veterans.Anywho be careful and don't get drawn in.

Ok so my point is made by some on this Digg page, not to sure about that site either.
First, most seem to be firmly entrenched in there own little unfortunately growing world were Olberman is at least a guru.
by Luthorcorp331
More Leftist smear with no need of facts or substance.
Bill's point was the homeless veterans plight was due to drug addiction and mental illness not the economy which pseudo-populist John Edwards is extolling. He also said he would pick up any homeless veterans and drive them to Mr. Edwards lavish mansion estate if need be.Bill is correct and please stop putting these misleading propaganda pieces on digg.
P.S. Olberman is another Michael Moore type who figured out how to sucker money out of Lefty loonies by telling them what they want to
Leftist is more than i would say but might be right. "misleading propaganda" is a somewhat soft. i do think the p.s. is right except i think they believe it to. Then there is this:
by gasch
O'Reilly's opinions may be wrong occasionally, but his facts rarely are (when they have been, he's corrected himself). Olberman on the other hand has made it a habit of make small, ignorant mistakes regarding facts as of late.
This i think is the truth of the matter for the most part. With Olberman they aren't always small and is not just of late. O'Reilly's opinions differ with mine a fair amount and i think he focuses to much on the little problems that are a fall out of larger ones.

The real point:
by tomservo51 Seriously, why do you ppl waste your day with this crap?
In this case to make a point. Beware the rabbit!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Running from the Rabbit

I don't mind wading into the tall grass from time to time. Once you follow the rabbit or are chased by the rabbit into a hole you can't even see the weeds. A little of a mixed metaphor kind of, I think that it is a parallel of what goes in the world.

On a small scale you, the individual for future reference, tend to talk to the same people, listen and read the same things and tend not to challenge our beliefs or ways of thinking. This is the rabbit hole, yes its comfy and helps order the world but you can't see much of the grass or the bulldozer coming till its to late. The rabbits, you me and everyone around us. Some of us peak out of the hole from time to time but don't get a full survey of what is happening. So find a rabbit hole on a hill and take some travels to the next valley.

On a larger scale, well it comes in two parts. the first are the bunnies that we have asked or trusted to watch for the bulldozer and help us make our rabbit hole more comfy. Some of them do a good job some of them may be driving the dozer and telling you is a truck of free carrots. The sad thing is they may believe it. These are leaders that range from elected officials, clergy and to police and teachers. The second larger part is cute or really scary. Herds of rabbits moving in the same kinds of ways and me wondering if they know what they are doing. Even worse who is driving them and do they know what they are doing. This is the mainly the effect media and business for good or bad. The movement is the society in general.

The large scale rabbits are the ones I'm running from because they are the ones that will chase you. What i am trying to say is think and please please think outside your rabbit hole, i mean box, well pick your metaphor. At least just take into account while reading here that i am always trying to run from the rabbit.

Goldberg and his book

Here is the Stewart-Goldberg interview.

Let me say here that i do not really care about the historical connection between socialism and fascist. Was Mussolini a fascist or socialist, an Italian or a European, do not care. I do however care about what socialism is today, how is it applied and its end goals. It is helpful to look to the past when people aren't forthcoming about where they stand but say they are a or b. Or if you are trying to look at what works and doesn't.

I am not a historian and do not have to time to figure out who's wright or wrong. if there are inconsistencies in his book its not for me to say. I haven't read his book. I think if there are some academic problem with the work then so be it. In general if the ideas are interesting or make connections in you head from one thing to the other then its all the better. If an idea comes along that explains better or makes better connections good I'll take a look at that.

Here some of the back and forth if you want to go through this rabbit hole. Salon has an interview with him. Whatever with some thoughts. If you found this I sure you can find your way to get stuck in this rabbit hole.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Goldberg v Stewart

I saw that Jonah Goldberg was going to be on John Stewart. I'm thinking great, high profile show there are going to be people looking into this guy and i just wrote about him. Post a link to the vid and summarize the earlier post. So Stewart comes on, Mr. i know it's not a sign of disrespect I'm just a little lazy and have called people by there last names for as long as i can remember, and said they had to edit it down for time. Even better. Stewart was about as good as he gets. I don't think Goldberg can explain his ideas in such a short time.

Looking for the vid there are post on some blogs that have comments on there boards that read "he's a moran, just like his Momma" and "The same asshat who, according to KO, said Mussolini was a socialist and not a facist?"

Ok if your talking to people you know, maybe. This kind of thing with out any contexts helps no one and gives a passing observer the wrong idea and lowers discourse. This is exactly the crap i don't want posted here. A ,Mussolini was socialist and not a fascist, i can live with. Now he might have said that but what i heard was that Mussolini was a fascist light or a fascist without the antisemitic Crap.

Here is the Jonah Goldberg video from Earlier. I will post the Stewart video when i find it and i have some general comment on Stewart for latter. I generally like the guy. i will have to dive into the rest again I'm afraid.

MLog: The what and I will

The what. My thought on political issues and philosophy. Thoughts an more day to day and light philosophy. The format is going to be much of a work in progress for while and as with all sites I'll change it little here and there as time goes on.

My writing, well I'm not trying to write some great novel or reference tome. I learn pretty quickly so will hope for the best. There are two general rules i will try to follow. one is something I've said many time when helping other with papers. Is that the way you would say it. the second is an attempt consolidate when it can be fairly well understood with out an overly long drawn out proper English description. I, i know is supposed to be in caps I'm not that important and always thought it was a little pompous to due so. 4 intend of four and dates the some thing, this isn't formal saves time and i think brakes up the text. abbreviations, as i said this isn't formal. i will try to not do those things when being more serious. Caps at the starts of sentences i think are important to break up.. yes.

Proper English is a good thing. Mine is a little ill. My vocabulary is ok maybe decent. my grammar well as before write like you speak. I know it isn't always write but i think it's usually understood. The spelling is a.. train wreck. Spellcheck saves mostly. My punctuation is on it's death bed. i can't name them all and wouldn't know how to use half of them. The basics. The period goes here. right? Anything beyond that is suspect.

More important the wills. I will try my best to moderate the comment. I will dump back and forth posts with no relevance. Any seriously idiotic or massively uninformed post will be dumped or posted with short and pointed words from on how bad it really is. I will do my best to point to were information came from. I will listen to sound arguments. i will listen to philosophical difference when they are philosophical based on some sort of reality not "it's better for everyone" or "it's for the child" type crap. i will admit when i am actually wrong. Most of the time we will have to agree to disagree.

MLog what, who, I didn't!

Normal people, writers, etc. would have probably started with this post. Who wants to be an etc. anywho. Yes, anywho I've used it for years no reason to not. The thought of doing this blog has been in my head for the past three or so years. The reason for now? I realized that I would still be too young by about a month to run for President in o12.. 12.. ok 2012. We will have to see how that one's handled. I had no real expectations of running but if thing got far enough off track there was that possibility. I think that my ideas of what this country should be possible after 4 years but after 8 not really, so this is one alternative.

Next. I didn't think there was any chance anyone would read any of it. There are some new ideas on that. The time, not that I didn't or don't have it. The time to research, drafts, all the things you should do and do i really have that much to say. Research, tell you where i got it. Drafts, doesn't have to be perfect,get the idea across; English is ,for good or bad, butchered every day in e-mail and on Tv. What to say , hopefully brief personal sidetrack, I have had many long discussions with people ,mainly family, on the kinds of things I hope to cover here. I have been staying with my sister for going on 2yrs. She knows most of what I'm going to say before I say it. She gives me the blank kinda look or says I know. She's right and I completely understand. When there is something of interest I have to try hard to get through any necessary back story as quick as possible. Side track over, there is enough.

Hopefully i can get to that with enough people so they can watch, pay attention to this stuff, keep a track and fix things were necessary so i can pursue may real passion of sleep. ok not my real passion but I do really enjoy.

Liberal Fascism

So i begin here. I tend to watch Tv for information more than i read. It's a bad habit but my reading has never been great. As stereotypical as it is, me being male, I get things a lot faster if i have pictures and by extension video. I have as well a need to understand and learn as much as i can to at least on a basic level. Which means a lot of History Channel, National Geographic, and news. The news is mostly FNC with increasing amounts of CNN in the past year or so.

More to the point. C-SPAN mostly speeches of politicians dribbling on about the usual useless idea that makes the perceived problem worse and spawns some other wonderful new problem. That's for latter. C-SPAN2 has on the weekends Book Tv. Great stuff. Some or maybe most of it is on topics I don't need more detail on. When good things are on I get caught up and if I'm lucky my head hurts just a little in a good way. The authors get an hour to go into detail and take questions.

That all said, Sunday flipping through i see something of interest on Book Tv. He is talking about Fascism and progressives. It was good for ten seconds then i see The Secret History of the American Left as part of the book title. Crap some nut and there's the Heritage Foundation backdrop. I have, finding no real clear answers on much, learned not to dismiss things right away. The author was Jonah Goldberg. The book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. It is mostly over and he gets to the questions.

A few things of interest come out of his answers. The second question was on why he thinks some of the more affluent and successful people are liberal. A question that has popped into my head from time to time. To summarize they think they or smarter and its simpler to let them run things. Not good but makes sense to me. I do think the current system is messy and far to complicated. With one person at the top or a more military structure things move much faster and things get done.On the other hand absolute power corrupts absolutely. One of those balancing act i have not figured out and know we are far to on the messy side. Goldberg makes the argument the America could never have a Nazi type fascism because it's not in our core character or beliefs. The point is a clearer when you use his example, "if we burn the Constitution tomorrow we would still be the same people" The last thing I'll mention hear is his take on Senator Clinton's book. Apparently there an explanation of how crisis are used to get things done, states that all children are in crisis a the moment they are born. Finally wouldn't it be great if there the screens in all public places the ran instructions on how to be good parents all the time. 1984?

Think for a second. you could say the schools are in crisis.If you really think every child born is in crisis leave, go read something else, you may be beyond reasoning with. On the last point information on parenting should be widely available even by the government but not be force feed.

The video is here and from there you can go to the rest. If you go to their schedule you can see what the old programs are and watch.I did go back and watch all of it. First half is kind of dense, at least catch the last 20 minutes or so. One other good source for more of the good stuff is the PBS site. Yes apparently there news and some of there programs are a little iffy, squishy, call it what you want. There is still good stuff. Check out the Dover case and this. It about made me cry. About i said.