Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 2: Bravo Sierra

Just in time for Veteran's Day, the Pentagon decided to make a big stink about the advice DEVGRU operators gave to the development nerds over at Electronic Arts. All the losers are characteristically making hay out of any perception that Obama might treat America's super commandos with anything but deference and prostration - no danger there - while anyone with a clue about the world is rightly confused.

Two years ago, when EA put out its last Medal of Honor game, they also produced a series of "Tier 1 Interviews." A marketing ploy disguised as reverent peaks into the lives and psychologies of the sort of guys doing the most high priority wet ops. The game met with a mediocre response but not for lack of DOD support. Truth is - and its an easy truth to learn - the US military loves attention on its super secret units. Because that attention is always reflexively deferential.

So what upset them this time? Nearest I could find was the SEALs involved showed the dev team how old-school operators prefer to reload and how to build a bomb. I'm skeptical on the bomb thing, mostly because you can find the same damn instructions all over the internet - with a handy FBI tracking cookie for your computer, ya yutz. But that wouldn't be so much a national security issue as a, "What the fuck are you doing!?" slap-upside-the-head issue.

But reloading? Seriously? You have to understand, American gun culture - which overlaps with American military culture - is full of all this fetishism for particular movements, particular calibers, particular anythings that are simple and boring but tarted up with an unwarranted mystique.

So what I want to know is why the Pentagon even commented on this in the first place? These units occupy a privileged position in the military and part of that privilege is having their screw ups carefully scrubbed from public record. Otherwise the rate of alcoholism and domestic violence around Fort Bragg would be common knowledge.

The nearest I can guess is that after that crappy movie earlier this year and a DEVGRU vet publishing a book on the bin Laden job, the brass might be getting antsy that some of this mystique might slip. Or there's something even uglier and more political driving them. 'Cause whatever their reasons, the generals and admirals who are leading this very public spanking never have the interests of America at heart.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Freeper Fallout

I wanted to be done with the damned election but I have a slot to fill before going on hiatus and it's still providing material. Not just in lots of self-congratulatory malarkey, but in exquisite squeals of pain and confusion from the losers.

If you're not familiar with Free Republic you're not missing much. It's a crudely coded message board for the bedrock conservative faithful, the types who rant about Democrats being neostalinist authoritarians in the same breath as reviling the "homosexual agenda" and calling for anti-sodomy laws without a shred of cognitive dissonance. So "rock" is awfully descriptive.

And they are frickin' hilarious when they lose. I had some fun reporting their meltdown four years ago in my previous blag and thought it would make for a nice tradition. First up - some partisan yob who sends his disabled uncle a check every once in a while discovers said uncle voted for Obama. Gasp and such! What should he do, he asks his fellow freepers?

"Cut him off. Let the big government he loves so well take care of him."

"Yes, you should cut it in half because politics is more important than family."

That's the sorta Christian love you can expect from freepers - though I'm not really sure if the second guy is being sarcastic. It looks like it but you quickly learn by following the constant stream of freeps that none of them have a head for nuance. Very binary thought processes, like so -

"New revenues 'under the right conditions' are acceptable to Republicans as part of a deal to reduce the deficit, House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday. But Boehner, speaking a day after his party retained its House majority in elections, said revenue should come through growth and reform, not higher tax rates."

The article title explicitly says "taxes" and since message board members only ever read titles -

"Sold down the river....."

"We need a wartime Speaker!"

"MELT THE SWITCHBOARDS, MELT THE SWITCHBOARDS, FIRE BOEHNER NOW!!!"

A few try to calm their fellow apes -

"He most likely is referring to closing loopholes for revenue which is what Romney was also proposing and what conservatives have wanted for years (to simplify the tax code)"

- but it's hardly enough to quell the idiot rage of the true believers.

"We need to “Go Galt. I’m ok with America crashing now. I’ve come to terms with the inevitability. Let’s get it over with so we can start to re-build. Is Texas and OK going to secede? Somebody call me. I’ll need a place to stay when we get there. :o)"

These dorks have a real mad-on for Texas. I don't get it, but I've actually been to Texas. It's the big, garish buckle of the Mean-and Stupid Belt I keep telling you all about. And on that note -

"And where is George W Bush? No republican would dare go near him. We allow the fantasy that he caused a disaster after Katrina. We allow Obama to blame 'them' again and again for the economy- and 'they' is George W Bush, not the real culprits, filthy leftists degenerates like Barney Frank. "

So we're clearly dealing with a delusional bunch here. They've spent so much time in their little echo chamber, they think all their nonsense is self-evident fact -

"This is not my American anymore. I may go to the Veteran’s parage on Sunday and salute the flag one last time. Then turn my back when the float with all the politicans come by. Then again, I may just go get some free food."

"I’m ALL for those rich Dems who voted for this Socialist pig to get EXACTLY what they deserve..they love Socialism so much..fine..I am all for them paying their 'Fair share' take 70 percent of their wealth, just like in France..they want to live like France, its about time they learn what Socialism REALLY is"

The horrors of French socialism.

Or indulge in retarded conspiracy theories to explain their own failure -

"Something just doesn't add up about this whole election. I’m thinking massive amounts of fraud or voting numbers misreported."

"Told my wife that the liberals have had four years to reflect on the last election and fine tune the fraud machine. It was not a fluke, I would stake my left gonad that it was stolen."

"Wasn’t there some story about a Soros-owned Spanish Company who was to count the votes?"

Oh no, not español! Which brings me to the heart of all conservative politics across every nation - good ol' racism!

"'We voted – now let’s get things done. That was the strong takeaway today from Latino leaders and activists during a discussion of the sweeping and historic Latino vote in yesterday’s election.' Unfortunately, 'let’s get to work' translates to 'open the borders'."

"Republicas are inclusive. Now for the HIspanics to learn American history and the concepts of democratic rule."

"It's up to them to adapt to us; not the other way around."

"Let’s get to work? I cut my own grass, thank you........."

"This is a foreign invasion legal and illegal. 12 million voters were hispanic add to that the blacks and you see the problem.I see the cities overrun with foreign immigrants."

"Anyone noticed when you have to fill out a government form and you check mark race if your white you also have a new box that ask non hispanic non latino. Our government knows their not a minority their considered Caucasian or White!"

"Time for America to turn into Mexico Norte. "

"Ok beaners, get to work. Cut my lawn you pricks. I’ll never forgive them for doing this to my country."

There's also lots of fussing about RINOs, or Republicans-In-Name-Only, and fretting that the Democrats will run Hillary in 2016 - whom the freepers see as electorally invincible despite being the most hated woman in America. You get the idea, these people are dumb. And they're just the sort of dumb that goes on for ponderous length about how smart they are and how stupid everyone else is, proving the exact opposite of their intended point. Like so -

"I feel so stupid. I have an accredited IQ of over 160, and it seems I am an idiot. I have been put in my place. If given 99 more times to vote against socialism and Obama I would because because logic would dictate no other action. But I was truly wrong and stupid to over estimate the intelligence of the common person. I was wrong and stupid to under estimate the selfishness and immorality of the self entitled cursed with the inability to reason. I hold no anger or contempt for the unwashed masses that have sentenced us all to mediocrity followed by abject failure. The only humane reaction is to pity those that lack the ability to reason, lack the confidence and perseverance to trust in ones self ability to be productive and to survive. For they will be robbed of the feeling of achievement which is what separates the human being from the poop throwing primates. Today we bid farewell to the world's last good hope of freedom. The once shining light of productive spirit and moral fortitude has been quenched. We will all bear the price of the immoral self entitled electorate. We will all pay the invoice levied by the uninspired. To Ben Franklin, John Adams,Thomas Jefferson, and the other founders... Thank you. It was a good run. Your experiment worked for two hundred years and produced the greatest of all in history. Thanks for the memories."

That there's some good schadenfreude.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Four More Years of Hell

I'm writing this Tuesday morning because the result has been that obvious since the first GOP debate. And because the next four years would be like the last even if Romney won - mean and stupid.

Still gonna gloat though.

Just think back to when the Tea Party kicked off. It may have been mid-wived by the Koch empire but it's been fueled by very real and very stupid rage. Not at the idea of "socialized medicine," whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. And it sure wasn't about government overreach. They just didn't like the idea of everyone getting the same goodies.

Of course they tried to sound principled about it - and when mean hicks try to sound principled they sound even stupider. Cue all the calls of, "Get yer gub'mint hands off mah Medicare!" Or all the rants about how Obama is a secret Kenyan-Muslim-Communist - it's laughable bullshit, but it's the only "principled" way for an aging white tribe to express their displeasure at seeing a successful black man in the White House.

"I'm angry! And stupid!"

Or how about the minarchist brainwave that rode in with the cranky old racists? All that crap about worrying about the deficit? 'Cause that really is crap, not just in a strictly economic sense but also in the sense that none of the "Oh no, deficits!" talk is in any way sincere.

An American conservative only whines about national debt when a Democrat's in office. When the GOP's in charge, you might hear a few grumbles about all the welfare going to lazy brown people. You sure won't hear a goddamn thing about the two hundred million dollar boondoggle called the F-35, from the Tea Party or even the libertarian fifth column over at Reason. Drones are bad and stuff and we should all be scared of Obama's fleet of aerial killbots... but never mind the planes that cost a hundred times more per unit and do the exact same fucking thing.

Seriously, you ever want to see how intellectually and morally bankrupt libertarianism really is, just search Reason Magazine for any mention of the F-35 and watch them split rhetorical hairs over supporting what they admit is "the most expensive procurement program in military history" but still better than those eeevul drones! Though this shouldn't be surprising as a Texas Republican loves the hunk of junk and libertarianism is nothing but the GOP's outreach to the pothead vote.

"So much rolling paper!"

This is the ugly reality you can never admit in America - that so many Americans are just spiteful fools. Not in a What's the Matter with Kansas? way, with them being good at heart and easily manipulated through Protestant blubbering. They're just rotten to the core.

And it works. Those gray hairs and their elaborate bitch-fit managed to make a compromised, watered-down healthcare bill even more watered-down and compromised. And even Obama is taking the deficit "very seriously." Because he can't actually fix it, since that would involve billionaires paying a little more than the lowest taxes in history.

All this mad bullshit, it's been poisoning this country for the past four years. And it's still gonna be here, no matter who's in office.

Monday, November 5, 2012

George Allen Sucks

I don't really care about the presidential campaign. Mostly because all the economic talk has been stupid and the result is predictable. And I live in Virginia, where there's a real election to worry about.

I have the dubious honor of having met George Allen. He spoke at my college graduation in 2005 and even the Young Republicans thought he was a boner. He spent about an hour stumping for Bush - after the little draft-dodging cokehead had scored a second term - and threw in some vague lines about how science is good and stuff. To a predominantly liberal arts school.

This is why George Allen is just so goddamn terrible. Not only is he a cartoonishly racist carpet-bagger who moved here because his home state of California didn't hate brown people enough for his liking. Not only is he a desperately partisan sycophant without an original idea in his head. But he is all of these things and still manages to be bad at being terrible!

"'Sup, hos?"

That vacous smile of his? That ain't an act, that's his default setting. He's one of the few racists who really is just ignorant, rather than steeped in tribal and cultural baggage. He regurgitates the party line by reflex because things like context are too complicated for him. And, when facing a middle of the road Democrat, the best he can come up with is a "cheerleader for Obama!" gif. He does horrible completely by the numbers! No creativity, no effort, and the only thing he's ever shown real initiative in is toxifying Virginia's water.

So I really don't care who's president. We're losing our earned benefits either way in a totally phony "debt crisis." But I'd prefer not to have some inept dildo representing me in the Senate. Being a Virginian is embarassing enough as it is with the Grand Wizard as governor.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Why Drones are Here to Stay

"As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular."
~Oscar Wilde


The terrible thing about being a young'un is so many of your peers are getting worked up over moral shit. Take drone strikes, the one thing progressives and libertarians can agree on - mostly that they are very not nice.

Well, yeah. What the fuck were you expecting in a war?

Drones, also called Unmanned Airial Vehicles and Remote Pilot Vehicles, have been in use since Israel attacked Syria back in the eighties. It ain't new technology, it's just getting more use since we got a competent C&C. The USAF resisted these things for years because F-16 drivers have out-sized egos.

Not to denigrate the '16, which is one of the best all-around planes ever built. But drones are better. They're small, cheap, can stay in the air for days, and if they crash or are shot down (which is surprisingly harder than bringing down a traditional fighter or bomber, being a much smaller target and radar signature) we don't lose an officer.

So speaking strategically, drones are awesome. But without Tom Cruise and the ghost of Goose actually up there driving them, people are finally catching on that airstrikes are nasty things. They're supposed to be but for some reason Americans want to kick ass and be congratulated for it by their enemies. It's craven and embarassing but it is.

It is not, however, going to put a damper on the drone-ification of warfare. As I just explained, drones are more than a net win for the DOD and they ain't going out of business any time soon. The same people bellyaching over drones, for the most part, still like the sense of security they get from the DOD blasting foreignors.

I know the Ben Franklin quote and fuck Ben Franklin. He died before anyone could even imagine auotomatic weapons and nuclear bombs. And if you want proof that his pithy saying on liberty and security is absolute rubbish in this modern world, just look at yourself if you went to the movies this past August. Did you feel more secure if there was a cop patting you down at the box office? Or were you all principled - "No, I will not sacrifice this nebulous concept of liberty for the assurance that some dweeb won't shoot my face off!"

The whole point of society is a sense of security whether it's from paleolithic predators, the Huns, or some bitchy teenager. And for all it's faults and corruption the DOD is still in the business of security. Drones make the work easier and cheaper, at the cost of stripping the last shreds of romanticism from the job.

War was never romantic in the first place. And if you think it shouldn't be necessary... I agree. But it is, so grow the fuck up.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Big Government Works

So after a year of the national dialogue revolving around who can throw out more of the federal government, God in His infinite wisdom sent the mother of all storms to bitch-slap some sense into us.

There have been forty-five confirmed deaths so far. That's terrible in and of itself, but let's look at the cold statistics. There are over eight million people in New York - 45 ot of 8,000,000 ain't half bad. It's a hell of a lot better than the last time we got hit by a once in a century storm.

This is what "freedom" looks like.

Galveston, Texas, 1900. An era before FEMA or big government of any sort except the Army. Somewhere between 6 to twelve thousand dead - hey, no real census gathering either - almost a sixth of the total population of some thirty-seven thousand at the time. Devastation on such a scale that it even changed history! Galveston had been a city on the move, the Wall Street of Texas. Then it got flattened and now everyone's heard of Huoston instead.

Want a more recent example? There's Katrina - lax Federal response, incompetent State government, 1,800 dead. And that lax Federal response was thanks to George W. Bush pulling a Romney on FEMA in his first term. That's what governmnet-free life consists of. Death.

Good ol' American gumption versus 110mph winds ends in you're fucking dead.

Life gets so comfortable in America that we all tend to forget that shit happens. And when it happens to you, and you're on your own, you fucking die. Government is the only real insurance against that, being non-profit and for the people. Only fools would insist on going without it.