28 April 2005

To Thine Own Self Be Cruel

It has been suggested that I had ought to outline what things I support if I am going to go casting aspersions on arbitrary other agencies. That would establish the persona and quantify whatever credibility the author may have. Actually, I have been thinking of doing just that. I don't however know of an apropriate (or easily portable) label that describes what I beleive in.

I'll just take it from the top then, shall I?

I beleive in God; I was raised as a Midwestern Baptist. I'm not particularly devout, and certainly not evangelical in practice.

As a scientist, why do I beleive in God? My life's experiences have brought me to the conclusion that a God must exist. I do beleive [ARGH] believe that it is the ultimate vanity to think that "my" god is different from "their" god. I have heard this philosophy described thus: "There is one god, he has many faces." Furthermore, I believe that in the hereafter, Stuart Copeland will sit at the right hand of the Almighty (
Neil Peart ).

Politically... well, I'll call myself a Libertarian-leaning
Centrist until I find a better label. I agree with the Libertarians up to a certain point. That point is where the extreme "Constitution in Exile" Libertarians live. I may tend to agree that the Federal Government is too excessive and overreaching, but I believe that we need the regulatory agencies (such as the EPA) that the "Exile" Libertarians would like to do away with.

Libertarians firmly believe in personal freedoms. I believe in the lowest common denominator; the human animal is consistently self-serving and in general will take advantage of any absence of regulation.

Abortion/Gay marriage. These two subjects are not related, but are treated the same in my philosophy. There are those who favor Constitutional amendments to ban either. My belief is based on the document that precedes the Constitution. The signers of the Declaration of Independence cited "...certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." If you as an American accept this as a guiding principle, then you also have no right to impede, hamper, stigmatize or castigate anyone else's "pursuit of Happiness," whatever the goal or object of their happiness may be. Live and let live, what other people may want to do is none of your damn business.

I also believe that the legislature and its system of checks and balance in the federal government has become flawed in modern times. The President should not have allegiance to any political party in the legislature. Explain to me please: how can Emperor W possibly be impeached (I'm not saying here that he should be, I am saying that the framers of the Constitution intended for impeachment to be a normal process when neccessary) when a majority of the legislature support him as his fellow Republicans?? What was intended as a representative government has degenerated to two warring factions of political idealogies that simply can not (and sometimes has no intention to) function in the best interest of its constituents.

I believe that Social Security was a wonderful idea. It works; it may need a little tweaking to work better (be properly funded), but it does work.

If any Constitutional amendment is necessary, then I believe it should be amended to allow the legislature explicit authority to create, oversee, and dissolve when neccessary, Federal regulatory agencies. The Constitution, as it stands, authorizes congress to regulate commerce between states and with other nations, as well as regulation of the military, and all monetary policies.

I believe in government and corporate transparency... and....

I believe that my knees are burning?
They are both physically warm to the touch. Damn, I haven't even done anything today. I suppose its more to do with actually being idle. At work I've been walking as much as 10 miles in eight hours, up from the typical 6 miles. So I guess its the sudden relative exertion followed by relative inaction. Not to mention I didn't feel the need to take my after-work knee-related "dietary supplements". How amusing would it be if this is a kind of withdrawal?

Survey says this blog entry is over.

27 April 2005

Ist das nicht ein W?

My friend Jim recently made the suggestion that my recent attempts at creating fiction might be akin to "pulling a W."

For those that aren't familliar with that banter, it is a mocking reference to how Emperor W. made war on Iraq much as his father did. That is the intended meaning anyway.

The truth, unfortunately, is that a neo-conservative by any other name would smell just as bad.

Once again, its all about oil.
Even before Saddam, the only significant military powers in the Persian Gulf were Iraq and Iran (and it is significant that they are themselves oil producers). The Nixon doctrine called for backing "freindly" powers in the region with funding and hardware in order to protect the interests of the United States (Saudi oil). After the revolution in Iran, no friendly military powers remained in the region. Fast forward to the first Bush administration and Saddam's invasion of Kuwait.

The U.S. could not care less about Kuwait. The concept behind Operations Desert Sheild and Desert Storm was to protect (sheild) the Saudi Kingdom from possible conquest by Hussein. [The Saudi peoples are sufficiently disaffected with the Saudi Royal family that Hussein could easily have pulled off a coup similar to Hitler's annexation the Sudatenland]

Let me be absolutely clear here. You've seen on this blog how I've characterized the U.S.-Saudi relationship. The character of this relationship is very important. It is significant because every other country with a significant Islamic population is sympatico to the plight of the Palestinians and generally hate (for lack of a stronger word) the United States for supporting Isreal. The only thing that is preventing a 1970's style petroleum embargo against the United States is our cozy relationship with ths Saudis. There are other oil-producing nations, but the Saudis have so much more that they will still have untapped reserves when every other country has been pumped dry.

So, in a way, George Herbert Walker Bush was forced to go to war as a natural extension of the Nixon doctrine. There simply were no third-party options available, only direct U.S. military intervention. Under the guise of a multi-national force, of course.

Fast forward to September 11.
The assault on Afghanistan was necessary and sufficient; the country had become a safe haven for terrorists. For the neo-conservatives that came to power on Emperor W.'s coat-tails, however, this was precisely the scenario they wanted. We already had forces in the region for "legitimate" purposes; lets take out Saddam too while we're at it! [Rumsfeld was quoted as saying as much on September 12, 2001] "Neutralizing" Iraq by invasion would accomplish several things that Cheney and his pals wanted. Primarily, Saddam Hussein and his ambitions would become a non-entities in the Persian Gulf. Secondly, but more important (if also more short-sighted) for the long run, it provided a chance to "stabilize" the region with a democratic government that would (naturally) be freindly to the United States. Just in case anyone forgot, Iraq has oil too, thats another significant reason.

So, did W. "pull a W."?
My answer is no. George H. W. Bush was forced into Desert Storm as a natural result of the doctrines of preceding administrations. Emperor W always could have chosen not to make war on Iraq, but I seriously doubt that it was the W itself that made those decisions.

I know its too late to make a long story short. Why did Jim think that "Pulling a W" might apply to me? Well, I have a father too.

Should my prose be well-received, I'll accept that as a good thing.
W or no W.