Saturday, January 30, 2010

Seriously, 9/11 "Truthers" Need a Swift Kick in the Ass.

I've probably said this before, I am a reformed JFK Assassination Conspiracy loon. I used to devour the latest books with the latest "New Found Evidence" proving that the CIA, Mafia, General Dynamics, DAR, LBJ, Nixon or the Bush family was behind the murder of the late President. I liked the idea of having "Inside Knowledge", knowing stuff that only super-duper CIA big-wigs, and international corporate banker dudes knew. I admit that for a brief time I wondered what would happen if the wrong person found out that I knew "Too Much"? I really liked knowing things that the general public was unaware of, because I liked the idea that I was smarter than everyone else.

In short, I was a stupid douche bag.

I probably would still be lost in fantasy land had I not gone to Dallas to visit my brother. He took me to the Sixth Floor Museum at the Texas Schoolbook Depository. I stood on the curb at the exact spot of the fatal head shot, and then I looked back at where Lee Oswald had been on the sixth floor.

It was an easy shot. I mean ridiculously easy.

When I returned home to California I got rid of most of my JFK conspiracy books. None of those authors had been in Dealy Plaza on that day, and few of them had never even set foot in Dallas either. The day I was there the X-Files movie was being shot a few blocks away, and they had a helicopter flying around. The first thing that I noticed was that Dealy Plaza has a wicked echo, and it was impossible to tell in which direction the chopper was coming from. I would imagine that three quick rifle shots would be a thousand times more confusing to pin-point the source. So the fact that some witnesses thought that those shots came from elsewhere is no longer surprising. Now there WAS a conspiracy, RFK closed down avenues of investigation mostly to protect his and his late brother's image. All of that is now open-source material at the National Archives, and no big secret.

9/11/2001 brought the worst terrorist attack upon U.S. soil. I can tell you that within days the conspiracy nuts were hard at work. I was told by a well-meaning paranoid friend that the footage of Palestinians dancing in the street was actually vintage footage from 1995, this in spite of the fact that a 2000 Toyota minivan can be seen prominently in the video. Then there was the van of Israelis that was stopped on one of the bridges just before the attack, which later turned out to have never happened. Eventually the first seriously constructed conspiracy book , written by a French millionaire, was published and it was off to the races. YouTube is now full of morons who have posted their expose' about what really happened on 9/11. You have the controlled demolition crowd, Pentagon was hit by a missile crowd, Bush let it happen crowd, and so on.

Now I could point out that thousands of police, fire fighters, iron workers, FBI agents, FEMA agents, Customs agents, and investigators from the city and state of New York poor all over Ground Zero. Later many of them also surveyed wreckage at the Fresh Kills landfill where the ruins of the WTC were trucked piece by piece. Just by the sheer volume of personel on site at both locations it is certain that had something been amiss it would have been reported. Not every government agent (FBI, FEMA, NTSB, etc) is a Republican, in fact the ideological split mirrors what you see in the rest of American society. The idea that some FBI agent withheld evidence that would implicate anybody other than the Al Qaeda hijackers is crazy. That agent would become a rock-star, they could name their price and the FBI would roll out the red carpet.
Then the idea that any NYPD or NYFD investigator would turn his back on the lives of his/her fellow officers who died in the collapse of the towers is...obscene.

Instead, as a reformed conspiracy loon myself, I will point out how their conspiracy theory contradicts larger conspiracy theories.

The World Trade Center was home to banks, law offices, shipping companies, and other high-end commerce businesses. It was also home to Cantor-Fitzgerald, the bond trading firm. Some of the most important people in the world made phone calls to the WTC a couple of times a week. Some of the wealthiest and powerful men in the world were on the phone to Cantor-Fitzgerald daily. As a conspiracy loon I would have once told you that rich people only care about their money. So why would they allow an attack on the people who manage it? Seriously if 9/11 was an inside job so that the wealthy and powerful could line their pockets then why target the place where their assets went through and kill the people who managed their wealth? Also, rich people hire private investigators. The conspiracy loon inside me would add that they hire the dangerous kind of PIs, the kind who are not frightened or intimidated by government assassins. I am supposed to believe that none of these dangerous PIs have not been able to find out the "Truth" behind 9/11? With the thousands of people that need to be involved in keeping the big secret, I'm supposed to believe then none of them have talked?

The rational part of my brain believes that it is indeed possible that a few private investigations into the attacks of 9/11/2001 have taken place. Friends of powerful people were lost, allegations have been made that might have warranted a closer look. Yet nothing has come to light. Politics is a blood sport, and there is a long list of powerful people being brought down by anonymous sources (Deep throat). George W. Bush would certainly be an easy target, yet the "Truth" movement has found nothing. The media has found nothing.

The WTC was also home to the Thai embassy. Thai intelligence has not discovered anything to discount the official story of the events of 9/11.

I feel sorry for the "Truthers". I also do not. What they are doing is taking Al Qaeda out of the terrorist attacks, and then inserting their own political agenda. They are terrorist by proxy.

Shame on them.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Osama bin Laden: Glory Hound

This week Al Qaeda CEO, Osama bin Laden, took credit for the Christmas Day ass-bombing attempt on a Detroit-bound jet. While a Yemen branch of Al Qaeda is responsible for the attack, the fact is that bin Laden probably had no idea that the attack was going to happen. It would be like John Madden taking credit for Jamarcus Russel , which is a whole other kind of terrorist strike, but that will be dealt with in another blog at a later date. Bin Laden has a history of taking credit for stuff his people had little or nothing to do with, the best example is the shoot down of the two US Army Blackhawks in Somalia back in 1993. He would have you believe that after Al Qaeda training the Somali militia skillfully brought those birds down. The fact is that if you talk to the 160th SOAR pilots who were in the air that day they will tell you that sky was lousy with RPGs. So the odds of being hit were good, but most RPGs missed and fell back into the city (probably killing someone on the ground). However, since the October 3rd, 1993 raid has become immortalized in the book and movie "Black Hawk Down" bin Laden has been happy to ape the event and sling it under the Al Qaeda "WIN" column.

What a douche bag.

Here are some suggestions for bin Laden to take credit for in future communications:

  1. Windows Vista
  2. "Jersey Shore"
  3. The Jay Leno/Conan O'Brien fiasco
  4. Obamacare
  5. John & Kate Plus 8
  6. Carbon Credits
  7. France
  8. The Zune
  9. The Nissan Cube
  10. Adam Lambert

I could go on but this list should be enough to ensure Al Qaeda's place at an international trial for crimes against humanity.

Alah Akbar...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

God, Al Qaeda, Pat Robertson, and Mark McGwire

I'm an Episcopalian, I have not set foot inside of a church in thirty years, and I have no plan to do so in the foreseeable future. I tell you this in the interest of disclosure because I'm going to talk about God and you deserve to know where I'm coming from.

God is the grand architect, the great creator, the dude/dudette/entity that made everything. If you are religious you believe this. Yet do you UNDERSTAND this? Have you ever thought about what kind of power it takes to create an entire universe, and then populate it with thinking creatures? I will keep it short here and just say that God has power that we cannot even comprehend. So because we cannot comprehend God's power it is a wise move to just to shut the hell up about what God can do. It is also wise to not assume we know what God wants, in fact God instructed his children not to use his name in vain. That means you cannot run around telling people what God wants, or worse doing things because God told you too. To do so is a sin, you go to hell, and God kept it simple with only ten commandments. So when you have someone running around using God's name to advance stupidity, or to do awful things you know that you are dealing with first-class douche bags. Let's explore this idea...

Al Qaeda has been crapping on the name of God since 1990. They think of themselves as Muslims, but in fact they are mostly bore rich assholes who use Islam to advance their evil, and warped view of the world. People who kill in the name of God, or who kill for God amaze me. Why? God kills people every day by the hundreds of thousands. You know, old age, disease, traffic accidents, floods, hurricanes, and last week he took home a bunch of Haitian. Man cannot trigger a 7.0 earthquake. God pulled it off on his coffee break. God also knocks passenger jets out of the sky too, as in the case of that Air France Airbus last year. God doesn't need Al Qaeda to hijack airliners or to blow them up in the air. He just does not need that kind of assistance. True story... Down on Highway 101 a few years ago there was this woman who was driving south. Her tire blew and she lost control of her car. She spun off of the road only to smack into a tree which then launched her back onto the highway. She was okay though, the airbags and seat belts had done their job, but as she was dialing 911 her car was hit by another speeding SUV. Her car was knocked 500 feet down the highway where it came to rest on the railing of an overpass. The woman was still unhurt. She climbed out of the car, but in her dazed state she then walked in front of a semi-truck and was crushed to death. The moral of that awful story is that when God wants you dead - you're dead.

So where does Al Qaeda come off killing people for God? That is blasphemy. What Al Qaeda is really saying is that God doesn't know what he/she/it is doing, and that they are doing God's work for God. I don't know about you but I hate it when people second guess me. Death threats usually follow. I notice that Al Qaeda has had one devastating defeat after another since 2001. They have had terrorist acts pulled off in their name, but most of those are Al Qaeda wannabees. for the most part, Al Qaeda's leaders cannot go outside for fear of a Predator drone nailing them with a Hellfire missile. Islam has begun to rethink how it relates to the world via Jihad, and more and more Al Qaeda finds itself on the outside of the Muslim world. Way to go, gang...

Then there is Pat Robertson, another religious extremist, who said that the earthquake in Haiti was because of the Haitian people's political views, and probably voodoo (or hoodoo). That is not how God works. The Soviet Union was atheist, yet no huge disaster befell them. The Nazis didn't kill everyone in Russia, and the United States never nuked Moscow. The earthquake happened because Haiti sits next to a subduction zone where the Atlantic plate slide beneath the North American plate. That's why you have all those volcanoes in that region. You also have violent earthquakes there from time to time. It would have made no difference to God who lived in Haiti. That earthquake was happening no matter if the Haitians were all born again, or if not a single human being lived there. Pat Robertson once ran for President, which meant that Pat had to make a deal with the devil as well. Why didn't God strike him down on the spot? Maybe God kept Pat alive to make him look like the douche bag that he truly is, as an example for the more faithful as a way NOT to act.

Finally there is baseball legend, Mark McGwire, and his revelations about steroid use. Mark defended his baseball record by saying that "The man upstairs gave me the ability to hit this baseball, gave me the hand/eye coordination...", and thus the steroids had nothing to do with his home run total. Really? How the hell will we ever know? God may have indeed given you the gift of hitting a curve ball, but those steroids made that ball fly further than it would have if he had not used them. What does that say about Mark's attitude towards God anyway? "Hey God, thanks for this gift, but I'm going to spit on it in favor of cheating nature. I have a guy who will inject me with stuff that will make my body better than the one you (God) gave me. Guess what, Mark? God did give you a gift, and you threw it back in his face. In doing so your precious career is all a lie, and all of those little kids who lined up get your autograph, had your poster on their wall, and wanted to be like you have all had their world undone. Way to go, Mark. What about those kids who used steroids to be like you? Was that also part of God's gift? To poison a few thousand young men by example? Hey Mark, if you could have talked to God before you injected yourself with that shit for the first time, what do you think God would have said? I think know know damned well what God would have told you. So why try to hide behind a God that you so blatantly turned your back upon to defend yourself?

I do not speak for God. I do not do things because I think God wants them done. I do things for me, and when I speak(or write) an opinion it is solely on my own behalf. So Mark, on the off chance that you are actually reading this, let me show you how God actually works...

On October 17th, 1989 the Loma Prieta earthquake struck Northern California at 5:04 pm. The San Francisco bay area was devastated yet the fatalities were light, there should have been dead numbering in the fifty thousand range, but that didn't happen. You see, back on October 9th, the San Francisco Giants were playing the Chicago Cubs for the National League Championship. The winner would play McGwire's Oakland A's in the World Series. Anybody who knows baseball will tell you that 1989 should have been the Cubs year to win the World Series because they had a great team. Yet in the 8th inning of the 5th game of the NLCS Bielecki walks Candy Maldonado, then he walks Brett Butler, and then walks Robbie Thompson. Then with bases loaded, Will Clark (another guy put on the earth to play baseball by God) singles just over the second baseman's head into center field, and Maldonado and Butler score. The Giants would win that game and the series. That turning point was Clark's fly ball to center field, and if you ever watch that play theball just floats and then drops. Baseballs are known to do funny things, and on that warm, sunny day in San Francisco that ball landed exactly where it needed to. Exactly where it needed to so that on October 17th, all of those freeways that would have been bumper-to-bumper with commuters heading home were instead relatively empty. Exactly where it needed to fall to get families together to in one place, or friends together in a special location all to watch a classic once in a lifetime event. Right where it needed to fall to make sure that more people have extra food, batteries (to listen to the game on the radio), and beverages in stock for what surely could have gone seven games.

You see, God is not fire and brimstone. God does things subtly, without notice. God was able to get as many people off of the highways and into their homes with their friends and families simply by floating a baseball into center field. People still died, and that is not because they were some how bad people. They just were not baseball fans, or just had bad luck/timing that day. It speaks to God's limitations too, that earthquake was going to happen, and I would suggest that God could not stop it. I suspect that God has rules that must be followed just as we all do, but God found a way to save as many people as possible. It is ironic that it was Will Clark, a man who never used steroids, and exploited his God-given gifts as a baseball player that God chose(?) to put that ball into play. Will Clark is a simple man, a fierce baseball player, and a good guy. Will Clark isn't perfect and he is the first one to admit this. That is what makes him great, than and he would never hide behind God.

So to Al Qaeda, Pat Robertson, and Mark McGwire I simply ask this question. Why blame God for your shortcomings? You guys all were given gifts by God, and you chose to use them for Evil. I wonder what God will say about that someday?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Going To War Check-List

Back in the 1980s the United States had a doctrine that served as a quick test to be used before the use of military force. It was called the Weinberger Doctrine, and the idea was that before forces were committed the situation needed to meet criteria:

1. Forces should not be committed unless the vital interests of the U.S. or its allied are involved.
2. Forces should be committed wholeheartedly only with the intention of winning.
3. Forces only with clearly defined objectives, and the means to achieve those objectives.
4. The size and composition of the force should be constantly reassessed and adjusted as necessary.
5. Forces should only be committed to battle only with a reasonable assurance of the support of the Congress and the American people.
6. The commitment of military forces should only be considered as a last resort.

Later on it became simplified by Colin Powell and bore his name as the Powell Doctrine:

1. Military force should only be used as a last resort. Only if there is a clear risk to national security by the intended target.
2. Force, when used, should be overwhelming and disproportionate to the force used by the enemy.
3.There must be strong support for the campaign by the general public.
4. There must be a plan for disengagement of forces.

Both are quality doctrines, and should be written in stone at the Pentagon and on the wall of the Cabinet Room in the White House. However, there are other questions that should be addressed in advance of future conflicts.

1. What happens after we win? - Okay, so we kick Yomommastan's ass and our tanks are patrolling their capitol. Now what? We have to feed people, stand up a police force, pick up the garbage, get the electricity/water/phones working, and keep the peace. That is expensive, and labor intensive. Forget the larger strategic issues like: Did we just make life easier for the dictator next door, or did we just make a 50 year military commitment? We need to focus on getting life back to normal as quickly as possible so that the people get back to work ASAP. The faster things get back to a normal standing the faster we can leave. Plus, if people have jobs then they aren't free to join an insurgency.

2.Do we even want to win? Is it worth it in the long run? - There is just no way to look cool while beating the crap out of some third world country. You never hear about the U.S. intervention in Panama back in 1989 and the main reason is that it seemed like a difficult victory to "Feel Good" about. The Panamanians were not match for US forces, and during the initial invasion the slum area around the international airport was burned to the ground. Even though it is a prime example of the Powell Doctrine, "Operation Just Cause" has dropped off the radar of armchair generals and even the Department of Defence. 20 years later, Panama is a thriving democracy with a healthy economy. All of that was made possible by the removal of General Manuel Noriega by the United States. For all of the whining by the anti-war left, the United States lived up to its treaty obligations and handed the canal over to the Panamanian government, stuck it's colors and went home. It was a worthwhile endeavor.

3. Have we done our homework? - Are we really going to be welcomed as liberators? Is there a social dynamic that we might be missing that is going to cause problems while we occupy the country? Is our intelligence as solid as it can be?

4. Do our Rules of Engagement (ROE) make things more difficult for our forces and easier for the enemy? - In Vietnam we had sanctuary zones that were off limit to air strikes and other US attacks. The enemy knew this and took advantage of those areas to stage attacks. In Afghanistan we cannot bomb mosques, so the enemy uses them to hide out in, and in Iraq they used the minarets to coordinate attack on US troops. When you invade another county you are going to piss people off anyway. It is hard to say that you are sensitive to a culture while you blow up everything except the local mosque.