24 September 2014

Samantha Power Does Comedy Too

"And in the face of Russia’s continued aggression and blatant disregard for the UN Charter ..."
—  Samantha Power

Samantha is the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She delivered a comedic performance in the U.N. Security Council chamber on August 28, 2014, an absolute tour de farce.

That was my birthday and I watched it live on cable TV. So thanks, Samantha; you've got a great future as a stand-up comedian, maybe in a comedy team with your boss, John Kerry? He's done some some nice riffs along the same line.

18 September 2014

Knocking the Paint Off Sen. Merkley and Sen. Wyden's Peace Credentials

This post is to place on the record that both Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley were placed on notice at about 4 a.m. on September 18, 2014 of the facts stated in my emails to them, reprinted below. That was many hours before both joined a majority of the Senate in authorizing President Obama to provide weapons and training to the Syrian opposition, ostensibly to fight the "terrorist organization," the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as the Islamic State.

That authorization was tucked in yesterday as an amendment to H.J.Res. 124 --- Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015, and became section 149 in the bill that passed the House a few hours later. The Senate passed the same bill today unaltered, without any debate allowed. That was a decidedly sneaky ambush method for Congress to authorize war against Syria, obviously designed to avoid public participation.

The authorization unless vetoed by President Obama plainly constitutes a declaration of war against the the nation of Syria.

UPDATE 1: Oregon's Representatives in the House voted as follows on the Bill, by district number:

27 August 2014

News Sources for Conflicts in the West Asia/Eurasia Zone

Originally published 27 August 2014; last updated 10 November  2014.

(You can search just the web sites listed on this page via https using a Google Custom Search Engine at U.S. Foreign Wars. Note that this search omits the sources whose titles below are preceded by an asterisk (*).)

I have a perhaps morbid fascination with U.S. foreign wars because of my involuntary 27-month participation in one of them, in Viet Nam, which was the defining experience of my adult life. The kid who went over there never came back, and all that jazz.

So keeping up with America's many ongoing foreign wars of aggression (most being fought by proxy) and what leads to such wars is one of my abiding interests.

I'm Out of the Hospital ...

From an email in late August, 2005 to the youngest son, in which the author describes how he survived several days of brutal and abject captivity:

Hi, Bug,

Tammy said she let you know I was in the hospital. They think it was diverticulitis, but aren't sure. All I really know is that I couldn't poop and I couldn't stop trying to poop, then the waves of pain finally hit unbearable. So I roused Tammy from bed and had her haul both me and my painful ass to the emergency room.

25 August 2014

More Comedy from the Obama White House

I've previously noted that Obama Administration foreign policy statements sometimes adopt a comedic and hypocritical double-standard. It sometimes seems like a contest among White House speech writers to see which can most often invoke the "do as I say, not as I do" metaphor that boosts American exceptionalism to new heights, an immunity of the U.S. and its allies from the same international law that governs all nations.

We got another such gem three days ago from White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden:

19 August 2014

The Lesser of Two Evils Is Still Evil

It is an unwritten American law: in any close election, both the Democratic and Republican candidates will have as their major campaign slogan, "vote for the lesser of two evils." Here's a sterling example from Ronald Reagan:
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.
The lesser of two evils argument is typically invoked immediately before listing a parade of horribles grossly mischaracterizing the effect of voting for the other candidate. (The argument is, of course, subject to the poetic license of apocalyptic hyperbole.)

02 March 2014

Alexander Graham Bell v. Samuel F. Morse

I just read again for the umpteenth time that telephony displaced telegraphy. Let's put that myth to rest. It's just the other way around.

Alexander Graham Bell's 1876 patent for the telephone had a flaw that would eventually prove fatal for its technology: its signals were analog, varying electrical voltage and amplitude to convey the variances inherent in human speech.

John Kerry Launches New Career as Stand-up Comedian

"You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pre-text," Kerry told the CBS program "Face the Nation."
Will Dunham, Kerry condemns Russia's 'incredible act of aggression' in Ukraine, Reuters (2 May 2014).

 That is unless, of course, you are the U.S. government. Witness, Uncle Sam's "trumped up pretexts" in the 21st Century for invading Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, not to mention the trumped-up pretexts for unleashing violent Neo-Nazi "protesters" to overthrow the lawfully-elected government of Ukraine, all war crime wars of aggression by any measure.