Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another Loony Bush Appointee

Heard an interview with the head of NASA, Michael Griffin, this morning. When asked about NASA's role in studying Global Warming, his speech suddenly became very slow, carefully choosing every syllable. I knew we were in trouble. Finally he launched into a discussion of the arrogance of claiming that the current climate is superior to any future climate brought about by, admittedly human caused, warming.

Of course he is right. Until you consider the human toll these rapid changes will exact, especially in less developed countries where year-to-year survival is uncertain. One wonders if he would be as unconcerned if an asteroid threatened to wipe out the the human species. After all, it is arrogant to claim that the survival of the human race is a superior outcome to any future distribution of species on the planet.

I am left to wonder if Dr. Griffin doesn't have some sort of Christ-will-return-before-we-destroy-the-planet belief that he has successfully hidden thus far.

Update: Looks like I wasn't the only one listening to NPR this morning. The media seems to have picked up this story: i.e. here.

The Good Soldier

A McClatchy report on soldiers chosen to have lunch with Senator Joseph Lieberman in Baghdad:

... Spc. Will Hedin, 21, of Chester, Conn., thought about what he was going to say.

"We're not making any progress," Hedin said, as he recalled a comrade who was shot by a sniper last week. "It just seems like we drive around and wait to get shot at."

But as he waited two chairs down from where Lieberman would sit, Hedin said he'd never voice his true feelings to the senator.

"I think I'd be a private if I did," he joked. "It's just more troops, more targets."

Looks like the boots-on-the-ground are getting the clear message that candor is not appreciated when discussing the military situation with civilian leaders. Fortunately, President Bush assures that he is getting accurate assessments of the Surge's "progress".

Update: Interesting that these soldiers will give the media unvarnished views. Whom can we conclude the military views as the problem? The "Liberal Media"? You get two guesses.

Monday, May 28, 2007

What's the Point?

Went to fetch a book to read to the kids before turning out the light. I grabbed the "Children's Book of Bible Stories" or whatever because the kids stay focused on it and this is part of the Devil's bargain I seem to have made that we raise the children "within the church." I am not sure when the day will come when I am authorized to introduce some skepticism but I winced when, at the end of the partially-sanitized Jonah story, the book claims that "God was happy the he did not have to destroy the people of Nineveh." Imagine me saying, "I'm glad that my wife stopped running up the credit cards. Now I don't have to kill her!"

Any way, as I read the Garden of Eden bit I found myself considering sitting down and tracing the different source threads in Genesis. Then I asked myself why... ? I realized that if I am looking for something to throw up to a Believer as a justification for rejecting Christianity (my opportunities to enter that debate are limited - I'm not that confrontational face-to-face) then I am wasting my time. The actual contents of the book on which Christians claim to base their belief is irrelevant. Sure, some theologians and Bible-thumpers might care, but 99.9% of Christians have no idea what the details of the Bible are and are familiar with only a handful of stories. Confronting them with contradictions would require that they had ever even heard of the thing being contradicted. Understanding and dealing with Christians then, when even possible, must be a matter of generic questions of Evil, Free Will, morality and maybe only a sprinkling of abhorrent God acts.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Well, Wolfowitz is out at the World Bank. He got his little letter of recommendation.

Just how fragile does your ego have to be that you threaten to hold your breath unless your Mommy and Daddy tell you how wonderful you are? These Neocons are amazing! Responsibility is so alien to them that the slightest criticism sends them into a tantrum. These people should be kept as far away from positions of leadership as is humanly possible.


This morning NPR interviewed David Satterfield, a senior advisor at the State Department concerning the accomplishments (or lack thereof) of Nouri Al-Maliki's Iraqi government. In this interview, Satterfield claimed that Al-Maliki must understand the consequences of failure to move ahead on security, Oil, Sunni re-integration, etc. Unfortunately, Satterfield did not actually tell us what the supposed consequences would be!

It occurred to me that , for all the talk of consequences, no one is sharing what they would be. Here in the US, some of us might assume that the consequences will be withdrawal but I have never heard anyone official say that. If Americans are not being told in clear terms what will happen if the Iraqis fail politically, what are the Iraqis being told. Defense Secretary Robert Gates sometimes threatens the Iraqis that Congressional Democrats will pull funding but Al-Maliki is likely to look at Bush's veto and decide that that is an internal political issue that he will ultimately be insulating from. On top of that, any idiot can see that Bush's intention to do something means very little in the long run. So does Nouri Al-Maliki have any chance of understanding the "consequences" if we won't tell him what they are or, more worrying, we never really intended to exact any in the end after all.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


From LTC Bateman. no comment necessary.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Stalag 17

Those old enough to remember the slew of WWII prisoner camp movies will recall that one aim of escaping from a prisoner-of-war camp was to occupy as many enemy troops as possible in recapturing you and therefore deny resources for the front.

Well, it seems that the Iraqi insurgents have been watching "Hogan's Heroes" in addition to "Black Hawk Down". News accounts claim that thousands of troops are searching south of Baghdad for three missing US soldiers. I would look for this to become a common strategy of our enemy.

I'm not saying we shouldn't look for these missing men. We have to. I'm just saying that our enemy knows that we must find them and will likely exploit this to the fullest extant possible.