12 September 2009

weekend mystery

i've been drinking since i was a teen-ager, so i kinda feel like i should have it figured out by now. but for some reason, the last three times i've gone "out", i've lost an entire day to a hangover.

what am i doing wrong?


11 September 2009


i've become a little more hawkish in the months of late, but the question of afghanistan is one that seems the most impossible to resolve.

on the one hand, i feel as though we bear some responsibility to the people of afghanistan to clean up some of the messes we've let fester. i mean, we invaded that country in receipt of applause for ousting the despicable taliban. but we've gone and spent the past seven years earning its scorn by moving our resources to its more profitable neighbor, while leaving afghanistan in a catastrophic freefall.

but it also seems that a democratic afghanistan is as far from reality as my setting up a camp site on mars. and how much more money and how many more american lives are meant to be sacrificed? and to what end?

are we meant to 'build a nation'? can we sell that to an american public already growing very tired of afghanistan? (i mean, as much as i love the idea of being a part of building a nation, i question whether we are capable of doing any good in afghanistan. and i do a tad more homework than the average american, who already thinks we're spending entirely too much money on worthless ventures).

but what would happen if we just up and left?

the country is being ravaged by the drug trade and the unsavory types of folks who operate the industry. comprising 60% of its GDP, afghanistan provides the world with 90% of its opium. which essentially means that the government of afghanistan is controlled by drug dealers and thugs. not quite a recipe for success. especially when the terrorist-protecting taliban is still there, and could very well make a come back if the situation ripens to their advantage.

something that seems all the more likely so long as president karzai in charge. a weak douchey politician, karzai inspires little faith, and plays whichever side of the issue buys him the greatest political capital. right now, those are anti-americanism and friend to the opium trade.

all of this on top of the impossible terrain, the absense of infrastructure, and the political instability, though not entirely of our making, have been perpetuated by our mismanaging our occupation and warring without a comprehensive strategy.

we let the opium farms replace the cereal and wheat farms (the types of things farmers would rather be growing, but don't have the infrastructure and security enough to earn a living), we allowed the drug trade to flourish when we didn't consort with the afghan justice department, and order our troops to arrest drug dealers and destroy opium. not that our own 'war on drugs' has been a great success, but it does seem that pinching off the drugs before they consumed the ecomony mighta been a good idea.

and while maybe it's not particularly prudent to keep sending troops and nation builders over to that side of the world, can we just leave? it's so unstable. and its instability further weakens an already very dangerous part of the world. can we afford not to be there? isn't it our responsibility to be there?

isn't it?


10 September 2009

in response to your comment to my last post

dear "anonymous" -

generally, yeah, i tend to believe the president. we share the same political ideology. and i think he's a smart, educated guy with a good sense about things. i know he reads my newspaper every day and that he surrounds himself with some pretty genius people whose job it is to know this shit (who themselves read reports written by people who know it in even greater detail (more so than you or i could ever know)). and i think he's got good judgment (better than any president in a long, long, long while).

so, yeah, i doubt very seriously that the potus is going to give a speech to a joint congress, televised to the american people on every single channel, and bullshit his way through 60 minutes. i mean, the last president who did that didn't really do much for us in the end. nor did his political ideology, when it got itself pushed up against that little wall we liberals like to call 'reality'.

debate is over. america needs comprehensive healthcare reform, from bottom to top, and on every side of its ass (from prevention to tort law, and up to and through sickness (and catastrophe)). and we have to start now!

and you know what? maybe whatever this president eventually signs into law will fail. maybe he won't get it exactly right on the first try. but at least he's _doing_. and this president has a team of the best and brightest helping him figure out the best possible reform plan.

he tried to let us get ourselves there through democratic debate (learning from a grave clinton error in handing congress a pre-packaged healthcare bill). and look at what we've done. we've gone and made fools of ourselves and shown the world we really are dumb enough to've elected george w. bush twice. and now he's had to come out and smack down the entire country for the nonsense perpetuated at the expense of a real debate.

the things is, i'm too dumb to figure this out for myself, so i'm following the lead of my president. a guy who says things like, "we are not here to fear the future. we are here to shape it." and i'm kinda digging the way he wants to shape it. so my advice to you (and anyone who doesn't want to be part of a solution) is to shape up (and maybe offer a solution to toss around with your criticism) or ship the fuck out.


09 September 2009

the remains of a party

in the summer of 1948, the chair of the republic national committee, congressman carroll reece of tennessee, claimed that "there remained nothing of the democratic party but three distasteful elements: southern racists, big-city bosses, and radicals bent on 'sovietizing' the country".

in listening to the president speak tonight about healthcare reform, complete with numbers, statistics, and an inspirational kick,"that we aren't here to fear the future, we are here to shape it", i felt a surge of my own american pride. especially when he handed an
opposition-sans-a-solution its ass on a silver platter.

which brings me to the three distasteful elements of what little remains of the republican party today: racists, rich white men, and radicals bent on jesusizing the country.