Archive for January, 2011

As the people of Egypt revolted against the President who has been in power for over 20 years, we learned that governments really can just shut off the Interwebz. The Internet itself is abuzz, using the immortal words of Admiral Adama –

“There’s a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.”

In an interesting twist, the Army in Egypt is largely loved and the police are the corrupt motherfuckers. Keeping them separate has allowed the military to be the GOOD GUYS for once.

We’re surviving the Snowacolypse here with freezing rain and a ton of snow to our south. So those of you on the East Coast are fucked. Hahaha.

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So, there’s a movement to give General David Petraeus a fifth star. I was asked, “Do you think General Petraeus should be a five star general?”

My answer was, “No.” And then there was some vitrol thrown at me about how unpatriotic and unAmerican I am. I waited a good five minutes for the moron to calm the fuck down, and then I proceeded to state why.

I have logical reasons for it, despite the fact that I don’t like the wars. It goes something like this:

1.  The true purpose of a five star general is to centralize command of all US military assets in a branch under one individual. That was the original purpose of the rank. Although, in previous years, we went all sentimental on old generals who had a giant impact on winning major wars (Ulysses Grant being the most obvious one). General Petraeus is not the bona-fide, centralized general over any one specific branch with control over most of the assets, nor does he need to be. He ran one theater of war (Iraq) and now runs a second theater of war (Afghanistan). That’s ONE area of the world we’re deployed in. We’re deployed in technically four hot zones across the globe.

2.  General Petraeus is not fighting a war against a defined enemy that is a direct threat to the preservation of the US. I don’t care what any looney right-wing or overly-patriotic nutjob says – right now, Afghanistan is about fighting a counter-insurgency that includes Al-Q and Pashtun fighters. 2/3’s of the people we blow up are not terrorists – they are counter-insurgents or civilians. He’s mostly trying to stablize a nation we invaded and destabilized ourselves. He doesn’t need five star power to do that, nor does he need uber-recognition for it.

3.  We already have too many four star generals. We need another holier than thou five star general like we need another hole in our economy. The only thing accomplished by appointing a five star general now would be to drive a wedge in the military units working with the forces in Afghanistan.

I’m thinking the true reason some people are pushing to give David Petraeus a fifth star is so that he becomes the ideal GOP candidate for President. I’ve already stated that he’s a puppet for idealists and crybabies still bitter about losing Vietnam. I’m wililng to bet – if not in 2012 – he will run for President in 2016 in the Republican Party. The GOP would totally expect a win if they did it.

Because people are stupid, overly patriotic and allow their sentiments to rule their logic. Like this person who asked me that stupid question. And is still crying in their salad about my answer.

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This …

I …



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So I watched the SOTU address, and I was largely neutral about it. Centrist talking points. Yay. I also watched the GOP response, and they said exactly what I thought they would say (which was a lot of derp derp derp).  I say that because the GOP speech was equally if not more erroneous and nebulous than the SOTU speech. Being the head of the Federal Budget Committee apparently does not make you a decent economist or even correct. I think he was reading from a napkin he scribbled on.

And then I watched the Tea Party response, and that was almost exactly like the GOP response (only a lot of use of the term we as if expressing the opinion of the people), and I wondered, “W(hy)TF are they even doing this?” The whole we’re-not-a-wing-of-the-GOP schtick this week seems like a downright lie. They sounded EXACTLY like a wing of the GOP. Even if most of them are absolutely crazy morons who don’t know WTF they are talking about (Rand Paul – please STFU, you loser).

Well, after the initial, easy-to-count ballots were tallied, Suttle claimed victory against the recall. That’s not saying much, because the opposition is not withdrawing until all the ballots are counted, which has caused Suttle’s people to whine about it. Hey, we’re a democracy – act like you care, shitheads.

The main town nearest my home town held a giant vigil for the missing girl Kailee Clapp. They think they found her body and caught her killer,. I’m slightly sad because I know the Clapp family.

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The mayor of Omaha – Jim Suttle – may not be mayor after today’s recall vote. There’s many arguments against recalling Suttle, and many for recalling Suttle. Mix in the fact that Suttle’s people then went and did something borderline illegal to tip the recall vote in his favor.

I keep hearing from people that it’s going to be expensive to replace Suttle, and that alone should be enough to keep a recall from happening. I ask “How much?” and no one can answer that question, except to state, “A million bucks.” Which is just regurgitating facts given by Suttle’s people and not a real figure. “We don’t know who the new mayor will be – could be a bum for all we know,” is another argument I get from the Suttle people. That’s not a good argument – that’s just waxing pessimistic. I’ve looked into the arguments that Suttle’s people keep spewing, but they rarely add up.

On the other hand, I’m not hearing much in the argument for recall. I mean, other than he raised our taxes, couldn’t account for 13 million dollars lost in the system, and he won’t stand up to unions because he just gives them their ridiculous pensions and benefits. That seems pretty convincing at face value. But then again, was it Suttle or the City Council that’s responsible?  I have no compelling proof one way or the other. The mayor’s ultimately responsible, though.

I’m going to vote for recall, but I hope honestly this is the better move. I’ve never been comfortable with avoiding replacing people because it would “cost less” when in the long run, it might cost us more to keep a corrupt mayor. The argument against Suttle is strong, while Suttle’s rebuttal is rather weak and flailing. “Use your political rights or lose them,” someone said to me once.

Too bad he’s a Democrat. He acts like a Republican, and we may end up with one of those guys driving Omaha into the ground. Who knows.

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Monster Teachers

I know I just mentioned Bill Harris’ blog in the last entry, but I have to mention it again, because he just posted my story about my monster teacher in high school. It’s Bill’s theme of the week. Of course, since I have my auto signature on in my email, it sent it out as Nathan “McClaud” instead of my entire name, so Bill assumes my last name is McClaud. Which is both awesome and embarassing at the same time. I would apologize for misleading people, but it’s really too late. Anyway, click here for the entire story.

I still sweat lightly when I think about Mr. Holloway. He was the worst teacher I have ever encountered. I think he’s still a legend in my home town as the “Teacher who launched a student over his desk.” My sister called him Mr. Hollowheart, which is very close to the truth.

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I know when you click this link, you’re going to say, “Oh, FFS. This is about a kid that I don’t know playing hockey in Texas. tl;dr – Boooorrring.”

However, I want you to try and read the entire thing. If not, then go halfway down where Bill talks about his son playing against the Loredo team. From there, it’s totally uplifting (even though it’s also very sad to read about his son’s injury). By the end, you’re feeling good, because if a kid can recover like this – mentally and physically after being so crushed – the rest of us should be able to recover.

I know we all get tied up in our little worlds of political discourse and video games and “omg work sux.” We’re virtually bombarded by disappointing crap and morons every single day. We’re also stressed out about money and social life in general. Most of the time, the world is depressing. This kid – Eli – is a good representation of how we should all really be in the end. We whine way too much sometimes, and sometimes, we just need a good story to bring us back to our center. It’s also about teamwork, kindness, enthusiasm and hope. Bill tells great stories, but this one is the most encouraging things I’ve read on the Interwebz in a long time. 

It also gives us parents hope that our kids will maintain this same enthusiasm and hope for their future.

NOTE: From what I can tell after two years of reading, Bill adopted Eli, so in a way, this is a doubly feel-good story. This guy really loves his kid, and his kid is a really good person.

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