Monday, August 15, 2011

Thinkin' 'Bout Chew

I know, it sounds so incredible, but I swear
That we've met before, and I think it was on
An inbound train to the city.
Of course, you wouldn't recognize me now,
For then, I was a bald-headed man,
And weighed 35 more pounds.

What I remember about you is how beautiful
You looked, and it was more than your lovely
Face, and your piercing eyes, and soulful
Smile – it was much more than that!

It was the way you looked so much the mature
And talked, the mature young lady that I was
Stunned to see, that when you curled your hair
With your fingers, it was clear that you were
Still just a teen-aged girl, with the single solitary
Exception that you had never been given the
Opportunity to safely be a young teen-aged girl

Hanging out on weekend nights at slumber
Parties with your best friends forever,
Doing your nails with and for each other,
And talking and LAUGING so uproariously
About young boys, and how they would
embarrass themselves with you, not understanding
That their shyness and inexperience did not
Make them unattractive to you, but, au contraire,
Made them charming to you, especially when one
Of them would get out of his shellish world
And call you to talk on the telephone for
A while (what a joke, you'd have talked the
Night away with any one of them; you had
No favorite, just an empathetic understanding
That what they were going through, and what
You were going through, those experiences
They were not so different from one another

And how cruel it must have been, to have your
World betrayed by a trusted one, never again to
Be a teen-aged girl, protected safe in her own home,
The sound of the laughter of other teen-aged girls
Resounding throughout your house, and all the smiles
And goofy ideas for rationales for escape – oh Good
God in Heaven up above, you all could REALLY
Invent some doozies there. 'T'ain't no American
Politician on the planet better at self-rationalizing,
And they usually worked too, because you went
For cigarette butts in the best place here in town
(You had slumber party girl girl-friends here too,
That much I remember) at the restaurant Chelsie's,
Where the butts usually ounumber the customers,
And these butts are SUBSTANTIAL, so substantial that you
Knew for a flat-out fact, that this was an upper income
Town – who else can afford to toss away a two puff butt?

And now, that you've escaped high school, and have a job
All lined up in Colorado, the staff here is telling you that it's
You that is the big problem, and here, I would argue with them
I would be the big champion for you, but they are not going to
Hear me, and they would take it as evidence that my
Meds are NOT working, when in-fact, I feel more factfoid-
Filled and more logical argument winning now than when
My BAL is at the .120 window

So, yes, young lady, beautiful young lady, now you've got
That which you were seekin' that friend who is always there
For you, who can afford to give up what he's doin' and go on
Outrageous adventures – do the slumber party thang, HELL,
Beautiful Lady, I'll even let you do my toe nails, and wear
Clogs for the world to see … won't THAT give us a laugh and a half!

In fact, now I quite understand why Tull sang Goin' Back to the Family

My telephone wakes me in the morning --
have to get up to answer the call.
So I think I'll go back to the family
where no one can ring me at all.
Living this life has its problems
so I think that I'll give it a break.
Oh, I'm going back to the family
`cos I've had about all I can take.

Master's in the counting house
counting all his money.
Sister's sitting by the mirror --
she thinks her hair looks funny.
And here am I thinking to myself
just wond'ring what things to do.

I think I enjoyed all my problems
Where I did not get nothing for free.
Oh, I'm going back to the family --
doing nothing is bothering me.
I'll get a train back to the city
that soft life is getting me down.
There's more fun away from the family
get some action when I pull into town.

Everything I do is wrong,
what the hell was I thinking?
Phone keeps ringing all day long
I got no time for thinking.
And every day has the same old way
of giving me too much to do.

So, with me, the venue is pretty simple:
Monday the IPGA tournament, where with a little bit of luck
I can snag a bag and make half-a-hundred, and with a LOT of luck,
We can both snag bags and make the full C-note
Won't that be grand, almost too much money for us
But, we've been down that road before, and with you
As my body guard, and me as your assassin, we can safely
Ride the rails – get ourselves out to Yvonn'es, where the
Pitchers are, oh my God, check this out:
Three dollars a piece, and the pool table is FREE
Whoop Dee Doo
And the Depot, where my beloved Paul and Sheryl run
What will be the best Irish bar in the country, once they
Start opening at 7 a.m. – except their damn bar tenders
Are so slovenly drunk at that hour, that they'd give the damn
Place away.
Tuesdays – those will have to be your days, love
Wednesdays – open mic at Lamp's
Thursdays – open mic at Corkscrew Pointe
Fridays – karioke at the Deopt
Saturdays – karioke at the Depot
Sundays – chruch in Ingleside, where, quite literally
We can go to three services, plus a bible study,
And learn Spanish well enough to flit peaceably amongst
The crowd at the Spanish bar in Round Lake.

Soundin' like a whole lot of fun, dear.
Whoop Dee Doop!
Something to look forward too.
I got a friend, and she befriends me
I got a friend, we got a lot of worlds to see
She got a friend now, don't get better than this
She gots me, I gots her, we don't ever need to kiss
We shall hit the rails and roam
Never farther than 60 miles from home
I gots her, she gots me, I tell you what a lot of fun will have WE!

Whoop Dee Doop!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bumbling in Bananastan

9 Aug 2011

by Jeff Huber

The combat deaths of 30 special operations troops on 6 August should have told the country loud and clear that our woebegone Long War on whatever and whomever it is we're fighting is a travesty that needs to end now. Unfortunately, in today's polluted information environment, the incident is being used to peddle the Pentarchy's agenda for Orwellian persistent conflict.

A team of Army Rangers dropped into some remote Palookaville to snatch some alleged low-level Taliban im-potentate, and they ran into resistance their intelligence officer probably forgot to tell them to expect. Forty minutes or so into the firefight a Chinook helicopter carrying Navy Seals flew in to bail their Ranger pals out of a jam and somebody the intelligence officer probably didn’t know about popped shot down the Chinook with a rocket grenade, killing the all of the SEALs and the aircrew as well.

Ranger and Seal outfits are highly trained and custom-armed units of young Adonises genetically disposed to war. Unleashed in a village someplace to run amok and do something you can brag about and/or have to cover up later, these war dogs are fierce, they are dazzling, they are undefeatable. Piled into a helicopter they become a low/slow flying duck begging to get bagged by turban togged rock rancher armed with a weapon that the poorest people on earth can afford to own. (36 percent of Afghans live below the poverty line, and we’re not talking about the U.S. poverty line. Afghanistan’s per capita GDP is $900. That’s right: nine hundred dollars. Per person. Per year. Those people couldn’t buy a bag of potato chips at a Junior Market in Detroit.)

The 6 August incident shouldn’t have surprised anybody, even the intelligence weenies. The first time We the People heard about troopers in helicopters getting whacked in Bananastan by bottle-rocket technology was back in 2002. We heard about it again in 2005, and in 2007, and in 2008, and in 2009, and in 2010. The only greater threat to troops in helicopters than rocket propelled grenades are the helicopters themselves, which have a penchant for shooting themselves down due to mechanical failures, weather, pilot error, and the animus of the gremlins that inhabit them. Incredibly, we’re now hearing that subsequent to the 6 August incident, the Pentagon brass is examining the wisdom of landing helicopters like the Chinook in battle zones. Why do you reckon the Pentagon brass is just now scratching its collective hat on the subject? Maybe the Pentagon intelligence officers weren’t briefing them on all those other shoot downs over the years. Tsk, tsk.

Worse than the insanity of continuing to pursue a proven failed tactic is that said tactic—vertical assault on targets chosen by the most inept intelligence apparatus in the history of warfare—is the cornerstone of an even more profoundly failed grand strategy. As Jonathan S. Landay and Hashim Shukoor of McClatchy report, the SEALS who died on 6 August were operating in a valley where frequent U.S.-led night raids like the one the SEALS were reinforcing are driving the locals into the arms of the Taliban. No strategy can be more self-defeating than one in which attacks against enemies provide them with aid and comfort.

Lamentably, McClatchy is just about the last of the mainstream news outlets willing to tell the ugly truth about our disingenuous wars. The rest of big media is scrambling to see who can put the most pro-war spin on the affair. A 6 August New York Times story by ace Pentagon echo chamberlain Thom Shanker noted that the Taliban claimed responsibility for the “attack,” and that the “attack” came during a “surge of violence” that has “accompanied the beginning of a drawdown of American and NATO troops.” That’s a remarkable statement considering that we were the ones doing the attacking in this scenario, and that the only “surge of violence” it seems to have been part of is the one in which we’re using commando units to blow the smithereens out of remote villages in hopes of bagging Taliban non-coms who are as important to the insurgent war effort as The Good Soldier Schweik was to Kaiser Wilhelm’s general staff.

NBC's Jack Jacobs says elite combat
units are too valuable to risk in combat.
On 8 August, NBC Nightly News spokesmodel Brian Williams trotted out Retired Colonel War Hero who questioned why high command used “tier one” troops on a target that wasn't that important. I guess Colonel Hero figures if we’re going to throw troops away on paltry missions we should throw away the everyday, disposable troops, not the high-price ones we keep for special company. Then Embedded NBC echo chamberlain Richard Engel slipped in the money mantra about how Afghanistan is getting more dangerous because we’re drawing down (we aren’t yet, actually) and the Afghans aren’t ready to take over (they never will be).

Then Williams brought on NBC’s senior Pentagon bobblehead Jim Mxyzptlk who repeated the five or so words his Pentagon handlers wrote specially for Jim so he could repeat them verbatim on camera. (I can’t see Jim on NBC Nightly News without flashing on John Cleese as a footballer in the Monty Python sketch where he tells interviewer Eric Idle, “Hello, Brian, I’m openin’ a boutique!”).
Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell
provides opportunity to form
disposable combat teams.

I thought Jim's one-line soliloquy would be the end of the torture, but it was just getting started. Next came video of the Monday morning’s Today freak show featuring the wife of one of the guys who got killed, crying about how her SEAL loved his country. Mother Mary at the foot of the cross, man. Remember when the rabid right had a fit over how insensitive PBS was being when it ran a roster of that week’s war dead against a backdrop of silence? I beseech the craven idol I worship to someday locate my mitts across the trachea of the Chief of Naval Information (aka CHINFO) cretin who arranged to put that SEAL’s widow on national television days after her husband was killed in action.

But making a spectacle of the warrior’s wailing widow for propaganda purposes was a ray of decorum compared to the obscenity NBC and the other networks committed by running footage of our newly inserted defense secretary Leon Panetta’s public statement on the affair. At the Special Operations Command ceremony in Florida, Panetta said of the latest commando casualties that we, “must pledge to them and to their families that we will never cease fighting for the cause for which they gave their lives, the cause of a secure and safer America."
NBC's Brian Williams
and Jim Miklasewski.

Holy peyote, Uncle Leo. Even Don Rumsfeld knew that our War on Evil was making more evildoers, not a secure and safer America. What the 30 special ops troopers gave their lives for on 6 August was the continued creation of conditions that ensure perpetual low-level conflict in support of the neoconservative goal of world domination through military force.

Now let’s see some CHINFO bull feather merchant get that widow back on the Today show and have her tell us how proud she is that her husband died for the cause of putting American combat boots on every square inch of the globe from the bottom of the Mariana Trench to the summit of Mt. Everest.

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.

Saturday Night Libya

2 August 2011

by Jeff Huber

Operation Unified Protector, our woebegone war in Libya, has become the only major undertaking of the developed world worse conceived and executed than the present manifestation of Saturday Night Live. OUP and SNL both consist of a large number of people combining misdirected efforts to produce an abysmal farce. SNL, however, has a couple of things going for it: it is not responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people, and even thought it is a major pollutant of the information environment, its very existence is not illegal.

The latest news of our burlesque in North Africa comes to us by way of a 30 July New York Times story titled, “NATO Strikes at Libyan State TV.” Insider knowledge gives me a unique perspective from which to appreciate the monumental absurdity of that headline, but the eyebrows of even the most casual observers are likely to collide as they wonder to themselves, You mean they’re just now getting around to doing that?

Air Marshall Lord Basil Fawlty scrubs
tomorrow's Unified Protector target list.
It was clear back in May, already months into young Mr. Obama’s “days not weeks” Libyan lark, that his euro-stooge NATO commanders announced they were “broadening” their target list to include Libya’s infrastructure. Otherwise, claimed Britain’s Sir General David “Harrumph” Richards, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi would “cling to power.” Before directing air strikes at infrastructure, NATO had already bombed Qaddafi’s “command and control” centers.

Every air war gets run by a different set of air-power theorists called “targeteers” who are trained, among other things, in how to choose what kinds of targets to bomb in order to achieve a campaign’s strategic and political goals. When Unified Protector was still just “Odyssey Dawn,” a thou-shalt-not-fly zone you probably heard about and a naval blockade nobody cared about, the only legitimate targets were stuff like surface-to-air missile sites and navy bases. That was when the only stated goal was to protect the freedom-loving people of Libya from their freedom-hating dictator. Then, in April 2011, Obama for all practical purposes admitted that regime change had been the objective all along, at which point the target list should have broadened exponentially.

There is no such thing as uniformity in military jargon. Depending on when any given set of any given air operation’s targeteers went to any given target college, different kinds of targets and missions will be called different things. One war’s “interdiction” is another war’s “strategic strike,” just as “command and control” targets can fold into the “infrastructure” target set and then morph into “regime” targets.

But whatever you want to call a regime’s mother-effing state-controlled television and radio stations, the mother-effing mother-effers doing the mother-effing targeteering should bomb the mother-effing monkey mucous out of them in the first fifteen mother-effing minutes of the mother-effing war. It’s next to impossible to believe that these mother-effers were too mother-effing dumb to do that. Talk about theater of the absurd meets film noir. They ought to call the talking chimps running this one-buttock operation The Gang that Couldn’t Bomb Straight.

We’re justified to a certain extent in snickering up our sleeves at the French fire drill our little NATO buddies have created. But we have to remember that NATO actually stands for “The United States and a handful of mostly white schmoes who speak in Romance and Germanic tongues.” The top military commander of NATO is always a U.S. four-star who only takes legal orders from two dudes: America’s secretary of defense and its president. Accountability for this fiasco rolls all the way to the top of the pile.

Of course, it’s comical to invoke the term “legal” in any discussion of our Libyan involvement. In waging it without so much as a by-your-wink-and-nod from Congress, Bombardier Barry has flushed both the Constitution and its freckled stepchild, the War Powers Resolution of 1973, clear down the Potomac, out the Chesapeake Bay and into the Atlantic. Progressive popinjay Juan Cole says the Libyan sock-hop is legit because it’s mandated by a UN resolution, an aegis that he characterizes as the “gold standard for military intervention.” Jesus in a G-string, where do we find such eggheads?

Fops like Cole argue that because the Senate ratified the U.N. Charter it became, as per Article VI of the Constitution, the “supreme law of the land.” Such assertions leave the law-of-the-land clause out of context; it actually appears at the end of a litany that reads “This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the…” One can easily show that this order conveys an intended precedence hierarchy: in cases where any of the three may conflict, the Constitution trumps the laws of the United States, which in turn trump treaties. To suggest otherwise is to declare the Constitution an instrument of March hare insanity, a legal framework that says the legislature can legally pass laws that demolish the very framework that legitimizes the legislature and makes its laws legal.

Article I of the Constitution clearly assigns the preponderance of foreign policy powers to the legislature: the powers to ratify treaties, to confirm ambassadors, to regulate international commerce and the military, and to declare war. And it is the legislature, not the executive branch, that the Constitution grants powers to “repel invasion.” So everybody who talks about a president’s “constitutional prerogative” to conduct foreign policy or defend the country is feeding you a line of bull roar. Claims of unitary presidential powers you typically hear from Rolex-sporting prevaricators with degrees in jurisprudence stem from the Federalist Papers, documents that are not the Constitution, nor an amendment to the Constitution, nor an annex nor an addendum nor an attachment to it.

The Federalist Papers were written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Monroe, three landed cats who didn’t believe democratic government was such a keen idea and who wanted the president to be a sort of dress-down Friday king that they could easily control, which is pretty much what today’s Federalists want. Federalist notions on the subject of presidential powers contrast sharply with those of Founders like Jefferson and Washington and Adams.

The UN charter itself has numerous codicils regarding nations going to war on the Security Council’s say so, most notably its numerous references to “special agreements” that essentially grant that no country has to go to war for the UN unless it really, really wants to. Moreover, since the U.S. is a permanent member of the Security Council, we can veto any resolution that calls for war, so the UN isn’t going to ask us to fight a war unless it’s a war we crammed down the UN’s throat the way we did with the present cluster bomb in Libya.

So what Cole and fools like him are asserting when they call a UN resolution for war the “gold standard” is that warmongering lunatics like John Bolton and Susie Rice can vote us into any old conflict anytime they want to and the rest of us have to go along with it because the Constitution says we do.

That respected American intellectuals actually think that way and are taken seriously could be the basis of a wholly hilarious SNL sketch if it weren’t so utterly terrifying. I think that we might have, in a decade or so, grown back the toes we shot off with our antics in Iraq and the Bananastans. But I’m afraid this Libya business will prove to be the whimper our republic went out with.

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance.

Spent 11 days in a mental hospital

Finest facility of its type I've ever been in.

And it still sucked.

Best psychiatrist I've ever had.

And he still sucked.

Most of their patients, they kept 5 working days plus the weekend. I was special. Simply another instance of me not being treated the same as other folks. They discharged a weenie-wagging, alcoholic, with a bi-polar diagnosis in 3 working days plus a weekend. Me, they keep 9 WD plus WE! Well, I didn't really change too much, except that I did acceed to their forced medications of me (believe me, they have a LOT of leverage over you). And then they wanted to shoot me up with a medication for schizoprenia. Ass holes. You've only labeled me bi-polar. So just let me take my bi-polar mood stabalizer and go home.

Well, it worked out just fine, I needed to meet one more resident before I booked, and I did, and all is well with the world. Amen.