Bombing Syria?

Don’t get me wrong, I abhor the use of chemical weapons, it is an extremely brutal way to kill someone. It also amounts to terrorism by its effect on the people in the area. As well as just being a downright shameful way to do the dirty business of war. I am uncertain of any non shameful way to kill, but I’d think face to face would be it…

Anyway, now we are poised to attack Syria, somehow, in some fashion, presumably with long range missiles to attack infrastructure. Only after weeks of saber rattling and UN investigations, and hoohaw, and talking heads doing what talking heads do.

At this point, if I’m a Syrian official, I’d be evacuating key installations, going underground with key assets, and burying that which I might miss after it would be blown up. So if and when we finally do go ahead, and stick our damn noses in somebody else’s business yet again, and bomb them… Well, the joke really will have been on us. Congratulations you just bombed empty buildings and killed 3 people! Umm, but they will claim that x amount of assets have been eliminated, and run the death toll up, so they can say how terrible “we” are.  You can count on that.

This whole scenario reminds me of the North Korea thing that we just went through, making a bunch of noise, posturing up for full effect, then nothing. The key difference between us and North Korea, is we are likely to follow through with an attack! I do not have a better solution to offer, I wish I did, even so, no one would likely listen to any sensible approach anyway. At this point there has been too much time invested in us wagging our fingers, and saying if you do “this” we will do “that” and no one seems to realize that following through with any attack at this point is merely to save face.

And for what? I am not sure there is any hope in the next several generations, there will be any appreciable gains in anything that would resemble moderation in the Middle East. I don’t know how to fix it, I dare say no one does, but if these people are intent on killing each other for whatever transgressions real or perceived, I know not how to convince them otherwise.

Bombing empty buildings sure as hell is not an answer. It isn’t even saving face. It is actually doing what we were just berating North Korea for threatening to do. Although we aren’t talking nukes here, I suppose that is a key difference, but the principle is still the same.

The way I understand it, what led up to this whole thing, is the mishandling of what amounted to mild forms of protest. Some youths were arrested for anti regime graffiti, then some were killed while incarcerated. Which led to growing protests because of the of the situation as well as economical woes being a factor, and the failure to punish those that were responsible for killing the kids in detention really heated things up.  Then the whole thing escalates to what we see today, with both pro and anti gov’t sides committing atrocities, with neither side willing to back down, and try to make amends. In this instance it isn’t hard line Islamist’s oppressing the people, it is just  regular old authoritarian hard ass gov’t thugs that refuse to accept any input from those they govern (or anyone with an outside perspective). I can see why these people are mad, I would be too. You can’t have a gov’t that treats its civilians in such a manner as to murder them for graffiti, and you can’t expect people not to react in a bad way as a result. But for it to go this far, with this much death and destruction, simply because the gov’t could not admit that mistakes were made, and punish those responsible, is reprehensible. No gov’t should be so far out of touch, that murdering its people can be seen as acceptable. Then to go so far as to use chemical weapons?

Now, we have decided that we need to be involved. We can’t be tasked with being the World Police. If we are going to act in that respect, then it needs to be done with unilateral support from many other nations, and not rest on our shoulders alone. Oh…and France. Big friggin whoop.

…and if we are going to act in a situation like this, wouldn’t it be better not to announce it for several weeks in advance? The way this whole thing has played out is just surreal from my perspective, none of it makes sense in that it never should have come this far to start with, let alone, now it is somehow our problem to deal with.

If anyone has a solution to this problem, that won’t actually be adding layers of complexity to a bad situation to begin with, I’d love to hear it.

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What Is Wrong With People?

A train in India strikes a crowd of people on the tracks, killing 37. I have seen conflicting reports investigating this story, some claiming 20, some claiming 37 dead. All of the stories are pretty consistent with what happened after, a mob dragged the driver from the train and was beat to death, or near death, another inconsistency.

Okay, lets look at the facts here, a train moving at a high rate of speed (50 mph) simply cannot stop on a dime. It takes a long time to slow that much mass traveling with that much speed. Simple physics. One story I read claimed the group thought they could get the train to stop. Most of the other related stories just claimed they were on the tracks. Either way, an act of sheer stupidity. Darwin Award stupid.

So we have a tragic incident (I try to avoid using the term accident, as I believe there is no such thing as an accident. Someone did something that wasn’t too bright, resulting in an incident) A great deal of people, on the track with an oncoming train moving at a high rate of speed. Train is physically unable to stop and tragically, many dead. That is bad enough. The story should end there, but it doesn’t.

A mob, clearly as well educated as the people on the tracks, then decided it was the driver of the train at fault, so they beat him either to death, or just short of death. Then set fire to the train. Then, according to one story on the subject, hampered rescuers/authorities responding to the scene.

Snowball effect of ignorance and hate. This is why we will never know world peace. This is why the Middle East will never be a  region of calm. This is why people the world over simply do not have the capability to react to a bad situation, whatever it may be, in a calm rational manner, and think things through, before they react violently.

This is why, in certain situations, we are no better than fucking wild animals. This is the ugly side of being human.

Science For the Win In Kentucky

http://wfpl.org/post/kentucky-education-officials-ok-new-science-standards-despite-criticism-evolution

I have been watching this scenario with interest  for a while, the Ky. Board of Education passed the updated science standards, despite the moaning,  groaning, and ignorance of creationists. The B.O.E cited the fact that evolution was already included in state standards and evolution is “the fundamental, unifying theory that underlies all the life sciences.” It goes on to say, “there is no significant ongoing debate within the scientific community regarding the legitimacy of evolution as a scientific idea.” (I would like to note that evolution is way past the idea stage and sits comfortably in the fact column) 

Also, concerning the notion to teach ID, which by definition is creationism wearing a cheap lab coat, they turned it down because “The overwhelming majority of scientists do not consider creationism intelligent design,” and…they also also “point to court decisions that have repeatedly declared teaching creationism and intelligent design as unconstitutional.” Well done, right on the money.

They also included presenting the facts on climate change for students to consider. Another thumbs up from me.

I am thrilled the approved (by the B.O.E of KY.) standards are moving on in the process, however they still have to pass Kentucky’s Administrative Regulation Review Committee. I expect more creationism nonsense along the way, but hopefully good sense will prevail.

The comments there were surprisingly supportive, at least till some idiot x-ians showed up, blaring their incomprehensible ignorance loudly and proudly. I do look forward to the day when reason and fact based evidence become common place modes of thought. I just may not live to see it.

GOP reject advice to moderate

http://news.yahoo.com/post-romney-gop-reject-advice-moderate-173258146.html

Exactly. Besides being intolerant, racist bigots, they are also out to strip women of their rights, enact immigration laws, support the idiotic so called Intelligent Design malarky as well as replace the facts of evolution in public schools with it, and cut science funding among other things. All the while helping their rich buddies get richer while watching the rest of us rot.

The GOP is so out of touch they might as well all move to Texas and secede. There they would be in good company, and the rest of us could do our best to move on and improve our lives. With the Wigs out of the way we could look for real answers to the economy and the looming ecological impacts we face as a result of global warming. One of which they deny altogether and the other a direct result of their own policies and lack of oversight. 

The more you look, the more you see, and it ain’t a pretty sight. If they have any hope for future success, they need to wise up, clean house, and start over with a more modern outlook to modern problems. I sincerely doubt they have the foresight or the willingness to moderate. Let alone start looking at things from a perspective of “how can we help?” instead of ” how can we screw things up even worse, and line our pockets with cash while we do it?”

 

Republicans Have A Cow Over Clinton Documentary

You know, I used to buy into the whole R thing. I must admit I prospered during the reign of the R’s over the last 20 years, prior to the Obama election. By then the economy had tanked, and it was a result of the R’s fleecing the system until it bled out. Even then, I voted R in the 1st Obama campaign.

Then Obama was elected president. At that moment the R’s imploded. They were absolutely horrified that a blankety blank N-word was our new president, They did not even try to hide their disgust. Anger and shock was the look on their faces, the noise from the talking heads was deafening. It was the end of the world as we know it they decried. The sky was falling and there is no place to hide, was the rhetoric.

Well, the sun still rises in the east. It still sets in the west. Best I can tell our oxygen levels are still suitable for life. My well hasn’t run dry, and the economy while still on shaky legs is trying to come back. My particular mode of making a living is still dead in the water, but that has no impact on this discussion, it is what it is.

So the 1st Obama term ended, and we had another election. Much to the dismay of the R’s, he won AGAIN! Here we go, it’s the end of the world, the sky is falling, and we are all gonna die! Guess what? We are still here, doing our best to get along in the world, hoping for something positive from our government. Yet the R’s still have their heels dug in, refusing to cooperate, and government in general is far from a state of governing. The R’s refuse to have anything to do with our blankety blank N-word president or any policy with a D on it. Shame on them.

Finally this history lesson is up to date, the R’s are in a state of disarray, desperate for a way back into power, jockeying for position for a run at the White House. So CNN is making a documentary about Hillary…and the R’s are predictably upset. Any potential threat to their position must be fought, and they are childishly threatening CNN and ABC who will also air the program, by blackballing the stations from debates. Well boo fucking hoo. Guess what R’s? I used to support your position, right up until you showed your true colors, by being racist bigots, and taking your defeats like little cry babies, pissing and moaning and refusing to cooperate with the D’s about ANYTHING, because you lost to Obama. You lost, get over it and grow the fuck up. As a result of your intolerance, racism, and bigotry, I have vowed to never vote R again. Congratulations, your demeanor has created a lifetime D.

Oh, if you are looking for a R candidate that may be able to win the next election, do try and find one that think his/her way out of a wet paper bag, and can keep their private parts…private. It would also be nice if said candidate supports science and reason, but I know I’m asking for too much. /end sarcasm… Oh wait, never mind, lifetime D remember? At this point I see no way of salvaging this D convert, The damage is done.

EDIT: The first article I saw on this story claimed ABC as the other network besides CNN, I went looking for the story again for the link, and this one claims NBC as the other network. Whatever, my outlook is the same regardless…

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/television/article/Republicans-want-NBC-CNN-to-pull-Clinton-programs-4707374.php

Quote OF The Month

The second in the “Quote of the Month series”, this one by Thomas Jefferson.

“Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity.  What has been the effect of coercion?  To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.  To support roguery and error all over the earth.”       – “Notes on Virginia” 

Indeed, any one with an objective view would see this. This quote pretty much sums up what I have seen in so called x-ians throughout the years, and read about in the history books. Once you realize how much blood and suffering religion has on its hands, it is difficult to maintain any support for it in any sense at all.

The other point made here is about hypocrisy. Once you see hypocrisy in action it is almost impossible to see anything else. Claims of peace and love on one hand, death and brutality on the other. Pious and righteous on Sunday, drunken bums who smack around the wife the rest of the week. Claims of the utmost respectability, priests raping kids and covering it up. This is what religion is in my eyes…and no religion is free from these criticisms.*  Never mind the fact that no religion is based in a testable, provable, falsifiable, reality.

How people steeped in religious belief can ignore these issues, all the while claiming they hold some imaginary high ground, is beyond my ken. How people like to claim this country was founded on x-ian principles is a damned lie.

Source for the Quote of the Month here: http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html   There are many other sites out there with the same quotes. Google, as always, is your friend. Try “Founding Father Quotes” in the search box.

* So, you want to claim those kinds of people aren’t true x-ians, or true  [insert religion here] ? Click this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

The Nose Knows

Interesting story here : http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-08/cp-wel072513.php  on the differences in individuals ability to perceive odors.  Apparently ones ability to sense the smell of various fragrances is a genetic trait. Which isn’t all that surprising unless you have been living under a rock, or use certain outdated mythologies as a basis for your understanding of reality…

For a long time now science has been studying genetic traits and the variances between certain genetic coding and the unique effects brought about by these minute changes in the code. We have known for years about things like hair and eye color, and the gene switches that account for them. Now we know that the sense of smell can be unique between individuals.

Which explains a lot…I don’t know how many times I have had to roam the aisles of various retail stores, and passing by some otherwise normal person, except for the fact they most certainly just took a bath in some foul substance that is probably marketed as perfume. I am talking about a person cloaked in an enormous cloud of stench that trails along behind them akin to that car that we have all seen at one time or another, that was puffing out so much smoke it looked like it was spraying for mosquito’s. We are talking weapon of mass destruction level of offensiveness that lasts for several minutes, sometimes so bad I can still have that smell in my nose in the car on the way home.

I have often wondered if these people had some altered sense of smell issue, even considered a genetic trait being responsible, just never knew for sure. Thing is I still don’t know if its them…or me! I do not know where or even if the standard for normal exists, or if I am in it…but some of us have some serious olfactory issues.