Category Archives: Uncategorized

[Incredulity Rising]

Let us pause to remember all the angsty white men who invented rock and roll, like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino and Bo Diddley.

Class Act

Remington Death Machines, Inc, takes blaming the victim to a new low.

Gun company Remington has subpoenaed the report cards, attendance records, and disciplinary records of five kindergarten and first grade students murdered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, according to new court filings in a civil lawsuit filed against the company.

“In mid-July, the defense served a subpoena on the Newtown Public School District seeking: ‘Any and all educational records in your possession including but not limited to, application and admission paperwork, attendance records, transcripts, report cards, disciplinary records, correspondence and any and all other educational information and records pertaining to’ each of the five first-graders whose Estates are plaintiffs in this case,” according to the motion filed today that sought to protect the victims’ families from further subpoenas.

It's so heinous, I can't even make the obvious jokes about it.

The Ides of August

Two decades ago, young people in Kandahar were telling me how the proxy militias American forces had armed and provided with U.S. fatigues were shaking them down at checkpoints. By 2007, delegations of elders would visit me — the only American whose door was open and who spoke Pashtu so there would be no intermediaries to distort or report their words. Over candied almonds and glasses of green tea, they would get to some version of this: “The Taliban hit us on this cheek, and the government hits us on that cheek.” The old man serving as the group’s spokesman would physically smack himself in the face.

I and too many other people to count spent years of our lives trying to convince U.S. decision-makers that Afghans could not be expected to take risks on behalf of a government that was as hostile to their interests as the Taliban were. Note: it took me a while, and plenty of my own mistakes, to come to that realization. But I did.

For two decades, American leadership on the ground and in Washington proved unable to take in this simple message. I finally stopped trying to get it across when, in 2011, an interagency process reached the decision that the U.S. would not address corruption in Afghanistan. It was now explicit policy to ignore one of the two factors that would determine the fate of all our efforts. That’s when I knew today was inevitable.

The War Press

Neo-con hawks and their ratings-chasing media ghouls always assert that military intervention is the correct response to foreign policy disputes. And they leave it to everyone else to try to talk them down. They beg the question. They never bother to justify what they demand, they only snidely, sneeringly assert the inevitability of their position.

Happened when this disaster started, happened every time anyone suggested reducing our footprint in Afghanistan, is happening right now as they throw their tantrum and blame everyone but themselves for this 20 year fiasco. Happened in Vietnam. Happened in Iraq (wait till someone finally gets us out of that mess and it's more complicated than calling an Uber to go home).

Maybe it's time we stop letting them control the discussion?