taco shop psychic
mincing is for garlic, not words...

Thursday, October 31, 2002  

193. Chad's Crackpot Ideas.

I've always felt a little out of step with society because of the things I believe in. Not a lot of people see the world quite in the terms that I do. Unlike over on So Anyway where I was not attempting to incite a riot with my opinions (read her Gen X vs. the world post) in my comment there, you can feel free to lob tomatoes, break store fronts and turn over cars on my site here.

1. Organized religion is the most evil scourge of this earth. I don't care if you're religious, that's fine. I don't need to be afflicted or infected, or whatever, with your religion, and really neither does anyone else. The only possible exceptions to this are religions that don't try to recruit new members through the use of "sinner, repent" scenarios.

2. War is never good. Often the alternative is worse. This is illustrated nicely in my next point.

3. Bomb Iraq now. Yesterday would be preferable. This is what I told my parents when they accused me of being a Bushie. There are three things we can do with Iraq now.

a. We can go to Baghdad and finish what we started. We are part of the problem when it comes to Saddam, after all we supported him and encouraged him (during the Carter administration) to attack Iran. We had the opportunity eleven years ago to fix this problem, but due to lack of stomach on the part of the rest of our coalition we were not able to finish the job. I've mentioned previously that I don't think there is going to be a war, and this is why. In 1991, we had a much larger military than we do today, and most of it was able to focus on Iraq. Today on the other hand, we have the smallest military since 1940, and we are operationally committed to three zones of conflict (Korea, Balkans, Afghanistan) than we were in 1991 (Korea). If we did not feel we had the wherewithal to remove Saddam on our own in 1991, I don't really see how we can do it now.

b. We can do nothing and keep the status quo. No-fly zones, sanctions, the works. The problem with this - from the left-wing peacenik perspective - is that we are slowly starving the people of Iraq. Ever see someone starve to death? I have. If you believe that the sanctions are causing the mass starvation that the uber-left was reporting a couple of years ago -- something like 500,000/year, but this has been refuted time and time again, I only mention that number because I continue to see it used -- than you cannot very well say that this is preferable to war. If those figures are true, even remotely, than the only difference between this and war is how the people die. This is the single reason why the anti-war argument fails to work, because in the end, the left is just as bloodthirsty as warmongers like me. One could even argue that it is moreso when you consider the amount of people that we fed in Afghanistan when we started operations there. I also remember the doom-and-gloom scenarios before we went to Afghanistan about how many people would die as a direct result of our military action and the actual number - including all the stupid mishaps we've made - is far less.

c. We can give up. Drop the sanctions, remove the troops from the region and just admit that we lost the war we thought we had won in 1991. I'm isolationist by nature, so this is actually an appealing solution in my eyes, but it is not terribly pragmatic. It also allows for Saddam to rebuild. I've seen someone suggest that we keep the sanctions in place but rebuild the infrastructure of the country. That idea is so horribly naive that it's stupid. Infrastructure is a key part of military logistics. Either rebuilding his infrastructure or allowing him to rebuild it gives him two of the four things he needs to wage a successful military campaign (the four things are logistics, materiel, personnel and communication - he would then only need to find materiel and personnel, and only one of those would be a problem) against his neighbors. It's not like this is a foreign thing to him -- especially seeing as one of our most liberal administrations fucking taught him how to do it -- and is even easier if he chooses to just finance and abet terrorism, which is also something not alien to him.

I've seen many talking heads -- like my traitorous congressman, the 'honorable' Mr. McDermott ask exactly what threat Saddam poses to the US. This is especially dumb. It's not like Saddam doesn't have contacts to the bulk of the Palestinian terror network, after all those checks he's writing have to get to the families of the intifada somehow. And it's not like Palestinian terrorists have not executed actions on American soil -- they've been doing it since 1968, albeit infrequently. And it's not a real disputed fact that he's trying to obtain a nuke. Put the three things together, and that's the obvious scenario. The less obvious scenario is the destabilization of the oil market, which could be bad, but not as bad as people would like you to think. Still, that's just two fairly obvious strategies I would expect Saddam to take if he had the means and opportunity.

I'll write more later.

posted by Tacoshop | 12:01 PM

Wednesday, October 30, 2002  

192. Blah.

I cut off all my hair, and naturally I got sick as a result. I've not been posting recently for various reasons, but mainly out of depression. I'm also afraid of pissing people off, since I seem to be increasingly in the minority with regards to my foreign policy perspective. Both of my parents (in Korea) yelled at me over the phone for supporting intervention in Iraq. The world has gone nuts.

The saddest part of that was that their biggest reason for not supporting any intervention in Iraq is that "Bush is a flaming asshole". That's a direct quote of my mother, by the way. Fine. He is. So what?

I'm absolutely loving the slogans the anti-war left have been using here in Seattle. By far my favorite is "war is terrorism". Somehow, they've managed to rationalize that war equals terrorism but the reverse isn't true. Here's a hint guys: if war is terrorism, then terrorism is war, and you've just justified the military action you were against this time last year. Fucking duh.

Another good one is "this is what democracy looks like". No, that's what a loud, vocal, and morally self-centered minority looks like.

So, I'm depressed and pissed off and probably won't be posting much in the next few weeks.

Bomb Iraq now.

posted by Tacoshop | 5:30 AM

Wednesday, October 23, 2002  

191. Tuesday Too, on Wednesday

Tuesday Too # 34
1.) What would you like the world to spend research money on (inner space, outer space, stem cell, you name it research), and why do you give it top priority?

Don't know, don't care. Honestly, I delayed my TT answers for a day so I could ponder this, and I came up with nothing. Maybe on why my cat is so whiny.

2.) Where's the beef, Carmine Miranda, or what's bugging you lately?

Craven anti-war protesters, the fact that I really have no choice (a daft-looking Republican or a Libertarian that perennially runs for every elected office) to vote for running against my traitor of a congressman, Jim McDermott, and that I-776 will likely pass. And that the I-776 people have blatantly cooked facts to support their cause.

3.) Elliott would like to know, do you type without looking at the keyboard; in other words, are you a hunt and peek (in his case that would be hunt and claw), or a "true typist?" I'm somewhere in the middle, but have almost graduated to 'true typist' status.

posted by Tacoshop | 9:36 AM

Tuesday, October 22, 2002  

190. Fifty Questions, via Desiree

1. Your name spelled backwards. 'dahC'. Or 'eman ruoY', take your pick.
2. Where were your parents born? Mom in Superior, Wisconsin; Dad in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
3. What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? The beta for Earth and Beyond.
4. What's your favorite restaurant? Wing Dome.
5. Last time you swam in a pool? 1996.
6. Have you ever been in a school play? Yep. I graduated high school with honors in drama, if you can believe that.
7. How many kids do you want? Zero.
8. Type of music you dislike most? Gangster rap.
9. Are you registered to vote? Yes.
10. Do you have cable?Yes.
11. Have you ever ridden on a moped? Nope.
12. Ever prank call anybody? Nope.
13. Ever get a parking ticket? I am the King of Parking Tickets.
14. Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? I used to tell people that I would consider jumping from a two-engine plane if four engines had gone out. You can guess my thoughts on bungee jumping.
15. Furthest place you ever traveled. From where? I've been as far east as Kuwait and as far west as Okinawa.
16. Do you have a garden? A dead one.
17. What's your favorite comic strip? Peanuts. Snoopy is God.
18. Do you really know all the words to your national anthem? Yep. Since I was seven.
19. Bath or Shower, morning or night? Yes.
20. Best movie you've seen in the past month? That would be Spirited Away, the only movie I've seen in the last month.
21. Favorite pizza topping? I can live with most anything not fungus or fruit.
22. Chips or popcorn? Popcorn.
23. What color lipstick do you usually wear? I haven't worn lipstick since that stuff in question 6.
24. Have you ever smoked peanut shells? What the hell are you people thinking? That's like shooting peanut butter.
25. Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? No, but I was once nominated for Marine of the Quarter which is sort of the same thing.
26. Orange Juice or apple? Orange.
27. Who was the last person you went out to dinner with and where did you dine? My brother, Gorditos.
28. Favorite type chocolate bar? Ritter Sport Vollmilch.
29. When was the last time you voted at the polls? Two elections ago, whenever that was. I missed this last primary round.
30. Last time you ate a homegrown tomato? Blech.
31. Have you ever won a trophy? Yep. Playing soccer (yes, soccer) in the service.
32. Are you a good cook? I am a phenomenal cook.
33. Do you know how to pump your own gas. I live in Washington, not Oregon.
34. Ever order an article from an infomercial? Nope.
35. Sprite or 7-up? Sprite.
36. Have you ever had to wear a uniform to work? Yes, I was in the military. I even had my name on my shirt.
37. Last thing you bought at a pharmacy? Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula
38. Ever throw up in public? If 'public' includes immediate family members, yes.
39. Would you prefer being a millionaire or find true love? I'm done being a romantic. Give me the money.
40. Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes. But give me the money anyway.
41. Ever call a 1-900 number? No.
42. Can ex's be friends? Some, yes. Many, no.
43. Who was the last person you visited in a Hospital? My girlfriend's stepdad.
44. Did you have a lot of hair when you were a baby Um...as opposed to what or when?
45. What message is on your answering machine? Hi! You probably know what to do right now, and if you don't, you should probably just hang up.
46. What's your all time favorite Saturday Night Live Character? If we're talking performer, that would be Chevy Chase. If we're talking recurring character, that would about have to be Mr. Robinson.
47. What was the name of your first pet? We had a lab when I was two, I think he was called 'Blackie'.
48. What is in your purse? Um, no.
49. Favorite thing to do before bedtime? You really don't want to know that.
50. What is one thing you are grateful for today? Happy kitties.

posted by Tacoshop | 12:41 AM

Friday, October 18, 2002  

189. Truth Hates Delay.

I have added several links at the bottom of my page here, where my blogroll used to be. I lifted them directly from the Google archive page of Arts and Letters Daily, which until it's demise on the sixth, was the best e-zine ever. I started following aldaily almost immediately after it's launch, several years ago. Over time, the creator of the site sold to the publishing house that ran Lingua Franca and they declared bankruptcy earlier this year.

I used these links often, and I missed having them within easy reach at aldaily, so I've placed most of them here for all of our continued enjoyment. If a future owner of aldaily.com restarts the great service that it has been in the past, I will likely remove them.

posted by Tacoshop | 2:33 AM

188. ...

Remember my bit about asbestos and Scooby-Doo? It turns out that back in the day, it was popular for theatres (as opposed to cinemas) advertised the use of asbestos in their halls as a safety precaution. Essentially, that big curtain (or one behind it) that raises before every performance is called a fire curtain. Deep in the recesses of my brain I knew that, and it only clicked into place when I found out that these fire curtains used to be made of asbestos. If a fire happened onstage, the curtain could be immediately dropped to protect the audience while they evacuated.

posted by Tacoshop | 2:05 AM

Tuesday, October 15, 2002  

187. Tuesday Too.

1.) I know we've been here before, but perhaps you got a different one now. What's your "must see" movie, and why should I see it?

Well, I know you've now seen The Third Man since you mentioned it to me at some point. I guess a must see movie would be Network if you've not seen that one.

2.) What have you been procrastinating on, that you've just got to do, or finish up?

Life, in general or in part.

3.) Are you wondering, what in the world is happening? Are you afraid to pump gas? Do you think the US media has focused too much on the Maryland sniper? Why, or why not?

No. No. I think that the people in Australia do, as they are dealing with their own terror tragedy and they aren't getting the reciprocity in our press that theirs gave September 11th. Wouldn't it be interesting if the shooter terrorizing the middle eastern seaboard of the US is of Middle Eastern decent, using our famously lax gun laws against us? I stopped being afraid of terrorism in Frankfurt. They're either going to get you, or they aren't. There are things you can do to minimize the risks you face on a daily basis, but they can only go so far if you're going to continue operating in modern society. The problem with terrorism of any stripe, is that Joe Average has a rough time rationalizing the death of their loved one when ultimately someone had something to do with it, whether it be pull the trigger of an assault rifle, fly a plane into a building, or (for the self-defeating anti-war crowd that makes a big deal of equating war with terrorism) drops a bomb from eight miles high. It seems that, in the public eye at least, it is easier to deal with the death of a loved one if they died climbing Mt. Rainier or of cancer or by falling off a boat into the frigid waters of Puget Sound. The key is to treat all these events the same. You can control an earthquake as much as you can a crazy man with a rifle from eight hundred meters.

posted by Tacoshop | 11:46 PM

Wednesday, October 09, 2002  

186. Final Serenity, Slightly Melodramatic.

Somewhere, there is a river that snakes through a valley between two far-off mountain ranges. The river runs through the woods and through lush green fields and through a number of towns and small cities. Somewhere along the way is a road that runs along the river. Even today, it is a quiet and serene road with a number of houses and tree nurseries that spring up here and there along the opposite side from the river.

At this point in the river, the fishermen come. They park their trucks along the side of the road and carry their rods, tackle and beer down to the river's edge and spend the day alone.

At some point along this road, at a part that isn't houses, nurseries, fishermen or long-closed and covered landfill -- a sign of the remoteness, despite being an easy drive for four million people -- is a patch of woods with a creek running through it. In that patch of woods are a group of people -- young men mostly -- searching. They have dogs and trackers and rakes, and they're all trying to find the elusive signs of what they seek, which has been lost to the world for nigh on twenty years.

At the landfill itself are a group of vehicles -- mostly the ones the searchers came in. There are other vehicles too. There are buses and recreational vehicles (that will never be used for recreation) and trucks with trailers and people with radios and there is one very quiet man in the middle of all this organizational chaos. He is, by the nature of what he does, why everyone else is there.

Everyone calls him 'Captain', but he seems to hate that. He'd rather be called by his given name, but he does not protest too much, as such are the vagaries of rank, promotion and a life given to serving the public. He's been searching for the things the people in the woods are now looking for for two decades, and the wear is apparent. His eyes are bright and sharp, but they appear haunted. He is slightly bowed. And he is unsurprised by anything.

Those people in the woods still search, many -- most of them whose mothers are contemporaries of the women they search the woods for. The people living near there have seen this before, if they've lived there for some time. Many of them are quieted and rattled by it, I'm sure. The fishermen fish. And the man still waits.

posted by Tacoshop | 3:01 PM