Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sanctions on Iran, seriously?

Hello and welcome to my latest political diatribe.  Today's issue that I have decided to publicly scorn has to do with an article discussing President Obama's desire to see "sanctions" implemented against Iran within weeks.  Well I'm sure he would love to see that, it's not going to happen because we would need to get Russia and China on board before we can implement sanctions and both of those countries rely on Iran for oil.  There is a certain amount of irony that America is often accused of going to war for oil, and yet oil is the reason that Iran is getting away with their shenanigans, but that's an issue for another day.  What I want to know is why are we still considering sanctions?  Have sanctions ever worked?  They didn't work in Iraq, they haven't worked in North Korea, they haven't worked in Cuba, they didn't work in Serbia and the list goes on.  Why are we still wasting time and energy pursuing a policy that has no possibility of achieving anything?  I know the main argument for sanctions is that it is preferable to war.  Well is it really?  Who suffers when sanctions are implemented against a country?  It's not the leadership, there's always somebody out there who is willing to deal with the rich.  The only people who sanctions affect are the poor.  Kim Jung Il is still drinking his cognac despite the UN sanctions prohibiting it.  Does anybody really believe that Iran is going to stop its nuclear program based on the threat of "sanctions?"  What's really sad is that the Iranian people are obviously dissatisfied with their government given the recent demonstrations in that country.  What did the US do when those people were protesting against their tyrannical government?  Where were we?  There are only two options left to us: we can do nothing (this option includes sanctions since it amounts to the same thing) and let Iran develop nuclear weapons, and anyone who doesn't believe that this is Iran's ultimate goal is simply not paying attention, or we can take out Iran's nuclear facilities.  I'm not advocating war with Iran.  Israel bombed Syria's nuclear facilities a couple of years ago and it didn't start WW III.  There are those that would argue that this would be an act or war and maybe it would be, but let's examine Iran's actions towards the US.  Iran has supplied and continues to supply insurgent groups in Iraq with weaponry that is used, with Iran's tacit approval, against US forces (which is an act of war by the way).  Iran provide financial and logistical support to known terrorist organizations who are bent on the destruction of not only Israel, but the United States as well.  Iran provides asylum to radical Islamic groups such as the Badr brigade that have participated in attacks against US forces.  The Iranian government has long considered the US to be the great Satan and views the US, not Israel as its primary enemy.  So I have a hard time understanding a) why we even consider letting Iran get their hands on nuclear weapons, and b) why we're squeamish about taking these sites out.  We're not talking about invading Iran or attacking a civilian population, we're talking about bombing sites we're a hostile government is producing weapons of mass destruction.  So if we want to pass sanctions against Iran in the hopes that it will see the light, forgo it's nuclear program and become a productive member of the global community by all means go ahead, but don't hold your breath.

The Blog is Back

It has been about two years since my last entry and I had pretty much given up on blogging.  However I have recently found myself growing increasingly frustrated with the direction the country is taking.  I just finished reading a news story about President Obama stating that the core of the tea party movement was fundamentally opposed to him because they didn't believe he was eligible to be president, which was a not so subtle reference to the "birther" movement.  It wasn't the article that prompted me to revive the blog.  Following the story readers were able to post comments and it was the amount of hateful things that both side would say about each other that got me upset.  Ninety percent of the comments posted didn't even attempt to make a rational argument supporting their particular point of view, they were just slinging insults against republicans, democrats, Bush, Obama and the other commenters.  I would like to know how we got to this point?  I realize people get fired up about politics and I'm all for passionate debate, but why can't we debate our point of view and respect those who may not feel the same way.  I also realize that the Internet gives us a sense of anonymity that emboldens some cowards to make statements that they would never make in a face to face setting.  I think that it's sad that these people don't realize that both parties have long since stopped representing the American people.  Our country is on the wrong track and slinging insults at each other won't fix anything.  There were a great deal of comments directed at the tea party movement calling them unpatriotic or a referring to them as a bunch of nuts.  I support the tea part movement inasmuch as it's a group of citizens who don't like whats going on in our country and want to see some changes.  I don't necessarily agree with their positions on every issue and quite frankly there are some nuts out there, but in a country where less than half of the eligible population turns out to vote for their leader, any indication of a widespread interest in making the country a better place is a positive thing.  So the question you may be asking at this point is "Well who is to blame for the current state of things?" Well I think that both political parties are to blame, they are so concerned about scoring political points or damaging the other party they can't be bothered with mere details such as governing a country.  A couple of years ago Apple computers was in a slump and Steve Jobs took a salary of one dollar a year until things turned around.  Lee Iaccoca did a similar thing with Chrysler.  I think it would be a good gesture to the American people if congress were to forgo their salary until this economic mess that they have been instrumental in creating is over.  They are certainly eager to implement restrictions and penalties on corporations who they feel are deserving of a bailout, but who implements restrictions on congress?  However it's not just congress to blame; the American people who's apathy towards their country allow incompetent people to be elected and re-elected share in the blame.  People without the self-discipline to not take out a home loan they can't afford just because the bank is willing to lend it to them share in the blame.  America needs to wake up, they need to elect leaders who are willing to work for the people, who understand that government service is, in fact, service.  America needs to be willing to get rid of those who are not doing the job that they have been sent to do.  There is no excuse for members of congress missing votes, if they're missing votes who's representing the people who elected them?  Congress needs to be accessible to the people or they lose touch with the people.  There are real solutions that can fix our country, but we need to work together and not against each other.  I recently read a book by Orson Scott Card called "Empire" it's about a modern day civil war in the United States, but the division this time wasn't geographic it was ideological.  The right versus the left.  At the time I thought it was an interesting book, but kind of far-fetched.  Now I'm not so sure, there is a lot of hate out there and I am afraid to think of where we'll end up if we continue on this path.  We'll I've rambled long enough.  I doubt anybody but Lucy will even read this, but as I told her earlier I have to start somewhere.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

On Turning 30

Hello and welcome back gentle readers to another exciting installment of "Are We There Yet?" Today's topic is one that is near and dear to my heart. A couple of months ago I turned thirty which officially makes me old. The irony here is that in order to mentally prepare myself for turning thirty, I've been telling myself that I was thirty for the past three years. This strategy did very little to soften the blow of actually turning thirty for real. Now I don't really believe myself to be that old, but it did make me take stock of my life and compare where I was at with where I wanted to be at this point in my life. I had grown up naturally assuming that by the time I was thirty I would be a multi-millionaire. Sadly this has not yet happened. Instead I find myself in the army among the enlisted ranks and still in school (another thing I didn't think I would still be doing) and getting ready to undertake a major career change. Don't get me wrong I'm happy with my life for the most part; I have a wonderful family, I've travelled the world (although usually not to the good places), I've gotten to do some really cool things professionally which has been exciting. Anyway I have tread down the path of self-pity for long enough I think. So until next time, adieu.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Support Our Troops

Hello and welcome back to another installment of Are We There Yet? I recently returned from a deployment just before Christmas and therefore needed to scramble around in order to get my Christmas shopping done. It was December 22nd and I was heading to store to finish up my shopping. The parking lot was quite congested (as parking lots often are this time of year), and I found myself in a line of cars waiting to merge turn onto the road that runs in front of the stores. The cars on that road would let a car out and then go and the car behind would do the same thing. This system seemed to be working effectively until my turn came. The person who was supposed to let me out was an older woman and she was riding the bumper of the car in front of her and was making it a point to not notice me waiting there to get out. I was sorely tempted to employ my new driving skills that I had developed on my last deployment and pull in between her and the other car, but it was Christmas and I abstained. As the grinchy woman passed by I noticed she had a big yellow support our troops ribbon magnet on the back of her car. Now I doubt the woman knew I was one of the troops that her magnet proclaimed her support for, it would be hard to notice the haircut and the DOD tags on my car when she was making it a point to look in the other direction, but the moral of the story is that you never know who you're cutting off so don't do it. If you're that lady who cut me off and you're reading this, you should be ashamed of yourself and riddled with guilt for what you have done. Tsk Tsk. If you're not that lady, but are inclined to exhibit similar behavior from time to time you had better not do it to me or I will call you out on my blog and you will feel silly. Until next time I bid you all farewell.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Commute

Shortly before going on my last work assignment, my family and I decided to move from the base where we were living to a fairly distant location. I have now returned and am faced with a commute that ranges from an hour and fifteen minutes to two hours each way depending on traffic. My wife tried to make the journey easier with a bunch of Christmas gifts for my car such as a steering wheel cover, Ipod adapter for the car, seat cushion, etc. Having made the commute for a couple of days now I've come to realize it is the only part of my day that I have to myself. While I'm not a fan of getting up at 0430 in the morning to make it in to work by 0630 (or really 0615, because in the army if you're not early, you're late) the commute provides me with time to think. This morning I reflected back to an idea I had while deployed to Iraq a couple of years ago. I had watched a Seinfeld episode where George had pretended to be handicapped and got a rascal and was chased by a group of old people with rascals. I thought that the army should consider standing up an entire brigade comprised of older people and outfit them with armored rascals. They would be a formidable force bearing down on the enemy and yelling for the enemy to get off their lawns. While this may sound silly at first, it is certainly no more silly than the CIA trying to slip Castro exploding cigars during the 1960s. Somebody over there must have been a big Looney Tunes fan. Anyway that's all for tonight, tune in next time for another exciting installment.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Greetings, this is my first attempt at blogging although I have been a contributor to several blogs in the past. With the new year and all I thought I would try something new and give blogging a shot. I suppose I should explain the reason behind the name of my blog. My wife, Lucy, has a blog that is called Finding Joy in the Journey. As far as blogs go its pretty nice with pictures, music and whatnot. However I feel that her blog mainly tells her point of view on different events in our lives. So in order to keep things fair and balanced (just like Fox News) I have decided on the creation of this blog so I have an outlet to tell my side of the story. Enjoy.