Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You Will Be Visited By Three Ghosts

I've been avoiding a post about the economy, as I didn't want to put up a rant. But the economy, the relentless Present, fills our minds. My 401k just dropped 10%, who cares if I can't pull money out for 40 years? Gas is 4 dollars a gallon, how am I going to pay to drive my sport ute in and out of the 'burbs every day? How can I somehow get everyone else's money to bail my ass out?

The ghost of the present bears heavily on our shoulders. But, with the election around the corner, that isn't the only ghost that's chosen to visit us.

That dark shadow cast on the earth is the ghost of times past. His name is War, cold and hot, against repressive totalitarian regimes; not disorganized crossdressers like al Qaeda, who can be defeated with porno and blue jeans, but our old adversaries in the former Soviet Union, who are only turned back with heady resolve and American steel. We saw this earlier this year in Georgia, as a progressive Western nation was ripped asunder, while the free world clucked and hissed like old wives. In case you've forgotten, the Russian army is still miles from Tbilisi, and they're digging in for the winter.

Not aggressive enough for you? Well, you wouldn't hear this from the national news, as they dedicate themselves to rifling through Sarah Palin's underwear drawer for scandalous skidmarks, but Russia just sent nuclear bombers to Venezuela. Oh, and they're putting up missile satellite launching facilities in Cuba. Oh, and Russian soldiers are being increasingly decked out with gear bearing the marks of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It'll be a cold night before the sun scares some shadows away.

On the other hand, we do get some reprieve from the ghost of the future; not hollow paeans to hope and change, but genuine enthusiasm and promise. For the first time in man's history, we can now lift a satellite from the earth to the heavens with no government intervention whatsoever.

And what will that satellite share orbit with when it gets there?

A goddamned spacewalking Chinaman, that's what.

Sure, their space program is a cheap knockoff. But if you know the slightest thing about environmentalism, you know the future of the human race doesn't depend on recycling your Red Bulls, or getting your Tahoe hybridized, or throwing up some windmills. It's getting the fuck off of this rock. And with the Chinese in friendly competition, maybe we can get that whole Space Race thing back on track.

Just as soon as I finalize this stock trade, I promise.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Left-Wing Mindset

Lemmings, Fascists, Jackbooted thugs, murderers, brainwashed Red-state cannon fodder for Bushitler.

Progressives for change, free thinkers, true patriots, certainly not brainwashed by messianic propaganda.

Man, this is going to be a wild fall.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

You Are What You Do When It Counts

On November 7, 2007, Hospitalman Joshua Flagg saved the lives of two civilians injured in an IED attack while serving in Iraq. In recognition of this, Hospitalman Flagg recieved the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, more commonly known as the NAM.

I have two NAMs. While I won't tell you what I got the second one for, the first one isn't for anything complicated. My division officer, while performing a routine review of maintenance paperwork, realized he saw my name down for doing an awful lot of work. Looking deeper, he realized that, despite being in a division of 7 men, I was at least partially involved in over half the maintenance. Also, I didn't screw it up, not even a bit. This is a big deal in Reactor Controls Division.

Hospitalman Joshua Flagg and his CO (picture by Michael Totten)

Hospitalman Flagg ran towards an IED attack. When he arrived, ignoring any risk to his own life, he immediately began providing medical care. For all he knew, he could have been treating the terrorists themselves.

I consistently used all the proper electrical safety precautions when performing work on energized equipment with exposed voltages greater than 30VDC, despite the ill fit of the rubber gloves and the general shabbiness of the rubber matting.

Jewcano as a Petty Officer, and his CO

Hospitalman Flagg used his medical skills to stabilize two dying patients, ensuring that they could live and celebrate another day with their families.

I used my troubleshooting skills to ensure that thoroughly outdated electronic equipment reliably guaranteed the safety of a submarine nuclear reactor, ensuring that my boat could put to sea and fight pirates, jellyfish, and Godzilla.

Hospitalman Flagg earned the respect and trust of wary Iraqis by putting his life in harms way to save their own.

I earned the respect and trust of my superiors and shipmates by using "V", "VOLTS" and "VDC" exactly as the paperwork required, saving them from getting racked out to recopy the forms.

The NAM is a curious medal. There are lower medals, but those are the ones you get for continuing to breathe in a specific place or for a specific time, usually without getting in serious trouble. The NAM is the lowest award you can get for doing something of worth that actually gives you something to pin to your chest to impress Mama and the ladies. It is also the only medal that one's Commanding Officer can issue without permission from higher-ups. For this reason, it is often issued when the command feels the action would not be deemed worthy for recognition by outside persons. I would hope no one would ever put Hospitalman Flagg into that category.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just Say No

While everyone's laughing it up over the fact that Barack Obama doesn't understand white people and hillbillies, they miss this simple truth: he doesn't understand Americans. His money quote, if you're not already sick of it:

"But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Sure, it's a bad case of foot-in-mouth syndrome, and like his other gaffes he shows no real indication that it's anything but what he actually believes. But let's translate it another way. "Cling to guns" could just mean "Believe in the 2nd Amendment." "Religion" sounds an awful lot like something I could've sworn was in the 1st Amendment. Obama may call it anti-immigrant sentiment, but everyone else calls it anti-illegal immigration sentiment, aka being against those who blatantly violate state and federal laws, aka criminals. And anti-trade sentiment? Was it those Pennsylvania hillbillies who put the brakes on the Columbia Free Trade Agreement?

What Obama really said was, even when times get tough, the economy gets lousy and jobs are scarce, everyday mainstream Americans are still dedicated to the ideas of maintaining the rights of the people and the limitations of the government. It's not that they feel betrayed that the G-men haven't rappelled in and saved them; it's that they don't think that's the job of government in the first place. And that idea is the Bogeyman to the educated elite, who consider it an affront to their self-acknowledged intelligence that little things like the Constitution should get in the way of what they know is clearly right for the country.

The best thing the Federal government can do for these small towns in trouble is to stop taking so much tax money, and get the hell out of the way so people can work. But that will never, ever emerge from Barack Obama's lips.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Amnesty Means Amnesty...

... according to the DC Police, who starting today are going door to door, politely asking that you give up any self-defense firearms you may have, and let them rifle (!) through your sock drawer looking for hash while they're at it. They really want to go through your children's sock drawers, though. Oh, and anything they find that can be tied to a crime will lead to, uh, charges and arrest. Not much amnesty, that.

Now look, I'm sure they mean well. Very few people try to take away your rights without first convincing themselves that they're really doing you a favor. But let's not sugarcoat this. DC has some nasty unsafe parts, and if you live in them, you should have a gun. Period. If you think that, when that burglar / nutjob /rapist breaks into your house, that that 911 call is going to save you, you're wrong.

But take this in context, too. Thanks to District vs. Heller, Columbians (?) are within weeks of being able to legally defend themselves with firearms again, for the first time in 30 years. Why would the district government suddenly, right now, be in a mad rush to gather up all the guns? Doesn't this seem like really odd timing?

Personal firearm ownership is a distinctly American right. It represents the confidence in the common man to be able to stand up against the tyranny of the mob and the tyrant. Without it we would be just another nation of serfs. I own a gun, certainly not because I want to ever shoot anything, but because I feel it's my responsibility as an able-bodied male of fighting age to do so. And I keep it in Virginia, where it is safe and legal.

When the MPD knock on your door, tell them this: "No, thank you, officer, brave Americans fought and died for me to have my rights, and I think I'll exercise them, thanks. But thank you for keeping us all safe, and have a good evening." Maybe even give them some hot chocolate. But they're drinking it outside.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Oldest Profession For A Reason

Thanks to Eliot Spitzer, the media's ablaze with the subject of prostitution. But most people don't have a clue what they're ranting about.

Is prostitution about an uncontrollable desire for sex? Men are uncontrollable horn-dogs, starved to the point where they'll pay through the nose for the kitty, right? Hardly. There are very, very few cultures in the world where prostitution is even grudgingly accepted and sex out of wedlock (for men, at least) is forbidden or even difficult. The fact is, if you want to bang, there's always someone else out there who wants to bang. It's all a matter of a) how much you're willing to put forth effort towards it, and b) the standards you're willing to apply to your partner. This is why, near any military base, there will be at least one well-known dirty watering hole, whose only real purpose is to match up smelly, tired young single sailors who have neither the cash to woo a real girl nor the private room to bring her back to, with Brunhilda the ham monster, who thoughtfully has already put fresh blankets on the seats of her van in the parking lot.

So, is it about sex with really, really hot chicks? No, not really either. First of all, there's the long record of Hollywood stars, who can already bang hot bimbos at will, paying for sex from rather homely whores. Second, if you actually go down to the Red Light District, you'll see most of the girls, they're not exactly 9's and 10's. Let's face it; a serious knockout can get plenty of men to give them cash and shiny things without a contractual obligation to respond with blowjobs (although that sort of attitude predisposes them to become prostitutes - see below). And most of what you do with an everyday hooker is going to be in the dark, probably while drunk, and whether or not she could model in Vogue is not going to be the subject on your mind.

Then there's the meme that it's all about power. See, men get a thrill from the sex trade because of its denigration of women: he makes a call, she shows up, he shows the cash, she does the business. He owns her. Yeah, OK, no. It's a popular idea because it reinforces the feminist notion that all prostitutes, no matter how willing, are victims of gender slavery, subject to the whims of the stronger sex that keeps them subjugated. My, they're almost as trapped as stay-at-home moms. Look, you need to stop watching blaxploitation films. Read the Pajamas Media artlicle as it tries to defend this - it masterfully contradicts itself. Girls become prostitutes because they want to, not because they have to. They could make a living doing something else, but they don't want to. They like hooking. They generally enjoy sex, and they really like hoodwinking dumb men.

The reality is, it's about attention. Married men aren't running off to corner skanks (or college interns) because they're devolved sex fiends, drunk with the human form, or control freaks. They do it because their wives aren't paying any attention to them. It's not Jack Spratt, whose wife has always domineered him, looking to turn the tables on some unsuspecting floozy. It's Clark Kent, who knows Lois used to worship him in public and in the bedroom, but now only seems to want to talk about how the Parkers down the street refinanced their house to put in a new bathroom. It's not about getting fucked. It's not about getting fucked by a hot 20-year old. It's about getting a hot 20-year old to act like they think you're groovy. Ask any guy: which would you really rather be, Governor of New York, or college football star quarterback? You want to know why? Because hot chicks swoon over quarterbacks, not politicians.

And this is why the girls get into it. Girls a cut above have generally been snookering men to get what they want since they left junior high school. They didn't have to take it up the ass, they could just play with their hair a little, maybe invade personal space a bit, and once they got the concert tickets / diamond earrings / 3rd period math homework they needed, a giggle about being such a good friend and twirl on the heels and they were off to the next sucker. Think about the hottest couple you knew in school; the guy was in it because he got so much face time from a really hot chick, the girl really, really enjoyed her friends seeing her with a good catch. (This is a big part of why even young men sneak around and women almost never do.)

Prostitution, then, is just the distilled version; by pretending to be impressed and interested by the client, sometimes for as little as a few minutes, the hooker gets an immediate cut of cold cash. The highest cost service, almost without fail, is vaginal penetration, not because it is brings more physical joy than a masterfully played rusty trombone, but since its inherent risk of pregnancy lends the illusion of commitment the most sincerity. (Fun fact: if singing karaoke carried the same pseudorandom chance of dramatic, permanent life change as sex, men would pay girls to come up to dirty hotel rooms and belt out Showtunes. Ok, they might masturbate too.)

This is why the kinkier stuff, even if it's devoid of any recognizable sexual content, makes sense. Sure, you can use the power argument for men that pay to be tops. But what about the ones that want to be bottoms? What about the ones that want a handjob from a girl dressed like a panda? What about the ones that want to have belts pulled tight round their necks while hot wax is poured on their nuts? It all boils down (literally, in the last case) to having a girl so willing to please you that she'll go to those lengths. Well, except for the furry stuff; that shit is just wrong.

So is prostitution wrong? I'd still say yes, but probably not for the reasons you'd think. Prostitution still tends to bring the charming halos of drug abuse, assault, child kidnapping and slavery (especially outside the US.) But then again, those are vices of the girls themselves, or between the girls and their pimp/madam, not between the girl and the client, and the enabling factor for such evil behavior is not the sex, but the fact that it is illegal and unregulated. Go to Rotterdam (or even Vegas) and try to pick a fight with a call-girl, and it's not the pimp's enforcers you need to worry about, it's the Long Arm of the Law, which is far, far more effective. Prostitution being illegal, or even stigmatized as immoral, lends more to the actual negative consequences than any amount of paid ATM does.

Really, the biggest downside to prostitution is that it is a youth-limited industry, as much as professional sports, pop singing, and acting. There are no genuine, long term marketable skills involved. Sure, some people get really good or really lucky and can make a career out of it, usually by branching into management and coaching. But for most, as discussed in the Pajamas article, after a while, their physique and their charms fade, and even if they can hit a baseball 300 yards, or cram it in their cooch, no one's interested any more, and their career is over. And any industry where most of the participants are doomend not to stagnation but to abject failure is inherently stupid. Then again, prostitution actually is excellent training for an acting career, although I think it usually works the other way 'round.

Plus, let's face it, the total insincerity of it nullifies the benefit. If the same amount of cash gets the same treatment, regardless of the man involved, then the woman's not really paying any attention at all. In the end, prostitutes really are just for virgins in a mighty hurry to back up their lies.

(Oh, and sailors on shore leave. But let's face it, after a few months at sea they're subhuman anyway, and you should be happy to have any of them boosting the local economy at the brothel, and not out crudely humping your daughter, your wife, or your mailbox.)