Once again, the Bush Doctrine is NOT preemptive war.

It’s fraudulent war.

Now, as a sense of history instead of immediacy is starting to fall over the Bush years, even critics like Rachel Maddow and Peter Beinart still believe that ‘the Bush Doctrine’ was about preemptive war. Beinart:

After 9/11, Bush exploited the fact that the U.S. could not contain and deter a nonstate actor like al Qaeda to revive the right’s old argument against containing and deterring hostile states. “Deterrence,” he told a West Point audience in 2002, “means nothing against shadowy terrorist networks with no nation or citizens to defend. Containment is not possible when unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction can deliver those weapons on missiles or secretly provide them to terrorist allies.”

And even if that’s true, Iraq never had those weapons and they always knew it. I can’t believe Beinart doesn’t think this is an important distinction.

And I was equally flummoxed in 2009 that Rachel Maddow didn’t get it either.

10 Years Ago

  • Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates 
  • Colin Powell tries to do the Adlai at the UN
  • 50 Cent releases Get Rich or Die Tryin 
  • UN weapons inspectors comb Iraq for WMD
  • British intelligence document is revealed as a fake
  • UBL releases a tape urging his followers to fight America… and overthrow Saddam.
  • Dolly the sheep was euthanized
  • Tonya Harding loses a boxing match
  • North Korea fires test missiles into the Pacific
  • Ariel Sharon forms the Israeli government
  • 9th Circuit holds “under God” unconstitutional in school pledges

Broad Strokes.

It’s time to start revising the “first draft of history” with respect to what co-blogger Mr. MacGregor refers to as “the fear years” but which I might call the Age of Fraud.

In broad strokes, the world in the 90s seemed to be transitioning—finally—into one where total war seemed to be a thing of the past and an “Information Superhighway” would bring us closer together. There was a lot of political drama, from the 1994 Republican Revolution through the impeachment of a President, but nothing like the kind of policy disagreements we see now. Between Alan Greenspan and airstrikes, it seemed, everything else was a minor detail.

Huge waves of corporate fraud bookended the Bush years. His election was, in part, thanks to doubts about the economy many had after the spectacular tech bubble burst in early 2000. Shortly thereafter, we found out that Enron, which seemed to be the quintessential Republican company (and it was!) was a house of cards built on a foundation of air. And there were more. There was even more graft with Medicare Part D and huge tax cuts for the wealthy, which, at the end of this period would fuel the other bookend of fraud.

While all of this was going on, of course, the conquistadores in the administration were enabled by 9/11 to embark on a new map of the middle east. By choosing Iraq, they allowed Osama bin Laden to live another 10 years and distracted us from Iran, which, in the meantime, has on and off again actually started producing nuclear weapons technologies and actually sponsoring terrorist attacks against our allies.

In the Bush years we lived in total denial of other important issues such as climate change and healthcare reform—if it weren’t for two movies we might have never talked about these issues the entire time.

More quietly, the anti-government mentality metastasized within the minds of the very people who were running it and this lead, among other causes, to the destruction of a major U.S. city.

Not long after the rejection of all of this failure finally swung control of Congress, people started to take notice of the fact that a toxic combination of low interest rates, a sluggish stock market, and accretion of wealth at the top, thanks in part to Bush’s tax cuts, had begun to create a bubble in real estate, which everyone considered a safe investment. But there was so much speculation. And, of course, the self-hating government provided no oversight.

Thus was the primary piece of wealth of most middle-class Americans destroyed. And the fallout put more Americans that the statistics could measure into unemployment, underemployment, or employment at a reduced wage.

The Baby Boomers had finished shitting on their children and had unleashed a colonic on their grandchildren just in time for them to retire and burden the state welfare system, after doing nothing to keep them in the middle class by making college or healthcare affordable, and, for the most part, putting home ownership out of reach.

And there we stood until the election of the next President, who, now into his second term has not been able to completely unwind all of this, or make progress on things that should have been handled in 2003 not in 2013. America is at least 10 years behind and I don’t think we will ever catch up until there is a complete accounting planted into the public conscience about what transpired in the fraud of war and the fraud of wealth that occurred during these years.

 

Pit Bull Pushback Reminds Me of NRA

There is a movie, there is a book and there are special training groups dedicated to challenging the “stereotypes” about pit bulls. Here’s the blurb for I’m a Good Dog:

Perhaps more than any other breed, the pit bull has been dogged by negative stereotypes. In truth, pit bulls are innately wonderful family pets, as capable of love and good deeds as any other type of dog. Setting the record straight, Ken Foster sings the praises of pit bulls in I’m a Good Dog, a gorgeously illustrated, tenderly written tribute to this most misunderstood of canines.

This is almost certainly false and even at best is entirely misleading. I’m a dog lover, the owner of three dogs of different breeds, and an avid reader on dog training, behavior, and care. I’m far from an expert. So I pose this post mostly in the form of a question, but I’m prepared, more or less, to call bullshit on this.

First, certain breeds of dog are physically capable of inflicting serious damage on humans and some are not. A normal, healthy toddler stands very little chance of suffering maiming or death from a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Even snippier small breeds bred for the purpose of killing small animals can’t inflict much harm on school age children. And while pit bulls aren’t the largest breed, they certainly aren’t small, they have powerful jaws and teeth.

Second, different breeds of dog have different dispositions. There is some wiggle room, of course, within breeds. And if you abuse even the dopiest, friendliest Golden Retriever, it will eventually turn savage. Conversely, a properly treated Akita or Pit Bull will be a good companion as well. There are people who own wolves and wolf-hybrids and successfully tame them as well. But the starting point does vary quite a bit by breed. Labrador Retrievers are much more difficult to lose control of than, say, a Doberman.

It seems to me that an apt comparison might between BB guns and assault rifles. Sure, if everyone who ever owned an AR-15 had 300 hours of training on it and was a sharpshooter, kept it properly locked away, etc. etc. things like Sandy Hook would never happen. Conversely, if someone has a pellet gun and shoots it point plank in a toddler’s eye, that kid could go blind or die.

The problem is the ease of turning an AR-15 into an instrument of mass killing and the difficulty of turning a BB gun into one of even serious harm.

Worse, it is exactly the killing potential of assault rifles that attracts them to the kinds of people that we don’t want to own guns, or, put another way, the kind of people who want to use them for their intended purpose. Similarly, it is the reputation of Pit Bulls as killer dogs meant for dog fights that attract them to the kind of dog owner that is likely to be least responsible with them; the fact that they also allegedly serve as great family pets doesn’t diminish this at all.

I’m not really saying there should be a pit bull “ban.” But don’t whine to me about their being “misunderstood.” Don’t complain when your insurance is higher because you own a dog that can inflict a lot of damage on someone.

 

The Reductio Ad Absurdum Of The WOLVERINES!1!1!!!! fantasy

You’re a trained military officer, also with police training. You have access to some of the most powerful guns you can get, and you have a lot of them. You believe that you are being oppressed by an unjust authority.

You being your reckoning, warning those who hunt you that you will outsmart them, use “asymmetrical” warfare, just like the VC, just like the Wolverines.

But what happens in the end, even with all of that training? Dead in a fire, surrounded by hundreds of even better armed police.

So tell me, how is it that bubba thinks he and his beerbelly keyboard commandoes are going to resist the U.S. Military which makes the game wardens, sheriffs, and SWAT teams that pinned this guy down look like the Polish cavalry?

Dorner had them beat on a couple of occasions but simply failed to execute. He fouled the prop of his getaway boat. He stayed holed up in a cabin too close to where he ditched his truck. In the end, he just wasn’t as sophisticated as all of that military jargon implies to most people.

So, whether you call it a clip or a magazine—this is apparently a shibboleth for the real gun aficionado—you don’t necessary have the ability to resist a tyrannical government. Individuals, even if the Second Amendment does give them the right to bear arms, doesn’t give them the right to own the right kind of weapons to provide any kind of ability to resist state power (nor should it). This is a case that proves that.

I’m not unaware of the danger that presents. This country was very close to changing its course in my lifetime to the point where such resistance, 200 years ago, might have been worth it. But we can’t resist them with guns. Nope. It’s only in the First Amendment that we can really check power and even that is contingent upon people having the time to process fact from frame.

So, you're all like, PROVE IT then!

I said that the drone fnording going on on the left is the kind of politics that sucks, right?

Here’s the numbers. 71% pro/ 20% con. There’s not even a vientisiete against it! Even if the question is Americans, drones have a 10 point lead on average, and a 11 point lead among Democrats.

Drones have more fans than Jesus. And the reason(s) is/are simple, really:

• Cheaper than fighter jets
• No ‘muricans exposed to danger
• Stealthy and small
• At least as precise as other forms of striking

Seriously, folks. If we’re going to make fun of wingers for having Red Dawn fantasies, we shouldn’t have Terminator ones.