Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Rant In The Time Of Cholera, Sarah Palin As National Resource

William Schulz

''It may be a blessing in disguise. ... Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. Haitians were originally under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal. Ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other.''  — Pat Robertson
2011 is looking to be a rowdy and contentious year, with people, political parties, and countries gearing up for a fight. Compassion and understanding may have to take a back seat and join me in a few drinking games designed to turn tragedies into humor and entertainment. Some things defy transformation, though, and the cholera deaths keep increasing in Haiti. The US is responsible for introducing the disease onto the island, we know how to stop it, and we have the medicine to help the people infected, yet we sit on our butts and talk about how all of the countries that promised humanitarian aid did not pony up and follow through on their promises... We may not be worried about cholera here in the US, but flu season has taken hold and is spreading. The Center for Disease Control said that reports have come in from New York, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Virginia.

"According to a new U.N. report, the global warming outlook is much worse than originally predicted. Which is pretty bad when they originally predicted it would destroy the planet." -- Jay Leno
More intense weather patterns are expected to continue, all over the globe. We have strong winter blizzards, which cause strong rains below the equator, and countries like Australia have problems from rains and flooding, affecting over 200,000 people in Northern Australia... The droughts and long times without rain that affected Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Russia, killed off a lot of agriculture. That trend will continue, made worse from devastating wildfires in Russia and Eastern Europe. At the same time that crops are dying from lack of rain, the monsoon season takes place in Southeast Asia. Last year they caused drowned crops in Vietnam and China, while flooding about 1/3 of Pakistan. The same area in Pakistan is vulnerable this year, because little has been done to fix levies and dikes when you are being forced to fight the Taliban... By the way, the US and the Taliban in many areas were the only sources of food and aid. The weren't working side by side, but let each other deliver help without hindering them...

As long as the US and NATO is shoveling billions of dollars into Afghanistan, there will be conflict. As long as companies can have million dollar contracts without any oversight, they can just pocket the money and never have to provide their services. There are very few projects that ever finish, and fewer of those that are of any practical help to the villagers and citizens of Afghanistan. We might as well forget about shooting and killing people, just continue to take bags of cash and distribute them to every village. It would be fairer than giving large amounts to the government , which allows members of Parliament and their relatives to buy houses in Dubai, send their children to live there, while they only come back to Afghanistan for work. We have sent more pork to Afghanistan, and Iraq before that, than all combined earmarks for all 50 states. And the Taliban find a way to get their share, millions of dollars have gone to the leadership, enough so that they have their homes in Pakistan and don't have to fight anymore, content to let the younger, fresher, and more extreme younger men do all of the dirty work.

No offense, but it is hard to justify to soldier's families why their children died. That is, if they want a set of ideals to fight for. We have built up the most efficient, technologically advanced military, made up of career professionals, who are OK with fighting because that's what they do. In other words, we have the largest mercenary armed forces on the planet, who don't need any trumped up patriotic excuse, and we have developed a huge support system for them. Well, the support system is there because we had to embarrass the Pentagon into creating it, pretending that they cared for soldiers once they returned from battle... Unfortunately, it's a system that abuses our soldiers, constantly sending them back into battle until many of them snap from the stress, or the stress causes irreversible changes and they are damaged for life, one big reason that we have the highest rate of suicides in soldiers who came back after repeated tours of duty...

"Sarah Palin says she wants limited government. Does she mean fewer elected officials or more officials who resign in the middle of their terms? I think limited government will be perfect for her limited abilities." –David Letterman
If we really want to make the Afghan war end, we need to put Sarah Palin in charge of the troops. She'll have us out in 21/2 years... In fact, we could use Sarah like a national resource, to resolve many pressing problems. We could rent her out, say, put her in charge of the Iranian nuclear program, it'll be ruined in 21/2 years. Or, we send her to North Korea, where she'll be able to see China from her house. She could bring the whole family, Bristol could show the troops how to ballroom dance... I think she would be more successful than Hilary in these cases. If nothing else, it would get her out of the country and have her experience other viewpoints than those from rural Alaska...

"Well, here's more big news going on in Iran. You folks been following the Iranian elections? Well, here it is. It's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his opponent, Mir Hussein Moussavi. And they had one of those friendly bets. If Ahmadinejad wins the election, he gets a crate of figs, see. If Moussavi wins the election, he gets brutally slain." --David Letterman
Iran will use the coming year to see if it can successfully put everyone who ran against Ahmadinejad in the last election into prison. It's a Muslim tradition, evidently. The charges will be trumped up, after all, how can you prove or disprove that someone has been fighting against God? Or is a traitor to Islam? The  judicial branch is leaking the charges and their intended actions to see how much public protest there will be. Then, with the Grand Ayatollah acting out the part of Vladimir Putin, they will be put on trial with a guilty verdict as a planned outcome, not any better or worse than what could happen in Russia, right?

"The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying, 'Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling, 'You want a piece of me?'" —Robin Williams
2011 will be listed as one of the worst years for human rights, with abuses from Russia to Iran, Africa to the US. The US sets a poor example to the world by not investigating Senator John Ensign for ethics violations, for trying to arrest and jail Julian Assange, a native of Australia, and keeping a Presidential Assassination list, which no reporter seems to have asked Obama why he, of all people, keeps one...


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