Tuesday, June 17, 2014

To Congress and President Obama: No New Wars!

Due to the growing chaos in Iraq, there has been a recent push to re-start the nearly decade-long Iraq War.  While President Obama has explicitly ruled out "boots on the ground", he is still considering airstrikes.  Which will likely accomplish zilch on the ground except for pouring gasoline on a raging inferno.  And then we will still be puzzled as to "why do they hate us"?  SMH.

To Congress and Obama, please stay out of Iraq.  Please don't keep propping up an autocratic regime over there that was actually the root cause for the recent political instability.  And even if we did send in troops, the best it would do is provide temporary relief that will evaporate shortly after leaving.  And clearly the USA is NOT in any position for another decade (or decades) of war.  The time for war is in the past.  Our own country is falling apart.  And if you win the wars at home, there will be no fighting anymore.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Take Back the Flag

Just pointing out that today is Flag Day.  But this blog looks no different today because we display the Stars and Stripes every day.

To all the ignorant fools who burn it, remember what it is that you're really burning, and all those that fought and died for it. Those who consider themselves to be on the political left would be better served by "taking back the Flag" and waving it proudly, so it is not perverted into an ultra-right-wing symbol by the fascists. Make it clear that the government policies you oppose are not in the national interest. And let everyone know that you can just as strongly love this country as you fear its government.  In fact, plenty of true patriots often do feel that way, and as Jefferson once said, "dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

The Flag is not Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, or belonging to any other faction. It is the American Flag, and it belongs to all of us.   Live free or die!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Reflections on the Isla Vista Killings

On May 23, a deeply disturbed young man committed yet another mass killing, resulting in the deaths of seven people (including himself) and injuring thirteen others.  The mass murderer, whose name we refuse to mention so as not to make him famous, stabbed and shot his victims as well as ran some of them over with his car before crashing and then shooting himself.   As the TSAP has done with previous mass killings, let us now reflect on this senseless act of horrific violence and analyze its likely causes.

The 22 year old man who did this has been dubbed the "Virgin Killer" because his motive for doing so was to get revenge against women because he apparently couldn't get laid.  Yes, you read that right, and he most likely never heard of Paging Dr. Nerdlove.  In fact, he wrote a nasty 141-page manifesto detailing his rage and his plans to act on such rage.  While it is easy to dismiss him as just another loony, aberrant, lone-wolf killer, the fact is that he was profoundly influenced by a highly misogynistic culture.  People like him are simply the tip of a very large iceberg of misogyny, as one can see at various "men's rights advocate" (MRA) and "pick-up artist" (PUA) websites (which we refuse to link to, but you can Google) as well as the mainstream media and political culture.  It is very telling indeed that he described his twisted machinations as a "War on Women", a phrase often associated with what many of today's Republican politicians have been doing in terms of rolling back women's reproductive rights (and by extension other rights as well).  He was also apparently very racist as well, and we know how racism and sexism often go together especially in the reich-wing world.  Need we say more?

Thus, while lots of people like to place the blame on guns or mental illness or even video games for this tragedy, it should be painfully obvious that the real root cause of it was patriarchy and the misogyny that inevitably goes with it.  And the reason why people like that as well as various politicians are lashing out so much right now is because patriarchy is currently in self-destruct mode and is on its way out.  Indeed, patriarchy is essentially wetiko writ large, so the sooner it ends, the better.  The futurists all seem to agree on one thing:  the future belongs to women.  And when they finally do take over, they will remember exactly how they were treated, so it really behooves us fellas to clean up our act sooner rather than later.  As John Mellencamp and India Arie would say, if you're not part of the future, get out of the way.

What to Do about Afghanistan?

The other day, Obama announced his plan to leave a residual force of 9800 American troops in Afghanistan after combat operations officially end this December.  That residual force will be cut in half at the end of 2015, and reduced to a negligible level at the end of 2016.  So much for pulling out completely this year.

Though far less than the roughly 100,000 troops at the peak years of 2010-2012, leaving nearly ten thousand troops in Afghanistan after 2014 seems rather pointless.  All that would do is leave our troops in harm's way without actually providing a significant amount of security.  It's better to rip the band-aid off quickly rather than slowly.  We already got Bin Laden and over 80% of the high-ranking Al-Qaeda members years ago, so why are we still there?  Yes, there is indeed a high risk that the Taliban will take over once again, but that will likely happen regardless of whether we pull out now or 10, 20, or 100 years from now.  Thirteen years of war and occupation is more than enough, and indeed it has been America's longest war, even longer than Vietnam.

Let's face it, Afghanistan is basically a lost cause at this point.  Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, the Persians, the British Empire, the Soviet Union, and now the American Empire have all learned the hard way that such a country simply cannot be conquered for long.  So let's make good on our promise to pull out this year.  And when we do so, the TSAP has a great idea to keep the Taliban and other forces of evil at bay, and we are only half-joking about this one.  Upon leaving, our troops should give every Afghan woman an AK-47 or M-16 and tell them to take over their country, and mow down anyone who stands in their way.  And given the deplorable way that women have been treated over there for thousands of years, the powder keg will finally blow.  Of course, the powers that be in the USA would never want to do that, absolutely not.  After all, they wouldn't want women in this country getting any ideas, now would they?