Saturday, March 29, 2008

Stop Loss, Part Deux: Army of Rubes

You're probably aware that words like "honor," "duty," & "integrity" have been dragged through the mud & stripped of all meaning by the American military, much as their civilian counterparts in the forces of fascist repression have removed all meaning from, among others, words like "liberty" & "freedom." A particular example would be as described in an L. A. Times marketing review of the new Paramount flick Stop-Loss (Yes, we typed "marketing review." We don't know what else to call it. Look for yourself.):
the stop-loss military provision that can legally re-conscript combat veterans -- even against their wills -- creating what has been decried as a "back-door draft."
(We think there's something else of a "back-door" nature there. Ouch!) Unlike real wars, WWII for example, where enlistments or conscription were "for the duration," the "professionals" of the American armed services currently enlist for a fixed term. Just one little problem: If it is decided that a soldier or Marine is somehow better at ground pounding, baby bayoneting, or interrogating insurgents, he or she can be kept in the service by means of the "stop-loss" provision in the enlistment contract. How much honor do you think was involved in the recruiter's explanation of the enlistment papers? Even subtler, though perhaps not quite as dishonorable, is the old "you'll be able to get a really good job when you get out, 'cause the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines will train you for something," schtick they pull on the yout'. Don't believe a word of that either. From the L. A. Times of the day after the above Stop-Loss marketing story. Bear in mind that this is the VFW talking, not the Hippie-Dippie Peacenik Association:
Daniel M. Ortiz, department service director of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., says the military misleads young recruits into believing that a stint in the armed forces turns them into attractive job candidates. "I don't put it past our military to spin stories that soldiers will get the best training and, when they get out, they'll have the world at their feet," said Ortiz, a veteran of the first Gulf War. "It is a false promise." The transitional assistance program run by the Department of Defense is insufficient, Ortiz said. And when veterans get intimidated by the lack of job opportunities, many give up on finding civilian work and reenlist, he said. Discouraged by an unsuccessful job search, with no gas money to go to interviews or college, Fabian Serrano, 27, of Riverside County, said he was tempted to rejoin the Marines. He doubts he will ever find his ideal job as a cartoon designer, or any other worthwhile post. And with a wife, parents and younger brother to support, Serrano said he can't take a minimum-wage position and hope for a promotion later. A fellow Marine persuaded the sergeant, who served in Iraq and is now in the Reserve, to attend his first job fair. But Serrano had no resume -- only a high school diploma and nearly a decade of experience shooting cannons and working as a military policeman. "I have no good sense of direction of where to start and where to go. None of my experience transfers," he said. "There's nothing out here for me, so I might as well go back to active duty and stay there."
So assuming you weren't stop-lossed from getting out in the first place, you're screwed if you can get out, & may end up re-upping, Never forget that words like "duty," "honor," "patriotism," "integrity," & so on are w/o meaning. They are used merely to cause knee-jerk reactions in the naive & trusting (or just plain stupid) so they'll follow orders & die for this country, even though this country won't educate them or provide jobs that would give them something worth defending. Noble warriors, our ass! Suckers, every last one. An Army of Rubes, as it were.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hopes Up (For an End to the World, That Is)

No, we've not turned into a sappy optimist. But this story put some pep in our step, hope in our heart, & our finger in our nose. Burn, baby, burn.
[T]he experiment might create globe-gobbling black holes or never-before-seen strains of matter that would destroy the planet.
Hope springs eternal. The waiting is the most difficult aspect.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Just to Be Disgusting, Or: Sex Sells

From the AP, via MSNBC.com:
Boyfriend in toilet case accused of exposure He's arrested after allegedly exposing himself to girls Updated 2:01 p.m. PT, Thurs., March 27, 2008 NESS CITY, Kansas - A man whose girlfriend sat on a toilet for so long that the seat adhered to her body has been arrested in a separate case. Kory McFarren was arrested Sunday for alleged lewd and lascivious behavior, police said. He allegedly exposed himself to a neighbor's teenage daughter and her friends. He spent the night in jail before posting bond. No charges had been filed by Thursday. The 36-year-old McFarren could not be reached for comment. He was charged last week with a misdemeanor count of mistreatment of a dependent adult. That was after his girlfriend was found stuck to the toilet in late February.
What a species we are.

Emo: "Fucking Bullshit" per Mexican TV Host

Hey, where was this intartubes crap when we were young energetic punks? Maybe we could have destroyed the world, or at least musical culture. Look at Punknews.org. (They have the Mexican emo story.) Or even SoCalList.com. We wouldn't have had to get that L. A. Weekly ink smeared all over our hands to find gigs worth attending. Still doesn't make us want to leave the house we no longer live in though.

Note to Self

The sprinklers in the park where we're sleeping go off every other night just before midnight, for about five minutes. Don't be caught again.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We Told Him to Hang On

Below: Widmark w/ The Late Great Duke in The Alamo. Not a veritable barking dog, but not one of his (or The Duke's) greatest, either. Photo added 27 March 2008 @ 1300.
One of the all-time psychos (well, portrayers thereof; Robert Ryan was another) Richard Widmark, has decided not to take our birthday advice & stick around any longer, but shuffled off this mortal coil Monday. His premier screen exposure in Kiss of Death has been giving people the creeps for 61 yrs., and once he got past the psycho parts he turned out to be a fine all around actor as well. The Bedford Incidentremains a personal favorite of Just Another Blog™, & is well worth a peep in these days of madness & war-mongering. Here's the H'ywd. Reporter poop, w/ footage of the famed wheelchair scene from Kiss of Death. (Asswipes cut it before the giggle, though.)

Good job all around Richard. You won't really be missed, as we''ll always have your representations to amuse us.

Dodging the Bullets

Below: Not-Sen. Clinton & Sen. McSame. Talk about fun!
(Photo: Spencer Weiner/L. A. Times)
Time is short & we must e-mail the head-candler, but in all the fuss about Sen. Clinton & her time in Bosnia, we think the real question that should be asked is: "How the fuck does merely being under fire make any one a foreign policy expert?" Why does Sen. McBush's being shot down & allowing himself to be captured make him a national security expert? Why does the service of either of these two on the Senate Armed Services Committee make them anything more than pork-barrellers (or earmarkers, if you wanna get all 21st century)? By this criteria, anyone who's been shot at on an L. A. freeway should automatically be the next California Highway Patrol Commissioner.

Why is our foreign policy continually considered only in terms of bellicosity? Oh, right, highest murder rate of any developed nation, etc. Kill for Peace, or Peace Through Strength, or something.

Racist Trash

Every Tuesday is trash day somewhere; at the Los Angeles Times (& most other major metropolitan dailies) it's virtually every day, but Tuesday is toxic stupidity trash day, as the Times rolls out to the curb a can containing one Jonah Goldberg, ignoramus nonpareil. Yesterday's load, as usual, is barely worth the effort (the usual crude attempts to sweep issues of racial discrimination against non-white people under the rug) but there was one extra special note of idiocy we thought deserved mention.
Who is Janet Murguia? Oh, she's just the president of a group called the National Council of La Raza, which -- despite what they'll tell you -- means "the race."
We don't know "what they'll tell you" (& if Jonah knows he doesn't bother to tell us either) but it is the impression of Just Another Blog™ that "La Raza," in this case, refers to the fact that many or most of the people known as "Latino" or "Hispanic" in this hemisphere are, to varying degrees, descended from all three major breeding groups that compose the single "human" race, that is, the people from Asia who got here first, the Europeans who decided they should be running things & the Afrikan people who so kindly swam here under their own power & offered themselves & all their descendants for all eternity to help the Euros build things up in exchange for room & board, & maybe one of Massa's old shirts every couple of yrs. So there, Mr. Jonah Goldberg. One race, the human one, recombining here in the New World. The very "tea-colored world" that strikes fear in dedicated whitey-lovers all over. Not as much chance for advancement by nepotism in that new world, is there, Mrs. (Lucianne) Goldberg's son? The rest of the paragraph:
In fact, doesn't it seem like the majority of people begging for a "new conversation" on race are the same folks who shout "racist!" at anyone who disagrees with them?
In fact, doesn't it seem that most people who cry "Class Warfare!" when confronted w/ the facts of surplus labor, economic inequality & the shrinking of the middle-class are indeed those committing the class warfare against the classes underneath them on the economic ladder? Final Note: Fish wrapping version of the Times entitles the piece:
When haven't we talked about race?
While were one to go on-line, one would see:
A race conversation? What are you talking about? Judging by the reaction to Obama's speech, you'd think Americans had never uttered a word about race.
We're well aware that column titles are usually written by the op-ed editor at whichever paper (as columnists love to screech when called on an especially offensive title) but why/what's the diff here? Separate editors for cage-lining & web-viewing? Or...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Annals of Euphemism

From yesterday's West Coast fish-wrapper & today's East Coast cage-liner, we see that our boys & girls who've died in vain on the other side of the world (victims of, at the very least, voluntary manslaughter, at the hands of the Bush-Cheney criminal consortium) are now gloriously, poetically known as "The Fallen." NYT today: "Six of the Fallen, in Words They Sent Home" Yesterday's LAT: "Stories of the fallen" "Help, I've fallen & I can't get up! Again. Ever." Wouldn't destroying our Army & Marine Corps in a war of choice qualify as treason, or "aid & comfort to the enemy?" Aren't those impeachable offenses?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Blackwater Worldwide Keeps On Rollin'

As we aren't scared of Blackwater in the least (As if they could even find which park we're sleeping in; it changes every night.) we will refer you all to an article from Mother Jones (the magazine, not Tom's mom) as brought to our attention by lovely reader Sophia L. (Name changed for security purposes.) Looks as if BW is branching out. Remember, Mr. Prince is a hyper-religious nut-job who's convinced that Xtians are being "persecuted" anywhere there's not a Xtian theocracy, & would like to do something about it. An outfit like Greystone may well be able to function w/ virtually no legal checks on it. We doubt Barbados is going to put them out of business, even if they start shooting up any one in a Third World country who refuses to accept Jeezis as her or his personal savior.

Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics

Another bleeding-heart pinko opposed to personal responsibility who wants to steal your hard-earned money & give it all to bums weighs in w/ some "facts" & a story that attempts to tug at your heart strings. Fortunately, as a decent American, you have no heart, & this Marxist crap won't suck you in.
According to the most recent information provided by the Los Angeles Housing Service Assn. (current as of October), about 73,000 homeless people seek shelter or are on the streets on any given night in Los Angeles County. There are fewer than 13,000 shelter beds in the county, so more than 60,000 people live in the streets. Twenty-five percent are part of a homeless family, 15% are under the age of 18, and according to a study by the nonprofit group Shelter Partnership, there are from 3,000 to 4,000 homeless people older than 62 in L.A. County. When considering the causes of homelessness, the following statistics may provide some insight. Seventy-four percent of L.A.'s homeless are disabled in some way; 33% suffer severe mental illness; 35% are physically disabled; 42% struggle with addiction; and 50% are clinically depressed.
Jeez, no wonder we can't find "shelter." This article should have been headlined: "L. A. County to Homeless Low-Lifes: 'Fuck You!'" Hey Doc, a question: What, if any, is the difference between "severe mental illness" & "clinical depression?" Don't be slighting us here at Just Another Blog™. Just because the editor isn't a raving paranoid schizophrenic doesn't mean he's not totally screwed up. Not for much longer though. Here's another stat:
The Los Angeles Coalition to End Poverty and Homelessness [More accurate name for this group: Coalition to Smash Capitalism.] released a document in December that presented the results of a study of homeless mortality in the county from January 2000 through May 2007. This study presented the sobering statistic that the average age of death was 48.
Shee-yit, we're living on borrowed time already.
If a disease emerged that struck hundreds of thousands of people and killed its victims at an average age of 48, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would jump to attention and commit enormous resources to curing it. The National Institutes of Health would grant millions of dollars for research. Scientists who developed effective treatments would rightly be celebrated.
Here we must believe the doctor is being optimistic. Pollyannaish, even. Or naive.