Violent Unrest Abroad…If Only There Was A Candidate With Foreign Policy Experience…

walter-2.jpg Civilizer

Well, it took them a few tries, but the despicable viruses which infect Southwest Asia have killed Benazir Bhutto.  The aftermath already looks ugly…Nawaz Sharif has already announced that his party will boycott the scheduled January 8 election.  The general population has erupted into fiery riots.  And there will almost certainly be links uncovered in the coming days and weeks between the assassination plot and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence; if not the ISI directly, then one of the other numerous paramilitary entities within Pakistan corrupted by Islamofascists and their sympathizers.  

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About two weeks ago, of course, Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf lifted his state of emergency decree; already there has been a bloody political catastrophe.  He now has a pretext with which to say, effectively, “See?  I told you martial law was the only thing keeping this country from chaos.”  All this will make for a dicey relationship with the American government – we need Pakistan in the war on terror, but how long can you maintain close ties, including billions of dollars in aid, with a government so characterized by murder and skullduggery before doing so becomes untenable?

The Bhutto assassination only underscores the highly volatile state of international politics today.  Not long ago, the media was reporting that December 2007 is shaping up to be the safest month for U.S. armed forces in Iraq in 3 years in terms of the casualty rate.  Just days ago, the story was that Baghdad residents are freely leaving their homes to perform that universal act of normalcy – shop.  And now, on a dime, what was a guardedly optimistic picture of the Middle East has been blotted out entirely by the conflagration in Pakistan.  Is it just me, or is the planet just a collection of powder kegs waiting to blow at any given time?  Once we get Pakistan sorted out, that ought to be Algeria’s cue.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not ask a wannabe right-wing nutbag whose primary experience with Pakistanis is a cab driver crackdown to handle a complicated, nuanced situation like this.  Nor do I want to trust a duplicituous carpetbagger who touts a White House résumé on which a security clearance and attendance at National Security Council meetings are glaringly absent

 No, I think I’d feel better electing a guy who presently holds the position of Chairman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and who actually talks to Musharraf  directly on the goddamn telephone when the other candidates talk at him through press releases and stump speeches that the Pakistani president doesn’t even listen to.  A guy who has actually been in the room, leading the process, while binding government policy is crafted when the other candidates are just putting bullet points together with their “teams” and floating said bullet points by two dozen people in a New Hampshire coffee shop.  Yeah…if only there was a candidate like that…

Merry Christmas To All

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“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch of their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.'” (Luke 2: 8-11)

Mike Huckabee Is All About Inclusive Leadership

walter-2.jpg Civilizer

The Huckster’s big surge in Corntown might have found it’s D’oh! moment, thanks to the Associated Press and The Politico.com.  The AP got its mitts on a questionnaire that the Chuck Norris-approved Republican candidate filled out for them in 1992 whilst running for the Senate.  Here are the highlights:

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“Isn’t this great, Mike?  Just a couple of straight Christian men, standing real close to each other, strummin’ gee-tars…say, a little off-topic here, but do you like movies about gladiators?”

J “I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.”

J “In light of the extraordinary funds already being given for AIDS research, it does not seem that additional federal spending can be justified.  An alternative would be to request that multimillionaire celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna and others who are pushing for more AIDS funding be encouraged to give out of their own personal treasuries increased amounts for AIDS research.” 

J “If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague…. It is difficult to understand the public policy towards AIDS. It is the first time in the history of civilization in which the carriers of a genuine plague have not been isolated from the general population, and in which this deadly disease for which there is no cure is being treated as a civil rights issue instead of the true health crisis it represents.” (Quarantine!)

Huckabee has responded by saying “If I were making those same comments today, I might make them a little differently, but obviously I have to stand by what I said.”  So now the question is:  can Smilin’ Mike hold his breath long enough for this story to go away, or does he renounce his comments for the sake of electability (and hell, basic common sense) but infuriate his base?  Don’t be surprised if he somehow pulls this off – after all, he DID clarify his views on evolution with considerable aplomb: There is no theory of evolution. Only a list of animals Chuck Norris allows to live.

Cheer Up Cheney, World War III Might Happen After All: Quote Of The Day

From an op-ed by Valerie Lincy of Iranwatch.org and Gary Milhollin of the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, in today’s New York Times:

“During the past year, a period when Iran’s weapons program was supposedly halted, the government has been busy installing some 3,000 gas centrifuges at its plant at Natanz. These machines could, if operated continuously for about a year, create enough enriched uranium to provide fuel for a bomb. In addition, they have no plausible purpose in Iran’s civilian nuclear effort. All of Iran’s needs for enriched uranium for its energy programs are covered by a contract with Russia.

Iran is also building a heavy water reactor at its research center at Arak. This reactor is ideal for producing plutonium for nuclear bombs, but is of little use in an energy program like Iran’s, which does not use plutonium for reactor fuel. India, Israel and Pakistan have all built similar reactors — all with the purpose of fueling nuclear weapons. And why, by the way, does Iran even want a nuclear energy program, when it is sitting on an enormous pool of oil that is now skyrocketing in value? And why is Iran developing long-range Shahab missiles, which make no military sense without nuclear warheads to put on them?”

Today’s GOP: Missing The Middle By A Mile

 walter-2.jpg Civilizer

So before, Republican voters had to choose between a philandering, pro-abortion Yankee who may be, clinically, batshit insane and a guy who believes that the Garden of Eden was originally located in Jackson County, Missouri.  And now they’ve got a third option, a very nice man who always has a folksy, somewhat morbid quip at the ready, and who thinks the Book of Genesis actually happened.   

 Good luck in the general election guys!

Happy Birthday Ozzy!!

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Ozzy Osbourne: Born – December 3, 1948. Dead – NEVER!

Here’s Why I Don’t Go To Church Much Anymore

walter-2.jpg Civilizer

Well, looks like we can finally close the case on the Catholic sex-abuse scandals.  After trying out all kinds of innovative ways to deal with the unfortunate prediliction of Catholic priests to, you know, fondle minors – denying that it’s happening, evicting elderly nuns from their convent to save money – it looks like the sagacious leadership over at the New York Archdiocese just struck gold, baby:  no, they’re not publishing a letter asking the Vatican to rethink their position on homosexuality so that the Church might attract normal gay people to the clergy instead of just the closeted pervo ones, and no, they’re not endorsing married or female priests so that the Church might attract more normal people overall.  Instead, they’re rolling out a “Here’s how not to get sodomized” coloring book for kids!

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Sorry kids, we don’t feel like implementing any structural change that might lower your risk of being raped by one of our priests, so you’re on your own!  But before you sign up to be an altar boy, please complete this coloring book…and really try to pay attention to what’s in there, ok?