Thursday, August 7, 2008

Our Biggest Ally Thinks We're VERY Stupid!

Poor Bushie! It's Just One More Stupid Thing Made Obvious!

Lest you think that Britain has always sided with the U.S. (via Tony Blair), read a
report from Wikileaks about how Britain was planning the war in 2002, but had to follow the U.S. ideologies instead of the U.N.'s. In other words, they had to wait until the U.S. came up with a plan, then stick to it regardless of whether or not they thought it was sound.

About 1995 B.B. (Before Bush), I was traveling in Vienna, one of the most beautiful -but rude and stuffy- cities in the world. In Die Graben (main shopping street), we talked with a woman who spoke wonderful English. We commented on the arrogance of the Viennese. "How odd," she said, "because we think Americans are TOO outgoing and friendly."

Times have changed since then. Our DIPlomat (sometimes referred to as Mr. President) has seen to it that other countries line up to laugh at us. But that laughter is now accompanied with the voice of frustration: "Can't you Americans do anything right?"

From the Wikileaks article and the UK report itself:
"leaders should not start an operation without is not enough just to identify the desired end-state".

The report reveals that Whitehall had been secretly planning the war during 2002 (!!). In fact, the Blair government was so paranoid about leaks that it kept the pending invasion ("TELIC") secret from even most senior UK military leadership until the end of the year:

"The unrest and violence following the fall of the Saddam Regime were recognised by British Officers in mid-2003 as indicators of insurgent activity, but it took longer for US commanders to accept this, and to take suitable counter-measures."

"Freedom" "Democracy" "Liberty" "Democratic elections" - the only buzzwords (sometimes the only words) to come out of Bush when people realized that there were no WMDs. "Civil War?" "Insurgency?" "Sunni?" "Shiite?" "Abu Graib?" What are those words? Bush: "Dammit, I said Freedom and Democracy - EVERYBODY knows what I'm talking about! And that's all I need to say! I wowed them in Lithuania and Albania with those words!"

Now Bush is finally using the word most foreign to him during the last seven years: diplomacy. He stresses it time and again. But let's face it: he really doesn't care about anything concerning Iraq and Afghanistan.

Those are things the next guy will have to deal with.

McCain and Obama should be taking lessons in diplomacy - right now. If, as President, neither one comes through and nor patches things up with three-quarters of the world's population, then it's all over.


Just a thought.

Some Stupid Americans

Michelle Malkin and Dunkin'
Doughnuts for pulling this ad
because of a scarf

I'd say "Things can't get any worse" But that would make me look stupid.

Religion: It's Not in the Genes - It's in the Germs!

Unique bone chandelier at the Ossuary of the Roman
All Saints Church, Sedlec, Czech Republic

If I say "God Bless you!" to Someone Who Sneezes,
I Might Actually Be Saying "Get Away From Me!"

Religion has been characterized as an opiate (Marx) and as a disease (Dawkins), but two researchers have correlated it to the amount of diseases in a particular society:

Praying for health
Jul 31st 2008
From The Economist print edition

Religious diversity may be caused by disease

Mr [Corey] Fincher, [University of New Mexico] and his colleague Randy Thornhill wondered if disease might be driving important aspects of human social behaviour, too. Their hypothesis is that in places where disease is rampant, it behooves groups not to mix with one another more than is strictly necessary, in order to reduce the risk of contagion. They therefore predict that patterns of behaviour which promote group exclusivity will be stronger in disease-ridden areas. Since religious differences are certainly in that category, they specifically predict that the number of different religions in a place will vary with the disease load. Which is, as they report in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, the case.

So religious doctrines may really be a way of saying "stay away from me." The exclusivity of many Christian churches in the U.S. certainly demonstrates the theory of using religion as a form of protection and isolation: it's the "WE are right and YOU are wrong" of most denominations that separate them. Almost infinitesimal differences in doctrine act as moats which become more difficult to cross as the denomination becomes more powerful. Missionaries serve the purpose of "only we can save/protect you."

From the latest "prosperity theology" to Pentecostalism to faith healing preachers who "call you to The Lord!" there is a kind of righteous arrogance that underlines their creeds. Apostates are shunned as if they truly carry a disease.
And then there is the intentional isolation from larger religions or sects: Protestant vs Catholic, Southern Baptist vs Mormon, Christian vs Muslim, Hindu vs Buddhist, etc., etc. etc.

Proving the point involved collating a lot of previous research. Even defining what constitutes a religion is fraught with difficulty. But using accepted definitions of uniqueness, exclusivity, autonomy and superiority to other religions they calculated that the average number of religions per country is 31. The range, though, is enormous—from 3 to 643. Côte d’Ivoire, for example, has 76 while Norway has 13, and Brazil has 159 while Canada has 15. They then did the same thing for the number of parasitic diseases found in each country. The average here was 200, with a range from 178 to 248.

This theory posits the possibility that the "protective" factor of religion was inadvertently the cause of so many deaths (wars). Yes, I think it's possible. It would also explain why, after so many years (thousands), no one religion or sect has ever seemed to have "gotten it right." In the U.S. it seems that there are as many Elmer Gantrys today as there are Elmer Fudds (see previous post). Each sermon, each book seems to say "it will change your life...LIKE NO OTHER DOCTRINE/PHILOSOPHY CAN!!"

Lately we have seen attempts to unite differing religious beliefs for purposes (again) of protection or even a kind of passive-aggression (e.g., Christians United For Israel). Protection, therefore, can be as deadly (if not more so) than vulnerability. Religious intolerance, in becoming reactionary to social globalization may become everyone's own Apocalypse.

Just a thought.

I just ran across this picture and its commentary and thought readers might like it.

Freedom from war.
Freedom from death.
Freedom from pain.
Freedom from political ideology.
Freedom from religious hypocricy.
Freedom from racial, ethnic, or class intolerance.
Freedom from material or moral indulgence or imbalance.
Just what true freedom ought to be.

(Freedom by Shane Markie)