Sunday, August 13, 2006

Desultory Post

The ‘bored soldier’ has made it to his destination and is enjoying the sights and sounds and refreshments of the mother country. Bauer’s whereabouts are currently not known. What follows is another broken-bat single from your pinch-hitter, TFDad.

desultory\DES-uhl-tor-ee\, adjective 1)Jumping or passing from one thing to another without order or rational connection.

Had to look this word up the other day. Its one of those words I’m sure I’ve read a hundred times but can’t recall ever looking it up. Who wants to go get a dictionary when its easier to look at the context and guess what it probably means. Or maybe there was a time when I looked it up and for a time knew what it meant but now I forget. My favorite saying is, "I’ve got a good memory, its just short." Since I say it about every day, there’s no doubt its my family’s least favorite saying of mine.

Anyway, ‘desultory’ (which also means, ‘disgression", but I digress). When I discovered what it meant, I thought- "Exactly. That perfectly describes my current sense about the various things flittering about my mind that somehow seem connected, but probably only in a way that would be comprehended by a daily user of medicinal marijuana." Which by the way, my church- the PCUSA (Presbyterian Church in the USA)- recently voted at General Assembly to approve, right after apologizing for previously passing a Divestment From Israel statement (which they continue, I guess, to pursue) and after backing away somewhat from their previous endorsement of partial birth abortion and after affirming the standard for ordination that precludes avowed, practicing homosexuals, though the ‘Peace, Unity and Purity Report’ was adopted which will make it easier for churches so wishing to ordain avowed, practicing homosexuals (not, heaven forfend, that there’s anything wrong with that). The upside to this is that on the golf course, when I use an expletive deleted to describe my satisfaction with a shot, I can apologize by saying, "Forgive me, I’m a Presbyterian and I’m under a lot of stress", and all heads nod understandingly.

"At any rate," he said desultorily. Let’s start with this thwarted plot to blow up British planes either a) over water so the evidence is irretrievable, or b) over New York, LA, Boston, or anywhere except Dearborn Michigan. I haven’t yet read a coherent account of this whole thing, and probably won’t anyway, but it seems to have begun to unravel when the Pakistani Intelligence (I won’t do it, but any Muslims care to say, "Is that an oxymoron"?) got hold of two British muslim suspects. Apparently they spilt the beans (more on this in a minute) which led to the identification of the rest of the ring, which was put under surveillance and, as we know, were eventually arrested.

I’m no expert on these things but it seems I’ve heard that Pakistan’s intelligence services have a bit of a reputation for disdaining the disapproval of Human Rights Watch. Might we suppose that due to this reputation, the two unlucky bad guys- Nabeel and Umir (or perhaps Assan and Waheed, or Abdullah and Muhammed) might have thought it the better part of wisdom to cooperate than to see whether they, Nabeel and Umir, are as tough as they’ve always prayed to Allah they would be. Or might we suppose that the Paks beat the living tar out of them for the sheer sport of it (they are, after all, Euroweenies. Who among us could have resisted just one whack with a 2 X 4 upside their heads) and then called in the stenographer. I didn’t spend last night in a Holiday Inn but I’ve been watching a lot of poker on ESPN and I’m betting there was some "rough interrogation" involved.

Back in January, I believe it was, Christianity Today had as its cover story, "Why Torture Is Always Wrong". Besides the shoddiness of their logic, not to mention their misunderstanding exactly what the Bible does and doesn’t say about these matters (ever wonder what Peter was doing with a sword in the Garden of Gethsemane?), they assumed as fact the common myth that torture never produces actionable information. I sent them my copy of ‘Guarding Tess", starring Shirley MacClaine and Nicholas Cage. I suggested the editor and his staff watch it some afternoon and discuss whether they really know enough about these matters to make such bold statements. (Of course, maybe they’re all Presbyterians and the lack of knowledge or actual expertise is not a factor in deciding whether to shoot their mouths off.) The little prick never acknowledged my letter or my gracious gift.

Gitmo. Have you heard of how much fun it is to guard these (fill in the blank) and thought , "How could I get a job like that where you’re subjected to having feces and urine thrown at you and you can’t do a damn thing about it?" I can tell you that if the BoredSoldier ever worked Gitmo and had that happen, his mother would organize all the other mothers and they would knock Cindy Sheehan on her code pink ass to get past her to the Top Brass at the Pentagon to give them a little much-needed reality check. Really, how many votes would a politician loose that refused to get exercised by one of those Marine drill sargents I saw last year at Paris Island (I swear they don’t make biceps that big in the NFL!) explaining in his own inimitable way, that Achmed ought to behave a little better as a special guest of the U.S. of A. I understand that doing the suicide belt thing might have a certain appeal for one itching to meet one of those 72 year old virgins, but I don’t think a half hour with Sgt Rock is quite as appealing. In fact, I can’t imagine that it would take more than 72 hours to solve that problem!

After 3,000 civilians and 2,600 or so of our fighting men and women lost so far in this war, not counting the many hundreds lost before we admitted we were in a war, how many more will it take before this country accepts this prescription. Don’t doubt for a minute that we will gladly take the gloves off and untie the hand we’ve tied behind our backs when we reach that number.

Is it 10,000 more? A hundred thousand? Or will it take a larger number such that its too late?

Here’s an idea that I read Michael Reagan come up with recently. He said if he were President, his first act would be to get rid of all embedded reporters. His second act would be to declare a news blackout on the war for 6 months. He asked a Lt Col. how long he thought it would take to end this war if that were to happen. The Lt Col said, "30 days!"


Elizabeth said...

I don't believe that Lt. Col. quote--I think Reagan made it up. It's ridiculous.

Anyway, the truth will out, it doesn't matter who declares a "news blackout." Any single individual today can be a reporter, as your son has demonstrated.

I don't think Christianity is your religion. I think your slogan is "do unto others, then split."

I have a movie recommendation for you: "The War Within." You can get it on DVD. It's about a Pakistani man and what happened to him after he was subjected to Pakistani type interrogation. I think the movie is fictional, but it rings true in terms of depicting human nature.

Papa Ray said...

Yea, a bunch of us old war dogs were talking about the state of ignorance of our government the other day at our favorite coffee shop and some of the remarks were along the lines of:

How fast do you think we could get three carrier groups in position?

Just how many B52s do we have in operation and how many nukes can they carry?

Forget them, just crank up our B-1s and B-2s and them little stealthy things... what do they call them?

Why don't we see if some of our missiles still work?

On and on. Until the waitress said something about they needed the table, and if we planned on staying all day.

No apprication of vets from that old wart hog.

Anyway, wanted to leave you a link to read and pass around.

August 22nd.

Take care and

Continue the Mission

Papa Ray
West Texas

Anonymous said...


I hope you are having a great time amongst real people. I havent really had an intellectual conversation with anyone since you've been gone, so I have resorted to reading your blog. Your dad writes pretty well too, which shows that you really arent that smart, you just have good genes. Just kidding. Anyways, have fun drinking with Ranier and whatever hardcore friends he brings along. Dont forget to try some hagus.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you live in the same world the rest of us live in tfdad. Shortage of truth wherever you, the golf course, school,the pressroom. Liberalism has slipped into all institutions. Doesn't change the fact that wherever the truth is given out it is refreshing and useful and the ones giving it out now days are brave men. Always plenty of people around to condem preachers, teachers, news people and golfers, put them all in one lump. But in all those areas there are always a few (less and less all the time) who do give out the truth. I can name at least half a dozen in each of those areas that are true to their calling and just hit it every day, day in and day out, giving out the truth and letting it fall where it may. We all think about many things at once and it does all fit together like a puzzle eventually. Don't sweat the naysayers, tfdad. They've always been around and always will be. You get used to them after awhile and realize how pitiful they really are. Great work writing a blog. Tough to do if you are honest and not just spouting propaganda, isn't it? Original thought takes more time to get on paper. Hope Tim is still having a good time! Thanks for filling in for him. Bet you are learning a lot!

gypsy said...

Nothing like letting thoughts flow while writing, enjoyed this entry tfdad.

Elizabeth said: I don't think Christianity is your religion. I think your slogan is "do unto others, then split."

Girl, you need to find a new forum because your "stuff" is getting old. I'm sure tfdad doesn't need anyone to defend him, but you're way over the line with that comment. Go away.

Anonymous said...

You are right Gypsy. Tfdad is well able to defend himself but you know it helps to know there are others who think like you do or agree with you now and then. You know who has a calling. It is to constantly be a prick. She could write a downer comment on anything - - -and unfortunately for the readers of good blogs she always does. What a talent!
Thank you tfdad for your thoughtful writing. Real christians know what you were saying. And we are keeping our great Military from doing what they should and could do. But I wonder if some people will ever wake up to that fact. You can't blame bad press people totally. Those who listen to them should have enough sense to see through their agenda. There are good press people too. We tend to blame others for our own failings. Nobody has an excuse in America. The truth is out there if you want to know the truth. Many don't. They love lies better.

Susan said...

Your thoughts eerily echo a conversation I had with my BIL a couple of weeks ago. He's never been in the military, but he has lots of ideas about what constitutes honor. He isn't a Christian, he claims, but he has lots of ideas about what Christians believe, too. =)

You're doing a good job of filling in for Tim!

Susan said...

BTW, Elizabeth refers, in her own blog, to the current Hezbollah-Israeli conflict as "this latest Israeli war against the Arabs." How can a war started by enemy attacks be blamed on Israel, because they didn't stand still and take it? I hear it all over, but I don't understand it!

t.h. snure said...

I think your "friend" lizzy missed understood (like she does most everything) the lesson from mom that went "if you don't have anything good to say about someone then don't say anything". She got it backward. Maybe it is one of those things where she didn't get enough praise as a kid, so she has to go to great lengths to show everyone just how important and enlightened she is compared to the rest of us, she does have a very high opinion of herslf.

She is right about one thing though, "the truth will out". Thanks for being a purveyor of that truth. And thanks to you and my sister for giving the world a great kid like Tim.


Anonymous said...

Amen to all of that Todd. And today a renewed thanks to all the moms and dads of our great Military men.

Melinda said...

I'm surprised Elizabeth didn't give you a tutorial that DVDs were the round, shiny things where the VCR tapes used to be at the store...wasn't it you whose reading level she questioned not too long ago?

OF COURSE the Reagan quote HAS to be fabricated b/c, according to Elizabeth, it's ridiculous...but the movie about the Pakistani guy, though probably fictional, "rings true." Good GRAVY!

I'm dizzy after all that circular 'logic' so let me just congratulate you on yet another fine post & wish your boy well as he enjoys a much deserved break.

tfdad said...

Elizabeth, Not that I don't enjoy your charming ideas, but its hard to fathom that you would accuse a rightwing/christianist/neocon/chickenhawk like me of advocating "do unto others, then split."

Actually, the original formulation, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" needs no improvement in my book. Meaning, if I had to live in a totalitarian society such as Iraq under Saddam, Udday and Qusay, I would pray for someone to come and do for me what America has done for Iraq.

One of Tim's early posts told of a Kuwaiti friend he made during his first deployment who said that the sounds of American jets over Kuwait when it was occupied by Iraqi rapists was "music from heaven."

You may have heard some folks advocate splitting from Iraq right now, but if you'll check, you'll find its coming from your camp, not mine.

Margarita said...

t.f. Dad: With all due respect, Sir, the plan to withdraw has become a rather bipartisan issue. There's a crap load of polls out there, like the ever popular Gallup:

July 28, 2006 - "The most recent Gallup poll this month found that 52% of adult Americans want to see all U.S. troops out of Iraq within a year, with 19% advocating immediate withdrawal. In the summer of 1970, Gallup found that 48% wanted a pullout within a year, with 23% embracing the “immediate” option. Just 7% want to send more troops now, vs. 10% then."

Also, you may be interested in the fact that Gen. Casey has also submitted a plan for a staggered troop withdrawal. Funny, he isn't being labelled a "cut and runner"... A brief examination of the the most recent smearing tactic on television:

As for the lastest Terror Scare... News you may not have picked up:
Source: U.S., U.K. at odds over timing of arrests
Agent infiltrated terror cell, U.S. says
Details emerge on alleged plot to bomb airliners

To Summarize: The plot was unearthed by Pakistan in 2005 with involvement of the Brits. They had been investigating this plot for more than a year before U.S. got wind of it within the past few months and decided now to make the arrests. I pose the question: Was this a political tactic?

Important to note: the terrorists had yet to even buy their plane tickets let alone their passports to fully bring their terror plot to fruition.

So, we basically blew the British/Pakistan venture that was seeking to expose the bombers' terror network. Again, why did we jump the gun on this?

Anonymous said...

Margarita, Polls can say anything they want to say. Who doesn't want our guys home. Doesn't mean we want them home before the job is done. We know they play games with polls. And you sure know a lot about all the intelligence going on in the world. I have a feeling if the worlds intelligence is worth a dang we have no idea what really went on. Why do we always have to bash the good guys. It is a sickness. And above all it is Bushes fault no matter what. Sorry but instead of finding fault with people fighting terrorists I tend to despise terrorists and put my efforts to getting the truth out about them instead of hoping to find a way to play politics. Propaganda is an ugly dangerous thing.

One Ticked Off Sailor said...

Hooyah Seargant Boogs. And a big big Hooyah to Michael Reagan (future presidential hopeful)

MissBirdlegs in AL said...

Good post, tfdad. Margarita, like Elizabeth, should stick to stuff he/she knows (haven't figured out yet what that is), not crap picked up from someone else's propaganda. Don't y'all realize that you're not going to "educate" the posters and readers here? Thanks, but No Thanks! We're happy in our ignorance :)

Margarita said...

Anon: Um, Gallup is probably the most conservative of pollsters... but I suppose only the Faux News polls really count for you?

"Propaganda is an ugly [and] dangerous thing." -- AGREED! Look no further than the rhetoric of "The War on Terror." As for everything else you said... "???" is my only response.

miss: I read to understand, so yes I read a lot and often and from sources all over the web. And yes, I even read many of the so-called "conservative" 'zines and blogs. I try to form well-reasoned opinions. What about you?

William Eaton's Last Stand said...

"It has never mattered to me that thirty million people might think I'm wrong. The number of people who thought Hitler was right did not make him right...
Why do you necessarily have to be wrong just because a few million people think you are?"

-Frank Zappa

MissBirdlegs in AL said...

Margarita, I do read prodigiously, but with an open mind, backed by common sense. I'm also old enough to recognize BS when I read, see, or hear it.

Margarita said...

Well, I'm glad we both consider ourselves open minded and well read... Those are 2 very important factors for the continuation of our democracy. =)

(By the way, I am a female and you can click on my name for more info.)