Friday, July 28, 2006

That's right. I've killed women and children. I've killed just about everything that walks or crawls at one time or another, and I'm here to kill you.
I'm going to steal an AP quote from Tristero's great letter to DLC types up at Digby's.

President Bush proudly declared that American foreign policy no longer seeks to “manage calm,” and derided policies that let anger and resentment lie “beneath the surface.” Bush said that the violence in the Middle East was evidence of a more effective foreign policy that addresses “root causes.”

Everybody's going to parse the hell out of that quote and Tristero himself does a good job of highlighting the sheer, unadulterated insanity inherent in Bush's comment but I'm interested in what this actually says about our stated foreign policy coming from the mouth of the President of the United States: we believe in violent resolution to disputes as the only way to resolve conflict. Anything else is simply "managing calm."

As a young man, with memories of Vietnam still very strong in this country, I studied history and looked at the "peace first" crowd and decided they may have been idealistic but they were naively wrong.

There are evil men in this world. Souless, heartless, evil people to which negotiation won't work. Men who when presented with a flower of peace will put a bullet through it right into your skull without batting an eye.

Peace - the refusal to consider violence as an option to resolve a disagreement, even as a last resort - is untenable in reality.

But if those that see peace as the only answer are naively wrong what does that say about those that see violence as the only answer? Aren't these two sides of the same coin of those that would oversimplify the solutions to a very, very complicated world?

When I watch this administration continue to try and enforce an insane "bigger club" foreign policy on the world I see nothing more than hippies with nice haircuts and guns who believe that wishing the world were different would MAKE the world different. Instead of love they see fear as the thing that'll change men's hearts. As if either has ever worked before.

There are no shortcuts to geopolitics. People like Bush who think they're clever because they think they've found a shortcut wind up taking all of us off a cliff.

(cross-posted at Fark)

I think that I am familiar with the fact that you are going to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and bites you on the ass.

Sometimes an escape from reality via vacation can bring you face to face with reality.

The family and I spend the bulk of the week camping at Nehalem Bay State Park on the Oregon coast. Mrs. Wormer (when she sees herself called that- I die) have heading to the same area for about fifteen years, long before we were married and well before kids. It's a beautiful area with tons of stuff to do and one of the best places to partake in one of my favorite camping activities at the coast: crabbing.

This year I took the kids out with me for the first time on the crabbing run. Stuffed into lifejackets like bacon-wrapped hors d'oeuvres we climbed into the rental boat and sang old sea shanties ("Gilligan's Island") on the long trip out to the mouth of the bay to drop our rings and seek our crustaceany fortune. We had devised a strategic plan for placement of the rings; with the rings distributed in more-or-less a triangular pattern that the kids dubbed the "Crabmuda Triangle." No crabs would survive the triangle.

Alas, the sea gods weren't with us at the start and it looked like we weren't going to pull up any keepers. Nevertheless, we were determined to have a good time and other critters that inhabit the area were obliging. A huge flock of gulls came by appearing to be attacking a pair of seals until we saw the dark mass of fish they were following. Here's a pic-

(Likes fish - hates gulls)

Then our crabbing luck turned. Usually, when we're crabbing the crabs we keep measure barely big enough to be legal. Not this time. The kids pulled up a lunker. This was the kind of crab you buy at the supermarket that's been caught by professional deep-sea crabbers. This was a frickin' sea monster. This was MEGA CRAB.

(Prefers COLD water baths)

To say me and my three little Gilligans were excited would be an understatement. We nearly tipped the boat over we were so excited. In my fifteen years of recreational crabbing I had never caught anything near this big. The kids couldn't wait to show mom what they'd caught. The Wormers would feast tonight!

After dinner we went to an open-air presentation put on by the park rangers entitled "What does anything have to do with the price of shrimp?" It covered pollution, touched on global warming (the ranger called it "controversial" obviously in deference to the slope-brows in the audience) and the so-called "dead zones" off the Louisiana coast in which no wildlife can live in the oxygen-depreciated environment. Thus - the price of shrimp goes up as shrimpers have to go further out to sea to catch the little buggers.

Here's where reality pimp-slapped me out of my vacation reverie. Yesterday's paper had this article on, appropriately enough, dead zones off the Oregon and Washington coast.

'Dead zones' spread, thicken off NW coast

Oceanic wastelands may be becoming more severe, researchers say

A vast pool of oxygen-starved seawater is killing fish and crabs along the Oregon and Washington coasts, creating an offshore "dead zone" that is poised to spread its lethal fallout even wider.

The eerie phenomenon, which suffocates marine life that cannot move fast enough to escape, has emerged as an unsettling coastal presence in recent years. Dead zones also struck the Oregon coast with varying severity in 2002 and each year since, sometimes leaving fish scattered lifeless across the ocean floor.

Oregon State University researchers suspect the episodes have been more common and severe in the past few years, signaling increasingly unpredictable ocean behavior tied to winds and currents. That matches predictions that global warming trends may cause wilder swings in Earth's climate.

The linked article doesn't show the map highlighting the dead zone but it's spreading North towards Tillamook and Nehalem.

It is not "controversial" that human activity contributes to global warming. I know this. I also believe very strongly that governmental action needs to be taken to slow global warming. I support political leaders that share this view. That's the macro.

The micro is that something I've loved an appreciated for almost half my life and just began to share with my children might be going away soon, perhaps forever. This makes me very, very sad.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

You are SO going to be assimilated! Resistance is totally futile! Seriously.

Hey Everyone,
I'm filling in for the Dean while he's gone, don't tell him I had my feet up on his desk, or that I broke his replica of the Sistine Chapel, or that I drank his scotch. Sorry if you were expecting a political entry, I have nothing like that to add right now. I just thought I'd pass on something about my new favorite website.

Wikipedia. Sure, (yawn) you already know about Wikipedia, it's yesterday's news - been there, done that . . . and so thought I. Until I discovered that Wikipedia has a wealth of information about fictional things. For example, did you know that the Borg Queen was assimilated as species 125? Did you know that the Bizarro homeworld is known as Htrae and has a cubic shape because Superman made it into a cube? Or that Kamandi was the last boy on earth? So the next time you need a time vortex to suck you away from work, look up that old TV show or comic book that no one remembers but you. You'll be glad you did. Until your boss comes.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The final annihilation of the lifeform known as Man. Let the attack begin.

Battlestar Galactica Season 3 Preview

This has been a great summer but October can't come fast enough when it comes to Battlestar.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Check out Willima Shatner singing a tribute to George Lucas at the AFI dinner.