Randomness: Who Cut the Cheese Style

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GIANT BABY HEAD - At 10 lbs. 7 oz. I thought my daughter was big.

GIANT BABY HEAD - When they're awake they're nothing but big cry babies. Click photo >>

How Can You Govern a Country With 246 Varieties of Cheese? – C. De Gaulle

True Crime That Makes You Feel Superior

All-Consuming Consumerism

FILL 'ER UP - The best waaaay of waking up is a robot with a cuuuup!

FILL 'ER UP - The best waaaay of waking up is a robot with a cuuuup! Click photo >>


  • I wonder if this robot can play the theme from Lost in Space?
  • To keep development costs under control, engineers carried their system optimization phase a little too far.
  • Honda shows off its “Hondots“.

Square Pegs Seeking Round Holes

The Inscrutable Secrets of Japan

Pop Culture Without the Fizz

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9 thoughts on “Randomness: Who Cut the Cheese Style

  1. Craig,
    I suspect we agree more than we disagree on more point, except in how heavily we weight our opinions. I think that’s a good thing all in all.

    As for shutting down a discuss, I’m proud to say I’ve never done that, even when it is off-topic (spam excepted). I figure if someone wants to take the time to say something, they deserve to be heard.

    Thanks for offer all your comments over the years. I wish more people did that.

  2. And, it turns out, our soldiers were fighting and dying for freedom and democracy, after all.

  3. Remember, it took us 70 some years and a civil war to unify our country. The Iraqis are a bit behind us in that, to be sure, but, well, give them some time, eh? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Omni,

    Good points, all. I guess we just place somewhat different weight on different pros and cons. I think what they’ve got is one heck of a lot better than what they had under Saddam and sons. Yes, they had to go through hell to get there and yes, W. permitted things to get way out of hand before straightening things out (i. e., getting rid of Rumsfeld).

    Anyway, I’m glad you responded so thoughtfully rather than shutting the off-topic thread down as you could have. Thanks.

  5. Craig,
    I’ll grant you the invasion came out slightly better — at this point — than I thought it would when the nitiwit did it, but I still don’t see it as a big success and even if it was, I still think it was wrong and wasn’t worth the price.

    One of the problems with Iraq was that we talked a lot about “success” and “winning”, but almost nothing about what that would look like. That makes it easy for everyone to call it what they want. If you’re predisoposed to thinking it was a good idea, you’ll see things in that light. If you’re predisposed to think it was a mistake, there’s evidence for that too.

    Having said that, here are some of my reasons to respectfully disagree.

    — The whole misadventure started based on pure untruths. Even if there had been WMD at the time, there was no pressing need to go bomb the piss out of anyone and there was no Al Quaida there at the time either. The administration turned a faux campaign against Al Quaida and WMD into a freedom saving crusade only after they got their collective tits caught in the wringer. It’s a really bad precedent to go off and invade places because we don’t like the governments…especially when no one asked for the “help”. And, there are dozens of other countries where the situation is decidedly worse. We didn’t invade those places, so I question our motives in Iraq. In essence, we invaded. We scrwed the pooch. We sought a reason to justifiy what we did in some other way. We, and the Iraqis, paid the price.

    – The American people gave away, and are still giving away, Constitutional protections at the expense of our democracy. America has become the home of the fear-crazed, not the home of the free and the brave. For all the talk about small government, America has been more than willing to cede plenty to make our government bigger and more intrusive than it already was in ways that are much more important than health care reform or tightened banking regulations.

    — Tens of thousands of Iraqis and Americans died. Had the war been better planned and executed, this could’ve been a much lower number and people are still dying. Are things better than at the height of the war? Yes. Are they acceptable “as is”? No. Will things continue to improve and eventually stabilize? Maybe, but it’s still way too early. If the large American presence goes away or a powerful insurgent leader comes into the picture, so may the results.

    — I’d say there still isn’t “peace” in Iraq. Even in our own land of loons polling places aren’t attacked and we don’t have frequent suicide bomb attacks either. We don’t need heavily armed troops walking the beat to keep the whole place from crumbling.

    — Graft and corruption in the Iraqi government dwarf anything that Bernie Madoff could pull off and if the money pipeline gets squeezed or if they get more greedy than they already are, things could change quickly. There has been some belief that Maliki and his family have been on the take now. Even if that pans out to be untrue, there are a zillion other grafthounds to take their place. Greased palms are not exqctly unknown in their culture.

    — The country still isn’t unified. The Kurds run a de facto country on their own and two opposing religious groups still hate each other. Turkey stays ready to run into the Kurd area to inflict a little “freedom” on them. Ceasing hostilities doesn’t necessarily mean those people aren’t still hostile.

    — Iraqi leaders show more incompetence on the whole than the mess we made of conducting the war. And was we can see in America, this isn’t a problem just in Iraq.

    There are plenty of other reasons. I try not to be pigheaded about these things, but so be it. Even though I thought the original invasion was as stupid as we could get, I supported it (keeping in mind here that I think Dub is one of the sutpidest men to walk the planet) to just get things over and done with before the mistake was compounded. I changed that position over time when I saw things weren’t going to get appreciably better.

    I don’t think the situation is as black and white as some would have us believe and that means any success or improvement is a subjective thing.

    But however you look at it, there was a lot of damage done to a lot of people over a wide swath of the world. I’m afraid to call this a success, I’d have to ignore that or there would have to be a hell of any improvement that I don’t have the faith will come along in my lifetime if ever.

  6. I know it is off topic, but I endured so many liberal, anti-Iraq war nay-sayers that I’ve just gotta say: Bush was right. Yes, people may still think the Iraq war was not worth the many billions of dollars or the blood of American and allied forces or the many tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives. I think it was but many do not. My sole point here is to point out that those who said that Iraq would never form a strong enough nationalism to permit a true democratic republic to form or that the Iraqi armed forces and police forces would never be able to pull together to bring peace to the country were, it would seem, wrong. Iraqis, given the chance of attaining it, seem determined to achieve a representative government, responsive to the people. Congratulations to them. They have a republic…if they can keep it.

    Without Bush, none of it would have been possible. He badly mismanaged so much in Iraq for so long and permitted a living hell to develop and grow but in the face of deafening democratic calls to abandon Iraq to that hell, Bush pulled a hail Mary and created conditions whereby Iraqis could bring themselves back from the brink and so that now Obama can draw down our troops.

    Love him or hate him, he was right in the big picture ideals and goals.

  7. Prosecutors had originally sought a life sentence for Robert Ferguson under the state’s “three strikes” law. They dropped that bid last month, saying a psychological report had convinced them that a life sentence wasn’t warranted.

    Apparently it takes more than a psych report to convince them that seven years and eight months in prison for a stolen hunk of cheese wasn’t warranted. Seems to me the prosecutors are the one’s who are mentally ill here. Or possibly the mentally ill ones are the legislators who wrote the law that convinced prosecutors that seven years and eight months in prison for a stolen hunk of cheese was warranted. I’ve read of child rapists who were sentenced to less time than that. Man, the legal system in this country is seriously messed up. Has anyone in the prosecutor’s office ever heard of proportionality? This guy is being prosecuted not for his current crime but for his past crimes, for which he’s apparently already paid and for future crimes which the prosecutor, after visiting Rose the fortuneteller’s salon, knows the guy will commit in the future. Nuts!

    You can quote me on that.