They never lie about rape

So obviously, this didn’t happen:

The daughter of a church minister who made false allegations of rape against four separate men has been jailed for two years. Abigail Gibson, 22, made the “vile” claims against a work colleague, an ex-boyfriend, a stranger and even her father, Ian, who is a respected minister at a young offenders’ institute.

One of her victims, Mark Berry, 26, had known Gibson for just two weeks after meeting her at a supermarket where they both worked. But when she learned he had complained to bosses about being bullied by one of her friends at the store, she set about trying to get him sacked.

I think that the penalty for knowingly bringing a false charge against someone should be the same as the false charge brings. Although of course in Cool Brittania these days, it’s entirely possible that two years in jail is the maximum penalty for rape.

Defeat becomes a probability

As I’ve been writing for the last three years, the neocons and warbangers have no idea what they’re talking about. They don’t know military history, they don’t understand military strategy and they don’t comprehend the likely outcomes of the actions they’ve been advocating. Why so many conservatives continue to pay attention to them and echo their demonstrably incorrect blathering is a mystery to me:

We have been getting it wrong in Iraq, says new US commander

President George W Bush faced fierce new criticism over his policy in Iraq yesterday as both military strategists and his new commander in the Middle East delivered negative assessments of America’s prospects of quelling violence in the war-torn country.

In a blow to Mr Bush’s latest attempt to seize back the initiative in Iraq after almost four years of violence, Adml William Fallon, his nominee to be the new head of Central Command in the Middle East, said that the Bush administration needed to be “more realistic” about its objectives and admitted that he had no way of defining victory in Iraq. He told a Senate confirmation hearing: “I don’t know what winning is.”

…. In a damning assessment of America’s record to date, he said: “Securing the stability of the country has been more difficult than anticipated. Our ability to correctly assess the political, economic and security situation in Iraq has been lacking.

“It seems pretty obvious to me that what we have been doing has not been working,” he said, adding that the US could not hope to win “militarily”.

So, here’s the new commander in the Middle East repeating the same thing I’ve been saying about the past strategy… I’ll be interested to see if all the neocons and Three Monkeys in the convervatariat admit that they’re wrong or not, or if all of their fans will hold them accountable. Somehow, I rather doubt it.

When one of the guys responsible for winning comes out and says “I don’t know what winning is”, you can be assured that not only will you not win, but you’ll be lucky if you can manage to avoid getting your head handed to you.

Don’t you military ignoramuses understand that this “triumph of the will” stuff won’t work any better for the USA than it did for Germany in WWII or the Arabs during the Arab-Israeli wars? Winning wars depends primarily on technological advantage and logistics, and in the current situation, our technology is of little use and the logistics are against us.

If China or Russia or even Turkey chose to weigh in with their sometime ally Iran in the next year or so, the US forces in Iraq would risk elimination without the resort to nuclear weapons. At this point, I’m not concerned about winning, whatever Admiral Fallon may eventually determine it to be, I’m starting to worry about extricating the troops successfully.

Blithely assuming that everyone who isn’t in will stay out is an error that has been made by more than one defeated combatant.

Meanwhile, Bane links to a letter from a soldier in an Iraqi ops center:

Know this, our soldiers will not quit. We win every battle, we hold any piece of ground that we want to take. Do not listen to those in Washington who influence events by dishonesty, manipulation and greed. Listen to your hearts and know that America is a winner. We will not accept defeat. Don’t be fooled by the news media who so dishonorably portrays one side of the story for gain and sensationalism. We are not losing, we are not running, the enemy is reeling and is scared….

I tell you, we are kicking ass here. It’s good to be on the offensive.”

These two messages demonstrate the difference between STRATEGY and TACTICS. It is entirely possible to kick non-stop ass, win every battle and still lose the war. Success is quite often the father of failure, and it takes strong mental discipline to be able to discern the point at which hitherto successful tactics are nevertheless leading one towards a failed strategy.

And the Lizard Queen smiled

RK sends us a link informing us that John Edwards’ campaign is officially doomed:

New Blogmaster
Amanda Marcotte in Diaries Feed of Amanda Marcotte’s Diary
1/30/2007 at 5:50 EST

This is both my first post to the Edwards blog and my announcement that I’m joining the presidential campaign for John Edwards for 2008. I’ll be taking over the job of Blogmaster (mistress?) over the course of the month of February.

Here’s a nice chance to compare political acumen. I’ve been asserting that Hillary Clinton has not only the nomination, but the election in the bag. Amynda obviously feels that John Edwards has a shot. Time will tell.

Of course, considering that the Edwards’ campaign will be saddled with the incomparable intellect that we’ve so often seen on display at Pandagon, it’s really not a fair test, is it.

The Nixon Seance

Merely the latest demonstration of why the Original Cyberpunk is the most undeservingly unappreciated science fiction writer today.

He was waiting there for me, in the good chair. “Hello, Bruce.”

“Hello, Mr. President.”

“Please, call me Dick.”

I tried to. I couldn’t. “Sorry, sir. I can’t. Even Jack Bauer would call you ‘Mr. President.'”

He frowned. “Jack who?”

“Never mind. It’s good to see you again, sir.”

If you haven’t been reading it, you’ve been missing out. Go catch up, right now.

Sanger + King = Peace Prize

The Fraters Libertas point out a bitter irony:

Woman’s Unborn Child Killed In Maplewood Assault

A 12-week-old unborn child was killed Sunday after an assault in Maplewood, Minn., according to authorities. The incident happened at an apartment building on the 1800 block of Beebe Road.

According to police, an 18-year-old woman was taken to St. John’s Hospital just after 11 a.m. The woman was about 12 weeks pregnant and miscarried at the hospital.

Since when is it illegal to kill an unborn child in Minnesota? It actually happened in this state more than 65,000 times over the four year period ending in 2004.

Since abortion is not murder, why should we not bring racial discrimination in America to an end forever by proactively aborting all insufficiently Caucasian fetuses? By bringing Saint Sanger’s dream together with Dr. Martin Luther King’s, we can realize total racial harmony in our lifetimes!

I await the Nobel Committee’s telephone call….

Mailvox: the intellectual autiste

Nienna finds her Dutch courage:

I will disagree with all your fan-boys on this one. (just guessing, but after years of reading comments in this blog, I know how they go.) I really do think a mark of intelligence is to make complex…ideas easy to understand. I’ve personally only had trouble understanding ONE sentance of one article and I told you which one it was. (Whether or not you read any of my silly ramblings is another story).

But now, I’m drunk enough to actually say “I disagree!” I empathise with all those who can’t understand you. After all, I really believe that your ideas are relevant to our society and ah..*could* make a difference. Sure, you may say “But only an X amount of people read my drivel.” To which the answer is, of course, that people influence each other. That, and what’s the point of writing an article if only I dunno..I’ll make up a number…%5 of the population can understand it? I’m actually currious on this one.

It seems the ever-inebriated Aussie has started a new trend here…. Anyhow, the short answer is: you are obviously confusing me with someone who gives a damn.

I don’t believe that my writing is particularly difficult for anyone with reasonable intelligence to follow, although I will admit that my more iconoclastic ideas can sometimes be difficult to contemplate upon one’s initial exposure to them. I suspect it’s unfamiliarity with ideological commentary taking place outside of the Rep-Dem kabuki box that is the real source of the difficulty for most people. The Republican hears “pull out of Iraq”, the Democrat hears “women shouldn’t vote” and their brains shut down as their knee-jerk reactions kick in.

I disagree about intelligence being concerned with making the complex easy for the non-intelligent to understand. That is a third-rate intelligence, of which Richard Dawkins is a fine example. A first-rate intelligence creates, a second-rate intelligence synthesizes, a third-rate intelligence popularizes. That’s why most successful businessmen, while brighter than the norm, are seldom the most intelligent.

The evidence tends to suggest that I am a second-rate intelligence, furthermore, popularizing ideas is not why I write. Writing is essentially a selfish act, an arrogant act, mine is merely a little more openly so than most. I write because it amuses me, because it occupies me and because without writing it out, I cannot properly articulate my thinking. An extremely intelligent and half-insane college girlfriend – she ended up requiring psychiatric hospitalization – once said something to one of her friends that made a great impression on me: “Great thoughts floating through your head are nothing more than feelings, until you articulate them and prove their existence.”

Now, imagine living in a world where nearly everyone else, nine out of ten, has an extra chromosome and are moderately retarded. And then imagine that of the remaining ten percent, nine out of ten have been voluntarily lobotomized in order to better fit in with the retards. How much interaction could you bear to have with them, how much effort would you devote to make them understand what you are thinking? How much pleasure would you derive from interacting with them at all?

This may sound frighteningly arrogant, of course, but it’s not as if I had no reason to essentially withdraw from the world before I turned 25. I vastly prefer to keep the moronic world at arms length, even so, one can’t escape it entirely; it’s somewhat annoying to be considered a mediocre fantasy novelist when it’s possible that “The Wrath of Angels” might even be considered a brilliant work of social commentary if there were readers capable of grasping that the religious fantasy is only a thin veil over the real story.

(And no, I’m not going to spell things out, there are enough blatant hints right there in the text. There’s no humour in a joke explained.)

It may not, in fact, be brilliant, and certainly the world is knee-deep in whiny artistes who consider themselves misunderstood and underappreciated, but the truth is that a verdict can’t be rendered one way or another by those who are demonstrably unable to even begin to consider the question. After all, you can’t argue that Calvino is a better writer than Battistelli if you don’t read Italian.

Still, it is rewarding when a Starwind reminds me that no one is beyond the need to double-check the historical record, when a Jefferson demonstrates that not all atheists are closed-minded, insufferable prigs and when I see an individual who previously couldn’t argue his way out of a paper bag using Ockham’s Razor to slice and dice an interlocutor.

So, Nienna, please simply regard me as intellectually autistic, take the columns for whatever they happen to be worth to you and don’t worry about it. If you wish, if you believe there is some benefit to the ideas I am expressing, feel free to provide appropriately dumbed-down, kabuki-boxed translations on your blog for the Three Monkey crowd.