Thursday, June 25, 2009

Policing the World

This Naval Institute blog post has this interesting quote:
While the Navy can always be present persistently in areas of our choosing, we lack the capacity to be persistently present globally. This creates a presence deficit, if you will, where we are unable to meet combatant commander demands.

They seem to take it for granted that the national interests of the United States really do require us to maintain a global persistent presence.

I'm certain that they're wrong about that, and I'm inclined toward the view that we should be moving more toward a persistent military absense from anywhere very far from our own shores like we had prior to Teddy Roosevelt's administration. Of course, the world has changed a lot and maybe a good case can be made that we need a persistent military presence in some places, but WWII began without that kind of presense and we won it. Why do we now need to be all over the world? What's the security benefit and/or what's the unacceptable security risk in leaving some of the places we currently have troops? Why not leave Korea? Japan? Europe? I can see the argument for staying in the Middle East, but I'm having trouble seeing it for anywhere else.

So back to the question. If I'm wrong in my view of the 19th century as a good direction to return to military presence-wise, what's the right direction? Where do we need to maintain presence and why? I'm talking about the long term, not when or if we should get out of Afghanistan, but what should our goal be? Where should we keep bases and why? Where must our Navy maintain its presence?

Some Cultures are Better

via the always awesome Violet Blue. I discovered Pink Nihon. A blog devoted to the crucial study of Japanese sex vocabulary. Did you know that the Japanese have a word for lending one's partner out for sex? It's 貸し出しプレイ (kashidashi purei). Now how much easier would daily conversation be if your language had a word like that? I've been convinced since an early age that Japanese culture is just plain better than the rest of the world. This is one more bit of evidence.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Avoid Yakima

This article on alternet about what sex laws are doing to this country (the US) is a must read. It puts together all the shitty things that have been done to people who broke nobodys arm nor picked anyone's pocket. Well, just the sex related ones, it does not touch on the tens of thousands we're still incarcerating for buying or selling drugs, but that's a separate, and massively important injustice which I don't have anything new to say about.

It talks about how many kids are being criminally investigated for sending naked pictures of themselves. 2 dozen is the number USA Today estimates in a six state area, which means fuck only knows what the nationwide number is, but one is far too many.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the report comes from right here in Washington state.
This June, the city of Yakima, Washington, voted to change the city's indecent exposure laws to include "cleavage of the buttocks." This means that women whose thong or G-string show can now be fined $1,000 or face up to 90 days in jail.

Ladies, if the far-reaching influence of this blog can do one thing for the future of the Northwest Region, it should be to assure you that the sight of a thong peaking over the top of some low-rise jeans is not in the slightest bit indecent. I understand that some of you like to keep your underwear to yourselves. But women who show buttcrack, or better yet, a thong that draws attention to the fact that part of a woman's ass is exposed for my viewing pleasure, are contributing to the mental health of the community, not committing a crime.

This law is one more reason to avoid Yakima.
The Slog is working on lists of things you can't say in Seattle.

The lists are funny, but they are lists of things I hear people say nearly every day, and I've never seen anyone get into any kind of trouble for saying them. A less misleading title would be "Things the voices in my head tell me not to say in Seattle".