Teh Stupidz: Joe the Plumber, Political Strategist?

From the Department of Stupid Political Tricks:

Fresh off his stint as a war correspondent in Gaza, Joe the Plumber is now doing political strategy with Republicans.

When GOP congressional aides gather Tuesday morning for a meeting of the Conservative Working Group, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher – more commonly known as Joe the Plumber — will be their featured guest. This group is an organization of conservative Capitol Hill stafferswho meet regularly to chart GOP strategy for the week.

For anyone who doesn’t understand why this is teh stupid, let me give you an analogy.  This is the political equivalent of a stage backdrop directing a production of Macbeth.  Let’s make it quite clear: Samuel the non-Plumber is not a political strategist.  Neither should he be the “champion of the middle class”.  No one asked you to champion us, Samuel, and I don’t want a one-trick political prop to be the voice of my class.

To support his unwanted championship of the middle class, he started a site, which I refuse to link to.  I won’t give this pompous donkey any traffic.  He’s got some book about “Fighting for the American Dream”.  Joe.  Give up this asinine attempt to remain relevant.  You entered your sixteenth minute of fame at the end of the third debate.  Shoo, before I get really mad.

(H/T The Moderate Voice)

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The Meaning of “Ceasefire”

Apparently, Israel is preparing to proclaim a unilateral ceasefire.  Good news for the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip.  The reason that the ceasefire is unilateral is because Hamas is refusing to back down:

 

Hamas has said a cease-fire alone is not enough.

“We are working in every direction so we can achieve our objectives in stopping the aggression, lifting the blockade, opening the crossings, and the compensation of our people and the rebuilding of the Gaza strip,” said Hamas delegation spokesman Salah Bardwill.

 

Alright, Hamas, do I really need to explain what the word “ceasefire” means?  It means that you stop shooting at each other while negotiating a permanent end to the fighting.  Get real, Hamas!  The only way you can achieve those objectives is if you and Israel stop fighting and start negotiating.  Your military, in conventional terms, cannot match the IDF.  That’s why you sit in Gaza and pop off rockets at them.  So the only way, let me repeat, that you can stop the Israelis from bombing you and get them to open up again, is through negotiation.  I thought that was the strategic calculus behind attacking the Israelis terrorist-style.

I suppose, though, there is one way army_of_the_deadthat Hamas could conquer Israel (because that’s the only way they’ll be able to achieve that without negotiation).  Let’s say Aragorn (you know, from the Lord of the Rings) comes along, and brings his super awesome horde of ghosts (at right).  If Hamas could persuade him, he might lend them the Ghosts to help them beat Israel.  Oh, but I forgot, they all went away.  Tough.  Guess Hamas will have to sit down and negotiate with Israel.  But first, a ceasefire.  Because it’s the right thing to do for the people of Israel and Palestine.

Quote of the Day, 12-31-08

“Why we should put ourselves out of our way to do anything for posterity, for what has posterity ever done for us?” –Sir Boyle Roche

Run, Scurry, FLEE! The End Is NEAR!

Hot off the presses from the Department of Kooks, comes the prediction by a Russian professor named Igor Panarin that by 2010, the U.S. will have disintegrated, and that Little Ole Me, down here in the Peach State (Georgia, for anyone not up on state nicknames) will be under the boot of our new Mexican overlords.  ¡Hola, muchachos! Meanwhile, most of my other relatives will be flying the maple leaf instead of Old Glory.  Cali and the West Coast go to Red China, Alaska to…wait for it, wait for it…Russia!  And for some reason unknown to (sane) man, New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, along with a healthy chunk of the South, will hook up with the EU.

And the thing is that this isn’t just some ordinary professor spewing nonsense- that happens all the time.  No, this is the dean of Russia’s academy for future diplomats, and a former KGB analyst who’s predicting the USA’s imminent demise.  Fits awfully well with the anti-Americanism apparently prevalent in Russia right now.  But does it fit well with reality?  I doubt it.  Let me put it this way: Ever seen a guy out on the street with a sign saying “The End Is Near”, or read one of those “Left Behind” books?  Well, this is very much similar to that, only in Russian.  Additionally, it seems to have been lifted from a video game that I saw in a Target a few years ago.

Now, after I have jokingly poked and prodded this theory, let me ask some realistic questions: Does anyone here think Mexico is in any type of shape to be taking over the South when they have out-of-control drug cartels to worry about?  Their army is going to pieces, and they’re going to take over Redneck Country?  Nice try.  And what plausible reason would the EU have for wanting New England, plus a chunk of Appalachia?  And I doubt China would have the ability to secure such a vast swath out in the West with its present resources.  Their real problem is that they blue-water navy is pretty feeble.  Some subs, and a few destroyers, but nothing good at power projection.  No carriers, for one, though they appear to be working on fixing up that problem.

Despite all of the problems fitting it into, as Lew Black put it, “the greater tapestry I like to call ‘Reality'”, Mr. Panarin’s theories are apparently wildly popular in Russia.  Let me just say something about this.  Hate to break it to ya, fellas, but just because it’s popular, doesn’t make it true.  I’d be willing to bet that there are some fundamentalist Christians who would like the “Left Behind” series to be true, but despite its status as a best seller, it still remains a mere wet dream of some kooks.  And that’s all that this will remain.  But if I’m taking Remedial Spanish in Fall 2010, then I’ll have to eat crow.

(H/T WSJ, via Registan.net, which I highly recommend)

POSTSCRIPT

While I haven’t read the actual “Left Behind” series, I did read some of the “kids” version of the series.  I got rid of them long ago, but they still creep me out.

This Is The Army For Me…

The German Bundeswehr, to be precise.  Not only are they more likely to be overweight than civilians, they also get gallons and gallons of beer and wine, in AFGHANISTAN!  Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  Once upon a time, heck, within memory of some living people, the words “German Army” connoted ruthless efficiency and ability.  Even during the Cold War, the Bundeswehr wasn’t that bad.  But this is ridiculous.  Why do the Russians have their undies in a twist about the possibility of the Germans having a bigger military?  Their soldiers are so damn fat they probably won’t fit in the tanks!  Okay, I can understand a college student like me being fat.  I’m not expected to defend my country!  Because there are certain expectations for a soldier.  For one thing, I thought soldiers were at least supposed to make an effort to be fit.  But maybe it isn’t their fault.  Seeing how very few NATO countries have spent the amount on military spending that NATO guidelines ask for, it’s barely possible that they cut back on PT in Germany and spent it on alcohol instead.  And only a few years ago, Europe was supposed to be the next superpower.

Why am I so upset about this?  Partly because the Germans are theoretically supposed to help defend us if something bad happens (It’s in that frickin’ treaty.).  And partly because the Germans have resisted requests from commanders in Afghanistan to move their troops from the relatively more stable north to the volatile south, where they are actually needed.  So the Canadians, and the Brits, and the Dutch, and the Americans down there are taking the brunt of the Taliban’s resurgence, while the Germans are sitting up in northern Afghanistan, drinking tons (literally) of beer and wine.  I’m sure that’s not actually the case, but that’s what it kinda seems like to me.