We're the richest and most powerful nation on the planet and that's a point of pride for anyone modestly right-winged. Then why oh why are we also the world's biggest pussies?
The chief of the U.S. military's missile defense programs said Tuesday he expects to be able to protect all of the United States from a North Korean attack by the end of 2004, but said failures in two upcoming tests could mean "big problems" for the controversial program.
Change that to say, "protect all of the United States from an imaginary boogey-man..." and you're half-way to accuracy.
But North Korea is just crazy enough to do it!! That guy is ceraaaazzzzy!
The Bush administration has made the deployment of missile defenses a key aspect of its national security policy, saying it is vital to defend the nation against missiles launched by hostile nations.
Critics charge the technology is neither ready nor affordable, and say it fails to address the greater threat of weapons of mass destruction brought into the country by terrorists or other means.
Citing MDA figures, a recent report from the congressional General Accounting Office said that missile defense programs will cost $53 billion between 2004 and 2009.
It can't work. Not based upon the technology it's based upon.
And only in the mind of someone who thinks they'd make a great general because they win at Risk would North Korea ever attack the US with nuclear missiles. No leader of a government beaurocracy, no matter how dictatorial, would ever be, could ever be "crazy enough" to launch a missile attack that would guarantee their complete destruction. A dictator does not have complete and utter control of a nation. There are still other people around him, and even if he or she is nuts, I can guarantee you somewhere along the line is someone who wouldn't let such a thing happen.
We're not talking about the possibility that North Korea might become agressive, we're talking about them lobbing missiles over at us as a first-strike; that's what this defense system is supposed to be about. But that's utterly ridiculous. A first strike so... what? North Korea's massive Marine corps can land on our beaches? They can pop out of our sewers after tunneling over here?
If they launched a missile, they'd be completely destroyed. Mad dictators who live only to exert power rarely feel like atomizing the nations they lord over.
I'll tell you what this is about. If it worked this would do one thing- give the US lossless first-strike capability. If we had a missle defense shield that could block missiles from NK it's only logical use would be for offense. We coul lob a few missles to take out Pyongyong, block the retaliatory salvo, declare ourselves protectors of freedom and then move on to Iran.
I just have no time to update this site and, actually, that's a good thing. That means I'm busy with other stuff. Only ten people or so actually drop by per month, I'm sure, so I won't be breaking any hearts. It's not like I'm a master of prose or anything...
But via this blog I raised about $200 for a documentary I shot last year and I want to make sure to keep it around until it' finished, so the generous souls are kept in the loop.
The update on that is this: I'm about 1/4 through the editing process.
That seems insane since I shot it 6 months ago, but I haven't been working on it constantly. Really I've spent about 10 hours total on it so far. That seems insane too. 6 months and I've only put in 10 hours? Yep.
It is so fucking difficult. Like I said long time ago it turned out the guy really didn't want to talk. He had a 20 minute spiel he prepared, a couple of amusing anecdotes, a coin he wanted to show and tell the story behind- and that was it. That's all he brought to the table, that's all he really wanted to talk about, that's all he thought I needed to make a film.
So I blundered about, trying to ask him questions that would open him up, without going too far and making him clam up even more. I have 6 hours of footage and there's really not that much there. The spiel he gave was essentially, "A happened and then B and then C and then D and that was it." He told me what happened to him in the most basic terms: "I was at school, I got drafted, we went to this place, we went to that place, we went here, and then we went home."
So I tried to get him tell me the story, the long version, of his time over there and he'd just clam up. It's funny, he'd think the camera was off and he'd be totally normal and tell me a story that was interesting and moved along, then he'd realize the camera was on and just shut down. Or the camera would be off and he'd tell me a cool story, then I'd turn it on "tell me that story again!" and he'd be like "Oh, well, we went here and did this..."
I tell people this and they give me all kinds of advice; "Well maybe you should have asked him more questions." "Well maybe you could have tried to slowly draw him out." "Well maybe this, maybe that..." And it pisses me off.
There's nothing I hate more than filmmaking advice about a movie that's already made from people who weren't there. It's even worse when they're completely wrong and/or they don't know what the fuck they're talking about. No one knows more about what went wrong than I do, and I can tell you exactly what went wrong:
* I didn't understand just what he meant we he told me there was a lot he didn't want to talk about because he wanted to put it in a book.
* His clammed-upness threw me off guard. I thought I had his trust but it turned out I really didn't.
* I wasn't prepared to deal with the above situation.
* Since I had to rent everything but the camera (basically), and since this was my first project doing absolutely everything myself, I wasn't as comfortable with technology involved to be able to just set it and forget it. I was too preoccupied with making sure everything was working right.
* I can't afford to shoot a documentary about an old man who lives 1,500 miles away.
The book thing was the worst. He thought if he talked about something on camera he wanted to put in the book he'd be taking something away from the book. I have no fucking clue why he thought that. This is a big peice of advice I get a lot that I just can't stand:
Maybe you should have convinced him that the film would either not effect the book at all or it would add to it.
Yeah. Never thought of that. Gee, I fly 1,500 miles and it turns out he doesn't want to give me anything because of some book he's writing and I just roll over and say "OK".
Anyway, that's the update on that. It's a sore issue with me because now it's like I owe him, his wife, his kids, his grandkids, my family, and his war buddies a compelling film about him because he deigned to give me a few hours of his time over 3 days. The atmosphere is sort of like I took something from him for my own personal gain and glory, so I better make something good because I owe it to him. Shit, man.
So that's why for 3 months I didn't even look at the stuff. I needed to start from a somewhat dispassionate viewpoint. Now that it's been awhile I can start working on it some more. Not looking forward to it though.
Too busy to post anything. Sorry to disappoint one person per month...
But I just got to say, all the bad shit that's been going down in Iraq lately, it's not all a bad accident, it's not just how things have been working out, it's not bad luck, it's not because things just aren't going our way...
Every fuck up, every riot, every dead soldier is part of Bush's policies manifest. Everything is turning to shit because of him. It's that simple.
His untruthful, misguided, ignorant policies have created the situation we're in. 20 soldiers were killed recently not because we're having a run of bad luck, they were killed because we have a corrupt, mendacious and inept government.
The situation in Iraq is the culmination of the Bush White House's incompetence. If things were going great, they'd be the ones to praise because it's their policies and decisions driving everything, but unfortunately everything is going to shit.
See, people tend to think of how things would be if people just acted as they should. In regards to Iraq, something along the lines of 'if the Iraqis just worked together to rebuild their country everything would be great" or whatever.
That's not how the universe works. Things do not progress according to how you wish them to, they progress, in this situation, according to the actions taken or not taken. People predicted this. They predicted chaos, they predicted billions and billions would be needed, they predicted tens and tens of thousands of soldiers would be needed. Everything that is happening first of all never needed to happen. Second, it didn't have to happen. [what I meant was the invasion never needed to happen first of all, and second, even given the invasion the occupation never had to be so poorly done- everything that's happening had been accounted for and ignored). It's happening because we have the worst fucking president in the history of this country in the office right now.
Know anyone who's gonna vote for Bush? Punch them in the back of the head for me, will ya'?