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Friday, October 2, 2015

Water feature.

Do you really want to go? I don't know. It's a pretty inhospitable place. Very hot and dry, I'm told, and almost absolutely nothing grows there ... not even mold. Though that's a good thing, sort of, right? Still ... I'm less interested in Mars after having played there a few times. Not our crowd, really.

Oh, hi. Just having a momentous discussion with our mad science adviser, Mitch Macaphee, about what to do this weekend. What's that you say? A trip to Mars is too ambitious for the sabbath? Not sure I agree. In any case, we weren't talking about going to the planet Mars; we were debating over whether or not we should go see "The Martian". I was complaining about the condition of our local movie theater. Arid as sandpaper in there, and the seats are twice as rough. Then there's the foul aroma of popcorn - uuuhhl ...

As you know, we're not particularly big on movies or other forms of entertainment, frankly. Mitch likes to go to science fiction movies so that he can fact-check them, particularly the ones featuring diabolical mad scientists with ambitions to (dare I say it?) rule ... the world. He gets a kick out of poking holes in the flimsiest premises imaginable. The other day, he was tearing "Planet of the Dinosaurs" apart. Before that, it was "The Creeping Terror." Talk about straw men. And don't get Mitch started on Lost In Space or Journey to the Bottom of the Sea. He's up one side of Irwin Allen and down the other.

Mitch has some issues with Planet of the Dinosaurs.I guess there's a renewed interest in the red planet since NASA recently determined that there's evidence of flowing water on the surface - mostly ice melt in the mountains. Hell, we could have told them that. I can't remember which interstellar tour it was, but one time we played a ski chalet on Mount Olympus. The dry ice was up to our ankles, but there was some water ice as well - mostly in our cocktails, though. Pretty cushy arrangement, but again ... not our audience. And dry, very dry.

We should do another interstellar tour this winter. Got to get Mitch and his invention Marvin (my personal robot assistant) out of the mill a little more. They're getting like shut-ins, and that can only lead to sorrow.

Twilight of empire.

United Nations week is always entertaining on some level. Probably the best moments of this go 'round involved the usual great power hypocrisy. Putin talking about Assad's "valiant" fight against the terrorists - that's a bit over the top. But no one beats the U.S. in this category. Obama delivered cautionary rhetoric about how a world that can countenance Russian interference in eastern Ukraine would be setting a dangerous precedent:
... we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated. If that happens without consequence in Ukraine, it could happen to any nation gathered here today.
Imagine, great nations feeling as though they can intervene in other nations at will, in service to their own purported national interests. Whoever heard of such a thing? This Obama. Not this one.One can only guess what was running through the minds of so many members of the General Assembly when they listened to this balderdash, particularly those who have been on the receiving end of American military and economic power. Sure, it's heavy handed and gratuitous for Russia to start bombing parts of western Syria. I imagine there are countries who have sufficient moral standing to take issue with that. The United States is not one of them. We haven't a leg to stand on in that regard, and the fact that we complain the loudest about Russia's action is a bit too much like the kleptomaniac yelling "Thief!"

Set aside the fact that Russia is the tenth country to drop bombs on Syria, or that we were more than willing to overlook Turkey's attack on Kurdish forces (who were fighting ISIS) so long as Ankara pledged some level of strategic cooperation. We Americans have nothing to say on this issue. Look at every country we have "helped" in the greater middle east, north Africa, south Asia swath of territory that makes up a large portion of the Muslim world. Every one is a failed state or the next worst thing. Afghanistan is spinning apart, as is Iraq. Yemen is in pieces, now being bombed by our closest Arab ally. Libya is no more. Pakistan is teetering on the brink. When has our intervention ever helped anyone over the last sixty years?

Oregon Shooting. Disgusted beyond belief. I'm with the president on this one. We're just too dysfunctional to govern ourselves.

The Pope and the Clerk. Francis met with that religious zealot town clerk from Kentucky. Total dick move. Not sure who's idea that was, but fuck, that was stupid.

luv u,

jp