Random Access Memories

February 10, 2008

Children

by @ 8:52 am. Filed under Military, Personal, Politics

This morning I was listening to NPR, and one of it’s Valentines-themed stories. And it was talking to two female soldiers in Iraq and how they missed their babies.

And I began wondering, why is the attraction toward children so strong in the USA? For example, at one of my previous jobs I had mentioned I wanted no children and I was flatly told “Well, you’ll be a lonely old man”. Now beyond the fact that it was a statement amazingly devoid of tact it seemed to sum up the US feelings on kids quite well.

Other modern nations don’t have this tie as strongly as we do. The USA has a much higher birth rate than Europe, Canada, Australia and 90% of other “First World” nations as a whole.

Then I started looking very closely at the countries with the lowest birth rates. The list includes Germany, Austria, Italy, Monaco, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Greece and Switzerland. You might miss the pattern here, but I found it in a list of nations ranked by intelligence. In all versions of such a list that i’ve found online the USA is conspicuously absent.

Seems to make the future world portrayed in “Idiocracy” far more plausible doesn’t it?

August 29, 2007

Abu Ghraib arrogance

by @ 12:13 pm. Filed under Military, Politics

A military jury recommended a reprimand Wednesday for the only officer court-martialed in the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal, sparing him any prison time for disobeying an order to keep silent about the abuse investigation.

The jury had acquitted Army Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan a day earlier of all three charges directly related to the mistreatment of detainees at the U.S.-run prison in Iraq.

Those acquittals absolved Jordan, 51, of responsibility for the actions of 11 lower-ranking soldiers who have already been convicted for their roles at Abu Ghraib.

In short this means that no officer has EVER been held at all accountable for the actions of the soldiers in this incident.

Which I can only assume means that there has been a complete breakdown of command structure in the armed forces, and that military personal no longer report their actions and activities to a superior officer. And that no officer was “in charge” of the prison at the time these events took place.

Either that, or someone at the top is doing their damnedest to make this all go away quietly. I suspect this is the case since the only thing this man was found guilty of was not keeping his mouth shut.

“The buck stops here” has become “the buck stops way down there”.

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