The War In Iraq Must End Now

A Puppet Government In Iraq Equals Disaster for the US

Three dead American soldiers outside their Humvee

The will of the people… is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.” —Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waring, 1801. ME 10:236

After five years of trying to impose an artificial democracy onto the people of Iraq, it’s clear the experiment is failing.
Bush’s surge is winding down, and without the American “cops” on every corner, violence is again returning to the streets in Iraq.
Why? Because Nouri al-Maliki’s government is not popularly supported by the Iraqi people. It’s a puppet government set up and maintained by the United States. And puppet governments just don’t work. They didn’t work, for example, in Vietnam, and they won’t work in Iraq.
Why not? Let’s look at some facts:
In Iraq, Shi’a Muslims comprise over 65% of the population; Sunni Muslims about 37%. Christians constitute a much smaller minority.
Through the Ba’ath Party, Sunni Muslims have ruthlessly controlled Iraq, subjugating the Shi’a as well as all the other religious minorities since 1963. Much of that time, the Ba’ath Party worked hand in hand with the CIA, including during most of Saddam’s reign – Saddam really didn’t fall from grace with the CIA or the US generally, until after he invaded Kuwait in 1990. That, of course, precipitated the First Gulf War.
Then came the current war.

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Manke Clean Burn Wood Pellets = Shorter Pellet Stove Firepot Life

Rusty firepot courtesy of Manke Clean Burn pellets
I just replaced the firepot on my pellet stove last week. $300.
I’ve heated my home with wood pellets for the last five years. I have a Quadrafire Santa Fe stove.
In a typical year, we’ll use about two tons of pellets in the heating season. When I got the stove, that’d cost about $300, which is a helluva good deal.
Last year, I spent just over $500 – which is still really inexpensive compared to any other form of heat.
For most of that five-year period, I’ve used Manke Clean Burn Pellets, which are produced here locally in Tacoma. They burn really hot, and produce almost no ash. The ash from two tons easily fit into the ash drawer on my stove.
I was cleaning the stove one morning last week and punched a hole in the side of the firepot – it had rusted through in the area by where the starter element was welded on to the pot (area circled in red on photo).
Also, I noted the white deposits on the air holes (arrows). I wet the tip of my finger and touched the white area, then tasted it – it tastes salty.
When I went to the dealer to get the new firepot, I described the damage to the parts guy – who used to work as a repairman. He asked how old the firepot was – I told him four years (it was replaced under warranty when the stove was one year old).
Then the guy asked, “You use Clean Burn, huh?”

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More Musings – The Hillary vs. Barack War & Movie Downloads Coming Soon?

Stop calling me Osama...

Democratic Party Commits Suicide

I thought it was bad a few weeks ago, but lately the contest between Clinton and Obama has sunk to new depths.
They continue to battle, back and forth, doing serious damage to each other. All while McCain and the republicans sit happily on the sidelines, biding their time.
It seemed clear – at least until a few weeks ago – that Obama was the best nominee, the one who had the best chance of winning the general election.
Now, that appears in doubt, with McCain gaining in the polls. All due to Clinton’s machinations and smears.
This whole thing is just flat wrong. Politics is a team sport, such as it is. And politicians are supposed to be team players.
But what it looks like right now, is that Hillary Clinton figures that if she can’t be the democratic nominee, then nobody will.
Talk about bad attitudes. I mean I always thought Hillary was okay. I liked her politics as well or perhaps even better than her husband’s. But what we’ve got here is that she’s essentially throwing the election to the republicans because she can’t be the nominee. She’s engineering a republican win. Handing the election to McCain.
The arrogance of it all!
I suppose some of the blame should properly be passed to the undeclared super delegates, as well. No one has stepped in to break the fight up. And they could have ended it easily by declaring – and didn’t.
All this collective stupidity just knocks me out. The demo’s ship is sinking, going down fast, but they’re all still running around fighting about who the captain is gonna be! Insane.
I really wanted to see a democratic victory in 2008. After all this, I’m wondering if I really even want to be identified with a bunch of retards like these people.
Maybe I’ll vote for Nader? Hmmm…. Now there’s a thought!

Movie Downloads Are the Killer App for the Internet

There was a good discussion over on AV Science Forums a few days ago on whether downloads would ever replace Blu-Ray discs. All the Blu-Ray people were talking as if BR was the be-all end-all format. “We’ll never ever need anything else!”
Right.

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