Just when I looked forward to blogging about less serious topics, another steaming pile of shit hits the fan concerning Iraq.
I just knew this story was going to explode sometime down the road back when I watched General Kimmet field increasingly hostile questions about these allegations from the press during his briefing that is sometimes aired on C-Span and cable news.
Photos of the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners have surfaced and were aired on CBS' 60 Minutes II show. These photos were front page news in Europe and in the Middle East, and now they're the big story here. Personally, I share a deep disgust with the president's foreign policy in Iraq, the mistreatment of our soldiers there, and the fact the weasel-in-chief would even comment on it.
Having served in the Army for several years (luckily between wars), I was curious to find out a little more about these Military Police serving in some hell-hole in Iraq. I mean think about it: being in Iraq would be bad enough, but then to be in charge of a prison there too? I'm not making any excuses for professional soldiers who may have acted unprofessionally, I'm just exploring the story a little further to get a glimpse into the possible causes for this abhorrent unprofessionalism.
"We are second-class soldiers," Staff Sgt. Richard Thompson said in an interview. "We are away longer from our families. We are assigned to jobs we're not trained to do. Our equipment is lacking."
Personally, I served 3 years in active duty overseas and then several years as a reservist. There is a difference in the attitudes toward full-time soldiers and that of reservists and guardsmen. This is very dangerous now that our country is relying so heavily on these part-time soldiers to carry out so many operations at the same time all over the world.
Poor morale means little retention of trained soldiers. More than half of surveyed soldiers in Iraq said they would not re-enlist because of the way they were being treated themselves. If the soldiers are not being treated well, how do you think they are going to treat the apparent enemy?
"Our generals need to face the reality here," said Master Sgt. C.J. Nouse, 39, from the 372nd MP Company. "Reserve members can't possibly keep this pace up. With deployments to Bosnia and for homeland defense, our families are continuing to suffer. Does anyone care?"
The first time I player-spawned on the rooftop of a building in Cityrush, I had to blink to make sure I hadn't somehow loaded Duke Nukem 3D, but I saw no Piggies with badges and felt better when I heard the familiar game voice telling me that a bot had joined the game. The DN3D look and feel of this map is pulled off well, down to the Playboy magazine cover lying around.
While some other map authors might complain that it is just a open box map, I would point out that most real city neighborhoods are also plain box maps. Hack-writer uses building facade textures with enough windows to create the appropriate visual scale of 1-6 story buildings in an urban fragfest. There are also several interesting shooter_ entities, like the tank and the gun triggered to protect the Red Armor, which I haven't seen used much since Q2. The bots did well, lighting is good, there are multiple respawn locations, and player items like weapons, health, ammo, and power-ups are distributed well.
Cityrush is a break from the overly-detailed and beveled maps and this Russian Q3A map author seems to understand that gaming is just supposed to be fun. It is a fairly simple map with a retro urban gaming theme that is fun to play FFA, but especially CTF. It would be great for a Fraggin' Friday LAN party -- the more, the merrier.
The cyber-squatting decision by the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization means that Marshall Mathers will own the domain name "eminemmobile.com", instead of the original domain name registrar, Joker.com or Visitair Ltd.
You'll remember that in another court, Eminem pleaded no-contest to the brandishing/concealed weapons charges stemming from the incident with Insane Clown Posse. And more recently, a Detroit judge sentenced 16-year-old James Antonio Knott to more than four years for carjacking Eminem's mom, Debbie Nelson, with whom Eminem also became tied up with litigation. Where did Em's mom get jacked? You guessed it -- on 8 mile road.
In other happier news, Eminem's newest music with D12 world, released this week, seems to be doing well ... which is great because I really do like him and his music. Something that went unreported about Eminem, except that I heard it from the mouth of the man who set it up: Eminem recently spent a while backstage with a terminally ill kid and swapped hats with him. Who made the right phone calls? My illegitimate father, Don Imus.
One of my favorite Emimen quotes is about notoriety: " Suddenly, you're not cool no more, you're like the Kris Kross jeans or something, even if at first you're the greatest thing since sliced cunt. "
Sliced what!? Umm (thinking) okay ... is that a new low-carb Atkins wrap from Subway Subs?
Schizophrenic Link Hopping is where I make you work for your government cheese. Click on a link that interests you. It will open a new window, so you can return to the list easier. Officially, it is topically spawned from You Can't Make This Shit Up (YCMTSU pronounced: ick' em soo). Even though some of it is true, and some of it is just me taking poetic license on reality. Nonetheless, it's a snapshot of the human condition from those trying to live it and probably the reason why God will soon smite us all.
Have you seen this man? Be On the Look Out. He is Clay Walker, Police Chief of Manalapan, Florida. According to a Miami Herald article by Noah Bierman, Walker plans on Manalapan being one of the first cities to use digital cameras with infared technology to capture license plate tags on vehicles passing through his town of 321 of the richest people in the United States. It seems there were several robberies last winter amongst the $500k homes.
Is Manalapan the first of many privacy dominoes to fall? Miami-Dade officials are looking into using it. The VP of the PIPS technology boasts that Palm Beach has been testing its on-street surveillance cameras since December. Even though Tampa Police scrapped their facial recognition system in Ybor City, a local nightclub hotspot, after several years with no arrests attributable to that system:
Police Chief Clay Walker says that if all goes well with the first phase -- placing two cameras on a quiet road that leads to the island's ''point'' neighborhood -- he'll put a camera directly on A1A, so that everyone who passes through the busy area will be recorded.
People in the United Kingdom are used to having cameras trained on them in public places, is this a needed public safety measure that the U.S. will just have to accept?