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grahamhgreen's Journal
grahamhgreen's Journal
December 29, 2013

"I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on"

Whenever I read comments by politicians defending the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Predator and Reaper program – aka drones – I wish I could ask them some questions. I'd start with: "How many women and children have you seen incinerated by a Hellfire missile?" And: "How many men have you seen crawl across a field, trying to make it to the nearest compound for help while bleeding out from severed legs?" Or even more pointedly: "How many soldiers have you seen die on the side of a road in Afghanistan because our ever-so-accurate UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicle] were unable to detect an IED [improvised explosive device] that awaited their convoy?"

Few of these politicians who so brazenly proclaim the benefits of drones have a real clue of what actually goes on. I, on the other hand, have seen these awful sights first hand.

I knew the names of some of the young soldiers I saw bleed to death on the side of a road. I watched dozens of military-aged males die in Afghanistan, in empty fields, along riversides, and some right outside the compound where their family was waiting for them to return home from mosque.

December 25, 2013

On Creepiness

From "Models" by Mark Manson:


The number one fear deterring men from openly expressing their sexual desires towards women is a fear of being perceived as “creepy.”

There are a lot of reasons for this, and I’ll spare you the anti- feminism rant that demonized male sexuality in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The point is, most modern men have a legitimate fear of being creepy.

Before we jump into what creepiness is exactly, and what women mean when they complain about it, I need to give the same type of painful-truth serum I gave for rejection:

There’s no such thing as a man who is good with women who isn’t also creepy some of the time.

The fact of life is that if you are a man who expresses his sexuality freely (and you should), some women, some of the time, are going to find you creepy. It’s simply unavoidable. No matter how cool, rich, good-looking and charming you are, at some point, somewhere, a girl is going to be creeped out by you.

So as a friend of mine says, “give yourself permission to be creepy.” There’s no other way. And look, it’s not the end of the world. There’s no Creepy Police who come and handcuff you and take you away for creeping on some girls every now and then.

Hell, once you let loose, you may find (as many men do) that being creepy can even be funny at times.

Creepiness is one of these vague concepts that everyone knows but no one can really put into words. If you ask girls what creepiness is, they’ll give you roundabout answers and inevitably fall into examples of creepiness rather than an actual definition.
Of course, their examples are all over the map and seem to have absolutely no rhyme or reason to them.

(For what it’s worth, asking a bunch of female friends this question over the years, I’ve gotten examples of creepiness that have spanned from “he had dainty hands” to “he sips his drink like a girl,” to “putting too many smileys in text messages.” As is often the case, women are terrible authorities on why they like/dislike something, all they know is that they like/dislike it.)

Creepiness: behaving in a way that threatens a woman sexually or causes her to feel insecure.

Remember, the basis of all female attraction comes back to security. It’s why she looks for men less needy than herself. It’s also why she looks for men who speak and behave in line with their intentions.

The further you get out of line with your intentions, the creepier you become. For instance, if you approach a woman and stand there and talk about the weather, but she can tell that you’re horny and want to rail her like a jackhammer, then you will be creepy. Your actions and words are completely out of line with your intentions.

If you approach a woman and stare at her breasts the entire time you speak to her, you will also be creepy. Even if you tell her honestly, “You have great tits,” you will be creepy. Not for lack of intention, but because she doesn’t know you and most women are not comfortable being sexual around men they don’t know.

This is why vulnerability is so huge. When you’re vulnerable around someone you don’t know, you’ll inspire them to trust you and become more vulnerable around you. The more vulnerable a woman is willing to be around you, the less likely you will be to creep her out.

(Caveat 1: Vulnerability is still subject to the right intentions. If you tell a girl a sob story for no other reason than to get her to feel sorry for you and sleep with you, then guess what, you’re still creepy!)

(Caveat 2: Sex can be viewed as the ultimate act of vulnerability for a woman. The more vulnerable you make yourself around her -- by leading, by sharing your intentions, by being honest -- the more she will trust you and become vulnerable in return. Sex is a side-effect of that vulnerability.)

Paradoxically, the way to interact with women in a vulnerable way, and therefore the way to combat creepiness, is to accept that some women will find you creepy some of the time. Just as with rejection, the more you’re willing to risk it, the less it will happen.
The more comfortable you are with women finding you creepy, and the more uninhibited and vulnerable your actions and words are around women, the less likely they will be to find you creepy. The more reserved and closed up you are about your intentions, the more you attempt to manipulate her and mislead her about what you want and who you are, the more likely you are to become creepy.

Obviously, there are technical aspects of communication that affect this as well. Bad body language, strange conversation topics, uncalibrated humor, inappropriate touching -- these things can all
make you creepy even with the best of intentions. This is why I say that at some point you have to accept that you’re going to creep some women out and that’s OK. Because the alternative is to hide your sexuality and hope a woman comes to you... and well, we all know how well that works out.

December 17, 2013

Obama asks us to "love and value" our children. New budget cuts 57,000 kids off of Head Start.

OBAMA (on Newtown): "We have to do more to heal troubled minds. We have to do everything we can to protect our children from harm and make them feel loved and valued and cared for." http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/16/nikki_giovanni_on_1_year_since

Meanwhile, 57,000 kids are to be cut out of Head Start:

David Cay Johnston: "And we’re going to kick 57,000 poor children out of Head Start, which means we’re going to narrow their economic futures and make all of us worse off in the future." http://www.democracynow.org/2013/12/16/makes_absolutely_no_sense_david_cay

In my view, it's time to start implementing the ideals put forth by Obama in his speech on Newtown.
December 14, 2013

We Arrest Banksters.

Don't know if this has been posted yet, but here ya go

December 2, 2013

Salon: Intelligence committee chairs want you scared. You should be angry

You’ve been flippant, America. You forgot to be scared. Or, perhaps, you’ve been scared about your communications being swept into NSA spy dragnets. But you forgot to be scared of terrorists, silly America. You wanted Constitutional protections? Well, that’s because you’re not scared enough. But listen up, America, the chairs of the House and Senate Intelligence committees have something to say: be afraid, be very afraid.“I think terror is up worldwide, the statistics indicate that. The fatalities are way up. The numbers are way up. There are new bombs, very big bombs. Trucks being reinforced for those bombs. There are bombs that go through magnetometers. The bomb maker is still alive. There are more groups than ever. And there is huge malevolence out there.” You hear that, kids? Huge Malevolence! Bombs! Death! Oh My! And you wanted privacy? In the face of unnamed malevolence existentially threatening your nation, your home, your kids and your puppies and — don’t forget — your freedom. Malevolence hates your freedom.
Feinstein and Rogers did not mention that anti-U.S. sentiment has been stoked in drone-struck Yemen and Pakistan. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) found that from June 2004 to September 2012 U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan alone killed between 474 to 881 civilians, including 176 children. Last year, when Yemeni youth and human rights activist Baraa Shiban spoke to Congress about Yemenis responding to civilian deaths by U.S. drone fire, he said “What does the U.S. mean to these people now? A blasted car, and gruesome footage of dead families?” But in describing rage at the U.S. as “malevolence,” Feinstein tacitly rejects that the anger and radicalization may be grounded in responses to U.S. violence. It was Feinstein, after all, who erroneously claimed that civilian deaths by U.S. drone strikes each year were “typically been in the single digits.”
“We’re not safer today,” said Rogers. Whatever truth resides in his remark owes much to the U.S.-led War on Terror. But it will — or at least should — take more than empty fear-mongering and threats of general “huge malevolence” to defend shadowy and vast surveillance operations and the government’s preemptive treatment of millions of Americans as potential terror threats. Feinstein and Rogers want you scared, America. It seems more appropriate to be furious.


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