Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sailing away

Between Libya (how long do you think we'll be there? A month? A year? A decade?), Fukushima, Japan, the crazed righties (Ohio Senate Bill 5, the quiet dismantling of Wall Street Reform/the Dodd-Frank Act, NPR defunding), and all the rest of it, I can't handle the truth. At least not today, so here's a pic of Dad and me sailing on Lake Erie. I was probably about 15.


Leslie Morgan said...

Let's see. I have $1.98 that we'll be there neither a month nor a year, but much, much longer.

There's much to be said for a short sail-away. We return refreshed to take up the fight again.

Peace, Erin.

Anonymous said...

Hughes Missle Systems of Tucson, AZ gotta helluva lot more on the table than that Leslie.
"Tomahawk BGM-109"
Long-range subsonic cruise missile for attacking land targets.
Contractor: Hughes Missile Systems Co., Tucson, Ariz.
$1,400,000 - average unit cost

The truth: Sailing on Lake Erie

The lie: Cruise Missles are Humanitarian Aid


J9 said...

Some days you just gotta get on that tube top and short shorts and head out!

Leslie Morgan said...

Touche! Couldn't agree more, RJ. Now I'm going to sail off down denial like Cleopatra.

Bill the Wrenchbender said...

Yeah, reality sucks right now.
Quite the young hottie in that pic, does this make me a pedo?

Bill said...

Erin: The truth is that there are many things going on, in the world, that you don't like. There were many things going on in the world when you were 15. You have that fantastic memory of sailing Lake Erie with your Dad. Little OB can sail Lake Erie with her Dad. Life is pretty good Erin. What a country!

My favorite quote of the day:
Farrakhan to Obama: 'Be Careful, Brother. Who The Hell Do You Think You Are?'

Erin O'Brien said...

I sat there last night watching the bombs fly over Libya, thinking of Baghdad some 20 years ago ...

It's simply unbelievable.

Bill said...

The 'No Balls" coalition. I'm amazed at the number of countries, including Muslim countries, who are in on this. It's so fucking easy to bomb this poor ass nation. This one takes no balls to join. It's like a mob mentality.

Anonymous said...

Stupid move, getting involved in Libya. Then again the didn't ask me.

James Old Guy

Anonymous said...

Little white girls were sailing with their fathers off the Alabama Gulf Coast before Rosa Parks sat down in Montgomery.

Justice is not a matter of personal preference-"things you don't like going on Erin"- Bill, it's a matter of fact.

( What a country. I learned that in a state university where my tuition was paid with federal aid.)(Parentheses added to delineate a separate thought so Bill won't accuse me of changing the subject.)


Tony Rugare said...

Know exactly how you feel. I'm tuning out this latest war as far as TV is concerned. Waiting for the book. Can't believe the word verification - focke - that says it all.

Vince said...

looks a lovely day.

Such a pity the USA didn't stay back from this one. Involved, yes, but as support rather than active.

alphadog said...

Another sailboat is my plan B if all else fails and it all comes apart.

DogsDontPurr said...

At first glance, I thought this was a vintage photo of two glamorous celebrities sailing the Mediterranean.

Then I noticed that it's YOU!

So, I was only wrong about the "Mediterranean" part.

Great photo!

Once Known as The Badger said...

Bombing Libya: yet another great chance to make the world safe for oil companies! Let's hear it for the sign of the XX! What's a few miserable lives (theirs mostly, and maybe a few of ours) when the oil companies stand to profit so damn much???

Louis said...

Nice pic, Erin, except for your cute face being in shadow.

twinklysparkles said...

Look, I am easily depressed. I didn't watch the news for years and years and years. I now can't seem to get away from certain info because I am "plugged in." Not always good for my mental health.

Anyway, nice photo. 15? Wow, that's how old my oldest is now.

Hang in there and avoid spoiling your precious mind with junk that you don't need and can't use. Truth has many forms. I like RJ's

Bill said...

twinkles: No wonder you're easily depressed! You LIKE RJ's comments which are meant to be depressing and attempt to send you on a guilt trip. Nice job RJ! Oh yeah, twinkles. MMUAHH!

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Proud, crazed rightie here.


Johnny Hammond said...

Erin...You wrote, "Between Libya (how long do you think we'll be there? A month? A year? A decade?)News Flash, we're not in Libya. Our ships are supporting a multi-national air force from the Mediterranean sea many miles away. You're merely sensationalizing the facts in order to stir up your left wing readers. Regarding Senate Bill 5, the Dodd Frank Act and NPR defunding. Looks like the crazed righties are dishing out some truth. Can you handle it?

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Just a few quick observations on Libya ....

Johnny is correct that for the moment, anyway, we have no forces on the ground in Libya. However, keep in mind that the missile strikes hit air defense and command and control facilities (C2 facilities). Any ground offensive with the ostensible objective of removing Qaddafi from power would have to begin with these types of strikes. Add to the fact that French and British air forces are hitting tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, etc., and you have what we used to call in my Army days "prepping the battlefield."

We can only speculate at this point how long this "no fly zone" will last. We can also only speculate if and when, if ever, we or the French/Brits will deploy ground troops there. Personally, I think that if the decision is made to remove Qaddafi from power, it will be an economy of force operation. My guess is that Special Operations Forces would deploy and work alongside the Libyan resistance, much they did with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in 2001, calling in air strikes, training them and leading them in Foreign Internal Defense and Special Reconnaissance missions.

Bottom line: I don't see this turning into Iraq or Afghanistan, so perhaps the trepidation of some is misplaced.


Big Mark 243 said...

Eh... smarter guys than me have talked all the good points to death... besides, I don't feel up to being that 'deep' about things I really can't control beyond who I vote for...

... with that, I go back to your picture and how hot you were..! As for who was sailing when Rosa Parks was sitting... how about finding out who is buying the records of rap stars who keep the misogyny and self-loathing flying..? And I don't care if a bunch of non-blacks do it as much as it is intellectual hari-kari for black folks to be in on the scam...

...besides, white girls taste good..!

Erin O'Brien said...

Dear Mr. P- er ... I mean Mr. Hammond. Of course it was utterly dense of me to misunderstand our involvement. No blood on our hands! The shit we're doing is miles away!

Cleveland Bob said...

Ignore. The. Trolls.

We're a nation of war mongers, plain and simple.

Listen, we don't make things anymore in the US, there are no jobs left, we import everything from abroad so all that's left to do is have the gov'mint place its jackboot squarely on the neck of the worker and bomb the living fuck outta the rest of the planet.

It's over folks. Do what Erin says and go sailing.

Erin O'Brien said...

Bob, that is so sad and so true. Three wars in the Middle East. THREE FUCKING WARS.

Bill said...

Kramer,er Bob: We make windmills, solar panels, missles, jack boots, Chevy Volts, pinatas, cause related wrist bands, cause related ribbons. And, we export hope and change.

Ben said...

I don't wanna talk about war.

But I do wanna say: Thank god for tube tops and the girls who wear them.

Sailing with family and friends ranks pretty high on my list, too.

My captcha word: "ingingth". That describes my mood pretty well.

Vince said...

Some'ld say one war, three fronts.

Cleveland Bob said...

Touché, Bill.

Oh, and Erin, per your expert instructions, we made the Hungarian Lecho this weekend and holy katzenjammer kids, did it rock!

Praise be to Erin.

philbilly said...

Last night at dusk the grey sky and the lake melded into the same color, so that the delineation was blurred. I've seen it do this at summer dawn when the sky is hazy azure, too. I have a photo of a freighter appearing to hover in air on the missing horizon.
One of my favorite Lake Erie shows.

"how about finding out who is buying the records of rap stars who keep the misogyny and self-loathing flying..? And I don't care if a bunch of non-blacks do it as much as it is intellectual hari-kari for black folks to be in on the scam..." ++1

"...besides, white girls taste good..!" ++++1

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Obama lied! Others died!

Sorry, just couldn't help myself.


Anonymous said...

Dang that was one hot young lady.

James Old Guy

Dudesworthy said...

Three wars..?

That seems like an underestimation to me?

Afghanistan (Current)
Iraq (Current)
Libya (Current)
Pakistan (Current - Drone attacks last week)
Bahrain (Current - the Saudi's are using US made weapons, plus the 5th Fleet is based there)
Yemen (2009 - search google for US bombing raids)
Somalia (2007 - as before only more so)

I guess it depends on how you define 'war', but broadly the US has been involved in armed conflict in at least 7 countries in the middle-east/maghreb region in the last 5 years. (And that's without even mentioning Israel or Palestine)

Now, I actually think we are doing the right thing in Libya; there is a clear mandate from the UN, a real international coalition, and the alternative to action is to stand by and watch a genocide unfold, as happened in Rwanda and Bosnia in the 90s. However, I fully appreciate this sense that the US military is out of control in the region.

Anonymous said...

"Obama lied! Others died!"

No need to apologize you're right Al.

You know the world is turned upside down when Sen. Richard Lugar is the voice of moderation on the Sunday morning talk circuit.

I will be unequivically anti-war 'til the day I die but having said that my primary beef is I wish they'd just tell the fucking truth. This action is not about averting a humanitarian crisis it's about regime change. It's opportunistic. Sarkozy can do something to improve his dismal ratings and improve the French cred for being pussies in the face of conflict. Vince can fill us in on Cameron, et al. But in the mean time, as always, poor, disenfranchised people will be dying.



alphadog said...

The U.N. does not make policy for the United States. Not now nor, hopefully, ever.
Even Dennis Kucinich had it right this time.

Anonymous said...

I missed Dudes comment but he points out one of a zillion ironies. The fucking Saudi's are using weapons purchased from U.S. to help Bahrain crush their unrest.

A Saudi trained to fly in America was at the controls of the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11. The Muslims tried to open a community center in NYC and the righties went ballistic. Yet the U.S. sold 60 billion dollars of weapons to "The Kingdom" including 84 new F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets, and the U.S. is going to train SAUDI PILOTS to fly them at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho between 2013 and 2019. WTF? Where is the outrage?


alphadog said...

From yesterdays White House blog:
"And in the coming hours and days, my administration will keep the American people fully informed. But make no mistake: Today we are part of a broad coalition. We are answering the calls of a threatened people. And we are acting in the interests of the United States and the world."
Someone please tell me what U.S. interests we are acting in.

Kirk Jusko said...

I don't know if this is comparable to the war in Iraq. The latter was a blatant attempt to establish an American empire. The former seems to be more Obama (and other world leaders) reacting to events as they unfold. It may be a WRONGHEADED reaction, but I don't think an intervention was on anybody's mind as little as three weeks ago.

This actually reminds me of the bombing of Serbia during the Clinton administration. Just as now, it was the European allies that pushed for it, though it was the US that supplied most of the firepower. Why, when it's not even our idea? I think we can't stand the thought of other countries using their militaries. It's emasculating or something.

Erin, can I reply to Bill the Wreckbender's comment? I won't if it makes you uncomfortable.

Erin O'Brien said...

Comment away, Kirk. I daresay you don't need to ask.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

"I don't know if this is comparable to the war in Iraq. The latter was a blatant attempt to establish an American empire."


[em-pahyuhr; for 8–10 also om-peer] Show IPA
1. a group of nations or peoples ruled over by an emperor, empress, or other powerful sovereign or government: usually a territory of greater extent than a kingdom, as the former British Empire, french Empire, Russian Empire, Byzantine Empire, or Roman Empire.
2. a government under an emperor or empress.
3. ( often initial capital letter ) the historical period during which a nation is under such a government: a history of the second French empire.
4. supreme power in governing; imperial power; sovereignty: Austria's failure of empire in central europe.
5. supreme control; absolute sway: passion's empire over the mind.
6. a powerful and important enterprise or holding of large scope that is controlled by a single person, family, or group of associates: The family's shipping empire was founded 50 years ago.
7.( initial capital letter ) a variety of apple somewhat resembling the McIntosh.

Last time I looked, we haven't appointed an "Emperor of Iraq." Nor are we governing it. Nor do we have supreme control, absolute sway, or sovreignty (other than the US Embassy) in Iraq. Iraq was not about establishing an "empire" in the middle east. Depending on who you believe, it was about removing Saddam from power, protecting the flow of oil, going after Al Qaeda, securing WMDs, stopping terrorism, giving the Iraq people a chance at a better life, etc. But it most certainly wasn't about establishing an "American Empire" there. If we wanted that, we wouldn't be drawing down troops. The British Empire, for example, was guarded/enforced by it's Army and the Royal Navy, and British Civil Servants ruled the lands in which they'd established dominion. We don't do that in Iraq, or for that matter, in Afghanistan.

We may never know the real reason for going into Iraq. However, to assert that we were trying to make an imperial "land grab" is ignoring current history, I think.


Anonymous said...

I nominate The Goat for Emperor. I think he could pull off a toga and an olive wreath crown.


Al The Retired Army Guy said...

His Royal Highness, The Goat, Emperor of Iraq. I like the sound of it ... ;-)

Her Royal Highness, Erin, Empress of Iraq and Duchess of Cleveland. That sounds good too. ;-)


Kirk Jusko said...

OK, Bill the wrenchbender wants to know if he's a pedophile for lusting after the 15-year old Erin. No, because a pedophile is defined as a person who lusts after children who haven't yet reached puberty. Erin has clearly reached puberty in that picture. Assuming Bill the wrenchbender is over 18, it would be against the law to have sex with the 15-year old Erin, even with Erin's consent (this is what I meant by uncomfortable), but for reasons having nothing to do with pedophilia. Statutory rape laws exist basically to prevent teen pregnancy. In fact, so do laws barring teenagers from having sex with each other. In recent years, the term "pedophile" has been so misused, that people assume it means sex with any minor, even a minor who's 15 minutes from their 18th birthday. Politicians have taken notice,and have stiffend the penalty for sex with a minor in many places. This is what happens when you use words like "pedophile" too carelessly.

I myself am guilty of using a word too carelessly. Instead of "blatant" I should have said "subtle". I do stand by the word "attempt". Just because you attempt something, it doesn't mean you'll succeed. As for assuring the flow of oil, first you have to grab the land the oil rests under.

Anonymous said...

Good point Kirk. BTW, I felt bad about making the joke about Goat because when I thought about it later I feared I had somehow diminished your comment about empire. I too often speak of American imperialism or empire. I think what might be helpful, or it is for me, is to emphasize the long view. I was born in 1954 and my history almost spans the post WW II era of American expansionism which I date from the Iranian Coup (see: Operation Ajax)of 1953. More recently I think imperialism has referenced the neoconservative strategy of exporting American Democracy with the barrel of a gun and includes our forays into Central and South America, Southeast Asia and of course The Middle East.
Anyway sorry if I diminidhed your post. I was weary and often resort to some silly comment to detach from a topic.


Kirk Jusko said...

No apologies necessary, RJ. I didn't take offense.

If "imperialism" is the wrong term for the actions of the US government that you describe in your comment, then somebody better invent a term and quick, because I don't know of any other word to describe it.

Bill the Wrenchbender said...

Yowee, just a joke, relax!
You're still quite the hottie, Erin, that's one lucky Goat ya got there.

Atom said...


I have an email which I received today from which I think you'll get a chuckle, and I'd like to send you, but I'm not certain how/where to forward it.

It's a humorous, dead on example of "old advertising" and how it completely destroyed women's self worth and esteem, while innocently pitching clothes.

If you're interested in seeing this piece, I need to know the address to which to send it.

You can reach me (or not, if it's somehow weird or inappropriate, I'm not clear on the rules yet), at

I'm sure I should be able to just enclose it with this message, but frankly, I don't know how, and if I ask any of my IT consultant colleagues, they'll never stop laughing at me.

Oh, and this message is not for the above thread.


Tom Harkness -- Atom in your blogging world.

Erin O'Brien said...

Atom, contact information is listed in the sidebar. Thanks for dropping in.

Dudesworthy said...

Alphadog... interesting comments there. I am compelled to answer!

1) I don't quite get your response, I didn't say that the UN decided US foreign policy; I suggested that it's resolutions are meaningful. For all it's flaws the UN remains the primary forum for the achievement of international consensus. I simply can't agree with you that it is wrong to disregard the outputs from that. World opinion matters.

2) What are the US interests in Libya? The cynics would say oil, but I think that's a fallacy; Libya has just 3.5% of the world's total oil reserves, for comparison, Canada has 14%. If US policy was to invade oil countries, then Obama wouldn't be messing around in Africa - the tanks would be rolling north to seize Alberta.

I think that idealists would say that the US is intrinsically revolutionary - it's the greatest and most successful Republic that western civilization has developed, and it is the very nature of this country to spread the revolution.

I suppose a realist would point to Lockerbie, and to Gadaffi's previous weapons programs - if he somehow survived, and regained control, how many hours do you think it would take before he began working against US interests. Gadaffi has to go.