Welcome to V. Lazaro Zamora's Blog

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I know I'm a bit of a paranoid freak to some of you and a crackpot to boot. But, my rants are nothing compared to this psycho. If I ever get to this point please have me shaved, sedated and locked away for a long time.

Do you like the picture? I saw this on a West LA bridge and had to turn around and stop traffic to take a pick on my cell phone. Most people honked. Some gave me the finger and one guy through a bottle at my car but, it was ultimately worth the humiliation. So, the big question: is the War a lie?? Well, war is a very profitable enterprise. I know a lot of people reason the invasion of Iraq by saying we need to fight "them" over there. Though fighting them over there was never the reason for going there in the first place. There was that whole WMD thing that has been brushed over by GWB and crew. Of course, mention this and the flag and apple pie crowd call you a traitor. A lot of resources are being expended on this war effort so, I started thinking that perhaps if we look at this from an economic point of view we might find out how useless this war has really been. But, I'm no economist and numbers bore the shit outta me so, here goes nothing:
Why is it that this story has been ignored by every major media outlet in America?
These people are wasting our tax dollars, providing little if no services and worst of all they are only there because of their support for GWB. I know how the system works but, there was a time when we prosecuted war profiteers. I suppose you need a president that gives a shit about how the American people are being ripped off in order to stop this type of thing.
Keep in mind though it is not against the law to make all kinds of money even when you are doing a lousy job. http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/degraw/41878
Every CEO has his day regardless of how well he or she runs the company. What matters is securing the contracts and making the investors happy. And quit being such a commie. If making a lousy 100 mil is the compensation that this fella gets well than that’s really only a drop in the bucket http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/evan/41893
If you watch the video Harry Reid did say 320 BILLION and no there haven't been any congressional oversight committees. So What? This war will be nothing more than a "comma" some day according to GWB.
So, what are we fighting for? If you recall from previous posts, I have mentioned the Military Industrial Complex (now referred to as the IRON TRIANGLE) that we were warned against. http://www.sonyclassics.com/whywefight/main.html This is a huge apparatus that influences and effects the everyday lives of common people. So why don't we care about it enough? Why would pictures of Suri Cruise be more important to us than where our money is being spent on this war? http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/11729724/the_low_post_another_tale_of_waste_and_fraud_unpunished/1
How does this madness happen? The same way that it happened throughout the cold war. We spent a lot on propagandizing the Soviet military machine, which scared the shit out of us. So much so, that this Iron Triangle grew out of control, until the Soviets decided they had had enough and were going to take their nukes and go home. That made us the undisputed heavy weight champs of the world but now we have a problem. We are left with an insatiable beast that, with the complicity of our congress (REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT!) and ourselves managed to grow beyond our ability to restrain it. This continues to happen and if we don't pay attention it will not stop any time soon. Maybe this type of website will help but it probably won’t http://iraqforsale.org/senate.php
So, to those who think that the war is a necessity because it's going to make us safer, you should have reason to think again
and again http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/09/26/musharraf.terror/index.html
(Incidentally, I saw this guy on Jon Stewart last night and regardless of what I think of his country, I'd trade him in for GWB any day of the week. He's smarter, wittier and has an opinion based on his knowledge not his apocalyptic paranoia.
and though it won't be until after the elections
“There is an NIE on Iraq. Specifically on Iraq that has been left in draft form at the National Intelligence Council. That is because some of our leaders don't want us to see it until after the election.”
- Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA)
And if you are still wondering if this war is going to make us safer here at home, consider whether or not WE are making Iraquis safer in their homes? http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060927/ts_nm/iraq_mortars_dc

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My dog is now a Mexican. Really though, never get a Jack Russell unless you have lots of space, lots of patience and lots of experience handling dogs. They are not for the timid and require a very strong hand. Great dogs, very loyal but a nightmare with kids, small things that move fast and furniture.
Now, on to the news:
I'm one of those silly people that can't find much sympathy for terrorists. I understand that we need to stop them; they want to hurt us, etc... In fact, I think if we really must torture them I would be ok with it under 3 circumstances: A) It must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is a terrorist, who has committed a terrorist act not just some low level Jihadi wannnabe gangstar. B) That he without question has information that is vital to the national security of this or any other nation. And C) that the torture be televised and that all Americans be given a day off from work, so we can stay home with our loved ones and watch it. I know this all seems a bit unreasonable but so does torture. Y'know it just doesn't work. Its so passé'.
It didn't help the French in Algeria, the Germans in Europe, The Vietnamese at the Hanoi Hilton, ok maybe the Israelis in Palestine on a couple of occasions, but ultimately it's just not the American way. Have you noticed that people who have been tortured are strongly opposed to us torturing terrorists, while guys like Cheney, who refused to serve, are really gung-ho about it. This is what happens when you send the wrong guy off to be tortured:
It makes us look like assholes. Well, my fellow baseball and apple pie lovers, I as an American refuse to be looked upon as an asshole by the international community. Why, even with all this torture business going on (again, for Chrissakes!) we have to be reminded by Democratic minority leader, Harry give em' hell Reid that the President has yet to provide us with a single convicted terrorist as a result of his policies:

“Five years after September 11, not a single terrorist has been brought to justice under the President’s flawed policy. There is a bipartisan process underway in the United States Senate to fix the failed Bush Administration system that was struck down by the Supreme Court. Instead of picking fights with Colin Powell, John McCain, and other military experts, President Bush should change course, do what the American people expect, and finally give them the real security they deserve.”

Look guys, we can't even seem to arrest the right guys. This poor shlub has been arrested before and he has apparently only been doing his job.

and I fear it might not be an isolated incident. Seventy to 90% of the knuckleheads we locked up in Iraq were "MISTAKES"??? That’s not a mistake that’s a huge fuck up!
We can't seriously believe that the lock em up and beat the shit out of them approach is actually working when we see the violence... Oh I forgot that stuff is all censored, but if it weren't you would see the violence and know it's not working.
Remember, this is done in the name of preventing terrorism and to keep us safe, but I believe it is a viable question to ask if we are only creating more terrorism ourselves by behaving like terrorists. Before you get bent out of shape by me saying that, I suggest you look up, as I have, the definition of the word. It's become quite ambiguous and as you can see here, can just as easily be applied to some of what we do around the world for our own benefit and in fact, one can safely say the definition itself is twisted to fit the state, group or individual using it for their own benefit. Very confusing indeed, will someone please get Noam Chomsky to define it for us...

"Well that brings us back to the question, what is terrorism? I have been assuming we understand it. Well, what is it? Well, there happen to be some easy answers to this. There is an official definition. You can find it in the US code or in US army manuals. A brief statement of it taken from a US army manual, is fair enough, is that terror is the calculated use of violence or the threat of violence to attain political or religious ideological goals through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear. That’s terrorism. That’s a fair enough definition. I think it is reasonable to accept that. The problem is that it can’t be accepted because if you accept that, all the wrong consequences follow. For example, all the consequences I have just been reviewing. Now there is a major effort right now at the UN to try to develop a comprehensive treaty on terrorism. When Kofi Annan got the Nobel prize the other day, you will notice he was reported as saying that we should stop wasting time on this and really get down to it.

But there’s a problem. If you use the official definition of terrorism in the comprehensive treaty you are going to get completely the wrong results. So that can’t be done. In fact, it is even worse than that. If you take a look at the definition of Low Intensity Warfare which is official US policy you find that it is a very close paraphrase of what I just read. In fact, Low Intensity Conflict is just another name for terrorism. That’s why all countries, as far as I know, call whatever horrendous acts they are carrying out, counter terrorism. We happen to call it Counter Insurgency or Low Intensity Conflict. So that’s a serious problem. You can’t use the actual definitions. You’ve got to carefully find a definition that doesn’t have all the wrong consequences. "
(for the entire transcript, which is actually quite brilliant see: http://www.zmag.org/GlobalWatch/chomskymit.htm )

Thank you Prof. Chomsky if that doesn't clear it up 4 us I don't know what will...
Bottom line: its plain ol' un-American to torture people or keep them locked up with out trial. Let's stop allowing these politicians to wrap themselves up in ol' glory. What they are really doing is teaching the youth of tomorrow to goose step all over the constitution. It must end NOW if only to avoid more of this ( This is the creepiest movie trailer I have ever seen; I must see this film.):

These are two more important links. This first one is from Amnesty International and it is the statement from some poor sap that got sold to the Americans by the Pakistanis and was shipped off to Guantanamo. Personally, I think alot of his story is true and I was reminded of the Abu Gharib prison scandal as i read it.
And then of course there is this from ABC news which confirms that we are engaging in torturing people. Note that this report states that torturing detainees is not the most effective from of coercing information from them.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I expect the level of stupid ass comments from our fearless leaders to quell somewhat during the political season. It seems, however, that there is no shortage of stupid ass comments or stupid asses. Michael Wynn, the Secretary of the Air Force wants to use "non-lethal" weapons on rowdy American protestors. For those who aren't sure what a "non-lethal" weapon might be imagine a cannon that might be mounted on top of a vehicle, but instead of shooting bullets or cannon balls or even water, this cannon would shoot out things like microwaves or emit some high pitched noises that would make you sick or make your head feel like it was going to explode. His reasoning is that it would be better to use it on our own people than to have a bunch of Arab terrorist types saying we are torturing their people. So, field test it in the good Ol' USA and then use it on the rowdy crowds in the Middle East.
Well, how bout this for an idea. We take a 55 gallon drum filled with un-popped popcorn and we cram it up Mr. Wynn's ass. Then we point the working end of that portable torture chamber at Mr. Wynn and set it for about 3 minutes. We do this in the middle of downtown Baghdad, that way we will have exported something totally American which the Iraqis might actually like and be grateful for.
Speaking of dumb asses please see this video. It proves once and for all that Dennis Hastert is the biggest douche bag on capital hill besides Ted Stevens of Alaska, but not as big a douche bag as Zell Miller. Notice that half of these morons don't know to face the flag when singing and the other half don't even know the words. Pathetic!
By the way, the picture is me in my prime and no less angry. Even back in the Army I was rebellious and thus volunteered to play the role of opposition force in every exercise. Those are my bros Webb and Coe and a big HuuAhh to them.
Stay Angry!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pakistan seems like a really fucked up place. I know what you're thinking. It can't be worse than Berwyn. Well, let me tell you my friends it just might be. Are these guys fighting terrorism or not? Whose side are they on? Frankly, I don't think they are on any side. It looks like what we have here is a classic case of opportunism meets good old fashioned militarism. Remember those corrupt governments that the US sets up and backs, regardless of how brutal they are? Well, from time to time they come into their own and when they do they tend to bite us in the ass. Case in point, Iran. But, don't take my word for it, read Chalmers Johnson's "Blowback" if you need a second opinion. In the meantime, it appears that the Pakistani government will be providing safe haven for terrorists. A rugged area of the country where angels fear to tread. A kind of campground for lunatics called Waziristan:

But, don't fret cuz apparently Osama won't be welcome here. If he decides to show up to the party we shut off the music, untap the keg and ignore him:

Yo, fuck that, party on!!! Osama is apparently too much of a party animal to ignore:

So, we aren't going to be sure about our ally Pakistan and their role in the war on terror any time soon. I doubt we will ever see these backwards ass, rubber-tire sandaled, cave morlocks join the rest of the civilized world:

Then again, maybe civilization is hard to attain when there is so much $$$$$ to be made:

P.S. They still have The Bomb!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Listen you fuckers, you screw heads! Naw you aren't a screw head. I just love that line in "Taxi Driver". I have been here for about going on two months now. I gotta tell you its great here man. LA is the shit! The weather alone is a fantastic reason to live out here. I mean every day it’s in the mid 70s with clear skies and sun, sun, sun! My blood pressure has dropped since moving out here and i think I have actually lost about ten pounds without trying. This is a great place to be. With that in mind i would like to address this open letter to our famed and glorious, golden state leader, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Dear Governor Sir,

I am happy to report to you that my first couple of months as a Californian are going quite well. It is this state's love for fun, sun and it's live and let live attitude that have made the transition a rather smooth one. I must, however, make it my responsibility to warn you of a grave threat that imperils the very foundation of the great republic, the repercussions of which could suck the fun right out of the entire state. I speak to you of the tide of immigrants that flood our great state. We must do all that we can to stem this invasion of people from East of the Rockys. I know how you feel about placing troops on our state's borders, but I assure you it is necessary. We have all seen these people from the mid-west and parts beyond. They don't smile, make eye contact or greet you with a nod and a pleasant California style, "how you doin, man." Nay, sir these villainous blue-eyed devils carry a tension in their shoulders that I have not seen since I crossed the Missouri border on my way to the land of freedom and vine ripe avocados. Why just the other day I bared witness to a driver with Ohio plates flipping the bird to one of our friendly California motorists. Just recently I read, in that demeaning rag, the LA Times an article saying that the city was trying to appeal to these uptight NYC pinstripe types. That we are trying to entice these corporate types to come here and set up shop. Well, governor I believe as you do that the business of America is business, but not if it comes at the price of sacrificing our way rugged individualist ways. If New York doesn't want to see our Darwinian experiment in the form of cardboard shanty towns lining the streets of LA, then they should stay home and deal with their own cardboard shanty towns. Besides ours have a higher resale value. To put it plainly sir, these people are philistines that do not deserve our warm sun, toasty beaches and two-toned blondes. We are freedom lovers and they are freedom haters. That is why I call upon you to make it illegal to give safe harbor to these vile and despicable honkeys. You can make a difference in the lives of future Californians just as the greatest Californian who ever lived; John C. Fremont did when he declared war against the Mexican government and declared California an independent republic in 1846.
Respectfully submitted,
V. Zamora
Torrance, CA


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Free Ninja lessons are no Wok in the park. I will post this at the request of my Aikido brethren... A shout out to them all.

I was in the park a couple of weeks ago, when I spotted a pair of black clad, Asiatic, ninja warriors. I was immediately drawn to the sight of a bag full of bokken and jo that they were carrying. For those not familiar, the bokken is a wooden sword and the jo a staff, used in Aikido. Now, all of my attempts to pin down a decent dojo have met with negative results. Either no one returns my calls or emails, or their websites are terrible and have limited or no information to aid me in my search. I figured, I didn't want my suburi to get rusty, while i search so, naturally I extracted an invite for myself to one of their little workout sessions in the park the following day. I figured it would just be us 3 since no one mentioned an actual class. Of course, when i arrived the following day, with sticks in hand, I found a group of multi-ethnic ninjas all POSING (first ignored hint to run like hell outta there) with various weapons from nunchaku to spear to katana and sai for pictures. I asked the instructor, MASTER P (rest of name omitted to protect the stupid; hint number 2) if I could join; "no problem".
The class started with straight kicks into the air. No stretching, no breathing, no sense (hint number 3). We moved on to punch and block with a step off line, where we had to hop from one side of our bird shit, stained piece of concrete to the other side. Great exercise with one flaw; In Aikido we don't punch people. So, if you can imagine me trying to look cool doing Tae Bo, you get the picture. Apparently I wasn't the only one having problems with this exercise. The fifteen, or so, 5 year olds in our class, who still weren't clear about which way was left, and the ten or so, twelve year olds who also weren't clear about which way was right ( I can't wait till Chino starts school with these little freaks), were making our master very impatient. So, in his ancient, Korean, ninja wisdom he decides to pull out a bag full of chopped up pieces of bokken, jo and other assorted pieces of wood and he divides us students into two camps. Adults on one side, including me and the ninjas to be, and about forty children on the other side. He tells us to use the punch and block movement we have just learned to move out of the way before the wood hits us (hint number four, but by this time what could I do?). Sure enough, this knuckleheaded ninja starts WHIPPING these chunks of wood at our balls, one at a time. The children were not spared pain or humiliation either. I should point out that the entire time this was happening, my temporary master was yelling and making everyone do pushups for even the slightest infractions of his rules; rules no one but him was familiar with. I'm happy to report that I, having abandoned his pseudo-ninjitsu style and reverting to my familiar, Aikido, soft glide, off center style, was able to keep my testicles from being bruised.
We did this for about twenty minutes when the master decided it was time for a more personal lesson for his followers of the ancient way. While the children continued being target practice for one of his apprentices, we were brought out onto the sidewalk in front of the court yard where we were at. He turned his back to us and started whipping the chunks of wood over his head at us. He told us that we could all die in a drive by shooting and the wood represented how random the bullets would be. One of the proxy bullets happened to go whizzing past a black lady's head missing her by only a fraction of an inch (good ninja reflexes on her part). When he realized that he had nearly taken out a civilian’s eye he said, "This might not be such a good idea" to which the black lady replied, "no, it really isn't." This was a humiliation that no ninja master could bear in front of his own students. So, he called her a "real rocket scientist with a big mouth" (after she had left of course), told us our own stupidity would kill us, then sent us on a run one time around the park. I hate running. I really hate it! So, I just looked at him... He said, "Go ahead. I don't care how long it takes... You'll thank me in six months." I replied with a big thumb up and by the time I had gone about 50 yards, my claves started knotting up on me. So, I walked the rest of the way. Low and behold, after my nice stroll through the park, I returned to find the class had moved on to standing in the crow position. Not familiar with it? You take your arms and fold them against your body and you lift and try to balance yourself, off the ground using only your two hands. If done correctly it gives one the appearance of a resting bird; I looked like a big, fat guy having an epileptic seizure, banging his head against the bird shit stained, concrete. We spent the rest of class going from push ups to standing position and every time someone would moan, we were made to do more pushups. Funny part is he kept commanding us to moan. He said it was his way of getting all the attitude out of us. Mixed message? You bet.
We ended with going from standing at ease to standing at attention and saluting and closed this exercise in martial stupidity with the reciting of his ten ninja rules (no really, he said they were his ten ninja rules). While I can't remember them all, they involved making sure to do your homework, always be faithful to your parents, never lie or swear and always working hard to be the best. I was surprised that there was no mention of God or country but, I suppose he wanted to prove Oscar Wilde wrong; patriotism is not only a virtue of the vicious. After class, I approached him to thank him. After all, I wasn’t' going to see him again, so it wouldn’t' hurt to thank him for his time and expert knowledge (?). He asked how I enjoyed the class and if I would be returning. I just told him it really wasn’t' what I was looking for and had noticed his students with the sticks and that I thought it would just be us doing some extra curricular in the park. He told me, from behind his ninja sunglasses (yes, he actually called them that during class), that I would have to build up my ninja skills and might eventually get to that point with alot of good ninja training and some weight loss. I've had douche bag, jock types tell me how the only way I can achieve anything in life is by losing weight all my life so, this came as no insult or surprise. I did however mention that I had studied both weapons for a few years now in Aikido, to which he replied, "Oh, Aikido... yeah." The final straw came when I mentioned that I had a 9 year old and he said, and repeated, "I love to get them young." Weird and disgusted don't describe my feelings at that moment.
If there is a lesson to be learned in all of this it is that anyone can call him or herself an instructor of the martial arts but, it is up to the student to know whether the instructor is a charlatan like this creepy bastard. Unfortunately, if you don't know any better you are bound to wind up in a class like this with a poser tossing shuriken at your head and calling it good training. People like this guy, could turn potentially good students into couch potatoes after only one class. I say that if you want to teach you should have to either be a qualified instructor with certification in your art, CPR training and some teaching credentials or the equivalent of an associate’s degree. Either that or we put you in a ring of fire with poison darts shooting down at you and you have to fight a tiger and a 400lbs gorilla at the same time. If you survive you can forego the above mentioned certification standards and go right to master of the way. That will surely separate the true ninja warriors from the posers.

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