This should probably be two posts, but I rarely blog anymore and both are on my mind. I'll start with the philosophy stuff, because you probably won't read it if I wrote about the awesome poker game first.
So, what should be done with our wayward Marines who peed on dead Taliban?
I will first point you to my Vaclav Havel post talking about systems. This is a system issue. Notice, I didn't say system failure. Why? Because soldiers have been desecrating the bodies of their enemies since the beginning of time. It wasn't too long ago that rape and pillage were considered the spoils of war. Commanders would select the best wenches for themselves and leave the rest to the foot soldiers. The capable enemy became slaves. The injured, infirmed and elderly were shot. Bodies were decapitated and heads were placed on signposts as a warning. But we don't do that anymore. Why? Mostly because of two things. First, we are no longer allowed to defeat our enemies. We eliminate a few in power and then pay billions to the future warlords. This leaves enough of them to become offended when the desecration is broadcast on CNN, leading to point two, which is that this treatment actually emboldens the enemy and becomes an effective recruiting tool.
So what, you might ask, should happen to those poor Marines who were victims of the system that forced them to dehumanize the enemy in order to turn them into cold-blooded killers so they might do what our nation asked of them? Simple. Each peeing Marine should be sentenced to 10 years hard labor and their immediate leader should be put to death. Publicly. Immediately.
You might think I'm kidding, but I'm not. Just because they were doing what soldiers have done for eons, doesn't mean you shouldn't make an example of them. The damage has been done. This kind of example would set the right tone and prevent future nonsense, at least for a while.
The Ultimate Poker Game
My regular game is better than yours. Why? For hands like this:
The game is 2/5 NL with a forced $10 live straddle. It's still early and most players have between $300 and $1000 behind. I open UTG for $25 with AK and get called in 4 places. The flop:
I check. UTG +1 bets $25 and gets called in every position before it gets to me. I fold. Surely someone has the queen, right? The turn:
UTG +1 bets $55. One fold and then it gets to doc. Doc is another physician with a wider range than me, if you can believe that. He got stuck a grand early because he got stacked twice in the first two hands (never having higher than a 9), but worked his way back to about $800. He smooth calls. The button, who started the hand with about $700, now wakes up and raises to $200. UTG +1 shows me his pocket kings and mucks (duh). Doc doesn't even tank and goes ALL IN! Button now tanks and says, "Doc, show me the 2." Without missing a beat, Doc flashes a 2 and the button snap-calls with pocket 5s.
Doc then shows his Q-2 for the flopped full house and turned quads.
Why, you might ask, would the button call there? He played the hand perfectly. The raise was excellent. A re-raise could only mean one thing. No one here, especially Doc, is capable of making the kind of play to represent a queen here without having the goods. Yet he called. Of course he called!
Because it's the greatest poker game ever.