Saturday, January 27, 2007

How to Save Iraq by Mark Siano

Ceasefire Celebration

There is only one thing that both the Sunnis and the Shias can agree on. They both want the United States to leave. Here's the deal. We'll leave, but only if these two warring factions sign a ceasefire.

Now let the party begin. The Iraqis can celebrate saying that they defeated the Americans. Meanwhile Bush can lie and say that a stable democracy has been established and essentially America has won. The Iraqis only have to stick to the ceasefire for a short period of time and then they can decide if they want to split the country along sectarian lines. Sure ceasefires aren't perfect, but if the Israelis and Palestinians can temporarily decrease the violence, so can the Iraqis.

We start leaving and bring in the UN Blue Helmets to help keep the peace. Bring in every Arabic speaker they have and tell the troops that their primary job is to CONGRATULATE THE IRAQIS. Instead of Iraqis firing guns at each other, they turn their guns to the sky in celebration.

The Iraqi government will then declare that after a short time (6 monthes or so) there will be a referendum vote to decide whether the country should be divided. This could also temporarily quell the violence. After living in relative peace for a while, people in Iraq might actually find that they enjoy it!

This plan is far from perfect, but it will save a lot of lives, and it's a hell of a lot better than an escalation.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I think someone punched me in the face!

I don't remember getting punched in the face. There is a bruise on my nose that I discovered after the Seahawks v. Cowboys game. I don't know how it happened. Yes, I was very intoxicated.

I snuck into the Seahawks game with ease. I showed up in my catering outfit, and flashed my badge at the back gate. That was easy. I brandished my mighty apron when the cop at the sign-in table tried to stop me. Again easy. I slipped past the bag check just like last year and headed for the elevator. There I met a "fellow employee," he was a beer vendor, and together we waited for the elevator. Security told us we didn't get to ride the freight elevator and that we had to take "the ramp." Beer vendor guy was pissed, I acted casually annoyed.

We headed for the ramp, and another security guard stopped us.

"I need to see your wristbands guys," he demanded.

Beer vendor quickly produced his, and I pretended to flash my wristband and attempted to walk away. He didn't fall for it.

"Hold on. Where's your wristband?"

"I missed the check in, I was running late."

"You gotta have that wristband, we're on Code Orange."

"I'll get it from my manager on the club level," I said and walked away uncontested. I never found out what Code Orange meant. I interpreted it as, "let 'em go!"

I walked past a few more gates with my trademark confident "I know what I'm doing" stride. I carried the apron high, so security guards would know that I was not to be fucked with. Walking into the main concourse unobstructed I headed for the bathroom to change. Dropping my apron and putting on some Seahawks gear, I completed the transformation from caterer to superfan.

Without any plan after that, I ventured the stadium in search of a good vantage point to watch the game in case I couldn't get seats. At random I decided to try section 311 to get off my feet for a while.

"Mark!" I heard someone yell. I didn't think anyone I knew was going to be at this game. It was Jenny and Jay sitting in section 311. Jenny is the girl that helped Ryan Dobosh and I sneak into the All-Star game back in 2001. I just have that kind of luck. Fortune favors the bold. I hung with them for a while and they hooked me up with some gloves and a blanket which was extremely helpful, because that stadium was really cold and my catering disguise left me unprepared for the weather. When the game started I found some empty seats in the very front of the upper section. Which was a great vantage point for the game.

The game, ah the game! Jerramy Stevens redeemed (for now). Tony Romo shamed (forever). Cowboys fans humiliated (again!). The Seahawks somehow managed to back into the playoffs, and back off a cliff into the second round.

Even if the Cowboys had kicked that field goal, I still think we would have won on a 80-yard field goal by Josh Brown. Anyway, I drank way too much at that game, and screamed as much as my lungs could handle. I caught a nasty cold, which I feel I had coming anyway, and somehow got punched in the face.

My favorite part of the night is when I left the stadium. I took the wrong exit and ended up on the North end behind Qwest Field. Well, my car was on the South end and I wasn't about to walk ALL THE WAY AROUND THE STADIUM! The back alley behind the stadium is reserved for media and security, but I thought I'd take a short cut though the back alley.

"Stop! You can't go that way!" said a short female security guard that was a little on the portly side.

"Oh yeah?" I replied and started running.

"Stop!" she yelled. I broke into a full sprint as I hit another securtiy check point. "Stop him," I heard the portly one yell.

"Stop right there!" commanded a tall wiry security guard. I side stepped him and kept on running at full speed. "Stop! Stop!" they continued "Stop that man!"

I turned around and to my surprise the portly little girl was still running trying to catch me. So was the wiry guy, but his heart wasn't in it. Still, she kept running after me.

"There's no way you'll catch me!" I yelled at her and took off. I have to admit, I was really impressed by that girl. Few people ever have the guts to actually chase someone. Deliberately, I have done some terrible things in the past, just to see if someone would chase me. They never did. I love being chased. There are few things in life more exhilirating than being chased, especially after your favorite team has just won a big game and your belly is full of vodka. What happened after that is fuzzy, maybe I actually got caught. Maybe someone punched me in the face. I wish I could remember that part, it would make a good end to this story.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Time to Sneak into another Seahawks game!

Saturday January 6th, the Seattle Seahawks will host the Dallas Cowboys in a playoff showdown. I'll be there and I'm bringing my apron, but I won't be working, I'll be sneaking. Security has changed this year, but I've got my disguise and a new game plan. Check back here in a few days to see if I made it or ended up in jail.

Here's how I did it last year. 2006 No Tickets No Problem.