Friday, October 31, 2003

When America commits troops to the field you get the defeat of world fascism and world communism.

When France commits troops to the field, you get homilies.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Poor Bill Clinton.

First he claims he briefed the President on the threat from al Qaeda and Osame bin Laden. A claim the White House has completely rejected.

Now he claims Tony Blair talked to him about his health problems, and Blair is denying it, saying the problems that caused his hospitalization happend for the first time last week.

When is the world finally going to see that Bill Clinton is a run-of-the-mill sociopath?

Whoops! Clinton Hater Alert!

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

When I was in the military, I read a lot of the Soviet Military Journal, "Red Star."

One thing I got really clearly from this journal, and from my readings from the USMC Command and Staff College, is that the Soviets saw nukes as nothing more than extraordinarily powerful explosives. They appeared to have absolutely none of the horror we have over the use of nuclear weapons.

American doctrine matched that of the Soviets, but was really never so explicit. I mean, we had nukes of all sorts, we were willing to use them, but we'd prefer not to be the first to do so; I mean, we had to consider the sensibilities of the West Germans.

Does anyone remember the Pershing missile deployments to West Germany, or the GLCMs at Greenham Common. Since the West is free, the deployment of nukes, never mind their actual use, was as much a political as a military issue. Western governments had to be careful how they approaced this question.

Witness today, the protests at the Shannon "War Port."

The Soviets didn't have to have such scruples. I mean, when you have the threat of a view of Siberia from the basement of the Lubyanka, you don't have to be concerned about the opinion of your citizens. In an adaptation of a Soviet-era joke, "We pretend to ask their opinion, and they pretend to give it."

After the Soviet Union fell, the US had to concern itself with the use of nukes in a world where nuclear conflict could be more widespread, and much less intense, than the incineration of the CONUS, the North German Plain, and the Russian heartland.

The result of much thinking came out in January, 2002, in "The Findings of the Nuclear Posture Review".

In this report nukes were made an explicit part of an equation that did not imagine megadeaths as a result of their use. A nuke was explicitly recognized as just a bigger bang, available for use when appropriate.

Merde alors! The French went ballistic, as it were. Nuclear Proliferation! Cowboy Yanks! Warmonger Bush!

Fast forward a year or so, and today we find that, with no pulic debate, the French nuclear forces are going the same way.

If we were to depend on French opinion for our defense, we would soon want for a country.

Monday, October 27, 2003

It's been raining in Atlanta for the past couple of days. It put me in mind of Ireland.

"Bfheidh se' bog" - it'll be soft. The weatherman's way of saying the rain will be coming down hard enough to take flesh from bone. (Thank you, Flann O'Brien).

I can't begin to count all the ways I saw it rain in Ireland.

There is actually a soft rain. It's just a step up from fog. You'd almost not notice it. Then you realise you're soaked through.

Mostly, though, Irish rain is windy. Ireland's at the end of the North Atlantic Drift. The wind has all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to pick up strength. By the time it hits Ireland, forget unbrellas. You might keep your head and chest dry, but from the belt down you'll be soaked.

Sometimes it rains in waves: you can be cycling through Connemara and have a wall of water pass over you, leaving you soaked, and experience the same thing all over again minutes later, with the exception that the rain wind will have chiled you out nicely.

"Soft weather, thank God!" - an Irish way of saying the Florida beckons.

I know I saw sunny days in Ireland, so I can't say it's always cloudy there. For example, I remember one Currach Festival in Spiddal that had people out pissed drunk in the sunny streets.

I will say, however, that my general impression overcast skies, light breeze, and rain due.

Here in Atlanta, we're having my favorite weather. Morning temperatures at about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, clear, and very low humidity. Everything is in hyper-sharp focus.

I remember weather in Ireland that was perfect. I have cousins, the Mogans, from my Grandmother's side, who live in Ard, between Moycullen and Oughterard. I remember visiting them one summer and going out boating on the lake. It was one of those utterly still, completely cloudless days when the sun seemed to take forever to go down. It got dark so gradually you found yourself cotemplating relativity: was the day turning to night, or were you turning to blind? Ireland's so far North that there are days in Summer when it seems night will never come.

I remember too, clear winter nights walking home from Mountain View - which is up the road from Killagoola, heading towards Spiddal. The night would be so cold you'd think your breath would freeze in front of you. When the full moon would shine, it would shine so bright, you could see people's faces clear as day. There were fewer houses back there then, and Galway was much smaller, so there was almost no light pollution. When the moon wasn't full, you could catch satellites passing over, meteor showers.

Did I mention there was only one TV channel?

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Up until this, the Soviet Army's proudest boast was that once it went somewhere, it stayed.

This was the first time it had been thrown back. Nicaragua followed. Then Afghanistan. Then the Soviet Union collapsed.

Reagan went against 40 years of acommodation with an enemy that would not be satisfied. His policy was engagement. He knew that whether or not we wanted war, we had it and would either conquer or die.

We conquered, and for this the Left will never forgive him.

For example, CBS is doing a movie about Reagan. It completely ignores this achievement. Actually, it ignores all his achievements. All we get from the movie is that he hates gays, curses his staff, and is married to a control freak.

This is what you get from Leslie Moonves, a man who can't get his nose far enough up Bill Clinton's anus, and James Brolin, a man whose privates are in a box by Barbra Streisand's bed.

Speaking of Clinton, here's his fitting legacy.

It's getting to the point that every print and broadcast article, every movie will have to be preceded by

Here are the lies!

Do you think Schroeder was humming this as he crossed the border into Holland?

If you were a public official who wanted a dream home, wouldn't you arrange to buy 54 acres right next to a park you'd asked the voters to pay for?

I voted for Vernon Jones. I thought he represented a chance for more limited, more ethical government in DeKalb County. I was even thinking that after a couple of years running DeKalb, he could challenge the late unlamented Cynthia McKinney.

Recently we found out he has a more expensive security detachment than Shirly Franklin.

Now we find he's bought his dream "farm." Fifty four acres right next to a 5000 acre park that he convinced the voters of DeKalb County to buy.

Then, get this: Jones's salary is about $100,000 per annum. He bought the land and house for $550,000. Now tell me, what bank is going to support that sort of debt-to-salary ratio? No, there's something going on there. Some favor to some bank is either promised or expected.

I've absolutely no doubt that he decided to buy the land and decided to push through the park plans to increase the value of the property. I've no doubt the land will be rezoned. In 54 acres, given the way Atlanta's growing, you could put about 200 houses, not the 140 currently allowed. Right next to a 5000 acre preserve, you can be sure you'd sell at a huge premium to normal land prices. He knew that would be the case when he got the park approved.

This might well be his dream, if by "dream" you mean an insider transaction that gets flipped in a couple of years for a minimum of 1000% profit.

This has about it all the stench of corruption.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Old Europe vs. New

You can be pretty sure that the next development here will be a Franco-German snit, and a threat by France, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg (you know, the chocolate-making nations), to form a core EU with more and better rights from the rest of the union ("Four legs good! Two legs better!").

The Irish will come running, afraid to be cut off from the Franco-German tax teat they've been sucking on lo these many years. They'll contribute some criticism of the Poles, who they see as deadly rivals for the tax teat.

Meanwhile, Eurocrats will continue to enrich themselves off Brussels, Europeans will continue to groan under a huge tax burden, their best thinkers will keep coming to the US, the muslims will keep up the takeover of Northern Europe (where's Roland when you need him?), the remaining Jews will have to start packing.

Aaach! What a sick continent. And they seem themselves as *our* moral superiors. Superior to whale shit on the bottom of the ocean, and that's about it.

Crime and Thoughtcrime!

Paul Howard is an incompetent boob.

For example, he had a blood trail from a murder scene at the Cobalt Lounge in Buckhead, to Ray Lewis's car, to Lewis's hotel room. Nonetheless, Lewis was able to leave town, decide for himself when he was going to offer testimony, dictate his terms for dealing with Howard, yuadda, yadda, yadda.

Yes, he beat the rap.

Now Howard has three skinhead punks (whites, by definition, I guess) accused of severely beating a couple of black men. He wins a conviction against two of them with one getting an increment for the thoughtcrime of expressing racist sentiments during the attack (instead of, what, psalms?); but the sentence is not enough to satisfy the family, which is complaining bitterly. So - mindful of next year's election and his stunning displays of incompetence to date - he's off to the US Attorney to troll for more.

Never mind that the sentences, one with two years tacked on for the thoughtcrime, are about as large as many murderers ever serve.

Then of course there's the judge in this case, Marvin Arrington. I'm pretty sure there's a videotape out there somewhere that shows him accepting a bribe from Harold Echols to reappoint Buddy Fowlkes as chairman of the Atlanta City Council's Transportation Committee. Something to do with making lots of money off the airport. Talk about being unfit for the office. Still, that's Atlanta.

Oh well, back to the skinheads.

Answer me this: would the people who were assaulted be any less brutalized if the skinheads had been shouting about the high school Underwater Basketweaving course they got B's in before heading off to college on a Hope Scholarship and dropping out after their first year?

No they wouldn't. So, the thoughtcrime under which the sentence was bumped up had nothing to do with the victims, and everything to do with what was in the perpetrators head. This is dangerous.

For now we have laws where sentences are bumped up based on what was in your head at the time of the crime. How long before we have sentencing simply for what you have in your head? Oh, sorry, they already have that in the Fulton school system.

So, what's next? Today, increases for bigotry, tomorrow, for what? Capitalist Roadism? Meritism? Love of Fat Matt's Ribs? Integral Calculus? (Liebnitz good, Newton bad.) I guess we're safe for the moment. But mark it: we will see a move to separate act and thought and make both punishable in law.

You know, like they talk about here

OK, that said, what the hell is the Federal Government doing getting involved in this?

This is not some Governor at the schoolhouse door. This is not 1956. This is a couple of punks. Under what interpretation of the Interstate Commerce Clause or the 14th Amendment does the Almighty Federal Government get to come swooping in on this? I mean, you had three white perpetrators, a black DA, a black judge, two black victims, in a predominantly blacm county. And you need the Federal Government to make sure they get a properly-long sentence? It simply boggles the mind.

Unless, of course, Arrington and Howard have some private fued they're playing out in court. They'd never do that, whould they? (Yes, that is dripping sarcasm you detect.)

My thought is that the Feds won't take it. There's a chance it'd get argued all the way to the Supreme Court, and they're in a mood these days to clip the Congress's feathers a little.

Now don't get me wrong about this: these punks, who attacked unprovoked, and who beat these men to pulp, deserve long sentences in big-boy prison where they can have plenty of time and reason to repent the errors of their ways. But please, convict them for what they did. Don't try to build a window on their souls and judge those too. For if you do, you'll soon be in the business of judging souls alone, and that way lies an autocracy as bad as anything an Arab despot ever dreamed.


If I have this right, this girl was expelled for having a daydream about a student having a daydream about killing a teacher, and then being killed by a security guard.

Or rather, this girl was expelled for writing down a daydream about a student daydreaming about killing a teacher, and then being killed by a security guard.

Get the difference?

Think whatever you like, but don't dare express your politically incorrect thoughts - even in a private diary - for fear of what agents of the state will do to you.

Its one step from there to actively suppressing thoughts the state might decide aren't proper.

Here in Georgia we have the Hope Scholarship. It's a grant program funded by a tax on stupidity - the lottery - and it grants all sorts of money to kids who want to go to college and have a B average.

Well and good. However, about half the kids who go to college on the Hope Scholarship flunk out in the first year.

In other words, they're not learning, but they are getting their B averages.

Well, they are learning some things, I guess: self-esteem, the proper use of condoms, fellatio.

Oh, and to keep their thoughts to themselves.

Update: As of this evening (10/24/2003), the school system is allowing her back, pending a review. Still, I'm pretty sure this near-expulsion has had a chilling effect on this girls intellectual development.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

The Rumsfeld memo.

After all the hoopla, one question remains: why was the memo leaked?

Don't answer that yet. Instead, let's review what went on.

OK. The memo got leaked. And the result? Headlines from Chicken Little. The sky is falling! The sky is falling! We're losing in Iraq! Secretary of Defense's much less optimistic than he lets on. Etc., etc.

I read the memo. Seemed to me to be more like a gut check. It's really easy to get lulled into a false sense of security, especially when swaddled by a huge bureaucracy. Think Hitler in the Fuhrerbunker in 1945: totally out of touch with reality, ordering non-existent troops and vengeance weapons into battle.

The best thing any good commander an do, any morning, is put a bit of stick about as this memo does. Question your principles, your axioms, your assumptions. Ask how progress can be measured. Ask whether the organization is up to the task before it. This was exactly the right memo to send to the troops, and I hope he sends more of them.

Then the memo was leaked. Whoever leaked it knew it would be dowdified to have the worst possible meaning, possibly causing embarrassment, and at least making life a bit more difficult for the SecDef.

Hmmm. Rumsfeld wants to shake up a huge bureaucracy, transform it, make it more efficient, lighter on its feet, more lethal, less tied to multi-billion, multi-year programs. He even questions whether the huge bureaucracy is actually up to the task. Hmmm. I wonder who'd leak such a memo.

Of course it was some senior officer at the Pentagon.

Listen: when General Shinseki - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs - retired, his retirement had been announced 14 months in advance. Nobody from the SecDef's office attended the retirement. Shinseki was an advocate of massive force, an adherent to the cold war way of thinking. Rumsfeld wanted him gone in the worst way. And I can't blame the SecDef. Had Shinseki been running Gulf War II, we'd have had a repeat of Gulf War I, and the Iraqi oil fields would still be burning today.

Now, guess what? Generals tend to promote people who think the way they do. For one Shinseki you can be sure there are many three-, two-, and one-stars, and hordes of Colonels, Majors, Captains, who think just like him. Hell, they're building their careers, right now, based on shepherding gigantic spending programs through the Pentagon. They've got their PPBSs, their JLRSAs, their JSPDs, their LRPs. They're planning for 4, 5, 7 years out. They've got no time for wars on terror, dammit! They've got high-tech fighters to buy. The last thing they want is Rumsfeld breaking their rice bowel.

I fully expect that in the next year or two we're going to see unprecedented numbers of retirements among America's most senior military leaders. There will be more leaks. There will be a press hue-and-cry against the SecDef for "hollowing out" our senior military leadership. Mark me, you heard it here first.

Here's the deal: the War on Terror is a whole new kind of war, for an organization that doesn't work that way. The Pentagon is more oriented towards war across the North German Plain. Well, actually, under Clinton the Pentagon became meals-on-wheels for every tinpot dictator who screwed up badly enough to start a famine or genocide at home. It's a huge change in focus to switch from meals-on-wheels to War on Terror, but that's what's going to have to happen. And it will happen.

The success of those fighting for the status quo will be measured in American blood and treasure lost to terrorism.

Italy's Reform Minister calls them as he sees them.

What's really funny about this is the characterization of this as "a public relations disaster for Mr Berlusconi." Nothing of the sort! Among those who've lost a fortune in purchasing power, this is actually welcome.

Here's the deal: France, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg have formed a core EU that wants to dictate terms to the other 21 members. That simply is not going to happen.

I remember when the Euro came into use, marked by a bunch of parties all across Europe. Those parties struck me as an attempt to make reality out of unreality with a gesture straight out of "Blue."

I hope that every citizen of a European country can live a long, happy, fulfilling life. I just fear that their natural tendency is to trade liberty for a cradle-to-grave nanny state. When the state has that much power, it only takes one lunatic at the top to reduce everything to ruins. When the state becomes an entire continent, well, there's only so much more damage that can be wrought.

No, it's the American model for me: I give up enough of my sovreignty to keep the country running, but I reserve the right to take back all power if my elected officials start acting like goats. This contrasts nicely with Europe, where all power flows from the state, and the peasants get enough self-government to keep them from pitchforking their leaders or, in the extreme, calling on the Americans to save them from themselves*.

*France doesn't get any more liberations.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Great site.

Take a look at "When Protesters Attack."

Another shoe drops.

No wonder the US is working on closer ties with Vietnam.

Although, when you read something like this:

     The European Union is the world's rising superpower,
     poised to overtake both America and Japan as the
     biggest trade and investment force in China...

You have to wonder. I mean, French bookshops are full of books like "France in Freefall," unemployment is high, the 35 hour work week is killing business, etc., etc. And that's France. Le Monde has the scoop. Germany's no better. And those Euro-based restrictions on budget deficits? Forget 'em.

Meanwhile, Spain and Poland side with the US in Iraq.

Here's the deal: economically and politically, Europe's in the toilet. It's being overrun by radicalized muslims. It's military is laughable, cradle-to-grave nanny-statism having drained the coffers long ago.

Superpower? No way. "Also-ran" is more like it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


You know, in recent memory China did invade Vietnam.

China is basically a mature fascist state, and it has designs way beyond its borders.

Let's just watch closely and see what sort of American alliances form with, oh, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, India, the Philippines, and *Taiwan*. To be perfectly honest, I expect that the US is getting ready to screw China the way it screwed the USSR. Watch for a circle of allied nations to surround China, and let's see what comes after.

It'll be a slow process, but I think in about 100 years, or so, China is going to be free.

Here are the 12 U.S. Senators who voted to withhold funding from our troops and our efforts in Iraq.

This is the dirty dozen whose votes stand as encouragement to every Islamic terrorist out there who thinks that America doesn't have the will to resist.

This is the noxious dozen who want to bring the Baathists back to power and condemn thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of Iraqis to certain death for cooperating with American troops in the liberation of their country.

They should be ashamed of themselves.

* Barbara Boxer (D, CA)
* Bob Graham (D, FL) (Candidate for President)
* Tom Harkin (D, IA)
* Ted Kennedy (D, MA)
* John Kerry (D, MA) (Candidate for President)
* Paul Sarbanes (D, MD)
* Frank Lautenberg (D, NJ)
* John Edwards (D, NC) (Candidate for President)
* Fritz Hollings (D, SC)
* Robert Byrd (D, WV)
* Jim Jeffords (D, VT)
* Pat Leahy (D, VT)

All Democrats. Of course.

This sums it up nicely.

Want to see HillaryCare in action? Read this.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Shirley Franklin! Are you reading? Buy one of these and go on a US tour. Your sewers will be paid for in no time.

Our State Department is a complete mess.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Black isn't just a color, it's a political affiliation.

You can't be "authentically" black unless you live on the Democrat plantation.

Still, that's changing. Here in Atlanta, we got rid of Cynthia McKinney and, despite her claims to having lost because of crossover Republican votes, it was actually south, mostly black, DeKalb County that decided it'd had enough of her.

I mean, she'd even had a section of GA-10 in DeKalb County named after her, and the most important thing she'd ever done as a public figure is harvest sugar cane for Castro. Well, she was also a ranking aisle-bird, showing up hours in advance of every State of the Union speech so she could be seen on TV giving the President a big hug.

But I digress.

To be "authentically" black, you have to be a Democrat, you have to state, publicly and unequivocally, that blacks can't get ahead without government intervention. You have to be in favor of racial discrimination, and hold that color of skin trumps content of character. You have to believe that any criticism of blacks is racially motivated, and the critic is a racist. You are a tower of strength and pride, except when a bit of snivelling will get you positive press. You have to believe that Jesse Jackson is a selfless promoter of harmonious race relations, instead of a philanderer who pays off pregnant mistresses with Rainbow Coalition funds. You have to believe that Clinton, raised in a single-parent household, born poor, working-class, a saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas, was our first black President - even if he left the campaign trail in 1992 to preside over a mentally impaired black man's execution.

"Single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving." This is the black experience? Well, who's driving all those Cadillac Escalades up and down Peachtree? White people with too much sun, jewellery, and oomph in their car stereos?

For black people, the Democrat party is a mental illness. It works on them to keep them believing in an America that died long ago. It keeps them on the plantation with threats that they'll lose their civil rights if they ever leave. This captivity is not as stultifying as slavery, but it's an evil thing nonetheless: the Democrats can always depend on the black vote, so they never take them seriously; the Republicans can't depend on the black vote at all, so they never take them seriously. Political powerlessness.

The end result of all this powerlessness is radicalization.

Black men make a point of being loud, to the point of being obnoxious. Maybe there are other reasons for this, relating to the welfare state-inspired absence of fathers, I don't know. The current crop of Presidential contenders includes the Rev. Mr. Al Sharpton, famous for inciting one riot that resulted in a firebombing that killed seven people, and another riot that resulted in the stabbing of a rabbinical student. Yes, he's a serious black leader - in the Democrat sense.

I wonder what can be done about this? I mean, if blackness is, in part, being Democrat, how do you change that mindset?

Blacks won't see much political power, beyond what they can extort by guilt or threat of force, until they're split 30% Democrat, 30% Republican, and 40% undecided, like the rest of the country. Until then, they'll be stuck in a cycle of powerlessness and radicalization.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Par for the course in Gaza, right?

Three Americans killed by someone filled to the brim with Palestinian Authority bile. The Friday evening TV broadcasts are full of calls for immediate death to any Jew or American any Arab might meet. Someone just took the TV to heart.

Not that TV causes violence, mind you.

And why were the Americans there? Why, to hand out scholarships, so Arabs can come to America and study. Boeing 757 flight dynamics, or somesuch, I'm sure.

I sometimes wonder about our State Department. It seems populated by people who believe that the world is completely full of rational, even if misunderstood, people. All it'll take is just a little exposure, a little understanding, and we can all, in the timeless words of Rodney King "get along.".

Well, guess what! The world is full of irrational people who live lives of quiet desperation, waiting for the moment when they can strut and fret about a stage. They want to make a splash and, lets face it, right now killing Americans is the way to make a splash.

Egged on my the Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation, with help from Al Jazeera on the Seine, the Clinton News Network, and National Proletarian Radio, the misguided are being convinced that if they can kill enough Americans, then we'll just go home. When the various media outlets liken Iraq to Vietnam, they're calling up a whole slew of images, ending in American humiliation and defeat. And al Qaeda can't get enough of it!

But they just don't get it. The Vietnamese never crashed airplanes into American skyscrapers and the Vietnamese had an endless supply of people and arms. Ho Chi Minh was willing to fight to the last NVA soldier (and Bill Clinton was happy to be photographed in front of Ho's tomb, but that's a rant for another time) and the last Russian bullet. And he had a country from which to operate, ceded him by that human stain, Robert McNamara.

Saddam has a shrinking power base, his friends have left him (as recently as this year, but they've left him); Boy Assad clearly has the news that he'd better butt out or end up slowly decomposing in a refrigerated tent; the Europeans, faced with the prospect of Iranian nuclear ICBMs, are starting to stir from their dogmatic slumbers; the Saudis are even holding elections. Mirablie visu!

In other words, the American liberation of Iraq is already having a positive effect on this demonstrably psychotic part of the world. Vietnam it is not. The question now is whether Americans can stick it out. The Washington Press Corps is relentlessly negative, and the Arabs are happy to kill an American here, an American there, as they find them. There's a strong isolationist tendency in the American psyche, an inclination to say "Ah, screw 'em all," and let the word go hang itself, and the press and the Arabs are counting on that.


Well, the Washington Press Corps wants this because if we walk away from Iraq, Bush's goose is cooked: he'll not be re-elected, and we'll probably have that their favorite proto-Stalinist, Hillary, as the next President. The Islamofascists want this because it'll get the U.S. out of the way long enough for some holy warrior or other to get his hands on an Islamic Bomb or two and complete the work that came out in the open on 9/11/2001.

I guess where I am on this is that the Arabs have been driven psychotic by years of anti-American, anti-semitic propaganda. Coupled with this, they're told that in Islam they have the perfect religion and the perfect way of governing, yet they live lives of oppression and squalor. The Americans must be in league with Satan! There must be a Jewish plot to keep Arabs down! How else explain conditions? People in such straits will act out. In this situation, Americans are wise to back away, keeping a close eye out for guns, knives, or bombs, and hold these people at a safe distance while working to improve local conditions and thereby relieve the delerium to the point where the locals aren't cheering mass murder or the beheading of journalists.

In other words, get out of Gaza, and start giving the scholarships it Iraqis. As their country becomes rich, stable, peaceful, secular, and free, the people elsewhere will start paying less attention to the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" from Egyptian TV, and more attention to "Baywatch" from Iraqi TV.

Osama, meanwhile, will be nothing but a lanky sociopath in yak wool underwear, holed up with Sasquatch, Elvis, and Saddam.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Have you read this?

Pretty horrific, isn't it? But look again. The dead 17-year-old had a two-year-old baby. If I do my math correctly, that means birth at 15, and preganancy at 14. I've not seen any related stories about the arrest and subsequent castration of a child molester.

There's the "Great Society" for you, 40 years on: a leisure class at either end of the economic spectrum with the idle wealthy indulging themselves in luxurious trips, clothing, food, and outrageous statements about the continued need for the "Great Society," while the idle poor make do with sex, cheap drugs, violence, and outrageous statements about the continued need for the "Great Society."

Oh, and Shirley Franklin expecting the middle class to pay her sewer bill.

Shelley had it right:

     I met a traveler from an antique land
     Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
     Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
     Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
     And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
     Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
     Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
     The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
     And on the pedestal these words appear:
     "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
     Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
     Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
     Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
     The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Thus the "Great Society" begun by a Democrat President, and sustained by every vote-buying Democrat politician since. High hopes that turned into a cockroach-infested wasteland of permanent poverty, drug abuse, children with their out-of-wedlock babies, boys with "playas" as fathers, and on, and on, and on.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

President Bush has decided to go chat directly with local affiliate stations, rather than let the Washington Press Corps do its normal hack-then-broadcast work.

And boy, is the Washington Press Corps ever angry!

Get a load of this, especially this from Mark Halperin:

  "It's much more often the case in doing local or regional interviews that reporters come
  to the interview at least a bit star-struck, at least a bit less prepared for how to focus
  the interview on questions and answers in the public interest and a bit more willing to
  accept what the White House position is on matters of controversy," said Mark Halperin,
  reporters ABC News political director. Halperin said he intends no slight to regional but
  that Bush is "more sophisticated" about avoiding the national media "than anybody who
  has ever held the job."

Let me see. Where to start on this. Well, it does occur to me that the last occupant of the White House left us the adjective "Clintonesque." To date the Washington Press Corps portrayal of this President has been that he's stupid and tongue-tied. What is it guys? Is he stupid and tongue-tied, or is he better at avoiding the national media than anybody who has ever held the job? Or could it possibly, just possibly, be that your descriptions of him are self-serving?

Then there's the world-class condescension: "sorry, but you rubes out there in the sticks are going to be overawed by the star power of this man and, let's face it, you're just not smart enough to catch on to his tricks."

Christ! They pile it up so high and so fast, you'd need wings to keep from drowning in it.

Personally, I think Bush made a smart move. The Washington Press Corps votes overwhelmingly Democrat and will do what it can to bring him down. As an example, the situation in Iraq is improving, but we hear about little but American troop deaths. The DJIA hit a recent low in Q1 of this year (you know, the whole Iraq invasion thing), but has been rising steadily since. The President is doing everything right militarily and economically, and the fruits will be there just around election time. But you'll never hear that from the Washington Press Corps. No, it's all dead Americans and jobless claims.

Burns had it just right:

     Ah wad Pow’r, the giftie gie us
     To see ourselves as ithers see us

That's what ratings are for, I guess.

I see from the AJC that Atlanta sewer bills are likely to triple in 5 years.

Well and good, but the Mayor has decided that since these prices increases may "put the city at risk of being unaffordable," the rest of the US will just have to pitch in. Yes indeed, she wants money from the State and Federal governments to fix Atlanta's sewage problems.

Hey Mayor! Clean up your own mess! You've known this was coming for a long time.

So did Bill. Remember him? Your mentor, who fled town leaving his flunkies to deal with the FBI?

Actually, Atlanta had sewage problems when Maynard (mentor to both you and Bill) got us the games. Of course, now that he's dead, hysterically beatified, and awaiting an airport name change, I guess we'll just leave him out of this. But tell me, Mme. Mayor, just how much did he make on Atlanta's bond business? Bet you wish you had some of that cash right now.

Anyway, here's the deal: lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency for the rest of us. You need to repair your sewers? Pay for them yourself. How to pay for them? Well, you could consider emptying and selling that white elephant on Ponce. You could consider leasing the airport to a private company. You could consider simply going out of business, merging with Fulton County, and saving us all the cost of duplicated services. You could consider rolling back the Domestic Partner benefits. Privatize garbage collection. Hell, how about privatizing tax collection?

Of course, you won't do any of that, will you? No, you'll just keep screwing the actual taxpayers 'til the last one leaves for Gwinnett, or Forsyth, or Rockdale, or Newton. And you won't stop then, will you? At that stage you'll just get all the deadbeats left inside your city limits to call on their State and Federal representatives to demand that the rest of us bail you out. Be careful about doing that, however. They're only used to working for about 15 minutes every two or four years. You can't afford to make many other demands on them: it might damage you politically.

I see that Rush Limbaugh has checked in to rehab to beat his addiction to painkillers.

In related news, I opened the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this weekend and found an advertisement from a law firm that wants to talk to people who've been prescribed OxyContin.

The leftist media is displaying a sick glee over Limbaugh's troubles. He's spent the last two decades twitting them, and now that he's down they're really getting the boot in.

Think of Limbaugh's lines: "Half my brain tied behind my back," "The all-seeing, all-knowing Maha-Rushie," "Talent on loan from God," his Friday afternoon sign-offs, telling people not to worry, as he'll be back on Monday to tell them what to think. It all sounds like an inflated ego, until you listen to what the establishment press has to say about itself when talking about people like Rush Limbaugh or Matt Drudge. They put across exactly the same ideas, but with deadly seriousness instead of mock-heroic good humor.

The establishment press has a bias, which it denies, and takes itself utterly seriously, which it covers over with blather about journalistic integrity, or some such. Rush has a bias, which he wears on his sleeve, and takes himself not seriously at all. (Ever heard the ads for "Crapitol Records?")

So, Rush has done the worst possible thing one can do to the chattering class: exposed its hypocrisy and smugness, and for that they'll never forgive him. In the next 30 days they'll be trying to tear him down, and by association, all his conservative ideas. You know: earn your living, depend on yourself, don't wait for Government handouts, etc., etc. That is to say, the "vitriol" he "spews" every day. I truly hope they don't succeed.

I also hope that Limbaugh beats the addiction and comes roaring back better than ever.

Now, that said, I am kind of disappointed in Rush.

My mother died of cancer quite recently. She was on OxyContin to manage the pain. She used to worry about getting addicted to painkillers, even though she was terminal.

My wife used to work as a hospice nurse, and she says this is a common attitude. People don't want to accept that they're terminal. They want to believe they'll get better, and they don't want an addiction waiting when they do get better. So they die in misery, for fear of an addiction they'll never have to worry about.

Just hold that thought for a minute, and let's turn to the ad. in the AJC.

The trial lawyer sharks are now circling the OxyContin chum.

I see all kinds of bad things coming: doctors being sued for prescribing a painkiller they know can be addictive, pharmacists being sued for not adequately explaining the side-effects of addictive painkillers, the DEA and various other drug enforcement agencies leaning on everyone so no-one wants to have anything to do with these painkillers, and drug companies being sued for manufacturing a painkiller they know can be, yes, you guessed it, addictive.

So, the results? Well, doctors will be less likely to prescribe painkillers to patients who're already worried about becoming addicted, and the drugs, once prescribed, will be more expensive since everyone - doctors, pharmacists, manufacturers, and their insurers - will be concerned about being sued or having jackbooted Government thugs come crashing through their doors.

All so a lawyer or two can have a couple more estates/yachts/expensive cars/cigars/brandies/etc.

Pope had it right:

     The hungry Judges soon the Sentence sign,
     And Wretches hang that Jury-men may Dine;

Like I said, Rush has left me feeling a little disappointed.

Mind you, trial lawyers leave me feeling a lot worse.

Friday, October 10, 2003

I just read that the Chinese government has jailed a man for revealing a State secret.

The State secret being that the Henan Health Department spread HIV to villagers who sold their blood.

In a further touch of sad irony, this happened in a China that has signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which "guarantees" the right to the highest attainable standard of health and that health informaton will not be censored, withheld, of intentionally misrepresented.

This is sad, but par for the course. I mean, in living memory China has been ruled by a philandering mass murderer.

But then, so has America.

Meanwhile China's getting ready to put men on the moon.

Things like this happen when the government doesn't have to answer to the people. China's had emperors for millenia. Their only worry is keeping the peasants just content enought that they don't start pitchforking.

This China story has my mind going:
Right now in my mind's eye I see a member of the gerontocracy getting up in the morning and shouting orders over his first tea of the day:

"Infect Hanan with HIV!"

"Put men on the moon!"

"More tea!"

It's a pity Spitting Image and Monty Python's Flying Circus aren't doing new episodes. I can just see a Chinese version of The Spanish Inquisition sketch.
One of the first things to go in a totalitarian regime is respect for the rule of law. The ruler bends the law and the organs of law enforcement to his will, and the people understand that the law truly is an ass.

No wonder we saw looting and lawlessness after Saddam was ousted. No wonder South Africa is so violent. No wonder the Mafiya runs Russia. These are no more than the consequences of repressive regimes. Everyone pretends to respect the law until the regime loses its grip on power. Then it's "Katy bar the door!"

Even French philosophers think that the US reaction to the Whigs - banishment to Canada - was better than the French reaction to the aristocracy - a ride in a tumbril and a hasty meeting with Mr. Guillotine.

Mind you, there are impressive examples out there of doing things right. For example, Taiwan was able to hold peaceful elections that ousted the GuoMinTang. This despite the repression the GuoMinTang had inflicted on Taiwan, and threats from the mainland.

Can you imagine what Beijing thought when Taipei had a peaceful, elected transfer of power?

Can you imagine the impact of the California Special Election on China? On the European Union?
Speaking of the California Special Election, I'm of two minds about it.

On the one hand, I'm generally against rule by plebiscite - too much of this is simply rule by mob, pure democracy. Next thing you know, you're holding Special Elections to force your leading philosophers to drink hemlock.

On the other hand, it's better to remove your incompetent, corrupt rulers by ballet than by bullet.

I guess this Special Election is the worst possible thing, except for all the alternatives.
I used to cringe at the line, but I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free.

Take the Irish tack: if your Constitution can't pass a referendum on the first go, try, try again.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Where did I put that Home Depot catalog?

(Caution: kind of smutty, needs broadband.)

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark - and Hamlet is takin' out the trash!"

"Conan, what is best in life?"

"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!"

The results of the California Special Election are here. Wow! Arnold got about 48% of the vote.

The voters also decided to allow the state to use race, ethnicity, color, or national origin to classify current or prospective students, contractors or employees in public education, contracting, or employment operations. So, in California at least, we're still being judged by the color of our skin, rather than the content of our character.

I'd love to be able to poll people and find out why so many went for Arnold. Did the last minute smearing by the LA Times (propaganda organ for Gray Davis and the Democrat party as a whole) cause a backlash? Were people just so utterly turned off by Davis himself? Did Bustamante hurt himself with his home-produced ads?

Five years ago the Democrats were touting Davis as a future President - a cold-blooded, efficient technocrat. A year ago, California was presented as the example of the new Democrat future - Democrat Governor, Legislature, Judiciary. We were told to wait and see greatness this all-Democrat government would bring.

Today that's all in ruins.

Davis turned out to be both incompetent and corrupt. All we can hope is that in the dying days of his administration, he doesn't go "nuclear" and start signing all sorts of bad legislation into law, simply to poison the well for his successor. (Don't hold your breath.)

In a larger sense this bodes badly for the Democrat party in general. Their last two US Presidents were useless. Jimmy's turning out to be a decent ex-president, though he just can't keep his mouth shut and stick with his Habitat for Humanity projects. Clinton, well, he was simply a bad man. Now, Davis is ruined politically, and the current crop of Democrat Presidential hopefuls runs the gamut from French (Kerry) to loopy (Kucinich), via the radical Left (Dean).

Somehow I'm reminded of Lester Burnham in "American Beauty": "Brad, for fourteen years I've been a whore for the advertising industry. The only way I could save myself now is to start firebombing."

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Ah! Publishing from Mozilla.

OK, end of setup ramblings. On to the rants.

Well, I'm able to post from inside IE. I can even use the little publishing button from the Google toolbar.

Mozilla is a different matter. All attempts at posting simply return the message "Unknown publishing error occurred." There's no Google toolbar for Mozilla (well, of course not).

Wait! a guick search on Google (search string: "post to blogger from mozilla") gives me MozBlog.

Back in a few.

Test post

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