Thursday, December 28, 2006

How cool is this!?!!!!

Yes. The Sun, the International Space Station, and the Space Shuttle "Atlantis" passing in review.

A great day to be human.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Danny Bonaduce is a pretty class act.

I mean, right down to asking forgiveness in advance for the f-bombs.

So, I get in to work this morning and find that one of the support people is holding forth about the Middle East.

Not about Iraq, mind you. No, he's on about the nefarious Jooooooooooos!

My God! To listen to him!

According to him

Even theough it was pointed out to him that Israel has over a million Arab citizens, that Israel has withdrawn from its settlements, that the Palestinian Authority indoctrinates children into suicide bombing starting in kindergarten, that Jimmy Carter's had an axe to grind since 1979, that Israel is the only representative democracy in the Middle East, and on, and on, his faith in his opinions remains unshaken: Israel is evil, and the cause of all problems in the Middle East. To think otherwise is to be hoodwinked by the Joooooooooooo-controlled media.

Of course, this man is also an avowed left-winger, so his anti-semitism is just part-and-parcel of his larger belief system.

Sad, isn't it, that 70 odd years after Kristallnacht, the Jews are once again being dehumanized, Iran is hosting a Holocaust denial conference, and Muslims around the world are talking about Israel as the "One Bomb" state.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Now why would Bill Clinton bug Princess Di?

I'm guessing he wanted to know her turn-ons, turn-offs, favorite color, favorite first date, and attitude towards men in open marriages.

This is the sort of sewage we'll be wading through for a couple of years, should Hillary announce her candidact for President. She wants the Presidency more than anything else in the world, but she's completely damaged goods.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Every cock crows on its own midden.

The definitive Annan interview is here.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shareef. That's a Swiss name, right?

Great quote from the cops:
Shareef was acting alone and not in concert with any terrorist group, authorities said.

Officials said Shareef had been under investigation since September, when he told an acquaintance that "he wanted to commit acts of violent jihad against targets in the United States as well as commit other crimes."

As Dr. Evil might say, "riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight."

A guy with a middle eastern-sounding name simply nuts up and decides to "commit acts of violent jihad." For no good reason. And certainly not because he might have been acting in concert with a terrorist group.

So, a few questions:

- Is the guy a muslim?

- Does he attend a mosque?

- If so, was the mosque funded by Saudi Arabia?

- If so, is the imam funded by Saudi Arabia?

- If so, is this a Sunni, Wahhabi, or Shi'ite mosque?

Let's start asking these questions every time a person with a middle eastern-sounding name nuts up, and I'm pretty sure the answeres will be "yes", "yes", "yes", "yes", and "wahhabi".

Jeane Kirkpatrick has died. A sad day fort his country.

Here's her address to the 1984 GOP convention.

After years of Jimmy Carter, Cyrus Vance, Walter Mondale, and the rest of that wishy-washy crew, it ws great to hear read meat like this.

The breakfast of champions: Two-pound steaks, and chicken-fried bacon.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hmmmm. You know, if we're really as "diverse" as we want to be, well, maybe we're ready for this.

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I wonder what Madonna and Gwyneth actually talk about?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Where the hell are we going in Iraq? (Stand by for heavy weather, I'm going to dash this off as a stream of consciousness.)

I buddy of mine has a brother and sister-in-law in the Army. His brother just rotated back from Iraq and is now on his way to the DMZ in Korea. He volunteered for DMZ duty in order to avoid going back to Iraq.

Get that. He's volunteered to face down the little troll in Pyongyang, rather than go back to Iraq. He's really quite disgusted with the whole Iraq affair, indicating, among other things, more then a passing interest in citizenship of some country other than the USA.

He was embedded in an Iraqi unit and his evaluation of the Iraqis is less than stellar. Among other things, he learned very quickly that letting any Iraqi troop know the area of operations for a given patrol was a quick ticket to an ambush. The charitable evaluation was flaws in Iraqi communications security coupled with stellar insurgent electronic intelligence. The alternative was a unit flush with insurgent informers. when he was getting ready to rotate out, he evaluated his successor as someone too green to last. Sure enough, his successor was medevaced with a missing arm soon after he was left to his own devices.

This is not good. This officer is prior-enlisted, so we're not talking about the bitchings of a 90-day wonder. Among other things, I'm taking it as given that

- Morale *is* a serious problem

- The Iraqi army needs *a lot* of work

- We're pushing *green troops* into the battle.

The Democrat story so far has been get the hell out. The Republican story is hold the line. I think that if we do what the Democrats want we'll cement our reputation as being harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend (watch all the purple thumbs get cut off). On the other hand, the Republican position is not politically tenable.

I've been trying to figure out how we got to this point, and I've formed a theory.

Back in 2003, when all this started, the Army Chief of Staff was a certan General Shinseki. His solution to any American engagement was 500,000+ troops on the ground, and a clear set of goals. In other words, overwhelming force directed towards limited goals, or no force at all. Hence Kosovo, where we had almost nobody on the ground, and did all our work from USAF aircraft out of Aviano, Italy, flying above 12,000 feet.

Shinseki could feel happy doing this, given the "lessons" of Vietnam, as confirmed in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. And to hell with the Marsh Arabs.

I'm sure that when Runsfeld went to Shinseki for Operation Iraqi Freedom, he got the 500,000+ troops/limited goals story. This is why Shinseki quickly found himself out of a job (Rumsfeld did not attent Shinseki's retirement ceremony), and free to criticise from the sidelines.

I've often wondered why Rumsfeld was so sure he could succeed with such a small force. Matt Lauer recently put it all together for me.

If you'll recall, Matt Lauer recently announced that NBC would henceforth be calling the war in Iraq a civil war. NBC had examined the legal definition of civil war, and in its opinion Iraq was in a state of civil war.

That's not what struck me. What struck me was the press reaction, and especially the characterization of this as the "Walter Cronkite moment", harking back to the moment when Walter Cronkite declared the Vietnam was "unwinnable".

Thinking back on the Vietnam war, American involvement can roughly be divided into two phases. From 1965 to 1968 there was a buildup. From 1968 to 1972 there was a policy of "Vietnamization". (There was a final stage from 1972 to 1975 which involved a Democratic Congress refusing to provide material support to the Vietnamese in the field. This was followed by collapse, communist voctory, re-education camps, slaughter, boat people. But that all happened to brown, squinty-eyed people, and is therefore easily forgotten. But I digress.)

I'm convinvced that Rumsfeld decided that the best policy in Iraq was to avoid the buildup, and go straight to "Iraqification". What did he miss? I think he failed to appreciate the lidless gaze of al Jazeera, Peter Jennings, Associated Press, et al. He also failed to appreciate the hysteria and passion of Democrats 12 years out of power. Finally, he failed to appreciate the ADHD of the American people.

For Peter Jennings, et al., every American war is stuck in 1968. Every American war is immoral. All American enlisted soldiers are morons and war criminals, while all officers are bumbling fools and war criminals. Rumsfeld failed to counter this information war with an information war of his own.

Democrats, with two rich-boy Presidential failures behind them, and lusting after the power they'd had for forty years and lost for twelve, were willing to do anything necessary to win. Including undermining the troops at home. The Kerry/Rangel 1968 view of the US military - that the working-class morons had to be brought home now - prevailed.

Incidentally, al Qaeda, the Ba'athists, and sundry other factions in Iraq have been watching the news, and acting on it. There's a reason October 2006 was so bloody: November 7, 2006.

Finally, the American people seem to have about a two-year time limit for wars that aren't moving along. Japan attacked at the end of 1941. By the end of 1943 WWI was going well enough that the public was willing to support it a little longer. Korea (1950 - present, but with an armistice in 1953) was poison for Harry Truman when it turned into a slog after he fired MacArthur in mid-1951. Vietnam became a long withdrawal after 1968, about two-and-a-half years after Americans began arriving in force. After the Gulf War - the Nintendo shoot-em-up war - Iraq at three-and-a-half years and nothing good in sight is waaaaaaaaay past its shelf life.

Is there any way out of this? Well, Kurdistan is a case in point. The Kurds have been doing their own thing since 1991. Under an RAF/USAF no fly zone for 12 years they were able to start their own country, attract foreign (ironically, mainly Turkish) investment, keep the oil going, and keep peace. Given the provisions of the new Iraqi Constitution, Kurdistan is well on the way to withdrawing from this loose federation and starting its own country.

In other words, given a decade or so, it may be possible to eradicate the scourge of Ba'athism and have a normal country.

Isn't that sad to say? "It *may* be possible". The USA is responsibile for 40% of the world's military spending. The USA spends more on its military than the next 40+ nations combined. What the USA appears to lack is not the means, but the will.

Do we really want to be seen as being harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend? If that's how it goes, I'll probably be heading for Australia or New Zealand myself.

What's happened to the Democrats?

When I was growing up, my image of the Democrats was Dan Rostenkowski and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Rostenkowski always struck me as a man of the people, the kind of guy you could see getting faced on Imp and Irons (yes, I once lived on the south side of Pittsburgh) on Friday night. Driven by his intimate knowledge of the immediate concerns of his district, the kind of guy who could motivate spending for widows and orphans, knowing what winter could be like north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Moynihan, on the other hand, was the pure intellectual. The guy who could look at the current solutions, extrapolate to their ultimate ends, and make predictions - good or bad - about where a given government program might take the country.

So, working class guy and intellectual guy. Those are the Democratic archetypes I grew up with.

Where are they now?

John Kerry, for example, is more familiar with wind-surfing, form-fitting cycling gear, and Quiche Lorraine, than he is with, say, manual labor. Hillary Clinton is a power-hungry barracuda. While Teddy may be happy to get faced on Imp and Irons, I doubt he's done an actual day of work in his entire life. Nancy Pelosi? She could buy and sell any thousand Americans.

Samuel Beckett once remarked of the students at Trinity College Dublin that they represented the cream of Ireland: Rich and thick. I say the same of today's Democrat party.

The riches are given (even if they required some dodgy cattle futures trading, a couple of useful marriages, or a bit of whiskey smuggling). The thickness? Well, take recent remarks about the troops. According to Rangel and Kerry, if you're serving in the military, you're dumb and poor. No thought that people might join the military in a time of war out of a sense of obligation and patriotism. And no recognition of the fact that the average enlisted person is smarter than the average man on the street. No, to Rangel and Kerry there's no such thing as duty, honor, country. There's just dysfunction and the handy out. How 1968.

Like the Bourbons, they've forgotten nothing, and they've learned nothing either.

This is a sad state of affairs for a party that's aboiut to take power.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I have yet to hear, oh, Catharine McKinnon comment on this terribly sad story.

The upside: It's hard to keep the jihad going if the women are all killing themselves.

This is hysterical! Do we live in a great country, or what?

Here's the new citizenship test.

I think I could pass it without having to do much study. Unfortunately, having listened to a number of Hannity's "Man on the Street" interviews, my guess is that a lot of Americans would fail this test, and fail it badly.

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