Monday, July 31, 2006

"chat about pizza in your cabin"

In Iran, that now translates as "small talk about elastic loaves in a small room".

The Ant Bully Review 2

Lileks didn't like it either:
The main characters. There’s Lucas the Ant Bully, who picks on ants because big kids pick on him. Through the marvel of recent advances in ant necromancy, he gets shrunk down to ant size so he can learn important life lessons, like the need to swarm over enemy colonies and sting them to death by the millions. Well, actually, no; he learned the virtues of community and sharing and helping, etc. At one point he’s on a mushroom with the wizard ant looking at the great & glorious human city in the distance. The wizard asks about human society, and he is amazed that humans don’t all work together. That is not the Ant Way, which is selfless and communal. John Galt wept. I mean, is it too much to ask that the kid at least stick up for humans? A little? Nope! We’re all selfish and individualistic, scorning the common good, which is why the distant city they’re observing is brightly lit and reaches for the heavens, and the ants are all naked drones giving in a defenseless hole, ruled by a gigantic maternal ant (Meryl Streep.)

Lucas the Reluctant Ant could have been a fine character, but as written he’s a sullen humorless self-pitying shite for half the movie, and most adults watching the film wanted to step on him.

The other main characters. Nicholas Cage as the wizard ant, for example. For half the movie I thought he was Tom Hanks. Julia Roberts plays the nice-girl ant who befriends the Ant Bully for reasons absent to the disinterested observer; boring. There’s a boastful vain stupid ant played by Bruce Campbell, but I couldn’t tell. Something is very wrong when you cannot detect the presence of Bruce Campbell. And there’s a sassy ant with attitude, too. Because you gots to have a character with Attitude.

The human character models, with the exception of the exterminator, are unattractive and off-putting. There’s a crrrrazy toothless granny who thinks aliens are coming to abduct her, a subplot that exists for no apparent reason, except to make her “colorful” and “wacky,” and provide a rationale for putting fans all over the house so the ants can have a hang-gliding expedition. (The granny believes that the aliens hate fans. Why? Because the script required it.)

The script. I swear, nearly every computer animated movie is funded by Pixar, just to remind you how good they are. Even “A Bug’s Life,” which ranks low on the general Pixar-love scale (I like it more than “Nemo,” frankly – you can’t beat that troupe of misbegotten circus insects) had an amusing script. “Ant Bully’ ladles out one thin cliché after the other; every line of dialogue is witless, strained, leaden, derivative, or annoying. It’s one of those movies where everything everyone says could be replaced with “I’m shouting out Expository Dialogue!” and every scene would have had the same impact.

The length. Any movie that seeks to immerse you in the wonderful world of insects yet makes you learn for the exterminator to show up has gone on too long. And not just because you know that’s the boss battle.

Friday, July 28, 2006

cease fire

a quick how-to guide

The Ant Bully Review

Haven't seen it.

Not going to see it.

Here's why:
Gack, what gagging insanity! What foolishness. It's not merely the psychotic anthropomorphism -- that's only the enabling mechanism of the conceit -- but the far more troubling underlying idea. "The Ant Bully" represents a ruinous force in the world that might be called, for lack of a better term (although, heh-heh, this is a pretty great term), "promiscuous empathy." We identify with anything: birds, bees, flowers, trees. We weep for all. We make a fetish of our compassion and treat our feelings as if they're ideas. This contagion holds that there is no us and them in the world, that we are all one big us. The fact that the world then makes no sense is of no matter to those who hold this point of view; far more important is how happy it makes them feel, how moral, how superior. All they are saying is give peace a chance.

You'd have to be an idiot to miss the Middle Eastern allegory in all this. More foreign policy advice from the savants of Hollywood: We Americans, we're the ant bullies, with our huge technical might, and we blunder into the Third Worlds of this world, huffing and puffing, only to be humiliated by the determination and resilience of the indigenous forces.

Agh! It makes me sick. And the only thing that even makes it marginally arguable is, as I have said, anthropomorphism gone pathological. As movie design, the ants have been prettified and given eloquent voice and movement; their pincers, meant to tear the flesh off other ants in their ceaseless wars, have been stylized into design accessories in the form of well-placed, clearly vestigial decorative shells resembling earrings. The ants aren't ants anymore, but human beings. Their very anthood, their genetic reality, has been obliterated and replaced with idealized archetypes from some touchy-feely new agey pacifist's infinitely superior brain. This, of course, is propaganda in service to a higher truth, as engineered by folks of higher spirituality.

The whole thing is a lie, from start to finish. Other than that, I liked it a lot.

planks, not platforms!

or, permanently preventing political poppycock

turquoise bodega

the etymologists among you may find this interesting, and maybe this.

via Monday Evening

spider, man

Maybe "Gecko Man" would be a more accurate title.

via Triton Unleashed

Thursday, July 27, 2006

it's his mind

Bless po' Naman, his lil' ol' mind and his puny lil' heart is sho' messed up...
America, God bless her. It’s not her heart, Lord, it’s her mind. She doesn’t mean to be unkind. She doesn’t know what she’s doing.

She’s just insane and drunk from too much power, self-righteousness, hypocrisy, arrogance, selfishness, greed and stupidity.
Projection: the first resort of the anti-American leftard. He's the insane one serving up the heapin' helpin' of self-righteousness, hypocrisy, arrogance, selfishness, greed and stupidity.
It’s hard, if not impossible, for people – even good-hearted people - to think in morally intelligent ways when their minds have become so infected by all these things.
So let's explore Naman's infected mind, shall we?
She’s lost her understanding. She has lost the ability to judge wisely and justly. She can’t see the different degrees of wrong and right. Instead of correcting a wrong with a right, she attempts to correct it with a greater wrong without even realizing it.
You mean like correcting pollution with the Kyoto protocols? or correcting fornication with abortion? How about correcting class envy with mass graves?
She has lost her vision and cannot see into the distance. She cannot see to the left or right. She cannot see where she’s been. She cannot see the details in front of her and she cannot see into the night.
As the article continues, it becomes perfectly clear who the blind one is.
There’s nothing that I can do about it. I’m just a cricket in the high weeds in the midst of a buffalo stampede.
A better comparison would be a dung beetle feeding on execrable Kos patties.
There are millions of other crickets just like me but how can we be heard over the thundering hooves of 300 million buffalo?
Your anti-American ilk control MSM and Hollywood, spreading your pathetic nihilism around the globe 24-7, and you complain about not being heard?!?
In the great scheme of things, humanity hasn’t made an inch of progress since the dawn of civilization.
No phone, no lights, no motorcars, not a single luxury...

And by the way, Naman, what's that you're typing on, hmmm?
We’re still settling our differences with war and killing instead of through respectful talk and peaceful means.
Agreed, war stinks. Peaceful means are preferred. And it's obvious who is the master of civil discourse...
Before America dropped the first atomic bomb and learned that she could rule the world by killing the women and children of her enemies by the hundreds of thousands, it didn’t make much difference.
...and before Islam slammed the first airliner into NYC trying to rule the world by killing the women and children of her enemies by the thousands, they were trying rule the world by killing the women and children of her enemies for centuries anyway.
But now that we’ve moved so deep into the nuclear age with this terrible power to destroy all life on earth, we continue to enforce our imperial will on the world through war and the collateral killing of the innocent, while washing the guilty blood from our hands and claiming that we are just defending ourselves and doing the righteous thing according to God’s will.
The difference between us and them is that we mourn "the collateral killing of the innocent", while Islam positively revels in it, all the while claiming that they are just defending themselves and doing the righteous thing according to Allah’s will.
We think that because we have more nuclear missiles and other weapons of mass destruction than all the other nations of the world combined, we can have our way with the weaker nations and shape their governments to suit our needs, while claiming that we are just trying to make the world safe for democracy and lasting peace.
If you believe that any other nation in the history of the planet would have shown more restraint with the amount of power that America currently wields, you have absolutely no concept of reality. And if you believe that any other nation in the history of the planet has expended more effort to make the world safe for democracy and lasting peace, you are utterly deluded.
We think that because we are the only Super Power, we can maintain alliances with the seven or eight other nations that have nuclear weapons and outlaw any attempts by the weaker nations to develop nuclear weapons.
I thought you leftards were against nuclear weapons. Are you now saying there should be more?
We think that it is great wisdom for us to extend our nuclear capabilities into space so that we can better defend our nation and our allies against nuclear attack.
Yes, defending life is a good thing. This concept continues to escape the left.
We think that no other nation should object to this because it is purely a defensive measure and that the United States, being so good and so loved by God, would never use such an advantage to her advantage and force all the other nations to submit to her desires.
It seems Naman has never learned the difference between "offense" and "defense".
If America could see herself as others see her, she would see why she can’t be trusted to rule the world with her iron fist and the strength of her war machine and her nuclear weapons.
If Naman could see America's enemies as they really are, he would see why they shouldn’t be trusted to rule the world either.
She would see why her word and her moral reasoning can no longer be trusted. But America, blinded by the glow of her own self-righteous goodness, is not ever going to see that.
Blinded by the glow of his own self-righteous goodness, neither will Naman.
Look closely at America now. Is she much different in her ways than in those days when she determined that God had given her this land and that the native people that lived here were nothing more than savages and terrorists not worthy of being listened to or allowed to co-exist, even on their own land?
Look closely at Islam now. Is it much different in its ways than in those (even earlier) days when it determined that Allah had given them the right to exterminate the infidel, even on their own land?
Didn’t that vote of 410 – 8 in the People’s House just last week, when we failed to call for a ceasefire and threw our complete support to Israel, giving her the green light to continue her killing of Lebanese civilians as if she were the one suffering the disproportionate amount of civilian deaths and not the other way around, show the world our true mind?
"Failing to call for (or honor) a ceasefire" is a tactic employed by Islamofascists for decades - decades in which it was causing the disproportionate amount of civilian deaths Naman so bemoans.
Too much has taken place over the past month to go into all the details, but apparently this latest increase in speed toward World War III was triggered on June 25 when Palestinian militants killed two Israeli soldiers and captured a third at an army post on the Israel-Gaza border.
Kudos go to Naman for picking a relevant detail, especially in light of the fact that he glosses over so very very many of them.
Apparently the objective of the militants was to trade the captured soldier for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners (including many women and minors)...
Uh, weren't you lefties concerned about "disproportionate response"? 1000 for 3 seems a bit lopsided to me.
but Israel’s reaction was to attack with missiles and move troops into Gaza, even though she would have still had about 8,000 prisoners left if she had given in to the demands.
Gaza: a small parcel of land which Israel gave away expecting peace in return and getting none.
The UN Security Council debated a draft resolution demanding an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces and the release of detained Palestinian officials which she had captured, but the U.S. prevented it, claiming that the resolution was unbalanced.
Perhaps because it was unbalanced? But at least now the UN can get back to its primary mission of trading food for underage sex.
On July 12, while Israel was bombing the Gaza Strip, killing 22 Palestinians (the score would be about 100 to 1 within a few days), a group of Hezbollah guerrillas, using a rocket attack against several Israeli towns as a diversion, sneaked across the contested border and captured a couple of soldiers and killed three more, according to press reports, apparently for the purpose of demanding the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners and a Lebanese prisoner to boot.

Israel’s response was to scorch the earth and rain down death and destruction on Lebanon. By July 25 she had killed about 380 Lebanese (mostly civilians) and had suffered about 40 deaths (17 civilians and 23 soldiers). She had also displaced over 700,000 Lebanese from their homes and torn the country’s infrastructure to shreds, wounding about 1,100 and causing billions of dollars in damage.
Wonder how that total compares to the death and destruction Islamofascists have caused. (And when was the last time you heard about Islam helping to rebuild the countries of its former enemies the way America helped rebuilt Germany, Japan, Iraq, etc.?)
President George W. Bush and the US Congress, apparently reflecting the mind of the American people, made no effort to stop this fight and prevent the unnecessary overkill of the innocent and the leveling of the country.
Just as leftists make no effort to stop killing babies in the womb.
Their reasoning was that Israel had the right to defend herself, case closed. Their reasoning was that Hamas in Palestine and Hezbollah in Lebanon were terrorist organizations whose method of fighting was to kill innocent civilians for the purpose of wiping Israel off the map and forcing their religion on the world. Case closed.
So what's the problem? (and how many times do you get to close the case?)
Their reasoning, apparently, was that the democratic governments of Lebanon and Palestine were not legitimate because they included members of Hamas and Hezbollah and allowed the militant strains of these groups sanctuary within their borders.
I've heard no one make the claim that the Lebanese government is not legitimate. The Palestinian government, however, is one of the combatants, and is therefore a legitimate target.
And as President Bush indicated in his off-the-cuff remark to Great Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair at the G-8 peace summit, Syria could stop this in a minute if she wanted to. And Iran is to blame too for supporting Hamas and Hezbollah with money to buy weapons.

Apparently America is unwilling to ask for a ceasefire and an end to all this unnecessary killing of the innocents and the continued destruction of these two lands and their democratically elected governments until all the terrorists have been forced to disband and lay down their arms. Case closed.
Apparently Naman is unwilling to ask Hamas, Hezbollah, et al, for a ceasefire "and an end to all this unnecessary killing of the innocents and the continued destruction of these two lands and their democratically elected governments", because deep down he knows how utterly futile that would be.

And again with the case-closing...
And so the war goes on and heats up, with the apparent hope by Bush and his homeboys that they can pull Syria and Iran into it and then beat them into the ground with their superior weapons and firepower, and their clever ability to divide and conquer the Arab world through their power, wealth and influence.
"Pull Syria and Iran into it"?!? Syria and Iran are the puppetmasters forcing the issue in the first place.

And if America was in fact so "insane and drunk from too much power", it wouldn't even need an excuse, and Mecca, Medina, Tehran, and Damascus would already be glowing green glass craters.
Meanwhile our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are boiling nicely...
though quite a bit cooler than they boiled for the Soviet Union...
and we’re keeping a watchful eye on North Korea, in case she gives us a legitimate excuse to blow her out of the water and finally claim victory in the Korean War.
1) Vigilance is the price of freedom, and

2) If we weren't keeping an eye on NK and one of Lil'Kim's Taepodongs landed on something important, Naman and his whiny homeboys would scream bloody murder that Bush hadn't done more to protect us.
And when we’ve finished with all of this, we’ve still got Russia and China on our plate, but we’re a people with big appetites and several more courses to go through before we’ve completed our meal of consuming all the bad guys in the name of Jesus and everlasting peace in the world.
So now Naman is against everlasting world peace?! Good grief.
It’s not her heart, Lord, it’s her mind. She won’t negotiate with terrorists but she doesn’t understand that the greatest terrorists are the ones that kill the most innocents and that it doesn’t make any difference if the killing is done under the legitimate cover of a uniform or a breech cloth.
Naman is correct in stating that killing is bad. Maybe I'll start worrying about the death toll inflicted by Israel when it even approaches the 100 million killed by communism PLUS the 40 million killed by abortion PLUS the 4-6 million killed by the Holocaust.
If the terrorists are still fighting after half a century, could it be possible that their reasons are not no simple as an abiding hate for our freedoms and their desires to wipe Israel off the map and force the world to give up their religions and accept Islam?
1) Islam has been killing its neigbors for much longer than a half century.

2) The duration of that fight actually makes the religious aspect a much more likely cause.
Isn’t there even the vaguest possibility that they might be fighting for one of their own, so that they can have a piece of the ground that their ancestors left them to live on freely and independently like any other nation of people on earth?
Even if it were true, how would that reason differ from Israel's?
We can never know unless we allow them the respect of sitting with us under the pipe of peace and allow them to speak of their true desires and their needs as common people who walk the earth as equals to all other human beings.
They have indeed spoken their true desires, and they most certainly do not consider themselves equal to all other human beings. (and I'll refrain from making jokes about the "pipe of peace", because all the hippies would start giggling and forget what we were talking about.)
Even if America is unable to accept this, with all her intelligence, why is she unable to realize that the faster we race towards nuclear war, the more space we’re going to need to slow down before we hit the wall?

Why is it so hard for America to understand that she has been going too fast in the direction of atomic destruction for too long and should have started slowing down a long time ago?
Why is Naman unable to realize that we are not the ones racing towards nuclear war? He should go see how well Iran's Ahmadinejad recieves those arguments.
When we take that last strike and the final war hits us in the face, what difference is it going to make who was right and who was wrong, who started it or who Jesus loves the best?
If you make the argument that right and wrong make no difference, Naman, why do you keep invoking the names of 'Jesus' and 'Lord'?
It’s not her heart, Lord, it’s her mind. Even if she brings about the final destruction of mankind, never let it be said that she knew what she was doing, or that she didn’t go down swinging.
But in Naman's mind, it's quite alright for anyone else to bring about the final destruction of mankind, just so long as they know what they're doing.
With all her quoting from the Good Book, and the Ten Commandments and her claims of love, she never thought about the hate she was creating, or that it would have a greater destructive force when finally unleashed than all her nuclear bombs.
With all the leftists' claims of hating hypocrisy, they really ought to grow a brain, live in the real world for once, and drop this sort of pathetic pseudo-religious posturing.

Case closed.

legacy flight

Here's a great picture of an Air Force legacy flight from above.

roots of the cult of global warming

BabyTrollBlog begins to plumb the depths:
For a very long time,... I have tried to persuade leftists of my acquaintance of the error of their ways... by inviting them to ask questions... But here lately, I've wondered if even this moderate approach makes sense.

It is, I am coming to be ever more firmly convinced, a category error to impute reasoned motivation to the campaign to enshrine -- scorn quotes -- "Global Warming" as holy writ, unchallengeable as an article of faith and therefore to coerce mankind into witless and counterproductive, even lethally perilous, alterations in behavior. I just don't think such motives are there.

I can't escape the sense that, some time ago -- perhaps about the time that amateur climate freaks were flapping their tiny arms all about over the coming ice age -- some group or individual hit upon this scheme as a means by which their agenda -- a palpably collectivist and nihilistic (indeed, anti-human) agenda -- could be put into action.

It's hard to talk or write about this without sounding like Mel Gibson's character in Conspiracy Theory. Commies under the bed and all that. Vast, shadowy groups governing behind the scenes, pulling the strings of elected officials. Scientists bought off into supporting outright lies and fabrications. Journalists who refuse to see the truth. It's just nuts.

And, yet, the concept is highly seductive.

The idea of human action having so grand and sweeping an effect on the environment in the first place sounds ... silly on the face of it. And then, when you examine the evidence that ought to demonstrate the matter clearly (according to the proponents of the même), not only does it not support the postulations on the table, but -- where it gives any indication at all -- it seems to contradict the entire contention. Yes, there has been approximately a one-degree rise in average temperatures -- in the places where we have measured them -- over the past 130 years. Yet, this in no way translates into a significant -- even an actual -- global rise. Not that it can't have happened, but that we don't know. And there's no way for us to know. Though the levels of carbon in the atmosphere seem to have risen substantially, there is no clear link to human activity. The whole edifice of anthrogenic atmospheric carbon-caused climate change falls apart on close examination, starting with how much carbon got into the atmosphere and when (and how we "know" what the levels were).

Acceptance of the idea, then, flies in the face of logic, knowledge, and observable fact. Yet, people do accept it -- readily so. Not that you can impute that to conspiracy. People have always believed silly things -- and ruled mankind based on those beliefs -- so there's nothing new there. But it seems as though, once something is clearly wrong, more people ought to be dropping the idea like it was a hot rock out of a volcano that just flew into their fielder's glove.

But the drumbeat of the big lie keeps coming. Despite repeated repudiation at the polls, despite clear evidence contradicting their claims, despite the disavowal of myriad competent authorities, despite very real contentions that their aims almost inevitably will result in poorer lives and even misery and death for billions of human beings, the proponents of the climate change scare keep at it. (emphasis mine)

How many bites do you give the dog? We know where this poisonous combination of junk science and collectivist political nostrums end up. We've seen it too many times before -- in the last century alone -- to just let it go. So when do we wake up and stop imputing reason to the opposition and call a spade a spade?

When do we admit that, while men of goodwill can disagree, the Left is not of goodwill. When do we accept that our quest for civility is founded in a category error?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

speaking truth to mob-unions

Unions want to prevent African-Americans from finding jobs:
Wearing shirts that read, "Don't Box Us Out. We need Jobs, Opportunity, Development," more than 1,000 people listened to speakers voice their disapproval with the proposed law, which they said will drive stores like Wal-Mart and Target out of Chicago.

The hearing, sponsored by the Rev. Leon Finney, pastor of Metropolitan who is also chair and CEO of The Woodlawn Organization, was meant to send a message to the City Council on the proposed ordinance. Few inside the church spoke in favor proposed ordinance, which is expected to go before the City Council Wednesday.

Finney and other religious leaders have opposed the ordinance for fear it might make stores like Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Target reconsider their plans to build in retail- and job-starved communities on the South and West sides of the city...

(one protestor said) "I need something to help support my family. I'm trying to be a productive member of society,"...

"I have 9,000 applicants for 450 to 500 jobs and you're talking about a wage increase? Nine thousand people don't even have a job, how are you going to increase the wages?" Mitts asked. "You've got to start somewhere. If a man don't work, he don't eat."

Finney (said) with the unemployment rate in Black communities at 27 percent, the jobs need to stay in Chicago.

"I would argue that we ought to have a national minimum wage, but we're looking at economic devastaton in Black communities. We want the jobs," Finney said. "I will fight with all of my might to make sure there's a (national) minimum wage, but first we want the jobs."
I might start agreeing with African-Americans who claim "the man is keeping us down", now that they know exactly which "man" is keeping them down.

4/5 of a loaf is better than none.

self-aware cars

(drink alert)

"Reports are coming in of automobiles all over the country becoming self aware and rejecting the internal combustion engine to live a more eco-friendly life. Reports are still sketchy, but many experts believe that this sudden self-awareness was caused by the ever increasing size and memory of the computer controlling the fuel injection and the guilt of global warming."

one dollar shirt


progressives against progress

communists squabble over how to slice a shrinking pie. capitalists make a bigger pie to share.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

unintended consequences

...specifically, the TANSTAAFL of daytime running lights.

How To

In case you ever want or need to invent a language from scratch, Pablo David Flores has written a helpful guide.

Medications for Alzheimer's

Two medicines (in the experimental phase) have shown promising results in fighing Alzheimer's disease:

Leuprolide Acetate
NGX267, an M1 receptor agonist

Hopefully one of these (or another) will be available for human use soon. My family's medical history suggests I might need it when I reach retirement age...

Condoleezza, Warrior Princess

Xena was unavailable for comment.

Monday, July 24, 2006

extraterrestrial lakes

AP: Evidence of giant hydrocarbon lakes on moon of Saturn.

...and in completely unrelated news, the World Wildlife Fund announced today that the Saturnian gleeping snorglefish is now on the endangered species list.



vacation time!

make a run for the border!

is this war just?

One Hand Clapping examines the four criteria:

1) the threat must be lasting, grave and certain
2) other means to counter the threat are ineffective
3) there is a likelihood of success
4) the actions taken must be proportionate to the threat

religion of peace, western division

Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams shows the full extent of the love and tolerance of the left:
"I have a very hard time with this word 'non-violence', because I don't believe that I am non-violent," said Ms Williams, 64.

"Right now, I would love to kill George Bush." Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered.
See also "Mugged by the Peaceniks" , this loser who wants to bomb children, and these 'religious leftists' (an oxymoron if ever there was one) who call their (alleged) brethren "ignorant southern crackers".

the effectiveness of nonviolent resistance not universal:
The idea of meeting force with resolve, violence with peace, hatred with acceptance has an enormous moral power. However, it has one critical flaw, one Achilles heel that keep it from being a guaranteed success: it depends on your opponent having a conscience.

(The successes of Gandhi and MLK Jr.) gave the nonresistance tactic far more power than it deserved. It became embraced as the ONLY moral way to confront oppression.

Sadly, it is not. The Hungarians tried to escape the Soviets in 1956, and were crushed. The Czechs tried a variation in the "Prague Spring" of 1967, and were crushed by the Soviets. And in 1989, the Chinese tried to appeal to the conscience of their Communist masters -- and found them sorely wanting in that element.


In the light of these new circumstances (of the G.W.O.T), the anti-war side has not bothered to change their tactics. Their only concession to the new reality is to realize that in these new conflicts, one side is utterly immune to their policy of nonresistance. And instead of trying to find a way to adapt to the challenge, they have redoubled their efforts on the other side.

In the current fighting in the Middle East, one doesn't see large protests against Hezbollah or Hamas for their indiscriminate attacks on civilians. The International Solidarity Movement doesn't send its members on Israeli buses and into marketplaces to serve as "human shields" against Palestinian suicide bombers. And "peace activists" aren't fanning out across northern Israel to appeal to Hezbollah's better nature and cease their random bombardment.

It appears that these noble, worthy, high-minded anti-war activists lack the convictions of their heroes like Dr. Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi. They either cherish their own lives too much to put them at risk, unwilling to put their principles to the ultimate test, or in their heart of hearts they know what many of us already believe: those we fight have no consciences, no "better natures" to appeal to -- or, at least, are unwilling to pay the horrific butcher's bill of innocent blood required to finally reach that.

Until that day, when those high-minded and hazy-thinking moral exemplars finally acknowledge the essential vacuousness of their actions, they will continue to provide nothing but an annoying distraction to those who honor the threat. And their every action -- and inaction -- will continue to put the lie to their noble words.

the kids are all right

To paraphrase some old smelly hippies, "don't trust anyone born between 1946 and 1964."
A funny thing happened on their way to the next Hillary Clinton fundraiser: Their children found the secret code to unlock the block they installed to prevent viewing of the “biased” Fox News Channel. Now suddenly, Bill O’Reilly and Shepard Smith are opening their eyes to the beauty of our country, while exposing our adversaries within the terror networks, publicizing Cindy Sheehan’s disingenuousness and the PC-dominated radical groups who appease these enemies, defame our soldiers and balkanize “minorities” by engulfing them in condescension via handout programs most of them do not seek.

While our college faculties may be dominated by liberal academics and rallies, somehow, with all the odds and information stacked against them, the College Republicans club oftentimes outnumbers their Democratic counterparts. Even at UC Berkeley, the third largest club as of 2001 was still the Young Republicans. Harvard undergraduate students reportedly gave outgoing president Larry Summers a standing ovation and support him strongly, despite the revolt of the Arts and Sciences faculty.

When fear of public blackballing and faculty grade retaliation is overcome, college students have shown that political diversity is possible. And, thankfully, more and more students send their examples of blatant professorial biases to sites like Students for Academic Freedom.

Progress against the domineering forces at universities that revel in lionizing Palestinian terrorists, condemning military recruiters and revising our historical triumphs is now a high priority for a large percentage of college students and young adults who were raised in blue state locales where conservatism was often blackballed and dismissed as nonsense.

rare car

I saw a 1952 Daimler for sale near Abilene Texas this weekend. It had this style of body with this style of hardtop. It was in pretty rough shape though - the interior looked like something that had washed ashore after a hurricane...

Emperor's New Clothes, meet Wizard's New Sport

If the Us Festival didn't tarnish Wozniak's reputation, this just might...

Friday, July 21, 2006

don't ask, don't get beat up by smelly old hippies

Greg Gutfield has a list of questions (mild vulgarity warning) not to ask "progressives", including these:
if 'dissent is patriotic', then why are you guys being so brutal to Joe Lieberman for dissenting from you on Iraq?

are you stuck in that horrible little place that prevents you from feeling anything positive about the country you call home?

(is it) possible that your 'all Republicans are stupid or evil' schtick from bumpersticker to watercooler to cocktail chatter causes everyone else to feel very uncomfortable, but they just chalk up your rudeness to a simple mind?

do you think JFK would approve of Michael Moore?

do you think RFK would approve of Teddy Kennedy?

do you think Teddy Kennedy would approve of reduced fat Pringles?

is the.. hysteria that defines the left simply a function of Baby Boomers collectively knowing that their progeny have no intention of carrying on their philosophical and political legacy when they (soon) pass, or is it just gas?
One of the other questions inspired a compromise to the stem cell debate: The right will allow the legalization of embryonic stem cell research if the left will agree that any benefits gained from the research must be tested on spotted owls and baby seals. ;)

cool game idea

What do you get when you mix chess and laser tag?


got religion?

Here are some illustrations of the relative concentrations of different denominations.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

know your enemy

some may be offended at several words used in this post, but considering the subject matter, the language is actually quite restrained...
Proportional response? PROPORTIONAL RESPONSE?

Do you have any idea who it is we are talking about here? Hezbollah. HEZBOLLAH. This is not the ‘Jaycees of Lebanon’... These are murdering bloodthrirsty and I do mean BLOODTHIRSTY thugs. You notice al-Qaeda hasn’t spoke a word in support of these corpse loving, coprophagic freaks? That’s because they are too far out even for good old Osama himself. Even that freak has standards and these guys aren’t on even their mailing lists for his annual holiday Ramadan Cards.

Compared to Hassan Nasrallah, Osama is like Barney Fife.

Hezbollah is like Al-Qaeda, only Hezbollah has a sponsor. It has Iran, it has Syria. Hezbollah is what Al-Qaeda would be if we would have stayed out of Afghanistan. Hezbollah is what Al-Qaeda would be in Iraq if we had stayed out of there too. Hezbollah is the very definition of state-sponsored terrorism. Given the chance, Hezbollah what every terror group hopes to be. Free to move at will, given cover by the local population, who they promptly use as human shields, free to extort the host government for cover from the intrusive international government law enforcement.

Imagine Charles Manson and his gang, The Baader-Meinhof gang, The IRA, the Weather Underground, the KKK, the Nazi Party and the "People's Temple" all being gathered together. Now, feed them a solid diet of meth and put them in an isolated desert camp for 30 years.

That’s Hezbollah.

Now, some jacka** decides to give them a warehouse of Katushya missiles and tells them that all their problems will be solved when you and your neighborhood are removed from the earth.

When this starts to happen, are you going to act "proportionally" in response? As in, just sit around and do nothing while these animals fire rockets loaded with large caliber buckshot into your kid’s playground? Your grocery store? Your home?

They dont want to negotiate - they want you dead. There's no peace treaty, no trade route to give them, no "common ground" unless its your grave. Thats all they want. You and your family - dead.

The only possible sane act for a decent person to take, the only act that any person interested in justice and peace could consider is to do whatever it takes to end this threat to life and civilization.


Proportional response? Based on (the numerous attacks on Israel since 1948), we are way behind our quota in the removal of Hezbollah and its Iranian zookeepers. Proportional to me means we've got a lot of work to do in killing Hezbollah.

hummers & hybrids

Via Triton Unleashed, a story that over the entire lifespan of the vehicles, Hummers might be better for the environment than hybrid cars.

Spinella spent two years on the most comprehensive study to date – dubbed "Dust to Dust" -- collecting data on the energy necessary to plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a car from the initial conception to scrappage. He even included in the study such minutia as plant-to-dealer fuel costs of each vehicle, employee driving distances, and electricity usage per pound of material. All this data was then boiled down to an "energy cost per mile" figure for each car (see here and here).

Comparing this data, the study concludes that overall hybrids cost more in terms of overall energy consumed than comparable non-hybrid vehicles. But even more surprising, smaller hybrids' energy costs are greater than many large, non-hybrid SUVs.

For instance, the dust-to-dust energy cost of the bunny-sized Honda Civic hybrid is $3.238 per mile. This is quite a bit more than the $1.949 per mile that the elephantine Hummer costs. The energy cots of SUVs such as the Tahoe, Escalade, and Navigator are similarly far less than the Civic hybrid.

As for Ford cars, a Ford Escape hybrid costs $3.2 per mile – about a third more than the regular Escape. But on the whole, ironically enough, the dust-to-dust costs of many of the Ford non-hybrids – Fusion, Milan, Zephyr – are not only lower than comparable Japanese hybrids – Prius, Accord -- but also non-hybrids – Seville, Civic.

Spinella's finding that a Hummer on the whole consumes less energy than a hybrid than even some smaller hybrids and non-hybrids has infuriated environmentalists. And on its face it does seem implausible that a gas-guzzling monster like a Hummer that employs several times more raw material than a little Prius' could be so much less energy-intensive. But by and large the dust-to-dust energy costs in Spinella's study correlate with the fanciness of the car – not its size or fuel economy -- with the Rolls Royces and Bentleys consuming gobs of energy and Mazda 3s, Saturns and Taurus consuming relatively minuscule amounts.

As for Hummers, Spinella explains, the life of these cars averaged across various models is over 300,000 miles. By contrast, Prius' life – according to Toyota's own numbers – is 100,000 miles. Furthermore, Hummer is a far less sophisticated vehicle. Its engine obviously does not have an electric and gas component as a hybrid's does so it takes much less time and energy to manufacture. What's more, its main raw ingredient is low-cost steel, not the exotic light-weights that are exceedingly difficult to make – and dispose. But the biggest reason why a Hummer's energy use is so low is that it shares many components with other vehicles and therefore its design and development energy costs are spread across many cars.

It is not possible to do this with a specialty product like hybrid. All in all, Spinella insists, the energy costs of disposing a Hummer are 60 percent less than an average hybrid's and its design and development costs are 80 percent less.

One of the most perverse things about U.S. consumers buying hybrids is that while this might reduce air pollution in their own cities, they increase pollution – and energy consumption -- in Japan and other Asian countries where these cars are predominantly manufactured. "In effect, they are exporting pollution and energy consumption," Spinella says.

good points

CrosSwords has a good way of getting to the point. Examples:

on stem cells: Ok, all you advocates of embryonic stem cell research. You think its such a good idea, pool your own dollars, create a research lab and pay for the research yourself. Just don’t ask me to support research that kills human life with my dollars. After all, I don’t expect you to support the work of my church that enhances human life.

on preventing AIDS: So how do you prevent HIV/AIDS? Abstinence before marriage, fidelity in marriage. Don’t use illegal drugs, and don’t share needles if you do. While you are still at risk if you are a crime victim, or involved in one of the different accidental ways to share bodily fluids, your risks are minimal.

on ending poverty: Bono has asked “What we can do to make poverty history?” My answer was “Promote democracy. Promote freedom. Promote capitalism, opportunty and individual initiative. Attack corruption.” I don’t think that will be a popular answer. (I've linked this one before, but it's worth repeating.)

oh please no

Lileks: The '60s and '70s appear to be coming back! (link requires subscription)
"That's right: The most overplayed and tiresome decades, which were momentarily out of favor on Oct. 14, 2002, between the hours of 1:17 p.m. and 6:39 p.m., have come roaring back to assert themselves as the Look That Cannot Die Until Every Boomer Has Been in the Grave for 30 Years. And even then, the style will return, because it will remind people of that cool stuff their grandpa wore in 2003 (a golden age of peace and love and prosperity before the Squirrel Flu of '34 ruined everything)."

blog tips

i really really don't know what to think about this list of new ideas about the maturing (heh, indeed) blogosphere.

higamus hogamus hatlemus

(if you don't understand the reference in the title, read this link first, then come back.)

Last night I dreamed up a bit of doggerel.

Picture a Busby Berkeley-produced black-and-white filmed sketch comedy show (like a Saturday Night Live, except that it's funny). The star of the show is a blond flapper girl, who I'll call Nadine. She's fresh out of journalism school, and ready to make her mark in the big city. Picture a 22-yr-old Vivian Vance with a dash of Lily Tomlin's Ernestine attitude. She's performing the news in a sort of Operaman role, only hunt-and-pecking behind an old round-buttoned manual typewriter.

As the film begins, the orchestra is playing Nadine's theme song, a lively staccato cha-cha-cha piece. Nadine hits a key for every note and the orchestra plays a bell every time the typewriter is returned. The song plays for a few measures waiting for the applause to end. After the crowd quiets down, without breaking rhythm or looking up from the keys, Nadine starts reading/singing the news items. Each item is a rhyming couplet, with each line ending with the cha-cha-cha ...ding! rhythm.

The first news item is apparently about a playwright who made a spectacular comeback from a notoriously dismal failure:
"Francis Foley is forgiven for that other flop. (...ding!)
He wrote a great new play and it came out on top. (...ding!)"
And the crowd thought it was hilarious...

global warming

How hot can it get, really?
The global daily maximum temperature will most likely occur in desert regions of whichever hemisphere is experiencing summer. From December through February, the highest temperatures are usually recorded in the Southern Hemisphere. In March and April, the pre-monsoon, parched areas of India and Pakistan often have the world's highest temperatures, and by late summer the deserts of North America, the Middle East and northern Africa are usually the hottest places on Earth.

Though the summer solstice occurs about December 21 in the Southern Hemisphere, the highest temperatures are usually recorded in January and February. In the Northern Hemisphere, the highest temperatures occur between July and September. Even thought the Sun's ray are most direct and closest to being overhead in the sub tropics at noon near the time of the solstice, it takes a while for the land, oceans and atmosphere to heat up. The Earth is about 3% closer to the Sun in December than in June, but since there's so much more water in the Southern Hemisphere, things don't usually heat up as quickly and to the same degree as in the Northern Hemisphere.
Wow, it's almost like somebody designed it that way!

black is white

...and blue is red.

B52 RC Model

This radio controlled model of a B52 is (er, was) impressive. You can also see some video clips of it here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

level one human

i suspect only gamers will understand this shirt - the rest of you can just admire the baby pic.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

stu links to link stew

for those of you who haven't been paying attention, i have a tendency to post on random topics, at a random schedule. lately it's gotten a little politic-heavy around here, so here's an attempt to dispel the blood-sucking parasites with a big ol' dose of randomness:

Federal Review links to
The Providence Journal links to
The Mirror Project links to
Invisible Jet links to
Songs About Soup links to
Forged Records links to
Ervin Somogyi Guitars links to
Hypersphere Web Design links to
Arthur M. Young links to
The Grove Store links to
Strandgaard Consulting links to
Danish EPA links to
Environmental News Network links to
World Trade Organization links to
Thai Industrial Standards Institute

since the list is connected by links, it isn't utterly random. what is a little random is that i didn't start at the beginning to generate the list; i actually backtracked on some of them. bonus points go to the first reader who can guess the link i started with.


(p.s. i don't necessarily endorse any or all of the content of the linked sites.)


There's a convenience store that I stop at semi-regularly on my way to work. Today when I stopped in, I noticed a new (to me, anyway) snack product. I thought that I must still be dreaming, but says it's for real:

Muncheros Lima Beans with Chili & Lemon

There's no way on earth you could get me to try them.

(p.s. there's tons more reviews of snack foods on the taquitos site, including this cute idea.)


As cartoonists, Cox & Forkum is (are?) really great at proportions...

update: a related picture of UN-fairness.

been there, done that

unfortunately, i'm still there and still doing that, too.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

what a bargain!

El puré de Mish says that the calibre of any physical activity, of course, is measured by the quantity of pain it induces.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saddam's WMD

In this case, WMD stands for Wide-Mustached Dictator.

Truth is soooooo much stranger than fiction.

winds of war

Discerning Texan wonders if World War 3 began last week:
Israel has put up with a lot over the years. It seems like every time a disco or bus blows up in Tel Aviv, the world expects the Israelis to do . . . absolutely nothing. For a time they even complied; I can still remember during the Gulf War when the scuds were coming in, yet Israel did nothing, choosing instead to let the US do the heavy lifting, rather that disintegrating the "coalition". Now the tables seem to be turned.

I will say this about the Israelis: at least they are honest about who their enemies are. They do not pretend that Russia and China are their "good friends" while waiting for the United Nations to solve their problems; they are under no such illusions (of course, neither are we, but who wants to admit that?)

And so in our vain attempt to impress the world about how "civilized" we are, the United States continues to play the "game" of appeasement; giving lip service to allowing the United Nations to try and rein in rogue regimes, while knowing full well it will not work. Knowing this, it chooses the failure of real, lasting results and real progress just so it would not be seen by the rest of the World (it had saved multiple times...) as not being the "bad guy". While all along, the truth is that the US is seen by most of the world as "the bad guy" no matter what it does or does not do.

We are at the same time the envy of the world and the scapegoat for its own tragic flaws. If there is poverty somewhere, it's "why isn't the US doing more"? If there is even a possibility (far from a certainty) that man is causing the current global climate cycle to change, the world expects the US to bankrupt itself--just in case. And they are ALL willing to take our money. But when we dare to defend our interests our the lives of our citizens, or the interests of our Allies we are "the evil bully"; never mind that that "bully" made it possible for civilization to even exist through two World Wars and the Cold War.

Yet our true internal flaw is this: we want too much for everyone to like us. Because that is how we treat each other--we come from a civilized people and we want to be civil. Israel has no such illusions that the world will like them. Honed by thousands of years of anti-semitism, the Israelis have an us-against-the-world mentality that we secretly empathize with--secretly, because we are unwilling to admit to ourselves that the rest of the world really doesn't like us that much. Sure, the void (and our booming economy) would be hugely felt if we were not around; the world would be positivley overflowing with lawlessness and anarchy--as it has been for most of human history. But we want not only to be the strongest, most productive, most innovative, and wealthiest society; the beacon for the world, the "city on a hill"--we also want to be loved. Unfortunately it is beyond myopic to expect to be viewed as all of those things simultaneously. Isreal is under no such illusions.

The thing that sets Israel apart is they are honest about naming their enemies and dealing with them. They do not go out of their way to make war, but they do not shrink from it either. And they do not pretend to let diplomacy work where it has no hope of working. They have seen clearly what the rest of the world now is only beginning to admit: that the pipe dream of a Palestinian state which peacefully coexists with Israel is now DOA. The very nanosecond that Israel pulled its kicking and screaming settlers out of Gaza in the interest of peace, the Palestinians who they handed the land over to . . . started lobbing missiles into Israel! So much for the illusion the rest of the world had long harbored that if the Palestinians only had some land to call "home", they would let Israel be.

Instead they used their opportunity to democratically choose their future to elect an openly terrorist organization sworn to the destruction of Israel to lead them. And then they immediately set about . . . destroying Isreal.

And so now, Isreal does what it should have done all along - it takes the fight to these hypocritical murderers, giving little thought to what the world thinks about it. Because the Palestinians and Hezbollah in Lebanon have again shown their true aims: the obliteration of the Jewish state, and the death of as many of its citizens as possible. So Isreal did what they had to do - and d*** public opinion - they did and are now doing what is necessary. I admire the h*** out of that. I wish America had a lot more backbone like that.

I heard tonight that the missiles that have half a million Isrealis in bomb shelters in Haifa were supplied by Iran, even though they were launched from Lebanon. (This from the Isreali News Agency by the way.) In any case, I suspect that if this is so, the Israelis will (once again) do whatever is necessary to protect itself, and that this might just include taking out Iran and Syria's warmaking and especially nuclear capabilities, perhaps with US help (one would hope so...). It is no mere coincidence that when it comes to a nuclear-armed Iran and a its Hezbollah-sponsoring allies in Syria, our interests dovetail completely with Isreali interests: that is, in removing those threats once and for all. So how about, just this once, we drop the pretense of playing nice and instead make this world safer for ourselves and even for all those whining on the sidelines? How about a little honesty, and a little resolve to WIN this War for our very survival, and what say we simultaneously dispense with all of the hand wringing and gnashing of teeth which the rest of the world seems to be addicted to? Has it gotten us anywhere?

When my President stood before the world after our collective loss of innocence on 9/11, he said "you either are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Israel lives by those words; isn't it time we gave them meaning again? Isn't it time that the two nations who the world loves to hate--for no reason other than they have been successful, and they have been FIRM--join forces to wipe out this scourge once and for all? Isn't it time that a President's lofty words once again actually were to STAND for something other than mere rhetoric? When President Bush said those words on that terrible day I had tears in my eyes--tears for the fallen and tears that here was a man who was showing the world what the American fighting spirit was really about. Those words have lost a little bit of luster over the intervening years--but they still ought to be etched into the soul of every American patriot.

There is no question here: the Islamofascist enemies of Western Civilization want to see us either all dead or submissive to sharia law, facing Mecca and wearing burkas. Period. I truly beleive there is no in between for these sociopathic religious zealot killers. Isreal knows this already; and truth be told I think our leadership knows this too--yet the stalling tactics of relying on the UN isn't getting it done. It is a complete waste of time and money. ( Frankly I think we should toss the entire UN overboard...) So isn't it is high time that the US is as honest about the real world as Isreal is? How can we even pretend otherwise: it really is down to US or THEM. Pretty easy choice for me.

In the coming days I suspect that this War will grow rapidly in scale; I truly believe that, as with the assasination of Franz Ferdinand in Serbia, the abduction of these Isreali hostages will be viewed by history as having been akin throwing a molotov cocktail on a tinderbox, and the flames will engulf all of the Middle East and beyond. If I am right, eventually America will join (better sooner than later)--and when it does the evil regimes of Iran and Syria will eventually be taken down. This is the only end result that can result in a lasting peace. Of course I could be wrong that World War III has just started--it's simply a gut feeling I have. In any case, I doubt that a better opportunity to to rid the world of these monsters will come along in a good while--especially if we wait until Iran has nukes for certain. That nightmare scenario would usher in a real holocaust and possibly nuclear war.

My country - the greatest hope for freedom and civilization this World has EVER known - hopefully will... join this Global fight for Civilization; not because it is easy, but because it has to be done. And this means doing what is necessary: to preserve our Western Civilization by defending it. Not to do what is easy or non-confrontational, or touchy-feely, but rather what is necessary.
(minor editing)

You weren't planning on having a pleasant weekend, were you?

update: some Reformed Chicks have a good response to this concern.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Kos channels Lennon in a post entitled "Imagine A World Without Israel" - which inspires me to suggest we imagine a world without Islam.
Everyone could live in peace without fear of mutual destruction.

There would be no more Saudi funding of terror camps and schools throughout the world.

We could bring down the Wall, send prisoners home, and families could be reunited.

We could dismantle checkpoints, open crossings, and pull down barbed wire fences.

There would be no more settlements or armed settlers because the people would be united.

We could replant trees and olive groves and rebuild battered cities.

No more suicide bombers or sniper fire, and no more dead civilians.

No more targeted killings and hell-fire missiles, or systematic demolitions.

Palestinians and Jews could live together and the world could address other issues.

What a simpler place this world would be if there was no need for the anti-semitic machine of alJazeera, leftists, nihilists, suicide bombers, jihad cultists, and the UN.

Is it so hard to imagine?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

one letter away, one hemisphere away

If you end up here, you'll know you should have taken that left turn, dagnabit!

betcha didn't see this coming

...unless you read the book.

The perpetually corrupt anti-Israel thugs, rapists, and con men of the UN want to start their own army.

Suddenly the North Korean missile problem pales in comparison.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Even Rove himself couldn't think up something this twisted.

so which is it?

critics will be critics no matter how the flute is played.


These two related posts bring to the fore a topic I'd prefer remain aft - a topic that I usually summarize by saying (to paraphrase Groucho Marx) "I wouldn't want to marry anyone who would want to marry me".

update: I haven't given up on meeting the one exception to the rule...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Castro, beginning to end

While trying to find any confirmation of the rumor that Fidel Castro had died (and finding none), I ran across an article about Castro's beginnings:
The world got its first real glimpse of Castro thanks to Herbert Matthews, the New York Times correspondent who traveled into the Sierra Maestra to interview him in February 1957. A few months earlier, Castro had landed in Cuba with a boatload of guerrillas determined to overthrow the widely despised regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista. The landing had gone badly, and by early 1957 Batista was claiming Castro and all his men were dead.

The dictator was wrong. But Matthews' story didn't get it absolutely right either. While he correctly predicted Batista's overthrow, he painted an overly rosy picture of the young Castro and his bearded troops.

Matthews was an enterprising foreign correspondent who got his feet wet in Spain during the civil war in the 1930s, befriending Ernest Hemingway and siding with the leftist cause. In Cuba, he found another underdog cause...

While DePalma argues that Matthews' 1957 articles did not "create Fidel from nothing," they changed his image "from hotheaded loser to noble rogue with broad ideals."

Matthews enjoyed exclusive access to the Castro government, providing him with unique insights into the revolution. But his obsession with being the only journalist who really knew what was going on in Cuba blinded him from uglier aspects of the revolution that did not fit his romantic ideals.

Castro's own lavish praise of Matthews didn't help, including during a famous visit to New York. "Without your help, the revolution in Cuba would not have succeeded," he remarked on a visit to the New York Times.
Draw your own conclusions.

The article then goes on to paint a less-than-optimistic picture for post-Castro Cuba:
With Castro, now almost 80, showing signs of deteriorating health, a post-Castro scenario is beginning to emerge more clearly...

For many years it was presumed that Castro's death would be the end of the revolution, and that a period of likely convulsion would follow. But communist Cuba's survival after the collapse of the Soviet bloc has defied its critics. Latell belongs to a growing school of academics who argue that the system in place in Cuba is more durable than previously recognized. Much of the credit for this belongs to Fidel's younger brother, Raul Castro, an often overlooked and underestimated figure.

Happy Birthday

Boy we could use a man like Thomas Bowdler again...

another day, another post beginning with the word "another"

Guess I should link to something, huh?... How's about this.

Monday, July 10, 2006

another party

Scott Harris thinks it's time for a new centrist party in American politics.

another one bites the dust

Good riddance to the butcher of Beslan.

another kind of spin doctor

Jeff Gordon is a punk. He should go play on the bumper cars and leave racing to the adults.

1, 2, 3, 5!

Another great set of posts from Varifrank.


Didn't think I'd ever get to see one in flight, but here's a videoclip of a restored ME262 in Germany.

know your enemy

Gates of Vienna puts the pieces together to show the ugly face of the leftist-islamist complex.

The answer is not "throw money at the problem"

Bono asks: “What we can do to make poverty history?”

CrosSwords answers: “Promote democracy. Promote freedom. Promote capitalism, opportunty and individual initiative. Attack corruption.” I don’t think that will be a popular answer.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

pot, kettle, yet again

This post is getting some extremely rude attention by the pro-murder crowd, for mistaking a satire piece by The Onion for a real article. Several pro-baby-killers have left a number of hateful comments deriding the author's ability to distinguish fact from fake.

In a sense I agree.

It's almost as bad as when moviegoers are duped by obvious lies like "Inconvenient Truth" and "Day After Tomorrow", and not quite as bad as the time Dan Rather and Mary Mapes were duped by a lousy faked fax and flushed the last remnants of an entire network's credibility down the toilet.

Sox Fans

Although I despise the Boston Red Sox second only to the NYDYankees, and every fan of theirs that I have ever met has erred on the side of obnoxiousness, I'm rooting for this guy.


Dustbury linked to this page bemoaning the large and ugly houses - a.k.a. McMansions - being built by the thousands these days. (Wikipedia has allowed a highly-biased article on the topic as well.)

The issue does require some clarification though.

I wholeheartedly agree that the exteriors of the homes shown are hideous, and the interiors most probably are as well. And I also agree that the McMansionist trend should end as soon as possible (not by force of law, but by people coming to their senses and demanding better aesthetics). However, the author of the page seems to confuse the issues of size and style.

Large does not automatically mean ugly.

Small does not automatically mean pretty.

I suspect that most of the complaints about these houses are fueled by urban snobbery and petty jealousy - i.e. "sour grapes".

p.s. there is no way anyone could get me to live like a sardine in a beehive like this.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Notably absent from this blog have been recipes. I will now remedy that situation by presenting a step-by-step recipe for...


"Hatless in Hattiesburg's Worst-Ever Lemonade"


1) Go to work, but make sure you forget to bring change for the vending machines.

2) In the break room, find one 16 oz. bottle of Ozarka (or other brand) drinking water.

3) Scavenge condiment drawer to find 5 ReaLemon, 3 Imperial Sugar, and 1 Splenda packets (all of unknown age).

4) Remove lid of water bottle, and empty the contents of all nine packets into the bottle.

5) Replace lid of water bottle.

6) Shake water bottle vigorously for one minute.

7) Remove lid of water bottle.

8) Drink.

9) Cringe.

10) Dispose of remaining 29/30ths of the "beverage".

11) Ask co-worker if you can borrow some change for the vending machines.

burn the rag

In the public interest, NRO reports on just how often the NYTraitors' loose lips sank ships.
The more that emerges about the New York Times’s treasonous disclosure of the once-secret SWIFT/Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, the more unsavory its treachery appears. The Bush-hating paper’s shameless self-justifications for its misdeeds look ever flimsier. Its inadequate excuses have disappeared into a cyclone of self-contradiction. Strict punishment for the Times’s crimes (and it has behaved criminally) is in order...

U.S. Criminal Code Title 18, Section 798, reads:
Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information . . . concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States . . . shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Under this law, and perhaps also the 1917 Espionage Act, the Times deserves to be indicted immediately for its NSA and SWIFT stories. Keller & Company should pay for the harm they repeatedly inflict on America’s national security and potentially on the very lives of U.S. citizens. The Times’s government sources who leaked these vital secrets should be prosecuted energetically as well.

The Times also should face a consumer–led boycott from coast to coast. If you subscribe to this seditious paper, please cancel your subscription. If you have no choice but to quote or consult it, make use of its free web features. If you are an advertiser, please market your wares in any of the thousands of other worthy American media outlets. Your money in the Times’s pockets will stymie the men and women who struggle to prevent more terrorist mass murder on our shores.

Star Wars more popular than ever

They gave it thumbs down before they gave it thumbs up...
North Korea’s threatening spate of missile launches — including an unsuccessful try with an advanced version of its Taepodong 2 Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile that is capable of hitting the United States — has sparked a cacophony of talk from leaders and foreign policy experts around the world.

As they debate and discuss various options at the United Nations and in capitals around the globe, the rudimentary U.S. missile defense system is poised to shoot down anything launched from North Korea that threatens the American homeland or the critical interests of our regional allies like Japan and Australia.

Noticeably absent are the voices of those who, since President Reagan first proposed such a system in 1984, have fought development and deployment of the missile defense system the U.S. must now depend upon in dealing with North Korea. These folks have claimed over and over that the system they derisively call “Star Wars” can’t possibly work, would be too expensive, would incite a new world arms race, etc., etc. Names that come to mind in this regard include senators like Joe Biden, D-Del., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., and the Clinton-Gore administration that delayed and dilly-dallied with work on missile defense for most of the ’90s.

It is important that the American people understand two aspects of the current crisis as it relates to missile defense. First, the system President Bush recently ordered advanced from its testing stage to operational status when the North Koreans began preparing the Taepodong 2 launch is extremely rudimentary because it is still being developed. The system now includes only 11 ground-based launch sites in Alaska and California capable of knocking out long-range missiles like the Taepodong 2, and four Aegis-class Navy destroyers equipped with missile defense battle management systems and Standard-3 missiles capable of hitting medium range threats.

Second, they will no doubt protest to high heaven, but “Star Wars” critics must bear the major burden of responsibility for the delays and setbacks that have prevented the missile defense system from becoming fully operational long before the present crisis with North Korea. There have been technological problems, especially in the very early stages, but those were temporary and subject to American technological prowess.

Far more serious have been the setbacks engineered by the critics — like then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell’s maneuvers to kill the first Bush administration’s Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (G-PALS) plan, the Clinton-Gore gutting of the Strategic Defense Initiative office in 1993 and the delaying tactics used by Senate Democrats in the first years of this decade to reduce the current program’s funding.

It is a sobering thought to wonder how much more secure the United States and its allies would be today in the face of madness like North Korea’s launches if instead of a limited defense still in development we could depend upon the robust protection first proposed many years ago.
p.s. Isn't "Taepodong" Korean for "Clinton Legacy"?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Acts of the Apostates

Herescope presents an alternative version of a passage from Acts, as if Paul had used modern religious techniques.


let them know how you feel, or just drop in for a visit.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday America!

Miss O'Hara echoing Reagan echoing Jefferson:
"Almost two centuries ago a group of disturbed men met in the small Pennsylvania State House [as] they gathered to decide on a course of action. Behind the locked and guarded doors they debated for hours whether or not to sign the Declaration which had been presented for their consideration. For hours the talk was treason and its price the headsman's axe, the gallows and noose. The talk went on and decision was not forthcoming. Then, Jefferson writes, a voice was heard coming from the balcony:
"They may stretch our necks on all the gibbets in the land. They may turn every tree into a gallows, every home into a grave, and yet the words of that parchment can never die. They may pour our blood on a thousand scaffolds and yet from every drop that dyes the axe a new champion of freedom will spring into birth. The words of this declaration will live long after our bones are dust.

"To the mechanic in his workshop they will speak hope; to the slave in the mines, freedom; but to the coward rulers, these words will speak in tones of warning they cannot help but hear. Sign that parchment. Sign if the next moment the noose is around your neck. Sign if the next minute this hall rings with the clash of falling axes! Sign by all your hopes in life or death, not only for yourselves but for all ages, for that parchment will be the textbook of freedom, the bible of the rights of man forever.

"Were my soul trembling on the verge of eternity, my hand freezing in death, I would still implore you to remember this truth God has given America to be free."
"As he finished, the speaker sank back in his seat exhausted. Inspired by his eloquence the delegates rushed forward to sign the Declaration of Independence. When they turned to thank the speaker for his timely words he couldn't be found and to this day no one knows who he was or how he entered or left the guarded room.

"Here was the first challenge to the people of this new land, the charging of this nation with a responsibility to all mankind. And down through the years with but few lapses the people of America have fulfilled their destiny.

"...This democracy of ours which sometimes we've treated so lightly, is more than ever a comfortable cloak, so let us not tear it asunder, for no man knows once it is destroyed where or when he will find its protective warmth again."

Monday, July 03, 2006


Three if by air, four if by suicide bomber.

News they can use.

Benedict Arnold would be proud.

Get the picture?

update: "suicide squad, attack!", and a somewhat related story.

world history

There's someone I know who didn't like history classes in school who might find this article interesting.

I didn't like history classes all that much either, but then again, I didn't like most of my classes all that much. Toynbee's book was interesting though.


Franics W. Poretto has "grown very tired of the accusations of "stinginess" and "hard-heartedness" from the Left because its beloved State's redistributionist programs aren't bulging with cash."
At this time, a greater fraction of Americans' tax money goes toward "charitable" programs than toward the Departments of Defense, State, and Justice combined. Anyone who refuses to "contribute" to this "investment in our people" is put into a reinforced concrete box watched over by guards armed with automatic weapons, to keep company with (incarcerated criminals). In other words: like it or not, pay up or suffer horribly.

The rationale for these exactions is that only the State can truly insure that the "human needs" of the "underprivileged" will be looked after in an adequate fashion. Or, as President Bush, a generally admirable man, put it, "When somebody hurts, government has got to move." Forgive him, Father, for he knew not what he said.

This isn't charity as a Christian understands it. This is armed robbery and worse, for a "private" thief makes no pretense about altruistic motives. The social contract, insofar as we have one, does not extend to the seizure of nearly a trillion dollars a year from persons who have no recourse and no effective way to protest, regardless of the money's ostensible employment.

Christ commanded us to practice charity toward one another as individuals, not as subjects of a rapacious State. The "charitable" action of the State undermines true Christian charity in at least five ways:

  • It deprives us of the means.
  • It deprives us of the opportunity to exercise our judgment about the needs of others.
  • It corrupts officialdom, by creating an incentive to expand human poverty.
  • It corrupts the beneficiaries of the State's transfer programs, by addicting them to no-strings-attached giveaways awarded without oversight or discipline.
  • It stimulates the growth of organizations and institutions looking for a piece of the action, as lobbyists, vendors, and activists.
But to the promoters of the Ministry of Love, these observations are heresies deserving of death. At the very least, they will subject the utterer to the vilest of denunciations and imprecations.

the fraud of primitve authenticity

This article at Asia Times Online makes several interesting (and somehow related) points:
Two billion war deaths would have occurred in the 20th century if modern societies suffered the same casualty rate as primitive peoples, according to anthropologist Lawrence H Keeley, who calculates that two-thirds of them were at war continuously, typically losing half of a percent of its population to war each year.

This and other noteworthy prehistoric factoids can be found in Nicholas Wade's Before the Dawn, a survey of genetic, linguistic and archeological research on early man. Primitive peoples, it appears, were nasty, brutish, and short, not at all the cuddly children of nature depicted by popular culture and post-colonial academic studies.


That language has evolved to be parochial, not universal, is surely no accident. Security would have been far more important to early human societies than ease of communication with outsiders. Given the incessant warfare between early human groups, a highly variable language would have served to exclude outsiders and to identify strangers the moment they opened their mouths.


Native Americans, Eskimos, New Guinea Highlanders as well as African tribes slaughtered one another with skill and vigor, frequently winning their first encounters with modern armed forces. "Even in the harshest possible environments [such as northwestern Alaska] where it was struggle enough just to keep alive, primitive societies still pursued the more overriding goal of killing one another," Wade notes.

A quarter of the language groups in New Guinea, home to 1,200 of the world's 6,000 languages, were exterminated by warfare during every preceding century, according to one estimate Wade cites. In primitive warfare "casualty rates were enormous, not the least because they did not take prisoners. That policy was compatible with their usual strategic goal: to exterminate the opponent's society. Captured warriors were killed on the spot, except in the case of the Iroquois, who took captives home to torture them before death, and certain tribes in Colombia, who liked to fatten prisoners before eating them."


An overpowering nostalgia afflicts the American post-Christian, for whom the American journey has neither goal nor purpose. He seeks authenticity in nature and in the dead customs of peoples who were subject to nature, that is, peoples who never learned from the Book of Genesis that the heavenly bodies were lamps and clocks hung in the sky for the benefit of man. Even more: in their mortality, the post-Christian senses his own mortality, for without the Kingdom of God as a goal, American life offers only addictive diversions interrupted by ever-sharper episodes of anxiety.

how many licks does it take...

These illegal illegals illegally beat, illegally raped, and illegally left a teenage girl to die illegally. And these illegal illegals illegally kidnapped people illegally. But let's not call them illegal immigrants...

Sunday, July 02, 2006


These pictures rock! The rest of their blog does too.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

read between the lines

There's a new punchline to the old joke "what's black and white and red all over", and it's not funny at all.
The New York Times
July 1, 2006
Op-Ed Contributors
When Do We Publish a Secret?
By DEAN BAQUET, editor, The Los Angeles Times, and BILL KELLER, executive editor, The New York Times

SINCE Sept. 11, 2001, newspaper editors have faced excruciating choices in covering the government's efforts to protect the country from terrorist agents. Each of us has, on a number of occasions, withheld information because we were convinced that publishing it could put lives at risk.
Terrorist lives only, most likely.
On other occasions, each of us has decided to publish classified information over strong objections from our government.
Whenever it would damage America's efforts and the Bush administration.
Last week our newspapers disclosed a secret Bush administration program to monitor international banking transactions. We did so after appeals from senior administration officials to hold the story. Our reports — like earlier press disclosures of secret measures to combat terrorism — revived an emotional national debate, featuring angry calls of "treason" and proposals that journalists be jailed along with much genuine concern and confusion about the role of the press in times like these.
Nice use of the scare quotes, traitors, but I don't think that will stand up in court.
We are rivals. Our newspapers compete on a hundred fronts every day.
On the wrong side.
We apply the principles of journalism individually as editors of independent newspapers.
The term "independent newspapers" would be much better translated as "wholly owned subsidiaries of the DNC".
We agree, however, on some basics about the immense responsibility the press has been given by the inventors of the country.Make no mistake, journalists have a large and personal stake in the country's security.
So why are you working so hard to hand the country to those who would deny you those rights?
We live and work in cities that have been tragically marked as terrorist targets. Reporters and photographers from both our papers braved the collapsing towers to convey the horror to the world.
And promptly stopped showing the pictures when you realized it was hurting your cause.
We have correspondents today alongside troops on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Note to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan: Watch your back.
Others risk their lives in a quest to understand the terrorist threat; Daniel Pearl of The Wall Street Journal was murdered on such a mission. We, and the people who work for us, are not neutral in the struggle against terrorism.
Correct. You are not neutral. You are on the terrorists side, as evidenced by your giving aid and comfort to them in wartime.
But the virulent hatred espoused by terrorists, judging by their literature, is directed not just against our people and our buildings. It is also aimed at our values, at our freedoms and at our faith in the self-government of an informed electorate. If the freedom of the press makes some Americans uneasy, it is anathema to the ideologists of terror.
So, judging by your literature, why are you working so hard for them? And, since "an informed electorate" is so important, why are you working so hard to silence the opposition's views?
Thirty-five years ago yesterday, in the Supreme Court ruling that stopped the government from suppressing the secret Vietnam War history called the Pentagon Papers, Justice Hugo Black wrote: "The government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of the government and inform the people."
The press, however, was NOT protected so that it could undermine the government and endanger the people.
As that sliver of judicial history reminds us, the conflict between the government's passion for secrecy and the press's drive to reveal is not of recent origin. This did not begin with the Bush administration, although the polarization of the electorate and the daunting challenge of terrorism have made the tension between press and government as clamorous as at any time since Justice Black wrote.
The government is charged with protecting its people. The press has endangered those people by aiding their enemies. So yeah, there should be a little tension there.
Our job, especially in times like these, is to bring our readers information that will enable them to judge how well their elected leaders are fighting on their behalf, and at what price.
But you have inadvertently brought your readers information that will enable them to judge how well the press is fighting on the terrorists' behalf, and at what price.
In recent years our papers have brought you a great deal of information the White House never intended for you to know — classified secrets about the questionable intelligence that led the country to war in Iraq, about the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, about the transfer of suspects to countries that are not squeamish about using torture, about eavesdropping without warrants.
But it has done a woefully inadequate job in bringing forth any information whatsoever of activities that could possibly portray the Bush administration in a positive light — the great progress of freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, including the rights of women in those countries, about the abuse of hostages in Iraq and Afghanistan, about the transfer of innocents to terrorists that are utterly enthusiastic about using torture, about beheading and raping without warrants.
As Robert G. Kaiser, associate editor of The Washington Post, asked recently in the pages of that newspaper: "You may have been shocked by these revelations, or not at all disturbed by them, but would you have preferred not to know them at all? If a war is being waged in America's name, shouldn't Americans understand how it is being waged?"
Not unless they spend an equal amount of effort disclosing (and therefore damaging) terrorist operations. Obviously they won't do that, because that would be "fair and balanced" - a phrase that has lost all meaning to them.
Government officials, understandably, want it both ways. They want us to protect their secrets, and they want us to trumpet their successes.
The press, understandably, wants it both ways. They want freedom of the press, and they want to destroy the country that guarantees that freedom.
A few days ago, Treasury Secretary John Snow said he was scandalized by our decision to report on the bank-monitoring program. But in September 2003 the same Secretary Snow invited a group of reporters from our papers, The Wall Street Journal and others to travel with him and his aides on a military aircraft for a six-day tour to show off the department's efforts to track terrorist financing. The secretary's team discussed many sensitive details of their monitoring efforts, hoping they would appear in print and demonstrate the administration's relentlessness against the terrorist threat.

How do we, as editors, reconcile the obligation to inform with the instinct to protect?
Instinct to protect whom, exactly?
Sometimes the judgments are easy. Our reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, take great care not to divulge operational intelligence in their news reports, knowing that in this wired age it could be seen and used by insurgents.
They also take great care not to divulge any American successes in their news reports, knowing that in this wired age it could demoralize insurgents and rally support for the war they loathe.
Often the judgments are painfully hard. In those cases, we cool our competitive jets and begin an intensive deliberative process.
As evidenced by Rathergate and Katrina reporting.
The process begins with reporting. Sensitive stories do not fall into our hands.
They are usually copy-pasted from the AP(jazeera) wire.
They may begin with a tip from a source who has a grievance or a guilty conscience,
or a grudge,
but those tips are just the beginning of long, painstaking work. Reporters operate without security clearances, without subpoena powers, without spy technology.
But they overcome all this with their unrelenting desire to take down a Republican administration.
They work, rather, with sources who may be scared, who may know only part of the story,
or are making it up wholecloth,
who may have their own agendas that need to be discovered and taken into account.
"Taken into account" is code for "eliminate if it doesn't agree with the DNC".
We double-check and triple-check. We seek out sources with different points of view. We challenge our sources when contradictory information emerges.
Yeah, they challenge them to make up more convincing cover stories.
Then we listen. No article on a classified program gets published until the responsible officials have been given a fair opportunity to comment.
Much in the same manner as, in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Earth was given a "fair opportunity to comment" on the hyperspace bypass construction.
And if they want to argue that publication represents a danger to national security, we put things on hold and give them a respectful hearing.
, to be scheduled shortly after the story is printed.
Often, we agree to participate in off-the-record conversations with officials, so they can make their case without fear of spilling more secrets onto our front pages.

Finally, we weigh the merits of publishing against the risks of publishing. There is no magic formula, no neat metric for either the public's interest or the dangers of publishing sensitive information. We make our best judgment.
, based on the aforementioned anti-American criteria.
When we come down in favor of publishing, of course, everyone hears about it. Few people are aware when we decide to hold an article.
Michael Yon is helping to make more people aware of some of the articles you hold.
But each of us, in the past few years, has had the experience of withholding or delaying articles when the administration convinced us that the risk of publication outweighed the benefits. Probably the most discussed instance was The New York Times's decision to hold its article on telephone eavesdropping for more than a year, until editors felt that further reporting had whittled away the administration's case for secrecy.
So "further reporting" gives them the right to "report" in the first place?!? From that we can deduce that "further shooting" gives criminals the right to start shooting...
But there are other examples. The New York Times has held articles that, if published, might have jeopardized efforts to protect vulnerable stockpiles of nuclear material,
and articles about highly sensitive counterterrorism initiatives that are still in operation. In April, The Los Angeles Times withheld information about American espionage and surveillance activities in Afghanistan discovered on computer drives purchased by reporters in an Afghan bazaar.
Oops, they did it again.
It is not always a matter of publishing an article or killing it. Sometimes we deal with the security concerns by editing out gratuitous detail that lends little to public understanding but might be useful to the targets of surveillance. The Washington Post, at the administration's request, agreed not to name the specific countries that had secret Central Intelligence Agency prisons, deeming that information not essential for American readers. The New York Times, in its article on National Security Agency eavesdropping, left out some technical details.
Like whether or not agents had to dial 9 to get an outside line.
Even the banking articles, which the president and vice president have condemned, did not dwell on the operational or technical aspects of the program, but on its sweep, the questions about its legal basis and the issues of oversight.
Yet strangely, in the past five years, they have not printed a single article questioning the "operational or technical aspects", "legal basis", or "issues of oversight" of the terrorists themselves.
We understand that honorable people may disagree with any of these choices — to publish or not to publish. But making those decisions is the responsibility that falls to editors, a corollary to the great gift of our independence.
There you have it, editors take responsibility for treason.
It is not a responsibility we take lightly. And it is not one we can surrender to the government.
But you will surrender to the terrorists if (God forbid) they win.
— DEAN BAQUET, editor, The Los Angeles Times, and BILL KELLER, executive editor, The New York Times