Comments by: YACCS
Friday, January 31
From USS Clueless -
There's been a lot of talk about just WHY we're going into Iraq at this time, instead of letting things fester as we've done for the last 12 years. Steven DenBeste has an interesting take on things - that our usual charity has failed because we can't GIVE them what they need. In fact, their entire system may well be set up so the average Muslim (and this isn't just including Iraq) can't win against the house odds - against Islam itself, which is well pointed out at One Hand Clapping. Radical Islam encourages submission to the will of Allah - and failure. So what can be done?
Ween them off it.
Because even though part of the purpose of this is to get rid of Saddam and his ambitions to develop nukes, another part is to begin the process of seducing the "Arab Street" away from radical Islam. In the long run we can't win the overall war until the lot of the average Arab improves.Islam isn't noted for it's progressive aspects. It likes and encourages a status-quo, if not a devolution of a society to sheer thuggery, as the Taliban showed. And no questioning is allowed, under pain of death.
That doesn't fly in non-Islamic societies. There's a growing feeling that there should be SOME effort of the Islamic countries to at least pay lip service to ideas like civil rights and educationr eform. That's being resisted, of course. It's a lot of effort, and they don't want to change. They'll resist it violently, if need be.
In a way, the Islamic world is like street thugs. "You gotta respect me, or I'll stomp your ass!" Never mind they're skinny, weak, and have no weapons to speak of, comparatively. They talk tough, and they think that should be enough. You've GOTTA respect them, or they'll get mad.
Why should they be respected? What have they done to EARN respect?
Scientific achievement? Heh. In the Arab News, there's no science or technology news originating in the Islamic world to be found...
Civil rights achievement? You're kidding, right? Civil rights have to be restored at the point of a gun - witness Afghanistan and the destruction of the Taliban.
Economic Progress? Ummm... no.
Religious freedom? Nope.
We can respect their right to exist. But that doesn't mean there's an obligation to respect them further than that.
Actually, it's similar to the 'self-esteem' building that is/was all the rage a few years back in our primary schools. Don't allow the child to fail, praise the child whenever he put forth a modicum of effort, and above all don't make the child feel bad if he fails - even if it's the child's own fault he fails. The child must feel good, must have it's self-esteem nurtured. Which makes for a self-centered brat - but that's neither here nor there, right?
The Arabic countries are failing. It's time they were told they were, in no uncertain terms, and what they can do to get out of their slump. They want to be respected? Do something to earn the respect.
More Symmetry -
Ireland's signing on.
And Italy's unilaterally offering their airports for US refueling.
Spain has said the United States could use its military bases if armed intervention in Iraq was "inevitable." The Netherlands has offered airstrips, harbors, military bases and airspace if an attack were authorized by the United Nations.
Lithuania and Slovakia have agreed to open their airspace. Albania has indicated a readiness to follow suit, U.S. officials in Tirana say, and Germany has granted overflight rights for U.S. aircraft to reach U.S. bases in Germany.
I think a lot of the smaller European countries are looking at the German and French positions and realize that for whatever reason they're throwing their backing (if nothing else in a rather tacit, passive/agressive fashion) toward Iraq - and they don't want to be on that side.
Oh, it just gets more and more interesting, doesn't it? You hear that sound? That kind of faint, splintery noise?
It's the EU starting to crack apart a bit. Germany and France think they're the central pivots - but the balance of power is shifting to the newer countries. And after the Iraqi war is finished, they may have little to no roll at all.
Re Unilateral Symmetry -
Albania and Slovakia have signed on also. Germany and France, instead of being the leaders of the EU - are starting to look like they've chosen the wrong side. Speculation going on is that it will end up splintering the EU.
In a couple of years, I'm thinking there's going to be some REAL interesting info coming out of Germany and France concerning ties and backchannel support for Iraq. Because they're sure acting like there's something they DON'T want us to see in Iraq.
Thursday, January 30
Well, flump. Had a nice thing set to go up, and Blogger ate it.
John Ringo's written a series of 4 books. A Hymn Before Battle, Gust Front, When The Devil Dances, and Hell's Faire. Broken down to basics, the series is about war against the Posleen, a nice bunch of hermaphraditic exceedingly prolific omnivores that see humans as tasting something like chicken, but are harder to catch. They're given assistance by the Darheel - but they're heels themselves who may possibly have pointed the Posleen Earthward.
Needless to say, Earth is screwed. (At least, at the end of book 3. Book 4 isn't out yet.) He's a very entertaining writer, and has some pretty good stuff - such as a mobile BFG system called "Bun-Bun", and fun throwaway lines like "Never let rednecks play with antimatter." For a good read, I heartily suggest him.
He's got some pretty good stuff on his web site, too. He's got some political rants, one of which I've exerpted below. The Title?
The Unified Theory of Liberal Stupidity
Why Does The Left Hate Western Civilization?
So, breaking down the rhetoric, we have a. a US Senator who thinks that it's okay to kill 3000 people if you build a daycare center, b. thinks a political comment about funding a crack-head is a racist comment from a person who did, for many years, charity pediatric cardiac surgery, much of it on black children, c. a lawyer who thinks that bombing a building in New York will free people oppressed by dictatorships. And that, furthermore, it's just Jim-dandy to kill her fellow Americans. And finally, d. an Oxford poet that thinks that slaughtering innocent civilians deliberately is a good thing, as long as they're Jews, because it raises morale.He also goes into the concept of "succeedor's guilt" - and why the sucessful left seems to be so prone to it, and how harmful it is to them.
All in all, a worthwhile rant. Enjoy.
Finally had a chance to see "The Two Towers" - it wasn't bad. Not bad at all. Not quite as good as The Fellowship Of The Ring, but good.
There were a few parts, however... Faramir never took Frodo to Gondor, as I recall. Faramir instead considered taking the Ring, and passed on it. Guess it was just a good reason to show a ruined CGI city...
The Battle of Helm's Deep was good. The Elvish warriors - very well done.
The Ents... well, they looked a lot like I'd imagined them. I'm still a bit non-plussed it took so long to get the Ents stired up. As I recall, they took a couple, three days to decided and then they stomped Sauraman's ass into the dirt. THAT was pretty good. And Gollum - poor Smeagol... he was very well done.
All in all, scale of 1 to 10, it gets a 7.5. Now, let's see what the Third one is like!
Now - as far as the theology behind the movies goes - and this isn't a religious rant, but a political one...
It's pointed out quietly but eloquently that evil exists. And evil won't be stopped by inaction, or refusal to take action against it. There's a pretty good parallel there with our current situation. Refusal to recognize evil doesn't make the evil cease to exist - quite the contrary. It encourages the evil, and permits it to grow.
Iraq to Chair U.N. Disarmament Panel
While the United States leads the charge in making sure Iraq owns up to its promises of complete disarmament, Saddam Hussein's country will head an international disarmament conference and will steer the course of the U.N. disarmament agenda this spring.You ever get the feeling that the processes that the UN observe are given more importance and respect than the results that come from them?
Disarmnament. Iraq. Wow.
Fox - here's your key to the henhouse. Now, you leave those chickens alone!
Germany seems to be sliding around to supporting the US - France is still obdurate. However, a few other countires have signed on. To be precise, the following leaders and countries...
Jose Maria Aznar, Spain
Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, Portugal
Silvio Berlusconi, Italy
Tony Blair, United Kingdom
Vaclav Havel, Czech Republic
Peter Medgyessy, Hungary
Leszek Miller, Poland
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Denmark
And I won't mention the support we're getting from Australia. (Oh, wait, I just did.) We're not going it alone, no matter what is blathered out by folks who'd like to spread the opposing viewpoint.
Monday, January 27
What a surprise. Blix doesn't have a smoking gun. But there's ahell of a lot of holes in the declaration Iraq produced, and there is palpable evidence that there is a material breach. At the very least, he's not cooperated worth a damn.
What is it going to take? Saddam using nukes or chem or bio weapons before there's enough 'evidence'?
BTW, two GREAT items up at Denbeste.Nu and EjectEjectEject.
Enjoy the peace while it lasts.
Sunday, January 19
The Fly User Interface. Now, why this wasn't thought of by Americans I don't know...
Senator Clinton Appointed to Armed Services Committee
Washington, DC - Following a meeting of Democratic Senators to ratify new committee assignments, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said she had been appointed to the Senate Armed Services Committee. According to the Congressional Research Service, Senator Clinton is the first New York Senator to serve on this committee since it was established in 1947. The Armed Services Committee oversees all the national security programs at the Department of Defense and the nuclear programs at the Department of Energy.God. The woman dislikes the military. In fact, she let her loathing be known numerous times in the Clinton years.
But the Armed Services Committee is where the power is. It's a source of pork (sorry, but it's true) and the folks on that committee can bring home some serious bucks. And bringing home the money is what gets you re-elected.
What you DO with that position is another matter. With any luck at all, she won't get re-elected, and the folks chairing that committee will just move her into a position of little responsibility and no authority.
daily news, uk weather, business news - online newspaper - The Telegraph - The fall of the Baghdad wall
The teams of UN inspectors sent to investigate Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction arsenal made a stunning breakthrough last week when they uncovered evidence of Iraq's attempts to build an atom bomb. Con Coughlin and Julian Coman in Washington reportFecal matter, meet fan. Fan, meet fecal matter.
Funny how this would come out of the day of the peace protests, isn't it?
Thursday, January 16
Jonah Goldberg's Goldberg File on National Review Online
As Peter Beinart of The New Republic notes in his latest — and excellent — column (registration required), war is not the best means to get at Iraq's oil. If all we wanted was a bigger slice of the Iraqi petro-pie, all we'd have to do, literally, is say so. Dick Cheney could negotiate that with Saddam over Turkish coffee and a few tortured lackeys tomorrow. Saddam has made it known that he'd be perfectly willing to sell a lot more oil to the United States, and that he'd certainly write up some fresh contracts if the U.S. would drop its sanctions and forget about this "regime change" nonsense.Remember - it's all about the ooooooooooooiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllll. Which, I suppose, is something other than petroleum being pumped from the ground, because going to war for THAT would be far more expensive than lifting the sanctions on Iraq. As it is, this ooooooooooooiiiiiiiiiiiiilllllllll stuff must be really valuable...
Wednesday, January 15
You see, this notion of pacifism gets a bit sticky when one side believes in dialogue, reaching out a hand in friendship, and even compromising, while the other side hates your guts, wants your head displayed on a stick, and would like nothing better than to level your towns and plant their flags all over the joint. Peace only works when it´s a two-way street. If not, pacifism becomes suicide. It reminds me of that amazing scene from the hit movie Independence Day, where there are hundreds of people on top of buildings waving in awe at the huge alien ship hovering above the capitol. They were ready to embrace these unknown space neighbors with love and open arms. "We want you," they chanted, "We love you. We can live together. Plenty of room in this universe!" Then, of course, they were blown to bits by these not-so-friendly, slightly-different-agenda characters.From Confessions of an Ex-Pacifist. Enjoy.
Sunday, January 12
CNN.com - N. Korea blames U.S. for nuclear crisis - Jan. 12, 2003
NEW YORK -- North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations is placing the blame for escalating tensions over the country's nuclear program squarely with what it says is the open hostility of the United States.Sigh.
North Korea - the crazy uncle of the international community. "You're not giving me enough beer money! I'll burn down your house if you don't give me beer money!" And all the other relatives look at you like you're the bad guy. "Well, he's always been like that - and WE don't have any problems with him! You must have done something to piss him off."
Well, they live in a permanent state of pissed-offedness. And it's worked for years, hadn't you noticed? They've announced (though they now say it's a fabrication) that they've got nukes. Now they're announcing they're developing ICBMs. BUT - if we're NICE to them, they'll be good guys again. All we need to do is give them oil, and food, and not expect anything in return like for them not to sell SCUDs. Oh, and they need the food and oil now.
Guys - winter is coming. I think we're going to have to get an international consensus on this. We'll get back to you around... August.
Hope that's okay.
Well, we're all under a bit of pressure these days, and inner nasties are bursting out all over the place. I don't know about you, but the re-emergence of 1930s-style anti semitism, rampant appeasement of an implacable and genocidal enemy of civilisation , and a combination of stupidity and outright evil breaking out around the planet has led to me undergoing a change not unlike a vamp putting his "game face" one.There's a growing swell of folks who are realizing that:
1. It's not our fault that people want to destroy the US, and
2. No amount of abasement or appeasement will deter those who want to destroy us.
For what it's worth, I don't have any use for Pat Robertson either. Or Pat Buchannan.
Tuesday, January 7
Microsoft TerraServer Imagery
Oh, how much fun it would be going shopping here... with someone else's credit card...
To End the [Palestinian] Violence - article by Daniel Pipes
Damn, the clue-stick finally has an effect. But at this point, will it do any real good? You're (The PA and others) are going to have to convince Achmed in the street, who you've spent the LAST TWO DAMN YEARS telling that it was Allah's will he explode himself if he could kill some of those hated Israelis, and you're going to have to deprogram your children that you've SHOVED into the damn fire by filling them with dreams of martyrdom.
Basically, you've fucked yourselves over. You've learned you were wrong - but it remains to be seen what you'll really do. I don't know if the PA will be able to say "We fucked up, we were wrong" without immediately starting a civil war.
Good luck. You're going to need it.
Monday, January 6
Whatever you may feel about highly paid professional male ball game players who act like prima donnas, it's almost impossible not to feel some sort of empathy for them if a speeding ball slams into their lower groin region.OW!
You know, I'm really hoping these aren't a going to be a hit (sorry) in the US. There ARE cultural differences around the world, to ignore that is folly.
Sunday, January 5
FOXNews.com - At Least 23 Killed in Tel Aviv Homicide Bombings
TEL AVIV, Israel — Twin homicide bombings in downtown Tel Aviv killed at least 23 bystanders on Sunday, the first such attack since November.So - could someone please tell me just how this can be justified by the Palestinians? And what good it's going to do them?
What the hell are the Palestinians trying for - to goad the Israelis into genocide? Let's face it - given the relative strengths and equipment of the Palestinians and IDF, if Israel decided to seriously kick Palestinian ass tomorrow and slaughter them, the Palestinians would be dead, dead, DEAD as a subculture. Which would seem to be no damn loss to the world, BTW.
Let's look at the Palestinian 'diaspora', shall we? The bastards ran when the Jews took Israel, at the prompting of other countries in the area. A whole lot of them settled in Jordan, where they made themselves SO unwelcome, the Jordanian army literally pushed them out of the country - lock, stock and barrel, killing many thousands in the process. There's not a country in the area that will accept Palestinians as temporary workers or immigrants. Saudi, which has miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles of nothing, won't even consider them as possible immigrants. NOBODY wants the Palestinians, because they're too damn bloody-minded and violent.
Yet the media still loves them. Go figure.
Saturday, January 4
heraldtribune.com: Southwest Florida's Information Leader
A Tallahassee Democrat reporter was suspended Thursday for using strong language in an e-mail criticizing Arab nations for the way they've reacted to Israel.So because he supports Israel, is tired of the Palestinians suicide-bombing the country, and thinks the Arabic countries should get over it, the editor decides their "values we hold dearest, among them tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness" don't apply and slam him.
Makes perfect sense to me. Especially that part about "tolerance".
Thursday, January 2
Tobacco Road Fogey
I'm the proud pop of two sons -- soon to be ages 18 and 17. Their mother and I separated and divorced years ago, when the Foglets were barely toddlers. She saw a need to return to her hometown up North and took the Foglets with her, where they've been living for about fifteen years, and I've been doing the summer-vacation-and-holidays thing with them ever since. They get along great with the present FogeySpouse -- even standing up with us at our wedding when they could've sat in the pew with their grandparents -- and Christmas has been an extra-special time for all of us.The writer continues to speak of his hesitations, and worries. His son will likely be stationed in Korea. Which is not looking like a fun place to be if you're in the Army over the next few years. But the fater is proud of his son - and has some words to say to Congressman Rangel - you know, he of the "Let's re-start the draft so our military will have sons of the rich, so we won't go to war."
Congressman Rangel, I know you served this country bravely fifty-odd years ago in that same land. You were there with a varied bunch of guys -- some draftees, some volunteers, some older WWII vets, some career guys. You saw the hell of war up close and personal.And if there's any justice. Congressman Rangel will get his sorry ass voted out of office. He may think he's doing the right thing, but I don't see how weakening our military and getting in a boatload of folks who don't want to be in it is doing the country any good at all.
From the viewer logs...
rima-tde.net @ 1/2/2003 8:29:39 PM
Referring URL http://search.yahoo....=giantess+crunch+men
Search Engine: search.yahoo.com
Search Words: giantess crunch men
Ummm... this isn't that sort of site. Really. You aren't going to find anything like that here. (Not that there's anything WRONG with folks who like that sort of stuff.)
And I'm not even going to TRY to point you toward that sort of thing. If you can't find it on your own, I'm not sure I should help you.
The Australian: Tim Blair: I'm afraid you must be myth taken, mate [January 02, 2003]
Myth eight: The West is intolerant of Islam.Good point.
It's funny how we're told we must be tolerant of their culture, of their feelings, of their sensitivities, but they're aggressively intolerant of any other religion and don't seem to give a rat's tail about being seen as insensitive.
But hey, it's just because I don't have any PC feelings that I feel that way. If I just were sensitive enough, I'd understand why they want to kill anyone they think defames their religion. And think they're justified in doing so.
But I'm not.
5.05: features - Introducing Digital Ink...
But what if we could build a display so thin, it would literally be a sheet of paper? Something that mixes data storage and portability in a simple, rugged package. Something that looks good, feels good, is infinitely reusable. Something you can pipe text and images into, from any digital source - the Net, the local library, your computer.A very interesting idea - and I've been looking for the first practical product using this.
And Radio Shack snuck it in. On, of all things, a Remote Control!
Remote is referred to as "Kameleon", because it has up to six different displays, depending on whether it's controlling TV, VCR, Satellite, DVD, CD or Audio devices. Its colored backlit touchscreen also lights up and changes its action icons according to which device it's controlling. (Only the keys pertaining to one of the six devices being operated actually show on the touchscreen.) It's smart and you'll enjoy your electronic evenings with Kameleon!Of course, there's none available in the Atlanta area... and they're out on-line. Should be in stock in a couple of weeks, but we'll see.
Sneaky - slipping that digital ink/paper into products like that...
Wednesday, January 1
"To Absent Companions"...
You ever think about the meaning behind that toast? "To absent companions"...
One subset of books I greatly enjoy are the O'Brian seafaring novels. Often, at dinners, a round of toasting is announced. There's the usual ones, to the Queen, to the Country, to the Captain... but the one that sticks in my mind tonight is "To Absent Companions".
When you're young, you don't see it as anything more than "Oh, friends who aren't here with us". As you get a bit older, the focus changes. You've got friends who are absent, and some who you'll never see again on this earth. And as the years pass the latter number grow.
I think, sometimes, that our generation (those of us who found fandom in our teens, and are now in our mid/late 40s) is starting to really feel the absence of some of our companions. We've already had a death in Myriad a few years back, and the death of people associated with Myriad. Parents aren't doing so well, either. And Daniel Taylor is doing a whole lot better than he was earlier this year, after his heart attack and stroke. And as time goes by, entropy's going to catch up to us. Can't avoid it, so might as well acknowledge it... The memories are there, good and bad, and as long as we remember them, they'll not truely be absent.
Tonight, a New Year's toast.
"To Absent Companions". And may your list not lengthen this coming year.