Comments by: YACCS
Tuesday, September 30
Johann Hari - Archive - The Iraqi Homecoming
My Iraqi exile friends return to their country. :
"There has been a boom industry in Iraq of videos showing real footage of Saddam's crimes. They include horrifying scenes of his acts of torture. 'People watch it compulsively because they feel they need to know what happened,' Sama told me. 'Here in Britain, people know more about what happened during the Saddam years than Iraqis do, because they had no way of finding out the truth.'Yet some say we should have left Saddam alone... Read the whole thing. It's optimistic, it's hopeful, and that's something you won't see on the news at all.
Monday, September 29
Viewers aren’t rushing back to shows:
"NEW YORK, Sept. 29 — Television viewers didn’t exactly rush to their sets to catch up on old favorites during the first week of the new season. The audience for NBC’s “Friends” season premiere was down by 28 percent from last year’s season opener. For CBS’ “CSI: Miami,” it was down 25 percent. “Frasier”: down 31 percent. “NYPD Blue”: down 22 percent. “ER”: down 13 percent."Gee. Wonder why? Couldn't have been because it's the same old pap warmed over and stuffed back into the glass teat, could it?
Or that viewers are tired of the stuff they've been seeing the last decade or so? The tired formulas, the lame jokes, the eternal sameness? Heck, even Enterprise and the Star Trek world is having problems.
Time for something new, something intriguing. Good luck in finding it...
The Truth Laid Bear: The New Weblog Showcase:
"1063) MilBlog 11 visits/day (2408)"
I AM somebody! I EXIST! People READ me! Whee!
Hey, you find your excitement where you can...
McGraw-Hill Construction | ENR - Reconstruction in Iraq
If you're looking to see what's really going on with the rebuilding of Iraq, you could do a lot worse than look at this site.
I may have been career Air Force, but that doesn't mean I can't laugh at another service's jokes!
Military Jokes - Military Humor - Military Satire - Military Witticisms: Murphy’s Laws of Armor
1. Just after you report “Redcon 1” (Readiness Condition 1 - ready to move out right "now") for your qualification run, you will realize that you desperately need to take a leak.
2. The fuel truck will run out of fuel just before he gets to your tank.
2a. You will run out of fuel before he returns.
3. Tanks don’t float.
4. If a supply sergeant is given a choice between death and going to the field with his unit, he will ask for a few minutes to “Think it over.”
5. Attempting to help recover a mired tank will only result in your tank becoming mired also.
6. The primary purpose of an operations order is to ensure that all blame falls on the line units.
6a. For this reason, the staff will not publish an operations order until after the exercise is completed.
7. Night vision devices will only fail at night.
7a. They will function perfectly once the sun rises.
8. The dirtier and more tired you are, the less appreciative you become of “constructive criticism” from somebody in a pristine uniform.
9. The heater on your tank will fail in October. The part to repair it will arrive in April.
10. No matter how minor the ailment, a visit to the medics will result in an I.V.
10a. Arguing with the medics about this will result in your being evacuated in a neck brace and back board (in addition to the I.V.).
11. When loading the main gun, remember: “pointy end first.”
12. The only times you will throw a track (that flexible band of metal and rubber the tank travels on) are: a. At night, b. in the rain, c. during the movement back to garrison, or d. one hour after you installed the new ones.
13. Your vehicle will go NMC (Not Mission Capable - deadlined ) right after the contact team leaves the AO (Area of Operations).
14. All infantry fighting vehicles don’t look alike.
15. Shaking trees to your front mean that you are being hunted by helicopters.
16. When you are told your engineer support was needed elsewhere, the bridge will be out.
17. The exercise will finish and you’ll get back to garrison just after the wash rack (where tanks are cleaned) closes.
18. If all else fails, shoot at the muzzle flashes — the larger ones are the dangerous ones, the smaller ones are infantry.
18a. The infantry muzzle flashes you ignore are covering an anti-tank team setting up.
19. “Rebel yells” are not proper FM radio procedure after a successful Table VIII (The tank crew qualification test a 10 engagement run on a tank range which tank crews must successfully complete in order to be a qualified crew. Like going to the rifle range for a qualification of expert) shoot.
20. XO math: 3 pacs on the ground + no fueler + 2 deadlines = 100% FMC (Fully Mission Capable).
21. Close air support is safest from far away.
22. Proving that three feet of frontal armor protection will defend against any threat is probably best demonstrated on someone else’s track.
23. Hearing an “Aw, shit” soon after an “on-the-waaay!” means you’re probably not getting that promotion.
24. Tanks are very easy to see unless you’re dismounted and they’re backing up.
25. The one time you skip the firing circuit test is when you have the misfire.
26. “GUNNER, SABOT, SNIPER” (firing an anti-tank shell at a sniper) is not an appropriate use of ammunition.
27. It is cruel to tell NBC types “Damn, that Fox (NATO chemical/biological/nuclear weapons detection vehicle) looks like a BMP (Russian made armored vehicle used by many countries, like Iraq)!” — particularly when live rounds are being issued.
28. Blackout drive + autobahn + 0345 = polizei.
29. Unsecured turrets will only swing freely mid-way through a rail tunnel.
30. When doing a gunnery, the tank is always operational until you get to the ready line.
31. If you are promised “downtime,” what they really mean is: You will be breaking track.
32. First sergeant math: Buy Gatorade for $1.49 each and sell for $1.00 each — with the profits going to the unit fund.
Sunday, September 28
Horsefeathers: LISTEN TO THEM NOW AND SEE WHAT THEY SAID THEN
'One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.'Isn't it interesting what difference a few years can make? And, who's in the White House?
Would someone PLEASE tell these idiots (and don't think I haven't already sent off letters) that the sort of crap they've been thinking of as "Politics As Usual" IS A BAD IDEA AT THIS TIME? And that it REALLY looks like they're putting partisan politicial considerations (such as getting a DEMOCRAT back into the Presidency, no matter the cost) ahead of the good of the country?
Do I really know what the 'good of the country' is? Beats me - but I've got serious doubts that labeling the President of the country a liar for acting on the intelligence that OTHERS (IE Democrats...) said were very important is what I'd consider 'good for the country'. For some reason it makes me think that you don't have anything resembling integrity, honesty, or a sense of what's really important - and that makes me even LESS likely to vote for any candidate you puke up.
Saturday, September 27
Impoverished Nigeria joins the space age:
"“IT MAKES ME proud to be a Nigerian,” said Prosper Sunday, a 27-year-old security guard in Lagos. “It shows our nation is progressing. We’ve joined the space age.”Well, yay for them! Here's hoping for a long life for that sat!
Mary Carey for Governor of California - Official Campaign Site:
"7. I will coordinate the state’s unemployment and jury systems, so that anyone who applies for unemployment will instantly be called for jury duty. This will save California state and local governments millions of dollars, because we won’t have to pay for jury duty. It will also relieve those with jobs from the stress of serving on lengthy juries. "The rest of her platform seems... well... odd. But this one bit makes a lot of sense. I don't think I'd vote for her - but it's something that might be useable by others.
FOXNews.com - Top Stories - Arafat's Fatah Dumps U.S.-Backed Security Chief:
"RAMALLAH, West Bank — Yasser Arafat's (search) Fatah party on Saturday put together a new Palestinian Cabinet (search), replacing a U.S.-backed security chief with an Arafat loyalist and bringing in nearly a dozen new faces from Fatah and smaller factions.Yeah, replacing the security chief will really help, right? And even then, we won't see any 'progress' on the road map. There's a significant disconnect here from the people who WANT peace, and the people who want Israel destroyed. We keep assuming that the second group is the first, and treat them accordingly.
And they're most emphatically not.
FOXNews.com - Top Stories - U.S. Soldiers Uncover Huge Weapons Stash in Iraq:
"U.S. forces unearthed the weapons during a raid on a farm outside the village of Uja (search), which is close to the volatile city of Fallujah. It was the second raid in as many days on the farm.Soldiers dug through the soft earth near a riverbank...
Well, looks like a lot of burying was going on - and it's going to take a long time to get everything uncovered.
Okay - I'm posting the whole thing because I'm sure that the major media outlets aren't going to. Why? Because it doesn't present Iraq as a failure, a catastrophe, and a quagmire. (Well, it was a catastrophe, at least for Saddam and others who wanted ME dictators to stay untouched.)
washingtonpost.comWhich is why I think any suggestion that we let the UN 'manage' this should be completely rejected. The Iraqis are doing a whole lot better under us than they'd be allowed to do under the UN. We believe that they can form an autonomous, democratic government - the UN sees them as poor benighted heathens who need to be show by their betters how to be civilized.
Which view would you think the Iraqis prefer?
Iraq bishop says media distorts coverage to discredit US-led war
An Iraqi Catholic bishop has accused Western media of lying about the postwar state of his country.And you've got to wonder - why? Why do the media want to see things collapse (or give the impression of collapse) in Iraq?
Two words - ratings and laziness. It'd be far better to have a massive source of bad news (or news that can be spun as bad) because BAD NEWS SELLS. Bad news gets headlines. Bad news gets air time on CNN. Bad news gets bylines. Bad news gets attention. Good news doesn't get attention - bad news does.
Let's face it. Which headline's more likely to get you to read the article? "Electrical System in Iraq Fails" or "Electrical Service in Iraq 99% Functional" ? Both headlines could be accurate descriptions of the same event - but which one holds more interest for the casual reader?
And which one would lead you to think of Iraq as a country where things are getting worse?
Friday, September 26
Charles Krauthammer: From Partisanship to Pathology
A rather interesting look at what Kennedy's trying to do -
As I said - delusional thinking. I have no doubt that Kennedy BELIEVES this - at least enough to deliver it convincingly to like-minded Democrats who will EAGERLY believe what he says. After all, he's a Kennedy, and a Kennedy wouldn't LIE, would he? (Cough, cough, Chappaquidic, cough...) But I'm looking at his statements and going "Why does Massachusetts seem to have a collective lobotomy when it comes to re-electing this man?" I can't fathom it, myself. Water? Weather? What does it?
Perhaps he comes from an alternate universe where the Republicans are actually as 'evil' as he's trying to portray. Or maybe he's just acting, playing to the faithful. HOWEVER - he's got to be thinking that people are going to take his pronouncements seriously... and he's just flat-out lying on this crap.
Is this how he's trying to get the Democratic party built back up again? Trying to appeal to folks who have ANY doubt at all about Bush, to feed their insecurities? It could work, I guess - but not with me. My Democratic leanings were pretty well scoured out during the Clinton years.
What Democrats Believe - by Rich Lowry
He's got some interesting observations, gleaned from the news over the last year or so...
Hmmm. You know something - it's hard to argue this guy's wrong in what he's observing. There's a definite democratic dichotomy going on, and it's bizzare to watch.
It'd be entertaining, if it weren't so dangerous right now. Simply put, delusional thinking is fine when there's no crisis going on. But a crisis started on 9/11 - and it's not going to be able to be put on hold for 'politics as usual' for a year or two. And I don't think the Democrats really realize this. When you've got a house fire, you don't argue vociferously with the fire chief about what color the fire engines are before you let the firemen on the property, and then INSIST that the fire department both replace the fire chief and get some trucks with less chrome because it offends your sensibilities.
Unless you're a Democrat, I guess.
Wednesday, September 24
Charge sheet for Senior Airman Ahmad I. al-Halabi - PDF format
I don't like thinking I'm wrong about something. I don't like thinking I'm wrong about members of a religion, or subgroup within a religion. I'm really uneasy thinking that I'm wrong about Islam being a religion of peace, that it's against terrorism, that it's just a few radicals who are perverting Islamic traditions and principles.
And then we have things like this. The espionage cases in Gitmo are disturbing - because it means that very soon, instead of taking someone at their word that they're loyal to the ideas of the US, that they'll uphold the Constitution, and obey the lawful orders of those above them - we will be forced to think that their religion means more to them than their enlistment or commissioning oath or loyalty to the United States.
The last time we saw something like this - Communism was the meme of the day. For the followers of it, anything could be justified if it advanced the cause. And look how THAT turned out.
A lot's been said over the last couple of years about how we shouldn't racially profile anyone. How we shouldn't use their ethnicity to look at them closer - about how we shouldn't single anyone out because of their religion for closer scrutiny in the war on terrorism.
And frankly, at this point it looks and smells a lot like bullshit to me. If the hijackers on 9/11 were an ethically diverse, religiously diverse group of people, I could see it. If they were ANY other group than Islamic Arabs - it wouldn't be an issue. But they weren't.
If some good Nordic Methodists from Minnesota had hijacked a plane, you can bet that there'd be leftists screaming about the hidden agendas inside the Methodist church and in the Nordic regions of the world, because obviously they'd be wanting to spread their religion around the world. Profiling? You can imagine it. "If you've got blond hair please step over here so we can cavity search you before you pass security. Drop your pants, bend over, and say "Ahhhhhhh...""
But they weren't.
Yet we've got Arabic extremists telling us EXACTLY what they want to do to us - and we ignore them. Worse, we have people saying it's UNFAIR to even consider they might be possible terrorists. That they might actually mean what they say. That they're serious about imposing their theology on the world. The threat is discounted, even AFTER 9/11.
Okay, how many Swedes are currently incarcerated in Gitmo? Hmmm. How about... anything other than folks of Arabic heritage? Hmmm. Looks like the vast majority are... ARABS! And the overwhelming majority of them ... are ISLAMIC!
I see a trend here. But then, I have to spot trends in my job.
Let's look at things another way. Imagine you've got a pile of 1000 system boards to test. It takes an hour each to test them properly, and your orders are to get it done as fast as possible with the highest confidence you've got all the bad boards.
After doing ten of them, three have failed and seven haven't. You notice that the three that failed have a green dot next to the part number sticker, and none of the ones that passed had that dot. The ones that failed were made in North Wherever, the ones that passed all came from the factory in West Whatsit.
You do another batch, and 4 failed with green dots and 6 dotless ones passed.
20 system boards, 7 failed, and all the failed ones have an identical set of characteristics. They all came from North Wherever, and all have green dots.
You start testing just the green-dotted boards, and out of the remaining 160 dotted ones, 159 fail. You do a random sampling of the remainder of the boards - 1 in ten, and find none bad.
Have you found an identifiying characteristic of the failed boards? Looks like. Of course, you'd have to check ALL the other boards to be 100% sure - but 159 out of 160 sure looks like a definite trend to me - and so is zero out of 82 (820 system boards, 1 in 10 sampling.)
So why aren't we examining people the same way?
Aside from political correctness, that is...
Landlord Loves All Creatures Great and Small
When bridal shop owner Nancy Owen found ants in her store, she had two choices: relocate the critters or relocate her shop. Extermination was not an option.Okay - how would HE suggest she get the ants to relocate?
No, I'm sorry - we understand ants pretty well at this point. They eat. They breed. The nests reproduce by spawing off queens, who set up more nests.
I think this landlord's gonna find that in the long run, his 'kinder' stance towards vermin is going to mean his mall is going to lose tenants. And without tenants, unless you can get the 'ants' to pay rent, he's going to need to rethink things.
But if he comes up with a way to get ant nests to relocate, short of chemical warfare, I'm all for him.
Monday, September 22
Why does the world hate us?
Why do they hate us?You know something? I'm rapidly getting to the point where I don't much care if we are liked - or even hated overseas. We tried being the sugar daddy, and we ended up with a bunch of spoiled brats demanding more and more. We tried being the nice guys - and got kicked in the nuts for it. The overall reason why they hate us is because our system WORKS.
And theirs doesn't.
And they KNOW this.
Mention is made of the armies in the ME. Arguably, Iraq was the model - the strongest, the best equipped, best trained (heh) and best motivated. (Hey, if a machine gun pointed at your back doesn't motivate you, what would?)
In Gulf War 1, they lasted barely 100 hours when the ground combat started. With a smaller force, we went further in Gulf War 2 and turned them into so many speedbumps. Slow us down? A bit. Stop us? Who you trying to kid?
They depend heavily on conscripts. Our force is an all-volunteer one. There isn't a single bit of war material that's made in the ME, except for AK-74 knockoffs. Tanks? None. Persionnel Carriers? None - even their pickups are imported. Aircraft? None. Missiles? Imported. Munitions? Maybe bullets are local - but even most of that is soviet surplus.
They're at the bottom of the military food chain, and they strut and preen like a 5-year old playing dressup. While we look on and smile and say, "That's nice. Yeah, you're scary." they take it to mean they can play with the grownups, both militarily and economically.
European armies aren't much better. They've depended so long on the US picking up the slack in a US-USSR confrontation that they're WAY behind on military spending and feilding the technology they've developed in useful amounts. Their spending went to social programs - and now those have become something they CANNOT cut back, and like a cancer they consume more and more of the state's resources. Things may have tipped too far, in fact - and they may never be able to get out of the spiral they've gotten themselves into.
So - if they want to hate us, that's fine with me. There doesn't seem anything we can do to prevent it. They'll hate us if we're weak and don't do anything, they'll hate us if we're strong and actually work to change the course of world events.
What the hell. Let's go for what WE think is better.
Thursday, September 18
On hallowed ground
By DAVE BARRY
You associate Dave Barry with touching humor.
This column's touching - but there's no humor to it at all.
From Lilek's Bleat today...
"Look. I'm a big-tent kinda guy. I’m willing to embrace all sorts of folk whose agendas may differ from mine, as long as we share the realization that there are many many millions out there who want us stone-cold bleached-bones dead. It’s the Andre the Giant philosophy, expressed in “Princess Bride”:
Read the whole thing. And fer cryin' out loud - if you're of the bent that we shouldn't have intervened, try to kickstart those neurons in your head that have sat dormant for the last few years and think about this last bit...
In short: the same people who chide America for its short-attention span think we should have stopped military operations after the Taliban was routed. (And they quite probably opposed that, for the usual reasons.) The people who think it’s all about oil like to snark that we should go after Saudi Arabia. The people who complain that the current administration is unable to act with nuance and diplomacy cannot admit that we have completely different approaches for Iraq, for Iran, for North Korea. The same people who insist we need the UN deride the Administration when it gives the UN a chance to do something other than throw rotten fruit.It's exceedingly easy to sit in an academic environment and try to make sense out of the real world. And making sense out of what you see on the internet - it's a game of averages. There's no absolutes, there's no 'right' answers for every sitiation. To think that the 'right' thing to do would be to leave Saddam alone ignores a lot of the facts brought up in Lileks' column today.
There comes a time when acting morally requires risks. There comes a time when undoing the mistakes of the past require significant effort. If, as some complain, we 'made' Saddam, then it was our responsibility and moral duty to 'unmake' him.
And we followed our duty, after 12 years of letting the UN show how ineffective it was.
Hey, the UN was a good idea. Could have worked, if it had been something more than a toothless debating society. In the end, the participants boiled down their participation in the UN to "What's best for me?" - not what was best for the world at large.
Thursday, September 11
And for something a bit lighter -
For a differing view on 9/11 - take a look at this little bit from...
Never Forgive...Never Forget...Never Again
On the second anniversary of 9-11, As-Sabeel Agency have released a flash movie exposing the true victims of terrorist attacks. Not for one day, not in just one country, but across the Ummah our children are being targetted in the War on Islaam. From East to West, their innocent bodies lie broken and for the most part, forgotten. Today many Muslims will be glued to their television sets, manipulated by the mass media to shed tears and perhaps partake in the obligatory "one minute's silence" for the September 11 attacks. However, this ummah has been silent for far more than a minute, and for far more victims than a few thousand. This Ummah has turned a blind eye and a cold heart to MILLIONS of children killed by America and her allies. From India, to Russia, to Britain, to Israel. Their religions and cultures may differ, but their aim is one: to destroy Islaam and its followers.Take a look at the little movie that's linked there. You'll be impressed at how they're pushing child casualties as being DELIBERATE.
Pre 9/11 - the worst the Western World could be accused of regarding Islam was indifference. We really didn't care. Want to blow up statues? Well, it's your country. Want to kill women for not wearing a burqua? Oh, that's not nice, but it's your country. We'll accommodate a lot here in this country - and we didn't really care.
Hell. I didn't really care.
9/11 changed that. I'm looking at your religion now - I'm looking at Islam - and I'm not liking what I see.
You accuse us of intolerance. Yet your religion is so intolerant that you'd attempt to force everyone under shari'a law. We don't want it? You'll kill us - because YOU won't co-exist.
You accuse us of targeting children. Yet in the Palestinian idiocy, you give them rocks and tell them to throw them at Israeli soldiers. You love your children? In the West, we protect our children, not send them out to die.
You say you're stronger than us because you don't fear death. You fear, instead, being weak or being seen as weak. To avoid seeming weak, you bluster and boast and try to tear down that which makes you afraid.
You are weaklings, trying to hamstring the man who says you can be strong too - all you have to do is change what you're doing. Instead of sitting and complaining about your weakness, we say you can be strong too - and teach your children science and technology in our schools. You reject that, though. It's not your way. You hate us for saying that your weakness in the modern world is your own fault.
But you know it.
You feel it, like sand between your teeth. You breathe it. You smell it on you like the stench of defeat. You cheered the destruction of buildings taller than ANYTHING you could make, brought down by thieves stealing something else you couldn't produce on your own. You have parades of badly trained amd badly led soldiers - and they're armed with weapons and machinery you couldn't produce in a hundred years.
You have nothing we haven't sold you. Yet think yourselves strong.
You want to terrorize us - to bring us down to your sorry-ass third-world level. You want us to be destroyed - yet you don't realize that by trying to destroy us you sow the seeds of your complete destruction. At the least, you get no more technology from the west - and you can't replace what you have. At the worst - it's war to the knife, to the death of your culture or ours. And you don't have the resources to win that battle.
Do we have the heart to fight a battle like that? I don't know. But it's pretty clear from our history - when we've got to do an unpleasant job, we'll harden our hearts and do the job regardless of the cost - when the need is there, when the threat is there. And we're seeing in your own words what you're saying - and we believe you now when you say you hate us and wish to destroy the West. Dare we disbelieve your own words?
Viet-Nam didn't provoke the battle for survival. Neither has any other little skirmish since WW2. But look at what we did then - and think whether you're willing to go into that sort of war. We rolled over Saddam's army. We invaded with
We're pretty damn patient - but our patience is reaching it's limits and when that limit is reached you'll see the destruction you crave. But I'll give you fair warning - if you nuke LA or Washington, you can figure that Mecca and Medina will soon be destroyed.
For two years now, I've been looking for moderate Muslim voices. There's been a very, very few. A miniscule amount, compared to the noise coming from the immoderate ones. I WANT to believe there's a way to compromise. I WANT to believe that peace is possible.
And then I see shit like the above site. And I despair, because I believe in peace. You blame us for your own failures. You refuse to look at the governments in the ME, in the Arabic/Muslim theocracies, at the idiocy of your own rulers, at your own refusal to accept anything resembling responsibility for your own fates.
Fate, you think, is simply the hand of Allah.
If so - you might want to wonder why Allah has done what he has to you.
Wednesday, September 10
Tomorrow's September 11th.
Two years ago, the world was still 'normal'. Or as normal as it got. The Palestinians were seething and attacking Israel, and Israel was still trying to figure out some way to make a peace process work.
Two years ago, people didn't figure a hijacker would destroy himself and the plane. You cooperated with the hijacker, and waited for help. You were valuable to the hijacker, because he needed you alive to get what he wanted.
We know better now.
Two years ago, the Taliban had pretty well finished destroying Bhuddist statues carved into a mountain. Their regime was widely known as a hell for women. And the left didn't really care. Afghanistan? Who gave a shit about that pesthole? It wasn't important, they didn't have anything really worth trading for, so why pay attention to it?
Al Quaeda was making noises. We discounted them. After all, they were alway making noises, and this Osama Bin Laden character had been close to capture by Clinton - and let go. They weren't really important...
Two years ago, Saddam was still playing his games. And the left didn't really care, they were too busy painting George Bush as a bumbling idiot who couldn't walk and breathe at the same time.
Then 9/11 hit - and it all changed.
Saddam's dead or in deep cover. The Taliban are essentially broken - little more than a gang with AK-47s, being chased by the police and on the run, and a new government's emerging in Afghanistan.. Al Quaeda's a lot of talk and little action - occasionally claiming a bombing, then running like hell. GWB's proven to be a hell of a lot more capable than his detractors feared he might be - in fact, it might not be far wrong to say he's the best strategic mind we've had in the White House for some time.
And the world turned upside down.
We're seeing now in the ME the birth of two nations - a free Iraq and an Afghanistan that's finding out just what they want to be. That birth is accompanied (like many births) by a lot of blood and pain, and more than a little yelling.
We're seeing the Democratic Party, imo, dissolve into a pile of rubble. We don't need a party who's entrenched and battling for the status quo of 9/10 - the status quo changed on 9/11 and the Democrats haven't realized it. The majority of American people have, however, which makes the posturing by the current crop of candidates for the 2004 election look frantic and futile as they try to convince people that weakness is strength, the war was wrong, and that appeasing the dictators of this world is a way to get the US liked. They keep hammering on issues expecting reflexive agreement, like they could on 9/10. The hard core faithful still believe, like Pavlovian conditioned dogs - but the rest of us are looking at them and going "Ummm, okay - got anything relevant? Anything, oh, resembling an idea or plan? Or is 'GWB's a bumbling idiot' going to continue as the theme song?"
I fear we won't see much that they haven't had on display for the last two years.
The world has changed. And there's interesting, hopeful times ahead.
On this September 11th, remember back two years ago. And keep watching. The first breaths of a better world born in blood and pain are being taken, and we'll see what it grows up to be.
Tuesday, September 9
In Israel, suicide bombers target people waiting for busses, and a restaraunt.
Now - I realize that I'm terribly uncultured, and by some thought to be parochial - but I've got a REAL hard time figuring out how how this is supposed to increase my sympathy for the Palestinian cause. I'd have a hell of a lot more respect for them if they heaved out Arafat (who, if you look at his record, has been REAL bad for the Palestinians ever since their days in Jordan) and STOPPED Hamas from bombing the people that they have to get the land from in order to establish a Palestinian state.
And while we're at it, why won't Egypt or Syria or Saudi offer them land?
This is a rhetorical question - all you've got to do is look at the Palestinian record in Jordan and Lebanon and you'll see why. It's the equivalent of inviting a family of pathological arsonists to live in your neighborhood. They KNOW what sort of trouble they'll get if they invite the Palestinians in. And they don't want any of it.
And I can't say I blame them.
Thursday, September 4
Found this through Instapundit -
Of Marines, an urn and a thoughtful deed - San Diego Union-TribuneAnd you contrast that with a self-centered twit of a high-school demoted cheerleader suing her school for 'irreparable harm'.
She has no idea.
Tuesday, September 2
Wow. Who'd think this article would be so popular? It's generated a lot of hits here - I appreciate the traffic! Would you like some nude cheerleader photos with that also? (Hey, I'll run hits up any way I can.) I don't have any of those, however.
thepittsburghchannel.com - News - Demoted Cheerleader Sues High School:Well, well, well. Irreparable harm for being demoted to an alternate cheerleader..."A Westmoreland County cheerleader is taking her school to court, claiming a demotion has irreparably harmed her.
That girl (or her mother, it's hard to say whether the girl would have done this without the urging of the mom) is going to have a hard time dealing with what life tosses at her, imo. Will she sue if she gets fired or laid off from a job? Will she sue boyfriends when she gets dumped? What about when she gets out of high school and people won't really care whether she was a cheerleader or not?> I predict a long and litigious life for this girl and her parents - at least, litigious until they find someone with deep pockets who'll countersue and take their assets to the cleaners.
Irreparable harm. Heh. That's a good one.
Thinking about sat radio?
Take a look at this link - Consumer's Guide to Sat Radio Choice.
You may have been wondering what auto.consumerguide.com/auto/editorial/features/index.cfm/act/feature18 referred to. I was just storing that for a bit till I could do a proper post.
Monday, September 1
CNN.com - Israel vows 'all-out war' on Hamas - Sep. 1, 2003:
"Israel on Monday declared an 'all-out war' against Hamas and said it is freezing diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority unless the Palestinian leadership takes 'tangible steps to deal with infrastructures of terror.' "It's about time, I think.
It's been pretty clear that Hamas and the PA have had no incentive to really crack down on terrorism. And it's not like they've really got a reason to. The day the Palestinians get a state, that's the day the authority of the PA, Hamas, and Araftat gets severely curtailed, if not eliminated completely.
And they know this.
So, when it comes time to crack down on the terrorists, they look the other way as long as they can. They think the more the terrorists work, the easier it'll be for them to get a state. They don't realize that their statehood chances walked out when Arafat walked out of the negotiations years back.
Let's see if they've realized that Israel's not playing around any more, and the 'cult of the victim' they've been pushing for years as the lot of the Palestinian has pretty well worn out it's welcome in the real world.
FOXNews.com - Jesse Jackson Arrested in Labor Day March on Yale Campus:Jesse's getting desperate, it would seem. Supporting service and clerical workers? At YALE?
Man, he's pushing for relevance, isn't he?
"NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Rev. Jesse Jackson (search) and 13 other people were arrested Monday after they blocked traffic on the Yale University campus in support of striking university service and clerical workers.Okay, Jesse - define "economic justice". It's a good catchphrase, but what does it MEAN? What are these poor workers getting paid? $15 an hour or so?
Look, Jesse - you've got to get it clear here. There's relevance, and then there's relevance. Sure, "economic justice" sounds good, but sounding good doesn't mean ANYTHING.
Oh, wait... "Yale officials say their latest eight-year contract offer is generous, with pay raises of 3 percent to 5 percent, pension benefit increases and signing bonuses worth 50 percent of pay raises they would have received dating back to January 2002, when the last contract expired."
Oh, the horror. How unfair. How distressing. So, Jessie, what's 'Economic Justice" here? Caving to the unions?
On occasion, I rather despair when I look at what seems to be a lit bomb in the Islamic world, with the fuses of the fundamentalist mullahs seeming to get shorter and shorter.
Then I get a look at a blog like User's, and believe there's hope - that the mullahs will be restrained by the reasonable folks in Islam. His blog's a good read - I recommend it.
Regarding Method dish soap - I got a bottle, tried it...
Eh. I'm going back to Palmolive. Neat bottle, doesn't smell too bad, but it doesn't do as good a job, IMO.