Monday, January 31, 2005

Too funny not to post

AMHERST, N.Y. — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton collapsed Monday while delivering a speech to a local chamber of commerce, but quickly recovered and resumed her busy schedule...

After a 30-minute speech, Clinton commented on her spell. "It wasn't as dramatic as it sounds," she said. U.S. Rep. John LaFalce, who introduced Clinton at the college, said the senator went against doctor's advice because she was committed to talking about health care.

Ah, yes! What a better way to prove a point about the importance of proper health care than to ignore doctor's advice publicly...

Wielding a thesaurus without a license


I wish to comment on the photograph of the child holding the Stop Abortion Now placard (Free Press, Jan. 23). This child is reportedly only 3 years old.

I find it to be exploitative to use somebody who can't possibly comprehend the significance of this issue to tout one's own agenda. I firmly believe in freedom of speech but this need to perpetuate another's moral obligations by blatantly spawning young activists is gratuitous.

We should continue to foster children's awareness of world issues but remember that the degradation of their images should be left out.

You know, where I come from, that is called 'having kids'...and it is intimately related to that whole 'abortion thing'. If you "kill 'em before you birth 'em", you are not exploiting them, but take them to a rally where they are graphic examples of a 'choice', now that is exploitation. Got it. Thanks.

Meanwhile, in other news...

A Slovak man trapped in his car under an avalanche freed himself by drinking 60 bottles of beer and urinating on the snow to melt it.

Protest of the Day

This morning the score was 8 protesters to 1 protest warrior…and 30 cops. No one was directing traffic, which is usually a good thing here, but today it was not. It took about 20 minutes to get from the line on 395 to the metro entrance. Grrrr. Anyway, there were some new faces, though the bald monk was not there. I miss his drum. Mostly the same bunch of signs, but one that I have not seen in a while was notable:

War is not the Answer!

Well, I guess that all depends on what the question is, doesn’t it? Sort of odd seeing that the day after Iraqis voted freely, thanks to war. Conflict, including war, is not inherently evil. It is the results by which you must judge something. War to defend the defenseless, free the slaves, or prevent evil is right and just, even as it is sorrowful and costly. Just read a bit about the good stuff happening in Iraq and you can see that through destruction can come new growth, and through sorrow and death, a lasting legacy of freedom.

Welfare Reform?

Under Germany’s welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job — including in the sex industry — or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990.

The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars. As a result, job centres must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse.

First off, a year of unemployment is pretty generous. Secondly, when you cede that much control and freedom to the government, expect the government to be pretty heavy-handed about using it. Still this is disgusting...

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Fire Spreads!

In Iraq, the polls are officially closed, and by all accounts there has been huge turnout. The fire has caught, and though the ink will eventually wash off their fingers, the mark of freedom is on their hearts and will be much harder for anyone to erase. Despite threats, bombings, shootings, quisling press and general mayhem, 2/3rds of registered voters came to the polls. Of course, those dictators in the region who have so much to loose will point out that there are thus thousands who didn’t vote…while ignoring the millions in their own countries who cannot vote. They should be afraid. This untamed fire of freedom, having burned bright in Iraq, now threatens to spread through the wires of the internet, through families spanning borders, through books, newspapers and word of mouth in coffee shops and checker games.

Should the elections have been delayed? I think that has been answered. Were these perfect elections? Nope. But then, with a higher turnout than the US seems capable of, small irregularities are to be expected (Chicago, anyone?). I hope that someone chokes the first politician here in the US who has the temerity to suggest that this is not a mandate for freedom and democracy there, that we should have delayed the election, or that the President has somehow screwed this up.

This is not the end. Hard work must continue, blood will still be shed. This does not guarantee freedom there. Freedom is not the natural state of mankind this side of heaven, and for that reason it must be cherished and guarded diligently, once it is attained. The cost is high, the price paid by young and old, man and woman, soldier and civilian is great. I wish them the best on this difficult journey.

So which is it? Mocking or emulating?

News from The Roanoke Times -VMI launches investigation of costume party: "One picture shows three men in their VMI-issued black shirts and gray pants giving the Nazi salute to the camera. Two are wearing homemade swastika armbands. One is wearing a small Hitler-style mustache. Another picture shows two men dressed in tiaras, wings, lipstick and eye shadow. One is holding a wand, and both are wearing underpants and tank tops that read, 'I [heart] a man in uniform.' There are also pictures of a man smeared head-to-toe in dark makeup and wearing a loin clot h, and a man with a bull's-eye drawn with tape on the rear of his pants. Posted Thursday, the photos immediately generated a running online debate about their offensiveness. "

So here we have a costume party, al la Prince Harry, where poor taste is condemned as racism, sexism, homophobia and all the rest. Here, the PC police seem to want to have their cake and eat it too: if you dress in drag, you are mocking gays, but if you dress in a Nazi outfit, you are lauding fascists. Why is it not the other way around: mocking Nazis and promoting homosexuality? Or maybe mocking both. Or maybe, just maybe, people are reading too much into all this and need to get thicker skins.

Friday, January 28, 2005

I was wrong...

FoxNewsBAGHDAD, Iraq — Authorities in Iraq have arrested three close associates of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, including the chief of the terror mastermind's Baghdad operation, the government said Friday, two days ahead of historic elections that extremists have vowed to subvert.

Reports of the arrest followed closely on the heels of more reports of torture by US forces. There has been no official word of any connection, but an official, speaking on strict condition of anonymity, said that immediately following their arrests, Salah Suleiman al-Loheibi and Ali Hamad Yassin al-Issawi begged "please do not torture us! Oh please, please do not throw thonged women at us! Anything but that!”

Protesters were right! Torture!!!

Thanks to LGF, I have been enlightened about the terrible torture tactics used by our government. According to that oh-so-reliable sourceAl Jazeera (and no doubt soon to be picked up by NPR, CBS and CNN):A new report has emerged that female interrogators were used to try and break Muslim detainees held at the prison camp Guantanamo Bay. Methods used by the female interrogators included sexual touching, wearing a miniskirt with thong underwear and in one particular case smearing the face of a Saudi detainee with fake menstrual blood.

I am shocked! This news can only lead to an increased jihad as word gets out:

Hey Habi, are you coming with me to fight the infidels in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Oh, I don't know, Mohammad. I have 15 kids to provide for. What is in it for me?
Well, Habi, you get the thrill of killing kfuri, earning you great rewards and plunder. And if you die, 70 girls, eternally virgins, await your pleasure...
And if I am captured? I hear they torture us, chop off our hands and cut out our tongues, and sometimes cut off our heads?
No, Habi, that was the Taliban and Saddam that did that. The Americans feed you ethnically and religiously correct food, clothe you well, make sure you pray 5 times a day, give you a lawyer to help you swiftly return to jihad, and, while you are waiting, they pay for lap dances to make sure you never get bored.
Oh, well, what the hell, Mohammed. I have been pretty bored here with my first three wives, and this seems like a win-win-win situation for me! Lets go get us some infidels! Allah Akbar! Death to kfuri!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Reuters: Kennedy hitting the bottle again

Top News Article | "The United States must begin to withdraw militarily and politically from Iraq to prevent worsening violence and hand over full responsibility to the United Nations, Sen. Edward Kennedy said on Thursday."

Reports that Kennedy prefers Vodka to Gin before speeches could not be confirmed...

I couldn't resist

Headline SF Examiner: Shopping bag glut sparks proposal--15 cent per bag charge

Headline SF Examiner: Sups want anti-gun law--no handguns in the city.

Are they related? Possibly SF is worried about little old ladies being mugged for their grocery bags.
What a nutty town...

A great video

Thanks to LGF, I am violating my two posts a day rule. This video is a must see!

Red means...

Yesterday she had a nice new blue posterboard, today it was red, with a yellow one for backup. It must be Primary Colors Week, boys and girls! However, I am glad that someone had the means to supply her with new items, the old ones were getting...well, old. So today, braving the cold wind, our brave GG was out with a sign:

Quit! Resign! No more War! Please

I thought that the 'please' was a nice touch.

One of these days I'm going to post a list of all the signs I saw at the inauguration. Some of them were so contradictory I just had to laugh. But for now, I have to get back to work...

A matter of education

WaPO: Blacks believe AIDS conspiracy

More than 20 years after the AIDS epidemic arrived in the United States, a significant proportion of African Americans embrace the theory that government scientists created the disease to control or wipe out their communities, according to a study released today by Rand Corp. and Oregon State University.

That belief markedly hurts efforts to prevent the spread of the disease among black Americans, the study's authors and activists said. African Americans represent 13 percent of the U.S. population, according to Census Bureau figures, yet they account for 50 percent of new HIV infections in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This is yet another failure of an education system that values feelings over facts, outcomes over standards and completion over testing. Inner-city schools are failing miserably, the education mafia has a death grip on our youth, and it is literally killing them. Without the ability to think rationally, without the understanding that actions lead to consequences, there is no hope that those trapped in school will learn to think for themselves and thus save themselves:

Nearly half of the 500 African Americans surveyed said that HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is man-made.

More than one-quarter said they believed that AIDS was produced in a government laboratory, and 12 percent believed it was created and spread by the CIA.

A slight majority said they believe that a cure for AIDS is being withheld from the poor. Forty-four percent said people who take the new medicines for HIV are government guinea pigs, and 15 percent said AIDS is a form of genocide against black people.

Here's the rub: if you believe someone else is responsible for your condition, you have no incentive to do anything about it, no incentive to try to prevent it. This is true across cultures. In Iraq, those who believe that they have no hope of rebuilding their land ('it is the job of the Americans') are no help. Those who understand that it is their land to build (see the MEMRI clip below) are the ones who are putting their lives on the line. And they should be rewarded. The social security debate is about the same thing: should individuals be responsible for their own retirement, or is retirement a program that the government controls and individuals have no real ownership?

Getting back to my point: this is not an AIDS crisis, a social security crisis, or a political crisis. It is an education crisis. Until people are taught, from the beginning, that they are responsible for that 'F' or that 'A', that they cannot blame their teachers, their parents, their race or their country, how can we expect them to understand that they are responsible for the bigger things in their life?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Cameras never lie, but edits often do

Normally I tune out the "news" reported on the radio as I slug home from work, but sometimes I listen, for tips on how to use edits, cuts and quotes to mislead. NPR is the best at this. Their usual MO is to set up a problem, and then have comments from 'both sides of the issue'. Fair? Well, there are a few problems with this.

First is the fallacious assumption that there are only 2 sides to an issue: pro and con. Nuances, alternative views and other considerations are ignored. This leads to the second part of the classic NPR deception: a false or incomplete dichotomy.

A classic example is their discussion of abortion, though the war in Iraq, Dr. Rice’s nomination, health care or any number of other issues lend themselves to this trick also. If, for instance, they want to portray those Bible thumping, right wing Neanderthals for the drooling, babbling idiots that they are, they will find the most loony apologist that still sounds lucid and set them opposite a ‘moderate’ who has stories of raped women with deformed ‘fetuses’ in dire need of life saving (whose?) abortions. In this case, the discussion will focus on the dangers of extremists who hold radical positions, and why it is important that they be silenced.

Later, however, when they want to show that ‘most Americans support a woman’s Constitutional right to an abortion’, the same ‘moderate’ will be their balance on the right, and a spokescreamer from NARAL will be the balance on the left. The ‘debate’ will ignore the portion of the country with ‘extremist’ positions, as if they did not exist. The debate has thus moved into the realm of ‘all reasonable people’. Other views not discussed, therefore, must be ‘not reasonable’. A deft trick, I must say.

The next part of their deception has to do with the selection of the issues to be discussed, and on which part of the show. Some rules they seem to follow: if you talk about the war, talk about something criminal or expensive afterward. If you talk about a favorite liberal pet project, talk about something upbeat or soothing afterward.

Another favorite tactic: leave off the end of the story. Yesterday, a ‘heartwrenching story about two Marines killed in December’ included a segment about their families. One was a well-to-do family, and the other was a family of poor Mexican immigrants. The father of the dead Marine did not even speak English and lived in a mobile home with ‘water dripping from the ceiling in the kitchen’. At the end of the segment, NPR mentioned in passing that the two families had established some sort of memorial fund. That was it. How did this poor Mexican do this? No mention. (SGLI? Support from other Marine families? We’ll never know…) There was no positive mention of the military anywhere in the segment, and except for the failure of the interviewer to elicit negative comments through leading questions, the listener was left wondering how the families felt about their sons’ service.

All too familiar

NPR is smooth at tossing in editorial comments into ‘news’ (more on that in another post), but other news orgs are less so. Yesterday, a CBS radio news segment led off with this: “Today, a sound that has become all too familiar: a kidnapped American begging for his life.” Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over!!! Pop quiz, hotshot. When was the last ‘kidnapped American’ heard begging for his life? Not to minimize the plight of the poor guy, but this kind of blatant editorializing is really jarring. Not they I had any respect left for CBS, but until I can listen to blogs in the car, I’m afraid this sort of propaganda will continue to bother me.

2 for 1

Someone bought her markers and posterboard! In addition to her standard "You are killing..." poster, she had a nice new blue one, though the info was a bit dated.

Stop the genocide in Iraq

An etymology lesson and a history lesson:
Genocide: from Greek genos race, kind and Latin cidere to kill is the killing of a racial or ethnic group (presumably on the basis of their race or ethnicity). Interestingly, the term has only been around for about 60 years (and is not the etymologically correct genticide), though the action it describes goes back thousands. Which leads us to our history lesson, boys and girls:
Who was responsible for killing thousands and thousands of Shia (not technically a race/ethnicity) and Kurds? If you said "Former President Bush", you probably teach at Berkley. And you are wrong.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Protest of the Day

It was cold, and there was still some snow on the ground, but they were there, gamely holding their signs. Nothing new or exciting, however, except that they were standing closer than usual to the crowds of people flowing in. Once again, ProtestWarriors were there, providing an irksome presence for these defenders of...whatever. Freedom rules, I truly believe, as you can see by the new name of my blog. Anyway, the protest sign of the day:

The US radiates soldiers and civilians

Um, OK. There is a lot I could say about this. Does the US send out soldiers in waves? I guess. Do US civilians 'spread out into new habitats'? Sure. So, nothing really to disagree with on the sign. Now I know that the poor gentleman with the tinfoil hat was talking about depleted uranium, but I think that would have been more clear had he used the word 'irradiate'. So, what to do? Well, since the sun is the biggest source of radiation of both soldiers and civilians, I think we should all drive SUVs to try to build a nice protective layer of CO2...

Killing the eggs that hatch the golden goose

When I first posted this item about Planned Parenthood, I was guessing about motives. Turns out, I was pretty close: CNS reports that PPs profits are suffering in Bush country, so they are closing less profitable clinics. PP has a problem, though. The longer they provide abortions to those who agree with their agenda, the fewer women will grow up to have abortions, which are a key to continued profitable operations. The obvious metaphor is evolution: they are a weaker species in politics since they are killing themselves off. However, this does not go far enough, as the horror of innocent life snuffed for profit deserves a stronger simile: it is as if the Nazis had convinced Jews to happily pay for the construction of concentration camps and the costs of their internment.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Medical miracles: skip the first couple of years of a kids life! -Teacher Arrested for Sex With Student: "A 33-year-old Redwood City teacher has been arrested after DNA tests confirmed that a former student fathered her 2-year-old baby when he was 16-years-old."

Now, usually I am a skeptic when I see this sort of thing, but heck, if Fox has it, it must be true, right? To me, it sounds pretty good. After all, I subscribe to the theory that originally kids were incubated for a full year, so when they are born at 9 months, they are really peaved that they got pushed out early, and spend the next few months getting back at us for it. So, for a kid to be born at age 2...think of all the diapers that will save, and the eco-benefits that go along with that. Yeah!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Iraqi political ads


The last ad on this clip is the most compelling. Well worth the watching.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Protesters: No fair! ProtestWarrior is getting attention, too!

Some in the anti-Bush crowd said they resented the fact that ProtestWarrior's "man bites dog" schtick eats up a disproportionate amount of press attention.

"They're taking the media away from us!" exclaimed one angry protester.

After the fight television crews popped up out of nowhere and reporters rushed to the ProtestWarrior members.

So, they took out a copyright on protestest? There is more, too:

After the scuffle, one young anarchist hurled a snowball, laced with dirt and pebbles and whatever else he could scoop of the ground, at the retreating ProtestWarrior members. The anarchist, who declined to offer his name, said he did not believe in violence...

This brings up another point, which I shall address in another post: the internal inconsistency of these protesters.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Despite the wind, cold, 2 hour security lines, and snowball throwing moonbat protesters, it was a worthwhile experience. Posted by Hello

Gloria excited interest of her own... Posted by Hello

JB got a good seat for the parade Posted by Hello - San Francisco to Vote to increase crime in Nov. - Politics - San Francisco to Vote on Handgun Ban in Nov.: Ah, an interesting experiment! "The proposal will appear on the municipal ballot in November and would bar residents from keeping handguns in their homes or businesses. It also would prohibit the sale, manufacture and distribution of any firearms or ammunition in San Francisco."

San Francisco had 88 murders in 2004, up from 69 in 2003. Sixty-three of last year's homicides involved a firearm, Police Sgt. Neville Gittens said. The city has averaged 71 homicides a year over the past decade, from a low of 58 in 1998 to a high of 99 in 1995.

If approved by a majority of the city's voters, the law would take effect in January 2006. Residents would have 90 days to relinquish their handguns.

Hmmm, has this been tried before? How did it work out?

Washington, D.C., banned handguns in 1976 and noted an immediate 25 percent drop in firearm-related homicides, according to a 1991 study that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. The number of homicides fell from 13 per month to about 10.

Excellent! Lets do it in every big city!

In later years, however, the district became notorious for its violent-crime rate. Last year, Washington had 248 homicides, or 20.7 per month. That's a rate of 44 homicides per 100,000 residents. By comparison, San Francisco, has a rate of 9.2.

Oh. didn't work there? Hmmm. Well, Maybe SF is different?

Gittens, the San Francisco police spokesman, said a concealed-weapons permit is currently required to carry a gun outside one's home or business in the city. Police have issued just 10 of those permits.

Ah hah! That might have something to do with the crime rate... 10 people are lugging hoglegs about the city, shooting people willy-nilly!

Current and former law enforcement officers are exempt from that requirement.

Hmmm....Why is that? But anyway, moving on:

an Francisco's Pink Pistols (search), a gay and lesbian gun-rights group, also opposes the initiative and is organizing a letter-writing campaign to the Board of Supervisors, spokesman Tom Boyer said. "Outlawing handguns would raise crime," he said. "A handgun is a very useful defensive tool." This will not be the first time San Francisco has attempted a handgun ban. In 1982, a city ordinance was overturned because it applied to anyone who entered the city. A state court ruled that such actions were reserved for the state Legislature. The drafters of the latest ordinance, anticipating a court battle, made sure it applies only to San Francisco residents, hoping to overcome at least one legal hurdle. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has yet to take a position on San Francisco's proposal, but spokesman Nathan Barankin said Lockyer generally opposes such bans because they're "rarely effective in promoting public safety."

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

In need of markers

She was back this morning...with old signs. Talking with a friend, we discussed going and buying her a marker and some posterboard on condition that she think up some new and creative slogans. We decided she might think we were making fun of her, so decided against it for now. We'll just have to live with the old standby:

You are killing to make Bush rich and company

Of course, it could read 'Bush and company rich', but the 'and company' is actually on the last line...I wish I could take a picture.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Protest of the day

They braved the wind
They braved the cold
And icy stares
Their signs to hold...

Yes, they were back. Having taken MLK day off, (I guess...I wasn't around) they were back with a vengeance. Four, in parkas and clinging desperately to signs and hope that someday, somehow they would get through the thick skulls of the passing murderers and terrorists. A new sign for today:

The US occupation of Iraq is a Crime and a Sin

Ah, the legal and moral arguments, straight from the Washington Post, are so compelling. If only they had basis in the facts. On the legal side 1) from the 17 UN mandates (if you are an internationalist), 2) from the right of self-defense (if you are a traditional Westphalian type) after 12 years of conflict (ONW/OSW) and threats of instability to the region, or 3) from the rejuvenated doctrine of preemption in the post 9/11 era of WMD, it is legal, though arguably not an occupation, as we are there at the behest of the Interim Iraqi Govermnent. On the moral side, sin is something a nation as a whole can commit, or something a leader of the nation can commit on behalf of the nation, or something an individual can commit. However, sin (estrangement from God or direct disobedience of His will), freeing oppressed people is not.

I have been there, I have seen what Saddam had done to ‘his’ people. The ISG (and others, I’m sure) had reams of videos of such perversions as nightmares are made of: hands hacked off; women tied down, stripped naked and raped, with the video sent to their husbands to watch as a warning; men hooded with hands tied behind their backs pushed from two story buildings (high enough to cause great pain and injury, but not high enough to kill); tongues slowly cut out with razors and the victims left to twitch helplessly on the ground as blood spurted from their mouths.

I have a strong stomach, but after only a few minutes of seeing the tapes, I couldn’t eat for a day. These were not isolated cases, these were the ways he maintained control on a continuing basis. And it was all filmed so that he and his sons and his minions could watch these pleasant experiences again and again.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Harvard President's Comments About Women Spark Outrage Among High Priests of Liberalism - U.S. & World - Harvard President's Comments About Women Spark Outrage
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The president of Harvard University prompted criticism for suggesting that innate differences between the sexes could help explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers.

Lawrence H. Summers, speaking Friday at an economic conference, also questioned how great a role discrimination plays in keeping female scientists and engineers from advancing at elite universities.

Ah, poor Larry. He forgot the first commandment: thou shalt not take the presuppositions of racism or sexism in vain.

"It's possible I made some reference to innate differences," he said. He said people "would prefer to believe" that the differences in performance between the sexes are due to social factors, "but these are things that need to be studied."

And here he violates the second: Thou shalt not put any of the teachings of the Church of Human to a test. To do so would be a sacrilegious act, showing a lack of faith.


A new quote has come to light! In an act of solidarity, MIT biologist Nancy Hopkins walked out on Summers and told reporters that if she hadn't walked out, "I would have either blacked out or thrown up," demonstrating the logical steadfastness and stoic critical thinking skills Summers was talking about. Men, of course, have put up with all kinds of impeachment of our biological failings for a long time, so have evolved the ability to hear anti-Y chromosome screeds without loss of consciousness or stomach reflux issues.


WHETHER THE SECOND AMENDMENT SECURES AN INDIVIDUAL RIGHT: "The Second Amendment secures a right of individuals generally, not a right of States or a right restricted to persons serving in militias."

I just had to post this so I'd always be able to find the link...

A different perspective: Planned Parenthood lauds Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "The Negro constitutes half the poor of the nation. Like all poor, Negro and white, they have many unwanted children. This is a cruel evil they urgently need to control. There is scarcely anything more tragic in human life than a child who is not wanted. That which should be a blessing becomes a curse for parent and child."

Michael King (his legal name), had an interesting perspective on the 'Roe Effect' when he accepted the Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood. Of course, he also said that "this is not to suggest that the Negro will solve all his problems through Planned Parenthood." When his candle was prematurely snuffed out, Roe had not yet been decided. It would have been interesting, from an academic standpoint, to hear him speak on that decision. Still, he left a niece to carry his legacy, and though largely ignored, Alveda King has some views which are wonderfully radical in today's society.

Though a great orator, King did have faults. And to deify him in such a way that any mention of his faults immediately, automatically and indelibly brands one a racist does injustice to the civil rights movement of which he was a part. Worse, the re-writing of history to match today's mores and values causes erroneous lessons to be learned with devastating consequences.
Of course, the left and right are both equally culpable. Reagan, a great President to be sure, had flaws, and Washington, a flawed man, was still a great President despite the revisionism endemic in textbooks today.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

'Report': U.S. Conducting Secret Missions Inside Iran

Yahoo! News - Report: U.S. Conducting Secret Missions Inside Iran: "The United States has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran to help identify potential nuclear, chemical and missile targets, The New Yorker magazine reported Sunday.

Hmmm...this sounds like it could be interesting. THE US IS SPYING ON OUR ENEMIES!!!! ARGHHH!!! What is the world coming to?

The article, by award-winning reporter Seymour Hersh, said the secret missions have been going on at least since last summer with the goal of identifying target information for three dozen or more suspected sites."

Ah ha! That highly respected liar journalist has another fiction scoop!

Hersh quotes one government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon as saying, "The civilians in the Pentagon want to go into Iran and destroy as much of the military infrastructure as possible."

Note the source: it could be someone who is consulted by the FDA about the best window cleaner and who delivers toilet brushes to the Pentagon on a regular basis. That would be a "government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon". Then, the shocking revelation that there are WAR PLANS!!! to take on a terrorist-sponsoring state with nuclear ambitions who has stated that its goal is to disrupt our efforts in the Middle East and wipe out one of our allies, and who has killed American soldiers and civilians in the past. You know, if there were no plans in the Pentagon to take on such a country, that would be derelection of duty...

Friday, January 14, 2005

A few things today

Not much time for browsing today, but a couple of items came to my attention. The first is this from powerline. A well written account of the relief effort and a stark contrast to this news.

On the school front, Germany is asserting that children are wards of the state, only loaned to responsible parents. But back here in the US, there is some good news:

Like many students I queried, Miss Ernst already leaned right when she arrived on campus. But the left-wing propagandizing of her professors made her conservatism rock-solid.

I definitely experienced this both at CSU and Harvard. This article has some really good points, and while it echoes some of the standard, tired examples of outlandish liberalism endemic in our colleges and universities, it has some refreshing stories of conservative rebellion among the students. The 'Roe effect' seems to be taking hold with a vengeance. 9/11 helped, too…

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Washington Post Shocker: Secret Service Does Its Job!

Finally in her Honda Accord, Newman backed out and briefly blocked the motorcade. That's when another agent got worked up as well, she says: "He's screaming at me, 'Move it! You better move it!' I was amazed and furious at the same time. . . . I thought, 'If this is how they treat people in Baghdad, no wonder they hate Americans!' "

I didn't even know if I should dignify this with a link, but it is outrageous enough to merit comment. This is a swipe at those who put their life on the line, for failing to be courteous enough to those who benefit from freedom. These guys were just doing their job, keeping their charge safe. Newman admits that she blocked the motorcade. What were the Secret Service folks supposed to do? Assume that she was just your average frustrated soccer mom? That is how people die...GRRRRRR

More on Lisa Newman

Interesting. When you try to find info about her, there is very little. She is definitly a 'red stater' and no lover of the administration. Something tells me there is more to this story than meets the eye...

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A lesson in Newtonian Physics...

The carjacking suspect led his pursuers at high speed into the south parking lot of the Pentagon near Route 27 and Army-Navy Drive, where he struck a Pentagon police officer who emerged from a security booth and stood in his way, said Glenn Flood, a Pentagon spokesman.

While valiant, his efforts leave something to be desired in the tactics department...

Monday, January 10, 2005

Monday Morning Protest Score: 5 to 3

Five to three, this morning. The protesters and anti-protesters are making a good showing so far this year. The five protesters had some old signs, and a new one:

"The US is the greatest purveyor of violence"
Dr. Martin Luther King

Now, a quick google of the supposed quote finds nothing of the sort, but given the used of the word 'purveyor', and the appearance of the sign holder, I am guessing that he 1) does not know the actual definition of purveyor and 2) therefore must have read the quote somewhere, probably a paraphrase of a part of one of King's speeches against the Vietnam war.

Anyway, the three anti-anti-war protesters (does that make them pro-war?) were three women, three large posterboard signs with pictures (probably of deployed family members), a nice American flag, and great smiles. Of course, maybe their smiles just seemed exceptionally nice compared to the dour looks of the anti-military, anti-war, anti-Rumsfeld protesters. One other interesting note, the usual GG was not there today. I hope she is well. I'd hate to have to think about only seeing protesters on Monday! I am about as addicted to them as to my coffee.

Democracy is not a suicide pact...or is it?

Reeling under the PR disaster of Abu Ghraib, the Pentagon shut down every stress technique but one—isolation—and that can be used only after extensive review. An interrogator who so much as requests permission to question a detainee into the night could be putting his career in jeopardy. Even the traditional army psychological approaches have fallen under a deep cloud of suspicion: deflating a detainee’s ego, aggressive but non-physical histrionics, and good cop–bad cop have been banished along with sleep deprivation.

A sobering look by Heather Mac Donald at torture: what it is, what it isn't, and how we are throwing away information probably vital to the prevention of future terrorist attacks. The MSM, ACLU, ICRC et all, seem to have forgotten that we are dealing with terrorists here, not Boy Scouts. This is a direct consequence of the breakdown of national identity in the press. Many reporters I have spoken to no longer consider themselves "Americans" but rather "journalists who happen to reside in America". I am an American, dammit, and my job is not protecting 'humans', 'rights' or any other balderdash like that. It is supporting and defending THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES against all enemies, foreign and domestic. SO HELP ME GOD!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

More fun!

Last year, when Zephyr stopped chasing my red laser pen (after about 2 minutes), I thought the fun was over. But that was before I got a Green Laser Pointer. Of course, Zephyr took one look at it and went back to sleep. JB, on the other hand, knew just what to do. So for the past couple of days, whenever I needed a laugh, I just took out my new toy and let JB chase a bright green dot around the floor. I'm not sure how worried I should be that my dog figured out that it was a trick years before my son, but it sure is hilarious to watch him run in circles until he is dizzy, frantically crawl up the stairs, or jump to reach that spot on the wall that is mere inches above his astounding 3" vertical leap. At least he'll have something interesting to talk to his shrink about.

Still looking for votes...

Check out this link. Yes, it is a real picture. And he could have been our President...

Saturday, January 08, 2005

This is the "artwork" that greets you when you enter the new American Indian Smithsonian Museum. I'm not really sure what to say about it. Some joke about Bill Clinton and Dreamcatchers comes to mind... Posted by Hello

Friday, January 07, 2005

And we are going to let the UN take over aide efforts? Tsunami Death Toll Nears 150,000:

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia
The official death toll from the Asian tsunami climbed dramatically to 147,000 Friday and authorities held out little hope for tens of thousands still missing. Flying over miles of ravaged shoreline, a shaken U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked: 'You wonder where are the people? What has happened to them?'"

Uh, Kofi, there was this thing called a 'tsunami' a couple of weeks ago and...never mind. I guess now I can believe that he had no idea his minions were scamming BILLIONS from the Oil for French, uh, I mean Oil for Food program.

Protest of the day

Her welfare check must have come through!!! Our favorite defender of terrorist freedoms had two new signs today, in addition to an old one. And she is getting good at balancing placards, since she was able to display all three signs simultaneously, despite the gusty winds outside the Pentagon Metro Station.

She also demonstrated a working knowledge of current events, given the flagellation Gonzales received last night. Her newest magic marker creation, obviously leveled squarely at Kennedy's ample ego, read:

Torture is US Policy! Resign!

In her other hand, showing her skill at both punctuation and schizophrenia:

US:Hi Tech terrorist

But that was not all! She has a voice, I soon discovered. Lacking any further appendages upon which to hang signs, her well oiled message was supplemented by a new phrase (soon to be incorporated into a sign, I'm sure) and daintily tossed out like yesterday's lunch at anyone foolishly wandering within 10 feet of her encampment. As I approached, her voice was indistinct and I could not make out what she said, but a young, well-dressed blonde coming from the opposite direction tossed her a Friday smile and said something that seemed to enrage our favorite Granola Gran. GG's retort was swift and devastating: "Jesus wouldn't have been in the military, you shouldn't be in the military". The blonde smiled, probably because she was not in the military, and walked on past without further comment.

Who would have thought!

I knew that Zephyr was quite the dog...but to have a dinosaur named after her?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

(Un)Planned Parenthood?

The consumers group best known for rating cars and washing machines has turned its testing prowess to condoms to find out which ones measure up best and how other birth control methods compare.

[R]esults showed that the top brand, able to take the most punishment, was the Durex Extra Sensitive Lubricated Latex, according to the report.


A melon-colored model distributed by Planned Parenthood performed the worst, bursting during a test in which the latex condoms were filled with air.

Are they trying to drum up buisiness for their more profitable 'minor medical procedures'?

Protest of the day

She's back!!! The warm weather must have been too much, because today it is rainy and cooler, and the usual granola is back in her quixotic and lonely crusade. Today she had two signs, one she held up and thrust at those walking by, and the other she awkwardly balanced between her feet. She was holding the (previously reported) "You are killing to make Bush and company rich" but also had:

Refuse Orders to Kill

Hmmm. She doesn't say who or what. So if I am given an order to kill one of these weapon system programs to which she seems adamantly opposed, should I then refuse that order? Argh! So many troubling questions. Oh well, I'll get by.

In other news, I noticed that the protesters routinely stand in front on one of the ubiquitous security cameras. I am not sure if it is because they think that the SECDEF watches and they can get through to him that way, or because they haven't noticed the camera recording their every move yet (since it really doesn't look like a camera).

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Forgotten Badge and an Interesting Slug Ride

Monday...need I say more? Yesterday was Monday. The first Monday of the year. I forgot my badge and had to get a visitor pass...what a great intro to my new office here: the forgetful intern. Actually, I was not alone. There was a line of guys that had forgotten their badges, and when I got in the building, it seemed like 1 in 20 had a visitor pass. Must have been Monday for everyone.

But the day ended well. When it came time to go home, I headed out to the slug line and there were about 6 cars in line, waiting. Unfortunately, there were about 12 people ahead of me, and using my higher math skills, I soon calculated that if Johnny was the 13th person in line, and cars took two people per car, then when Johnny was the 1st person in line there would be zero cars. (Yet another export from the Middle East upon which I find myself dependent: the mathematical concept of zero...) But, having congratulated myself on my superior math skills, I now found myself waiting for a ride. Suspense always builds at this point. Would the next car around the corner come to my line? Would it be a small two-door Mustang (no room, front or back)? Would it be a large SUV (some are good, some are bad)? A super-comfortable minivan (a great ride, unless they smell bad)? Or perhaps a shiny BMW (not as comfortable as you might think) or Lexus (more comfortable than they look)?

Slugging is kind of like a mini Christmas every day: you know you are going to get a gift, you are not sure that you'll really like it, but you have to pretend that you do even when you don't. (You know, like the inevitable sweater with snowflakes from your aunt, or the trinket from your cousin that is too nice to throw out but to cheap to display). And then there are the gifts that are just a wonderful surprise, like the pony you thought you'd never get or the airgun that you didn't even know was an option. So it was yesterday. Around the corner of the parking lot came a sleek black limo, and it pulled right up to the line. But all was not roses. I spent the ride back to Tacket's Mill getting the seat just the right incline, just the right height, just the right firmness in the small of my back, just the right temperature and just the right distance from the window. So many buttons, so little time. About the time I had everything perfect and was ready to fall asleep, it was time for me to give the driver directions to the commuter parking lot. Did you know that there is so much leg room in the back of a limo you'd have to really stretch to reach the front seat?

I didn't.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Shocking Protest of the Day

Ok, so today as I was walking in, I saw two groups of protesters instead of the usual single huddled group-o-granolas. As I approached the first group of three, I saw a couple of the usual signs: “Bring the troops home now” and “The US is the biggest supporter of terrorist states”. I smirked as I passed by, glad that I live in a free country where people are free to be as ignorant as they want.

About 20 feet further on, a couple more ‘protesters’ stood, and facing them was a Pentagon cop, MP5 at the ready. Hmmm, I thought, this was unusual. Always before, the protesters have huddled together near the safety of the escalators, a small herd of fearful creatures worried about all those vicious baby killers passing them by.

This second group, really just two ladies with posterboard signs, caused my jaw to drop. Their signs read “Thank you for keeping us free” and something else which I was too surprised to remember.

I was shocked.

Thank you.