Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Take it from someone who knows

There's an excellent column in today's Orange County Register by Jenny Sokol, the wife of a Marine. Since (free) registration is required I'll excerpt some key graphs:
If Marines are tired, it's to be expected. When they deploy, it's for more than six months, and when they return, it's not for long. Some have already completed three tours in Iraq.

If Marine families seem weary, it's because they miss their husbands and dads, not because they don't believe in the mission.

Military families know that all is not well in Iraq; 2,000 families have made the ultimate sacrifice. We also know that wars don't unfold flawlessly.

They don't begin in March and end in April.

Regardless of how or why this conflict began, we're morally obligated to stay. Leaving Iraq's fledgling democracy to fend off radical extremists is not a viable option. Our withdrawal would be viewed around the world as a great and empowering victory by terrorists. Tiny seeds of freedom have been planted in the Middle East. It will take patience and perseverance for the seeds to take root and grow.

[...]

My Marine - and others like him - feels that while we're winning the war in Iraq, we're being demolished on the home front.

When the American death toll is adjusted on the morning news each day, the reporter should throw out another number - 50 million. Remind us that since Sept. 11, 50 million people living under brutal regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq have been liberated.

[...]

The voices of those ready to jump ship are loud and frenzied. My husband vouches, however, that their voices are not nearly as compelling as the ones he heard April 10, 2003, on Baghdad's streets.

Those voices cheered, celebrating the end of an era, but more importantly, the beginning of another.
I don't suppose there's much else to say about that, except that I guess it's really no wonder that the LA Times is losing subscribers.

Oh, and of course...read the whole thing.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Where's Michael Newdow when we need him?

The White House got what ought to be its Non-Denominational Holiday Observance Tree yesterday, but since we all know what a dastardly theocrat Bush is, well...
The centerpiece of the White House holiday decor, an 18-1/2 foot (5.6 meter) Fraser Fir from North Carolina, arrived at the president's residence on a horse-drawn wagon on Monday as the Marine Corps band played "O Christmas Tree."
Do you need any further proof, hypothetical readers, that we're sliding, nay, careening down a slippery slope toward the establishment of state-sanctioned KKKristianity?

Wake up, sheeple!

It's no accident

Jeff at protein wisdom has an interesting post today about the shape of things to come in 2006. In it, he quotes an article by former Democrat Congressman Martin Frost of Texas. Says Frost:
Quietly, without a shot being fired, a revolution is about to occur in American politics. There is a very strong chance that, one year from now, a woman will be third in line for the presidency of the United States.

If the current trend continues, Nancy Pelosi will be Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives following the November 2006 congressional elections.
The rest of Frost's piece is mainly about how the GOP majority in the House is vulnerable in 2006, and Jeff is, of course concerned about that, too.

Jeff lays out the idea that Bush needs to keep up his pushback against the defeatist voices of war critics in Congress and the MSM, because the public needs to hear optimistic voices from somewhere.

I agree. The GOP has a lot to lose, and they're not going to get much (if any) help from the media in getting out the good news from Iraq (or on the economy, for that matter). But Jeff says something interesting toward the end of his post:
Americans love optimism and hates defeatism. Time to remind them who stands for what.

And if all that fails, remind them, as Former Congressman Frost has, that if they don’t vote Republican, Nancy freakin’ Pelosi could, by some freak accident, ascend to the Presidency. [emphasis mine]
Now, I don't think the Dems are going to wait on an accident at all. You can call me paranoid, but I think Frost is actually telegraphing the Dems' punch when he reminds us that Pelosi would be third in line for the presidency.

Remember, Frost told us that "Quietly, without a shot being fired, a revolution is about to occur in American politics." We don't tend to have shots fired in American politics, because we're the most stable republic in the world. But I have little doubt that the Dems, steeped in Bush-hatred and harboring revenge fantasies left over from Clinton's impeachment, will at least mull over trying to get rid of both Bush and Cheney because they supposedly "misled" the country into war with Iraq. And who, then, would take over? Oh, right.

Remember, John Conyers already held a silly little dress rehearsal this summer. If the Dems can retake the House next year, with Pelosi in the driver's seat, do you think we can really count on them not to go hog-wild and try for the real thing?

As Jeff said, "Be very afraid."

Update: I didn't see this when I started writing this post, but Jeff links to Jim Geraghty, who reached the same conclusion that I did. Only, you know, earlier.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Militant Mormons strike again!

One of the Oakland liquor stores that was vandalized by a group of suit and bowtie-wearing men who were totally not members of the Nation of Islam last week was apparently torched this morning.

Oakland police are "tight-lipped" about the fire, but I'm sure they're on the lookout for a group of lemonade-swilling, bicycle-riding thugs from Utah. That's who the smart money's on.

The next Richard Clarke?

Get ready for another former Bush administration official to become the next leftist hero of the month.

Meet Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff. He's critical of "wrongheaded ideas for the handling of foreign detainees" that he says came from the White House and the Pentagon (read: Cheney and Rumsfeld). He sez that Bush was disengaged from postwar planning, and that "Underlings exploited Bush's detachment and made poor decisions."

I'm thinking that Larry is going to be very popular with journalists and at certain cocktail parties in the very near future. I mean, how could he not be:
Wilkerson blamed Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and like-minded aides. He said Cheney must have sincerely believed that Iraq could be a spawning ground for new terror assaults, because "otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard."
Hey, Larry, why not all three? I mean, lately the Dems have been complaining loudly about how badly they were suckered by the stupid, smirky chimp.

Mark my words, hypothetical readers. You'll be seeing a lot of Wilkerson in the coming days.

No big surprises

Well, from what I've seen so far, it looks like everything went just about as expected in the first day of the reconvened Saddam Hussein trial.

Of course, you've got Saddam "trying to take command of the courtroom and angrily complaining about being shackled and mistreated by 'occupiers and invaders.'" Too bad. So sad.

Saddam later lapsed into that most endearing trait of megalomaniacs, rappers, and Bob Dole:
"How can a defendant defend himself if his pen was taken? Saddam Hussein's pen and papers were taken. I don't mean a white paper. There are papers downstairs that include my remarks in which I express my opinion," he said.
I mean, of course, the whole talking about yourself in the third person thing, not losing his pen. Bob Dole always knows where his pen is, you know?

Former Attorney General and current dictator-fellating whackjob scumbag Ramsey Clark was on hand to defend Saddam and sound like a dipshit. Viz:
Clark and others argue that a fair trial is impossible in Iraq because of the insurgency and because the country is effectively under foreign military occupation. U.S. and Iraqi officials insist the trial will conform to international standards. [emphasis mine]
Um, two words, buddy: Nurmeberg Trials. They even made a movie about them, and it won some awards. I don't know if they've got a Blockbuster Video anywhere in Baghdad, but I bet you can scrounge up a copy somewhere.

Dickhead.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Compare and Contrast

This:
Protesters credit the summer vigil, which they say attracted some 12,000 people over the 26 days, with shifting American sentiment about the war. They said they returned to keep pressure on Bush to end the war, although they knew turnout would be lower during the holidays.
With this:
Seventy percent of people surveyed said that criticism of the war by Democratic senators hurts troop morale -- with 44 percent saying morale is hurt "a lot," according to a poll taken by RT Strategies. Even self-identified Democrats agree: 55 percent believe criticism hurts morale, while 21 percent say it helps morale.
The WaPo artilce goes on to mention that many polls show a majority of people supposedly think going to war in Iraq was a mistake, but also says that a recent poll shows only 16 percent of Americans support an immediate troop pullout.

I think part of the Sheehanites' problem is the tremendous amount of sympathetic media attention they get, which confuses them into thinking they have vast popular support, which they obviously don't. I believe Mark Steyn came up with a similar theory as to why having the MSM in the tank actually hurt Dems like John Kerry, so it's not like this is any groundbreaking analysis on my part, but I think it's an analagous situation.

Either way, this is a big problem for the Dems. Whatever they end up doing - especially in light of the Bush administration's recent pushback against war critics - they're going to piss a lot of people off. It only remains to be seen whether they'll alienate their moonbat base or the wider electorate.

(WaPo link via protein wisdom)

Update: Speaking of Mother Sheehan's vast popular support...

Reading AndrewSullivan.com so you don't have to

Well, it looks like Sully's been sick this last week, so he hasn't had time for much substantial blogging. But on Wednesday, he mentioned that once he got better, he'd be examining "what seems at first blush one of the darkest hours in the church's recent history."

Sounds important. I looked around a little bit to try and find out what he was referring to, and I found an item about how the Pope is wearing "fabulous" red Prada shoes (which, apparently, make him look "like Judy Garland in the Wizard of OZ") and Gucci sunglasses. Now, in this post, he links to an article (twice in the same post, so it's got to be a big deal!) where we find out:
The pope has also reportedly turned to another tailor for his vestments, dropping Annibale Gammarelli, whose firm has been serving the Vatican since 1792.
A dark time for the church indeed, not to mention Gammarelli's employees. One might also argue that Sully's post (which ends with the phrase - and I'm not kidding - "absolutely fabulous") ain't exactly the finest hour for gays who want to escape campy stereotypes, but now I'm just nitpicking

Friday, November 25, 2005

Stop the illegal US war against..."ethical Extraterrestrial civilizations visiting Earth"

Sometimes, it can be scary how close to the levers of power crazy people can get:
A former Canadian Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister under Pierre Trudeau has joined forces with three Non-governmental organizations to ask the Parliament of Canada to hold public hearings on Exopolitics -- relations with “ETs.”
...
[Paul] Hellyer warned, "The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning. He stated, "The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide."
Well, okay, the guy's a former Canadian government official, so it's not like he ever had his finger on the button, but I still find it a little disturbing that a loony like this guy (who said, at a September speech at the University of Toronto, "I'm so concerned about what the consequences might be of starting an intergalactic war, that I just think I had to say something.") ever held such a relatively important position. After all, hypothetical readers, the US and Canada have joint control over NORAD. Let's hope their current Defense Minister is a bit more...reasonable.

It must have been militant Mormons

A couple of liquor stores up in Oakland were trashed this week by "about a dozen men wearing suits and bow ties." The men apparently told the muslim owners of the liquor stores that they should not be selling alcohol, and that they were "poisioning" their neighborhoods.

Now, I know what you're thinking: suits with bow ties, the religious angle - this must be the work of the Nation of Islam, right? Well, slow down, there:
In a phone call to KRON 4 News, a spokesman for the group associated with Minister Louis Farrakhan, said the Nation of Islam had reviewed the security tape and cleared its members of any wrongdoing.
Now, I realize that's not a direct quote, but the spokesman doesn't exactly say that Nation of Islam members weren't involved in the attacks, does it? I mean, perhaps the group doesn't consider attacks on muslims selling booze to be "wrongdoing," per se.

Seems like something's missing...

From this AP story about three Massachusetts Dem Congressmen who voted for the Iraq war authorization, but have since "renounced their votes and emerged as critics of the way Bush has handled the war."

I mean, the article mentions the following:
Their votes put them at odds with Kennedy, the state's senior Democrat and one of the party's leading anti-war voices. The votes also rankled many liberal activists.
And there's no denying any of that. But I just can't shake the feeling that Andrew Miga, who wrote the piece, left something out. Something important, as far as Massachusetts politics is concerned.

Or, perhaps I should say, someone.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Our disproportionately poor middle-class troops

Larry Elder was talking about about an interesting Heritage Foundation study this evening. At that link, you can see the study data and read a rather lengthy report dealing with the racial and socio-economic makeup of military recruits.

Now, if you were getting your information form the MSM or (God forbid) Michael Moore, you might be surprised to learn the following:
There are slightly higher proportions of recruits from the middle class and slightly lower proportions from low-income brackets. However, the proportion of high-income recruits rose to a disproportionately high level after the war on ter­rorism began, as did the proportion of highly edu­cated enlistees.
You might also be surprised to find that "98 percent of all enlisted recruits who enter the military have an education level of high school graduate or higher, compared to the national aver­age of 75 percent," and that "recruits tend to come from mid­dle-class areas, with disproportionately fewer from low-income areas," putting the lie to the idea that our military is mostly made up of poor, undereducated dupes.

Unsurprisingly, in light of these findings, the report says that a renewed draft would actually result in a less effective and, possibly, an "even...less socioeconomically 'privileged' military in the process."

Take a look at the study, and make sure to pass it on the next time some moonbat starts singing the same old tune about the "poor kids" Chimpy McBushitler is sending to die in Iraq.

Related

A desperate plea for attention

So, that nanotechnology stuff is pretty neat, huh?

Now, if only they could find a way to combine it with cookware...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Is the Intifada running out of steam?

I don't really know, but apparently Israeli security forces foiled the Palestinians' latest dastardly scheme...smuggling counterfeit kosher marshmallow treats into Israel from Gaza.

Update: It occurs to me that since this is an al-Reuters story, the candy could have been full of rat poison or razor blades and we'd be none the wiser. Not like that would be a big deal or anything. After all, one man's "terrorist" is another man's struggling confectioner, right?

Welcome, Moronblog Fans

Since a lot of people have been coming over from Ace's link-whoring thread, I thought I'd refresh peoples' memories about who I am.

I've been a frequent commenter at Ace's place and also over at Naked Testicle Spiderman's, but I think my greatest measure of blogospheric notoriety so far came from a comment I left on a post that Ace wrote on "The War on Porn." Click over, and you'll see what I mean.

Pathetic, I know, but we all have to take our moments in the sun where and when we can get them.

Anyway, have a look around and feel free to leave comments. I know how big you guys are on, er, "constructive" criticism.

Friedman's Revenge

Ace had an amusing post this morning about a "little culture war" in a liberal part of Chicago populated by the type of white yuppies with kids who don't want to move to the [horrors!] suburbs, called Andersonville. The original article on the subject can be found here.

Basically, the yuppie parents are upset with a local cafe owner who wants them to make their yuppie spawn behave while they're inside his establishment. Ace sums up his bemusement with the story like so:
Thus we see what happens when self-esteem triumphs over good manners. Don't you dare criticize behavior, you'll injure Little Johnny's self-image! Lord knows, we need more untethered self-esteem in children and less genuine reason to feel good about themselves, right?
Goods points, all. But reading over the original Detroit News article, I noticed something else. It's full of things like this:
But many neighborhood mothers took umbrage at the implied criticism of how they handle their children. Soon, whispers of a boycott passed among the playgroups in this North Side hamlet...
And this:
Why suffer such scorn, the mothers said, when clerks at the Swedish Bakery, a neighborhood institution, offer children -- calm or crying -- free cookies? Why confront such criticism when the recently opened Sweet Occasions, a five-minute walk down Clark Street, designed the bathroom aisle to accommodate double strollers and offers a child-size ice cream cone for $1.50? (At A Taste of Heaven, the smallest costs $3.75.)
Or, how 'bout this:
He has certainly lost customers because of the sign, but some parents say the offense is outweighed by their addiction to the scones, and others embrace the effort at etiquette.
Notice a common thread here? Why, it's almost as if free market capitalism is at work, right in the midst of a liberal Chicago neighborhood! Instead of looking for a legal recourse against the cafe owner, these people figured out that they could just, you know, go elsewhere.

Sometimes the American Way muddles through...in spite of Americans.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Some things never change

Like the sentiment expressed in this clip from the 1940 movie The Ghost Breakers, f'rinstance.

(via Andrea Harris)

More than a year later update: The original link to the video wasn't working anymore, so I changed it. I'm also adding the video to this post, below:

US out of Camden, New Jersey!

Camden, a city near Philadelphia, has been ranked for the second consecutive year as the most dangerous city in America.

I saw this story mentioned several places over the weekend, but a radio report on it on ABC mentioned that the homicide rate in Camden is higher than that for our troops on active duty. The reporter said that the death rate for active duty personnel was something like 43 per 100,000. A chart that you can find by scrolling down here shows that the murder rate in Camden has been steadily climbing between 1999 and 2003, with the last available figure at 51.3 murders per 100,000.

Mother Sheehan, the people of Camden need you! It's time for us to pull out of this violent hellhole before one more mother's son is senselessly killed.

Let me know if his condition changes


It looks like the Russians are having a debate over what to do with Lenin's musty old corpse.

It seems some people want to have it buried, some want it moved out of Moscow to serve as a tourist attraction in a provincial capital, and the leftover commies want him to stay put. They're promising to pitch a bitch if he's planted.

Is it just me, or have they done this every few years since the collapse of the USSR? Seems familiar.

Anyway, I'm not really sure what the big deal is if he's buried. It isn't like he's coming back to life or anything, and I'm assuming that his grave would be accessible to visitors. I guess the Bolsheviks are just upset that if he's in the ground, they won't be able to see his evil little face anymore.

Shocking (but very old) news

According to this BBC article, people have been drinking too much for hundreds of years now.

The title of the article seems a little misleading, though. It's called "Binge-drinking an age-old problem," but get a load of this:
John Clark, curator of the Medieval London gallery, said: "Most people, including children, drank ale made from malted barley without hops.

"The [sic] even drank ale for breakfast, and got through up to a gallon, or four-and-a-half litres, a day each.
That doesn't sound like binge drinking to me. That's more like...I don't know...lifestyle drinking. I thought the whole point of binge drinking was that you did it in, you know, binges. As opposed to drinking steadily throughout the day, every day.

The article also contains such stunning revelations as the fact that people who drank a gallon of beer a day got...beer bellies! Wow. Hard-hitting news.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Let's keep our fingers crossed

It looks like the Zarq-man may be pushing up daisies.

Update: White House spokesman Trent Duffy is saying that reports of Zarqawi's all-too-timely demise are "highly unlikely and not credible," but a boy can still hope, can't he?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Liveblogging the 108th Big Game

Go Bears!

Update: All defense so far. 6-3 Cal at the half.

Update 2: Looks like Stanfurd's starting QB is out of the game with a shoulder injury. 3rd quarter, same score.

Update 3: Nice drive for a touchdown! Cal leads it 13-3 with 9:33 to go in the 3rd.

Update 4: Well, hypothetical readers, this has been fun. Unfortunately, you'll have to entertain your hypothetical selves elsewhere. I'm going out to dinner.

Final Update: Back from a fine dinner and we've got the Axe! 27-3.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Well, Rep. Emanuel...

...I guess youse guys may be forced to come up with a "position" sooner rather than later.

(see post below)

Update: 403 to 3 was the final vote total.

Party planning (or not)

Rep. John P. Murtha, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, called for the immediate withdrawal of US forces from Iraq yesterday. I guess the only reason this is really noteworthy is because Murtha is a "hawkish" Democrat. A former Marine and Vietnam vet, Murtha voted in favor of the Iraq war way back when Bush and Karl Rove were busy hypnotizing Democrats into doing such things. There may have been a mind-control ray involved. But I digress.

I was reading a WaPo article on the brouhaha this has caused, and something jumped right out at me. While this was causing a big splash on the blogs yesterday, Congressional Dems seemed to be toeing the water rather timidly. In doing so, one of the Dems made a rather telling remark:
Murtha's Democratic colleagues reacted warily to his remarks, while Republicans pounced. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), head of the House Democrats' campaign effort, said, "Jack Murtha went out and spoke for Jack Murtha." As for Iraq policy, Emanuel added: "At the right time, we will have a position."
Wow. Read that last sentence again: At the right time, we will have a position.

That pretty much sums things up in my eyes. The Dems have been criticizing the administration for not having a "plan" in Iraq for ages now. Remember how Kerry had a better plan for Iraq all mapped out and ready to go? You know, the one he'd discuss with us if only we'd do him a solid and elect him President? Well, if we're to believe Emanuel, they don't even have a position on Iraq right now, much less a plan.

I know - it's not like I should be surprised or anything...

(via protein wisdom)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

So...

...if nobody wanted the playthings from the Island of Misfit Toys, they must be pretty scarce, right? Does that mean they're collectibles now?

If so, that spotted elephant is going to fetch someone a tidy sum on Antiques Roadshow. Cha-ching!

God, I'm cynical.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ha-Ha!

Click.

Update (11/16): Video of pwnage here.

Does this make me a bad person?

A few weeks ago, I started to suspect that the kid who lives across the street had done away with his family.

I mean, he's kind of a sullen teenager, but that's normal. The only thing was, he was the only member of the four-person family who I saw going in and out of the house for more than a week. And all of their cars were in the driveway the whole time. Normally the father, a realtor, comes and goes at all hours of the day and night. And you'd see the mother and the little sister around here and there.

But it was only the son. For more than a week.

I started concocting scenarios about how it could have happened. Perhaps there had been a fight--I'd heard them before. A horrible accident. Whatever. I just knew that the kid was around, but there was no sign of his family.

One day, I saw him taking garbage bags into the house. Black ones. "A-HA," I thought, "He's disposing of something!" And that something was, doubtlessly, the remains of his missing family.

Except, well, I saw his dad pull out of the driveway with the little sister the next afternoon. I've seen them all again since then, alive and well. And that's where the title of this here post kicks in.

Because I was disappointed that he hadn't gone on a killing spree.

Maybe I wanted to live across the street from a creepy "murder house." Maybe life here in suburbia is just a little too dull. Maybe I've seen Rear Window a few too many times. Whatever.

Just don't judge me too harshly, hypothetical reader. Murder in the suburbs can be interesting. Just ask Tom Hanks.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Buh-bye Bluths

Fox is cancelling "Arrested Development" after three seasons.

I've gotta agree with ace on this one: the show just hasn't been as good this season as it had previously been (although I don't necessarily agree with him that the show has taken a more liberal political slant as of late--although perhaps I just haven't been paying attention as closely as he has). But the whole "British conspiracy" storyline has just been confusing, and they can't really do much of anything new with the characters.

The show has always been "critically acclaimed," but hasn't ever really drawn a lot of viewers, so I'm actually surprised that it's lasted this long. Moving it to Monday night didn't really seem to help, and I'm not sure that putting it somewhere else would, either.

Oh well, maybe I'll get the first couple of seasons on DVD.

Friday, November 11, 2005

How could I have been so thoughtless?

I guess it's already November 12th in Paris, so I hope Suha will forgive my belated wishes for a happy anniversary.

Happy Veterans' Day

I doubt anybody is really reading this, but I'd like to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who has ever honorably served our country in uniform. It's humbling to know that there are better men and women than I out there who are willing to do the hard (and often thankless) work of keeping all of us safe.

Tonight, I raise my glass to all of you.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oh well, at least it's over

I was hoping at least a few of the initiatives on our ballot out here in Cullyvornia would've passed. Especially 74, 75, and 76. At least there'll be a reduction in the amount of junk mail I get from day to day, and the commercials won't make me want to yell at the teevee anymore.

Okay, so I lied about that last part.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005