Wednesday, August 30, 2006

And, On a Serious Note ...

I leave it to the reader to provide an appropriate comment on this news story:
China cracks down on striptease funerals

China is ordering an end to the practice of employing strippers to attract crowds at funerals, the state news service has reported.

Local tradition suggests bigger attendances at send-offs bring good fortune to the spirits of the dead.

But complaints after state television exposed the practice at a funeral in Donghai county, Jiangsu province, have forced the authorities to act, according to Xinhua news agency.

Watched by a crowd of 200 mourners including children, two strippers engaged by the family of a dead farmer gave what the local media described as an "obscene performance." Five people were subsequently arrested as the government demanded an end to the practice across the country.

A telephone hotline has been established to gather reports of any further funeral misbehaviour.
"Donghai" County, indeed.

Who Are You Gonna Believe -- James Taranto, or Your Lying Eyes?

Clark Stooksbury's on fire today:
Taranto is obviously right -- to paraphrase Nixon's press secretary, Ron Ziegler: all previous criticisms of the Iraq War are inoperative. It turns out we were all wrong to listen exclusively to Cleland about the war -- we aren't in a Mesopotamian quagmire after all. The invasion was a glorious success. In fact, most of our troops were withdrawn after a government was formed in the summer of 2003. I bet their new currency is called the Rummy. I haven't bothered to check, but I believe that Ahmed Chalabi is the Iraq ambassador to Israel and he works closely with that country to counter the Iranian threat. When I catch up on my reading I am sure that I will find that Sadr City has become a vibrant high tech corridor with fancy coffee shops and internet cafes.
Finally, let me join Taranto in sneering at Cleland. So the former Georgia senator, who lost three limbs in Vietnam (boo hoo, he still has an arm) got a little weepy over hearing about casualties in Iraq. Hey, if you want to make a neocon souffle, you gotta break a few thousand eggs.
That's most of it, but the rest is well worth the small effort required to click here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Excuse of the Week

Hey, I'm a physics instructor again -- for this week, anyway. A friend and co-worker had to travel on comp'ny busy-ness this week, and asked me to sub for his Tuesday / Thursday evening class. Big fun! I've been kind of missing it.

And the best part: all instruction, no grading. Clover City.

Anyway, that'll be my excuse for the probably-hardly-any-posts this week.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Crossed Up

This was Friday's news. I had a busy weekend, though, and so I'm just now getting to it.
Jewish veterans, local ACLU latest to sue over cross

By Greg Moran

August 25, 2006

The local chapter of The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit yesterday to force the Mount Soledad cross to be moved in the latest challenge over the La Jolla landmark's constitutionality.

The suit, filed in San Diego federal court on behalf of a national Jewish war veterans organization and three San Diego residents, is the newest development in an increasingly high-profile, 17-year legal battle over the cross.

On Aug. 14, President Bush signed a bill that transferred the ownership of the cross and war memorial site to the federal government, specifically the Department of Defense.
The story continues at some length, with the legal details and the who-says-what. But it's pretty much the standard story: "public" spaces of whatever flavor -- federal, state, or local -- needing to be disinfected from Christian symbols ... outrage-bait for evangelicals ... and so on and so on. Same tune, almost the same words.

Back in the day, I'd have joined in with the outraged evangelicals. Now, I find that I hope the get-the-cross-out-of-our-war-memorial lawsuit is successful. In fact, I hope most all such suits are successful.

Why? Am I ashamed of the Gospel? Am I no longer willing to acknowledge Jesus before men (Matthew 10:38)? On the contrary: the Gospel is lovelier than ever to me. It's the red-white-and-blue, and the Jezebel spirit for which it increasingly stands, that I'm ashamed of. H.L. Mencken put it (as usual) much better than I could have: "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."

Let me clarify by analogy. Let's say it's time for the annual Skull and Bones reunion. This year, it's being held in the White House, in honor of our currently-famous Bonesman alumnus, Dubya. Somehow, it leaks out in the press that the famous "adult" film starlet Fifi La Vroom has been invited to do a little interpretive dance for the boys. In Fifi's dance, it turns out, she doesn't use the simple, traditional brass pole; instead, she does the bump 'n' grind with a life-size brass crucifix. In due course, the ACLU sues for an injunction to prevent Dubya from showing undue partiality toward Christianity with this display of a crucifix on public property. Well, O Fellow Believer, I don't know about you ... but I'm pretty sure I'd hope for the ACLU to prevail. Not for their reason, of course, which would be to prevent this noble public proceeding from being sullied by contact with a Christian symbol. But couldn't we agree, in that hypothetical case, that it would be desirable -- fairly urgent, in fact -- to open up a little separation between church and state?

Not a good analogy, you say? Well, analogies are never really exact ... but they can be illustrative. Our creepy old Uncle (Sam, that is) does enjoy setting up shrines to commemorate his frequent homicidal rages, carried out with the cooperative opposition of his foreign counterparts. As he does so, he usually finds it convenient to suggest to the boobs that God Is On Our Side. And so, as distasteful as I would find the abuse of a symbol of my faith by a stripper in the pursuit if her livelihood, I find it even more distasteful when such a symbol is co-opted by mass murderers to put a favorable spin on their activities. So: go get 'em, litigious Jewish veterans. Go, you ACLU, go!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Get Well Soon, Debbie

One of my role models, Debbie Harbeson, is feeling poorly:
One of the more interesting reasons given by officials on why competition won’t decrease costs is due to the labor shortage it would create. If nurses and other health care workers have more choices on where to work, hospitals would have to pay more for them. Here’s more proof that the system is infected because they are saying it’s bad for nurses to have too many job options. Maybe I’m confused due to this bug I’m experiencing, but I always thought local governments liked to say jobs are a good thing. Suddenly it’s not? Sounds like the nurses might come out much better with increased competition and the situation will also likely attract more people to the field.

This news about our hard-working nurses made me feel better, so I got out of bed and walked to the mailbox. I started feeling wobbly again when I began reading a slick re-election campaign advertisement from my state senator Jim Lewis telling me we need “a statewide healthcare plan.” I turned the card over and it said some legislators were going to work hard to adopt a “statewide universal health care system by 2008.” I had to run to the bathroom on that one.

Hasn’t government interference already spread enough germs into the current mess?

Do we really want to try to solve healthcare problems by having government build an even bigger bureaucratic wall between ourselves and our doctors? Do you think universal health care will increase or decrease your choices?
This isn't all of her column for this week; go read the rest. It's just what the doctor ordered.

Who's Ready to Feed the Tree?

This seems fairly clear to me:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. authorities have arrested a New York man for broadcasting Hizbollah television station al-Manar, which has been designated a terrorist entity by the U.S. Treasury Department, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Javed Iqbal, 42, was arrested on Wednesday because his Brooklyn-based company HDTV Ltd. was providing New York-area customers with the Hizbollah-operated channel, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

It did not say how long Iqbal's company had been providing satellite broadcasts of al-Manar, which the U.S. Treasury Department in March had designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity, making it a crime to conduct business with al-Manar.

Iqbal has been charged with conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the statement said. Federal authorities searched HDTV's Brooklyn office and Iqbal's Staten Island home, where Iqbal was suspected of maintaining satellite dishes, the statement said.
Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity. International Emergency Economic Powers Act. Ever hear of either of these before? What, exactly, do they forbid? You may not know (I sure as hell don't), but that doesn't matter -- we can get tossed in the slam anyway. A hat tip, by the way, to "Brian S." at Freedom 4um for the alert to this latest revolting development.

Clearly, Jefferson's "Tree of Liberty" is becoming very thirsty.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I doubt that anyone was feeling especially deprived. But just in case, allow me to apologize for a level of output that's been paltry even by my low standards. Between one thing and the other, life's just been a little crazy lately. But I've just returned from taking my daughter back to school, and I think things might settle down a little.

Meanwhile, here's a deeply mysterious news story. It concerns a Russian's plan to hit a "golf ball" from the international space station (apparently, this is one of those thoroughly modern Russians who have embraced filthy capitalism with an intense passion. This guy and capitalism ought to get married, maybe, after an embrace of this sort:
Russian flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin will show off his swing to promote a Canadian golf club manufacturer during a spacewalk on November 23.

NASA safety officers have cleared the stunt, saying it poses no threat to the space station or the crew since the golf ball weighs only 3 grams and will return to Earth's atmosphere in three days.
Never mind that the gram is the CGS unit of mass, not weight (weight is a force, and is measured in dynes in the CGS). Still, this must be some kind of false golf ball. 3 grams is entirely inadequate to be the mass of a normal golf ball -- it's small by an order of magnitude. So, what is this-here wily Russkie up to, anyway?

We can only wait 'til November and find out. By then, we'll know which branch of the War Party is in charge of Congress! We'll probably need a light diversion of this sort when the time comes.

Friday, August 18, 2006

"But ... Why-y-y-y-y Do They Hate Us?"

Noted public nuisance Victor Davis Hanson performs, yet again, his masterful interpretation of the classic "Mr. Magoo Fails to See The Elephant Occupying Half the Room:"

What makes two dozen British Muslims want to blow up thousands of innocent passengers on jumbo jets? Why does al-Qaida plan hourly to kill civilians? And why does oil-rich Iran wish to "wipe out" Israel?

In short, it's the old blame game, one that over the past century has taken multiple forms.

"Blame game?" Nice rhyme, Vic, but didn't you get the Administration memo? "Blame game" is soooo 2005. Keep up, man, keep up.

Once, a tired whine of Islamists was that European colonialists and American oilmen rigged global commerce to "rob" the Middle East of its natural wealth. But they were pretty quiet when the price of crude oil jumped from around an expensive $25 a barrel to an exorbitant $75.

Vic, haven't "conservatives" always liked the idea that the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace sets all prices exactly where they should be? The $25 and the $75 are market prices, aren't they? So what's all this socialist, central-planning claptrap about "expensive" and "exorbitant?" Of course, it may be that the normal operations of the marketplace have been a little distorted by all the "creative destruction" that your neocon chickenhawks have unleashed on the Middle East. But it would be hard to listen to you, of all people, complain about that.

Another old excuse for Islamist anger was the claim the West had favored autocrats - the shah of Iran, the House of Saud, the Kuwaiti royal family - in a cynical desire for cheap gas and to prop up strong anti-communist allies.

Some of that complaint was certainly accurate. But since Sept. 11, America has ensured democracy in Afghanistan, spent billions and more than 2,500 lives fostering freedom in Iraq, pressured Syria to leave Lebanon, and lectured longtime allies in Egypt and the Gulf to reform. For all this, we are now considered crude interventionists, even when our efforts may well pave the way for radical Muslims to gain legitimacy through plebiscites.

"Favored?" Installed, you mean. But don't complain about that, O Swarthy Ones. Just look at all the tons of bombs we've dropped on your ungrateful heads since then, so you can be all Free And Democratic! And yes, now radical Muslims might win elections; the actions of our Israeli masters in Gaza shows what the Imperial response to that will be.

Islamists gripe about Western infidels encroaching on Muslim lands. Osama bin Laden attacked because of American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, or so he said. Hamas and Hezbollah resorted to terror to free Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon, or so they said.

Yet nothing much has changed since the United States pulled its combat troops out of Saudi Arabia, or after the Israelis departed Gaza and Lebanon, and announced planned withdrawals from parts of the West Bank. Meanwhile, the elected Iraqi government wants American soldiers to stay longer (while the latest polls suggest the American public doesn't).

Never listen to what any of the wogs say -- they are childlike and totally transparent to the neocon gaze of VDH, and he'll interpret them for you. And nothing has changed since the U.S. removed its legionaries from SaudiLand? Well, Vic, where did The Troops go? Back home? Well, no, they went next door, to Kuwait, Qatar, and ... oh, yes, to Iraq. But, if that doesn't pacify the towelheads, then screw 'em, says Vic -- nothing ever will make them happy.

Then there is moaning that the West treats its Muslim immigrants unfairly, despite evidence to the contrary. After all, Muslims build mosques and madrassas all over Europe and the United States; yet Christians cannot worship in Saudi Arabia or have missionaries in Iran. Western residents or immigrants in most Arab nations would not dare demonstrate on behalf of Israel. But in Michigan last week, largely Arab-American crowds chanted "Hezbollah" - despite that terrorist group's long history of murdering Americans.

I guess I haven't heard all this moaning, but if Vic says it's going on, then I'm sure it must be -- after all, Vic's a "classicist and historian," as we're told over and over, so he must be a really smart guy. Christians, he says, can't "worhip in Saudi Arabia or have missionaries in Iran." Checked on the status of Christians in Holy Israel lately, Vic? Besides, in a non-Imperial understanding, we'd probably foolishly say that America is our country, in which we can permit the free exercise of a large variety of religions if we so choose, while Saudi and Iran are their countries; they should run them as they see fit, and we should either go there or stay away, accordingly. But, of course, this is the age of the 'Murkan Empire, in which all countries are our countries, more or less, to the extent that they contain anything our rulers desire. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that "countries" are now a quaint anachronism on a nationless corporate globe where the only meaningful "culture" is material wealth.

Another Islamist grumble is that the West supports only Israel. Again, that's hardly true. The Europeans gave plenty of aid to Palestinian groups whose hostility to Israel is well-established. The United States makes no bones about aiding Israel, but it also has given huge amounts of money to the Palestinians, Egypt ($50 billion so far) and Jordan. And without the United States, Kuwait would be the 19th province of Iraq, the Taliban would rule Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein and his sons would still slaughter Kurds, and there might not be any Muslims left at all in Kosovo or Bosnia.

Why, of course the Empire has spent a little coin to buy off support corrupt and compliant Arab regimes -- the ones that are always looking over their shoulders to see if popular religious movements are about to overthrow them. It is, of course, a small fraction of what finds its way to the world champion foreign aid welfare queen (the place with the white flag with the blue, six-pointed star -- you know the one). And "without the United States," Kuwait would be an Iraqi province? Horrors! The heroic anti-Soviet freedom fighters Taliban would rule Afghanistan? Our former contractors, Saddam & Sons, would still be in business? Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn ... or at least, I wouldn't give the lives of 2600 young Americans, the limbs of another 10,000 or so, and the lives of countless Middle Eastern civilians, swarthy though they might be. But then, I'm limited. I don't have that Big Picture, neocon chickenhawk view of things, as does "classicist and historian" Victor Davis Hanson.

Notice the verbs Vic uses to describe towelhead speech. They don't "say" things. Instead they (in order): whine, gripe, moan, and grumble. I'm surprised Vic didn't give us direct quotes in their amusing wog tongues: durka-durka, baka-laka, muhammad jihad.

The one thing, however, that the United States cannot do to please Islamists is change its liberal character and traditions of Western tolerance. And isn't that the real story behind all these perceived grievances and phantom hurts: the intrusive dynamism of freewheeling Western, and particularly American, culture?

Both its low forms of girlie magazines and punk rock and its impressive literature, art, commerce and technology saturate the world. And why not? American radical individualism appeals to the innate human desire for freedom and unbridled expression. Instantaneous communications have also brought to an insecure Middle East firsthand views of how much wealthier, freer and more tolerant the outside world is when it is democratic and transparent.

But instead of providing a blueprint for reform, these revelations only incite envy and anger from millions who are advised that parity with the West is found instead by retreating further into seventh-century religious purity.

So never mind the trillions in petrodollars, billions in aid and concessions. Unless we change our very character, or the Middle East achieves success and confidence through Western-style democracy and economic reform, expect more tired scapegoating and violence from radical discontents, from Lebanon to London - and well beyond.

Yes, yes, they hate us for our punk rock and girlie magazines. Of course, we've had rock 'n' roll and smut books for a long, long time. Funny coincidence, isn't it, that the wogs only noticed all this fine Western culture when we commenced using their miserable, sandy little homelands for missile and bombing practice ranges. Now, of course, these places don't exactly look like the Imperial Valley, or Martha's Vineyard, and any reasonable person (like Vic) can easily see that military test ranges are all that these arid hellholes are really good for anyway -- apart from their numerous oil wells. But, you know, these childish Ay-rabs, these whiners, moaners and grumblers ... they unaccountably and irrationally think of these places as "home." And the stinking camel jockeys who get ripped to pieces by the bombs: well, they childishly think of them as "mothers" and "brothers" and "grandfathers" and "babies" and "uncles" and "sisters" and so forth. This could have something to do with their irrational resentment of our gifts of democracy that literally rain down on them from our airplanes in their skies.

But you won't hear that from Vic. There may be an entire elephant in the room, but Vic is not about to be distracted by such irrelevancies. He's got his eye on the Big Picture.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Unprecedented Blogging Productivity

Here I sit, so impressed with myself -- I've changed my template twice in just a few days! (Also, two posts in one day -- it's happened before, but quite seldom.) Yes, and I've added to the blogroll again: I see where Robert Rouse at Left of Centrist has linked me; and, of course, I wasted no time in getting even. He has a new look over there, too ... check it out.

Robert has this blog listed under "Other Fort Wayne Area Liberals," which in my case is correct, probably, only if you add "classical" before the liberal. Actually, I'm a card-carrying Reactionary Utopian, which is nice, but not especially useful -- no one knows what one is, and they usually want to punch me in the nose when they find out.

And I'm not sure I blame them.

Anyway: thanks, Robert, for the link.

Meet the New Joe -- Same as the Old Joe

Here's one more piece of evidence: if voting could really change anything, it would be illegal.
The anti-Iraq War challenger in Connecticut’s upcoming Democratic primary has issued strong statements backing Israel’s military operations in Lebanon, but his campaign boosters are being painted as anti-Israel by supporters of Senator Joseph Lieberman.

Greenwich, Conn., businessman Ned Lamont, who holds a slight lead in the polls over Lieberman, told the Forward that he supports Israel’s current operations in Gaza and Lebanon, and that he disagreed with the European Union’s declaration that criticized Israel’s actions as a “disproportionate” response.
Voting is legal -- probably because it doesn't change anything.

Via Justin Raimondo at

Monday, August 14, 2006

Nonpolitical Insanity

As some of you may recall, I just finished a five-year tour of duty teaching physics, two evenings a week, at IPFW. One of the fringe benefits of such duty is the insaniac e-mails that come in a few times each year. I just got one today, and I'd like to share part of it with you:

= = = = = = = = =

Subject: (COURTESY EMAIL) Submission to the Nobel Prize Committee of the Scientific Discovery of the 4th Dimension

Gabriel Agbasi
PO BOX 3192
Bellingham, WA 98227-3192

The Nobel Foundation
Sturegatan 14
Box 5232
SE-102 45 Stockholm
Tel +46 8 663 09 20
Fax +46 8 660 38 47

July 6, 2006

RE: Submission of formal presentation to the Nobel Prize Committee of the Scientific Discovery of the 4th Dimension

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am a Physicist (BS 1995), a student at WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY and I have made an important scientific discovery - The 4th Dimension. I will not get into scientific details, but a lot of our science will improve with the acceptance and use of this new discovery.

I have created a website to explain my discovery, it is
titled: "Ueber Alles - The Struggle of Kurt Schwierige" - It reads like "a movie", but I use this teaching technique so complex ideas can be understood with ease. It illustrates how to use The 4th Dimension scientifically.

The website address that has a list of all my Technical Papers is

The list is as follows.

(1) New Ideas in Relativity [ For Nobel Consideration ]
[ Physics ]

(2) PI made Rational [ For Nobel Consideration ]
[ Physics / Mathematics ]

(3) Game Theory
[ Computer Systems Engineering / Machine Science / Computer Science / Neuroscience / Physics / Mathematics / 4D-Space Theory ]

(4) Machine Science
[ Computer Science / Neuroscience / Computer Systems Engineering ]

(5) Machine Programming
[ Computer Systems Engineering / Machine Science / Computer Science / Neuroscience / Physics / Mathematics / Music / Psychology ]

(6) 4D-Space Games
[ Video Games played via "thought" : Virtual Reality Video Games Made Real... Computer Systems Engineering / Machine Science / Computer Science / Neuroscience : "Play With The Future, Today." ]

(7) Reflection, Light & Properties of "The Invisible"
[ Physics & Engineering ]

(8) Grid Computing, Virtual Machines & Internet Inefficiency [ Computer Science ]

(9) The Unified Field Theory [ For Nobel Consideration ]
[ Physics ]

(10) The Operating System of Organic Machines [ Computer Systems Engineering / Machine Science / Computer Science / Neuroscience / Physics / Mathematics / 4D Space Theory ]

Your committee deals with scientists and with this dimension, errors in scientific work are immediately recognized; so The 4th Dimension acts as an "error checker" and will become an invaluable tool for scientists to use.

I present to your committee my website, for your perusal.

Thank You.

Gabriel Agbasi, Physicist
The Author of Ueber Alles

Copy: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

= = = = = = = = = =

I wasn't feeling strong enough today to look at the whole "Ueber [sic] Alles" website, but I did take in "PI Made Rational." The reader is invited to check it out personally. All I can say is, there might be a case for requiring a 30-day "cooling-off" period on the purchase of any personal computer.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

In other news ...

I am happy to report that The Poor Man has the Plan for Victory in The Global War on Terror! And it requires only a beer bottle, a handful of rusty thumbtacks, and a modest amount of hot coals, such as you might well have in your backyard grill. Oh, and the services of Andrew Sullivan are also required. Click here to read this excellent plan.

Also, my puny little excuse for a blogroll has grown by the addition of Pam's interesting blog, Musings of a Working Mom. (I'm not sure what other kind of mom there is; all the mothers I've known seemed to have plenty to do.) Anyway, go have a look.

Finally, in the "it's an ill wind that blows no one any good" department, I see that our supervisors have found a new way to enhance their revenues while keeping us all safe and free:
Pennsylvania turns a small profit by disposing of these castoff items, which it accepts from security contractors at 12 airports in five states, by selling them to the highest bidders at the online auction site eBay.

Most of the contraband merchandise is knives, nail clippers and cuticle scissors that were forbidden as carry-on items following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. But there's also Wiffle Ball bats, frosting-encrusted wedding cake servers, sex toys and a couple of chain saws.
Wiffle ball bats? Cake servers? As Scripture says (Proverbs 28:1), the wicked flee when no one pursues. Is there anything that we're not terrified of?

Cindy: Let's Have Lunch

In the news: Cindy Sheehan had to go to a hospital in Texas. She'd been fasting from solid foods for something over a month:
Sheehan, who has been on a liquid diet as part of the nationwide "Troops Home Fast" hunger strike, had been treated and released from a Seattle emergency room Thursday night. On doctors' orders, she ate for the first time in about 37 days, Burns said.
I hope that Ms. Sheehan, and the others who've been on a hunger strike (more or less) against the U.S. occupation of Iraq, will give it up. Their goal is laudable. But a hunger strike presupposes, I think, that its target -- our glorious leaders, who have the power and ability to end our Mesopotamian exercise in murderous stupidity -- possess functioning consciences. It assumes that our despots have some basic decency.

They have no such decency. Their consciences are dead.

So, Cindy, let's sit down over some sandwiches and a cold beer, and talk this thing over a little. There's bound to be something that can be done. But making yourself ill won't help. If you died, Bush would be happy to hear it. The 'bots who cheer for him would, too. Let's try and be sure we don't cheer them up any.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mea Culpa

Well, I hate to admit that I was wrong, but ... you know, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Just look at this. One day, Joey "Beloved of Bush" Lieberman loses the primary election, and the next day, the Islamofascist hordes are rampant again. Those swarthy ones were emboldened to murderous action as soon as it became clear that American voters are nothing more than cowardly appeasers, right out of the Neville Chamberlain mold. (Hey, Chamberlain was French, wasn't he?)

Now, I'd best go out and buy an antenna flag and a magnetic support-the-troops ribbon, and I'd better get my thoughts right about President Pinhead. Otherwise, when Al-Qeada "takes out" both the Berne Popcorn Festival and the Roller Dome, the blood will be on my hands.

I've been such a bad man. But I'm straightening up now. Iraq will be pacified, Iran will be overthrown, Syria will be turned into a Disney theme park. And I'll back Dear Leader's Global War on Terror all the way, no matter what it takes ... right down to Leo Morris's last kitty-cat, and right down to the last drop of Mark Souder's kids' blood. Hoooo-ahhh!!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

America's Reliable Ally ... (Again)

Just in case AIPAC doesn't get everything that might be needful from its wholly-owned floozies in the Knesset U.S. Congress, the Mossad has Plan B in place, according to the Jerusalem Post:
A US Navy sailor, Ariel J. Weinmann, is suspected of spying for Israel and has been held in prison for four months, according to an article published Monday in the Saudi daily Al-Watan. It reported that Weinmann is being held at a military base in Virginia on suspicion of espionage and desertion.

According to the navy, Weinmann was apprehended on March 26 "after it was learned that he had been listed as a deserter by his command." Though initial information released by the navy makes no mention of it, Al-Watan reported that he was returning from an undisclosed "foreign country." American sources close to the Defense Department told Al-Watan that Israel was the country in question.
All together, class -- repeat after me until you have it letter-perfect: "The Israeli national interest is identical to the U.S. national interest. The Israeli national interest is ... "

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fred Reed: Such a Bad Boy

Check out Fred's current offering. Right now, I'm praying for some strength of character, so I won't instantly steal some of his disrespectful names for Our Leaders: Maximum Cipher, learning-disabled jackass, Kind-of-Twofer Rice, Baffled Boy, Keystone President, Befuddlement ... But speaking of "Befuddlement," here's a quick excerpt:
The same fertile stupidity shows in his relations with Latin America. The first thing to recognize about the world below Laredo is that the countries there deeply, deeply resent American meddling. Whether you think the resentment justified, or the meddling for that matter, is irrelevant. Rule One of diplomacy here is “don’t get into Latin faces unless you really need to.”

So what does Befuddlement do? Some Cuban officials came to Mexico City and checked into a Sheraton. He had the Sheraton eject them. It was utterly childish, and utterly pointless (you don’t suppose there might be another hotel in Mexico City, do you?) and infuriated Mexico. People are still angry. And sympathetic to Cuba.

But Cuba does not practice democracy, and to Dudley Do-Right, or the Do-Right Dud, the abstraction is what counts. Cuba bad, democracy good, urg. Bow-wow.

He has no faint idea of how people work. The man is an idiot.

An old reporter’s saying holds that a “burro” is an ass, and a “burrow” is a hole in the ground. A newsman, it is said, should know the difference. Maybe presidents too.
I'm definitely, shamelessly stealing some of those names. Not today, though. Today I'm strong. Take it easy; one day at a time.

Tomorrow's another day. I'll steal 'em then.

And Now, For Something Completely Different ...

This is a political sort of blog. Actually, I hope it's more about political philosophy, since I don't care much about our current hyper-gerrymandered 1.01-party politics, with its beauty-contest "elections." But, in any case, it's accursedly political.

Except for this post.

I got to thinking, just now, after placing a comment on Craig's Reverent and Free blog, where he was kind enough to honor me with one of his guest slots while he's been on vacation this past week or so. I added a comment to this thread, which I put there Sunday after I had watched the Hungarian Grand Prix. I enjoy auto racing, but only if it involves real race cars, which have neither fenders nor simulated headlights.

So I like to poke fun at NASCAR and its fans, who -- in the no-doubt unfair stereotype -- are inbred rednecks and hillbillies. (Remember when Jim Rome was on a Fort Wayne radio station? He used to refer to it as "Neck-car" -- among the other funny things he said.) But that stereotype of NASCAR fans is, I admit, terribly unfair.

They're not morons. They're mathematicians!

Doubt me? Check out the bumper stickers and back-window decals. They're so numerically oriented. A single number is a message, for the initiated. Some have a deep spiritual and emotional attachment to "88." Others, to "11." Look -- here's a "3" with angel wings and a halo. There's a "3," sort of blending in with an "8." And over there is Calvin, micturating on a "24." (I sure hope Watterston's either getting heavy royalties or suing a number of people vigorously.)

Who, besides a mathematician, loves (or hates) a particular number?

I rest my case.

Monday, August 07, 2006

"These Are the Good Old Days"

Americans, before long: "Remember the good old days? When gas was only $3 a gallon?"

And, as Bush's supergenius Zionocentric foreign policy goes from one stunning success to another, we're left to wonder: how high will energy prices go?

The U.S. crime cartel that is usually referred to (politely) as the "two-party system" has effectively ensured that no justice is available to American subjects. The Almighty Voter could always (and just may) punish the GOP at the ballot box this November -- assuming that Diebold allows such -- but, in so doing, would have to reward the fully-complicit Democrats. And, either way, you and I are headed for the BOHICA* zone once again.

= = = = = = = = = =

*Bend Over, Here It Comes Again

Friday, August 04, 2006

Just Remind Me, Please ...

What is it, again, that The Troops are fighting for in Iraq?
Thousands of Iraqis rally for Hezbollah

Friday, August 4, 2006; Posted: 8:31 p.m. EDT (00:31 GMT)

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Thousands of people marched through the streets of Baghdad on Friday, enthusiastically voicing support for Lebanon's Hezbollah militia.

Angry protesters chanted slogans, burned Israeli flags and waved Lebanese and Hezbollah flags in the Iraqi capital's densely populated Shiite enclave of Sadr City. Demonstrators also held up placards with the portrait of Hassan Nasrallah, head of Hezbollah.
Something about "Iraqi Freedom," wasn't it? The Global Duh-mocratic Revolution? The birth pangs of the New Middle East?

Well, it certainly appears that all is going to plan. Carry on, Dubya, by all means.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Beat Goes On ...

In case your attention had turned elsewhere: another revolting development concerning the Empire's legionaries in Mesopotamia:
Four US paratroopers charged with murdering three detainees in Iraq smiled before shooting them, a military court has heard from a fellow soldier.

Private First Class Bradley Mason told the hearing at a US base near the Iraqi city of Tikrit that one of the accused threatened to kill him if he talked.

He also said soldiers had been ordered to "kill all the male insurgents" in the operation on 9 May of this year.

The incident is among a string of murder allegations against US troops.

US investigators are currently looking at the deaths of 24 Iraqis in Haditha last November, and seven US marines and a navy sailor have been charged over the death of a disabled Iraqi man this April in Hamdaniya.

'It's murder'

Under US military law, a pre-trial hearing is being held at Contingency Operating Base Speicher to decide whether the charges against the four men warrant a court martial.

Sergeant Raymond Girouard, Private First Class Corey Clagett and Specialists William Hunsaker and Juston Graber - all of the 101st Airborne Division - have been charged with premeditated murder and other offences.

Some of them have also been accused of obstructing justice by allegedly threatening to kill Pfc Mason.

Pte Mason told the hearing he was present when three men were captured in a house during a search operation at a suspected militant base near the Thar Thar Canal.

Guns and ammunition were found in the house.

Sgt Girouard, Pte Mason said, told him that Pfc Clagett and Spc Hunsaker were going to kill the prisoners.

"They just smiled," said Pte Mason. "I told him [Sgt Girouard] that I am not down with it. It's murder."

Pte Mason said he then heard shots ringing out.

The accused say the detainees were killed trying to escape.

Weeks later, when Pte Mason was preparing to testify about the day's events, Sgt Girouard allegedly accosted him, saying: 'If you say anything, I'll kill you."
Meanwhile, another of our heroes demonstrated that he's just as good at reaching for a lawyer as he is at reaching for the M-16:
A Marine staff sergeant linked to the killings of civilians in Haditha, Iraq, is suing anti-war Congressman John Murtha for libel, his attorneys announced Wednesday.

Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich accuses the Pennsylvania Democrat of spreading "false and malicious lies" about him and other Marines on media outlets, accusing them of intentionally killing 24 civilians and then covering the matter up, according to court documents.

A court document quotes Murtha, an ex-Marine, as saying on CNN May 19: "There was an IED attack, it killed one Marine, and then they overreacted and killed a number of civilians without anybody firing at them."


But Wuterich said that after his colleague's death, he and other Marines searched for insurgents in nearby homes and killed people they believed were threats.
Presumably the "threats" included the women and the toddlers.

Keep in mind that military veterans frequently gets jobs back home as cops. Keep that in mind any time you get pulled over in the next few decades. Be sure and do exactly whatever the nice officer tells you ... and hope you're lucky, too.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Gross Understatement

In the post below, I wrote:
I wonder if our American Likudniks felt betrayed at all when the Izzies announced that maybe they would suspend aerial attacks for a couple of days after all? Of course, talk is cheap, and that hasn't quite happened yet.
Hasn't happened yet? As we all know now, it never even started to happen. Now the Israelis are saying, wait a minute -- we said we'd keep going after Hezbollah fighters, resupply trucks, guns, rockets, etc. Which makes you wonder: what exactly else were they doing, that they supposedly "suspended" for 48 hours? Blatant attacks on civilians (that is, blatant terrorism)?

You hear a lot of talk about "state-sponsored" terrorism -- what about state-committed terrorism? And, believe me, I'm not just talking about Israel, either ... of much more concern to me is Israel's vast-but-obedient client state in the western hemisphere. Yeah, you know the one.