Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Uncle Leo Watch

With Reverent and Free on hiatus, somebody's got to do the dirty work every now and then and look in on Uncle Leo. This time, he's consumed with some sort of Schadenfreude because that-there Eye-rainian Ahmadinejad was allowed to show up for duty at Columbia, playing the role of Goldstein at their Five Minutes' Hate. He's also diagnosed Scott Adams as suffering from the personality disorder "anti-authoritarianism." This comes oddly from a hemi-semi-demi-"libertarian" like Uncle Leo, but never mind. It had probably been at least five minutes since Uncle had a smoke, and that doesn't bring out the best in him.

I recommend you go read Scott Adams's blog piece, dirty words and all. Here's a quick excerpt:
I hate Ahmadinejad for all the same reasons you do. For one thing, he said he wants to "wipe Israel off the map." Scholars tell us the correct translation is more along the lines of wanting a change in Israel's government toward something more democratic, with less gerrymandering. What an ass-muncher!

Ahmadinejad also called the holocaust a "myth." Fuck him! A myth is something a society uses to frame their understanding of their world, and act accordingly. It's not as if the world created a whole new country because of holocaust guilt and gives it a free pass no matter what it does. That's Iranian crazy talk. Ahmadinejad can blow me.

Most insulting is the fact that "myth" implies the holocaust didn't happen. Fuck him for saying that! He also says he won't dispute the historical claims of European scientists. That is obviously the opposite of saying the holocaust didn't happen, which I assume is his way of confusing me. God-damned fucker.

Furthermore, why does an Iranian guy give a speech in his own language except for using the English word "myth"? Aren't there any Iranian words for saying a set of historical facts has achieved an unhealthy level of influence on a specific set of decisions in the present? He's just being an asshole.
Just watch, though -- many newspapers will continue to run "Dilbert." Just more evidence that they hate our freedoms.

Friday, September 21, 2007

House of Wisdom, Room 101

As a Christian, I know how I am expected to react to an item like this one, headlined: U.S. Working to Reshape Iraqi Detainees / Moderate Muslims Enlisted to Steer Adults and Children Away From Insurgency. I should whine a little about how my gummint gets a ludicrous case of the First Amendment vapors over a Bible sitting mutely on a schoolteacher's desk, and then turns around and expends those Public Dollars to teach the approved version of Islam. Why doesn't my government show as much respect for the majority religion in the U.S. as it does for this outlandish heathen suicide-bombing cult, oh woe is me, we're persecuted, blah blah blah.

That's more or less what I feel programmed to write. But today there'll be a small change to our regularly-scheduled programming.

Actually, as I read the news item, I feel sorry for the Muslims, not for myself. They're the ones getting an endorsement from the Imperial minions. Does a boarding kennel regard it as a happy thing to have Michael Vick endorse its services?

Let's read a little:
The U.S. military has introduced "religious enlightenment" and other education programs for Iraqi detainees, some of whom are as young as 11, Marine Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone, the commander of U.S. detention facilities in Iraq, said yesterday.

Stone said such efforts, aimed mainly at Iraqis who have been held for more than a year, are intended to "bend them back to our will" and are part of waging war in what he called "the battlefield of the mind." Most of the younger detainees are held in a facility that the military calls the "House of Wisdom."

The religious courses are led by Muslim clerics who "teach out of a moderate doctrine," Stone said, according to the transcript of a conference call he held from Baghdad with a group of defense bloggers. Such schooling "tears apart" the arguments of al-Qaeda, such as "Let's kill innocents," and helps to "bring some of the edge off" the detainees, he said.
Re-education camps: this used to be -- and maybe still is -- common verbal shorthand for the totalitarian nightmare. Ditto for brainwashing, as redolent of North Korea as fermented-cabbage fumes. But here we are, bending them to our will on the battlefield of the mind, in the "House of Wisdom."

Why didn't they go all the way, and call it the "Minstry of Love?"

But who am I to quibble? To borrow the exultant cry of the Minster of the Interior from A Clockwork Orange, "It works!" See here:
Stone described a sort of religious insurgency that occurred at one detention facility on Sept. 2. "We had a compound of moderates for the first time overtake . . . extremists. It's never happened before. Found them, identified them, threw them up against the fence and shaved their frickin' beards off of them. . . . I mean, that is historic."
Ah, yes: frickin' historic.

Ladies and gentlemen: your tax dollars, at work. Don't it just make you proud to be an Amur'kin?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sick and Tired ...

... of being sick and tired.

I try to write here about something on the Great Outside that interests (or, usually, dismays) me. I know It Isn't All About Me. But seriously, folks, I've been sick for a solid week now, and I've had it. It is, as you may have noticed, way too much trouble to even get online, much less write a post. Tonight the fever's back. Screw a whole bunch of going to the day job tomorrow ... I'm going to see Dr. H (or her nurse-practitioner) and try to get me some good dope, so I either get well or cease to care. Shouldn't have gone to work this morning; when I got up, the lung butter I was coughing up was gray, and "that don't seem right."

I can't even work up a little rant about Weasel Dubya and his Democratic enablers. And, to rip off the late Cleavon Little from "Blazing Saddles:" A man cough like that, and he don't even care about Chimpy ... he is gon' to die!

And then, to rip off Gene Wilder: When?


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Don't Give Me an Inch -- I'll Take a Meter, Please

Ah, the clash of stupidities. One sort: using the Imperial system of units ("Satan's units," as I call them when teaching my class), when the SI is readily available. The other sort: using state force and coercion to require people to use any particular system of favored units. The Systeme Internationale (meters, kilograms, seconds) is beautiful and easy to use; it requires no force to convince those who are capable of being reached by reason. Those who refuse to see the metric light: are they not still free? Well, of course they're not free; none of us is. But they, and we, should be.

Monday, September 10, 2007

More of the Same

In yet another exercise in meaninglessness, the Emperor's hirelings are going to make their long-awaited report on the success of the Imperial Surge.

Anyone want to place a small wager? Let's bet on the chances that the minions will say, "The Dread Sovereign's plan was a bad one; we tried, but it didn't work. We should stop now."

Meanwhile, looking at the picture, I wonder about a couple of things. First, what is the source of Bush's mysterious power of making his underlings look like Howdy Doody, too? Look at those guys -- twins separated at birth, by all appearances. Secondly, does Petraeus of the Legions ever wear anything in public besides that set of fatigues? I bet he shows up to give his term paper dressed in exactly that way. Remember the old days, when high-ranking officers used to own neckties? Of course, when your main business is to spin, and sell that spin, I suppose Image is Everything.

And then, there's our Democratic saviors:
Our correspondent says President Bush is hoping the general's more upbeat message on security will be enough to stave off calls for a timeline for a US withdrawal.

Democrats in Congress have long been pushing for a reduction in troop numbers in Iraq.
Democrats in Congress manifestly have zero interest in ending the Iraq war. If they had, they would instantly defund the war and kick off Bush's impeachment. They are doing neither -- nor will they ever.

Update: I apologize. I was wrong about how Petraeus would be dressed when handing in his homework. As you see here, he dressed up like a grownup -- a pleasant surprise, as far as it goes. Which isn't very.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Since I've Been Painting My House ...

... all day, I thought I'd paint this blog a little, too.

The blog certainly is easier to paint than the house.

In other news of little interest to anyone, I attended my first professional football game Thursday evening, as I went to Indianapolis for the Colts' season opener, which was also the NFL's season opener. I doubt that I'd go again -- it's far too costly, and you can see the game much better at home on television -- but it was fun on a one-time basis, and my daughter, who's a rabid #88-jersey-wearing Colts fanatic, was highly excited to go. My voice was useless on Friday, since it turns out that it is the affirmative duty of all Colts supporters to make as much noise as humanly possible whenever the opponents have the ball and line up for a play. But that's OK ... it was a good show, and (of course!) compares quite favorably with painting the house.