Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Gratuitous cute animal post

Click the pic for the story.

Gathering of Eagles

In just over two weeks there will be an anti-war moonbat festival on the National Mall. The various groups comprising this hate-fest have previously vandalized the steps of the US Capitol, and since this time they're gathering near the Vietnam Veteran's memorial, a counter demonstration has been organized to ensure it, too, doesn't get vandalized.
What: Gathering of Eagles

When: March 17th, 2007
0700-1600 (7 AM to 4 PM)

Where: The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall, Washington D.C.

Why: To stand silent guard over our nation's memorials, in honor of our fallen, and in solidarity with our armed forces in harm's way today.
I'm planning on being there.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Diggerators

Charles Johnson at LGF has been on a crusade against the "diggbats" at If you're not familiar with how digg works and what's been going on over there, here's the skinny:

At digg, a user can submit a news item or blog post to digg, and other digg readers who like the item can in turn "digg" it, thus boosting the item's rating. On the other hand, those who don't like it can bury it. This sounds simple and reasonable. Unfortunately, there seems to be a leftist overwatch at digg that responds quickly and feverishly as a sort of collective hive mind to bury posts from conservative sources, and this is where the diggocracy breaks down.

Here's a chronological list of LGF links to major skirmishes in the war:

02/20/07 08:03 PM: LGF-Digg Feedback Loop
02/24/07 10:33 AM: Mob Rule at Digg
02/25/07 11:38 AM: Real Time LGF Derangement Syndrome at Digg
02/25/07 03:56 PM: Diggbats vs. LGF
02/26/07 07:49 AM: Digg Islamist Calling to Exclude LGF
02/26/07 10:43 AM: Diggbats Enforcing the Groupthink
02/27/07 09:21 AM: Deranged Diggbats Raving About LGF Again

Oh well...another well-intended Internet tool with unintended consequences. Personally, I think digg just needs to eliminate the "bury" feature and let submitted items rise or fall based on how many diggs they get (or don't get).

Update 28 Feb. @ 06:00:
By the way, here's a line from digg's web site on how bury is supposed to work:
Bury. If you find stories with bad links, off-topic content, or duplicate entries, click “Bury.” That’s how we get the spam out of the system.
Not a word there about burying stories you disagree with. The diggbats with their diggerators are clearly abusing the system.

Monday, February 26, 2007

And now, a word from Sen. Lieberman

Every once in a while I'm reminded why I like Joe Lieberman. Today is one of those days.

This morning's Wall Street Journal includes an editorial by Lieberman which reads like an open letter to his colleagues in Congress. In it, Lieberman chastises his colleagues on the left side of the aisle for their political wrangling. A few of the money shots:
What is remarkable about this state of affairs in Washington is just how removed it is from what is actually happening in Iraq. There, the battle of Baghdad is now under way. A new commander, Gen. David Petraeus, has taken command, having been confirmed by the Senate, 81-0, just a few weeks ago.

[ ... ]

Congress thus faces a choice in the weeks and months ahead. Will we allow our actions to be driven by the changing conditions on the ground in Iraq--or by the unchanging political and ideological positions long ago staked out in Washington? What ultimately matters more to us: the real fight over there, or the political fight over here?

[ ... ]

Unfortunately, for many congressional opponents of the war, none of this [success in Iraq] seems to matter. As the battle of Baghdad just gets underway, they have already made up their minds about America's cause in Iraq, declaring their intention to put an end to the mission before we have had the time to see whether our new plan will work.

[ ... ]

Among the specific ideas under consideration are to tangle up the deployment of requested reinforcements by imposing certain "readiness" standards, and to redraft the congressional authorization for the war, apparently in such a way that Congress will assume the role of commander in chief and dictate when, where and against whom U.S. troops can fight.

[ ... ]

But we must not make another terrible mistake now. Many of the worst errors in Iraq arose precisely because the Bush administration best-cased what would happen after Saddam was overthrown. Now many opponents of the war are making the very same best-case mistake--assuming we can pull back in the midst of a critical battle with impunity, even arguing that our retreat will reduce the terrorism and sectarian violence in Iraq.

In fact, halting the current security operation at midpoint, as virtually all of the congressional proposals seek to do, would have devastating consequences. It would put thousands of American troops already deployed in the heart of Baghdad in even greater danger--forced to choose between trying to hold their position without the required reinforcements or, more likely, abandoning them outright. A precipitous pullout would leave a gaping security vacuum in its wake, which terrorists, insurgents, militias and Iran would rush to fill--probably resulting in a spiral of ethnic cleansing and slaughter on a scale as yet unseen in Iraq.

I appeal to my colleagues in Congress to step back and think carefully about what to do next. Instead of undermining Gen. Petraeus before he has been in Iraq for even a month, let us give him and his troops the time and support they need to succeed.

[ ... ]

We are at a critical moment in Iraq--at the beginning of a key battle, in the midst of a war that is irretrievably bound up in an even bigger, global struggle against the totalitarian ideology of radical Islamism. However tired, however frustrated, however angry we may feel, we must remember that our forces in Iraq carry America's cause--the cause of freedom--which we abandon at our peril.
Those closing paragraphs drive home the risk of pulling the plug on Iraq at this stage. Completely absent in the rhetoric coming from the Democrats has been any concern over the fate of Iraq in the event they get their way.

When a nation resorts to military force as a matter of foreign policy, that nation is obligated to see that military action to its best possible end. That obligation extends even to those in government who opposed the military option.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Come along, Sherman

Let's set the Wayback Machine™ to 1993, and see what this news report says about this new thing called Internet.

I found this particularly amusing since in 1993, I was still on active duty and pretty busy building out a chunk of milnet, as we referred to the US military's portion of the Internet at the time.

Update: It occurs to me that "Wayback Machine" and "Come along, Sherman" may fly over the heads of some, depending on age and/or country of origin.

In the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" cartoon series, there were short segments with a kid named Sherman and a scholarly dog named Mr. Peabody. Mr. Peabody had a time machine he called "the Wayback Machine", and he'd take Sherman ("Come along, Sherman") on little real-time history lessons. As a kid, I liked those segments more than the Rocky and Bullwinkle segments.

'Aggressive conversions'

I'm not sure how I missed this when it appeared a few days ago in the Daily Mail, but better late than never.

It seems there's a problem with forced conversions of women to Islam in the UK...are the jihadis running short of breeding stock?
Extremist Muslims who force vulnerable teenage girls to convert to Islam are being targeted by police, Met chief Sir Ian Blair has revealed.

Police are working with universities to clamp down on "aggressive conversions" during which girls are beaten up and forced to abandon university courses.

The Hindu Forum of Britain claims hundreds of mostly Sikh and Hindu girls have been intimidated by Muslim men who take them out on dates before terrorising them until they convert.

Sir Ian spoke about the problem at a conference organised by the forum.

A Met spokesman said: "Neighbourhood officers work with university authorities in London and we would encourage anyone targeted in this way to seek help and support and where necessary use third party reporting facilities if they do not want to contact police directly."

Ramesh Kallidai, of the Hindu Forum of Britain, said: "Some girls are petrified because they are constantly being phoned up, having their door knocked.

"One girl was beaten up on the street and others have been forced to leave university."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The campaign against cluster bombs

A Mk. 20 Rockeye II cluster bomb

A sub-munition from a Rockeye cluster bomb

Over the past year or so, there's been a growing international outcry against the use of cluster munitions. Just today, Norway's foreign minister opened an international conference aimed at banning cluster munitions.

I'm not an expert on the topic, but for the uninitiated, a cluster munition is essentially a bomb dispenser, usually air-dropped or artillery fired, which opens in flight to deliver dozens of sub-munitions. These sub-munitions, or bomblets, scatter over the immediate area to do their thing.

Cluster bombs are perfectly legal under the laws of armed conflict and can be a highly effective weapon against certain targets. For example, consider an enemy air base with a few dozen fighter or bomber aircraft sitting on a parking ramp. A couple of cluster bombs delivered over the tarmac would scatter dozens, maybe hundreds, of bomblets over the parking ramp, destroying or disabling nearly every airplane in a single pass.

Other targets suitable for various types of cluster bombs are enemy troop concentrations (not pleasant to contemplate, but legitimate), supply/ammo depots, truck parks, runways, etc.

Where cluster bombs get a bad rap is where they're used as "area denial" weapons. In this role, sub-muntions are fused to detonate after a delay or upon being disturbed. Unfortunately, this is where cluster bombs become a serious threat to civilian populations, often long after combat operations have ceased. In this case the bomblets are essentially land mines and should be classified as such, rather than classifying all cluster munitions as land mines.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Pelosi can't stand being called out

This is just too rich. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is whining to the President because of comments made by Dick Cheney on the Democrat's plans for Iraq. Just what was it that the VP said that was so offensive? It seems he spoke the truth:
"I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we will do is validate the Al Qaeda strategy," the vice president told ABC News. "The Al Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people ... try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home, and then they win because we quit."
Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark. But it gets better.
Pelosi, who said she could not reach the president, said Cheney's comments wrongly questioned critics' patriotism and ignored Bush's call for openness on Iraq strategy.

"You cannot say as the president of the United States, 'I welcome disagreement in a time of war,' and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country," the speaker said.
Sorry, Nancy, but there are many of us questioning your patriotism, and to say you're "acting against the national security of our country" is not mischaracterizing your position.

Choosing a horse

It's very early yet in the '08 presidential campaign and in fact, today's front runners may not even be in the race a year from now. So I feel no particular pressure to pick a candidate to support just yet.

I suspect that Obama, Biden and Edwards will be out of the running pretty early on, and the race for the nomination will come down to Comrade Hillary and (wait for it!)...Al Gore. Yes, that single biggest contributor to anthropogenic global warming by virtue of his own hot air, Gore will enter the race. I'll go out on a limb now and predict that he'll get the nomination. Remember you heard it here first.

But none of that matters to me in making my own choice, because unless Joe Lieberman enters the race, I'm not backing any Democrat. Wait...he's not even a Democrat any more. Never mind.

So that leaves the Republican candidates. Since my abortion position is decidedly wishy-washy, a candidate's position on that topic is mostly immaterial to me. Health care? I think I can trust any of the Republican candidates not to nationalize it. Gun control? Well. Here's where Giuliani worries me a little bit. In a TV interview I saw not long after he announced, Rudy said that he favors bans on handguns in urban areas. Seems to me that's where they're the most useful to a law-abiding citizen. The main take-away is that I found his whole openness to strict gun control troubling. If he comes out and says that he won't back gun control legislation, I might reconsider.

So in the current crop, that leaves John McCain and Mitt Romney. I find nothing particularly objectionable about either one. McCain's rather broad and loose definition of torture is easily forgiven in light of his personal history, and I don't really think it would dilute his zeal in fighting Islamism. Romney to me is largely an unknown, but his position on the issues laid out at his campaign web site seem perfectly reasonable.

So for now, it's between McCain and Romney for my choice. For now.


Dammit...we told them not to feed her after midnight!

A particularly nasty 'honor killing'

A coroner's inquest into last October's deaths of a woman and her three daughters in a house fire has concluded that the fire was set by Mohammed Riaz, the girls' father, because he didn't want his wife and daughters becoming more westernized.
A father killed his wife and four daughters in their sleep because he could not bear them adopting a more westernised lifestyle, an inquest heard yesterday.

Mohammed Riaz, 49, found it abhorrent that his eldest daughter wanted to be a fashion designer, and that she and her sisters were likely to reject the Muslim tradition of arranged marriages.

On Hallowe'en last year he sprayed petrol throughout their terraced home in Accrington, Lancs, and set it alight.

Caneze Riaz, 39, woke and tried to protect her three-year-old child, Hannah, who was sleeping with her, but was overcome by fumes. Her other daughters, Sayrah, 16, Sophia, 13, and Alisha, 10, died elsewhere in the house.

Riaz, who had spent the evening drinking, set himself on fire and died two days later.
You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Appeal for Courage

My brother e-mailed me a link to an online petition for military members to appeal to Congress for courage (and sanity) in their voting on the mission in Iraq. I wish I could sign it myself, but I'm retired and the petition is intended for currently serving active duty, guard and reserve troops.

I figured the least I can do is put a link to it up here in the hopes that some currently serving military folks will see it and add their voice.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Comrade Hillary

It's Monday, so that means it's time for your weekly reminder that Hillary Clinton is a commie.

It's (back) on

For those of you who miss the good old days of the Cold War, it appears to be undergoing a bit of a revival.
A Russian general has threatened a tough response if the United States goes ahead with a plan to site a missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

"If the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic take such a decision, the strategic missile force will be able to aim at these installations," said the force's head, General Nikolai Solovtsov, on Monday.

[ ... ]

Washington says the aim would be to intercept potential attacks from Iran and North Korea.

But Moscow does not accept this, saying that the system, close to Russia's western borders, would threaten Russia.'s only a threat to Russia if it's shooting down Russian missiles. But why would a friendly, peaceful nation such as Russia be launching missiles in the first place?

Laugher headline of the day

The UN can't seem to find its ass with both hands, yet according to Reuters, 'U.N. urged to take action on asteroid threat'.
An asteroid may come uncomfortably close to Earth in 2036 and the United Nations should assume responsibility for a space mission to deflect it, a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists said on Saturday.

Astronomers are monitoring an asteroid named Apophis, which has a 1 in 45,000 chance of striking Earth on April 13, 2036.
So let's see...the UN stands around with its collective dick in its hand while:
  • Various thugs and dictators engage in genocide and ethnic cleansing
  • The president of a militantly Islamic state develops nuclear weapons while advocating the destruction of Israel
  • UN leaders profit from the Iraqi oil-for-food scam
  • And so on and so forth...
And these guys want the UN to do something about asteroids?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Arab states, Iran equipped and trained AQ in Somalia

I guess the most surprising thing here is the sheer magnitude of the aid, some of it from our alleged allies.
MIDDLE EASTERN countries secretly armed and supported suspected Al-Qaeda recruits in the failed state of Somalia in a direct challenge to western interests in east Africa, according to a United Nations report.

Hundreds of Islamist fighters were flown, with Eritrean assistance, from Somalia to Syria and Libya for military training. Others were taken to Lebanon to fight with Hezbollah, the report to the UN security council has revealed.

UN investigators also detailed military aid given to the Islamists by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, Arab states friendly to the West. Iran also supplied 125 shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, 80 of which arrived by sea in dhows and the rest by air.

A clandestine operation to smuggle the fighters out of Somalia began in July last year.

In an interview, Evgueny Zakharov, the owner of Aerolift, an airline with a fleet of ageing Antonov and Ilyushin transport aircraft, based in Johannesburg but registered in the British Virgin Islands, said: “We transported lots of men in uniform — Arabian men with masks.

“They were disciplined men and although none of them had rank badges there were obviously people in charge. They got on the aircraft as if they had done it many times before.”
Read the whole thing.

London "Mega Mosque" may be a no-go

The controversial London mosque with a planned capacity of 70,000 worshippers may be blocked by the British government.

That the group driving the project is Tablighi Jamaat should have been enough to spike the planned Islamic center. But it looks like the government will take the path of least resistance:
There are clear planning grounds on which the development could be turned down. It is so close to the main Olympic venues that it may interfere with preparations for the Games.

The Government source said that the planning application needed to be rejected "to give the Olympics a clear run".

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Boost your self esteem

Pledging allegiance is for wimps...worship that thang!

It's a bitch being an American these days. The Europeans hate us, the Russians hate us (again), Latin America hates us, the Muslim world really hates's all hate, all the time for us.

So if all that hate is grinding you down, head to the island of Tanna in the island nation of Vanuatu off the eastern coast of Australia. It seems they have a cargo cult there that worships -- are you ready for this? -- America. But you may want to bring some durable goods with you.
Village elders tell of how a mysterious outsider came to their forbears in a series of apparitions, telling them to go back to their traditional ways. The idea of a messiah-like outsider was given a huge boost during the Second World War, when hundreds of Tannese men were recruited by the Americans to build roads, airstrips and bases. They were impressed by the large amounts of cargo – tanks, weapons, medicine and food – brought by the US military. The shadowy spirit figure they already believed in gradually assumed a name and a nationality – Jon Frum is believed to be a contraction of John From America, a reference perhaps to a soldier who showed particular generosity.
There's probably a great comedy movie in the making here, but I somehow don't see Hollywood rushing to make a movie that has anything to do with America worship.

Religion of Polio

Not satisfied spreading hatred and violence, some Islamic militants and preachers in Pakistan are now responsible for spreading polio.

Claiming that a polio immunization program is a US plot to sterilize Muslims, militants detonated a roadside bomb, killing a physician and wounding three others.
A doctor was killed by a roadside bomb in Pakistan today as Islamist militants tried to halt a polio immunisation campaign which, they say, is an American plot to sterilise Muslims.

Dr. Abdul Ghani was killed and three guards wounded after he visited a mullah, or religious leader, in Salarzai, a village in Bajaur tribal region in the borderlands with Afghanistan.

[ ... ]

Last month, the parents of 24,000 children in Pakistan's Northern Areas bordering Afghanistan refused to allow health workers to vaccinate their offspring against polio.

Radical mullahs claim the polio campaign is an American bid to reduce the world's Muslim population by spreading sterility. This message is carried on local radio stations and from the loudspeakers of some mosques.

Health experts say the risks of a polio epidemic have increased. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recorded 39 cases of polio in Pakistan last year, compared with 28 in 2005.

[ ... ]

Muslim clerics in northern Nigeria spread the same message in 2003. They managed to halt all vaccinations in Kano state for about one year. By the time they resumed, 257 children had been paralysed and polio had spread into two neighbouring countries.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Final observations on the Marcotte/McEwan debacle

The dust is settling on John Edwards' poor hiring decisions, so it's time for one last post on the topic.

Until the news broke in the conservative blogosphere about these two self-absorbed brats, I'd never heard of them. My ignorance of their existence didn't surprise me too much, since I don't read many of the "progressive" blogs. But still, I thought the names of a couple of bloggers important enough to be hired by a presidential candidate would have at least rung some sort of memory bells. But no, nothing.

So after reading some of the posts at Michelle Malkin's blog, Hot Air and a few others, I took a look at Marcotte's and McEwan's blogs. Ugh.

Now, understand that after 27 years in the military, I'm hardly priggish about colorful language. Neither of them use language I myself don't use on a fairly regular basis. I'm just a bit more judicious about where and around whom I use that language. Yes, I drop the "F" bomb here on my own blog from time to time. Six times, to be exact, over the course of over 500 posts. That doesn't include my earlier post on this topic in which I quoted extensively from Ms. Marcotte. But it wasn't the language that turned me off.

Far worse than the language was the bitter hatred directed at Christians, particularly Catholics. I'm not a religious guy (godbag or christofascist in M&M parlance), but it was hard not to take offense at the immaculate conception being referred to as God filling Mary with his "hot, white, sticky holy spirit". But even that didn't bug me that much.

What got me was that they're feminists, and apparently, that's why Edwards hired them. It's like being hired because you're...I don't know...a blacksmith or something. Like blacksmiths, feminists are quaint and evoke a certain nostalgia for days gone by, but these days they're irrelevant. Who needs 'em? In this age, what purpose do they serve?

But in the end, that's what it was all about for Marcotte and McEwan. The patriarchal society felt threatened by a couple of female bloggers (as if!) and they had to be put in their place. Not one moment of introspection over their own acts. Just the Catholic League and the "right-wing noise machine" keeping women in their place.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

'Struggle for the soul of British Islam'

The Times has a must-read column by Dean Godson on Islam's culture of victimhood in Britain. The net-net of it all is that the majority of British Muslims are growing sick and tired of the same handful of Muslim community "spokespersons" claiming to represent them.
The “anger” of some Muslim community “representatives” with the Independent Police Complaints Commission — after its “whitewash” of the Met’s conduct during the Forest Gate raid — deserves to be taken with one big pinch of salt. The terms of trade are slowly shifting against their brand of victim culture. And, deep down, they know it.

[ ... ]

The same sort of characters also peddled a narrative of a “community under siege” after the recent Birmingham raids. But for all the talk of an imminent explosion, there was no riot in Brum — or Forest Gate.

Birmingham will prove politically more significant in the long term. Since then, more and more British Muslims have piped up effectively to proclaim “not in my name”. They are fed up with the atmosphere of oppression and extremism in their neighbourhoods; as far as they are concerned, the main threat to Muslims are, well, other Muslims. And they believe that their “leaders” have done far too little to fight this.

Mohammed Naseem, the “moderate” chairman of the Birmingham Central mosque, personifies the problem. He attracted much attention recently when he opined that Britain is starting to resemble a Nazi state. Everyone pays court to him as a “community leader”. Yet whom does Dr Naseem actually represent? He ran as the Respect candidate for Birmingham Perry Barr in the 2005 election, against the impeccably nonsectarian Labour incumbent Khalid Mahmood. He won a mere 5.7 per cent of votes — compared with Mr Mahmood’s 47 per cent. Enough said?

In what way is Dr Naseem “moderate”? In comparison to troublemaking local factions such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir, he no doubt is. But there is very little in Dr Nazeem’s world view that divides him from the extremists. Like them, he propagates the myth of Muslim victimhood. He told Panorama after 9/11 that “in our mind, we are not convinced that those people who perpetrated these actions were actually Muslims”. He said similar things about the 7/7 bombers, much as he condemned that atrocity.

Dr Naseem can denounce 7/7 until el Andalus becomes Muslim again, but the fact remains that he caters to the sense of oppression that fuels jihadi violence. David Cameron rightly gave him short shrift when he visited the Birmingham Central mosque a few days after the police raids. The Government is no less contemptuous. Indeed, it was noted at the highest levels that the response of the Muslim Council of Britain to Dr Naseem’s enormities was a deafening silence.
Read it all.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

'Husbanding his resources'

I couldn't resist snagging this image from FOX News' web site

Way back in 1991 during Gulf War I, Saddam Hussein started launching fighter planes by the score. Not to challenge allied air forces for air superiority, but to escape to Iranian air bases. When asked during a press briefing his thoughts on this odd tactic, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf replied "I suspect he's husbanding his resources". [No link for that quote...I'm quoting from memory. --ed.]

Iran, of course, never returned the aircraft to Iraq. In fact, it was only years later that they finally allowed the aircrews to return home. So Saddam would have been better off, dignity-wise, letting his fighter pilots put up a fight. He ended up 'husbanding his resources' for Iran.

There are conflicting reports now that Muqtada al Sadr aka "Mookie" may be continuing this peculiar Iraqi tradition. While an aide denies that Mookie has fled to Iran, I'm more inclined to believe earlier reports that he left Iraq for Teheran along with the top commanders of his Mahdi Army militia. Husbanding his resources, as it were, ahead of the surge.

This tactic will work for Mookie much better than it did for Saddam, unfortunately. Muqtada al Sadr is Iran's Shi'ite pet in Iraq and the mullahs will be eager to turn him and his Mahdi Army loose as soon as the Democrat-controlled congress is able to force the abandonment of Iraq.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

American jihadi

An American by the name of Daniel Joseph Maldanado has been arrested in Somalia while receiving terrorist training from al Qaeda.
An American citizen charged with receiving terrorist training at an Al Qaeda camp in Somalia — including classes in how to become a homicide bomber [Fox News-ese for 'suicide bomber' --ed.] and "wage violent jihad" — was taken into custody by FBI agents and returned to the U.S. Monday night night, Justice Department officials told FOX News.
Which of course begs the question: Just how much training does one actually need to become a suicide bomber? I mean, it's not much harder than putting on a jacket and walking into a pizzeria, right?

'Disdain for the sun'

I'm still not ready to discard the notion that 6.5 billion people belching, farting and tooling around in planes, trains and automobiles have at least some effect on the world's climate. At the same time though, I'm not ready to listen to Al Gore's doomsday scenarios.

One reason for that is articles like this one, which when taken with so many others like it expose the Global Warming/Climate Change movement for what it is: a money-making industry that deals harshly with anyone or anything that threatens their cash flow.
When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works. We were treated to another dose of it recently when the experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued the Summary for Policymakers that puts the political spin on an unfinished scientific dossier on climate change due for publication in a few months’ time. They declared that most of the rise in temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases.

The small print explains “very likely” as meaning that the experts who made the judgment felt 90% sure about it. Older readers may recall a press conference at Harwell in 1958 when Sir John Cockcroft, Britain’s top nuclear physicist, said he was 90% certain that his lads had achieved controlled nuclear fusion. It turned out that he was wrong. More positively, a 10% uncertainty in any theory is a wide open breach for any latterday Galileo or Einstein to storm through with a better idea. That is how science really works.

[ ... ]

Disdain for the sun goes with a failure by the self-appointed greenhouse experts to keep up with inconvenient discoveries about how the solar variations control the climate. The sun’s brightness may change too little to account for the big swings in the climate. But more than 10 years have passed since Henrik Svensmark in Copenhagen first pointed out a much more powerful mechanism.

He saw from compilations of weather satellite data that cloudiness varies according to how many atomic particles are coming in from exploded stars. More cosmic rays, more clouds. The sun’s magnetic field bats away many of the cosmic rays, and its intensification during the 20th century meant fewer cosmic rays, fewer clouds, and a warmer world. On the other hand the Little Ice Age was chilly because the lazy sun let in more cosmic rays, leaving the world cloudier and gloomier.
Read it all.

The Iranian connection


It's not just amped-up roadside bombs that Iran's been supplying to the insurgency. Shi'ite snipers have apparently also been receiving fancy Austrian-made sniper rifles, as well.
The guns were part of a shipment of 800 rifles that the Austrian company, Steyr-Mannlicher, exported legally to Iran last year.

The sale was condemned in Washington and London because officials were worried that the weapons would be used by insurgents against British and American troops.

Within 45 days of the first HS50 Steyr Mannlicher rifles arriving in Iran, an American officer in an armoured vehicle was shot dead by an Iraqi insurgent using the weapon.

Over the last six months American forces have found small caches of the £10,000 rifles but in the last 24 hours a raid in Baghdad brought the total to more than 100, US defence sources reported.
But CNN's Jack Cafferty thinks Iran's meddling is just fair play.

Norway reclassifies Russia as military threat

In another sign that relations between Russia and, well, pretty much the rest of the world aren't all they could be, a report from a Norwegian defense institute classifies Russia as a military threat to Norway's security.

One wonders if Russian president Vladimir Putin is missing the "good old days" of the Cold War.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hillary the communist

This is the hopefully soon to be infamous video clip in which Hillary Clinton vows she's going to "take those [excessive oil company] profits and put them into a strategic energy fund".

A note to the clueless: Those profits aren't hers or the government's to take. They belong to the shareholders.

I'm going to try and repost this clip once a week throughout the campaign season as a reminder of Hillary's communist proclivities.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hillary dissembles

I just caught a clip on TV of Hillary Clinton addressing a crowd of supporters in which she was taking questions from the crowd. A woman asks her how she squares her assertion that if she was President in 2002 she wouldn't have invaded Iraq with her senate vote in favor of the invasion.

Her response (paraphrased from memory): "We would never have granted the President that authority if we knew how badly the President would abuse that authority".

Excuse me, but WTF?? Congress grants the President the authority to invade Iraq, and Hillary says exercising that authority constitutes abuse of that authority?

Keep digging, lady.

Update 11:11 on 12 Feb. 2007: I can't find an online version of it yet, but our local paper today has an article covering some of the comments from Hillary's appearance, which by the way was in New Hampshire. According to the article, she says she voted to (get this) give Bush authority to send weapons inspectors to Iraq.

Well, I guess in a way you could call 180,000 troops the ultimate weapons inspectors.

Venezuelans voting with their feet

If you can't stand the dictator, get out of the country

On the heels of Venezuela's so-called "enabling law" which effectively turned president Hugo Chavez into Absolute Supreme Dictator For Life, Venezuelan citizens are bailing in droves.
Middle-class Venezuelans are queuing to leave the country amid fears that its president, Hugo Chavez, is laying the ground for a dictatorship.

Opponents of his "20th century socialism" are so desperate to escape that they have resorted to learning new languages and tracking down long lost European relatives in the hope of securing a visa.

At the US Embassy, visa enquiries have almost doubled in recent weeks, from 400 to about 800 a day. "There are normal spikes toward Christmas or another major holiday, but this increase doesn't fall into that category," said embassy spokesman Brian Penn.

The British embassy has seen a similar rise in numbers. "It has been increasing for some time, but what's different now is the tone of desperation," said a British spokesman.
Watch for Chavez to establish restrictions on emigration in the coming weeks.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A hobby of mine that I've been neglecting for a while is home beer brewing. I recently started again, and one of the necessary parts of brewing is good record keeping of each batch...ingredients, brewing, fermentation observations, final results, etc.

I decided a great way of doing this was to blog all my batches, which I've done at my new blog called, appropriately, Brewer's Log.

If you're a beer brewer, or just a beer lover, stop by and feel free to comment.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Edwards sabotages own campaign

If you've been at all following the John Edwards campaign blogger saga, you already know that Edwards has decided not to fire Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan over blog posts written at their own respective blogs prior to joining Edwards' campaign.

Both Marcotte and McEwan profess remorse, not over what they've published, but that their previous writing wasn't taken in the vein it was intended, namely satire, lampoon, etc. Just so you can judge for yourself, here's one sample of Marcotte's writing following the death of Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist (content warning-unedited):
Rehnquist died. He was no crusader for decency or anything, but nor was he a person whose ideology overruled his decisions. Those days for the Supreme Court are over. BushCo has a new appointment and can also choose the new Chief Justice.

Summary: We are fucked.

Choice is gone. And as soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned, states will start outlawing contraception, and eventually the ideologically run court will find that there’s no right to privacy, period, and contraception protection will be gone.

The only thing I can say now is that people who have enough children or don’t want any at all–get sterilized while you still can. As for those who want children, just not now….well, I don’t know. If you use condoms, stock up on EC now. If you use the pill, start exploring Canadian options.

One thing I vow here and now–you motherfuckers who want to ban birth control will never sleep. I will fuck without making children day in and out and you will know it and you won’t be able to stop it. Toss and turn, you mean, jealous motherfuckers. I’m not going to be “punished” with babies. Which makes all your efforts a failure. Some non-procreating women escaped. So give up now. You’ll never catch all of us. Give up now.
As if that wasn't bad enough, here's a response she posted to a commenter on the article:
I’m not an idiot. I’m a twat. Get it straight.

I’m a hot, moist, inviting twat. Warm, wet, inviting. But not to you or your friends. Even if I were single, these nubile thighs do not wrap around the hips of Republicans. You can fuck yourselves or the dry twats of the self-hating misogynists who will allow you tiny penis to penetrate them. Have fun! Um, the wounds you get from rubbing you un-lubricated dick repeatedly into your heartless, soulless woman–iodine is your best friend, my be-scarred friend.
Marcotte takes issue with the Catholic Church for one of the same reasons I do, namely their persistent, irrational opposition not just to abortion but to any means of birth control besides the rhythm method. But this sort of deranged, psychotic frothing at the mouth doesn't exactly bring credit to her cause. On the other hand, it's an effective argument that Marcotte's mother should have considered abortion as an option.

John Edwards has made his first serious campaign mistake. If he thinks his opponents won't be trotting out gems like these as well as the many others posted by Marcotte and McEwan, he's sorely misjudged his opposition.

Even after being presented with his chosen bloggers' true colors, he's made a conscious decision to stick with them. After reading the poison they spew, what do you think that says about John Edwards?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Global warming?


It's small wonder that the enviro-nazis have moved the goal posts by dropping the use of the term "global warming" in favor of "global climate change".

When I shot this picture this morning, I didn't notice the little minus sign to the left of the outdoor temperature...I thought it was 3.8F, not -3.8F.

I'd like to say I'm a responsible citizen and keep my thermostat way down, but it's not really 66F in my house...the thermometer is near an outside wall and probably registers a good 4 or 5 degrees cooler than room temperature.

And let's not forget...this is just an hour north of Richmond, not in the mountains. As if it's not cold enough here, I've got to fly up to New Jersey today. I suppose it can't be too much colder there.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Fabrications of the PC movement

On my recent visit to Asia, I was having drinks one night with a few colleagues, one of them a Singaporean of Chinese descent. Singaporeans are mainly ethnic Chinese, Malay or Indian.

At one point during the evening, he referred to himself as an "Oriental". When I started laughing, he just looked at me and said "What?". I explained that in the US at some point, someone decided that calling a person of Asian descent "Oriental" was insulting, and that they should instead be referred to as "Asian".

After he stopped laughing, he said that was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard. He went on to say "Here in the Orient, us Orientals refer to ourselves as Oriental all the time!"

This got me to wondering just how the word "Oriental" became politically incorrect. I couldn't find anything stating definitively how, when and why the term became unacceptable, but I did find this usage note in the online American Heritage Dictionary:
Usage Note: Asian is now strongly preferred in place of Oriental for persons native to Asia or descended from an Asian people. The usual objection to Oriental—meaning "eastern"—is that it identifies Asian countries and peoples in terms of their location relative to Europe. However, this objection is not generally made of other Eurocentric terms such as Near and Middle Eastern. The real problem with Oriental is more likely its connotations stemming from an earlier era when Europeans viewed the regions east of the Mediterranean as exotic lands full of romance and intrigue, the home of despotic empires and inscrutable customs. At the least these associations can give Oriental a dated feel, and as a noun in contemporary contexts (as in the first Oriental to be elected from the district) it is now widely taken to be offensive. However, Oriental should not be thought of as an ethnic slur to be avoided in all situations. As with Asiatic, its use other than as an ethnonym, in phrases such as Oriental cuisine or Oriental medicine, is not usually considered objectionable.
In other words, even the folks who compile dictionaries can't say exactly why the word has now become offensive, it just is. Unless, of course, you're an actual Oriental.

'This is rage without a programme'

Today's Sunday Times (London) has a great interview with Nick Cohen, author of What's Left: How Liberals Lost Their Way. Times writer Martin Ivens describes Cohen as a "journalist with impeccable left-wing credentials", and indeed, Cohen writes the most leftist of left-wing rags, al-Guardian.

The whole thing is a great read, but some of the best quotes are found on page 2:
“There is a delegation of Iraqi trade unionists coming to my launch party. They (their families and friends) have been slaughtered by fascists. The idea that liberals would want Iraq to fail to give Bush and Blair bloody noses appals me. They just don’t care about the consequences for the people.”

Cohen’s diagnosis of the left-wing pathology is brutal. “This is rage without a programme. Also, don’t forget the element of fear — one response when confronted by psychopaths is that you hope they can be appeased.” Aha, now for the link to Munich and Chamberlain’s sell-out of Czechoslovakia to Hitler in 1938. He chides the “parochialism” of the liberal left. “It is difficult to defend your country against foreign threats if you are a critic of the status quo. What that led people to say is that ‘Britain is as bad as fascist Germany’ or ‘Al-Qaeda is bad, but look at the Christian right in America’.”

And how is he getting the message across? “I went to the George Orwell society in Eton, where he was a King’s scholar. They looked at me as if I was spouting ancient Greek when I talked about helping the Iraqi people. Orwell would have said ‘little brutes’.” I rather hope Cohen did too.
I think I know what book to read next.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

What's at stake

I got my hands on an unclassified Joint Staff Powerpoint briefing that included this map showing what an Islamic Caliphate might look like should the Islamists be allowed to continue their pursuit of that goal.

The briefing itself is pretty good, and in fact should be delivered to the public. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same politically correct nonsense that continues to hinder our efforts, for example a line in the speaker's notes that incorrectly states Islam literally means "peace". Whether that's an example of ignorance or political correctness, it's enough to make me wonder about the quality of the people briefing the Joint Staff.

Back to the map of the Caliphate. It's pretty sobering to take in, and doesn't even include the large chunks of Eurabia that would quickly follow. Nor does it include, inexplicably, the island shared between Malaysia and Indonesia which would certainly be a part of the Caliphate right at the start.

Cavorting with the enemy

Over the past couple of months, a slew of Democrats and a few Republican political figures have advocated "dialog" and "engagement" with Iran and Syria. Some of them have gone so far as to visit Syrian president Bashar Assad in Damascus, ignoring the fact that Assad and his government are state terrorism sponsors.

These esteemed members of Congress and their defenders, of course, will say that Syria and Iran have been demonized and their roles as sponsors of terror greatly exaggerated. Well, on that point, at least, I'm glad Hizballah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah has cleared things up:
Moving to the issue of Iran and Syria, Nasrallah emphasized the integral role which both states have played in strengthening and assisting the guerilla organization.

"Iran assists the organization with money, weapons, and training, motivated by a religious fraternity and ethnic solidarity," Nasrallah said. "And the help is funneled through Syria, and everybody knows it."
Right, then. Any more questions over whether Iran and Syria are bad guys?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Where's Dr. Seuss when you need him?

You learn something new every day. Northern Virginiastan has a link to a catalog of political cartoons from World War II by none other than Dr. Seuss.

I particularly liked this one from April, 1941. Makes one wonder what Dr. Seuss would have made of today's events.

The fine print at the bottom of the sign says "Lindy Ostrich Service, Inc.", a swipe at Charles Lindbergh who counseled against US entry into a war he saw as strictly a European problem.

Hillary mania

It's funny. On the same day a buddy sends me the above video poking fun of Hillary's commie tendencies, Ian over at Hot Air posts this clip proving that in this little bit of parody is a nugget boulder of truth.

Chinese army harvests prisoners' organs; world yawns

It's safe to say that America is held to higher moral standards than China, and rightly so, but shouldn't there be some limit to what the world is willing to overlook?

While left-wing groups disguised as human rights organizations criticize us for being so brutal as to imprison without trial unlawful combatants captured in battle, China's army is harvesting organs from their prisoners for profit.
China's military is harvesting organs from unwilling live prison inmates, mostly Falun Gong practitioners, for transplants on a large scale — including to foreign recipients — according to a study.

[ ... ]

"The involvement of the People's Liberation Army in these transplants is widespread,'' Kilgour said at a press conference.

Like many civilian hospitals in rural China, military hospitals turned to selling organs to make up for government funding cuts in the 1980s, the report said.

But military personnel could operate with much more secrecy, it said.

"Recipients often tell us that even when they receive transplants at civilian hospitals, those conducting the operation are military personnel,'' the report said.

Hospitals in Canada's biggest cities — Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto — confirmed "a substantial number'' of Canadians had travelled to China for dubious organ transplants, Kilgour said.
I'll lay off the easy target of Canada's nationalized health care for the time being.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Nobel Peace Prize further diluted

Isn't the Nobel Peace Prize supposed to have something to do with, well, peace? With Jimmy Carter having won it and now Al Gore being nominated for it, maybe it's time the award was renamed to "The Nobel Prize for Left Wing Activism".