2/22/2003

Minor Maintenance
Write up - Odd noise, occurred in comments section. Technician's notes - added link button. Requires ops check to ensure noise has temporarily abated. Engineering department issues no guarantees noise will not recur for apparently random reasons.
Hands off Europe!
Nice graphic over at Aaron's Rantblog. He's trying to recall where he got it from, if you recognize it, give him a shout. Why isn't he on our blogroll? Who is the slacker thats supposed to keep that updated? Jebus, it is so hard to get attentive IT support these days!

2/21/2003

Ahhhhhhhh
I don't spend a lot of time listening to music, but some things are very, very nice. Such as randomly getting into the car, and turning on the local classical Public Radio Station (we have two in Hampton Roads, so there is a refuge from screaming back at some of the nationally syndicated NPR swill), and being treated to a wonderful rendition of Sheherazade, by Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov. Its always been one of my favorite pieces of classical music, a piece of music that 'speaks' without words. I've always enjoyed encountering new performance versions of the piece, and the one tonight was quite good, played with real feeling, although a bit rushed in the final movement. The pretext of the piece is a musical rendition of the story of a thousand and one Arabian Nights, the tales of Sinbad, his ship, and sailors. The name Sheherazade, though, belongs to the heroine, and teller of the tales - a thousand and one tales to spare not only her life, but the lives of others, all condemned by a despotic monarch.
And so the King kept Sheherazade alive as he eagerly anticipated each new story and after one thousand and one adventurous nights, the King had not only been entertained but wisely educated in morality and kindness by Sheherazade who became his Queen.
Not that we can count on this as a present day repeat of such an event, but, one cannot help but ponder what sort of moderating influence will result from improving the lot of women in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and throughout the Muslim world. When they can speak their own minds, of ideas other than those they are 'expected' or allowed to utter in public. One wonders what those silent women, unable to speak out because of fear for their lives, or for their children, think of the small, clueless, but vocal groups proclaiming that nothing be done to achieve that day. Possibly something along the lines of 'not in our names?' At least. ::UPDATE:: Notice that Michele at A Small Victory was also musing on music last night, and even posted an .mp3 of her selection. Sorry folks, at an average of 10MB per movement, for a total of around 40MB, you'll have to get Korsakov's wonderful work via other means....
NO WAR FOR ISILDUR'S HEIR! Elrond wants you to fight for the Elves! Don't let the Ents sway you! It's all about Rings! What about Gondorian expansion! Is Numenorian blood redder than the Orcs? Why not try peaceful negotiations with the giant flaming eye? Numenor allowed Sauron to live after Melkor was slain, so it's all their fault! It's all about riiiiiiings!

“Sauron says he’s destroyed his Rings of Mass Destruction (RMD) and that’s good enough for me,” said one fellow carrying a sign that said “Elrond is a Balrog.” Another demonstrator urged, “Give the RMD inspectors more time. There’s no reason to rush to any judgment just because Mount Doom is belching lava, the Dark Tower is rebuilt, and Osgiliath has been decimated.” A third protester piped up, “I haven’t heard a single bit of convincing evidence connecting the Nazgul with Sauron. I think they destroyed Osgiliath on their own initiative without any support from Sauron. Besides, it’s understandable they’re angry with Gondor. We haven’t done nearly as much for the Orcs and Goblins and Easterlings as the Nazgul and Sauron have. It’s understandable they throw their support to them. It’s our own fault really.”

RUMSFELD: PISS-WEAK OR WHAT? Well, we all knew this day would come - a blog is suggesting that SecDef Donald Rumsfeld is going wobbly and needs to harden up. Difficult to believe I know, but actually when I read what Dale Amon has to say at Samizdata I couldn't help agreeing with him out of sheer respect for logic. He's essentially saying the voluntary human shields in Baghdad deserve to be treated as enemy combatants. Dale's a hard man. From Ulster you know. No surrender, and all that stuff.

Any British, American, Australian or person of whatever nationality who makes a decision, of their own free will, to intentionally place themselves in harms way in defense of a combatant's facilities should be treated like any other member of that combatant's forces. This is an issue of personal liberty. These people may be stupid. They may be fools. It does not matter: they have made their own choice. We should treat them no differently from any other Iraqi soldier, nor should we treat their chosen superior officers any differently than any other Iraqi officer.

Apparently Rummy is threatening the Iraqis over the voluntary human shields, saying their employment would open any Iraqis involved in the process to prosecution for war crimes. Actually, these two points of view are not neccessarily mutually incompatible. To be honest, having seen the parade of hopeless, useless, mushy-minded, self-involved publicity-hounds flocking to Baghdad, I imagine they'll flee to the bunker under the Al-Rashid hotel at the first sign of real trouble. And you just know they'll demand the US military pay for their removal to safety after the liberation.
ANGIE GOES SUBTLE Needless to say, the clever and insidious satire of Ms Angie Schultz will go whistling over many people's heads at a great altitude and be last seen heading out to sea, but for we cogniscenti, it's a treat and a half!

And another frothing right-winger to add to our armoured parade of mindless violence is Meryl Yourish, who says right out that anyone even remotely critical of Israel should just die already. Well. What can one say? Surely "anti-Semites" have as much right to their views as anyone else in this country! It's only if they turn their opinions into harmful actions that they should be stopped by duly constituted authority using only proportionate, non-lethal force. Of course, sometimes the authority should might come too late, but that's the price you pay for the moral satisfaction of being a peace-loving person. But all this talk of violent anti-Semites or protesters is just a right-wing wet dream, isn't it? I mean, you've never personally seen anyone gassed just because they were Jewish, have you? Of course not. No one does that, just as nobody ever comes to a peace protest intending vandalism. Of course, it's no shock that Ms. Yourish's former fiance (and suspected Jew) "Tom Paine" would second her violent emotion.

There's nothing suspected about me Angie. I have a piece of paper signed by three people saying I'm a Jew, which is more than most Jews have! I'm a kike, a yid, a heebie, a hook-nose, I'm kosher, I'm a Red Sea pedestrian, and proud of it! Okay, ethnically I'm 100% Anglo-Saxon with perhaps just a dash of Viking, but I hardly think that's the point. If Osama Bin Laden wins this war, I'll be just as dead as anyone who was born Jewish.
Great Quotes:
A friend pointed this out to me, from the website Peyton Place - Great Quotes. They cite the source as The Federalist. Emphasis mine.
"It is certain that the two World Wars in which I have participated would not have occurred had we been prepared. It is my belief that adequate preparation on our part would have prevented or materially shortened all our other wars beginning with that of 1812. Yet, after each of our wars, there has always been a great hue and cry to the effect that there will be no more wars, that disarmament is the sure road to health, happiness, and peace; and that by removing the fire department, we will remove fires. These ideas spring from wishful thinking and from the erroneous belief that wars result from logical processes. There is no logic in wars. They are produced by madmen. No man can say when future madmen will reappear. I do not say that there will be no more wars; I devoutly hope that there will not, but I do say that the chances of avoiding future wars will be greatly enhanced if we are ready." --Gen George S. Patton
Most assuredly.
THE PHANTOM MENACE Turns out Senator Palpatine was behind the Trade Federation all along! And he was played by Jacques Chirac! The mask has slipped, the word "Cheat!" floats in the air over the poker game, and there is a sudden silence as the bit players edge towards the exit. This is about much more than Iraq now. This is about what direction this century will take. This is about a challenge to the United States, democracy, freedom and capitalism by France, rule by media/academic elites, state control and socialism. France and Germany are clearly attempting to rule Europe as some sort of challenge to the United States. The best analysis of this phenomenon is by the increasingly focused and angry Stephen DenBeste, who lays the whole conspiracy out in detail. It makes for chilling reading.

The purpose of the European Union is to roll back the post-war experiment in western Europe with capitalist representative democracy, and to restore Europe to its rightful place at the center of the world's stage by displacing the US as the predominant power in the world. The driving motivation behind it is a religious belief, along with a nostalgia for past greatness, profound distrust of the masses, and resentment of American power and influence, as well as outright fear of what America might decide to do with its unprecedented position in the world. For three centuries, most of the world was ruled from Europe. Much of it was directly controlled as colonies, and most of the rest was indirectly influenced financially. Europe was the hub of the world, and when the King of France or the Kaiser sneezed, the world put on a sweater. The British colonies in North American had, of course, won their independence and largely stayed out of this. But the rest of the world prostrated itself before Europe, and obeyed.

And they can't bear the demonstratable fact that no one particularly cares what they think anymore. The European Union was developing along Franco-German lines as a competitor and eventual challenger to the United States. It was supposed to lead the world into a glorious future of standardised railway guages, straight bananas and state control of the individual, for the common good of course. But like Osama, Jacques has shot his bolt well ahead of schedule. Both of them could have just kept nickle-and-diming us to death and odds are we wouldn't have noticed until we were too feeble to respond effectively. But it's all out in the open now, and too late to keep up the pretence. Iraq is not the issue anymore. Saddam is the monkey, and he will be dealt with shortly. But the organ grinder is Chirac, Schroeder, Patten, Prodi and their ilk. God I'm tired. Maybe I'm just sick of waiting for what's coming. Like Stephen Green, I've pretty much said my piece and don't have much to offer beyond variations on a theme.

What little I have to say, I’ve already said and you’ve already read. Many times over. And here we are at yet another diplomatic pause on the Road to Wherever. Bash France? Jonah Goldberg does it better. Explain the processes at the UN? Den Beste has it – far more shrewdly, and – I mean this as a complement – for more coldly that I ever will. Quick takes? Instaman has us all beat. Money? Jane Galt. Politics? Patrick Ruffini. Gut-busting laughs and bitter tears? It’s either Juan Gato or Tim Blair, six-five and pick’em. [ ... ] The important stuff, the stuff I think I might have some kind of handle on, is in a holding pattern. So – so am I. You know where I stand. From your feedback, I know where you stand. Or, in some cases, where you’re bent over and taking it like a porn starlet. So rather than give you VodkaPundit Lite, I’m out buying furniture with my bride. I’ll be spending the weekend seriously drinking with some seriously good friends. I’m taking two and calling my doctor in the morning.

History's a funny thing. It goes in fits and starts. WWII was like some sort of operatic Tolkein morality play with characters and events that will resonate down countless millennia. It was followed by 40 years of incremental development, frozen under the ice of the Cold War. The almost instantaneous collapse of communism (under the weight of it's inherent contradictions, heh, I only wish Bob Heinlein had lived to see it) saw history return with a thud, several crashes, bursts of automatic weapons fire and fireworks over the Brandenburg Gate. Freedom was back in fashion, but we didn't follow though on the promise. Chinese students tried to hustle history, which is never kind to those who get out in front of her. We spent a deacde dreaming about OJ Simpson, Ricky Lake, Oprah semen-stained dresses and how to avoid becoming obese. Francis Fukayama should never have tempted fate by declaring history to be over. I'm sure that just pissed History off. We all know her riposite. So here we are, with the hot breath of History on our necks, being driven onwards to an uncertain fate. Nations rise and fall, civilisations adapt and die, alliances are forged and broken, the colours on the map run in the rain as they always have. Is it any wonder some of us take refuge in the alleged certainties of faith?

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun? One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full: unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

Cheerful sod, isn't he? The Rabbis took a lot of persuading before they allowed Koheleth to be counted in the canon of sacred writings, and even then I suspect a backroom deal was struck. I mean, you can practically see the join where the Rabbis tacked on this little pop-up ad for religious certainty to what had been rock-solid Stoic philosophy all the way through.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

Will he really? I suspect we're reaching here folks. Wishful thinking. The good will be rewarded, and the evil punished? Yeah, right, in our dreams. Still, we all have the power to affect the world for good or ill, for the little time we have available. I mean, really. 75 years or so? Is that some sort of cruel joke? That's hardly enough time to get comfortable with yourself, let alone get a handle on the world. 10,000 years would not be enough for me. But as we read on the Reform movement siddur, the space between birth and death is the space within which we create. Without death, life loses its meaning. A river must have two banks, or it cannot flow, cannot exist. As Koheleth says, to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time of war; a time of peace. Not For - Of. There's a difference. For better or worse, this is a season of war. Let's see it through and make the world a better place at the end of it. Let's hope the deaths of the slain will not be in vain. Let's do our best. It's the best we can do.

On the plains of Jordan I cut my bow from the wood Of this tree of evil Of this tree of good I want a kiss from your lips I want an eye for an eye I woke up this morning to the empty sky - Bruce Springsteen, "Empty Sky"

2/20/2003

Full of Shit Award #2 And the winner is… every single so-called “anti-war” protester on the planet. Not fucking one of you has gotten within a mile of a North Korean Embassy. Until you do as far as I’m concerned you’re nothing but a bunch of anti-American, democracy hating scum who can’t stand the fact that you are the minority and you can’t silence those that don’t agree with you. You are collectively invited to TALHSOMA. Sleep well, someone else is covering you.
Anyone know how to say 'in your frelling dreams' in Arabic?
Seems the House of Saud has a 'helpful' offer for post Saddam Iraq. Let them lead an Islamic coalition to occupy the country, and help the Iraqi's 'get back on their feet'. Thanks for the generous offer, which includes lots of Turkish troops (for Northern Iraq, to molify the Kurds, right?). But no thanks. We've had quite enough trouble removing despotic leadership from the Baghdad area already, and don't feel like setting the stage to have to repeat the exercise later. ::UPDATE:: Seems some other folks overall reaction to this kind of arrangement is not too different. Of note, it appears the administration has once again actually been considering an issue, but without a lot of fanfare. Imagine that, thinking about the actual issues and developing courses of action, ones that are fairly well formed. Lot easier to do when time is spent on the issues and their solutions vice cranking the spin machine while participating in the initial nattering from the peanut galleries. One thing about the plan outlined in the article - it doesn't really 'give' anything to the various vultures groups waiting for the U.S. to get on with it, so it at once derails any of their dreams of dominance, and makes 'the plan' a prime target for all sorts of whining and criticism. The noise level from these groups may just be the best indicator of how well this type of framework is working to ensure that the re-formation of a stable government within Iraq is actually in the hands of the Iraqi people. Just a thought.
Speaking of Saudi cats...
While berating Laurence for leaving cheetos crumbs all over my keyboard during his blog-a-day tour visit, I noticed he'd come across this furry tidbit in Arab News. Feral cats. They're everywhere over there. For GWI, the place we were billeted, outside Riyadh, was a complex called Eskan Village. It was a couple of thousand acres of 3 and 4 bedroom houses, several condo highrises. Word was that it was constructed in the mid to early eighties to be either contract worker housing, or to be a bedouin 'burb for Riyadh, but for whatever reason, it had just sat idle for about 4 or 5 years. The layers of dust in the unoccupied units seemed to support that. The place was crawling with feral cats. Almost every 'block' seemed to have as many as a dozen of them when we arrived. It didn't take long for 'competent military authority' to determine that the cats were a hazard, due to fleas, rabies, etc, etc, and orders were published not to have any contact with, attempt to catch, pet, and certainly not to feed the critters. Yeah, right. Wasn't long before tuna fish cans, etc, started turning up around quite a few of the villas. By the time I left several months later, it wasn't unusual to see cats running around. But it was unusual to see any skinny ones.
Spotlight
Shining on the A.N.S.W.E.R. lunacy, in all the sewers and under all the slimy rocks...Oscar Jr. Found via a link by Bigwig over at Silflay Hraka, and headed for our blogroll, dee-rectly.
(And you thought that the Amish Tech Support Blog A Day Tour wouldn't get a post up for Thursday, well...) I got one of those Spammed intelligence tests the other day, so I decided to play along. One of the series of numbers was the following:
20, 1, 18, 4, 13, ?
And I was expected to come up with the next number in the series. The number is 6, because it's the series from a standard dart board. (Sorry if I ruined it for anyone, but The Tour is not meant as a test.) Well, it's a fair test of pattern-recognition when it comes to trivia like dart boards, but I'm not sure it's in the same league as "even numbers" or "cubes minus one." Then I got to wondering where the pattern came from. So I did a quick Ask Jeeves and Google search. Among the results, I found this at Ask Yahoo:
Our guess that the traditional arrangement is meant to penalize errant throws comes from our limited knowledge of the rules of darts. Some games require players to clear a set amount of points or "close" certain numbers (hit singles, doubles, and triples in each). By alternating high and low numbers, a missed throw won't usually help a player get closer to victory. Of course, many darts games rule out "slop" (errant, but scoring throws) and in those cases, the arrangement of the board would seem to be irrelevant.
Hrm... that explains the rationale for the pattern, but not the origins. I did a little more searching, and then I got my answer at the Passionate Darter:
This is probably the most asked question about the origins of the modern game. Who was the devious person who structured the segments of the dartboard in such a frustrating manner? The man who is credited with the ‘invention’ of the numbering sequence of the modern standard dartboard is BRIAN GAMLIN. Gamlin was a carpenter from Bury in the County of Lancashire, England and came up with the infuriating sequence in 1896, at the age of 44. He died in 1903 before he could patent the idea. In those days many working men – and in particular those with carpentry skills – manufactured dartboards out of elm or poplar wood as a sideline. This cottage industry was later prevalent across the North of England, the Midlands and the South East as darts grew in popularity from the mid-1920s onwards. The reason for producing dartboards at home, or more properly in the garden shed, was to sell the boards to local pubs, thereby supplementing the family income. However, more often than not, this income never found its way home at all. Dartboards were exchanged for credit in the local pub or money earned would finds its way back over the bar. The numbering of a standard dartboard is designed in such a way as to cut down the incidence of ‘lucky shots’ and reduce the element of chance. The numbers are placed in such a way as to encourage accuracy. That’s it. Pure and simple. The placing of small numbers either side of large numbers e.g. 1 and 5 either side of 20, 3 and 2 either side of 17, 4 and 1 either side of 18, punishes inaccuracy. Thus, if you shoot for the 20 segment, the penalty for lack of accuracy or concentration is to land in either a 1 or a 5.
So, eventually, I got my answer. One thing that I've noticed with searching for answers is that it's gotten harder to guess that exact magical search term which will give you your answer. If I had just looked for "Who invented the dartboard" I'd have gotten this page right off the bat. Instead, I used a term like "Why are the numbers on a dart board in that order?" Searching for answers on the Internet is getting to feel like... well... tossing darts.
Hasbara has posted a petition protesting the recent Belgian court decision. I don't know if these petitions have any real impact, but I feel that this is the least I can do to have my opinion heard. You can read the petition and sign it here.
The London conference, which discussed possible reforms in the Palestinian Authority, came to a close today. The participants have agreed to transfer 700 million dollars to the PA. I want to reform, too! Can I, please? (IDF radio).
COME ON DOWN, IT'S AN IDIOTARIAN PARTY! The stupidity of the enemy, combined with their lemming-like inability to distinguish their own propaganda from reality, could start to pay dividends if we just shut up and let them get on with things.

Winnie Mandela, ex-wife of South Africa's former leader Nelson Mandela – and long known for her open advocacy of torturing rivals, as well as for her 1991 conviction for being an accessory to the brutal murder of a 14-year-old boy – wants to travel to Iraq to become a "human shield" so she can protect Iraqi children from American attacks.

Some things these days, you just have to stand there with your mouth open and let them drift pass, because if you started to comment on them, you'd never be able to stop. This is one of them. Just stare in stupefied wonderment at the raw insanity, hypocrisy and pure evil on display.

2/19/2003

Judith at Kesher Talk got an e-mail from Damian Penny:
Hi, guys. As some of you might have heard, the town of Badger, in central Newfoundland, had to be evacuated after a major flood late last week. No one was hurt, but the flood waters have turned to ice, and it might be months before the residents are able to return to their homes. The Canadian Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal for donations to help the flood victims. I'm sure the people of Badger would really appreciate it if you provided a link on your site.
CARNIVAL OF THE VANITIES... ...is up at the People's Republic of Seabrook, home of the Vast White Trash Conspiracy! Motto: A Liberal Arts education compensated for by a keenly developed moral bankruptcy.
LILEKS IS GOD As if you needed reminding.

If it weren’t for the autonomous nervous system, some of these people would die because they’re too stupid to remember to breathe. War is always the answer to war if war is brought down upon you. Evil requires resistance. If a man in a crowd grabs your child from your arms, you do not wonder what brought him to this moment, or petition the city council for a resolution requiring him to hand over the skeletons of his previous victims. You stab him in the eyeball with your car keys.

JUST AN IDLE OBSERVATION.... ..but ever since Fox stabbed us all in the back by cancelling "Family Guy", whatever happened to Stewie? And why is it that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il have never been photographed together? Wasn't it soon after the show was cancelled that North Korea started threatening us all with nuclear annihilation? And when did Kim Jong-Il last make a public appearance? What was it North Korean TV news said yesterday? "The Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il said today that the US imperialists shall burn in hell! Victory is mine! Stop mocking me! When the world is mine, your deaths shall be quick and painless! Oh, there, I've gone and soiled myself. Are you happy now? Damn it to the bowels of bloody hell!" Hmmmm.....
DISSENT STIFILING DETECTED! Emperor Misha I is mad as hell and he isn't going to take it anymore! Film at 11, autopsy reports at 12!

You filthy, smelly asswipes for Saddam who thought you were demonstrating your humanity over the past weekend have only managed to prove ONE thing to us with your highly selective opposition to war: You're worthless, a complete and utter waste of air and space and if one single American dies as a result of your utterly despicable support of one of the worst monsters in history, I'll be laying the responsibility at your feet. [ ... ] So you better start praying, RIGHT NOW, that your friend Saddam doesn't manage to kill off anybody with the weapons that you insist he doesn't have, because if I have to watch anybody I love die as a result of your irresponsible behavior, I'll make sure that you pay for it.

And that's Misha being reasonable. You don't want to see him mad.
BLOGGING IN WARTIME I don't know about the rest of you chaps, but I'm finding myself blogging a little more slowly and carefully these days. It's not that I'm going soft or mushy or wobbly or anything. It's just that we are all of us embarking on a war, and war is by definition uncertain. And in an era of WMDs, uncertainty is NOT our friend. I also find I've pretty much said the basic things I think need saying. Occasionally they can bear repetition, especially Meryl Yourish's desire for anti-semities to just die. Which I heartily endorse by the way.

I used to think that anti-Semites could be changed. I used to think that eventually, the hatred would cease, and Jews would be accepted. How many thousands of years does it take before Jews can claim the same right to exist as everyone else, after all? Surely, the world would give up its longest hatred. And yet, anti-Semitism remains. I have stopped trying to comprehend it. There is no reason for it. There is no logic to it. There is no basis to it. And yet, it remains. So at last, I am forced to realize that where anti-Semitism is concerned, there is only hatred. And now, on my end, the hatred is returned. I hate those who hate me because I am Jewish. And I will not apologize for it. It is they who have changed my way of thinking. It is they who have hardened my heart. It is they who have taught me how to hate.

One of the more unpleasant things I've had to learn in recent times is that anti-semitism is alive and well, and is trying extraordinarily hard, and with increasing popular support, to kill me. And that a goodly proportion of my acquaintances, neighbours, workmates and fellow-citizens wouldn't lift a finger to stop it. I don't need a time-machine to travel back to 1936. I'm living it every bloody day! So when I came across an article in The Times this morning, I was pleased to read something so true, so accurate, so relective of everything I'm feeling right now, that I can take a leaf out of Ms Yourish's books and say "Stephen Pollard posted, so I don't have to".

In all my 38 years, I have never before felt such a sense of personal shock. I am shocked that so many of my friends would rather a brutal dictator remained in power — for that would be the direct consequence if their views won out — than support military action by the United States. I am ashamed that they would rather believe the words of President Saddam Hussein than those of their own Prime Minister. I am nauseated that they would rather give succour to evil than think through the implications of their gut feelings. It is a shocking experience to realise that your friends are either mindless, deluded or malevolent. [ ... ] How can I use the word “friend” to describe such people? It is not that they are wrong, but that our moral frameworks are so entirely different. They wallow in their sense of superiority, but what they wish to protest against, I thank God for. What they consider an affront, I salute. What they regard as a moral outrage, I regard as the only safe way to conduct world affairs. What they stand for, I feel sickened by.

Yeah - what he said. Stephen Pollard also has his own blog, which I recommend enthusiastically.
HOW TO COPE WITH BEING CALLED NAMES IN PUBLIC As Wind Rider has already spotted, members of the Armed Services in this once-great nation are being warned not to wear the uniform of their country, in case the sight of those who guard them while they sleep enrages the populace to open mockery and acts of common assault. Alan Anderson has a modest suggestion on how to counteract this phenomenon.

Yelling at a soldier would get a gun pointed at you, continued bad behaviour would be rewarded with a butt stroke (no, not the sort you get from sailors). This would have the effect of reducing the number of green-loving hairy-armpitted bush pigs out in public, while improving morale in the forces. Since everyone is rehashing political quotes, I will too, "IT'S TIME".

Approved. Action this day. Murray? This looks like it's up your alley. Here is the obligatory relevant Kipling quote. And I do mean relevant.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap; An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit. Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?" But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll, The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll, O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

2/18/2003

My name for this isn't nearly as polite
Seems that some of the Oz 'protestors' have begun harassing Australian Soldiers in uniform as 'warmongers.' Australian Defense Association Executive Director Michael O'Conner politely referred to these pathetic bags of over-ripe bat guano for brains cretins as 'ratbag fringe'. Mr. O'Conner is overly polite, in my view. Call 'em for what they are - shitheads. And cowards. Easy for them to hurl insults at those most likely to possess enough discipline and restraint not to pound some of the shit that passes for brains out of their thick skulls. I'd like to see an article or two of such situations where several members of John Q. Public stepped in and very pointedly countered the slurs by boisterously thanking the soldier for his service and sacrifice, adding of course that the ingrates present should piss off back to whatever sewer they slithered out from.

2/17/2003

This...has got to be a joke
The new blog Peace In our Time.
I spent a lot of time reading a Noam Chomsky book to be able to answer this question carefully...
Personally, I think a lot of the anti-war 'serious points' are hilarious enough without addition.
NOW THAT'S GOOD ADVICE In my recent post, "Senatus Populus Que Romanum", I used two words to make a point. On reading Cold Fury today, I suddenly realised that I had been subconciously referring to a famous statement made by Winston Churchill. My enfeebled brain had dimly remembered only the two key words, war and victory. Here is my original post:

This is a fight for the survival of civilisation against barbarism, and anyone who is not prepared to defend civilisation is objectively allying with its enemies.No nuances, no polished phrases, no diplomatic initiatives, and no concessions. Here are some new words to try. War. Victory.

Here is the full quote, in all its Churchillian glory:

You ask, what is our policy? I will say; It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory - victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.

Winston Churchill has been dead for nearly forty years, but if we dung the old boy up he'd make a better leader, stone dead, than all the allegedly living members of the European Parliament put together.

2/16/2003

Those Who Do Not Learn From History Are Doomed To Repeat It. IQ's total 90. Echoes of Appeasement from LGF
Washington and Baghdad agree:
Frog plan is a load of steaming manure.
While the plan was welcomed by Russia and deepened divisions within the UN Security Council, Mr Sabri flatly rejected any suggestion that blue-helmeted peacekeepers could operate in Iraq. "No Iraqi would accept the deployment of such a force," he told the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Hayat. (Iraqi foreign minister) Mr Sabri claimed that any peace initiative that did not have Washington's backing was bound to fail
Think this is the most accurate statement to come out of Iraq in years. Right, then. Lets go with the Washington backed initiative, and take the bastards out.
FROM YOUR IMPARTIAL, UNBIASED MEDIA Channel 10's late news tonight said, and I quote: "Prime Minister Howard now faces perhaps the most important decision of his political career- whether to follow the US, or listen to the Australian people". When did the media stop giving us information and start trying to tell us what to think? Chris Textor has also picked up on this point at Whacking Day:

Is Channel 10's late night bulletin now operating as a mouthpiece for the peace-loon movement? Christ almighty, I nearly hurled. Lotsa deathless commentary "the day the world united against war"..."John Howard will be forced to back down" and that "some people" reckoned the crowd size in Sydney was really half a million (as opposed to the mere "official" figure being half that).