THE ARTFUL DODGER'S LATEST MOVE IN THE CHESS GAME OF LIFE Not satisfied with marrying Sasha Castel, a merger of two bloggers so influential there was talk that the Securities Exchange Commission might have to examine it for possible violations of federal anti-tust laws, Andrew Dodge, one the very few Republican/Tory vampires in captivity, is making a bid for literary immortality. Needless to say, our would-be overlords in the Brussels-based Fourth Reich do not come away unscathed...

Andrew Ian Castel-Dodge is an author, reviewer, blogger and soon to be game designer, as well as an occasional actor and lead singer of a rock band, Recently he was the solo star of a documentary filmed in London. Here we release the first in his series of three cyberpunk novels set in a decaying European Union. Below you will find And Glory, in the coming months Blogcritics will publish the two other novels in the trilogy. You can order this e-book for the price of $3.99.

Middle East Peace Phase II What you want to bet that if we took two divisions and a couple of Air Force wings and rolled on over into Iran, we would be greeted by throngs of Iranian celebrants in the streets? If I was Mad Mullah, I wouldn't be saying things like this.
And there I was.... Right after Sept 11, I was assigned duties as a force protection battle captain at the base I was stationed. Late one night, some soldiers on my shift were bored so they started watching a DVD. It was The Ladies Man. I'm not sure if you have seen this movie, but there is a scene where he is going around showing an audition tape to radio stations. For comic effect, the producer splices about 15 sound bytes in a row of the ladies man saying "DOGGY STYLE". As luck would have it, this man walks into my office and wants a briefing about the force protection status of the base while the ladies man is echoing "DOGGY STYLE" in the background. I'm standing there with my mouth open with a very frightened look on my face. He didn't say anything to me, but my battalion commander let me have it the next day. PS.. if he doesn't look familiar, he is the guy that was giving the daily CENTCOM briefings during the war.
Its Saturday in the US of A, so you know what that means...
Frank is spreading more filthy lies about Glenn Reynolds. In this week's episode: The Manchurian Candidate connection... And what the hell is up with the moped?
A SINGLE JEWISH GRANDPARENT... ...was all it took for you life to be in danger under the Nazis. And they didn't particularly care if you were a Christian. And today it seems some on the Left have dusted off a few of the old documents from last century's earlier flirtation with European Unity for a more modern, but no less sinister purpose. Link via Andrew Sullivan, who I don't think quite realises the full, ghastly significance of the final reference.

...quoted Labour Member of Parliament Tam Dalyell, the longest serving member of the House of Commons, as saying he thought Blair was unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisors. Margolick said Dalyell named Peter Mandelson, a former Blair cabinet member, Lord Levy, Blair's chief fund-raiser and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, an Anglican who has a Jewish grandparent.

Is it just me, or was there a sudden chill? The Nuremberg Laws were quite specific and detailed about race. Here are the operative sections.

ARTICLE 2. (2) An individual of mixed Jewish blood is one who is descended from one or two grandparents who, racially, were full Jews, insofar that he is not a Jew according to Section 2 of Article 5. Full-blooded Jewish grandparents are those who belonged to the Jewish religious community. [ ... ] ARTICLE 4. (1) A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich. He cannot exercise the right to vote; he cannot hold public office. (2) Jewish officials will be retired as of December 31, 1935. In the event that such officials served at the front in the World War either for Germany or her allies, they shall receive as pension, until they reach the age limit, the full salary last received, on the basis of which their pension would have been computed. They shall not, however, be promoted according to their seniority in rank. When they reach the age limit, their pension will be computed again, according to the salary last received on which their pension was to be calculated. [ ... ] ARTICLE 5 (1) A Jew is an individual who is descended from at least three grandparents who were, racially, full Jews... (2) A Jew is also an individual who is descended from two full-Jewish grandparents if: (a) he was a member of the Jewish religious community when this law was issued, or joined the community later; (b) when the law was issued, he was married to a person who was a Jew, or was subsequently married to a Jew; (c) he is the issue from a marriage with a Jew, in the sense of Section I, which was contracted after the coming into effect of the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor of September 15, 1935; (d) he is the issue of an extramarital relationship with a Jew, in the sense of Section I, and was born out of wedlock after July 31, 1936.

So here we are in 2003, after having supposedly won the war and driven a stake through the heart of the fascist beast; and an MP in the House of Commons, the Mother of Parliaments and the supposed guarantor of the rights of Englishmen, is busily denouncing the Foreign Secretary as a Mischling in the second degree!
FURTHER TO THIS WHOLE "CULTURAL VICTORY" MEME... Ian Murray, at "Edge of England's Sword", notes the latest polling on British atitudes towards foreign countries indicates that decades of Europhilic media brainwashing appear to have been washed away more or less in an instant, and we're back to where we should have been all along, side by side with our American cousins and damning the French for cowards and the Germans for bullies. Capital!

The research, carried out at the tail-end of the conflict in Iraq, shows three quarters of Britons (73%) consider America to be Britain's most reliable ally - with Australia getting the second highest poll position with one in 20 (four per cent) naming it. European countries do not fair so well, with France, Germany and Ireland considered Britain's most reliable ally by just one per cent each.

It's interesting to experience this modern phenomenon of old patterns of belief and behaviour reasserting themselves after lying dormant in a morass of post-modernist decline-of-the-west cultural relatavist nonsense for so long. I'm becoming more and more convinced that most of the people on the Left aren't seriously interesting in reforming Western civilisation, with correcting its imbalances and making it live up to its own ideals. I believe many, if not most of them, actually hate their own culture and want to see it destroyed. Largely because they are starting to realise they have no hope of ever gaining power through democratic means. Their ideas are increasingly discredited, and their influence had already been starting to slip before September 11th, 2001. That date of course provided all of us with a bucket of ice-water in the face, and the Left is now is very serious trouble. Last night on my way home from work, I passed the usual suspects sellng Green-Left Weekly on the Flinders St/Swanston St corner, right next to the Railway station entrance. They were shouting "End the Occupation, all foreigners out!" with exactly the same fanaticism and singular lack of success as the occasional Christian fundamentalist street preachers. Am I alone in wondering if the experience of being totally ignored and proven definitively wrong over the Iraq issue may produce a wave of domestic political terrorism in the not too distant future? Some of these people are desperate enough to consider it. Their world view is collapsing, the certainties they live their lives by are challenged as never before, and their prescriptions for a better world incresingly regarded as irritatingly childish and nonsensical. Some of these people are going to snap soon, and a Baader-Meinhof/Red Brigades/Weathermen-style 70's flashback is not beyond the bounds of possibility. That, or a comeback tour by Bony M, and I couldn't say which would be more damaging. In the meantime, I for one welcome some of the older relationships and attitudes that are now being re-established. And just to screw with the Left's collective head some more, here it is, your weekly moment of Anglospheric Zen.

England's Answer By Rudyard Kipling Truly ye come of The Blood; slower to bless than to ban; Little used to lie down at the bidding of any man. Flesh of the flesh that I bred, bone of the bone that I bare; Stark as your sons shall be -- stern as your fathers were. Deeper than speech our love, stronger than life our tether, But we do not fall on the neck nor kiss when we come together. My arm is nothing weak, my strength is not gone by; Sons, I have borne many sons, but my dugs are not dry. Look, I have made ye a place and opened wide the doors, That ye may talk together, your Barons and Councillors -- Wards of the Outer March, Lords of the Lower Seas, Ay, talk to your gray mother that bore you on her knees! -- That ye may talk together, brother to brother's face -- Thus for the good of your peoples -- thus for the Pride of the Race. Also, we will make promise. So long as The Blood endures, I shall know that your good is mine: ye shall feel that my strength is yours: In the day of Armageddon, at the last great fight of all, That Our House stand together and the pillars do not fall. Draw now the threefold knot firm on the ninefold bands, And the Law that ye make shall be law after the rule of your lands. This for the waxen Heath, and that for the Wattle-bloom, This for the Maple-leaf, and that for the southern Broom. The Law that ye make shall be law and I do not press my will, Because ye are Sons of The Blood and call me Mother still. Now must ye speak to your kinsmen and they must speak to you, After the use of the English, in straight-flung words and few. Go to your work and be strong, halting not in your ways, Balking the end half-won for an instant dole of praise. Stand to your work and be wise -- certain of sword and pen, Who are neither children nor Gods, but men in a world of men!

Read it to your local neighbourhood Professor of Sociological Femino-Linguistic Analysis. With any luck, his head will twist right off...


Yawn Presented with a situation such as the one we are facing in Korea, if I was POTUS, I would simply BOMB THE FUCK OUT OF THEM. Why does an idiot like Kim, Jong Il think he can play with the big boys? Hey kimchi breath, it doesn't matter if you have nukes, your missiles that deliver them take three days to fuel, arm, and launch. Go ahead and roll one out on a launch pad and see how long it and your country continue to exist.
No surprises here American Flag
United States Of America - The most well-renouned country in modern day times.
The militaristic superpower, the United States
of America are also known as the bossiest

Known Worldwide A Beacon to Others. Powerful. Fast Food. Negatives:
Bossy. Despised by Most Others. Elitest.

Which Country of the World are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
KNOWN FOR HIS MORDANT WIT... Alastair Campbell is Tony Blair's Director of Communications and Strategy, and by this acount of 10 Downing St on the eve of war, deserves to be one of the stars of "The West Wing".

The Prime Minister is working on his broadcast announcement to the nation that British troops will tonight be engaged from "air, land and sea". How should he begin it? "My fellow Americans," suggests Campbell. Tony Blair does not even begin to laugh.

I dunno, I nearly wet myself when I read it! I cabn just imagine Toby Zeigler coming out with a line like that. Then there's this other President Bartlett moment...

"I want to end with God Bless You," he says. There is a noisy team revolt in which every player appears to be complaining at once. "That’s not a good idea." "Oh no?" says the Prime Minister, raising his voice. "You are talking to lots of people who don’t want chaplains pushing stuff down their throats." "You are the most ungodly lot I have ever . . ." Tony Blair’s words fade away into the make-up artist’s flannel. "Ungodly? Count me out," complains speechwriter Peter Hyman, who is Jewish. "That’s not the same God," the protesters insist. "It is the same God," says the Prime Minister, scribbling fiercely on his text.

Let me guess... IT'S THE J.E.W.S! They want someone in power that they can easily label a terrorist or dangerous, someone you should be afraid of and be ready to attack. I have a suspicion that Mr. Abbas may not live to see his policies come to life because the "Fear Party" is a dangerous machine and peace makers tend to have abbreviated careers i.e. JFK, Gandhi, and MLK. I do believe that George Bush has gone on record as saying he will not deal with Yassar Arafat. So I guess that blows your little stupid theory straight to hell. Moron.
Odd pairing, interesting results
For some reason this strikes me as the oddest pairing since Bing Crosby and David Bowie. Frank J and Bill Whittle: The Interview Sessions. Go take a bathroom break, spread some plastic sheeting over your keyboard and monitor, and then go on over and check them out.
I have been thinking... I never knew that G. W. Bush served in the military, and even was a pilot (or maybe I just did not pay too much attention to the fact during the election campaign). So I was pleasantly surprised last night. Sure, it was a PR stunt, and not a bad one, either. But coolness aside, I think it is a plus to have a president who has some idea about how military operates, especially in times of war. It is not for nothing that so many Israeli PM's have been former generals. While thinking about W's background, and how much (or little?) I was able to learn about it during his election campaign, I remembered the time just before the elections, as I very often have been since 9/11. Just a couple of days before the vote I had a conversation with a neighbor, who told me she was going to vote for Bush. As one of the major reasons for this she gave the need to support the military, which has been severely undermined under Clinton. Despite the fact that I voted for Gore, this actually seemed like a pretty good reason, although at the time it still did not sound important enough for me to change my mind. Then she mentioned something that stuck in my mind, and that was the bombing of the USS Cole. It did not make much sense to me at the time, and we did not get a chance to elaborate on the issue, but I kept thinking about it repeatedly. I don't think I was even fully aware of the existence of al-Qaida and bin-Laden at that time, and that bombing seemed just like an isolated incident. It was in the ME, after all... Of course, after 9/11 everything became so much clearer. I don't know much about my neighbor’s and her family's background, and if they are connected to the military, or some information sources in any way (which could have explained her being better aware of the imminent danger than other ordinary people). What I am curious about is how many people who were in a position to know, actually knew, and how much hell did they, or did they not try to raise over the issue during the Clinton years. I am especially curious how many of those people were Republicans. Like, say, members of various classified committees of Congress. I am also wondering why was it that the Republicans tried to topple Clinton not over security and defense concerns, but over Monica Lewinski issue.
A MODEST PROPOSAL Okay, so the Saudis are so inbred they're starting to produce an insustainable proportion of genetically damaged offspring. This is what happens when cousins marry. It's called genetics, it's been known for a while, you might try cracking a few science textbooks other than "Selling Crude Oil for Fun and Profit". Never fear though, Laurence Simon has a Cunning Plan that once again reassures us that beneath his cuddly exterior beats the granite heart of a ruthless, sadistic maniac. But funny, so we forgive him! The plan is - import the Palestinians as fresh breeding stock!

Forgo the mythical "Right of Return" in United Nations Resolution 242 and instead welcome, embrace, and frequently hump the Palestinians into your cultures. Actively keeping them out of your cultures and bedrooms for a few generations should have had the desired effect of keeping them genetically distinct enough to breathe some life into your gene pools. I know, I know... there's a danger in treating the Palestinians as mere gene samples. They're batshit insane and bloodthirsty right now after Yasser Arafat's soaked them in the anti-culture of hate for a few decades. It would be like trying to breed pandas that have wolverines and sawblades glued to them.

Unless you're into that sort of thing of course...
THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD I know Michael Douglas muttered weakly that it was just a metaphor as Annette Benning advanced on him in the Lincoln Bedroom in "The American President", but check out that photo of Bush in his flight suit again. Has that guy got a package on him, or what? Another spinoff benefit of today's little action-hero stunt is, apparently, going to be a series of medical mishaps among leftist New Zealand commentators.

The best thing about this entire Bush jetting onto the Abe Lincoln thing is that Russell is going to pop a blood vessel. McLauchlan may well have a coronary. And would you look at that tackle...I know he's cinched up tight in the parachute rig but crickey! No wonder the man is taking on the islamo-fascists.

Well, I guess any red-blooded male, upon experiencing a carrier landing, might be a tad...excited. Meanwhile, Donald Sensing reports on a nice bit of Navy protocol.

In the Navy the custom is that when a commanding officer visits a ship, he is announced aboard by a bosun who simply states the name of his command. Hence, the commanding officer of Sixth US Fleet is announced, "Sixth Fleet, arriving." When that moment came today, the bosun called out, "United States, arriving!"

What, all of them? Better let the mess crew know... Oh, and here's my favourite quite from "The American President":

President Andrew Shepherd: My nervousness exists on... several levels. Number one, and this is in no particular order, I haven't done this in a pretty long time. Number two, uh, any expectations that you might have, given the fact that I'm... you know... Sydney Ellen Wade: [approaching seductively] The most powerful man in the world? President Andrew Shepherd: Exactly, thank you. I think it's important you remember that's a political distinction; it comes with the office. I mean, if, uh, Eisenhower were here instead of me, he'd be dead by now.



Sleeps with the Swishes?
Are we going to see the gay rights activists up in arms about this one? Tales of the Fairy Godfather. Fugedaboudit....
Well, color Glenn dissappointed
Glenn isn't all that impressed with the President flying out to the TR -
The jet-pilot arrival, on the other hand, rang false. The whole leader-who-flies-jets thing seems, somehow, Third World to me. People say that it'll make great campaign footage in 2004, but I actually doubt it -- or at least, I think it will backfire if they do too much of this. The President is commander-in-chief, but he's a civilian leader, and Americans want him to be one.
Sorry Glenn, jets onto carriers is waaaay cooler than a sax and some cheap sunglasses. I maybe, possibly, might think this was just a bit of a stunt if he jetted out, made the speech, then left. But he isn't leaving. He's spending the evening with 5000 or so American Sailors and Marines that have spent 10 months - almost an entire year - the longest recent carrier cruise, participating in not one, but two major campaigns. Belittle if you will the potential useage of footage for the campaign trail, but this is as much about the C in C visiting his troops. That, plus anyone that's ever gotten the kick out of flying a jet wouldn't eeeeeven pass up the chance for a carrier trap, with the bonus that he gets to swap carrier landing stories with dad now. Yes, the American people want a civilian leader. That's what they've got. Emphasis on leader - a component that was sadly lacking from the previous administration. But go ahead and cluck if you have to, Prof....
So, what's up with this?
Very intriguing questions in an article by Tim Graham over at The Media Research Center. Looks like all the major American Networks that were all too happy to give George Galloway face time for his anti-war hystrionics have been, well, absolutly mute on the subject of Mr. Galloway, and the evidence that he accepted payoffs from Saddam. There is also a one liner that mentions that apparently Jim McDermott (Ba'athist - Washington State) took about five grand for his legal defense fund from the Iraqi Ba'athist contractor that arranged the trip he took to Baghdad so he could go on camera and call Bush a liar. Where's the coverage? Oh, right, it got bumped for more outrage over missing clay pots, and the lack of 132 premium cable channels on three TVs per household, even in rural areas of Iraq. (Via The Corner)
The Commander in Chief
Ladies and Gentlemen, today George W. Bush made history, by being the first sitting President of the United States to make a trap landing on a US Navy Aircraft Carrier underway.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Good on ya, Mr. President.
And you thought he didn't care
Well of course he does! As an example, Laurence has thoughtfully designed this easy to review and learn poster for aspiring bulldozer bait loonbat morons sensitive souls willing to be ruthlessly used by a thinly veiled organization collaborating to assist the Pelestinian campaign of terror. No, this post was not fabricated simply as something to put up to remove that really, really nasty 'old!' marker that he's using on his blogroll for unupdated blogs. Talk about your negative re-inforcement...
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE I enjoy playing computer games, especially those huge-scale build-your-own-civilisation thingys such as, er, Civilisation. There's one thing that occasionally happens in Civilisation III that always makes me feel particularly good, and that's when a city belonging to a rival civilisation wakes up one morning and realises my culture is incredibly sophisticated, powerful, attractive and wealthy, but their own is still holding committee meetings to decide whether to investigate this "wheel" invention any further, while dealing with an increasingly powerful groundswell of opposition to this highly dangerous and untested new technology, "fire". And bless their little cotton socks, they say "Sod this, we're backing the winner" and suddenly I have a delegation of civic notables outside my Palace asking for permission to become part of my kingdom. Or republic, or People's Democratic Socialist Arab Jamhariya, or democracy or whatever scheme for relieving the plebs of their money I've got going at the time. And the borders of my civilisation expand, amid much rejoicing. And if I continue to build up my cities, installing wonders of the world, ruling peacefully and well, with a healthy, employed, educated public living long and prospering, why it's entirely possible that all the other nations of the world may one day have to admit that I'm the dog's bollocks, the cat's whiskers, and various other things indicating that I have won the sweetest victory of all - Cultural Domination! It's happening right now for real. Can you feel it? All I have to go on is myself of course, but it's clear that if I were a city, I'd have defected to the United States already. Since September 11th, I've found myself coming to sympathise with, empathise with and increasingly identify with the USA. The attack on America was also an attack on the modern democratic Western world. The World Trade Center represented all of us, not just America, and New York is definitely the capital of the world. When it was attacked, I felt violated. It was an attack on us all. It was an attack on me. I find myself 19 months after the event to have become intellectually assimilated by America. My political frame of reference has shifted completely. My internal map of the world used to have London at its centre. Coronation St, Bruce Forsthye, Morcambe and Wise and the Queens Christmas message were part of my upbringing. When I visited London as a teenager, I found that it was not unfamiliar. I was able to navigate the Tube system easily, I knew where the important public buildings were, the language and culture were utterly familiar to me. It was different, but it wasn't in any sense "foreign". At university, politics were still UK-centred. "Thatcher!" was the worst epithet available, and the Left were still banging on that "The Miners! United! Shall never be defeated!" (They were. By Thatcher!). Billy Bragg, Neil Kinnock, and privatisation were part of the background to political discussion in New Zealand at the time. If there was a cultural cringe, if we were looking over our shoulder, it was in the direction of London. But now, I find all my ideas coming from New York and Washington. Not always from Americans mind you. Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens are both Brits, but they live in the US. I'm ordering books by Dinesh D'Souza and from Amazon.com, and wondering if David Horowitz isn't perhaps just a little too over the top. I curse the Dummycrats, and rejoice when Cynthia McKinney and her ilk are driven from office. God held me, I even know what the demographics of the 4th Congressional district in Georgia are, and whether cross-party voting is allowed in the primaries (they are, which is how Denise Majette was able to defeat McKinney thanks to Republican votes). American politics is now my passion, which is a shame, as I used to be able to give anyone who cared to listen a blow-by-blow description of the train-wreck that was the Bermondsy by-election! (Which gave us Peter Tatchell, who still hasn't learned to shut his gob I note) Not any more. The centre of gravity has shifted, and for me, and many, many others I suspect, the navel of the world is now Times Square rather than Westminster. America is, without perhaps even meaning to, in the process of winning a cultural victory in the great game of nations. Osama bin Laden, who is without doubt tactically a very clever, cunning and shrewd man while simultaneously being in strategic terms as dumb as a rock, said something quite smart (by accident I'm sure). He said when people see a weak horse and a strong horse, they will naturally prefer the strong horse. We do. It's America and the cause of freedom. I'd bet the farm on that nag.


Cry Cuddly and let slip the Bears of War! Ok it's not Shakespeare, but they are cuddly. Say hello to the newest products available from Silent Running The Shop. These bears are available in either green or camo uniforms as seen, with either the Army or Marines T shirt saying "My dad liberated Bagdad and all I got was this lousy teddybear". Now before we leap on the sexist wagon and try to run me down with it, I only had room for the two samples. If anyone wants one that says "Mom, brother, sister, bloke I once met in a bar" or anything else just email me and I'll set it up and pass you the link. I'm also happy to provide any artwork if you want something else on the t shirt. Silent Running will not be making anything from the sale of these bears as I've set them up to sell at cost, however NMFA will be collecting a percentage. Don't let that stop you from purchasing any of our other fine products though, or you can help us to go pro by donating with the link up top.
--------- Army Bear ----------------- Marine Bear ---------
Place your bets, place your bets please
Reports are that the bombers at Mike's Place in Tel Aviv were operating with British Passports. Anyone care to lay odds on exactly how long it will be before the name 'Finsbury Park' pops up? Maybe it won't, but somehow I get the feeling that I won't be too surprised if it does.
Paging Dr. Bill, Dr. Bill, pick up on line 7
Dr. Bill has some sound medical advice, and a few things on other, um, crap.
Hey kids, its Career Day
In Frank's world at IMAO. Tom Daschle gets it in the chops! The only thing missing - you guessed it, monkey pictures. No, wait, he's got those too. So, there you have it, a little something for everyone, from the man with the cojones (que grandes son, ese! Chuleta!) to expose Glenn Reynolds as a hobo killing, satan worshipping puppy blender. Ooops, there is one thing missing. Frank has apparently neglected to recommend that everyone come over here and toss us a buck or two to help us escape evil, evil Blogger. We're confident that Frank will remedy that shortly, even if he does call us a bunch of cheapskates in the process.
Public Service Announcements: Allison has written an overview of Israeli English blogs, and she is lucky enough to have been able to do it as part of her day job. Go check it out. Hopefully, next such overview will include your's truly. A new group blog, Free Speech, is looking for contributors. If you are interested, go and send Del an e-mail.


Double Tap
There was another homicide Bombing in Tel Aviv today. The day the Pali 'Prime Minister' was elected and 'denounced' terrorism. On Yom HoShoah. And the targetted location? A pleasant little bar, called 'Mike's Place', very close to the US Embassy. A favorite hangout for - wait for it - Americans. This was in a letter to Kathryn Lopez, posted over at The Corner
It is one convenience store away from the extremely well-secured American embassy. It is owned by two Israeli/American brothers--Assaf and Gil and caters almost exclusively to American expats--tourists, long term residents, embassy staff and even American forces ages 18-80 (literally). Assaf plays the blues in a band called Southbound Train, a band that has given many of us who have spent time in Israel a desperately needed taste of home. He is also a consummate bartender in the "Sam Malone" style. They throw one heck of a Fourth of July party.
Hand these idiots a road map, and the first thing they do is jerk the damned wheel and head for a tree while stomping on the gas. The apologists had best keep their distance, and their yaps shut. They have the freedom to open them to be sure, and they may get the lesson of a lack of FREE-dom in dental work. They can all go and toss themselves in front of buldozers for all I care. This isn't desperation. This isn't hopelessness. This is rabid, insane, out of all sense of control evil run amok. The timing and selection of this event could not have been better chosen to send a 'message'. They may think the message is that they are unstoppable, that no one is untouchable. Wrong. The message they've just sent is 'yeah, we want some of that. Come and kick our asses.' The message that they've sent is that there is a cancerous growth, festering in the territories, that will not be treated with kind words, or medicine, or tender loving care. It is a tumorous infestation that must be cut out, and simply killed, for it has absolutely no place in a peaceful future, and will do everything in its power to ensure that such a future is farther and farther away. No road map can be followed until they are gone. No plan can succeed lest they are stopped, forever. No peace can be had with these murderous bastards that will not stop until one or the other is dead. Them or us. And I would prefer to spit on their graves, thank you very much.


Birthday Boy
This young man is having his birthday tomorrow but I thought I'd get in early so you all have time to say happy birthday to him since he'll be here in the morning to read all your thousands of messages. Anyway, here he is, not long after he joined his first ship in 1951, HMNZS Bellona at the age of 16. He had joined the Navy 14 months earlier thinking it looked more interesting than this school thing. At least one of his relatives approved as one of his aunts observed "those trenches are hell boy"... err right... anyway.
He travelled about a bit, tried out the first "Mr Whippy" franchise on a warship... AGGH! No pater not the stick!! Moving along, he spent some time in a few ships:
HMNZS Tamaki HMNZS Philomel HMNZS Bellona HMNZS Lachlan HMNZS Pukaki HMNZS Royalist HMNZS Wakefield HMS Pembroke HMNZS Blackpool HMNZS Inverell
In April 1968 he was given an LS & GC for having stuck around so long. In June 1977 it was The Queens Silver Jubilee Medal for not being caught, then another LS & GC in April 1983 for having stuck around for a really long time. Finally in 1984 he was made an MBE for sticking around for a really long time and never getting caught. Seen here getting it pinned on by another chap who was a boy seaman several classes ahead of him back in 1950, Sir David Beatty. After thirty seven and a half years he decided to give something else a go. All this and he manged to squeeze in being responsible for me and Bruce.
Not Like Sheep to the Slaughter. Alex posted some of the following in Russian. I googled for an English version, and found it here:
Yossel Rakover's Appeal To G-d In the ruins of the Ghetto of Warsaw, among heaps of charred rubbish, there was found, packed tightly into a small bottle, a testament, written during the ghetto's last hours by a Jew named Yossel Rakover. Some extracts are written below: "I am proud that I am a Jew not in spite of the world's treatment of us, but precisely because of this treatment. I should be ashamed to belong to the people who spawned and raised the criminals who are responsible for the deeds that have been perpetrated against us or to any people who tolerated these deeds. I believe that to be a Jew means to be a fighter, an everlasting swimmer against the turbulent human current. The Jew is a hero, a martyr, a saint. You, our evil enemies, declare that we are bad. I believe that we are better and finer than you, but even if we were worse, I should like to see how you would look in our place! I die peacefully, but not complacently; persecuted but not enslaved; embittered, but not cynical; a believer, but not a supplicant; a lover of G-d, but no blind amen-sayer of His. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our G-d the Lord is One. Into your hands, O Lord, I consign my soul."
Tonight, and tomorrow is Yom Hashoa - The Holocaust Day. Update: I would like to thank Michal Cahlon for alerting me to the possibility that the piece is most likely a literary fiction. I find it very powerful nonetheless.
Who says some people...
don't have a sense of humor? My favorite
Have you heard the one about Saddam and Sahhaf [Baghdad Bob] on the banks of the Tigris? A man on the other side raises two fingers in a victory sign. "What happened?' asks Saddam. "Did we win the war?" "Don't be stupid,” Sahhaf says. "He means there’s just two of us left."
YEAH? AND YOU POINT IS...WHAT EXACTLY? The culture faddists are gnawing at the grain store of Western Civ again. Better get the poison pellets out...

Schools should reconsider the New Zealand content taught in classrooms if they want to encourage more foreign fee-paying students into the country. Pamela Barton, education programme director for the Wellington-based Asia 2000 Foundation, says short-term students with no prior knowledge of New Zealand culture can struggle because they do not know our background, history and geography.

Well, seeing as they have come to New Zealand to go to school, maybe they could, I don't know, LEARN IT? Just a suggestion...

Rangitoto College principal Allan Peachey saw nothing wrong with teaching NZ literature and history to foreigners."What better way to master the language," he said. "I see nothing wrong with Asian students studying our culture. We should never apologise for our history or literature."

True enough, but with one vital caveat. New Zealand can never apologise enough to the world for allowing Vincent Ward to escape from the Maximum Security wing of the NZ Film Institute and make his way to America. That twit totally wrecked Alien 3 before the studio realised what was going on and replaced him with David Fincher, but by then it was already too late to save the picture. WRECKED IT! Killed off Newt, rendering Aliens utterly meaningless, celibate psychotic killer monks repenting in an isolated monastery...mind you, it was almost worth it just to see Charles Dance get his head bitten off. For what it's worth though, I apologise for Vincent Ward. We're really, really sorry. Really.


And yet again. If you have not already
Go and marvel at the brilliance, and the style, that is Bill Whittle's writing. Victory An absolute wonder to behold.
EVOLUTION IN ACTION I'm just reaching the end of the most remarkable book - "Evolution" by Stephen Baxter. Scared the living crap out of me it did.

Baxter's hominid history is framed by a story set in 2030. A visionary palaeontologist, Joan Useb, is trying to convince her fellow scientists to embrace the next evolutionary leap forward, a "cognitive breakthrough" allying the global connectivity of new technology with "older primate instincts of cooperation". It's a last-ditch attempt to save the ecosystem and "stave off the human-induced extinction event". But ironically the final holocaust is not man-made; it comes from mother earth. In Baxter's Evolution , volcanic eruptions, impacts from comets, ice ages and indeed evolution itself destroy our delusions of grandeur and remind us that we are just naked apes, unique ones, perhaps (after all, we're the only ape that sweats), but still just "animals embedded in an ecosystem".

Since beginning this book, I've been seeing almost everything in Darwinian terms. On watching a mini-series on the sinking of the Titanic, the behavious of the men in getting the women and children on the lifeboats first ("Be British! Be British!") suddenly seems less disinterestedly altruistic, or "good", and more like a calculated survival strategy to preserve their genetic heritage and send it safely into the future. A mother with one child is frantically searching for her other baby, when one of the ship's officers tells her the last lifeboat is leaving, and suggests that saving one child is more important than trying futilely to find the second. The mother is torn, but agrees he's right. Better to save one genetic inheritance than lose both. Just looking at the TV takes on new meaning. Seeing a silly sit-com where a bunch of teenage girls are lying around the bedroom, brushing each other's hair and giffling about their boyfriends is an instant flashback to the socially significant grooming rituals of the African savannah. It makes me wonder how much of our supposedly free and autonomous individual behaviour is actually programmed survival traits. Some behaviour which we think of as noble and self-sacrificing turns out to actually be hard-wired long-term survival mechanisms. While sometimes fatal to the individual, they tend to benefit the wider group, especially the chances of offspring and breeding females to continue on. Robert Heinlein menmtions the story about an incident that occured many years ago near his home town. A young couple were crossing the railroad tracks, when the girl got stuck. A train was coming, and was clearly going to hit her. A hobo who was nearby saw this, and began helping the girl's partner try to free her. Both of the men could have saved themselves by jumping free, but they both kept struggling to save the girl as the train bore down on them. All three were killed. Now you might say the girl's partner had more reason to stay with her than the hobo, who had no connection to either of them. You could say both men showed nobility and character. And I wouldn't argue, I think that's exactly what they were showing. But in this circumstance, nobility and character were the outward psychological manifestations of an ancient inner voice demanding that potential breeding stock must be saved at almost any cost. Two men died, but the potential benefit if they had succeeded in freeing the girl was worth the sacrifice. Reading this book is actually a bit depressing. For one thing, humanity doesn't make it. And for another, it makes me question my own sense of self. How much of what I do, say and believe is actually me being a unique individual, and how much is just the hard-wired evolutionary code talking?

Roughly the first third of Evolution (200+ pages) is devoted to the stories of our pre-human grandparents, whose daily lives consist mostly of foraging, flinging shit at one another, and fleeing predators. Although Baxter's depictions are brilliant, with some inspired conjectures to spice up events, there's only so much drama that can be squeezed from foraging, shit-flinging and predator-fleeing.

Sounds like a normal day at the office to me. "Evolution" is having a similar effect on me as Olaf Stapeldon's "Last and First Men" and "Starmaker", which is to say, it's making me philosophically dizzy, dpressed and uplifted at the same time. If you haven't read Stapeldon, do so at once. His perspective is so incredibly distant in time that you can be surprised to shut the book and find yourself still in the 21st century. It all helps put minor things like the war in Iraq into a decent perspective. In the end, most things are pretty insignificant. "Evolution" is like a minature version of the Total Perspective Vortex from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Read it and prepare to be crushed by the weight of Time itself!