Archive for January, 2006
31 Jan 2006

To a Marxist Dying Old

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An up-dated version by Dr. Sanity of A.E. Housman’s “To an Athlete Dying Young:”

    That time in the sixties you made your point
    And celebrated with a joint;
    Protesters stood cheering by,
    And everyone of them was high.

    To-day, you dwell within that past,
    Desperate that your theories last,
    But sadly, they have been debunked,
    And Marx himself has been depunked.

    Smart man, to slip into a haze
    Where always is the dialectic praised,
    And all your dreams might come to be
    Untouched by life’s reality.

    Eyes that glittered with fanatic passion
    Cannot forever be in fashion,
    And slogans chanted from those marches
    Have given way to Golden Arches

    Once you weren’t just antiwar
    You understood what you were for,
    But then the shit, it hit the fan–
    The cause then died before the man

    And after all the echoes faded,
    The deaths and miseries paraded,
    The consequences of your cause
    Its inhumane and fatal flaws

    You choose to close your eyes instead,
    It’s not your fault they all are dead!
    You’ll find another cult as good–
    Potentially in victimhood.

    And when you finally face your death,
    So close to breathing your last breath;
    Consider all the pain and strife
    Your ideals caused in real life.

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Hat tip to Rick Ballard at YARGB.

31 Jan 2006

Wouldn’t the Poor Girls Have Had Guns?

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Over in Moonbatistan, they are tongue-clucking over a story that Colonel Janis Karpinski (recently demoted for not preventing the hijinks at Abu Ghraib prison) is reported to have told to a self-appointed Bush war crimes commission. Karpinski alleges Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former senior US military commander in Iraq (who relieved and reprimanded Karpinski), covered up reports that:

several women had died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women’s latrine after dark.

The latrine for female soldiers at Camp Victory wasn’t located near their barracks, so they had to go outside if they needed to use the bathroom. “There were no lights near any of their facilities, so women were doubly easy targets in the dark of the night.

Karpinski testified that a surgeon for the coalition’s joint task force said in a briefing that “women in fear of getting up in the hours of darkness to go out to the port-a-lets or the latrines were not drinking liquids after 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and in 120 degree heat or warmer, because there was no air-conditioning at most of the facilities, they were dying from dehydration in their sleep.”

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No guns? No group girl trips to the loo? No improvised bedpans? No MPs or officers one could report threats to? Plus you sleep so soundly at 120 unairconditioned degrees that you just die of dehydration in your sleep, never reaching for the old canteen? I suppose it all stands to reason. If you can believe all the other seven impossible things before breakfast the typical leftist believes, why! you can obviously believe this story, too.

31 Jan 2006

Google’s Sellout

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Andy Kessler, former hedge fund manager and current business book author, in today’s Wall Street Journal reflects critically on the form and manner of Google’s sellout:

Look, there’s a wrong way to sell out — rappers pitching for Chrysler, anything Vegas — and a right way. Puff Daddy’s soundtrack for “Godzilla” could have been a disaster to his fans, but he chose to do a hip-hop remix of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” providing someone else to blame for the sellout. Or the Jimmy Hendrix strategy. Story has it that, despite using Gibson guitars on his albums, he signed a deal with Fender Guitars for cash and as many Stratocasters as he needed, as long as he appeared exclusively in concert and photos with Fenders. He took the deal, and with his unlimited supply of Fenders, began smashing them at the end of every concert, for fans who never knew he sold out.

Google could have kept their cool and trusted image if they’d just worked with someone else in China, someone they could smash. Eggroll.com powered by Google. Someone else to blame for those unsearchable keywords. Users in the West may not desert them, but a billion soon-to-be-online Chinese will forever associate Google with lame and censored results — search tools of the state. That’s just dumb. And totally uncool.

Also available at the author’s webpage.

31 Jan 2006

Czech Supermodel Debunks Cuban Socialism

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Helena Houdova

Dean Esmay links Val Prieto’s coverage of the aftermath of last week’s arrest in Cuba of Czech Supermodel Helena Houdova for photographing the real Cuba.

Houdova, Miss Czech Republic 1999, spoke to journalists today after returning from Cuba.

“The revolution’s watchmen rose up because I was taking pictures of something they do not like,” said the top model, referring to the fact that the Communist regime of Fidel Castro denies the existence of slums on the island.

Houdova went to Cuba to find out whether her Sunflower foundation could assist the local children – orphans, the handicapped or those afflicted with AIDS. She pointed out that it is almost impossible to provide any assistance through official means because the Communist authorities refuse to admit anything in their country does not work.

However, Houdova personally ascertained the pathetic situation in several Cuban hospitals.

Houdova was arrested along with psychologist and fellow model Mariana Kroftova. The two women spent 11 hours in police custody.

The Cuban police confiscated the roll of film that was in the Czech women’s camera. However, Houdova managed to conceal the memory card of her digital camera inside her brassiere.

[she] told journalists today that she will display the pictures she took at an exhibition portraying the island not only as a tourist paradise but also as a land of political oppression.


Maria Kroftova, the partner-in-crime

31 Jan 2006

Zawahiri’s Remarks

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From a conservative email list this morning:

EV: Apparently, al Zawahiri has called Bush a butcher and a failure. If he’s a butcher, wouldn’t that make him a success?

BP: No kidding. That must be the terrorist equivalent of “the food was so bad, I couldn’t eat it, and the portions were too small.”

30 Jan 2006

Denmark Paper Apologizes

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Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten apologized to the Islamic world today for a series of twelve cartoon caricatures of the prophet Mohammed. All twelve can be seen here. (You will have to be patient today. Francis’ server is overloaded.)

Evidently bucking to replace Jimmy Carter as the most embarassing former president, William Jefferson Clinton has spoken out on this free speech issue (quoted in Junkyardblog).

Clinton described as “appalling” the 12 cartoons published in a Danish newspaper in September depicting Prophet Mohammed and causing uproar in the Muslim world.

“None of us are totally free of stereotypes about people of different races, different ethnic groups, and different religions … there was this appalling example in northern Europe, in Denmark … these totally outrageous cartoons against Islam,” he said.
The cartoons, including a portrayal of the prophet wearing a time-bomb-shaped turban, were reprinted in a Norwegian magazine in January, sparking uproar in the Muslim world where images of the prophet are considered blasphemous.

Hat tip to LGF and to Francis at L’Ombre de L/Olivier, whose comments are worth a look.

We do not apologize.

30 Jan 2006

Zawahiri Speaks

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The tape released by Ayman al-Zawahiri on al-Jazeera today proves two things: 1) he was not killed in the recent US Predator strike in Pakistan, and 2) that al Qaeda really is on the run and desperate for a truce. The Counterterrorism Blog has translated excerpts, including:

the American refusal to accept the Truce offer by Usama Bin Laden as an honorable way out, under the pretext that the US are winning the war against what it calls Terrorism, is a Bush “mirage.” …the public in the US and the UK should make Bush and Blair responsible for the bodies which will come from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sounds like Zawahiri could get himself a job over in Monterey in the Defense Analysis Department of the Naval Postgraduate School.

30 Jan 2006

Dangerous (to the Family Budget) URL

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Mrs. Reynolds will be really unhappy if anyone gives Glenn Reynolds this url. Those Van deGraaf Generators are a lot of fun, but they’re not cheap.

30 Jan 2006

True Love is But a +2 Broadsword Away

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30 Jan 2006

Postgraduate School of Poltroonery

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Douglas A. Borer

And, what do you know? in the course of researching my previous posting, I discovered that John Arquilla is not even unique in his views among the faculty of the Monterey, California Naval Postgraduate School. Its Department of Defense Analysis is a little hotbed of Peace Studies.

In addition to Mr. Arquilla, it includes assistant professor Douglas A. Borer, who, on last January 24th in the Christian Science Monitor, also editorialized that, in response to Osama bin Laden’s truce offer, the president needs to decide whether to stick to the moribund old cliché “we don’t negotiate with terrorists,” or whether he should use this as a potential opportunity to redirect global politics along a path that serves US national interests. … (that) even if negotiations fail, we may have more to gain than to lose by exploring peace.

Certain professors of defense analysis seem to overlook the fact that only four and half years ago, dozens of Americans were forced to choose between jumping from 90 floors, or burning to death. The United States has no honorable alternative to avenging their deaths upon the persons responsible. There is nothing moribund or clichéd about our government having the basic decency to refuse to bargain with bin Laden.

30 Jan 2006

Hard to Believe

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John Arquilla

Would anyone living outside America’s coastal enclaves of leftism actually believe that any major American newspaper would run an editorial arguing that we ought to be accepting Osama bin Laden’s recent truce offer? Remarkable, isn’t it?

But we can top that. Would you also believe that the editorialist, one John Arquilla (a man with these kinds of views) is employed by the Defense Department as a professor of Defense Analysis, no less (in his case, clearly: Surrender Analysis), at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Arquilla is additionally a senior consultant for the RAND Corporation, and an advisor to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld(!).

It’s a wonder we’re not all speaking Arabic.

Arquilla writes:

Osama bin Laden’s offer of a truce has sunk from sight without leaving a ripple, but it should have made waves… bin Laden’s overture should be carefully weighed and thoughtfully debated. …the practical upside of giving peace a chance looks very attractive. Our ethical obligation to try in good faith to negotiate is even more compelling… Reconsidering the immediate dismissive response to his overture is the necessary next step. I pray we have the courage and compassion to take it.

How does anyone with this person’s philosophy and strategic acumen ever come to be hired to teach at a US military educational facility in the first place? Shouldn’t a personal philosophy of Utopian Pacifism be considered a disqualification for a defense analyst?

Mr. Arquilla somehow manages to overlook in his supine analysis the fact that Osama bin Laden and his confederates were responsible for the murder of more than 3000 innocent American civilians. There are no legitimate truces or negotiations after 9/11. The only conclusion to the current conflict acceptable to Americans ought to be the deaths of bin Laden and his terrorist associates.

29 Jan 2006

Good Ballistic News

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Note the difference in size.

One of the US military’s major historic mistakes is being rectified. Strategy Page reports that the Department of Defense has announced that the United States is going back to the hallowed .45 ACP cartridge as the chambering for US issue sidearms.

January 27, 2006: After two decades of use, the U.S. Department of Defense is getting rid of its Beretta M9 9mm pistol, and going back to the 11.4mm (.45 caliber) weapon. There have been constant complaints about the lesser (compared to the .45) hitting power of the 9mm. And in the last few years, SOCOM (Special Operations Command) and the marines have officially adopted .45 caliber pistols as “official alternatives” to the M9 Beretta. But now SOCOM has been given the task of finding a design that will be suitable as the JCP (Joint Combat Pistol). Various designs are being evaluated, but all must be .45 caliber and have a eight round magazine (at least), and high capacity mags holding up to 15. The new .45 will also have a rail up top for attachments, and be able to take a silencer. Length must be no more than 9.65 inches, and width no more than 1.53 inches.

The M1911 .45 caliber pistol that the 9mm Beretta replaced in 1985, was, as its nomenclature implied, an old design. There are several modern designs out there for .45 caliber pistols that are lighter, carry more ammo and are easier to maintain than the pre-World War I M1911 (which is actually about a century old, as a design). The Department of Defense plans to buy 645,000 JCPs.

SOCOM will, with input from other branches, handle the evaluation and final selection. This will take place this year, and if the military moves with unaccustomed alacrity, troops could start getting their JCPs next year. But don’t hold your breath.

The US military switched from a .38 issue cartridge to the .45 with the adoption of John Moses Browning’s renowned Model 1911, as the result of unhappy experiences with the lack of stopping power of the smaller round against earlier Islamic opponents: the Moro pirates of the Philippine Insurrection.

.45 ACP cartridge history

29 Jan 2006

Bite-the-Alligator Award Story

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Tom Stienstra, the SF Chronicle’s Outdoor columnist, tells the story of this guy who was scared to death of bears.

But he was going to Bear Valley, and anyplace with a name like that would require some bear repellent, he figured…

He was tortured with the nightmare of a pack of bears surrounding him, slapping him around for fun, and then jumping on him, slobbering in his face. So he bought a canister of bear pepper spray, which is similar to mace. That is, if attacked, you spray it on the attacker’s face.

The outfitters from Alaska I know told me the hardest thing about administering pepper spray is that it hurts like heck when the bear stuffs the can down your throat.

Well, as the story goes, this guy in hysterics came running into the Bear Valley fire house.

“He was in great pain and wanted first-aid,” Jung said. “He thought pepper spray was like mosquito repellent and had sprayed it all over himself.”

That’s right, the guy sprayed himself with pepper spray.

In honor of this excruciating encounter, I hereby award Bear Repellent Bill the Bite-The-Alligator Award that I occasionally bestow.

This award is in honor of a small poodle dog in Florida that yapped at the alligator that climbed out of the canal, nipped it in the tail, whereupon the alligator whipped around and promptly ate it.

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Of course, there is also the famous alleged Glacier National Park advisory sign:

MONTANA GRIZZLY BEAR ALERT

In light of the rising frequency of human/grizzly bear encounters, the Montana Department of Fish and Game advises hikers, hunters, and fishermen to take extra precautions and to stay alert for bears while in the field.

It is advised that outdoorsmen wear small bells on their clothing so as not to startle bears that aren’t expecting them. We also advise outdoorsmen to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter with a bear.

Additionally, it is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. Outdoorsmen should be able recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear sign.

Black bear excrement is smaller, and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur.

Grizzly bear excrement has lots of little bells in it, and smells like pepper.

29 Jan 2006

Lost in America

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Garrison Keillor debunk‘s Bernard-Henri Lévy’s recent attempt to redo Tocqueville:

It is the classic Freaks, Fatties, Fanatics & Faux Culture Excursion beloved of European journalists for the past 50 years, with stops at Las Vegas to visit a lap-dancing club and a brothel; Beverly Hills; Dealey Plaza in Dallas; Bourbon Street in New Orleans; Graceland; a gun show in Fort Worth; a “partner-swapping club” in San Francisco with a drag queen with mammoth silicone breasts; the Iowa State Fair (“a festival of American kitsch”); Sun City (“gilded apartheid for the old”);a stock car race; the Mall of America; Mount Rushmore; a couple of evangelical megachurches; the Mormons of Salt Lake; some Amish; the 2004 national political conventions; Alcatraz – you get the idea. (For some reason he missed the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the adult video awards, the grave site of Warren G. Harding and the World’s Largest Ball of Twine.) You meet Sharon Stone and John Kerry and a woman who once weighed 488 pounds and an obese couple carrying rifles, but there’s nobody here whom you recognize. In more than 300 pages, nobody tells a joke. Nobody does much work. Nobody sits and eats and enjoys their food. You’ve lived all your life in America, never attended a megachurch or a brothel… and it dawns on you that this is a book about the French. There’s no reason for it to exist in English, except as evidence that travel need not be broadening and one should be wary of books with Tocqueville in the title…

…every 10 pages or so, Lévy walks into a wall. About Old Glory, for example. Someone has told him about the rules for proper handling of the flag, and from these (the flag must not be allowed to touch the ground, must be disposed of by burning) he has invented an American flag fetish, a national obsession, a cult of flag worship. Somebody forgot to tell him that to those of us not currently enrolled in the Boy Scouts, these rules aren’t a big part of everyday life.

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