Saturday, October 01, 2005
The "Church" of ScientologyMy buddy Richi has caught the aforementioned cult sending out spam to recruit new suckers, and pointed out the extreme tolerance of this country to anyone calling themselves a church at the same time. His perspective on the latter is somewhat different than mine but extremely valid. They are a cult, IMHO, I just don't want my government involved in that determination. They are violating the law in their latest recruiting scheme, which makes them criminals regardless of your point of view on their validity as a religious organization.
To be children againThis post on 365 and a WakeUp starts with all the suspense and genuine fear that one might expect of a posting from a war zone. Well written and humanitarian as always, Deputy Commander Bout reminds us of the universality (is that a word) of being a child. They are resilient, adaptive, and the biggest hope the world has if we can just manage not to corrupt them.
Their drawn faces were still awash in residual shock and fear, so I motioned them to follow me and walked them towards the HMMWV. As they waited next to the vehicle I reached into the cargo area and fished out a couple handfuls of candy and a stuffed animal. As I passed out the small presents their confused expressions melted away, replaced by wide eyed smiles. It wasn't a gradual change, it was like watching the sun break through the clouds after a long storm. SGT Bard stopped to snap a picture of their beaming smiles and then they were off like a shot, happily chirping to each another.
If only we could all go back to seeing the world through their eyes! Go read the whole thing. It is as worthwhile as always.
Prof. Bainbridge on Don AdamsProfessor Bainbridge is on a roll:
Well, at least he got his wish:KAOS Agent: Look, I'm a sportsman. I'll let you choose the way you want to die.
Maxwell Smart: All right, how about old age?
Am I the only one to notice that the bad guys on "Get Smart" carried a very similar acronym to the biggest lefty blog on the net some 30 years later? You have to drop the "A" when you are, at best, such a B-team.
On the 10 Commandments outside a courthouseProfessor Bainbridge tickled my funnybone again with this one:
The Ten Commandments display was recently removed from the Alabama Supreme
Court building. The Supreme Court explained that you can't post a sign that says
Thou Shalt Not Steal,
Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,
and Thou Shall Not Lie
in a building full of lawyers and politicians without creating a hostile
Prof Bainbridge on the DeLay indictmentProfessor Bainbridge points out that Tom Delay will be both prosecuted (or is that persecuted) and defended by Democrats from his reading of a Tom Kirkendall posting on the matter. There is a lot of good analysis on this sham indictment all over the internet. This is the only one I found that was genuinely funny.
By the way, Mr. DeLay has purchased a first-rate defense team, which includes well-known Houston defense attorney, Dick DeGuerin. You may recall that Mr. DeGuerin recently obtained a rather extraordinary acquittal for a client who had far more difficult problems than Mr. DeLay does.
Finally, Dick DeGuerin -- like Mr. Earle, the prosecutor -- is a Democrat. So, one of the leading Republicans in the U.S. Congress is going to be prosecuted and defended by Democrats.
can I win the lottery, pleaseWizbang points out that the M400 Skycar will be released soon (in theory). The M400 is a Vertical Takeoff personal craft that gets 21 MPG and moves through the sky at 350 MPH. I just need the $3.5 Million to buy one.
sob story or story of grifting?Wizbang does a nice analysis of this Boston Globe sob story and produces an entirely different picture from just the facts the Globe printed. We report, you decide at its best. I suggest you read the Globe article first, then read the breakdown on Wizbang.
humor for the dayWizbang's Jay Tea heard a PSA from the Massachusetts AG on waterlogged cars from the Gulf. His imagination ran away with him to produce this gem:
"We've all been touched by the scenes of devastation out of New Orleans. But some have looked at the tragedy and seen opportunity -- a chance to rip you off. A lot of cars were ruined by the floodwaters, and some unscrupulous people are trying to sell them off on the unsuspecting public.
"Don't get taken. Take it from me, Senator Ted Kennedy -- cars and water don't mix."
VDH on what is wrong with collegeVictor Davis Hanson has a great post on what has gone wrong with America's Universities. The phrase "you have to go to college for a long time to be that stupid" is becoming more and more popular in Peoria and VDH points out why.
Condoleezza Rice is too smart not to runTigerHawk has this first hand account of her speech at Princeton (HT: LGF). It is always hard to tell who would do well under the stress of command but it is hard to look at her command of history, the facts at hand, and even a bunch of libs at Princeton and not be in awe!
Steve Lovelady made a major mistakeJason Van Steenwyk takes him apart in this post about the difference in federal response between Katrina and Andrew (HT: PowerLine). Add another notch on the handle of the gun pointed at the MSM. Go read it, it is most intriguing.
And apparently, Mr. Pitts is the only one between us who has, in Lovelady's words, a "first-person story" to tell.
That's right. Despite two tours as a headquarters company commander, a combat tour as a headquarters company XO, a brief interlude, in combat, as a battalion S-4, actual mobilizations for Charley, Jeanne, and Frances, an alert for Mitch, two mobilizations for Hurricane Dennis, a mobilization for Katrina when it hit the Keys (though I did not directly participate), another warning order for deployment to Mississippi in October for Katrina relief (turns out they didn't need us, but we still went through the planning for it as far as we could), and a mobilization for Hurricane Rita, AND despite the fact that I was also on the ground in the Kendall region in South Miami a week after hurricane Andrew (I was on a 4 day pass from the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning Georgia, that labor day weekend, helping my late grandmother clean up), apparently only Pitt has any valid experiences to speak intelligently about hurricane relief.
Oooopppppsssss! It appears that Mr. Lovelady made the mistake of arguing about the reality of National Guard Hurricane relief with someone who just might know something about the topic.
Bill BennettBigLizards has the most comprehensive story on the "Bill Bennett is a racist" craze that has overtaken the lefties the last few days. It is really sad that the party of "free speech and academic freedom" has been overtaken by such small minded people. Bill Bennett is a true academic with one of the biggest hearts in America. To read his comments as anything other than a condemnation of using unprovable statistical suppositions in a fundamentally moral argument requires, as Dennis Prager is fond of saying, a graduate degree. As you know, I am very fond of mathematics. I have to agree with Mr. Bennett that this is not a case where it assists in the argument for either side, and if it does, it is an argument that is morally reprehensible.
ZombieTime rulesZombieTime has a decomposition of an SF Chronicle photo-story. It isn't always that the MSM lies, it is more often true that they simply hold back critical facts that would cause you to come to a much different conclusion. He happened to be there when the photo that the Chronicle published as an illustration of the youth movement against the war in Iraq was taken. His larger view of the picture is much more revealing than the tight shot published. Go have a look.
Kalb is a clueless idiotThat should have been the title of this Powerline article about his clueless interview of Dan Rather on Sunday. They are much too polite. He has now added himself to the list of "journalists" that have zero credibility with anyone in possession of an IQ above 60. Go read.
million man armyBigLizards has a great mathematical breakdown of the MSM coverage of military recruiting. (HT: Powerline) I hate it when the facts get in the way of a good story.
The mind of the mathematician suddenly registers something it likes: numbers! We have a million men; we want one million and thirty thousand; maybe as high as one million and fifty thousand. A quick calculation: so our force is just too small -- we desperately need to increase it... by 3% to 5%.
I love it that people who didn't sleep through math class now have an outlet to publish what the MSM missed in the haze that was math class to most of them!!! :-)
Go read the whole thing.
Friday, September 30, 2005
First 3-way in the NetherlandsWell, the first to take place without adultery under the guise of the new civil union laws anyway. A man, his wife, and their lover were "unioned/joined/whatever" under the new law the Dutch passed recently. The two women are bisexual and he is straight, and I am sure very happy. The third woman moved in with them months ago and divorced her husband. Very European, don't you think? Given that judges are now looking at foreign law and rulings for their decisions, can somebody try again to explain to me why I can't marry two women in Massachusetts? Full story here.
"I think that with two heterosexual women it would be more difficult," he said, noting he is "100 percent heterosexual."
87% of McDonald's workers are HispanicOr, er, maybe not. I am not sure after reading this NBC story. According to the story, 87% of the employees "observed" in Fairfield County, Connecticut and 64% in New Haven County "appeared to be" hispanic.
This data comes from "observing" 152 workers around the state. Connecticut is not very big, but I would bet they have a few dozen McDonald's. Let's lowball it and say they have 20 statewide. 152/20 = 7.6 observed workers per outlet. The average outlet must employ > 50 people. It is all sounding like a setup.
Then the punch line:
"This is to me occupational displacement-- all of a sudden, in places like Bridgeport and New Haven and Stamford, there aren't any African-Americans working there like there used to be? What's happened?" he said.
Ahhhhh! When McDonald's and Walmart hire blacks they are oppressing them with low wages. When they hire hispanics they are displacing blacks. Which is it?
The story bothers to tell us that 10% of the states population are Hispanic. There is no mention of the percentage of blacks in the state or at the "observed" McDonald's. Worse than that for me, there is no mention of the percentage of the population of hispanics in the counties they complain about. I don't know much of anything about Connecticut. Are hispanics and blacks evenly proportioned throughout the various counties? I would guess not.
Maybe there is a problem here, maybe there isn't. Bad journalism has left me with insufficient data to make a judgment.... and I don't care enough to go find out for myself.
RantingProfs is back in full swingHer analysis of this Reuters "article" is simple. Is this a story or a press release? It is put out by their news division but it does not even make attempt to present more than one side of the story. The side they do present is their own side, admittedly. It is therefore, IMHO, a press release, and a poorly constructed one at that.
It also brings up an interesting point. Reuters is, rightly, trying to make the world safer for journalists and make sure that the armed forces don't detain them when they are caught supposedly doing their jobs. The military is trying to do whatever they need to do to get the job done at minimal risk to their men and, to a lesser but significant extent, the innocent civilians. These two things are, by their very nature, at odds with each other.
There is a middle ground but it is not a point on the line. It is arguably a pretty wide swath. We can all agree that we want the press to be able to do their jobs and give us independent coverage of the wars our military is fighting. We can all agree that we want the military to limit military and civilian casualties. Where do we want the line drawn on each of the conflicts that this presents? If a journalist is embedded with the enemy do we want our military guys to take greater risks to avoid shooting him while shooting the bad guys? How about if he is hanging out in a tree line behind the bad guys trying to covertly cover them?
great minds think about logisticsThe military adage that smaller minds think about tactics while greater minds think about logistics is proven by looking at Katrina. Forget red tape and legal barriers. Forget gross incompetence on the part of the local and state officials. Assume all of that goes away and you are looking at a perfect world. Can the National Guard and FEMA come in faster than 48-72 hours effectively?
This article at iraqnow (HT: Rantingprofs, welcome back btw) gives you some idea of the magnitude of the problem that I have not seen the press even attempt to address. We are not talking about a couple of semi trucks being pulled up to the Superdome. The problem is enormous.
I tried to explain what a massive undertaking it is to move the National Guard into the Katrina affected area to my wife. I had very little success until I broke it down to one number. 8 pounds. It is a magic number. The planning weight for a gallon of water. Times two gallons per person per day minimum. Times 40,000 personnel for the National Guard to support itself. The number gets pretty staggering really quick. 320 tons a day. And that is just for the water.
I don't know what the Guard uses for hauling general cargo these days so I'll use the good old 5 ton truck as my vehicle of choice. A five ton truck carries, well, not five tons. Not after you take out of its total people, fuel, equipment, spares and all the other "stuff" your average driver/A driver pair need to survive. But assuming you can get 5 tons of water on the truck that is 64 trucks (big trucks, not Ford F150 trucks) just to haul water for the relief forces. Still not a drop to drink for the survivors. Now double that number to add in one days worth of water for the 40,000 people in the Superdome. Now we are 128 water trucks.
And nobody (including the troops) has been fed, nobody has any dry clothes, there are no working portable toilets, no generators, no water heaters for showers, no kitchens, and NO FUEL which is an even bigger problem than water in terms of size.
The fact that they can pull it off in roughly 72 hours is pretty amazing to me.
Introducing Tammy BruceI plan to keep an eye on this blog. I expect it to be full of insight. Tammy is a respected author and self proclaimed "classic liberal". For some odd reason she thinks she, and the others like her, are going to be able to pull the Democratic party back into our time/space continuum. She is bright, articulate, and center-left. The mainstream media refer to her as a conservative but she will be the first one to tell you she isn't.
International Freedom Center is deadAmen! Alah Akbar! God save the Queen !!!! Several folks have taken a poke at this one. Read this on Powerline, this on LGF and Tammy Bruce here.
There is still some hope when the "people" can force the goofballs in government not to turn over a chunk of 9/11 Ground Zero to a bunch of America haters.
when you continue to lose electionsChange the Rules!!! Obviously the administration at Dartmouth College is chock full of Democrats. Read the story, it is almost funny.
Hugh on Katrina reportingHugh Hewitt's WeeklyStandard column this week is on the failure of the press coverage of Hurricane Katrina. It is worth a read. The press is costing us billions in investigations, overspend in relief, etc.
2 day sentence for bigamyI am speechless after reading this article in the Des Moines Register. It starts:
A woman who admits she was married to three men at the same time will spend two days in jail on a bigamy charge.
Can anybody find me a man caught married to two women, yet alone three, who got a two day sentence? But, wait, it gets better:
The multiple marriages were uncovered during an investigation of a fatal fire in Griswold.
Street’s daughter, Tracey Dyess, then 17, is accused of setting the blaze which killed her 13-year-old sister, Jessica, and a 6-year-old nephew, Kaleb.
Street’s third husband, Brian, who escaped the fire at the home, faces federal charges of pornography and sexual abuse involving Tracey and Jessica.
So she is not just a bigamist, she is obviously guilty of child endangerment and being a horrible Mother (which isn't necessarily illegal but should be).
But wait, there's more...
Debbie Street is already on probation for a crime involving fraudulent check writing.
Isn't poligamy and child endangerment a probation violation in Iowa?
Anti-War, My FootChristopher Hitchens has this article in Slate (HT: LGF) that points out many of the important things that the MSM knows about the current "anti-war movement". Why, you ask, are they not bothering to convey these little gems? Because doing so makes these lunatics a non-story.
When will it endLGF catches two AFP articles, here and here, from Sept 27, that are astonishing. The second one contains this:
GAZA CITY (AFP) - Militants from the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and killing of an Israeli settler whose body was recovered in the West Bank.
“We had intended to exchange the Zionist hostage for Palestinian prisoners, but the occupation force’s campaign of arrests in the West Bank led us to kill him,” said the armed wing of Hamas.
So we intended to trade this innocent guy for one of our criminal buddies. Since the good guys decided to crack down on our criminal activities and we were afraid we might get caught doing it, we killed him.
Can anyone honestly claim that there is a solution to this problem that does not involve imprisoning and/or killing everyone who thinks like this?
Dan Rather won't let it goCheck out this Powerline story, this transterrestrial disection, this Mapes bash on LFG (or LGF if you prefer), and this WND story on Rather and Mapes continuing to be stuck on stupid.
Clueless Moron QuoteFox News had this little gem that Wizbang caught a few days ago...
"But remember they have been going through a drought this summer and the ground is very parched."
And he responds with this:
He is right we are behind schedule on rain... but one would think 10 feet of water in the city would have at least managed to make up for it a little bit. (I think I'm going back to CNN)
Monday, September 26, 2005
Medal of Honor recipientsIf you are not listening to Hugh Hewitt at the moment, go find the right station. He is interviewing Medal of Honor recipients and that always makes for good radio.
We currently have only 121 living recipients and they are very special people for a whole host of reasons.
Before going to break, Hugh was asking why some medals come very quickly after the incident and some take 30 years or more, one of the recipients (sorry I didn't catch the names) told a tale. Bob Kerry, who won the medal in the Navy, was asked by someone how you get the Medal of Honor. His response was "First, you have to do something heroic. Two people have to see it. They have to be able to write and they have to not hate you."
If you don't get the humor in that you are at the wrong blog.
I suspect RadioBlogger will have a transcript of some or all of this soon. I intend to go read it as I missed the first 45 minutes due to work (why haven't I won the lottery yet?).