...on the other side of the imaginary line.
Happy New Year to one and all. *burp*
...on the other side of the imaginary line.
Happy New Year to one and all. *burp*
I don’t know whether it’s the flu shot that I’ve been militarily compelled to take every year of my adult life or the West African-East African-Native American-European immune system that’s responsible, but I’ve rarely caught one of the variations of the flu.
This year, it keeps trying to catch me, but my system keeps fighting it off. I took my shot a couple of weeks ago, my first year of voluntary compliance. Unlike many, I have never caught the “flu” immediately after the arm stab. I only got sick in two (consecutive) years with the causes being very apparent.
Three years ago, when the vaccine was delayed until late in the flu season and I hadn’t received the shot yet, I got hit.
Then, two years ago, my sister and my then three-year-old niece came to visit from Albuquerque. My sister had entered her daughter—a future Miss America for sure—into a kiddie talent show held here, so I went with them to the proceedings. In this manner, I was exposed to hundreds of rug-rats—no doubt carrying all manner of contagion--and was, for only the second time in my life, abed for days. (Niece won in her category, however.)
Kids are dangerous.
My last career in the Air Force was as an immunization technician. Here’s the rule: large male patients are the worst babies about getting stuck. Female patients, especially those who have given birth, roll up their sleeves and say, “hey, let’s get this over with so I can get back to work.” Here's the other rule: if you thought you were going to faint and you were over five feet two inches and weighed more than one hundred pounds, you’d better sit down because I like my spinal column better than I like you.
One guy always had to sit down and have someone—a woman, preferably—hold his hand whenever he got shot. He’d cover his eyes with the other hand. A light-skinned black man, he would turn fire-truck red as soon as the needle hit his arm. He was gorgeous, however, so I didn’t mind holding his hand. I would do my best not to laugh at the poor thing.
MORE: How do I handle receiving shots? Okay, as long as I don’t look at what they’re doing and as long as they’re quick about it. Get in and get the flock out.
It’s the drawing of blood that bothers me.
Being very dark of skin and small of blood vessel, I always request the most experienced lab technician. There have been a couple of amateurs that have had to dig around in the crook of my arm(s) for a vein. Once, I came away from the experience with tears coming from my eyes and an arm resembling that of a heroin addict. Needless to say, giving blood isn’t high on my list of helping the unfortunate. I’ll give money, thanks.
Beware, Acidman. It rubs off.
Democratic presidential hopeful and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, right, raises the hand of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit after receiving his endorsement during a campaign stop in Detroit, Monday, Dec. 29, 2003. (AP)
I’m not claiming him, that’s for sure.
(Courtesy of Allah)
...as opposed to his alterego.
One of the other authors of the misery of many recently had a blogiversary. Happy ‘birthday,’ Big Daddy.
As in from where the fruit rarely falls far. In this case, the saying applies to many things.
Meet one of the authors of the misery of many.
Philip Ochieng pens a perceptive column regarding New Year’s resolutions while managing to throw a little Kenyan politics into the mix—his usual subject matter.
Of course, tomorrow people will cross their hearts and swear solemnly that, in 2004, they will never do the things that they did in 2003. But, of course, by January 2, they will have broken all those vows. [SNIP]
We approach it [each January first] with profound sentiment and baited breath because - imagining that it is a really material line, we are convinced that we are about to find something beyond ordinary on the other side of the line. [SNIP]
But, though reason is our vocation, the human mind is constituted to behave reasonably far less than 50 per cent [sic] of its career. That is why, the next time we approach January 1, we are just as excited as the last time. We never learn that whatever we want to be after January 1, we can become it every other day of the year if we make a genuine effort…Considering that my father is a communist, an atheist, is anti-American and--to his credit--anti-European, I had predicted that the first time I featured one of his columns here would be to hold it up for a gleeful, upstart fisking. Maybe next time.
There are a lot of talented writers ‘over there!’ ‘John Galt,’ another who is stationed in Iraq, gives us various posts on the situation there and other matters. Read his post regarding the allocation and distribution of funds designated for the rebuilding of Iraq.
Blackfive has been enjoying the comforts of his home as well and will soon have another little paratrooper to show for it. He also gives a rundown to Heather concerning which North American cities are best for seeking another sort of comfort.
A partial roundup of Milblogs, as promised. (Hey! There are a lot of us.) Ten more or so will be here tomorrow.
Chromedome’s in the Big Sandy, so his wife is keeping the home fires burning with some Saddam Christmas cards. (No permalinks. See the December 28 entry.)
The Navy runs amok! Well, at least a couple of centuries ago, that is.
You know if they’re crying, a nerve is being hit:
Blah, blah, Blogs: Probably the most hyped online development in 2003 (along with growth in site registration), but will these self-important online journals actually change the way newspapers do journalism on the Web?Self-important? Well, only when I’m driving.
If the “professionals” and the “experts” felt no threat from us "self-important" amateurs, they’d feel no need to pass their snide, condescending blurbs on to the non-blogging masses.
Bloggers are important, as are the non-bloggers and the non-computerized majority. Remember the line from that obscure document, "We, the People?" From Editor and Publisher's little blurb, however, the elite attitude oozes.
"Professional"/"Expert" Whine: What competence could a writer have when he/she has never been to
indoctrination camp J-school? They need to shut up and return to getting their opinions handed to them like good little sheep citizens.
Keep crying and we’ll keep laughing. And blogging.
(Thanks to Instapundit)
I’d love to be able to take Rosemary Esmay’s posts, make signs of them, and post them all along California freeways at 100 feet intervals. Get your slow butt out of the left lane already! Of course, here in LA, we have to be mindful of the fact that some slow drivers in the left lane are trying to get into the carpool lane (two or more per vehicle). However, a good portion of the grandma drivers in the left lane are alone and are not grandmas (or grandpas). (Note: young people, drive Grandma and Grandpa to wherever they want to go so they won’t have to subject the rest of us to the dangers of their diminished hearing, eyesight and reflexes.)
LA: the land of stupid, self-important drivers. I’ve been flipped off for going slow when I was blocked in front and on both sides. I’ve been tailgated in the same situation and when in the right lane. It the latter situation, the tailgater often had plenty of room to pass. I’ve been nearly run off the road for stopping on a green-light right turn to let a pedestrian cross the street. I’ve been cut off hundreds of times. (A cool, once-in-a-lifetime thing happened about a year ago. Some dingbat in a van cut me off with no signal. I honked at her and slowed down to keep from rear-ending her. Immediately a motorcycle cop pulled in between us, turned on his lights and pulled her over. I laughed and honked my horn in victory.)
Tired of being f-ed with, I recently ordered two things: veteran’s plates and a collegiate-type NRA sticker to put in my back window. Now what to do about the ones who can't read...
UPDATE: One of my latest daily reads, the hilarious Jim-on-the-water, has some good rules for cruise-control junkies and for being the passer or the passee. Must be that holiday driving that has us good drivers (heh) in an uproar.
Oh, and one more for the night: ain’t this a biotch?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One or more terror suspects may have escaped due to a premature disclosure in France of the security concerns behind the cancellation of Christmas flights to Los Angeles, U.S. officials said on Friday.[SNIP]
U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials had hoped all the suspects could be detained as they showed up for the flights, said a senior U.S. official familiar with the situation who did not want to be identified.
The official said "a chorus of groans" from the Department of Homeland Security to the White House went out when the French disclosed the reason for the flight cancellations.Sorry, France. I don’t think this sort of thing—treachery, stupidity or both--will make you immune to conversion-by-the-sword.
(Thanks to LGF)
Earthquake registering 6.5 in California: two fatalities (God rest them and comfort their families). Earthquake registering 6.3 in Iran: 20,000+ dead. I wish the same for them, but in an age in which structures can be made relatively quake-safe, this is a crime against humanity.
With all of the so-called humanitarian movements originating here in the most technologically advanced society in the world—your PETA, your ELF, your ACLU, etc.—one wonders where the 'Architects to Save Human Life' are; going into the Third World earthquake zones and teaching the good people of less technologically advanced countries to build with safety in mind. Anyone have a link to such an organization?
Howard Dean loves Jesus, or at least he says he does for the benefit of the Southern vote.
He [Dean] acknowledged that he was raised in the "Northeast" tradition of not discussing religious beliefs in public, and said he held back in New Hampshire, where that is the practice. But in other areas, such as the South, he said, he would discuss his beliefs more openly.[SNIP]
Political analysts note that discussing religious beliefs could provide an important link to Southern voters. Greater numbers of Southern voters feel religion and politics need not be separate. An ABC/Washington Post poll released this week showed that 46 percent of Southerners said a president should rely on his religious beliefs in making policy decisions, compared with 40 percent nationwide and 28 percent in the East. The South is a potential problem area for Dean's campaign for the Democratic nomination, particularly as rivals like retired Army general Wesley K. Clark of Arkansas and Senator John Edwards of North Carolina invoke their Southern roots. In recent years, the South has been tough ground for any Democrat in the general election."If the Dean people are playing chess instead of checkers and are moving down the board and trying to figure out how to win a general election as well as how to win a nomination, they had best explain Dean to the people in terms of religiosity," said Stephen Hess, a senior fellow in governmental studies at the Brookings Institution.And, like the Big He and his sort-of faithful servant, Dean knows how to play to us "backward, religious colored folk."
Just how much Dean will inject religion into his campaign, Hess said, remains to be seen. He pointed to an appearance at an African-American church in Columbia, S.C., as an example of what voters might hear in the future.
There, before nearly 100 parishioners, Dean said in a rhythmic tone notably different from his usual stampede through policy points, "In this house of the Lord, we know that the power rests in God's hands and in Jesus's hands for helping us. But the power also is on this, God's earth -- Remember Jesus said, `Render unto God those things that are God's but unto Caesar those things that are Caesar's,' " a reference to Jesus's admonition that the secular and religious remain separate.Who is advising this poor son-of-an-unmarried-mother (figurative pejorative)? If Howard Dean really loved Jesus, he would be mindful of the perils of his latest maneuver, using the Big JC as a means to get votes. According to the Bible, God is having hypocrites even less than he’s having non-believers. If his church believes in “not discussing religious beliefs in public,” then why would he go against that now, except to use Jesus as a prop? If Dr. Dean really does believe in the redemptive power of accepting Jesus Christ as the Savior, then his long-term planning skills are questionable. If he does not, then he is a liar and a manipulator of the first order.
And the Leftists want this guy to be the Democrat candidate for president? Well, shucks. So do I.
In one of my last entries in this category, I said that I spent the second half of the eighties stationed in Germany, in occupied Berlin, to be specific. It’s there that I made some of my oldest and best friends, including this one.
Since my career was in intel, I can’t talk too much about it. I can only say that it was the highlight of my career, both professionally and personally. I had a blast!
But aside from good friends made and kept, my presence in Germany had another wonderful effect that lasted from my first life into my second and, as it appears, far into the future.
No, I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth. I'm just a little tired. I guess that thousand-word missive on McCain-Feingold took a lot out of me. I'm also experiencing a bit of whiplash. Earthquake! Orange Alert! Mad Cow Disease! Letterman in Iraq! Anniversary of Laci Peterson disappearance! Last week of school (for me)! Oh, and most importantly, Christmas!
You see my point.
Christmas. The celebration of the birth of the Savior of mankind? Or the mad frenzy to get gifts for those special somebodies?
Don’t worry. I’m not about to launch into tirade about the commercialization of Christmas. I’m far too capitalistic for that. It’s just that the manifestations of the Christmas brand of capitalism wear me out: shopping, crowds, awful traffic. I sent my sisters’ children a few things—via the Internet--and will likely send them some more things after the Big Day. (The gift that is unexpected is the best; and the less expensive too, after the 25th.) I’ve been like this every Christmas of my adulthood. I mostly just want it to be over.
Having been a de facto only child for the first nine years of my life, I can clearly recall the days when all of the presents under the tree were for me. While that was pretty cool for one of psychopathic tendencies—as most rug rats are--now, few or none of them are for me and I like it just fine that way. Though I despise shopping, I love giving, simply because it feels better. That look, that smile, that ripping off the paper, that “thank you, Auntie Juliette” are the best gifts that I’ve ever received.
However, I did get a gift for this Christmas. My friend that’s stationed in Iraq sent me a “Merry Christmas” e-mail. Getting a hello from someone you’ve known for fifteen years is the kind of gift I cherish.
So, from a woman with Scrooge-like tendencies, gratitude emerges. I’m very grateful for the gifts I take for granted as well as the ones unlooked for. I hope you, Good Readers, are as well.
Merry Christmas to all. Oh, and remember: be not afraid. That's what they want.
MORE: Let me not forget my Jewish friends: Happy Hanukkah!
California bakes, then it shakes. You'd think Someone had it in for us. Ith has some personal anecdotes and Citizen Smash has some good links to the recent tremblings. God go with the Bear Flaggers and other Califonians who were affected.
And thank God for it. (girly men: barf)
This looks like a good start on an article about TIME magazine's other Person of the Year for 2003, 71-year-old, squash-playing Donald Rumsfeld. Also, check out Greyhawk’s response to TIME’s primary choice of Person(s) of the Year. You can read the entire article only if you’ve bought a subscription. I have not shelled out those dollars and have no plans to do so, so tell me about it, would you?
Wait! Don’t run. This is important. The preamble may be (arguably) humorous, but this is serious business.
One of my readers, in an e-mail, lambasted me and some other bloggers who are or have been in the military for not commenting on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in favor of the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan Campaign Finance Reform Bill. To be honest, sometimes I know better than to discuss a subject about which I’m a bit ignorant or that I feel may be a bit above my skill level. Such was the case with this one. So I waited, read and learned a bit about it.
I read about the bill, read what other pundits, both professional and amateur, were saying about it, and mulled it over using my own admittedly limited knowledge base.
Heck, I only have a community college degree in Liberal (no laughing) Arts. I took some great history, literature and government classes en route, but they were just the foundation, not the building. So as I read, listen, watch and learn, I continue to build.
Bill Whittle had descended from Vesuvius and posted again, two in one day, some six days ago. But the posts are so short I think that someone has him tied up and gagged somewhere and is posting in his place.
I wasn’t going to mention it, but I got to meet and shake the hand of Mr. Whittle a couple of weeks ago. Pretty cool, eh? But I’m such an airhead; I forgot both pen and paper to take notes for the lecture (the reason that I was there in the first place). Needless to say, it was interesting and fascinating. BW, in spite of suffering from the flu or some other sort of respiratory ailment, expounded eloquently on the subjects that he ‘talks’ about in his blog and more.
Did I mention he’s good-looking, too?
I hope to have the opportunity to see him speak again. I have to learn to keep pen and paper in my backpack, like a good little nosy pundit.
An extraordinary man, at least for these days.
With some exceptions, I usually don’t check out what the denizens of Democratic Underground are saying on any given subject. Several individuals on my blogroll do like making deserved fun of these people. It definitely makes for some decent blog fodder. However, reading that much a**hattery, moonbattery and general Chatty Cathery is too painful and frightening for my tender feelings. Okay, to be blunt, I just don’t like getting that PO’d in one sitting. (Commander Will, you will stop reading my mind this instant!)
But, today, I couldn’t resist going there to find out what DU had to say about Moamar Khaddafi and his ability to figure out which way the wind was blowing.
DemonFighterLives: We will be stuck with this regime if the Dems. luck doesn't change. How can everything always turn up roses for these *&^%# ers.
R Hickey: This sounds like something that the Bush administration asked Kadafi to do for them, in order to lend credibility to Bush's prior claims of WMD in Iraq.
TheStranger: … invaded Iraq and killed 500 young Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens, when there were no weapons of mass destruction there -- they were in LIBYA?!?!
How in the f**k is this supposed to make the Chimp (sorry again) look good?There are some voices of reason there and good on ‘em. I’d better get their posts down here for the record before they are disappeared.
Bush the puppeteer: Yeah, since Libya always does whatever we say...
Could it be that yanking Saddam out of a hole may have had a certain emotional impact on Kadafi and other aging dictators on our naughty list?
I really don't see the bad news in this, guys... sorry.
Frisco: Great news indeed! It's only bad for those who claim that this doesn't make us any safer.
Flightful: Unlike Saddam, Ghadafi knows when to shut up. Losing family members to an air strike can have that effect. Also, he may be a tyrant he isn't stupid like Saddam- he knows better than to get into a confrontation that he can't win.
There. That wasn’t so bad.
The president is on now. Khaddafi doesn’t want to be next.
Hmm, how to negatively spin this? /leftist suffering from BDS
Michael Jackson joined the Nation of Islam (NOI) and the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.
Remember the little video clip of Jackson ripping into Sony Music head Tommy Mottola?
MJ (of Mottola): "He's mean. He's a racist, and he's very, very, very devilish." [Bold mine]
Mottola may have all of these attributes, for all I know. But, at the time, I found the adjective “devilish” curious. Now the statement has some context. The NOI contends that white people are devils.
The conversion was in the works then. No doubt, Jackson’s brother, Jermaine, reportedly a member of the NOI since 1989, had some influence. Keep in mind that this same Jermaine married the girlfriend of youngest Jackson brother, Randy. Randy and this same woman had at least two children together at the time. With that kind of brother, why not stick the knife in your own back and save time?
Since I’m an amateur pundit, why not expand my horizons?
Michael has totally embraced his hate, anger and resentment. Whether any of it is justified isn’t the point. He could never be what his father wanted him to be, other than a cash cow. He could never be what he thought white America wanted him to be, even though he radically altered his appearance to turn himself into a mockery of whiteness and a ruination of blackness.
He once was adored by millions, possibly a billion, for his admittedly phenomenal talent as a recording artist. But, as these things do, the market for his brand of talent waned and he was unable and/or unwilling to further change with the times.
Additionally, his demonstrable weirdness began to put off the public. From the plastic surgeries and the accusations of child molestation to the Howard Hughes-like seclusion, the admission of sleeping with boys not his own children and the baby-dangling incident, the majority of the general public began to turn away from him or point at him in horror and accusation; especially those whom he has tried to emulate, white people.
And he’s PO’d about it all.
So now he decides to turn his back on white “betrayal” and try to be what he thinks black people want him to be. It’s doubtful that this latest transformation will bring him the contentment that’s eluded him.
He was never allowed a normal childhood and, in turn, he has never allowed himself to live as a normal man.
Prediction: this newest chameleon maneuver will just bring him more grief. I say that there's no 'there' there. Whatever normality and autonomy that may have been in Michael's personality died a long time ago. He's just an empty vessel waiting to become whatever thing that he thinks will please others.
We hear about the gang-banging, drug-dealing, shoot-up-the-school types of teenaged boys all the time. So, it’s really wonderful to hear about their opposite numbers.
[Debbie] Shultz's estranged husband stood wild-eyed in the doorway, teeth gritted, pausing almost for dramatic effect, she recalled. Then he rushed toward her, she said, raising a large knife toward her chest.
That's when Shultz's students, 16- and 17-year-old kids, went to her rescue. Several of the youngsters tackled the man, pinning him to the floor and wresting the knife from his hand.
"Those kids are my heroes. I believe God used them to save my life," Shultz, 46, said Wednesday evening, recuperating at home with stitches in her hand and leg where her assailant slashed her with the knife.Like our young soldiers abroad--many of whom are not much older--these kids understand honor and courage. They also know that sometimes you just can't wait around for the professionals to come. Sometimes you have to do the job.
(Thanks to Instapundit)
Today I went to the Magic Johnson Theater (obviously) on MLK Blvd. in LA to see The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The attendance for this showing was sparse. I guess not many Rings fans in the area are willing to skip work for it. That suited me just fine, since lines and crowds strain my already tenuous hold on sanity.
It was the first time in many a year that I have gone to see a movie on its opening day and now I remember why VHS tapes and DVDs are so popular. Sitting in a movie theater that long is not pleasant.
However, I’m saving the rest of my shekels for the extendo version. Even at nearly four hours in length, there was still a lot left out of this one, and, IMO, leaving out these necessary pieces of film—a couple of which are in the preview--turns a classic into merely an excellent film.
I’ll save a detailed review for next week, however I can't resist just a little bit of opining.
• Best Character: Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin)
• Best backstory: Smeagol/Gollum (Andy Serkis)
• More scary that before: the Nazgûl ( no, not those Nazgûl)
• Purtier than before—not an attractive quality in a man: Legolas (Orlando Bloom)
• Best scenery: Minas Tirith
• Second best scenery: open plain surrounding Edoras
• Most heartbreaking scene: Faramir's (David Wenham) confrontation with Denethor (John Noble)
I joke around a lot, like referring to the nine Democrat candidates for president as the Nazgûl. Guys like John Hawkins will post Photoshop-jobs, attempting to make humorous political statements. The particular one to which I linked struck me as funny, but I’m sure that quite a few may have a different opinion and may even be offended.
Therefore, when Madeleine Albright makes a joke like this one…
WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright(search) insisted Wednesday that she was just kidding when she wondered aloud whether the Bush administration is holding Usama bin Laden (search) captive, waiting to break him out at the best political moment.
…and people like me get offended, turnabout is fair play.
Oh, except for one thing: neither John nor I have ever been Secretary of State. Neither of us have the ability, the “juice,” if you will, to have what we say be considered as meaningful as what Secretary Albright says, even her so-called jokes.
As we say in the military, with rank comes responsibility. It is frightening to consider that this irresponsible woman was a couple of steps away from the presidency.
UPDATE: I have been informed by a commenter that Secretary Albright was born in what used to be Czechoslovakia, which would have prevented her from becoming president.
I’m kind of glad that the story of the Saddam capture drowned out the story of the late Senator Strom Thurmond’s illegitimate half-black daughter and kept it from becoming the latest media circus (as if the daughter of the late senator was the first progeny ever to be gotten between a white man and a black woman; and, boy, does she look like him). It’s estimated that 85% of black Americans have some white heritage, whether they look like me or look like the Tennessee politicians Harold Fords (both Senior and Junior). There are indeed millions of people just like Thurmond’s putative daughter; some who identify themselves as black and others who don’t, depending on how black they look. Those of you white people who have untraceable curly hair or full lips, you may have your answer.
My maternal grandmother looks like a white woman: white skin, straight brown (gray) hair, gray-blue eyes, thin lips. Both of her parents were of black and white (and Indian) heritage. Wonder how that happened? /sarcasm
Some of the looks we get when explaining our relationship to each other are comical. You can see the questions in the eyes: adopted or related by marriage? No, by blood. Those Kenyan Luo genes of mine from the other side are just, well, dominant.
It strains common sense for people to look at black Americans like Colin Powell or Julian Bond and to not assume that they have some white heritage. What? Do you think that some black people just whitened up over the three hundred or so years that persons of black African heritage have been in the western hemisphere?
This fact is something that most black Americans just shrug this off as something that is, rather than something for which a great to-do is made (the Jefferson-Hemings yawner being an exception). Hot news flash: men and women will have sex and the women will get pregnant, cultural, social and political mores be damned.
This country is a melting pot, but only partially. Most of the pot melted into black America.
The sun is rising.
Long ago—okay, not that long ago--on a post far away, someone chided me for calling the nine Democrat candidates for president the Nazgûl. Well I guess I can’t start calling them the nine dwarves now (warning: Return of the King spoilers for the few mortals who haven't read the books):
Perhaps the most passionate observations came from John Rhys-Davies, who plays the dwarf Gimli and voices Treebeard the Ent. Focusing on the necessity of defending civilization in times of crisis, Rhys-Davies took the media to task for failing to appreciate the preciousness of Western civilization, and warned of the potential consequences of rising Muslim extremism and the increasingly Islamic face of Europe.
“I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged,” said Rhys-Davies, “and if they do not rise to meet that challenge, they will lose their civilization. That does have a real resonance with me.”
Pointing a finger at the media, Rhys-Davies went on, “What is unconscionable is that too many of your fellow journalists do not understand how precarious Western civilization is, and what a jewel it is… The abolition of slavery comes from Western democracy. True democracy comes from our Greco-Judeo-Christian Western experience. If we lose these things, then this is a catastrophe for the world.”Ouch! Read the rest of it. I wonder if Rhys-Davies and known moonbat Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) were rolling in the New Zealand dirt on the Lord of the Rings sets. My money would have been on the old guy.
Bring on the weekend of ROTK!
(Thanks to LGF)
I’m sure glad that all of the Big News happened this weekend. As ever, education calls and I have to answer. However, for a great editorial—rather uncharacteristic of the New York Times--go here (registration required). Were it a blog entry, it might go well in the ailing Venomous Kate’s regular feature, Hunting of the Snark (get well soon, girl). For those who would rather cut off a cherished appendage than register for the NYT, here’s an excerpt:
The administration's fundamental problem is that it is not very good at dealing with people it can't stand. The men and women in this White House are exceptionally forthright. When they come across someone they regard as insufferable, their instinct is to be blunt. They seek to be honest rather than insincere, to not sugar things up but to let these people know how they really feel.
Sometimes you've got to be slippery to accomplish real good. The Bush administration is thus facing an insincerity crisis. It has become addicted to candor and forthrightness. It needs an immediate back-stabbing infusion.
Perhaps Al Gore could be brought in to offer advice.
(Thanks to whomever I got it from yesterday. What a blur of blogs!)
Saddam’s minions, in their lust for revenge, sabotaged the electronic grid which feeds your humble (hah!) correspondent’s fevered ranting! We have foiled their nefarious plans, however, and enlisted the help of the Crusading LADWP Supermen to save the day. Peace be upon them!
/self-important tin-foil hattery
Actually, we had a little brown-out for a couple of hours here in the ‘hood. I made the most of it, getting my school reading done—instead of participating in the Saddam gloating--by the light coming through the living room window.
Now for the continued gloating…
Dec. 14: Iraqis dance in the streets of Baghdad after learning that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had been captured alive by American forces.
LTC Allen B. West will get what amounts to a slap on the wrist for doing the right thing in the wrong manner. I call this justice.
He received a non-judicial punishment for his trouble, which is, granted, the kiss of death for the career of a commissioned officer in our Armed forces, but I think it is a justifiable and a compassionate sentence. He will also be allowed to retire with full benefits.
LTC West understood that when you have two bad choices, you pick the one with which you can sleep at night. This is something that his chain of command apparently understood as well. Allowing the colonel to walk away scot-free was not an option, not for a force that values good order and discipline among its members. However, the men and women in his chain also knew that to punish LTC West any further would, ironically, undermine the good order and discipline that is so highly valued. If you can’t count on your commander, who can you count on?
LTC West’s commanders took the least bad choice as well and I congratulate them.
No doubt, the colonel has a bright future ahead of him.
(SIDENOTE: One wonders where Jesse Jackson and the NAACP were when the time came to speak out for LTC West--a black man. Maybe they were too busy defending the “legacy” of Nathaniel Jones, who wasn’t fit to shine the colonel’s boots.)
(Thanks to The Spoons Experience, who communicates with LTC West’s legal counsel)
Guys like Michael Williams—Christian, law-abiding, educated—are denied CCW permits here in SoCal, while crooks ignore the CCW law and numerous others. Michael lives somewhere in between me and my daily commute to the gym--a hotbed of countless forms of mayhem, usually involving gun violence.
One wonders what the governmental purpose is of denying good citizens the right to defend themselves against the rabble of this country. At night, while in my home, my peace will be disturbed by the noise of circling police helicopters at least three nights a week. On a given Friday or Saturday night, I can drive all around the area in which I live and see a half a dozen police cars, three fire engines and at least two EMT vehicles, all blocking off a section of road, due to some unauthorized gun-play. On some nights, I’ll see up to five such scenes.
I fail to see how the denial of CCW permits to guys like Michael will put a dent in the frequency of these types of incidents.
It’s been demonstrated that states which have liberal (not Liberal) CCW regulations tend to have lower violent crime rates, so what could be the purpose of not adopting these regulations? Why would a government not want its citizens to be able to protect themselves?
Brain-storming session coming…
• The government may want the average citizen to depend on the government for his/her protection. This will plant the idea that citizens can count on the government for nearly all of their needs. No, it doesn't matter how demonstrably false the idea is. As we've seen in countless other matters, as long as the lie seed is planted, the lie will flourish, serenely unhindered by the facts.
• A government may want to be able to act with autonomy without worrying about an armed citizenry rising up in protest (see National Socialist Germany, the Soviet Union and Cuba).
• When a certain segment of its citizenry is hardest hit by gun violence, a government may just “let them kill each other,” taking care of the problem that way, or so it would seem. The government figures that the law-abiding citizens will eventually just give up and move out.
Are any of these suppositions—or others--part of the goals of those who continue to chip away at the Second Amendment? I don’t know. I do know that it has been continuously demonstrated both in the USA and in other countries that an unarmed citizenry is a vulnerable one—both from small-time crooks and from the big-time ones.
(Thanks to The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler)
Sheesh! Look, Leftists, let me help you out. Here’s one of the cardinal rules of selling woof tickets:* do it to someone who will likely back down or who you likely can beat up. If you’re a pencil-necked geek--or a tub o' lard--what you do is you threaten another pencil-necked geek--or tub o' lard--not an ex-paratrooper!
Seriously, this demonstrates the total narcissism of such people. You dishonor an entire group of people—the group that voluntarily defends your right to dishonor them. But then you threaten to punch somebody out because, in response, they matter-of-factly call you what you are: a traitor. What do you scumbags want us to do? Sit back and be silent while you defecate on the memories of the dead.
Notice that last is a statement, rather than a question: that’s exactly what Leftists like Blumrich, Kucinich and their supporters want. They want their detractors silent.
*Verbally spoiling for a fight without the intention and/or ability of backing up one's words.
Warning: Viewing this post may trigger peristalsis in your esophagus; in the direction that you don’t want.
Speaking of demons, the ultimate expression of jealousy rears its head yet again in that most demonic of places, Auschwitz.
That’s all anti-semitism is, folks; jealousy writ large, defined and metastasized over the ages.
Even before I paid attention to the sinful nature of jealousy, I was never able to understand it. I can honestly say that I’ve never been jealous of anyone in my life. It’s not that I think that I’m all that, nor is it that I’m incredibly virtuous. It’s just that the emotion always seemed to be an exercise in pointlessness. Heck, there will always be someone more attractive, smarter, nicer (definitely), richer, etc. than I am. What good does it do me to hate them for it? (Yes, indeed; it’s all about the pay-off for me, baby.) If I hate them or do them harm, how does that increase my attractiveness, intelligence, niceness or money?
Some guy suggested to me that I should be jealous of friend of mine. A few years younger than I am, she’s still in the Reserves and is a Chief Master Sergeant (E-9). She also has a wonderful husband and four beautiful, well-behaved children (yes, there still are some). When the guy mentioned this, I looked at him quizzically and asked him why I should feel this way. (Jealousy is all about feeling and truly not about thinking.) After all, if the things that my friend found important enough to work to acquire were important to me, I would have had them too, long ago. Believe it.
Set in the context of Christianity, why should anyone begrudge another his/her blessings? IMO, the ugly and irrational emotion of jealousy blinds a person to his/her own blessings. I’m very thankful that this particular demon is not one I have to fight against. The others create big enough battles as it is.
Thanks to the sustained upswing in traffic from Right Wing News’ 2003 Warblogger Award and to a plum link from His Imperial Caninity, it appears that my humble (hah!) blog will reach the 50,000 hits mark at some time today.
Knowing that my rants and musings touch a chord with some people is exhilarating in the manner in which I would imagine that skiing downhill at 90 miles an hour is. (No flocking way will I ever go skiing.)
Also, the fact that some better bloggers than I toiled in obscurity for exponentially longer than I have keeps my considerable ego in check. I am also aware of the Man-bites-Dog nature of this blog’s content (conservative black woman), so that keeps Ye Olde Id from getting out of control.
That said, welcome and thank you.
Well, there’s not much more that I can say about this that John Cole hasn’t said already. And I think Blackfive is about ready to explode (easy, guy). Dennis Kucinich is either too stupid to realize just how much he has
infuriated offended disgusted most members of the military and a good portion of civilians (gee, I just can’t find a word strong enough to convey what I feel without getting really nasty and possibly crossing that line regarding verbal threats to presidential candidates), or he simply does not care. It could be both.
Dignity at death, like many other types of dignity, is something for which the Left has no definition. First, there was the Wellstone memorial service. Then, there was the uninformed whining about President Bush’s refusal to make media circuses out of the funerals of the military dead from Iraq/Afghanistan by gracing them with his presence and then the additional whining because he refuses to allow others to attempt to do the same. (Again, these people want to act as though they actually care whether the average military member lives or dies. They obviously don't care how the members are interred, so what's the problem? Oh I forgot: BDS.)
Are we surprised? Death and life are meaningless to these people.
Soldiers that lived their lives and laid them down for noble purposes? Families that want privacy and dignity for their loved ones' interments? What the hell is that goofy sh** about? /Leftist
This thing, this abomination (that's the word) from a presidential candidate, no less--albeit one that’s moonbattier than Ralph Nader; frightening thought—is just the next step down into the place where honor and respect mean nothing.
It’s up to us to let scum like Kucinich know that he cannot use the bodies of our friends, loved ones and comrades-in-arms to fuel his meager aspirations.
It’s strange how innocuous things can trigger memories. That happened to me yesterday as I drove south on Interstate 5, then onto the connection to CA 110 (which turns into Interstate 110 and takes me to the crib). The southbound 5-110 connection is a little stretch of two lane highway which looks like it was carved into the hill next to it. It also looks rickety enough to crumble with a good, trademark Southern California shake and quake.
But there it hangs, for at least as far back as I can recall. Big trucks, buses, etc. have sat on it in traffic jams headed toward downtown LA for decades and probably are doing so as I type these words. Many years ago another vehicle had occasion to take this tiny stretch of highway: my great uncle, great aunt and I would be on our way home from Lake Isabella and, when we hit that part, I knew we were close to home. My uncle had one of those pick-up trucks with a camper on the back; a nice one, big enough for three. (Do they still make those things?) We’d go over that road and, I, with a six-year-old’s a vivid imagination, would get the feeling that our truck was too big for the road and that we were going to fall off down to some unknown abyss that waited for us. Fortunately it takes about fifteen seconds--traffic willing—to run over this part of the freeway, so my morbid imaginings never had time to bloom into full-blown panic. I had a small inkling of the panic last night as I drove over the stretch in my little car, but it was quickly overwhelmed by that bit of nostalgia and I, yet again, missed my uncle.
Busy today. Here's a nice photo, courtesy of one C. Powell (no, not that one).
I toyed with the idea of posting a photo of the Nekkid Cowboy, but you'll have to go see that guy for yourself. (BRRRR!)
On the anniversary of the first "Day of Infamy:"
One of Pearl Harbor's heroes.
Most of my long-held friends are from my long tour in Germany in the eighties, Marty and our other friend included. The vast majority, like Marty and I, are retired, but some continue to carve out good careers for themselves. This friend is no different. Now an officer, he was an enlisted man when hanging out with us in Deutschland.
Watch your back, G., and your front. (I do have a picture of him also, but his privacy is more important.)
Allah has seen fit to diversify his “Funny in the Pants” section and added yours truly to his harem. Sleep with one eye open, Allah.
Is it any wonder that commentary like this would appear in the Los Angeles Times (registration required)?
A ranch owner in San Diego County disposes of 30,000 nonproductive egg-laying hens by feeding them into a wood chipper. Live hens are dumped into the shredder, some likely to hit feet first, some breast first. Sound like a scene from a horror movie? It's a true story. One would surely expect the ranchers to be prosecuted, but California humane slaughter laws do not cover unproductive egg-laying hens.
Spent hens" are often packed into containers and bulldozed into the ground — buried alive. Or they are often gassed using carbon dioxide distributed unevenly among tens of thousands of birds; it's common for them to die slow, painful deaths.(From a city girl’s perspective, the only crime committed here is not putting these chickens into the human food chain in the poultry section at Ralph’s.)
Now, I have nothing against people who try to prevent cruelty to animals and this is an interesting article. I just wanted to point out the language used in the first two paragraphs.
Notice the unspoken assertion: just like Saddam did with his countrymen. Which leads to the assertion: such ranchers are just like Saddam. And then to the next one: chickens are equal to humans.
Maybe I’m paranoid, but when PETA activists (nutjobs) are scolding recording artists who happen to don real fur--notice the condescension in the PETA statements--and when ELF activists (nutjobs) are setting fire to SUV dealerships, paranoia seems to be the appropriate personality disorder to chose.
When people die and homes are destroyed because “environmentalists” care more about animal habitats than human ones, we sensible humans have a right to be nervous and should watch these people closely.
(Sidenote: I’d just love to watch what would happen if some PETA person threw paint on some black woman’s white mink. It would be ugly.)
Enviro-whackjobs: the earth isn’t your mother and the government isn’t your father. In the book which I know you don’t read, it says that men were given dominion over the earth. In case words like “dominion” are too big for you, this means that humans run things on this planet, up to and including the planet. Not the other way around.
And I’ll be damned if I’m going back living like my ancestors (and some of my contemporary kinsmen).
Are we clear? Good. Now that we have that straightened out, I think I’ll have a little baked chicken for dinner tonight.
UPDATE: The title was bothering me, so I changed it.
Some Iraqis have learned a bit about what it means to live in a free society. Taking a page from those in America and Europe who would have preferred that they stayed under Saddam’s boot, 1000 Baghdad residents took to the streets and marched against the Saddam Loyalists:
Carrying banners blaming Saddam loyalists for terrorism, the demonstrators marched down one of Baghdad's busiest streets before gathering in Firdos Square, where a statue of Saddam was famously pulled down as U.S. troops drove into the heart of the capital in April.
"We organized this demonstration because the terrorists now kill a lot of people," said Abdul Aziz Al-Yassiri, coordinator of the Iraqi Democratic Trend, a recently formed social group.
"They kill the children, kill women, kill the people, kill the police. They want to stop our plan for a democratic system."
I’d love to know if this has been reported anywhere other than FoxNews or among the Iraqi bloggers.
...of others, since I've got work to do.
And the master (heh) tells the story of the “Frog and the Scorpion,” War on Terror-style.
Here’s a slice:
It [BDS] is, of course, epidemic in New York's Upper West Side and the tonier parts of Los Angeles, where the very sight of the president -- say, smiling while holding a tray of Thanksgiving turkey in a Baghdad mess hall -- caused dozens of cases of apoplexy in otherwise healthy adults. What is worrying epidemiologists about the Dean incident, however, is that heretofore no case had been reported in Vermont, or any other dairy state.(Thanks to Vodkapundit)
Well, well, well. According to Zeyad of Healing Iraq, New York Times foreign correspondents, based in Iraq, are keeping some Iraqis from their own property. From Zeyad’s post:
Ghaydaa an Iraqi friend of mine living in the US has a brother in Baghdad who has been denied access to his family stores and property on Abu Nuwas street near the Palestine hotel because of the roadblocks placed to protect the NY times and Reuters offices. He desperately needs the income from renting these stores. He tried sueing the NY times at an Iraqi court in Karradah but with no success. Ghaydaa has been sending email and snail mail to the NY times for weeks and nobody even cared to reply. Here is a copy of the letter she sent to them:
Chairman and Publisher
The New York Times
November 15, 2003Read the rest here.
Plenty about “bogus” turkeys in the news today, but nothing about the stuff that matters. Do you think that maybe the NYT staff doesn't care that the property belongs to these people? Or maybe they think that they can act in any manner and no one that matters will find out about it? Could be they're afraid of a little shake-and-bake that terrorists might have for them and are too lazy to try to distinguish splodeys from law-abiding Iraqi citizens? (Hint: the one's they see everyday trying to make a living probably aren't going to self-detonate.)
Maybe they should call the Marines for help.
(Thanks to Admiral Quixote)
UPDATE: The Admiral has a thorough roundup of the situation. It's getting curiouser and curiouser
John of Arrgghh!!! emailed me a notice about his post, OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom] Lessons Learned. The post contains an after-action report composed by US Army personnel returning from Iraq and is available for download. The subject of the report?
To collect U.S. Army lessons learned from Iraq and obtain tactics, techniques, and procedures for organizing and protecting convoys, detecting and neutralizing IEDs [Improvised Explosive Devices], organizing and defending Forward Operating Bases (FOB)/Forward Arming & Refueling Points (FARP), and defending against mortar, rocket, and suicide bombers (human and VBIED).Go check it out. Like many military reports, it’s laden with acronyms, but they’re all defined. In spite of what many Leftists would have us believe, there are only a few “mindless grunts” populating our military. Intelligent people repeat their success and attempt to not repeat their mistakes.
John also has a picture of what's on my Christmas wish list.