June 30, 2005
2. Increase awareness and appreciation of good poetry.
3. Make fun of people, especially celebrities.
4. Interact with like-minded folks.
5. Promote my own ego-satisfaction.
It is not the purpose of this blog to:
1. Present ironclad arguments in favor of my stated positions, although i sometimes try to do that.
2. Regurgitate the party line, as all long-time visitors should know.
3. Sacrifice honesty to the god of consistency or slay the demon of fallacious reasoning, although i tend to favor those ideals.
4. Be nice, although i often am.
5. Promote your agenda; your website; your point of view; or your online gambling/porn/prescription drug scam.
i've successfully avoided posting a Statement of Blog's Purpose for over two years, but i think its time has come. i'm sick of people telling me what i should and shouldn't do with my own bandwidth. [Well... Pixy's bandwidth.] If i want to make fun of Lindsay Lohan, i will. If i want to do a non-religious post on Easter Sunday, i will. If i want to drop a subtle hint that i might not be celibate, i fucking will. If i want to run your ass out of the comments because i don't like you for no good reason at all, i will. Even though i almost never do that, i reserve any and all rights.
That is all.
More: Wow. i thought i was pissed off. Check out Beth. Right on girl!
HOWS THAT ASSSHOLE?! THAT FUCKING PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH FOR YOU YOU PRETENTIIOUS HYPOCRITICAL DICK?!!
[N.B. The above flip-out was directed at a troll, not you, Jeff.]
But i digress. Here's the quote:
Sadly, the chickenhawk argument, though logically puerile, can prove quite rhetorically effectivein the same sense that charges of homophobia and racism have proven effective in debates over gay marriage and government funded affirmative action programs: such charges, cynically delivered, tend to stifle substantive discourse, forcing one side of the argument onto the defensive by changing the focus of the debate from the issues themselves to the character of certain professors of those issuesand in that regard, they help to sustain the status quo.Well put, indeed.
The bottom line is, the chickenhawk argument is an impediment to legitimate discourse and debateand legitimate discourse and debate over national security is a necessity in a free society; and for that reason, those who raise the chickenhawk argument should be treated by everyoneright and leftas intellectual pariahs.
. . .
The gist of most of the 'arguments' in support of the [chickenhawk] memes righteousness is that people so willing to speak vociferously in favor of the war should put their money where their mouths areand merely advocating for the cause doesnt count. Which means, of course, FDR shouldve strapped on a helmet, picked up a rifle, and had one of his aides wheel his crippled ass in front of a Panzer. BECAUSE OF THE HYPOCRISY!
HjertstrÃ¶m 'doesnt want to go into detail' about the bounty hunters, but assures Expressen that they are 'the best money can buy.'Awesome!
'Theyre not twiddling their thumbs,' declares HjertstrÃ¶m, revealing that he has 'received confirmation that two of [the kidnappers] have already been taken care of.' When asked to elaborate on the fate of the purportedly captured men, the Swede says he 'hasnt inquired' but has his 'suspicions.'
Link thanks to Billy McCormac of the Stockholm Spectator Blog.
[cross-posted at A Western Heart]
Link thanks to Victor, who raced out to see that new movie only to be disappointed when he discovered it was not in fact called Ratman Begins.
June 29, 2005
This is some of the best stuff on the blogosphere, so don't miss it.
And while i'm at it, please go to fellow Munuvian Oddybobo's blog and read "I've Been Thinking, and That Is Bad!" Her thoughts on the Supreme Court are so close to mine, that i don't need to do that anti-establishment clause post i was going to do. Now i can take the night off, thanks Bobo!
The Artillerymans Vision
While my wife at my side lies slumbering, and the wars are over long,
And my head on the pillow rests at home, and the vacant midnight passes,
And through the stillness, through the dark, I hear, just hear, the breath of my infant,
There in the room, as I wake from sleep, this vision presses upon me:
The engagement opens there and then, in fantasy unreal;
The skirmishers beginthey crawl cautiously aheadI hear the irregular snap! snap!
I hear the sounds of the different missilesthe short t-h-t! t-h-t! of the rifle balls;
I see the shells exploding, leaving small white cloudsI hear the great shells shrieking as they pass;
The grape, like the hum and whirr of wind through the trees, (quick, tumultuous, now the contest rages!)
All the scenes at the batteries themselves rise in detail before me again;
The crashing and smokingthe pride of the men in their pieces;
The chief gunner ranges and sights his piece, and selects a fuse of the right time;
After firing, I see him lean aside, and look eagerly off to note the effect;
Elsewhere I hear the cry of a regiment charging(the young colonel leads himself this time, with brandishd sword
I see the gaps cut by the enemys volleys, (quickly filld up, no delay
I breathe the suffocating smokethen the flat clouds hover low, concealing all;
Now a strange lull comes for a few seconds, not a shot fired on either side;
Then resumed, the chaos louder than ever, with eager calls, and orders of officers;
While from some distant part of the field the wind wafts to my ears a shout of applause, (some special success
And ever the sound of the cannon, far or near, (rousing, even in dreams, a devilish exultation, and all the old mad joy, in the depths of my soul
And ever the hastening of infantry shifting positionsbatteries, cavalry, moving hither and thither;
(The falling, dying, I heed notthe wounded, dripping and red, I heed notsome to the rear are hobbling;
Grime, heat, rushaid-de-camps galloping by, or on a full run;
With the patter of small arms, the warning s-s-t of the rifles, (these in my vision I hear or see,)
And bombs busting in air, and at night the vari-colord rockets.
We're coming up on the one hundred forty-second anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1 to July 3, 1863) and the conclusion of the Vicksburg Campaign (May 19 to July 4, 1863). With Shelby Foote's death yesterday and the Fourth of July this weekend it's appropriate to remember the most important event in our nation's history. Of course i'm talking about the Civil War.
Yesterday in the comments to my post about Shelby Foote's death i mentioned how i am fascinated by the differences between our own time and the way people lived in the time of the Civil War.
We all have a pretty good idea of how soldiers fight today. Heck, we've grown up watching war on tv. But it's almost impossible for most of us to imagine how men fought during the Civil War. It must have taken a special kind of courage and discipline to march side by side with a bunch of other men towards a line of cannon and guns.
June 28, 2005
Shelby Foote was the man. About two years ago, i had the pleasure of finishing his Proustian three volume history, The Civil War: A Narrative. It took me nine months of reading to finish it, and like having a baby i imagine, it was both painful and rewarding at the same time.
You may be familiar with Mr. Foote from his talking head appearances in Ken Burns' Civil War series on PBS. His folksy style and always interesting anecdotes were what interested me in his writings originally. So i bought his short novel Shiloh, which was not bad. With my membership in the History Book Club, and a few surplus bonus points, i purchased the 14 volume illustrated Time Life version of the Civil War narrative. i intended to just look at the pretty pictures, set them on a shelf to impress friends with, and maybe pass them on to my kids someday. i never intended to read it.
i saw Ken Burns' documentary, i have two history degrees, i thought i knew enough about the Civil War. And besides, my concentration was always WWII and postwar history. CW history was for the real history geeks, not me. Still, one day i picked up the first volume of the Time Life set during an idle moment, and read a few paragraphs. Amazing. That led to a few chapters and pretty soon i was committed.
The Narrative is very readable -- Foote was a novelist first -- but it is also very detailed. Having read it, i realize now how superficial the Ken Burns documentary was. And that thing was like 12 hours long! To do full justice to the huge subject that is the American Civil War takes time. A lot of time. But as has been said so often, you can't truly understand America without understanding the Civil War. And i do believe that.
It helps to have an interest in military history, though. Because Foote's history describes every single battle and campaign from both a micro and macro perspective. The macro is often the most esoteric, and difficult material. But along with that stuff, there's plenty of personal, political and biographical detail, which makes the Narrative the most comprehensive popular history of the Civil War that will ever be published.
i worked through it partly for the challenge. i knew the general outline of the war, and i knew i had to get to the big events. Sumter, the Bull Runs, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Emancipation, Sherman's march, Appomatox, Ford's Theater, etc. But i learned so much along the way that i had to finish it. To my surprise, i found that some of my favorite subject matter was the history of naval operations during the war. That's a much deeper subject than just the Monitor vs. Virginia battle. Some of the shit that happened on the rivers is pretty unbelievable.
Anyways, i would love to have shaken Shelby Foote's hand and thanked him for having written that huge work, which kept me enthralled for the better part of a year. i almost consider him a professor of mine, because through his books i became a Civil War buff, which i was not before i started.
More: And in the great minds think alike department: The Maximum Leader also wishes he could have shaken the celebrated author's hand.
i'm not being flip here, just trying to make a semantic point.
June 27, 2005
i looked up "John Walton" on Technorati and saw a pretty disgusting LiveJournal entry by a "blogger" (LJ blogs aren't real blogs, as you all know.) whom i won't link to. This ignorant bitch requires registration to read her drivel, so i couldn't read the whole entry. But the Technorati robot pulled this quote, which was quite enough:
The 11th richest asshole in the world ($18 billion) was killed in some kind of plane crash in Wyomning. John Walton (of Walmart), 53, is plunging towards the bowels of hell at this very moment.John Walton, was more than just the world's eleventh richest man. He was a Green Beret medic in Vietnam, who received his Silver Star "for helping save the lives of several members of his unit while under intense enemy fire." i wonder if that LiveJournal bitch was aware of that.
Like most Americans with his kind of wealth, Mr. Walton was known as a philanthropist. The foundation he ran donated over 700 million dollars to education related causes over the last six years. i wonder how much LiveJournal bitch has contributed to charity.
Oh annika, you don't understand; the Waltons are rich, conservative, anti-union and Christian, so that makes them the embodiment of evil.
[As i continue to bang my head against the wall.]
Update: Zombyboy plumbs the depths of depravity known as the Democratic Underground, where many comments are in a similar, bigoted and hateful vein.
Okay, maybe just Marbury, then.
Read Justice Scalia's dissent in McCreary County v. A.C.L.U., starting at screen page 39. It's too long to excerpt here, while i'm supposed to be working, but it is beautiful and worth the effort to read.
As far as ethics and rules of engagement are concerned, we take greater pains than any military in the world to safeguard civilian life. We actually incur a good deal of risk in order to avoid hurting people or damaging property. People dont realize what a change this is from how war has been waged throughout history. Civilian populations have always born the brunt of war, and suffered from the after effects. Look at WWII.
To destroy a single factory in Germany we might have had to destroy the entire city surrounding it, just because of the inaccuracy of our weapons. In Japan, we had to destroy even more because of Japans decentralized industries. In Iraq though, I stood on a bridge that had been destroyed with a single laser-guided bomb. The mosque next to the bridge was completely unscathed. We could have carpeted the entire area with a B-52 full of dumb bombs from a safe altitude, but instead we sent in a fighter that risked surface to air fire just so we could be precise and spare any unnecessary damage. This in spite of the fact that our enemy makes no distinction between military and civilian, and has time and time again, used mosques and churches for military purposes such as fighting positions or places for hiding weapons caches.
. . .
When I see those 'war is not the answer' bumper stickers, I always wonder 'what was the question?' Because maybe were talking different questions. Certainly, if the question is 'What do you do about a group of men who believe in slavery, who are completely dedicated to killing every one of us, and who cannot be negotiated with,' the war is definitely the answer.
People with those bumper stickers remind me of people who think meat comes from a grocery store. They have completely forgotten that something had to die in order for them to eat, and before it found its way to that sterile Styrofoam tray, that steak went through a very messy process. They have forgotten too, that our founding fathers said that occasionally the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots. It amazes me that they seem unaware that, were it not for war, their bumper stickers, if they were allowed to have them, would be printed in German, or Japanese, or Russian. War, and our success at it, is precisely what has earned them the freedom to be so naÃ¯ve.
Unfortunately, the world is an imperfect place. Evil exists. Some people are so given over to it that there is nothing else that can be done with them other than to kill them. I know this is difficult for some people to believe. I wish I could show them what Ive seen, like the Brothel Palace, outside of Baghdad, where Saddam and his friends imprisoned women they kidnapped off the streets. Or maybe I could introduce them to Iraqis who were forced to watch their family members fed feet-first (to prolong the suffering) through plastic shredders. Maybe that would change their minds, but probably not. Thats alright. Ive been there. I know that 5 million Iraqis owe their freedom to a war fought for them by Americans. I know that for them, war has definitely been the answer.
June 26, 2005
Ex-hostage hires bounty huntersi guess he didn't buy into that whole Stockholm Syndrome nonsense. Gotta love it.
A hostage held alongside Australian Douglas Wood in Iraq has hired bounty hunters to track down his former captors, promising to eliminate them one by one.
Swede Ulf Hjertstrom, who was held for several weeks with Mr Wood in Baghdad, was released by his kidnappers on May 30.
Mr Hjertstrom has since claimed he shared information with US and Iraqi troops about Mr Wood which led to the release of the 63-year-old Australian engineers two weeks ago, after 47 days in captivity.
Now, he wants to find those responsible.
'I have now put some people to work to find these bastards,' he told the Ten Network today.
'I invested about $50,000 so far and we will get them one by one.'
More: i found this apalling story about the Australian hostage Douglas Wood at Andi's World. It shouldn't shock me, yet somehow it does.
Well, unless you count kidnapping him, kicking him in the head, keeeping him blindfolded and bound for 47 days, shaving him bald, killing two of his colleagues, making him beg for his life, and -- according to Hjertstrom -- shooting several other prisoners in front of him.
It seems that lunacy isn't exclusive to American journalists. After Douglas Woods, the Australian contractor kidnapped in Iraq, was freed from captivity, he actually expressed his true feelings for his captors by calling them a**holes. These remarks have drawn the ire of one Andrew Jaspan, editor of a left-wing newspaper in Australia.
Jaspan tells us that Woods went way too far with his remarks:
Said Jaspan: "I was, I have to say, shocked by Douglas Wood's use of the a---hole word, if I can put it like that, which I just thought was coarse and very ill-thought through and I think demeans the man and is one of the reasons why people are slightly sceptical of his motives and everything else.
Woods greatest sin was to say "God Bless America" and praise American and Iraqi forces. Apparently, Jaspan thinks Woods should have been more grateful to his captors and a little less grateful to the forces who freed him. After all, his captors didn't torment him too badly.
Wow. What is wrong with the far left? And how can anyone on God's earth take them seriously? It makes me want to bang my head against a wall sometimes.
Australian lefties, while Woods was still in chains, used him as a prop in their crusade against the forces of "U.S. Imperialism." Now that he's free, and free to speak the truth, the lefties have no use for him. And in fact, now they've come to despise Mr. Woods.
But we know what Wood's real offence is, don't we?Exactly.
Yes, he did not do as did SBS journalist and Left hero John Martinkus after his own brief captivity and declare his kidnappers were "not savages", and say Iraq was 'on the road to s---'.
INSTEAD, he roared 'God bless America' and praised the US-trained Iraqi soldiers -- Iraq's real freedom fighters -- who saved him, saying he was 'proof positive that the current policies of the American and Australian governments is the right one'.
It seems that to a Leftist, this makes Wood the boorish inferior of the killers who beat him and held him captive. It is why journalist Tracee Hutchinson, in an Age column, calls him a 'blustering buffoon', moaning: 'It was enough that his words God bless America had been played over and over on his release.'
Let me ask younger readers still deciding on their brand of politics. Wouldn't you blush to join this Left?
[Cross-posted at A Western Heart.]
More at Wizbang.
[Also, i linked to Beth. Because she said i could.]
June 25, 2005
The results are in. You decided, with 76% of the vote, that Jason Bourne would kill Jack Bauer.
Much as i love Jack Bauer, i'd have to add my vote to the 76%. Jason Bourne kicks ass!
One thing about Jason Bourne, and i haven't read the Ludlum books so i'm only relying on the Matt Damon portrayal here, but he is freakin' deadly all by himself. Without the aid of a memory, or any organizational backup at all, he was able to alternately hide from, or escape from the clutches of, any government's intelligence or police apparatus, including about a half dozen of the world's best assassins sent to get him. Plus he's a hell of a nice guy.
The trouble with Jack Bauer is that he is nothing without CTU. And CTU is unreliable at best. Look what happened last year. In twenty-four hours CTU managed to allow someone to take over all the U.S. nuclear power plants by remote control, resulting in a nuclear meltdown and thousands of deaths, someone then stole an F-117 stealth fighter and shot down Air Force One, probably killing the president.*
Poor Jack Bauer. Without his little palm pilot he's pretty much useless. Unfortunately, that palm pilot links him to CTU, which as Dawn Summers once pointed out, "has more leaks than the Nixon White House."
Jack has his strengths, to be sure. He doesn't quit, and he doesn't shy away from doing what has to be done. Like, for instance, shooting his boss in the leg or in the head, or killing his girlfriend's husband for "national security" reasons, wink-wink. Too bad Audrey Heller couldn't see that he is actually a pretty nice guy, too. Whatta picky bitch.
But the key reason i think Jason Bourne would win this round is that he's so damn fast. And when he fights, he attacks. It's like three punches and three guys go down in one second. i've never seen Jack fight like that, although maybe he hasn't had the opportunity. Next season, when Jack's flying solo, we might get to see what he can do without CTU, so i'm looking forward to that.
Next up: Beatrix Kiddo vs. Lara Croft (not technically an assassin but what the heck.) So go vote.
* i'm still not clear on that. Did the president die or not?
June 24, 2005
Ralph Bristol of SCHeadlines.com theorizes that the controversy surrounding Rove's recent anti-liberal comments was the result of a well played trick. If so, i love it. If not, the furor over what Rove said is still laughable.
Whether it was an intentional trap or not, and we all know that Rove is evil and maniacal, the Democrats fell into it, one after another.i'm hesitant to even blog about what Karl Rove said, since its truth should be self-evident to everyone. That's what makes it so objectionable to liberals, i guess. Professor Hewitt has the rundown on why Rove need not apologize for speaking the truth. Let's hope he doesn't.
Even before the dust had settled on Sen. Dick Durbins potentially treasonous assertion that our military guards at the Guantanamo Bay terrorist prison camp were acting like Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot, followed by his tearful apology to himself for attracting the wrath of friend and foe alike, Rove offered Democrats the opportunity to stand out as uniquely hypocritical.
In the world of politics, where hypocrisy is an art form, to be uniquely hypocritical is indeed a remarkable accomplishment.
Back to the Ralph Bristol piece. Here are the differences between the Rove and Durbin comments:
Liberals might argue that while Schumer, Clinton and others are in fact hypocritical for attacking Rove and defending Durbin, conservatives are similarly hypocritical for attacking Durbin, but not Rove. That argument would have merit only if the two mens statements were similarly outrageous.That difference cannot be overstated, in my opinion. Even if only one soldier, or one marine, or one Iraqi policeman dies as a result of Durbin's disgusting statments from the Senate floor, isn't that reason enough for him to leave politics in disgrace? And who can say that Durbin's stupidity didn't lengthen our military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan at the very least?
Here are the differences.
First, What Durbin stated was demonstrably fallacious. Anyone with even a modicum of historical knowledge and perspective would not seriously equate the alleged mistreatment of Gitmo prisoners, cited by Durbin, (uncomfortable heat and cold; loud rap music) with the inhumane murder of millions of innocent civilians at the hands of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot.
What Rove said is largely factual. Liberals, specifically the group Moveon.org, did in fact counsel moderation and restraint after 9/11. While many Democrats voted for the war on terror, it is true that some liberals reacted exactly as Rove described. He could have been more accurate if he had said some liberals, but thats a miniscule rhetorical error compared to Durbins slander of the guards at Gitmo.
Second, Rove served up his remarks at a setting that is accepted as a 'red meat banquet,' a gathering of the New York Conservative Party. Durbins comments came on the floor of what is supposed to be 'the worlds most deliberative body.'
Finally, and most important, Durbins allegations can and will be repeatedly broadcast by Americas enemy as a tool to reinforce the fury in the Jihad soldiers and inspire others to join the battle. His comments will be a useful and enduring propaganda tool in the hands of the enemy.
By contrast, the worst you can say about Rove's comments are that they were
an inaccurate rendering of some Democrats support for the war, which could harm their electoral chances in the future.But i wouldn't even go that far. i think what Rove said about liberals [as Dan Patrick pointed out this morning on Laura Ingraham's show, Rove never mentioned "Democrats"] was entirely and demonstrably accurate.
June 22, 2005
And for the record, letting somebody think somebody they love is dead, when they're not, is quite cruel.In what was most likely a really bad idea, i decided to ask Casca to help me live-blog the Jennifer Wilbanks interview that aired last night with Kiki Kouric on NBC.
―Kill Bill, Vol. 2
But i'll be damned if i'm going to waste an hour of my life (and Casca's) live-blogging that shit and not post about the stupid thing.
You've probably already heard the main sound bite from the show. The bride took a bottle of pills on the bus with her, but decided "not to play God." Someone needs to tell John Mason that any girl who considered killing herself rather than marrying him, may not be "the one." Cut your losses dude.
Anyway, here's some excerpts from my IM critique with Casca: more...
What a coincidence that Mark Nicodemo (a brand new Munuvian btw, congratulations) would reference another poem from Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats in my comments section. Great minds, i guess. So, i decided this week i'll post the Song of the Jellicles, unaltered of course.
The Song Of The Jellicles
Jellicle Cats come out tonight,
Jellicle Cats come one come all:
The Jellicle Moon is shining bright--
Jellicles come to the Jellicle Ball.
Jellicle Cats are black and white,
Jellicle Cats are rather small;
Jellicle Cats are merry and bright,
And pleasant to hear when they caterwaul.
Jellicle Cats have cheerful faces,
Jellicle Cats have bright black eyes;
They like to practise their airs and graces
And wait for the Jellicle Moon to rise.
Jellicle Cats develop slowly,
Jellicle Cats are not too big;
Jellicle Cats are roly-poly,
They know how to dance a gavotte and a jig.
Until the Jellicle Moon appears
They make their toilette and take their repose:
Jellicles wash behind their ears,
Jellicles dry between their toes.
Jellicle Cats are white and black,
Jellicle Cats are of moderate size;
Jellicles jump like a jumping-jack,
Jellicle Cats have moonlit eyes.
They're quiet enough in the morning hours,
They're quiet enough in the afternoon,
Reserving their terpsichorean powers
To dance by the light of the Jellicle Moon.
Jellicle Cats are black and white,
Jellicle Cats (as I said) are small;
If it happens to be a stormy night
They will practise a caper or two in the hall.
If it happens the sun is shining bright
You would say they had nothing to do at all:
They are resting and saving themselves to be right
For the Jellicle Moon and the Jellicle Ball.
June 21, 2005
Denise Richards is finally breaking her silence about Charlie, her new baby, and her career.. . . ummm . . .
. . . what career?
Kelly Monaco on her new dance routine for Dancing with the Stars:
And I'm doing the split for the first time in my life.. . . Ummm . . .
. . . i seriously doubt that.
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