July 31, 2005
The gulf between British and French treatment of preachers of hatred and violence was thrown sharply into focus yesterday when France announced the summary expulsion of a dozen Islamists between now and the end of August.The doctrine of pre-emption at work in France? Interesting.
A tough new anti-terrorism package was unveiled by Nicolas Sarkozy, the interior minister and a popular centre-Right politician.
His proposals reflect French determination to act swiftly against extremists in defiance of the human rights lobby, which is noticeably less vocal in France than in Britain.
Imams and their followers who fuel anti-western feeling among impressionable young French Muslims will be rounded up and returned to their countries of origin, most commonly in France's case to its former north African colonies.
Mr Sarkozy also revealed that as many as 12 French mosques associated with provocative anti-western preaching were under surveillance. Imams indulging in inflammatory rhetoric will be expelled even if their religious status is recognised by mainstream Muslim bodies.
Those who have assumed French citizenship will not be protected from deportation. Mr Sarkozy said he will reactivate measures, 'already available in our penal code but simply not used', to strip undesirables of their adopted nationality. 'We have to act against radical preachers capable of influencing the youngest and most weak-minded,' Mr Sarkozy told the French daily Le Parisien.
More: Here's another foreign terrorism related story from the BBC:
Russia's defence chief has barred the ministry from contact with ABC TV after the US network's interview with Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev.Beautiful.
Sergei Ivanov said the ministry considered ABC 'persona non grata' following Thursday's broadcast.
The warlord has claimed the 2004 raid on a school in Beslan. In the interview he admitted he was a terrorist, but said the Russians were terrorists too.
Russia's most wanted man also said he was plotting more attacks.
'Today I have given the order to the head of the press service that not one serviceman of the defence ministry should have contact with the American television channel ABC,' Mr Ivanov said in televised comments.
'We will continue to act openly with the press, but this channel will not be invited to the defence ministry and no interviews will ever be given to it,' he said.
'This channel is now persona non grata for the defence ministry and is an outcast.'
The interview conducted by Russian journalist Andrei Babitsky was recorded at the warlord's hideout in Chechnya.Actually, i think "journalists" should be encouraged to interview terrorists, but only if they swallow a satellite tracking device first. Then if some bombs happen to fall during the interview, oh well, no big loss.
Russia is offering $10m (Â£6m) for the capture of the warlord, whom it accuses of several major attacks.
More than 320 people - around half of them children - were killed at the school in Beslan last September.
July 30, 2005
According the the Midway's website, it was the longest serving carrier in the U.S. Navy.
The USS Midway set new standards of naval aviation in the latter half of the 20th century. A captured German V-2 rocket was launched off the USS Midway in 1946the dawn of naval missile warfare. The USS Midway blazed new trails of sub-Arctic air operations off the coast of Greenland. It was the first carrier homeported in a foreign country, calling Yokosuka, Japan home for 18 years. When others came home, the USS Midway remained at the tip of the sword on an odyssey shared by 200,000 Americans that spanned the surrender of Japan in WWII, the Cold War, Vietnam, the era of dÃ©tente and Desert Storm.It's worth a look if you're ever in San Diego.
Anyways, the Battle of the Crater was one of the craziest episodes of the Civil War. It was an idea that should have worked in theory, but in execution was fucked up from start to finish. If you think of all the Federal blunders committed during the Civil War, it's a wonder we're not two countries today. But we stuck it out, thanks to a man named Abraham Lincoln, whose resolve did not waver despite innumerable setbacks and intense opposition to the war.
Speaking of Civil War films, one movie that i saw recently, which doesn't get enough credit as a fabulous CW movie, is The Horse Soldiers from 1959. It was directed by John Ford, and starred John Wayne and Bill Holden. i think that's all you'd need to know in order to go rent it ASAP.
Remember especially for this answer, in Jeopardy the judges can get quite picky about the exactitude of the correct response.
July 29, 2005
You will note that since i am so nice, i haven't been penalizing anybody for wrong guesses as they do in the real Jeopardy. There are also two hidden Daily Doubles left, so get in the game if you haven't already.
a natural reaction to the self induced and largely imaginary pressures of blogging . . . an undertaking which was totally voluntary and which does not directly contribute to his or her continued survival, on this, our planet earth.Via Dawn.
July 28, 2005
Update: Now that there has been a correct response, i can show you the front of the mug. Click here.
July 27, 2005
i hope the show stays centered on the American experience. i was happy to see that they did not try, at least in tonight's episode, to put a human face on the enemy or tell "their side." Let Ted Koppel and his buddies at Al Jazeera do that; there's enough relativism in the media as it is. i also did not detect any overt political messages, either right or left.
i imagine some observers might be upset that not every character was Tom Hanks. i don't mind that kind of realism in war movies. As a war movie fan, i like the Adam Baldwins and Nick Noltes the best. These are the complex characters who may seem like assholes with less than honorable motivations, but they get shit done. i bet there are lots of them in real life and thank God for it.
i'm also not bothered by Over There's portrayal of soldiers complaining about the Army. i'm not a veteran -- and i know that many of my visitors are, so correct me if i'm wrong -- but soldiers always gripe about the military. And there's always some incompetence and poor decision-making in any organization. Hell, does everything run smoothly at your job? It doesn't at my job, that's for sure. People who point to mistakes made in wartime as a reason to surrender are simply people who don't know what the fuck they're talking about.
So overall, i thought tonight's episode was pretty good, and i would say that if the rest of the series follows the same tone it should help our war effort. Which is more than i can say about anything else i see on tv that's war related.
[cross-posted at A Western Heart]
* If you're interested, you can read about the latest disgusting media attempt to demonize an American soldier here. Also, you might be interested to know that a soldier who used a dog to frighten some detainees might spend more time in jail than the convicted LAX Millenium bomber.
Here's a submarine poem by the 20th Century New Zealand poet Will Lawson.
The grey of Oceans denseness
Surrounds her like a veil;
In silent deeps immenseness
No laughing seas give hail;
But round her, rudely riven,
The sullen waters feel
Her stout hull, engine-driven,
A thrilling thing of steel
That cleaves a pathway under
The breakers snarling lips
That mocks the big guns thunder
And scorns the battle-ships.
She goes by deeps and shallows
Neath blue Australian seas,
Where never sun enhaloes
A wandering ocean breeze;
Yet, at her steersmans willing,
She lifts her stalk-like eye
To see the sunlight spilling
Its gold on sea and sky;
And, mirrored in fair colour,
The picture true is thrown
Where, in the sea-light duller,
Her spinning engines drone.
When, with her bearings taken,
She plunges deep again,
She is as one forsaken,
Beyond the world of men.
Yet living men tend truly
Her tanks and air-valves flow,
And oil her engines duly,
For it was ordered so
Aye, tho beyond the borders
Of human worlds they be,
Their orders still are orders,
And what avails the sea?
Neath bright electrics glowing
They reck not that outside,
In age-long course, is flowing
The grey-green under-tide.
By periscope and needle
And pressure gauge they steer;
For who with steel can wheedle
As does the engineer,
In whose quick brain is hidden
The secrets of the stars
Who on the storms has ridden,
And hurled the thunder-cars?
He hears the steady murmur
Of engines in the gloom.
Could deck or floor be firmer
Than his deep engine-room?
And he whose touch the rudders
Respond to like a child,
Calm, when she turns and shudders,
With silent mien and mild
He makes new pathways under
The breakers snarling lips;
He mocks the big guns thunder
And scorns the battle-ships.
July 26, 2005
By the way, this week's hostesses for the Ball are: Sadie (warning: femme fatale alert), Beth (warning: sticky fingers alert), Claire (warning: shoe fetish alert), and Denita (warning: Sweet lyrics alert)
July 22, 2005
"If we _______, the terrorists have won."
When the terrorists win, they will pack up their suicide belts and their scimitars and stop killing people. Until then, they will not have won.
My point is that if we were to "give in to fear," for instance, the terrorists wouldn't consider it a victory because, contrary to what the government and the media want us to believe, they don't give a crap if we're afraid or not. They want us all to either convert, redraw every map to 14th Century borders, or die. So unless you fill in the blank with one of those three things, the statement will invariably be incorrect.
July 21, 2005
While my pro-choice friends might be discomfited by Sullivan Roberts' close ties to a pro-life advocacy group, I'm heartened by it. It's not just that I am (prayerfully and awkwardly) pro-life; it's also that as a pro-feminist man, I know full well that Feminists for Life is a long way away from more traditional anti-abortion outfits like National Right to Life. Though I've criticised FFL in the past for being insufficiently concerned with issues other than abortion, there's no question that they've historically taken a more progressive stance than their conservative sisters on a variety of issues. FFL has historically been strongly anti-death penalty, for example. FFL is also listed as a member organization of the Consistent-Life Movement, which has as its mission statement:We are committed to the protection of life, which is threatened in today's world by war, the arms race, abortion, poverty, racism, capital punishment, and euthanasia. We believe that these issues are linked under a consistent ethic of life.If Jane Sullivan Roberts is a card-carrying member of FFL, that means there's a better-than-sporting chance that she holds the Consistent Life Ethic position (an ethic rejected by most traditional conservatives, who don't see poverty and the arms race and the death penalty as being nearly as egregious as abortion). After all, if she didn't hold the Consistent Life Ethic, there are plenty of more conservative pro-life outfits out there to which she could lend her time and name and money! And if she held or still holds the Consistent Life Ethic position, is there not some hope that her husband shares her views?
A man who marries a brilliant woman who is his intellectual equal when both are in their forties, and happily adopts children with her, is no troglodyte. And a man married to a woman who is a proud member of a group that has 'Feminist' in its title may not be the disaster for women's rights that some liberals are predicting, nor the champion for the right that some conservatives are hoping.Ann Coulter doesn't like Judge Roberts. Hugh Hewitt, Joe Liberman and Hugo Schwyzer do.
To paraphrase Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: Who is this guy?
No casualties, thankfully.
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