April 30, 2007
I'm just saying there are unanswered questions is all.
April 29, 2007
Cunningham and Driscoll's May 10, 1972, sortie was one of the legendary dogfights of all time. Despite several tactical errors, and lacking a gun which would have been useful, they shot down three MiG-17s that day. The team became America's first "all-missile" aces.*
They flew the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom. The navy plane in the video is not one of Cunningham's F4Js. The plane from the May 10 dogfight never made it back to the USS Constellation after Cunningham and Driscoll shot down their last MiG. They ejected over the ocean on the way back, after taking damage from an SA-2 ground-to-air missile.
* Trivia: of the four American aces from the Vietnam War, the top scorer (with 6) was a back-seater, USAF Capt. Charles DeBellevue.
April 27, 2007
And how is it A-Rod only has 8 walks? Where's the respect?
Here are some of the most recent Google searches that brought people here, according to my Sitemeter.
- hot tub girl
- jessica alba feet (from Italian Google)
- imus & andy joke
- nancy sun, naked
- cher 2007
- crazy subaru
- strappy shoes (from British Google)
- fortune cookie
- favorite flowers of marie antoinette
- brittany goes
- hot nude blondes videos (which took them here, to a post I called "Hardball Hardon")
- sexy naked (which took them, coincidentally, to the same post)
- hot naked stuff (you guessed it, same post)
- brad p (which yielded this bit of comedy)
- rosie o'donald coors beer (ha! they misspelled it like I do!)
- ugly bird (which led hilariously, to this picture)
- lindsay lohan's email- address (lol, I'll never be rid of 'em)
- ugly fucking bird (haha! love the emphasis)
- how to make a dna model
- pregnant babes (an image search, which led to who else? Brittany)
- kirsten dunst being beheaded in marie antoinette
- sarah james is a fashion designer even though shes a poet and she dont know cuz her toes show it cuz theyre longfellows:-
The first is "A Failure In Generalship," by Lt. Col. Paul Yingling. Colonel Yingling places blame squarely on Rumsfeld and his generals, for the failure to achieve our goals in Iraq.
The intellectual and moral failures common to America's general officer corps in Vietnam and Iraq constitute a crisis in American generalship. Any explanation that fixes culpability on individuals is insufficient. No one leader, civilian or military, caused failure in Vietnam or Iraq. Different military and civilian leaders in the two conflicts produced similar results. In both conflicts, the general officer corps designed to advise policymakers, prepare forces and conduct operations failed to perform its intended functions. To understand how the U.S. could face defeat at the hands of a weaker insurgent enemy for the second time in a generation, we must look at the structural influences that produce our general officer corps.My only criticism of Yingling's article would be against his proposal that Congress assert more control over the selection and promotion of general officers. On the contrary, while Congress has a role, it's the executive's job to select military leaders who can get the job done. I believe Yingling is correct to criticize the culture of conformity that produced sub-par generals at the war's outset. But that's common in every major conflict. War is a results-oriented game, and typically the dross is burned away after the first few months of battle.
In the case of Iraq, we had an unusual tendency towards inertia that can only be blamed on Bush and Rumsfeld's management styles. Whether you want to call it admirable loyalty or excessive stubbornness, neither Bush nor the SecDef were willing to change horses when necessary to get results. Of what other successful wartime administration can this be said? Not Lincoln's, not FDR's, not Truman's.
To be fair, one reason for this President's inertia was the withering and omnipresent criticism from the left, whether by Democrats or internationally. Bush, rightly or wrongly, made the decision that sticking to his original plan and personnel was better than adapting midstream to the changing situation on the battlefield. His enemies so vehemently accused him of being wrong, that he overcompensated in an effort to prove that he was right.
I don't give Bush a pass on this. It's no excuse to say that he did what he did because the left made him do it. It's the commander-in-chief's job to husband the souls of those men and women serving our country as wisely as possible. I'll grant him the best of intentions; I know the President feels every loss of life personally and deeply. But, good intentions are not enough. As I've said many times before, what we need is results, and the responsibility for getting results lies ultimately with the president. If Franks, Casey and Abizaid were not getting the job done and I don't think they were Bush should have been quick with the hook. (Bush knows baseball; he should have taken a lesson from old Sparky Anderson.)
The essential constraint that the entire war team missed is the constraint of time and patience. In a democracy, this constraint is strict and onerous, especially now in our hyper-political environment where the opposing party turns every issue into a power-play. Time and patience are part of the battlefield, and Bush's advisors were negligent in failing to stress that fact. Success in Iraq, if it was/is to be had, must be had quickly, with sufficient force and resources to get it quickly. Unfortunately, Bush and Company acted like they had all day long. Instead, time has now nearly run out.
The second article, by Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (ret.), is called "Wanted: Occupation Doctrine." His point of view is decidedly Machiavellian, but in a good way. Peters catalogues some lessons we should take heed of when planning for the next counterinsurgency campaign.
Consider just a few essential rules for successful occupations all of which we violated in Iraq:Many of the above precepts have been adopted by Gen. Petraeus and his staff, now in charge of the war effort. For that reason, I'm hopeful that success is not yet beyond our grasp.
Plan for the worst case. Pleasant surprises are better than ugly ones.
All else flows from security. Martial law, even if imposed under a less-provocative name, must be declared immediately it's far easier to loosen restrictions later on than to tighten them in the wake of anarchy. This is one aspect of a general principle: Take the pain up front.
Unity of command is essential.
The occupier's troop strength should be perceived as overwhelming and his forces ever-present.
Key military leaders, staff officers, intelligence personnel and vital civilian advisers must be committed to initial tours of duty of not less than two years for the sake of continuity.
Control external borders immediately.
Don't isolate troops and their leaders from the local population.
Whenever possible, existing host-country institutions should be retained and co-opted. After formal warfare ends, don't disband organizations you can use to your advantage.
Give local opinion-makers a stake in your success, avoid penalizing midlevel and low-level officials (except war criminals), and get young men off the streets and into jobs.
Don't make development promises you can't keep, and war-game reconstruction efforts to test their necessity, viability and indirect costs (an occupation must not turn into a looting orgy for U.S. or allied contractors).
Devolve responsibility onto local leaders as quickly as possible while retaining ultimate authority.
Do not empower returned expatriates until you are certain they have robust local support.
The purpose of cultural understanding is to facilitate the mission, not to paralyze our operations. Establish immediately that violent actors and seditious demagogues will not be permitted to hide behind cultural or religious symbols.
Establish flexible guidelines for the expenditure of funds by tactical commanders and for issuing local reconstruction contracts. Peacetime accountability requirements do not work under occupation conditions and attempts to satisfy them only play into the hands of the domestic political opposition in the U.S. while crippling our efforts in the zone of occupation.
Rigorously control private security forces, domestic or foreign. In lieu of a functioning state, we must have a monopoly on violence.
In the article, Peters uses the word "occupation," but he doesn't apologize for it.
The first step in formulating usable doctrine is to sweep aside the politically correct myths that have appeared about occupations. Occupations are military activities. Period. An Army general must be in charge, at least until the security environment can be declared benign with full confidence. Historically, the occupations that worked often brilliantly, as in the Philippines, Germany and Japan were run by generals, not diplomats. This is another mission the Army doesn't want, but no other organization has the wherewithal to do it.It's obvious that Colonel Peters has a distinct pro-military, anti-Foggy Bottom bias. I share that bias.
Consider the prevailing claim that an occupation is a team effort involving all relevant branches of government: The problem is that the rest of the team doesn't show up. The State Department, as ambitious for power as it is incompetent to wield it, insists that it should have the lead in any occupation, yet has neither the leadership and management expertise, the institutional resources nor the personnel required (among the many State-induced debacles in Iraq, look at its appetite for developing Iraqi police forces and its total failure to deliver).These two articles deserve wide readership. Print them out and read them on your lunch hour.
The military is the default occupier, since its personnel can be ordered into hostile environments for unlimited periods; State and other agencies rely on volunteers and, in Iraq, the volunteers have not been forthcoming even when the tours for junior diplomats were limited to a useless 90 days and dire warnings were issued about the importance of Iraq duty to careers.
April 26, 2007
I often suspect there are some famous lurkers who occasionally cruise my blog. At the beginning, before his Townhall re-design, Hugh Hewitt had me on his blogroll. That was an honor which I knew I did not deserve, but which gave me a lot of pride while it lasted. Anyways, even if Professor Hewitt didn't read me regularly, I'm pretty sure Duane did, which still qualifies as a "brush-with-fame" in my book.
Another big name who came here once, after reading my most infamous blog entry, was New York Post columnist John Podhoretz. He wrote me a very short e-mail that said simply "You crack me up." That was way cool.
Casca once told me he thinks Laura Ingraham reads me, but I'm not yet convinced. Michelle Malkin routinely ignores me, and has never deigned to put me on her blogroll (which for the life of me I can't understand, since that freak Schlussel is on there), but that's okay. I love Malkin anyway.
And to this day, I suspect that Wonkette stole one of my rubrics.
But of all the lurkers and quasi-lurkers that have come here to read my nonsense, there is one whose email makes me most proud.
To set the scene. It's the afternoon of November 2nd, 2004. Faulty (and I believe fraudulent) exit polls have just been leaked and posted by Drudge, which show John Kerry leading George W. Bush in several must-win states. For weeks, the MSM has been predicting a Kerry victory. Now it seems true and conservatives are panicked. It looks like that jackass is going to be president.
In that atmosphere, I wrote this post.
A week later I got the following e-mail:
you and hugh hewitt are the only two who helped keep my anxiety in check during pre election days. i'm embarrassed at my lack of confidence. the urge to find drudge and bitch slap him still burns in me. thenks for the encouraging words. . . . there's enough smart pretty cynical woman pundits, your writing is honest and funny w/out trying to sound clever or too sarcastic. keep it nice and realThat's the best e-mail I've ever gotten. I'm so gratified that I could have contributed in some small way on that fateful day, when we all needed to keep our wits about us. Despite the post election disappointments, and there have been many, I'm still proud of that post and happy that we all showed up and won.
So as I prepare to join the ranks of lurkers in about 24 days, may I say to all the lurkers at this blog, thank you for visiting!
Due to the intense boredom initiated by "a very special American Idol," I began channel flipping and became transfixed by the excellent PBS documentary called ENRON: The Smartest Guys In The Room.
[Aside: Let me note for the record that chief Enron assholes Lay, Skilling and Fastow were all baby boomers.]
Anyways they mentioned that Enron was a major promoter of the early "weather futures" market. When I heard that, I thought, weather futures? wtf? now I've seen everything.
But it's a real thing, and apparently weather futures have exploded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In fact, volume on the CME jumped 64% in the last year alone. It's now a 45 billion dollar market.
But what is it? How do you trade weather? According to CME's website:
CME created a weather derivative market which enables those businesses that could be adversely affected by unanticipated temperature swing or unusually high snowfall, to transfer this risk. It is estimated that nearly 30 percent of the U.S. economy is directly affected by the weather. As a result, the earnings of businesses can be adversely impacted by summers that are hotter than normal or winters that are much colder than anticipated. Just as professionals regularly use futures and options to hedge their risk in interest rates, equities and foreign exchange, now there are tools available for the management of risk from extreme movements of temperature. This sector of hedging and risk management products represents today's fastest growing derivative market.A reasonably concise primer can be found here.
I guess the deal is that you can buy insurance to protect against catastrophic things that have a low probablility of occurring. But you can't easily insure against high probablility, low risk events like variations in the weather. Playing this market is a way for businesses to offset weather related losses. For example:
A ski resort depends on cold weather to stay inI still don't get how it works though. I confess I don't understand futures trading as well as Hillary Clinton, but is this all smoke and mirrors bullcrap, or is it the wave of the future? And how, if at all, can this market be used to mitigate the effects of global warming?
business. To protect against the possibility of a warm winter, the resort can sell (go short) CME HDD contracts at a level they decide upon with assistance from a
weather-analysis company. A warm winter will result in a low HDD index, and the resort will hope to buy back its contracts at a lower price and use the profit to offset losses in the business.
Speaking of heartless, I'd like to "Imagine" there's no John Lennon. Oh that's right, there isn't!
And finally, ain't no way you're going to eradicate malaria with mosquito nets. Sorry.
April 25, 2007
Rosie hasn't announced yet, but how much you wanna bet she's going to spin it as "her decision," to "pursue other interests," blah blah blah. It won't be the fact that nobody likes a bully and she's a bully.
Rosie is the left's equivalent of Michael Savage a loud, bigoted, egotistical, ignorant clown. The only reason Rosie gets away with it on tv and Savage is relegated to after-hours radio is that tv execs agree with Rosie's bullshit.
via Hot Air
Update: Rosie said, "my needs for the future just didn't dovetail with what ABC was able to offer me."
I was close. She just left out the "blah blah blah" part.
April 24, 2007
ROTFL that was awesome!
April 23, 2007
[T]he former star of NBC's Today has failed to move the Nielsen needle on No. 3 Evening News since her debut seven months ago."A bad fit from the start" is an understatement. To be absolutely fair, I would also use the descriptors "lightweight" and "clueless bimbo."
In a bottom-line business like television, that's a cardinal sin. Already-low morale in the news division is dropping, says a veteran correspondent there.
"It's a disaster. Everybody knows it's not working. CBS may not cut her loose, but I guarantee you, somebody's thinking about it. We're all hunkered down, waiting for the other shoe to drop."
Seven correspondents, producers and executives at CBS and other networks interviewed for this story spoke on condition of anonymity, given the sensitive nature of the Couric situation.
Couric and CBS were a bad fit from the start.
"From the moment she walked in here, she held herself above everybody else," says a CBS staffer. "We had to live up to her standards. . . . CBS has never dealt in this realm of celebrity before."
Media experts predict Couric's ratings won't improve anytime soon, given that news viewers tend to be older and averse to change.
Couric, 50, draws fewer viewers than did avuncular "interim" anchor Bob Schieffer, 20 years her senior. Much of the feature-oriented format she debuted with is gone, as is her first executive producer, Rome Hartman.
"The broadcast is an abject failure, by any measure," says Rich Hanley, director of graduate programs at the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University.
"They gambled that viewers wanted a softer, less-dramatic presentation of the news, and they lost. It's not fair to blame Couric for everything, but she's certainly the centerpiece and deserves a fair share."
CBS Evening News this season averages 7.319 million total viewers, down 5 percent from the same period a year ago, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Couric's viewership has dropped nearly 30 percent since her Sept. 5 premiere week, when she averaged an inflated 10.2 million viewers and led CBS News to its first Nielsen win since June 2001.
Have you watched Couric lately? Talk about deer in the headlights, she makes Kathleen Blanco look like the embodiment of "confidence" by comparison.
April 22, 2007
Critics of American Idol would do well to remember that Ella got her start in an amateur singing contest. From Ella's bio:
In 1934 Ella's name was pulled in a weekly drawing at the Apollo and she won the opportunity to compete in Amateur Night. Ella went to the theater that night planning to dance, but when the frenzied Edwards Sisters closed the main show, Ella changed her mind. "They were the dancingest sisters around," Ella said, and she felt her act would not compare.Reminds me of one current AI contestant, actually.
Once on stage, faced with boos and murmurs of "What's she going to do?" from the rowdy crowd, a scared and disheveled Ella made the last minute decision to sing. She asked the band to play Hoagy Carmichael's "Judy," a song she knew well because Connee Boswell's rendition of it was among [her mother's] favorites. Ella quickly quieted the audience, and by the song's end they were demanding an encore. She obliged and sang the flip side of the Boswell Sister's record, "The Object of My Affections."
Off stage, and away from people she knew well, Ella was shy and reserved. She was self-conscious about her appearance, and for a while even doubted the extent of her abilities. On stage, however, Ella was surprised to find she had no fear. She felt at home in the spotlight.
'Once up there, I felt the acceptance and love from my audience,' Ella said. 'I knew I wanted to sing before people the rest of my life.'And the rest is jazz history.
In the band that night was saxophonist and arranger Benny Carter. Impressed with her natural talent, he began introducing Ella to people who could help launch her career. In the process he and Ella became lifelong friends, often working together.
Fueled by enthusiastic supporters, Ella began entering - and winning - every talent show she could find. In January 1935 she won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. It was there that Ella first met drummer and bandleader Chick Webb. Although her voice impressed him, Chick had already hired male singer Charlie Linton for the band. He offered Ella the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University.
'If the kids like her,' Chick said, 'she stays.'
Despite the tough crowd, Ella was a major success, and Chick hired her to travel with the band for $12.50 a week.
Happy Birthday Ella. I miss you.
April 21, 2007
[A]bout 10 per cent of the Victory's crew came from outside the British Isles: twenty-two Americans, one Brazilian, two Canadians, two Danes, seven Dutch, four French, three Germans, nine Italians, six Maltese, two Norwegians, one Portuguese, four Swedes, two Swiss, two from India, and five from the West Indies. Such a mixture was due partly to press-gangs and partly to volunteering. French men serving in the British Navy were usually royalist volunteers, opposed to the revolutionary and then Napoleonic regimes in France.Source: Roy Adkins, Nelson's Trafalgar: The Battle That Changed the World, p. 50. Lots of interesting stuff in that book.
This may not be terribly interesting for most of you, but rather than just delete it forever, here it is: more...
April 20, 2007
"The day I killed a blog" happened early in my career, when I was young and altruistic. Thanks to the generosity of a few big bloggers, I'd achieved some moderate success moving up the Ecosystem, (which has since diminished) and I thought it would be nice to spread the love. Pay it forward, like the movie says.
So when I came across a brand new blog, down at the unicellular microbe level of the Ecosystem, I thought I'd give the blogger a boost by linking to one of her more interesting posts. She was new, seemed like a nice lady, and though not the best writer around, I thought she could improve with some exposure. I, in my benevolence, decided to give her that exposure. I chose to link to a post in which her thesis was, "I'm a liberal but I support the Iraq War." (This was back in the day when one could say that type of thing with a straight face.)
I sent the chick some traffic, that was true. But unfortunately she couldn't handle the attention. Being a liberal who supports the war is not a prescription for attracting friendly commenters. Apparently there was enough variety in her viewpoints to piss off everybody who went there. I didn't actually get a chance to read any of the constructive criticism that I funnelled to her comments section, because her site was taken down after about a day of abuse. In the words of Carl the gardener, she quit the game.
So that was how I killed a blog. I love my commenters. You're the only reason I kept this thing going for so long, and I look upon this blog experience as a four year conversation with some really neat people. But when I linked to that little blog, I felt a bit like Hernán Cortés meeting the Indians. You're all a pretty exuberant bunch and some folks just don't have the natural immunities necessary for blogging. Some folks get a readership and then realize they didn't really want to be read in the first place.
Do I feel bad about what happened? Probably not, because although lots of people can say they started a blog, I can say that I killed a blog too.
April 19, 2007
And keep in mind that though annika's journal
may will come to an end in 31 days, when the bar* is over you'll be able to find me again at the Buffet! (Thanks to the generosity and/or foolishness of Preston Taylor Holmes!)
* July 24th through 26th.
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