See also the Insomniacs' 4 a.m. Rule.
John Derbyshire looks at news reports from an alternate reality in which the War on Terrorism was actually being prosecuted as an actual war:
Berlin, Germany; Sept. 20. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has formally protested the Defense Department's "scorched earth" policy in evacuating U.S. bases from German soil. The evacuations were, the chancellor asserted, carried out "in too much haste," adversely affecting the economies of local communities. He also claimed that the dismantling of the bases had been "too thorough," and "destructive." The chancellor especially objected to the policy of plowing over the sites of the bases and sowing the ground with salt. Asked for a response to Chancellor Schroeder's remarks, Defense Secretary Colonel David Hunt said: "Bite me, Adolf."Heh.
There's plenty more. Read the whole thing.
Matt Margolis thinks not, and proceeds to dissect Dean.
Did I say "dissect"? Sorry - he vivisects Dean.
With a chainsaw.
About a month ago, I wrote
whoever put the DVD version of Zulu on the market needs an assegai stuck squarely into his chest.I wasn't kidding.
Zulu, for the uninitiated, is the story of the Battle of Rorke's Drift. Told with the usual in-filling of artistic license, the film nevertheless conveys a pretty good picture of the battle, 22-23 January 1879, in which some 150 British soldiers held off about 4,000 Zulu warriors, forcing them to withdraw with heavy casualties. Redcoats of the 24th Foot, a mostly Welsh regiment, were awarded 11 Victoria Crosses for the action.
[By way of comparison, only four men received the Medal of Honor for the D-Day landings at Normandy. And yes, the British are notoriously stingy with the V.C. - in 1879, there was no allowance for posthumous awards, for instance.]
The DVD release of Zulu which I had was put out by some outfit called Diamond Entertainment. I bought it because it was the only DVD release available in 2000.
It profoundly sucked.
In every way a DVD could be awful, this one was. My heavily-worn VHS copy from 1988 was better than that craptastic DVD. Extra features: nonexistant. The video quality was appallingly bad, as though someone had videotaped it off a screen in a theater - complete with "pan and scan". The sound was equally bad - a particularly awful flaw for a movie so heavily reliant on singing.
At the local Circuit City yesterday, I spotted a Zulu DVD on the shelf... but it was different. This one was from MGM Studios - and at $10, worth picking up just on the off chance that it was better than what I already had.
Oh, yeah. Clean clear widescreen video - possibly remastered, but more likely taken from a clean print of the film. The audio was spectacular - I kept hearing things in there that I'd never heard before. Bear in mind that this is one of my all-time favorite films - I know it backwards and forwards... or I thought I did, at any rate. Add to that a bit of hearing loss I've suffered since 1988; the fact that I'm hearing new things speaks very well of this edition of the film.
[Diamond Entertainment execs still deserve assegais in their chests for producing what has become my newest coffee-mug coaster.]
apologist advocate Edward Said has died.
Pity it wasn't at the end of a rope.
Next: maybe leftist moonbat Noam Chomsky...? Well, we can only hope.
CNN's Tucker Carlson:
"The fact that the people who ran the debate allowed Arianna Huffington to just completely take it over -- living proof, by the way, she is -- that California does have an immigration problem..."Via NRO's Corner
I'm a bit late to this party.... but as everyone seems to have noticed today, General Hugh Shelton, US Army (retired), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (the highest-ranked uniformed member of the armed forces) seems to have a less-than-stellar opinion of the newest Democrat candidate for the presidency, General Wesley Clark (retired):
"What do you think of General Wesley Clark and would you support him as a presidential candidate," was the question put to him by moderator Dick Henning, assuming that all military men stood in support of each other. General Shelton took a drink of water and Henning said, "I noticed you took a drink on that one!"As everyone from Donald Sensing to Matt Kennicott to SGT Hook has opined, this sort of muted criticism from a fellow member of the 4-star club is the rhetorical equivalent of a Daisy-Cutter. Generals just do not criticize each other in public.
"That question makes me wish it were vodka," said Shelton. "I've known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote."
Personal anecdote time: once, long ago, I attended a Sergent Major's retirement ceremony, and everyone - enlisted, NCOs and officers, including the 2-star Division commander - showed up. But as has been rumored around the 'sphere [anyone with more info, please comment], no one of note even bothered to attend Clark's retirement ceremony. This is absolutely stunning.
A question that arises from all this is, what exactly could Clark have done that earned such a level of disrespect from his fellow officers - not to mention what appears to have been an involuntary early retirement?
"integrity and character issues"I mean, come on, people - what could it have taken for the Clinton administration to fire someone for "integrity and character issues"?
If Clark were running under a GOP banner, the press would be on him like, well, like ugly on me. Four words for the news media: Freedom of Information Act.
The hell with the International Criminal Court. When they have Kim, Arafat, Qaddafi, Castro, Mugabe, and Jiang indicted, arraigned, tried, sentenced, and locked up, then I'll listen to what they have to say about Henry Kissinger's "war crimes." And I still won't believe it.The Demonization of Henry Kissinger, in National Review Online
Heh. I found it.
While preparing for what I assumed to be the inevitable long-term power outage, I made plenty of ice (empty 2-liter Diet Coke bottles are darn handy) and transferred the contents of the indoor freezer to the chest-type freezer in the garage (yes, that freezer. Trust me - it's better now.)
I really wanted to save as much as I could, even though what was in the freezer was of no particularly great value - frozen veggies, various sausages, chicken breasts....
Buried deep in the back of the freezer... a pack of filet mignon. Four of them, which I'd cut myself from a whole beef loin bought on the cheap, back around March.
Beautiful, tender, savory filets. 2-inch thick filets, perfectly preserved. Can you guess what I'll be having for dinner tonight?
Yes, yes, yes... like a lemming, I'm voting for Ilyka Damen's "A Happy Epiphany," wherein Ilkya dismembers the Loony Left's moral equivalence:
That's why your optimism was misplaced, amigo -- because you were optimistic about the prospect of Americans behaving, for once, like anything but Americans. You thought we'd cry and come running to the international community for a big group hug and beg the world to please, please tell us what we did that was so wrong, how we could make it better, how we could be more like you, how we could understand and empathize and accept and move on.Read the whole thing.
I will move on when I am dead.
[Rated PG-13 for language.]
[Hey, I run a clean place here. G rated.]
[Well, PG maybe. I think I said "ass" once....]
Islamic chaplain is charged as spyThe article further goes on to state:
By Rowan Scarborough
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
An Army Islamic chaplain, who counseled al Qaeda prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval base, has been charged with espionage, aiding the enemy and spying, The Washington Times has learned.
The Army has charged Capt. Yee with five offenses: sedition, aiding the enemy, spying, espionage and failure to obey a general order. The Army may also charge him later with the more serious charge of treason, which under the Uniform Code of Military Justice could be punished by a maximum sentence of life.(Emphasis mine.)
"More serious charge of treason"? Well, yes, systematically betraying one's country is perhaps more treated more seriously than a single act of espionage... though I don't really see the difference. I'm no legal theorist. But I think "treason" is a civil crime, whereas the rest, that Lee has already been charged with, are military crimes.
But the Times reporter fails to note that under Article 106 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice,
Any person who in time of war is found lurking as a spy or acting as a spy ... shall be tried by a general court-martial or by a military commission and on conviction shall be punished by death.I don't see anything there about "or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct" like is seen in other Articles of the UCMJ.
Good. Hang him.
I am put in mind of the treason scene in Henry V:
Hear your sentence.For a 16th Century guy, Shakespeare was rather clueful.
You have conspir'd against our royal person,
Join'd with an enemy proclaim'd, and from his coffers
Receiv'd the golden earnest of our death;
Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,
His princes and his peers to servitude,
His subjects to oppression and contempt,
And his whole kingdom into desolation.
Touching our person seek we no revenge;
But we our kingdom's safety must so tender,
Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws
We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,
Poor miserable wretches, to your death;
The taste whereof God of his mercy give
You patience to endure, and true repentance
Of all your dear offences.
(Update: edited slightly for clarity.)
Post-hurricane leaf/twig/branch cleanup is not recommended for people with back problems.
Especially not tall people with back problems. Those twigs and branches on the ground are a long way down.
Where are all the enterprising teenagers looking to make a buck? I'll pay! I'll pay!
At Arlington National Cemetery, soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknowns were given — for the first time ever — permission to abandon their posts and seek shelter, Superintendent John Metzler said. But they stood guard anyhow.Bless 'em all.
UPDATE: more from Donald Sensing
Ferget ye not that today be Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Yo, ho, yo, ho....
With regard to Isabel...
If I hear the expression "dodged a bullet" one more time, just one more time....
I'm tempted to call in the Cliché Police.
Taking into account the relative fragility of the power here in Apex, I'm rather amazed that the power has stayed on as long as it has today. Usually, a baby deer sneezing in the woods is sufficient to knock our power out for a few minutes, but this storm has thus far only caused a few flickers in the power.
My employers basically told us to work from home today if at all possible. It's been possible. But it's been really tough concentrating on analyzing this verkakte spreadsheet when, every minute, I hear something impacting the side of my house.
Michele notes of hurricane Isabel:
It is the one big story in the news that has no dividing line, no conspiracy theories attached to it, no political undertones.Indeed, where are the conspiracies? What kind of a self-respecting Axis has no underhanded dealings, no secrets, no conspiracies? It's a fair question.
Hey, Michele, just a heads-up for you - the Axis is developing WMD.
Last night I made chili out of some perishables from my refrigerator. The effects should be lethal.
I have two uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) for my home PCs and network.
Now, with Isabel on it's way, the odds the power will be knocked out are good enough to bet on. A near certainty, if history is any guide. Hence, everyone's rush to the stores for batteries.
So, not being an electrical engineer... I wonder how long a fully-charged UPS would power a radio? A table lamp?
More importantly, how long would it be before the UPS's alarm beeping would drive me insane?
Meryl has compiled a roster of bloggers in the path of our oncoming hurricane: the Axis of Isabel. I rather wish I didn't qualify for membership in this club.
Likely, many or most of North State blogs qualify, to one degree or another.
We had monsoons every year in Korea, which are pretty much the same thing... but I didn't actually own the barracks or tents I lived in at the time. Home ownership adds a new element to the whole "inclement weather" thing.
Food? Check. Water? Check. Candles and matches? Check, check. Truck gassed up? Check.
Chainsaw? Dang.... Battery-operated radio? Dang....
Looks like I have a little shopping to do.
And now, a brief interruption for some shameless self-congratulation:
Yes, I passed that re-cert test I mentioned yesterday.
There are currently 97 "Service Provider" CCIEs walking the face of the planet. I'm the sixth of that group.
All your modem are belong to us.
Osama bin Laden released a new videotape Wednesday, shot from his hiding place in Afghanistan, in which he threatened war against the West. There's no question it was him. He had a beard, he had a limp, and he had a California driver's license.
People come into our lives, we briefly get to know a little about them, and then we usually move on without a second thought, forgetting them, as though they never really existed.
Before I moved east, I knew virtually everyone at our company office in San Jose, some better than others. One of my passing acquaintances left the company in the Spring of 2001, a year after I moved away - I've neither seen nor spoken with him since.
I think about him often now.
His wife Suzanne was on American Airlines Flight 77, which struck the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
This is the closest I came to knowing someone lost that day. Not close at all, really, not at all. I knew nothing of Frank's life outside the office, nothing whatsoever. He was a really nice guy, as decent as they come. Everyone liked him, but I knew nothing about him really, other than his "work face". I knew nothing about his wife.
I'm ashamed of my ignorance.
Bill Whittle, in his usual thoughtful fashion, provides some much needed clarity.
Take a moment, today – take a long moment – and imagine how just how much worse things could have gone.Quite so.
... and life does go on, seemingly normal, though we know the world has changed. At times it seems almost surreal to me.
The mundane intrudes into the solemnity I expected to be feeling today. A meeting at work, tons of e-mail, a professional certification exam, and I'll have to roll the trash can back up the driveway from the street later today.
That doesn't mean, though, that I won't take time to think or write.
James Taranto in today's Best of the Web makes a valid criticism of Juan Williams' verbal assault on Howard Dean. Said Williams:
Gov. Dean has suggested that states like Vermont, Montana and Wyoming, with overwhelmingly white populations, really don't need gun control, in part because of their rural character, but urban areas, such as Baltimore, Md., with large minority populations, do need gun control.This is an unwarranted interpretation of Dean's actual position. No one believes Dean is racist.
On the other hand, Dean's actual position on gun laws - and on the Constitution, generally - is far, far worse. If summarized accurately by Taranto, it is Constitutionally insupportable. Taranto writes [emphasis mine]:
Howard Dean deviates from liberal orthodoxy on one issue: gun rights. Coming from Vermont, the state with the nation's least restrictive gun laws, Dean holds a genuinely moderate position. He opposes new federal gun-control laws, but he also believes the 10th Amendment trumps the Second and that states have the authority to pass whatever gun laws they see fit.Surely, Dean cannot seriously believe this?
On this basis, would it then be a reasonable position to believe that the 10th Amendment trumps the First, that states should be able to pass laws restricting speech, the press, religion, and the right to assemble?
How about the Fifth - shall states be able to seize private property without compensation, if they see fit to do so? Or put a person on trial twice for the same crime?
Carried to the extreme, maybe the 13th Amendment? Should Vermont be able to reinstitute slavery?
This sort of "reasoning" betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The amendments are there to guarantee and protect the basic rights of the people. Anything not specifically addressed is left to the states, under the Tenth Amendment.
Such basic errors should be considered an absolute disqualification from holding an office under the federal Constitution.
... or information overload?
I've always been a news junkie to one extent or another, but maybe this is carrying things too far:
I was really really hoping to get through my days without additional distractions.
On Rather, Brokaw and Jennings:
These men have tilted our national debate for so long, it's hard to contemplate a world without their bias. Imagine news anchors who matched every story reflecting a liberal premise with one framed around a conservative question: Are taxes too high? Are we spending enough on our national defense? Is the pro-abortion movement too intolerant? Is the environmental movement too radical?L. Brent Bozell III, still beating a drum that needs beating, in the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal
Q: How do you know your kitchen knife is sharp?
A: When you stop to ask yourself "Why is this onion bleeding?"
I am, by profession, a customer support engineer. Not just a "Hi, how can we help you" phone answerer, but one of the guys who digs into the heart of a technical matter and finds an answer when your network falls on its butt. [I used to do this by phone; now I do it via the web. I mainly write about technical problems and solutions, and help develop web-based tools for customer use.]
Along the way, I've learned a thing or two about what constitutes good service and tech support, and I really appreciate it when I get it on those [rare] occasions when I need it.
Today was one such day. My site has been moved to a new server, apparently, and suddenly I could not view comments, or even log in to the site to do updates, maintenance, anything. A particular Perl module had not been installed.
I sent an e-mail to my hosting company's support address. Within minutes, the module had been installed, functionality restored, and the tech courteously replied by mail and informed me that the problem had been resolved. Not 45 minutes, not 30, or even 15. Within 3 or 4 minutes.
So, like I said, I appreciate good support when I get it. Kudos and thanks to Michael at LiquidWeb. These folks have had my business for almost five years, and with a track record of service like this, they'll be keeping it.
Somehow, I managed to tear one of the muscles that hides somewhere under the latissimus dorsai. I did it by sneezing rather too forcefully. Sneezing. How embarrassing. Hurts like heck, especially when I laugh.
All in all, though, if I have to suffer something in that region of the body, better a torn muscle than Imaginary Lat Syndrome.
Fortunately, I am under no such delusions.
"Why yes, I would like that super-sized, thanks...."
DoggerelPundit is back from vacation with a lovely little piece of work on trolls.
I don't have a troll problem. As the saying (not an old saying, but a saying nevertheless) goes, you have to have readers before you get trolls.
|You are the Fourth Doctor: A walking Bohemian conundrum with a brooding personal magnetism and a first-rate intellect concealed somewhere beneath your charmingly goofy exterior. You are perhaps the most terribly clever of all the Doctors, though your occasional bouts of childishness get you in trouble. You never go looking for a fight, but when someone messes with you... good heavens, are they ever sorry they did.|
Which Incarnation of the Doctor Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Occasional bouts of childishness?
Gray "Red" Davis is going to sign a law allowing illegal aliens to receive drivers licenses.
Whether the sponsors say it or not, the law is designed expressly to allow illegals to vote -- and yes, they'll vote Democrat -- and Davis will sign it this time. He knows his goose is cooked, recall-wise, and he seems determined to go down in flames, doing as much damage as he can on the way out, in a Gotterdammerung-esque act of scorched-earth spite.
Now, if I were a Californian, I would immediately talk to a lawyer and go to Federal Court to block this law.
The grounds for a Federal claim? OK, I'm not a lawyer, but consider:
- in California it is either de facto or de jure against the law to ask for proof of elegibility to vote
- "Motor voter" gives any driver license applicant the opportunity to register to vote
- Illegals with drivers licenses will certainly be voting, though they have no right to do so.
I'd rather they get around to doing something about the actual problem: illegal immigration. But don't hold your breath - I won't.
California legislators apparently have nothing better to do.
California Senate scolds Boy ScoutsAlternate headline: "Fiddling While Rome Burns."
Passes resolution slamming group for not accepting 'gays,' atheists
The California state Senate has passed a resolution criticizing the Boy Scouts of America for its policy of excluding homosexuals and atheists.Because that's a far more important task than extracting California from it's actual problems. The lesson here: when your plans and policies bring about disaster, the magnitude of which begins to disaffect elements of your political base, find a convenient innocuous target for a gesture behind which your die-hards can rally.
Sure, why not? It's worked for every despot in history... ought to work this time.
The legislation, which passed last week on a 22-15 vote, begins by praising the group for the work it does in the community, but in the end demands the organization accept applicants "without discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or religious belief," reported the Roseville Press-Tribune."Keep doing your charitable work - but on our terms, not yours." Memo to the state Senate: get bent. Not everyone is such a coward as to accede to your demands.
The Boy Scouts has come under increasing pressure to change its policy, which has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, and has lost countless dollars in donations due to its stand.In other words, the Scouts' principles are more important to them than the donations are. Bravo for them, I say. Most politicians, parties, or advocacy groups have never met a principle they wouldn't compromise for a buck. It's actually rather refreshing to see people who won't compromise.
The legislation was sponsored by Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles, herself a lesbian.No surprise there. I'd be more interested in who the co-sponsors were.
"I think it's important for the state of California to speak up and not be silent, and to say to the Scouts, if you have a religious belief, that's your belief. But keep it separate from a youth-serving agency that serves kids in all neighborhoods," Goldberg told the paper.... conveniently ignoring the fact that the way the Scouts serve youths is dependant on their moral standards.
The Scouts exist, essentially, to equip boys to be good men. Men who have standards of Right and of Wrong, men who adhere to Principle - these are things the Democrats controlling the state Senate seem to not want. I wonder why...?
"I hope we put pressure on them to make this open to all kids. Anybody who knows me and my family knows we love scouting. This is out of concern for (Scouts)."Sure it is. Apparently we're dealing with a whole new variety of "scouting" in which an Oath and adherence to standards is optional.
Goldberg's bill passed the state Assembly by a vote of 43-2. Nearly half the 80 members did not vote or abstained on the resolution.Can't you just feel the moral authority radiating from Sacramento?
Opponents of the bill see it as government intrusion into the policies of a private organization.Well, nothing really new there... this is a world, and California in particular is a state, in which the term "civil servant" has been twisted to mean "civil master."
"Our moral values in Boy Scouts are being treated as if they were inferior values," Republican state Sen. Rico Oller told the Press-Tribune. "Gay and lesbian groups are saying that we with traditional Christian values have to accept people who are avowedly opposed to those views. The Boy Scouts should be able to be the Boy Scouts, an organization based on faith, God and duty. You can't have it both ways."Exactly.
Continued Oller, "This is about hate on the part of the radical gay and lesbian community, on organizations that are founded on more traditional values."Couldn't have said it better myself. Well, maybe a little better... but I don't have to run for office.
It's not just the "radical gay and lesbian" communities - it is the environmentalists, the peaceniks, the trial lawyers... in short, any of the core constituencies of the Democrat party. They cannot abide private groups that teach moral standards, ethical behavior, and a respect for God, because these things are antithetical to the accumulation of power in the hands of those who would sell their own mothers for it. Their opponents must be destroyed, or must be rendered ineffective - a "mission kill," to use the military term.
John Derbyshire, The Sacramento Tales:
INCUMBENT was ther, gilty (so they seye)Read the whole thing... if you can handle Chaucerian English.
Of budgets fals. And he was clepéd Gray.
His teethe bryght capt, his heer lyk helmet fixt
Grande master was he of lowe politycks.
Seattle moonbats want to impose a ten-cent tax on espresso-type beverages, a sort of luxury tax. For the childrenTM, of course.
Serenity is clearly not happy about it...
I mean, if I can afford a $3 drink, then I guess it must be my duty to pay for their children's education....after all, I've got all this money just lying around and no place to spend it.... and she isn't even going to be there long enough to pay the tax.