I didn't actually see/hear Alexandra Kerry telling the hamster CPR story, but it strikes me as one of those things politicians do (or that they have done on their behalf) in an attempt to humanize themselves.
Here's a hint for Kerry: don't act human; don't send the kid out to tell us you're human; just be human.
George W. Bush doesn't need that sort of story told about him — we know he's genuine.
VodkaPundit reader Scott Canty, on Andrew Sullivan's recent descent into madness:
If he's parroting the "selected, not elected" line, he didn't just drink the Kool Aid, he free based the powder.
via VodkaPundit, of course.
Thanks to those of you who have clicked through and made purchases at Amazon, I actually have made
a profit some revenue from this site.
$3.62 — the first 3.62 steps on my quest to buy a new truck. Or a new gun. Or a new anything. If I were Andrew Sullivan, I'd be shooting for a bigger target — a new house, maybe. But my goals are rather more modest.
Seriously: many thanks to those of you who have used me as a gateway to Amazon. I figure every little bit helps.
In light of that, the right sidebar will henceforth be including one or two books I'm currently reading (but no more than two, desite the fact that I usually have more than two books in progress at any given time.)
Not blogads, as such, but I figure what the heck — give it a shot. And it might give you an insight into the enigma that is Me.
In the introductions of her, people talked constantly about [Teresa Heinz Kerry's] "compassion" — and John's. Compassion, compassion, compassion.
I believe I know these people who talk constantly about compassion. I grew up with them in Ann Arbor. Frankly, they tend to be bastards.
(In today's Impromptus, at the DNC convention.)
wanting national support.
"Quick — hide the moonbats!"
As the Democrat convention begins, I think the thing we can most expect to hear is a litany of the eeeeeeeeeevils the Republicans (themselves eeeeeeeevil) are allegedly responsible for.
We know some of the bad things the Democrats and leftists in general have inflicted on us all, some big (political correctness), some really big (multi-generational families dependent on Welfare), and some too humungous to believe (Michael Moore's ass).
I've decided to collect a list of some of the minor evils — the little everyday things that we could all do without — perpetrated on us by leftists and Democrats.
Your help in collecting these (in the comment, of course) will be much appreciated. I'll start:
- Crabgrass - pure evil, but minor. I'm pretty sure it was brought into the country by John Kerry on his return from Vietnam, as a way to irritate all those rich Republicans who can afford to own houses with lawns. (And I'll bet you never even knew Kerry served in Vietnam....)
- Andy Rooney - He used to be funny and clever, now he's just a bitter old has-been who has managed to retain his five minutes on TV every week because he hates conservatives.
- The United Nations - brought to us by the FDR and Truman administrations, as well as assorted one-worlders. Whose idea was it to give Liechtenstein a vote equal to ours? (No offense to Liechtenstein, I'm sure it's a pleasant place and all, but really....) If the UN had their own armed forces, maybe they'd be dangerous. As it is, it's merely a Kaffeeklatsch for tyrants and their diplomats, who complain about Israel and annoy New Yorkers by parking illegally.
- Spam - pure evil, but minor. Not the tasty pork product, which was developed by Good Capitalists, but the unsolicited e-mail variety. A California law firm started the whole thing to drum up business, and we all know whose side those nasty trial lawyers are on.
What are your liberal-generated peeves?
Unless you’ve spent some time in [Washington] DC you can't imagine the tremendous self-importance that possesses the people who feed off the government. They're like people who live in the same town where NASA has a tracking station, and think that it makes them all astronauts.
(via the VodkaPundit.)
her contempt for music fans.
Michael Moore suck-up.
Steve has a great photo for her next album cover. Yes, album, as in vinyl — I don't think she'll fit on a puny CD jewelcase.
Another Friday means another column from the inimitable Victor Davis Hanson. Today, he's good for two quotes - I couldn't decide between them:
A dying generation of aging dissidents is desperately trying to find some final redemption to their life-long suspicion of the United States military. For these Vietnam-era retirees, the televised mayhem from Iraq — not the other 25.9 million Iraqis living in relative calm — will always be the second coming of rice paddies and Rolling Thunder. So the rocky occupation gave the Left ammunition that hardly needed a Tarawa or even a Tet, just something more to work with than the costs of the three-week war last spring.
Without historical perspective, thousands of pundits and politicians maneuver every 24-hours to "prove" that their shifting and contradictory positions, like millions of the American people's own rising and falling spirits, are in fact really consistent and principled. But mostly they are all just confused about Iraq and not sure whether we are emerging from a few skirmishes with a few weeks left to the armistice or firing away on Guadalcanal with three more years of mayhem to go.
Apropos of my previous post....
In the year(+) since I began this blog over, I've encountered more former (and current) military linguists than I had in the decade(+) since I left the service in 1992. There are even several that I know of in my blogrolls. (Here, here, here and here.) (And here.)
Nathan over at Brain Fertilizer has a great idea for an alliance of military linguists.
How very cunning of him.
If you are a member of that elite club, go and drop him a comment. I'm going to try my mad photoshopping skills and see if I can come up with a logo and/or button graphic.
Stephen, the VodkaPundit, points out one of the major problems likely to be problematic for our collection of electronic and communication intelligence: the sheer rate and volume of potential "target" traffic in an age of e-mail, cell- and sat-phones, and cheap encryption.
He then asks:
Would any readers with actual signals intelligence experience like to weigh in on this, in a strictly unclassified manner?Your humble host has a bit of experience in this realm.
This is somewhat tangential to the issue raised, and I may ramble a bit - there's a lot of ground to cover and I'm writing "off the cuff," so to speak. And I'm long-winded. And I'm not going to be able to address, even in an unclassified manner, all the possible things pertaining to Electronic Warfare and Signal Intelligence — there's just too much ground to cover.
As I think I've mentioned once or twice here, I was an Electronic Warfare/Signal Intelligence (EW/SIGINT) Voice Intercept Operator (Korean), Army MOS 98G, from '86 to '92, rising to the lofty and exalted rank of Sergeant before being sidelined by a back injury. [sigh.]
Stephen, as noted above, points out what must be a serious problem for the SIGINT community — the volume of traffic and the methods of transmission now available would appear to combine in such a way that "sorting the wheat from the chaff" is at the very least an order of magnitude harder than it was even a decade ago.
My experience is over a decade ago, but I think I can surmise that there are almost certainly plenty of methods that our guys can and do use to "sniff" the new transmission media, but once you have what you think is a kernel of wheat, you probably still have to decrypt it.
I worked in the radio jamming and intercept arena at the battlefield tactical level. [Note the name of this blog, eh?] I expect that things at the "tactical" level haven't changed quite as much as at the "strategic" level, except that radio signal encryption technology has probably become more widespread. [When I was in the Army, we had a near-monopoly on battlefield radio encryption - now it's much cheaper and easier.] Add frequency-hopping to the mix, and you have real problems if you're the intercepter.
To counter this, one of the missions of the EW side of the business is to screw with the bad guys' commo to the point where they have to transmit "in the clear," perhaps sending a message more than once, in order to get the message through.
Jamming, as a method of screwing with the bad guys, had three main tactics in my day, two of which were common, and one pretty difficult and rare. I imagine things haven't changed altogether too much in the intervening years.
The first (and the one that springs to most peoples' minds when you say "jamming") is to simply deny the use of a method of communication to the enemy. For instance, if you know that an enemy infantry division is using a certain set of radio frequencies for their command and control, you could simply blanket that particular radio frequency band with so much noise that no one can communicate at all. In the realm of internet communication, I suppose that would be analogous to flooding T1 lines (etc.) with random bits.
The effect of this is to force the enemy to use other (and, theoretically, less secure and effective) methods of communication, which would hamper their operations and make them more likely to be intercepted.
The second method, more devious, would be to try to screw with the enemy just enough that they have to either transmit the same information over and over, or so that they drop whatever encryption protocol that might be in place - making it more likely to be successfully intercepted. This is also effective it your colleagues on the intercept side of the business are trying to get a Direction Finding "fix" on the transmitter location for potential targeting: more transmissions means a better "fix" on the enemy location.
I suppose an internet analogy would be to "flip" a few bits in an encrypted e-mail so that the receiver knows he has received an e-mail, but that it's been garbled. He will either have to have it re-sent, or perhaps will drop the encryption altogether, if it's believed that the encryption is the problem. Or he may just pick up the phone. In any case, interception could be more likely.
A third, most devious method, is what is called "Imitative Communication Deception" - pretending to be one of the enemy. This is the most difficult thing I can think of at the moment, and it probably would not work if the two communicating parties know each other... but it can work well on the battlefield, where the people talking to each other on the radio often do NOT know each other well enough to recognize an imposter. But you need superior language skills to pull this one off. I was never that good a linguist.
I haven't even really touched much on the "Intercept" side of the SIGINT world yet, but that's all I have the time to write at the moment (Real Life intrudes yet again). Feel free to comment — I will try to answer any questions.
I'm just old enough to remember it well. 35 years ago today, the pinnacle of scientific achievement was reached.
We haven't been back to the Moon since 1972. It's long past time we go again — to stay.
Today was the North Carolina primary election, delayed for two months due to a nasty redistricting battle.
In the time between completing my previous post and beginning this, I was able to complete the voting process: verify the polling location on the Wake County website, find my keys, drive to the polling place, check in, vote, drive to the quicki-mart for
my vice a pack of smokes, drive home, and explain the whole thing to the Parental Unit.
As I strolled into the polling place — the local elementary school — I noticed the rather low turnout, but all the people ahead of me were in the line for surnames beginning with letters M thru Z, so I was able to walk to the head of the line.
The nice little old lady behind the table asked my name and address, looked me up, asked my party affiliation (this was a primary election; here in NC, one apparently doesn't get to vote in other party's primaries — that's the way things should be), had me sign a paper (apparently to verify that I was indeed present) and proceed to the next table to pick up my ballot.
The fellow at the next table took and examined my signed form, handed me a ballot, and directed me to a booth, where I made the appropriate marks on the ballot.
From there, I took my ballot to the reader machine and inserted it. It made a series of self-satisfied whirring and clicking noises, followed by a smug sigh, which I took to mean that my votes had been tabulated, since upon hearing that noise yet another nice lady fairly leapt to my side and handed me the traditional "Be nice to me, I voted" sticker, which I obligingly fixed to my shirt before making my way out of the building and back to my truck.
As during elections in the past, not once was I ever asked to prove that I was who I claimed to be in order to vote. No request to see a voter registration card, no demand for a driver license or ID of any kind.
That's just wrong.
Yes, I'm busy. But not too busy to make note of the very spiffy feature the DoggerelPundit has added to his site: The Perma-Rave.
If the first Perma-Rave is any indication, he's got a winner here.
(And while you're there, read the rest of his stuff, too. Brilliant and creative.)
The Sandy Berger thing seemed ripe for comment, especially since I know a thing or two about handling highly classified documents, but I remain rather busy with the Parental Unit in town.
I figure the parallels to Watergate are obvious enough. I bet Berger's parents would be so proud that he has chosen a career as a "plumber."
Yes, I know Microsoft is an amazing success for the capitalist system. I love capitalism. Hooray for capitalism!
But I suspect their effective monopoly has made them sloppy.
One of my favorite sayings is that "Outlook Express is a security hole with some added e-mail capability." Similar things might be (and have been) said about many of their products.
I'm pretty sure that MS's success is not because of the quality of their products, but rather in spite of the quality. The security problems built into so many MS products are serious enough that I do none of my critical computing work on Windows machines unless there is no alternative. The product of those things I have to do on Windows machines is always stored on a Linux box, or on a detachable external hard drive.
This Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) advisory is just the latest example of why I usually disdain Microsoft products:
Read and enjoy. And then update your PC.
Been pretty busy the past couple days... road trips (Pinehurst is nice...) and other activities with visiting parent.
Posting will be scattershot at best.
It seems I'm not alone in thinking that modern girls' fashion is, well, slutty.
One girl did something about it.
Bravo, young lady!
Stephen Den Beste talks about the Battle of Waterloo.
The truth about Waterloo, after nearly two centuries, remains imperfectly understood. The latest scholarship on the subject, as revealing as it is, is less satisfying (particularly to Anglophiles) than the legend that has persisted to this day.
There's a difference between History and a good story; the former is truth, but sometimes the latter, the "good story," is more pleasant to believe, or teaches a lesson better than the actual history does.
Joseph Campbell would understand. This is what Myth is all about.
For instance, I know, intellectually, that there was never an actual Sherlock Holmes, but I might willingly suspend my disbelief. I may prefer to think of him as a historical figure, because of some educational or even inspirational value that the Holmes stories might provide. I may act as though Holmes was real [though you'd be amazed at how infrequently this act is discernable to the human eye], but I know the difference.
I was once a History major. I've studied, I've read. My reading list consists of (among other things) books on things historical. I think I know (or at least have a better-than-average understanding) how the battle of Waterloo was fought, won, and lost.
But I also think the smaller stories that build into the legend, true or not, are valuable in and of themselves — perhaps, nearly two centuries later, more valuable than the truth is. As the saying goes, if those stories didn't exist, they would have to be invented.
That's why they persist.
The legend of the "thin red line" was an inspiration to the British during the darkest days of the Second World War. I call that "valuable." [The expression was, as far as I can tell, actually coined to describe the 93rd Highlanders at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854, but is often associated with the actions of the British infantry at Waterloo.]
After 1500 years, the legend of King Arthur remains a fixture of the English-speaking world [and maybe beyond, but I don't know.] We believe what we will about who Arthur was, what he did, and so on. No one really can say what the truth is — except that what we think we know is almost entirely a fiction. But the legend remains valuable.
And it's perfectly allright to hold legends and myths in high regard. They can inspire, they can motivate. They can, in difficult times, give the courage to carry on.
But always remember that myths and legends are just that. Don't mistake them for the truth.
[Self-study question: Michael Moore has made it his mission to build a Myth that stands in stark contrast to the facts. Will his version of the events of September 11, 2001 stand the test of time? Discuss.]
selling all manner of crap.
Old comments are closed.
I've implemented the Close Comments plugin. At the moment all posts older than 14 days have their comments closed, but that number will daily increase until it reaches 31 days.
... will be going straight down my gullet.
I lit the coals at about 9:30 this morning, gave the piggy (which brined overnight, of course) its rubdown and had it in the cooker by 10:30. Got home from church just after noon, and the temperature was still right on the money. All I had to do was add more wood chunks for smoke. Sitting there on the deck, smoking like Mount Saint Helens on vacation in Jamaica, it looks marvelous:
Cooking barbecue the natural way, with charcoal — the way it was meant to be cooked — isn't as hard as some people (e.g., those who swear by electric smokers) would have you believe.
It only takes a couple years of practice and anyone could do it, I suspect. But don't try it and then get all big-headed about it — my barbecue kung fu will always be better than yours.
Seriously. I will not tolerate dissent. Especially not from my brother.
- The piggy: 1 (one) 6-pound Boston Butt roast. No, I don't know why a shoulder cut is called a "butt."
- The brine: sugar, salt, bourbon, blackberry brandy, Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar, and one or two extras which shall remain nameless.
- The rub: kosher salt, sugar, onion powder, various chili pepper powders, garlic powder, black pepper, and one or two other spices which shall remain nameless.
- The water pan: water, bourbon, and blackberry brandy.
- The heat source: natural wood chunk charcoal, of course. No briquets for this guy. Electricity? Feh... that's for amateurs.
- The smoke source: damp chunks of hickory.
- The work involved? At this point, all I have to do is periodically check that smoke is actually being generated, and once an hour check the temperature (and add charcol chunks, if necessary). Easy as pie.
It's not work, it's Art... and this is what you get:
Eat your heart out, Steve.
OK, maybe I'm too much of a hermit. I mean, it's tempting to stay in front of the computer, but I really ought to get out more often. So I took my Mom to dinner tonight, nothing fancy. Just a country-style buffet place (with steaks!)
But something struck me as odd.
From my observations, I concluded that we have a denim shortage in this country.
What, you might ask, is your evidence?
I saw scores — hundreds, even — of young women strolling around, and their bluejeans simply were not high-rising enough to reach the bottoms of their shirts/blouses. The same applied to the women in denim skirts and shorts. Obviously, I concluded, a market shortage has forced the price of denim so high that clothing makers are skimping.
Then my Mom noted that it's the fashion these days to bare the midriff. Sigh. Yet another setback for empirical observational science.
Mom - 1; science - 0.
That being the case, I have a purely subjective comment or two to make. To those ladies, girls, and other womenfolk:
1) You look like hookers. Unless you really are a hooker, knock it off.
1a) If you really are a hooker, find some place other than a family restaurant to ply your trade.
2) If your gut sticks out farther in front of you than your boobs do, you might want to rethink the whole bare midriff concept.
2a) It's just... just... so wrong...
2b) And it's seriously repulsive — like Spandex at a Jenny Craig newcomers' night.
3) While it may be marginally tolerable for plumbers to do so, flashing butt-crack is not considered de rigeur, nor is it as attractive as you may think it is.
4) What the heck are you doing with a tattoo on the small of your back?
4a) Is that supposed to mean something?
4b) Do your parents know about this?
Thank you for your attention.
Saturday... Mom is visiting... so I have to at least appear to be doing useful stuff on the weekend.
This morning: paint the ceiling in guest bathroom. Thankfully, it's only an 8-foot-high ceiling. Yes, I'm extraordinarily tall, but painting involves pushing a roller up against the ceiling for half an hour - it gets tiresome.
I gave it a coat yesterday, and ran into that age-old problem: being able to tell where you've already put fresh white paint on top of older white paint. Oh, bother. So after dinner last night I ran out to the home improvement store and bought a gallon of that "color changing" ceiling paint.
I'll admit to a bit of trepidation this morning as I rolled a coat of lavender/pink paint onto the ceiling, but sure enough, it's already fading to white.
Very cool. Sometimes I just love technology.
And my deltoids have had a nice workout.
More on MoveOn moron Moore:
Moore prefers alternative:
Friday. Hanson. Good.
For over a year now, we have witnessed a level of invective not seen since the summer of 1864 — much of it the result of a dying 60's generation's last gasps of lost self-importance. Instead of the "innocent" Rosenbergs and "framed" Alger Hiss we now get the whisk-the-bin-Laden-family-out-of-the-country conspiracy. Michael Moore is a poor substitute for the upfront buffoonery of Abbie Hoffman.Read.
It seems like every day on the news, someone from the House or Senate is being asked their opinion on matters of national security and intelligence, e.g., the 9/11 commission.
It is remarkably rare that I ever think any of our elected representatives knows as much or more than I do about how intel works, and in almost all cases, their public pronouncements are designed for political effect rather than to convey the truth.
I am certain that virtually no one in the media understands how intel works. Of those who do, most simply don't care, or (worse) they play on the ignorance of politicians and the public when publishing their "news" in order to push a particular agenda. Case in point: the media, in lockstep, completely and uniformly mischaracterized the preliminary report from the 9/11 commission.
I expect the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report on pre-Iraq-War intelligence being released today will be more of the same — a kernel of truth, surrounded by a cocoon of spin, particularly by those who don't like the report's conclusions.
Yes, I know a thing or three about intelligence.
I was once a small cog in the military intelligence machine. I had to be smart enough and had to pass tests to to qualify for the training, had to go through a couple years of extremely specialized schooling, and had to undergo a long bout of rectal microscopy to get a security clearance.
I don't think even 5% of our national-level politicians could successfully get even that far. And all that was what had to be done before I could serve my country in the real world. The hard work came after the training.
Politicians, on the other hand, only have to win their periodic popularity contests.
But I'm reasonably confident I couldn't do that.
Update: did you see Senator Rockefeller at the news conference? That's what I mean by spin: taking basic facts and overlaying your own veneer of opinion to try to score political points.
George W. Bush, in various speeches (this one from March 2002):
And this enemy of ours hates what we stand for. They can't stand us. They're ruthless murderers. And they must not have understood America when they attacked us. They thought we were weak. They thought we were so self-absorbed in our materialism that all we would probably do is just sue them. [emphasis mine - Russ]July 2004: Kerry selects John Edwards (D - Trial Lawyers), alleged to be the Senator from North Carolina, to be his veep candidate.
More on moron Moore:
dropping from branches — falling.
Earth quakes when he walks.
Go visit MooreIsFat.com.
it's not just how much he eats
it's the flatulence.
Bulbous and grotesque;
view, and suddenly desire
onset of blindness.
Loved by Hollywood
"Columbine" took home awards.
Biggest. Tux. Ever.
Showered with awards
but — no doubt — could benefit
from a real shower.
he says. Only the dumbest
pay to see his crap.
That was fun. This haiku business is certainly entertaining... for me.
Update: yes, I should have saved these up and posted one a day. Well, I guess I'll have to come up with more Moore material.
I hope Steve likes this submission for his new blog:
and ugly. But even worse,
He's also stupid.
It should be completely appropriate for the new blog: Moore is Fat.
Today being President Bush's 58th birthday, a $58 donation to the reelection campaign would be a nice gift.
(Idea from Blogs for Bush)
Quick thoughts... I'm sure I'll have more later, if I can stomach it.
So John Kerry has picked John Edwards to be his veep nominee. What a team. In this ticket, we see two of the worst attendance records in the Senate. The most liberal senator and a done-nothing lightweight; one a tool of the NEA, the other a tool of the Trial Lawyers. [Tools... heheh.] What a mix. I'm glad I'll be voting against them.
No, I'll cheerfully vote against them. And as a two-fer, I get to vote for Bush/Cheney. Win/win.
Kerry trotted out the "Let America be America Again" line. What exactly is that supposed to mean?*
Ah, yes... the obligatory call for national healthcare.
Reliance on foreign oil... check. Say, Senator Kerry - you voted for ANWR, didn't you? No?
I never knew this, but apparently Kerry served in Vietnam.
Can't forget to mention the "Bush Lied!!!!" complaint. From Kerry, it sounds like he's complaining about hemorrhoids.
"Horseface and Prettyboy." Sounds like the name of a bad movie. Sounds like a worse ticket... for the Donks.
The flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume these engines and all who work them.
(letter to John Adams, September 12, 1821)
It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, independence now and independence forever.
(Eulogy on Adams and Jefferson, Aug. 2, 1826)
My Dad died seven years ago today.
I still miss him.
Thomas Sowell: he shoots, he scores!
What is wrong with America, in the eyes of the intelligentsia? The same things that are right with America in the eyes of others.Read the whole thing.
If one word rings out, and echoes around the world, when America is mentioned, that word is Freedom. But what does freedom mean?
It means that hundreds of millions of ordinary human beings live their lives as they see fit -- regardless of what their betters think. That is fine, unless you see yourself as one of their betters, as so many intellectuals do.