The Post-Postmodernist

Monday, November 27, 2006

Music Video of the Year (1995)

The "posthumous" Beatles song, Free as a Bird, brings the Beatles back to life in this amazing job of rotoscoping and compositing old film footage. Encoded wthin the video itself are visual allusions to 64 Beatles songs, from Paperback Writer to Eleanor Rigby.

Would love to see this in high def. Or hear it at a funeral.

Lennon would have been against the Iraq War.

But he also would have been vocally against Islam's oppressive misogyny and hateful homophobia... and its dangerous libertasphobia and gnososphobia and tolerabilisophobia.

Some details on rotoscoping and compositing, and the background of how this amazing video was created, for those with a technical bent:

"In-camera" effects quickly led to film opticals, in which successive layers of film were laid down on an optical bench and printed onto a third piece of film. This allowed filmmakers the creative freedom to explore visual possibilities without logical or geographic restraints.

With the advent of computers, the process of combining different layers became infinitely easier, but at the same time more complex, as the variety of combinations are now seemingly limitless. Filmed images can now be scanned into a computer running compositing software, enabling the digital blending of several-or, literally, hundreds-of layers of imagery. It is the current standard for creation of special effects in film, television, and TV commercials. In the digital realm, compositing is the umbrella term for the many processes required to technically accomplish image combination in the computer.

In order to illustrate tracking and compositing, we have chosen to examine two scenes from Free as a Bird, the award-winning 1995 Beatles music video. We have referred to the two scenes as the "Sgt. Pepper Party" and "Paperback Writer." The video is a seamless mix of new footage and archival Beatles footage taken from films and newsreels produced 20 to 30 years ago. This project was a team effort between Pacific Ocean Post (POP), Santa Monica; Quiet Man, Los Angeles; and CrewCuts, New York. In a little over three weeks, over 280 hours of compositing was completed at POP on two Discreet Logic Flames running on a four-processor 250-MHz SGI Onyx; 140 hours of rotoscoping was done on a Quantel Hal Paintbox.

The complete article is here.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Finally Back On...

After a hell week or two of work, and a seriously deranged computer suffering post-traumatic stress syndrome from Firefox 2.0, I seem to be able to (and have time to) access this blog again.

Will be writing furiously on two current projects, and not much time to blog. So if you see me posting here a lot, it means I'm procrastinating.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Magistrate who released terror-suspect Dinssa was appointed on 9/11/02!!!

Appointed: R. Steven Whalen, as U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, September 11.

Dinssa Case

Rate the Judge
Call the Judge: R. Steven Whalen...313-234-5115 (Please be civil and polite to his secretary, who is not to blame for this.)

File a complaint with the clerk of the court.
Clerk of the Court's contact info:
Clerk's Office
231 W. Lafayette, 5th Fl
Detroit, MI 48226

HT: Little Green Footballs

"We've met the enemy and he is us" -- Pogo

Never Forget!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The age of horrorism

Now that the Dems have some power, the left is suddenly taking notice of Islam again...I can't wait for them to solve it.

The age of horrorism (part one)

Martin Amis
Sunday September 10, 2006
The Observer

On the eve of the fifth anniversary of 9/11, one of Britain's most celebrated and original writers analyses - and abhors - the rise of extreme Islamism. In a penetrating and wide-ranging essay he offers a trenchant critique of the grotesque creed and questions the West's faltering response to this eruption of evil.

It was mid-October 2001, and night was closing in on the border city of Peshawar, in Pakistan, as my friend - a reporter and political man of letters - approached a market stall and began to haggle over a batch of T-shirts bearing the likeness of Osama bin Laden. It is forbidden, in Sunni Islam, to depict the human form, lest it lead to idolatry; but here was Osama's lordly visage, on display and on sale right outside the mosque. The mosque now emptied, after evening prayers, and my friend was very suddenly and very thoroughly surrounded by a shoving, jabbing, jeering brotherhood: the young men of Peshawar.

At this time of day, their equivalents, in the great conurbations of Europe and America, could expect to ease their not very sharp frustrations by downing a lot of alcohol, by eating large meals with no dietary restrictions, by racing around to one another's apartments in powerful and expensive machines, by downing a lot more alcohol as well as additional stimulants and relaxants, by jumping up and down for several hours on strobe-lashed dancefloors, and (in a fair number of cases) by having galvanic sex with near-perfect strangers. These diversions were not available to the young men of Peshawar.

More proximately, just over the frontier, the West was in the early stages of invading Afghanistan and slaughtering Pakistan's pious clients and brainchildren, the Taliban, and flattening the Hindu Kush with its power and its rage. More proximately still, the ears of these young men were still fizzing with the battlecries of molten mullahs, and their eyes were smarting anew to the chalk-thick smoke from the hundreds of thousands of wood fires - fires kindled by the multitudes of exiles and refugees from Afghanistan, camped out all around the city. There was perhaps a consciousness, too, that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, over the past month, had reversed years of policy and decided to sacrifice the lives of its Muslim clients and brainchildren, over the border, in exchange for American cash. So when the crowd scowled out its question, the answer needed to be a good one.

'Why you want these? You like Osama?'

I can almost hear the tone of the reply I would have given - reedy, wavering, wholly defeatist. As for the substance, it would have been the reply of the cornered trimmer, and intended, really, just to give myself time to seek the foetal position and fold my hands over my face. Something like: 'Well I quite like him, but I think he overdid it a bit in New York.' No, that would not have served. What was needed was boldness and brilliance. The exchange continued:

'You like Osama?'

'Of course. He is my brother.'

'He is your brother?'

'All men are my brothers.'

All men are my brothers. I would have liked to have said it then, and I would like to say it now: all men are my brothers. But all men are not my brothers. Why? Because all women are my sisters. And the brother who denies the rights of his sister: that brother is not my brother. At the very best, he is my half-brother - by definition. Osama is not my brother.

Religion is sensitive ground, as well it might be. Here we walk on eggshells. Because religion is itself an eggshell. Today, in the West, there are no good excuses for religious belief - unless we think that ignorance, reaction and sentimentality are good excuses. This is of course not so in the East, where, we acknowledge, almost every living citizen in many huge and populous countries is intimately defined by religious belief. The excuses, here, are very persuasive; and we duly accept that 'faith' - recently and almost endearingly defined as 'the desire for the approval of supernatural beings' - is a world-historical force and a world-historical actor. All religions, unsurprisingly, have their terrorists, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, even Buddhist. But we are not hearing from those religions. We are hearing from Islam.
All writers of fiction will at some point find themselves abandoning a piece of work - or find themselves putting it aside, as we gently say. The original idea, the initiating 'throb' (Nabokov), encounters certain 'points of resistance' (Updike); and these points of resistance, on occasion, are simply too obdurate, numerous, and pervasive. You come to write the next page, and it's dead - as if your subconscious, the part of you quietly responsible for so much daily labour, has been neutralised, or switched off. Norman Mailer has said that one of the few real sorrows of 'the spooky art' is that it requires you to spend too many days among dead things. Recently, and for the first time in my life, I abandoned, not a dead thing, but a thriving novella; and I did so for reasons that were wholly extraneous. I am aware that this is hardly a tectonic event; but for me the episode was existential. In the West, writers are acclimatised to freedom - to limitless and gluttonous freedom. And I discovered something. Writing is freedom; and as soon as that freedom is in shadow, the writer can no longer proceed. The shadow, in this case, was not a fear of repercussion. It was as if, most reluctantly, I was receiving a new vibration or frequency from the planetary shimmer. The novella was a satire called The Unknown Known

Secretary Rumsfeld was unfairly ridiculed, some thought, for his haiku-like taxonomy of the terrorist threat:

'The message is: there are known "knowns". There are things that we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.'

Like his habit of talking in 'the third person passive once removed', this is 'very Rumsfeldian'. And Rumsfeld can be even more Rumsfeldian than that. According to Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack, at a closed-door senatorial briefing in September 2002 (the idea was to sell regime-change in Iraq), Rumsfeld exasperated everyone present with a torrent of Rumsfeldisms, including the following strophe: 'We know what we know, we know there are things we do not know, and we know there are things we know we don't know we don't know.' Anyway, the three categories remain quite helpful as analytical tools. And they certainly appealed very powerfully to the narrator of The Unknown Known - Ayed, a diminutive Islamist terrorist who plies his trade in Waziristan, the rugged northern borderland where Osama bin Laden is still rumoured to lurk.

Ayed's outfit, which is called 'the "Prism"', used to consist of three sectors named, not very imaginatively, Sector One, Sector Two and Sector Three. But Ayed and his colleagues are attentive readers of the Western press, and the sectors now have new titles. Known Knowns (sector one) concerns itself with daily logistics: bombs, mines, shells, and various improvised explosive devices. The work of Known Unknowns (sector two) is more peripatetic and long-term; it involves, for example, trolling around North Korea in the hope of procuring the fabled 25 kilograms of enriched uranium, or going from factory to factory in Uzbekistan on a quest for better toxins and asphyxiants. In Known Knowns, the brothers are plagued by fires and gas-leaks and almost daily explosions; the brothers in Known Unknowns are racked by headaches and sore throats, and their breath, tellingly, is rich with the aroma of potent coughdrops, moving about as they do among vats of acids and bathtubs of raw pesticides. Everyone wants to work where Ayed works, which is in sector three, or Unknown Unknowns. Sector three is devoted to conceptual breakthroughs - to shifts in the paradigm.

I think Amis may have abandoned his novella for one of the same reasons I abandoned my doomsday screenplay that involved Islamists.

Perhaps at some basic level, his survival instinct kicked in and told him not to publish a freaking road map for them to follow.

After 9/11, I contributed a few ideas to fighting the War on Terror, via a screenwriter here who has written some of the most famous action movies, and is consulted, on a regular basis, by the Pentagon and CIA during "brainstorming" sessions

The idea was to come up with terrorist scenarios that no one had thought of before... what he calls Rumsfeld's Unknown Unknowns.

And after 9/11, I wanted to do whatever possible I could To Help Save Civilization From These Animals, given my existing tools, which consisted of little more than a vivid imagination and a computer, in order to help prevent what happened that day from ever happening again.

And that's why, when I came up with a terrifying scenario that I was sure would be an amazing action movie, I stopped 30 pages into it, after the completion of the first act. And deleted it.

There was no reason for me to make this plan known to the world, other than my own financial and ego-enrichment. And every reason not to.

I also wonder how honest Amis is being with himself.

He's seen what Salmon Rushdie's life is like. They are friends.

And he's seen the Daniel Pearl video too.

Is there an element of Thanatos driving his need to publish *some* of the details... a war within his own head... one side with his own survival instinct, both for his own life, and for the life of his country and his civilization, and the other side his own self-loathing, his own suicidal urges, an urge that every writer worth reading has struggled with at one time or another.

Or is Martin Amis just a coward, and the rest is fancy rationalization? Perhaps.

Harrods bans soldiers on Poppy Day

Harrods bans soldiers on Poppy Day
By Mail on Sunday Reporter
21:30pm on 18th November 2006

A serving Army officer was banned from entering Harrods on Remembrance Day in case his uniform upset other shoppers.
Lieutenant Daniel Lenherr had just taken part in a parade honouring Britain's war dead when the London department store turned him away at the door.

The security guard told him other customers might be intimidated by the uniform.

The 26-year-old soldier, who serves in the 1st regiment of the Royal Horse Artillery, had been at commemorations in Hyde Park Corner last weekend when he decided to visit the shop with his wife Michelle and their one-year-old son.

Mrs Lenherr, who lives in Tidworth, Hampshire, said: "We were horrified when we were refused entry on a day when we honoured the men who sacrificed so much for our freedom. I find it sad this can happen."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sequel to "The Killing Fields" Begins Pre-Production

The Left never has come to terms with what happened in Southeast Asia when we pulled out. The communists killed 2 million people, and another 500,000 died on boats trying to get to America.

Freud called this "anamnesis" -- remembering to forget -- and it's a natural by-product of the cognitive dissonance that allows Leftists to remain Leftists despite all real-world evidence that refutes the basic underpinnings of their ideology.

Star Trek Cribs: The Spizzearch for Spock

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Best of Mark Steyn

I've tried to find part of this amazingly insightful column from Mark Steyn to snip out, so I can have some kind of argument that I have abided by the "fair use" rules, but I can't. The scope of its idea and its argument's cogency need "the whole thing," and I think it would be "unfair use" to not present it in toto. I will drop Mark a line explaining and asking for permission retroactively -- as the saying goes, it's easier to apologize than to ask permission.

If you read one Mark Steyn piece this year, especially if you are a Democrat (or wondering whether you are still one, or thinking that perhaps now you are a Jim Webb for President Democrat), read this one.

U.S. must prove it's a staying power

November 12, 2006
BY MARK STEYN Sun-Times Columnist
On the radio a couple of weeks ago, Hugh Hewitt suggested to me the terrorists might try to pull a Spain on the U.S. elections. You'll recall (though evidently many Americans don't) that in 2004 hundreds of commuters were slaughtered in multiple train bombings in Madrid. The Spaniards responded with a huge street demonstration of supposed solidarity with the dead, all teary passivity and signs saying "Basta!" -- "Enough!" By which they meant not "enough!" of these murderers but "enough!" of the government of Prime Minister Aznar, and of Bush and Blair, and troops in Iraq. A couple of days later, they voted in a socialist government, which immediately withdrew Spanish forces from the Middle East. A profitable couple of hours' work for the jihad.
I said to Hugh I didn't think that would happen this time round. The enemy aren't a bunch of simpleton Pushtun yakherds, but relatively sophisticated at least in their understanding of us. We're all infidels, but not all infidels crack the same way. If they'd done a Spain -- blown up a bunch of subway cars in New York or vaporized the Empire State Building -- they'd have re-awoken the primal anger of September 2001. With another mound of corpses piled sky-high, the electorate would have stampeded into the Republican column and demanded the U.S. fly somewhere and bomb someone.

The jihad crowd know that. So instead they employed a craftier strategy. Their view of America is roughly that of the British historian Niall Ferguson -- that the Great Satan is the first superpower with ADHD. They reasoned that if you could subject Americans to the drip-drip-drip of remorseless water torture in the deserts of Mesopotamia -- a couple of deaths here, a market bombing there, cars burning, smoke over the city on the evening news, day after day after day, and ratcheted up a notch or two for the weeks before the election -- you could grind down enough of the electorate and persuade them to vote like Spaniards, without even realizing it. And it worked. You can rationalize what happened on Tuesday in the context of previous sixth-year elections -- 1986, 1958, 1938, yada yada -- but that's not how it was seen around the world, either in the chancelleries of Europe, where they're dancing conga lines, or in the caves of the Hindu Kush, where they would also be dancing conga lines if Mullah Omar hadn't made it a beheading offense. And, as if to confirm that Tuesday wasn't merely 1986 or 1938, the president responded to the results by firing the Cabinet officer most closely identified with the prosecution of the war and replacing him with a man associated with James Baker, Brent Scowcroft and the other "stability" fetishists of the unreal realpolitik crowd.

Whether or not Rumsfeld should have been tossed overboard long ago, he certainly shouldn't have been tossed on Wednesday morning. For one thing, it's a startlingly brazen confirmation of the politicization of the war, and a particularly unworthy one: It's difficult to conceive of any more public diminution of a noble cause than to make its leadership contingent on Lincoln Chafee's Senate seat. The president's firing of Rumsfeld was small and graceless.

Still, we are all Spaniards now. The incoming speaker says Iraq is not a war to be won but a problem to be solved. The incoming defense secretary belongs to a commission charged with doing just that. A nostalgic boomer columnist in the Boston Globe argues that honor requires the United States to "accept defeat," as it did in Vietnam. Didn't work out so swell for the natives, but to hell with them.

What does it mean when the world's hyperpower, responsible for 40 percent of the planet's military spending, decides that it cannot withstand a guerrilla war with historically low casualties against a ragbag of local insurgents and imported terrorists? You can call it "redeployment" or "exit strategy" or "peace with honor" but, by the time it's announced on al-Jazeera, you can pretty much bet that whatever official euphemism was agreed on back in Washington will have been lost in translation. Likewise, when it's announced on "Good Morning Pyongyang" and the Khartoum Network and, come to that, the BBC.

For the rest of the world, the Iraq war isn't about Iraq; it's about America, and American will. I'm told that deep in the bowels of the Pentagon there are strategists wargaming for the big showdown with China circa 2030/2040. Well, it's steady work, I guess. But, as things stand, by the time China's powerful enough to challenge the United States it won't need to. Meanwhile, the guys who are challenging us right now -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea and elsewhere -- are regarded by the American electorate like a reality show we're bored with. Sorry, we don't want to stick around to see if we win; we'd rather vote ourselves off the island.

Two weeks ago, you may remember, I reported on a meeting with the president, in which I'd asked him the following: "You say you need to be on the offense all the time and stay on the offense. Isn't the problem that the American people were solidly behind this when you went in and you toppled the Taliban, when you go in and you topple Saddam. But when it just seems to be a kind of thankless semi-colonial policing defensive operation with no end . . . I mean, where is the offense in this?"

On Tuesday, the national security vote evaporated, and, without it, what's left for the GOP? Congressional Republicans wound up running on the worst of all worlds -- big bloated porked-up entitlements-a-go-go government at home and a fainthearted tentative policing operation abroad. As it happens, my new book argues for the opposite: small lean efficient government at home and muscular assertiveness abroad. It does a superb job, if I do say so myself, of connecting war and foreign policy with the domestic issues. Of course, it doesn't have to be that superb if the GOP's incoherent inversion is the only alternative on offer.

As it is, we're in a very dark place right now. It has been a long time since America unambiguously won a war, and to choose to lose Iraq would be an act of such parochial self-indulgence that the American moment would not endure, and would not deserve to. Europe is becoming semi-Muslim, Third World basket-case states are going nuclear, and, for all that 40 percent of planetary military spending, America can't muster the will to take on pipsqueak enemies. We think we can just call off the game early, and go back home and watch TV.

It doesn't work like that. Whatever it started out as, Iraq is a test of American seriousness. And, if the Great Satan can't win in Vietnam or Iraq, where can it win? That's how China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Venezuela and a whole lot of others look at it. "These Colors Don't Run" is a fine T-shirt slogan, but in reality these colors have spent 40 years running from the jungles of Southeast Asia, the helicopters in the Persian desert, the streets of Mogadishu. ... To add the sands of Mesopotamia to the list will be an act of weakness from which America will never recover.

©Mark Steyn, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006

How to Stand Up for Your Woman

I had second, third, and fourth thoughts before posting this. It's hilarious, and in another era the gag would have been something Chaplin or the Marx Brothers or the 3 Stooges (or David Zucker) would have been proud to call their own. But it's disturbing and appalling at the same time.

I remember someone once telling me about "the German sense of humor," which perhaps applies to Eastern Europe too: what is funniest to Germans is The Comedy of Pain. "Fatty fall down" and "Woman gets smacked around" are two-subgenres.

I assume that the inspiration for this video was a viral video, which I entitled, "Disproportionate Response," in a posting that got a lot of traffic, including a visit from, which, according to internet-legends, is "Executive Office of the President," that is, Bush's desktop PC.

If you follow the link to the original "Disproportionate Response" video, you will see that, unlike in the fictional and scripted "How to Stand Up for Your Woman," the smack on the girl's face was quite intentional, and the guy completely justified in kicking their asses (which is deeply, deeply satisfying to watch). According to Swedish friends (both in real-life and in blog-life), incidents like shown in "Disproportiate Response" have become a part of daily life in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. I know one beautiful Swedish girl in particular who was punched in the face by a Muslim immigrant right in the middle of Gothenborg's most busy boulevard --- and the Swedish men who witnessed it stood by and did nothing. The Muslim man then punched her sister in the mouth for objecting, calling them both sluts and whores. Again, no response from the Swedish men surrounding them on the street.

The sexually-liberated land of Sweden represents the opposite of Islam's aggressive misogyny and religious conservatism, and guess who's suffering? Similarly, in ultra-anything-goes Amsterdam, gay men are being advised not to hold hands or kiss because beatings by Muslim immigrants have become so common. Apparently, the grand utopian dream of a perfect Benneton world where we all live in delightful harmony is failing to occur, despite EU governments giving away money in an attempt to keep the not-natives from getting restless.

Theo Van Gogh is unavailable for comment.

Speaking of Van Gogh, another tragic example of this trend was the stabbing of Swedish foreign minister Anna Lindh while she was shopping. Again, the Swedish men stood by and did nothing. Lindh's killer, Mijailo Mijailovic, has now had his sentence commuted by the Swedish courts, and he has been removed from jail and put in permanent psychiatric care. (Perhaps he should consider a name-change, to Miloonybino Miloonybinovic, now.)

According to Mijailovic's lawyer, he heard voices in his head, "including Jesus's," that told him to kill her. (Those of you who've read your Quran may be familiar with Jesus -- he was one of God's prophets, just not the last one or the one who mattered.) I do find it interesting that the newspaper article linked here does not specify who the other voices in Mijailovic's head were that were doing the talking to him. My guess is one of them starts with M and ends with ohammed because "stab thy neighbor" does not appear in the New Testament, but "behead thy neighbor" gets a starring role in the Quran.

A google search yieds some clues. Mijailovic was born in Sweden, the child of Serbian immigrants. The second-generation of immigrants are much more alienated, radicalized and xenophobic than their parents, so maybe he was just a crazy Christian, after all, or perhaps he had flirted with Islam, being naturally drawn to misogyny and violence, or maybe he was just plain nuts.

At any rate, Europe has a problem. Theodore Dalrymple warned of it in 2002 in his seminal, must-read piece, "Barbarians at the Gates of Paris." When a friend of mine who I had sent that link to forwarded it to her friend in Paris, who was the senior correspondent for the biggest American weekly news magazine there, he replied that the article was "absurd;" that "there is no such problem;" and in reference to Dalyrympe, that, "Congratulations, you've somehow located the only Republican in France!" After the riots last summer, I took perverse delight in sending her link after link to send to him for his thoughts. His answer: dead silence. No response. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

,UPDATE: In response to this post, a reader has sent me a series of offensive and disturbing sexist jokes, none of which I enjoyed, and which I only offer up to you for academic purposes of examination.


Q:What's the definition of the bravest man in the world?

The man who comes home drunk, covered in lipstick and smelling of perfume, then slaps his wife on the backside and says:

"You're next, fatty."


Q:What's the definition of the bravest man in the world?

The Man who walks into his bedroom and sees his wife packing a suitcase.

He asks, "What are you doing?"

She answers, "I'm moving to London. I heard prostitutes there get paid $400 for doing what I do for you for free."

Later that night, on her way out, the wife walks into the bedroom and sees her husband packing his suitcase.

When she asks him where he's going, he replies, "I'm coming too. I want to see how you live on $800 a year".


Q:What's the definition of the bravest man in the world?

A woman was shopping at her local supermarket where she selected: 2 quarts of low fat milk, a carton of eggs, 2 quarts of orange juice, a head of lettuce, half a dozen tomatoes, a jar of coffee, and a pound of bacon .

As she was unloading her items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunken man standing behind her watched as she placed the items in front of the cashier.

While the cashier was ringing up her purchases, the drunk calmly stated, "you must be single."

The woman was a bit startled by this proclamation, but she was intrigued by the derelict's intuition, since she was indeed single.

She looked at her six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about her selections that could have tipped off the Drunk to her marital status.

Curiosity getting the better of her, she said, "Well, you know what, you're absolutely correct. But how on earth did you know that?"

The drunk replied, "Cuz you're frickin ugly."

AND LASTLY, THE INFAMOUS SEXIST JOKE #23 (this is the one that got an Englisman deported from New Zealand in what is still referred to there, in hushed tones, as "The Incident of 1977."

Q:What's the definition of the bravest man in the world?

The Man who walks into the bedroom with a sheep under his arm while his wife is lying in bed reading.

Man says: "This is the pig I have sex with when you've got a headache."

Wife replies: "I think you'll find that is a sheep."

Man replies: "I think you'll find I was talking to the sheep."


From Lasse Gjertson, who did the great piano/drums/Avid composition featured here a few days ago. About this one, he says:

"Drumsolo" was made using only a camcorder, my mouth and what looks like timeconsuming editing, but it really wasn't, haha, it took me a day in total.

Giving the Old Grey Lady Some Oversight

Karl, guest-blogging at Protein Wisdom, puts Pinch over his knee and delivers twenty hard swats:

Under Republican control, Congress has exercised virtually no oversight of the administration’s misconduct of the war, and the new Democratic leadership is eager to hold extensive hearings. The public deserves a full accounting (backed by subpoenas, if necessary) of how prewar intelligence was cooked, why American troops were sent to war without adequate armor, and where billions of dollars in reconstruction aid disappeared to.

A cursory look the schedules for a few Congressional committees and sub-committees shows that in the past 18 months to 2 years there were only these three days of hearings. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one. And this one in October 2005, which was described as the 30th full Sen. Foreign Relations Cmte hearing on Iraq held since January 2003. And there were the “Phase I” and “Phase II” reports on prewar intell by the Sen. Intell Cmte. And Congress created the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which sent American occupation officials to jail on bribery and conspiracy charges, exposed disastrously poor construction work by well-connected companies like Halliburton and Parsons, and discovered that the military did not properly track hundreds of thousands of weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces—according to the New York Times.

Keep in mind: I only looked at a few committees and sub-committees, so it’s likely there were more in, for example, the Sen. Armed Services Cmte. And with the few I committees and sub-committees I checked, I excluded any hearing that did not clearly and directly address the conduct of the war in Iraq and the topics specified by the New York Times. Thus, for example, hearings dealing only with Afghanistan were excluded.

In claiming that there has been “virtually no oversight,” the paper is simply echoing the talking point of Sen. Harry Reid. I am shocked, shocked to discover the paper did “virtually no oversight” of Reid’s claim.

Jim Webb for President

Jonah Goldberg shares some reader mail about Jim Webb's acceptance speech:

Webb's Rally [Jonah Goldberg]
Good stuff, from a reader:
They had to run that clip because the much of the rest of his speech was an absolute riot.

He started off by mentioning that "tomorrow is an extremely important day for America," and the crowd went wild, thinking he was talking about taking power. But of course, he launched into his praise of the Marine Corps, and the crowd cheered a little less loudly. Then he thanked all the brave veterans and brave men still fighting, and the crowd cheered a little less loudly again.

Then he mentioned that he received a call from Sen. Allen, and the crowd went nuts again. Then he mentioned how pleasant and dignified Allen was, and the crowd grew quiet. Then he said he was having lunch next week with Allen — and the crowd was dead silent. Finally he told the audience that they should all thank Sen./Gov. Allen for his many years of dedicated service to the people of Virginia — and you could almost hear the people gathered looking at each other asking, "What the $#@! did we just do?"

It was priceless.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Doubling Down in Iraq

An essay by William Stuntz of The Weekly Standard.

I agree with his basic premise: the way you win wars is by increasing ruthlessness, commitment, and determination, not lessening them. A foe must know not only that he is beat, but that he will never win. Only with total victory is a reform of the deformed ideology that led to war with him and his society possible. I submit WW2 Germany and Japan as textbook examples of this, though anyone with a basic understanding of human nature, and how men think, will agree. Anyone who is familiar with the childhood playground phenomenon called, "Say uncle," will understand. Those who think such barbarity is exactly the sort of behavior we should evolve out of...and by doing so, set the example for other societies to evolve out of themselves... and would be aghast at me using terms like "men" and "he" ... well, their party is now in control of the Pentagon's checkbook.

For why I think their entire worldview is foolish in the extreme, read, "The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature," by neuroscientist Steven Pinker.

Unfortunately, I think Stuntz is living in a fantasy land where such a doubling-down could conceivably happen. Did he not happen to notice the boxes stacked in Rumsfeld's office?

Here's an excerpt fron the essay. Would that it were possible.... The tragic part is that the men and women fighting over there know it's probably too late now that Bush has caved and fired Rumsfeld.

Warfare is not like investment banking. At precisely the moment an economist might say to stop throwing good money after bad, a wise military strategist might say to double the bet.

Why might that be so? For one thing, willingness to raise the stakes often wins the game. Why do insurgent gangs, who have vastly smaller resources and manpower than the American soldiers they fight, continue to try to kill those soldiers? The answer is, because they believe they only have to kill a few more, and the soldiers will leave. They need not inflict a military defeat (which would be impossible, given the strength of the American military)--all they need to do is survive until American voters decide to throw in the towel, which might happen at any moment.

The proper response to that calculation is to make emphatically clear that the fight will not end until one side or the other wins, decisively. That kind of battle can only have one ending, as Abraham Lincoln understood. In a speech delivered a month after his reelection, Lincoln carefully surveyed the North's resources and manpower and concluded that the nation's wealth was "unexhausted and, as we believe, inexhaustible." Southern soldiers be gan to desert in droves. Through the long, bloody summer and fall of 1864, the South had hung on only because of the belief that the North might tire of the conflict. But Lincoln did not tire. Instead, he doubled the bet--and won the war.

Eternal Recurrence

Jonah takes a look into the funhouse mirror of today's yesterday's today.

New Politics Cont'd [Jonah Goldberg]
So just to sum up. The Democratic victory, which was just about average in historical terms (i.e. number of seats picked up etc) supposedly represents a dawning new age of a "new politics." Septuagenarian dinosaurs Rangel, Dingel, Waxman, Conyers et al are all poised to take over various committees (Dingel and Waxman having led their respective comittees before the GOP takeover in 1994). Robert Byrd, first elected to the Senate in 1066, has once again been handed the keys to the national fisc. Nancy Pelosi — no one's definition of a novel or creative thinker — will lead her party in the House and Harry Reid, a who would have to get drunk to have Warren Christopher's vivaciousness, will lead the Senate. The minimum wage, first promulgated by the Democratic party in 1938, I think, is their signature domestic policy issue. And, George McGovern is briefing the "progressive" wing of the Democrats about how to get out of Iraq.
Meanwhile, Bush I Republican retreads are taking over the White House's foreign policy shop as Bush II sings the praises of Republican-Democrat bipartisanship. Yes, this is truly a new era the likes of which nobody has ever seen before. Verily, the light of the new dawn is blinding.

Flashback: Chappelle as Howard Dean

Separated At Birth?

Scrappleface has the scoop!

Bush to Dems: ‘Read My Lips, No New Taxes’
by Scott Ott

(2006-11-10) — President George Bush, in an effort to reassure conservatives that he won’t capitulate to every demand of the new majority in Congress, today told Democrat leaders at a White House luncheon that he would not allow them to roll back Republican-passed tax cuts, or impose any new taxes on the American people.

When asked directly by Sen. Harry Reid if he would cooperate in “generating new revenues to fund important social projects,” the president responded: “Read my lips — No new taxes.”

However, the White House issued a clarification, insisting the president had actually said, “Reid, my lips know new Texans,” indicating that he had kissed a lot of babies on the campaign trail in his home state.

Read the whole thing. It just keeps getting funnier. Good ol' Scrappleface...

Those Mean Old Democrats

Look what they did to that sweet little girl! I am outraged!

In a Nutshell

File under: Allahpundit rules.

Therefore, Bush Is Smart. QED.

Since 9/11, those who know me know that I've made the following argument often enough for it to have become not even interesting for me to make anymore:

The military does not let stupid people fly fighter jets because flying jet airplanes requires high intelligence and stupid people would crash. Bush flew a fighter jet for 350 hours without crashing. Therefore, Bush is not stupid; he is highly intelligent.

Bill Whittle, a TV editor, pilot and essayist whose early works had a profound effect on my thinking (and who rightly became somewhat of a blogosphere legend because of them) makes the same argument, only much better, in a new essay in which he focuses his laser-vision on some bumper stickers. Here's a long excerpt from "Seeing the Unseen, Part 1", but definitely read the whole thing.

Somewhere in Texas, a Village is missing its Idiot.

I chose this one first since it’s the only one that has a particle of real wit. But the Bush is an idiot meme is very tired, and the most cursory look causes it to fall apart like -- how can I make them understand? -- like a lemon almond biscotti left too long in a grande’ caffe verona.

For starters, you can of course point to the fact that the man did graduate from both Harvard and Yale, but that was with a C average, and clearly, the idea of being merely in the middle of the pack of those getting advanced degrees from America’s two preeminent universities cuts you no slack from those community-college theater major drop-outs who love to level the charge.

So let’s leave that aside for a moment – Poppy’s connections and all that – and take a moment to look at this, if you will:

This is a Convair F-102 Delta Dagger. It is a second-generation, supersonic fighter-interceptor. It cruises at 845 mph.

There were some minor aerodynamic problems with the F-102. For example, at certain power settings and angles of attack – like, say, take-off -- the jet compressor would stall and the aircraft would roll inverted. It is no picnic, skill-wise, to fly a modern F-16 with advanced avionics and fly-by-wire flight control systems. The workload on the F-102 was far higher. The F-16 has an accident rate of 4.14 occurrences per 100,000 flight hours. The F-102’s accident rate was more than three times that: 13.69 per 100,000 hours. 875 F-102A interceptors were built; 259 – almost 30% - were lost to accidents or enemy action while serving in Vietnam.

George W. Bush flew hundreds of hours in the F-102.

Now look at this:

This is the cockpit of the F-102 Delta Dagger’s successor, the F-106 Delta Dart (I could not find an F-102 panel, but they would have been very similar)

Now, picture yourself in this chair, at 40,000 feet, traveling at one and a half times the speed of sound. Now imagine that someone has painted the windows white – you are flying on instruments. Now imagine that not only do you have to be able to fly blind, by referencing these instruments, but that you also have to stare into that orange jack-o-lantern of a radar, and interpret a squiggle that will lead you to your target. Now imagine that in addition to not hitting the ground, or your wingman, and watching the squiggle, you also have to turn those switches on the right side panel to activate weapons systems, to overcome enemy countermeasures…without looking outside, as you hurtle through air at -40 degrees F, air so thin that should you lose pressure, you have about 4-6 seconds of consciousness before you black out and die.

I maintain that the instant George W. Bush closed that canopy and took off on the first of his many solo hours in an F-102, it is quite impossible that he was either an idiot or a coward.

Here is a random question from the instrument rating exam I had to pass a few years ago.

Refer to figure 91:

What should be the approximate elapsed time from the BOSEMAN (BZN) VOR to the DUBOIS (DBS) VORTAC if the wind is 24 knots from 260 degrees and your intended True Air Speed is 185 knots? (The magnetic variation is 17deg. E)

A. 33 minutes
B. 37 minutes
C. 39 minutes

(It’s C., obviously)

If he had been a civilian rather than military pilot, Dubya would have had to have passed 60 questions like this with at least 70% correct. Questions on weather, radio communications, mechanical systems, aerodynamics, pilot physiology, airspace, navigation and a hundred other things. But, since he was military, he also had to know how to operate that primitive in-flight radar, plus weapons systems, rules of engagement, electronic warfare, hydraulics, fuel systems…it goes on and on.

People like Michael Moore and Bill Maher and Keith Olberman would not be able to figure out how to close the canopy on an F-102. These people would be weeping with fear when those afterburners light up and you barrel down that runway hoping that engine doesn’t flame out and roll you inverted into the asphalt, or when you’re rocketing through the soup at 300mph watching two little needles chase each other, praying the next thing you see out the window is a runway and not a mountain goat.

George W. Bush is not stupid. It’s not possible to be a moron and fly a supersonic jet fighter, and everyone knows it.

What George W. Bush is, however, is inarticulate. English is his second language. From what I can see he does not have a first language. Abraham Lincoln spoke in simple frontier language in an age of rhetorical flourish. Like Bush, he was considered a bumpkin and an idiot, and like Bush, he realized that there were times when having people misunderestimate you repeatedly was a real advantage. That’s goal-oriented. That’s playing the deep game. That’s cunning.

I personally have gotten to the point where Bush’s malapropisms cause me to look at the floor and shake my head with an affectionate smile, in much the same way supporters of his predecessor used to do with every new revelation of coerced sex from former employees. He is what he is. But he is a damn sight more intelligent than the graphic designer in the Mini Cooper with the Village Idiot sticker. Me, personally, I look at the man’s entire catalog of flaws in the same way Lincoln looked at Grant and his drinking: I can’t spare this man. He fights.

So to me, anyway, given the above information I feel that anyone calling President Bush a moron and an idiot comes off sounding like…well…a moron and an idiot.

One germane detail that Whittle leaves out: I've read from multiple persons that in private, Bush pronounces the word "nuclear" as "nu-clee-ar." The "nukular" thing is just for show. Perhaps this is just another example of why Bush was known as the best poker player at Harvard Business School. There is book-smarts. And there is poker-smarts. Guess which I would rather have in a President during war?

Other bumper sticker-based arguments Whittle addresses include:
No Blood for Oil!
End U.S. Imperialism Now!
You Cannot Simultaneously Prevent and Prepare for War – Albert Einstein.
Give Peace a Chance
War is not the Answer

Many on the Left have the ideas of these bumper stickers as the foundational premises for their political "philosophies," and at the root of arguments they make very, very emotionally and passionately. They know the Truth, because the Truth is in their Hearts.

...And that's why I don't argue with them anymore. It is not rational to argue rationally with someone for whom rationality is not necessarily a pathway to the Truth.

Al-Qaeda Claims Democrats Victory as a Step in the Right Direction

I said that if the Democrats won the last election that jihadis would be dancing in the street, and I was right.

Daniel Pearl, and his head, and his finger (all three shown above), were unavailable for comment.

Al-Qaida in Iraq Claims It's Winning War
Nov 10 1:17 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer

Al-Qaida in Iraq claimed in a new audio tape Friday to be winning the war faster than expected in Iraq and said it had mobilized 12,000 fighters who had "vowed to die for God's sake."
The U.S. military, meanwhile, reported that three U.S. soldiers and a Marine were killed Thursday in Iraq, the U.S. military said, bringing the number of Americans who have died in the country so far this month to 25. At least 105 U.S. forces died in October, the fourth highest monthly toll of the war.

On the audio tape made available on militant Web sites, the al-Qaida in Iraq leader also welcomed the Republican electoral defeat that led to the departure of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. He added that the group's fighters would not rest until they had blown up the White House.

"The al-Qaida army has 12,000 fighters in Iraq, and they have vowed to die for God's sake," a man who identified himself as Abu Hamza al- Muhajir said.

Al-Muhajir, also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, also urged the U.S. to stay in Iraq so his group would have more opportunities to kill American troops. "We haven't had enough of your blood yet," he told the U.S.

"We will not rest from our Jihad until we are under the olive trees of Rumieh and we have blown up the filthiest house _ which is called the White House," al-Muhajir said. It was not clear what Rumieh was referring to.

Al-Muhajir became the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq after Abu Musab al- Zarqawi was killed in a U.S. airstrike in June. The tape could not be independently verified.

"The American people have put their feet on the right path by ... realizing their president's betrayal in supporting Israel," the terror leader said. "So they voted for something reasonable in the last elections."

Now that 31,000,000 people have finally come to their senses and pulled the big "D" lever, I'm happy to announce that there will be no more Islamic terrorism again, ever.

Whew, that was a close one.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Crippendales

Disabled men do 'The Full Monty'

The men were cast after answering an advert in a disability magazine
A group of disabled men who created a new take on the smash hit comedy film - The Full Monty, have been praised by a leading disability charity.
The Crippendales follows Hull man Lee Kemp, 34, as he puts together a group of men with various disabilities and gets them to strip at a hen night.

The film was launched at the Sheffield Documentary Festival this week.

Disability charity Leonard Cheshire, said it hoped the film would positively influence people's views of disability.

The documentary is being screened at the New York Film festival on Friday.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rumsfeld Retrospective

Funny piece by The Late Late Show
. I love being able to watch TV without actually having to watch TV.

No retrospective on Rumsfeld is complete without some of the poems found by Hart Seely, which appeared originally as part of a Slate magazine article that he later turned into a book called, "Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald H. Rumsfeld."

To me, the authorial voice that Seely found could be mistaken for Wallace Stevens, or Emily Dickinson, or e.e. cummings. In fact, if I were in college again, doing an English/PoliSci double major, I'd figure out a way to make the Rumsfeld canon the subject of a single paper to fulfill both senior theses... clever, lazy sod that I am.

The Unknown

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.

That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

Glass Box

You know, it's the old glass box at the—
At the gas station,
Where you're using those little things
Trying to pick up the prize,
And you can't find it.
And it's all these arms are going down in there,
And so you keep dropping it
And picking it up again and moving it,
Some of you are probably too young to remember those—
Those glass boxes,
But they used to have them
At all the gas stations
When I was a kid.

—Dec. 6, 2001, Department of Defense news briefing


You're going to be told lots of things.
You get told things every day that don't happen.
It doesn't seem to bother people, they don't—
It's printed in the press.
The world thinks all these things happen.
They never happened.
Everyone's so eager to get the story
Before in fact the story's there
That the world is constantly being fed
Things that haven't happened.
All I can tell you is,
It hasn't happened.
It's going to happen.

—Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing

The Situation

Things will not be necessarily continuous.
The fact that they are something other than perfectly continuous
Ought not to be characterized as a pause.
There will be some things that people will see.
There will be some things that people won't see.
And life goes on.

—Oct. 12, 2001, Department of Defense news briefing


I think what you'll find,
I think what you'll find is,
Whatever it is we do substantively,
There will be near-perfect clarity
As to what it is.
And it will be known,
And it will be known to the Congress,
And it will be known to you,
Probably before we decide it,
But it will be known.

—Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing

Here's a brand new one I just found, from a press conference held on Nov. 26th, 2001, shortly after the attack on the Taliban and AQ in Afghanistan had begun:


Ah, yes
An unmanned aerial vehicle
An airplane without a pilot
An airplane that can go out and
Hover over the ground and see
What's taking place there.

And with that we'll excuse
Ourselves. Thank you.

BOO-YA! I JUST RIPPED YOU A NEW MEDIAL-CAESURA-HOLE, RUMMY! How ya like them apples, Hitler? < /moonbat >

Anyway I found that poem while looking for an SNL sketch, from probably the very Saturday before Nov. 26th, 2001, which featured Darrell Hammond as Rumsfeld, fielding questions from a press gaggle whose questions were comedic in their innocence and naivete (sample that I sort of remember: "QUESTIONER: The clusterbomb ammunitions we are using, why are we dropping those on them? RUMSFELD: To kill them. QUESTIONER: Oh....". AUDIENCE: (Uproarious laughter).

But that was back when the ashes of the WTC and the Pentagon were still smoking, and moral clarity was to be found in abundance, and for me, for the first time.

Dr. Evil he may be, but one detail I was kind of shocked that Bush omitted from his You're-Fired-Encomium was that Rumsfeld was in the Pentagon on 9/11 and spent the the first part of the day, like so many others, searching through the wreckage and helping his co-workers out. (He spent the second part of the day, and every day thereafter, planning for war. That is what they do in the Pentagon, believe it or not: plan for war). I think of him searching through the wreckage whenever he is called a Chicken Hawk. A Chicken Hawk, by definition, is someone who calls for war from the safety of his perch, with no danger of being physically harmed.


Just living in America, a target, makes us all in the war, by default and definitionally, if you accept that there is a war at all -- and some don't -- I know that. I've been arguing with them for five years.

But for Rumsfeld, how much more involved can you be, in a war, than being at Ground Zero... or being Ground Zero?

Ramadan Trophies for the Religion of Peace

Beheaded girls were Ramadan 'trophies'

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Jakarta correspondent
November 09, 2006

THREE Christian high school girls were beheaded as a Ramadan "trophy" by Indonesian militants who conceived the idea after a visit to Philippines jihadists, a court heard yesterday.

The girls' severed heads were dumped in plastic bags in their village in Indonesia's strife-torn Central Sulawesi province, along with a handwritten note threatening more such attacks.

The note read: "Wanted: 100 more Christian heads, teenaged or adult, male or female; blood shall be answered with blood, soul with soul, head with head."

Javanese trader Hasanuddin appeared in Jakarta Central Court yesterday charged with planning and directing the murders in October last year. He faces a death sentence if found guilty under anti-terrorism legislation.

Hasanuddin allegedly returned from a visit to members of Philippines Islamist group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with tales of how that organisation regularly staged bombings to coincide with Lebaran, the festival that ends the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He later spoke with a preacher in Poso, Central Sulawesi, about whether such a plan could work in Indonesia, but expressed doubt about whether it was appropriate.

However, after further discussion with friends, he decided that beheading Christians could qualify as an act of Muslim charity.

The Religion of Peace is the Religion of Jihad is the Religion of Cowards. But even their brave, manly plan to target these schoolgirls did not go as planned, inshallah:

The attackers cleanly beheaded three of the students but a fourth, Noviana Malewa {pictured above - ed.}, escaped after a struggle and ran away screaming. Her attackers gave chase but were unable to catch her.

Completely ignoring all of human history since the 8th Century, the Democrats mantra in 2006 was that the on-going threat from Islamic terrorism was "Because of Iraq." But it's not. The on-going threat from Islamic terrorism is Because of Islam. This may seem entirely obvious to some people (but obviously not enough to win an election...). If you disagree, pick up a history book or two. Politically and multiculturally incorrect though it may be to point out (and criminal, in some areas of the world, including the EU) , Islam has always had bloody borders.

UPDATE: Here's opinionjournal's list of "5 Best Books About Islam"

The Man Who Saved the World

...lives on a $50/month pension.

On September 26th, 1983, at 12:40 AM, a Soviet Oko satellite detected a missile launch from Malmstrom AirForce Base in Montana, the main U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) field. In 20 minutes the missile would impact in Russian territory.

In an early warning bunker south of Moscow, Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov was charged with verifying and reporting missile launches as potential attacks on the Soviet Union.

Verification of an attack would bring immediate and massive retaliation by Soviet nuclear missiles.

Lt. Col. Petrov had less than 10 minutes to decide the fate of the world.

Knowing that a massive launch by the Soviets would certainly result in a corresponding massive launch by the Unitred States, nuclear disaster, nuclear winter and hundreds of millions killed in the explosions, and hundreds of millions more killed world-wide by the radiation, devastation and starvation, Col. Petrov hesitated.

The warning was automatically forwarded to Dmitri Ustinov, the Defense Minister and others in the Soviet General Staff.

With klaxons going off and 'CTAPT' (START) flashing on his control board, Col. Petrov had to decide if the Soviet Union was really being attacked.

He thought that no one would start a war with only one missile, so he did not inform the Politburo.

A few minutes later another launch was detected, and then another. Col. Petrov was under pressure from Ustinov and the General Staff to take some sort of action. Then, two more launches were detected. Now a total of 5 missiles appeared to be flying toward the Soviet Union. It was getting more and more difficult to dismiss the satellite warnings as mistakes, but Col. Petrov thought that was just what they were. Given the large number of ICBM's both sides had, why launch only 5? No one starts a major war with just 5 missiles.

There's a movie here. Not just in the obvious drama of his decision, but in the way he was treated after -- as persona non grata and invisible-man -- because making him a "hero" would have publicized the weakness and danger of the Soviets' entire early response system.

This guy needs an agent. His life-rights should sell for quite a bit, enough to augment his generous pension.

Keeping Time

Lasse Gjertson can play neither piano nor drums. But he can edit video.

Inspiration for all Avid and Final Cut jockeys out there.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Israel Announces "THOR" - Laser IED Killer

Israel Develops Laser to Destroy Roadside Bombs

The Israeli Armament Development Authority (Rafael) has developed a laser system to diffuse destroy roadside bombs, which have killed hundreds of US and Israeli soldiers in Iraq and Lebanon.

Rafael, together with American defense contractor General Dynamics have produced and deployed the system, which is called Thor. It uses the concentrated energy of a high-powered laser to clear unexploded bombs and improvised explosive devices.

"The directed energy from the laser may also be used to ignite combustible materials, as a standoff cutting torch, and for other combat purposes {Like reducing the overall total height of a jihadi by a factor of approximately one-half - ed.}," General Dynamics said in a statement about the project ahead of US moves to purchase and deploy the system in its army.

"One Bank" -- Best Music Video Since...

Only Solla Solla Enna Perumai can compare.

I'm still not fully convinced Ricky Gervais did not direct this.

Jim Treacher's Questions o' the Day

Questions from a Political Dilettante

Does this mean Bush is still Hitler? I'm pretty sure Hitler never let his opponents win an election, did he? Unless... this is all part of Rove's plan.

A major concern of the last few elections has been that Republicans need to cheat to win, and the problem was going to be even worse with the new Diebold machines. What happened? Did Cheney forget his password again? That darn Cheney, always forgetting his password.

What happened to Ned? I thought Lieberman was Public Enemy #1. Now Kos must feel like the kid on Christmas morning who's surrounded by toys... except for the one he really wanted.

Does Nancy Pelosi ever wear a fake flower on her lapel that shoots acid? Because that would really be a surprise for Batman when he's hauling her to Commissioner Gordon's office.

So the world likes us again, right? No more terrorism? YAY!!!

One Bank

Greatest unintentionally funny music video ever.

The Libertarian Effect

via NRO's 'The Corner'

A LIbertarian Casualty? [Ramesh Ponnuru]
If Sodrel loses in Indiana, as looks likely, it may be because a libertarian candidate took votes from him. The same thing happened to keep Slade Gorton from winning re-election to the Senate and to keep Jon Ensign from beating Harry Reid. So far, losing because of libertarians hasn't caused Republicans to move toward the libertarians ideologically. But maybe things will change this time.
Posted at 10:44 PM

All Hail King Joe

I'm a big Lieberman fan, so I do have something to celebrate today. He is now the most powerful politician in Washington.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Teasing the Spider (No, That's Not a Euphemism)

Why do I find this video so apt today?

Craig's Letter to Kanye

Statistical Perspective

From the sexiest cold-hearted bitch around comes the statistical realities of this election and their historical context:

Analysts place the average midterm loss for the party in the White House at around 15 to 44 seats, depending on which elections are counted — only elected presidents, midterm elections since the Civil War, midterm elections since World War II, comparable-sized congresses, first and second midterm elections and so on.

The average first midterm election loss for every elected president since 1914 is 27 House seats and three Senate seats. The average sixth-year midterm election, like this year, is much worse for the president's party, which typically loses 34 seats in the House and six seats in the Senate.

This makes the average loss in two midterm elections for the party in the White House: 30 House seats and four or five Senate seats in each midterm election.

In his first midterm election, George W. Bush picked up six House seats and two Senate seats — making him, according to The New York Times, "the first Republican president to gain House seats in an off-year election" and only the third president of either party to pick up House seats in a midterm election since the Civil War.

This means that for Democrats simply to match the historical average gain for the party out of the White House during the first and second midterm, they would have to pick up 67 seats in the House and 11 seats in the Senate. They're about 30 Mark Foleys short of having that happen.

Pajamas Media Comes of Age

I'm watching all election coverage through Pajamas Media, the brainchild of Charles Johnson, Roger L. Simon and others.

Three words: tour de force.

Congratulations, Charles. It runs BEAUTIFULLY and PJ's coverage today represents a landmark in media history. Bravo.

Turnout, Fraud, High in Missouri


Missouri -- The St. Louis elections director estimated that after investigating 5,000 registrations turned in by ACORN, only 10 to 15 percent were legitimate and it had appeared that names had been copied from the phone book. More egregious violations include registrations for three dead people and one 16 year old.
Kansas City's director of elections said about 3,000 registrations turned in by ACORN included suspicious signatures, underage registrants, and birth dates and Social Security numbers conflicting with state databases.

The Republicans deserved to lose this election. But if the Dems win, jihadis will dance in the streets and pass out candy like they did on 9/11. Let us hope that doesn't happen.

Kos Kidz Give Two Thumbs Up to Iranian Holocaust Cartoon Contest Winner

Monday, November 06, 2006

Fox Loses $53 Million By Only Opening Borat in 800 Theaters

Saw Borat last night, and woke up with my stomach still hurting from 90 straight minutes of convulsive laughter. Funny. Like Airplane funny. Like Animal House funny. Hilarious. Continuously. The term, "side-splitting" applies.

So how could the suits at Fox have watched that same movie, and been so frightened by the simultaneous bow of "Santa Clause 3" that they decided to only open Borat in 800 theaters instead of 2400, as originally planned?

Ye friendly note from the Editor. I don't like to impose my presence here too much, but I have to say how incredibly gratifying it is to see Borat open at number 1. It gives me great pleasure to say, screw you Fox! Your Khram is the size of a raisin. Im glad that Universal bagged Bruno. You should have had some balls and released Borat wide like you originally planned to. I bet you feel real stupid right about now. Think about how much money you just lost by dropping 1,700 theaters from the release.

Actually, we can figure it out... the per theater average was $31,511, so multiply that by 1700 theaters and we get $53,568,700. Maybe you wouldnt have made that entire amount, but we can easily say that your lack of faith cost you tens of millions of dollars. Wah wah wee wah, are you guys dumb!

I can attest to that last sentiment. My friend and I happened to sit next to two acquaintances of his, who are feature-film development honchos at two of the megastudios. Neither laughed much, and both seemed more interested in watching the audience and whispering about "how did they get the releases?" than in laughing.

So typical Hollywood, and the reason so many Hollywood movies suck. Because the studio people who make them aren't funny themselves, aren't talented themselves, and only make decisions that don't endanger their own careers.

Hollywood is getting its ass whupped by youtube, and for good reason. They deserve it. Wussies.

The Absolute Moral Authority Card

Collect 'em all at!

Dolphins Evolving... To Get Out of Ocean?

A dolphin with four fins -- back legs, essentially -- has been caught in Japan.

My question is: is this more evidence that dolphins evolved from land mammals (which they obviously did)...

Or is it evidence that they are trying to evolve in order to to get the hell out of the horribly polluted oceans?

With "fishermen" throwing bombs and dumping cyanide onto coral reefs to "fish," I sure would.

The Act that Got The Gong Show Gonged

Fox Poll: Dems Lead by 13 in Generic Poll

via the great Allahpundit, who adds, "Come home to daddy. Come home to pessimism."

Got a laugh out of me there.

Most of the polls are outrageously slanted to the left, by the left, with gross oversampling of Dems the usual technique.


Fox News does have its biases too... who's to say that a doomsday poll is not meant to, um, energize the base?

For now, I'm putting my bets on the Barron's evalution. Follow the money.

Orson Scott Card on the Election

One of my favorite science-fiction writers weighs in on the only issue that matters this election. He's a Democrat. Or used to be.

There is only one issue in this election that will matter five or ten years from now, and that's the War on Terror.

And the success of the War on Terror now teeters on the fulcrum of this election.

If control of the House passes into Democratic hands, there are enough withdraw-on-a-timetable Democrats in positions of prominence that it will not only seem to be a victory for our enemies, it will be one.

Unfortunately, the opposite is not the case -- if the Republican Party remains in control of both houses of Congress there is no guarantee that the outcome of the present war will be favorable for us or anyone else.

But at least there will be a chance.

I say this as a Democrat, for whom the Republican domination of government threatens many values that I hold to be important to America's role as a light among nations.

But there are no values that matter to me that will not be gravely endangered if we lose this war. And since the Democratic Party seems hellbent on losing it -- and in the most damaging possible way -- I have no choice but to advocate that my party be kept from getting its hands on the reins of national power, until it proves itself once again to be capable of recognizing our core national interests instead of its own temporary partisan advantages.

To all intents and purposes, when the Democratic Party jettisoned Joseph Lieberman over the issue of his support of this war, they kicked me out as well. The party of Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan -- the party I joined back in the 1970s -- is dead. Of suicide.

Read the whole thing.

Steyn on "The Joke"

No one does it better than Mark Steyn.

...Right now the Democratic Party needs the senator to move. Preferably to the South Sandwich Islands, until Tuesday evening, or better still, early 2009.

He won't, of course. A vain thin-skinned condescending blueblood with no sense of his own ridiculousness, Senator Nuancy Boy is secure in little else except his belief in his indispensability. We've all heard the famous "joke" now: "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." (Rimshot!) Yet, tempting as it is to enjoy his we-support-our-dumb-troops moment as merely the umpteenth confirmation of the senator's unerring ability to SwiftBoat himself, it belongs in a slightly different category of Kerry gaffe than, say, the time they went into Wendy's and Teresa didn't know what chili was.

Whatever he may or may not have intended (and "I was making a joke about how stupid Bush is but I'm the only condescending liberal in America too stupid to tell a Bush-is-stupid joke without blowing it" must rank as one of the all-time lame excuses), what he said fits what too many upscale Dems believe: that America's soldiers are only there because they're too poor and too ill-educated to know any better. That's what they mean when they say "we support our troops." They support them as victims, as children, as potential welfare recipients, but they don't support them as warriors and they don't support the mission.

So their "support" is objectively worthless. The indignant protest that "of course" "we support our troops" isn't support, it's a straddle, and one that emphasizes the Democrats' frivolousness in the post-9/11 world. A serious party would have seen the jihad as a profound foreign-policy challenge they needed to address credibly...

{snip}...In fairness to Kerry, he didn't invent the Democrats' tortured relationship with the military. But ever since Eugene McCarthy ran against Lyndon Johnson and destroyed the most powerful Democrat of the last half-century, the Democratic Party has had a problematic relationship with the projection of power in the national interest. President Jimmy Carter confined himself to one screwed-up helicopter mission in Iran; Bill Clinton bombed more countries in a little more than six months than the Zionist neocon warmonger Bush has in six years but, unless you happened to be in that Sudanese aspirin factory, it was as desultory and uncommitted as his sex life and characterized by the same inability to reach (in Ken Starr's word) "completion." As for John Kerry, since he first slandered the American military three decades ago, he's been wrong on every foreign policy question and voted against every significant American weapons system.

To be sure, like Kerry in 2004 deciding that the murderers and rapists were now his brave "band of brothers," the left often discover a sudden enthusiasm for the previous war once a new one's come along. Since Iraq, they've been all in favor of Afghanistan, though back in the fall of 2001 they were convinced it was a quagmire, graveyard of empire, unwinnable, another Vietnam, etc. Oh, and they also discovered a belated enthusiasm for the first President Bush's shrewd conduct of the 1991 Gulf War, though at the time Kerry and most other Democrats voted against that one, too. In this tedious shell game, no matter how frantically the left shuffles the cups, you never find the one shriveled pea of The Military Intervention We're Willing To Support When it Matters.

To be sure, the progressives deserve credit for having refined their view of the military: not murderers and rapists, just impoverished suckers too stupid for anything other than soldiering. The left still doesn't understand that it's the soldier who guarantees every other profession -- the defeatist New York Times journalist, the anti-American college professor, the insurgent-video-of-the-day host at CNN, the hollow preening blowhard senator. {Em. mine - Ed.} Kerry's gaffe isn't about one maladroit Marie Antoinette of the Senate but a glimpse into the mind-set of too many Americans...