Wednesday, July 30, 2008
the rich musk of real damn man-courage wafts to my nostrils, and i become fully erect, orienting my engorged member toward mount rushmore"As for me, I have been wearing a flag in my lapel since September 11, 2001, and with special care ever since American forces took the war to the place whence it emanated, Afghanistan. As long as brave Americans were willing to accept, if necessary, wounds or death on our behalf, I felt a duty to be faithful to them: 'This flag’s for them!' And will stay in my lapel until they are out of harm’s way." -- William Novak, The Corner.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
the earth moved for me, tooContrary to the headlines, Los Angeles wasn't really ROCKED by an earthquake today. I would say we were "vigorously undulated," or "vibrated in slightly-more-than-mild fashion." Which is not to say that a certain tiny human wasn't ripped out of bed and rushed under the nearest doorway, while her parents screamed and caterwauled like sinners at a tent revival. We've both sat quietly through much bigger earthquakes, so, yes, babies do change everything.
Related, the dozen phone calls that followed all started the same way: "OH MY GOD, I JUST HEARD ON THE NEWS -- IS THE BABY OKAY!?!?!?"
And we're fine, too, yes.
Monday, July 28, 2008
gamesYou're the leader of a sizable Shiite faction in a Shiite-majority country in which Sunnis are unlikely to regain their lost power in the near term. Currently a different Shiite faction holds power, but if you can destroy that faction's hold on power, you might have a shot at running the country and profiting from control of its economic resources. The faction that holds power is a client of the foreign occupier that currently has a substantial military force in your country. Without the continued support of the foreign occupier, your competitor for power -- who keeps using his army to attack your militia -- may very well fall from power. And your followers resent the foreign occupation.
Now: The foreign occupier is having an election for head of state. One candidate says he'll keep troops in your country for a very long time. ("Make it a hundred.") The other candidate wants to leave in a little less than a year and a half. The candidate who wants to occupy your country for the long term stakes his entire claim to credibility on his support for a troop "surge" by the foreign occupier's military: Violence has declined in the country we occupy, and I supported the tactic we used to achieve that reduction in violence, so I'm the candidate with superior judgment.
It's currently late July; the election is in early November. What would you do, and when?
Saturday, July 26, 2008
i have to stop doing thisI picked up the Los Angeles Times, tonight, at the place I usually pick up newspapers -- on the floor around the elliptical trainers -- and was greeted with an op-ed essay warning that Barack Obama's Berlin speech revealed his foreign policy naiveté. The author? John Bolton.
I assume there's really just one set of op-ed editors left on the planet, now, and they just do a different font for each newspaper.
back away slowlyIf you read every word of this, you'll have a pretty good sense of what it's like to live in Los Angeles. Also, your brain will die.
Next, if you still can, read the author's bio.
DEEPAK CHOPRA MEETS CARRIE BRAblaaaarrggghhhh, the pain.
i have the strangest feeling that i've heard this beforeAnalysis: US now winning Iraq war that seemed lost
By ROBERT BURNS and ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writers
Sat Jul 26, 7:08 PM ET
BAGHDAD - The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost. Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace — a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago."
great memoriesA good week to remember this one:
But as a practical matter, in very few Islamic countries do the governments have sufficient authority to resist demands for the punishment of apostates at the hands of religious authorities....-- Edward Luttwak, "President Apostate?" New York Times, May 12, 2008.
Because no government is likely to allow the prosecution of a President Obama — not even those of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the only two countries where Islamic religious courts dominate over secular law — another provision of Muslim law is perhaps more relevant: it prohibits punishment for any Muslim who kills any apostate, and effectively prohibits interference with such a killing.
At the very least, that would complicate the security planning of state visits by President Obama to Muslim countries, because the very act of protecting him would be sinful for Islamic security guards.
A shame Barack Obama will never be able to visit the Middle East without being killed.
But at least the issue of a visit to Israel is off the table, since Iran destroyed it with nuclear weapons almost two years ago.
i reel mad you not have me pas you're classPriceless.
Friday, July 25, 2008
you give us twenty minutes......and we'll give you a splitting headache
An editorial from Thursday's USA Today, which I made the mistake of picking up from the floor at the gym:
"Our view on Iraq: Why can't Obama admit the obvious? The surge worked."
They illustrate this point with a chart showing the decline in deaths resulting from multiple-casualty bombings. The chart begins...
...in July of 2007. Which is, I don't know, when the war started? When the insurgency began? I get confused. But July of 2007 is a perfect baseline for measuring violence in Iraq, or they wouldn't have used it. Violence in Iraq before July 2007 was too trivial to notice or measure.
It gets better, though: "As for the surge not producing sufficient political reconciliation in Iraq, it's true that efforts to integrate Sunnis into a Shiite-dominated political culture are only inching forward. But reconciliation takes many forms, and Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's military attacks against rogue Shiite militias in Basra and Baghdad's Sadr City were a hugely important signal to Sunnis."
It reminds me of overhearing a father who can't bring himself to admit to his children that he doesn't know something. Well, kids, basically, the sun glows like that because it's, uh, covered in polished sheets of silver, and, uh, during the day, glowing bugs crawl around on the surface and make the silver real shiny.
On the op-ed page, by the way? A big essay under the headline, "Best ideas are ideology-free."
So, see, we just need to find the ideas that have no particular cultural or political premises in them -- the ideas without ideas inside. They're available in deep outer space, where they grow in a perfect thought vacuum. Like USA Today.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
doing great!The TSA strips a 71 year-old man to his underwear in public view to make sure that his metal knee replacement isn't a dirty Islamofascist trick to make there not be any more Western Civilization so that our women all have to wear burqas and we can't have there be a Jesus anymore!!!!!
Keep it in perspective, says a TSA spokesman:
"A spokesman said that out of 2 billion passengers screened nationwide since 9-11, there have been only 110,000 abuse complaints."
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
uh...The California Transportation Foundation gives out annual prizes to transportation projects and planners. And they named the prizes the...
Sunday, July 20, 2008
terminal insanityOfficial Washington meets a hookah-smoking caterpillar:
"I think the strategic goals of having time horizons are ones that we all seek because eventually we would like to see U.S. forces draw down and eventually all come home," the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman said. "This right now doesn't speak to either time lines or timetables, based on my understanding of where we are."Time horizons are good, time lines are bad -- got that? One shiny notional silver dollar to anyone who can drag meaning out of that sentence. Smoke some hash, first.
A growing tower of babbling nonsense. Must...fight...desire...to move to a remote cabin without a phone line. The news is a total, unrelenting jumble of meaningless bullshit, is why I don't post that often, lately.
I also quite like that statement that "we all...would like to see U.S. forces draw down and eventually all come home." We've been negotiating a 35-base, long-term SOFA because we, uh, want to leave.
I am kicking you in the pants because I so passionately oppose pants-kicking.
Monday, July 14, 2008
taste the stupidThe troops hate the troops. (More.)
Ahh, even better. And while you're there, hunt around for other deep thoughts on film, such as:
I was watching Mary Poopins again the other day. (I have kids.) I was pretty floored by all the lefty stuff in it.Mary Poopins -- she has a legitimate bowel disorder, people! -- put a little sugar in the medicine to make it go down, maaaaan, to MAKE IT FUCKING GO DOWN!!!! THE FUCKING MEDICINE, MAN, GET IT!?!? AWAKEN, AMERICA!!!! DON'T YOU PEOPLE SEE!?!?!?