Saturday, May 03, 2003

I had a long post put in earlier about New Hampshire's "Old Man of the Mountain" collapsing last night, how the weather here was clearing up, the Kentucky Derby, and a general riff on the situation in Iraq, but just about the time I was ready to start spell-checking, the computer froze. Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was downloading a large file (which was also a waste of time), uploading two others, surfing the web (in between updating the entry) and listening to music. I have 256MB of RAM and a 733MHz P-5 processor, but it tends to hang whenever I ask it to do too much.

I guess that qualifies, huh? Heh.

Secretary of State Colin Powell has been visiting Syria and has spelled out, in ego-shrinking detail, exactly what changes the U.S. expects to see in future U.S./Syria dealings, and I really have to wonder what Syria must be feeling now that they are surrounded. They have mostly-pro-U.S. Turkey on the north, newly-freed Iraq on the east, and pro-U.S. Israel and pro-U.S. Jordan on the South.

I'm guessing they're beginning to feel a little like Israel did in the 60's. Heh.

Weather cleared up quite a bit over the past eight hours, and there are even a few patches of blue up there. I still feel like I've played a full game of football without pads. Thank God for modern chemistry.

I'm going to go see what the line-up for tonight's TV programming has to offer. Hope you are having a good day.
It's a rainy miserable day here this morning, and it doesn't look like it's going to let up soon. So it's going to be a rough weekend for yours truly.

A new movie, "X-2: X-Men Reunited", hit the theaters yesterday, and all reports are that it looks to be a great movie. Lots of praise from just about everyone who has seen it. I'm going to have to wait until next weekend when we go to visit the in-laws (Mother's Day, don'tchaknow?) and I have a few hours to kill. Maybe the weather will clear up enough to let me enjoy it with a clear head. But if you are looking for something to do, and enjoy good comic-book action movies (like Spiderman or the first X-Men), then it is probably worth your time.

In Iraq, the U.S., the U.K., and Poland are splitting the country up into three regions under international control just until things are stabilized a bit. Poland will take the north, the U.S. the center, and the U.K. will cover the south. The U.S. and Britain are also preparing a resolution for submission to the Security Council which will allow the UN to assist with humanitarian aid, but not with administrative or military control. I think that is a good thing. Put them where they will do the most good, and can't do any real damage, and make sure they understand they are there to assist, not to advise.

In tragic news from New Hampshire, The Old Man of the Mountain collapsed last night. It is such a recognizable landmark for New Hampshire that it appears on their state quarter (released in 2001). New Hampshire state officials knew that it was going to happen, but didn't know when. It has the emotional impact that the collapse of Mount Rushmore would.

There is supposed to be a Democratic debate between the 9 candidates in South Carolina this evening, and they could only get ABC to videotape it (and air it at 1:30 a.m.). Coming off the visit to the USS Abraham Lincoln by President Bush, it's just not quite the same thing. If Bush manages to cause an economic rebound in time for the election, the Dems might as well relax and start thinking about the 2008 election.

Hope you're having a good day.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Good morning, everyone! I've been invited to begin posting over at one of the new sites in my blogroll (in the left column) called "The Wrong Side Of History". It's goal is to document the innaccuracies, mis-statements and utter idiocies spoken by public figures of every stripe (politicians, celebrities, sports stars, news personalities, religious leaders, foreign leaders, and activists of all type) and all political or personal affiliations. That includes conservatives as well as liberals, Republicans as well as Democrats, domestic as well as foreign.

Since it is almost a law of nature for many people in the public eye to speak whenever asked, about every subject under the sun (and none of them are likely to demur for lack of actual insight or knowledge), it shouldn't be too long before one of them says something that is either blatently illogical or proven wrong by subsequent events, putting their comments on "The Wrong Side of History". See?

I'm also shamelessly fishing for submissions, since I am by no stretch of the imagination omnipresent enough to catch them all. There are all sorts of sites which deal with Hollywood celebrities primarily (and while they would be enough to keep a passle of sites busy all by themselves - and they do!), we at WSoH also want to include the rest of the public personas who seem to enjoy the taste of their own feet.

Anyhow, that's my shameless plug for the new site.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

That was one hell of a speech by George W. Bush from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln earlier. First, he sets history by being the first President to land on an aircraft carrier in a plane rather than a helicopter. Then he does it again by being the first President to give a nationally-televised address from the flight deck of a moving aircraft carrier.

They delayed the arrival of this carrier so that he could pull this speech off, and there wasn't a sour face in the group. I know that most of the Carrier Air Wing had already departed the ship, so these sailors (ship's company) had been away from home for almost ten months, but for a chance to get a picture or shake the hand of POTUS, they were just happy to be there. And Dubya was happy to oblige them. (His Secret Service detail was less happy, but they would have been much happier to be back on dry land, no doubt. I'm not doubting their bravery, just their seasickness levels.)

This is a revitalized military that has come a long way back from the morale-busting social experimentation of BJ Clinton, where food stamps and double incomes just to get by were the rule, not the exception, where morale was at an almost all-time low, and where "esprit de corps" was replaced with "don't ask, don't tell". When I was in the Reagan-Bush navy, I was proud of my service, and I wore the uniform with pride and honor. I found that the Class A uniform (complete with full-sized medals) was the civilian equivalent of formal tuxedo, so I wore it happily whenever necessary. And lesser ones as the occasion merited.

That all changed in the early 90's, not long after the Gulf War, and it was never more prevalent than when we went to San Francisco for Fleet Week. We were specifically told not to wear our uniforms off the ship, because we didn't want to cause any problems with the local populace. I was stunned, because we were not 10 miles from the largest Navy base in Northern California (at Alameda), but we weren't allowed to wear our uniforms, because it might "offend" some people.

Then a few months later, I was transferred up to NAS Moffett Field (which was in Mountain View, much closer to San Jose than San Francisco), and I began to get an inkling of what they were talking about. One time, I drove from Moffett Field up to Alameda on official business, which meant "in uniform". I decided to drive up the 101 into "the city" and across the Bay Bridge to Oakland. I got caught in a traffic jam not far from the peninsula end of the bridge, and I was actually glared at, when I hadn't gotten such looks when driving around in mufti. Same car (old Nissan), same driver, same haircut, diferent clothes. The only conclusion I could draw was that the uniform was the problem.

I've been back once or twice since that time, but I never went through there in uniform ever again..

But now we have a military that is proud of themselves and their accomplishments for the first time in a decade. Bubba had been using the military as his own personal experiment to see how his social programs would fly with the rest of the nation, and as an occasional distraction from his domestic problems. Limiting the ability and responsiveness of the military he would send into harm's way virtually guaranteed that they would pay the price in blood. And they did. Time and time again.

But now they have shown the world what we can do (freeing not one, but two nations in the process), making it less necessary to actually have to use it a third time. We've shown the big stick, making the carrot seem all the more tempting to those who would oppose us and support terrorists in the future.

Syria? france? North Korea? We're watching you. Closely.
Good morning. I've been fighting with the computer this morning, and a very slow connection (which is odd because I have DSL). I have this week's list of West Wing advertisers, but (as usual) I'm going to ignore the movie ads, because their financing has already happened, and the stars have already gotten paid.

The list: Ford Motor Company, Sprint PCS, Johnson & Johnson Baby Wash, ank of America, Target, Visa Check Card, Mercedes-Benz, Canon Printers, the Hummer (SUV?), Kentucky Fried Chicken, General Electric, Claritin-D, Loreal (an easy one - it's also french), American Express, Best Foods Dipping Sauce, Mazda, and Automobile Association of America (AAA).

I've gotten some questions about why I have quit capitalizing the word 'french'. If it is a proper name (French Stewart) or a brand name (French's brand mustard), I will capitalize it, but if it refers to the country or the people (or the language), then I feel that they have done so much to damage their reputation and legacy that they no longer rate the capitalization, which is, after all, a mark of distinction. I am not just speaking of the treachery of Jacques Chirac, but also of those ruffians who took the opportunity during a protest against the US to beat up on a few Jews. I'm referring to the scum who vandalized the cemetary where the brave men who fought and died to free that land from the tyranny of Nazi Germany lay buried.

Colin Powell once said, "The only land we ask for is enough to bury our honored dead." But even that is too much for the whiny french, who apparently think that between themselves and Germany (along with the company or two that Belgium and Luxembourg will supply) they can provide some kind of EUropean counter-balance to NATO. I can see the french need for urgency, since it has been made clear that they will be made to suffer consequences for their treachery and spying on behalf of Iraq.

They will have a lot to make up for, and I don't think it is going to happen within the next few years, because they are now arguing that they are going to take over the reconstruction of Iraq, now that we've done the hard part. They don't yet understand that the "Jacksonians" (to use Steven den Beste's term) among us have a very long memory.

Things will get interesting over the next few months, to be sure.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Loyal reader David (who helped me with the HTML) had found a really interesting page explaining (in intimate detail) the truth about Iraq and Saddam Hussein. He's has done so much to help out with this page, and he continues to send in the good stuff.

Here's the page. I thought it was interesting, with some interesting data about Iraq, and I hope you find it as intriguing as I did. Thanks again, David! (I've offered him the chance to write and post, but he just prefers to work behind the scenes, I guess. Hell of a nice guy, nevertheless.)
I gotten a few nice letters from some of you, and I wanted to thank you for your concern. I started this blog to have some fun, and it has been tremendously fun so far. There has been one hacking attack (that I'm aware of), but I was fortunate to catch it quickly and I had a solid copy of the HTML template, so it didn't do any damage.

Unfortunately, I had to remove the comments ability because some on the Loser Left had decided that since they couldn't argue the facts, they couldn't argue the logic, and they couldn't argue in any adult fashion, that they would try and impugn my name by posting in the comments section using my name. They insulted me, my wife, my mother, you name it, and while most of their comments made me laugh, it wasn't worth trying to defend against any of it, because even responding to it would encourage them to continue their tantrums (with all the emotional maturity of your average pre-schooler), and I have better ways to spend my days.

If that is the best they can do, then we have already won. I also apparently have what could be termed as an "anti-fan" club. (I guess you could still call it a "club", even though there's just the one member.) Someone who wants to spend (presumably) her time nitpicking my blog. Since I'm not speaking as an official (or even an unofficial) spokesman for anyone but myself, I guess that she thinks I am a big enough threat to her continued delusions that she is going to spend her own blogspace to argue the points I raise.

The trouble with that is that I didn't get into doing this to pick fights (what good is a fight you cannot lose?), but to express a point of view. My point of view, to be specific. That's not good enough for them, apparently. This loser-ette has sent me several e-mails where she claims to be giving me a red ass (?), and calling me a coward for not responding. If I have to actually express the utter lack of interest to be considered a response, then she has gotten her fondest wish. Or perhaps she is hoping for a return link. If that is the case, then she can keep hoping, because I'm not going to waste a single byte to offer her a platform on my "dime", so to speak.

I hope she enjoys her new hobby, but she needed to be told that I'm not losing any sleep over any of it. I'm actually kind of amused by the whole thing. But I also remember something my mother taught me...

"When you wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty - except that the pig likes it." So enough of even acknowledging her existence. Maybe she'll be able to make much stew from this one oyster, but I couldn't conceivably care less. Actually, I probably could, but modern science hasn't yet counted that far down into the negative numbers...

So, back in the real world, I hear that there are rumors that Baghdad Bob tried to turn himself in to U.S. Marines, but couldn't get them to arrest him because he isn't on the "deck of cards" of the 55 Most Wanted Iraqi Officials. Man, it must really suck when you can't even get arrested. "Sorry, you can't turn yourself over to us, because we're really not here in Baghdad, remember? Our bodies are lying by the side of the roads, remember?" {Muffled laughter} Maybe, he can get a guest spot on "The Daily Show" as a "Special Correspondent for International Affairs" or something. He'd certainly be a big hit on the talk-show circuit. Leno, Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Regis, Oprah (& Dr. Phil), the ladies of "The View", and an hour long special with BabaWawa.

In other news, there was a terrorist attack that killed two people (plus the "not-so-smart-bomb", but he was a goner from the moment he strapped the vest on, so let's deal with the tragedy of the real victims) in Tel Aviv, at a favorite hang-out for Americans in the city. The new Palestinean PM had only been in "power" for less than 24 hours, so it will be a good opportunity to show that he really wants peace by finding the people responsible and making sure that they are really punished, rather than the revolving-door prisons currently in use by the Palestinean Authority under that terrorist thug, Arafat.

We shall see. I think that it is a case of "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" as The Who put it. (It's also being used as the theme song to CBS's show "CSI: Miami". While the missus and I like the regular CSI, the spin-off just isn't as entertaining for some reason. Maybe because David Caruso just doesn't have the charisma of William Peterson. Or maybe because Jorja Fox is just cuter than Emily Proctor. I don't know, but we watch one and not the other.)

Anyhow, it also seems that the head of the UN's IAEA (International Atomic Energu Agency), Mohamed ElBaradei, says that only the UN is qualified to search and conduct inspections for Iraq's nuclear program. This is the same guy who oversaw North Korea's nuclear program during the time that North Korea was under investigation by the IAEA, with monitors, cameras, seals, and inspections - the works. The DPRK was (simultaneously) under the terms of a treaty (signed during Clinton's term) that said that the DPRK would not develop nuclear weapons. You know what? North Korea went and made them anyway.

This is the same IAEA who has been watching Iran's nuclear program (the nation with one of the largest oil reserves on the planet, but they need a nuclear reactor?) during which time satellite observations have discovered an underground reactor in Iran. It is possible that this reactor can be used for the same nuclear enrichment as North Korea's Pyongyang reactor.

The funny thing is that that reactor in North Korea can only put out 5MW of power. That sounds like a lot, but in real terms, it isn't enough to run a large shopping mall. The only other thing it does in enrich plutonium to a weapons-grade status. But it's just a coincidence, right? They only activated it because they need the power.

Here's the link, but I really have to wonder why, with a track record like his (not to mention Hans Blix), he thinks that he should even be allowed back into the UN buildings, much less into any position of authority.

But the UN is the same group that has Libya as the Chair of its Human Rights Commission and who just re-elected Cuba (who just summarily executed dozens of people without even a trial, for the "crime" of trying to get the hell out of the country) to another term on that council. This is the same organization that elected Saddam's Iraq onto its Disarmament Commission, almost ten years into the crisis we recently resolved.

Why are we still in the UN again?

I hope you all have a good day. I'm going to go run some errands, and deal with a few customers.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

It seems as though the Losers-on-the-Left have chosen to use a different tactic, which means that they are posting in the comments section, using my name. That's a shame, because although it gives me a way to have immediate feedback from the rest of you, the comments service I use is just too basic to allow for the banning of users for being so pathetically childish.

I invite them (actually a better word would be "dare") to send their comments via e-mail, and I invite the rest of you to do the same. It's a shame that they have ruined the party for everyone, but since they can't defeat the argument, they've decided to start throwing their mud and random insults, hoping to have some of it stick, and trying to pretend to be me, or worse. I accept the surrender of your argument (or lack thereof), but I'm not going to allow you to foul up my website anymore.

Hey, why don't more on the left try having comments? That way, we could have some fun, too! But then, that would require you to permit criticism of your positions, and you certainly can't allow that, can you?
Good morning, one and all! It's Tuesday, so that means that it is time for the weekly "This-or-That Tuesday".

Which is more comforting for you...

1. Lying down on the couch, or stretching out on a recliner? On a recliner. Couches are over-rated.
2. Going barefoot or wearing soft slippers? Soft slippers. I used to have this kind of slipper that just made my feet feel like they're being massaged. I love 'em, but I haven't been able to find them recently.
3. Eating ice cream, or pizza? Why not both?
4. Watching on TV...a classic movie or a reality show? A classic movie
5. Wearing: blue jeans or sweat pants? Sweat pants
6. A long, soothing bubble bath or a quick, invigorating shower? A bath, but I'm too tall to stretch out in the standard size tub, so ... not so much.
7. Furniture: leather, or something more on the fuzzy side? cloth, so I guess that is considered "fuzzy". (Leather gets too sticky on hot days.)
8. Soft, classical music, or upbeat rock & roll? Depends on my mood.
9. Darkness or light? Somewhat dim light, just enough to read by, but nothing glaring.
10. Thought-provoking question of the week: You get married, or otherwise begin cohabitating with a significant other. S/he moves into your place, but brings with them the UGLIEST chair you have ever seen! You really don't want this thing in your home, but SO says it is the most comfy chair s/he has ever sat in, and no way will they part with it. Do you: grin and bear it, or scheme to get rid of the montrosity somehow? I'd live with it. I've seen much worse, and domestic tranquility isn't worth the hassle.

That's it for this week, and thanks for stopping by. Even you liberals who want to try and prove me wrong. I enjoy the traffic.

Oh, one other thing. You left-wing twits need to pay attention. Here's today's lesson.

Boo.
Hoo.

Get used to using those words, they will be replacing the anti-war chants currently in vogue. The United States won, exposed your lies and seditious behavior, and managed to re-arrange the world to the point where you get to keep whining (just like the chimpanzees in the zoo, only not quite as coherent). So remember these times. We certainly will.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Good morning, everyone. I didn't sleep well last night, because I was just hurting so much. And the tossing and turning (and, according to my wife, the moaning and groaning) meant that neither of us got much sleep. But let's go on to more pleasant things, shall we?

The world is becoming an unusual place, as various Iraqi religious, political and academic leaders are getting together with representatives from the United States in an attempt to form the notions that lead to the ideas that force the concepts that would build a new government in Iraq. Similar to the Afghanistan Loya Jurgah, but just a "get acquainted" meeting more than anything. It looks like we are on our way to Iraqi self-rule. It has been less than two weeks since the fall of Baghdad, and we have gotten a majority of the city supplied with electricity and water and food.

I'd say it was pretty much an unqualified success, but I don't see Janeane Garofalo with any bandages on her knees. I can only assume that she is continuing to chicken out and deny that she was wrong. I don't see Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins and Barbra Streisand and Martin Sheen and Tom Daschle and Nancy Pelosi and Woody Harrelson and Jessica Lange out there admitting that they may have been wrong in their opposition to this war.

I'm too tired to point out all the ways that they were (and continue to be) wrong, so just accept that they are liars, poultroons and fools.

Hope you all have a nice day. Except for you. Oh, and you too, there in the back, you're only allowed to have an average day.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Michele, over at A Small Victory (the link is in the left column), has a really good idea about protests. Make it a National Holiday.

Go read it. It's worth it.
Good morning to you all. I am soooooo sick of garage sales. Hauling all the boxes from the garage (actually to the rear of the house) out onto the front lawn (where passing people can see the stuff), and then hauing the stuff we didn't sell back into the garage. Plus the in-laws (who live in a mobile home park and can't have yard sales, so they hop onto ours whenever we have them) came down, so we not only have strangers wandering all over our front yard, turning up their noses at our offerings like we're asking them to choose a random pile of dogshit to pick up and take with them.

I mean, if I weren't so freakin' tired and hurting so bad (that oak table was not light), I would have been offended. Ah, never mind.

Anyhow, we have a solid link (the first documents) between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda. Documents showing a meeting between officials in Baghdad and a senior representative of Osama bin Laden back in 1998 (just before the African embassies bombings), during meetings that went on for about a week. Bin Laden's name had been whited out, but some careful work with a razor blade to remove the white-out showed OBL's name, still legible.

Many more documents were found, and "the hits just keep on comin'." To coin a phrase. They have also found evidence that a representative of Chiraq (or maybe even Chiraq himself, it wouldn't surprise me) had been briefing Saddam's government on private meetings between Chiraq and President Bush in the months leading up to the war (as recently as last November, in one reported case).

We have Russia giving intelligence information on conversations between British PM Tony Blair and other world leaders (not to mention a list of assassins for hire in the Western World) to the Iraqi government. We have documentation on bribes by Iraqi officials to officials in the German government in an attempt to get their aid in blocking our efforts to force a military confrontation. We have documents that Chiraq was briefing Saddam on his meetings with Bush.

Will someone remind me which nations were fighting so hard to prevent enforcement of a resolution they all voted for? (Resolution 1441 was passed 15-0, with no abstentions.) I remember that it was france, Germany, Russia, Syria, and (to a lesser extent) China, right?

france - they were giving Iraq intel information, plus the $20 billion oil contract with TotalFinaElf.

Germany - Bribes for intelligence info, and any possible influence against the US.

Russia - an $8 billion oil contract, plus intel information and a list of assassins.

Syria - official headquarters of Hamas and Hezbollah, two of the worst terrorist groups in the Middle East, and sponsor of almost every single homicide bomber attack over the last two decades. Also receiving 200,000 barrels of oil from Iraq, every day, for free.

China - wants the influence of the US reduced by any means necessary, since we are probably the only army on the planet that could defeat them.

But they were just "trying to keep the peace" when they fought so hard against the "serious consequences" they had all approved just a few months before. Right?

In yet other news, the self-proclaimed "Mayor of Baghdad" was arrested by American soldiers. He had set up his own mini-government and had offered civil officials a 1000% raise, but we didn't take down one tinpot despot, just to alow another to rise up. This is a serious issue, and it needs to be done the right way. Let the citizens decide for themselves, but they have to get back to the point where their next meal is covered, and they can think about next week, and next year. It'll take time, but it'll be well worth it.

Anyhow, we might go catch a minor-league ball game today, so I'm going to go take a pill, and by the time we need to leave, I might actually feel like I'm able to leave. Have a good day, all of you, and thanks for stopping in!