Monday, October 31, 2005

Fallujah, France

Fun weekend in the north Paris "suburbs."
Hundreds of French youths fought with police and set cars ablaze in a suburb of Paris early Saturday in a second night of rioting which media said was triggered when two teenagers died fleeing police.

The two teenagers were killed and a third seriously injured on Thursday night when they were electrocuted in an electricity sub station as they fled from police investigating a break-in, media reported.

Firefighters intervened around 40 times on Friday night in the northeastern suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois where many of the 28,000 residents are immigrants, mainly from Africa, police and fire officers said.

Remind me again why they feel their race relations are better than in the U.S.?

Unidentified youths fired a shot at police but no one was hurt, police said.

A police trade union called for help from the army to support police officers.

Puss. In the U.S. of A., we our malcontents shoot at authority figures, they usually hit their target, and a half dozen others. And if they shoot and miss, well, our police usually make sure they don't get a second chance. Really!

"There's a civil war underway in Clichy-Sous-Bois at the moment," Michel Thooris, an official of police trade union Action Police CFTC, said .

"We can no longer withstand this situation on our own. My colleagues neither have the equipment nor the practical or theoretical training for street fighting," he said.

Time to learn Michelle, Michel, Mitch - whatever. In 30 years or so, you will look back on this as a quaint skirmish.

...and it's still going on.

It would be funnier if Cokie Roberts said that

If you used this terminology at an official Navy function, say at the Naval Academy, you would likely be removed from Command, and reporters like John Roberts would be calling for your head.

But, as you know, do as I say….
CBSNEWS Chief White House correspondent John Roberts described the President’s selection of Judge Samuel Alito as “sloppy seconds” during today’s press gaggle with White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan.

John Roberts: “So, Scott, you said that -- or the President said, repeatedly, that Harriet Miers was the best person for the job. So does that mean that Alito is sloppy seconds, or what?”

Scott McClellan: “Not at all, John.”

Sloppy seconds” is described in the United Kingdom’s A Dictionary of Slang as:

Noun: “A subsequent indulgence in an activity by a second person involving an exchange of bodily fluids. This may involve the sharing of drink, or more often it applies to a sexual nature. E.g. ‘I’m not having sloppy seconds, I want to shag her first.’”
Yep, a lot better coming from Cokie.

I wish Scott McClellan has acted shocked or something….

(JR isn't that bad, really, especially compared to *spit* David Gregory *spit*). He must have had a poker weekend with the boys and forgot where he was.....

....and they talk about the lack of professionalism from Bloggers and 'lesser beings' ...

Hat tip Drudge.

UPDATE: As Eagle1 points out, JR has issues an apology. I don't have the audio, but I am sure it sounds like this.

Solomon Amendment: Part IV

For those interested in a military that draws from its entire society and tries to gather the best quality officers and enlisted personnel for its ranks: the Solomon Amendment (let recruiters on campus or loose all Federal funding) and its battle to the Supreme Court is required reading. Via Powerline, we are reminded that the next step is coming up.
The Solomon Amendment conditions the receipt by universities of federal funds on their allowing military recruiters access to university students on campus. Elite law schools, deans, and professors have strenuously resisted the Solomon Amendment. They claim that forcing them to choose between losing federal money and countenancing appearances by representatives a bigoted (against gays) military violates their right to freedom of association. In 2003 they commenced litigation challenging the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment under the auspices of the Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals sided with "FAIR" and held the Solomon Amendment unconstitutional. As I mentioned, the Supreme Court will review that decision this term and, in my opinion, probably reverse it. Scott has written extensively about the case, most recently here.
Here is the Polsby amicus (co-authored by professors Nelson Lund and Joseph Zengerle of George Mason and private attorneys Andrew McBride, William Consovey, and Seth Wood of the Wiley, Rein & Fielding law firm). The brief is something of a blog legend -- Todd Zywicki, another George Mason law professor, used his space at the Volokh Conspiracy to successfully "recruit" other law professors to sign the brief.
Paul nails the core of this issue.

One of the many great points Dean Polsby made about the Solomon Amendment yesterday was that the law schools challenging the Amendment seem motivated more by anti-military sentiment than by sympathy for gay rights (the suit assumes the legality of the underlying "don't ask, don't tell" policy). Polsby, a professor for decades, notes that the liberal professoriate was defending its sensibilities against the military at a time when gay rights were a non-issue.

If, as I expect, the Supreme Court upholds the Solomon Amendment, both sets of lofty motives (anti-military animus and pro-gay rights sentiment) will likely be insufficient to induce liberal law schools to stand on principle and turn down federal money.

Gay rights is just the latest excuse for these self-important children from 18 to 80 to stick their tongues out at their nation and show off to each other.

A side note to this is the money thing. Money is not an issue. Any excuse to bring up Ben Stein, from last weeks NYT, he talks about money and his school, Yale.
According to what I read, Yale has an endowment of something approaching $13 billion. Under the stewardship of its top-flight investment manager, David F. Swensen, it has compounded recently at the rate of very roughly 20 percent a year.
at this point, is it an investment bank or a school? I am really not sure, and this troubles me.
Weep not for Yale and the others if they are forced to pay for their bigotry and spoiled behavior by loosing Federal cash. They have plenty of money, and will be just fine without cash from middle class Americans.

If you want to dig around some more on the Solomon Amendment, great write-up from earlier this year here.

If you want to catch up on Parts I-III and another shot or two; go here, here, here, and to a lesser extent here.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Look who stopped by ...

...Sunday morning for coffee.

If you have SiteMeter you can do this world map. It represents your last 100 visitors. Red dot is the last, the green are the last 50 and the white 51-100.

I thought is was a neat little snapshot. I just have a itty-bitty blog. Kind of interesting to see how comes by to visit now and then. Reminds me to spell check.

Sunday Funnies

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Southern Baptist terror cell arrested in Denmark

Naw, just kidding silly; they were -- wait for it -- young Muslim men.
Four men have been arrested in the Danish capital Copenhagen on suspicion of planning a suicide attack in Europe.

A court ordered the men - all Muslims aged 16 to 20 - to be remanded in custody until 16 November while investigations continue.
There is a twist to it though,
He did not specify where the Balkan investigation took place but Bosnian police said last week they arrested three people in Sarajevo on suspicion of undertaking terrorist activities.
Yep, Bosnian connections. You’re welcome. A few reports say that most of them were of Bosnian Muslim extraction.

If it wasn't for the Christian and post-Christian West, the balance of Bosnian Muslims would be living in exile like
Jordanian Circassians, or in a mass grave under some Serb's new dairy.

While we are talking about the Danes, (love their Queen BTW) I hope you are all up to speed on the “Looney Toons Fatwa.”

Support the newspaper with balls, Jyllands-Posten, and check out the pictures.

Better yet, here is my favorite.

More at Jawa, Skippy’s girlfriend, The Brussels Journal, Dhimmi Watch, and Fjordman. Good stuff.
UPDATE: Hey, it's "Some insecure Muslims need to take a chill pill towards Western artists; Christians have put up with it for years.." time.

Via LGF, a link to a ray of light, Amir Normandi from Chicago that just had his artwork removed by the Dhimmi at Harper College in Palatine.
An art exhibit that included photographs of nude Muslim women wearing only a head covering was taken down Thursday afternoon just hours after opening for public viewing at Harper College in Palatine.

Muslim students at the college protested to officials about the pieces on display in Building C. Several students say the pieces — some showing young Muslim men with machine guns — were downright offensive.
Go to his page and look at all 15. They are really lame by modern photographic standards of shock, and are a bit cheeky monkeyish (get to use that twice this week), and is nothing like this. Some show a very little flesh, but no more than you see at the mall. Amir almost gets moved to the Honor Roll for this one - hope he doesn't get a posthumous award. Still looking for my Fatwa, here is my favorite.

Oh, and as for the Muslim student's comment,
“The Muslim students are thinking about boycotting Harper because of this,” said Ali, 23, of Schaumburg.
don't let the screen door hit you on the ass on your way out. As reported in Dutch Disease Report, you have it a lot easier than Christian girls going to school in Muslim countries. Take a powder.

PS, you know what is cool? By having a childish hissy fit, they ensured that Mr. Normandi will increase his exposure by an order of magnitude. Snicker. Pass it on......

Friday, October 28, 2005

Dogs of war

More non-US troops in Afghanistan. Its a German in the middle, not too sure about the other 2. Shoulder boards tell me non-US. Not a Dane/German/Brit/French/Spainard.

Peggy needs a vacation

Almost as if she has had Derb bubbl'n around in her head for the last half decade.

Did you read Peggy yesterday? She is not feeling all that positive.
... in some deep and fundamental way things have broken down and can't be fixed, or won't be fixed any time soon. That our pollsters are preoccupied with "right track" and "wrong track" but missing the number of people who think the answer to "How are things going in America?" is "Off the tracks and hurtling forward, toward an unknown destination."
Everything. Cloning, nuts with nukes, epidemics; the growing knowledge that there's no such thing as homeland security; the fact that we're leaving our kids with a bill no one can pay. A sense of unreality in our courts so deep that they think they can seize grandma's house to build a strip mall; our media institutions imploding--the spectacle of a great American newspaper, the New York Times, hurtling off its own tracks, as did CBS. The fear of parents that their children will wind up disturbed, and their souls actually imperiled, by the popular culture in which we are raising them. Senators who seem owned by someone, actually owned, by an interest group or a financial entity. Great churches that have lost all sense of mission, and all authority. Do you have confidence in the CIA? The FBI? I didn't think so.
I have wondered if it hasn't all gotten too big, too complicated, too crucial, too many-fronted, too . . . impossible.
nuclear proliferation, wars and natural disasters, Iraq, stem cells, earthquakes, the background of the Supreme Court backup pick, how best to handle the security problems at the port of Newark, how to increase production of vaccines, tort reform, did Justice bungle the anthrax case, how is Cipro production going, did you see this morning's Raw Threat File? Our public schools don't work, and there's little refuge to be had in private schools, however pricey, in part because teachers there are embarrassed not to be working in the slums and make up for it by putting pictures of Frida Kalho where Abe Lincoln used to be. Where is Osama? What's up with trademark infringement and intellectual capital? We need an answer on an amendment on homosexual marriage! We face a revolt on immigration.
There are two groups. One has made a separate peace, and one is trying to keep the boat afloat. I suspect those in the latter group privately, in a place so private they don't even express it to themselves, wonder if they'll go down with the ship. Or into bad territory with the trolley.
Wow. Peggy needs some good luv'n and get some new people to hang around with. I don't know. I think of the 30 Years War, The Black Death, The Dust Bowl, The Great Depression, Amsterdam's Jews; and close to home - the members of my family that came back from The Civil War with their best men dead, everything burned to the ground, no money, no way to make a living, and the world as they knew it turned upside down.

The future is always scary. That is the nature of life. Me, I'm an optimist like Patton was in '42.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I demand royalties

One of the Denizens at Argghhh!! has been reading my diary and turning it into new episodes for *spit* The E-ring *spit*.

OK, they aren’t perfect reflections of life, but some of Episodes 3, 9, 10, and 11 just seem too close……
While we are being cheeky monkeys; Ninme is right; this is a Bid Ad. I'm thirsty.

Watched Hardball lately?

If not, no biggie. All you need to see/hear is here.

Hat tip PoliticalTeen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Who's your daddy?

The Commissar want to know. He is helping build the Blogger Family Tree. Cool project.

I've been jotting down my little "Perfect Circle of Acquaintances and Friends" chart I'll post one day when I finish it (if ever).

This idea is much better.

Nice job Commissar!!!

QDR War Warning

In mid-NOV it will be here: the QDR. You may remember the one was just ready when, well 9/11 took place.

Here and there you are hearing more about it, and inside a month we will all hear the details.

Just a feeling I'm having, but if you are one of those people that think their community is "essential" (EF-111 folks want to talk to you - along with the Frigate true believers) you may have a rough Thanksgiving. To quote Papa Salamander, "No one owes you a living son."
Last summer, Gordon England, acting deputy defense secretary, who was dissatisfied with the progress of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), asked Marshall for concise recommendations based on the growing needs to operate in the Pacific region, strike precisely at intercontinental ranges, quickly deploy aircraft to austere bases, protect satellites and space capabilities, and defend against ballistic missiles.

On Oct. 5, Marshall’s “Red Team” described its findings to England and senior military leaders. The team recommended several steps, including:

- Cut tactical air forces by 30 percent.
- Cancel the Navy’s DDX future destroyer.
- Delay the Army’s Future Combat Systems.
- Develop conventional theater ballistic missiles to rapidly strike “high-value targets.
- Build more fast sealift ships and nuclear submarines.
- Develop a new long-range bomber.

In the second week of November, OMB will give the Pentagon its top-line budget limits for the coming six years. Military officials will then have a scant few weeks to decide the fate of scores of programs.
Rummy is getting the bulls in line as well.
The strategic planning council, which includes the Pentagon’s Senior Level Review Group plus the combatant commanders, has already convened to discuss the QDR in January, May and earlier this month.

“This is supposed to be the final ‘come-to-Jesus’ review of programmatic issues,” said a Pentagon official involved in the review.
Have much blue in your uniform...
The directors of PA&E’s naval forces and tactical air forces divisions are also expected to deliver findings suggesting cuts in their respective areas soon, Pentagon officials said.

Another briefing that is causing the Air Force and Army heartburn is a second PA&E alternative assessment that suggests force structure for both be cut, Marine Corps force structure increase, and the Navy be left unchanged. These recommendations, spelled out in a PA&E assessment, “Key Force Sizing Assumptions,” is on the agenda for discussion during a Friday meeting of Gordon England, the acting deputy defense secretary, and Adm. Edmund Giambastiani, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with the service vice chiefs.
Snicker. Two Navy folks. Get the AFDB zoomie guys.... It will probably be easier being green.
A Ground Force Capability Study led by Mark Cancian, director of PA&E’s land forces division, wrapped up this week, with recommendations with significant implications for the Army and Marine Corps, according to two Pentagon officials familiar with the study’s findings.
Of course, it could all be bad gouge. Methinks though, if you are not directly engaged in kicking down a door and interfering with someone's cardio-vascular system, you may have an abbreviated career.

Fun times!

Why America is a great nation

To help my European friends who have such difficulty understanding Americans and America; study this closely.

Every person you see here represents a critical part of the America that perplexes you so.

Ahhh, yes. America. All your answers are there.

Hat tip The Corner.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Only burning body post

Read CounterColumn. All you need to know is there. The story is on its last legs, but just in case you need to know.

In summary:
From Field Manual FM 27-10:
Bodies shall not be cremated except for imperative reasons of hygiene or for motives based on the religion of the deceased. In case of cremation, the circumstances and reasons for cremation shall be stated in detail in the death certificate or on the authenticated list of the dead.
The commander on the ground is a lieutenant. Nobody yet has come up with a better idea. What was he supposed to do?
'Nuff said.

Bringing back our history

Like Band of Brothers? Ever wonder what happend to the 506PIR? Well, they're back as the 506th Regimental Combat Team. Scott tells the story.

Good news. Traditions are important. In one of the few good things from the 1990's, we brought back the 332nd Fighter Group as the 332nd Air Expeditionary Group.

Now, if the Navy could just stop naming Carriers after old/dead politicians. Just one example. Stennis? Harumph.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Canada leans in harder

As per the BBC snap report last week that I cannot find on the web, right now Canada has 959 soldiers in ISAF alone in Afghanistan, and a few hundred others supporting OEF. In 2006 they will send 1,500 more as NATO starts to take control over most of the country from the US, they have the Northern part right now. Some other views of Canada in AF here and here.

I tease Canada now and then, but mostly out of frustration. They are part of the solution in AF. Pound for pound though, what few soldiers, sailors, and airmen they have represent some of the best fighters in the West.

Thanks folks – now go make some “Moose Milk.”

Brazilians vote for freedom

As many in the English speaking world are more than ready to surrender their basic Common Law freedoms; people from a non-Common Law country, vote for the freedom and rights of the individual.
In a country where one person is killed with a gun every 15 minutes, surely the public would vote in favour of an outright ban on gun sales?
Wrong. By a resounding 64% to 36%, Brazilians decided to keep the gun shops open. The result was more decisive than any poll had predicted.
For the foreseeable future, it is unlikely that any government will feel able to revisit the guns issue - such was the deafening volume of the "No" vote.
Brazil is proud of its recently-restored democracy. And rightly or wrongly, the Brazilian people have spoken.
Well done Brazil.

PS. I let that BBC bias at the end sneak in just so you could giggle with me.

Gathering Ghouls

ghoul Audio pronunciation of "ghoul" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (gl)

1. One who delights in the revolting, morbid, or loathsome.
2. A grave robber.
3. An evil spirit or demon in Muslim folklore believed to plunder graves and feed on corpses.

[Arabic l, from la, to seize, snatch. See wl in Semitic Roots.]ghoulish adj.
ghoulish·ly adv.
ghoulish·ness n.
Number 3 will work.

I had a long write-up on this I worked on this weekend, but I’m not going to post it. There is a lot out there along the lines of what I was doing, LGF is an example.

In summary, if it doesn’t bring honor to our fallen and their mission; it is only ghoulish gibbeting of our dead for political ends.

Leave a comment if you want, but I am done with the subject. If you leave a ghoulish comment, I will delete it.

When the hate-filled parade starts, all I will say is - I told you so.

I feel the need, the need for … a new job.

At a quarter past noon on Jan. 21, a U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet jet fighter flown by a combat-tested pilot named Richard Webb appeared over the Edna Valley and streaked toward San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport.

On its first pass, the Super Hornet screamed along at more than 650 miles an hour, just 96 feet above the main runway. Soon it circled back, touched down on the tarmac for an instant, then went into a steep climb, afterburner roaring, and disappeared in the skies.
Flathatting, the story that keeps giving. A long as there have been testosterone, airplanes, needy-egos, and poor judgment – there has been flathatting.
Ernie Sebby was in his house less than a mile from the airport. He ran to the front porch and caught a glimpse of the aircraft. It appeared to be painted in gray primer. He could make out no identifying numbers.

A former volunteer at airport community functions and an erstwhile recreational pilot, the 77-year-old retired corrections officer guessed that the plane was a surplus military jet fighter flown "by some guy that's got more money than brains."
I’ll have more on this guy in a bit. We all know the type.
The Federal Aviation Administration designation for the airspace above the airport is Class D, meaning that it has a speed limit of 230 mph below 2,500 feet. "Oh boy, we're in trouble," Pehl thought. "We've got a real PR issue…. "
In today's environment, Sherwood said, there is little tolerance "for misbehavior in any way, whether it's flying an aircraft outside the flight plan or having a few beers in the officers' club."
Few things can end a career faster, crashing your plane into a neighborhood killing taxpayers, or even worse – in some eyes – having a few beers. No one goes to O-clubs anymore anyway.
The Navy tradition, he said, is to give a ship's captain or aircraft pilot a great deal of responsibility and autonomy, but to countenance not even the smallest mistake. The Navy "has a reputation for eating its children…. If you mess up, there are no second chances."
You don’t have to be a “kid” to get eaten up – though it looks like it is OK to play bumper cars with your DDG….
After graduation from college, Webb became a U.S. Navy aviation officer. He flew F-14 Tomcat jet fighters in combat over Afghanistan and Iraq, taking off from the deck of the U.S. aircraft carrier Enterprise.

In January, he was based temporarily at Lemoore Naval Air Station in the San Joaquin Valley, where he was learning to fly the Super Hornet, the Navy's successor to the Tomcat. Sometimes he drove to the San Luis Obispo airport to visit and fly with old friends.
You can feel it coming, can’t you? Kind of like the old jokes growing up of what the last words of most “good-ole-boys”..
  • ”Heck, I can do that.”
  • Or the more deadly,
  • Hey guys, watch this!!
  • Of his career as a Navy aviator, Webb told him: "Mike, I love this so much I can't believe they're paying me to do it. I'd do it for free."
    Shipmate, part of the deal is to not do stupid stuff.
    On Jan. 21, Webb checked out an F-18 Super Hornet at the Lemoore base for a training flight, to add to the 14.8 hours he had logged in the aircraft's cockpit. His superiors assumed that he would fly to a designated military training area above Sequoia and Death Valley national parks, 100 miles to the east.
    Webb had other ideas.

    "When I made a quick decision to fly down to my old airport and do a flyby, you can imagine what I was thinking…. " Webb wrote. "I could now be the guy who seemed to explode out of nowhere doing a high-speed afterburner pass, leaving a lasting impression on a young kid. Talk about the circle being completed…."
    Ohhh, that hurts just to read. This isn’t some 22 yr old kid in a T-34 flying out of Whiting Field – and BTW it’s not about you.
    Minutes after Webb's flight, telephone console lights in the airport administrative offices blazed. "Everybody heard it — the whole city heard it," said airport manager Klaasje Nairne. "The phone rang off the hook … it rocked our world."

    About half an hour after the plane departed, Sebby e-mailed Nairne, asking her to find out the plane's identity. He expressed concern that "the tremendous noise generated will set airport and community relations back years."
    Yep, him again.
    After airport officials got in touch, the Navy convened an evaluation board to consider Webb's conduct. Webb admitted performing the flyby and knowing that it was against the rules. The board also reviewed two other incidents in Webb's past which, in the Navy's view, involved questionable judgment by the aviator.
    A FNAEB board, I presume. Time to take out a fork.
    Upon learning of the threat to Webb's career, San Luis Obispo airport officials expressed concern about the reaction they had sparked. On Feb. 15, Nairne wrote Webb's superiors that "it was never our intent to be a party to the end of this gentleman's naval aviation career." If that were the result, she wrote, "it would be most regrettable."
    The die is cast. If you are going to raise hell, take responsibility for the consequences … just like Webb.
    Although a superior officer acknowledged that Webb was "an energetic junior officer and talented aviator," the commander of the Naval Air Force Atlantic Fleet, Webb's home command, concluded that his flyby "merits termination of flying status."

    Webb's wings were pulled. He was exiled to a desk job in Qatar in the Middle East, and left to ponder the four remaining years of his service commitment as a groundling.
    At this point, you may feel sorry for the good LT (I believe – maybe LCDR), don’t. There may have been hope for him – though rare in this case – if he groveled enough and showed contrition – to at least keep his Wings or even keep flying through transition and or NPLOR/PLOR in a following Mast – but I doubt it. He had too much experience and we tolerate this too little that the need to gibbet someone doing this too great. Anyway, he kept digging.
    On June 3, he sent an e-mail to Sebby, carbon-copying more than 30 friends and others in the aviation community. Webb told Sebby that his grounding was "a direct result of your indignant e-mail," which he characterized as "scathing."

    In regard to his unauthorized flyby, Webb wrote, "No respected fighter pilot worth his salt can look me in the eye and tell me they've never done the exact same thing."
    Bravo Sierra to the last comment. I’ll take the best 100 fighter pilots in the Navy and the AirFarce right now, and at best you might find the VERY low single digit % had ever even come close to doing this. If that. More digging.
    Webb concluded that he was "not apologetic for what I did, and if given the chance, I'd do the same thing again…. It's just incredibly hard to admit fault, and accept such disproportionate punishment, to an action that probably helped recruit many young kids in town that day…. I feel ashamed to have my close friends die to protect your freedom to complain about how we do our job."
    That’s it Shipmate. With that attitude, you would never make it out of any FNAEB board ever convened. Navy aviation just does not take well poor professionalism. You look like the 2005 poster child.

    Oh, what happened to the prison guard, you ask?
    Sebby is not as sympathetic. Webb's missive brought down on him an avalanche of angry e-mails, and some anonymous, harassing phone calls. Sebby contacted Navy officials to complain of what he came to see as Webb's orchestration of a vilification campaign against him.

    "I wasn't trying to prosecute anyone or get him fired or grounded," Sebby said in an interview. "I had no idea it was even a military aircraft. This thing he orchestrated against me … I want the Navy to know I'm not going to let this drop because I'm offended, deeply offended, by this."
    Sure, Webb shouldn’t have hit the “send” key, but you are a know-it-all, busy-body, wannabe. Your type can be found at any airshow, Army museum, or USNI Seminar.

    I am offended by your puss-ant ability to be offended. Poseur wannabee pain-in-the-ass. You almost make me feel sympathetic to Webb.

    I know some of you think that Webb was hit to hard. Not me. We don’t have the aircraft, time, professional and political capital to put up with that kind of stupidity. Don’t take my word for it though.
    "I was very much floored when I read this report," said one former F-18 instructor who agreed to be interviewed but was under orders from a commander to not be quoted by name. "This was so far out of the realm of acceptability it's ludicrous…. What he did was practically unheard of, extremely unusual … 500 knots at 96 feet is way beyond his ability…. That's extreme poor judgment having only 14.8 hours" of flight time in an F-18. "This kid was an accident waiting to happen. It was a blessing they got to him before he killed somebody and that was something that was going to happen."

    Webb's case illustrates the balance a modern fighter pilot must strike between aggressiveness and daring on the one hand, and tight adherence to discipline and procedure on the other.

    "You want your young men and women to fly aggressively, fly tough, fly mean, so when you need them to do tough things, they can go into battle and win," Whitcomb said. "But that aggression has got to be properly tempered, so when it's not called for, it doesn't get them in trouble.

    "Nowadays, you can't accept needless loss. This F-18, this is the top-of-the-line, multi-multimillion-dollar aircraft extremely capable of doing some really amazing things, and we want the young people we bring in to be able to do those extra things, but always under control and carefully directed because it's very easy to lose control of a jet like that."
    NavBlogSOPA Neptunus Lex is on the story as well.
    We do “empower” our people, and we do expect a lot out of them, and frankly we do expect them to make mistakes from time to time. And mostly, so long as no one gets maimed or killed, or no serious damage is done to national treasures, we help them learn from their mistakes and move on. But let’s be perfectly clear here: The young man didn’t make a “mistake.” A mistake is when you reach down to turn the air conditioning up and accidentally vent the cabin pressure overboard. Or when you go to turn the landing light off on the rollout and put the launch bar down instead. Or you think the bandit is tail-on and you go to boresight him, only to find out that he’s head-on with a bag of knots and now you’re a whole lot closer than you’d like to be. A mistake is forgetting to set your radar altimeter. Any one of those mistakes can kill you, and you’d get a missing man fly by and a 21 gun salute, and your friends would speak well of you after.

    But this young man didn’t make a mistake. He deliberately set out to do something which he had to know would land him in dutch if he got called on it, and he did it in a fashion almost guaranteed to ensure that he would get called on it. That’s just damned poor judgment.
    Yep, on target. Chap is yapping about it too.

    Sunday, October 23, 2005

    My bi-polar reality

    On occasion you run into something that at first look is so innocent, so beautiful – only to have a surreal nightmare make you feel the sad waste of it all.

    Then, a few clicks away….. out of left field, you have this.
    Anne Rice, the chronicler of vampires, witches and—under the pseudonym A. N. Roquelaure—of soft-core S&M encounters, will publish "Christ the Lord : Out of Egypt," a novel about the 7-year-old Jesus, narrated by Christ himself. "I promised," she says, "that from now on I would write only for the Lord."
    There is hope.

    Hat tip Drudge.

    Sunday Funnies

    Saturday, October 22, 2005

    Gayest. BDU. Ever.

    Saturday hits are light, so lets keep it light in the loafers (not that there is anything wrong with that).

    Yes, Task Force Uniform's version of BDU are almost just as bad as this precious creation. This is the Turkish Air Farce's BDUs. This gorgeous man is in Afghanistan.

    There were no Taliban attacks that day - they couldn't stop laughing long enough to load rockets on their donkey.

    Is this a uniform for a serious warfighter?

    I'll say one thing, he sure ain't taking the Gates of Vienna in those duds.

    Friday, October 21, 2005

    How to scare the French

    Simple. You show them German Mechanized Infantry - with a modernized MG42. Simple.

    Don't worry, he is one of the good guys. ISAF man in Afghanistan up north.

    Who said it was about pot?

    Claim: The Peter, Paul & Mary tune "Puff, the Magic Dragon" is a coded song about marijuana.

    Status: False.

    Origins: No,
    "Puff, the Magic Dragon" is not about marijuana, or any other type of drug. It is what its writers have always claimed it to be: a song about the innocence of childhood lost.

    The poem that formed the basis of the song "Puff, the Magic Dragon" was written Puff this! in 1959 by Leonard Lipton, a nineteen-year-old Cornell student. Lipton was inspired by an Ogden Nash rhyme about a "Really-O Truly-O Dragon,"
    No way!!! That is what people thought it was about?

    I always thought it was about this. Great seating. Cool windows. Makes pretty pictures at night.

    More important, a toy for John to play with. Better res here.

    Hat tip The Corner.

    Look! In the sky! It's an A-12. It's a LRAACA!

    No, it's an ACS.

    ACS="Aerial Common Sensor" - a beltway-banditism for a replacement for the Navy's EP-3E and the Army's RC-12/RU-21 Guardrail. For those familiar with the A-12 and P-7/LRAACA fiasco, this should all sound familiar.
    ...last week, the Army ordered work to be halted on the $879 million design contract because of problems finding an adequate aircraft.

    The Army gave Lockheed 60 days to submit a new proposal. Edward Bair, program executive officer for electronic warfare, told reporters last week that all options were on the table.

    Northrop Grumman spokesman Randy Belote told Dow Jones that the service should terminate Lockheed Martin's (LMT) contract and go back to the drawing board. His comments mark the first time Northrop Grumman has called outright for a fresh look.

    "The fundamental problems with the Aerial Common Sensor source selection, contract performance and the latest get-well proposal all demonstrate the need to reopen ACS to competition," Belote said.
    Northrop Grumman lost the contract to Lockheed.
    "The Army's evaluation concluded that in their system design there was a high risk of exceeding the maximum zero fuel weight of the aircraft, which is a structural limit and would prevent the aircraft from being able to take off," Kearney said.

    Analysts said Northrop Grumman's effort to join the program may not bear fruit. Both the Army and the Navy, an official program partner, are enthusiastic about Lockheed Martin's (LMT) electronics sensors, said Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute, a Washington-area think tank.

    "The one thing that all the participants agree on is that the Lockheed Martin (LMT)electronics system is the best solution. The argument has been over the aircraft that carries it," said Thompson, who provides consulting services to Lockheed Martin (LMT) and other defense industry firms.
    Spin. Spin. Spin. The initial selling point was manpower savings and the cost savings from aircraft selection. They went with the plane first, then shoehorned the electronics in. Or failed to.
    The program’s current review was set off in June after Lockheed officials told the Army that the plane they selected for the ACS, the ERJ-145 regional jetliner built by Brazil’s Embraer, would be too small for the planned sensor package. Lockheed suggested replacing it with the larger Embraer 190 airplane.

    Bair said the Army already had figured that the weight of the electronic components, cables and cooling gear would exceed Lockheed’s initial estimate by 28 percent. But nine months after the contract was awarded in August 2004, Lockheed and Army officials found the increase was well over 40 percent.

    The ACS began as a joint program between the Army and the Navy, but the latter service decided last year to wait and watch instead of signing on.

    The Navy, which preferred a larger plane than the Army’s initial choice, saw a possibility of adding ACS-like capability to their Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) program, launched in 2004 with a $3.9 billion contract to Boeing.
    I could be wrong, but I believe the Navy is still married to the Army on this one - but the truth may have changed. If so, good news there.
    In view of the Navy’s reluctance, some Pentagon officials are said to favor terminating ACS and adding the Army’s requirements to the Air Force’s E-10A Multisensor Command and Control Aircraft, a program to replace surveillance planes such as Northrop’s E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System and Boeing’s E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System.

    A team including Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Raytheon is currently working on the E-10A program.

    Loren Thompson, analyst at the Lexington Institute, a Washington think tank, said Pentagon officials concerned about the lack of adequate funds for the Air Force’s E-10A were considering combining the Army’s mission with that of the Air Force, and allowing the Navy to put its ACS mission on the Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft.

    That option would allow Boeing, which has the Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft contract, and Northrop Grumman, which leads the E-10A effort, to gain at the expense of Lockheed Martin.
    That is what the Fleet and the VQ community (well, those few that I know) wanted when all this ACS foolishness started. My vote, ditch the Joint pipe-dream and cling to the EP-8A.
    Airbus (ABI.YY) also was asked about its A320 plane, which is similar to the other aircraft under consideration. Lockheed Martin (LMT) spokeswoman Judy Gan said Airbus was contacted early on but couldn't meet schedule requirements.
    Ummmm yep. And the French will get money. Don't call us....

    I talked to a buddy who is a VQ type about this. He gave me the background on it. Until about a couple of years ago, the plan was to go with the then MMA now P-8A (also might be in trouble for the $$$) program and have a factory built EP-8A. Plenty of room, plenty of gas, can piggyback on the efficiencies of a common airframe - engine - Chain of Command ect.

    Well, the folks on the Pax River to DC gravy train decided to go with the Army program so certain people could claim how "Joint" they were. Contrary Fleet input was dismissed, and the program was given the go ahead before serious answers were given on the tradeoff of weight, altitude, floor space, reachback, and others. The "big platform" guys lost out. The "consultants" the Navy hired sold a PPT program, and Pax River to DC folks were hypnotized by the "Ohh, I can report about how we made a Joint solution. Look at the fewer people on the aircraft. Out of the box..." Now, the fleet may suffer.

    This is an old sitcom that keeps repeating itself. I still see people promoted, awarded, and then their reliefs try to fix the mess. Where is the accountability? We lost the ES-3, and the VQ birds only have a decade or so left on them at the rate we are flying them. Someone needs to be fired.

    Oh, my VQ buddy told me that at one briefing, one of the few JO pilots in the audience was laughing while watching the briefer say one more time, "we haven't looked at impact of that on the flight profile, zero fuel weight, CG, ...."

    The Fleet LT test is usually a very important one. Ignore them at your own peril.

    Thursday, October 20, 2005

    Joan, you go girl

    Don't try to call Joan Rivers a rascist just because she is tired of your cant. A race-pimp from the UK made the mistake of doing it.
    Jackie Collins, the Hollywood novelist, had set the tone by talking about Liberty, a mixed-race character in her new book. She spoke of how Liberty's mother, who was black, put her in front of a mirror, saying: "Don't you ever forget you're black."

    Howe went on to talk about his Channel 4 documentary Son of Mine, detailing his relationship with his 20 year-old son, Amiri, and whether it was racism or his faults as a father that were to blame for the difficulties his child had been through.

    Rivers, 72, broke in, saying: "I'm so, so bored of race. I think people should inter-marry. Everybody should be part this, part that and part everything. Race doesn't mean a damn thing. Everybody should just relax, take the best of their cultures and move forward."

    Purves suggested that was a "very American approach" but Howe disagreed, saying: "That's not an American approach. America is one of the most savagely racial places in the world."

    And then he later suggested: "Since black offends Joan…"

    This drove Rivers into a complete tizzy. "Wait!" she cried. "Just stop right now. Black does not offend me. How dare you? How dare you say that? 'Black offends me!' You know nothing about me. How dare you."

    Their exchanges culminated with Rivers shrieking: "Don't you dare call me a racist. I'm sorry. How dare you."

    As a somewhat harassed Purves tried to calm the situation, Rivers said to Howe: "Now please continue, but don't you dare call me that. Son of a bitch."
    Good for Joan - tough old bird. Audio is here.

    Hat tip Drudge.

    What are you doing at 1500EST on Friday?

    Why, you are listening to Baron Bodissey (of Gates of Vienna).

    He will be appearing on a talk radio show this Friday, Oct. 21st, at 3:00 PM EDT. The program is Heads Up America hosted by Ken Bagwell on Supertalk Radio WZNN AM 1350 in the Asheville, NC area. The listening area covers western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee.

    The station also has streaming audio. He will be discussing Jamaat ul-Fuqra and other topics related to the Great Islamic Jihad that he is quickly becoming a SME on.

    Don't think that blogging about something you interests you isn't worth it. Don't wait for an uberblogger to get something before you do it. Head over to his site and see how he became a primary source.

    One, two, a thousand more Baron B.s. Bravo Zulu, and I will be listening in as well.

    Hey, anyone know how to open a chat room on it? Live chat could be fun.

    PowerPoint Ranger done good...

    Oh, he is more than a PPT Ranger, but it was a very powerful PPT that helped Thomas P.M. Barnett break out from the background noise after 911. Nice push by the WaPo about his new book and theories. Ruffl'n feathers and making friends.
    Global security guru Thomas P.M. Barnett is in the unique position of being embraced by Pentagon officials and top U.S. military commanders as a visionary strategist -- even as he openly blames the defense establishment for botching post-invasion operations in Iraq.
    There are some very good senior officers out there with very open minds, we just don't hear from them too often. They tend to keep quite and work within the system as much as possible. Good folks, unsung and unreplaceable.
    "No one ever said, 'cut it out' or 'shut up,' or ever put a squeeze on me," Barnett said in an interview. (In a typical Web log, or blog, entry yesterday, he wrote: "Iraq is doing just fine given [a] poorly planned occupation (F to the neocons, C+ to the officers doing their best in a crappy situation on the ground.")
    You don't have to agree with everything he says - no one should. But you better come armed if you are going to argue with this guy. He asks hard questions because they are hard. Heck, they may not even have a right answer.
    Barnett spoke fresh from a tete-a-tete last week with the U.S. four-star general who oversees the Middle East, Gen. John Abizaid, and Abizaid's personal think tank. Col. Mant Hawkins, director of the think tank, called Barnett's ideas "significantly visionary."

    Barnett, an expert on Russia and the Warsaw Pact who holds a Harvard doctorate in political science, was a professor of strategy at the Naval War College and adviser to the Pentagon's Office of Force Transformation when he devised a PowerPoint briefing that catapulted him to prominence after Sept. 11, 2001.
    Do a google search or check out his blog for the details. Good reading.
    Barnett says his biggest detractors -- one called him "insane" -- tend to be Army officers averse to the peacekeeping role, as well as Navy, Air Force and Army officials who see his thesis as undermining their justifications for fighter jets, warships and expensive ground combat systems. His advocacy of a U.S. security partnership with China, in particular, galls some officers who see that nation as a major threat.

    "You get people who want to sell $15 billion aircraft carriers, and his vision is not so compelling," said Shane Deichman, chief of the capabilities department for the U.S. military's Joint Forces Command, in Norfolk, Va., which has incorporated Barnett's ideas in future planning.
    TACAIR mafia LOVES this guy.
    "It's kind of a joke," Barnett says. "How many Sea Wolf submarines did it take to recapture Fallujah? Not enough."
    Bubblehead, call your office.
    Perhaps most valued is Barnett's ability to stimulate debate in a military still defined by its war-fighting, Deichman said. "He's a catalyst."
    Hey, I like that. Next time the boss says, "Damblit Phibian, you are a pain in the ass!!" I can say, "No sir - I am a catalyst."

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    Army tells IRR no-shows; that’s ok.

    Seventy-three soldiers in a special reserve program have defied orders to appear for wartime duty, some for more than a year, yet the Army has quietly chosen not to act against them.

    “We just continue to work with them, reminding them of their duty,” says Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman.
    That’s sweet. Gee wiz, I am more demanding of my kids than the Army is with folks in the IRR not fulfilling their obligations. I know about the PR problem, but really.
    Only one officer is among the 73 soldiers who either ignored their orders or refused to serve. Brischke says Army staffers keep calling and reminding them of “duty, honor, country” and their need to fulfill their obligations.
    And if they keep shooting you the bird, get the officer first and send him to Kansas.
    “It's sensitive because we understand they're different soldiers.”
    Did they not say “I (state your name)” like everyone else?
    The decision to declare these soldiers AWOL or a deserter is up to their commanding officer, Brig. Gen. Rhett Hernandez, the Army's personnel management director. He could not be reached for comment.
    Lead from the front, sir.
    The behavior may be reinforced by peace activist groups operating the GI Rights Hotline, which keeps reservists informed about the Army's failure to act. “What we tell them is that right now, the Army is not doing anything to pursue IRR call-ups,” hotline counselor Dawn Blanken says.
    They smell weakness – and they’re right.
    The Army's failure to act sends the wrong message, says Mike Belter, an IRR lieutenant colonel called up last year.

    “I didn't think at 48 I was going to be in a war zone,” Belter says. “I could have said no. But it was what we signed up for, what we volunteered for in the first place, a sense of service to country.”
    That is who is being wronged. The nut is that everyone that says no forces another to take their place. This is no way to run an army, IMAO. We own it to those who meet their obligations to hold accountable those who won’t. I think General Patton might have something to say on this.

    You want 'em, come and get 'em

    Yep, Senor Pedraz wants to arrest some 3ID Soldiers.
    A judge has issued an international arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers whose tank fired on a Baghdad hotel during the Iraq war..
    Judge Santiago Pedraz issued the warrant for Sgt. Shawn Gibson, Capt. Philip Wolford and Lt. Col. Philip de Camp, all from the U.S. 3rd Infantry.

    Jose Couso, who worked for the Spanish television network Telecinco, died April 8, 2003, after a U.S. army tank crew fired a shell on Hotel Palestine in Baghdad where several journalists were staying to cover the war.
    Everyone remembers that, I am sure. Fog of war and all that. Sad that it happened, but if you are in a war zone, you take your risks.

    That is reason 438,983 why we should not have anything to do with an International Court that could have jurisdiction over our Soldiers. The sad thing, these guys probably can't visit and EU country anytime soon. Bummer.

    I wonder how this meshes with our Status of Forces Agreement with Spain?

    Hat tip Drudge.

    Saddam’s trial: only the Washington Post gets it right

    Saddam Hussein is on trial, and what do the, online at least, MSM’s tiffany newspapers think is important as defined by their top 3?

    Boston Globe: Mass. air pollution – Human cloning in S. Korea – Miers and abortion

    LA Times: GOPs infighting – Miers and abortion – NBA fashion

    NYT: Miers and abortion – Egyptian politics – Plame investigation

    WaPo: They get it right: Saddam’s trial – CIA troubles - Miers

    Check out the screen shots at 0615EST.

    Folks, either wake up earlier or shut up about your relevance.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    Wish Scott a belated b-day

    Scott's Conservative News & Commentary turned one last week and I forgot to say "Congrats man, where's the beer?".

    Better late than never. If you haven't had the chance, stop by. He makes me look like, well, you know who.

    Pentagon nukes Ed Schultz

    No, we aren't talking about the this Schultz.

    The actual reasons are only known by a few who ain’t talking …. though when it boils down, I think Manny Levy, chief of AFaRTS radio division took a non-binding resolution a little too much to heart.
    Liberal radio talker Ed Schultz was eagerly anticipating his debut yesterday on Armed Forces Radio, which agreed last month to carry his program to nearly a million soldiers around the world.
    But at 7 a.m., Schultz's producer got a call from Allison Barber, the Pentagon's deputy assistant secretary for internal communications, who said without explanation that the deal was off.
    What conspiracy by the neo-cons is bubbl’n around in Ed’s head?
    Perhaps, Schultz said in an interview, it was just a coincidence that he spent the end of last week chastising Barber for coaching a group of U.S. soldiers in Iraq before a teleconference with President Bush.
    "It kind of floored us," Schultz said from his studio in North Dakota. "The fact is, they don't want dissenting voices or any other kind of speech unless it's going to be promotional for them. Obviously, these people are making sure they're not going to have any opinion other than the Rush Limbaughs of the world."
    Hey, Rush is far from perfect, as we all are – but look at AFaRTs line-up. MSM news and NPR until you want to join the Green Party. One hour of Rush at 1800CET is just a rice on the right side of the see-saw with the granite block of NPR/MSM news on the other. Give me a break. Oh, as for the “resolution” that gave Mr. Levy the jitters…
    Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) won approval last year for a nonbinding resolution urging Armed Forces Radio to offer more political balance in programming. Limbaugh strongly objected, noting that the network carries National Public Radio and declaring, "I am the political balance."
    Oh, just to piss someone off: Rush is right.

    Skippy, this is where you make a comment.

    Coming out of the woodshed with Mr. Levy.....
    Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said last night that Levy "got ahead of the process" and that no decision had been made in a review of which programming to add to the network. When asked about Schultz's insistence that his criticism of Barber played a role, Whitman called that "an unfortunate misperception on his part. That has nothing to do with this."
    Nothing to see here. Move along, move along. For more detail, ready Howie’s column here.

    BTW, I know….Ed who? How about an hour of Laura Ingraham instead?

    Salma Hayek does not wear a burka.

    If you are a TimesSelect (subscriber and pay NYT/IHT access only) you have to read (Dutch virtue of tolerance under strain) it is very fair and balanced. This is an above the fold, multipage, article. What is the word, expose?

    I cannot type all that well, so I am going to just grab some meaty parts for discussion. I will give credit where credit is due. This is a timely article, well written, and as much as I would love a Rightist screed, this is tells both sides with a serious tone. Well done. Let's play.
    The Netherlands today can still offer a picturesque tranquility, with its swarms of straight-backed bike riders and its canals reflected in the handsome windows of gabled homes. But cut a keyhole through Dutch decorum and violence appears: a filmmaker shot and stabbed by an Islamic fanatic, politicians in hiding from jihadist threats, a newspaper columnist menaced into silence, people living in fear.

    What was once a subject (immigration of Muslims) of worthy debate is now more a matter of survival.
    That is because they supported feel-good politicians and policy makers who were more concerned about their self-righteousness and self-esteem than looking after the long term survival of their culture and nation - one that hundreds of thousands of Dutch gave their lives over the years to secure.
    Geert Wilders is a rightist member of the Dutch Parliament living in a secret location under police protection because Islamic radicals say they will kill him. That, in what was until recently the placid Western democracy par excellence, is extraordinary. “All non-Western immigration must be stopped,” Wilders said. “Pure Islam is violent.

    Other politicians, like Cohen (Jewish mayor of Amsterdam), see the solution more in building bridges than barriers.
    Mayor Cohen. Perfect case in point. A man of the Left who believes if he thinks pleasant thoughts the bad things will go away. He wants to keep doing what got them in the pickle they are in right now. Nice guy. Bad ideas. Like many politicians who have their self-worth intertwined with their ideology, he is incapable of seeing where he has gone wrong - because to do so would be to admit that those who he holds in contempt are right.
    That Europe needs immigrants, and that they will seek to come from adjacent North Africa and other poor Muslim areas, is evident. It needs them to do jobs, from asparagus picking to care of the elderly, that others do not want to do. It needs them to offset a rapid aging of its societies.
    That argument just does not hold water any more. That is the same argument my slave owning ancestors used to justify their Mississippi economy. Anyway, go to rural Europe, or for that matter rural NE or upper Midwest to Great Plains America and you will find plenty of locals and whites doing those jobs. They just get paid more. Ahhhh - see the connection to the two? Email me if you have more questions.
    It was this failure (of Muslims to integrate themselves into society) that Fortuyn was first, or at least most forthright, in denouncing, railing against what he called the bigotry of Islam-in-the-Netherlands – its intolerance of homosexuals, its oppression of women – and declaring the country “full.” An animal-rights activist killed him for his frankness in debunking the “multi-culti” dream world of the politically correct.
    Another example of the Moonbat Left getting in bed with the Islamofascists. Weird. A perfect example of the-enemy-of-my-enemy. Don't worry Moonbat, they will behead you last.
    That fact (conflicted identity of second generation immigrants who were the foot soldiers of the London suicide bombings), insisted Hamid (a second generation Dutch-Moroccan) should not prompt generalizations. “Somebody is crazy,” he said, “OK. But that does not mean the whole Islamic people is.”

    Small humiliations now accumulate. The bus driver closes the door on him, he overhears talk of Moroccans being killers. “But it’s the government’s mistake not to have mixed us up more,” he said. “We’ve been here more than 20 years.”

    The mistake was well intentioned. Let’s give them a home and welfare and let their culture flower: such was the Dutch approach to immigration. There was a history behind it. Of the 140,000 Jews in The Netherlands at the start of the Nazi occupation, 102,000, or 75 percent, were killed, a larger proportion than in any other West European democracy.

    To criticize an immigrant became taboo because racism could lead to the gas chamber. Favoring immigrants, at some level, could be seen as a form of atonement, like elsewhere in Europe.
    The government's job. Nice plantation, welfare mentatlity. Only 20 years, and look at the problems. Do you understand why the Dutch fear another 20 years of the same level of non-Western immigration?

    Imposing guilt on the good to make the bad get away with wrong. The Jewish nightmare of 60 years ago has nothing to do with the Islamists issue today. Ziltch. The Left's tools are truly trans-national.
    Certainly, at the Future Café, Dutch identity seemed murky. The air was thick with hash smoke. An immigrant from Suriname rolled a joint; he said he received 800 Euros, or $967, a month in various benefits and worked part time for 8 Euros an hour.
    Welfare reform anyone? We have welfare moms, they have welfare hash addicts.
    Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somalian-born member of Parliament from Verdonk’s VVD party, used to be a Muslim. After 9/11, however, she renounced a religion (I blame Bush…) from which she was already estranged, and now has become one of its most uncompromising critics., In return, Islamic fanatics want her dear.
    Like Wilders, she is in hiding/protective custody. Would you let her hide in your attic?
    ”All of Europe is in a state of denial,” she argued. “It thinks these killings (of Pim, Van Gogh, Madrid, London, and others) will go away, but they will not. The Holy Book says infidels must be destroyed.”

    She continued: “Osama bin Laden is a puritan Muslim. That is why he keeps insisting on the Koran. Islam is not a religion of peace, or only a peace with other Muslims.

    We should acknowledge that it’s a very violent religion, say, yes, you are right, instead of pretending, like Bush, that this violence is not true Islam. And then we should encourage Muslims to say that they will remain Muslims, but reject those verses incompatible with human rights, with a decent coexistence between men and women. We should demand and Islamic Reformation.”
    She must drive them nuts. She spent some time in Saudi Arabia, went to a Wahabi high school, ran away from an arranged marriage. Why isn't Hollywood making a movie of her life? Oh, that's right, it won't make Bush look bad.
    Aboutaleb, the city councilor who works for Cohen, the Amsterdam mayor, forming an unusual Muslim-Jewish team, thinks Hirsi Ali, Wilders, Verdonk and the country’s center-right government are wrong. A Social Democrat, he is alarmed by The Netherlands’ hardening. “Their direction is setting groups against each other, “ he said, . “But we need what I call ‘The Big We’ community, where our one million Muslims feel members of society.”

    Islam, for Aboutaleb, is less the problem than European culture. On television, he spends 40 percent of his time explaining his religion, because Europe shuns Islam. “Why,” he asked,. “is Cohen never questioned on being a Jew?”
    The big we. The summer of love is over mayor. Your 1 mil Muslims need to come to the society, not the other way around.

    Why is Cohen never questioned? No one with curly side-burns dressed like one of the Blues Brothers is trying to kill your politicians and Mau Mau your nation into Dhimmitude, that's why.

    Europe should look to America and accept that a major presence of immigrants is now part of their makeup,” said Demetrios Papademetriou, the president of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. “In the U.S., one in nine are foreign-born; in Europe, perhaps one in 10. But in Europe, a real change in mentality is needed to see immigrants more as opportunity, less as problem. And for that, Europe may have to adjust the full-plated set of benefits it has offered to all at the outset.”
    You can't compare the two. The overwhelming majority of American immigrants, legal and otherwise, are from Latin America. Not an Anglo-Saxon Western culture, but a Latin Western culture that is close enough. And Christian. Not even close to the same problem. Salma Hayek does not wear a burka.
    In railway stations today, big orange and black posters are everywhere. Put up by the country’s main Jewish organization, one declares: “In 1940-45, most of the Jews had to get lost. Who’s next? Don’t let hate come back.” The second says: “From here the trains departed to Auschwitz. When will the world get wiser?”
    They should be ashamed of themselves. Prior to the Nazi invasion, The Netherlands was a haven for German Jews. Like the rest of Europe, the Nazis did what they wanted when they took over. The locals weren't all perfect, but really - what would you do when the Gestapo has your wife in custody and your children in the back of a truck? To compare what is going on now with that is a tragedy to a nightmare. Shame on them.
    UPDATE: You should be able to download the whole thing here.

    Monday, October 17, 2005

    Jesus is less important than Aztecs and Eskimos

    According to the Nederlandse Taalunie (Dutch Language Union). Hey, the Dutch can do what they want with their language, but the important question is – why?
    An official multinational body has decreed that the surname of Jesus Christ should be written without a capital as from August 2006. That is, if you are using the Dutch language. Though today Dutch-speakers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Surinam write "Christus", next year they will have to change their habits and write "christus".
    But they seem to like pagans (Eskimos are Christian mostly, now).
    Apart from "Christus", terms like "Renaissance" and "Middle Ages" will also lose their capitals. But other words will acquire capitals. An Aztec is now an 'azteek' in Dutch, but he will become an 'Azteek' next year, just as an 'eskimo' will become an 'Eskimo'.
    I don’t see where this adds value to the language. That "Renaissance" change just doesn't make sense. Really, if I say "My politics were ruined by the renaissance.." do I mean THE renaissance, or A renaissance in something referred to before or left unsaid?
    Many people in the Netherlands and Belgium are fed up with this second modification to the spelling in less than 10 years. According to some the changes are only intended to increase the sale of school books (which will all have to be reprinted) and dictionaries in what is normally a limited market.
    Ahh, there we go. But, there has to be more to this than just money. Let’s see, who do European elite like to insult even more than Christians?
    Another novelty is that the word for Jew will be written without a capital ("jood") when designating the member of a religion, …
    Oh. I see now. Very nice. I hope Christians are christins and Muslims are muslims.

    Of all the problems going on in the Dutch speaking world – intentional or not – do they really need to be messing with religion?
    Hat tip The Brussels Journal.

    Blog makes the "Early Bird"

    Well, it is an UberBlogger, LGF and via LGF, Doc as well. Sniffle, I wrote about it too....

    As a matter of fact, it is the lead item in The Early Bird (.mil or .gov only) - ref'd here.

    I'll make you a deal. If CDR Salamander ever makes it to the "Early Bird" I will send the first person to tell me on a comment on a post with their email address $100. I think I'm safe.

    This is, I believe, the first blog ref'd in the Early Bird. Very nice. Progress. A little more "right thinking" in the Early Bird.

    NB: For you non-military types, the "Early Bird" is a collection of "must read" media items from the AM paper that is circulated by the military to make sure the MIL part of the POLMIL equasion knows what the opinion makers are thinking and saying.

    It has been around long before the internet. Once a Pentagon item delivered by hand, I remember the big deal when you could get a copy faxed to you, and you would have thought everyone received a deployment per diem check when you could get an email copy, then from the internet.

    One thing to say

    I think that one thing is thank you. The better part of 2,000 Americans, thousands of Iraqis, and hundreds of non-Iraqi Coalition personnel have given their lives. The fact that yesterday’s vote went the way it did is a testimony that there is a great chance their sacrifice will not be in vain.

    Good news
    . Enjoy it. These guys are.

    There will be tough times ahead, but on balance there will be more progress than not as Iraqis start taking responsibility for their own governance. It won’t be Switzerland anytime soon, but it is going to be one of the best governed Muslim nation at this rate as long as something unforeseen doesn’t happen. And yes, I know I added a bunch of "but" and "as long..." - this is the Arab world you know (with some Kurds thrown in). Sad history as far as freedom goes, but nothing says they can't get there - just not as fast as we would like. Progress, BZ to them.

    UPDATE: For a view from the alternative universe, I bring you this from the very non-American and non-Iraqi Süddeutsche Zeitung. I will put it in full, as in the IHT, for your review without comment.
    Final act in the Iraqi tragedy

    The vote on the Iraqi constitution will perhaps be the last grand act in a tragedy entitled democratization in the Arab world. In reality, other powers have already taken possession of Iraq, and it's time to admit defeat. The war may not yet be over by a long stretch, but America has lost it. For Al Qaeda, the U.S. invasion was a gift from the heavens. All of Iraq is a recruitment bureau for Al Qaeda's jihad. Elections and the constitutional process have only covered up with difficulty the fact that stability and thus the future of the country depend on the influence of Shiite clerics. It is unlikely that the referendum can change the dynamic in Iraq. What remains two-and-a-half years after the invasion is the realization that the United States was not able to fill the vacuum it created, and that it has created more instability and provided a breeding ground for terrorism. (Süddeutsche Zeitung)