Tuesday, May 31, 2005

THE MilBlog link starter kit

In honor of his MSNBC face time, I want to throw you BLACKFIVE's way for an outstanding MilBlog listing.

Shameless self-promotion on my part, I know (ma'ma would be proud there, natch), but he has some primary sources that deserve a quick look when you get a chance. There are a few I would add, but you can go to "Phibian's Favorites" for those.

Thanks Matt for the vote of confidence.

Left jab from France - Waiting for the Dutch power hand

Well, that was interesting. Wait for 01 JUN to see what my friends the Dutch do.

Last month I said,
If the French say "Non" and the Dutch say "Nee"; in three months we could see the death of "Europe à la Française." I have my doubts, but; does anyone have an extra bottle of California Sparkling Wine just in case?
I don't know if we should be drinking yet. Some in Europe may decide to ignore the vox populi and force this "constitution" through one way or another.

I don't know enough about you, but I love the Red-Blue maps. Via Powerline here's a fun one.

Let's watch this play out. There are other things happening in Euroland as well. Interesting. Sell Euros.

Monday, May 30, 2005


P 252207Z MAY 05
DTG 252207Z MAY 05



Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Fall of Constantinople: An exception to the Sunday Rule

Sunday is the day of rest; the reason I usually only put out the Sunday Funnies until Monday. Today, we make an exception.

With delicious irony, France chose the anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople for the referendum on the EU constitution. There will be more to follow on this; I go to LGF for updates – but I have to wonder if the French still study their own history as Europeans?

In case you are wondering how writers get their ideas for The Lord of the Rings and such movies, below is an extended quotation from one of the best descriptions of the last hours of the Eastern Roman Empire – Byzantium; and with it the last bulwark against the Islamic armies swelling towards Eastern Europe from Asia. In 230 years they would be at the Gates of Vienna.
In the city everyone realized that the great moment had come. During Monday, May 28, some last repairs were done on the walls and the stockades, in the collapsed sections, were reinforced. In the city, while the bells of the churches rang mournfully, citizens and soldiers joined a long procession behind the holy relics brought out of the churches. Singing hymns in Greek, Italian or Catalan, Orthodox and Catholic, men, women, children, soldiers, civilians, clergy, monks and nuns, knowing that they were going to die shortly, made peace with themselves, with God and with eternity.

When the procession ended the Emperor met with his commanders and the notables of the city. In a philosophical speech he told his subjects that the end of their time had come. In essence he told them that Man had to be ready to face death when he had to fight for his faith, for his country, for his family or for his sovereign. All four reasons were now present. Furthermore, his subjects, who were the descendants of Greeks and Romans, had to emulate their great ancestors. They had to fight and sacrifice themselves without fear. They had lived in a great city and they were now going to die defending it. As for himself, he was going to die fighting for his faith, for his city and for his people. He also thanked the Italian soldiers, who had not abandoned the great city in its final moments. He still believed that the garrison could repulse the enemy. They all had to be brave, proud warriors and do their duty. He thanked all present for their contribution to the defense of the city and asked them to forgive him, if he had ever treated them without kindness. Meanwhile the great church of Saint Sophia was crowded. Thousands of people were moving towards the church. Inside, Orthodox and Catholic priests were holding mass. People were singing hymns, others were openly crying, others were asking each other for forgiveness. Those who were not serving on the ramparts also went to the church, among them was seen, for a brief moment, the Emperor. People confessed and took communion. Then those who were going to fight rode or walked back to the ramparts.

From the great church the Emperor rode to the Palace at Blachernae. There he asked his household to forgive him. He bade the emotionally shattered men and women farewell, left his Palace and rode away, into the night, for a last inspection of the defense positions. Then he took his battle position.

The assault began after midnight, into the 29th of May 1453. Wave after wave the attackers charged. Battle cries, accompanied by the sound of drums, trumpets and fifes, filled the air. The bells of the city churches began ringing frantically. Orders, screams and the sound of trumpets shattered the night. First came the irregulars, an unreliable, multinational crowd of Christians and Moslems, who were attracted by the opportunity of enriching themselves by looting the great city, the last capital of the Roman Empire. They attacked throughout the line of fortifications and they were massacred by the tough professionals, who were fighting under the orders of Giustiniani. The battle lasted two hours and the irregulars withdrew in disorder, leaving behind an unknown number of dead and wounded.

Next came the Anatolian troops of Ishak Pasha. They tried to storm the stockades. They fought tenaciously, even desperately trying to break through the compact ranks of the defenders. The narrow area in which fighting went on helped the defenders. They could hack left and right with their maces and swords and shoot missiles onto the mass of attackers without having to aim. A group of attackers crashed through a gap and for a moment it seemed that they could enter the city. They were assaulted by the Emperor and his men and were soon slain. This second attack also failed.

But now came the Janissaries, disciplined, professional, ruthless warriors, superbly trained, ready to die for their master, the Sultan. They assaulted the now exhausted defenders, they were pushing their way over bodies of dead and dying Moslem and Christian soldiers. With tremendous effort the Greek and Italian fighters were hitting back and continued repulsing the enemy. Then a group of enemy soldiers unexpectedly entered the city from a small sally-port called Kerkoporta, on the wall of Blachernae, where this wall joined the triple wall. Fighting broke near the small gate with the defenders trying to eliminate the intruders.

It was almost day now, the first light, before sunrise, when a shot fired from a calverin hit Giustiniani. The shot pierced his breastplate and he fell on the ground. Shaken by his wound and physically exhausted, his fighting spirit collapsed. Despite the pleas of the Emperor, who was fighting nearby, not to leave his post, the Genoese commander ordered his men to take him out of the battle-field. A Gate in the inner wall was opened for the group of Genoese soldiers, who were carrying their wounded commander, to come into the city. The soldiers who were fighting near the area saw the Gate open, their comrades carrying their leader crossing into the city, and they though that the defense line had been broken. They all rushed through the Gate leaving the Emperor and the Greek fighters alone between the two walls. This sudden movement did not escape the attention of the Ottoman commanders. Frantic orders were issued to the troops to concentrate their attack on the weakened position. Thousands rushed to the area. The stockade was broken. The Greeks were now squeezed by crowds of Janissaries between the stockade and the wall. More Janissaries came in and many reached the inner wall.

Meanwhile more were pouring in through the Kerkoporta, where the defenders had not been able to eliminate the first intruders. Soon the first enemy flags were seen on the walls. The Emperor and his commanders were trying frantically to rally their troops and push back the enemy. It was too late. Waves of Janissaries, followed by other regular units of the Ottoman army, were crashing through the open Gates, mixed with fleeing and slaughtered Christian soldiers. Then the Emperor, realizing that everything was lost, removed his Imperial insignia, and followed by his cousin Theophilus Palaeologus, the Castilian Don Francisco of Toledo, and John Dalmatus, all four holding their swords, charged into the sea of the enemy soldiers, hitting left and right in a final act of defiance. They were never seen again.

Now thousands of Ottoman soldiers were pouring into the city. One after the other the city Gates were opened. The Ottoman flags began appearing on the walls, on the towers, on the Palace at Blachernae. Civilians in panic were rushing to the churches. Others locked themselves in their homes, some continued fighting in the streets, crowds of Greeks and foreigners were rushing towards the port area. The allied ships were still there and began collecting refugees. The Cretan soldiers and sailors, manning three towers near the entrance of the Golden Horn, were still fighting and had no intention of surrendering. At the end, the Ottoman commanders had to agree to a truce and let them sail away, carrying their arms.

The excesses which followed, during the early hours of the Ottoman victory, are described in detail by eyewitnesses. They were, and unfortunately still are, a common practice, almost a ritual, among all armies capturing enemy strongholds and territory after a prolonged and violent struggle. Thus, bands of soldiers began now looting. Doors were broken, private homes were looted, their tenants were massacred. Shops in the city markets were looted. Monasteries and Convents were broken in. Their tenants were killed, nuns were raped, many, to avoid dishonor, killed themselves. Killing, raping, looting, burning, enslaving, went on and on according to tradition. The troops had to satisfy themselves. The great doors of Saint Sophia were forced open, and crowds of angry soldiers came in and fell upon the unfortunate worshippers. Pillaging and killing in the holy place went on for hours. Similar was the fate of worshippers in most churches in the city. Everything that could be taken from the splendid buildings was taken by the new masters of the Imperial capital. Icons were destroyed, precious manuscripts were lost forever. Thousands of civilians were enslaved, soldiers fought over young boys and young women. Death and enslavement did not distinguish among social classes. Nobles and peasants were treated with equal ruthlessness.

Sunday Funnies

Hat tip Arrggghhh!!!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Donald Trump - YOU'RE HIRED!!

Donald Trump is not one of my favorite people, but who cares. That guy is good at what he does. He has made more money going bankrupt that I can even imagine.

We do agree on one thing 100% though, the proposed "Freedom Tower and Monument to Dhimmitude" that they plan to replace the World Trade Center is just the wrong plan, at the wrong time, for all the wrong reasons.

Donald Trump has the pull, stature, reputation, and ability
to say what millions of us everyday shmuck have been saying to each other for the last couple of years,

Your plans for the World Trade Center Site are not worthy, ugly, late, uninspired, and not worthy of this Nation or New York City. (my words)
Here is The Donald. He has a better way of putting it.

"It's a building that's essentially a skeleton," he said.

Trump said the plan "looks like a junkyard."

"You take a look at a the roofs of those buildings, they're all at different angles, different shapes," he said. "It is the worst pile of crap architecture I have ever seen in my life."

How can you disagree with the man. Look at the thing.

Donald has the right idea. You need to send a message when you rebuild on the WTC site. Donald doesn't just whine from the grandstands, he offers solutions.

Trump's alternative would be replicas of the original 110-story towers, only a bit taller. The design and model by architect Ken Gardner, embraced by Trump, offered buildings that would be 1,474 feet -- more than a hundred feet taller than the original towers, once the world's tallest buildings.

"What we need is support to build a bigger and better version of two buildings and more that were taken down by people that were animals," Trump said. "If something happened to the Statue of Liberty, you wouldn't rebuild it as something other than the Statue of Liberty."

From my last trip to NYC (I need to finish that mission report), my oldest and I went by the WTC site. It is an open sore. It has been almost four years. We could have defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan by now and we still have this?

Something needs to be done soon-and done right. Like I have said, I'm not a big Trump fan, but when he is right-he's right. We are a better country than this.

Hat tip VodkaPundit.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Taunted and baited by Mrs. Salamander

Yes, I heard it last night. There I was, watching, after what I saw earlier on it the week, what I thought would be one of the last Dead-Body-Dramas allowed in the Salamander household; and Mrs. Salamander spoke with a glee most heard when she knows a hot-button is going to be pressed and I spiral out of orbit – “Did you just hear that?”

“What?” I demurred, distracted by the editorial page of the
IBD (multi-tasking as usual), did she just say something about Tom Delay?

“Yep, she sure did. Something like about they should look for the guy shooting all the judges to be wearing a Tom DeLay t-shirt.”

Law & Order: Criminal Intent added to their sister shows a growing smear of anything and everything Republican or remotely to the right of Rep. Sanders (I-VT).

Mrs. Salamander issued a fatwa against that show, with the declaration,
“We watch too much TV anyway. We fuss at the children, we should practice what we fuss. I don’t think we need to watch that show next season.”
I know better than to argue with her. She has a good point, but L&O: CI was my favorite. OK, the lead is a bit kooky, but….

Oh well, time to move on.
Medium is good.

UPDATE: Thanks to the MRC you can watch the video here or just listen to it here. (NB: not me and the miss'us sitting on the couch, but the show-quote in question)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Keelhaul them all – blasted meme

….but how can I say no to the fair mistress Bookworm. My wee Bookie….my heart is weak.

Total number of films I own on DVD/Video: Including the kids stuff? Dozens. Phibian specific: about a 20.

The last film I bought: Das Boot: Directors Cut – nothing more to be said.

The last film I watched: Goodfellas – A classic mob movie. Why watch 3 Godfathers? The soundtrack is prime.

Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me (in no particular order):

1) Monty Python's The Holy Grail
2) The Moderns
3) Stalingrad
4) The Unbearable Lightness of Being
5) The Party Animal

So who do I tag….well….because I know he will rise to the bait and I have no doubt that his movie list will be entertaining to say the least, Skippy-san….and because I know they have a WESTPAC approved movie list that they have viewed dozens of times (and American needs to know more about what keeps its Sailors ticking), Bubblehead, Eagle1, Scott, and the Yankee Sailor. And Skippy – you can list the porn if you want.

Out of touch, Leftist, freedom hating judges

…in Italy. More I&W from the coming European Civil War. Here we have another case of Europe trying to surrender to a retrograde philosophy that wishes to throw the fruits of The Enlightnment in the sewer and replace it with an authoritarian legalistic thought control regime.

Leftist and Muslim Fundementalism are finding
common cause: the destruction of Western Civilization. Neither can compete in the marketplace of ideas, so instead of arguing against other opinions, they want to outlaw them.

A judge has ordered best-selling writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci to stand trial in her native Italy on charges she defamed Islam in a recent book. … In "La Forza della Ragione," Fallaci wrote that terrorists had killed 6,000 people over the past 20 years in the name of the Koran and said the Islamic faith "sows hatred in the place of love and slavery in the place of freedom."

State prosecutors originally dismissed accusations of defamation from an Italian Muslim organization, and said Fallaci should not stand trial because she was merely exercising her right to freedom of speech.

But a preliminary judge in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, Armando Grasso, rejected the prosecutors advice at a hearing on Tuesday and said Fallaci should be indicted.

Grasso's ruling homed in on 18 sentences in the book, saying some of Fallaci's words were "without doubt offensive to Islam and to those who practice that religious faith."

Adel Smith, a high-profile Muslim activist who brought the original law suit, hailed the decision.

"It is the first time a judge has ordered a trial for defamation of the Islamic faith," he told reporters. "But this isn't just about defamation. We would also like (the court) to recognize that this is an incitement to religious hatred."

I’m not going to hold my breath for Judge Grasso to rule on The Last Temptation of Christ.

At least someone it Italy if fighting this attack on freedom of speech.

Justice Minister Roberto Castelli, who has a prickly relationship with the Italian judiciary, said the ruling represented an attack on freedom of expression.

"In Europe we are seeing the birth of a movement that is looking to silence those who don't follow a single mindset, within which it is forbidden to speak ill of Islam, of homosexuals or of the children of homosexuals," Castelli was quoted as saying in an interview with Radio Padania.

"In Fallaci's book there is very strong criticism but not defamation," Italian news agency ANSA quoted him as saying.

There was no immediate comment from Fallaci who is in her 70s and suffers from cancer.

Piss off the Islamofascist and the Dhimmi; buy her book.

Hat tip

Pop culture is filth

Though he is reconsidering, I’m believe John Derbyshire is right. Pop culture if filth.

How many of you have daughters? How many of them have taken a dance class – or sung in a chorus? If not, I am sure most of you have been in an audience of the above.

Now, one of the most popular songs for 1st through 4th graders to sing/dance to (as chosen by ADULTS) is the apparently saccharine Jackson 5 song A-B-C. Have these adults ever read the lyrics? Only in hindsight have I realized that I was part of an audience of hundreds of adult parents watching grade school girls dance to
Michael: You went to school to learn, girl
Things you never, never knew before...

Jermaine: Like I before E except after C...

Michael: And why 2 plus 2 makes four
Now now now, I'm gonna teach you...
J5: Teach you, teach you

Michael: All about love, dear...
J5: All about love
Tito: Come on, let me love you just a little bit!
Jackie: Come on, let me love you just a little bit!
Jermaine: I'm a going to teach how to sing it out!
Michael: Come on, come one, come on
Let me show you what it's all about!
Michael: Your education ain't complete
T-T-T-Teacher's gonna show you

J5: Show you, show you

Michael: How to get an A!

Michael: Sit down, girl!
I think I love you!
Get up, girl!
Show me what you can do!

Shake it, shake it, baby, come on now!
Shake it, shake it, baby, ooo oooh!
Shake it shake it, baby, huh!
123, baby, oo ooo!
ABC, baby, nah nah!
Do re mi, baby, huh!
That's how easy love can be.
That is just so wrong in so many ways. It does explain why Michael Jackson has such a dorked up view of sexuality. Hopefully, the 10 yr old girls singing and dancing to this song don’t process the lyrics. Mea Culpa here. I didn’t process the lyrics in time to ask the other adults “Do you know what those lyrics you have Katelyn, Brittany, Emma, and Emily dancing to are about?”

The album ABC came out in 1970. Shows that the sexualization of pre-pubescent children is a long standing problem.

The smear of this generation of veterans builds

Taking out their tried and true smear template, the Hollywood Left and their fellow travelers are starting out to libel today's veterans just like they did Vietnam veterans. I don't think they can help themselves.

For the sake of this post, it would be best if you have read B.G. Burkett's book Stolen Valor. If you have not read it; buy it, read it, and then donate it to your local library.

He exposes the macro lies, smears, and half truths that the anti-war/anti-military/anti-veteran slathered over the Vietnam veterans. He exposed the methods, reasons, and styles of the victim/PTSD/homeless-dirty-vet-in-a-boonie-hat hucksters exceptionally well.

The Vietnam Vet pushed by The Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, and the rest of that ilk does not have anything to do with the facts, demographics, or social statistics of those vets. I see that at my micro level as well. They are 180 degree opposites of the folks I served with early in my career, my Uncle, my Dad's friends, and my neighbors.

I saw this coming last year. The usual subjects and plot lines are coming out. You are starting to see the focus on the "gun crazy Iraq vet."

Two of my favorite shows have forced me to turn away in disgust. Three come to mind from memory; there may be more.

- Law and Order. On 22 SEP 04 we were treated to, wait for it, you got it - an Abu Ghraib story where an Iraqi immigrant who murders a former military policewoman in retaliation for torturing her brother at Abu Ghraib prison.
- Law and Order: SVU - Last week had a prostitute that was dismembered. Why was she a prostitute? Well, it seems she had her knee blow apart in the OIF and was put out of the Army and addicted to pain killers my the VA as she was recovering and sold her body to support her habit.
- Law and Order: SVU - Tonight was the last straw. Did you catch it?
10pm 2005-05-24 ALL NEW!

VIOLENT POLICE BEHAVIOR IS LINKED TO AN ANTI-MALARIA DRUG, ADMINISTERED TO THEM BY THE U.S. ARMY-When two Police officers from separate precincts attack their wives and demonstrate suicidal behavior, Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Chris Meloni) investigate, and connect the incidents to both men serving in the same Reserve unit in Afghanistan. Linking this behavior to a similar trail of attacks in 2002 by officers, Benson and Stabler connect this to a drug called Quinium, which the Army prescribes to fight malaria. When they discover that the Army is aware of its side affects, Novak (Diane Neal) goes after the government for administering the drug. Meanwhile, Detective Stabler faces some tough personal issues at home with his wife. Dann Florek, Richard Belzer, Ice-T and B.D. Wong also star. TV-14
See the trend?

I'm still pissed. I am tired of "them" using any chance to smear or put the military in a bad light, but will do nothing to show the good being done. Do they have any idea how insulting this is? Do they care? Do they have any friends or family in the military?

Harumph, I think I know the answer.

UPDATE: Blackfive and his band of happy warriors is on the hunt as well. He had joined up with what looks like an outstanding new place to add to your AM read; MediaSlander. Read it early, read it often. Thanks Clay.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

From the Jaws of Victory

Too much reading material, too little time. Cleaning up the den tonight I found my 09 MAY Investors Business Daily that I forgot to read. It isn't available online, but at the bottom of an editorial page, they write something that needs repeating well and often because they don't teach it in schools, and you won't see it on TV. Here are the juicy parts.
Napoleon is said to have observed that “history is a set of lies agreed upon.” There is no better example of this than in how modern-day pundits have rewritten the history of the Vietnam War.

..by March 1972, when the North Vietnamese launched a conventional assault dubbed the Easter Offensive. With American air support, the South Vietnamese Army was able to hold on to every one of 44 provincial capitals except Quang Tri, which was later retaken. … but in 1975, the post-Watergate Democratic majority in the Senate (61 to 37) and House (291 to 144) voted to cut off all aid to South Vietnam, despite the fact that the 1973 Paris Peace Accords called specifically for “unlimited military replacement aid” for South Vietnam.

This time there would be no American sir support or aide. It was congressional Democrats and their allies in the media, … who ensured South Vietnam’s defeat and ushered in an era of mass carnage, boat people and re-education camps that resulted in more deaths after the war than during it.

After Saigon’s “liberation” the summary executions of tens of thousands of South Vietnamese began. Hundreds of thousands more were forced into re-education camps as 1 million boat people fled on anything that would float, with countless thousands perishing in the South China Sea. And let us not forget the killing fields of Cambodia, where 3 million were slaughtered.
This is one reason why, though I understand the anger of the Not One Dime folks, I will not join, support, or advertise it more than I already have. I will not be part of something that leads to the many of the same Senators from '75 gaining power again. There are more things going on here than politics. Never let the perfect be the enemy of the good. At this time in our Nation's history; the Senate moves further Left at our own peril. Don't send individual Senators money; fine. Tell Senator Frist to not even bother thinking about '08; fine. But a total ban on support? Harumph - I'm not throwing that temper tantrum.

BTW, if you don't subscribe to Investors Business Daily, you are literally poorer for it.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Another Leftist crosses the aisle

Like Harry Stein, we are finding more and more folks from the traditional Left crossing the aisle to the other side.

article yesterday in the SF Chronicle, Keith Thompson writes in "Leaving the left: I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity," a powerful overview on why he has changed.
Nightfall, Jan. 30. Eight-million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos. ...
My estrangement hasn't happened overnight. Out of the corner of my eye I watched what was coming for more than three decades, yet refused to truly see. Now it's all too obvious. Leading voices in America's "peace" movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World country because they hate George W. Bush more than they love freedom. ...

These days the postmodern left demands that government and private institutions guarantee equality of outcomes. Any racial or gender "disparities" are to be considered evidence of culpable bias, regardless of factors such as personal motivation, training, and skill. This goal is neither liberal nor progressive; but it is what the left has chosen. In a very real sense it may be the last card held by a movement increasingly ensnared in resentful questing for group-specific rights and the subordination of citizenship to group identity. There's a word for this: pathetic.

Now, I find myself in a swirling metamorphosis. Think Kafka, without the bug. Think Kuhnian paradigm shift, without the buzz. ...
I love that last part. This guy isn't just a bumper-sticker Leftist...wasn't-excuse me.
I began my activist career championing the 1968 presidential candidacies of Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy, because both promised to end America's misadventure in Vietnam. I marched for peace and farm worker justice, lobbied for women's right to choose and environmental protections, signed up with George McGovern in 1972 and got elected as the youngest delegate ever to a Democratic convention.

Eventually I joined the staff of U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio. In short, I became a card-carrying liberal, although I never actually got a card.
As always, you need to read it all. He goes through, in detail, where he believes the Left has lost its way. He leaves with a good closer.
All of which is why I have come to believe, and gladly join with others who have discovered for themselves, that the single most important thing a genuinely liberal person can do now is walk away from the house the left has built. The renewal of any tradition that deserves the name "progressive" becomes more likely with each step in a better direction.
Welcome aboard friend - glad to have you at last. Lucky for me, I had an empiphany early on in life. I had a brief flirtation with the Left in my college days. At my school, in the basement of the campus library, basement I ran across an article in a peculiar magazine called "National Review." The cover was about the great cover-up (then) by the then un-named MSM about the horrendous state sponsored famine in Ukraine. That was my tipping point.

Hat tip

Britain is lost

I thought the Left's self-hate of history and inability to accept any act of valor that gave them a right to exist was bad in the U.S., but we have more evidence that the Mother Country is slowly killing herself.
ADMIRAL NELSON saw off the mighty Franco-Spanish fleet at the battle of Trafalgar but 200 years on, he has been sunk by a wave of political correctness.

Organisers of a re-enactment to mark the bicentenary of the battle next month have decided it should be between “a Red Fleet and a Blue Fleet” not British and French/Spanish forces.

Otherwise they fear visiting dignitaries, particularly the French, would be embarrassed at seeing their side routed.
Well, screw the French and Spanish. They WERE the aggressors in a war where they supported a murdering megalomaniac hell-bent on creating a super-state based on nothing but his own ego (AKA Napoleon); they were sunk for their vanity, pride, arrogance, and military ineptitude (with some help from an Admiral of unique brilliance).

This battle was a critical victory for Western Civilization in general, and Britain in particular.

Admiral Nelson is not "Bomber Harris." There is nothing arguable about this man or the battle that Britain needs to be sorry about.

What is next? The American Civil War is the "War between Grits and Beans?" WWI the war of "Flag Officers of Feathery Funny Hats and Flag Officers With Spiked Helmets?" WWII the War of the "Blondes and the Brunettes?"
A spokeswoman for the Royal Navy said: “This is an illustration and theatre on water. Nelson is featured, but we are not billing it as Britain versus France . . . This will not be a French-bashing opportunity.”

The battle will be staged in the evening of the international fleet review on June 28. The Queen and senior royals will attend the day’s events and government leaders from 73 countries have been invited.
War is not theater or theatre. Admiral Nelson, HMS Victory, and their men did not give their lives so 200 years later a bunch of self-important spoiled nit-wits could pretend it had nothing to do with the defense of Britain and democratic government against a French despot. The Queen should be ashamed of herself for letting her House be associated by this exercise in self-flagellation and the Church of PC's excretory smear against those who gave more, sacrificed more, and proved more than they and their milque toast buddies can ever imagine.

Will the British version of "Protest Warrior" be there to, in a similar way The Sex Pistols helped the Queen with her Silver Jubilee, raise a spontaneous "Rule Brittania" when the French "leader" comes up to say something froggy? Are there any British patriots left? Sad.

When we turn The Battle of Midway to the Battle of Circles and Stars, I'm going to start learning Arabic and Chinese because I will know that all is truly lost.

Pathetic. Admiral Nelson has a quote that I think very much applies here.

Firstly you must always implicitly obey orders, without attempting to form any opinion of your own regarding their propriety. Secondly, you must consider every man your enemy who speaks ill of your king; and thirdly you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.
-Horatio Nelson

'Nuff said.
Hat tip Andrew Stuttaford at The Corner.

Friday, May 20, 2005

An American Muslim calls hypocrisy where he sees it

As stated before American Muslims need to come to the aid of their religion by following the lead of their countrymen who moved away from extremism and exclusivity. We have our places of worship side by side, and do our best not to be too intrusive with each other.

IMAO, American Muslims are not quite there, yet, but there is a growing body of responsible Muslims that get it. Want to be Americans that happen to be Muslims; not the other way around.

In an outstanding piece on
OpinionJournal.com, Ali Al-Ahmed gets it. Director of the critically important Saudi Institute, he is a brave, confident, secure man in a brave, dangerous, and often I am sure, lonely fight. We need more of this man. An American who happens to have his Sabbath on Friday. A 21 Century Muslim. Just as I am not an 8th Century Christian, he is not an 8th Century Muslim.
His points are right on target.

As a Muslim, I am able to purchase copies of the Quran in any bookstore in any American city, and study its contents in countless American universities. American museums spend millions to exhibit and celebrate Muslim arts and heritage. On the other hand, my Christian and other non-Muslim brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia--where I come from--are not even allowed to own a copy of their holy books. Indeed, the Saudi government desecrates and burns Bibles that its security forces confiscate at immigration points into the kingdom or during raids on Christian expatriates worshiping privately.
Although considered as holy in Islam and mentioned in the Quran dozens of times, the Bible is banned in Saudi Arabia. This would seem curious to most people because of the fact that to most Muslims, the Bible is a holy book. But when it comes to Saudi Arabia we are not talking about most Muslims, but a tiny minority of hard-liners who constitute the Wahhabi Sect.
The Bible in Saudi Arabia may get a person killed, arrested, or deported. In September 1993, Sadeq Mallallah, 23, was beheaded in Qateef on a charge of apostasy for owning a Bible. ... As Muslims, we have not been as generous as our Christian and Jewish counterparts in respecting others' holy books and religious symbols. Saudi Arabia bans the importation or the display of crosses, Stars of David or any other religious symbols not approved by the Wahhabi establishment. TV programs that show Christian clergymen, crosses or Stars of David are censored.
Around 30,000 (Americans) live and work in various parts of Saudi Arabia. These people are not allowed to celebrate their religious or even secular holidays. These include Christmas and Easter, but also Thanksgiving.
The Saudi Embassy and other Saudi organizations in Washington have distributed hundreds of thousands of Qurans and many more Muslim books, some that have libeled Christians, Jews and others as pigs and monkeys. In Saudi school curricula, Jews and Christians are considered deviants and eternal enemies. By contrast, Muslim communities in the West are the first to admit that Western countries--especially the U.S.--provide Muslims the strongest freedoms and protections that allow Islam to thrive in the West. Meanwhile Christianity and Judaism, both indigenous to the Middle East, are maligned through systematic hostility by Middle Eastern governments and their religious apparatuses.

The lesson here is simple: If Muslims wish other religions to respect their beliefs and their Holy book, they should lead by example.
I want to share a lunch of tabouli and baba ghanoush appetizer with a BBQ beef rib main course lunch with this guy.

To the Honor Roll with you!

Hat tip
The Corner.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Don’t BRAC me, don’t BRAC thee; BRAC that Congressional District behind yon tree

Last week the long awaited BRAC list came out. Early and often the gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes and the high-pitched squealing started by the stuck …. stuck… affected Senators and Congressmen.

I know I am late with this, but I’ve been giving the taxpayers more bang for their buck this week. John at Arrggghhhh!! and Bubblehead already sent me a report chit; but enough of my excuses. Let’s look at the Navy side of the house. When you look at the list, the first things that comes to mind is, if you are a Blue Stater, you are going to have fewer military folks to yell at.

Politics had nothing to do with this; a lot of it has to do with high overhead and a desire to shrink tail to make more tooth. This is one place I see a problem; once you get rid of acreage for the military, you will have a lot of trouble getting it back when you need it. Additionally, concentrating your fleet. This man would agree, it is best if your enemy concentrates his fleet. I can see him now, looking at us like,

“Do you ever remember anything? BTW, your torpedoes still suck – the 'Long Lance' still laughs at you.”

Back to the subject at hand. The Navy Times has a solid executive summary. Lets review some of the high points. I’m not going to cover all the Navy issues, just the ones that interest me the most.

Closing New London: Real good review by Smash, but I think some of the BRAC is penny wise and pound foolish. There is more to a military base than just jobs and money saved. It isn't a zero sum game, and the world isn't static. St. Mary’s is nice, but the place is already packed for its environment with a fair number of people having to live in Jacksonville. More subs in Norfolk. Well let's talk about Norfolk.

Hey speaking of subs. Who here remembers NS Charleston? Lots of space there. Oh, that’s right, closed that last decade. Eggs. Basket. Talk amongst yourselves.

Norfolk sinks into the Chesapeake - Women and Minorities suffer most: Doing my finger and toes math, the Navy plans to move ~6,500 military and civilian personnel to the Hampton Blvd – 564 – Terminal Blvd traffic jam. If you have not been to Nahfawk in the last five years; you have not been to Norfolk. This is no longer an extra inexpensive and affordable town. Not San Diego yet, but not low rent either. Property values are going through the roof, and remember those crack houses in downtown Nahfawk from the ‘80s? Well, folks are buying them by the bucketful, fix’n em up, and moving in. The downtown residential areas are improving and the nightmare commute on 64/264/Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) is just getting too much for people. That’s QOL. Let’s talk strategery. NIT is huge. The commercial traffic is growing, and the GPIII container ships are huge and getting larger. They all go through the HRBT and past the Navy Station to get to NIT and other commercial terminals. The HRBT is the only way to get to the open water – The Chesapeake Bay. Still need to get throught the CBBT to get to the open Atlantic. Norfolk is beautiful at Christmas. Eagle1 call your office.

Navy Reserve HQ leaving the French Quarter and Moving to CFFC in Norfolk - NAS Willow Grove Closed: Can we be honest here. Let’s declare the Naval Reserves a hostile force and send them to GTMO. We would all be better for it. Either that or add a rider to the next Welfare Reform Act. OK, that was overboard. How about this. Any Navy Reserve unit or reserve requirement activated since 9/11 will receive a 50% plus-up in personnel, funding and material. Reserve units or funded SELRES billets not activated will be put in a pool. 80% of those billets will go away and funding given to the Marine Corps. The remaining 20% of the billets will be used to fund more Intel Specialists and build a viable Brown Water Navy force in the Reserve Component. We will then cut 80% of all Reserve staff positions. I’m sorry, we don’t need a parallel Reserve Staff structure that mirrors the Active Component. That is just a jobs program. Oh, and just for spite – the non-deploying enablers knows as TARs and now FTS personnel will have their XXX7 designators converted to XXX0 and promptly given Sea Duty orders. Either that, or they can go work for Skippy in Japan for a couple of years.

Manpower and Personnel consolidation in Millington: About damn time. Quit fighting each other and serve the fleet. Right idea. Low cost of living area.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard: As my P-3 friends would say – NH and ME Congressional delegation can just “Set 5.” Trying to do anything to make that yard more usable is about as much of a nightmare are garbage in Groton. IMAO, the dredging issue was of the last nails in Portsmouth’s coffin. After awhile (see Roosevelt Roads closing) if you are too much of a pain in the tail, eventually someone is going to say, “enough.” Enough. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like the idea of having even less strategic, irreplaceable industrial capacity, but, enough.

Realignments” - The hidden story: Stuck between the Closures and Gains is an interesting and neglected section called “Realignments.” Let’s look at one spot.

Naval Air Station Brunswick, ME: losing 2,314 military, 61 civilians. What does NASB do? Well, the largest job it does is host 3 VP and 1 VPU active duty squadrons. Everything else is support, reserves, or “other.” Each VP squadron has ~400-350 personnel. Lets call it 400 to keep it easy. The 3 (in the old Cold War NASB had 6) add up to ~1,200. The VPU has less – lets call it 250. That makes it 1,450. They have a Wing staff there as well, but it and the support functions are not that big, a couple hundred max. That leaves another 600 +/- from other commands. WHAT IS LEFT? In the report they state that NASB will become a "Naval Air Facility." OK, but are you going to have anyone there besides the reserves to keep the facility open? It is one of the last military airbases left in the NE (actually the last one working full time) on the great circle route to Europe, so I can see the need to keep it open. As a matter of fact, when you look at page C-8, that is exactly what happened. As the last base standing in Kerry Kountry, they are keeping it for Homeland Defense. But the question remains, what is left there? VPU and reserve VR squadrons?

I want to see the details there. The Navy Times has a funny line,

“Jacksonville would gain Patrol Wing 5 and its P-3 maritime patrol aircraft squadrons from Brunswick Naval Air Station…”
Really? Mmmmm. As my P-3 spy tells me, in the Cold War each P-3 wing had 6 squadrons. They now have 3 (+1 VQ or VPU depending on where you are). NAS Jacksonville already has 3 VP squadrons and Patrol Wing 11. Do you really think there is a reason to have Wing 5 AND Wing 11 on the same base? With the problems we are having with our P-3 fleet as we wait for the P-8 – what odds do you want to take that those 3 squadrons may not make it past the Puzzle Palace on the Potomac as they make their way down the coast from NASB to NAS Jax. I smell the blood in the water from here….. The sharks are hungry.

This is only the end of the beginning. Still more steps to go. One thing that does worry me as the military retreats from the NE, those bases are about the only reason many of those senators show any support for the military at any time. I know that is strictly political, but support is support. Making sausage is ugly. Let the games begin.

He’s still watching.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

AP, your bias is showing

My Dad used to say, "Son, don't believe everything you read."

Newsweek is just one example. When it comes to the MSM, we have to keep beating that drum.

The AP in this article proves the point....again.

Point: always, always look at who they use as reference and who they interview. For the reasons of this post, the point of this article isn't important. The balance of their sources is. Let's review.
``Members of Congress are under more scrutiny from various interest groups who play a larger role in politics in every single way than they did in the past,'' Democratic consultant Jim Jordan says. ``That makes it very difficult for even well-meaning and sensible members of Congress to come together for compromise.''
Look where he works now. His background?
Jordan comes to Westhill Partners from his own successful consulting firm, Thunder Road Group, where he directed political and communications strategy for several “527” groups in the 2004 election, including America Coming Together and The Media Fund. Previously, Jordan served as campaign manager for presidential candidate Senator John Kerry. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director, Communications Director and Political Director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
OK. Let's find that balance.
If the Senate GOP leadership accepts anything less than a vote on each of Bush's nominees, ``I think people will be extremely upset,'' said Wendy Long of the Judicial Confirmation Network.
We have a 1 to 1 tie. Next round.
``You cannot back down from bullies,'' said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
That was easy. L2 - R1.
``If we fail to step back from the abyss, we will descend into a dark, protracted era of divisive partisanship,'' said Sen. Arlen Specter, a Republican from Pennsylvania who has not indicated publicly what course he will take.
Senator Specter is a tie. Argue if you want, but he's a tie - leaning left.
Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a congressional watchdog group, said the judicial fight is a reflection of intensely partisan times.
D21 takes a bit of digging until you find out a little more by President and founder by Fred Wertheimer. Mmmmm. Former President of Common Cause and wants to have government tell you what you can say during an election. (Yes, he is the husband of NPR's Linda Wertheimer. No Red Stater there) Yep Lefty. L3 - R1.
Looks like the author, Ron Fournier, needs to get out more. His Rolodex is a bit lopsided. Did you know that,
"Ron is usually happiest with a piece of metal in his hands!"
Oh, wait, that is another Ron Fournier. This Ron Fournier has some balance problem history he still needs to work on.

The title of his AP piece is Politics Goes Extreme in D.C.. The more and more I look, the extreme seems to be coming from the Left that is coming unglued the more they stay out of power, and they just don't understand it.

Hint Ron; if you want to get a better perspective, you need to loose your fear of the right and talk to them more; if not personally - professionally. We would all do better by your efforts to improve yourself and your writing.

Three Leftist Democrats, a Liberal Republican, and one Conservative Republican does not balance make.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Conservative denominations grow - Liberal ones wither

Hey, I get to plug Slate back after their kind mention early on.

Yes, another diamond in the rough that is Slate. Judith Shulevitz has a great write up in Slate
The Power of the Mustard Seed - Why strict churches are strong.

This deserves a careful reading from both the Left and the Right. You don't have to agree with all she says to see that she is on to something. Here is a quick look.

What does the pious person get in return for all of his or her time and effort? A church full of passionate members; a community of people deeply involved in one another's lives and more willing than most to come to one another's aid; a peer group of knowledgeable souls who speak the same language (or languages), are moved by the same texts, and cherish the same dreams. Religion is a " 'commodity' that people produce collectively," says Iannaccone. "My religious satisfaction thus depends both on my 'inputs' and those of others." If a rich and textured spiritual experience is what you seek, then a storefront Holy Roller church or an Orthodox shtiebl is a better fit than a suburban church made up of distracted, ambitious people who can barely manage to find a morning free for Sunday services, let alone several evenings a week for text study and volunteer work. ...

... if strictness, judiciously enforced, provides an advantage in the spiritual marketplace, then it makes sense that America, one of the few countries with no state religion and a truly open market in religion, should be home to so many varieties of fundamentalism and orthodoxy. The explosive growth of conservative Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and the slow decline of more genteel denominations such as Episcopalianism may well represent not the triumph of reactionary forces, but the natural outcome of religious competition.

Hat tip Diocese of Brandon - The Anglican Church of Canada .... of all places.

The MSM's distain for the military-The Newsweek Edition

Thank you Newsweek for proving again you and much of the MSM will believe anything too good to check in order to validate your beliefs in the military, this administration and your base belief that this country is as bad as you want it to be. You feel so much better about yourself pointing out how brutish lesser mortals are; you don't care how many people it kills.

This whole "flushing the Koran" event that Newsweek brought us is just another example of how the MSM has a inherent bias, dislike, and misunderstanding of the military.

They don't let the military in their schools. They don't let their children join the military, and they sure don't have many military personnel in their imperfect circle of acquaintances and friends. Because of this intentional disconnect, they do not a real in-depth picture of what makes up the military except for the twisted prism view that comes out of Hollywood, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair. There are no individual members of the military, just cliche freakshow items to look at and be glad you aren't one of them. Because they are not like you, you can do things to them and assume things about them that you wouldn't do to someone you consider your equal or social peer.

The default setting for the MSM is to assume the worst out of the lesser humans that lead and serve in their military. Therefore, Newsweek assumes without any valid proof, that their military would do just about anything horrible thing you can think of. I mean, they saw The Core. What more do you need to know?

Newsweek's apology is just lame. There, another uneducated word from this RedState rube. Lame. The real truth got lost in the aftermath of the blood Newsweek has on their hands and the chaos they mindlessly created.

Anyone that has any knowledge of the cultural love of conspiracy and knee-jerk fatwaism of Radical Islam could have seen this coming.

I think what might be helpful is to demystify the Koran to begin with. First of all, there has to be a billion of the things out there. We are not talking about a single item. The Shroud of Turin, The True Cross, The Holy Grail, The Wailing Wall, or an irreplaceable Buddist monument. We are talking about a copy of a holy book. In a mature, secure, and modern society, is a rumor started by clueless, Leftist, agenda driven media worth all these deaths?

Heck, I even have a Koran. This AM I wandered around thinking "where is my copy that I bought in a souk in Saudi Arabia in 1991?

Ahhhh, there it is in the "Religious Misc" section of the highly disorganized Salamander Library and Thought Machine.

It is in an honored position next to the first Bible I received in 4th grade. Take it out and open it to the place the marker has been in since I bought it. Hmmmmm, wonder what this says?

And I put it back.

Ha: scared ya didn't I. Don't worry, I brushed the dust off my fingers from the pork rinds I was eating before I picked it up.

BTW: In case you are wondering about the card to the right of the picture; that is the "I am a stupid driver and I hope whatever I did doesn't insult Islam or anything" card they gave me when I stepped of the plane in Kuwait in '01. I couldn't drive my "battle Suburban" around the backside of the moon country without it. If you wonder what it says in English, I flipped it over. You can read the high res here.

UPDATE: Andrew McCarthy wrote what I wish I wrote. Must read. On target with secondaries.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Battle for the Ivory Tower

A sub theme of this blog is the battle for Western Civilization and the core of Western culture in general. After all, if you don’t have liberty, justice, and progress; the best Navy in the world is a worthless tool of oppression…..but I digress.

Often the isolation and general Moonbattery of the best institutions of higher learning in our country is a point of many a migrane and trip to the liquor cabinet. As much as I snark a bit with anti-snob attitide at them; they are important institutions that need to be fought for.

There is much reason to despair, but there are good people putting up the good fight – and now and then we score a victory.

One of our best institutions is
Dartmouth University. One of the good guys, Peter Robinson, was just elected along with another fellow travelwer to the Dartmouth College board of trustees. They were write-in, anti-establishment candidates with a radical agenda.
Todd Zywicki and me, … ran our campaigns independently of each other, but we both concentrated our attention on a couple of themes, including a demand for the College to sweep aside its de facto speech code in favor of true freedom of speech on campus. And we won.
Free speech. Radical.

Hey Moonbat, look: Free Speech – BOO! Ha, ha. Scared you.

Ain’t it grand to be on the Right side of history? I'll savor this, but,

"And miles to go before I sleep,
Miles to go before I sleep.

Hat tip The Corner.

A sad day for American Muslims

This is just sad. Such a small turnout; such little support.

The folks at Free Muslims Against Terrorism gave a March Against Terrorism on the 14th. This was the turnout.

Davids Medientkritik has some better pics and commentary.

The War Against Muslim Extremism (lets be honest here: this isn’t a “Global War Against Terrorism”) is going to be a long one. The last one lasted a good 800 years or so from the time the Arab armies destroyed Christian Palestine, Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, The Maghreb, Byzantium, S.E. Europe, and the Iberian Peninsula until they were pushed back to more defensible borders.

Americans of the Muslim faith are at a tender moment. They are our neighbors, coworkers, and friends. What they need to do though is to turn to what the largest ethnic group in America did in the last century; turn against the evil aspects that hijacked their source culture, language, and country. I’m talking about Germans.

Unfortunately the identity politics and victim hood pimps are putting their efforts, money, interest, and concern with the German-American Bund….ummm….sorry, CAIR and their Fifth Column meeting.

Kamal Nawash is a brave American with the right idea at the right time. I just wish more of the American Muslim community and religious leaders would join him. Mr. Nawash and his organization are not perfect, nor do I agree with all their stands, but on balance they are a mainstream organization with the right focus for the time. Maybe there is a larger organization than his trying to do the right thing? I haven't seen one. But if this is it...

We are just one or two major attacks away from some very ugly backlash if the terrorists are found to be living and supported inside the American Muslim community, and the impression becomes that American Muslims are not Americans first. That has always been the deal. Japanese Americans shamed their countrymen last century by proving their Americanism first; even while their family members were behind barbed wire. God help any community that does not accept “the deal.” 150 years ago, my Southern ancestors learned the hard way what happens to folks that don’t stick with “the deal.” America is a different place than it was 65 or 150 years ago, but people and institutions are the same and the #1 rule is self preservation.

It is time to step up to the plate, or leave. This is serious business. Time is short.

Hat tip LGF.