Friday, October 28, 2005


Best line I read all day on the Libby indictments came from Learned Foot.
If you commit perjury, you deserve to suffer the consequences.

Were you saying the same thing seven years ago? I was.
Me too.

Now I'm going to get some really spicy pork lo mein, a bottle of riesling and watch Foyle's War.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Old Habits Die Hard

Let's see, the focus of the world is on this event. There are arguments raging about whether Louisiana politicians are both incompetent AND corrupt or simply incompetent. How to react?

I got an idea. Do what you do best!


James Taranto's Best of the Web Today had a great piece:

Go Stereotype Yourself!
Portland's Oregonian reports on a hilarious (though slightly sad) case of political correctness run amok:

When John Lee designed the logo for his Cedar Mill restaurant, he opted for an illustrated cartoon he thought resembled himself: a Korean man.

But that logo, which depicts an Asian man waving an "OK" sign, is now at the center of a conflict between Lee and Sunset High School's student-run newspaper.

Last week, editors of "The Scroll" banned Lee's advertisement for the Hawaiian Grill after running it once, saying his logo stereotypes Asians and negatively portrays members of a minority group.

It reminded me of an article in The Onion from a few years back.

Chinese Laundry Owner Blasted For Reinforcing Negative Ethnic Stereotypes

SAN FRANCISCO—Second-generation Chinese-American laundry owner Raymond Chen is under heavy fire this week from Bay Area activists who call him "an insulting caricature that perpetuates long-outdated, grossly prejudiced images of Asian Americans."

"It's frightening to think that, in 1998, some of us still haven't moved beyond the century-old stereotype of Chinese people as laundrymen," said Abigail Huber-Henson, a University of California at Berkeley cultural-studies professor and director of the Race Action Project, the campus group spearheading the crusade against Chen. "This man is a degrading anachronism that has no place in a supposedly enlightened society like ours. To meet him is to be directly confronted with America's shameful history of racism."

Added Huber-Henson: "We should no more tolerate this than we would a Pakistani convenience-store owner or a Jewish lawyer."

An extensive anti-Chen public-awareness campaign, including petitions, rallies, and letters to city and state officials, has already reduced business at the embattled Chen Chinese Laundry by 40 percent. Chen, 33, said he is puzzled by the strong reaction to him and his business.

"With prejudice and intolerance still rampant in our society, anti-hate-speech codes are an important first step," said Beverly White, director of the San Mateo-based Stop Racism Now. "However, putting Chen in jail for 15 months is not going to erase the pain he has caused the countless Asian Americans he has mocked and insulted. The real issue here is so much bigger than just one man. No enlightened society should allow stereotypes like Chen to exist at all."

White then outlined her group's long-range goal to get legislation passed that would authorize the forced relocation of all ethnic stereotypes to internment camps in the California desert.

You simply can't parody the P.C. crowd better than they do themselves.

Two more headchoppers off to get laid

Courtesy of the U.S military.

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- An al-Qaeda terrorist cell leader who personally assisted in at least three videotaped beheadings and his assistant were killed during a Coalition raid of a suspected safe house in Mosul Oct. 22.

Nashwan Mijhim Muslet (aka Abu Tayir or Abu Zaid) was a senior operational al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist cell leader who operated specifically in the Mosul area. His cell was known as the primary beheading cell for Abu Talha, the al-Qaeda in Iraq Emir of Mosul who was captured in June, 2005, and Abu Zubayr, second in command to Talha and later Emir of Mosul after Talha was detained. Zubayr was killed in August, 2005.

The beheadings were filmed to intimidate the local population of Mosul as well as Iraqi citizens throughout Iraq. Intelligence reports indicate that Nashwan personally helped Zubayr behead three Mosul citizens during one of the videotaped gatherings.

As a senior operational cell leader, Nashwan was chiefly responsible for attacking Iraqi Security and Coalition forces. These attacks consisted of engaging convoys with small arms fire, rocket propelled grenades, IEDs and VBIEDs.

Big thanks to Specialist Flowers for alerting me to Centcom's website that let me know that two more bad guys are no longer our problem.


I have to confess to having a fleeting thought when Harriet Miers was first nominated by President Bush. This might be Eeeeevil Genius Karl Rove's handiwork. Sacrificial lamb. A throwaway to get who he really wants on the court. I've spent too much time perusing the fever swamps.

Show me....... Janice Rogers Brown.

Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding!

Coming Home

Ma Deuce Gunner is on his way home from Iraq. Go on over and tell him thanks. Then read through some of his archives. Really good stuff.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Galloway comments rescued from the memory hole

As I mentioned in my earlier post, EU Referendum has a great piece on Galloway. I particularly like this observation:
There he was, certain of having won his battle with the Senate Committee, simply because he used his normal bully boy tactics of shouting, abuse and refusal to tell the truth to the senators' courtesy. The journalists loved it. A great circus performance.
Here's what a few on the left had to say about Galloway's perjurious testimony before the Senate.

Brad Friedman:
Not since attorney Joseph Welch confronted the soon-to-fall Anti-Communist Crusader/Idealogue, Joseph McCarthy in 1954 with his now famous "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" testimony can we recall such a direct shaming of a Congressional Committee as that which took place earlier today in a Senate Subcommittee Hearing on the trumped-up U.N. Oil-for-Food "scandal".
Daily Kos:
George Galloway is a member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow and stands (falsely) accused by conservative US senators of taking bribes from Iraq in an oil-for-food scandal. His statement before the US Senate is a truly righteous, withering, and devastating critique of the US position in Iraq.
The New Patriot:
British legislator George Galloway ran Norm Coleman around in circles Thursday. Galloway spared no one, especially are very own Normy, who could only muster a squirmy smile in the face of such a barrage. At least someone put the lie to Coleman's stupid posturing. Coleman obviously picked on the wrong guy to shore up his transparent attempt to advance his career by pounding the UN-is-a-bogeyman drum.
And my personal favorite, the prescient
Galloway may be dirty, but he's still my hero.

George Galloway

So the left's latest hero has been shown to be a liar and a thief. He almost certainly committed perjury before the United States Senate and elsewhere. If what the Senate report is accurate he was in the employ of the Ba'athists and was taking money meant for the neediest in Iraq. Christopher Hitchens lays it out rather nicely:

In particular:

1) Between 1999 and 2003, Galloway personally solicited and received eight oil "allocations" totaling 23 million barrels, which went either to him or to a politicized "charity" of his named the Mariam Appeal.

2) In connection with just one of these allocations, Galloway's wife, Amineh Abu-Zayyad, received about $150,000 directly.

3) A minimum of $446,000 was directed to the Mariam Appeal, which campaigned against the very sanctions from which it was secretly benefiting.

4) Through the connections established by the Galloway and "Mariam" allocations, the Saddam Hussein regime was enabled to reap $1,642,000 in kickbacks or "surcharge" payments.

(For a highly readable explanation of how the Oil-for-Food racket actually worked, see the Adobe Acrobat file on the site prepared by my brilliant comrade Michael Weiss and distributed as a leaflet outside the debate in New York.)

These and other findings by the subcommittee, which appear to demonstrate beyond doubt that Galloway lied under oath, are supported by one witness in particular whose name will cause pain in the Galloway camp. This is Tariq Aziz, longtime henchman of Saddam Hussein and at different times the foreign minister and deputy prime minister of the Baathist dictatorship. Galloway has often referred in moist terms to his friend Aziz, and now this is his reward. I do not think—in case anyone tries such an innuendo—that there is the smallest possibility that Aziz's testimony was coerced. For one thing, he was confronted by Senate investigators who already knew a great deal of the story and who possessed authenticated documents from Iraqi ministries. For another, he continues, through his lawyers, to deny what is also certainly true, namely that he personally offered a $2 million bribe to Rolf Ekeus, then the head of the U.N. weapons inspectors.

The critical person in Galloway's fetid relationship with Saddam's regime was a Jordanian "businessman" named Fawaz Zureikat, who was involved in a vast range of middleman activities in Baghdad and is the chairman of Middle East Advanced Semiconductor Inc. It was never believable, as Galloway used to claim, that he could have been so uninformed about Zureikat's activities in breaching the U.N. oil embargo. This most probably means that what we now know is a fraction of what there is to be known. But what has been established is breathtaking enough. A member of the British Parliament was in receipt of serious money originating from a homicidal dictatorship. That money was supposed to have been used to ameliorate the suffering of Iraqis living under sanctions. It was instead diverted to the purposes of enriching Saddam's toadies and of helping them propagandize in favor of the regime whose crimes and aggressions had necessitated the sanctions and created the suffering in the first place. This is something more than mere "corruption." It is the cynical theft of food and medicine from the desperate to pay for the palaces of a psychopath.

My question is, aside from the perjury, is the bribery really that bad? So he was in the employ of a brutal dictator; so he was actively helping his and our nations' enemies; so he was arguing for the principle that 25 million people should live only at the whim of a sick madman; so he was working to condemn untold number of people to rape, torture and oppression; is it really worse that he made a few bucks while doing it? Or, to put it the other way, would it have been better if he'd been doing these wretched things for free? At least I can UNDERSTAND wanting to make some cash. Doing them without getting paid is just lunacy.

*** Update *** Around the World in 80 Days found a great article on this walking pile of garbage from the EU Referendum. Go read it. Good stuff.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Body Desecration

Last week came the allegations that American Soldiers had desecrated the bodies of two Taliban fighters by lining them up facing west towards Mecca and then cremating them while they conducted psy-ops by taunting the other Taliban hiding in the hills to get them to come out and fight.

It all started when the military apparently allowed an enemy propagandist, John Martinkus, to be embedded into a platoon from the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He's ostensibly a reporter for the Australian T.V. network SBS, but he sidelines as an activist to help our enemies achieve their goals of removing coalition forces from Afghanistan and Iraq. His report on the event in question included a video of the burning bodies.

From the transcript of the SBS report:

At the top of the hills above the village the soldiers have taken the tactics of psychological warfare to a grotesque and disturbing extreme. US soldiers have set fire to the bodies of the two Taliban killed the night before. The burning of the corpses and the fact that they've been laid out facing Mecca is a deliberate desecration of Muslim beliefs.

As Jason Coleman points out, by the way the shadows fall, this is demonstrably false.

Simple examination of the photo shows that the corpses WERE NOT laid out facing West, if they were, they would be oriented in line with the shadows on the ground, instead they are oriented perpendicular to the shadows, unless you live at the North or South pole, you can test this for yourself if you go outside with a compass in the morning or afternoon. Face West or East and observe your shadow.

So we know that they were not "laid out facing Mecca" and do not demonstrate a deliberate desecration of Muslim beliefs.

Later footage shows two US soldiers reading from a notebook messages which they said had already been broadcast to villagers.

"Attention Taliban you are cowardly dogs," the message reads. "You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing West and burnt.

"You are too scared to retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be."

Following this initial report, all the usual suspects came out to bitch and assume the worst about our military.

Andrew Sullivan shrieked,

"If you need further proof that this administration's abandonment of clear Geneva guidelines has clearly undermined the war, then read this. The use of religion to taunt and torment the enemy has been going on for a long time now. From smearing inmates with fake menstrual blood, to desecrating the Koran, to forcing one Abu Ghraib prisoner to drink alcohol and eat pork, to burning Muslim corpses facing West ... we now have a litany of abuses that are objectively evil and almost designed to lose us support among the broad Muslim population."
It's unclear how Sullivan feels about members of the military calling the enemy "cowardly dogs", knowing how Muslims of the region feel about those animals.

One of the inmates at the Daily Kos used this event to abandon the pretense of "supporting the troops."

How much longer is this going to go on? How long can the US occupational forces in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to brutalise the situation and feed the cycle of violence?

There is an attitude amongst American soldiers, particularly those of the lower ranks, that they are beyond the restraint of law. That it is all a big game. It turns my stomach each time I see a US military spokesmen refer to insurgents as 'the bad guys,' as though this was some kind of computer game. I honestly don't believe that many of these soldiers see it as an actual country with an actual society, and not simply their playground for the next few years, to be forgotten the moment they leave. That attitude of ignorant, macho, gung-ho violence is directly responsible for the near constant stream of reports of abuse, violence and lawbreaking by US soldiers.

Well, maybe it's time to stop 'supporting the troops.' Maybe it's time to stop painting this sort of thing as the random acts of a violent few, and to start acknowledging the institutional mindset that influences this sort of behaviour. It is a mindset of brutality, of unaccountability and of wilfull [sic] ignorance.
The U.N. rushed to condemn it. Centcom issued a condemnation of the allegations (I'm still not sure what that means, but I think it means we condemn it if it's true.) Others immediately started screaming about Geneva Conventions. It turns out as it so often does that the story flogged by the 'objective' media and celebrated by the leftists (who really do support the troops and want victory just as much as everybody else) wasn't quite true.

From Time Magazine:

There simply wasn't enough room on the rocky hilltop above Gonbaz village in southern Afghanistan for the U.S. platoon and the corpses of the two Taliban fighters. The Taliban men had been killed in a firefight 24 hours earlier, and in the 90-degree heat, their bodies had become an unbearable presence, soldiers who were present have told TIME. Nor was the U.S. Army unit about to leave—the hilltop commanded a strategic view of the village below where other Taliban were suspected to be hiding.

Earlier, Lt. Eric Nelson, the leader of B Company, I-508 platoon leader had sent word down to Gonbaz asking the villagers to pick up the bodies and bury them according to Muslim ritual. But the villagers refused—probably because the dead fighters weren't locals but Pakistanis, surmised one U.S. army officer.

It was then that Lt. Nelson took the decision that could jeopardize his service career. "We decided to burn the bodies," one soldier recounts, "because they were bloated and they stank." News of this cremation might have remained on these scorching hills of southern Afghanistan had the gruesome act not been recorded on film by an Australian photojournalist, Stephen Dupont. Instead, when the footage aired on Australian TV on Wednesday, it unleashed world outrage. A Pentagon spokesman described the incident as "repugnant" and said that the army was launching a criminal investigation into the alleged desecration of the corpses, which is in violation of the Geneva Convention on human rights.

Time does a pretty good job of finally getting the other side of the story out there. But even in doing so, they fail to do the research on the regulations applying the Geneva Conventions that took blogger Jason Van Steenwyk five minutes to do for them.

That the Geneva conventions specifically allows for the cremation of enemy dead for reasons of hygiene.

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?

This lieutenant had apparently made an effort to allow the locals to recover the dead. He fulfilled his obligations to the deceased by attempting to make that coordination.

He fulfilled his obligations to protect his men by having them cremated.

Case closed. The chattering classes should cut the LT some slack. And Time Magazine, which failed to do the reporting necessary to uncover the regulations with regard to the disposal of enemy dead in logistically adverse conditions (I found it in five minutes) ought to refrain from speculating on the course of this LT's career until they bother to download a clue.
Jason Coleman went on to point out,

We also know, from the interview with Stephen Dupont who took the picture, that it was NOT the psychological warfare operatives who burned these bodies. The PsyOps operatives arrived on the scene LATER (how later does not matter), and while they DID use the incident as part of their PsyOps plan to draw out the Taliban, they DID NOT burn the corpses as part of the plan. The PsyOps operatives used the fact that the bodies had to be burned for hygenic purposes and twisted the event to suit their PsyOps operational plan. In other words.

The PsyOps operative lied to the Taliban soldiers in the village in the hope it would infuriate them and drive them into the open.

Guess what Mr. Martinkus? That's their job. PsyOps is not the practice of telling your enemy the truth, it's telling the enemy what you think will disturb them, it's telling your enemy what you think will enrage them and cause them to make mistakes and engage in poor tactical descisions that you can take advantage of.


Mr. Martinkus has taken events, twisted them out of proportion and then broadcast that psychological warfare element back at the people of America and the world. Just as the PsyOps operatives wished to enrage the Taliban and get them out into the open where they could be destroyed, Mr. Martinkus is trying to get the American people to become enraged at the actions of our own military.

Somehow I doubt that the explanation for this event will get the overhyped headlines or air time that the initial allegations did when it served the purpose of making our guys look bad.

Thanks to Blackfive for pointing me towards Jason Coleman's piece.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Governor Pawlenty makes a really cool gesture

Whatever your politics, you gotta like a guy who does this. Sgt Holtan, thank you so very much for what you're doing.

And thanks to Jack Army. I never would have seen this story otherwise.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

That Pesky Personal Matter

I've tried to avoid writing about the personal matter that I'm dealing with. But some shithead in TX keeps baiting me. He's hacked into my computer and cost me an asspile of money. He's a sociopathic piece of shit who feels no remorse about his role in fucking up a five year old's family. If you've seen this person, be very careful, he's suffering from PTSD from the death of his pet gerbil, and there is no telling what he might do. More to come on this. Stay tuned. It will be like an X rated soap opera or like watching a car wreck in slow motion.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I Knew I Should Have Become a Chiropractor

Now, I've admitted on several occasions to being rather gullible, but come on. I can't tell if I'm more surprised that people fell for these ploys or that the perpetrators actually had the balls to try it. I also wonder how many times they had to try to get someone to think it was reasonable. Two stories:
OCTOBER 19--A Michigan chiropractor has had his license suspended after state investigators charged that he fondled two teenagers after telling the girls that their breasts were "uneven" and in need of adjustment. In a complaint filed by the state's Department of Community Health, Robert Moore is accused of negligence and lack of moral character in connection with his care of the teens, both of whom worked for him at TLC chiropractor. The girls, aged 16 and 17 at the time of the 2003-2004 treatments, gave investigators detailed accounts of how Moore, 40, pawed them. Both noted that, as a condition of employment, Moore told them that they would have to submit to "spinal adjustments at the beginning and end of each work shift."
And of course this:

An Oregon woman whose doctor convinced her that he could cure her lower back pain by having sex with her is suing him and his medical clinic for $4 million, according to legal documents obtained on Monday.

The doctor, Randall Smith, who was 50 at the time, was stripped of his license and sent to jail for 60 days last year for charging the state's Oregon Health Plan $5,000 for his 45-minute "treatments" involving the woman.

Just a little hint to any ladies out there who might have someone try this line on them. There isn't any ailment, disease or injury that you will EVER have that will be treated by having the doctor reenact his favorite porno scenes with you. Fellas, if a doctor suggests something similar to you, hey it MIGHT work.

Update -- Missed this one that Ace caught.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Torture Question

I watched Frontline's documentary, "The Torture Question" last night. Overall I thought it was pretty good. I didn't really think it was too fair in actually presenting the arguments on both sides of the question they were supposedly examining and it solidified Lindsey Graham's position in my mind as the most self-serving, media approval seeking GOP senator, but overall pretty good. (A close three way finish with him McCain and Hagel)

What I found most interesting about the show was not the content on torture but on the lead up to their case ABOUT torture. They did a really good job of showing how the military, intel and FBI tried to figure out what to do with the prisoners that we captured. I sort of got the sense the producers were trying to paint it as a negative that we had inexperienced interrogators and the fact that we had to put together an ad hoc facility at Gitmo (Camp X-Ray). But I tried to just take it at face value. We didn't HAVE a facility for those purposes in place. We didn't HAVE experienced interrogators for hundreds of Islamonut prisoners. Where the hell would they have gotten that experience? I didn't really see it as a negative, more as a statement of fact on how the security agencies had to put this together from scratch and it was pretty interesting.

As Froggy notes today, you don't have to try to hard to figure out where the lefties at PBS come down on the torture question. For instance, they continually refer to illegal combatants erroneously as POWs. Froggy also does a really good job of tearing apart the specific allegations of some Army E-4 specialist who made some rather pointed charges about which he had no first hand knowledge.
“Or some people, the Navy SEALs, for instance, were using just ice water to lower the body temperature of the prisoner. They would take his rectal temperature to make sure he didn't die; they would keep him hovering on hypothermia. That was a pretty common technique.”
My question upon hearing this was, “What SEAL Platoon were you operating with in Iraq?” That’s a pretty specific charge to make on national television, effectively tarnishing the entire SEAL community with deliberate and premeditated inducement of hypothermia on detainees. Did the SEALs conduct hypothermia training seminars at Abu Ghraib? How in the hell does some peon Army E-4 find out about what would clearly be the secret operational techniques of SOF operators from an entirely different service?
Go read the rest of Froggy's critique on this. Seriously, there isn't a better writer out there for this sort of stuff that I'm aware of. If there is one, please let me know who he is.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sorry for the absence

I seem to have a recurring problem of being distracted from everyday things due to personal crap. This time it's that my cheating wife who has abandoned her family has decided that she wants to renege on the custody arrangement we'd made during our separation process. Apparently when she found out she was going to have to pay some child support (I'd offered to accept less than half of what is the legal standard) she decided suddenly that she wants to be mother of the year. It's looking more and more like there is a fight coming. Though she does keep helping my case by making threats of kidnapping and threatening to burn down my house. What a peach.

To paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke, "When it comes to divorce you must consider the children... Consider them valuable pawns to be used in the massive legal and economic battle that is about to ensue." Yah gotta love a woman who treats her child this way.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The 506th Back in Action

From the WaPo:

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- The 101st Airborne Division on Thursday reactivated a historic unit whose actions during World War II were the subject of the book "Band of Brothers."

The 506th Regimental Combat Team _ also known as the "Currahees," a Cherokee Indian word meaning "stands alone" _ returned to the division just as its soldiers were completing final preparations to return to Iraq.

"Our Currahees have trained hard and are ready to join their brothers," Col. Thomas Vail, said as the unit's 3,500 soldiers stood behind him. "They are ready to sacrifice their personal comfort and safety to answer a call to duty."

The reactivation is part of the 101st Airborne Division's recent expansion from three to four brigade combat teams under a Pentagon plan to reorganize the Army into smaller, easily deployable units.

This is a unit that has been killing totalitarian thugs for a long time, from Nazis to Communists. Time to break out the colors for them to go kill some Islamaniacs.

Huge thanks to The Filthy One for pointing this out. And as he says. America -- Fuck yeah!!! Go Get'em Boys!!

Gotta Love That UN Reasoning

From The Independent:

US practice of starving out Iraqi civilians is inhumane, says UN

The United States-led coalition's alleged practice of cutting off food and water to force Iraqi civilians to flee before attacks on insurgent strongholds is a "flagrant violation" of international law, a United Nations rights advocate said yesterday. The action is inhumane and causes innocent people to suffer, said Jean Ziegler, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food.

The Geneva Conventions on warfare, which form the basis of international humanitarian law, not only forbid denying food to civilians, but actually make the occupying force responsible to provide it, he said. "This is a flagrant violation of international law."

A US military spokesman in Baghdad, Lt-Col Steve Boylan, dismissed the criticism as inaccurate. "Any accusations of coalition forces refusing basic needs from the citizens of Iraq are completely false," he said.

"I can understand the military rationale, facing such a horrible enemy, this insurgent, who does not respect any law of war," Mr Ziegler told reporters.

He conceded that the practice helped to "save tens of thousands of lives" but made the point that many civilians were unable to come out. [emphasis mine]

Those that remained behind in insurgent strongholds such as Fallujah, Tal Afar and Samarra have suffered as a result of broken supply lines, he asserted.

And some have even starved, he claimed.

So, as I'm understanding Mr. Ziegler, the United States is doing its best to remove civilians from areas before combat occurs. The U.S. denies withholding food from these civilians. He acknowledges that our enemies do not respect any law of warfare. He also acknowledges that our practice has saved tens of thousands of innocent lives. Given these facts as Mr. Ziegler understands them, who does he decide to condemn? The United States, of course.

"And some have even starved, he claimed." Uh huh.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Best News Video Since NBC's Exploding Trucks

Oh my god. This couldn't have been done better in a movie. Just go watch the video.

Way to go NBC. Way to uphold those journalistic standards.

From NewsBusters:
Today's timing couldn't have been worse. A preceding segment focused on the incessant rains and ensuing flooding in the northeast. For days now, beautiful, blonde - and one senses highly ambitious - young reporter Michelle Kosinski has been on the scene for Today in New Jersey, working the story. In an apparent effort to draw attention to herself, in yesterday's segment she turned up in hip waders, standing thigh-deep in the flood waters.

Taking her act one step further, this morning she appeared on a suburban street . . . paddling a canoe. There was one small problem. Just as the segment came on the air, two men waded in front of Kosinki . . . and the water barely covered their shoe tops! That's right, Kosinski's canoe was in no more than four to six inches of water!

Big thanks to Dave at Garfield Ridge for pointing out this stuff. The guy is killing me today.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Is this a sign of the "new polarization"?

The recent Supreme Court nominations got me thinking, which is always a dangerous proposition. There has been a lot of talk over the past 10 years about how polarized the nation has become. It's without question affected the nomination process. Has it also affected the Justices on the court. I faintly remember some quote from O'Connor during the 2000 campaign that she wanted to hang on until there was a GOP President.

I've only been politically aware for around 18-20 years so I don't have nearly the memory of this stuff over the long haul. Have Justices always played the "I can stay alive longer than you can stay in office" game? Is Stevens going to have to be carted out like Rehnquist? If I'm still doing ANYTHING at 85 other than annoying my relatives it will be a miracle, but deciding constitutional law? Please.

Guy, take a rest. You've earned it. You don't have that much time left. Spend it doing something that will make the National Enquirer.

I Say We String This Bitch Up!

Ohio Police Arrest Woman For $1 In Unpaid Taxes

An Ohio woman was arrested after she didn't pay just more than $1 that she owed in income taxes, WLWT-TV in Cincinnati reported. Deborah Combs owed the city of Loveland $1.16 last year, but she also hadn't filed her city income tax forms in five years, the television station said.
I can't even find a comment to make. Just let someone PLEASE come in here and tell me I've been taken by another hoax.

This Just In.... Dick Cheney's Pretty Well Off!

Cheney's Halliburton stock options rose 3,281% last year, senator finds


An analysis released by a Democratic senator found that Vice President Dick Cheney's Halliburton stock options have risen 3,281 percent in the last year, RAW STORY can reveal.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserts that Cheney's options -- worth $241,498 a year ago -- are now valued at more than $8 million.

The above graph released by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) charts the value of the Vice President's holdings in Halliburton in the past year.

Only one problem with this story. It isn't true. How many times do leftists need to be told something that happened back in 2001? This guy is a fucking SENATOR and can't get basic, well established facts right.


Cheney and his wife Lynne have assigned any future profits from their stock options in Halliburton and several other companies to charity. And we're not just taking the Cheney's word for this -- we asked for a copy of the legal agreement they signed, which we post here publicly for the first time.

The "Gift Trust Agreement" the Cheney's signed two days before he took office turns over power of attorney to a trust administrator to sell the options at some future time and to give the after-tax profits to three charities. The agreement specifies that 40% will go to the University of Wyoming (Cheney's home state), 40% will go to George Washington University's medical faculty to be used for tax-exempt charitable purposes, and 20% will go to Capital Partners for Education , a charity that provides financial aid for low-income students in Washington, DC to attend private and religious schools.

The agreement states that it is "irrevocable and may not be terminated, waived or amended," so the Cheney's can't take back their options later.

The options owned by the Cheney's have been valued at nearly $8 million, his attorney says. Such valuations are rough estimates only -- the actual value will depend on what happens to stock prices in the future, which of course can't be known beforehand. But it is clear that giving up rights to the future profits constitutes a significant financial sacrifice, and a sizeable donation to the chosen charities.

This isn't a secret. It isn't something that just happened. The Cheneys made this REMARKABLY generous contribution to charities almost five years ago. Yet we continue to hear this idiotic tripe.

I just reread what I had written. I was making the assumption that Senator Lautenberg is ignorant. I'm almost sure he isn't. He knows how dishonest this nonsense is.

Update and possible admission of further idiocy by author.... I haven't been able to source this to Lautenberg through any other reporting other than this particular moonbat publication. As they say, developing.

Linked at this weeks Carnival of the Clueless.

At the behest of Point Five

Miserable Failure.

Post this on your blog: Miserable Failure

You know, just “because there is no clearly legitimate site for “miserable failure” being pushed aside.”

Via LGF.

Background: Here.

I'm not exactly sure how this is supposed to work, but if it knocks the smug look off just one idiot's face, it's worth it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Miers Prediction

I predict she will not be confirmed. No reasoning, just my gut.

He's Looking Out For the Little Guy

And just to top the idiocy of the perennial coverage of shark attacks, Bill O'Rielly promises us a segment on the increasing frequency of SNAKE ATTACKS in Florida. Thanks Bill, maybe we ought deploy the National Guard to deal with this crisis.

Incidentally, when I want snake attack news, I turn to Ace. See here and here.

Froggy's Supreme Court Advice

Yah just gotta love when a SEAL gives his opinion. It really doesn't leave much to be parsed out.

On the GOP majority in the Senate:
Having a 55-45 majority in the Senate looks good on paper, but in practical application, it doesn’t really do much for the party or the country. They basically take something accomplished in the House and add 25% in unneeded spending to it for the President to sign.
On the Harriet Miers nomination:
Miers is questionable, old, and a crony. Let’s kick the old bag to the curb and get one of the young bucks in there.
Succint, no?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Cambodian Couple Suck Daughter's Blood

From the AP:

Black magic may have driven a Cambodian couple to bite off their daughter's thumb nails and suck her blood, officials said Sunday.

Chheng Chhorn, 46, and Srun Yoeung, 37, attacked their 12-year-old child before dawn on Thursday while she was still asleep, biting off her thumb nails and a small part of her nose to drink her blood, said Keo Norea Phy, a police official in Kampong Cham province where the incident occurred.

Black magic may have driven them to do it. May have been that. Could also have been they are fucking nuts. No word on what the odds of it being possessed pixies or werewolves that made them do it. In the end we all know who made them do it.

Karl Rove.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Education is easy to take for granted. If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times, if I had it to do over again I wouldn't go to college. To me it has turned out that the education I gained was not NEAR worth the cost for what I do for a living. I'm always reminded of the line in Good Will Hunting about being able to get the same knowledge for $1.50 in late fees from the public library.

Having said that, it isn't true worldwide. It's something rather obvious that is often overlooked when you look at places in the world where the first question that leaps to mind is, "What the fuck?" (The second being, "Seriously, what the fucking fuck?")

Iraq is one of those places. It is a third-world nation. Or in this case, the euphemism "developing nation" is actually appropriate. This is something that we tend to forget in our expectations. Major K, who is over there, does a great job of illustrating why this is an important point to remember.
In the USA, we take literacy for granted. Here it is a mark of distinction. A bachelor's degree here carries the same clout as a PhD in the USA. US Officers are required to have a bachelor's and US Colonels have at least a Master's Degree. Here, a high school diploma is the bar over which you must pass to become an officer.

I spent some time today showing an Iraqi Lieutenant Colonel how to transfer a file from one computer to another using a flash memory stick and then how to send an e-mail. I have been using e-mail for over 10 years. Teaching staff officers how to do elementary computer work is almost a daily occurrence here. All of this being said, Iraq has one of the most educated populations in the region, so you can easily imagine what it is like in other countries in the middle east.

This educational deficit is going to be one of the big hurdles to overcome in rebuilding this benighted nation. This is why we soldiers consider rebuilding of schools and opening of new ones such a big deal. This is truly a war for the next generation being fought by this generation. We work with what we have for now, and we try to progress every day. It will be slow and gradual. Today must not be compared to yesterday, but better the next decade to this one.

Go read the whole thing. And thank the guy for doing this incredibly difficult job on our behalf.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

NFL Math

I just got back from getting my hair cut. (I'm now so goddamned hot I might go do the Jame Gumb thing from the Silence of the Lambs in front of a full length mirror.) The barber and I were talking about just how badly the NFC North sucks this year. This is a subject that both Packer and Viking fans alike can agree upon.

On my way home I was trying to figure out what the worst record any of the four teams could have and still win the division. Since they all have to play each other, assuming there are no ties, someone has to win SOME games this season. I'm sure there is a way to parse this out but A) I'm still in a bit of a drug-induced haze and B) I don't really give a shit.

Accident Prone

For people who know me this will come as no surprise, but I think I've got a mild concussion. A couple of days ago I came running down the stairs in my house and caught my noggin on the top of the doorway at the bottom. I held onto consciousness, but it took some effort. So today, I'm a little drugged up on some of my wife's left-over codeine infused pain killers.

The reason I'm thinking concussion is that I've had enough of them to know what they feel like. I'm not quite in Troy Aikman territory, but enough. I think the worst one I ever had was when I went on spring break my freshman year of college. I was walking down the street when an open topped jeep drove by. A hammer-blow. Right behind my left ear. I felt liquid on the side of my face and arm. As I went down to my knees I tried to figure out what the hell had happened. I figured out that the liquid wasn't blood because it smelled like root beer. Then I saw the can.

I said to my buddy who had been walking on my right side, "I think I got hit in the head with a can of Dad's Root Beer." He informed me that it was indeed root beer, but not Dad's, then kept walking.

Apparently the yahoos in the jeep had tossed an unopened can of soda while they were travelling about 40 mph. The thing exploded upon impact with my skull. I spent the next 3 days throwing up.

So far only one day of vomiting this time.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Coming Soon -- Vandal Scholarships

Ok, I got sucked in by the bit of satire on the "you can only heat so many bedrooms" thing. This is the reason why. It is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between heartfelt lunacy and the parodies thereof.

From the Duluth News Tribune

James I. Swenson, chief financial backer of University of Minnesota Duluth's new science building, says he is turning the other cheek.

Swenson said he and UMD Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin have talked about offering the vandals, who caused $8 million in damages to the new science building November, scholarships to the university.

Swenson said the idea is to give the young men a tour of the science building, let them talk with some students and then offer them some incentive to get their lives in order.

"They might be able to study in (the James I. Swenson Science Building) one day," Swenson said.

Hey, I know. Instead of some deserving kid who needs help paying his college tuition. Let's give the money to the criminals that ruined the place. Please dear God in Heaven let me be wrong about this one, too.

Thanks to the Kool-Aid Report for pointing out this disgrace.

Miers Nomination Cheerleading

I don't have an opinion one way or the other on Harriet Miers but I take it from this post by Hubris that he does. I also get the impression that he doesn't much care for knee-jerk cheerleading. Go read it. Funny stuff.

Differences on Property Rights

Here are a couple of thoughts by Janice Rogers Brown. As you're reading them keep the Kelo decision in mind. Also please note that these are posted at the People for the American Way's website as evidence that she is "too extreme." They actually think holding the following views are a bad thing.

Janice Rogers Brown on the proper “protection” of property
In the New Deal/Great Society era, a rule that was the polar opposite of the classical era of American law reigned...Protection of property was a major casualty of the Revolution of 1937…Rights were reordered and property acquired a second class status...It thus became government’s job not to protect property but, rather, to regulate and redistribute it. And, the epic proportions of the disaster which has befallen millions of people during the ensuing decades has not altered our fervent commitment to statism. [Federalist speech at 12, 13]

At its founding and throughout its early history, this regime revered private property. The American philosophy of the Rights of Man relied heavily on the indissoluble connection between rationality, property, freedom and justice. The Founders viewed the right of property as “the guardian of every other right”….[IFJ speech at 5]

[P]rivate property, already an endangered species in California, is now entirely extinct in San Francisco…I would find the HCO [San Francisco Residential Hotel Unit Conversion and Demolition Ordinance] preempted by the Ellis Act and facially unconstitutional. …Theft is theft even when the government approves of the thievery. Turning a democracy into a kleptocracy does not enhance the stature of the thieves; it only diminishes the legitimacy of the government. …The right to express one’s individuality and essential human dignity through the free use of property is just as important as the right to do so through speech, the press, or the free exercise of religion. [Dissenting opinion in San Remo Hotel L.P. v. City and County of San Francisco, 41 P.3d 87, 120, 128-9 (Cal. 2002)(upholding San Francisco ordinance calling on hotel owners seeking permission to eliminate residential units and convert to tourist hotels help replace lost rental units for low income, elderly, and disabled persons)][See also IFJ speech at 4 (warning that without effective limits on government, “a democracy is inevitably transformed into a Kleptocracy.”)]

Property Rights, What Are Those?

Thanks to the leftists on the Supreme Court they no longer exist. With the Kelo Decision earlier this year, our government no longer has to respect your property. Taking property from taxpayer "A" to give to taxpayer "B" has been long sanctioned by the "compassionate" among us "for the greater good." Now a Florida town is simply following suit. After all, the government knows what's best.

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Officials of a poor, predominantly black Florida town plan to relocate about 6,000 residents to make room for a billion-dollar yachting and housing complex.

The coastal community of Rivera Beach in Palm Beach County may use eminent domain, if necessary, to claim 400 acres of land for the project, The Washington Times reported Monday."

This is a community that's in dire need of jobs, which has a median income of less than $19,000 a year," Mayor Michael Brown said. "If we don't use this power, cities will die."

When the government can take one person's property to redistribute to another, who would expect anything BUT this to happen. Also from the story:

"Viking [the developer] said that it would pay at least the assessed values of homes and business it buys."

Some of the Kelo victims actually wound up OWING money after having their property taken. The city actually had the nuts to charge them all back rent on their own property for the time they continued to occupy it and also would only pay what the properties were worth back in 2000. I blogged about that little tidbit here.

Go read Robb Allen's barely contained anger on this at Sharp as a Marble.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Your House is Too Big -- You're Not Allowed to Heat It

**** Correction *****
I'm a guillable ass. Ace of Spades highlighted this story and someone pointed out that the proposal was the result of a good citizen committing a pretty good piece of satire making fun of the nanny-state.

This is unreal. The State of Washington and the politicians that are hired to protect our liberty. I would not be at all surprised to see this pass. The demagogues get a two-fer: Attack the "rich" and "save the planet."

This is the sort of thing our Senators should be asking potential judges and justices. Is denying a citizen the use of his property a "takings" under the 5th Amendment?

Assigned Number: 907
Filed: 01/31/2005

Mr. Mark Horan
505 S 325th St, #22A
Federal Way, WA 98003

Ballot Title
Initiative Measure No. 907 concerns energy conservation in homes.

This measure would require residents of cities with a population of 500,000 or more, in homes with three or more bedrooms, to refrain from heating at least one bedroom from October to February.

Ballot Measure Summary
This measure would require energy conservation by residents of cities with a population of 500,000 or more, whose homes have three or more bedrooms. Such residents would be required not to heat at least one bedroom (at least two for homes with five or more bedrooms) between October 21 and February 21 of each year, and to seal off such rooms from the rest of the residence. Violators could be fined $10,000 per month.

View Complete Text PDF Document - Adobe Acrobat Required

Yeah, They Suck

But I love 'em.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Associated Press' Robert Burns

I know that attacking media bias is a staple of the blogosphere. Many websites and organizations are dedicated to doing that and only that and they do it much better than I can, but I really wanted to comment on this. Over the past year whenever I looked at an example pointed out about the Associated Press I noticed one name appearing again and again. Robert Burns, their military writer.

The reason I noticed his name isn’t that he is more biased than the other reporters for the AP, it’s that it kept appearing every time there were particularly egregious distortions and outright falsehoods in the stories. Because of the fleeting nature of AP stories and the way they change them throughout their time of relevance it is difficult to reference the original source material.

These are a few of the pieces that I noticed over the past months that happened to stick in my head.

This one, highlighted at Powerline, is what prompted me to write about this. It’s a story about yesterday’s press conference with General Casey and Donald Rumsfeld. Here is Robert Burns’ piece on the subject. This is Donna Miles of the American Forces Press Service: "Casey Cites Continued Progress in Iraq Despite Challenges." As Hinderocket wrote, "Were they in the same room?"

About a week ago there was an item, pointed out by Holly Aho at The Mudville Gazette, about military recruiting shortfalls. Once again Burns was on the case. His story was titled “Military Faces Biggest Recruiting Slump In Years." He fails to note two rather important points. One, only the Army is down, the other services exceeded their goals. Two, even the Army isn’t down, it just isn’t growing at the rate they wanted to. Big Lizard’s blog does a fantastic takedown on this story. Just crucifies the dishonestly bad logic employed by Burns.

Finally, and this is the one that first got me to notice Mr. Burns’ name, is the story about the soldier questioning Rumsfeld about Humvee armor last year. This is the one that is just outright false. No distortion, just factually inaccurate. Powerline, once again hammered the AP at the time.

The AP is at it again, with this report about Secretary Rumsfeld's trip to Mosul to visit the troops there:

The questions from the troops for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were considerably more friendly on his Christmas Eve visit to Iraq than they were on his previous trip to the region a couple of weeks ago.

Two weeks ago at a forward base in Kuwait, a handful of soldiers openly challenged him about inadequate equipment and long deployments.

Rumsfeld cut off their complaints by saying, "You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have." That set off a wave of criticism of the defense chief's brusque manner.

This is pure fabrication. The transcript of Rumsfeld's question and answer session in Kuwait is here. Judge for yourself whether Rumsfeld "cut off [the soldiers'] complaints":

Q: Yes, Mr. Secretary. My question is more logistical. We’ve had troops in Iraq for coming up on three years and we’ve always staged here out of Kuwait. Now why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromise ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles and why don’t we have those resources readily available to us? [Applause]

SEC. RUMSFELD: I missed the first part of your question. And could you repeat it for me?

Q: Yes, Mr. Secretary. Our soldiers have been fighting in Iraq for coming up on three years. A lot of us are getting ready to move north relatively soon. Our vehicles are not armored. We’re digging pieces of rusted scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass that’s already been shot up, dropped, busted, picking the best out of this scrap to put on our vehicles to take into combat. We do not have proper armament vehicles to carry with us north.

SEC. RUMSFELD: I talked to the General coming out here about the pace at which the vehicles are being armored. They have been brought from all over the world, wherever they’re not needed, to a place here where they are needed. I’m told that they are being – the Army is – I think it’s something like 400 a month are being done. And it’s essentially a matter of physics. It isn’t a matter of money. It isn’t a matter on the part of the Army of desire. It’s a matter of production and capability of doing it.

As you know, you go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time. Since the Iraq conflict began, the Army has been pressing ahead to produce the armor necessary at a rate that they believe – it’s a greatly expanded rate from what existed previously, but a rate that they believe is the rate that is all that can be accomplished at this moment.

I can assure you that General Schoomaker and the leadership in the Army and certainly General Whitcomb are sensitive to the fact that not every vehicle has the degree of armor that would be desirable for it to have, but that they’re working at it at a good clip. It’s interesting, I’ve talked a great deal about this with a team of people who’ve been working on it hard at the Pentagon. And if you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up. And you can have an up-armored humvee and it can be blown up. And you can go down and, the vehicle, the goal we have is to have as many of those vehicles as is humanly possible with the appropriate level of armor available for the troops. And that is what the Army has been working on.

And General Whitcomb, is there anything you’d want to add to that?

GEN. WHITCOMB: Nothing. [Laughter] Mr. Secretary, I’d be happy to. That is a focus on what we do here in Kuwait and what is done up in the theater, both in Iraq and also in Afghanistan. As the secretary has said, it’s not a matter of money or desire; it is a matter of the logistics of being able to produce it. The 699th, the team that we’ve got here in Kuwait has done [Cheers] a tremendous effort to take that steel that they have and cut it, prefab it and put it on vehicles. But there is nobody from the president on down that is not aware that this is a challenge for us and this is a desire for us to accomplish.

SEC. RUMSFELD: The other day, after there was a big threat alert in Washington, D.C. in connection with the elections, as I recall, I looked outside the Pentagon and there were six or eight up-armored humvees. They’re not there anymore. [Cheers] [Applause] They’re en route out here, I can assure you. Next. Way in the back. Yes.

What a country, in which a National Guardsman can be "cut off" so "brusquely" by one of the most powerful men in the world. Actually, if you read the whole transcript, what comes through are Secretary Rumsfeld's forthrightness, common sense and immense good humor, and the affection the troops show for their leader.