31 October 2007

They didn't actually say that, did they...

No, but I have these odd incidents of mishearing things (always have; it's nothing new), especially songs playing on the radio, or even in my head. I call them audible (as opposed to optical) illusions.
A classic example is the Lionel Ritchie song below, but the other one that's been in my head for years is called (best I can tell without googling it) All Right Now, which goes (in the original) "...we better move before they raise the parking rates..."
In my head, of course, it's always been "...we better move before they raise the fuckin' rent...", which is funnier.
My apologies to the writers of that song, but I like my version better.

OK revisited

Two very different takes on the same story. Each has characterizations that I like better; Costner is much better as Earp than Russell, who can't resist chewing all the scenery around him. But while Val Kilmer is good as Doc Holliday, Dennis Quaid's version is a classic. (But I will always love Sam Elliott in anything...) See 'em both, make up your own mind.

Civil War for the day

Don't know if that's scary enough for Halloween, but the costumes are great... (It was the 140th of Antietam.)

30 October 2007

Civil War for the day

A thing of beauty, and a lust object for me. I'm saving up for a Spencer rifle from Taylor's for both N-SSA and cowboy action shooting:

29 October 2007

Civil War for the day

The Delaware Blues ready for action. See their site at http://delawareblues.info/ and their blog at http://delawareblues.blogspot.com/ for information about the group and their N-SSA activities. (No reenactment work, sorry...)

Oh, I'm sorry, was that intolerant?

When you look at photos of Islamic youth (which is rather like saying "black youth" in certain large metropolitan areas in this country) burning cars and trashing buildings, do you think "oh, why can't we all just get along?" Or do you think, as I do, "damn, the things you see when you don't have a gun..."

Words for the day

My bookcases are only slightly less full, but not for lack of trying...

28 October 2007

Civil War for the day

Members of the Delaware Blues display the flag of the 56th Pennsylvania at the large cast-bronze memorial to the unit on the battlefield at Gettysburg.

Of course it is

Just finished reformatting my new (and hopefully saleable) non-fiction book about my experience with this landmine in my head.
Made it all pretty, looked at the total page number, and there it was: 111
Nope, didn't try and fiddle it. Just worked out that way.

27 October 2007

Civil War for the day

The flag of the 7th Pennsylvania cavalry

Realpolitik, part two

Yet more on Hillary. Watch it and laugh or weep, depending on your politics. (Or throw up. Your choice.)


The real life of a politician; thank goodness we didn't elect her...


The real life of a slimy politician; you can elect her if you want, but I won't help...

26 October 2007

Civil War for the day

Confederate reenactors firing cannon at the Olustee reenactment in northern Florida (on the actual battlefield) in 2004.

25 October 2007

Civil War for the day

A nice Civil War-era cannon on a display mount in a park in the city center of St. Augustine, Florida. Not used locally, of course, but a nice piece nonetheless...

Thing you can't say 100 years later

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
Theodore Roosevelt, 1907

Thanks to my embedded reporter in New Orleans for this one...

24 October 2007

Tain't funny, McGee

There's a riff on an early Richard Pryor album, where's he portraying an old black minister who's remarking on one of his parishioners, a young boy with hydrocephalus:

"...the little waterhead boah..." (imagine Richard Pryor's voice and you'll get it)

Now, as a big waterhead boy, I don't find that line as funny as I once did.
Besides, it's not nice to make fun of the afflicted...

(But you're still a funny man, Mister Pryor, and I forgive you. If anyone knew about laughing through prejudicial remarks, it was you...)

The truth always hurts

Unbelievably, I saw this in the original. Didn't think it was funny then, and don't think it's funny now. Oh, sure, Carroll O'Connor was 'joshing' us (the liberal panytwaist that he is), but if it had been implemented, there wouldn't have been a 9.11 incident, other than "a dozen attempted hijackers were blown away by passengers on four flights today"...

Civil War for the day

Just like in the old days, the 3rd PA cavalry bivouacked in the yard of the Big House. The difference here is that the owner of the house was not only on our side, he was the commander of the unit...

Another startling occurrance

Seems something amazing occurred whilst I was 'away': Piyush 'Bobby' Jindal was elected governor of Louisiana.
Now anyone non-white being elected governor anywhere, much less in Louisiana, would be novel. (He's Louisiana's first non-white governor since Reconstruction.)
The fact that he's of Punjabi extraction (though born in Baton Rouge) is even more amazing, especially given the few Indians resident in Louisiana. (Though I suspect, without checking, that he got a significant percentage of the black vote.)
But he's definitely an American now: "The Jindals have three young children, Celia, Shaan and Slade."
Slade? Slade Jindal? Very cool...
The fact that he's a Republican, of course, is really amazing.
I look forward to 2012, when he runs against Barak Obama for the White House... (Assuming that's not, gawd help us, Hillary's attempt at a second term.)

23 October 2007

Lust object for the day

Rico wants one... Doe he need one? No, but that doesn't change the fact that it would be extremely cool to have one. If you're a Heinlein fan, like me, it's a recreation of the sword from Glory Road. And it's only a couple of grand...

All of us in a row

This shows the standard spectrum of humankind. You, like me, fall somewhere between the endpoints...

The boys of Purgatory

Dead Hand Fred, the Quaker Kid, and Mild Bill (and that other guy in the big hat, sorry, but we weren't introduced) at the 2007 Purgatory in the Pines, the New Jersey state SASS shoot. All looking good. I have no idea how well they shot, but the weather was great and I'm sure a good time was had by all. Sorry I wasn't there, but maybe next year, with my new Spencer in .56-50...

Civil War for the day

As in the old song, when the "caissons go rolling along", this was what one looked like...

22 October 2007

Theme song for the rest of my life

Normally I hate having a song stuck in my head, but this one's been the Lionel Ritchie song with the lyrics that go "...we're going to party, karamu, fiesta, forever..."
Not the worst slogan to live by, I guess.
And, given the alternative, it's what I intend to do with whatever remaining time on this planet that I've been gifted since the landmine went off in my head.

According to Wikipedia, 'karamu' represents the Karamu feast, held on 31 December as part of the African-American Kwanzaa celebration. (Learn something new every day; all this time I thought he was saying carambo and that it was some festival down the islands somewhere...)

Another attempt

Can't seem to get this simple 4kb image to load into my template, thus it doesn't appear at the start of the blog list in my sidebar. I will figure it out, however...

But he was a thug

"For the ten years that Muhammad lived in Medina (AD 622—632), he either went out on or sent out seventy-four raids and wars, ranging from small assassination hit squads to large full-scale battles. After his death of a fever in 632, his leading Companions followed his example, waging wars on Arab pagans, forcing them either to convert or die. After that, Islamic armies stormed out of the Arabian Peninsula and conquered territories, north, east, and west. For the next four centuries Islam embarked on its own Crusades, long before the Europeans responded with their own. "
(The author may be reached at jamesmarlandson@hotmail.com)

(If anyone besides me has read the Butlerian Jihad material written about in the Dune series, this piece of history is where it came from. I was lucky enough to have dinner with Frank Herbert, one night after he spoke at Carnegie-Mellon, during which he explicated his fascination with the Islamic mythos.)

He wasn't an idiot

Muhammad became so powerful (after the Battle of Badr in 624) that he laid siege to Jewish strongholds in Medina, captured them, decapitated 600 male Jews of the Qurayzah tribe, and enslaved their woman and children, though he kept a beautiful Jewess for himself...

He even stole that...

One of my favorite movie lines (of which I have many) is from Beckett, when the king plaintively asked: "Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?"
Seems that ol' Mo used the same line more than once:
Asma bint Marwan was a poetess who belonged to a tribe of Medinan pagans, and whose husband was named Yazid ben Zayd. She composed a poem blaming the Medinan pagans for obeying a stranger (Muhammad) and for not taking the initiative to attack him by surprise. Perhaps in March of 624, when the Allah—inspired prophet heard what she had said, he asked, 'Who will rid me of Marwan's daughter?' A member of her husband's tribe volunteered and crept into her house that night. She had five children, and the youngest was sleeping at her breast. The assassin gently removed the child, drew his sword, and plunged it into her, killing her in her sleep.
[Source: Ibn Ishaq, pp. 675—76 / 995—96.]
Abu Afak, a centenarian elder of Medina, belonging to a group of clans who were associated with the god Manat (though he may have been a Jew), wrote a derogatory poem about Muhammad, extolling the ancestors of his tribe who were strong enough to overthrow mountains and to resist submitting to an outsider (Muhammad) who divides two large Medinan tribes with religious commands like 'permitted' and 'forbidden.' Before the Battle of Badr, Muhammad let him live. After the battle, in April of 624, the prophet queried, 'Who will deal with this rascal for me?' That night, Salim b. Umayr 'went forth and killed him.'
[Source: Ibn Ishaq p. 675 / 995.]

And that'll teach you to write derogatory poetry...

And, while he did say those things well before Shakespeare's time, I doubt the Bard was a big reader of the Qu'ran, so maybe it's just a case of great minds (or great translators, more likely) thinking alike...

They do it to themselves

From the Frontpagemag.com blog:
"The Qur’an forbids a Muslim to kill a fellow believer intentionally, but both sides justify these conflicts by appealing to the Islamic practice of takfir: the declaration that, because of some doctrinal deviation, some group of Muslims are not actually Muslims at all, and their blood can lawfully be shed. One of the chief characteristics of modern day Salafist movements – that is, movements to restore the purity of Islam – is their frequent use of takfir and subsequent targeting of those whom everyone in the world except they themselves would regard as their fellow Muslims. This phenomenon is playing out all over the world today, as Wahhabis and other Salafist preachers take an Islamic hardline into areas where a more relaxed cultural Islam has long prevailed. The result is often violent. In fact, the Algerian sociologist Marieme Helie Lucas explains that the controversial term 'Islamofascism' was “initially coined by Algerian people struggling for democracy, against armed fundamentalist forces decimating people in our country, then later operating in Europe, where a number of us had taken refuge.” These pro-democracy Algerians were, of course, Muslims; Muslims who were massacred by jihadists in the 1990s for being insufficiently Islamic. Over 150,000 were killed."
"Wahhabism, said a Somali journalist named Bashir Goth, was 'an austere and closed school of thought', deviating from the established schools of Islamic jurisprudence. 'Wahhabism', according to Goth, 'is the only school that compels its followers strictly to observe Islamic rituals, such as the five prayers, under pain of flogging, and for the enforcement of public morals to a degree unprecedented in the history of Islam.' He characterized it as 'a closed mind sect that turned Islam into a fragile creed that lives in constant fear of children’s toys and games such as Barbie dolls and Pokemon.' Wahhabi clerics, Goth noted, were challenging Somali Muslims: 'They want to tell us that over the the last fourteen centures, our people have been practicing the wrong religion; that, since the dawn of Islam, Somali people had lived in vain, worshipped in vain and died in vain. God help them, they all will be burned in hell because they did not follow the correct path: Wahhabism.”
Lest we forget, the Wah'habis are the folks in those funny robes who currently run Saudi Arabia (the Sa'ud family having been converted a long time ago) and jack up our oil prices...

As for Darfur, long the poster child of the Left:
“Those scumbags want to play with us? They want to come to the children of Darfur? The children of Darfur will eat them alive. By Allah, there are some ferocious tribes there. They call them Janjaweed, and they want to attack them. There is a tribe called ‘al-Masiriya.’ Are they men or not? By Allah, when we ride horses and make these battle cries... By Allah, the infidels die of fear. They die of fear.”

Nice guys all around.
Remember that when someone asks you why we can't all just get along...

Blogging never looked so good

The one on the left is the writer of the Atlas Shrugs blog. (The one on the right is some schmuck politician, and who cares who he is?) Alas, she has no "about me" info block that I can find, so I don't know her name. (Yet.)
But she sure raises the general level of the blogosphere...

I get the same shit

"Accusations such as racism, fascism, or nazism usually are hurled at people who criticize Islam."

However, this is the reality:
"If, in an Islamic society, politics, culture, and religion are all one, how can we live in harmony with a Muslim system that wishes to islamize all aspects of life?"

Good question.
I don't hear any answers...

Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it

Which would be, it appears, the case here. The new book jacket is obvious. The old photo, however, some may not remember as well as I do. The photo shows the execution of a prisoner. It is not a fake - the man really died after being shot in the head by South Vietnam Lt. Colonel Nguyen Ngoc Loan, Saigon Chief of Police. The picture was taken by Eddie Adams in Saigon in 1968. "Supposedly, the execution was originally to take place inside a nearby building. The Colonel decided that the photographers needed more drama, better angles and light, not to mention keeping the inside of the building clean. The execution was staged on the street with a careful setup of the photo opp. Apparently it was important to the Colonel how his profile was displayed. Mr. Nguyen later became a General, was evacuated to the US where eventually he died in peace. Mr. Adams won a Pulitzer Price. The prisoner simply died and disappeared. His wife never found out what happened to him. No trial and no one seem to know the exact crime committed."
This, however, is not the real story. According to the Pulitzer Prize book the year this photo won the award, the prisoner was dragged up to General Nguyen, then engaged in fighting Viet Cong guerrillas in the streets of Saigon during the Tet uprising. It was explained to him by the guards that the prisoner had been taken in the midst of throwing a satchel charge into a restaurant. The general, being a man of action and probably already pretty pissed off that day, whipped out his pistol and shot the guy in the head. I've seen the video of this, and there was no elaborate prequel. He showed up, his story got told, and he got shot. Direct action, if extra-legal, but nothing more sinister than that.
Now, if you're the poor guy with his brains all over the street, I'm sure you're thinking (in that last millisecond) Hey, what about my rights? What about due process? But then it's too late, and you're already dead.
Hell of a photo, though.

Okay, it's unusual, but is it cruel?

From yet another blog, http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/stock, on "The threat of quiet Islam":

"Public execution in the form of stoning does not have much support in a democracy."

Geez, they didn't ask me...

The other white meat...

From a commenter on the Religion of Peace blog:
"Say what you will about the USA, but at least we can keep the insidious infiltration of these disrespectful to the principals of the constitution, those seditious, traiterious, militant, Islamic fundamentalist bastards in check. No sharia law. Not now, not ever. Got pork?"

Sound familiar?

"There is scarcely a single non-Muslim inhabitant of England, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Spain, or any other country in Western Europe who, knowing what he now knows, or perceives, would not, if he could rewind the clock, undo the policy of permitting large-scale — or even small-scale — immigration by Muslims, and almost all, if not all, of such inhabitants would gladly, if they could, have halted all Muslim immigration altogether."
"And everywhere in the Lands of the Infidels the large-scale presence of Muslims has created a situation of much greater unpleasantness, expense, and physical insecurity than would exist without such a presence. That no one in Western Europe now denies; the quarrel is over what can or should be done about that."
"Islamofascism is a cancer eating away at Europe’s traditions, cultures and legal systems bit by bit. Throw in a Muslim birthrate much higher that the populations in their host countries and you have a recipe for disaster waiting to happen. There are many muslims who refuse to integrate into the general culture of their new homelands and they get away with it because authorities do not want to be seen as being xenophobic. This has nothing to do with race but a heck of a lot to do with inviting trouble into your own home."
From commentators on the Religion of Peace blog...

Replace Muslim with Mexican and all those countries with the equivalently-affected states in the United States, and I wonder if it would still ring true?
If that's being racist, then guilty as charged.
However, replace Muslim with Martian and I would submit it's still true...

Now that is name-calling on a higher level

From A Waiter's Rant again:
"I hate to generalize, but the politics of the people who ate at The Bistro could best be classified as left of center. The politics of the people at the gun range? Hmmm. Judging from the ditty about Nancy Pelosi that I read in the men’s room, I’d have to say they’re right of center. My old customer from The Bistro would probably think the men at this gun range are violence-loving, small-penis-compensating, neoconservative, right-wing nutjobs. To be fair, all the men here would probably consider her a frigid, wimpy, NPR-listening, latte-slurping, liberal surrender monkey."

Surrender monkey?
Rico loves it.

Safety isn't always in numbers

From A Waiter's Rant, a most excellent blog I try and emulate:
"Phil and I go shooting once a year. He brings the guns and I buy the bullets. Afterwards we hit a nearby Hooters for burgers and beers. The guns we’re shooting today represent a fraction of Phil’s personal arsenal. How many guns does my friend have? Let me put it to you this way - if brain eating zombies ever start wandering the earth, I’m going to Phil’s house."

If brain-eating zombies ever do start wandering the earth, you can always come to my house... (Unless you are one, of course.)

A life lived by great movie lines

In The President's Analyst, the Russian spy attempts to hypnotize the title character, played to perfection by a young James Coburn, using a classic swinging watch and the repeated phrase "tedium... tedium... tedium...".
Now that I've fucked myself into stacking my linked blogs by title size, I've created a lot of 'tedium' for myself to keep it up.
Just one of the reasons I'd have been unwilling, heretofore, to do such things.
Just another one of the things that's changed, now, after the landmine in my head...

Not just the Irish

From the "Gates of Vienna" blog, which I highly recommend:

"Irish universities have been hijacked by a bunch of left-wing ideologues, for whom national loyalty is a cardinal sin. Like those on the Titanic, they prefer to party on while the ship sinks."

Having been in Ireland many times when I worked for Apple and Claris, this is a truism.
Having been in and near one or two universities in this country, it's just as true here.
What was that band playing as the Titanic went down? Nearer my God to Thee?
Nope, won't do. Deist. Christian.
Surely the Left will demand that French anthem, or the Communist one...
The Horst Wessel Lied would more closely fit their behavior, if not their politics, however.

Civil War for the day

What we shoot at in N-SSA matches at Fort Shenandoah. Much safer for all concerned than the targets of 150 years ago...

The Swiss are civilized, right?

From Patterico.com:
The majority Swiss political party is now campaigning to "make deportation compulsory for convicted immigrants rather than an optional and rarely applied punishment".
One of the issues, apparently, are federal statistics showing that “about 70 percent of the prison population is non-Swiss.”
The campaign "has turned into a nationwide debate over the place of immigrants in one of the world’s oldest democracies and over what it means to be Swiss".
If they can have such a debate, in "one of the world’s oldest democracies", why can't we?

21 October 2007

Please ignore the man behind the curtain

There's a video in the YouTube stream at the top of my blog (assuming this Hind helicopter is still there) of the Russian military, done in full music video style.
Very snappy editing, cool images, great music.
And as long as you don't know a damn thing about conditions in Russia, it makes them look like a serious superpower.
Great tanks, aircraft, and artillery.
Unfortunately, they have no money.
So they're dealing with crappy maintenance, poor morale because no one is getting reliably paid or fed, long replacement cycles for equipment, and low ammunition expenditures (except in videos like these) on the range.
All in all, a hollow titan.
But a great video, nonetheless...

Rodeo's in town

Went to a local rodeo, only my second one (first one was in Colorado, years ago).
It's still a shame that they can't get the animals to buck without squeezing their balls...
No one got seriously hurt, though a few of the bullriders got stomped pretty good.
All in all, not a job I want. Ever.
The risk/reward ratio is way too fucking low.

Indiana Jones & the Temple of Cat Poop

Owning a cat is like being an archeologist.
Why, you ask?
Because you have to work stooped over in small dark places, sifting carefully through mounds of dusty sand in order to find ancient buried treasure.
And then throw it away.
No museum shows, no magazine articles, and damn sure no George Lucas extravaganzas.
Just you in the dimness with the shit.
Ain't pet ownership grand?
(And the cat would be the first to explain that it's scarcely 'ownership'; more like 'being permitted to take care of', like an antique Rolls or a Picasso...

Civil War for the day

Scott Delamater, Delaware Blues, stands ready as a safety officer on the line at Fort Shenandoah.

20 October 2007

Gotta love the guy

I never was much for Rush Limbaugh, but he's really done a good thing with this. Rico says check it out.

How it is in here

It's a hard thing to describe, this brain injury thing.
Much of the time, it's just like being drunk.
Without the pleasures of drinking, of course.
But the same slowness of thought and (sometimes) speech, uncertainty of gait, carelessness of judgment, and deliberateness of motion.
I have to be very careful reaching for things, esp. setting them down, and have to judge distances by shadows and movement, since my binocular vision still isn't working.
I've never been drunk enough to see double, but I'm sure this is what it's like.
Some day this will all go away.
Not soon enough...

Civil War for the day

The Delaware Blues in formation at Fort Shenandoah.

19 October 2007

Too true

(From sedition.com)
There's a word for a pacifist unable or unwilling to defend himself: victim.

Same as it ever was

"It is no doubt very desirable that we should hold out as many inducements as possible for the worthy part of mankind to come and settle amongst us, and throw their fortunes into a common lot with ours. But why is this desirable? Not merely to swell the catalogue of people. No, sir, it is to increase the wealth and strength of the community; and those who acquire the rights of citizenship, without adding to the strength or wealth of the community, are not the people we are in want of. And what is proposed by the amendment is that they shall take nothing more than an oath of fidelity, and declare their intention to reside in the United States. Under such terms, it was well observed by my colleague, aliens might acquire the right of citizenship, and return to the country from which they came, and evade the laws intended to encourage the commerce and industry of the real citizens and inhabitants of America, enjoying at the same time all the advantages of citizens and aliens."
"I should be exceedingly sorry, sir, that our rule of naturalization excluded a single person of good fame that really meant to incorporate himself into our society; on the other hand, I do not wish that any man should acquire the privilege, but such as would be a real addition to the wealth or strength of the United States."

This from James Madison, during the Congressional debate about immigration policy in 1790.
(Emphasis added to illustrate the similarity between his time and ours...)

New to me

Saw this new military acronym on the Net today: DUSTWUN
It stands for Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown, meaning they're unaccounted for, either as a prisoner of war (not a good thing if it's al-Qaeda that has you) or lying dead somewhere.
Either way, not something you want on your military record...

Wisdom comes in the strangest forms

Here I was, reading a fictional blog purportedly written by none other than Darth Vader (okay, so I have eclectic tastes, so sue me; it's http://darthside.blogspot.com/ if you care), when up pops this:

"One must never forget to taste the present, the fleeting sweetest moment you can ever know."

Too true.
I shall endeavour to remember that.
(It's now a big-character poster on my wall...)

See ya and raise ya

Someone decided these were a good reflection of Windows (hey, I don't make 'em up, I just report 'em):

While they did use some pretty nice photographs, they were still stuck with that hideous logo... In any case, I decided that the non-Dark Side should show off a little bit (couldn't figure out how to animate the images, sorry):

Civil War for the day

It's early and it's cold... The 3rd PA cavalry (reenactors) try to get warm.

18 October 2007

Civil War for the day

Got balls? The rounds for that eight-inch mortar. And, yes, they're heavy...

17 October 2007

Civil War for the day

Tom Barker, adjutant, Delaware Blues, on the line at Fort Shenandoah.

16 October 2007

Things you'll never see again

A Lockheed Constellation was the very first airplane that I remember flying in, when my parents brought me to California for the first time in about 1960. My mother sat up all night, terrified, watching the exhaust flames from the engines out the window, convinced we were going to crash any minute.
We didn't, of course.
Don't remember what we flew on the way back, but probably a DC4 or something.
Still one of the coolest 1950s-looking airplanes ever made.
Hopeless, of course. They had a nasty tendency to fly into the ground on a regular basis.
Stopped flying them back in the 60s sometime.
Haven't seen one, even in an aviation museum, in ages.

Maybe there was something to that whole eleven eleven thing after all...

I first noticed the "eleven eleven" phenomenon when I lived in Oakland. We had the VCR right under the television, and whenever I looked at it it said 11:11. Given that I watched the eleven o'clock news a lot, that's not too surprising.
Then I started noticing it in the car, where I had a digital clock. Of course, now it could be 11:11 am, or 1:11 pm, or even, if I was out late enough, 1:11am.
Then it started getting really weird, as I kept noticing other eleven eleven things, like taxi cab numbers, addresses (the most famous incident being the building across the street from where I was shopping in New York City that had its address, Number Eleven, written out twice on the awning out front; from where I was standing, of course, it read twice: eleven eleven), and people's telephone numbers ending in 1111.
The whole thing spiraled out of control after that, with a fairly constant barrage of elevens and ones in my field of vision.
My ladyfriend, bless her, didn't believe in any of this shit. Sure, it was weird, but what could it possibly be, other than some meaningless coincidence?
Then, the night I went into the hospital, she's reading a hospital brochure in the waiting room, more out of desperation than a real desire for information. Now, please remember, this is the 29th of November. If you add those numbers, of course, that eleven for November and eleven for two plus nine...
Then she flips over the brochure and sees the address for the hospital: 111 South 11th Street

Hey, I'm amazed that I made it, too...

That's not a war. I'll show you a war...

This came around in an email from Too Dang Frank. It got hooked to a real interview by Senator John Glenn by someone else, but basically I don't care. I'm just glad someone's saying it, beside me...

There were 39 combat-related deaths in Iraq in January. In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the month of January. That's one American city, but just about as deadly as the entire war-torn country of Iraq.
When someone states that President Bush shouldn't have started this war, note the following:
FDR led us into World War II and quickly had Congress declare war on both Japan and Germany. Germany never attacked us; Japan did. From 1941 through 1945, we lost 450,000 lives, an average of 112,500 per year.
Harry Truman finished that war and started one in Korea, though North Korea never attacked us. From 1950 through 1953, we lost 55,000 lives, an average of 18,334 per year.
John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962. Vietnam never attacked us. Lyndon Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire. From 1965 through 1975, we lost 58,000 lives, an average of 5,800 per year.
Bill Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent. Bosnia never attacked us. He was offered Osama bin Laden's head on a platter three times by the Sudanese government and did nothing. Osama, through his minions, has attacked us on multiple occasions.
In the years since 9/11, President Bush has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran, and North Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.

The Democrats are complaining about how long the war is taking.
It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno to take the Branch Davidian compound, a 51-day operation.
We've been looking for evidence for chemical weapons in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find the billing records of the Rose law firm.
It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the Marines to destroy the Republican Guard than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick, drowning MaryJo Kopechne.
It took less time to take Iraq than it took to count the votes in Florida.

Whose record and what war are we complaining about here?

If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you are reading it in English, thank a veteran.

That's how they do it

Couldn't figure it out, so I had to check the stats.
They do have the same size screen (320x240) pixel-wise, but the nano bears one that displays at 204ppi versus the iPod's 163ppi, so the screen is physically smaller, but the same pixel count.
That's why the nano looks so great.
Damn, ain't technology wonderful...

Lenin, then and now

How the mighty have fallen. From exhorting the crowd outside the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg (above) to striding across the roof of the Finland Station in Moscow (below), Lenin has lost all the fear he used to invoke and been reduced to a bad joke of history.
That whirring sound you hear outside the Kremlin is Vladimir Ilyich spinning in his mausoleum...

Why they didn't win the war

The Japs are good at some things, though. Wacky foods like this cubic melon, for instance.
But Rico wants one; imagine how cool the square slices would be...

Civil War for the day

Now that is a gub... To be precise, an eight-inch mortar on the line at Fort Shenandoah.

15 October 2007

Where I go for fun

Most fun you can have with your clothes on. See their website for details.

Where I go to get better

This is Paoli Health & Fitness, way out Lancaster Avenue, where I go to get fixed twice a week. (See below for details.)

Musta hurt, though

That's "no surrender", in case your Arabic is weak...

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!

The Australians do not fuck about, as they say...

Muslims who want to live under Islamic sharia law were told on Wednesday to 'get out of Australia', as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.
A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and that its laws were made by the Australian parliament.
"If those are not your values, if you want a country which has sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you," he said on national television. "I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two sets of laws governing people in Australia, one Australian law and another Islamic law, that that is false. If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer sharia law, and have the opportunity to go to another country which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option", Costello said.
Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country. Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should "clear off. Basically people who don't want to be Australians, and who don't want, to live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically clear off," he said.
Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques: "Immigrants, not Australians, must adapt. Take it or leave it. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks in Bali, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians."
"However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others... I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand... This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. And, as Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language, and our own lifestyle."
"This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom."
"We speak mainly English, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!"
"Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right-wing, political statement but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture."
"We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us."
"If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like 'A Fair Go', then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others."
"This is our country, our land, and our lifestyle, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'The Right to Leave'."
"If you aren't happy here then leave. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country that you accepted."

For those who don't speak 'Strine, the phrase 'clear off' is the equivalent of the American phrase 'fuck off'...
But the phrase 'we really don't care how you did things where you came from' is one we could well learn in this country.

Boogs? I'll show you fookin' boogs

Saw a show on the History Channel the other night about small remotely-operated surveillance vehicles.
They're getting so small now that they're calling them (just as we knew they would) bugs.
But my buddy Kelley was drawing cartoons about this very thing back in the late 70s, when I worked for Defense Electronics. The geeks in signal intelligence in those days, of course, didn't have a sense of humor about these things, so we stopped publishing them after only a few issues...
Nice to see the world finally catching up.

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