Saturday, December 20, 2003

Calling a spade a spade

I'm sorry that the name of the war isn't more suiting to you - perhaps while we're at it we should rename the unpleasantries of 1939 - 1945 the EurasianNorthAmAustralo Conflict, since there weren't any battles fought in South America or Antarctica, thus not making it a true world war.

I'll say what has been on the tips of everybodies tongues since the fall of '01 - we're at war with Radical Islam. The Islamofascists, the Islamists, the Islamazoid Killbots, shit, whatever you want to call them, we're at war with them. And by "we" I mean Western Civilization, not merely the elected leaders of the Anglosphere nations.

Would calling your EurasianNorthAmAustralo Conflict a "War Against Radical Capitalism and Nationalism" make any more sense? Really, quibbling over titles seems pointless. I doubt the Islamazoid Killbots have a single unifying name for what they're waging against Western Civilization. They just know that they're at war. We should at least have the decency to respond in kind.

A few interesting points from the last few days:

Finally, Mr. Rhys-Davies is pointing out that is was Western Liberal Democracies that put an *end* to slavery. Yes, they lived with it for years and they condoned it for years. But can you name a single country with a duly elected representative body that still has a legal slave trade? Can you name any non-Muslim nations that have a burgeoning illicit trade in slaves? Western Civilization (and the boys at Gettysburg) made it unfashionable.

Less then 100 years the Declaration of Independence defined the rights of men, slavery became a thing of the past - in the Civilized world. The Global Caliphate of 2104 may see things differently.

Lincoln himself might have said on that point, "If not us, who? If not now, when?"

Michael Jackson has announced an intention to become a follower of Islam. Both Scientology and Islam are improved by this move.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Let's read a little more of that interview

Since it's so fascinating, let's consider:
[Recounting something his father told him] “Look, boy. There is not going to be a World War between Russia and the United. The next World War will be between Islam and the West.�

This is 1955! I said to him, “Dad, you’re nuts! The Crusades have been over for hundreds of years!�

How prescient of his father! Except, of course, that we're not at war with Islam, not even fundamentalist Islam. Just terrorism. Well, Islamic terrorists who target the United States, actually, since we haven't bombed Belfast or helped in the prosecution of the November 17th group or Chechnyans or... Come to think of it, we're not really at war with Islamic terrorists who target the United States anymore, either, but rather a secular Arab state. Well, not the people. Just that one guy who tried to take over George 41's good friends' nation of Kuwait to help finance
I mean… the abolition of slavery comes from Western democracy. True Democracy comes form our Greco-Judeo-Christian-Western experience. If we lose these things, then this is a catastrophe for the world.
Again, I must respectfully disagree. Greeks, Romans, Jews, Christians, pretty much everyone engaged in slavery (maybe not some of the East Asians, but I can't say definitively). Even Native Americans owned slaves. And, oddest of all, some black people even owned slaves. Slavery is evil, but reinventing its history fails to address the problem.

So what do I think? Mr. Rhys-Davies, whose acting talent I respect immensely even though he's often the poor man's Brian Blessed, has an opinion that is different than mine.

It's much like an unmentionable person who told me that the proper retaliation for September 11th would be to nuke Mecca. But I can tell you this: if we're going to start tackling the militant Muslim menace, the first thing we need to do is the ban headscarves at school and in the workplace. If only someone would have the courage to suggest it.
But I also have it on good authority that Tolkien compared Sauron to Hitler.

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"

Apparently, Shawn does. So if he puts a lot of faith into what these pretty little Scandanavians have to say, please take a moment to hear what stodgy old dwarves like John Rhys-Davies have to say:
I’m burying my career so substantially in these interviews that it’s painful. But I think that there are some questions that demand honest answers.

I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged. And if they do not rise to meet that challenge, they will lose their civilization. That does have a real resonance with me.

[ . . . ]

What is unconscionable is that too many of your fellow journalists do not understand how precarious Western civilization is and what a jewel it is.

How did we get the sort of real democracy, how did we get the level of tolerance that allows me to propound something that may be completely alien to you around this table, and yet you will take it and you will think about it and you’ll say no you’re wrong because of this and this and this. And I’ll listen and I’ll say, "Well, actually, maybe I am wrong because of this and this."

[He points at a female reporter and adopts an authoritarian voice, to play a militant-Islam character:] ‘You should not be in this room. Because your husband or your father is not hear to guide you. You could only be here in this room with these strange men for immoral purposes.’
[More . . . ]

Even Gimli knows that this is all about whether blogs will be allowed under the Global Caliphate of 2104. And he carries a bigass axe every where he goes.
Although I do have it on good authority that LOTR was written "as a lark, something for the kiddies."

Howlingly Good Blog!

OK, I loved your response. And the source article on Lord of the Rings was quote good, too. I read the whole thing. And I enjoy your headline of "Eau du Contraire", but I'm afraid that I stand by my assessment that you're being neither fair nor balanced.

The French are, after all, a people who lived with weekly subway bombings from the Algeirians (need to see the documentary about the last days of French colonialism that's making it's way around the DoD — sounds instructive). They didn't respond to that by banning their culture, and even now they don't say it's illegal — just inappropriate for school and the workplace.

As in a distraction. Keep in mind that in Wisconsin, I had a coworker who had a miniature altar in her office. I understand trying to bring the sacred to the mundane, but when you're at work, you're at work, not home, church, or Disneyworld. In many U.S. schools, inappropriate clothing is banned, which includes clothes showing gang affiliations. Does it remove gangs? Hell, no. But it does add some control to the environment, which is what is needed.

On the other hand, Ms. Ebadi coming out against it does give me some pause, but only because I have an open mind. I'll have to think about it.

On the whole, and not just because of my personal beliefs, I don't believe people should make public displays of religion. Ethnic diversity, though, can sometimes suffer when this is stringently pursued. I think the most important thing is to de-emphasize the role of religion in the public sphere so that there's one fewer thing to argue or be prejudiced about.

I think Grundy was really strong. I remember him facing off with Superman occaisionally, which on paper sounds like a really bad idea. Maybe he was super-stupid and Luthor needed a yes-man ("Let's attack the Justice League now!" "Urg. Sounds like a good idea to me. Then I can go home and eat some grits!")

Thursday, December 18, 2003

It's a black and white world after all

Possibly the only way left of seeing the world:
There's us and there's them. They want what we have. We're not about to give it to them.

What we have is called civilization, and to defend it we will fight a war to end all wars, except for the war after that, and the next one, too.

[ . . . ]

It's an endless field of ruin, desolate and despairing, blown with smoke and dust. It's the Somme -- where 20,000 young English boys ran into emplaced German machine gun fire -- as distilled through some sort of fantastic imagination and reconstrued in fairy tale form. But still: It's the Somme. Grim-faced men doing their duty against overwhelming odds, not particularly happy about it, wishing deeply to be somewhere else, but willing to follow the dictates of duty, which means death.
[More . . . ]

Now, *that's* selective editting!
Yeah, it was the sixties and cheap shots at southerners were all the rage, but Solomon Grundy didn't *do* anything - everybody else at that table had some special ability - even Luthor (the ability to ignore the blindingly obvious) - but Grundy was just a table filler.

Eau du Contraire, my bloggy friend

I captured the exact essence of that article. What we have, once again, is pure francophobia for anything that does not reek of cigarettes, is not deserving of a 35 hour work week or capable of building a decent aircraft carrier. Observe what your new idol Shirin Ebadi has to say about this:

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi of Iran said in Paris that it would "benefit only fundamentalists." In Washington, the State Department's ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom indicated it should not impinge on freedom of religion.

"All persons should be able to practice their religion and their beliefs peacefully without government interference as long as they are doing so without provocation and intimidation of others in society," John Hanford said.
[More . . . ]

At the bottom of the article, a frenchman with a decidedly arabic sounding name observes that this will only act to further isolate the minority, and make them feel that much more less French. He's right.

The C.E.S.M. have once again shot themselves in the foot. Rather than looking into what they can do to prevent the little Muslim street hooligans from attacking the Jewish kids, they have decided that if nobody wears anything religious, the problem will go away. Imagine if L.A. schools were to simply ban the wearing of blue and red. Yeah, that would make the street gangs go away.
What a bunch of frelling yutzes.

And now, Mr. Viggo Mortensen

"Everyone thinks (Aragorn) is the man for the job, because he has humility, a concern with the consequences of his actions and words on others and an interest in finding common ground with other people. All are qualities which I wish there were more of in real life in our modern-day leaders. There's an unfortunate lack of humility and overabundance of arrogance." [More...]
I imagine Republicans would ask what the hell actors know about politics, but that might go against their rabid support for Reagan and Schwarzenegger.

Reasons why overediting sucks?

From Brian's article:
France's chief rabbi, Joseph Sitruk, welcomed the speech, saying Chirac was "extremely clear about the place of religious belief in a modern society."
[T]he Muslim council's president, Dalil Boubakeur, called for calm in response to Chirac's proposals.

"We have already said that the law of our nation is our law," he said. "It is up to society to fix the norms and values that it wants respected."
Chirac said secularism, France's cherished separation of religion and state, remains a cornerstone of French values, providing neutral ground for different religions to coexist in harmony.

He rejected the Anglo-Saxon model of integration — admired by some French Muslims — where ethnic communities guard their customs and separateness.

"I refuse to let France take that path. It would sacrifice its heritage. It would compromise its future. It would lose its soul," Chirac said.
Sounds to me like Chirac is trying to — in a largely well-accepted, well-regarded way — preserve his national heritage while still cooling off rising domestic tensions.

Most importantly:
Chirac's proposals, part of a quickening government effort to thwart the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, also appeared aimed at undercutting support for the extreme right National Front, led by Jean-Marie Le Pen.
You might have confused Chirac with Le Pen. It sounds to me like Chirac is trying to take some wind out of his sails.

But what do the people say?
A poll published Wednesday, showed the majority of French people side with Chirac. The poll published in the Paris daily Le Parisien showed 69 percent favor a law banning the wearing of head scarves and other religious symbols.[More...]
Doesn't sounds much different than a majority of Americans saying that they're OK with brown-skinned people being sent to holding facilities in Cuba, sans human rights or legal counsel. Oh, wait, it's totally different.

In honor of this growing tradition of using political double-speak to somehow look down our noses on the French, I offer a translation in Russian:

Uhm. Darn it. Looking for it. Have to figure out character support. Damn.

Solomon Grundy was from the South. Didn't you get it? It was re-enacting the triumph of the Northern, city-bound Jew over the Southern swamp dweller. Didn't you ever get that? Sheesh, next thing I know, you're going to ask what was the deal with Wonder Woman? (Hint: sexual politics and deep-seated misogyny.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

More reasons why France Sucks

Chirac Orders Law Banning Head Scarves
PARIS - Despite protests from Muslim leaders, France must outlaw Islamic head coverings, Jewish skullcaps and other obvious religious signs in schools and regulate them in the workplace, President Jacques Chirac announced Wednesday.

Such action, the French president said in a televised national address, is needed to reaffirm France's secular foundations. "It is not negotiable," he asserted.

Islamic head scarves, Jewish yarmulkes or outsized Christian crosses "have no place" in public schools, Chirac said, and called on parliament, where his conservative government has a majority, to pass a law banning them ahead of the school year that starts in September 2004.
[More . . . ]

You'd think that the synagogue-burning little frogs would like to be able to better identify the targets of their pointless, old world rage.

In honor of the roots of this decision, Today's translation will be in German, the lingua-franca of cultural diversity.

Mehr Gründe, warum Frankreich saugt

Chirac Bestellt Das Gesetz, das Hauptschals Verbietet
PARIS - trotz der Proteste von den moslemischen Führern, muß Frankreich islamische Hauptbedeckungen, jüdische skullcaps und andere offensichtliche fromme Zeichen in den Schulen ächten und sie an dem Arbeitsplatz, Präsidenten Jacques Chirac verkündeter Mittwoch regulieren.

Solche Tätigkeit, der französische Präsident, der in einer im Fernsehen übertragenen nationalen Adresse gesagt wird, ist erforderlich, Frankreichs weltliche Grundlagen nochmals zu versichern. "sie ist nicht," er erklärte verkäuflich.

Islamische Hauptschals, jüdische yarmulkes oder outsized christliche Kreuze "haben keinen Platz" in den allgemeinen Schulen, in gesagtem Chirac und in ersuchtem Parlament, in dem seine konservative Regierung eine Majorität hat, um ein Gesetz zu verabschieden sie vor dem Schuljahr verbietend, das im September 2004 beginnt.

Sie würden denken, daß die Synagoge-burning kleinen Frösche in der LageSEIN
möchten, die Ziele ihrer sinnlose, alte Weltraserei besser zu kennzeichnen.
What the hell was the deal with Solomon Grundy, anyways - he was big and dumb. So what?

The Phantom Menace

I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee.
Why did Mr. Zebari come to the U.N.? If they'd failed for 35 years, then what hope was there? Oh, wait: was it to displace the U.S.? We're locking up as much of the country as we can. We're inventing fake charges, bringing in this obviously ill-prepared stunt double for Saddam, and doing everything but shooting it on a soundstage in L.A.

And Bush sounds just as convincing as Palpatine, I might add.
So what's the real menace? The rise of neo-con hawks who run up the budget deficit to the days of the good old 80s, handing out sweetheat government deals to those they get kickbacks from while unemployment runs through the land like a pandemic. Hell, this is all about money.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Clues for the Clueless, Vol XXVII

From Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari at the Security Council today:
"The United Nations as an organization failed to help rescue the Iraqi people from a murderous tyranny that lasted over 35 years, and today we are unearthing thousands of victims in horrifying testament to that failure."

He declared, "The U.N. must not fail the Iraqi people again."

Well said, Mr. Zebari. Counter point, Mr. Annan?
Now is not the time to pin blame and point fingers," he told reporters. Saying that Mr. Zebari was "obviously entitled to his opinion," Mr. Annan said that the United Nations had done as much for Iraq as it could under the circumstances and was prepared to do more.

"Quite honestly," he said, "now is not the time to hurl accusations and counter-accusations."


Ahem. Maybe he had something more to add to this meeting:
Mr. Annan led off the open session of the council with a speech drawing from his report last week that ruled out a swift return of the United Nations to Iraq because of the bombing of its Baghdad headquarters in August and continuing attacks on diplomats and relief workers.

I can only imagine after the Iraqis and the US have cleaned things up and made everything fine and tickety-boo and in fine Bristol fashion that we can expect the Second Coming of the UN.
What a bunch of yutzes.

Indices pour le Clueless, vol. XXVII

Du ministre des affaires étrangères de l'Irak, Hoshyar Zebari au Conseil de sécurité aujourd'hui: :
"les Nations Unies car une organisation n'aide pas à sauver les irakiens d'une tyrannie meurtrière qui a durées sur 35 ans, et aujourd'hui nous déterrent des milliers de victimes dans le testament horrifiant à cet échec." Il a déclaré, "L'U.N. ne doit pas échouer les irakiens encore."

Dit bon, M. Zebari. Contre- point, M. Annan ?
N'est pas maintenant l'heure de goupiller le blâme et des doigts de point, "il a dit des journalistes. Disant que M. Zebari "a évidemment eu droit à son avis," M. Annan a dit que les Nations Unies avaient fait autant pour l'Irak qu'il pourrait dans les circonstances et ont été préparées pour faire plus. "tout à fait honnêtement," il a dit, "n'est pas maintenant l'heure de lancer des accusations et des compteur-accusations."


Ahem. Peut-être il a eu quelque chose davantage à à ajouter à cette réunion:
M. Annan a mené outre de la session publique du conseil avec un discours tirant de son rapport la semaine dernière qui a éliminé un retour rapide des Nations Unies vers l'Irak en raison du bombardement de ses sièges sociaux de Bagdad en août et attaques continues sur des diplomates et des ouvriers de soulagement.

Je peux seulement imaginer après les Irakiens et les USA ont nettoyé des choses vers le haut et ont rendu tout fin et tickety-à bas et de mode fine de Bristol que nous pouvons nous attendre l'avènement de l'ONU.
Quel groupe de yutzes.

Legal Opportunity

Hey, Brian, I understand that you'd like to make a big payday. I coincidentally heard of a guy who'll be going on trial soon who could use some good legal counsel. Are you up for it? It would require some travel to a foreign country. I don't know if you would need any additional certification (does Iraq even have a bar?).

Are you up for it?

If not you, who? Johnnie Cochran is currently representing the Pooh estate against Disney (no, I'm not making it up).

Disney, of course, is the other Great Satan.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Chortle. More from the interrogation

Hussein's capture will have in ending the insurgency. His failure to resist, though his sons went down fighting, will help dismantle the myth factor in the rebellion. "People are already saying the sons died like men and he gave up like a coward," a Baghdad resident told me in a telephone conversation.

"Why didn't you fight?" one Governing Council member asked Hussein as their meeting ended. Hussein gestured toward the U.S. soldiers guarding him and asked his own question: "Would you fight them?"
[More . . . ]

La capture de Hussein aura en finissant l'insurrection. Son manque de résister, bien que ses fils aient descendu le combat, aidera à démanteler le facteur de mythe dans la rébellion. les "gens disent déjà que les fils morts comme les hommes et lui ont donné vers le haut comme un lâche," un résidant de Bagdad m'a dit dans une conversation téléphonique.

"Pourquoi pas vous combat?" un membre régissant du Conseil a demandé Hussein pendant que leur réunion était close. Hussein a fait des gestes vers les soldats des ETATS-UNIS le gardant et a posé sa propre question : "vous les combattriez?"
[Plus . . . ]

All my entries this week will be simulcast en Francais in honor of the yet to be released Iraqi French Connection evidence at the trial.

Uh oh

Members of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council visited Saddam on Sunday and said they found him "tired and haggard, unrepentant, even defiant." Four members of the council called the former ruler "a just but firm ruler."
Some people you just can't get through to. They have an illness in the head. What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Or do you think that they forgot that they are "U.S.-appointed"?
Does this mean that our troops will get their flowers now?


The idea with CCAP public records is that once you are in the court system, you have relinquished some of your right to privacy and that public access to such information is in the public interest.

CCAP's mission is to enhance the Wisconsin Court system experience, but Wisconsin's giving away too much information. What's next? How much I pay in income taxes.?

I don't like the fact that people can — and have — looked up my divorce case (albeit, they were friends at CCAP, but still). I would want people to know if I was a sex offender, though. No to the liens (in general; more below) and no to the property taxes.

I agree with your assessment: CCAP should have some kind of limitation placed on it, say an annual fee. Journalists and lawyers would be the primary users, not the same guys that spend their non-Internet hours listening to the police scanner. I think that, likewise, the lien/tax information should be accessible to real estate agents and perhaps some others for an annual fee, but I don't want everyone to know about everything I do.

However, for the sex offenders, I practically want a tatoo on their foreheads.
If you want the freedom to be left alone these days, you practically have to move out to a shack in Montana. Say, that's not a bad idea.

What? They took minutes??

Bennett said intelligence officials were hopeful they could dismantle part of the resistance structure, however, using documents found with Saddam that detailed the minutes of a meeting of cell leaders in Baghdad, including their names.[More...]
You're kidding, right?

Saddam: OK, let's call to order this Meeting of Supervillians, Saddam Hussein presiding. In attendance are Osama bin Laden, Adolf Hitler, Satan, Solomon Grundy, and Lex Luthor. First order of business, destruction of the the Mother of All Democracies, the United States.

Grundy: Oooh, I hate freedom!

Luthor: My work with multinational corporations have really gone a long way in dismantling their freedom. Besides, as soon as my stock purchase plan for LexCorp to buy out Haliburton goes through, I suspect that we'll be in complete control of the world.

[At this point, the minutes indicate that the meeting devolves into sinister laughter before fading to commercial break].
There's something so farcical about this kind of information, I really don't know what to do with it.

Stupid Rumsfeld Quote of the Day

"Here was a man who was photographed hundreds of times shooting off rifles and showing how tough he was, and in fact, he wasn't very tough, he was cowering in a hole in the ground, and had a pistol and didn't use it and certainly did not put up any fight at all," Rumsfeld said.

"In the last analysis, he seemed not terribly brave."
Uh, Don. Your boss hopped in a plane on 9/11 and flew to Nebraska. THe VP is still in an "undisclosed location" for all we know. Gee, how tough are they? Dick has a bad heart and George has a bad brain. Do you think they'd fight? They both opted out of Vietnam, with Dick having "other priorities" and George failing to show for duty for 18 months of Guard duty. You think they'd fire a pistol when faced with six M-16s?

Wait, Don. What did you do during Vietnam?

Bunch of cowards. That's what our administration is full of. Schoolyard bullies. Man, I want to beat the crap out of Rumsfeld sometimes.

Waiting for the federal troops to show up on my doorstep.

Are we really sure that it's Saddam?

I concur on Walt Whitman and the right, Joe Stalin on the left as far as resemblences go, but both pictures just look like taxi drivers to me.
Leaves of grass, my ass! — Homer Simpson

Before I start ranting

First, I must rave about this: The Valley of the Shadow. It appears to be an incredible extensive digital collection of Civil War materials. Including this letter:
As to the course of the Union men in Virginia.

There are no Union men left in Virginia.

The moment it appeared beyond question that the people of the North, without distinction of party, were clamorous for a war of invasion and subjugation against us, our people accepted disunion as a fixed and irrevokable fact, and we stand this day a united people, ready with one mind and one voice, with one heart and one arm to make good the eternal separation which we have declared.

The issue of peace or war is in the hands of the North. We only ask to be let alone, and to be allowed to consult our interest and our safety in peace. If this is denied to us, mark the prediction, we will give you a fight which will stand out upon the page of history an example for all time of the determination with which a people can make war when they are conscious of having exhausted all honorable means of pacification.
How dare the South try to repell the foreign invaders in the defense of their homes? And why weren't the Union troops greeted with flowers?

Sunday, December 14, 2003

I may not stop chortling for a week

Quickly, the Fourth I.D. mounted Operation Red Dawn: about 600 troopers--cavalry, engineers, artillery, Special Forces--to descend on the two farms, code-named Wolverine 1 and Wolverine 2. As evening fell, the soldiers surrounded the farms, cutting off all roads for about four or five kilometers around. Special Forces slipped in--and found nothing.
According to U.S. officials, the Americans had an informant working with them, a family member "close to Saddam." The tipster said, in effect, "He's there. Trust me. Keep looking."
[More . . . ]

And for our friends the French:

Rapidement, la quatrième identification a monté l'aube rouge d'opération : environ 600 troopers -- cavalerie, ingénieurs, artillerie, forces spéciales -- à descendre aux deux fermes, code-appelées Wolverine 1 et Wolverine 2. Pendant que la soirée tombait, les soldats ont entouré les fermes, découpant toutes les routes environ quatre ou cinq kilomètres autour. Les forces spéciales ont glissé dedans -- et trouvé rien. Selon des fonctionnaires des ETATS-UNIS, les Américains ont eu un informateur travailler avec eux, un membre de famille "près de Saddam." Le tipster l'a indiqué, en effet, "est là. Faites- confiancemoi. Continuez à regarder." [Plus . . . ]

Doesn't the beard shot make him look like Fidel? Possibly Walt Whitman.