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Letter from Gotham



 
 
Saturday, March 01, 2003
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



Abbey has a sad story, but she's not telling.


(Columbus Ohio HBS)

Abbey is spayed, weighs about 5 lbs, and has a friendly personality. She loves to run around the kitchen and then jump on the chair and rest for her afternoon nap. Abbey is terrific with her litterbox habits. She enjoys being petted and does a cute shake of her head when you walk into the room. Abbey likes to play with her toys and loves different boxes to jump in and out of. She was a stray that was trying to follow a person into their home on a cold winter night. Thankfully the person was a friend to animals and took her to a shelter where we picked her up the next day. Come visit Abbey...she would like to follow you to her new home too!
(Columbus Ohio HBS)


Abbey is lucky she tried to follow a nice person home. Here's hoping there are more nice people out there, looking for adoptable bunnies.
 

Arsenal of Democracy



You've heard of Land Warrior? It's not even officially in the AoD, and the Army is working on the sequel: Objective Force Warrior:

The Objective Force Warrior system, which is scheduled for fielding in 2008, integrates and improves on the electronic capabilities inherent in the Land Warrior system. For example, soldiers will not have to wear cumbersome night-vision or infrared goggles or heavy laser training components on their helmets. These and other features, such as thermal sensors, video cameras, and chemical and biological sensors, are integrated fully in the helmet. The helmet also has a visor that acts as a "heads-up display monitor" equivalent to having two 17-inch computer monitors in front of the soldier's eyes. The uniform system is a multifunctional garment that incorporates physiological sensors that allow the soldier, his chain of command, and nearby medics to monitor the soldier's blood pressure, heart rate, internal and external body temperature, and caloric consumption rate. Commanders and medics will be able to access the information through a tactical local area network. The system's built-in climate-control system has a spacer fabric with "capillaries" that blow hot or cold air through the system.
(Global Security)


Now that is really cool! But does the Army realize they are spending all that money to develop Colonial Marines?

But wait, it gets better:

As new technologies become available and practical, the concept of the Objective Force Warrior will undergo major upgrades beyond 2010, especially with nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is the ability to manipulate materials on an atomic or molecular scale. The Objective Force Warrior demonstration program is scheduled for fiscal year 2002-2008, then transitioning to Project Manager-Soldier Systems in fiscal year 2008 for system development and testing, and fielding in the 2010-2012 timeframe.
(Global Security)


By then we ought to have our prototype exoskeletons ready for evaluation. Naturally, by that time the project will need a more suitable name.
 

Imminent Threat?



How embarrassed the peace-mongers must feel:

If war comes to Iraq, the Kurds of Kifri will be right in the line of fire. Iraqi officials have threatened that the moment the first American bomb lands, they will reply with a chemical assault on the town.
(Telegraph)


An explicit threat to strike first with WMD. Once the appeasers hear about this, they'll have to... ignore it, I suppose. After all, that's what they do best.

If Saddam carried out his threat, would we cry havoc and let slip some American Sunshine? If we didn't, another tyrant would think he could get away with it, too.

Sure, it's a tough decision, but there is a happy compromise. Let's say we capture Saddam alive, or capture the top officers in his chemical corps. Could we nuke them individually? Yes, we could Slotinize them, and preserve the credibility of our deterrent stockpile.
 

Yawn and Stretch




(Animal Planet)

Yes, those legs go all the way to the top.
 

Google-a-Crook



Hat's off to this guy:

A British journalist claims to have tracked down four people on Interpol's "most wanted list" in one hour and 22 minutes.

Ian Cobain, of the Times, says he used widely available resources including electoral registers, internet search engines and commercial records.
(Ananova)


Good enough for government work?
 

Religious Extremism



Another day, another book burned for blasphemy...

A book portraying Jesus as a hippy, Jimi Hendrix as his pal and the Last Supper as a drinking binge has been seized from bookstores by police in Greece.
...
Legal action is also being taken against the Greek publishing house Oxy, the translator and Haderer himself for blasphemy.
(Ananova)


First Houellebecq, then Fallici and now Haderer. A strong faith can handle a friendly little joke. So what is up with Europe?

Thank God we have an Establishment Clause.
 

Truth in Advertising



Oops!

Bermuda has been using photographs of Hawaiian beaches to promote itself in adverts.
(Ananova)


On a similar note, when you visit DC be sure to make time to see the Liberty Bell.

Friday, February 28, 2003
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



Hello Napoleon!


(San Francisco 'Save-a-Bunny')

Hi. My name is Napoleon. I'm a strikingly handsome, very active and curious, young, neutered Dutch boy bunny. I was born on October 30, 2002 as part of a 4-H accidental litter and didn't quite make it for "show."

I'm still a little champion as you'll discover when you meet me. I've earned my blue ribbons in wonderful personality, cuteness and house bunny happiness.

Please adopt me so we can play!
(San Francisco 'Save-a-Bunny')


Just try and tell me you can resist that face!
 

Arsenal of Democracy



As you know, Operation Desert Storm is known as "The Walkman War." Everyone went into battle with their own theme music. A dozen years later, we've upgraded to iPods, and everyone will have their own fighting MP3 playlist. But both systems are critically vulnerable when it comes to batteries (and now you know why they call Kuwait "K-Mart").

Not to fear: DARPA is on the case:

The Palm Power Program focuses on projects that will produce electric power for soldiers or small groups of soldiers. The program is developing compact fuel cell and thermal to electric energy conversion technologies. These power sources are intended for distributed power generation and could also be used for co-generation (producing heating, hot water, or cooling, in addition to electricity). Portable units could be carried by soldiers and replace larger diesel generator sets that must be towed on a trailer.
(DARPA)


The Palm Power Project (PPP) has its own website, which is a thoughtful touch. Good to see that they're trying to keep we warbrowsers happy.

Besides recharging our fightin' NiCads, the Palm Power Project will be especially useful for our burgeoning arsenal of robots. They need extra juice too. We at BBB wish PPP much success, and hope they make many shocking new discoveries.
 

Almost in the AoD



Jay Nordlinger writes about a charity shipping wheelchairs into Poland:

The writer continued, "I traveled to Poland a few years back with a Christian ministry delivering wheelchairs to disabled people. In one church I had been elected to speak. I spoke of praying for Poland and the other countries under Soviet domination. Afterwards these dear brothers and sisters came up to me and through an interpreter said, ‘We were always praying for you; we knew the United States would never forget us.’ I am humbled by that kind of love and faithfulness."

(National Review)


That reminds me of one of the little known, but much treasured stories of Cold War heroism.

Before we get to how Poland saved the Arsenal of Democracy, I need to give you a little prologue.

Back in the fifties, every branch of the AoD had its own plan to give the evil USSR a lethal dose of American Sunshine. When someone went to the trouble to compile the lists, he found out that together the services planned to unload more than 100 A-Bombs and H-Bombs on Moscow alone.

Realizing that we could probably get away with nuking Moscow only 60 or 70 times, he complained and started what we now know as the Strategic Integrated Operating Plan. I’ve never seen one, but I’m told that back when it was on paper, it was the size of a phone book and full of every nuclear warfighting scenario from "nuke-me-once’ to the full-blown "erase Russia and France."

The idea was for the President to open up the football and flip through the "Best of the SIOP" and issue his order. That order would be repeated down the chain to the pilots, missileers and submariners who had their fingers on the buttons.

And that’s where Poland comes in.

Back in the late Brezhnev period, the United States realized it needed to update its SIOP to account for the effects of high-altitude EMP effects (e.g., Starfish, Goldeneye). Now the critical electronic gear is supposed to be hardened against EMP, but you try and test it. Plus all the ancillary computers were definitely going to be toast. So the Arsenal of Democracy needed an EMP-invulnerable way to issue orders in a 20th century nuclear warfighting environment.

Naturally, they wanted non-electric typewriters. And (I suppose) bicycle messengers.

So the AoD put out requests for bids (RFB) on the doomsday typewriter program. But heard only crickets.

IBM? Crickets...
Remington? Crickets...
Smith-Corona? Crickets...
Underwood? Crickets...

Now you can’t enhance national security by scouting out machines at your local flea market. The AoD needed a vendor who would warrant his product when the balloon went up. But by 1980, nobody in the United States manufactured manual typewriters. In fact, nobody in the whole free world was manufacturing manual typewriters. The fate of the country rested on protecting the secret of our atomic Achilles heel.

And then Poland stepped up to the plate.

Since it’s an iron law that communist countries are at least 25 years behind the free world (50 years in terms of fashion), a plucky little Polish company responded to the Pentagon’s RFP. The government of Poland even issued an export license. All we had to do was buy the blessed little things and be totally invulnerable in the face of evil.

As if Congress would ever let that happen...

The AoD purchases its gear, guided by two lodestars: the Buy America Act (BAA) and the Trade Agreement Act (TAA). The Buy America Act says: the AoD should spend its $$$ here. Tbppphh!. The Trade Agreement Act says: we should let our valiant NATO allies onboard the gravy train. No two legal syntheses of these laws is the same. So nobody really knows how to obey both laws at the same time.

So when international trade lawyer and registered foreign agent knocked on the door, offering to sell Warsaw-Pact typewriters, hilarity ensued.

I think it’s a great story, and am sorry to report that I don’t know the ending. Did we bite the bullet and buy Polish? Or did we squabble the issue to death? I lean toward the latter, which is why this story is filed under "Almost in the AoD." If anyone works at the Pentagon and knows where the typewriters are buried, comment or email me – I’ve always wanted to find out. Either way, it’s a heartwarming reminder that the Poles have our best interests at heart and would save us from ourselves, if we would let them.

UPDATE: Almost forgot. Manual Typewriter Shrines! Knock yourselves out.

Second Update: Added links to SIOP and the nuclear football, just so you know.
 

Apocalypse v. Apocalypse



Rod Dreher of NRO interviews a University scholar of Muslim apocalypticism. What does the Islamic end-of-the-world look like?

  1. There are a series of signs or portents previous to the end: moral and social decay, natural and cosmic disasters, and political events that will demonstrate in an incontrovertible manner that the end is about to happen.

  2. A tempter, or Antichrist, called the Dajjal will appear and lead the world (with the exception of true Muslims) astray. Almost everyone will be subject to his tribulations, but just before he succeeds in annihilating the Muslims, Jesus will come down from the heavens and kill him.

  3. There will be a messianic age, led by either Jesus or another messianic figure called the Mahdi. This latter figure will conquer the entire world and convert everyone to Islam.

  4. After the time of the Mahdi, then Gog and Magog [cf. Ezekiel 38, 39; the Islamic version goes by the name Yajuj and Majuj] will invade the world and destroy it.

  5. God will bring the world to an end.

(National Review)


Say what you want about the rest, I really like step two. Wouldn't that be cool? Especially if He did it with a Big Mac in one hand and a Desert Eagle in the other, firing from the backseat of a convertible during the superbowl halftime show... and wearing a cowboy hat. Who knew the Koran was so Lee Greenwood?

Much better than Revelations. Folks, I've been to Patmos and visited the cave where St. John supposedly wrote the last book of the Bible. Of course it's a shrine, but the tour guides aren't afraid to tell you about how much he enjoyed his opium.

Doesn't that explain everything? Why else does Revelations reads like bad folk music lyrics? The guy ended his life as a drugged out hippie!

After you compare the two apocalypses, it's easy to see which one is better. And that means Christians need a re-written, hippie-free final chapter. Don't know about you, but I'm thinking Clancy...
 

How bad is Berkeley?



Ask Erick Stackelbeck:

There are people walking the streets of Berkeley today who make Noam Chomsky look like Audie Murphy.
(FrontPage Magazine)


You mean these guys?

Berkeley Stop the War
Progressive Labor Party
Democratic Socialists of America
Wake Up About The War


…and each of them is guarded against foreign harm by the Arsenal of Democracy. Just so you know where the moral superiority really lies.

Thursday, February 27, 2003
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



Today's bunny is Blossom:


(San Diego HBS)

Blossom is a multi colored, beautiful young rabbit with a great temperment. She has been spayed and is ready for a new home. This gentle gal would do best in a quiet home, but would probably be okay around well behaved children. Blossom likes to explore the house and is pretty easy to hold. She loves to be pet and is also very good with her litterbox. Now all she needs is a permanent home!
(San Diego HBS)


Mind you, this is how Blossom behaves in foster care. Befriend this bunny and she'll really warm up to you. If bunnies have one weakness, it's bribery. And I should know (do I smell nachos and beer?). Hang on folks, gotta run!
 

Arsenal of Democracy



Today’s selection is the SSGN:

Navy SEALs are training aboard the USS Florida (SSGN 728) to work out how they will operate on this new class of submarines. Actually, the SSGN isn't new, as they are converted ballistic missile subs (SSBNs). Nuclear arms reduction treaties mandate that many American SSBNs be broken up or converted (and inspected by Russian monitors) to other uses. When conversion of four SSBNs is complete, the SSGNs (as they will be called) will carry 154 cruise missiles, and as many as 60 SEAL commandos. To support the SEALS, the SSGNs will carry exercise equipment and a laser firing range so the SEALs can stay in shape. In the past, SEALs would ship out in smaller SSNs (attack subs) which could not carry as many SEALs or much special equipment for them. It will cost over a billion dollars to convert each of the four SSBNs to SSGNs. There is some question of how useful this will be. There aren't many situations where you need to sneak in a large force of SEALs, especially when existing SSNs can carry 16 or more SEALs for any special missions. Cruise missiles are now less urgently needed because of the introduction of JDAM and (longer range) JSOW GPS smart bombs. But the SSGN program has been approved, so the SEALs will have better transportation, and 154 cruise missiles to call on if they find some choice targets ashore.
(Strategypage)


I don’t know where to start with how cool these boats will be. Remember the big debates over Arsenal Ships? Well here they are – better than you imagined. After these ones expend their inventory, they submerge and sneak away for a reload.

I can totally see the skipper of one of these SSGNs looking through his periscope and wondering: do I send the five dozen seals or my own personal air force? Me, I’d just flip a coin and surprise myself. And then send both at once.

But the best thing about these boats is the swanky lifestyle. Imagine a dinner with the best grub in all the services (duck ala nuque). Followed by a game of Laser tag in Sherwood Forest, while silently cruising at a dozen knots under a couple hundred feet of water?

God bless America!
 

The Obvious



So I’m reading National Review Online and checking out a Nota Bene from Parameters: Al Qaeda and the Internet: The Danger of “Cyberplanning”

Don’t get me wrong: it’s a thoughtful essay. But then I came across this paragraph:

The Internet is an outstanding command and control mechanism. Command and control, from a US military point of view, involves the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures accomplish command and control by assisting in planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment of a mission.
(Parameters)


No kidding. You’d think it had been built with C2 in mind or something…
 

Imminent Attack



No, not the good kind:

On February 24th, an Islamist website, www.alfjr.com - published a religious exhortation containing text announcing an imminent terror attack, apparently to take place in the U.S. The author signed the announcement by the moniker "The Prince of Philosophy." The message also appeared on the Islamist website www.arabforum.net (as copied from alfjr.com). On several occasions in the exhortation, the author claims that the attack is imminent ("the train of death is on its way... nothing will stop its riders") and that only an order from their commander is needed before the attack is carried out. Two pictures of bin Laden were added to the exhortation, one with an image of the World Trade Center in flames, hinting, possibly, to an Al-Qa'ida connection.
(MEMRI)


Credible? Who knows. But what’s so significant about 10 eight days from now? The only thing on the calendar between now and then is the start of Desert Storm II.

Mind you, these folks took a pass on three occasions when millions of us were watching live tv:

Superbowl
State of the Union
Liftoff, Columbia

I think we should answer their empty threats with credible ones. And to start, I’ll answer old Sulaiman Abu Ghaith (“The storm of airplanes will continue”):

Yo Sulaiman: The storm of airplanes will continue!
 

War Prayer



Reading the doggerel at Memri might give you the impression that our enemies are a few dates short of a fruit salad. On the other hand, their screeds have a kind of messianic enthusiasm which reminds me of this humble web log. So here's my first shot at a war prayer:

(Oh, by the way, this prayer is directed to Frith, so no complaints unless you have long ears!)

O blessed and (hint hint) most generous God, we have a couple of requests.

O God inflate the lungs of our drill instructors, so they may motivate their recruits with joyous amplitude!

O God in your divine omnipotence, cleanse the various assemblies of our Armalites, as they tend to foul and jam during extended usage.

O God who sows confusion and idiotarinism among the apostates: compel the infidels to sell us the crude from which we derive the JP-5 to fuel our bombers and tanks.

Unbelievers you have no chance! The Europeans tried to resist America. Now they watch Baywatch and eat Big Macs. A preview of your fate.

You lack the courage to face the fury of the American Arsenal of Democracy. Your dead go to hell; our dead go on the evening news.

Infidels beware! In his infinite wisdom, God shared first with the Americans the secret of bottled sunshine. Anger them not, lest they share some with you!

Challenge the Americans and you shall have no peace until you are dead; not even sleep – seek it and be denied, for the Americans can arrange their own sunrises.

Surrender now lest a day comes when an infidel shall hide behind a robot, and the robot will sing out O American there is a man wearing a beachtowel on his head behind me. Come here and kill him. But the American shall stay his hand, and say: Why should I? You’re right freaking there, you do it!


Thinking of making it a semi-regular feature...
 

Pure Coulter



Every one of Ann’s columns is a pleasure:

Aren't we entitled to ask: Does she support the war or doesn't she? Sen. Clinton has sat idly by watching her fellow liberals attack Bush savagely for a war she allegedly supports. If her vote for the war was genuine and not just a cynical place-holding vote, why doesn't she defend the war? This is a party that overtly says: Let's fake out the American people. Any Democrat who purported to be for the war last October but does not speak out now is a fraud.
(Frontpage Magazine)


Isn’t that true?

These are pretty heady days for we warmongers. It’s pretty easy to win an argument when the opposition doesn’t have one.

As Ann wrote in Slander (paraphrased): for how many years did the lefties warn us of the dire threat of religious fundamentalism? O.K., now we agree. Let’s go fight them together. Hey, put down that protest placard!

The War on Terrorism is like a breath of fresh air billowing through the Democratic Party’s empty suit. Do you smirk when you see various Democrats on TV asked why they voted for the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998, but oppose hostilities today? Me too. But the rot runs much deeper, and I wish the press would point it out.

As I’ve argued before, President Clinton called his final foreign policy doctrine “forward engagement.” He wanted to identify problems and evil tyrants early and take’em out before they fomented crises. Which is why he bombed Serbia. President Bush calls his foreign policy doctrine “pre-emption.” He wants to identify problems and evil tyrants early. and… you get the idea.

Pre-emption = forward engagement. Any Democrat opposed to pre-emption had better be able to refute the connection. But they can’t. Which is why the opposition hasn’t presented an alternative doctrine. They don’t have one!

For Bush to enforce pre-emption over the howls of its authors is like…um…is like shooting a rapist with his own gun. It’s just that sweet, and nobody deserves it more.
 

Honorary American



America is full of litigious people, but this guy puts us to shame:

A suicidal man who failed to hang himself because the rope snapped is planning to sue the manufacturers.
(Ananova)


Although that guy’s from Romania, it’s easy to tell he bleeds red, white and blue.

Mind you, I don’t think his case is well considered. But for the failure of the liable product, my client would be dead. So, your honor, what is the appropriate remedy?

Wednesday, February 26, 2003
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



A small picture for a big bunny. Here's Margaret:


(Sacramento (CA) HBS)

Margaret is a big bunny who loves attention, hay, & veggies. She will climb in your lap for petting.
(Sacramento (CA) HBS)


A bunny who will climb into your lap? That's one friendly bunny! Plus she's big enough to give and take with cats. Sounds like a winner!

BUNNY NEWS UPDATE:

Via the House Bunny Society, news that the Long Island family who skinned a live bunny are facing felony charges.

Leigh-Anne at Over Coffee scooped the blogapalloza on this story. Nice work!
 

Arsenal of Democracy



This one’s going to be a little different. Just so you know.

A new computer game has come in for fierce criticism in China because it portrays the country as a terrorist base.

Players can destroy Tiananmen Square in a scene in the game, called Generals, from EA Games.

Generals is the third installment in the popular Command and Conquer series.
(Ananova)


Let’s use this example to establish a new rule:

Anytime an American videogame (especially a war simulation) upsets the Red Chinese, it becomes an honorary article in the Arsenal of Democracy.


Welcome to the catalog!
 

Almost in the AoD



A/F-117X or F-117N Seahawk

The folks who buy airplanes for our Naval Aviators really know how to muck things up. They spent the 1980's throwing good money after bad in the direction of the A-12. Right now, the Navy should be operating stealthy aircraft from its carriers. But it can't because the procurement folks passed up not one, but several aircraft. For example, the F-117N:

Shortly after Desert Storm offered the US Navy a minimally changed F-117A as the F-117N. (Reported in the September 13, 1993 Aviation Week, pg. 96) Inherent structural features of the F-117A fuselage enable it to be effectively modified specifically for Navy use. The F-117A possesses three primary Navy characteristics not normally found in Air Force aircraft. These are: a full-depth center keel from nose gear to tail hook; three full-depth fuselage frames for wing carry through; and the main landing gear being attached directly to a major bulkhead.

Lockheed thought the Navy could use it like the Air Force uses it's F-117As-have a small strike force that's routinely deployed on board carriers that would be able to help beat down air defenses and leverage the conventional airplanes that are on the ship. Originally the plan was for 40 to 70 aircraft.

The Navy criticized that the F-117N was for a single mission aircraft for night operations. After the Pentagon rejected the F-117N in mid 1993, Lockheed went back to the drawing boards to modify the F-117N so that it met the requirements for the canceled A/F-X program and presented the A/F-117X in mid 1994.
(F-117A.COM)


C'mon! The Nighthawk was combat-tested. But apparently not good enough for the Navy.

While there was some support for the A/F-117X within the Navy, particularly among operational commanders, service officials were less than enthusiastic about it. "We'd be buying 1970s technology," one senior Navy official said. "It doesn't make sense from a performance point of view, because it certainly has performance limitations," he said. Another drawback was the Navy's desire for some fighter capability in its next-generation attack aircraft. The official said the F-117N was "strictly a nighttime, straight-and-level—it has some maneuverability but not much—stealth attack [aircraft]. But not a stealth strike fighter."
(Invisible Defenders)


Instead, the Navy decided to buy the Super Hornet: a non-stealthy, middling update of an aircraft that first flew in 1978! Good thinking guys!

Now the Navy must wait another decade until it begins to take delivery of the F-35, a low-cost multi-role compromise that is sorta stealthy.

Maybe they have information I don't, but the A/F-117X looks like the kind of aircraft we'd want to be flying right now (and if we'd made the right decisions, we could have had them flying as early as 1999).

We still have the blueprints. And Lockheed is good at getting things done in a hurry. It's not too late to save the Seahawk.
 

Battle Hymn



Want to know the real reason the US is sending military personnel to the Philippines? (It’s a secret, so don’t tell.)

The flips are in danger of being routed in Operation Karaoke:

A Filipino Islamic rebel has beaten members of the country's police, army, navy and prison service to win a karaoke competition.
(Ananova)


Heck, we could save everybody’s time and effort by sending Corporal Gracin instead.
 

The Discriminating Critic



I know you folks already got your RDA of Steyn, but it’s worth a second look at one of his recent essays:

When you soak a crucifix in urine, you may get a few cranky Catholics handing out leaflets on the sidewalk. When you do a play about suicide bombers, who knows what the offended might do? The arts world seems happy to confine its trangressive courage to flipping the finger at Christians.
(Spectator)


I think that’s not limited to Christianity, but of all things Western. It’s so easy to stand up and defend the right to free expression when the risk and cost are low.

Sensitive liberals are fond of claiming that while they may disagree with what you say, they will “defend until death your right to say it.” You know: like they do with pro-life protestors and stuff.

But let’s not look at what they say, let’s look at what they do:

Last December Geissel was invited by Kirsten Anderson, owner the Seattle art gallery Roq la Rue, to mount "Koran with a Buddha Shape Carved Into It" in her exhibition titled "Gods and Monsters", in which work interpreting religious icons in provocative ways are on display through the end of January. The exhibition includes a painting depicting the Virgin of Guadalupe as a "com-hither" nude (Lisa Petrucci’s "Naughty Guadalupe") and a pencil drawing of Frankenstein wearing a crown of thorns (Chuck Demorat’s "Frankenkriest"). Geissel welcomed the "Gods and Monsters" show as a perfect fit for his own work.

Prior to mounting "Koran with a Buddha Shape Carved Into It", Anderson and Geissel did discuss potential risk in showing such a piece. The quality of the work, however, outweighed any reservations either of them might have entertained. For his part, Geissel was impressed with Anderson’s seemingly genuine commitment to edgy, risk-taking artists.

On public display, Geissel’s Koran made it through the few days prior to "Gods and Monsters" December 7th opening night without incident. In fact the piece garnered mostly praise. Geissel was especially happy to receive positive comments from Seattle’s internationally respected art curator Larry Reid. The Friday opening of "Gods and Monsters" was by all accounts a success with Geissel’s carving getting its share of positive notice.

The following Monday Geissel received a phone call from Anderson asking him to come remove his piece from the Roq la Rue Gallery.

What had happened? Had Anderson received threats? No. Anderson simply told Geissel she just didn’t feel safe displaying his piece. Geissel was devastated. "It felt like the rejection you feel when you get dumped by a girlfriend. It was awful."
(Frontpage Magazine)


So an exhibit devoted to “edgy” religious iconography gets “uncomfortable” about displaying a defiled Koran? Isn’t that just perfect? Talk about selectively standing up to defend your principles!

And lookie here over in England:

Keane had additional support from The Guardian newspaper when he travelled to the Gulf; the Guardian also sponsored the exhibition catalogue. He had almost a year to produce the work for the show and as the opening date drew near press interest in what he was doing became intense. A double-page spread in The Evening Standard let the cat out of the bag and caused an uproar in the media. Mickey Mouse at the Front was mis-interpreted as Mickey Mouse sitting on a lavatory. It was thought to be a trivialisation of the conflict and a criticism of the American rôle in the Gulf War. Concern was also expressed over the 'censorship' of one work in the show which had pages of the Koran (which Keane had found in the desert) pasted around the edge. The work was withdrawn from show in London as it was thought to be potentially offensive to Muslims.
(Imperial War Museum)


Pre-emptive censorship, geez! At least they could have waited until someone complained. Considering the Imperial War Museum was also a sponsor, I would have expected a stiffer upper lip.

I have a new mission in life: find a cranky Muslim for a new best friend. Their art criticism is like kryptonite to the sensitive set.
 

If you think I’m sexist



Just the latest bit of censorship from the heirs of the Free Speech Movement:

A university student union has banned its own newspaper from being distributed because it contains a "sexist" ad for a strip club.
(Ananova)


I bet they had a full and fair hearing and stuff before banning, right?

University of East Anglia student newspaper Concrete ran an advert for Norwich lap dancing club The Devil's Advocate which featured a black-and-white photograph of a naked woman.
(Ananova)


If nudity gets you banned, then they might as well ban this web log, too. After all, the bunnies are in the nude…

The ad, which ran in the paper's entertainments supplement, also had a voucher offering students a free lapdance at the club.
(Ananova)


I still don’t see what is sexist about the ad. I mean – anyone could redeem the voucher and get a free lap dance. What could possibly be more egalitarian?
 

Got duct tape?



What to do with all the extra rolls...

A defendant has had his mouth taped in a Texas court because he kept interrupting the judge and his own lawyer.

District Judge Jim Bob Darnell made the ordered during the aggravated assault trial of Carl Wiley in Lubbock.

The 36-year-old continually interrupted for about 20 minutes before Judge Darnell ordered bailiffs to seal his mouth with duct tape.
(Ananova)


Heh heh h-mmmph!

Tuesday, February 25, 2003
 

Bodmin



Okay, okay here is a really belligerent bunny: Bodmin!


(Amazing Animal Videos)

Bodmin is named after the Beast of Bodmin, a legendary half-rat/half-bunny predator who terrified farmers in England.

As if! Bunnies are lagomorphs -- closer to horses than rodents. Just so you know.

Check out Bodmin cold chillin' in his crib:


(Amazing Animal Videos)

My digs are smaller, but sweeter because they're indoors. I love central heating and air-conditioning. And hawk-proof windows...

Here's Bodmin applying a half-nelson to an unsuspecting person.


(Amazing Animal Videos)

Place your bets. My money is on the bunny!
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



Poor abandoned Gilbert:


(Chicago HBS)

A discarded Easter bunny, he was abandoned with his friend Sullivan, HRS #730. This wonderful dwarf mix boy is a "teenager" with lots of spunk and energy.
(Chicago HBS)


Easter is hard on bunnies. On the one hand, it's a day to reflect on the strong bond between people and bunnies. On the other hand, dilettantes adopt bunnies and then throw them away.

Gilbert and Sullivan had a rough start. They need to meet the right gentle people.
 

Arsenal of Democracy



Defense Tech has an interesting post about how the mighty USAF is already attacking Iraq with leaflets, email spam, boy bands and telephone solicitors. Way to go mighty USAF!

American cyber-warfare experts recently waged an e-mail assault, directed at Iraq's political, military and economic leadership, urging them to break with Saddam Hussein's government. A wave of calls has gone to the private cellphone numbers of specially selected officials inside Iraq, according to leaders at the Pentagon and in the regional Central Command.
(New York Times)


Reach out: reach out and touch someone.
Call up: call up and just say hi!


Are we using actual service personnel to place these calls? I sure hope not. Who wants to join up and spend hours on end in a windowless office, crammed into a cube placing cold calls all day long? It probably looks like the computer help desk on a Nimitz, only less shakey and nukey.

On the other hand, here's a fun job: Disk Jockey on a Commando Solo:

Radio transmitters hauled aloft by Air Force Special Operations EC-130E planes are broadcasting directly to the Iraqi public in Arabic with programs that mimic the program styles of local radio stations and are more sophisticated than the clumsy preachings of previous wartime propaganda efforts.

...

The American programs open with greetings in Arabic, followed by Euro-pop and 1980's American rock music — intended to appeal to younger Iraqi troops, perceived by officials as the ones most likely to lay down their arms. The broadcasts include traditional Iraqi folk music, so as not to alienate other listeners, and a news program in Arabic prepared by Army psychological operations experts at Fort Bragg, N.C.
(New York Times)


That's more like it! Just think of them as our fightin' Carson Daly's. 'Cept they can't take requests (yet).

So let's hear it for the Commando Solos. They might be the strangest looking Herkies in the inventory, but because they blast the enemy with the unstoppable force of our pop-culture, they're today's selection from the AoD.
 

Orwell Comes to School



Knopf is publishing Diane Ravitch's new book The Language Police. The book is "a lengthy glossary compiled by a historian from bias guidelines issued by major educational publishers and state agencies."

The Atlantic has published an excerpt that is both horrible and funny at the same time. Have a look at what you can't say in schoolbooks anymore:


  • Adam and Eve (replace with "Eve and Adam" to demonstrate that males do not take priority over females)

  • Blind, the (banned as offensive; replace with "people who are blind")

  • Blind leading the blind, the (banned as handicapism)

  • Bookworm (banned as offensive; re- place with "intellectual")

  • Boy's night out (banned as sexist)

  • Busybody (banned as sexist, demeaning to older women)

  • Cassandra (banned as sexist)

  • Chief Sitting Bull (banned as relic of colonialism; replace with "Tatanka lyotake")

  • Confined to a wheelchair (banned as offensive; replace with "person who is mobility impaired")

  • Courageous (banned as patronizing when referring to a person with disabilities)

  • Craftsmanship (banned as sexist)

  • Cult (banned as ethnocentric when referring to a religious group)

  • Deaf, the (banned as offensive; replace with "people who are deaf" or "a person with loss of hearing")

  • Devil (banned)

  • Dialect (banned as ethnocentric; use sparingly)

  • Differently abled (banned as offensive; replace with "person who has a physical disability")

  • Dogma (banned as ethnocentric; replace with "doctrine" or "belief")

  • Drunken, Drunkenness (banned as offensive when refer-ring to Native Americans)

  • Duffer (banned as demeaning to older men)

  • East, Eastern (banned as Eurocentric)

  • Egghead (banned as offensive; replace with "intellectual")

  • Elderly, the (banned as ageist; replace with "older people")

  • Extremist (banned as ethnocentric; replace with "believer," "follower,' or "adherent")

  • Fairy (banned because it suggests homosexuality; replace with "elf")

  • Fanatic (banned as ethnocentric; replace with "believer," "follower:' or "adherent")

  • Founding Fathers, the (banned as sexist; replace with "the Founders" or "the Framers")

  • Fraternize (banned as sexist)

  • God (banned)

  • Heiress (banned as sexist; replace with "heir")

  • Hell (banned; replace with "heck" or "darn")

  • Heretic (use with caution when comparing religions)

  • Heroine (banned as sexist; replace with "hero")

  • Huts (banned as ethnocentric; replace with "small houses")

  • Insane (banned as offensive; replace with "person who has an emotional disorder or psychiatric illness")

  • Inspirational (banned as patronizing when referring to a person with disabilities)

  • Jungle (banned; replace with "rain forest")

  • Junk bonds (banned as elitist)

  • Lame (banned as offensive; replace with "walks with a cane")

  • Limping along (banned as handicapism)

  • Little person (banned as offensive; replace with "person of small stature")

  • Lumberjack (banned as sexist; replace with "woodcutter")

  • Majority group (banned as offensive)

  • Man of war (banned as sexist; replace with "warship")

  • Mentally ill, the (banned as offensive; replace with "person with a mental or emotional disability")

  • Middle East (banned as reflecting a Eurocentric world view; replace with "Southwest Asia"; may be acceptable, however, as a historical reference)

  • Minority group (banned as offensive)

  • Mother Russia (banned as sexist; replace with "Russia, vast land of rich harvests")

  • Navajo (banned as inauthentic; replace with "Dine")

  • Old (banned as an adjective that implies helplessness, dependency, or other negative qualities)

  • Old wives' tale (banned as sexist; replace with "folk wisdom")

  • Ombudsman (banned as sexist)

  • One-man band (banned as sexist; replace with "one-person performance")

  • Pagan (banned as ethnocentric when referring to religion; replace with "nonbeliever")

  • Paraplegic (banned as offensive; replace with "person with paraplegia")

  • Past one's prime (banned as demeaning to older persons)

  • Pollyanna (banned as sexist)

  • Polo (banned as elitist)

  • Regatta (banned as elitist)

  • Roving the land (banned as reference to Native Americans)

  • Satan (banned)

  • Sect (banned as ethnocentric when referring to a religious group, unless it separated from an established religion)

  • Senile (banned as demeaning to older persons)

  • Senior citizen (banned as demeaning to older persons)

  • Slave (replace whenever possible with "enslaved person")

  • Snowman (banned; replace with "snow person")

  • Soul food (banned as regional or ethnic bias)

  • Stickball (banned as regional or ethnic bias)

  • Straw man (banned as sexist; replace with "unreal issue" or "misrepresentation")

  • Subgroup (banned as offensive reference to cultural differences)

  • Sufferer of cerebral palsy (banned as offensive; replace with "person who has loss of muscle control")

  • Suffragette (banned as sexist; replace with "suffragist")

  • Tomboy (banned as sexist)

  • Turning a deaf ear (banned as handicapism)

  • West, Western (banned as eurocentric)

  • Yacht (banned as elitist)



I notice that "bag lady" is conspicuously absent from this list. Evidence of the listwriters' sexism or proof that my radical conscience is even purer than thou?
 

Tailgunner Joe



I think this is the last straw:

What the American Left doesn't seem to realize is that they are behaving exactly like Joseph McCarthy and the red-baiting fanatics of the early 1950s. They fling monstrous charges against decent people, hoping to rouse the anger of the people. And for a time they gain political advantage by doing so.
(War Watch)


You can endanger national security, march with Stalinists and mount DoS attacks on the Capitol. But abusing the legacy of Saint Joe... that's going too far!
 

The Poor Cousins, Part Deux



Here’s a welcome confirmation:

Seen from the U.S., Europe is a monolithic miasma of anti-American fever, high taxes, and absurd regulations.
(National Review)


Just like I said…

That view is about two years out of date.

In fact, socialism is slowly withering away in Europe. Since 2001 left-wing governments have been defeated in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Holland and Denmark. Ireland now has a solid conservative coalition government. Technically, France, Belgium and Luxembourg have center-right governments, but laissez faire seems to mean something different in French these days. Yet even the French are cutting taxes and reining in their vast welfare state, albeit slowly.
(National Review)


Interesting… And here’s the money quote:

And as the Left loses power and influence, anti-Americanism fades.
(National Review)


So it’s just the lefty Europeans we need to worry about? That feels true. Does this mean I can go back to listening to Rammstein? They always cheer me up. I miss them.
 

Gods and Generals



Everyone seems to love the new Civil War film. And that makes me a bit nervous. A sea of unanimity is only a step away from turning into a mob.

So I'm pleased to read a review in the American Prowler that pans the film.

After three and a half hours, you will stagger out of Gods and Generals, Ronald F. Maxwell’s prequel to Gettysburg, stupefied with pathos.
(James Bowman)


C'mon James, don't hold back...
 

Footloose



Oh, how very Kevin Bacon:

A pair of shoes belonging to a head of Pakistan's national intelligence agency has been stolen.
(Ananova)


Not for long.. those are the chief of intelligence's shoes...

An army officer attached to the Punjab Rangers told Daily Times: "Stealing shoes on such occasions is part of our culture."
(Ananova)


Surprised? Yes. Amused? Oh heck yes!
 

Danish pizzeria bans French and Germans



Going a bit too far?

A Danish pizzeria has banned French and Germans from dining there because of their country's stance on a war with Iraq.
(Ananova)


Heh.

Aage Bjerre, who owns Aage's Pizza on the island of Fanoe, said he's tired of French and German attitudes toward the United States.


Aren't we all, Aage? Aren't we all?
 

Darn Straight



Dixie Flatline is on a roll:

I am a supporter of Israel. This is not surprising, given my position on the war and my attitude toward the modern manifestation of militant Islam. There is great affinity for Israel in America today, a sense of cultural and wartime solidarity. September 11th brought home to us a sense of victimization, of vulnerability, that the Israelis have felt for many, many years.
(Dixie Flatline)


Me too. While I worship Frith I can see who made the desert bloom.

When did we become ambivalent about the success or failure of another democracy? While Israel is an explicitly tribal homeland, it's truly self critical and the people can freely change their government. They're not as free as we, but how could they be, given the threat?

Israel follows a legal principle called the ticking time bomb rule. It's legal torture: abhorrent, but necessary given what they must face every day. I hate it, but given the alternative (the bomb ticks to zero) it's clear they hate it while they enforce it.

What if Mohammed Atta handed you his passport and boarding pass? What if you had a pretty good idea what he had in mind? What if you could have stopped Flight 11? Would you have torn his nails or punctured his skin to save the three thousand? Yeah, I would have as well. Without regret; but I'm a simplistic cowboy bunny, and it shows.

Gimme three cheers for Israel: a democracy after our own heart. And frankly as legitimate as the Frankish state.

If we had to invade Judea and impose a government, could we do better?

Hang on a minute... we did!

Ask the various Indian tribes about their suicide bombers. I mean the ones not running profitable casinos...

Monday, February 24, 2003
 

Adopt-a-Bunny



Introducing (ahem) Antonio Bunderas:


(Mid-Atlantic Foster Bunnies)

He's suave, he's silky, he's dark and handsome, he's a mini rex with fur that is candy for your hands. Antonio came into foster care on January 12, 2003 and has already informed us that he has a spirit that won't be broken. He was neutered February 4, 2003. He is a high energy bunny and needs a home that will allow him adequate exercise and allow him to let loose the free wheeling spirit that has so far been too tightly contained within.

Antonio reminds us of an wild mustang with his high powered binkies (dancing), head shakes and leg kicks for sheer joy of finally having some freedom. Of course, if he had a nice lady bunny to share his joy with that would be even better! We'll write more about him as we get to know him.To inquire about adopting Antonio, please apply to adopt him.
(Mid-Atlantic Foster Bunnies)


Ladies: Antonio is a superb dancer...
 

Half the Battle



Nobody deconstructs an episode of America's finest cartoon like Dixie Flatline.

Now you know.
 

Arsenal of Democracy



Wanna hear the sound of freedom? Take a trip to the Middle River Air Field (Home of the MDANG 175th Wing), and check out the Warthogs.

Yes, the A-10 has its critics (air speed measured with a calendar... bird-strikes to the tail... blah blah blah...). I like it because it carries this:


(USAF)

The Avenger is an awesome weapon mounted only on the venerable A/OA-10 attack jet. The GAU-8 is a 30mm, 7 barrel gattling gun used primarily in the air to ground role as a soft target killer and tank buster. The Avenger is the only fighter gattling gun that retains its brass for recycle after the slugs are fired. The gun fires 3,900 rounds per minute, with a mix of both armored piercing incendiary (API) and high explosive incendiary (HEI). The entire front one- third of the A-10 consists of the gun. Many joke about the GAU-8 being designed first, with the airplane built around the gun after.

Aside from the jokes, the gun is also very effective in aerial combat against helicopters or fast moving fighter jets getting too close and slow. The gun is deadly accurate and feared by enemy tank commanders worldwide. The gun's performance was demonstrated thoroughly during Desert Storm at the able hands of Hog pilots. The highly maneuverable and agile A-10, combined with the GAU-8, is a force to be both feared and reckoned with on the battlefield.
(USAF)


Yeow, I want one! Some folks thing the Avenger is unwieldy, but you gotta admit it's ideal for home defense.

If you visit the Smithsonian Museum of American History, go straight to the third floor and head for the armaments section. They have (had?) a display of ammunition that includes rounds for the Avenger. First time I saw it, I thought: that's not a bullet, that's a milk bottle!

During Desert Storm, some A-10 pilots got air-to-air kills with the Avenger. Show offs...
 

The Poor Cousins



Will Rogers said: Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggie" until you can find a rock. And "old" Europe is all out of rocks. So why do they keep ankle-biting us about the big stick?

By now it's pretty obvious that old Europe is the back-seat driver of history. And here's an editorial arguing that for its next trick, old Europe is going to transform into a welfare queen:

It is of course embarrassing for European politicians to have to admit that the US is opening up an increasing economic lead over the EU, for among other effects, it means that Europe will become less important in world politics as well as world economics. But if European voters do not want to catch up with the US, does that matter? Europe self-evidently is unable to speak with a single voice on global political matters; and it is a military pygmy. So should it worry about falling further behind in economic terms?
(Independent)


Read the rest of the editorial to learn about how the European Ponzi schemes are close to collapse. Europe faces too many problems: an aging population, an unbearable tax-burden, and the brain-draining effects of emigration. Something's got to give -- and I don't think that something will be us with another Marshall Plan.

Is it too late to save the Europeans from themselves? Their economic damage is self-inflicted. How ironic it is to discover that while we sheltered them from the communist empire, they got in touch with their inner socialists.

America needs vigorous allies. Someone's got to buy all the neat swag we sell. Plus, old Europe is like family. Maybe we should stage an intervention. You know: get them into counseling and stuff.

Here's the full horror: the per-capita purchasing power of every country in the world for the years 2001-2002, as estimated by the CIA World Fact Book:

RankCountry20022001Change $Change Rank
1Luxembourg43400364007000-
2United States3630036200100-
3Bermuda34800330001800-
4San Marino34600320002600-
5Switzerland31100286002500-
6Norway30800277003100up 1
7Cayman Islands30000245005500up 11
8Denmark28000255002500up 2
9Aruba28000280000down 3
10Canada27700248002900up 5
11Ireland27300216005700up 18
12Japan27200249002300up 2
13Austria27000250002000-
14Monaco27000270000down 6
15Germany26200234002800up 6
16Belgium2610025300800down 4
17Finland25800229002900up 7
18Netherlands25800244001400up 2
19France25400244001000-
20Hong Kong2500025400-400down 9
21Iceland24800248000down 5
22Jersey24800248000down 5
23Singapore2470026500-1800down 14
24Sweden24700222002500up 3
25United Kingdom24700228001900up 1
26Italy24300221002200up 2
27Australia2400023200800down 5
28Liechtenstein23000230000down 5
29Qatar2120020300900up 2
30United Arab Emirates2110022800-1700down 5
31Guam21000210000down 1
32Greenland20000200000up 1
33Israel20000189001100up 3
34Faroe Islands20000200000down 2
35Guernsey20000200000down 1
36New Zealand19500177001800up 4
37Falkland Islands19000190000down 2
38Andorra19000180001000-
39Spain1890018000900-
40"Man, Isle of"18800188000down 3
41Brunei1800017600400-
42"Korea, South"18000161001900up 4
43Greece1790017200700up 2
44Macau1760017500100down 1
45Gibraltar17500175000down 3
46Portugal17300158001500up 3
47Taiwan1720017400-200down 3
48"Bahamas, The"16800150001800up 2
49Slovenia16000120004000up 10
50British Virgin Islands16000150001000up 3
51Kuwait1510015000100-
52Malta1500014300700up 3
53New Caledonia15000150000down 1
54Virgin Islands15000150000down 1
55Barbados14500145000down 1
56Czech Republic14400129001500up 1
57Bahrain1300015900-2900down 9
58Northern Marianas12500125000-
59Argentina1200012900-900down 3
60Hungary1200011200800up 1
61Slovakia1150012000-500down 2
62Netherlands Antilles11400114000down 2
63Puerto Rico11200100001200up 8
64Martinique11000110000down 2
65St Pierre + Miquelon11000110000down 2
66Mauritius1080010400400-
67Saudi Arabia1060010500100down 2
68Chile1000010100-100up 1
69Estonia10000100000up 1
70Antigua and Barbuda1000082001800up 10
71South Africa94008500900up 7
72Uruguay92009300-100up 1
73Malaysia900010300-1300down 6
74Mexico90009100-100-
75Palau900071001900up 16
76Trinidad and Tobago90009500-500down 4
77Guadeloupe900090000down 2
78Poland88008500300down 1
79Saint Kitts and Nevis870070001700up 13
80Anguilla86008200400down 1
81Costa Rica850067001800up 13
82Croatia830058002500up 25
83Russia83007700600-
84Belarus82007500700up 1
85Oman82007700500down 3
86American Samoa800080000down 5
87Botswana780066001200up 9
88Latvia78007200600up 1
89Libya76008900-1300down 13
90Lithuania76007300300down 3
91Seychelles76007700-100down 7
92World76007200400down 2
93Brazil74006500900up 4
94Turks and Caicos730073000down 6
95Romania68005900900up 11
96Turkey67006800-100down 3
97Thailand66006700-100down 2
98Tunisia66006500100-
99Iran64006300100up 1
100Colombia63006200100up 2
101Bulgaria620062000-
102Venezuela61006200-100up 1
103French Guiana600060000up 1
104Kazakhstan59005000900up 7
105Panama59006000-100-
106Dominican Republic58005700100up 2
107Algeria56005500100up 2
108Gabon55006300-800down 9
109Fiji52007300-2100down 23
110Lebanon52005000200up 2
111Cook Islands500050000down 1
112French Polynesia500010800-5800down 48
113Nauru500050000up 1
114Peru48004550250up 5
115Reunion480048000up 1
116Grenada47504400350up 5
117Turkmenistan47004300400up 7
118El Salvador46004000600up 8
119Paraguay46004750-150down 2
120Namibia45004300200up 3
121Macedonia440044000up 1
122Saint Lucia44004500-100down 2
123China43003600700up 9
124Jordan42003500700up 10
125Swaziland42004000200up 2
126Ukraine42003850350up 2
127Philippines40003800200up 2
128Maldives387020001870up 35
129Albania38003000800up 12
130Dominica37004000-300down 5
131Egypt37003600100up 2
132Guatemala370037000down 2
133Jamaica370037000down 2
134Morocco37003500200up 1
135Guyana36004800-1200down 20
136Niue36002800800up 11
137Samoa35003200300up 2
138Suriname35003400100down 2
139Armenia33503000350up 3
140Belize3250320050down 2
141Sri Lanka325032500down 4
142Syria32003100100down 2
143Azerbaijan31003000100-
144Georgia31004600-1500down 26
145Ecuador30002900100down 1
146Indonesia30002900100down 1
147Saint Vincent29002800100-
148Kyrgyzstan28002700100up 1
149Bolivia260026000up 2
150Honduras26002700-100down 2
151Moldova2550250050up 2
152India25002200300up 8
153Iraq250025000down 1
154Nicaragua25002700-200down 4
155Uzbekistan25002400100up 3
156Saint Helena250025000down 1
157Lesotho2450240050-
158Zimbabwe24502500-50down 2
159Papua New Guinea24002500-100down 5
160Montserrat24005000-2600down 47
161Cuba23001700600up 16
162Yugoslavia22502300-50down 3
163Tonga220022000down 2
164Equatorial Guinea21002000100down 2
165Pakistan21002000100up 1
166Vietnam21001950150up 3
167Micronesia200020000down 2
168Wallis and Futuna200020000-
169Ghana1980190080up 1
170Guinea19701300670up 20
171Bosnia18001700100up 2
172Mauritania18002000-200down 8
173"Gambia, The"17701100670up 22
174Mongolia17701780-10down 2
175Bangladesh17501570180up 7
176Cameroon170017000down 2
177Haiti17001800-100down 6
178Solomon Islands17002000-300down 7
179Laos16301700-70down 1
180Marshall Islands16001670-70down 1
181Senegal15801600-20-
182Cote d'Ivoire15501600-50down 2
183Burma150015000-
184Cambodia15001300200up 4
185Cape Verde15001700-200down 10
186Togo150015000down 1
187Djibouti14001300100up 2
188Nepal1400136040down 1
189Sudan13601000360up 19
190Angola13301000330up 11
191Cent. African Rep.13001700-400down 15
192Vanuatu130013000down 1
193Bhutan12001100100-
194Sao Tome12001100100up 3
195Uganda12001100100up 4
196Tajikistan114011400down 4
197Liberia110011000down 1
198Tuvalu110011000-
199Benin1040103010up 1
200Burkina Faso1040100040up 2
201Chad1030100030up 2
202Kenya10001500-500down 18
203"Korea, North"100010000up 2
204Rwanda1000900100up 8
205West Bank10001500-500down 19
206Tokelau100010000up 3
207Congo (Rep)900600300up 17
208Guinea-Bissau90085050up 6
209Mozambique9001000-100down 3
210Madagascar87080070up 9
211Zambia870880-10up 2
212Kiribati840850-10up 3
213Mali840850-10up 3
214Nigeria840950-110down 4
215Niger8201000-180down 8
216Yemen8208200up 1
217Afghanistan8008000up 1
218Eritrea74071030up 4
219Comoros710720-10up 2
220Ethiopia700600100up 5
221Malawi660900-240down 10
222Gaza Strip6251000-375down 18
223Tanzania610710-100-
224Burundi600720-120down 4
225Mayotte6006000up 1
226Congo590600-10down 1
227Somalia550600-50-
228East Timor500no datan/a
229Sierra Leone500510-10down 1


Way to go Luxembourg (did Bill Gates take up residence?)! Mind you, I'd still like to see how it compares against Manhattan.

Overall, 2002 seems to have been a good year for Europe -- most countries caught up a bit. But the long-term outlook is gloomy. What's going to happen when the pension bills come due? I suspect a torrent of Euros will deluge tax-shelters like Bermuda and the Caymans. And what happens after the best and brightest strike out for sunnier shores?

C'mon Europe: get busy! A downward spiral leads to a bloody outcome. And even though we still have our maps and stuff, we really don't want to go over there again.

Sunday, February 23, 2003
 

TV Party



Check out the Superstation: Shaft!

Sadly, it's the Samuel Jackson Shaft, not the incomparable Richard Roundtree. Anyway, light web log writing for a couple hours...

UPDATE:

OK time for a poll: who is the eigentlicher Shaft?




SUBSEQUENT UPDATE:

If they can remake Shaft, why not Flint? Rumsfeld's available...



Shaft and Flint together in the same film? Is the world ready?

FURTHER SUBSEQUENT UPDATE:

Shaft vs. Shaft: the numbers.



Shaft (2000):
+0.1 Samuel Jackson;
+0.1 Vanessa Williams;
+0.1 John Singleton;
+0.1 "It's Giuliani Time!;" and
+9.0 Baseline Shaft Bonus.
Summary: Shaft (2000): 9.4

---

Shaft (1971):
+9.0 Baseline Shaft Bonus;
+0.1 "Patton" on Theater Marquee;
+0.2 Super '70s cars and clothes;
+0.1 Sequel: "Shaft's Big Score;"
+0.1 Sequel: "Shaft in Africa;
+0.1 Sequel: "Shaft (2000);" and
+0.4 Richard Roundtree.

Summary: Shaft (1971): 10.0 Perfection.
 

NATO Secretary-General Blasts "Old" Europe



Yeah, and it's about time:

"I constantly criticize people in the European part of NATO for allowing public opinion to go in an anti-American way, which is a betrayal of the steadfast links that the Americans have had with Europe and, indeed, the role played in liberating Europe by the United States," Robertson said. "That anti-Americanism is, I think, profoundly damaging and corrosive and needs to be condemned by all decent people.

"I similarly condemn some of the approaches that have been taken here (Washington) in relation to some European countries and, indeed, on occasion, against all European countries," he continued. "You know, the jokes are good, the humor is high, but underneath it is a sort of ... discrimination or sometimes occasionally of racialism, which I think is deeply unfair, horribly corrosive."
(Defense Link)


Glad to see he likes our jokes, but um... racialism?

Whose fault is it that "some European countries" are simply states where some tribe pushed everyone else out and squatted until the Treaty of Westphalia? So when the original no-tribe country faults the fatherland, is that really racialism?
 

Arsenal of Democracy



Air Force Instruction 36-2903:

The Air Force has revised personal appearance guidelines in response to a trend involving extreme body modification and mutilation that is becoming common among a small, yet growing segment of the population, according to personnel officials.
(Air Force Link News)


If you can't make it through a metal detector, you're probably not going to make it into the Mighty USAF. Just so you know...
 

Bunnies and Dogs Living Together




(Amazing Animal Videos)

That's Doberman John taking care of three orphaned polish dwarves: Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail.

Doberman John belongs to the owners of an animal shelter, and is accustomed to caring for other species. Folks, I wouldn't try this at home!

 

 
   
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