Saturday, April 05, 2003
"Yippie Ki-ay," shouted the awakened giant.
"Sour Grapes," sulked the UN.
Lay down your bets.
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Apologies, but I must abstain from updating this web log while my guests are here.
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Arsenal of Democracy
(abbreviated, as I play host to some guests
Long-time readers, bear with me. New readers: you're in for a treat. One of the evergreen AoD toys is the Crossbow Project
. Nobody in the world has anything like it. Or is likely to develop soon. Makes the heart swell, really...
AoD vs. AoD
So like everyone else, I'm reading Victor Davis Hanson's new essay
at NRO. Great stuff, as usual. And then he lets slip what must be his April Fools' Joke:
(8) Criticisms of the present generation are misplaced. In fact, in this last decade of wars our youth shows signs of being the best fighting cohort of Americans since that of World War II.
The Greatest Generation were malnourished, often poorly educated children of the Depression. Here's an account of how historian William Manchester lied his way into the Marine Corps:
And so in the spring of 1942, just after Pearl Harbor, Eagle Scout William Manchester hitchhiked to Springfield and presented himself at the Marine recruiting station. He was initially turned down because he flunked the weight test. At a sergeant’s recommendation, he ran out and ate all the bananas and drank all the milk he could hold, then retook the test. He passed. And immediately thereafter, he was sick. The sergeant held his head over a basin as he threw up banana after banana.
(William Bernhardt Online)
In his memoir "Goodbye Darnkess," Manchester elaborates and delivers a really funny punchline (R-rated, for "read it yourself"). He was not atypical for the era. I'd like to think we can do better today.
As inauspicious as they were back then, they had several advantages over their rivals in combat
- Universal education. It was awful then, too. But it beat nothing.
- Cowboy culture. Our soldiers were more likely to know their way around horses and guns.
- Car culture. Americans love their cars (oh, and invented the airplane), and enter the armed services familiar with machinery.
I wonder what kind of fluency or special knowledge might be useful on today's electronic battlefield? And which country has the highest rate of computer ownership? What martially useful thing can you build out of guns, computers and cars (or planes)? Any ideas?
In its indescribeably vastness, America is a cowboy-nerd-hotrod-flyboy culture. A more lethal combination you will find nowhere else on the planet. Oh, and we love football which is pure, ritualized combat.
Behold the contemporary American brute: he could rip the arms off someone from the Greatest Generation (especially now, as they're old, stretchy and weak). Mr. Hanson: there's just no contest. Today's democratic warriors are smarter, faster, more accurate and without equal in history.
Which leads to some speculation:
Could today's AoD beat up yesterday's? Wouldn't that be fun to watch? Pick any two era (let's stick with today vs. WWII). Quality versus quantity. And the only problem I see is picking the side I'd like to see win. Actually, it wouldn't even be fair -- especially if you account for American Sunshine. We simply have to much.
Still the thought of a clash of two Arsenals of Democracy is fascinating. What a brawl: and when the smoke clears, candybars as far as the eye can see.
(darn it, I promised myself I wouldn't cry
Dixie Chicks get Gore
The Dixie Chicks controversy continues with the trio getting some support from former Vice President Al Gore. Gore spoke to a college audience last week on the subject of fewer companies owning more media outlets, and what he sees as the increasing lack of tolerance for opposing views.
Something of a catch a rising star
moment, no? For extra credit, identify who caught who...
AOLTIMEWARNER recording mogul Madonna late Monday announced she will not release her shock video AMERICAN LIFE in the United States -- a short which depicted soldiers dressed as transvestites in a fashion show along with a scene of the star throwing a grenade at a President Bush look-alike!
"I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video," Madonna announced.
Now that you've made your decision, stand firm, Madonna!
(We here at BBB have always admired Madonna for her artistic courage and integrity.)
North Korean Pathos:
ALL triplets in North Korea are being forcibly removed from parents after their birth and dumped in bleak orphanages.
The policy is carried out on the orders of Stalinist dictator Kim Jong-il, who has an irrational belief that a triplet could one day topple his regime.
(Herald Sun via NRO)
What a ghoul! By the way, he can spare himself the effort. It's pretty obvious which triplet will take him out. (Think Lee Greenwood
The Benefits of Bilingual Education
Who doesn't love condescending lefties?
Animal rights protesters caused embarrassed [censored for your personal convenience] when they translated one of their slogans into Spanish.
PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, translated the slogan "Dump Dairy" to get their message across to Spanish-speaking schoolchildren in the US.
But the literal translation "Eche la leche" can also mean [follow the link for the punchline] in slang, reports the Sun Sentinel.
The slogan was fixed to a life-size model of a cow that had been touring schools in Florida.
Sorry for the expurgated excerpt, but this is a PG-13 web log. Gotta have some (okay one) standards. And that's what sets this page apart from low-lifes like PETA:
PETA officials defend the technique.
"It's disgusting in a way that kids will like it," Rivas-Rivas said.
The Iowa Farm Bureau criticized the group's "Got Beer" campaign, which it said promoted drinking alcohol instead of milk. In Louisiana in November, the group unveiled a poster of Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke with a white milk mustache and the caption that said "Got intolerance? The white stuff ain't the right stuff."
(Miami Sun Sentinel)
Well at least they have their vaunted moral authority...
Monday, March 31, 2003
Check out Trey:
Hi, my name is Trey. I am a very cute medium lop eared bunny, almost a year old. I am a very curious and friendly bunny, and I love attention. I am not particularly fond of small children though- they frighten me. I would do well in a calmer home with teenagers or in an adult home. I'm hoping for a permanent home where I can settle down and learn to be an even better bunny than I already am!
I love to be petted and I especially love to eat treats - like raisins!
A low-rider bunny. Now I've seen everything!
Arsenal of Democracy
So how do you stop suicidal human-wave attacks? Not with your M-16, you don't. And while an M-2 would probably do the trick, let's agree it lacks a certain panache.
What you would need is a gun that shoots not just a bullet, but a big explosive bullet that splatters your target and takes out his neighbors. You need a gun that shoots grenades, and lots of them in a hurry. But do we have such a weapon in the Arsenal?
Yes, we do:
The MK19 40mm machine gun, MOD 3 is an air-cooled, disintegrating metallic link-belt fed, blowback operated, fully automatic weapon and is crew transportable over short distances with limited amounts of ammunition. It can fire a variety of 40mm grenades. The M430 HEDP 40mm grenade will pierce armor up to 2 inches thick, and will produce fragments to kill personnel within 5 meters and wound personnel within 15 meters of the point of impact.
With a sustained rate-of-fire of 40 grenades per minute, you can really show off with this gun. And grenades that wound at up to fifteen meters? Is aiming even necessary? They ought to put training wheels on it.
Oh, and SACO Defense will part with one for just under $14,000. In case you're getting a jump on your Christmas lists. It's pretty effective against deer (and bears and elephants). Not too good against smaller prey (not that you ever would...).
Everybody is piling on Peter Arnett for his interview on Iraqi TV. No doubt he deserves all the invective. But he's not a traitor. Consider his performance in Operation Desert Storm:
Clearly, CNN benefited from Arnett's presence and Iraq's decision to let him stay. The Iraqis thought they would benefit as well, by restricting what Arnett could see and what he could say. From the beginning, the Iraqis planned on using CNN as a window on civilian casualties and other exploitable events.
Yet Arnett was consistently clever. When asked what he saw on the highways moving to and from the sites Iraqis wanted CNN's crew to film, Arnett would reply that he had not seen "much in the way of civilian traffic." Uh-huh. Then Arnett looks carefully into the camera. If one and one make two, is it fair to conclude that the highways were packed with military traffic? Slip one past the Iraqi censors and give Arnett another point toward his next journalistic prize. People, that is heroism.
(From Shield to Storm, James Dunnigan and Austin Bay, Morrow: 1992, p. 455.)
While that doesn't excuse his recent behavior, it does tend to mitigate.
Guy Milliere uncorks a shocking essay entitled "France is Not a Western Country Anymore." An excerpt:
Chirac has never met a ruthless dictator he did not like. Worse, Chirac is unprincipled and greedy. It is common knowledge in France that he stole a lot of money when he was the mayor of Paris, and everyone knows that if he had not been re-elected in May 2002, he would be in jail now. To hear him speaking about morality or international law nauseates every decent Frenchman.
The keystone of that quotation is "decent Frenchman." There are plenty. I wish there were more - enough to command a majority of the national vote. Democracies can heal themselves. Good luck, guys. It's up to you.
Draining the Swamp
Jed Babbin in NRO:
The "Saddam fedayeen" are, in part, a fiction. Yes, there are mostly thugs recruited from Iraq's prisons, given a gun and a uniform and turned loose to terrorize the populace. But among them, and also operating independently, there are hundreds of others who are not Iraqi.
Excellent news! I worried that the Middle East's terrorists might lay low while we disposed of an unlamented tyrant. I mean: who wants to tangle with the AoD when it's in your backyard and out for justice?
Hezbollah and Hamas, apparently. And the Palestinians - who (so goes the cliché) never miss an opportunity to get a first-class free-world butt kicking.
Just keep'em coming, I say. And when we chase those varmints out of Iraq, we'll knock on the neighbor's door. "Oh excuse me, Bashar Assad. I noticed these Hamas blood trails are pointing in the direction of Damascus. Mind if we take a look for ourselves
By now someone must have opined that these terrorists threaten to turn Iraq into another Vietnam. Let's hope so. Because if this is a repeat of Vietnam, it just wouldn't be the same without secret wars in Cambodia and Laos
. Bring 'em on! (I have a a list of requests.)
When the dust settles, Iraq will be prosperous, free and pro-Western. The various terrorist outfits will be decimated, and the links to their patron states will be way to obvious to ignore. We'll have every excuse we need to cry havoc eastward or westward (or both at once). And we'll have the muscle to do it. This is turning out to be the mother of all scores to settle.
Listen up, evil terrorists: there's a new Sheriff in town. And a new posse. And a new hanging judge.
You folks have no idea who we are, or why we fight. As George Santayana said: "those who fail to learn from history, get hog-tied, tarred, feathered and strung over a tree branch
by the AoD!" (still looking for a link to the verbatim...)
Romanian Computer Follies
A 14-year-old Romanian boy has suffered a breakdown after reportedly playing a computer game for nine days and nights in a row.
Michel Savin collapsed in an internet cafe and was taken to hospital where doctors said he was physically and mentally exhausted.
His mother said he had become so addicted to playing Counter Strike that he had lost weight, missed classes and stopped washing.
(by the way, scroll to the bottom of the story for the "Related Link." Because this is a PG-13 web log, I urge you not to read it.)
Very busy at home, and posting on the sly. Here's a little secret you might appreciate:
The Mighty USAF is trying to attrit the Republican Guard divisions down to 50%. You know that already.
There's a magic number, somewhere between 33% and 25%. When a division is eroded to that level of strength, it falls apart. The officers decide they'd rather keep an appointment with somewhere else. The hapless conscripts tend to get shredded.
While we'd prefer mass surrenders, we're not above punching through understrength divisions like a tax accountant through a 1040. They had their chance to leave. May God show them mercy, because we won't.
Sunday, March 30, 2003
Here's the thumbnail version of what would have been full-length posts had time permitted:
Here's the master list
. If you're a poseur who just wants cute pictures, knock yourselves out
Arsenal of Democracy (II)
Precision-Guided Mortar Munitions
are presently under development. Once they're in the Arsenal, we'll be able to take over a town like Basra with nothing more than laser pointers.
Mind you this project is less ambitious than the Copperheads
we used successfully in Operation Desert Storm
. The acceleration, range and other measures of performance are lower, while the electronics benefit from several generations of improvement. Why isn't it yet in the arsenal? Think of PGMM is part of our peace dividend.
Arsenal of Democracy I
I saw something on the news about Iraqi agents trying to infiltrate across the Mexican border to raid President Bush's ranch in Crawford. Now I can't find a link to the story. Maybe it turned out to be a bust.
No matter, I'm sure Hussein has thought about trying to effect his own decapitation strategy, if for no other reason than revenge. Maybe he thinks he can shatter our government and stall our war effort.
Sorry pal, it's not that easy. This is a democracy, and one which has had to contemplate the prospect of losing large sections of our leadership to a sneaky Russkie attack. Under the National Security Act
, we have a chain of succession to ensure someone can step into the breach and wield authority with legitimacy.
America is like a giant, nuclear-tipped hydra. Cut off one head, and another sprouts to take its place...and stomp you flat as a pancake and fry you with American Sunshine. Decapitation is always a sucker's bet against the USA.