Saturday, November 22, 2003
movie marathon concludes this week. I end the series with one of the worst, or best -- depending on your sense of decency. Click on the fellow in the funny spacesuit to check it out. But be warned: the film under discussion is (ahem) a movie for grownups.
Because this is a PG-13 web log (and so is the bad movie shrine) I've really tried to keep the review clean. But just to be sure, consider it Not Safe for Work
. You have been warned. Now go see it.
The Full Rockets-to-the-Moon movie marathon includes (in order of presentation):
There's a New Moon tonight. Make the most of it.
Friday, November 21, 2003
Guess what kind of bunny I am:
congratulations. you are the kiss my ass happy
bunny. You don't care about anyone or anything.
You must be so proud
which happy bunny are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
As if you didn't know. All pet bunnies live la dolce vita
in domestic servitude to man. It sure beats living in the state of nature. Red tooth and claw and all that.
Oh, and my butt is not nearly that big. Ask nicely and I'll post proof.
Check out this pair:
(San Diego HBS)
Dallas & Randi: The amazing magical bunnies. They are the most beautiful standard bunnies ever. They adore each other and watching them run and play is a shear joy. They are excellent with their litter box, eat all their hay (not fussy like some bunnies) love their veggies & will come when called (provided you have a veggie treat). Randi is fearless and will explore any situation to make sure it's okay for Dallas (who is not as brave). She can jump or climb out of and into just about anything - in fact that's how she met Dallas - she jumped in the pen with him and they've been together since (no bonding required!). Dallas & Randi are now 3 years old and we would very much like to see them in a permanent home of their very own where they can receive the individualized love and attention they crave.
(San Diego HBS)
Not fussy? Fearless? Find a better pair of bunnies, if you dare!
The End of the Peaceweenies?
Perhaps it too much for us to hope, but I think this recent London protest and last month's DC International Answer rally
represent the episode in which the modern "peace" movement jumps the shark.
Consider: they are no longer peaceful. They often smash Starbucks and McDonalds restaurants. They throw things at the poor old police. They make explicit threats:
The organizers of the protest installed a mobile jumbotron at the front of the square. On it, images of the speakers were interspersed with herky-jerky art-school style film clips. Just before the toppling of the effigy – and in order to work up the crowd into a more frenzied mood of rage and hate – the jumbotron broadcast images of George Bush, stepping out of his limousine into Buckingham Palace and standing at attention at the welcome ceremony. Now here’s the interesting thing: Whenever Bush appeared, there appeared superimposed upon him crosshairs – like those of a sniper’s rifle. I wonder what the organizers meant by that?
(David Frum's Diary)
They provide aid and comfort to our enemies:
The "Antiimperialista" organisation's internet campaign asks people to send "10 Euros to the Iraqi resistance".
They say they have collected 12,000 euros ($14,165) in the past eight weeks and admit the money used could be used to buy weapons.
The Antiimperialistas are a group of European anti-war and anti-globalisation supporters.
They are currently organising an anti-war demonstration in Italy next month, and it remains to be seen whether news of the fund-raising activities will deter more moderate anti-war activists from attending.
Don't expect the peaceweenies to repudiate that group anytime soon. It just isn't in their hearts to condemn violent islamicists.
Absent too was all but the most perfunctory statement of concern and grief for the British citizens murdered in Istanbul earlier that day. And when I asked members of the crowd for their reaction, the response was unanimous: “I condemn the killing, but you have to understand ….” Yes, but – the slogan of the terrorists’ apologists and fellow-travelers in West and East.
(David Frum's Diary)
I suppose they think that Turkey (like a victim of a violent crime) was just asking for it. What sensitive consciences.
While the protest was underway, the Bobbies were worried that real terrorists would use the protesters as cover:
Al-Qaeda terrorists using the cover of anti-war protests are a real threat to the safety of US President George W. Bush during his state visit to London next week, Britain’s most senior policemen have warned, The Times newspaper said Wednesday. “We are not so concerned about some anti-war protester throwing rotten fruit at the president. Our worry now is the more dangerous elements who may be here,” said a senior Scotland Yard source quoted in the newspaper.
Modern peaceweenies support this kind of armed struggle. They rally in support of Palestinians -- people who overwhelmingly endorse suicide bombers. I don't doubt they'd give cover to Al Qaeda. To do so would be proof of revolutionary credibility.
Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, let us not forget what the protesters are against and examine what they endorse:
The war on terror has glaringly exposed the moral contradictions of contemporary political radicalism: a politics that champions the rights of women and minorities, but only when those rights are threatened by white Europeans; a politics that celebrates creative non-violence at home but condones deadly extremism abroad; and, perhaps above all, a politics that traces its origins to the Enlightenment - and today raises its voice to protect militantly unenlightened terrorists from the justice dispensed by their victims.
In the worldwide battle for hearts and minds, the modern peace movement offers anger and proposes nihilism, followed by communism. Is it any wonder they find ever fewer takers?
Why have the peaceweenies fallen so far? How have they lost their moral high ground? They've sold their souls to International Answer. Let them reap their reward.
Thursday, November 20, 2003
Europe and Atlas
Steven Den Beste discusses Old Europe's risk-minimizing approach to international terrorism:
Those Old European leaders who demanded "consultation" and "multilateralism" in increasingly shrill tones were really arguing that Europeans would be affected by American actions, and therefore Europe should be permitted a voice in American decisions. Bush refused to give them such a voice, but they'll still be affected. Like it or not, they're on the bus because the whole world is. We're fighting World War IV, and the whole world is going to be affected.
The Old Europeans aren't just trying to reduce their risk; they're trying to shift it to the United States. "Hit them, not us," they're saying. It's the coward's approach to the crisis confronting the world.
Well thanks a lot Old Europe. Don't think we'll forget. We've been through this before.
Back in WWII, we were threatened by suicidal fanatics. Eventually we solved the problem by igniting stars over the enemy's homeland. Then as now, this remains the only combat-tested way to defeat kamikazes. The concept retains its appeal.
But before Enola Gay, we had to slog it out across the Pacific. The kamikazes swarmed like flies, and threatened our advance. Our carriers benefited from the protection of their battleships -- especially the USS South Dakota's impressive AA suite. But to be effective the BB's needed advanced warning.
The US Navy impressed some of its destroyers into radar picket duty
. These plucky tin cans would stand off, illuminate the enemy planes and pass warning along to the capital ships.
Mind, this was a hazardous duty. Overeager kamikazes would strike the first available ship -- often the poor old radar picket destroyer. The crews of the tin cans were understandably upset. They stood well out from the task force and faced the onslaught without the full protection of the fleet. Some wags offered to paint arrows on their destroyers' decks, indicating "carrier thataway." Nobody ever did it, but I'm sure you can appreciate the sentiment.
To bring to analogy up to the present day, let's consider that since the second day of infamy no terrorist has struck the homeland. Our anti-terrorist suite is (knock on wood) pretty effective. The states at greatest risk are the ones on the periphery. Turkey is bombed
. The UK is infiltrated by traitors
. France can't cope with its expanding Muslim minority
. Is it any wonder that they want to point an arrow at us?
Our erstwhile allies are like the WWII radar picket destroyers; but worse. They're closer to the enemy than are we, and they're scared. Desperately they paint the arrow and try to shift the risk to us.
Fine. We'll save the world in spite of itself. We did exactly the same in WWI, WWII and the Cold War.
Hate it, protest it, but at the very least acknowledge that the US Arsenal of Democracy (AoD) is Atlas -- lifting Christendom's tragedy of the commons out of the sewer. Your lives depend on it.
James has details about Boeing's new jet
. Nice plane, but what's up with this:
Boeing Co. will base design and development work for its proposed new 7E7 jetliner at its massive Everett manufacturing complex, but Japanese suppliers will build more than a third of the aircraft, including most of the wing, the company said Thursday.
Why, oh why? I don't mind letting out bids for the fuselage. Extruding those is like building beer cans. But the wing?
"I think it's more an emotional decision more than a historical decision," Bair said. "(Wings) do provide lift, but figuring out what the wings look like, figuring out how to put them on the airplane, understanding whether that's something that our customers will buy ... that's the magic that The Boeing Co. brings to this process."
I don't buy that explanation. Giving away the wing is like, well, giving away the trade secrets. Boeing will regret this one.
America's Stupidest Crooks
Get a load of this guy:
A bank robber in Modesto, California, forgot to cut holes in his mask.
Witnesses said he held up the bottom of it so he could see but even then he had to walk with a shuffle.
Look what's for sale in Palestine
Really, there's only one word for folks like that:
Wednesday, November 19, 2003
A couple of nice bunnies named Jeremy and Joy:
(Colorado HBS's 2nd Adoptables Page)
These beautiful pumpkin-colored mini-rexes, possibly born in 2000, belonged to a breeder who wanted them killed because they weren't "productive." Fortunately a good veterinarian talked the breeder into allowing us to find them a home. In spite of having been breeder-bunnies, this pair is quite friendly with people. Both weigh between 4 and 4-1/2 lbs.
Rescue bunnies! There are none friendlier.
What Peace Protesters Really Want
George W Bush and Queen Elizabeth lookalikes in an open-top coach, a giant inflatable missile and a pink "peace tank" wound through London today in a cavalcade of protest against the US president's visit to Britain.
Incoherence? Not if you understand what they're trying to get out of all this.
The lamers marching around in Western cities against whatever cause they read about on Indymedia, who smash windows and trash fast-food joints and light other people's cars on fire, only to go home at the end of the day -- they are not resisting. They are not standing up for what's right; they aren't standing up for anything at all. They are there to "make their voices heard," or rather, to be seen making their voices heard. Someday, years from now, they willl look back on this day and smile at how they "did something" and "participated in" the fight "about justice and equality." And it will make them feel good. That's all this is: one giant, loud, and expensive feel-good session, by people whose entire universe is constructed around "feeling good" about "doing the right thing." It's large-scale onanism.
Your typical pro-Saddam, pro-terror protester is not so much a lamer but rather a jerk. Often confused, but now you know the difference.
Arsenal of Australia
The Australian Defence Force is to introduce the massive American-built M1 Abrams tanks as an armoured strike force to facilitate a frontline role for the army alongside the US in future international conflicts.
Although the choice awaits final approval, senior defence sources confirmed the deal to buy 60 Abrams M1 battle tanks for $600 million was set to proceed.
Defence Minister Robert Hill, force chief Peter Cosgrove and army chief Peter Leahy have supported the Abrams over British and German rivals.
The Government's about-face on buying heavy armour is intended to strengthen the US alliance by boosting "interoperability" for future Iraq-style conflicts. In an indication of the strategic importance of the move, the US Administration will handle the deal, selling the tanks directly to Australia.
Good choice! Make sure you go for the full options package. You'll definitely want the A/C. And for true interoperability, get the coffee-maker. The Yanks don't go in for that tea nonsense.
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Greatest 1990's Covers
Michele at A Small Victory
has a series of greatest 1990s covers
Like you, I'm shocked Rammstein hasn't captured the top spot. Nevertheless, we should think about who should occupy spot number two.
My vote is for the Opium Jukebox:
In their seminal (and apparently sole) album Music to Download Pornography By
, these folks covered all the important 90's bands in their inimitable style.
Who else had the courage to cover a tune like EMF's Unbelievable
with toy pianos, bamboo horns, dijeridues, shakuhachis, and sarods? They even include the world's most important instrument: you humming along in your mind. Want proof? Download this fair use excerpt
and see if you can't follow along.
These folks are on the Invisible Records
label and are worth your time. You should hear their covers of:
- Smells Like Teen Spirit,
- Head Like a Hole,
- Ball of Confusion,
- Been Caught Stealing,
- Tainted Love,
- Whip It, and
- You Spin Me Right Round.
You'll love it.
Analog Kid at Random Nuclear Strikes
made an important sartorial discovery. Attending both a peace rally and a pro-troops rally he noticed the police dressed differently for each occasion:
If you look closely you will see that A. He is smiling and B. The only special gear he needed for a pro-troop rally was a rain guard for his hat. As opposed to full body armor and helmet for your ‘Peace Protests."
(Random Nuclear Strikes)
Why are peace protests so prone to violence?
Omar wants an apology from the peace-weenies
Location, Location, Location
This stuff never gets old:
Residents of a road called Crapo Street in the US are fighting to change the name because they are sick of people making jokes.
A US disc jockey's campaign to change the name of Butts County in Georgia to "something more dignified" has been rejected by his listeners.
A South Yorkshire family have moved home because they are fed up with their address - Butt Hole Road.
It's all good.
Zeyad has the right idea:
Those militants don't understand any language except the language of force. [Forget] human rights. Those aren't humans anyway. We desperately NEED to see some heads rolling. Believe it or not. Theres going to have to be some bloodshed for this to work. Bomb the hell out of Tikrit and Al-Awja. Massacre every last person of Saddam's tribe. R*** his women. Yeah. Let them taste some of what we have endured the last 30 years. I don't want to see my dreams ruined because of those trianglees. If the CPA doesn't want to do it, send in a force of IP and civil defense forces and turn your face the other way, they'll be more than glad to do it, believe me.
Either we are serious about taking out terrorists and their hosts, or we are not.
Zeyad's correct about human rights. We don't owe evil terrorists anything but a swift end.
Cell Phone Follies
Does your cell phone cut off in elevators? Mine does.
Mourners at a chapel of rest in Belgium were shocked when a mobile phone started ringing inside the coffin.
Where can you buy one of those?
Monday, November 17, 2003
I'd have posts for you if Lawrence of Arabia
weren't presently on AMC-TV.
A brief analysis of the film:
As an English fop, Lawrence is exactly the type you'd want to send to Arabia. Britain sports no less a shame/pride culture than the Arabian peninsula. Stiff upper lip and all that.
Lawrence is proud and different. Paradoxically he's a match for the Arab culture of the period. Revealing, no?
The film posits a strong, pro-imperialist message: the only way to defeat a Western army is with another. Where have we heard that before?
Despite its focus on the Brits, Arabs and Turks, the film is entirely American. Lawrence leaps into Arabia and castigates the people for their constant, tribal bickering. Divided by their quarrels, the Arabs will always remain, in Lawrence's words "a small, silly people." Only under the unity of a manifest destiny can the Arabs realize their destiny.
Can you think of another continent full of small, silly people divided by their constant tribal bickering? A continent straining to pose as a strategic rival to a manifestly united superpower?
For a contemporary lesson, let's acknowledge that our wahabi enemies have a sense of manifest destiny. So do we. And we have a Western army. Bets, please.
Sunday, November 16, 2003
Here's friendly little Twinkle:
Rescued after being abandoned in a park, Twinkle loves to run around the living room doing bunny-hops and jumps for joy. Her buddy is a yellow lab, who loves her and gives her big wet kisses when she gets an opportunity. The guinea pig is the other member of the family. Twinkle is housebroken and loves to hunt down and devour salads. She loves to be held and is good with kids.
(Twinkle's Page at the Massachusetts HBS)
Mind, I don't recommend you mix bunnies and dogs
. Too many sad stories. And mixing a bunny with a guinea pig is risking a tragic e. cuniculi
infection. It's something to consider.
But Twinkle is good with people and their kids! What a great bunny. Please go say hi!
Hoist with one's own petard
Oliver Willis on 'chickenhawks':
Here's the point, and it doesn't take a brain surgeon to get it: the people who are supporting and encouraging a war of first-strike aggression are the same people who didn't/aren't serving. Do you have to have been in the military to support or oppose war? No. But the usual way things go in America is that we don't attack and invade others. The desk jockey warrior class thinks its okay to upend this - and why not? It's not like they have to go fight it. That one or two or five of the warbloggers actually serve or have friends/family that serve does not change the thrust of this concept.
Oliver Willis on Al Qaeda :
But here's the deal - I remain committed and unwavering in my desire to have Al Qaeda and their ilk eradicated from this planet. The reason I was so moved to stand against the war in Iraq (I had never protested against anything in my life) is that Bush's talking up of attacking Iraq was a way for him and his administration to say "Finding Bin Laden is too hard, let's find an easy enemy we can hit. Oh, and we'll shore up our poll numbers and secure contracts for our contributors as well". It disgusts me.
(Olliver Willis (Same Post))
Here's the distinction: advocating an attack on a sovereign government (e.g., Afghanistan's Taliban) is okay if it advances one's personal unwavering commitment to eradicate Al Qaeda and their ilk from the planet. Advocating an attack on a sovereign government (e.g., Iraq's Baathist dictatorship) is not okay if it does not advance one's personal unwavering commitment to eradicate Al Qaeda and its ilk
from the planet.
Can Oliver Willis endorse the eradication of one of Al Qaeda's ilk (Taliban) without signing up, yet evade the label of chickenhawk?
Has he an alternative to the doctrine of pre-emption? If not, is he qualified to criticize?
Clear Your Calendars!
Today is World Toilet Day
. Let freedom, er, flush