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Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Jingle Around the Bottle

After a hard night's deliveries, Santa likes to unwind. Help keep him standing straight.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, fokls!

Jingle All the Way Around the World

Hey kids: at this special time, don't forget to remember the hard working folks at NORAD who keep Santa's skies free of bogeys. To pay your respects, visit noradsanta. There you can download movies of all the places Santa has visited. My favorite is this one, in which you can watch him on final approach to a CVN. Call the ball, Santa!

To everybody: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Christmas Lights

What kind of lights do you adorn your domicile during Christmas: white or colored? This is an official survey, so please use the comments. Why ask? According to the late (and much missed) Michael Kelly, the answer is instructive:

There is too much disputation around Christmas anyway. One growing issue is the white vs. colored lights debate. Like all matters of taste, this is also a matter of class. White lights are high-class; colored lights are somewhat less so. White lights make the statement that one is a refined sort who appreciates that less is more and who celebrates Christmas (and life in general) in such a fashion that one would not be absolutely mortified if Martha Stewart dropped by unexpectedly for tea. Colored lights make the statement that one is the sort of person who believes that Christmas is not Christmas without an electric sled and reindeer on the lawn, an electric Santa on the roof, an electric Frosty by the front gate and an electric Very Special Person in a manger on the porch.

Most of the houses in my neighborhood are white-light houses, and I have to admit they are lovely, but I was raised in a colored-light family, and I am raising Tom and Jack to be colored-light men too. They do not take a lot of convincing on this. Boys are naturally colored-lighters.
(Town Hall)

By the way, yellow or orange Hanukkah lights are officially white lights for the sake of this survey.

Personally (and don't let this affect your answer), I like white lights. I grew up in New England, where folks would put a single white "candle" light in each window. Hopping down a street blanketed in snow, I thought each house looked tasteful and dignified.

And then I moved to the Garden State, where a plastic Santa on the roof and an electric Jesus on the lawn was considered de rigeur. And in that milieu, they are entirely appropriate.

Actually, both camps have their appeal, and that's the point of this survey. What's your preference?


Meet Lucky and Diego:

(Missouri HBS)

Lucky is a spayed female Dutch who was rescued after she was thrown away by a man who bought her for snake food. Diego is a neutered male Mini-Rex. They are both very curious and friendly bunnies, who love to explore everything. The have good litterbox habits and would make an excellent addition to a family wanting entertaining and gentle pet companions.
(Missouri HBS)

Snake food? Geez! Somebody please find these nice bunnies a good, friendly home.

Arsenal of Democracy

Can't wait for the IOC on this one:

William Shatner has recorded a new album featuring a guest appearance by US punk legend Henry Rollins.

Put that in Saddam's walkman, and he'll spill the beans real quick!

Belgium: Gone!

Does any one else know about this?

The obscure nation of Belgium, often called "Europe's forgotten country," was virtually destroyed by the impact of an asteroid -- but incredibly, outsiders didn't notice for three weeks.

And even after they found out, newspapers and TV stations in the United States didn't bother to report it!

A concerned media critic is calling this the "most underreported story of 2003."
(Weekly World News)


Monday, December 22, 2003

The End of the Peace-Weenies

Reading David Warren Online, the second of the following two paragraphs rang true for me:

The obvious "big event" of 2003 -- the events leading to and through the invasion of Iraq, capped with the capture of Saddam -- was probably not the most consequential. And the image of the year -- the fall of the dictator's statue in Baghdad -- is unlikely to have pointed the moral. My own extremely fallible intuition is that, if anything, this war and this image concealed the main event.

To my mind, the real story was in the opposition to this war, and how it persisted and developed in Europe and North America even after Iraq had been liberated from its tyrant. That will be the "developing story" in 2004 and years to come -- how the West has turned against its own ideals, and grows increasingly ashamed, even of its own most obvious accomplishments.
(David Warren Online)

Today's progressive lefties, marching in support of tyrants and terrorists, are really shocking. And perhaps that's their goal. Flaunting taboos is a cheap and easy way to pretend to be daring. The bigger the sign, the more outrageous the message, the more people will pay attention to you. But is there no line you won't cross?

I confess to having difficulty understanding what motivates modern lefties. On the second day of infamy I thought we'd unite and defeat our enemies, if only for the sake of survival. I thought reasonable people might conclude: "there's no practical way to keep terrorists out, so we'll just have to take the fight to them."

Needless to say, the modern progressives disappointed me. First they rubbed our noses in ground zero, with talk about 'chickens coming home to roost,' and the impending 'silent genocide.' Then they took to the streets and flaunted their sensitive consciences in the service of evil. Naturally, I decided to preserve the moment in pictures.

Reference: DC Protest, 1/18/2003 and its aftermath.
Reference: DC Protest, 3/15/2003 and its aftermath.
Reference: DC Protest, 10/25/2003. (Sorry, no aftermath pictures -- I was out of town the next day.)

Imagine the reaction of an author of an Iraqi weblog to those pictures. On whose side were the protestors? Who benefited from their critical dissent?

I'm glad people like David Warren recognize that the modern 'Peace Movement' is not really about peace. Instead it's about preserving the power of evil potentates, but mostly it's about throwing a tantrum in front of their symbolic parents. I don't advocate we do anything about these protestors save to document them and recognize that they are well and truly bonkers. Oh, and don't forget to vote:

In January the Dems' nomination process will enter its final stage with the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. It is still possible for Dean to be beaten, but that seems increasingly unlikely. A Dean candidacy will divide America, and that's good because Americans should have to make a clear choice. A Bush-Dean race will pose one for us, and for our enemies it will pose another: Is it worth the risk to continue in the terror business while America is distracted by the presidential campaign? Surely, most will conclude that it is.

Inevitably the presidential campaign will weigh heavily in the minds of our adversaries. For the next eleven months, the polls will be read avidly not only in the blue and red states. In place such as Tehran, Damascus, and Riyadh, despots will be looking at them the way W.C. Fields looked at the bible. Fields, an avowed atheist, spent his last years in a nursing home. One day a nurse discovered him reading the Good Book and asked what he was doing. "Looking for loopholes, my dear," was the priceless reply.
(The American Spectator)

Ha, funny quotation, Mr. Babbin. A rout of the Democrats would also be a repudiation of their progressive allies. And if anyone deserves to get their soft teeth symbolically knocked down their throats, it's them.

Arsenal of Democracy

The US Navy is recommissioning several of its boomers as cruise missile subs:

The U.S. Navy has awarded a $222 million contract for the conversion of the ballistic missile submarine Ohio (SSBN 726) to a cruise missile submarine (SSGN). The work will be completed by 2006. At that point the Ohio will carry 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles, and provide space for 66 commandos (usually SEALs) and their equipment. The second of four SSBNs to be converted, the USS Florida, will begin conversion next Spring and will also be ready for service in 2006. The other two subs to be converted will begin work in 2005 and 2006. The idea of converting ballistic missile subs, that would have to be scrapped to fulfill disarmament agreements, has been bouncing around since the 1990s.
(Strategy Page)

Just by coincidence, the nineties were the years during which the Navy debated the merits of the Arsenal Ship: a behemoth loaded to the gills with missiles. Critics called it a wannabe supertanker, and the concept eventually got shelved.

Or did it?

I think the U.S.S. Ohio is America's first arsenal ship in disguise. I wonder: what kind of mischief could five dozen seals (and their own, personal air force) do?

News of the World

With the United States on Orange Alert, things are a bit subdued around here. Let's see what's going on elsewhere.

WEST AFRICA: Scores of young men are primping and preparing for the "Mr. Sahara" beauty pageant.

The Wodabe men in Niger have performed a dance and showed off the whiteness of their teeth and eyes to compete for the honour of being selected as the most beautiful man by women.

Follow the link and vote!

UNITED KINGDOM: Cinema buffs are pitting musicals against one another to determine the best, and there can be only one:

An all singing episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer is in the running to be named the greatest musical of all time.

Folks, Buffy does not belong in the top tier of musicals. A true contest would pit South Pacific against Strategic Air Command.

Who can forget General LeMay's lyrical soliloquy My Heart is like an Age of Stone?

THE NETHERLANDS: From Leif Eriksson to the Royal Navy, Europeans have always tried (with varying degrees of success) to invade America by sea. The latest warship to make the attempt is presently under construction:

A Dutchmen wants to sail to the US in a full scale replica of a Viking ship made out of millions of lollipop sticks.

Who wants to bet against AEGIS?


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