Saturday, January 03, 2004
Like you, I'm tired of ceding the initiative to the terrorists. We should hit them where they live. They ought to be nervous, not we. And now that the enemy has ceded the protections
of the Geneva Accord (yet again), the gloves must come off.
What if we identified known terrorists and issued letters of marque
? What if we unleashed our own vigilantes to infiltrate and destroy the nests of evil? If we fought on the terms offered by the islamokazes, for how long could they fight?
Like you, I've read and re-read Dick Marcinko's "Rogue Warrior
." He used to body surf behind S2F Trackers
on behalf of the sky hook project
. He took a broadband RF-emitter into the den of the car-bomb manufacturers and watched the garages explode.
Toward the end of his autobiography, Mr. Marcinko advocated we develop and pay groups of vigilantes to do the kinds of things for which we'd rather not claim responsibility. He proposed a group called "KATN, Inc.", (for the kicking and name-taking of things) to give the USA plausible deniability for the things we must do to catch terrorists. According to his autobiography, he volunteered to found the first group of many.
Sounds good to me. Who argues against? As you might expect, there is an argument against, and I'd like to hear it. Otherwise, sic semper terrorists
Friday, January 02, 2004
As you know, Dutch bunnies are the world's best breed. And in their excellence and cleverness they are exceeded only by the Dutch soccer fan. At least by one in particular:
Mayor Wim Deetman did not realise [sic] the ADO Den Haag fan was exposing himself when he agreed to have his picture taken with him.
He had just come from a meeting with club directors and gladly posed arm in arm with the fan who was clutching a bottle of beer.
It was only later, when the picture was circulated on the internet, that Mayor Deetman realised [sic] he had been set up.
If you'd like to see a bowdlerized (but still hilarious) picture of the event, follow the link. From the perspective of international diplomacy, this Dutchman -- by dint of his endeavor -- tosses a gauntlet before every True American. Will no one answer the challenge?
Worst Screen Lovers
No, not Sid and Nancy, but Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci:
Describing the Casino sex scene, one reader said: "Could there be a more repulsive combination than these two? It's like one of the munchkins got a shot at Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz."
No argument here. But George C. Scott and Karl Michael Vogler
are the runners up.
Hi folks! As you know, this silly little web log dwells on bunnies, bombs and bad movies. But since we're not presently at war with any sovereign power, most of you folks aren't particularly interested in reading about weapons or adoptable bunnies. So let's talk film.
What is so compelling about movies? I have a theory which I developed during my university days. A professor of early American literature explained how authors such as Hawthorne, Melville and Bierce could assume that their readers could quote chapter and verse of the Holy Bible. And since the good book was and is chock full of stories and themes, American authors could make all kinds of allusions, confident that the audience would follow the cues.
For better or for worse, today's American is much less familiar with Judeo-Christian scripture. If you -- the aspiring author of the Great American Novel -- want to make a universal reference, I think you're stuck with popular films. For example: if you want to establish a character as a rebel, a reference to Cain or to an actual historical American rebel like James Longstreet
is lost on the masses. You're better off writing a reference to a famous film: "Red Five standing by...
" Most folks will get that one.
The cinema has supplanted the Bible as our cultural lingua franca. While that conclusion is as dismaying as it is unarguable, it elevates movies to a new significance. And that's why I like to dabble in film criticism.
I'm sorry to report that this post does not herald a new review on the bad movie shrine
. While there is a BMS review in the pipeline, I'm struck with a case of writer's block. The film in question is a modern musical, and it's rather out of character for the site. Hence the difficulty. By the way, the film is as obscure as it is famous. It's a star showcase for a yet famous beverage-monikered musician. You've most certainly heard of it. You may even have made reference to it (many prominent web log writers have) but you probably haven't seen it. When the review is ready, it shall cover that lacuna in your cultural education. But until the review is ready, I'll say no more.
Instead, I'd like to direct your attention to some recent reviews of note. In the first (and most recent) review, Phyllis Schlafly uses her nationally syndicated political column to dismiss Mona Lisa Smile
as typical Hollywood feminist tripe:
Proclaimed by CBS-TV as "the best picture of the year by far," [ed: January 2, 2004] "Mona Lisa Smile" is a sanctimonious feminist homily preaching salvation through modern art and making one's own career choices just so long as career does not mean marriage and motherhood. But the sermon boomeranged on reality, and the movie proves again that those who follow that commandment travel a dead-end road.
I haven't seen the film (and don't particularly want to), and can't vindicate or refute her review. However, I do admire her for suggesting a superior alternative:
To enjoy the smiles you didn't have while watching "Mona Lisa Smile," I suggest you rent a video of the 1988 movie about another stereotypical feminist professor. The movie is called "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" and stars Bill Maher in the "politically incorrect" role of his life.
Phyllis Schlafly recommending an Adrienne Barbeau
film: a sign of the impending apocalypse? You be the judge.
The second noteworthy review is really a must-read. You may not agree with the author's judgment (as I do not), but where are you ever going to read a critical panning of Schindler's List
? As far as I can tell, this is the only one. So in a twisted sort of way, it's special:
The only thing that I took away from this thought-provoking shockfest was that A) Liam Neeson could not squeeze one drop of talent out of that little confused face of his and B) Nazis are actually kind of cool. I mean, Ralph (RAAAFE) Fiennes, who usually makes me want to churn yesterday's meatloaf actually held my interest. He got to prance around like he was a big important man, and shoot anyone he wanted. Now if that isn't every man's dream, I don't know what is. Not that I am advocating the murder of 6 million people mindyou..but wouldn't it be fun to put one right between the eyes of a pesky relative?
(Bad Movie Night)
Eeyow! While I certainly can't endorse the review, I submit it for your consideration.
Thursday, January 01, 2004
Happy Birthday Ken!
Everybody's favorite coastie turns thirty-four today. So go visit Ken's web log
and wish him the best!
Oh and Ken, while we're on the subject of you: the USCG
is the only US armed service to fly French jets
. Why is that? ;)
New Year's Marathon
The FX channel is running a whole season's worth of "In Living Color" shows today! And they just ran my favorite sketch:
The Wrath of Farrakhan
I miss that show so much...
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Serving Against Spam
The good folks at strategypage
discuss how the cumulative effect of all those Nigerian spam emails
is akin to a psyop campaign:
December 30, 2003: Some of that spam clogging your email represents an unintended media campaign to impress upon people the extent to which corruption afflicts African and Middle Eastern nations. The scam basically asks you to allow the use of your bank account to move millions of dollars "trapped" in an account somewhere. In return, you get a large commission. In reality, if you participate, your own bank account usually gets cleaned out.
I know those emails are annoying: I get them too. Happily, this is one fight in which you can enlist and serve, right from the comfort of your home
OK. I have the scammer on board, but now he's asking me for my bank details. What do I do?!
Don't panic, just send him any old rubbish. Make up a bank name of your own (my personal favourite is Plunder & Flee Incorporated, feel free to use it yourself and make P&F world famous!). Random account numbers and bank addresses are fine also. You could use a real address if you prefer (not your own of course). I did a scam posing as Dr. Frasier Crane, and the address I gave was the real address for the Seattle Tower in Washington! Remember to cross check the details you have sent if you have to send multiple forms. You don't want a scammer coming back to you asking why your bank account number doesn't match up on the forms you sent to him!
What usually happens is that your account and personal details will be used to make up phoney documents to send back to you. The usual procedure being that a gullible person would believe these documents to be the real thing, and then you would be so taken in that when the scammer asks you for money to help facilitate the release of the funds, you will part with your cash without too much hesitation.
(419eater.com. (419 eater homepage))
Hey, that looks like fun! By all means, check you 419eater's images
of desperate scammers.
That's a bookmark right there!
Here's an account of some peace-weenies who traveled to Israel to sabotage the anti-terrorist, security fence:
Those hostile forces were at work again this past weekend. The college students (and professors, and other domestic liberals), the "beautiful people" who support terror against Jews, went on the warpath against Israel's "security fence." A group of members from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) joined some Palestinians and Israeli far-leftists in physically attacking a portion of the fence in the West Bank.
One wag suggested that ISM really stands for "I Support Murderers." But the Left responds, reflexively, by relying on their eyesight, rather than their insight. They cannot understand the charges leveled against their fellow leftists. They say, "But they are the beautiful people: They love peace. They pet cats. They sing Joan Baez songs and believe in the brotherhood of 'humankind.' How dare you slander them?"
All this ignores that fact that ISM members were on the West Bank to show their solidarity with mass murderers and suicide bombers. They understand that the security fence Israel is building is designed to make it harder for the terrorists the ISM supports to enter Israel and murder Jewish children and other civilians. And that is precisely why they believe it must come down.
(Front Page Magazine)
What message is so important to deliver, you must express it by aiding evil terrorists?
- the West is bad?
- indigenous people are good?
- your sign has a really clever slogan?
Besides drawing attention to themselves, I think what these folks want is credibility
. After all, any poseur and go attend a rally. Only the true progressives have the courage or vanity to take direct action on behalf of those semtex fashion plates. In other words, it's about earning leftist street cred. Others agree:
What I want is to launch an appeal to the collective European way of thinking, and especially to the intellectuals and journalists, because, from my point of view, they are in the process of creating a collective reality that is Judeophobic. Today one must prove oneself to be on the left; it is necessary to be anti-Semitic to have credibility. Things have reached the point where, for instance, Sharon is always guilty of being guilty, while Arafat is seen as an honest figure, innocent, a tireless old resistance fighter, a heroic figure, a kind of Gandhi—in brief, a person gussied up in romantic finery, when in reality he is head of an oligarchy that has so much blood on its hands.
(Pilar Rahola (in Front Page Magazine))
Oh you fence-clipping progressives, you're real hard core. And while may go home, boast about your deeds and fawn for the adulation you crave, we're quietly keeping score.
Monday, December 29, 2003
Christmas Lights (again)
Thanks to everybody who ventured an opinion on what kind of lights make the best Christmas decorations. As of right now, the colored-lights crowd appears to hold a strong advantage (notwithstanding my endorsement of white lights).
Of course, it's a contest between favorites. If you want, you can like both. One can imagine that there are a few dual-shop households out there. And that's just fine.
The only problem with Christmas lights is (as Steven Denbeste
would say) they just don't scale very well.
KILLINGLY, Conn. (AP) - Christmas just isn't the same for this small eastern Connecticut town that was once set aglow during the holidays by one man and his spirit.
Mervin Whipple, known as "Mr. Christmas" to locals, has decided to pull the plug on his brilliant, gigantic holiday light display that once lured viewers from across the nation.
Partly, it was the pricey bills. But mostly, there just isn't enough Christmas spirit, the once-jolly Whipple said.
"It's a changed world," Whipple said while fighting back tears. "The spirit of Christmas is gone."
How brilliant? How gigantic?
More than 1.5 million people from across the country visited the display over its 35-year run. Decorated with 110,000 bright lights and 300 moving figures, including everything from Santa Claus to towering angels, Whipple's home was a holiday tradition and a Connecticut landmark.
"He's our Father of Christmas," said Killingly resident Bethany Milardo, 29, who had visited the display every year for as long as she could remember.
Whipple said volunteers began to dwindle over the past few years, and the bill - $19,000 last year - had grown too costly. Charging visitors was out of the question, he said.
As a former resident of the Constitution State, I can't believe he got away with that for so long. There, such things just aren't done.
Auld Lang Saud
Looks like it's off this year:
RIYADH (Reuters) - Morality police in southern Saudi Arabia plan to conduct raids to ensure that shops do not sell flowers, candles and gifts to those planning to celebrate New Year, a local newspaper reported on Monday.
The Arabic-language al-Watan said the Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (APVPV) in Aseer province was determined to uphold a ban by the conservative Muslim kingdom on non-Muslim celebrations.
Upon learning this news, most folks will probably shrug, snicker or sigh. But I see a ray of hope:
"For Muslims, there are only two holidays in a year: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha," the official said, referring to the Muslim feasts that follow the annual fasting month of Ramadan and the haj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Only two holidays... what is the significance?
Islamic fanatics do not celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day!
Now will the lefties get on board?
The Pacific Century
During the war, who stood with us, and who just stood by?
While transatlantic partnerships remain important, US allies in Asia - especially Japan and South Korea - are becoming increasingly more important players in the search for global stability.
Given historical links and ancestral ties for the majority of its citizens, US foreign policies have long reflected a distinct Eurocentricity. The political browbeating over the rift between the US, France, and Germany on the eve of the Iraq war illustrates this.
But the worries over unpleasant exchanges with France and Germany overshadowed the fact that many other European countries had joined the "coalition of the willing." Besides the 12,000 troops from Britain, other Europeans that contributed to the multinational force include Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Spain, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine. And logistical support is provided by Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal.
Yet, while editorial writers and politicians anguished over the Bush administration's insensitivities toward the French and the Germans, US allies in Asia were stepping up to the plate.
(Christian Science Monitor)
And let's not forget our major ally Australia.
Y'know, one of the most unlikely results of Operation Iraqi Freedom was the vindication of SEATO
. Who would have predicted that?