Wednesday, November 17, 2004

PC to the point of stupidity

Jim Lileks, in this morning's bleat:


"But what do I know. I’m so out of touch I saw that picture of the Marlboro Man
soldier and did not instantly fire off a letter to the editor protesting this
flagrant and unhelpful depiction of – what’s the word? - reality. Some did, of course. (One of many examples I've seen about.) For God’s sake, if Patton were alive today he’d be slapping civilians. Granted, we’re talking about a select stratum of the population whose undies come pre-bunched, but even by their standards this is ridiculous. You get the sense that this was the last straw for some – it’s bad
enough that we have soldiers in Iraq (if we have to have soldiers AT ALL) but to
have conspicuously smoking soldiers just rubs their nose in it all. It’s stuff
like this that makes the standard imagery of WW2 look like dispatches from an
alternate dimension, and makes you wonder how the modern media might have
covered WW2. You can well imagine the reports from Normandy: the reporter would
have his back to the sea so the camera caught the wreckage, the metal flotsam,
the blasted craft and bobbing bodies. The terrible toll of this horrible day. At
the end of the report the camera might have swung around to see the beach we had
secured, and the Nazi positions high above we’d taken, but that would be an
asterisk to the Dreadful Cost that led Many to Wonder whether this Invasion was
not a Gamble whose Final Cost was Yet to be Tallied, etc. Close-up on a soldier
shivering on the sand, sucking down a Camel. Cue the letter to the
Herald-Examiner from an anti-smoking activist: it is ironic that we continue to
associate cigarettes with heroism and manliness, when that soldier faces far
more danger from his cigarette than from the upcoming battles in the hedgerows,
the attempt to take French villages, the desperate push to unite the front and
deal with the German tanks held in reserve, the frigid hell of Bastogne and the
messy sniper-salted drive to Berlin. And why do we have to show the soldiers
with guns? What sort of message does this send? It should be no surprise that
our children play Allies and Nazis these days, instead of Ministers and
Diplomats. "

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Nuke 'em from orbit

http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,11412539^401,00.html

It is prohibited to kill or wound an enemy who is surrendering or who is hors de combat.

...is the rule from the geneva convention.

I think this Marine was justified in doing whatever

he did. If he had not shot this insurgent, and the

insurgent activated his suicide belt or a hand grenade

killing everyone including the reporter, there would be

stories complaining about how the marines don't protect

imbeds. If the guy hasn't actively surrendered, he's a

combatant until he's dead or obviously hors de combat.

( 'out of the fight'; disabled)

In the age of chivalry, hors de combat meant that you couldn't

handle a sword or mount your horse. In an age where all you

need to do is press a button to set off an explosive charge, when

are you out of the fight?

If I were president Bush I'd give him a presidential pardon. Of course,

if I were president, Fallujah would be a molten glass filled crater, so maybe

I'm not the best person to ask.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Hammer, meet nail

This entry at Harry's Place really hits the nail on the head.


A busy spell on the blog (scroll down if you've not been here for a while),
so lets just take stock.
After the reaction of 'Index on Censorship' to the
murder of Theo Van Gogh (below) where does that leave us in the

bizarre world of the post-9-11 left?
We have 'peace' campaigners who are in favour of
terrorism.
We have 'anti-fascists' who support fascists.
We have 'feminists' supporting the oppressors of women.
We have 'socialists' against trade unions.
We have 'revolutionaries' in favour of the status quo and
stability.
We have 'anti-racists' who support racists.
We have 'secularists' against secularism.
And now we have anti-censorship campaigners
who respond to a political murder by saying the victim had 'abused his right to
free speech'.
And they say we are the ones who have sold out?


The same people who were against supporting tyrants while combating
communism in the 80's, are the same people were against toppling saddam
last year. We must be consistent children, once you support a tyrant you
must always support him.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Is that trouble on the wind, or just my breath?

Instapundit linked to the Chicago Boys blog where they had a fairly interesting discussion of this whole idea of the blue states secceceding to form their own all liberal, all the time nation:

So seeing maps with "Jesusland" and "United States of Canada"
should not surprise us. It is the traditional Anglospheric way
of thinking out loud about how to resolve seemingly irreconcilable
differences. One way is to leave, physically, for some new place
-- "light out for the territories", or "go West", or as Davey Crocket
put it "you people can go to Hell; I'm going to Texas". And if there
are too many dissatisfied people for this method to work, there is
pressure to re-deal the cards on who runs which pieces of real estate.

Thankfully, for now, any proposed division of territory is merely
political satire. But secession thinking is often the first straw in the
wind of a storm of deeper conflict coming up.


I have several thoughts when I see cartoons separating this country into 'US of C' and 'jesusland'. One of them is that hopefully this will all blow over after a couple of months and the supporters of the losing side get used to the results of the election. Another thought is that if a large group of people can't accept the recent election and is actually considering radical action, then democracy in the U.S. is mostly dead. Since the most basic requirement of a democracy is that the losing side accepts the result of the election, goes into opposition and works within the rules to try to win the next election. If the losers will always threaten seccession, or violence then this will become the modus operandi of all parties until we reach the last election, and some powerful faction such as the military feels slighted and nulifies the election.

My third thought on this topic, which about as many as I can handle since I need two fingers to hold my beer, is that seccession and violence and ugly cartooning aren't really necessary. Each state having their own views on various social topics is already provided for in the federal structure of the government as originally intended. We need to be moving away from the all powerful federal government, and back to states legislating social issues the way their residents want, instead of judges making national policy. Yeah, gay marriage in california is fine. And bible thumping non-drinking in public is fine for mississippi. The gun nuts can all move here to texas. Free abortions for all in masacheusetts. I guess I'll have to get myself a mo-bile home.



Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Something funny to ease the tension-Bohemian Rhapsody-not

http://www.flowgo.com/funpages/view.cfm/6019

Shrodinger's Country

It's kind of interesting yet stressful watching the election returns as the polls close in the east. In reality the decision has already been made who is going to win the election, an observer just has to open the box and see the result. There's no dead cat in this case though, hopefully not a dead country either. Whatever the outcome, this experiment's true outcome won't really be known for years or even decades.

That's a more hopeful thought. The sweep of history will decide whether tonight's outcome is good or bad. This experiment is neither cat nor country in a box, it's a box within a box (ad infinitum). Even if the particle decays or the vote is cast wrong, it's neither the end of the world nor the end of the theoretical cat. Life goes on.