Thursday, June 30, 2005

Boxing Horses

We went to see cinderella man a few days ago,
I thought it was fantastic, my wife didn't care
for the violent boxing scenes. Russel crowe might
be a violent dickhead, but he can act.

I thought one interesting aspect of the movie was
how it compared to seabiscuit, another 'true' sports
movie that occured around the turning point of the
depression. In seabiscuit, it was a horse that helped
heal it's owner and jockey and cutaway scenes showed
various federal programs helping the nation get back
on it's feet. tres pro-roosevelt/government.

Cinderella man focused on a man who scorns government
help until he is at his absolute nadir, then when he gets
back on his feet he pays the government back. Ron Howard
seemed to make the point that it wasn't evil corporations that
brought on the depression, but maybe just bad luck. It
wasn't just the government that got us out of the depression,
but hard work and self-reliance. These were two similar
themed movies, but I thought they showed two very different
worldviews. They were both good movies, but CM was better.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Look ma, I'm a statistic!

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

"It's not a news story, it's recon."

Something else to make me choke on my cheerios:

The Arab TV news network criticized by the new
Iraqi government and others for its anti-American
bias and willingness to carry the messages of terrorist
organizations, including al-Qaida, is headed for the
U.S.-Mexico border to document how easy it is to enter
America illegally.


The best quote was from Minuteman Chris Simcox

"Would we allow Japanese or German television to
film the unsecured border during World War II?" asked
Minuteman spokeswoman Connie Hair. "These people
broadcast to the enemies of America. It's not a news story,
it's recon."

I've been wondering since 9/11 how I can help with
defense of this country since I'm too old to reenlist.
Maybe it's time to buy a musket and go join the minutemen.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Louisiana Wine, or drunkbloggin 'r us

I didn't know you could grow grapes in louisisana, much
less make a really great wine, but I just drank most of
a bottle of Ponchatrain vinyards ' le trolley' white wine.
It was damn good, I don't remember ever drinking a
white wine I've actually liked, but this was great.
(best drunk chilled according to the friend who is living
up in Covington and bought me the wine)

Very drinkable, explains any other posting or commenting
this evening.

Anarcho - Tyranny rules

Jerry Pournelle is a science fiction author who is knowledgeable
about physics, political science and history, and one of the
subjects he often returns to is Anarcho-tyranny:

Anarcho-tyranny: in which major crimes and criminals go unpunished because the authorities are unable or often afraid to act, while the police continue to enforce laws when and where it is safe to do so: Murder rages in one part of the city while minor traffic offenders and scofflaws in middle class sections are sent to jail. Cherry picking by police.
To me this story demonstrates clearly what seems to be
happening. Cash can be confiscated as drug money, and
you are considered guilty until proven innocent if you try
and get it back.

Police don't stop dangerous criminals, but traffic stops and
tasering helpless motorists is well within procedure.
Administrators at elementary schools must expel students
for any infraction. The TSA is a joke, they
search the same people over and over, eg if you buy a
one-way ticket, you'll get searched.

Political correctness is a big part of this problem. Problems
can't be named because doing so will mean saying a possibly
hurtful word to some minority group, or majority group for
that matter.

Follow the rules. Be politically correct. Don't make waves and
maybe the government won't seize your house.

[Anyone keeping score would say this drunken rant means a
tilt to the left on my part, but I'd say the problem is the
government, whereas a leftist would probably say the government
is the solution, just not this government.]



Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Copperheads, apes and chimps, oh my!

Glenn Reynolds has an especially good column this week, he
discusses war fatique and opposition to the war, and what was
most interesting to me was that he mentioned the copperheads
of the civil war:

Like too many people, these folks see the war as less important than their own immediate political objectives. Better to be President after losing a war than to suffer as a Senator in a nation that's winning, apparently.

Well, that's politics. We had the same thing from the Copperheads in the Civil War. If we had less of it in World War II it was because the threat to the Soviet Union turned the hard left into pro-war propagandists instead of the critics they are today.

The reason I found the mention of the copperheads so interesting
was that I finished reading "Never Cry Retreat" a couple of weeks
ago, which is a part of a fantastic series of books that tell the
story of the civil war. While reading the book I was struck by
similarities between our current situation with the WOT and
Iraq, and the war between the north and the south.

At first glance, it appears that the war in Iraq most resembles
vietnam, and that is how the story is constantly played by the
press, and by leftists. The story goes that all three wars (CW,
Vietnam, Iraq) were wars of choice, led by lying incompetant
administrations, with a steady rain of casualties that threatened
to tear the nation apart. The civil war has been erased from the
picture, because democratic opposition to the civil war and now
saintly Lincoln doesn't fit with the civil rights marching
democrats.

So now the comparison is only with vietnam. Vietnam like Iraq
could have been left alone with no intervention from the US. The
peace loving North Vietnamese would have peacefully enslaved
south vietnam along the march to peace loving global communism.
In the same way, peace loving Saddam should have stayed in
power until sanctions ended, then with love and grace he could
have nuked Isreal or held us hostage with WMD, or waited until
the US army was even smaller and reoccupied Kuwait.

Instead the evil corporations forced weak-willed presidents to
attack peace-loving Iraq/Vietnam for to gain oil/military
contracts. All the while peace-loving democrats worked as human
shields or entertained the north vietnamese troops so that we
can all give peace a chance.

I don't agree with this straw-man argument that I've built up.
Vietnam is not a good metaphor for Iraq it was always edged
into never leaped into. There was never any cold-blooded decision
to go to war, it was a series of choices: allow the french collapse
to enable North Vietnamese or supply advisors, supply troops
or allow the vietcong to win. If you give a politician the choice
between total defeat or incremental increase in pain, he will
choose pain every time. I would have done the same thing.

What struck me after reading never call retreat were the
similarities and parallels between the civil war and this
current war. Both were totally wars of choice. Lincoln could
have allowed the union to be divided, or choose war, and he
chose war rather than allow the south to go it's own way.
The south only wanted to be "left alone", and was no threat
to the northern states, but it's existence would mean the end
of the united states.

Both Presidents Bush and Lincoln faced active opposition to the
war from people who would gladly suffer military defeat as long
it helped remove that "ape-faced baboon" or "chimpy mcBush"
from the whitehouse. Both presidents faced opposition from a
democratic controlled press, and were thought of by contemporaries
stupid and controlled by other people within the administration.

Both Presidents changed the scope of their wars, Lincoln changed
the civil war from a war of occupation to one whose goals included
freeing the slaves. Freeing the slaves was just a means to an end.
Lincoln said that if could maintain the union by freeing the slaves
he would do it, or if he maintain the union by keeping them
enslaved he would do that. Bush has stated that our goal is to
bring freedom to all, he doesn't have to mention the realpolitic
support of dictators as a method of ending terrorism, that has
been done before and didn't work.

I am not claiming that Bush is Lincoln. But I can't see how anyone
can call him chimpy McBush, in the same way that no one in their
right mind would now call Lincoln as his contemporaries called
him Ape Lincoln.

There is one final parallel that might be useful when we reach
the end of this current war. At the end of the civil war,
governments fled state capitols, therewas little or no civil
control to negotiate an end of the conflict with. Lincoln did
make an attempt to deal with the Virginia legislature
informally, 'as those men who were formally in control of
the enemy government'. A similar statement might allow our
government to someday bring an end to this war, once our
enemy has been soundly defeated by the our current
Grants and Shermans.

[I will also call people like this copperheads, especially if you read the last two
lines of that copperhead link:

With the conclusion of the war in 1865 the Peace Democrats were thoroughly discredited. Most Northerners believed, not without reason, that Peace Democrats had prolonged war by encouraging the South to continue fighting in the hope thatthe North would abandon the struggle.]

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Gitmo cookbook

Mark Steyn mentioned the Gitmo Cookbook in a recent column,
which is a collection of recipes for the dinners cooked for the
Gitmo detainees. I googled that and found the above link to the
cookbook and an even better answer from Ann Coulter:

American soldiers make do with C-rations. Dinner on an America West flight from New York to Las Vegas consists of one small bag of peanuts. Meanwhile, one recent menu for suspected terrorists at Guantanamo consisted of orange-glazed chicken, fresh fruit crepe, steamed peas and mushrooms, and rice pilaf. Sounds like the sort of thing you'd get at Windows on the Worldif it still existed

Mark Steyn's column almost reaches the level of bitter cynicism that
I feel about this whole subject:

Because the jihadi find western culture depraved — and I’m not necessarily in disagreement on that, at least where Christina Aguilera’s concerned — we’re obliged to be extra-super-duper-sensitive with them.

Says who? Again, the more one hears the specifics of the “insensitivity” of the American regime at Guantanamo, the more many of us reckon we’re being way too sensitive. For example, camp guards are under instructions to handle copies of the Koran only when wearing gloves. The reason for this is that the detainees regard infidels as “unclean”. Fair enough, each to his own. But it’s one thing for the Islamists to think infidels are unclean, quite another for the infidels to agree with them.


Why isn't the ACLU suing to stop this support of a religion by the government?
The same people who would demand that something like the Piss Christ be not just
shown in public, but supported with public money should be screaming to stop the
support of a religion. I am willing to admit that a cross can be just a lump of metal, but
isn't the Koran just a book then? Come on ACLU, be consistent.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Back from Alaska


glaciers
Originally uploaded by Joe Gremlin.
I'm back from alaska after a tiring 3 day
trip. The below photo was taken from the
airplane after we leveled off SE of anchorage.

I didn't get any good pictures in town,
my camera batteries died after taking 2
shots of the limousine they carted us
around in. Limo's look much cooler in
rap videos when there are bitches, ho's
and liqour present. Without that, we
just looked like tired travelers in a
big car.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

North to Alaska

I'm in Anchorage for a couple of days for some
presentations. Beautiful country, much hillier
than louisiana. I'll put some pictures up if I manage
to get some good ones, I've got a flicker account and
I think I've learned how this interweb thing works.

Just a reminder to my future self; don't fly if you have a
cold. I thought my ear drums were going to burstduring
the landing, exploding with a jet of blood, and I was thinking
"must aim ears at uglier stewardess" all the time sweating
like a whore in church since it felt like those little animals from
star trek II were eating their way out of my head, meanwhile
the other stew looked at me as if she was wondering if
I'm one of those terrorist al-canadians.

Anyway, I made it alive and my ears finally popped, and they gave
me a chocalate moose at the hotel, ...so all better now.
(a giant, chocalate moose-shaped lollipop)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Devil Dogs and demonic doings

Sharon over at Perspectacles tells a damn funny
story
about a posessed dog speaking her name:
A year later as I was getting ready for school, my mother said casually, "I don't suppose we ever told you that we had to have Scooter put down last year because he said your name."

I choked on my Cheerios. I think I actually sputtered some milk across the table. But that's the dramatic way my mother likes to introduce things.
("By the way, we had to have the talking dog destroyed.")
(go read the rest, it's funnier)
We never had a posessed animal at our house, but
we did have a haunted door, where two of my siblings
heard a demonic voice and a maniacal laugh. It was the
door that my father added when he converted the
garage to a spare bedroom.

I was young enough, maybe 10 or 11, that no one
in my family told me what was going on, because they
rightly thought that they would scare the shit out of
me, and I would have never entered that half of the
house again.

I only found out something strange was happening
when the parish priest showed up to bless the house.
He sprinkled a couple of drops of holy water around
the rest of the house until he got to the spare bedroom,
then he intoned "Is that the door?", my brother nodded
gravely, then Father Henry unloaded on that door. He
sprayed so much water that we probably had a mold
problem later.

Who knows what the priest thought, something like
'what kind of nutcakes are coming to my church' or 'is
it too early for a drink?'

The blessing apparently worked though, no one else heard
maniacal laughter or demonic voices there again.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Hurricane blogging

Well the first tropical storm of the year is in the Gulf. Since
we're now safely 100' above sea level over here west of Houston,
hurricanes don't look half as scary. Half as scary is still enough
to change me into a shaky-handed old woman, so I typically track
hurricanes closer than a pimp tracks his best looking blond Ho.
Which means I use the "where's my money bitch" tracking
technique.

Rather than just watching the weather channel, I also watch
the weatherunderground, not only does the weather underground
show the same tracking info the weather channel has, they also
have the notes of the forecaster under the discussion heading.
they also show the raw results of various computer models,
usually the official forcast agrees with the majority of the models.
But sometimes an outlying model is right. When an outlying model
track runs over your house, it is time to pay attention, even if the
weather channel guys are transmitting from 500 miles away.

The NWS will continue agreeing with the majority of the models
until suddenly a step change occurs and all the models agree with
the outlyer. That happened with Ivan last year, when first one
model then several others shifted track from miami to the gulf
coast. (if you look on the above model link, the BAM model is
aimed around tallahasse, while the other 4 models are headed
toward mobile bay)

So if you live near the coast and especially if you work
offshore, keep a weather eye on your bitches.

Update: I was just poking around some more on the WU website,
and they now have links to blogs of meteorologists.
The amazing thing is they allow comments. Wait until they
get a hurricane forcast wrong, their comments will make the
democratic underground trolls look friendly. Right now it
looks like the most educated set of commenters on the web.




All we are saying, is give peas a chance

Mr Beelzebub over at Free Market Fairy Tales makes some
great points about the hipocrisy and waste generated by the
renewed live-aid concerts. Go, read the rest.

Furthermore, the Beelzebub household (admittedly in the guise
of Mrs B) is the proud charitable sponsor of a donkey in Devon,
a seahorse in Bristol, and a goat that was sent out on a free holiday
to the Gambia (Did it call? Did it write? Did it buggery …)

So I don't need reminding that those of us who live in the lap of
comparative luxury need to do our bit for those who have to get
up at 5am and walk 50 miles to the nearest fag machine, or
whatever it is that they do in deepest Africa.

Apart from the jokes, the really important point that he makes
is it doesn't matter how generous we are, if the people we give
the money to are just dictators for life we'll end up just pimping
somebody's ride. ("those are bangin' rims Mr Mugabe")

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Cool Picture, but possible problem

Google maps has a pretty cool feature that once you get
a map you can click a link and get a satelite photo of the same
spot. Here's a neat example showing a B-2 bomber parked
on the ramp:

Link to google Maps

One possible side effect will be future war planning by
our enemies won't require satellites for pre-mission
planning, or even paying commercial satelite companies.
Imagary will be available for free.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

100 words again

I just posted again at "100 words or Less Nessman" in
the comments section. What's interesting to me about
writing short fiction like that is the hard part is to stop
writing.

There is still a flow of words that come out almost
unbidden. I haven't tried to write anything non-
technical for so long I figured that the source of words would have
dried up for lack of use, like in a Willie Nelson song.

It's also kind of neat to edit something to 100 words and still
make the point that was originally made in several hundred
words. Oh well, back to work. Some of my family are coming
to visit for the weekend, I've got to finish cleaning before they
get here. Too bad I don't have one of those scarves that Lucy
always wore when doing housework...stylish.