Thursday, August 31, 2006

To 9/11 conspiracy theorists:

Mark Steyn has a quote that exactly explains how I feel
about 9/11 conspiracy theorists in a review of the Popular
Mechanics 9/11 conspiracy debunking book:

But the Toronto blogger Kathy Shaidle made a much sharper point:

"I wonder if the nuts even believe what they are saying. Because if something like 9/11 happened in Canada, and I believed with all my heart that, say, Stephen Harper was involved, I don't think I could still live here. I'm not sure I could stop myself from running screaming to another country. How can you believe that your President killed 2,000 people, and in between bitching about this, just carry on buying your vente latte and so forth?"

Monday, August 28, 2006

Today way back in 2005 - Aug 28

Here was one key mistake last year, nagin ordered the evac
sunday morning, instead of saturday afternoon like Jefferson

Mayor Nagin just ordered a mandatory evacuation, by
reading the legaleze version of the order instead of saying
more plainly it is time to leave, and if you don't leave no
one will come rescue you.

Hopefully it wasn't poorly executed and too late.

Governor blanco just mentioned that President Bush called to
make sure there was a mandatory evactuation.

She keeps mentioning being blessed, and she keeps repeating
herself and mentioning flying in and looking at the traffic.
Instead of a governor she is really just a traffic reporter
and a bad one at that.

I voted for Bobby Jindal, and I wish that fast talking guy had
won. posted by Joe at 7:16 AM | 0 comments

I wish I hadn't been right last year. It was apparent to me watching
from 2000 miles away what to do and when to do it. People that
have never lived in new orleans don't realize that katrina was the storm
we talked about since betsy in 1965, the storm that would fill the bowl.
None of the things that happened were unexpected, I had heard stories
from boyhood about carrying an axe into the attic in case you have to cut
your way out.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Today way back in 2005

Last year on this day I was working on a drilling project in Barbados
and spending my non-working time glued to CNN. It had been apparent
to me from the day before that there was a big risk of 'the big one'
hitting new orleans and I was glad to see that the local and state officials
were starting the evacuation, even if it was a day late.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Katrina is coming

I'm watching CNN here in Barbados, and I'm amazed that
Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard is giving detailed
driving instructions to an international audience. He was
mayor of Kenner when I was growing up, now he's a bejowled
power broker telling an international audience not to take
the Huey P. Long bridge; but he didn't say which way to go.

Whew, I'm glad I'm not a resident of the west bank of Jefferson
Parish...they've got to take a drive on Highway 90 to lafayette,
which is a 2 1/2 hour drive over swampy causeways with no
traffic, add 200,000 people and it will be a 6 hour bataan death-
drive just to Lafayette. (or risk a one-lane merge from I-310 to
I-10...bleh) Once you're in lafayette I'd definitely keep going
to Houston.

[....digression to another hurricane story...]
posted by Joe at 10:27 AM

So two days before the storm I wasn't exactly in a panic, I was
inviting our parents and sisters who live in southern mississippi
to come west, and I suggested to my wife that she invite friends
in Lafayette too.

Then I went back to work for 12 hours or so and then back to
the hotel where instead of sleeping I surfed the net, because CNN
had little about the storm.

CNN Sucks

I'm watching CNN again and in the last 12 hours they've shown
the anti-bush screed about bad intelligence 3 times! The approaching
disaster in New Orleans could be just about as bad as the Tsunami was,
but they've had 36 hours of warning about the story.

Hopefully Governor Blanco's prayers are just as effective as Governor
Foster's were for Hurricane Lily, because it looks like it's gonna be bad.
It would be nice to see some urgency from the 24 hour news channel.
posted by Joe at 3:54 AM

One of the most interesting things about blogging is it puts a time stamp
on memories, I just remember a frustrating night with little information
from the TV , but these notes at least put the memories into a framework.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

whew! I got my blog back on.

Well, I managed to rembember my blogger username and password
finally. I couldn't post for week, I was so used to firefox knowing my
username/password or when I used another computer I used the
dummy "forgot my password" link and blogger emailed the link.

Something has changed though. Blogger is becoming more googlefied
and apparently I signed into my google account and screwed up the
works, because they kept emailing me access to my google account,
with no blog anywhere to be seen.

I thought: "Shit, I've lost my blog". And I walked around with about
100 ideas for great posts swimming in my head, when normally I have
to scrape for 3 or 4 posts per week. Since I made a conscious decision
not to post about family or directly about work, anything I'm going to
write tends to be about travel or politics and that's not too much to go
on when I have to grit my teeth to watch the news.

But I found the answer on a blogger user group, someone suggested logging
in to post a comment fixing a similar problem to mine. Apparently I've
logged into blogger to post comments a lot more, because just the action
of writing a comment made my username/password pop out of my

Great, I'm back, what were all those Ideas again? doh!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

of course we'll win.

I posted this as a comment at hugh hewitt's site, I've had a few bloody
mary's so maybe my comment doesn't match what his post is about.
hmm. damn tomato juice:

I think that it's obvious that we'll win, we're now at the low point of the story, things look dark in Iraq, Israeli's are reeling back from lebannon with a peace of paper and a large percent of the people in the us think that the government had a part in 9/11. But all of that and we're way ahead of where europe was in 1939.

This lowpoint is just an artificial low setting the stage for the sweep of history, the brave will still step up and fight, the stout-hearted will loyally support what is right and just, and what will seem like miracles of courage will lead us forward to victory. Even in the darkest days of 1940, Winston Churchill never doubted ultimate victory, and I don't either. Even in my black dog days of depression I know that we'll win, because we have more at stake.
Freedom, love, justice will vanish from the planet if we don't win, so win we must.

The debate will continue, which is a good thing,
but whether they are with us or against us, history will justify the fight and we'll win.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

It's the Cans!

Scrappleface has a funny
story explaining terrorism
and tries to answer the
question, why do terrorists
hate airplanes?


The expert panel will examine various theories about why airplanes engender such hatred among devoted followers of a peaceful religion.

“Is it the horrendous noise? The speed? The condensation trails?” said one unnamed source close to the panel, listing some of the areas of inquiry the experts plan to pursue. “Because if it’s any of those things, we can get to work on engineering changes to make airplanes more tolerable to our Muslim brothers.”

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Al-reuters fallout

The LA weekly on LGF's discovery of al-reuters
publishing retouched photos:

In exposing Hajj’s manipulations, Johnson has raised the lid on a potential Pandora’s box. Namely, how our leading news agencies and newspapers increasingly rely on stringers from hostile nations to tell us how we, or our allies, behave in wartime. Since you’d be hard-pressed to find Muslims in the U.S., let alone Europe, who aren’t strongly anti-Israel and opposed to any American presence in the Middle East whatsoever, why on earth would you expect to find neutral Arab reporters in Baghdad or Beirut? This is the kind of question newspaper editors should be asking themselves (and their stringers). If the implications of this are followed through, or if more photographers like Adnan “Photoshop” Hajj are discovered, the ramifications are likely to be significant. In helping bring Hajj’s smoke-and-mirrors game to light, Johnson has performed a great service.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Import tax for Oil

Almost every news item that isn't discussing the war seems to be
discussing the price of oil and how we're all going to be sweating in the
dark soon. The real solution will require major changes in how energy
is generated and used and how we live. But don't go installing the $30k
solar electric system this week. Before we can develop real solutions
we need to ensure the high price of energy for the forseable future.

Most people are hoping for the price of oil to fall back to $12/barrel
again where it was just a few years ago, but that is part of the problem.
One of the reasons that the world isn't producing enough oil is most projects
take several years to develop from prospect to drilling to producing oil,
and every 3 years or so the price of oil goes from $50/bbl to $12/bbl. This
tends to make oil companies risk averse, if you drill a prospect that has
lifting costs of $22/bbl, and then the price of oil goes to $12, you are as they
say in spanish, jodido.

Even after 2 years of pretty good oil pricing, we're not near the drilling activity
that is possible (which would require building more rigs). Anyone that has
been in the industry more than 5 years knows that as soon as you make a big
down payment on a new corvette, the industry will go to shit, and you face being out
of a job. Even with $75 oil, I feel that it will just take a year with no hurricanes
shutting down production and a slightly calmer middle east to bring prices back
to $35/bbl, and we can all go back to suv'ing.

What we need is long term fairly high prices to wean us off of oil.
My simple proposal is that while the price of oil is high we institute an import
tax on oil to keep the price of oil in the US at $50/bbl. Then domestic oil
companies can use a price of $50/bbl as their planning price for oil and
domestic production can increase. This will have a side effect of making
the economic price of alternative energies higher, since I've already learned
from bitter personal experience that solar enery
depends on the price of oil just as much as SUV sales (inversely).

With high oil prices in ten years every family will probably have one electric
car, construction of nuclear plants will have resumed and people will begin to install
solar electric panels on every house. When oil is consistently $50/bbl over 10
years we'll start to see hybrid SUV's that includes a big-ass battery pack
and a KW of PV panels on the roof or a connection to the home PV system.

I can dream, but I know that what will probably happen is the economy will slow down,
we'll stop buying so much chinese crap and the need for oil will decrease...letting
the price of oil go back to $12, ending the US oil industry for another 5 years.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Today in history - Hiroshima - Aug, 6 1945

Today in 1945 was
the day that the
Enola Gay dropped
the first fission bomb
used in war.

People look back at
this and say "what
monsters we americans

Euroweenies might
say that we should have
invaded japan rather
than nuking them.

[photo link]

But President Truman was told that we could suffer
1 million casualties in an invasion of Japan. This was
believable after the invasion of Okinawa, where more
people died than due to the bombings of Hiroshima and

Truman's priorities looked something like this:
US Civilians
US Soldiers
Japanese Civilians
Japanese Soldiers

He weighed the lives of his troops heavier than Japanese
civilians, and chose to end the war by nuking the japanese
rather than trying the invasion.

This ranking is no longer true, enemy civilians deaths are a bigger
tragedy than the deaths of our soldiers. Through rules of engagement
we expect marines to clear rooms by sticking their head in and
looking rather than the older technique of throwing grenades
in and following up with bullets, then looking.

It's obvious that the Israeli's are facing an even harder problem,
the world press ranks their civilians as less valuable than lebannese
civilians. Israeli's are killed by rockets that are aimed at
big deal, lebannese civilians are killed by accident...oh, woe.

I think this war is going to get worse before getting better. If
hezbollah survives this war, we'll soon be facing hezbollah terrorist
attacks that will be emanating from a country that is in theory
a democracy and america's friend. Iran may begin shooting missiles
at Israel, either by proxy or directly.

When it does get worse, we need to look at how we are ranking
people and objectives. Can we win this war if we weigh enemy civilians
as more valuable than our soldiers? We don't need a 'shock and awe'
campaign of bombs against empty palaces, we need to make a concious
decision after discussion how the war is to be fought.

Can we win if we have to apologize for every bomb dropped, especially
when fighting an enemy that sees apologies as weakness?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Conspiracy Theories

The recent bombing at Qana followed by the splashing of
the dead children's photos across the front page of newspapers
further highlights bias in the press. This event was well
documented at EU referendom, and I think it is obvious
that the photos were staged by hezbollah and photographed
by the press. If one photo shows one guy holding a dead
child, then a second photo shows another guy holding the
same dead child in the same place in the same pose, then
I'd say it's reasonable to say the photos were staged or

This issue was discussed on the daily telegraph's blog:

But he's not asking any of those things. His contention is that this is a staged photo. Like Kevin Costner in Oliver Stone's JFK, North gives us, in laborious detail, the fruits of his 'research'. I'll let you read the argument in its full glory.

Now I have to admit that I have a problem with conspiracy theorists whatever their stripe. Their method is to promote the facts that fit their beliefs, rather than the other way around. Their motive is to create enough doubt obscure the real issue.

These armchair photo experts speculate on whether this rescue worker has enough dust on him, or whether that pile of bricks has landed at an angle consistent with the bombing. Arguing with these people is pointless; if you disagree with them it's because you're biased.

The writer's argument is bad, he set's up a series of straw men
then half-way knocks them down, not even worth fisking. What's more
interesting is he's quick to label this as a quacky conspiracy theory, when I
seriously doubt he takes the same tack with other nutty conspiracy
that don't match his worldview.

So as an expirement, let me google the writer, Shane Richmond, along with
"conspiracy theories", and what do I find? he's got a pretty good column attacking conspiracy theories that maybe shows his real bias.

No matter what happens, it’s always possible for a conspiracy theorist to find ‘evidence’ of a hidden agenda. Indeed, they often don’t need evidence, the very lack of it constitutes proof for these people.

If they can pose a question that can’t be answered, this somehow counts as proof of their version of events. Offer an answer and you’re back in “how convenient” territory again.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Drunkblogging - Nuke 'em from orbit

I see that Allah is drunkblogging to see if he can repeat
mel gibson's expirement and start spouting anti-semitic
BS just due to alchohol. I'm also drunkblogging, drinking
double gin beefeater bloody-marys, switching the tv between
CNN, Fox and Entourage on HBO.

I'm at the "let's go back to the ship and nuke 'em from orbit"
point, as these fuckers in Iraq all chant together. After about
10 oz of beefeaters in 2 hours, not only is the tower guard
on the label looking at me funny, but he's got the voice of
anderson cooper on CNN, and it sounds pretty bad.

I'm sure reality isn't this bleak, but if we were to deorbit
10 or 20 nukes that are probably hanging up there (after
withdrawing all of our troops to kurdistan and kuwait) and
just roll those bad boys out, roll the bones, zap the neutrons,
flash, bang, thank you maam. Wipe the slate clean, Sand
to glass. Hot times in the city. Would that be such a bad

In a little while my wife will get home from the "no texas
sales tax sale" and I'll see that things aren't that bad and that
it's a good thing that there's no guy with a football dozing on my
sofa. Good job mr. Prez. and to those people serving in Iraq.
Those Iraqis don't deserve your sacrifices.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Meanwhile, back in the present war

I'm a little too busy right now to google a good event from

history today, so here's likeks:

From Lilek's Screedblog today: (8/3)

Of course, he’s right. Without the steady, respected hand of Iran on the Middle Eastern helm, the Syrian regime might be replaced by pragmatic elements of the military unwilling to enjoy the boon of Persian dominance. One can excuse the occasional, inexplicable acts of Iranian mischief; the mullahs no doubt are busy destabilizing Iraq today, for example, but only to achieve a more stable future (Would that our leaders had such foresight!) Granted, their rhetoric is hardly helpful – a New York Times photo of a billboard in Tehran shows the well-fed adamant face of Sheik Nasrallah, a man about whose movement the gentle Democrat from Michigan has no opinion, and the billboard’s English text reads “Israel must be wiped out the world.” (sic)

Extreme? Sure. That’s how those loveable nuts talk over there. You’d have to be nuts – or a Jew! - to take it seriously. But what if the billboard suggests to a third option?

ha ha ha, those loveable jews. Fooled you, I did google some today, I went
to time's archive and searched for the word Jew's from 1934 to 1939. After
three tries I found this loveable sentiment.
[pretty cool archive, but i'm not paying them today]

Jun. 5, 1939
"They [the Jews] ... are using their not inconsiderable influence in the Press and in Parliament to embroil us with Germany." Thus wrote the Very Rev. William Ralph ("The Gloomy Dean") Inge, retired dean of London's St. Paul's Cathedral, in the Church of England Newspaper. When the fuming British press demanded proofs, the lemoncholy divine admitted: "I have no direct knowledge."Testifying against the Wagner Health Bill on the grounds that it might loose a flood of needless Government-given medical care, Dr. Morris Fishbein, editor of the Journal of the...

When people say "never again", what does that mean. Specifically
that we're not going to allow germans to load jews into ovens after
starving them to death, or is it really more general, we're not going
to allow another country to use antisemitism to instigate genocide
using whatever means. I hope it's the second one and we won't let it
happen, again.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

From an earlier war 2 Aug 1945

1945 - During the night (August 1-2), 820 US B-29 Superfortress bombers drop a record total of 6632 tons of bombs on five Japanese cities including Hachioji, Nagaoka, Mito, Toyama and the petroleum center of Kawasaki.

here's a link in german, the photo on the left is the city of toyama:

Am 2.8.1945 bombardieren 850 B-29-Bomber die Stadt Toyama mit 6.600.000 kg Brandbomben. 98,6% der Stadt werden vernichtet; es gibt so gut wie keine Überlebenden.

Tokio am Morgen nach dem Luftangriff in der Nacht des 10. März 1945. Dem dreistündigem Brandbombardement fielen schätzungsweise 130.000 Menschen zum Opfer.

the translated caption: o 2.8.1945 bombards 850 B-29-Bomber the city Toyama with 6.600.000 kg of incendiary bombs. 98.6% of the city are destroyed; it gives as well as no survivors.

This is what total war looks like.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Tidal Wave - Raid on Ploesti - August 1st 1943

Today in 1943
was one of the
bigger attacks
on the Romanian
refineries that
helped feed Hitler's
war machine.

(in elementary school
I must have checked
out a book, Air War
over Europe, I think,
at least 10 times, it had
this picture as its cover)

From the great website

Across the Mediterranean

Despite careful preparation the operation was marred by bad luck from the start, one B-24 crashed on take-off. Since the mission was flown in radio silence the bomber groups became somewhat separated on the long flight across the Mediterranean. Then just off Corfu, Greece the lead aircraft carrying the route navigator inexplicably plunged into the water. A second plane of the 376th with the deputy route navigator followed down to see if there were any survivors. Unable to regain formation the bomber turned back to base. This left the lead bomber group without the expert navigators to guide them through the difficult low-level approach to the target.

Thick clouds greeted the incoming bombers as they approached the mountains. While the two lead groups threaded their way through or under the cloud layers the 98th, 44th and 389th crossed at various altitudes. By the time these three bomber groups were formed up and heading for the first IP (Initial Point) they were 29 minutes behind the 376th and the 93rd.

Confusion and Bravery at Ploesti

B-24 bombers flying low over the burning refineriesMeanwhile not knowing if the other bomber groups were forced to turn back or not the 376th and 93rd made their turn at the first IP of Pitesti toward the final IP of Floresti. However, halfway to the real IP the 376th mistook the town of Targoviste for Floresti, an error that wasn't discovered until they were on the outskirts of Bucharest. At that point Major Gen. Uzal Ent broke radio silence and ordered the two groups to turn north and attack targets of opportunity in the complex of refineries. The carefully worked out bombing plan was foiled as bombers struck the wrong refinery or attacked any target that looked good.

Getting Home

German fighters pursued the bombers as they left bringing down more than a few damaged aircraft. Of the 177 bombers that took part in the mission 54 were lost, a further 53 planes were heavily damaged. It was a costly victory by any measure. The damage to Ploesti was significant but offset by its spair refining capacity and the fact that a raid like this could not be mounted again for quite some time. The Medal of Honor presented to Col. John Riley "Killer" Kane (1907-1996) is one of five presented for the mission, the most ever awarded for a single action. Three of the awards were posthumous: 2nd Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes (-), a native of Alexandria, Louisiana; Lt. Col. Addison Baker (-); and Maj. John L. Jerstad (-). The other Medal of Honor presented to a living recipient for that day's battle was to Col. Leon W. Johnson (1904-1997).

Maybe like the air war over germany we need to identify some key
elements of the enemy and attack it. Currently we are still fruitlessly
bombarding the ball bearing plants of the islamofacsists, we need to be smashing
the refineries and syn-fuel plants instead, the twin towers of islamofacism:
wahabbi islam and the mullahs of Iran need to come down.