Thursday, April 27, 2006

Meeting the Relatives

Family Time
Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
Sabrina much enjoyed a visit from her aunt Carol and cousin Cassie over Easter weekend and I'm just now posting this pic now. Isn't Cassie adorable? Sabrina doesn't seem to think so, but she sure is.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Idol Bastards (and an old Drunken Idol Whore)

I haven't written much about American Idol lately, mostly because there's a lot written about it already and I don't have much to add that's original.

Last night, however, pissed me off thoroughly. My second favorite contestant is Katharine McPhee, a lovely young brunette with a really nice voice for jazz standards who has theater experience and seems to enjoy performing. She came out last night in the first spot (a major handicap, you are easily forgotten there in an hour-long show) and did a decent job with "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston. She's not a singer of Houston's caliber, but still hit the high notes and looked demonically hot while doing it. The fact that she flashed her panties inadvertently when a couple of buttons gave way at the bottom of the front of her dress (I actually missed it the first time but my wife insisted I rewind and slo-mo to confirm - am I the luckiest husband ever or what?) is irrelevant; she picked a very difficult song and pulled it off.

Then the judges destroyed her. Randy told her she was terrible and that when you pick a Whitney song you have to do as well or better than Whitney did back when she wasn't a crackhead (when did this become a rule?). A visibly hammered Paula rambled inchoherently for long minutes, the upshot of which being Kat was a disappointment in every way but appearance. Then Simon, who should know better, told her she had taken a step back in the competition, after puffing her up unreasonably the two weeks before that after performances that were nothing terribly special.

I understand that AI management has to try to influence voting because it's stuck with the winner for a long time and lots of money. I don't fault them for gaming the system from within, and I don't pretend to understand the mechanism used to actually do so. For all I know, the best thing that could have happened to Katharine last night was to have the judges crush her spirit for no good reason in front of 40 million people.

But even if they're just trying to get rid of her, they didn't have to destroy her. Katharine looked genuinely shocked and hurt at what she heard, then graciously thanked the judgest with tears in her eyes and a smile on her face, only to have catty Ryan Seacrest say something like "well, maybe people who had their volume off will vote for you." I'm almost sure it was meant to be a weird compliment that referenced the long, awful judge comments, but it sure sounded like a kick when she was way, way down.

I won't mind terribly when Katharine gets voted off; she'll do fine afterward, and I'm an Elliot Yamin fan first and foremost. I would be happy if he, Paris or even Chris won the whole shebang. And I'll watch the rest of the show and enjoy it even if that nightmare Kellie Pickler wins. But I'm done with the judges' comments. Whoever invented fast forward: thank you.

Secret Shame

Want to shame your ancestors by modifying the skin God gave you, but don't want your parents to know? Try a black light tattoo.

In Loving Memory

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, Tim L. from Denver sends this awesome link to a set of pics and text from a former citizen of the USSR who rode her motorcycle through the Exclusion Zone and took some really fascinating pictures. Keep scrolling and hitting the next link, it's thoroughly hypnotic and a good way to understand what a nuclear accident really does to your world.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This Traitor Needs to Be Executed, Not Protected

My God I hate the liberal press in this country:

Thanks to the LLL/MSM/Dem Axis and its Culture of Treason, we’re about to all bear witness to a most disgusting — but entirely predictable — circus, one that will tell us more than we may want to know about the state of our nation. We are going to witness the Axis turn traitors Mary McCarthy and Dana Priest into first martyrs, then saints.

Watching this skein of arrogance, deceit, and high treason unravel is going to be an education in how an unelected shadow government — an informal alliance between Democrats, the liberal media, and their fellow travelers in the permanent bureaucracy — has managed to insinuate itself so inextricably into the very fabric of official Washington as to be empowered, literally, to challenge the legitimate, elected government, and to thwart its policy agenda through a well-oiled machinery of leaks, innuendo, propaganda, and phony, trumped-up outrage. All these elements will combine to galvanize a Holy Army of left-wing warriors who will in short order be calling for Bush’s head once more from every MSM outlet imaginable, this time for the crime of daring to discomfit this heroic martyr to the public’s vaunted and fictitious “right to know.”

This canonization will of course be fine with otherwise anti-religious liberals, who seem to be of the opinion that since they’re so much smarter than the rest of us, they ought not to have to be deflected from their quest to keep the country on what they deem to be the “right track” by niggling, insignificant details like election results, oaths of confidentiality, the rule of law, or the Constitution itself.

Mary McCarthy is a traitorous idiot who should be arrested, tried and executed for treason. Period. There should be no forgiveness for someone who is working against US interests because she hopes to be part of the reason a Democrat wins in '08. That's all it is, sadly. She doesn't even really intend to strengthen our enemies; it just ends up that way. To be so miserably stupid that you think treason only hurts George W. Bush should be enough reason to be fired. Sadly, McCarthy's done far worse.

And not just in this case. From the appropriately titled Former Spook's blog:

You'll note that many media accounts describe the leaker as an "analyst," suggesting that she was, at best, a mid-level staffer. That was hardly the case; few analysts make the jump from a regional desk at Langley to the White House. A "National Intelligence Officer" is the equivalent of a four-star general in the military, or a cardinal in the Catholic Church. There are only a handful of NIOs in the intelligence community; they are in charge of intelligence community efforts in a particular area. As a senior officer for Warning, Ms. McCarthy was tasked, essentially, with preventing future Pearl Harbors. Observers will note that McCarthy's tenure in that role coincided with early strikes by Islamofacists against the United States, including the first World Trade Center bombing, and the Khobar Towers attack. It could be argued that Ms. McCarthy's performance in the warning directorate was mediocre, at best--but it clearly didn't affect her rise in a Democratic Administration.

Equally interesting is her meteoric rise within the intelligence community. According to her bio, she joined the CIA as an analyst in 1984. Within seven years, she had rise to a Deputy NIO position, and reached full NIO status by 1994. To reach that level, she literally catapulted over dozens of more senior officers--and I'm guessing that her political connections didn't hurt. By comparison, I know a current NIO, with a resume and academic credentials more impressive than Ms. McCarthy's, who reached the position after more than 20 years of extraordinarily distinguished service. McCarthy's rapid advancement speaks volumes about how the Clinton Administration did business, and sheds new light on the intelligence failures that set the stage for 9-11. We can only wonder how many other political hacks climbed the intel food chain under Clinton--and remain in place to this day.

Aside from her Democratic Party ties (she apparently wrote a check for $2000 to the Kerry campaign in 2004), I also detect the whiff of sour grapes in her motivation for leaking information to the Post. At the time she talked with reporter Dana Priest, Ms. McCarthy was apparently working in the CIA Inspector General's Office. The agency, citing the Privacy Act, hasn't divulged her pay grade or title at the time of her firing, but it seems certain that she was not at the NIO level. After the rarefied air of the Clinton White House, McCarthy had been banished to a relative backwater at Langley, and she was likely upset by the apparent demotion.

Wait a minute: funny business on Bill Clinton's watch? Seriously?

As Jamie Lewis notes,

Mary McCarthy is the fourth Clinton NSC member to assault the Bush White House. Ms. McCarthy, who was dismissed for leaking national security secrets to the press, is not the first Clintonite to undermine and assault the Bush White House. The biggest raging bulls attacking the White House have been former Clinton National Security characters.

Mary McCarthy was one. So was Joe Wilson – and his wife Val Plame, who presumably cooked up the phony Niger uranium documents scam, which now has Scooter Libby facing jailtime. Then we had Richard Clarke, who ran interference for the Clintonistas during the 9/11 Commission hearings, so that Clinton’s criminal neglect of Osama Bin Laden was somehow “overlooked.” The media never cites those Clinton connections. Joe Wilson is always “Ambassador,” but never “Clinton appointee.”

Then we have Sandy Burglar himself, of course. And Mary makes four.

These folks are not just loyal old Clintonistas. They are also auditioning for the second eight years of Clinton II.

[Link and quote from Macsmind]

There's a word for betraying your country for personal, political or other reasons. It's treason. Off with her head.

Monday, April 24, 2006

New Wankery

Look what's going on over at, where Michelle Malkin and Allahpundit have teamed up to do podcasting and posting. Frankly I'm just happy to know where Allah will be from now on, the guest poster thing was getting hard to follow.

Here's a nauseating appetizer to get you started.

Smile to Melt Daddy's Heart

Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
Sweet Sabrina loves the outdoors. We're not allowed to put suncreen on her for another month and a half, so we try to keep long sleeves on her even though it's been over 100 degrees already this year. I can't wait until June, when all trees and wooden buildings will spontaneously combust and we'll all be forced to huddle under bridges for shade.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Celebrate Earth Day by Cutting through the Bullsh*t about Global Warming

Fantastic debunking of global warming nonsense at Altas Shrugs, which is an excellent blog and should be bookmarked. Read the whole thing and especially the links, far too good to excerpt. Check way down on the left and right margins while you're at it, great stuff there.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Not a Crime

I happen to think skateboarding is cool, and I don't care who knows it. Most excellent link from Dicky Bird in Denver. Hey, thanks for Ace Young, Dicky.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


A devastating blow to Mohammad, one of the brave proprietors of Iraq the Model:

Last week our little and peaceful family was struck by the tragic loss of one of its members in a savage criminal act of assassination. The member we lost was my sister's husband who lived with their two little children in our house.
He was a brilliant young doctor with a whole future awaiting him, the couple were the top graduates in their branch of specialty. They had to travel abroad to get their degrees and the war started while they were there but months after Saddam fallen they decided to come back to help rebuild the country and serve their people.
We welcomed them with all love and care, we would sit and talk everyday about our hopes and dreams for a better future for the new generation and for their two little children. We realized that time is needed before they could have a secure and prosperous life and we were satisfied with the little we could make because we believed in the future.

He was not affiliated with any political party or movement and spent all his time working at the hospital or studying at home and he was dreaming of building a medical center for his specialty to serve the poor who cannot afford going to expensive private clinics.
We didn't know or anticipate that cruel times were waiting for a chance to assassinate the dream and kill the future.

It was the day he was celebrating the opening of a foundation that was going to offer essential services to the poor but the criminals were waiting for him to end his life with their evil bullets and to stab our family deep in the heart.

The "insurgents" in Iraq aren't interested in anything but death and power. They have no plans to build anything in Iraq. People like Mohammad do:

What a difference between those who work to preserve life and those who work to end it…it's terrorism and crime and there are no other words to describe these acts.
They will keep trying to steal life from us and we will keep fighting back and we will keep exposing them but not with bullets and swords, we never carried arms and we will never do because we are not afraid and because we are not weak unlike those cowards who know no language but that of treason.
April will always be there to remind us of the sacrifice and remind us of the dream we fight for.

My God keep safe the Iraqis and their friends who stand with them in their noble cause, peace and prosperity may seem far away but we will get there and I hope our sacrifices be a bridge to a better world.

Word. God bless and keep you and your family, Mohammad.

Whether Sabrina Likes It or Not

Cut it Out
Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
She's going to get a kiss on the cheek when I feel like giving her one. Or at least until she can squirm away more effectively.

I Am Not Ashamed

To link this Ann Coulter piece about America's refusal to condemn those who put themselves in harms way while living it up:

Not very long ago, all the precursor behavior in these cases would have been recognized as vulgar -- whether or not anyone ended up dead, raped or falsely accused of rape. But in a nation of people in constant terror of being perceived as "judgmental," I'm not sure most people do recognize that anymore.

It shouldn't be necessary to point out that girls shouldn't be bar-hopping alone or taking their clothes off in front of strangers, and that young men shouldn't be hiring strippers. But we live in a world of Bill Clinton, Paris Hilton, Howard Stern, Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman," Democratic fund-raisers at the Playboy Mansion and tax deductions for entertaining clients at strip clubs.

This is an age in which the expression "girls gone wild" is becoming a redundancy. So even as the bodies pile up, I don't think the message about integrity is getting through.

The liberal charge of "hypocrisy" has so permeated the public consciousness that no one is willing to condemn any behavior anymore, no matter how seedy. The unstated rule is: If you've done it, you can't ever criticize it -- a standard that would seem to repudiate the good works of the Rev. Franklin Graham, Malcolm X, Whittaker Chambers and St. Paul, among others.

Every woman who has had an abortion feels compelled to defend abortion for all women; every man who's ever been at a party with strippers thinks he has to defend all men who watch strippers; and every Democrat who voted for Bill Clinton feels the need to defend duplicity, adultery, lying about adultery, sexual harassment, rape, perjury, obstruction of justice, kicking the can of global Islamo-fascism down the road for eight years and so on.

Sometimes I wish Ann wouldn't always go for that last kick in the ribs, but in this case it's warranted.

Thanks for the Pep Talk, Dr. Feelgood

Ann Althouse brings us down with a story about the resurgence of nature in and around Chernobyl. To which Althouse adds this cheery cherry:

For the animals, a nuclear disaster is preferable to life with us.

I read Wolves Eat Dogs, a Martin Cruz Smith novel set in Chernobyl, recently and was interested to know that species not seen in generations have returned to the area, and that Russian restaurants pay top dollar for irradiated wild boar if it's of an impressive size.

Smith has written an excellent piece about Chernobyl's continuing danger to us all here.

What amazes me is not that two elderly peasants have become invisible, but that Chernobyl itself has, as if it were a subject too awful to contemplate. In the rain, the sarcophagus, the 10-story steel-and-concrete box heroically constructed over Reactor 4, leaks like a radioactive sieve into groundwater that drains in the Pripyat River, which feeds the Dnepr, which is the drinking water for Kiev.

Ninety percent of the core is still in the reactor, breaking down and heating up, and the station's managers say that the sarcophagus itself could collapse at any time.

How dangerous would that be? Estimates of deaths from the explosion range from 41 to more than 300,000. The Zone of Exclusion is not an area of containment, no more than a circle drawn on the dirt would stop an airborne stream of plutonium, strontium, cesium-137. Seven million people live on contaminated land in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. People around the world carry in their chromosomes the mark of Chernobyl.

We search in Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, while a more likely danger is another explosion at Chernobyl. It may not be a meltdown, but it will be the mother of all dirty bombs. (A better sarcophagus is promised in five years, but at the site there is little sign of activity, let alone urgency.)

That was two years ago. I wonder how the new sarcophagus is coming along?


The UN has been worse than useless for some time now. I say worse because the world would be a better place in its absence. There is endless evidence of its vestigiality and outright criminality.

But wait: there's more. This kind of thing doesn't even raise eyebrows any more. Why is that, exactly?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Oh No, Not Again

Fjordman over at Gates of Vienna has written a horrifying analysis of France's future that leaves little to the imagination:

If Muslim immigration continues, the impending fall of France could mark the starting point of the Balkanization of much of Europe, perhaps later even North America. I fear this is a world war. Maybe future historians will dub it the Multicultural World War. Just as WW1 was caused by Imperialism, WW2 by Fascism and the Cold War by Communism, this one will be caused by Multiculturalism. The term “the Multicultural World War” has been coined by Fjordman. I find this to be more accurate than “The Islamic World War” because what will cause this world war is Western cultural weakness, through Multiculturalism and Muslim immigration, rather than Islamic strength. As poster DP111 says, this world war may very well be in the form of a global civil war, where you get a succession of civil wars instead of countries invading other countries. Multiculturalism and uncontrolled mass-immigration destroy the internal cohesion of the decadent West, which will slowly fall apart as it has lost the will to defend itself and the belief in its own culture. The wars in the Balkans in the 1990s will in hindsight be seen as a prelude to the Multicultural World War. Rather than a Westernization of the Balkans, we get a Balkanization of the West.

Terrifying. Read it all.

On a barely related note, "Oh No, Not Again" is the only song name I remember from my brother's friend's band (Stab the Dog, if you must know) performing at one of Texas' last genuine dance halls, Crider's, in the late '70s. Needless to say the crowd there had never heard a punk band live and didn't know what to think when the lead singer performed from inside a cardboard box for the first song or two. MAN did they suck.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Big Smile
Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
She didn't really belch when we took this picture, but if she had it would have been hilarious, and yet kind of sad that she'd already be a Jeff Foxworthy fan.

Buzzing the Tower

Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
Mommy can get Sabrina to have a laugh attack just by tickling her and giggling herself. The only way I get a chuckle out of her is to fly her around above me while I'm lying down. Soon I hope to be able to serve as exciting transportation in all modes and settings, but until my back is healed it's going to be kind of a boring ride.

Deirdre is, as expected, not terribly excited about catering to any adrenaline junkie tendencies in Sabrina's makeup. I say you have that particular affliction or you don't, and if Sabrina does we can't stop her, we can only try to be nearby when she crashes her tricycle, Big Wheel or dirt bike. That's right, honey, I said dirt bike. Live with it.

Frustration, Satisfied

From time to time I get so frustrated with a certain situation that I can't think clearly about it. Or maybe I can't think clearly about something so I get frustrated. Either way, part of it is that I can't imagine how to explain to those who don't understand that, for example, the war with militant Islam is happening, and whoever's fault it was to begin with is irrelevant, and we need to do something aqbout it. I just don't know where to start, how far to go back. It seems like an impossible task.

Fortunately, Gerard van der Leun doesn't feel that frustration, or if he does, he writes his way out of it, and produces essays like this one, that gather far-flung ideas and issues to make sense of large problems:

But beyond these considerations, the publication of the "Gospel" of Judas has another, deeper and more lasting benefit to our neophytes of nihilism. It puts one of the final elements of their anti-morality play at center stage. It seeks to sanctify treason.

It was never a question of "if," but only a question of "when" our contemporary society would discover an avatar who would make treason acceptable. It only codifies the realities of their secular belief system. Treason against others or one's country has long been as common as adultery in this country. Like adultery the rate of treason is on the rise because, like adultery and similar forms of personal betrayal, it no longer has any consequences at all.

It is true that the federal crime of treason is not easily established and is rarely if ever charged. But the formal crime of treason is not what I am discussing here. Rather the more common, garden variety of treason as understood by plain people -- the rabid and unremitting hatred, expressed in word or deed, of the country that gives you the freedom express your hatred. It is the treason of the ingrate, the soul-dead, the politically perverted, and the bitter; it is, as Roger Kimball at The New Criterion discusses, the treason of the intellectuals and "the undoing of thought."

It's a fact of our self-centered contemporary existence that betrayal has become one of the common forces that shape our lives. For when our own desires ride us like a drunken demon lodged on our shoulders, betrayal is the first order of the day when others seek to thwart our desires, or even when others become a mere inconvenience to our wants and whims.

We've long permitted greater and greater levels of betrayal in our society. We've codified them as law, policy and custom as far as the wishes of the individual are concerned. It is no longer sophisticated or fashionable to speak of selfishness as betrayal. That word is so harsh when, after all, we are only speaking of "differing needs," aren't we. When the betrayal of others is glossed over with phrases such as "I needed to be me," or "I needed my space," or "I needed more money,"or "We were just on different paths," then the elevation of this disease of the soul from the betrayal of another into the larger realm of treason against all is only a question of degree.

The problem is that shame, a vestigial thing in many shrunken souls, persists, and shame must be driven out of the soul if the secular is to thrive. Both betrayal and treason are still weighted down by a lingering sense of shame within at the same time they are made safe from the onus of blame without. Both are permitted by our cults of personal freedom and "sensible" selfishness, but both are formed of dark matter and not easily expunged from one's soul no matter how reduced it may have become.

There was, perhaps, only one moment in history when humans "knew not what they did." In all other times we know, at the deepest level, exactly what we do when we betray another, or others, or ourselves, or our country. We know it clearly and so we bury the ugly deed deeply. Still it persists, remains and rots in the tomb of our souls. A wiser culture called this "sin" and sought to have it confessed and forgiven as meaningless in the shadow of the greatest sacrifice. Our therapeutic culture calls it "guilt" and seeks to palliate and expunge it so that we may live a guilt-free life regardless of our acts. More and more of us live in the latter culture and seek a life forever free from sin, from guilt, from the consequences of our betrayals. And yet this final freedom eludes us.

What is needed, in this secular age of self-intoxication, is a Saint who will remit our sins of betrayal; who will by his very existence sanctify treason. And who better fits this role than the man who betrayed the greatest love for the smallest change, Judas?

Read the linked New Criterion piece above if you're ready for a serious examination of our culture's current path. We can't be destroyed from the outside, not by any means, but we absolutely have the power to do away with this country and all it has ever stood for if we don't wake the #%@$ up.

Eaten by a Hat

Big Hat 4
Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
Here Sabrina models a gift from Tim L. of Denver, CO. She's growing into it as fast as she can. Maybe some drool will help shrink it.

Must . . . Eat . . . Fists

Two Potato
Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
What a happy little thing Sabrina is. She learned to eat her own toes yesterday and that doubles the number of things she can eat without anyone else's help. You go, girl baby.

Ollie's New Look

Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
I think he looks like a little spotted white deer when he's shaved like this. Both dogs change personalities after a haircut this short, I can't understand why but it is definitely so. They become sweeter and more cuddly, probably because they're cold.

He's Back

Aaron's back and he's very pissy, as he should be after some punkass Islamic online terrorists attacked his site and killed it for a week or so. Is there anything more pathetic than someone who can't handle criticism? No, there isn't. Go see Aaron's site now, bitches. You've created a monster. Again.

Monday, April 17, 2006


I had never heard of Tye Hill, but I imagine we'll see him in the 2008 Olympics. Seriously amazing gymnastics by Mr. Hill here. Link from Hollywood Tuna.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Spring is Here

Happy Face Girl
Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
We took Sabrina for a walk without sleeves on a day where the UV Index was an 11. Out of a possible 10, I don't doubt. Nigel Tufnel would be proud. D spent half of the time with her hands over Sabrina's little arms, which may or may not be silly but was a better idea than the palm frond bolero jacket I wanted to weave.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Best Thing I've Read All Year

I'd never heard of Pat Dollard, former Hollywood agent turned citizen war reporter, but now that I have, I can unequivocally say you need to know who he is and what he thinks about Iraq and the way the American media have covered it:

The American Media are primarily Democrats, liberals, leftists -- choose the term yourself. But we all know what we're talking about. Don't get cute and waste my time arguing the point. The American Media, by and large, are trying to sway the next two elections to their team. The best way to do this is to damage the administration and the Republican Congress. The best way to do this is to convince the American people that Iraq is a failure. The best way to do that is to declare defeat and force a retreat. Normally, any winning political strategy is fair enough. But to employ a winning domestic political strategy without regard for the consequences to the American people, whose children will be slaughtered at the hands of ascendant Jihadists (among a series of other consequences ) is not only wrong, but just plain evil.

The media have, by and large, allied with the Jihadists in the hope that the Jihadists' victory in Iraq will win their party the White House and Congress. The media simply cannot resist the temptation to test their power in the service of a domestic political agenda. The whole country is inflamed one way or another over this war. Only a drooling moron would argue that the members of the media are somehow exclusively immune to those passions.

It's all very simple. Christiane Amanpour, Cindy Sheehan, CNN, The New York Times, Michael Moore, Newsweek, CBS et. al. are now, in huge measure, directly responsible for the ongoing death toll of Americans in Iraq. Everyone here in Iraq, the Islamic world at large, and most especially the Jihadist Movement's leadership, follow the American media closely, in order to monitor the American people's headspace, primarily with regard to whether or not we will continue the fight on to the establishment of a successful democratic, capitalistic, and modernized society here, or whether we will run in self-imposed defeat. The morale of the International Jihad Movement is almost entirely dependent on the posture of the American media. Their strategies, indeed, are primarily determined by it as well.

Christiane and company give Al Qaeda and the Sunni insurgents hope, they stoke the financial and recruitment fires of the international Jihad Machine.

The American Media are Democratic Party operatives who make W.R. Hearst look like E.R. Murrow. They are killing our young, they are killing my friends, wounding my friends. They have ripped my flesh, spilled my blood, physically impaired me for life, and are doing the same to the Iraqi people. And they are going to cause more terrorist attacks at home. That is the ultimate problem.

Americans must wake up and smell the coffee. [emphasis mine]

I don't think I've ever heard or read it said or written better. Remember, this is a guy whose life was one of extreme privilege and who gave it all up to be seriously wounded, and risks the same or worse every day. He knows of what he speaks, and I couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Something's Fishy

At Aaron's Rantblog. He's been hard on Islamofascism for a long time now, as he should be, and someone who doesn't like him doing so has hacked his site. He was up for a while yesterday and posted a pretty harsh reply to the "Islamotards" as he calls them, some of which can be seen here.

Unlike US journalists, university administrators and other moral cowards, Aaron is willing to stand up for free speech and defy the Dark Ages insanity that is militant Islam. Join him, in opposing this and all other assaults on the American way of life. It's time to stop giving ground in this clash of cultures.

Three Doses of Cold Reality

Good Ace of Spades links lately. First, the Washington Post finally does the right thing about the whole Plame leak kerfuffle:

Mr. Wilson originally claimed in a 2003 New York Times op-ed and in conversations with numerous reporters that he had debunked a report that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from Niger and that Mr. Bush's subsequent inclusion of that allegation in his State of the Union address showed that he had deliberately ‘twisted’ intelligence ‘to exaggerate the Iraq threat.’ The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.

Mr. Wilson subsequently claimed that the White House set out to punish him for his supposed whistle-blowing by deliberately blowing the cover of his wife, Valerie Plame, who he said was an undercover CIA operative. This prompted the investigation by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald. After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson's charge. In last week's court filings, he stated that Mr. Bush did not authorize the leak of Ms. Plame's identity. Mr. Libby's motive in allegedly disclosing her name to reporters, Mr. Fitzgerald said, was to disprove yet another false assertion, that Mr. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger by Mr. Cheney. In fact Mr. Wilson was recommended for the trip by his wife.

Devastating. It's about goddamned time the WaPo got its head out of its rump on this one. But Ace isn't done. I had already seen Christopher Hitchens' piece on the confirmation that Iraq did indeed try to buy Nigerian uranium, but Ace reminds me of its importance. It fits nicely in with the first piece I linked above and leaves no doubt that a) the liberal case against WMD in Iraq is quickly falling apart and b) Joe Wilson is a sorry excuse for a human being.

Finally, Ace links to a fascinating Global Warming story by Bob Carter:

For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).

Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society's continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say "how silly to judge climate change over such a short period". Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period of similar warming occurred between 1918 and 1940, well prior to the greatest phase of world industrialisation, and that cooling occurred between 1940 and 1965, at precisely the time that human emissions were increasing at their greatest rate.

I don't know how it happened, but the ranks of science have been infiltrated by people who think it's just another place to exert their political and social agendas. That's more than a shame, it's a crime, and it won't stop until we stop it.

One More for Good Luck

Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
I posted about the 50th Anniversary Battle of Iwo Jima Reuinion and Reenactment last February here, here and here.

This pic is from my friend Lew B., who lives right down the street and met me at the reunion last year. So much fun, and such an honor to see the guys who actually fought the battle. There must have been three or four surviving Medal of Honor winners in the parade, of a total of 27 awarded for the battle. I can't imagine what hell they must have endured, but if you're wondering what it was like a great place to start is Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley, which is being made into a movie by Clint Eastwood and should be out this year. I can't wait.

What do You Know

Turns out the neck/shoulder/chest problem that was killing me last week was a rib out of whack. Not out of the socket, but off kilter. I feel kind of dumb because I have a rib that does the same thing in my sternum, and it feels very similar but not as painful when I breathe.

Anyway, went to the see my doctor's PA and she figured out what was wrong. Next thing I know the Physical Therapy dude is twisting me into a pretzel and suddenly it felt 90% better. How's that for crazy?

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Staggering Dose of Reality

LaShawn Barber writes one of the best blog posts I've ever seen here about the new revelations in the Duke Lacross team rape story. She lays down the truth clearly and mercilessly, like Chris Rock or Dennis Miller do when they're particularly hot. Check it out:

Only some of the lacrosse team members attended the party, but 46 had to submit to DNA tests. And the idiot coach quit. Why, for Pete’s sake? Anyway, there are some discrepancies about who called 911 and whether the stripper arrived at the party already injured. And drunk. One of the strippers called 911, claiming to be a passerby, but defense attorneys say they can prove she was inside the house. I’m not quite sure what this means, though.

Right or wrong, an alleged rape victim’s character is always at issue. I’m not so quick to believe a woman (regardless of color) who takes off her clothes in front of strangers for a living. No one deserves to be violated, of course, but if you’re taking off your clothes and gyrating in front of a group of drunk men (regardless of color)…

Now, let’s talk about racial double standards. I laughed out loud when I read that Duke’s president met with “black leaders.” A rape accusation has been leveled. Does it really matter what color the people are? Apparently so. Black people can be such babies, can’t we? We need to be placated and coddled like whiny toddlers. If the evidence reveals there was no rape and the stripper made up the whole story, will “black leaders” make a public statement about it? What about a private apology-chat with Duke’s president? Care to wager? [emphasis LaShawn's]

The rest is even more brutal and awesome. Read.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

So That's What Happened to Politics

According to Joe Klein, pollsters. Political consultants. The business of politics:

Some of my best friends are consultants. They tend to be the most entertaining people in the political community: eccentric, fanatic, creative, violently verbal and deeply hilarious—the sort of people who sat in the back of the room in high school and shot spitballs at the future politicians sitting up front. But their impact on politics has been perverse. Rather than make the game more interesting, they have drained a good deal of the life from our democracy. They have become specialists in caution, literal reactionaries—they react to the results of their polling and focus groups; they fear anything they haven't tested.

In early 2003, I had dinner with several of the consultants who advised Al Gore in the 2000 presidential campaign. I asked them why Gore, a passionate environmentalist, had spent so little time and energy talking about the environment during the campaign. Because we told him not to, the consultants said. Why? I asked. Because it wasn't going to help him win. "He wanted to talk about the environment," said Tad Devine, a partner in the firm of Shrum, Devine & Donilon, "and I said to him, 'Look, you can do that, but you're not going to win a single electoral vote more than you now have. If you want to win Michigan and western Pennsylvania, here are the issues that really matter—this is what you should talk about.'"

Gore won Michigan and Pennsylvania, but he lost an election he should have won, and he lost it on intangibles. He lost it because he seemed stiff, phony and uncomfortable in public. The stiffness was, in effect, a campaign strategy: just about every last word he uttered—even the things he said in the debates with George W. Bush—had been market-tested in advance. I asked Devine if he'd ever considered the possibility that Gore might have been a warmer, more credible and inspiring candidate if he'd talked about the things he really wanted to talk about, like the environment. "That's an interesting thought," Devine said.

And it's far more of a Democratic problem than a Republican one:

In Austin, Texas, the political consultant Mark McKinnon watched the Gore and Kerry campaigns from a unique perspective. He had spent his life as a Democrat and now he was working, as a matter of personal loyalty, for his friend George W. Bush. Very much to his surprise—and to his wife's horror—McKinnon was in the midst of a conversion experience, not so much to the Republican philosophy but to the Republican way of doing campaigns. It was so much simpler. Maybe it was because Republicans were more businesslike and saw their consultants as employees, rather than saviors (and paid them accordingly—with a flat fee, rather than a percentage of the advertising buy). Maybe it was just the way Bush and Karl Rove went about the practice of politics. But this was, without a doubt, the tidiest political operation he'd ever seen. There was none of the back biting, staff shake-ups or power struggles that were a constant plague upon Democratic campaigns. There was little of the hand wringing about whether the shading of a position would offend the party's interest groups. Issues, in fact, seemed less important than they did in any given Democratic campaign. And McKinnon had come to a slightly guilty realization: maybe that was a good thing. Rove's assumption was that voters had three basic questions about a candidate: Is he a strong leader? Can I trust him? Does he care about people like me?

Read the whole thing, it's excellent. Liberals are in a world of hurt, that's for sure. And of course now far-left bloggers are calling the tune as well. It will get worse, much worse, for the Democratic party before it gets better.

Klein predicts at the end that the most natural candidate will win the 2008 presidency. Assuming Bullworth's not available, I guess Giuliani's our man. I can live with that.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Know Thine Enemy

Sabrina and Horseback Riding
Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
My wife is not a fan of horses. Her last ride was an attempt by the horse (a former racehorse) to scrape/throw her off, a hellride under and through tree limbs that ended with an abrupt stop at the top of a hill, launching my poor sweetheart down a long way before she stopped. The instructor insisted she get back on, which she did, and after that never rode again.

I have ridden a bit but don't trust a horse not to do something crazy at exactly the time you don't want it to. They're tall, heavy, amazingly strong, and more than smart enough to kill you if they are of a mind to do so. More importantly, motorcycles do most things horses can do and a lot they can't, although you'll never be able to eat a motorcycle, or gut it and crawl inside for warmth.

Fortunately, my only hellride on a horse was down a beach in North Africa when I was 12, and it was a pretty half-hearted hellride if you ask me. I didn't fall off but my wallet did, and I'm almost sure the horse was put up to it by the guys who were renting it so they could sell my wallet back to my father. I hope he got a good deal, it was empty.

What I'm getting at is that while my wife and I both appreciate horses for their beauty and service to the human race, we're not horsey people. And by her expression in this picture, I think Sabrina shares our mixed feelings about the whole equestrian thing. Soon I will post a picture of her actually on this horse, which is forthcoming from Deirdre's awesome friend Catherine C. from New York City, who visited recently for four days and was a big help to us around the house as well as fun to be with.

Catherine is not just a left liberal New Yawker but an actual socialist. You can imagine the fun we had talking about politics . . . seriously, we did have a great time. I love to discuss heavy topics with anyone who doesn't get mad and freak out in the process, and although I couldn't be more distant from Catherine politically, she's very rational about her worldview and doesn't get any pissier than one ought in such a discussion (translation: any pissier than I get). Thanks, Catherine!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Cute Smiles

Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
Sabrina is such a happy little girl. Deirdre gets her giggling like crazy by tickling and kissing her, and it's absolutely the greatest thing I've ever seen. And I've seen a monkey riding a goat riding a pony. I'm pretty sure the monkey had a hat on, too.

Two Silly Girls

Happy Faces
Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
Sabrina likes to look in the mirror, and I've always wondered what she thinks about seeing two Mommies or Daddies. I know it takes longer than four months to understand image and representation, but something tells me Sabrina has already figured it out.

During a Teletubbies episode where the Tubbies were saying "yeah" after each verse of a little song, she said "yeah" four times, the last three of them wth the Tubbies. D says I'm hearing things, but I refuse to acknowledge reality if it clashes with my belief that Sabrina is magical and highly advanced. Talk to the hand, reality.

I'm With You, Jeff

Beautiful Atrocities is one of my favorite blogs. It seemed to be disappearing recently (going into hypersleep, the proprietor wrote) and I was sad, but apparently that alarm was false. Jeff is back and going after Molly Ivins with a vengeance. MAN does she deserve it.

The Stuff of Nightmares

Good Lord. A seven-foot turkey that could run 25mph? Saber toothed tigers seem kind of cute by comparison. Toothless or not, I wouldn't want to meet one.

Boingboing isn't done yet. How about a guy who blew his hand off playing with an old 40mm shell he was using as a paperweight?

And on a site Boingboing links, I can't decide if I prefer the Nihilist's Resume or Wendy Molyneux's essay on having babies:

If there's one thing I'm tired of, it's hearing about how hard it is to have a baby. I hate to break the news to you, but people have been having babies for literally billions of years. In the olden days, women would have their babies right out there in the field, or on the back of a dinosaur, or, when we were still fish-people, right there in the stream. Then they would put the new baby in a crib made of stones and let a brontosaurus watch it or whatever.

But ask any modern pregnant woman whether she'd let a dinosaur watch her baby and she'll freak out as if you've just said the most outlandish thing ever. I guess irrationality is just one of the many so-called symptoms of pregnancy. Another symptom seems to be a case of the chubs. I don't know if these women know this, but nobody likes a fat girl. Sure, I'd love to order the nachos and the onion rings and claim that I'm "eating for two," but I guess I have something these pregnant women don't: self-respect.

When they aren't busy eating, pregnant women are constantly crying or going to the bathroom. They'll swear up and down that these are more of those famous pregnancy symptoms, but I watch television and I know that unstable women who constantly need to run to the bathroom are drug addicts. Perhaps you remember a certain episode of Saved by the Bell, when Jessie Spano got addicted to caffeine pills and Zack Morris had to stage an intervention to get her to stop the madness? Well, every time one of these pill-addled fatties waddles down the hall toward the loo, I wish I had Zack's courage.

Lots of other funny stuff at the bottom of that last linked page.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Horror Story

Dan Simmons is a fine author and has written two of my favorite books ever, Hyperion and Ilium (especially Ilium, which is utterly fantastic, and is apparently to become a movie - awesome!). I didn't know he was a blogger of sorts, but when Gerard of American Digest links to an author, it's because he's written something important:

“Your enemies have gathered and struck and continue to strike and you, the innocents of 2006 and beyond, fight among yourselves, chew and rip at your own bellies, blame your brothers and yourselves and your institutions of the Enlightenment – law, tolerance, science, democracy – even while your enemies grow stronger.”

“How are we supposed to know who our enemies are?” I turned and growled at him. “The world is a complex place. Morality is a complex thing.”

“Your enemy is he who will give his life to kill you,” said the Time Traveler. “Your enemies are they that wish you and your children and your grandchildren dead and who are willing to sacrifice themselves, or support those fanatics who will sacrifice themselves, to see you and your institutions destroyed. You haven’t figured that out yet – the majority of you fat, sleeping, smug, infinitely stupid Americans and Europeans.”

He stood and set the Scotch glass back in its place on my sideboard. “How, we wonder in my time,” he said softly, “can you ignore the better part of a billion people who say aloud that they are willing to kill your children . . . or condone and celebrate the killing of them? And ignore them as they act on what they say? We do not understand you.”

I still had not turned to face him, but was looking over my shoulder at him.

“The world, as it turns out,” continued the Time Traveler, “is not nearly so complex a place as your liberal and gentle minds sought to make it.”

I did not respond.

“Thucydides taught us more than twenty-four hundred years ago – counting back from your time – that all men’s behavior is guided by phobos, kerdos, and doxa,” said the Time Traveler. “Fear, self-interest, and honor.”

I pretended I did not hear.

“Plato saw human behavior as a chariot pulled by precisely those three powerful and headstrong horses, first tugged this way, then pulled that way,” continued the Time Traveler. “Phobos, kerdos, doxa. Fear, self-interest, honor. Which of these guides the chariot of your nation and your allies in Europe and your surprisingly fragile civilization now, O Man of 2006?”

I stared at the bookcase instead of the man and willed him gone, wishing him away like a sleepy boy willing away the boogeyman under his bed.

“Which combination of those three traits -- phobos, kerdos, doxa -- will save or doom your world?” asked the Time Traveler. “Which might bring you back from this vacation from history – from history’s responsibilities and history’s burdens – that you have all so generously gifted yourselves with? You peaceloving Europeans. You civil-liberties loving Americans? You Athenian invertebrates with your love of your own exalted sensibilities and your willingness to enter into a global war for civilizational survival even while you are too timid, too fearful . . . too decent . . . to match the ruthlessness of your enemies.”

I closed my eyes but that did not stop his voice.

“At least understand that such decency goes away quickly when you are burying your children and your grandchildren,” rasped the Time Traveler. “Or watching them suffer in slavery. Ruthlessness deferred against totalitarian aggression only makes the later need for ruthlessness more terrible. Thousands of years of history and war should have taught you that. Did you fools learning nothing from living through the charnel house that was the 20th Century?”

Required reading. It's time to get over our petty self-image issues and start getting serious about the threat of Islam to the rest of human civilization. Not militant Islam, but Islam itself. If you don't believe me, read the Koran. It's all in there, and more importantly it's in practice all around the world. Global Sharia law, and the resultant submission or death of all infidels, the subjugation of women and the brutalization of children, is the goal of a majority of the Islamic faithful. What will you do to oppose them?

Funny Stuff

My friend (and Gulf War I vet) Phillip F. after watching a few minutes of The Real Housewives of Orange County:

"I'm inches away from joining al-Qaeda."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Best American Idol Ever

Not for the singing, which was barely tolerable. But Simon Cowell reminded me why I like him so much.

After years of being the only judge with a brain in his head, and weeks of taking petty abuse from Sprinkles (that's what they call Ryan Seacrest at Television Without Pity) with a smile, the abuse of a sad, little man with nothing to recommend him but an increasingly unpretty face, Cowell struck back. After a particularly stupid assault on his wardrobe, Simon, who has endured every bitchy remark of the last month or so with what seems to be genuine good-natured amusement, tells Seaturd he dresses like someone from Desperate Housewives. Then he says "Lose the beard" while rubbing his chin.

Seacrest did indeed have an ugly stubble on his tanorexic cheeks, but really Simon's outing him on national television and ripping on his beard, or fake girlfriend (in case there is anyone out there who doesn't know what a beard is - I didn't know until like ten years ago). To his credit, Seacrest recovered nicely. I still hope he falls down an open manhole and dies*. Actually, I'd prefer it if a manhole cover fell on him from a great height, but I bet those things are hard to aim from a great height, so Ryan, let's go with the manhole itself. Capisce?

* From the Mel Brooks quote: "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall down an open manhole and die." So true.

UPDATE: Jeez, I can't believe I forgot Seacrest asking if the judges had a flask a their table. Paula was suitably unhappy about that. Why take your issues with Simon out on the only woman around? Insert grossly offensive gay reference here.

Monday, April 03, 2006

France is Awesome

Man is that place in trouble (link from Castle Arghh). My wife and I have talked about visiting Paris but even though I spent some time there as a kid I have zero desire to participate in a Beyond Thunderdome race war with a baby and a tender back. Read the excellent Theodore Dalrymple piece on the nightmare brewing in the banlieus here (Link via Allah blogging at Michelle Malkin's place) and tell me you'd take your family anywhere near that.

Genealogically, I'm half Frenchy via Canada, but this last 60 years or so have been too disastrous for France to keep any loyalty I may be inclined to feel. France, you're dead to me.

Up All Night

The herniated disk in my neck has been reasserting itself for some months now and the resulting unpleasantness has graduated, as it has before, into a full-body nightmare that makes both sides of my neck, my left shoulder, chest and ribcage and the left side of my lower face throb hatefully. It hurts every time I breathe and I'm breathing less deeply to make it hurt less, which means I get short of breath on the stairs and have to stop and force myself to take deep, hideously painful breaths for a while. It's fun. Needless to say I can't sleep worth a damn and have ended up in the office looking at stuff online and massaging my shoulder and back with a percussion massager. Wheeee!

I've linked to a lot of Thomas Sowell columns, and here is yet another I enjoyed. Sowell is an economist and for me his best stuff includes some simple economic lesson that invariably crystallizes a muddled, confusing situation. You know, like welfare:

People who think that they are getting something for nothing, by having government provide what they would otherwise have to buy in the private market, are not only kidding themselves by ignoring the taxes that government has to take from them in order to give them the appearance of something for nothing. They are also ignoring the strings that are going to be attached to their own money when it comes back to them in government benefits.

That is not even counting the fact that government programs are usually less efficient than similar services provided by private enterprises.

Compare the service you get at the Department of Motor Vehicles with the service you get at Triple-A. No one who belongs to the American Automobile Association is likely to go to the DMV for a service that is also available through Triple-A.

Yet the illusion of something for nothing has kept the welfare state going — and expanding. If there is something for sale in the marketplace for ten dollars and you would not pay more than five dollars for it, some politician can always offer to get it for you free — as a newly discovered "basic right," or at least at a "reasonable" or "affordable" price.

Suppose that the "reasonable" or "affordable" price is three dollars. How do you suppose the government can produce something for three dollars that private industry cannot produce for less than ten dollars? Greater efficiency in government? Give me a break!

The fact that you pay only three dollars at the cash register means nothing. If it costs the government twelve dollars to produce and distribute what you are getting for three dollars, then the government is going to have to get another nine dollars in taxes to cover the difference.

One way or another, you are going to end up paying twelve dollars for something you were unwilling to buy for ten dollars or even six dollars. But so long as you think you are getting something for nothing, the politicians' shell game has worked and the welfare state can continue to expand.

An even better Sowell column is here:

All across the country, from the elementary schools to the universities, students report being propagandized. That the propaganda is almost invariably from the political left is secondary. The fact that it is political propaganda instead of the subject matter of the class is what is crucial.

The lopsided imbalance among college professors in their political parties is a symptom of the problem, rather than the fundamental problem itself.

If physicists taught physics and economists taught economics, what they did on their own time politically would be no more relevant than whether they go swimming or sky diving on their days off. But politics is intruded, not only into the classroom, but into hiring decisions as well.

Even top scholars who are conservatives are unlikely to be hired by many colleges and universities. Similarly with people training to become public school teachers. Some in schools of education have said that, to be qualified, you have to see teaching as a means of social change — meaning change in a leftward direction.

Such attitudes lead to lopsided politics among professors. At Stanford University, for example, the faculty includes 275 registered Democrats and 36 registered Republicans.

Such ratios are not uncommon at other universities — despite all the rhetoric about "diversity." Only physical diversity seems to matter.

Inbred ideological narrowness shows up, not only in hiring and teaching, but also in restrictive campus speech codes for students, created by the very academics who complain loudly when their own "free speech" is challenged.

I've slowed down with the Sowell links because frankly you should just bookmark him yourself and keep up with his prodigious output. His columns and books are a prerequisite for sensible debate on most of today's larger social and political topics.