Oh, son...

Oh, Son...

I see that Gwa.45 has been shopping in my absence...

Talks of cowboy assault rifles enter the gun discussion, and somewhere, in the chat, both Toxic Brain and I have crossed over a line.
I love a lever action. The "Green Marlin" is something to see.

Back Home

Back Home:

I've returned from a fun and relaxing vacation. Fall has apparently arrived while I was gone -- I mowed for what will probably be the last time before I left, but now it's already time to start raking.

I can see you've had some interesting discussions while I've been gone. That's good to know.

Give me a day or so to settle back in, and I'll see if I can't find something useful to talk about.

"Embarrassing Gaffe" Alert

Obviously the Princess quit blogging too soon.

While we are all waiting for Grim to get back, does anyone happen to remember what the Princess was doing last Friday?

It's been a busy week. The blog princess had an interesting experience today. She got to sit in on a conference call with incoming press secretary Dana Perino at the White House. Ms. Perino, as she has been the few times we've managed to catch her on the television, was both articulate and informative...

...The President talked with 250 Marines at Quantico today. One of them asked him, "Where are all the Nelson Mandelas of Iraq?"

He said, "Saddam killed them all." The President reminded the Marines that anyone who espoused or defended freedom was killed off under Saddam. So the Iraqis are not starting from the same place as many other countries. And our own march to democracy was not a smooth one.
Condoleeza Rice's own ancestors lived in slavery for 100 years before they tasted freedom. And yet all Americans enjoy the fruits of freedom today.

What if we had given up?

Flash forward to this week. Via Glenn Reynolds, apparently Reuters thinks it caught the President in yet another "embarrassing gaffe":
WHEN GEORGE BUSH'S METAPHORS ARE TOO COMPLEX FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND, a career in journalism may be beyond your capacities. But not beyond your reach!

The media are falling into a tiresome pattern of making absolute asses of themselves where the President is concerned.

How long ago was it that Piers Morgan gleefully informed us "only an idiot" could fall off a Segway? That ended well...

Now Reuters, in its ever present haste to attack the administration, neglected to check the transcripts freely available right on the White House website. Because, you know, quoting what the President actually said (as opposed to reframing it to enhance the public's understanding of difficult subjects) would be allowing the White House to get its message out unfiltered. And, as we all know, during war time the last thing we need to hear is enemy propaganda.

I don't know. With Congress' approval rating at 11% and the press making serial blunders like this, it all starts to make choking on a pretzel look downright Machievellian.
That was then...

I stare out into the darkness from my post, and I watch the city burn to the ground. I smell the familiar smells, I walk through the familiar rubble, and I look at the frightened faces that watch me pass down the streets of their neighborhoods. My nerves hardly rest; my hands are steady on a device that has been given to me from my government for the purpose of taking the lives of others.

I sweat, and I am tired. My back aches from the loads I carry. Young American boys look to me to direct them in a manner that will someday allow them to see their families again...and yet, I too, am just a boy....my age not but a few years more than that of the ones I lead. I am stressed, I am scared, and I am paranoid...because death is everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me from around street corners and windows, and it is always there.

There are the demons that follow me, and tempt me into thoughts and actions that are not my own...but that are necessary for survival. I've made compromises with my humanity. And I am not alone in this. Miles from me are my brethren in this world, who walk in the same streets...who feel the same things, whether they admit to it or not.

This is now:

“You know what I like most about this place?” he said.

“What’s that?” I said.

“We don’t need to wear body armor or helmets,” he said.

I was poleaxed. Without even realizing it, I had taken off my body armor and helmet. I took my gear off as casually as I do when I take it off after returning to the safety of the base after patrolling. We were not in the safety of the base and the wire. We were safe because we were in Ramadi.

Only then did I notice that Lieutenant Colonel Crane was no longer wearing his helmet. Neither were most of the others.

I saw no violence in Baghdad, but I would never have taken off my body armor and helmet outside the wire. I certainly wouldn’t have done it casually without noticing it. If I had I would have been sternly upbraided for reckless behavior by every Soldier anywhere near me.

But in Ramadi the Marines are seriously considering dropping the helmet and body armor requirements because the low level of danger makes the gear no longer worth it.

Because of men like Sergeant Eddie Jeffers, hope has come to Ramadi. Eddie was killed on Wednesday.

He wrote those words just last February. Seven months ago:

We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life: safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted raped and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause and see it to its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor...we cannot place the burden on our military alone. We must all stand up and fight, whether in uniform or not. And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon stickers on your cars. It's supporting our President, our troops and our cause.

Right now, the burden is all on the American soldiers. Right now, hope rides alone. But it can change, it must change. Because there is only failure and darkness ahead for us as a country, as a people, if it doesn't.

Let's stop all the political nonsense, let's stop all the bickering, let's stop all the bad news and let's stand and fight!

Isn't that what America is about anyway?

It is still a good question. It deserves an answer.
"So are they all, all honorable men"

This is sort of thing that will turn you into a bolshevik. My contempt knows no bounds at this point.

(via Instapundit)
Anbar Awakens Part II: Hell is Over

Mike Totten should get the Pulitzer.

"Every couple of days now people come home,” Captain Messer, referring to the small part of the city he’s responsible for. “They swing by the station and tell us they’re moving back and ask if it’s okay if they return to their houses. Of course it’s okay. They don’t have to ask that. But they don’t know. We tell them welcome home, welcome back to the neighborhood. And they always invite us over for dinner.”

Things are looking up.
Crab boil, Russian style.

I like the bucket of beer.
By the Numbers.

Good job, Soldier. Have a safe trip home.
Go ahead and stammer, you old, fat, turdbag.
It was supposed to be a joke.

Craiglist is a sort of combination of want ads, employment ads, personal ads and so forth, started by this guy named Craig, and has ballooned into a thing covering a whole lot of cities across the planet.

Gerard Vanderleun, over at American Digest, observed a particularly striking personal ad, and decided to parody it. It seems many people in Seattle don't get the joke.

As he says:
"The French have a saying -- Les chiens n'obtiennent pas des plaisanteries.-- which translates to "Dogs don't get jokes." Neither, it would seem, do lonely hearts. I think I'll just print my "ad" out and file it in the back pages of my copy of "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again."
Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Come Out From Under The Covers

Why do I get the impression this guy fell asleep watching a John Basedow video? You have to admit, it's pretty catchy. Anti-Terrorism, Made Simple:
Nebraska Democratic State Senator Ernie Chambers has decided to go straight to the top in an effort to stop natural disasters from befalling the world.

Chambers filed a lawsuit against God in Douglas County Court Friday afternoon, KPTM Fox 42 reported.

The suit asks for a "permanent injunction ordering Defendant to cease certain harmful activities and the making of terroristic threats."

The lawsuit identifies the plaintiff as, "the duly elected and serving State Senator from the 11th Legislative District in Omaha, Nebraska."

Chambers also cites that the, "defendant directly and proximately has caused, inter alia, fearsome floods, egregious earthquakes, horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornados, pestilential plagues..."

"The Constitution requires that the courthouse doors be open, so you cannot prohibit the filing of suits," Chambers says. "Anyone can sue anyone they choose, even God."

Chambers bases his ability to sue God, as, "that defendant, being omnipresent, is personally present in Douglas County."

Well there you have it. Kerry must be feeling vindicated about now. And the Jersey Grrrls will certainly be glad to see someone finally listening to the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

Pile On was unavailable for comment.
A Failure of Imagination

The ethnic origins of General David Petraeus are apparently Dutch, which is a shame because there’s something sonorously classical about the family name of the commander of the US forces in Iraq. When you discover that his father was christened Sixtus, the fantasy really takes flight. Somewhere in the recesses of the brain, where memory mingles hazily with imagination, I fancy I can recall toiling through a schoolboy Latin textbook that documented the progress of one Petraeus Sixtus as he triumphantly extended the imperium romanum across some dusty plain in Asia Minor.

The fantasy is not wholly inapt, of course. General Petraeus was the star turn in Washington this week, testifying before Congress about the progress of the surge by US forces in Iraq. Some evidently see America’s wearying detention in the quagmire of Mesopotamia as a classic example of imperial overreach of the kind that is thought to have doomed Rome. Who knows? Perhaps 1,500 years ago one of the forebears of General Petraeus was hauled before the Senate to explain the progress of some surge of Roman forces to defeat the insurgents in Germania.

The US is indeed in the middle of another gloomy ride around the “America as Rome” theme park of half-understood history lessons. The pessimists, equipped with their Fodor’s guidebooks, their summer school diplomas, and their DVD collection of Cecil B. DeMille movies, are convinced it’s all up for the people who march today under the standard of the eagle, just as it was for their predecessors. They see military defeat abroad and political decay at home; they watch as far-flung peoples chafe at the dictates of imperial rule and as the plebs at home grow metaphorically hungry from misgovernment. The only real uncertainty in their minds is who will play the Vandals and lay waste to Washington?

Oh come now. Surely this can't be so difficult. Historical analogies are rarely exact. America doesn't have to be a physical empire. Radical Islamists, at least, see us as dangerous cultural imperialists, our invasive brand of hedonism as something to be severely curtailed if not eradicated outright.

Must it be Vandals who sack Washington? Why shouldn't America decline and fall from within, victim to her own fecklessness and complacency? While we busily export pop culture and crass consumerism, in our schools the teaching of our own history and the Enlightenment values that gave rise to our Constitution and Declaration of Independence are under attack:
The Robert Weissberg article to which George called our attention, "The Hidden Impact of Political Correctness," is very disturbing. It says that professors, even tenured professors, have decided to stay away from facts that may annoy black students who are quick to report "racism" to the authorties. And it's not just negative things about blacks as a group that might set off these easily offended students. Anything that might mitigate the vision of America as pure evil is also offensive. So even to point out that counting slaves as 3/5 of a person for purposes of the census was something actually aimed at diminishing the power of the slaveholders is dangerous. As is pointing out that the Constitution outlawed the slave trade after 1808, making slaves so valuable that they could not be put at risk at dangerous jobs, which instead evidently went to the Irish! In other words, historical truth has to be sacrificed to an unnuanced black/white vision of history.

This means that young blacks are being cultivated to an inauthentic relationship to truth, facts, and history, reminiscent of Hegel's master/slave analysis, in which the slave can know the truth, but the master must be flattered and gratified with lies. Either that, or they are learning to use their power to keep down the truth.

Gerard Baker thinks America invincible because she has few external foes? More likely, an increasingly divided nation that neither understands nor is willing to defend its cultural heritage will be pulled down from within by fractious special interest groups egged on by the culture of entitlement.

Pretty much has to be seen to be believed. I think its a joke, but YMMV.

(via Classical Values.)


So, it appears that video was not a joke, but is a guy. A guy named Chris Cocker. I am not making this up. These are the sorts of things you simply can't make up.

Anyway, Seth Green says to LEAVE CHRIS COCKER ALONE!! That definitely is a joke. Heh. Points for the product placement.
Is there anything good about men?

I think so, but I'm probably biased. Still, it's an interesting essay, and I note for the record, that my Grandfather had two wives, both of which he had children with. Which means some other schmoe didn't get a chance with one of my grandmothers. And, of my brothers and sisters that have managed to procreate, there is a 3 to 1 disparity in the number of children produced by my sisters and brothers. Hmmm...

(via Bill's Notes.)
You know, I think the world can't get anymore insane that it is, and then I go and have to stumble across stuff like this.

Where Is Zbigniew Brzezinski When We Need Him?

Where Is Zbigniew Brzezinski When We Need Him?

Sometimes the comedy just writes itself:

In her September 8 article ...New York Times reporter Tamar Lewin quoted the parody Web site of a Dartmouth secret society (the Phrygians) discussing possible actions against the college administration. The New York Times reporter apparently thought that the Phrygian Society -- a secret society -- maintains a website to apprise the public of its latest conspiracies.

It only took the Times a week to research and correct its error. Yesterday the Times published this correction:


Published: September 15, 2007

An article last Saturday about Dartmouth College’s governance structure incorrectly described a Web site congratulating Todd J. Zywicki, a trustee, for meeting with members of the Phrygians, a secret society, and discussing possible actions against the college administration. It was a hoax site, not an official Phrygian site.

Like MSNBC in its treatment of the online version of Johnson's story, the Times has airbrushed Lewin's fake Phrygians' quote from the online version of the September 8 story.

Now *that's* spooky.... Todd Zywicki adds:

It appears that the reporter let her political biases (which are strongly reflected in the original story) get out in front of her reportorial good judgment.

Those horrid neocons! Always with the fear mongering! Will no one save us from this Culture of Fear?