Friday, June 30, 2006
Breakfast with the King
You've been branded as "Bush's poodle".
You have gotten the JMSDF/JASDF/JGSDF to deploy overseas in spite of popular opinion against these deployments.
You've thumped your opponents in a snap election over postal reform.
You've done a good job making S.Korea and China pissed off by visiting Yasikuni shrine.
You got (some of) the abductees home and got N. Korea to admit they did it......
You have gotten the Japanese economy to start out of its doldrums......
What does one do for an encore to that?
GO TO GRACELAND OF COURSE......
So that's where he gets his advice!
TOKYO — When Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi tours Graceland later this month with President Bush, he wil lbe representing a big constituency -- Japan has droves of Elvis Presley fans, and the biggest Elvis fan club in all of East Asia.
Koizumi, of course, is the most famous. Last year he serenaded Bush with "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" at a birthday party for the president. Apparently it made quite an impression -- Bush and his wife, Laura, will accompany Koizumi on his June 30 visit to Presley's estate in Memphis, Tenn. "It's exciting," Jack Soden, chief executive of Elvis Presley Enterprises, said Wednesday of the upcoming visit. "Two world leaders, plus Elvis, plus Graceland." The prime minister is just one of thousands of die-hard Japanese Elvis lovers.
May be he will have some barbeque on Beall Street. Doubt he'll find any of these there:
And while he could go hear some good jazz, he will be with Bush and that would put the damper on any evening. Rumor has it that while the Prime Minister has an eye for these:
I think Laura would disapprove. We know she would not like the beer for sure......
However in the meantime, it will probably be a real love fest with the PM and the Pres:
Thank you, thank you very much........for supporting our war.
Beer and babes......with a side order of politics-Skippy-san
Thursday, June 29, 2006
The Soccer Mom navy..........
A friend who is still in the Navy and I were doing some quality drinking the other night. He was bemoaning the outbreak of the what he calls "the morals police". He had recently been down in the Philippines and I had to shake my head at what he told me. They were unable to go out into the town and restricted to the limits of the former Clark AB. Which has to be frustrating enough know that the "promised land" of Angeles is just out there beyond reach. They are limited in what they can drink off duty and where and who with, is also tightly regulated. I asked him what had brought this on.
My buddy told me that originally there had not been these restrictions, then a couple of guys had been stupid and there had also been some hint that when the limits of movement had been reduced to the former Clark EEZ, that Sailors being Sailors, had figure out a way to get the girls to come to them. Which,as you can probably imagine had lead to someone getting caught, and the powers that be being "shocked, SHOCKED, that sex was going on." Evidently to make matters worse they put themselves on report and and sent a message to the chain of command saying they had found that out. Holy United Nations Trafficking in Persons, BATMAN!
Seems a far cry from my days as Maintenance Officer, deployed with the squadron in Panama, when I had the squadron corpsman put a box of condoms next to the box of ear protectors in the parachute loft, thus offering the guys a discreet way to take some protection with them when they went out into town. Then again, the only women they could "date", were out in town.
Robert Kaplan has a vignette in his book Imperial Grunts, where he points out that the powers that be had arranged for folks doing the hard work in the Philippines, "had arranged for R&R to be taken in Okinawa because the damn Bible thumpers know its harder to get laid there." (Which is true to some extent.......).
However I think the problem goes further than just one of sexual mores.
At my previous place of employ I watched the front office give preference to married folks over single ones when it came to summer leave. Even to the point of granting leave when it should have been turned down because it took the numbers too low. In the same week that happened, I watched a guy who wanted to take leave in Thailand get raked over the coals about what he was going to do there. As if that was anybodies business but the service members.
And God forbid, one has a fight with his spouse and it gets turned over to Security / the FAP mafia. My ex learned that lesson all too well that , by just threatening that, she could bend me to her will. I'm not saying that they don't have a job to do and their have been some bad incidents, but there have also been cases of folks using the system against the service member. Primarily it occurs when commanding officers forget that their advice is "advisory" and not mandatory. And that they can still make "gut calls" in favor of the service member.
IMHO, the trend is going too far. What ever happened to the idea of "On time for work, sober, ready to go to work" as the main criteria? That was always my scale for judging a guy. As for what happens outside the fence, well I believe that there are too many folks going, where its none of their business. Period. Don't ask don't tell should apply to heterosexual conduct too.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Exercise in futility
Joe Klein summed up the dilemma they face when he wrote:
"And so, a mystery: How is it possible, with 2,500 U.S. soldiers dead, no discernible progress on the ground and a solid majority of the public now agreeing that the war in Iraq was a mistake, for the Democrats to seem so bollixed about the war and for the President to seem so confident? A good part of it is flawed strategy. Democrats keep hoping that the elections can be framed as a referendum on the Bush policy, and Republicans keep reminding the public that elections are a choice, not a referendum. Last week, in the opening salvo of the 2006 Congressional elections, Bush and Rove were reminding voters that the choice would be between the Democratic strategy of "cut and run" and the Republican war against Islamic "fascists," as the President called them. It was clear, yet again, that Bush and Rove would surf the complexities of the conflict for their political advantage. "
The Democrats have only themselves to blame for their predicament. Mainly because they have allowed the question to be framed the wrong way. The choice is normally framed as "Cut and Run" vs "complete victory in the War on Terror". Neither is a correct description of the choices at hand. Their spokesmen and women are not credible (Kerry and Murtha have yet to learn when to keep their mouths shut. Having made legitimate points, it hurts your case to beat a dead horse....). Let's phrase the question a different way: " Is it in the United States' best interest to lose the lives of its sons and daughters for a group of Arabs who cannot and will not appreciate that sacrifice in the first place, and more importantly, will fail to make good on the opportunity that sacrifice has given them because of their adherence to a failed religion and outdated concepts of tribalism?" The answer to that question is no, and the answer was no in February of 2003.
One of the commentators on TV nailed the issue very succinctly. Both parties have "buyers remorse" about the war. Unfortunately wars of choice, based on a concept of "my national sovereignty means something, yours does not" are non- returnable and non-refundable. You are stuck with the consequences of the choices that were made. Sure Saddam is gone, but is the instability we got in its place is not in the best long term interest of both the Middle East and more importantly the United States.
Normally about this point in the debate two lines of argument will surface. The first is that by fighting Arabs over there we will keep from having to fight them on US soil, and second that the military has made progress in
My response to the first argument remains the same as it has been for the last year. You cannot cure a body of cancer as long as there is a force that sustains it and nourishes it. That lifeblood is Islam, the so called religion of peace. The cancer analogy is particularly apt because in the case of Iraq, we are attacking one tumor when the disease has already metastisized else where in the body (the world, as evidenced by the home grown terrorists arrests in Canada, Miami and Europe......). Because the cancer has already spread and we are unable to eliminate its Islamic lifeblood, the best answer is to apply strategic doses of medicine at vital locations and allow the body to stabilize its self and learn to live with the disease. Phrased another way, turn something life - threatenening into a chronic condition. The US efforts in the Philippines and Horn of Africa are probably the best examples of the judicisious applications of that kind of medicine, while the US conventional forces maintain the steady state deterrent posture to keep folks like China and Russia from capitalizing on the effects of the disease.
Which brings me back to the Democrats. They have to think smarter and realize that for better or worse, they are on the ship too. They have to see past the politics of short term gain and look to the future. To quote Klein again:
"What can the Democrats do? They can play politics or be responsible. The political option is to embrace "cut and run"; call for an immediate withdrawal, as Kerry did; and hope the public is so sick of Bush and
sick of the war that it will punish the g.o.p. in the fall. But embracing defeat is a risky political strategy, especially for a party not known for its warrior ethic. In fact, the responsible path is the Democrats' only politically plausible choice: they will have to give yet another new Iraqi government one last shot to succeed."
What it does not mean is that they have to give the captain of that ship a free pass for his errors in judgment. I disagree with Chap on that. The captain of a ship is responsible when he runs the ship into dangerous waters or aground. This captain particularly deserves to get burned for his decisions because he had better choices offered to him and ignored that. Most probably because of his narrow world view, more importantly because he is every bit as much political creature as his predecessor was. People forget that. Its why I believe the war was timed the way it was. I believe Bush and his advisors believed it would all be over by the fall of 2004 and they would be cruising into a landslide electoral victory and he would have finished the job that his father started. There is ample documentary evidence that the administration was told that was not possible and it was ignored. Ergo, he's responsible for that.
I have little faith in the current crop of Democrats, so I have little expectation of them being able to win without a dramatic change of focus and ideas. The hope for the future lies in the new generation of Democrats like James Webb, who like me, is a Republican whose party abandoned him, not the other way around. I think only they can lead the party away from "Democrats busy being Democrats, divided, defensive and confused about the war, being lead by Bush's favorite punching bag John Kerry". He's gotta go and never should have been nominated in 2004. Because he was, he lost when victory was possible (and in the only math that matters, the electoral college, they still came close). The Democrats have to wake up and realize in the words of Adolph Rupp (from the movie Glory Road), " This is the National Championship. They ( the Republicans) came to play. Are you surprised? You are going to have to play the game. Play the game".
That's right coach. The Democrats have got to stop expecting victory to just fall in their lap. They are going to have to play smart. There is plenty of material to capitalize on. Leave the war alone until they can step to the plate with a real alternative. Right now they don't offer one.---to everyone's detriment.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I'm wondering the same thing myself!
"How come A blog dedicated to cats that look like Hitler can get 38,000 hits in two months whereas it took me 'only' two years to approach that figure?"
Enquiring minds want to know!
Friday, June 23, 2006
Fun's fun, but I'm done!
I was very pleasantly surprised. Warned by a buddy to stay away from the very western part of the island(I'm told Haole's are not welcome there), took H-2 to Schoefield Barracks and then drove NE on the coast road. Drove past Turtle Bay, stopped and looked at the course and decided I need to: take some lessons and come back and play it. It sure looked nice. Drove on farther then decided to turn around and head back to Hilauea (sp?) and have dinner there at a place called Hilauea Joes. Food was good, but I must have looked like a tourist because the waitress I had was not hitting on 8 cylinders. She took almost 15 minutes to get to me for my drink order and another 8 to get my real order. NOT HAPPY. However the food was good and they were crowded. I think they did not appreciate someone in there el solo lobo, and ogling the waitresses and barmaids to boot.
Back to Waikiki and walked around checked out some of the bars and clubs. Went to a store called the Stupid Store (I think) where I saw a classic T-shirt: " GOLDDIGGER, Like a prostitute, just smarter." I know some girls like that. Saw lots of cute Japanese and Korean girls. My observation about pairs still goes however. Folded up early (midnight......) and came home. Have to be up early and the rental car needs gas! The S.O. is getting attacked the moment I come in the door..........
Learned a lot about this new job this trip, not sure I liked all of it, drank not near enough of these:
And did not get my hands on one of these:
See you back on the right side of the Pacific.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Good and bad technology.....
The quizzes are rigged by the way.....
Unlike those who are young and carefree, some of us have to work hard for "the man". And "the man" was wearing me down today. Today was the invevitable "lessons learned" flail where we put slides together to show the powers that be what we should have done differently if we had just known what we were getting into before we got here.
And people don't understand why US postal clerks "go postal" and gun down and a whole post office full of people...........I had a couple of deserving candidates in my sights today!
The lesson here is too much technology can be a bad thing. This week I've been involved in the technical details of a project that will allow people to work in a "virtual office" distributed between key places in the Pacific. Here in Hawaii I was with people who had cell phones on their waist, next to a
Do you ever wonder if this rash of instant communication is such a good thing? Now mind you, I'm not anti progress, but I wonder if we are giving senior leadership too much information and so, inviting them to micro manage. Whatever happened to the days of yesteryear, where the fate of entire nations rose or fell, based on the intuition of some young Major...Possibly nursing a hangover while he made the decision? In some cases it seems to me that may be a better alternative.
I'm not anti-technology at all, but it seems to me that too many decisions this days are pushed higher and higher and the decision makers involved have less and less time to understand the issue in play and make a decision. So the decision increasingly rests on who can package it the best.
I often wonder if I could, if I could go back in time and remove one item of technology. If it were me, it would be the video teleconference. I hate them! If one wants a meeting, give me a plane ticket, a nice location and drinks at the bar at the end of the day. That's where the real business gets done anyway. Now with VTC's, there are less and less problems solved on bar napkins. To our detriment I think.
So, what say you? If you could turn back the clock on one item of today's technology, what would it be?
(cross posted to exordinarily ordinary)
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Burning the candle at both ends.....
I am also busy because I am doing a stint of guest blogging. I've been given the kind honor of keeping the blogfires burning over at Sourrain's blog while she heads to Malaysia for her wedding. So drop on by and pay her a visit. Give her a hug. Tell her what you think about the wedding gown. (I think she likes embroderie........).
Have you seen the latest Navy photo making the rounds?
Impressive eh? However back in the day, we folks in the Navy got this many ships together all the time. With battleships too. Now though, it takes an act of God to get this many ships together............Also notice the F-16 in the back right division out of position? Some wiseass I'm working with tried to tell me it was a hornet, till I blew it up and showed him only one tail on the suspect aircraft. Plus Navy guys know how to fly formation!
Have seen zero world cup games.
Have seen lots of cute Japanese girls walking around, in pairs.
Going to play golf tomorrow and try not choke like Phil!
Its not fun to have to tell people, "I'm such an idiot.".
Don't feel bad Phil, that's me on the first tee!
Got to run. Go see Sourrain! And speaking of candles, the Phibian has a great video of why Kim Jong Il needs to watch a little more TV. You shoot a missile.....get it shot down!
Monday, June 19, 2006
I need to win the lottery.........
I did get a chance to finish an intersting book though. Its called , The Only Way to Cross; its about the cruise liners that crisscrossed the North Atlantic in the first half of the 2oth century. Its a good read and has a lot of good history about all the "biggies", Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, Olympic, Bremen, United States, and a host of others. From reading the book it seems foreign ships, just like foreign airlines now, were the better deal.
I would like to have made a trip to Europe like that I think. At least you could get up and walk around.............
More tomorrow, I gotta get to bed. These long days are killing me! Even if they are in Paradise.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Happy Fathers Day!
Did you call your father?
Walk a Little Slower Daddy
"Walk a Little slower, Daddy." said a little child so small.
I'm following in your footsteps and I don't want to fall.
Sometimes your steps are very fast, sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower Daddy, for you are leading me.
Someday when I'm all grown up, You're what I want to be.
Then I will have a little child who'll want to follow me.
And I would want to lead just right, and know that I was true;
So, walk a little slower, Daddy, for I must follow you!!
- Author Unknown
And one of my favorite poems:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”;
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings-nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run-
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And-which is more-you’ll be a Man, my son!
- Rudyard Kipling
Saturday, June 17, 2006
I did sneak away for some golf today at Kaneohe Bay. Tomorrow is actually going to have to have a teleconference because it will be Monday in Japan, so I left at noon today thinking I could be changed and up there by 1. Alas I forgot about H-1, the auxiliary Honolulu parking lot. Thus by the time I got to the hotel, changed, preflight the clubs, it was 1:30 when I was leaving the hotel. Accordingly I rolled up to 18 racing the setting of the sun. Hawaii golf is interesting because of dealing with the wind......(and the 2 hole rain shower........). The wind seemed always to be across, or in my face. Then again Kaneohe has a signature hole on number 13:
My ball is the one slicing towards the beach!
Ala Moana Mall is a great place for girl watching. The food court there is a great place to park oneself at a table corner, eat, and watch an assortment of women pass by. The place is full of Japanese and Chinese tourists, Hawaiians, assorted others, and lots of women who have curves in the right places and no curves in the wrong ones. Its especially interesting to watch the Japanese and Chinese girls as :a) they are usually dressed in some sort of dress/skirt/capri pants with heels............ They usually look much better than their American tourist counterparts.
Speaking of Japanese girls, walking around Waikiki has confirmed what I first observed in Guam. Lex would be proud of these women, they understand fighter aircraft tactics exceptionally well. Whether its at the mall or the bars in Waikiki, you see the same things over and over again. Japanese tourist girls always deploy in sections or divisions (2 plane or 4 plane..). The singleton is rare indeed. They understand the idea of mutual support and they have radar contracts that are ironclad. If one loses sight or radar lock, or if you try to get one to break away for a 1v1 engagement, the other one almost immediately changes course and rejoins on her wingman. These even seems to happen in the presence of large amounts of
And as for the news.........well that should wait for another time.
Lids..Closing.....Sleepy....Need less beer. Watching the US open reruns makes me sleepy. Here come Phil again!!!! Yech.........
Friday, June 16, 2006
It will be a busy trip so blogging may be light. Hope to find time for these:
Sadly, don't think I will have any time (I know I won't have any......) for these:
A man's got to do what a man has got to do!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
We're putting the band back together!
Watching the uproar over the "Hadji Girl" video and the resultant failure of the Marine Corps to defend its own guys has me really wondering what will happen when the results of the Haditha investigation are completed. Seems more and more to me, like there is a need to assemble a crack defense team to defend these guys against the steamroller that is going to come their way.
Lets look at the whole Hadji Girl thing in its proper context. First, the video makes it pretty apparent that it was done in the context of a gathering of Marines and only Marines. Now mind you , I have nothing to base that on but the appearance of the video. Second, the lyrics of the song make it very apparent that they are a put up of the fact that the insurgents result to despicable tactics like using children and others to lure Marines and Soldiers into traps. No where do I see anything like the idea that the singer is seriously endorsing the ideas put forth in the song. So it seems to me, that if anybody needs to apologize, its the moron who brought the camera, and the nitwit who got the idea to post this on the net. Any aviator who has ever been to a focsle follies knows exactly what I am talking about. The first rule of thumb is ALWAYS leave your cameras in the stateroom. Like I need more pictures of me mooning the CV-43 air boss. ( True story by the way..........).
Now for some truth in advertising and what this particular controversy has to do with Haditha. I do not, and will not, believe that a bunch of Marines went nuts there and just wantonly shot anything in their path. I firmly believe that the Marines in question felt theatened, felt that someone was threatening them, and , rightly or wrongly, felt they were acting in self defense. Until the investigation proves otherwise, I'm willing to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. Why the later reports came out the way they did is troubling, but I'm just not prepared to accept the idea that the Marines did anything, but respond to what they felt was a threatening situation.
So watching the Marine Corps cave into the Muslim- American Bund, makes me shake my head in disbelief and start thinking about organizing a charity to get these guys the best legal defense team possible. Given the way some of the recent court martials have gone, they will need as much legal muscle as they can get.
I mean think about it. The prosecution has to prove that the Marines acted without provocation and exceeded their authorized rules of engagement beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense only has to prove that there was a reasonable doubt about the idea of acting in anything, but self defense. From the stories I've seen so far the prosecution has its work cut out for it.
BUT, that is where I part ways with those who say that the military justice system is somehow better than the civil justice system. Maybe, but the defendants in the military justice system usually don't have an abundant amount of resources to spend on attorneys and like military doctors ( which I have had far too much of an unpleasant experience with), no matter how many professional walls and safeguards are built in, the military lawyers are still dependent on the military for their livelihood. Having some smart guys like Charles Gittins , to keep the dealers honest is for the best interests of both sides. Trouble is, he's a busy man these days dealing with stupid trials that tie up his time for no good reason. It's not like the Marines have ever tried to railroad anyone before...(SIC)......
So I'm ready to give money to the defense fund. Getting these guys acquitted might be one of the best signals that could be sent both to Iraq, and to the boneheads at home that: A) we are putting our troops in a tough spot repeatedly, refusing to resource their efforts properly and despite that, they are doing the best they humanly can, B) that maybe the Iraqi's need to realize that they need to throw more and more of the insurgents to the wolves , get off their ass and fix their hell hole of a country, and c) that this is a war, and wars are fought by people and bad things happen. Perhaps its time for humans to find a saner way to run the planet. The issue with Haditha is not that happened, but that it happens so very rarely.
Bottom line? O.J. got a good defense. These Marines deserve that or better...............
If it does not fit, you must acquit!
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Another day another 100 points........
It seems amazing to me that the markets reward for good news is a down turn. What's up with that?
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
World Cup report.. or Why Iran really wants the bomb.
But, what is not the love about just about anyone that makes Iran look bad? Bask in it. We can't do it, let the Mexicans. We are all "North Americans" now.
Meanwhile, this morning I picked up my Asahi Shimbun to learn that Australia beat Japan 3-1.
Must have been early in the game. Too many smiling Nihonjin!
There is also this annoying little matter of the US losing to the Czech's.........
3-0. Then again, its not like this is real football.
Speaking of real football, Bubblehead posted a column on why he hates soccer and why he feels its opposed to real American sporting values. He points out that :
......don't expect me, or other Americans, to start demanding more televised soccer other than every four years -- unless they change the rules. If they get rid of the "offside" and "handball" rules, and allow real tackling, and have you carry the ball over a goal line rather than kick it into a net, and get some hot cheerleaders, then Americans will embrace the game -- not before.
Now he may have a point (operative word being may), but I think he is ignoring some of the positive benefits about soccer, especially for us living overseas:
1) Its a great reason to get drunk in pub.
2) It gives you something to do in a pub, while you get drunk.
3) If there is a crowd present, the men will invariably go nuts about the game, the women will get bored and your odds of scoring with said women may actually have just improved.
4) There is usually better beer in bars where soccer is shown than in bars where NBA basketball is shown. Give me a pint of lager over a Bud Light any day of the week.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Why I am down on Ann Coulter.
I skimmed her new book today at the book store. I'm not going to buy it because I'll be damned if I am going to put money in her (Louis Vuitton) purse. If I want to see strident propaganda I'll get from the library.
I wonder if she is really a ladyboy?
What bothers me the most about Coulter is that she is guilty of exactly what she accuses her opponents of doing, namely being intolerant of opposing ideas. It seems to my uneducated brain that she has decided to take this "tough broad" approach to everything political and laugh all the way to the bank. The people who agree with her, sop up what she has to say and those who don't fall into the trap of wrestling with a pig. The pig likes it and all you do is get dirty.
Which brings me back to the baseball bat. In my gut its what I want to do to
Except of course life does not work that way, and jail is not an experience I want to try. So it means I have to work hard to keep my temper in check and look at the things that people are saying based solely on the facts that I can ascertain. I don't have to agree with her, but you win more arguements with a quiet and firm tone than you do with shrieking.
Because it's on facts, where most of Coulters diatribes tend to fall apart. Consider what happened after she wrote this in 2001:
Airports scrupulously apply the same laughably ineffective airport harassment to Suzy Chapstick as to Muslim hijackers. It is preposterous to assume every passenger is a potential crazed homicidal maniac. We know who the homicidal maniacs are. They are the ones cheering and dancing right now.
We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war. [Town Hall,September 14, 2001]
She got a lot of criticism for that and she tried to explain her way out of it. Consider what happened when she did and submitted the response to a conservative publication, The NRO:
In the wake of her invade-and-Christianize-them column, Coulter wrote a long, rambling rant of a response to her critics that was barely coherent. She's a smart and funny person, but this was Ann at her worst — emoting rather than thinking, and badly needing editing and some self-censorship, or what is commonly referred to as "judgment."
Running this "piece" would have been an embarrassment to Ann, and to NRO. Rich Lowry pointed this out to her in an e-mail (I was returning from my honeymoon). She wrote back an angry response, defending herself from the charge that she hates Muslims and wants to convert them at gunpoint.
But this was not the point. It was NEVER the point. The problem with Ann's first column was its sloppiness of expression and thought. Ann didn't fail as a person — as all her critics on the Left say — she failed as WRITER, which for us is almost as bad.
Its the same with her latest charge about the "Jersey Girls":
In her latest book, Coulter criticizes the four New Jersey widows who pushed for an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The women also backed Democrat John Kerry's presidential candidacy in 2004.
"These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," Coulter wrote.
Evidently, the widows' sins are that they pushed for an independent commission to investigate 9/11 intelligence failures, they are critical of the Bush administration and they endorsed Sen. John Kerry for president. Even though, both sides of the aisle said that the 9-11 commission was "fair and balanced" . And that the Republicans have been equally quick use those widowed or deprived of a relative in the war / and or 9-11 if it suited their agenda.
There are some conservative commentators who are un comfortable with her approach. She has been asked more than once if she is concerned that her stridency will keep people from hearing the correct message. Consider the following from Captains Quarters, hardly a hotbed of liberalism:
However, if one ever needed proof that the political spectrum resembles a circle where the extremes meet, this should provide it. In fact, it reminded me of another pundit whom the Left lionizes and the Right reviles: Ted Rall. Why Rall? Three years ago, Rall made essentially the same point in one of his crude cartoons and got rightly panned for it. It became one of the reasons that the Washington Post ended its association with Rall in 2004.
Whether Rall or Coulter says it, impugning the grief felt by 9/11 widows regardless of their politics is nothing short of despicable. It denies them their humanity and disregards the very public and horrific nature of their spouses' deaths. The attacks motivated a lot of us to become more active in politics in order to make sure our voices contribute to the debate, and it is impossible to argue that the 9/11 widows (and widowers, and children, and parents) have less standing to opine on foreign policy than Ann Coulter or Ted Rall.
Its a free country in the US, but having lived for a while overseas makes me a little more sanguine about that. Ann needs to be careful what of what she says and how she says it. In Singapore if she had attacked the PAP she would already have been sued for libel. I think sometimes she underestimates the value of the freedom she has been given, and as I have pointed out before, she is just wrong in painting the media as some monolithic bogeyman.
Which probably leads to the obvious question:
If Ann Coulter were an overweight, 50 year old hag, with curly hair and ankle hose would she be as popular? Same goes for Michelle Malkin, would she be working in Neptunes?
Or pehaps this would be more likely.
Maybe she really wants that...................
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Things I do not understand............
Which is one of the things I do not understand. Why, after 6 years of living in this country, dedicated study of the language, and lots of opportunities to use it, my abilities in Japanese seem to have stagnated. I feel like by now I should be fluent, by I am not near. To be sure the last year has been very busy and I had to stop going to Japanese class, but I've still been review grammar. Its very frustrating.
Some other things I don't comprehend:
The OB rule in golf. It pisses me off when, after hitting a fairly long drive (for me), just because I hit a tree right before landing and the ball pitches out of bounds, I have to hit again from the tee box ending up 2 strokes in the hole. Its the worst rule in golf IMHO. You should at least get credit for the distance traveled, because its really frustrating when on your second shot, you top the ball and barely go a hundred yards.....GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!
I don't understand how so many cool music videos of Zarqawi getting dispatched to the nether world can spring up so fast. I wish I knew how to do that. Check here and here for some cool footage set to music. ( It pains me to use a video from the c**t, but you have to me admit, with the political nonsense subtracted , the bombing scenes set to music are cool!).
Speaking of Zarqawai, its been revealed he survived 2, 500 lb bombs being dropped right on his head. He died afterwards in American custody, trying to roll out his stretcher and escape. There is a story there, especially considering the first bomb leveled the building.
I am also amazed at the reaction of both left and right. Rather than celebrate the fact that our armed forces, finally nailed this murderer, both sides are immediately trying to figure out what political advantage it gives them and how to negate whatever it gives their opponent. WTF? Why not just savor the moment, in that a hideous murderer has died the way he deserved to die, in pain, and then wait a few days to resume the sniping. Just because the armed forces got him does not somehow mean that the decision to go into Iraq was the correct one, or that Bush is somehow a lot more intelligent on the subject of Iraq. Nor does it mean the insurgency is over. The administration seems to understand that. It seems blogs on both sides of the aisle don't.
And speaking of right wing and left wing, I don't understand how both sides can do exactly the same thing in terms of rhetoric and it does not get noticed. On the right we have people coming unglued over so many things, including criticism of Ann Coulter, and on the left we have folks who don't realize there is such a thing as biding one's time and waiting. Its what really frustrates me about Democrats. They have yet to realize that they are going to have work to regain the Senate and House. The war is not just going to hand them an electoral victory. They have to come up with a way to show, as Thomas Friedman says below, that actually can do more than snipe:
Zarqawi's death, though, also interests me in terms of U.S. politics. Recent polls show that not only are the Democrats more trusted to manage key domestic issues Â from health care to the budgetÂ but they have pulled even with Republicans on national security, a traditional Democratic Party weakness. If I were the Democrats, though, I wouldn't get too comfortable.
What the polls show is largely the result of President Bush's incompetent performance in Iraq, rather than the emergence of a convincing Democratic national security message or group of candidates respected on defense. When it comes to national security, I've always felt that voters don't listen through their ears. They listen through their gut. They vote based on a visceral sense of whether a candidate understands we have real
enemies and is ready to confront them. What Zarqawi and the recently arrested group of terrorists in Canada remind us of is that, whatever you think about the Iraq war, open societies today are threatened by these utterly ruthless jihadists. Many Americans feel that. If Democrats want to really seize control of the national security issue, they must persuade the country in its gut that they have a convincing post-Iraq strategy to rally the world against these Islamo-totalitarians.
Precisely how is the subject of two insightful, provocative new books. One is "The Good Fight: Why Liberals and Only Liberals Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again," by Peter Beinart, editor at large of The New Republic. The other is "With All Our Might: A Progressive Strategy for Defeating Jihadism and Defending Liberty," essays edited by Will Marshall, who heads the Progressive Policy Institute.
"Democrats should be full-throated in their critique of Bush," Mr. Beinart said in an interview. "He has done terrible things. But Democrats are involved in a two-sided struggle: one is against Bush, and one is against Islamic totalitarianism. They are two separate things. You have to have an answer to that second problem."
And that is what truly worries me and what I do not understand. Too many Democrats are too worried about fags and feminists to understand the background noise has changed. They have to get serious about economic justice and security or they will continue to be outcasts, baying in the wind being accepted by no one but the fags and feminists.
I also don't understand why I can't walk up to Ann Coulter and Michell Malkin and smack them right between the eyes with a Louisville Slugger as hard as I can, but that is a discussion for another time. Rst assured they both deserve the crack of a wooden bat to their foreheads though.
Sake is kicking in now............
Friday, June 09, 2006
Song about my ex-wife........
Which leads you to want one of these:
Which is what started the problem noted in the song to begin with! Happy Friday-Beer and babes!
Thursday, June 08, 2006
I applaud the folks who got this done. F**k him and the rest of his apostate buddies.
Quote of the day.........
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The Warrior vs the Writers
On Recent Wars
Things Not Figured Out
May 17, 2006
People ask how we got into our splendid mess in Iraq and why we can’t get out. The question is a subset of a larger question: Why, since WWII, have so many first-world armies gotten into drawn-out guerrilla wars in bush-world countries, and lost? Examples abound: France in Vietnam, America in Vietnam, France in Algeria, Russia in Afghanistan, Israel in Lebanon, etc. Why don’t they learn? The answer I think is that militaries are influenced by a kind of man—call him the Warrior—who by nature is unsuited for modern wars. He doesn’t understand them, can’t adapt to them.
The Warrior is emotionally suited to pitched, Pattonesque battles of moral clarity and simple intent. I don’t mean that he is stupid. Among fighter pilots and in the Special Forces for example it is not uncommon to find men with IQs of 145. Yet emotionally the Warrior has the uncomplicated instincts of a pit bull. Intensely loyal to friends and intensely hostile to the enemy, he doesn’t want any confusion as to which is which. His tolerance for ambiguity is very low. He wants to close with the enemy and destroy him.
This works in wars like WWII. (Note that the American military is an advanced version of the military that beat Germany and Japan.) It does not work when winning requires the support of the population. The Warrior, unable to see things through the eyes of the enemy, or of the local population, whom he quickly comes to hate, wants to blow hell out of things. He detests all that therapeutic crap, that touchy-feely leftist stuff about respect the population, especially the women. Having the empathy of an engine block, he regards mention of mutilated children as intensely annoying at best, and communist propaganda at worst.
On the net these men sometimes speak approvingly to each other of the massacre at My Lai. Hey, they were all Cong. If they weren’t, they knew who the Cong were and didn’t tell us. Calley did the right thing, taught them a lesson. There is an admiration of Calley for having avoided bureaucratic rules of engagement probably dreamed up by civilians. War is war. You kill people. Deal with it.
If you point out that collateral damage (dead children, for example) makes the survivors into murderously angry Viet Cong, the Warrior thinks that you are a lefty tree-hugger. Today, the battlefield as understood by the enemy, but seldom by the Warrior, extends far beyond the physical battlefield, and the chief targets are political. In this kind of war, if America can get the local population to support it, the insurgents are out of business; if the insurgents can get the American public to stop supporting the war, the American military is out of business. This is what counts. It is what works. The Warrior, all oooh-rah and jump wings, doesn’t get it. Vo Nguyen Giap got it. Ho Chi Minh got it.
Thus the furious, embittered insistence of Warriors that “We won Tet of ’68. We slaughtered them! We won, dammit! Militarily, we absolutely won!” Swell, but politically they lost. It was a catastrophe on the order of Kursk or Dien Bien Phu. But they can’t figure it out. The warrior doesn’t understand what “victory” means because he thinks in terms of firefights, courage, weaponry, and valor. His approach is emotional, not rational. Though not stupid, he is regularly out-thought.
It’s not mysterious. An intelligent enemy knows that America cannot be beaten at industrial war. So he thinks, “What then are America’s weaknesses?” The first and crucial one is that the American government enters into distant wars in which the public has no stake. Do you want your son to die for—get this—democracy in Iraq? You diapered him, got him through school-yard fist fights, his first prom, graduation from boot camp, and he comes home in a box—for democracy in Iraq?
The thing to do, then (continues thinking the intelligent enemy) is to make the Americans grow sick of the war. How? Not by winning battles, which is difficult against the Americans. You win otherwise. First, don’t give them point targets, since these are easily destroyed by big guns and advanced technology. Second, keep the level of combat high enough to maintain the war in the forefront of American consciousness, and to keep the monetary expense high. (Inflation and gasoline prices are weapons as much as rifles, another idea that the Warrior just doesn’t get. Bin Laden does.) Third, keep the body bags flowing. Sooner or later the Americans will weary of losing their sons for something that doesn’t really interest them.
However, the Warrior does not grant the public the right to grow weary. For him, America exists to support the military, not the other way around. Are two hundred dead a week coming back from Asia? The Warrior believes that small-town America (which is where the coffins usually go) should grit its teeth, bear down, and make the sacrifice for the country. Sacrifice for what? It doesn’t matter. We’re at war, dammit. Rally ‘round. What are you, a commy?
To the Warrior, to doubt the war is treason, aiding and supporting, liberalism, cowardice, back-stabbing, and so on. He uses these phrases unrelentingly. We must fight, and fight, and fight, and never yield, and sacrifice and spend. We must never ask why, or whether, or what for, or do we want to.
The public of course doesn’t see it that way. In 1964 I graduated from a rural high school in Virginia with a senior class of, I think, sixty. Doug took a 12.7 through the head, Sonny spent time at Walter Reed with neck wounds, Studley I hear is a paraplegic, another kid got mostly blinded for life, and several, whom I won’t name, tough country kids as I knew them, came back as apparently irredeemable drunks. (These were kids I knew, not all in my class.) It was a lot of dead and crippled for a small place. For what?
Cowardice? I was on campus in 1966 on a small, very Republican, very patriotic, very conservative, very Southern campus. The students, and their girlfriends, were all violently against the war. So, I gather, were their parents. Why? Were they the traitors of the Warrior’s imagination? No. They didn’t want to die for something that they didn’t care about.
This eludes the Warrior. Always, he blames The Press for the waning of martial enthusiasm, for his misunderstanding of the kind of war we are fighting. Did the press make Studley a paraplegic? Or kill the guy with all the tubes who died in the stretcher above me on the Medevac 141 back from Danang? Did Walter Cronkite make my buddy Cagle blind when the rifle grenade exploded on the end of his fourteen? Do the Warriors think that people don’t notice when their kids come back forever in wheelchairs?
They don’t get it.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Its the end of the world as we know it.........
Today bodes not well as it is the 6th day of the 6th month of the 6th year of the 21st Century. And its now 6 am Central Daylight time. In other words today is 666 day. Oh great something else to worry about.
Today was also the end of the world as they knew it for folks on both sides of the lines invading Europe. Today is the 61'st anniversary of D-day. The day US troops entered Europe and to date, never entirely left. (Say what you want, at least the cold war came with beer and peanuts...and some good port visits. Unlike the current fracas.....).
Today is also the 17th anniversary(+ a couple of days) of the Tianamin Square massacre. Which as Spike notes is being noted by the non-elected government of Hong Kong in a matter befitting the mayor of Fantasyland. Donald Tsang, he of the big bow tie, says that all the matter needs is a little perspective:
All Hong Kong people know well about the June 4 incident. It happened 17 years ago and since then the mainland has undergone remarkable developments, which have brought prosperity and substantial economic benefits to Hong Kong. I believe all Hong Kong people would now assess the matter objectively.
I think Spike sums it up well when he pronouces Sir Bow Tie a frigging moron:
What does he mean by "objectively"? This doesn't make one iota of rational sense. Although it's not too far off from a line of thought I have often heard voiced in both Hong Kong and the mainland - we're making money so shut the fuck up.
The fact remains: the Army -following the orders of a brutally repressive "government" - attacked and slaughtered their own countrymen. The only "crime" those people had committed was to publicly advocate democracy and basic human freedoms. Those who ordered this massacre have never been brought to trial. Nor have those who carried out those fiendish orders. The only people who "paid" for this black mark in the course of human events were those who died or were wounded as well as their families and loved ones. But we're rich now, so shut the fuck up.
"The mainland has undergone remarkable developments." Yes, a lot of big buildings and shopping malls have been built. (Tsang, advocate of wasting our tax money on this godforsaken Tamar lunacy, should know about that.) The spirit of capitalism has prevailed and a lot of people have gotten rich. But in terms of basic human freedoms, any changes in the past 17 years have been barely noticeable.
What other possible "objective" way is there to "assess the matter" ("assess the matter" rather than "view the slaughter"?) other than to say that a mass murder occurred and those responsible have never been brought to justice?
I still marvel at the fact that that the US had to invade Iraq to change a brutal regime, but China gets a free pass. Oh yea, I forgot about how much US debt they hold and how they allow Wal-Mart to underprice every one else. Bejing must be so proud! At least the food is better in China and the women get to wear decent clothes........ They will be just as bad in 2 years, but at least the US learned its lesson and will got to the Olympics. Now if Iran would just fold in the first round next week of the World Cup.
Rather than yell at the press for the way it covers Iraq, one should yell at the collective media , liberal and conservative, for the way it treats China with kid gloves. In the old days they had a term for the folks in Bejing: "Commie bastards". Nowadays they are still commie bastards, but they are trading partners so we have to turn the other cheek............
Then again, at least the women dress well in China.
Back in the days of yesteryear........
At least I ain't wearing no damn ascot!
Monday, June 05, 2006
An interesting irony.......
Which is why, if this factoid is true, it makes the knowing of it all the more sweeter. Michelle Macalang may in fact be herself, an anchor baby! Now if you have been following the sweet looking Filipina's writings, she has been bemoaning the fact that legions of Koreans and Mexicans have been making what she has termed "obstetric vacations....". When in fact she may be the product of just such an adventure herself. Seems her parents came to the US on work visas. So she either got her start before they moved or very shortly after their arrival. Could have been the excitement of seeing the Statue of Liberty. However Michelle seems to believe that what was good for her parents are not good for anyone else:
LAMB: You said that your parents became citizens in `89. When did they come
to the United States?
MALKIN: In 1970.
LAMB: Why did they come here?
MALKIN: To pursue a better life. My dad is a doctor. My mom is a school
teacher. And they`ve always treasured freedom. They`ve always wanted to live the
American dream. And they left 1970, right before Ferdinand Marcos became
dictator. So there was definitely the impetus there. They`re, you know, the --
the archetypal people yearning to breathe free.
LAMB: Were they political in the Philippines?
MALKIN: No. No. No, they weren`t.
LAMB: So how did they -- what -- what kind of a visa did they get to come here?
MALKIN: My dad came on a -- he was -- like I said, he was a doctor, so he was training here and had an employer sponsor and then -- you know, and then, you know, went on their way, like most people do who have green cards, and then eventual American citizenship.
Don't suppose it could have had anything to do with the fact that the economy in the Philippines sucked then and still sucks now?
For more info go here.
Maybe its just me, but I think its marvelous that the woman who criticizes babies born to people on work visas is one herself..............
Where do we get such men? - Part II
U.S. sailor gets life for killing Yokosuka woman
Compiled from Kyodo, AP.........excerpted from the Japan Times 3 June 2006.
A U.S. sailor was sentenced to life in prison Friday for murdering a Japanese woman in the port of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, during a robbery in January.
Seaman William Reese, 22, a member of the crew of the Yokosuka-deployed aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, was convicted by the Yokohama District Court. He had admitted beating temp worker Yoshie Sato, 56, but said he did not intend to kill her. Presiding Judge Masazo Ogura said: "The defendant spent his money on drinks and killed the victim with the intention of robbing her. His acts were extremely selfish and he took human life lightly. "The malicious crime by a U.S. soldier heavily impacted and triggered fear in people living in the area of the (U.S.) base," he added. The judge noted, "The victim died in extreme fear and unimaginable pain and the life she was about to lead after getting remarried was taken away."
Prosecutors had demanded life in prison. They indicted Reese for fatally beating Sato on the morning of Jan. 3. They alleged that Reese had tried unsuccessfully to grab Sato's bag on a sidewalk, and had then forced her into a nearby building and beat her for 10 minutes.
They accused Reese of stealing 15,000 yen from Sato and fleeing the scene. Japanese police arrested him four days later. Prosecutors said earlier Reese had told investigators he wanted money for drinks. Reese's lawyer said the sailor had no intention of killing the woman but did not deny that he was aware his actions could result in death.
The U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement does not require the U.S. military to hand over suspects before indictment, but the United States agreed in 1995 to preindictment handovers in serious criminal cases. Reese's case marks the first time the United States made such a handover in a slaying.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Skippy-san would like to have posted something witty and original about news and newspapers, but after he downed 15 plates of Sushi at Kura sushi this evening( The S.O. had 7-All plates 105 yen!), S.O. is asleep on the couch and Skippy-sama is drooling into his pillow on the bed.........I've seen this before after they eat too much sushi. She'll wake up cranky, go back to the bedroom and wake him up and make him take a shower. He'll fuss about not wanting to get up. She'll say something quick and nasty in Japanese about being kitanai (dirty......).
Since nobody brough me any fish, I don't care if they get up at all. Except I need to get some water. Think I'll go drink out of the toilet and then go scratch up one of the S.O's dolls. See if they forget to bring me maguro! (tuna............). That'll show them who really runs this house.
Oh, one other thing, Skippy thought all of you should read this latest article by Thomas Friedman........before he passed out, he mumbled something about the Frank Rich article being pretty on the mark too. Big deal. Where's my milk?
Saturday, June 03, 2006
An internet experiment
Surfing the internet is always interesting, you never know what red light district you are going to stumble into. Like when I was looking at one of the anti Malkin blogs that read her blog (so I won't have to......). I especially like it when Ryan catches her in ........well it may not technically be a lie, but it sure has nothing to do with the truth.
That little adventure lead me down another road, where I discovered quite by accident, that the lovely Filipina had taken severe objection to Wonkette's criticism of her new video
Which, by following a link to another liberal blog, I learned a new word, queef (v. as in to queef). Decorum prohibits me for defining it for you here. It seems to get used a lot in sentences like,
"ping pong ball queefing bitch malkin". Which by the way is from a google link Michelle Malkin posted about herself, on her own blog.
THERE I DID IT! I got that phrase worked into a sentence. Now thanks to the popularity of
One other thing too. Calling Michelle Malkin a whore is just so low rent. It does a disservice to the legions of hard working sales professionals out there. I suspect if the truth were able to be known, the only correct description would be starfish. If Ms Malkin wants, she can run a rebuttal to that proposition. THAT would be entertainment!
Friday, June 02, 2006
Learn something new every day.....
A friend passed the following along to me, from a retirement ceremony he attended. It was from a Parachute Rigger. I had never seen it before, but I think its great. Good advice for PR's and for life in general. I always thank my lucky stars that during my flying days, I never had to use a parachute......but its nice to know that this was their creed:
Pack every parachute as though you were going to jump with it.
Allow for human faults, and look twice for mistakes.
Remembers that the other fellow's life is as dear to him as yours is to you.
Always be sure-never leave it to guess work.
Chance is a fool's God-don't depend on it.
Hunt for trouble-don't wait for it to corner you.
Unless you would jump with the parachute yourself, don't expect the other person to.
Till men grow wings, they will need parachutes.
Everytime a rigger makes a mistake or oversight there is another potential murderer loose.
See that it isn't you.