Showing posts from February 12, 2006
The Jawa Report has Exclusive Prisoner Abuse Photos from Iraq that MSM Won't Show You. WARNING! These are VERY GRAPHIC and THEY ARE REAL.

The whole thing makes me sick.
I've updated the Blogroll to the right. Now the links are split into two categories. One for general links and one for Delaware only. If I'm missing anyone please let me know. We are a small state but I'd like to see our little corner of the blogosphere grow no matter what political stripe.

"Jaw jaw is better than War War." -Winston Churchill.
Die GroBe Stille is a movie about Carthusian Monks who live in virtual silence. I was intrigued when I heard about it on Slate's podcast some months ago. Now that it has been released it is getting rave reviews. Unfortunately, I don't see any release dates for the US but I'll be the first one in line if it come to our area. It's hard to imagine a nearly 3 hour movie with no dialog. Let's hope they at least give us a DVD at some point.
Michael Totten has an article about The Dream City of the Kurds. Really remarkable. Kurdistan has long been the exception to the Long Iraqi Nightmare. With the UN administering the region and free from Saddams bootheel, the Kurds have prospered and are as stable and Western friendly as Turkey. Perhaps even moreso. IMNHO, it shows just what Iraq can be and I pray, will be down the road. Read the whole thing.
XM Satellite loss widens, director quits. Things look very bad indeed for XM. They are losing marketshare to Sirius by leaps and bounds. I have Sirius and absolutely love it. I don't think there's much difference between XM and Sirius in terms of music. I have XM as part of the DirecTv package and Sirius in my car so I actually know what I'm talking about for once. The programming differences emerge more with the talk and sports.

Howard Stern is the elephant in the room. He signed on with Sirius and brought in something on the order of 3 million subscribers. By some accounts, that put another 200 million in his pockets. Not bad for dick and fart jokes.

He really is the only major personality that can draw that kind of listener base to a subscriber service. Rush, Hannity and Imus have large audiences but derive no benefit from moving to satellite. They are not pushing the envelope of censorship and are not constrained by FCC rules. Their only constraint is th…
ABC News has a story about The Secret Tapes -- Inside Saddam's Palace. Apparently, they have 12 hours of verified tapes of Saddam talking to his cronies about hiding WMD's and programs and terrorism. The tapes date from the mid-90's and at one point he says that terrorism is coming to America and Britain. I don't think this was a case of prescience, but rather, he knew enough of the players in the game to know that they all wanted to strike at the US and it would only be a matter of time before they were successful. Given the millions and millions of pages of documents found within the various Ministries I suspect the Pentagon knows far far more about this than they're letting on. Many in the blogosphere believe the US is going to use those documents to twist recalcitrant European and Russian arms to do our bidding in the future. Perhaps, but I've not seen any substantive changes that make that appear likely. It will be interesting to see how the Europea…
Mickey Kaus has a rational review of where Democrats need to stake their tent to take the next election. Entitled Return to 'Return to Normalcy' - Want a "message"? Here's one. While I agree with his analysis I think the MoveOn/Kos wing of the party would savage any Democrat taking that ground. Lieberman was the only one who came close and he was lost before he started. With Kos' influence having grown since the last cycle, there's no way he would go along to get along. He's an ideologue and willing to go over the cliff with his flag flying high. Any Democrat who wants the nomination is going to have to find a way to muzzle these guys before the heat is on. Otherwise, they could be a spoiler for their own party.
Space-elevator tether climbs a mile high. One step closer to the space elevator. Why isn't NASA heading this effort?

UPDATE: Reader Brian Dunbar notes:

Why should they? There isn't anything magic about space that makes it the exclusive domain of NASA.

This might read more cranky than I intend. NASA has a viable role in space. But a space elevator is still a bit too far out there for them. Think of it this way - NASAs role is properly exploring outer space. A space elevator is just a means to get stuff to space where the real business of exploration and settlement can begin.

If you ask me, the two are directly related. NASA needs to get into space to properly explore it. Ground based observation is not what NASA does, it's what university astronomers do. (OK, NASA does that too but most of their mission is dedicated to launching things and people into space). The shuttle was nice but it is inherently dangerous and overly expensive. IMNHO, the space elevator is a v…
Carl O. Witz coined a phrase in the comments of The Belmont Club. "The Saudi Entity". I love it. Brilliant!
Scalia dismisses 'living Constitution'. A brutal smackdown. Read on and be thankful he's on the bench.
Mosquito! The good kind. Seriously, we need one of these in our development. We've had a significant amount of vandalism that is costing thousands. A few of these babies would be much cheaper. It would be interesting to put one of these in a bar near the colleges. It would help curb the underage crowd at the door.
Every time I get an idea for a post, someone comes along and does it better than I can. To wit: Dave Barry, has a post about 24. Fans of the show will appreciate the references.

I'm on the fence this year. The show has become so formulaic that it's glaringly obvious. Some of the retreads:

1. Terrorist attack on Los Angeles (I know, they do this to keep costs down etc.)
2. Jack must operate outside the rules
3. There is a mole at CTU
4. Family members of CTU Staff are endanger and/or directly involved with Impending Doom

Some of the vocabulary is completely out of control. I've created the 24 Drinking Game. The rules:

Drink once if:

Jack shouts in a gravelly voice
Anyone uses the word "protocol"
Anyone has a "visual"
Anyone opens up a "socket"
The President does his best Nixon impersonation
The President looks weasely
Jack breaks the rules
Jack tortures someone
A CTU staffer's family member is in danger
Jack is forced to work with/among the bad …
Don't look here. And don't listen either. Really, it's too creepy. That French rendition of "Help!" was like chewing tin foil.
It's called Apophis. It's 390m wide. And it could hit Earth in 31 years time. So let's all panic. Well, no. On the scale of 1-10 where 10 is certain doom, this one is a 4. and

The threat of a collision in 2029 was eventually ruled out at the end of last year.

So we have an alarmist headline that is undermined by the substance of the article and that item is buried in the 6th paragraph. I suppose that's inevitable. Hard to get readers for an article titled "Large Asteroid Poses No Threat To Earth And Is 31 Years Away."
Coudal Partners has a really exhaustive list of links to some very odd but intriguing web pages.
If you have too much time on your hands, look at this. I like Zippos. They're solid, easy to fix and last forever. I've never been a fan of the disposables. They're cheap, die quickly and look awful. I don't have much use for a lighter. My cigar "habit", if you can call it that, is a quarterly event at best. I used to enjoy them much more frequently but now I dont' have the time. Nor do I have the company. As much as I enjoy a cigar, there's something about smoking one with a friend that I really enjoy. A drink and a nice stogie make for great conversations. It's almost a binary thing. Either I need total solitude or one good friend to join me. More than one and it becomes something else. The attitude changes. It's no longer about a contemplative smoke. Guys tend to get rowdy and crude, almost characatures of the cigar chomping barons of the Industrial Age or patrons of a 1960's era poker game...

Sorry, I guess I've pe…
"Trembling Before God" is a movie about gay Muslims. Move over Brokeback Mountain, this is the real deal. No way this will be screened in any Muslim nation. It will be interesting to see if European theaters decide to show it. Look for riots and looting and burning. Variety has the goods.
Abdul Halim Khaddam gives an interview in which he details the reason he created a government in exile. He intends to take over after Syria's imminent collapse. I am suspicious of the man for several reasons.

He has a vested interest in taking over and holding power.
It is likely that he is as undemocratic as Assad.
He is no stranger to totalitarianism.
He knows where Assad is going wrong and would likely be able to skirt those mines in the minefield.
It is very unlikely he does not have skeletons in the closet.
Talks of imminent collapse have been bandied since his father died. Moreso in the last year since Hariri's assassination.
We've been burned by governments in exile before (see, Afghanistan, Iraq).

Interesting reading nonetheless.
Wretchard is fishbarrelling again. In a post titled Manos arriba! he pounds on the "Diplomacy to the end" doctrine that Europe is forced to follow. He rightly reminds them that negotiation only works when you have other alternatives. If you have none, you have already lost. Read the whole thing.
One more from Sully: The Cost of Prejudice points to the problem we have with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". I'm beginning to waver on my support of the ban on gays serving openly. We should be governed by rules, not lifestyles. Enforce the fraternization rules and most of this wouldn't be a problem. Firing desparately needed translators and technicians during wartime is lunacy.
Call this, missing the forest for the trees. Andrew Sullivan has been crowing that the success of Brokeback Mountain speaks to a total victory (or something akin to that) for gay rights. It shows, according to Sullivan, that Mr. and Mrs. Average American, harbor no animus to gay people and therefore, gays should now be allowed to marry, serve openly in the armed forces and so on. Personally, the success of the film has much more to do with buzz than anything else. The movie is controversial and talked about in nearly every corner of the media. You cannot escape the film. Oddly, I don't remember seeing a single commercial for it. THAT is what is drawing people. They want to see it for themselves. I have neither an interest nor a problem with the film. I don't typically like straight love stories so I have no interest in gay ones either. I like Ang Lee as a director and it's probably a good film. It's at least refreshing that these guys are not swishing, swan…
In John They Trust. A fascinating (and for some reason, unnerving) article on people who worship a dead American GI. I had heard of these kinds of things as a kid and thought it was fiction. Absurd fiction at that. Seems I was wrong. Read the article and try to wrap your head around this one.
Fark, as usual, is merciless
I was watching The Americanization of Emily (1964) last night. I've never seen the film but in the beginning of the film, Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison (James Garner) gives us the following quote:

"You American haters bore me to tears, Ms. Barham. I've dealt with Europeans all my life. I know all about us parvenus from the States who come over here and race around your old Cathedral towns with our cameras and Coca-cola bottles... Brawl in your pubs, paw at your women, and act like we own the world. We over-tip, we talk too loud, we think we can buy anything with a Hershey bar. I've had Germans and Italians tell me how politically ingenuous we are, and perhaps so. But we haven't managed a Hitler or a Mussolini yet. I've had Frenchmen call me a savage because I only took half an hour for lunch. Hell, Ms. Barham, the only reason the French take two hours for lunch is because the service in their restaurants is lousy. The most tedious lot are you British. We crass…
You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and donĂ¢??t enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.

Serenity (Firefly)81%Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)69%Moya (Farscape)69%Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)69%Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)69%SG-1 (Stargate)69%Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)63%Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)56%Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)56%Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)50%Enterprise D (Star Trek)50%FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)25%
Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with
Japanese Practical Joke. This is a good one. I don't know if Japanese or non-Japanese will get a bigger kick out of it.
The Worldwide Aeros Corporation says it is going to build a The flying luxury hotel. I'll believe it when I see it. One thing that all but poked me in the eye was the crowing that they're going to use hydrogen or some such to power it. Not. Going. To. Happen. For the last time, hydrogen is a net energy loser as a fuel. It is simply not cost efficient. For me, that puts the whole project in the highly suspect category. Numerous corporations in the last 15 years have made claims about lighter-than-air ships and how they are going to transmogrify the future. One company in Germany spend tens of millions to build a hangar to build the ships that would carry the cargo of the future and then promply went bankrupt. The site was later reborn as an indoor beach resort in remote eastern (formerly East) Germany.

I love the idea of aerostats and blimps as both luxury and cargo carriers. They could be large enough to carry significant quantities of either people or cargo. Imagin…
Dailymotion has a video of two very brave guys who counter protested the Muslims in France. The police were so fearful for their safety they threw them in the back of a police van. In my opinion, these guys were very lucky and if the gendarmes had not shown up in time, they would have been beaten or perhaps, worse. These guys have brass ones.
3D Painted Rooms . H/T BoingBoing. Very cool. The technique is amazing.