Archive for July 2004

Teletubbies Get a New Member

I’ve always enjoyed the Teletubbies. They’re kind of like marijuana without the paranoia of forgetting how to breathe. That said, it appears that they have a new member (yes, it’s the Allahpundit pic).

Come on, sing it with me:

Tinky-winky. Dip-sy. La-la. Po and John. Teletubbies. Teletubbies! Say, hel-LO!”

Why Rudy Rocks

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was asked whether he had seen Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11”.

I don’t need Michael Moore telling me what happened on September 11.

Amish in the City – The Reality

The Chicago Tribune reports (reg required) that the Amish kids come off much better than the city kids. I tried watching the show, but it just brought out the parent in me. I kept thinking how embarrassed I would be if one of one of the brats on that show was one of mine. Ariel, the resident loopie girl, is stupid – I don’t know what else to say- and if my son came home with her I would have her spayed to keep her from reproducing.

That said, I was quite confident that the “plain people” would come out on top. All the criticism levied against the show now seems rather patronizing. The Amish don’t need protection from being exploited – we do. It was an uncomfortable 10 mins of TV that showed the worst of LA - and American culture. Not that it matters, because I doubt the show will make it through till the end.

New Enlistment Oaths

The Pentagon has released the latest enlistment oaths.
Has the military gone PC?
You decide…

The Left’s Belief in Magic

I caught Michael Moore on The O’Reilly Factor last night (transcript here). It wasn’t a good performance for either of these men, but much of the interview centered on Iraq (big duh, I know). The gist of the segment:

Michael Moore: Bush lied because WMD weren’t found, and therefore soldiers are dying for no reason since the War was justified by WMD. We should only have gone into Iraq if you are willing to sacrifice your own son in the effort.

Bill O’Reilly: Saddam had connections to terrorists and needed to be toppled.

What Bill forgot to mention was the presence of Abu Nidal and Zarqawi in Iraq. Terrorist training grounds in N. Iraq. Saddam’s “blood money” to the families of homicide bombers. The invasion of Iran and Kuwait. The gassing of the Kurds and Iran.

He also failed to call Moore on the carpet for this mythical belief in the power of Special Forces or “shock troops”. Moore and Nader both have this pathological belief that war isn’t necessary because special forces can do the job.

Have we raised a generation of people to believe that James Bond and the Delta Force are real? Now I know for a fact that the Special Forces have their place in warfare and counterinsurgency, but they have limits.

Take the genocide happening in Sudan. As I write this today, the Sudanese government is threatening the world community to not intervene. So I would love to ask Michael Moore and Ralph Nader this question:

Imagine you are president. What do you do?

Diplomacy hasn’t worked. Why? Because the French, Chinese and Pakistanis are blocking any significant sanctions against the regime. Even if they were put into force today, it took decades for sanctions to work in South Africa. By the time they did work, the bones of the people of Darfur would have been bleaching in the sun for years.

Send in special forces? To do what? Assassinate the president of Sudan? Take him hostage? We are talking about government backed militias – tens of thousands of armed troops raping and killing thousands of innocents. How is the Delta Team going to stop them?

I know: Magic.

Magic that only Michael Moore, Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich know. It can only be magic, because the only solution that I can think come up with is to put a military force between the killers and the victims in Darfur – and the killers won’t be too happy if that happens.

“What, you aren’t going to let me hack the 12 year old girl to death after I’ve raped her? Sorry, but I’m afraid I’ll have to shoot you.”

If someone wants something from you, and is willing to kill you for it – then you either have to give it to him or die. In the Sudan either we let the genocide go on – or we send in troops to stop it. What concerns me is that Rwanda happened after the “fatigue” of Somalia, and it is possible that the genocide in Darfur may be successful because of our “fatigue” in Iraq.

Maybe we could send in Michael Moore, Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich. Maybe the Sudanese would be willing to listen to Kucinich (since no one here does).

Nader on O’Reilly Factor

I caught Ralph Nader on the O’Reilly Factor. It wasn’t a bad show, and Nader had many good points – especially about the corporate sponsorship of the “coronation” of Kerry. However, since I wrote about feasibility yesterday, something that he said reminded me of the topic.
O’Reilly asked what Nader would do differently in the terror fight. Nader said that we were taking the wrong approach but O’Reilly wouldn’t buy it. “Are you telling me that you think Osama would be afraid of you?” Bill said.
Nader then made the error of going into specifics. He said that we should use the right of imminent preemption to go into a country with special forces and grab the terrorists. Bill let him off the hook, mercifully, at that point – but in my mind the damage was done.
I’ve checked the Net for a transcript of Nader’s exact phrase, but I can’t find one. The essence of his statement was that instead of invading Afghanistan, we should have left the Taliban in power and gone after Osama with special forces.
Was this a feasible option in Oct 2001? No – for numerous reasons. Special Forces don’t have the same leeway or enjoy the same freedom of movement as a SWAT team.
First off they have to get to the country – not an easy task in landlocked Afghanistan surrounded by regimes that were not all that friendly to the USA. Next, any type of SF operation of that scale would have necessitated a tremendous back up force of run-of-the-mill forces. If we didn’t provide those, the SF mission would have little chance of succeeding. However if we did add those, the result would have been a war with the Taliban – just without the numbers we would have needed to insure their defeat.
In the end, we did the only thing that was feasible: we sent in a large force, took out the government, replaced it with a friendly one, and maintain a large support force that supports the Special Forces as they go about their task of hunting down Bin Laden and Friends.
Nader is not a tactician. Worse, he’s not even a strategist. By his logic, I could beat his ass at Risk or Axis & Allies and it wouldn’t even be any fun. I can’t imagine him as actually leading this country. Or wait, yes I can….

Feasibility

I am a big fan of Steven Den Beste, and he doesn’t disappoint with this post discussing the differences between feasibility and desirability. One of the many reasons I like Den Beste’s writing is this point that lays at the heart of his essay:

“We engineers have an aphorism: The fact that something is desirable doesn’t mean it is feasible.”

The older I get, the more I realize that the art of becoming smarter or wiser is learning to tell the difference between dreams and reality, or as Den Beste plainly puts it, between desirability and feasibility. There’s even a glimpse of this in the Serenity Prayer that many of us have chanted at tough times:
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

The essence of that prayer is recognizing the dichotomy between desirability and feasibility. At the times when I’ve been able to do this, I have achieved a level of understanding and peace that is as powerful as it is ethereal and fleeting.
Den Beste uses the dichotomy to discuss why infilitrating Al-Qaeda is a desirable goal, but one that isn’t feasible. He also compares it to such empty slogans as “winning without war”. I would add that you could use this recognition of the differences between desirability and feasibility for just about anything.
Get out of debt fast without declaring bankruptcy? How many of us would love to do that. Too bad it’s not feasible. Lose weight without exercise or changing your diet? Riiiight… Achieve fusion at room temperature? End our dependence on foreign oil? Fix the health care system?
All of these are desirable goals – but none are feasible.
On the personal level, how many of us get frustrated with ideas or dreams that aren’t feasible? Instead of focusing on the dreams, why not change them to match what is feasible? For example, I have dreamed about seeing a book I authored in print. I even wrote a work of fiction, edited it and re-edited it, but when all was said and done – it sucked. Writing a work of fiction wasn’t feasible for me.
But non-fiction? Well I recently tried that as well – and while I didn’t get anything published, I learned that it was feasible. I could write decent, salable non-fiction – just not with the idea I had.
Feasibility also lays at the heart of this website, since Occam’s razor was all about the quest for Truth, and what is Truth but a desire made real?
Oooooh, too philosophical this early on a Monday. Brain hurting… Must… find… humor…

Family Guy

I’m a big Family Guy fan. I’m not sure why, but the show has grown like my disgust of Michael Moore over the past few years. That said, Cartoon Network aired what has to be one of the funniest episodes of the series last night titled, “Lethal Weapon“.

In the episode, Quahog is overrun by New Yorkers visiting to see the Fall foliage. At the same time, Lois takes a Tae-Jitsu class where she discovers the ability to kick major ass. Peter uses his wife’s new found ability to drive off the visiting New Yorkers. The show ends in a huge family brawl. Cartoon Network junkies will recognize the ending fight scene being used to advertise the show during the normal CN schedule.

Quotes:
Peter: Look at all the garbage the New Yorkers are dumping on our lawn. The New York Times, New Yorker Magazine, the New York Mets.

(Grabbing Peter’s crotch) Lois: This is mine… this is where my babies come from.

Family Guy: Fight scene

For more stills of this episde, visit this site.

Sandy Berger: The Story Keeps Getting Weirder

... and weirder. It now appears the (free registration required for link)staff at the archives were so suspicious of Berger that they coded the documents they gave him.

All humor aside and speaking as someone who liked Berger (he was one of the few hawks in the Clinton administration), there are several aspects of the story that are worth considering.

First, Berger hasn’t said why he was examining the documents. Why did he need to access them?
Second, the New York Times seems to be trying to bury the story while other media outlets are running with it. You’d think that basic non-partisan curiousity – especially during a lull in the news cycle – would merit front page, above the fold coverage.
Third, Berger’s behavior is just plain odd. Anyone who has ever worked in a store recognizes this type of behavior as that of newbie shoplifters – people who want to steal, know it’s wrong, but are afraid they will get caught.
Fourth, John Kerry wasn’t aware that Berger was under investigation? Kerry isn’t some New Hampshire governor out of the beltway loop. He’s been in the Senate for 20 years. I have had numerous background checks for jobs, he didn’t run any on Berger? This doesn’t bode well for a Kerry presidency – which may explain the second point.

Comparing Bush & Hitler

Here’s an excellent comparison between the two.

And here’s the Nazi Party platform of 1920. Thanks to Dean for the link. Money quote: “COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD.”

40% of Canadian Teens Think US is Evil

Story here.

Who gives a flying f*** what the disaffected, hormonally-crazed youth of a country that isn’t even a real country thinks?

Note to Canada:
The average American thinks about you maybe once a year – less if you aren’t in the Stanley Cup.

Sandy Berger Jokes

Fox News blurb: “FBI Grills Berger
Thank you, thank you…
I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your server.

Sandy Berger Probed Over Terror Memos

I can just hear the jokes now:
Hillary Clinton meets Sandy Berger and says, “So Sandy… Are those highly classified terrorism documents in your pants or are you just happy to see me?”

The French Crush Dissent

The French are mighty annoyed about Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s statement that urges Jews to leave France.

Quoting the Fox News link “The president of France’s National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, said Sharon “missed a good opportunity to keep quiet.”... “These comments do not bring calm, peace and serenity that we all need,” said Patrick Gaubert, president of the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, known by the acronym LICRA. “I think Mr. Sharon would have done better tonight to have kept quiet.””

What is it about the French and their obsession with telling others to “shut up”. Today it’s Sharon, a year ago it was the Eastern Europe: Chirac to Eastern Europe, “”It is not really responsible behavior. It is not well brought-up behavior. They missed a good opportunity to keep quiet.””

???

Something must be lost in translation. Is this the Cheese-Eating-Surrender-Monkey equivalent to Dick Cheney’s comment to Senator Patrick Leahy that he could “F*** off” or “go f*** himself” “shut up”? If so, it sounds rather pathetic – like a kid being teased on the playground telling his tormentors to “shut up!”. However in this case, the bullies are the French and the tormented are the Jews in France, who have suffered as many attacks this year as they had the whole of last year.

If the French want to tell anyone to shut-up, it should be their Arab allies who continue to produce the most incendiary anti-Jewish and anti-American propaganda imaginable. Or better yet, maybe Chirac should take a page out of a Dick Cheney speech and tell the Arab Jew-haters to “go F*** themselves”.

Jewish Self Hatred

Search For Bobby Fischer Over
I hadn’t realized we were looking for him.

While reading the story, a larger concept came to mind:
What is it about Jews and self hatred?

In radio interviews, Fischer praised the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, saying America should be “wiped out,” and described Jews as “thieving, lying bastards.” His mother was Jewish.

Fischer… Noam Chomsky…
So I began digging.
This article finds the roots of self-hatred in assimilation and more recently in transnationalism. It kind of fits with Marxism, I would add, since many of the leading Marxists were of Jewish descent.
Here is a discussion that ties Jewish self-hatred with American self-hatred as exemplified by Michael Moore.
Here is another excellent resource that examines the issue of Jewish self hatred, The Peace Encyclopedia. Hmmm.. . That’s getting linked to…

7/19 Note: Here is what Garry Kasparov has to say about Fischer.