Friday, November 26, 2010

PAC-10 Champions!!!

I won't post the traditional Rose Bowl symbol, since a win against our in-state rivals Oregon State, sends us to the National Championship!

The next time you feel like whining about working out........

Think of Dan [Rene-]Gade:

On Jan. 10, 2005, Capt. Gade was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq and was severely wounded. A week later, doctors were forced to amputate his right leg at the hip.

While it changed the course of his life, Gade refuses to be defined by his limb loss.
Instead, he chooses to label himself in other ways. As a father, son, brother, husband and a soldier.
And in the last year, he's acquired another title: Triathlete.

Today, Gade will compete in the Nautica New York City Triathlon, his seventh triathlon this year and the ParaTriathlon National Championship.

"It shows that his personality is just thriving," said his wife, Wendy. "While he's lost his leg, he didn't lose the heart of who he is - being a competitor and finding challenges for himself."

Congratulations to the Empire

We've now been in Afghanistan as long as the Soviet Union was. How's that working out for us.......

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mental midget can't stop riding her one trick pony.....

You have to understand that we’re in a war. We are at war now. It’s not coming. It’s not around the corner. We’re at war now. The GZM is the second wave of the 9/11 attack.…We are under attack. Obviously, the violent jihad, the academic jihad, the sociological jihad, the cultural jihad, the academic jihad, we have been infiltrated at the senior level of the DOD. …This is not a conventional war. Each one of you must fight this war…you’re each activated….We have not yet recovered the bodies from 9/11 and we’re under attack with ground zero mega mosque. And make no mistake, Cordoba, iconic of Islam’s conquering of the West, it’s quite deliberate….Its a triumphal mosque. Because one shmuck in New York says “it’s a mosque of healing” doesn’t make it so. It’s ridiculous, its insulting.

Pamela Geller

Meat Porn.

Taliban and Al Qaeda, kissing cousins or marriage of convenience?

Regarding the relationship between Al Qaeda and the Taliban factions, John Mueller write in Foreign Affairs last year:
President Barack Obama insists that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan is about "making sure that al Qaeda cannot attack the U.S. homeland and U.S. interests and our allies" or "project violence against" American citizens. The reasoning is that if the Taliban win in Afghanistan, al Qaeda will once again be able to set up shop there to carry out its dirty work. As the president puts it, Afghanistan would "again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can." This argument is constantly repeated but rarely examined; given the costs and risks associated with the Obama administration’s plans for the region, it is time such statements be given the scrutiny they deserve.

Multiple sources, including Lawrence Wright's book The Looming Tower, make clear that the Taliban was a reluctant host to al Qaeda in the 1990s and felt betrayed when the terrorist group repeatedly violated agreements to refrain from issuing inflammatory statements and fomenting violence abroad. Then the al Qaeda-sponsored 9/11 attacks -- which the Taliban had nothing to do with -- led to the toppling of the Taliban’s regime. Given the Taliban’s limited interest in issues outside the "AfPak" region, if they came to power again now, they would be highly unlikely to host provocative terrorist groups whose actions could lead to another outside intervention. And even if al Qaeda were able to relocate to Afghanistan after a Taliban victory there, it would still have to operate under the same siege situation it presently enjoys in what Obama calls its "safe haven" in Pakistan.

The very notion that al Qaeda needs a secure geographic base to carry out its terrorist operations, moreover, is questionable. After all, the operational base for 9/11 was in Hamburg, Germany. Conspiracies involving small numbers of people require communication, money, and planning -- but not a major protected base camp.
Eric Martin [another Foreign Affairs alum] of American Footprints writes of another knowledgeable author:
In addition to Lawrence Wright, Steve Coll makes the same argument in The Bin Ladens: namely, that the Taliban and al-Qaeda were not natural allies, willing to support each primarily out of a religious or ideological affinity. On the contrary, Osama bin Laden had to lavish enormous amounts of money on Taliban leaders in order to stay in their good graces. In addition to other tributes, Osama employed his construction know-how to build palaces, homes and other facilities for Taliban leaders. Without those sweeteners, it is unlikely that the Taliban would have long tolerated what was, essentially, a band of problematic interlopers with an agenda that was irrelevant to the inwardly directed Afghans.

Now that the Taliban has been made aware of the sizable costs that they could and would incur should they decide to reprise their previous landlord/tenant relationship with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, it is less likely that they would be so inclined. And now that the US and other nations have are taking the task of disrupting al-Qaeda's financing networks seriously (with time, money and other resources dedicated to the cause), it would be harder for Osama and others to generate the funds needed to buy their way in.

And, again, even if al-Qaeda succeeded in finding a foothold in Afghanistan despite these obstacles, such bases aren't the sine qua non of successful terrorist attacks. Not by a long shot.
Additionally, another good read is Are Theological Tensions Distancing Taliban From Al-Qaeda?
To this day, that relationship endures. But will it last? Rifts and tensions between the Taliban and Arab Al-Qaeda, as well as vastly different Islamic traditions, suggest that a basis for separation exists. Whether it occurs could determine whether peace negotiations between the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Taliban foes ever get off the ground.

Afghan Muslim traditions, including the Taliban, are culturally and historically distinct from Al-Qaeda's Saudi-rooted Salafist Islam, says Francesco Zannini, an expert on modern Islam. In that sense, the two Sunni movements have always been awkward bedfellows.
A similar read with different sources, Hawks still link Taliban to al-Qaeda:
But John McCreary, formerly a senior analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency, wrote last week on NightWatch, an online news analysis service, that the history of Taliban-al-Qaeda relations suggests a very different conclusion. After being ousted from power in 2001, he wrote, the Taliban "openly derided the Arabs of al-Qaeda and blamed them for the Taliban's misfortunes".
The Taliban leaders "vowed never to allow the foreigners - especially the haughty, insensitive Arabs - back into Afghanistan", wrote McCreary. "In December 2001, [Taliban leader Mullah] Omar was ridiculed in public by his own commanders for inviting the 'Arabs' and other foreigners, which led to their flight to Pakistan."

McCreary concluded, "The premise that Afghanistan would become an al-Qaeda safe haven under any future government is alarmist and bespeaks a lack of understanding of the Pashtuns on this issue and a superficial knowledge of recent Afghan history."
There's even discussion in jihadi circles about the tense relationship, Jihadis Debate Growing Rift Between al-Qaeda and the Taliban

And finally, Blood Brothers or a Marriage of Convenience? The Ideological Relationship between al-Qaida and the Taliban

So once again...we're in Afghanistan why? Don't be duped...question the official response!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Approaching a Decade....the "war on terror" keeps rolling along.....

Has the "GWOT" been at all effective in defeating Al Qaeda? By what measurement?

We have allowed Al Qaeda to morph from an entity who was comfortably ensconced in a semi-autonomous failed state, more or less coalesced in a general area.....into an entity that has proliferated and bounded outside our scope of observation and span of influence. When Al Qaeda planned the 9/11 attacks, they knew that we would retaliate in some form or fashion by kinetic means. We knew that the cadre was located, by and large, in Afghanistan. And they knew that we knew.

So Al Qaeda, knowing that we could not resist the temptation to bring our military to bear in a tantrum of massive and overwhelming force, made their comfortable accommodations known to us. The serious minded of us know that terrorist cells need only a collection of safe-houses and primitive communications systems in which to plan and operate. Terrorists know that we can interdict satellite phone transmissions at will. So my premise has been, and remains, that Al Qaeda knowingly lured us into a massive military undertaking in Afghanistan. That's really the only way to grind down a superpower. No amount of tactical attacks against the soft underbelly of American culture will succeed, it will only further erode the concept of liberty for it's we are seeing daily; which in turn is a peripheral victory in the campaign.

By the time of the Tora Bora campaign, a relative few Al Qaeda cadre remained behind to propagate the myth that they could be militarily surrounded and defeated. Those few have now vanished and established cells and support structures in countless nations in the region, leaving us to spend a generation in futile combat against the hapless and unwitting Taliban. We are left struggling to compose public relations friendly faux-victories in the form of killing the revolving and apparently least enviable job in AQ - the #3 man.

Meanwhile our over-reliance on long distance technology gives us daily updates by breathless newsbabes, reporting that XX 'suspected militants' were vaporized by another drone attack. More often than not, the suspected militants were real civilians...thus justifying Al Qaeda's propaganda messages.

So the measurements for any sort of success can be summed up in about three metrics:

1: Are we more or less safe now than before 9/11? The answer if you listen to government is apparently less safe. Unless we purchase the next greatest technology from a corporation that will turn our tax dollars into more profit, we cannot hope to be kept safe from the terrifying menace. Unless we give up just a bit more individual sovereignty...our library checkout lists.....every meter reader an informant....our e-mails and phone conversations subject to surveillance...we apparently cannot hope to be kept safe from the cave dwelling offspring of goat herders.

2: Our military, after the aforementioned tantrum of muscle flexing, now stands mired in two occupied nations, unable to maintain a rapid reflexive and responsive posture to combat any future threat or any actionable intelligence. We remain engaged in a generational conflict against a host of entities who not only had not attacked us, nor maintained the means to do so...are unable to proliferate a threat outside of the borders they inhabit. Ironically, the patriotism has been and remains in question of those who bring these fact to light.

3: Is Al Qaeda diminished since 9/11? While people like to state that we've had no additional attacks on the homeland or that Al Qaeda is not capable of large scale attacks after our 'relentless pursuit' of them. But we know from captured documents and laptops since around 2003, that Al Qaeda is not interested in successive large scale attacks. The cost-benefit analysis isn't in their favor. What works, as we have witnessed, are peripheral attacks against allies and targets outside the US span of direct influence. The information war is far more profitable to Al Qaeda's goals than the kinetic war.

What significant alterations can we make in our strategic plan to combat terrorism?

We must remove the benefits of and the moral arguments for supporting terrorist groups. It goes deeper than the religious aspect. Religion has been merely a vehicle for the cause. The root causes of terrorist success are far more connected to poverty, education and despotic regimes who enable both. Balancing meaningful alliances with nations in the middle east that can combat those root problems with a tempering of alliances and military aid to major protagonists [Israel] will be more profitable than military invasions of minor annoyances and proxies.

Law enforcement interdiction and intelligence sharing agreements with those nations, and a retooling of our special operations forces to meet the threat are another logical step.

What is the metric for success? Or are we consigned to a forever war...ala...."we've always been at war with Eastasia Al Qaeda"?

Al Qaeda is a trans-national terrorist organization, a product of the market comparisons to previous models, or especially state based regimes such as the Khmer Rouge are inapt. We don't yet know what the metric for victory can look like. We know what defeat looks like, we're seeing the precursors to that this very day. One simple fact of the matter is that perpetual war is profitable. Not for you and I, but for consolidation of state power and the careers of administrative and military officials and advocacy organizations. The post government careers of those who make a living hyping the tangible threat of terrorism to obscene proportions is immeasurable. The John Bolton's, Frank Gaffney's and Liz Cheney's among us wouldn't be a blip on the national radar were it not for the hyped threat.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vote for Taryn

Read. Vote. Here.

Just another way to keep the Scotsman down!

The Scottish Tartans Authority has decreed that refusing to put on underwear beneath a kilt is "childish and unhygienic". 
It also warned that "going commando" flies in the face of decency. 
Tartans Authority director Brian Wilton said kilt wearers should have the "common sense" to realise they should wear underwear beneath their country's national dress. 

But Scotland's kilt wearers condemned the advice. Former Formula One racing driver David Coulthard, 39, of Twynholm, Kirkcudbrightshire, said: "Kilts are from the past and so is the tradition of not wearing any underwear. I'm proud to be a true Scotsman. It's a tradition that should be left alone. 
"I've been wearing kilts since I was a little boy and will continue to wear my kilts in the time-honoured fashion. There is nothing childish or unhygienic about it." 

Inverness-based kilt maker Ian Chisholm, a spokesman for the Scottish Kilt Makers' Association, said: "The tradition of no underwear being worn was a stipulation of Scottish military regulation.
"To say it is unhygienic is wrong. The freedom of movement is healthy. We always tell customers to wear nothing under the kilt if everything is in good working order." 
The Telegraph

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The only way to slow down the Duck Offense

This idiot was actually elected.....

I guess we get the government we deserve.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Decorum prevents me from calling this guy what he is.

The Medal of Honor will be awarded this afternoon to Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta for his heroism in Afghanistan, and deservedly so. He took a bullet in his protective vest as he pulled one soldier to safety, and then rescued the sergeant who was walking point and had been taken captive by two Taliban, whom Sgt. Giunta shot to free his comrade-in-arms.
This is just the eighth Medal of Honor awarded during our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Sgt. Giunta is the only one who lived long enough to receive his medal in person.
But I have noticed a disturbing trend in the awarding of these medals, which few others seem to have recognized.
We have feminized the Medal of Honor.
According to Bill McGurn of the Wall Street Journal, every Medal of Honor awarded during these two conflicts has been awarded for saving life. Not one has been awarded for inflicting casualties on the enemy. Not one.
When we think of heroism in battle, we used the think of our boys storming the beaches of Normandy under withering fire, climbing the cliffs of Pointe do Hoc while enemy soldiers fired straight down on them, and tossing grenades into pill boxes to take out gun emplacements.
That kind of heroism has apparently become passe when it comes to awarding the Medal of Honor. We now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them.
So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things so our families can sleep safely at night?
I would suggest our culture has become so feminized that we have become squeamish at the thought of the valor that is expressed in killing enemy soldiers through acts of bravery. We know instinctively that we should honor courage, but shy away from honoring courage if it results in the taking of life rather than in just the saving of life. So we find it safe to honor those who throw themselves on a grenade to save their buddies.

Suggest all you want about heroism you pathetic shit stain. What do you know of killing enemy soldiers? What do you know of heroism?

Another fallen soldier...but not who or how you'd think

“Target,” a dog praised as a hero for saving U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan from a suicide bomber, died Monday after an Animal Care & Control employee accidentally euthanized the wrong dog.
On Friday, Pinal County Animal Care and Control picked up a stray dog in the San Tan Valley area and brought it back to the shelter for the weekend. Monday morning, the dog the employee grabbed was not scheduled to be euthanized.

"I am heartsick over this,” said Animal Care and Control Director Ruth Stalter. “I had to personally deliver the news to the dog's owner and he and his family are understandably distraught. We work hard to get strays reunited with their owners. When it comes to euthanizing an animal, there are some clear-cut procedures to follow. Based on my preliminary investigation, our employee did not follow those procedures."

Target recently appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show . According to the show’s website, Target was one of three dogs that woke up soldiers in Afghanistan when an alleged suicide bomber tried to bring explosives into the barracks. The dogs reportedly bit the intruder as well, according to the site.
“An investigation in underway and we will cooperate fully,” Stalter said. “We will also thoroughly review procedures to ensure that something like this does not happen again.”

The Pinal County employee has been placed on administrative leave. 

YouTube video about Target

h/t coffeypot

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Honor Back

Posted by MCQ at Blackfive:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just remembering

that the greatest people in your life are never around as long as you'd like.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Great job tea're already selling out!

Faux Libertarian Rand Paul in February:
Rand Paul appreciates Republican Senator Jim DeMint introducing today a one-year ban on earmark spending and a balanced-budget amendment. Rand strongly supports both initiatives and has made them centerpieces of his campaign for limited government, including his signing of the Citizens Against Government Waste “No pork pledge.”
“The Tea Party movement is an effort to get government under control,” Rand said. “I’m running to represent Kentuckians and to dismantle the culture of professional politicians in Washington. Leadership isn’t photo-ops with oversized fake cardboard checks. That kind of thinking is bankrupting our nation. Senator DeMint understands that and has taken action to stop it.”
 Now after the election:
In a bigger shift from his campaign pledge to end earmarks, he tells me that they are a bad “symbol” of easy spending but that he will fight for Kentucky’s share of earmarks and federal pork, as long as it’s doled out transparently at the committee level and not parachuted in in the dead of night. “I will advocate for Kentucky’s interests,” he says.
National Review

Monday, November 8, 2010

Religions of the world.....

and shit.

  • Taoism: Shit Happens
  • Hinduism: This Shit Happened Before
  • Islam: If Shit Happens, Take A Hostage
  • Buddhism: When Shit Happens Is It Really Shit?
  • Seventh Day Adventist: Shit Happens On Saturday
  • Protestantism: Shit Won't Happen If I Work Harder
  • Catholicism: If Shit Happens, I Deserve It
  • Jehovah's Witness: Knock, Knock, "Shit Happens"
  • Judaism: Why Does Shit Always Happen To Me?
  • Hare Krishna: Shit Happens Rama Rama Ding Dong
  • Atheism: No Shit
  • T.V. Evangelism: Send More Shit
  • Rastafarianism: Let's Smoke This Shit

From Skepticaleye

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hah! Better watch what you ask for.....

It looks like voters in Oklahoma just ratified the law of unintended consequences.
Lawmakers in the Sooner State put a constitutional amendment banning the application of Islamic law by Oklahoma courts on the ballot for Tuesday's election.

But the amendment, which also banned the use of international law in judicial decision-making, might force Oklahoma judges to ignore all laws that were conceived on foreign soil, including the 10 Commandments.

"I would like to see Oklahoma politicians explain if this means that the courts can no longer consider the Ten Commandments. Isn't that a precept of another culture and another nation?" said a University of Oklahoma law professor. "The result of this is that judges aren't going to know when and how they can look at sources of American law that were international law in origin. Many of us who understand the law are scratching our heads this morning, laughing so we don't cry."

The measure was overwhelmingly approved, despite months of resistance from legal experts who argued that it blatantly violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and, oh yeah, sharia law has never once been applied by an Oklahoma judge.

The amendment's principal author argued that the state needed to make a "pre-emptive strike" against the dangers of Islamic theocracy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Guns and Coffee

Remember six months ago when the anti-gun Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Washington CeaseFire were aghast that Seattle coffee giant Starbucks would not become their political surrogate and ban armed customers from their shops?

   This column wrote about it here and here. The campaign against Starbucks had kicked off down in California (where else?) and the gun prohibition lobby tried to spread it nationally, but quickly lost traction when Starbucks did the responsible thing and merely announced that it was in compliance with, and would do business under all state and local laws. Almost immediately, the Open Carry crowd declared it would spend more time and money with their local Starbucks franchises like they did in October at a Spanaway coffee shop following a confrontation between a legally-armed citizen and an allegedly over-zealous Pierce County sheriff's deputy. We discussed that case here.

   Now comes the news that Starbucks is reporting big earnings during the third quarter. The coffee giant reported yesterday that earnings had risen to $278.9 million, or 37 cents per share. That’s up significantly over last year’s third quarter earnings report of $150 million and 20 cents a share.

Peggy Noonan on Sarah Palin

Conservatives talked a lot about Ronald Reagan this year, but they have to take him more to heart, because his example here is a guide. All this seemed lost last week on Sarah Palin, who called him, on Fox, "an actor." She was defending her form of political celebrity—reality show, "Dancing With the Stars," etc. This is how she did it: "Wasn't Ronald Reagan an actor? Wasn't he in 'Bedtime for Bonzo,' Bozo, something? Ronald Reagan was an actor."

Excuse me, but this was ignorant even for Mrs. Palin. Reagan people quietly flipped their lids, but I'll voice their consternation to make a larger point. Ronald Reagan was an artist who willed himself into leadership as president of a major American labor union (Screen Actors Guild, seven terms, 1947-59.) He led that union successfully through major upheavals (the Hollywood communist wars, labor-management struggles); discovered and honed his ability to speak persuasively by talking to workers on the line at General Electric for eight years; was elected to and completed two full terms as governor of California; challenged and almost unseated an incumbent president of his own party; and went on to popularize modern conservative political philosophy without the help of a conservative infrastructure. Then he was elected president.
The point is not "He was a great man and you are a nincompoop," though that is true. The point is that Reagan's career is a guide, not only for the tea party but for all in politics. He brought his fully mature, fully seasoned self into politics with him. He wasn't in search of a life when he ran for office, and he wasn't in search of fame; he'd already lived a life, he was already well known, he'd accomplished things in the world.
Here is an old tradition badly in need of return: You have to earn your way into politics. You should go have a life, build a string of accomplishments, then enter public service. And you need actual talent: You have to be able to bring people in and along. You can't just bully them, you can't just assert and taunt, you have to be able to persuade.

Americans don't want, as their representatives, people who seem empty or crazy. They'll vote no on that.
It's not just the message, it's the messenger.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Your allegedly liberal media at work again.....

From Disaffected and it Feels So Good:

Whenever the Republicans need to attack they employ one of their Wicked Witches, in this case Michele Bachmann, to do the dirty work. Republicans feel using a woman to slander and lie provides them cover and they have a stable of Phyllis Schlafly clones more than willing to engage in slash-and-burn rhetoric. The latest lie Bachmann has been sent forth to push into the political debate is President Obama's diplomatic trip to India is going to cost 200 million USC per day. 200 Million. And when confronted with her complete fabrication Bachmann doesn't bat one of those mesmerizing eyes of hers, "Well these are the numbers that have been coming out in the press," she drones. Additionally, besides the deranged lying Michele Bachmann, R. Limbaugh, Fox News, and conservative bloggers are claiming 34 Naval vessels (the equivalent of 3 Carrier Groups) are tasked, 870 rooms are being rented, and 3000 people are going at a total cost of over 2 Billion USC.

Republicans push a complete lie into the Media and when the Media starts discussing it, Republicans point out the Media is discussing the lie so it must actually be true. Yeah, that is your Liberal Media at work. And, don't claim developmentally disabled Michele Bachmann is insane because whenever someone dares to point out the imbecilic insanity which comes beaming forth hypnotically from Michele Bachmann's giant tarsir like eyes the Very Serious People in the Liberal Media get upset (with criticism of Republicans).

While the lies are utterly ridiculous and have been easily disproved, the DoD has said no Carriers will be in the area, the Hotel President Obama and his staff are staying at has around 560 rooms, the Secret Service states it's a wild exaggeration, it doesn't matter. Such is the utter lack of shame of Republicans and the sad state of the battered conservative voter.
 More from USA Today

"Remember, remember, the fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot."

President, Congress, t'was their intent, To violate rights; our money they spent.

Thousands of laws, each a new crime; Liberty, it seems, had run out of time.

Elections were held to pacify some,A new batch of scoundrels to Washington come.

Wake up, wake up, your life is your own! Wake up, wake up, YOU sit on the throne!

And how shall we live? In true liberty!

 Just sayin'......

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I think the election turned out as anyone could have predicted.

The best angle [no pun intended] to come out of last night is Gridlock!

As Libertarian who places freedom and liberty over party identification and rhetoric, I'm fairly disappointed after every election. But in the case of legislative dominance by the GOP and the Democrats: the Congress that governs least is the Congress that governs best.

With any luck, each party will be so hell bent on continuing to malign each other that they won't steal away any more of my money or my liberty.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm always fond of H.L. Mencken around election time

"There's really no point in voting. If it made any difference, it would probably be illegal."


"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule – and both commonly succeed, and are right."

Something to think about this Election Day

If you disagree in equal part with the Republicans and the Democrats; if you don't want to be shoehorned into voting for one of the two institutions with a clothespin on your nose.....remember, there are more than two parties.

There is a wider range of views and methodologies than the media wants to acknowledge.

You're only throwing your vote away if you vote for a candidate who will work harder to to push party ideology than good governance.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Charlie Chaplin on Humanity

I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've even heard his voice. But what a powerful oration....

h/t Militant Libertarian