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July 31, 2006

Globalization in the truest form of the word

What is the truest definition of Globalization?

Answer: Princess Diana's death.
Question: Why?

Answer: An English princess

with an Egyptian boyfriend

crashes in a French tunnel,

driving a German car

with a Dutch engine,

driven by a Belgian who was drunk

on Scottish whisky,

followed closely by Italian Paparazzi,

on Japanese motorcycles;

treated by an American doctor,

using Brazilian medicines.

This is posted on a American blog,

using Bill Gates's technology,

and you're probably reading this on your computer,

that is filled with Taiwanese chips,

and a Korean monitor,

assembled by Bangladeshi workers

in a Singapore plant,

transported by Indian lorry-drivers,

hijacked by Indonesians,

unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen,

and trucked to you by Mexican illegals.....

That, my friends, is Globalization.

Smoking ban established in AR

Friday, July 28, a smoking ban went into effect in my home state of Arkansas. In fact, the Monday morning Log Cabin Democrat paper (all 8 pages of it, not including classifieds) remarked that the moratorium, a word I associate, for some reason, with mortuaries and cemeteries, said the ban "went into effect without a hitch." Most people wouldn’t associate that sentiment with anything negative but it is a positive statement considering all the negative stereotypes associated with my Southern home state.

Seeing states fall one-by-one to the smoking ban should come as no surprise. Many states have adopted this non-smoking workplace policy: Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah and Washington. Many states also have county laws with further restrictions. There are debates that the nanny effect of banning smoking in public places, although they allegedly protect the health of the patrons, might actually be hurting the businesses by alienating smokers.

As a non-but-used-to-be smoker I can see both sides of the argument with objectivity but ultimately the decision to ban smoking in public places is a good one. The legality of the bans all over the United States are usually based on second hand smoke assessments that have been under fire since their publishing. We’ve all seen the commercials showing a woman diagnosed with lung cancer although she is a non smoker- her workplace environment consisted of second hand smoke. If you were to Google 'second hand smoke' you would then have to wade through a mud hole of information from both sides.

Whether or not second hand smoke causes lung cancer is irrelevant to me. There is hard scientific proof that smoke contains allergens and will also affect asthmatics. Plus, it just smells bad. I don’t appreciate smelling it when I am stuffing my face with an expensive dinner.

There is one part of this smoking ban that Arkansas has adopted that seems a little too Orwellian is the ban of smoking paraphernalia in all workplaces. When I pulled into Australia a few years ago I bought my Dad an ashtray shaped like the country. The ashtray was adorned on all sides by Australian icons and was placed on a shelf, with its own holder, in my Dad’s office. He would now risk a fine if someone complained about it. The ashtray now sits on a shelf in his computer room at home.

I suspect that more and more states will come under the anti smoking bans because there is just no logical reason to prevent it. Americans have always favored a free lifestyle, even to the point of accepting a lifestyle that kills you as long as it does not put other people in jeopardy. It seems the government isn’t trying to ban smoking, just limit the areas where smokers can light up.

It is an evolutionary process. I remember when I first stepped onboard a submarine. I stood watch in a smoke filled sonar shack with walls (or ‘bulkheads’ for my military readers) that were yellow instead of sea foam green. The only exception I had was that, as a non-smoker, I was forced to clean those walls. With the next change of command the smoking areas were now off limits and smoking limited to a small area in the engineroom as far aft as you could get. The U.S. Navy was going to be smokeless by 2000 but we missed that deadline. I have heard of submarines that, by order of the current Captain, have become smokeless.

Although the crews of those boats complain to no end it isn’t unheard of. I remember a cross deck underway with an Australian submarine where one of our Chiefs was selected to go. When he came back he was a wreck- the Aussie boat was a no smoking boat. Although the no smoking policy was offset by the 2 beer per day allowance, an Aussie boat non-smoking? That is almost a contradiction in terms.

I am just waiting for the day when cigarettes are self contained and smokeless like the one Bruce Willis smoked in The Fifth Element. Then may be we will put this public smoking issue to rest.

Maybe.

July 26, 2006

Hometown memories

I am in my hometown in central Arkansas visiting family and it seems that no matter how long I am away there are some things that never change- the Southern hospitality, deer in the backyard, and hot, muggy summers. I was looking forward to a nice 2 weeks of resting my brain and not having to worry about politics, blogging, or work- in that order.

But, something caught my eye on the Log Cabin Democrat, the local newspaper which I read despite the name, and saw 3 opinions just below the fold (Tuesday, July 25, 2006). It seems that clueless locals in Hawaii have not cornered the market on 'stupid'.

These front page opinions were varied but easily leaned to the left. They were printed inside a box that showed 3 Israeli soldiers atop a Stryker praying over the loss of their comrades.

Here are the opinions of 3 random people the paper decided to put on the front page.

Larry Thompson said:
My understanding, from what I've gathered from the news, is that Hezbollah started it. That's what the world says. Even Russia blames them. Two members of my family did tours in Iraq, and I think that we should let Israel sort it out for themselves.
Not too bad. Larry has at least read a little about what is going on, has done some research, and is a little biased based on his relatives who have served in Iraq. I wholeheartedly agree with his last statement. I like the mention of Russia; if those assholes think it is Hezbollah's fault then it really must be.

Charles Pruetzel has this to say and the liberals will have erections after the quote is finished:
For me, it's like we're going back to the 70's. I hate to see this sort of suffering and violence again. I kind of miss President Clinton; it seems like there wasn't as much violence when he was in the White House. At least there isn't a draft yet. The draft changed my life and the lives of people during Vietnam. I hate to think that our children will have to worry about it.
Wow. There is so much here to digest. Yes, Charles, let's go back to the 70's when Iran held American hostages for 444 days and we did jack shit. Let's remember back when the barracks in Beirut were bombed in 1983 and 200+ American soldiers were killed and we did jack shit about it. Fast forward to Clinton's term when the Trade Center was attacked in 1993 (6 Americans died and 1000 were injured), he had Osama's head on a platter, and he did jack shit about it.

Not as much violence in the White House? You are absolutely right. That's because Clinton was selling sleep overs in the White House to further his campaign. Not really much to care about in the world when you are getting knobbers from interns and dodging sexual harassment charges your whole presidency.

And, in typical liberal form, there is the Vietnam reference with a double whammy of the draft. The only thing missing in this guy's picture was his tinfoil hat.

And last, but not least, is Bob Kennedy who has this compelling and intelligent commentary:
I'm just basically against war. I haven't really been following the news.
That's right Bob, war hasn't really done anything except end slavery, Communism, Nazism, and Fascism. I would imagine lefty Bob would also entertain the idea that if the United States got rid of all our weapons then we wouldn't have any more war. Way to go, jackhole. Stop watching Sports Center and put on some current events.

Interestingly enough, the pro-Israel quotes were on page 8, well inside the paper, but they showed at least 4 people have a grasp of what is going on in the Middle East. I wish I could just shake my head and say, "Stupid Arkansas hillbillies", but this stupidity is spreading everywhere. I guess living on an island tends to pack in the stupid to such a high level that I forget about the rest of the United States.

July 21, 2006

Maggie

Today I had the distinct honor of expanding my patriarchy when my lovely wife had our second child this morning.

Maggie came into this world at 8:14 a.m. and something struck me about that time as the nurse called it out while I watched the rest of my first little girl (actually, the first girl on my side of the family) slide into the doctor's hands. A baseball analogy crept in to my mind and I actually thought, "SAFE!"

At first I thought 8:14 was the time Pearl Harbor was attacked but then I remembered it happened before colors (raising of the American flag on all US Naval ships, subs, and bases at precisely 0800). I Googled that moment in time and came up with the time the shuttle landed last week and the time Flight 175 took off that fateful morning on September 11, 2001.

OK, so much for having something really cool to relate to my daughter's birth hour.

I won't go into the details about the delivery because people just don't want to hear that, unless of course it is your mother, mother-in-law or little old ladies at church.

Our 3-year old son was in the room while the whole thing was going on but was preoccupied with Cartoon Network to really grasp the significance of the process of bringing his baby sister into the world. He finally came over to the bed where the nurses had strategically maneuvered to block the NC-17 show going on at the foot of the bed. He helped the head nurse count to 10 as the contractions came and even held his mother's hand to comfort her.

I did cut the umbilical cord that separated my daughter from the comfort and self sustaining environment she has grown accustomed to and in one quick snip was brought into a world in which most areas have a dubious future.

"I study war and politics so my children can study economics, so their children can one day study literature and art." - President John Adams


As the cord separated, the air of wonder and emotion was broken by my son who had snuck between some nurses, saw his sister covered in goop and uttered the only thing a 3 year old could say upon witnessing that age bracketed horror show-

Eeeeew, gross!


That Hallmark moment was followed by my son introducing himself to his sister.

This will be my last time witnessing the miracle of birth and the associated miracles of witnessing all major excretory functions of the human body kick in. I just hope my children will have the same sense of awe and elevated reverence for their spouses as I do each time mine brings a new child into the world.

I have quoted form memory to each of my kids, as they lie on their mother's belly, these verses from Psalms 127:3-5. Including mine, hers, and ours there are 6 children total. Truly my quiver is full.

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of oneÂ’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full.

July 18, 2006

Shitter Walls

You could always assess the command climate by the amount and the content of writing on the enlisted shitter walls. I recorded a few gems of insight and compiled th em into a list in no particular order.

- Hey ass, kiss my XO!

- WESTPAC = DEATHTRIP

- How do you say, "He's the Captain" in Chinese?

- ALP-513 broken {check mark}
Sanitary Pump broken {check mark}
Liberty in San Diego
SONAR broken {check mark}
Evaporator broken {check mark}

- Random boogers smeared on the shit paper stored on the walls of the shitter stalls

- Shit smeared on the rolls of shit paper (saw this once and the COB initiated a witch hunt including threats of DNA testing)

The Middle East conflict is hard to solve but easy to explain

By Dennis Prager

The Middle East conflict is difficult to solve, but it is among the simplest conflicts in history to understand.


The Arab and other Muslim enemies of Israel (for the easily confused, this does not mean every Arab or every Muslim) want Israel destroyed. That is why there is a Middle East conflict. Everything else is commentary.


Those who deny this and ascribe the conflict to other reasons, such as "Israeli occupation," "Jewish settlements," a "cycle of violence," "the Zionist lobby" and the like, do so despite the fact that Israel's enemies regularly announce the reason for the conflict. The Iranian regime, Hizbollah, Hamas and the Palestinians — in their public opinion polls, in their anti-Semitic school curricula and media, in their election of Hamas, in their support for terror against Israeli civilians in pre-1967 borders — as well as their Muslim supporters around the world, all want the Jewish state annihilated.


In 1947-48, the Arab states tried to destroy the tiny Jewish state formed by the United Nations partition plan. In 1967, Egypt, Syria and Jordan tried to destroy Israel in what became known as the Six-Day War. All of this took place before Israel occupied one millimeter of Palestinian land and before there was a single Jewish settler in the West Bank.

Two months after the Six-Day War of June 5-10, 1967, the Arab countries convened in Khartoum, Sudan, and announced on Sept. 1, 1967, their famous "Three NOs" to Israel: "No peace, No recognition, No negotiations."


Six years later, in 1973, Egypt invaded the Israeli-held Sinai Peninsula, a war that ended in a boost in Egyptian morale from its initially successful surprise attack. Though nearly all of the Sinai remained in Israel's hands, the boost in Egyptian self-confidence enabled Egypt's visionary president, Anwar Sadat, four years later (November 1977), to do the unimaginable for an Arab leader: He visited Israel and addressed its parliament in Jerusalem. As a result, in 1978, Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in return for which Israel gave all of the oil-rich Sinai Peninsula back to Egypt.

Three years later, in 1981, Sadat was assassinated by Egyptian Muslims, a killing welcomed by most Arabs, including the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). Why welcomed? Because Sadat had done the unforgivable — recognized Israel and made peace with it.


The lesson that Palestinians should have learned from the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement was that if you make peace with Israel, you will not only get peace in return, you will also get all or nearly all of your land back. That is how much Israelis ache for peace.


Think about Israel for one moment: Israel is one of the most advanced countries on earth in terms of culture (most books published, translated from other languages and read per capita; most orchestras per capita, etc.); major advances in medicine; technological breakthroughs; and decency as a society, as exemplified by its treatment of its women, gays and even its large Arab minority (particularly remarkable in light of the widespread Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism and desire to annihilate Israel). This is hardly a picture of some bloodthirsty, land-grabbing society. And Jews, whatever their flaws, have never been known to be a violent people. If anything, the stereotypical Jew has been depicted as particularly docile.


As a lifelong liberal critic of Israeli policies, the New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman wrote just two weeks ago: "The Palestinians could have a state on the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem tomorrow, if they and the Arab League clearly recognized Israel, normalized relations and renounced violence. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't know Israel today."


Give Israel peace, and Israel will give you land.


Which is exactly what Israel agreed to do in the last year of the Clinton administration. It offered PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat about 97 percent of the West Bank and three percent of Israel's land in exchange for peace. Instead, Israel got its men, women and children routinely blown up and maimed by Palestinian terrorists after the Palestinians rejected the Israeli offer at Camp David. Even President Clinton, desirous of being the honest broker and yearning to be history's Middle East peacemaker, blamed the ensuing violence entirely on the Palestinians.


Israel's Camp David offer of a Palestinian state for Palestinian peace was rejected because most Palestinians and their Arab and Muslim supporters don't want a second state. They want Israel destroyed. They admit it. Only those who wish Israel's demise and the willfully naive do not.


If you don't believe this, ask almost anyone living in the Middle East why there is a Middle East War, preferably in Arabic. If you ask in English, they will assume you are either an academic, a Western news reporter, a diplomat or a "peace activist." And then, they will assume you are gullible and will tell you that it's because of "Israeli occupation" or "the Zionist lobby."


But they know it isn't. And it never was.

RIMPAC participants get target practice

No, it's not a story about some active sonar allegedly killing marine life but an actual live ordinance firing event. I read about this on the message boards at work but I didn't know if I was going to be able to disclose the information. When I saw the article in the local paper I knew it would be ok.

About a week ago the USS Belleau Wood and USS Mauna Kea were sunk off the coast of the Hawaiian islands by allied forces participating in this year's Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC). Ships and P-3 aircraft got in on the fun by pummeling both ships with missiles and bombs. Suprisingly, the Belleau Wood put up a good fight, a testament to her resilience under fire. Of course, she is 833 feet long and displaces 39,300 tons so I would assume she was going to take a while to sink.
"They are going to keep shooting at them until we run out of whatever ordnance we brought," said Capt. Jill Votaw, a Rimpac spokeswoman.
The spokeswoman also said there was a submarine in the area in case the skimmer and airdale pussies couldn't get the job done. A friend of mine who got underway for the exercise said they were pumped up and hoping they would get to fire at it. Sadly, it appears they did not get their chance.

I recall a naval SinkEx in January of 1992 when I was stationed on the USS Los Angeles. The USS Tautog and the L.A. were part of the SinkEx that turned the USS Darter into a reef off the coast of Hawaii. I remember that it was going to either be us or the Tautog that would be firing the Navy's new MK48 ADCAP but I guess the Tautog's C.O. tossed the Commodore's salad first. I heard the explosion on sonar and it was the coolest thing I had heard in my 4 year 'career' as a sonarman.

I think that this is the most fitting way for a naval vessel to end its service. I would rather see it fade under the sea than for it to be cut up into razor blades.

July 15, 2006

How Hollywood sabotages your love life

I have never been a big fan of chick flicks or soap operas. They show an unrealistic and unhealthy (to those who take them seriously) relationship benchmark for people to attain.

I found this article by author J. Courtney Sullivan and I have posted snipets that say so eloquently what I have been pointing out to my wife for years.

Ladies, if you won't act like porn stars for us, don't expect us to act like sappy soap opera actors for you.

-------------------------------------------------------------
Only in Hollywood
J. Courtney Sullivan

A lot of lip service has been paid to the idea that violence in films causes men to be violent in real life. Why isn’t anyone calling for warning labels for movies that cause otherwise reasonable women to act like emotional psychopaths? Hollywood’s take on love leaves us dissatisfied with the relationships we have, and hungry for the sort of romance that simply never occurs in nature.

Still, it’s helpful to at least try to separate fact from fiction. In that spirit, I’ve identified some of the most common romantic-movie traps.

The Sleepless in Seattle Trap
Like Bill Pullman in the movie, your current boyfriend or fiancé may have committed some unforgivable crimes, such as having lots of allergies but no nickname. Then you hear a voice on the radio, or see a face across a crowded room. Suddenly, you know this stranger is the love of your life. OK, you already have a partner who’s perfectly stable and lovely, but I’m afraid you will have to end that relationship. After all, in the 30 seconds you’ve spent with the new man, you’ve learned everything there is to know about him. And. It. Is. Good. You use Google, gossip, mutual acquaintances, and expensive private investigators to track him down and ask him out to dinner.

See also: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, A Walk in the Clouds.

The Real Ending: Over dinner, you realize he has bad breath, a wife, and absolutely nothing whatsoever in common with you.

The As Good As It Gets Trap
You’ve found a guy who has that certain something -- as well as a bad attitude, a fear of commitment, or just a nonspecific nasty streak. Other than that, though, what a catch. Minor personality flaws won’t stand in the way of your fate. You decide that your love can change him, because that’s what true love does.

See also: Jerry Maguire, Reality Bites.

The Real Ending: You go to great lengths to show him that you’re worth loving before ultimately deciding that he’s never going to change -- and that he’s the last thing you’d want to complete you, anyway.

The An Affair to Remember Trap

You meet the perfect man and make elaborate, romantic plans for the future right away. He takes your number (no need for you to take his) and promises to call the next day. When the phone doesn’t ring, you don’t worry -- he’s your soul mate after all, there’s just been some misunderstanding. Two days later, you start to grow concerned that something has happened to him. Is he under a bus somewhere? Has he been taken hostage? You go from concerned to all-out panicked. Despite the gentle protestations of your friends that perhaps he’s just not that into you, you remain convinced that he was hit by a cab and rendered a cripple, and is too proud to leave his apartment.

See also: The Notebook.

The Real Ending: Three months later you see him dancing in a club with some chick in a tube top.

The When Harry Met Sally Trap
You’ve never been attracted to your male best friend, but recently things in the romance department have been less than enthralling. So you start to wonder -- maybe, just maybe, The One has been staring you in the face all along. Who cares if he still lives in his mom’s basement? This is destiny, damn it.

The Real Ending: Prepare for an awkward, tequila-induced make-out session that definitely requires an “I don’t know what I was thinking” email the next day.

The Titanic Trap
You just made partner and need to focus on work, but you can’t get this new guy off your mind. His name is Bo, he never went to college, and he works at the burrito place where you sometimes grab lunch between clients. Your friends ask what exactly you hope to gain from this relationship, but luckily you’re not a snob like them, and you know that a person’s job isn’t what defines him.

See also: Sabrina, Pretty Woman, Sweet Home Alabama.

The Real Ending: At a company dinner, your boss asks Bo what he does and he replies, “I work the grill, but I’m hoping to be put on the register soon.” Face it: If Leo had made it to dry land, that relationship would never have survived.

The Stepmom Trap
None of your romantic fantasies ended with Prince Charming leaving you for his secretary. Nor did they include falling for an otherwise great man with two sizable and unavoidable flaws (i.e., his children). Don’t panic. Contrary to what you might think, this divorce stuff is a piece of cake. Your step kids hate you? All it’s going to take to turn that around are some good old fashioned sex tips from you (to make the brats more popular, duh) and the untimely death of their mother. Your ex couldn’t seem to tie his own shoelaces when you were together? Rest assured that once you’ve signed the divorce papers, he will clean up his act and become the kind of guy you meant to marry.

See also: The Philadelphia Story, High Society, The Parent Trap, Mrs. Doubtfire.

The Real Ending: You continue to hate the bastard for years to come, despite the fact that your shrink says rage won’t help you heal. And whatever side of the joint custody battle you might fall on -- be it mom or stepmom -- the kids aren’t going to make the situation any easier. If you’re a stepmom, get ready for the cry of “You can’t tell me what to do! You’re not my mother!” to take up permanent residence in your psyche. If you’re the real mom, the line will be “When we’re at Dad’s house, Bambi never makes us do our homework/eat our vegetables/stop playing with knives.”

The Pretty in Pink Trap
Your next-door neighbor just happens to be a Calvin Klein underwear model. Lucky you. You’ve brought him countless jars of jam that need loosening, and even gotten locked out of your place in your cutest dress. Yet he hasn’t asked you out. In the words of Journey, “Don’t stop believin’.”

See also: Notting Hill, Love Actually.

The Real Ending: There’s a fine line between healthy optimism and insanity. There’s also a reason the quarterback in high school always dated the head cheerleader -- their kind is biologically predetermined to go forth and make other popular kids for everyone else to envy. It might be smarter to set your sights on the guy in 2B with the sweet smile and the receding hairline.

Blue Skies and Blue Angels

I have to brag a little about my younger sister. I received an email from her yesterday with some pictures and I instantly became green with envy. SHe got to go up for a 45 minute flight in the backseat of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels F-18 jet.

Dana is the co-host of a Pensacola morning radio show on 98.7 FM Cat Country, so I assume this was her connection with this once in a lifetime event. I have been in the Navy for almost 19 years now and have never been able to even sit in one let alone go for a joy ride.

Here is the ride in her own words:
I experienced 7.5 g's and broke the sound barrier in an FA-18 Hornet. According to the screen we were at 700 knots at one time. We did about 5 air show and tactical maneuvers including the Diamond Roll and the Corkscrew maneuver where the jet flies straight up doing rolls creating a corkscrew with the smoke. It was unbelievable!

I made it through the whole 45 minute flight without having to utilize the barf bag and only blacked out one time while experiencing the max 7.5 g's.
The girl who went up from Fox news blacked out at least 4 times...so I win! :)

I've attached some photos of me preparing for the flight and I also have a video from the cockpit.

July 12, 2006

A Million Little Tin Foil Hats

I was flipping through the radio stations today on my portable music player and came across some talk radio, specifically, Michael Medved's show. A caller named Lynn was going to explain why the attacks on September 11 were an inside job, ie. an attack orchestrated by Americans to kill Americans.

Unfortunately, I had to wait through a 50 minute commercial break before the segment started back up. But I was killing that elliptical so I didn't mind.

Medved asked some very pointed questions, all of which were dodged for an opportunity for Lynn to try and plug a few websites and her agenda. For example, when asked who, specifically, was involved with the attacks, if not Arab extremists, she gave a laundry list of organizations such as the Bush administration and other military people. When pressed to give just one name she tried to plug the website.

Michael Medved had a friend who was on Flight 93 and wanted to know what happened to him then if nobody was actually on the plane? Lynn said they were taken to Dover, DE. She also claimed that none of the 19 hijackers were on the passenger list and the first thing that popped to my mind was, "If I was going to hijack a plane and fly it into some buildings I would have the common sense to not use my real name to buy those tickets."

So Bush was in on it the whole time. Although Lynn could not give an estimate of how many people it would have taken to cover this up- at first she said "maybe 20", so all 19 hijackers plus one other dude?- Bush planted the alleged explosives that took the buildings down (not the fires that reached in excess of 1800 degrees) and he schnookered hundreds of air traffic controllers and military people? That's quite a trick. Bush also must planted people on the flights that knew they were going to their deaths and one popular theory is that all the passengers from the other 3 flights were put on a single flight, yep you guessed it- Flight 93.

Fiction can be fun.

It is ironic that I heard this caller because 2 days ago I came across this article written by Popular Mechanics titled Debunking the 9/11 Myths. This article is far more compelling than any blurry photograph of the underside of an airplane I find on the conspiracy theorists websites.

July 10, 2006

Palestine found cheap and readiliy available body armor

Gilad Shalit, a 19 year old Israeli soldier , was kidnapped some time ago by a group of Palestinians who have refused to give him up despite the attacks from Israel.

There was some speculation that Gilad was alive but I have my doubts. I believe he is already dead and this is why the Palestinians refuse to cooperate with Israel. Well, that and Hamas is comprised of insane sadists bent on killing their own people, including children, to push Israel into the sea.

I came across this post on Cox & Forum and the subsequent cartoon and write-up boiled my blood.


The sad thing about this cartoon is that it speaks volumes of the Palestinian’s willingness to destroy their own future. Their blind hatred of Israel is so strong that they use brainwashed children and teenagers to provide cover for the militants who continue to shoot indiscriminately at Israeli military and civilians.

Little Green Footballs has a really disturbing entry that shows some kids standing behind the AK-47 and RPG toting jihadists pointing out targets. This despicable disregard for human life is going unpunished by world leaders and underreported by mainstream media. If American soldiers were doing the same thing the U.N. would be running around like psychotic horse inside a burning barn. Yet they are abhorrently silent when Israel is continually attacked by Palestine. The U.N. doesn’t recognize these attacks on Israel as being terror related.

Real Clear Politics lends some insight as to the seemingly despondent attitude responsible nations have toward this jihadist movement against Israel.
Israel is always seen as a special exception that somehow deserves what it gets.
Other states can retaliate with impunity, brutally killing thousands of Muslim terrorists, while Israel is condemned when it takes out a few dozen.
If these human shields, a.k.a. 'strategically placed collateral damage', are killed in melee or aerial attacks then Israel should not be held responsible. Unfortunately, Israeli soldiers are dying while trying to avoid collateral damage. Carl’s blog, which is written from Jerusalem, talks about a father’s question.

Cabinet minister Yitzhak Herzog made this statement on Sunday:
"Anybody who calls this operation disproportionate has no clue about the facts on the ground. We have been attacked and bombarded for months and weeks. With all due respect to all those who criticize us, if anything of this nature would have happened in their homeland, they would have acted much worse."
I couldn't agree more.

The LA Times had a great article on the whole thing that, unfortunately, can only be accessed online with a registered membership. But here it is in the comments section on LGF. Here are some highlights.

To some Americans, Israel's unfolding military strike on the Gaza Strip in response to Shalit's kidnapping may seem like an overreaction, no less irrational than the behavior of the other side. After all, Americans may think, it's just one soldier. Four and sometimes eight times as many U.S. soldiers die in Iraq and Afghanistan each day, their deaths hardly noted.

But in Israel, the loss by death or abduction of a single soldier is an utterly devastating national event.

This is an aspect of Israel that is rarely talked about, a side not portrayed in Steven Spielberg's and Tony Kushner's cynical film, "Munich." Its source is a deeply Jewish perspective that holds that the loss of a single Jewish life is equal to that of an entire universe — the code of a people who, to this day, remember the anonymous graves of 6 million Jews, including 1 million children, killed in the Holocaust.
Robert Tracinski’s commentary The Suicide Bomb Morality contains a few gems concerning Palestinian violence.
The West's conflict with Islamic terrorism is more than a "clash of civilizations." It is, at root, a clash between two world views and two moral models, a clash much wider and more important than any political conflict.

For the great mass of Palestinians this worship of sacrifice is sincere. By rejecting every chance at peace and coexistence with Israel--breaking every truce and turning down every peace offer--they have lost everything and gained nothing. Taking the suicide bomber as their moral model, the Palestinians seek to emulate his fate: in their lust to destroy Israel, they are willing to accept the utter destruction and collapse of their own society.

Look at the horrific plight the Palestinians have chosen, and you can observe the real meaning of a culture of self-sacrifice. Look at America, by comparison, and you can see the life-affirming benevolence of a culture of rational self-interest.

Jehu, commenter on LGF, has a hard-line take on what possible outcomes for the Israel-Palestine conflict; Ringer, has some counterpoints that I think are important because they are cut from the same timber as leftist thinking and are italicized among the comments from Jehu below.

Problem: Palis and Israelis claim some of the same land.
Reality: Neither is going to leave.
Solution: Accept each other, live with each other.
Anti-Solution: One side refuses to acknowledge the right of the other side to exist, prints up their school books with hatred of the other side. Suicide bombs kids with kids.
Leftist-Solution: Make the reasonable side lay down and die, or go away, because they (you?) are cowards that are afraid of bullies...tis always been so.
My-Solution: Arm the Israelis (whom I at least like, and have some sympathy of their culture and accomplishments) to the teeth, tell them to do unto others as they have been done unto.
That solution being - kill, terrorize, maim, and destroy innocents because it's just too much of a pain in the ass to do otherwise? I always thought that Israel were the good guys and believed that doing such things was repugnant.
Most Likely Solution: A slow drip, drip of Israeli blood until the god of political correctness and its vampire acolytes (leftists) are satiated, or the Israelis run out of blood, and then enforce the Jehu Solution.
Ah, I get it: "political correctness" is the motivation of those of us who feel a little uncomfortable seeing a proud, powerful, human-rights-loving democracy engage in the same tactics that her enemies take up.

I admit that I, along with Ringer, do not have a solution that will be acceptable by everyone when it comes to solving or at least appeasing both sides of the Gaza strip. But at least Israel is willing to talk about it. Palestine continues to breed hate and indoctrinates their young to believe that blowing themselves up is a good thing. So, the Left would argue that we must all try to talk it out no matter how many people are murdered, well, Israeli people anyway, until one side gives up.

God help us all/

July 7, 2006

Anti anit-semetic site

I stumbled across this blog from The Moderate Voice and felt that it deserved mention here.

Meryl Yourish maintains a site that is pro Israel/Jew/Zionist. The subject of the post that got my attention is This is a Zionist Site: End of discussion and Meryl proceeds to lay it out:
I do not give a damn for the opinions of those who think that Israel is a racist state. I do not give a damn for the opinions of those who think that Israel has no “right” to exist. I do not give a damn for the opinions of those who think that the Jews of Israel are a bunch of European colonials who “stole” the land from the “indigenous” population.
She gives a lot of ammo to anti-Israel leftists to argue but the wonderful thing about her blog is that she will have none of it appear in her comment sections.

She disects commenters who tout the First Amendment, who Zionists really are and if concerned readers 'qualify' and, at great length, defend her position of why she does not allow negative Jew hating comments on her blog.

Meryl has a great perspective and clear insight and her blog is worth reading.

July 6, 2006

Hunger Strike?

It seems the second most famous Sheehan is at it again- forcing her horseface onto my television, this time, by going on a Gitmo-style hunger strike until August 1.

Witty author Doug TenNapel has a great write up that echos my feelings on the whole thing so I will let him do all the work and give him a trackback. I am all for his counter hunger strike. In fact, I will start right now with somoe of that left over posole.

July 5, 2006

Fourth of July Photos

We went to the Pearl Harbor Block Party yesterday and had a pretty good time. We got there early and when we left, just after 5 p.m., the crowds had just started to pour in. We stayed just long enough to get af glimpse of Dawg, the bounty hunter, and his family whom we watched quite frequently on A&E because he gets people in our neck of the woods off the streets.

The first thing we walked past was a mini car show. I really admire and appreciate the old classics and the restoration involved. What I don't appreciate are the tards who spend $14k on a Scion and then put $10k off acccessories in them and call that Car Show worthy. To me, that is the equivalent of putting attaching streamers to the handle bars and attaching old playing cards to the spokes with clothes pins to a POS bicycle.

Instead of trying to find a small piece of real estate to call our own and watch the fireworks on base we decided to head up to Tripler and watch form there. It turned out to be a great idea since we got to see the fireworks shows above Ala Moana, Pearl Harbor and Hickam.

Anyway, here are the shots.





















North Korea shows off it's shiny new missiles



North Korea's failed missile launches is all the news and the 3-5 missiles they have fueled and ready to go is making headlines world wide.

Five short range Nodong missiles, appropriately named because they are the most limp-dicked missiles I have ever seen, crashed into the Sea of Japan after being in flight less than a minute. Japan, understandably, is freakin pissed- barring a North Korean ferry from docking in Tokyo among other things- and is now pursuing more sanctions against the maniacal leader, Kim Jong Il.

Like Israel, I think we should let Japan reign fire down on its enemies. Sanctions aren't working and haven't in the past. The posterboy for "Panty Waste", Alan Colmes, was deriding the United States for not taking more interest in bilateral talks with N. Korea.

What? Every time N.K. throws a tantrum we have responded by giving them a cookie from the jar on top of the refridgerator. It hasn't worked and no amount of 'time outs' are going to get Kim Jong Il to wake up and smell the kim chee. We need to give N.K. the spanking it deserves and our Asian neighbors are more than willing to provide the switch.

Maniacal Tool

UN-American fight

What would I do if I a week went by without reading about the U.N. trying to impose some kind of restriction or rebuke on the United States? I laughed out loud (LOL for all you text and internet chat junkies) when I read this latest farce. It seems the U.N. is pushing for the U.S. to put stricter gun control laws in place.

Hey, U.N., how many times are we going to have to tell you to fuck off?

It isn’t surprising that a bunch of European sissies are screaming for us to get on the gun ban bandwagon. I wouldn’t want to come to the U .S. as a Frenchman when there are concealed weapon laws either.

Robert Joseph, the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, had this to say:

"The U.S. Constitution guarantees the rights of our citizens to keep and bear arms, and there will be no infringement of those rights. The United States will not agree to any provisions restricting civilian possession, use or legal trade of firearms inconsistent with our laws and practices."

Kofi Anan, Secretary General of the U.N., after receiving thousands of letters from pissed off gun owners made this statement:
"…not negotiating a global gun ban or denying law-abiding citizens their right to bear arms in accordance with their national laws."
You’re damn skippy, jackhole. I wouldn’t want people to have easy access to small arms if I were involved in a worldwide scandal either.

Even though he has a Frenchy sounding name I agree with what Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, said about the U.N.’s whinning:

"No. They want to be a global nanny. They want to give a global permission slip. They don't think in terms of individual rights, self-defense, privacy," said LaPierre. "They think in terms of global registry, data banks, surveillance systems, and ultimately giving all guns to the government and leaving honest people totally defenseless."
Here, here.

July 4, 2006

Rocket's Red Glare!



I watched with my breathe held, fingers crossed, and tears in my eyes as STS-121, also known as Shuttle Discovery, was launched just a few minutes ago. I remember all to well the disasters of previous years, the Challenger when I was in high school and Columbia 8 years ago.

How appropriate that Discovery was launched on the 4th of July, a day set aside to celebrate our country and those who have sacrificed so much so that we can enjoy the freedoms that so many of us take for granted.

Getting a man into space has always been the benchmark of our technology- "We can get a man in space but we can't figure out how to get these damn toilets from clogging?!"- and considering all the problems we are facing these days it is truly an accomplishment on an epic level.

I was glad that my son could see a real live space ship being launched. When I was his age space ships were just something I saw on Bugs Bunny and the last rocket to the moon had been launched just mere months before my birth. NASA has a camera onboard Discovery and invites everyone to watch the astronauts go about thier business.

The feelings of wonder and excitement still surge through me as I watch a shuttle launch. I still cling to that childhood daydream of one day shooting through the cosmos at 5 miles per second, watching the Earth become a tiny blue speck on a sparkled black background.

July 3, 2006

Bay Fest 2006

I took the fam to Kaneohe Marine Corps Base yesterday to experience one day of the big weekend long event going on. We got there soon after the gates opened (noon) and stayed for about 4 hours. I usually don't like going to stuff like that because the traffic, people (the base was opened to civilians to partake), and the way the locals work in the swap meet to every single event that happens on this island pisses me off. But, we hadn't done anything in a while so I decided to 'tough it out'.

The whole afternoon was a blast. The only time I got pissed was when I spent 3 dollars trying to pop 3 baloons in a row and only shot 66.66% on all three attempts. A dude came up as I was contemplating if I should play and popped 3 ballons like it was nothing. The other time was when I paid $4 for a freakin deep friend Twinkie, a child hood favorite of mine growing up in the redneck state of Arkansas. The feeling of consumer rip off subsided as the tasty goodness of that deep fried treasure melted in my mouth. Also, a big gust of wind blew half of my powdered sugar into the face of a passerby and I got a kick out of that. We also ended up winning something the next 3 carnival games we played so 75% take home isn't bad.

There were a lot more events that caught the tail end of or missed all together but it was a good day. We did see the pizza eating contest and watched a Marine wolf down a Papa John's medium cheese pizza in just over 4 minutes. He won free pizza for a year. As we were sitting there waiting for that to happen we saw the lead guitarist for Staind warm up on the stage next to us. I like their music but if I saw this guy on the street I wouldn't have known who he was.

Here are some of the pictures from the event with related captions.


Sitting in the cockpit of a Navy helo



Posing in front of the P-3 Orion

more photos...


A pimped out H2 has nothing on this bad boy.


These Marines were walking around doing schtick humor. They asked who had a birthday this month and I pointed out my unsuspecting wife. They all sang Happy Birthday to her in front of the whole place.



There is an obsure law on the books that says you must ride the bumper cars at any said carnival or carnival like event.



July 2, 2006

A revisit

Because I don't have a very large readership some good conversation gets lost because either I don't go back to the posts and keep the conversation going or my readers don't.

I posted a good piece that had some commentary about Bush just to get some stuff off my chest. Some really good conversation followed but I neglected to go back and respond to one of the comments, not only Little Cicero's invitation to reciprocal links but also of my friend Andy.

When talking of Bush and Gitmo, and the problems associated with that sovereign piece of U.S. on Cuban soil, Andy said this:
I don't know what the solution is. But I do know who started the problem.
And, as usual with Andy, I do agree with 50% of that comment.

I don't know what the hell we are going to do either. Our legal system is so delicate. I equate the problem in Gitmo with that of what our law enforcement people deal with every day. A piece of crap is captured, we know he is a piece of crap, we know he has done bad things and probably, given the chance, will continue to do bad things- but we just haven't seen him do bad things. Quite and conundrum but this is what separates us from the uncivilized world of the Arabs where a beheading or hand mutilation follows any suspicion of bad activity. We gotta let 'em go.

Here we are with hundreds of bad guys in detention in Guantanamo, captured on the filed of battle or turned over to us by our allies. I think the Gitmo guys face the same Capone-ish problem: we know they are bad, just can't prove it. I have no doubt that when these guys are released they will kill an American at the first available opportunity. Thus the delicate and sometimes unfair balance of justice. "Hey remember that guy they released from Gitmo last month? Ran a gas truck into school of handicapped children where some guy was giving a speech." But at least our justice system worked as intended.

the other 50% of Andy's comment I take exception with. It may be hyper-patriotic of me to say but after almost 19 years of military service I think I am entitled. Dear friend, it was not Bush who started this.

July 1, 2006

Blood givers in Dallas in trouble

A few weeks ago the Veterans Administration reported a laptop containing sensitive information of over 26 million people. The laptop was found and the FBI said that the information hadn't been accessed. That is a relief since my name is one of the 26 million.

Just when people are starting to relax about that potential nightmare, it has been reported that the Red Cross is missing some laptops, three to be exact, which were taken from a locked closet.
A laptop containing personal information from thousands of blood donors _ including Social Security numbers and medical information _ was stolen from a local office of the American Red Cross, but officials said the information was encrypted.
WTF, over. The story also said there was no sign of forced entry. As if having your name and social security number compromised isn't enough, it appears that "...donors' sexual and disease histories" are among the data stored in the laptop.

The enraging thing about the article is that two other laptops disappeared in MAY (and reported missing a week later) but it wasn't until these laptops, one with sensitive information on it, was stolen that the security around this Red Cross branch "tightened up." This branch of the Red Cross has as lackadaisical an attitude towards sensitive information as the New York Times. But it gets worse:
Local officials alerted police and national Red Cross offices, Lundy said. Donors were not notified about the missing information, and the Red Cross had no legal obligation to do so.
But it gets even better, like getting an infection on a nasty looking cut:
The Farmers Branch Red Cross also lost a laptop with encrypted donor information in June 2005, Lundy said, but she could provide no details on circumstances of that incident or any follow-up investigation.
At least the VA stepped up and immediately sent out a press release, notified everyone in writing if they were on the list and is providing free credit monitoring for a year. The Red Cross isn't even handing out extra cookies and orange juice to the thousands of people who are potentially affected by this theft.

I hope people don't think twice about giving blood now. The Red Cross has a hard enough time getting AB blood without people wondering if their last bout with the clap is going public.