The Idiom

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

...I Really Think So

Holy crap this is funny. A blog devoted to displaying examples of Japanese television.

As Kid Various has been watching the offerings, he cannot but help remember that, in the 1980's, we thought these people were going to take over the world.

What the hell were we thinking?

Hayek Is My Homeboy

Kid Various has been reading Virginia Postrel’s The Future and its Enemies, which should frankly be required reading in every American high school (along with Karl Popper’s The Open Society and its Enemies.) Americans need a better understanding of the basic division of political/societal thought, which the Kid has always defined as the division between The Romantic and The Enlightenment (or between Rosseau and Locke) but Postrel refers to as the contrast between stasis and dynamism.

It’s all part and parcel of the same argument.

But in this vein, Kid Various ran across this fun little short film, The Road to Serfdom in Five Minutes, that encapsulates Hayek’s famous work in…well, five minutes.

Particularly cute is the director’s choice of background music, the overture to the opera Tannhauser. The Kid loves Wagner. It’s part of that residual fascination with The Romantic that propelled him through his juvenile years and, thankfully, he grew out of.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Impromptu Poll

Michelle Rodriguez, best known as "Ana Lucia" on Lost, is going to do time. She opted to go to jail for 5 days on a drunk driving charge in Hawaii, rather than do community service.

Kid Various wonders, would you rather take the 5 days in jail or do 150 hours of community service?

Call him non-community oriented, but The Kid would easily take the 5 days in jail. In fact, jail is the perfect place to get a break from the annoying community. So you spend 5 days in lock up. Read a bit. Hang out. Probably won't get beat up or have to join a gang. It's not like you are going to state prison.

You want to be serving food to homeless people every weekend for a year? Who needs that hanging over their head?

Of course, the drunk driving charge in Hawaii seems to have brought up a former drunk driving charge (and worse, hit and run) by Rodriguez in LA for which she received probation. And now prosecutors are thinking of revoking probation and sending her to prison for 16 months. Maybe they can just send her to the Island. And whatever you do Jack, let her have the gun but don;t allow her behind the wheel!!!


Opinion Journal today has a piece that completely defines "whistling past the graveyard..."

The consensus on the Senate is actually a major problem for the consensus on the House. Historically speaking, the House switches only when the Senate switches. In other words, the improbability of a Democratic capture of the Senate is a sign that a capture of the House is improbable.

Jay Cost is arguing that historically, the House of Representatives switches control only when the Senate switches, and thus, since the Dems are not going to capture the Senate, the House probably won't switch.


Just because something hasn't happened before doesn't mean it won't . More importantly, Cost cites a historical pattern concerning 6 switches of the House in the 20th Century. But the last switch was 1994, where the GOP did indeed win control of both houses. But the next most recent House switch was over 40 years prior to that! Basically, before the era of modern politics. That's a very small sample to be making predictions on.

Kid Various doesn't think there is much relevance to this analysis. In fact, Kid Various is extremely disturbed by the apparent acceptance of the larger consensus, which is that the GOP is gradually losing control of the House (and Senate for that matter.)

The thing is not whether or not the Republicans will lose either House, but the trend. We hold a 15 seat majority in the House - extremely narrow. So after 2006, even if we hold the House we'll have what? 5 seats?


So we've managed to hold on for another 2 years until we're wiped out? The Kid has seen this in New Jersey, where we went from veto-proof majorities in each house to having just a few seats picked off every election. Every cycle just losing a little more. Because we were no longer hungry. No longer striving to come up with innovative ideas. We were in control for a decade, but the trend line was down.

Until time came that we weren't in control. And now picture a Dem boot on our face - forever...

Their trend line ain't going anywhere (even after a corrupt US Senator forced from office and a gay-sex/blackmail gubernatorial scandal - what do Dems have to do in this freakin' state to bump the trendline down? Pass a law promoting pedophilia?)

This is where the national GOP is going at this point. Grasping at lame theories at why we won't lose our privileged positions isn't going to help. New ideas and an end to business as usual will help.

One interesting thing that Cost brings up is the 1930 House election.

(A seventh switch occurred in the middle of the 72nd Congress. The 1930 elections left the GOP with a slim majority. However, 14 representatives-elect died before the 72nd Congress convened, and the Democrats won enough of the subsequent special elections to take the House. This capture was "ratified" in the 1932 elections, which would have delivered Congress to the Democrats even if this tragedy had not occurred. So, let us henceforth identify 1932 as the seventh time that the House has switched since 1918.)

That's freakin' ODD. How did 14 reps-elect die in a couple of months?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Evil Genius Lessons

Police in Riverton, Kansas have prevented a Columbine-style school massacre by some disaffected high school kids.

RIVERTON, Kan. -- Five teenage boys accused of plotting a shooting rampage at their high school on the anniversary of the Columbine massacre were arrested Thursday after a message that warned of an attack appeared on the Web site, authorities said.

Note to self: When hatching evil plan, try not discuss operative details on

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bring On The Gamilons!


Man, Kid Various so wants to play Leader Desslok.

George W. Bush - Getting The Job Done On Global Warming

The earth's mean global temperature has not risen for the past 8 years. Another Bush Administration accomplishment. via Dignified Rant

Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).

Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society's continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A Little Bit About Iran

Obviously, everyone heard that this earlier this week, Iran had announced to the world that they had succeeded in enriching uranium. That’s making Kid Various all kinds of happy. Oh yeah.

Basically, there’s no doubt that Iran is rushing full bore to create nuclear weapons. They don’t even attempt to hide it anymore. Now the argument is all about, as Kid Various has predicted, how *close* Iran is getting to a nuclear weapon. The back-tracking by the MSM has already begun. See this little ditty by the NYT on how Iran is really *decades* away from getting the bomb.

Just like North Korea. Just like Pakistan.

The hoo hah in the USA nowadays seems to be whether or not we are going to attack Iran to prevent them from becoming a nuclear weapon state. The Kid’s only response is “If only…”

The sad fact is that we do not currently have the capability to force regime change and build a democracy in Iran. Basically because we have a 10 division army for a 14 division global commitment. One of the great strategic errors of the Bush Administration has been the failure to grow the military in response to our heightened commitments during the Long War. (The Kid believes in Rumsfeldian military “transformation” but that’s fighting the next war, not the war we’re involved in now.)

At present, any attack on Iran will bring forth really bad consequences. Given the lack of excess capacity in global production, the price of oil will indeed skyrocket. Iran may even be able to shut down the Strait of Hormuz. Terrorism will be kicked into high gear with terrorist strikes in major European and possibly American cities. Worst, the Iranians will almost certainly twist the knife in our sides in Iraq. Make no mistake, they control large portions of the southern part of the country. All our fragile progress there will be at risk.

That said, as highlighted in these articles, we have no good options. Only really bad, and really friggin’ worse. An Iran armed with nuclear weapons is really friggin’ worse.


William Kristol explores whether we have the *guts* to stand up and carry out our responsibilities in the world. Readers note, that Kid Various has his doubts.

The strategist Eliot Cohen was correct when he told the New York Times last week, "I don't get a sense that people in the administration are champing at the bit to launch another war in the Persian Gulf." They're not. No one is. But it is also the case that a great nation has to be serious about its responsibilities, even if executing other responsibilities has been more difficult than one would have hoped.

The Fateful Hour Has Arrived

Caroline Glick also tackles the big question, whether we, in America, are the leaders of the Free World or are we civilization’s undertaker? Her recitation of America’s activities so far, do not leave so much room for hope.

After the September 11 attacks, George W. Bush was revered by Americans and lovers of liberty around the world. His soaring rhetoric and stated determination to fight for all that is good and sacred in this world won the hearts of millions and instilled in them the hope that the great battle for civilization had been joined by a force capable of defending it.

America is the greatest nation on Earth and it does have the ability to defend the world against regimes like Iran and its allies. It can prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It can take those weapons out of North Korea's hands. It can bring Damascus to its knees and force it to cough up Iraq's arsenal of pathogens. And no, military might is not the only way for it to accomplish these tasks.

But America cannot, and it will not accomplish any of these goals if it continues to abide by strategies and frameworks that serve only to strengthen its enemies and permit its "allies" to behave perfidiously. It cannot and will not defend the world from evil, demonic regimes like Iran's if it continues to allow the likes of the EU, Russia, Egypt and China to undercut its will at every turn.

This week Teheran threw down the gauntlet. The greatest battle of this war - the battle to prevent the world's most dangerous regime from attaining the most dangerous weapons known to man - has begun. The moment has arrived for President George W. Bush to make clear if he is, in the final analysis, the leader of the free world or its undertaker.

Target: Iran

Former Lt. General Thomas McInerney claims that there *is* an available airstrike option that would at least set back Iraninan nuclear capabilities for 5 years and perhaps spur an overthrow of the regime. The Kid is doubtful. It sounds too rosy. However, there is no doubt that airstrikes could at least delay Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Interesting to not in the article, he mentions new 28,000 pound bunker busters. That’s probably like a 20kt yield which is small nuclear weapon category. Kid Various is whole heartedly for creating nuclear scale – nonnuclear weapons. The distinction between a 20kt nuclear weapon and a 20kt conventional weapon is wholly political. We need to get off nukes because a 20kt nuke is not usable while a 20kt conventional bomb is.

A MILITARY OPTION AGAINST Iran's nuclear facilities is feasible. A diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis is preferable, but without a credible military option and the will to implement it, diplomacy will not succeed. The announcement of uranium enrichment last week by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shows Iran will not bow easily to diplomatic pressure. The existence of a military option may be the only means of persuading Iran--the world's leading sponsor of terrorism--to back down from producing nuclear weapons.

Facing Down Iran

Finally, a must read is Mark Steyn’s essay this week in The City Journal. How Steyn, who has no foreign policy background, can cut through the slop and identify the key issues at stake, and do so while being so seemingly effortlessly humourous, is beyond the Kid. He wishes he could write like that.

If Belgium becomes a nuclear power, the Dutch have no reason to believe it would be a factor in, say, negotiations over a joint highway project. But Iran’s nukes will be a factor in everything. If you think, for example, the European Union and others have been fairly craven over those Danish cartoons, imagine what they’d be like if a nuclear Tehran had demanded a formal apology, a suitable punishment for the newspaper, and blasphemy laws specifically outlawing representations of the Prophet. Iran with nukes will be a suicide bomber with a radioactive waist.

For this to be a mortal struggle, as the cold war was, the question is: Are they a credible enemy to us?

For a projection of the likely outcome, the question is: Are we a credible enemy to them?

Four years into the “war on terror,” the Bush administration has begun promoting a new formulation: “the long war.” Not a reassuring name. In a short war, put your money on tanks and bombs—our strengths. In a long war, the better bet is will and manpower—their strengths, and our great weakness. Even a loser can win when he’s up against a defeatist. A big chunk of Western civilization, consciously or otherwise, has given the impression that it’s dying to surrender to somebody, anybody. Reasonably enough, Islam figures: Hey, why not us? If you add to the advantages of will and manpower a nuclear capability, the odds shift dramatically.

What’s the difference between a hothead and a moderate? Well, the extremist Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” while the moderate Rafsanjani has declared that Israel is “the most hideous occurrence in history,” which the Muslim world “will vomit out from its midst” in one blast, because “a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, while an Israeli counter-strike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world.” Evidently wiping Israel off the map seems to be one of those rare points of bipartisan consensus in Tehran, the Iranian equivalent of a prescription drug plan for seniors: we’re just arguing over the details.

So the question is: Will they do it?

And the minute you have to ask, you know the answer. If, say, Norway or Ireland acquired nuclear weapons, we might regret the “proliferation,” but we wouldn’t have to contemplate mushroom clouds over neighboring states. In that sense, the civilized world has already lost: to enter into negotiations with a jurisdiction headed by a Holocaust-denying millenarian nut job is, in itself, an act of profound weakness—the first concession, regardless of what weaselly settlement might eventually emerge.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

They Can't Vote, But They CAN Run

A blurb from

James Kelly, a resident of a group home for the mentally disabled , filed as a U.S. Senate candidate in the primary against Bob Menendez. He won 19,512 votes as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 2005,(04/10/06)

We like our politicians colorful. Given the parade of characters usually on display in NJ politics, it's unlikely he could be any worse.

Incidentally, although Mr. Kelly can run for Senate, according to the NJ Constitution, he cannot vote for himself...

6. No idiot or insane person shall enjoy the right of suffrage.

Although, actually, this clause of the Constitution does not seem to restrict the 90% of NJ voters who, it would seem, fall under its provisions...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Spinosaurus Pictures Found!

Paleontologists have recently discovered the only known photographs of the holotype specimen of Spinosaurus Aegypticus collected by Ernst Stromer in 1912. Spinosaurus, likely the largest (at least in terms of length) theropod discovered also was distinctive in that the dorsal vertabrae were extremely elongated producing a row of spines six feet in height along its back. Likely, these spines were covered in skin and formed a sail, similar to the earlier, non-dinosaur Dimetrodon.

Stromer took the bones back to Germany where they were housed in the Munich Museum until 1944 when they, and the original drawings and photographs of the specimens, were destroyed by Allied bombing.

Or so we thought. It seems several photographs of the specimen survived and have been recently recovered. What a boon for paleontology!


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Aspartame... TOTALLY SAFE!!!

Largest study on the potential health effects of aspartame (artificial sweetener) just out.

Completely and totally safe.

No link to cancer, brain tumors, autism, gout, no link to anything

Except cool, delicious refreshment.

Now, can all you "precautionary principle" idiots leave Kid Various alone with his 10 diet pepsi per day habit? Can you give just that much happiness in life???

"Natural" does not mean "good" you morons!

Oh Diet Pepsi! We bow before your cool, refreshing, no-calorie power!

Gospel of Judas Translated!

"He put me up to it!


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Winner: Lord Douchebag!

See here for the history of the Lord Douchebag award.

Today's winner of the royal title of Lord Douchebag, for his astoundingly stupid OP/ED in the New York Times today, is Senator John Kerry (who, as the Times helpfully reminds us) was a candidate for President of the United States in 2004.

Iraqi politicians should be told that they have until May 15 to put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military. If Iraqis aren't willing to build a unity government in the five months since the election, they're probably not willing to build one at all. The civil war will only get worse, and we will have no choice anyway but to leave.

If Iraq's leaders succeed in putting together a government, then we must agree on another deadline: a schedule for withdrawing American combat forces by year's end. Doing so will empower the new Iraqi leadership, put Iraqis in the position of running their own country and undermine support for the insurgency, which is fueled in large measure by the majority of Iraqis who want us to leave their country. Only troops essential to finishing the job of training Iraqi forces should remain.

What a freakin' douchebag! Kid Various cannot think of a worse recommendation to achieve victory in Iraq. If the Iraqis don't form a unity government in 5 months they probably won't build one at all? Where did you get that information Braniac?

We will defeat Al Qaeda faster when we stop serving as its best recruitment tool. Iraqis ultimately will not tolerate foreign jihadists on their soil,
Or be over-run by them. Besides Al Qaeda is not the problem in Iraq at the moment, it's defeating the insurgency which is largely sunni Iraqis. And now we are to back off, just when the sunnis are beginning to understand that they *need* us?

and the United States will be able to maintain an over-the-horizon troop presence with rapid response capacity.

Over the horizon from where? Kuwait? If Iraq starts to collapse, you are telling Kid Various that we will be able to insert 150,000 troops to stabilize the country from Kuwait? "Rapidly?" What is your idea of "rapid response?" 7 weeks? Or maybe you mean over the horizon from freakin' Missouri???

An exit from Iraq will also strengthen our hand in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat

Exactly how, by relinquishing what modicum of control we have over Southern Iraq to the Persian Menace completely?

and allow us to repair the damage of repeated deployments, which flag officers believe has strained military readiness and morale.

How are you going to do that when you have to keep those 150,000 troops in Kuwait for "rapid response?" Kid Various has a better idea...grow the Army to 14 divisions!

This whole "redeploy over the horizon" has only one objective... to remove American troops from Iraq and ensure that because of sagging public will that they will never go back. It's a freakin' public relations trick and Senator Kerry, true to form, is willing to adopt any stance that looks like it might get traction to bump his own numbers up.

Kid Various was never a Kerry hater but - Good God, how lucky are we to have narrowly averted electing this craven Douchebag as President?

Lord Douchebag!

What The Hell?

Basic Instinct 2

What the Hell???

The sad thing is that Kid Various very much liked Basic Instinct. It was a taut, if a bit explicit, homage to Hitchcock. It followed his formula perfectly. Now it's ruined...

New York Ranger Update

Last night Philadephia went DOWN!

Rangers win 3-2 in an overtime shootout (boo!)

Remaining 3 points ahead of the Flyers at the top of the Atlantic Division and clinching the first play-off berth for the Blues since 1997!

The Rangers are in the play-offs!!!

Michael Nylander congratulates Goaltender
Kevin Weekes.

Monday, April 03, 2006

What The Hell?

Welcome to the premiere of the new Idiom feature "What the Hell?" where we ask...

What the Hell?


Apparently unaware that it is the 21st century, Somali warlords have recently begun to forget all that Black Hawk Down business and hoist the Jolly Roger

A dozen heavily armed pirates have hijacked a UAE-registered oil tanker along with 19 Filipino crew members off the coast of Somalia, an international piracy watchdog said.

"Twelve pirates armed with machine guns, AK47 rifles and sidearms

And hook hands, don't forget the hook hands...

boarded the tanker

swung aboard on rope lines...

off Mogadishu during daylight," Noel Choong, head of the Piracy Reporting Centre of the London-based International Maritime Bureau, told AFP.

Choong said the United Arab Emirates oil tanker had earlier discharged its cargo at Mogadishu port and was hit on March 29 after leaving port.

Oh man, are they going to be pissed when they find out there's no "booty." Someone is going to walk the plank for this!

Choong urged ship captains to keep their vessels at least 200 kilometres (125 miles) away from Somalia's coast to avoid pirate attacks.

"The pirates are armed and they will not hesitate to fire to stop ships," he warned.

Avast, ye scurvy dogs! Strike your colors and heave-to or another broadside to send you to Davy Jones' locker!

Man, you don't look like Erol Flynn at all!

Amusingly, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Kid Various considered becoming a pirate. He figured that an old Soviet attack sub couldn't be running you much. Just buy one of those and prowl the waters of the Far East. It's the romantic in him. How cool would that be?

You surface 100 yards off the port bow of a cargo hauler, point the foward gun at her bridge and hoist the Jolly Roger!

Then you're set to appropriate a cargo of hot DVD players and auto parts!

OK, maybe it's not the most lucrative field, but The Kid's not in it for the money. Mostly it's to be in a profession where you can wear an eye-patch. And of course, it's great for your high school reunion.

"So what do YOU do..."


In Other News... The Cable At The Palestine Is Out

So this is what we've come to. Journalism in Iraq has devolved to the point where the room-bound journalists have nothing to report on but the state of the shabby Paelstine Hotel.

The hallways of Iraq's most famous hotel beg for footsteps. The shiny brass kettles in the gift shop wait for someone to pick them up. The tap at Aladdin's is dry.

The other day at lunchtime, Takeharu Watai, a Japanese journalist, was the lone customer in the coffee shop.

"How do you say," said Mr. Watai, searching for the right words in English, as six waiters with droopy bowties waited to clear his plate. "Black hole?"

God it must suck to be a journalist stuck in a hotel without a decent bar...

Calling Captain America!

A motorist opened fire on a group of Hell's Angels motorcyclists along Interstate 95 on Sunday, killing one and injuring another, police said....

Police were considering a number of possible motives including road rage,

Mabye their hair was just a bit too long...