The Idiom

Can You Grok It? Free Grokistan!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

New User Interface

This is pretty cool.

Kid Various wants one.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Al-Qaeda and Torture

Anyone who thinks the U.S. needs to leave Iraq now should read this news:
US forces raided an Al-Qaeda prison camp north of Baghdad on Sunday and rescued 41 Iraqi captives showing signs of having been tortured or mistreated, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Donnelly said.

The camp was holding 41 people, all thought to be Iraqi civilians, many of them showing signs of mistreatment ranging from broken bones and bruises to heat injuries caused by being held with insufficient water, he said.

Some of the prisoners had been held for several months.

"It was evident that they were extremely overjoyed to see us," Donnelly said, adding that the camp had been found after a local tip off, something he saw as a good sign in an area traditionally suspicious of the Americans.

Putting aside the question of whether the going to war in Iraq was justified in the first place, Iraq is where the War on Terror now needs to be fought because that's is where Al Qaeda is as this news chillingly shows.

Oh, and as we know from the Al Qaeda torture manual seized by the U.S. military last week, when Al Qaeda "tortures" someone, they don't use the so-called "torture" methods used by the C.I.A. like "water boarding" or an "open handed slap." No, when Al Qaeda tortures someone, they are a little less subtle:

What's Amnesty International have to say about Al Qaeda and torture by the way? Nothing. It has a lot to say about the United States and torture though in its annual report released just last week.

"One of the biggest blows to human rights has been the attempt of Western democratic states to roll back some fundamental principles of human rights — like the prohibition of torture," Amnesty's Secretary-General Irene Khan told The Associated Press before the report's launch. She also criticized the U.S. policy of extraordinary rendition.

Glad to see AI has its priorities straight. Oh, the irony.

Wanted: Head Moonbat in Charge

Cindy Sheehan finally gets it. She has "resigned" as the face of the American "peace"movement after being confronted by political reality. She helped the Democrats get elected to end the war in Iraq, but now that the Democrats control Congress nothing has changed. The Democrats and Republicans are not so different after all.
When Sheehan first took on Bush, she was a darling of the liberal left. "However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the 'left' started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used," she wrote in the diary.

She said she sacrificed a 29-year marriage and endured threats to put all her energy into stopping the war. What she found, she wrote, was a movement "that often puts personal egos above peace and human life."
Cindy Sheehan has all along been just a useful idiot of the Democrats, someone any political hack would derisively label a "true believer," someone helpful to the party, but no one you want anywhere near the controls. It's all about winning elections. Now she understands this.


Holy crap! Matchgame PM star Charles Nelson Reilly is dead!via pajamas media

And it says in his obit that he was gay!

We never knew...

Actually, Kid Various wants to see that film. Looks good.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Guess What?

Well, after some time of hearing about how Annie Jacobsen had hysterically overreacted in her description of events on Northwest Airlines flight 327 on June 29, 2004...

Guess what?

It seems that the Department of Homeland Security has bought into her basic premise. The 14 innocent Syrian musicians, who's only crime was "flying while Arab" were, in fact, probing Northwest security procedures. via LGF

The inspector general for Homeland Security late Friday released new details of what federal air marshals say was a terrorist dry run aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 327 from Detroit to Los Angeles on June 29, 2004.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Watch Out MTV

Paul McCartney, in a desperate bid to remain relevant, releases his latest video on YouTube instead of MTV.

Actually, it's pretty good. Paul has always excelled at producing simple, fun little songs, and that's pretty much what this is. The video itself can be described as "delightfully playful."

He shoots! He scores!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Best Opening Ever!

Saigon. Shit! I'm still only in Saigon...

The counterpoint between the fan and the sound of the helicopters. The drag on the cigarette that explodes in a fireball of napalm. Brilliant.

It's better in cinemascope though... the images are mashed together in this version.

Will We Be Able To Afford Hair Cuts In An Edwards Presidency?

Kid Various was toodling around the revamped John Edwards Virtual HQ just recently (no cyber-poop to be seen) and ran across the Edwards’ Plan for America.

Remember you read it here first. A John Edwards presidency is not only going to be War on Terror freetm – it ain't going to be cheap either!

Kid Various protects his virtual pockets

Will we all be able to afford haircuts after the Edwards' "Adminisration" raises taxes enough to make sure that even the "poorest people in America WILL be at last feed..?"

Ok, no one, certainly not this blog, is immune from typos - but do an editing pass dude.

And, granted, the Virtual HQ is not officially run by the Edwards campaign, but by an independent supporter. But hey, it's JRE's numbers right? And we all know how smart he is.

Bring The Americans Home

Mr. Surly pointed out to The Kid yesterday that we seem to have a long running thread going on in the comment section to this post about the insanity of New Jersey’s Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS.) DYFS, which hits the mind’s eye as some sort of anagram for “DYSFunctional,” has a poor, and occasionally disastrous, record when it comes to maintaining its charges and this particular post seems to come up regularly on a Google search for “DYFS” and “help.” Like clockwork, every few months someone leaves a comment, even though the original post was in 2005! (Last one was a few weeks ago.)

The problem with DYFS, as with all state family services bureaucracies, is that it has a bias towards family unification. Now family unification is not necessarily a bad thing, but what the bureaucracy has to understand is that it is not ipso facto a good thing either. Going the extra mile to put children back into the hands of crazed nut-cases (of which many families are comprised – look at Mr. Surly’s!) is most assuredly not a good thing. It’s destructive.

Kid Various understands this bias to be an ancient one. It’s why traditional cultures fight so fiercely against interference in what is referred to as, in typical UN-speak, personal status law. Laws dealing with marriage, spousal rights, raising of children, etc. You can regularize and modernize most Third World legal systems when it comes to criminal activity, contract law, torts and all that, but the thorniest rose in the bush is always personal status law.

Even in the western Enlightenment cultures, we still have remnants of these ancient tribal biases; spousal privilege against testimony, the right to kill your children through medical neglect if you are a Christian Scientist and the bias towards family unification at all costs by state bureaucracies.

Which brings us to why Kid Various supports the current draft immigration bill that currently has everyone’s panties in a wad.

What did he say?

Lost you? Stay with The Kid. His segue skills are dazzling to behold.

The immigration bill as it stands right now is a monster with many components; z-visas for illegals already in the country, touchbacks, fines, amnesty for taxes and social security payments, new employer penalties, tamper-proof ID, the wall, etc.

Some of these are agreeable to The Kid, some are not. Before we go any further, Kid Various has to mention that he has always been pretty much of an “open borders” type of guy. He’s all in favor of free movement of labor and capital. Immigrants have been the life blood of our culture and our national narrative, and for those who say we’re full and can’t take any more – Kid V. says: Take a drive out West sometime. We got plenty of room.

However, in the post September 11th world, it’s patently obvious that we can’t have open borders. We just can’t have millions of people entering the U.S. without us knowing who they are and if they are a danger. So we must take severe steps to secure our borders. It’s a security issue. (The Kid does not understand the opposition to this. What’s the big deal about building a fence? 370 miles? 854 miles? Why not 2000 miles? We’re able to invade and occupy 2 countries a world away but we can’t put up a chain-link and barbed wire double fence for 2000 miles? Come on!)

Similarly, we have about 12 million illegals already in the country. Any hope that we are going to round them all up and deport them is a fantasy. This we do not have the capacity to do. Yes, it’s unfair to those people who are trying to emigrate legally. Yes, it sends the wrong signal. But sometimes, the law just has to reflect the reality on the ground. This is not always a bad thing. In the 1840’s, laws were put into place to recognize and regularize squatters’ claims to land in the states west of the Appalachians. Basically, the squatters did not own those lands, they were held by eastern land owners who were often granted huge chunks by royal charter (before the Revolution) or bought up afterwards.

It was unfair to the landlords, but the laws recognizing the claims of the squatters simply reflected a ground truth that could not be changed by that point. Besides, it also recognized that the squatters were *improving* land that was just lying fallow because the eastern owners weren’t doing anything with it.

But for all the hoo-hah over all these various components to the immigration bill, the most important provision has hardly been discussed in the media frenzy. That provision being that it scraps the family unification bias in current immigration law.

And you thought The Kid wasn’t going anywhere with this.

Charles Krauthammer talks about this in his column today. In the competition for the world’s talent pool, the United States has handicapped itself with a competitive disadvantage.

Today, preference for legal immigration is given not to the best and the brightest waiting on long lists everywhere on Earth to get into America, but to family members of those already here. Given that America has the pick of the world's energetic and entrepreneurial, this is a stunning competitive advantage, stunningly squandered.

The current reform would establish a point system for legal immigrants in which brains and enterprise count. This is a significant advance.

If you want to emigrate to the United States to become part of this society, to make the most of the freedom and opportunity afforded by America, it is basically impossible for you to do so. You can try entering a “diversity lottery” which randomly chooses, by lot, a limited number of applicants from each nation in the world. But your chances of getting into the U.S. by that means is similar to, well, winning the lottery.

However, if you want to get your brother over here to help you with the honor killing of your daughter, that’s no problem! Just get him on the next plane over from Lahore.

This has been the process since the immigration reforms of the 1960’s and the insane priorities have greatly contributed to the Third-Worldization of America. The immigration bill would get rid of family preference in favor of a point system, where candidates are ranked according education, wealth, and knowledge of English and knowledge of American culture. Yes, family in the country can add points to their benefit, but it would no longer be the overriding factor.

In fact, we want people who are willing to leave their families behind. It’s a self selection process. People who are willing to travel to America without the tribal/clan support system are more likely to be the independent, self motivated types who are suffocated by their traditional cultures and instinctively understand the power of individual liberty.

There are literally millions of these people across the globe. They believe in liberty and freedom. They believe in hard work. They believe that if they apply themselves, nothing is beyond their reach. They are Americans. Because America is not defined by a landmass, or who your father was, or what profession you were born into. America is a set of ideas. And if you buy into those ideas, you’re an American. Even if you don’t have the paperwork.

Kid Various knows a man from Iraq. He is smart, genial and understands what it means to be free and what it means to be enslaved. He’s an entrepreneur, having built with some friends a construction company that has made him a good deal of money. But he’s also concurrently worked with the CPA, the military and American organizations for pitiful sums and at great risk to help stand up a decent government for his country. He is an American without the paperwork.

Kid Various knows a woman from Moldova (the former Soviet Union.) All her life she has been an outsider in her own land being of mixed Russian/Romanian heritage. She’s brilliant. She has a Master’s degree from a prestigious university in the United States. She’s survived cancer. She’s takes great pride in her work and puts everything into it. She’s worked in Iraq and Afghanistan, helping those people recover from their former despotisms. She is appalled by the actions of that section of the American population who sees the United States as the greatest threat to the world – a population who has never for one day had to live under a real tyranny. She is an American without the paperwork.

Kid Various knows a man from France. He is a young go-getter. He is appalled by what is happening in his country. He can’t understand how people in France can possibly think that they can continue to penalize businesses with punitive taxation and regulation to support an entire class of layabouts. He has seen his country flooded with immigrants who refuse to assimilate and demand that the natives adjust to *their* culture. He has taken his family out of France to start his own business. He is an American without the paperwork.

All over the world, there are Americans who simply lack the paperwork. There are Americans out there who it would be our honor to welcome across the border. There are Americans who desperately want to come here and contribute to and keep the American experiment going into the 21st century.

As long as the draft of the immigration bill contains the point system engine rather than the family unification bias (and we know that this is not a given,) Kid Various will support it warts and all.

It’s time to bring those Americans home.

Latest News From Airstrip One

Good lord! The UK truly is turning into a police state...

That Britain suffers from rampant anomie, concealed by low murder rates, is arguable. That the place is becoming a police state isn't. The last laughable "measure" to be seen there was CCTV cameras which issue orders to passers-by. The next will be hovering drones, fitted with cameras, speakers and microphones, to hum around the streets, looking for criminals.

"Attention citizen! Pick up that gum wrapper! You have 30 seconds to comply!"

What kind of science fiction dystopia are they building over there?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sign of the Times

Exhibit 'A' in why we're all doomed. The initial reaction of the NJ clerk who tipped of the Feds to the Ft. Dix Six. via Instapundit

At first, the teenage clerk didn't know what to do, his pal said.

"Dude, I just saw some really weird s-," he frantically told his co-worker. "I don't know what to do. Should I call someone or is that being racist?"

The Remnant

Kid Various didn't even know Mr. Surly read Bill Whittle. Whittle's latest essays are indeed magnificent - as they all are. But The Kid was more intrigued by the concept of the Remnant.

Albert was a very highly educated fellow. He observes that, strangely enough, Plato himself used precisely the same word – Remnant -- when referring to the same group, the people whose force of character was the mortar that held ancient Athens together. Curious…

He clarifies that he is not talking about an educational or aristocratic elite:

As the word masses is commonly used, it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, labouring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority. The mass-man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses. The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.

I have been, and remain, a staunchly anti-elitist individual. I find the idea of belonging to a special group the most dangerous philosophical ground you can stand on. But what is remarkable about this Remnant is that the people that compose it seem to be drawn completely at random. It is not a philosophy. It is a frequency. You are on it or you are not. And this is not a million-dollar lottery win, either: it is a call to face unpleasant facts and impending hardship. It is a quiet summons to duty. It often makes one uncomfortable, and, most often, this unfocused, vague desire – this need – to do something useful most often makes one feel very much alone.

Kid Various is also extremely wary of any theory of an elect (or anything to do with Plato) but he has to admit - he feels like this sometimes; called to be uncomfortable, called to duty.

"I Should Be Dead"

Dear Jon Corzine,

I started to feel a little sympathy for you Governor Corzine when I heard you say "I should be dead." What a mea culpa! I mean, I'd like to see more than a few Democratic officials in jail, but dead? That's being a little hard on yourself Jon. Then I realized it's just your public service announcement for wearing sealtbelts. Oh, well. Call me when you stop apologizing for not wearing a sealtbelt and start apologizing for taxing me to death.

Very truly yours,

Mr. Surly

Governor Corzine and unidentified woman.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Great . . .

The Pew Research Center just released a study based on a survey of 1,050 Muslims, conducted from January through April. Among the findings:

Twenty six percent of young American Muslims believe suicide bombings against civilians in defense of Islam can be justified in some circumstances.

Forty percent of U.S. Muslims believe that Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks. Twenty eight percent did not believe Arabs were responisble for the 9/11 attacks, and one-fourth of those claim the U.S. government was responsible.

Five percent had a "very favorable" or "somewhat favorable" view of the Al Qaeda terrorist group. Twenty seven percent had no opinion on Al Qaeda.The study estimates there are 2.35 million Muslim Americans. You do the math.

When asked if they considered themselves an American or a Muslim first, only 28 percent said American. Nearly half consider themsevles Muslim first.

Oh and they tend to lean Democratic. Big Surprise.

What's the BBC headline on this story by the way? "Muslim Americans are largely integrated in US society and moderate in their views, a nationwide survey suggests."


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

NJ Legislators Find New Way to Act Like Morons

I'm so gald New Jersey legislators have got their priorites straight. While everyone with any means to pay is being taxed to death in this state, you can rest easy knowing that the Legislature is tackling the tough issues. Case in point Assembly Bill 4217 which allows pet owners to sue for negligent infliction of emotional distress if a pet food company accidently poisons a pet. That's right, if your pet is poisoned and dies, the state wants you to know that you are not expected to get over it, instead you can revel in your grief and sue for damages for emotional distress. . .you goddamn pansy.

This bill is obviously a response to the whole Menu Foods poisoned pet food debacle a few months ago. Of course, if the bill becomes law, no one who lost a pet because of tainted Menu Foods pet food could actually take advantage of it. It's too late to change the law for the benefit of those people, that ship has sailed. The bill would apply in the unlikley scenario any pet food company ever repeated this mistake.

I wouldn't worry about this bill becoming law though, the chances of this actually making it's way to the Governor to sign are somewhere between slim and none. While I'm outraged that this bill actually got out of committe in the State Assembly yesterday, it seems unlikely anyone is going to push this too far. This bill is simply a bone certain legislators are throwing to the animal rights crowd. It's typical shameless pandering for support. Legislators introduce a bill to make it look like they are doing something for you even though thye know the bill will never amount to anything.

Don't get me wrong by the way, I'm not anti-animal. I like animals well enough. I even think animals should have some rights, especially the right to be eaten if they are tasty.

However, this bill is pure nonsense. A person may recover damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress for the loss of a family member. By allowing a pet owner to recover damages for negligent inflection of emotional distress, it equates the loss of an animal with the loss of a person. Such a precedent that would move the ball a little bit further toward recognizing animal rights and that animals are just like people. Only furrier. What kind of moronic elected officials would get behind this? Oh yeah, democrats. Well, maybe they think if animals are given the same status as people they can tax them too.

You Are Not Alone

Bill Whittle at Eject! Eject! Eject! has an interesting new post:

Everything the West has achieved – all the science, prosperity, security and freedom – is based upon the free exchange of ideas. We tolerate offensive ideas so that this free exchange of information may continue. Disagreement is the crucible of wisdom. The price we pay for this cooperation is the daily offense we suffer at the exposure to ideas we find distasteful. However, when radical Muslims living in the West demand that their religion not undergo these same stresses and trials and turns violent – burning buildings or killing those who disagree with them – well, we as a society have a choice. We can be “always cooperating,” which rewards that behavior, or we can retaliate, which punishes it.

Which do you think – reward, or punishment – is likely to produce more of this savagery, and which less?

If you haven't read Bill Whittle's essays, you're missing out. His newest post is a modest proposal to create a virtual community designed to help people become better citizens. Read the whole thing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Gentlemen, You Can't Fight In Here! This Is The Warr Room!

Best line EVER...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Prehistoric WMD

Interesting study concerning the fused nasal bones found in Tyrannosaurs. It strengthed their snouts to avoid dislocation of the bones and allowed them to apply more power to the bite. They may have made them bigger, but they didn't make better killing machines than the KING!

Doggie Style

So this is what they're doing with all that free time.

Frustrated fidos can now have a fling with the ultimate play thing for pampered pooches...the first sex doll for dogs.

The ultimate in sexy doggy accessories - sex dolls to keep any pet pleasured - comes from the land of love, France.

Subcontinent Chicago

The Indians are learning from the Democrats!

LUCKNOW, India (Reuters) - A villager is campaigning in northern India for the rights of people declared legally dead by cheating relatives seeking to steal their assets.


Hey guess what? Remember last year when the CIA announced (to the unrestrained glee of the NY Times) that Iran was 5 to 10 years away from getting a nuclear weapon? TIME'S UP!

Wow! That decade went fast didn't it?

Until recently, Iran had been having difficulty in making the centrifuges work together in production lines known as “cascades,” IAEA Director General Mohammad ElBaradei has been telling IAEA Board members.

But presto! In just a few months time, the Iranians have mastered this challenging technology. “We believe they pretty much have the knowledge about how to enrich,” ElBaradei told the New York Times in an interview that appeared on May 15. “From now on, it is simply a question of perfecting that knowledge. People will not like to hear it, but that’s a fact.”

Basically, our intelligence system, which brought to you previous hits such as the Iraqi WMD, had thought Iran was having trouble with the cascade process. Well, seems as if the Iranians aren't as stupid as the CIA thought they were!

They have 1300 centrifuges working in a cascade and are just enriching away! If they get 3,000 up and running they can have enough HEU to build a bomb in under a year.

With Porter Goss gone, the CIA has returned to a delicious slumber when it comes to Iran. And they have been led back to Dreamland by their overseers at the Director of National Intelligence, whose brilliant analysts – many of whom are proud alumni of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research – concluded last year that Iran would not succeed in building a nuclear weapon until “early to mid- next decade.”

That five to ten year estimate is meaningless, of course. Its relationship to reality was similar to a child’s relationship to counting: one-two-too many!

Five to ten years, of course, meant never. Not soon. Not on my watch.

And yet it’s here. Now. On their watch.

Kid Various doesn't know why anyone bought the 5 to 10 year estimate. That's total CIA-speak for "How the fuck should we know?"

North Korea? 5 to 10 years. Oops!

Pakistan? 5 to 10 years. Oops!

More so, as Kid Various has noted before, why is 5 to 10 years supposed to be comforting? Any official estimate of Iran getting the bomb that is short of NEVER should scare the bejesus out of us.

Of course, just as before, when we had plenty of time and shouldn't take any precipitous action - now it's too late and we shouldn't do anything rash.

Look, next time, whenever the CIA comes to you and says "5 to 10 years" just fucking start warming up the bombers.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A New Bunny

We've linked to this before. But God it's funny...

Monday, May 14, 2007

When Did Young Adults in this Country Become Such Crybabies?

Recording Industry Association of America is sending letters to college students who illegally download music and threatening to sue them unless they agree to a settlement. Sara Barg, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln sophomore, is one of those college students. The RIAA accused her of illegally downloading 381 songs.

Barg couldn't imagine anyone expected her to pay $3,000 — $7.87 per song — for some 1980s ballads and Spice Girls tunes she downloaded for laughs in her dorm room. Besides, the 20-year-old had friends who had downloaded thousands of songs without repercussion.

"Obviously I knew it was illegal, but no one got in trouble for it," Barg said. . . .

Barg's parents paid the $3,000 settlement. Without their help, "I don't know what I would have done. I'm only 20 years old," she said."Technically, I'm guilty. I just think it's ridiculous, the way they're going about it," Barg said. "We have to find a way to adjust our legal policy to take into account this new technology, and so far, they're not doing a very good job."
Sigh. How has it come to this? I'm not refering to widespread illegal downloading. The fact that so many college students download music illegally does not surprise me. People always like to get something for nothing, even if it involves a little larceny. Instead of getting a sound system below cost off the back of a truck, you have illegal downloads. I can almost forgive the lame excuses about how everyone else was doing it, because millions of people are. Though you would think everyone should know by now that you don't jump off a bridge just because their friends are doing it.

No, that's not what bothers me about this story. What bothers me has nothing to do with downloads legal or otherwise.

This statement is what bothers: "I'm only 20 years old." Only 20 years old? What does that mean? When did 20 become the new 15?

A little over 100 years ago the average life expectacy was 37 in the civilized world. Your life was half over at 20.

At 20, you can vote, get married, have children, join the military, sign contracts, drive a car. The only things 20 year olds can't do becauue young adults have been infantalized by society is have a drink and take repsonsibility for their actions. Look at what this "girl" is essentially saying: I broke the law, but it's not my fault becasue technology makes it so easy to break the law and so few people get punished. Unbelievebale. I would like to see how this "it's too easy to break the law" argument would work with other crimes. "Hey, It not my fault I stole a car, someone made it too easy to steal when they left the keys in the ignition. I mean, car thieves are rarely caught, right?" Honestly, the nerve of this person to complain she was somehow lured into in making illegal downloads because she wasn't deterred from it because so few people are punished, but when an effort is made to punish people like her this is somehow "ridiculous."

This story is a symptom of a larger issue in society. There currently appears to be a sense of entitlement and a lack of personal responibility in teens and twenty somethings (and in many liberals of any age). Nothing bad should ever happen to them, but if it does it's not their fault and someone else should bail them out.

Perhaps it's the backlash from so many years of emphasizing self-esteem over achievement. Everyone has been taught they are special and wonderful and given awards just for participating in activities. Came in 8th in a tournament? No problem, here's an 8th place trophy.

Maybe this rant is part of the time honored tradition of complaining about youth, but I'm not so sure. The generation that is now coming into adulthood was raised in an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. They have never known want on a scale like the Great Depression, they have never known war, not even the Cold War. This generation doesn't understand fear and sacrifice. But total war and depression could happen again. Social Security seems doomed to collapse. We're fighting an existential war right now, one that may someday require real sacrifice. So I fear for the future. What will happen to this nation when the current generation, a generation in which so many seem to reject personal repsonsibility, must assume the mantle of responsibility?

UPDATE: Michael Barone thinks the kids aren't all right too.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Somebody Call Disney's Lawyers!

Well this is disturbing... via The Weekly Standard Blog

Luckily, the 63rd Airborne Legal Assault Division has just taken off from the EPCOT airfield.

This is what we are up against. People just got no idea.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Jihad Comes to New Jersey

It's on! The War on Terror rages in the Garden State. Jihadi pizza deliverymen try to deliver a pizza . . . with a topping of holy war! No tip for them.
Six foreign-born Muslims were arrested and accused Tuesday of plotting to attack the Army's Fort Dix and massacre scores of U.S. soldiers. . . .

The defendants, all men in their 20s from the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East, include a pizza deliveryman suspected of using his job to scout out the military base.
The best part of this story is how these idiots got caught:
In court documents, prosecutors said the suspects came to the attention of authorities in January 2006 when a Mount Laurel, N.J., shopkeeper alerted the FBI about a "disturbing" video he had been asked to copy onto a DVD.
That will teach these Islamofacists to learn how to burn their own DVD's. Way to go unknown patriotic clerk! Maybe we should send some of the guys down at 7-11 to Pakistan to go after Osama Bin Laden next.

Say Hello To My Little... Uh, Energy Drink

Well, this blows. The FDA is trying to prevent Redux frommarketing an energy drink using the name "Cocaine" because it glamorizes illegal drug use. The FDA issued a warning to Redux that it considered the drink illegal, saying it was being marketed as an alternative to an illegal street drug and making claims to treat or cure disease. Who's the FDA trying to kid here? Have they ever heard of a little soft drink called Coke? Are they trying to protect people looking to score a little Bolivan marching powder from accidently buying the drink because they are too stoned to realize that the Qwik-E-Mart doesn't stock cans of drinkble nose candy?

I like the cheekiness of Redux for sure:

We tried to contact Yves Saint Laurent to warn them that Opium perfume could be next, but they were too busy enjoying the freedom of expression guaranteed by the US Constitution -- a freedom we here at Redux, sadly, lack."

The company's website was recently revised, with the page normally offering sales of the beverage covered with a black band saying "Banned by The Man."

This seems like real nanny state type stuff and a waste of government resources. I don't know why the FDA doesn't stick to what it does best, getting erectile dysfunction drugs to the market.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tower of Power

A better review one won’t find:

TOKYO (Reuters) - Watching the Hollywood film "Babel" could make viewers feel ill, its Japanese distributor said in national newspaper advertisements published on Wednesday.

At least 15 people have complained of feeling sick while watching the film starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett since it was released in Japan on April 28, a spokeswoman for distributors Gaga Communications said.

No shit. After 2 hours in that movie, Kid Various was reaching for the plastic lined bag himself.

Don't worry. Just give her some pepto and she'll be all right

But a scene in which Kikuchi's character visits a night-club where strobe lights flash for about a minute has made some Japanese movie-goers queasy.

Believe us, it ain’t the strobe lights. It’s the intense self righteousness washing over you from every frame. Babel is one of these incredibly self congratulatory films where Hollywood jerks itself off on how sensitive it is until it ejaculates an Oscar, cleans itself off and flies home its lear jet.

Compare this with what we consider this year’s most important film (not to mention actually entertaining – truly the antithesis of the Babel model,) the screen adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300.

As Kid Various sat in the theater, engrossed in the retelling of the Spartans famous last stand at Thermopylae against impossible numbers of the Asian horde, one thought raced through his mind.

How did this movie ever get made into today’s Hollywood?

Because a lot has been said about how 300 is a new type of film, the completely new and astounding grammar for future film-making that it explores with relish. But really, 300 is a throwback. It’s a touchstone to an earlier age where Hollywood actually made stories like this all the time. Stories that were chock full of unambiguous heroes and villains, where the narrative centered around stoicism, heroism, honor and self-sacrifice in name of great ideological causes like freedom. You know, instead of pumping out piece after pablum piece displaying our full multi-cultural splendor and understanding. After all, we’re all part of the human condition man….

And yes, we are all part of the human condition. And that human condition embodies things like good and things like evil. And it is the eternal responsibility of good, to stand up to evil. Because evil doesn’t care how sensitive you are. Evil only sees that as weakness. And in this age, where we face great evil in the world, we need stories about these Spartan-like heroes more than ever.

And we need people in Hollywood to tell these stories which brings us back to the author of 300, Frank Miller.

Miller, who obviously authored such important works as Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City, is one of the storytellers of the modern age who understands what is at stake. See this transcript of an NPR interview with him done before the last State of the Union message:

NPR: […] Frank, what’s the state of the union?

FM: Well, I don’t really find myself worrying about the state of the union as I do the state of the home-front. It seems to me quite obvious that our country and the entire Western World is up against an existential foe that knows exactly what it wants … and we’re behaving like a collapsing empire. Mighty cultures are almost never conquered, they crumble from within. And frankly, I think that a lot of Americans are acting like spoiled brats because of everything that isn’t working out perfectly every time.

NPR: Um, and when you say we don’t know what we want, what’s the cause of that do you think?

FM: Well, I think part of that is how we’re educated. We’re constantly told all cultures are equal, and every belief system is as good as the next. And generally that America was to be known for its flaws rather than its virtues. When you think about what Americans accomplished, building these amazing cities, and all the good its done in the world, it’s kind of disheartening to hear so much hatred of America, not just from abroad, but internally.

And in this interview recently in the LA Times via Michelle Malkin:

MUCH has been made of Miller's politics in the wake of "300." The deliriously violent and stylized sword film is based on a Spartan battle in 480 B.C., and although Miller wrote and drew the story for Dark Horse comics a decade ago, in film form it was received by many as a grotesque parody of the ancient Persians and a fetish piece for a war on Islam. Miller scoffs at those notions. "I think it's ridiculous that we set aside certain groups and say that we can't risk offending their ancestors. Please. I'd like to say, as an American, I was deeply offended by 'The Last of the Mohicans.' "

Still, Miller gets stirred up about any criticism of the war in Iraq or the hunt for terrorists, which he views as the front in a war between the civilized Western world and bloodthirsty Islamic fundamentalists.

"What people are not dealing with is the fact that we're going up against a culture that finds it acceptable to do things that the rest of the world left behind with the barbarians in the 6th century," Miller said. "I'm a little tired of people worrying about being polite. We are fighting in the face of fascists."

Unlike most Hollywood “artists,” Miller gets it. And the good news is, that with the unexpected success of 300, and his previous collaboration with Robert Rodriguez on Sin City, Hollywood seems to be getting the message to some extent.

In animated features, the story is king--and the stories that work are ones with clear moral conflicts in which flawed characters are called upon to sacrifice for the greater good. Stars don't like playing characters with flaws, or characters from different times whose views on social matters don't conform to our own. If semi- animated pictures aimed not at kids but at adult moviegoers now really take flight because of 300's smashing success, the future will not be so bright for Hollywood's star system. But it will give adventurous moviemakers some room to breathe free.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

So Does Eating Pork Fried Rice Make Me a Facist?

Lefty greens want you to believe the "inconvenient truth" that Hurricane Katrina is President Bush's fault. I wonder how they will blame Bush for this?

Methane emissions from flooded rice paddies contribute to global warming just as coal-fired power plants, automobile exhausts and other sources do with the carbon dioxide they spew into the atmosphere.

Reducing greenhouse gases is probably a worthy goal. Fair is fair though. I'll give up my SUV when Asians stop eating rice.

Fred to the World: Got a Complaint? Dial 1-800-EAT SH*T

Fred Thompson gets it.

It bothers Americans when we’re told how unpopular we are with the rest of the world. For some of us, at least, it gets our back up — and our natural tendency is to tell the French, for example, that we’d rather not hear from them until the day when they need us to bail them out again. But we cool off. We’re big boys and girls, after all, and we don’t really bruise that easily. We’re also hopeful that, eventually, our ostrich-headed allies will realize there’s a world war going on out there and they need to pick a side — the choice being between the forces of civilization and the forces of anarchy. Considering the fact that the latter team is growing stronger and bolder daily, while most of our European Union friends continue to dismantle their defenses, that day may not be too long in coming.

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Which Constitution is Murtha Reading?

On Sunday's Face the Nation, surrender monkey Rep. John Murtha quiped:

"There’s three ways or four ways to influence a president. One is popular opinion, the election, third is impeachment and fourth is the purse.”

Oh, really? Impeachment is a way to "influence" a president? That's interesting since I don't remember that appearing anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. Here's what the Constitution actually says about impeachment:

The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

In practice, the grounds for conviction for an impeachable offense has been limited to indictable criminal offenses. So is Murtha allegeing President Bush has committed some act which constitutes treason, bribery, or a high crime or misdemeanor? Or is noted Constitutional scholar Murtha advocating some new interpretation of the Constitution where disagreement over foreign policy constitutes an impeachable offense?

Murtha's comments on impeachment clearly signal his true goal: to cow the President into obeying Congress. If you take Murtha at his word, Articles of Impeachment are basically the equivalent of a club, a club which he can use to beat the President on the head with until the he starts to come around to seeing things the way Murtha does. Murtha would turn the President into an office that serves at the pleasure of the Senate, something that goes against over 200 years of history. In Murtha's world, the President must agree with Congress or else be impeached. Political disagreements between the executive and legislative branches will not be tolerated, not by the legislature anyway.

Murtha's comments are nothing but an endorsement of a naked grab for power by the legislature and should be condemned by EVERY thinking person. Impeaching and convicting President Bush of an impeachable offense is a precedent that would be as short sighted as it would be wrong. Does Murtha seriously think the Democrats will never be in the minority in Congress again? He was in the minority long enough that he should still remember what it's like. Or maybe he's just still not used to being somewhat relevant yet and just hasn't figured out he needs to make sense once in a while.