The Idiom

Can You Grok It? Free Grokistan!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's the Ideology

Steyn points out that whether the Bombay attacks were perpetrated by AQ, LET, the ISI doesn't matter much. Because they are symptoms, not the cause. Likewise, worrying about whether Iraq or Afghanistan is the "right war" is pointless, because again, we are dealing with the symptoms, not the ultimate cause.

It's missing the point to get into debates about whether this is the
"Deccan Mujahideen" or the ISI or al-Qaida or Lashkar-e-Taiba. That's a
reductive argument. It could be all or none of them. The ideology has been so
successfully seeded around the world that nobody needs a memo from corporate HQ
to act: There are so many of these subgroups and individuals that they intersect
across the planet in a million different ways. It's not the Cold War, with a
small network of deep sleepers being directly controlled by Moscow. There are no
membership cards, only an ideology. That's what has radicalized hitherto
moderate Muslim communities from Indonesia to the central Asian 'stans to
Yorkshire, and co-opted what started out as more or less conventional
nationalist struggles in the Caucasus and the Balkans into mere tentacles of the
global jihad.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I have a wonderful life.

Some of that is attributable to my own decisions and work. More of it is attributable to the good decisions of my parents and their hard work. As it is also attributable to the decisions made by my grandparents and their hard work. And for these I am thankful.

But the one decision to which I most owe my incredible life, was the decision made by my great-grandparents to get on the boat. Because without the opportunity afforded by this great nation, all of the hard work and life decisions made by our subsequent generations would have come to naught.

I am so grateful to have been born an American.

I am so thankful to be a citizen of this incredible country which affords its people opportunities for a magnificent life that are unknown in other corners of the globe, indeed, have been unimagined for the scope of human history. I give thanks for this amazing society, that has abandoned the comfort of barbaric tribalism for the opportunity made possible by individual freedom. I give thanks for this society, so improbable in its creation, so fragile, who's continued existence, let alone dominance, is far from assured.

On this day, and every day, I give thanks to America. And all who would protect her from the wolves prowling in the outer darkness.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Palace

Mr. Democracy writes:

I just took a last stroll around the Embassy grounds. The Palace. For five years off and on, I've been roaming its gaudy marble hallways. When I first got to Iraq, there was no concertina wire, 20 foot high concrete barriers or reinforced air lock guarded by surly Central Americans. I can remember when I would saunter up to one of the two specialists standing at the wrought iron gate, flip my RTI ID at them (not even a government issue!) and wander on in. I remember those ridiculous giant Saddam heads perched on each of the four outside towers, and Saddam's chair in the “rocket room.” Afternoons by the pool. Lattes at the Greenbean. War is hell. I saw President Bush give thanks to the State Department employees for their work there – on the same day I witnessed Saddam in the dock, observing his trial for an afternoon.

So much has changed over five years. I think of all the people I've seen come and go over time. A few even, who did not return home.

The war is ending. By the time I return to Baghdad, the Palace will once again be under the control of Iraqis. Everyone will have moved to the new Embassy down on Al Kindi Street. I'll probably never roam those halls again. I've not had a normal life. But I've witnessed some amazing things.

Five years.

Who would have thought it would last so long?

Who would have thought it'd ever end?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Virtual Financial Meltdown

One day flying high, the next, Kid Various is sleeping under a virtual bridge. But 40% interest seemed like such a good deal!!!

Now We Know Why Television Is Called A "Medium"

Because nothing on it is rare or well done...

From the classic Saturday morning cartoon "The All New Adventures of Mighty Mouse."

God bless youtube.

This Is SO wrong

FOX eliminates Saturday morning cartoons for infomercials.

After terminating a deal with 4Kids, an independent producer of children’s programming, the Fox network closed down its Saturday morning block of cartoons on Monday, and became the first major broadcast network to agree to sell a part of its schedule to producers of infomercials.

Fox executives said that children’s programming was simply no longer viable on network television — mainly because of competition from cable channels.

Goddamn! Some of Kid Various' fondest memories of childhood emanate from spending 5 hours in front of the TV on Saturday mornings watching Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo, the Superfriends, Land of the Lost, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Grape Ape, Hong Kong Phooey, Magilla Gorilla, Underdog, etc. etc. etc.

The highlight of his week. That welcome respite from the drudgery of school. When the weekend was new and you had two whole days stretched out before you. Kid Various can sing the whole preamble to the Constitution because of Saturday morning cartoons!

As the years went by, and most cartoons became less and less humorous entertainment and more and more extended toy commercials (we're talking to YOU G.I. Joe!) there were still nuggets of great art out there. Kid Various spent his young adult Saturdays gleefully recovering from alcohol poisoning with The All New Adventures of Mighty Mouse, Pinky & The Brain, Batman: The Animated Series.

Alas, it is all going away. And with it, another piece of our common culture.

We weep for the children who will wake up on those bright Saturday mornings of freedom - to greeted by the Thigh-MasterTM.

Monday, November 24, 2008

We're Living in the Future!

We've got ray guns! F'ing ray guns! TOP THAT YOU SAVAGE MOTHERFUCKERS!

The deployed ray gun (or “directed-energy weapon”, in the tedious jargon that military men seem compelled to use to describe technology) is known as Zeus. It is not designed to kill. Rather, its purpose is to allow you to remain at a safe distance when you detonate unexploded ordnance, such as the homemade roadside bombs that plague foreign troops in Iraq.

This task now calls for explosives. In practice, that often means using a rocket-propelled grenade, so as not to expose troops to snipers. But rockets are expensive, and sometimes miss their targets. Zeus is effective at a distance of 300 metres, and a laser beam, unlike a rocket, always goes exactly where you point it.

So we got ray guns and we're going to live for a thousand years. (And have extraordinarily fit mice.)

In labs across the country, researchers are developing several new drugs that target the cellular engines called mitochondria. The first, resveratrol, is already in clinical trials for diabetes. It could be on the market in four years and used off-label as an all-purpose longevity enhancer. Other drugs promise to be more potent and refined. They might even be cheap.

"It's going to revolutionize western medicine," said Doug Wallace, a pioneer of mitochondrial medicine at the University of California at Irvine. "All the things that are common for an aging society, and nobody worried about when they died of infectious disease," he said, could be treated.

The future is gonna be great.

Sapere Aude!

Victor Davis Hanson ostendo sum nonnullus incommoditas verum

9. As I wrote earlier, the shrill Left is increasingly far more vicious these days than the conservative fringe, and about like the crude Right of the 1950s. Why? I am not exactly sure, other than the generic notion that utopians often believe that their anointed ends justify brutal means. Maybe it is that the Right already had its Reformation when Buckley and others purged the extremists--the Birchers, the neo-Confederates, racialists, the fluoride-in-the-water conspiracists, anti-Semites, and assorted nuts.--from the conservative ranks in a way the Left has never done with the 1960s radicals that now reappear in the form of Michael Moore, Bill Ayers, Cindy Sheehan,, the Daily Kos, etc. Not many Democrats excommunicated for its General Betray-Us ad. Most lined up to see the premier of Moore's mythodrama. Barack Obama could subsidize a Rev. Wright or email a post-9/11 Bill Ayers in a way no conservative would even dare speak to a David Duke or Timothy McVeigh--and what Wright said was not all that different from what Duke spouts. What separated Ayers from McVeigh was chance; had the stars aligned, the Weathermen would have killed hundreds as they planned.

10. The K-12 public education system is essentially wrecked. No longer can any professor expect an incoming college freshman to know what Okinawa, John Quincy Adams, Shiloh, the Parthenon, the Reformation, John Locke, the Second Amendment, or the Pythagorean Theorem is. An entire American culture, the West itself, its ideas and experiences, have simply vanished on the altar of therapy. This upcoming generation knows instead not to judge anyone by absolute standards (but not why so); to remember to say that its own Western culture is no different from, or indeed far worse than, the alternatives; that race, class, and gender are, well, important in some vague sense; that global warming is manmade and very soon will kill us all; that we must have hope and change of some undefined sort; that AIDs is no more a homosexual- than a heterosexual-prone disease; and that the following things and people for some reason must be bad, or at least must in public company be said to be bad (in no particular order): Wal-Mart, cowboys, the Vietnam War, oil companies, coal plants, nuclear power, George Bush, chemicals, leather, guns, states like Utah and Kansas, Sarah Palin, vans and SUVs.

The Jews Great Contribution to Civilization

The other day, Kid Various saw a jalapeno bagel. That

When my family first moved to Larchmont, N.Y., in 1946, my father had a feeling that the neighbors living behind us were Jewish. In those days, you didn't broadcast your religion, so he devised a plan that would reveal their cultural background. We would go to the Bronx and bring back some bagels. If our neighbors knew what the rolls were, they were Jewish. If they stared at them in bewilderment, we would know they were not. To my father's delight, as soon as our neighbors saw the bagels, they recognized them. Nowadays, dad's devious plan to determine a neighbor's religion wouldn't work. After all, who doesn't know what a bagel is? But what are the origins of this once-mysterious bread, and what happened between 1946 and today that turned the bagel into a trans-cultural and all-American breakfast bun?

Heads Are Exploding

If more sane statements like this come from the mouths of Obama cabinet appointees we may have a shot at getting through this after all.

In a 2002 CNN interview, Eric Holder delivered this answer, which will have the Hope 'n' Changers' heads spinning:

One of the things we clearly want to do with these prisoners is to have an ability to interrogate them and find out what their future plans might be, where other cells are located; under the Geneva Convention that you are really limited in the amount of information that you can elicit from people.

It seems to me that given the way in which they have conducted themselves, however, that they are not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention. They are not prisoners of war. If, for instance, Mohamed Atta had survived the attack on the World Trade Center, would we now be calling him a prisoner of war? I think not. Should Zacarias Moussaoui be called a prisoner of war? Again, I think not.

Know The Difference!


That was the funniest episode ever...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Well This Is Hopeful

And we wish President Obama well in this

Barack Obama isn't even President yet, and he's already angering some of his most devoted followers on the party's left wing. This is the mark of what could be a very successful presidency.

"With its congressional majority, the Democratic Party has refused to seriously try to end the war, to stop the bailout and to stop the trampling of civil liberties, just to name a few off the top of my head," wrote David Sirota on the popular liberal blog OpenLeft, decrying the serial betrayals of Obama and the congressional Democratic majority. The Democratic Party, he wrote, has "faced no real retribution" for its manifold heresies, something that Sirota believes he and his band of angry bloggers must change. "We better understand why this happened," he fumed.

Allow me to provide an answer. You don't matter.


This so Kid Various' next career

Washington's frustration could well be echoed today in the face of escalating assaults by pirates from Somalia. Over 90 such attacks have occurred this year alone -- a three-fold increase since 2007 -- resulting in the capture of 14 ships and 250 of their crew members. Among their prizes, the pirates have seized a Ukrainian freighter crammed with Soviet-made battle tanks and, most recently, the tanker Sirius Star with $100 million worth of Saudi crude in its holds. These shipments are now being held off the Somali coast where the pirates are bargaining for their return.

Oren gives the right prescription. We have to crush these idiots. They don't even have any sense of style. No parrots, eye-patches, no NOTHING.

Piracy is a scourge, but we are down with being snatched by some guy with a hook for a hand who swings aboard our vessel on a rope. That's at least, you know, cool. He may be a criminal, but at least he's putting some effort into it. We refuse to be taken hostage by a bunch of raggedy-ass Somalis who look like they just escaped from a Sally Struthers commercial.

Happy VI Day

Today is VI Day (Victory in Iraq Day)

We won. The Iraq War is over.

I declare November 22, 2008 to be "Victory in Iraq Day." (Hereafter known as "VI Day.")

By every measure, The United States and coalition forces have conclusively defeated all enemies in Iraq, pacified the country, deposed the previous regime, successfully helped to establish a new functioning democratic government, and suppressed any lingering insurgencies. The war has come to an end. And we won.

There aren't going to be any parades. No signing ceremony on the deck of the U.S.S Missouri. No widespread acknowledgement.

But it is important that this be acknowledged. We have won the Battle for Iraq. And passed one of the great tests we will face in the prosecution of the Long War.

Mr. Democracy, currently in Baghdad, writes:

There's a momentous event about to happen here. It may seem almost inane, but the excitement is in the air here. We are about to see the end of the Green Zone as we know it.

I have been in Iraq for 49 months, and for much of that time, the Green Zone in the Karkh District (downtown Baghdad) has been my world. With the signing of the SOFA, and the move of U.S. personnel to the new Embassy - all this will be going away December 31.

This bubble, this small facsimile of the western world, this fortress, is opening up. Iraqis are getting their downtown back. It's a sight to behold.

You could say that June 30, 2004 was the de jure transfer of sovereignty. December 31, 2008 is the de facto transfer. Iraq has finally become a normal country.

This is going to make our lives more difficult here. We'll be dealing with a fully sovereign nation just like any other. There will be difficulties as both sides learn to deal with the new situation. But ultimately, this is a good thing.

I spend most of my time in Ramadi now. In January 2007, it was an active war zone. In November 2008, I can walk down the street without body armor. Life is returning to normal in Ramadi, and with the signing of the SOFA, it will become completely normal. No more giant MRAPs careening down the streets. No more military intrusion into the lives of Iraqis (unless specifically requested by the Iraqi government.) Our movements will be more constrained. But we will also have more access to the outside world. Hell in Al Asad, they are hiring Iraqis to work on the base just like we did in 2003 before they started blowing themselves up in DFAC's. Soon, Iraqis will never want American bases to leave because their economies will be too dependent on them!

Barring some total collapse precipitated by a complete withdrawal, we've won this battle. We made our saving throw and stuck it out, allowing us against all odds to win. It was much more a near run thing than it ever should have been, but we've won.

Well spoken Mr. Democracy!

History will eventually record the courage of George W. Bush, who ignored the whining of the modern day Copperheads and had the temerity to choose victory:

Imagine life as an Iraqi in Baghdad or Ramadi or even Fallujah or Najaf or Baquba and all points between had President Bush relented to common popular domestic and international wisdom, opinion and sentiment and left the Iraqi people to the wolves among them, only to abandon them by "ending it," executing an "honorable withdrawal," or "redeploying" our forces. Our defeat would have been theirs ten-fold. Ask one.

Our current narrative-defining trifecta of media, political elite, and academia will surely not credit George W. Bush with achieving victory in Iraq while they are afforded the more palatable option of crediting a President Barack H. Obama with a draw-down of forces. But it is with certainty afforded by said trifecta's predictability that without President George W. Bush's steadfast determination and leadership, the events, discussion and reporting surrounding Iraq today would be horrific in nature.

The audacity of victory. You have to want it.

Ironically, this has likely helped his successor, Barack Obama. yet that is of secondary importance. What is important is that we have won this battle in the Long War.

Yet both leaders are likely to see benefit from the agreement. If a broadly based Iraqi government emerges as American troops withdraw, Bush's Iraq policy will demand and deserve a major historical reassessment. And the SOFA should allow President Obama to reinterpret his campaign pledges on Iraq in a more responsible manner -- giving deference to the best military advice during the next three years and avoiding destabilizing actions.

The success of the surge has achieved some extraordinary things -- not only the possibility of peace in Iraq but also a convergence in American politics. Bush's and Obama's modified positions on Iraq are quite close. Both leaders have accepted a responsible, gradual withdrawal and the possibility of leaving behind success instead of failure.

But it needs to be said that the Battle for Iraq was only one battle in a larger war, but as Douglas Stone says, people need to be reminded that it was the right battle, in the right place, at the right time.

It needs to be said: It was smart to go to war in Iraq; it was courageous to go to war; but most of all -- even though there are few things as horrific as war -- it was necessary to go to war against Iraq. Had we not gone to war against Iraq in 2003, we almost certainly would have done so there or in another Arab country at another time, and all in less advantageous circumstances.

Iraq was the right time, right place, right war.

We had to go to war, because the only sure way to ensure our national security is to drain the swamp of terrorism: to finally begin the process of wrenching the Arab world from a culture of backwardness, oppression and hatred toward the West.

We cannot slacken. We cannot rest. We have to continue to prosecute the Long War to transform this area from a desert of despotism to an oasis of freedom. Our security depends on it.

But for right now, we can crack open a beer and toast our success, and remember the costs of the right war, in the right place at the right time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

How Obama Got Elected

Kid Various isn't really upset by this. The point of it is to demonstrate that Obama voters are uninformed. Which is undoubtedly true. But all voters are uninformed. The actual percentage of the electorate that knows any in depth information about candidates in any election is vanishingly small. What we know is how a candidate makes us feel. We don't vote based on a rational calculation. We vote based on emotion.

But what does upset Kid Various about this video, and its attendant Zogby poll, is it demonstrates how much the media was in the tank for Obama. The MSM made it easy to get a negative impression of McCain/Palin (especially Palin) and very, very difficult to get negative impression of Obama. Thus, the frames for making that emotive choice were rigged from the very beginning.

Not surprising as it happens to Republicans in every election. But this was one was exceptionally bad.

That "Obama! Obama!" chant is fascistically creepy though...

Nebraksa Repeals Law of Unintended Consequences


This is a good example of the importance of legislative drafting skills.

Nebraska just amended its "safe haven" law which allowed people to drop off a child at a hospital with no questions asked. Generally, this is to protect unwanted newborns, but the Nebraska law failed to give an upper limit on age.

On Tuesday, a 15-year-old girl was left at a hospital in Hall County, in the central part of the state. Last week, a 14-year-old boy and his 17-year-old sister were dropped off at an Omaha hospital; the girl ran away from the hospital. Earlier in the week, a father flew in from Miami, Florida, to leave his teenage son at a hospital, officials also said.
"Please don't bring your teenager to Nebraska," Heineman told CNN. "Think of what you are saying. You are saying you no longer support them. You no longer love them."

Uh, well yeah. That's sort of the point.

Of course, Kid various thinks abortion should be retroactive to the age of seven anyway, so none of this is surprising. It just confirms his suspicion that children are monsters and given half the chance, a good percentage of parents would try to "give them back."

Which is why you can't make a law that allows them to do it!

They Told Me If George W. Bush Was Elected We Could Kiss Freedom of Speech Good-bye

Oh wait... 8 years of Bush and you can still say whatever you want on the Internet! Too bad that's going away!

Holy Crap!

Holy crap! Where's that knife? Kid Various is gonna go give himself a vasectomy right now!

As an example, according to the 2004 National Scruples and Lies Survey (which polled 5,000 women in the United Kingdom), 42% of women claimed they would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, regardless of the wishes of their partners.

Yeah, What's With That?

When Kid Various heard about this is made him uneasy as well:

There is nothing wrong with the substance of this regulation. Experience is showing it is needed. But it is very wrong to delegate these powers to unelected, international institutions with no political accountability.

We have a Securities and Exchange Commission appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, both of whom are elected by the American people. It is with the SEC, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve that financial accountability must take place.

The European Union achieved this massive subrogation of American sovereignty the way it usually does, by negotiation, gradual bureaucratic encroachment, and without asking the voters if they approve. What's more, Bush appears to have gone down without a fight, saving his debating time for arguing against the protectionism that France's Nicolas Sarkozy was pushing. By giving Bush a seeming victory on a moratorium against protectionism for one year, Sarkozy was able to slip over his massive scheme for taking over the supervision of the U.S. economy.

All kinds of political agendas are advancing under the cover of response to the global financial crisis. Where Franklin Roosevelt saved capitalism by regulating it, Bush, to say nothing of Obama, has given the government control over our major financial and insurance institutions. And it isn't even our government! The power has now been transferred to the international community, led by the socialists in the European Union.

The one thing he can say is at least it can be abrogated at any time. Although once it becomes institutionalized that will be about as likely as matter appearing randomly out of the quantum vacuum.

Good To Know

We're all just random fluctuations in the quantum vacuum. Can you all just dispense with the jihad crap now so we can back to sleep?

Matter is built on flaky foundations. Physicists have now confirmed that the apparently substantial stuff is actually no more than fluctuations in the quantum vacuum.

The researchers simulated the frantic activity that goes on inside protons and neutrons. These particles provide almost all the mass of ordinary matter.

Kid Various Plans to Major In Brain Downloading

Our team won't have to recruit from the Big Ten. We'll just make our own!

Go Singularity U! Beat the Counter-Enlightenment!

Computing Power To Equal Human Brain by 2025

Or in the case of Kid Various, has already been equaled by the TRS-80 in 1978.

“Deep Blue has roughly the processing capacity of a lizard, and the early Blue Genes has roughly the processing capacity of small rodent,” said Dr Harrison. “If you want to get to the processing capacity of a human being, I think you need something like 10 petaFLOPS.”

How fast it that? The fastest version on the Blue Gene runs at 500 teraFLOPS, which means about 500 trillion mathematical operations per second.

That's pretty much in line with Kurzweil's predictions. And what's more, by 2040, you'll have a computer on your desktop that equals the processing power of all biological intelligence on the planet.

At this point, Singularity scenarios play out.

We're almost there.

The trick is, as Al Fin points out, is to keep the Enlightenment project going for another critical 30 to 50 years.

The more sanguine examiners of the tech singularity concept are less likely to see The Singularity as inevitable. Many developments within society and government could short-circuit The Singularity, sending into terminal mode. Imagine a world government ruled by a Vladimir Putin, Josef Stalin, or Mao. Imagine world science, academia, media, and governance being taken over by dysfunctional post-modernist irrationality. Imagine the default human society--stratification by wealth, knowledge, power, and a profound inertial resistance to change.

Persons who believe firmly in the inevitability of The Singularity might be surprised to learn that the default human society is the closed society, resistant to change. Most of them have never known anything but open societies, born of western civilisation's restless urge to expand intellectual horizons. They live in an exceptional time, in an exceptional society, yet somehow believe it to be the human default. That type of blindness comes from forgetting to study history.

The distinction is important, because a default society perpetuates itself, whereas an exceptional society must constantly fight against entropy. We are only a few hundred years beyond the European Renaissance, two hundred years beyond the early industrial revolution, a hundred years into the era of human flight, fifty years into the age of semiconductors. And already, the sub-structure of western civilisation is showing signs of reversion to the default.

We've been running the Enlightenment experiment now for about 400 years, we just need to keep it running a little longer. The achievement of the Singularity is dependent on retaining our open society model. Pre-modern and post-modern societies do not have the capability to get to this point because of structural flaws in their design, specifically the closed nature and anti-competitive strains of their society. If we fall to the Counter-Enlightenment (onwhose precipice we seem to be recklessly dancing) or even fall to the pre-modern, we will lose this unique opportunity to achieve the human potential.

Another One for the Duh File

More on Zawahiri's message to President Obama. Again, hopefully since Zawahiri has displayed remarkable intolerance by calling the President a "house negro," we hope the Left will now become fully engaged in the Long War. The problem is, for the Left, it will be mostly about capturing Zawahiri so he can be put through mandatory sensitivity training. As they have characteristically seen the problem as being Al Qaeda in general and Osama bin Laden in specific. Once bin Laden is comfortably put away in Club Fed and Zawahiri has been made to see the error of his politically incorrect ways - the war is over.

For the rest of us, however, a full engagement in the Long War means a struggle across a variety of fronts. For as Zawahiri's message made abundantly clear to all but the most willfully blind. Their goals are not narrow.

Echoing this assessment of the global Jihadi drive, Zawahiri asks the followers of this ideology -not just his membership - to relentlessly fight against what he perceives as the "Grand Crusade." A stark reminder that the forces, which waged their campaigns against the United States as of the early 1990s peaking on 9/11 and widening their warfare to dozens of countries since, aren't going back to the pre 9/11 mode. Once again, al Qaeda's number two offers a deal to the "infidel powers": quit and withdraw from this entire region or face a greater war. It is a chilling statement of the so-called Jihadi offensive. It is not just about Iraq: It is about the Planet as a whole. He goes on:

"And my fifth message is to all the world's weak and oppressed. I tell them: America has put on a new face, but its heart full of hate, mind drowning in greed, and spirit which spreads evil, murder, repression and despotism continue to be the same as always. And the Mujahideen of Islam, by the grace of Allah, continue to be the spearhead of the resistance against it to restrain it from injustice, aggression and arrogance. As for my final message, it is to the American people. I tell it: you incurred defeat and losses from the foolish actions of Bush and his gang, and at the same time, Shaykh Usama bin Ladin (may Allah preserve him) sent you a message to withdraw from the lands of the Muslims and refrain from stealing their treasures and interfering in their affairs. So choose for yourself whatever you like, and bear the consequences of your choice, and as you judge, you will be judged."

Against all other reactions, both positive and neutral, vis-a-vis Obama's election, al Qaeda stands firm in rejecting the new leadership even before the President elect takes office in January. From a politico-psychological perspective the master of Jihadism Usama Bin laden cannot be overshadowed by another international leader, particularly if that emerging figure is the President of the "Great Satan." Zawahiri's response to the election seems to re-frame the results of the election, one viewed worldwide as one of change. To al Qaeda there is no altering of direction in their struggle and agenda. In their own logic, either Obama will end American presence altogether in the Greater Middle East, or nothing will really change in the global battlefield.

Of course, the dirty little secret is that we are winning. It's been tough, but there is victory in Iraq where we have broken and shamed AQ, shia militias and the baathist leftovers. This is a victory in only one battle however, of a Long War.

Good Point

It is a federal office building. One can imagine the President huddling outside in the wind and rain with the other social lepers

And all those parents who were proud to have their children sing odes to Obama that were posted on YouTube will just have to suck it up when they discover that their children have taken up the habit of smoking. "Obama does it!" will be their snarky retort. And who can argue with that?

In the meantime, perhaps the government should consider lifting the ban on smoking in federal buildings. After all, the White House is a federal building. You wouldn't want for our leader to have to suffer the indignity of sneaking out the back door just to grab a quick smoke, would you?

Kid Various is not a smoker, but he thinks we've gone way overboard on the persecution of those who take a hit off the Devil's Weed from time to time. It creeps him out because the whole anti-smoking thing is just so emblematic of the small losses of Liberty that we consistently endure in this nation all in the name of not offending someone.

Most smokers the Kid knows are fairly polite, and if you have an allergy or asthma or something they will be happy to restrict their puffing. But that's not what we are talking about in the vast majority of cases. What we are dealing with is people who have been brought up to believe that it is there right never to be offended. And they don't like cigarette smoke, so they use the coercive power of government to enforce their personal preferences.

To the point that you can't smoke in bars anymore. C'mon. Freaking bars! Because someone might walk in who doesn't like the smell of smoke. Kid Various hates children. That is why he rarely goes to Chuck E Cheese. If you don't like smoke, don't go to a freaking bar!

We all hope that when Obama is standing out in the rain taking those last, depserate drags off his Marlboro Light, he might meditate on the importance of Liberty.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Everything's Fine. Go Back To Watching "Dancing With The Stars"

Yeah, this is making the Kid feel real happy.

A few months' work in a makeshift laboratory is all it would take to produce a biological weapon that could kill hundreds of millions of people.

The scientific information is freely available and the raw materials easily sourced. The only difficult part would be mastering the necessary scientific skills, and they are taught on most biology degree courses.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh No He Didn't!!!

Al Qaeda #2, Ayman Al Zawahiri calls President Obama a "house negro."

During the recording, al-Zawahiri issued a message to U.S. President-Elect Obama, warning him of the "heavy legacy of failure and crimes [which] awaits you" and accusing Obama of having the "same criminal American mentality towards the world and towards the Muslims" as the Bush administration. Zawahiri added, "in you, and in Colin Powell, Rice, and your likes, the words of Malcolm X (may Allah have mercy on him) concerning 'House Negroes' are confirmed.

How insensitive! How hateful!

You know, they were kinda ambivalent on the whole September 11th thing but now... the Left is gonna forget about the Prop 8 proponents and go all jihad on AQ's ass!

Who Didn't See This Coming?

Kid Various pegged it a long time ago, but he thought they'd wait until at least the inauguration. Now that Obama is president, Europe says Kyoto "not that big a deal..."

Italy and Germany agree that measures to cut greenhouse gases shouldn't weigh on the economy, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel said at a press conference Tuesday, indicating government support for tough new measures in Europe is waning.
Any new European Union decisions on climate change and energy "must be taken in such a way as to not weigh on industry" in Europe, she said at a press conference televised live by Sky Italia.

Other headlines expected in the near future:

Europe Urges Obama to "Finish Job" in Iraq

Citing Political Prosecutions, I.C.C. Passes Exemption for U.S. Military

E.U. Says "A Little Tortue" OK In Certain Circumstances

Homeless Enjoy Outdoors Study Says

Monday, November 17, 2008

Darwin Must Be Respected!

Kid Various has been confused over the proposed $50bn bailout of the American auto industry and is glad someone has finally said it:

As of the close of business on Friday the market cap for General Motors was about $1.9 billion, Ford about 4.3 billion....Chrysler is privately held but it's a safe bet that their FMV is less than $2 billion...probably a LOT for approximately a lousy $7 billion....a rounding error for the federal budget...the government could simply BUY the entire U.S. auto "industry" --- actually, of course, it's just the U.S. nameplate manufacturers, but that's another story --- for what amounts to a pittance.

Basically, we're looking at throwing $50bn out to rescue companies that are worth a combined $7bn. That's ludicrous! Because they'd be shed of their crushing liabilities these companies are literally worth more bankrupt than they are as going concerns.

Kid Various supported the $700bn Wall St./Fannie-Freddie bailout, but not in order to save investment banks or the home mortgage sector. The problem was that the debt incurred in the housing sector was repackaged into credit instruments that were underlying the entire economy. Not bailing them out would not have affected solely the housing sector (in which case the Kid would've said - let it die) but rather was causing a complete collapse of the credit markets and thus threatening the entire economy.

The collapse of Detroit will be difficult for the auto sector, but it won't bring down the economy. Let them die...

The Idiom - Your Source for Hologram News

Who says we don't live in a freaking great country? We're making holographic soldiers fer chrissakes, like the Doctor on START TREK: Voyager!

Once they have them perfected, they want to "deploy" these soldiers using something called "quantum ghost imaging". This will allow to create photorealistic, non-cheesy-fake-CNN-looking holograms out of thin air by "pairing photons that do no reflect or bounce off an object, but off other photons," whatever that means. Parmentola explains it as "“like having a tracing tool … that goes over the image and that’s connected to another one on a piece of paper that exactly imitates what it is that you are tracing with the other pen" which leaves me scratching my head as well. He hinted that this is closer than we can imagine.

Please state the nature of the tactical emergency

What Would A Depression Look Like?

A modern day Depression wouldn't look anything like the 1930's. It would have unique hallmarks:

In a modern depression, the swelling ranks of the unemployed would likely change the landscape of the country, uprooting people who would rather stay where they are and trapping people who want to move. In the 1930s, this took the visible form of waves of displaced tenant farmers washing into California, but it also had another, subtler effect: it froze the movement of the middle class. The suburbanization that was to define the post-World-War-II years had in fact started in the 1920s, only to be brought sharply to a halt when the economy collapsed.

Today, a depression could reverse that process altogether. In a deep and sustained downturn, home prices would likely sink further and not rise, dimming the appeal of homeownership, a large part of suburbia's draw. Renting an apartment - perhaps in a city, where commuting costs are lower - might be more tempting. And although city crime might increase, the sense of safety that attracted city-dwellers to the suburbs might suffer, too, in a downturn. Many suburban areas have already seen upticks in crime in recent years, which would only get worse as tax-poor towns spent less money on policing and public services.

"You could have a sort of desurburbanization phenomenon," suggests Michael Bernstein, a historian of the Depression and the provost of Tulane University.

So let's see. You'd have a severe drop in disposable income which would limit the ability of people to engage in excess consumption, with a commensurate contraction in suburban sprawl as people flock to urban environments where you can walk to your local Whole Foods Market.

So basically... an economic Depression is the Left's wet dream.

NOW it all makes sense.

Yeah, There Are Strains of The Pre-Modern In The GOP, But...

The Kid was having this discussion the other day with his friend, Professor Elitism, who believes that now that the knuckle dragging Bush is gone, America can get back on track to having the world love us, doing right by the working man, etc. And you know, because the GOP has been captured by its anti-Enlightenment wing, how can the Kid - a vigorous defender of the Enlightenment against all enemies - possibly defend the Republicans?

Instapundit (another professor at UT Knoxville) linked to a good post by Rand Simberg on this very topic:

But the most important reason is this--while I find the anti-freedom strains of both parties equally dismaying, the Democrats are a lot better at implementing their big-government intrusions, and there's good reason to think that this will be the case even if the Republicans get full control of the government.

This is because many of the Democratic Party positions are superficially appealing, if you're ignorant of economics and have never been taught critical thinking.

Who can be against a "living wage"? What's so bad about making sure that everyone, of every skin hue, gets a fair chance at a job? Why shouldn't rich people pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes?--they can afford it. Are you opposed to clean air and water? What's wrong with you? How can you be against social security--do you want old folks to live on Kibbles and Bits?

Amazing isn't it? After 8 years of Bush, somehow, abortion is still legal, homosexual sodomy is no longer illegal, artists are still free to smear religious symbols with feces (and get a grant!) and it is still perfectly legal to burn a flag.

All good things according to Kid Various.

Because despite all the wailing and dire prognostication about the imminent loss of freedom and the issuing of the Bush Fascist regime - none of that came to pass. Because although there are significant strains of traditionalism and anti-Enlightenment in the GOP - it does not yet there rule.

This is utterly unlike the modern Democratic party where Counter-Enlightenment thought not only rules - but a differing worldview is simply not possible. And as Simberg points out, the Counter-Enlightenment aspects of the Democratic world view will find richer ground to set down roots in the American electorate than the corresponding traditionalism on the GOP side.

Pregnant With Meaning

From Newsweek's cover story this week:

Wow. Newsweek is kinda getting ahead of itself inthe Obama-love, no? Or maybe we should just drop the formalities and put President Obama on the one dollar bill right now. It's just avoiding the rush right?

And yes, we know that "In God We Trust" is on the penny... but its use here seems absolutely Freudian.

Beware the Rule of "Experts"

Kid Various has been to the countries where political power has been put into the hands of experts.

It never turns out well.

Christ, this article just drips with condescension:

Here's a radical suggestion: Barack Obama should pick the smartest people he can find for his cabinet. Brilliance has sometimes been a criterion in presidential appointments, of course, but seldom the major one. It usually takes a back seat to rewarding supporters, playing congressional politics, seeking diversity and appeasing interest groups. Presidents always place a high premium on personal loyalty.

Obama can't avoid such considerations. But it makes sense for him to give greater weight to intellectual acumen and subject-specific knowledge than his recent predecessors have, both because of the depth of the problems he faces and because of his own style as a thinker and a decision maker. Bush, whose ego was threatened by any outburst of excellence in his vicinity, politicized all policy and centralized it in the White House. Obama is intellectually confident, enjoys engaging with ideas and inclines to pragmatism rather than partisanship. He can handle a Lincolnesque team of rivals or a FDR-style brain trust. And he's going to need one.

Written by an elitist journalist directly for an elitist audience. Nice job on the psychoanalysis on President Bush. The Kid is guessing that the journalism degree now requires 60 credits in cognitive and behavioral psychology these days...

It's not that being an intellectual is a negative thing. It's good to be smart and have smart people around (although "smart" is not synonymous with "intellectual") It's simply that intellectuals value intellectualism to the exclusion of everything else. And that's dangerous.

It becomes the paramount value. Presidential Administrations are judged, as Weisberg judges the Bush Administration, solely by that value. If you are not an intellectual, you are not deserving of a position of power. Go back to your cave and let us smart people figure it out.

Kid Various is a card carrying Eastern Establishment Grad School Intellectual. And he's here to tell you, intellectuals often make really bad managers and make really poor decisions. Kid Various would make an awful president, because he is not a leader, he is not a manager, he is not decisive, he does not possess "street smarts," is incapable of inspiring loyalty or devotion and is often a lousy judge of character.

He can, however, wax intelligently on the totalitarian roots of Plato's "Republic" pace Karl Popper.

Again, that's not a bad thing. It's useful. But it is not the totality of what you need to be President. In fact, it's not even really in the top 3.

What is even more frightening, but not at all surprising given the intellectuals' devotion to the value of book smarts above all, is the total disregard that such people have for the American system, or the open society in general. The general public is only good for handing them power. As the electorate has simply been derided as bigoted, know-nothing fools these eight years. (Right now they are "wise" and have "transcended" their inherent intellectual handicaps.) No matter, as the electorate's role is simply to hand them power so they can get about the business of setting America right.

What they fail to grasp is that the open society demands a constant filtering of ideas through a net of specifically non-expert opinion. And part of that process is having the American electorate continually choose the direction that it wants the President to follow.

Weisberg may decry the politicization of the policy process:

If he really wants to bring change to Washington, the new president can start by putting a sign in his window: NO HACKS NEED APPLY.

But, in his intellectual brilliance, fails to grasp that that is precisely what has made our system successful.

Loyalty of subordinates, belief in the principles of the Administration, understanding of political interests; these are things which are crucial to a successful Administration, not simply intellectual power. The brilliance of Andrew Jackson was that he realized that he was the one official elected by the entire nation. Therefore, the people as a whole had endorsed the vision that he had campaigned on and it was not only his right, it was his duty, to implement that vision. Therefore, he needed an Administration that would aggressively prosecute that vision. Which meant he needed to shape the government so that it would be effective in doing so.

In other words, he had to hire hacks.

And so he invented the spoils system, firing 10% of the then tiny federal workforce and staffing it with his people. (Lord if Kid Various could only fire 10% of the federal workforce!) And thus, single-handedly saved the United States from an unchanging "permanent bureacracy" of "technocrats" as they have had in Europe - to such great success - and such that the intellectuals want to establish here.

So Mr. Weisberg, as one intellectual to another (and also as a proud political hack,) The Kid can only quote Pink Floyd:

We don't need no education...

What we need, is Liberty.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why We Are A Great Nation

The Iraqis, although they are completely freaked out by the possibility of us leaving, nevertheless look at our political system with awe:

I certainly have great trust in Republican leaders who liberated my people from tyranny. I trust the American nation as a whole even more. America has offered the world — through her pluralism and temporary divide — yet a new lesson in humanity.

...Americans, especially those who are used to voting for Republicans, have demonstrated their patriotism and their adherence to what America stands for. People in the Middle East are amazed by the large number of white people and Republican voters who voted for the “other.” America — who is always accused of racism — has shown us that in fact our countries in the Middle East are where racism flourishes. We didn’t choose that, but it’s the rule of tyranny and repression that uses hatred and intolerance to further itself.

It is liberty and democracy that allowed America to become the great humane and mature nation that she is.

Mr. Democracy, currently workign in Iraq, confirms:

The thing which I try to get across to Iraqis, the thing that really blows their minds, is that we do not swear allegiance to a leader, or a country, or a flag, or a "people", or blood or soil, or a religion or a god. We swear to "...uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic." We will die to defend a process. And what they are coming to understand, is that *this* is what makes us great.

Yes, But What If You Have No Muscles?

This is awesome. Regenerating 20% of muscle mass in geezers. There's hope for the Kid to hang on long enough to download his brain into the computer!

The drug, called MK-677, was evaluated for its safety and effectiveness in a study that showed the drug restored 20 percent of muscle mass loss associated with normal aging. In fact, levels of growth hormone (GH) and of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF- I) in healthy seniors who took the drug increased to the levels found in healthy young adults, said Michael O. Thorner, a professor of internal medicine and neurosurgery at the University of Virginia Health System.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Show Me The Money!

From now on, this is going to be Kid Various' (annoying) catch-phrase.


To all those Europeans, Canadians, Japanese, Russians, Iranians, Chinese, Indians, Africans and Latin Americans who are e-mailing their American friends about their joy at having “America back,” now that Obama is in, I just have one thing to say: “Show me the money!”

Don’t just show me the love. Don’t just give me the smiles. Your love is fickle and, as I said, it will last about as long as the first Obama airstrike against an Al Qaeda position in Pakistan. No, no, no, show me the money. Show me that you are ready to be Obama stakeholders, not free-riders — stakeholders in what will be expensive and difficult initiatives by the Obama administration to keep the world stable and free at a time when we have fewer resources.

Sadly, Friedman is in for a hell of a disappointment. All that love for America will have a similar shelf life to the sympathy for America after September 11th. (Although the Kid has to admit, it did last a good 10 minutes or so.)

Kid Various doesn't care whether our allies like us or not. He cares what they can do to help us. The answer is, not much. Besides the UK, most of our allies are not even capable of assisting us in any meaningful way. Hell, the Georgians did better for us in Iraq than the Germans are doing in Afghanistan. And that's pretty pathetic. But one thing you gotta say for the Georgians, and the Poles, and the Romanians - is that they got heart. And that counts for a lot.

No, sadly, Kid Various thinks that the world shall go on like it has before. Just like in the halcyon days of the 60's and 70's (and Vietnam, Watergate, Pinochet and the Shah) or the venerated 80's under Reagan when Europe loved oh so very much, or even when the world put the "hyperpower" on a pedestal during the Clinton years.

You know. Before George W. Bush came along and just ruined everything!


Our Source Was The New York Times

Of course the New York Times would run a story about classified directives. That's the right of the people "to know."

Of course, if there's a video tape of Barack Obama cavorting with Bill Ayers and Khalid Rashidi - you know - the public doesn't have the right to see that.

These men and/or women are gutless, self-serving, untrustworthy leeches. Eric Schmitt, Mark Mazetti, their editors, and the rest of the New York Times are no better, given their record of facilitating and propagating public disclosure of classified military information during a time of war.

If dissent is truly the highest form of patriotism, where does breaching the protocols of security and betraying the trust of granted clearances fit into the equation? Can we give these patriots their medals and just make it official?

No. We should instead track them down and prosecute them, and prepare their Patriots Day parade welcoming them to the friendly confines of Fort Leavenworth Prison — a "castle" fit for "patriotic" Kings of Dissent who disclose classified documents.

And quite frankly, Kid Various certainly hopes that there are orders to hunt down and eliminate the Enemy wherever he hides. To not do so would be criminally irresponsible.

233 Years

Happy Birthday Blake...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Wow! What An Extraordinarily Bad Idea!

Newt Gingrich 2012. No shit.

Even one of his strongest supporters for president in 2012 admits it is a "very risky choice." But Republicans are in a desperate mood after the fiasco of John McCain's seemingly safe candidacy. Republicans appear chastened by the failure of seeking moderate, independent and even Democratic votes. They are ready to try going back to the "old-time religion."

Well yeah. That's a great idea because that "old-time religion" is sure to lock a stunning 40% of the vote for us.

There is not a single GOP house member in New England. If we want to expand on that record to the entire Northeast - Gingrich is our guy. Man he killed us in 1995 in NJ.

The sad thing is that Kid Various is a Newt Gingrich fan. Say what you will about him, but he is an idea man and a great strategic thinker. Gingrich is the only public figure out there talking about things that Kid Various is thinking about but no one else seems to want to touch like:

  • After a nuclear terror attack on one of our cities, the United States will destroy itself. No nation can stand those kind of losses and remain an open and free society.
  • One of the greatest failures in Iraq has been the total failure of the civilian bureaucracy to perform at a minimally competent level. Our problems there stem mainly from the fact that we have not been able to marshal the combined resources of the United States in an existential struggle. The interagency process is hopelessly broken.
Despite the fact that he is immensely qualified to be president, there is the small problem that half this country thinks he's the anti-christ! Jesus did you see what they did to Palin? A Gingrich run would be like a turkey shoot for the MSM.

Mr. Speaker, please, stay home...

Funny Because Its True

Christ, Iowahawk is funny...

Although I have not always been the most outspoken advocate of President-Elect Barack Obama, today I would like to congratulate him and add my voice to the millions of fellow citizens who are celebrating his historic and frightening election victory. I don't care whether you are a conservative or a liberal -- when you saw this inspiring young African-American rise to our nation's highest office I hope you felt the same sense of patriotic pride that I experienced, no matter how hard you were hyperventilating with deep existential dread.

Yes, I know there are probably other African-Americans much better qualified and prepared for the presidency. Much, much better qualified. Hundreds, easily, if not thousands, and without any troubling ties to radical lunatics and Chicago mobsters. Gary Coleman comes to mind. But let's not let that distract us from the fact that Mr. Obama's election represents a profound, positive milestone in our country's struggle to overcome its long legacy of racial divisions and bigotry. It reminds us of how far we've come, and it's something everyone in our nation should celebrate in whatever little time we now have left.

The Kid does find it humorous that Gary Coleman is slowly gaining a second career as a kitsch idol.

David Hasselhoff with Sir Gary Coleman

Friday, November 07, 2008

Back In My Day, All We Had Was Dial Up!

Admittedly, this is cool. As both a geek and a campaign hack, The Kid sees how this has the potential to revolutionize not only organization - but also putting messages on target. Way back when in 1996, Kid Various developed the theory that the Net was a potentially awesome tool for organization, but lousy at moving message. But these new apps allow for the targeting of specific voters with the correct message. It's a brave new world.

One in which the GOP will have yet more of the deck stacked against us. Our demo skews older and these tactics would be less effective. Freaking wonderful.

He praised the Neighbor to Neighbor application on the Obama Web site as a means of getting out the vote. Obama supporters in swing states could log on to the Obama Web site and get a phone list of people in their neighborhoods to call and encourage them to vote for Obama. Baker and his colleagues in Chico used the site to coordinate with Democrats in Reno, Nev., to persuade Nevada voters to support Obama.

"MyBarackObama was very much a key place," Baker said. "The tenet of the campaign was to always send people directly to what Obama had said." The campaign made that easy by making Obama's position papers, statements, and videos readily available. "They didn't necessarily want us to tell people our opinions, they wanted it to be representative of what Obama thought."

The Most Important Thing

Kid Various really hopes that we don't see any kind of "Obama Derangement Syndrome" start to grip the conservative movement. Thankfully, almost every conservative outlet he's seen has been extraordinarily gracious. Unlike the howls of indignation that greeted "Chimpy McBushitler's" two victories.

It seems to me that conservatives have a golden opportunity to offer criticism and advice in a manner that many liberals did not during the last eight years. By that I mean I hope there are no conservative versions of the Nicholson Baker Knopf-published ‘novel’ Checkpoint, the creepy documentary by Gerald Range, the attempt to name a sewer plant after an American President, or the celebrity outbursts that we have witnessed with the tired refrain of Hitler/Nazi Bush—that all have cheapened political discourse. When I hear a partisan insider like Paul Begala urging at the 11th hour that we now rally around lame-duck Bush in his last few days, I detect a sense of apprehension that no Democrats would wish conservatives to treat Obama as they did Bush for eight years.

In the future, criticism should be offered in unified pro-American tones, rather than anti-Obama screeds. When disagreements arise, they should be couched in a sense of regret rather than ebullition. There should be no conservative counterparts of Bill Maher, Michael Moore, or Al Franken.

Despite the temptation to emotional outburst, we can never do to President Obama what the Left did to President Bush. Acting out like a bunch of two year olds will never do anything except make those more immature of us feel momentarily better emotionally.

It's up to us to show them what loyalty means.

Not A Transformation

The thing that bothers The Kid about the hosannas concerning the election of President Obama has been the seeming rapidly solidifying concept that Obama somehow transformed the nation. As in, before Tuesday, America was an ignorant, racist society and Lo! Obama stretched forth his hand and the Land brought forth harmony and brotherhood!

Nothing is different about America now. The country has been like this for many decades now. The election of President Obama did not transform the country, but merely demonstrated an already existing fact. That America is a fundamentally decent society where race, gender and ethnicity have long become trivial concerns.

The Kid sees these people on TV, tears streaming down their cheeks, plaintively wailing, "I never thought I'd live to see this day!"

Which is insulting. Because it displays such horrible cynicism in their feelings about the country - until they were proved wrong.

Of course Kid Various thought he'd live to see this day. He assumed it. If it wasn't this election it'd be 2012 or 2016 or whenever. Yes it certainly wouldn't have happened 40 years ago. But then again they only had 3 black and white TV stations 40 years ago. It certainly could have happened 10 years ago. Probably 20 years ago as well.

This is a great nation. And even at points in our history where we have fallen short - we have always been moving forward. I'm as proud of America today as I was last week. Because this was not a transformation, it was just shining the light on what already was.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Do We Really Need This?

Yeah, what was up with that? Was she supposed to be like, from the future or something? And if so, why didn't she just tell us the results?

No, it was just Jessica Yellin, a CNN correspondent. CNN beamed her image from Chicago to the CNN press center in New York City, where Wolf Blitzer and the rest of the team were covering election returns.

Yellin, who claimed she was the first person to be beamed in a "hologram" on live TV, explained for the audience how this was done. (See video below.) She said she was standing in a tent outside of the Obama headquarters in Chicago where the CNN crew had set up 35 high-definition cameras in a ring. She stood in the center of this ring and the cameras picked up her every movement and transmitted the image in 3D to the studio in New York.

While CNN is touting its special effects from election night as a '"hologram," that may not be technically the case. CNN's "hologram" seems to have been done using overlay images and a green screen to virtually put the reporter in the same studio as Wolf Blitzer. But true holography uses a different technique to create a true 3D image of a person standing in the studio. According to Wikipedia, "holography is a technique that allows the light scattered from an object to be recorded and later reconstructed so that it appears as if the object is in the same position relative to the recording medium as it was when recorded. The image changes as the position and orientation of the viewing system changes in exactly the same way as if the object was still present, thus making the recorded image or hologram appear three-dimensional."


After this comes out, Kid various is SO fired.

The Kid successfully avoided World of Warcraft. But THIS? You're gonna find him in his room, dead for 3 weeks because he refused to leave to get something to eat.

President Obama

Kid Various wishes a hearty Idiom congratulation to President Barack Obama.

Obviously, he was not our choice. But he is our President and we wish him the greatest success, because, unlike some, we would not wish ill on our country simply to damage a political opponent.

And most of all we sincerely hope that he will be granted the wisdom to understand the nature of the awesome threats that are arrayed against us.

This is a great time for America. All else aside, we have elected a black man as president. And we have elected him, not because he *was* black, but because the fact that he was black was insignificant.

Throughout this entire campaign, we have never doubted that Barack Obama's race would play an insignificant role. Never for a moment have we doubted that America was "ready" for a black president. Or a woman president. Or a gay president. Or a hispanic president.

We have never doubted it because we have never doubted the greatness of our society.

This is a great, GREAT country. Unparalleled in all of human history. And we can all be immensely proud.


Been gone a couple of months. Too bad because there obviously was a rich vein of posts to mine. But, you know, life and laziness. The Kid sometimes is so mentally tired it's all he can do to keep from drooling on himself.

Seems like a good time to reinsert ourselves into the debate.