Saturday, March 15, 2003

No Doubt George W. Bush censored this story

A talking, soothsaying, Hebrew-speaking carp is one thing, but the fact that this story is ony getting play now, some 7 weeks later -- and just days before the start of the Iraq War, now that's a sure sign of the present administration's evil intent.

Friday, March 14, 2003

The Dixie Chicks' Sinead O'Connor Moment

The Dixie Chicks can say whatever the hell they want, but if you are a country music superstar, proclaiming yourself ashamed that the President of the United States comes from Texas just doesn't seem very clever. As Lee at Right Thinking points out, their fan base is probably more patriotic than most and probably won't take too kindly to all of this.

In October 1992, on Saturday Night Live, Sinead O'Connor made the curious political gesture of ripping up a picture of Pope John Paul, declaring that we should "fight real enemy" (generating 4,484 calls of complaint (and 725 calls of support) to NBC). Her career hardly got a big boost from that one.

UPDATE: That retraction didn't take long.
The Kurds tell France to go pound sand

The Kurdish PM thinks France and Russia shouldn't get any oil contracts.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

I, for one, do not intend to go to sleep by the light of a communist moon!

The Chinese Space Program is getting serious.

China intends to reach the moon by 2010. Some here belittle the American moon landing in 1969, proclaiming they will do more than "plant a red flag and pick up rocks," as one space planner put it.

Officials say they aim to exploit the moon's resources. They covet its apparently abundant supply of helium-3, a rare isotope on earth that some scientists believe may prove to be a clean fuel of choice when used in special nuclear fusion reactors that would have to be developed.

"We've got to seize this moment when other countries have no comprehensive plan to return to the moon," Luan Enjie, the head of China's National Space Administration, told the official New China News Agency this month.


Unfortunately, my intentions have nothing to do with this. China's going to be on the moon long before we get back.

Australia's PM kicks so much ass

John Howard kicks so much ass.

Damn!
Pardon my Martian

But this is about the coolest thing I've ever heard: current, short-term flows of liquid water on the Martian surface.
Pardon my French

But this is the dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard.

Some idiot Congresswoman from Florida, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, no doubt a Republican* (Democrats do stupid stuff, lord knows, but not in this particular sort of way), says we should exhume and repatriate our dead from the First and Second World Wars because the French don't appreciate what we did for them this century. Yes, she says its limited to the families who might wish it - but taking a backhoe to a war memorial and even move a single body - to score a cheap political point - is just shameful.

First, I think the French government is nuts. Completely lose from its moorings. Unreliable, immoral and craven. But to suggest that a Frenchman or, for that matter, any human being worth a damn can visit Normandy and not understand -- and appreciate -- the human courage and sacrifice it took to defeat Nazism is simply an insult to human decency.

Second, our men died in France and, if circumstances require it, you bury your men on foreign soil. When your men are buried on foreign soil you leave them there, not only as a memorial for their sacrifice but as a reminder to those who want to bear true witness to the costs of war. Always remind people of the human cost of war - and leaving our men where they died is about the finest war to memorialize that.

Third, the war dead should be undisturbed. Period. Men and women who die for their country are to be honored for the country for which they died. It should be noted that, in most cases anyway, the German Wehrmacht, during their occupation of France, left our cemetaries from the Great War undisturbed and with the American flag flying. I'm sure the Nazis wanted it taken down, but the regular German army did no such thing. In 1974, when the CIA picked up that Soviet Golf-class sub with the Glomar Explorer, the Soviet sailors were rebuired at sea, under a Soviet flag to the strains of the Soviet national anthem. The French, with respect to the war dead, have always behaved honorably to us and to suggest that they won't continue to do so not only questions French military honor, it would put into question our own.

Finally, even if the French are ungrateful for what we did then (a fact which is simply not borne out even by France's current, shall we say, unhelpfulness) - what better way to educate the future generations of Europeans of our sacrifice on their behalf than to leave our American boys where they are.

* UPDATE: Yep.
Not quite, not yet, but close...

Only five people have been named honorary citizens of the United States: Mother Teresa, Raoul Wallenberg, Winston Churchill, and William and Hannah Penn.

These are not the times to compare one to the saintly Mother Teresa or the inhumanly courageous Raoul Wallenberg, but I came across the Public Law which made an honorary citizen of Sir Winston Churchill.

John Howard and Tony Blair certainly are not Winston Churchill, but there's certainly much of this proclamation that applies to the two of them as well:

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS Sir Winston Churchill, a son of America though a subject of Britain, has been throughout his life a firm and steadfast friend of the American people and the American nation; and

WHEREAS he has freely offered his hand and his faith in days of adversity as well as triumph; and

WHEREAS his bravery, charity and valor, both in war and in peace, have been a flame of inspiration in freedom's darkest hour; and

WHEREAS his life has shown that no adversary can overcome, and no feat can deter, free men in the defense of their freedom; and

WHEREAS he has by his art as an historian and his judgment as a statesman made the past the servant of the future;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOHN F. KENNEDY, President of the United States of America, under the authority contained in an Act of the 88th Congress, do hereby declare Sir Winston Churchill an honorary citizen of the United States of America.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this ninth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-seventh.

JOHN FITZGERALD KENNEDY


John Howard, especially.

Australia had no public relations dog in this fight, but she's been steadfast and unapologetic. Certainly, Australia acts in her own political interest and terrorism has visited Australia all too graphically. But Australia doesn't get the appreication she deserves and, frankly, I wish some of the East Coast conservatives, who know better, would spend a little less time kissing London's arse, when Canberra's goes wanting.

God only knows where this Iraq war will take us - but I want Australia and the UK by my side wherever it goes. And if, as I suspect, Australia's John Howard continues to champion western civilization and support the cause of liberty, human rights and democracy around the world - by whatever means are required - as he does again here, by the time this is all over, I'd happily cast my lot in to add John Howard to the list.

(N.B.: If we're giving out two Honorary Citizenships, Tony Blair gets one as well. John Howard goes first.)

Bend It Like Beckham

I hadn't even really noticed until today that Bend It Like Beckham was being released here in the United States. It's pretty standard cultural assimilation fare - a Sikh family lives out by the Heathrow, the younger daughter wants to play soccer, the older daughter is far more dutiful - misunderstanding and hilarity ensues. Mrs Earthling and I caught it on a British Airways flight last summer and while it's pretty predictable, I enjoyed it immensely.

They're doing a slow roll-out here, but a big push -- they're trying to make it this year's Big Fat Greek Wedding -- but if you get a chance to catch this film, I'd recommend it. So does this fellow.

(And, mercifully, despite the title, there's very little Manchester United worship. (N.B.: I support Aston Villa)).

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Yoko Ono: Unilateralist

The ever-flakey Yoko Ono took out a full page ad in the SF Chronicle today asking for peace and happiness and rounding off the world's sharp corners (or whatever, I don't get the paper delivered). This little item about the ad provided this little bit:

To keep the process simple, [Ono] decided not to try to enlist the support of other artists. "I just did it myself. That way there's no red tape, no waiting period for approval of other people or organizations."



Just do it yourself.

Imagine.

UPDATE: You can see the ad here. I've got to admit, I'm not quite convinced here.

UPDATE: Welcome, Tim Blair readers! I blog about politics, space and whiskey, not necessarily in that order. Hope you take a moment to poke around my other ramblings and come back if you enjoy my stuff. Mrs. Earthling and I are coming on down to Australia in the next couple of months to check it out. A sort of week each in Sydney-Alice/Ayers-Queensland deal. I'd love to hear any suggestions for things not to miss!

We've got to fight, for their right to party

I enjoy the Beastie Boys as much as the next guy and while I think they're about as naive as they come on politics (I mean, please, you don't have to fight for your right to party when the First Amendment protects your right, among others, to petition the government for a redress of grievances). Still, they're clever lyricists.

A new anti-war song can be found here and with lyrics like this, it's worth a listen:

Mirrors, smokescreens and lies
It’s not the politicians but their actions I despise
You and Saddam should kick it like back in the day
With the cocaine and Courvoisier


Elie Weisel supports the war

Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Weisel sees the war for what it is: unfortunate, but quite necessary.

What it comes down to is this: We have a moral obligation to intervene where evil is in control. Today, that place is Iraq.
Uncle Saddam

Good old Saddam Hussein is preparing to kill as many Iraqis as possible so he can blame the atrocities on the United States. He did this during the Gulf War.

[Mr Rumsfeld] recalled that during the 1991 Persian Gulf war, authorities ordered civilians into military command bunkers. In one instance, on Feb. 13, 1991, the U.S. forces bombed the Amiriyah bunker in Baghdad. Later, the United States discovered that Saddam's deputies had sentenced scores of civilians to their deaths by placing them on the bunker's upper level, above a command center. Baghdad displayed the dead bodies to the international press.


Too bad all those human shields have left.

Turnabout

A PETA anti-fur activist jumped on the runway at a fashion show, and was then subdued by security guards who wrapped the protester in a fur coat before dragging him off. Oh. Yeah!

Via Blogs of War.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Now that's what I call multiculturalism...

New Mexico State Rep. Dan Foley (R-Roswell) has a bill pending in the New Mexico legislature which would create "Extraterrestrial Culture Day" to be held on the secon Thursday in February.

Of course, I think the Honorable Mr Foley looks a bit like an alien myself...
Nuclear Posture v. the DPRK

Here's an interesting piece on the history and tactics of nuclear weaponry in Korea.
The Military Governor of Iraq

Lt. Gen. John P. Abizaid, Deputy CinC of Central Command to Tommy Franks, is probably the most likely -- and certainly the best -- fellow to be made military governor of Iraq. Gen. Tommy Franks was ready for retirement last year, but stayed on at the President's request. Franks probably does not want to lord over Iraq for the next two years and there's certainly something to be said for letting one guy run the whole show for the duration, so Franks is a bad choice. But this extrodinary fellow is exactly the right man to do just that. Lebanese-descent, California-raised, educated at West Point ('73) and Harvard (Masters in Middle East studies) and studied some at the University of Jordan, where he also trained with Jordanian special forces.* He speaks fluent Arabic.

He's got experience doing relief work in Kurdistan, he's a former division commander of the First Infantry Division, Commandant of the Corps of Cadets (i.e., the head of West Point), Ranger, and is apparently universally admired.

You can read his whole biography right here. Here's some more.

* That last point is peripherally cool, but as King Abdullah of Jordan is himself a Jordanian special forces officer, this certainly will make the military government's relations with Jordan that much easier.

Thanks to my Defence Minister for this bit of intel.
What the War's All About

Lee Harris, over at TechCentral, writes a terrific essay about how radical Islam attempts to breakdown the western liberal order can only lead to its own demise and the dangers of using containment to reinforce the legitimacy of tyranny. It's a long essay, but I think it's the best thing I've read on the subject it quite a while.
Freedom Fries!

This is incredibly silly, but I can't help but laugh. The cafeterias on Capitol Hill now serve Freedom Fries in lieu of French Fries.
Iraq to UN: Boo!

Iraq complains that the UN had two U-2s flying over Iraq at the same time, claiming this was a hostile act. The UN apologizes and admits a "mistake."

Nevermind that the "number of U-2s the United Nations can fly are not restricted under U.N. resolutions but in the past only one U-2 has gone up in the air at one time after notification." Baghdad got upset, so the UN apologizes. And we were to believe that the UN would have had the fortitude to back up the Franco-German "robust inspections" regime floated a month or so ago?
Impressive

Okay, technically it's impression, but we're going to put the Iraqi Army to work rebuilding Iraq. This should be, first of all, a good way to get the work done, second, it's a good way to rehabilitate the regular army in their own eyes and in the eyes of the people and, finally, I hope it's a way we can begin creating a rigorously secular Army in the mold of Turkey, which can guarantee the long-term stability of a democratic Iraq.
The People, Defeated, Shall Never Be United

Instapundit notes another lefty hoping for our defeat.

I've been saying this for a while. For someone to wish for our defeat says they've got a different problem. War doesn't scare them. Victory does..

Monday, March 10, 2003

Hail Australia!

Just a cool link to the Australian Ministry of Defence and a link to their current contributions to the war effort.
Pathetic Earthlings gets the 419!

Always tickled when I get a Nigerian money laundering scam email. It's especially cool when it's addressed to "Earthling".

OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN
CONTRACT AWARDING COMMITTE
ECOWAS HEADQUARTERS LOME,
REPUBLIC OF TOGO IN WEST AFRICA.

ATTN.Earthling ,

ACCOUNT PROVISION FOR USD15M

Forgive my indignation if this message comes to you as
a surprise and if it might offend you without your
prior consent and writing through this channel.

I am Abel Obi princewill,The Chairman, Contract
Awardind Committee of the ECONOMIC COMMUNITY OF WEST
AFRICAN STATES ( ECOWAS)with Headquarters in Lome,
Togo.I got your information in a business directory
from the Togolaise Chamber of Commerce and Industries
when I was searching for a reliable,honest and
trustworthy person to entrust this business with.I was
simply inspired and motivated to pick your contact
from the many names and lists in the directory....


N.B.: If for some reason you are unfamiliar with these scams (called "419" scams or "Advanced Fee Scams" - which I first encountered when a friend of mine got an honest-to-god letter in about 1988 (and we, being 18, thought about this seriously for... oh.... 15 minutes when our brains popped out of "Greed"), you can read all about them here, here, and from the good folks at the US Secret Service here.

Seems to me that if they want to do better in California, they need to come up with the 420 scam.

Broomis or Bust!

Every now and again, some egghead wants to delist Pluto as a planet. Here's a fellow who wants to broaden the definition of "planet" so it includes Quaoar, Varuna and Ceres.

Pluto comments.
Cognative Dissonance with a Side of Fries

The Night Cabbie's a weekly feature in the San Francisco Chronicle from an anonymous cab driver in San Francisco. Today, he's taking a French couple to Mel's Diner, while they lecture him on American policy and, of course, how George W. Bush ruined everything.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Vintage Gulf War Leaflets

You can see our propaganda leaflets from the Gulf War here. And our new ones here.

The 1990-91 leaflets look as though they were drawn by the pretty good high school artist who insisted on involving himself with every yearbook, playbill and senior class t-shirt, the one you used because he insisted, while the really talented fellow amused himself by drawing space alien T n' A in the back row of biology.




My friend who was in 1st Marine artillery during the first Gulf War sent me a leaflet like this one.
Where're the screams for multilateralism now?

Pyongyang wants one-on-one talks with Washington and nothing else will do.
Pretending that your still around...

Last week, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders implored the Iraqi soliders to "give us what we deserve." Looks like they are preparing to do just that -- an immediate, unconditional surrender even before the shooting starts.