Thursday, December 30, 2010

Enviroggedon Postponed...

(Image:  From the movie poster The Day After Tomorrow)

Mark Steyn usually likes to bash "warmmongers" as he calls environmentalists with their gloomy predictions of future eco-tastrophy.  While Mark Steyn has been laying low for health reasons, FOX News picked up the slack with this article:

What will earth's environment be like in the future? 

It's anybody's guess.

Planning to Fight the Last War?

David Wood, the military correspondent for Politics Daily, expresses concern in his recent article, that US military strategists may be planning on fighting the previous war.  That is, a continuation of counterinsurgency operations.  Mr. Wood cautions us not to throw away those manuals on conventional warfare.  That in light of growing tension between the US and Iran, North Korea and maybe even China, we may need to fight an all out conventional war--if we can:

This news item causes an extensive debate among my friends:

I think this will be the future story after the next war – why did the U.S. spend so much time on low intensity conflict and forget how to fight real wars? After all, I do not see any more nation-building sorts of interventions any time soon, but a war in Korea or with China is not beyond the realm of possibility.

I don't know. I can also imagine our entering into the fray in Mexico if we are able to extricate ourselves from Iraq and/or Afghanistan, and points further south aren't completely beyond the realm of possibilities either...

Perhaps, but I don't think we will have the political will to intervene on a massive scale (i.e. Iraq/AF). Mexico is a possibility, but I have my doubts about nation-building down south.
My take is that the costs of failure on the high-intensity end are tremendous, while the costs on the lower end are much lower (but not necessarily low).

Agreed...To get our asses handed to us by the norKs or the ChiComs would be disastrous, whereas a setback in a COIN/LIC is just that, a setback, and something we'll have time to recover from. Heck, we would still have the choice to escalate or withdraw. A buttkicking on the Peninsula would be forever.

If North Korea is the logic for having an army capable of fighting "big wars" you're scraping the bottom of the barrel. Defeating the North Korean Army is the South Korean Army's job, a job they are quite capable of doing.

Our contributions will be primarily air, naval, as well logistics and C4ISR.

"There's a belief that the president of the United States can pick up the red phone and order forcible entry operations'' like the 2003 invasion of Iraq, said Army Maj. Gen. Dan Bolger, who commands the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana. "But that takes practice, and we don't get a lot of practice.''

I find Bolger's comments interesting because he is the guy who in the early 1990s wrote the Parameters article - The Ghosts of Omdurman where he argued that the future was going to be geared toward low intensity conflict and that Desert Storm was an aberration.

Frankly, from a standpoint of future force structure, I find it very unlikely that we will be getting into a major force on force land conflict and beyond that after Iraq and Afghanistan I find unlikely that we'll be committing large numbers of ground low intensity conflicts. So, I know it is not a PC view right now because of the burden being carried by our ground forces but for future planning I think our air and naval forces should get priority.

I see the U.S. as back to our roots - maritime power is where we should focus in the mid-term (and that includes air). I agree that a ground war with China is highly unlikely, but I am not so sanguine about a war in Korea.

I'm not so sanguine about an all-out shooting war with North Korea either.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"The Day the Music Died"

Yesterday, fans of Seattle's Smooth Jazz Station, KWJZ 98.9, received a shock: The station now called "Click FM" changed its format and will no longer be playing jazz. I've enjoyed listening to this station from the first night I tuned in to it 12 years ago this very month.

Sometimes, it's small events that make you say "WTF?" While this radio station's format change may not have any earth-shattering geo-political repurcussions, it is truly upsetting to long-time listeners.

When I first tuned in last night, I thought someone had their wires crossed, or there was some atmospheric disturbance causing my radio to receive a Portland radio station. (That's happened before). Then I went online, saw the notice on the website and received Carol Handley's newsletter in my e-mail account.

I discovered smooth jazz when I moved here 12 years ago. I was flipping through the stations and came across Diana Rose's lovely voice during one of her City Lights programs.

She certainly got my attention!

Then the music grew on me and I've loved jazz ever since.

I never thought I'd take a deactivation of a radio station so hard, but I'm really saddened to see KWJZ dissappear from the airwaves, because it introduced me to a new realm of music.

Text of Carol Handley's newsletter message:
To the KWJZ Family,

For 19 years 98.9 KWJZ has been presenting a mix of Smooth Jazz music for you, our very loyal music fans and radio listeners. It is with sadness that we inform you that this era for 98.9 FM has come to a close.

Technologies change and the new radio audience measurement is not favoring our once “ratings-strong” Smooth Jazz music format. I encourage you to continue to support the artists who make the music and the venues who bring them to the Northwest.

It is with huge gratitude on behalf of the entire KWJZ staff that we thank you for being here with us for these many years.


Carol Handley
Program Director

The fans certainly are not happy. The station's Facebook page is still up and running, while the complaints continue to pour in, (you must have a Facebook account to read the link):!/989KWJZ

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gitmo Detainees Fall Under Our Spells (We Wish)

Hot Air brings us a story of a Gitmo detainee claiming the US employed Jewish witches against them.  What's even more disturbing than this outrageous claim, is that Al-Jazeera regards this as a serious story: 

One of my friends quipped:

Too bad it didn't work. Apparently they are still around to bitch about.

To which, I replied:

Yeah, it figures. We went with the lowest bidding contractor and hired the dropouts from Hogwarts.

Other comments soon followed:

Wow, Jews and witches. What's next, Navajo intergators forced them to take peyote?

I'm certain they were forced to be in close proximity to (shudder) women...when we all know that's torture.  Of course goats, sheep, and young boys are all A-OK!

And it’ll be better now, with DADT.

We could just have my two beagles slobber all over them...

"And There Was Much Rejoicing..."

Yesterday, Obama signed the bill repealing the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy on banning homosexuals from openly serving.  The Globe and Mail of Canada has the story of the rejoicing within The Beltway:

Meanwhile, in the wilds of Afghanistan, a possible unintended consequence emerges:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wiki Humor

Today's Frank & Ernest, by Thaves

Today's Non Sequitur, by Wiley Miller

Note:  Click on images for a larger view.
I'm sure there's some dreadful machinations & happenings going on somehwere.  However, I thought I'd start the pre-Christmas Monday with some much-needed humor.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Next Step for Hugo Chavez: President-for-Life

According to Reuters, the Venezuelan Legislature voted today to give Hugo Chavez "decree powers" for 18 months.  Of course, it will be such a hassle painting over all the cult-of-personality murals plastered throughout the nation.

I hope the Venezuelans are happy that Chavez will make their "trains run on time."

The comments from friends are as follows:

It's official - Venezuela has lost it's collective mind...

But it worked so well for the Germans in the past...

So in VZ you have the legislature enabling a dictator and that is okay.  In Turkey you have the military trying to ensure the viability of secular democracy and that is not okay.

Don't forget that in Honduras you have the military acting at the behest of the courts and the legislature to uphold their oath to defend the constitution by preventing the president from becoming Hugo 2.0 and that is not okay either...

Friday, December 17, 2010

More Noise from North Korea

North Korea is pitching a fit (again).  This time it's over South Korea's "provocative plan" to conduct a scheduled exercise.

From Yahoo News:

Comrade Karla asks a good question:

So what is this ding dong Richardson doing sticking his oar in when it's attitudes like his who got this problem to be as bad as it is in the first place? Keep appeasing the Norks? Yeah, that'll work well.

The ROKs have apparently went from 20% supporting being tougher with the North before the sinking of the Cheonan, to over 70% supporting a military response to N. Korean boorishness...I go with classic Star Trek on that one: "What the North Koreans say is unimportant, and we do not hear their words."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The California Canary

(Image:  Mexifornia by Cox)

One of our favorite commentators, Victor Davis Hanson (VDH), discusses the "two Californias" in this article posted on the National Review Online (NRO):

Comments from my friends ranged from tongue & cheek (but true):

A great article. The first paragraph is a great summary of condition of the State of California. I think the Golden State however, should be eventually be renamed based on the proliferation of these conditions and the likely addition of more onerous or even heinous conditions and acts by the State's occupants. To reflect the decay of this once great state, one where I grew up and currently live, I propose the name be changed to the State of "Californiazimbabwe." The governor upon taking office will assume the title of "Mugabe Governor," like " Mugabe Governor Jerry Brown." This title will remain as part of the official office title until things improve. If they do not, then when their term(s) expire, the governor, as a former public office holder, will retain the "Mugabe" portion of the tile in perpetuity and perhaps made to wear some special clothes or a funny hat during all public appearances. Conditional removal of the title prefix would be based on several metrics including economic growth (perhaps an adjusted mid-1980s standard (when the aerospace sector was a big contributor)), fewer small business regulations, environmental restoration (including a significant decrease in graffiti and other acts of vandalism), educational improvement, and infrastructural revitalization just to start. Or maybe we could just try to become part of Arizona.

Along with those concerned about problems within their own states

One of the commentators at the bottom [of the article on the NRO site] had it right though. California is the canary in the coalmine and what is happening there will come to your home town and not in the too distant future. Kind of like when I lived in NoVa in '94 and the Vagina-ians would say "Illegal immigration?! Not our problem!" I'm glad they enjoy the fruits of that wisdom with their entrenched MS-13 problem...

(Hence the inspiration for the title of this post).

Nor is the Third Worldization confined to southern border states:

The formerly peaceful, quaint, post card perfect and strict Christian small town Holland, Michigan has Hispanic gangs now.

And the illegal alien problem isn't confined to Hispanics either:

And, don’t forget Dearborn, Michigan . . . I mean, it ain’t just Hispanics we’ve got to worry about trying to change us. I mean anybody who settles in this country without the desire to assimilate.

Therein lies the key, as VDH mentions in his article:  The refusal to assimilate into America:

Crux of the problem - to the people who don't live in areas where the illegals settle, they are still just cheap labor. They can also turn a blind eye to the impoverished conditions Dr. Hanson described that their cheap laborers are living in. Until this changes, I don't see the problem going away. I also think that part of the way to start changing opinions is to start calling out those who view illegals as a great source of cheap labor (this includes Senator McCain) as defending a modern day version of slavery and helping to prop up a sick human trafficking network that is no different than the slave trade of old. I've found that this makes people very uncomfortable.

I like that angle—the problem is you’re ueber libs will come back with “That’s why we need amnesty etc etc!,” completely missing the point that any form of amnesty would not change the economics of the situation one bit.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

No Place is Safe from Jihad

When I'm off work, I hardly pay any attention to the news, except anything my friends e-mail me.  So I didn't hear about the car bombs that went off in Stockholm, Sweden until today.  I guess some folks are "relieved" that Tamyour al-Abdaly, the gent who self-detonated, was radicalized in warmongering London, rather than peaceful Sweden.

S.E. Cupp, rolls-in on this false hope in a NY Daily News editorial:

When Will the North Korean Madness Stop?

A dire warning about the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula:

And what will we do?  One friend suggested it will be "the usual:"

I'm sure we're getting the Word File all prepared and spell-checked with our next stern note. Which will be diluted to a calm reprimand….which will be watered to a gentle reminder that war hurts..which will suddenly become a US-ROK apology before it is actually delivered to Pyong Yang.
I'm just as in favor of diplomacy as the next guy. But I am so tired of this stupid dance. The next time something like a NORK shelling takes place, somebody needs to find their bollocks and remove the source of the attack from the map. Then we can follow up with all the notes we like.

And another responded with:

Well...this particular next guy is not all that much in favor of diplomacy as it is currently practiced by the U.S., because diplomacy does not work when the goal of one side of the negotiations is not to actually get the best deal for itself but rather to keep the process moving and doing what is necessary in order to keep the other side onboard and at the negotiating table (i.e. just like the ongoing "stupid dance" with North Korea). And, unfortunately, that's pretty much what American diplomacy has devolved to nowadays across the board (as is pretty evident from all the purportedly official State Department cables leaked by that internet organization-which-cannot-be-named (cables whose validity, of course, can be neither confirmed nor denied).
Which is ultimately the reason I think it is foolhardy for the U.S. to be continuously engaged with the rest of the world any more than is absolutely necessary, because almost by definition now our engagement with virtually everyone (except our friends, whom we eventually betray) consists of concession after concession after concession for minimal to no benefit to ourselves. Unless there is some revolution in the way the U.S. conducts its foreign policy, which I don't foresee, why on earth are we continuing to play a game at which we are continually sabotaging ourselves such that we cannot win?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"She Blinded Me With..." Non-Scientific Mumbo-Jumbo

(Image:  Raquel Welch in the movie One Million Years BC)

I didn't know there was such a thing as "non-scientific" anthropology.  Apparently there is, and the non-scientists have expunged the word "science" from the American Anthropological Association's mission statement.

The New York Times (NYT) has the story:

My less-than nuanced friends had this to say:

Although I'm not an anthropologist, I've been seeing this in other social sciences, as well. While most blame the right for undermining sceince with religious convictions, the Left is every bit as culpable--maybe more so since they essentially control higher education. In this case, the left is leading the charge...

"The purposes of the association shall be to advance public understanding of humankind in all its aspects."

Says it all. Remove science, and you can make up any BS you want.

PS - The field of academic history has pretty much been ruined by this mindset and has done far more damage than the right could ever dream of.

Note:  The title in quotation marks refers to the song She Blinded Me With Science, by Thomas Dolby.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wee Willi Wiki

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' founder, was arrested in London today.  Despite contributions by leftist friends, the judge denied him bail.  The UK's Daily Mail has the story:

On what grounds the Leaker-in-Chief was arrested is a tawdry tale.  The Daily Mail has the dirty laundry:

Throughout all this Assange continues threatening to leak more classified information, to include a "doomsday" file, which he supposedly disseminated to thousands of folks in the event of his "untimely demise," or any attacks launched against his website.

I say "publish and be damned."  It's time to burn this cyber-spy ring down.

A Day of Infamy

69 years ago today...

Map of the harbor and the ships that were hit:

The Arizona Memorial:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Best Hanukka Present Ever...

By November's end, Google earth made a shocking discovery:  A Star of David placed on the roof of Iran Air's headquarters. 

While various news agencies carried this story, I thought I'd go right to "the source."  That is, The Jerusalem Post to see what the "zionist entity" had to say for itself:

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Leak Too Far...

WikiLeaks massive data dump of classified US State Department materials has caused quite a splash.

And now its time of a splashback--finally.

Interpol is now looking for the Leaker-in-Chief, Julian Assange, for rape charges in Sweden. 

Some folks, especially our liberal elite, wonder what all the fuss is about, because they don't get stirred up about such old-fashioned concepts like "treason" or "espionage."

Charles Krauthammer rolls-in on why we should hammer him and his organization:

How much damage has Assange and his "Wikifreak" cronies have done?

The Daily Beast provides us with the Top 9:

But fortunately, all is not going WikiLeaks way.  Note the sidebar article and video in Charles Krauthammer's article:  WikiLeaks is now operating on a Swiss server, because the US one pulled the plug.

And also pulled the plug:

Assange and his merry men may be so stuck on themselves they failed to realize when they're gone off the deep end--like threatening to expose bucket loads of Russia's secrets.  If this is the case, as The Daily Beast speculates, Mr Assange may hope Interpol finds him first:

And there just might be a thin silver lining in all this.  The publicized documents and cables show American diplomatic personnel actively trying to help resolve the crises that are plaguing the world.  Again, from The Daily Beast:

Note:  I didn't have the opportunity to comment on this story earlier.  Hence the long, multi-linked post this evening.