Thursday, December 30, 2010
ROTC and its warrior ethic taint the intellectual purity of a school, if by purity we mean trying to rise above the foul idea that nations can kill and destroy their way to peace.A warrior ethic would actually do a world of good for most schools, but it's the second part of the idiotic sentence that chaps my hide. The whole of European History after, say, 1815, is the other nations' reaction to a powerful and bellicose Germany, which nation (or parts of it) conquered France in 1870, was the primary belligerent in 1914 and killed probably 40 Million people in WWII.
Here is a short list of the fights Imperial Japan started or joined in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries:
First Sino-Japanese War;
Japanese Invasion of Taiwan;
Japanese forced Occupation of Korea;
Japanese Invasion of Manchuria;
Second Sino-Japanese War;
Has either of these problem countries caused any problem whatsoever since the Allies killed their warriors and civilians and destroyed their cities and governments during WWII? No, they have been model world citizens since 1945. So I guess it is possible for nations to kill and destroy their way to peace, as anyone above imbecile IQ should be able to grasp. It's McCarthy's utter ignorance of very basic, recent history which is foul.
What would it be like to have this spread out over half of your night sky? NGC 2170, about 2,400 light years away in the constellation Monoceros is 15 light years across. Very beautiful.
Labels: NCC 2170
Thought of the Day
Labels: Max Planck quote
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thought of the Day
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The Circle is Now Complete...
Aug. 2, 2007: An often repeated campaign promise, is made the first time:
As President, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act and adhere to the Geneva Conventions. Our Constitution and our Uniform Code of Military Justice provide a framework for dealing with the terrorists.Jan. 22, 2009: Barack Obama signs an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility within one year:
This is me following through on not just a commitment I made during the campaign, but I think an understanding that dates back to our founding fathers, that we are willing to observe core standards of conduct, not just when it's easy, but also when it's hard.
July 21, 2009: The White House grants its Guantanamo closing commission an extra six months to study the situation.
Jan. 22, 2010: The one year promise anniversary. No closing. No ceremony.
Then the Empire struck back. The Democratic controlled House Armed Services Committee voted unanimously (who said bipartisanship was dead?) to prohibit a Guantanamo replacement to open within the United States.
The Obama administration utterly failed to hold a terrorist trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City and quietly opts, at least regarding KSM, for the Bush Administration's policy of unlimited detention without trial or even military tribunal.
The President admits at a September 10, 2010 press conference that:
Well, the -- you know, we have succeeded on delivering a lot of campaign promises that we made. One where we've fallen short is closing Guantanamo. I wanted to close it sooner. We have missed that deadline. It's not for lack of trying. It's because the politics of it are difficult.What a freakin' crybaby!
The Obama administration's crack justice department prosecutors in November, 2010 totally failed to convict Ahmed Ghailani, the confessed mastermind and participant in the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, of even one murder count of the 284 they brought.
Now even the far left is complaining about the executive order the President will almost certainly sign, before the second anniversary of his first executive order (to close Guantanamo), which establishes indefinite detention as a long-term Obama administration policy and makes clear that the White House alone will manage a review process for those it chooses to hold without charge or trial.
Oh, the horror. /sarcasm>
Of course you can keep illegal combatants detained by the military for the duration of the war, just as you keep honorable prisoners of war detained. It's not punishment, or any sort of law enforcement--it's what always happens to the enemy captured during a war. It's so the captured don't return to the battlefield, as even the dumbest of the morons can easily comprehend. The ideal would be for the illegal combatants we have captured to be interrogated and then, when they have no additional intelligence to offer, promptly to be executed. That's what we expeditiously did to NAZI spies/saboteurs in WWII. We won that war.
The question is whether we have what it takes to win this one? It ain't looking so good right now.
Monday, December 27, 2010
The Music They Play in Hell
And they play them all the time, forever.
Labels: Music in Hell
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Thought of the Day
Holder in a blink of an eye went from trashing the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols to sighing that it is almost a matter of when, not if, home-grown Islamic radicals will kill lots of us. Holder’s road to Damascus is eerily reminiscent of the sudden conversion in 1938 of British intellectuals, who, as Czechoslovakia was swallowed, abruptly went from 15 years of trumpeting League of Nations pacifism to calling for British military deterrence against fascism. Unlike Holder, however, they at least explained why they had made their about-faces.
To be fair, the Obamaites are simply channeling their commander-in-chief, who spent a near decade, from 2001 to 2009, pontificating on the illegality or superfluousness of the Patriot Act, renditions, tribunals, Predators, Guantanamo, and overseas wars, and then as president embraced or even expanded all of them — with not a word of remorse that his earlier demagoguing might have done great harm both to the efficacy of the programs and to the reputations of those involved in them, as well as to his country’s image abroad. I suppose we are all Orwell’s farm animals now, mystified but quiet as we wake to see the commandments on the barnyard wall crossed out and written over#.
Victor Davis Hanson
Labels: Victor Davis Hanson quote
A holiday, a holiday and the first one of the year...
It is not quite a match made in Heaven (because it's so annoying) and all the worse for those who recognize that those are the first lines (almost) of Matty Groves, a 17th English ballad made somewhat famous in the late 60s by Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson's and Sandy Denny's old group. The song goes on to tell the tale of a cheating wife who gets her lover killed and it ends with my favorite part, the husband, Lord Donald, taking out the wife too (they just don't write them like this anymore):
He struck his wife right through the heart and pinned her against the wall,
"A grave, a grave," Lord Donald cried, "to put these lovers in,
but bury my lady at the top for she was of noble kin."
Maybe not the festive ditty Honda was hoping for.
Labels: Car Commercials; Matty Groves
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The Lunar Eclipse, in Case You Missed It
The photo is by Kevin Whitman of Dallas, TX. My photos were not quite as good. I've seen more impressive lunar eclipses, but I haven't seen any for a few years.
Labels: Lunar Eclipse
Sunday, December 19, 2010
The Last Word on Fair Game--I Promise
It’s also important to point out that Novak did not report that Plame had ever worked in a covert capacity. He later told me and others that he had assumed she was merely a desk-bound analyst and, had he been aware she was more than that, he would have steered clear. I believe he was telling the truth. Do Pincus and Leiby think he was lying? I’d ask them to make that clear as well.
So how did the public learn that Plame had been undercover? David Corn revealed that in a story in the leftwing magazine The Nation. I remain convinced that Corn’s unnamed source was Joe Wilson, who had received an award from a group associated with The Nation for — can you guess? — “truth-telling.” Wilson also had written for The Nation, accusing President Bush of having “imperial ambitions.”
Here is a video discussion with Lionel Chetwynd and Roger L. Simon. Very sound criticism.
On the silver screen, Plame attempts to exfiltrate Iraqi scientists who know for certain that Saddam has no nuclear-weapons program only to have her CIA handlers shut down her mission. This is pure fiction, but savor the irony: Too many in the CIA worked diligently to undermine President Bush — the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate saying Iran’s nuclear-weapons program had been halted is only the most infamous example — but in the movie, the CIA protects Bush and betrays Plame.
By the way: As Quin Hillyer pointed out in The American Spectator, Plame’s own memoir suggests she was among the many intelligence analysts — at the CIA and other agencies — who were convinced that Saddam was still developing weapons of mass destruction.She was in good company: The 2002 National Intelligence Estimate concluded with “high confidence” that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons and an active nuclear program. Former vice president Al Gore and then-senator Hillary Clinton believed that. Senator Ted Kennedy said: “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”
As for Wilson, prior to the U.S. intervention, he told Dave Marash, then a reporter for ABC News, that if American troops were sent into Iraq, Saddam might “use a biological weapon in a battle that we might have.” That was his argument against the war: not that Saddam did not have WMD but that it would be dangerous for American troops to face them.Fair Game, the film, is not fair. It slanders innocent people caught in a web spun by Joe Wilson to flatter his vanity and that of his wife. But what can you expect from Hollywood?
Here are the weekend estimated receipts. Not only did they go down, again, (60% fall off in revenue) but the number of theaters showing it declined as well ( by 35%). Another leftist fantasy bites the dust blown from the trash heap of history.
Labels: Fair Game
Friday, December 17, 2010
The Reality Behind Soak the Rich Class Warfare
2. According to a study by Prince & Associates, less than 10% of today's multi-millionaires cited "inheritance" as their source of wealth.
3. A study by Spectrem Group found that among today's millionaires, inherited wealth accounted for just 2% of their total sources of wealth.
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Daily Spiritual Photogarden
All I can think of when I look at this photo of Japanese model and actress, Nonami Takizawa, is the end of Psalm 23.
...my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
I'm falling into the 5th Deadly Sin--Lust. Sorry.
Labels: Nonami Takizawa; Psalm 23
The Mandelbrot Set
Dr. Mandelbrot is no longer with us. RIP. If you zoom into the "surface" details of the most complex parts (and you can't on this depiction), wonders reveal themselves. The formula is deceptively simple:
. The fractals it produces are infinitely varied. Really.
Labels: Mandelbrot Set
Another Especially Creepy Japanese Robot
Labels: Japanese robot
My point is that we have lost species, but we are discovering new forms of life here on Earth, and all the time. Newly discovered species in the last decade number 1,200 along the Amazon, 1,000 along the Mekong river, and 200 in Eastern Papua New Guinea Like this somewhat creepy tube nosed fruit bat which is so newly discovered that it doesn't even have a name yet, beyond the informal Yoda bat.
There is no reason to panic about diminishing diversity and a new broad based extinction. We have not yet established the base line with which to judge the rate of extinction.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Here Comes the Sun, and I Say
The sunspots we detect go in an approximate 11 year cycle. The intensity, that is, the number of sunspots at the peak of the cycle, has a much tighter correlation to average Earth temperatures than any other measurement. The cycles have had high peaks over the last several decades, and lo, temperatures on average have increased. As a result of sunspot minimums, the Dalton and Maunder minimums are examples that we know about, the temperatures here on Earth tend to plunge.
The sunspots which appear on the surface of the sun are caused by magnetic forces within. There is apparently a minimum amount of magnetism necessary for there to be sunspots. We have detected a lessening of the required magnetic forces and, worse, a downward trend. The sun also has a radio signal the flux density of which ranges between 64 and 264 (at the 10.7 cm frequency). The more magnetic and sunspot activity, the higher the radio flux density number. (I don't know what flux density is. My son tried to explain it to me but I failed to grasp it beyond the most rudimentary of levels.) While the number of observed sunspots has increased lately, the magnetism and radio activity have remained low. Last year, for example, there were 280 spotless days (71%); this year there have only been 45 (13%). However, the average planetary magnetic index, the Ap Index, is as low as it has ever been measured (that is, since 1932). The radio signal is at 88 today and has never been to 100 in the past several years, even though the new sunspot cycle, No. 24, began almost 3 years ago on January 8, 2008 to predictions of an ever more intense cycle, which predictions have been modified down ever since. Something unseen and perhaps unknown to science is going on inside the sun which is delaying the increased magnetism, radio signal and even the normal climb in the number of sunspots of the new cycle; and it all means that it will get colder, on average around the planet, over the years to come. If that is the case, the Warmie true believers are sure to be regarded absolutely as losers and charlatans (as they are), but we will all be the losers too, as extreme cold kills at a much higher rate than extreme heat, and reduced arable land due to cold weather could cause the world wide famines Paul Ehrlich was predicting for the 80s.
It's certainly something to keep an eye on.
Labels: Global Warming: Sunspot Activity
Thought of the Day
"With millions of Americans unemployed and struggling to keep their homes warm, the need for government assistance will only increase. Heavy demand and higher prices due to the Obama Administration's assault on the fossil fuels we rely upon are going to stretch charities to their limits and beyond," noted Project 21's Borelli. "It's disgraceful that the first black president and the first black EPA administrator are advancing policies that will preferentially harm blacks who overwhelmingly supported Obama."
Labels: Deneen Borelli quote
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Watching Justice Breyer
UPDATE: Here, at Say Anything North Dakota's best blog, is a little more and the video clip of this High Court Idiocy.
Labels: Bryer; Second Amendment
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Being of Two Minds
On the other hand, regarding billionaires, there's always the Chinatown question, reproduced below:
Jake Gittes: How much are you worth?
Noah Cross: I have no idea. How much do you want?
Jake Gittes: I just wanna know what you're worth. More than 10 million?
Noah Cross: Oh my, yes!
Jake Gittes: Why are you doing it? How much better can you eat? What could you buy that you can't already afford?
Noah Cross: The future, Mr. Gittes! The future.
Is the future a Bill Gates, for example, can yet produce something we should stop through confiscatory taxes? What about the future Ted Turner envisions?
Labels: Personal History: Weird Dreams
Sunday, December 05, 2010
The Importance of Finding Your Reading Glasses
Friday, December 03, 2010
Update on Valerie Plame Affair--Hollywood Version
Hollywood has a habit of making movies about historical events without regard for the truth; "Fair Game" is just one more example. But the film's reception illustrates a more troubling trend of political debates in Washington in which established facts are willfully ignored. Mr. Wilson claimed that he had proved that Mr. Bush deliberately twisted the truth about Iraq, and he was eagerly embraced by those who insist the former president lied the country into a war. Though it was long ago established that Mr. Wilson himself was not telling the truth - not about his mission to Niger and not about his wife - the myth endures.
My old boss Bob Novak reported that Wilson's wife was a CIA operative. His original source was Richard Armitage, Bush's deputy secretary of state. Inconveniently for the storyline of "Fair Game" -- and the story the Left pushed for years -- Novak and Armitage both opposed the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq.
It's hard to argue that two Iraq War opponents got together and decided to punish Wilson for publicly questioning the case for war -- especially when Novak was doing so long before Wilson was. And Armitage was a famous dove, even by State Department standards.
Given Hollywood's bias against subtlety and complexity, the filmmakers had a choice: Lie about Novak and Armitage to make them Iraq hawks -- or simply ignore them. The screenwriters chose the latter. Novak is mentioned only once, at the moment Plame reads the column. Armitage is mentioned only in the text epilogue in the closing credits.
It's wrong to assert that the disclosure of Mrs. Wilson's identity was part of a malignant effort to hide an even bigger nefarious plot of having "lied us into war." If anything, the Bush White House (including Mr. Libby) was the victim of bad information - information supplied by Mrs. Wilson's incompetent CIA.
UPDATE: The number of theaters showing the film this past weekend went up 40%, to 436 (so much for my prognostication) but revenue went down 37.8% and the movie was 14th for its fifth weekend of release. It will just barely make its money back but its a loser both for its box office disappointment and its alternate reality sense of history. Even the Washington Post criticized the lies at the heart of the movie. Enough said.
Labels: Fair Game
No Matter What You Do, at Least 10% Never Get It
Democrats are understandably -- and largely justified in being -- frustrated that they lost an election based on Republicans defending tax cuts for the wealthy that are only expiring because of a budget gimmick championed by George Bush -- and based on criticism of their apparent lack of concern over the deficit, by a party that has shown no past or current seriousness about deficit reduction and the hard choices involved. Losing those political fights was as inexplicable as it was hard for the Democrats. Maybe that's why Thursday seemed to have donkeys melting down all over the place.
Where to begin? The Democrats are understandably and largely justified in being frustrated at losing huge in an historic thumping/shellacking because the Republicans refused to take the Democratic line and join the class warfare against the successful (i.e. high earners)? The Democrats are largely justified in their frustration that class warfare didn't work? This is denial on a near epic scale. As if the current tax rates were a big deal in the latest election. It was the terrible borrowing and spending, and a general disgust with the administration's incompetence, and the inability of the White House to focus on things that actually mattered that caused the 63 and 6 seat gain in the Houses and the Senate respectively.
But the next line is a doozy. The tax rate cuts, that is, the current tax rates (7 and 9 years old now) are expiring because the Republicans wanted them to be temporary. Are you freakin' kidding me? Actual history would tell us that the Democrats opposed any tax rate cuts and the only way to get them into law was to do so with an expiration date. It was Democrats who championed the gimmick which put an automatic and substantial bump in the tax rates in just under a month. You'ld think someone as talented as Mr. Halprin would know recent history better.
Then there is the clueless next big thought: The Republicans didn't deserve to win on voters' disgust with unsustainable spending and borrowing, because the Republicans overspent and borrowed in the recent past. Grow up! There is more than a mere quantitative difference between 400 Billion deficit spending and 1.4 Trillion deficit spending. Even grade school kids know that "The other kids did it too" doesn't cut it when you're facing your parents' wrath for misbehavior. Did Halperin skip that part of childhood?
Inexplicable, is it, that the voters would punish the Democrats for permanently tripling the worst of the Bush Administration deficit? It's only inexplicable to someone afflicted with partisan blinders.