Friday, May 20, 2005

There is a sort of arrogance in the liberal West — the handmaiden to our own guilt and self-loathing — that strangely believes we are both to blame for the ills abroad and alone can solve them through handing out money. Almost all of the pathetic rhetoric of al Qaeda — "colonial exploitation," "American hegemony," or "blood for oil" — was as imported from the West as were the terrorists' bombs and communications.

Some Western intellectuals, I think, need a bin Laden to illustrate and confirm their nihilistic ideas about their own postmodern society, just as he needs them to explain why his culture's failure is not its own fault. So just as al Qaeda will always find an enabling Westerner to say, "You lashed out at us in frustration for your unfair treatment," so too a guilty Westerner will always find a compliant terrorist to boast, "Yes, we kill you for your sins." America was once a country that demolished Hitler and Tojo combined in less than four years and broke the nuclear Soviet Union — and now frets and whines that a few thousand deranged fascists want an apology.

Abroad, we battle Islamic fascists who hate us for our success and want to kill us with the tools of the modern world they despise. But at home, we are also at odds with our own privileged guilt-ridden aristocracy, whose very munificence has made them misunderstand why they are hated.

The Islamists insist, "We kill you for being soft." Westerners in response feel, "We are killed because we are not being soft enough."

And so they riot and kill in Afghanistan over a stupid rumor, and we seek to apologize that it somehow spread.

How truly sad.
The "14 rules of reality" for teenagers
over at QandO. My kids aren't old enough for this list yet. Perhaps someone should put together a similar list for younger children. May I propose the first couple of rules?
Rule No. 1: You lie, you lose.

Rule No. 2: You whine, you lose.

Rule No. 3: Pick up after yourself. The house is not a trash can, the living room is not your personal storage bin.

Rule No. 4: Use a napkin and chew with your mouth closed.
I could go on. What additions would you make?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Check out the new weapon:
the DREAD (with a tip to The Corner). It fires golf ball-ish but deadly ammunition at a tree-leveling rate of 120,000 rounds per minute (I'm thinking of Ol' Painless from The Predator) and is virtually silent. I do think that its capability to fire in a 360 degree arc is a bit suicidal. The impact:
So, what's the upshot? It's DefenseReview's opinion that, if the DREAD Weapon System works as advertised, it will have a profound impact on U.S. infantry warfare capabilities. It has the potential to literally change the way we fight on the ground, and perhaps even in the air. No question, it will revolutionize both ground and air vehicular armament and firepower capabilities. The DREAD will have a similarly profound impact on U.S. embassy security and military base perimeter security capabilities. This paradigm shift in firepower isn't limited to the ground and air, either. The DREAD's complete lack of recoil will allow it to be fired from space-based platforms, i.e. satellites, without knocking them off of their respective orbital paths. Zero recoil, plus 8,000 fps projectile speeds, 5,000-120,000 rpm capability, and huge on-board ammunition supplies, equals a viable and relatively inexpensive option for satellite defense (and enemy-satellite neutralization), and possibly even a fast-realizable armament solution/alternative for a U.S. Space-based defense network.
Yeah, and think of all the pheasant you could bag!
This can't possible work.
It better not:
Here's how the system might work:

At the store, someone buying a new DVD would have to provide a password or some kind of biometric data, like a fingerprint or iris scan, which would be added to the DVD's RFID tag.

Then, when the DVD was popped into a specially equipped DVD player, the viewer would be required to re-enter his or her password or fingerprint. The system would require consumers to buy new DVD players with RFID readers.
I foresee my wife and I getting a babysitter, going out for the evening and getting a phone call from said sitter complaining that they can't watch any movies. I would have to leave one of my eyes behind, which I'm sure would be an inconvenience.

What if you forgot the freakin' password?

How would you purchase a DVD as a gift?

How would you purchase the DVD from Amazon?

How would you loan a DVD to a friend?

What if you lost your hands and eyes in a terrible fondue accident (but still like to listen to movies)?

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The final post from The Darth Side is very, very good.
Read the whole thing. As one of the commenters put it:
Brilliant. Just brilliant. This last entry has greater depth and insight than anything George Lucas has ever done.
Isn't this sacreligious?
One of the gargoyle heads on the National Cathedral belongs to Darth Vader. Seriously, I find that weird and just a wee bit offensive (and I'm not even religious, dang it!).

Appropriate or not, if they can have Darth up there they also need the heads of the Alien, Predator, Hanibal Lecter, Jason, Freddy, Gizmo, the Borg Queen and Agent Smith. It's only fair.

(Tip to The Corner.)
Yes, we are All Star Wars, All The Time.
To contrast with Podhoretz's evisceration, please refer to Frederica Mathewes-Green's (mostly) positive review.
InstaPundit appears to be losing respect for Andrew Sullivan
as evidenced here:
As Mickey Kaus has noted, Andrew can be excitable. A while back he apologized to me for some of his criticisms during the election, and more recently he has apologized to his readers for his waffling and defeatism on the war last spring. Perhaps he'll apologize for this at some point in the future. But, I confess, I find the question of what Andrew thinks less pressing than I used to.
As long-time readers of this blog know [all 2 of them!], I gave up on Andrew long ago.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

John Podhoretz haaaaaaates Star Wars.
Back in 1977, we were told in the original Star Wars that Darth Vader "was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force"--that Vader had become a villain because he had been consumed by a lust for power, so that he could boss people around, blow up planets, and, generally speaking, control the universe. Like all great villains, the Darth Vader we saw in the first Star Wars actually loved being a bad guy. He enjoyed being able to choke annoying underlings by pinching his thumb and forefinger together. He relished his swordfight with his old mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi. He didn't even mind slicing his own son's hand off (in the second film) just to prove a point.

But the Darth Vader we see at the end of Revenge of the Sith hasn't been seduced. He's been tricked. He's not a villain. He's a schmuck.
Still gonna see it opening weekend.
Lutefisk riots!
IowaHawk has the scoop:
Decorah, IA - The debris-strewn streets of this remote Midwestern hamlet remain under a tense 24-hour curfew tonight, following weekend demonstrations by rock- and figurine-throwing Lutheran farm wives that left over 200 people injured and leveled the Whippy Dip dairy freeze. The rioting appeared to be prompted, in part, by a report in Newsweek magazine claiming military guards at Spirit Lake’s notorious Okoboji internment center had flushed lutefisk down prison toilets. Newsweek’s late announcement of a retraction seems to have done little to quell the inflamed passions of Lutheran insurgents in the region, as outbreaks of violent mailbox bashings and cow tippings have been reported from Bowbells, North Dakota to Pekin, Illinois.

Whether the violence was triggered by Newsweek’s report of lutefisk desecration or frustration over chronic shortages of Beanie Babies and Old Style, one thing seems certain – occupying U.S. troops face a steep road to reestablish trust in this tinderbox of ancient hatreds and delicious dairy products. Some analysts say the latest outbreak represents the most vexing challenge to US strategy since its invasion the region three years ago.
Tip to LGF.

Monday, May 16, 2005

A new global problem.
Check this out:
Following the criticism, Whitaker released a statement through a spokesman later Monday saying the magazine was retracting the article.

"Based on what we know now, we are retracting our original story that an internal military investigation had uncovered Quran abuse at Guantanamo Bay," Whitaker said.
Quran abuse? Seriously, Quran abuse? Should we start a registry of offenders? Since when can a book be abused? Is there such a thing as Bible abuse? Can I ask any more questions?

The article repeats it (emphasis mine):
Whitaker said in his editor's note that while other news organizations had aired charges of Quran abuse based on the testimony of detainees, the magazine decided to publish a short item after hearing from an unnamed U.S. official that a government probe had found evidence corroborating the charges.
Save the Qurans!
Let it be known
that people who print 500-page double-sided documents on the only office printer have clearly succumbed to the Dark Side. No, I'm not talking about myself. I will refrain from naming names so that my lack of discretion will not be found disturbing.