Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kerry's Contempt...and...Winter Approaches!

John F(rickin’). Kerry, at Pasadena City College yesterday, during a campaign rally for Phil Angelides, Democrat candidate for CA governor:

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

And the audience’s reaction? From the San Gabriel Valley Tribune: “ ‘If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq,’ he said to a mixture of laughter and gasps.” I’d really like to know what the laughter/gasp mix was…25/75? 50/50? 60/40? 75/25? God only knows, but some of us have our suspicions. These were Democrats, after all.

Still and even…a slip of the tongue is revealing, no? This from the man who fancies himself as Commander-in-Chief. Call it what you will, I say it’s contempt. Sorta like being in uniform and tossing “your” medals over the White House fence; that kind of contempt. Or not. Or maybe. Whatever. That sort of thing.

Folks with more on the subject: The American Thinker, Captain Ed, Michelle Malkin, Cassandra. The American Thinker’s post is brief and has a couple of good quotes and links on Liberal/elite thought on the military. When (not if, trust me) you go over to Cassandra’s place, scroll down and read her cheerleading for the Jarhead Valour IT team. Pretty funny stuff, that. She’s a great Team Leader!

From Brit Hume’s Special Report:

If you are a satanist or pagan in prison in Great Britain — you get Halloween off. The Daily Mail cites official documents saying devil worshipers and other devotees of the dark side will be excused from their work assignments tomorrow out of respect for their religious beliefs — and so the government won't be sued.

Pagans can choose two days off per year from eight of their festivals. Christians can have three days off — Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. Muslims get 26 days off — including all of Ramadan.

Interesting, eh? What struck me as odd, however, is the great disparity in days off granted to Muslims and those given to others. Just sayin’.

Pat Santy has a lengthy but interesting post up about the Democrats and the election. An excerpt:

The exception that the political left wants to make sure all of you retards out there are perfectly clear about is this: They want you to think that the only way the Republicans could keep their majority; the only way the Democrats would not "sweep" and take over in the 2006 midterm elections next week is...wait for it...if the Republicans cheated.

The first meme was simply annoying. The giddy self-congratulations; the constant reaffirmations by this and that poll, dutifully reported in the Democratic propaganda outlets at the Times and Post. The never-ending dissection of the public's obvious dissatisfaction with all things Bush and Republican.

The interesting thing about Dr. Santy’s blog is the perspective she brings to any issue, that being, of course, the perspective of the mental health professional. One of her recurring memes is the fact the far-left fringe is mentally ill. I believe it. Case in point: The moonbats are already making noises about election fraud, and it ain’t limited to one or two nutcases. The interesting thing is the moonbats aren’t waiting until after the election to claim fraud like they did in 2000 and 2004. Nope…they’ve learned at least one thing from Dubya: pre-emption. Dr. Santy has links…lotsa links!

Flirting with the freeze…It was 34 degrees out when I woke up this morning, and the furnace has been kicking on and off all morning. It’s gonna get down to 32 this evening, supposedly. Ah, winter approaches. Or what passes for winter in these parts. Which, as you may know, is alright with me! Now, all that said, it does get cold here. Today’s Pic provides visible proof. Christmas Day, 2002.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Some Things I Learned This Weekend...

Lileks’ Newhouse column (the nationally syndicated one) is out, and he gives us a view of the First 100 Days if Democrats win:

Some on the left believe this election has been stolen in advance. Races are tightening, as they always do - ergo the fix is in. What to do?

Braving the inevitable midnight knock on the door, Lyn Davis Lear, the wife of activist/TV genius Norman Lear, proposed on the Huffington Post blog that angry citizens "take it to the streets" if the sweet anticipated victory is snatched away by the Cheneyburton overlords. Lear quoted Gore Vidal's dark view: If the election went against them, "the Bush-Cheney henchmen could simply call on martial law." No doubt. One last election, a few cleansing rounds from the Brownshirt burp guns, and it's the Reich Stuff for us and our descendants.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) gave an interview in which she set forth the broad new agenda, just in case martial law is not declared:

"The gavel of the speaker of the House is in the hands of special interests, and now it will be in the hands of America's children." (Make them wash off the jam first.) She went on: "I don't mean to imply my male colleagues will have any less integrity... . But I don't know that a man can say that as easily as a woman can."

Without bursting into laughter?

It’s typical James: funny and on-point. Brief, too.

In the “Well, It’s About Time!” department…there’s this lil screed in the Boston Herald: “Grammar: It’s good for you. The lede grafs:

The Washington Post says it’s spotted a trend: High schools in the D.C. area are teaching grammar more than they used to. If true, this trend - admittedly slow - is worth a few cheers.

For several decades grammar was de-emphasized. The National Council of Teachers of English in 1985 actually discouraged drills in grammar on the alleged grounds that they were “a deterrent to the improvement of students’ speaking and writing.”

Far from it. Good grammar brings to writing of any kind the clarity and precision that are the foundations for all other effects and techniques such as argument, narration and description. In the long run, command of grammar can enhance ambiguity and muddle, the opposites of clarity and precision, if that’s what the writer intends. (Artists and craftsmen have to master the rules before they can know when and how to break them. Picasso was a highly skilled draftsman, something not always apparent in his greatest work.)

Amen. “Clarity and precision,” God knows we need a LOT more of that! One of the things that never ceased to amaze me in my business career (as opposed to my Air Force career) was that highly-educated techies just can not write. I was fortunate to be associated with some brilliant technical minds during my career in IT… Hell, I’ll even go so far as to say these folks were brilliant, period.


Could they write? Not only no, but Hell, No! I suppose I should be grateful, because my peers’ inability to string three sentences together into one coherent thought was the basis for my semi-success in the business world. In the beginning I made damned good money translating incoherent geek-speak into plain English, and that skill was the jumping-off point for bigger and better things later in my career. Still, and even, it’s good to see the flash of recognition in our educators that grammar matters. More power to ‘em!

I learned a couple of things this weekend, courtesy of C-SPAN2’s “Book-TV” series of interviews and speeches. First and foremost, I learned Scott Ritter is still a “useful idiot,” perhaps even more so than he’s previously demonstrated. Mr. Ritter has a new book out, and the subject matter is all about the coming war with Iran. I had the dubious pleasure of watching Ritter and Seymour Hersh pontificate on the evils of the BushCheneyHalliburton regime in a rather lengthy Book-TV presentation given in New York City on October 16th. And I was appalled. How two intelligent individuals can be SO wrong is just beyond me. And Ritter is a sarcastic sumbitch, too. The audio transcript of this program is available here. And just for grins and giggles, here are the folks that sponsored this event:

The program was presented by The Nation Institute. Cosponsored by The New York Society for Ethical Culture, Democrats.com, and the Public Concern Foundation, and was taped before a live audience on Monday, October 16, 2006.

‘Nuff said, eh? I don’t know exactly why you’d want to listen to such drivel, but Hey! It’s good to know what the moonbats are up to, no?

Speaking of moonbats, I also learned George McGovern is still in that category. I won’t call Senator McGovern an idiot because I believe the Senator is a patriot and he’s sincere in his beliefs, wrong-headed as they may be. He also has a new book out, and his subject matter is a plan for withdrawal from Iraq.

Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now
from October 29, 2006
George McGovern and William Polk argue that the war in Iraq is too expensive and outline a plan to bring U.S. troops home. They describe the plan as a gradual one that doesn't involve cutting and running or deserting the Iraqi people. Mr. McGovern and Mr. Polk explain why they feel that Iraq was not a mortal threat prior to the invasion and detail the longterm effects of guerilla warfare. This event was hosted by the National Arts Club in New York City.

As I said, wrong-headed. But sincere. Senator McGovern and his co-author, Mr. Polk, were a lot easier to listen to than that idiot Ritter. Just sayin’.

And finally…C-SPAN wasn’t all bad this weekend. I was privileged to watch Ilario Pantano deliver one of the best speeches/talks on the war I’ve ever seen, period. Here’s the program capsule, as found on the Book-TV web site:

Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy
from October 29, 2006
Ilario Pantano argues that the U.S., as a society, has moved away from embracing offensive warfare. He says that in Iraq and Afghanistan, because of moral and political considerations, the U.S. military has restrained itself from completely destroying the enemy and winning the war. Mr. Pantano also argues that the volume of media coverage of the war on terror has overwhelmed the American public's ability to process what is happening. As a result, he says, an increasing number of people are tuning out the war. This talk was hosted by the John Locke Foundation in Wilmington, North Carolina.

I looked high and low for a link to a podcast or video of Mr. Pantano’s presentation but was unsuccessful. Aside from the summary above, Mr. Pantano is a forceful advocate for crying havoc and unleashing the dogs of war. If I become aware of a scheduled re-broadcast of this lecture/talk, I’ll post it. Because it really should be seen, heard, and taken to heart.

Today’s Pic: More Plane Pr0n, this time an F-84F from the AF Armament Museum’s static display collection. Eglin AFB, FL - November, 1999.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fall Back

Didja Fall Back? I did. I’ve reset two of the three electronic clocks in El Casa Móvil De Pennington, to wit, the coffee pot and the microwave. I’ll have to dig out the DVD player’s manual to reset that clock as it’s more involved than the others. But, none the less, the time change has been made, for better or worse. Worse, in my book. I hate it when it gets dark at 1700.

I woke up sorta early this morning, but blew it by returning to my warm and cozy bed while the coffee was brewing. Two hours later I woke up again. I poured and consumed two cups of slightly burnt coffee before I thought “why am I drinking bad coffee?” and lit off another pot. The answer to that rhetorical question, if you’re at all curious, is that I’m a cheap bastard frugal individual. Mom always said “waste not, want not.” It’s really hard for me to overcome those lil homilies that were beaten into my head oh-so-many years ago. But sometimes I do…

Dick Armey is a smart man and, along with Newt Gingrich, he was a key architect and player in the 1994 Republican rout of the Democratic Congress. Everyone who is anyone is pontificating on the widely-predicted but yet-to-materialize Republican rout next week. Armey is no exception. He has an op-ed in yesterday’s WaPo titled “Where We Went Wrong,” and he’s pretty much right on the money. A key graf:

How can the Republicans respond?

The leadership must remember that the modern conservative movement is a fusion of social and fiscal conservatives united in their belief in limited government. The party must keep both in the fold. Republicans also need to get back to being the party of big ideas. The greatest threat to American prosperity today is a catastrophic fiscal meltdown resulting from long-term entitlements. Democrats have already lined up behind the solution of raising taxes and reducing benefits. But Americans want more freedom and choice in education, health care and retirement security. Republicans -- too busy dreaming up wedge issues to score cheap points against Democrats -- have lost sight of their broad national agenda.

When he says “fiscal conservatives,” that would be me. I’m not at all in tune with the social conservatives…as a matter of fact I find the social conservative agenda generally off-putting (with a couple of exceptions). But that’s another story, one I may explore someday, but not now. Were these “normal” times I’d sign on to a “throw the bums out” revolution. The Republicans have done little or nothing to advance the small government, fiscally responsible ideal fiscal conservatives, including me, believe in. They have, in fact, pissed me off mightily. But these are not normal times, this is war time. And the only alternative to the Republicans is the Democrats. The key being, of course, is that the Democrats are not a viable alternative. Based, you know, on what they say.

A common response when one is faced with a bad situation that seems intractable is to shrug your shoulders and say “Well, it could be worse.” Yes, it could indeed be worse. And there’s a pretty damned good chance things will get worse. One hopes not.

And while I’m on about what Democrats say, there’s this op-ed (“What Democrats Would Do”) in yesterday’s WaPo, as well:

But with it looking increasingly as if Democrats, after 12 years in the minority, will take over the House at least, it's worth looking at their stated agenda -- "A New Direction for America" -- for a glimpse at what a Democratic majority might entail.

On national security, the House Democrats' plan offers more goals than details. Who could disagree with promises to "eliminate Osama Bin Laden, destroy terrorist networks like al-Qaeda, finish the job in Afghanistan and end the threat posed by the Taliban" or "redouble efforts to stop nuclear weapons development in Iran and North Korea?" But the hard part -- on which Democrats offer no details -- is how that is to be done.

On Iraq in particular, the agenda calls for "the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces," with "Iraqis assuming primary responsibility for securing and governing their country." Again, what's missing are the details of what "responsible redeployment" might look like. "Insist that Iraqis make the political compromises necessary to unite their country and defeat the insurgency," the Democrats say. Okay, what if that insistence doesn't yield the desired result?

Precisely. While “the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces” has a much nicer ring than, say, “cut and run,” there is little or no difference in the intent of the two terms. Both mean we’ve lost the will to prevail. Both are prescriptions for defeat, either immediately or deferred for a short period of time, depending on how much time we allocate for the “responsible redeployment.” Of course, it remains to be seen how a Democratic majority could actually enforce a “responsible redeployment.” The Republicans, after all, will still define and implement policy. But policy requires funding, and funding would be the Democrats’ trump card. Under funding the war effort would require a redeployment of forces, or other cut-backs in on-going operations. And then there’s the specter of all those investigations a Democratic majority would launch, and the chaos, finger pointing, and distractions from the real job at hand, which, of course, is winning the frickin’ war. The Democrats proposed approach simply doesn’t wash with me. And yeah, I’m a “single-issue voter.” National security is my issue, and the Republicans seem better equipped to deal with it.

There’s more in that op-ed other than Iraq. The Post’s bottom line is the Dems are all about focus-group approved rhetoric but short on real ideas. I agree with them completely, and that doesn’t happen very often.

The WSJ put up a similar editorial yesterday, too, titled “The Non-Contract with America,” and although it says a lot of the same things the WaPo does, I believe the WSJ editorial staff says those things better. But then again, I nearly always agree with the WSJ. Surprised?

OK, all that said, I’ll be damned glad when the election is over, regardless of who wins. I’m sick to death of watching the same political ads over and over and over again, ad nauseam. We say the same things each political season about how low the ads have gone, deplore the mud-slinging, and all that. But this year it really is getting to me. I’d love to see just one clever political advertisement. Just one. Fat chance.

Today’s Pic: After their fourth or fifth Labatts, the Boys decided to serenade the ladies with an a cappella rendition of “Cielito Lindo.” 03/2000, Brownsville, TX.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

At the Half

The Boat School is making a game of it: ND 24, Boat School 14. It’s closer than the score indicates. Navy (there: I said “Navy”) has a strong running game and ND is having a hard time stopping it. Both defenses are struggling, however. The first and only punt in the half came with about 15 seconds left—Navy had to punt it away after their first unsuccessful series.

Still. Not to worry. Despite the Boat School’s best efforts, ND will pull away in the second half. Karnak sez so.


What is it with Detroit’s teams this year? The President’s Trophy-winning Red Wings—first round exit in the play-offs. The Pistons, with the best record in the NBA, lose in the Conference Finals. And now the Tigers. But at least the Tigers made it to the World Series. Mitch Albom:
Forget those foolish predictions, or the Tigers being heavy favorites. St. Louis won because it delivered good, steady play. Detroit lost because it delivered only steady drama -- of its own making. Five errors by pitchers, all of them costly, is not how you want to be remembered. Going empty at the plate when runners are in scoring position -- Magglio Ordonez, Placido Polanco -- is not how you want to be remembered. Making your first baseman play Gumby is not how you want to be remembered.
Enough. It was time to end this. These were two terrific teams, but only the Cardinals played terrifically. The Tigers played as if the magic rubbed off during the joyous celebration of their sweep over the Athletics two weeks ago.
After that, they sat. They practiced. They sat. They did interviews. It was too long. Their angels seemed to get bored. By the time the Series started, those angels had taken flight, and their synchronicity was gone. They played most of the World Series like a drummer who never found the beat.
Eight unearned runs? Eight errors in five games?
"We don't really single out any area," a glum Jim Leyland told the TV cameras. "It starts with the manager. I didn't have my club prepared to play good enough. ... We have no excuses."
He's right. No excuses.
They didn't lose to a better team. They lost to a team that played better.
He’s right. Congratulations to the Cardinals. They deserve it.
As for me, I pretty much abandoned last night’s game after Detroit’s fourth inning debacle. SN1, he of the NHL’s Center Ice TV package, called to give me an update on the Wings – Stars game (just after Verlander’s error to third), which was being played in Dallas. “Hmmm,” sez I, “…in Dallas? Cool!” Meaning: the game should be available to me, and Lo! It was. So it was mostly hockey for the rest of the evening, with visits to the baseball game during hockey commercial breaks, between the second and third periods, and after the game was over. I caught the bottom of the eighth and the top of the ninth, plus the victory celebrations. {sigh}
Oh, yeah…the Wings won, 4-3.
So…today is football, last night will fade like a bad dream, and Notre Dame will continue to humble The Boat School on the Severn. Some things remain the same.
(photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Massive Disappointment and Other Things

A week ago today I wrote:
So. The Cardinals are on their way to Detroit. All the pundits are calling the series for Detroit, and most are saying this will be a short, very short series. Those predictions give me cause for worry (Hey! This is DETROIT—home of the inexplicable post-season collapse), but, yeah, I gotta agree. On paper, and on the field for both the Division series and the ALCS, the Tigers are and were impressive.
My fears have come to pass. While this isn’t an “inexplicable post-season collapse” such as those demonstrated by the Red Wings (i.e., repeated first-round exits in the play offs), it’s damned hard to explain all the errors the Tigers have committed and their dearth of hitting (until last evening). It’s hard, if not impossible, to see the Tigers as World Series champions after last night’s debacle. Detroit’s hitters finally showed up, but once again, sloppy play in the form of another fielding error by a pitcher sealed the Tigers’ fate. So, the Tigers are down 3-1. Like I said, it don’t look good for the Tigers. But. Remember 1968? It can be done! Lightning just has to strike the same place twice.
More on The Beeb’s bias, or lack of same (?)… This past Tuesday, Helen Boaden, Director of BBC News, published a rebuttal to that Daily Mail editorial I linked concerning BBC bias. Not surprisingly, Ms. Boaden refuted the claims made by the Daily Mail.
The main thing is, however, they were both giving their personal opinions. That is entirely their right and what they had been asked to do in the interests of discussion. I disagree with them. I found their claim of liberal bias unconvincing – based on anecdote and attitude rather than evidence.
The BBC employs more than 20,000 people across the UK. It is not a chattering class club of the kind depicted by the papers. It is a hugely varied organisation with many different cultures and a huge variety of opinions on every single issue among its staff. What does unite BBC staff however, is a deep commitment to BBC values and at the heart of those values is a commitment to impartiality.
Sorry, Ms. Boaden, but I don’t believe you…not for a moment. You and your colleagues can express your “deep commitment to BBC values” all you want, but the output and product of the BBC belies your commitment, each and every day. And it’s not just bias in your news reporting…no, it’s worse than that:
The bandwagon is gathering momentum. Yesterday it emerged that a BBC executive, Ann Davies, has questioned whether the corporation should "help break the constraints of the PC police" after audience research found it was out of step with much of mainstream public opinion. Another BBC boss, Richard Klein, commissioning editor for documentaries, told staff it was "pathetic" for the BBC to pride itself on being "of the people".
They're all spot on. It's high time the debate moved on from narrow notions of political bias. Far harder for the BBC to gainsay is that it has a liberal cultural bias, one that envelops pretty much all programmes, not just news and current affairs. If you want to find the most solid evidence of partiality, look at the BBC's entertainment output – its dramas, comedies and arts programmes. This is where its guard is down, where the BBC editorial police are not watching out for "balance" weak points. And it's also where, arguably, the partiality is far more subversive.
The author, Mr. Tom Leonard, has a valid point and goes on to provide more “anecdotal” evidence of Auntie’s cultural bias. I agree with Mr. Leonard. Bias in news reporting is fairly easy to discern, assuming one is relatively well-informed and obtains one’s news from multiple sources. But cultural bias is quite another can o’ worms in that it affects and influences people, old and young, that the news programs may or may not reach. If you think cultural bias isn’t all that important, then you’re missing the Big Picture. Values, and all that. Who wears the white hat, and who doesn’t. It matters immensely, as our own illustrious Hollywood stars, directors, and producers are so very aware. Birds of a feather, so to speak.
The culture war continues.
Preachin’ to the choir… Rich Lowry, in today’s National Review on-line (Lovin’ Nancy…The Pelosi honeymoon begins. But it’s not too late to call off the marriage!):
Let the Nancy Pelosi honeymoon begin. Sure, the current House Democratic minority leader hasn’t won a House majority yet, and it is traditional for honeymoons to follow, rather than anticipate, the blessed event. But the media can’t help themselves, not when they are tingling with anticipation over the prospect of a Democratic victory.
Say what you will about Pelosi, but it is a matter of record that she’s far left of the center of American politics — her rating from the liberal lobbying group Americans for Democratic Action is routinely a 100 percent; that she enforces party loyalty — her Democrats voted along party lines 88 percent of the time last year, a record for the past 50 years; that she has primarily occupied herself with blocking legislation in the House — she has tried to kill practically every Republican initiative, no matter how small; that she uses tough rhetoric — Republicans are, according to Pelosi, “corrupt,” “incompetent” and running a “criminal enterprise.”

There’s nothing wrong with any of this. Politicians should have deep convictions, and they should work to organize their party around them and to defeat the opposition. Nor is there anything wrong with sharp rhetorical elbows. But the press usually professes to like none of these qualities, and typically dubs someone exhibiting them as “radical,” “partisan,” “obstructionist,” and “mean-spirited.”
Instead, in a typical media treatment, the Washington Post finds Pelosi a “tough-minded tactician.” She has “kept the fractious House Democrats in line.” She has “thwarted many GOP initiatives” by getting the Democrats to “hang together.” Yes, Republicans accuse her of being an obstructionist, but that’s just the sort of name-calling Republicans always engage in, now isn’t it?

She’s definitely not “casually reckless” in attacking her enemies. Not “ruthless.” Not “authoritarian.” Not a “bomb-thrower.” Not given to “slash and burn, knife and smear” tactics. And, of course, not “mad as hell” or riding “a surge of voter anger.”

All those descriptions were applied to Newt Gingrich when he won the speakership in 1994.
Of course there’s more, and the choir should read it!
And finally, Mort Kondracke had an excellent op-ed yesterday in his magazine, Roll Call. The lead grafs:
The political cartoon on my office wall shows Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as a frazzled father trying to drive the car while kids in the front and back seats yell, "Is it Vietnam yet?"
Daryl Cagle's cartoon was delightful back in March 2003, lampooning critics of the war in Afghanistan. Now it's a mordant commentary on Iraq.
The tragic fact is that Iraq has become Vietnam -- a noble cause that has lost the support of the American people and Congress and is on the verge of ending in disaster. But this time, the consequences will be much worse.
The choir is hereby encouraged to read this, too. Hell, read it even if (and especially if) you’re NOT a member of the choir, because actions have consequences, ya know. And you should know.
Today’s Pic: “Soft Fan,” a soft sculpture at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston. April, 2000. As always, click the pic for the larger version.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Pump It!

A lil naval video divertissement at Mary Katherine Ham’s, via Lex. Very, very cool. Those guys at VAW-116 know how to have fun…and their videos are MTV-worthy. Better, even.


One of the more interesting, nay, fascinating, things about my recent trip to San Antonio was encountering perfumed women once again. I say “once again” because I cannot, for the life of me, remember the last time (or the first time, for that matter) I caught a whiff of a delicately perfumed woman in Portales. It just doesn’t seem to happen. Perhaps I’m just not hanging out at the “right” sort of places in P-Town. But it was a minor joy to have my olfactory senses treated every so often while in San Antonio. I like perfume, and have enjoyed it on the women in my life from a very early age.

It used to be that women had a “signature” scent, a brand they used almost exclusively. I’m not sure that’s true any longer…perhaps it’s an artifact from a by-gone age. Both my Mom and my grandmother had signature scents. My maternal grandmother was an Evening in Paris woman. Her dressing table was littered with those cobalt-blue bottles and containers, each emblazoned with a silver label with the brand name in flowing script. Evening in Paris was all she ever wore, as far as I know. My grandmother walked around trailing a pink could of Evening in Paris. You could walk into a room she’d vacated an hour ago and know she’d been there. My mother was quite different in that regard.

Mom was a Chanel No 5 woman (which, if you clicked the link, you’ll note is hideously expensive these days)…none of the upstart “new” Chanel fragrances for her, thank you. Just the original. She applied her perfume in a quick, deft manner that was the grand finale to her toilette ritual—otherwise known as “fixing my face”—a dab behind each ear and a dab in the crook of each elbow. She’d place her index finger over the bottle opening, tilt the bottle quickly on end, apply the dab, repeat. Not much at all, when you came down to it. “There are other places, too, but not for you to know,” she once told me, with a grin and a wink. Which, of course, was lost on me until much later in life. My mother’s use of perfume was subtle to the point one wasn’t really sure she was wearing any at all, but you knew she had a very attractive aroma about her. And that’s the way it should be, to my way of thinking.

The Second Mrs. Pennington wore White Ginger when we first met. White Ginger is a very clean, fresh sort of scent and it drove me nuts, in a very good, extremely good, way. Very appropriate for a young woman, and also very erotic. Perhaps it was the fact I was young and in love. Or perhaps White Ginger was the icing on the cake, so to speak. But whatever it was, that scent, on the rare occasion I encounter it these days, immediately transports me back to Former Happy Days. Interestingly, TSMP developed an allergy to perfume later in life and quit wearing it altogether. She also insisted I quit wearing after-shave, too, because it affected her in the same way.

Which brings me to the subject of male scents, or after-shave. My father, he of the Greatest Generation, used exactly two: Old Spice and Mennen Skin Bracer. That was it. I think that approach was wide-spread among men of his cohort. It was unseemly for men to wear “perfume,” and he told me so in no uncertain terms. So…during my adolescence the only scents in my medicine cabinet were his scents—like father, like son.

That changed when I went into the military. I remember standing in the common latrine one evening, getting ready to splash some Skin Bracer on after shaving, and having a friend ask “Why are you using that cheap (stuff)?” “Here,” he says, “try this,” handing me his bottle of English Leather. I did. And I got a good comment from the Lady Friend that evening, something on the order of “Wow…you smell good!” (or something to that general effect.) I went to the BX the next day and bought some English Leather. Which, in turn, was followed by Jade East, Canoe, British Sterling, and all sorts of scents. I settled on Canoe and wore that until TSMP insisted I abandon all scent products. Now that I’m single again my “signature” scent is Burberry’s (or Burberry’s Weekend, when I can find it)…and will probably remain so.

And just to bring this full-circle, I have it on very good authority that Laurie puts a dab of Hoppes Number Nine on when she goes out…{insert evil grin here}

Oh…if you’re wondering: I’m better, but still not well. I won’t be venturing very far a field today.

An Abbreviated Post...

I poisoned myself last night, apparently. Suffice to say I’ve been suffering from severe gastric distress since oh-dark-thirty this morning. I’ve taken the usual meds (thank GOD my medicine cabinet is well-stocked for such contingencies) and may be back later on.

In the mean time, I’ll leave you with this bit from Michael Barone of US News:

This afternoon I had the privilege of being one of eight columnists interviewing George W. Bush in the Oval Office. The others were Tony Blankley of the Washington Times, Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal, Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post, Lawrence Kudlow of CNBC, Kathleen Parker of the Orlando Sentinel, Mark Steyn of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Byron York of National Review–all conservatives of various stripes. Like many others who have been with Bush in the Oval Office, I have found him to be much more articulate and forceful in that setting than he often is in press conferences or in taking questions from traveling reporters. The interview was on the record, so we are posting an MP3 audio recording (High bandwidth | Low bandwidth) of the whole hour. I think you'll find it compelling listening. It's the closest thing many people will get to spending an hour or so in the Oval Office with the 43rd president.

Judging from the reaction to this by people I respect, the audio files are well worth the listen. I haven’t listened yet (simply because I’m not motivated towards doing much at all, save keeping a clear path to “the little room”), but I will. Barone’s full column/essay is here, which is good as a stand-alone.

Today’s Pic: Even More Plane Pr0n. This time it’s the nose of a B-25 done up in USMC livery. Amarillo, TX. May 22, 2004. (click for larger, as always)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How 'Bout Them Tigers? Not.

Gene Wojciechowski, writing at ESPN.com:

Incredibly enough, the team nobody picked to win this thing, well, might win this thing. Even the Cardinals can't ignore the possibilities.

"I'd be lying if I said no," said Looper. "But you really try not to think about it. You sit there and you think, 'Well, we're two games away. Two more games, which doesn't sound like much, but against a team like Detroit, it's a lot."

Is it? The Tigers are playing as if they'll be charged a late fee if the Series lasts seven games. Carpenter handcuffed them to the bedpost and noogied them to death, allowing just three hits, issuing no walks and striking out six. He was more efficient than a Swiss train schedule.

At the moment, the Tigers -- and how do you put this delicately? -- suck.

What he said. To say that last night’s game was a major disappointment is to engage in massive understatement. I haven’t been to the Detroit News or the Free Press’s web sites (yet), but I can imagine what’s being said. Detroit fans love their teams like no others. But it’s a tough love. The fans simply don’t forgive underperformance or sloppy play. And we’ve seen too much of both in this series, so far. (Kenny Rogers excepted, of course) It ain’t out of reach, but the Tigers need to raise their level of play a lot to beat these Cards.

From the New York Sun (“Western Press Ignores Iran’s Hate-Filled Quds Day”):

President Ahmadinejad gave a series of speeches leading up to and on Quds Day. At an Iftar address on October 14, he discussed his "connection with God" and said: "The president of America is like us. That is, he too is inspired ... but [his] inspiration is of the satanic kind. Satan gives inspiration to the president of America."

Mr. Ahmadinejad delivered his Quds Day speech under a banner that read, "Israel must be wiped off the face of the world." He described the holiday as "a day for confrontation between the Islamic faith with the global arrogance."

In another speech, he said Israel was "doomed" and promised that the Israeli "regime will be gone, definitely."

The words "the Zionist regime is a cancerous gland that needs to be uprooted" were written in a communiqué from the Iranian Foreign Ministry in honor of the holiday.


A who's who of the Iranian leadership marched in the main Quds Day parade before crowds chanting "death to Israel" and "death to America." The marchers included a former Iranian president, Mohammed Khatemi, and a spokesman for the parliament presidency board, Mohsen Kouhkan, who predicted a quick "final and total defeat of America and the Zionist regime."

Read the whole thing and then consider the following question: The Dems would have us “talk” with these people directly? What’s to talk about? Terms of surrender? How Tel Aviv will be partitioned between Hamas and Hezbollah? You can’t “talk” to crazy people. Period.

This is worth the read… Dean Barnett’s Absolute Moral Authority Revisited. Here are the opening paragraphs:

Allah yesterday uncomfortably alluded to an Ann Coulter theory that the left was devising a strategy where it would rely solely on spokespeople that you couldn’t argue with. While I, too, deplore Ann’s bomb throwing, when she’s right, she’s right. The left’s strategy is to have absolute moral authority figures like the Jersey Girls or Cindy Sheehan carry its message. The messengers would also necessarily be victims so if you got down ‘n’ dirty with them, you would automatically qualify as a cretin.

I learned this firsthand over the past couple of days when I questioned Michael J. Fox’s actions during this campaign season. My inbox filled with vituperative semi-literate screeds, while on the internet blogging imbeciles inferred from my post that I was “mad that I can’t attack handicapped people.”

Much as Glenn Greenwald heaves one of his virtual despairing sighs when neither he nor any of his alter egos can achieve a productive dialogue with his right wing critics, I now face the temptation to walk away from this matter. Alas, sadly, there is more to say. Markos Moulitsas has coined the Michael J. Fox offensive the real October surprise. Thus, it must be dealt with.

This, of course, is all about the brouhaha concerning Fox’s political ads supporting the Democrat Senate candidate in Missouri and Maryland Senate candidate Ben Cardin. Rush Limbaugh came down on Fox for the Missouri ad, to the outrage and subsequent outcries of the Left. The Left presumes victims cannot be criticized or taken to task for their views because they’re, well, victims. People in polite society do not point, mock, laugh at, or otherwise draw attention to the disadvantaged. That’s a given. But when a “victim” assumes an arguable partisan position and draws attention to himself and/or his condition, then all bets should be off. Especially if and when that victim uses his disability to advance his argument. I find it extremely ironic that those who espouse moral relativitism when it comes to radical Islam and other multi-culti issues claim people like Sheehan and Fox have “absolute moral authority” on their specific issues. You can’t have it both ways, Guys.

Today’s Pic: Another of my favorite pics of SN3, this time at the Kennedy Space Center, April, 2003.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Thunderbird "First"

I just received my monthly Air Force Association e-mail newsletter, which contained this interesting item:

First Woman Thunderbird Proud to Serve

Women have served in the Air Force for years, making valuable contributions, but gender and race differences have never been an important factor in accomplishing the Air Force mission, according to the first woman pilot on the Air Force Thunderbirds. "What we need to concentrate on is what we have in common, which is that warrior spirit that's in all of our hearts, that has created us the way we are -- to choose to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves," Maj. Nicole Malachowski said during a speech at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Click here for story.

If you click the link above (and I hope you do), you’ll find this bit:

Major Malachowski first became interested in flying at the age of 5, when she saw an air show in her native Las Vegas. She set her sights on becoming an Air Force pilot and never looked back. She started flying with the Civil Air Patrol when she was 12, and by 16 was doing solo flights. After high school, she attended the Air Force Academy and has since seen various assignments as an F-15E Strike Eagle pilot, including a tour in Iraq. She said she hopes her service in the Thunderbirds is an example to young girls and to all children that they can achieve their dreams. (emphasis mine)

Poetic justice, that. Jihadis on the receiving end of ordnance delivered by a woman. God, I love America! More power to you, Major Malachowski.

Personal History and Lack of Same

Today’s Lileks:

Storage: the great ongoing annoyance.

And by “ongoing” and “great,” well, you have no idea. I mentioned I’m cleaning out the area below the stairs to make room for permanent storage – stuff I’ll never use but cannot bear to toss. This means I have to get rid of ancient tapes – cassettes, 8mm from the 90s camera. But that means digitizing everything. Right now I have the old camcorder going on the laptop, and a cassette player working on the mainframe upstairs. One of the tapes I saved from the 80s, so help me God, was an answering machine tape. Think of it: don’t you wish you had an old answering machine tape? It’s a parade of the lost and the dead and the near and dear, a slice of life I couldn’t possibly have reconstructed. The voices are all familiar, too. They all speak to matters obscure or forgotten, but they do so with assurance and urgency. Everyone on the tape assumes I know what they’re talking about. Not any more. But I remember them.

It’s a bit odd to hear your wife say she’ll stop by your place later.

I also found a tape I made in the spring of 1978, one of those “I must document my fascinating day” things you do when you’re 19. Why, I was podcasting decades in advance.

If James were to observe the dearth of personal history that is my life, i.e., my absolute lack of mementos, curios, post cards, photos, and other flotsam and jetsam that we accumulate as we move down the path, I’m sure he’d be shocked. Just as I’m amazed at James’ habit of retaining and archiving all sorts of “stuff,” as indicated above. Technology is a wonderful thing. Think about it… shoeboxes full of photos have been replaced by CD (or DVD) after CD of photos we’ve archived, including those photos formerly resident in shoeboxes, which we’ve scanned. And those old movies—archived to disc, as well. But that’s the small stuff. There’s no way to digitize your old books, your kids’ old Halloween costumes, or a treasured painting that’s hung on your, and perhaps your ancestors’, wall as you moved from place to place and house to house. You either have the big stuff, or you don’t. And I don’t.

I experience a (small, very small) twinge of regret as I look around El Casa Móvil De Pennington and tote up the artifacts saved from my previous life—a couple of framed pics of TSMP; one lone, small watercolor acquired in London hanging on the wall; three antique Ottoman Empire blades (two knives, one scimitar); a few old unit ball caps; and a shadow box summarizing my 22-year AF career. And aside from a couple of VHS cassettes documenting SN3’s early days and my first trip to Moscow: that’s it. The rest of it went away in the great post-divorce and pre-RV “going out of business” sale. Semi-sad, it is.

Or not. Some people believe things and stuff tie you down. This is true, to a certain extent, and I subscribe to this point of view about 90% of the time. There’s a certain freedom attained by divesting yourself of “stuff,” but it has a price. And that price is you forfeit your personal history. Is it worth it? Depends on when you ask the question, if you ask at all.

Just a Pic: The morning of the Going Out of Business Sale. “Stuff,” all tagged and ready to go. And it went. October, 1999.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Just More Stuff

Update on the Brit veil flap: British watchdog warns on veil debate.”

LONDON - The heated debate over veils that cover the faces of some British Muslim women is growing ugly and could trigger riots, the head of Britain's race relations watchdog warned on Sunday.

Britons are becoming increasingly polarized along racial and religious lines, and if they don't talk respectfully about their differences, tensions could fuel unrest, Commission for Racial Equality chairman Trevor Phillips wrote in The Sunday Times newspaper.

In an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. television, he said he didn't want Britain to suffer the kind of violence that exploded in the deprived suburbs of Paris a year ago, when disaffected young people, many from immigrant backgrounds, rioted for three weeks.

He warned there could also be a repeat of the rioting in several northern English towns in 2001 caused by racial tensions between white and mainly Muslim south Asian youths.

"Only this time the conflict would be much worse," Phillips wrote in the Times.

And the Left accuses us of fear-mongering! God forbid we should offend the Muslim community by suggesting the veil is an active statement about not wanting to assimilate, coz if we do: riots. Good Grief.

Further, from The Times On-Line (UK) “Sweden's Muslim minister turns on veil”:

THE latest media darling of Scandinavian politics is not only black, beautiful and Muslim; she is also firmly against the wearing of the veil.

Nyamko Sabuni, 37, has caused a storm as Sweden’s new integration and equality minister by arguing that all girls should be checked for evidence of female circumcision; arranged marriages should be criminalised; religious schools should receive no state funding; and immigrants should learn Swedish and find a job.

Supporters of the centre-right government that came to power last month believe that her bold rejection of cultural diversity may make her a force for change across Europe. Her critics are calling her a hardliner and even an Islamophobe.

“I am neither,” she said in an interview. “My aim is to integrate immigrants. One is to ensure they grow up just as any other child in Sweden would.”


According to Sabuni, many politicians have shied away from talking about the need for assimilation rather than multi-culturalism: “I am one of the few who dares to speak out. Sadly, some members of the Muslim community feel picked on.”

Muslim groups in Sweden are already organising a petition to have her removed from government. “I regret that Muslims feel I am a threat to them,” she said. “Everybody has a right to practise their religion, but I will never accept religious oppression. And I represent the whole of society, not just the Muslims.”

Good Grief, reprised. Common sense seems to be breaking out all over, with certain…uh…notable exceptions.

I’m simultaneously surfing, reading, cutting and pasting, and watching Mark Steyn on C-SPAN. Damn, but Steyn is great! The man pulls no punches and is as right (and correct) as right can be. Need proof? His weekly editorials in the Chicago Sun-Times are simply excellent. I link them often, and here’s another one:

Last Tuesday morning, in a maternity ward somewhere in the United States, the 300 millionth American arrived. He or she got a marginally warmer welcome than Mark Foley turning up to hand out the prizes at junior high. One could have predicted the appalled editorials from European newspapers aghast at yet another addition to the swollen cohort of excess Americans consuming ever more of the planet's dwindling resources. And, when Canada's National Post announced "'Frightening' Surge Brings US To 300m People," you can appreciate their terror: the millions of Democrats who declared they were moving north after Bush's re-election must have placed incredible strain on Canada's highways, schools, trauma counselors, etc.


I, on the other hand, was feeling pretty chipper about the birth of the cute l'il quality-of-life degrader. The previous day, my new book was published. You'll find it in all good bookstores -- it's propping up the slightly wonky rear left leg of the front table groaning under the weight of unsold copies of Peace Mom by Cindy Sheehan. Anyway, the book -- mine, not Cindy's -- deals in part with the geopolitical implications of demography -- i.e., birth rates. That's an easy subject to get all dry and statistical about, so I gotta hand it to my publicist: arranging for the birth of the 300 millionth American is about as good a promotional tie-in as you could get and well worth the 75 bucks he bribed the guy at the Census Bureau. But, even if you haven't got a book to plug, the arrival of Junior 300 Mil is something everyone should celebrate.

Read the whole thing!

This is good news, and it should be obvious to even the most casual observer: “Radical Islam finds US ‘sterile ground”:

The Islamist radicalism that inspired young Muslims to attack their own countries - in London, Madrid, and Bali - has not yielded similar incidents in the United States, at least so far.

"Home-grown" terror cells remain a concern of US law officers, who cite several disrupted plots since 9/11. But the suspects' unsophisticated planning and tiny numbers have led some security analysts to conclude that America, for all its imperfections, is not fertile ground for producing jihadist terrorists.

To understand why, experts point to people like Omar Jaber, an AmeriCorps volunteer; Tarek Radwan, a human rights advocate; and Hala Kotb, a consultant on Middle East affairs. They are the face of young Muslim-Americans today - educated, motivated, and integrated into society - and their voices help explain how the nation's history of inclusion has helped to defuse sparks of Islamist extremism.

"American society is more into the whole assimilation aspect of it," says New York-born Mr. Jaber. "In America, it's a lot easier to practice our religion without complications."


European Muslims today live primarily in isolated, low-income enclaves where opportunities for good jobs and a good education are limited. In the US, 95 percent of Muslim-Americans are high school graduates, according to "Muslims in the Public Square," a Zogby International survey in 2004. Almost 60 percent are college graduates, and Muslims are thriving economically around the country. Sixty-nine percent of adults make more than $35,000 a year, and one-third earn more than $75,000, the survey showed.

In Britain, by contrast, two-thirds of Muslims live in low-income households, according to British census data. Three-quarters of those households are overcrowded. British Muslims' jobless rate is 15 percent - three times higher than in the general population. For young Muslims between 16 and 24, the jobless rate is higher: 17.5 percent.

"The culture is qualitatively different [in the American Muslim community] from what we've seen from public information from Europe, and that actually says very positive things about our society," says Jonathan Winer, a terrorism expert in Washington. "We don't have large populations of immigrants with a generation sitting around semi-employed and deeply frustrated. That's a gigantic difference."

Liberty. Education. Opportunity. Assimilation. These four concepts simply scare the Beejeebus out of the jihadis, as well they should. The successful and the assimilated have no reason to launch jihad, or, in other words: sterile ground. The big question, of course, is why is it so different in Europe? Could it be the socialist nanny-state focused on the dole and the lip-service of multi-culturalism, as opposed to genuine opportunities available in a generally class-less society (read that: meritocracy)? You decide…

Today’s Pic: Whimsical and thoroughly delightful sculpture near the Moscone Center, San Francisco. August, 2001.

Subtle...and WRONG

Signs of the apocalypse, part XXIV…the moonbat leftie blog Attytood and I agree on something. That something would be John Mellencamp’s new song “This is Our Country,” which Chevrolet is using to flog its trucks, replacing Bob Segar’s old, familiar “Like a Rock.” Actually, it’s not the song so much (lyrics here) as it’s the visuals in the commercials running during the World Series and both League Series before. I’ll quote Will Bunch, the proprietor of Attytood:

We saw troops in the jungles of Vietnam, where 58,000 Americans died for a mistake.

We saw Richard Nixon waving goodbye from the helicopter in 1974, after his secret government of dirty tricksters damn near destroyed the Constitution.

We saw, to our disbelief and amazement, shots of the worst of Hurricane Katrina, the howling winds and the flooded-out city, apparently mitigated by a shot of a Habitat-for-Humanity style rebuilding.

Then we saw the thing that truly amazed us, the beams of light in Lower Manhattan from where the World Trade Center once stood, and where 2.973 people were murdered five years ago.


How did you feel watching the ad? We felt angry.

Oh sure, you can rationalize it. You could say that after a generation of morning-in-America feel-good commercials from Madison Avenue, this is at least a more honest portrayal of the American experience. You could also note that GM, in some ways, isn't the worst corporate citizen within the rogues' gallery better known as the Fortune 500. They did hire a lot of African-Americans in the Rosa Parks era, after all, which is why so many left places like Montgomery for Detroit. And regarding Katrina, at least they did throw some dollars that way...we looked it up.

No matter. You just don't use 9/11 or Katrina to sell a product...period.

Mr. Bunch is correct, but he goes on to dilute his anger with a bunch (no pun…) of “progressive” arguments against the ad and those evil corporate America types, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I agree with his point: it’s in extremely bad taste to use images of the two most painful disasters this country has endured in a long time to sell trucks.

I think there’s a little bit more than truck selling going on here, however. The inclusion of the Viet Nam images and Nixon’s famous farewell gestures as he left the White House for the last time immediately preceding the Katrina and 9/11 images establishes a subtle but direct connection between history and current events. And that connection, however subtle, is negative, given the Viet Nam and Iraq comparisons that are en vogue, and the ultra-left’s noises about impeaching President Bush. I’m surprised Mr. Bunch missed that.

The image sequences in the commercial are probably lost on the average person under 30, after all Viet Nam and Nixon resigning under pressure of impeachment happened before they were born. The 30-and-under demographic isn’t the target, however—that cohort has a poor voting track record. Boomers vote, and Boomers are the target of those negative visuals. I think Mellencamp, with the active participation of Campbell-Ewald, artfully used a freakin’ Chevy commercial to advance his anti-war, anti-Bush agenda. Or maybe I’m just paranoid. But I don’t think so. Is there any other plausible reason for those specific images to appear in that specific order? You tell me.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down...

Well, I’m glad they got that out of their system. It was probably unrealistic to expect the Tigers to win eight straight games in the playoffs, especially against a motivated (and insulted) St. Louis team. Still, at the end of the first inning I was thinking things were going according to plan. Piece of cake, and all that. YeahRightSure! Here’s what Gene Wojciechowski has to say:

This is what happens when you fall in love with a story line. Even after Saturday evening's 7-2 loss, I still think the Tigers are going to end the postseason with champagne on their unis. But no way is this thing over in five or six games. The Cardinals are too proud, too well-managed, and too experienced to become afterthoughts and footnotes.

I’m not sure I agree with Wojciechowski’s implication the series will go seven games, but six isn’t beyond the pale. It’s apparent (to me, at least) that the Tigers’ six days of rest didn’t do them any good. Three errors in a World Series game is an indication of serious rust, and is a wake-up call. I think the Tigers will look a lot better this evening.

Yesterday’s football games were pretty good great. I watched two games in their entirety and pieces of two others, and in both (complete) games the favored teams (Texas, ND) had to pull it out of their…um…ear in the last minute to get the win. Notre Dame’s last minute heroics (literally: they got the winning TD with 27 seconds left on the clock) had me jumping up and down on my seat. The finish was that good, that intense. Until I calmed down and realized that UCLA should have never been in it to begin with. But…but…any team going into South Bend is supremely motivated. Notre Dame has that effect on their opponents, regardless of how well ND is doing that year or the history between the two teams. It could be a long-standing rivalry (like Michigan, USC), or a new addition to the schedule: it doesn’t matter. It’s Notre Dame!

From The Telegraph (UK):

Shahid Malik, the Labour MP for Dewsbury, spoke for almost the entire nation yesterday when he told Aisha Azmi – the Muslim teaching assistant suspended for wearing a veil – "to just let this thing go". An employment tribunal has rightly rejected Mrs Azmi's case for unfair dismissal, though – absurdly – it has awarded her damages for "victimisation" by her local council.


Moreover – and this is something that has gone largely unremarked – the behaviour of Mrs Azmi and her suspiciously glib supporters has particularly annoyed many British women. We are not talking here of those earnest feminists who are desperately trying to disentangle their allegiances to multi-culturalism and secularism: the hand-wringing of, say, the Guardian's Madeleine Bunting is a joy to behold. What strikes us is the anger of sane, civilised women at the claim that Mrs Azmi's dismissal impinges on their own rights. That is a preposterous notion. If British women feel any sympathy for the teaching assistant, it is because she appears – ironically, given the casus belli – to have been turned into a mouthpiece for male Islamists who genuinely wish women to endure a form of medieval subjugation.

Further evidence that rationality is beginning to prevail in Britain. I particularly enjoyed the barb directed at Madeline Bunting and by implication, The Guardian, in general. The Guardian has long been the “voice” of the British liberal-left (one could say fringe-left and not be too far off the mark). It’s good to see them on the losing end, for a change. Lefties, of course, will not agree.

Full disclosure, of sorts: My animosity towards The Guardian is deep-rooted and goes back to the early 1980s when I was stationed at RAF Uxbridge and lived on High Wycombe Air Station. The Guardian was the mouthpiece for the “peace movement” and devoted a great deal of coverage to the “Peace Camps” outside of High Wycombe AS and the much larger, more visible camp outside of RAF Greenham Common. Publicity, of course, aided and abetted the loonies and enabled them to survive—thrive, even. I’ve never forgiven The Guardian for that, even (and perhaps especially) when they were ultimately proven to be wrong about the deployment of the ground launched cruise missiles.

And while we’re on about the UK, this is interesting: “We are biased, admit the stars of BBC News.

It was the day that a host of BBC executives and star presenters admitted what critics have been telling them for years: the BBC is dominated by trendy, Left-leaning liberals who are biased against Christianity and in favour of multiculturalism.

A leaked account of an 'impartiality summit' called by BBC chairman Michael Grade, is certain to lead to a new row about the BBC and its reporting on key issues, especially concerning Muslims and the war on terror.


At the secret meeting in London last month, which was hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals and people from ethnic minorities, deliberately promotes multiculturalism, is anti-American, anti-countryside and more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians.

One veteran BBC executive said: 'There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness.

'Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC's culture, that it is very hard to change it.'

Well, Hell. We knew that! It is refreshing, though, to see the Beeb’s senior leadership admit bias, even if it’s only in private. The first step on the road to recovery is to admit you have a problem, right? OK, you’ve got a problem. Fix it.

Right, now…Off you go!

Fear and Loathing of a Democrat Majority…Rank Would Guide Pelosi As She Chose Chairmen

If Democrats win control in November, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) has decided to award committee chairmanships based almost entirely on seniority, ensuring that the House would feature far more minority faces, and some liberal firebrands, in key posts.

But, mindful of the growing power of an expanding band of Democratic moderates and conservatives, Pelosi has also vowed that she would keep her chairmen on a tight leash, according to leadership aides and current and former Democratic lawmakers.


Republicans have attacked Rep. Charles B. Rangel (N.Y.), the senior Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, as a tax hiker. The Republican National Committee called Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), the would-be chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, "a liberal partisan" who "would launch criminal inquiries into the Bush administration."

In Topeka, Kan., last week, Vice President Cheney singled out three of the most liberal Democrats in the House as foils -- Reps. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), the would-be Judiciary Committee chairman; Henry A. Waxman (Calif.), who is in line to take over the Government Reform Committee; and Barney Frank (Mass.), the senior Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.

Click the links of the “right honorable representatives” above to access their voting records on key bills over the past year or so. Are you still thinking about staying home in November? Really? How about this, then?

Misgivings exist in Democratic ranks as well. Several moderate-to-conservative Democrats in the House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of fraying party unity, specifically mentioned two members: Conyers, who has already laid out what he says are grounds to impeach President Bush, and Alcee L. Hastings (Fla.), a senior Democrat on the intelligence committee, who was impeached and removed from his federal judgeship in 1989 for conspiring to take a $150,000 bribe and give light sentences to two convicted swindlers.

As Dan Riehl notes…

If you think Iraq and its government is in trouble, hand the keys to the kingdom over to these loons for two years and we'll be soliciting aid and guidance from the third world.

LMAO If nothing else, aside from the significant problems it would cause the nation, a Dem take over of the House is bound to provide some incredible laughs. Just think, the MSM actually loves this bunch of losers. No wonder their profits are tanked.

Good, bad or indifferent, the only thing that comes close to good organized political judgment in America today is the Republican Party. Despite their faults, God save America if people stay home and throw them out.

Or, as Edwin Starr sang: “Good GAWD, Y’All!” Fear and loathing, indeed. If I were the RNC, I’d hammer this message home in closely-contested House districts/races. We absolutely cannot afford to cede control of the asylum to the lunatics. We have a war to fight.

Today’s Pic: Plane Pr0n, from the AF Armament Museum, Eglin AFB, FL. November, 1999.