Saturday, January 27, 2007

Birthday boy

Today is my birthday, no. 65. Now officially an Old Fart (no longer just in name), additional duties are involved. Here goes.

Today, many who oppose the war in Iraq march in protest. Old Fart Prediction #1: Won't make much difference unless they carry torches and a rope.

That was easier than I thought. Meanwhile, more birthday stuff.

On this day in history, the Auschwitz Death Camp was liberated by the Red Army after evidence of its existence was systematically ignored for years by the Allies. Guess the Commies were good for something in WWII besides breaking the back of the German Army. Today is also the second "International Holocaust Remembrance Day". Note this is not a Federal holiday.

Among others, I share the same birthday with Lewis Carroll of "Alice In Wonderland" fame, and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, whom Carroll, as well as Alice, would probably have been able to figure out pretty quickly. Too bad they weren't Senators.

Other notable events on this date:

  • 1951 - Atomic testing begins at Frenchman Flats, Nevada
  • 1973 - Paris Peace Accords signed, ending Vietnam War
  • 1984 - Michael Jackson's hair catches fire in Pepsi ad
  • 1990 to 1999 - Nothing happened in the 1990's
  • 2006 - 7.6 Richter Scale quake in Banda Sea does not produce tsunami; and more recently...

My sign is Aquarius. According to the WikiPedia entry, people born under this sign are:

...associated with future ideas and the unusual. Individuals born under this sign are thought to have a creative, challenging, entertaining, progressive, stimulating, and independent character, but one which is also prone to rebelliousness, coldness, erraticism, cowardice, and impracticality.
Astrologically speaking, the Age of Aquarius will not start until the 27th century. For me and other Aquarians, this explains a lot.

I once researched and wrote a computer program that produced a detailed, lifetime horoscope based on answers to a few simple questions. It was completely bogus. Ditto for an I Ching program. I chuckle whenever I think of it.

Purely for the good of mankind, I'm now working on a program that predicts winning PowerBall numbers.

I hate it when people remember my birthday, but when they don't, I usually manage to slip it into the conversation someplace. I think I plagarized this from Andy Rooney. Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl

Friday, January 26, 2007

Saddam still dead

White House spokesman Tony Snow today announced that, based on reliable reports, former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein is still dead.

"This is absolute proof of the wisdom of the President's 'New Way Forward' strategy," Snow advised astonished reporters.

Asked how the Administration came by the extraordinary information, Snow demurred. "We can't simply divulge our sources and methods to the public," Snow said. "If that happens, then the terrorists win."

"Just shows to go you what a piece of rope and a little imagination can do," Snow quipped, later commenting that the approach might well be tried in this country, depending on how the left-wing media spun this latest piece of good news. Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl

The Enemy at Home

Is this country great, or what?

Not only are we a nation where you don't have to be smart to be President, honest to handle other people's money, or have high moral standards to be a preacher, you can actually be paid handsomely for being a raving lunatic.

Case in point for the latter assertion: Dinesh D'Souza, the Conservative darling who's moved so far to the right he's fallen over the edge into the camp of Those Who Would Destroy This Nation (TWWDTN™).

In his recent diatribe, "The Enemy at Home", Random House, $26.95, D'Souza makes Osama bin Laden's case that America has become corrupt due to the machinations of their common enemy, the "Left".

I am saying that the cultural left and its allies in Congress, the media, Hollywood, the nonprofit sector, and the universities are the primary cause of the volcano of anger toward America that is erupting from the Islamic world. -- Dinesh D'Souza
If only we could somehow rid ourselves of these troublesome imps, Dinesh seems to beg, then all would be well and Osama would become our buddy again, just like he was when he was busy thumping the Soviet Union during their own truly awsome Afghani adventure.

These are the kind of "Great Thots™" D'Souza has been generating while nesting gainfully at that great bastion of festering intellectualism, The Hoover Institute, named not as one might imagine for the vacuum cleaner, but for that great American President who helped destroy America's economy so thoroughly in the 1920's.

I can see the sequal to this D'Souza opus now: "Osama and Me: Why Nuking San Francisco is a Good Thing". Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl

Friday, January 12, 2007

How to handle your monkey


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the same folks who make your life a living hell when you attempt to board a flight to grandmother's house, have now thoughtfully supplied regulations detailing how TSA storm troopers should weed out your terrorist monkeys from your friendlies:

  • When a monkey is being transported in a carrier, the monkey must be removed from the carrier by the handler prior to screening,
  • The monkey must be controlled by the handler throughout the screening process.
  • The monkey handler should carry the monkey through the WTMD while the monkey remains on a leash.
  • When the handler and monkey go through the WTMD and the WTMD alarms, both the handler and the monkey must undergo additional screening.
  • Since monkeys may likely draw attention, the handler will be escorted to the physical inspection area where a table is available for the monkey to sit on. Only the handler will touch or interact with the monkey.
  • TSOs have been trained to not touch the monkey during the screening process.
  • TSOs will conduct a visual inspection on the monkey and will coach the handler on how to hold the monkey during the visual inspection.
  • The inspection process may require that the handler take off the monkey’s diaper as part of the visual inspection.
Presumably, violation of any of these regulations will be punished immediately by tasering. Of your monkey or your monkey's handler, not the TSO.

One remaining question: Which hand should you use to handle your monkey? Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl

Scientists puzzle over date

When the first astronauts land on mars, what if they report finding a parking ticket on Sojourner, the 1997 Pathfinder probe's dead mobile sidekick?

In part, the ticket might read:

You must report to the Imperial Mars Traffic Court at noon on the Firbust of Qualdon or your vehicle will be impounded and we will be at bartlebutt!
Now what?

At White House urging, scientists at JPL and Houston's Mission Control frantically try to decipher the cryptic date and figure out what "bartlebutt" means.

Meanwhile, the American Enterprise Institute weighs in with its ominous prediction of alien terrorist attacks and screeches for a preemptive "new way forward," a surge of heavily armed astrowarriors followed up by thousands of pencil-necked, out-of-work astrogeeks with impeccable conservative credentials to man a Martian Occupation Authority. Could there not be oil on Mars, they ask?

Stay tuned. Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl

Once and future queen

Remember legendary game show host Jack Bailey's historic cry, "You - could - be - QUEEN FOR A DAY!!!"

Turns out, it - could - ACTUALLY HAPPEN!!!

English Heritage, the UK's "...statutory adviser to the British government on the historic environment", has launched an international quest for claimants to the English throne.

They're looking for those who can trace their heritage to Anglo Saxon or Danish nobles before 1066. On their website they're politely requesting you to...

Please send a summary of your claim with copies of any supporting documents and stating your most likely gateway ancestor to:

Claimants to the English Throne
English Heritage
1 Waterhouse Square
138-142 Holborn
London EC1N 2ST
They neglect to say what first prize will be, but anything's possible. Use your imagination. Think PowerBall. Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Iraqi Joke of the Day

From the Iraq Slogger, this wickedly morbid joke is making the rounds in Baghdad:

A driver is stuck in a traffic jam on the highway. Suddenly a man knocks on his window. The driver rolls down his window and asks, "What's going on?"

"Terrorists down the road have kidnapped George W. Bush and Dick Cheney," the man says, "They're asking $100 million ransom. Otherwise they're going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We're going from car to car taking up a collection."

The driver asks, "How much is everyone giving on average?"

The man responds: "Most people are giving about a gallon." Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl

Fair and balanced and insane

I knew Al-Jazeera TV must be good for something. Check out this transcript of a January 2, 2007 debate between Saddam Loyalist Mish'an Al-Jabouri and Shiite Iraqi Journalist Sadeq Al-Musawi, courtesy of the MEMRI TV Monitor Project.

Quick excerpts:

Sadeq Al-Musawi: You are a thief... You are a thief. You've been convicted for theft..

Mish'an Al-Jabouri : Get out. Saddam Hussein is your master and the master of your parents...
Borat needs to hire these guys for his sequel. Click here for the video with English subtitles. Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Instant blowback

In the intelligence business, "blowback" is what happens when you secretly publish misinformation in an enemy's media or to their intelligence service, then that same misinformation accidently "blows back" into your own media or intelligence service and you wind up confusing your own people.

In years past, blowback was usually considered a bad thing. There were rules against letting it happen, because when it happened it usually created more problems on your side than the original propaganda against the enemy solved. There were actually laws against it. Actual laws. Of course, these days, who knows what the laws are. Most of them are secret and most of us don't have the "need to know".

Anyway, looks like blowback is now the law of the land and we've cut out the middle man. Newsweek has published a copy of a document they received titled, "Strategic Communications Plan - US Mission Iraq - December 2006", which details how the US Embassy in Iraq is planning to propagandize us here in the US, as well as the rest of the world, with diabolically crafted "news stories" designed to convince us that war is peace, freedom is slavery, etc. The usual things.

The Newsweek copy of the document is available on the internet, however, it's fairly huge and cumbersome to display. I downloaded it, pulled all the images out, and present it here for your viewing pleasure.

Updated 2/23/2008: The Newsweek copy of the original PDF document is no longer available on the Newsweek website. However, here's a copy of the saved PDF file.

To view any image full size in a new window, click on it. To toggle between image and text versions, use links below.

ImagesHTML Text Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Heads up, incoming

Good news from Israel, they've discovered that good, old "let's you and them fight" strategy.

Offered Dec. 30, 2006 by Brigadier General Oded Tira of the Israeli Self Defense force writing on the y-net news website (emphasis added).

President Bush lacks the political power to attack Iran. As an American strike in Iran is essential for our existence, we must help him pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iranian issue to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure.
We must clandestinely cooperate with Saudi Arabia so that it also persuades the US to strike Iran. For our part, we must prepare an independent military strike by coordinating flights in Iraqi airspace with the US. We should also coordinate with Azerbaijan the use of airbases in its territory and also enlist the support of the Azeri minority in Iran. In addition, we must immediately start preparing for an Iranian response to an attack.
The Americans must act. Yet if they don't, we'll do it ourselves, because there are no free rides and our existence isn't guaranteed. Addressing Iran would have positive implications for us in terms of the strategic balance in our region and when it comes to Hizbullah, stability in Lebanon, and Syria's power.

Well, shucks, pilgrim. Guess y'all just have to do it by your own damn selves, then. Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl

Wednesday, January 3, 2007


All of us have heard of the dread Neoconservative boogeymen, but where do they actually want to go and how to they propose getting us there?

Personally, I have problems with their direction, logic, and funding (mostly mad millionaires), but what do I know? I'm not an expert and they claim to be.

Many of the Neoconservatives have the academic credentials and work experience to back up their claims to special expertise. I almost feel too unworthy to disagree with them, since I possess neither, but I usually just sort of buzz over that and focus on their logic and goals, or lack thereof.

Also, I also don't like the term, "Neoconservative". Too fuzzy, doesn't tell you anything. I prefer the term, "Goldwinger," as in "Goldfinger" and "Winger", hence the title of this post.

Perhaps the most concise and detailed statement of Goldwinger foreign policy objectives has been produced in the 96 page, September 7, 2006 final report of The Princeton Project on National Security (requires free PDF viewer) sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (WWS) at Princeton University.

Of great interest in the final report of The Princeton Project on National Security is its Executive Summary which starts on page 10 of the PDF file (page 5 of the document) laying out Goldwinger objectives, which include:

  • Preemptive wars to advance US interests (think Haliburton)
  • A "Concert of Democracies" led by the US (basically, a buddy club -- we decide who gets in)
  • Exclusionary foreign policy -- active alienation and marginalization of "non-democratic" nations (we decide who they are and which ones we're going to war with)
  • Solving the energy crisis with high tax rates
The list goes on. I encourage you to read the whole thing and form your own opinion, if you're so inclined.

Some background on WWS and Princeton.

Princeton and the family of the couple who provided a 1961 endowment for WWS, the Robertson Trust, have been in litigation for several years over the issue of how Princeton is using the Robertson Trust funds.

The family contends the money was donated and is only available on condition that WWS train and place scholars in the federal diplomatic and national security establishment and that's not been happening. Princeton and WWS contend they can do what they want with the money, so there. Current value of the Robertson Trust, over half a billion dollars.

Despite the relatively huge size of the WWS endowment, for some reason WWS also finds it necessary to solicit and accept sizable grants from a laundry list of extreme right wing, Goldwinger-type foundations. I'll leave you to Google it out. Sample Google links: The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Scaife Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the John M. Olin Foundation.

I know this is a little boring, but just ask yourself what James Bond would do with a Goldwinger. Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl