Monday, April 30, 2007

Moran On Iraq

Armed Liberal at Winds of Change is all hot and bothered about Rick Moran's (they spelled his name wrong) suggestion that it was time to surrender to the Democrats and pull out of Iraq on the Democrat's time table.

The Answer Man has an answer for Armed Liberal:

Might I suggest joining:

I Support Democracy In Iraq

or if you are interested in a more animated version:

I Support Democracy In Iraq - The Animation

I'd love to see the Democrats argue against democracy. If nothing else just for the entertainment value.
Then in comment #4 Glenn Wishard says that despite all Bush's deficiencies including the House of Saud, he is holding firm.

My reply:
Totally with you on this one.

True, but the one thing Bush has not done is cave in to the defeatists like a rotten pumpkin, the very thing which Moran now advises him to find the "courage" to do..

As long as he doesn't cave we have time to change the terms of the debate.

It is the old "maybe pigs will fly" strategem. If we help maybe pigs can fly.


It is time to stop focusing on the doctors and the hospital and take a look at the real patient. Iraqi Democracy.

This is not about the "Iraqi people" such as they are. It is about the Iraqi democrats. Who may even be a minority. Doesn't matter.

It will be impossible for real Americans, even of the leftist variety, to repudiate democracy with any degree of conviction.

What will they say: Iraq is not ready? So what do we do, wait until they are ready and invade again?

Arabs can't do democracy? That is racism.

Then hit them with a good old JFK right between the eyes:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

John F. Kennedy
I'd love to hear the Democrats argue against Saint John.

The Pain In The Brain

I just learned somethin new today abou pain. What I learned is that Arthritis pain is processed in the brain's 'fear center'.

Researchers at The University of Manchester have discovered that arthritis pain, unlike that induced as part of an experiment, is processed in the parts of the brain concerned with emotions and fear.
So repeated pain trains you. It causes your experience of pain to be more painful. Which is a good thing since it will tend to reduce the stress on the areas in pain. The more it hurts the less you use it.
"We thought that arthritic and acute experimental pain would be processed within the same areas of the pain matrix," Dr Kulkarni continued. "But, although both activated both the medial and lateral pain systems, arthritic pain prompted increased activity in the cingulate cortex, thalamus and amygdale within the medial system - the areas concerned with processing fear, emotions and aversive conditioning.

"This suggests that arthritic pain has more emotional salience than experimental pain for these patients, which is consistent with the unpleasantness scores they themselves gave. The increased activity in the areas associated with aversive conditioning, reward and fear, which are less commonly activated during experimental pain, suggests they might be processing fear of further injury and disability associated with the arthritic pain."
This is very important because I think fear, if it reaches a high enough level, is experienced as pain. On top of that it is likely that extreme fear memories can be experienced as pain as well.

Which points out something another study looks at. Fear memories are at the heart of PTSD as I discussed in PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System. One of the keys tying this all together is this study: Fear memories, the amygdala, and the CB1 receptor. It turns out that cannabinoids are a part of this signaling mechanism and that the strength of the signal is in part genetically determined.

All this corroborates what I have been saying for years. The idea that "drugs cause addiction" is superstition. People in chronic pain chronically take drugs for pain relief. It doesn't matter if the pain is from a broken bone or rape memories. The same drugs work to provide relief.

The drug war is a persecution of people in pain.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Passing On A Deal

Netscape blog is running with an old story: Bush could have talked to Iran and made a deal. Here is what I think:

America has been the Great Satan to Iran since 1979.

Death to America rallies are held every Friday.

And boy do they have it in for the Little Satan.

I do think we could get at least as good a deal from Iran as Neville Chamberlain got from the Austrian Corporal in 1938.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Never Again

My mother is Jewish. As I am.

She grew up in the 20s and 30s. She knew about Roosevelt's abandoning the Jews. She is a staunch believer in "never again".

And yet when I say that we can't abandon the Iraqi people to the head choppers all I get back is "I hate George Bush" and "America has no interest in Iraq".

Prompted by FlickMaven's discussion of Nazi evil.

While I don't quibble with the term, I think that many people miss the point when trying to apply the historical significance of the German "Final Solution" to our contemporary lives.

The point here is not that "monsters" perpetrated these acts. The point is that regular, everyday Germans did so, while going about their regular everyday business.
And so it is with the fate of the Iraqi democrats. The people who would abandon them are just ordinary. It is not like they want to see Iraqi democrats dead. It is more like indifference. Which is almost always the face of evil.

Me? I Support Democracy In Iraq.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Submission Guidelines - I Support Contest

Along with our first two entries one of the judges has some thoughts and suggested submission guidelines.

And don't forget first prize.

Please note that all graphics submitted will remain posted so that even if you are not chosen for the first prize your work will remain available.

We have a winner

I Support Democracy In Iraq - Graphic 2

Karl Egenberger has our second graphic submission. Which means the contest is on. Deadline for judging will be 28 May 2007 23:59z which is just a bit more than 30 days.

Since this is a low bandwidth blog you will have to go here to see this submission.

It is a nice graphic. About 24K.

Thanks to Karl Egenberger of Envision Design/ Plum Creative Associates, Towson, Md 21286.

I Support Democracy In Iraq - Graphic 1

Since this is a low bandwidth blog you will have to go here to see our very first submission.

It is a nice animated graphic. About 270K.

Thanks to bo ure.

Friday, April 27, 2007

A Political Deadline For Defeat.

Joe Lieberman has given an outstanding speech on the Iraq War funding bills now passing through the Senate. The video is about 3 3/4 minutes long and you can view it at Classical Values or at The Astute Bloggers. I highly reccommend it if you can spare the bandwidth. Joe asks why Oct. 1, 2007 was picked as the cut off date.

Well, naturally I have a few ideas about that. I'm sure Joe knows the significance of that date. It is a little more than a month from our 2008 election. The Democrats want badly to get elected and they think that what with their rabid anti-war base and a general population that gets the war on Islamic Fascism and the importance of Iraq as a theater of that war, they have to get the war off people's minds before the election. So they have to calculate how late they can force the withdrawal and yet not have a full scale civil war in Iraq on election day.

Now we know that the Islamics really like the Democrats. They say so. The withdrawal gets a lot of praise. So I would expect as a quid pro quo from the Islamics that they will hold off on attacks for the most part especially from the withdrawal date until after the election once a date certain for withdrawal has been set.

In other words I think the Democrats with all their recent toing and frowing in the Middle East have brokered a sell out of America and Iraq. They went direct to upper management. No fooling around with intermediaries or cut outs who might screw the deal or want too big a cut. Nope. Right to the top. When it comes to the Culture of Corruption I think the Republicans with their Jack Abramoff type scandals were pikers. They were only selling out one segment of the American people to another. These folks are selling out America to foreign powers. And not retail like Dubai Ports or similar examples. These folks are offering a package deal at wholesale rates. The scope is breathtaking. The chutzpah stupendous.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Obama Is Silent

That is a truly novel approach to politics. Except when it comes to Obama's friend Antoin "Tony'' Rezko. Tony is a high powered developer of slum property with friends in City Hall.

Well you know how it is in Chicago politics. Sometimes silence is better than an insurance policy. A life insurance policy. Which only pays off after you are dead.

For five long weeks, Sun-Times' investigative reporter Tim Novak called, e-mailed, requested, practically pleaded with Obama's press people to provide information about the senator's relationship to Rezko when it came to the development of low-income housing in Chicago. In an abundance of fairness and an excess of solicitousness, Novak sent a list of questions.

For five weeks, no answer.

Jointly, on behalf of both the Sun-Times and NBC5 News, Novak and I sent Obama's campaign requests to interview the senator for both print and television.
So what subject does Obama need to avoid opinions (let alone facts) about?
Though Obama says he, himself, did a mere five hours of work, the 12-person law firm where Obama was a junior partner did significant legal work for Rezko's company which, by 2002, was being sued by the city, state and a bunch of banks for defaulting on loans and doing a downright awful job of providing decent housing. Taxpayers and lenders have lost up to $100 million while Rezko's firm made about $7 million.

There is no suggestion that Obama or his firm did anything illegal. But here's a guy who, according to a recent Tribune profile of his wife, Michelle, was so scrupulous about the details of life that he actually went with her on a job interview just to make sure her potential employer was up to snuff. Too bad he didn't give Rezko the same treatment.
So who is Tony Rezko?
Rezko, a native of Syria, came to Chicago in the late 1970s to study engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He joined an engineering company, designing nuclear power plants. He left to design roads for the state Transportation Department, making $21,590 in his one year there.

In 1984, Rezko went to work for Crucial Concessions Inc., owned by Herbert Muhammad, whose father, Elijah Muhammad, founded the Nation of Islam. Herbert Muhammad also was the longtime manager of boxing great Muhammad Ali. Crucial had a contract with the Chicago Park District to sell food on the beaches and in many South Side parks. Rezko was running Crucial when he met Daniel Mahru.

"That's an interesting story,'' Mahru said. "He sold food along the beaches, and I sold him ice.''

Mahru, chief executive officer of Automatic Ice Inc., which leases ice makers to bars, hotels and restaurants, grew up on the North Shore. He had been an attorney with a big Chicago law firm.

He and Rezko incorporated Rezmar in January 1989, when Chicagoans were focused on Daley's campaign to oust Mayor Eugene Sawyer. Daley won, and Rezmar came seeking funding from City Hall.

"Rezmar Corp. expects this project to be the first of many during the next few years,'' Mahru wrote in Rezmar's first application to the city Housing Department.

And it was.

As Rezmar's loan application was pending, Daley reformed the Housing Department. Daley said he found that housing officials were giving loans to their cronies. So the mayor's staff would now decide who got the money.
Say. What a good idea. The Mayor is going to prevent loans to cronies. Other people's cronies. His cronies? All good guys. He trusts them.

And how about the Nation of Islam connection? I've heard Obama is tight with the Nation of Islam and tight with Rezko. Looks like Obama and Rezko travel in similar circles.
Rezko was the schmoozer. He showered politicians with money for their campaign funds and got others to do the same. He gave to Democrats -- foremost among them former Cook County Board President John Stroger, Gov. Blagojevich, Daley and Sen. Barack Obama. Rezko gave to Republicans, too -- among them former Gov. Jim Edgar, the late Rosemont Mayor Don Stephens and President George W. Bush.

He also gave to others who held sway over Rezmar's housing deals -- like Chicago aldermen.

Meanwhile, Rezmar's low-income apartments were deteriorating, and it stopped repaying some loans.

So why did the city keep lending Rezko's company more tax dollars? "During the time he did work with us -- and that was many years ago -- there was nothing to indicate there was a problem," Daley spokeswoman Jacquelyn Heard said.

In fact, there was. City attorneys repeatedly went to court to force Rezmar to make repairs to its buildings and, in some cases, to get the heat turned on.
It is early in the campaign season and here I am doing Hillary's work for her. No need to thank me Hillary. Consider it a public service.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Haditha Bombshell - Intel Evidence

New evidence continues to surface in the Haditha case that shows the Marines didn't do it.

Convincing evidence that corroborates's accounts of the Haditha insurgent ambush has compelled the prosecution to take extraordinary steps to bolster their crumbling case.

The stunning announcement that all charges are being dropped against Sgt. Sanick P. Dela Cruz, formerly accused of murder in the Haditha incident where 24 Iraqis were killed during an insurgent ambush against the Marines, is indication that the prosecutors have a very weak case against all the defendants, lawyers for the some of the accused say.
There is more evidence of weakness in the case.
The announcement of the deal with Dela Cruz is further evidence that the cases against the Kilo Company Marines and several of their superior officers are in deep trouble. It comes on the heels of postponements of Article 32 hearings slated for Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, the battalion commander and two of the enlisted men charged with murdering civilians in Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005.
Now here is the bombshell:
In a nutshell, the case exploded when an intelligence officer dropped a bombshell on prosecutors during a pre-hearing interview when he revealed the existence of exculpatory evidence that appears to have been obtained by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and withheld from the prosecutors.

This officer, described by senior Marine Corps superiors as one of the best and most dedicated intelligence officers in the entire Marine Corps, was in possession of evidence which provided a minute-by-minute narrative of the entire day's action — material which he had amassed while monitoring the day's action in his capacity as the battalion's intelligence officer. That material, he says, was also in the hands of the NCIS.

Much of that evidence remains classified, but it includes videos of the entire day's action, including airstrikes against insurgent safe houses. Also included was all of the radio traffic describing the ongoing action between the men on the ground and battalion headquarters, and proof that the Marines were aware that the insurgents conducting the ambush of the Kilo Company troops were videotaping the action — the same video that after editing ended up in the hands of a gullible anti-war correspondent for Time magazine.

When asked by the prosecution team to give his copies of the evidence to the prosecution, he told that he was reluctant to do so, fearing it would again be suppressed or misused, but later relented when ordered by his commanding general to do so.

Confronted by the massive mounds of evidence that Marine Corps sources tell NewsMax proves conclusively that the cases against the Haditha Marines are baseless, the prosecutors were forced to postpone the Article 31 against Lt. Col. Chessani and two of the enlisted men in an attempt to regroup.

By granting immunity to the officer on the scene of the house-clearing effort, the prosecution, lawyers say, has further weakened its case.
It is looking more and more like there was no case to begin with. Just some allegations and a movie by our enemies. With Time Magazine taking the side of our enemies.

It is looking more and more like the Haditha Massacre will be put in the same category as the Duke Rape Hoax. Prosecutorial overstretch.
Robert Muise, the Thomas More Law Center attorney who questioned the officer, told NewsMax in a statement, "The intelligence officer is a crucial witness in this case. During his testimony, he effectively described the enemy situation prior to, during, and after the November 19 terrorist attack, providing the necessary context for the decisions that were made as a result. His testimony shows the complexity of the attack this day, the callousness of the terrorists toward the local civilians, whom they use to their advantage, and the error of viewing this incident in a vacuum.

"The officer also showed how the insurgents used allegations of wrongdoing by Marines as propaganda to support their cause. In fact, another witness, who was the assistant intelligence officer during the attack and is now the current intelligence officer for the battalion, testified that since the Haditha incident received so much negative attention, terrorist propaganda alleging law of war violations against American servicemen in Iraq has ‘ballooned.'"
So this case is what many had suspected all along. A propaganda effort by our enemy to smear American soldiers. And of course our media lapped it up uncritically. Who's side are they on anyway?

And what about old Stinking Jack Murtha who pressed the Marine Corps to investigate by saying that some of the Marines involved that day were cold blooded killers. Murtha, who used to be a Marine, is a disgrace to the Corps.

Haditha Roundup.

NCIS Misconduct Alleged in Haditha Probe

Curt at Flopping Aces has an excellent overview that is linkage rich.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

I Support Democracy In Iraq - Contest

Coyote Organics is offering a prize for the design of the logo for the I Support Democracy In Iraq campaign.

A. Jacksonian of Dumb Looks Still Free thinks it should include a purple finger.

So far the owner of Coyote Organics and I will judge the contest (I may add one or two other judges as I corral them). The decision of the judges is final. If the judges can't come to a decision, my decision is final.

The contest will extend for thirty days from the first submission. I may extend that deadline (it will be announced at Power and Control) if there are no suitable submissions.

I will post the submissions as they come in.

Update: I have added some Submission Guidelines.

Update: 04 July 007 2139z

We have a winner.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Support Democracy In Iraq

Update: Our final logo is at the bottom. You can find instructions on how to put it up by clicking on the logo.

I Support  Democracy In Iraq

If any artist can turn this into a better graphic, I would be very grateful. As would the Iraqi democrats. Contact me at Power and Control, my e-mail is on the sidebar.

For those who wish to join the campaign leave me a comment here. I'll add you to my blog roll and put your url up on the front of this page.

We are having a contest for a better logo: I Support Democracy In Iraq - Contest. First prize by Coyote Organics.


the vail spot
Dumb Looks Still Free
Coyote Organics
DCS Security
Socrates' Academy
Little Miss Chatterbox

We now have a better logo:

I Support  Democracy In Iraq
Click on the logo to find out how to join the campaign.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Have You Heard The Crack About Sheryl Crow?

She wants us all to cut back on toilet paper. One square per visit to the loo.

"I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting."

Eric at Classical Values has a round up and a vintage R. Crumb cartoon about anal hygine. Hilarious. And deep.

I used to think Sheryl was hot (despite our political differences). Now I'd be afraid of touching her with a ten foot pole. Or coming within smelling distance.

I suppose you could win her heart by telling her she didn't smell anything like you expected. Romance. It just isn't what it used to be.

Cross Posted at The Astute Bloggers

Monday, April 23, 2007

False Report

Tom Ligon reports
that the report I posted about the Bussard Fusion work being funded was incorrect.

The contract has merely been continued for a year without funding.

Time to contact your Government to see if we can't get this ball rolling.

House of Representatives
The Senate
The President

Sunday, April 22, 2007

We Will Not Let It Fall To Violence

SFC SKI commented on my post The Objective - Iraq. The SFC makes some good points about the security situation in Iraq. To which I responded:

Thanks so much for the comment!!

You say:

You really can't split Iraq's security problems along internal and external, they are intertwined to a tremendous extent.

Agreed. However, what I was thinking of was more about a division of labor. Americans do primarily border security. Iraqis do mainly internal security.

With the whole job ultimately being handed over to the Iraqis - when they are ready.

As to the spineless in Congress. I think they are one termers. Think of the '72 elections when we elected Nixon (a truly vile man) over his anti-war Democrat rival.

The most important thing to be done in winning this war is that more soldiers like you speak out. You don't even have to blog. Comments on blogs are equally helpful.

BTW I'm sure it is too far above your pay grade, but our war leaders are really letting us down by not getting more news and views of the troops out.

War is 3/4s morale. The DOD and the President are letting the home front down.

The message is simple:

There is a democratically elected government in Iraq under attack by the disgruntled, by Nazi emulating Baathists, and by external forces. This Iraqi government may fall at the next election. We will not let it fall to violence.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

It Is A Crock

I'm back on the minutae of the Duke case.

There is a lot of discussion going on about the work of the nurse who collected the rape kit and the doctor who actually did the exam.

With more discussions here and here.

Let me deal with just the work of Dr. Manly (who is a woman).

Mangum was different in several ways. Most rape victims are withdrawn and quiet but cooperative. Mangum, on the other hand, called attention to herself by screaming; Manly had never seen that behavior before, she told defense lawyer Doug Kingsbery in October.

Manly made one notation on the rape kit report: "diffuse edema of the vaginal walls." It was the only medical evidence in Nifong's files that might support Mangum's version of what occurred at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd.

In an interview with Kingsbery, Manly said she did not recall seeing that kind of swelling in any of her previous sexual assault exams. Manly had seen similar swelling in others of the hundreds of routine pelvic exams she had performed, but there were other reasons for it.

During the exam of Mangum, Manly had seen discharge she assumed could be semen. After learning the rape kit turned up none, Manly came up with another possibility:

Mangum had the whitish discharge and vaginal swelling common to a yeast infection.
Let me refresh your memory on the time line. October of 2006 would be at least four months after Mike Nifong announced that no semen from the Duke players was found on Magnum (the dancer). It was several months before it was announced that semen from others was found on Magnum. Also note that no discharge was noted in the medical exam (rape kit) report.

This seems quite strange. Unless Dr. Manly thought she was covering her tracks for some sin of omission or commission. Isn't there any one associated with the Durham side of this case competent? Or at least with enough honor to tell the truth?

Newport at Liestoppers has altered my view of this question. There was in fact no semen (in detectable quantities) found. What was found was a very few sperm from a number of different men.

Still called into question was why the rape kit report did not have the "discharge" observation noted and why no pictures were taken of Magnum's injuries.

Rational Choice

Jeff Lukens writes in The American Thinker about the resurgence of Russia on the world scene and Putin's plan to revive Russia's fortunes goeopolitically, economically, and demographically.

Putin sees Russia's vast petroleum reserves as more than a means to economic growth, but as an avenue to superpower status once again. Last year, Russia was the second-highest oil producer in the world after Saudi Arabia. Their GDP has grown at an average rate of 5.5% since 2000, largely by energy exports.
So far so good. However, if oil prices fall as they surely will come the next recession, Russia and the oil exporters in general will be in a world of hurt.
Demographically, however, Russia is a nation that is slowly dying. The country has dwindling birthrates, and amazingly, declining life expectancy. That portends a bleak economic outlook unless they can leverage their energy resources to attain higher growth rates. This is Putin's strategy.
The demographic question is one that will not go away. In human society for a very long time children/family were a person's retirement and medical plan. With government's taking over that function the millenia long incentives we have had to live by are gone. Russia hopes to reverse the trend by improving economic conditions. I don't think it can work. However, we shall see.

In any case if they can keep raising their income for a while they will be at minimum a troublesome opposition.

So can we get along with the Russian Bear?
For its part, Washington may have unnecessarily provoked Putin as well.

Following 9/11, Putin agreed to allow Americans to stage the Afghanistan invasion from bases in former Soviet central Asian republics. Washington's reluctance now to depart from these bases has become troublesome to Moscow.

Overreach by NATO hasn't helped either. With China to the east, radical Islam to the south, and NATO's advancement from the west, Putin fears Russia is being threatened and encircled.

When the Soviet Army departed former Warsaw Pact countries in Eastern Europe, they were not expecting NATO to expand eastward. But that is exactly what happened. Not only did Poland and the Czech Republic join NATO, the former Soviet republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have joined too.
I believe the NATOization of the former satellites caused anger more due to the loss of military sales (loss of volume production/profits) than to the politico/military aspects. Of course loss of military sales also restricts the sphere of influence, so there are probably multiple aspects.

Ultimately Russia will hold whatever ground it can. Holding on to the former satellites was never an option.

All through Russian history the people have prefered authority over liberty as Jeff notes:
Most Russians would rather have a strong and secure nation than one that guarantees personal freedoms. This sentiment, and the growing economy, is the basis for Putin's broad popularity. A recent poll found only 16 percent of Russians surveyed want to see Western-style democracy remain in their country. Predictability is perhaps the greatest comfort to the average Russian.
Since winter time living in Russia is so precarious, perhaps trading Liberty for Security is a rational choice. It could also be a bargain with the devil who is now calling his note due.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Objective - Iraq

This is the next piece in my look at our war strategy in Iraq.

What is our objective in Iraq? It looks like we have a lot of them. The establishment of an Iraqi liberal democracy. Fighting a guerilla war. Establishing a viable Iraqi economy that is not based on oil socialism. Building/rebuilding infrastructure. Increasing Iraqi oil output. Building a strong Iraqi army. Establishing an honest police force. There are probably others I have left out. Mention them in the comments.

Since this is a discussion of politico/military strategy (all military effort is ultimately about politics since as Clauswitz points out - war is politics by other means - war is how you get a political decision when talking does not work) it is important to see the political dimension of our efforts.

The first phase of the Iraq war succeeded brilliantly. There the question of objective was clear and straight forward. End the rule of Saddam Hussein and his Baath Party. That was accomplished in three or four weeks. Brilliantly I might add. Mission accomplished.

The following phase was one where Iraq had no goverrnment and no army. Iraq was a political vacuum. Which made it an attractive target of political opportunists of all stripes. That phase ended with the votes on the Iraqi Constitution and elections for national offices.

So far so good. The question then becomes what mistake are we making now that we made in Vietnam?

The answer is pretty straight forward. We are not providing sufficient security to the Iraqi people. I think the reason is pretty fundamental. We are providing street by street security. The Iraqis are better equipped to handle that job. After all they will know better than any American the language and culture of Iraq.

This leads to look at two further problems. One is the sorry state of the Iraqi police forces. Corruption is endemic and some of the police seem much less than even handed. In some cases they are allied with the insurgents. In other cases they seem intent on settling old scores. This will have to be fixed.

The second problem is external security. The training of the Iraqi forces is coming along. However, external security is where American forces can be of the most benefit to the situation. We know that Syria is providing a rat line for entry of jihadis into Iraq. We know Iran is providing material support. This has to be choked off at the border to begin with. It also ultimately requires intense pressure military as well as financial on Iran. Senator McCain was asked about what American policy towards Iran should be. He has the right idea:

Another man — wondering if an attack on Iran is in the works — wanted to know when America is going to “send an air mail message to Tehran.”

McCain began his answer by changing the words to a popular Beach Boys song. “Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran,” he sang to the tune of Barbara Ann. “Iran is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. That alone should concern us but now they are trying for nuclear capabilities. I totally support the President when he says we will not allow Iran to destroy Israel.”
Our number one objective then has to be to secure Iraq. Everything else that has to be done in Iraq, such as improving the infrastructure, depends on security, both internal and external.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Did you know that your soap can test positive for contraband by some field drug test kits?

Don Bolles, drummer for the legendary punk band the Germs, was going to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with his girlfriend, 21-year-old Cat Scandal, after picking her up for "a day off" from drug rehab, on April 4, when they were pulled over in a traffic stop by Newport Beach Police. During a search of the vehicle -- to which Bolles unwisely consented -- police found a bottle of peppermint Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. According to a police field drug test, the soap contained GHB (gamma hydroxyl butyrate), a so-called date rape drug illegal under state and federal law.
It turns out that the police gave Bolles a tour of Orange County jails before releasing him after 3 1/2 days in the system. A better test verified no drugs in the soap. All charges were dropped.
The field test was performed by a kit manufactured by Armor Forensics/ODV called the Narcopouch 928. Armor Forensics/ODV did not respond to calls from the Chronicle about the false positives reported by its product. One man at ODV who refused to identify himself said only that he could not comment because of possible legal action.

The Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association did not respond to Chronicle queries about accuracy standards within the industry. In the group's defense, however, it should be noted that they were all out of the office this week attending a national drug testing industry convention.

The Newport Beach Police Department did not respond to calls from the Chronicle about the accuracy of the GHB field test.
There are no standards for field drug tests.
"The testing of substances for drugs is basically unregulated," Kevin Zeese, a prominent long-time drug reformer and political activist with expertise in the intersection of law and drug testing. "If it were the feds, the DEA would set the standards, but at the local level, it's state and local police who make the decisions. This all takes place within the criminal justice system; there is no regulation by the FDA or any other agency apart from law enforcement agencies," he told the Chronicle.

"There have been lots of cases of these sorts of tests not being accurate and causing problems, so this is not surprising," said Zeese. "Now, the local police are going to have to do something to correct their standards so they don't falsely accuse people. If they don't, this kind of thing ends up being regulated by the courts."
It is not just Dr. Bronners.
At least four other soaps have resulted in false positives in the Narcopouch 928 GHB test kit, including Neutrogena and Tom's of Maine. "We are testing more products and videotaping those tests. Products from Johnson & Johnson and Palmolive are testing positive, so we'll go to the Cosmetics, Toiletries and Fragrances Association, show them these products are testing positive, and then work through them to explore options for addressing the situation with these field drug test kits. Ideally, we could force a product recall, but we need at least a disclaimer if this product is going to continue to be sold. If they don't know soap tests positive, what else don't they know?"
Evidently the IVth Amendment no longer means what it used to. A series of excessive searches for contraband caused the founders to enact the prohibition against unreasonable searches. Why does that sound familiar? We now have a drug war contraband exception to the IVth Amendment.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Drill Teams

Little Green Footballs put up this excellent video of the US Marines Silent Drill Team. The silent part means that no commands are given to initiate various actions as is done in normal squad manuvers. Commands like "About Face", "Forward, March", "Attention", "Present Arms", etc.

Which of course got me to thinking about my days as a Navy boot.

We drilled with the Springfield M1903. It is a very fine piece to drill with. They never trusted us with bayonets though. LOL (Boot camp for me started 11 Nov '63. NTC San Diego. Right next to Marine Corp Recruit Depot. We'd be having a smoke next to the fence watching the Marines double timing around the perimiter of the Recruit Depot. I know we thought "stupid Jar Heads". They probably thought "pussy Sailors". I'm sure the positioning was intentional. Motivation for both sides. LOL.)

BTW I love the way the fittings on the rifles rattle. It sounds like men going to battle since the age of metal weapons began.

Wiki on the 1903:

Due to its balance, it is still popular with various military drill teams and color guards, most notably the U.S. Army Drill Team. M1903 rifles are also common at high school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) units to teach weapons handling and military drill procedures to the cadets. JROTC units use M1903s for regular and inter-school competition drills, including elaborate exhibition spinning routines similar to a majorette spinning a baton.
You can also watch The Navy Drill Team.

Good News - Fusion Project Funded

This report was not entirely correct. The contract has been extended for a year without funding.

Please write your Government:

House of Representatives
The Senate
The President

and sign this on line petition and send it to your friends to get Dr. Bussard's work funded.


Further update:

Bussard Reactor Funded.

I have inside info that is very reliable and multiply confirmed that validates the above story. I am not at liberty to say more.

06 Oct '007 2138z


Mark of Ask Mark reports that because of Dr Bussard's winning the Outstanding Technology of the Year Award for 2006 and his widely reported Google talk the US Navy has decided to fund the final year of the his contract. (I contacted my Congress critter with no obvious result. However, maybe others had better results.)

That may be enough to get WB-7 and WB-8 funded. I hope his results from his new experiments will not be embargoed.

So far I have been unable to confirm this report. However, I have corresponded with Mark and from his e-mails he seems to be an OK guy.

Update: 19 April 2007 1200z

I found confirmation at Speculations 10 April 2007 post. There is no permalink for the post so I'm going to reproduce it here:

Greetings, future-watchers .... got some really interesting news about five minutes ago, straight from the man himself. Dr. Robert Bussard, of whom you may have heard, says that because of the publicity around his November 9th talk at Google and his International Academy of Science Outstanding Technology of the Year Award, the Navy has sent him a contract extension to continue his fusion research. It's two orders of magnitude below the $200 million Dr. Bussard says he needs to produce a full-scale 100mw system, but it's a start. If you're interested in helping out, see for more.

More details may be found in The Advent of Clean Nuclear Fusion: Superperformance Space Power and Propulsion, Dr. Bussard's contribution to the 57th International Astronautical Congress.

Come discuss this and other technology developments in The Expert Is In!

Update: 13 Oct 007 2007z

Dr. Bussard has died. However, the work continues. Two scientists from Los Alamos joined the project in August before the Dr. died. One of them was a long time friend of the Drs. As I said above, we need to keep the pressure on the political critters to make sure if the research results are positive that the project gets the funds needed to make the Bussard Reactor a reality in the shortest time possible.

Update: 14 Jan 008 1525z

Good news. The experimenters have achieved WB-7 First Plasma. Results are consistent with WB-6 results - so far. Further experiments are underway.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Gun Control Means Hitting Your Target

Commenter linearthinker of Random Traverse just gave me a heads up about free down loads of Stopping Power [pdf] by J. Neil Schulman. It is about 900K.

You can read more about J. Neil's horrible birthday (16 April) and why he decided to make his book free at Free Republic.

Proof Bush Is A Liar

I can prove that Bush is a liar.

There are millions who believe Bush is a liar.

What more evidence do you need? Get out the tar and feathers.

Speaking of climate change. The sun's output, at the peak of the last solar cycle, was at least a thousand year event. Possibly a 4,000 year event. The Democrats need to get right on it. As far as I know the increase in output was never authorized.

Many Democrats believe it is a Republican Plot to discredit human induced (CO2) global warming theories. There are rumors of secret high power weather modification stations controlled by a Republican cabal beaming energy at the sun at certain frequencies to affect solar output.

However, if every one in America wore a tin foil hat it would reflect enough energy into space to restore the balance.

We need some laws.

Prompted by this discussion.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

In The Right Hands

Yesterday the Reuters spin on the Virginia Tech story was too many guns In The Wrong Hands. Today the spin is different. Not enough guns in the right hands:

Advocates of gun ownership rights saw Monday's massacre as evidence of the need to relax gun laws rather than tighten them.

"All the school shootings that have ended abruptly in the last 10 years were stopped because a law-abiding citizen -- a potential victim -- had a gun," said Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America.

"The latest school shooting at Virginia Tech demands an immediate end to the gun-free zone law which leaves the nation's schools at the mercy of madmen."
The gun controllers get the last word though.
In an editorial in Tuesday's editions, The New York Times said the shooting was "another horrifying reminder that some of the gravest dangers Americans face come from killers at home armed with guns that are frighteningly easy to obtain."

"What is needed, urgently, is stronger controls over the lethal weapons that cause such wasteful carnage and such unbearable loss," the Times said.
Yep. That is the ticket. Americans should be armed with nonlethal weapons.

Still it is quite odd to see Reuters present both sides of the story. Perhaps they are actually trying to serve the American market. What a novel idea.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Monday, April 16, 2007

In The Wrong Hands

I'm sure by now you have heard about the Virginia Tech shootings. So of course we have the usual:

"We live in a society where guns are pretty well accepted," said Jim Sollo, of Virginians Against Handgun Violence. "There are 200 million guns in this society and obviously some in the wrong hands."
Actually what this shooting proves is that there were not enough guns in the right hands.

The Virginia Legislature had an opportunity to fix the problem of not enough guns in the right hands and declined. This could be the opportunity many politicians look for. A chance to change their minds.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

A New Kind of Science - Stephen Wolfram

There is a very interesting video on Google by Stephen Wolfram, inventor of Mathematica.

He talks about how simple systems with simple rules can generate very complex results.

Here is the book the lecture is based on: A New Kind of Science

Explore Wolfram Science.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Getting Gas

Every one is struggling with high gas prices.

I went into a gas station earlier tonight with a twenty and asked the attendant for gas on pump #6 (the station is prepay). I dropped the bill and turned to leave. I was near the door when she asked me how much I wanted.

I said "All of it".

I got a chuckle from all those standing around.

When I told my first mate what happened she chuckled too.

Friday, April 13, 2007

What Is Wrong With Black America?

Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star has this to say about the whole Imus affair:

While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.

I ain’t saying Jesse, Al and Vivian are gold-diggas, but they don’t have the heart to mount a legitimate campaign against the real black-folk killas.

It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent.

Rather than confront this heinous enemy from within, we sit back and wait for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue and make the mistake of repeating the things we say about ourselves.

It’s embarrassing. Dave Chappelle was offered $50 million to make racially insensitive jokes about black and white people on TV. He was hailed as a genius. Black comedians routinely crack jokes about white and black people, and we all laugh out loud.
I think there should be one standard for everyone. If Chris Rock can say it (I think he is funny - not funny ha, ha. Funny - yeah, right) then Imus can say it.

So how do we "fix" the problem? The only way it can be fixed. Figure out how to sell kids a better message.

My kids? They like some rap. Some 60s music, and some classical music - mostly. How did that come about? Lots of 60s and classical music in the house. The kids find the rap on their own.

H/T Mark Levin Radio Show 12 April 007

Hillary All Rapped Up

This post at Classical Values got me to thinking about: what are the standards we should adhere to these days?

Hillary Clinton had a fund raiser hosted by rapper Timbaland to wind up her March 31st Money grub. No wonder she blasted Imus.

Translation: how are we to know at whom and when to be outraged?

I want to know the rules.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fascism In Peoria

Peoria Pundit has a post up on fascism in Peoria.

I read this, and I thought the Journal Star was getting its information from some raving, paranoid lunatic. But it’s apparently true: The Peoria Police Department is going around telling used book stores that they have to start keeping detailed records of all book transactions, which includes making photocopies of the drivers’ licenses of the people who sell them books.

I have now seen it all. I might as well just shut this blog down. It is impossible to parody Peoria any more. This city is a parody of itself.

Apparently, this law has been on the books for years in Peoria. Now all of the sudden, someone in city government — the police, the story says — decided to start enforcing it.
You really have to wonder what is going on in America these days. Didn't it used to be the Land of the Free?

Some New Bill Whittle

Bill has some new posts up here and here on critical thinking.

I'm just starting to read them myself. Bill is always excellent so go read them yourself.

H/T Transterrestrial Musings

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Employment Scams

Kate Coble of Just Another Pretty Farce has written about her experiences with a "head hunter" company by the name of J. L. Kirk & Associates, or Kirk Associates, or JL Kirk, or JLK, or JLK-A, or sometimes just “Kirk“. Bob Krumm came up with all those Kirk names in another delightful and witty post called Kirked.

Beware of head hunters who make you pay a fee to sign on with them. Reputable companies pay the head hunters to do talent searches. A job seeker should never pay a fee to an employment agency or a head hunter.

The comments at Just Another Pretty Farce include other tales of woe and a comment ostensibly from the "head hunter" at J. L. Kirk.

Let me note that J. L. Kirk is suing Kate and her husband for the blog post.

H/T Instapundit who is having a link fest with this whole episode. After you have looked at the above links go to Instapundit for more fun.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Iraq War Fighting Strategy

I want to focus here on the war in Iraq and the application of standard American military strategy to the fighting in Iraq. I want to do this based on the lessons learned from the Vietnam War. It seems to me the mistakes we are making in Iraq are similar to the mistakes we made in Vietnam as described in Col. Harry Summer's book On Strategy.

Here is a list of the military principles from Field Manual 100-1, The Army.

Economy of Force
Unity of Command

In subsequent posts I intend to cover one or more topics until I get to the end of the list. Since the Objective is the foundation for all the rest of the topics that will be covered in a post of its own.

I present this list as a kind of warm up so you can get oriented to what is coming next.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

Monday, April 09, 2007

Dali Lama Threatened By Osama

Asia News has a story about Muslim threats against the Dali Lama.

Lumbini (AsiaNews) – Nepal’s three million Buddhists are alarmed over death threats made against the Dalai Lama, allegedly by Islamic extremist group Lashkar-e-Toiba. In Lumbini, Buddha’s birth place in southern Nepal, monks and lay people are praying for him.

A local monk, Bhante Jaydeo, told AsiaNews that the Dalai Lama “is an apostle of non violence and peace. In spite of being a victim of Chinese Communist violence he has never preached for a violent uprising in Tibet and has always called for reconciliation” with Beijing. “Here in town monks and the faithful have prepared special prayers for his safety.”

When an Indian paper reported the threat on April 1, police in Dharamsala (India) where the Dalai Lama lives in exile stepped up security arrangements.

Lashkar-e-Toiba is based in Pakistani-held Kashmir and is among the most powerful Islamic terrorist groups in South Asia. It is thought to be tied to al-Qaeda and it has been held responsible for many attacks in India.

For experts, the threat made against the Buddhist leader is probably connected to a recent statement attributed to Osama bin Laden against all religions other than Islam, including “pagan Buddhism.”
It is not just Americans and Israelis who are threatened by the Religion of Peace™. How people believe we can have peace with Islamic fascists running wild is beyond me.

The problem is one of mirror imaging. We like to think everyone is as good as we are and is motivated by the same things. Sadly, such is not the case. Buckminster Fuller saw this quite clearly many years ago. He said that for people whose life propects were poor the hereafter was a big motivating factor. He predicted an attenuation of religion as life improved for people.

This was stated clearly by one of Arafat's henchmen at the start of Stupidfada II. The henchman said (when the Palestinian economy was improving due to the integration of the Palestinian and Israeli economies) that people who are doing well do not wish to fight.

Which brings us back to mirror imaging. We see the purpose of government as improving the lives of our citizens. The Islamic fascists see the purpose of government as destroying the lives of their citizens in order to have cannon fodder for their wars of domination. The leaders of the Islamic fascist movement see civilization as a destroyer of their power. I believe they are correct in their estimation.

Eric at Classical Values covers similar points from the standpoint of Moderate Islam, secularism, science, and Classical Values.

H/T Gates of Vienna

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Nancy Pelosi's Scarf

Pelosi Gets Islamic I just couldn't resist this picture. Nancy looks soooo sophisticated.

H/T Carl in Jerusalem

Strategy , Grand Strategy, and Tactics

While I was away (moving) the last week and a half, I have not been idle. I have been reading On Strategyby Colonel of Infantry Harry G. Summers, Jr. and Strategyby B. H. L. Hart. Two classics in the field of military strategy. Col. Summers' book deals with the Vietnam War and Basil Hart's book deals with a historical look at strategy with a major focus on WW1 and WW2.

What I want to do is to discuss the issues involved in relationship to the War in Iraq and our long war with militant Islam.

I get notification of comments at Classical Values and at Power and Control. So if you want to be assured that I see your comment and have an opportunity to reply please post at those blogs.

This discussion will be ongong (at least for a while) and will consist of a number of posts on the topic. The place to start is to get copies of the books and read them or at least use them to follow along with the discussion.

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

I'm Back

Thanks to every one who sent a donation. Bless you all!

Due to your continuing support I'm back to blogging.

It may be a few hours before I have anything substantial as I have a bunch of e-mails to go through and i have to re-orientat to the latest happenings.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Blogging Will Be Infrequent

Due to a problem with my #1 son our lease is not being renewed and at this time we have not found a place to move. I will blog as often as I can get sufficient access to a computer.

If you haven't hit the tip jar lately it would help.

And for all those who have helped in the past many thanks for keeping us (my family) going so far.

Bless you all,