Friday, June 30, 2006

Uncomfortably Close...


This one can be assigned to the category of uncomfortably close ...

An asteroid possibly as large as a half-mile or more in diameter is rapidly approaching the Earth. There is no need for concern, for no collision is in the offing, but the space rock will make an exceptionally close approach to our planet early on Monday, July 3, passing just beyond the Moon's average distance from Earth.

Astronomers will attempt to get a more accurate assessment of the asteroid's size by “pinging” it with radar.

And skywatchers with good telescopes and some experience just might be able to get a glimpse of this cosmic rock as it streaks rapidly past our planet in the wee hours Monday. The closest approach occurs late Sunday for U.S. West Coast skywatchers.

The asteroid, designated 2004 XP14, was discovered on Dec. 10, 2004 by the Lincoln Laboratory Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR), a continuing camera survey to keep watch for
asteroids that may pass uncomfortably close to Earth.

Refer for consideration to my previous post, A Fragile Basket...

"The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in." - Robert Heinlein

Time is running out.

Note the Top Ten Ways To Destroy The Earth.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Welcome to Politics, Hamas

Major Mike

The Israeli incursion into Gaza is ushering Hamas into the political age. As the responsible (that hurts to say) government in the newly manufactured territory of Palestine, they are now getting a lesson in Political Science 101.

Being in power also means being responsible...being responsible for the functioning of the government and the facilitating of life within society.

The kidnapping of and Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who is now being held under threat of being “butchered,” is now the clear responsibility of the Hamas controlled government. And they are faced with a choice…diffuse the situation and act like a responsible governmental entity, or remain a terrorist organization cloaked in a governmental facade.

Clearly, Israel cannot be held hostage by a terror state posing as a legitimate government, and they must respond with due force to prevent an “officially” sanctioned, Hamas supported, offensive of kidnappings. Kidnappings obviously designed to perpetuate the history of uneven prisoner exchanges Israel has participated in, in the past. Shame on them for their past poor judgment, but they are correct at this time in refusing such an offer to facilitate the return of Cpl. Shalit.

The Israeli strategy is likely to force the Hamas government out into the daylight, and Hamas finds itself at a crossroads of decision making…are they going to transition away from an terroristic organization, and seek legitimacy through their civil actions, or are they going to remain a terror group hiding behind a mask of governmental “legitimacy?”

A government concerned for its people would facilitate the return of Cpl. Shalit and seek a negotiated release of the thousands of Palestinian prisoners the Israelis are holding. This would avoid any unnecessary bloodshed amongst the Palestinians, show good faith towards Israel, and be the type of responsible governmental action that would propel the Palestinian territories, and their questionable government towards legitimacy.

But the threats of “butchering” Cpl. Shalit only highlight the opposite. It shows Hamas possesses nary a speck of political aptitude. It shows that it has no respect for the lives of its citizens, as they will allow the Israelis to kill or injure many Palestinians as they attempt to portray Palestinians as “the victims.” Their vicious and brutal threats expose them as the wolves in sheep’s clothing we all knew them to be…they are erasing any doubt, and they are frittering away any opportunity to legitimize themselves in the foreseeable future.

Israel is right to find this out, and they are right to find this out sooner rather than later. Their forcible response will set the stage for all Hamas activity going forward…terrorist and governmental. They need to grasp this abject lesson in Political Science 101…responsible governments act responsibly.

If they don’t get this…I am inclined to think that they will get a form of interaction with Israel that is more Chicagoan than diplomatic in nature. This exchange from “The Untouchables” comes to mind.

Malone: You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I'm saying is, what are you prepared to do?
Ness: Anything and everything in my power.
Malone: And *then* what are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way because they're not gonna give up the fight until one of you is dead.
Ness: How do you do it then?
Malone: You wanna know how you do it? Here's how, they pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone! Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?

I suspect that Israel is "ready to do that" in order to send the most forceful message possible to Hamas. This small incursion is just the beginning, if Hamas cannot evolve itself out of a terrorist organization, and into a legitimate political one, and fast.

Update: Today Shimon Peres agrees with me...

"They have to decide if they're a government or if they belong to a terroristic organization," Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said, explaining the Hamas arrests. "

And he gives them a lesson on turning up the political "heat"...

"Their arrests were not arbitrary. They will be put to trial, and they will be able to defend themselves in accordance with a legal system which is internationally recognized."

Wecome to Politics is time to act "governmental" or continue to be unveiled as a terror organization masquerading as a government. It is obvious to most of us that Hamas is using the citizens it is supposed to be governing as pawns in their terror driven agenda. They have gained political advantage, but they were not prepared for their victory...they are reflexively retreating to what they know...terror, and it is failing their citizens and bringing the area to near full scale war.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

From Entrapment to Impeachment


How to Entrap and Impeach a President

Step 1: Once the presidential candidate from the opposing political party is chosen, portray said candidate as a bumbling, idiotic, alcoholic, military-obligation-dodging, spoiled frat boy.
Status: Complete.

Step 2: When the presidential candidate from the opposing political party wins a close election, claim that the election was stolen, no matter how it might damage the nation. Hold fast to the notion that the person is not “really” the president, thus planting the seed of “noble” dissent.
Status: Complete

Step 3: After a devastating attack on the United States, perpetrated by a cunning and lethal enemy not bound by traditional nation-state “rules” of warfare, portray the president as incompetent and stupid.
Status: Complete

Step 4: When the president leads the nation in to a military action that will bring “justice” to the perpetrators of that attack, issue dire warnings about engaging in a land war in Asia, citing previous same-location precedent. When the public stands behind the president in spite of your warnings, stand behind him, but don’t put your heart in it.
Status: Complete

Step 5: When the president warns the nation about a gathering threat posed by a despotic, murderous regime that has dodged the UN in every effort to attain weapons capable of hundreds of thousands of casualties, accuse the president of being a reckless warmonger. Forget that the previous president, from your political party, issued the same warning.
Status: Complete

Step 6: When the president uses top secret intelligence to lobby the nation and the world to engage in military action to topple said despotic regime, stick with the reckless warmonger idea and ratchet up the rhetoric.
Status: Complete

Step 7: When the president instructs the nation's military to topple said despotic regime and sieze the initiative against enemies just like in step 3, stick with the reckless warmonger idea, adding the phrase “rush to war”, in spite of the year of discussion that allowed said despotic regime to prepare adequately to react to the assault and hide their weapons. Don’t forget to issue dire warnings of tens of thousands of American casualties, possibly as a result of the use of those highly-lethal weapons.
Status: Complete

Step 8: After the despotic regime is toppled and the dictator captured to face trial, express support and “job well done” to the American military while maintaining a loathing of them.
Status: Complete

Step 9: When the real work of rebuilding a nation scarred by the despotic regime gets difficult, claim that the military action is now a “quagmire” and repeat the “reckless warmonger” and “rush to war” matras.
Status: Complete

Step 10: When the lethal weapons cited in step 6 fail to publicly materialize, accuse the president of lying to the nation and the world. When reports of weapons being found start cropping up, don’t follow up on them – the president’s word must not be verified as accurate. Add “liar” to the “quagmire” “reckless” “warmonger” “rush to war” rhetoric.
Status: Complete

Step 11: When enemy combatants are captured and kept in prison, keep a close eye on those prisons. When a few prison guards take the time-proven interrogation techniques of stress inducement and personal humiliation a little too far for your standards, accuse the president of specifically authorizing those actions. When the prisoners are deprived of material items that will fuel their hateful ideology, claim that their civil rights are being violated. Forget that they are not legally entitled to any “civil rights”. Claim a huge political victory when the prisoners are finally given those materials, but keep claiming violation of their civil rights.
Status: Complete

Step 12: When the president authorizes covert intelligence/counter-intelligence operations that will allow the U.S. to track enemies that operate using the tactics and ideology of the enemies from step 3, repeat the mantra of concern about violating civil rights. Publish as much information as possible in the national press regarding the details of those operations. Forget that the ideology and tactics of the enemy make for a strong likelihood of a devastating attack that goes beyond the scale of attack from step 3.
Status: Complete

Step 13: Repeat step 12.
Status: Complete

Step 14: When the president expresses anger at the press for releasing information that is likely critical to national security, wrap yourself in the First Amendment, regardless of the potential future harm to American citizens. If/when he threatens legal action, throw his “bring it on” rhetoric back at him.
Status: In Progress

Step 15: When the president authorizes another covert intelligence-gathering operation and doesn’t follow the lawful procedures he previously followed for fear of the program being leaked again and causing the deaths of American citizens, catch him dead to rights on breaking the law by not informing high-clearance governmental officials in your political party.
Status: Future action

Step 16: Push for the president’s impeachment for violating law, but inflame the rhetoric of “violating civil rights” to a fevered pitch, since civil rights trump potential loss of life. Impeachment is just icing on the cake.
Status: Future action

Step 17: When the politico-cultural wars come to blows during the impeachment, sit back and watch the fun of the nation tearing itself to pieces. Blame the president for it all because he didn't reach out enough to the opposing party.
Status: Future action

Step 18: When the nation is once again subjected to a devastating attack from those militant enemies, who were aided by your actions to reveal the protective actions taken by the president and further erode the unity of the nation, blame that president for whatever happens, whether or not he’s still in office.
Status: Future action

Monday, June 26, 2006

NY Times Treason… A Collision Of Idiocies

Major Mike

As I considered my take on the NYT leaking details of a secret money tracking program…a program twofold in its objectives…finding terrorists (murderers of innocents, for the journalistically feeble), and denying them the use of their bloody financial resources.

In the best hope of “connecting the dots” before the “next 9/11” it would seem that these kinds of “secret” programs, categorically not involving the individual rights of Americans, would be appreciated by the same crowd that called for GWB’s head shortly after 9/11.

These programs represent the imagination of a free government, that respects the rights of its citizens, and that is trying to protect those citizens against barbarians. It is obvious that the architects of this particular program have gone after a vital foundation of the terrorist operations...the financing, without infringing on the indivdual rights of Americans. And when a key tool is removed from the toolbox of those sworn to protect us, reprehensible becomes too weak of a word.

In one word it is…regardless of the feeble attempts to defend the outing of this program…indefensible. I refer you back to an April posting… "Arguing the Unarguable, and Getting Away With It." Pertinent extract…

There was a time when right was right, and wrong was wrong. The “wrong” was unarguable. Lying is wrong. Stealing is wrong.
Stealing classified documents is wrong. Having sex with an intern in your office is wrong. Releasing classified documents to the press, breaking your oath of office, for partisan and individual political gain is wrong.But, I guess that was before the Les Mis age, before the age of moral relativism, before the politically induced class war we now have here in America. And, well before we had to actually argue about the meaning of the word “is.”

Taking ones’ property without permission used to be called stealing, and it used to be wrong. But in today’s age of moral relativism, we now find ourselves defending this black/white view, against the Les Mis crowd, who would argue that it is perfectly okay to steal if you are hungry, and trying to feed your family. There may be myriad of other good reasons to steal private property…to overcome poverty, to balance the inequities in our capital based economic system, and for simple personal gain that may help you skip several rungs of the ladder…on your way to the top. All enticing…all…wrong.

So what prompted this short dissertation? Not simply that Mary McCarthy, a partisan political player and former CIA employee, intentionally leaked potentially damaging classified documents to the press, but it was Juan Williams’ impassioned defense of her actions on Fox News Sunday that made me apoplectic.”

Substitute NYT for “Mary McCarthy” and Bill Keller for “Juan Williams” in the paragraph above, and I have the same visceral reaction. The reason the reaction is so strong, and so visceral, is that it is so hypocritical compared to the Times’ previous scoldings of the execution of the GWOT, and its coverage of the Valarie Plame case, and that this bi-polar schism is generated solely for the purpose of selling papers.

It is simply wrong. It is simply indefensible. And it is simply treason. And it simply needs to be prosecuted.

It also highlights another previously highlighted weakness of the MSM when it comes to the GWOT…they simply don’t understand it. They cannot grasp the complexity of the fight, and are left clinging to their archaic visions of WWII, Vietnam, and the Cold War.

The weapons and objectives in this war are technological superiority, denial of financing, operational disruption, global mobility, exploitation of their strained command and control systems, population morale and support; not simply the M-16, air delivered munitions, artillery, and geographical control and security.

The MSM highlights their illiteracy in such matters every time they: release classified information; continue to do body count reporting; over-report American "atrocities" (flushing Korans comes to mind); and attempt to minimize the importance of an event like the Al Zarawa death because it may play favorably for GWB, as previously complained about below…

What these journalDems are also missing is that the measurables in this conflict are not geographical, territorial, nor numerical. They are more intangible by journalistic standards. But students of battle easily understand them. Waterloo, Bull Run, the Ardennes, Berlin, Guadalcanal, Hue, Kuwait City; have been replaced by “degradation of command and control,” air supremacy, C4I domination, etc., and et. al., and the unstudied journalDems cannot grasp this.

The paradigm of this war is completely different than the ancient thinking of our combat illiterate press corps. They don’t get it. And they don’t want to get it…but today, was a milestone in the very real, GWOT. One butcher dead.”

Lastly, in a comparison that even the NYT may get. Covert operator…covert operation. Hmmm…only a two letter difference, but the response of the Times in the “Plame outing,” compared to their complicit activity in the outing of a covert operation, is hypocritical in the extreme. There is no justifying it, and such is the reason Keller is hiding under a rock…it is, as plainly put as possible, indefensible.

I suggest the NYT lawyers would find that they would have their hands full trying to argue a First Amendment case with the NYT editorial team all over the map with its “reasoning.” I suggest we find out by charging them with treason.

It is obvious that the NYT is working publicly against the GWOT, and the Aministration. It is also obvious that they do not comprehend the new type of war we find ourselves in, and that because of their many hypocritcal positions, they can only be called whores for the dollar...a collision of idiocies when lives are on the line. A collision that has put them on treasonous ground.

Sedition Of The Times...


Let it be known, we take no pleasure here in criticizing the irresponsibility of the Left and their faithful surrogates in the Democratic party and the Press. It is afterall, impossible for any serious person to enjoy destructive malignancy especially when it is devouring one's own body. Nevertheless, it is necessary to wield a hammer of condemnation at times - and with increasing frequency it seems - upon those iindividuals and institutions that exhibit, shall we say poor judgement?!... especially in times of danger. Patrition liberals like New York Times' editor Bill Keller fancies directing complaints of persecution at "Conservatives," yet National security knows no party affiliations. If unilateral condemnation is conditionally unqualified, then the entirety of the Left might well sit down and shut up about the Administration now and forever; though we know Keller and his kind would never tolerate that suggestion. The fact is, that the truth is immune to fabrication, even as perception is mercilessly vulnerable. And while the latter can bemanipulated, the former stands an eternity in check. So while the unconcionable sedition of the Times may be debated, time itself will wield the appropriate condemnation accordingly. In the name of my children, I'll wield it now.

I'm a citizen of the United States, a husband, and a father and my concern extends to my family first. On 9/11 some 3000 people of all persuasions were massacred by an insurgent enemy infiltrating our ranks and institutions and metastacizing within. It was not the first act of mass murder perpetrated by the butchers of Islam, nor was it the last. This war we know, did not begin on September 11th. Nor are we advised, will it end in the next decade. Yet, how we approach it here and now, may well establish the upper hand in the struggle. And currently our one hand is being stabbed repeatedly by the other, preventing us from gaining the earned advantage. The cancer of insanity spreads. Even as we confront one enemy of butchers without,
another enemy of wages war from within, Hugh Hewitt submits for consideration regrding the New York Times ...
The paper has been waging a war on the war and on the Adminsitration for years, so it has no credibility when it comes to arguing its good intentions. What matters though is the statement that "other conscientious people" could have reached a different decision.

In fact, they did. The Congresses and the presidents of the past have passsed laws about what is classified and who can release it. They didn't include the editor of the New York Times in the group that can make national security decisions. Mr. Keller decided he would risk the national security of the United States and the lives of its citizens. He has done so before and will no doubt do so again.

Michelle Malkin has the latest links and analyses of the Times' sedition.

Mr. Keller and his New York Times have most certainly put our lives at greater risk today. Unelected and unnaccoutable, he has repeatedly assumed the authority to make critical decisions regardling National security over and above expert recommendations and Executive requests, subsequently peddling out that presumed prerogative to the insects of his newsroom to do damage at whim. And he is not the only one. This cancer spreads within, and as it does it devours the safety and security of America and Americans. Keep it in mind as we enter the Summer vacation season. I know I will.

You see, I once enjoyed travelling by air and rail, yet since September 2001, the effort necessitates nothing less than anxiety. Now that I have a family, it is shrouded in something more like fear. Different, perhaps than the fear experienced in battle, this intense apprehension is not personal, but arises rather out of concern for the safety of my family. The butchers of Islam do not differentiate civilian from soldier, men from women, or child from adult. In fact, terror being their moniker, an airliner or elementary school is a far more prized trophy than a gunship or barracks. This is the state of modern warfare. And as we travel with our kids in the coming months to see a family they have yet to meet, my fear is escalated by the knowledge that they are in far greater danger now, thanks to Mr. Keller, his New York Times, the Left, and their Democrat surrogates, who don't seem to give a damn about the dangers we face among a world gone seemingly mad...

... a condition that appears to have infected rather than affecting them.

Friday, June 23, 2006

SandCastles, Vol. 2...

This week's exchange among Sandmen...

DUELER: my comment just posted at belmont:

There are tactical, strategic and political reasons to release information, or not release information, about Sarin/Mustard WMD's.

The theory that keeping their existence hush-hush was a political calculation to keep France and Russia on the buddy list is very plausible, but not yet proven. the domestic political concerns are probably chump change compared to the international ones.

What is relevant to the immediate situation at hand are the strategic and tactical issues. if the existence of WMD's suddenly became widely known, especially if it was accompanied by a description of what they look like, EVERYBODY would be looking for them - not just the U.S. military. it's the chemical weapons version of the California Gold Rush. everybody wants to get their hands on something valuable - to either use it or exchange it for something of value with somebody who wants to use it.

Coalition forces obviously want to be able to collect and dispose of ALL of it so that it doesn't get used against anybody, miltary or otherwise. if everybody knew they were finding WMD, they would inevitably be scattered around the country, and perhaps the world, to be used by whoever wants to use them, and for whatever reason.

Once the known materials are out of coalition forces' control, they become a tactical obstacle to be overcome in day-to-day actions to restore order and security. will the guys on the front lines have to start carrying their gas masks and plastic bunny suits on patrol again? and how do you protect noncoms from sarin? and that's just the beginning of alterations to the tactical picture.

Their existence also becomes a strategic obstacle, wherein whoever gets them becomes a regional or worldwide "player". that being said, if i was a terrorist, i don't think i'd tell anybody that i had one - i'd let the body bags do the talking for me.

The answer to why they have remained secret could be as easy as the desire to maintain our capability to operate effectively in the theater. hmm - could Bush be that strong of a tactical/strategic thinker?

ATOS: Exactly! When we discussed this issue some years ago, and regarding the challenges of the good Dr., I made a similar point. There is more advantage to playing the situation 'stupid' than to proclaim the obvious. This is information warfare at its best... and by keeping the US in an apparent state of disarray, the President has likely avoided both the acquisition of WMD by terrorists and has spared America subsequent attack. Afterall, why would AQ risk unifying a country they think is disintegrating in their favor.

I'd like to believe key Democrats are in on the ruse. But, I fear if they are... they have long since become Republicans in fact after witnessing the behavior of their constituents. I'm posting this as a general discussion topic. Your comment is an excellent one... although I recall you called it thin back when. But, I confirmed it to be 'very thin.'

Its a little thicker now, is it not?!

MIKE: I am going to finish my counter to the left mantra…hopefully tonight…

Largest point …better to fight in Iraq than on our shores….much like a soccer goalie, sorry football, goalie coming out to “cut down the angle” on an oncoming, opposing player. If he remains in his goal, he has to physically cover all of the area of the goal by himself. If he cuts down the angle, he can defend most or all of the square area, by himself within his physical ability…if he doesn’t…it takes six or seven people to protect the area of the goal. Same as the war in Iraq…it is not cheap, but is a lot cheaper than trying to defend each and every inch of our borders and coastlines in a defensive posture.

Add in WMDs…was it easier AND cheaper in terms of lives to get these 500 units in Iraq, or would it cost more if they started showing up, and going off in our cities? Are we better off having possession of these or not? Of course we are, and to deny it, is reflexively inimical and blindly partisan in the extreme.

We were looking for WMDs. We found 500 WMDs. Therefore…we found what we were looking for 500 times over…simple math. The more we find over there…the less the bad guys have…the easier it is to defend against…we may not defend them all, but these are 500 less running around out there. Period.

ATOS: You’d think that point would be obvious, wouldn’t you?! I mean, I’m no military genius, but its pretty clear to me that Iraq and Afghanistan are extremely strategic positions. And we have honed a fighting force un rivaled in world history. And they are staged exactly where we need them. From Iraq, they enter Iran. From Iran they enter Syria… All the while leaving friendly bastions at their back.

You have to be supremely stupid, or acutely malevolent to ignore that fact.

DUELER: We can all agree on this, but we will obviously be accused of hubris in such musings. from the left's standpoint, it's "Team America - World Police" brought to life. and from a strictly westphalian point of view, they have a point.

But such a westphalian notion assumes that sovereign nations are not despotic, militant dictatorships. it also assumes that nation-states will seek to resolve conflicts and grievances by more conventional means, i.e. by diplomacy or by declaring war and using uniformed troops acting with the blessing of said nation-state.

Furthermore, the peace at westphalia came about in a world where the limitations of communication and travel, as well as the lack of liberal democracy as a viable means of organizing a nation state.

Liberal democracy and the free flow of commerce, people and ideas that it spawned necessitate more unity between nation-states (hence the birth of the EU), except when you're talking about the free flow of people who intend to cause damage in, or to, liberal democracies.

First, we have to decide, within the U.S., that liberal democracy is a societal system that all people should strive for, even (and perhaps especially) people under the weight of tyrannical regimes. second, our "allies" need to decide the same thing, which is not an easy task because half of them want to get on Marxist train.

So what we're really doing here is attempting to defeat an enemy on two fronts: fascists on the right by military means, and communists on the left by ideological means. and i hope that ideological conflict stays that way.

Take a look at this.

Rule .303...


Rule 1 of mortal combat. Kill your enemy!

There is no rationalizing the situation. Common civility has collapsed for one reason or another; for right or wrong. Those conditions have become irrelevent in the face of the immediate threat. One engaged in such an unfortunate situation, has but two options: to kill or die. There is no other choice... homicide or suicide. To argue the issue is suicide. To ignore the issue is suicide. To withdraw from the requisite is suicide. Suicide, in fact is any action not taken in obeyance of Rule 1. And any one preventing in any way the execution of Rule 1, can be considered the enemy.

From the 1980 motion picture,
"Breaker Morant," below is an excerpt of the testimony of Lt. Morant during the British military court martial of he and his men for murder of enemy combattants. See if you find it as relevant to the present as I do.

PROSECUTOR: Lt. Morant? Captain Hunt was a particular friend of yours?

MORANT: Yes- I mean, I was engaged to his sister in England.

PROSECUTOR: So his death was very disturbing to you?

MORANT: Well, it was more the way he died. He was mutilated.

PROSECUTOR: You were present at the actual incident where Hunt was killed?


PROSECUTOR: Well then, how do you know he wasn't killed in a fair fight?

MORANT: Because I saw the body.

PROSECUTOR: Sometime Later! You can't possibly know how Captain Hunt met hisdeath. So you cannot produce any evidence to connect Wisser with it. So then, why did you order him to be shot?

MORANT: It is customary during a war to kill as many of the enemy as possible.

JUDGE: And was your court at the trial of Wisser constituted in any way like this? What rule did you shoot him under?

MORANT: Like this? Oh no, Sir, No! It wasn't quite like this. No, No, Sir! It wasn't quite so handsome. And as for rules, we didn't carry military manuals around with us. We were out on the velt fighting the Boer the way he fought us. I'll tell you what rule we applied, Sir. We applied rule 303. We caught them... and we shot them under rule 3-0-3!

For the last several years, thanks to Left, The Democrats, and their allies in the Press, we have been treated to the ongoing spectacle of our own court martial. America ( and its elected President) has been charged with every manner of criminal atrocity one can imagine - tyrannical aggression, kidnapping, death camps, torture, even mass murder. We have been lying to the world it is said, we wage wars merely for oil it is said. Saddam was no threat, had no WMD, and no affiliations with terrorists are all claims chanted like mantras. And all of this testimony in condemnation is provided even as more terror plots are unvieled, WMD are found in Iraq, Saddam's ties with Al Quaeda revealed, the scandal of the UN Oil for Food program uncovered, Manhattan, Madrid, and London tend their brutal scars, and mothers in Beslan recall the scent of their slain children and mourn the sound of their silence.

In the face of an emminent mortal threat, we are being condemned for exercising rule 1 (aka. rule 303)... for not submitting to suicide. And for that, we are likewise to be executed; figuratively speaking, of course. More planes ramming into our building, bombs in busses and trains, daycares and elementary schools rendered cemeteries, that's to be the reward of our surrender. For the Left, these attacks are the price rightfully paid by America for its very existence. And make no mistake that is the essence of their position. Its about time the polite discourse ends regarding that fact. The reality is that America is on trial by the Left for its virtue, for choosing to survive and doing what is neccessary to make it so. In that regard, what is the difference between the goals of the Left and the butchers of Islam when the threat is acute and determined.

Not only is the President being charged with war crimes, the very troops themselves are being
placed in shackles for doing their jobs in accordance with rule 1 (or .303). Afterall, "It is customary during a war to kill as many of the enemy as possible. " Yet, after years of being on trial for acting in our best interest, restraint has yielded paralysis, and America finds itself frozen before an escalating threat.... shackled before its enemies. Iran, North Korea, and China stand emboldened by the spectacle of Western division and suicidal self-loathing. And the butchers of the religion of peace seek to satisfy more brutal cravings for ritualistic human sacrifice before the obsessive lenses of a masochistic Western Media.

The Left condemns Gitmo. They embellished the tale Abu Ghraib. They convict our soldiers of atrocity in Haditha, with extremely suspect information. Their criticism of the United States is endless, while their condemnation for the real Butchers is qualified or non-existent.

Throughout this past weekend, the MSM had a veritable orgy reporting the ambush and 'kidnapping' of two U. S. Soldiers. When Al Quaeda took responsibility and claimed to be holding them hostage, the MSM further obliged and harped on that disinformation as fact for a bit and propagated it for the enemy accordingly for the sake of their quest to foment terror.

Tuesday, when the mangled and mutilated bodies of these fine Men were found - PFC's Thomas Lowell Tucker and Kristian Menchaca - the MSM reporters rushed to one's hometown of Houston where their first instinct was to contact the one odd relative of Menchaca who blamed the United States (Bushitler no doubt) for his kin's murder. The family had to emerge from private mourning to denounced his statements. Another orgy had begun.

Here in Oregon, the press flocked to Madras and found the one or two Democrat moonbat jackasses in that small community who noted Tucker's fate was another cause 'to cut and run' from the struggle against fanantic butchers. They parked their news vans across the street from the Tucker's home and swarmed through their town... even as the family remained sequestered in mourning.

By the way, did you know July 26 has been declared Torture Awareness Day by the UN? The
TASSC has henceforth declared June as 'Torture Awareness Month'. Yet amid near blanket condemnation of America for engaging in various forms of 'torture,' as of this posting their was no condemnation on their website nor even a mention of Al Quaeda's latest obscenity. Nevertheless, given the events of this week, do you feel aware? The Butchers of Islam celebrated the event accordingly. Behold what they do to armed soldiers. Recall what they did to children in Beslan and what they do frequently to children in Baghdad. Then be aware of what the Butchers of the Religion of Peace would do to your children if given the chance. And be ever aware of what the Left and their Democrat surrogates would let the butchers do.

Rule 1 of mortal combat. Kill your enemy! There is no rationalizing the situation. Any one preventing in any way the execution of Rule 1, can be considered the enemy.

On the Morning of February 27, 1902, Lt. Harry 'Breaker' Harbord Morant along with Lt. Handcock were shot as scapegoats for a dying empire ; confused with its own identity, corrupted with conceit, and paralyzed by chronic guilt.

Democrats in Congress this week continued the prosecution of America with endless testimony to the guilt of a new empire. Given the opportunity, they would no doubt place The President and his Vice President in the same bloody chairs. The Democrats concept of Rule .303 is no different than ours. Its their notion of 'enemy' that is tragically flawed.

Monday, June 19, 2006

L over Dmax...or How The Dems Lost Their Lift

Major Mike

Open Figure 4.12...keep it handy.

Figure 4.12: Coefficients versus Angle of Attack

During my Aviation Indoctrination (AI) in Pensacola, FL, in the late fall of 1978, I was exposed to the first of the weeding out process that all potential aviators and Naval Flight Officers must get through to go on to fly Naval aircraft. This six to seven week course (as I recall) included classroom instruction centered around the topics of aerodynamics, propulsion, and air navigation. AI also included a hefty dose of PT (physical training), aviation physiology, water survival…the Navy version of water torture…and land survival.

For a History major such as myself, several of these topics seemed the equivalent of learning Portuguese in six weeks, but I managed to limp through, and made it into the initial flying portion of the syllabus, and eventually onto advanced training and my wings.

As much as a “weeding out” process, AI is designed to imbed into the thick skulls of all flight students the entirety of the basic knowledge needed to survive the entire spectrum of the flight experience…the physical, the physiological, the mental, the technical, the routine and the extreme. There are concepts, and strategies I still go back to from my AI days…one of them is the aerodynamic concept of lift.

Without regurgitating the entire aerodynamic class, and in layman’s terms, lift is the product of the design of the wing…a long wing, with a high Mean Aerodynamic Chord (curve), will generate a lot of lift. A short, flat wing will not generate much lift. But, as with anything physical, there is no perfect wing. A wing with a high MAC will turn well, but generate a lot of drag. A thin wing won’t generate much drag, but it won’t generate much lift either…it will require more speed to generate the equivalent amount of lift. A good explanation of all of the inter-relationships between lift, drag, weight, and speed can be read here.

And you ask, why is Major Mike giving me such a lame aerodynamic lesson? There is one more aerodynamic point that I’d like before I move on to my real point. As you produce airspeed, you generate more lift over the wing, but as you increase speed you also increase drag. As you pull back on the stick you trade speed for lift and you climb, but you increase induced drag, if you release, or push the stick forward, you reduce the drag, and you get more airspeed. Flying is easy.

BUT, at some point, if you pull back too hard, for too long, you will exceed the maximum lift available…L over Dmax, for your weight, your airspeed, and the combination of induced and parasitic drag. Keep holding that stick back, and you’ll start losing lift. Hold it back long enough, and you’ll have no lift. Envision Wiley Coyote and his many flying contraptions.

Remember…flying is easy. Most airplanes, will provide you some clues as to where you are on your L over D curve. There some clues built into aircraft systems, the Angle of Attack gauge…tells you in relative degrees (based on weight speed, configuration etc.) where you are on the lift curve…and rudder shaker…the rudder pedals are hooked up to the AOA gauge and physically shake the rudder at a pre-programmed AOA. This gives the pilot warning of an approaching stall condition. Test pilots, in the early testing phases of the acceptance of new aircraft, then fly the aircraft through all of the angles of attack, and note how the aircraft reacts at higher and higher AOAs. Typically mild airframe buffet, followed by moderate buffet, on to heavy buffet, on to uncontrolled wing rock, and eventually into full departure (from controlled flight), and into any number of post-stall gyrations that can make an Olga Korbut routine look like a humdrum walk in the park.

Important flying tip…flying at L over Dmax provides good lift…pulling harder, in most cases, does you no good, in fact, it can do you a lot of harm. Lift is good, pulling for too much lift can cause to you spin out of control.

And this brings me to my point…the Dems, just a few short weeks ago were on the verge of possibly controlling the upcoming political season…they were at L over Dmax. But rather than riding the wave of lift, they have pulled into stall, and they are about to spin out of control. They understood the AOA gauge, they felt the mild buffet, they pulled to “on speed,” and then pulled past L over Dmax, and pulled right into stall and post-stall gyration. And it should be fun to watch, and it should be fun to watch them plow it in, in the November elections.

My stall indicators…

Democratic inverted spin on the Iraq War voting.

Talk about “holding on too tight.” Cougar barely had a grip on the stick, compared to how hard these guys are overshooting the fight. Instead of voting their conscience, they don’t seem to be able to figure which way to point to get into the relative wind…hence they end up with no wind and they stall.

The Senate resolution calling for immediate withdraw …the John Kerry Stuka going down in flames, along with five other Senatorial out-of-touchers…gets bagged 93-6, and forces the rats out into the open.

The House Plan to support the war passes an resolution that rejects a firm withdraw date…256-153

And now the Dems want to bring forward a resolution for a phased withdraw…which I believe has always been the plan…once the situation is stable…the Dems…looking for more lift, pull back harder on the stick and look for defeat number three…recipe for stall.

Their reaction to the Zarqawi home remodeling show.

Instead of acknowledging the importance of eliminating Al Zarqawi, they continued to show their ignorance of the paradigm shift that asymmetrical warfare has taken in the global electronic age. Instead Dems are trying to get more lift out of Napoleonic concepts such as terrain and firepower.

Keep pulling back…you’re losing lift, as you lose your grip on reality.

The Carl Rove non-indictment.

The Carl Rove indictment…I mean, non-indictment. The “he should’ve been indicted.” Way too much pulling for more angles. They ignored rudder shaker, wing rock, and stall, they held on for the full out inverted spin.

By overplaying their hands on issues that barely get the voters attention…they only accelerate their loss of momentum.

The “culture of corruption” non-issue.

The Dems hopes to pin the tail on the elephant evaporated when they gave the GOP a chance to pin that tail on the donkey, by forgetting the old adage…those that live in glass houses should not throw bricks. Again, the Dems trying to make an issue out of a non-issue…and they flame out as they turn out to be equally guilty.

It is easy to view the flames on the horizon

All this goes to the talk of the Dems peaking too early in the political season. The reasons…they are on the wrong side of the issues; they are trying to create negative issues for the GOP, while themselves being guilty of the same crimes; they put a significant number of their eggs in the Rove basket; and they don't understand the modern war on terrorism...and all of that is becoming apparent.

They are in the process of snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. In this case, however it is less a collapse of a coordinated effort, but more a discovery that they are a paper tiger confused by the chasing of their own tail. Until they can come together with a coherent message, and solid positioning on serious issues, they are indeed, a paper tiger.

It may well indeed, be the season to Paint the Map Red.

Update: Welcome Hugh Hewitt readers...thanks for staying until the end of the piece. Thanks again for the support Hugh!!

Update: Welcome MudvilleGazette readers...again...thanks for reading til the end!!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Oregonian Calls On Nike To Save The World

Major Mike

I don't even know where to start with this tripe on the Oregonian's opinion page by Susan Nielsen..."Nikes for the boys, bare feet for the girls." This story is a predictable follow-on from a previously run "news" story in the Oregonian..."Shoe deals sidestep rule on equality in school" by Rachel Bachman on June 12, 2006.

Nielsen leads with..."Girls who play sports don't need Nike to teach them life isn't fair." There it is, Nike hates girls. Six paragraphs later, she finally mitigates her misguided missile with the limp..."Nike, in its defense, is a huge supporter of women in sport."

Here' the deal, since this is Oregon, and income redistribution is alway on the ballot, both the Oregonian and the legislature continue to view the businesses that operate in Oregon as cash cows, to be milked by the latest cause-de-celeb-de-jour.

Ms. Nielson is just the latest in a long line of do-gooders trying to get corporations, and Nike specifically, to hit the ever moving target of ..."the right thing." Of course she pushes for her cause...having Nike donate equally to boys and girls high school teams, who they support with free shoes...with a heaping helping of corporate smear, and a side dose of shame. That is certainly a way to get what you want from a company that is already a major supporter of women's causes...not in just sports, but globally, as well. Maybe Ms. Nielson should look past her back gate, and maybe she would get a broader picture of the world...not just her overly myopic and skewed socialistic views, fomented here in the Peoples' Repbulic of Oregon, and spewed into the Sunday paper.

My issues...

She could have done her the Nike Foundation mission statement here..., and see if you get the sense that this is a company that is ignoring women's issues...globally.

The sneaker program is currently operating within the existing limits of Title IX...don't like it? Change the law. Don't try to double the amount a company spends on this kind of marketing...then force half of the money to go into programs that don't support their marketing objectives. Companies are entitled to make decisions about how to market their products...whether they are viewed by a bunch of smarmy do-gooders as fair, or not, and these companies should not be made to feel guilty by the communities that they already support with employee incomes, taxes, donations, matching charitable contributions, donated employee time, and myriad of other programs that would make Ms. Nielson's charitable plea seem like pennies. Nonetheless, this remains a Nike decsion, and their contributions should be appreciated, and they should not be chided for the sharp, and sometimes "unfair" disparities that occur in the execution of their daily business.

What is the Oregonian doing about it? Why not write your piece about the Oregonian's lack of effort to correct this so-called deficiency? I guess the editors of the paper aren't willing to take pay cuts to make up the difference...then why should Nike employees be asked to do the same?

Tacking addtional invlountary costs to these programs is tantamount to a tax...why is Nike the only company that should have to pay a tax to outfit underpreforming girls/women's sports teams? How about the teachers union? Maybe they would like to pony up the money...if they aren't too busy using it to lobby for a host of liberal candidates in the next election. It is unfair for Nike to bear the entire burden. If it is a true inequity, the Oregonian should be calling for statewide support to end this "grevious" discrepancy, if it is minute in its impact...the Oregonian should quit advocating illegally adding business taxes without passing the necessary laws, and it should also quit trashing a generous neighbor.

The companies that choose to reside in Oregon are not checkbooks for every liberal cause that make the paper. Legally operating business are entitled to operate, legally, without the endless critique that currently occurs by those who work in a business that is continuoulsy losing money, or that can only operate in market monopolies. When the Oregonian is a $14B business, they can give away all the money they want, but until they learn something about "business," maybe they should quit telling other businesses how to run theirs.

Bottom line, Nike and dozens of other businesses have to draw the line in the marketing dollars they spend, and the number of inequities they can right in an inbalanced world with their limited amount of foundation dollars. To be called on this nuance...this wrinkle, compared to all else they do, is an cheap pot shot. They could give away all of their money, and still not right all the wrongs of this world...heck, we have proven since the end of WWII, that trillions of dollars can't do the trick...clamoring for a few pennies more, while snapping at the very hand you hope to receive it from, is no way to get what you're after.

Lastly, as a publicly traded company, by law, Nike is responsible to its shareholders first, and all others second, or beyond. It is a shame that there are inequities in the sports programs in Oregon high schools, but it is NOT Nike's responsibility to alleviate them.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Visions of Die Sturm - A Kos For Alarm...


Die Sturm operates on many levels as we have seen before,

A favored method of thugs, is to dehumanize their victims. (HT. Hugh Hewitt) The more they can detach those they despise from common identity, the easier it becomes to dispatch them... from consideration and with expedient demise. Insulting caricaturization is but one form of public dehumanization. Sadly what we see congealing at the core of What Is Being Left, is the concentration of their passion, frustration, confusion, and stupidity into a strain of primordial hatred that does indeed isolate men from their humanity. The trap is that it is the thug that becomes sub-human.

The Kos has become a sewer of the congealed.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Shackled in SoCal

Major Mike

I am grinding my teeth on the revelation that US Marines, and a Navy Corpsman are being held in shackles (HT Michelle Malkin and others; Michelle June 14, 2006), on murder charges stemming from the alleged atrocities that may, or may not have been committed in Haditha (the usual unbiased coverage by the Windfarm MSM) last year. Shackles...I am appalled.

You ask why. Any JAG out there, feel free to jump in, but in my two tours as an XO, I had many encounters with the JAG and the military legal system. I often found it lenient, overly protective of the guilty, and frustrating to say the least.

Both times I served as an XO, I served for charismatic, but humble, COs that were committed to leading their Marines. In each case, they took the time to develop sound and coherent strategies to ensure that all training was accomplished, that unit morale was high, and that worthy Marines were rewarded appropriately. In each case, the Marines that served under them revered them.

I was left with task of dealing with the two per cent that decided that they were smarter than the USMC and, by default, the CO. In my endeavors to stem UA(s) and to get the attention of any offenders to the UCMJ, my first order of business was always an attempt to get them confined to the brig.

JAGs, please step in here, I have no CM guide here and I am getting on toward 50, BUT, this is not as easy as it seems. The notion of “arrest” in the military, is more the essence of the word “capture.” Once you are arrested for an offense, you are read your military rights, and thusly informed of your crime, but it is a rare occasion that you would be detained…even for as briefly as over night. The concept of “arrest” is that you “know” that you are under charges, and, in most cases, are expected to do your duty until the disposition of your case. Often, in the case of minor infractions, this means little change of status for the Marine in question. It is just a matter of when he will stand in front of “the old Man,” receive an agreed upon punishment by the SgtMaj, or suffer at the hands of a Junior Officer (JO) in a Summary Courts Martial.

In any case, confinement…what we civilians view as “arrest,” is a rarity. Even a multiple offender for UA (unauthorized absence) has to be proven as an additional threat, beyond his propensity to be unavailable at the time and place of Uncle Sam’s choosing, to be held in the equivalent of captivity.

This can be frustrating for those of us responsible for the imposition, under the CO’s watchful eye, of good order and discipline for the command. Senior NCOs complain bitterly about releasing the poison back into their sections. The SgtMaj, usually a co-conspirator of mine, usually rants and raves about the general deficiencies of officers, and the CO’s guidance is usually brief and direct…do something.

After multiple times of having drug dealers, multiple UA offenders, gangbangers, and the like, sent back into my units, I developed a few strategies in circumventing the system. Circumventions I nearly always got caught on. Circumventions that nearly always resulted in the release of my bad apples back to the command. And, circumventions that, ALWAYS got me a tongue lashing from the military judge that had to review my pre-trial confinement orders on Monday mornings.

What I would do is have my recalcitrant Marines picked up late on Friday afternoons. Have a pre-trial confinement order typed up, knowing it might not get reviewed until Monday morning. So my trouble makers, some serious, some not-so serious, would get the benefit of seeing the inside of a brig BEFORE they had the opportunity to go back. Often this would be enough to correct the temporarily misguided Marine, and it usually had little effect on the hard-core offenders, but it did send a message to the good Marines that the command had an interest in keeping the rabble out of the ranks to the greatest extent possible. This showed the would be criminals that we were serious, and it showed the good Marines that we were doing our best to protect the integrity of the unit.

Nearly ALWAYS to be undone by my Monday morning brow-beating by an irate staff judge about my lack of knowledge of the military judicial system, and my irresponsible behavior in the CO’s absence (I would sign the confinement orders, usually pre-arranged with the CO’s late departure on a Friday evening, right after the CO left, so that I could legitimately sign them without his knowledge…shame on me). And often my prodigal sons would be returned to me for more coaching, counseling and discipline.

BUT, never in my day, did I see any of my Marines confined AND shackled, within the walls of the brig. The “idea” of being under arrest is all the barrier most need Marines to prevent flight, especially in the most serious, and most contested cases. Where exactly are the “innocent” Marines going to be able to run off to, now that they have been “convicted” in the press? If these are good Marines, and the circumstances surrounding Haditha need to be sorted out…regardless of the circumstances, restriction to quarters is likely all it would take to restrain them from flight. After that, maybe confinement, but confinement AND shackles AND solitary, inside a brig, is beyond the pale that I am familiar with.

It is in a word, egregious.

Notice, I am not proclaiming their innocence or quilt, although I am still persuaded of their innocence, until they are, or are not, convicted by Courts Martial. I am simply comparing their treatment to the pervasive leniency that most military defendants are legitimately entitled to under the UCMJ.

My point, and I’ll be blunt and short, and I know MajGen Zilmer personally…we were instructors together at The Basic School in the mid/late 80’s…if the Marine Corps continues to taint this incident with command influence and unequal treatment, the Chain of Command, including MajGen Zilmer (who I would have trusted to do the right thing, up to this point) and the Commandant, will have done more harm to the reputation and integrity of the Corps than these defendants could have possibly done. Selling out these Marines is not worth the four or five days of peace and quiet the press will give you as a result, AND it WILL draw the ire of active, retired, and former Marines, who will sniff this out in a heartbeat. I caution you, do the right thing…proceed FAIRLY…starting with getting those Marines out of shackles and solitary.

I can see confinement, but the shackles and solitary, I view, as a complete pandering to a press that you don’t respect anyway. Knock it off. These Marines deserve justice, nothing more, but nothing less.

Wishing For The Worst...


This morning, Al-Reuters seems to be joing Congressional Democrats and fellow Leftists wishing for the worst, U.S. military deaths in Iraq hit 2,500

Only one problem,... Pentagon Reports only 2,499 this morning (PDF). Perhaps Nancy Pelosi will put an actual monetary bounty on number 2,500 so she can have her publicity event. Or she could just keep her fingers crossed and hoping for another American Soldier to be killed.

UPDATE: 06.15.06

DOD has updated its casualty report. Yesterday, the report listed 2497 KIA. This morning, it has hit 2500. The Iraq Insurgency has fullfilled the Democrat's quota for them once again. Perhaps, John Kerry should write them a bonus check for their efforts. Achievement takes many forms. Some of them just happen to be reprehensible. Congratulations Mrs. Pelosi, nevertheless. You may celebrate as planned.

Do forgive us if we abstain from participating in your glee.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Fragile Basket...


"The Earth is just too small and fragile a basket for the human race to keep all its eggs in."
- Robert Heinlein

Born in the late sixties, I had the good fortune to miss the emblemmatic idiocy of that era that has since bred both worship and consternation. Further judgements aside, we were the last sub-gen of the Baby Boomers born to the youngsters of the Greatest Generation venerated for their courage, integrity and their gift of progress and prosperity. Too young to be involved, and later too old to be corrupted, a small remnant of children preserved the dream of our parents, to carry forth the torch of progress and conduct personal and cultural achievement to yet higher pinnacles.

Perhaps we were the last to manifest a remnant of appreciation before the X-ers came along with their vision of hopelessness and tossed the torch aside. We wanted to be scientists, doctors, engineers, architects, pilots, and astronauts. They wanted everything and nothing. Their legacy was the curse of their parent's moral hangover impressed upon their children in a misfortune of genetic humiliation... narcissism and nihilism churned into a self destructive sludge that subdues all progress. And the nation suffered 30 years of veritable stagnation accordingly. In 1969 we witnessed a monochrome vision of American men walking on the moon.* By 2006, we have colorful recollections of the dream, with no desire to get it back, much less go beyond. Afterall, how can a people reach for the stars, when they are not permitted to hold up their heads in pride... consumed instead with the dirt at their feet. This was the gift of 60's progressive humanism; the curse of resignation.

Yet, noted physicist Stephen Hawking is urging the human race to transcend the bounds of our terrestrial cradle and reach for once again for those stars. Hawking says humans must go into space,

The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there's an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the Earth, world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday.

Humans could have a permanent base on the moon in 20 years and a colony on Mars in the next 40 years, the British scientist told a news conference.

"It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," Hawking said. "Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of."

Do let's recall that detractors (Leftists and Democrats) criticized President Bush unmercifully for making just such a pledge in a 2004 public address.

According to the plan, a long-term lunar base would be a testing ground for equipment and techniques that would be used for deeper explorations into the solar system, including Mars. The moon's lower field of gravity would make it cheaper to launch flights.

"Space exploration has benefited all of humanity," said Bush. "It's mighty important to the country and the world. Human beings are headed into the cosmos."

Interesting that one of the greatest minds on Earth agrees with the President. What might that say about those critics? Not to make the subject of science political, but they have and it is, when clearly one party wants nothing to do with human achievement, and assured long-term survival.

Alan Guth, physics professor at M.I.T. is one critic, for instance, who dismisses Hawking's idea ,

Hawking's latest observations were something of a departure from his usual research and more applicable to survival over the long-term...

...But, he added, "I don't see the likely possibility within the next 50 years of science technology making it easier to survive on Mars and on the moon than it would be to survive on earth."

"I would still think that an underground base, for example in Antarctica, would be easier to build than building on the moon," Guth said.

Antarctica?! So rather than reaching for the stars, ivy league, ivory tower, tenured baggage proposes we dig deeper in the dirt beneath our feet. Guth no doubt shares the progressive gift of suicidal stupidity... despite his IQ and stature. But, the attitude is typical of the obstacles facing public leaders like President Bush, and dreamers like Stephen and Lucy Hawking. The father daughter pair have plans to author a fictional series on space travel targeted similarly to Rowling's Harry Potter series.

"It is a story for children, which explains the wonders of the universe," said Lucy Hawking. They did not provide further details.

Best of luck to them. They have the right idea. If most adults have forgotten how to strive and dream, then surely our children have the capacity to remind us how to do it. Afterall, venturing into space is infinitely more conceivable than flying on a broom.

"The earth is the cradle of humankind, but one cannot live in the cradle forever."
- Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

* corrected for accuracy

UPDATE 06.15.06:

In 1992 (or maybe it was '93), The alternative rock group, The Sundays could still recall the vision, powerfully enough to capture it in lyrics and tune. Its a beautiful message in both respects... Monochrome.

it's 4 in the morning July in '69
me and my sister
we crept down like shadows
they're bringing the moon right down
to our sitting room
static and silence
and a monochrome vision

they're dancing around
slow puppets silver ground
and the world is watching with joy
we hear a voice from above
and it's history
and we stayed awake
all night

and something is said and the whole room laughs aloud
me and my sister
looking on like shadows
the end of an age as we watched them walk in a glow
lost in space
but I don't know where it is

they're dancing around
slow puppets silver ground
and the stars and the stripes in the sand
we hear a voice from above
and it's history
and we stayed awake
all night

they're dancing around
it sends a shiver down my spine
and I run to look in the sky and
I half expect to hear them asking to come down
will they fly or will they fall?
to be excited
by a long late night

Monday, June 12, 2006

How Do You Spell ...S.P.A.N.K...UND KOs NCAA...PC Takes a Standing Eight Count

Major Mike

The President of the University of North Dakota, Charles E. Kupchella, Ph.D. takes on the NC2A and political correctness in one fell swoop, (HT Hugh Hewitt...who can't resist an excellent legal skirmish) in defense of their logo...The Fighting Souix. Dr. Kupchella's impassioned defense of his University's, US recognized, trademarked (interesting legal twist there), logo is determined, and spot on. PC advocates had better dive for cover, Dr. K covers the issue with a blanket, and closes the door on the NC2A's "executive committee's," logic, reasoning and methodologies. Good luck standing up to this onslaught.

Dr. K calls them on their many deficient decisions...often the same mis-steps as other PC do-godders...He counters the usual PC disconnects with:

1. Plain talk...the un-language of the PC crowd. His stiff jabs to the NCAA are a breath of fresh air to those who tire of the tip-toeing around the many PC issues at the forefront today.

"I have chosen to communicate with you in this way for several reasons. Since you have had what you say is the “final” word on the issue of our nickname and logo, we must now consider legal action. I want you, as well as University of North Dakota stakeholders and the general public, to know why we must. The NCAA leaves us no recourse but to consider litigation to make the point that the policy you have instituted is illegitimate and that it has been applied to the University of North Dakota in an unfair, arbitrary, capricious, fundamentally irrational, and harmful manner." (my emphasis).

You won't hear that language on the Sunday Morning MSM Windfarms.

2. Calling them on their illogical, nuanced exeptions...likely a result of biases within the committee, or perhaps, preferring to take on the seemingly small alumni population of UND, rather than to deal with the incensed alumnists of Florida State University...oh, by the way, usually a Top 25, or better, football program. The killer for the NCAA illogic...

"The NCAA’s organizational arrogance extends to the innovative and abusive use of the English language. You indicated that Florida State University was exempted because it has a “special relationship” with the Seminoles. At the time you said this, Florida State enrolled just four Seminole students. We have one-hundred times more Indian students here, yet FSU’s is a “special relationship” while ours, you say, is “hostile and abusive.”" (My emphasis)

Sure makes sense to me...I guess the four hundred Souix students attending UND are either masochists, and enjoy being in an abusive environment...are too stupid to recognize that they are in a hostile or abusive environment... OR the NCAA's, isllustrious executive committe, is flat out wrong!!! Which in the face of DR. K's onslaught of jabs, seems the most likely.

3. Countering the PC crowd's tendancy to over exaggerate the harm in PC cases....amazing...most of the Soiux are not insulted by the use of the logo...but the NCAA thinks that they must be protected.

"Although we thought it strange – perverse actually – to assume guilt until innocence was proven, or at least objectively indicated, we offered the facts that (1) our nearest Sioux Tribe gave us written permission (which still stands despite repeated attempts by the NCAA staff itself and other nickname opponents to ask the Tribal Council to rescind its resolution) to use the name; (2) we have over four hundred American Indian students going to school here, many of whom are just fine with the nickname and none of whom would be here if the environment were really hostile and abusive; (3) it was reported to you, directly by the Chair of the Tribal Council Judicial Committee that, at the only other Sioux Reservation based in North Dakota, a district-by-district referendum resulted in nearly unanimous support for UND’s use of the Sioux nickname; and, (4) the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education spent a week here investigating earlier “hostile environment” charges made by our local nickname opposition group – and made no such finding – as clear indications that our handling of the nickname is in no way hostile and abusive." (emphasis original text)

"The arrogance of this statement is appalling. It is as if to say, “American Indians may think it is OK, but the NCAA knows better,” or perhaps, “If these tribes (now at least six in number) are not astute enough to recognize that they are the objects of hostility and abuse, let them wallow in it.” Further, if a Native American tribe is a “distinct political community,” why is it that the continuing resolution by the Spirit Lake Nation that allows UND to use the Sioux name is – in the NCAA’s words – “not persuasive?”

"We explained that we have a beautiful logo designed by a respected American Indian artist and that we use the nickname with consummate respect – expecting and getting respect for the Sioux culture from our fans. We pointed out that we do not do tomahawk chops, we do not have white guys painted up like Indians, and our fans do not do Indian chants."

I think it has become obvious over time, that many PC "harms" are actually over-exaggerations by those who find themselves out of the mainstream in regards to these specific groups and these issues. It is obvious they are are seeking a voice, and a legitimacy, via poorly researched, hyper-sensitive, and countlessly spineless "executive committees" across this country.

4. And the body shot...not doing their homework.

"“Are there incidents the NCAA has recorded where it (UND) appears to be hostile and abusive?” he said, obviously ducking the question entirely:

“Today’s decision was to review whether the staff’s original decision was the right one. We tried to confine ourselves to that. We believe the use of the Fighting Sioux and the mascots [he is apparently still unaware that we do not have one] and imagery [ours was designed by an American Indian] that represents (sic) are hostile and abusive and we don’t believe the University has made a case to the contrary.” [emphasis added,(original text)]

Evidence? What evidence? Courts tend to dismiss hearsay and to demand and rely on real evidence.We invited you to come and see for yourself and you refused. We now have your letter of May 15 in which you make reference to “substantial evidence,” but nowhere in the letter is this evidence described. In lieu of evidence, you simply cite “staff review,” apparently of hearsay testimony by various local and national groups. Most of these simply assert that they are opposed to any use of nicknames anywhere by anybody at any time.

The fundamental irrationality of calling what we do hostile and abusive – on the basis of no basis at all – and then saying that a white guy in war paint, carrying a flaming spear while riding a horse into a stadium, leading fans in a tomahawk chop while singing an Indian chant is okay should be obvious to any jury. Any who try to swallow this convoluted logic will choke on it."

Dr. Kupchella's letter is an extended masterpiece, and deserves to be read in its entirety.

Note to all PC types...this is the first shot across the bow...PC is not an end in itself...justice is what matters. Illogical PC does no one any good... and as Dr K. points awful hard to defend.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

SandCastle, Vol. 1...

Some days our general private exchanges evolve into something more than banter. Friday's was one of those. We thought we might try sharing them from time to time to see where they go. Feel free to jump in with your comments and we'll expand the conversation.

Friday, June 9, 2006

ATOS: finally got around to doing more than skimming your Haditha piece. Superb work, Mike. Granted I am more confused by Ma_che. Perhaps you need to check this out… The American Thinker.

MIKE: I had previously read that piece when Ma_che first sent it. It may indeed prove to be true. My piece still holds…the individual Marines deserve a fair shake in getting their innocence out, should that prove to be the case. The Marine Corps, in the meantime, must not run over Marine officers and enlisted Marines in their zeal to get out of the papers. They simply need to do the right thing.

My other point…maybe not clearly made in the original piece is that…if you get into enough knife fights, you may eventually be so turned by the circumstances that you become inhuman, or less human, as a result. That may indeed be the by-product of fighting these types of wars, and we should maybe figure out a better way to fight them, keeping in mind the well being of our troops…shorter rotations, diluted exposure to combat, absolute limits on the number of rotations…whatever, but I think we need to come to understand the impact of down and dirty, insurgent warfare, has on the individual psyche.

And I suppose, somewhere in the back of my brain, and what I have heretofore left unsaid…too much exposure, may indeed, take the most humane person, and make them inhuman…such as Col. Kutrz in Apocalypse now. I hope this is not the case, but I certainly see that the constant fighting of shadows, in grueling conditions, with little positive recognition of the value of your sacrifice, that men can shed their training, and act in kind in response to brutality…I suppose this is what makes us humans…keeping those emotions in check and subdued, makes us civil.

We all can be both.

DUELER: The Shaolin sages shine down upon you, grasshopper.

I'm being a little flip here, but you're right on. We are all, at the same time, Warriors and Scholars. Circumstances of the moment determine the balance point between them. In other words, most republicans moved their balance point after 9/11 closer toward the Warrior side, while most democrats kept it on the Scholar side.

And for better or for worse I did a post awhile back called "Heart of Darkness."

MIKE: [Dueler]…that is a BRILLIANT take on it. I suppose circumstances dictate whether we should become darker at heart…threat, brutality, inhumanity, and when we are civil, less human, more humane…having children, finding extended periods of peace and bliss. I understand my response to attack, but I do not understand, as you hint at, that after 9/11…there was NO human response to this brutality, just a political response. As you suggest, in light of the brutality, this is unnatural, and indeed, not to be trusted. What worse could happen to get them to move off their nadir as humans? I cannot imagine what that would be…their political drive has overwhelmed their human drive, so that they cannot be trusted in their judgment on all matters…they are indeed, the antithesis of the Marines accused in Haditha, and in some ways…maybe less human.


DUELER: You're starting to sound like [Mr.Atos]! that is said only half-humorously. the other half is that [Mr.Atos] is spot-on in his analysis and focus.

since you seem to be the most thoughtful on the issue, feel free to jump in with a new post.

to add a little here, though - being a father requires me to be a supremely gentle nurturer or brutally lethal defender . . . depending on the circumstances. i had, for a long time, felt out of balance, without really being able to quantify it. I had not accepted and supported the Warrior - until I started studying Chinese martial arts. Yin and Yang, always in balance, and always in the moment.

MIKE: [Dueler] …the first sentence of the last paragraph is the Rosetta Stone…you HAVE to be both to be a good father. You would not surrender your daughters on demand to a butcher like Zarqawi…you would fight like a crazed animal, and not feel remorse for having done so…what the press and Dems don’t get, is this is the way it HAS to be…you don’t hand your daughters over to Zarqawi and then negotiate to get them back…you don’t deal civilly with an animal.

The larger question…in theory…what happens to your humanity if Zarqawi murders your daughters, and you deal with him in the manner he then deserved…your civil anchor has been taken from you, AND you have crossed over to the inhuman…can you make it back? Would it be “normal” to be missing many, if not all of your civil pieces, so that in the end, you are simply a base model human, no longer modulated by your civility? You are a human animal, more than a civil human.


DUELER: I think that one of the utopian leftist notions is that it IS possible to remove violent tendencies in EVERYONE. "if you want peace, work for justice." that is the mantra, isn't it? if everybody is treated justly, nobody will be unpeaceful.

what a misguided bunch of crap. it may be possible - someday - to rid the human species of violent tendencies. but not for a very very very long time.

as i have alluded to in past posts, human nature hasn't changed much in tens of thousands of years. it is dominated by the quest for power. until the last several hundred years, the quest for power has been most exemplified in power over others. in these past several hundred years, starting around the magna carta, we began to recognize and codify the power of the individual, and therefore the respect of other individuals right to self-determination.

the irony of the utopian left above is that in order to remove violent tendencies in everyone, the concept of power over others will once again have to be implemented. and power over others is ultimately maintained only by violence. the group can run roughshod over individuals for the sake of "peace". hello, nazi germany and stalinist russia. but in the case of the modern utopian left, it is enforcment of "peace" from within combined with a refusal to defend one's self from without. the road to suicide is paved with good intentions.

as for me - speak softly, but carry a GLOCK. metaphorically speaking, of course.