Thursday, March 09, 2006

Cast thy nighted colour off,
And let thine eye

This Saturday Toronto finally takes its place in the network of cities where a gaggle of concerned citizens has decided to demonstrate solidarity with Denmark in its Time of trial as the Islamist world’s punching bag.

I plan to be there, though I expect the crowd will be light. Canada has proudly marched at the forefront of legally enshrined thought control (hate crimes, “human rights” star-chamber tribunals, and other modes of enforced political correctness), not to the shrill cadence of fearsome tyrants but willingly under democratically-elected, majority-endorsed public policy.

Despite the recent political right-turn which brought a minority Conservative government, I would still be surprised to see a large public outpouring of sympathy for a nation being threatened and persecuted for its citizens’ exercise of free speech through a free press— supposedly “dat’s da Canadian value” (in Chrétien-speak), but it is honoured on the lips, not really written on the heart. Nevertheless, I’ll be there, with cheese. (Danish Consulate, 151 Bloor Street West, Saturday March 11, 12-1:30 p.m.)


It was bright and brisk in North Carolina last weekend, visiting Mr. and Mrs. Lieutenant in the newlywed nest (so CUTE!). We got the GWOT “anal probe” at the gates of Marine Air Station New River, but found our way out to the squadron hangar and got a close-up view of the Big Birdy.

Also got to poke around inside the simulator unit and got to see where he’ll sit and push the buttons.
Mom, Dad, can I use the rotors tonight?



"Iraq at war with itself” trumpets the cover of this week’s Economist, Britain’s high-class world-events [especially-as-concerns-money] journal.

The New York Times weighed in on a similar note on Feb 24 with:
“More Clashes Shake Iraq; Political Talks Are in Ruins”

Except when they’re not.

As Mickey Kaus points out at The Times was seen munching silently on its own words by March 2 when the political talks were clearly back on, full throttle: "Iraqi Parties Want Jaafari Out of Prime Minister Race."

Civil war in Iraq -- if you blinked, you missed it.

>>NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS, so to get bad news we have to massage it a little

USA Today headline: "8,000 Desert During Iraq War

The story underneath it: “The U.S. military's desertion rate has plunged since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001"

The rest of the piece gives stats on desertion numbers in all branches of the service over the years since September 11, 2001 [slightly off, I think, since the numbers don’t appear to include the U.S. Coast Guard], showing total desertions for 2005 at .24% of all U.S. forces. This they compare with a peak year of the Vietnam war, when in 1971 3.4% of the Army alone deserted (at a time when the draft was still in operation and the full active duty force was 2.7 million, nearly double what it is today).

Another small factoid buried under the flaming headline: today most deserters return within months, without coercion.

Apropos of nothing, total American military, both sides, who participated in the American Civil War (War Between the States, War of Northern Aggression, the Late Unpleasantness— depending on whether you live in Mississippi, Georgia, the Carolinas, whatever…): 3,213,000.

Random factoid #2: Google “US military statistics" and the first three “new results” listed are:

1) "Full text of Human Rights Record of the US in 2005" (from the China Daily)

2) "Military families stay strong after Afghan attacks, but can’t help…" (from the Calgary Sun)

3) "Blacks spurn military service" (from CBS news)

Yeah—thanks, Google, that’s exactly what I would consider helpful information when I search "US military statistics". But let's not get mad— Google’s just the messenger— right?

>>OSCAR, the grouch

I didn’t watch the Oscars (tuned in for just a moment and happened to catch the performance of the winning song—then retired to my meditation room to contemplate the plight of the stressed-out pimp), and haven’t seen any of the five nominated films yet (if ever—maybe via Blockbuster, in a month or so when they’ve all done their final tank at the box office).

Little Green Footballs offers two interesting takes on Hollywood’s 2006 version of itself, as opposed to the way it used to was once upon a time: the first from a reader who catalogues the great stars (and I mean GREAT STARS) who left their comfortable armchairs to serve in World War II (18 men who earned 70 decorations); and the other from Ben Stein on the true measure of Hollywood’s “out-of-touchness” and bogus claims to courage.


>>I couldn’t help but enjoy this massive culinary metaphor from Ron Black of Junction City, Oregon (my old home state, buzzing hive of lefty moonbats)

After having been force-fed a steady diet of terrorist teriyaki in 2004, fearful Americans re-enthroned a delusional White House chef de cuisine who believes that he has a divine mandate to jam his recipe for theocracy down the nation's throat.

Consequently, a five-star evangelical eatery has its tables set for a battle between Planned Parenthood and the state of South Dakota. This fundamentalist food court is called Chez Scalitomas. And anti-choice members of its staff are now preparing the Lord's supper at One First Street NE in Washington, D.C.

Voters asked for this born-again carte du jour. Now the meal they ordered from it is about to be served. Bon appetit!

>>Will Rogers observed that
it isn't what you don't know that hurts you, it's the things you know that aren't true, English ex-pat John Derbyshire reminds us at National Review Online.

He’s been an Iraq war skeptic pretty much all along, and now finds himself in exalted neo-con/isolationistic company with William F. Buckley and George Will. He puts forward the following for our consideration, not without merit:

If your judgments about human beings and human affairs are grounded in false propositions about human nature, no amount of knowledge will rescue you from folly.I do believe that over the past generation or so, we in the West have sunk into some seriously false beliefs about human nature. This is perhaps truer in the USA than elsewhere in the West. Our national fondness for high-flown rhetoric about liberty, rights, and the brotherhood of Man, which we have inherited from our Founding Fathers, and which we have been applying with special diligence to our domestic affairs since the 1960s, has worked on us like a spell, enchanting us into folly. It has left us blind to some of the coarser, meatier realities of human nature, to the passions stirred by family, tribe, faith, race, and charisma, by the contemplation of imagined honor, glory, and transcendence… If "all human beings desire liberty," how is it that unfree societies ever arise and persist? … If "all human beings desire good government," why do the people of Washington DC keep electing Marion Barry?

>>Michael Graham gives President Bush a sound caning (the gentlemanly form of ass-woop) at Jewish World Review, and I have to admit I share his frustration. He begins by quoting Michael Moore’s infamous Oscar diatribe about the “fictional” aspects of the current administration, and is prepared to grant fictional status to the War on Terror —basically because we can’t really be at war when we’re giving Talibastards scholarships to Yale, or cheering the sale of port facilities to entities which were selling us out until about an hour ago, even as our sniveling State Department knees our Danish allies right in the frugtbollers.

>>If you aren’t into the latest eyeball chewing-gum from Hollywood,, switch over to AL-JAZEERA! -- and watch psychologist Wafa Sultan eating her interlocutor for lunch. She’s tougher (and vastly more important) than Simon Cowell.

Her theme: There Is No Clash of Civilizations but a Clash between the Mentality of the Middle Ages and That of the 21st Century

Now I never like to hear the Middle Ages disparaged—they had more greatness than flaws, in my view, and merit careful treatment— but Islamist mental paralysis takes a brilliant pounding at Ms. Sultan’s hands, and it’s gratifying to know that she was heard over the Arabic airwaves. Read or watch. (hat-tip to Middle East Media Research Institute and

Seen on a T-shirt at Mardi Gras in New Orleans:
"Keep drinking till Nagin makes sense"

Hizzoner in the Fat Tuesday parade

Blackfive calls him: Commanding General of Stuck on Stupid

>>I've been a little worried about how one of the first projects I contributed to through Spirit of America was faring, a women’s centre in Fallujah.I bought them a sewing machine a couple of years ago and have often wondered whether it had been flattened by artillery in the interim.

However, it looks like the place is still in working order, and is now in need of computers for further job-training for women.

Other projects are still thriving, including those carried out in Tal Afar, Nineveh, in aid of elementary education and Iraqi troop training—projects administered by the Army, contributing to the goodwill recently highlighted when the Mayor of Tal Afar wrote a letter of thanks “To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.”

Didn’t hear about that letter? Funny—it was available to all the mainstream press weeks ago.

Anyhoo, nice to know my sewing machine is still chugging away in Fallujah, despite all the battering and chaos that city has known from time to time.

Similar Corporal Works of Mercy are now accessible online.