Thursday, June 17, 2010







I wasn't successful at finding an embeddable video of Al Haig saying "I'm in charge here" -- but he might as well be, and he's dead.

Here's how it looks from inside the Louisianna sand berm where Bobby Jindal is
trying to keep his head from exploding. Headline:


Meanwhile back at the ranch, er, golf course...

Last time a President started picking at the sand on a beach, we got Bill Clinton in Normandy, setting up his "IKEA cross" [some assembly required] out of strategically pre-set pebbles.

But I'm bettin' Mr. O tends to think of himself more like this:

Actually, the episode that comes much more readily to mind is.....

Oh no, you won't catch me being the first one to make an Uncle Remus joke about this mess!

Nota bene: While cruising for pictures of the tar-balls coming out of the Gulf, I was amazed how many of the oily ducks and beaches illustrating the news stories and blogs showed up (during the "save picture" command) with labels that indicated they were from an oil spill near Korea or Australia (they've had more than 25 since 1903). Fake but accurate. I'm just sayin'.

Monday, June 07, 2010



(apparently for the very last time)

Perennial nagging hag of the White House Press Corpse, HELEN THOMAS, put her dainty foot in it last week by committing the ultimate political gaffe -- that's where you accidentally say what's really on your mind.

What's on her mind? Here's a sample of what even Jack Shafer, left-leaning journo at Slate, called her "screw you" technique of turning a question into a tedious one-note lecture.

Anybody who was paying attention already knew the gist of Thomas's "one note": that the very existence of Israel is an affront to the cosmos. But instead of veiling this belief beneath distorted "questions" about incidents like the Gaza flotilla boarding, she just spat out the basics as she has always understood them. Questioned by journalistic Rabbi, David S. Nesenoff, at a White House Jewish Heritage celebration on May 27, Helen vented her nonagenarian spleen and proffered her very own "final solution":

Good grasp of history there, Helen! Let's see..... Abraham is called by God, and travels from Ur of the Chaldees to ....... Warsaw. Right.

[Apparently there is more to the interview, which will be appearing soon at -- can't wait to find out what happened next!]

YidWithLid went personal (tsk tsk) -- "Helen Thomas is as fair and open minded as she is good looking" -- but has followed up with some interesting observations about how much anti-Semiticism is ignored in the upper echelons of the public pantheon -- Al Sharpton, for starters -- and that perhaps Helen shouldn't be fired if all these other people still have a pulpit. Point taken. He updates that she has been allowed to retire, and that "It is sad that the controversy surrounding Thomas will now end and the media will go back to ignoring Anti-Semitism within its ranks."

[Our friendly Yid also breaks another story of Reuters news service engaging in "fauxtography", i.e. the deliberate monkeying with pictures that are then released as news photos, having been altered just enough to alter the news itself. Check out Reuters' selective use of the "smudge" and "crop" commands to change your perception of the Gaza flotilla kerfuffle.]

Amusing sidelight: my new anti-virus package from Viper had this to say when I looked up a link to the Huffington Post:

VIPRE has determined that the site

you are trying to visit is malicious.


On a totally unrelated note:
Also via Slate, we have Nike's new World Cup Ad, which Seth Stevenson calls "The greatest ad I've ever seen." Have to admit, it's pretty amazing. We report, you decide.


Thursday, June 03, 2010


The Gateway Pundit (Jim Hoft) makes an interesting observation, if not exactly a point. I don't think you can really compare a presidential [non]response to an industrial accident with a president seizing an opportunity to right a tyrant's old wrong as a tangential act within a military campaign. If there is any real point of comparison it is that the current president has done absolutely nothing, with maximum fanfare -- while the former president did something of immense historic and humanitarian consequence with no fanfare whatsoever.

So it's an irony cage-match between marshland and marshland. The "winner and still champeen" is.........

....the Marsh Arabs of Iraq.

See here, here, and here.

Gateway also highlights one of the recent monster items on the presidential agenda, the appearance of Sir Paul McCartney at the White House to perform and receive an award (glad to know we have our priorities straight -- got a minute to meet with the Governor of Arizona, Mr. President?).

Sir Paul tastefully chose this occasion to take a disgustingly low-rent cheap shot at the former President, by exalting Bush's successor as finally being a president who knows what a library is. Ha-ha, what a knee-slapper, you old Liverpudlian! Top of our class at Liverpool Institute, were we, Mr. MBE?

On top of being rude beyond words to the host country, let's remember that this snot-nosed pronouncement comes from a billionaire pop-icon who made a spectacle of himself (with his gold-digging ex-wife in tow) during a Larry King Show debate about the Canadian seal hunt: Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams invited the McCartneys to come to the province and observe the facts of the hunt in person, to which Sir Paul replied, "Well, we're here, Danny. You don't need to invite us. Thanks for the invitation, but we're here. We're actually in the studio here. We are in Newfoundland. And we saw the seals yesterday. "

Only problem was, as Danny pointed out, they weren't in Newfoundland -- they were on Prince Edward Island, where they had gone for their photo-op because the climate and arrangements were more hospitable. Oh what the heck -- you've seen one Canadian province (PEI 5600 square miles) you've seen them all (Newfoundland 42,000 square miles) . If it's Tuesday, I must be in some snowy place with Mounties......

Enjoy the transcript. The McCartneys made Larry King sound intelligent -- it was a classic performance by Dumb (Paul) and Spectacularly, Monumentally Dumber (Heather).

Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, limey ar*ehole.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


is now


Once upon a time I stumbled upon, and then drew attention to, a military blog called "Kaboom" written by a truly talented wordsmith who called himself "Lt G".

The blog
Kaboom meandered on through the dusty day-to-day terrors, mysteries, and neighbourhood negotiations of the Iraq theatre, until Lt G wrote something that got Higher all cheesed off, and he was told to stop writing, and to scrub all that had been written so far. It was a terrible blow to his growing readership, and a big black eye for the Army that squelched him.

to the pooh-poohings of dinosaur media types who want us to believe that everything written by amateurs in the blogosphere will eventually dissolve into irrelevant vapor, Lt.G's loyal readers held tight, kept their ears to the ground, and were Ready to Launch when their faithful scribe, now self-identified as Lt. Matt Gallagher (Retired) published his Iraq chronicles in a book of the same name (Kaboom), and began his equally well-written civilian blog, now called Kerplunk. If you're not already a fan, buy the book, dial up the blog, and join the movement.

Not surprisingly, Gallagher has some words worth reading in the lead-up to Memorial Day. Here are some of the best, in an entry from last week called "Good and Evil":
I interviewed a young Marine corporal yesterday, recently back from Afghanistan, for a magazine article I'm putting together. Over the course of our discussion, he brought up an experience of his that defies human comprehension, even in the context of war.

"We were on a dismounted patrol in Marja ... and walked up on a box in the middle of the street. The IEDs we found were never that obviously placed, but we called EOD (explosive ordnance disposal), just to be on the safe side ... long story short, they came out, checked the box out, and then called us [on-the-ground leaders] up ... the box was empty except for a dead baby. It must've suffocated in there, or starved ... we later found out (through intelligence reports) that The Taliban did it for two reasons: One, it was the kid of a local that had turned some of them in. Two, they just wanted to fuck with us, like they were showing they were capable of anything."

These are ambiguous times we live in. Ambiguous wars, ambiguous purpose, ambiguous intent. In Iraq, sometimes I tried to humanize the enemy, and sometimes I didn't. It all depended on ... well, everything.

But pure evil exists. This wasn't an ambiguous act that occurred in Marja. A murdered innocent, not yet even self-aware. Pure evil in its most obvious and egregious form.

Sometimes, I think pure good must exist, if only to combat the pure evil of the world. Pure evil like this.

Sometimes, I think differently. Sometimes I think that good, at its best, can only aim to be ambiguous, if only because of the eternal flaw of humanity, original sin. And what kind of match is ambiguous good for pure evil?

And sometimes, most times really, I just don't know.

I just don't fucking know.
In spite of it all, Gallagher looks out at the wounded world and finds the silver lining in the clouds. For Memorial Day, he checks out the progress of one of his many colorful companions-in-arms from the Gravedigger platoon (where every man and every location had a colorful nickname to preserve anonymity).

Corporal Matt Wheeler, known as "Hot Wheels", was severely burned and injured in June 2008. When Gallagher finds him winding up two years of surgery, recovery and therapy at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Hot Wheels has gone from learning to walk again, to running two miles, to preparing to enter Mississippi State University next fall. Read some of his family's
Caringbridge journal, and you'll know what a long haul it has been for all of them.

In spite of it all, Hot Wheels has this to say:
Being at BAMC is a truly humbling place. Everywhere you turn there is an injured soldier, some with similar injuries, some with worse. You see people who are terrifyingly maimed and disfigured, but when you talk with them, all you hear is how thankful they are for everything they still have.
The question of the day continues to be, in a world of increasing self-absorption and isolation, where do we find these men? These very, very ordinary heroes.

Let's see.... I seem to remember....
You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.
No, Senator Gigolo, Winter Soldier Sell-out, Unfit Presidential Wannabe, and Crashing Bore John Forbes Cash'n'Kerry.

The Gravediggers did not get "stuck" in Iraq. Lt G, theologian, knows all about Original Sin, AND about Free Will, which he and Bulldog and Big Country and Hot Wheels all exercised, to put themselves on the road to Iraq.

Look them in the eye, Senator, and tell them how not smart they are.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010




For those of us who can barely tolerate this egomaniacal windbag for 40 seconds, all our sympathy tips to Tipper, who has finally had enough of the obsessed fat-head and is moving on. Wonder who will get the brand new estate on the California coast with a carbon footprint the size of Oahu.

The Drudge report breaks the unhappy news, and makes appropriate use of a snapshot of the infamous sexual assault Tipper was forced to endure in front of a monster television audience, when Al tried once again, without success, to prove he was a hip, down, groovy guy, by engaging in a painful public mauling of his wife at the 2000 convention. I never understood how anybody could pretend to buy into this moment -- it made me cringe the instant it happened, and I don't know how she resisted the defensive reflex to kick the creep in the groin.

Well, she's kicked him pretty good now. He's been a sad spectacle for quite some time now, and this makes him just that much sadder. Can't imagine we'll be hearing much from him in the near future. All the best to her.


[hat-tip: The Politico, via Dennis Miller]



A last-minute venue was contrived at Andrews Air Force Base for the President to deliver his soggy Memorial Day address, which had been rained out in Illinois, where a venue had also been contrived at the local military cemetery since the President couldn't be bothered to attend anything at Arlington.

It was late in the evening and Mr. Obama delivered his usual gush of hollow cliches in an especially wooden manner, stumbling over words and marring the syntax as if he had only just been handed the text for the first time and was looking for the teleprompter that wasn't there. It was a massively unimpressive offering from an increasingly underwhelming little man. [At least this year he seems to have mastered the distinctions between May 30 and November 11.]

Meanwhile back at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, Jumpin' Joe Biden rose to the occasion and delivered his wreath and remarks with genuine feeling, making his boss look even weaker by comparison. Good on ya, Joe -- full credit is due to those who know enough to make the right noises when called upon, whatever their own personal and political blind spots. It shows a regard for the Office -- something that continues to escape the little man who holds the Big One.



J.D. Johannes at Outside the Wire shares a memory of one "ordinary" man who gave the gift of life to 100 or more, all in a day's work.

Sgt. Jason Stegall lived to fight another day, through multiple tours of Iraq where he stared down snipers and massive truck bombs, only to die this past December of complications from an excess of cold & flu medication. In the end, life is nothing but fragile. But for the men who owe their lives to his courage and clear-headed reflexes, even a life cut short is more than worth the living.

A life to remember on Memorial Day.

[hat-tip Power Line]

And a million times a million thanks again to
Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna for hosting a Memorial Day Concert in the front yard of the Capitol -- while the President lounged the day away in his Chicago Chateau Rezko mansion.

[Anybody out there really miss him? hmmm.... thought not.]