February 28, 2005

The Cedar Revolution?

Filed under: — Chap @ 1:00 pm

Publius Pundit seems to have the best news on what’s happening in Lebanon right now.

Your Gas Station Guy Might Be A Hero

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:52 pm

…a hero like this:

Hamade, who has lived in America for 30 years and now lives in Dearborn Heights, said he served as the eyes, ears and mouth throughout the project.

“It was a mission, and when you want to do something, you love it, nothing will scare you,” he said.

The group assisted children’s hospitals, nursery schools and the main hospital, which used to be called Saddam Medical Center, by restoring power and supplying medicine, office equipment and computers.

One day that May, Hamade was at the north gate of the green zone in Baghdad when a woman told him, “Inhezim,” which means “run away quickly.”

As he walked closer to her to see what was going on, she suddenly pulled a hand grenade from her chest area and began to pull the pin in order to throw it at a group of soldiers at the checkpoint.

“I was faster than her,” Hamade said. “I jumped on her. I disarmed her, and I took the grenade from her hand a few seconds before she pulled the pin.”

Before soldiers took the woman away, Hamade asked her why she did what she did, and she told him that a group of men — including one Iranian, one Syrian and one Palestinian — paid her to do it.

Hamade said she had an unusual amount of money on her, and the group had promised to give her more after the job was done.

I’m guessing he owns this gas station. If I ever go to Michigan I know where I’m buying gas!

February 27, 2005

Buying a MAKE

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:37 pm

Bruce Sterling has found the bestest new magazine. I think I’m a-subscribin’. Contents over at the link. After NEST and the Journal of Experimental Musical Instruments both went fallow, I’ve lost out on my mailbox full of professional weirdness.

‘Cause, you know, you never know when you need to shave a yak.

I just got the premiere issue of MAKE magazine

by snailmail. I happen to be one of the columnists,

and it’s full of old pals and ideological

fellow travellers, so I was expecting something pretty wack.

Boy is that thing weird. That is one strange

publication. I think it’s the only paper publication

on the market that is odder and more far-out than


You should subscribe immediately.

MAKE’s first issue

The first magazine devoted to digital projects, hardware hacks, and D.I.Y. inspiration.

Gentlemanly Disagreement

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:33 pm

Somehow Evan Maloney over at Brain Terminal manages to be adult in his conversations, even when he is in disagreement with the opinions of the people he’s interviewing. This latest is a worthwhile skim.

How does he do it?

Don’t Make A Marine Mom Mad

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:12 pm

Update: Diggs throws some good elbows right here at the kid. Said child attempts to backtrack in the comments, squealing the entire way.

You know, when I was in high school I did some silly stuff in public. Maybe this kid will figure it out with a little guidance and mentorship.

On the other hand he may turn into Micah Wright instead.

First this child spouts off some pure foolishness:

…perhaps some readers will understand why my friends and I rip yellow ribbon “support the troops” magnets off of cars or wherever people have affixed them. By ripping off these ribbons, we find a way to deal with our guilt, as though with each ribbon swiped we take back a life that was taken by this senseless war started by our senseless president and those who support him.

and Marine Corps Mom Deb lets word slip outside of the UMass Daily Collegian’s, um, hallowed halls.

Turns out our angry child didn’t like the attention and is spewing forth back to the Moms.

I think about the 1000+ dead soldiers and their poor families and friends EVERY DAY and that is why I wrote my column. Before you judge me, read the entire column and consider that I am a patriotic American who LOVES AMERICA. I will not, however, be bullied or intimidated into jingo-ism while young men and women die overseas, while only 1 of our congressmen has a son or daughter fighting this war.

Marine Corps Mom JHD attempted a teaching moment in response.

Intellectual interpretations can only go so far. You cannot separate the man/woman from the mission. You cannot understand that there troops ARE protecting your freedom to receive your offers from “venerable magazines”. You will never, ever understand the concept that our men and women in uniform BELIEVE IN THE MISSION! They are not forced or drafted, just simply volunteers. They are not ignorant or lacking in opinion. Truthfully they are mainstream Americans with something more than you will understand! What you believe is just fake patriotism is something so real the blood of our Country flows through it.

…and Deb gets a word in edgewise.

Connie related a recent lunch conversation where the viewpoint was expressed that the U.S. shouldn’t be in Iraq and that our troops should come home now. The conversation ended when one woman observed, “Most of my family is Jewish. I can tell you that we are very grateful to the United States for intervening in WWII when they did.” The historical parallels are similar. And it may be that a generation from now, the liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan will be thought of the same way by future descendents. In the meantime, I – and countless other Marine parents, spouses, grandparents, children – will continue to support not only our troops but their mission . . . and their Commander in Chief.

Mr. Naughton, why do you think my son, Connie’s son, JHD’s son and countless others like them chose to join the Corps. It’s not because they didn’t have choices. There are many parents just like me who would have happily paid tuition at any college. But they looked beyond “what’s in it for me” to “what can I give back”. My son didn’t suffer from “blind belief” as you charge – he shipped to boot camp on 9/13/02, knowing full well that he would almost certainly see action. But his love for his family, country, and Corps was prioritized before his own comfort and self-actualization. As JHD said, you have no idea what real patriotism is. The difference between patriotism and jingoism is like the distance between the deep and lasting love of a family and a cheap porn flick watched by yourself.

Mr. Naughton, have you ever talked with Gold Star parents? I have. I’ve attended funerals for fallen heroes and prayed that they would never have to do the same for me. I’ve cried with them, laughed with them, and shared the memories of their precious sons – sons whose lives were cut far too short but who lived with honor and dignity and were the absolute best this country had to offer. They still support the troops and they still support the mission. And, they are still filled with pride and awe, knowing that their sons will never be forgotten by the extended Marine Corps Family. Will anyone be able to say that about you, stealer of yellow-ribbons?

Boy, when you put it that way, it sure makes this college kid’s actions in a wee bit of a lesser light, doesn’t it?

This military wife puts it into perspective rather well.

You and your friends are too lazy to seek what you desire through the democratic process, so instead you seek to control others. You steal their property to silence speech you do not agree with. Perhaps you can explain to me how this behavior is that of a “patriotic American”?

Allow me to suggest the real reason you and your friends do not “support the troops”: it is because military men and women oppose people like you with every fiber of their being. They are willing to die to keep people like you – people who think they are above the law – people who think their “feelings” matter more than the rights of their fellow citizens – from taking over this world.

I know you think you’re right. But in a democratic society, other people are allowed to disagree with you. And they are allowed to say so, without having you steal their property or silence them with acts of childish thuggery. The difference between you and those troops you refuse to support is that they will defend your right to say something they think is completely wrong-headed: with their lives, if necessary.

You, on the other hand, are a bully who wants to be the only one allowed to speak. That is all your ‘principled act’ amounts to, in the end.

How pathetic.

Yeah, I guess there is an element of pathos there.

It’s 80% N2 Already!

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:50 am

This just messes my head up.

You cannot imagine my horror, however, when my eyes met pages filled with saccharine, pastel artwork depicting cold-eyed androids that were clearly not of our realm. In a Beautiful Mind moment of schizophrenic clarity I saw the book for what it was: not a gentle introduction to life’s most profound curiosity, but a primer for the parasitic offspring of an invisible invasion!

The pictures are a little unnerving in this new context…

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:21 am

I had forgotten about this creative little piece.

Farce Defined

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:16 am

This is not a blog. This is advertising.

Why Do I Have Superfriends On The Brain?

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:10 am

Superfriends do Office Space (via Silflay Hraka).

Different from Superfriends doing Wazzup. (Which, in case you missed that blip back in like 1999 or something, was part of an enormous line of parodies of a single beer commercial. Even ones in 36 languages.)

It sure looks like the same discount house o’animation that did Superfriends also did G.I. Joe, which is one reason I never watched them. But both seem to be fun to mess with, as this set of G.I. Joe PSA remixes can show.

February 26, 2005

Catalytic Events and Politics

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:26 pm

This woman is saying things with which I can sympathize.

The Islamists have been clear all along about their plans to form an Islamic caliphate and inhabit the entire world with burqas, stonings, amputations, honor killings and a lack of religious and political freedom. Whether or not to oppose such a movement should have been a no-brainer, especially for self-proclaimed “progressives.” Instead, they have extended their misguided sympathies to tyrants and terrorists.

The whole article is well worth reading.

Andrew Sullivan said on TV that he became more radicalized in his politics in reaction to the hate spewed in his direction. I think I did the same during my graduate education.

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:01 pm

One nice thing about this Virginia Postrel piece, on how a leather furniture company in the US is figuring out how to thrive with overseas competition, is this narrated slideshow on the New York Times page from the company Postrel’s discussing. The interesting thing about the company is the use of LEAN:

To the confident young engineer, however, Japanese manufacturing was not a threat but an inspiration. After graduation, Mr. Duncan went to work for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), teaching clients lean-manufacturing techniques originally developed in Japan.

Shipyards in the US are only recently getting into LEAN. (And apparently the new new thing is “agile manufacturing”. One of these days I should describe my trips to a couple of shipyards–I learned a lot.

Color WWI Photos

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:53 pm

Via SGT Stryker, color World War One photos.

They’re about the same age as the stunning photos on this site from the Library of Congress, restoring pre-WWI color photos. This monastery (photo taken in 1911) is absolutely stunning. (The monastery is still there. Scroll down to “St. Nil” on this page.)

I’ve seen some of these in Hew Strachan’s one volume WWI history, which is a good book to learn from as well (so far–haven’t finished it yet; it’s a little slow reading).

Interesting Link Roundup

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:45 pm

Via Jim Treacher, this pile of interesting links.

February 25, 2005

Michael Durant–Still Making Waves

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:23 pm

Some folks musta Googled and found this post. The comments are interesting.

Durant understands from painful experience (literally) and I wish I could help him connect better with guys like SMASH and Protest Warrior.

Famous Quotes And Romance Remixes

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:11 pm

Oh, my. I found this via Countercolumn (who got it here) and a little clicking around. I recommend the quotes:

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put on big man pants and strutted about the room.”

-New Testament, Revolutions, X1II, 11

(and by the way, I’ll go too. Right freaking now.)

February 24, 2005

Wait a minute

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:34 pm

they don’t change themselves?!?


Five diapers down, 2495 left to go this year (if the kid’s average)…

February 23, 2005

Thanks For The Kind Thoughts!

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:04 pm

Thanks, everybody, for all the kindness shown as I came back from the ether to drop the news on you!

Tammi, when a baby is born to someone connected to the ship, an announcement is made in the Plan Of the Day much like what I put up. It’s a bit of tradition, that.

Curt, he’s our first one.

Kevin, they wear ribbons in the clinic when you come in for a routine monitoring where they tell you it’s time RIGHT NOW…

Funny thing is, with this cell phone I can post easier than I can send email, so the mass email will have to wait until I can get some better connectivity. Here comes a data burst, though…

Still More Random Links Without Interpretation

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:03 pm

No time, just blasting out the links.

Iraqi Professor

Via Joi Ito, the Chilling Effects site

Much more interesting interview with GEN Mattis

Tokyo Street Style

So You Want More Gates?

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:02 pm

Polyscifi links to alternate interpretations of Christo’s latest boondoggle.

SCALE, people. You gotta think scale; that’s what the guy’s all about. Like, I just did a version of the Gates right here in San Diego, in Balboa Park: The Gates Of Imagination.

It’s exactly like Christo’s one. Except for those orange cloth panel thingies on sticks. I got rid of those. Other than that, it’s just like Christo’s. Here you see a tour group looking at the exhibit.

It’s very meta, and deep, art. Took a lot less time to do, too.

Ian Cognito’s Story

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:01 pm

Ian Cognito is the name of a British comedian I’d never heard of. He’s got a fiercely noncommercial sense of propriety–won’t do TV or ads–and an autobiography is available for download, free.

He’s a little angry.

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