January 31, 2007

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:33 pm

Oh, and William Arkin can go soak his head.

Link Dump 31 Jan

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:21 pm

It’s almost time for the New Year’s resolution people to start clearing out of the gym…

  1. Why is it the Republicans are quoting Solzhenitsyn? (I know, a rhetorical question; the same reason Michnik is not invited to the “right” fancy dinners this week.)
  2. Speaking of not being invited to dinner, I bet Nick Cohen’s got himself a few less. Belmont‘s got the scoop; I hate the newer format Belmont Club has (four lines and a “click to read more” link, slowing my surfing), but they do have the scoop. Cohen gets the Grauniad beatdown for having the temerity to Speak Out Of Turn, but scroll to the bottom where Hitch says “welcome to the wilderness”. Yup, it’s hard being the odd fish out.
  3. The Armed Liberal has discovered the cult of Tufte. This is a good thing.
  4. I have not watched this yet but link for my future use: the Pipes-Livingstone debate.
  5. Oh, man, my kind of brochure: Frederich Hayek’s The Road To Serfdom in convenient Fifties cartoon form.
  6. This is an unhappy little essay:

    The Palestinians, who receive more aid per capita than any people on earth, are needy not because they lack funds. They are poor because they prefer poverty, violence and war to prosperity, peace and moderation. So it is that 57 percent of Palestinians support terror attacks against Israel.

    The multitude of protesters worldwide who demand an end to the so-called “occupation” and the establishment of Palestine should be made aware of the fact that Palestine already exists. The hordes of political leaders mindlessly squawking about “visions” and “two-state solutions” should know: This is Palestine. Enter at your own risk.

  7. Now this guy is an influencer: the fellow who did the PBS Milton Friedman documentary, who is planning one on Hernando de Soto. I’m for something that gets de Soto’s ideas out there for the world to think about…
  8. Finally, the young’un has decided he likes some mid-Sixties Brit jazz. Alistair points me to a great YouTube of Tubby Hayes and his band. (Hayes played with Ella here, by the way.) If you like that Alistair video then I highly recommend the Gilles Peterson comps of Brit jazz, such as the first Impressed compilation.
  9. Oh, and this is the prettiest recipe page for tomato soup I’ve ever seen.

January 29, 2007

Snark Of The Day

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:52 pm

Today’s snark would make Jim Treacher proud.

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:22 pm

Bubblehead’s right. These are pretty inspired if you’ve been stuck on a boat too long…

Not Him Again

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:20 pm

Chris Hedges.

So gracious a man this is. Such moral clarity he has.


Them What Have Eyes To See Or Ears To Hear

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:17 pm

I posted about this on Milblogs earlier. I believe this list is mostly correct. I also believe that there are people who will not believe this list, and I’m not happy about that.

I think that some of this situation is accidental, and some isn’t.

January 28, 2007

Well Lived

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:35 pm

So the local art museum takes a chance and allows a military man–a Marine, no less–onto its hallowed grounds. To conduct a lecture.

Apparently they picked the right guy.

Colonel Matthew Bogdanos is a reservist. He’s also a classics major and an assistant D.A. in Manhattan, with a passion for ancient artifacts (lame Grauniad profile here). This came in handy when dealing with the selective sacking of the museum of Iraq in ’03.

He’s written a book, Thieves of Baghdad, written with William Patrick, about that experience. I’m only barely started into the book but it’s a tightly written thing so far. Profits for the book go to the museum, in an attempt to get decent security for the place and perhaps some climate control.

Colonel Bogdanos is, as would be expected from a Marine colonel, a captivating public speaker with a fine sense of theater; bringing the lights down and invoking Hamlet, he had the audience of Standard Midwestern Art Lecture Types in the palm of his hand in about thirty seconds. Wide-ranging in emotional tenor and subject, he was a powerful advocate for antiquities and the people he met in Afghanistan and Iraq.

My bottom line:

  1. This guy should have his story shown more widely. He’s a compelling speaker with a captivating story.
  2. Sometimes one gets a unique opportunity to make a difference. Sometimes a person gets a chance to live his life as he might wish it to be lived. It is good to seize those opportunities, even if sometimes they don’t work. It is best to have the hard job done well.

Today’s Smackdown

Filed under: — Chap @ 1:39 pm

…at Acute Politics.

Hit ’em where it hurts, PFC.

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:46 pm

Lex says it could be real, and that’s the scary thing

Mixed Feelings

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:04 pm

Buddy of mine from back in the day was in a similar situation as me careerwise. He did well, found a good spot to be and got promoted where many others did not. We just got word that he’s off to the ‘stan.

I am glad for his chance to be in the fray and do well, and know his skill sets will fit the task. I’m sad he’s got to deploy by himself away from his family after so much of his career was deployed at sea. I’d love to have the chance to do what he is about to do–but volunteering doesn’t help in my situation, apparently, and I’ll have a chance later on in a couple of years after moldering on shore for a while.

Good luck, shipmate. Wish it was me; know you’ll do great. Bring me back some Alokozay

Update: Maybe he can tell me if this list is useful.

January 27, 2007

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:23 pm

Okay, this could get a little addictive. (Via b3ta)

January 26, 2007

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:32 pm

This intriguing new documentary looks like it’s going to get its creators the Bjørn Lomborg treatment…


Filed under: — Chap @ 11:28 pm

An acronym: Bunch Of Guys Sitting Around Talking (or at a Table).

I like this BOGSAT, because it has some people whose rantings I usually enjoy. The ostensible subject is the Iraq way ahead.

January 24, 2007

Phibian Is On Top Of Things

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:34 pm

On the heels of a post of pure red meat for amphibian bloggers, and a reminder that the Hot Air guys are reporting in ways I’ve not seen elsewhere, CDR Salamander finds bloggers pulling the string on the “discount mats” story…and the string’s getting longer and bigger, with some potentially icky things on it…

…And Regarding That Post Below–

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:07 pm

What person now is having to do what Sakakida did?

Richard Sakakida, Hero And Tough Guy

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:05 pm

Update: Check the comments for someone calling shenanigans.

I had never heard of this man before, but I knew how desperate it was where and when he fought his fight in World War Two.

He never told his wife he was tortured so badly until decades later when he was asked to speak about it.

Here’s the man.

Here’s what he did. Just read the story, or check out the Congressional Record account at

May I never have to be in his position.

Oh, and his actions? He got a Legion of Merit. That’s it.

Blood Pressure Too Low?

Filed under: — Chap @ 8:57 pm

We’ll fix that. How about this?

…I, too, had a similar experience. I helped organize meetings in Rome in December, 2001, with Pentagon Iran experts and knowledgeable Iranians. They provided information about Iranian killers in Afghanistan, whose mission was to kill American soldiers. The information was accurate, and the would-be killers did not accomplish their mission (I hope they were killed, but I am not privy to that information). Shortly thereafter, Secretary of State Powell and his deputy, Richard Armitage, with the agreement of Director of Central Intelligence Tenet, demanded that all such contacts be terminated. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld gave orders that no Pentagon employee speak to “Iranians” (which prompted one Iranian-American official to ask if conversations with parents were included in the order).

Why? Because they did not want trouble with Iran, and they “knew” that if President Bush had that information, he would not let it pass.

We have now had further examples of this sort of lie. We now know that top American officials have known all along that Iran has been waging war on us in Iraq, but this information has been suppressed.

Why? Because they, too did not want trouble with Iran. Military leaders did not want a two-front war (even though it should have been obvious, even before the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, that we were engaged in a regional war, whatever our wishes were), and the spooks and diplomats convinced themselves that we could cut a deal with the mullahs.

When reporting intelligence, you tell what you know, what you don’t know, what you think, and what the difference is. This is unconscionable and dishonorable.

When foreign agents kill your people, you make bad things happen to them, not kiss them. Quite literally, the opposite has happened. I’m upset enough we’ve not been forceful enough about the killers of Robert Stethem; this is worse.

Let’s lance this boil.

January 23, 2007

It’s Bad Enough That We Treat Our Brethren Badly When Bad Things Happen

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:23 pm

Bubblehead has some of the best USN submarine news reporting out there. One of his posts (about the ship who recently had two sailors killed, of four swept over the side) got larded up with silly commenters–which is a flat shame. He wisely took action to ventilate, a good thing because in that comment string were people who wrote touching things like this.

“If I may leave a comment here with you as a wife of one of the CO’s that had an accident and lost command. Only with luck, no life was lost, only a career ended. But, that’s not the issue. The issue is that someone has to step in and do the job, which is a huge responsibility and one never taken lightly. Your ability to have reached the point in your career to take command means that you have been trained to the best of what had been available…but, that doesn’t mean that chance or fate has you in the wrong place at the wrong time.

My heart goes out to the families that lost a love one in this incident. Never forget them…never mean to call them, but don’t. Keep them close…they made the ultimate sacrifice and deserve to be a part of this special family called the Submarine Force.

The CO will always remember this even during tender times and I pray for him and his family to be able mourn for all that was lost with family and friends close by and that they never be forgotten either. That he get over quickly the ‘what if’s’.It was a chance of lifetime he was given. One for God and Country during this hostile time in our history. One that he knew all the foibles that go with command. Lest we forget we are at war with an unidentifiable enemy that doesn’t play by rules…and he and his crew were there to protect and defend us.

We’ve been able to move on, but, still work for the Defense of our country. Our whole family does now. That’s important, because the Sub Force gave us a chance to be a part of something that set the rules for life in our family. Centering on what’s important and being able to do something about it.

My favorite saying in that other life when a wife was worried her husband wasn’t going to make the next rate or rank, was “Stand beside and behind him. Never in front. Because he’ll find the way to make it all right and it’ll be okay.” So, we picked ourselves up…dusted ourselves off and moved on.

God love those that are the crazy nukes they are and may those at home love and hold tightly to every memory they make for when they are far away from home. One never knows what tomorrow will bring…

Thank you all that sign up…the Navy needs you…as do we all.

When you comment on current ops, please remember that families affected are reading, too, and those families sacrifice as much as yours do. Save it for the Islamists.

Now That’s A Crane

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:12 pm

I remember, if this is the one I’m thinking of, walking past this crane once. It was as big as it looks.

How big, you ask?

Try folding a thousand of THESE up, man...


January 21, 2007

Yon’s Latest Is Up

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:44 pm

I challenge you to think of anybody, outside of some good work in local newspapers being done for deployed folks from their region, who is writing anything like what Yon is doing now. Read the whole thing on this dispatch and tell me if you see anything like this on national press.

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