June 30, 2007

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:59 am

Oh, so that’s how the Internets work.

(h/t BoingBoing)

We Lost A Giant

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:07 am

Sailor, rest your oar.

Here’s a photo of then-RADM Fluckey (on the left), who was SUBPAC when this photo was taken. It was a decade after he earned four Navy Crosses and the Medal of Honor commanding USS Barb, the only ship to invade the Japanese mainland in World War Two, the first submarine to launch ballistic missiles in war (rockets he stole from the depot), the first to attack convoys from the stern, the Galloping Ghost of the China Coast. It was years after his command of a tender, command of Submarine Flotilla Seven immediately after the war. But there is a truly vital man, adapting to the Cold War, nuclear powered submarines, ballistic missile submarines.

RADM Fluckey, on left

A true hero has just gone on eternal patrol.

(Thanks to Bubblehead for passing the word.)

June 29, 2007

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:31 am

Ace has the links: New York Times is caught being rather, uh, nuanced, mischaracterizing the travails of the subjects of Evan Maloney’s movie in the process. Brain Terminal’s got a rebuttal.

Signs Of The Approaching Apocalypse

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:58 am

Those of a certain age who know, know. The movie High Fidelity wasn’t that far off from the record store stereotype.

I played hooky on leave and went to some record stores–you know the type; smells vaguely of bad incense, The Only Acceptable Political Statements up on the wall, lots of bizarre music, lots of youngsters nonconforming in exactly the same way (hey, nice tat there!).

First store: I go in and ask for a certain record, because I found this one and they’re in that band there, and it sounds like X. After a few minutes the one guy calls over the gal at the counter, and they start asking questions. Then they exclaim that I’m really cool! What record should I get that sounds like this?

Second store: I walk in and they have a Slint record, and I mention my love of things Slint; owner, after a few minutes, asks if I could join his team because they’ve got a music trivia competition coming up.


June 28, 2007

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:32 pm

Via Hot Air, a high school’s observatory gets a cool shot of the international space station from the ground.

Truer Words Were Never Spoken Today

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:59 pm

Check out today’s Achewood and look below the comic for the “current kid status”.

June 27, 2007

Finally, An Information Fire I Can Get Behind

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:17 pm

I agree with my friend who thought ‘war on takfirism’ was better than ‘war on terror’. This would have been more effective six years ago, but better there than not:

Visiting an Islamic mosque on Washington’s Embassy Row, President Bush delivered a strongly worded denunciation today of Muslim radicals and said he would appoint for the first time a U.S. representative to a major international Islamic organization.

Drawing a distinction between moderation in the practice of Islam and those seeking to use the faith for what he described as radical political ends, the president said “it is these radicals who are Islam’s true enemy.”

June 26, 2007

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:35 pm

I think I’ve just found Bubblehead‘s new car. Here’s the specs, too.

Update: Man, those nukes. He actually wanted the link to work!

Some people.

Unclear On The Concept

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:59 pm

You know, I’d get more exercised about the Dems getting the wrong country’s military in their website photos except that the California GOP’s got an illegal immigrant finance chief and a political director from Canada on a visa

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:50 pm

American Future provides a link to seven hundred and three pages of badly xeroxed CIA docs. This should be interesting reading and a counterpart to this history of intelligence directors by Carter-era CIA director Stansfield Turner.

I have yet to find a good book or article that discusses the when of clandestine and covert operations, as in what the pros and cons are of various actions and what the general principles might be from analysis. Turner’s book suggests that there is a strong need for it–even if only to describe why one group might think one thing and another something different–and at the very least a good monograph might illuminate why more secret is sometimes more stupid.

Filed under: — Chap @ 9:07 pm

Navy Wife Radio (9 PM tonight; details here) found a cute webcomic (also in Stars and Stripes) that I’d not seen before: “Jenny The Military Spouse“. Air Force-centric but cute indeed.

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:58 am

Tim Blair points out that some things never change.

Guess I’ll Put Half A Marker Down Here And See If I’m Wrong

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:45 am

Hey, now the IRGC is sending helicopters worth of soldiers into Iraq, coincidentally at a time Iran is spoiling for a fight with somebody! And Israel, depending on who you talk to, is expecting to be attacked by anywhere from zero to five adversaries at once!

Any guesses as to the over-under for Grand Regional Conflagration in, say, one to eight months?

Filed under: — Chap @ 5:19 am

Another example for the Skippy file–a lieutenant griping to a senator in print. I guess this is the next step in how things are done these days.

I think to be consistent I should also argue against using rank for access here–but there’s not much rank for access; I think the rank is in this case more ‘standing’ than ‘access’.

June 25, 2007

I Don’t See Much Action With Reference To Chapter 63 Either

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:54 am

Sure seems to me that the arguments put here against Ayaan Hirsi Ali sound a lot like those of the addressees of the Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

I Had No Idea

Filed under: — Chap @ 2:54 am

Keola Beamer, descendant of Hawaiian royalty but best known for being a best-selling slack key guitarist, has an ugly secret. He says “The therapy has failed…”

Pink beefy temptress
I can no longer remain

June 23, 2007

Good Bad Timing

Filed under: — Chap @ 7:19 pm

Hot on the heels of Daily Pundit’s essay about men volunteering

Perhaps men are merely acting rationally. They’ve assessed the risk of volunteering to work with children, and want no part of it. If so, that’s why BB-BS [Big Brothers-Big Sisters] rates of male participation are well below national averages, which include volunteering that doesn’t involve children.

comes a story that underlines what DP’s talking about, in emotional content and life risk if not exactly the same situation.

A 48-year-old Narragansett man has been charged with raping someone 32 years ago when both he and the alleged victim were 16 years old, the attorney general’s office said this week.

Stone [defense lawyer] said Allen [the defendant, who has his name and home address in the paper] is now married, has two children who are high school age or older, and has never faced any criminal charges before — not even a traffic offense. “He was shocked,” Stone said. “He says they never had intercourse — willing, unwilling or otherwise.”

I Hope The Idea Spreads

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:57 am

Statehood, baby. It’s a very good deal. I even looked into it once and it checks out. Right there in the Constitution and everything.

Tom Barnett is asking how a 51st state could come about. I don’t think it’s a question of 51st so much as getting a group of different countries who are interested, as well as the US, in doing so; create the environment and add time, and we might see such a change.

I’ve added a comment to his post and will recycle it below. I have a surprising thought about what a potential 51st could be…

Thanks for pushing this idea. You might say it’s a pet rock of mine by now.

I think you’re right that if you get a 51st then others follow more quickly. Perhaps thinking about it a little more in terms of strategic environment, rather than country by country, would be useful. My library trips taught me that countries often spent a long time (decades) getting to the point where both the country or territory’s governments both passed legislation agreeing to statehood at the same time. Given the slow nature of the process on occasion, and the lack of any really in process right now, then I am betting there is likely to be a cluster of new states at once or no new states, nothing in between. The defense umbrella we have right now also is an inhibitor to the statehood process because countries perceive the benefits of our protective umbrella without being a state.

My dark horse vote? South Sudan, who can constitutionally secede in 2011 from Sudan and is stable enough due partially to the first genocide there. All you’d need is a good core of interested people in both the US and South Sudan.

My guess at some other possibilities:
–Latin American states: Your friend at Harvard knows more than me on that. I defer to his expertise.
–Mexico: They’ve lost territory to us before, and are potentially unstable enough to have another region try to leave, but multiculturalism and the rise of the reconquista meme protect against it. Might be worth watching. Might be interesting to game how we might wind up with, say, Oaxaca (I don’t think Baja’s going to leave because they’ve changed some of their government so the Americans will retire there).
–Former satellites: Some Eastern European countries would be interested, but the first one of those countries would have to break a meme. EU is a competitor, and I wrote that paper thinking a country’s EU accession would be improved even if they just considered statehood to improve the conditions of accession to the EU.
–Puerto Rico: Friend of mine did a thesis proving that the territory has the best of all worlds politically: American citizenship, billions of dollars in aid, in the defense umbrella, state-level low barriers to trade, and they still get the ability to complain about the Yanquis. Because of the stability of that position I don’t expect much change for a while.
–African countries: It’s possible that one of the countries–or regions, like South Sudan–might go for that kind of deal. The first barrier to entry would be getting the expat community and leadership interested in the concept.
–Asian countries: I think the language barrier and closeness to China and Russia and India make that more hard than less. Saipan is happy where it is; Fiji’s not likely to be a candidate; the ‘stans I’d put in the “very hard” category.
–Middle East: I don’t see it.
–Canada: They’re trending more stable than less but if Quebec goes than maybe the folks in Halifax will decide they want to change. Unlikely.

Anyhow, my two cents. Next question: who’s going to make such things happen?

Good Things Don’t Come In Threes

Filed under: — Chap @ 3:45 am

No letter yet, but got an email from the college secretary saying there’s no room at the inn for me this year for the doctoral program I was interested in. I’m a bit disappointed, but considering the other two big changes I was concerned about (kid, career), this one is able to be reattacked later. Plus, if I were to get two out of three then this would have been the least of the three, clearly.

Filed under: — Chap @ 12:26 am

If this gets through, LGF’s going to have to change their standard punchline in some of the posts.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to prohibit any aid to Saudi Arabia as lawmakers accused the close ally of religious intolerance and bankrolling terrorist organizations.

The prohibition, reflecting persistent tensions with the kingdom after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, was attached to a foreign aid funding bill for next year that has not yet been debated by the Senate.

It also faces a veto threat from the White House because of an unrelated provision.

This is likely going to be popular, but I don’t know enough about where the money goes and why to make a good case about it either way. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Somewhere I feel it’s useful to point out “one year of aid is a gift, three is an entitlement”, but not sure where.

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