August 23, 2008


Filed under: — Chap @ 11:49 pm

Here! Eating sardines!

Sailfish picture from

All The Aging Hipsters Have Migrated To Kid’s TV, I Guess

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:39 pm

Oh, man. I remember this song from a while back–the song was just numbers, read by a computer, and a combination of speed metal and 60’s easy strings. Now they have little kids yelling the numbers, and they’re playing it on a kid’s show.

I was wondering where today you might see things like the famous Patti Smith playing “You Light Up My Life”, or the Smiths on the schoolbus with the kiddies, or the Ramones playing kid’s shows might happen today. I guess Yo Gabba Gabba is the place.

But the show can really mess you up. Don’t click on this unless you’re stronger than me, just click the Cornelius link above…

Yo Gabba Gabba! from Kidrobot on Vimeo.

Praise Where Due

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:15 pm

Laura Cantrell, no slacker country singer she, has a rant about women in music. Perhaps her point is overemphasized–Wanda Jackson’s cool, yah, but about Charlie Feathers-level not Beatles-level–but Cantrell does have a point.

Plus, any time you have Sister Rosetta Tharpe wailing on electric and you have a good time right there.

Snark Of The Day

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:08 pm

If you noticed the slavering support of a presidential candidate from a particular radio host, this will make perfect sense.

Blueprints For The Splodeydope Factory Requested

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:07 pm

Norm Geras’ critique of the Guardian is interesting, but his discussion of MI5’s report on the origins and demographics of terrorism is I think more important. Worth a read.

On the front page of this morning's Guardian are the details of an MI5 document about the background factors leading individuals into involvement in terrorist activity. It is based on case studies of several hundred people and it concludes that there is no typical profile of the British terrorist. Those who become involved have different attitudes to religion and are ethnically diverse; they are mostly male and in their 20s, but women and people over 30 are also drawn in; there are different familial circumstances and different levels of educational achievement amongst those covered by the study. In sum:

[T]he research has revealed that those who become terrorists "are a diverse collection of individuals, fitting no single demographic profile, nor do they all follow a typical pathway to violent extremism".

A somewhat improbable comparison suggests itself to me. I'm thinking of the research that has been done on rescuers in Nazi Europe. Of course, that research was looking for common factors that might have influenced people to put themselves at risk to save the lives of others, whereas the MI5 research is into those willing to contemplate murder for political ends. But bear with me.

There was no typical pathway to rescue, no typical rescuer profile. The research on this subject indicates that class, gender, political affiliation, religious affiliation, family background and situational factors were only weakly correlated with rescue activity, if at all. Rescuers came from all sectors of the population. The one, the only, really strong correlation was with the moral beliefs held by rescuers and cited by them as their reason for having acted as they did: these were universalist beliefs in the value of human life and in the prohibition against killing the innocent. Some rescuers articulated such beliefs in religious terms, others in secular humanist ones. But it is a common thread running throughout rescuer testimony. Obvious enough, one might think. Here were people acting in dangerous circumstances, people of strong moral commitment and character. They made a choice in the light of their most important beliefs – rather than merely acting on an impulsion supplied by one background sociological factor or another.

There’s something useful in there to consider.

Totten In Tiblisi

Filed under: — Chap @ 11:01 pm

I don’t know who else is writing stuff like Michael Totten is nowadays, but we’ve got the man reporting from Tiblisi. Good description of what he’s seeing in the area.

Baldilocks Is Stirring Up Trouble Again!

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:59 pm

This woman just didn’t want to retire quietly. I’ve enjoyed her presence in the blogosphere, I know she’s making things better in her neighborhood, and now this bit of charity. Pretty interesting. Go, comrade, go!

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:55 pm

There’s a new Howard Zinn comic book out. There’s use to some of Zinn’s work, but I ain’t too fond of it myself–would prefer to stop at his autobiography, and keep the hugely popular “America as seen by everyone who might have gotten shafted” history from being the primary text of generations of students. Which is why I like seeing this guy complaining about Zinn.

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:43 pm

I guess those big reporter school college loans ain’t working out for some people.

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:42 pm

This Washington Times article on McCain and the surge is of interest. It’s pretty sympathetic to McCain, and so grains of salt may be required. On the other hand, who exactly was it that changed the president’s mind on a surge?

Power Point Of The Day

Filed under: — Chap @ 10:40 pm

I vote for “meh”.

August 22, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:22 pm

This sounds about right, but sure would be nice to annoy those guys like they annoy me…

Yesterday, a federal district court permanently enjoined the State of Arizona from prosecuting Dan Frazier, a man who sells “Bush Lied — They Died” t-shirts which list the names of 3,461 soldiers who died in Iraq. The order also enjoins private citizens from suing him under a state-created cause of action for selling the t-shirts.

Filed under: — Chap @ 4:17 pm

Oh my word, I’ve found Reverend Billy C. Wirtz. I remember this guy since back when he was in the Christian Wrestling Alliance. The song “Roberta” is genius work…

August 19, 2008

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:41 pm

The other day I saw someone’s writing about the Hero, as described by John Campbell.

I think I’ll take my heroes to mean different things. This guy does:

What does a father tell a son going off to war? In addition to some of my own father’s counsel to me, I felt compelled to share advice much more difficult to convey. It was advice my father never needed to share with me, or, for that matter, his father with him — because what had to be said to my son had not been an issue in America’s previous wars.

What I told James related to the nature of the enemy and the evil we are fighting today. I had to counsel him that we are fighting an enemy unequaled in its brutality and barbarity; that no American soldier taken captive by this enemy has returned alive; that once their remains were found, their condition attested to the terrible price these soldiers ultimately paid; that they were victims of sadistic torture, mutilation and decapitation. I had to counsel him that, if he is faced with capture by this enemy, surrender is not an option.

It was not easy advice for a father to give, but knowing the atrocities of which this enemy has proved capable, it was a father’s love that compelled me to do so.

And yeah, that author’s name should remind you of something.

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:38 pm

UCLA has an interesting set of language tool searches. I don’t know how useful it is for you, but it did show some good tools for the languages I currently need.

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:35 pm

Need something pretty to look at? How about a very slow motion lightning strike?

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:29 pm

This? This is not effective gun control.

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:26 pm

A Marine with a sense of humor is a wonderful thing. Put him in China and it’s funny as long as you’re not the one under the tanks.

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:25 pm

A nerd of a certain age might find this TV show interesting. I don’t…mainly because I don’t have a spare hour to watch it. But here it is.

Apparently We Bought Too Small A Dress For Georgia To Wear And Therefore It’s Our Fault

Filed under: — Chap @ 6:16 pm

I’m in pretty strong disagreement with Enrevanche here at this post (my position is more like this take). Buchanan just put out a risible book blaming WWII on Churchill and those evil Allies; this is merely an extension of same.

Kevin Drum, a guy who I don’t always agree with, said something useful:

I’ve read variations on this theme about a hundred times now, and I really feel like some pushback is in order. The idea that we somehow prompted Mikheil Saakashvili to undertake his invasion of South Ossetia last week just doesn’t bear scrutiny.

Look: Saakashvili came to power on a Georgian nationalist platform of recovering Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He’s been jonesing for an excuse to send troops in for years, regardless of anything the U.S. did or didn’t do. Likewise, Putin has been eagerly waiting for an excuse to pound the crap out of him in return — again, regardless of anything the U.S. did or didn’t do. (You don’t think Russia was able to mount a highly precise counterattack within 24 hours just by coincidence, do you?)

Now sure, in general, Kosovo + missile shield + NATO enlargement + resurgent Russian nationalism formed the background for this war, and maybe the U.S. has played a bad hand on this score. But Bush administration officials have said for months (i.e., before the war started, meaning this isn’t just post hoc ass covering) that they’ve urged Saakashvili to stay cool. And I believe them. What else would they do, after all? There was never any chance that we were going to provide Georgia with military help in case of a Russian invasion, and it’s improbable in the extreme that anyone on our side said anything to suggest otherwise.

We did screw up in a couple of places; for instance:

  1. we publicly announced we were pulling out of the Med

    Less than a year ago, the 6th Fleet Commander declared that we no longer needed naval forces in the Mediterranean. Just after his tour finished, the Russians deployed into the North Atlantic and the Med. I’ll bet you a vodka martini on the rocks with six olives at the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton lobby bar that Moscow read his remarks before deciding to deploy. C6FLT presented the North Sea Fleet commander an intellectual and geostrategic gap of historic proportions that was too good to pass up.

  2. …and in a masterpiece of screwing up information flow much less information warfare, the feckless Broadcasting Board of Governors turned off VOA ten days before the initial attack. (I’m not impressed by the BBG, from their counterproductive efforts into Iran to the, uh, hard hitting Radio Sawa instead of Radio Free Sharq-Al-Awsat. Let’s make BBG go away by reverting to what we used to do.)

So yeah, we’ve some some stupid stuff here. Pat Buchanan, however, is still an anti-Semitic, quasi-isolationist annoyance who should be avoided when he spouts how things are all our fault.

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