Karl Rove rants some inside baseball about the bailout vote, interesting because I have no idea how the game is played and it’s interesting to see who’s doing what.
September 29, 2008
Apparently you have to threaten to kill PJ O’Rourke these days to have him make the funny:
I have, of all the inglorious things, a malignant hemorrhoid. What color bracelet does one wear for that? And where does one wear it?
September 27, 2008
I would bet good money that more guys like this are rotting in Durham jails. I see a trendline…
Got injured. Minor, we think, but involved talking to some random medical professional while in a non-optional fetal position on the floor. Upshot involves heavy medication.
Geez, can’t even get a bourbon around here.
Via Insta, gripes about education versus indoctrination. I find myself in an odd position with respect to this situation; imagine a classroom of youngsters straight out of high school, and teachers who are, uh, with experience of ugly situations and very strong opinions about same. The good ones try very very hard to be as neutral as possible, and the marginal ones know the limits and stay within those. It provides a sense of lost opportunity when we don’t discuss certain things…but on the other hand the main thing must remain the main thing. If these guys can be excellent teachers without attempting indoctrination, why can’t those other guys?
You want something punk rock?
This right here is more punk rock than any adolescent with a Black Flag tattoo. This is Jonah Goldberg’s last book and the Fugazi bandleader’s kilted dancer bound together. This is dern near a reductio ad absurdum.
Howard Zinn talked about how Wobblies would travel from town to town getting arrested for publicly reciting the Declaration of Independence, that inflammatory tract. This little prank kind of feels a bit like it–notice the guy calling the cops in on the marchers halfway through, as a means of stopping the Bad Meme from displaying itself. So what if in the link here the point is heavy-handed–the marchers do have a point. Democracy must involve the ability to stand in the public square and say unpopular things. Seems to me some unpopular things are more equal than others. And no, I’m not endorsing either political side here; I’m endorsing free speech even if it isn’t the speech of those likely to get support from some free speech organizations.
September 26, 2008
If you haven’t been following this story, it’s still good news. A journalist in Yemen has been sprung out of a very nasty prison for the crime of committing actual journalism.
September 24, 2008
If you learned at the temple of Naval Reactors you might have missed out on nuclear reactors that aren’t pressurized water reactors. So here’s an interesting list of other reactor work, although the polywell research is too new to be on the list.
September 22, 2008
I’m noting this post by Rusty Shackleford–which involves a lot of dot-connecting–but I’m being careful to not comment on or advocate any of the candidates involved or even speculate whether Jawa’s right or not. I am, though, noting the difficulty in becoming aware of IW fires and identifying the source, even to just note what’s going on, much less to counterfire. This is a story I’ve been following for a couple of weeks now and measuring the anecdotal effect on various people and memes. This is one of those “read the whole thing” links; the general idea is that Shackleford, Patterico, Ace, Treacher et al have found what they think is an Internet version of those newsreels that picked “men on the street” based on who Hearst wanted elected for their movie or the flyers that arrive the day before the election saying things like “His sister’s a noted thespian”.
Watch this story for the next couple of days and things might get more interesting; there are connections to the Valerie Plame mess, for instance, and you’ll likely see some attempts to cover up and redirect thinking.
Bonus information fires question: Now how does this revealed method connect to how, say, Hezbollah does their IW? Why was this particular effect so apparently sloppily done (overconfidence? Other side planting fake evidence?) and how does that knowledge change how it’s done next time? What else is connected?
September 19, 2008
Via Bifurcated Rivets, a tutorial on what a leaf is. I recommend listening to Wire’s “Outdoor Miner” while looking at the page, since it’s the biggest hit song about a serpentine miner that I know of. Unless you prefer the ukulele version.
September 18, 2008
Curmudgeonly Rodge likes this five minute snippet of gun rights testimony. It’s definitely powerful.
September 17, 2008
Why is it that when you get a flag officer who somehow gets beyond having a flashing “12:00” on his VCR at home, they think a “blog” is a post or comment on a blog?
Paul used to be Saul. People have lots of different aspects that make them who they are, and the Salamander unearths his Maximum Rock’n’Roll roots to wax loquacious on his love for his bride and for the music of his youth.
Oh yeah: Used to be, youngsters, that there was an AM radio syndicate for 1940’s/1950’s tunes with the tagline “The Music Of Your Life.” Said tagline of which made me wonder what the station would be like when I was the old guy. Turns out they still don’t play the kind of music I like. But I digress.
Punk used to be hard to find. There was a Mafia-controlled record counterfeiting ring back in the day that resulted in a “parallel imports” law that shut down imported records. At that point, we lost the ability to easily walk into a record store and buy, for instance, the latest Throbbing Gristle from some tiny label from England. Even when you could score the good stuff–a term that resonates today a little too much after I found out the ragged-looking dude who owned a record store on Hillsborough Street and knew how to get Peter Gabriel bootleg records and every beach music record ever made actually died of a heroin overdose–only one or two guys had the good stuff. The kid down the street with the Elvis and Jesus Christ Superstar records somehow acquired The Decline Of Western Civilization and the first Dead Kennedys long player, and it was a huge and secret knowledge to share with all concerned. Nowadays the opposite is true; there’s so much music available at your fingertips, but the trouble is narrowing down and filtering out the dross to find something really good.
Salamander’s reminiscence is a bit like that. Take a look.
You Say That You Have Enjoyed My Stories For Years. Why Did You Wait Until You Disliked One Story Before Writing To Me?
This is pretty entertaining: a copy of the form letter supposedly sent out by Robert Heinlein while he was overloaded with incoming mail but still wanting to get work done. I do like the choices.
Pity my own email doesn’t go out with choices like that; but then again, I don’t think I could pull it off like Heinlein could. Especially the article reference to “You’re Not As Smart As You Should Be”…
September 12, 2008
I’m unable to spend much time here these days–and might have to put the blog dark in a few months when I move–but needed to take the time to mention a few impressions.
I mentioned what I was doing during 9/11 at work today. An airman sitting next to me said “I was in seventh grade, sir.” That’s who we’ve got in our military now: folks who were in sixth and seventh or even fifth grade when the citizen-warriors of Shanksville farmland and of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’s security department and of every fire and police department in New York City and of the new Pentagon wing died in service. A 17 year old enlistee was born in 1991. One of the babies who lost a parent in that attack is now in second grade, and by now the ice cream shop in town advertises Troofer garbage and polls like this indicate “no consensus on who caused 9/11”. And still airmen go to school, getting ready for SERE and deployment.
There was a hastily executed formation and moment of silence at work. It was a bit disorganized, because the timing was off–seems someone passed the word late and people had to scramble. I saw a lot of young folks whose world changed for them before junior high school, and older folks who gave up bigger salaries and prestige to come work with us. An Iraqi colleague was on travel, providing predeployment training. I talked to another colleague working with the Army folks who can’t be photographed lest someone back home figure out exactly who they’re working with and threaten their family still in country. Not an easy way to be.
Later that day I talked with a shipmate. “How’s it going?” “Hard!” It’s the middle of Ramadan, and being hungry focuses the mind in uncomfortable ways. My American officer colleague is training in a tough course prior to changing duty stations overseas, and the additional stress is nontrivial. He’s going to be leading those former seventh graders long after the Navy is done with me. I wish him well; he’s chosen a difficult path in his patriotic calling as well as in his faith. Both of us have irhabis to deal with in our future work apart and together. Better for it to be us than others, better there than here.
I missed St. Crispin’s day. I spent St. Crispin’s day wordsmithing and Power Pointing, a gentleman in DC now abed, a guy on 9/11 navigating a ship with no weapons save a rifle during what was to have been its last day underway, a guy with orders to detach in days to a staff.
But I’m still here, still dragging my carcass closer to some camp closer to Agincourt, an “old” man with new obligations and new colleagues and more distant memories of friends.