Dude hasn’t even started writing yet and already the comments are getting high order evocative. I’m getting the popcorn.
May 31, 2009
May 30, 2009
Michael Totten’s been on a roll lately. Here’s his Commentary article on what he calls “the mother of all myths“.
Good on Blunoz for putting these results out. I see some shipmates on there–congrats!
May 29, 2009
- Oog. Harsh: Woman’s inhumanity to woman. Cultures clashing get mentioned.
- Claudia Rosett was in Tiananmen 20 years ago.
- Jailed for a Tweet.
- Michael Totten is listening to some guys who get it, and asking about whither Iraq.
- Painful pun of the day.
- I met the head Jawa in London courtesy of a heads up from CDR Salamander, but I did not steal his action figure.
May 28, 2009
Now the work starts. Met a lot of people, had some experiences I’m not mentioning here. Did read an interesting article by Ian Buruma, though.
Still busy, still without much connectivity. Will post when able.
May 25, 2009
CDR Salamander reprints an old Proceedings column that absolutely incensed some people back in the day. I remember the stink raised by that article.
The parody, while still clunky and awkward, is closer to the bone now than it was then. Although they’d never name a major ship the USS Boorda; those names are reserved for politicians and appropriators these days. Fish don’t vote and sailors don’t allocate money, y’know.
An Observation, Having Rather Recently Had The Opportunity To Be In A Rather Deserty Area, Albeit With Much Luxury
You know, it’s rather warm here.
Still traveling, working a little, too.
May 23, 2009
In a bombshell report published Saturday, the German weekly Der Spiegel says the investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is moving toward the conclusion that the Shiite militia Hezbollah was behind the attack.
Based entirely on an unnamed source or sources, the Spiegel report said Lebanese investigators monitoring cellphone usage in the vicinity of the car-bomb explosion that killed Hariri lucked into a breakthrough discovery.
According to the report, the cellphones were used exclusively for phone calls among the alleged assassins except for one instance when one of the suspects used a phone to call his girlfriend.
From that single call, investigators figured out the name of the operative. Allegedly, he was Abdul Majid Ghamlush, described as an Iranian-trained agent who belongs to a “special forces” unit of Hezbollah, according to the report, which then goes on to link him to higher-ups in Hezbollah, including a commander named Hajj Salim.
OPSEC’ll kill you if you’re not careful.
I do enjoy seeing Ezra Levant on a tear. Below is a snippet from a longer speech he did, where among other things he entertainingly tramples the hatemonger Richard Warman.
Ralph Peters interviews General Petraeus. Worth reading the whole thing.
May 22, 2009
Out of the country, trying to arrive at the new duty station. Might be a while before I get back online. There are a couple of scheduled posts but not much. Back next week maybe?
May 21, 2009
May 20, 2009
Someone says the ‘f’ word over at American Thinker. Two hundred comments and rising, if you want a good argument…
May 19, 2009
I recently read the retrospective book on SPY magazine, a periodical I very much enjoyed in the days before Google and Internet Explorer. One of the first articles they put in the book surprised me; I had forgotten how casually, entertainingly mean the magazine was towards those the magazine wanted to pillory. I find I miss that mix of entertaining, heavily researched, and casually vicious style.
I think R.S. McCain is blogging in that spirit (today’s example: “Counterintuitive is the new stupid“, and his utter squashing of yearling politico Meghan McCain (no relation) and related pundits who disagree with him. R.S. McCain is definitely not a SPY-like NYC journo lefty but is drawing from the same well of snark. I don’t always agree with the guy, mind you, which makes his blog even more fun to read.
I await his next equivalent to “short fingered vulgarian“, while noting that Trump outlasted SPY…
Two out of the three themes or Burkett’s book are popping up this week. This time, it’s not Vietnam vets getting slagged but the current generation of vets. Theme one: stereotyping vets as unstable powder kegs just ready to blow, when they aren’t being helpless children needing our coddling. Theme two: Impostors using a fake military affiilation to garner social status and pretend to be honorable people.
Theme three, criminals and ne’er-do-wells using fake or unethically enhanced veteran status to evade proper punishment for bad behavior and getting away with it, will show up later this week, I’m sure.
May 18, 2009
I think Jeff Goldstein’s got a point here (and a similar point is made with video here). I’ve been in conversations where the barrage of assertions that would each take ten minutes to address shut down any useful conversation. The only way to deal with it that isn’t disengagement from the discussion is to confront it head on and deny the power relationship offered in that conversation.
What Ingraham manages to do here — from a refusal to let lies pass unchecked to a refusal to let her debate opponent filibuster and put her on the defensive — is perfect: her opponent, disarmed of her arsenal of cheap progressive debate tricks, is left trying to defend arguments that have been laid thoroughly bare; and when you are trying to make the case for “tolerance,” as was Ms Feldt, you come off looking transparently disingenuous when your attempts to malign anyone who doesn’t accept your point of view is all that remains once the rhetorical flourishes have been countered.
Ingraham managed to show that “tolerance,” to progressives like Ms Feldt, is antithetical to the kind of tolerance one traditionally associates with free speech.
She won the argument on the merits by not allowing Ms Feldt to frame the debate nor to put her on the defensive.
I just spent a couple of weeks in a military school environment where the lecturers built the frame for the students. The frame was factually correct and led to wrong conclusions simultaneously; the discussion in the event was designed to educate a group of officers new to the subject in culture and history–a history that was much different than the one I know about. It was not possible to change the frame there, but perhaps I got my point across by being unreasonable in public…again.
I’m really getting tired of having to be the one loud SOB in the room telling the instructors they’re full of it. But ecce si muovo, dang it!
May 17, 2009
Oh, this looks good.
…”And what’s the topic?”
“Oh, it’s a good one. I think you’ll really like it.” She paused. “America.”
America? What could I possibly teach this esteemed group about America? Then I remembered what one of my mentors, Bill Lazier, told me about effective teaching: Don’t try to come up with the right answers; focus on coming up with good questions.
I pondered and puzzled and finally settled upon the question: Is America renewing its greatness, or is America dangerously on the cusp of falling from great to good? While I intended the question to be rhetorical (I believe America carries a responsibility to continuously renew itself, and it has met that responsibility throughout its history), the West Point gathering nonetheless erupted into an intense debate. Half of the participants argued that America stands as strong as ever, while the other half contended that America teeters on the edge of decline.
History shows, repeatedly, that the mighty can fall. The Egyptian Old Kingdom, the Chou Dynasty, the Hittite Empire—all fell. Athens fell. Rome fell. Even Britain, which stood a century before as a global superpower, saw its position erode. Is that the U.S.’s fate? Or will America always find a way to meet Lincoln’s challenge to be the last best hope of Earth?
At a break, the chief executive of one of America’s most successful companies pulled me aside. “I’ve been thinking about your question in the context of my company all morning,” he said. “We’ve had tremendous success in recent years, and I worry about that. So what I want to know is: How would you know?”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“When you are at the top of the world, the most powerful nation on Earth, the most successful company in your industry, the best player in your game, your very power and success might cover up the fact that you’re already on the path of decline.” That question—how would you know?—captured my imagination and became part of the inspiration for this book.