Peace through victory - the American way.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Words on Wednesday

There are two sides to every issue; often as not, one side is wrong.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Consumer Alert

After some thought, I've decided to consolidate my online writings into one blog. If you want to keep up with me, go to It's the blog I used to use for writing on space and space exploration only. I've decided to make it my general blog.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Stand By Your Man.

Last night in 24land, Karen Hayes stood by her man. Unfortunately for her husband, CTU chief Bill Buchanan, her man turns out to be the comatose President, not her husband. Enjoy your retirement in the federal pen, Bill.

The good news is Buchanan's departure means Secret Agent Hottie Pants, the sexy Muslim, Nadia, now heads CTU. Yes!

In related news, yesterday The San Diego Union Tribune devoted an entire page to profiling the Presidents of the United States of 24land since "24" first aired. (Here.) Jack Bauer's country has careened from one crisis to another. It's a wonder 24land hasn't already gone to full-scale war.

Which brings us to the other good news. Finally somebody worthy of wearing the Imperial Purple, Vice-President Powers Booth, is acting as President. Let's get ready to rumble!




Tuesday, April 17, 2007

All About The Benjamins.

California's taxpayers are paying millions of dollars to fund embryonic stem cell research. California lawmakers want to make sure whatever cures eventually come out of this taxpayer-funded research are offered at reasonable prices and that royalty payments come back to the state. You might think the embryonic stem cell researchers taking government money would go along. Out of gratitude, if for no other reason. You'd be wrong. (Here.)


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Consequences of Iraq War

Leftie surrender monkeys like to say that the war in Iraq has been counterproductive because it is a training ground for terrorists. Well, it turns out Iraq is teaching somebody else how to fight too: U.S. Marines.
"About 90 percent of these [boot camp] instructors are battle-tested. Many have multiple combat tours under their belts. Some have been wounded; some have received medals for valor. In short, they've been there and done that. ...

'The field training has changed dramatically since I joined in 1998,' said [Gunnery Sgt. Anthony] Loftus, the Marine Corps drill instructor of the year for 2006 and a two-tour veteran of the Iraq war. 'It is more combat-focused.'

For example, today's recruits are drilled more heavily on close-quarters shooting, which is suited to urban warfare, and on spotting improvised explosive devices, the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops in Iraq.

They also are getting more training in how to make ethical decisions on the battlefield and how to cope with military and civilian casualties. Commanders often mention the importance of junior Marines making the right decisions, particularly amid high-stress urban warfare in Iraq." (Here.)



Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Torture Or No Torture?

This Associated Press story describes the findings of a Red Cross report on treatment of terrorists detained and interrogated by the CIA in secret prisons. The terrorists were interviewed by the The Red Cross and given the opportunity to describe their conditions of confinement and the interrogation techniques employed on them.
"The Red Cross said the techniques reported by the 14 prisoners, including sleep deprivation and the use of forced standing and other 'stress positions,' were particularly harsh when used together. The prisoners were transferred from CIA custody to the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in September.
The CIA's detention methods were designed to make detainees more likely to talk during interrogation. Human rights organizations say the CIA's extreme detention conditions and its coercive questioning techniques constitute torture.
The report is the first independent accounting of the detainees' allegations against the CIA since its detention and interrogation program began in 2002." (Here.)
Notice anything that the detainees did not describe about the treatment they received? That's right, no allegations of real torture techniques, specifically, waterboarding.

Not to worry, the reporter helpfully inserts a description of the technique near the end of the story in a paragraph that confuses more than clarifies.
"Widely reported interrogation practices included openhanded slapping, induced hypothermia, sleep deprivation and – perhaps most controversially – waterboarding. In that technique, a detainee is made to feel he is drowning."
It's impossible to tell from this paragraph whether the detainees claimed these techniques were used against them, or if they are simply techniques that have been widely reported in the media and included in this story as a smear.


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Sunday, March 11, 2007


(1990 - 3/5/2007.)


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Netflix Deliveries Are Slow, Slow, Slow.

The delivery time for movies has really gotten bad. I've been a Netflix customer since October 2002. DVDs used to arrive at Netflix the day after I mailed them back and I'd get a new DVD the day after. No longer.

Now, it routinely takes 2-3 days for a DVD to arrive at Netflix's site. Last week I returned a movie on Friday, another on Saturday, and a third on Monday. All three arrived at Netflix on Wednesday. This is typical for me now. The shipping delay is becoming unacceptably long.

Here's part of the problem. The Netflix distribution sites are only open Monday through Friday. Yet the mail is delivered on Saturday. Think about that. Even the Post Office is open on Saturdays but Netflix isn't. What kind of American retail operation is closed on weekends? Netflix should be open on Saturdays to receive and ship DVDs. That they aren't is positively un-American.


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Monday, January 22, 2007

Jack Bauer's Black Sheep: Baa Baa Humbug.

Okay, 24 is now officially a joke.

The Cyborg Master of 24, who's been pulling major strings as a bad guy for two seasons now, turns out to be Jack's brother. The brother's wife still loves Jack. Her son is probably not her husband's but is instead her love child with Jack. As if these family dysfunctions weren't enough, Jack's estranged dad may be helping the terrorists.

Meanwhile, back at the White House, the President is in way over his head and his advisors spout insufferable speechettes that sound as if they were written by high school political science students.

On the plus side, Jack is completely out of control this season, and the Islamist Jihadis still have several nukes left and 19 hours left to blow them up real good.


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Sunday, January 21, 2007

TV Is King.

The new television season is starting up strong.

24 got things off to a fantastic start last week with four hours of non-stop action and thrills. In a concession to the real world this season's terrorists are Islamist Arabs, including a sleeper terrorist. Not to worry, however, previews for tomorrow's episode showed Jack pushing around one of the Cyborg Masters (sans bluetooth earpiece) from last season. The real villians of 24 may yet turn out to be white international businessmen pushing pawns around for megabucks.

And tonight, Battlestar Galactica returned. For the first time in a long while, the producers dropped their artistic and social commentary pretensions to give us a straightforward science fiction TV show about humans far away from Earth in great big cool spaceships fleeing from killer androids and robots. Thank the gods!


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Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Jack Bauer Neck Pinch.

Of all the ways 24's writers have devised for Jack Bauer to kill bad guys, tonight's Dracula imitation is the funniest. It was laugh out loud funny when Bauer, all tied up, strapped to a chair, and helpless, leaned over, bit a hapless terrorist in the neck, lifted a key from the guard's dead body, and freed himself. Bauer's escape was truly worthy of 24's status as an adult version of the old Saturday morning serial.


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Friday, December 29, 2006

Look Out Satan, Here Comes Saddam!

According to Al Jazeera unconfirmed reports out of Iraq claim that Saddam Hussein has been executed. (Here.) Sweet! Congratulations to the Iraqi people on doing with their former dictator what a farcical UN tribunal was unable to do with Slobodan Milosevic: mete out swift and appropriate justice.

This has been a good week for America and our allies and a bad week for our enemies. Ethiopia routs the Islamists in Somalia and Iraq executes the Butcher of Baghdad. Maybe these are signs of hope for better times in 2007.


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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

No Way For Padres To Pass LaRussa In 2007 Playoffs.

The San Diego Padres can't get past Tony LaRussa in the playoffs. At the recent season-ticket holder's rally, Padres management implored the fans to withhold judgment for now. Both Sandy Alderson and Kevin Towers pointed out that the core players who led the Padres to victory in 2006 didn't join the team in trades and free-agent signings until January.

With that in mind, Towers better have some blockbuster deals in the pipeline. Today's San Diego Union-Tribune has an article that floats a trial balloon about that has Termel Sledge starting in left field and batting leadoff. (Here.) So much for going after a power-hitting outfielder.

This is the lineup that's supposed to get the Padres past LaRussa and the first round of the playoffs:

1. Termel Sledge, LF
2. Marcus Giles, 2B
3. Brian Giles, RF
4. Adrian Gonzales, 1B
5. Mike Cameron, CF
6. Kevin Kouzmanoff or Russell Branyan, 3B
7. Josh Bard, C
8. Khalil Greene, SS

This trial balloon won't fly.

Sledge may have success in the minor leagues as a leadoff hitter but he hasn't duplicated that success against major league pitching. Moreover, what the Padres really need in the lineup is a right-handed power-hitting outfielder. Alderson admitted as much at the season-ticket holder rally last month.

Marcus Giles is fine batting second but his brother is no longer a number 3 hitter. He doesn't drive the ball the way he used to and he doesn't move people along on the bases. He takes lots of walks and is an OBP machine. He should be leading off.

Gonzalez does not have the homerun pop to bat fourth but on this team no player does. If the Padres did what is necessary and went out to get a true homerun hitter, Gonzalez would be batting third.

Cameron, Kouzmanoff/Branyan and Bard are fine where they are. Greene belongs batting eighth, if for no other reason than he can't be relied upon to play an entire season. No sense putting him up in the meat of the order and really missing his bat when he inevitably goes down for a month or so. Fortunately, we've still got Geoff Blum to step in and play major league shortstop.

This team is shaping up as a disappointment. There are some really good players on the team but there are still plenty of question marks. First among them is why isn't the team spending the money management said had been freed up to sign a star performer. Instead we get rumors of interest in yesterday's superstars like Randy Johnson and David Wells. Given the Padres track record, I'm predicting that Sammy Sosa will be starting in left field and batting cleanup when the season begins.


Republished once for editing.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

How Far Should We Go In Fighting Islamism At Home?

Daniel Pipes recently blogged about a survey of the attitudes of some American Muslims who attended an Islamic conference. (Here.) The question below and its subparts elicited strong negative answers, as the numbers reveal.

It would be interesting to poll the Democratic Party's leadership for their answers.
15. Is it justifiable for the U.S. government to do any of the following in an attempt to prevent terrorist attacks in America:

a. taking religion and ethnicity into account as one factor when deciding whom to interview and search at airports?
Yes 37
No 258
Undecided 12

b. monitoring activities at American mosques?
Yes 43
No 255
Undecided 9

c. listening to phone calls of people in America whom the government claims are connected in some way with Al Qaeda?
Yes 64
No 232
Undecided 11

d. having an informer pretend to support or encourage violence against America, to see if the targeted Muslims will decide to attack American targets?
Yes 35
No 258
Undecided 14

e. monitoring Muslim charities in America, in the hopes of preventing funding for possible terrorist attacks?
Yes 52
No 242
Undecided 13

f. focusing Immigration & Customs Enforcement resources on deporting Muslim illegal aliens, who have not been convicted of terrorism, in the hopes of disrupting possible Al Qaeda attacks?
Yes 29
No 263
Undecided 15

g. allowing Muslim illegal aliens to stay in America if they agree to work as informants, monitoring the Muslim community for the government?
Yes 21
No 277
Undecided 9

h. torturing suspected Al Qaeda members to get information about possible planned attacks?
Yes 14
No 278
Undecided 15
I would answer "yes" to each subpart, except "h."


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War? What War?

The Democratic Party has a survey at that asks voters how they feel about the Dims' plans when they officially take over the Congress. (Here.) The survey has to be seen to be believed.

There are 9 questions and 8 are about domestic concerns such as the minimum wage, health care, oil prices, spending, education, etc., etc., ect. There is one question about the war that asks voters whether they agree with the Dims' plan to enact all the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

Here's what that priceless question says: "Ensuring the safety and security of America requires that we implement the recommendations of the independent, bipartisan 9/11 Commission. We will move quickly to implement the Commission’s recommendations."

I feel safer already. And more secure.

The survey has a space at the end for personal comments. Here's mine:
"Hey, how about supporting pro-active measures in fighting the war on Islamist Jihad. This 9/11 commission stuff is all about being defensive. The only way we can beat these guys is by keeping them off balance by being on the attack. Support aggressive actions in surveillance, in disrupting financing, in undermining regimes that support terrorsts, like Syria's and Iran's and others, support the classification of captured foreign terrorists as illegal enemy combatants triable in special military commissions, stop the focus on getting the troops out of Iraq and change the focus to supporting the mission of the troops and demanding that the administration do whatever it takes to achieve victory. In other words, get serious about fighting our enemy. Do all that, and I could care less what you do on the less important domestic issues."
Not holding my breath.


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