May 30, 2008
— Ace Another victory for the crafty al-Sadr, I'm sure, even though this involves Sunnis well outside of his former bases of operation in Basra and Sadr City.
Damnit, this is awesome.
School teacher Raad Mohammed Mahdi used to take on another role after classes: foot soldier in the Sunni insurgency north of Baghdad.
He grew weary of his double life last year and wanted to lay down his arms. The problem was he didn't know how to surrender formally without facing possible jail time.
Last week, Mahdi entered a U.S. military base and signed a form that amounts to a personal truce. More than 140 other men came the next day after learning that soldiers did not detain Mahdi, whose late brother was an insurgent leader.
It marked some of the first steps in a new U.S.-Iraqi program to offer a way out for those who renounce violence part of widening attempts at national reconciliation as sectarian violence shows signs of easing.
The latest offer promises a clean slate for fighters if they claim their only targets were American troops. It also pledges a "fair" legal process for those wanted for attacks on Iraqis troops or civilians.
Since the program was expanded this month to Sunni areas near Balad, more than 300 men have surrendered. Most have been released, although 76 were given a court date to face Iraqi charges.
Mahdi was one of the first to take up the offer. On May 21, he signed a cease-fire agreement and pledged to follow Iraqi laws.
"We are tired of raids. We want to protect our area by ourselves," the 31-year-old teacher said during a recent interview at the base in Balad, a mostly Shiite city near a major U.S. air base about 50 miles north of Baghdad.
"The policy of the American forces has changed. Now the American forces are on the right track. We have trust in them," he said.
Not all agree. Some men have refused to participate, saying they feared the Americans and the Iraqis would use the written pledge against them.
U.S. and Iraqi officials, however, are hopeful that the program will stem support for the insurgency by giving former fighters an exit.
"There are a lot of guys who kept fighting simply because they didn't have an out," said Lt. Col. Bob McCarthy, commander of the 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment that operates in the Balad area. "At the end of the day, if they've quit fighting we've got to figure out how to let them move forward."
True, the imperative of justice would demand more from these people than a truce. But peace is usually won by relaxing on the demands for justice.
If this continues, there'll be a lot fewer fresh American (and Iraqi) dead, which is a kind of solace for those already killed.
— Ace A story from Snopes you have to read, though you'll regret doing so for the rest of the week.
It's the same old story you've heard a million times before -- man wants to masturbate in a machine-shop by holding his penis against the canvas drive-belt (!) of a heavy piece of floor machinery, man's scrotum gets caught in the works, man's left testis gets ripped out, man staples his sack together with, well, eight heavy-duty staples (which by the way were rusty), man waits three days before seeking medical treatment that doesn't involve an industrial staple gun.
It's actually worse when you read the clinical medical write up-- I don't know what "avulsed" means, but my use of "context clues" in this sentence...
"His left testis had been avulsed and was missing."
...tells me it's not anything good.
The really surprising thing? That man's name -- Scott McClellan.
Thanks to tmi3rd.
— Ace Because you don't want to jinx it. more...
— Ace "Miserable creatures:"
"There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who dont have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues," Dole wrote in a message sent yesterday morning. "No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique."
"In my nearly 36 years of public service I've known of a few like you," Dole writes, recounting his years representing Kansas in the House and Senate. "No doubt you will 'clean up' as the liberal anti-Bush press will promote your belated concerns with wild enthusiasm. When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, 'Biting The Hand That Fed Me.' Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years"
Dole assures McClellan that he won't read the book -- "because if all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high profile job"
He signs the email simply: "BOB DOLE"
Dole explains the reasons for the email here, and they are, sadly, personal. He keeps using the word "turncoat" which really undermines his point, because it suggests (without intending that suggestion) that Scott McClellan's crime is telling true tales out of school. Where in fact Dole's real beef is that he's lying.
Not that he's disloyal, but dishonest.
McClellan's claims are self-refuting. His offers up his integrity to establish his claims are true -- but if he in fact had the integrity he claims as his offer of proof, he would have resigned not terribly long into his tenure. So he comes to us now, inadvertently confessing his own lack of integrity or honor, and asks us to believe him.
McClellan didn't need to write a book indicting the Bush Administration. His own three year post as WH spokesman -- an ineffectual, bumbling fool and milquetoast who even managed to make the WH press corps look omnicompetent by comparison -- is a much greater indictment.
He was supposed to project authority and competence. Instead he projected weakness, confusion, and ineptitude. Having been stupidly promoted far above his abilities and exposed as the feckless incompetent that he is, his job prospects for serving as the spokesman for anything loftier than a regional tire distributor are pretty dim. This is his last, best chance to make serious coin.
And to answer Allah's question: Yes, the fact that he was paid a smallish advance ($100,000) means that of course he can only make more money than that by selling a hell of a lot more books than a $100,000 advance would typically predict.
Not only that, but a bigger advance means a bigger promotional budget in order to make sure a book at least makes back most of its advance. A small advance means less promotion. And that means little Scottie McClellan has to do most of the promotion himself -- by making the juiciest possible claims that libel law will permit.
Dick Morris had an interesting point -- there's nothing really in this book. Facts would be game-changing, politically. But McClellan has precious few to offer. From the excerpts, he seems to offer only his own interpretations of facts already on the record, and, given his general stupidity, seem less authoritative than the interpretations and critiques offered up by your average small-market newspaper columnist. He also offers some rather implausible speculations -- Rove and Scooter Libby almost never talked (huh?), so when they did talk, it must have been about Plame -- which is the sort of noodling guesswork lowly bloggers offer up on a daily basis.
So, what do we have? We have a borderline retard not included in any significant policymaking meetings, basically given a set of talking points every day and told "Go read these to the press; if you have trouble with a longer word, try sounding it out," who now offers his take on matters he knew very little about.
But because his take is anti-Bush, he's suddenly elevated to the status of Sage, and, apparently, credited with the psionic power of telepathic scanning of the thoughts of Karl Rove.
— Ace He also talks about Georgie Monbiot's "comic" attempt to "arrest" him, and makes important point:
I think theres a larger issue here. You have a democratically elected parliament and its government assessed the war as legal and proper.
When individuals took actions outside the law, in their eyes to bring those responsible for the war to justice, that is the point you move towards lawlessness and fascism, he said.
And when ones views do match those of the democratically elected government, you have to accept that, he added.
Does the left really want to push for the notion that Every Man A Law Unto Himself?
Because, if they do, they should be aware that there are many "laws" those of us on the right would like to execute with no authority except our own conscience as well.
And we have guns. And aren't pussies.
Well, I am. But I know people who aren't.
Thanks to Nurse Cheri.
Look at Gene Simmons eye-groping her.
Thanks to krakatoa.
Bonus Silly: Evil Dead, the Musical. It's a funny idea, but if the song played here ("Cabin in the Woods") is their best stuff, I think it's safe to say "Just watch the movie again."
Thanks to dri.
And More: Tom Cruise, the Website, and it does appear official and authorized.
It's an internet shrine to Tom Cruise.
Thanks to Drew M.
— Purple Avenger Well, it look like he was resigning from the Boston Globe over some Beauchampian style prevarications and allegations of plagiarism.
Barnacle of course thinks we're all "nitwits".
I gotta say this to you though Mikey -- you were busted for faking shit by the freaking Reader's Digest fact checkers. Who's the "nitwit" here Mikey? Dude, if you can't get over on Reader's Digest with some dubious scribblings, then your shit is way way lame. Its not like we're talking IEEE's Spectrum here.
Integrity is like virginity Mikey.
Barnacle vid calling us nitwits is below the fold. more...
— Ace After Pfleger donated to Obama, naturally.
Though the donations seem too small to be payoffs. No, the most likely motivation is ideological solidarity, or just paying off the right political figures.
I only put this in the sidebar yesterday figuring it was no big deal. I thought it was just incremental, didn't tell us much we already didn't know about Obama's church, and besides Pfleger isn't Obama's spiritual mentor like Wright was.
It seems I was wrong. Everyone's still talking about it.
So here it is, officially on the front page:
There's no question this is yet another hardcore race-baiting left-winger Obama counts among his ideological (and spiritual) soul-mates and political boosters. Once again the Obama's credentials as "post-racial" candidate and a "uniter" are brought into sharp question.
He seems, quite frankly, like the most radical leftist to ever with a strong chance of capturing the presidency, and that's including George McGovern.
Obama and Pfleger have put out the standard-issue pro forma bullshit apologies, apologizing, near as I can tell, for accidentally telling the world exactly who they are and what they think and what they would do with power, if only they could get their hands on it.
Idiotic: Once again, the MSM is attempting to play spokesman for Obama by promoting this video of a "GOP pastor" getting political at an invocation:
Um... seems sort of anodyne to me. It lacks the racism of Pfleger's rant, and is in fact specifically anti-racist.
They keep trying this. They attempt to claim "McCain's pastor," either Hagee or Parsley, is the equivalent of Wright, despite the fact that McCain barely even knows these guys, and certainly didn't sit in their pulpits for all of his adult life basking in racial hatred.
And now confronted with another Obama buddy who not only gets political at the pulpit, but gets specifically racist or race-baiting, they offer up a Republican who gets political at the pulpit. Hmm... Obama's friends do less-egregious thing Z and more offensive thing X, and some Republican does less-egregious thing Y, too, while condemning Obama's friends for doing more offensive thing Z, so... it's a wash? Huh? How did that happen?
Among other stuff Allah's link notes that the liberal line, here offered up for the billionth time by MSNBC hackette Mika Brezinsky, that white people cannot judge the roiling racism of Obama's church... even, as here, when it's offered by another white. Now that's nuance.
It appears we're going to get that long-anticipated Great National Discussion on Race after all, the one Obama claimed he wished to start but of course wants to avoid at all peril.
First topic in this Great National Discussion -- Are blacks entitled by the color of their skin to be racist, and are black candidates allowed, by the color of their skin, to count racists among their closest advisers, mentors, and political allies?
Yes or no? The answer from liberal quarters seems to be "Yes." I don't think the rest of the country agrees.
As I've said before, sure, I'll painlessly concede the liberals' talking point that white racism is more pernicious that black racism, in the main. But the fact that white racism might be worse in its overall effects than black racism does not in fact make black racism harmless or acceptable.
Murder is worse than manslaughter, but we don't routinely excuse manslaughter or claim "Who are we to judge?," now do we?
And that's where liberals want to take this argument. For a group which claims to be concerned above all else with racial tolerance and harmony, they sure seem to excuse racism pretty quickly when practiced by, or countenanced by, their fellow travelers.
— Ace Mortal Kombat goes gay. more...
— Dave in Texas The priority appears to be let's totally disarm the United States.
"As President, my sole priority for defense spending will be protecting the American people. With diplomacy. And nuance. Maybe a puppy too. Everybody likes puppies".
Heard about this on Rush just now. Here's the vid:
Oh. IreneFingIrene tells me it's a repost; sorry. I did see that he made this sometime late in 2007. Anyway, it was new to me. And it's retarded. more...
— Gabriel Malor More fallout from Spitzer: N.Y. Governor Patterson has directed state agencies to recognize gay marriages from other jurisdictions. New York won't be solemnizing any gay marriages, but Patterson's memo requires all state agencies to recognize marriages which are legal in other jurisdictions. As a result, state agency regulations will be scrubbed of the gendered terms "husband and wife" (to be replaced by "spouse") and adjustments will be made to allow married gays the usual state benefits of marriage, like joint tax filing.
Opposition is stirring. I was struck by the no-way, no-how tenor of this complaint:
"The definition of marriage predates recorded history," said New York State Catholic Conference Executive Director Richard E. Barnes. "No single politician or court or legislature should attempt to redefine the very building block of our society in a way that alters its entire meaning and purpose."
In this case, the legislature has passed a law requiring that legal out-of-state marriages, for example from Massachusetts or Canada, must be recognized in New York. But state agencies have been slow to follow that law. Following a series of lower court cases which ruled that they must be recognized, Patterson circulated a memo instructing agencies to make the necessary adjustments to comply with his (and those lower courts') interpretation the law. The highest state court has not ruled on the question.
So what happens now? Opponents have few options. The legislature is not likely to pass a DOMA law and Patterson is unlikely to change his mind. There's no reason to believe that the courts will overturn it. So, to undo this, New York gay marriage opponents have little recourse except the ballot box. I think that's appropriate. It was the legislature, after all, who started this and has so far refused to consider DOMA legislation.
— DrewM What a difference a year can make.
While cautioning that al-Qaeda remains a serious threat, (CIA Director Michael) Hayden said Osama bin Laden is losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Islamic world and has largely forfeited his ability to exploit the Iraq war to recruit adherents. Two years ago, a CIA study concluded that the U.S.-led war had become a propaganda and marketing bonanza for al-Qaeda, generating cash donations and legions of volunteers.
All that has changed, Hayden said in an interview with The Washington Post this week that coincided with the start of his third year at the helm of the CIA.
"On balance, we are doing pretty well," he said, ticking down a list of accomplishments: "Near strategic defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat for al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Significant setbacks for al-Qaeda globally -- and here I'm going to use the word 'ideologically' -- as a lot of the Islamic world pushes back on their form of Islam," he said.
Senator Barack Obama's often repeated talking point that al Qaeda "is stronger than ever" could not be reached for comment. In a related development, the meme that we create more terrorists by fighting and killing terrorists is in critical condition, suffering from acute exposure to reality.
Hayden does point out that recent victories are not guaranteed to be permanent and are reversible. The inconvenient truth is that not every one (and I think we all know who is talking about) is focused on the mission.
"The fact that we have kept [Americans] safe for pushing seven years now has got them back into the state of mind where 'safe' is normal," he said. "Our view is: Safe is hard-won, every 24 hours."
Hayden, who has previously highlighted a gulf between Washington and its European allies on how to battle terrorism, said he is troubled that Congress and many in the media are "focused less on the threat and more on the tactics the nation has chosen to deal with the threat" -- a reference to controversial CIA interrogation techniques approved by Hayden's predecessors.
I am sure Nancy Pelosi would like to take a moment to thank al Qaeda for their generosity and help in making this all possible.
— Open Blog For quite a while I would say that the current Administrations reluctance to jump on the whole Global Warming Bandwagon has been a good thing in staving off the Environmentalist weirdos. However, now that the all powerful courts have intervened it seems that they have forced the Administration to break down.
In case you were wondering it seems ole' W. & Co. has decided to err on the side of the Gaia church.
The Bush administration released a climate change assessment onWell, crap. At least he stepped in and stopped them from setting "standards" on air pollution. Probably kept the impending cash gouging we're going to be experiencing from environmental taxes in the future from hitting us sooner.
Thursday -- four years late and pushed forward by a court order -- that
said human-induced global warming will likely lead to problems like
droughts in the U.S. West and stronger hurricanes.
President George W. Bush's stance on the issue has evolved from
denying climate science to acknowledging that global warming is
happening. In March, watchdog groups said Bush's decision to intervene
in setting air pollution standards was part of a pattern of meddling in
However, with Green McCain running in behind him (We all know that Obama is going to pander to the enviro's so his involvement is a given) this snowball is just going to keep on rolling.
Here's the, im my opinion, "moneyshot" of the piece:
It is intended to give U.S. government agencies and lawmakers inYeah, policy that keeps us from seeking out and using our own energy resources in the United States. If the Administration has released an assessment now that says that they think that Global Warming is happening then you can bet your ass that anything to do with the exploration and retrieval of crude oil is going to be targeted by the Dems in charge.
Congress a single document to refer to when forming climate policy.
That's not all though. The assessment, as meaningless as it seems right now, actually acts as a doorstop to keep all those talks about using federal funds and resources to "save the planet" open. Don't believe me?
Sharon Hays, the White House associate science director, said
Thursday's document offered "a greater focus on what scientists know
about climate change impacts in the United States" than the 2007
reports by the U.N. panel.
Siegel, echoing the sentiment of many environmental groups, said now
that the government had an assessment, it should launch a cap-and-trade
program on greenhouse gases and federal limits on emissions to slow
I think my wallet just committed Seppuku.
— Open Blog Have we learned nothing from our disastrous first contacts with the Romulans and Minbari?
Dramatic photographs have emerged, showing one of the few remaining peoples on earth thought to have had no contact with the outside world.
Taken from a small airplane, the photos show men outside thatched communal huts, necks craned upward, pointing bows toward the air in a remote corner of the Amazonian rainforest
No mention of arrows and/or whether or not theyre nuclear-tipped.
More than 100 uncontacted tribes remain worldwide. About half live in the remote reaches of the Amazonian rainforest in Peru or Brazil near the recently photographed tribe, according to Survival International, a nonprofit group that advocates for the rights of indigenous people.
"All are in grave danger of being forced off their land, killed or decimated by new diseases," the organization said Thursday.
Or opening a casino/online smoke shop.
(there is absolutely no truth to the rumors that Jeff Bezos intends to sue Brazil for trademark infringements.)
UPDATE [Dave in Texas]: They have at least one anti-aircraft battery.
May 29, 2008
— Dave in Texas Harvey Korman, dead at 81.
These people who entertained me almost my whole life, passing on.
I looked for the skit where Tim and Harvey were US Soldiers on a Pacific Island but couldn't find it.
This one is probably more remembered. The Dentist.
The gag was always "when will Harvey lose it"? This one shows it as did so many, and it brings a smile to my face.
It was a good gag.
RIP Harvey. You made a lot of people laugh, and that was a wonderful gift.
UPDATE [DinT]:Add your best Harv quotes. I'll post em.
UPDATE2 [DinT]: Morons remember.
Tim: "I want rustlers, cutthroats, murders, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con-men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglars, horse thieves, bull-dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass-kickers, sh**-kickers, and Methodists!"
Reb'M Al: "Lily Lily Lily Lily Legs Lily Lily Lily Legs Lily Lily..."
Dr. Remulak: "Land: see Snatch..... Ah, Hailie vs. United States. Hailie: 7, United States: nothing. You see, it can be done!"
Rev. Dr. E Buzz Miller: "My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
Drive me off this picture.
— Ace No not really on that last bit. I thought the Democrats generally believed the UN was always right, eh?
World leaders, including UN chief Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on Thursday hailed Baghdad's progress in combatting violence and stabilising Iraq.
A declaration adopted by 100 delegations at a Stockholm conference said the participants "recognised the important efforts made by the (Iraqi) government to improve security and public order and combat terrorism and sectarian violence across Iraq."
It also acknowledged political and economic progress made, and said that "given the difficult context, these successes are all the more remarkable."
In a speech earlier to the conference, Ban said Iraq was "stepping back from the abyss that we feared most," adding that with international help the war-torn country could fulfill its "vision of becoming a free, secure, stable and prosperous nation."
He cautioned however that "the situation remains fragile."
The one-day conference in Stockholm, hosted by Ban and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, was attended by Rice, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband among others.
Rice said that while Iraq was "making good progress there remain challenges. Not everything that needs to be accomplished has been accomplished."
Miliband was also optimistic and noted that at the conference, "instead of talking about the last five years every speaker has talked about the next five years, and that is a really profound change of perspective."
Thanks to anonymous.
— Open Blog A lot of old salts read this here smart military blog so its time to bid a fond farewell the the USS Kitty Hawk, CV-63, the US Navys oldest active ship, and the sole remaining conventionally powered carrier.
The Kitty Hawk, the last conventionally powered aircraft carrier in the Navy, is to be replaced later this summer by the USS George Washington, a nuclear-powered carrier.
The decommissioning date for the ship is set for Jan. 31.
Yet controversy ensues:
However, the replacement of the Kitty Hawk by a nuclear-powered ship is controversial among some here because of fears of an accident. Navy officials have stressed that the ship is safe, and pointed out that nuclear-powered submarines have long transited Yokosuka with no problems.
Nope. Not even gonna go there on the nuke issue. Seems that there was some sorta dust-up back in the Roaring 40s involving that.
After leaving Japan, the Kitty Hawk will make a stop at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, then to former homeport San Diego for a welcome-home party, and then the ship will travel on to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Washington, where it will become a day-care center, according to naval historian P.J. ORourke
(OK, I made that last part up. Mr. ORourke is actually a noted etiquette columnist.)
Condolences and rememberances are welcome in the guestbook below. Gbye old girl well miss you.
Correction: JimT notes that the USS Constitution is the oldest active ship in the Navy, and the oldest active ship afloat in the world.
The "Consty," (as is well known) has a glorious history which includes sinking the battleship "Yamato" at the epic naval battle of Jutland during the Spanish-American War of 1812, and is now currently forward-deployed in the Persian Gulf.
— Ace Moved from the sidebar.
I guess we need some of our troops to rise to the occasion and stick a Koran up someone's squeakhole to get the MSM interested in the war again, huh?
— Ace Now, before you get the wrong idea, note the claim goes that he did so 1) through artificial insemination with 2) a good friend rather than a romantic conquest and 3) will be active in the child's upbringing, but presumably not an actual involved-with-the-mom full-time father.
Thanks to dri.
— Ace Nuance:
Just two months ago, Pelosi said, "I hope we don't hear any glorification of what happened in Basra." It seems she was only talking about glorifying the role of the U.S. military and our Iraqi allies, who were in fact victorious. Apparently glorification of the enemy is still allowed.
Of course it is.
Al Qaeda hasn't attacked America since 9/11 -- I suppose we owe a debt of gratitude to the goodwill of Ayman al-Zawahiri and the mouldering corpse of Osama bin Ladin.
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