Thursday, August 17, 2006


Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

Bad AC yesterday and a lousy Internet connection today force me to rush. Since I'm writing this in a hurry, I'll excuse myself now for its being shorter than usual and perhaps somewhat disjointed, just in case....

Word of the Day

mechanical placebo n. A device or object that appears to perform a specific function, but in fact does nothing at all.

Follow the link, and you will find that my suspicions about pedestrian signal buttons have been right on the money.

Curves Permitted Again (for Now) in Hollywood

This sounds too good to be true for this curve junky, but according to Rachel at Politburo Diktat, what Hollywood calls "fat" is "back", baby!

Out like gout!In like Flynn!

She ends, "I'm not even going to get into the fact that the cover of the story is illustrated with a pig in high heels. Rebecca Traister has already done that. I'll take being a pig over being this [picture at left --ed] any day." Good for you, Rachel! (And I'll stop there so my wife won't make me sleep on the couch when she reads this!)

My personal taste aside, I wouldn't read too much into what I think is only a temporary fashion, rather than the more permanent adoption of an aesthetic that glorifies the human body.

Hee hee!

I see that Isaac Schrodinger thinks I was too hard on the Mafia the other day. I think he may have a point!


Via Bubblehead, I have learned that Rob Schumacher, whose writing on submarines is very good, has become one of the rotating columnists for The Navy Times. Congratulations, Rob!

Fascist California

Amit Ghate links to a WSJ editorial.
[T]he State of California is trying out fascist tactics rather than the socialist ones so prevalent during the previous administration. The WSJ has a good editorial detailing the proposed new "voluntary" prescription drug plan that our masters in Sacramento have unveiled to rob pharmaceutical companies.
My wife and I have to look for places for my her residency soon. Being a two-career couple makes this hard enough. We already have ruled out California due to cost-of-living considerations since we might start a family soon. I see that we won't have to give it a second look any time soon.

Drat! I lived in the Bay Area near the end of my naval service. Beautiful weather. Gorgeous scenery. Nice climate -- but only meteorologically speaking!

It's not just a blog, ...

... it's an (unwanted) adventure. Andrew Dalton notes that Mahmood Ahmadinejad has his own blog. I haven't time to look at this in any detail, but I have heard that you visit that bastard's site at your own peril.
As noted below in the comments to this post, navigate through Ahmadinejad's blog at your own risk. There appears to be some sort of attempt to "backdoor" your computer if you click on any of the links.
You have been advised.

The Self-Inflicted Agony

Nick Provenzo and Yaron Brook sum up the situation in Lebanon. Says Brook:
A U.N. resolution calling for the disarming of Hezbollah in Lebanon is not the same thing as the actual disarming of Hezbollah in Lebanon -- let alone the defeat of Hezbollah throughout the Middle East. And by urging Israel to end its military offensive, the administration has ended any possibility that Hezbollah will actually be destroyed.

The only way to end the threat from Islamic totalitarian groups like Hezbollah and their state sponsors is to inflict crushing devastation upon them by aggressive military action.
Via TIA Daily, I recall reading that Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, used the IDF merely to achieve the resulting "deal" at the United Nations, which is to say, he sold out his country's security for the political advantage of the moment. If this recollection is true, he should be tried for war crimes. Israeli soldiers died for that.

And Jim Woods has more thoughts.

The Silver Lining

Via TIA Daily, I have learned that there is a silver lining to the recent, prematurely-ended hostilities: an intel coup for the West:
From the Iranian viewpoint, Israel succeeded in seriously degrading Hizballah's capabilities. It was also able to throw the Lebanese Shiite militia to the wolves; the West is now in a position to force Nasrallah and his men to quit southern Lebanon and disarm. The West shut its eyes when he flouted the Resolution 1559 order for the disarmament of all Lebanese militias. But that game is over. The Americans will use Resolution 1701 as an effect weapon to squeeze Iran, denied of its second-front deterrence, on its nuclear program. [Bombings would "squeeze" Iran better. --ed.]

Tehran hopes to pre-empt the American move by torpedoing the Lebanon ceasefire and preventing the termination of hostilities at all costs.
An intel bonanza is useful only, of course, if it is used. The key question in the short term is this: Is Israel's leadership more weak-kneed than Iran's is aggressive?

The Siege Mentality

Via Thrutch is this good posting by Andrew Medworth on the siege mentality of the West in the current war.
We are retreating, reacting, and gradually accepting these threats, these inconvenient counter-measures, and the loss of our liberty as an inevitable facet of the state of the modern world.

It does not have to be this way. We know how to defeat ideologically-driven fanatics who do not care about their own lives and are committed to our destruction. Just sixty years ago, we won a world war against such people. Back then, we recognised the states who were sponsoring the aggression against us: Germany, Italy, Japan and their allies. We did everything possible to defeat those nations and refute and humiliate the ideologies which fuelled them, including mounting massive attacks on their civilian populations, to bring home to those who were (either actively or passively) supporting the enemy war machine the consequences of their governments' aggression. The result was that all the fascist nations are now peaceful, semi-free countries who threaten no-one.

What Germany was to twentieth-century fascism, Iran is to Islamic totalitarianism today. We can destroy today's threat by defeating Iran and its co-sponsors of terrorism, turning Islamic totalitarianism into a humiliated and discredited ideology for which no-one is prepared to risk his life, let alone give it in order to kill others. There is no way this vicious movement can survive without some measure of state support: if we end this, we end the movement. [bold added]
This in part echoes a point I made recently about "creeping dhimmitude".

The World's Shortest Philosophy Books

Via Christian Beenfeldt, comes a link to this very humorous list. Here's a sample:
  • Coping with Change by Parmenides
  • A Rational Account of the Physical World by Plato
  • The Role of Sexual Passion in the Christian Marriage by St. Augustine
  • A Complete Inventory of Everything that Exists by Benedict Spinoza ...
  • How We Can Make this a Better World by Gottfried Leibniz
There is also at least one actual book I can recall on the list. And, if you're more clever than I am, you can write to its maintainer with your own ideas!

-- CAV