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Monthly Archives: December 2005

That’s Gonna Leave a Mark

December 5th, 2005 - 11:54 pm

David J is alive and kicking the crap out of Howard Dean.

I was gonna do it – but David didn’t leave me much to work with.

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Required Reading

December 5th, 2005 - 11:09 pm

Norman Augustine:

In the five decades since I began working in the aerospace industry, I have never seen American business and academic leaders as concerned about this nation’s future prosperity as they are today.

On the surface, these concerns may seem unwarranted. Two million jobs were created in the United States in the past year. Citizens of other nations continue to invest their savings in this country at a remarkable rate. Our nation still has the strongest scientific and technological enterprise — and the best research universities — in the world.

Read the rest here.

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So Long Old Gals

December 5th, 2005 - 9:55 pm

Bob Novak reports:

U.S. Marines, while fighting valiantly in Iraq, are on the verge of serious defeat on Capitol Hill. A Senate-House conference on the Armed Services authorization bill convening this week is considering turning the Navy’s last two battleships, the Iowa and Wisconsin, into museums. Marine officers fear that deprives them of vital fire support in an uncertain future.

Gen. Michael W. Hagee, the current commandant of the Marine Corps, testified on April 1, 2003, that loss of naval surface fire support from battleships would place his troops “at considerable risk.” On July 29 this year, Hagee asserted: “Our aviation is really quite good, but it can, in fact, be weathered.” Nevertheless, Marine leaders have given up a public fight for fear of alienating Navy colleagues.

Hagee’s complaint reminded me of something I read back when the Navy’s other two remaining Iowa-class battleships were re-retired a decade ago. I Googled until I just couldn’t Google any longer, but never found the exact quote or who said it. I do remember it was a Navy or USMC officer of flag rank.

Under President Reagan, the four WWII-era Iowa ships were retro-fitted with Harpoon missiles, modern radars, etc., and reintegrated into the Navy. The rationale was simple: Those old ships had thick hides (12-inch thick cold-rolled steel!*) and nine 16-inch guns

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Frying Pan/Fire

December 5th, 2005 - 9:47 pm

Good news/bad news for Tom Delay:

A judge dismissed the conspiracy charges Monday against Rep. Tom DeLay but refused to throw out the money-laundering counts, dashing the Texas congressman’s hopes for now of reclaiming his post as House majority leader. Judge Pat Priest, who is presiding over the case against the Republican, issued the ruling after a hearing late last month in which DeLay’s attorney argued that the indictment was fatally flawed.

Conspiracy charges are usually meaningless; they’re what the DA nails you with when he doesn’t have anything else. But the money-laundering charge stuck, and that’s a “real” charge. So Delay could be in real trouble.

And that troubles me about as much as Trent Lott’s troubles from three years ago.

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A Pre-Post Mortem

December 5th, 2005 - 7:58 pm

Wikipedia – it was nice knowing you.

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Bribery Will Get You Anything

December 5th, 2005 - 3:15 pm

Vote for VodkaPundit as the best of the Top 250 Blogs, and the Republican National Committee might just give you a Tootsie Pop.

UPDATE: Hey, would someone please be kind enough to pull a Karl Rove and vote for me twice? Since I refuse to install Macromedia’s omnipresent Flash stuff on my computer, I can’t vote for myself.

UPDATE: Also, consider giving these guys your vote for Best Military Blog. Hell, vote for them three or four times – they’re that good.

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Comic Art

December 5th, 2005 - 2:04 pm

Does Steven Den Beste know about this?

DISCLAIMER: BushCo loves them comic books.

BushCo, formerly known as BushRoveCo, subverts American values through Japanese comic books.

BushCo: Dolling out the dollars since 2001.

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Support Your Independent Artist

December 5th, 2005 - 1:34 pm

Last week, Robert Bidinotto wrote such effusive praise for Rose Robbins, that I purchased her CD, “Close Your Eyes,” without even bothering to listen to any sample tracks.

It arrived a little while ago, and Robert was right. Robbins is a chanteuse from the old school – except that she writes, composes, arranges, and plays her own stuff.

Second only to her talent is the fact that Robbins is a true independent artist: She has no major label to support her, and no DRM nastiness to infect your computer.

If you want a little extra beauty in your life, you could do a lot worse than Rose Robbins.

ANNOUNCEMENT: This unpaid advertisement has been bought and paid for by BushRoveCo.

BushRoveCo – bringing evil and ugliness to the world since 2001.

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It’s Friggin’ Huge!!!

December 5th, 2005 - 5:14 am

As I confessed a while back, I was infected with Flat Panel Flu from the first moment I laid eyes on a large HDTV screen, about five years ago. Back then, a big plasma cost as much as a quality used car, and a “large” LCD was about 21 inches across. Ever since, I’ve been lusting after those brilliant, enormous, oh-so-thin screens, and watching the prices creep down into something like a normal human’s range.

About a month ago, I finally took the plunge, and got a Panasonic TH-50PHD8UK plasma screen. And it rocks. I mean, you ought to see last month’s Auburn-Alabama game in HD (recorded on a DirecTV HD Tivo). You could step into the screen and sack Brodie Croyle from your living room.

I picked this one out after (literally) a couple of years of shopping around and comparing pictures. The final contenders came down to Panasonic and Pioneer plasma screens. The Pioneers have a slight edge in colors (just amazingly brilliant), but Panasonic took the trophy for the sharpest picture–and besides which, Pioneer screens are still premium-priced, and I’m cheap, even when I’m buying something really expensive.

For all you LCD and DLP folks, as Steve Den Beste would say, please, don’t send emails. This is very subjective stuff, and if you’re buying a TV, you should buy what your eyes like the best. For myself, I just don’t like projection screens (of any technology), and flat LCDs are too small and/or too expensive.

Speaking of which, and apropos of the Blogfaddah’s ongoing HDTV seminar, here’s my advice on buying a big TV. It’s similar to what I tell people who’re buying a new computer: Get the one with the features (and in this case, picture) you like the most, and buy as much power (or screen size) as you can afford. Then quit reading reviews, quit checking prices, and just enjoy the damn thing–because there’s probably going to be a better one, selling for cheaper than you just paid, next month.

Oh, and don’t get ripped off on cables. Buy them here.

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Do As I Say, Are You Kidding?

December 4th, 2005 - 11:55 pm

Ed Driscoll isn’t exactly impressed with the Republican Senate – but I’d guess a lot of Republicans feel the same way.

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Disproving a Negative

December 4th, 2005 - 11:36 pm

I suspect Tony Pierce got caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl.

Actually, I don’t suspect that at all. To say such a thing would be baseless innuendo of the worst kind. But since Tony has chosen to play that game, I’d sure like to see him deny some stupid charges of his own.

NOTE: In all fairness, Tony has suffered from unsubstantiated charges already. That makes his recent behavior even tougher to fathom.

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But in a Good Way

December 4th, 2005 - 11:01 pm

Read VodkaPundit and throw up.

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Not Getting It Department

December 4th, 2005 - 10:21 pm

I hate to do this, because I’ve always respected Zbigniew Brzezinski – but I have to call “Bullcrap!” on his Sunday WaPo column. Read:

By asserting that Islamic extremism, “like the ideology of communism . . . is the great challenge of our new century,” Bush is implicitly elevating Osama bin Laden’s stature and historic significance to the level of figures such as Lenin, Stalin or Mao. And that suggests, in turn, that the fugitive Saudi dissident hiding in some cave (or perhaps even deceased) has been articulating a doctrine of universal significance. Underlying the president’s analogy is the proposition that bin Laden’s “jihad” has the potential for dominating the minds and hearts of hundreds of millions of people across national and even religious boundaries. That is quite a compliment to bin Laden, but it isn’t justified. The “Islamic” jihad is, at best, a fragmented and limited movement that hardly resonates in most of the world.

Back in the Bad Old Days, it took a nation-state to fight a nation-state. Japan built aircraft carriers to attack us at Pearl Harbor. Germany made tanks to slice up France. The Soviet Union produced missiles in about the same quantity (although with probably lower quality) that Charmin makes toilet paper.

But the Bad Old Days were also the Good Old Days. You could depend on the Soviets not to do anything really, really stupid

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Flattery Will Get You Anything

December 3rd, 2005 - 11:37 pm

I didn’t even know VodkaPundit had been nominated.

The kudos go to Stacy Tabb, the genius who made this site viewable.

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Shiver Me Timbers

December 3rd, 2005 - 11:03 pm

Finally, a pirate movie everyone can, uh, get into.

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Och! Zombies! Really Stupid Media Zombies!

December 3rd, 2005 - 6:03 pm

This Grady Hendrix review in Slate, of a schlocky Joe Dante flick that hardly anybody will actually watch, contains possibly the most ignorant and offensive collection of sentences that I’ve read in the last decade:

Today, zombies are the perfect metaphor for our soldiers in Iraq: They’re shell-shocked, anonymous, and aren’t asked to make very many decisions. Unless you personally know a soldier, the war in Iraq has been a zombie war, fought by an uncomplaining, faceless mass wrapped in desert camo and called “our boys.” We talk about them all the time

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I Told You So

December 2nd, 2005 - 9:35 pm

Interviewed on PBS, retired Army intelligence officer Ralph Peters had this to say about US propaganda in Iraq:

The case is very straightforward. First of all, when a house is burning down, you put out the fire before you worry about the table settings. And although, obviously, in our democracy a free press is very, very important, Iraq is not yet a full-fledged democracy.

Combating the insurgents and terrorists is much more important; in post-modern conflict — and, boy, I’ll tell you, conflict has changed — the media sphere can be as important or even more important a battlefield than the physical battle space [emphasis added].

When I say I told you so, I really freakin’ told you so.

NOTE: If you got anything at all out of last month’s “Arm of Decision” essay (linked above), you’ll enjoy this, too.

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Going in with Both Eyes Open

December 2nd, 2005 - 8:44 pm

On September 11th, 2001 (at around 0845 or so) I was with my college Air Force ROTC instructor. We were in the middle of a paperwork session that would affirm my intention to pursue an officers’ commission in the Air Force upon graduation.

I finished up with the papers and as my instructor shook my hand to congratulate me, an Air Force major mentioned in passing “so a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center.”

Read the rest here.


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Challenging Stage

December 2nd, 2005 - 3:59 pm

Here’s an interesting little blurb about a talk by Nolan Bushnell, who founded Atari and basically intented video games back in the 1970′s. This bit in particular caught my eye:

In 1982, he tells us, there were 44 million gamers. Today, there are 18 million. Where

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“Is Maureen Dowd Really Necessary?”

December 2nd, 2005 - 12:41 pm

It’s a question for the ages.

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Orange Tag Sale

December 2nd, 2005 - 11:23 am

Is it time to lift Cold War trade restrictions on Ukraine? You bet it is.

(Hat tip to EB in Kiev.)

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Required Reading

December 2nd, 2005 - 9:15 am

What if peace broke out and nobody noticed?

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Friday Recipe

December 2nd, 2005 - 12:09 am

It’s simple and tasty and goes great with french fries. It’s…

Emergency Flank Steak

You’ll need:

A Flank steak
About a half cup or so of cooking oil
3 or 4 or 5 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons or more of Worcestershire sauce
The juice of a lemon
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
A splash of red wine vinegar
1 gallon-size freezer bag

If you’ve got a Cuisinart MiniPrep ($30 or $40 at Amazon), dump everything in there but the steak and give it a good whirl. If not, just use a blender.

Get the flank steak into the Ziploc, and pour the marinade over it. Force out the air by hand, or close the bag around a straw and suck it out.

Put the freezer bag in the freezer and forget about it – until a half day before you’re craving some tasty flank steak. After it’s been completely thawed for at least an hour, throw it on the grill for three-to-five minutes on each side. Then slice thin and on the bias.

Serve with the simplest salad you can think of, a pile of fries, and a big, dumb Zinfandel.

NOTE: We go to Sam’s Club and buy four flank steaks at a time. Quadruple the marinade recipe, and portion it out with the steaks into four separate freezer bags. Of course, we suffer a lot of flank steak emergencies.

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Oh. My. God.

December 1st, 2005 - 11:52 pm

It can’t be long before The Corner is banned from public library computers.

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I Couldn’t Do That

December 1st, 2005 - 11:35 pm

Take a look inside a nuclear missile silo capsule, and the officers who command them.

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Get Real

December 1st, 2005 - 11:11 pm

Talk about “lost perspective

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Good Question

December 1st, 2005 - 9:47 pm

Has Woody Allen – just turned 70 and creepier than ever – made a decent movie for the first time in years?

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Money Well Wasted

December 1st, 2005 - 9:32 pm

It’s easy to carp on Washington for wasting money. It’s not just easy – it’s necessary and fun. Kind of like that one redhead you’ll never forget from that one night in 1998.

We were talking about wasted money, not the Wasted ’90s, weren’t we? Sorry.

Anyway, if Washington has got to waste our tax dollars (and it seems it does), it’s good to know that sometimes the results are even prettier than that redhead.

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Mea Culpa

December 1st, 2005 - 9:22 pm

Reason‘s Kerry Howley is female, and I referred to her as a he. Not that it has anything to do with the argument – but we’ll get back to that in a bit.

But first, a martini.

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Cheap Shots

December 1st, 2005 - 11:55 am

Here’s a story we can all have a little fun with:

The European Union expects a surge of applications next week when its “.eu” regional domain name opens for registration. “I expect a real rush, several hundred thousand in the first few days,” EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding told reporters Thursday. “European companies should waste no time and register for the new `.eu’ domain name.”

What names will people register first in the mad rush? I have a few ideas:


Feel free to add your own.

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