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Monthly Archives: October 2007

Premonition (2007): Julian McMahon dies a lot.

Watch Hu’s Actions Not Hu’s Words

October 15th, 2007 - 3:48 pm

Red China’s national party conference is off to a predictable start:

BEIJING, Oct. 15

Here’s the latest from Pravda or Izvestia or TASS or… no, wait, this one is from Reuters, believe it or not. Read:

MOSCOW, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Commentators were both amused and intrigued at the heroic light thrown on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday when he defied what he said were security service warnings of a plot to kill him in Iran.

“I don’t known if it’s true or not true, but it makes him look like a hero, if he goes there. It makes him look like Jean-Claude Van Damme, or Steven Seagal – it’s a drama,” said veteran Russian broadcaster Sergey Dorenko told Reuters.

In Putin’s Russia, a “veteran broadcaster” is one who hasn’t been shot twice in the belly and once in the head in a back alley somewhere, for once maybe having had some thoughts one time about perhaps saying something only 98% positive about Putin. Putting that aside, I still won’t make fun of Dorenko’s outdated action-star references. After all, I’m pretty sure that in the last ten years, the most exciting stunt Seagal or Van Damme filmed involved nothing more dangerous than walking the jetway in some foreign airport. Which is really all Putin will do, should he travel to Iran as scheduled.

And really, when it comes to airports, what’s the big difference between Tehran and Vancouver?*

(more…)

British Postwar Rationing Now In Its 63rd Year

October 15th, 2007 - 12:47 pm

You have got to be kidding me:


Falling numbers of state dentists in England has led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released Monday.
Falling numbers of state dentists in England has led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released Monday.

Others have used superglue to stick crowns back on, rather than stumping up for private treatment, said the study. One person spoke of carrying out 14 separate extractions on himself with pliers.

More typically, a lack of publicly-funded dentists means that growing numbers go private: 78 percent of private patients said they were there because they could not find a National Health Service (NHS) dentist, and only 15 percent because of better treatment.

It’s a shame Thatcherism never made it to the NHS. But at least we won’t run out of Bad English Teeth jokes any time soon.

President Frederick Waldo Thompson

October 15th, 2007 - 12:27 pm

You’d think the Savior of Reagan Republicanism could at least put in an appearance somewhere, anywhere, more than once a week:

Besides participating in his first presidential debate in Michigan last Tuesday, Thompson was missing from the campaign trail. The former Tennessee senator and star of NBC’s

You’ll Feel All Gooey Inside

October 15th, 2007 - 10:26 am

Annoy a greenie worrywart: Buy an iPhone.

Fatal News Judgement

October 15th, 2007 - 10:04 am

The New York Times busts up an enemy operation on American soil:

Michael Moss of the New York Times has outted Inshallashaheed, the al Qaeda supporting blogger who we’ve been investigating for over a year. I’ve been sitting on his true identity for months, but in one fell swoop Samir ibn Zafar Khan, who lives in Charlotte North Carolina, has been identified.

Thanks a lot to Michael Moss and the New York Times for blowing an ongoing investigation into a known al Qaeda sympathizer who lives here in the United States. I’ve known about this piece for a few weeks and wrote the NY Times to ask Moss not to run it. No reply from the Times.

Of course, I use “enemy” in the same sense that an NYT editor might — meaning, “guys out to protect American lives.”

By the Numbers

October 15th, 2007 - 9:31 am

More on al Qaeda-Iraq’s surge losses, from StrategyPage:

The most notable activity for AQI for September has been the loss of key leadership in the organization. This has resulted in an overall weakened organization. On September 25, Abu Usama al-Tunisi, the emir for foreign fighters in Iraq, was killed in an air strike near Musayyib. He was considered the likely replacement for Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the current emir of AQI. AQI also lost other key leaders and high value individuals.

The recent statement by Osama bin Laden focused on the American public and mentioned Iraq in passing. The statement used a Constructivist/ Neo-Marxist argument for the Global Jihad. Bin Laden

Question the Timing

October 15th, 2007 - 8:59 am

Yeah, this complicates things for us in Iraq:

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – The Turkish government will seek parliamentary approval for a military operation against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, a government spokesman said Monday, taking action on one of two major issues straining relations with Washington.

Just as things are looking up in Iraq, Nancy Pelosi chose now to inflame Turkish opinion against us. Has she purposely tried to derail our soldiers and diplomats in the Middle East, or is Pelosi just plain stupid?

I don’t see a third option.

Sunshine & Puppy Dogs & Ass Covering

October 15th, 2007 - 8:13 am

Sometime after they disdained the Petraeus Report, but before today’s encouraging Washington Post article, all but one of the Democratic presidential candidates had backed away from radical promises to pull out of Iraq.

So the question is: What did the Democratic candidates know, and when did they know it?

Hoo-Ahh

October 15th, 2007 - 7:50 am

This has to be today’s top story:

The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.

But as the White House and its military commanders plan the next phase of the war, other officials have cautioned against taking what they see as a premature step that could create strategic and political difficulties for the United States. Such a declaration could fuel criticism that the Iraq conflict has become a civil war in which U.S. combat forces should not be involved. At the same time, the intelligence community, and some in the military itself, worry about underestimating an enemy that has shown great resilience in the past.

“I think it would be premature at this point,” a senior intelligence official said of a victory declaration over AQI, as the group is known.

It’s unlikely that AQI is fully defeated, but that’s hardly the point. What the Army and Marines have managed to do – and in remarkably short order – is give Baghdad the breathing room it needs solve its political crisis.

Can the Iraqis do it? I don’t know. But I do know that now they have a chance – something the Surrender Brigades of the Left (and a few on the Right) would never have given them.

UPDATE: More here, from Neoconnews. I’d never heard of these guys – and with a name like that? What, did I get kicked out of the Conspiracy?

You Can’t Get There From Here

October 14th, 2007 - 2:32 pm

Will Hutton reports on the waters China has to navigate as it gets ready to choose its next generation of leaders:

…only three in 100 corrupt officials is caught, largely because the anti-corruption campaigns are run by officials who themselves are corrupt. Worse, nobody believes in the underlying moral purpose of communism; old habits, including the imperial system of concubinage, are returning with a vengeance. And this is generating a contrary pull. A growing proportion of the Chinese nomenklatura – like the Soviet Union’s before them – knows that the system, for all its successes, is running out of time.

There is the environment, where up to 750,000 people a year die of air pollution. There is the chronic and rising inequality between town and country with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security warning that if inequality continues to rise, it refuses to guarantee social stability after 2010. Then there is the economy, over-reliant on exports and investment and dependent on vast peasant savings and cheap peasant labour. China registered only 0.3 per cent of the world’s ‘triadic’ patents (valid in Japan, the EU and US) last year.

It is an elephantine subcontractor to the West, dependent for its competitiveness on forcing its currency to be linked to the dollar. That means it is acquiring a stunning and unsustainable extra $500bn of foreign exchange reserves a year, which has helped drive Chinese inflation to a 10-year high.

Daunting. Hutton claims what China needs is a Gorbachev — but we all know what he did for the Soviet Union. China, it seems, will always be the “next” superpower.

Day By Day

October 14th, 2007 - 11:19 am

Chris Muir lost his sister. Give him and his family some support today, if you can.

Getting It Wrong

October 14th, 2007 - 10:54 am

Bad paper, wrong narrative!

Secretary Gates Speaks In Moscow

October 14th, 2007 - 10:29 am

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave a fine speech in Moscow yesterday at the Russian General Staff Academy. He allowed time for a few questions at the end, and I must say I was sorely disappointed to hear him profess no knowledge of the VodkaPundit plan for a westward expansion of our proposed new Canadian state of Manigulpit.

Here’s what Gates had to say on the subject:

The third question dealt with Siberia, and caused a buzz among the audience. The questioner said he

Just Trying to be Helpful

October 14th, 2007 - 9:13 am

Say it to yourself over and over again…

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13

Criminalizing Odd Mating Rituals

October 14th, 2007 - 8:57 am

Who is really using steroids? Guys kinda like me*, it turns out:

Contrary to popular belief, the typical anabolic steroid user is more like an “Average Joe” than a professional athlete or competitive teenager.

A new survey suggests that the typical anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) user is a well-educated 30-year-old male who wants to build muscles and strength and increase his physical attractiveness. Researchers say the results show the notion of the typical steroid user as a “cheating” athlete is inaccurate.

“These findings question commonly held views of typical AAS users and their underlying motivations,” Rick Collins of Collins, McDonald & Gann, PC, in Carle Place, N.Y., says in a news release.

Maybe it’s time to re-think this front in the War on Drugs, too.

(more…)

Fill In the Blank

October 14th, 2007 - 8:06 am

OVER THE COURSE OF THIS WAR TACTICALLY INSIGNIFICANT EVENTS HAVE BECOME STRATEGIC DEFEATS FOR AMERICA BECAUSE OF…

That’s Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, criticizing more than just the Bush Administration. He continues:

…THE TREMENDOUS POWER AND IMPACT OF THE MEDIA AND BY EXTENSION YOU THE JOURNALIST.”

I’ve said for years now that the media would prove the Arm of Decision in this war. There are times when it sucks to be right.

Search THIS!

October 13th, 2007 - 1:57 pm

Steve Ballmer thinks he knows what’s wrong with Microsoft Search — or Live or MSN or whatever it’s called. Read:

ORLANDO, Fla.–Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer says the software giant has a long way to go to compete with Google, when it comes to search and advertising.

Microsoft is attempting to break into online advertising, but Ballmer admitted at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo here Wednesday that Microsoft is still an “aspirant” in the search and advertising fields.

If Microsoft really aspires to run a popular search engine, they could start with a search engine people might want to use. I’ll give you an example. The hot area in search right now is mapping. And what’s more fun than punching in your own address, and seeing what the satellites see? Go to maps.google.com, and you’ll see something like this:

(Click to embiggen all screencaps.)

Now type in your address, and you’ll get something like this:

Kinda fun, and the cool factor is way up there. So what if the arrow doesn’t point exactly to my house – I can still find it. From there, getting directions to somewhere else is just as easy, and the route adjusts itself to your wishes, by clicking-dragging to the street you’d rather take.

Microsoft’s Live Thingy is a little less exciting at first glance:

“Play with the amazing spelling chickens?” Really?

Then when you type in your home address, Live doesn’t seem to get what you mean:

So I tried again, using the term “house” in the mysterious, second search box provided above the one with my address in it. That got me this:

All I’m trying to do is show my friends how cool my house looks from space, and all Microsoft gives me is ads for stuff that have nothing to do with my search query. And it’s not like I’m a completely inexperienced computer user.

Bad results, ineffective ads. That’s livin’ Live, baby.

One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

October 13th, 2007 - 9:04 am

UK Tory leader David Cameron says, “Look at me and think of Schwarzenegger.”

Predator1.jpgcameron.jpg

VodkaPundit says, “Um, no.”

New Ice Age Update

October 13th, 2007 - 8:54 am

Global Warmening Update

Climate Change Update

There’s Weather Outside And It’s Unconstant

We’re supposed to get our first snow already tomorrow. Pictures to follow, if the NOAA has it right.

Not Getting Any Younger

October 12th, 2007 - 4:16 pm

Just think about it: Madonna at 60. Why, I’m old enough to remember finding her unattractive at 25.

The Last Word…

October 12th, 2007 - 2:18 pm

…on Al Gore.

You know what? Wake me when Mr. Scientific Gloom & Doom wins a Nobel Prize in the sciences. In the meantime, you may call me Rip van Winkle.

UPDATE: The Czechs really, really hate Gore.

Caveat Emptor

October 12th, 2007 - 1:30 pm

If you’re looking to buy a boatload of rugged, effective, yet inexpensive machine guns, or for a deal on jet fighters cheap enough to get shot down by the dozens, — then, please, buy Russian.

But what was India thinking, buying Russian ships? New Delhi would have done better purchasing the last gross of French victory banners.

When Is a War Not a War?

October 12th, 2007 - 11:47 am

When Ron Paul is in charge!

Same Old Swedish Song and Dance

October 12th, 2007 - 11:21 am

I woke up this morning to news that Al Gore had won the Nobel Peace Prize. Immediately I knew what Jack Woltz felt when he found Khartoum’s bloody severed head at his side. Not shock, exactly — because when you’re dealing with the Corleones, you have to know they’re capable of most anything. And, surely, the same goes for people who awarded a prize for peace to Jimmy Carter and Yasser Arafat.

But it’s different thinking that they’re capable of it, from them actually going and doing it.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus said, “The relationship between his activities and world peace is unclear and indistinct.” Which is being polite, at best. “WTF?” is the shorter and more appropriate response. Of course, your next response is, “Oh, yeah — this is the Nobel we’re talking about. So, OK.”

But Klaus is right: Gore hasn’t done a darn thing to bring peace anywhere. So why is Gore getting a million-plus bucks and a “#1 Peace Dude” coffee mug?

The answer is simple. Gore hasn’t brought us peace, but he’s sure waging a fine war against capitalism. And if there’s one thing a bunch of herring-stuffed Nordic socialists love, it’s anybody who makes millions by attacking free markets.

The Left’s inconvenient truth is, government controls, and lots of them, are the secret to solving… everything.

Government-created deflationary Great Depression? Bring on more government. Government created inflationary recession? Bring on government wage and price controls. Some people have too much money? Tax them to death. The weather is changing? Bring on global-growth rationing, starting with that capitalist hyperpower, the United States.

It doesn’t matter what the problem is, the solution is always the same: Government, government, government, and finally, more government. Gore is just the latest example of a trend going back more than a century. So it’s no surprise he’s being honored for it.

But whatever you do, don’t go back to sleep. Gore could carry his new prize all the way to the White House.

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0-60? Eventually, Sure, Maybe

October 12th, 2007 - 10:55 am

A brand-new car for $2,500? You’ll have to go to India, but Tata Motors is making one for-real.

Radio Daze

October 12th, 2007 - 10:49 am

You can find my post-debate “analysis” on the Michael Koolidge Show Podcast #64.

I Liked the Book Better

October 11th, 2007 - 9:44 pm

For the first time in a quarter century, I’m feeling pretty good about the prospects of an Atlas Shrugged movie.

Mail Bag/Show Promo

October 11th, 2007 - 9:36 pm

Radio tape splicing genius* Ed Driscoll emails:

Hi Steve,

Thanks again for your segment on PJM Political this week. Due to a server glitch at XM, the show will air tomorrow (Friday) at 6:00 PM Eastern/3:00 Pacific, rather than today. But you can listen to the show now on the Pajamas Website:

[Click here]

As I