Body Armor Debate

This is from an email from my dad, a Viet Nam veteran who usually doesn’t vent about things unless they are important, so I thought I better share this one with all. Thanks again for the two tours Dad, I am proud to be your son.

From someone who’s been to the valley of the Jolly Green Giant has been running an article on the testing of body armor for our troops in Iraq. The Military has stated that they will not pay death benefits on deaths of troops who have purchased their own armor. There are several things here that need to be addressed. Continue reading “Body Armor Debate”

Alas Babylon

This via Jerry Pournelle’s UK correspondent, Roland Dobbins.

In an act of at least partial contrition, an officer in charge of the US military occupation of Babylon in 2003 and 2004 has offered to make a formal apology for the destruction his troops wrought on the ancient site.

Colonel John Coleman, former chief of staff for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq, said yesterday that if the head of the Iraqi antiquities board wanted an apology, “if it makes him feel good, we can certainly give him one”.

 Full story in Belfast Telegraph here.

Imperial Islam

It’s not about Al Qaeda, it’s not about Israel, or any singular terrorist group. It’s not the Taliban, or other states like Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran etc. who supported terrorism in the past, or those who still do.

It’s all about Islamic Imperialism — all of these groups and countries are allied in ideology, Israel is just their stalking horse. Jihadism or Islamic Imperialism is a dangerous ideology, and it’s time that America recognizes the consequences of winding down the war on terror prematurely, especially now that malaise for the efforts in Iraq has set in. Continue reading “Imperial Islam”

Sense of Wonder

Some days I need to re-acquire my sense of wonder, many times I end up here.

I’m a sucker for a good turn of phrase

I am really a sucker for a good turn of phrase, great poetry, or good lyricism in a song. Growing up I read “Look Homeward Angel” to rags simply because Thomas Wolf’s prose is so good. I completely disagreed with his manic depressive angst, sturm and drang, but I kept coming back for lines like “Oh most weary unbright cinder.” etc.

Yeat’s Second Coming also really sang to me, even though it’s very apocalyptic. However nowadays I look for things a bit more inspirational, and less depressing.

For my previous post I was poking around the net for inspirational poetry / prose when I remembered the great soliloquoy from Savannah at the end of “Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome”. Continue reading “I’m a sucker for a good turn of phrase”

The Tell

“This you knows: the years travel fast and time after time I done the tell. But this ain’t one body’s tell; it’s the tell of us all, and you’ve got to listen it and [re]member, ’cause what you hears today you gotta tell the newborn tomorrow.

I’s lookin behind us now, into history back. I sees those of us that got the luck and started the haul for home and I ‘members how it led us here and how we was heartbroke cause we seen what they once was. One look and we knew’d we’d got it straight. Those what had gone before had the knowin’ and the doin’ of things beyond our reckonin’, even beyond our dreamin’.

Time counts and keeps countin’ and we knows now, findin’ the trick of what’s been and lost ain’t no easy ride. But that’s our track. We gotta travel it and there ain’t nobody knows where it’s gonna lead.
“Still, in all, every night we does the tell so that we member who we was and where we came from. But most of all we ‘members the man who finded us, him that came the salvage, and we lights the city not just for him but for all of ’em that are still out there, cause we knows there’ll come a night when they sees the distant light and they’ll be comin’ home.”

Savannah from “Beyond Thunderdome”

Exit strategy for Iraq and Afghanistan

Poor Harry Reid isn’t getting much notice in the press, even after his master plan for Dem congresscritters during Spring break. In his latest attempt, he states that we “don’t have the resources” for a military response to Iran.

Ignoring the fact that our troops not involved in Iraq and Iran number aproximately 2 million, we could still take action in Iran if needed. Remember that we took both Afghanistan and Iraq, both in weeks, both with forces less than 500,000 in strength. Iraq not only knew when we were coming, they also knew how thanks to the Russians. We still rolled them up like used tinfoil. (Thanks and a hat tip to the great troops, General Tommy Franks, and Stefan Possony, Jerry Pournelle, and Francis X. Kane.)

We might have to carpet bomb the road there, but make no mistake — we could make it part of our exit strategy for Iraq and Afghanistan to bring our troops home via Tehran International Airport.

Liberal Rites of Spring

It’s that time of year, and liberals everywhere are getting ready to demonstrate. It’s an annual reflexive pulse of hate every April and May. You first see small demonstrations against or for the latest cause de jour leading into May, and then we get to May Day.

The teachers rile up the students, the various socialist, green, and communist organizations and all their front organizations drum up the troops, and labor unions round up their stalwarts. Danny Glover gets arrested. There are speak-ins, teach-ins, crazy street theater, and marches, all serious, all about how terrible things are today.

Then everyone gets out and demonstrates on May Day, marching in serious solidarity across the globe, the world socialist, progressive, or whatever movement in a paroxysm of angst.

Meanwhile, most adults & all the children in America are out enjoying Spring and the joy of life by playing together, watching little league, planting the garden, flying a kite, making love, or walking the dog. In other words, the only ones who notice the serious statement and all the marchers are addled students and teens who can’t get laid, news bureaus, and the other demonstrators.

This year the rallying cry will be amnesty and all immigrants are legal, a lost cause but one they will pursue anyway in hopes of gaining new recruits from the ranks of illegal immigrants. The left always allies and recruits from the discontented, and the more discontented, the better for the welfare-statists. They will crawl in bed with anyone, even avowed enemies of the state.

Just remember the origin of May Day, and the past parades

Jihadis or terrorists?

In Friday’s National Journal Article Jonathan Rauch points out why everyone’s struggling to define the conflict we are in, and I think his observation is extremely important. We aren’t going to win, nor can we discredit the enemies ideology if we don’t define it better. This article went somewhat unremarked then because the net was reverberating to the “unorchestrated” confessions of six generals, and the new leaf turned by Patrick Moore. I think folks should take a look now that the furors have died down.

No single definition prevails, but here is a good one: Jihadism engages in or supports the use of force to expand the rule of Islamic law. In other words, it is violent Islamic imperialism. It stands, as one scholar put it 90 years ago, for “the extension by force of arms of the authority of the Muslim state.”

Jonathan Rauch, National Journal

UPDATE: I was a sucker for hard right agitprop when I started blogging, what can I say? Since this time I’ve done more study, and have seen how the extremists of both sides misinterpret “Jihad” just as Rauch does above. The far right clash of civilizations crowd is spreading Al Qaeda’s propaganda for them by using only the most extreme interpretations they destabilize and diminish the moderate muslims who make up the majority.

Sunday hodgepodge II

While the West is debating building nuclear power plants, China is building, Turkey is building, Iran is building, Russia is building, India is building, and both Australia and Finland are ramping up Uranium mining.

Meanwhile, other countries like Brazil are depending on Nuclear plants to help meet greenhouse gas goals, and the same opposition that has kept nuclear plants from being built in the west for thirty years still maintains their superstitious and uninformed anti-nuclear stance. It’s time for you to give Greenpeace a piece of your mind if you honestly care about the environment. One of Greenpeace’s founders, Patrick Moore certainly has….

All deaths to-date from nuclear power do not come close to equaling any single year of deaths from either coal or petrochemical power in the past thirty years. If you want a world of strife and warfare then keep energy sparse, expensive, and concentrated in a few countries. Maybe then we will see another year like the single one where deaths from nuclear did outweigh the deaths from all other power sources.

The Stars My Destination

Someone is finally going to make a movie from Alfred Bester’s “The Stars My Destination“. Constantin Film Development inc. and Impact Pictures appear to be putting together the film at present, and it’s about time.

TSMD is one of SF’s genre-defining classic works and it’s as current today as when it was written. It’s a Promethean tale of revenge ala The Count of Monte Cristo, with a back theme of the responsibility we all have in modern times with the powers granted through Science.

E.G. — if you have an explosive that can split the planet which is ignited by a thought then you must be responsible.

My only fear is that they will mess this up and make a special-effects dog’s lunch out of it instead of concentrating on the two major themes and three minor so artfully woven by Alfred Bester.

Gully Foyle is my name

and Terra is my nation

Deep space is my dwelling-place

and death’s my destination.

Alfred Bester, “The Stars My Destination”