Sunday, February 26, 2006

Another fine day...

Since I spent a full day retreiving our former-exchange student (and her luggage!) from her internship at DisneyWorld, I was able to get out to not just one, but two IDPA events.

In the morning, I went and was re-classified. However, I should say "classified again", as I shot the third stage of the IDPA classification absolutely horribly, so I re-shot it and ended up in the same classification as I've had for a year now. I improved from "horrible" to only "bad". Not my best morning, but hey, I got to shoot. [BTW, this is all in preperation for the State IDPA match, which I have yet to work out a kitchen-pass for.]

In the afternoon, I made it out to my range's monthly IDPA match. They had taken a couple of months off for scheduling issues, and it was good to get back at it. I shot much better, and am awaiting the results.

A bad day of shooting beats a good day of just about anything else.

Update: Classifier Match results are in. I'm worse than I thought. Silver lining: I should practice more.

Update: No kitchen pass for me. Family is in town. The entry money is an issue. And it's supposed to rain/drizzle anyway. I'll shoot next week either in the Tuesday PM match or on my own.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I'm repeating myself...

I've said before (most recently here) that The Officers Club contain some of the finest young minds on military and world affairs in the blogosphere.

So, if you're not already a regular over there, click here and begin your education.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cheney shoots a guy...

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a lawyer while on a hunting trip in Texas over the weekend.

So, aside from all "Cheney shoots a lawyer" jokes looming on late-night TV, what is the MSM all up in arms about?

They're all upset over the fact that it took 22 hours for the White House to make this public. They're in high dungeon about the delay. Hmmmm. Anyone notice what might have been happening during these 22 hours? Hint1, Hint2, Hint3, Hint4. Is anyone surprised at a WH motivation to not disclose something embarassing when it will be be the most damaging? Isn't this Rule #1 of Public Disclosure?

And, showing off my comedy-writing cred's; Isn't it delicious that Cheney was hunting quail?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Coretta Scott King...

I only watched a very small portion of the funeral for Coretta Scott King yesterday, so I can't speak to the whole thing. However, from what I did see, and the coverage the right side of the media has provided, here are a couple of small points that I may come back and address later more fully...

Jimmy Carter--Absolutely horrible. I used to respect his post-presidency, but since the War took us to Iraq, he's been horrible. Now more than ever.

Joseph Lowery--Simply egregious. His speech had almost nothing to do with Mrs. King. It was simply the same old DNC/NAACP pap used to bash Bush. A woman died. Some things transcend politics. Most of his words have no place in a funeral.

The Clintons--A more posturing, calculating couple could not be possible.

But to my main point here. Some of this may be taken as rather ugly....

As I think I've mentioned, I am an airline pilot for a major national airline. For the last 7 years, I've been a Captain. While it's certainly not routine, it is also not uncommon to run across celebrities on the plane. I can understand that a celebrity might view being locked in a tube with a public who may bother them is problematic. Sometimes, you simply don't want to talk, and a celebrity on a plane simply has no place to escape to.

For these reasons, my employer will often allow special treatment to celebrities--mainly in the form of finding a way for them to avoid the terminal. Celebrities often travel with an aide or family member who will act to shield the celebrity from the public. Again, I understand all this.

Now, to my thoughts on Mrs. King...

As a middle-aged white man, I can't say I'm all that familiar with Mrs. King. While I know that she's supported many civil rights causes throughout her life, I don't know of any writings or speeches she's given. She didn't refuse to give up her seat on a segregated bus. The impression I get from my distant perch is that her association with the MLK Center and participation in other civil rights movements were to act as more of a figurehead, than an activist. In short, I don't know of any direct or significant contributions she might have made to civil rights or anything else she might have felt were important. Her most significant achievement, to my knowledge, was to remind us that her husband had been assassinated.

In other words: She married well. Since her husband's assassination, she lived her life to remind us of that fact.

However, to my direct experience with Mrs. King...

I don't remember at all where we were going, but the agent told us that we'd have Mrs. King on board. She arrived and boarded from the ramp, where she'd been driven with police escort right to the plane. She and her aide sat in First Class, with the aide sitting on the aisle. [Tangentially, I've also had Jimmy Carter on a flight. He sat in Coach, and was a very humble passenger.] It was communicated to both myself and the flight attendants that she did not want to be spoken to, in any way. Any needs she might have would be communicated through her aide.

In other words: She didn't want The Help speaking to her at all. She was royalty, and commoners shouldn't speak unless spoken to.

And this is where my opinion gets real ugly...

I also got the impression that all of this were doubly so, if the commoner were white.

So, take that for what it's worth. I'm not a racist in any way. I just don't think she lived a life which warranted the eulogies of 4 Presidents at her funeral.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


The 'Muslim Street' is all aflame about a number of cartoons depicting their Prophet Muhammad. I haven't exactly figured out why, but in their view, any depiction is sacrilegious.

I've never really much cared for Thomas Friedman. I think his views are a bit constrained by the same disease which Saul Steinberg depicted so well. However, I've never been able to shake his point that the Global War we're now engaged in amounts to a Clash of Values (and forgive me, but I've been unable to find a citation to his point). The Muslim World values Virtue. They cannot tolerate alcohol, drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, pornography, or any number of "sins". They believe that there is a difference between Right and Wrong, and that they cannot in any way, condone something they view as wrong. They are strikingly intolerant of that which they view as Sin. The Western World values Freedom. We agree with the Muslim world that there are a number of "sins" that should not be accepted. However--and this is where the worlds seperate--we believe that when the choice is freely made to pursue Virtue over Sin, that that choice becomes all the more powerful. The downside is that in order to have this freedom, we have to accept those among us who would not make the same choice. Tolerance is both our Saving and our Achille's Heel. [As an aside, I thought it curious that, in searching for a citation of Friedman's point, I found that he's not exactly viewed well by the Left. However, I digress.]

So, back to the Cartoons...

It occurred to me yesterday that a visual stereotype of 'Muslim Street' is a street demonstration where something is burned...a flag, an Uncle Sam effigy, even the gruesome burning of American bodies (Find the image yourself...I won't post it.).

The Muslims can desecrate something which we value--a flag, an icon, a human being. They can even be all-but-forgiven when Palestinians, while escaping a shootout with Israeli military, take refuge in one of Christianity's most holy sites. But this is the response when something they value is trod upon.

Sorry, but if we have any stones at all, and if we recognize just what is going on here--Friedman's Clash of Values--the Muslim world is going to have to get used to more of the same. And Charlie over at the OC shows that perhaps the Europeans (so far, absent the French) are beginning to shed their Euro-weenie label.

Stephen Green has a post up from an Eastern European correspondent who makes the Piss Christ point--which better illustrates the point I've been feebly trying to make.

Monday, February 06, 2006


So, yesterday I caught a bit of news on the radio, which was mostly based on this story. Not that I'm overcome by spam (or email) but, I've noticed an uptick in the volume of spam I've been getting. Coincidence?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Usual Suspects...

Hey. Guess what? The Usual Suspects™ are all a-foam about Bush's SOTU speech last night where they claim Bush...
...spent over the first half of his State of the Union address angrily defending his lying and bloody war in Iraq. He not only verbally attacked those who dissented from this war, he literally had Cindy Sheehan illegally arrested and jailed for wearing an antiwar tee-shirt. Bush brazenly defended his widespread and illegal wiretaps...
[Sorry. I couldn't resist emphasising their adjectives.]

Ohhh. And Guess what else? They're gonna have a march this upcoming Saturday. I wonder if they'll have some of those Right-on-Stereotype Street-People Puppets?

If you can stand it, the whole thing is here. Scrolling down to the bottom gets you to an unsurprising list of names.

H/T...John over at The Officers' Club.