Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"106˚ in Mesa; It's not the Heat...

...It's the Hegemony."

Good Gawd. That Iowahawk is one funny dude.

h/t littlegreenfootballs

Guess who said....

...[T]he president will speak on national television. He will say this: Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons; if this happens, the entire region will go nuclear; our diplomatic efforts to prevent this have failed; Iran is offering a haven to known al Qaeda leaders; the fate of our ally Israel is at stake; Iran persists in supporting terrorism, including in Iraq; and sanctions will have no affect...Therefore, he will announce, our own national security and the security of the region requires us to act. "Tonight, I have ordered the elimination of all facilities in Iran that are dedicated to the production of weapons of mass destruction....." In the narrowest terms this includes perhaps two dozen targets....

Gary Hart in the HuffPo (natch).

Hart lays this all out as a scenario leading up to an "October Surprise" to affect the November elections.

On the other hand, I have absolutely no problem with the President taking a note from Hart.

h/t hotair

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

How much fun....

...would this be?

Chuck Schumer's having a stroke about now.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Azlibertarian's Pet Peeve #47...

...nailed by John, with the inspiration from Glenn.

CNN is an absolutely horrible network. A hotel which only has news provided by CNN makes for a miserable layover. I find myself constantly flipping through the channels, finding nothing to watch. If I was travelling on my own, I'd make my reservations based on what channels were in a hotel's TV spectrum.

Fox News rules (although I'm a bit perplexed about the whole ED Hill thingi. [also note the end of the article about a "Kim Hume" leaving after the mid-term elections. Interesting.])

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Hey. Look who has a burr under his saddle...

It appears that Clinton has gone all whiney about his legacy (such as it is).

h/t Stop the ACLU via Ace.

Update: Not that any of these folks need my help with their traffic, but you can read more on Clinton's legacy here, here, here, here, here, and here, among many, many others. Clinton screwed the pooch here. If I were a Democrat looking to win a seat in Congress in a couple of months, I'd be cringing now. This performance was all about Clinton and his legacy, and not about advancing the interests of Democrats. And Hillary(!) is doomed. I bet she's throwing more ashtrays.

Update2: I just watched the video again with the sound off and couldn't help but noticing Clinton's body language. Like all good politicians (and lawyers), he's learned to use gestures to help make his points. But he takes this to excess, IMO. I'm no expert on the meaning of gestures, but here's what jumped out at me...

He makes great use of his famous wagging the point at a couple of instances of changing his wagging finger into a stabbing finger. At other points, his wagging finger morphs into wagging hands. He leans forward into his opponent. He reaches across to stab his finger into Wallace's leg...a gesture that I would have a hard time not responding to. At one point, Clinton pulls back and defends his point with a hand to the face, his pinky touching the corner of his mouth.

I'm hoping someone with some expertise here can delve more deeply into his body language.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Political Seduction of Committee Reports...

I apologize for stealing the sub-title to Bork's book, The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law, but this opinion piece shows that politicians cannot help but be politicians. They will emphasize certain points while omitting or down-playing others as a means to further their daily political needs. [One can also make the case that the 9/11 Commission and it's report were similarly political.]

[Note to self: I'm beginning to read The New York Sun often...Update the links.]

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Paul Krugman...

Both Carl von Clausewitz and Willam T. Sherman were right: War is both a continuation of policy by other means, and all hell. It's a terrible mistake to start a major military operation, regardless of the moral justification, unless you have very good reason to believe that the action will improve matters.

In relation to Israel's action into Lebanon, as quoted in the Aug 1, 2006 Arizona Republic. Do you think he realizes that his exact words could justify our presence in Iraq?

Tony Blair...again

From the New York Sun...again.

Our response to the September 11th attacks has proven even more momentous than it seemed at the time.That is because we could have chosen security as the battleground. But we didn't. We chose values.

We said we didn't want another Taliban or a different Saddam. We knew that you can't defeat a fanatical ideology just by imprisoning or killing its leaders; you have to defeat its ideas....

Yeah. The whole thing is worth your time. Read it here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Damn That George W. Bush...

...And his BigOilBidness Rethuglican Cronies. Facists!! **Shakes Fist!**

Update to this post.

Iranian Flying Boats...

As an experiment to aid my understanding of Google Bombs, I am again showing this image, although this time not just as a link, but as an image.

I have written on Iranian military improvements earlier here. I don't get many readers, but of those that I do get, most come from a search for the above photo. In fact, a large proportion of my readers come from Iran. So this post is an experiment to see if I can google-bomb this photo.

Regarding Iran's military, I am somewhat conflicted. They are definitely a third-world power who is trying to bluff others into believing they are more capable than I believe they really are. As I wrote earlier, this flying boat has been around at least 25 years. Their 200 mph torpedo is basically a suicide weapon. Recently I saw video of an Iranian military officer flying a RC airplane into what appears to be a tethered hydrogen-filled balloon [Our squadrons of tethered hydrogen-filled balloons are in great jeapardy!]. Here... video of what I take to be an Iranian reconnaisance UAV. It does not strike me as capable of flight in anything but the calmest of winds, probably does not have much range, and appears to offer no better images than can be found on Google-Earth. They have a large military of largely under-equipped and poorly-trained cannon fodder. All-in-all, I am not impressed with Iran's military capability.

All that said, it won't take much to drastically change the equation. Their nuclear ambitions are, at best, quite troublesome. Barring those, the fact that choking or closing the Strait of Hormuz would be a childishly easy military task is something else for us to worry about.

It's funny how things work out....

I spent yesterday at the TSA's Crew Member Self Defense Training. It was a good, basic course taught by a couple of Phoenix Police trainers. There's much more to learn, and if the TSA can get more interest in this basic course, there may be follow-on intermediate and advanced courses as well, but that's for the future.

Anyway, one of the trainers responded to a question on why this sort of course is necessary with something like "People are either sheep, or they are wolves". I immediately thought to add that "People can also be sheepdogs", but thought better of it and we moved on. This same trainer also, seperately, spoke highly of this book.

So, later in the evening, over at Little Green Footballs, I was directed to this article. Was it my fate to read this article (again) on the same day these thoughts had been discussed in class?

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11...

On the fifth anniversary of the day that changed everything, I planned my month to be home. In past years I had either forgotten about the upcoming 9/11, or it didn't factor too highly in my planning, but this year, it just seemed different.

I had never imagined that my life and the lives of my children would be defined by war, but that seems to be the case. I've certainly changed at work--taken a pay cut, lost most of my retirement, and have taken other changes that I won't get into. I think Son #1 is entertaining a career in the NSA. Daughter #1 is on track to marry a guy from the Air Force Academy. Daughter #2 is active in her high school's UN club, and has a copy of The Qu'ran on the breakfast table as I write. Never in a million years would I imagine any of these things, but they are real, none-the-less.

I spent 9/11/06 just about like I had wanted to...with the people who mean everything to me. I made a sack lunch for Daughter #2, spoke with Son #1 as much as he's able to manage in the morning, finished some chores around the house that needed attention, helped out Mrs. Azlib on some of her work, went to a financial planner (finally!), and was able to briefly see Daughter #1 at ASU.

Anyway, I don't mean to offer something significant...just that being home was important this year, and it worked out well.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Thin skins...

The Democrats are upset at what they perceive as inaccuracies in ABC's The Path to 9/11. So upset that they've forced ABC to alter the show.

One is left wondering where this concern for accuracy was when Michael Moore was selectively telling his stories (e.g. 1, e.g. 2.)

One is also left wondering just how credible any complaints about accuracy are from a guy who admits lying about his theft of classified documents from the National Archives and another guy who would defend the sexual abuse of a subordinate with a quibble regarding the definition of "is".

Update: No sooner do I pen the above (Honest. I wrote mine before I went anywhere else.), than I click over to Chris Muir and see his take. Someone with far more impact than I might say: "Heh".

Monday, September 04, 2006

Missed this anniversary....

I should have remembered this anniversary. It will happen here one day, in some fashion.

So, Who's to Blame for This?

For many years, on the three-day weekends of the summer, we have seen the media cover stories on how high gas prices were. We see the stories about travel plans changed, how people are chosing to stay home rather than get away, and how the airlines and hotels are suffering because people can't or won't pay what it takes to travel.

Yet no (or at least, few) such stories are floating about on this Labor Day weekend. Gas prices are as low as I've seen in some time. In Houston (and I suspect many more locations), gas prices actually fell prior to the weekend.

More importantly, just how are the Democrats going to blame Bush for this?