27. July 2007 · Comments Off on Fallout · Categories: General, GWOT, Iraq, Media Matters Not, Stupidity, War, World

Well, it took about a day longer than I estimated for the Beauchamp-TNR kerfuffle-du-jour to expand to the size of the Hindenburg, metaphorically speaking, and then explode like a couple of wads of dubble-bubble chewing gum once the upper expansion limits had been reached.

Wow, look at all that sticky pink stuff all over the place… some of that is stuck in places and on people who will probably never be able to peel it off of themselves and go about their business as usual. Having written and published the “Shock Troops” pieces is a richly deserved embarrassment, but I don’t think the two most responsible parties will ever acknowledge that their own actions had a part in bringing on the landslide-quantities of fall-out. I imagine they will find some handy other party to blame it all on.

But I can almost bring myself to feel kind of sorry for young Pvt. Beauchamp, and Franklin Foer; it’s all a jolly good game, until someone gets hurt. And no one ever starts out intending to put themselves under the million-eyed, coldly analytical publicly-wielded CAT-scan that is the blogosphere. The inexperienced editor of stalwart and once-respected legacy media magazine probably had no idea of the firestorm that would erupt, once milbloggers and veterans began looking carefully into “Scott Thomas’s” curious accounts of vehicular canine-icide, trash-talking in the dining facility, and games with dead things.

If all one knows of the military life is the movies… especially Vietnam-War movies, such an account must have seemed quite credible. Sad to know that of all the staff at a mag like TNR, there was no one on hand with any sort of experience in the military in the last twenty years or so, who could take a look and say, “Look, there’s something not quite right about this.” Or even to do as Cpl. Blondie did, when she read about running over dogs with a Bradley. Which was to fall about laughing, and then to say, “Whatta pile of bull-s**t!”

And as for Private Beauchamp; I don’t think even the most relentless narcissist really would enjoy having their Myspace page fisked down to the sub-atomic level, and their own person, and every shred of their writings relentlessly and coldly analyzed by thousands of strangers. But then again… he put it all out there, on Myspace and in the TNR. . Made no real secret of wanting to be the next Wilfred Owen/Ernest Hemmingway, but comes off as a haphazardly educated, very bright, self-centered young idiot with an elevated sense of his own talent and not a shred of sense. He is still young enough to grow out of it; honestly a lot of people his age are idiots, but most of them improve over time, and exposure to real world of consequences.

And he sucks as a writer, too, which is even sadder. He doesn’t have that certain gift; that way of “seeing” that a writer has to have. Oh, you can have the vocabulary, you can sling together the sentences, and it all will parse on the page, but unless you can “see into” other people, and sense how they think, and deal with their foibles and take on their voices, your words all fall rather flat. Intuition, empathy, whatever you call it; if you have it, you can create people on a page, you can write about a place or an event and make it so other people can see and feel it also. Good writers, good story-tellers have that, but narcissists can only fake it for a little bit, about as far as Pvt. Beauchamp did. What a waste of time and tuition, and TNR’s reputation, just to mince up and re-hash outtakes from “Full Metal Jacket” and “Platoon”, for the titillation of the readers. And what a waste for the magazine. Of all the milbloggers on active-duty tours in Iraq, Mr. Foer had to select this unconvincing, unobservant fabulist, and throw his magazine’s authority behind him… because his wife/significant other worked there. How lame. What a smack in the face to the hundreds or even the thousands of better writers among currently serving milbloggers.

09. June 2007 · Comments Off on Absolutely the Very Last Word · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, General Nonsense, sarcasm, Stupidity, That's Entertainment!

On Paris Hilton. Really. I promise. I also promise you won’t stop laughing.

02. May 2007 · Comments Off on Power and Control · Categories: Fun and Games, General, Military, My Head Hurts, Rant, Stupidity, World

Well, so much for active-duty Army mil-blogging, if the Army Powers-That-Be have their way. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, public affairs-wise… but color me fairly unsurprised by this latest move to constrain active-duty Army bloggers. Frankly, if I am surprised at anything, it’s that milblogs by active-duty troops managed to escape the clammy clutches of the Public Affairs office for as long as they have. For a long while, I thought that someone up in the higher-echelons was actually being rather clever; in taking the hands-off approach. Milblogs got the word out, without being tainted by association with military propaganda; about the war, about the military, provided expert commentary and feedback, under no particular censorship other than that of good sense and op-sec as practiced by the individual.

For surely the military public affairs world must have known about military bloggers, fairly early on (say at least by 2002). I myself made a long slog up to the PA shop at BAMC about that time, offering to pass on any appeals they might have on behalf of injured troops. This was when Blondie was over in Kuwait, and our readers at the time were overwhelmingly generous to her unit… to the point where I wanted to see it shared with other troops. I talked to a civilian PA type, who at least had heard of military blogs, and promised to pass on my e-mail and URL to his superiors, and that was the last I ever heard. I’d have thought, based on my own experience, that as interested as the Public Affairs was in traditional media coverage of the military… I’d have seen a little more interest. Unless they were total boobs about this newfangled internet thingy. That wouldn’t have surprised me… much, but assuming some sort of hands-off policy at least gave credit for intelligence and creative thinking at the highest military PA level.

But… and that is the industrial-sized, multi-purpose, all-wool-and-a-yard-wide but (Hey, who let Rosie O’Donnell in here?). But… the military is an authoritarian institution. Top down and paved wall-to-wall with regulations for most things. As a rough rule of thumb, those in charge are supposed to have an idea about what the lower ranks are up to… yes, even you, General Karpinski. And those in charge prefer that those lower down the chain of command are doing what they have been told to do. Personal initiative is all very nice, and even lauded from those who have proved they can exercise it wisely and responsibly. For everyone else, there are rules. And it is one of those lamentable realities of the military world that almost the first reaction to a new situation or set of conditions is to make a rule or regulation about it. Leopard, spots, can’t change. Reaction, knee-jerk, officers for the use of.

I thought the Army was about the most extreme in this regard; the Air Force generally operated on the initial assumption that their personnel were intelligent and responsible, and only descended like a ton of bricks when an individual decisively proved the contrary. The Army seemed to operate from the opposite set of assumptions…possibly because it either saved time or was just easier. I saw a perfect example of this during my year in Korea, at Yongsan Garrison. Out of the clear blue, the Army Powers-That-Be suddenly forbade uniformed personnel to consume food from street-vendors, unless it was something like a sealed soft-drink can, or something in a package. Probably some poor troop got a tummy-ache from a bite of bad bulgogi at a street stand, but after a great deal of vociferous complaint and requests for clarification (what constituted the sort of food that was forbidden, what exactly was a street vender? Some of the open-air vendors were pretty permanent establishments!) the Powers-That-Be grudgingly clarified their purpose; which was that they didn’t want us to be eating food prepared by unlicensed vendors. Well, asked we at AFN… wouldn’t it be more logical just to tell people to not eat from unlicensed vendors… maybe, perhaps, maybe teach our audience what a Korean Department of Health food-vendor’s license looked like, and how to request it politely?
Certainly not, returned the Army Powers-That-Be, rather grumpily… that was not how the Army did things.

Ah, said we, in resignation… Of course; it was just the easy way. Not the most thoughtful way, or the way that encouraged people’s own sense of self-preservation, or the way that preserved the livelihood of those hard-working and licensed local national food vendors, or the way that might truly protect uniformed personnel from bad food. It was just the easy way. Make a rule.

26. April 2007 · Comments Off on If We Pull Out · Categories: GWOT, Politics, Rant, Stupidity

If we pull out of Iraq, the United States will never be trusted by anyone ever again.

If we pull out, the massacre that follows of anyone who even smiled at a U.S. soldier, much less who collaborated with us or accepted our help, will make the killing fields of Cambodia look like a freaking picnic. All of that blood will be on our hands because we failed to honor our promise to see this through.

If we lose, who wins? Al Queda, Iran, Syria, all of the folks who have been stirring the shite up since we got there. The entire region, not just Iraq, will fall into the hands of the people who want you, me, everyone who isn’t their kind of Muslim, dead. I’m guessing the Shi’ites will have the numbers so… The Sunnis, they’re dead. The Kurds, finally, once and for all, wiped off the face of the earth. We’re already responsible for a couple thousand Kurds dead due to bailing on them after Desert Storm, now we’ll be responsible for their genocide.

Ask the Iraqi people if they want us to leave. Ask the soldiers on the ground if we’re losing.

If this thing is lost? If there’s no hope for winning? Then to ask our troops to continue one more day is completely dishonorable. Every death that’s come before this day is completely without meaning.  If this is already lost and we don’t pull them out immediately? Every single American casualty from here on out is on our heads. Reid and his ilk want it both ways. “We’ve already lost, we have no chance of winning, but we’re going to leave our guys on the ground to continue dying for six more months so it APPEARS that we’re giving the government the chance to pull it together.”

If the war is really lost, call to immediately defund the war. Immediately. Have the balls to pull our guys out of harms way and let the slaughter begin.

UPDATE:  Which isn’t to say I think things have been going all that well.

11. March 2007 · Comments Off on Part of the Problem · Categories: Politics, Stupidity

Last week I started getting a bit excited about the 2008 Election. Why? Senator/Actor Fred Dalton Thompson may be throwing his hat into the ring. I loved him as the Rear Admiral in “Hunt for Red October.” I’ve liked him in just about everything I’ve seen him do on the screen. I was immediately excited about there finally being a decent candidate to vote for.

The problem for me is that until I started reading up on his political history, all I knew about him was from the characters he’s played on film and television. That’s what excited me.

I’ve studied entertainment. I know more about the history of entertainment in politics and religion than the average person, and STILL, my heart rate went up when I heard that a person that I recognized as an actor was possibly running for the Presidency.

The good news is that I’ve had those studies and I was able to calm down and actually start reading up on this guy.

He’s VERY conservative. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, or a bad thing, I’m just saying that’s what I’m reading about the man. Okay…that actually fits with most of the characters I’ve seen him play. No surprises. So as an actor, he seems to have chosen to play parts that he relates to. Okay, let’s be honest, as an actor, my guess is that he doesn’t do all that much acting. He’s hired to play himself. Watch “Hunt for Red October.” Then watch a few episodes of “Law and Order.” Same guy.

Now…here’s the hard question. What if he’s absolutely nothing like the characters he’s been playing? What if he’s the kind of actor who plays one character all the time? What if it’s all an act?

I don’t think it is. I think that’s why I’m still excited. Because one thing that Fred Dalton Thompson seems to be in every aspect of his life that he shows the public is a grown up. A grown up. I don’t think we’ve had a grown up in office since the first President Bush left the White House. Reagan was a grown up. Carter…not so much. Ford was a grown up. The current President? In my mind he did the best he could with what he had but was far too insulated by the people he trusted.

I certainly don’t see another grown up running. Maybe there’s another one in the background, waiting to join the fray. I don’t know. I do know that we certainly need some solid leadership in the coming years. We need a grown up.

Let’s hope it’s not all an act.

05. March 2007 · Comments Off on News Flash: Military Health Care Sucks · Categories: AARRRMY TRAINING SIR!!!, Ain't That America?, Air Force, Air Navy, Media Matters Not, Stupidity, Veteran's Affairs

You would think that the absolute cluelessness of the American Media, and many bloggers I might add, would fail to shock me.  You’d be wrong.

Anyone who thinks this is going to do more than cause some hospitals to paint a wall or two, raise your hands.

For almost 23 years I’ve mostly been given Vitamin M (Motrin) and/or Flexoril for just about every ache and pain that I’ve ever had.  I’ve been to a physical therapist twice even though I’m supposed to see one every other week…he’s usually so overbooked here he actually says, “When it hurts bad enough, come in, I’ll crack it again.”  After 20 years of rather constant “shin splints” they finally figured out I had compressed compartments.  The only reason they decided to operate was that they’d become chronic and were “getting ready to blow.”

And most of my crap is just muscles and nerves not doing what they should.  I can’t imagine being in need of any real treatment.

02. November 2006 · Comments Off on It’s Not Like the Republicans Have our Backs Either · Categories: Military, Politics, Stupidity

How the hell did WE get dragged into this political season?

WASHINGTON (CNN) — House Majority Leader John Boehner’s call for critics to lay off Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld because the generals are responsible for the conduct of the war in Iraq has sparked outrage among Democrats.

In an interview Wednesday on CNN, Boehner said, “Let’s not blame what’s happening in Iraq on Rumsfeld.”

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer replied, “But he’s in charge of the military.”

“The fact is, the generals on the ground are in charge, and he works closely with them and the president,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said.

Read it all.

The more I watch politicians, the more I love my dogs.

01. November 2006 · Comments Off on Dear Senator Kerry… · Categories: Politics, Stupidity

Nevermind, it’s too outrageous to get outraged about. You KNOW he was taking a shot at The President and missed. And even if he was taking a shot at the troops? It would just show the Senator’s ingorance about the education level of the folks in uniform. Is anyone in uniform NOT seeking a degree these days? I don’t know anyone who isn’t working toward something or another. Also, I know absolutely no one who wears the uniform who much cares what Senator Kerry thinks of them.

Even my inner liberal is banging his head against the wall, mumbling, “Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb…”

05. August 2006 · Comments Off on Vino, Veritas and Lucky · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, History, Pajama Game, Stupidity, Wild Blue Yonder

Unaccustomed as I am to giving a good goddamn about the blatherings of movie stars and other reality-challenged morons in the entertainment industry— we pay these people inordinately large salaries to dress up and pretend to be other people for our amusement, and I have always just tried to think of them as a breed of well-trained performing monkeys— I am a little surprised to find myself even considering a blog-post about Mel Gibson’s drunk-driving arrest and his subsequent widely publicized anti-Semitic outburst, recorded apparently in its very ugly entirety. It’s been all over the entertainment industry media, to which I never (well hardly ever) pay attention, but Blondie does – and if her reaction to the whole thing is anything typical, the very photogenic Mr. Gibson may have a big-post rehab problem. She was honestly revolted by the whole nasty diatribe, will probably not see whatever his next movie is, and is even put off by the thought of watching any of the old Mad Max movies again. In vino, veritas, you see, truth at the bottom the wineglass; she and I have been around long enough to know that an over-sufficiency of alcohol doesn’t really change a person. It just loosens inhibitions, and their grip on whatever façade they maintain over their true personality. Everyone knows people who are kind, funny and amusing sober, and even more so when smashed – and conversely, at least one individual who only appears to be kind, funny and amusing, when sober. When that kind gets a skin-full, the real underlying person comes out, and it is usually a memorably nasty piece of work. So, while drunk on his ass, a movie star who has a public persona of being a rather genial, fairly devout sort of family man is revealed to be – well, something rather less genial, to put it kindly. And since he is in the entertainment business, this has implications for more than just his family, circle of friends and therapist.

It’s enough to make one madly nostalgic for the old studio morality clauses, actually. On the whole and over the long run, we rather prefer our entertainers to have a private life pretty much be congruent with what they play on the screen, assuming that we have to know anything about their personal lives at all. Frankly I’d rather see someone like Meryl Streep or Judi Dench spend three decades or more playing a great many different and interesting characters, and living a dull and blameless personal life out in the suburbs between movie shoots. Or even a Robert Mitchum, who seems to have in real life been pretty much the same kind of two-fisted, hard-drinking brawler he often played. I’m fairly sure that Rock Hudson would never have been as big a movie star as he was, if everyone had known that in real life he played for the other team, although we can now appreciate him being a much better actor than we thought back then, playing all those love scenes with women. If he had been outed in the 1950ies, Rock would have been dropped – er, like a hot rock. What he was in real life, was just not congruent with the roles he played, and the public personality he appeared to be. I get the giggles myself, picturing him in a passionate movie cinch with Doris Day, knowing what I know now. So, how many people will giggle cynically when they see Mel playing a regular guy?

As I wrote here last month, anti-Semitism in the US never quite has attained the virulence that it has in Europe, for a number of likely reasons. Not to say it anti-Semitism never appeared in the American cultural or political body politic; there are plenty of examples to the contrary. But set against that are even more accounts of how in a lot of places, and on a lot of occasions, it was something that, to use an English expression, was just not done, being neither condoned or approved of, and on one famous occasion, it brought down a bigger hero than a movie actor, a man whose credentials for being an American hero were somewhat more substantial than being able to recite lines in front of a camera; Charles Lindbergh, the Lone Eagle, Lucky Lindy himself, who by 1941 had spent nearly two decades in the public eye, after his epic crossing of the Atlantic, solo and non-stop in a single-engine and the ghastly kidnapping and death of his first child and the resulting investigation and trial. Aviator, writer, scientist and traveler, he had become a passionate speaker, and one of the leading lights in the America First Committee, a group formed to oppose any American involvement in what would become the Second World War. Many of the founding members- intellectuals, businessmen, and politicians alike- were honorable, and passionate patriots, who were convinced that the war in Europe was none of our affair, and that involvement in it would not end well or to American advantage, and had the example of the first war to go on. Conventional wisdom of that time had it that America had been suckered into participating in World War One by an unholy cabal of slick politicians and greedy arms merchants, and as war broke out in Europe in 1939, Americans very rightfully felt they’d better not get fooled again. But there were other, less honorable motivations motivating members of America First, traditional dislike of Britain’s imperial and financial powers, admiration for or fear of Germany, deep dislike of President Roosevelt – and as historian David Gardner wrote “Anti-Semitism was the most inflammatory issue in the isolationist debate. Jews had good reason to hate Hitler… Jewish interventionists could therefore be motivated only by a desire to help co-religionists in Europe. To save them, Jews appeared willing to sacrifice American lives. The fact that interventionist sentiment was strongest in the traditionally conservative south and southwest, areas of small Jewish population, had done little to change popular belief that Jews were leading the drive for war.”
And by the fall of 1941, events had skidded way beyond anyone’s control, least of all the passionate anti-interventionalists of America First. Rooseveldt had won re-election the year before, a military draft had been instituted, Lend-Lease aid and volunteers flowed towards Britian, along with considerable American sympathy. After a U-boat fired on an American destroyer, President Rooseveldt authorized the US Navy to shoot back. Passions ran high, as events converged, and Lindbergh addressed an America First rally in De Moines, saying “The three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration. Behind these groups, but of lesser importance, are a number of capitalists, Anglophiles, and intellectuals who believe that their future, and the future of mankind, depends upon the domination of the British Empire … These war agitators comprise only a small minority of our people; but they control a tremendous influence … it is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire the overthrow of Nazi Germany … But no person of honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy here today without seeing the dangers involved in such a policy, both for us and for them. Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in this country should be opposing it in every possible way, for they will be among the first to feel its consequencesďż˝ Their greatest danger to this country is in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government…”
Lindbergh had long been a hero to most Americans, even as he had become so deeply involved in America First, and certainly viewed by many, especially in the Rooseveldt administration as an admirer of Hitler, and the Nazi Party, but this speech— described as intemperate and inflammatory — brought down a storm on his head. The America First Committee, fractured and was made irrelevant by Pearl Harbor, and Lindbergh himself was all but made a political outcast by the opprobrium that descended upon him.
Curiously, the speech that killed his political career was made on September 11th.
(More fascinating stuff about America First Committee… much of which seems curiously relevant, these days)

28. July 2006 · Comments Off on Still Learning the Ropes · Categories: Site News, Stupidity

If I don’t know or care who Glenn Greenwald is, does that mean I have to turn in my Blogger I.D. Card?

30. March 2006 · Comments Off on OK, This Beats It · Categories: Site News, Stupidity

I’ve gotten emails from a couple of readers about this before. But now it’s happened to me:

Sorry, you’ve banned from commenting on this blog.

Either your comment content was found to contain spam, or
your IP address (or a subnet of your IP address) has spammed this blog before.

If you think you got this page in error, your entered name might be too short.

Strike count: 5

Banned from commenting on my own g-damn blog – if that don’t beat all! LOL

Update: Well, I just did some interesting gymnastics to get this comment to post. (enter dummy comment, log out/in as “admin”, edit comment – replacing dummy with intended content). There’s something about that comment (and it’s not the word “shit”) that the system doesn’t like. Any ideas?

26. March 2006 · Comments Off on Easter Bunny Deemed Offensive… In St. Paul · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, Stupidity

This from Different River:

Don’t they know that their city was named after one of the main founders of Christianity? And that by calling that person a “Saint” one makes a specific religious claim about that individual?

[…]

This is not “being sensitive” – this is implying that non-Christians are stupid and/or inconsistent and/or outright hypocrites, who are happy to live in a city named after a Christian saint, but offended by one little stuffed rabbit.

First it’s cartoon pigs, then fictitious rabbits. As Napoleon said, “from the sublime to the ridiculous, is but a step.”

Hat Tip: Clayton Cramer

23. March 2006 · Comments Off on Personal Responsibility Takes Another Shot · Categories: Ain't That America?, Air Force, Pajama Game, Stupidity

I went to Boyo’s TaeKwonDo class at the Youth Center tonight to watch like I do on most Thursday Nights. Beautiful Wife watches on Tuesday Nights. We all enjoy that…for the most part. Other parents with smaller children often-times let their hellions run wild and they get in the way of the class and are generally disruptive. They’ve been talked to. Other parents have tried to calm the offending kids only to be glared at by the parents. It’s no worse than any other place with kids who can’t or won’t behave with parents who can’t or won’t parent, but yeah, it kinda sucks.

Tonight I noticed that there were a few parents in the snack bar and as I entered the gym I noticed there were no parents watching the class in there. One woman who is in the class and acts as a sort of liaison walked up with a letter on letterhead in her hand. She told me that parents were no longer allowed in the gym to watch the class. That was the solution. I found the Director of the Youth Center and told her that I understood, but I wasn’t happy about her solution. She looked annoyed that anyone would question her GS-ness and informed me that it’s ALWAYS been the policy that parents couldn’t be in the gym while class was going on. Okay, myself and other parents have been watching our kids for over a year in there and no one’s ever said a word before this, I knew I wasn’t going to get anything like a straight answer out of this self-important twit. She cited safety concerns and yadda-yadda and I stopped her and asked, “Why not just ban little kids who aren’t in the class from the gym and solve the problem? There’s like four kids who’s parents won’t discipline them, simply ban them.” She looked horrified. “We couldn’t do that, it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t do it across the board. Besides the instructors can decide on SOME nights that parents can watch.”

Okay, I was done. When they have an across the board hard policy that isn’t an across the board hard policy…

So because a few parents won’t discipline their brats, none of the parents can watch their kids in class anymore.

Crap like this makes me livid. Everything I’ve learned in 22 years of service about responsibility and culpability is trashed at the Youth Center. These are the people who are watching my boy after school. Don’t hold the responsible parties to a standard, simply punish all the parents and kids who want us there watching. The very last thing I expected from any organization on an Air Force Base.

Personal responsibility has always had a decent stronghold in the military, and it’s eroding at the edges.

Set a standard. Enforce the standard. When did this become hard?

The twist of lime to this story is that I found out today that it wasn’t even the brats in OUR class that caused the action. It was ONE kid in an entirely different class. One parent who wouldn’t control one kid completely ruins things for at least a dozen other parents.

18. March 2006 · Comments Off on Grim? I Don’t Think So! · Categories: Iraq, Media Matters Not, Stupidity

Jim Lingren at Volokh has acted on the barking moonbat’s lemming-like need to recite yet another phony “milestone” on the Iraq campaign’s death toll.

Comment threads at VC can get rather long. You’ll find mine here.

04. March 2006 · Comments Off on Reclassifying History · Categories: History, Stupidity

The blogosphere seems to have overlooked this story:

US intelligence agencies have been removing thousands of historical documents from public access, the New York Times has reported.

The restoration of classified status to more than 55,000 pages began in 1999, the paper said.

At that time, the CIA and five other agencies reportedly objected to what they saw as a “hasty release” of sensitive information.

The files include documents already published or obtained by historians.

The New York Times said the reclassification programme accelerated after President Bush took office and especially after the 9/11 attacks.

[…]

Under existing guidelines, government documents are supposed to be declassified after 25 years unless there is a particular reason to keep them secret.

But some historians argued that the reclassification program is removing material that can do no conceivable harm to national security, the New York Times said.

Some conspiracy theorists and Bush-bashers (even though the project started under Clinton) are running with this. But this seems more like another example of government bureaucrats with too much time on their hands to me. The original NYTimes article is now archived, and access costs, at least for non-subscribers. If anyone can forward me a copy, I would appreciate it.

13. February 2006 · Comments Off on More Evil Drug War Insanity · Categories: Drug Prohibition, Stupidity

If it weren’t for the BS this boy and his family is going to be put through, this would be hilarious:

A 12-year-old Aurora boy who said he brought powdered sugar to school for a science project this week has been charged with a felony for possessing a look-alike drug, Aurora police have confirmed.

The sixth-grade student at Waldo Middle School was also suspended for two weeks from school after showing the bag of powdered sugar to his friends.

The boy, who is not being identified because he is a juvenile, said he brought the bag to school to ask his science teacher if he could run an experiment using sugar.

Two other boys asked if the bag contained cocaine after he showed it to them in the bathroom Wednesday morning, the boy’s mother said.

He joked that it was cocaine, before telling them, “just kidding,” she said.

Aurora police arrested the boy after a custodian at the school reported the boy’s comments. The youngster was taken to the police station and detained, before being released to his parents that afternoon.

[…]

The school handbook states that students can be suspended or expelled for carrying a look-alike drug.

Penalties for juveniles are decided on a case-by-case basis, but if convicted, the sixth-grader could likely face up to five years’ probation, said Jeffery Jefko, deputy director of Kane County juvenile court services.

What he should get is an apology.

Hat Tip: WSJ Best of the Web Today

13. February 2006 · Comments Off on Note to the White House Press Corps (We’re Hunting Wabbits/Lawyers Edition) · Categories: General Nonsense, Media Matters Not, Stupidity

Subject: VP Cheney’s Hunting Accident

Look, you don’t want to know what the President knew and when he knew it, you want to know how come you all weren’t told right away.

I wasn’t even there and right off the top of my head my reaction is, “Oh I don’t know, perhaps folks were more concerned with the gentleman that was peppered with a 20 gauge than alerting the media.” I’m not a gun nut and even I know that while birdshot isn’t life threatening, it stings like a mother (hush my mouth).

Did the VP have a hunting license? Oh for-the-love-of-Mohammed-on-a-MoPed, who freaking cares?!

I can’t help but think that 20-30 years ago, this story would have been an interesting aside on the evening news at best.

Best thing I’ve heard so far: “I’d still rather go hunting with Vice President Cheney than go driving with Senator Kenedy.” Attributed to Rush Limbaugh…but still funny.

05. February 2006 · Comments Off on Urban Legend Comes to Life · Categories: Stupidity, Technology

From the, “Gosh, what a bad idea.” bin come this little tidbit.

AOL and Yahoo put price on e-mail
By Saul Hansell The New York Times
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2006

Companies will soon have to buy the electronic equivalent of a postage stamp if they want to be certain that their e-mail will be delivered to many of their customers.

America Online and Yahoo, two of the world’s largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from a quarter of a cent to 1 cent each to have them delivered. The Internet companies say this will help them identify legitimate mail and cut down on junk e-mail, identity-theft scams and other scourges of users of their services.

The two companies also stand to earn millions of dollars a year from the system if it is widely adopted.

AOL and Yahoo will still accept e-mail from senders who have not paid, but the paid messages will be given special treatment. On AOL, for example, they will go straight to users’ main mailboxes and will not have to pass the gauntlet of spam filters that could divert them to a special bulk e-mail box or strip them of images and Web links.

Yahoo and AOL say the new system is a way to restore some order to e-mail, which, because of spam and online scams, has become an increasingly unreliable mode of communication even as it has become more important in people’s lives.

So the two of the leaders in internet service are basically telling us that they can’t provide reliable spam-and-scam-free service unless they charge even MORE for it. I realize I’m not a marketing genius, but I’m thinking that’s a BAD thing.

Call me weird.

19. January 2006 · Comments Off on Where Are We Headed? · Categories: Domestic, Home Front, Politics, Rant, Stupidity

Things are not right in the great country that we grew up in: Right on the heels of a Vermont case where a man was convicted of child rape and received only 60 days in jail, comes a case in Massachussetts where a man was convicted, and plead guilty of raping a 15 year-old boy, receiving no jail time at all, only probation. Details of the latest case are sketchy, however, in the earlier Vermont case, a former high school math and science teacher was convicted in January 2004 of child rape by Judge Delvecchio of the Vermont District Court.

The significance of these cases points out the desperate condition of the court system in this country and the quite valid reason for the President to appoint as many conservative judges (who apply, not make, law) as possible during his term in office. Before I start getting piles of howling protest comments from the moonbat left screaming about imperial US power and civil rights, let’s take a deep breath and demand that the government use some common sense. This kind of madness from our courts must stop or we are doomed as a nation. Or is it too late?

29. December 2005 · Comments Off on You’ve Got to Laugh (051229) · Categories: Air Force, Memoir, Stupidity, The Funny

There was a particularly contrary officer that worked in my area. He wasn’t in my chain of command, but I had to deal with him on a regular basis. His problem: He simply didn’t trust anything enlisted people said. He wanted chapter and verse and a copy of the page where it’s written. And sometimes even when he’s wrong he’ll argue that it didn’t apply to us because we weren’t assigned to the Air Force at the time. He made me tired.

After two plus years and two hours of going around on one issue in particular, I threw up my hands in exasperation and simply said:

“Sir, I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what I say to you, I’m going to be wrong.”

Without any irony whatsoever his response was:

“Now that’s just not true.”

Luckily we were interrupted by one of the older civilian guys dragging me away because he needed something and I didn’t ruin the rest of my time there by laughing in the man’s face.

22. December 2005 · Comments Off on Big Brother in the Heartland · Categories: Ain't That America?, Domestic, Stupidity

I received my new liscense plates and registration the other day and forgot to mention something weird on them:

Bar Codes. There are bar codes on my liscense plates. So not only does the state government have me cross referenced by my liscence plate number, it also has me related to this bar code. Somewhere there’s a database that has my name attached to that bar code.

Part of me really wants to take that code to a tattoo artist and have it done just below the collar line in the center of the top of my back. But that’s also the part of me that still listens to XTC and New Order so…the rest of me doesn’t pay much attention to him…unless we want to dance badly and look completely like a middle-aged white guy. My hips don’t slip as easy as they used to.

20. December 2005 · Comments Off on I’ve Been Out of It Lately · Categories: Ain't That America?, Allied Treachery, Iraq: The Good, Rant, Stupidity

…but I’ve had a little time to catch up on the news and I’m confused about something.

Taking off my glasses and pinching the bridge of my nose:

Another unknown scum-sucking traitorous bastard (or bitch, I want to be politically correct) turns over classified information to the press. The press holds onto this information until things are looking good, no, great in Iraq with an amazing turnout for the elections, something we should all be feeling good about and celebrating. The press then releases that classified information, embarassing the United States, completely destroying an ongoing intelligence operation, letting our enemies know that our civil liberties are no longer a cover for their operations.

The story from all the media outlets is that the President ordered the electronic surveillance of Americans (whispering) who are in contact with terrorists overseas?

The story isn’t the ongoing scum-sucking traitorous actions of people who believe that releasing classified information is okay and that our press continues to sell us out to our enemies?

And unless I’m mistaken, the same people who are currently beating up the President for being over-zealous about protecting our country are the exact same people who have been blaming him for not being zealous enough about protecting our country from the attacks on 9-11-01.

Do I have that right?

Because if I have that right, I think I’m going to get ready to retire soon. My country has gone batshit crazy.

And yes, IF the President acted illegally then the Senate should have exercised their powers of oversite and done THEIR FREAKING JOB and they should have done it quietly so as not to embarass the country and ruin the intelligence that may have been gathered. This was a bullshit hit job on the administration for purely political purposes and it didn’t do anyone any good what so ever.

Update: If you want to read and mess around with the various legal arguments, head over to Protein Wisdom. Goldstein has a real good wrap-up. Start at the top of the page and scroll down, because some of it’s just plain funny.

20. December 2005 · Comments Off on Jackson Lee Jumps The Shark · Categories: GWOT, Politics, Stupidity

I have never had much respect for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D. TX). But, on today’s Kudlow & Co. on CNBC, she surpassed even her own level of idiocy: On the economy, it was just her whole stock monotone – “the only ones to benefit are the top 1%.” So Sheila, do I take it all the new jobs that have been created are for CEOs?

But then the discussion turned to the domestic (actually domestic/foreign) communications spying kerfuffle. And she issued a demand the Bush administration SHOULD RELEASE THE NAMES OF EVERY TARGET OF THE PROGRAM! It took me a minute to scrape my jaw off the floor after hearing this. As if our national security hasn’t been damaged enough already – let’s just compromise everything. What does she think this is, an Easter egg hunt?

21. November 2005 · Comments Off on Internet Grins & Giggles · Categories: General, Reader Mail, Site News, Stupidity

The following appeared in my hotmail inbox this afternoon; there is a zip-file attached, who among you thinks I am fool enough to open it?

But I will listen to any amusing guesses as to what these idjits were after.

Dear Sir/Madam,

we have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites.

Important:
Please answer our questions!
The list of questions are attached.

Yours faithfully,
Steven Allison

*** Federal Bureau of Investigation -FBI-
*** 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 3220
*** Washington, DC 20535
*** phone: (202) 324-3000

12. November 2005 · Comments Off on We’re Not The Only Ones Who Need Tort Reform · Categories: My Head Hurts, Stupidity

This from Perry DeHavilland at Samizdata:

Alexia Harriton, an Australian woman who is deaf, blind, physically and mentally disabled and requires round-the-clock care, is suing a doctor for allowing her to be born, with the full support by her mother. Never mind that rubella during pregnancy does not guarentee what happened to Ms. Harriton.

21. October 2005 · Comments Off on Tom Delay vs Ronnie Earle · Categories: Domestic, Politics, Stupidity

I’m sorry, I have no idea if Tom Delay is guilty or innocent. Personally, I think he looks like a snake oil or used car salesman and I wouldn’t play cards wth him.

However, if you’re over 15 and people are still calling you “Ronnie,” then dude, you got issues no matter how many people you’ve indicted. It doesn’t make you “one of the boys,” it doesn’t make you “just plain folk,” it’s creepy. Grow up already.

Just sayin’…

21. October 2005 · Comments Off on Shiny · Categories: Stupidity

The Headmisstress has a list of good and bad detergents for camoflage uniforms that she received from her Cousin Joe.

They’re talking specifically about the latest and greatest material, but anyone who’s played with night vision goggles knows that some guys just glow in the dark and others don’t.