Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'd kind of forgotten about the whole Africa Command thing. Been pretty
busy conducting genetic experiments on cats.

But today, this guy I knew got tapped to head off to Stuttgart to do the
forming, storming and norming bit for AFRICOM's standup in SEPT08. That
made me put down the cat, the needle and the Dummies Guide to Mad
Science and start a google search.

Most of the articles I found were pretty insular, but I did check out
Mr. Lin's, who works for the Peoples Liberation Army and Conglomeration.

Now, right off, I had to laugh. Mr. Lin uses a type of Overspeak familiar
to anyone who's listened to Great and Dear Leaders.

The U.S. "moves to step up military infiltration in Africa." Two buzz
words there. Guess which ones?

And he ends with "Therefore, AFRICOM facilitates the United States
advancing on the African continent, taking the control of the Eurasian
Continent and proceeding to take the helm of the entire globe."

Yes, Pangea, we mean to dominate you!!!

In between, though, you've got a pretty good blue print for a long
delayed entry by the U.S. into that tortured continent. Tortured, I'd
say, by past colonialism and current crappy government.

Now CHICOM INC, has had a pretty good run of things, in mainly western
Africa (the Merovingian Franks take care, like a Corleone, western
Africa and the Nejd Boys nibble across the Red Sea into Northern
Africa), but by and large, Africa is wide open.

The CHICOMS and the Franks are basically in Africa to extract. Not that
there's anything wrong with that. But I think that with a little
American ingenuity and can do spirit (gee, Wally, you really think so?)
the U.S. can better any deal the CHICOMS or Franks make. Let's be
honest, since Moscow gave up the whole idea of a Brotherhood of New
Socialist Man and went back to racketeering, the whole market of last
resort has opened wide. If you can't buy US, then, like in the cold war,
you buy someone else. From increasingly sophisticated weapon systems
(CHICOMS) to crappy consumer goods (Franks. Look, if the CHICOMS made my
iPod, then....). In short, muscle them out the door, pat them on the
backside and say good bye. While they're there to extract, we'll go to develop. Like that poor, drowning scorpion, we can't help it. It's in our nature.

And it could be done relatively quickly, like in the 2008-2150
timeframe. Walk in the park. Kidding.

See, it's about competition. People, organizations and countries need to compete.

If someone tells you different, then they're probably trying to rip you off. Just goes to figure.

So we'll be rubbing ad bumping up against CHICOM, INC and the rump Frankish state in Africa. Looks like fun.

Competition is cool. Interconnection, actual interconnection (with a dash of freedom) is better. We compete with the E.U. over Airbust and Boeing, and perhaps we'll wind up negotiating moon rights with the CHICOMs.

Who knows?

Back to AFRICOM.

The best part about AFRICOM is it's status as a new, probably more agressive type of COMCOM. From GOVEXEC:

African Command, or AFRICOM, will be unusual in that its headquarters will have a much greater interagency make-up and civilian membership than the other unified commands, with significant participation by the State Department, U.S. AID and other government organizations, said Ryan Henry, under secretary of defense for policy.

AFRICOM will be the first COMCOM to unite the olive and the arrows. May be a model for future, interagency, effects based approach to global problems.


The "Cheney Assasination Attempt"

Look. You roll out the gates of BAF, and you go down this road, past the "Haji" mart, travel a bit more and hit an inner cordon. There, maybe you'll see a group of Afghani's queing up for high paying jobs. Exit this, and you'll head towards the outer cordon, manned by Afghani troops. Leave this, and you're in the town of Bagram.

A town so small, they roll up the sidewalks around noon.

Today, some as*hole detonated there, and killed some innocents.

The Vice President was in as about as much danger from the "attempt" as from an asteroid impacting on his head.

Effects Based Operations.

Crudely, your Measure of Performance is what goes "boom". Measures of Effectiveness is what the boom does.

Crazy eddies MoP was to detonate a lone, deranged bomber against a hardened target of some ten to twenty thousand folks. The MoE was to cast this as an assassination attempt.

And to hear the coverage, it worked.

Goes to show, Effects (perception) can trump Performance in a permissive environment.

This global memescape is nothing if not permissive. Not because everyone wants the Man Jammie Jihadi variant of crazy eddie to win, but because many have some element of crazy eddie in him.

World we live in today. America is hated for a variety of reason. But it's laughable to see all those reasons as valid. Some people need to get over themselves, or simply depart.

I, for one, have no problem being a scion of the great satan.


Science fiction get's a bad rap.

You know, it's the stuff of geeks. People who dress up in Starfleet uniforms, know all the words to Star Wars XIIXLI: The Siths Buy a House and can follow the rather byzantine Battlestar Galactica.

But that's a bum rap. O.K., it's not a bum rap, but it doesn't tell the whole story.

One of those little Nintendo hand jobbies has a "mind game" cartridge, that let' you play all sorts of mental games. It's a sort of handheld gymnastics for the mind.

That's kind of how I look a scifi.

It stretches the mind, and makes you think. Science Fiction let's you look at a planet like playdough, a solar system as a battery, and a galaxy as real estate.

I've always been fascinated by megastructures. I think ninety percent of the reason I like Robotech was the fact that the Zentradi had Big Effing Ships.

I'm a fan of ringworlds, dyson spheres and whatnot. A ten kilometer ship is, for me, a pocket battleship. That's just how I roll.

Now, I realize that I'll never see these megastructures. The largest structure I'll ever see is my levi's, as my butt expands to absorb the known universe.

A least I can wonder, and exercise the old noggin, in the interim.

Megastructures on wiki.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Semper F(orever)i

So I had a conversation, awhile back, with this Marine.

You know, something is not a good idea, unless someone one out there is trying to kill it. The Marines go through ups and downs, over their entire history. Sometimes they can do no wrong, other times folks are trying to kill off the branch.

He made the argument you always hear from Marines: vertical envelopment from the sea, expeditionary, America's rapid response force, yadda yadda yadda. Which is not to say I disagree, it's just not the argument I'd make about keeping the Marines around. My reasons are always more prosaic.

The Marines are the other county heard from.

The Marines don't get alot of sweet lucre. In fact, they're starved, relative to other branches, of sweet cash. The Marines have to improvise. And innovate.

They're always coming up with great ideas, like the MAGTAF, and best of all, they're easy to steal from (hello...ACUs?).

The Army is like Grant, grabbing the enemy by the waistcoat, reaching around the neck and andaconding the enemy. The Marines are Lee.

America needs both.

So I was in jail yesterday. Petty larceny, or something. I don't know. Didn't pay attention when the cops maced me and dragged me out of the house.

Had other things on my mind.

I had to do some more reading on the Effects Based Approach.

Say you're one of those War Lords, and you've been assigned to take out some bad guys. You sit back on the crushed skulls of your enemies, and ruminate a bit. Then you issue your Commander's Intent. This tells your murderous horde what it is you want them to do. Then you issue the Mission. The troglodytes then understand that you, Og, want them to "seize,hold,deny" something or other. Finally, after much back and forth, your staff comes up with the Concept of the Operation. This is the blueprint to success, with phase lines, and such things. So with Intent, Mission and Concept of the Operation, you have the Why, the When and the How.

Intent: Win

Mission: Seize key terrain No Later Than this Date Time Group.

Concept of the Operation: Depart your horde of death dealers at this time. Move along Axis Gimli, kill all Orcs vicinity Saruman. Blocks Suaron's reinforcement vicinity the Black Gate. On Oder, be prepared to storm Mount Doom.

Now this is great for a linear, force on force battle. When you're going up against a like force, that can be destroyed or compelled to surrender. The good old days.

The Effects Based Approach inverts this. Done well. I hope.

Instead of investing so much time in a specific (tactical) Concept of the Operation, Effects spends it's money on Intent.

Intent: Win. Deny enemy freedom of movement. Destroy enemy concentration. Stabilize civil society. Etc.

Mission: Seize key terrain No Later Than this Date Time Group.

Concept of the Operation:


Information Offensive


Embedded Tactical Trainers




Medical Assistance



Instead of Intent being mere parsley for the Kinetics, the Kinetics adopt a more supporting role towards the Intent.

This makes sense. Intent is the reason you went to war in the first place. On a complex, shifting battlefield, an over reliance on Kinetics can queer the whole Intent. Not to, in anyway, downplay the importance of Kinetics, but add to the Combatant Commanders toolkit.

Least that's the way I see the Effects Based Approach. Well, me and the Crazy Eddies. They've been following the effects based approach for years.

But that's another post.

Got to get back to my cell.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


(the video is still processing in youtube)

No, this is youtube.

My wife's fault, really. She's the one who gave me a bathroom pass to geek out on the web, today.

Anyways. Mixed up the Army Strong video with the 300 trailer. Please. Check it out.

Works, as an "effect."

Lordy. Youtube is slow. Here's a googlevideo version:

Star Trek: First Contact

Man, I haven't seen this in awhile (even though I do have it on VHS, a sort of late 20th century technology used to store information). Love the quote:

"They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again! The line must be drawn here! This far, no farther! And I will make them pay for what they've done!"

-- Jean-Luc Picard

But then, as cast, this Picard is a nut. Like Cromwell:

"You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

And Leonidas, from the upcoming movie The 300:

"This is madness!!"
"This. Is. Sparta!!!"

Hah, hah. Silly freaks.

Oscars are on tonight. Enjoy.

Endless fascination

A couple, two three posts ago I mentioned that the GDP/NP of the U.S. was ten trillion dollars. I remember that from one of those joke email lists I'm on. Sometimes the guy sends out serious stuff.

Anyways, these notes, taken from a speech, said the U.S. economy was worth ten trillion dracma, and that this sum represented half the World National Product. Annually.

Kind of puts things in perspectives. Like when you hear that France or Germany or England as the third, forth or fifth largest economy, it's kind of like saying after Wilt Chamberlain and Napoleon Dynamite, I gets all the babes.

I think about wealth often.

I'm endlessly fascinated by things I don't have.

Like a personal spaceship. Or boobies.

The US economy is mindboggling. Of course, some misguided Americans will say this is because of the rule of law, respect for property, contractual protections and treating your population as an endlessly renewable resource of innovations and ideas. They would be wrong.

America's wealth is directly attributable to:

1. Satan.

2. The Dark Magicians of Weegum Mountain.

3. The Jews.

A War of the Lobbies rages across the memesphere. A debate on who exerts more influence on American foreign policy: the Jews or the House Saud.

I don't know. I sure Satan has subcontracted out the task of guiding American Foreign Policy, but to who?

I look at it this way. Sure the Jews and the House Saud have alot of money. But, that's like saying a guy who owns several inner city McDonalds franchises and a Trust Fund Baby, aspiring to be Paris Hilton, are both millionaires. Sure, but Franchise guy operates in a rough neighborhood. He's got salaries to pay, police to bribe and mob protection rackets to join. In short, not alot of disposable income. The Trust Fund Baby, on the other hand, just needs turn on the tap when she needs more money. She's free to indulge in all sorts of obsessions and fantasies: a sort of Surreal Life for the Nejd Set.

I'm sure we'll sort this out. I mean, I don't mind being bought, but I would appreciate knowing who's hand is doing the buying.

It's a matter of where to send the Christmas cards.

I Admit to Some Prejudice

Generally, I consider myself to be prejudice free. But that's not entirely accurate. I admit a certain bias towards bilaterally symmetric bipeds. Just my thing. Creatures that crawl, wiggle or swim laterally through the ocean kind of creep me out.

We all have our crosses to bear, and whatnot.

So I've been knocking around with these dinos (pictured below). I'm sure they look like something, but I can quiet figure out what. One thing I've given up on, though, was trying to invent something new. Everything is old, only our way of looking at them differs.

Anyways, here's the martian dino, with a martian bunny for rough size comparison:

Celestia Goodness...

Awhile back I posted a link to Celestia. A sort of Google Universe to let you get around in space. Doing research for a super double secret project, I came across a forum, with instructions to adding even more geeky pleasure into Celestia.

Here's a couple of grabs from the forums. Fascinating stuff:

Do the Hustle....

Well, folks, it's Six Months Now, and like clockwork, Seymour Hersh is back with another "Bombshell Article Detailing a Series of Allegations about U.S. Plans for ________ ."

Sey writes:

After the revolution of 1979 brought a religious government to power, the United States broke with Iran and cultivated closer relations with the leaders of Sunni Arab states such as Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

What a bland statement. No mention of the Hostage Crisis, or any such nonsense. Nothing about the Great Satan, no foreshadowing the events in Lebanon, simply "the United States broke with Iran.." Must stay focused.

Look, I'm not here to fisk this article, and I agree with some of Sey's conclusions: namely, the U.S. government is preparing to urinate in the Persian Mullah's cheerio's sometime in the 07-08 Timeframe. Only one getting a Pass from the Axis of Evil is the NOKO.

Sey sees this as a bad thing. Me, not so much.

I found the article interesting because, like the Libby Trial and like American Idol, it provides a window into the mindset of our dear leaders, the movers, the shakers, the candlestick makers. You know, much like Bob Woodward's sources are pretty apparent ("he bestrode the earth like a demigod, a halo of goodness surrounding his graying head, a sense of pureness permeating his very being, and he agreed to speak with me on the condition of anonymity. This is his story."), you can kind of tease out who Sey talks to, when sourcing his semi-annual shtick.

The Diplomats.

Look at his cast of characters:

current and former officials close to the Administration

A senior member of the House Appropriations Committee

a U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel

To be fair, not everyone mentioned by Sey is an adjective, some have proper names. But it's always the Adjective Frat that leavens the bread.

'Course, reading further, I get this gem:

Current and former American officials told me that the intelligence, which came from Israeli agents operating in Iran, includes a claim that Iran has developed a three-stage solid-fuelled intercontinental missile capable of delivering several small warheads—each with limited accuracy—inside Europe. The validity of this human intelligence is still being debated.

So Today:

Iranian State TV are reporting that Iran has successfully launched a satellite into space on an Iranian built vehicle, as the opening salvo in their homemade space flight ambitions, as they aim to "join the space club."

Ooops. But it's not Sey's fault the Persians went off script. They have had an annoying habit of doing that, these past few years. Just ask the EU3Squared Plus One Minus Six negotiators. It's hard keeping Crazy Eddie on the reservation.

But again, this is not about Semi-annual Sey.

I've had the distinct pleasure of having my picture taken with both the (then) Secretary of War and the Secretary of State, each time in my capacity as an International Man of Mystery.

The arrow and the olive branches of the great seal of the Republic.

Both had some similarity.

Both, for instance, are actually very short.

Both represented the meat and potatoes of the American government. I mean, sure, there are other departments: Department of Loot, Department of Agricultural Subsidies, Department of Commerce (Hey! We're in the Constitution!!), Department of Teachers Union and the Department of Tax. But to describe them as lesser includeds would be to overstate their importance.

So War and State are co-equals. And should, ideally, parallel, and not oppose each other in efforts. Representing the interest of the United States to the world.

This morning, Henry Albright and Madeleine Kissinger were on the Wolf Blitzer Snow Show. They're from different political traditions, right? Served different presidents, yup? Wear the same undergarments? No idea.

But no matter how Wolf spun the questions, they spoke with one voice.

Need to talk. Check. Find moderates who...Got it. Diplomacy must be given...All over that.

Only place they divided was when the Madeleine Hybrid said the because the U.S. is a nation of laws, it must obey international laws. No thanks.

If the application of military power can be described as (especially with the U.S. current overmatch towards the ROTW) using an elephant to swat a fly, then our diplomatic approach is best described as giving back rubs to whatever "moderate" decides to show up.

In an ideal world, our diplomats should should to be able to take whatever Dear Leader they're negotiating with, walk him to the window, point to the horizon and say, "hate to bother you with this, but see that battle group nuking there. 'Fraid that's our boys, and they're right testy. Something about wanting to blow you to hell and back. Lets you and I sit down and see if we can find some way, in which you agree with everything I say, that we can avoid that spot of mess."

Or, as The Diplomat would say, the two track approach.

Instead, we have a class that seems better in representing the interest of the World to the U.S. than the other way around. Not for nothing the Department of War is moving into areas traditionally reserved for State and Intelligence. Nature abhors a vacuum.

Like the Madeleine Hybrid's comment, above.

Representative Jane Harman, Intelligence Babe, was also on the Wolf Show. She said something to the effect that while yes, the Persians were moving explosively formed projectiles into Mesopotamia, there was no evidence linking it to the "highest level" of the Persian government. Old news, fresh dead. Whatevs. Or, in other words, unless and until Amadenijad (sic? yup) is caught driving a jingle-lorry across the border, there will be no causi belli? Did I interpret that correctly.

I'm going to charitable here. The Diplomat sees war, all war covered on the news, as an absolute failure in his craft. The Diplomat should, in his view, be part of the world, but not of the world. Able to suspend two hostile nations (even the one paying his salary) in a perfect dance of endless negotiations, treaties, obligations, agreed frameworks and processes. The perfect Diplomat should be, in a name, French; able to say nothing, and say it well. The perfect Diplomat is at once Metternich and Bismarck, with the wit of Disreali and the dash of De Villepin. The perfect Diplomat is known for his wit, his ability to get along, his ability to get you to agree with everything he says, and further, take those as his own arguments. And when that house of cards come crashing down, the perfect Diplomat is nowhere to be found.

It's like losing weight. The longer you put off running and hitting the gym, the harder it's going to be to lose weight. The longer the diplomat dances around resolving central questions, the harder war will be, if it comes to that.

Remember about a month ago, when the Sons of Sheba chased out those crazy eddies, then going by the name du jour of the Islamic Courts Union, from Mogadishu? Well, in swung the Perfect Diplomat, by the name of Jendayi Frazer, in search of "moderate islamists" with whom to negotiate with. Unfortunately, several AC-130 gunships from the CJOA-Horn of Africa found them and "negotiated" them into a long, well deserved rest. Ms. Frazer departed without a Signed Agreement.

(Ed note: any mention of "moderate islamists" and Ms. Jendayi Frazer seems to have gone the way of the memory hole. I have only this fragment of Google News rescued from Winston Smith's hot little hands).

Last week, because I was bad, I found myself in a room, while some giant brain spoke in tongues to the audience. He said things like "Nodes", "Effects Based Approach", "System of Sytems Approach", and attacking the enemies "PMESII (Political, Military, Economic, Social, Information and Infrastructure)." Then he said he was the God of War and He Spoke Truth and Knew All.


He said this was emerging (read, we are making this up, right now) doctrine and had it's limitations. Taken to far, and you're back to some CIA Analyst and State Department Drone conducting a bizarre, ritualistic mating dance around some cocktail table in Delta Charlie. Beware the dangers of Overthink. It's not the same thing as Smart.

In attacking the enemies PMESII, we're supposed to use our DIME (diplomatic, informational, military and economic) power to effect change on the enemies nodes. Less politely, were supposed to do everything to mindf----- them. At least, that was my check on learning.

Problem I have is not the SoS Approach. I like systems. I geek out on systems, and nodes and effects. I also have a near Hayekian aversion to trying to control complex systems. But a little nudge here and there certainly never hurt anyone (you don't intend it to hut). So, I'm good with systems.

The problem is in the DIME.

Diplomatically: we seem, in the words of Four Banger Honore, "stuck on stupid." When you find yourself in a hole, stop negotiating.

Informationally: here, we seem caught in a form of self loathing that gives the enemy "other" all the breaks.

Militarily: still taking names, beyootch.

Economically: GWOT 1.0 is a headcold for a ten trillion dollar economy. Don't let Dr. Evil do your economics ("the enormous sum of ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Bwah ha ha ha!!).

So what if you gave a Long War, and only one element of national power showed up?

We're seeing that effect now.

We've been fighting with both hands and our brains tied behind our backs. Only thing we've been using have been our legs, to kick with, and that's not very stable.

The Now Enemy has adopted the two track approach. One the one hand, he's cheerfully sending bombers into markets to immolate shoppers, beheading the brains of societies, detonating transportation modalities, introducing uncertainty into the sinews of our societies. He's been doing this in Australia, Europe, South East Asia, South America and beyond. On the other hand, the enemies been using the slow approach of assimilation and conversion. Adopting "multiculturalism", "hate speech" codes and the trappings of religion to disguise a political agenda.

The enemy has been smart, not because he is, but because he has too. No carriers, strategic objectives and ten trillion dollars to clutter his view.

Enemy's on a budget, and so adapts accordingly.

So when a look at the Sey Hersh's that dot the current memescape, I can't help but sigh. Wheel's with in wheel's, it's more complex than the Trufers have ever dreamt within their philosophies.

Then there's GlobalWarmingChange. But don't even get me started on that.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Moment of Levity...

Well, I finally got the wife to back off the pure bred Akita and it's attendant costs (a gazillion dracma).

She's agreed to rescue a dog from the pound.

Her: "You know, any dog we get will be mixed."

Me: "You know, any kids we have will be mixed."

I'm good with that.

In other news.

Wonkette was all over this a year ago, but I just happened to catch Mrs. Frances Townsend, Assistant Something or Other for Homeland Security, walking up the stairs to the White House to read over scripts from 24. The scene was constantly looped on CNN.

She's certainly holding for her (unknown) age:

A Salute to America's Criminal Class

Seriously guys, I salute you. My wife has been in this country less than a year, and you've managed to steal her identity.

Bravo. Let no one call my nation second rate in anything.

But you were a little sloppy, and part of that is our fault.

See, we pay our bills electronically. Except for two, who, in pursuit of some twentieth century ideal, only accept checks through the post. Those checks I make sure go into those beautiful little blue boxes about town. Aside from the occasional netflix, nothing important goes into our rural box.

But you had our names. And that was enough.

Seems you took out a loan in her name, and conducted business with the National Guard, in my name.

Then you got caught. Ooops.

Got the letter today, from the postal inspector. We just swore out our complaint. And to add insult to irony, one of those credit card mills sent their "preapproved" card to the wife, you know the one, with the 6,500 dracma spending limit? And the 200.00 dracma "annual fee". Bet you were looking for that one, eh? We got it today.

We called the credit reporting agencies, to stick a fraud alert on her identity. Seems someone has already done so. Good. Hope that's what busted you.

I love my wife. I love her nubile body. And I love her nubile credit rating.

You committed theft against her person, and I look forward to seeing you in court, dear friend.

I'm a civilized man, so I'll be calm. But I will take pleasure in seeing you go to jail. Federal even. Real nice places those. Hope you stole a fortune (at least Enron levels) then maybe you can get a nice sinecure in one of those Club Feds. Not my concern, though. Your bed, etc.

You committed theft against my wife.


Friday, February 23, 2007

So, there I was, there I was....

A couple of bloggers had me thinking of the Civil Rights Movement. You know, the Civil Rights Movement, now, what, some forty years ago.

I came up in the aftermath of the movement. Seriously. When I got on the bus, heading off to first grade, for the first time, I had no idea that a mere two years before, people had rioted over the thought of me busing out to "their" school.


As I got older, I studied more about the movement. The picture that sticks most in my mind was one of serious young men and women, ---black, white, jewish, ---in severe black suits, narrow ties or modest dresses and white gloves marching towards dogs and firefighters, or sitting down at counters with shop owners menacing them with baseball bats and other sorts of mischief.

I know that many of them were beaten, some of them killed.

Medgar Evars.

And yet they marched.

There was a certain cognitive dissonance between the application of the American Dream and it's application.

So they marched.

Many of these peace protesters were beaten, were imprisoned, were murdered.

And onward they marched.

They didn't raise a hand. The restrained an almost natural, primal instinct.

And they marched.

When I think about protesters. About peace activists. About speaking truth to power. I think about these men and women.

Who marched to sit anywhere one the bus. Not to blow the thing up.

So here we are now, on our local. And we have peace protesters, and activist and militant activist militantly activating, and thuggery and threatening and the lot.

See, these jokers use the language of the movement. They do, but in their hearts, there's something, something, there I can't quite name.

The evil that men do.

So we get to play this game, with each his/her/it's assigned part. In my heart, it's like a play I've seen a thousand times. And will see again.

So speak truth to power. There is, among men, a realization of what is right and what is wrong. We'll never escape that, it just is.



Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Self Inflicted Gunshot Wound

I had other things to write, but will instead begin and end with this:

Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility

Sometimes you fluck up, and let a brother down. This was one of those times.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pronoun Troubles

So, as I am want to do, I was mulling over some of the conversations I had this past weekend.

Smart, pretty chick, fiance of good, funny dude, was pressing me on the issue of Carbon Credits for the Masses or some such.

At the end, I told her my distaste wasn't for the ideas, it was for the mob that surrounded the idea. Look, every movement has a good, at least one, good idea. It all comes down to methods and implementation.

For example:

The flavour of mob running around arguing about the purity of the white race? Got it, I'm with you. In my single days, nothing was more pleasing to the eye than some tall, hot, blond Nordic chick.

For the mob wanting a Solution To Our Global Problem? Well, where ever you come down, I'm against litter in general and planetary rape and pillaging (unless we're talking bout Mars) in particular.

For the mob who says the only way to worship god is by narrowly interpreting Bob's (PBUH) word and killing the unbeliever, enslaving the fairer sex and bombing randomly throughout the world....well, I'm still working on some sort of rejoinder.

No mob starts out with a bad idea. No mob says "our belief is to test all men over the age of eighteen, daily, with a swab, for STDs (ask a guy friend)."

There's always this good idea which animates them.

Well, my problem will always be with the methods, not the idea. So, you think gays, blacks, certain jews, self loathing whites and palestinians are the cats pajamas and you only want to lynch the wealthy who won't give you money, white males in general and white male athletes in particular. So?

The problem is not who you want to lynch, but that you want to lynch.

Like Bugs Bunny said. Pronoun Troubles.

Here's a picture of a tall, hot Nordic chick:

A Place to Shoot...

So many years, days, hours and minutes of looking I drove by this range to go shooting.

It's one of wife's secret pleasures. Me, I get enough gunplay at work, in my capacity as a rather lousy international jewel thief. Not my fault, see, on of account the alarms always go off.

My wife likes shooting so much, that I suspect she finds me a little effeminate for not having any nuclear tipped warheads around. The girl loves a bang.

So, I found this range and we'll probably go shooting this weekend.

Her shooting improved when I showed her some reflexive fire techniques. Way I see it, there's two ways to shoot. Weapon up, at the ready and steady, or weapon down, pointed towards the ground, and swung up when the target presents.

She shoots much better reflexively. When shooting handguns, then every fraction of an inch matters, even shooting over ten to twenty-five meter distances.

The more you analyze the target (non reflexively) then the more likely you are to miss.

There's a point in there, somewhere.

I took pleasure in using my QWEST service to call up COMCAST and order us up some new service. QWEST three-in-one just kept crawling up in price, month after month. Couldn't figure it all out (plenty of hidden fees there).

Got to save money. My wife and I are planning on acquiring a Landhold and staffing it with a couple of serfs (you may call them children).

It was only on my way to work this morning that I became aware of the massive conspiracy to separate me from my money. In the beginning, I thought it was just the taxman, but as the day wore on, I realized that salesmen/women, the guy who sells me gas, and the nice chap who sells me crack---they were all in on the conspiracy.

So today, I decided to fight back. Maximum service for minimal cash.

That thing Twain said, about how the older he gets, the smarter his parents become.

Yeah, wait till I quote that to our Landhold serfs.

Monday, February 19, 2007

He had me at hello....

Thomas P.M. Barnett on Hewitt:

Well, because an empire is about enforcing maximal rule sets, what you must do. And what we do is we enforce minimal rule sets. That’s the nature of our political system, you know, what’s not written into law is everything you can do. That’s different from other parts of the world. I remember being almost arrested in the Soviet Union in 1984 for playing Frisbee in a park, and the cop came up to me and said that’s against the law. And I said where is it written, and he said buddy, it’s not written that you can play Frisbee in a park. And that’s how most of the world is governed. But our system has always been based on the notion that if it’s not written down as prohibited, then it’s basically fair game. And that’s the way we’ve ruled the world, if you want to call it that, as we basically enforced minimal rule sets, certain bad things that you must refrain from, so that we can have a relatively stable and free flow of commerce around the planet.

So, last week, I had an opportunity to explain my philosophy on leadership. I said, basically, that I want to put the rules downstream, vice upstream. I'm not going to tell you what to do, but if you drop below these lines, these rules, then I'm going to slam you.

No sense treating people like children before they commit a crime. No sense treating them like children, after they commit the crime.

The minimal rule set. Or, as I like to call it, the responsible individual. The adult.

At the wedding, I got to talk with my best man from our wedding. Something of a warrior poet, this guy.

He's into the Greeks and the Romans. He said that after 2,500 years, we haven't figured out what's "right", in terms of political systems. Democracy, Dictatorship, Oligarchy, Republicanism. We've played with it all.

Got me thinking about Accelerating Change. A theory applied to technological innovation.

2,500 years ago, we didn't have the car, the plane or the iPod. These things came along as we developed, and not over time, but rather instantly.

So I started to apply Accelerating Change to how we govern, and interact with each other. It's going to be interesting how that all plays out.

I apply Accelerating Change to whether the choice will be good societies or good individuals.

I apply Accelerating change to the nature of man and the state.

We live in a time of Accelerating Change.....

.......And may the devil take the hindmost.

....and the aftermath.

So we flew out to the gathering of the tribe, last Thursday. Got back yesterday.

Still recovering.

We left the airport and went straight to the Bachelor/Bachelorette party in progress. I'm telling you, seeing friends you haven't seen in up to two years is fantastic. We're always on the same email lists, our own Eastern Standard Tribe, of sorts, but when you're all in one room, and someone declares a general state of silliness, then you realize what it's like to be among the kidney worthy, your brothers and sisters.

The wedding we attended was a mixed marriage. Irish and English. So on the brides side, and bunch of Irish, and on the grooms, a mongrel horde of English and Americans. The rehearsal dinner took place in one of those places I'd heard of, but never entered.

One of those Private Clubs, on the seventh floor, overlooking the city, wood paneled and oil paintings dotting the wall. Wow. Some of my friends tried ordering a drink, and we were asked "who" we were with?

Um, "cash, US?" So eventually they got out the cash box, dusted it of, and served the unwashed fine scotch. The Irish and I joked about those old signs, "No Negros. No Irish. No Dogs."

We should have brought a dog.

But all in all, a nice club, great service and a good time.

The Irish are not a shy people, and I love them. And the English, and our band of brothers, all together again.

Got into a couple of small arguments, but I've learned over time that a steadfast smile and a firm shake of the head is a good way of winning. Carbon credits? Please.

Talk to someone who thought Socialism was the only humane way to govern society. Sparks. Flew.

But you know, at the end of the days, that which seperate us as individuals is not so wide as that which seperates us as societies. We know what right looks like.

So, we met new fiances, old friends, brides and brothers.

We stayed in a hotel with a bunch of Renegade Pigs, a sort of biker gang. Great folks, got an invite to their hospitality room.

Last night there, my wife and I came back, a little in the cups, her with a drink in hand, and ran into these kids coming from a Jewish wedding. I get talkative when I drink a small beer, so I chatted them up. Told them I love the Jews, and thought they often got a bad rap.

Ended up with an invitation to join their faith. Politely declined. See, I'm a slacker in my own faith, being a slacker at two faiths would just be to hard.

Need time like this. My next time away from the salt mines, I've promised my wife a trip to yellowstone.

Another great part, of one great country.

Here's a lovely Jewish lass, not at the wedding, but of the web.

Me like pretty.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Nice word.

Day in the Life

So this evening, on my way home from work, I stopped at the grocery store, to pick up some munchies for dinner. There was this little kid in front of me, say about twelve or so. He asked me if I was in the Army, and on a lark, I said "yes".

Then he said, "when I grow up, can I be in the Army, and kill innocent Muslims."

To be honest, I was a bit taken aback. I responded, "Well, of course you can kill innocent Muslims."

Then I showed him my left fist (which I've nicknamed 'Crusader') and said, "sometimes I get so tired raping and pillaging Muslim lands, that I switch to this fist," and I showed him my right fist (which I've nicknamed 'Infidel').

The young tike, suitably impressed, trailed off behind his mother, whistling a jaunty martial tune.

Feeling good, I grabbed my groceries with my jaw, and dragged my knuckles out of the store, content I'd done my duty.

Of course, none of this happened. But maybe it does speak to an essential truf.

You know, whenever I come across quotes like this:

"Sunday, February 11— A room full of students listened as a US Marine told of the invasion of Baghdad and Falluja and how he killed innocent Iraqis at a check point. He called them “collateral damage” and said he had followed the “rules.”

A Muslim-American student in front of him said “I could slap you but then you would kill me.” A young female Muslim student gasped “I am a freshman; I never thought to hear of this in a class. I feel sick, like I will pass out.”

ever mind that OIF and the reduction of insurgent strongholds of Fallujah were a year apart. Listen to the reaction of the victims, the young Muslims, cringing in fear before this obviously blood soaked murderer.

What? Neither of them had heard of their local, Wahhabi approved, Muslim Student Association? But I shouldn't blame the victims (the students). I blame the victimizer (the teacher).

Stories like this litter the memesphere, and they always make me wonder.

Are they true, or are they truf?

So many people are committed to putting square pegs into round holes, that I'm forced to wonder.

Let me state, however, that I for one, welcome this New Arkin Effect. Let it out, my brothers and sisters, let it out. Embrace the inner hatred.

So I'm taking some time off, and my wife and I are flying to the wedding. Man, I can't wait to see my friends. We will be, in a word, silly.

I held to my principles, and didn't buy my love any blood roses. I mean, we're leaving tomorrow, and there would be no one at home to watch them die.

Did buy her some of that bath stuff. She liked the gift, so, I guess I'm in dutch.

Good day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Last Hundred Miles....

There's something to be said about hyperlocalization. But it's not for me to say.

I have happy feet. Travel is my reason for being.

Recently, I realized that I lost my passport, in our move across country. Bummer, because there's some great stamps in there. Travels made, fun had. Now, lacking physical evidence, it's between myself, my god and my government monitoring agency.


Look, because of my undiagnosed paranoia, I have many enemies: Jihadi's in Jammies, Environmental Sounds-Gooders, Avian Flu, High Gas Prices and Excessive Work Hours.

Seems to me, they all have five things in common:

1. Travel: Either blow them up or tax them out of existence, flight and the free movement of peoles is an anathema. Our communist brethren delighted in walling in peoples. Controlling flight was just another step.

2. Individualism: Identify and eliminate the behaviour. Best option is to reform the copper top and plug it back into the main.

3. Free association: Verbotten. Rallies, Mosques and formations are the only allowed gatherings.

4. Forbidden Thoughts: They are legion. Anything can be homophobic, sexist, racist, xenophobic or haram.

5. Right Thoughts: Whatever I said last.

Mix it all up, and you're back to the past. A sort of neo-feudalism, a large die off, and the disruption of the modern world.

The "why", I have no idea. The "how" seems pretty clear.

Anyways, it's going to be fun to watch.

A Dick (back in) The Box

You know, I give the State Department alot of smack, in my offline convervsations. In a contest of muddy boots versus pin stripe suits, I tend to favor the boots.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find out today that State negotiated a deal with Kim of Korea. Finally, the Six To Party talks Bore Fruit, in a Negotiated Settlement pleasing To All Parties Involved. In short, we settled on a price we're willing to pay, and a bribe he's willing to accept.

One million tonnes of oil. (How much is that in barrels?)

So Kim of Korea is back in the box, right now, for now, and maybe we'll have a little room to maneuver, and cover our withdrawal from the Middle East.

Precedents need setting, I say.

Pity about Sadr fleeing Iraq to Iran. Now we'll have to trek to Tehran to get him to sign our instrument of surrender.

And without diplomatic relations with Moderate Regime Elements (TM), that's going to be dicey. Might have to ask the Brits for help.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Been awhile.....

Take a Saturday, start it quietly, then ram a semi, loaded with fuel and driven by a drunk smoking a cigarette, and you get something of what I went through this weekend.

On me? No. But I had to deal with the mess.

Bad decisions. We all make them. But every bad decision we make goes through numerous gates. Should I/Shouldn't I , type things. Well, now about five lives are ruined, because one kid didn't choose well.


So anyways, some quick thoughts.

I've started cross posting my toons to Comic Space. Trying out the platform. I like Webcomicnation, but CS has the advantage of being free, with an easier upload. On the other hand, CS doesn't display the most recent gallery item. A problem.

I've always believed in the separation of state and religion. Not to protect the state, but to protect the religion. Mix the two, and the more hopeful elements of religion are debased. But you know, if you want to merge religion and state, then do you have a religion, or a dressed up political philosophy? And should ones dressed up political philosophy be immune from political critic because it's a, you know, "religion".

In the immortal words of Dr. Evil, "how about Noooo."

Nice weather. I live in a good part of a great country.

Feelometer is pegging high.

More blogging later.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Time Lords (of management)

When you're getting dressed down, in an extraordinarily polite, excruciating painful way, you're mind tends to wander. After the first few head nods, you tend to start thinking of other things.

Least I do.

But then that's probably why I get yelled at alot. Politely.

So anyways, today I was thinking about Time Lords. Not the Dr. Who type, but someone who ought to be on every staff in every organization. A time comptroller, as it were. He the guy who holds the purse strings for non core priorities.

Let's face it, the good idea fairy flies high and far. Bosses get briefed on non-core ideas, nod, and say do it. A few weeks later, up pops another idea. Do it.

Look, I've never seen a program, once implemented, ever rescinded. Until that big boss in the sky leaves.

So here's my thinking. Time Lords. Say the boss has thirty hours a year to get in non core programs. He approves plan, after plan, after plan and eventually he's at thirty two hours. At this time, this Time Comptroller steps forward and says, "look, some of these programs have to go. Or maybe merged. Overlaps deconflicted. Let's get back to that thirty hour mark."

So the boss looks over his program. Maybe that snowshoe safety program needs to be relooked over even, that word, rescinded.

I don't know. Just seems to clear more time for those guys deep in the Salt Mines to concentrate on extracting, well, more salt.

I think.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Some days I love my job...

...and other day I really love my job. This was one of those days.

But this is not one of those posts.

I'm sure by know you've heard of the sad, strange case of Astronaut Lisa Nowak. She's being charged with attempted first degree murder in a case involving, as usual, some sort of love triangle. Seems her boyfriend on the side had a girlfriend on the side.

My dad once (embarrassingly) caught my then girlfriend and I in flagrante delicto. His one statement was brutal in it's simplicity: "if you're going to do wrong, at least be quiet about it."

I remember a spot of controversy when Jocelyn Elders, former President Clinton's Surgeon General, made a comment or two about auto-diddlation. Got fired. Should have. Gummint doesn't need to say some things, even when right, because they're next step will be to regulate it (johnny, let me see your palms....)

So when your faced with a choice of life/home/career ruin, perhaps you should do a little PDMP (Personal Decision Making Process) and wargame a couple of courses of actions:

1. Divorce.
2. Open that sucker up.
3. Auto-diddlation.

All three have pluses and minuses.

But none of them involve jail time.

Monday, February 5, 2007

I'm something of a blogtard

Call it competing priorities, and a near certain expressive dyslexia.

But to M. Thomas P.M Barnett, thanks for the for stopping by.

24 Thoughts

Hey, I'm staying pretty constant on my Must See T.V. Directive. Just finished up another episode of "24".

Pretty sweet. Thoughts?

As a dry run for an Obamara Presidency (it's not), then his candidacy is dead in the water (for me). "We must reach out...."

Fortunately, the number of Evil White Vein Popping Traitor Whitey's (TM) is starting to erase my Islamophobia. If, by episode nine, the whole plot arc is not linked to the Church of Fred Phelps, I'll be disappointed.

Check on Learning: Brown people good. White people evil.

Got it?

Chris Muir in Iraq!!!

Surge, bro. Surge!!!

And good luck.

The Big and the Small

When I was a yearling, my dad, as was his right, insisted I go to Church every Sunday. He figured he'd mind as well get his "little grocery bill" right. So, I'd go to Church, and listen to the hemming and the hawing. Missionary Baptist Churches are huge on form over substance.

So, I'd spend the time reading the Old Testament, or, as I liked to call it, the Good Stuff. Man, wars, murder, deception....best story ever told.

Then I grew up.

I remember thinking our Home Church was a bit on the largish size. There were about six hundred regular members. A few I knew. The Water Lady, whose job, and ego, seemed solely involved in bringing water to the Pastor Dias. The there was the Landscaping Guy, who Landscaped on the weekends, Saturday being the day he landscaped the Church grounds for free. Then there was the Pastor. Jerri curled and corrupt. On on day, he managed to double his Monday through Friday paycheck. Sweet gig, if you can get it, I guess.

Large. I figured, at about six hundred people, Church's should split. One group gets the church and the grounds, the other gets all the cash.

A simple idea, never implemented.

I'm amazed at all these mega churches out there. Ten thousand plus member, mega churches.

I'm blown away by the mega mosques.

Tens of thousands plus members. How does the Imam remember all those names?

LGF links to one such mega mosques, a building in Londontowne. Supposed to support seventy thousand members. Wow. Of course, the article speaks ominously of "Middle Eastern" funding. Sillies.

That's just the slow-slow of Jihad. The fast-fast blows stuff up, the slow-slow builds.

It's a Multi Compo affair :)

Reminds me of the Faisal Mosque, in Islamabad. It's built to house 100,000 worshippers.

The picture (not mine) was taken from the northern mountain ranges. As I recall, you fly south into Islamabad, and you can't help noticing the Faisal Mosque. It's otherworldly. Like an Embassy from Planet X.

You had to have been there.

Thing is, big always gives me the hives. Big Church, Big Mosque, Big Government, Big Idea..... I'm always tempted to sneak up behind them and yell "TIMBERRRRRRR!!!"

Cause you know it will.

Pride goeth, and all.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

On Citizen William Arkin, and the Two Americas

My wife and I are enjoying another episode of "Rome: Season II". She maintains that the Romans were barbarians. Their loose, by our terms, attitudes towards sex, the slavery and the casual killing kind of turns her off.

She didn't like the episode a couple of weeks ago, where the Domina directed her slaves to bring Marc Antony "that German whore from the kitchen."

Me? It's all relative. The Romans were civilized, by their standards. Told her that perhaps a thousand years from now, the people of that time will look upon us as barbarians. Eating red meat and burning carbon, and all.


The only constant of civilization is the possesion and maintenance of a proper bath. That will never change.

Citizen William Arkin, of the WAPO Blog, gained a brief notoriety by pissing up the leg of his betters.

(full disclosure: I know Citizen Arkin served in the Hollow Army, 1974-78. So?)

What strikes me, from the whole self licking ice cream cone, is not the presumption of Citizen Arkin in speaking down to the Salt Workers but his presumption in speaking for All The Citizens of America (TM), or, if you prefer, The People (Registered Trademark).

Funny thing, that.

I wish the American People (C) were of one mind. But they are not. Far from it, it would seem. If they were, then the damnable treadmill that feeds the Brigades into Irak every eleven to twelve months would end.

Most Delta Charlie Polis are nothing, if not brave. They can read a poll.

If the American People (C,R,TM) were united, then they would have already chosen one of two Courses of Action (COA).

COA 1: Run

Withdraw from Irak, now. Leave the Irakis to the gently embrace of Jihad, regional powers or murderous peace processes. Declare a Phony Peace, and in arrogance, wait for the Sword of Damocles to fall on our own necks.

COA2: Fight

Recognize we have enemies who have not been polite enough to shoot at us yet. Take the enemy at his word. Play the long game. Have rough men who do violence at night visit peace upon our enemies.

Instead, Disunited America elects COA3: Muddle Through.

Citizen Arkin is correct, it is the responsibility of the American people to decide. But, that doesn't mean the Laundry workers shouldn't point out the fact that certain people are kitting about with shit stained drawers.

All part of the process.

The Brigades do their job.

When will America do its job?

Citizens, you have a pot, and two choices.

Make one.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Giuliani: The man from hope

We will see.

Personally, I'm in for a G-Man v. C-Girl smackdown in the first quarter of fiscal 09.

Candice Michelle could parade around the ring, holding up the round card.

I like the aesthetic.

So today, I picked out a pair of shoes for my wife. She loved them, and we went ahead and got them. They match the dress she'll wear at this upcoming wedding. She told me she can't figure out how I have such good taste.

It's easy. I wander over to the "for sale" rack, and look for anything that fits the description "un-ugly."

My guess is, when you get overwhelmed with the new and hip, sometimes something old does the job.

Here's a picture of Candice Michelle.

Friday, February 2, 2007

"To Marcotte"

A noun, used as a verb.

Bit off a dustup, about a blogger gone mainstream.

You know, I think advocates, and I mean real advocates, of open society tend to overlook that in the open society, there is never any forgiveness. All my sins cached, as a Shakespeare 2.0 would write. Whether the blogger, or the mayor of a small, insignificant NOCAL citystate.

"And you can tell everybody, this is your song. I hope you don't mind, that I put down in words...."

Here's Nicole Kidman, doing nothing in particular:

How wonderful life is, the she is in the world.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Well, at least it's the Dartmouth Review.

On the other hand, it's the Dartmouth Review. Steyn's "America Alone" get reviewed by the DR, which is, of course, a review written at Dartmouth.

Seems M. Steyn is deficient in Chart tonnage, and over in his Humor Punnage.

Damn quota's.

His next book, "America Collected" (likely written under duress) will probably set things right. An 800 hundred page tome, focusing heavily on pig iron (a la Paul Kennedy), should set his reputation on the glide path to popular acceptance.

In My Rule Book: being popular and being correct are often mutually exclusive.

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