Couple of quick updates…

1. Not going to Missouri this weekend for a long vacation shooting at 11th-century Saxons and hanging out on a replica Viking longship on a lake. Needless to say, bummer.
2. Handsewn trousers which were being made for said trip now shockingly lower priority, but I think I’ll turn them into a “keep hands busy” project while I try to figure out how to make adequate hand protection for playing double cane.
3. Savate last night sucked. I pulled class early, due to the heat. Mike will giggle, of course, but my schoolteachers aren’t doing so hot: they work in absolutely frigid classrooms, and then have to try to force-acclimate from a 70-degree classroom to a 105-degree salle… not good.
4. New blog will be added shortly: Freedom in the World. It’s a Freedom-House tracking site, for those of you who’d like their “who’s free and who’s not list” more than once a year.
5. Bunny’s travelling, so I’m doing terrible things to the cats. Rudy is really starting to show his age, this time probably for good. Instead of ups and downs, it’s downs and drifts. So we may be looking for a kitten soon.
6. I have a new Unmitigated Geekery(tm) project… more on that later.

I want to live long enough to be on a colony ship…

and apparently, with the Methusela (sp) Mouse issues running, that's looking less like an impossibility, and more like a potentiality…

On the brain…

Everybody’s got their hobbies.
The one I haven’t done any of in two months now is archery, and every time I pass a decent-sized streetsign, I can feel myself mentally smacking an arrow into it while I zoop by…

Great! No more math wall!

Okay, shopping list for a brave new world in which computers really are super

Me: I want the new MicroMath, Linguisoft (the new chip, with the archaeolinguistic and on-the-fly cypherlingua processing), and CelestialNav 4.
The Wife: OmniRecipe6, The Library of Congress, predictive version.

Still saving up for that sweet neuroadaptive “expert in every sport” system…

The beginning of the end…

of the Third Cold War. Or something like that. To put matters bluntly, with so much at stake between the U.S. and China, and so many reasons that both countries have for encouraging peaceful development across the board… why should we stick our necks out for the Taiwanese, considering that the Chinese have legitimate (and, truly, crucial) geopolitical interests in securing their energy conduits in the region, if the the Taiwanese continue to fail to take steps to defend themselves?

I won’t be the first one to say it… but US promises are the reason that most of our allies in NATO don’t have militaries worth spitting at. (Which is a pity, because some of the continentals, like the French, have great soldiers… who are then consistently backstabbed by their own people.) Why should they, when Uncle Sugar will foot the defense bill, and arms money can go to buying votes with social spending, instead?

Bush has already made some noises in this direction, but he needs to make it absolutely clear that we’re not going to WWIV on behalf of those who won’t pull their weight. If the Koreans think we’re less palatable than Pyongyang… let’s go. If Taiwan won’t defend itself, let it suffer the consequences. Let the Germans mewl all they want about the evils of American Cowboyism when the only troops we have near their soil are a Stryker brigade and some folks hanging out with the (still-testicularly-equipped) Poles.

Above all, let’s stand back long enough for everybody to come back to grips with reality, rather than subsidizing infantilized regimes that won’t take responsibility for their own survival.

I say to you, Mr. President, and to the glorious American people, thank you, thank you.

There are those who think that we should never have invaded Iraq.

Some of these are simply playing politics.
Some of them are committed leftists, for whom any increase in freedom is a disaster directly contradicting their self-appointed position as “the smart people” in a herd of sheeple.
Some of them simply don’t have access to actual Iraqi voices, and have to get their news through CNN, etcetera, whose business depends upon reporting the news in the worst possible light.

To the people in this third category, allow me to link here the remarks of the Prime Minister of Iraq, from his press conference today with the President.

For example:

In the name of the Iraqi people, I say to you, Mr. President, and to the glorious American people, thank you, thank you.
Thank you because you have liberated us from the worst kind of dictatorship. Our people suffered too much from this worst kind of dictatorship. The signal is mass graves with hundred thousand of Iraqi innocent children and women, young and old men. Thank you.
And thanks to the United States, there are now 50 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq liberated by your courageous leadership and decision to liberate us, Mr. President.

….
To those in America and other countries still ask if war of liberation in Iraq it was the right decision. I say, “Please, please come to Iraq to visit the mass graves, to see what happened to Iraqi people, and to see what’s now going on in Iraq.”
To those who talk of stability, I say, “Saddam imposed the stability of the mass graves.”

Read the rest.
UPDATE: The Lexis-Nexis links seemed to Michelangelo’d for some reason R Replaced with whitehouse.gov.

I know Taebo, and I’m gonna kick your ass.

Top Ten Reasons why that Taebo Chick(tm) is going to wipe the walls with all you dojo darlings:

10. After Taebo Chick kicks your ass, she's going to get the hell out of there, rather than mouthing off and turning the entire biker bar against her.
9. Taebo Chick doesn't think ten reps is enough to know how to kick.
8. Taebo Chick goes to class to train, not to hang out in a circle jerk being told how dangerous she is.
7. By definition, Taebo Chick understands that conditioning counts.
6. Taebo Chick doesn't have to be bitched at constantly about slacking off and poor form.
5. If Taebo Chick realizes she has to fight you, she's going to keep her pumps on and use them to kick your teeth in, not dramatically remove them and drop into a kung fu stance.
4. Taebo Chick recognizes poseur tricks like bowing to a real-world opponent for the candy-ass dick moves they are, and would never spend a half hour fantasizing about it out loud with other Taebo Chicks.
3. Nobody's ever seen a Taebo Chick whine about doing a hundred reps.
2. The Taebo Chick doesn't think that she can beat you up with her chi.

and….

1. If she has to run, Taebo Chick's knees still work.

Iran and Syria pledge free trade zone

Involving major international projects, like, a cement plant and a few grain silos.

Now, I’ve actually seen some drawings for grain silos. They are a serious piece of engineering, given the threat of explosion. But major bi-national project? The best and brightest of Syria can’t build a silo?

There’s clearly more afoot. I’ll be curious to know how many of those Iranian engineers are going to have dual passports, and heavy contact with Hezbollah…

“As the full horror sinks in…”

Go read Mr. Newton Emerson, reprinted by permission from the Irish Times, on the various horrors columnists have had to face since Katrina struck….

Great writing. Now if only we were that clever…

Governor Blanco criminally negligent?

I have tried to stay out of the hurricane fray… but according to this interview with FEMA, the reason that there were no supplies at the Superdome is that the Louisiana DHS (not to be confused with the federal agency of the same name) refused the Red Cross entry, and LA officials are apparently STILL denying them entry, in order to force an evacuation.

Did the governor order that supplies were not to be sent to the crippled, elderly, and those unable to flee Katrina, in order to force them out? This is beyond explosive.

1. Relief supplies that were ready and waiting were not allowed in — because people might get access to those supplies.
2. Recall that for some time, the people inside the Superdome were also not allowed out.

ergo:

By fixating on the policy of forcible removal (why, rather than feed and enlist these people as search assets in order to save trapped peoples’ lives), but also directly hindering peoples’ ability to get out, the Louisiana government effectively ordered its population to flee or be starved.

I’m a medievalist.
Medievalists have a word for this: it’s called SIEGE.

A government that besieges its own disaster victims deserves …. words simply fail at the inhumanity. What is the point of forced evacuations like this, under these terms? What possible level of corruption and ineptitude could explain intentionally inflicting misery like this?
Heads should very literally roll for this depravity.

Meme ecology

Anti-idiotarianism could, if we can allow for a slightly larger definition of “idiotarian,” be considered be predatory memes in action.

No, seriously. What do predators do? They prey upon the sick, the weak, the stupid for their own benefit.

Sounds like half the blogosphere to me….

Brains! I mean, Jobs!

Stone-throwing Gazans and their pet zombie wonder why they’re unemployable.
So, here we are. The Israelis have left. The Palestinians are in charge. And nobody has a job. So, what’s a guy to do?
A. See if there’s some service he can provide.
B. Make something and see if it can be sold.
C. Sit it out and get yourself in with a boss or list, so that you can be in a position to benefit in the near future while you sit it out.
Oh no. That would be for reasonable human beings. These asshats chose:
D. Riot and throw rocks at the gub’mint until things get better. (Shades of “the beatings will continue until morale improves,” eh? We all know that jobs happen because you’ve made the streets too unsafe to travel…)
And this is the first sign that things are going to go poorly in Gaza, if the left-wing mentality that has generally characterized the pro-Palestinian positions allows it to be manifested in daily life.
Left-wing mentality? What are you talking about? Have you been listening to AM radio again?
Nope. Across the Third World and other various Unpleasant Places(tm), only in those locales seriously infected with leftist movements do you see people rioting because they think that it’s the government’s responsibility to give them a job. Not just the role of your “boss” or “roof,” who plays fixer and gets people what they want in systems that are hopelessly corrupt… but the government itself.
Bread and circuses… (Bread and katyushas?)
If this is indicative of the typical “thinking on the street” in Gaza, then it really may not matter what Abbas and his cronies want to do in terms of regional economic development: the Gaza territories are screwed, pure and simple.

It’s official: Plano and Highland Park suck.

Reading the DMN, locally, schools are opening their doors to transfer students, especially at the elementary level, waiving normal requirements (since all the records that would normally be required are, well, underwater), and otherwise doing their neighborly best to help out…

except for Plano and Highland Park. Plano has said “wait at leasta week,” and Highland Park’s response has effectively been, particularly for the munchkins, “go away.”

On the one hand, it’s unfortunate… but on the other, it’s … typical.

Hey, thanks for confirming those stereotypes, you white-flight Stepford jackasses! Good job!

(If you’re not local, these are the parts of the Dallas metroplex that crinkles their noses at my home of Irving for having too much “white trash” and immigrants.)

Well save us from evil paper cups…

So an unclean kafir touches a cup. The cup is shipped to the faithful. The faithful touch the cup. The faithful become unclean. The filipino guy working there has no clue… oh, save us from disaster, as we track down this source of unholy Israeli paper cups!

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