Carnival of the Optimists #20: Signing Off

Thanks, folks, it’s been fun.
I received two comments from folks who’d like to see it continue… but none from actual post submitters (which makes one wonder: do they actually read their own submitted carnivals?), and this week, have not received sufficient submissions to hold the carnival.

Don’t be mad, Audie and Todd: thanks for the enthusiasm, but you can’t run a carnival on one post. There was one other, but it was a simple reference to something the author had written some time ago — and that won’t do. There are plenty of news articles out there, but that’s for Reuters/Yahoo, not the blogosphere, to cover.

If there’s interest further down the road, #21 might happen… but under current conditions, the honest thing to do is to admit it’s dead from lack of interest.

Have a good one, y’all.

-BA

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Suddenly Desert Storm looks hopelessly primitive…

It is still a matter of wonder how the Martians are able to slay men so swiftly
and so silently. Many think that in some way they are able to generate an
intense heat in a chamber of practically absolute non-conductivity. This intense
heat they project in a parallel beam against any object they choose, by means of
a polished parabolic mirror of unknown composition, much as the parabolic mirror
of a lighthouse projects a beam of light. But no one has absolutely proved these
details. However it is done, it is certain that a beam of heat is the essence of
the matter. Heat, and invisible, instead of visible, light. Whatever is
combustible flashes into flame at its touch, lead runs like water, it softens
iron, cracks and melts glass, and when it falls upon water, incontinently that
explodes into steam. — HG Wells, The War of the Worlds, ch. 6

(more…)

Yet more free hosting…



I love picture hosting…



Lamellar and Rus kit.


The Religion of Peace continuing to spread murder in Thailand

This time, a Buddhist priest has gotten whacked by jihadis.

Southern Thailand is a mess, and getting worse by the week.

Now that I’ve gotten my ass kicked…

why can’t we all just… get along?
Poor Muqtada. Maybe he’s just misunderstood.

(Hat tip: Winds of Change, for the best use of “heh” I’ve read all morning.)

Sanctuary

Everybody, remember that post a little bit ago with the Pyramids:

Here are the original essays, by Bill Whistle of Eject! Eject! Eject!: Sanctuary, parts One and Two.
If you lean left, you may not like some of what he has to say in part One: the author’s one of the 9/11 “mugged by reality” crowd. But Part Two should be required reading, if, for nothing else than its particularly eloquent defence of “civilization” and apologia for Hobbes.

I didn’t have time yesterday to look them over… and did a serious misservice in the process. I wish I could write like that. Excerpts:

Sanctuary, p1:

And why do soldiers wear uniforms?
It certainly is not to protect the soldier. As a matter of fact, a soldier’s uniform is actually a big
flashing neon arrow pointing to some kid that says to the enemy, SHOOT ME!
And that’s exactly what a uniform is for. It makes the soldier into a target to be killed.
Now if that’s all there was to it, you might say that the whole uniform thing is not such a groovy idea. BUT! What a uniform also does — the corollary to the whole idea of a uniformed person – is to say that if the individual wearing a uniform is a legitimate target, then the person standing next to him in civilian clothes is not.

Sanctuary, p2:

Assume that we could transplant a corner 7-11 to the Egyptian desert, with all of the support systems that make it what it is. It is a tiny speck compared to the gleaming white marble sides of the pyramid. It looks small and poorly made.
From afar.
Pharaoh comes by barge and litter to inspect the competition, laughing at the mismatch. He and his princes and a retinue of servants approach the plain, unadorned metal doors and step inside.
By the Gods! It is cool inside! As cool as the desert night, here, in the middle of the relentless day!
Outside the servants sweat and minor officials fan themselves, but Pharaoh is, for the first time perhaps, comfortable in the middle of the desert sun. He turns to exclaim this wonder to his underlings, and — By the Ghost of Osiris!! The walls! You can see right through them!
Ten seconds into the contest, and already Pharaoh has been rendered mute by miracles.

This is only “the sizzle.” Don’t take my word for it… “the steak” is much, much more.

Hot Pink on Red?

Wait a minute. This latest from Iraq the Model:

There are news about clashes extending to reach parts of Baghdad and apparently
followers of Muqtada have attacked some offices tht belong to the Badr
organization of the SCIRI while the news are confirming that the first clashes
originated between the Sadrists and civilian residents.

WTF!?
Now, this was after the residents of Najaf declared “game on” when the Mahdi Militia attempted to (illegally) reopen their offices.

But Mahdi Militia vs. Badr Brigades?

Sadr and his Mahdi (read: “Enlightened”) Militia was supposed to have significant Iranian support. Badr itself is a known creation of the Mullahcracy.

Holy Cognitive Dissonance, Batman!

I’d kill to be in an S-2 briefing right now.

UPDATE/ASIDE: Interesting to note that the Iraqi security forces have apparently been giving Sadr’s boys some major bitchslapping, unlike last time. No real surprise, given the quality of the Mahdi Morons… but nevertheless, contrasted to last time, this definitely constitutes progress.

Carnival of the Optimists #19: Radical Assessments

The blue futon, or the tan one? And which wicker chair?
My wife and I made the pilgrimage to IKEA, which is nearly a religion in Europe, but pretty new here in Dallas… and her eyes sparkled at simply seeing some styles of furniture that she’d completely missed since she let me drag her back to this country… of course, the question is: where to put that good stuff?

Welcome to the Carnival of the Optimists.

Good News:

No Good News submissions for this week? Come on, I know that SOMETHING good happened out there… no good news is too small.

Bootstraps:

Ze’ev at Israel Perspectives holds strong opinions regarding the recent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip… but disagrees wildly with the “Never forgive, never forget” signs he’s been seeing. He has a different slogan.

Harvy at Bad Example has 10 suggestions for the overworked. Nope, ain’t gonna spill da beans.

Spending lots of effort, but not getting anywhere? Steve Pavlina suggests that you figure out Your Superpower and your Kryptonite

Progress:

This is another one of those “under the radar” technological leap… nanotube capacitors. Putting out seven times the power of a conventional capacitor, pound for pound, this is directly applicable to the hybrid/electric and hydrogen vehicle industries. Necessary if we’re going to start saving our oil for plastics, rather than for fuel. You like what you see in Star Wars and other scifi shows? Muh of it we can create already, or know how we would…. but we can’t power it. So, if you, like me, have been wondering where your hovercar is… it’s waiting in the wings for technology like this.

And that’s it, folks! Catch you next week!

————————————————–
This Carnival has never grown past two or three regular submitters, and has a quite small circle of readers, judging by my logs. Is it still of interest? Let me know, otherwise next week will be its last run.

A Humble Proposal concerning the US-Mexican border

Recent surveys indicate that nearly half of Mexico, irrespective of social class, would like to come to the United States, and that one in five is willing to risk life and limb on an illegal border crossing to do so.

Equally, anger of illegal immigration and out-of-control border violence is also at a fever pitch, with significant resentment of those who would like to come north without actually becoming Americans. The border has gotten to be such a mess that it will certainly be a significant electoral issue in the '08 Presidential election.

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What good is Western society?

Well, let's see what Winds of Change has to say regardin a commentary on "Pyramid vs. 7-11."
(worth reading the commentary before progressing to the original link).

And yes, my archaeologist wife is pumping her little fist in the air hissing "yes, yes!"

The “Axis of ‘Up Yours!’ “

(Not to be confused with the Axis of Evil or the Axis of Sitzpinklers)

Read this. Turns out that, pushed by Putin's megalomania and occasionally bizarrely aggressive behavior, Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Georgia, have decided to throw in their lot together.


Yours truly is thrilled, for a variety of very good reasons. Take a look at the map, here to the right.
Poland, in Green, Ukraine in Orange (nice touch, don't know whether it was intentional), Lithuania, in the puce color to the Northeast of Poland and the Northwest of Belarus, and Georgia, Northeast of Turkey in the center bottom.

(more…)

Welcoming our giant sugarcube masters…

The Micro-compact home is unlikely to appeal to people like, say, um, my wife… who prefer a bit more floor-space for guests. This thing looks like it wouldn’t even hold our books.

However, it has some real potential if it were to be viewed with the “support reeds” and integrated into the surrounding landscape. In an area with good climate such as Texas, the indoor/outdoor house (particularly kitchen!) concept has a good deal more going for it. With an appropriate economy of scale, one could actually create quite the neat living space. And as the web page suggests, it is a really nice option for small student apartments. If cozy and minimalist, particularly cozy, minimalist, and integrated into the landscape, is your bag, it’d be worth checking out.

You’ll want to do something about that flat roof, though. That’s a spanking offense: flat roofs have been known to be trouble for at least the past thirty years.

Cindy sealed the deal

Scott Randolph finally gets it: life isn’t just about what you’re entitled to, but also about what your duties are

I actually felt myself become a republican today. It was around 10am, when
I read the latest update of the Cindy Sheehan saga in CNN.com. I then shot over to read some blogs
about it, and perused the comments in some of them, which was nothing but a long
series of petty (albeit entertaining) partisan bickering.

Then it happend. The good little democrat in me tied the little noose
around his neck and jumped off the stool. He just couldn’t take it
anymore.

And now, the part that everybody who knows me knows made your little Boxing Alcibiades simply cackle with glee: emphasis mine…

Take what? The whining. The constant whining by the extreme
left about the reasons for war, the incompetence of this administration, and how
we’ve all been lied to, and how we should pull out of Iraq immediately, because,
*gulp* our soldiers were in danger.

I’m going to quote the rest herein, because I don’t know whether Mike and the Sandbox Boyz are able to browse, and I want him to at least get this by email:
—————————————–

Guess what folks….they signed up to join the Army, not the boy scouts. Anytime your orientation to a new job involves an automatic weapon, you should be smart enough to figure out there’s danger involved. I actually read some people’s comments about many of the soldiers over there being naive….they weren’t expecting to go to war, so, they should be allowed to go home. Wow.
Soldiers know, when they enlist, that it is entirely possible they will be shipped out and never come home. It’s part of the job. The fact that people still walk in to recruiters’ offices and sign that piece of paper make them heroes. To imply that they are simple kids who didn’t know what they were getting into, or even worse, that they died for no reason, or an immoral reason, does a horrible thing. It strips their sacrifice of the honor that it deserves. Even though those folks sitting out there in the Texas fields claim to honor and support the soldiers, they obviously have been blinded by their own selfishness as to the real way to support them.
Because, long story short, we can’t end this war now. That would send the message that those bastardly little terrorists have won. It doesn’t matter if the adminstration told us the desert sand was made of gold, and we are going over there to collect it in little buckets to bring home, the concrete fact that we are at war doesn’t change. We are there, and we have a job to finish. We’ve toppled a regime that was dangerous not only to its own people, but also to the rest of the world. Now, we are there fighting the same terrorists we are fighting in Afghanistan. We’ve given liberty to millions of people, and we’re trying to help create a government, in an area that is very volatile, that will be a bastion of freedom and hope for an entire race of people. I hate the fact that our boys are getting killed over there, and I wish it didn’t have to happen.
But, it is, there’s nothing we can do about it, except for doing everything we can to offer support and hope to the folks fighting over there. Arguing and whining about the reasons we’re there, and the need to come home not only kills morale, but it is a complete waste of time.
I just re-read the above post, and I apologize for the rambling….just needed to vent a little. Here’s a breakdown of the way I see things:
-right or wrong, we’re at war. no amount of yelling will fix that now.-we have to finish the job. HAVE TO. it may take another 1800 soldiers, but it has to be done-whether or not we’re there for the right reason, we’ve done something great for that country
I never was a big fan of Bush. But, one thing I do believe….he honestly wants to make this country, and this world a better place. Think about it…the war almost cost him the election. If we hadn’t invaded Iraq, he’d have won in a landslide.
I think it’s just my personality that lead me to this decision. I think the left is too concerned with everyone’s immediate rights and needs, and refuses to sacrifice a bit of comfort and happiness in the present, for something that will make life better for everyone in the future. You can take the environmental stance on that, and I’d have no argument…but I think there enough conservatives concerned with that to make it a moot point.
Mostly, I’m just really pissed off. We’re in a crappy situation, and it’s time for all of America to stand together, put on the big boy pants, and get through the next few years.

(We’ll be introducing Scott to the glories of clean coal and an excessively protein-rich diet shortly. Anybody want to sponsor him for an NRA membership?)

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