Throw the book at Cynthia McKinney.

If assaulting a police officer is a felony, then throw the book at her. McKinney thinks she can get away with acting like petulant, spoiled royalty. Most Congresscritters do. McKinney clearly thinks the fact that she wasn't recognized entitled her to smack people around.

Nail the bitch.

Somewhere, a line needs to be drawn in the sand that says to the political class "you exist to serve, not to be royalty."

Yes, Rico… Kaboom.

Wish I could see this little firecracker when it goes off. Not to belabor the obvious, but if these things ever actually got deployed, you're looking not merely at bunker-busters, but at tacnukes minus the nuke part… here's a good rough simulator. This is serious boom. Overpressure's one thing, of course, but in any situation where we'd likely use this air-to-mud, the "chunky salsa" effect from time-on-target bombardment simply boggles the mind.

.7kt Urban Renewal comes to B.A.'s neighborhood…

But the other part of it is that such damage is actually not all that large, geographically speaking. (more…)

Milton Ezrati skips whistling past a plan to bring the Mullahcracy to its knees.

In this CSM post, Ezrati comments on the Iranian oil bourse, noting it as a complete fantasy, for several good reasons, most of which can be summed up as “who wants to depend on Iranian law?”

But he also provides a very careful little suggestion of how to bring the Iranian dictatorship (for that’s what it is — Iran’s rulers use religious extremists who are actually in the employ of the intlligence community to crush their people, no differently than Milosevic used the Chetniks) to its knees: Iran is hardly in a position to make threats regarding oil: he brushes past the obvious implications as if they’re hardly there.

And Iran, whatever its political agenda, simply does not have the economic and financial wherewithal to hold back its oil altogether. Petroleum amounts to 80 percent of all Iranian exports, 45 percent of the country’s GDP, and 60 percent of the government’s revenues. With the economy there already rickety, any shortfall in oil sales would tempt financial, economic, and consequently political suicide for Iran’s current regime.

While Mr. Ezrati may feel the need to tiptoe past the obvious, there’s no need for us in blogistan to do so… if the US wants to retaliate seriously against the Iranian regime, while drying up the international money that goes to Hezbollah, Hamas, and al Quaeda, and doesn’t feel secure about its ability to take down Iranian air defenses… wiping out oilfield infrastructure would be a breeze.

And what’s more, such a strategy would not be out of place: if we document Iranian security elements engaged in direct or proxy actions against US troops, we have our casus belli for limited countermeasures, and neither Russia nor China will able to do anything else but make predictable but polite noises in protest. China, because it will follow Russia’s lead, and Russia because cannot it afford to lose one of its most effective propaganda levers for the justification of both legitimate defense and military adventurism in the Caucasus.

In this respect, US geopolitical and military strategy becomes quite clear:
1. Allow Iran to gain the lead in the leadership and financing of terrorism abroad.
2. Encourage other entities to cut funding, such that terrorists become dependent on Iranian oil money.
3. Open up the press conferences documenting Iranian proxy war, and declare war on Iran with said Iraqi casus belli, completely bypassing the UN (it’s not required, and although NATO troops wouldn’t be needed for such operations, the US can, if need be, put NATO in a diplomatic hammerlock on this issue).
4. Chop the oil money off at the kneecaps as soon as Iran takes one step over whatever is determined to be the red line.

Since Iran is completely dependent on imports for its gasoline — imports that cost money — its military will be effectively hamstrung. In this respect, Ahmadinejad may be trying desperately to obtain a nuclear trump card… but otherwise, he is holding an extremely weak hand. It is encumbent upon us to force him to play those cards, and sooner, rather than later.

Blogroll updated: Dictator of the Month

Check it out: your handy desktop reference to tyrant losers in the world.

Why all the turmoil in France?

That’s what this insightful little blurb asks. I think we need an outcropping of common sense here.

1. “contra la precarite”… The french students are protesting because they’re cowards who are afraid to take a job where they might have to actually do something in order to keep said job.
2. Everybody in France seems willing to put up with these jerks interfering with traffic and shutting down the works in order to let them protest. Sorry, buddy, some old granny’s right to have an ambulance arrive on time trumps your right to take a nap on the street. But that would involve thinking through one’s actions, rather than simply arrogating to oneself the mantle of moral superiority.
3. The cops were perfectly willing to stand by and let thugs from les banlieues beat the snot out of the whiny little bastards. Marking the worst with paintguns? Where does that come from? If you see somebody in danger of being kicked to death, you pull out your truncheons and you lay it down.
4. And if you’re the police superintendent who refuses to back your cops for doing so… well, then you must be in France!

The French are in turmoil, because as a society, the French seem to have lost their flipping minds, and there’s not a single contingent stepping forward that seems to have some grip on both sanity and basic testicular fortitude. If you wanted a recipe for how to turn a major international player into an third-world has-been, France seems to be turning into a splendid example. And it’s a crying damned shame.

Cirque du Soleil in Dallas

“Delirium” was a pastiche show, but still very well done.

The opening act, which consisted of world-music by Nitza, not so much. She can belt it out, but the vocals, etcetera, was uninspired and the performance generally self-congratulatory. Good enough for what an opening act is supposed to do — get the audience paying attention to the stage — but more like an NPR Sunday-night “also ran.” Definitely Nitza’s stuff is nothing I’d ever pay money to see or buy on a CD.

Cirque du Soleil, on the other hand, I’d buy on video and leave running for days like we were still in the ’80s and it was a favorite screen-saver by Beagle Brothers.

Cirque du Soleil has a good mix and match for a general audience. I prefer a heavier performer mix, rather than the mostly-dance-and-music with performers thrown in, which is how Delirium was constituted. I’m kind of a purist — I love European circus, and can jazz for days about the raw physical skill involved. I don’t even need a set, I’m so enthralled by what these folks can do with their bodies. But for a general audience, it’s probably about right, and the song and dance themselves were very, very good. The art involved in presenting the “circus otherworld” was absolutely awesome.

I left totally jazzed. Practically danced all the way to the car. Did car-dance in the parking lot, to the alternating amusement and embarrassment of Those Who Put Up with Me.

Well worth catching when they come into town.

Easy solution to Connecticut “Psycho Kitty” Problem

Yes, there is a very simple solution to this crazy-ass cat and her sociopathic bitch of an owner. Yes, I called her a sociopathic bitch: when you own an animal that’s mauling people and sending them to the hospital, and you simply don’t care, then let the shoe fit the foot…

Here’s the solution. KILL IT. We are the dominant mammals on this planet, and our proper course of action when attacked by a minor ambush predator with delusions of grandeur, is to KILL IT. In fact, the solution to a major ambush predator getting uppity, is to get five or ten of you together, and THEN KILL IT. Or, do the job with just yourself and your buddies Smith and Wesson. And then have your hunters take it to the skinners, who will make a pelt from it, and have your skinners take it to your cooks, who will see how well it goes with garlic.

By God’s design or the steady progress of evolution, human beings are incredibly dangerous predators. We are vastly more dangerous than any other animal on the planet — mosquitos included. The only reason mosquitos are outdoing us is that at the end of the day, most of us simply aren’t annoyed enough to try harder. Bears are incredibly powerful. Tigers have power, grace, and stealth to humble a ninja master. Elephants have brains combined with mass tonnage and a bad attitude. Hippo and rhinos, ditto. Snakes and insects have incredible poisons. We, on the other hand, get the really insidious stuff.

We kill and eat them all. Tonnage is no match for being able to sweat, and therefore hunt all-out for hours under worst blazing sun the savannahs and deserts have to offer. Claws and strength are no match for being able to communicate hunting strategy in complete silence, simply by eye contact and minor motions of the head and face. Poisons are no match for being able to turn a prey item’s shelter into a deadly trap. Notice that we haven’t even gotten to opposable thumbs yet. Anybody who thinks that human beings pushing other animals into extinction is a new and modern thing needs to start cracking some books.

If you’re a yuppie woman who’s had all aggression beaten out of you since you were three and kicked somebody in the shins, then sit on it in a violent way. You’ll be excused for that when the alternative is being hamstrung by a housepet, and we’ll all stand back and golf-clap while you sue Ms. Cisero for every cent she owns.

Blogger ate another post.

I don’t know what’s up with these guys, but they’re *incredibly* unstable as of late. Not just mine, either. I may or may not have posted to Sciolist: I don’t know, I can’t actually load it. Happens from home, too. I’m thinking about whether I enjoy blogging as a hobby enough to migrate to a paid service.

Financial jiujutsu for the paranoid.

So, since I don’t prefer to be a peasant my whole life, and want to have a debt/income ratio that lets my wife and I do all the things we currently cannot do, I have a thought. I’m one year and no catastrophes (crossing fingers) from being totally out of consumer non-mortgage debt (a car). That’s been a long time coming, and enough paychecks and bonus money signed away into the netherworld to make me want to puke, but it’s done.

So, what, in principle, would keep one from doing the same thing with the mortgage? Not much. It’s an old immigrant tactic. So, here’s a strategy for the paranoid, folks like me who simply don’t know if the reports they’re reading from various stocks and funds is being reported correctly.

1. Pay down the mortgage (live on one person’s check, use the other’s to pay it off). Unless you’re in Fairfax Co., Boston, SF, or one of those Officially Nutzoid Real-Estate Markets(tm), it shouldn’t be that bad. We could do it in three to four years, and would have, had we not been still having to buy stuff that folks who haven’t spent the last four years in another country take for granted or have three of. And we’re pretty middle class. I knew guys moonlighting in freight yards doing the same thing.

2. Once the mortgage is gone, you’re then out a tax shelter. If Congress continues with its current exemptions, which assume that you’re paying down a mortgage, no biggie. But if not, you’ll want that mortgage exemption. So, pick up another mortgage, and pay interest on it. Since you’ve got the total asset as collateral, it shouldnt’ be all that hard to get a decent rate.

3. Roll the money into 3 or 6 month 25k minimum CDs and the like, for an average yearly return of around 5%.

That’s not a stellar rate of return, but it’s tax-defended, very liquid if you’ve staggered your deposits in time, and the returns are pretty-much guaranteed, in stark contrast to stocks, which might get me 8%… but which might vanish in a puff of corporate malfeasance tomorrow. If you’re a financial smart guy, you could probably do much better, but anybody can pull this one off, and use their hard-bought asset to at least stay a little bit ahead of inflation.

So, come on, financial smart guys: what’s a better strategy?

Just in case it’s not totally obvious..

The Secret Lives of Staff Officers

Ahmadinejad officially embarks upon the Tyrant’s Road

It’s not a road anyone wants to travel. But by accusing Khatami of treason and spying for the West, we learn two things:

1. Ahmadinejad is probably very sane. But, if it can be taken at face value, he’s rather paranoid. If not, clearly his notions of how diplomacy works are a bit off.
2. I would suggest that this gets viewed through a lens suggesting that the Mullahcracy is in serious trouble, and that the slow cementing of military-intelligence officers in the corridors of power is not long for this world, to be replaced with an outright military state…. aka, a Shia version of a Bathist islamofascist regime.

Alania? Or, the Russian bear goes a-conquering again

From the Jamestown folks: Russia seems to be planning to “annex” South Ossetia, which is Georgian territory, while daring the Georgians to do anything about it.

This is a disturbingly overt escalation of Putin’s long, quiet war to force Georgia to knuckle under and return to being a powerless satellite of the Kremlin. But with world attention elsewhere, it looks like he may get away with it.

UPDATE: and this morning, they note that Russia has just cut off its nose to spite its face by banning Moldovan and Georgian wines and other agricultural products. Since the latter are WTO members, and Russia is a WTO applicant, Georgia and Moldova now have the right to retaliate to a politically-inspired “duh” move by blocking Russian WTO accession until such a time as the trade sanctions are done away with. Since both countries produce good products, the short-term hit is likely simply to hurt average Russians (about whom the Kremlin cares nothing), while spurring the latter two countries to go into high-gear cementing better EU economic ties.

Putin and his FSB cronies don’t seem to understand that petrodollars will not save Russia, if he insists on swapping moves that exchange blatant economic self-strangulation, in exchange for internationally damaging and domestically worthless expansionism in South Ossetia. Had Putin developed some actual strength in his country, rather than squashing his population and hitching himself to the “oil curse” in order to implement the traditionally zero-sum Russian foreign policy based on the complete xenophobic domination of all its neighbors, Russia would currently be in a position to be globally dominant. But since “the vampire” still thinks that natural resources are more potent and powerful economically than the development of human capital, we see the Bear playing 19th-century games in a 21st-century world.

Once again, Russian tyrants seem to be snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. It’d be hilarious if it didn’t involve suffering people by the million.

Eat your bacon, it’s good for you…

I would now like to officially gloat at all the people who thought I was nuts when I said that eventually they’d engineer meat animals to produce Omega-3 fats…

Hahaha. Can’t wait until it hits the market. Now *officially* a part of this healthy breakfast…

And, Russ gets culture.

Just to make my twin and his Cupcake jealous, I’m going to see Momix in four hours, and Cirque du Soleil in not all that long, too. nyaa nyaa.

Froma Harrop doesn’t get it.

This is an excellent rebuttal piece.

Unfortunately, she makes two assumptions:

1. Minorities are liberals by definition.
2. Conservative = Republican.

Numero Uno — Now, plenty of minorities are Democrats. Currently, most. But huge swaths of the Hispanic and Black communities are socially very conservative when it comes to family-values questions. It’s still a debatable point, but that’s a caveat that needs pointing out.

Numbah Two — by trying to cast matters as Dem-vs-Rep, she misses something important. Yes, better research is required. But the phenomenon itself is fairly widely noted. If you take a poll of people who identify as strongly liberal, and a similar poll of those identifying as strongly conservative… chances are, it’s the latter with the kids.

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