IDF to go for the jugular.

It’s about time.

Publicly, IDF-Lebanese ministers surprisingly mild-mannered and conciliatory.  Heh.

Resting Old Bones

dscn3154.JPG

We’ve got the heat

Looks like Wichita Falls edges out the Southern California deserts today, 105 to 103.

That’s right, we’ve been reduced to looking at the weather like we do the sports page.

So, this little bit of speculation made the rounds last week… if we can temporarily decrease the temperature by popping some sulphur in the upper atmosphere… well, it’s freaking hot.  Why not try it over, say, Missouri or somewhere that’s getting too much heat?

What is so almighty wrong with increasing the local reflectivity, and seeing how well it works? 

Hezbollah = mufsidun

The Herald Sun smuggled them out.

Yes, Virginia, that is in fact an AA unit without a single uniformed combatant, parked right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

Not that any moderate Shia have the power to so much as say ‘hey, move that shit, I live here’ without coming to an abrupt and unfortunate end.  It is hard for somebody who lives in a place where almost everything can be talked and negotiated into a positive-sum game (how many times have you been shocked to find a divorcee who is on good terms with his/her adulterous ex-spouse?  I can think of two instantly, and I know there’s a third that I can’t put my finger on)….

to comprehend an organization so murderous and rank with evil that they not only do not care about bringing civilian casualties on their own side…

but who consciously and premeditatively bring it about, because they view getting their own people killed as a propaganda victory.

That’s not jihad.  Hezbollah are mufsidun holding all of Shia Lebanon hostage to hirabah… and the future vengeance of sectarian Lebanon. (more…)

Remarkably catchy propaganda

On a lighter note, in the perennial tradition of talking smack at one’s enemies, I humbly submit to you “yalla ya Nasrallah.”

Catchy.  Not quite In der Fuhrer’s Face, but still, catchy.

HT: Pajamas Media

Carioca, the anti-diet.

Hoo-boy.

If, as Wired suggests, the proper way to lose ten pounds over roughly two months is to cut your diet (but not your nutrition!) by 500 cal/day, — and that’s good, b/c I’m fat, but at 6′ 190, only about ten pounds over where I’d like to be — then I think at the Lizard Queen’s doctoral party yesterday, I just wiped out a week’s worth of dieting.

But, it’s Carioca… and, of course, DeNugu’an with Putu…

not served daily chez Happycrow.  Good thing, too.

Carl Brashear, Hero.

This is a new category for this blog.  In it over the coming months/years, men and women willl be liste here who have changed the world for the better.

Carl Brashear is dead.

Let us remember Carl Brashear.

“There’s no room for racism in the Navy.  That’s because there’s only one color in the Navy: Blue.”

You heard that a lot growing up as a “Navy Brat” or a “Squid Kid.”  You heard of racism here and there, mostly because it would show up on the news as some weird civilian mental disorder that made even less sense than Scientology.

My father was a Naval officer, and he raised us up to be absolutely 100% colorblind.  So colorblind, in fact, that it wasn’t until I was well out from under his wing that I began to have a clue about just how bad black Americans had it (and, in some lingering cases, still do).

Well, the Navy isn’t made of saints.  Racial integration was neither immediate nor easy, as this bibliography will attest.  But progress has been made, serious progress, and it is to a great extent because of the simple heroism of men like Brashear, to simply and adamantly refused to accept this evil for what it was, that we can look back on incidents like the Port Chicago Mutiny — and the circumstances that gave rise to it — and wonder “what were they smoking?  How on earth could people think like that?”

And, sickeningly enough, there are still some who do.  But the first step towards a just society is acknowledging the stake that all have within it, and the recognition that individuals are just that, each to be judged on his or her own flaws and merits, rather than simply lumped into a category-of-convenience.  Brashear took it head-on.  Not merely because of race, but after his maiming, he took it straight to the top and forced the issue to be settled on the simple merits of the question “can this man do the job?” 

And for the changes resulting from that, he is owed our deep and abiding gratitude.

The world is full of hungry people.

For instance, somebody desperately needs to give this poor girl a sandwich.

Iran: very smart or very dumb

Okay, so the Iranians will keep Syria in line by moving suicide bombers into Lebanon.

Either they are planning to take on the Israelis:  dumb.  See GWII.

Or they are using Israel as an excuse to blow stuff up all over Lebanon once the purely domestic throat-cutting start: smart.  See… Lebanon.

If it’s the former, then the Iranians play right into the West’s hands with casus belli and by diluting their domestic thug strength.  If the latter, though… bad, bad, bad, and there’s not much that can be done to stop it.  It could easily give HA direct control over Lebanon once the blood dries.

Bint Jbail casualty analysis

For those of you following the earlier post’s comments, NPR says IDF reports 40 Hizballah killed.

That’s 22 wounded and 9 killed IDF, an unknown number HA wounded and 40 killed.

That’s 4 to 1, when the 4 are already in ambush positions, and one can assume at least 20 shooters in the initial ambush.

Strategically, HA can absorb losses at that level.  It has manpower to burn at this point.

Tactically, 4 to 1 with a three-side city ambush? That’s bad.  In fact, that’s embarrassing.  What this tells me, combined with the relatively high numbers of wounded-but-not-killed, is that Hizballah is falling back on the perennial Military-Arab notion of “front sight?  What’s that?”  Better quality of shooting would have resulted in a much higher IDF fatality rate even with the new medical equipment (don’t know if they have it, but it’s a reasonably safe bet), b/c it’s “known” that there was no meaningful medivac in this furball for a ridiculously long time.

In other words, Hizballah may still be the best Arab army on the block, and have a great combination of equipment and morale… but it’s still an Arab army, and still apparently running on the age-old “we have troops to burn” theory where only the officers count for squat.

Interesting counterpoint:  when the guys in Iraq got together to celebrate being in charge of their own province, all the traditional guys came up from the Tribes to celebrate… and the documentary pictures in the NYT showed not ONE AK47 or variant.  Each and every single one of these guys had a Mosin-Nagant or similar type long-barreled bolt-action rifle.  Mentally and culturally, there is a huge difference between the man who carries the former weapon, and the man who carries the latter.

Three Groups, Three Rules

It is sorely tempting to look at current events purely through the lens of either Huntington (Civilisations jostle, and one in particular doesn’t play well with others) or Palmer (world peace will come once we get rid of these parasitic tyrants).

But can a general synthesis be attempted, using a yardstick made up of the question “what are the rules by which they (try to) play?”

Here’s one attempt, which would break the globe into three particular blocs, still clearly a work-in-progress:

Three Groups, Three Rules

1.  The Citizen States:  those governments who believe in all the things one finds in a modern representative government — which may all disagree vastly on the extent of individual rights, but which are consciously populated either by citizens or else “politically-empowered subjects,” and characterized by a historically-unusual degree of political transparency and government accountability.

  • Examples — EU/Anglosphere/Japan/”fledgling Democracies”
  • Rarely, Will forcibly intervene in other States for defensive and/or moral causes
  • Run by The Governor

Outlier Example — France’s semi-predatory relationship with Cote d’Ivoire

2.  The Westphalian States:  Russia and similar states who are willing to play by the letter of international conventions, but have no compunction whatsoever about putting their power to uses that the inhabitants of Group 1 find either immoral or generally unpalatable.  Subjects possess some vague notion of rights/priveleges/immunities, but enjoy no protection from those groups which comprise the State.

  • Examples — Russia, China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan
  • Occasionally, Will forcibly intervene in other States in order to improve its strategic position
  • Run by The Ruler

Outlier Example — Morocco and its attempts to rationalize a political Islamism containing many features of Group #1 States.

3.  The Vampire States:  Cuba and similar states which are differentiated by the ruling group’s desire to achieve power and enrichment through the total domination and relative impoverishment of all not within State Apparatus.  Characterized by the conscious engineering of circumstances in which the ruling group cannot be safely detached from the people upon whom they derive their power.

  • Examples — Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria
  • Constantly, Forcibly intervenes whenever possible for strategic and material gain
  • Run by The Guinea Worm

Example Outlier — Iran and its ruling cabal’s tenuous hold over a population clearly preferring a Group 1 State.

It’s not enough to simply chop up the world by Civilization:  doing so, for example, leads one to Huntington’s Thesis on the Middle East — which has been more than demonstrated — but also Japan — whose behavior has baldly contradicted Huntington’s predictions.  Nor is it simply sufficient to distinguish between those countries that are “Free” and “Unfree,” because it misses how they act:  it’s great to be involved with France if you’re a Frenchman or member of the EU… not so great if you’re an Ivorean.  Similarly, Palmer’s Thesis completely misses out on the ability to deal with what’s going on with Morocco, and any legitimate multivalence in the notion of what constitutes a free society.

The Descriptive Element is what it is.

The Prescriptive Element, leads one to suggest a couple different things.

It is in the interest of Group 1 States to maximize the degree of intervention, forceful or otherwise, in order to destabilize and extinguish Group 3 States, converting them to either Group 1 or Group 2 States.

Similarly, it is in the interest of Group 1 States to minimize the degree of intervention involving Group 2 States, instead pursuing a game of maximalized consistent incentives.  Unlike a Group 3 State, in which the subjects are abjectly and purposefully kept down in Croesus-like manner, subjects of a Group 2 State possess sufficient means by which to initiate a “colored revolution” if they attain sufficient economic and legal protection from the State — which is typically a function of economic power.  And, equally importantly, Group 2 State Actors are willing to more-or-less abide by international agreements that provide geopolitical stability.  Therefore, whatever improves the livelihood, access to uncensored information, and material well-being of a Group 2 State’s subjects should be pursued as a consistent goal, whether or not the nature of the regime remains unchanged.

Canadian peacekeeper: I am required to be impartial; however…

Please understand the nature of my job here is to be impartial and to report violations from both sides without bias. As an Unarmed Military Observer, this is my raison d’etre.

What I can tell you is this: we have on a daily basis had numerous occasions where our position has come under direct or indirect fire from both artillery and aerial bombing. The closest artillery has landed within 2 meters of our position and the closest 1000 lb aerial bomb has landed 100 meters from our patrol base. This has not been deliberate targeting, but has rather been due to tactical necessity.

Translation:  Those Hezbollah bastards are using us as human shields while they fight, and since we’re completely helpless to do anything about it, I forgive the Israelis in advance for when the inevitable happens. 

Damn.  I wish I had balls like that.  Maj Hess-von Kruedener, we salute you.

That screaming sound you hear

is what is going to happen in four hours when my wife gets up early and goes into hysterics at the realization that she has no way to shower up for her boss’ big-big confab in Frisco, because I have had to shut off the water main in the middle of the night.

 …………………………dscn3123.JPG

The electrical tape you see was my token attempt to forestall reality until sunrise.  It was about as successful as one might guess — two small sprays of water converted to two tiny but very high-speed sprays of water.

The foundation-repair man comes Friday.

Have I mentioned that the insurance carrier croaked, and we are tryng to get onto a new policy?

City-fighting in Bint Jbail

Again, Jerusalem Post is reporting remarkably low Israeli casualties for this type of fighting: 30 wounded, 3 seriously.

Meaning that

  1. the JP needs to get better info
  2. the intensity of the fighting is being overstated
  3. the punditocracy at large is severely overestimating Hezbollah’s ground game

Don’t know which — still too early in the news cycle.

UPDATE:  In from Yoni, reports that it’s 25 wounded, Nine killed.  Which may be due to continuing information… but this has also been echoed over at Pajamas Media.  So it looks so far like JP’s numbers are coming in low.

It must be nice to be this ignorant

Berkeley.  Land of the coddled, where upper-middle-class white women romanticising peoples about whom they know nothing write poems.

Love Poems.

Lesbian Love Poems.

To Hezbollah.

It must be nice being able to think that you could be a lesbian in the land of Hezbollah.

Without, of course, being sentenced to be gangraped, gang-sodomized, and then summarily beheaded.

If you’re lucky, and they don’t include public stoning.

How anybody who lives in a place that espouses GLBT rights could be so fundamentally coddled that they could be praised and rewarded for writing love poems to people who are unreservedly proud to commit unspeakable acts of brutality upon the GLBT community at every turn… well, they’d have to be living in Berkeley.

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