Friday, September 28, 2007

Not-So-Odd Bedfellows

AP:Key Nations Agree to Delay Iran Action.

A joint statement from the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany said they would finalize the new resolution and bring it to a vote unless reports in November from the chief U.N. nuclear official and the European Union's foreign policy chief "show a positive outcome of their efforts."

Iran is only cooperating on the surface. Iran continues to enrich fissile material, and supply men and materiel to the "insurgents" in Iraq. They are continuing a nuclear program in excess of what would be considered "civil."

When the time comes to vote on a (third) sanction resolution against Iran, bet on Russia and China to backpedal.

China. I like Chinese. I detest communists, however. China wants us to cancel a military hardware sale to Taiwan. The disputed items are the P-3C Orion and the SM-2 missile. Both are for force protection, something which Taiwan could use in the face of China's expanding military. China is like the Kurgan in Highlander: "There can be only one China!"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brains! Part II

One of my favorite sites on the interwebs is OffalGood, home of the marinated and braised pig head recipe. Well worth a look.

There are two recent posts there, one about beef brains, and another about "delicious pig parts."

My (side of) hog from Smallholder will be butchered this November. I hope to save the offal so I can try at least one or two of these. Yum!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Voices In My Head

Having ditched the TV a year ago, I find myself listening to a lot of radio. I can't say I "killed" the TV- I will watch the occasional movie or play the occasional video game, and the kids have their videos. But there is no television programming entering the Polymathschloss. And it has been a good thing. I can listen to the radio while I do the necessary odd jobs around the house.

Did I mention I am a stay-at-home dad? The Missus is a RN at the local non-private hospital, and makes a good living at it. So there are plenty of odd jobs around the house. But I digress.

Radio. I listen to it often. I will frequently catch Rush Limbaugh at noon. And I can get any kind of music, talk, news, sports, etc. on satellite. We got satellite radio when we decided to break up with DirecTV. Like many relationships, they kept wanting more while giving less.

We chose Sirius because I like to listen to Howard Stern. Shocked? Disgusted? Oh well. I don't go for the sex stuff, but the rest of his show I find entertaining, even if I don't agree with him.

His comments this morning were right on the mark, and echoed those of Rush Limbaugh yesterday: The president of Iran is a maniac bent on the destruction of Israel and any non-islamic people who stand in his way, and he is seeking legitimacy for the reckless, murderous policies of his government.

In yesterday's forum at Columbia, Mr. Imadamnjihadi was discussing homosexuals. He simply stated that there are no homosexuals in Iran. Maybe because it is illegal, and punishable by pain of death?

This man, this Iran, is a threat to the rest of the world.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mugged By Reality

The title for Thomas Sowell's latest columns, "Mugged By Reality in Iraq" and Mugged by Reality: Part II, are taken from a book by John Agresto, "a career American academic and former college president who volunteered to go help create a better higher education system in Iraq." The complete title of the book is "Mugged by Reality: The Liberation of Iraq and the Failure of Good Intentions." Sowell writes:

The worst mistake, in Agresto's view, was the failure to establish law and order in the wake of the military victory, before undertaking the grandiose project of attempting to create democracy in Iraq. From this fundamental mistake, many of the other tragedies followed.

In the absence of law and order, there was widespread violence, looting, rape -- in short, the war of each against all that Hobbes warned about, centuries ago.

As for democracy, Agresto understands that the right to vote is no guarantee of freedom, toleration or respect for the rights of others. Without those prerequisites, democracy can mean tyranny at home and terrorism abroad.

Apparently the American civilian authorities in Iraq did not understand this or else they let that understanding be overridden by political considerations. By setting up a government based on warring factions, they made cooperation in the national interest a very unlikely prospect.

Today, when more and more Iraqis are rejecting the outside terrorists whom the media keep calling "insurgents," and when our military is restoring more order than Iraq has seen in a while, the most intractable problem is the very government we set up.

I could just quote the complete text of both articles, especially the part about General Petraeus and the 101st Airborne's success in Mosul, which fell into disorder after he left. The same man who wrote the counterinsurgency field manual, and leader of the "surge," has been slimed for his success in the name of political expediency.

I never agreed with the Bush administration's handling of the political side of the war. We have placed all our eggs in the basket of the al-Maliki government. Sowell compares the factional division in Iraq to the centuries old battle between the protestants and catholics. They finally agreed to coexist, more or less, without trying to exterminate each other. "Sunnis and Shi'ites have yet to reach a similar accommodation in Iraq," writes Sowell.
What recent progress has been made in Iraq has apparently been made by mobilizing traditional local and regional Iraqi leaders and coalitions, not by relying on the democratically elected central government. There may be a lesson there.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weekend at Fidel's, Part III: Not Nearly Dead Just Yet

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez (?) says Fidel is not yet an ex-dictator. How does he know?
"They transfused nearly all Fidel's blood, he is still alive because he's Fidel."


Thursday, September 20, 2007


Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has requested a visit to Ground Zero in conjunction with his address to the security council at the United Nations. Rudy Guiliani had this to say about that:
"Under no circumstances should the NYPD or any other American authority assist President Ahmadinejad in visiting Ground Zero. This is a man who has made threats against America and Israel, is harboring bin Laden's son and other al-Qaeda leaders, is shipping arms to Iraqi insurgents and is pursuing the development of nuclear weapons. Assisting Ahmadinejad in touring Ground Zero - hallowed ground for all Americans - is outrageous."

Unless he wanted to go blow himself up with a suicide bomb belt down in the "pit," or some other scenario resulting in his hopefully painful death, he should not be allowed anywhere near the whole of Manhattan, save the U.N. facility (which doesn't belong in the United States anyway...).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Patriot Pate?

Chicago's ban on foie gras is just over a year old. Just like all prohibitions, people have found ways to get around the law. Serving "complimentary" foie gras alongside other overpriced food, using another name (somewhat like "london broil" or "delmonico"), or just by ignoring the law, foie gras is still found in Chicago, if not directly on the menu. True to Chicago's past during alcohol prohibition, a savvy diner who knows the right phrases may ask for it, as one would ask admission to a speakeasy.

A new study at the University of Tennessee shows that mice develop what is called amyloidosis when fed a diet of foie gras. But the study, like many studies which try to prove one health claim over another, is incredibly unrealistic:

The amount of foie gras given to the mice would equal about 1.5kg over five days for humans, Solomon estimates. This may seem like a lot, especially considering that even in France the annual consumption is about 200g.

Holy Rare Disorders! Who can afford 1.5kg of foie gras a week! Maybe this guy.

The very idea that a commonly available food could be banned makes my head spin. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says the ban is "...a silly law. I think it should be repealed." He is absolutely right. If you don't like foie gras, DO NOT EAT FOIE GRAS! Don't force me to bend to your political will by making something I like to eat illegal. Keep yer laws off my dinner plate!

Lastly, the animal rights people don't like foie gras because the feel that the geese are tortured by the force-feeding which fattens their livers. Hardcore vegan true believers (one must eschew all individual liberty and freedom to reach this level) envision foie gras producers gleefully torturing their geese in scenarios like this one: Bring out the gimp.

How could one get the corn down its throat with that collar around its neck?

Monday, September 17, 2007

O.J.'s Alleged Robbery

O.J.'s Alleged Robbery: Just like his alleged murders. Another story here.

Amnesty Now! Part V: Evil Dead Amnesty 2

Disgusting and shameless. The height of arrogance. The United States Senate, to borrow a leftist phrase, is Ignoring the Will of the American People! Unless, of course, Senate Amnesty is a zombie. Off with its head!

Michelle Malkin has links, phone numbers, etc. for the Senate co-conspirators and Republican presidential candidates.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Don't Listen To the Leftist Screed

With General Petraeus being grilled by sub-persons unworthy to lick his boots after a visit to the latrine, I take great comfort in reading blogs like Jack Army, written by a knowledgeable and experienced person with his boots on the ground, in-country.

... Things are changing here (units coming and going and such) but in the towns and villages, the daily struggle to make a dinar, to feed your family, to get along in life continues, as it always has and always will.

Badger 6 sees the new glass as a sign of growing confidence and security. [h/t Charlie Foxtrot] I believe he's right. Here, we see new glass, new curbs and sidewalks, new shops
being built and occupied, the trash is getting cleaned up, the city council is taking steps to provide for security instead of relying only on the police, army and Coalition Forces. Electricy [sic], water, sewage and many other projects are getting done and more projects are getting started. It's like this town woke up and started to catch up to the 21st Century, instead of staying mired in the 18th.

It's good to see.

This ain't no earthquake, this ain't no hurricane, this ain't no foolin' around. This is Life During Wartime. We are lucky that, for most of us, sacrifice is virtually unnecessary and limited solely to reading or hearing about war in the media.

Nerd Quiz?

The most entertaining quiz I have taken in a while. Thanks to the Maximum Leader (and Elisson) says I'm a Cool High Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!
I assume the "high" part means I am on the upper end of the nerd social class.

Halsey acted foolishly.

Monday, September 10, 2007

General Petraeus' Report

To the leftist anti-war weenies: Ha!, Ha!, Ha!, and Ha!

Happy September 11th, you islamo-facist terrorist assholes!

To the troops: Get some.

Monday, September 03, 2007

China Is Not Our Friend

According to the Financial Times, the Chinese military hacked into a Pentagon computer network in June of this year.

The Chinese are probing us, perhaps to find out if we will come to the aid of Russia after the Chinese invade Kazahstan, and are on Russia's doorstep. Kazakhstan (and the border area with Russia) is rich in natural resources such as coal, gold,iron, uranium, chromium, diamonds, manganese, and copper. All useful to a nation whose economy is based on industrial production.

Call me crazy.

The Island of Dr. Moreau

Headline in the U.K. Guardian: Human-animal embryo study wins approval .

I would recommend the book Next, by Michael Crichton, to anyone interested in transgenic monkeying, as well as book this post was named after. Both are good reads; Crichton has an extensive bibliography and insightful author's notes.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Pentagon Plan for Iran

We are already fighting Iran by proxy in Iraq. I say the sooner, the better.

Forget about "limited" or "surgical" air strikes. Their entire military capability needs to be eliminated. Take off the gloves, and do the job right.

Feline DARE?

Cocaine use among cats (courtesy of their owners) is on the increase worldwide. Here's a story from Australia. Here is another about a cat owned by Pete Doherty of the UK music group "Babyshambles".

If you want to see your cat act like it is on cocaine, just give it a lid of catnip.