24 October 2007

Let me 'splain, no let me sum up

Work is more than a little hectic, and even when I get home I've hit my aggravation quota, so I have been ignoring politics/news lately.

Near as I can tell, the Democratic Party's primary race has degenerated into Mrs. Hillary Clinton's triumphal procession. That's possibly the worst thing they could do, regardless of whether you are talking in terms of good for the country, or good for the Democratic Party, or in terms of producing a Presidential race where I have to engage even one solitary brain cell to think about who I should vote for.

If Mrs. Clinton and Rudy Guliani go head to head, I'm voting for Cthulu in the write-in bloc. I'm tired of this whole 'lesser evil' crap.

California is on fire, and it's all George Bush's fault, according to Ms. Boxer, a notable example of the Democratic Party's taste in stupidity.

Speaking of California congresscritters, what is up with Pete Stark? Did he miss a dosage or three of his medication? I mean, Congress may not be able to get socialized health care passed for the rest of us (Thank God) but they have their own health care plan worked out. You'd think he could get an Alzheimer's screening or something.

Meanwhile, Iraq is dropping out of the press because reality is as far off their main message as Pete is off the Democratic Party's public message. (Note: I believe that the Democrats, privately, agree with him. They just aren't senile enough to say so in public). Why? Well, apparently Iraq is safer than Jamaica. Not a ringing endorsement, but hey, all things are relative. And even when we have good news, we have to spin it so it sounds like bad news.

Here's a couple samples of the Real News from Iraq, with a chart. RealClearPolitics has a thought on what the means for the Democrats, especially if trends continue.

One other note, the Medal of Honor was presented to the parents of Michael Murphy for actions in Afghanistan. Stories abound (although approximately .001% of the stories devoted to a skanky female private first class from the Reserves and her man-pyramids) but Xavier Thoughts has the summary of the action up along with a photo and links.

17 October 2007

He won at the internet today.

A comment on my wife's blog.

"I find it particularly appropriate that 'pull out now' is neither a viable form of birth control nor a suitable military strategy. Oh, the parallels I could draw with that little analogy."

16 October 2007

Asking the Wrong Questions Indeed

One of the folks I read on LJ has a post titled 'People asking the wrong questions'.

One half of it has to do with the doctors and guns thing I mentioned in a previous post.

The other has to do with environmental legislation. It's an interesting way of looking at things. I mean, companies exist to make profit. If we make it impossible to make a profit in the US with environmental legislation and labor costs (including the benefits packages unions expect these days) then they go elsewhere where they have NO regulation. So the idea is to have as much environmental legistlation as you can without making it unprofitable to keep your factories in the US.

Speaking of asking the wrong question, there's another study on genetics of homosexuality.

There are some things that you will never convince me of.

1) That there are two choices, gay and straight, and all people fall into category A and B.
2) That any human behavior as complex as sexuality is governed either by a single gene or a small group of genes, or genetics at all, or environment alone, or personal choice, or any other single variable.
3) That a genetic predisposition to any behavior is an immutable destiny.
4) That I should really care one way or another whether my neighbor prefers direct or alternating current, so long as whatever he or she does, he or she does with consenting adult or adults.
5) That homosexuality is a greater threat to public morality than irresponsibly promiscuous heterosexuality.

I doubt the study is that simplistic. But the article on it is.


Everyone, from Blackfive on down, is talking about the new Washington Post story.

For the perhaps three folks living under a rock, let me summarize.

AQI is getting its butt kicked. We have been rolling up networks. Suicide bombings are down, casualties and civilian deaths are down, and General Odierno is saying things like, "They are less and less coordinated, more and more fragmented."

That's general-speak for "they aren't what they used to be."

Some folks want to break out the party hats and announce we beat Al-Qaeda in Iraq. That's more than a little problematic.

1) It only takes a small cell to pull off a dramatic attack that makes us look like fools.

2) The American Left is looking for an excuse to pull out of Iraq. Don't give it to them.

3) Al-Qaeda in Iraq is hardly the only element of the interlinking problems in Iraq.

Some of Iraq's problems are slowly being fixed, and a major step towards fighting the factionalizing trends was taken recently by a Shiite cleric.

But the problems of Iraq, while not as large as some media outlets would have you believe, are not insignificant either.

This report and the recent trends are hopeful, and support what I have been saying about the overall direction of this war since my first tour. But they aren't the end.

The problems remain, and there are folks at home desperately driven to make these trends reverse for their own political gain. If the trends won't reverse, they will simply repeat lies over and over again, as their sycophants cheer and the simple-minded are fooled into believing them. But after a while, it is going to become too much even for the leftist media to cover up.

14 October 2007

Guns, Kids, and "Safety"

A regular reader sent me a link to a post on Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller about pediatricians, based on this article from the Boston Herald.

Disclaimer 1: I don't have kids.

Disclaimer 2: I am not sure I endorse the suggestions of shooting a nosy pediatrician. On the other hand, if I had some creep on my property photographing my (hypothetical) kids, I would take a pistol out when I went to get the film out of his camera and inform him that I was calling the police, and that the next time I saw him on my property, I would shoot him.

Disclaimer 3: I live in Texas, where it is perfectly legal to shoot folks on your property provided you have a warning sign up. Thank God for states with common-sense laws.

There's at least three major issues. One is the burning hysteria about "abuse." Child abuse, domestic violence, blahblahblah. It happens, don't get me wrong. But I doubt that a kid showing up for a routinely scheduled well child visit with no indications of child abuse is really a high risk for being an abuse victim. Most child abuse cases in America are really child neglect, and if a kid is healthy and being taken in for routine medical care, that's pretty much a solid indicator that he or she is NOT being neglected. Of course I got asked if there was any potential abuse in my house when I want in for my appointment for a kidney infection. Never mind that a kidney infection isn't really indicative of abuse.

I was good. I did not answer, "I'm not as abused as I want to be." That would just confuse the poor girl.

Someone is checking blocks on a form, if you want my opinion. Maybe I've been in the Army too long, but block-checking neither surprises me nor terribly offends me. It's annoying and stupid, and sets the doctor in question up for failure when done that way. But there are arguments for and against the idea of having the parents not be in the room for a limited amount of time. I don't know for sure there.

The other is the Gun Thing. Now, don't get me wrong. There are some things that a pediatrician might want to ask about guns. In the same sense that you would ask a parent if a kid had water safety courses, or whatever. That makes sense to me. Of course, firearm safety can't be taught without some hands-on time with firearms and more than driver's training could consists of nothing but a power-point presentation.

What really drives me up the wall is the idea of grilling about firearm ownership. Are they going to grill parents about power tools or swimming pools? Or how about the number 1 accidental death killer of kids?

"Timmy, does your Daddy ever drive too fast in his car?"
"Does your Daddy ever use bad words and flip other drivers the bird?"
"Does your Daddy talk on his cell phone while you are in the car?"
"How many cars does your Daddy own, and what kind are they?"

This trend in grilling kids about guns is apparently part of the American Association of Pediatricians' official policy, which is to the eliminate all guns. All of them. That's what happens when a professional organization is taken over by the Left, which wishes to reduce all those not in the "elite" to the status of serfs. And don't be confused: Those without the legal right to own and use effective means of self-defense are serfs no matter what other legal "rights" their masters choose to confer on them at the time. Laws can be revoked--guns are harder to take away. But that's a rant for a different day, no?

There are some smart docs out there, with some good advice on what to do when this sort of thing happens.

But I think the final word should come from a comment to the AIR post.

"Back when I was in medical admin, releasing any private information without signed consent was an offense handled by civil and/or criminal sanctions. Times have changed and much for the worse."

"I cannot but wonder how we are any better than the old Soviet Union. Far too remeniscnet of Pavlik Morozov, the Young Pioneer brat who snitched on his father for hiding grain (during the Ukrainian famine). After he was killed by his relatives, the Commies turned him into a Soviet saint - but the Russians at least subsequently repealed this travesty after 1990. We’re still encouraging and glorifying ours."

"Maybe since that doctor is a quack, she-he-it should be boiled in orange sauce."

It's funny how much totalitarianism is defended by the allegations that things are for the "safety" of children. I for one would like to know when protecting kids from all hypothetical dangers became the sole function of society. Children buffered from adversity and danger grow up to be not terribly worthwhile citizens. Jen wrote about this from another angle, the obsession with antibacterial everything. One of her comments contained one of the best things I've heard on the topic.

"One of the things my mother said that stuck with me is that if a little dirt was going to kill a kid, it was better to know before you had a college education invested in that kid."

Just something to think on.

09 October 2007

Short Rant

Well, I made the big ol' update post over on Livejournal. Nothing much more to add to that, and if you read my blogroll, you know where my wife's Livejournal is, and you get more updates than that also.

I've stayed away from politics the past few weeks, with one notable exception, that being my reaction to a reaction from a particularly stupid breed of liberal on the whole "Rush Limbaugh says 'phony soldiers' flap." I've posted my commentary to the whole brou-haha in enough detail for me to consider the case closed. Short version: As usual, The Usual Liberal Suspects (including Harry Reid) have once again demonstrated that they either a) run off at the mouth without bothering like trivialities like facts, or b) are too stupid to read plain English.

This no longer surprises.

JD Johannes provides a different take on what he refers to as dissident Soldiers, those who either felt that invading Iraq was a bad idea or believe that the occupation of Iraq was done poorly. I know a lot of these Soldiers. Some of them have simply tired of the whole mess and wish the Administration would simply nuke the whole Middle East flat (ending the question of Islamic terror, and indeed Islam itself) Some disagree with trends large and small that can be seen at the warfighter's level, and which have little or nothing to do with the unending roll of crap that the Mass Media (post-nationalist and often pro-Jihadist) feeds the Home Front about how the war is "failing".

Yet we have a higher retention rate than we did in the 'good ol' days' of the 1980s. Interesting. . . Why is that? The dissident Soldiers generally don't work to undermine the mission on the way that the (lying, snivelling weasel of a piss-poor Soldier) Darling of the Left, Scotty Beauchamp, did. Why is that? And these Soldiers keep going out the wire, day after day, doing jobs nasty and dangerous and tedious and sometimes seemingly pointless.


First and foremost, we are an all-volunteer military. Robert Kaplan has a good piece up about that in OpinionJournal.

"As one battalion commander complained to me, in words repeated by other Soldiers and Marines: "Has anyone noticed that we now have a volunteer Army? I'm a warrior. It's my job to fight." Every journalist has a different network of military contacts. Mine come at me with the following theme: We want to be admired for our technical proficiency--for what we do, not for what we suffer. We are not victims. We are privileged."

Yeah, that's a bit beyond the scope of your average media puke, who just wants some pictures and quotes to sustain his preformed conclusions. That's a sentiment I've written about before. We do what we do because we are who we are. Soldiers and Professionals. Things that drive us are pretty much a mystery to a post-modern world which has embraced Positive Thinking and Self-Esteem and Transnational Progressivism and the idea that hurting someone's feelings is legally actionable. In a world where everyone is just a misunderstood unique snowflake (umm, except of course for those awful bad conservative throwbacks) we're about as out of place is as a turd in a punchbowl.

We fight.

The media is on the other side of this fight. Regarding Haditha, it has since come out that the Times reporter who broke the story did so according to an al-Qaeda planned script.

"McGirk received his video 'evidence' and contacts from two known Iraqi insurgent operatives already under observation by Marine Corps counter intelligence teams. One of the Iraqi witnesses McGirk relied on had just been released from almost six months captivity for insurgent activities and the other witness was considered a useful intelligence tool by Marines listening to him talk on his cell phone. McGirk never interviewed the Marines, who ironically had prepared a similar intelligence summary in anticipation of his canceled visit."

Of course, the Media shilling for terrorists is nothing new. Any wonder Republicans don't trust the Media, but sheep Democrats do.

I'd almost rather read al-Jazeera, if only because I know how to sort out their spin because it's blatant. For instance, when they talk about 'forming alliances' and insist loudly that no one is negotiating with the Americans, I can take that as evidence that the latter is blatantly false, and that US/ISF pressure is so bad that some groups are cutting deals with factions that despise in order to survive. This is a good thing.

In other news, the Israelis apparently admitted they bombed "something" in Syria, but aren't admitting that it was nuclear material from North Korea, even though that's what the entire non-Israeli world media is convinced of, and it is one of the few things I can imagine that would require Israel to strike a target in Syria.

In other news, Hillary Clinton is apparently listening to Sandy Berger on foreign policy. Like I need another reason to consider her a scary bitch whom I wouldn't vote for if the other candidate was Satan.

I've got another rant brewing, this will have to do for now.

07 October 2007

Coolest Cafepress Ever

The Waffling Anglican's designs.

My brother bought me a t-shirt here.

Real update this afternoon or tomorrow.