Wednesday, June 30, 2004

A tale of two countries

For those of you who didn't notice, Canada held national elections on Monday. It was not widely reported, simply because nothing really changed: The Liberals lost some seats, but will still be in control after forming a coalition with the socialists of the mis-named New Democratic Party (NDP).

Compared to other events, this has not stirred much interest, and most Americans don't really care, anyway. I posted some comments at Spoons' website where I compared the attitudes of gun owners in both countries. Specifically, why are Americans willing to fight to keep their guns, while Canadians don't seem to care?

Let's compare recent gun control history. Almost exactly 10 years ago, the US Congress passed a law banning the sale and manufacture of new semi-automatic firearms with certain cosmetic features and "high-capacity" magazines (the infamous "assault weapons" ban). No guns were "taken off the street"; the law grandfathered all existing weapons and magazines. It has largely been unenforced since then, with only a handful of persons prosecuted for violating it. By all measures, it has been a cosmetic "feel good" law that had little real impact.

And how did American gun owners react? They flooded the polls on election day in 1994 and contributed significantly to the Republican landslide that year. Even Bill Clinton admitted that at least 20 Democrats, including then Speaker of the House Tom Foley, lost their seats as a direct result of the law. Since then, Congressmen on both sides of the aisle have been extremely reluctant to address gun control, and because of this reluctance the law will be allowed to die a quiet death this September.

In Canada, Parliament passed in 1995 the bill known as C-68, a massive licensing and registration scheme forcing all gun owners, not just pistol owners, to register their firearms with the Federal government. Not only did it require registration, it specified stiff penalties for simply failing to register. By all measures, it has been a gun owner's nightmare, a nightmare that has been made worse by the massive cost overruns which have ballooned to some 500 time the original estimates.

And how did Canadian gun owners react? Well, they appealed to the kangaroo, er, Supreme Court of Canada, who of course held 9-0 that the law was "constitutional". Still, many refused to register until the last minute; some continue to defy the law. Yet even with the cost overruns, the gross inefficiency of firearms bureaucracy, the refusal of almost every province except Quebec to enforce it, the law still endures. There have been two Federal elections since then, and the party responsible for the registration scheme is still in power.

Why? Why would Canadian gun owners, by most estimates at least 1/3 of all Canadians, be unable to effect any change through the ballot box? The answer? Socialized Medicine.

No, the Canadian health bureaucracy didn't impede the voters directly. But the idea to eliminate the gun registry was linked to health care anyway. Liberal politicians and their allies in the Canadian media portrayed the Conservatives as scheming to "take away" Canada's system of free health care (kind of like someone threatening to "take away" a beat-up '84 Yugo sitting in your front yard). The candidates who were most likely to eliminate the gun registry were portrayed as being most likely to support health care reform. While valid, it was a desperate smear campaign by the Liberals, and it worked.

When push came to shove, the average Canadian gun owner decided he would rather have free (albeit mediocre) health care instead of the Right to Bear Arms. The Gun Registry still lives, and will continue to live, even though it will continue to be grossly expensive and inefficient. Canadians chose security over liberty, and if Benjamin Franklin was correct, they will eventually end up with neither.

The lesson for American gun owners is clear: If you want to keep your guns, oppose the welfare state. The greatest threat to the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is not the anti-gun politicians or the United Nations or the Brady Campaign. It's Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. I'm afraid that too many gun owners, when confronted with a choice between keeping their guns and keeping their government handouts, will choose the handouts. If that happens, we will be both impoverished and unarmed. Not an attractive combination.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

It's the demographics, stupid!

Clayton Cramer found this story which confirms my long-held belief: America is becoming more conservative due in part to the fact that conservatives tend to have more children than liberals. And part of this demographic trend is caused by the tendency of liberals to have abortions more often than conservatives.

I blogged about this on the old Warren, but that post is long gone. The article makes many of the same points, and also provides some intriguing figures as well.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Iraqi power turnover

The US turned power over to the Iraqi guv-mint two days early today. Many people thought that this would never happen, but thanks to President George Bush, Iraqis are again in charge of their country. Thankfully, our president does not put his finger to the wind every time before making a decision, quite unlike our former sexual-molester in chief or Senator Flip-Flop.

The war strikes Utah

The latest western hostage taken by terrorists in Iraq is from Utah. A US Marine, Cpl. Wassef Hassoun from West Jordan (a SLC bedroom community) has appeared in terrorist videos and they are threatening to kill him unless all detainees in coalition prisons are released. This is unfortunate for his family, but as I have blogged before, he is as good as dead. The terrorists have already proven that they cannot be bargained with, so thinking that they will release their hostage if we do what they want has no basis in fact. All we can do is continue the course and bring democracy to the Middle East.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

A conflict of interest

More information is coming in about just how much John "the Gigolo" Kerry's "sugar mamma" is worth. $100 million, $500 million? Try 1 billion dollars. as a comparaison, our current "evil" Republican president, George Bush is worth only $11 million. Interesting that someone who supposably "cares" more for poor people than our "heartless" Republican president, would be worth so much more money. Because of all Senator Gigolo's sugar mamma's wealth, it is extremely hard to see how this would no constitute a conflict of interest. President Bush, to avoid all air of impropriety, has placed all his assets in a trust that invests in certificates of deposit. The Heinz-Kerry's however, don't seem to see any conflict of interest, at this time. And I thought that capitalism was "evil". I guess it is only when you aren't profiting from it. Remember, when Senator Flip-Flop talks about raising taxes only on the "rich", he obviously isn't talking about himself. Do you believe that he would raise his taxes? Neither do I, so he must be talking about the evil "rich" middle class. Glad to know that I'm now one of the "rich".

If Bigwig likes to stir the pot, how 'bout the Great El-ahrairah?

Since Bigwig decided to stir the pot over at Siflay Hraka, the Great El-ahrairah has decided to do the same thing over here at the Warren. The idea came to me from reading a discussion topic on the StrategyPage. The StrategyPages is devoted to military "stuff", i.e., information, questions, etc., about everything military. I read it every day since it talks more about Iraq and the military than the other news media and is much more balanced, but it does have a problem with "link rot", however. Anyway, one of the discussion topics was the following:

"Lets say for hypothetical reasons, that France declares war on Britain. And lets assume the war is a non-nuclear war. Who would win?"

I don't know about you, but after taking a femto-second to reflect on my answer, I blurted out, "The British! DUH!". TO make sure that I wasn't being too anti-French, I asked some of my "illustrious" collegues and they all said pretty well the same thing, "The British! DUH!"

My reasoning is for my answer is the following:

1. The British Navy would either sink or bottle the French Navy up in port at the start of the war. To avoid loosing the "pride" of the French fleet, the French aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaule, would "suddenly" develop major problems and be required to sit in port. If not, a British sub would send it to the bottom the same way that they sent that Argie cruiser to the bottom during the Falklands.

2. All fighting would take place on French soil for reason #1 above and because the British have more experience "hitting the beach" in France than vice versa. All wars between the French and British armies always took place on the Continent except for the Battle of Hastings in 1066 between King Harald of the Anglo-Saxons and William the Conqueror of Normandy (and which subsequently corrupted the Anglo-Saxon language with French and gave us English). The only other times that the British fought someone on British soil was when they were fighting the Romans, Vikings, Scots and Welsh.

3. Over the past twenty + years, the British have mobilized and fought in four major wars, The Falklands, Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The French have "fought" in one, Desert Storm, and other than the French Foreign Legion, no other French ground forces saw any real combat.

4. The British intelligence assets have been integrated with the US forces for many years and know what needs to be done to control the battlespace. The French have read lots of papers, but have no pratical application. The first rule of warfare is: Although you might have the largest, best-trained, best-equiped military in the world, if you don't know where the enemy is, you might as well be fighting with Girl Scouts. The British intel capabilities far surpass those of the French, ergo, within a day or two of the outbreak of hostilies, the French would be quickly blinded.

5. The British have a grand tradition of fighting and winning wars against many enemies, but especially the French. The French have a grand tradition of loosing wars. The British go into a war, expecting to eventually win. The French go into a battle, hoping to win, but ready to surrender if it means protecting their cultural "heritage".

From just these five reasons, it should be apparent that the British would win. However, if you have a differing viewpoint or would like to "preach to the choir", feel free to respond.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Bigwig stirs the simmering pot

Bigwig posted a well-written but quite wrongheaded piece today outlining his logic for choosing John Kerry this fall, and it got Instalanched. At the time of this posting, there are 64 comments, and they don't appear to be slowing down. Go and read the whole thing.

I still suspect it was written with tongue planted firmly in cheek, but in any case there are plenty of good arguments against his view. Feel free to add yours.

Any bets on how long this one lasts?

Well-known "pop-tart", Britt-ney Spears, is engaged yet again. The Great El-ahrairah doesn't know whether to be happy that two members of society have found their "soulmates" or start to the divorce watch. The future "Mr. Britt-ney Spears", Kevin Federline, is a backup dancer (hey, didn't J.Lo already do this once before?) who already has one 2-year old child with actress Shar Jackson, who is also currently carrying another one of his "love children". Knowing how celebrity marriages usually turn out and seeing how this one is already becoming a storyline for a "soap opera", I'll give it 6 months before they break-up, so, all you computer geeks who spend your days downloading pictures of Britt-ney in black leather, don't worry, she'll be single soon enough for you to start stalking her again.

Something for all you frog-haters

Here's something for all you "frog-haters". France, the defending European Champions, were upset tonight by lowly Greece to the score of 1-0. Coupled with the English loosing to Portugal last night on penalty kicks (the world's "best" soccer player and metrosexual, David "Posh" Beckham, put one over the top bar) and the mighty Germans, Italians and Spanish not making it past the first round, has this edition of the European Championship turning into "upset city". Of course, the Cap'n will be happy to know that both the Swedes and Danes are still in the competition. As much I'm pulling for both my ancestorial homes, the reality is that it looks like the Czechs will go all the way since they haven't lost a game yet. They pretty well man-handled their group, which included the hapless Germans, and look to the be the team to beat. I'll go out on a limb and predict that the final will be between Portugal and the Czech Republic with the Czechs pulling off a thrilling 2-1 win. Remember, you heard it here first. Of course, if I'm wrong, I'll do like any soon-to-be fired coach and blame the referees/media/fans/moonphase/USA, etc.

Busy times for Captain Holly

I haven't been blogging much lately because I've been quite busy trying to tie up loose ends at home and work before the Great Mount St. Helens adventure next month. I probably won't weigh in much between now and then.

As for the promised photo blogging, I have not yet worked out the technical details, so reader(s) of the Warren may have to wait until I get back for the final report. I know you'll be on the edge of your seats.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Another "correct" translation?

This just in from the Department of Modern Stupidity: a new Bible "translation" promotes fornication. Due to the changing morals of our world, every few years, another Bible "translation" is carted out to help people of our day find salvation. I remember a few years back, there was the "Blue Jeans" Bible which was written in more modern English and another Bible where all sexist references were replaced by more gender-neutral terms. This new "translation" is also written in more modern English ("baptize" changed to "dip", "parables" changed to "riddles", "Heaven" becomes "the world beyond time and space", etc.) and many names of Biblical persons are "updated", i.e., Peter is replaced by "Rocky", Mary Magdalene becomes "Maggie", John the Baptist becomes "John the Dipper". One of the major changes of this "translation" is that Paul the Apostle, instead of forceably condenming fornication in 1 Corinthians 7:1-9, now states that it is better to fornicate than become "frustrated". Of course, this "translation" will have certain members of the clergy (all the liberal ones) gushing over how it "brings out the simpleness of the Lord's Gospel without all that pesky moral condemnation (and anti-homophobic agenda) advocated by the apostles such as Peter and Paul."

Yeah, right.

This exercise in "translation" shows just how easily it is to change the meaning of passages of the Holy Scriptures to fit someone's viewpoint. If you don't like Paul condemning you because you happen to like trolling for one-night stands at gay bars, just re-write the passage to support your lifestyle choice. If your quest for putting notchs on your bedpost is cramped because Paul condemned fornication, just change a few words here and there in the name of "translation" and *Presto!*, no more condemnation. If this can be done to today's Bible, it is safe to assume that this is not an isolated incident and something that has occured more than once since the Lord commanded prophets to write down His words as scripture. Just gives you a real, warm fuzzy about the correctness of the Bible today, doesn't it? Lucky for me, the LDS Church, to which I belong, believes that there is a living prophet on the earth today, so problems with correct translations of the Bible don't matter that much when you can ask the Lord directly. It's always best to refer back to the source when you have questions, n'est-ce pas?

P.S. I put the word "translation" in quotes since to me, it looks like they just re-wrote the King James Version. I doubt that there was any "translation" done.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

We're number one, we're number one.....oops, never mind.

Utah, besides being number one in things to make you proud like ice cream consumption, non-smokers, non-drinkers, family size, etc., is also number one in another category of dubious worth, that of bankruptcies. One in 36.5 households filed for bankruptcy in Utah, compared with the national average of 72.8 households. This is one fo those statistics that makes people scratch their heads seeing how the dominate religion of the state, the LDS Church counsels it's members on a regular basis (at least every six months during General Conference) to stay out of debt and be thrify and frugal. It would be too easy to point the fickle finger of fate at all the non-members of the LDS Church as being the cause, BUT, that would be wrong. There are many members of the LDS Church, bless their souls, who are too much in debt and this eventually catches up with them. People can point to the member's large families and easy access to credit cards, but the main reason is lack of self-control, i.e., the "keeping-up-with-the-Jones'-syndrome". Until people start realizing that they don't need a new car every year, a 12-room house for two people or that "dream" vacation to Hawaii, Utah will continue to be "numero uno" in bankruptcies.

Another proud day for Utah

This is probably old news in Utah, but since the Cap'n hasn't said anything about it, I'll "scoop" him. Gordon B. Hinckley, the prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony in the White House on Wednesday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award given out to honor distinguished service, whatever that maybe. The award has been given to presidents, public figures, entertainers, foreign leaders, etc., so it's probably not as prestigious as the Nobel Prize, but in the big scheme of things, it's ranks right up there. I know that the Great El-ahrairah would be honored to be given this award for his work in blogging punditry (Right, when hell freezes over). This will also be the first year when two religious figure are honored, the other recipient being John Paul II. I think that this is the first time that the president of the LDS Church has been so honored.

Some could point to this as President Bush pandering to the LDS Church to get the "Mormon" vote and win the state of Utah, but that would be wrong. For this to be true, you would have to suspend your powers of logic and assume that John Kerry had a snowball's chance in hell of winning the state of Utah. Utah is one of, if not the most conservative state in the nation. From Jimmy Cah-tah to "Fritz" Mondale to "Tank Commander" Dukakis to "Slick Willy" Clinton to Al Gore, Democrats always come in last in Utah. So, if President Bush did this to shore up the "Mormon" vote, he is wasting his time. He has already got the "Mormon" vote just by waking up in the morning.

Monday, June 21, 2004

A "reality check" from World War II

Here is a quick "reality check" from the Battle of Okinawa. For the unintiated, the Battle of Okinawa was the last major battle of the Pacific War during World War II. Two Marine divisions, the 1st and 6th and two Army divisions, the 7th and 96th invaded the island on the 1st of April, 1945. The battle lasted 83 days and costs the lives of 12,281 Americans, 110,000 Japanese and Okinawan conscripts and around 150,000 Okinawan civilians (about one third of the population) died during the battle. So, when liberals, the media and the rest of the "blame America first" crowd start hyper-ventilating and whining about Iraqi civilian casualties and US military deaths, tell them to sit down and breathe and then remind them about what happened during one 83-day battle during World War II. To represent what is happening in Iraq as a "quagmire" is something so idiotic that only Democrats and intellectuals would believe it.

Maybe you can be one of us......

Due to the round the clock news coverage of the ground offensive of the Iraq war, the US Air Force has lost it's place as the most important branch of the military in the eyes of the public. The US Army and US Marine Corps are now seen as just as important as the US Air Force with the US Navy and the Coast Guard ("the Baby Navy") far behind. In addition, a large majority of Americans pick the US Marine Corps as the "most prestigious" branch of the armed forces. This is not all that surprising to the Great El-ahrairah. Like we used to say in the Marines, there are only two branches of the US military, the grunts and everyone else who support us. Which would you want to be a part of? The rear-area pogues who whine about per diem rates ("What? Per diem is only $3.00 per day? This sucks!") or the front-line grunts who are doing all the work and have more important things to worry about? Luckily Americans know the difference.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

The blogosphere should read me first

The Great El-ahrairah has done it again. I blogged just days before here about the Saddam Hussein/Al-Qaeda link and how it didn't take a rocket scientist to understand why the link existed. It now appears that Russia gave the US intelligence information that Saddam Hussein was preparing terrorist attacks on the US and it's interests abroad and as I blogged days before, the best way for Saddam to carry these attacks out would have been to enlist Al-Qaeda. So, instead of listening to the talking heads on the networks, the blogosphere should talk to the Great El-ahrairah. I'm always right!

This was not unexpected.....

By now, we have all heard that the terror group holding American Paul Johnson has beheaded him. This has been roundly condemned by people all over the world (except in muslim countries). This also shows those who believe that negociating with terrorists is the only way to preserve the peace what they can really expect. Remember, you cannot "negociate" with rabid dogs, you can only destroy them before they destroy you.

When Paul Johnson was taken hostage, I knew that he would never been seen alive again. For the terrorists to release him would be seen as not being "manly", ergo, according to them, he had to die. During World War II, Jewish soldiers knew exactly what would happen to them if they were taken prisonner by the Nazis. This gave them a bit more motivation that most to avoid being taken captive. In the same way, now that the terrorists have shown the world what they are capable of, we Americans know what awaits us if we fall into the hands of terrorists. Those who believe that "negociating" with terrorists is the only way to preserve peace are living in a fantasy land. You cannot "negociate" with rabid dogs, you can only destroy them before they destroy you. Until the rest of the world starts seeing terrorists for what they really are, rabid dogs, scenes like this will continue to be common place in the world.

Friday, June 18, 2004

I think I see a connection here

Between this and this.

The eco-terrorist group ELF struck a lumberyard in West Jordan recently, causing millions of dollars in damage. Now it appears that the fax claiming responsibility for the attack came from a University of Utah clinic.

Of course, the manager of the clinic is falling over himself to claim that no employee of the clinic would ever do such a thing. Suuuure. And I'm sure the ELF people were fully aware of the unused fax machine sitting there in the empty, cordoned-off wing of the clinic, even though they had never set foot in it. Why, it's quite easy to find idle fax machines in buildings that you don't work in and rarely enter (NOT!).

So what does this have to do the University's continuing refusal to obey Utah's gun laws?

To understand the mentality, one has to understand that the University of Utah is an anti-Mormon, anti-American Blue island surrounded by a sea of Red Americans. From their perch on Salt Lake City's east bench, they look down on the huddled, befuddled masses. They view themselves as not only being intellectually superior to the average Utahn, but morally superior as well. Their refusal to obey Utah law, and the likely participation of one (only one?) of their employees in an ecoterrorist action, both rise from the same arrogant attitude: only the "common folk" should obey the law.

It will be interesting to see what the University will say if one of their employees is convicted for the crime. I bet the faculty will set up a defense fund for their "hero".

Any takers?

We survived the deluge

This storm passed over the Holly household late last night. We didn't get flooded, but there was plenty of rain and several close lightning strikes (one was so close my wife heard the "fizz" as it hit). It scared my 3 year-old daughter so badly I had to snuggle her for 30 minutes to get her back to sleep.

Still, the storm did dump alot of rain on the Holly lawn and garden. I can keep my sprinklers off for another few days. It's been a nice, cool, wet June so far, and the weather has been perfect.

Unless, of course, you're a water manager or hydrologist (see below).

There's just no pleasing some people

Let's see. Since November, there have been above-average levels of precipitation at most places in Northern Utah. So far this June, about 1.5 inches of rain has fallen in Salt Lake City; the normal total for the entire month is 0.75 inches. This year is on track to be the first year since 1998 with a "normal" precipitation total. The dry spell is clearly coming to an end, as it always has throughout recorded history.

So why do we continue to hear croakings and wailings of doom and gloom?

Yes, yes, I understand the complexities of snowpack melt and reservoir storage and soil moisture levels. But doesn't the fact that the weather pattern has been wetter than normal for the past 8 months count for something? Don't water managers realize if they cry "drought" too often, people will just stop listening?

I suspect part of the reason why is they have grown accustomed to their Cassandra status, and secretly enjoy it. The drought gave them a convenient cudgel to bash suburbanites for their green lawns and lush gardens, something they always wanted to do, but were unable to credibly do during wet years. Now that the rains are coming, they just can't give it up. Pessimism has become the standard.

Just in case you forgot what we're fighting...

...the sadistic neo-Nazis of Al-Qaeda provide this reminder (via Drudge, who also has links to the photos).

I would predict these photos won't make it to the Mainstream Media, but that would be like predicting the sun will come up tomorrow or Bill Clinton will lie about his presidency. It's a given. Also a given is the Media will resume it's All-Abu-Ghraib, All-the-Time programming as soon as the blood dries on Mr. Johnson's corpse.

Don't these people feel the teeniest bit embarrassed about their screamingly obvious bias?

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Too bad for the Cap'n but just stand by.......

Well, good news for the Cap'n about the increase in family size at this time means bad news a few years down the line. What could the Great El-ahrairah be talking about? When those three daughters get to be "marrying" age, the Cap'n will know exactly what I'm talking about. For the un-initiated, I am also blessed with a daughter, she being the daughter of my wife from a previous marriage. When I married her mother, I became her father by default since I was the only man that would accept the responsibility. So, now that my daughter is getting married, I am experiencing first-hand just how much "fun" having a daughter can be for a father, which amounts to spending money. I had forgotten just how expensive getting married is. Usually, the groom's family also helps out, but unfortunately, the groom's family is, shall we say, rather less-than-rich-and-famous, so guess who's picking up the tab? It's not all that bad really. At least I get to walk her down the aisle at the church and give her away. I just hope I don't cry too much. So, Cap'n, I'll take good notes for you so you can start saving money for your three daughters.

The Captain is heavily outnumbered

It's official: My son and I will be the only boys in our family.

We discovered today that the newest member of the Holly Warren will be a girl. Counting the Wonderful Wife, that makes it four against two, or two-to-one odds. Add to that the concept that several females living in the same hosue is a force multiplier, and you get the idea.

O, the humanity!

Still more news you won't read at

This item (link via Drudge).

In Canada, a country that is obviously far, far more gay-friendly than the US, only about 1% of the population will admit to being gay. Another 0.7% admit to being bisexual. This similar to data from US surveys I've seen on the subject. The bottom line is gays are a far smaller minority than either they or their hetero supporters are willing to admit.

So why is this significant? Because we are currently debating a radical change in the definition of marriage, one that is opposed by a solid majority of the population. For such an idea to be politically acceptable, there needs to be a general level of support by the majority. To put it simply, there are millions more "conservative Christians" than gays in the US, and if gays simply resort to forcing the issue via the courts before the population is ready for it, there will be a backlash.

I suspect that deep down inside, Sullivan knows this. But admitting he knows it is another thing.

More news you won't read at

This story (link from Instapundit).

While Andrew incessantly hyperventilates about Abu Ghraib, he ignores the reality of Saddam's torture machine. But that's not surprising, since Andrew has all but announced his support for Kerry.

So why do I still read him? Because he is a good writer, and because when he's right, he's really right.

But unfortunately when he's wrong, well, he's really wrong.

UPDATE: I guess Sullivan has announced his support for Kerry. In the words of Gomer Pyle: Surprise, surprise, surprise!

Instapundit has it here, and Allah has a roundup of wickedly funny reactions here.

I probably won't be reading Sullivan much anymore. Not only is he a partisan hack, he's a disingenuous partisan hack.

What else would they "find"?

The "bi-partisan" 9/11 Blame-Bush-and-Elect-Kerry Circus has found that there is no evidence to support the assertion that Iraq helped Al Qaeda to strike the US. As I have blogged before, "Duh! What else would you expect?" This "bi-partisan" commission is controlled by the Democrats ("bi-partisan" is a Congressional buzz-word for stacking the deck with Democrats) and after having already determined that Bush is responsible for the attacks on 9/11, is looking for evidence to support their forgone conclusion. Although the final report isn't due out until after the election, the commission will leak items to the press to support their conclusion.

As for no evidence that Iraq helped Al-Qaeda, they probably would have "found" that there was "no evidence" that Germany helped Japan during World War II either. Since most Arabs consider other Arabs to be their brothers, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if Al-Qaeda wanted to support with their attacks on the US, the most logical place to go would be Saddam Hussein and Iraq. It also doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if Saddam Hussein wanted to strike back at the US for Iraq's humiliation during the first Gulf War and 10 years of sanctions, what better way than funding a group of islamic terrorists who already had a proven track record in striking the US. If by some very, very, very bad luck, Senator Flip-Flop wins the presidency, "suddenly", everyone will "miraculously" find, in the same way that Hilary Clinton "miraculously" found the Rose Law Firm billing records, that Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda where in bed together. As a corolary, as long as Gerorge Bush is president, the media will always state categorically that Saddam Hussein never helped Al-Qaeda. Remember, you heard it from the Great El-ahrairah first.

The Iraqi wedding party

Last month, the US bombed a terrorist safe house on the border of Syria which, according to the "un-biased" news media, was actually an Iraqi wedding pary. This post from the StrategyPage refutes those claims with hard facts and evidence. After the bombing, an American assessment team went to the site to gather information and they found some very interesting things. Since StrategyPage posts disappear quickly, I will include the what was found below:

- The only permanent buildings at the site contained large stocks of food (the meat was still frozen solid), bedding, medical supplies, ammunition and weapons, as well a document forging operation.

- The site was not prepared for a wedding feast, and there were no stocks of dishes,
plates, etc. and, most importantly, no "Nuptial Tent," which is a standard feature of an Arab wedding.

- There was no evidence of any means of support for the house. The most common livelihood in the area is sheep raising, and there was no evidence of that at the site. All evidence pointed to a smuggler way station, similar to others found along the Syrian border in the past.

- The deceased "wedding guests" were almost all men of military age, only a couple of women, no elders at all. There was only one child, who was wounded. All the deceased were dressed as city dwellers, not as the local Arabs who would hold a wedding at such a location. All of the deceased lacked any form of ID on them. The only ID's found were stacked up inside the house, and these were fewer in number than those bodies found at the site.

- Weapons and equipment found there included RPG's, military binoculars, and bomb making materials.

- There was lots of clothing found, prepackaged in pants and shirt sets.

- Weddings are traditionally held on Thursdays in Iraq to take advantage of Friday as a day of rest. The bombing raid took place on Tuesday night.

- There were also no gifts, no decorations, no food set out or left over, and the good bit of money recovered was all in the pockets of the bodies found at the site.

After the assessment team left, the terrorists, who had fled the site after the bombing, returned, re-arranged the site to make it look like a wedding had taken place and then invited their "useful idiots" in the press to report on the "atrocity" and of course, the Blame America First crowd just ate this up. So, when you hear bad news coming from Iraq, remember that the people who are reporting, although they are "Americans", aren't above lying to spin the story in the worse way possible for the US.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Super-sized stupidity

MacDonald's of Australia has decided to hit back at the documentary "Super Size Me" by running commercials on TV pointing out the falsehoods of the movie. For the un-inititated, the premise of the documentary is that after eating at MacDonald's three times a day for 30 days, the director of the film gains 25 pounds and gets sick. Well, as pointed out by MacDonald's of Australia, "Duh". There are millions of people who don't eat at MacDo's as much and they still get sick and gain weight. If you ate a package of Oreo cookies and a quart of Breyer's Ice Cream every night for 30 days, you would gain weight also. Most people don't realize that eating without doing any physical exercise leads to obesity. They seem to think that there is a magic pill that will enable them to loose all the weight that they have gained instantly. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way, but since most people are lazy and stupid, they will believe anything that they see coming from Hollywood. How does the saying go? "If it's on TV, it must be true, right?"

Which brings us to the current "Super Sized" idiot of the world, Michael Moore. His new film, Farenheit 9/11 has been given a rating of "R" and the "conscience of America" is not pleased. He would rather have a "PG-13" rating so that 15 and 16-year olds could be exposed to his version of the "truth". As usual, people are saying that the Republicans are behind the "R" rating and the calls of "censorship" are starting to be heard. If the Republican's wanted to sink the film in a heartbeat and protect teenagers from Michael Moore, they should give it a "G" rating. No teenager in his right mind would be seen going to a "G" rated film. "Dude, I saw you last night at that lame film "Farenheit 9/11/." "Yeah, dude, it's a film about how President Bush and the Saudis are in bed together. It's really good. You should see it." "Dude, it's 'G'-rated film. You know what a 'G' rating means? No boobs, no sex, no swearing, no violence. It's as bad as a Disney cartoon. Only my little brothers and sisters go to 'G'-rated films."

Yet another ritual of my youth corrupted

It seems that yet another ritual of my youth has been corrupted. I remember when I was just a little bunny and the monthly ritual of my Sainted Father taking me and the Cap'n to the local barber shop. We would sit there, read comic books and listen to my Sainted Father and the barbers talk about "manly" things like hunting, fishing and politics while waiting for "our" barber to cut our hair in the the prescribed 60's-era butch cut fashion. This was all well and good, but as I entered my teens, our Sainted Mother declared that my Sainted Father's barber always "scalped" us and she decided that it was time to start taking us to her hair dresser to get our hair cut. This was back when, in Utah, it was considered "un-manly" to let a woman (other than a female relative) cut your hair. We had to be smuggled in to the hair salon thru the back door to avoid having any one from school/church/neighborhood see us and subject us to the inevitable ridicule and teasing. Our Sainted Father protested a bit, but stopped when he realized that my Sainted Mother would pay for our hair cuts and not him. Chintzy dad!

At first, I was very reluctant to let a woman cut my hair, but after being forced a few times, I started to realize that having a woman cut my hair wasn't really all that bad. In fact, I started looking forward to it because I had discovered, like most other men, that when a woman cuts a man's hair, her breasts are just about at eye level, and if the woman is as well-endowed as my Sainted Mother's hair dresser was at the time, they get shoved into his face a lot and I mean, A LOT. Now, for a shy, pimply-faced teenage boy who had a hard enough time even speaking to girls, this was something to look forward to. "Gee Mom, I know it's been only a week, but don't you think my hair is kind of getting long? I think I need another hair cut."

Now, it looks like someone in the Great State of Utah (AKA Zion) has taken this whole ritual of my youth one step further. So, now a woman who has a decent body doesn't have to resort to being a stripper to take advantage of it. She can learn learn to cut hair and although she still shoves her breasts in the face of her customer, at least it's not during a lap dance. Since they are starting to field francise requests, this is probably not the last time you will hear about "Bikini Cuts". I wonder if the San Francisco francise will feature men in Speedos and transvestites dressed like Madonna. Anyway, I'll bet my Sainted Father's old barber is probably spinning in his grave right now.

Monday, June 14, 2004

The key word here is "retired"

Since Kerry was broadsided by former members of the military decrying his wartime exploits and warning against electing him as president, an "independent" group of 26 retired ambassadors and military leaders have come out to criticize President Bush as endangering national security, etc. Before everyone starts huffing and puffing about how we should listen to their opinions, we need to remember one key word, "retired". These ambassadors and military officiers are all retired. Many served with Presidents Reagan, Bush I and Clinton and retired before the events of 9/11. Thinking that someone who served as the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Admiral Crowe) during the Reagan administration (around 20 years ago) knows more about combatting terrorism than President Bush or his administration is ludicrous. In case anyone here has forgotten, the world changed drastically after 9/11 in the same way that it changed drastically after the attack on Pearl Harbor. In the same way that everything learned during World War I and before World War II became instantly obsolete on Sunday morning, 7 December 1941, everything learned during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War and Desert Storm became instantly obsolete when terrorists flew airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Tuesday morning, 11 September 2001. This is a new war and trying to use 20-, 10- or even 5-year old tactics on today's problems will fail everytime.

The US will win the war on terror, but only if we let the most qualified personnel (President Bush and his administration) fight the war wihtout being hamstringed by war protestors who really want the US to lose. However, if we want a "multi-cultural, non-homophobic, pan-European, environmentally-correct" war on terror, voting for John "War Hero" Kerry is the way to go. We will probably lose the war, but at least, all the Democratic special-interest groups will be happy, and for Senator Special-Interest, that's all that is important.

If two are good, are four better???

What is the Great El-ahrairah talking about? Well, being from Utah, you may think I'm talking about polygamy (four wives are better than two) or children (four children are better than two), but you would be wrong. I'm talking about the ability to speak multiple languages. Canadian researchers have found that bi-lingualism from birth is good for keeping your brain "young". There is no data on people who learn languages later in life, but they suspect that there would be some type of improvement over people who speka only one language. The Great El-ahrairah can testify that speaking more than one language is a very good way to keep your brain from getting lazy since you have to remember that translating English words and phrases into other languages doesn't always have the same meaning. As examples, ordering a "peperoni" pizza at an Italian restaurant brings you a pizza with hot, spicy, red peppers (peperoni) and not one with pepperoni sausage like in America. In English, saying that a dog is vicious means that he is a dangerous dog, but in France, saying that he is vicious (vicieux) means that he is full of vice. In English, you can say that you are "hot" when the temperature climbs to 100 F., but in French and Italian, saying that you are "hot" (chaud/caldo) means that you are ready for sex. In English, both humans and animals "eat", however, in German, it is important to remember that humans eat, they "essen", but when animals eat, they "fressen". Using "fressen" to describe a human eating is considered insulting, unless he is wolfing down his food or eating without any table manners. Come to think of it, that kind of describes by brother's eating habits, ne c'est pas Cap'n?

Sunday, June 13, 2004

I would hate to be English

The European Soccer Champtionship competion started in Portugal this weekend and the France-England match was an excellent example of a team falling apart at the last minute. England was leading 1-0 going into the 90th minute of play. However, during injury time, the French were able to get the equalizer off a free kick by Zinedine Zidane. Well, two minutes later, French striker Thierry Henry was pulled down inside the box and the French were awarded a penalty kick which Zidane converted to go up 2-1 over the English and end the game. The television cameras after the game showed all the French supporters cheering and celebrating and the English supporters still standing around in stunned silence. Kind of like during the Super Bowl if your team was up 7-0 with only 10 seconds left in regulation time and the opposing team comes back to score a touchdown to tie the game. Then on the insuing kickoff, they kick an onside kick, recover the ball and run the ball in to score another touchdown and win the game. A very exciting game to say the least. Too bad not all soccer games can't be this entertaining.

Another European money rat hole

This weekend, the European Union held elections for the European parliment. For the unintiated, the European Parliment is supposed to govern the European Union the way that national parliments govern member countries. The idea is that voters will go to the polls in one country, say France, and vote for a political party, say the Socialists. In the European Parliment, these French Socialists, will unite with their Socialist brethern from the rest of Europe, and do what political parties do in each other their separate countries, except on a European scale. Unfortunately, the European parliment is kind of like the Department of Education in the US, it doesn't do much except spend money and pass resolutions that don't have any real effect on the member countries since there is no European Constitution. About the only thing that European parliment bureaucrats are good for is supporting the prostitutes of Strassbourg and Brussels. And you thought that Congress was a waste of money in America.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

I'm sure Israel is worried

Hamas has decided that it will continue terror attacks on Israel after Israel pulls out of the Gaza strip. This should come as no surprise (except maybe to Kofi the Appeaser), but I doubt they will have the success that they have had in the pass. Killing civilians will be much harder once all settlements on the Palistinian side of the wall are removed. I predict, and of course, I'm not the only one, that once the Israelis leave, there will be a power struggle between the various factions. Sharon knows that with the Israelis in Gaza, all the different factions have something common to unite them together. Once the Israelis leave and more importantly, close the border, the Palistinians will have to fend for themselves. After a few weeks/months, when the celebrating is over and everyone realises that "Hey, there are still no jobs", things will fall apart very quickly and the only people dying will be Palistinians. I thought that the Israelis should have pulled out many years ago and let the whole place go to "hell in a hand basket". After a few years of Palistinian-on-Palistinian violence fueled by religion/poverty/crime, maybe they will look a bit differently on the "Zionist" occupiers. Remember, before 1992 when Arafat showed up, most Palistinians had jobs and could work in Israel. 12 years later, how many Palistinians have jobs and work in Israel? Not many. Like President Bush told the Palistinians, they are suffering needlessly because of their leader's actions.

The Dream is Over

Clayton Cramer pointed me to this Fox News item: John McCain has officially turned down John Kerry's proposal for veep.

If I may indulge in a bit of "I told you so", Captain Holly saw this coming a mile away, and I said so at least twice previously (unfortunately, my writings on the subject were lost in the Great Hraka Crash and Subsequent Move to Blogspot of '04, so you'll have to take my word for it). I knew McCain would not be Kerry's Veep. What is surprising is how many people thought such a relationship would work.

The difficulty of it should have been obvious to anyone who had a basic understanding of politics, but I'm afraid the Media and some pundits were so breathless and lovestruck over McCain that they ignored reality. There are a whole raft of reasons for this, but the biggest is the fact that John Kerry is as scintillating as a bowl of cold Cream o' Wheat, and the Democrats know it. McCain was imagined to be the Virtuously Bipartisan Anti-Bush, one that would unify and deliver the Mythical Moderate Majority in November and then fade into the background when it came time to govern.

In reality, McCain as veep would lead to massive schisms in the Democrat party. It's doubtful someone as egotistical and headstrong as he is would swallow his objections to abortion and higher taxes just to be on the ticket with Senator Waffle. And it's even more doubtful the hard left Feminist wing would allow him to get there. With Democrats, ideology trumps all other considerations.

I noted earlier the idea that McCain is kind of like a political Rorshach test: People see whatever they want in him. The Kerry campaign saw a fellow war hero with a grudge against George Bush; they didn't even consider the fact he might not want to sully his image by cozying up to a war protestor. McCain was more of an object than person to them. He was considered for Veep because of what he is, not because of who he is. They fantasized about McCain the Politician; now that McCain the Person has actually spoken, the fantasy has come to an abrupt end.

The Return of the Captain

After a hot and dusty but otherwise satisfying vacation, Captain Holly has returned. We took the kids on a quick "Dinosaur" trip to Dinosaur and Fossil Butte National Monuments. We all had fun, and other than my youngest daughter getting strep throat, everything went well.

Now that I am back, I am beginning preparations for the Great Captain Holly & Son Mount St. Helens/Mount Rainier Volcano Tour and Climbing Expedition. As part of the experience, I am considering photoblogging the whole trip for my reader(s). Technical advice will be welcomed.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Those crazy French!

This might have been a slow newsday for the Iraqi prison abuse scandal crowd, but meanwhile, back in France:

1. Brigitte Bardot has been convicted of inciting "racial hatred. Well, as much as I think she is a loony, animal rights freek, what she said in her book about immigrants and Islam is what a large majority of the French actually think. I don't know how many times I have listened to French people lecture me about the evils of racism and slavery and then in the same breath talk about shipping all the "Arabs" back to Algeria at the end of a bayonet point. Of course, if you point out to them that what they are saying is racist, they will tell you that you don't really understand all the nuances of the situation and it's much different than what the US did with African-Americans.

Here's an ancedote about Arabs and what the French think about them. Many years back, I was travelling around Europe on a Eurail Pass. I just happened to be in Paris and was waiting outside of a luggage drop-off location in the train station, Gare di Lyon, where I could leave my backpack for the day. This was also during the time when France was having some terrorist problems with their Arab population and they were blowing up bombs in the Paris metro on a somewhat regular basis. As I was waiting there, two members of the French CRS, kind of a cross between the FBI, CIA and riot police walked by, checking passports and looking for anything suspicious. Also at this moment, an Arabian immigrant also happened to walk by. Old Habib was dressed like a typical Algerian peasant and looked like he had just gotten off the boat in Marseille and was on vacation in the big city of Paris, happily strolling along, taking in all the sites and sounds of the train station. Immediately, those two CRS officers lost all interest in what they had been doing before and where on him like flies on fecal material. They demanded his passport and started frisking him for weapons. After that, they started to go thru his suitcase. Habib wasn't too happy about this since he didn't see what he had done wrong, but the CRS weren't letting up on him for one minute. Inside his luggage, Habib had all his clothes all nice and folded and very organized. He had even wrapped all his socks and underwear up in plastic shopping bags. The CRS officiers made him unpack every last bundle and dump everything out on the floor so they could poke at it and rumaged around thru it with their night sticks before walking away, leaving Habib there with his suitcase dumped out on the floor. I thought to myself that if the same thing had happened in the US, there would have been CNN there in a heartbeat followed by a lawyer or two to decry this violation of human rights, but since this was France, nobody really cared.

2. Iraq and Nato. Now that Bush has asked the UN for their blessing with Iraq (something the French, Germans, Russkies and Spanish have always wanted), naturally, in order to spread some of the UN mandate around, he proposed that NATO help out in Iraq. Wouldn't you know, Ballerina Jacques decided to rain on his parade. I'm convinced that if Bush had proposed to give France 1 billion dollars because they are such good friends, Jacques would be insulted that it wasn't 2 billion (What! You want to buy my friendship for a measly 1 billion dollars?). Oh well, what would you expect. France is being more and more marginalized, in the EU, in NATO and in the world. They are increasing being seen as an obstruction to peace and security instead of a country who is working for that in the world. There are a lot of good people in France, but unfortunately, they are being lead by a first-class idiot.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

The Big-Bopper Flip-Flopper

It seems that John "Flip-Flop" Kerry juat can't get it thru his ultra-liberal skull to stop flip-flopping on the issues. During the past week, he has been promoting his "get tough" plan for combatting terrorism stating that it is "the greatest threat facing America today". However, way back during the Democratic primaries, in a televised debate during the month of December, Senator Flip-Flop stated that the evil Bush administration had exaggerated the threat posed by terrorism. Wow! What a difference 6 months and being all-but-assured the Democratic nomination for president makes. I guess the next question should be, "Senator Flip-Flop, six months ago, you stated that the Bush administration had exaggerated the threat of terrorism to America. Are we to understand that you think flying airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon is a "rational" act and not "exaggerating" the threat of terrorism? And please no nuanced, French answers." Or, maybe this question. "Senator Flip-Flop, six months ago, you stated that the Bush administration had exaggerated the threat of terrorism to America. Today you are now saying how you will aggressively go after terrorists if elected president. Has something changed where terrorism has suddenly become much more dangerous or was President Bush right all along back in Demember and you were talking out of your rear-end? And please answer the question truthfully without nuance."

It is plain to see that Senator Flip-Flop doesn't have a clue about the threat posed by terrorism in the world any more that the Great El-ahrairah has a clue about delivering babies. Since you obviously wouldn't want someone like myself walking into a hospital to deliver your child ("Don't worry. The screaming is normal"), why would you want to vote for someone who thinks that the terrorism threat is "exaggerated". Remember to listen to what comes out of the mouth of Senator Flip-Flop and you'll have no trouble voting for President Bush come November.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

At last! A USO show worth seeing!

The organization made famous by Bob Hope and the Hollywood Canteen, the USO, sponsored a tour in Germany recently that The Great El-ahrairah would have liked to have seen. Nope, it's not a bunch of NFL cheerleaders who think that doing splits for the troops counts as "serving their country". It was Toby Keith and Ted Nugent. I'm sure the Cap'n would have liked to have seen it. I don't know which would have been better, singing along with Toby about "putting a boot in the ass" of terrorists because "it's the American way" or watching "Mr. NRA" Ted shoot arrows at pictures of Bin Laden/Saddam. Unfortunately, I missed the show. I'm sure I would have greatly enjoyed such blantly jingoistic, pro-American, anti-French propaganda. It's great to be an American!

Looks what always happens when I'm gone

The Great El-ahrairah has returned from his 10-day self-imposed exile in France and Italy. I was going to blog about a lot of different things, but there are onlyb three things that struck me as important while I was gone.

1. The Death of Ronald Reagan. The Cap'n has already bloggeda about this, but here are my two Euro cents worth. I didn't learn of this until reading it in the Italian papers. The first election that I ever voted in was 1980 (I just barely missed 1976). During the last part of the 70's, I was in France on a LDS Church mission and I can remember how ashamed I was of our president at that time, Jimmy Cah-tah. I remember how mad I was when the Iranians invaded our emabssy and took the staff hostage and how mad I was when the resuce attempt failed. And all the while, President Peanut kept playing by the Barney Rules of Diplomacy. So, it wasn't a big surprise when Reagan was elected. My favorite Reagan political poster showed a picture of him in his cowboy hat framed by the words "America, Reagan Country". I am proud to have voted for Ronald Reagan twice. May he rest in peace.

2. The D-Day Invasion Anniversary. I didn't really get to see any of this since Italian TV didn't show any of it. The reasoning is that since Italy wasn't invited to the festivities, no reason to show anything. About all I know is that Jack "the Ballerina" Chirac took the occasion to lecture President Bush about, you guessed it, Iraq. Ho-hum, what else would you expect? Yes, it has taken 60 years, but any semblance of intestinal fortitude and gratitude has been removed from the French bloodlines.

3. The Tampa Bay Lightning won Lord Stanley's Cup. Well, I predicted 6 games, but 7 games, is close enough. Since our neighbors to the north considered this as some kind of US-Canada showdown, it must really hurt to know that a team from Florida, where 50 degrees Farenheit is the normal winter temperature, was able to come back beat a team from the frozen tundra of Alberta, Canada when the Canadian team was up three games to two (eventhough a majority of the players on the US team were Canadian).

That's about all. My son is still my son, my wife is still my wife, my daughter is still my daughter and my ex-wife is still, well, let's just say that I'm happy that I divorced her.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ronald Reagan, RIP

After a busy day of yard work and preparing for our trip, I tuned into Game 6 of the Stanley Cup playoffs (excellent game, BTW; Tampa won in double-overtime 3-2) and found out former President Reagan died today.

There is probably not a politician who has had a greater influence on my generation (the post-hippie Baby-Boomers). The 1980 election was the first election where I was eligible to vote, and I voted proudly for the Gipper. He didn't disappoint me.

There are many today who are too young to remember the 70's and just how screwed up everything was then. I do. I clearly remember the US retreat from Viet Nam, Watergate, Jimmy Carter, the Iran hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. I remember the weak and rudderless leadership of President Peanut that led many to believe that America's best days were over, and that the Soviet Union would soon be the world's only superpower.

Many have also forgotten how bad the economy was back then. While the Democrats and their willing allies in the media kvetch about a 5.6% unemployment rate and rising interest rates and gas prices, try thinking about unemployment and interest rates twice as high as today's, coupled with gas prices far, far higher than today's when adjusted for inflation.

This was what Ronald Reagan inherited when he took office. A demoralized, weakened America that had lost it's faith and it's way. Reagan cheered us up with his sense of humor and his sunny outlook on life. He inspired us with his unwavering faith in America and its people. And he never let us forget that communism, not America, was the real source of evil in the world.

Reagan cut taxes, and the economy exploded. He deregulated several government agencies, and thus helped create millions of jobs. He rebuilt the US military, laying the foundation for victory in the first and second Gulf Wars. And most of all, he defeated communism. He knew it was a corrupt and evil system, and he knew that if America stayed the course we would win.

I have already noticed some revisionism by the media in the broadcasts I have watched. One referred to the US "accepting" the START reductions in nuclear arms, as if the US was solely responsible for the arms race. Don't be fooled. Reagan's military buildup, and especially the "star wars" defense initiative, was the reason Gorbachev was forced to negotiate. He knew his country could not keep up in an arms race. SDI still has yet to be deployed, yet it is not an exaggeration to say it was responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Empire.

I could go on and on, but I will just say in conclusion that Reagan was the greatest president of modern times and one of the greatest leaders in American history. He said many things, but the one I remember the most was his statement at the Berlin Wall in 1987. When they replayed the clip tonight on the news, I couldn't help but shout it out with him.

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Let's Cut the Backseat Driving, Okay?

Over the past few months, the public seems to have decided the Iraq War is now a quagmire and is certainly not worth the cost. I've concluded the only reason for this is the incredible historical ignorance of many Americans (thanks to the Publik Skools). The Iraq war has been an unequalled military success, especially when compared to past wars. Yet a majority of Americans now want to raise the white flag and quit.

President Bush has taken alot of criticism for his dogged determination to see the war through. It is understandable that the Democrats would bash him; what is inexplicable that supposed supporters of the war are his worst critics. It seems to validate Napoleon's observation that "Success has a thousand fathers; failure is an orphan". There's alot of butt-covering going on in Congress and the punditry right now.

This is not the first time an unpopular wartime president has had to fight his enemies and his friends at the same time. Abraham Lincoln was mercilessly criticized by his staunchest supporters for failing to crush the Confederacy within 90 days. Many were openly questioning his competence, and even some members of his cabinet were working against him.

President Lincoln generally stuck to the task at hand, but every now and then he lost patience. When a group of abolitionist ministers lectured him on the lack of progress in the war, he responded with one his characteristic folksy metaphors. Likening the government to a famous tightrope walker, he said:

Gentlemen, suppose all the property you were worth was in gold, and you had put it in the hands of Blondin to carry across the Niagara River. Would you shake the cable or keep shouting out to him 'Blondin, stand up a little straighter!' 'Blondin, stoop a little more' 'Go a little faster'; 'Lean a little more to the north'; 'Lean a little more to the south'? No. You would hold your breath as well as your tongue, and keep your hands off until he was safe over.

The Government is carrying an immense weight. Untold treasures are in their hands. They are doing the very best they can. Don't badger them. Keep silence, and we'll get you safe across.
(Foote, The Civil War, Vol. II, p. 109, emphasis added)

President Bush is carrying an immense weight. The future of the entire Middle East, indeed, of the United States, is in his hands. If he fails, we fail. And if we fail, we lose. If we give in to pessimism and give up, we will not have peace now, or any time in the foreseeable future.

Let's help our president and our country. Keep your mouth shut, at least until Iraq is functioning on its own. The enemy is listening. I'm sure he likes what he hears.

Captain Holly is here, if only just barely

No, I didn't go on vacation with El-ahrairah. Instead, I've been quite busy at work and home over the weekend, and now I am playing host to a killer (figuratively speaking) respiratory virus of some sort.

If my immune system triumphs (which I expect it will) I will be off to Dinosaur National Monument with the wife and kids next week for some camping and standard tourist stuff.

Blogging will be on and off all week.