Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Captain Holly is signing off

This will be my last post for a while. I am going to be selling my house in 17 days, and then I have to move. A couple of weeks after the move, my fourth child will be born, and then comes the holidays. I'm simply too preoccupied with my own affairs to be able to rant about anything. And I'm heartily sick of John Kerry and Dan Rather and politics in general. El-ahrairah should be more than opinionated enough to make up the difference.

I realize that this announcement will not create the same stir that Stephen Den Beste's did when he signed off, but I felt I had to provide some explanation of why I'm not here to any poor lost soul who might wander through here on the way to Bigwig's page.

Prepare for the John Kerry comeback

John Kerry will win the debate tomorrow night. Count on it.

No, it won't be because he actually out-performs President Bush, and it won't be because he changes anyone's mind. In fact, to a neutral, unbiased observer, Kerry will probably come off like, well, John Kerry, and we all know what that is like.

But the Media and their Democrat allies are getting desperate. October is almost here, and they know that within 5 weeks they could be out of power for a long, long time. So the Media aren't even going to pretend to be unbiased. All Kerry has to do tomorrow night is avoid a Michael Dukakis-style disaster, and the papers on Friday will be filled with stories about Kerry being "confident" and "strong" and "reassuring", while the President will be described as "frustrated" and "defensive" and even "confused".

This pattern will continue to the end of the campaign. The stories have already been written; all that needs to be added are the specific dates and details. The Mainstream Media are going all-out on this one. John Kerry will be elected, or they will destroy their credibility trying.

It would be entertaining to watch, if I weren't so busy.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Those Mean, Nasty Evangelicals have struck again!

Little noticed during all the hurricane hoopla last week was this little tidbit: Louisiana became the latest state to deliver an electoral bitch-slap to the gay lobby.

By my count, that's 6-0. Six states so far have ratified marriage amendments to their constitutions, all by wide margins, and not one has failed to pass a traditional marriage amendment through voter inititative. For an unpopular, losing issue, this sure seems to have alot of strength.

Why didn't we hear about this? Well, of course, the Kerry campaign does not want to mention it at all, especially with pro-traditional marriage amendments on the ballots in crucial swing states like Oregon and Arkansas this November. And the MainStream Media (MSM, which, interestingly enough, is the abbrevation for the term "men who have sex with men" in scholarly public health literature) were probably too busy trying to save Dan Rather's sorry pinko ass to mention it. With the hurricanes, who had time to notice?

Of course, then there's those willfully blind ideologues in Lavender America who don't see anything that doesn't fit their narrow agendas. A quick check of the archives of America's Favourite Hysterical Brit Bugger reveals that he wrote all of a single post hyperventilating about bigotry and Jim Crow. Then he follows it up a week later with this item about Nova Scotia. Included in this weak attempt to explain how a small Canadian province will set US domestic policy is this howler of a quote:

What I'm saying, I guess, is that this social movement is unstoppable. All you can do is persecute, harass and marginalize those who are a part of it. But you can't stop them loving one another, or committing to each other, or getting actual marriage licenses (from Canada) that will reinforce the revolution. For a long time, I urged conservatives to co-opt this social change rather than resist it. For the most part, I failed. But the real victims of this, in the very long run, will not be gays. It will be conservatives.

Unstoppable?!? Uh, Andrew, my boy, Nova Scotia's expanded gay rights were arbitrarily imposed on its' people by a few members of the Provincial Supreme Court.

Louisiana's affirmation of traditional marriage was supported by nearly 80 frickin' percent of the voting population.

Now, dear Andy, which process do you think is more democratic? Which more accurately reflects the views of the average American? And which result do you think has more political support? Are you really, truly this delusional? Or is your bias on this issue turning you into another Dan Rather?

The backlash against gay marriage is building, Andrew. You'd better pay attention to reality, or you'll end up a laughingstock.

Yet another "sooper sekrit" plan

At a campaign stop in "America's Dairyland" (read: Wisconsin), John "War Protestor" Kerry told his audience of dairy farmers that President Bush has a "sooper sekrit" plan to hurt dairy farmers after the election. Yup, yet another Bush "sooper sekrit" plan along with his plan to call up more National Guard and Reserves after the election (of course!) and restart the draft. Next, he will warn voters about his evil "sooper sekrit" plans to cut Social Security to pay for Haliburton oil contracts, criminalize abortion, enslave minorities and send out John Ashcroft and his "jack-booted thugs" to round up all gays and lesbiens and put them into "re-education" camps.

War Protestor John complains about Republican "dirty tricks" attack ads like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, but in the same breath talks about Bush's "sooper sekrit" plans for world domination sees nothing wrong with Michael Moore's schlockumentary, Farenheit 9/11. I'm sure as the election gets closer, the Democrat's will "go nuke" and roll out the tried-and-true attack ad of accusing the "heartless" Republicans of wanting to cut Social Security and throw Granny out into the street (Bwahahahaha!). In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't rear it's ugly head during the debates.

"Senator Kerry, can you explain your many positions on the Iraq War?"

"Certainly. Unlike President Bush, who has a "sooper sekrit" plan to cut Social Security and throw Granny on into the street, I don't waffle. In fact, I'm a pancake man, I don't even like waffles. So, as you can see, I have only one position on Iraq."

"Yes, Senator, but can you tell us what that position is?"

"My position is that Iraq is a sandy country located in the Middle East, with large oil reserves. Oh, by the way, did I mention that I was in Vietnam?"

It just wouldn't be an election without the Democrats resorting to the usual lies and innuendo.

One other thing that caught my eye during this campaign stop. Dairy Farmer John spoke about how when as a young boy,

he would fill milk bottles at his uncle's dairy farm. "I have a great sense of the land," Kerry said. "I really do. I'm tired of small family farmers getting squeezed."

I asked myself if this was actually true or just another "Christmas in Cambodia" moment. If it is, I'm sure that the blogosphere will pick up on it and do some fact-checking since Big, Liberal Media doesn't seem to want to.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

In this month in military 52 B.C.

In this month in military 52 B.C. Caesar's legions defeat Vercingetorix's Gauls at Alesia in Burgundy, France.

Caesar was appointed counsel of Cisalpine (northern Italy and the Adriatic Coast) and Transalpine (France) Gaul in 59 B.C. Between 58 B.C. and 52 B.C., he had been busy moving from one area to another to pacifiy the assorted Gaulic tribes in France. Finally, the Gaulic tribes united under the leadership of Vercingetorix from the Averni tribe (the area of the Massif Central in France) . He argued that the Romans were strong enough to defeat each tribe one at a time, but with all the tribes united, they would be able to defeat the Romans. Starting in the winter/spring of 52 B.C., he led an insurrection over all of Gaul. Caesar called up new legions and with the existing legions in Gaul, started to put an end to the insurrection.

Caesar started first at the city of Cenabum (Orleans) where the insurrection started. After the "pacification" (the Romans didn't worry about the difference between combatant and non-combatant) of Orleans was complete, Caesar marched on the main city of the Averni, Gergovie (close to Clermont-Ferrand) where he found Vercingetorix. Unfortunately, the Gauls handed Caesar a defeat at Gergovie, but instead of retreating, he pursued Vercingetorix to the hilltop city of Alesia and started building fortifications to beseige the city and starve the defenders out. But, before the Romans could completely encirle the city, Vercingetorix sends all his calvary out to rally the whole of Gaul to his aide.

Caesar, knowing that he would be soon fighting Gauls in front as well as behind, started building another set of fortification around his forces to protect him from the Gaulic reinforcements. The first set of fortifications surrounding the city of Alesia stretched about 10 miles while the second set of fortifications paralleling the first surrounding his army stretched 13 to 15 miles. The fortifications consisted of towers, trenches, "punji pits" and other obstacles to protect the Romans from the Gauls (more photos here and here).

The Gaulic relief forces (some say 250,000, but other say more around 80,000-100,000) finally arrived in September 52 B.C. Not counting the forces within the walls of Alesia, Caesar was outnumbered at by 8 to 1. The final battle to relieve the seige of Alesia lasted only two to three days. After a number of unsuccessful tries to overrun the Romans, the Gaulic relief forces decided to try one last, final, "let's all die in glory" assault to relieve Alesia. The attack would have succeded if not for the timely arrival of Caesar's Germanic cavalry in the Gaulic rear. The Gauls were routed and hotly pursued by the German Calvary who the Gauls thought of as "barbarians". After the rout of the relief force, Vercingetorix surrendered to Caesar and was paraded in Rome during Caesar's victory parade and was later strangled in prison by the Romans. Except for a few "dead-enders" (Rumsfeld word), Gaul was completely pacified and never revolted again.

So, while history is full of great victories and great generals, the greatest of all has to be Julius Caesar and his victory at Alesia, 2056 years ago this month. Since Patton believed that he had been at the Battle of Zama where the Romans general Africanus Scipio defeated the Cathaginian general Hannibal (watch the movie Gladiator for a cheesy, colloseum "recreation"), maybe he was also present as a Roman legionaire at Alesia.

On this day in military 1066

On this day in military 1066. King Harald of the Anglo-Saxons defeats Vikings of Harald Hardrada and Earl Tostig at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

When King Edward the Confessor (cool Monty Python name) died, he left no direct heir and the throne passed to Harald of Wessex. However, both Harald's brother, Tostig and William of Normandy (France *SPIT*) decided to contest Harald's claim. While William of Normany was busy putting together an invasion fleet in France, Tostig convinced the Viking, Harald Hardrada to invade England and overthrow King Harald.

Kiing Harald knew already of the two threats to his kingdom, and he was forced to deal with the Vikings first. He met the main force of the Vikings at Stamford Bridge in Yorkshire and defeated them, killing Harald Hardrada (fell by a Saxon missile: read arrow) and routing his army. Of the over 200 ships in the initial invasion, only 24 returned to Norway. King Harald's brother, Tostig was buried in York, but Harald Hardrada's body still lies at Stamford Bridge, or as has been said:

"before the battle Harold swore that the Norse leader would get "only seven feet of English soil" for his invasion, and he kept the vow."

Unfortunately for King Harald and Anglo-Saxon England, there was no time to savor the victory as William of Normandy's army was debarking in southern Kent not far from Dover. Harald turned his army 180 degrees and started marching towards his appointment with destiny in one of the most important battles of history, at least from an English standpoint.

Mark Steyn says it much better

Testerday, I linked to a post by Bigwig at Siflay Hraka about John "War Protestor" Kerry insulting Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi here. The incomparable Mark Steyn weigns in on the same thing (a much more interesting read than what I happened to scribble on the page with my furry paw).

Friday, September 24, 2004

Cool election projection websites

I stumbled on to these two websites from the VodkaPundit and the Weblog of Tomorrow. They are electorial college projections from a Republican viewpoint and a Democratic viewpoint. The Republican website is OK, but I prefer the Democratic website. It shows the support for each candidate in different colors as "solid" (>10% lead), "weak" (<10%>5% lead), "barely" (<5% href="">least squares linear regression lines on the state polls". When you click on it, Bingo! George Bush wins re-election by 336 votes to 192 for Kerry! Of course, there is a disclaimer that the data should not be taken seriously until around October, but we are almost in October now. I find it interesting that a Democratic website would be calling the election already for Bush. Maybe they know something that CBS doesn't.

Lots of class from Nuance Man

This link provided by Hrairoo at Siflay Hraka. However, the link that is given in the post doesn't seem to support the post, so I dug this article up which seems to support what he says. It seems that John "War Protestor" Kerry's anger for President Bush is starting to cause him to insult our friends and allies, those very friends and allies who Mr. War Protestor would have to work with if elected president. I guess if the visiting head of state isn't from France, Germany or the PLO, War Protestor John doesn't feel that they deserve his respect. Yet another reason to not vote for John Kerry.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Dan Rather, gumshoe

Dan Rather as a Mickey Spillane detective.

Absolutely. Freaking. Hilarious.

(via LGF)

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

This day in military 1779

On this day (September 23rd) in military 1779, the Bonhomme Richard, commanded by Captain John Paul Jones, defeated the British ships Serapis and Countess of Scarborough off the east coast of England. During the battle, the Bonhomme Richard was heavily damaged by the Serapis' broadsides. Seeing this, the British captain inquired as to whether the Americans desired to surrender and Captain John Paul Jones replied "I have not yet begun to fight." The Americans went on to win the battle but were forced to transfer to the Serapis as the Bonhomme Richard sank the next day. This was the first victory for an American warship in English waters and in honor of ship, two other ships have been carried the name Bonhomme Richard (also known as the "Bonny Dick" to her crews). The first was CV-31 (later CVA-31), an Essex-class aircraft carrier which served during World War II, Korea and Vietnam and the second is today's LHD-6, an amphibious assault ship which served during Operations Enduing Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The end of liberty call?

For many centuries, when armies and navies had time to kick back and relax between battles, wars and training, they would frequent the closest port or city to participate the in "liberty" triad, i.e. get drunk, get laid and get a tattoo. However, one of the legs of that triad may be coming to an end in the near future if the DOD has their way. Under a new DOD plan, paying for sex would be punishable by a dishonorable discharge and time in jail. The law would also be applicable in countries where prostitution is legal.

Apparently, the Pentagon has always had a policy of zero tolerance for prostitution, but like everything in this world, there was no penalty if caught. So, in the near future, when a woman in a bar asks "Say Sailor, do you want to go upstairs and have a party?", you'll have more to worry about than just making sure you have "protection".

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The military and liberals

This via Drudge. According to the Christian Science Monitor, there is a "strident" minority of troops who are anti-Bush. In my experiences with the military, I have encountered a few liberals. Most were not all that vocal, except for a female 1st Lieutenant that I met last year who wore her feminist credentials on her sleeve and thought that the Clintons (especially Hillary) walked on water and that President Bush was the anti-Christ.

The article contains various comments from disgruntled soldiers, and one of the stupidest comments comes from a Specialist Swink. After trashing the President on the "no WMD" charge and then whining about only wanting to fight America's enemies, not protect Iraqi women and children, he spews the following:

"Kerry protested the war in Vietnam. He is the one to end this stuff, to lead to our exit of Iraq."

Yup, there you have it. John "War Hero" Kerry knows all about stabbing your fellow soldiers in back and giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy from Vietnam. He will be perfect to lead our "exit" (read: retreat) from Iraq. I'm sure that the families of those 1,000 dead servicemen will very happy to know that their deaths were in vain as we run home with our tail between our legs. I'm sure that the Islamo-fascists will be very impressed with our "resolve" when it comes to fighting terrorism. "Hey Osama! You were right! Kill a few Americans and they run away like the infidels that they are!" Needless to say, Specialist Swink says that he will be voting for "War Hero" John.

Essentially, the gist of the article is the following: A) military members are pissed off with being in Iraq and want to go home, B) "War Hero" John says he'll bring them home and C) pissed off military members will vote for "War Hero" John in droves. This would make sense if not for the following: The first rule of being in the military is always, always, ALWAYS be prepared for the proverbial "change in plans". If the military actually believe that "War Hero" John will get them out of Iraq in four years (or less), they are stupider that the liberals think they are. The Cap'n and I can testify that on occasions too numerous to count, the only thing that is constant in the military is change. We always said that the three greatest military lies were 1) The trucks are on the way, 2) There will be hot chow waiting for us over that hill, and 3) it's only a short hike.

Vice-President Cheney was right. If by some stroke of bad luck, "Gigolo John" wins the presidency in November, like they say in the military, just stand by. Remember the celebrations in the Muslim world after the 9/11 attacks? They will be much, much bigger if Kerry is elected because the terrorists will know that they have won. The terrorists will be only too happy to continue killing Americans, at home and abroad, and with much more renewed vigor since the Great Satan has changed leaders from one who believes that the "only good terrorist is a dead terrorist" for one who believes that "running away from Vietnam worked before, so why not now?"

What gun are you?

Via Smallest Minority, I found this great quiz. They tell me I'm a Beretta Model 92:

(The linked image threw our margins off and made the links/archives/latest posts box disappear. I'll try again and see if I can get it to work.)

I can't dispute that. A few years ago, I was going to buy a Model 92, but the Ruger was $100 cheaper and I didn't have much money to work with. And for you 1911 fans, the quiz doesn't offer it as an option.

When Left meets Right

I awoke this morning, as usual, to the mellow sounds of reliably liberal Dirk Vann of the radio show "First Light". What caused my eyes to fly wide open was Mr. Vann's choice of guests this morning: Pat Buchanan.

Pat Buchanan!? The Pat Buchanan? The same Pat Buchanan who, in the opinion of many on the Left, is an irredeemable facist? The same Pat Buchanan who is almost always described by the adjectives "extremist" "right wing" and that ultimate leftist put-down, "hateful"? The same Pat Buchanan who many on the Left believe would have been a Gestapo agent had he been born in 1920's Germany? What on earth has Dirk Vann been drinking (or smoking)?

The mystery was explained when I heard what Pat had to say. In effect, he parroted the items John Kerry outlined in his major foreign policy speech yesterday; to wit, the war in Iraq is a massive failure, we are not safer, President Bush made a big mistake. To Pat's credit, he pointed out Kerry's flip-flop from his pre-war support, but for all practical purposes Buchanan and Kerry are now allies in the anti-war movement.

And that is why Pat has earned newfound respect from the Mainstream Media. For those on the right, any past transgressions can be forgiven if you oppose President Bush. Big Media will gladly extend absolution, at least during the campaign season, if you simply denounce the President and criticize the War on Iraq. This is not inconsistent if one understands that the election of John Kerry is the only item on the Media's agenda.

Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows. But at least Pat didn't forge any documents.

New House for the Holly Family

We sold our house yesterday.

For those who have never gone through the process, think of expensive root canal work. Okay, not so bad. We were able to find a buyer that gave us the price we were looking for. So in November, I'll have a new home. A new expensive home.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Mark Steyn reads me redux

In an earlier post, I referenced an article by Mark Steyn in the Western Standard about gay marriage and polygamy where I said that he was reading my posts (I should be so lucky). Anyway, the original article was available thru registation only but now is posted in it's entirety at Mark's website.

For those of you that are either too lazy or too busy to go read the article yourselves, the gist of the article is: You cannot allow gay marriage without also allowing polygamy. Any arguments to allow one and not the other are without legal basis.

Bush? Kerry? For France, it's the same.

John "the War Hero" Kerry would like the US public to believe that if he is elected president, all our European allies (read: the French) would suddenly become our "close, personal friends" again and start sending troops to Iraq. This report in the New York Daily News would tend to support that position. The report basically says that other countries are not "ponying up" any support due to their animosity towards President Bush. Buried towards the end of the report however, is a comment from an un-named French official that suggests that animosity towards President Bush isn't the real reason. He accuses President Bush of using this as a way of winning votes.

"They are spinning for domestic political reasons," the official said. "If Kerry is elected we wouldn't send troops either. We don't need more targets in Iraq."

So, it looks like, at least for the French, even if their "man" is elected President, they won't be too eager to provide any help in Iraq. The legacy of Charles deGaule is alive and well in France.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Next he'll start talking about space aliens

It looks like John "the War Hero" Kerry needs his lithium. He's already talking about President Bush's "sooper sekrit plan" to call up the rest of the reserves after the election. We need to call "Tin Hat" Dennis to come take him away before the space aliens who are beaming laser beams into his head take him back to Planet Heinz. Note to Mr. War Hero: Your desperation is showing.

Ageless beauty

Today is Sofia Loren's 70th birthday. Do you think that today's sex symbols will look this good at 70? I highly doubt it.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

I don't know whether to be shocked or fire up the VCR

In case nobody knows, the real-live Miss America Pageant (and not the film) is going on this week in Atlantic City, New Jersey. And like every previous year, there is controversy surrounding the pageant. What could it be this year? Poor judging? Nude photos? Overweight contestants? No, this year it is the swimsuits or lack thereof that is causing all the controversy.

Like most men, I don't regularly set up my television schedule around the Miss America pageant. Why? Even though it has a swimsuit competition, the pagent doesn't dwell on it too long for the viewing audience, prefering instead to bore us to tears with the (lack of) "talent" competion (how many times will someone sing the theme from the "Man of La Mancha") and the always fun, "spot the airhead" interview competion ("...and world peace"). The pagent has been losing audience steadily over the years, so this year, Speedo, the company who supplies the swimsuits for the pageant, decided to "spice things up a bit" and provide the following swimsuits (here, here and here) for the contestants. Yes, Cap'n, that is Miss Utah and whatever the reason for showing her in a bikini has to do with winning a "talent" competition I have no idea, but hey, who cares?

Anyway, I don't know whether I should be shocked or fire up the VCR. Maybe I should ask the Great Oprah. She'll know what I should do.

Disdain for the plebes

Here is an article about Teresa Heinz Kerry's remarks at a hurricane aid center in New York (thanks to the Mad Ogre). Is it just me or doesn't she remind you of a famous member of French nobility who just happened to loose her head during the French revolution? Just replace "let them go naked for a while" with "let them eat cake" and Voila! Marie Antoinette! And just like Marie Antoinette, her disdain for the "unwashed" masses is in open display everytime she opens her liberal "pie hole". An I thought the Democratic party was the party of compassion? I guess only if you are white, rich and liberal.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Guess who's coming to dinner?

The "other" college in Provo, Utah, Utah Valley State College, has decided to "invite" Michael Moore to speak to the students at the college next month. This is being done in the interest of fostering "debate", but I'll be damned if they would have invited a conservative like Ann Coulter to foster "debate". It just goes to show that most of today's college students don't have the brains that God gave a soda cracker.

The student council has said that they will sponsor a Republican speaker the week after Moore. Personally, they should ask the authors of the book "Michael Moore is a Big, Fat Stupid White Man" to come to the campus so that they can refute the cow manure that Michael Moore will spew from his mouth. I'm sure that when he finds out about some critics being scheduled to speak after he does, he will cancel his visit citing "scheduling conflicts".

Here's something that members of the College Republicans should do to make His Royal Highness' visit to Utah a memorable one. They should all go out and buy a copy of "Michael Moore is a Big, Fat Stupid White Man". Instead of boycotting his speech, they should attend his speech and try to get him to autograph their books afterwards. Just make sure that one of the local news stations is around to film his reaction.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

A proud day for America and the Great State of Utah

A proud day for America and yet another proud day for the Great State of Utah. US Postal Cycling Team rider and Utah son, David Zabriskie, won the 11th stage of the Tour of Spain (Vuelta d'Espana). If my memory serves me right, this the first time that anyone from the Great State of Utah has ever won a stage in any major cycling event. So that you can grasp the magnitude of this win, in the world of cycling, the three biggest races are the Tour de France, followed by the Giro d'Italia and then the Vuelta d'Espana. At this time, another US Postal rider, Floyd Landis (another proud American) is the overall leader in the Vuelta d'Espana, so if he holds on and wins the race, with Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de Lance, oops, France, this would be a very good year for the US Postal team.


Verdun. The name doesn’t mean all that much for Americans, but for the French, it speaks volumes. It is the name of a city in France that saw some of the fiercest fighting of World War I. The battle lasted from 21 February 1916 to 19 December 1916 and the total casualties (killed, wounded and missing) on both sides were around 700,000. During the four years of World War II, the United States lost just over 400,000 men, so you can see that this was a very, very, bloody battle.

Before World War I, the city of Verdun was much closer to the German border than it is now. Due to the French defeat during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, the French had to give up all of Alsace and parts of Lorraine to the Germans. When World War I broke out, the areas around Verdun and Nancy were still a part of France, but the area around Metz, about 60 kms to the east of Verdun, belonged to the Germans.

During World War I, the German High Command formulated a simple plan to knock the French out of the war. They thought that if they attacked the French at Verdun, they would force them (the French) to commit so much men and materiel to the defense of the salient that it would “bleed” the French army dry. The surviving French army would be only a skeleton of its former self, thus forcing the French to either drop out of the war or become ineffective.

One of the reasons that the Germans thought that they could “bleed the French army dry” was the rate that soldiers were being killed during World War I. World War I happened at the time in history when man’s ability to kill had far out-paced man’s ability to not be killed. Two of the major military innovations during World War I that accomplished this were machine guns and rapid-fire artillery. The machine gun drove men to live underground in trenches or fortresses because of its ability to completely sweep the landscape with bullets and kill anyone foolhardy enough to stand up. Unfortunately, fortresses and trenches are fixed fortifications that do not move and when you are not moving, you are vulnerable to artillery fire. World War I has been called the “artillery war” due to the constant artillery barrages, the amount and size of artillery used on both sides and the amount of casualties produced by constant artillery barrages.

Since the site isn’t that far from the German border, I decided to go for a visit. I had read some material on the battle and seen some maps, but I wanted to go check the place out for myself. The city of Verdun is surrounded by hills and on these hills that saw the majority of the fighting. Vegetation and trees have since grown up over the battlefield, but the area is still marked by trenches, bomb craters and military fortifications. Because of the fighting, nine villages were completely wiped off the face of the earth. The most famous of these was the village of Fleury, which changed hands 16 times before the end of the battle. The village is completely gone now with only stone markers to show where the various streets were.

Where the old train station stood in Fleury is the Verdun Battlefield Museum. It contains your standard military museum fare (maps, weapons, uniforms, etc.) but also explains more about the battle. There are two things in the museum which stood out from the rest for me. The first was a hand-sewn cloth about the size of a handkerchief. A soldier had sewn on it “A ma cher épouse” (to my dear wife). I do not know if he survived the war to see her again or not, but I could feel the love that he had for her. The second was a display of flags of World War I veteran’s associations from around the world. When the last veteran of the association dies, the association flag is brought there and placed on display with other veteran association flags from World War I. It made me think about all those World War I veterans who will be gone in a few years.

Some of the forts that the French and Germans held during the battle can be visited. The most famous is Fort Douaumont. It was captured by the Germans the first day of the offensive and the French vowed to re-capture it. The place is wet, damp and smelly with water dripping from the ceiling and stalactites starting to form on the ceiling in the lower levels. The fort contains two cemeteries, one French and one German. The French cemetery is for seven men who were killed when a 42 cm shell made a direct hit on the room where they were sleeping. There were actually 21 men in the room who were killed, but they could only find and remove the bodies for 14 men, so they walled up the room and called it a cemetery for the other seven men. The German cemetery is where the bodies of 679 men are buried. During the fight, there was an accidental explosion in a grenade storage area which killed so many men, that they could not all be buried outside. As a result, they walled the bodies up in one of the fort’s tunnels and called it a cemetery.

I expected to see more cemeteries since there were so many killed during the battle. I saw only two cemeteries, they weren’t all that large. However, not far from Fleury is the Ossuary, which is home to the remains of 130,000 unidentified soldiers. Because of the constant bombardments during the battle, bodies of dead soldiers that had been buried would be unearthed and scattered across the battlefield by exploding shells. The Ossuary is where these remains have been deposited over the years when found.

I originally planned to spend the whole day looking at the battlefield, but after just a few hours of being reminded of the terrible cost of human lives, I decided that I was sufficiently “depressed” and decided to go home. My wife asked me why I insist on visiting these places and I told her for the simple reason that I want to remember. When I visited Dachau prison many years ago, just before you exit from the exhibits on what went on there, there is a quote by George Santayana. The quote is “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. I go to those places to remember what happened, so I can avoid repeating the errors of the past. Unfortunately, it seems that more of our world leaders ("Blacques Jacques" Chirac, Kofi "The Appeaser", Gerhard Schroeder, other members of the Axis of Weasels, etc.) should do the same.

On this day in military 1812 and others

On this day in military 1812. Napoleon did what Hitler was unable to do and enter Moscow after defeating the Czar's armies at the battle of Borodino the week before. Unfortunately, entering Moscow did not bring the Russia bear to it's knees, so after a month, the French were forced to abandon Moscow and return to France in one of most infamous retreats in modern history. Napoleon lost over 400,000 men during the invasion and lucky for the Russians, Hitler didn't remember this when he decided to invade in 1941.

On this day in military 1944. Speaking of ignoble victories, the US launches Operation Stalemate, the invasion of the Peleliu, one of the islands of the Palau archipelago. This invasion was to support the invasion of the Phillipines later that year by MacArthur. The 1st Marine Division was tasked to take the island, but the Japanese were well prepared and hidden in the islands numerous caves and tunnels. By the time that the Army arrived to relieve the Marines, the 1st MarDiv had lost 9,000 men and was bled dry. Instead of trying to root out the Japanese defenders, the Army decided to erect barbwire around the area where the Japanese were still holding out, call it a POW camp and declare the battle over.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Free at last, free at last!!

The most idiotic, symbolic, and downright malicious federal law ever enacted bit the dust today. The "Assault Weapons Ban" is officially history.

Good riddance, I say. But based on the hyperventilating of the anti-gunners, you'd think that gun dealers were just given the green light to sell machine guns to kindergarteners. They are sincere in their distress, since the AW ban embodied everything that gun-grabbers like in a law: It was a vague, easily mistinterpreted, largely symbolic, stepping stone to bigger and better things.

For anyone who has actually read and understood the law, this hand-wringing is downright hilarious. There will not be a "flood" of "assault weapons" on the street because the law didn't remove any weapons in the first place. Gun manufacturers were able to sell virtually identical knock-offs of banned weapons by simply removing a bayonet stud here or a flash suppressor there. The only effect of the law was to spur panic buying that made real assault weapons more valuable and more in demand.

For gun owners, the demise of the law is more than being able to purchase an AR-15 with a flash suppressor. It's a big first step in the effort to restore the Second Amendment. For the first time in the past 70 years, a Federal gun control law has been repealed in its entirety -- not just partially repealed, not just partially overturned, not just amended, but completely eliminated. Gone. Dead. Hopefully, never to return.

For the first time since 1934, the ever-tightening ratchet of gun control has been reversed. Not just stopped, not just slowed down, but reversed. Hopefully, during the reversal process its gears have been stripped and the mechanism broken. Now it will turn both ways with equal ease.

Gun owners can't simply rest on their laurels and congratulate themselves as they walk out of the gun store with a new semi-auto AK. This must be a beginning, not an end. We have won a major battle, but the war goes on.

On this day in military history......1759 and others

On this day in military 1759. The British army defeated the French on the Plains of Abraham (Quebec City) during the French and Indian War (or Seven-Year War in Europe). This was the first real world war as the French and British fought in far-flung colonies and places around the world. The French were eventually defeated and gave up Canada to the British, thereby giving men who carried the feminine-sounding names of Marcel, Rene and Michel the chance to play hockey instead of becoming hairdressers.

On this day in military 1847. General Winfield Scott's army stormed Chapultepec fortress on the outskirts of Mexico City during the last battle of the Mexican-American war and helped to write the first line of the Marine Corps Hymn.

On this day in military 1940. Trying to regain it's past Roman glory, Italy invaded Egypt to try and capture the Suez Canal. It didn't work and Hitler had to send General Erwin "the Desert Fox" Rommel to save their bacon.

On this day in military 1993. With the blessing of President Bill "Where's my legacy" Clinton, the Israelis and Palestinians signed the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Accord, thereby guaranteeing that they would killing each other for years to come.

Sunday, September 12, 2004


The Cap'n already talked about this and so have numerous other bloggers, but here is my 2 Euro cents worth: The documents are forgeries and the DNC/Kerry campaign if not directly involved, knew about this from the start. I have often said that the liberal media want Kerry to be elected, so they will stop at nothing to bring President Bush down, ergo, CBS producing forged documents should come as no surprise. So now that CBS and Dan Rather are caught in the bathroom with their pants down and sheep in the bathtub, they have to change the subject and start saying that:

"Well, even if there is a question about the documents authenticity, we need to address what the documents say. Did President Bush disobey a lawful order and did he get preferential treatment to join the National Guard? The documents apparently say that he did, so we need to address these important questions about the ability of President Bush to lead this nation, yada, yada, yada."

OK, one thousand brownie points to the first person to tell me what is wrong with this statement. That's right! If the documents are forgeries, then the content of these forged documents are also forgeries. You would have to be blind (or a Democrat) to not see the extent that CBS News and Dan Rather are biased.

With less than sixty days before the election, don't be surprised if more "damning" evidence shows up against the President. The "old news media" are going over President Bush's life with a fine-tooth comb. Who knows that else they will "miraculously" find. One thing is for sure. Thanks to the forgers at CBS News, we will all be well-versed in the ability of 1970's era typewriters to do superscripts and proportional spacing when the campaign is over.

Bad news for home schoolers

Here is some bad news for Cap'n Holly and home-schooled children from the StrategyPage. Since StrategyPage posts have severe "link rot", I have copied the post here.

September 12, 2004: Discipline can be learned, and it must be practiced. That’s the findings of a recent Department of Defense study of whether kids who graduated from “alternative” high schools, or were home schooled, did as well in military service as graduates from traditional high schools. Turns out that the home schooled and alternative high school students did not last in the service as well as high school grads. One thing you learn by finishing traditional high school, is how to get along in a group, a discipline yourself to get things done in a group, and to persevere as a group. In fact, kids who spent four years in high school, but did not pass all their final exams, did better. The Pentagon did not release the percentage differences, but is advising recruiters to take these factors into account when deciding which prospective recruits to spend their time on.

So, according to the Pentagon, if you you home-school your children (like the Cap'n) and want them to join the military after high-school, you may want to look into letting them waste a few years time in the "poob-lik skewl" system, but I'll let the Cap'n respond on the validity of the Pentagon's objections.

Big time "Eeeewwww" factor

This from the "Too Much Information" files. California just passed a law making necrophilia illegal. Dumb me. I thought it was already illegal, but I guess not. No word yet on if the Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, will "decide" that the law is unconstitutional under the California State Constitution and "test" it by offering to marry any necrophiliac to his "significant other".

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Remembering September 11th

Like many Americans today, I stopped for a moment of silence to remember the attack. Unlike most Americans, I then rolled up my sleeves and tried to make sure it will never happen again.

I participated in a major, county-wide terrorism drill with several different local, state and federal agencies today. It was the final day of a three-day exercise to test our ability to respond to a terrorist attack that used hazardous materials. It didn't go perfectly, but by the third day we had learned from our mistakes and had made clear improvement.

The idea of having an exercise on September 11th was controversial, and some agencies didn't choose to participate, instead going to memorial services. And that's fine. But I personally can't think of a better way to honor the dead than to make sure that if it ever happens again, we will be prepared.

We are still at war. We cannot take a day off from our defensive preparations any more than we can with our offensive operations. We still have a long way to go. And we owe it to the over 3,000 victims of 9/11 to win this war.

Defeat is not an option.

There's always third place

The USA hockey team's run for the World Cup of Hockey title was ended last night by a stubborn Finnish team. I knew the Finns would be up near the top, I just didn't think they would beat us. With a hot goalie like Mikka Kiprusoff, anything's possible.

But beat us they did, coming from behind in the third period. And now Finland, and not the US, will be playing for the championship. My hope is that Canada will be upset tonight by the Czech Republic. It would do my heart good to see the Canadians lose in a tournament that they started.

Three years ago on this day......2001

For anyone who happens to live in a cave and doesn't know, today is the third anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the same way that everyone remembers what they were doing on the day that Pearl Harbor was attacked or President Kennedy was shot, I still remember what I was doing on that fateful day.

On the 11th of September, my wife and I had just returned to Europe from spending the summer in the United States with my work. I was being sent to Germany and was supposed to be on site the 15th of September. We had left Salt Lake City on the morning of the 10th of September and flew to New York. My wife had previously talked about maybe spending a day in New York (11 September) to see the sights, especially the World Trade Center, but I was anxious to get to my new assignment, so we didn't stop in New York but flew from there to Rome where we arrived the morning of 11 September, Italian time. After one more quick flight on Alitalia, we arrived back home for the first time in 5 months.

After we got back home, we were trying to get settled back in when my daughter turned on the TV. At that moment, she called to us to come and see what was happening. Italian TV was showing the footage of the first plane hitting one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I thought to myself, "Wow, what a terrible accident." As we watched, the second plane hit the other tower. At that point I said, "This is no accident." As we continued to watch, we heard reports about a plane hitting the Pentagon and a fourth plane crashing in Pennsylvania which just confirmed my suspicions.

My feelings about the attacks were kind of strange. It was if I was a disinterested observer from another country. I was shocked that this had happened but it felt to me that it had happened in another country, kind of like the Madrid train bombing or the recent attacks in Russia. I wanted the US to pursue the perpetrators and bring them to justice, but I didn't feel that the attacks were an attack against me. I don't know if this was due to the fact that had been overseas for so many years or that the US had suffered terrorist attacks before during the Clinton administration and nothing had been done to bring the perpetrators to justice. I thought that like before, we would not be able to do a whole lot even if we wanted since the people responsible were out of reach due to numerous factors.

Luckily for me and the US, our president was George Bush. At this time, there was still the controversy surrounding the 2000 elections and the Florida recount. The various media outletrs were still whipping this dead horse and, depending on the pundit, saying that George Bush stole the election. Over the next few days, as I heard the President's words, I came to the realization that it was no longer going to be "business as usual" in the Bush White House. I came to realize that no matter what, the responsible parties would pay for what they had done to the United States, dead or alive. At that point, I was very, very, very thankful that our president was George Bush and not Al Gore. I could not even imagine Al Gore having the "balls" to even think about bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Fast forward to today. We are locked in another election cycle. On one hand, we have the Democratic nominee, Senator John Kerry, stating that he would fight a more effective war on terror than President Bush. On the other hand, we have President George Bush who is actually fighting a war on terror. I find myself asking "Which of these two men would I want to lead me if the attacks of three years ago were repeated today?" Each time, the answer is the same, President George Bush. Remember, when countries who would like to see your country destroyed endorse a candidate for president, that means that you should immediate vote for the other candidate. John Kerry has picked up endorsements from North Korea, Iran and Cuba. Who do you think you should vote for come November?

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Enjoy your temporary security, Bushmaster

Bushmaster firearms, the manufacturer of the AR-15, caved in and settled a lawsuit filed by the families of the Washington, DC sniper victims. Their web page has two memos outlining how this really isn't a loss and how they haven't admitted to any liability.

Yeah, whatever.

For the record, I like Bushmaster firearms. In my second stint in the Marines, I carried a Bushmaster-made M-16. The Light Armored Vehicles (LAV's) that I rode around in were equipped with a 25 mm automatic cannon made by Bushmaster. I bought aftermarket parts from them for both my Mini-14 and my 10/22. Before I had four kids, it was a goal to someday purchase a Bushmaster AR-15 with an Eeevil flash suppressor and bayonet lug (after the AW ban expired, of course). They're a good American company that makes good guns.

But they're fooling themselves if they think that this will get the anti-gunners off their backs. Yeah, yeah, I understand all the legal mumbo-jumbo involved in court settlements. But the lawyers will be back for more. And more. And more. Because they know that Bushmaster will pony up the money instead of fighting for its freedom.

Enjoy your temporary security, Bushmaster. It won't last.

There's Blood in the Water...

...and it belongs to CBS News.

The whole conservative side of the blogosphere is buzzing about the allegations that CBS News used forged documents on their 60 Minutes broadcast last night. Instapundit has a roundup of the latest news, and the story seems to have snowballed in just a few hours, with new updates as we speak. Powerline, the ones who first got the ball rolling, have so many updates they are starting a new post.

I've seen the documents in question (just follow the links above) and there's no doubt in my mind: They're forgeries, and cheap ones, at that. The signatures are not even remotely similar, and then there's the small "th" superscript after the squadron numbers, something that was not even available on typewriters in the 1970's.

The question is, why would CBS bet their reputation on something so obviously false? Simple answer: Because it hurt George Bush. Since it fulfilled their wildest dreams about George Bush ("a smoking gun, at last!"), they accepted it without question. And now they are going to pay for it.

Big time, as the Veep would say.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

A noble thought but unlikely

In the wake of the massacre of Beslan, Russia has threatened to strike terrorist bases anywhere in the world. This is a noble thought, BUT I doubt the terrorists are quaking in their burkas.

Unlike the US military, the Russia military is a hollow shell of itself. In order to strike at terrorists "anywhere in the world", you need a military that has the ability to deploy "anywhere in the world". There are basically only two militaries (the US and UK) that are robust enough to deploy troops anywhere in the world. The Ukraine (thanks to all that Soviet-era hardware), Australia and France (maybe) also have the ability to "self"-deploy, but Russia? Don't hold your breath.

I predict that if push ever came to shove, we would see the Russkies asking the US for a helping hand. It looks as if the war on terror has caught a number of countries with their pants down around their collective ankles.

A good argument to bring back communism?

This from the land of beer and Nazis. One in five Germans would like to see the Berlin Wall restored. Why? For the West Germans, it's because they are still footing the bill for the reunification and feel that the money that is being pumped into the former East Germany is too much. For the East Germans, they say that unification has not brought the promised prosperity and the money that is being pumped into the economy is not enough. Just gives you warm fuzzys to see the Germans (and the rest of the EU) self-destruct.


Chalk up another NASA failure. The Genesis space capsule crashed into the desert floor in Utah's West Desert after the parachute failed to deploy. Being a techie-dweeb engineer, I shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, stuff like that happens." Unfortunately, the idiots who pay the bills (Congress), don't understand anything more hi-tech than a VCR, so they will look for someone to crucify for this disaster. How long do you think until John "Gun Owner and War Hero" Kerry starts pinning the blame for this on the war in Iraq?

Dancing on the graves

The media are all a-flutter with the news that the total of US deaths in Iraq has exceeded 1,000. Some anti-war types can hardly contain their glee; in their minds, America will finally wake up to the futility of the Iraq war and thus vote for John Kerry.

Kerry himself has a "new, bold" plan for the war in Iraq that he will announce today. One wonders if it is any newer and bolder than the several other plans that he has floated since the campaign began. Indeed, Kerry has changed his mind so often on this subject any proposal he offers has to be considered dead on arrival. And his constant flip-flopping on the issue does not inspire confidence in his leadership abilities.

Once again, George Bush has outsmarted his opponents. The media and the Democrats are still fighting the Viet Nam war, and their response to the Iraq war is conditioned by their experiences in 1968. But this is not 1968, and we're not in Viet Nam. John Kerry has not figured out that in wartime, Americans want to elect someone who has a plan for victory. They don't want to elect someone who merely dances on the graves of the dead while screaming "It's George Bush's fault!"

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Now that's how you play hockey!

The US finally showed the form that made it one of the favored teams in this tournament, beating the Russian team 5-3.

Coach Ron Wilson stayed with the lineup that delivered against the Slovaks. Forward Keith Tkachuk was the hero, scoring 4 goals, but it sounds like the whole team worked hard for the victory (due to family obligations and work schedule, Captain Holly was unable to watch the show).

Now we wait and see who will be next. It will be either Finland or the Czech Republic, depending on who wins the Canada-Slovakia game. Since the Slovaks are simply not a match for the Canadians, we will be playing Finland in the semifinals. Not quite what I predicted, but close.

What ARE they thinking?

Smallest Minority featured this unhinged rant from Susan Estrich. You may remember her; she was the advisor who ran the victorious 1988 Dukakis campaign.

Susan is mad. Very, very mad. She's vowing that the Democrats are going to really get mean with George Bush. She's hinting that there will soon be all sorts of seamy allegations and smears against the President, because the Republicans have gone waaay too far this time with their negative advertising and John Kerry-bashing. She has vowed to "never again" allow the Eeeevil Republicans to besmirch the reputation of a good liberal the way they trashed poor Mikey Dukakis.

I wonder if Ms. Estrich has calmed down enough to consider the impact of her ambitions. Does she really think that unsubstantiated allegations of cocaine use twenty years or so ago will turn Americans against George Bush? If so, she's more deluded and unhinged than I thought.

Susan, take note. The Willie Horton ad was not effective because it was a smear, it was effective because it was true, and it showed a completed lack of judgement on the part of Dukakis. Similarly, the Swift Vet ads are so effective because they reveal a side of John Kerry that everyone knows is there but are reluctant to confront. It's not because they are sensational. It's because they are true.

I know I shouldn't be trying to talk Democrats from completely blowing their chances this fall. But Susie Estrogen, er Estrich, should remember the 1998 GOP congressional campaigns, with their complete emphasis on Monica Lewinsky. Simply throwing mud at your opponent won't win elections. People want to have something to vote for, rather than vote against. And until John Kerry gives Americans a reason to vote for him, they aren't going to vote against Bush.

Note to Canada: Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

The powerful but underachieving Czech hockey team is back. And how.

The 6-1 shellacking of the Swedish hockey team, arguably the best (until now) in the European pool, can only be described as a huge upset. Not because the Czechs won, but because they won in such convincing fashion, shutting down the most explosive offensive team in the tournament. Not many teams can beat the Swedes in Stockholm; even fewer can blow them out of the building.

Beating the Swedes in Stockholm is roughly equivalent to beating the Canadians in Toronto. Which, ironically, is where the Czechs will likely play the Canadians on Saturday (Canada still must beat Slovakia). If they do, I'm predicting a big upset. Canada is walking right into a buzz saw.

Be afraid, Canadians. Be very afraid.

What were they thinking?

If the bloodthirsty terrorists responsible for the massacre of hundreds of Russian schoolchildren thought they were helping advance their cause, they were sadly mistaken.

Russians are infuriated, and President Vladimir Putin has taken the gloves off. Worse yet, by deliberately targeting children they made it impossible for their apologists in the EU and the US to cover for them. After all, killing thousands of office workers in New York is one thing, but killing children, why that's beyond the pale.

The Russian government is not going to be as concerned about due process and the civil rights of the Chechen people as the Great Satan would be. No, I predict that Russia is about to "go Soviet" on their sorry asses, and it's not going to be pretty.

The Chechens shouldn't expect any sympathy from me.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Freedom and lack thereof

As I was commenting on the Cap'n's last post about gay marriage and demographics, I had this thought about freedom and the lack thereof in "free" countries. I wondered if anybody or any organization tracked that type of "index", so I staerted poking around on Al Gore's invention and found an organization called the Freedom House. It was founded over sixty years ago by Eleanor Roosevelt, Wendell Wilkie and others to promote freedom. Every year they publish an index called the Freedom Index where they rate the countries of the world in two categories, political rights and civil liberties, on a scale of 1 to 7. The overall average of these two numbers is the country's freedom index. For 2003, the individual and combined averages for some countries are as follows:


US, UK, Canada, Australia, and most EU countries (France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, etc.): 1.0

Czech Republic, Poland, Japan, Bulgaria, Greece and Monaco: 1.5

Israel, South Korea, Mexico, Taiwan and Romania: 2.0

Brazil, India and Jamaica: 2.5

Partly Free:

Albania, Nicaragua and Kenya: 3.0

Fiji, Turkey, Venezuela and Indonesia: 3.5

Ukraine, Tonga and Georgia: 4.0

Kuwait, Singapore and Uganda: 4.5

Bahrain, Russia, Yemen, Jordan and Morocco: 5.0

Not Free:

Algeria, Oman, Pakistan, Kazahkstan and Lebanon: 5.5

Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, UAE and Haiti: 6.0

China (PRC), Vietnam and Somalia: 6.5

Burma, Cuba, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan: 7.0

The data was complied from 1 Jan 2003 to 31 Dec 2003.

I was going to use this data to contrast Canada's 1.0 rating with the US' 1.0 rating, but the most telling is the ratings given other countries where I have been sent with my work. When it comes to freedom of political rights and civil liberties, Saudi Arabia ranks right down there with "Axis of Evil" members, North Korea, Syria and Cuba. China is not much better, but I was surprised to see that the free-est country in the Middle East was Kuwait at a 4.5 rating. I would have thought that the UAE would have been higher up on the scale than just 6.0, but I was mistaken.

Coming back to the Americas, Venezuela is considered partly free due to it's 3.5 rating. This is due to the fact that it gets a 3 for political rights and a 4 for civil rights. Brazil is considered free although it languishes at 2.5. It's interesting that two pro-socialism/pro-Cuba/anti-Gringo countries have such dismal records with political rights/civil rights.

What does all this mean? Nothing much, except when countries whose freedom index score is greater than the US score by more than 1 point start criticizing the US, you should take what they say with a healthy dose of skeptism.

Finally, a win!

The US finally got it all together and beat Slovakia, 3-1. Coach Ron Wilson decided to bench some of his "superstars" for some hungrier players, and it showed in their play.

We will have to wait for today's game between Russia and Slovakia to determine who we will play in the quarterfinal round. Depending on who wins and by how much, we might end up facing Canada again as the 4th seed -- or we might end up as high as second, just as I predicted.

The European pool turned out pretty much as I thought it would, except that Finland got the #1 seed based on goal differential. Look for Finland and Sweden to make it to the semifinals.

The AP resurrects the dead.

With all these ads by the SBVT calling into question John "War Hero" Kerry's Vietnam service and medals, it was only a matter of time until the liberal news media stepped up to take the heat off their "man". This report from the AP digs back up the whole President Bush National Guard service controversy. Although they don't come right out and say it, they underlying meaning of the story is that someone from the Bush adminstration has tampered with the records, etc. I can hardly wait for the 24-hour Abu Ghraib coverage to begin again.

The times, they are a-changin'

Captain Holly read this insightful editorial this morning that identified the growing demographic divide in the Culture War. To put it simply, it points out the increasingly-recognized fact that Religious Conservatives are having more children; Secular Liberals are having less.

Captain Holly has recognized this for some time. As any biologist will tell you, any specie that fails to reproduce will soon be replaced by one that does. I personally think that much of this demographic shift has been due to the practice of elective abortion; in effect, the pro-choicers have killed the next generation of pro-choice women, and the political effect is becoming more obvious, as even John Kerry tries to portray himself as nominally pro-life.

But it also affects other aspects of the political debate. In general, the more conservative one is, the more children one will have, and vice versa (whether conservatives have more children or having children makes one conservative is not clear). While being raised in a church-going, conservative home does not automatically turn one into a Republican, it does make it more likely, as people tend to mirror the views and values of their parents. And if only conservatives are having children, well, you do the math.

Let us consider this view when it comes to the issue of gay marriage. Surveys show that young people are more open to the idea, while older persons are more opposed (interestingly, that was the same result of polls on abortion taken after Roe v. Wade in 1972). Yet considering that the most fervent supporters of gay marriage (homosexuals) are the least likely population to reproduce and their opponents (conservative Christians) are the most, what do you think surveys will show in 20 years?

Captain and Mrs. Holly have three kids, with one on the way. Andrew Sullivan and his boyfriend have a beagle. Right now, the Holly votes against gay marriage are cancelled by the Sullivan/boyfriend votes for it.

But consider the how the total changes over the next 20 years. By the 2008 election, the "anti" votes in the Holly household will outnumber the Sullivan "pro" votes by a margin of 3-2. By 2016, we will outnumber them by a margin of 4-2. By 2020, 5-2, and by 2024, 6-2 (assuming that Sullivan lives that long; after all, he is HIV+).

In short, gay marriage isn't going to get any more popular over the next 20 years. Not only are the opponents of gay marriage reproducing faster than it's supporters, but even those who come to the US to live are dead-set against it. Let's see, which immigrant group is the most supportive of gay marriage? Arab Muslims? Latino Catholics? African Anglicans? In a decade or so, it will be obvious that the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision was the high-water mark for gay marriage, not the beginning of a new era.

Advocates of gay marriage and abortion are about to be overwhelmed by a demographic tidal wave. And ironically, it's mostly their own fault. While they partied to sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, their less-hip conservative opponents stayed home and had kids.

The geeks have indeed inherited the earth.

On this day in military 1914

On this day in military 1914. The Battle of the Marne begins with the French Army counterattacking the right flank of the German forces driving for Paris. The French/British counterattacks over the next five days stopped the German advance and forced them to fall back, dig trenches and consolidate their gains.

The First Battle of the Marne (yes, the first battle) is considered as one of the most decisive battles in history because the Von Schlieffen Plan for the conquest of France was defeated as was the Allies plan for a quick end to the war. A perfect example of a battle where the losers are apparent but the victor is not.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

On this day in military 476 and others

On this day in military 476. The western Roman empire falls when the Odoacer, a German barbarian warrior, deposes Romulus Augustus, the last Roman Emperor. His conquest does not last very long because after fighting with Theodoric the Great of the Ostrogoths for a number of years, in 493, he consents to a treaty with Theodoric the Great to share the kingdom of Italy. He is later killed along with his sons at a banquet held by Theodoric in his honor.

On this day in military 1886. Germonimo, the last American Indian warrior surrenders in Skeleton Canyon, Arizona, making his name synonomous with paratroopers and bad Bugs Bunny puns for eternity.

On this day in military 1969. Ho Chi Minh, "Uncle Ho" to millions of Vietnamese, dies. Over 30 years later, future presidential candiate, John "War Hero" Kerry will tell anyone who will listen how the event was seared, seared into his consciousness, just like the time when he spent Christmas in Cambodia in 1968 on a secret mission from President Nixon's head (a la Futurama).

And two events that have nothing to do with the military:

On this 1967. The final episode of Gilligan's Island airs. Unfortunately, this did not mean the death of the crew of the Minnow. They were destined to be in syndication for years to come enabling even people who didn't own TVs (like the Amish) the ability to respond to the age-old question "Who was hotter, Ginger or Mary-Ann?"

On this 1971. Lawrance Welk and his Champagne Music Makers goes off the air. It stayed on TV in syndication until 1982, but all is not lost for those of you who secretly crave to see Bobby & Cindy and the Champagne Lady again. It is shown every Saturday night (with reruns on Sunday) at 7:00 PM on KBYU, Channel 11, in Provo, Utah.

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Great El-ahrairah's Links

Since the Cap'n was able to post his favorite links on the Warren, the Great El-ahrairah wanted to do the same. So after whining and moaning to the Cap'n how to do it (Oh the shame! An uber-techno-geek such as myself being reduced to asking his non-techie dweeb brother how to do things on the net!), he finally gave me enough info so that I could figure it out myself and not cause too many issues by having my "techie-ness" called into question. Anyway, if you scroll down to our list of links, I have added a list of my links to the page. These are not all of them since the Cap'n included some links that I read regularly (Steyn, USS Clueless, Blackfive, Siflay Hraka) and I don't want to duplicate links.

Blame Bush! I included this link "Because Bush is to Blame for Everything!" It uses satire to show the absurity of liberal attacks against President Bush. Always a good laugh.

Mad Ogre. The Cap'n got me reading this blog. He's a gun nut from Utah and that's good enough for me. And like me, he thinks that Italian actress Monica Belluci is hot (if you don't know who she is, watch The Matrix Reloaded/The Matrix Revolutions or Tears of the Sun with Bruce Willis).

The StrategyPage. Military news, military intelligence, military history and military jokes, bref, everything military. A good page if you want to know more about the war in Iraq other than the "doom and gloom", 24-hour Abu Ghraib coverage that the "unbiased" news media decide to tell us.

Free Market Fairy Tales. A British page that I like to read,not because he likes guns (a good reason by itself), but because I like his feature that recounts British military history thru the ages by the telling of stories of the battlefield heroism of British soldiers and sailors.

Michelle Malkin. I just started reading her blog not too long ago. She's a conservative that I have seen a few times on the "idiot box". I don't think the photo on her blog does her justice.

Ann Coulter. I like satire and I read Ann Coulter because she says those things that I think, but that I'm not able to put into words.

As I said before, I also read Mark Steyn (because I like satire), the USS Clueless (because I like his discussions on technical and political subjects), Blackfive (because he blogs lots of stuff from the military and I like the military) and Siflay Hraka (the one that started it all). So these are the links that the Great El-ahrairah reads most everyday and that contribute to what you read here on this blog.

The party of "doom and gloom"

Just in time for the end of the convention, the Labor Department released figures showing that the economy added 144,000 jobs in August 2004, pushing the unemployement rate to 5.4%, the lowest level since October 2001. No word yet on if there will be an bi-partisan congressional investigation about the "suspicious" circumstances on the release of this good news for President Bush.

Since the president is a Republican, the "unbiased" news media are downplaying this fact. If he had been a Democrat, the "unbiased" news media would be treating him like the "sun shown out of his posterior", like they did in the bad old days of Bill "I did not have sex with that woman (when talking about his wife)" Clinton.

Even with this good news, the John Kerry "Doom and Gloom" Tour of 2004 found something to complain about stating that "previous presidents had faced wars and recessions, but not one of them has failed to create a single job" except for President Bush. Um, maybe I'm an idiot, but I don't see how 144,000 jobs last month equals no jobs created.

Oops! I forgot. For Democrats/liberals/loves of BIG guv-mint, private enterprise doesn't create jobs, BIG guv-mint programs that cost billions and billions of dollars create jobs (for Washington burocrats at least).

So, the moral of this story is: Vote Republican if you are optimistic and proud to be an American. Vote Democratic if you are pessimistic and ashamed to be an American. Or just leave the country. Just don't let the screen door hit you in the butt as you leave.

Democratic response or "unbiased" news coverage?

As the Great El-ahrairah was reading the Yahoo! news on the Internet, I ran across this Democratic response to President Bush's speech disguised as news coverage. Go read for yourself, but while reading, keep asking yourself if the AP reporter would have written the same "news story" if the President had been a Democrat.

As I recall, whenever a Democrat talks, the major news media are rather slow in "fact checking"(if they do it at all). For example, who was it that pointed out that John "the War Hero" Kerry's war story (What's the difference between a John Kerry war story and a fairy tale? One starts out "Once upon a time...." and the other starts out "F****n' A, there I was in Vietnam on my Swift Boat......") about spending Christmas in Cambodia in 1968 was a complete fabrication? It wasn't CNN or ABC or CBS, that's for sure.

Liberals can complain about Fox News being "biased", but when your world view is so far to the left that Marxists and Fidel Castro look like moderates, what else would you expect them to say? Remember, an "unbiased" news report for a liberal is what Pravda used to serve up everyday in the bad old days of the Soviet Union. And they accuse conservatives of wearing blinders.

It's time to panic

The team that once started out ahead has lost its momentum.

No, I'm not talking about the Kerry campaign. I'm talking about the USA hockey team, who dropped another game, this time to Russia, 3-1. While the USA don't appear to have any problems with goaltending like everyone predicted, they do have problems scoring goals.

We have to win against Slovakia tonight. But then, considering how we played against Russia, perhaps it would be better to lose and hope to get a first-round game against Canada.

Bush's Speech

I watched the President's speech last night. The first half made me wince, the second half was pure gold. All in all, it should be worth a 3-4 percent bounce.

As for convention coverage, you can't get any better than Allah. Go hither and read.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Mark Steyn reads me

Apparently, Mark Steyn reads the Great El-ahrairah. In an article from the Western Standard (it requires registration, isn't complete and may not link right so take it for what you want), he argues that gay marriage will only open the gates to officially sanctioned polygamy and beastiality. I stated essentially the same thing here and here back in July but not as eloquently as Mr. Steyn. The blogosphere should read me first since, yet again, the Great El-ahrairah "scoops" the pundits.

British Cultural Decay Update

Just when you thought that the British could not get any stupider, along comes the latest example of brainless idiocy from the UK.

If Britain continues to fritter away her military capability, in a few decades it may be possible for a country to invade and conquer England using only a battalion of troops armed with Super Soakers. The sight of a mere toy gun will create so much panic among the population they will be too traumatized to fight back.

We'll be back

Canada defeated the US 2-1 in front of a friendly hometown crowd in Montreal.

The US started out real slow, and then lost one of their best players, Mike Modano, to injury. But they battled back, and dominated the second half of the game. Unfortunately, they couldn't convert numerous scoring chances.

Next up for the US is Russia on Thursday in St. Paul, Minn.

UPDATE: Let me explain the "we'll be back" line.

The World Cup tournament two pools, the North American (Canada, US, Russia, Slovakia) and the European (Germany, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic). During the first round, each team plays the other teams in its pool once to determine seeding for the playoffs. In each pool, the first place team plays the fourth, and the second plays the third. The winners of the two games go on to play the quarterfinal winners from the other pool in the semifinal round. Then the winners play for the gold medal in the final, the losers play for the bronze.

If Canada and the US are 1-2 in the standings after the preliminary round (which is what I predict will happen), then they won't meet until the final (that is what I am predicting, incidentally). Here are my predictions for the standings after the preliminary round:

North American Pool:
1. Canada
2. USA
3. Slovakia
4. Russia

European Pool:
1. Sweden
2. Finland
3. Czech Republic
4. Germany

Finland-Czech Republic


Bronze Medal Game

Gold Medal Game

Final Standings
USA - Gold Medal
Canada - Silver Medal
Finland - Bronze Medal

We'll have to see what happens. I wonder what El-ahrairah would predict?

If only I were this funny....

For the absolute best in gut-splitting coverage and analysis of the Republican Convention, there is simply no one who can top Allah.

Read through all the updates from yesterday; I guarantee you'll like it.