Thursday, December 30, 2004


There are two possible explanations for this story:

EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Two Wal-Mart employees who police say followed a manager's orders to shoot and kill a stray cat have been charged with federal animal cruelty.

One, there is a Federal law against shooting stray cats


Two, it is yet another example of shoddy reporting by the MainStreamMedia.

(Yes, there is possibly a third option: It could be both).

I suspect that Two is the correct answer. Local police don't have the authority to arrest persons for federal crimes; only federal LEOs can. And the Feds don't normally get involved unless the incident occurred on federal property, or was part of a federal investigation. In addition, it's doubtful that the Feds would even get involved at this point; usually, the case is forwarded to them after the local prosecutor reviews it and decides whether to file charges. Finally, having worked with federal LEOs, I can safely say they wouldn't even bother themselves with a minor case like this.

Is it too much to ask that the MSM at least try to be accurate?

(link via Drudge)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

It boggles the mind

The death toll from the massive tsunami continues to grow. And there are still thousands more persons missing. This may turn out to be the biggest natural disaster in recorded history.

Quite appropriately, the people of the world have opened their hearts to the suffering millions of Southern Asia. I plan on donating this Sunday to LDS Charities.

In the face of such destruction, how could anyone ignore the tragedy? How could anyone carp about the relief efforts? How could anyone use this event for crass political purposes? How could anyone think to promote their agenda on the bodies of thousands of dead children?


In an ever-changing world, it's kinda reassuring to know that Anti-Americanism will never be considered gauche.

I promise to blog more often, I promise to blog more often, I....

Since my life is slowly returning to normal, I will be blogging more often. I have to take some of the load off El-ahriarah and, yeah.

Don't hold your breath, folks

The long nightmare of Britain's disastrous experiment with gun control may be coming to an end. (link via NRA)

The Tories (British "Conservatives", who are roughly as conservative as the average American Democrat) have found their courage and introduced a bill to allow homeowners to protect themselves against intruders without fear of prosecution.

This extremely small step in the right direction is not a sure thing, however. As Prime Minister Tony Blair seeks to triangulate himself on this issue, members of his own cabinet are still protecting the rights of burglars. I'm afraid that after some strongly-worded, non-binding resolution supporting homeowners passes Parliament, things will remain at status quo for our friends across the pond.

I've always advocated the incremental approach to such issues. Given the current political climate, it would be virtually impossible to institute American-style gun laws in Britain. But it's hard to get excited about a law that gives homeowners to the right to protect themselves yet prohibits them from using the most effective tools to do so. Do the Tories really think that an 80 year-old Granny from the Midlands can wield a cricket bat as effectively as a 20 year-old Yob?

The truth is, as revolutionary as this bill is for Britain, it will make little practical difference to Her Majesty's Subjects until they are allowed to exercise their rights to bear arms. Once Granny can go out and buy a handgun at the corner gun store with a minimum of hassle, that's when you'll see a drop in crime rates. Until then, don't hold your breath.

Mother Gaia is Angry

Via Instapundit, we get this gem from Iowahawk.

Yes, it's satire, but having worked in a University biology department for years, I can verify there are some PhD's who believe in all sorts of weird things.

Time to add Iowahawk to the blogroll.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

On this day in military 1941 and 1948

On this day in military 1941. The defenders of Wake Island surrender to the Japanese. While the Japanese were running in rampant thru the Pacific after Pearl Harbor, one of the island that they invaded was Wake Island. Like most of the US military, it was caught napping when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and a subsequent Japanese bomber attack destroyed 8 of 12 Marine fighters based on the island. Japanese amphibious forces then showed up a few days later, thinking that the invasion would be a push-over. Unfortunately for them, it was not and the Marine defenders were able to repulse the initial invasion (the only time during World War II that and an amphibious invasion was unsuccessful). The Japanese then returned with more men, ships and planes and were able to invade and capture the island, but not after the loss of 4 ships with 8 other ships sustaining damage, 21 aircraft with 11 others damaged and about 1000 men. The defenders never numbered more than 550 with about 1100 civilian worker on the island.

The US Navy tried to relieve the Wake garrison, but due to the distance from Hawaii, the task force turned back before arriving at Wake when it was deemed to be a lost cause. In fact, due to the distance that Wake Island was from Japanese forces, the US never retook the island and were instead able to easily cut it off from all Japanese forces for most of the war. Carrier task forces would pass by the island from time to time to give it's aircrews a target to use for practice bombing. In September, 1945, the Japanese surrendered to a detachment of Marines. The Japanese commander was tried, convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death for the mass murder of 98 civilians that were left on the island as workers after the US surrender.

The Battle of Wake Island always had a fascination for me due to the stories that my Sainted Father told me about the battle and also a school library book that I read and re-read many times during my youth about the battle. The story of Wake Island was a great moral booster for the American public in the face of non-stop Japanese victories during those dark days after Pearl Harbor.

On this day in military 1948. Japanese Prime Minister, Hideki Tojo and six others are hanged for war crimes. Fast forward to now and imagine that one of the best headlines of 2005 will be when we learn that Saddam Hussein and six others have been hanged for crimes against humanity. Just gives you a warm fuzzy thinking about it, n'est-ce pas?

Soft and Hard Targets

In my work travels, I have lived and worked on many different military bases from the United States to Iraq and as such, I have seen many different levels of force protection. Depending on the service and the country, the level of force protection varies from just a quick wave thru to a complete vehicle and body search. With the recent suicide bombing in Mosul, I am wondering how the bomber was able to get thru the security on the base, or at least get his bomb thru security.

Looking thru the following list of terrorist incidents, one thing jumps out at me. Each of these incidents was against a “soft target”. This probably isn’t that much of a revelation to most, but what I deem a “soft target” might be. In general, military bases or other protected places have a protected area that is surrounded by a fence/wall that is considered “safe” by everyone inside the area. The forces assigned to force protection are usually assigned to the barrier between the protected area and “Indian country”. Everyone that is inside the “safe zone” can reasonably feel confident that they are safe and have no need to carry a weapon to protect them. To me, I consider this scenario a “soft target” since the terrorist only has to get past the perimeter guard and he is “home safe”. There is a low chance that if discovered within the “safe area”, there will be security forces around with weapons to stop him since nobody else in the “safe area” will normally be carrying a loaded weapon. A “hard target” on the other hand is one where even though there are security forces deployed around the perimeter of the “safe area”, everyone within the “safe area” carries a loaded weapon in the oft chance that they may need them.

Here is a scenario to illustrate my point. For argument’s sake, say that my name, Abdullah the Bomber and I am a suicide bomber wannabe. Thru my ability to speak the English language, I am hired by a civilian contractor to work in the military dining facility. I am given a pass and everyday, after being search for weapons, I am admitted onto the base to do my job.

On the base where I work, everyone who is not a member of the security forces does not carry any type of firearm. Since I am desirous of blowing myself up and as many of the infidels as possible so I can get my 72 virgins (Why only 72? Why not a nice round number like 100?), I formulate a plan where I smuggle my bomb onto the base, one piece at a time. Eventually, I have enough parts of the bomb to assemble it, strap it to my body and blow myself up. 72 virgins, here I come!

Now, imagine that instead of working on a base where only the security forces are armed, I work on a base where everyone carries a fully-armed, personal security weapon such as a 9 mm pistol, M16 rifle, etc., at all times, all the way from the lowest private to the highest general. To make sure that everyone has their weapon with them at all times, access to the base facilities is dependent on the possession of the aforementioned weapon. Now, the ability and desire to perform my function (suicide bombing) is greatly diminished due to the risk that if detected, I can very quickly be stopped either by being arrested or shot (no dead infidels, ergo, no 72 virgins).

Now, which of the two bases would have the greatest risk of a suicide bomber? If you said the first, then this would be considered a “soft target”. The second base is what I would call a “hard target” if only for the reason that the entire base population is armed.

A quick side note: This example could also be used for countries who have strict gun-control laws and un-armed populations (Great Britain) and others whose gun-control laws are less strict and armed populations (like the US). In which country would you think criminals would be more inclined to “perform their function?” If you said the country that has a large un-armed population sitting around like sheep waiting for the slaughter, then you would be correct.

Since this type of incident will invoke an indignant response from that bastion of waste, fraud and abuse, the Congress (“If the opposite of pro is con, is the opposite of progress, Congress?”) will want to hold “hearings” (usually televised) to get to the “truth” and punish the “guilty”. After all has been said and done (more will be said than done), there will be a report which will detail exactly how this happened. In this report, it will probably come out that the base was what I consider a “soft target”. In fact, all the photos of the bombing, I haven’t seen too many members of the military carrying weapons, so this makes me think that it was a “soft target”.

Anyway, there seems to be a complete security breakdown on the base. What that entails remains to be seen, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some higher-ranking officers taking this one in the pants.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

On this day in military 1945

On this day in military 1945. General George S. Patton dies. One of the United States greatest generals, General George S. Patton died from injuries suffered from a car accident. He is buried, not in the United States at Arlington Cemetary, but with his men at the American Cemetary outside the city of Luxembourg. His grave was at one time found with the rest of the graves, but due to some many visitors tramping on the other graves, it was moved to the front where it can be seen very easily.

Say what you will about General Patton but we must all be grateful for his service to our country. He always spoke his mind which got him into to trouble with the media more that once, but there are times when actions count more than words. The United States could use more men like hims to lead our country.

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Oprah Effect

A new study out by Brigham Young University details to what extent the "Oprah Effect" has on our spending habits. The Oprah Effect can be defined as something, in the study's case, a book, which The Great Oprah has endorsed on her show or in her magazine, which suddenly rockets up the sales charts, not because it is an exceptional work, but for the simple reason that The Great Oprah has endorsed it. The studies authors looked at how long that books that that The Great Oprah endorsed on her show stayed on the best-sellers list and how sales were affected when The Great Oprah stopped endorsing books on her show. It didn't take a rocket scientist to notice that books that were endorsed by her did much better than non-endorsed books. The effect can be seen with the rise of Dr. Phil. Before Oprah, Dr. Phil was, um, well, did he even exist? After the touch of The Great Oprah, Dr. Phil now has his own show, dispensing his brand of self-help "fluff" to the mass of Oprah-wannabees around the country.

So, now that we have detailed the Oprah effect, what does that actually mean? That The Great Oprah is a savvy business person and is very successful? Probably, but the real meaning is that the US is populated by large numbers of "air heads" who don't really have a brain of their own and who need someone to guide them in their daily lives. I would say that these people are also pre-dominately "blue-staters" and are not all that religious. So you have The Great Oprah, who can use her show to influence a large section of the electorate in supporting whatever causes that she champions. I'm not a regular viewer (hell, I'm not a viewer period) of The Great Oprah, but it would seem to me that she would support most causes that your run-of-the-mill blue-stater would support, i.e., gay marriage, gun control, abortion rights, etc., and her audience of Oprah-wannabees just sucks it up. Another perfect example of how the MSM and television corrode and corrupt normal values.

Henry Mencken once said that "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." P.T. Barnum also said (ok, he didn't) that "There's a sucker born every minute." It looks like The Great Oprah has taken both these quotes to heart.

Friday, December 17, 2004

On this day in military 1939 and 1944

On this day in military 1939. The Germans scuttle the pocket battleship, Admiral Graf Spee off Montevideo, Uruguay. The Graf Spee had fled to the neutral port of Montevideo to escape the pursuing British forces after the Battle of the River Platte. With more British forces arriving every day and being forced out of the port, the Germans scuttled the Graf Spee in Montevideo harbor to keep it from being sunk or falling into British hands.

On this day in military 1944. Elements of a German SS unit massacre between 72-84 American POWs at Malmedy, Belgium. After the reports of the massacre surfaced, American units were told to take no more SS prisoners of war (most famously by General George Patton).

Thursday, December 16, 2004

On this day in military 1944 and 1998

On this day in military 1944. The Battle of the Bulge begins. With Germany being squeezed from both sides by the Allies, Hitler orders one last counterattack to try to remove the Allies, or at least the British from the war. The idea was to attack the Allies thru the Ardennes forest and drive to the port of Antwerp. This would cut off all the British/Canadian forces a la "Dunkrik"and force the British out of the war. Since the Germans had attacked thru the Ardennes forest before in 1914 and 1940, they thought, "What the heck, let's try it again" and attacked the US forces that were occuping the dense forest. As before, they caught the US forces there with "their pants down" and drove far enough into the US lines to create a "bulge" about 60 miles deep and 50 miles wide thru Belgium and Luxembourg. Thanks to the 101st Airborne's heroic stand at Bastogne and General George Patton's timely arrival of the 3rd Army that the offensive was stopped. It wasn't until January 21st that they Germans were pushed back to their original lines. If you desire a Hollywood, sugar-coated 1960's version of the events featuring an all-star cast, watch the "Battle of the Bulge" on DVD otherwise watch the movie "Patton" and the HBO series "Band of Brothers" to get a more realistic sense of the battle.

On this day in military 1998. The US launches missile and bomber attacks against Iraqi military targets to punish them for failing to comply with UN weapons inspectors. With the Monica Lewinsky problem heating up, President Clinton needed to divert attention from his "zipper" problem to something else. He decided that the best thing to do would be to generate a national emergency and launch missile and bomber attacks against Iraqi military targets. This was to punish them for failing to comply with Inspector Clouseau and the Keystone Kops masquerading as United Nations weapons inspectors, although they had been doing just that for the last seven years since the Gulf War. The operation was codenamed "Desert Fox" (how original) but should have been named "Operation Zippergate".

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

On this day in military history....1899

On this day in military history....1899. The Boers defeat the British at the Battle of Colenso during the Boer War. The British were trying to cross the Thukela Rivier to relieve the Boer siege of the city of Ladysmith when they were ambushed by Boer forces occuping the heights above the river. 1,100 British soldiers lost their lives with only 8 Boers being killed.

There are wars in history where the prevailing tactics of the day are turned upside down when confronted by more modern tactics. World War II is a prime example where the British and French tactics of World War I (trench warfare and fixed positions) were turned upside down by the German's use of blitzkrieg (manouver warfare). The Boer War was just such a war. The Boer's, the Afrikans-speaking white settlers of South America fought and defeated the British during the first part of the war due to their superior field craft and their use of rifles which fired smokeless cartridges. At the time, the British were still using somewhat modified tactics from the Napoleonic Wars, i.e., shooting volleys of shots at rows of troops on the other side. The Boers, however, used the tactics of cover and concealment and long-range rifle fire to decimate the British forces. Eventually, as is the case, the British adopted the Boers tactics and added some of their own, such as the "concentration camp", and they eventually prevailed.

During this war, both Sir Winston Churchhill and Mahatma Ganhdi were involved, Churchhill as a reporter (he was eventually captured by the Boers) and Gandhi as a stretcher bearer.

Another piece of military trivia. The Boer War was the last war where the Scots Highlanders actually went into battle wearing kilts. After the Boer War they wore normal military uniforms when going into battle. The reason is that during the Boer War, unlike previous wars, they spent much time laying down on the ground to avoid being shot by long-range rifle fire. This exposed their legs to sunburn by the sun's rays and cause them to decide to wear the kilt when only in garrison.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Yeah! They finished the bridge!

The French finally finished a highway bridge around the city of Millau in southern France. Why is this important in the big scheme of things? Millau is on one of the major north-south axis from Paris to southern France. The entire route is at least two-lane highway, except for the 15 - 20 kilometers that pass thru Millau. When the freeway ends, you are routed onto a two-lane road which winds down one side of the gorge to the Tarn river, thru the city of Millau and up the other side of the gorge. On a good day during summer tourist season, you will waste only about 30 minutes, but on a normal, tourist season day, you will waste at least one hour passing thru the town, stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic the whole way. This summer when I passed thru Millau on my way to Montpellier and the beach, I could see the bridge in the distance and it looked very impressive. Maybe next summer, I'll be able to actually drive it.

And they said it couldn't be done.

In complete and utter disregard for the UN, the EU and other lefty nay-sayers, Iraq will start putting members of Saddam Hussein's old government on trial next week. I guess you tell an oppressed people long enough that they are not qualified to put their oppressors on trial and they will go out and do it just to show you that they can. 2005 will be an interesting year as Saddam's thugs and cronies are paraded before the whole world and try to save their sorry necks as they "spill the beans" on which members of the UNSC were "aiding and abetting" their "Fraud for Oil" scam. Dare we dream of a certain French president facing the same sort of tribunal? Only time will tell.

In a somewhat related note, another "non-existent" mass grave (which is "irrevelant" to the legality of the Iraqi invasion according to Kofi "The Appeaser" and the MSM) was found in northern Iraq. I seem to remember hearing that the truth will set you free. I guess that depends on who you are. If you are one of Saddam's friends, it seems the truth keeps pounding nails in your coffin.

Monday, December 13, 2004

They got it right.

Just popping in to quickly observe that the Scott Peterson jurors did their job.

Good work. Course, it will be years before it happens (this is in Crazyfornia, after all) but they did the right thing.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

On this day in military 1941

On this day in military 1941. Germany declares war on the United States. In what could be described as one of the worse cases of "Duh, what was I thinking!", Germany declared war on the United States, thereby insuring that the Axis would loose and the Allies would win World War II.

Friday, December 10, 2004

On this day in military 1864 and 1941

On this day in military 1864. General William T. Sherman arrives at Savannah, Georgia, completing his "March to the Sea" and earning the animosity of Georgians everywhere.

On this day in military 1941. Japanese troops seize Guam and invade the Phillipines and Japanese aircraft sink the British warships Prince of Wales and Repulse. This was the start of Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto's guarantee that he would be able to run rampant thru the Pacific for about six months until the US military would be able to stop him or slow him down. For all you history buffs out there, the six months was short by one day when the US Navy sunk four Japanese aricraft carriers at the Battle of Midway on June 6, 1942.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Heather has two mommies revisited

The following situation just makes me want to slap some sense into somebody. A "former" lesbian and her "partner", are fighting over "parental" visitation rights for a 3 year-old child. The "former" lesbian is the birth mother of the child who was artificially inseminated. She was joined to her partner in a Vermont civil ceremony before the birth of the child. The child's birth certificate has both the women's names on it. Fast forward to now. The two lesbians have had a falling out and the mother of the child, who has changed her lifestyle due to "finding religion", wants to curtail all access to her child by her former lover, who is not related by blood to the child. This would seem like a slam-dunk decision, but unfortunately, the judge in this case must have just finished watching a 24-hour Oprah marathon since he has ruled that the child's best interests are served by having two mothers.

I can't see who any sane person would rule in favor of this, but being from Red-State Utah, a part of "Jesusland", I guess I'm not smart enough to see the "nuance" in the situation. Hopefully, this will be overturned on appeal, but don't hold your breath. If gays can't force their will on us at the ballot box, they'll do it in court.

On this day in military 1914

On this day in military 1914. At the Battle of the Falkland Islands, a British navy fleet consisting of battlecruisers Invincible and Inflexible catches a German commerce raiding fleet off the Falklnd Islands and sinks the German cruisers Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Nurnberg and Leipzig without any losses.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

On this day in military 1941

On this day in military 1941. The Japanese launch a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, bringing the United States into World War II. In what will go down in history as one of the best examples of "winning the battle but losing the war" (along with Germany's invasion of Russia and the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers), the Japanese decided to launch a surprise attack on the US at Pearl Harbor and cripple the US Navy. In their minds, the US would soon sue for peace, thereby allowing the Japanese free run of the natural resources found in China, the Dutch East Indies, Australia, etc. Unfortunately, they mis-caculated just how "pissed off" the US would become after having been "sucker-punched" in the back. Less than five years later, both the Japanese and Germany empires lay in ruins.

A couple of years ago, I was able to fulfill a life-long desire and visit Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Before going out to the memorial, you are shown a film about that fateful morning. After the film, a boat takes you to the memorial. I found it interesting that right next to the memorial on Ford Island is the USS Missouri, which you can also tour. There were many Japanese tourists on the boat with us and I thought that it was a good illustration to them about although you might have won this battle (Pearl Harbor), we won the war (illustrated by the USS Missouri where the Japanese surrendered). A classic example of "cause and effect".

The US is now involved in the Global War on Terror because of another "sneak attack". We have all seen the film footage of the Twin Towers crashing to the ground (the "cause") due to the terrorist's attacks. Unfortunately for them, they are now reaping the "effects" of what they did. Since September 2001, two terrorist regimes (Afghanistan and Iraq) have been brought crashing down and countless terrorists have died as a result. I'm sure on more than one occasion, as Abdullah the terrorist was running for his life to escape US bombs or Saddam was sitting in his jail cell, they both thought "Osama was really stupid to kick that hornet's nest called the Great Satan. Now I'm paying for it." The Great El-ahrairah didn't vote for President Bush because he would make the US safer, I voted for him because he would make the world much more dangerous for the Abdullahs, Osamas and Saddams of the world. Remember, the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Blogging hiatus

In case any of our regular readers (are there any?) were wondering what happened to the Cap'n and the Great El-ahrairah, we were on a self-imposed hiatus due to the death of our beloved father just before Thanksgiving. It was very sudden and luckily for all involved, I was in the US for another reason when this happened.

I was tasked to give a talk during my father's funeral, and as I stated during this talk, all that I am today, I owe to my father. He served in the Navy during World War II and Korea and it was my father who got me interested in joining the military from a very young age. The branch and military job may have changed over the years (from Air Force pilot to Navy sailor to Marine grunt), but as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to serve my country in the US military. Thru my job, I continue to "serve" to this day since I know that the most important job in the world is the defense of our great country. Everything else is "fluff" when you realize that we wouldn't have this "fluff" if not for the brave men and women who have died in defense of our country so that we can "sleep safe at night when we lay down our heads."

I'm back in the land of pomodori and pasta now, so for me, things are getting back to normal, more or less. I really didn't want to go back to the US when I did, but as is stated in the Bible, "The Lord moves in mysterious ways, his miracles to perform." He knew that my father would pass away and that I needed to be there, if not for myself, for my mother. Just another example of how the Lord knows what we really need in life even before we do.