Monday, January 31, 2005

On this day in military 1944

On this day in military 1944. US Marines invade Kwajalein Atoll during Operation Flintlock. Following the invasions of Tarawa and Makin in the Gilbert Islands, the next step in the US "island-hopping" campaign against the Japanese was the Marshall Islands group. The Marshall Islands consist of 29 atolls and 5 isolated islands. Three of the more famous atolls are Kwajalein, Eniwetok and Bikini. The US wanted to use these islands to support landings in the Mariana Islands (Guam, Saipan and Tinian).

The landings were much easier than the previous landings at Tarawa due to improved tactics and the small size (800 meters from side to side) of the island. The Japanese also had not quite learned that trying to stop the landings at the beach was basically useless due to the US superiority in firepower. They later changed their tactics from beach defenses to defense in depth which causes the later invasions of Guam, Saipan, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa to be much more bloody.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

My two Euro-cents worth....

The Cap'n and others have already commented on the Iraqi elections and here are my two Euro-cents worth: Anyone with half-a-brain should be able to see the writing on the wall. When given the choice between tyranny and democracy, people will choose democracy everytime. Our forefathers did so over 200 years ago when they declared their independence from the English throne and the Iraqis have done so today when they declared their independence from Saddam's tyranny.

Many of President Bush's detractors love to quote him to point out the way that he destroys the English language. Unfortunately, they conveniently overlook this quote which is so a apropos today:

"The liberty we prize is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to humanity." President George W. Bush, 26 March 2003

They would do best to remember this and reflect upon its meaning before opening their "pie holes".

Interesting online-poll

While I was wasting some time this morning before getting down to "protecting the American way of life", I stumbled on to this online-poll (hat-tip to I love Jet Noise). My results are as follows:

1. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (100%)
2. Jehovah's Witness (78%)
3. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (71%)
4. Orthodox Judaism (71%)
5. Bahá'í Faith (66%)
6. Islam (64%)
7. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (61%)
8. Sikhism (61%)
9. Orthodox Quaker (54%)
10. Eastern Orthodox (53%)
11. Roman Catholic (53%)
12. Reform Judaism (50%)
13. Jainism (44%)
14. Liberal Quakers (42%)
15. Seventh Day Adventist (41%)
16. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (40%)
17. Hinduism (37%)
18. Mahayana Buddhism (36%)
19. Theravada Buddhism (35%)
20. Unitarian Universalism (34%)
21. Neo-Pagan (32%)
22. Scientology (24%)
23. New Age (23%)
24. New Thought (23%)
25. Secular Humanism (21%)
26. Taoism (19%)
27. Nontheist (19%)

Although the poll used some words and phrases that I was not familar with, I still scored 100% for the LDS Church, which is what I would have expected. However, right up there was the Jehovah's Witnesses and mainstream Protestant churches. This should not be any surprise since they are all very conservative (defined roles for man/woman, opposition to abortion/homosexuality), but I was surprised to know that 74% of my beliefs are the same as orthodox Judaism and 64% the same as Islam. Interesting how many core beliefs the world's three largest monotheist religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) share. I wonder how the Cap'n would score.

Victory has a thousand fathers...

History was made today.

If the toppling of Saddam's statue was the equivalent to the fall of the Berlin Wall, today's vote in Iraq is the equivalent to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Twenty years from now, we will be talking about this pivotal moment in world history as if everyone knew what was going to happen and supported it at the time. For example, it's hard today to find someone who thinks President Reagan was wrong when he proposed a massive military buildup to confront the Soviet Union.

But I remember those "dissident voices", and there were alot of them. And like today, they ran the Democrat Party and the MainStreamMedia.

The success of the Iraqi vote will change the coverage of the war provided by the still-liberal-and-clueless MSM. They will either move on to other subjects that provide greater Bush-bashing potential (Social Security, anyone?) or they will move the goalposts and continue to claim things are no better than when Saddam's thugs were cutting out people's tongues. Instapundit has a great series of examples. And don't miss this column by Mark Steyn.

Or there will be some like Andrew "weathervane" Sullivan, who will continue to try and do both while at the same time claiming he has always been a supporter of the Iraqi invasion. If you can figure Sully out, you're a smarter man, er, person (sorry Rosemary, Meg) than I am.

One wag pointed out that if every Frenchmen who said he was part of the Resistance actually did fight the Germans, then there would have been no one left to collaborate. In a few years you will be hard-pressed to find someone who thought the Iraqi invasion was a bad idea. Reality has a way of convincing people they're wrong.

Getting them to admit it is another thing altogether.

It figures

The international community stood by and watched as history was made today.

That's okay. They stood by and watched while Saddam slaughtered thousands of his people.

They stood by and watched as the US and it's real allies liberated Iraq.

And they stood by and watched as terrorists massacred thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

They have stood by and watched during the whole Iraqi liberation process. Why should today be any different?

Can anyone tell me again why we even bother with the "international community"?

Grandma was right

From Fox News we find out that chastity can prolong your life. Not because a vengeful God smites the sinners, but because being a skank puts one at greater risk of contracting serious venereal diseases.

(It seems logical that God, being the First Microbiologist, understood the basic principles of epidemiology better than anyone else, and thus warned His children accordingly.)

I'm not at all surprised. As a toxicologist, I have a much better perspective on the relative risks of everyday living. And one thing that jumps out is how modern medicine has greatly reduced the capriciousness of Nature.

Never before in human history has the average person had the ability to determine how long and well he lives. In the industrialized world, and especially in the United States, a person can pretty much guarantee that he will live to his 80's simply by the choices he makes.

Vaccines have eliminated much of the deadly epidemics that cut down millions yearly. Antibiotics have turned life-threatening infections into manageable inconveniences. Modern agriculture, combined with an expanding free market, have made starvation and malnutrition a thing of the past. Pesticides and window screens have eliminated malaria in the US.

Nature has been replaced as the main cause of human death. Most premature deaths in the US today are due to excess and poor choices. Simply put, we are in control of own physical destiny.

So what is the key to a long life? Well, what did your Grandma tell you to do?

Let's see. Eat your vegetables. Wash your hands. Don't smoke. Don't drink too much. Go to church. Wear your seatbelt. Go outside and play.

And (as the above article confirms) Find a nice girl, get married, and settle down.

Once again, modern science confirms the old adage: Grandma is always right.

On this day in military 1945 and 1968

On this day in military history….in 1945. The German cruise ship Wilhelm Gustloff is sunk off Gdansk (Danzig), Poland. The Wilhelm Gustloff was a German cruise ship that was evacuating German civilians and troops from the advancing Russian Army. The ship set sail from Gotenhafen (now Gdynia, Poland) and was torpedoed by a Russian submarine somewhere between Gdansk and the Danish island of Bornholm. The ship was built to hold 2,000 people, but official records state that there were 6,050 people on board when the ship was torpedoed and sank in less than 90 minutes. However, because many were able to sneak on-board the ship unaccounted (to escape the Russians); there are accounts that there were as many as 10,000 people on board. Whatever the number, only 1,239 people were saved when the ship sank making this the worse maritime disaster in history.

On this day in military history….in 1968. The North Vietnamese launch the Tet Offensive. The Tet Offensive involved attacks in every major city in South Vietnam and against the US firebase at Khe Sahn and the purpose was to stimulate a popular uprising against the South Vietnamese government. Of all the attacks, only the attacks against Khe Sahn, Hue City and Saigon had any visibility or success. The attacks against Khe Sahn, which had already been surrounded, did not start until February and were repulsed using coordinated air strikes and artillery barrages. Hue City was overrun by the North Vietnamese and numerous civilians were massacred by the invading North Vietnamese. The town was retaken by US Marines and ARVN troops after about a month of house-to-house fighting. Saigon was attacked and both Tan Son Nhut and Bien Hoa airbases were attacked and suffered damage. The US embassy was also attacked, but the attack was repulsed.

The NLF and North Vietnamese Army suffered around 95,000 casualties with no military success. The US and ARVN dead totaled around 6,000. However, thanks to the MSM, they portrayed the Tet Offensive as a crushing US defeat to the US public. This helped to turn the US public against the war in Vietnam and hastened the US’ desire to leave Vietnam as soon as possible. Doesn’t it sound like the MSM is operating off the Tet Offensive page in their Mis-information Playbook?

A tit-bit of information: The famous quote, "it became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it” (sounds like it came straight from the mouth of John Kerry) was a product of the Tet Offensive.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The cat's out of the bag

Oops. Whiny Uber-liberal Utah State Representative David Litvack (D, natch) has made a big boo-boo. In this Deseret News article today he slipped and said:

Rep. David Litvack, D-Salt Lake, who is sponsoring hate crimes legislation, said even though it doesn't qualify as a hate crime, what happened in Sandy is an example of why such legislation is needed.

"It will not directly address that issue," he said. "It does send that message that hate is not a community value."

So, almost everyone in the article agrees that even though what has been done is protected Free Speech, the legislation is "needed" because it "send[s] a message that hate is not a community value".

And what kind of "message" do you intend for this law to send, Rep. Litvak? That if you have an opinion that is unpopular or offensive, you should be investigated by the police? That if you offend a member of a minority group, you should be prosecuted? That debate on some issues is not allowed because it might "promote" hate?

If what happened in this article is not a hate crime, then why are you seeking to "send a message"?

The truth is, the offended black lady in the article is far more intellectually honest than slippery ol' Litvak. She wants the person arrested precisely because she wants him silenced. Free speech be damned. And as an aside, is simply denigrating a Martin Luther King speech now considered to be racism?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Hate crimes laws have one purpose, and one purpose only: To stigmatize and marginalize certain points of view, with the ultimate goal of criminalizing them. Hate Crimes Laws are antithetical to Free Speech.

You can have free expression, or you can "prevent hate". You can't do both.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Gee, I guess Gitmo isn't that bad after all

In what can only be described as something straight from the pages of Playboy, we now find out that Muslim prisonners were "tortured" at Gitmo by being interrogated by "prostitutes and lap-dancers". As was pointed out by Larry the Liberal, this sounds like something from his brother's batchelor party.

I'm sure that revelations like these will cause many more young, disaffected Muslim men to join Al-Qaeda, in the hopes that, they too can be captured and "tortured" ("Oh Yes! Torture me! I've been a BAD terrorist!"). Certain segments of the Hollywood movie industry (porn films) will want to do a "documentary" on the "abuses" of Gitmo so that the public can be "informed" on just what goes on in this "hell hole". Larry the Liberal has reported that former President Clinton and Senator Kennedy are already planning a top-secret, "fact-finding" mission.

When I was in the Marine Corps, we were trained to withstand various torture techniques (OK, we weren't, but it sounds good), but I doubt that even I, the Great El-ahrairah could hold out against torture techniques involving beautiful women, bras, thongs, mini-skirts and free lap dances ("OK, I'll give you five hours to stop that before I reveal the secret weapons stash, you infidel harlot!"). This kind of reminds me of the Castle Anthrax, evil Zoot and Sir Galahad The Chaste. How 'bout you Cap'n? See any parallels?

On this day in military 1871 (French Defeat Edition)

On this day in military history….in 1871. Paris surrenders to the Prussians and ends the Franco-Prussian War. The war began over the possible accession of a German candidate to the Spanish throne. Napoleon III was opposed to this and issued an ultimatum to the King of Prussian, who told him to mind his own business. Unfortunately for the French, the Chancellor of Prussia was Otto “Blood and Iron” von Bismarck who ended up publishing the negotiations between the King of Prussia and the French. Airing French “dirty laundry” in public outraged Napoleon III so much, that in a fit of anger, he declared war on Prussia on July 19, 1870.

The French struck first by capturing Saarbrücken, but after that, it was all down hill for the French. The Prussians handed the French defeat after crushing defeat at the Battles of Wissembourg, Spicheren, Worth/Fröschweiler, Mars-la-Tour, Gravelotte, and Sedan (where Napoleon II was captured) and the Sieges of Metz and Paris. In all, the war lasted six months.

The aftermath of the war was that France was forced to become a republic (loss of king), Germany was united under the Prussian crown and the Papal States were seized by Italy (thereby uniting Italy) when they lost their French protection. France had to surrender the region of Alsace-Lorraine to the Germans and pay a war indemnity of 5000 million francs. So now we know why the French are so quick to surrender to the Germans. It’s habit-forming.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

On this day in military 1973 and 1977 (Ignoble Defeats Edition).

On this day in military history….in 1973. The United States and North Vietnam sign the Paris Peace Accords. After years of supporting the South Vietnamese government, the United States decided to “cut and run” and signed the Paris Peace Accords. The North Vietnamese agreed to not use military force to re-unify the country and that they would turn over all American POWs held in captivity. The North Vietnamese didn’t uphold the first agreement and whether they upheld the second is a subject of debate. Ever wonder why ignoble military defeats always have something to do with the French?

On this day in military history….in 1977. President Jimmy Carter pardons most Vietnam draft “dodgers”. To this day, we are still paying for the idiotic decisions he made during his four-years of ineptitude.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Another example of Publik Skool idiocy.

From Alphecca, I got this latest example of school administrator stupidity.

Felony arrests for drawing stick figures that scare another child? What kind of Principal would do such an idiotic thing? What happened to the concept of criminal intent? Are all kids now considered to be adults? And what kind of cop would arrest elementary school kids for drawing mean pictures?

In order to better keep up with the idiocy produced by our hyperlegalized system of Socialized Education, I am adding Zero Intelligence and to The Warren's blogroll.

Go and read. Read the whole thing.


On this day in military 1945

On this day in military history….in 1945. The Soviets enter Auschwitz, Poland. After having “libertated” Warsaw and Krakow, they advanced towards Auschwitz. Before the Soviets got there, the Gestapo tried to cover up their crimes by destroying the crematoriums and shooting sick prisoners. When the Soviets arrived, they found about 650 corpses and 7,000 starving survivors. It is events like this that make the on-the-spot shooting of German concentration camp guards seem like the normal thing to do.

On this day in military history….in 1945. Lt. Audie Murphy is wounded during the action where he earned the Medal of Honor. Audie Murphy was the United States most decorated soldier during World War II. After being rejected by the Marines because he was too short (5’5” tall), he joined the US Army. He served three years of active duty and rose from the rank of Private to Staff Sergeant and finally to 2nd Lieutenant thru a battlefield commission. He was wounded three times, fought in nine major campaigns from Italy to France and Germany and was credited with killing 240 Germans. He won 37 medals and decorations including the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Start, the Legion of Merit and the Croix de Guerre.

He won the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle of the Colmar Pocket in France. His company was attacked by six German tanks with supporting infantry. He ordered his men into the forest for cover, but stayed forward to call in artillery on the advancing Germans. During the fighting, he climbed atop a burning tank destroyer and used the tank destroyer’s .50 caliber machine gun against the advancing German infantry and killed or wounded 50 of them.

After the war, he went on to become an actor and a country music songwriter. His life was immortalized in the film, To Hell and Back. Because of his wartime experiences, he suffered from post-tramatic stress syndrome, insomnia and depression. He died in a plane crash in 1971 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetary.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I've heard all this before.

See if you can guess what year I'm talking about.

A Republican President that everyone on the Left thinks is stupid and incompetent.

Deep American military involvement in a confrontation with an evil totalitarian ideology.

America seen as a warmonger by the "majority" of people in the world.

The Educated and Wise telling us that we should not antagonize our enemies.

Any guesses?

If you said 2005, you must have read this article in today's Deseret News.

But I was talking about 1985, President Ronald Reagan, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War.

And back then, just as now, there were polls that "showed" the people of Russia and Eastern Europe were afraid of America. There were Pointy Heads from universities and think tanks that told us the Cold War was making things worse for us. And there were strident calls for us to unilaterally disarm so that we wouldn't "antagonize" our enemies.

The liberals never learn. Or give up. For example, a professor who does a poll in the undemocratic countries of the Middle East, and gets a majority who say that Iraq is less democratic than before the US invasion and thinks this is an accurate portrayal of public sentiment, is either completely delusional or blatantly pushing propaganda. I know which answer I'd choose.

I've heard and seen all this before. America is evil, America is a warmonger, America should stay out of the affairs of the world's dictatorships. They said the same things about us 20 years ago, in some cases just weeks before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

And guess what. President Reagan knew the truth. And that Truth set Eastern Europe free.

Just as it will in the Middle East.

Where are all the boys?

Saw this article in the Deseret News today. Look at the pictures accompanying the article.

See anything unusual about them?

Look harder.

There are no boys in the pictures.

Zero. Zilch. Zip. Nada.

Admittedly, there may be a few boys in the class. But from the picture and the article, it would appear that they are few indeed when compared to the girls.

Now if this situation was reversed, and only boys were pictured and girls were absent, there would be a whole Einsatzgruppen of strident feminist harpies descending on the Davis School Board right about now, demanding that the class be made more "girl friendly". The School Board and the Davis High faculty would then turn the high school upside down to make sure at least one girl enrolled in the class.

But I bet no one would care if there weren't any boys in the class.

This is another reason why I chose to homeschool my son. Contrary to feminist propaganda, the Publik Skools are already very "girl friendly". And they got that way by shortchanging the boys.

If you have a son in the Publik Skools, I would recommend you get him out of there as fast as you can. While there is still time.

No one there really gives a damn about him.

Like, uh, this is sooo Totally FRICKIN' FUNNY!

At Stormy Dragon I found this.

I think we all know someone who thinks like this.

Il Duce and anti-Semitism

Here's an interesting post from the Capitain's Quarters. It has to do with a new book from an Italian historian stating that Mussolini was a bit more anti-Semitic than he lead others to believe. As the resident Italian Football Expert, I guess I'll throw my two cents into the debate.

The prevailing wisdom up now has been that Mussolini and the Italian people went along with Hitler's persecution of the Jews just to curry favor with the Nazis. They were not active participants (unlike the French and Germans) and only did what they actually did under duress. According to the historian, correspondence between Mussolini and the Fascists from the Republic of Salo (the area of northern Italy where Mussolini fled to after the surrender of Italy) suggest a pact where the fascists would transfer Jews to the Germans and eventual death in the camps.

Since I'm not Jewish, I can't really be a complete judge of anti-semitism, but as far as I have seen and heard, I have yet to encounter any here in Italy. As in every culture, I am sure that anti-semitism exists in Italy, but it seems that it's only limited to small groups of radicals. If this is not the case, Italians hide their anti-semitism very, very well. I hear more talk against the Arabs and Moroccans than anything else. I tend to think that the historian's conclusions are not correct and that the prevailing wisdom is still what everyone up to now has always believed, that the Italians were not active participants in the Holocaust. More research may prove otherwise, but I tend to think not.

On this day in military 1995

On this day in military history….in 1995. In what could be the plot for a Hollywood movie, a missile carrying scientific instruments from Spitzbergen, Norway almost caused a nuclear “Armageddon”. Russian early-warning defense radars detected the unexpected launch and determined that the missile would impact Moscow. Russian President Yeltsin was informed of the missile launch and the nuclear command systems were “switched” to combat mode. The famous “nuclear suitcases” were activated for the first time in history. Five minutes after launch, the Russians determined that the missile’s impact point would be outside of Russia’s borders. After three more minutes, President Yeltsin was informed that the launch was not part of a surprise Western nuclear strike. These conclusions came minutes before a Russian nuclear response would have been ordered based on “launch-on-warning” protocols. It was revealed later that nine days previously, Norway had notified 35 countries, including Russia, about the planned missile launch. The Russian Defense Ministry had received the warning, but had neglected to inform the personnel of the early-warning command center of the planned launch. Lucky for the world, the Russians were able to sort things out before they launched. Don’t you feel safer now?

Monday, January 24, 2005

It's good to be the king

A post from the StrategyPage about how infantry is the "top dog" in the Pentagon money chain. Being a former Marine "grunt", I find this very interesting since the article calls infantry fighting a "complex business". When I joined the military, everyone wanted a "hi-tech" job, but I became a grunt because the only Marine unit in Utah was a grunt unit. Being a grunt in the military was considered something that you did if you were not qualified (read: smart enough) for anything else. Unfortunately, after being a grunt for a while, I realized that although you do not need the brains to understand how a radar works or how an airplane flies, you still need the brains to do your job, and do it well under lots and lots of intense pressure. It's one thing to be able to repair a radio or fly an airplane while you have three square meals a day and 8 hours of sleep every night, but it's a completely different matter to be able to give the right coordinates over the radio to call in artillery on an enemy position, while trying to keep from being shot and also to keep from dropping rounds on your own troops. Oh yes, by the way, it's night, you haven't slept in 26 hours, you are cold and hungry and rain is coming down like the start of Noah's 40-day/40-night flood.

During the Cold War and after the Kosovo "War", the Air Farce thought that they could win wars all by themselves. During the Cold War, the AF planned to drop a few nukes and Bingo! Game Over! During Kosovo, the Army had to standby on the sidelines while the AF bombed the Serbs into submission, more or less. As a result, the AF thought that future wars would be won by air power, and only by air power. The Pentagon might as well start taking the money from the Army and the Navy and start funneling the money to AF for more fighter planes. But, like we used to say in the Marines, "Before you can land on the ground, you need to take the ground.", we can now see that Kosovo was an aberration. Hi-tech airplanes flying overhead in Afghanistan and Iraq do nothing to stop the terrorists attacks without a grunt telling them where to drop the bombs. It's also the grunts going in and "kickin' ass and takin' names" that's winning the war. The AF was originally conceived to support the Army (the grunts), but over the years, they have forgotten that fact. It's nice when world events happen which slap the AF back into reality.

A despicable anniversary

32 years ago today, the Supreme Court "found" that the right to abortion was also included in the Bill of Rights, just like the right to bear arms and the freedom of religion. Since that day, millions of unborn children have been killed by their mothers. But, now 32 years later, it looks like the tide may be turning. Many have tried to explain why and the Great El-ahrairah will try to give his thoughts on the subject.

First of all, I do not support abortion, except for the circumstances of incest, rape or health of the mother. For me, abortion is the taking of innocent life and should be outlawed and vigorously enforced in the same way that the loony left want to outlaw and enforce violence against animals, clear cutting forests and using guns to defend yourself.

Many polls have shown that the support for abortion in the US is erroding. More and more people are saying that they no longer feel that abortion should be free and legal and that the practice should be strictly controlled or even outlawed. There are two main reasons for this, 1) the practice of abortion and 2) technology.

1. The practice of abortion. This can be thought of as an example of a population crash when a population is not able to replace itself or grow. When Roe v. Wade was upheld, abortion was strictly controlled and regulated in the US. After Roe v. Wade, women were free to have abortions in the US and as such, many did just that. This had the effect of greatly reducing the amount of supporters of abortion. As each woman (who supported abortion) had an abortion, the unborn child that she was carrying (which she could have raised to be an abortion supporter) was killed, along with any future abortion supporters. The net effect was that the number of abortion supporters had a negative population growth. On the other hand, the population of abortion opponents did not have abortion, and their children were able to grow up and have children, whose children had children and so forth. The net effect was that the number of abortion opponents had a positive population growth. Fast forward to 32 years later and it can be seen to the causal observer that as one population grows and the other declines, there will be more abortion opponents than abortion supporters after a number of years and we are seeing that today. Most abortion supporters are from blue states and do not attend church on a regular basis and most abortion opponents are from red states and attend church on a regular basis. Comparing the 2004 election to the 2000 election, it can be seen that the blue states from 2000 became more "red" and the red states from the 2000 election became more "red" also. Many on the loony left and MSM put down this theory as "wishful thinking", but it does somewhat explain why abortion is loosing support in the US.

2) Technology. When the Supreme Court legalized the killing of unborn children, we did not have the ability to keep a child alive outside the womb that we do now. Back then, if a child was born too many month premature, the child died. We also did not have the ability that we do today to look unside the womb and see the child using ultrasound. Today, using technology, children that are born after 25 weeks (6 months) premature are regularly kept and alive and go home with their parents. Using ultrasound, we can actually see at what point the unborn child starts to develop fingers and toes and facial features. People can see that it is ludicrous to say that before a certain time during the pregnancy, abortion is legal, but one second after that date, it is illegal. Who decides when that time during the pregnancy arrives? With the advance of technology, we are pushing the limits of when actually an unborn child can be born premature and still live. Drawing a line and stating that abortion is legal when done before this week in the pregnancy has no meaning when we are keeping alive premature babies outside of the womb who are not even as old as the abortion time limit.

For these two reasons, the death knell of abortion is sounding in the US. I do not know when it will happen, but it is only a matter of time. Hopefully, it will happen during the next four years, the sooner the better, if not for out society, for the unborn children who are killed every year by their mothers.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

On this day in military 1968

On this day in military 1968. The North Koreans seize the US spy ship Pueblo. The Pueblo was off the coast of North Korea gathering intelligence when it was seized. In a precursor to the ineptitude shown by President Jimmy Cah-tah, President Johnson decided that negotiating for the release of the crew was better than using any military force. As a result, the crew spent almost a year being tortured in captivity until the captain signed a "confession" indicating that the ship was spying on North Korea prior to its capture (duh!). The Johnson administration really didn't do anything to get the crew out of captivity and this, along with the Tet offensive and the ongoing war in Vietnam, lead to the Democratic defeat during the next election cycle.

Who's more desperate: Iraqi rebels, or the MainStreamMedia?

I read in the Sunday paper this piece of political propaganda masquerading as "analysis" by Knight Ridder News. It is apparent to me that the MSM are getting so desperate to create a negative public impression of Iraq they are willing to say or do anything, no matter how silly or implausible.

I don't have the time to fisk the article in full, so let's apply the logic behind this "analysis" to the last year of World War II. During 1945, the US suffered more casualties in the Pacific than all the previous years combined. More Marines died in the invasion of Iwo Jima than at any other battle in their long and storied history. Okinawa was the bloodiest battle the US fought during the war; the fierceness of the Japanese resistance, combined with the unrelenting Kamakaze attacks were what helped persuade President Truman to drop the bomb instead of invade Japan.

Yet would anyone back then have said that the increasing violence of the Japanese in 1945 showed that the US was "losing ground"? Would anyone have suggested that the Japanese were becoming "more effective" because their Kamakaze attacks were so devastating? Would anyone in their right mind have even thought that the increasing numbers of US casualties meant that we were destined to fail?

Well, yes, Tokyo Rose would have, but she was a propagandist.

Kinda like Knight Ridder.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Backlash is still on hold

Thanks to judges who understand the Constitution (or are at least politically savvy enough to accurately gauge public sentiment) the massive anti-gay backlash I have consistently predicted is still on hold.

Captain Holly has always asserted that the issue of Gay Marriage will be the Lavender Lobby's (and possibly the Democrat Party's) political Waterloo. Aside from the Lamda Legal Foundation, few pundits think that using the courts to force a controversial redefinition of marriage on a reluctant public is a good idea. Yet the gay lawyers press ahead, confident that a sympathetic judge will rule in their favor and solve the issue once and for all.

If or when that does happen, it will be victory similar to the Japanese victory at Pearl Harbor. In case you have forgotten, the Japanese decimated the US Pacific battle fleet at the cost of approximately 30 aircraft and 60 men. Tactically, it was one of the most one-sided victories in history. Strategically, it was the beginning of the end for the Japanese. In less than 4 years, Japan would lie in ruins, crushed by the overwhelming might of an outraged America. Japanese Naval commandant Isoruku Yamamoto recognized this from the beginning. When told of the victory, he stated "I fear all that we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve."

The anti-gay backlash is still on hold. All it will take to trigger it will be a federal judge overturning the Defense of Marriage Act. Considering that a 4-3 state Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in Massachusetts was the main reason voters in 13 other states overwhelmingly approved anti-gay marriage amendments, the reaction to a decision that overturns the DOMA will be spectacular, indeed.

Columbine, anyone?

Michael Moore obviously understands the defensive value of handguns. Or at least his bodyguard does. (link via the Puppy Blender)

Not surprising. Not at all. Liberal elites, who worship power above all else, instinctively grasp the power of guns. That is why so many are gun owners themselves. That is also why they seek to prevent the Proletariat from owning them.

As the saying goes, it's not about guns. It's about control.

UPDATE: There has been a new development in the story. Go here for details (via Insty).

Obviously, this is no longer a story about Michael Moore's hypocrisy. It is now a story about idiotic gun laws in New York City; specifically, how someone trying to obey Federal law gets nicked for a technical violation of a local law. Of course, this is how NYC gun laws were intended to work; in the Big Apple, preventing crime is secondary to harassing honest citizens.

Geek and Smallest Minority have more details.

On this day in military 1942 and 1981

On this day in military history….in 1942. Nazi leaders meet in Wannsee, a suburb of Berlin, to discuss their “final solution” to the Jewish question. The Wannsee Conference will go down in history where the decision was made to start the systematic extermination of the Jewish people. Many proposals were put forward, including sterilization, deportation and simply working the prisoners to death in concentration camps, but the “final solution” came down to using poisonous gas. It was the most efficient manner that was thought off to kill large numbers of people. Nothing like German efficiency when it comes to killing people. To this day, there are still people who still believe that the murders who thought up the “final solution” should have only been imprisoned and not executed. People who think like this have no respect for human life.

On this day in military history….in 1981. The Iranian Hostage Crisis ends when the Iran releases the 52 American hostages just minutes after Ronald Reagan is swore in as the 40th president of the United States. The Iranian Hostage crisis lasted 444 days. It came about after Iranian students seized the American embassy in Tehran to protest the US allowing the Shah of Iran to travel to New York for medical treatment. Our then current president, Jimmy Cah-tah (can you say “inept”?), instead of using the American military to force their release, decided to negotiate (isn’t the way to hell paved by negotiations?) for their release. Ergo, the crisis lasted for 444 days since there was no “stick” hanging over the heads of the Iranians. The only rescue attempt failed miserably due to President Cah-tah’s delaying the execution of the plan to negotiate. From his comments and speeches, the Iranians knew that Ronald Reagan was an ardent anti-communist and that he was not afraid to use American military power to protect the interests of the United States. The Iranians could see that if they held the hostages when Ronald Reagan was president, there would much less negotiating and much more bomb-dropping (“Nuke their ass, take the gas”), so they saw the “writing on the wall” and released the hostages within minutes of Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.

Why am I not surprised

Remember the flu shot shortage that the Democrats were whipping President Bush with during the election? Well, now we have a flu shot surplus. Not much has been said about this by the MSM, but you know if John "War Hero" Kerry had been elected, the MSM would have been singing the praises of about how he single-handedly saved the country and found the extra flu shots. This is just another example of how Congress in particular blows problems out of proportion. "What, a flu shot shortage? Well, since I'm the distiguished Senator Kickback from the State of Confusion and I'm the secretary to the deputy under-deputy chairperson for the Senate Committee on How to More Efficiently Waste Taxpayer Money and Hand-Wringing, we need to hold televised Senate hearings to assign blame on the Bush Administration. We need to know why this happened, how the Bush Administration allowed this to happen, what are they going to do to make sure that this never, ever happens again and how they are going to compenstate the millions of poor, single, transvestite welfare mothers, who already have been hurt by the Bush tax cuts and who now have to put up with this affront to their human dignity." Yeah, like I have heard said on more than one occasion, "If the opposite of pro is con, is the opposite of progress, Congress?"

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

On this day in military 1983

On this day in military 1983. Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyons" is arrested in Bolivia for crimes against humanity and deported to France. Klaus Barbie was the Nazi Gestapo chief for the city of Lyons in France during World War II. He tortured to death of Jean Moulin, the highest-ranking member of the French resistance captured during World War II. In all, he was responsible for 4,300 murders, the deportation of 7,500 people and the arrest and torture of 14,300 resistance fighters.

After the war, he was employeed by the British and American intelligence services. In 1955, he fled to Bolivia where he was found by Nazi hunters in 1971. However, it wasn't until a new government took over in Bolivia that he was deported to France to stand trial for his crimes. His trial defense was that the Jews and the French were also guilty of the same crimes as the Nazis. In 1987, he was sentenced to life in prison (France's highest punishment) where he died in 1991.

It is easy to see just how much a country values innocent lives when they "award" the sentence of "life in prison" on someone like Klaus Barbie. If they had captured Hitler and put him on trial, they probably would have also sentenced him to life in prison. I guess there is no crime in France that is grave enough for the death sentence.

Monday, January 17, 2005

On this day in military 1746 and 1991

On this day in military 1746. The Jacobite army under Prince Charles ("bonny Prince Charles") defeats the British army of George II at the Battle of Falkirk in Scotland. The Jacobite Rebellion was a military campaign to install the Stuart kings (of Mary, Queen of Scots) to the thrones of both England and Scotland. The Stuarts lost the thrones when King James VII of Scotland and II of England (the same person) was deposed and the thrones taken by his daughter Mary II and her husband William of Orange. The Jacobites were also nominally supported in their rebellion by the French/Catholics. The battle could be described as a melee which took place in a rainstorm and also at almost nightfall, which aided the Jacobite army (which was in reality a militia) against the British army. The British were nominally defeated and the Jacobites exulted in their unlikely victory.

On this day in military 1991. The United States planes, along with other member of the Coalition, strike targets in Iraq and Kuwait as the Persian Gulf War begins. In August 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait because he either 1) thought he could or 2) didn't have anything else better to do. President Bush Sr. went to the UN and organized a coalition to remove Saddam from power, but only after covering his bases with the UN Security Council. The main reason for this was not to get UN backing for the removal of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, but to give the US and it's coalition allies time to build up its troops in Saudi Arabia. Finally, when the point was reached where there were enough forces in theatre to do the job, the US and its coalition started "softening up" the Iraqi forces using air power. It would be another month until the ground forces started the liberation of Kuwait.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Death without honors

Many regular readers of The Warren (are there any?) will known that, due to my job, I spent the summer of 2003 in Iraq and I am scheduled to go back there again this year. Here is an article on what happens when contractors (like myself) die in Iraq.

When I was in Iraq (and Kuwait during the war), I didn't think too much about dieing. The possibility was always there, but it was very, very low. My wife would rather that I not go back, but like I said, my job requires it of me. I'm not worried or scared, but like I told my wife the other day, to me, it's kind of like needing to go to the dentist to get a cavity filled. I know that I have to go and it will probably hurt or in the least, be uncomfortable, but when I'm done, I will be happy that I did it and got it over with. It's just another one of life's inconviences.

Yeah! Let's hear it for the techie-dweebs!

Here us yet another milestone in the never-ending high-school war of techie-dweebs versus the in-(read: popular) crowd. Thanks to the European Space Agency, we now have photos of Titan, the largest of Saturn's moons. I don't know about you, but being a techie-dweeb, this just, to coin a Marine Corps phrase, makes me hard.

The moon might be made of cheese, but the following description of Titan makes me think it is made of something else.

Data beamed back from Titan, one of Saturn's moons, sketched a picture of a pale orange landscape with a spongy surface topped by a thin crust.

It sounds like they landed on a Halloween cake shaped like a pumpkin.

Now instead of just NASA getting all the acolades for inter-planetary research, we have to put up with the snooty Europeans showing off their photos of Titan. "Oh sure, you might have grundels of photos Mars, a planet within spitting distance from earth, but do you have photos of Titan? Anyone can fly less than a year to a planet and get photos, but it takes a REAL MAN to fly to Saturn and get photos of Titan".

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Captain Holly was right, as always

Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm confirms my skepticism about the British Government. (via the NRA)

To put it simply, the British Government will not grant Her Subjects the right to defend themselves because that would give them control over their lives.

And as any totalitarian knows, when the people have control, they have freedom.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Question for El-ahrairah

Could our resident Italian Soccer League expert comment on this? (via Drudge)

(Note: Instead of writing a comment, just update this post)

Update: This is the first that I have heard of this, so either I need to follow soccer more closely or this is just a tempest in a teapot. The act in question happened during the 6th of January derby between AS Roma and SS Lazio, both based in Rome. Before passing judgement, we need to remember a few points:

1. SS Lazio was the fascist soccer team during the time of Mussolini.

2. The game wasn't just any old game. It was a derby between two sides that loathe/hate/despise each other. It had the same significance for Italian fans as the Glasgow Celtic/Glasgow Rangers derby in Scotland. Think more along the lines of "Soccer isn't life and death. It's more important than that."

3. Mussolini's granddaughter, Alessandra (who is a real Italian hottie and for all you porn downloaders out there, yes there are nude pictures of her on the 'net) was greatly pleased by the gesture.

4. The gesture looks kind of like a Nazi "Sieg Heil" salute to me, but if this gesture is called the "Roman" salute, to me, that means that it was around before the fascists. I coud be wrong, but I can imagine Caesar's legions doing the same thing and saying "Ave Caesar!"

5. It's rather troubling that even gestures can be outlawed. Since we are proceeding down the proverbial "slippery slope", what comes next? Words and thoughts?

Having said all that, I would think that the controversy is just a "tempest in a teapot". This was during THE derby of Italian soccer. Lazio has been on hard times as of late and they won the game 3-1. Di Canio was probably just celebrating and being born a Lazio fan, he probably knows all the history of the team. He was just "saluting the fans" and that is all. Whether he should be disciplined for it is another matter. Luckily for the US, we have freedom of expression (as long as it is acceptable to the liberal Blue states). Being disciplined because somebody does a former fascist saulte is assinine. Like I said, first comes gestures, next words (no speaking German, the language of Hitler) and thoughts (No more library cards) and Bingo! We have come full circle back to fascism. Sounds kind of a liberal utopia to me. Outlawing prayer and burning bibles is a liberal wet dream.

IowaHawk does it again

Here's the latest in the Inspector Dan Rather series.

Like the first excerpt, it's hilarious.

On this day in military 1943

On this day in military history….in 1943. The Russians finally penetrate the siege of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). When the Germans invaded Russian in June, 1941, Leningrad was one of the most important objectives for the subjugation of Russia, right behind Moscow. When the Germans failed in their attempt to take the city, they decided to lay siege to the city and wait the Russians out. After the Russians penetrated the siege, they were able to supply the city by driving supplies by truck was over frozen Lake Ladoga. The siege lasted from 8 September 1941 to 18 January 1944 and around 1.1 million citizens died. Because of the siege, Leningrad was the first city to be awarded the title Hero City for outstanding heroism during the Great Patriotic War.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The wait is over

The wait is over and the CBS News Memogate report has been released. Many Americans doubted that the report would be anything other than a complete whitewash, but from what I have read here and here, it doesn't seem to be all that much of one. Of course, Gunga Dan escaped without even a handslap, but firing four employees was more than I thought that CBS would do.

I guess the blogosphere feels big-time vindicated, but all I have to say is although this feels good now for Bush supporters, as we used to say in the Marine Corps, what goes around comes around. Hopefully, the Republicans have learned from this that there are many bloggers out there that will only be too happy to fact check anything that they say, so they better be telling the truth the first time. Anyway, the best report on this whole controversy goes to Liberal Larry. It wouldn't be so funny if there weren't actual liberals who think this way (I'm sure the Cap'n has met a few) and my wife's cousins who actually think like this. Clue Bat anyone?

On this day in military 49 B.C.

On this day in military history….in 49 B.C. Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon and begins the Roman Civil War. Before crossing the Rubicon, Julius Caesar had just spent the last 10 years subjugating Gaul (France) and invading Britain, and due to these victories, he was immensely popular in Rome. His popularity was a threat to the Roman Senate and it's leader, Pompey the Great, so Caesar was ordered to return to Rome and disband his armies, since his term as Proconsul had expired.

There was an ancient law stating that for any general to cross the Rubicon (a small river close to present day Rimini, Italy) with a standing army was considered treason. Whether Caesar feared that going to Rome without his army would result in his death or because he thought that he should be emperor due to his military victories, whatever the reason, he crossed the Rubicon with his famous Tenth Legion and plunged Roman into Civil War. As he crossed the river, history tells us that he uttered the Latin words, “Alea iacta est” (“The die is cast”). For the next four years, from Italy, to Greece, to Egypt, to Africa and finally to the final battle at Munda, near Osuna in southern Spain, Caesar and Pompey (or his sons), fought each other across the entire Mediterranean basin. For the Romans, this was the first World War.

Our Lavender President?

For those who are consumed by the CBS Memogate controversy, here's another case of questionable documents being used to smear a Republican wartime president. In this instance, it's a new book that asserts that Abraham Lincoln was gay.

Like the memos that "revealed" George Bush pulled strings to get out of the Texas ANG, this "new" information is highly questionable. It eluded generations of historians until now and is being pushed, as were the CBS memos, by a group of people who are, ahem, rather biased in their views on homosexuality.

Leading the charge of the Lavender Brigade is our old friend, Andrew Sulllivan, who airily dismisses any naysayers as homophobes. "The data it collects are arresting to anyone not deeply resistant to the idea of Lincoln's primarily homosexual orientation," he smugly asserts, failing to recognize the irony. From what I've read, the overwhelming majority of historians would say that it's the gay lobby who are seeing buggery where none exists.

The most credible of these historians is the book's former co-author, Philip Nobile. Nobile refused to participate in the research and publishing of the book because the late author, C. A. Tripp, refused to even consider any evidence that Lincoln wasn't gay. He has an excellent rebuttal in the Weekly Standard. In it we find that not only the author and publisher of the book ignored ample historical evidence of Lincoln's heterosexuality, they actually plagarized Nobile's work in the first chapter.

And Sullivan's rebuttal? He resorts to name-calling. I haven't read his New Republic article -- largely because I don't want to register -- but others have, and are disappointed by his attitudes. Instapundit expresses his apathy, a view likely shared by a majority of Americans, but Sullivan can even find fault with that, openly despairing that his pro-gay allies are failing to jump on the Pride Day Revisionist Bandwagon.

Which reveals the real purpose of this book. In his Weekly Standard article, Nobile reveals a conversation he had last October with noted gay activist Larry Kramer. Kramer allegedly said to him that gays "need(ed) a role model". In other words, the Gay Lobby is desperately trying to make Lincoln gay in order to make homosexuality appear more normal and thus discredit his political heirs in the Republican Party today.

As a gun owner, I've seen this before. Just a few years ago, historian Michael Bellesiles came out with a "thoroughly researched" book that "conclusively demonstrated" the jaw-dropping thesis that guns were not very common in America before the Nefarious NRA came along. Of course, eventually the house of cards came tumbling down, thanks to the work of bloggers like Clayton Cramer and many others. But even today, there are still those in the Gun Control lobby who fervently believe that Bellesiles' work is legitimate.

When you really want to believe something, no amount of facts will dissuade you. The Gay Lobby has unshakeable faith in Tripp's book. Eventually it will be proved wrong, but that still won't make any difference. According to them, Lincoln was gay, and they hope if they say it often enough people will begin to believe it.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Provide the voluntary information, or else!

Just got back from a mandatory work meeting, called at the last minute.

What was the reason for pulling everyone away from their tasks? Apparently the Bean Counters at our personnel department don't know everyone's race information.

So we were told to fill out the new information sheet and include the "voluntary" information about race and veteran's status. I did, and when I turned it in to the personnel rep she got heartburn that I had failed to indicate my race.

Since when did this information become mandatory? And what right to they have to demand it, anyway?

On this day in military 1072

On this day in military history….in 1072. The Norman, Robert Guiscard de Hauteville, Duc of Apulia, and his brother Roger, take Palermo on the island of Sicily. The Arabs controlled Sicily since 965. In 1060, the Normans launched a crusade against the Arabs in Sicily and Robert Guiscard took Palermo, the capital of Arab Sicily, in 1072. Because of the Norman conquest of Sicily, Norman influence can be seen in the architecture of numerous churches and castles located on the island. It is said that there are more Norman castles on the island of Sicily than in Normandy, so if your basic, square-ish, rock castle with a turret on each corner is what “floats your boat”, then take a trip to Sicily. You will quickly get your fill.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

On this day in military 1815

On this day in military history….in 1815. The Americans, under Andrew Jackson, defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans. The War of 1812 was ended on 24 December 1814 with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, but due to the slowness of news, the signing of the treaty had not reached the British and American forces at New Orleans. The battle was fought at the Chalmette plantation outside of New Orleans. The British forces were marching on New Orleans and the Americans took up blocking positions with the Mississippi river on the right and an impassable swamp on the left, thereby forcing the British to assault their positions from the front. There was a canal that stretched across the American front and behind this canal, the Americans had built mud walls and were well dug in. The British would be required to stand out in the open and fire at the Americans who would be behind fortifications that the British could not assault without the aid of ladders.

To the casual observer, a frontal assault on the American position would be a disaster, so in proper British fashion, the commander, General Parkenham ordered a frontal assault. Not only did the British assault the American positions without the aid of ladders to scale the American defenses, but during the battle, the 93rd British Highlanders decided that it would be advantageous to assault diagonally across the battlefield, thereby exposing themselves to flanking fire. The ensuing battle cost the British 700 dead and 2000 wounded or taken prisoner to only 13 dead and 58 wounded for the Americans. The British also lost many generals, including General Parkenham who was mortally wounded during the battle and the idiot general, General Keane, who ordered the 93rd Highlanders to assault across the battlefield, was also killed.

Friday, January 07, 2005

On this day in military 1558

On this day in military 1558. The French retake the port of Calais from the English. English King Edward III captured Calais from the French in 1347 during the Hundred Years War after a siege that lasted almost a year. After capturing the city, he drove out most of the French and re-settled them with people from England in order to make Calais an English gateway to France. Calais was so prosperous from the tin, lead, cloth and wool trades that it was considered a part of England and had representives in the English parliment. However, the French didn't ever forget that this was French territory and finally in 1558, the Duke of Guise, Francis 1, succeeded in retaking the city from the English.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

He must be related somehow

From Pravda of Utah (The Salt Lake Tribune) we get this item about seven teenage boys who decided that killing domestic turkeys was too much like eating Lay's potato chips: You can't stop with just one.

They ended up killing one thousand two hundred.

An anonymous tip led Sanpete County Sheriff's Deputy Kenny Kirkham to the seven, four of whom were 18 year-old adults. All are being charged with criminal mischief, a felony, and trespass, a misdemeanor. Let's hope they all have fun in jail and get their sorry irresponsible delinquent teenage asses sued for damages.

And just how did these Model Citizens from Utah County find their way to a Sanpete County turkey farm? Why, they were out "spotlighting" deer and rabbits. While the article doesn't say if they had firearms with them, generally spotlighting involves driving around at night, seeing an animal next to the road, shining a light on it, and shooting it. But even if you don't shoot it's still illegal to spotlight protected wildlife, according to Utah law. So in effect, these boys weren't out skylarking -- they were out committing crimes.

Which makes the following quote from Deputy Kirkham seem all the more unusual. Of the boys, he said:

"It's probably a good group of kids who got together and did something stupid"

No, Deputy. Good kids who do stupid things in groups usually perform minor juvenile hijinks that are relatively harmless. What they don't do is get together to intentionally commit felonies and massive acts of vandalism.

I wonder if Deputy Kirkham knows their families.

He did it again!

Cpl. Wassef-Ali Hassoun is AWOL. Again.

I haven't said much, if anything, about this story since it came out months ago. I had no idea what the facts were, and I've always had a "wait and see" attitude to the case. This in contrast to some here in Utah who saw him as a martyr of American Militaristic Imperialism and others who thought he was an Al-Benedict Arnold.

So I can't really say "I knew he was guilty", but then again, I don't have to apologize for defending him in public, either. But I think it's clear now the Marine Corps knew what they were talking about when they charged him the first time.

He's a s#*tbird, for sure.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I didn't believe Gallup's exit polls, either.

Over at Drudge I found this item about Gallup's most recent polling on gun ownership in America. And as usual, there are alot of questions about the accuracy of the poll.

The numbers of guns and gun owners in the US are exceedingly difficult to determine. There is no Federal system of registration that keeps track of gun owners (at least there shouldn't be; one never knows what goes on at the ATFE) and most states don't have mandatory gun registration, either. So Gallup is relying on the persons they interview to tell them the truth, and then extrapolating the numbers nationwide. And with a controversial and emotional subject like gun ownership, there is bound to be alot of error.

For example, there are plenty of people who own a few guns but think nothing of it. I would categorize these persons as the "historical" or "custodial" type of gun owners. They own one or two guns as heirlooms but do not shoot them, so when Gallup or any other polling company calls they either forget they own them or do not consider themselves to be gun owners. Considering that it was not illegal for servicemen in WWII to bring home captured weapons, there are probably millions of widows and children of the GI generation who have an old Mauser in the attic but do not know about it.

My late father may have been in this category: He owned an old .22 magnum rifle that had been given to him by his brother. Since he hadn't shot it in years, he might not have identified himself as a gun owner had a pollster called and asked him.

Another problem any pollster faces when asking about gun ownership is the stigma that is attached to it in some parts of the country. Some gun owners in urban areas of "Blue" America might not be too comfortable admitting they own a gun, even though it may be perfectly legal for them to do so. Some live in areas where gun ownership is either outright illegal or heavily regulated, and they might be justifiably fearful of falling victim to an undercover sting or being turned into local police by the pollster. Not surprisingly, gun ownership in urban areas and "Blue" states is lower than in "Red" states.

Finally, there is another factor: Gun owners tend to be more protective of their privacy. I know if someone called out of the blue and asked me how many guns I owned, I probably would answer "none" or "None of your damned business". I would have no idea if the person is a bona fide pollster or a burglar checking out my house, and I'm certainly not going to give out any information to make it easier for someone to rob me.

Actually, Gallup's own data support this idea. In the article we read:

From 1959 through 1993, an average of 47% of Americans reported having a gun in their homes. Since that time, household gun ownership has dropped to an average of 40%.

Hmmm. Gun ownership as a percentage of population remained steady until 1993. What happened in 1993? For those who can't remember, 1993 was the year Bill Clinton took office. That was also the year the Branch Davidians were massacred by the ATF/FBI at Waco, as well as the year that the Brady Law came into effect. The year 1993 marked the beginning of an all-out assault by the Gun Control Lobby and their Democrat allies on gun owners. It's no wonder many of them "went underground".

Well, not quite. They resurfaced in 1994, and every two years since then, to vote to keep their guns. If you want an accurate poll on the number of gun owners in America, just look at the 2004 election. There are far more gun owners than Gallup or even the Republican party realizes.

And they vote, too.

UPDATE: Those brave few who read this blog may have noticed this grammatical error in the above post:

Some live in areas where gun ownership is either outright illegal or heavily regulated, and they might be justifiably fearful of falling victim to an undercover sting or being turned into local police by the pollster.

I was going to simply correct it and say nothing, but this mental picture was just too funny:

Pollster: Do you own guns?

Homeowner: Why, yes I do.

Pollster: Okay, you're a local policeman *bing*

Well, at least I thought it was funny....

Monday, January 03, 2005

I'm back

I’m back from my extended vacation over the Christmas holidays. My daughter decided that getting married two days after Christmas would be the perfect way to celebrate her love with her new husband, so as a result, Christmas this year was like another, run-of-the-mill Sunday. That, coupled with a trip to Switzerland to complete the marriage festivities, has kept me from even looking at a computer for the last week. Here are some of my thoughts on various items.

The Tsunami Disaster. It’s kind of hard for me to get all worked up over this since I see photos in the newspapers of foreigners celebrating the new year in Phuket just a few hundreds of meters from destroyed hotels as if there was nothing wrong. I saw a quick report on the idiot box (read: TV) and it showed assorted Indonesian tsunami victims crying “Where is America?” I find it interesting that Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world, celebrated the attacks on the World Trade Center and considers us the “Great Satan” now is begging for us to go there and help them out. I guess we are only the “Great Satan” when things are going good, but the fecal material hits the fan and suddenly, they are out best friends.

The Tsunami Warning System. The US came out smelling like a rose on this one. For once, we did something good without getting blamed.

The Relief Aid. Even though our tsunami warning system worked as it should have, some people just can’t seem to get their hatred out of the US out of their systems, therefore, they are criticizing the US for our “slow” response and “stinginess”. I’m sure when all is said and done, more will be done by the US than the rest of the world to help the tsunami disaster victims.

Pasta. Italians eat pasta for Christmas and New Year’s dinner. If they celebrated Thanksgiving, I’m sure they would also eat pasta. Go figure.

Idiot In-Laws. My wife has a cousin who is your typical George-Bush-is-evil-Kofi-is-a-saint European. For New Year’s Eve, they announced to us that instead of hanging out with the rest of the family, they would be attending a “peace” rally/candlelight vigil. Not wanting to cause problems, I kept my mouth shut, but my wife piped up that they were wasting their time. You go girl!

“I don’t want to cause family problems at this time of year, but…” Ever notice how liberals “don’t want to cause problems” and then proceed to criticize you about your beliefs? My wife’s cousins decided that since I was an American, the holidays were the ideal time to criticize George Bush and America. They were angry that George Bush “wants to take over the UN” and become the “dictator of the world”. I told them that as long as he doesn’t become a dictator in America that would be fine with me.

5000 Military Deserters in Canada. These same sponge-head cousins of my wife told us that they read in one of the Italian papers that 5000 members of the military had “defected” to Canada to escape the Iraqi War. I told them that there was no way that it was true since knowing how much the MSM hates George Bush, this would have been a 24 hour, non-stop news story that would have replaced the tsunami disaster as a headline.

Kofi the Appeaser. I heard on the radio an interview that George Stephanopolous was doing with Kofi the Appeaser. I don’t remember what the program was called, but it should have been called “Softball with George” for all the easy “questions” that he was tossing over to Kofi. Some of the items that stand out:

- George thinks that dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima was a “disaster” in the same league as the tsunami disaster.

- Kofi says that the tsumani reconstruction will probably go on for 5 to 10 years. My first thought was that Kofi needs that much time to make up for all the money he lost when the Oil for Fraud program was shutdown due to the Iraq War.

- Kofi says that although the Oil for Fraud program was plagued with kickbacks and fraud, it actually accomplished its goals of providing food for the Iraqis, so it was essentially good.

- Kofi says that the world can be confident that any money that is given to the UN for the tsunami relief will be distributed efficiently and without fraud. His reasoning was that before the Oil for Fraud program, the UN was able to provide humanitarian relief in other places around the world without any problems, ergo, there is nothing to worry about. My take on this is that these programs were rampant with fraud but that nobody had the “balls” to publicize it. I would trust one of those Nigerian bank scams before I would trust Kofi the Appeaser with of my money.

In closing, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas (belated) and a Happy New Year (also belated).

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

It's 2:47 AM and I can't sleep, so I decided to post my reflections on the year that was, and my New Year's Resolutions.

2004 was quite a year. Not surprisingly, it went by very quickly, due to the fact that we were quite busy from start to finish. Cliff Notes:

January: Normal life.

February: Normal life, but with one big event, the significance of which was not known at the time.

March: Find out that the one big event resulted in a baby girl, due in November. Begin house-hunting.

April: Scrap all the previous plans for fancy landscaping; instead, get the yard into selling condition ASAP.

May: Decide (ok, dragooned by wife) on new house site, start process. Reluctantly put up "For Sale By Owner" sign in yard. Immediately inundated by calls from hungry realtors, eager to sell our house "in two months or less!!"

June: Find out that baby will have increased risk for Down's syndrome and some other German Doctor's Name Syndrome. Hole dug for house.

July: Foundation completed on house. Went on great vacation to Mount St. Helens with son.

August: Paid realtor to get house put on computer listing. House frame goes up.

September: Just hours after terminating our computer listing and hiring a new realtor, we get an offer from someone who found our house on the computer. Sigh.

October: Didn't go antelope hunting as planned. Instead, the month is a blur of packing, closing on our house sale, closing on our house purchase, and then moving before the end of the month. Luckily, my back held out, because my son and I had to do most of the moving by ourselves.

November: Finally in house. Daughter born healthy on 11 November. C-section sidelines the wife for several weeks. Father dies on 20 November. Funeral over Thanksgiving weekend.

December: Mother moves into house on 2nd. Christmas comes and goes without much fanfare.

Thank goodness that's all behind us.

For 2005, I resolve to:

Bag at least 3 peaks
Hike at least once a month
Fish at least once a month
Go shooting at least once a month
Play hockey for at least 12 weeks
Go on a nice winter vacation with wife
Go on a nice anniversary getaway with wife
Take my wife out once a month
Go deer hunting with my son
Have a family activity at least once a month
Go to the Grand Canyon for the family vacation
Exercise more regularly
Keep within our budget

Oh, yes, and try to blog at least once a week.

I feel pretty confident about all of those, especially since I've already scheduled alot of them. It will help that I will have 8 years at my job and will begin getting 4 more hours of vacation a month. I plan on using it all by year's end.

What I resolve NOT to do is sell my house and move. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.