Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Out-of-office message

Due to Thanksgiving and other business I have been in a blogging slump lately. Expect more postings in December.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Pictures of London Moonbats

The Great El-ahrairah just got back from a quick trip to London where the weather was mostly clear, but very cold. You could say that we went there to see the new Harry Potter flick (it was so-so), but I'm not all that into hard-to-follow films about teenage wizards. Anyway, while we were there, I took some photos of some anti-war protest signs outside of Westminster Abbey to show that moonbat-tery is not only an American disease.

Remember, love is the answer.

Oh yes, the old "genocide of Iraq(i) infants" canard. Not like that ever happened when Saddam was in charge, right?

Continuing on with the "murdered children" meme, where would a protest be without the standard "baby killers" line?

And our final example, "You Lie, Kids Die, Bliar" with Blair misspelled to form the word "Liar". Whether the misspelling was intentional or not (anti-war protesters are not always the sharpest pencil in the box), it's an interesting variation of the tried and true "Bush Lied, People Died".

As for the rest of the trip, we saw most of the regular, tourist stuff like the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, a boat trip on the Thames, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, etc. and bought enough cheesy souvenirs to last me for a good, long time. I even got to see the statue of the Hero of Normandy, Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery (now I can die in peace!). One thing is for sure, compared to continental (Italian) drivers, British drivers are much more civilized even though they drive on the wrong side of the road. And although my sainted mother says that we are related to British Royalty, Queen Elizabeth didn't want to talk to me. Rats!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Captain Holly was right again, as usual

It's official: Gasoline is below $2.00 per gallon in Utah.

I blogged about this last month, and in that post I predicted the price would below $2.00 by the end of the year. I even had a friendly bet with a co-worker that we would be paying that much before Christmas.

I shouldn't have been so pessimisstic. Gas prices have fallen even faster than my cheery free-market prediction. We reached that point before Thanksgiving. And here's the proof, from the gas station by my house where I filled up today.

Where do they go from here? Well, I would predict the price will eventually stabilize around $1.75 per gallon in late December or January, and then slowly begin to rise in the spring. Expect to pay an average of $2.25 per gallon next summer.

But then again, I'm assuming that demand will rebound as well. However, if this is truly a 1986-style market correction, and there has been a permanent shift in demand, then we will be paying less than $2.00 per gallon for some time.

Ain't the Free Market great?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Klinton opens mouth, spews Democratic line

Former Molester-in-Chief, Bill "Zipper" Klinton, was in Dubai today and decided to open his pie hole for something other than ramming McDonald's Big Macs down it. While speaking to an assembly of sutdents at the American University of Dubai, he called the invasion of Iraq "a big mistake". Unfortunately, he didn't draw the same conclusions when speaking of his presidency.

Ever notice how the last two Democratic presidents have turned out to be big embarrassments? Just imagine the fun that would ensue if Hillary Klinton was ever elected president. She would be busy being all presidential while her "husband" would be off to, as they say in France, "chercher la femme." Everyday would be "Girls Gone Wild at the White House". Don't laugh. Knowing both Klinton's penchant for money and power and Bill's penchant for sex, I can see them having a pay-per-view service whenever Bill needed to conduct "job interviews" for the White House secretary pool (in the White House pool!).

Win one for the good guys

Thanks to an eleventh-hour agreement, the US will retain control of the Internet. Actually, it was more along the lines of the rest of the world finally realizing that the US would never give up control of the Internet and deciding to act like they got concessions fron the US. As I posted in September, giving up control of the Internet would be a very bad idea for the US. Although getting governments out of the Internet business would probably be a good idea in the long run, this whole situation brings to mind a quote by Sir Winston Churchill. He said that "Democracy is the worse form of government, except for all the rest." We can paraphase that to say "US control of the Internet is the worse form of Internet control, except for all (the EU, the UN, , etc) the rest". Just imagine just how screwed up things would be with government slugs from Brussels or New York in charge. Now that's a nightmare!

In the month of November in military 218 BC.

In the month of November in military history….in 218 BC. Carthaginian forces under Hannibal Barca defeat Roman forces under Publius Cornelius Scipio at the Battle of the Ticinus. In early 218 BC, the Carthaginian general, Hannibal Barca had set out from Spain to invade Italy. Instead of sailing for Italy, he decided to go thru France and over the Alps. After he left Spain, P. Cornelius Scipio (the father of Scipio Africanus, the general who eventually defeated Hannibal at Zama) was sent to Massilia (modern day Marseille) to stop him, but missed preventing him from crossing the Rhone River by a few days. Scipio sailed back to northern Italy to prepare to meet Hannibal when he came down out of the Alps.

As Hannibal marched toward Italy, along the way, he recruited members from the assorted Gaulic tribes who were in a constant state of war with Rome. At this time, it should be remembered that northern Italy (called Cisalpine Gaul by the Romans) was considered the "wild, wild west" as the Gaulic tribes which inhabited the Alps had not yet been completely subjugated by Rome. As a result, Hannibal was able to build up his troop strength from these tribes.

Hannibal had been marching down the Po River Valley after having crossed the Alps close to present-day Turin when his forces met the Roman forces of P. Scipio at the bridge over the Ticinus (Ticino in Italian) River close to present-day Pavia, Italy. Both armies made camp to plan for their next moves. The next day, Hannibal sent out a "scouting" party (more like a "reconnaissance in force") comprised of all his heavy and light cavalry. Scipio sent out a scouting force as well, comprised of cavalry and light infantry ("Velites") armed with javelins. When the two forces met, Hannibal’s heavy cavalry started skirmishing with the Roman cavalry. Hannibal’s lighter, Numidian cavalry attacked the velite line flanks (which quickly collapsed) and caused the Roman forces to retreat back to camp. The Romans eventually retreated back to Placentia (modern-day Piacenza) where they stayed until reinforcements from Rome arrived.

Although both forces only suffered minor casualties, the Carthaginians won the battle. When the Gaulic tribes saw that Hannibal could stand up to the Romans, more and more allied themselves with the Carthaginian side and Hannibal’s forces were soon up to strength. With his forces strong enough to challenge the Romans, Hannibal would soon get his chance the next month at the Battle of the Trebbia.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day

Due to my work, I have been living in Europe for a number of years. During that time, I have been able to visit various battlefields and cemetaries around Europe to honor those who died fighting for freedom. In remembrance of Veteran's Day, here are some photos of those who were sacrificied "upon the altar of freedom".

This photo was taken at the Lorraine American Cemetary outside of the town of St. Avold in France. It is the biggest american World War II cemetary in Europe and contains 10,489 fallen soldiers.

This photo was taken at the Luxembourg American Cemetary outside of Luxembourg City in Luxembourg. It contains 5,076 fallen Americans.

Within the Luxembourg American Cemetary, is the grave of General George S. Patton. It can be argued that thanks to him and his actions, World War II ended much faster. (Don't say that to our British friends. They still think that Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, "The Hero of Normandy", ended the war.)

This photo is from the Normandy American Cemetary in Normandy, France. 9,387 American servicemen are buried there.

Not to forget our Commonwealth Allies, here is a photo from the Commonwealth War Cemetary outside of Catania, Italy. 2,135 Commonwealth soldiers are buried there.

This is a photo of one of the Douamont World War I cemetary outside the town of Verdun in France. The edifice in the background is called the "ossuarie" ("os" means bone in French, so an "ossuarie" is where you dump bones) where the remains of an estimated 300,000 soldiers (French and German) are buried.

The final photo is from a German cemetary not far from the Luxembourg American Cemetary. In american cemetaries, each cross represents one fallen soldier. However, here, one cross represents four fallen German soldiers. The Allies became very adept at the end of the war at killing Germans. Many of the inscriptions on the crosses read "Ein Deutscher Soldat", which means, a german soldier.

I don't know about you, but whenever I visit one of the cemetaries, I reflect about these men who died defending freedom and I have been moved many times to tears. Many were my sainted father's age and they never had the chance to get married, have children and grow old. Like the song by Billy Ray Cyrus says, "All gave some, but some gave all". These men gave their all for us today.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy Birthday United States Marine Corps

Today is the 230th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. As I posted last year, it was formed in 1775. It is always customary to greet all Marines, current and former with "Happy Birthday, Marine". I guess the Cap'n was too busy oogling gas prices to notice, but anyway, "Happy Birthday, Marine!" to the Cap'n.

If anything, I was pessimistic

Just as Captain Holly predicted, gas prices continue their free-fall.

At this rate, I might need to revise my prediction. The wide disparity between prices and the continuing drop means the market isn't anywhere close to the bottom yet. I wouldn't be surprised to see less than $2.00 a gallon by Christmas.

I'll provide photos when it gets there.

Okay, now I'm officially embarassed to be a BYU fan

Moonbattery is not restricted to left-wing campuses.

Brigham Young University physics professor Steven E. Jones has written a paper claiming the twin towers couldn't have been taken down as the result of fires from the plane crashes; it had to have been pre-positioned explosives. While he doesn't specifically say that 9/11 was a Mossad plot, he is eager to point out that those poor peaceful Muslims weren't responsible.

Frickin' idiot. I'm going to have to re-think sending my kids to BYU.

Those PR geniuses at Al-Qaeda strike again

Lessee. Imagine you're the media advisor to a despised international terrorist organization. Which would be the best way to improve your image: Go to the UN and accuse the US of terrorism and war crimes, or blow up hundreds of innocent moderate Arabs?

Al-Qaeda continues to be stuck on stupid. They've already turned themselves into persona non grata in Iraq with their habit of blowing up schoolkids, now they've decided to turn the Jordanians against them. If they keep this up, we won't have to fight them anymore. As soon as Al-Qaeda operatives show up in any Arab country, the locals will kill them.

In fact, this latest attack was so counterproductive and stupid I almost expect some of the Lefty Tinfoil Hat Brigade to suggest that it actually was a product of the Evil Chimpy McBusHitlerburton conspiracy to divert attention from the US elections.

I'd almost bet on it.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Where is De Gaulle when France needs him?

Since the Cap'n already contributed to the blogosphere's schadenfreude over the riots in France, I guess it's now my turn. I wanted to write something earlier, but I either was too busy or lost interest or other bloggers said it better (see Michelle Malkin's site).

I am not surprised that this is finally happening. Many people have talked about how the place was a time bomb waiting to explode. Back in the late 70's during my LDS Mission to France, there were places that the female missionaires were told to avoid for safety reasons. The male missionaries could go to these same places, but we tried to avoid them since you always ran into problems. I guess after 25+ years of simmering, they have decided to boil over. This graphic that I stumbled onto at "Boots and Sabers" shows where the rioting has spread to.

The interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, has publically stated that the rioters were "scum" and the areas should be industrially cleaned out (read: send in the riot police and crack heads), but "Black Jack" Chirac (French nickname "She-She") and prime minister Dominque de Villepin have decided to appease the rioters and throw money at the problem. It remains to be seen if this will cure the problem (highly doubtfull) and not return in later years (a distinct possibility).

From what I read on Yahoo! France, it looks like most of the "rioting" outside of major urban centers in the rest of France can be contributed to "copy cats" due to the propensity to burn garbage cans. I talked to my ex-father-in-law last night and he said that where he lives, close to Brive, there were only three cars burnt so at least there, this is true.

So, it looks like this France will opt for the less painfull "throw money at the problem and hope that it goes away" fix instead of the more painfull, but more efficient "go in with riot police/army and start cracking heads". Kind of like telling the dentist to give you a shot of novacaine to stop the pain of a toothache instead of just removing the tooth altogether. The only question will be just how long the band-aid will work before the riots start again. Too bad Charles De Gaulle isn't around. Back in 1961 (I think), to stop rioting supporting a free (or French) Algeria, De Gaulle deployed riot police to Algerian neighborhoods in Paris to enforce a curfew. The rioting was brutally put down with some rioters killed and many injured. She-She should take a page from his mentor's playbook and send in the riot police and army. Whethere there would be deaths, etc., is not certain, but one thing is for sure, there would be no more rioting problem.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Recent blogging hiatus due to illness

I haven't been able to blog for the past few days, as I have been the subject of an evil Viral Intifada. The first part of the week it was a cold; yesterday and today it is an intestinal virus, the kind that usually shows up this time of year. My son brought it home and infected his sisters, who in turn gave it to my wife and I (damn those public schools! Festering petri dishes of plague and pesti- uh, he's homeschooled, isn't he? Never mind). So this is the reason I'm blogging at this time of day: My stomach won't let me sleep.

C'eci est la raison Paris est en flammes

The Paris Intifada continues unabated. Good updates at Instapundit and LGF.

Most MSM stories contain the usual quota of crap about "root causes" like racism and poverty and discrimination. Trouble is, it appears the French have taken this to heart and have not responded forcefully against the troublemakers. The government seems to be paralyzed and unable to take strong steps because they're afraid it could "get worse". Uh-huh.

I remember the LA riots back in May of 1992. The MainStreamMedia subjected us to the same tripe about how the Man just had to understand the rage, how a head-scratching verdict somehow justified three days of mayhem, how persons who were upset about the miscarriage of justice were perfectly welcome to take a new boom box to salve their wounded sense of fairness.

But I also remember all the fun suddenly stopping after three days, just about when thousands of National Guard troops and Marines from Pendleton arrived in town with orders to shoot anyone who was causing trouble. Forget root causes and all that crap; few rioters really want to risk their lives for a new home entertainment system.

Yet it appears that French troops are nowhere in sight, even after 10 days of rioting. Indeed, the French government seems to be treating this as a negotiating opportunity instead of a shoot-first-ask-questions-later situation. I am tempted to ascribe this to the natural French tendencies to accomodate rather than defeat their enemies, but it appears to be common among other European societies as well. Shooting rioters requires some sort of moral cerititude on the part of your leaders; if you've spent the last four years equating moral cerititude with that reprehensible Cowboy in Washington and appeasing your unassimilated Muslim minority, you're probably not going to be able to muster the political will to let the bullets fly.

Which is why the French intifada will continue to spread and inspire Muslim youths in other countries. Europeans have lost the will to fight back, and the Islamofacists know it. They will press their advantage until they get what they want, a new European Caliphate. Trouble is, the French seem to think there's nothing really wrong with that.

The Chickens have indeed come home to roost.

A Priest, a Rabbi, and Louis Farakkhan walk into a bar...

Great joke from Goldstein.

Here's another one. (Note to self: Add PW to blogroll. Heck, you read it every day, anyway.)