andveryginger: (Default)
From "Oil Spill Reaches Mississippi River" @ CBS:

Mr. Obama said SWAT teams were being dispatched to the Gulf to investigate oil rigs and said his administration is now working to determine the cause of the disaster.


Please tell me what, exactly, SWAT is going to do on an oil rig?
andveryginger: (batting practice)
From Laughing_Wolf, over at Blackfive:

"The news that Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, is fighting on the front lines (as he wanted/insisted) is very good news. He is to be commended for his determination to do what's right and to be a real soldier. The media agreement in place to protect him and those serving with him and/or under his command was an excellent idea and kudos to those who made it happen. A raised finger salute to the people who leaked it to Drudge, and to Matt Drudge for willfully endangering the Prince and those with him. May you and those who leaked it to you soon find yourself in an enclosed space with SAS and others who care to express their opinion in a very, very personal manner. No linky love to you, a*****e."


If you want more on the story, check out Hot Air. As Laughing_Wolf said, "no linky love" to Drudge on this one.
andveryginger: (Roslin Tom Bill)
Great Firewall of China Faces Online Rebels.

From the article:

Li Xieheng, a blogger who wrote a program he named Gladder, meaning Great Ladder, [helps] users of the Firefox browser overcome Great Firewall restrictions. “It’s just like many people not feeling that China isn’t free. They’re not aware of it and feel things are natural here, but that’s just the power of media control,”[he said].


Very interesting, considering my own experiences with blocking LiveJournal and others. You know what I think? I think people in China should be taught to read English, and handed a copy of The Rights of Man. They'll discover that they're not free. As Lee pointed out in his blog, in many ways, you are left alone to make your own choices: drink at any age, smoke, drive like bats out of hell. But there are two different rule books at work here -- one for the ex-pats, and one for the Chinese. For the Chinese, the restrictions don't seem to be physical ones as much as mental ones: Denying people the opportunity to develop the thought processes necessary to understand politics -- logic and reason -- as well as denying the opportunity to discuss topics, both political and mundane.


Snipped for long-ish political theorizing. )

Wow. Okay. That went in a completely different direction than I planned...
andveryginger: (Default)
According to the Washington Post this morning, Mr. Beauchamp is feeling the repercussions of his actions: "[Franklin] Foer, [editor of The New Republic,] also said Beauchamp "has put himself in significant jeopardy" and "lost his lifeline to the rest of the world" because military officials have taken away his laptop, cellphone and e-mail privileges."

I can't imagine why.

Snipped for a shorter rant. )

You can read the whole Post article here.

[H/T: Hot Air.]
andveryginger: (Default)
Taking a large cross section of society, the military represents all walks of life. One of the things I learned while in service is that, very often, you’re required to work with people that, in other circumstances, you wouldn’t give the time of day. To endure it requires patience, diplomacy, and -- sometimes -- substantial servings of alcohol. Scott Thomas Beauchamp is a perfect example of this.

Snipped for long, conservative, military rant. )

In the end, I get the feeling that Mr. Beauchamp is going to get the attention he so longed for – but probably not for the reasons he thinks. Sure, he’ll become a poster child for Left wing nutjobs, a la Cindy Sheehan. I’m willing to bet, however, that Alpha Company, 1/18 Infantry will give him front and center for totally different reasons.


[ETA] )
andveryginger: (Default)
"Fred Thompson Giving Serious Consideration to Running [For President]."

Because I consider myself much more centrist than most Republicans these days, there are few candidates within the GOP that I could cast a vote for without a bit of a flinch. I also have a few too many Libertarian leanings to fit completely in the Republican mold. Thus, I can't say that I totally agree with Fred Thompson. I do, however, like him very much. He comes across as a straight-shooter, and someone who would work well with folks on both sides of the aisle. I'd also like to think he wouldn't stir the overwhelming vitriol that Bush has, nor that someone like Newt Gingrich might.

As with any possible candidate, more research is required, but I do wish he'd run. He'd make the top of an extremely short list for the 2008 elections.

[H/T: frankj on HotAir.]

Because...

Dec. 7th, 2006 10:35 am
andveryginger: (batting practice)
...it almost made me spew my hot chocolate this morning:

"Big news, as whether or not Iran becomes fully “Ahmadinejadized” will depend on who succeeds Khamenei. The leading candidates include Mahdi’s archrival, Rafsanjani, and his “spiritual mentor,” Mesbah-Yazdi, a hardcore jihadist nut....Think of him as the Emperor Palpatine to Ahmadinejad’s Vader. And, I guess, Rafsanjani as Jabba the Hutt."

From hotair.com, posted by AllahPundit. You can find the rest of the blog entry here.

The source for the entry, Michael Ledeen, is fairly well-known for his writings on combating Islamist terrorism. My first exposure to his work was in Contemporary International Politics, and his book The War Against the Terror Masters. Didn't agree with everything he wrote, but he presented some pretty good arguments. Thus, his analysis on this little nugget might be equally as good.

I guess time will tell. In this situation, I'm not sure there's a lesser of the three weevils.
andveryginger: (Diana Cowl)
...from National Review Online.

"The Brink of Madness
A familiar place."
By Victor Davis Hanson

An interesting comparison between our current international situation, and the situation as it existed prior to WWII...and some criticisms about cultural relativism.

ETA: And a reading recommendation, on similar topics mentioned in the article: Natural Right and History by Leo Strauss. Also, War: Ends and Means by Angelo Codevilla and Paul Seabury. The Strauss is a bit heavy, but the Codevilla-Seabury book is very readable.
andveryginger: (batting practice)
Because I'm still fuming at the moment, I'll simply provide a link:

Boston Herald: Silence deafening when U.S. is torture target, Jules Crittenden.

Hmmm...

Jun. 7th, 2006 12:06 pm
andveryginger: (Roslin Tom Bill)
From the NY Post:

June 7, 2006 -- Mark Warner, the former Virginia governor whom some Democrats are looking to boost as the Hillary Rodham Clinton alternative for president in 2008, last night suggested New York's senator would have trouble winning nationally.

"I have tremendous respect for Sen. Clinton," Warner told NY1's "Inside City Hall" during a string of appearances he made around New York yesterday.

"I think she's a great senator and should she choose to run for national office, she'll be a formidable candidate," he added.

"But I find all across the country there is a real sense that what we as Democrats have to do is not simply be competitive in 16 or 17 states, but actually have candidates that can win all across the country."

He added later that "simply having anger at Bush or his administration isn't going to get us there."



I wasn't terribly crazy about his tenure as governor of the Commonwealth -- he didn't seem to accomplish any large strides, and really didn't generate a great deal of lasting controversy. In some ways, this is good. In others -- in a time when a shake-up is needed -- not so good.

On the other hand, he's the only person I've heard thus far that has said, flat out, that "simply having anger at Bush or his administration isn't" going to win the Democrats an election. Or a majority for that matter.

It would definitely be nice to have some genuine choices at the polls. Just isn't going to happen this year.
andveryginger: (batting practice)
Spiegel Interview with Iranian President Ahmadinejad.

Reading the interview, I'm struck by several things:

1) He loves to divert the topic, and doesn't do a very good job of deflecting the question. it's very evident that he's giving tons of non-answers. Then again, the Spiegel interviewers didn't do a very good job of guiding the conversation.

2) He is a paranoid son of a bitca. "Incidentally, I never threatened anyone -- that, too is part of the propaganda machine that you've got gunning against me." Because suggesting that Israel should be wiped off the face of the planet isn't a threat...from a man who wants to develop nuclear weapons. Right.

3) If this guy believes half the stuff he's spewing, he cannot and should not be negotiated with; he fails the rational/reasonable test. Rational? Yes. Reasonable? No.

4) If his statements are anything to go by, there are many politicians in this country that might be willing to believe him. Woe unto us.

5) I could really do a line-by-line snarkfest with this article. But for now? Back to work...
andveryginger: (Diana Cowl)
I know, I know. I've not updated in a few days, and now I feel the need to do a political post. Feel free to hide your eyes now. )
andveryginger: (Diana Cowl)
... you might as well wear it.

Jimmy Carter and Electronic Surveillance

Bill Clinton and Foreign Intelligence Searches

I'm not justifying what President Bush did, but it seems this particular shoe fits well on both the left *and* the right feet. How about keeping a little perspective, folks?


[Hat Tip to Drudge and Neal Boortz.]
andveryginger: (Diana Cowl)
Below is an article forwarded to me (and a few others) by a friend. I thought it was a very interesting read and, while pointing out some similarities between Iraqi Freedom and Vietnam, it also delineates some very key differences.

For those who don't know, the article provides the following bio for Laird: "MELVIN R. LAIRD was Secretary of Defense from 1969 to 1973, Counselor to the President for Domestic Affairs from 1973 to 1974, and a member of the House of Representatives from 1952 to 1969. He currently serves as Senior Counselor for National and International Affairs at the Reader's Digest Association."

(Warning: LONG!)

Iraq: Learning the Lessons of Vietnam )
andveryginger: (Default)
Thursday morning, and I'm sitting here going over some meeting minutes, and browsing the morning headlines. Tom DeLay's indictment is all over the front pages -- especially up here -- and there are a few things here and there about Hurricane Katrina response, federalizing disaster response, and more about Tom DeLay. The meeting minutes are kinda dull, so I'm going to take a minute or two to get on my soapbox.

Item 1: Tom DeLay. )

Item 2: Katrina response and federalization. (Ties closely with Item 1.) )

And with that, I head back to the working world. More later if I have the time and/or inclination.
andveryginger: (Default)
While reading for work today, this caught my attention -- both for real life concerns and fan fic musings:

For many civilians, military life is as unfathomable as life on another planet; military people are outsiders to them. This does not make them expendable -- they are, after all, still Americans, and the sight of abused U.S. prisoners of war still strikes a strong nerve -- but it does not mean they are part of the mainstream. Military protection is expected, but there is little understanding of the individuals who have chosen the military as a career.

-- Sam Sarkesian, John Allen Williams, Stephen Cimbala, U.S. National Security: Policymakers, Processes, and Politics, p. 148
andveryginger: (Default)
Okay. So Cindy Sheehan is a saint. She lost her son to a "lie" and we all know about her grief. She's using her right of free speech, and that's all fine and dandy. But this is just too much.

You want anti-war protests? You want to claim this war is another Vietnam -- fine. You have your opinion, I have mine. But. get. it. away. from. Walter. Reed. A military hospital, where veterans are recouping is not the place for it. These men and women need time to recover, readjust, be with friends and family -- in private. That is why they aren't on the news. That is why their stories aren't being written, not because they are being "hidden." Their stay at Walter Reed should not be spent staring out the windows to mock caskets and protestors.

And get this, from a protestor at Walter Reed:

But Luke and the other anti-war protesters dismissed the message of the counter demonstrators. "We know most of the George Bush supporters have never spent a day in uniform, have never been closer to a battlefield than seeing it through the television screen," Luke said.

Okay, Luke, where's your uniform? Like most of the Bush supporters I know, I wore a uniform, did my duty. And, had things worked out differently, I would still be in that uniform. I served during peacetime, to be sure, but I knew what I was signing up for when I scrawled on the dotted line. What my friends, my fellow sailors, Marines, soldiers, and airmen are seeing over there is no less than brutal. There are some that I haven't seen since I left service and might never see again. But they're doing a job that needs to be done. A job that I would gladly do again, if given the opportunity. Am I sad that men and women are losing their lives? Yes, I am. I tear up when I stop and think about it seriously. But there are nasty things that must be done in this world, and I thank God that they are there to do them.

In the end, it's hard to say that there is glory to be won in battle; it is too brutal, too messy, to chaotic to be viewed as a thing of beauty. But there is most certainly honor to be found.

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