Archive for November, 2006

Jonah Goldberg: Americans Hate Losing

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Have you heard the comparisons yet? If you’re a consumer of the TV MSM you have. You’ve heard about how we’ve been in Iraq longer than we were all over the world during WWII. In a LA Times Op-Ed, Jonah Goldberg takes on that silly argument with this (I’m taking a rather long quote, the information is important):

Let us start with the obvious. World War II may have lasted 1,347 days, but it cost the lives of 406,000 Americans and wounded 600,000 more. Losses among Allied civilians and military personnel stretched into the tens of millions. Whole cities were razed, populations displaced, economies shattered. The number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq remains much less than 1% of our WWII losses.

World War II ended when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese cities, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. Were it not for those grave measures, the war might have lasted for another year or two and cost many more lives. So maybe those wielding the WWII yardstick as a cudgel would prefer we gave Sadr City and Tikrit the Hiroshima-Nagasaki treatment? That would surely root out even the most die-hard insurgents and shorten the war. The phase of the Iraq war that was comparable to World War II ended in less than three weeks. Remember “shock and awe”? As far as such things go, the conventional war put WWII to shame; the U.S. military victory was akin to defeating all of Italy in less than a month.

The current phase of the Iraq war — whether we call it post-occupation, reconstruction, civil war or whatever — is really a separate war. It’s at once a Hobbesian nightmare in which chaos rules as well as a complex, multi-front battle between various regional factions and their proxies. But as insurgencies go, it hasn’t lasted very long at all or cost very many American lives.

The Media never seems to tire of being obtuse and melodramatic. Remember all the kvetching over the 1000 lost in Iraq? The implication that Americans just don’t get how bad war really is got driven home daily, hourly. War is bloody hell. Who exactly wants wasted lives? Why those Neocons, of course! They like killing people–especially their own.

This nonsense turns deadly serious when considering withdrawing from a just-begun war. There are many “regional factions and their proxies” as Goldberg says and they’ve all come home to wage war with the Great Satan. Iraq is a nice, central location to bring the fight to the enemy. It is also a scene of some chaos.

One point Goldberg doesn’t mention, is that while the Americans fought just under 1,500 days, the Brits and Russians and Germans and French and Japanese and Italians and everyone else all around Europe had been in the throws of serious warfare for some time–since September 1939. When the Americans entered and gave the Allies the boost they needed to overcome a conventional enemy (one whose troops ostensibly didn’t view dying as a path to 70 virgins) the enemy had already been beaten down to a certain extent. And in Japan, where a cultish craziness gripped an entire population, serious fire fought that ideological fire. It might take some of this kind of fire to deal with the current cultish thinking.

Goldberg concludes:

Indeed, when partisans claim that the American people are fed up and want our troops home, they’re deliberately muddying the waters. The American people have never objected to far-flung deployments of our troops. We’ve had soldiers stationed all over the world for decades.

What the American people don’t like is losing — lives or wars. After all, you don’t hear many people complaining that we still have troops in Japan and Germany more than 20,000 days later.

The notion of leaving Iraq behind to the same kind of fate as Vietnam is sickening. Now there’s a legacy of Vietnam that’s relevant. Turning tail and leaving allies to the mercy of murderous thugs–Americans can’t like that. Turning tail and leaving America’s interests exposed to destruction–Americans can’t like that, either. Turning tail and leaving America exposed to an emboldened enemy–Americans must at least get bothered a little bit by that.

War is hell. America needs to give the enemy a lot more hell.

Glenn Reynolds Goes Both Ways

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Welcome, Glenn, to the crazy club! For my 15th Anniversary present, my hubby bought me this and I must tell you, it’s so choice! We have a old pieced together PC in the kitchen and my old Dell Inspiron laptop, but I am so spoiled by the Mac that I’m currently resisting the urge to buy what you just bought. It seems so…..indulgent and excessive given my other adequate computing tools.

I had the same trouble you had with posting, and Ann Althouse gave me the advice to post in Firefox and browse in Safari. She was right.

Apple is a joy. With being able to use the Microsoft stuff and go back and forth, why oh why bother with anything else? If I was Michael Dell or at HP, I’d be very worried.

False Rape Accusations

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Thankfully, the blogosphere exists. Why? Because where the MSM lacks the will, intellect, curiosity, open-mindedness, fairness, time and money to honestly investigate truly important cases, a multitude of individuals have all these traits and more. Such is the Duke Rape Case.

With a corrupt DA, a complicit local media and a callous Duke campus, three young men would be sent down the river (and they still might, heaven forbid) with no advocates whatsoever. Instead, sites like LieStoppers are doing a huge service to keep this information front and center.

Why do I think this case is so important? Well it’s about race, true. It’s about class, true. It’s about sex, true. It’s about feminism, true. But what it’s really about is justice or lack thereof because of all of the above social factors together.

Rape, next to murder, is one of the most heinous crimes. Brutality in the sexual form has such far-reaching consequences to the victim. It can truly be said that a woman’s life is never the same after the experience. Her sex life, her self-view, her societal view all get changed in an instant. This affects her relationships. This affects how she teaches her children about the world. It is a soul-stealing crime from which some people never recover.

When a woman falsely accuses a man of this crime, it is doubly horrendous. She knows the societal implications. She knows that rapists and sexual predators are viewed with more scorn than murderers. Her intent is to do great harm to a person’s reputation and she knows that the likelihood of the man ever getting his name back is almost nil. That’s one reason false accusations are so bad. The other reason it’s horrendous is the damage done to all women who might face this crime. Lying, vindictive women injure not just the wrongly accused man, but also women trying to muster the courage to bring such a difficult charge to light.

The Duke Rape case is so without merit and such a miscarriage of justice, it should cause every single one of us to sit up and pay attention. The consequences of this case are enormous. Three men have their very lives hanging in the balance when it should all just be over. And yet, because of jealousy, racial vendettas, and prosecutorial malfeasance, the case marches on.

When a woman is raped, she is rendered compliant because to fight often means the threat of death. It’s the helplessness, the violence and the invasion that damage her. And here these men wait–helpless, rendered compliant and experiencing violence and invasion.

Injustice for one of us is injustice for all of us. This case must be dropped.

ACLU Nativity Scene

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Stop the ACLU reports on some intrepid and funny students bringing awareness to the expunge-God-out-of-the-U.S. movement headed by the ACLU. Gary and Joseph and angelic Nancy Pelosi looking over all: Why, it’s a Festivus for the Rest of Us in the secular U.S.

Christian Surrender

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

In the midst of my lack of bliss, I read this post by Gina Cobb, liked it and then never linked it. Christian leaders now call for Christians to give up their divisive beliefs–like in Jesus.

Do you ever hear Feminist groups say,”Honey, if you just hiked up your skirt, cooked more and stopped mouthing off, maybe he wouldn’t beat you like a rented mule.”? And yet, Church leaders, political leaders, and every too-smart pointy-head from the venerable James Baker to Colin Powell advises us to bend ourselves into pretzels and that will stop the beatings.

I love this new direction! It’s so retro! What’s next poodle skirts and bomb shelters? Wait, that second one isn’t even funny.

Baghdad Blah

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Why do we listen to reporters who report on Iraq from their cushy hotels in the Green Zone? We shouldn’t. There are actually a few reporters who are going and doing the dirty, gritty, up-close work. We should be reading them.

Read all about it at RightWingNews.

Culture of Disgustion–UPDATED Scroll Down for Vaginas!

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Another UPDATE: I have gone over and read Alabama Liberation Front before. I’m adding him to my Blog Roll. His analysis is excellent. He strikes me as a guy like me! Christian, but a little underwhelmed with this kind of thing:

Britney, despite her increasingly skanky behavior, is still rather nice to look at. I am, as I have often averred, a holy-roller in my deepest beliefs, but I think some people get a bit legalistic — yea, verily, some of our brethren in Christ tend toward being prudes and killjoys.

Anyway, I too, noticed a dirth of coverage, shall we say, about Britney’s lack of coverage in the Rightosphere. But, these latest developments in Britney’s world are significant. She represents more than one trend worthwhile to examine and ALF notes this, too:

But, as I said, when a star of Britney’s magnitude — and she was, just a few years ago, the most popular singer on the planet — feels the need to do what she’s been doing lately, one must realize that there is a profound significance:

Britney’s decision to go with the Yul Brenner treatment, I believe, shows the triumph of the pornographic ethos in American pop culture. …
In the porn culture, sex is not an act experienced for its own sake — either for physical pleasure, or as an expression of emotional feeling — but rather is a theatrical production aimed at producing an effect on the audience. … This is the commodification of sexuality, which goes back to the very meaning of “pornography,” and the Greek word for “prostitute.”

Something is horribly, disastrously wrong with a society whose most wealthy, famous, beautiful and popular young women:

  • Cannot seem to maintain a stable romantic relationship for more than a few months;
  • Feel compelled to obtain plastic surgery;
  • Frequently engage in substance abuse or exhibit symptoms of mental illness; and
  • Have the poor taste to exhibit themselves naked, or nearly so.

So, I go over and read Alabama Liberation Front, he’s interesting and incisive. I’ll post more on Britney if you will, Ali-Bubba.
Do you keep up on the comings and goings of Paris and Lindsey and her (freaky) mom Dina and Ashlee and Jessica and their (freaky) dad and now Britney? If you don’t, and I really hope you don’t, there has been a new way to get press. It’s better than rehab! It’s better than botox! It’s better than dumping a money-grubbing no-talent hanger-on hubby!

What is it? The best P.R. practice is baring one’s bare nether-regions. Four times in the last few months Lindsey Lohan has been caught sans panties earning herself the nickname Fire Crotch. Four times in the last week(warning!!! not suitable for work or anywhere, but in the interest of fair linking, ugh!), Britney Spears has followed suit. It should be noted that her last child was delivered by Caesarean.

What is going on with these young ladies? Is this just the new millenium version of burning a bra?

This development repulses and dismays. It’s right up there with the liberal use of the “N” word in the rapper world. Purposefully exposing oneself over and over and having it blasted all over the world seems like a major self-esteem problem. Either these girls believe that they are so exposed it doesn’t matter (Britney, doesn’t this matter to your mother? Or at least your divorce attorney?) or they believe they can’t be exposed enough. I’d like to assure them all that there is such a thing as bad press. Or at least very disgusting press.

Ace has more.

UPDATE: Maxed Out Mama has had it with the vagina fetish. Maybe this is what’s going on with Britney and Lindsey–maybe they’re just exposing their brains as Eve Ensler would assert.

Blogging Survey

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

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Bill Gates: How to Become an Elitist Snob

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

A project under development by Mary Lou Jepson, a former Intel chip designer, seeks to put $150 laptops into the hands of the world’s children. While I wouldn’t allow my children unfettered access to a laptop, they do get the benefits of using the information highway for all sorts of research. We have learned about pirates and other important people–forget the library, we go straight to the sources.

I can see how this access to information would be an advantage to a child out in the middle of nowhere. Like books, a computer can be a tool to connect people, educate people.

Bill Gates once thought this, too. According to his biography on his website:

Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers. Gates’ foresight and his vision for personal computing have been central to the success of Microsoft and the software industry.

I tortured myself and read Gate’s book Business at the Speed of Thought. My distinct impression was that like Sam Walton, Bill Gates was driven by a populist urge to get power to the people.

Now, a project presents itself to get information power to all the world, and Bill Gates balks:

The detractors include two computer industry giants, Intel and Microsoft, pushing alternative approaches. Intel has developed a $400 laptop aimed at schools as well as an education program that focuses on teachers instead of students. And Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman and a leading philanthropist for the third world, has questioned whether the concept is “just taking what we do in the rich world” and assuming that that is something good for the developing world, too.

How is more information a bad thing? Does he fear for the U.S.’s security, as computer networking enables the bad guys to communicate and learn bad things? Ha! If only, he had that concern.

No, I think Bill has morphed with his big bucks into a classic leftist elite. More concerned about maintaining power than innovating and a whole lot smarter than you or me, he wants to horde information.

There is this notion that people of different cultures have different fundamental needs than those of us lucky enough (would never say blessed) to live in Western society. That is just snooty nonsense. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs are the same today as ever. And Viktor Frankl was right, too: Men need meaning in their lives.

After being fed, clothed, and cared for, why not feed and care for the Third World’s minds, too?

Cruisin’ in "Paradise": A Thanksgiving to Remember

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Have you noticed that I haven’t blogged about my second cruise in as many months? Besides being distracted by cleaning up (my own) projectile vomiting, the cruise….lessee, how to put it…..blew chunks of deck chairs, literally.

On Sunday, the day of coming home, the day of blessed relief, I ate my mother’s undercooked stuffing, prematurely evacuated from a warm-to-cool turkey in a fit of still-regretted expedience. The hubby and I drove home in our old, paid-for Chevy Malibu, bouncing along, eagerly anticipating first, our children’s hugs and smiles and second, the only good meal we would get for a week. What’s better than a squishy toddler and mashed potatoes? Nothing, I tell you. And that dream kept me going for the hour and half home from the port, driving as fast as legally allowed to get away, away from that wretched sea-god Poseidon.

Right now, you’re asking, “But Melissa, wasn’t the cruise, like, totally awesome? Sun-kissed, sex-blessed and in every other way hedonistic?” In a word: No.

Twenty foot waves buffeted us. Brisk temperatures prompted the helpful ship people to say as the hoards desperately made for the exits in Key West (a few hours late, mind you, some poor schmuck had a heart-attack and the ship had to meet the coast guard), “We strongly advise those debarking in Key West to bring their parkas and umbrellas.” Did that lady just say “parka” on a cruise ship? Yes, it was that cold. And wet. And rainy.

But, what the hell! Key West was solid ground and I didn’t care if a monsoon was coming through. I wanted O-F-F. We did enjoy a nice, peaceful meal in Key West. Steve dragged me back on the boat later that evening. If money were no object (is it ever not an object?), we would have gotten a flight and left from there. It would have been a good decision.

Did I mention that we started popping Dramamine? That helped take the edge off the rocking and rolling, but made us woozy and weird. No problem. The old folks we hooked up with to play Bridge took advantage of our feeble-mindedness and spanked us mercilessly three days in a row. I’d have been paying more attention to my smarting hind-quarters, except…

I broke out in hives, for the first time of my life, all over my body except for my face. The face-sparing nature of this plague was fortunate for a variety of reasons–not the least of which cruise ships are public places and if you want to eat or not lose your friggin‘ mind, you must leave the little rat-hole called home for a week. But, I digress. So I have hives. I’m in the horns of a dilemma here. Sick as a dirty dog with the boat’s motion in ocean and no Dramamine on the one hand or covered from neck to ankle in hives. Nice.

The Dramamine got chucked. The hives thing also had another possible cause. Since my face was spared, we reasoned that I suffered some sort of allergy to the detergent ostensibly used by the sheets of our “bed”. I might add here that there was no mattress cover. I might add that the pillows smelled like some dude’s head. So I could have been allergic to the cooties left behind on a bed that hasn’t been cleaned or changed since the boat was built sometime in the 80s.

One day, one day in Cozumel, the gorgeous Aztec sun warmed up to 83 degrees. We dared dip our toes into the ocean (invigorating!). Only one night left on the blasphemed ship, thankfully. And though, it was the calmest seas we experienced, the anticipation of home, sweet, sweet home, kept us up and agitated.

Dinner. Thanksgiving. The blessed transcendence of water pressure and a clean bathroom. My own, comfy, relatively hygienic bed. Bliss. Thank you, God, for home.

The next day, the kids back in school, the hubby back at the office and I am driving mom to the airport for our sad farewells. “Have fun in balmy Chicago!” Back home, I feed the kiddo lunch. I feed me lunch. Guess what? Why, leftovers of course! I wasn’t feeling too great at this point, but what the heck? The food on the ship stunk. I was still feeling woozy. That must be it.

Why, I’m really not feeling all that great. I think I’ll take a nap.

Kids home from school, wake me out of coma, by knocking on the door. What the? I slept for three hours? All I did on the ship was sleep. Man, I don’t feel good.

Snack. Homework. Dinner. But no dinner for me. Hubby home. Kid’s bed.

I feel like going to bed–at 8p.m. Anyone who knows me knows I haven’t gone to bed at 8 p.m. for decades. This is not normal. I say to my husband, “I’m not feeling so good. You better not sleep with me. I don’t want you to catch anything.” He responds, “Call me if you need help.”

At 1 a.m. it begins. I’ll spare you the gory details. (I don’t know why, I’ve told you everything else. Oh well, I guess I have limits after all. That would be good news for my therapist if I had one.)

I’ve been in a time-warp where food and internet do not exist. Nothing exists. Is this Nirvana? My brain has been crushed by a B-movie slasher headache. My joints, wrists, ankles, knees, neck, everything ache, which is really, really weird. I’ve never experienced this symptom before. Chills. Cramps. I’m like a horse with colic and no one will shoot me.

My eyes are still photo-sensitive. It is through great discomfort that I’ve written this post for you, dear reader. I suffer for my art. Hopefully, my tragedy is your comedy.

And on that cliche, I’ll end my sad story. I hope you had a more traditional Thanksgiving this Thanksgiving.