Sunday, May 30, 2010

This is worrisome coming from Michael Yon (dated 5/23/10):
When I reported in March that Brigadier General Daniel Menard is incompetent and should be fired, it caused an uproar and much irresponsible press. They called me incompetent for calling the ball where it landed. Please examine the instant replay. It's all on the record.

This just in: BG Menard is facing court [martial]. [
In fact he's now been relieved of command "following allegations of an inappropriate relationship." -- mg.]

I had to stand alone to make those claims and took heavy fire for it.

I stand alone saying same about General McChrystal.

This is clear as day: General Stanley McChrystal will lose this war.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Three excerpts from Paul Johnson's forthcoming book Brief Lives. The first includes this anecdote about meeting Churchill (I'm restraining myself from fixing the typos):
he came out of the lift with his post-breakfast cigar in his mouth and got out his box of outsize matches - they were a quarterinch thick and three inches long.

Noticing me, he gave me one: 'here, boy, keep this in memory of me,' which I did. Thus emboldened, I said: 'Mr Winston Churchill, sir, to what do you attribute your success in life?'

Without an instant's hesitation, he replied: 'Conservation of effort. Never stand up when you can sit down. And never sit down when you can lie down.'

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Onion: "Report: Majority Of Government Doesn't Trust Citizens Either."
Citing the billions of dollars wasted annually on flavored water and boneless buffalo wings, the number of drunk-driving deaths each year, and the lack of citizen accountability for the rise of Kim Kardashian, government officials registered extremely low opinions of the American people overall.

"This is the same American populace that failed to prevent us from deregulating the banks that almost caused a complete economic meltdown last year," Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) said. "Year after year, they elect terrible officials who make terrible decisions on their behalf. The fact that I, Jim Bunning, am a two-term U.S. senator really shows you just how far Americans have gone off the rails."

"I wouldn't trust anyone who voted me into office," he added.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Theodore Dalrymple reviews the new memoir by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whom he calls "one of the most remarkable people in the world."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

About twenty years ago musician George Michael, one of the world's biggest pop stars at the time, was offered advice by a man in a position to know.


Worthwhile post (some profanity) and piece by Robert Stacy McCain on Tuesday's special election in Pennsylvania. Also this from Jim Geraghty (via newsletter):
Nathan Wurtzel, one of the sharpest political guys on Twitter in my neck of the woods, notes that the Cult of Murtha may have made this district a much tougher nut for the GOP to crack than we thought. He finds this line in the Washington Post: "'He got us millions of jobs,' Charles Finnegan, 72, a retired construction worker, said of Murtha after voting in Windber." How do we reach voters who think "millions of jobs" were created in a district of 600,000 people?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Craig Newmark notes "a very vital point--maybe even the most important point" in the new edition of John Lott's More Guns, Less Crime: "The gun-control debate largely focuses on what might go wrong, rather than evidence on what actually happens." Easy-to-follow statistics at the first link.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A "rare and beautiful display of political honesty." I hope there'll always be an England. I'm pessimistic, but I hope.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dave Barry offers more "Tips for Visiting Miami":
But seriously, we are sick and tired of being saddled with the hackneyed, outdated Miami Vice and Scarface image of Miami -- a city crawling with homicidal maniac drug dealers like Al Pacino, casually committing horrendous acts of violence and, worse, speaking with ludicrously fake Cuban accents. The truth is that only a small percentage of Miami's population consists of violent criminals, and the bulk of those are elected officials. The rest of us Miamians are regular people, just like the people in your town: we work hard, try to raise our kids right, and are always ready to help out our neighbors by laying down covering fire when they go outside to get their newspapers.
(Here's some previous advice.) Also, a script for 24.


AP (emphasis added):
Hamas police wielding clubs beat and pushed residents out of dozens of homes in the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Sunday before knocking the buildings down with bulldozers, residents said. . . .

Even if they are allowed to rebuild, Israel does not allow most building materials into the territory it has blockaded since Hamas seized power.
Israel doesn't encircle Gaza. Why can't residents get the items they need through Egypt?

(Via Instapundit.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

David Pryce-Jones, contemplating the UK's "disastrous" economic condition:
The broader more interesting question is why Britain has come to this pass. In part or perhaps wholly, the answer seems to be that any form of socialism, even the Blair-Brown soft version of it, is a brilliant and unfailing device for impoverishing and infantilizing any country implementing it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Giveaway of the Day is offering a nice one: Atmosphere Lite Plus, an "Ambient Soundscape Generator." Customizable nature sounds, and an alarm in case they prove too soothing. If you miss GOTD's deal, you can get Atmosphere Lite (no Plus) free here whenever you like.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oh, God, if only. (Very obscene, from the first, glorious image. Via William A. Jacobson.)


From "20 Questions: Dave Barry" at PopMatters:
15. Time travel: where, when and why?
I would go back to 1978 and do everything in my power to prevent Barry Manilow from recording “Copacabana”.
Also: Mr. B prompts a philosophical dilemma.


Those comprehensive airport body scanners represent an intolerable invasion of privacy. Until the federal government comes to its senses and replaces the scanners with, as Abe Greenwald puts it, "rigorous profiling," each airport employee working a scanner should submit to his own full-body imaging, and a copy of that image should be posted so that it's visible to every passenger forced to walk through the scanner. If the employee sees the passenger naked, the passenger should see the employee naked. Maybe such a practice will speed the necessary reappraisal.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

On "teaba**er": I think all who know what the term means should spell it with asterisks, as I just did. Make plain that the unbowdlerized version is an out-and-out obscenity and that those who use it are crass, ignorant or both.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

I don't know who's responsible for yesterday's failed bombing in New York City. What I know is this:
If we confront the jihadists, they'll respond by attacking us.
If we try to conciliate them, they'll respond by attacking us.
Fight or surrender: that's our choice. No compromise is possible.

I've posted this before, from reformist Muslim Tawfik Hamid, and I'm sure I'll be posting it again:
Stop asking what you have done wrong. Stop it! They're slaughtering you like sheep and you still look within. You criticize your history, your institutions, your churches. Why can't you realize that it has nothing to do with what you have done but with what they want.
Fight or surrender.