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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Saturday, September 30, 2006

THE FIFTH BRANCH

"If it moves, salute it; if it doesn't move, pick it up; and if you can't pick it up, paint it."
-Anonymous (WW2 saying)

Soldier Helping out
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines. The four branches of the US military, reknown around the world for their prowess in combat. The US military was not always so good, in fact it was pretty woeful against the British – the finest military in the world at the time. But by the 1st World War, the United States had proven it’s worth, and by this time none are finer at what they do.

But are they enough to do the job today? Modern military is more than the ability to defeat the enemy, more than simply a tool to “break things and kill people” as some have said. When the United States defeats an enemy, it has developed a pretty clear pattern: rebuild the nation at our expense and guard it later if the nation so desires.

Each branch of the existing military is highly skilled and capable at what they do, but what they do has little to do with occupying, pacifying, rebuilding, and winning over a nation once it is defeated. And why should they be? That’s not their job. We have four branches to fight, and I propose we need a fifth branch to finish the job.

AIR FORCE
Air Force
When the plane was invented and rapidly perfected in the early 20th century, it was immediately viewed as a possible military device. But at first the airplane was primarily thought of as a reconnaissance platform, something to fly over the battlefield and get pictures and eyewitness views of enemy concentrations, artillery emplacements, command centers, supply lines, and so forth. Certainly planes were good at this, but so were blimps, which were considerably safer to fly and required less training. But soon these pilots took to bringing small bombs and grenades on their planes to drop on targets on the ground, and a weapon was mounted on them.

The Army was where these machines were first used, and they were very lightly funded and staffed. On August 1, 1907, the US Army Signal Corps established a small Aeronautical Division to take "charge of all matters pertaining to military ballooning, air machines, and all kindred subjects." When the US joined the Great War (later known as World War I), the Army Air Service had 24 squadrons, but only one fully staffed and equipped.

By the end of the First World War, air combat was forever part of military operations, even glorified as modern day knights jousting in a three dimensional tilting ground and saluting each other. But there still as no Air Force, and not until after World War II was there any separate branch, instead they were known primarily as the Army Air Corps. It was on July 26, 1947 that The National Security Act created the Department of the Air Force, which has developed and prospered to this day.

ARMY
ArmyThe United States Army was not formed until 1775, although military units from America were formed to serve in the British army as early as 1747. April of 1775 is when the War for Independence began, but no official army was formed until June of that year with the Continental Army led by George Washington. Until then it was small bands of local militias, fighting a guerilla battle against the world's best infantry. In 1789 the War Department was formed, using the army to defend settlers and protect them in their travel west to find a new home.

In 1812 the fledgling US Army faced it's biggest challenge since being truly independent; the British, again. Although the nation's capitol was sacked and the Army failed to capture any of Canada, they did have a few victories, protecting Baltimore and New Orleans. The United States' first war on foreign soil was the Mexican War of 1848-1849, which won Texas and many southwestern states. This was the first time the US had to deal with occupying foreign soil and dealing with uprisings and attacks while pacifying a region.

The US Army has since that point done very well in any conflict it has faced. No battle was ever lost in Vietnam, although politically the war was lost. World War 1 and 2 were triumphs for the US army, and Korea was a war fought to hold an enemy out of a given territory with success. And as proven in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the US Army is a force to be reckoned with.

MARINES
MarinesThe US Marines were formed at the same time as the Continental Army, but it was not until 1778 that the US Marine Corps was officially created. In 1805, Marines land in Tripoli to attack the Dey's palace and end the war on Piracy that began in 1801, and in 1847, Marines help seize fortress of Chapultepec, occupying the Nation Place, built on site of the Halls of Montezuma - thus setting the groundwork for the Marine Hymn.

Since those days, the US Marines are famous for their tough, combative nature, their ability to face incredible difficulty and odds, their willingness to go in first and face the worst of enemy fire, and thus earn the greatest glory.

NAVY
NavyThe US Navy was also founded in the War of Independence, with the Continental Congress purchasing two armed vessels in October of 1775. The Continental Navy was disbanded in 1784, but was recreated in 1798 to combat the Barbary Pirates. Although the Navy's successes were limited until Captain Decatur's work against the Barbary Pirates, in the War of 1812, yankee ingenuity in building frigates and excellent leadership by captains proved more than a match for the supreme navy of the time, the British. But their smaller numbers were overwhelmed by the British presence and eventually locked into harbors by blockades.

The Navy's role changed and grew over the years, adding amphibious assaults and aircraft carriers which extended its reach from merely the oceans and seas to land and air. Although some question the worth of vulnerable, slow ships in today's military, there is no question that a naval presence brings tremendous power to an area, and no other system can move so much equipment and so many men.

NUMBER FIVE
What’s needed now is a fifth military branch, a force comprised of soldiers who can fight, but are primarily used to guard, to hold prisoners, to pacify troubled areas, but more than that. This new branch would be the rebuilding army, the navy that brings supplies and food, the air force that drops goods and brings in emergency supplies, the marines who are first on the battlefield of disease, disaster, and emergency.

Iraq is one example, a nation torn by war with Iran for years is then held by a cruel tyrant who abuses his people and under sanctions instead of getting needed supplies, medicine, and food, instead brokers deals with corrupt nations for what he wants, for arms, for luxuries. The people suffer terribly, the infrastructure collapses, and Hussein blames the US for it all. Now after a brief war with the coalition nations, Iraq is in it’s fourth year of rebuilding, fixing the minor damage by the invasion and the significant damage of over a decade of neglect and brutality by it’s government.

In this process, the soldiers must take on roles they are unprepared for, unfamiliar with, untrained to face, roles they should not need to. A corps of dedicated soldiers who are trained to fight, but also trained to deal with other peoples, to rebuild damaged infrastructure, to win hearts and minds as well as hold and control a defeated nation. Lessons learned in Iraq should be used to develop this branch of the military.

TsunamiThe Boxing Day Tsunami of 2005 is another example. A horrible series of waves crashes into the shores of areas largely wracked with poverty and rarely ready for any such catastrophe. Tens of thousands of people die in eleven countries across Southeast Asia.

In this disaster, the only force on earth able to respond rapidly enough and rich enough to supply their needs is the United States military. Air Craft Carriers, little more than floating cities, bring medical and engineering, mechanic and building power to the site. Military boats, planes, and trucks supply the nations with necessities, helping in rebuilding.

But again, the military is not designed for this task, it is an added – if welcome – change of pace, a chance to save rather than take lives. If we had a force dedicated to this kind of work, then we could have quick, effective response as well as men trained to do the work and do it well.

THE TASK
Such a fifth branch of the US military would be better trained in diplomacy, in various cultures, in languages, and in the skills and tasks of rebuilding shattered nations. Whether settling a tribal dispute or finding a home for orphans, building airports, sewers, schools, hospitals, and roads, or dealing with "insurgents," death squads, and rebels, this force would take the burden off the shoulders of the present military, and put them where they belong: fighting our enemies and training future soldiers.

The time has come for a new branch in the military. I don’t know what it would be called, but such a force would work closely with all four existing branches, side by side as they move in whatever capacity is required. This force would add to our ability to not only wage wars, but wage peace and stability once we’ve achieved victory.

Because unlike almost every military force in the history of mankind, the US is not interested in territory, riches, empire, or subjection of the enemy. All we want is for everyone to be as rich, healthy, free, and happy as we are.
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Friday, September 29, 2006

GIRLS GONE SLEAZY

"OK do you want to see Malkin allegedly gettin' skanky, spring-break style? After the jump, obviously..."

Charlotte Church
Michelle Malkin's latest column is about a singer named Charlotte Church who she had written about earlier. Apparently miss Church has gone from a demure young lady to a skank:

Several years ago, I wrote a column praising a sweet and talented Welsh girl named Charlotte Church. A singer of arias and sacred songs, she possessed an uncommon sense of modesty and decorum in the skin-baring age of Britney Spears. Charlotte had the face and voice of an angel. Her signature piece was "Pie Jesu" (Blessed Jesus). Her favorite keepsake was a rosary blessed by the pope.

Or so she said at the time. Now, alas, the once-charming Charlotte is the new face of skankdom. And you won't believe what she's saying about the pope.

The 20-year-old entertainer has rebelled against the wholesome image that brought her fame, fortune and worldwide respect as a rare role model for young girls. She has traded in "Pie Jesu" for "Crazy Chick" -- a lousy pop anthem even Ashlee Simpson wouldn't be caught performing. Charlotte's gone from pure-hearted to pure crap. These days, she drinks, she smokes, she curses, she fights, she parties, and she tries very, very hard to shock and offend -- like a trashier Lindsay Lohan, only with better pipes.

She goes on to point out how this girl has slid and how far she's fallen from her previous image. I was going to write an article about it, but as I looked at the (many) comments, I couldn't find enough that really stood out or were different from what I've written about before.

Now, today I find that someone has written their own article about Mrs Malkin, portraying her as a hypocrite for bemoaning the loss of good girls in the world when she was so wild:
Michelle You Ignorant Slut...

Today's "somebody might be sort of hypocritical" outrage: Michelle Malkin has a new column about the slutification of very young girls. For a Malkin column, it's downright mainstream. Other than certain Washington Times employees and the usual cops and congressmen no one is happy about seeing 13-year old girls covered in cheap makeup and hair product, with their rhinestone studded thongs riding high on their fat asses and their baby "Porn Star" baby-Ts making it halfway over their french-fry stuffed pierced navel guts.

OK do you want to see Malkin allegedly gettin' skanky, spring-break style? After the jump, obviously...
Now, this sounds scandalous, doesn't it? Notoriously trashy blogger Wonkette has found something so shocking that she hides it behind the jump "obviously." Why, it must be not for work safe, it must be something truly disgusting and whorish!
And yet... there appears to be a picture of Malkin doing the "Girls Gone Wild" semi-boob flash, whlie cavorting about in a string bikini like common hussy, from 1992!

Wow, this picture must be really trashy!
Michelle Malkin?Funny thing is, it's not. First off, Michelle Malkin says it's a photoshop job, but even if it was not, this is hardly a shocking picture. It's pretty tame, even for a bikini shot, not even remotely shocking or trashy. But Wonkette isn't willing to let that go:
A Wonkette tipseter sent this possibly legitimate snapshot as proof that Malkin's the last gal who should care about asking "Where have all the good girls gone?"
Now, I know there's a lot of guns aimed at Michelle Malkin because she's well-liked, effective, conservative, popular, and fearlessly pushes her ideas without concern for being politically correct. A combination of traits like that enrages some people, and makes you a major target. Michelle has been attacked quite a bit lately, and she's long been the target of unspeakably foul racist attacks through email. Some people really hate her.

But this is just pathetic. First off, Wonkette is hardly in any position to call someone else slutty, given her writing content and antics. Second, the picture, even if it were Malkin, is not slutty or trashy in any way. One almost gets the impression that despite her protestations that only "cops and congressmen" like trashy "prostitots" like she describes, Wonkette is offended that Malkin would condemn such behavior that she does. As if she personally feels guilty and personally shamed by the column and was looking for a way to lash out.

Using the words "allegedly" and "possibly legitimate" are merely an attempt to cover Wonkette's worn out hind end, as shown by here by her introductory line and the blatant attempt to scandalize the situation.

It's odd how things turn out on the internet. Sometimes stories build on their own for no real reason other than personal animus and a need to demonize or attack people when you are incapable of dealing with their ideas. And sometimes, people help such stories gain traction by covering them on a huge, highly successful blog when they could have ignored it and let it die in obscurity. Mrs Malkin seems unable to resist such bait.

*UPDATE: the original picture used in the photoshop job has been found, it's at Hot Air.
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GAY MUSLIMS UNITE

"Your skin is so pale..."

Gay Islam?Muslihoon had a story recently about homosexuality in the Islamic world that I found interesting and yet repulsive as a commenter says on the site. Homosexuality is banned in Islam, it is haram (forbidden) and the penalty is death. There is, as Muslihoon says, no ambiguity. Toppling a wall on a homosexual is the infamous Taliban solution, but method varies by area.
On the other hand - and this is what’s most puzzling - homosexuality has a very rich history in the Muslim world. A number of caliphs openly chose favorites and paraded them around. One of them would make history. Captured and kept as ransom were the future Prince Vlad III Dracula (also known as Vlad III Ţepeş (tsepesh) or Vlad III the Impaler) and his brother Radu; they were kept as security for the obedience of Prince Vlad II Dracul to the Ottoman sultan. While captured, Vlad witnessed the, um, violation of his brother - who would later be known as Radu the Handsome. He was the Caliph’s favorite, and led the Caliph’s armies against his rebellious brother, Vlad.

In some societies during some areas, homosexuality was practically the norm, if not just tolerated or accepted. Of course, seeing the Muslim world’s traditional view of (or, rather, against) women - breeders to kept out of sight and hearing - this is not so surprising.
The scene in Lawrence of Arabia where the Turk says the line I quoted above runs chills up my spine every time I see it. Muslihoon lists many historical examples and cultural aspects of the Islamic world that contribute to this effect, primarily being the isolation of women and their treatment as objects for breeding. The homosexuality is of the same kind as prison rape: no love is involved, no relationship, simply a release, abusing boys especially. But like me, Muslihoon can't put a finger on exactly what's going on:
And I am puzzled why this would be. Is it homosexuality or a result of absolutely perverted misogyny? Is it because they like men or hate women? Is it because they objectify men or because they believe women are less than cattle?

I don’t know. But, as far as I’m concerned, these terrorist soldiers have no right whatsoever to lecture The West how to behave while they rape 9 year-old boys, see women as chattel, and violate women without second thought.
Commenters at Blog al`Muslihoon had this to say:
I have heard it said that there is a correlation between rampant homosexuality and mysogyny, especially the kind you’re talking about. Most of the gays I know in the US aren’t mysogynists–quite the opposite, they admire women and identify with them–and their same-sex attraction is deeply emotional. So I think this is a different brand of homosexuality.

I guess when otherwise hetero men are taught to despise women, they decide they don’t want to deal with a woman’s emotional demands, so they leave off having sex with that admittedly complicated being and opt for the simplicity of sodomy with “feminine” (not yet sexualized) males. They’re not interested in relationships, just in getting off.

And the fact that it’s a total power thing is really disturbing, though. That can’t be healthy at all.
-by dicentra


Regarding contemporary gay and lesbian Muslims, take note of a documentary due out … some time … called of Allah.” The director’s politics are very Liberal/Left (an active Kerry for Prez supporter), but the doc is guaranteed to spark debate and possibly violence.

Newsmax
and, Trembling Before God
-by Jeremayakovka


I seem to recall reading an article I think in the Washington Post earlier this year about homosexual relations being rampant among men in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Most interviewed for the article identified as “straight” but due to religious pressure could not “get off” with women unless they were married so sought the “talents” of teenage boys and young men. Some of these teens and young men received money or gifts for their “services”. It was interesting to read but repulsive at the same time. To let one’s religious fervor so degrade a society as to incite this kind of behavior is simply amazing to me.
-by John
John later found the article, in the LA Times. Homosexuality as a lifestyle and homosexuality as a way of release and brutality are two different things, in a certain sense. As Muslihoon points out, institutions and areas where women are kept totally separate and men are isolated together are likely to find men who are unable to control their impulses and desires and reach out for release by using other men. Often, as in the case of using boys, this is simply rape and horrible abuse.

Unlike food and drink, sexual activity is not actually necessary for survival. Being so compelled by your baser urges you reach out for whatever is nearby to satisfy them even if you don't particularly feel excited by that target is a symptom of something deeply wrong with you as a person.
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QUICK CASTRO UPDATE

According to Bablu Blog, in Cuba the flags are reportedly at half mast today and Cuban TV is showing footage of the revolution days. As always, the blog cautions that this may simply be a ploy to pull out celebrating dissenters to the public, but personally I'm optimistic that Castro is finally dead.

But I've been wrong before.

CIVIL WRONGS

"Many believe blacks are one government program away from being on a par with white people"

Booker T. Washington
For more than two decades, black civil rights leaders have followed in the footsteps of giants, carrying on the crusade. Men like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have not only tried to follow up on the work by Martin Luther King jr and others, but have gotten quite wealthy, influential, and well-known doing it. But has the status of blacks been enhanced through their efforts? Have minorities truly benefited from their work in these decades?

Without question men like Booker T. Washington and Dr. King were instrumental in tremendous beneficial change for blacks in America. From slavery to Secretary of state, from oppression to captains of industry, for 150 years it was a painful and all-too-slow process, but a definite increase in liberty, status, and esteem for minorities in America. The struggles of these years produced what we all enjoy now: a nation much less wracked by injustice, oppression, and bigotry.

But as writers and leaders like Star Parker, Bill Cosby, Walter Williams, and now Juan Williams have noted there is a problem in the last few decades with this progress. While in the past, oppression by a dominant white society was the primary source of concern for minorities, in these last years, the primary source of problems for blacks has been... blacks. The statistics are horrifying, black men are much more likely to die a violent death than others, and much more likely for that to be by other blacks than anyone else. Blacks have a higher rate of illiteracy, teenage pregnancy, single-parent childbirth, and many other blights on the chances and hopes of young people.

Juan Williams has had enough. He was interviewed by FrontPage Magazine recently about his book Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America -- and What We Can Do About It:
Elaborating on Bill Cosby's controversial 2004 scolding that blacks are their own worst moral, cultural, political and economic enemies, Williams says blacks must return to the time-tested basics if they want to fully share in the American dream. They should stay in school as long as possible; work any job to get ahead; marry later in life and then have babies; and practice better parenting.

Q: Can you give us a 60-second synopsis of your book?

A: "Enough" is a real call to arms. It’s a real charge to the American people to pay attention to what is going on – especially with our young people and particularly with our young black people. At the moment we have a 50 percent dropout rate among young black Americans. We have 70 percent of them born out of wedlock. At the same time there are about 25 percent of white children born out of wedlock and 50 percent of Hispanic children. This is a real crisis that is tearing apart the foundation of our society – the family. When Bill Cosby spoke on the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision and said these things, it really was a clarion call to me. I thought it was a prophetic voice. He was attacked and I thought it was necessary then to do some reporting, to do some research, and substantiate what Cosby had to say. That’s what “Enough” was about.
Bill Cosby has carried his message forward and continued his call for more personal responsibility, less blaming others, more of a focus on what was once a great strength of blacks in America: moral fiber and strong family life. This is a strong, important message that Juan Williams wants to bring to blacks in America.
Q: Why was what Bill Cosby said so important to you and to the black community?

A: This is a time when, unfortunately, there are too many black leaders who focus on grievance. The only time you see these guys on TV is when they say somebody has been racist or the police department has done something wrong. All they are doing is complaining and it leads young people to a victim mentality, where they don’t think they can succeed in America. They don’t think they have a chance. They hear from their leaders that if you’re black or Hispanic, you don’t have a chance.

This message from Cosby said, “You know what” – and I’m almost quoting here -- “the lower end of the economic scale – poor people—have not been holding up their end of the deal.” They have not been stepping through the doors of opportunity that have been opened since the Brown decision, since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the passage of the Voters Rights Act.

So here was Cosby saying, “You have the power to do it.” That’s in the great tradition of leaders from Frederick Douglas, to W.E.B. Dubois, to Booker T. Washington to Doctor King. It’s an important message, an important message from Cosby, and an important message that has not been delivered to this generation.
Along with the call to a better life is a condemnation of the race-baiting politics of so-called black "leaders" in this nation for whom the cause is merely a way to advance their personal agenda and personal wealth. In the place of an ethical foundation for equality and justice, these leaders replace relativistic political concerns. Reverend King was religious in tone and background, Reverend Sharpton merely has the trappings.

World Magazine Blog carried this story, and commenters there had this to say:
Poor people tend to beleive that if they don't get what they want when they can they won't get it at all. Delayed gratification is not understood with this population and so education, thrift and improving one's ability to provide are not practiced by large numbers. Bill Cosby and now Juan Williams have recognized this and are speaking out. We committed an enormous fraud with the War on Poverty. Now we are reaping the fruits of this liberal socialist disaster.

The W.O.P. created a sense of entitlement in the minds many poor and so made them dependant on the government handouts, paltry as they were. Connecting work requirements to welfare was called racist and de-humanizing. Having lots of illegitimate babies, which increased welfare checks, became a cottage industry. Requiring mothers to complete school was discouraged. Other disincentives were difficult to get passed. The minority community has suffered greatly from this liberal/socialist largesse. You can see the trouble Cos and Williams have caused for themselves. Oreo, Uncle Tom and sell-out are the polite things said about them. And who is doing the name calling? Those whose power base is built on keeping poor people poor and telling minoriteis they are even more disenfransed than ever. Keeping poor people poor is big business.
-by Jack Fuller


I'm currently reading William McFeely's 1991 bio on Frederick Douglass (slow going). A great American, who belongs in the same tier of men as Lincoln, Grant and Washington.

Douglass would be appalled at today's black so-called "leadership," with how they've utterly failed blacks in America, and how the pillars of black society have utterly crumbled.

Douglass, a skilled speaker, taught himself oratory while he was still a slave and later a free man by reading and practicing great speeches from plays and history. He didn't consider that "acting white." He considered it getting educated--and becoming free.
-by Big Mo


Donato, you raise many good and valid points. Bull's eye center mass. How do you combat this insidious "crab bucket" scenario, wherein a kiddo doing really well is pulled back down by the dominant peer group for the offense of "acting white" or whatever. Excellence and high achievemt must be continually honored and rewarded in every possible way imaginable.
Juan Williams and Cos have ignited a great controversy by pointing out the elephant in our nation's living room which others fear to acknowledge. God bless them both. Give'em a megaphone as Ann Coulter might say.
-by Brad


Success in all things revolves around building good character attributes. With a good character set, skills come to one naturally as part of the gravy. What is lacking in those of all colors who are not successful are these good character attributes. Where race and gender come into the mix is that some folks still have latent bigotry that make it hard for minorities and women to achieve the same level of success as an equally qualified white man (as example) because the same opportunities are not made available to them because of their color or gender.

The sense of entitlements, easy laziness, lack of being responsible and accountable for ones actions or inactions makes minorities even more prone to failure and keep them from doing the the very hard work of developing good character attributes. The left, through their socialist wish for taking care of the poor and providing safety nets makes them feel better but only makes many miniorities fall victim to not doing the required hard work that leads to success. The left's cure all is directly opposed to actually helping minoroites achieve the best they can be.

It is very sad really. Great intentions and feeling sorry for the poor helped kill the success of an entire race and created an atmosphere where developing good character attributes nearly impossible.
-by llama


A few months ago in Desktop Engineering, they were breaking down salary surveys. What they found was that the salary difference between white engineers and African American engineers “doing the same job” was less than 1%, which means there is no real difference – note: I’m talking about doing the same job. The problem is that there are so few African American engineers. This goes back to a cultural problem. It is very difficult for young black men to do well in school because their peers accuse them of trying to be white if they get good grades. Unless you have a solid background in math and science, at an early age, you will have to be a genius to become an engineer. When you go from math class to math class, they don’t review. You pick up where you left off in the previous class.

I have read blogs where people talked about engineers who cheated during school. I can tell you that this is not only rare, but also inconsequential. You may get a job because you have a degree, but that is all you get. You have to produce to keep the job. An engineer never stops learning; he can’t if he want to stay employed.
Once again, the only way to solve this is through the greater culture, which has to change dramatically. Thugs and rappers are poor role models. There is more to life than basketball.
-by donato
Bill Cosby and Juan Williams focus their calls on blacks, but I say everyone needs to heed this call. It's not simply blacks that suffer from these problems, they only suffer to it slightly more in degree and numbers. We all need greater personal responsibility, greater ethical focus, greater family life, we all need to step away from the me-first, hedonist, morality-mocking selfishness our culture is plagued by.

Al SharptonWe all need to learn the lessons men like Booker T. Washington taught, that work and sacrifice, family life, morality, and personal responsibility are all not just pragmatically valuable but noble and laudable goals in and of themselves. Modern day "leaders" like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are not fit to even look at, let alone tie the bootlaces of giants like Booker T. and Frederick Douglass. Their pretence that nothing has been gained, that the nation is systematically and by law and government power racist and cruelly oppressing blacks is not only misleading to young blacks but a slap in the face of Rosa Parks and the generations before her for what they faced in real cruelty, real oppression, and real, institutionalized bigotry.
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Quote of the Day

A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.
-W. C. Fields
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Thursday, September 28, 2006

IN DREAMS

"I close my eyes, then I drift away
Into the magic night. I softly say
a silent prayer, like dreamers do."

At the John F. Kennedy University in California, researchers have been busy. They have been monitoring the dreams of people, and in this research they have discovered what they call "fundamental differences between the dream worlds of people on the ideological left and the ideological right."
Among his findings, Kelly Bulkeley discovered that liberals are more restless sleepers and have a higher number of bizarre, surreal dreams—including fantasy settings and a wide variety of sexual encounters. Conservatives’ dreams were, on average, far more mundane and focused on realistic people, situations and settings ...

"While some of my colleagues think my research reinforces the stereotype of repressed, uptight conservatives, it also shows that many liberals may he hanging on the edge of mental well-being,” Mr. Bulkeley said. “There may be a lot of hidden distress and unpleasantness in the liberal mind."
Whether this is because there are basic mental differences between the ideological left and right, or because of some other factor - such as the mindset someone engages in when on one side or the other - is unclear. One thing is sure, the left and right think differently on more than political subjects. It is a worldview distinction; a difference between the basic ways one looks at everything and filters all information.
The study includes some of the dreams recounted by liberals, such as the following nightmare: "I was at a presidential rally where George W. Bush was speaking. There was so much red, white and blue. Bush speaks: 'There are those who say that we are giving up our civil liberties. But I say, we should be proud to sacrifice our freedoms for America!' The crowd went wild, clapping, cheering and waving flags. I awoke in a cold sweat."
The problem with this kind of research is that you're taking the word of the people involved. They have to be honest and more remember accurately what they dreamed about - something I often cannot really do. For example, conservatives generally reported that when they dreamed of sex, the dream was with their sweetheart or wife. But when liberals did, they reported sexual encounters with strangers and a variety of people. Liberal women especially tended to report dreams of sexual activity with other women.

Is this accurate, or is this the reporting of people who are trying to say what they think they ought to, or to generate a perception of them that they prefer? One thing is certain, honest or not, the researchers are accurate when they say “There may be a lot of hidden distress and unpleasantness in the liberal mind."

"It’s not exactly hidden" says blogger Tim Blair. And his commenters told their dreams:
Much as I like the idea that science confirms liberals as paranoid fantasists, this ‘study’ is classic academic BS, straight from the University of Laputa. The ‘affect’ of dreams - the way they feel to the dreamer - is unquantifiable and incommunicable, and any attempt to define it belongs more to the realm of literature than psychology.
-by cuckoo


Funny that.
I dreameed the other night that every 747 on the planet was chartered by the Left for a mass evacuation to Saudi Arabia so that they could all get an intoxicating whiff of Sharia Law in person.

The really weird bit was that most of them (druggies, sodomites, adulterers, and those who attempted to form a protest rally in Riyadh), were never seen nor heard from again.
-by Bonmot


oh god, I can’t believe I’m actually going to attempt to explain this, but here goes…
According to the article, the only robust finding is the difference in sexual scenarios. But how did he define “conservatives” when he selected these people? If sexual conservatism, family values, and belief in monogamy was part of his criteria, then of course those dream more about monogomous sex. If that’s the case, then the finding is banal. If he used voting patterns, or attitudes to gun ownership, capitalism, or Iraq, then the study is more interesting, but the article doesn’t say how “conservative” was defined. I’m guessing it’s the banal version, which makes it a no-brainer.

and vice versa, if he classified people as “liberal” based on their sexual attitudes, then naturally those people are going to have more bizarre sex dreams.
-by Daddy Dave

Does quantity or depravity of the dreams make it more or less “liberal”?

If one right winger has a dream involving a midget, a donkey, a football team Osama bin liner and a lot of effort does that cancel out 2 dreams of wife swapping for the other side?
-the frollickingmole


JFKU, which is based just a couple of miles from me is mostly famous for its
Holistic Studies Department and its semi-accredited law school. In the 1970s, they offered degrees in “paranormal” studies, although I trust that’s all been folded into the Holistic Studies department.

For what its worth, it doesn’t really have a campus—it’s in an office park a half a block behind an Outback Steakhouse.
-by Andrew


”... a higher number of bizarre, surreal dreams—including fantasy settings and a wide variety of sexual encounters.”

Sounds like the U.N. to me.
-by inurbanus



I realize California has a shitload of institutions of higher learning, but JFK University? Never heard of it.

Overall, conservative males appear to sleep the most soundly and remember the fewest dreams, while liberal women are the most restless sleepers and fantastical dreamers.

Could it be that liberal women are left so unsatisfied during their waking hours, they have to make up for it when they’re asleep? Doesn’t say a lot for liberal men, does it? And apparently conservative males go to sleep well satisfied which does speak volumes about conservative females.

For the record, even though I consider myself fairly down-to-earth and steady (and not the least bit repressed nor uptight), I do have some outrageously bizarre and colorful dreams (though logical--they’re always logical in their way and sexual encounters are indeed monogamous). Quite entertaining, really. I love 'em!
-by Kyda Sylvester
In a way I'm reminded of the scene in Ghostbusters where Dr. Venkman is engaging in an experiment involving ESP that is little more than an attempt to get a cute coed into bed.
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HONKY

"Speaking of white hoods, what's Robert 'White Nigger' Byrd up to these days?"

Nigger. There, I said it. Just like every rapper does in every song a good three dozen times, and just like every character in a Quentin Tarantino movie at least twenty-seven times. It's odd how words become forbidden and shocking. Deep down just putting that word in my title gives me a feeling of regret and shame - a word. In the past, blaspheming God's name was so shocking people were put to death for it. Until fairly recently, it was considered incredibly horrible to do so in public, let alone in entertainment.

Times change, and so do words. I'd be willing to bet there are few white people on the planet that are offended or even negatively affected at all by someone calling them "casper," "ofay," "cracker," "white devil," or any of the other dozen odd smears on whites. They don't have any punch, any weight to them. Plus, they sound silly. Come to think of it most racial slurs sound silly. "Kike?" Where on earth did that one come from? "Spic" sounds like part of a cleaning product.

Yes, I'm saying things you are never to say. No doubt Google will give me some very odd hits because of this story. The reason many of these have the power they did and for some still do is because whites were in a position of power and would abuse and brutalize non-whites by the use of these terms. It wasn't just non-whites, either. Subcategories of whites were attacked, with words like "guinea," "frog," "mick" and "kraut." Simply being someone else was sufficient for a cute name to be used, and used to attack. These words only have power because we let them, because we feel attacked, weak, and helpless before the people using them.

Before you hate me or start to throw rocks, or give me angry comments, read this whole post. I wanted to get all that out of the way before we started with a great article from Coalition of the Swilling:

Should we not allow Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor to run for public office?

The MSM has been all a-twitter about what George Allen did or did not say whilst at the University of Virginia in the 70s, and the blogs have been following this frankly ridiculous story.

Yes, ridiculous. It disgusts me to no end how all these people are primping and parading around saying "Ooh golly, I never said that word with these sainted lips!". Oh bullsh*t. I was born in 1964, and everyone said it at some point. To our society's great credit as the 60s became the 70s became the 80s people gained awareness of such casual racism and people who used it were mostly quietly shunned, and those who used it and meant it in its full derogatory nature more and more likely to be openly and publically shunned and dressed down. That's called progress, folks, and it's a good thing. Social change does not happen overnight, and frankly the change that I've seen in my lifetime over how minorities are treated by people in everyday life in our country is one of the things I'm proudest of as an American.

I attended the University of Virginia in the early 80s, roughly a decade behind the folks embroiled above, and I certainly heard the word used by both blacks and whites, but I have to say that even by then most times the context was more Blazing Saddles than David Duke.

It's only a word, folks. A hateful word. A word that reminds us of the worst in ourselves and our country's past. Perhaps it should remind us of how far we've come from that shameful past.

I agree with his point, and with the one he ends with: we ought not casually toss around words that people find hurtful. I am frustrated and annoyed with how black rappers use the word "nigger" so often in their songs, even Richard Pryor stopped using it because he said he realized it was actually more damaging than helpful. That it was simply perpetuating the hate that he was trying to mock.

Racism is bad because it's cruel, demeaning, and deliberately attempting to dehumanize someone. It's an excuse to be hateful and bullying, to crush someone because you propose that they are less than you. It's a stupid, ignorant thing to do. Our society is much better for having rejected racism and bigotry with such vehemence. Racism is a sin, it is intentionally attacking your fellow man who carries the image of God in him, which however dimly we all do.

But let's be honest. There are a lot of sinful things and horrid things you can do in your life, there are far greater evils than having said a racial slur some time in your past. Racism should be condemned just like any other cruel, mean, pointless, and deliberately demeaning thing. But it ought not be treated as the worst possible evil in the world. Especially when what you accuse someone of is not particularly racist to begin with.

One of the main points behind Blazing Saddles, the movie from which the line Mr. Bingley starts his article off came, was to force people to face racism. It is not only a brilliant comedy, it is a powerful satire on bigotry and racism, making it look stupid and worthless. Like all good satire, it's incredibly effective at getting the point across without seeming to. You walk away from the movie realizing how idiotic and wrong racism is without even thinking about it.

The right place to go from there is to get away from even paying heed to race, to a place where we don't care if someone is the first black president - just if he's a good president. Where we don't notice someone's ethnic background when dealing with them, and further we don't promote, push, and draw attention to that in our actions and deliberate statements. I want to see a day where we care as much about someone's ethnic ancestry as we do about the color of their hair, and where it causes as much concern.

I want to see a day like Martin Luther King jr spoke of where someone is judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, both for ill and good. And constantly bringing up racism in every single setting does not move us toward that day.
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WHEN BLOGGERS ATTACK

"I think this is the first blog comment thread I've ever read where the host uses more obscene language than the commentors."

The spectacle of bloggers disagreeing with each other and even waging a war of words. Such can at times be entertaining, and typically boosts both blogs in terms of readership and thus esteem and ranking. But there's another kind of attack that can happen, and Dean Esmay recently engaged in both on his blog. First, he attacked Michelle Malkin's positions on Muslims.
I'm publicly calling out Michelle Malkin, someone whom I often disagree with but usually respect. I hope she will think about it and respond thoughtfully and not angrily or flippantly.

Muslim HeadstoneThe [accompanying] emblem is carved into the headstone of many brave Americans who died for their country, including some who are buried at Arlington National Cemetary, a place I have visited and been humbled by.
...
So let's just fight the Muslims. But that means you want to fight well over a billion people found in over 100 countries around the globe. Including people in America's armed forces who are serving with honor and distinction right now.
...
Indeed, I would like to publicly challenge Michelle Malkin: you've said you've stopped using terms like "Islamo-fascist" and "Islamic radicals" because they don't make sense. Oh really?
...
I'm making an open appeal to your conscience, Michelle Malkin, and to the conscience of conservatives everywhere: shouldn't you start making a distinction between Muslims who hate us and want to kill us, and Muslims who believe in freedom, democracy, and religious tolerance?
Mr Esmay's point is well taken in a general sense; we should always distinguish between the Muslims who want to kill or subjugate everyone to a radical, extremist tyranny and those who are willing to live in a democracy comfortably and without the compulsion to conquer everyone around them. A distinction between Musab Al`Zarqawi and Aslam Abdullah.

Lacking any links or substantiation that Michelle Malkin ever said such a thing, and unable to find such statements with a search, we're left with trusting Mr Esmay's insistence here. I'm willing to do that, people who write for a living every single day of the week are likely to say a lot of things, sometimes things they regret or perhaps didn't say as clearly as they liked. Or perhaps they say thing such as "at times I consider doing x" or "I can see how you can justify taking position y."

But this prompted a comment on Dean Esmay's blog which is what I want to focus on.
Dean,

This is like the tenth person that you mischaracterized their position and then attacked. You never provide specifics because if you did you couldn't support your assertions.

There are other ways to fight the intolerant nature of Islam than all out war on every Muslim on the planet at once. That's stupid and Malkin never asserted that position. You really seem to have no concern for the truth what-so-ever.

Does the fact that there a billion muslims make their ideology ethical and something to be lauded or just something to be feared?

The US has had to deal with Islamic trouble in the past. We dealt with it without having to take on ever Muslim on the planet, just those attacking our interests and the countries that harbored them. We didn't go into fits of political correctness to accomplish it either.
-by Brian Macker
Now, I don't know if this is really such a common exercise by Dean Esmay or not, I don't visit his blog all that often. I don't know if Dean Esmay commonly attacks someone and does not provide information that supports his charge or the target's culpability.

But he certainly did in this instance with Michelle Malkin, and it seems like a reasonable charge. And here's where my point comes in. Dean Esmay's response is completely and without excuse one of the worst examples of anger, bitterness, and bile by a blogger spewed at one of his readers who was thoughtful and interested enough to leave a comment on his site:
Brian: You lying traitor. I have provided specifics time and time again, and all you have offered in response are vague handwaving generalizations and out-of-context, cherry-picked quotations of the Koran.

Indeed, intellectual coward that you are, you have not answered my specifics, such as why you do not acknowledge Muslims like Hamid Karzai and Nouri al-Maliki as our allies. You do not do that, because you can't: you're such an intellectual lightweight that you say nothing about them—you [expletive deleted] Benedict Arnold turncoat traitor.

Oh, but you have some cherry-picked, out-of-context quotes from the Koran, which you use to spit on our Muslim allies, you [expletive deleted] traitor [expletive deleted].

I hope you know I only keep you around to help emphasize my point: there are people on the Right who are [explieive deleted] traitors, which is what you are.

Until you acknowledge and embrace our Muslim allies, that is all you will ever be: a(n) [expletive deleted] traitor [spit].
Now, there is apparently some history here between these two, it seems that Brian Macker has in the past posted comments, at least at times pointing out how the Koran makes clear statements calling for violent action against unbelievers and supporting some terrorist activities. It is not a secret that Islam was spread by the sword, that Muhammad conquered cities and imposed his religion on others by force, and that the theme of Islam is often conquest.

However, the Koran also has many passages that call for peace, protecting the weak, and condemning attacks on civilians and innocent bystanders. There is a passage that even condemns the use of force and violence against the homes and businesses of an enemy. In other words, there are portions that support both peaceful coexistence with - and violent holy war against - unbelievers.

Whatever the background and posting of Brian Macker in the past, there is simply no possible justification or manner in which Dean Esmay's response is remotely justified. The profanity filled tirade of insults, personal attacks, and even internet phlegm hurling is unconscionable. This is exactly how not to respond to commenters on your site.

If someone is kind and interested enough in your work to visit, and what's more, leave a personal message with their thoughts, it is the height of ingratitude and meanness (in the sense of being a small person, lacking magnanimity) to attack and insult them, especially in such a vile manner. This was shocking for me to read, it was totally out of the blue.

Various other commenters responded, just as shocked as me. One said that he'd never seen anything of the sort from Dean before, and one even suggested he consider taking a break from blogging.

You have to understand as a blogger, someone may be reading your site for the very first time. They don't know what history some commenter has on the blog, they don't know what has transpired in the past. All they know is what they see when they read for the first time. We all as bloggers have a responsibility to be polite as possible to all visitors. Compare that outburst with this excerpt from Michele at Reformed Chicks Blogging, responding to a spammer:
Hi Michelle. Glad I found your site! I'll be visiting more often. Can't figure out how to make trackbacks work on your site, so I'll leave a post here if that is okay:

"Bill Clinton is a Big, Fat Liar"
at RightLinx [link removed]
-by mccain


And McCain, feel free to leave links anytime!

And thanks for stopping by and commenting. And I hope you do return :-)
-by Michele
Personally, I just delete spam with a smile and it's gone. But Michele decided to respond with a wink and a smile. Certainly that's better than a profanity-packed spittle-flecked tirade. Commenters are your guests, treat them with respect and dignity.
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Quote of the Day

Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.
-Will Rogers
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

PEPTO CREAM©!

"For the slightly lactose intolerant, does the pepto in the ice cream make it so that…well…one doesn’t need pepto after eating the ice cream?"

Pepto CreamFor those of you who like cats, or just cute things, and haven't looked at Kittenwars, open a tab (you are using Firefox, right?) and check it out! The guy who owns and runs that site also has a blog named Blogjam, address blogjam.cow according to his header. He's had a pretty interesting life, including some time working for the Cure, and came up with an interesting idea. For a hangover cure, he uses Pepto Bismol and Ice Cream. So... why not Pepto Bismol ice cream!
Ice cream. Pepto-bismol. Pepto-bismol. Ice cream. After a while, it became obvious. I should combine the two. So I wrote to Proctor & Gamble, manufacturers of the liquid, and asked their opinion:
I am a long-time user of Pepto-Bismol. I like the fact that it is extremely pink, and find it very useful for coping with alcohol-induced bouts of digestive trauma.

But can you cook with Pepto-Bismol? I am thinking of making some Pepto-Bismol ice-cream, and want to know if there are any dangers involved.

Thanks in advance,

Fraser
With the kind of wild efficiency you’d expect from such a vast organisation, a response swiftly arrived.
Hello and thanks for your e mail.

Pepto-Bismol is a strictly controlled medicine and should only used as a remedy to relieve the symptoms of an upset stomach.

Kind regards,

Christine

Consumer Relations
Not the kind to be daunted by a non-answer, he decided to whip up... his own batch of Pepto Bismol Ice Cream. Yes, it sounds awful to me too. He runs into a problem, however:
Stirring the ingredients together, however, does reveal a serious problem. The passionate Pepto pink has diminished somewhat, leaving behind a more anaemic imitation. Thankfully, help is at hand. In the far reaches of the blogjam pantry I’m able to score an ancient bottle of scarlet food dye, and add a capful to the brew.
He runs into a few problems, but manages to pull off the pinkish mixture; medicinal and ice creamy. How was it?
The taste? Actually, it’s quite nice. The vanilla and sugar temper the metallic bitterness of the medicine, giving the end result a flavour not too dissimilar to black cherry. And as a hangover cure? Initial studies are encouraging, with no negative side-effects experienced as yet. A mild mid-week drinking session provided the first test, and while my cross-breed concoction certainly didn’t eliminate the suffering altogether, the benefits did not go unnoticed.

Obviously, if I’m to suggest to P&G that they approach Ben & Jerry’s to produce a commercial version, there will have to be proper clinical trials, with control groups and placebos and suchlike, but I’m hopeful. It’ll sit nicely on the shelves next to my paracetamol bacon roll.
Commenters had to have their say on this:
I could do with a scoop of that this morning. Am regretting my choice of strong lager last night. It always makes me feel awful the day after.
-by Ant


Sounds yummy, but I have a hangover cure (or, more accurately, preventative) that actually works: Milk Thistle. Take one or two tablets of this herb extract before imbibing (preferably a day or two before) and you will wake up feeling fresh as a daisy. It works, honest.
-by Martin


Admirable cure, but if you upchuck, the Chinese doctors will be appalled…

Novenmber 20th.

(A blog entry from friends who taught in China last year. Be Quiet! A foreigner is sick!)
-by Kea


i remember you coming to my flat, staying the night, and in the morning eventually kicking out another guest, who was in my bathroom (reminder: he is a llama fancier and wierdly has a surname similar to “toilet” in Spanish) whilst exclaiming something like “I have IBS and if you don’t get out I will [explitive deleted] on the floor!”.

I distinctly remember calmly suggesting at the time, whilst leaning against a door frame and boss-eyedly licking a Cornetto, that you should create a pepto-bismal icecream to avoid situations like this in future.

My questions are:

1) why did it take so long for you to create it, and

2) why have you not told the world it was my idea in the first place?
-by chris


Adrienne is on to something! In the spirit of the “Ben & Jerry’s” ice-creams that all have to have some absurd ingredient of different consistency and texture stirred in, you could make “Extra-Strength” PB ice-cream by stirring in broken-up PB pills!
I wonder what “Cold Stone” would say if you requested PB bits mixed in?
-by Philippe


I get a stonking, piercing headache from eating ice-cream, if it rests too long on the roof of my mouth. The only remedy is to rapidly & violently rub my tongue over the roof (of my mouth) till it warms up enough for the pain to subside.

I wonder, if I dissolved some Aspro-Clear (R) through my next batch of home-made strawberry ice-cream, would it cause and cure my headache all in one go?
-by Mr Aux


Jerry Scott, formerly of Sparky’s Ale House in Brooklyn, invented another hangover cure - to be used when you wake up and want to continue drinking!
THE PEPTRON
Equal parts Pepto Bismol and Absolut Citron, shaken with ice and served with a twist of lemon.
Enjoy!
-by B-Dog


now for the science bit….

Milk Thistle works because it strenghens your livers magical powers of washing your blood or what ever it does to it… i’ll stick with magic.

This is a great idea tho’ You do realise that if someone gets hold of it and thinks “Yes! We can produce ALL our medicine in ice cream form so that children will take it with out whinging and the parents will get some respite from medicinal tantrums!!” that you will have essentially thrown away possibly the greatest money making idea of our time?

Good job you posted it on the internet, ‘cos NO ONE looks at that….
-by Andi


I never thought about combinding the two things. For the slightly lactose intolerant, does the pepto in the ice cream make it so that…well…one doesn’t need pepto after eating the ice cream?[I was wondering the same thing, actually]
-by Witheld


I recommend Cysteine (usually available as N-Acetyl-Cystein), B1, Vitamin C — 500 mg of each. These can be taken while drinking (most effective) or even the morning after. They have no effect on how drunk you get, just how hungover you feel the next day. B1 and Vitamin C are classics. Cystein delivers sulfer which is needed in glutathione which processes acetaldehyde which is the breakdown product of alcohol. Acetaldehyde is somewhat toxic (though we normally have some floating around) and is a big part of hangovers.

I can’t speak to your particular digestive issues, but this combination plus a liter of water will cure all but the most serious hangover, and you can always raise the dose several fold if needed.
-by Alex


Pepto-Bismol is just a formulation, the active substance (bismuth-oxide- salicylate or galate) is not protected. Nothings stops you or Walgreens from making a knockoff. So Ben & Jerry can proceed with their miraculous hangover cure without P&G approval, as long as they don’t call it Pepto-Bismol.

One word of advice: Greasy and salty food is good for hangover (if you manage not to barf it up) and fatty food also mixes well with alcohol during partying. Sugar is bad - it competes with alcohol for the same enzymes and tired dehydrogenase = bad hangover. (Have you ever noticed that sweet liquors and desert wines are nastiest hangover-makers?) So, if I were you, I would reduce sugar content in the hangover icecream and maybe add some caffeine and B-vitamins to it.
-by Secret Milkshake


My guess is that the warning against freezing is because freezing would draw water out of the Pepto solution, leaving a more concentrated liquid. If you partially froze a bottle of Pepto and then took a teaspoon full of the thickened medicine, it would be stronger than the recommended dose. Here’s a description of bismuth subsalicylate side effects.

In your ice cream mix, however, the medicine is somewhat diluted to begin with, and any ice crystals remain mixed with the Pepto, melting and remixing pretty rapidly on their way to the stomach. So I don’t think there should be any ill effects simply from the ice cream making process.

Note: I am not a doctor. Nor do I play one on TV.
-by Umbriel
No telling how healthy this idea is, but the chemicals in Pepto Bismol are pretty simple - at least the effective ones - so being mixed in frozen material shouldn't be too bad. The only danger I think would be in eating too much and poisoning yourself as Umbriel notes. At the very least it was worth a laugh!
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BEAUTIFUL DESIGN

"Clearly beauty is in the eye of the beholder..."

1930 Mercedes Benz Count Trossi SSK
As I've noted before on a similar subject, any "top x" list will never please anyone, even the people gathering the list together. But they are fun to do and in some cases enlightening and interesting to examine. The Automotoportal, an automotive industry news blog, has posted their list of the top ten most beautiful cars of all time.
Our search for the most beautiful cars was primarily guided by one criterion - undoubtful and unmistakable beauty, as much as it is possible to use that term when referring to cars. It is a rather ungrateful theme, since beauty is very subjective and impossible to generalize. For some, there can be no match to old timers, while on the other side there are car enthusiasts who believe that car design has never been more perfect than today.
Naturally any such list is going to be controversial, and I tend toward more classic, older designs than more modern ones. For example, their list includes the clunky looking Rolls Royce Phantom. What would be on your list? Here's what commenters at the site had to say:
Enzo and Ettore are rolling in their graves. The Dino and the Veyron? What about the 250 GTO Berlinetta and the Atlantic?
These were some pretty terrible choices.
-by Brent Castle


If this had been some kind of top 10 classic cars or something, some of these entries might have made sense. As a list of beauties, several of these are actually hideous. There is a difference between vintage appeal and eye appeal. Way too many much better looking cars left out. This selection can ONLY be explained via the snob/elitist factor.
-by Terry in Iowa


The Jag coupe actually is a good choice.

The Dino is a good Ferrari representative, although I would have chosen the Daytona.

Swap the Shelby for a DeTomaso Pantera

And I think I would have chosen a '57 Thunderbird.

Another not so obvious choice is a BMW 507.
-by Another Government Employee
your selection was great , in my opinion you missed the Citroën DS, I think was the revolutionary car on 50's, thanks for the cahnce to express my opinion Juan from mexico city
-by Juan Renteria


Based upon the comments, it shows that "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". I was at a concours event last week, and the best of show was a beautiful 1937 Bugatti. It gets my vote.
-by gak


I would have expected at least one or two Aston Martins on this list..

And if prototypes are allowed the following:
htmItaldesign Alfa Romeo Scighera

really belongs on this list aswell in my opinion!
-by Jorne


What about Aston Martin DB5, James Bond's first car, I believe?
-by Swapnonil


My top 10 (not in any order):

Cord

Auburn Speedster

Lamborghini Miura

Jaguar E Type

Volvo 122

Mini

Citroen CX

Mercury Cougar 1967 229

Volvo P1800

Opel Manta A
-by teevee


I've always thought the E-Type is very overrated. To me, the proportions are very awkward, particularly the size and position of the greenhouse and the way the wheels are so far inboard. I think the Aston Martin looks 100 times better. I don't think that ugly-ass mustang belongs on the list, either. And there are a lot of better Rolls choices than the current Phantom. But that's just my opinion.
-by SKetch


Asking car guys to define a 10 best list is a quick way to start a heated debate. No matter what your taste in vehicles are, this is a list of automobiles that have merit for a variety of reasons. Would I name the same cars? Probably not, but that doesn't diminish a list that someone else created.
-by Steve


You left out Duesenberg, Delahaye, Cord, 67 Corvette, Bentley Aerosedan...but you included the Rolls (an abortion of it's former self), Mustang, Pagani, Ferrari Dino (should have chosen 365GTB Daytona)...and when referring to the XKE, you call Malcolm Sayer "the man to blame for this beauty"...even your grammar is incorrect!
-by Howard Cohen
I agree that the Duesenberg and the Cord belong on that list, no question. I'd probably have more older cars on the list than new ones, although the Lambourghini Countach still grabs me by something primal. It is wierd that they called the 1967 Shelby "Eleanor" as if that's remotely a classic name for the car. It's a reference to the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, where the cars were named for girls so the radio chatter would mislead the police.
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VOTER IDENTITY

"There is an element in this country that is against taking precautions to insure that only legal votes are cast and counted."

Legislation is now passing through congress to require photo ID to prove citizenship and identity before being allowed to vote. This simple expediency has run into a surprising amount of opposition, although it has already been law in some states such as Arizona for years now. The idea is fairly logical: we want to make sure the person voting is who they claim to be, and is a US citizen and thus legally able to vote. An ID card with a picture to demonstrate this would be a useful step toward that end, making it harder for dead people, non-citizens, and persons voting more than once to do so.

The opposition comes from two sources. The first is a libertarian camp that is wary of any national ID card or the images of requiring papers to travel or exercise rights such as voting. The second is the Democratic Party almost as a unified block, which claims this will somehow violate the rights of poorer citizens and disenfranchise them. The other major concern, one I share, is that requiring the purchase of Photo ID to vote is in essence a poll tax. The answer to this is a low-cost voter ID that the states provide for free to qualifying citizens, although I suspect there are not many who do not have such already.

The New York Times recently ran a story about a woman in Arizona, claiming that she could not vote in the upcoming election because it requires photo ID:
"Eva Charlene Steele, a recent transplant from Missouri, has no driver’s license or other form of state identification. So after voting all her adult life, Mrs. Steele will not be voting in November because of an Arizona law that requires proof of citizenship to register.

“I have mixed emotions,” said Mrs. Steele, 57, who uses a wheelchair and lives in a small room in an assisted-living center. “I could see where you would want to keep people who don’t belong in the country from voting, but there has to be an easier way.”

...It was during a registration drive at her assisted-living center, Desert Palms, that Mrs. Steele learned she could not vote. Disabled, with a son, an Army staff sergeant, on active duty, she left Missouri recently to stay with her brother and subsequently moved into the center.

Lacking a driver’s license, she could get a new state identity card, but she said she had neither the $12 to pay for it nor, because she uses a wheelchair, the transportation to pick it up.

However, this story rang a lot of alarms for Arizona residents and others at Right Wing News. John Hawkins had this to say about the article in No Photo ID? No Vote:
Setting aside the fact that it's hard to see how someone could make it to the age of 57 years old in the United States without having some kind of photo ID, there are two years between elections in this country, and I just don't believe anyone who tells me that they can't get their hands on $12 to get an ID card in that period. You can work 3 hours at minimum wage, collect that much money, and still have the cash left over to get a cheeseburger.
Commenters at RWN had this to say on the subject:
John,
In AZ there is a lenghty list of items that can be used as a "primary" ID to vote:
Following is a list of acceptable forms of identification.

Valid Arizona driver license
Valid Arizona nonoperating identification license
Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification
Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification
An identification is "valid" unless it can be determined on its face that it has expired.

The other thing the New York Times did not mention is there are other forms of ID that can be used as a "secondary" source.

Acceptable forms of identification without a photograph that bear the name and address of the elector (two required)

Utility bill of the elector that is dated within ninety days of the date of the election. A utility bill may be for electric, gas, water, solid waste, sewer, telephone, cellular phone, or cable television
Bank or credit union statement that is dated within ninety days of the date of the election
Valid Arizona Vehicle Registration
Indian census card
Property tax statement of the elector's residence
Tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification
Recorder's Certificate
Valid United States federal, state, or local government issued identification, including a voter registration card issued by the county recorder

For people to state they are not able to obtain one "primary" or two "secondary" forms are in my opinion, only trying to facilitate voter fraud.
-by 2hansom


Having worked in an assisted-living facility I can tell you that you are allowed to vote an absentee ballot with the assistance of campaign workers or facility staff.
These are just more scare tactics by the left.
-by mojoe


Ohio instated the photo ID rule this year, but also is allowing no-questions-asked absentee voting for the first time as well. No ID? Just mail your request for an absentee ballot.

This kind of hysterical reaction by the left to a complete no-brainer on election security proves that they're more interested in being able to exploit the system (through either fraud or controversy) than in seeing fair elections.

But for the record (and poor Eva Steele) I think states should issue ID cards for free, paid for by state funds instead of on an individual basis. The more people that have legal ID the better, for numerous reasons.
-by Mike_M


A couple of [Robert A. Heinlein's voting requirement] ideas:

Buy a vote: 1 oz of fine gold buys one vote. No limit.

The Booth: enter the voting booth and you are presented with a quadratic equation. Solve the equation, you get to vote.
Don't solve the equation, you leave the booth feet first.

Retroactive equality: remove all males from the voting rolls, and leave the franchise to females. Sorta payback for all the years women couldn't vote.

And of course, the "Starship Trooper" option, government service in order to earn a franchise.
-by n_obrain


Does anyone actually edit newspapers?? According to both Covenant Care & the DPAL sites, "Bus services for full wheelchair access are available".
So much for the line: "nor... the transportation to pick it up."

Of course, if she indeed is a "recent transplant", she only needs to apply for an absentee ballot from Missouri (according to Missou's web site). Of course, she'll need to pay postage....
-by jeffes


Lets see, she was able to get transportation and money to move from Missouri to Arizona but can not get 12 dollars or a ride for a few miles?

Something doesn't quite add up there. Lots of people with wheelchairs get rides to different places and if you can not save up 12 dollars in a few months you are *really* in trouble and voting is the least of your worries.
-by strcpy


Funny story regarding ID's: My wife and I decided to forego a big wedding and spend the money we would save on a fairly extravagant month-long honeymoon. So we got married at the OKC Courthouse. When we arrived at the courthouse, they asked for a state issued identification document. All I had was my driver's license, which happened to have expired 3 month's prior. In spite of my best negotiation gambits, the clerk would not let it slide.

With little time left before our plane departed for Hawaii, I had to figure something out quick. No time to go stand in line for 3 hours at the tag office to get a new license. So I drove down the block to Wal-Mart, went to the Sporting Goods department, and told them I needed a new fishing license. They asked for my ID, I gave them my expired driver's license, and they never even looked at it. So with my state-issued fishing license in hand, I went back to the courthouse and handed over the goods. The clerk rolled her eyes at me, but it was state issued so she had to accept it. An hour later I was happily married.

One more reason why I love Wal-Mart.
-by President_Friedman


I just realized that there is another problem with the NYT story.
The cost in AZ for an ID is NOT $12 but $4.
Here is the direct information from the AZ MVD site:
Duplicate Driver license or Identification Cards will cost you a state fee of $4.00.
Here is the link: https://servicearizona.com/dupinfo.html#conv_fee
-by 2hansom
The New York Times news story is one of my least favorite legacy media tricks: the vaguely accurate news story that leaves out lots of details, designed to scare the hell out of older people and sway their votes. It's a crass, deliberate attempt to manipulate people by an opinion piece disguised as a news story and this is hardly the first. News stations and papers do this all the time, with different stories, even if it's not a news story. Their intent seems to be to terrify people about even the most basic, simple objects.

Comedian Bill Engvall tells a story about a Barbie that was pulled from the shelves because she has skates that spark when you ran her around on a surface. He relates watching a news story on the toy which showed a news anchor with a perfectly serious face saying "This doll looks safe enough, doesn't it? But what if Barbie skated through a pool of gasoline?" I don't know about you, but I doubt there's a lot of pools of gas lying around the average house full of little girls with Barbie dolls. Sure enough, the gas lights up if you scoot those things through such a pool - but is that a rational concern? I'm sure if you shove Barbie far enough up your nose it will cause serious injury, but does that mean they ought to be banned or made nose-proof?

The entire concept of reasonable concern has been jettisoned for what you can get the public to cry out about and sue over. Is the likelihood that voter ID requirements will cause some not to vote a reasonable concern or an extreme exception? Does that requirement make our voting more or less likely to suffer from fraud? And is a news story you see or read the whole story or even a reasonable concern? I think it's not unreasonable to think that at least some politicians would rather voter fraud be easier - in Washington State 2004 we saw one benefit greatly from it, to cite just one example.
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Songs I Like: Sympathy For the Devil (The Rolling Stones)

"Every cop is a criminal/And all the sinners saints."

Rolling Stones Logo
Although hardly a Christian or even remotely religious group, the Rolling Stones managed to produce one of the best songs ever about the devil. Heavily influenced by Mikhail Bulgakov's novel "The Master and Margarita," Sympathy For the Devil starts out with a very similar line to the novel "Please excuse me," he said, speaking correctly, but with a foreign accent, "for presuming to speak to you without an introduction."

Mick Jagger said he wanted to write a Dylan-like song, something with more substance than a pop ditty. At just over 6 minutes, he also was worried it would be pretentious, but Keith Richards' suggestion of a change in rhythm to a more Samba-like beat was sufficient to avoid such charges. The song's dance-like sound and dark, lyrics are perfect for the subject matter: seems harmless and even fun, but inside something more sinister lies.

The key elements of the Devil's work are all included in the song, a rapid survey of history's lowlights and dark moments with a twisted viewpoint on how and why they happened. He points out the game is to turn good to evil and evil to good, to turn people against what they believe in and betray what they stand for, to bring chaos, war, misery, and horror. The only part of the song I can't identify is "And I laid traps for troubadours/Who get killed before they reached Bombay" which sounds awfully specific, but I can't find out who Mick Jagger is referring to.

Despite many comments that try to link this song to demon worship by the band and the song's title its self, this is not a song that is promoting the Devil at all. It is a cautionary tale, a warning and a litany of horror by the dark one himself.

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and faith
And I was round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around st. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain
I rode a tank
Held a generals rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
I shouted out,
Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me
Let me please introduce myself
Im a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me lucifer
cause I'm in need of some restraint
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, um yeah
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down

Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!
Tell me baby, what's my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what's my name
I tell you one time, you're to blame
Ooo, who
Ooo, who
Ooo, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Oh, yeah
Whats me name
Tell me, baby, what's my name
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Ooo, who, who
Oh, yeah
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Quote of the Day

"Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!"
-Golda Meir
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

DISILLUSIONED

"The discovery has been particularly shocking because at heart I have always been an environmentalist."

Phelim Mcaleer was assigned by the Financial Times to Romania; his job was to report on the Rosia Montana mines there and a campaign by western Environmentalists against it. When he arrived, he found out that what he'd been told by these idealists was less than accurate.
It was the usual story. The environmentalists told how Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining company, was going to pollute the environment and forcibly resettle locals before destroying a pristine wilderness.

But when I went to see the village for myself I found that almost everything the environmentalists were saying about the project was misleading, exaggerated or quite simply false.

Rosia Montana was already a heavily polluted village because of the 2,000 years of mining in the area. The mining company actually planned to clean up the existing mess.
Turns out the locals were lining up to sell their decrepit homes for well over the market rate to the mining company rather than being turned out by the evil corporation. But the disillusionment didn't end there.
It was surprising that environmentalists would lie, but the most shocking part was yet to come. As I spoke to the Western environmentalists it quickly emerged that they wanted to stop the mine because they felt that development and prosperity will ruin the rural "idyllic" lifestyle of these happy peasants.

This "lifestyle" includes 70 percent unemployment, two-thirds of the people having no running water and using an outhouse in winters where the temperature can plummet to 20 degrees below zero centigrade.

One environmentalist (foreign of course) tried to persuade me that villagers actually preferred riding a horse and cart to driving a car.

Of course the Rosia Montana villagers wanted a modern life - just like the rest of us. They wanted indoor bathrooms and the good schools and medical care that the large investment would bring.
The stereotype of mining is one of crushing, evil oppression by the brutal corporation, using miners who were little more than slaves, greasing the skids of profit with the blood of workers and raping the land in their never ending greed. But Mcaleer found a different sort of threat to miners and the people who live nearby.
This threat is not from cigar-sucking, champagne-swilling robber barons. Mining is now one of the most regulated businesses in the world. Banks will not lend to, insurance companies will not cover and governments will not give licenses to companies that want to open unsafe or polluting mines.

Instead I have discovered that the biggest threat to miners and their families comes from upper-class Western environmentalists.
Tim Blair caught this story in Admiration Eroded and quipped

Environmentalists lying? Why, this may undermine my entire belief system.

Commenters there responded:
"One environmentalist (foreign of course) tried to persuade me that villagers actually preferred riding a horse and cart to driving a car.”
That reminds me of this professor I had, who was against paving roads and busing workers to their factory jobs in some South American country (I forget which one) because then “they wouldn’t get any exercise” the way they were currently from walking several miles to and from work every day up a dirt path in the blazing tropical heat.
-by Andrea Harris


Wish I could find the old, racist lyrics to Mississippi Mud. It could be the environmentalists’ theme song.

For half a century, what passed for Leftist thought was based on Soviet propaganda. Nevskyy Prospekt had a real dilemma in the fact that the United States, after toying with the idea (see: Roosevelt, T) became disgusted and disillusioned with imperialism after WWII. The USSR, on the other hand, was not just imperialist but actively expansionist. Somehow it had to be established that a McDonalds, opened by a private citizen without Government support and often against Government opposition, was evidence of imperialism, and a division of troops with red stars on their hats sent to depose a local government and install a Kremlin-friendly one was not.

The final result of that was the doctrine of “cultural imperialism”, which completes the inversion: the “Left” are now the full-throated supporters of dictatorship, oligarchy, and oppression of the Proletariat, not just reactionary but retrogressive. The Watermelon Greens fully subscribe to that. They crib heavily from Rousseavianism to support their arguments, as the Russian propagandists did, but the pattern was set in the Fifties: D. Eisenhower was an imperialist, and J. Dzugashvili was not. If you accept that syllogism, everything they do makes sense.
-by Ric Locke


#

Much of the revisionism of marxism was done by the adherants of the School of Frankfurt or Frankfurt School.

What I meant by #6 but forgot to say is, if you read up on the authors from the School of Frankfurt, you get a very clear picture of what all the leftobots are rantochanting and where the degeneration of critical thought started.

You’ll also find each and every talking point of modern DNC and other marxist aligned platforms and a good indepth primer on their methodology and end goals.

This is also the common language to much of the enviro movement.
-by Grimmy


Actually, the permits to mine at Rosia Montana include mitigation of existing pollution left over from previous, primitive operations, going all the way back to the Romans.
-by Harry Bergeron


#

This is what environmentalism has come to: obstructing economic progress in the name of some romantic, never-existed notion of Idyllic Nature. In their view, the Happy Peasants are living clean, safe, peaceful lives in some quaint rural setting, and they ignore the fact that life for the Happy Peasant is actually short, nasty, and brutally hard. The cure for this deadly mindset is to force some of these woolly-headed enviros to live some of that life for themselves and see how they like it.
-by RebeccaH


Rebecca, what you describe is the “myth of the noble savage" (Wikipedia, grain of salt, etc, but it is fairly straightforward), adjusted for the fantasies of the environmentalists.

The concept that living without civilization is somehow better on a (for lack of a better word) spiritual level is an old one, and has gotten no less silly with age.

The model for the “noble savage” was once the Native American tribes American Indian. That completely ignored the fact that those “noble savages” were butchering and enslaving each others generations before the Europeans came to the America. And that includes the documented pre-European civilizations!! Not to mention the brutal lives the hunter-gatherer tribes lived just to gather food.

Then the modern environmentalist religion, which worships Mother Gaia™, took that myth, filed off the serial numbers, and incorporated it into their core beliefs. What a bunch of ignorant wankers.

Except the ones making a bundle off the ignorant wankers—they’re just leeches.
Posted by The_Real_JeffS


1. Tracking the voting patterns by electorate in the last Australian Federal election showed that the Greens vote was exactly in inverse proportion to the number of trees in the electorate.

2. Now that forest planting is becoming big business several rural areas in Australia are providing evidence that forests are ruining their area’s ecology.
-by allen


I was an active member of both Greenpeace and the ACF for about 7 years. I love animals and the bush, and innocently expected that these would be the object of campaigns. But no, as the Reds steadily infiltrated the ranks and muscled out largely non-partisan gentle greenies, the rhetoric became stridently anti-Western and anti-American in particular. Moreover, the conservation message became infused with distracting ideologies like feminism and Chomsky-ite claptrap. So I dropped out.

I also witnessed one example of flagrant lying, like Phelim Mcaleer: during a campaign to stop some development near a creek in a nature reserve in Brisbane, we wanted to take some photos. But the area that was going to be affected was not really very attractive, so the photographer was told to find a more photogenic part of the creek to include in the campaign leaflets. Very disillusioning. Very Gramsci.
-by Bearded Mullah

The concept that living without civilization is somehow better on a (for lack of a better word) spiritual level is an old one, and has gotten no less silly with age.
Blame Jean-Jacques Rousseau for this. One of the original enviro-hippies and very much a ‘Do as I say, not as a I do’ type. A nasty piece of work cloaked in sanctimonious humbug. Popular with pony-tailed latte-sipping types.
-by walterplinge


VS Naipaul once decsribed visiting an Indian village that was finally getting a reliable and clean water supply. Some idiot - public official or do-gooder, I can’t recall which - was running around bemoaning the fact that these people were going to lose touch with their Ghandian simplicity. Or words to that effect.
Naipaul described this fool as being in love with ‘romantic poverty.’ And he gave those two words all the contempt they deserve.
-by SwinishCapitalist


Re the sanctification of the “Noble Savage” see Roger Kimball or Roger Sandall. Sandall describes the phenomenon variously as “designer tribalism”, “romantic primitivism” and “primitive culture worship”.

A couple of snippets from Sandall:
you won’t find much romantic primitivism where civil society has never taken root—in Russia, in West Africa, in parts of South America—where the barbaric is right in your face day after day. It is a Western sentimentalism indulged by ignorant, white, discontented urbanites. ...

In brief. Both lapsed Christians and a disappointed Left have taken to Primitive Culture Worship as a sanctified substitute for everything they once held dear: this is the main source of the restless moral emotion feeding the Culture Cult today. Yet this final gesture on behalf of an idealised communalism can only fail. Noble savages are neither more nor less noble than you or I: they are human—all too human.
Good stuff.
-by Janice
The modern environmental movement, sadly, has largely become a trojan horse for anti-capitalist Luddites and radical leftists. This is a real tragedy because movements like the Sierra Club, PIRG, and Greenpeace started out with noble goals and due to real need. The reason companies like this mining company are not brutal land-raping worker abusers is because of efforts of organizations like this. Corporations are hardly blameless, but the problem is they are presumed evil and environmentalists presumed saintly when that's never the case either way.

We need, like a strong, smart, patriotic opposition party, a strong, intelligent, and virtuous environmental movement. But these organizations all too soon are taken over by the loudest, most extreme, and most radical membership. They move from caring for the environment to attacking human achievement and survival (except members of the organization). It is a sad pattern that all too often occurs: when a group succeeds in its goals, they find new ones, increasingly radical ones to justify their continued existence. Sometimes these goals turn the entire concept of the movement on its head, such as civil rights leaders going from fighting segregation to fighting for segregating housing on college campuses.
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