Since Mar 26, 2003

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I'm just fooling around with this page...I cut and pasted from my actual homepage...doesn't look so good here. Book review 15 Apr 03

Crusade, by Rick Atkinson

The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War, or so says Atkinson. He tells the story, so I suppose it's no longer untold. This is the 1991 war, of course. The format of this book is semi-popular. Tactics and tattle tales might be a good way to put it. Some detail on behind-the-scenes decision making, some order of battle analysis, but mostly movie-of-the-week word pictures. If you're a strategist looking for insights into why the Iraqis behaved like Frenchmen, find another book. But if you want a good Friday Night Read about the war, this book is ok.

Back to the unemployment line 10 Apr 03

Cartoon of the day. Click C to show. C

Not so fit to print 9 Apr 03

Cartoon of the day. Click C to show. This one is a favorite of mine. C

The bigger the lie...7 Apr 03

Cartoon of the day. Click C to show. This one was rather hastily drawn. C

The influence of donkeys 4 Apr 03

Cartoon of the day. Click C to show. New and Improved! C

Plausible denial 3 Apr 03

Cartoon of the day. Click C to show. Yes, this is a little old. C

Saddam speaks 2 Apr 03

Cartoon of the day. Click C to show. C

Peter Arnett repents 1 Apr 03

Cartoon of the day. Click C to show. C


Yesterday, I sent this email to the M27 Coalition. They are the folks who are rabidly anti-freedom and sponsored, among other things, last week's so-called die-in at Rockefeller Center.


Some of us just can't stand it any more. But we have learned that some ships that supply the war effort make passage through the East River in New York City.

Tomorrow, in an act of civil disobedience, several of us have planned to try and block these ships along their route. We are only about 14 strong now, but we know that if word got out we could have enough people to do what we plan.

Please announce that we will meet at noon at the East River near the 63rd street entrance. From there, at 12:30 when the ships are scheduled to pass, we will swim into the river and form a human chain, linking arms and so prevent the ships from passing.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

The Union to Stop Ships in New York City

About twenty minutes later, I received this reply from them:

Are you sure you want this on the site? If you announce it publicly, the cops will make sure you are prevented from doing the action.


I wrote right back:

Good god, Mark, very, very clearly no. I am surprised that I have to be formal about this, but April Fools!

I am a day early with my joke and this is bad, I admit. I hadn't planned on revealing myself until tomorrow, but then I got your reply and realized that your mind is either so young or so addled that you took my note seriously.

I know the police read your site so as to be ready for your public tantrums, and the very thought that I might, even accidentally, cause some distraction to the brave men and women who watch over us frightens me. So, no, please, do not post my call for linking arms in the East River on your site.

Good grief.


Mark was a real sport and even wrote me back saying, "Believe me, I have heard far more bizarre proposals for actions." I did ask him what some of these bizarrer proposals were, but I have yet to hear from him.

UPDATE! I just got this from B. Taylor at M27. (I sent him the same reply I sent to Mark.)

Wow - that is an amazing, intrepid, beautiful, courageous action. Be careful, take good care of each other. Please accept my _expression of respect and admiration. I will announce this and call legal and medical which I am sure you have already done and I'll get out there if I can. PEACE!

Book review 31 Mar 03
Useful Idiots, by Mona Charon

A good book which shows how leftists have been wrong about just about every major event of the 20th century. Not just wrong, but sequentially wrong. What do I mean by this?

The story goes like this: some country decides to become socialistic (sometimes also called communistic). Leftists gush and praise and say, "Finally! Earthly paradise! O, woe is capitalism!" (capitalism is a leftist code word for freedom). We then learn that the new socialists have started to hack their fellow countrymen to pieces. Leftists say, "Propoganda! They have to eliminate a few troublemakers to gain paradise!" Conclusive evidence of the horrific crimes is brought to light. Leftists say, "Well, they have done wrong. Sort of. But it wasn't their fault, it was ours."

Then a new socialistic country arises and the cycle repeats, the leftists blissfully forgetting that all their past observations and predictions were wrong. I recommend the book, though it would have been better had it included a list of these idiots, a list that would be useful around election time.

Fair reporting... 29 Mar 03

Cartoon of the day (week, whatever). Click to show (I've not put a thumbnail yet---it's about our wonderful press coverage of the war). C

Victor Davis Hanson once more 29 Mar 03

You should not only go to this link and read what Hanson has to say, but you should also buy his books. They are all brilliantly written, and his theories of western culture and its use of military power are fascinating. (click here)

Book review 28 Mar 03
The Autobiography of a Seaman, by Admiral Lord Cochrane
The Reverse of the Medal, by Patrick O'Brian

It's appropriate to review these two books together because, as every fan of O'Brian already knows, he based Aubrey, in large part, on Cochrane. Reverse tells the story, fictionalized through Aubrey, of Cochrane's involvement in the stock market scandal that lead to his ousting from the navy rolls. Aubrey was innocent, but it's not so clear that Cochrane was, though both characters were done in by their less-than-scrupulous relatives.

Cochrane uses a lot of exclamation points! Primarily when showing how the navy wronged him. He gives convincing evidence that he was usually right and the navy usually wrong, but it also shows that he was a huge pain in ass. But likeable. Cochrane's autobiography and Reverse stops before Chochrane and Aubrey sail for Chile and glory. And O'Brian manages his usual trick of keeping you glued and breathless until the very last sentence. Both highly recommended, of course.

Ask a stupid question... 27 Mar 03

Cartoon of the week. Click to show (I've not put a thumbnail yet as I've mislaid it -- the cartoon is about a military press briefing). C

Gifted celebrities 26 Mar 03

Cartoon of the week. Click to enlarge. celebrities prattle

Clinton gave peace a chance 26 Mar 03
Dereliction of Duty, by Lt. Col. Robert Patterson, USAF (ret.)

I made this table from the material presented in Chapter 7, The War on Terrorism, of Patterson's book, and from a few outside sources. I would be grateful for any corrections or amplifications you might notice or suggest. Email me with them.

America's Response to Terrorism
President Date Incident Quote Response
Reagan 8 Oct 85 Palestinian hijacking of Achille Lauro. 1 dead. "The United States remains determined to see that those responsible for this heinous act be brought to justice and punished to the maximum extent. There must be no asylum for terrorists or terrorism." (source) Terrorists escaped in plane with Eqypt's aid, but plane was forced down by USAF and terrorists captured.
Reagan 5 Apr 86 Bombing of Le Belle Discotheque in West Berlin. 1 dead, 200 wounded. "Our evidence is direct, it is precise, and it is irrefutable. Today we have done what we had to do. If necessary, we shall do it again...He [Qadddafi] counted on American to be passive. He counted wrong." US air strikes against Tripolli, Libya. Military barracks, headquarters, airports, and training bases destroyed.
Clinton 26 Feb 93 World Trade Center Bombed. 6 dead, 1000+ injured. "Whoever attacked us did something really stupid." No direct action. Some "suspects" eventually arrested.
Clinton 8 Mar 95 Two US consulte workers gunned down in Karachi, Pakistan. 2 dead. "This was a cowardly act." No direct action.
Clinton 25 Jun 96 Truck bomb outside Khobar Towers, USAF barracks, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. 19 dead, 515 wounded. "This explosion appears to the work of terrorists, and if that is the case, like all Americans, I am outraged...The cowards who committed this murderous act must not go unpunished." No direct action.
Clinton 13 Nov 95 Bomb near US military training center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 7 dead, 40 wounded. "The US will devote an enormous effort to bring attackers to justice." No direct action.
Clinton 7 Aug 98 Bombs at US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 240 dead, 5000+ injured. "We will use all means at our disposal to bring those responsible to justice, no matter who are how long it takes." Missles fired into Afghanistan where, reportedly, a camel was killed. A pharmaceutical factory in Sudan was destroyed. No other action.
Clinton 12 Oct 00 Bombing of USS COLE off Yemen. 17 dead, 39 wounded. "A despicable and cowardly act...We will find out who was responsbile and hold them accountable." No direct action.
Bush 11 Sep 01 Airplanes destroy World Trade Center and damage Pentagon. 3000 dead, many wounded. "We have endured the shock of watching so many innocent lives ended in acts of unimaginable horror... This new enemy seeks to destroy our freedom and impose its views. We value life; the terrorists ruthlessly destroy it. We wage a war to save civilization itself. We did not seek it, but we will fight it and we will prevail." (source) Taliban destroyed, al-Qaeda routed, and Iraq freed.

Buy this book...more review coming...stay tuned.