Monday, January 31, 2005

An Offer Iraqis Can't Refuse

Ambassador John Negroponte appeared on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. He made this point.
"Any combination of 3 provinces can block ratification of the new constitution" (i.e. minority rights are built in).
Combined with something he said yesterday
If they adopt a new constitution, Iraq becomes a sovereign country under the UN resolutions. That means they can insist on American withdrawal, leaving them in complete control of their own country. Right now this date certain for the ratifying election is November 29, 2005. (Does anyone else sense the subtle guidance of the Hand of God?)

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Welcome Iraq - The Newest Land of the Free and Home of the Brave!

This is just a brief recap of a previous post (click above for the original).

O! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd home, and the war's desolation,
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land,
Praise the Power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto--"In God is our Trust;"
And the star-spangled Banner in TRIUMPH shall wave,
O'er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.

Sharon Begley of the Wall Street Journal

Avid readers will know of my previous discussions of articles by Sharon Begley of the Wall Street Journal regarding issues in science. Click above for a link to her 1/28/05 article (There should be a subscription required, but since I've paid for the subscription it works for me. I don't know if it works for you without the subscription or not!) I send her an open letter email on this article:

Ms. Begley,
You never did attempt to answer the questions I posed for you, but I'll let you try again. You are allowed to ask any woman scientist you want. The more the merrier! Just note how many you have to ask to get the correct answers to these questions.
Why should female astronauts not wear underwire bras? (No fair asking a female astronaut! You can ask all the men you want, it should be hilarious!).
If heat rises, is it the steam that allows an iron to heat the clothes?
If Bernoulli's Equation governs the flow around an airplane wing, how can the Blue Angels fly inverted?

Try those questions on the smartest women (and most men too!) you know and you'll get baffled looks. If you need a cheat sheet, email me the likeliest answers and I'll give you a response. I'll also post on my blog
Update 1/31/05 5:38 PM - Aside to Lee. Your answers are creative, but not strictly correct. You are warmest on #3. I do not intend to be a tease, but I want to give Ms. Begley a chance to survey her friends and contacts without a public cheat sheet being available. Therefore, since this is my third attempt to get an answer from her, we'll consider that the third strike is called by the ump with the publication of her next column. Normally, this is on Fridays, so check back 2/4/05 for a further status report.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Media Bias - Apologize and Move On

Caught this link (click above) on Little Green Footballs. It seems the BBC will apologize for misinterpreting Iraqi civilian death statistics.
"The BBC regrets mistakes in its published and broadcast reports yesterday."
"A BBC spokesman said the statistics would not feature in the Panorama show on Sunday. "
It seems that correcting the mistake is never a priority! And how would one correct the record without introducing the corrected statistics? ANSWER - YOU CANNOT CORRECT THE RECORD WITHOUT THE ACTUAL STATISTICS!!!

In The Red Zone

Just sent this email to Steve at In the Red Zone
"Hi Steve,
What's needed now is for the Iraqis to ask to schedule official change-of-command ceremonies! They then officially relieve the American units they intend to replace with Iraqi forces, allowing the Americans to go home with a clean conscience. They could turn these ceremonies into combination
Graduation Parties (for the Iraqis)
Bon Voyage Parties (for the Americans)
The sooner they start, the better! For example, The Big Red One is about due to rotate home! Why not avoid the cost & complication of bringing replacement American troops? Just substitute Iraqi ones instead."

Eric Liu's Graduation Day

Update on
previous post

Jan 29 2005 6:42AM
Hey did you see how short and thin and weak-eyed Liu is? And then he showed his command presence by doing this Jody Call on Graduation Day:

Here's your cadence,

Hup, Two Three, Four, Hup Two, Three Four

"I don't know but I've been TOLD
Puffy Combs is kinda BOLD
Got a piece of J Lo's ASS
Thinks he is… the upper CLASS!
Says he is the king of RAP
We all know he's full of CRAP
Gets his rhymes from Dr. SUESS
And his ho's is mighty LOOSE
But when the guns began to
was on the limo... FLOOR
Semper, Semper, Semper FI
All Marine... UNTIL I DIE!

End of day our song's been SUNG
He would lose to William HUNG
He did try to rock the VOTE
Turns out he can't rock a BOAT
Semper, Semper, Semper FI
We will laugh until we CRY
Apples, peaches, MTV
Can we stop? I need to PEE!
Semper, Semper, Semper YO
We will sing as on we GO
And tonight while in our RACKS
Puffy pays his income TAX
And in the morn we'll have more FUN
As we sing... out in the SUN
Semper, Semper, Semper FI
All Marine... UNTIL I DIE

Innovation vs. Business As Usual - Chicago Style

It seems necessity has become the Mother of Invention in the Daley administration as the property tax limits have forced a cap on the number of payrollers (and especially their pension costs) and has gotten Mayor Daley’s attention! Today’s Chicago Sun-Times has an article (click above) detailing changes in the pothole repair crews.
“On any given day, between 12 and 15 crews are on the street, down from 18 last year. And the new alignment -- which slimmed crews from six- to four-man teams -- even has foremen, once charged with keeping an eye on quality control, wielding shovels…
'Two guys can get it done'...
"Workers only had one job to do. Now, they're part of a pothole repair group. Two guys hustling can get it done, and one guy can flag traffic," Chicago Transportation Commissioner Miguel d'Escoto said….
"We make our quotas, but we never finish everything there is to do every day," he said.”
Meanwhile it seems the dramatic difference in the cost estimates for the CTA’s Brown Line have hit the fan. Of course, CTA Board Chairwoman Carole Brown has come to a shaky conclusion..
“In a letter to the Federal Transit Administration outlining changes in the federally funded project's plan, Brown wrote: "CTA should have never promised such unaffordable station designs, and it should never have pledged to keep stations open."
She added: "It is unacceptable to have such wildly erroneous professional engineering estimates for such an important project."
Now Brown is calling for CTA Inspector General Alison Perona to investigate why the agency's original Brown Line overhaul cost estimates were ‘so dramatically wrong'."
Hate to spoil the illusion, but could it be the differences between the engineering cost estimates and the final bids are a result of a broken affirmative action plan?
My company was offered a chance to bid on the project, but could not meet the affirmative action requirements without using an illegal “front operation” despite the fact the product offered is manufactured in Texas with a manufacturing & management work force that has a huge Hispanic population as one would expect in Texas!
And of course, the two remaining genral contractors are both union shops, so there is no competition for labor prices!
Where are Jesse Jackson Sr. & Jr. when we need them!!!!

Take A Journalist to Work Day - Part II

Chester (click above) has the names of some very suspect photojournalists to "invite" for Take A Journalist To Work Day!
These guys always seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time to be "independent". But I see we keep rolling up the Al-Zaqwari network so maybe we are watching these guys!
Predictions - My guess is that voter turnout will exceed 80% minimum and probably 90% with the current secular administration getting the most votes, then Sistani's slate, then the Kurdish slate. This will create an indisputable mandate for a New Iraq! How's that for bucking the trend! Wish me luck!

Friday, January 28, 2005

Command Presence

Eric Liu of Slate magazine wrote a piece on learning command presence from Marine Drill Instructors (click above). I added this comment
You missed the key point! Always tell the truth! Next time try this.
I don't know but I've been TOLD
Puffy Combs is kinda BOLD
Got a piece of J Lo's ASS
Thinks he is the upper CLASS!
Says he is the king of RAP
We all know he's full of CRAP
Gets his rhymes from Dr. SUESS
And his ho's is mighty LOOSE
But when the guns began to ROAR
He was on the limo FLOOR
Semper Fi, Semper FI
All Marine 'til the day I DIE!
Aside to Roe Conn - Try that on Lee Ermey! OH BTW, tell Christina that she's just a French Maid @ heart! Just sex and cleaning around the house all day!

Abraham Lincoln Sailors Getting Antsy

Blackfive has a post from a pilot from the Abraham Lincoln with a different spin. Here is my comment.

“I'd say this sounds like the different perspectives of "brown shoe" vs. "black shoe" navy. The aviators get to fly ashore to be greeted by crowds of cheering admirers, meanwhile the surface warriors get no positive reinforcement while sitting in a hot, humid, fetid hole when they were already supposed to be home and off to their next assignment (e.g. schools to upgrade their skills for promotion). All these guys were dragged off the streets of Hong Kong during Christmas liberty just before being scheduled to sail home. Only those going ashore (about 200) get the huzzas! If the UN was a competent bunch, they all could be on their way home!”

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Bonhomme Richard On Station

We have found the Bonhomme Richard! After a diversionary webpage campaign, she has arrived on station in the Persian Gulf (What it's not the Arabian Gulf anymore?). She brings an additional force of 2200 combat ready, helicopter borne Marines of 15thMEU to support the Iraqi election.
Still haven't confirmed the location of the Iwo Jima. It would be nice if she showed up in Guyana!
And if the Iraqi election goes as planned, could BHR divert to support operations in Darfur?
Both of these contingencies are WAY outside the expected, but would support the President's Inaugural speech objectives.

Pro-Social Security Personal Account Blogs

Hugh Hewitt asks in today's blog why there are not more Pro-Social Security Personal Account blogs (click header above). So here's mine. As frequent readers know, my idea is to allow individuals to invest their personal account money in pre-paying their mortgage. To this end, I've have run a simplified series of calculations to get an order of magnitude estimate of the consequences (This is known in the trade as a Scientific Wild Assed Guess - SWAG).
Assume a $150,000 principal amount, 4% APR, one yearly payment of $8674 (about $700 / month). After 30 years you own the house plus $28.88 cash!
Now add to your $8674 annual payment a $1200 pre-payment ($100 /month). At the end of 23 years you own the house and have $1,406.01. After 30 years you'd own the house and have $67,273.05. Either way, you are much better off.
And, you live in your Social Security Personal Account, getting to watch it carefully every, single day!
See, the Democrats are right - Early Money Is Like Yeast (EMILY).

Does The Guardian Read This Blog?

Click above for a link to Ace of Spades piece that tells the story of the British newspaper, "The Guardian" discovering a link between George Bush and an Irish "Warlord". They credit a "Republican source in Chicago". Could I have gone international?
If so HI!! ;-)
Of course they missed the good part, he's related to the "People's Princess", Princess Di and FDR too! Follow the links people!!
1) #14497 - Dubya
2) #14033 - GHWB
3) #14495 - "Princess" Beatrice
4) #14496 - "Princess" Eugenie
5) Just above those two - Sarah Margaret Ferguson (AKA "Fergie")
6) #14493 - "Prince" William
7) #14494 - "Prince" Harry
8) Just above those two - Lady Diana Frances Spencer (AKA "The Peoples Princess", Lady Di)
9) #13961 - H.R.H. Charles - Prince of Wales

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Profiles In Cowardice

We’ve got our answer on how Ron Majers would deal with being betrayed by top management at ABC News! It seems he has decided he’d like to keep his cushy, well paid job more than save his soul! There was a time when he would threaten to quit over a management decision, but that was when he could enlist a girl whose skirts he could hide behind (Carol Marin) against a low level nothing named Jerry Springer! Faced with dealing with someone higher in the food chain, he resorted to a little “situational ethics” and asked for help deciding whether to call the management of a phone (or cable) company over defective work! At least Roe Conn (the girly boy) took 20 minutes to admit he was embarrassed by ABC’s total lack of ethics! It’s not like anybody can make Ron’s life uncomfortable! He could retire today without a bit of worry. He’d just be out of the limelight. What a Ham!

But of course, cowardice is de rigeur in Chicago. Check out ABC’s story on a cab fare hike.

“George Kasp and a few of his taxi driving friends decided to set a deadline -- if the city doesn't approve a 13.9 percent fare hike by March 20, he's calling on cab drivers to stop answering radio calls for a week.

"It's done out of frustration and desperation is why it's been done. There's been no action whatsoever on this meter increase for 8 months," said George Kasp, cab driver.

That would mean hailing a cab would be the only way to get one. Neighborhood calls for cab service -- and there were 2.63 million of them last year -- would cease.

Since last summer, cab drivers have been petitioning for an increase that would raise the flag pull -- the fee for entering a taxi -- from a-dollar-90 to two-fifty. After that, every mile would go up from $1.60 to $1.80. They would charge an extra 50-cents for additional passengers.

Alderman Tom Allen, chairman of the city council's transportation committee, admits a fair hike is overdue.

"They're entitled to make a fair livable wage, and I think the city is working in that direction. But they're also entitled to take whatever action they want...this is America," said Ald. Allen, (38th Ward).

Consumer Services Commissioner Norma Reyes is key to any agreement. ABC 7 was unable to reach her Wednesday but she reportedly wants some strings attached to a fare hike -- things like better service and better vehicles.

Whether they support a job action or not, most cab drivers told ABC 7 they just want a raise, no strings attached.”

Hell, if I were Mayor Daley I’d fire Norma Reyes' butt today and have the city council approve the fare hike tomorrow!

Decades of News Judgment Go Up In Smoke!

I wonder how Ron Majers of WLS-TV & WLS-AM is going to explain this story!

Of course, you knew this was coming!

Hoax or Scoop?
Caught Red-Handed!
The Smoking Gun!


Click above for a visual representation of the Navy's tactical superiority to the Army!

The Hubris of First-Generation Americans

Last night on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, they had an interview with Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Wangari Maathai. The small size of her accomplishment in getting women in Third World countries to plant trees (about 2 per month per woman) have been dealt with elsewhere. And there was a brief segment where she stated she’d been “taken out of context” with her statement that white men had created the AIDS virus to exterminate blacks (well, that‘s a start!). What irks me is her attitude that having gone to school in America, she understands what it is to be an American! How utterly presumptuous!
Speaking as a Twelfth-Generation American, I know how silly that statement is. Maybe I can inform your opinion by having you consider the First-Generation Americans in your life. Several public figures may jump out at you. Say Ah-nold of the Right and George Soros of the Left. You’re likely to think one of those is full of baloney! But they are far from being alone. Among my friends I could name several First-Generation Americans: Zita, Peter the Painter, Bernice, Ecke, Doran etc. etc.
America has been very, very good to all of them! But have they been good back? In the crucial way of considering what it took to create the Freedom they so take for granted? Hardly. While it would be considered poor manners, if I were to take a survey of those five, I’d bet even money that I, alone, have donated more pints of blood then those five combined. They are likely to do symbolic things. I can see the women wearing colored ribbons to “support” causes. But anonymously put themselves on the front lines? Not from anything they have said. And they are full of opinions and would have been likely to brag of their contributions. My father did more to free the world of tyranny than they can even dream of, but he also donated gallons and gallons of blood to the Red Cross. That is a simple indicator of truly being an American. Do you do your part for the Greater Good? In my experience, First-Generation Americans are too enamored of the freedom they’ve been given to have gotten that far! They remind me of teenagers. I remember a bumper sticker that captured the thought so well, “Hire A Teenager - Get Him While He Still Knows Everything!”.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Invite A Journalist To Work Day

Click the heading to get an interesting rundown on the "insurgency's" plans to disrupt the election. They intend to manipulate the media.
How to respond?
Simple! Since all vehicular traffic is banned on election day, a joint American-Iraqi taxi service should be provided to take journalists anywhere they want to go! Of course, while they are under adult supervision, they cannot traffic with the enemy! Break the link between the "insurgents" and their willing accomplices in the media and their plan fails!

Jesse Jackson Jr. Feels The Heat

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) appeared on the WTTW program Chicago Tonight on Monday 1/24/05. Some general observations:
1) He refers to his father in the third person (i.e. "The Reverend").
2) With regard to the problems with the City's affirmative action program, he was adamant that the solution be found locally. He kept mentioning that the Republicans (e.g. Ray LaHood) would love to start a federal investigation into the program. This has to be a first, a congressman explicitly insisting that we not have a congressional investigation!
3) He seems to be quite happy with the concept of crony capitalism, he is just outraged at whose cronies get capitalized!
4) No one asked how his siblings got so rich (e.g. how they got the local beer distributorship).
5) He never questioned why we need an affirmative action program decades after it was introduced as a temporary expedient to redress past grievances.
6) He did not think to ask what would happen to minority contractors if they were not expected to use union labor. If the unions control the number of minority tradesmen, we will never get a representative porportion of minorities in contracting! And think how competitive a non-union minority contractor could be against a union contractor. Is the answer here to have a right-to-work contracting process?

Dateline (Down Under) - Why I Like Aussies

News from our friends Down Under ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous! First the sublime! Kudos to Dr. Fiona Wood, Australian of the Year. Those Aussies really know how to pick a celebrity. Good on you, Mates!

Now the ridiculous from tsunami ravaged Thailand where the tourists are back in party mode

“Police said 40 passengers had been travelling on the overloaded boat when it capsized a few kilometres from Koh Samui.
The travellers had been to the huge party held every month on the beach at Haad Rin in Koh Phangan, which draws tens of thousands of partygoers to the island in peak season.
"The cause of the accident was likely that the boat was overloaded, because it was not allowed to carry more than 30 passengers," Colonel Bandid Tungkaseni, commander of Surat Thani marine police, said.”

Monday, January 24, 2005

ABC "News" - World History Tonight

Click above for the "latest" reporting by ABC News on "How Things Are In Iraq" based on a State Department "weekly report" dated 11/22/04!

I knew they were lazy and slow, but TWO MONTHS OUT OF DATE!!!

Barge Fire Update II

I drove past the scene of the Barge Fire Cicero & 40th Chicago and checked on my observations in Barge Fire Update. It seems the barge sank because the fire department used water hoses in addition to foam. This filled the barge high enough to cause it to fill and sink.

The fairway in the channel has been cleared enough to allow traffic to pass. The barge is close alongside the bank of the canal in relatively shallow water with a containment boom well out into the channel. The assumption is that the barge has been pulled out of the way as expected. The damage to the barge is less serious than the TV reports suggested (there’s a surprise!). Since the water is now just a few feet above the deck, this is a good candidate for a cofferdam and pump job. You build a wall (the cofferdam) around the edge of the deck, patch any holes in the hull and pump it out! It will eventally float and can be towed away. Problem solved.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Leading By Example

There is much concern over whether the Iraqis can successfully realize a dawning of freedom with their upcoming election. We as Americans have gone through the same questioning. And the record of that history was captured in the words of our National Poet, Francis Scott Key, in this Anthem...

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the Rockets' red glare, the Bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our Flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled Banner yet wave,
O'er the Land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, shall leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.

O! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd home, and the war's desolation,
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land,
Praise the Power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto--"In God is our Trust;"
And the star-spangled Banner in triumph shall wave,
O'er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.

Guyana Relief

The American Thinker has a note indicating that the government of Guyana has requested U.S. military assistance to deal with heavy flooding caused by 40 inches of rainfall. This would fall under Southern Command and likely assets could be drawn from Amphibious Group 2
We may soon see the Iwo Jima on our TV screens!

Iraqi Murder Rate Hits Zero For A Day!

That's right ZERO, ZILCH, NADA! Click above!
Here's an excerpt
"It's what didn't happen that you'll see in your local paper today. You see, the local branch of Mike Moore's Minute Men doesn’t play in the rain. So no car bombs, no assassinations, no beheadings... no news at all. Right?"

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Is Ollie North Still MIA?

Is Ollie North still MIA? I don’t have cable and therefore don’t get Fox News so I really don’t know. But he does seem to be very quiet. I wonder if he has taken Harry Potter's Invisibility Cloak and used it to hide 15thMEU? They have totally disappeared from PACOM’s chart.
Meanwhile, the report Straight from the Lincoln's wardroom is of a situation where the U.S. Navy has become the wardens in an asylum for network news anchors, UN honchos and NGOs. The crew of the Abraham Lincoln deserve a parade when they finally get home!! Here is just one brief excerpt

“We had to dedicate two helos and a C-2 cargo plane for America-hater Dan Rather and his entourage of door holders and briefcase carriers from CBS News. Another camera crew was from MTV. I doubt if we’ll get any good PR from them, since the cable channel is banned in Muslim countries.”

I do hear magic incantations
1) “precision assistance”
2) “We like to say, ‘Si navis, magna!’ which, loosely translated, means, ‘If you’re going to have ship, have a big ship.’”
3) “During their nine days…delivered more than a million pounds of humanitarian aid”
4) “…when an American reporter sustained a life-threatening injury to her leg….“Within two hours of meeting a Marine landing zone officer ashore, she was…receiving the best care from some of the best doctors our nation has to offer - Navy surgeons,”…“Now she is recovering.”

Do we now have stealth amphibious assault ships? WAY COOOOOL!!!!

The Blood On CBS's Hands

Three posts ago, I got this comment

Lee said...

I could have sworn that 60 minutes (maybe it was someone else) figured out the problem with the Audi's. It was the placement of the brake/accelerator. It had to do with the angle of the driver to the accelerator. In the Audi's it was moved significantly to the left because of the design of the car. Therefore people were more prone in Audi's to mistake the accelerator for the brake. Another vehicle has a similar placement and it had reports of the same thing.Of course this is all from memory. So take it lightly.Also...digging up stories from 20 years ago??!?! Must be a slow blog cycle. Lol”

I would commend to his attention these previous posts (Lee - Sloth is a deadly sin!)

Reckless Disregard For Truth
Cold Case - 60 Minutes & Sudden Acceleration

None of this has slowed down the ambulance chasers Center for Auto Safety. What we have seen is a nearly twenty year cover up of a libelous report that the others in the MSM repeated and hence became willing accomplices! Every year, the number of Americans who die in such accidents adds to the total of lives that could have been saved by someone in the MSM speaking the truth! But they all live in glass houses and none would be first to throw a stone!

Update 1/24/05 PM 1:51 PM - The Drudge Report states “ROLL CALL reports how Stahl made a point of clarifying to the gathered congressmen that she works for the Sunday 60 MINUTES - not the shamed Wednesday night 60 MINUTES II that aired Dan Rather's now-infamous Bush report.”
Well Leslie, how do you explain the blood on the hands of SUNDAY 60 MINUTES?

ABC News - The Smoking Gun

Click above for the latest on the ABC "dirty bomb" nonsense! It seems one of the "terrorists" is a woman, not a man, and has been in custody since November! This story is lighter and easier to blow away than "champagne snow", of which there have been several inches of late in these parts.
Sorry, I've been away (I was held incommunicado for two days by a bevy of women eager to serve my needs! Colleen was my favorite!) Did you miss me?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Barge Fire Update

The 10 o’clock news reports indicate that the cause of the barge fire is likely to be in the boiler system. Probably it would actually be the expansion tank. The system is analogous to a hot water home heating system. There is a “boiler”, several radiators (heat exchangers), an expansion tank and the interconnecting piping. Instead of water, the system uses an organic heat transfer fluid such as Dowtherm A. The expansion tank is either vented to atmosphere or has a nitrogen inerting blanketing system. My guess is this barge would just have a vent. If the vent got clogged, it would allow pressure to build up until the tank ruptured spreading hot oil everywhere and ripping out the piping. A spark from a newly exposed wire would set off the fire. Having ruptured the hull to piping welds, the contents of the tanks would be exposed to air and their contents could add fuel to the fire. The heat of the fire would weaken the steel of the deck, transferring the stress exclusively to the keel. This would result in the stern sagging (a process known as hogging) until the keel snapped. Such a scenario seems to be consistent with the facts.

Since the bow section is still secured to the dock, it would seem most expedient to cut any remaining attachment in the keel area, so that it could be pulled free. That leaves just the stern section. Using what salvors call “beach gear” the stern could be dragged out of the channel. Then cut into manageable sections and lifted out of the channel by crane. Of course, if they want to make a show out of it, they could use explosives to pound the wreck down into the bottom. This technique was pioneered in 1942 by Merritt-Chapman and Scott in clearing the wreck of the SS Stephan R. Jones from the Cape Cod Canal.

This would have been an interesting test case for using carbon dioxide to suppress the fire. One technique would be to spray liquid carbon dioxide in a process that would create dry ice “snow”. Basically, it would be like a snow making machine at a ski resort. The other would be to mix water and carbon dioxide into a “seltzer water” mixture and spray that on the fire working from the windward side in. This would create a wall of carbon dioxide gas that would displace any oxygen thereby suffocating the fire. (See a further discussion in previous posts regarding the LaSalle Bank high rise fire).

Independent Fact Checking Results

From today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required) two concurring opinions

First, a letter to the editor from Peter A. Cook of South Orange , N.J.

“Virtually every U.S. auto built in the past 50 years is installed with an engine kill switch, although most drivers refer to it as the ignition switch. Turning the ignition switch back one "click" toward the driver will shut off the engine's ignition system, thereby killing the engine while allowing the steering wheel to continue to operate. If Mr. Brown had shut off the ignition switch when the worn or stuck accelerator cable caused his van's engine to stay at maximum acceleration, it is likely that he would have coasted to a stop.”

Second, they had an article on page B3B of my print copy (not online for some reason) which was titled 'Military Ties Speeded Tsunami Relief' which noted “The U.S. role is also short-term. It is in discussions about winding down U.S. military relief operations in Thailand and Sri Lanka in a couple of weeks…”
Editorial Note
Now will 60 Minutes recant on their "Out of Control" segment libeling the Audi 5000? Don't hold your breath!
P.S. - Search the archives for details, I want you to do some homework!
Update 11:26 PM - U.S. Pacific Command announced the survey ship John McDonnell was conducting a survey of the Malacca Straits to ensure there are no new hazards to navigation This is another task beyond the native resources and is best handled by the U.S. Navy. This is also consistent with an earlier prediction in this blog. Here is the current chart. I haven't been closely monitoring it, but it looks like the Bonhomme Richard Group is standing off from the coast headed west. Likely, they are en route to Kuwait to offload the marines to add to security forces available for the upcoming Iraqi election on Jan. 30.

ABC News Caught Red-Handed!!

Peter Jennings effectively retracted the "Dirty Bomb in Boston" story (see below) near the front of his broadcast. By 5:37 PM, it was all over but the recriminations. The Governor was in Washington, D.C. and the local authorities knew nothing about the story. The "bunker" was false. Case closed.
Update 1/20/05 - Added link to Ace of Spades blog (click title).
Update 1/20/05 7:14 AM - Read this! (Hat tip Discarded Lies) to get an idea of the worldwide media manipulation and propaganda campaigns!

Flash - Barge Fire Cicero & 40th Chicago

Just saw a helicopter shot of a petroleum barge fire just south of the Citgo Tank farm on Cicero Ave. The after half of the barge is afire. A tugboat has manuevered the barge so that its stern is pinned against a piling about 1/3 rd the way out into the river. The report stated that some large chunk had been blown off the barge onto the Cicero Ave. bridge.
Scientific Wild Assed Guess (SWAG) -The barge contains asphalt or some similar heavy petroleum product that needs to be heated to lower the viscosity enough to pump. There was a failure in the heating system located in the deckhouse, which ignited, blowing the house onto the bridge and starting a bigger fire.
Attack - There is a report the Fire Department is bringing a foam truck from Midway Airport. That should suffice! Keep the adjoining tanks full (so there is no airspace; a fire needs fuel, a source of ignition but also air - no air = no fire). Then pump out the contents of the fire involved tanks, if possible, to remove fuel and reduce the potential for a pollution event.
Update - By the end of the local news at 5:30 PM, the barge had sunk ending the fire phase. It now becomes an oil spill/salvage operation. The salvage could make an interesting story as you do not want the canal blocked for long!

Hoax Or Scoop - ABC News Rolls The Dice

The ABC Radio affiliate, WLS-AM has been reporting what they acknowledge is a very iffy story that there is a threat of a dirty bomb going off in Boston. The host, Roe Conn, is quite surprised that the network is going with such a poorly documented story. [A cynic might suggest that the network (i.e. George Stephanopoulos is trying to undermine the Republican wave building in advance of the Inauguration]. The report is that a Mexican informant notified the San Diego FBI office that he had smuggled two Iraqis and four Chinese across the border with some suspicious material. They were bound for Boston via New York. The Governor of Massachusetts and police are alleged to have been meeting in a “bunker”. So far there has been no input from Homeland Security or the other major networks.

But what is the threat from a “dirty bomb”. Such a bomb has two components, the conventional explosive used to distribute the radioactive material and the radio-isotopes themselves. Let’s look at the explosive first. The bigger the bomb, the farther it will throw the radio-isotopes. A bomb that can be smuggled by foot across the border can’t be very big . Therefore, its effective throw weight is quite low. The radius that will be exposed is minor. The principal threat will be fear borne of ignorance, not radioactivity. As to the cleanup, most isotopes have extremely high atomic weights (e.g. Uranium or Plutonium). This will further reduce the throw distance (a golf ball flies farther than a baseball). The larger size will make it easier to vacuum with a HEPA filter vacuum. Most of these have extremely long half-lives. So the chance of a specific atom fissioning is remote. Most medical isotopes, have very short half-lives. They would lose most of their radioactivity during the trip from Iraq, through Mexico, New York and on to Boston. So the remaining threat is stuff like Strontium 90 (remember that from the 50’s? - a threat to children through milk?). So a quick cleanup and disposal would neutralize the threat. Meanwhile, I don’t expect too many cows to eat the sidewalk of downtown Boston.
Just added - Conn says that the Governor was in Washington (i.e. not in a bunker) and has flown back home!

Larry Summers Speaks Truth To Harvard

This discussion of women in math and science that has embroiled Lawrence Summers of Harvard resonates with me. I think the question is are there differences out at the bleeding edge? And the answer is yes. Now that doesn’t mean women cannot ably serve in the fields of mathematics and science. It means that the next Einstein is much more likely to be male.

Before we go way out there on the edge, let’s stay closer to the average person’s experience. Marion Jones was the dominant female track sprint racer of all time (before her part in the doping crisis distracted her). Yet as a sportswriter in the Chicago Sun-Times pointed out, she could not beat the typical male state high school champion. I couldn’t beat Marion Jones riding a bicycle! But she is in the 98th percentile of humans, not the 99th. That is what I mean.
I got a 773 on my Math SAT. My older sister got an 800! She went on to an outstanding career as a computer programmer. Anyone familiar with the field knows of the major contributions of women. But Microsoft and Apple are led by Mr. Bill Gates and Mr. Steve Jobs. The difference is mostly the tolerance for risk taking. My sister would not write this blog. She would make a great “Office Twinkie” though!

If you want to see real life examples of this read She's Just Another Navy Pilot by Loree Draude Hirschman a journal of the first combat deployment of women carrier pilots. It did not begin well. Kara Spears Hultgreen, Lt. U.S. Navy, the Navy’s first fighter pilot, died as she tried to fly her F-14 aboard on October 25, 1994. Political correctness prevented an brutally frank examination of the accident. But an Internet report provided what seems to be just that examination and the conclusion was PILOT ERROR. Now you see why the report never got public exposure.

For those old enough to have driven a carburetor equipped automobile, you might remember that if you suddenly floored the gas the engine choked and died. The technical explanation is that you pushed the amount of gasoline in the airstream high enough to exceed the upper explosive limit and it could no longer support combustion. The evidence of such an event would be a plume of soot coming out the exhaust. For those of you who saw “Top Gun” you might remember that Maverick flew through the exhaust of a plane ahead causing one engine to die. The design of the F-14 is such that the engines are widely separated, so if you lose one engine, the plane tends to veer toward that side. If you don’t catch it quickly, the plane will spin. So Maverick lost control and Goose was killed as he hit the canopy during ejection.

I assume you might be beginning to see the scenario. Lt. Hultgreen came in too low and slow. The Landing Signal Officer tried to get her to correct, but she was slightly late (You‘re not the boss of me?). When she did react, she pushed the throttle too hard and flooded the port engine. The plane started to veer, she tried to correct with the flight controls causing the plane to slow and sink faster, and suddenly, it rolled left and crashed off the port quarter of the carrier. Just before it hit, her RIO (e.g. her Goose) successfully ejected. Lt. Hultgreen was a fraction of a second late and ejected into the water and was killed on impact. She was good enough for the 98th percentile, but not the 99th.

Now Larry Summers is saying the politically incorrect in the Heart of Liberalism Harvard University. He supports ROTC on campus and now recognizes subtle differences between men and women. He certainly has guts!
Update 1/20/05 - Maureen Dowd of the New York Times weighs in on the subject and conclusively proves she is unqualified to discuss science or math.
Updtae 1/20/05 - Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lisa Donovan (and her editor) provide more proof with a "25- to 30-foot-long vessel" filled with " 500 million gallons of the sludge-like material". Now there's a good trick! Most people think putting 10 pounds in a 5 pound bag is hard.


I just found I've been blogrolled at Diplomad! That's the second major blog to do so. The first that I know of was Scylla & Charybdis. Frequent readers know about both. Tim at indicated he'd put me at the top of his list, if he ever figured out how to do it (I know the feeling, there is always something more important to do than deal with stuff that ought to be done by my "Office Twinkie" - a position that remains unfilled).
So here are some more of my favorites for you to Google (there is a heavy military bias)
Adventures of Chester (click the heading above for a pre-edited report of the best of the New York Times!)
Belmont Club
Captains Quarters Blog
Discarded Lies
Little Green Footballs
Mudville Gazette
Power Line
Questing Cat
Some newer ones I'm trying
Buzz Machine... by Jeff Jarvis
VDH's Private Papers
Locally, I check the Chicago Sun-Times (I first took it for Mike Royko and old habits die hard!) and for second opinion the Chicago Tribune.
Nationally, I check, Drudge, Newsmax, Opinion Journal & the Wall Street Journal.
Update 1/19/05 11:07 AM - I assumed you all already knew I am a frequesnt contributor and technology correspondent for the American Thinker!

Diagnosis CBS - Cyperaceae Bulimia Clintonista

Cyperaceous - The family of sedges to which papyrus belongs.
Bulimia - A syndrome of bingeing and purging.
Clintonista -The members of the Bill Clinton inner circle.

Symptoms -
1)When Bill Clinton first ran for President, various incriminating documents relating to his past draft status and his visit to Moscow disappeared.
2) When Hillary Clinton was challenged for her commodities trading, the paperwork covering her first, most flagrant trade, were not given to the commodities trading expert for review. Absent this evidence, he could give her a “mistakes were made” report card. If it had been included, it would have failed the smell test of insufficient “earnest money” for the “risk” taken.
3) When Hillary’s health task force was challenged in court the documents were unavailable ( also see Travelgate etc., etc.). Some Rose Law Firm documents mysteriously reappeared in her personal quarters at the White House after two years of intense searching.
4) When the record of the Clinton Administration’s dealings with respect to Osama Bin Laden came before the 9/11 Commission, Sandy Berger was caught stuffing secret documents down his pants.
5) When Al Gore ran against George W. Bush in 2000, documents relating to Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard proved hard to find, almost unavailable, as if someone had thrown they favorable records out. Bill Burkett alleges that he saw such a document purge take place, but did not know the exact content (good or bad) of the documents.
6) When someone approached Bill Burkett with previously unavailable documents “from a personal file”, he assumed they were accurate and presented them to Mary Mapes of CBS, with an admonition to prove their authenticity.
7) Mary Mapes threw caution to the wind and ignored the advice of her experts and ran the story anyway!

Second Opinion Anyone?

The Elvii Have Not Left The Building!

Click above for the latest from It seems the three CBS executives invited to resign have officially declined the invitation! Where is the paparazzi prize patrol?

Russia Goes All Volunteer Army In Chechnya

Click above for a story from Discarded Lies revealing that Mother Russia has gone to an all-volunteer force in Chechnya! Way back in October, I had a post about the old Soviet Army and how it was an accurate predictor of the situation in Iraq. I could link it, but that would allow you to be too lazy! So go peruse my archives! See what interests you. You might be surprised what you find!

The Customer Is Always Right Until...

I ran across this quote in the letters section of the American Spectator...

“A [wo]man convinced against [her] his will is of the same opinion still. Most husbands learn this in the first year of marriage. Those who do not become ex-husbands.”
-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, Texas
My question to Mr. Johnson is has he never heard of seduction? I get his point, in the final analysis the (wo)man needs to assent voluntarily, but that is not what he explicitly said. So let me try to re-phrase his point….

“The customer is always right until he disagrees with me, at which point, I need to re-consider my position or re-educate the customer. If both efforts fail, he will not be a customer and our original premise holds…The customer is always right until he disagrees with me!

Evolution Stickers In Georgia

There has been a bit of an uproar over some stickers in Georgia schoolbooks that read evolution is a theory, not a fact. Well, Duh! Isn’t that a redundant statement, (Charles Darwin’s Theory of ) Evolution is a theory…? What’s going on here is the secular humanists are trying to deny the existence of God. They are trying to say this simple statement means that God exists, and that in all other respects the Bible is literally true. Therefore the fundamentalist Christians are right and they are wrong and they just can’t be wrong…yada, yada, yada. Well, I’ve got a question to shut the critics up.

Presumably they have heard that a meteorite impact killed the dinosaurs. There is scientific “proof” of this from the existence of an iridium layer in rocks worldwide. Below the rocks are the fossils of the dinosaurs. Above there are no dinosaur fossils. Correct? Well if the bottom of the iridium layer was the Earth’s surface at the instant of the impact, wouldn’t a dying dinosaur’s fossil start at that level and go up? And given that virtually all dinosaurs are pretty big, their skulls etc should stick way up above that iridium layer. So who buried Sue the T-Rex, God?
It is amazing that a single research paper whose chief investigator was a 23 year old graduate student at the University of Chicago could have become established as "scienctific fact". That student's faculty adviser was Luis Alvarez who added his name to the paper, which caught the attention of Carl Sagan, who used the hypothesis to bolster his "nuclear winter" political disinformation campaign and The Rest Is History!
Bah, Humbug!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Unionized Professional Is An Oxymoron

The previous post dealt with tutoring programs in the Chicago Public Schools. And we met a new but effective teacher, Mary Kovats. But can it be that she is feeling under-appreciated because she belongs to a union? Would she reward the class clown while punishing the avid reader in her class? I think not. But by belonging to a union she is being undervalued because all union members get compensated based on an average competence. Being above average, she is under-compensated. Those below average are over-compensated. Talk about perverse incentives! There have been all sorts of suggestions as to what to do. The solution must take a form that reverses the current incentive system pertaining to unionized teachers. Charter schools, vouchers and incentive pay all dance around this issue. Logic tells us these variations all have their own merits, but can we find an established system with a track record to give us confidence? For that let’s get reacquainted with another denizen of this blog, John Merrow (also here.)

Checking out his CV, we see he worked for the Port Washington High School for two school years. Here is a page from that system's website. I direct your attention to the line “New York State School Report Card for Port Washington Union Free School District”. Take a minute to peruse the Report Card. Not exactly in the same class as the CPS, which was once famously described by Education Secretary Bill Bennett as “the worst school system in America” Quite the contrary, it is a school with 5 Intel Semi-Finalists! Hmmmm! No union, good results. Could there be a connection? Maybe what the teacher's unions need is some competition! How about right-to-work legislation?

Tutoring In The Chicago Public Schools

Click the heading above for a story in the Chicago Sun-Times on tutoring in the Chicago Public Schools. Note that the teacher they interviewed, Mary Kovats, has interesting things to say. What Kate Grossman did not ask was her background. She sounds as if she came from the private sector into the public schools! Could it be that she is the champion of public school teachers, because of her private sector experience? Could it be that she has just barely finished her teacher qualifications? Could it be that the public school teachers sent her forth because they know she is smarter and more eloquent than the run-of-the-mill teacher? Just asking!

Discarded Lies Blog

The blog Discarded Lies is full of interesting stuff you won’t see elsewhere. A sampling from the January 17 posts:

“…Greek prosecutors had sought to have the association banned on the grounds that by using the word Turkish in its name it served the interest of a foreign country in the attempt to appear a Turkish minority in Greece…”

“The elderly man, who considers himself an "Arab-Jew," immigrated with his family, as did most of the Iraqi Jews in the early 1950s. As part of the agreement between Iraq and Israel at the time, Iraq allowed them to leave if they gave up their citizenship.
But the eligibility rules established by the IECI say that even if one who disclaimed Iraqi citizenship may still vote in the elections.
If Israeli identification documents are not accepted at the Amman polling station, most of the Iraqi-born Israelis will not be able to vote since most of them left their Iraqi documents behind in Iraq.”

“ISCA revealed that the city planning board of Medina, Saudi Arabia, which is dominated by a notoriously extreme-Wahhabist mayor and city-planning commission:
Painted the famous green dome of the Holy Mosque of the Prophet silver, knowing that its original color is revered by all Muslims. After intense protest from the citizens of Medina the board restored the dome to its original green.
Ordered the destruction of five of the renowned "Seven Mosques" initially built by Prophet Muhammad's daughter and four of his "greatest Companions": Masjid Abu Bakr, Masjid Salman al-Farsi, Masjid Umar ibn al-Khattab, Masjid Sayyida Fatima bint Rasulillah and Masjid Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Ordered pulling down of "Al-mukabariyya," the elevated location for the call to prayer in the Holy Mosque of the Prophet, built by Umar bin Abdul-Aziz in the 8th century.”

Monday, January 17, 2005

Martin Luther King Jr In His Own Words

Today being the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, I thought that in a spirit of bi-partisanship I would cite quotations from Dr. King included in Elizabeth Dole’s book, Hearts Touched With Fire.

“Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”

“The time is always right to do what is right.”

“Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.”

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

“You ought to believe in something in life and believe that thing so fervently that you will stand up for it till the end of your days.”

“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

“A good leader is not a searcher of consensus, but a molder of consensus.”

“No work is insignificant. All work that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance, and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. If a man is called a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all host of heaven and earth will pause to say, ’Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well’.”

Chicago vs. Iraq Murder Rates - Recapitulation

Here in Chicago, they are celebrating a reduction of the murder rate to 450 murders in 2004 for a population of 2.8 million! Since Iraq has about 25 million people, at the same per capita rate, they would have 11 murders per day. It seems nearly every murder in Iraq makes the news!

Picture the Iraqi “insurgency” as a gang turf war, the insurgents vs. the Iraqi police with the Americans taking the role of the cops. It is quite dangerous to be in either gang! But the ordinary citizen tends to stay out of the line of fire. A massive police presence will cause the gangbangers to hide. So with a strong presence on 1/30/05, the election should come off well, just as in Afghanistan! But that puts the citizens in the government camp! Looks like the insurgents are going to lose the turf war!

But is this the way the media covers the situation? No! A Fox News Report reads...

“In Baghdad, meanwhile, three mortar shells exploded Saturday near the heavily guarded Green Zone (search), causing no casualties but sending American and Iraqi officials scurrying for cover. It marked the third straight day of rebel attacks on the zone, the nerve center of the U.S. and Iraqi administration, after a lull of a couple of weeks.”

It should read something like this “In Baghdad, with population 5 million people, three spitballs were thrown near the heavily guarded Green Zone, causing no casualties but annoying American and Iraqi officials. It marked the third straight day of “insurgent” attacks on the zone, the nerve center of the U.S. and Iraqi administration, after a lull of a couple of weeks.”

Here is some unrefuted reporting from the New York Times which shows that Iraq had 202 murders in 14 days or 14.4 per day! Iraqi population estimates vary, but for comparison purposes Chicago (at 450 confirmed murders in 366 days with a population of 2.8 million) had .439 murders per million per day. The two would be equal if Iraq's population was 32,858,867 people! Population estimates vary but about 25 million people live in Iraq. Therefore, the streets of Iraq are about as safe as the streets of Chicago though in both places there are some tough neighborhoods and you might not wish to be a member of particular organizations! The Iraqi trend is going down faster than Chicago's. Here are the links to Chicago murder statistics. Note that there can be minor adjustments over time so that the exact number will vary as cases are cleared.
I wonder what Rahm Emanuel and Dick Durbin will say about that?
Update 1/19/05 3:22 AM - The Belmont Club has an interesting article comparing the Iraqi sources who claim things are getting much better in the fight against the "insurgency" and the Associated Press which is hiding the name of the photographer who took the pictures of election workers being killed by "insurgents". The question is from whom does the photographer need protection, the "insurgents" or the police? It seems quite clear he was tipped off to the assassination beforehand and therefore is in league with the "insurgents". No wonder he fears the police! And so should the AP! Anybody else remember CNN's duplicity in its coverage of Saddam?

Sunday, January 16, 2005

2004 Was Rather's Second Attempt to Influence An Election Away From A Bush

I was surfing and went past 60 Minutes. They had a segment on Jeffrey Wiegand (sp?) of the movie "The Insider" fame. They noted that CBS Legal had prevented them from airing a segment due to "tortious interference" concerns. Subsequently, the Wall Street Journal broke a substanially similar story (properly sourced - Ed.). Now 60 Minutes is attempting "innocence by association"! There story was tortious, but true seems to be the subtext. I expect the Wall Street Journal will disabuse them of the accuracy of such a claim. They are clearly much more prepared to deal with the situation.

But while searching my files, I came across an article of amazing prescience! It was written by Raymond A. Coffey of the Chicago Sun-Times on November 11, 1988, titled "Some Funeral, Dan!" and appeared on page 55. Here are the excerpts:

"That was some funeral Dan Rather and our local TV deepthinkers threw for Gov. Thompson on Tuesday night.
I haven't laughed so hard at a requiem in years.
And Thompson almost surely enjoyed it all even more than I did. Hardly anyone gets to attend his own funeral and then show up for work in the morning. I hope you didn't miss it...
Just minutes after 6 p.m... Some hours later, bam, zoom, hold on to your seats, CBS and Mr. Rather proclaimed that Michael Dukakis had carried Illinois...
That was stunning news -and CBS had it first and alone.
Almost immediately every TV reporter in town - from all the stations - was hammering and yammering at Gov. Thompson with questions about the "embarrassment" he had suffered and what devastation a Dukakis victory in Illinois would inflict upon Big Jim's political survival...
And then....Well, you know what happened. Mr. Dukakis did not in fact win in Illinois. Mr. Bush did. Mr. Rather and CBS were dead wrong. The rest of the TV pack looked dead foolish. And the governor is yet alive - and laughing."


"OK, It may be close to even in the per capita murder rate of Chicago vs. Iraq! Here is the unrefuted reporting of the NEW YORK TIMES.

Iraq 202 in 14 days or 14.4 per day! Iraqi population estimates vary, but given Chicago at 450 confirmed murders with a population of 2.8 million by census or .446 murders per million, the two would be equal if Iraq's population was 32 million! And the Iraqi trend is going down faster than Chicago's, which was 599 in 2003 to 450 in 2004 or 24.9 percent per year! So Iraq will be lower by Feb 1! Take that MSM!"
Update 1/17/05 - 3:27 AM - Posting links to Chicago Murder statistics below. Note that there can be minor adjustments over time so that the exact number will vary as cases are cleared.

Basque Separatists ETA Dead - Rest In Hell

I really like this Discarded Lies blog! Click above for the latest story reporting that the Basque Separatists have lost the "hearts and minds" of the Spanish people. Excerpt:
"Last year's trainbombings in Madrid left Spain in a state of shock. But the country is now waking up to an unintended consequence of al-Qaeda's first strike in Europe: the apparent demise of Eta, the violent Basque separatist group.
According to police, politicians and security analysts, the events of last year have effectively ended Eta's 37-year insurgency."
And another one bites the dust, and another one (Iraq) and another one (Afghanistan) and another one (Aceh) and another one (Tamil tigers) and...
I guess when you're hot, you're hot!

CBS News - Hollywood Scriptwriter Challenge

Bummer Dietz (click above) has topped my direct transcriptions of the script of Paddy Chayefsky's Network with Orson Welles' Citizen Kane. This is not quite fair as he works in Hollywood! So I am looking for help in finding an earlier script predicting the downfall of CBS News. Anyone got any suggestions?

Challenge Issued To CPD!!

When I logged in my ISP (Gateway ) had a bit about Top 10 Nudes...
My curiosity piqued, I took a look (click above). It seems the organizers of the World Naked Bike Ride Summer Solstice event in Chicago in 2004 believe they "foiled" a police attempt to shut them down. If I were a Chicago cop I'd demand a rematch! And I'd be ready to cite any rider for traffic violations (e.g. running a stop sign) and when they cannot provide proof of indentification ('I don't have my wallet, Officer') I'd run them down to the station for a mug shot! And maybe I'd make a mistake focusing the camera and I'd get a full body shot instead of a mug shot for The Smoking Gun!
Whoops, sorry about that :-)

Dan Bartlett Is No Litigator!

Dan Bartlett appeared on today's Fox News Sunday and was offered a chance to characterize Dan Rather's continued assertion that the substance of the Mary Mapes/Dan Rather TANG story on 60 Minutes Wednesday is true! Mr. Bartlett answered the question quite cautiously, in the manner of a lawyer. What the situation offered was a chance to answer eloquently, in the manner of a litigator. What he should have said was...
"In a court of law, Mr. Rather's obstinance would be just what is needed to cross the threshold of "reckless disregard for the truth'."
They then had a debate with Dick Durban (D-IL). In my humble opinion he is a MOONBAT!
Mara Liasson then offered her opinion that Social Security reform wouldn't be viable because she did not see that individuals would see an immediate return in this era of instant gratification. That is why I would suggest that individuals be allowed to use their retained private contributions to prepay (and therefore reduce) their monthly mortgage payments. They get a positive reinforcement every month!
Ed Note - updated online as the show progressed.
Update 1/16/05 10:09 AM - Bartlett is on Meet the Press and missed another opportunity. Russert asked about not finding WMDs while acknowledging that nuclear weapons were a major part of the plan. Not finding finished nuclear weapons in Iraq is a GOOD THING and was the SUBSTANCE of a "GATHERING THREAT"!
Update 1/16/05 11:08 AM - Rahm Emanuel on Meet the Press made the point that Bush could accomplish something in his second term because we made progress in Clinton's second term. Well Rahm, would that be "The Contract With America" or Clinton's impeachment?
Watching Chris Mathews - This is a more ingrown group than the denizens of Deliverance! At least that kid could play the banjo!

Emmy Rossum - Star of the MTV Generation!

Yesterday, I went to see the movie Phantom of the Opera. The star of the show is Emmy Rossum who the producers describe this way…

“Casting the part of the gifted young chorus girl Christine Daae proved to be another challenge for the filmmakers, as the character calls for an actress who can exude a genuine innocence yet command a sophisticated vocal prowess. As Schumacher prepared to screen test a handful of potential Christines, he met with Emmy Rossum, a then-sixteen year-old actress who delivered a memorable performance as Sean Penn's murdered daughter in the Oscar winning drama Mystic River, and played the young Audrey Hepburn in ABC's 2000 telefilm The Audrey Hepburn Story.
"Lightning struck when we found Emmy," Schumacher enthuses. "Not only is she an exquisite actress, but Emmy has trained at the Metropolitan Opera since she was seven. She came in at the last second and almost didn't screen test because she had to go to a family reunion in Las Vegas. I had to talk her out of it!"
"We met on a Thursday, and Joel said 'Can you be in New York on Saturday for a screen test?'" recalls Rossum, who had just wrapped her starring role in the disaster epic The Day After Tomorrow. "Then about a week later I went to sing for Andrew at his house, which was very nerve-wracking! I was warming up with the accompanist when Andrew walked into the room, sat down without introducing himself and said 'Shall we?'"
As she proved at her audition, "Emmy has got a fantastic voice," Lloyd Webber attests.
To prepare for her role, Rossum took dance lessons, toured the famed Garnier Opera House in Paris, on which the Opera Populaire is loosely based, and visited the Musée D'Orsay to study Degas' paintings and sculptures of ballerinas, many of which were based on the dancers from the Garnier Opera company. "The biggest challenge for me was finding a balance between my voice and my acting," Rossum says. "It was important that my acting be at the same level as it would be in a normal film, so I had to find a place at which my voice and my acting meshed in a way that felt natural."

She is the antithesis of the eternal graduate student, though one suspects she will be learning for the rest of her life! She was spectacular! And that means this film is the perfect introduction to opera for the MTV generation. It is sung in beautifully enunciated English so there is no need for subtitles. It is shot through close ups so there is no need for opera glasses. It is full of visual images, since that is how the MTVers input information. A perfect training tool! And as a benefit, Miss Rossum is the perfect training tool for your aimless, preening, full of self-esteem teenager. What are YOU going to be when you grow up? As an adult, you enjoy it just as much as the kids. Go to see it!

Iraqi Turf War

Blackfive (click above) has a thread on the media aiding and abetting the enemy in Iraq that is worth your while! Here is the second of my two comments posted there which reflect an amplification of previous comments on this blog.
"To follow up on my previous comment that the per capita murder rate in Chicago is likely higher than the per capita murder rate in Iraq. Picture the insurgency as a gang turf war, the insurgents vs. the Iraqi police with the Americans taking the role of the cops. It is quite dangerous to be in either gang! But the ordinary citizen tends to stay out of the line of fire. A massive police presence will cause the gangbangers to hide. So with a strong presence on 1/30/05, the election should come off well, just as in Afghanistan! But that puts the citizens in the government camp! Looks like the insurgents are going to lose the turf war!"
Update 1/16/05 2:46 AM - Just did some more surfing and found this on Fox News.
“In Baghdad, meanwhile, three mortar shells exploded Saturday near the heavily guarded Green Zone (search), causing no casualties but sending American and Iraqi officials scurrying for cover. It marked the third straight day of rebel attacks on the zone, the nerve center of the U.S. and Iraqi administration, after a lull of a couple of weeks.” So nothing had happened in the Green Zone for "a couple of weeks"! Did you see that in the media? Thought not!
Update 1/16/05 8:36 AM - I added another post @ Blackfive...

From this morning’s Fox News we have a report that reads…
“In Baghdad, meanwhile, three mortar shells exploded Saturday near the heavily guarded Green Zone (search), causing no casualties but sending American and Iraqi officials scurrying for cover. It marked the third straight day of rebel attacks on the zone, the nerve center of the U.S. and Iraqi administration, after a lull of a couple of weeks.”
It should read something like this “In Baghdad, with population 5 million people, three spitballs were thrown near the heavily guarded Green Zone, causing no casualties but annoying American and Iraqi officials. It marked the third straight day of “insurgent” attacks on the zone, the nerve center of the U.S. and Iraqi administration, after a lull of a couple of weeks.”,2933,144414,00.html

Paparazzi Prize Patrol

Kevin Craver of has a report that the three CBS News Execs invited to resign (click above) have not left the building! That means an "Elvis" sighting of Besty West et. al could take place at West 57th! Wouldn't that please those with "Enquiring Minds"! And the Paparazzi could get the pictures at a time of day when the hottest celebs (e.g. Paris Hilton) are inaccessible, so they could get two sets of pics in one day! It seems they might be holding out for a hush money payoff! Mary Mapes was reportedly holding out for a "buyout" of over $12-14 million. Let's see, these three are even bigger which means the total for all four is over 10% of quarterly profits for Viacom, which in turn makes the hush money "material" for SEC purposes and therefore must be publicly disclosed!
Ooh la la! If Viacom profits are declining as its reputation sinks, the box Sumner Redstone is in gets even smaller! And if public outrage (e.g. after seeing the paparazzi pics in the Enquirer) leads to further loss of revenue, he is in real trouble with his stock sales (i.e. insider trading).

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Killing AIP Submarines in the Littorals

A hot topic in naval circles is how to deal with enemy diesel submarines, especially those with air independent propulsion (they don’t need snorkels anymore, a key weakness of older diesels). My thought is to update the hunter-killer jeep carrier groups of WW II. Only this time, we use unmanned, long duration UAVs such as Global Hawk. Arm them with sonobuoys and a Mark 46 lightweight torpedo. Now we have it wait just outside the 12 mile limit for a sub to leave its homeport and simply shadow it 24/7! Having a hard datum to begin with, we simply continuously update that datum. Typically we’d use a radar (or maybe a green laser lidar) to detect the wake, or infrared imaging to pick up the waste heat from its propulsion system. If it should stop, we drop a sonobuoy for active pinging. That way we always know where it is. And if we stay high enough, we’re out of range of shoulder fired missiles! So they can’t bother us. Currently, the Mark 46 has a proximity sensor to release its parachute a bit above the surface (watch The Hunt For Red October). Add a second, similar one set for higher altitude and we can delay deployment of the parachute! So, for example, we drop at 10,000 feet, the chute deploys at 500 feet and releases at 50 feet. The free fall would improve accuracy by reducing response time and it would reduce the distance from the last good datum, both improving the chances of a kill! So we know where they are and have the standoff distance to be safe, but can kill them in seconds. And zero American lives are at stake!

The French Look In The Mirror

It seems that the government TV Channel 2 in France has had enough of the humiliation due that nation for its non-response to the tsunami (click the heading above). But the priceless part is the curriculum vitae of their Defense Minister. It seems she is a career politician whose undergraduate degree is in ethnology! Wow!! I'm impressed! Of course our poor Rummy was only a Navy pilot! Quelle domage!
Update 1/15/05 - 9:06 PM - Looking at the most recent chart of our deployment, it is evident that we are consolidating resources at two points; Banda Aceh, Indonesia & Galle, Sri Lanka. This is further confirmation that native forces are making significant inroads in providing relief to their own people. So the projection that outside military forces won't be needed after three months seems to be more certain. The French are in danger of missing the party altogether!
Update 1/15/05 - 9:40 PM Wolfowitz says we're ready to leave ASAP. Once the native forces have things in hand, we're outta here!

Eternal Graduate Students

Today’s Chicago Sun-Times has an article on President Bush increasing Pell Grants by $100 per year. Of course, that is NOT ENOUGH!

“Kiely Fletcher, associate financial aid director at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the money "is a small Band-Aid trying to cover a gaping wound.''

I’m with Wayne Albro who wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal on 1/11/05 stating in part

“If a student who has just graduated from a college of engineering or science does not recognize he has just wasted four or five years picking up a few points in his profession and wants to continue for his masters and doctors, he either is planning to teach the subject or seek a future in which he must overwhelm ignorant authorities with certificates of "higher education."
Progress in technical development is not furthered by Ph.D.s or M.S.s but by intelligent people, who, in spite of (not because of) formal education, are thinkers and doers. Intelligent investors will be looking for companies that have hired and nurtured such men and women.
The secrets of science are revealed for all who seek them. The ubiquity of print and the Internet has rendered the priesthood of science obsolete. All of which portends an exciting future for this country when the real capability of our truly intelligent men and women is honored by the country.”

OOOH That’s Good!

CBS News Insurgency Update!!!

Meanwhile on the Rathergate beat there are all sorts of interesting developments. reports that the three execs asked to resign are declining to take this generous offer!

Captains Quarters Blog reports Nicki Burkett is trying to manipulate CBS!

And Bummer Dietz is still on the case. I’ve been commenting there too. You might enjoy this part

“For all you film buffs:
Direct transcription of Diana Christensen from Paddy Chayefsky's script for the movie Network, 1976."We're having heavy legal pressure from the federal government right now. We're getting around the FBI by running the show in collaboration with the news division. We're standing on the First Amendment, freedom of the press and the right to protect our sources. ...Walsh says we can knock out the misprision of felony charge, but it's going to series. They'll hit us with conspiracy, inducement to commit a crime. Walt says we'll all end up in federal prison." Couldn't have said it better myself!”