|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
Check this cat out:
Friday, April 04, 2003
Posted 3:17 PM by WiN
Browsing my pitifully scant referrer logs, I found this blog, where the blogger had included a hat tip to WylieBlog for a Sullivan article. It is not only well-written, but aesthetically quite one of the nicest I've come across in a while. A blog I'll definitely be reading again.
And with that, I bid both of my loyal readers adieu for the weekend. Be well.
Posted 2:51 PM by WiN
Co-habitation trend reversing
At least here in Oklahoma. Guess you could say they just didn't want to rush into anything.
Hope their wedding night isn't too eventful. Mazeltov!
Posted 2:43 PM by WiN
Too good to be true
Posted 1:46 PM by WiN
Finding out who your friends really are
And what to do with everyone else. The superb military/historical analyst Victor Davis Hanson looks into his crystal ball at the post-Saddam world and makes some very interesting suggestions and observations.
Something weird, something unprecedented, is unfolding, driven by American public opinion — completely ignored in Europe — and the nation’s collective anger that Americans are dying by showing restraint as they are slandered by our “friends.” Despite the protestations of a return to normalcy, this present war will ever so slowly, yet markedly nonetheless, change America’s relationships in a way unseen in the last 30 years.Just as WWII changed the U.S. from an isolationist economic power to a world-wide military superpower, later transformed by Vietnam into a self-flagellating, petulant bully who would only fight the tiniest of opponents, our current projection of force on behalf of an oppressed people half a world away will change the way a generation looks at its' country. This in turn should result in a complete re-evaluation of just who are friends actually are (and who they aren't) based on events that have occurred since the war on terror began a year and a half ago.
We can start with those hosts of American military bases. Many Americans are now dead in part because a NATO ally Turkey not merely refused its support, but did so in such a long and drawn out fashion that it is impossible to believe that it was not preordained to hamper U.S. military operations. And, of course, Turkey’s last-minute refusals to allow transit of U.S. divisions did exactly that by delaying the critical rerouting of troops and supplies to the Gulf.Hanson also has some interesting suggestions vis a vis our European, Asian & North American 'allies'. Our relationships with those who have stood by us should also be reassessed.
And as for Britain, Australia, Spain, Denmark, Italy, and a host of Eastern European countries who are rolling down the tracks with us, waving to the exasperating [sic] at the station, we have to show them as much appreciation for their stalwart courage as we do abject disdain for the duplicity of their peers behind.Overall, an excellent blueprint for U.S. international relations for both the immediate and the foreseeable future. Read the whole thing and see if you don't agree.
Posted 9:33 AM by WiN
Columnist Michael Kelly has died in Iraq
The Washington Post is reporting that Atlantic Monthly editor and conservative columnist Michael Kelly died in a Humvee accident in what is the first reported death of an American embedded reporter. This is a great loss to the conservative cause, as Michael was an eloquent and thoughtful writer, whom I personally enjoyed reading. Here is his bio and an archive of his columns on Townhall.com. My prayers are with his family and friends as they deal with this tragic loss.
Posted 7:01 AM by WiN
Who has the advantage in Baghdad?
The naysayers and prophets of gloom and doom will be in full voice today as coalition forces move into Baghdad for the final battle of this lightening-fast conflict. They will point with long faces to the urban battle most familiar to the media-saturated public - the infamous 'Black Hawk Down' skirmish in Mogadishu. But is this a valid comparison? Those who have seen the movie or read the book will recall that the primary lament of the U.S. forces in Somalia was the lack of armored support. This will decidedly not be a problem in Baghdad. Close air support will also be plentiful, as coalition forces own the air over Iraq. Attack helicopters and A-10's will be free to roam the area, applying massive striking force wherever needed to support ground troops. In addition, I believe we can count on support from the civilian population to some degree. When they see the overwhelming forces of the coalition move in, some will be eager to gain favor by revealing Iraqi resistance strongholds.
Some believe the Iraqis' street smarts give them the edge. Interestingly, that is where the military pundits could be wrong. Cities like Baghdad are fundamentally human — not natural — artifacts. As such, there is more information about a given city block of Baghdad than for almost any other similar-sized area of non-urban terrain. The locations of buildings, sewers and telephone lines that have made urban terrain so formidable are recorded in blueprints, maps, maintenance records, photographs, directories and scale models. And the U.S. Geographical Information Systems — which combine traditional location information of recorded plans with up-to-date, highly precise radar-generated digital terrain-elevation data and other measurements — have grown dramatically over the past decade.I hesitate to be overly optimistic, but I believe that resistance will deteriorate rapidly once confronted with the overwhelming force and uncanny intelligence apparatus of the coalition. I'm sure that drones have been scanning Baghdad for weeks, scanning for targets of opportunity, and that special ops forces will infiltrate the entire city under cover of the new moon to quickly strike those targets once the battle begins in earnest. I personally look for the 'Battle of Baghdad' to be one of days, not weeks.
Thursday, April 03, 2003
Posted 3:06 PM by WiN
A new Poet Laureate has been named
Posted 7:58 AM by WiN
I have decided to add a new blogroll entitled 'Kindred Spirits' to keep track (mostly for my benefit) of those bloggers that I feel most simpatico with. This will mostly consist of folks who are politically right-wing, family-oriented and who have a strong faith in God. They will probably be mostly evangelical/charismatic believers (as far as can be ascertained from reading their blogs), but could be observant Jews. I wanted to segregate and highlight these blogs mostly as a reminder to me to visit them a little more often than I do. I've been missing some good stuff.
Also I have added a separate section of 'War Only' links under my News links, again mostly for my own convenience. If there are any that you feel that I should consider adding, let me know.
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Posted 3:07 PM by WiN
Stick a fork in 'em
The Dixie Chicks, that is. Clubbeaux provides the gory details.
Posted 3:03 PM by WiN
Are you HEV-positive?
Read this little rant from Tony and find out.
I want to talk to you about a little-discussed, embarrassing illness that infects millions of Americans. Though most people are immune, we are still afflicted by the symptoms of this malady as they are manifested in others. I'm talking about HEV -- the Happy Email Virus. We all know someone infected with HEV. We are most likely to see it in a cousin or sibling or parent; for some reason HEV is most evidently manifest in one's relatives.From Sand in the Gears, a WylieBlog Recommended Blog™
Posted 1:50 PM by WiN
"Where do they get young men like this?"
A post on L.T. Smash - Live from the Sandbox: "Where do they get young men like this?” Read it and weep. Literally. [via the incomparable James Taranto]
Posted 10:03 AM by WiN
Live from the front
Posted 8:12 AM by WiN
Yes, my template is semi-trashed. Working on it.
UPDATE: From what I can tell, the template server or whatever it is is stripping all the 'qualifiers' out of my HTML tags that are further on down in the template i.e. an <img src="myhost/images/pic.jpg"> becomes just <img>. Bleah. Probably has something to do with the fact that my template has, um, expanded to a few *cough* hundred lines. Anywho, it's a pain in the butt to keep picking out those tags that have been 'stripped' and fixing them. I hope they remedy this problem soon. Until then, let me know if you see anything broke, especially in the center and right-hand columns, the code for which is towards the bottom of my template.
Mea Culpa: OK, I realized that the problem I was having was due to a bug in Mozilla, not with Blogger. Template editing still works fine in IE. Stop that sniggering out there - yes, you!
Posted 7:25 AM by WiN
Iraqi forces use mosque as shelter from coalition fire
Well, we knew it was going to happen, but it doesn't make it any less detestable:
While reading this article, I came up with what I believe to be the solution to this problem. The coalition forces, with the help of the Free Iraqi forces imbedded with them, should recruit Shiite ex-regular army Iraqis to form a special volunteer 'mosque-clearing' unit. The coalition could assist with strategy and perhaps some cover fire, the Shiites provide the personnel that actually go in and exterminate the Ba'athist vermin from their holy sites. We could turn Saddam's PR disaster plans into a PR coup for the coalition and bolster Shiite support at the same time.
I'll be patiently awaiting the thanks of a grateful coalition commander. Now go kick some Ba'athist booty!
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
Posted 7:51 AM by WiN
The indispensable Tony Blair
Andrew Sullivan does a very nice job explaining why the unflagging support of Tony Blair has been crucial to winning overwhelming public support in America for the war in Iraq.
In some ways, Blair is the prime minister Americans long for, the foil to a president with great strengths but some obvious limitations. Where Bush is formally eloquent but informally brusque, Blair speaks extemporaneously like a skilled prosecutor, nailing down debating points with a parliamentary skill no former governor of Texas has ever been required to master. Where Bush is instinctually a believer in American power, Blair understands the dynamics of a Europe increasingly bound together by a web of pooled sovereignty, a reliance on "soft" economic power, and an acquired aversion to conflict and risk. While Bush is a conservative, Blair is an old-style liberal, in the mould of Britain's great nineteenth century imperialist prime minister, William Gladstone. Bush is eager to engage the world in order to deter and defeat evil. Blair is a man who looks at the troubled globe and sees also an opportunity to do good.Sullivan also points convincingly to Blair's fingerprints on the entire process building up to the start of hostilities i.e. seeking a second U.N. resolution, and says that Blair will play as large a role, if not larger, in the post-war rebuilding process, both physical and diplomatic. And that will be unquestionably the most critical phase of the whole 'regime change' process. Putting together the right combination of Iraqi leaders to form the post-Saddam government and shepherding them through the rocky first few years, without coming off as imperialistic or condescending, will require a firm, steady hand and the wisdom of Solomon. Tony Blair just might be up to the task. I sincerely hope someone is.
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.