Saturday, March 8, 2003

Troop Trax

Michelle at A Small Victory has come up with a great idea to help out on the morale front for troops that are deployed in the Middle East. Troop Trax is intended to buy used cd's to send "over there", along with donations of comic books, current magazines, and batteries. Considering that used CD's can be had for as little as $1 through and its affiliates, even a small contribution can help. Click on the Troop Trax button on the sidebar to help.

posted at 09:04 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 7, 2003

Another Quiz

This from Media Minder (channeling his girlfriend).

The Older Guy. Ah, you're hot and you have a touch
of class. You only get better with age, like
Chris Noth. Your talent and style and handsome
looks help you get what you want.

Which type of hot guy are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

"The older guy" at 34. This is supposed to make me feel better?

posted at 08:29 PM | permalink | Comments (0)


I just noticed that I forgot to change the timezone back to Pacific time when I returned to the US. I have fixed that, and the times on the two posts from today. Sorry about that!

posted at 05:32 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Fight PETA

Meryl Yourish saw an ad in the new PETA campaign against meat, and saw red. She has decided to do something about it.. March 15th is hereby designated "International Eat An Animal For PETA Day". I fired off a missive to PETA, announcing my support for the measure:

Because you find the need to use despicable imagery to push your extremist campaigns, you caught my attention with your hideous new campaign.
As a consequence, I will be participating in the "International Eat An Animal For PETA" campaign. I will eat out that night, and I will make sure that the server and the proprietors of the restaurant know why I am dining there. I will do everything in my power to make sure that all of my friends participate. I will enjoy eating a nice hearty cut of Prime Rib, with bacon, cheese and butter on my potato. I might even save some room for a nice slice of cheesecake, or perhaps some ice cream.
Your campaign is repulsive, it is offensive, and it is wrong. Good taste has never stopped you in the past, nor do I expect it to do so in the future. This time, however, you have gone way too far. My father lives in a community that is filled with elderly Jews; some of his neighbors have tattoos on their forearms. They are the lucky ones; they survived. I doubt that they will find your campaign to be anything other than the vulgar, crass publicity stunt that it is. I will make sure my father informs all of his neighbors that you feel that they are equivalent to chickens or pigs; I'm sure that will go over well.
I hope that this campaign destroys your fundraising abilities; Hollywood has many people who identify strongly with the Holocaust, and without celebrity support your group is just another fringe cause; without celebrities you won't raise the money you need to keep your high profile in the media.
Chew on that. I'll chew on my prime rib.

Please, join in on this worthy cause. It won't require much of a sacrifice, and it will send a message to PETA, one that will make them squirm.

BTW, if you decide to e-mail PETA, you will receive a pair of e-mails from them. I do not yet know if I am on their mailing list. I used my blog e-mail address, so if I start receiving vast amounts of spam from them, I'll have to change it.

posted at 05:24 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Judge arrested for DUI/Hit and run

A subject that has received heavy coverage here in Western Washington is the arrest of Washington state Supreme court justice Bobbe Bridge for DUI (her blood alcohol content was almost three times the legal limit) and leaving the scene of an accident. Many people are in an uproar; Bridges issued a lengthy apology but refuses to resign from her position. There have been calls from political leaders in the state for her to resign, but the (Republican) leader of the Senate Judiciary committee does not plan to take any action against her.

It is fascinating how people can take the arrest of a non-partisan judge and turn it into a partisan issue. Yesterday, the Seattle Times published 10 letters about the arrest and Bridges' subsequent activities. No fewer than three of them specifically mentioned George Bush's 1976 DUI arrest, and two of those specifically charged that Bush was unfit for office because of it.

One of the letter writers went a bit farther, and smeared two Republicans for their comments about Bridge, accusing them for being hypocrites for supporting Bush and not Bridges. Only one of the GOP sources said Bridges should resign; the other said the matter should be examined, but does not think that it will result in her stepping down from the court. (That article can be found here.)

There are three differences between the Bush case and the Bridges case that make all comparisons between the two irrelevant. First, there is the time issue; Bush's conviction was 27 years ago. He is demonstrably not the same person we has when he was arrested. Secondly, there is the issue of sobriety. Bush no longer drinks; I have not seen any indication that Bridges intends to give up alcohol. Lastly is the scope of their duties in their elected position; as a state judge, Bridges is likely to have to rule in cases in which alcohol plays a role; unless she recuses herself from all such cases, her ruling is likely to provoke a conflict-of-interest charge from the losing party in all such cases. Bush, as president, has no such impact on individual cases.

As to letter writer Schultz's charge of hypocrisy, where does she stand re: Bob Packwood vs. Bill Clinton? I wonder if she had her own case of divided loyalties for sexual harrassment, as Packwood was a Republican, and Clinton was a Democrat. Or maybe Ollie North and, again, Bill Clinton—perjury is a serious offense. I could continue ad infinitum, but I think my point is made.

As an aside. yesterday's Seattle Times ran an editorial on Judge Bridges which contains the following statement, which reinforces by point about the difference between Bush and Bridges:

Forgive the blunt tone, but her drinking days are either over or she should resign. The choice belongs to the justice: the bottle or the bench.

Somehow, I don't think that message will penetrate.

posted at 12:55 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Krauthammer on the New New world order

Charles Krauthammer discusses some of the realities of the UN and NATO, and post-cold war alliances in general, in this column. He points out that France, in particular, is acting not only to preserve its own interests (in Iraq), but more as an impediment to American interests. One paragraph, in particular, rings true:

Second, there should be no role for France in Iraq, either during the war, should France change its mind, or postwar. No peacekeeping. No oil contracts. And France should be last in line for loan repayment, after Russia. Russia, after all, simply has opposed our policy. It did not try to mobilize the world against us.

This is the distillation of the arguments of many in the blogosphere who are incensed at France, moreso than those who support her position, such as Russia, China, and Syria. After all, France doesn't want change, therefore they should not participate in a changed Iraq.

posted at 06:10 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Rush in progress

Welcome, visitors from the Network 54 Animal House. You won't find anything about watches here; it's just a theme that relates to the name of my site.

I assume that the post at the animal house, from "Grand Frog", relates to the hit on my site earlier in the day from looking for "Breitling maintenance". (smile)

posted at 05:37 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Feeling slighted

For those who are unfamiliar with the way the navy advances its people, trying to explain the process would be an exercise in frustration. However, the quick explanation is that (for the upper-level enlisted types, at least), there is a two-tier process. One first takes a written test, with questions concentrated on one's occupational field. The results of the test, coupled with the individual's performance mark average (PMA), are multiplied to yield a final multiple. Each year, the threshold to advance to the next section changes, and everyone who is above that level advances to a selection board, where senior enlisted and officers review service records to determine who will be advanced.

In any case, I was informed that I had "made board", I would continue on to the next level. When I reviewed my profile sheet from the exam, it duly noted that I was eligible for the selection board. I was more than a little bit surprised when I looked at the list of everyone who made the selection board, and noted that my name wasn't on the list. I'm sure it's an oversight, as I know that I made the board, but I still feel slighted.

For those who have a raging desire to see who the navy is considering for advancement to Chief Petty Officer, a list can be found here.

UPDATE: 8 Mar 03—As Dodd alludes to in his comment, my name is on this list after all. It wasn't on the five-part message that BUPERS sent out, however, leading me to believe that somebody caught and fixed the errors before the list was consolidated.

posted at 05:28 AM | permalink | Comments (1)

"AT1 ATOC JETER ANDREW" was in my A-School class. I was #2, he was #3. Because he had a couple of extra points from an inspection, he actually got to pick orders ahead of me but he let me have the NASNI orders I wanted and took China Lake so he could actually work on planes.

No other names I recognized (other than yours, of course), but then, a lot of them are pretty common - and my memory for names isn't that hot.

posted by Dodd on March 5, 2003 11:21 PM

Monday, March 3, 2003

BS alert

From CNN, we have this article, with the headline:

French official: No anti-Americanism in France

The official in question is Dominique de Villepin, the French foreign minister. M. de Villepin is the lovely gentleman who used a press conference with Colin Powell as a platform to attack American foreign policy.

Some of M. de Villepin's compatriots in the French government have derided Bush as a "moron", "cowboy" or worse, and France is the home of the anti-American culture crowd. 400,000 people showed up to demonstrate against the war in Paris, and a significant number of them carried signs that directly attacked the US. There is no way that you can convince me that there is no anti-Americanism in France, and de Villepin's blithe dismissal of facts is infuriating.

UPDATE: The comments thread on this post over at Daily Pundit seem to point to a conclusion that differs from my own. Ralf Goergens, who is German (and generally rather sensible) says that he has seen little anti-Americanism in the protests in Germany, just a dislike of the current foreign policy we are pursuing. I do not concur, but I suspect there is room for us to disagree on this issue. I think the tenor of the protests in Germany and those in France is different, as well, which might be the root of our differing opinions.

posted at 02:37 AM | permalink | Comments (2)

Dear Horologium, I was watching the NBC coverage of the United Nations address of the security council, and was very impressed with Foreign French Minister Dominique Villepin. I agree onehundred percent with his ideas and philosophy concerning Irac. Please understand that most Americans do not agree with Bush or even voted for the tyrant. I really do not know which is worse, Bush or Saddam. As you know or don't, Al Gore won the popular vote, which the Florida Supreme Court stopped at 500,000, because they believed riots would take place if the true numbers came in. Like I was saying, most Americans believe in diplomacy and war should be a last resort. Bush has not come close to the last resort, infact he has gone out of his way to push for war. But I believe it goes far deeper than this. Bush is not running the country but his father and old boys who worked for him. This is all about oil, and so is the Bush administration. Afganistan was about minerals as well. It's about power and money. What this administration did not realize was that the rest of the world would not stand idoly by while "Dubya" and his cronies tried to take control of the world's oil reserves. But now they have started something, an unbalancing of power, so to speak, that might be too late to avert war on a large world wide order. Right now North Korea is treating if US plans to attack Irac, they will retaliate with either an atomic bomb or troops or both. In any event we cannot fight two fronts, and I don't even think we could win a conventional fight with North Korea. In short, we better disarm ourselves out of Irac's way and make peace and diplomacy our friend as our last great president did, Clinton.
If you have access to the French Foreign Minister Mr. Villepin, I would very much like to email him. Thankyou for your time.

John Saikaly

posted by John Saikaly on March 7, 2003 09:38 PM

No, Mr. Saikaly, I do not have access to Mr. de Villepin. I am an American citizen, currently living in the US.

Your views don't track closely with mine at all, which a quick look through my archives would have confirmed. I don't buy the "it's all about oil" trope, nor do I buy into "The Supreme Court selected Bush as president" delusion. Gore won the popular vote, it is true, but that is not how we elect the president in the United States. If you dislike the concept of the Electoral College, contact your congressional representatives about introducing an amendment to change the constitution.

The idea that we could not win a war (conventional or otherwise) against North Korea is absurd. Do you have any idea of what you just said? And "disarming" ourselves out of Iraq's way is precisely what led to N. Korea developing nuclear weapons, despite their signature on the NPT and their agreement with the US to stop development in exchange for money and food. Because they saw that Clinton was unwilling to back up the provisions of the deal, they had no qualms about violating it. Now look what has happened. Bush will not let it happen with another country, one that has demonstrated no remorse about killing civilians, within their country and outside its borders.

posted by Timekeeper on March 8, 2003 12:38 AM

Gotta love Seattle

I scanned the local Sunday paper, sure that I'd find something interesting to post about, and I was not disappointed. This being Seattle, I found a frighteningly PC screed in the "NEXT" section of the paper. (For those who are not familiar with the Seattle Times, NEXT is a section devoted to high-school and college age students, giving them a forum for issues which are relevant and important to them.) The writer, Jhalah Akhavan, is a senior at one of the Olympia high schools (a bio can be found here; she is the first person in the list). She is discussing "Women's History Month". She is also a barking moonbat. Here is some of what she had to say, with rebuttals where applicable:


I recall sophomore English, where I stayed after class one day to inquire about the rest of the year's planned reading material. Of the 10 or 20 books required since I entered high school, only one had been written by a woman. Precious few of the others dealt with or even included issues pertaining to women.

If Olympia schools follow the pattern common to most schools in America, the freshman English class concentrates on early-to-medieval world lit, Sophomore English on British lit, junior English on American lit, and senior English on modern world lit. As a sophomore, she would not have been exposed to most women's literature, as women did not write in the middle ages. As to "women's issues", that is not the purpose of English class. Social sciences, certainly, but not English.

In response to my concerns, the teacher pointed out two things to me. First, that Jane Eyre was written by a woman; this seemed to constitute proof that I was getting sufficient exposure to women's literature.
Second, if I was truly so concerned to learn about women specifically, I could certainly find a women's studies course at the community college, now couldn't I?

Bluntly put, but entirely accurate. Bravo to the teacher for putting a fine point on the issue.

Here I remember feeling an overwhelming rush of shock, disappointment and rage. Unexpectedly, my eyes began to well up with frustration. "But that's the whole point!" I spat. "Doesn't it strike you as somewhat ridiculous that to get the slightest mention of a woman beyond her position as wife to a prominent male figure, I have to go hunt for it on my own, outside of school?!
"Does it not strike you as odd that half of the world's population is systematically rendered invisible through curriculums such as your own?

Does it not strike you as thoroughly ridiculous that the teacher is expected to change the curriculum from a study of literature to a politically correct sociology class to raise the self-esteem of a grievance group, rather than on the merits of the literature involved?

"My intent is not to read books simply because they are written by women, but to explore a variety of important literature, and in showing us that this evidently does not include women, you are alienating at least half of your students, not to mention providing a grotesquely limited view of literary achievement!"
And then, because I had decided long before this encounter to educate myself beyond the classroom, I suggested a possible list of reading material. Bluntly put, this did not fly.

Remember that the student's view of literary achievement and the teacher's view may differ, and the teacher is the final arbiter.

Later, a related classroom discussion aroused no more than doubtful nonchalance in my fellow students. I realized that most of them could care less about the history of women.

Would she prefer to alienate the majority of students who do not share her deep and abiding need for validation? If they don't care, wouldn't forcing her views upon them alienate them and limit their views of literature?


The problem is, we're not going back far enough. When I finally decided to begin reading up on my own, I was amazed to discover the matriarchal, goddess-worshipping civilizations that existed as far back as 20,000 BCE.

Yes, and how much literature exists from that period? Not much. What were these civilizations' achievements, their advances, their contributions to our history? Nothing. They apparently lived and died in stasis, with no impact on the rest of the world. That is why they are not studied. All we know of them is scattered remnants of their existence.

I learned that findings of statues and artifacts from these cultures span from Russia to Europe and even here, where ancient Native American people thrived.

This is something that is discussed in History classes, generally a class taken in one's junior year in high school.

Thousands of years before the pyramids were built, giant, women-built stone temples graced the islands of Malta. Intricate calendars and measurements were developed based on the regular lunar rhythms of the women's menstrual cycles.

Built by women? Probably not. Built to worship women or goddesses, certainly. But it is not likely that they were built exclusively by women. And the lunar cycle is most likely the unit of measurement used, rather than the menstrual cycle that is linked to it.

Even more amazing was the fact that, in these times, it is evidenced that no rape or wars took place. The feminine was divine, respected and revered by men and women alike.

I will accept the "no war" premise, but the "no rape" assertion has absolutely no way of being proven or disproven. It is simply an article of faith amongst feminist scholars.

The likely reason for the lack of wars is twofold; first, due to the limited population, there was little competition for resources, and due to the technological standstill of the people involved, warfare was unlikely to achieve anything in any case.

Shouldn't we be paying attention to this kind of history? My simplified school education had led me to believe that between cavemen and the ancient Greek and Roman empires, little took place except some "societal transformations" as a result of wars.

Her displeasure with the facts does not invalidate them. In any case, the Sumerian civilization at Ur (complete with written records) arose shortly after the temple builders, and the Sumerians were not the peaceful goddess-worshipping gentlefolk of whom Ms. Akhavan speaks. Before they were defeated, the Sumerians warred with almost all of their neighbors.


I am fed up with such an inaccurate, incomplete picture of women's history. I want to hear the true stories of real women, not just the first ladies' formal achievements.

Did she not learn of Isabella of Spain, who financed Columbus's explorations, while consolidating and unifying the Iberian peninsula under her control? Did sheu not learn of Elizabeth, who turned England from a small, weak nation to the greatest empire Earth has ever seen? Did she not learn of Catherine the Great, leader of Russia, or Joan of Arc, who was one of France's most influential figures? Did she not learn of the Chinese empresses who ruled that country through several dynasties over hundreds of years? These were all covered in my high school history class fifteen years ago, before the diversity police stepped in. I seriously doubt that they were removed from history texts.

If she is looking for the stories of "real women", then she needs to look to a women's studies class. History does not deal with the lives of ordinary people; that is the bailiwick of anthropology.

In order to understand what it means to be female, I need to know where I came from. And that means the whole journey, back to all my mothers and grandmothers, back to a time when we were recognized not as an aberration of the male to be tolerated, but respected and revered as women.

<rolls eyes, shakes head>. I fear that what she is looking for has nothing to do with history. But, from someone who belongs to a group which explores "ancient feminine herstory, peaceful dimensions against gender violence, Feminist Archetypal Psychology and engendered archeology/anthropology disciplines", history is not her real agenda. But you already knew that.

posted at 02:07 AM | permalink | Comments (1)

Like I mentioned before.

Welcome home, Timekeeper.

Heh heh.

posted by Wind Rider on March 3, 2003 03:35 AM

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