Thursday, December 31, 2009
But where have we heard of this sort of thing before? Starting to see a pattern develop vis-a-vis Muslim bombers and the Government's security mindset? If someone had searched Pantybomber, he would have been caught. If someone had searched this guy, he would have been caught.
Lesson: search Muslims, find bombs. But apparently our government hasn't figured this out yet. It probably needs another 18-month-long-and-horrednously-expensive "study" to confirm this.
"Successful" is defined as "nobody got blown up", in the final analysis, but that this sort of thing didn't happen had very little to do with TSA. If I recall my news coverage, most of the incidents aboard aircraft this past year seem to have involved passengers and crew ganging up against the criminals, the drunkards, the insane and the terrorists.
But, some might say, it's all in how you define success that really matters.
If you defined "successful" as "we found a bomb taped to a guy's dick and kept him as far away from a plane as possible, and had him in custody before he could do any harm", then I might find that a reasonable claim to make.
If you defined "success" as "we kept a guy who was on a terror watch list, travelling with no luggage, no visas or other travel documents, on a ticket bought with cash, who had recently traveled to Yemen, with a Muslim-sounding name, who -- go figure! --just happened to have had a bomb hidden in his drawers", I might find that a reasonable claim to make.
If you defined "successful" as "stopping that guy with the Muslim-sounding name, the bomb in his drawers, on a terrorist watch list, on the radar at the State Department, CIA and British security services, who was in Yemen, and travelling on a ticket paid for in cash, with no luggage and no visas before he ever got on an airplane in Nigeria, or Amsterdam, and made the Trans-Atlantic crossing", then I might find that a reasonable claim to make.
If you defined "success" as "we stopped the guy with the underwear bomb, the Muslim-sounding name, the ticket paid for in cash, with no visa, on the watch list at CIA, State Department and the Brits, who wasn't stopped in Nigeria or Amsterdam, and made the Trans-Atlantic Crossing, and then tried to set himself and the plane on fire before an alert (and very brave) civilian stomped his ass and beat the flames out with his bare fucking hands", then we have a problem. A huge one. Because nowhere in any of that do I even see "TSA" mentioned.
Because you did none of those things, and the report points out there are problems elsewhere in your shop. Listen, TSA, as much as we do appreciate the (little) that you do for us, you have to understand -- you need to be perfect. Not pretty good, not satisfactory, not win-more-than-you-lose. Fucking Perfect. Every day. All the time. And even if you achieved that elusive goal, you'll still get no praise for it because that's your fucking job. This might be the last pat on the back any of you ever get.
Stuff your pat on the back, and go find me a Muslim Killer with a dirty nuke in his rectum and stop him in Riyadh before he gets here.
Update: Ann Coulter agrees with me.
Update-Update: OMGOMGOMG! So do Gay Democrats! What is this world coming to? I'd laugh about how people who scream for tolerance can be so blatantly hypocritical. It probably doesn't occur to them in the first place (no surprise), and is probably more a visceral reaction to the Muslim practice of stoning homosexuals than it is standing upon the principles of 'equality' that they're always crying about. I just wish they didn't have to make the point with pastel-colored teddy bears because...well...that's gay.
Can we make a resolution, one and all, that when these criminals come up for re-election, that none of them gets your vote?
The country needs to be saved by us, the citizens, exercising common sense and good judgement because our so-called "leaders" are devoid of either. Make these your priorities in the coming mid-term elections:
1. Re-establish the power of The Governed over The Government,
2. Say NO to graft, dishonesty, and stupidity.
3. Hold President Obama and Nancy Pelosi to their pledges on Transparency and Ethics. We want all bills on the Internet five days before any voting takes place, we want to know what gets said in closed-door ethics hearings, we want up-and-down votes when called for, we want debates --we have the right to know what you're doing before you do it.
4. Say NO to a government take-over of 1/6 of the US Economy with a policy crafted in the Senate Men's Room in the dark of night. We want the government out of our financial institutions and GM, as soon as possible. No more bailouts, ever.
5. Pray for and support our troops, urge our leadership to fight the Islamonazis, and bring them all home victorious and safe.
6. Put Chris Dodd and Charlie Rangel in prison, where they belong, Tar-and-feather Barney Frank (he might enjoy certain jailhouse activities a just a wee too much), chip in to buy John Kerry a personality, please give to the John Ensign I-Can't-Stop-Cheating-On-My-Wife-Fund -- he has an ex-paramour to bribe into silence.
7. Demand lower taxes and less government interference in your personal lives.
8. Keeps your eyes and ears open for Muslims Terrorists, since Homeland Security ain't.
9. Dispel the rumor that a Congresscritter can go through life anonymously -- keep in touch with your Congressional Delegates and let them know you care, you're watching -- you pay taxes and you vote.
10. Find like-minded people, form your own Tea Parties, and get involved in discussions of local politics and political action. Don't wait for the Republican or Democratic Party to do anything for you, because they won't if they believe they can get away with it. Make yourself heard, and your presence felt.
Yeah, we get it, -- you're gay -- okay? You only talk about it incessantly, and even if you didn't, most of us can tell. Really. After 20 years of working with homosexuals (of all stripes), I'm pretty sure I could identify about 95% of the gay folks in a room, despite their best efforts to hide it. In fact, most of you make no effort to hide it at all. So, could you please stop? It's getting embarrassing and annoying, which is why no one takes you seriously no matter how badly you misbehave, stretch the truth or try to shock our sensibilities. You're acting like petulant children. It's why we don't care.
I do, however, care that you think I should care. What's it me if you're gay? Has no bearing on my life, and I already have my own problems, thank you very much. I'm sorry it doesn't make you feel special to know that I actually don't think about you 24/7/364, and I know it'll really stings when you discover that I'm no longer paying attention. I don't need to be told that you're different, and I don't believe in the formulation that your 'difference' entitles you to a special place in the legal system, and society. I also don't believe that your difference entitles you to extra-constitutional rights either, which is what the whole Gay Rights thing really is all about.
Hey, it worked for the blacks, so why not, right?
It's about time identity politics ended in this country. It's really doing no one any good, and it gets ever more ridiculous with each passing day.
(H/T to JammieWearingFool)
Update: More on the attempt to elevate "Muslim" to the level of a race. (H/T FiveFeetofFury)
More: Now the Care Bears are gay. Go figure.
I want to thank everyone who comes here every day, and even those of you who stop by to browse every once in a while, for; a) not reporting me to the authorities, and b) encouraging me to spout my caustic bullshit. I can't do it without ya, and this has been my best year traffic-wise, which means mooooo-lah for your's truly (not much, but every little bit helps, right?).
Don't drink and drive!
And for your New Year's Eve entertainment, here's an oldie-but-goodie from our friend Mr. Steyn as we come to the end of the first decade of the 21st Century. Enjoy!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Maureen Dowd reaches for a cigarette, her Obama Orgasm has ended.
Obama finds out what I could have told him: The 9/10 mentality is alive and well in the Fed'ral Bureaucracy. This quick-and-dirty evaluation probably cost millions of (borrowed) dollars, when they could have gotten that evaluation here for a fraction of the cost. And they want ot Unionize these people?
But They'll get Health Care Right. Government can always be trusted to get the really important things right, can't they?
She (it must be a she because no straight man could be this hysterical) contends that Liberals have 'inherited' a fucked-up world and are doing their level-best to un-fuck it, and the Anointed Savior (ordained by Gaia to save mankind, and the planet, by people who think like She does) can't do it if we're all sniping at him, and criticizing his most-holy policies, and are not approaching our problems from the standpoint of love, rather than war. She finishes with a verse of Kumbaya that is so saccharine sweet (and mind-numbingly naive) that only someone who lives in San Francisco could believe it, and which made me physically ill.
That's all well-and-fine. I don't mind a dissenting point of view, I encourage it because I love to argue, and I don't even mind a dissenting point of view that is so divorced from reality, and full of egregious spelling errors, more expletives than even I use, and with more than a few questionable remarks about my parentage. But, for those reasons (and because it would really annoy her), I shan't reprint it. But, I will explain the differences between her vision of the world (and by extension, Barack Obama's, She assumes) and mine.
She lives in a world where consequences don't exist, or worse, they only apply to other people. She lives in a world where She never expects to have to bear the consequences of what She advocates. She lives in a world where power exists to satisfy Her every selfish whim, and to keep that which is unpleasant at arm's length, at any cost. She lives in a world where the illusion of the Noble Martyr, fighting the 'good fight' tilting at windmills (whether the martyr is an ardent communist, the artist, the religious dissenter, or the Islamic Terrorist) is a romantic one. It is the worldview of someone who has never lived a day in the real world and who has never had to fend for Herself. It is the world of the college student who believes she is actually becoming an educated person because She attends a supposed-institution of higher learning, but who will be very disappointed to eventually discover, Sh'se only succeeded in keeping reality at bay for another four, five, seven or fifteen years -- or however long it takes her to finally graduate with such poor spelling and grammatical skills (probably as long as her parent's money holds out).
She lives in a world, along with most Liberals, where concepts such as physical courage, faith, moral certainty, self-sacrifice, are considered anachronistic, at best, and barbaric, at worst. They inhabit a world of supposed-reason in which the only other inhabitants are people who think like they do, where no counter-argument is allowed, and where the people simply parrot the same soft platitudes over and over to each other as a daily affirmation. These are people who, as Orwell once noted, get "Their cookery from Paris, and their politics from Moscow", meaning they are pretentious little twits who believe they are somehow more sophisticated than the rest of us who don't use words like "jingoistic" every five minutes, and they've discovered the naughty 'secret' of Socialism. She lives in a world that is inhabited by people who never expect, nor even truly wish, to ever be in a position of responsibility...for anything....but who nonetheless expect their cares and fears to be catered to by those who will bear the responsibility.
She lives in a world where violence is never the answer. To people like her, the only time violence has any place in society is when you can safely destroy the local McDonald's during a Earth Day 'celebration' without being shot by the police, who have strict instructions not to engage the mob, in any case. Liberals only use, or talk up the threat of violence when they know there is no realistic chance of retaliation.
Because people like you are absolute worms, Missy, the Enemies of this Culture (and yes, they are the enemies of Western Civilization, not just the United States) are smug and confident in their ability to ultimately kill or enslave us all. They look at people like you, and they laugh. They listen to people like you, and they drool over the thought of the power they will one day exercise over us. They like people like you, because you're easily cowed, compliant, willing to submit. You'll make a very good Dhimmi one day, Young Lady.
In the Real World, where I live (not the one on MTV), people like you are just as, if not more dangerous than the terrorists themselves. Because people like you encourage them. You are every Islamofascist's wet dream, Sunshine. Lenin had a nicer name for people like you; he called you Useful Idiots.
Your Messiah is cut from the same cloth, but I still hold out a (slim) hope that reality will invade his bubble in away it hasn't (yet) invaded yours. Given enough time, even the most stubborn liberal eventually grows up...usually when reality smacks them in the mouth. In the meantime, ask yourself this: how many will have to die before Barack Obama (or you) will have that moment of clarity?
Update: Here are the people you're trying to accomodate. (H/T Lumpy Grumpy and Frumpy).
FiveFeetofFury and The Closet Conservative chime in on the Religion of Peace, and it's liberal defenders, on an-almost daily basis.
The central point in the War on Terror is the mindset of the people who will formulate and enact The Policy by which that war will be fought. In order to make the proper decisions that will become The Policy, and ultimately The Strategy, the people making them will have to recognize certain facts:
a. The Enemy is unrelenting.
b. The Enemy is part of an identifiable group.
c. The Enemy operates on a different wavelength and by different rules than we do.
d. The Enemy is not interested in making a deal, he's not interested in anything we can offer him.
e. The Enemy considers negotiation and conciliation as forms of weakness, unless it helps him to achieve his goal, then the good-feeling this engenders in his opponent is simply another weapon at his disposal.
f. The Enemy's Goal is World Domination, defined as the ultimate ascendancy of his religion and culture, culminating in the reduction to all those outside this scope to a position of semi-slavery with few, if any, legal or natural rights.
g. The Enemy is willing to do almost anything to achieve these goals, his philosophy having elevated those goals from mere political aims to the route towards personal salvation.
h. The Enemy has been in a state of Undeclared War with the United States since 1979.
i. The Enemy believes it's victory is pre-ordained and inevitable.
j. The Enemy is merciless and pitiless, and has no regard for the humanity of his opponents.
That is the reality of Militant Islam, and the Islamonazi political regime that comes with it. That is the kind of foe we're supposed to be fighting; implacable, pitiless, single-minded, undistracted by abstract thoughts of justice, fairness or decency. He is armed to the teeth, and has a billion potential soldiers at his command. He lives by a strict code of religious discipline, and routinely clears his ranks of shirkers and traitors by means of murder. He holds his host culture hostage with a climate of fear, religious orthodoxy and systematic violence, which he claims is his ancestral right either handed down from God, or magically bestowed upon his as a legacy of (pick one or more) racism, religious discrimination, colonialism, economic exploitation, etc, etc, etc.
The response and policies of both major political opponents, viewed against these realities, leave much to be desired, and in fact, seem woefully inadequate to meet the challenge of people willing to ran airliners into office buildings, tape high explosives to their groin, or indiscriminately launch unguided rockets into residential neighborhoods.
And the reason is because the political leadership of this country, Repub or Dem, is too frightened or stupid, to tell itself the Truth about The Enemy. Because they fail to see what's so obviously plain, their policies and pronouncements, their actions and rhetoric, are divorced from reality. In the meantime, American troops pay the price with their limbs and lives. Americans pay more for their energy, more in taxes, and make ever-more personal sacrifices in order to support the War/NotWar, and have to deal with a government who's response to terrorism is to prevent blankets from being handed out, keep nail clippers off aircraft, and restrict the use of rest rooms.
Liberals (and I'm using the term loosely, because they really aren't) see the problem of terrorism in terms of law enforcement and social welfare. They do not see The Enemy as some sort of robotic, inhuman force driven by a rabid ideology, it views him through the same lens it applies to all problems. All problems, in the liberal world, can be solved by talking and symbolism, because ultimately, all issues arise from a lack of tolerance and a dearth of 'resources' -- it would rather perform 'social outreach' (Obama's "Open hand/Clenched fist"), and get to the "root causes" of the problem (Obama's Apologies to Islam for Western Civilizations very existence and intolerance), then open a "dialogue" with them (Negotiate with Admini-doo-dad without pre-conditions), and then negotiate "terms" (Discuss the size of the bribe required for "peace"). Liberalism would rather talk, and then attach a symbolic value to that talk which is of no real value, presuming that if Obama (for example) met face-to-face with Ama-dada-doo-dad that somehow gives the Iranians a feeling that we respect them as equals, and that having been satisfied with the illusion of equality, they'll be ready to cave to our other demands, they being reasonable chaps and all that. It absolves them of the Guilt they feel when they recognize that other people are making sacrifices they don't have the courage or intelligence to make themselves.
It's an extension of the "There are no truly Bad Boys..." argument; if you talk to the Islamic Radicals, show them some respect, get down on their level, and perhaps provide them with Midnight Basketball, they won't turn into cold-blooded killers. It's like watching your middle-aged dad try to relate to your teenaged friends; he starts calling everyone "Dog", pretends an interest in rap music, tries to fit in and "be hip", high-fives everyone, and he doesn't realize how ridiculous he looks, or how embarrassing it is for you.
When that strategy fails, they always fall back on the police. Liberals, despite their protests to the contrary, actually love the power of the police...when it's used in ways they want it to be. The greatest danger to American Society in the last 20 years was not, as Libs would have you believe, John Ashcroft armed with the Patriot Act --it would have been Hillary Clinton similarly equipped.
So, when talk fails, law enforcement suddenly becomes the only answer. To everything; Can't control handguns because of the pesky Second Amendment? Law enforcement is the answer! Can't fix the social problems created by bastardy, drug abuse and rampant street crime that were a result of Liberal policies in the first place? Law enforcement is the answer! Even when law enforcement isn't the answer, it's the answer -- as when Obama went to Columbus (I think) to pose in front of 25 new police officers whose jobs were "saved" by the Stimulus Bill...But I digress.
Law Enforcement must now protect us after the magical powers of talk and symbolism have failed. However, law enforcement must do it's job handcuffed by conditions the Liberal insist upon; you can't profile (that's racist), you can't treat terrorists like terrorists and prosecute them as such (lawyers solve all problems), you can't make mention of a certain religion or ethnicity (because that might make them feel persecuted), you aren't allowed to kill the enemy on the battlefield until you can prove with (incontrovertible evidence) that he is about to kill you.
This is why Obama (and before him Clinton and Carter, to be fair) cannot come to grips with the problem of terrorism. It's why the Liberal Elite have railed against the War on Terror since it's inception (even while cynically voting for the money to prosecute the War, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, voting for the Patriot Act and all the rest -- they were all symbolic, and politically-necessary, votes). Libs would rather talk than fight, and then when talking fails, pass the buck. They ultimately end up punishing the innocent while putting up yet one obstacle to bringing the guilty to heel.
On the other side, Republicans are laboring under the mistaken impression that "everyone is basically the same, underneath it all" which is kinda strange, since it's Liberals who insist on the truthfulness of that statement -- while they accuse Republicans of being racists, elitists and exclusionary.
In this case, they don't actually believe everyone is "the same" in terms of people having equal talents, capacities, needs, etc. Instead, they believe that all people have a fundamental yearning that makes them "the same", and that yearning is for "Freedom"(always defined in strictly-American terms) and that all one must to do is to "give people Freedom" and there is some human instinct that automatically 'knows' what that means -- and then it automatically follows that people unversed in the 4,000 year-old philosophies of democracy, free-market economics and political/religious pluralism will quickly accept them, and adapt their culture to accommodate them.
That this "bringing Freedom to those who yearn for it" must be accomplished at gunpoint, under the conditions and mentality of War, doesn't seem to occur to those who believe that "Inside every Afghan/Iraqi/Iranian/Radical Muslim is an American just dying to get out..." is telling. It means that they don't fundamentally understand the historical, philosophical and social conditions and processes which have resulted in their own "Freedom", and almost reduces the whole concept to the process to that by which you install software on your PC -- you simply put the disk in and the host system (in this case, culture) simply "knows" what to do with it once it's introduced. It allows them to frame the whole War on Terror as some Noble Crusade that is, ultimately, for everyone's benefit. It makes them feel better about risking (other people's) lives and cash.
Both, in their own ways, see Man as some sort of reasonable creature who knows where his bread is buttered, and which actually believes in concepts such as equality and peace.
It's why one side will insist on open-ended commitments of American blood and treasure trying to redeem the seemingly irredeemable, and the other will seek to delay the inevitable bloodshed by the process of holistic politics. Because the alternatives, being wrong (for Conservatives) and all-out War (for Liberals) are unthinkable to either, and so are the consequences.
If anyone in power today actually knew anything about history (something which is hardly studied honestly anymore) they would recognize that the Radical Islamists are no better, and in some cases infinitely worse, than the Nazis, the Soviet Communists or the Japanese Militarists.
Defeating those enemies required realism, it required great violence, and the expenditure of much blood, iron and treasure with the goal of laying them utterly low. This Islamic Enemy will only be defeated by the same means. They cannot be "reformed" until they have been defeated in unmistakable terms, which means the destruction of their culture by overwhelming force and great suffering, wherein it will become apparent to The Enemy that whatever he hopes to achieve is impossible, and that whatever he believes is a false system that cannot achieve his goals.
Nazi Germany had to be bombed flat and defeated militarily on two continents before Germans finally lost faith in National Socialism and surrendered. Japan had to be starved, terrorized and threatened with nuclear holocaust before the Japanese began to see that they weren't a divine people imbued with a natural right to conquest and Empire. Soviet Communism had to be bankrupted before it was seen as being unable to provide the standard of living that it promised to it's people, and which Capitalism did. The same needs to be done to Islamonazis.
They need to be reduced to the level of drinking out of mud puddles and picking the undigested thistles from camel dung before they begin to realize that, perhaps, all this stuff they're busily committing suicide for is not exactly the best way of life. It is only through abject misery that people begin to question their fundamental beliefs. One side won't inflict that misery, and the other will only inflict it up to a certain point, beyond that, neither is willing to go.
And that's why any War on Terror, any regime of Airport Security, no number of Patriot Acts and Guantanamo Bays, no negotiations, bribes or concessions, will ever solve the problem of Islamic Terrorism. Doing so requires great violence of the "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" type that both find barbaric. In the meantime, one will fight a public-relations campaign with guns to no definite end, and the other will be talking it's ass off and offering your virgin daughters up to the barbarians in order to avoid violence, and achieving even less.
The System Failed -- despite Janet Napolitano's insistence to the contrary, and it needs to be fixed.
The man who famously attacked George W. Bush as being too stubborn to admit mistakes, and too slow to do the right thing has, four days after a near-major disaster, decided to admit a mistake and, indeed, pledge that he will take corrective action. But only because he had to; Apparent inaction and a seemingly-lackadaisical attitude on terrorism made him look bad on TV.
Now, in this instance, I can't (completely) kick the crap out of Barack Obama for anything except poor leadership. He didn't create the Department of Homeland (In-)Security, and he doesn't personally maintain the Watch Lists, nor does he screen luggage and passengers. Be fair. His sin was to not interrupt his vacation to let the public know he was on the job with this thing, and that he was going to get to the bottom of it all, while the Keystone Kops (Gibbs and Napolitano) made the whole Administration look more stupid and rudderless than it usually is. He delivered a terse press-release-disguised-as-a-serious-Presidential-moment, and then left...only to have to correct himself, his people, and his position, all within three days, and then he had to try to spin this cluster-fuck as a victory for the good guys, somehow, with a straight face. All without making reference to terror, terrorism, terrorists, War on Terrorism, Islam, Radical Islam or them Al'Qeada people, because that would undermine his whole rationale for the non-War on non-Terror.
That's a really hard juggling act, and he couldn't do it -- and it showed. If Barack Obama deserves a swift kick for anything, it's for his stubborn refusal to face reality. In the meantime, we find out that TSA and another Border agency don't have people in charge. The TSA top job is open because the person nominated has not been voted on by the Senate. The Democrats claim that Sen. DeMint (R) is holding the nomination process up, all by himself, despite the fact there's 60 democratic senators who could vote for this guy in a heartbeat, because DeMint is concerned the guy would unionize all TSA employees. Must look to the safety of the unions before the safety of the citizenry, right?
In light of what we've just seen, that would be a singularly bad idea. We need efficiency, professionalism and dedication from the TSA... not more coffee breaks and shorter working hours. So, even after the security of an airliner has been compromised, the democrats are still playing politics with the security of other airliners, and blaming a republican for it. Go figure.
The truth is that passing a National Eyedrops and Band aids plan was considered such a priority that it has apparently brought all other business before the Senate to a screeching halt. Not that having a head at TSA would have stopped this particular douchebag, but it's kind of stupid that a year after Obama takes office, he can't fill cabinet posts with a democrat-controlled Congress because of Healthcare.
Now, the truth about Homeland Security.
I've said it before, and I must say it again; this is an amalgamation of several government agencies under one roof. If you thought the mayhem and stupidity of a single government organization could be bad, wait until you see what happens when you merge several into a Super Agency -- and make it a cabinet-level post.
The DHS was never designed to do the things we expect it to do. It's not designed to protect the homeland (what is this, Soviet Russia?), it's not designed to deliver disaster relief, it's not designed to screen luggage, it's not designed to share information. It is the creation of bureaucrats and politicians in panic mode, and as such, it's main purpose is to give people the impression that someone is doing something.
This is why FEMA failed during Katrina. It's why TSA failed to catch Undibomber. It's why the State Department and CIA each had a file on the dude that one else ever saw. DHS is very good at taking knitting needles, nail clippers, shampoo and cigarette lighters from people who offer grudging co-operation. It absolutely sucks at finding terrorists. It has, instead, decided that American servicemen returning from overseas are more of a threat than Islamic Fundamentalsts. Identifying and catching terrorists is like... hard... and like any good organization drawn up the Senate Men's Room and lavishly-funded, it does so badly -- when it even bothers to. Doing that might mean an application of common sense, which would lead to profiling, which pisses Je$$e Jackass off.
DHS's response in the aftermath of Pantybomber was classic Washington nonsense: first it claimed a victory that it had not earned ("The System Worked...an Alert and Courageous Citizenry..."), and then it overreacted after the metaphorical horse had defecated and bolted the barn (No Blankets, No Bathrooms, No Breathing for the last hour of a flight). That's how politicians and bureaucrats behave -- and DHS is the brainchild of politicians and bureaucrats, so no surprise there.
Which means that, ultimately, the safety of the American Public rests with...the American Public. As always. You have been ill-served by your government, and will continue to be, until there is a hue and cry and heads roll, starting with Janet Napolitano, and then with Obama -- if his nominee for TSA has been held up for 11 months, then nominate another. If 60 democrats in the Senate can't find the time to vote for him (basically just going through the motions), then you don't have the time to go to Hawaii. I guess Barack is finding out, the hard way, that this President thing is a 24/7 job.
Make sure you take out travel insurance every time you fly so long as the government is in charge of airline and airport security. I wish you luck.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
For anyone who is unfamiliar with the Mayor of New York City, let me supply you with a short introduction to Hizzonner.
He's a filthy rich man. I mean, phenomenally rich, so rich that he makes other rich people look poor. He sits at the head of a media empire that makes him a shitload of money and gives him the ability to manipulate the news and public information. Even though he technically is not running his company, I have the feeling that somehow, he does. He has his own, built-in propaganda machine. He's bought the office outright, twice (if I recall from this past election, his campaign against a lack-luster-second-stringer dimwit was rumored to have spent something like $20,000 per vote received, and he still barely won).
Mike Bloomberg is so wealthy that things like, oh, I don't know, laws, are for the little people. The man who famously threatened to sue his way into Gracie Mansion when Rudy Guiliani made the suggestion that he should extend his last term as Mayor in the aftermath of 9/11 was all for term limits then. But then he co-opted the City Council in New York City (which wasn't difficult; which democrat wanted to be the Mayor of New York during a recession, when there was no Wall Street money to waste?) to overturn the will of the voters and repeal the term limit laws --so that he could run for an illegal third term as Mayor.
When it comes to things like healthcare, smoking, trash, automobiles, Mike is simply reflecting the views of his Upper East Side friends: cars are slowly being forced out of Manhattan with increased tolls, restrictions on travel, requirements on the taxi fleet to 'go green', and the once-vaunted (but ultimately-defeated) "Congestion Pricing" model which would have charged drivers tolls on the Manhattan Crossings based on time of day and traffic flow. Your $6, 9 a.m. toll could have risen to $10 by 9:05 a.m. and perhaps as much as $12 by 9:15 based on some formula no one was able to explain. The City looks through your garbage with an army of Sanitation Inspectors to ensure that you're recycling properly (like anyone asked for that?), and then hands out exorbitant fines for the smallest of infractions, forcing you to attend Sanitation Court (you can't just mail your check in, you have to appear before a magistrate). You can't smoke in a bar or restaurant, and soon, you won't be able to smoke on the street -- assuming you can afford cigarettes which are now running $10 per pack, in some places.
These policies are not intended to help anyone, improve anyone's quality of life, and they aren't required to run the City more efficiently; they are intended to enforce the vision of a self-appointed, Super-rich and obnoxious elite who don't like working people, and they wish to a) exploit working folks for what little money they DO have, b) keep them out of Manhattan so that it becomes their private preserve, and c) eventually drive all the proles into the Outer Boroughs ... where they belong....Until they're ready to gentrify those neighborhoods, too.
Now, as for guns. Mike is simply doing what New York City has done for decades; New York doesn't actually interfere with your right to own a gun -- it simply makes compliance with the law impossible. In so doing, it causes many law-abiding citizens to simply give up the quixotic attempt to obtain a legal firearm permit, and it makes those who already have one jump through ever-smaller legal hoops to in order keep them.
I'm not one of those Second Amendment types who believes the Constitution gives you the right to own a flamethrower --just because -- but the crusade against personal firearms waged by Mike Bloomberg is a bit too much, especially when you consider that if Mike wanted one (despite his taxpayer-funded security detail), he'd have his 'people' make a few phone calls, and they'd fax the permit over, toot-sweet. I can tell you from personal experience what happens in New York City in an economic downturn; it gets nasty. Crime rises, violent crime rises even faster, and illegal guns proliferate...in the hands of the criminals ... as the law-abiding citizen is left defenseless because some Rich Yuppies find guns offensive.
The NYPD is the best...ever...but the cops may be minutes away when you have but seconds to act.
Administration's non-response response to an attempted terrorist attack.
Dems cut Airport Security funds last summer. (The twelve people who will eventually receive Obamacare Eyedrops and Band-Aids, and the 300 government employees who will make sure they get them, are extremely grateful).
Jonah Goldberg pretty much sums it all up.
(H/T to PajamasMedia, HotAir and National Review Online)
(P)MSNBC has already begun the "poor, mixed up kid" defense. Yeah, that'll work.
Then again, it might, since this Administration and it's law enforcement and security arms are simply unable to come to grips with the fact that terrorism exists, that the majority of terrorists are Muslims, and that the Muslim world has been at War with us since 1979. This 'kid' is just the latest in a long line of Islamic Terrorists sent out to kill Westerners.
But no, this is "an isolated extremist" according to the President, and the circumstances of how he got a bomb and then on a flight require a "thorough investigation", but "the system worked" when an "alert citizen" averted a "man-caused disaster". That's the line from the Obama Administration. Seventy-two hours after the incident (Sorry, Mr. President, but you're supposed to cut your vacation short and make at least one (good) speech during this sort of thing, The man who consumes airtime couldn't be bothered to show himself on TV... when it was actually necessary for him to do so).
Until it isn't, and they have to backtrack on even that mealy-mouthed response a day later. After they blame George Bush (again). But there it is: nothing to see here: " No, no, no, that wasn't a Muslim with a bomb, no, no, no that wasn't the failure of the security apparatus, no, no, no, the Department of Homeland Security didn't fail spectacularly. No, No, NO! We''re not at War with anyone..."
Standard (Liberal) Washington boilerplate. A lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
This was an act of war, but the libs refuse to see it that way. Now Pantybomber has lawyered up, and he doesn't have to say a damned thing to anyone. So we'll probably never know who sent him, how they got him here, who recruited him and who put him up to this. Hell, even the information the government does have, it didn't seem to put to any good use. This does not inspire confidence.
And another idiot will try a similar stunt in a few weeks or months, and maybe even succeed.
It's time to stop with the lofty rhetoric about open hands and clenched fists. It's time to stop hiding from the obvious with "man-caused disasters" and the holistic approach to fighting terrorism. It's time to forget about the niceties of the legal system when you're dealing with people who a) don't give a crap about your vaunted courts, and b) will only use them, if possible, to embarrass and denounce the country. It's time to start holding the federal bureaucracy responsible...for something. Homeland Security and the State Department knew about this guy, and did absolutely jack shit. The British had him on a watch list, and they apparently shared that information with us, but someone decided not to investigate even after his own father turned him in!
Of course not... We have bigger fish to fry like Healthcare and figuring out how to spend more money than actually exists. No time for fighting terrorism, so we'll just pretend it doesn't exist. Until it does, and then it's not really what it appears to be.
This is War. The Obama Administration doesn't think so, it acts as if it's never heard of terrorists and a War on Terrorism. It believes it can just talk unicorns and rainbow bunnies into existence and the world will be a better place. It won't, because of people like Pantybomber; this article gives you a small glimpse into who the Other Side is recruiting: lunatics who hold incessant, and inane, internal debates over what "the Prophet said". People who are unable to make simple day-to-day decisions without having to check them against the teachings of a child-molesting murderer are simply too far gone to care about legalism and morality. They don't share your vision for World Peace -- they want to rule the World and every aspect of daily life. The unicorns and rainbow bunnies need to die in order for that to happen. They only say so every goddamned day. Open those elephantine ears, Mr. President.
The article makes the kid look somewhat sympathetic, certainly (I think I know, to a certain extent, how he must have felt when he posted that stuff having suffered from depression myself), but then he loses all rights to sympathy when you stop to consider the solution that he chose: to strap an explosive to himself in an attempted suicide -- with the added "benefit" that several hundred "Infidels" would go with him. Those "infidels" didn't know him, they didn't care about his phony-baloney religion, and a sizable proportion of them might have actually helped that young man with his difficulties, had circumstances been different.
But when you reach the point of taping PETN to your pecker, you're no longer looking for help.
Sorry, but there ain't enough sympathy in the world after that.
Now, if Barack Obama thinks he can reason with people who are capable of making that formulation -- and they usually do so with great glee and confidence, to judge from the videos they typically leave behind -- with legal systems and empty rhetoric, then he's the one who really needs the psychiatrist.
And Mr. President? Get the hell back in your office.
Update: Let's see how the Administration spins this. They now have one man linked to two attacks, and if that doesn't blow the 'isolated extremist' meme out the window, then it's time to start seriously thinking about impeaching a President.
Monday, December 28, 2009
The System Worked? Last time I looked, that plane wasn't a mass of flame because another passenger, a civilian, not trained in security procedures, but willing to possibly risk his life -- a man who was probably not expecting to have to engage in any heroics on his trip from Amsterdam to Detroit -- actually had the testes to jump on this asshole and then risk injury to put the flames out with his bare, fucking hands!
The System Worked? This guy blasted through 'security'...at two airports. With an explosive strapped to his ding-dong.
The System Worked? The guy was on a government watch list, he was reported as a possible danger to the U.S. government by his own father, and yet, he still got a visa, and he still got on a plane.
Janet Napolitano has a very strange concept of how things should 'work'.
Jonah Goldberg on this whole thing -- and he makes a very interesting comparison between security in the Age of John Ashcroft, and security in the Age of Janet Napolitano.
Which is to say, the Age of Reason and the Age of Donkey-like-stubborn-dumbass-itude.
Ashcroft was supposed to be a modern-day Nazi, ringing in the Fourth Reich. According to his political opponents, John Ashcroft was the greatest threat to civil liberties...ever. But say what you will, no one who wasn't associated with terrorism was prosecuted under the Patriot Act, no one had their phones tapped without a warrant in this country, and there wasn't a line of liberals being frog-marched to the ovens. On the other hand, Janet Napolitano is going to get people killed. Dead. In the most horrible manner, and probably on TV. But she'll get a pass from those who wanted Ashcroft's scalp, because the furor over Ashcroft was about a White, Male, Conservative Christian having that sort of power. Napolitano, being a woman (I think)and a lesbian (I'm certain), is entitled to be the Secretary of Homeland Security because of the white male oppression she's suffered on both those accounts, and will never be held responsible for anything, let alone her own (in-)actions. She certainly is not expected to do her job. She's a token, a symbol. Liberals don't do work -- they do symbols.
All those people then (in the Age of Ashcroft) who cried about the loss of rights and the power of the government to oppress then, are the same ones now bullying banks, insurance companies, giving civilian trials to war criminals, and planning to make the American taxpayer an endangered species while ensuring that our borders and security are threatened by hordes of illegal immigrants seeking welfare, protected the shield of their stupid liberal ideology.
You know, people like....Janet Napolitano, Barack Obama, Rahm Emmanuel, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Joe Biden, et. al.
You tell me -- which seems more Nazi -like to you these days; the America of John Ashcroft, with all it's flag-waving, and it's tough talk of A War and Terrorism, or the America where the government can decide who gets an operation, who gets to stay in business, who should have to pay back a mortgage, who gets paid what, when and how, and where paying exorbitant taxes to support a massive federal debt that will never be paid back is "your patriotic duty?"
As long as people who can get things that ass-backwards are still in power, are still installed within the very federal bureaucracies we depend upon to keep us safe from people like Christmas Bomber, this country is capital fucked. You know what "capital fucked" is? It's" fucked" in capital letters, thus:
It's sometimes hard to tell if these people are just truly that clueless, truly that evil, or truly that stupid. Perhaps all three.
Because people like this are in your government, we're all in danger from more Christmas Bombers, more Central Americans with leafblowers and no will to assimilate, more Muslims who will hide their hatred behind the shield of political correctness, more soldiers killed on foreign battlefields, more unfunded welfare mandates, more public debt. Because nothing short of dynamite will ever teach this sort of moron just what planet they're living on.
Janet Napolitano is merely a symptom, the first very visible pustule, if you will, of the underlying disease.
Update: Oh, that's different...Nevermind!
It also turns out the State Department may have known about the Pantybomber before his little fireworks show, too.
Not with each other, of course.
No, we got into the Great Debate. The Discussion to End all Discussions. The one thing men can argue about passionately that doesn't involve batting averages, steroids, or the finer points of tuning up a Pontiac GTO.
The whole, sordid question of "The Top Ten Hottest Chicks...Ever."
Now, for you ladies, I must explain a few things. First, we're simply obsessed with sex, even when we say we aren't. We can't help it; our brains are hardwired to automatically evaluate every piece of womenfolk that passes for a mating opportunity. It's why we stare at women who pass us on the street while we're walking arm-and-arm with you. We can't help it. It's a biological response very often beyond our control.
Second, we like arguing, and we'll argue about anything.
Third, you have to understand that the Category "Top Ten Hottest Chicks" is rather too broad a category for us, because we'll invariably include the slut from High School who did the things the other girl's wouldn't, or the bartender with no gag reflex that we know, but no one else knows her, so they can't evaluate your choices. So, we have to refine the category, and so we pared it down to the Top Ten Hottest Chicks from Movies and TV, but one proviso; neither Ginger nor Maryann from Gilligan's Island could be on the list.
Those two are another debate entirely, and one which often leads to fistfights.
So, here's my list (in descending order, and it probably shows my age, too);
10. Sean Young (the ultimate bad girl)
9. Cybil Shepperd
8. Terri Garr
7. Jill St. John
6. Jaclyn Smith
5. Goldie Hawn
4. Kate Hudson (have to get that Mother-Daughter thing in there someplace).
3. Racquel Welch
2. Barbara Eden
and the All-Time Hottest Babe,
1. Selma Hayek
Honorable Mention: Farrah Fawcett-Majors, Phoebe Cates, and Drew Barrymore.
Ladies, discuss my sickness. Gentlemen, chime in with your additions/comments. I'll keep a six pack chillin'.
This guy got through airport security (such as it is) in Nigeria despite being on the list. He got past security in Holland despite being on a list, and probably at that point, carrying a dangerous explosive taped to his thingamabob. But that's okay, we can keep asking little old ladies in wheelchairs to take off their shoes for security screenings, and detain them for having an Odor Eater. Can't be insensitive and start profiling, can we?
Okay, I'm thinking of a brand new bunch of rules for airport security. Here they go:
1. Any guy named Mohammad, Abdullah, Hassan, Ramzi, Barak, Umar, Omar, or whatever, aren't allowed to fly. At all. Ever. No more American Airlines for Farouk, no more Lufthansa for Achmed. Only civilized people who don't make bombs should be allowed to fly, and then they should be screened within an inch of their lives. In fact, no one with a Muslim name should be allowed within 10 miles of an airport...and no, I don't care if they keep the bathrooms clean at JFK. I want 'em out.
2. Anyone who even smells Muslim should be kept off a plane.
3. If you make one U.S. Government List (like the "Watch out, this guy might be an asshole" list), and your own father informs the U.S. Government that you are, indeed, an asshole, then you should automatically be on the No-Fly List. See, this was the problem with the creation of the Department of Homeland (In-) Security in the first place; The government did, in the aftermath of 9/11 what Wall Street does in the aftermath of any problem; it reshuffled the org chart, 'put someone in charge' and then hoped for the best, without fixing the real problem...
The people who brought you 9/11 are still at their desks. They still have their jobs. Time passes and people forget, they become complacent.
Nine years later, this is the result. If you think this was a one-off attempt, think again. But still, this huge bureaucracy can't combine two lists into a super-list to keep terrorists and potential-terrorists off airplanes...even when their own relatives report them! Hope all that taxpayer money being spent for this sort of result makes you feel better on your next flight to Disneyland. What the hell are they doing, if not even this much?
And by the way, can someone get Janet Napolitano off television? That woman makes my innards cringe and my sphincter pucker. I don't think I've ever seen an uglier (and more incompetent) lesbian in all my life.
4. Let the U.S. Military loose in Iraq and Afghanistan to start killing these people in huge numbers. That's what a War on Terror is supposed to be; killing terrorists and potential terrorists... and the people who love them, and teaching them the lesson that fucking with Uncle Sam gets you a Napalm Shower, not 72 Virgins.
The Other Side in this conflict doesn't play by rules of evidence and the niceties of a legal framework, and it doesn't distinguish between the innocent and the guilty; it kills indiscriminately, and it seeks to ensure that those murders capture the imagination (or nightmares) of the rest of the world. The Other Side deliberately chooses targets where large numbers of unsuspecting people are just going about their daily business, and makes a pile of corpses out of them because it cannot come to terms with a modern society that is not ruled by their 7th century mentally-constipated mindset. The Other Side is really after what you have, your lifestyle, your money, your land, your labor, your rights, because it lives in a culture that cannot produce these things for itself, and so it either has to steal from you or bring your culture down to it's level because they live under a delusion that they're entitled to rule the world.
A delusion foisted upon them by a batshit-crazy, camel-fucking, child-raping thief who managed to convince enough people that he talked to God. Yeah, that's a justifiable motive for mass murder, right? They don't play by any sort of 'rules', and neither should we.
I don't believe in the fiction of a 'moderate' Muslim. 'Moderation' requires an environment of freedom, which includes the freedom to criticize, to debate, to examine free from orthodoxy; Islam will have none of that crap. It kills it's 'moderates' as apostates. Because there are no 'Moderate' Muslims, there can be no great upsurge of revulsion against this sort of thing within Islam, and without that sort of internal pressure, that internal debate, there can never be a moderate Islam.
So, stop pretending as if there can be. Keep these people off planes and out of airports, and if they scream that it 'violates their rights', then turn around and tell them that when they go out and keep their fellow Muslims from violating my right not to get blown up in coach, and they report their apeshit crazy fathers, brothers and cousins to the FBI, I'll defend their right to fly again.
But that'll never happen; Muslims are physical and moral cowards and bullies. That's why no one in a turban ever marches in the streets against this sort of thing. They know who the crazy bastards are and what they're capable of doing. So, they sit on the sidelines and spout platitudes about a 'religion of peace', and hope to go unnoticed by their friends and relatives while they arrange marriages amongst first-cousins.
But back to this bomber.
I know we're not supposed to profile, but damn, if this guy doesn't fit the profile;
Muslim from a wealthy or middle-class family, college educated, seemingly disaffected by life in the West (i.e. it probably started when the white/blond girls wouldn't go out with him), finds assimilation difficult (probably because he can't get white girls) and so turns to radical Islam to 'get even' or to find a place where he is valued in a way that conventional society doesn't, he's able to use and abuse the American and British immigration services (and his father's position as a high muck-a-muck in international banking probably helps here) to obtain visas and passports to allow free and unrestricted international air travel.
(Editor's Note: I'm generalizing, but you'll probably find in most terrorist-raised-in-West's backgrounds a tragic story of being in love/lust with a blond girl who a) wouldn't give him the time of day and humiliated him, b) emasculated and humiliated him, c) found him completely disgusting and humiliated him. I'll bet most of them turned to Radical Islam after a white girl did a number on him; having that white woman would have been the symbol that Western society actually accepted and valued him as an equal. Yeah, I know, go on and call me a racist if you wish, but it's probably true. Back to the nonsense).
That was almost the precise profile of many of the 9/11 terrorists.
But that's okay, the government will evaluate the situation that allowed this idiot to get on a flight to Detroit, and there will be answers --- just as soon as they reshuffle org chart --- and you get complacent about terrorism again.
A Trio of Mark Steyn on Health Care, The Christmas Bomber, and the (fortunate) Disaster of Copenhagen.
Then there was this from the Washington Times, which confirms about Barack Obama what you've probably always thought. The guy's a dweeb. In an expensive suit. Oh, and a very unpopular dweeb internationally, at that. Guess that Smart Diplomacy of rolling over and taking it is really getting us friends and influencing people? When world leaders go through that much trouble to simply avoid you, you know you're in trouble.
You have been warned.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Of course, it got progressively worse. Al Gore made an appearance to...do what no one seems to know. Probably to make more money, and a bigger ass, out of himself. You know your little soiree is fucked when Al shows up. Then the Prince of Wales shows up, talking apocalypse in the next seven months, trailing an entourage big enough to choke a Pharaoh, after spewing 2,600 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere just to get to the conference, while the average Briton spews 11 tons in a year, and the hypocrisy is lost even on him. These two sorta make your cause look ridiculous.
Then there were the riots. About what, no one seems to know. Save the planet; Storm a Starbucks. It doesn't make any sense at all.
And then, The One arrived and put the kiss of death on the whole thing. According to the tales being told, Obama was so desperate to a) get a deal that he could use for propaganda purposes, and b) get someone... anyone... to talk to him, that he basically threw a tantrum and then behaved as if the whole thing were some sort of made-for-TV drama -- with him as the star. He made an ass out of himself, declared victory (without explaining what that meant), and then left before anyone could discover the truth.
The only things missing were the giant "Mission Accomplished" sign and a carrier landing.
But, according to those who were there and covered the (fortunate) catastrophe of Copenhagen, the Savior of the Universe left a bad taste in a lot of mouths, and lied through his teeth to the American public, just so he could buff his 'image' and throw a bone to the foaming-at-the-mouth Left.
What an asshole.
You can read about it here and here.
What, pray, is the Feast of the Seven Fishes? Why, it's only the greatest Italian Christmas tradition...EVAH! Unfortunately, it's not actually, authentically Italian, more like an Italian-American thing (because we don't have purple feet!), but it's roots certainly do go back to the old country. My own family hails from Sicily (my father's side) and Naples (my mother's side), which are, traditionally, some of the poorest places in Italy. When the peasantry escaped their poverty in Italy to come to America, they brought the beginnings of this tradition with them, suitably modified for a new life (and new realities) in America.
See, for Italians, Christmas Eve is the really more important night. That's when The Vigil (La Vigillia) occurred; the actual waiting for Baby Jesus to arrive. For Italians, anticipation is usually better than the event, I guess? Anyways, it's almost a backhanded homage to the whole concept of childbirth. A commemoration of the greatest weapon in the arsenal of the Italian Mother; they torment their children their entire lives with "I spent hours, and hours, and hours in painful, awful, terrible, bloody, excruciating labor to give birth to you, you ungrateful wretch!" (You think Jewish mothers have a corner on the market on guilt trips?). Therefore, the emphasis placed on the labor rather than the actual birth...by women, anyways. So, I guess it's a (strangely masochistic) celebration of motherhood, and Christmas, and an excuse to get stupid fat, all rolled up into one. So, for some strange reason they never really made to clear to us during 10 years of a Catholic School education, Italians 'fast' for Christmas...by stuffing themselves with vast quantities of seafood.
It would break the heart of the most ardent tree-hugger to think of how badly we denude the oceans for a Christmas Feast! I actually snicker at that thought.
Anyways, there's the Feast. Now, depending upon which part of Italy your forebears supposedly came from, the tradition becomes slightly different, but the same motif about the number seven (a lucky number!) continues, each of the seven fishes represents one of the Seven Deadly Sins, or the Seven Hills that Surround Rome, the Seven Sacraments of the Church, The Seven Days of Creation in Genesis. Perhaps it's because Italians are inveterate gamblers, or maybe that was the number of broads Frank Sinatra once bagged simultaneously. Who knows why it's seven; somehow, seven is supposed to be the greatest number of all, and every red-blooded Goombah always has a reverence for the number seven.
The Feast itself usually begins at 3:00 in the afternoon; that's when the boiled shrimp gets served, cocktail style, a seafood salad (usually Scungilli Salad, conch), antipasti -- a variety of sliced meats, cheeses, and pickled vegetables --olives and olive-inspired canapes, fresh-roasted red peppers, hot Tusacn peppers in vinegar, and a host of hors d'oeuvres. We skip lunch so that we can partake of this pre-meal extravaganza. Wine gets passed around, too. Think of it as warm-up for the main event, which begins at 7:00. During this time, we sit around, stuff ourselves and reminisce about this, that and the other, and at some point it devolves into a round of good-natured ribbing that would appear vicious to the uninitiated, but if you're Italian you know what I mean. We laugh, we remember those who aren't here anymore, we talk about everything and anything, we tell the kids about 'the old days' before they get bored and go watch TV. It's Family Time.
Then the actual dinner starts, promptly at 7 P.M. (There's that number again!)
There's the fried shrimp, fried scrod, baked clams and mussels in tomato or Fra Diavlo sauce (a hot tomato sauce), Calamari (squid), lobster tails, scallops in the shell or in wine sauce -- all of which follows the traditional pasta course (usually lasagna, stuffed shells, manicotti or ravioli. Often more than one.). When my grandparents and great-aunts/uncles were still here, there was Baccala (salted cod, usually served in an olive oil and garlic sauce), but no one eats that anymore. It''s considered 'Old Timer' food. We weren't raised on it. And there is, as always, the freshest bread you've ever had in your life..
If that isn't enough for you, there's ham, and maybe even turkey. And these get served with your broccoli rabe (bitter broccoli, served with red pepper flakes...almost like Passover!), stuffed artichokes (blech!) and some sort of potatoes (never mashed!). By this time, you've been at the table for at least 3 hours, and have had two or three entire dinners.
There's a short rest for more wine and family chop-busting and camaraderie, the kids get to open (some) of their Christmas gifts, we take some photos...and then the desert trays come out.
There's cakes, pastries (connoli, Napoleon, pettit-fours), a selection of Italian cookies which always includes biscotti, pinioli (pine) nut cookies and anisette cookies (amongst others). Coffee time! There's fruits, nuts, candies, ice cream (always spumoni for the kids!), and any other desert you could possibly think of. Think of it as the Venetian Hour at your friend's wedding brought to your dining room table. Desert itself will last another laugh-filled 2 hours...at least.
By which time, you're ready for Midnight Mass. I don't go anymore, being an agnostic, and nowadays fewer in my family partake, but some still do. Those who don't, stay home and drink yet more wine and make sandwiches out of the leftovers.
Never was there a more disgusting, and yet thoroughly enjoyable, display of human gluttony! Nine hours at the table, broken up by endless ours of family conversation, celebration and fun. I'm not a big believer in the whole Christmas thing as celebration of the world's salvation, but I do believe that this one meal does more to cement families together than just about any other activity, save births, weddings and funerals.
This is, without a doubt, my favorite day of the year.
If you're not Italian, and you think you might like to try this wondrous tradition out next year (assuming we all have jobs and money, and that the Obama Administration hasn't begun that carefully-planned program of Street Executions against it's enemies, i.e. all of us) here's some background information to help you get started;
Seven Fishes Blog
Italians R Us
Dream of Italy
Merry Christmas to all!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Je$$e Jacka$$ and Al Sharpton have made a living denouncing the White Man as the most despicable sort of racist imaginable.
But One Billion Chinese somehow escaped their notice? Probably wasn't any money in it.
Having worked very closely with Asians (the real kind -- actually from Asia -- not the homegrown-born-in-Seattle-Asian-by-virtue-of-my-almond-shaped-eyes-yellow-skin-and-affinity-for-identity-politics Asians) when I worked for a Japanese company -- seven years in extremely close proximity with Orientals of all sorts -- there is no group of people on Earth who can match a Chinese, Japanese or Korean for good-old-fashioned racism.
The Nazis and the Klan are rank amateurs, by comparison.
This is a cultural phenomenon, which is primarily the result of a belief in their particular 'race' being the descendants of the Gods, and their nation or culture as being the center of the Universe.
Obviously, no system is hacker-proof. No data completely secure, ever. The nature of computing is such that complete, airtight security will almost never be possible. You need only look to your own desktop PC to see this; you're constantly bombarded with viruses, trojan horses, hijackers, phishing programs and a host of worms that you must constantly defend against with your puny anti-virus software. Only some of these things are exploited by the stereotypical geeky introvert determined to prove his intelligence and superiority over classically-trained Computer Scientists.
The vast majority of these things are created by people with malicious intent. The biggest threat comes comes from disgruntled programmers, who after often spending thankless years slaving to create software for a global conglomerate are unceremoniously dumped onto the unemployment line, usually without warning, "when the project is complete". Of course, they posses the technical expertise to exploit the very software they've created (and they use the trapdoors, landmines and shortcuts they left in the code to facilitate testing, a common programming practice), and they usually do it to merely tarnish their former employer's image. It's a bit of petty revenge.
But then there are the true criminals.
Cybercrime is one of the fastest-growing categories of crime in history. As more and more of human existence and commerce has been distilled into a series of bits and pixels, the cyber criminal has been right there to snap up the bits and pixels that fall by the wayside. Like a pilot fish to a cyber shark.
Many of these criminals work for cartels, gangs, or syndicates, or whatever euphemism you'd like to use, and some of them are also former IT workers treated badly by the industry, or co-opted by the criminals. They have the expertise, the skill, to crack any system on the planet. Because they very often built the damn things in the first place.
Since most of these gangs are overseas, in places like Russia and China, they are very often beyond the reach of U.S. Authority, or even protected by corrupt government officials in those countries. Right now, the money they stole could be financing drug deals, terrorism, slavery, and even worse, and the people who are being stolen from will have no legal recourse against Citi, and little hope of either recovering their funds or of seeing justice served.
Of course, this state of affairs was made infinitely easier by Wall Street's (and other industries) insistence on doing everything 'better, faster, cheaper', to the point where corners are cut so finely, and so routinely, that no one ever thought about cybercrime when they granted access to their systems to an unseen, anonymous, third-party 'consultant' in Moscow, Beijing, Mumbai or Abu Dhabi. All that mattered was the price tag. It's almost a given in the industry that when someone says "we'll save X", it's done with very little thought...and on as small a budget as possible.
They even work cheap to get cheaper.
I'm not saying Citibank would have been invulnerable if it was still hiring Americans to run their systems. I'm only saying that they'd have a much better degree of control over their systems and their customer's data.
Unfortunately, it's going to take some massive catastrophe for Citi, and all the other banks and brokerages, to realize that their policies regarding IT costs is going to come back bite them on the ass, big time. Probably right after a major terrorist attack in which someone discovers that some bank's systems were used aid terrorists without the bank's knowledge, or that billions have been stolen from right under their noses (like when half-a-trillion bucks disappeared in 20 minutes right in front of the Federal Reserve's cyber cops just before the last Presidential election. You wonder why they don't talk much about that, huh?).
Imagine the lawsuits that would engender?
Wall Street doesn't learn from experience. It only learns from lawsuits.
And then people like me will be able to write our own paychecks because the company was run by a bunch of short-sighted cheapskates who don't truly understand the systems they supposedly run. Just like when they fired all the COBOL programmers and then suddenly needed them again to 'fix' the Y2K problem. They all came back as 'consultants' with six-figure fees.
Sometimes, cheap turns out to be the more expensive option.
Over MY DEAD BODY!
You can read about it here.
It must be noted that whenever Islam actually builds anything (as opposed to simply acquiring, co-opting or stealing that which came before it, and then claiming to have 'invented' it, like an army of Al Gores wrapped in dirty laundry), it does so to denote triumph over it's enemies.
When Calph Umar took Jerusalem, he began construction of the Al Aqsa Mosque on the sight of the Temple Mount, and his successors continued the work until it stands as it does today. It was said that the site is holy to Islam, being the place where the pedophile Mohammed took his 'Night Journey' and ascended into Heaven, but this is disputed even within Islam itself. The site of the Temple Mount is the place where Solomon built his temple and where Abraham made his covenant with God. It is THE central location of the Jewish Faith. The mosque is now the central feature of the city, visible for miles, and it also stands to show that Jerusalem was, indeed, Under New Management.
The true purpose of the mosque was not to commemorate an event in Mohammed's life (it was merely a convenient excuse); it was to intimidate the Jews, to insult them, to let them know that they were a now conquered people, helpless even to defend or maintain their holy sites, they would be reduced to second-class status (dhimmis). Even today, Al Aqsa stands as a symbol of the Israel that was lost.
Even when Islam builds something of great beauty, it has the hidden messages of oppression and conquest built into it. The Alhambra in Spain, built by the Moors during their occupation of that country, is known as The Red Fortress. It's purpose was to display the power and wealth of Islam to the Spanish Christians, to rub their faces in the humiliation of their occupation and rule by foreigners, to show the grandeur and splendor of their rulers, people who were (supposedly)so sophisticated and wealthy that they could afford to expend money on a fortress with no central plan, no real purpose. That all that opulence was designed, built and paid for by oppressed Christian Spaniards and Jews is conveniently forgotten. It is supposed to symbol of Muslim advance and triumph.
The Hagia Sophia, once one of the most beautiful and grandest basilicas in all Christendom, was taken in hand by Mehmed II and converted to a mosque. The reconsecration destroyed or covered over much of what the Orthodox Christians who built the place had created. Only now, in recent times when the place is a museum, are scholars finding the great works of art, the architectural details, the remnants of the real, historical Byzantium, covered over by the Muslims, who are jealous and fearful that their religion should be outshined by any other, and who have the power to only destroy, never to create.
They are an insecure, spiteful little people who only build anything (and in this case, they're not even building anything -- I know that building, and I can promise you the mosque will be built by Union Labor, most of it Christian and Jew) in order to offend, oppress, insult and intimidate.
Building a mosque so close to Ground Zero is simply yet another example.
Don't buy the idea that the true purpose is to help foster some kind of inter-denominational 'understanding'. These people don't want understanding. They hate us, even when they say they don't. Lying is a way of life for them, and lying to us infidels is almost a diktat from their phony-baloney God.
What they want is to erect a monument in the shadow of Islam's greatest triumph. It's what they have always done, only the scale is muted...this time. When (more like if, at this point) something is finally constructed at Ground Zero, it will have this mosque at it's very doorstep, a small, painful reminder of what happened on September 11, 2001. It's just another, softer form of terrorism.
I loved George W. Bush, but there's one thing I still can curse him for; he left these people alive to continue to annoy us with their nonsense.
Monday, December 21, 2009
So, to atone for my sins, here are three blogs that are on my list of favorites that have been sadly ignored of late. Please stop by and say hello.
The Esteemed Mr. James Lileks' Daily Bleat.
The Adorable (and Nicely-Stacked!) Josephine at Lumpy Grumpy and Frumpy.
The Ever-Irreverant Michael M. Bates.
In the process of praising this government employee, the Prezzz made great mention of the fact that she is an avid elk hunter, who is one of those self-reliant, outdoorsy types, who hunts and skins and guts her own meat. A rugged individualist who still manages to, somehow, serve the public trust.
I guess that sort of stirring, inspiring, bit-of-Americana narrative doesn't hold true if your name is Sarah Palin, and you're opposed to government control of the healthcare system, huh?
JammieWearingFool posts this and this.
One is an example of the utter cluelessness of the modern Leftist; he criticizes his opponents on the Right as being Nazi sympathizers -- but fails to recognize that the Nazi Party was the ultimate expression of Leftist politics. Or maybe he just figures that you're dumb enough not to know that.
The second one is an example of the brazen stupidity of a man who simply has no brains, no class, and no sense of shame...only with more strident Nazi undertones. The democratic party could pass whatever healthcare monstrosity they desire right now, in a heartbeat, without breaking a sweat. They have the votes (in terms of numbers of democrats vs. republicans), but the margin is razor thin and many of their members won't make the Great Leap Forward because they are frightened of the inevitable result; they'll be politically dead. They'll be out of work. These people care more about their phony-baloney jobs -- and the ability to deal out political favors and federal cash that comes with it, and which is the real source of their power -- then they do about 'the uninsured'.
'The Uninsured' is merely a straw man, designed to hide the real purpose of 'Healthcare Reform', something to give it that certain Christian quality that's supposed to make it go down a bit easier; this is one step closer to American Communism.
The argument that Republicans are 'obstructing' anything is a smoke screen which is intended to obscure the truth; the democrats simply can't do that which their 'base' (i.e. the lazy, lame, halt and crippled) demand they do. Doing so means the taxpayers (the people who really count) send them packing, perhaps after a round of tar and feathers. So, they must construct a drama and create an enemy, to make the Great Lie more believable.
Anyone who opposes them, even opposition based on definite, reasonable, provable principles, therefore, must be a Nazi (the other force that nearly destroyed Communism, and therefore, the natural enemy of the Leftist), a term which evokes terror, fear and loathing on a visceral level. The Leftist elite does not demand reasoned response from it's minions, only that they react with the proper emotions when required.
These are the people that run your country, and this is what they are willing to do.
November 2010 can't come soon enough.