Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Red-Light Cameras Haven't Improved Safety in L.A.

As cities such as Colorado Springs, CO look to red-light cameras as offering a revenue stream to compensate for dwindling sales taxes, the L.A. Times reports:

"Los Angeles’ much-debated red light camera program has bypassed some of the city’s most dangerous intersections, cost more than $2.5 million over the last two years and failed to adequately demonstrate an improvement in safety, according to an audit due to be released Wednesday by City Controller Wendy Greuel....some of the most accident-prone corners were passed over -- partly for political reasons, such as ensuring that at least one camera system was placed in each of the 15 City Council districts...."

UPDATE: A judge in Louisiana has ruled that the traffic cams in New Orleans are illegal, but his decision was reversed, at least for the time being, by an appellate judge.

Law Professor Claims to Be Struggling, Gets NO Sympathy

We will not even bother to put up the World's Smallest Violin for Todd Henderson, a corporate law professor at the University of Chicago. According to a FOX News article, he complained on his blog that he was struggling to get by on a family income of $250,000/year, and was inundated by so much hate mail and threatening messages that he was forced to shut down his blog altogether.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Survey of Religious Knowledge Yields Surprises

An Associated Press article says that atheists, agnostics, Jews, and Mormons score better on general knowledge of religions than Catholics or Protestants. For more details, go to the article.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Because There's Money to Be Made Selling Books to Conservatives

It used to be that Regnery had the conservative book market to itself. No longer. Now major publishers such as Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin have gotten a piece of the action, and HarperCollins has now started Broadside Books, headed up by Adam Bellow, a son of author Saul Bellow. The New York Times has more details.

Pure Courage: Man Sneaks into Auschwitz, Stays Two-and-a-Half Years, Escapes

NPR has a fascinating story about Witold Pilecki, who infiltrated the infamous Auschwitz (Oswiecim) concentration camp, sent amazing intelligence reports that his readers found hard to believe, and successfully escaped. Later he was captured by the communists and executed for espionage.

Space Case

The United Nations, not content with messing things up on our planet, has appointed an ambassador to outer space, Dr. Mazlan Othman. She will be the go-to person in case E.T. comes back to visit his friends here on earth, or the first to be served for dinner if the aliens consider us just another source of protein.

In an unrelated development, someone has produced a birth certificate for President Barack Obama:-) Click on the illustration below to read what's in it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Most Experienced Civil Rights Lawyer Demolishes Holder's Coddling of New Black Panthers

This hero story is brought to you by Pajamas Media, which also has the transcript of his testimony. The article starts out by saying:

"It has been a very bad week for the dwindling number of people defending the dismissal of the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party by Eric Holder’s Justice Department. Today might have been the worst day of all. Former Voting Section Chief Christopher Coates testified to the United States Civil Rights Commission that Obama political appointees dismissed the case because they are opposed to enforcing civil rights laws in a racially neutral fashion...."

Double Amputee Goes Off to War in Afghanistan

Ladies and gentlemen, hats off to U.S. Army Capt. Dan Luckett, who lost his left foot and part of his right to an IED in Iraq, but through sheer determination and hard work became one of 41 amputee veterans serving in combat zones. His inspiring story has been covered by FOX News.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Karma Catches Up to Wiliam Ayers

Pajamas Media ran an article about how in 1973 Obama crony William Ayers published a book, Prairie Fire, and dedicated it to a long list of persons, including Sirhan Sirhan. Fast forward to 2010: The University of Illinois at Chicago board, headed by Chris Kennedy, a son of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy, unanimously refused to grant emeritus status to Ayers.

UPDATE: In another example of karma in action, the Telegraph (U.K.) reports that a poacher, Khanyisile Momoza, 29, was attacked and killed by a white shark as he harvested valuable perlemoen (abalone) shells in the waters near Gansbaai in South Africa.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sign of Desperation: California Cutting Out Toilet Paper in State Parks

An excerpt from this tale of woe:

"Remote rural state parks will likely run out of toilet paper by early October," says an internal email from the state Finance Department. We've reached this crisis because it's taken legislators a record amount of time -- 85 days -- to come to something resembling an agreement about the state budget. Vendors, meanwhile, haven't been paid since the beginning of July....

Does it mean you should be taking your own roll of toilet paper on a road trip? I try to do that all the time, recession or no recession.

Tea Party Movement Compared to a Living Organism

American politics has never seen anything quite like the Tea Parties, though few appreciate the revolutionary organizational principle powering the movement. A major reason why the Tea Parties have been so successful, why the political establishment has found them so difficult to combat (and one that explains, among other things, why I've chosen to use the plural in referring to them), lies in their organization.

The Tea Parties comprise a distributed network -- a non-hierarchical system of autonomous nodes with no central control point, and with all nodes possessing the same value and freedom to act independently. A distributed network can be compared to a beehive. All the bees know their particular task and complete it autonomously, without directions from a central authority. If a threat appears, the bees overwhelm it not by direct confrontation, but by swarming, driving it away with sheer force of numbers.

The rest of this article can be found at American Thinker.

Failure to Fire Up the Base

The GOP has published its "Pledge to America," and reviews have been tepid to downright hostile - and we're just talking about Republican Party members! We can safely expect the liberals to blow it off without reading a single word. John Hawkins of Right Wing News cuts this nebulous document with a few good ideas and many escape hatches no slack.

UPDATE: According to The Hill, congressional Democrats intend to run on their record, despite misgivings from experts such as former President Clinton. This move has the fingerprints and DNA samples of Nancy Pelosi (who has a safe seat) all over it.

More Than Just a Bra

Caught in a disaster? You'd better hope you're wearing the Emergency Bra. Simply unsnap the bright red bra, separate the cups, and slip it over your head -- one cup for you, and one for your friend.

Dr. Elena Bodnar won an Ignoble Award for the invention last year, an annual tribute to scientific research that on the surface seems goofy but is often surprisingly practical. And now Bodnar has brought the eBra to the public; purchase one online for just $29.95.

Read the rest of the story on FOX News.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

And Now, for a Truly Unique Tourist Attraction

Chernobyl. What can we say, except that the site of the worst meltdown in history and the nearby city of Pripyat have become the objects of tours. FOX News has more details.

More Reasons Why Chrysler Is the Weakest of the Big 3 Automakers

Check out this YouTube video in which workers at a Chrysler plant are caught in the act of drinking their lunch and smoking weed DAY AFTER DAY.

UPDATE1: Glenn Beck's The Blaze news site mentions this follow-up story, that Chrysler has suspended some of these auto workers.

UPDATE2: Justice at last! FOX News reports that 13 of these drunkards have been fired from their jobs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Did an Ultra-Narcissist Like Obama Allow Bob Woodward to Write a Book About Him?

Bob Woodward has completed his latest book, Obama's Wars, which is scheduled for release next Monday. The Hill says that despite some controversial passages, it presents a mostly favorable picture of the 44th President's leadership skills. That there were heated discussions over the conduct of the war in Afghanistan should come as no surprise to anyone, and may actually be a good thing: we have seen how groupthink in the Japanese government before and during World War II got an entire nation into trouble. On the other hand, the Washington Post quotes a statement by President Obama that is likely to stir up a firestorm: "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger." This means we have lowered our expectations from the Bush administration, which took the stand that one terrorist attack was one too many.

British Soldier's Amazing Drawings and Paintings Surface After 90 Years

The Daily Mail (U.K.) describes a set of drawings and paintings that accompanies Lieutenant Kenneth Wootton's 120-page journal from World War I. It was discovered by his great-granddaughter, who plans to auction it off at the end of September. The diary and artwork are expected to sell for at least £3,000.

Ben Shapiro's List of Five Most Annoying Republicans

Although we cheerfully lap up articles that pick apart Democrats, "progressives," liberals, and leftists, we know that Republicans are only human, so in the interest of fair and balanced coverage, we present Shapiro's list from the article:

5. Bristol Palin
4. David Brooks
3. Gen. Colin Powell
2. Sen. Lindsey Graham
1. Meghan McCain

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Payback Time for Citizens of Bell, CA

The L.A. Times has this breaking news:

At least eight city of Bell officials were arrested Tuesday morning, as L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley prepared to announce criminal charges in the municipal salary scandal.

[Updated at 10 a.m.: Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo [who was being paid a higher salary than the President of the United States - ed.], whose high salary sparked the outrage that led to the investigations of the city, was among those arrested in the sweep. No details have been released, but a source not authorized to speak publicly about the case said that Rizzo; former Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia; Mayor Oscar Hernandez; Councilmembers Luis Artiga, Teresa Jacobo and George Mirabal; and former Councilmembers George Cole and Victor Bello were among those arrested.]

Monday, September 20, 2010

We Are Shocked, but Not Taken by Surprise

Pajamas Media has the story:
Proof: New Records Show DOJ Lied About New Black Panther Dismissal
A FOIA request reveals contradictions in statements made to Congress, the Civil Rights Commission, and to the public. Some of these statements were made under oath....
September 20, 2010 - by J. Christian Adams

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Plenty of Blame to Go Around, But Not for Carter

Here we go again! In his ongoing effort at self-justification, ex-President Jimmy Carter has published another book, "White House Diary," in which he points an accusing finger at Presidents Clinton and Obama, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, Speaker of the House O'Neill, etc.

The 19th of September is Talk Like a Pirate Day

Yarr! has reminded us that it's time to go down memory lane, and here's the official Web site.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Michael Moore Issues Another Shocking Statement

NewsBusters is there with the grisly details:

Michael Moore: McDonald's at Ground Zero Killed More People Than 9/11 Hijackers
By Noel Sheppard
Created 09/18/2010 - 11:14

Schlockumentary film producer Michael Moore on Friday said the McDonald's that's two blocks from Ground Zero killed more people than the nineteen hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks.

Chatting with Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time," Moore also accused Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin of being America's Taliban.

"We should start calling them Cleric Gingrich and Mullah Taliban Palin," said Moore....

UPDATE: A rejoinder, from Jedediah Bila at Human Events.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Rare School That Celebrates Constitution Day

Hillsdale College is taking TWO DAYS to honor the United States Constitution with a series of webcasts on 16-17 September. They ask you to register for webcast content.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

So Much for Freedom of Speech

Molly Norris of Seattle has two strikes against her, as far as the Muslim community is concerned: 1)She was born a girl, and 2) she originated "Everyone Draw Mohammed Day." As a result, she has been forced to change her name and follow the FBI's advice by going into hiding.

A Plague on Both Your Houses!

My good friend and solid conservative, John Mattacola, expresses the frustration that millions of concerned citizens have with careerists in both parties who have forgotten how to govern and are out only for themselves.

Hello GOP people,

I just read multiple articles suggesting that the RNC will not help Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.

Why not?

Let me tell you why…

Because she scares the establishment Republicans.

The Tea Party scares the establishment Republicans.

The American people scare the establishment Republicans.

This is good.

Embrace the Revolution!

I must say that I am so angry with Democrats and Republicans alike.

All they do is pass the football and screw “We the People” with regularity.

I am fed up with this garbage!

Both of these parties need a serious slap in the face and a trip to the unemployment line.

Now, if you want ANY of my support, you WILL support Christine O’Donnell and stop acting like little children.

You folks make Ivy League schools look really bad.

Is this what these schools produce? Little children with the clique mentality?

If I am not in your groovy little group I am to be disregarded?

Let me tell you something right now, I am pissed off with you little children and you all best be getting your act together RIGHT NOW!!!

John Dickinson, The Penman of the Revolution from Delaware, would be very upset with Congress.

He would lambaste the RNC for being little children and not paying attention.

Behaving like Democrats is NOT what “We the People” expect from adults.

If Republicans do achieve victory of some sort, John Boehner should be fired, as he is part of the problem.

Anybody in Congress more than 10 years should be fired as they ARE part of the problem!

And just for giggles, I am going to copy this email around and see what happens next!

If I see and hear anymore childish behavior from supposed adults, my support is out-the-window for Republicans.

At that point, what is the difference between a Republican and a Democrat?

Not much….


John Mattacola
Sioux Falls, SD

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Song That Cost a Man His Job

When you're an established singer-songwriter like Joe Diffie, this song might end up on the country music charts. Unfortunately for Brian Glover, a middle school football coach in Tennessee, "If You're Holding a Hammer (Everything Looks Like a Nail)" may have prompted his school to terminate him.

Another Mystery Solved

SFGate has a story about a janitor who found a body in a men's restroom this morning with a bag on his head and hands bound. The coroner has concluded that this individual committed suicide, but will not say more because the "investigation is ongoing."

Eighteen Distinctive Bathrooms

Always on the lookout for the latest in bathroom news, we are pleased to link to this Popular Mechanics article, "The World's 18 Strangest Bathrooms."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hindus Suffer Persecution at the Hands of Muslims Again

Pajamas Media scoops the bigger, more torpid news outlets with this hair-raising story of lawlessness, corruption, and religious "cleansing" operations in the eastern part of India.

Policeman and Suspect Conspire to Write a Happy Ending to This Story

See, we don't always cover the follies of politicians or the latest in toilet technology. A policeman catches a suspect "wearing a camouflage outfit" snooping around a house, puts him in the back seat of his patrol car, and asks for his mother's cell phone number. Click here for the rest of the story.:-)

Two Iranian Clerics Declare, He Who Desecrates the Quran, Forfeits His Life

This was reported by Australia's Herald Sun:

TWO top Iranian clerics said anyone desecrating the Koran must be killed as hundreds of people protested on yesterady outside the Swiss embassy in Tehran.

"From the point of view of Islamic jurisprudence, strong objection to such thoughts is mandatory and necessary and killing the people who have committed this act is compulsory," Ayatollah Hossein Nouri Hamedani was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

His view was echoed by Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi who added that such a response must be taken after consulting a "religious judge...."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Study Shows Why We Are Throwing Money Away on Bailouts

An article in the Richmond Register compares recipients of bailout money to lottery winners, who go broke in 5 years or less. Some excerpts:

I stumbled upon a fascinating academic article called, “The Ticket to Easy Street? The Financial Consequences of Winning the Lottery.”

It was written by three economics professors, Scott Hankins from the University of Kentucky, Paige Marta Skiba from Vanderbilt University, and Mark Hoekstra from the University of Pittsburgh.

The professors were not just looking to learn the habits of lottery winners. They were searching for the answer to a much larger question: “Whether a bailout will have a permanent impact or whether it will merely postpone financial pain....”

In the first couple of years after winning a jackpot, people who won small amounts were more likely to file [bankruptcy] than were people who won larger amounts. That makes sense. Someone with a large amount of money can initially weather a bad time or keep creditors at bay.

After three years, large winners are more like likely to file bankruptcy than small winners. Also, people who received large sums did not use that money to pay down debt or increase assets.

Winning the lottery did not help people increase their net worth. They needed to have set goals and an understanding of finance to make their lives better. It appears that they did not have those fundamental tools.

Giving someone a lump sum does not make financial problems go away....

Marines Make a Big Splash with Music Videos

The Army remake of Lady Gaga's "Telephone" was just the beginning - Marines have gotten into the act, creating music videos with eye-catching choreography and more advanced production values:

"Marines/Funniest Video Ever"

"Marines Meet Lady Gaga Music and Dance"

"Combat Marines 'Just Dance' to Lady Gaga"

UPDATE: The Navy's contribution is this older video, "Pump It" by the Sun Kings.

Most of "Air Force Tik Tok" appears to have been made at the Air Force Academy cadet area.

Airmen in Iraq with too much time on their hands do a "funny video."

Klingon Space Opera Debuts in the Netherlands

One of the things we know about Klingon culture is that they are passionate opera lovers when they can take time out from fighting and expanding their empire. An opera company in The Hague is putting on an opera, "u" [universe, universal] in this invented language, according to FOX News.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Before We Forget...

There is a YouTube video, "9.11.01: Never Forget, Never Surrender," that is a slideshow of images of the former World Trade Center from the time it was under construction until after the terrorist attack. Some of the pictures may be new to you, as they were to me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cheap Publicity Stunt

The Rev. Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL continues to draw public attention to himself and his small church with his on-again, off-again threat to burn copies of the Quran in public, according to FOX News. We find ourselves in rare agreement with President Obama, who called it a "stunt." This gesture is unworthy of any American institution, and is more like what the Nazis or Spanish Inquisition would do.

The Kansas City Star reports that the Westboro Baptist Church burned a copy of the Quran in 2008 and nobody cared.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oo-Rah! Marines Come to the Rescue of German Cargo Ship

FOX News has an article about how U.S. Marines boarded the Magellan Star and captured 9 Somali pirates without firing a shot. They promptly turned over control of the ship to its civilian crew.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One More Thing to Do in Berlin: Go on Toilet Tour has an article about the growing popularlity of the Berlin toilet tour.

Tour guide Anna Haase wanted to take visitors to Berlin off the beaten track and came up with the novel idea of showing them some of the German capital's most famous toilets.

She takes groups around the city's lavatories, telling them about the history of the toilet's development from biblical times to the present day and showing them toilets ranging from the oldest and most primitive to the newest and most technical.

Highlights of the tour include a visit to a toilet block dating from the late 19th century and a trip to the Kaiser's fully restored bathroom at the Potsdamer Platz square.

She also wants to use the tour to draw attention to the lack of toilets for tour groups in Berlin.

Haase said the toilet tours are in demand, especially from clubs and societies, as well as from people with a specialist or professional interest in the topic.

''At first people tend to turn their nose up, but then they are generally surprised at the interesting facts that they learn about on the tour,'' she said.

In keeping with the tour's theme, the meeting point is at the 19th century toilet block at the Gendarmenmarkt square, whilst a restaurant called 'The Loo' is the finishing point.

There tourists are shown a Japanese automatic toilet which costs as much as a small car, according to Haase.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Putting Hate Crimes in Perspective

Data Source: FBI

The Big Media would have you believe that there is an epidemic of anti-Muslim incidents, but NewsBusters puts things in perspective:

In 2008, 105 hate crime incidents against Muslims were reported nationwide. There were 10 times as many incidents that were recorded as anti-Jewish during the same year, the most recent for which figures are available.

So, in 2008, the last year such statistics were available, there were 2,876 hate crimes against blacks, 1,297 against gays, and 1,055 against Jews.

Liberals Getting Desperate

Shortly after President Obama complained about being talked to like a dog, one Free Republic reader reported that he received a voter registration form from SEIU...addressed to his dog. Not content with combing the cemeteries and prisons, they are going to great lengths to "find" voters.

UPDATE: Alex Knepper of Pajamas Media has a few choice words to say about Obama's predicament. His remarks can be summed up by a quote attributed to President Harry S Truman: “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”

Monday, September 6, 2010

When Will This Movie Be Opening at a Theater Near You?

Follow the Money Trail, Turn Right

The Flopping Aces blog has these eyebrow-raising but believable observations:

The “movers and shakers” of Washington DC have apparently seen the light. Well connected PAC’s, even those connected to Clinton and Obama, have started shifting money to the right:

Major political action committees and employees of the nation’s largest business empires have dramatically shifted their money to the right. A detailed analysis of 2010 campaign cycle contributions by the Houston Chronicle shows that Republicans are catching up with Senate Democrats in campaign fundraising. Donations to the Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)-led Senate Democratic Campaign Committee (DSCC) have dropped 25 percent this year alone.

“Employees of 126 businesses that had donated money to Senate Democrats in the 2008 campaign have switched all or most of their 2010 contributions to the Republicans, according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission reports by the Houston Chronicle,” Stewart Powell and Yang Wang report....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Take the Money and Run! - Part 2

This is a follow-up to a story we ran on 28 July 2010. The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA) "Washington Update" has this to say:

Prudential Insurance Company Being Sued by Deceased Veterans’ Families and Others

Bloomberg News reports that a lawsuit, originally filed in Springfield, Massachusetts, accuses Prudential of improperly collecting interest on unpaid veterans’ life insurance benefits. The lawsuit has also been expanded to include claims of fraud.

The plaintiff’s attorneys are seeking to have the case certified as a class action on behalf of 60,000 beneficiaries of military life insurance policies.

The suit claims Prudential fails to pay beneficiaries in a lump sum as required by U.S. law and the language of the policies, instead encouraging them to leave the money in accounts with the company, which pays them a small amount of interest.

Bob DeFillippo, a spokesman for Newark, New Jersey-based Prudential Financial Inc., declined to comment on the suit. He said the company informs death-benefit beneficiaries of their payment options and that they can immediately withdraw all the money from their Alliance Account.

The plaintiffs claim that Prudential “fraudulently informs beneficiaries that this Alliance Account scheme constitutes a ‘lump-sum’ payment as required by law.” Instead, the company keeps the money in its general account, paying only when the beneficiaries write drafts on the account, they claim.

More than 100 insurance carriers earn investment income on $28 billion owed to life insurance beneficiaries, Bloomberg Markets magazine reported last month.

In another lawsuit, a woman named Jasmine Williams is suing MetLife Inc. She claims that Metlife told her that her $101,819 in life insurance benefits were safe and was sent what the company called a guaranteed money market “checkbook” in 2002

The next year, Williams, then 19, told MetLife that a cousin had taken $48,900 by forging her name on 12 checks. Williams, of Rougemont, North Carolina, sought reimbursement. The insurance company and Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank NA, which processed MetLife checks, refused to cover Williams’ losses. The bank claimed that the insurer owed her the money, and the insurer claimed that only the bank could reimburse her.

The reason they could do that is because Metlife, like Prudential, retains the assets instead of depositing them in a bank. Had Williams’ money been in a bank, instead of an account managed by an insurance company, federal and state law would have required the bank to verify signatures on checks and cover losses. Williams’ predicament spotlights the uncertainties people face by accepting so-called retained-asset account checkbooks from insurers. In short, if you or anyone you know becomes the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, they should withdraw all of the money immediately and deposit the money in a traditional bank, for safety’s sake.

We will keep you updated on this important issue as developments warrant.

Army Colonel Fired for Blurting Out the Ugly Truth

Army Times ran this article, "The PowerPoint rant that got a colonel fired," and we leave it up to you to decide if he struck a sensitive nerve or not.

Throughout my career I have been known to walk that fine line between good taste and unemployment. I see no reason to change that now.

Consider the following therapeutic.

I have been assigned as a staff officer to a headquarters in Afghanistan for about two months. During that time, I have not done anything productive. Fortunately, little of substance is really done here, but that is a task we do well.

We are part of the operational arm of the International Security Assistance Force commanded by Army Gen. David Petraeus. It is composed of military representatives from all the NATO countries, several of which I cannot pronounce.

Officially, International Joint Command was founded in late 2009 to coordinate operations among all the regional commands in Afghanistan. More likely it was founded to provide some general a three-star command. Starting with a small group of dedicated and intelligent officers, IJC has successfully grown into a stove-piped and bloated organization, top-heavy in rank. Around here, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a colonel.

For headquarters staff, war consists largely of the endless tinkering with PowerPoint slides to conform with the idiosyncrasies of cognitively challenged generals in order to spoon-feed them information. Even one tiny flaw in a slide can halt a general’s thought processes as abruptly as a computer system’s blue screen of death.

The ability to brief well is, therefore, a critical skill. It is important to note that skill in briefing resides in how you say it. It doesn’t matter so much what you say or even if you are speaking Klingon.

Random motion, ad hoc processes and an in-depth knowledge of Army minutia and acronyms are also key characteristics of a successful staff officer. Harried movement together with furrowed brows and appropriate expressions of concern a la Clint Eastwood will please the generals. Progress in the war is optional.

Each day is guided by the “battle rhythm,” which is a series of PowerPoint briefings and meetings with PowerPoint presentations. It doesn’t matter how inane or useless the briefing or meeting might be. Once it is part of the battle rhythm, it has the persistence of carbon 14.

And you can’t skip these events because they take roll — just like gym class.

The start and culmination of each day is the commander’s update assessment. Please ignore the fact that “update assessment” is redundant. Simply saying commander’s update doesn’t provide the possibility of creating a three-letter acronym. It also doesn’t matter that the commander never attends the CUA.

The CUA consists of a series of PowerPoint slides describing the events of the previous 12 hours. Briefers explain each slide by reading from a written statement in a tone not unlike that of a congressman caught in a tryst with an escort. The CUA slides only change when a new commander arrives or the war ends.

The commander’s immediate subordinates, usually one- and two-star generals, listen to the CUA in a semi-comatose state. Each briefer has about one or two minutes to impart either information or misinformation. Usually they don’t do either. Fortunately, none of the information provided makes an indelible impact on any of the generals.

One important task of the IJC is to share information to the ISAF commander, his staff and to all the regional commands. This information is delivered as PowerPoint slides in e-mail at the flow rate of a fire hose. Standard operating procedure is to send everything that you have. Volume is considered the equivalent of quality.

Next month, IJC will attempt a giant leap for mankind. In a first-of-its-kind effort, IJC will embed a new stovepipe into an already existing stovepipe. The rationale for this bold move resides in the fact that an officer, who is currently without one, needs a staff of 35 people to create a big splash before his promotion board.

Like most military organizations, structure always trumps function.

The ultimate consequences of this reorganization won’t be determined until after that officer rotates out of theater.

Nevertheless, the results will be presented by PowerPoint.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, New Series

U.S. News and World Report has a new article, "5 Keys to Obama's Gourmet Presidency," that gives the lie to the commonly-held delusion that the Democrats still have the common touch.

UPDATE: The link to this article has been corrected.

Fort Knox Gives Vietnam Vets Long-Overdue Heroes' Welcome

On Aug. 26, Fort Knox hosted the first of many community events in the area that honored Vietnam veterans and gave them the warm welcome home they deserved—but few received—from 1964 to 1975.

Approximately 1,000 veterans turned out and were greeted by 2,500 flag-waving, sign-holding, cheering Soldiers, family members, civilian employees, and contractors who lined the route that the Vietnam veterans’ convoy of buses and motorcycles took to Brooks Parade Field for the 10 a.m. ceremony.

Read the rest of the story in The Turret News.

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Bloodthirsty Warmonger" Didn't Make the Top 100, but These Conservative Web Sites and Blogs Did

DBKP - Death by 1000 Papercuts - has compiled a list of top 100 conservative Web sites/blogs, many of which I check daily for hot tips.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

There You Go Again!

Understandably worried about a Republican sweep in the November election, Democrats are bringing out the old "Republicans are After Social Security" ploy, because it's worked before. Wall St. Journal's Opinion Journal starts out with this paragraph:

Democrats are trying to keep control of Congress by scaring the wig off grandma with a phantom GOP plot against Social Security. That is not news. Social Security scare tactics have been regular campaign themes since FDR. President Obama's unique contribution is to do this even as he's begging Republicans to help him reduce the deficit and reform entitlement spending....