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  • Archive for July, 2008

    Jesse Jackson Used the N-Word

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 17th July 2008 (All posts by )

    A little double-standard action from the Reverand.

    What a dolt.

    One guy left a comment, which I deleted, on my post about Jackson, saying it was sad to see all this fear and hate.

    That is funny.

    The only fear and hate I am seeing is from a political has-been, Jackson, who has contempt for the people of his own color whom he has pretended to represent all these years, as some kind of unelected permanent spokesman, like some Sub-Saharan President-for-Life.

    Jackson is the guy who said he wants to cut Barack’s nuts off, when he was being honest, when he thought no one was listening.

    That could be hate, I guess.

    I just want Barack to lose the election. I don’t wish him ill, or wish him harm, I merely wish him political defeat. I am probably not going to get my wish.

    Jackson is full of fear and hate for Obama for a reason. He is watching his whole ongoing scam go down the drain since someone who has actually won some elections, who has some cross-racial appeal, is now the Leading Black Person in America. And it is about damn time, too. Could that be a reason for Jackson’s hate and fear? Ya think?

    I still say “Black” and I mean no disrespect. When I was really little, I can still remember the use of the word Negro, as a respectful improvement on what had come before it. Then at some point, it became “Black”, and we were all taught in elementary school that we were supposed to say “Black”, and that was just fine with me. Then at some point we replaced a clear, simple, one-syllable word with six ambiguous syllables, African American. I get a yuck out of TV announcers trying to find a way to talk about actual Africans, for example.

    Just like Teddy Roosevelt, John McCain’s hero, I don’t like hyphens.

    And I don’t think of my Black colleagues, classmates, friends and neighbors as … what Jackson calls them.

    I think of them as Americans.

    Posted in USA | 2 Comments »

    “Walkability” is Moot…

    Posted by Jonathan on 17th July 2008 (All posts by )

    …if people can’t afford to live there.

    Some group has declared that San Francisco rates highest for ease of getting around on foot. Of course they are considering only the people who are already there, not those who have been priced out of SF by its sky-high real-estate valuations, the result of land-use restrictions imposed by the Bay Area’s notoriously anti-growth political culture.

    One of the comments on the site where the walkability story appears puts the issue well:

    The problem has never simply been walkability. It’s always been affordability. Take New York City. Rent for a studio apartment is $2000. In the burbs? $1000 for a one-bedroom. The $1000 difference pays for an awful lot of gasoline. Oh – and I should mention the 4% income tax New York City levies on its residents.
    The effect of higher gasoline prices won’t be people moving en masse into marginal inner city areas. Instead, it will be the progressive reduction of property prices in the suburbs to compensate for higher gasoline costs, coupled with the gradual move of businesses to the suburbs to accommodate their employees, and save on real estate costs.

    To paraphrase a statement one often hears from the Left, the rich and the poor are equally free to walk on the streets of San Francisco.

    Posted in Leftism, Society, Urban Issues, USA | 14 Comments »

    Monster Anole of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on 17th July 2008 (All posts by )

    (Note that by “monster” I really mean, “about 8 inches long, not including the tail”. This may not seem like much but it is sure to impress the true anole aficionado, as most anoles are much smaller. Unfortunately there was no dewlap action here, perhaps indicating that this specimen is a female.)

    Posted in Photos | 2 Comments »

    Fernandez Clarifies – As Do His Readers

    Posted by Ginny on 16th July 2008 (All posts by )

    The consensus among Chicagoboyz seems that Obama will win; I would not argue. But the first commentor at Belmont Club’s post makes a point with which we might also find consensus (if, as one Chicagoboyz notes, also depression):

    Last summer McCain said he would rather lose the nomination than lose the war and possibly this allowed some people who hadn’t before to understand the stakes involved.
    McCain is no longer saying this because he doesn’t have to. But more than that, I think he now realizes the stakes involved require he win the election.

    Fernandez analysis of McCain’s speech on Iraq & Afghanistan is thoughtful. Further commentary by Hanson is also to the point. This follows Belmont Club’s earlier analysis of Obama’s speech.

    Posted in Elections, Iraq | 4 Comments »

    Thee Ultra Bimboos

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 15th July 2008 (All posts by )

    Thee Ultra Bimboos

    L-R: Suffeli (laulu, kitara) Milla (rummut) Salla (basso) Maria (kitara, taustalaulu)

    More outstanding girl rock. Thee Ultra Bimboos are (or were) an all-girl punk/pop/garage rock band from the frozen wasteland of Finland. All the songs on here are good. But one called “Liar, Liar” is just killer — big punk rock guitar sound, and beautiful harmony vocals on the chorus. It is almost like garage rock meets bluegrass or something. I listened to it about ten times and decided to share.

    (Special girl rock bonus for our readers: Kim Shattuck‘s handpicked Best of the Muffs.)

    Posted in Music | 2 Comments »

    Bumper Sticker Sighting

    Posted by David Foster on 15th July 2008 (All posts by )

    Saw a car today with two bumper stickers–one said “Support Israel” and the other was some kind of pro-Democratic-Party statement.

    It struck me that this was like a car in 1938 Britain with bumper stickers (did they have bumper stickers in those days?) saying:

    “Keep Czechoslovakia Free”


    “Support Neville Chamberlain”

    Posted in Politics, War and Peace | 13 Comments »

    Abuses of Power by Police

    Posted by Jonathan on 14th July 2008 (All posts by )

    Commenting on this outrageous story, about which Glenn Reynolds
    and Brendan Loy make the obvious (and correct) points about the need for more accountability, Rand Simberg says:

    Should ignorance of the law be an excuse for this man? Call me crazy, but it seems to me that those enforcing the law should be much more responsible for knowing it than those who are being oppressed by ignorance of it.

    I would add another question along these lines. Why is it acceptable not only that ordinary citizens (particularly members of racial and ethnic minorities) must behave with extreme discretion, and often show humiliating deference, to avoid being abused or arrested when dealing with police, but also that a significant fraction of police are power-abusing bullies with hair-trigger tempers? Call me crazy, but it seems to me that those enforcing the law should be selected for thick skin and the ability to defuse adversarial situations rather than make them worse. Many police behave decently and even admirably, but there are also so many who are hot-headed jerks that it’s obvious that the police culture has systematic management problems.

    UPDATE (July 16): Brendan Loy posts an update to his original post.

    Posted in Law Enforcement, Society, USA | 35 Comments »

    SE’s Reading Program – Updated

    Posted by Smitten Eagle on 14th July 2008 (All posts by )

    (I wrote this post for my personal blog, but Lexington Green requested that it be crossposted here. Here it is, in full, with update. There is a discussion already going at personal blog, so check it out there, too.)

    I have written on the nature of Professionalism. An element to true Professionalism is the maintenance of a course of independent, continual study. Here I will speak to my personal reading program, which is a core part of my Professional military education.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Book Notes, History, Military Affairs | 3 Comments »

    Just Unbelievable

    Posted by David Foster on 13th July 2008 (All posts by )

    Edward Markey, a Democratic U.S. Congressman, told a group of high school students that “climate change” was responsible for the famine in Somalia and hence for the 1993 “Black Hawk down” battle between American troops and Somali rebels. He also told the students, who were from the Gulf states, that hurricane Katrina had been caused by global warming.

    As if there hadn’t been famines, wars, and massacres..and hurricanes…for thousands of years.

    Markey’s comments seem to me to be more than a little unhinged. Neptunus Lex:

    To call this sort of thinking “muddled” is to do disservice leftmost tail of the intellectual bell curve. “Fantastic” might be a better description. As in “magical”.

    Unfortunately, this quality of thought is pretty common on the Democratic side of the Congressional aisle. If these people were businesspeople, and applied this kind of thinking to running their businesses, they would quickly go broke. If they were tribal leaders, their tribes would wind up dying of famine or killed/enslaved by enemies. If they were ship captains, they’d run aground or be sunk by typhoons.

    Pretty scary to think how much influence they have on our collective future.

    Update: Corrected Markey’s title–thanks, BobC.

    Posted in Environment, Politics, War and Peace | 9 Comments »

    A Desire for Context from the Knowledgeable

    Posted by Ginny on 13th July 2008 (All posts by )

    So, we’re having coffee after lunch and tune in C-span. The speaker , General Michael Rose, is at Columbia’s Saltzman’s Institute of War and Peace Studies making the argument of his new book, Washington’s War: The American War of Independence to the Iraqi Insurgency. I thought the analogy had some rather major weaknesses and found his position a bit irritating. Still, it is somewhat bracing to hear a British military man discuss our earlier conflicts. His very British point of view defines his values and positioning; they of course differ somewhat from a Midwesterner’s vision. He admires Petraeus, although the book was clearly written and argument solidified before the Petraeus strategy had developed. He remains sure, however, that we are losing, that the government there is accomplishing nothing, and that we should declare it a lost war, leave, and move on. His analogy encourages later, perhaps more cheerful, parallels as well – in the aftermath for Iraq (America’s Constitution) and for America (Britain’s great Victorian age). He repeatedly argues decisions should not be made in terms of the worst scenario – though we should have foreseen the worst scenarios when entering Iraq. Considering a blood bath might follow an early retreat is not reasonable, since bad seldom (not as much as 1 out of 10 he says) follows such conflicts.

    He is a fifth generation military man. C-Span gives some biographical context: “Gen. Michael Rose (ret.) commanded the 22nd Special Air Service Regiment from 1979 to 1982. He was later commander of the UN forces in Bosnia (1994-1995). ” He strongly defends in the C-span interview as well as in his interview with Charlie Rose, the UN’s actions in Bosnia and criticizes NATO. The force in both interviews of this discussion indicates it contains points he wants to make. (I thought of Hanson’s argument that Lew Wallace did book tours for Ben Hur as much to defend his Civil War record as to sell books.) Also, he believes Tony Blair should have been impeached.

    So, I turn to Chicagoboyz and ask for information, intelligence and a sense of proportion. (I did do a search of him on our site, but may have entered the search poorly. If, as seems to be happening lately, my mind is wandering and someone has talked of him, please let me know.)

    Posted in Iraq, United Nations | 10 Comments »

    Power Myths and the Onion

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on 12th July 2008 (All posts by )


    I am a long time fan of the Onion… although they traffic in humor, sometimes they really nail an issue right on the head. A recent (fake) article was a post by British Petroleum’s (BP) CEO is called “We’re Investing So Much In Alternative Fuels, Sometimes We Almost Forget to Pump Oil!” The article is tongue in cheek as the CEO extols all the work that they have done on publicity and various stunts while just rolling in cash from good ol’ traditional fossil fuels.

    “Wow. So why exactly are people still buying gas, when all the cars in the United States are powered by electric batteries by now? They’re not? What?! You’re pulling my leg, right? Surely we’re not still relying on that dinosaur technology after all the effort we’ve put into alternative energy sources and forging an inoffensive corporate identity that reflects a new consciousness of global responsibility. Are we?

    Man alive! I’m going to write this down in my planner right now, so I don’t forget to do it later when I’m all caught up in a discussion about wind power and how to maintain the delicate balance of our beautiful, precious ecosystem. “Still pumping oil, question mark.” Well, I’ll look into it, if there’s even anyone left in this multinational corporate headquarters who’s still following that branch of the business.

    Wait—the price of oil is what? Over $4 a gallon? No way! Say, we must be making a fortune, huh? How the heck did that happen? Holy cow: Now that I’m looking over these annual revenue figures for the first time, I see that while I was doing all those other things, we made a couple hundred billion bucks!”


    ComEd, the electricity distribution company for Illinois that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the massively profitable Exelon, sends out an environmental disclosure statement in your monthly bill. The statement shows just how much progress has been made overall towards getting off fossil fuels (and nuclear power).
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Energy & Power Generation, Humor | 6 Comments »

    Corporate Branding

    Posted by Ginny on 11th July 2008 (All posts by )

    For my fellow Chicagoboyz who are interested in workable business models:

    With Vistas, you will learn the real story — of how we are attacking the competitive casualty gap with a paradigm-changing tactical adaptive strategy focused on paradise value optimization. Yes, there will be some changes, but our core leadership mission remains the same one established by Chairman Emeritus Osama Bin Laden when he founded Al Qaeda in his family goat shed nearly 15 years ago: to create a robust, cave-centric, best-of-breed strategic organization for global caliphate management solution services. If we all pull together as accountable subteams, we are on-track to rebuild momentum after the Q4 Infidel elections!

    From Ayman al Zawahiri.  via Instapundit.


    Posted in Humor | Comments Off on Corporate Branding

    Calling The Bottom… or not

    Posted by Carl from Chicago on 11th July 2008 (All posts by )

    In financial circles it is common to use the term “Calling the Bottom”. What does this mean? It means that when a stock is beat up enough and poised for a rebound, that is the time that you want to buy. The real trick, however, is when something really hits the bottom, or if it has further to fall.

    Recently there has been carnage in the financial sector. Bear Stearns had to be rescued by JP Morgan when they collapsed, and Citigroup & Merrill Lynch had huge write offs. This has continued into the quasi-government entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    While the vast majority of my investments are in index funds (or income investments), from time to time I like to think I am a stock picker and will put a negligible amount of my portfolio into this type of work.

    I picked four stocks that I figured (maybe wrongly, in hindsight) that might be near the bottom right at the end of 2007, and started this post back in April. My fellow blog-mate Dan has been hounding me to clean up my “draft” posts (he is a blog-neat freak, but that is good for all of us) but I have been leaving it there to age, not like a fine wine, but like a room-temperature PBR, after all. My four stocks were picked based on 1) look, someone has to survive in the long run 2) some entities are “too big to fail” and the government will back them out.

    Here were the stocks at the time (end of 2007) and their prices:

    1) Citigroup – $29
    2) Merrill Lynch – $53
    3) Fannie Mae – $40
    4) Freddie Mac – $34

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Economics & Finance, Humor, Investment Journal | 6 Comments »

    Posted by Jonathan on 11th July 2008 (All posts by )

    fruit on the road

    Posted in Photos | 5 Comments »

    Gramm, McCain and Obama

    Posted by Jonathan on 10th July 2008 (All posts by )

    Phil Gramm spoke the truth. The economy is in a slow period, but the recession that many of us (including me) anticipated has not happened. IOW, despite significant structural problems in the economy (housing meltdown, inflation, oil prices, weak dollar and other policy mistakes), the economy is holding up. This is good news.

    There is a disconnect between the real economy, which is doing OK, and the media picture of an economy about to fall into steep recession if not depression. It’s obvious what’s going on. First, the media industry is consolidating: old media businesses are failing, their employees either being laid off or worried about their jobs; new media businesses like Google are changing the fundamentals of the media industry. So there is a lot of fear and uncertainty among media people, and that uncertainty gets reflected in news reports and opinion columns.

    Second, the big media are, as usual, doing their best to get the Democrat elected. This means that the economy is going to be terrible until the election, after which we will (assuming the Democrats win big) experience a remarkable recovery due to the farsighted policies of President Obama and the Democratic Congress.

    Gramm was merely pointing out what was already obvious to serious observers. Maybe, for tactical political reasons, he shouldn’t have been as blunt as he was in the Washington Times interview, but that’s hindsight. The problem is that McCain immediately disassociated himself from Gramm in a way that weakens his campaign. Gramm, a former economics professor, is known for having a clue about economics. Indeed he was brought into McCain’s campaign to compensate for the candidate’s widely acknowledged weakness in this area. McCain’s hasty disavowal of Gramm therefore looked like a political panic. He was behaving like the old McCain, whose primary loyalty often appeared to be to the media and Democratic opinion. The media and Democrats decry what they see as a disastrous economy, therefore McCain could not allow Gramm’s reasonable statements to stand. He didn’t even try to spin them but flatly disavowed them. This was McCain at his worst.

    The Gramm incident also showed Obama at his worst. While Obama showed consummate political skill in exploiting the McCain campaign’s missteps, he revealed in doing so the glibness and extreme arrogance that unnerve some of us. Here is the key part of Obama’s response to Gramm:

    “Senator Phil Gramm, a top economic advisor to Senator McCain, just recently said that this is merely ‘a mental recession,'” Obama said during a campaign appearance in Virgina.
    “Senator Gramm then deemed the United States, and I quote, ‘a nation of whiners,'” Obama said.
    “Well, you know, America already has one Dr. Phil,” Obama said, referring to a tough-talking television talk show host and psychologist.
    “When it comes to the economy, we don’t need another,” he said.
    “I think it’s time we had a president who doesn’t deny our problems or blame the American people for them, but takes responsibility and provides the leadership to solve them. That’s the kind of president I will be.”

    Obama, who appears to know little about economics, blames economist Gramm for denying the existence of problems that don’t exist. The arrogance comes through more clearly on video:

    I had thought McCain was due for a bounce, but things aren’t looking good. And of course McCain is his own world of bad policies.

    Interesting times ahead.

    Posted in Economics & Finance, Politics, USA | 40 Comments »

    Jesse Jackson Wants to Cut Barack Obama’s Nuts Off

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 10th July 2008 (All posts by )

    I was amused to read about this comment from Jackson. It was no surprise.

    I detest Obama. Worst of all, I think he is essentially unstoppable at this point.

    McCain = Dole, pretty much, unfortunately.

    This depresses me.

    And I suspect Obama will he a horrible president, somewhere on a continuum between Jimmy Carter and Robert Mugabe. Of course, I hope I’m wrong. My fondest hope is that he will be an unprincipled opportunist who shades to the center, instead of to the Left. As a best case scenario, Obama would be more or less Clinton II.

    But that seems too good to reasonably hope for.

    So, in light of the foregoing, to be fair, I might as well say one, small, favorable thing about Obama.

    His mere existence has made the old-time Black political shake-down artists like Jackson and Sharpton, look obsolete, out-of-touch, and — best of all — absurd.

    This is no small achievement.

    Simple demographic attrition would have done it sooner or later. But better that we rid our public life of such people sooner rather than later.

    Obama’s candidacy has made Jackson into a nullity.

    Obama has destroyed Jackson.

    Good riddance.

    That is why Jackson wants to cut Obama’s nuts off.

    Posted in Politics | 10 Comments »

    Nancy Pelosi vs. the Internet

    Posted by Zenpundit on 8th July 2008 (All posts by )

    Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would like very much to reimpose the old, so-called, “Fairness Doctrine” that once censored conservative opinion on television and radio broadcasting, is scheming to impose rules barring any member of Congress from posting opinions on any internet site without first obtaining prior approval from the Democratic leadership of Congress. No blogs, twitter, online forums – nothing.

    This was first reported to me by Congressman John Culberson (R-Tx) and I asked for approval to cite him and for any media links to this story. He provided the following link of regulations proposed by the Chair of the Congressional Commission on Mailing Standards (PDF) Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Mass) that was sent to Rep. Robert Brady, Chairman of the House Committee for Administration. The net effect of the regs would be to make it practically impossible for members of Congress to use social media tools to discuss official business or share video of the same with the public while creating a partisan disparity in what little approved messages might be permitted. It would be a very considerable error to assume that the House leadership intends to let dissenting Democratic members post any more freely than Republicans.

    Set aside the nakedly partisan aspect of this plan for a moment – on the technological merits alone this may be the goddamn dumbest thing I’ve heard of regarding the Internet coming out of Congress in a long, long time. The dinosaurs who are uncomfortable with computers, the unwashed masses being aware of their actions and free political debate want to turn the clock back to the 1970s. Except during the 1970s no one would have dared to propose controlling what a democratically elected member of Congress could say to their constituents. Doesn’t it register in the Beltway that they are talking about public information that already belongs to the people of the United States? Senators and Congressmen should be interacting with citizens more freely, not less; the U.S. Congress needs radical transparency not greater opacity imposed by the Democratic House leadership to better hide shady dealings

    It’s a brazenly Orwellian and most likely unconstitutional power grab by the Speaker of the House unlike anything dreamed of by any previous speaker – not Sam Rayburn, not Joseph Cannon. Nobody.

    Nancy Pelosi has finally arrived at a historical pinnacle – as an enemy of free speech and the public’s right to know.


    Given that I was somewhat intemperate in tone in my post and many questions were raised by the other side regarding the document, I’m highlighting my reply to those commenters who felt aggrieved:


    1. The old rules were indeed worse than the new proposed changes. They were also not enforced and most members of the House posted as they pleased, much like the rest of us.

    2. Putting new, modestly less restrictive rules in place and actively enforcing them results in a de facto large increase in the level of restrictiveness to access social media.

    3. What larger public good is served by either the old or the proposed new rules?

    4. The complexity of this elaborate gatekeeping system is rife for partisan abuse and selective enforcement that would have a chilling effect on members of Congress using social media. If you think Pelosi is a saint then imagine the system in the hands of Tom DeLay. The pre-publication review is itself a significant barrier to access given the limited time Congressmen have in very busy schedules

    5. The rules that seem “reasonable” regarding content and external sites are subjective and are to be interpreted by the majority at the minority’s expense. Again, consider the shoe on the other foot.

    6. Changes in the rules of the House of Representatives are done only in close consultation with the Speaker, who appoints the committee chairmen, and the the majority leader and whip. The chance of Nancy Pelosi not being at the table here is about zero. That the issue is being pressed on the Senate side as well indicates that this is a coordinated leadership agenda and not minor tidying up by members themselves.

    Posted in Blogging, Civil Liberties, Politics, Tech, USA | 99 Comments »

    Pickens: Wind + Natural Gas

    Posted by David Foster on 8th July 2008 (All posts by )

    Today at 10:00 EDT, the oilman / corporate raider T Boone Pickens will hold a press conference to launch his plan (humbly entitled “the Pickens Plan”) for sharply reducing the American demand for imported oil. The address of the webcast is at the link.

    Here is the Pickens Plan website, and here’s a USA Today article on the plan.

    In a nutshell, the idea is:

    1)Heavy use of wind power-much of it to be produced in massive wind farms–to generate electricity. This would free up large amounts of natural gas, which is now a primary fuel for electrical generation.
    2)Shift a substantial portion of America’s car and truck fleet to run on natural gas, which would of course become relatively cheaper if it were less in demand for power generation.

    Let’s discuss.

    Posted in Energy & Power Generation | 20 Comments »

    Patriotic Thieves

    Posted by David Foster on 8th July 2008 (All posts by )

    You’ve probably already heard about the thief who alerted police after breaking into a van…which contained devices that appeared to be explosives.

    This incident reminded me of another story.

    Odette Sansom (later Odette Hallowes) was an agent of the WWII British sabotage organization Special Operations Executive. Unlike many SOE agents, she survived the war. She was honored by the British government with the MBE and the George Cross, and was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur by the French.

    Some time after the war, the house of Odette’s mother was burglarized, and these decorations were stolen along with some silver. Odette’s mother appealed via the newspapers for the return of the decorations, and the thief sent them back along with this note:

    You, Madame, appear to be a dear old lady. God bless you and your children. I thank you for having faith in me. I am not all that bad – it’s just circumstances. Your little dog really loves me. I gave him a nice pat and left him a piece of meat – out of fridge.

    Sincerely yours,

    A Bad Egg.

    Posted in Crime and Punishment, Terrorism, War and Peace | 1 Comment »

    Friday, July 11 – Second Amendment Freedom Rally in Chicago

    Posted by Jonathan on 7th July 2008 (All posts by )

    [I repost below a press release from the Illinois State Rifle Association. Visit this site for more info about the rally. Jonathan]

    Friday July 11, 2008 from 11:00am – 1:00 pm at the
    James R. Thompson Center
    100 W. Randolph St. in Chicago

    The first rally of its kind in the history of Chicago!

    Come celebrate the the US Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the Second Amendment to the Constitution protects an individual right.

    Join the launch of a renewed push for Concealed Carry legislation in Illinois!

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Announcements, Chicagoania, RKBA | 10 Comments »

    Posted by Jonathan on 7th July 2008 (All posts by )

    Roost with the robins at Chicagoboyz.
    Relax with the rhinos at Chicagoboyz.
    Sleep with the sloths at Chicagoboyz.
    Perch with the parrots at Chicagoboyz.


    Posted in Humor, Photos | 2 Comments »

    On Professionalism

    Posted by Smitten Eagle on 6th July 2008 (All posts by )

    Col Mike Wyly, of the Marines, has written a piece in Armed Forces Journal on the nature of Professionalism, using Boyd as the exemplar of the subject. The article is completely correct, and is worthy of reading by all military men.

    One of my pet peeves regarding “Professionalism” is the supreme misunderstanding of what the term implies. On the eve of my first deployment in 2004, my detachment Officer-in-Charge, a Major, took the 43-Marine detachment aside and told us his expectations, which he said could be summarized on two words: “Be Professional.” Unstated were what his ideas of what professionalism entailed. To him, Professionalism meant keeping the appearance of a Marine, combined with a touch of CYA: Keep hair short, uniforms serviceable, be tactful, and do what you need to do to keep the detachment out of trouble.

    This conception of Professionalism is wrong.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Civil Society, Military Affairs, Society, War and Peace | 15 Comments »

    Anti-Quote of the Day

    Posted by Smitten Eagle on 5th July 2008 (All posts by )

    Thomas PM Barnett:

    “Bottom line: mature democracies trust populists more, while authoritarian states like fellow rightists.”

    I like Barnett, and many of his ideas.  However, quotes like this that make me think that he belongs in a cloistered think tank deep in the beltway, where his thoughts would probably have less impact than they currently do.

    Posted in Conservatism, Leftism, Quotations | 15 Comments »

    Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on 5th July 2008 (All posts by )

    THESE OBAMA skeptics recall a similar time, 1973, when Israel also faced extermination. Prime minister Golda Meir had miscalculated Anwar Sadat’s willingness to go to war and decided against a first strike against Egypt. The Arab nations attacked in October 1973, and within days Israel was facing defeat.
    The Israelis went to president Richard Nixon with a request for a massive infusion of arms. The Defense and State Departments squabbled. Our European allies, who feared an oil embargo (and would refuse us bases to refuel our planes), inveighed against it, and the Soviets blustered. Many on Nixon’s staff wanted to deny the request, or offer only token assistance. Don’t antagonize the Arab states, they counseled.
    Nixon persisted and, according to some accounts, doubled the amount of aid Israel had requested. Riding herd on the bureaucrats, Nixon repeatedly intervened to push the transports along. Informed about a dispute regarding the type of air transportation, Nixon at one point exclaimed in frustration: “Tell them to send everything that can fly.” Over the course of a month US airplanes conducted 815 sorties with over 27,900 tons of materiel.
    Israel was saved due to this massive infusion of military aid. Meir referred to Nixon with enormous affection for the rest of her life. Nixon, despised by many in the US, was hailed as a hero in Israel. And Nixon (who had garnered a minority of the Jewish vote in 1972) received little or no political benefit at home for his trouble, leaving office the following year.

    -Jennifer Rubin, “Why more Jews won’t be voting Democrat this year”

    Posted in History, Israel, Middle East, Politics, USA, War and Peace | 16 Comments »


    Posted by Carl from Chicago on 4th July 2008 (All posts by )

    The Economist recently featured a cover photo of Bill Gates, the Chairman of Microsoft, since he is stepping down from his post and leaving Microsoft. Bill Gates is a larger-than-life figure because of his large foundation and his charitable works. However, while I am far from an expert on his non-work efforts, I do consider myself somewhat of an expert on Microsoft, and that is the focus of this post.

    Microsoft has several business segments, as follows (per their most recent earnings release as found on their web site), along with quarterly revenues as follows:

    – Client revenues (operating systems, Vista) – $4B
    – Servers and tool revenues (Windows server, SQL Server) – $3B
    – Online business revenues (MSN, others) – $1B
    – Business system revenues (Office, Sharepoint) – $5B
    – Entertainment (Xbox, mobile phones) – $2B

    Thus the majority of their revenues and vast majority of their profits are from 1) operating systems (Vista), servers & tools (Windows server, SQL Server), and business systems (MS Office).

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Business, Economics & Finance | 17 Comments »