Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's the Perception Stupid.

Yeah, it is. You can paint a victory as a defeat in a larger context. By that I mean, the ememy made out far worse than you, but the mess of it makes it a moot point. As long as they can kill each other, and some of you, the damage is done. In wars of "choice," and not necessity, like the last two, this is a "gumption trap."1. Not a problem in WWII. Deaths by the tens of thousands had to be tolerated because the alternative was just that dire. Nothing since is even comparable no matter how hard some try to make the connection.


1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig

Defining the Factless Response

As usual your comments are bereft of any insight or intelligence. A substancial rebuttal usually implies doing more then [sic] quoting a couple of new york times columns.
Any legitimate rebuttal requires more than an ad hominem attack. The fact I was exposing in the history review post was the poor NYT reporter stationed in Afghanistan in 2001 covering a stone age country in chaos. A lonely beat until 9-11. To far leftists it was an idyllic state and then we ruined it. Uh uh.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

05-1120 MASSACHUSETTS V. EPA

Big case for global warming done well in my view. Standing and authority to regulate CO2. Yes and Yes is my prediction but close with the usual suspects aligning where they do according to ideology.

Update:

Here are the oral arguments. Good luck.

Monday, November 27, 2006

History Review

There isn’t a Viet Nam veteran alive who doesn’t think the war was lost in the media, if Adrian Cronhauer is the source. In fact, John Kerry is the only one who isn’t on that team. There are good reasons for giving up on that effort and China is one. According to the facts, we won the the Tet Offensive but lost the war. What’s the explanation for this? Anyone?

From the comments at Marc Cooper's:

“the U.S. has supported wars that smashed up Afghanistan, which is now a failed state”

Ahem… Check the archives of the New York Times. “If you’re thinking of bombing this country back to the stone age, please be advised, it’s already there.”

And at the hands of the Taliban a priori. There’s no either/or here. There’s only “both eyes blind” syndrome. Just read Cooper's blog to see it. Yeah, we broke a broken state, that harbored nuts who attacked us. That doesn't describe Iraq, which was also a failed state in its own right, but one we should have left to stew in its own ethnic juices as it is now. Too late for that.

So You Think You're a Writer?

You may be if you're willing to keep producing maunscripts and submitting them to agents. If not, instead of defending the vanity press in whatever form, the better option would be to quit, because without this kind of effort you won't get anywhere. Yeah, we know the exceptions and they're few and far between. Consider the failed books practice and write another one. The fact of the matter is most of the people who write books based on just thinking they can are doomed to failure. When it becomes apparent they blame the system. The system is set up for those who earn it to succeed.

Only persistance and a willingness to fail and learn will get you there. Complaining about how only celebrities can publish books is a false canard. Anyone that writes a salable book can. And that's the key to it.

Friday, November 24, 2006

What Bias Looks Like

This thread from the ever-present Nielsen-Hayden's illustrates how screwed the left blogosphere is. Usually outdone by the whackjob right blogosphere, but both are terribly stereotypical. And biased out into the stratosphere. To be sure the soldiers in the video were being uncharacteristically cruel, in a juvenile way, but hardly in comparision to what constitutes cruelty in that part of the world. Using local codes they would have just thrown a grenade and had it over with. Both sides of this conflict sicken me. Isolated incidents are the bread and butter of propagandists on both sides. Blech! And a pox on both their houses.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Mail

Fan mail from POD-land courtesy of cyberstalker "Zack Shutt" a POD troll from Utah on his way to jail if he keeps this up.
Way to be aggresive Brian Dennehy, get a new vocabulary and grow some balls while you're at it.

You're some old guy sitting in his living room watching porn, clipping coupons, and writing the local paper's editorial section every afternoon. [ Ah no I don't do any of those activities} You must be severly disturbed Mark, I don't know how you be this far along in life and not realize you're the person nobody can stand. [Opinion, unsubstantiated] The person nobody likes. [The person those averse to truth detest to be sure although in limted numbers] The person that's always complaining at a resturant, forcing the rest of us to kick your ass.[No. I never go to a restaurant where this would be necessary.]

You're the pussy that everyone hates, and it's about time you realized it.[It isn't me going to others' blogs and calling the owner names] You're a troll Mark: you've been told so on a dozens of different blogs, even forcing Potty Mouth to shut down her comments section. [No it was the self-published shills who did this not I. Moreover I'm not anonymous. Trolls always are.]You never stop, do you? [No I don't. This is an opinion site moron.] Will you ever realize that you are probably the most annoying and mentally unstable person on the web? [Opinion. Competition is fierce. mY stabilty is on better footing than troll stalkers I assure you] Someone needs to take your mouse away from you.[Try it bucko.]


To sum it up. Go F*#$ yourself and the goat you rode in on.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Postcards from Ed Abbey

I grew up reading Abbey. At one time all of his novels resided on my bookshelf at our house in Maine.
“If most Americans eventually decide that they want to ... surround our national parks with an industrial slum of strip mines, power plants, trailerhouse cities ... there’s not much that people like me can do about it except complain,” he wrote to an interviewer. And complain Abbey did, as these letters amply demonstrate. Yet it was in his books — most notably “Desert Solitaire,” “The Monkey Wrench Gang,” “The Journey Home” and “The Fool’s Progress” (a bawdy grievance lodged against life itself) — that Abbey took the complaint and transformed it into an art form, distilling beauty from bile. “I know the earth,” Pablo Neruda once wrote, “and I am sad.” That wasn’t enough for Abbey. I know the earth, he roared, and I am mad.
Yeah, I'm mad too.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Snows of Kilimanjaro RIP

"The snows are getting smaller year by year," Kinyaol Porboli, the chief of Esiteti village, told Reuters at the base of Africa's highest peak at 5,895 metres (19,340 feet).

This is a hot topic for GW deniers and presented here as a cross between myth and and science. Deforestation always plays a part in attracting more heat, but increasing global glacier loss, despite few exceptions indicates a trend that involves a bigger picture. It's real. This one isn't in "God's hands." Francis Macomber won't be the only one to die beneath these dwindling snows.

Second Enlightenment

Is what's needed according to a new scientific think tank. I agree.
Several speakers also had strong words for the media, which they accused of distorting scientific consensus in the name of journalistic balance. David Helfand, chairman of the Columbia University astronomy department, said for instance that while 99 percent of scientists working in the field of climate change are convinced that it is serious and the result of human activity, the views of the 1 percent who disagree are often given equal weight in stories about global warming.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Beer Myth

Maureen Ogle longtime regular of writersnet posted this piece on Powell's blog. I don't agree with this myth thesis of American beer versus craft beer. I don't know anyone who claims microbreweries are the majority of the American beer market because regular commerical beer is watered down. It is watered down, but also five bucks a 12-pack for some of the cheaper brands and there's no difference so there's your reason for big sales. Give what they want all right: cheap and plentiful. No myth about that to my knowledge, but saying so makes a good book hook.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Da Vinci Swindle Upheld

Sorry to hear this, but that's courthouse justice for you. The reporter still failed to phrase it correctly. It's not about "ideas." It was about protected elements of expression including fictionalized scenarios. The supremes just didn't want to mess with financial success it seems, but I would like to know what Justice Souter thought. I guess we'll never know now. Sorry Lew.

Dirty Texans

The usual suspects move fast to ram in 11 coal-fired powerplants ahead of the legislation posse. Natural gas is the better option and a gasline alongside the Alaskan Oil Pipeline is one answer to that shortage and high prices. The true cost of dirty coal is too high.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Eagle Scouts

Today's featured article on Wikipedia. As I've said before, I beat Donald Rumsfeld to the rank by age by three years. I recently was awarded my Bronze Palm which I'd earned in 1969, but was never awarded due to a tiff with the scoutmaster. He had no recollection of it. I did. And after seeing the evidence I got it.

Administrative Hearings

I participated today in my third administrative hearing on the same barking dog complaint here in LA. The first was an informal mediation, which is not official. At that one I was accused of ill-will, lying and other things all disregarded by the officer as ludicrous. "What, Mr. X, besides not believing the charges do you think is happening here? the officer asked my belligerant neighbor. He then admitted the dog barks and that he leaves it alone locked up in the mobilehome when he goes to work or anywhere else. That was May. They went on to make suggestions like toys, bones, radio on low and so on. Nothing changed. It's a German Shepard maybe 65 pounds, scrawny looking and hyper. Barks at everything anytime of day or night if not watched like a hawk. No habituation or training at all. The barking continued two hours later and on into the summer.

At the second official one the respondant didn't show up. Bad move. The decision went in my favor, albeit months later, but he was reissued his license based on several mandated stipulations including wearing a anti-barking collar when alone, and anyone who had him in their care was to prevent him from barking. They didn't. I never saw any such collar on the dog ever and testified as such. At this one he showed only remembering the first informal affair and repeated the same accusations along with this gem he'd taken notes on while I talked: other neighbors had seen the collar on the dog, would testify as such, and thus I had just perjured myself.

The Hearing Examiner stopped that charge cold scarcely believing her ears.

"Sir, he testified he rarely ever sees the dog, and the black box could be hidden from his view" and so on. Shot down cold. No one was there to testify to anything. For once I held my tongue and from the questions only had to demurr to her as they were clearly inadmissable based on the date and she said so repeatedly. Heh heh. And false besides that. He then went on a tirade about my complaint to the landlord back in May, and again I demurred.

"This is not pertinent to his testimony," she said.

He folded like a cheap suit and under oath had to admit the dog barks, and claimed he bought three bark collars because he didn't think they worked. Gee ya think? The taped barking spells proved that even if the tape had issues with speed and drag. The barking came through despite that.

Do you have any evidence that your dog didn't bark after this order was issued by the department as evidenced by Mr. York?

"No, I don't."

The idiot made as ass of himself again, but with enough personal sob stories to possibly get him yet another chance. Who knows since it seems the complainant gets the worst of it for bringing it up in the first place?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Ed Bradley RIP

I had no idea Ed Bradley lived in Woody Creek, Colorado and hung with Hunter Thompson. I suppose when you're successful enough to have digs in NY and a successful high paying gig like 60 Minutes, the other comes with that lofty territory. I only know I liked his reportage. I remember thinking the earring was inevitable, but since I have nothing to prove in the jewelry department and find it an unnecessary accoutrement I didn't consider it anything of value. I would think for him it was a cultural statement frankly. Still, he was the first black to enter this territory so to the pioneer goes the spoils. He earned it in ways no one can now. Time is like that. Moments that never can be repeated or regained.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Memories of the Death Factory

November 1944 was a month in hell. Hell in the Hurtgen Forest . In three weeks time they lost 35,000 men. In the end they didn't know who was left or was dead, since so many green replacements kept having to fill in. Well, my father was left; so was Col. Buck Lanham, and Ernest Hemingway. Long before it was over it was known as The Death factory.

The full story of the 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division, the Ivy League, hasn't yet been told on film. The 28th was portrayed in When Trumpets Fade. I highly recommend it. Telling the story of the 22nd is my current job. It's one hell of an outfit to write about. I think they saved the best for last. For me to tell.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Serious Now?

The question is not whether climate change is happening but whether, in the face of this emergency, we ourselves can change fast enough.
The writer is secretary general of the United Nations.


I think the audience of decision makers has been tipped in favor of reality this week. That's good news for all of us.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The "Democrat" Party

“It’s clear the Democrat Party had a good night,” Pres. Bush said.

They sure did and I helped. But why do they use this language? Do we say the Republic party? It should be Democratic party. Why in hell can't they say this correctly. Is it some sort of right-wing-speak?

A case in point: Democratic Party

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Decision 2006

So far so good. The Senate could fall as well. Here's hoping.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Wikipiddlians

One thing is certain at Wikipedia: no matter what one does to bias an article any attempt at correction will meet with fierce opposition. Moreover, the chronic violators will bait you into a fight where in relativistic world only your response will be the main event, and, like all forums a woman administrator will come along and ban you for incivility and breaking the Wikiharmony even when the record shows you were name-called and pissed on verbally for weeks on end. Give me a break.

Repeated reverts and screams of POV for trying to maintain a neutral point of view (supposedly a policy there) fall on biased tin ears. The latest fray is the Iran-Iraq War. As s member of the history team there I've written many articles. This area is not my favorite and has a history of Pro-Iranian bias due to well, two young Iranian zealots who dredge up US only involvement and instigations. Jimmy Carter started the war and everything would have been tea and hookahs were it not for us the evil Satan Americans. All attempts to mediate this sordid affair have failed. I've been banned for so-called "bullying the punk" into signing a voluntary mediation. They decided I only wanted to punish the little shit. Well guess what? I sure do now. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy you Wikimorons.

There now will be a formal arbitration. I'll report what happens there on content dispute if we can get beyond personalities which I doubt. Voluntary hearings are useless as my experience with LA county Animal Control can attest. As usual the violator just blows them off and continues to break the law. Until something terminal is arranged heh heh and I have in both instances.

Like all forum-mentality Internet affairs it's run by forum Nazis who always punish the wrong side and then what you have left is worthless to anyone with a brain. It's either Al Jazeera or FOX News which by the way I was accused of aligning with. Isn't that a switch! Just tag the articles "Biased" (and luckily they do) and forget about it. Refer to a real encyclopedia. One with real editors because this thing ain't it by a long shot. Forumization, pro-foreigner and extreme left-wing bias is why.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Denial 101

Richard Lindzen should be fired by MIT. I mean, there is no way this skewed view is justified scientifically. He lends credence to the old saw that weathermen e.g. meteorologists can't predict tommorrow's weather. This means he can't identify reality it seems for all that oil money. Jumpin Moses.
However, there are a very few self-styled sceptics who, for whatever reason, try to subvert the scientific method, and they should certainly be exposed for so doing.
Amen brother.

More Lomborgian Flim-Flam

The Royal Society pointed out in its document “A guide to facts and fictions about climate change” that “the distinguished economist Jeffery Sachs pointed out in the Lancet that the Copenhagen Consensus (Lomborg’s group) suffered from “severe shortcomings” because it did not include input from scientists and “scientific information is presented through the over-simplified lens of rudimentary cost-benefit analysis”.

Yet here comes Bjorn Lomborg and his admirers at the WSJ claiming media discrimination as usual. Reports that aren't based on reality don't warrant equal billing. Or even acknowledgment for that matter.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Another day Another Bush Shill

In several instances, MacDonald [Julie] wrote sarcastic comments in the margins of the documents, questioning why scientists were portraying a species' condition as so bleak.

When scientists raised the possibility that a proposed road might degrade the greater sage grouse's habitat, which is scattered through 11 Western states, MacDonald wrote: "Has nothing to do with sage grouse. This belongs in a treatise on 'Why roads are bad'?"

Yeah, this is Bush objectivity. We've hit an all time low in every area. Poiticizing science is but one, because predetermined agendas rule the day here and abroad. Not workin too well is it?

Terrorists Aren't Created Equal

"McVeigh is sometimes called a terrorist, but he's the exception. Eric Rudolph never is."

As DaveL said in this thread at Making Light where I've been banned civil discussion or not, this is patently false, Rudolph is indeed but even that is beside the point, which is this: Is it useul to conflate the handful of domestic right-wing "terrorists" with the large number (and this description comes with its own limits) of Middle Eastern Islamic varities promoting Sharia law absolutism at gunpoint? I say it isn't. It's a false comparision. No one is denying the KKK et al. It just isn't useful to use that to absolve a completely different element.

What would the local redneck "terrorists" in London look like? I'm betting they wouldn't be conservative, white, and Christian. Herein lies the problem.
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