Archive for July, 2007

Matt travels the Silk Road

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Matt Sanchez’s latest report is a must-read:
Silk Route–Not So Smooth

When it’s not the hard rocks knocking the Humvee chassis back to the motor pool tent for re-fitting, there’s the crumbling soil that causes the flared tires to sink off the side of the paths and possibly into culverts. The same culverts where bad guys stuff explosives and wait for American vehicles to pass by. My bags were going to get lighter, I thought, as I set out with the 70th Engineers to go looking for some of those stuffed explosives along those difficult roads.

Go read it all.

The Bear necessities

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Bear sings!

Maria sent me this:
Reuters’s Andrew Wallenstein is shocked, SHOCKED! that Bear Grylls spent a night or two in a motel:

But this British adventurer is now the subject of an investigation by U.K.’s Channel 4, which already has confirmed that Grylls checked into motels on a few occasions when he was depicted on TV having slept under the stars.

Considering how, when I watch the program, I sit there hoping Bear would be staying in a motel, I’m actually relieved to hear it.

Andrew’s outrage comes from his belief that,

“Wild” restored a sense of realism to being marooned and sold us on the fantasy that we could learn the actual skills for survival.

Perhaps the show restored Andrew’s belief that he could learn the actual skills for survival. Every time I’ve watched that show it has restored my belief that I would have been dead by the first ad break.

I look forward to the 3rd Man Vs Wild season.

Go for it, Bear.

Bear sings!

Thank you to the friend (and Bear fan) who prefers to remain anonymous.


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Lybia, France, the EU and the Middle East

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Siggy of Sigmund Carl and Alfred, and Dymphna and Baron Bodissey of Gates of Vienna and I just completed today’s podcast. I’ll be blogging more about it later, but for now, please listen.
blog radio

Bar imitates life

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Via Babalu
Trendy spot in the big city: Socialista

And it’s just like Cuban “socialism”:

The bien-pensant finance it: TV producer Ben Silverman, Harvey Weinstein and Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler.
There’s a two-tier system for the benefit of the elite: “gaining entrance to the upstairs lounge is a long shot for most,” and you need a secret phone number.
Just like in the island-prison: little-person doorman serves as comandante.
You must pay your dues: “Unless you’re amigos with investors Sting, Harvey Weinstein, and Giuseppe Cipriani, you’ll be leveled a minimum tab for table service that may have you shouting ‘Down with capitalism!'”
You get the same-old, same-old, but pay through the nose: “SIGNATURE DRINK Socialista (vodka, fresh citrus, spiced syrup), $16.” A lot of bucks for an OJ w/vodka.
And the bulls*** flows on: “the hard knocks of elitism built on equality were on view on a recent Friday night”

Do the guys washing the dishes get free schooling and healthcare, I wonder? Do they have to swim out of the place when their shift is over?

Socialista: for the useful West Village idiot that drinks!

Hillary’s stripes on parade, again

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Via Larwyn, 30 letters: In the ’60s, a Future Candidate Poured Her Heart Out in Letters

Some things haven’t changed – Hillary’s still divorced from the middle class:

“God, I feel so divorced from Park Ridge, parents, home, the entire unreality of middle class America,” she says. “This all sounds so predictable, but it’s true.”

At least now she’s not showing up in public in those dreadful striped trousers which first made their appearance in April and which the NYT shows again:

I had a similar pair of slacks in the 1970s, that era of “What was I thinking?” fashion:

However, ugly as the striped trousers are, I’ve never slipped down this slippery slope:

“I’m sitting here at a stolen table in a pair of dirty denim bell-bottoms, a never-ironed work shirt and a beautiful purple felt hat with a purple polka-dotted scarf streaming off it,” she writes

Good lord.

NYT: We’re winning in Iraq, and other items

Monday, July 30th, 2007

See Iraq briefing

According to the NYT, Iraq – We’re winning! As Allison said,
Much of it will sound familiar if you’ve been reading Michael Totten’s dispatches.

Elsewhere, the Telegraph: Paper backs off Maliki-Petraeus row because they made up the story.

UPDATEFrom today’s White House Briefing: (emphasis added)

Points From Rear Adm. Fox Briefing, Baghdad , Iraq : July 30, 2007

Our offensive operations continue with increasing evidence that the surge is pressuring terrorists, keeping them off balance, and eliminating safe havens. We have established a degree of tactical momentum that we will continue to build on.

· We continue to pressure former sanctuaries in the Baghdad Belts, around Ramadi and in and around Baqouba.

· We are denying al Qaeda Iraq (AQI) freedom of movement and disrupting extremist secret cells while increasing local citizens’ confidence in the Coalition and Iraqi Security Force.

The number of caches found and cleared continues to grow.
· In the last week, Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces seized more than 120 weapons caches.
· We have seized more weapons caches in the first six months of this year than all of last year combined.

Leads and tips received from Iraqi citizens are up and helping us discover these weapons caches. Last month there were some 23,000 tips a month, four times the number at this time last year.

We are seeing more and more Iraqis turning against violence.
· On July 7, 100 Sheikhs and 400 religious and political leaders met in Ramadi for a conference called “Promise of the People.”
o They agreed to “The Ramadi Covenant” – a solemn agreement between tribes and most importantly with the Government of Iraq that is a clear sign the people of Iraq are rejecting the hatred, violence, sectarianism and Taliban-like state offered by AQI.
· In Baqoubah, 50 tribal leaders met at the governor’s house on July 14 to discuss security, services, and pledged to work together in the Muqdadiyah Tribal Conference.
· On July 16 in Taji, Sunni and Shia shieks pledged unity to one another to stop the sectarian attacks, each signing a map next to their village.
· On July 23, 16 local shieks and tribal leaders in Khalis pledged on behalf of some 75 shieks to work to end the violence.

Via Larwyn, the Judiciary Committee Clown Show
Update: Schtackink Da Courts

The Acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree: Whose Ox Is Gored: After Bush’s victory, liberals shouted “Voter fraud!” Why have they changed their tune?
now liberals are accusing the Bush Justice Department of cooking up spurious claims of voter fraud in the 2006 elections and creating what the New York Times calls a “fantasy” that voter fraud is a problem.

Instead, Sen. Leahy and other liberals are busy dismissing concerns about voter fraud, no doubt in an effort to make certain the Justice Department drops the issue as a priority before the 2008 election. But the blunders and politicization of parts of the Bush Justice Department notwithstanding, voter fraud deserves to be investigated and prosecuted. The Justice Department may be dysfunctional and poorly led, but the Democratic Congress seems more interested in paralyzing its activities than helping to fix the problem.


I just finished reading HP7 and LaShawn has a nice article about it, WITH SPOILERS, Harry Potter and the Inevitable End



Via CatHouseChat and Evangelical Outpost, Photosynth.

Reminder: Podcast today at noon

Harry Potter, shoes, The Carnival, and tomorrow on BTR

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Check out the Blogathon!

Since a family member is away and took with him HP7, last evening I went and bought another copy. Blogging will be light until I finish the book (halfway there).


The subject of shoes proved popular in the It’ll Never Happen post. Here’s my latest purchase – mine are black patent:

Comfortable, goes well with slacks and skirts, and on sale.
(Let’s hope Amazon doesn’t show the HP book link instead of the shoes! Here‘s the direct link)

Tomorrow July 30 at noon (EDT), my guests will be Baron Bodissey and Dymphna of Gates of Vienna, along with Siggy. We will be discussing Hazelton, Gates of Vienna’s new calendar, and Sarkozy’s visit to Libya.

My first BTR show with GoV and SC&A was fascinating and very popular, and I’m sure this one will be, too.
Please join us!
blog radio


Dr. Sanity has the Carnival of the Insanities


UPDATEAlabama Improper is having a Blogathon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Please visit.

Do the Debate

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

The Republican candidates don’t want to do a YouTube debate, and they should.

Apparently they mind that the Democrat YouTube “debate” was a circus, was infantile and doesn’t look Presidential. If they mind that, I wonder why they’re running. I mean, aren’t people still talking about the time Bill Clinton played the sax on Arsenio? Does anyone mention that Clinton can’t play the sax?

Here’s some advice (yes, I’m giving advice twice on one week) guys:

Do it.

When your rival goes on a beauty contest and gets a heck of a lot visibility and generates a storm over whether one candidate will talk without preconditions to every lunatic despot running amok, what you do is go out, make an even better beauty contest, and you outdo them every step of the way.

The Dems had theirs at the Citadel? You have yours at the Air Force Academy (no ofense intended to Citadel alumni reading this blog; it’s only a figure of speech) .
The Dems showed Hillary’s butt? You show Ron Paul’s shoes.
The Dems loved asinine questions? You point out the asininity AND come up with a smart answer.
The questions favor the left? You explain why you are right, and Right.
The Dems stack they questions they like? You stack the questions that are good.
The Dems think they’re edgy? You show you are gutsy.
The Dems had a snowman? You have Bozo.
The questions start with “why”, or “don’t you think”, in an acusatory tone? You reply in clear, well-thought-out answers where you shine.

Compete, outdo, outperform, and win.

Competition improves the product, folks, and you can outdo and outshine ’em. That’s why you’re running.

Or isn’t it?

It’s a question of putting on a good show.

Newsbusters, American Mind and Hit and Run have more on it.

Patrick Ruffini has the petition.


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Special thanks to Cassandra for her help!]

Disquieting thought of the day, in two parts

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

Part 1: Another Russian sub blows up, while Putin spreads his brand of charisma in Guatemala and sells nine subs to Venezuela.

Part 2: US ‘plans huge Saudi arms deal’.

Shootout at the Gare du Nord, and the week’s round-up

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

No Pasaran has the video:

Via Lawyn, Don Suber has the week’s round-up, which saved me the work. Also, please visit Pajamas Media daily and check out the Scroll.