Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Allriiight Already

Unless you live in a shoe you probably couldn't escape the news about Obama's coronation today. ...or yesterday. ...or on Sunday. ...even in Canada.
I was in classes all day yesterday, and as I took a short break for supper before going on to work, I turned on the Tv. If you were watching CBC's newsworld you'd swear there was no news yesterday because it was mostly wall to wall CBC reporting about the preparations for Obama's inauguration. The CBC's obsession with Obama was of course predictable, he's a marxist-leaning politician who consorts with unrepentant terrorists. While I'm not surprised that the CBC's reporters are living up to there low-water 21st century standard, "How did you feel When you heard about the news?" I was surprised by the CBC radio One host who held a online poll to come up with the best Canadian songs to put on a 'gift CD for Obama.'
Can we get back real life now?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Best description of the Vietnam War I've read yet.

Found this on Dr. Jerry Pournelle's website, Chaos Manor. He was commenting on a book review where he suggests the reviewer missed the point of the book. lol. I've had those days. I'm pasting his entire comment on this subject below.
Jerry is one of my favorite authors; take the time to check out his entire website.

Scientific War and History

Those interested in modern warfare might want to read

2009/01/how-tech-change.html which is a review of a book I haven't read and probably won't read, although it's possible that the reviewer simply didn't understand it, despite the reviewer's extensive and impressive credentials (and apparent access to the author). As an example, the reviewer says "...it identifies some important distinctions and helps explain things like the failure of Vietnam - Robert MacNamara’s pervasive quantification didn’t do much, in the end, to convince the Viet Cong that they were facing defeat."

This tells me that the reviewer hasn't a clue as to what happened in Viet Nam, or even why we were there. Viet Nam was a campaign of attrition in the Cold War. The United State decided early on that the proper strategy for the Cold War was containment: that if the USSR were left to stew in its own juices and not allowed to expand, so that war could not feed war, the corruption and mismanagement that inevitably accompanied a command economy would bring about collapse, while our free enterprise economy would bring about economic growth. The essence of containment was that the enemy had to be contained. The USSR already had North Viet Nam, obtained when the French withdrew from their protectorate and Viet Nam (an artificial entity in the first place) was partitioned. Kennedy and then Johnson decided that Containment was the proper strategy, and committed the US to the defense of the South. That wasn't done well, but it was done, and after the Viet Cong committed suicide in the Tet Offensive the war became one of attrition against the North.

By 1972 the war was won. In Spring of 1972 the North sent 150,000 men, all equipped with imported modern weapons including tanks and trucks, into the south in a straight up invasion without any pretense that this was any kind of "insurgency". Colonel Harry Summers put it this way:

"On 29 March 1972 North Vietnam launched what was to become known as the Eastertide Offensive. Leaving two divisions in Laos and one as a strategic reserve, North Vietnam committed some 12 divisions -- a total of about 150,000 men -- to the attack on South Vietnam. Supported by tanks, heavy artillery, and mobile antiaircraft units, they had some initial success. But they had severely miscalculated both the fighting ability of the South Vietnamese Army and the ability of the United States to react... By July 1972 the North Vietnamese had reverted to the tactical defensive."

North Viet Nam took about 100,000 casualties in 1972. The total number of US killed in that year was 641. The Second Viet Nam War had been won decisively.

In 1975 the Third Viet Nam War began, and this time the US did not provide support. The USSR had rebuilt the army destroyed in 1972 and presented the North with a brand new modern armored army, while the United States Congress voted to support the Army of the Republic of Viet Nam with 20 cartridges and two hand grenades per man. Viet Nam accordingly fell; but to characterize this as saying that MacNamara had not convinced the Viet Cong that they were facing defeat is at best absurd. By 1975 the Viet Cong no longer existed. The only insurgency in South Viet Nam was North Viet Nam regulars infiltrated into the South who were able to take advantage of the Sanctuary Areas of Laos, Cambodia, and the DMZ; and the only reason North Viet Nam won in 1975 was that the Congress of the United States, inspired by Watergate, would not support our ally; and the reasons North Viet Nam invaded were (1) they had a new army equipped by their allies, and (2) they had good reason to believe that the United States would not respond in 1975 as we responded in 1972.

There are many lessons to be learned from the Viet Nam experience, but in my judgment anyone who sums up that war with statements like "...it identifies some important distinctions and helps explain things like the failure of Vietnam - Robert MacNamara’s pervasive quantification didn’t do much, in the end, to convince the Viet Cong that they were facing defeat," probably doesn't have a lot to teach us.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

do not call lists

Since joining the CRTC's federal do not call list last September, the number of calls I receive has increased. The big difference however is they are all originating from the United States, where the CRTC has no jurisdiction.

I am especially offended by they way they try to pretend that I am already a customer or am somehow already associated with them, and their telemarketing call is a legitimate form of contact. They all include a notice to press a number (like zero) if you do not want to be contacted again. I have done this, and yet the calls persist. Clearly, pressing the indicated number to be automatically removed from their call list does not guarantee they'll stop calling you.

It's frustrating, so now I never push the number. The bastards are going to phone anyway. Instead, I push the number to speak to a live agent. If they can call and interrupt my day, one of their employees is damn well going to get his/her day interrupted back. Like Today. I just received a call from OHIO and I pressed the number to speak to a live agent.

Then when the live person comes on, I say I'm on the do-not-call list, and tell them to FUCK OFF.

The cathartic effect on my emotional state is amazing. I mean, how often can you tell someone to fuck off and it has a chance of bettering our society? It's my deepest heartfelt hope that the unlucky employee I spoke with will quit their job and the telemarketer will have trouble filling the position.

(happy grin)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Two images.

Two things on my mind tonight that I saw, and to pass on.

First, a series of Chicago P.D. mug shots. The people in these pictures aren't there because of their good works either. lol. Ann Coulter was right.



Secondly, I've been thinking about the incredibly biased anti-Israel coverage the mid-stream media is giving the ongoing Palestinian Rocket Attacks on southern Israeli residential neighborhoods.

Oh, did the way I phrased that piss you off? Good.

Almost universally, the mid-stream media is characterizing the Palestinians as victims, and the Israeli Military as the bullies. They appear to be accepting at face value Palestinian claims that Israel is committing acts of genocidal atrocities and war-crimes against civilians. Despite an abundance of video available on the internet proving that Hamas is using it's civilian population to hide their incessant rocket and mortar attacks on Israel's citizenry, the media news reports all seem to delight in emphasizing the contrasting imagery of High-tech Israeli military vs. injured Palestinian women and children.

Despite repeated Isreali efforts to promote a peace process, -any peace process, certain elements among the Palestinians have pretty well always acted to provoke an armed response. Then, in 2006, the Palestinians elected to power Hamas, a radical offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Even the Muslim-Friendly Washington Post admits Hamas "favors the creation of a Palestinian nation on land that now includes Israel..."

That's a nice way of saying Hamas wants to wipe them out.

During the election Hamas made no bones about this, and the Palestinian voters voted for them. I'm now emotionally at the point of wondering if they deserve what they get.

There, I said it. Our fucking media won't.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

UFOs and Women

I've comments by numerous UFO enthusiasts who suggested that we will be able to easily communicate with alien visitors to Earth; that regardless of biology we will all just be people underneath. I've long known this cannot possibly be true. I've been married twenty-one years.

A man riding his Harley, was riding along a California beach, when suddenly the sky clouded above his head, and in a booming voice, the Lord said,' Because you have tried to be faithful to me in all ways, I will grant you one wish.'

The biker pulled over and said, 'Build a bridge to Hawaii so I can ride over anytime I want.'

The Lord said, 'Your request is materialistic, think of the enormous challenges for that kind of undertaking; the supports required reaching the bottom of the Pacific and the concrete and steel it would take! It will nearly exhaust several natural resources. I can do it, but it is hard for me to justify your desire for worldly things. Take a little more time and think of something that could possibly help mankind.'

The biker thought about it for a long time.

Finally, he said, 'Lord, I wish that I and all men could understand women; I want to know how she feels inside, what she's thinking when she gives me the silent treatment, why she cries, what she means when she says nothing's wrong, why she snaps and complains when I try to help, and how I can make a Woman truly happy.'

The Lord replied, 'You want two lanes or four on that bridge?

I got today's joke from my wife, after I checked an email account I don't use very often. Found an email my wife sent me last month.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Gotta be photoshopped...

Found this photo of a Space Shuttle ferry flight on the net today. It has to be photoshopped. Click image for full size.

Reminds me of this toon from User Friendly.


update: Yes, it is. Here's the link to the original image.