Friday, March 30, 2007

Austin Bay Sees Situation Differently

Circulating About the Internet

Is a Time Magazine story about how an Iranian force entered Iraq and ambushed a force comprised of Iraqis and US soldiers. Since we are just hearing about this story now instead of a long time ago should make you realize the Iranians did not get what they were hoping to get – the opportunity to relive their days in the late '70s with American hostages. However, hostage is not the correct word here but it will do. POW would be a better fit here but the embassy personal Iran held in the late '70s were hostages.

A short Army press release issued on the day of the skirmish offered the following information: U.S. soldiers from the 5th Squadron 73rd Cavalry 82nd Airborne were accompanying Iraqi forces on a routine joint patrol along the border with Iran, about 75 miles east of Baghdad, when they spotted two Iranian soldiers retreating from Iraqi territory back into Iran. A moment later, U.S. and Iraqi forces came upon a third Iranian soldier on the Iraqi side of the border, who stood his ground. As U.S. and Iraqi soldiers approached the Iranian officer and began speaking with him, a platoon of Iranian soldiers appeared and moved to surround the coalition patrol, taking up positions on high ground. At that point, according to the Army's statement, the Iranian captain told the U.S. and Iraqi soldiers that if they tried to leave they would be fired on. Fearing abduction by the Iranians, U.S. troops moved to go anyway, and fighting broke out. Army officials say the Iranian troops fired first with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades, and that U.S. troops fell further back into Iraqi territory, while four Iraqi army soldiers, one interpreter and one Iraqi border guard remained in the hands of the Iranians.
Source: Time Magazine – A Deadly U.S.-Iran Firefight
So, this just has to make one wonder, why the UK commanders on the scene allowed the Iranians to waltz away with their sailors? I know the commander on the scene says his ROE did not permit escalating anything. Well guess what? Things are escalated anyway! If the Iranian raiders were turned into chum or at least sent scurrying away there would be absolutely no story here. Iran is using this to show how they are pushing around one of the great world powers and as some people are speculating as a diversion. Iran wouldn't be trumpeting a failure anymore than they talked about the failure Time Magazine reports above. But it isn't a failure, its little victory for them, even the fact Iran is changing elements of their story do matter much now, what matters is the fact the UK is being kicked around by Iran.

Wretchard at the Belmont Club provides some commentary and is the inspiration for this blog. I saw the story earlier today but was not moved to write about it.
There's a backstory behind the US assertion that American troops would have fought if they had been in the same position [emphasis added] as British soldiers who were taken in a cross-border raid by Iranian forces.
Source: The Belmont Club – The Past as Prologue
You know the thought outlined above did occur to me. However, given the track record of our tiptoeing around Iran's belligerence I thought such commentary would be viewed as cheap talk, however the story Time Magazine relates provides support for the thought.

Again, what situation went away quietly and which situation is escalated? The one where the ambushed fought or the one where the ambushed surrendered?

Labels: ,

I Bet Iran is Quaking!

EU foreign ministers support British position and warn of 'appropriate measures' if 15 sailors and marines not released

Oh my, I bet Ahmednuttyjihad is afraid now. What is the EU going to do? Issue a testily worded resolution?

Labels: ,

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I am Spartacus

Monica Sitter does not believe in freedom of speech. Of course, her & cronies may say they do just as long as it comes with a disclaimer.

My my my. When you start burdening speech with conditions, pre-conditions, disclaimers, non-anonymity, etc it is no longer free.

What is going to be the next item on the freedom of speech checklist?

Oh, please don't confuse Marcus Licinius Crassus with Marcus Aurelius It was Marcus Licinius Crassus and NOT Marcus Aurelius who crushed the Spartacus led slave rebellion.

Labels: ,

Monday, March 26, 2007

I Hope His Superiors Disciplined Him!

Who? The soldier in this photo next to Hillary Clinton.

It causes me pain to say this, as I detest Hillary Clinton the politician, but Hillary deserves respect from the troops as it is been widely held for a long time she was seeking the office of the Presidency. From my last visit at Intrade it seems the markets point to a Democrat in the Whitehouse in '08 and Hillary's contract is the pricey one in that market. That is, (of course it is early and Hillary's bid/ask is about $24.10/$26 #2 is Giuliani at $19.50/$21.00) people are betting on Hillary to win.

Anyway the point is it does the military no good to disrespect the Democrats candidates as it causes the Democrats to come to not trust the military and isn't it bad enough? I know, I know. Hillary Clinton has probably said things about the military and supported causes that are anti-military and anti-mission but that does not excuse it.

It is also poor discipline. I wrote about this sometime ago.

Also, don't think Republican candidates/administrations are immune, they just have to deal with rebellious military leaders higher up the chain of command.

I may detest Hillary, John Edwards, Barak Obama et al but the Constitution subordinates the military to the civilian. Uphold & defend our Constitution soldier!


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Another Crazy Beer?

Ah the namesake topic comes up.

Leinenkugel's Beer is introducing a new beer shortly. It is not detailed on the official Leinie website but Kevin at Lakeshore Laments notices:
Summer Shandy is a variation on a European beer recipe that is popular in England and Germany, said Richard Leinenkugel, vice president of sales and market.

The shandygaff is a mixture of beer and lemon-lime soda. Another variety of the shandy is the German radler, a mix of beer and lemonade.

The new Leinenkugel brand, however, should not be confused with the Mike's Hard Lemonade or other malt-based alcoholic lemonades.

Summer Shandy "tastes like beer with lemonade," Leinenkugel said. "It's a little bit more tart than it is sweet."

In 1998, when Leinenkugel Brewing launched its Hefeweizen seasonal brand, the company encouraged bartenders to offer it mixed with lemonade during the summer, Leinenkugel said. The idea was to create a refreshing beverage for those hot days - the same marketing impetus behind the new brand.
Source: JSOnline – New beer has lemon twist Leinenkugel rolls out summer brew
I am eagerly awaiting to try this beer out. Now, Kevin & Jib are not to keen, Kevin says: Both Pepsi and Coke got burned on lemon-flavoring their soft drinks, the same may happen here with beer.

People want to taste beer with their beer, not lemons. But I’m just one guy, maybe I’m wrong.
Obviously this is a summer beer. Now, before you poo-poo this idea listen to me.

Once in college my friends and myself all got together for some pounding. I do not recall whose idea it was but someone suggested of drinking just beer we instead quaff sip and go nakeds. A combination of beer, lemonade, and vodka (and I do not recall pouring in Sprite or 7Up, but the linked recipe suggests just that). It was absolutely good and that appears what Leinenkugels is trying to do (absent the vodka, but that is simple enough to fix).

I am not keen on the Sunset Wheat beer similarly I am not keen on Blue Moon or any other such beer (berry-weiss too), but I reserve judgment on Summer Shandy. Of course, there is no substitute for a good cold pilzen or a classic weiss (not berry weiss but a true weiss beer such as Summit's Heffeweizen) beer.



It's all President Bush's fault! What you say is his fault? The before mentioned website says everything!

Check it out for a laugh.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My Sunshine is in the Air

The Empress should be in the air by now or at least taxing to make the leap.

The airport was not all that bad. We immediately went to the check in desk the passengers got their boarding passes and the TSA was actually pleasant at least at baggage screening. The Empress and her niece went through gate security without a hitch and I heard from them about 15 minutes ago and they were seated and waiting to taxi and take off.

I can always keep myself occupied and busy so the time will fly by but it will seem very odd at home without my sunshine, and the Empress is my sunshine. Her positive, cheering, and loving attitude to life can make the glumest situation pleasant.

When my grandmother was still alive she was in the hospital fighting pneumonia and The Empress and I went to visit. My mother & brother were there as well and it was very grey when we walked in. The Empress tough, turned the grey into sunshine. It was remarkable how the mood in the room changed.

Oh well, something so precious has to be shared.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Such Is Life

Sometime ago I told you all about one of sisters-in-law who was gravely ill. Well, about one week ago she passed away.

Of course we expected but that never seems to change one's reaction when the death of a close person actually happens. So, when I called the Empress the night she learned of the news she was in tears and of course the phone transmitted the sadness with the speed of light to myself. Obviously, since I just met our Ate once and the meeting was fairly brief (she was quite lucid and was insistent with all present we all speak English while I was around) it just did not hit me the same way it hit The Empress. Of course, the larger impact was the fact The Empress was saddened and I was not physically with her to help comfort her.

The bigger problem though was getting The Empress on her way to the funeral. Not an easy task. We went through a public consolidator to obtain the ticket she was going to use at the end of the month and when working with consolidators you find they are very inflexible. The desired flight was available for (total taxes & fees included) about 70% more than what we purchased the original ticket for (again total). Oh yeah, do not forget the cancellation and service fees.

No, bereavement only goes so far and seems to apply only to the fees & service charges charged for changing the reservation.

We ended up going with one of the larger consolidators (LC) as opposed to the one we used initially. LC had some seats left on the flight we are aiming for. Price was a tad cheaper (then the price quoted on the previous consolidator) so I booked it.

So, the Empress will be traveling soon with her niece.

I do not have much nice to say about the airline industry right now.

Labels: , , , , ,


I couldn't resist many interesting Drudge stories I can make quick comment on.

Iran Defaults on Russian Debt


The World's Smallest Violin

David Hicks the Jihadi from Down Under whines about ill treatment at Gitmo. Of course, the left will pounce on this screaming aha! I yawn and write it off to the play found in the Jihadi Playbook about what to do when captured.

Of course, I do not believe he was always treated to coffee service at 3:00pm daily but working with an organization aiming to bring down world players does have its hazards, no?


The Hillary video. Wow! The left is really working hard to tear itself apart. Yeah the video is effective it really leaves an impression on a person. In fact, an image of the Hillary video (of Hillary on the screen) that was on The Drudge Report reminded me of a ferengi.

Do not worry Hillary fans she will strike back and strike back hard.

Muzzled vs. Unmuzzled

Do you grow tired of the whine about how the science is being muzzled by The Bush Administration? I do, of course it is usually the loud an obnoxious that claim they are being muzzled. Well, a NASA employee whined about how the Administration muzzled him. Well it turns out the fellow did 1,400 interviews on the job.
A NASA scientist who said the Bush administration muzzled him because of his belief in global warming yesterday acknowledged to Congress that he'd done more than 1,400 on-the-job interviews in recent years.
Source: The Washington Times – Climate scientist sees cover-up
Compare this to:
THE former editor-in-chief of a Chinese Website has been given a six-year prison term for subversion, the Ningbo Intermediate People's Court in east China's Zhejiang Province said.

The court ruled yesterday that Zhang Jianhong, former editor-in-chief of a Website named "Aiqinhai," or "Aegean Sea," had written articles which defamed the Chinese government and amounted to agitation aimed at toppling the government.
Source: The Shanghai Daily – Web editor jailed for subversion
Do you not love it? Unnamed NASA scientist your pettiness besmirches those who do truly suffer for their speech.

That's It!

Roseanne Barr takes meditation classes and all is well. She begins meditating and now she is smarter and calmer. Hah, I bet smug is more like it.

Malaria Fighting Mosquitos

What kills more people than anything? More than war, more than any ferocious tiger or lion? The lowly mosquito with the malaria they carry. Researchers have developed a malaria resistant mosquito that appears to do a better job of surviving than malarial mosquitoes.

Of course, I expect the environmentalists and luddites to cry in fear about this development.


Britebart reports 1/3 of all peeple in Washinton DC r illitterit.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Follow up on Scottish Fantasy.

Usually when I quote a blogger or a web author it might generate some interest in my regular readers (and thank you for that) or perhaps a drive by commentator. Unless, the author is a blogger who is a regular I do not get comments. I certainly don't get visits by the bigs. The "biggest commentator" to date is Chris Muir creator, drawer, and author of the cartoon Day by Day (scroll to the bottom of Blogger Beer, dinner before desserts).

Anyway I received the following comment in reply to my blog & criticism of criticism on Max Bruch's Scottish Fantasy:
I stumbled upon this somewhat belatedly, so maybe I'm too late for my comment to matter. Nevertheless, here goes . . .

Although I understand what you're trying to say, I think it would be fair to mention that the quotation was taken from one of my concert programme notes. By their very nature, these are addressed specifically to people who are already "devoted classical music listeners". However, even if I had been talking to complete newcomers, I might well have used much the same words - the only "attitude" I have is the "inclusive" one of encouragement. Please look again at the quotation: I hope you will see that, although I was encouraging people to listen to the first four movements, I was in no way knocking the finale.
Source: Blogger Beer Comments from – Bruch's Scottish Fantasy

Intelligent commentary is never late and thanks for commenting on my notes on your review.

I guess what I am trying to point out to devoted classical music listeners is their tastes in music differ even with respect to the catchy tunes of classical music. I play what I think are "rocking" (or speaker-busters) pieces and I get impatient looks and mannerisms from those around me. Finally when (for example) March Slave (a speaker buster) is over I get applause not from the piece but from its finally being over. What I am saying is we have to have patience in our evangelization (note to self: Schubert's March Militaire it's what is playing right now and I really like this work) and even if the gold is not the piece we play for them it is what is needed.

In addition, when reading CD notes on works usually it seems the piece motivating my purchase is often "poo-pooed" or "dissed". I use language a little stronger than what it really deserves but that is how I feel when I read how my favorite is the easier to play or the less complicated work. However, I do realize it is what it is and classical music in general is easier to gauge things such as complexity or difficulty than in many other musical forms. Despite that I do get over it and listen to what I enjoy.

However, we do agree it often pays to listen to the other music on the recording. I find this invariably true even when purchasing pop-CDs. I buy the CD for a particular hit and after a while find the best music is often other works on the recording.

Getting caught by the catchy tune and working outwards from there isn't the only way, but it is a very common way to get hooked on classical music - it was the way I got started.

Paul S.

P.S. What is a "hardcore classical music listener"? I have this rather lurid image of someone getting his rocks off to Richard Strauss's "Dance of the Seven Veils"!
Source: Ibid

What is a hardcore classical music listener? The kind you target your notes to.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Walled In

Have been a bit down of late. Nothing too much or too bad, I'll overcome.

However, flipping through the channels tonight I came upon VH1C broadcasting Pink Floyd's The Wall. I thought oh great just what I need now. However, I was unable to tear myself away and I even sat patiently through the commercials. In the Wikipedia link David Gilmour is quoted as saying:
And my view of what The Wall itself is about is more jaundiced today than it was then. It appears now to be a catalogue of people Roger blames for his own failings in life, a list of 'you f..... me up this way, you f..... me up that way'.
Source: Wikipedia – The Wall

The movie is dark – dark – dark. Dave's observation is spot on and watching the movie even as a college student I picked up on that, it comes across even more plainly now.

When I was in college I watched the movie quite a bit and did not quite get it. It has been years since I have seen it or heard many of the songs and part of the downer about it was harkening back to my lost younger days. However, I grew out of The Wall before I left college and recall a friend at a party who had wanted to play the tape (much as I would push for a few years previous), I'ld roll my eyes and withhold comment.

Labels: ,

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ann Coulter

I have blogged on Ann Coulter before. Clearly, she is a lighting rod who not only stands in storms she creates storms as well.

I read Ann's columns on a regular basis and find a few that are good, some okay, and others reprehensible.

However, the best commentary I have read or heard to date is James Wigderson's at Wigdernson's Library & Pub:
I think part of the problem is that there is a significant faction of the Right that wishes we were as free to be as obnoxious and offensive as the political Left, and they're more than willing to embrace Coulter just to hear the Left gasp. Except the Left isn't gasping anymore. They use Coulter to justify their own extremists even as they also use Coulter to bash anyone associated with the Right forcing all of us to once more go through the routine of saying, "Of course I don't hate homosexuals, and I condemn what Ann Coulter said..." (That extends to pundits, too.)
Wigderson Library & Pub – Can we stop inviting Ann Coulter to conservative events?

That is, the double standard is like the sun rising – a fact of life. I agree with James that we need to make sure we hold ourselves to the higher standard. Let the left wallow in gutter. However, we need to make sure we do not let our political opposition scream us into submission. In fact, in the comments (responding to the blog I link to) some commentators pretty much lay out a list that anyone who disagrees with them is as bad as Ann (there is a name or two in the list I agree with). Of course, the hope is we will sacrifice them as well just so we can all get along. Of course if we surrender and jettison everyone they demand they will still be be unsatisfied.

Heck, even Ann Althouse has to write why she does not feel the need to denounce Ann Coulter. Heck, Ann Althouse is not doctrinaire Democrat or Republican (of all the blogs I read and commentary I read hers is the best written & reasoned exposition of thoughtful centrism) but because she is not sufficiently anti-Republican she gets lumped in with Ann Coulter.

Like Steve Kagen in his story about insulting various Administration officials, Ann is drawing attention to herself instead of the issues. That is bad.


Off the Hook

John Edwards is off the hook for hiring those two Christian hating bloggers.

Thanks a lot Ann!


Thursday, March 01, 2007