Monday, 30 November 2009

Afghan medal

How to honour and insult at the same time.

A Navy's lot is not a happy one

The fight against Jihadist pirates and Jihadists in general has become an absolute joke. Not only are Somali pirates caught red handed and released as a matter of course thanks to insane rules of engagement, but a British couple is kidnapped from their yacht by Jihadist pirates under the very eyes of the Royal Navy, who do absolutely nothing except watch. The head of the Navy, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, then, with amazing brass, claims that the ship involved, RFA Wave Rider, could do nothing in the situation.

Perhaps the Admiral should get to sea more often, because Wave Knight not only has a Merlin helicopter, but two 30 mm cannons and four 7.62 mm machine guns as well as 26 Royal Navy seamen to man them. How does this equate as "couldn't" rather than "weren't allowed"? True, it was a hostage situation, but how would that have prevented the captain from getting on the loud hailer and telling the pirates that if the hostages were harmed the pirates would die one second later while putting a shot across their bow to avoid any misunderstandings about trying to leave.

As for letting pirates go, I am actually all in favour of that. let them go by all means. Without their boat and twelve miles off shore. Chumming the water first I leave to the discretion of the captain.

Still, for all it's faults, at least the RN isn't lumbered like the Anericans with a commander in chief who takes credit for a rescue mission while apparently taking petty revenge on the real heroes for upstaging him before he could apologise to the pirates.

I suppose running convoys through the area while the US and Royal Navies sweep the pirates off the seas (Not in a convoy? Prepare to be boarded.) and burn their shore bases to the ground (Women and children to the evacuation units, please. As for the men; healthier if you move inland, son. Now.) is out of the question. Pity.

Welcome, Rwanda

Rwanda joins the Commonwealth.

If it was still called the British Commonwealth and if Rwanda recognised Her Majesty the Queen as their sovereign, I'd be impressed.

A bridge too far

Gordon Brown takes on Blue Peter and loses.

Choose you enemies carefully, Mr Brown. Choose them carefully

Saint Andrew's Day

Happy Saint Andrew's Day from Ephemeral Isle

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from Ephemeral Isle

Back Saturday

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Ban ungood

The California Energy Commission puts forward new environmental regulations that would effectively ban large-screen televisions.

This will never fly. Without telescreens, how will the Party keep the masses in line?

White House menu

Huston, we have arugula.

The Prime Minister of India is coming to dinner, so naturally they've laid on a curry. I bow to no one in my admiration for the fiery Vindaloo and perhaps Mr Manmohan Singh is partial himself, but I can't help thinking that this isn't a bit like a Terry Pratchett novel I read recently where a famous opera singer from the Discworld equivalent of Italy was sick to the back teeth because no matter where he went people served him pasta.

I say offer the Prime Minister a seat at a New England clam bake and watch his eyes light up.

Update: Shame about the typos.

Airliners... of the FUTURE!


Priorities

Britain's Afghanistan mission is without a rudder and public support is plummeting as a result, the Army lacks adequate kit, ammunition is low, proper air support is non-existent, relations with the US forces is frayed, the defence budget faces another round of insane cuts, and there's talk of out-right surrender to the Taliban, but don't worry, the MOD is leaping into action to rectify the situation by... deploying an all-girl Merlin helicopter crew.

Yes, I know I said "girl". I'm doing so because a) I do not subscribe to Newspeak and b) to highlight the utter fatuousness of this stunt–which, no reflection on the ladies, it most certainly is.

Necessity, meet invention


Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Look before you leap

The apartment was small, with slanting floors and irregular heat and a buzzer downstairs that didn't work, so that visitors had to call ahead from a pay phone at the corner gas station, where a black Doberman the size of a wolf paced through the night in vigilant patrol, its jaws clamped around an empty beer bottle.
This sentence from Sarah Palin's book is appalling. It's so bad it would come first in a Bulwer Lytton writing contest. It's... What? It's brilliant. It's the greatest writing since Julius Caesar.

Climategate

I see that Climategate is starting to get some traction in the mainstream press, though the New York Times, in a sudden burst of "ethics" says it won't have anything to do with improperly obtained documents. While the Warming camp may be dismayed that the public is learning that environmentalists aren't all that honest and their pet scientists are proving as susceptible to the blandishments of politics as mere mortals, at least they can take comfort that The One will Save the PlanetTM.

Update: Lord Monckton pulls no punches and calls the Warming scientists "criminals" and "fraudsters".

Update: Apparently, climate "scientists" aren't the only ones economical with the truth.

Update: Climategate causes caused George Monbiot to issue an apology. And the mountain has come to Mohammed.

Update: A story so important that the BBC let it sit on the spike for a month. Meanwhile, Richard Black, who the CRU e-mails reveals as a useful idiot, is still cranking out the scare stories. But then, so is the BBC in general as in this story that is 100 percent skepticism free. And they keep digging and digging. It's like the villain in a Scooby Doo episode insisting on shouting "WOOOOO!" after the mask comes off.

Update: Phil Jones: Fall guy?

Update: CRU to Earth:
So the very climate scientists who keep saying that global warming will be an unparalleled disaster for humanity are telling the Earth: Heat up, damn it!
Update: A summary of the story so far.

Update: Homer Simpson is aware of the situation–and, even less likely, Tom Flannery.


Update: The BBC leaps to examine Climategate and comes up with a 28 paragraph hand-patting of the poor victims at the CRU who are so cruelly put upon. All that ink spilled and not a single word for the sceptic's case. The BBC: no stone left unturned unless it doesn't fit the narrative.

Update: Petition!

Update: I remember when Scientific American under its great editor Dennis Flanagan was the flagship popular science magazine. I had a collection of back issues dating to the early '50s and regarded it as a godsend when I realised that I'd never be able to keep up with all the journal publications. I couldn't read them all, but at least SA could be relied on to give me an objective digest of what was going on. Now? Just another left-wing rag with an axe to grind.

Update: Long post, but well worth the time.

A matter of perspective

Unfortunately, this is not what we're talking about.

An armed merchant ship sees of Somali pirates, but the Powers that Be have their knickers in a twist because merchant ships with guns are "dangerous".

Depends on which end of the muzzle you're on, doesn't it?

Another nail

The Telegraph has declared Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as the no. 1 book of the decade, saying that it,
Stands as a cornerstone of the decade, a melding of high and low culture that appeals to all ages and nations.
Other than it having no culture whatsoever (let alone high), being about as turgid a read as I've ever encountered, having all the originality of a photocopy, and appealing mainly to those who regard it as a "classic" because they're immune to decent writing or are too young to know any better, I'd say it's a fair assessment.

The depressing thing is, I think that recycled doorstop might well be the book that defines the decade. If so, God help us.

CVMV-J19

The perfect gift for the paranoid on your Christmas list: A device for detecting hidden cameras.

For real fun, give him one of these and then intimate that there's another device on the market that looks just like this one, but has a hidden camera inside of it. Hilarity ensues.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Hannibal Lecter, call your service

"We thought he was a cannibal... I don't know,
maybe he was a great nationalist, a patriot."


Remind me never to accept a dinner invitation from Mr Chavez.

Police power

Did you hear about the ex-solider who found a sawn-off shotgun in his garden, handed it in to the police, and now faces a minimum five years in prison for possession of a firearm?

Could be worse. He could have been in Scotland where, having nothing better to do, they're putting air pistols in the same category.

We can't have Outer Party members being contaminated by things that threaten the power of the Party are not good for them, can we?

Update: At least the United States doesn't have this problem–provided you're a Chicago politician who thinks that gun control is for "little people".

History revision

Only EU history is history. Britain never existed. If in doubt, have another shot of Victory Gin.

Friday, 20 November 2009

They're getting desperate

Stop global warming or... Or... Polar bears will fall from the sky!

Update: As God is my witness, I thought polar bears could fly.

Grammar alert

Times headline:
Residents are evacuated as forecasters warn of more torrential rain
That must have been extremely nasty.

The special relationship: RIP

It was nice while it lasted.

Let's hope the Reign of The One turns out to be more of an interregnum.

I felt a great disturbance in the Force

The EU (over lunch!) selects Nabooian Senator Palpatine as Emperor Belgian Prime Minister, Herman van Rompuy as President. Announces plan to find someone called Luke Skywalker.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Umbrella man

The Chinese are apparently impressed by Mr Barack Hussein Obama carrying an umbrella.

No doubt for the same reasons as the Germans were impressed by another prominent umbrella carrier.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Don't Play, Just Kill

Another simple question

Telegraph headline:
What would victory look like in Afghanistan?
I'm just taking a shot here, but how about so many dead Jihadists that the main concern of the last few left is which one is going to offer the Coalition the unconditional surrender.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Giant wine glass

A glass that holds an entire bottle of bottle of wine.

I must admit that what is lacks in finesse it makes up for by removing any air of suspense from the rest of the evening.

Edward Woodward 1939-2009


Edward Woodward has gone to the Great Wicker Man in the Sky.

Lord Summerisle was unavailable for comment.

Begun the Euroarmy has

The new Euro Defence Minister inspects the troops

The Italian Foreign Minister advocates the creation of an EU army.

Of course, the new uniforms are an obvious choice.

Green wee

The National Trust wants people to start peeing on bales of hay so that people can not only Worship Blessed Gaia, but also Save the PlanetTM. According to head busybody Tamzin Phillips:
An average flush of the lavatory can use anything from four and a half to nine litres of water each time, but what people may not realise is that this water is treated to the same standard as drinking water and shouldn’t be wasted.
It's all very well when the Trust's head gardener advocates this as a way to get the composter going, but, quite frankly, with all this Green Party bilge the only unconventional place I have an urge to pee in is Miss Phillips's letterbox.

Christmastime for Hitler

The ACLU would have loved these guys.

Simple question, simple answer

Telegraph headline:
New defintion of victory needed in Afghanistan, says military
How about this one courtesy of Ronald Regan regarding the Soviet Union:
We win, they lose.

Monday, 16 November 2009

WHY?!?

English Heritage wants to save some of the worst architectural eyesores of the 20th century rather than raising valuable funds by raffling off a chance to press the plunger.

Where's the Luftwaffe when you need it?

The limbo president

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.
Ian Fleming

Mr Barack Hussein Obama violates both international and White House protocol by bowing to the Emperor Akihito of Japan.

This would not be that big a deal in and of itself. After all, every president makes mistakes from time to time, but The One has a long history of refusing to acknowledge his own country's flag while saluting other nation's and for showing obsequiousness towards tyrants while delivering calculated insults to America's closest ally, so this scarcely counts as a one-off.

What I find most interesting about this is that Mr Obama has an entire State Department brimming with sponge-trousered types who understand protocol and certainly briefed him in detail on how to greet another head of state. Since Mr Obama not only bowed to the Emperor, but did so while a) shaking hands (a tourist mistake) and b) going so low that he looked like a Japanese peasant trying to explain to the local daimyo that the rice crop failed because he poured a truckload of paraffin into the paddies, the only conclusion I can come to is that The Light Worker ignored State's advice and ad libbed to show off his brilliant multicultural chops as America's first "Pacific president" on the start of his next "I apologise for the United States and don't you think I'm fabulous?" tour.

To put it another way, Mr Obama isn't so much bowing to Emperor Akihito as he is mooning the United States.

Next up: Mr Obama gives Kim Jong Il a foot massage.

Update: Scroll down to the comments by richao for a detailed examination of this incident and showing who are the "yokels" here.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Otherwise, it was a perfect cover

Jihadists always make that one fatal mistake that gives them away. Major Hasan's was that he had business cards printed up saying he was a Jihadist.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Risk

Far from trying to win the Great Game, Mr Barack Hussein Obama is oblivious that there even is a game.

Gander, meet sauce

The irony of this situation is marvelous. Ever since the rise of the infamously unfunny "New Comedy" and left-wing agitprop like "The Monocled Mutineer" and "House of Cards" the BBC has been run by a censorious culture that is so restrictive that only Enemies of the Party are regarded as fair game for jokes or even criticism. Now that the backlash over the excesses of Sachsgate, vicious prank calls, rigged phone polls, staggering on-air crudity, et al have imperiled the Beebs sacred licence fee, the corporation is putting survival above loyalty and is taking its blue pencil to its ideological brethren. This is provoking trendies such as dramatist Stephen Poliakoff to howl about the "'Kafkaesque' rule-obsessed BBC" that is still imposing the same old Newspeak rules, only this time Mr Poliakoff and his colleagues are on the receiving end of the BBC's nasty, authoritarian mindset.

So, Mr Poliakoff, how does tyranny feel when you're no longer the "licensed auteur" and lumped in with the Outer Party?

Sleep Box

This latest in micro hotel concepts is the perfect solution to how to have sex or indulge in illicit drugs get some rest during those long airport layovers–if you can ignore that six-year old incessantly kicking the bulkheads.

Update: The "illicit rugs" typo has been corrected. Maybe I should have pretended that's what I really meant to say.

Welcome to steerage class

No doubt there's an extra sitting down charge.

I will never fly again.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Wine whiners

The professional busybodies down at the Ministry of Plenty Waste & Resource Action Programme declare that the proles and Outer Party members waste too much food. Specifically, the say that Britons are not finishing bottles of wine and are pouring £470 million worth of vino down the drain.

Two things come to mind: First, since the wine is already paid for, it is no one's business what is done with afterwards–least of all the Waste & Resource Action Programme. The buyer can drink it, store it, wash his teeth with it, or pour it over the daffodils, if desired. It may be a waste or it may not, but that's his problem. Second: I cannot understand this nonsensical phrase "Not finishing bottles of wine". It sounds like something from some bizarre parallel world.

Tip o' the hat to Notes from a hospital bed.

These aren't the Jihadists you're looking for


Adding to the impenetrable enigma of why Major Hasan gunned down over two score people at Fort Hood while wearing Salafi garb and screaming "Allah akbar", we learn that the Major earlier tried to contact Al Qaeda. Why he would do such a thing certainly makes no sense to the FBI, who are so locked once again in 9/10 thinking that they couldn't track a bleeding radioactive elephant in the snow wearing a GPS tracker and a giant neon sign say "Hey, I'm an elephant".

It's enough to make strong men weep.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Jihad? What Jihad?

While the Americans reel from the Fort Hood attack, a school teacher in the Philippines has been beheaded by Jihadists, though if you read the BBC's coverage, you'd be hard pressed to know this unless you read between the lines in an oblique reference to "feared that the kidnappings would discourage others from teaching underprivileged youths in Muslim areas".

Why so? As far as the report is concerned, the beheaders could have been Methodist "militants".

When I was a professional actor, I was once in a production of Ten Little Indians and my character was killed off early on and so I had plenty of time to chat with the other victims in the dressing room until curtain. During this, we came up with an alternative version where the victims, not hearing the crucial gramophone record, were unaware of the murderer in their midst and the whole thing descended into a Roadrunner cartoon where the villain was forever trying to unsuccessfully kill people who were utterly oblivious to his intentions. What our murderer went through must be the basic mindset of the Jihadists of today. You can bomb trains and buses, stab filmakers, beheaded reporters and teachers, slaughter schoolchildren, murder nightclubbers, ram planes into skyscrapers, and shoot up military bases while screaming "Allah akbar" and the MSM stand mystified as to your motives and rabbits on abut the Religion of Peace without a second thought.

What does a Jihadist have to do to get any respect?

Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Twenty years ago that insult to all free men, the Berlin Wall came crashing down and Communism itself followed shortly after.

I was in Berlin while the wall was still up and it was like someone had jammed an icicle in the clockwork of history. It not only divided one of the world's capitols, but it gave the lie to a murderous system that had to imprison its own citizens from fleeing the "workers' paradise". I remember Berlin as being like a hospital patient forever trying to survive on an IV after being hacked in two with every infection and necrosis imaginable seeping into the wound. The old John le Carré novels weren't that far off. Tell young people today about all those who ran the kill zone, dug tunnels, built balloons or squeezed into all sorts of bizarre hiding places in order to reach the West and freedom and they'd never believe you.

The Wall is gone now. May the memory off all those who defied it and those who struggled so hard to tear it down never be forgotten.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Remembrance Sunday

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

—"In Flanders Field" by Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 - 1918)

The Kraken Wakes


The CBC adaptation from 1965.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Wilful blindness

I am gobsmacked by the BBC's coverage to the Fort Hood shooting. The official Party line politically correct narrative of the motives of Major Hasan for killing 13 people and wounding 30 others has already emerged: He's insane and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Never mind that PTSD is very likely a political construct all on its own with no real medical value. There's also the fact that Major Hasan is a medical officer who has never seen combat, so (and I'm not making this up) some claim he's suffering from pre-traumatic, prospective-traumatic, or even proxy-traumatic stress disorder.

The BBC, however, have gone one step further. They've not only consigned Mr Barack Hussein Obama's infamous "shout out" moment to the memory hole and overlooked his "let's not jump to conclusions" moment (he did, after all, spend a private moment paying respects to the fallen dead with the White House press corp in tow), but they dismissed entirely any idea that Major Hasan's motive might have something to do with the "M" word. Markl Mardell in his blog is utterly mystified by the event and calls Hasan's running about in traditional Muslim garb while murdering his fellow soldiers "a red herring". Good Lord, what does the man want for proof? Hasan shouting "Allah akbar" as he blazed away at his victims? Oh, wait. He did that!

I am eternally grateful that this was the work of one man and not three as originally reported. If that had been the case, we'd have faced the fact that we were up against Jihadist cells inside the US military itself, but this is not much better. The more I learn about Major Hasan, the less I believe that he's mad. He is perfectly sane. He may not be a card-carrying Al Qaeda member (as far as we know), but he's bought into their sick dream and he's definitely a murderer and a traitor. If he lives to stand trial and he isn't put in the dock on a treason charge, then I have real doubts about our ability to win this war.

As far as Mr Obama is concerned. First, learn the difference between the "Congressional Medal of Honour" and the "President's Medal of Freedom". Second, no one "wins" the former. Third, when the medal in question is one you bestowed yourself, it is bad form to gush over the recipient, and fourth, if you regard sucking up to a pressure group to be more important than your primary job as commander in chief, I suggest you try another line of work.

And for Muslim "leaders" who are quick to condemn Major Hasan's methods, but not explicitly his goals, you aren't fooling anyone.

Update: Major Hasan's connection to the 9/11 terrorists. The "lone nutcase" theory is starting to look a bit thin.

Update: Mark Steyn on fears of a hypothetical atrocity. I love this parody headline:
British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow's Train Bombing