April 28, 2008

'An armed society society is a polite society'

I'm a Londoner who survived living in Houston, plays soccer in Harlem and often braves the sinister suburbs of northern New Jersey with my little girls (they seem strangely nonchalant),so I was struck by this article, America's 'safety catch' from the BBC's N.American editor:
Why is it then that so many Americans - and foreigners who come here - feel that the place is so, well, safe?

I have met incredulous British tourists who have been shocked to the core by the peacefulness of the place
A British man I met in Colorado recently told me he used to live in Kent but he moved to the American state of New Jersey and will not go home because it is, as he put it, "a gentler environment for bringing the kids up."

This is New Jersey. Home of the Sopranos.

Brits arriving in New York, hoping to avoid being slaughtered on day one of their shopping mission to Manhattan are, by day two, beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about. By day three they have had had the scales lifted from their eyes.

I have met incredulous British tourists who have been shocked to the core by the peacefulness of the place, the lack of the violent undercurrent so ubiquitous in British cities, even British market towns.
I confess a sneaky pleasure at the advertised edginess of London life, tho the truth is more humdrum.

H/T Biased BBC.

April 23, 2008

FOBs

Friends of Barack share a theme....blame America, damn America, bomb America. Maureen Dowd writes:
Asked about his friendly relationship with the former Weather Underground anarchist William Ayers — an association that The Wall Street Journal suggests could turn into the Swift Boat of 2008 given Ayers’s statement that “I don’t regret setting bombs; I feel we didn’t do enough” — Obama defended him with a line that only the eggheads orbiting his campaign could appreciate. Ayers, he said, is “a professor of English in Chicago.”

Maureen Dowd coyly omits that the source of the Ayers quote is an interview in the New York Times to publicise his book Fugitive Days. You can look it up, it's dated 9/11/2001.

April 21, 2008

The scum de la scum

1. The President has boss/intern sex, cigar sex, messy dress sex, oval sex in the Oral Office sex;
2. Commits perjury about it;
3. Admits it when his semen is dna'd;
4. Holds breakfast prayer meetings in the White House. "I have sinned. My truth is I'm a horny American." 
5. The pic is Rev. Goddamnamerica Wright stifling a giggle as Clinton demonstrates the Presidential sinning finger.
In providing the photograph to The New York Times, the Obama campaign appeared to be trying to divert some attention to the Clintons after a week in which Mr. Obama’s relationship with Mr. Wright has left him facing one of the biggest challenges of his campaign.
6. Michael Moore:
I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, "Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for 'spiritual counseling?' THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!"

But no, Obama won't throw that at her. It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be decent. She's been through enough hurt. And so he remains silent and takes the mud she throws in his face.
 America, I'm going to clap my hands and you will wake up. Clintons,Wright,Obama,Moore, these people are grotesques, bright, shining, strutting grotesques. It's not politics as normal, it's fart in your face farce. What do you need? Stick-on noses, clown shoes, Krusty the Clown as running mate? 

April 20, 2008

Gestank Gestalt

Schei├če! Factory farming is disgusting in every way, a black mark against homo sapiens ('sapiens' gadzooks!), but here's an angle on the horror. The Germans are pointing their muck at us and laughing about it!

Man:
An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada.

April 19, 2008

Londonistan

Anne posts on the election for Mayor of London in which I shall vote for Boris Johnson. Boris is a shambolic, intelligent, un-pc, conservative who laughs a lot and is the cause of mirth in others. Here's part of his election manifesto from the video 'Boris Johnson v Germany"


At issue in this election is whether is whether the Islamic bloc vote controls London politics as in "Suicide bomb backer runs Ken's campaign" - rather amazing in a city that's endured Islamic terrorism at close quarters. Livingstone is a fellow-traveller of Castro, Chavez, Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA who gets the votes of Moslems, homosexuals, public sector workers and trade unionists. This sceptred isle..

First Lady snippets

Michelle Obama
[She] lacks placidity, which is, actually, necessary. All first ladies, first spouses, should be like Denis Thatcher, slightly dazed, mildly inscrutable, utterly supportive. It is the only job in the world where "seems slightly drugged" is a positive job qualification. The key is to know you are not the drama, you do not draw the lightning, you are a background player who yet has deep, unseen power. (The "deep, unseen power" part keeps you serene and energized. The constant possibility of quiet revenge keeps one peppy.)
Michelle Obama
major in sociology and minor in African American studies at Princeton University, where she graduated cum laude with an Artium Baccalaureus in 1985. As part of her requirements for graduation, she wrote a thesis entitled, "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community." ...

Following law school, she was an associate at the Chicago office of the law firm Sidley Austin where she first met her husband. At the firm, she worked on marketing and intellectual property. Subsequently, she held public sector positions in the Chicago city government as an Assistant to the Mayor and Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development. In 1993, she became Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, a non-profit organization encouraging young people to work on social issues in nonprofit groups and government agencies
Cindy McCain
In Phoenix, she had been her high school's rodeo queen, sporting a cowboy hat complete with a crown. After earning education degrees at the University of Southern California (which Sen. McCain has called "University of Spoiled Children"), she became a special-needs teacher.

She also got involved in the beer distributorship started by her father. Art Pearce, who worked at his own family's company, a Coors distributor in Phoenix, frequently ran into her at industry events. "You could tell by her air that she was very proud of her family's business...."

In 1991, Mrs. McCain came across a girl in an orphanage in Bangladesh. Mother Teresa implored Mrs. McCain to take the baby with a severe cleft palate; the senator's wife did so without first telling her husband. The couple adopted the girl, named her Bridget, and has seen her through some dozen operations to repair her cleft palate and resolve other medical problems.
Michelle Obama
"And let me tell you something: For the first time in my adult lifetime I am really proud of my country."
Cindy McCain
"I am proud of my country."

April 16, 2008

Beyond parody..almost

4 spoons (skip the rest):


4 Yorkshiremen:

April 13, 2008

Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran

When Iran announced 3,000 centrifuges, I announced that Bush, who does not bluff, would bomb Iran. Mick demurred. Now Iran boasts of 6,000 centrifuges and there's a photo of a long range missile launch site. Crickets chirp.
Once, not so long ago, this kind of boast would elicit clear American declarations that Iran would never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. Everything, President Bush would say ominously, is on the table. This time he has been quiet. I wish I believed that it is the quiet before a storm of laser-guided action. It seems more likely that it is the abashed silence of an American president whose bluff has been called in front of the entire world.
Were Obama favourite for the Presidency, Israel's options would be: do nothing, wait till later and attack Iran in the face of an anti-Israel US Executive or attack Iran before November. Bush has the first and last choice without the existential consequences of getting it wrong. As long as McCain does well, Bush can leave Iran to the next President.

According to me Obama will be squished in the General, so Israel may prefer to wait till McCain is President.

April 06, 2008

Semper fi

Faithful to its traditions the New York Times has this long story about McCain's youngest son, Jimmy, just returned from serving in Iraq in the Marines. The piece is lightly smeared with glosses to slime the Times' worldview over a young man's service, but the net effect is a compelling case for McCain, his family and the war in Iraq. Here's the rub:
Out of the Public Eye

Mr. McCain has largely maintained a code of silence about his son, now a lance corporal, making only fleeting references to him in public both to protect him from becoming a prize target and avoid exploiting his service for political gain, according to friends. At the few campaign events where Lance Corporal McCain appeared last year, he was not introduced.

The McCains declined to be interviewed for this article, which the campaign requested not be published. “The McCain campaign objects strongly to this intrusion into the privacy of Senator McCain’s son,” Steve Schmidt, a campaign spokesman, said...
Do the Sulzbergers have children?

The view from my room


This is London now, but the white specks don't come from pigeons.

Oh well, there's snow business like global warming, I scoff not only because it isn't warming, nor because warming has not plausibly been shown to be man made, nor because the lingo shifts around, nor because it's brought to you by the same types who've turned science into dogma (y2k, hiv/aids, global cooling...), but because they don't act like people who are seeking the truth, sure of the science or experienced in risk. They act like a coalition of professionals conspiring against the laerty, priests imposing dogma on heretics, Dems pleasuring themselves by taking my money to dole out to their clients, and liberal fascists thrilled by coercion and thought-control. The irony is that I'd be glad were London or NYC to become emission free cycle zones for health, aesthetic and economic reasons - save for the agenda behind it.

The wished outcome may come out by informed consent, but that won't fill the religion hole that aligns modern elites to modern superstitions like iron filings in a magnetic field.

April 05, 2008

Sylvie Guillem

Last night I went to the ballet with one of my favourite daughters. We saw Sylvie Guillem with Russell Maliphant. This solo made a strong impression. The tempo picks up half way through:

Wright and wrong

Man:


and boy:


McCain was right originally to oppose MLK day, but that's another matter.

Bigfoot security

Why did the director of the Secret Service broadcast that John McCain has no Secret Service protection?
McCain, of Arizona, said in November that he would reject Secret Service protection if he won the Republican nomination and possibly even the White House. While he does use private security guards, he called the elaborate security procedures of the Secret Service an “inconvenience” and a “waste of taxpayers’ money.”
The simplest explanation is that the Secret Service is protecting its empire. That SOB should be fired and I trust McCain will do it.

Lest you think this mere bravado by McCain, in fact it's astute risk management. Bigfoot security magnifies risk by projecting the illusion of an unattainable, undesirable security clampdown and de-emphasizes initiative, unpredictability and profiling. It's the contrast between the effective Israeli approach to air travel security and the dumbass UK/USA methods.
"It's the inconvenience," McCain said. "It's the inconvenience it causes people. It's a waste of the taxpayers money. It's just everything I don't like."

McCain admitted that a modern American president can't live without Secret Service protection. But he said presidents have let the protection get out of hand.

He recalled a time during Bill Clinton's presidency, when Clinton and his wife, the first lady, both had events in New York City, each traveling with large security caravans. "The island of Manhattan was gridlocked," he recalled.

The security overkill, he said, causes presidents to work differently than they otherwise might, he said.

How should it work?

"You got a problem up on Capitol Hill? It's 12 blocks away, right?" McCain asked. "Alright. You hop in a car with tinted glass, and maybe one secret service guy with you. And you drive up. Okay? And you get out of the car, you walk into Sen. Harry Reid's office and you say, Harry..."

McCain recalled seeing pictures of Harry Truman walking, almost alone, along the streets of Washington while president.

"I will admit you can't do that," McCain said. "But you don't need 50 cars and SUV's full of people driving along, stopping traffic."
Ahem, excuse me while I clear my throat, I'll just take a sip of water here, ahem...... vote McCain!

April 04, 2008

Into The Wild

Into The Wild is Sean Penn's movie about Christopher McCandless who died from starvation in wild(ish) Alaska in 1992. Outside movies Penn cuts a ridiculous figure, full of standard issue liberal crap and ready to advance America's enemy du jour in Venezuela, Iraq or Iran. But it's a decent movie with some first-rate non-standard issue photography. Its sincerity just about floats above the bathos of McCandless' utter selfishness. Kudos to Penn for attempting to depict profound matters, tho, honestly, it falls short. It's hard to argue with this excellent essay by an Alaskan Park Ranger, conclusion:
Consider where he died. An abandoned bus. How did it get there? On a trail. If the bus could get into the place where it died, why couldn’t McCandless get out of the place where he died? The fact that he had to live in an old bus in the first place tells you a lot. Why didn’t he have an adequate shelter from the beginning? What would he have done if he hadn’t found the bus? A bag of rice and a sleeping bag do not constitute adequate gear and provisions for a long stay in the wilderness.
No experienced backcountry person would travel during the month of April. It is a time of transition from winter’s frozen rivers and hard packed snow with good traveling conditions into spring’s quagmire of mud and raging waters where even small creeks become impassible. Hungry bears come out of their dens with just one thing in mind—eating.

Furthermore, Chris McCandless poached a moose and then wasted it. He killed a magnificent animal superbly conditioned to survive the rigors of the Alaskan wild then, inexperienced in how to preserve meat without refrigeration (the Eskimos and Indians do it to this day), he watched 1500 pounds of meat rot away in front of him. He’s lucky the stench didn’t bring a grizzly bear to end his suffering earlier. And in the end, the moose died for nothing.
So what made the difference between McCandless and I fourteen years ago? Why am I alive and he is dead? Essentially, Chris McCandless committed suicide while I apprenticed myself to a career and a life that I wanted more badly than I can possibly describe in so short an essay.
In the end it's all true of director and subject - selfishness, idealism, courage, stupidity. This self-portrait found in his camera shows McCandless outside the bus where he died. Rest in peace, Chris McCandless.