Saturday, September 8, 2007
Groper-in-Chief Conan speaks:
Just what does a "moral basis" have to do with a political party? Besides the obvious jokes, shouldn't a party's platform be based on policy, laws & programs to be enacted, & the like? If you want "morality," please check w/ your spiritual advisor, not some greedy power-crazed legislator.
Cautioning against an incipient "bunker mentality," he urged the party to follow the lead of Democrats and invite independents to vote in primaries. Otherwise, he said in a clear reference to the summer's prolonged budget standoff, the party will deteriorate to such an extent that "our only remaining power is to say no."
"The Republican Party should stick to its core principles," said Mark Zappa, 48, a promotional business owner from Gilroy who said he was "very disturbed" by the governor's call to open the Republican Party to independent voters as the Democrats do.
"If you have to sway your beliefs just to satisfy society, you don't have a moral basis," Zappa said. "Does that mean you're
To the best of Just Another Blog's™ knowledge, the principled but stubborn Mr. Zappa is not related (closely, anyway) to any better known Zappas.
"They want this party to do something more about climate change than simply doubt it," he said. "If it is the policy of the Republican Party to ignore the great majority of the world's scientists . . . then that is a party at odds with the future."
Schwarzenegger also said voters "want us to work for comprehensive healthcare, not stand in its way."
"We will be on the losing end of history unless we realize that healthcare must be addressed," he said.
But, but...the profits!! Who will think of the profits?
The state party's fortunes have dwindled of late. Its coffers are empty. Members have questioned the competence of party leadership after some dubious hiring decisions. California's Republican congressional delegation has been embarrassed by ethics investigations. And the number of registered Republicans in California has dropped by 370,000 since 2005.There's a very good reason California Republican legislators have been known as "The Cavemen." Troglodytes is more like it.
UPDATED Link (11 September 2007 @ 0450 PDT): TNR has more poop on the whole California conservative thing.
Everything that America has produced in literature and music of enduring cultural value since the mid-20th century has come from Southerners who were raised in an environment that was still incompletely conquered by Yankee pragmatism. Whether our Southern bit of cultural residue will survive for much longer, and whether it can possibly do so without political separation from the American Empire, are questions that will probably be decided in the present rising generation.One can respond to that only w/ a resounding "Say what?" and perhaps a request for an example or two of this fine Southern culture. Or a definition of "enduring cultural value."
alicublog also provides, by the mention of Daniel Larison & his invocation of "Patriarch Anthimus," a chance to direct our
As Daniel Larison, a conservative writer and Orthodox convert who attends a Russian Orthodox Church in Chicago, says, "As a general rule, the sermons are going to be related to the gospel and that's about it. Political themes and political ideas don't come into sermons directly. That's not why people are there. They want to keep that as far away as possible."A Modest Proposal from The Editor: We find out exactly what is involved in this "hard-wired for religious belief" mutation, round up all those cursed therewith (and who curse us w/ its manifestations) and send them to the afterlife they so anxiously await. Now. Starting w/ Pope HitlerYouth & the Archbishop of Canterbury and proceeding East through every patriarch, metropolitan, imam, ayatollah, mullah & Hindu muckety-muck, right across the Pacific where we get every pastor & his flock. And any other cults we've forgotten.
I have no doubt he is in Iran. The Iran & Hezbollah complicity in 9/11 is now undeniable. Bin Laden has undoubtedly received medical care and safe haven inside Iran. It all comes down to Iran. But will our commander-in-chief gather courage to take it on? The only man among all presidential contenders is Rudy Giuliani. For the sake of this country and the world we desperately need him in the White House. Vote for Rudy and pray it is not too late.Uh,...yeah, because a fanatic Sunni would be a perfect fit in a country run by fanatic Shi'a. That's why 15 of the 19 high-jackers were Iranian. They weren't? Well, that proves it then. Those Hizbullahs & Iranians are so devious.
Ruslan Tokhchukov, EnragedSince1999.
P. S.: Ruslan, you think you're bad? Just Another Blog™ has been "enraged" since the early '60s. But we're still not crazy enough to vote for Rudy.
That would be William F. Buckley. Jr. From his syndicated column, Bill explains why Willard "Mittens" Romney is not a "flip-flopper."
We have to imagine that there were public men in the age we speak of who, giving thought to slavery, walked into an epiphany of the kind Gov. Romney claims to have walked into in the matter of abortion. Early utterances by Abraham Lincoln were ambiguous in the matter of slavery, and, of course, the principal draftsman of the Bill of Rights was a slave owner.
Isn’t it an obligation of some kind, in a society that yields to public discourse for judgments on the law, to permit a contender for high office to change his mind on basic issues without incurring the charge of hypocrite or opportunist?
Friday, September 7, 2007
Ron Suskind noted that the CIA analysis of the video led them to the consensus view that the tape was designed strategically to help President Bush win reelection in 2004. Deputy CIA director John E. McLaughlin noted at one meeting, "Bin Laden certainly did a nice favor today for the President." Suskind quoted Jami Miscik, CIA deputy associate director for intelligence and Alan Premel former DCI Task Force supervisor, as saying "Certainly, he would want Bush to keep doing what he’s doing for a few more years." (Robert Parry, CIA:
Osama Helped Bush in '04, Consortiumnews.com, July 4, 2006)
The 2004 tape boosted the popularity of American
President George W. Bush. President Bush opened up a six-point lead over his opponent Senator John Kerry in
the first opinion poll to include sampling taken after the videotape was broadcast. (Philip Sherwell, Bush takes a
six-point lead after new bin Laden tape, The Daily
"To conclude," bin Laden says, "I invite you to embrace Islam." He goes on to say: "There are no taxes in Islam, but rather there is a limited Zakaat [alms] totaling 2.5 percent."Hindrocket of Powerline's panties are crawling up his hinder:
It has never been plausible to suggest that the war in Iraq is anything other than fundamental to our conflict with al Qaeda and related groups; after this video, any such suggestion is impossible.
You know it, dimbulb. Why, when Bin Laden mouths Bush's lines, we know how important it must be to stay in Iraq, so the rest of the Muhammadan world can see how we're not trying to grab all their oil in some giant crusade.
Couple of interesting notes: The suggestion to convert to Islam is a Qu'ranic requirement; you are given a chance to convert before they come after you. And the beard color? Hair dye is an Islamic no-no, except when getting ready to commit some jihad, when it's thought to have a psychological effect.
Transcript of Bin Laden's latest attempt at evangelical Muhammadism here.
CNN gives us footage of the intro. Bin Laden's right, the most powerful nation on earth can't do shit to defend itself, because it's using a hammer to try to kill a fly, & all it's accomplishing is wrecking the living room. Anyone remember the Soviet Union? One of the reasons it's now the "former Soviet Union" is that it bankrupted itself & lost whatever confidence its people had in it trying to beat Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Now we're bogged down in Afghanistan & Iraq, and pouring billions into the money pit, as well as the lives, limbs, eyeballs & brains of American service people & contractors & many more Iraqis.
Thanks to Sadly, No! commenters bpower (for the Wikipedia link) paul (for the title idea) & John O for the violin reference. Actually, just click the S,N! link. The commentariat says all that needs to be said.
CBS2 New York reports no new threats from the"lion sheik."
Here's one of MSNBC analyzing it.
This is the first MSNBC report.
And the NBC Nightly News report, available here before you can see it (locally) on KNBC tonight @ 1830.
On Thursday, eight other members of the Chaser program and three hire car drivers were charged using new APEC powers for allegedly entering a restricted zone in real cars with Canadian flags.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
OK, it didn't embed well enough to play w/in this item, but if you click on the empty frame it will at least play in a separate window, & you won't be sent all the way to Slate. (Speaks well for you, Slate. Really well. Perhaps it's this "Brightcove" outfit that seems to be hosting Slate's videos. Remind us to avoid them in the future. YouTube/Google were able to solve their embedding problems. How long will it take you?)
The Two Ronnies: Doofus & Goofus
UPDATE (7 September 2007 @ 0345 PDT): Here's Dr. Ron, constitutionalist, w/ his 180º wrong take on that pesky ol' First Amendment. And the full version of the text mentioned in the second link. Here's a clue or two for you, Doc: Neither your nor my nor anyone else's taxes should pay for anything to do w/ religion. And if you're so fucking big on freedom & liberty, etc., why shouldn't we have a choice between bullshit hypocritical moralizing handed down from above, w/o recourse because it's been handed down from above, and putting our trust (such as it is, not our "faith") in a democratically elected, representative gov't.? Here's the big quote from the Doc, not original to him, but a common theme among the "no king but Jeezis" element:
Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government.Got that? "External" government is for you moral weaklings who don't know how to "govern" yourselves, because you don't spend your spare time being lectured about an invisible man in the sky and how "He" wants you to live. So, to go along w/ that unchanging, written in fire on stone tablets Constitution of ours (the one that never mentions "god" or a "creator") we can assume that Dr. P. thinks laws need not apply to white male property holders who go to church.
Orcinus, as is their wont, go into extensive detail about the doctor & his supporters. If you want links to far Reich-wingnuttia, you got 'em.
And a tip of the chapeau to ChrisV82 (for the Lew Rockwell.com link) & Svlad Jelly (for the Orcinus link) both of them commenting @ alicublog, where the proprietor has some things to say about Wednesday's Fox News Channel Republican Q & A session.
P. S.: Note the favicon on Doc Paul's website. Hmm.
UPDATE (9 September 2007 @ 2326 PDT): Said favicon was a white cross on a blue circle. It's now back to the generic Microsoft/Windows/IE "e." Did someone notice?
The L. A. Times report on Freddie Thompson, who officially, finally, threw his hat into the ring last night, on The Tonight Show, while avoiding Fox News' Republican Q & A session from New Hampshire (& also avoided some campaign finance reporting requirements by waiting until two days after Labor Day) has already been termed "must read" (at least by the guy who writes Today's Papers for Slate) so let's take a gander:
Freddie Dalton Thompson (Freddie was his legal name, appearing on birth and marriage certificates) was born in 1942 to a family less distinguished than the Lindseys. His grandparents had come off the farm to run a diner near the center of town. His father, Fletch, a used-car dealer, and mother, Ruth, a homemaker, had eighth-grade educations.
Though friends and family say they detected no racial animus in Fletch Thompson -- he had black customers during segregation, when other local businesses didn't -- he signed ads in local newspapers railing against communists and forced integration. An Oct. 21, 1968, newspaper ad signed by Fletch Thompson alone said: "Don't vote for George Wallace . . . if you believe you should let some long haired, atheistic Communist teach your child in college . . . if you believe you should have to bus your child all over the Country to balance the races. . . ."
Father and son remained close, but they disagreed politically that year. "Fred was definitely for Nixon," recalls Bill Crowder, chairman of the Nixon-Agnew campaign in Lawrence County. "He went to all the rallies with us."
Most died alone.As the poet Richard Meltzer put it: "You're born alone, you die alone."
Los Angeles County officials are investigating 16 deaths as heat-related.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Let's see if we can make it an even ten items published today.
"Right now, I don't know what role it played, but the fact that he became more religious at the end did set off alarms in my head," said Nowinski. "I had heard that Chris placed Bibles next to the body. That actually did raise red flags in my head, because … a few of our prior cases had become very religious,
where they had not been, at the end of their lives."
We rest our case, religious types. You're drain-bamaged. Hard-wired for religion, our ass. Mis-wired for religion is more like it.
"We certainly were aware, or have been made aware, of some issues that he was having, from some neighbors — of some strange behavior that was going on," Michael Benoit said. "He had started to wear a rosary around his neck … he wasn't all that religious a person."
A sudden shift toward spiritualty can be interpreted as the result of dementia.
No, she's not a typing otter, but that's the only picture on her site. Quite the woman of mystery, no year available either, but it's really nobody else's beeswax. Many happy returns (Still don't know what that means. Returning your gifts for cash?) & hope all stays on an even keel, for a long time.
Not that The Editor believes a word of it, even if he is one, but Virgos is teh best! Edsels, On The Road, Peabody, Bob Newhart, Raquel Welch (And Sophia Loren, we think. Dating ourselves much?) only prove it.
And something you probably won't find in the Times:
Kerouac Never Drove, So He Never Drove Alone
(Typesetting not necessarily as intended by the author, but that's what happens w/ internet devil-boxes. —The Editor)
Lily had clearly enjoyed the free bar, and things came to a head when megastar Madonna - who made a surprise appearance to present the Inspiration Award to her pal, interior designer David Collins - got up to make her speech.
Rebel Lily didn't stop talking - extremely loudly - throughout the entire six minutes that Madge was on the mic. Feeling tipsy: Lily Allen proved a little unsteady on her feet.
Clearly Lily didn't have enough fun at the GQ awards, so she decided to gate-crash the private - and secret - afterparty of Keira Knightley's movie Atonement in Claridges Hotel.
Lily was staying there last night and headed straight for the ballroom with her pal, TV presenter (and champion sourpuss)
The pair downed as many free drinks as they could find before deciding to cause havoc in the hotel, while a bemused Keira and boyfriend Rupert Friend looked on.
And who should the naughty pair bump into again but Madonna and Guy Ritchie, who were also at the hotel, trying to enjoy a quiet drink in the bar.
The sours said: “Madonna looked slightly disgusted and left shortly afterwards.” Badly behaved: hellraiser Lily Allen being told off for lighting up next to a ‘No Smoking’ sign. (Both photos & captions from Daily Mail.)
Amy enjoys the free alcohol at last night's Mercury Music Awards where her acoustic performance silenced the room. Her proud dad Mitch (far right) watched on. (Photo & caption: Daily Mail)
A retired colonel w/ intel & special forces experience (according to his "About Me," anyway, we don't trust anyone any more) expresses the common sense opinion that the Grand Air Power Scheme won't be successful, but that won't stop them from trying it. Good comments there, too.
Meanwhile, at the American Enterprise Institute, they're having themselves a festival of fantasy & alternate history next Monday, September 10th:
What if the American people and free people everywhere had come to recognize that since 9/11 the United States and its allies are engaged in a world war that pits civilization against terrorists and their state sponsors who wish to impose a new dark age? What would the world look like today? This speech will explore the development of, and describe, a war-winning strategy. This event is the beginning of a conversation to which everyone concerned about defending civilization and defeating evil is invited to contribute their ideas over the coming year.*
The speaker is the King of Alternate History, Newt Gingrich. Hey Newt, how 'bout an alternate history where you don't dump your cancer-stricken wife while she's in her hospital bed?The fun doesn't stop there, however. Newt's on from 1000 to 1100. From 1400-1530 you can catch the vile & poorly informed Michael Ledeen pimping his new book:
Iran has now taken its rightful place at the center of our debate on the war. Hardly a day goes by without new revelations about Iran’s penetration of Iraq either by supplying weapons, money, guidance, and intelligence to both Sunni and Shiite terrorists, or, in some cases, sending soldiers from the Quds Force--an elite unit within Iran’s Revolutionary Guard--to confront American and Iraqi forces. And in the background we hear the leitmotif of the Iranian nuclear program, which continues apace despite international sanctions and negotiations.Are you quivering yet? Maybe this inside info will get you going. And from April (so long ago it's pre-Just Another Blog™) The Sunday Telegraph asks the question as well. Also from the Telegraph, the Bush speech to the VFW somewhere threatening "nuclear holocaust." Oh, not us, they're the threateners. Well, that's different.
And we just heard Joe Scarborough on Mighty Sorry No Body Cares rattling the anti-Iranian saber: "They'll have nuclear weapons in a year & will use them to decimate Americans &, uh Israel." Not an exact quote, but a close paraphrase. Joe really is just a piece of sub-human redneck shit, and, while an opportunistic dilrod, really too stupid to have any original thoughts, let alone reject the conventional wisdom.
Personally, The Editor can barely type any more, his hands are so shaky from fear of Iranian Al-Qaeda Muzzies who want to slaughter cute little bunnies. At last, America speaks w/ one voice: "Get the nukes out, our skivvies are wet!!!"
*UPDATE (11 September 2007 @ 0420 PDT): TNR reports on Gingrich's speech. As do we.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
At a briefing at his Crawford ranch the day before the hurricane made landfall, Mr Bush was "gassed" after an 80-minute bike ride and asked no supplementary questions following a briefing from advisers. He merely assured them the federal government was prepared to help.Does it seem that whenever the current president is at his Crawford "ranch" he thinks he's left all responsibility in Washington, D. C., that Cheney (or someone) has been handed the official reins, as when Bush was under the ether having his colon checked a few months back? Case in point: the infamous "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U. S." Presidential Daily Briefing of 6 August 2001, to which Bush's response was alleged to be along the lines of: "OK, you've covered your ass." Or maybe his habit of "clearing brush" (or performing for a "brush clearing" photo op in an effort to appear Reaganesque) in his vacation month of August leaves him too "gassed" to grasp anything his handlers try to get through his thick, stubborn skull. Just Another Blog™ is advised that the typical Texas ranch or farm owner performs brush clearance in much cooler months. And by "performs brush clearance" we mean hires a bunch of "wetbacks" (as the colorful term goes) to do the job. Not that it makes any difference at the Bush spread. The place could be covered in shoulder high brush & it wouldn't matter at all. To the best of our knowledge, nothing is grown or raised there anyway, just an image cultivated. Dear Cowboy Leader is scared of horses, you know. And the ranch was purchased at the urging of Karl "Turdblossom" Rove, to make Bush look more Texan, and minimize his connection to the Northeastern power elites. Carlyle Group, anyone?
Does that all sound petty? Sure. But it's the little things that count, & that indicate what the larger picture is.
We go to the local fishwrapper again:
When Ford introduced the Edsel -- on Sept. 4, 1957 -- it was hailed as a car of the future. Named for Henry Ford's son Edsel, it offered powerful engines (including a 345-horsepower V8) and advanced technology, including push-button gear-shifting and self-adjusting brakes.Happy Birthday to the New Coke© of its day. It's now getting its revenge. Its production run was 110,000, an estimated five to six thousand are still on the roads, & the prices are astronomical. And poor Edsel Ford. Bad enough to be Henry Ford's only spawn, but then they name a car that became a joke after you. (Though a bit o' research indicates the original, human model died in 1943, beating his father to the Great Beyond by just under four years, unless Wikipedia is lying to us again.)
Despite generally positive reviews and a splashy launch campaign that featured Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong and other icons of the era, the Edsel was a nonstarter with buyers.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Casual acquaintance, would-be cult leader & astrology-believer The Divine Mr. M. (it's the fucking internet, what do you expect?) is nonetheless pretty well clued in to that which is happening about us in the world of today (horror, pain, stupidity, ignorance) which is why Just Another Blog™ checks him (his site, really) frequently. And he's found a couple of beauts.
Let's start w/ the "legitimate" (i. e., Mainstream Old Media, this particular example part of Rupert Murdoch's News International Group) TIMESONLINE, which reveals the Pentagon's "three day blitz" plan for Iran:
A voice of reason there, perhaps.
Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for “pinprick strikes” against Iran’s nuclear facilities. “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military,” he said.
President George Bush intensified the rhetoric against Iran last week, accusing Tehran of putting the Middle East “under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust”. He warned that the US and its allies would confront Iran “before it is too late”.
One Washington source said the “temperature was rising” inside the administration.
According to one well placed source, Washington believes it would be prudent to use rapid, overwhelming force, should military action become necessary.
Israel, which has warned it will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, has made its own preparations for airstrikes and is said to be ready to attack if the Americans back down.
But Debat believes the Pentagon’s plans for military action involve the use of so much force that they are unlikely to be used and would seriously stretch resources in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Although we're anxious to see if any of that nuclear winter stuff will cool off Southern California.
But enough of think tank jagoffs & the Old Media. Let's jump right into the New Media, and a report from someone on the ground (or the flight deck) from Daily Kos Diarist "Maccabee": CENSORSHIP UPDATE (2 September 2007 @ 2045): If you tried the link you noticed that DK has taken it down. We'll leave the parts we took (regretting we didn't take the entire item, 'though we did get most of it) and remind readers that Just Another Blog (From L. A.)™ has never made any claim that anything written or linked to on this "web log" is anything but the rantings of one sorry individual, & links he or she has posted to other, unverified sites. And here's a pertinent link to DK, & one to the New Yorker blog mentioned. And one for the item that started it all.
FINAL UPDATE: (4 September @ 0349) At last located the Google™ cache. We're just going to put the whole thing here, right below the photo of an LSO at work, no corrections to the original text. (Photo for illustrative purposes only.)
"We Are Going To Hit Iran. Bigtime"
Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 03:50:24 PM PDT
I have a friend who is an LSO on a carrier attack group that is planning and staging a strike group deployment into the Gulf of Hormuz. (LSO: Landing Signal Officer- she directs carrier aircraft while landing) She told me we are going to attack Iran. She said that all the Air Operation Planning and Asset Tasking are finished. That means that all the targets have been chosen, prioritized, and tasked to specific aircraft, bases, carriers, missile cruisers and so forth.
I asked her why she is telling me this.
Her answer was really amazing.
Maccabee's diary :: ::
She started in the Marines and after 8 years her term was up. She had served on a smaller Marine carrier, and found out through a friend knew there was an opening for a junior grade LSO in a training position on a supercarrier. She used the reference and the information and applied for a transfer to the United States Naval. Since she had experience landing F-18Cs and Cobra Gunships, and an unblemished combat record, she was ratcheted into the job, successfully changing from the Marines to the Navy. Her role is still aligned with the Marines since she generally is assigned to liason with the Marine units deploying off her carrier group.
Like most Marines and former Marines, she is largely apolitical. The fact is, most Marines are trigger pullers and most trigger pullers could care less who the President is. They simply want to be the tip of the sword when it comes to defending the country. She voted once in her life and otherwise was always in some forward post on the water during election season.
Something is wrong with the Navy and the Marines in her view. Always ready to go in harms way, Marines rarely ever question unless it’s a matter of tactics or honor. But something seems awry. Junior and senior officers are starting to grumble, roll their eyes in the hallways. The strain of deployments is beginning to hit every jot and tittle of the Marines and it’s beginning to seep into the daily conversation of Marines and Naval officers in command decision.
"I know this will sound crazy coming from a Naval officer", she said. "But we’re all just waiting for this administration to end. Things that happen at the senior officer level seem more and more to happen outside of the purview of XOs and other officers who typically have a say-so in daily combat and flight operations. Today, orders just come down from the mountaintop and there’s no questioning. In fact, there is no discussing it. I have seen more than one senior commander disappear and then three weeks later we find out that he has been replaced. That’s really weird. It’s also really weird because everyone who has disappeared has questioned whether or not we should be staging a massive attack on Iran."
"We’re not stupid. Most of the members of the fleet read well enough to know what is going on world-wise. We also realize that anyone who has any doubts is in danger of having a long military career yanked out from under them. Keep in mind that most of the people I serve with are happy to be a part of the global war on terror. It’s just that the touch points are what we see since we are the ones out here who are supposedly implementing this grand strategy. But when you liason with administration officials who don’t know that Iranians don’t speak Arabic and have no idea what Iranians live like, then you start having second thoughts about whether these Administration officials are even competent."
I asked her about the attack, how limited and so forth.
"I don’t think it’s limited at all. We are shipping in and assigning every damn Tomahawk we have in inventory. I think this is going to be massive and sudden, like thousands of targets. I believe that no American will know when it happens until after it happens. And whatever the consequences, whatever the consequences, they will have to be lived with. I am sure if my father knew I was telling someone in a news organization that we were about to launch a supposedly secret attack that it would be treason. But something inside me tells me to tell it anyway."
I asked her why she was suddenly so cynical.
"I have become cynical only recently. I also don’t believe anyone will be able to stop this. Bush has become something of an Emperor. He will give the command, and cruise missiles will fly and aircraft will fly and people will die, and yet few of us here are really able to cobble together a great explanation of why this is a good idea. Of course many of us can give you the 4H Club lecture on democracy in the Mid East. But if you asked any of the flight officers whether they have a clear idea of what the goal of this strike is, your answer would sound like something out of a think tank policy paper. But it’s not like Kosovo or when we relieved the tsunami victims. There everyone could tell you in a sentence what we were here doing."
"That’s what’s missing. A real sense of purpose. What’s missing is the answer to what the hell are we doing out here threatening this country with all this power? Last night in the galley, an ensign asked what right do we have to tell a sovereign nation that they can’t build a nuke. I mean the table got EF Hutton quiet. Not so much because the man was asking a question that was off culture. But that he was asking a good question. In fact, the discussion actually followed afterwards topside where someone in our group had to smoke a cigarette. The discussion was intelligent but also in lowered voices. It’s like we aren’t allowed to ask the questions that we always ask before combat. It’s almost as if the average seaman or soldier is doing all the policy work."
She had to hang up. She left by telling me that she believes the attack is a done deal. "It’s only a matter of time before their orders come and they will be sent to station and told to go to Red Alert. She said they were already practicing traps, FARP and FAST." (Trapping is the cat of catching the tension wires when landing on the carrier, FARP is Fleet Air Combat Maneuvering Readiness Program- practice dogfighting- and FAST is Fleet Air Superiority Training).
She seemed lost. The first time in my life I have ever heard her sound off rhythm, or unsure of why she is doing something. She knows that there is something rotten in the Naval Command and she, like many of her associates are just hoping that the election brings in someone new, some new situation, or something.
"Yes. We're gong to hit Iran, bigtime. Whatever political discussion that are going in is window dressing and perhaps even a red herring. I see what's going on below deck here in the hangars and weapons bays. And I have a sick feeling about how it's all going to turn out."
We have two or three carrier groups in the Persian Gulf, plans drawn up, & no one, it seems, can stop George Bush from doing anything he wants, which has previously seemed to be running a business into the ground (How are Poppy & his powerful, wealthy friends going to bail you out of this one, Georgie?) or mocking those his state of Texas is about to execute. Truly, this person makes Richard M(otherfucking) Nixon looking like a well-adjusted, rational being. Worst president ever? He could grab the coveted Worst Person Ever Award from the hands of the current co-holders, A. Hitler & Joe Stalin, if he goes ahead w/ this. But as an American, Just Another Blog™ likes to see things blowing up & other people suffering ("shock & awe") so let's hope there's some swell footage!!
Thank you, & Gawd Bless America.
VERACITY UPDATE: The Editor has found a detail that may indeed indicate this is less than truthful: "Last night in the galley, an ensign asked what right do we have to tell a sovereign nation that they can’t build a nuke." In the navy, one eats in the "mess." (Dining hall to you landlubbers.) Meals are prepared in the "galley." (What you know as a "kitchen.") Unless these officers were pulling double duty as cooks, that is an inaccuracy. Not a huge one, & we doubt that "Maccabee" was transcribing this from a recording, but it does start to raise doubts.
VERACITY UPDATE II (4 September 2007 @ 0440): Now that we have the entire item before us, we can take a good look at the whole thing. "Maccabee" isn't an outstanding writer, doesn't know much about naval air ops, & may not have been working from a transcription or recording of the conversation, although the quotes attributed to his friend the LSO scan pretty well. Most of our questions are about the first paragraphs that "Maccabee" wrote. We know there's no such thing as a "Marine carrier." It's a Navy amphibious assault ship, even if only Marine ground-support aircraft fly from it. And only Marine Corps helicopters & AV-8 "Harriers" fly off the LHDs & LHAs, not "F-18Cs." Actually, according to the Navy website we consulted, FA-18E/F Super Hornets & FA-18C/D Hornets, fly from the CVNs. (The big or "super" carriers, landlubbers.) And we're not sure about the whole thing of transferring from the Marines to the Navy. One might think that if she was qualified, the Marines wouldn't want to lose her, but while Just Another Blog™ knows a little more about Navy ships &amp;amp;amp; aircraft & Marine aircraft & their use than the average person, we don't know squat about BuPers & its Marine Corps equivalent. So, while we don't think much of "Maccabee's" writing, and do wonder if the alleged LSO said she was in the "galley," all other quibbles are w/ "Maccabee's" parts of the item. And we do wonder about being able to make a 'phone call (Cell 'phone? Satellite 'phone?) from a ship in a potential combat zone. Do look in the comments for a couple of notes from a commenter who seems to know his stuff, although we disagreed w/ his conclusions.