15 June 2007

El Chupacabra

This may be actual footage of an el chupacabra. It looks quite convincing.

Oh, and don't forget the Chupacabra Macarena.

14 June 2007

House Update

We finally have the crown moulding up in the office and we're doing the finishing touches on the trim.

As for the bathroom, the wallpaper is finally stripped (and the walls covered with primer), the toilet has been removed and the old linoleum (three layers thick) has been removed. Oh and bathroom was partly replumbed as well. Now we just have to wallpaper and put in the floor tile. Should be a cinch. ;)

"Post-Traumatic Iraq Syndrome"

Defeat in war damages societies quite out of proportion to what a rational calculation of cost would predict. The United States absorbed the loss in Vietnam quite easily on paper, for example, but the societal effects of defeat linger to this day. The Afghanistan debacle was an underrated contributor to Soviet malaise in the 1980s and a factor in perestroika, glasnost and eventually the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Defeats can have unintended, seemingly inexplicable consequences.

Or so says Prof. Fettweis of the Naval War College (he's apparently something of a "military strategy wonk" there). I've noted on a number of occassions that whetever else this war brings it will surely be one of the dominant themes of American politics for a generation. Which I think is rather unfortunate, since it is likely that its dominance will be more about fingerpointing than any actual discussion of the war itself. Which is why we need to take Prof. Fettweis' advice seriously (though I doubt that we will):

Either way, the Iraq syndrome is coming. We need to be prepared for the divisiveness, vitriol, self-doubt and recrimination that will be its symptoms. They will be the defining legacy of the Bush administration and neoconservatism's parting gift to America.

Do We Still Have Live MIAs In Viet Nam?

I ran across this article the other day looking for some information on the Khmer Rouge and thought I would share it. Note that the author - Sydney Schanberg - won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on U.S. involvement in Cambodia. The movie The Killing Fields is in the main about his life in Cambodia and that of his assistant Dith Pran.

Over the years, an abundance of evidence had come to light that the North Vietnamese, while returning 591 U.S. prisoners of war after the treaty signing, had held back many others as future bargaining chips for the $4 billion or more in war reparations that the Nixon administration had pledged. Hanoi didn't trust Washington to fulfill its promise without pressure. Similarly, Washington didn't trust Hanoi to return all the prisoners and carry out all the treaty provisions. The mistrust on both sides was merited. Hanoi held back prisoners and the U.S. provided no reconstruction funds.

BTW, in the article John Kerry doesn't come out smelling too sweet. I have to say that I'm surprised that I heard nothing of this in the 2004 campaign. That it apparently wasn't bigger news during the 2004 election might be an indication that the claims made in the article are crap. Still, Schanberg seems like a fairly credible author.

13 June 2007

Clearstream & Chirac

PARIS, June 13, 2007 (AFP) - The Paris prosecutors' office on Wednesday denied a newspaper report that former president Jacques Chirac has been summoned for questioning next week in connection with the so-called Clearstream political dirty tricks scandal.

Here is a timeline of the Clearstream affair.

A lot of folks have wondered when and/or if Chirac will be questioned about various political scandals which surfaced during his administration. Note that a sitting French President is immune from criminal investigations, charges, etc.

11 June 2007


The best "air instrument" scene in all of TV history.

Will You....

Hold This?

(Not worksafe.)

Animal Of The Day

Paradisaea minor or the Lesser Bird-of-Paradise.


At the end of the war Hitler lost server access because he was banned. It was his ultimate humilation.


BTW, the movie that they took this from, Downfall, is quite good.


Today is the 40th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia.

Prior to Loving interracial marriage remained illegal in the core Southern states. In the rest of the U.S. such laws had been taken off the books or made moot by state court decisions. Barring a Supreme Court's decision it is difficult to imagine what could quickly rid the rest of the states of such laws.

Henry Rollins

See Rollins' writing a thoughtful letter to Michael Chertoff here.

10 June 2007


Souviens Toi.

La mémoire est belle et terrible.

Some images of Oradour-sur-Glane from the opening scene of The World At War.

A New Legislature

PARIS, June 8, 2007 (AFP) - Reeling from Segolene Royal's defeat in the presidential race, France's Socialist Party (PS) faces the prospect of a humiliating wipe-out in this weekend's legislative elections which look set to deliver a huge majority for President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Only the lower house (the National Assembly) is directly elected in France. The Senate faces an indirect election by polling the local elected officials.

Anyway, the upcoming election of National Assembly won't - if predictions hold true - change who controls that body. If the PS really poorly however, it will mean even greater control for the UMP and those parties allied with it.