~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

I'm buying a Weber grill just as soon as I can find my keys.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

A late night rumination on the perfect Amoretto mimosa

Take one can of frozen orange juice (I like to use Tropicana Twisters, especially the Orange-Strawberry-Kiwi) and throw the contents into a standard blender. Add four shots (six ounces) of Amoretto liquer. Pulse until smooth.

Pour into uncovered bowl and place into freezer at least a four hours before the party. Once party begins, fill martini glasses halfway with dry champagne and with an ice cream scoop, plop a round globe of frozen, orangey goodness into the glass and serve.

Your friends will either love you for your efforts, or run away screaming, "Froo-froo drinks! Froo-froo drinks! I need to do a keg-stand! STAT!"

Either way, it's always good to know where you stand with those freaky people you call your "friends" ya know?

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

God bless global warming

I've have to say that I've always been a Fall kind of guy. But the sole redeeming grace of Summer is a spectacular lightening storm... like the one outside right now. I feel a strange urge to put on a white lab coat and go running through the park screaming, "It's ALIIIIIIVE!"

But that could be dangerous. Then again, so is blogging during an electical storm, so what the hell.

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New blogroll addition

I've been enjoying Malkin's new video blog project, Hot Air, for a few weeks now. So I've added it to the blogroll. It features the long lost Allahpundit! Whom I sorely missed.

While I'm at it, are there any readers out there who want to recommend a blog for the Kadnine roll? I've never been one to maintain a monster blogroll, since I treat it more or less like my personal bookmark list. But I'm always willing to entertain suggestions...

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Today's must read

Mr. President? More like this, please. And keep 'em coming.

Revisionist History
Antiwar myths about Iraq, debunked.


Iraqis can participate in three historic elections, pass the most liberal constitution in the Arab world, and form a unity government despite terrorist attacks and provocations. Yet for some critics of the president, these are minor matters. Like swallows to Capistrano, they keep returning to the same allegations--the president misled the country in order to justify the Iraq war; his administration pressured intelligence agencies to bias their judgments; Saddam Hussein turned out to be no threat since he didn't possess weapons of mass destruction; and helping democracy take root in the Middle East was a postwar rationalization. The problem with these charges is that they are false and can be shown to be so--and yet people continue to believe, and spread, them. Let me examine each in turn:

[Empasis mine]

Wehner, deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House's Office of Strategic Initiatives, then procedes to demolish these myths utterly. And notes, "These, then, are the urban legends we must counter, else falsehoods become conventional wisdom." Well, to a large extent they already have become conventional wisdom, thanks to the steady drumbeat of doom and gloom in the press, as well as the silly antics of anti-war congress critters.

Stephen Spuriell calls this op-ed a good start.

Conservatives have been making these arguments over and over, but with this op-ed the White House has provided a keystone to which supporters of the administration's policy in Iraq can return whenever we hear one of these tired attacks dredged up. I hope we're seeing the beginning of a revitalized communications strategy within the White House.

I hope so, too.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Belated posts from the Kadnine draft archives

School has started, and I've been busy. I want to thank the regular readers of this blog for their comments, and apologize for the dearth of material lately.

So here goes, in one dump, all the posts that never quite made it to Kadnine:

The most famous dissident...

... of the 1980's was quite possibly Salmon Rushdie, living and writing in exile after the Ayatola of Iran declared a fatwa and offered a bounty upon his head.

Michelle advances the theory (video) that the mantle of courageous dissent has been taken up by muslim women, spearheaded by (amongst many others) this author, this professor, and this parliment member. Women warriors, Michelle calls them. It's true they have the most to lose in this fight against Islamism, and are deserving of our fullest support.

These women have not gotten much in the way of western press coverage. Familiarize yourself with their stories. And spread the word. These are the women who will win the war.

On mulch

I'd just like to state for the record...I mulch my own flower beds, mow and water my own lawn, paint my own house, patch my own drywall. So, I'm a little lost on the President's insistance that "shadow workers" are so vital to my economy.

Plus, I don't think we're doing Mexico any favors by absorbing their hardest workers, robbing Mexico of their go-getters. Sounds like a lose-lose situation to me.

Movie review: Double feature


There's $4.99 in Blockbuster rental fees and more than two hours of my life I'll never get back. You know, I'm really sorry that Anthony Swofford at age twenty didn't understand what the words "fungible oil suply" mean, and I'm sorry that he felt he made a mistake in joining the Corps, and I'm sorry that he only found solstice in the possibility of taking another human life in order to justify his own existance. But I don't want to watch him whine about his (literal) masterbatory self-pity for even a minute, let alone two-plus hours.

The only reason I rented and watched this abortion was so I could stop chopping off conversations with friends who had seen it with, "Based upon what I've heard, I don't plan to see it."

Well, now I've seen it... in all it's foul-mouthed glory. And all I can say is that it matches my own experience in Iraq by a factor of zero.

Chronicles of Narnia:

Loved it! No, seriously. I just might see the sequels in that concrete bunker some call the "movie theater" after renting this one. It was wonderful! There will be the inevitable comparisons to Lord of the Rings, of course, but Narnia holds its own.

Solid acting, faithful to the original novel (yes, liberties were taken, but nothing egregious in my opinion,) an all-around delight.

Late night rumination on tequilla conniseurship

In college I tried Cuervo Gold and for years I prefered Montezuma Aztec Gold. (It's crisper, lighter, and free of that cloying aftertaste, much like my favorite bourbon, Very Old Barton. Which as it turns out, is owned by the same company! It's a testament to their consistantly good product that I made the comparison before learning of the connection.) Plus, like Jagermeister, tequilla is often more than the sum of it's alcoholic parts. There's herbs in there just waiting to mess with your head, ya know?

But in light of my recent introduction to the stuff, I have to say that Patron is hands down the finest tequilla on Earth. And by that I mean the finest I've tried, being as I was, weened on Cuervo and Aztec Gold. Don Eduardo is a close second, Once described by a good friend of mine as being, "cool on the lips, cool on the tongue, cool going down, but then there's this slow explosion of warmth in the belly" and trust me, he's right. Patron combines the best of both worlds: It's light sippin' tequilla best put back in the cabinet once the party gets started. Because at $30 for 375 ml... well, it's not like I'm made of money.

On the socialist leanings of Josh Rushing

You remember the former Marine Captain Josh Rushing, who left active duty and later joined the yet-to-be-launched Al-Jazeera International?

Josh keeps raising red flags about his loyalties, even before the official launch of Al-Jazeera International:

Al Jazeera liaison lectures at UT He used to be the American face to the Arab world. Now, he is the face of Al Jazeera International.

Josh Rushing, 14-year Marine Corps veteran, addressed a near-capacity audience at the International House Tuesday night. Even WATE-6 was on hand to hear the former captain speak.


According to Rushing, he could see things in a way no one else could from his position.

“I was inside all three organizations [the Pentagon, the White House and Al Jazeera]. No one else had that unique vantage point,” he said.

Rushing gained prominence after the release of “Control Room” at the Sundance Film Festival. Due to his role as liaison, he became an unintentional star in the independent film exploring Al Jazeera.


The Pentagon ordered him not to speak about the film because officials did not want it to appear the Marine Corps endorsed it, Rushing said.

Assuming these quotes are accurate, "triple-insider" Rushing seems to relish the idea that "no one" can see things from his prospective.

In his Tuesday speech, Rushing stressed the importance of America’s relationship with Al Jazeera.

“Our national security is at stake in the way we choose to engage or not engage Al Jazeera,” he said. “Right now we are not engaging.”

The U.S. government has not handled Al Jazeera the way it should, he said.

“We didn’t empower Al Jazeera to find out information needed,” Rushing said. “They are credible to Arabs.”

It's true that the US Military and Al Jazeera do not see eye-to-eye. I find it troubling, though, that Mr. Unique Perspective is so quick to lay the blame at America's feet. Here's the other view.

Rushing said there are many misconceptions about Al Jazeera, like showing beheadings and communicating with the Web site aljazeera.com.

“They have never shown a beheading, nor will they,” he said. “Aljazeera.com has nothing to do with Al Jazeera the network. It is a very common word. It means island.”

It's true that Al Jazeera.com has no connection to Al Jazeera.net, the legitimate Al Jazeera (english) website. And it's true that the dot com site has traded on this confusion for the last several years. But while the real Al Jazeera has never shown beheadings, today's website (23 May 2006) has these frontpage stories listed:

- US troops killed Iraqis 'in cold blood'
- Albright: Bush is alienating Muslims
- Iraq under occupation
- OPINION: US military needs regime change
- INTERVIEW: "Muslims around the world would view the US as an evil power hell bent on ... tormenting Muslims"

Now where would I get the idea that Al Jazeera and America are at cross-purposes? Hmmmm?

Rushing feels U.S. news media have done a poor job of reporting the news, especially about the war, he said.

“[Fox News] has allowed the audience to shape the medium,” he said.

God forbid the unwashed masses dictate to our journalist-elite what they want to know about!

Rushing said that Al Jazeera is fully funded by Qatar, one of our strongest allies. It does not make much sense for people to say it’s an enemy of America, he said.

The problem is that people take issue with things they see on Al Jazeera, Rushing said.

“CNN shows the missile take off,” Rushing said. “Al Jazeera shows what happens when it lands ... it’s more than a puff of smoke on TV.”


It gives you a truly global perspective, he said. They can choose the stories to cover, and if they cover the same story, it will be from different points of view.

According to Rushing, being global is a major goal of Al Jazeera International.


“American news networks — they got to get the viewers so they can sell advertising. That’s what they are all about,” Rushing said. “For us, we don’t need advertising. We can go after whoever we want.”

In other words, "When I report, I am a citizen of the world." Except that, you know, he still gets his paycheck from Qatari government. It won't influence his unique perspective the way the US government influenced him in the Marines. That influence was completely above-board and in the open, but Qatar won't compomise his reporting secretly, no! This attitude, more than anything, is what disturbs me about Rushing's move to Al Jazeera.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

"Crazed Homeless Veteran" Smear raises its ugly head again

This shit makes me so angry I... I don't even have the words. Don't be surprised when Bin Laden references this Al-Reuters article in his next taped address. "This war makes your young soldiers into poor, mentally ill, drug-addled, homeless single mothers with no job skills," he'll solemnly report.

Some Iraq war vets go homeless after return to US

The nightmare of Iraq was bad enough for Vanessa Gamboa. Unprepared for combat beyond her basic training, the supply specialist soon found herself in a firefight, commanding a handful of clerks.


The battle, on a supply delivery run, ended without casualties, and it did little to steel Gamboa for what awaited her back home in Brooklyn.

When the single mother was discharged in April, after her second tour in Iraq, she was 24 and had little money and no place to live. She slept in her son's day-care center.

Gamboa is part of a small but growing trend among U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars -- homelessness.

On any given night the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) helps 200 to 250 of them, and more go uncounted. They are among nearly 200,000 homeless veterans in America, largely from the Vietnam War.

Advocates say the number of homeless veterans is certain to grow, just as it did in the years following the Vietnam and Gulf wars, as a consequence of the stresses of war and inadequate job training.

Jesus wept. They don't even try to disguise their anti-war bias. But hey! They support the troops! They support those tragic, broken, homeless troopers.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Another late night rumination on whiskey connoisseurship


... No, really. I'm okay!

UPDATE: This cool, tile floor is oddly soothing.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The antidote to Jarhead

The relationship between the US Marine and his rifle is indeed something profound. But I'm deeply unsatisfied with most efforts to convey the nature of that relationship to civillians. The Creed of a US Marine...

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine...

... has been referenced many times, most recently in the movie Jarhead, which I recently rented, only to be as disappointed as I thought I'd be. I've never been happy with these dark and cynical portrayals of the Marine/rifle connection. Yes, war is strenuous. Yes, war is debilitating in it's demand for constant vigilance. But marksmanship is something else as well. Something zen-like. Something that's readily accessible to civillians. Elizabeth Keenan has put her finger on the connection in this wonderful article in TIME Pacific Magazine:

Trigger Happiness
New to shooting, a TIME writer learns respect for guns and for the marksman's art

[...]When I tell friends about my new interest (O.K., obsession), the conversation chills. It's as if I've taken up voodoo: they'll still talk to me, just not about It. "I just don't like guns," says one. "Don't like the idea of them." In the days when the only unholstered guns I'd seen were in the movies, I might have said the same. Guns for me equaled danger and crime. Even after I started shooting, I had a lingering sense that the rifle or pistol, even the brass rounds I was pressing into its magazine, might explode at any moment. I still handle guns with caution—the first rule of firearms safety is to treat every gun as if it's loaded. But I now know that to call them evil, as Australian Prime Minister John Howard recently did, is a statement of good-hearted ignorance.

Guns aren't moral agents, they're machines—elegant, superbly efficient, made to fit the human hand. I now think it entirely possible that the American gunsmith John Moses Browning "sitteth," as his admirers say, "at the right hand of God." Shooting for sport isn't, as I once thought, the desperate outlet of sad Hemingway types, but a fiendishly difficult art. As Peter, a former naval officer, says, "It's got all the Zen you could want." Trying to hit a bullseye smaller than a saucer from a distance of 100 m or more—and do it over and over again—demands things of you, and gives things to you.

In a kind of "you catch more flies with honey" style of persuading, Keenan uses the overly kind label "good-hearted ignorance." I tend to use much more vitriolic language in describing gun control advocates. While the First Ammendment entitles them to their opinions of course, I take a dim view of their personal philosophy of living a gun-free life the moment it presumes to force that lifestyle on others. And here in the US, I've found the Second Ammendment to be a fairly reliable barometer of what a person thinks of the First.

But how persuasive Keenan is! Athletes often talk of "switching on their game" or "being in the zone" to describe that state of concentrated effort when performing at their peak. Sport shooting is no different, as Keenan learns. And shooting carries a deeper significance, as well. A sutbtle, solemn hint of the Marine/rifle relationship:

Golf has targets just as small and distant—and makes people just as obsessive. The difference with shooting is that, well, you do it with guns. And bullets. Which were invented for one purpose: war. [...] it's hard to shoot, even at a cartoon [target], and not be reminded of what you owe all the people who've served as targets on your behalf.

[Emphasis mine]

I encourage you to read the whole thing. It's a truly remarkable piece of writing. Keenan explains her conversion to shooting enthusiast with grace, wit, and sensitivity. In short, she's written the article I wish *I* had written, but that I lack the subtlty to deliver.

(Via: Tim Blair)

(Linked at the Mudville Gazette Open Post)

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Is nothing sacred anymore?

Have you seen this Aquafina commercial?

John Belushi is spinning in his grave fast enough to generate electricity. God only knows what desperate circumstances they found Ottis in to get him to agree to this abomination.

If they even think about touching The Blues Brothers... well, let's just say I won't be held responsible for my actions. No jury in the world...

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mocked by Team Satan

Generally speaking, terrorists can't shoot for shit. Zarqawi proves it on video here, while General Lynch dryly comments.

And if you missed Iowahawk's latest Zarkman riff the other day...

Yeah, I been gettin' all your email haterade. All y'all infidels be texting and emailing, and it's all like "yo Zarks where u at? Al Qaeda cut off your TypePad account? LOL!!!"

Hey cuz, act like you know. Like the Zarkman got time to be blogging this bitch with the Q1 decapitation reports overdue, and Fatima all up in my grille wantin’ money for the kids' summer martyr camp, and Team Satan sendin’ another crew of laser-guided "downsizing consultants" every freaking day.

... oh man! I'm still laughing.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Chrysler hates fags

You may have had the same reaction to the new Dodge Caliber commercial as I did. I thought, "Wow. Dodge undoubtedly spent too much money producing that rather lame effort." But according to Bob Garfield, it's much more sinister than that:

Is This Dodge 'Fairy' Commercial Actually Hate Speech in Disguise?

By Bob Garfield

Published: April 17, 2006 Faggot. Queer. Fairy. These are synonyms, epithets one and all disparaging gays -- or, more often, heterosexual men deemed insufficiently masculine. Let's call that Fact No. 1.

Macho brand
Fact No. 2: Dodge is marketing its new Caliber subcompact as a tough little car, as opposed to sissy little Civics, Corollas and the like. This comports with Dodge's long-cultivated macho image, as exemplified by the grunting, Aerosmith heavy-metal music tag punctuating every spot.

Fact No. 3 is that one of the introductory commercials from BBDO, Detroit, features the juxtaposition of a burly tough guy and his Doberman with a sweater-draped girlie man who is walking four little lap dogs. Fact No. 4 is that the only line of dialogue in the commercial is the burly dude exclaiming, "Silly little fairy!"

And Fact No. 5 -- the genuinely astonishing fact -- is that Daimler Chrysler asserts that none of the above is meant to invoke a sexual insult.

"Was it intentional? Absolutely not," says spokeswoman Suraya Bliss, whose voice quavered as she spoke, perhaps because she was choking on the corporate line. "It's not the kind of company we are."

Preposterous corporate line
But, of course, the corporate line is preposterous. Much more likely is that someone at BBDO realized they could call people fairies if their commercial depicted an actual fairy. Get it! How subversive! A flitty little fairy! We can imagine the hilarity in the cubicle as they contrived a way to set up the "Not for sissies" selling proposition based on an innocent magical fantasy. The result-mean-spirited but undeniably crafty...

[Emphasis mine and in the interest of full disclosure, I drive a Dodge Neon]

Bob, who wasn't present at the brainstorming session that came up with the ad concept, wasn't present when ad executives approved the idea, wasn't there when it was pitched to Dodge, didn't hear the water cooler banter on the film set, and despite knowing absolutely nothing of Dodge's intent... nevertheless he knows, just knows, that Dodge is a queer hatin' organization, constantly scheming behind the scenes for ways to cleverly mock the homosexual community.

Such are the consequences of PC politics. When the listener lays claim as the sole legitimate interpreter of the speaker's intent, this article is the outrageous result. Bob Garfield has refused to accept Dodge's protestations of innocent intent, has countered with accusations of "mean-spirited craftiness," and in doing so has attempted a bold-faced power grab over the speech of others. And I'm calling him on it.

(Via: KisP)

UPDATE: See for yourself the pernicious, gay hatin' mendacity!

UPDATE: The author of the article in question, Bob Garfield himself, weighs in as the first commenter. Check it out.

Also, check out David Kiley of Business Week Online, who "seldom agrees with Garfield" but is "inclined to agree" with him this time. But he notes:

I read the comments on Adage.com, though, and if the posters, especially those who said they were gay, were legit, then maybe Garfield, and Kiley, [I'm attributing this quote to Kiley. I'm new to his website] are all wet.

This is typical of the posts on Garfield's column: "I appreciate the sensitivity to the issue, but as a gay man in the business, I don't see any level of homophobic undertones in the ad at all. Now, if there were any stereotypes of swishy walks or limp wrists once the guy is transformed, than I'd be emailing HRC, BBDO and Dodge. Think it's a cute ad. Jeff New York City –NEW YORK, NY"

It's getting harder to know where those political and social lines are.

To me, the lines are clear. I want to nip Garfield's disingenuous claim to victimhood based on the false presumption of malicious intent in the bud. Really, that's all there is to it. Though I have to say I'm heartened to hear that Kiley "would have panned the ad for being lame on many fronts..." Whew! Here I thought I was the only one who would've used the word lame to describe this ad!

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Jean-Francois Revel...

... has died.

I've yet to read his books, though they're on my short list. His very existance was only recently brought to my attention by Bruce Bawer:

It is not only in the U.S. and Britain that the bookstores have lately been filled with books harshly critical of America—and that responses to these works have begun to appear. France has seen a spate of volumes with titles like Dangereuse Amérique and Après l’empire: Essai sur la décomposition du système américain; Thierry Meyssan’s L’effroyable imposture, which argues that no plane struck the Pentagon on 9/11, was a bestseller. So, however, was Jean-François Revel’s L’obsession anti-américaine, which has now appeared in the U.S. as Anti-Americanism. Revel’s earliest opinions of America, he tells us, were formed by “the European press, which means that my judgment was unfavorable”; yet those opinions changed when he actually visited America during the Vietnam War. Decades later, he notes wryly, the European media still employ the same misrepresentations as they did back then, depicting an America plagued by severe poverty, extreme inequality, “no unemployment benefits, no retirement, no assistance for the destitute,” and medical care and university education only for the rich. “Europeans firmly believe this caricature,” Revel writes, “because it is repeated every day by the elites.” The centrality of this point to the entire topic of European anti-Americanism cannot, in my view, be overstated.

Item by item, Revel refutes the European media’s picture of America. Poverty? An American at the poverty level has about the same standard of living as the average citizen of Greece or Portugal. (Indeed, according to a recent study by the Swedish Trade Research Institute, Swedes have a slightly lower standard of living than black Americans—a devastating statistic for Scandinavians, for whom both the unparalleled success of their own welfare economies and the pitiable poverty of blacks in the racist U.S. are articles of faith.) Crime? America has grown safer, while the French ignore their own rising crime levels, a consequence of “permanent street warfare” by Muslim immigrants “who don’t consider themselves subject to the laws of the land” and of authorities with “anti-law-and-order ideologies.” Revel contrasts France’s increasingly problematic division into ethnic Frenchmen and unassimilated immigrants with “America’s truly diverse, multifaceted society,” pointing out that “the success and originality of American integration stems precisely from the fact that immigrants’ descendants can perpetuate their ancestral cultures while thinking of themselves as American citizens in the fullest sense.” Bingo.

Bingo, indeed. Rest easy Jean-Francois Revel. Take comfort in that your observations did not entirely fall on deaf ears.

(Via: Michelle)

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