Friday, April 21, 2006

I Love International Politics

Not for the usual reasons, whatever they happen to be, but for little nuggets like the following that came from Russian President Putin today.

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Hardening its opposition to sanctions against Iran, Russia said on Friday only proof that the Islamic Republic was seeking atom bombs could justify consideration of such measures by the U.N. Security Council.

He wants proof. Well how about this little gem from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

Then on Thursday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Tehran was "presently conducting research" on the P-2 centrifuge, boasting that it would quadruple Iran's enrichment powers. The centrifuges are tall, thin machines that spin very fast to enrich, or concentrate, uranium's rare component, uranium 235, which can fuel nuclear reactors or atom bombs.

This comment follows others where he has threatened to blow Israel off the face of the earth. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he wants atomic weapons. How much more proof does Putin want?

My guess a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv might be proof enough, but since the Russians would probably enjoy such a sight they would still supply Iran with an endless supply of conventional weaponry.

Weapons that we are paying for every time we buy gas, but that is a topic for another entry.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Dumb Product Of The Year Award

Philips Electronics today announced it has patented a technology that would force TV viewers who own digital video recorders, Tivo devices, to watch commercials. Two minutes later they were handed the award for most assinine invention of the year. The two-minute delay in handing over the award was because the judge simply could not believe a company would invest money developing something that no consumer would want to buy.

According to this AP story, the technology could be built into TVs and set top boxes and would freeze the channel the commercial is on, thus forcing people to view it. I can think of a gajillion, seriously a gajillion, reasons why this ranks as one of the silliest ideas ever, but here are just a few.

1. People avoided commercials well before DVRs came along. It was called, channel surfing, going to the bathroom or heading to the fridge for a snack.

2. Would any consumer buy a product that was shown on a commercial they were forced to watch? I doubt it. Particularly when that commercial was presented through technology that bypassed the usefullness of my Tivo. Tivo being the greatest consumer electronic device ever created.

3. Finally, what person in their right mind would buy a TV or get a cable box that would force them to watch commercials? This leads to the next question. What TV maker or retailer would bother to make a TV that would alienate 99.5 percent of all consumers. The remaining .5 percent are those who work in the advertising business.

To me this announcement proves that Philips is living in the past. While I understand commercials and advertising are necessary evils, the days of three networks with limited options are long gone. You can no longer force a person to do anything when it comes to their TV viewing habits.

I suppose Philips will just have to toss this into its ever growing pile of dumb ideas.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Halt Or I Will Blow Myself Up

Appatantly was the cry of the suicide bomber who killed six in Tel Aviv over the weekend.

In what must be a first a Hamas spokesman described the attack as "an act of self-defense." The line came from a CBS Marketwatch story.

People carry guns, knives, clubs for defensive purposes. Has anyone ever left the house thinking, "Boy, will that mugger be surprised when I explode myself."

Immigration Quickie

Gateway Pundit posted a great quote from Teddy Roosevelt on how America should handle immigration.

While his thought is essentially Borg-like, immigrants must fully assimilate into our society, it is 100 percent accurate and it is this process that separates us from the Europeans. America needs a constant influx of people to retain its uniqueness. We also need strong and well enforced immigration laws that keep tabs on who is coming and going from our shores, but that is another argument.

However, on the other side of the pond a bizarre combination of multiculturalism and feelings of superiority are destroying Europe. This is an absolute statement, but in this case it is fact and not hyperbole. Every nation with an immigration problem suffers from the above mentioned situation. They cannot reconcile their liberal, we welcome all the world's people to their historical feeling that they are better then those they so recently ruled as colonial masters.

France is the greatest practitioner of this mind set, hell it even keeps telling the U.S. that we have no ability to handle international situations. The UK, Germany, Belgium and the rest are not far behind.

The joke is these countries cannot see the forest for the trees. They simply refuse to admit that their historical prejudices are creating a situation that will lead to an immigration disaster. The Muslim riots in France were the first sign of this trouble.

The U.S. has had its fair share of bigots and anti-immigrant types, but while these fools can cause temporary problems to newcomers they have never stopped an immigrant group from becoming Americans. Hard work and the realization that the U.S. will treat you properly no matter what creates a constant stream of good citizens.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Fast Food Does Not Make You Fat

No, don't run out and eat three Big Macs, that isn't the point of the headline.

There has been a lot on the web about fast food's effect on child obesity. A study between fast food available in some European countries and food here indicates their fast food is better. Mainly because of government involvement.

The problem isn't the food in the U.S. It's the parents that let their kids eat it all the time. Everyone knows Mickey D's and BK food is terrible for you, if tasty in small quantities. So if you let you kid eat it once a day they are going to turn into a porker.

The parents, the parents, the parents are responsible. Any parent that blames a store, restaraunt or the government is shunning their responsibility.

There is entirely to much sloughing off of parental responsibility today. Why? My guess is because being a parent is the hardest job in the world and many parents do not want to work that hard. So they feel someone else should take up the slack when it comes to teaching nutrition, sex, or about drugs and alcohol.

So the next time you see a fat pregnant teen with her drunk boyfriend on the street, let their parents know that they failed.

Shields Up!

No, that is not Captain Kirk telling Mr. Sulu to prepare for an attack. In fact, a new anti-missile technology developed by the Israelis called Trophy has practically the same effect for a tank or armored fighting vehicle as shields did for the Enterprise.

The system uses vehicle mounted radar to track an incoming RPG or anti-missile round and then release a countermeasure that destroys the explosive part of the incoming round. Fox News had some video of this, which has since been taken down, that showd in slowm motion the round disolving as it hit something invisible. The system's maker and the government, for good reason, are not saying what is deployed but according to the above link it has succesfully worked in hundreds of tests and General Dynamics will include it in upcoming tanks and AFV. There was no mention as to whether it could be retroffited into existing vehicles.

Considering that RPG rounds are the second biggest killer of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, this is a tremendous accomplishment. In addition, the old Soviet RPG can be found everywhere in the world and is still being manufactured in large numbers in the new Russia. So this defense will find a use for U.S. and Israeli soldiers for years to come. Hopefully, it will even be used on soft targets like trucks and Hummers.

It is also mentioned that the next generation of this technology could stop kinetic energy rounds, ie tank cannon rounds. If true the our tanks would be even more invulnerable then they are now.

Having your weapons proved powerless against your enemy should totally demoralize the enemy. Now if we could just come up with something to stop IEDs...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Not to Brag

I just wanted to point out that those who read Rear View Mirror can get basically the same opinion pieces that the Wall Street Journal runs, but days earlier.

I'm not going to say the writing is of the same standard, mine is better, but take a look at what Rear View had on potential US plans to bomb Iran and what OpinionJournal ran today.

Rear View Mirror


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Duke Lacrosse

Well, it seems the mob might have spoken a bit to soon in convicting the entire Duke lacrosse team as rapists.

DNA testing has found that no genetic material from the the 45 players implicated on, or in, the woman making the allegations. I stated a week or so ago that the mob that wanted to hang these guys should have waited until some hard evidence was accumulated before they called for the players to be carted off to jail.

The local district attorney has vowed to continue investigating, as he should, but the fact that no charges have been filed speaks volumes about what is really happening right now. If the attack did take place as stated then some DNA evidence should have been picked up. The woman said she did fight back against multiple attackers. That means that some place on here body, under her fingernails for example, should have turned up something from her attackers. Yet nothing was found.

For both legal and political reasons the DA has to keep investigating. In the rare instance that the players did attack her, but somehow managed to keep their DNA to themselves then the truth has to come out and the guilty parties punished. For all we know one of the attackers could come down with a case of the guilts and break open the case.

The political aspect of this situation also cannot be ignored. It is a case of white against black opinion. The city surrounding Duke is predominantly black and the Duke lacrosse team almost all white. If the team were given a free pass at this point who knows what the reaction would, rightly, be that not enough effort was put into the case.

All in all this situation shows that the court of public opinion is rarely correct and its is always better to wait for the experts to have their say before you jump to a conclusion.

France Surrenders, Again - -The follow Up

Thanks to GScobe for pointing out this Washington Post article that explains in great detail the problem facing the French government as it attempts to fix its broken employment system.

The article mirrors several points I made in my France Surrenders, Again post.

It is heartening to see a French success story, but at the same time to hear a guy say he is happy that the government welfare system is supporting him so he does not have to hit up his parents for cafe money is mindbogling. Where does he think the government gets the money that it gives him every month. From his father's pay check. His parent's are paying him, indirectly, so he has only had to work eight months out of the past eight years.

If I were his mom or dad I would give Mr. layabout a boot square in the pants and tell him not to let the door hit him in the ass as he leaves my house forever.

Seymour Hersh And Attacking Iran

The recent brouhaha created by Seymor Hersh in the New Yorker where he states the U.S. is possibly drawing up plans to nuke the pants off Iran have not only caused gasoline prices to jump $2 per barrel, but has kicked off a firestorm of criticism.

And this hot air is being spewed over nothing.

This is not a news story. The U.S. military has a plan somewhere in the Pentagon to attack every country on the face of the earth. Canada, Mexico, France, you name it. It's called contingency planning and the point of it is to be ready just in case something bizarre happens and for some reason we have to drop the 82nd Airborne into Portugal.

The fact that the military is dedicating resources to take out Iran's budding nuclear program is only news to those totally unfamiliar with how military institutions around the world operate. And of course those writers who want to sell magazines, like Hersch.

It takes a long time to draw up an operational plan for a major attack, so it only makes sense to have a staff do the work ahead of time. The same way a newspaper writes obituaries for famous people well before they die. How else can the New York Times have a full page of coverage on Jerry Garcia's death ready when he dies right before deadline. A paper has the whole thing ready to go "in the can," as we say in the business, then all you need is a graph explaining how the person finally died and you are good to go.

Without citing unamed sources or making one phone call I can tell you that there are plans for invading Iran, bombing Iran, nuking Iran and every imaginable combination of these three acts sitting in Donald Rumsfeld's desk draw.

Hersh and the New Yorker have done nothing more then help boost gasoline prices along with its circulation. To bad for the New Yorker that I can no longer afford my subscription because it costs me $30 to fill up my Saturn.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Illegal Aliens Out In Force Today

Oh right, not illegal aliens, undocumented workers or better yet plain old immigrants. Just like your grandfather from Ireland or Italian grandmother. Oh right, those immigrants came through Ellis Island or another immigration center and had to prove to the U.S. government that they deserved to come into this country. They had to fill out papers and officially be welcomed, unlike those who swam the Rio Grande and ducked past the Border Patrol in order to arrive at your town.

These crimminals were out in force across the country today rallying for the right to become Americans. For some reason federal immigration officials were not on hand with buses to round up those in the crowd who are not supposed to be in the country in the first place. I would have thought these rallies would have made for a perfect place to make a dent in the number of undocumented illegal aliens now in the U.S.

Instead the only government types were morons like Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy who were on hand to pander for votes, I mean lend support to the downtrodden crimminals looking to become American citizens.

The entire immigration situation is surreal. The people involved act as if it is their right to come to this country to work. They behave as if they are victims. And the joke is they are winning this fight. They are winning because the majority of our own elected officials will not stand up and enforce the law as it is written. Instead they worry about losing Latin votes.

If car thieves, bank robbers, drunk drivers and others who break the law were to get together en masse and protest I wonder if the government would cave in and give them amnesty? Maybe they should try it out, there is nothing to lose.

But what might be the craziest aspect of the immigration problem is how the illegals position those who want immigration laws enforced as being anti-immigration. They rolled out the race card painting those on the other side as bigots who want to shut down the immigration pipeline. Now, I'm sure there are those people out there, but the majority of the arguments I've read are more interested in controlling the influx of people, not shutting it off.

When this all finally winds down there is no doubt in my mind that the 12 million illegal aliens in the country will be given some type of waver to stay. After all, deporting 12 million people is a logistic impossibility. What has to be done at that point is build a real wall between the U.S. and the rest of Latin America. Incrase the legal number of aliens allowed in, but strictly enforce all immigration codes, deport those who come in from now on and prosecute corporations that hire illegals.

I doubt even this will happen because our politicians are to frightened to take a stand on any issue that might cost them a vote.

Well, welcoome to America. Good luck, you're going to need it.

France Surrenders, Again

It's getting hard to keep track of how many times the French have run up the white flag, but once again its government caved on an issue.

Here's a good roundup of the war and surrender activities at Gatewaypundit.

Not to wallow in hyperbole, but this might be the most egrarious case of economic stupidity ever. With all levels of unemployment running in the double digits, the French government actually tries something that might stimulate job growth and the youth of the country riot against the resolution. The new law would allow a person to be fired for any reason during their first two years on the job.

The illogic of their actions is enough to give Mr. Spock a headache. Something like 22 percent of French college graduates in their early 20s are unemployed. Companies refuse to hire anyone of that age because once they are in the door it's next to impossible to fire them. The end result is young people do not get hired.

So, in essence the French rioters were rioting to keep themselves unemployed.

They all get a healthy allowance from the government, at least enough to keep wine, bread and cheese on the table so the lazy person inside of me can see the reasoning behind the riots.

With the law shot down there is only one thing left for the French leadership to try. Cut off unemployment benefits for this segment of the population. With no money coming in I bet these kids change their minds pretty quick about what is important in life.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Iranian Super Weapons

I'm no rocket scientist or even a torpedo scientist, but two claims made by the Iranians during the past week sound awfully fishy.

This makes some sense considering the latest wonder weapon is a new ultra fast torpedo. According to Iranian military sources, the torpedo can travel at 223MPH and blow any warship in half. I didn't think anything could travel so fast underwater. From what I can find on the web nobody else can make something similar to what the Iranians claim. This DARPA report comes the closest. What really makes me think this is all a smoke screen is the Iranian code-name. Hoot, which Fox News said means Whale in Persian. Whales aren't fast. Name it something fast, barracuda, shark, dolphin, etc.

The other recent claim of a stealthy cruise missile with independently targetable warheads also seems beyond Iran's technical ability. The Fjr-3 was supposedly introduced during an on-going Iranian military excersize.

Based on nothing but my own common sense I think the Iranians are full of you know what. It would seem they are trying to ward off our navy by filling the airwaves with stories of superweapons that would destroy our ships. In some way this tactic is similar to what the Germans did with their "V" weapons. Nazi propaganda said the Allies would be destroyed by the V-1 and V-2. Except the Germans actually built and used them in combat. Luckily they simply were not as effected as the Nazis expected.

The one thing I will say in defense of the Iranians that they should promote whoever is in charge of its advertising department. Itis hard to dispute that a stealthy missile does not exist. After all how could the U.S. even see it on radar. Pretty slick.