Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Holy crap.

I mean, I like to shoot guns as much as the next guy, but this is ridiculous.

Bruce Lee Statue Unveiled!

As you may recall, the Bosnian town of Mostar resolved to erect a statue of Bruce Lee to unite the clans--Bruce Lee is a symbol all in Mostar respected and could get behind. Well, here is the "monument to universal justice that Mostar needs more than any other city I know.":

Catherine the Great? Pinyan the Horny! Tait the convicted!!

Man Pleads Guilty in Horse-Sex Case:
James Michael Tait, 54, of Enumclaw, was accused of entering a barn without the owner's permission. Tait admitted to officers that he entered a neighboring barn last July with friend Kenneth Pinyan to have sex with a horse, charging papers said. Tait was videotaping the episode when Pinyan suffered internal injuries that led to his death.

Christmas spirit, Irish style

Over at blogh an seanchai, our Irish friend has a very good idea for what to get the person in your family that doesn't need any more crap for Christmas:
So why not tell your friends that you want the gift of a pig, or a hen, or a cow. You buy a voucher for the livestock unit, you give it to the object of your affections. The charity sends the livestock unit to a family in Africa so that they can become self-sustaining. That family gives the first off-spring from their livestock unit to the family next door. You don' t have to rent extra storage for the bluetooth-enabled juicer that is exactly like the last juicer you wish you could throw out.
I like a juicer, but a cow is better. Read the whole thing.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Yesterday, the fifth annual Tannerball festivus occurred. The lady above is on the shirts and the manual. In case you are interested, the namesake of this blog is a game invented by the wife and me some years ago. It involves a Nerf Vortex--Peyton Manning Howler model football, a tire swing, throwing the ball over our house, and many injuries to the participants. Good fun. Photos will be posted periodically.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Say hello to my little friend

My college roommate, Ciaran Padraig O'Buachalla (aka Ciaran Buckley), has a blog you should check out. Not only does he link to Tannerball, but he has great insights like the following:
Not so in Ireland, where financial institutions have made a killing in recent years by offering capital-guarantee investment products to consumers. The investing public have ignored exorbitant management fees, dividend-shorn returns and deceptive guarantees, simply because investment brokers told them that they were guaranteed to not lose any money.

Even though the capuchin monkey's money instincts are broadly similar to humans, the tufted primate is superior in one important respect. If a banker in a three-piece suit climbed into a monkey cage to claim a few grapes as management fees, the monkey would have the good sense to bite him. Not so the Irish retail investor.
Scroll around--you will find some good stuff there. And the name is Gaelic, so you can say "I read a blog that's called some shit in Gaelic!" and impress your friends. Plus, it's cool that the Gaelic for "blog" turns out to be "blogh." Who knew?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Why, I ask...

President Bush, in his Veteran's Day speech yesterday, has decided it's time to stop pussy-footing around:
Our debate at home must also be fair-minded. One of the hallmarks of a free society and what makes our country strong is that our political leaders can discuss their differences openly, even in times of war. When I made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, Congress approved it with strong bipartisan support. I also recognize that some of our fellow citizens and elected officials didn't support the liberation of Iraq. And that is their right, and I respect it. As President and Commander in Chief, I accept the responsibilities, and the criticisms, and the consequences that come with such a solemn decision.

While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs. They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein. They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. Many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his position to support the resolution in the Congress this way: 'When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security.' That's why more than 100 Democrats in the House and the Senate, who had access to the same intelligence voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.

The stakes in the global War on Terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges.

As you can tell, my main question for the "BUSH LIED, PEOPLE DIED" crowd is the following: if Bush misled us into the Iraq war, and the entire enterprise is based upon lies and distortions about the intelligence, well, WHY DID HE DO THAT? I will sit patiently and listen, and then ask whether the person telling me about this has read Norman Podhoretz' article in Commentary, where he does the research so you don't have to:
Yet even stipulating—which I do only for the sake of argument—that no weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq in the period leading up to the invasion, it defies all reason to think that Bush was lying when he asserted that they did. To lie means to say something one knows to be false. But it is as close to certainty as we can get that Bush believed in the truth of what he was saying about WMD in Iraq.

How indeed could it have been otherwise? George Tenet, his own CIA director, assured him that the case was “a slam dunk.” This phrase would later become notorious, but in using it, Tenet had the backing of all fifteen agencies involved in gathering intelligence for the United States. In the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of 2002, where their collective views were summarized, one of the conclusions offered with “high confidence” was that

Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.

The intelligence agencies of Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Israel, and—yes—France all agreed with this judgment. And even Hans Blix—who headed the UN team of inspectors trying to determine whether Saddam had complied with the demands of the Security Council that he get rid of the weapons of mass destruction he was known to have had in the past—lent further credibility to the case in a report he issued only a few months before the invasion:

The discovery of a number of 122-mm chemical rocket warheads in a bunker at a storage depot 170 km southwest of Baghdad was much publicized. This was a relatively new bunker, and therefore the rockets must have been moved there in the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such munitions. . . . They could also be the tip of a submerged iceberg. The discovery of a few rockets does not resolve but rather points to the issue of several thousands of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for.
And then I will smile, knowing I have the truth on my side.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Amen, brother!

True dat:
My alarm went off at seven this morning, just as the sun was starting to peek in through my window. I thought about hitting the snooze, but I had someplace important to be. I shaved, showered, put on my favorite pair of comfy boxers. Then I got dressed, taking special care as I strapped on the explosive vest that I wore under my shirt. Then I went out and blew up a whole bunch of people.

Oh, no, wait. I didn’t. Because I’m not a sick, murdering fuck.

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"Toilet Man Willing to Take Polygraph Test"

Toilet Man!!! Really, I can't make this shit up.
Bob Dougherty sued the home-improvement chain last month, alleging employees at a Louisville, Colo., store ignored his pleas for help after he got stuck on a restroom toilet seat in October 2003. . .

Dougherty's suit against Home Depot, filed late last month in Boulder County District Court, seeks $3 million. It claims he suffered pain, humiliation and financial loss.

The lawsuit said Dougherty, 57, was recovering from heart bypass surgery at the time and thought he was having a heart attack.

Dougherty said he suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome, nightmares and diabetes after the incident.

"It's not about the money. I want my health back. I want to be back to normal," he said. "I want to make sure this doesn't happen to anybody ever, ever again."

I am betting

This asshole won't be going to his Marine reunion. From an industrious and skeptical reporter, we find out that:
In scores of newspaper, magazine and broadcast stories, at a Canadian immigration hearing and in numerous speeches across the country, Massey has told how he and other Marines recklessly, sometimes intentionally, killed dozens of innocent Iraqi civilians.

Among his claims:

Marines fired on and killed peaceful Iraqi protesters.

Americans shot a 4-year-old Iraqi girl in the head.

A tractor-trailer was filled with the bodies of civilian men, women and children killed by American artillery.

Massey's claims have gained him celebrity. Last month, Massey's book, "Kill, Kill, Kill," was released in France. His allegations have been reported in nationwide publications such as USA Today, as well as numerous broadcast reports. Earlier this year, he joined the anti-war bus tour of Cindy Sheehan, and he's spoken at Cornell and Syracuse universities, among others.

News organizations worldwide published or broadcast Massey's claims without any corroboration and in most cases without investigation. Outside of the Marines, almost no one has seriously questioned whether Massey, a 12-year veteran who was honorably discharged, was telling the truth.

He wasn't.

Each of his claims is either demonstrably false or exaggerated - according to his fellow Marines, Massey's own admissions, and the five journalists who were embedded with Massey's unit, including a reporter and photographer from the Post-Dispatch and reporters from The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal.
What a peach. Don't you just love a guy slandering his fellow Marines, getting lots of press coverage for it, and then being found to be a gigantic, big, fat liar?
One of the checkpoint shootings is apparently the basis for one of most poignant recollections claimed by Massey in numerous speeches and interviews: The shooting of a 4-year-old girl in the head.

While touring with Sheehan in Montgomery, Ala., he told of seeing the girl's body. "You can't take it back," he said, according to the local newspaper.

But in the interview with the Post-Dispatch, Massey admitted that he never had seen the girl.

"Lima Company was involved in a shooting at a checkpoint," he said. "My platoon was ordered to another area before the victims were removed from the car. The other Marines told me that a 4-year-old girl had killed."

Girls unharmed

No 4-year-old died in the incident or was even wounded, according to witnesses including a Post-Dispatch photographer at the scene who filed photos of the incident that were published in the newspaper.

Two women and two girls were in the car that the Marines shot when it failed to stop at a checkpoint and continued to approach the Marines at high speed, said Maj. George Schreffler, then the commanding officer of Lima Company. Schreffler was there at the time.

Petty Officer Justin Purviance, who treated them, said the two women were wounded but survived. The girls were unharmed, he said.
Is 15 minutes of fame worth this? He must not like to sleep. And the main-stream media that lapped up his story like a thirsty pit bull? Read this. The truth suffers, indeed.

They keep saying there were no WMD

and, apparently, they aren't telling us the whole truth.
Then energy secretary Spencer Abraham hailed the operation as “a major achievement.” Polish general Marek Dukaczewski, Poland’s military intelligence chief, revealed that troops in the Polish-patrolled sector of Iraq had received tips from Iraqis that chemical weapons were sold to terrorists on the black market. The weapons had been buried to avoid detection, the general told the BBC. Polish military officials bought seventeen chemical-weapons warheads from Iraqis for $5,000 each to keep them from Iraq’s so-called insurgents. “An attack with such weapons would be hard to imagine,” the general said. “All of our activity was accelerated at appropriating these warheads.” Tests confirmed that some of the warheads contained cyclosarin, a nerve agent five times more powerful than sarin. These chemical weapons were supposed to have been completely destroyed during the 1991–1998 UN inspector regime. Clearly, some WMD survived.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Wake up folks! Something's happening here. . .

and it is exactly clear.France is now on fire--why? Mark Steyn:
''French youths,'' huh? You mean Pierre and Jacques and Marcel and Alphonse? Granted that most of the "youths" are technically citizens of the French Republic, it doesn't take much time in les banlieus of Paris to discover that the rioters do not think of their primary identity as ''French'': They're young men from North Africa growing ever more estranged from the broader community with each passing year and wedded ever more intensely to an assertive Muslim identity more implacable than anything you're likely to find in the Middle East. After four somnolent years, it turns out finally that there really is an explosive ''Arab street,'' but it's in Clichy-sous-Bois.

The notion that Texas neocon arrogance was responsible for frosting up trans-Atlantic relations was always preposterous, even for someone as complacent and blinkered as John Kerry. If you had millions of seething unassimilated Muslim youths in lawless suburbs ringing every major city, would you be so eager to send your troops into an Arab country fighting alongside the Americans? For half a decade, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They seem to have lost that battle. Unlike America's Europhiles, France's Arab street correctly identified Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness.
Read the whole thing, of course.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Hell hath no fury . . .

like a woman scorned (who has superglue):
[T]he two broke up in 1999 after dating for 10 months, and he began dating someone else. After he broke up with his other girlfriend, Slaby said, O'Toole invited him over to her home on May 7, 2000, where he fell asleep.

He said he woke up to find that O'Toole had used Super Glue to stick his genitals to his abdomen, glued his buttocks together and spelled out a profanity on his back in nail polish.

Slaby said O'Toole told him that her actions were payback for their breakup, and he had to walk a mile to a gas station to call for help. He pressed charges and O'Toole pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and spent six months on probation.

But O'Toole's attorney contended that the incident was nothing more than part of the couple's adventurous, consensual sex.

Tell it, man, tell it!

Victor Davis Hanson is at it again.
Our elite commitment to multiculturalism also hamstrings us from taking the needed security steps. For 30 years, our schools have pounded home the creed that all cultures are of equal merit—or, more accurately perhaps, that no culture is worse than the West’s. Millions of Americans consequently aren’t sure whether radical Islam is just another legitimate alternative to the dominant Western narrative. Typical of this mind-set, UCLA English professor Saree Makdisi, excusing the London subway terrorism, wrote in the Los Angeles Times that deliberately butchering commuters is no worse than accidentally killing civilians while targeting terrorists in a war zone. “American and British media have devoted hours to wondering what would drive a seemingly normal young Muslim to destroy himself and others,” Makdisi said. “No one has paused to ask what would cause a seemingly normal young Christian or Jew to strap himself into a warplane and drop bombs on a village, knowing full well his bombs will inevitably kill civilians (and, of course, soldiers).”

It is a tremendous historical irony that America’s liberal Left, embracing moral equivalence in this fashion, has all but refused to denounce the illiberal ideology of our enemies—an ideology that supports polygamy, gender apartheid, religious intolerance, hatred of homosexuals, and patriarchy. Sometimes, the terrorists even win outright praise: perhaps the most popular filmmaker of election year 2004 was Michael Moore, who celebrated the suicide bombers and terrorists of Iraq as “minutemen” akin to our own Founding Fathers.
Read it all.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Haven't read the book. . .

but I have read the interview. Read it all and be disabused of the myths surrounding Iraq. (Sorry about linking NRO twice in one day--it had to be done).
When I investigated the 100,000 dead-civilians claim, I was surprised at how quickly it fell apart. The 100,000 figure is based on a single study in a British medical journal published just days before the 2004 elections. The authors were open about their anti-Bush bias. They got the 100,000 by knocking on doors in 33 neighborhoods across Iraq. They simply asked Iraqis how many civilian deaths they knew about. They did not take any steps to avoid double counting. They didn't demand any proof, such as a funeral notice or a newspaper clipping. Instead they decided to just trust Iraqis to give them straight dope. So if you interview Baghdad Bob you know what kind of answers you're going to get. In that chapter, I also uncovered four other major technical flaws with that study. The 100,000 dead civilians claim is provably false.

Why don't we hear more of this?

You know--interesting and good news from Iraq? I am afraid that lust for shadenfreude has replaced a desire to spread freedom and democracy on the part of the media.
We have been incredibly fortunate to have the privilege of serving here in Iraq. This has been one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. We have done all we could possibly do. We cleared innumerable roads of hazards and prevented countless loss of life. We were in the right place at the right time.

Everyone is grateful for the assignment and thankful for having survived to tell the stories. I want to thank everyone for your continuous support and encouragement regardless of political persuasion and opinion of the war. We couldn't have done it without you.
Read the whole thing.