Saturday, January 28, 2006

Apollo Fire

I remember lots of historical anniversaries, and it dawned on me this morning that I had forgotten to mark the anniversary of the 1967 Apollo 204 fire yesterday. I have posted on this once previously, and will not say more. A long-ago tragedy, forgotten by most, but not by me.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

You and What Navy ?

The incoming Conservative Party Canadian Prime Minister, Mr. Stephen Harper, no doubt seeking to burnish his nationalist credentials, and prove he’s not a US lapdog, stated today that he would stand by a campaign promise to make more use of the Canadian military to patrol the Northwest Passage, which Canada claims as territorial waters. The US disputes this claim. The US uses the Northwest Passage at times to shift submarines around in the northern wastes, to keep an eye on Russia.

Okay Mr. Harper, you’ve made your ritual demonstration of national independence. Hopefully you have the good sense not to be serious. German Prime Minister Prince Otto von Bismarck was once asked what he would do if the British Army invaded Pomerania. Bismarck responded that he would “send a policeman and have it arrested.”

Given the sorry state of the Canadian military, if the Canadians want to play footsie, possibly we could take a leaf from Bismarck’s book and get away with sending a harbor police launch. On second thought, if all this interest in the frozen tundra resulted in the Canadians getting serious and rebuilding their military, we could sure use some help elsewhere.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Long Island Lolita

Amy Fisher, the “Long Island Lolita” is going to have a made for TV “reunion” with her former lover, Joey Buttafuoco (no, don’t even start with THAT name) and his wife, the former Mrs. Buttafuoco. Yeah, you remember, the same Mrs. Buttafuoco the aforesaid L.L. Lolita (age 17 at the time) shot in the face and left partially paralyzed.
L.L. Lolita, now 31 says that it’s “…time to just put it behind us” and opines that it would be “…interesting to let the public see the healing process.” I guess making a parody of shooting and maiming is no real big deal today, especially if all parties can make a few bucks out of the deal.
Joey B (now age 49), says that there will be a “lot of shocking revelations” and says that he was asked “a million times” by Mrs. B: “[w]hy did Amy shoot me ?” Well, Mrs. B, maybe because L.L. Lolita was bopping your husband and wanted him to herself ? Joey, clearly a rocket scientist, says that he was “never able to get that answer.”
L.L. Lolita got seven years. Joey went on to divorce, and a stint in jail for unrelated insurance fraud. Mrs. B, who would be deserving of sympathy, not to mention every penny produced by this sordid enterprise if she were not making a joke of herself, is now engaged. Hope you have a pre-nup Mrs. B. Now, there’s just nothing for it but to wait for the “shocking revelations.” Soon, no doubt, to be a large-print book, with monosyllabic words, large print and lots of pictures, coming to a drug store newsstand near year. Let the “healing” begin.

Canadian Elections

Canada votes today, and unless the polls are all wrong, the noxious Liberals, who have dominated Canadian politics since the late 1950's, are about to be consigned to a spell out of power.
Since the "repatriation" of Canada's constitution, and the diminution of that country's ties with Great Britain, a certain amount of public animus towards the Colossus of the South is probably a political necessity to a canny Canuck politico. American money, culture and trade completely dominate Canada; and if the Maple Leaf follows the Stars and Stripes in everything, of what use is the existence of Canada ?
To be sure, the disagreements between the two governments are mostly rhetorical and over matters of little consequence, and for that reason, all the more intractable. Geography dictates the relationship: in ways not to Canada's advantage. The relative size of the two countries, (as measured by population and GDP, and the proximity of the parties, and the presence of Quebec, which severely divides Canada internally), ensures that in everything that counts, Canada is going to be very much a junior partner of the US. For all these reasons, it is unwise to hope for much atmospheric improvement of relations between Ottawa and Washington.
It has been said of Canada that the country was blessed with the opportunity to have the best of everything: French culture, British law and American industry; but instead wound up with American culture, French law and British industry. If Canada is even more unlucky, it might wind up with a considerable number of Blue State refugees, if American politics persists in the present happy pattern.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Confederate Heroes Day

(an annual post)

. . . I feel no hostility to you, Senators from the North. I am sure there is not one of you, whatever sharp discussion there may have been between us, to whom I cannot now say, in the presence of my God, I wish you well: and such, I am sure, is the feeling of the people whom I represent towards those whom you represent. I therefore feel that I but express their desire when I say I hope, and they hope, for peaceful relations with you, though we must part. . .The reverse may bring disaster on every portion of the country; and if you will have it thus, we will invoke the God of our fathers, who delivered them from the power of the lion, to protect us from the ravages of the bear; and thus, putting our trust in God and in our own firm hearts and strong arms, we will vindicate the right as best we may.

Jefferson Davis, Farewell Address to the U.S. Senate, 21 January 1861. (From The Papers of Jefferson Davis, Vol. 7: 1861, LSU Press, 1992).

With all my devotion to the Union, and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my handagainst my relatives, my children, my home. I have, therefore, resigned my commission in the Army, and save in defense of my native State. . .I hope I may never be called upon to draw my sword.

Robert E. Lee, to his sister, Anne Marshall, 20 April 1861. (From The Wartime Papers of Robert E. Lee, Clifford Dowdey, Ed., Da Capo, 1987).

Today is the birthday of Robert E. Lee, and it is still recognized here in Texas as “Confederate Heroes Day,” a State holiday. Things being what they are, it is unlikely that the Texas statute book will honor Confederate heroes for very much longer, and like “un-persons” whom the Soviet Communist Party wished to banish from public view, Lee, Jefferson Davis and everything else to do with the Confederate States of America will soon vanish down the memory-hole. Our children, if they are wise, will learn to in public at least, mouth the proper politically correct platitudes and to recite on command the carefully packaged, all-inclusive happy pabulum that passes now for history in our schools.

We are told this is all for the best, but it doesn’t mean some of us have to like it. The names of Lee, Davis and legions of others who gave all they had for Southern independence, whose names would be household words, the Washingtons and Decaturs of a new country -- had they but won -- are becoming obscure to non-historians, except inasmuch as they serve the purposes of modern politicians and shills for various causes who promote their agendas by damning the memory of the dead.

Yes, the war was partly about slavery, and the end of that beastly institution was an unmitigated blessing. Yes, scum have stolen their flag and cloaked their racist fantasies in its folds. But that’s not the whole truth, any more than the War for American Independence (proper name of the Revolution) was all about a tax on tea.The 258,000 southerners who died for the independence of the Confederate States, and their comrades who survived the war to rebuild their broken civilization, are long beyond caring, and don’t require our approval or justification for their sacrifices. As so many said at the time, they believed they were taking up arms for the most worthy cause imaginable -- protection of their homes from hostile invasion, and to vindicate the same principle Americans died for in 1776: the idea that government should rest on the consent of the governed.

Americans not connected with the military in some way have largely experienced war a tragedy that happens in other places. Not so the War for Southern Independence (proper name for the Civil War), which was fought mostly in – and devastated – the American south. Despite the efforts and sacrifices of so many, Confederate soldiers were unable to successfully defend their country. American cities and fields became battlegrounds, and armies moved and camped in what are sometimes literally our backyards. American homes were plundered by soldiers speaking the same language, and often the same dialect, and American women and children became refugees. Some places never recovered. It’s hard to believe that Mississippi was once considered rich. When all was over, the dust settled, and the pain and shouting became but a memory; America was the better for the end of slavery, but when the Federal Government forced its yoke at gunpoint on those who did not want it, America lost something precious also.

Thankfully those days are past, but they are not totally forgotten. We of course remember the victors: Mr. Lincoln has a memorial in Washington, but his real monument is the country and world we now inhabit. But some of us remember others too…Lee, Davis, Micah Jenkins, Johnston Pettigrew, Cleburne, Jackson, Raphael Semmes, Maxcy Gregg, Thomas R.R. Cobb, thousands of others long dead. To borrow Mr. Khrushchev’s memorable phrase, these will not be forgotten, by some of us, until shrimp learn to sing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Silly Season

It’s definitely the silly season for Democratic politicians. First, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has joined the ranks of Pat Robertson, Mahmoud “Mad Jad” Ahmadinejad and others able to divine God’s thoughts, because he tells us that “God is mad at America” and “sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane” and “put stress on the country.”

The Mayor also says that “…[i]t’s time for us to rebuild New Orleans – the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans….This city will be a majority African-American city. It’s the way God wants it to be. . .” It’s a good thing Mayor Nagan’s got a direct line to the Almighty, to tell us these things. In the same speech, the Mayor graduated from religion to séances, moving on to hold an imaginary conversation with Martin Luther King.

I don’t know if New Orleans will be Chocolate the way Mayor Nagan says he wants. Hopefully, it’s more Cookies and Cream. Unfortunately, if the good mayor keeps running his mouth, it’s more likely to be Rocky Road.

Meanwhile, putative Democratic Presidential candidate and current US Senator Hillary Clinton, besides running for President and serving in the US Senate from New York, is also an expert on the US House of Representatives, stating that this body has been “…run like a plantation and you know what I’m talking about…”

Eh ?

No, in fact I don’t know what she’s talking about. Senator Clinton couldn’t possibly have been using loaded words like “plantation” on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day while speaking to Al Sharpton’s National Action Network for political advantage ? She wouldn't !

Would she ?
UPDATE (evening, 17 January). This evening, the wires report that Mayor Nagin characterized his comments about God as "inappropriate" and said that he just wanted to convey that black people were a vital part of New Orleans, and that "I want everyone to be welcome in New Orleans — black, white, Asian, everybody." Nothing wrong with that statement.

Osama Pushing Up Daisies ?

Michael Ledeen, who probably is better informed about goings-on in Iran than almost anybody, says that Osama is dead. According to Ledeen, citing "...Iranians I trust, Osama Bin Laden finally departed this world in mid-December."
The old murderer supposedly died of kidney failure and "...was buried in Iran, where he had spend most of his time" since the destruction of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Ledeen says his Iranian sources pointed out that the usual Al Qaeda yearly message in connection with the Muslim Haj to Mecca came, for the first time this year, from that unpardonably late dinner guest, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and not Osama.
This information seems to make sense. Osama has not appeared in public in several years, and it would seem to be in his interest to do so, just to prove such death rumors wrong.
Of course, if he really IS alive, and wants to make a public appearance, a good venue would be a nice large open field in downtown Tehran, preferably in a group appearance with Iranian President Mahmoud "Mad Jad" Ahmadinejad and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Maybe if we threw in a multi-course catered lunch, ol' al-Zawahiri would join them. I'm sure the USAF would be happy to provide lighting and entertainment.

Liaison, 1914

El Jefe’s readers possibly know that the Jefe enjoys reading military history. Lately, I have been reading Major-General Sir Edward Spears’s memoir Liaison, 1914 – the general’s account of his experiences as a British cavalry lieutenant (and intelligence officer), assigned to the staff of the French Fifth Army during the opening campaign of World War I.

Despite his (then) junior rank, Spears had tremendous influence: his credibility with both the British and French high commands doing much to insure these allies cooperated, after a fashion, in the early days of the war. Spears continued, in one position or another, as a liaison officer between British and French high commands throughout the First World War; ending it as cabinet liaison between the French and British war cabinets. During all this activity, he was wounded four times, mentioned in dispatches, and found time to marry an American heiress.

Spears, a great friend and supporter of Sir Winston Churchill, played a similar role in the Second World War, serving for a time as the go-between between the Churchill government and DeGaulle’s Free French.

Spears, fortunately, was a superb writer. Liaison, 1914, is his account of the opening campaign of World War I. I will have a fuller review later, perhaps, but if you are at all interested in this period, or in military history, take my word for it you should beg, borrow or steal a copy.
UPDATE: I had a rather lengthy quotation in here, but upon thought, removed it, as I don't wish to offend any copywright holders.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Moonbats Depart

...Finally, the searchers found El Jefe, passed out in his ornamental palace gardens near his simple, Versailles-like palace in beautiful downtown Cuidad El Jefe. The Great One was lying, clothed in a swim suit, Tuxedo jacket and Mickey Mouse watch, face down at the foot of Richard Nixon's statue.
The faithful Goomba guards rushed about in confusion, as She Who Must Be Obeyed and the Heir wailed; joined by El Jefe's cats, members of Parliament, his Consiligere, members of his (kitchen) cabinet, Big Media Personalities, the local Archbishops, Mullahs and preachers of the Gospel, the Corps Diplomatique, as well as El Jefe's latest mistress (who has an astonishing resemblance to Mindy Farrar, Penthouse Pet of the year 1980-something). Finally, after a whiff of his favorite Gruyere cheese, El Jefe slowly came around.
"Boy, I had the strangest dream" El Jefe intoned, rubbing a large, obvious bump (Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau would say "bimp") on his head. "I went liberal. I was saying Bill Clinton, Kofi Annan, Michael Moore and Barbra Streisand needed to be on the Supreme Court; that Iran was Society's Fault, that Iraq needed to be given back to Saddam; that Gore was really President; that somebody elected Ronnie Earle the Pope; that I wanted USC to win the Rose Bowl; and, that I had banned Mini Skirts." (elaborate shudder). "Wow, I was giving peace a chance. Smoked some really good dope too."
El Jefe shook his head, checking out the Mindy look-alike as he did so, saying that he was glad this had just been his imagination. As El Jefe looks fondly up at Nixon's statue, the world resumes its normal speed, and all is once again as it was. The cameras began moving backwards, away from the little tableau around Nixon, giving a view of the Palace Gardens; the Wine and Cheese cellar complex; the twelve Palace libraries; the Palace bars, night-clubs, casinos, restaurants, Churches and dance-halls; the whole vast Palace complex; and finally of all Ciudad El Jefe: noisy traffic in the streets, factories happily polluting, wiretaps busily bugging, as the credits roll, and the patriotic music plays.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Happy Couple

The rather vulgar "superstar rapper" Eminem, (a/k/a Marshall Bruce Mathers, III) and his ex-wife Kim have remarried.
Hurray for the happy couple. Suppose this is the triumph of optimism over experience...

Friday, January 13, 2006

Moonbat Court Dreaming (I)

Yes, it looks like that evil Sam Alito is going to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, so he can rubber-stamp Bush’s power grabs, his encroachments on the constitution, his imperialist wars. Instead of a Borking, Alito's just Swift-Boating right on by. Only the brave Senator Kennedy is left to swim against the tide.

Just as in the past we lefties stood against Fascism, for jobs, civil rights for minorities, for diversity, inclusion, tolerance and peace, the Left -- and its Democratic Party -- today carry on the fight for equally important goals: abortion, for campaign finance reform to silence those pesky blogs and for defea, --- oops, I mean withdrawal from Iraq.

Maybe Borking Alito is not really the answer we need. Even if we kept Alito off the court, and forced Evil Emperor Bush to go back to his Corpo Trade Federation Fat Cat backers and ask them for another robot, it doesn’t solve the underlying problem of what to do about America – always throwing its weight around in the world; not falling in with Europe’s plans for socialism and peace; raping the world’s resources and causing imperialist wars.
Clearly, (based on the last fixed election) almost 60 percent of the yokels in this country can't be trusted. A bunch of loud-mouthed, smelly, no-culture, Southern Red State rubes; who are not properly educated, eat red meat, who will not take the direction of their betters, who are hopelessly retro (still own flags and say the Pledge of Allegiance), listen to country music. We need to find a way to permanently checkmate these louts, until we can re-educate and get them properly Europeanized, or otherwise tranquilized...
What we REALLY need is an International Supreme Court, just for America, to keep Red State America in line and make it a true Kinder, Gentler Amerika; an Amerika that respects the rights of other countries, of minorities, women, the poor, the differently abled, those of non-majoritarian religions, or of no religion, the trees, the animals, and all the good people and things of earth.
Who would we want on this Court ? Something I’ll definitely have to consider as I drive to lunch at a trendy French restaurant, in my Volvo SUV, listening to Air Amerika.

Moonbats on the March

As I got up off my futon this morning, went into the study and fired up my first doobie of the day, started up John Lennon's "Imagine" and poured my first cup of organic rainforest coffee (beans grown by the unionized workers of People's Sandinista Coffee Union No. 5), I looked out the window and saw the Moon coming up to the west. Bats were flying round it in the darkness, and I thought what a great day it'd be to impeach that warmonger imperialist Bush.
I had our sub-minimum wage El Salvadorian maid/nannie wake up the Heir, then went back to stuffing envelopes for the Wal Mart unionization drive. Wal Mart makes me so mad I could spit ! Making Bush's international trade pals rich, importing all that cheap stuff from China, and throwing women and minorities here at home out of work! I snarled, startling the maid bringing me another cup of organic rainforest coffee, as she mistook my Rage at the Machine for disgruntlement at her. I redoubled my envelope-stuffing efforts (the better to avoid another silly talk about a raise). Besides, stuffing's important, have to help those less fortunate !
NPR was playing on the radio as I drove the Volvo SUV out of the garage, new "Is it 2008 yet ?" sticker firmly in place, right above the "Bush lied !" sticker; and my "Dean in 2008" and "Re-elect President Gore !" stickers. The radio is full of reports about Bush's new imperialist venture in Iran. Yes, the Empire is on the march again. Dick Cheney and Halliburton set to profit from more blood for oil ! The Iranians wouldn't want nukes if they weren't terrified of US imperialism.
The New York Times, unopened, sits on the seat next to me. The Times is our one real hope. If the Times keeps punching, and TV pitches in, maybe there will be enough scandals to stop Bush in his tracks. We can only hope. I arrive at work, humming the Internationale.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Moonbats a Comin...

Oh Wicca.. O unified spirits of Progressives/Commies, Moonbats and Wackos everywhere...
Tomorrow is Moonbat Friday. Help El Jefe to channel your dreams faithfully, to join the ranks, just for a day, of true Moonbats. Guide us, in the footsteps of Che, Michael Moore and Darth Chomsky. Give us access to the fell secrets of Moonbatdom.
Until tomorrow...

Hold on Moonbats...

For several reasons, putting a hold on Moonbat Day. . .

Moonbat Friday...

As El Jefe was driving back to his residence tonight, to his simple and humble palace, (on the order of Versailles), waving to the legions of peasants who had turned out to cheer, absently listening to Pacifica Radio...a thought came to him, (no doubt inspired by Daisy Cutter's list of the "10 worst Americans.")

It's time, said this thought, for El Jefe to indulge an occasional urge, an inner yearning as it were, or some kind of liberal sounding thing. Time to El Jefe to just open up, emote and let his Inner Chomsky roar. Gonna get out the bong; the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young records; the "McGovern for President" buttons; find the tie-die shirts; avoid a bath, and put on the birkenstocks...

By Imperial Decree, Friday the 13th is hereby proclaimed the first annual, or semi-annual or whatever "Moonbat Friday." For Moonbat Friday, (ONLY), a kinder, gentler, truly anti-imperialist/moonbat, lefty wacko freak "Progressive" El Jefe will make an appearance. Friday, rationality's out the door. "Feelings" and PC are in. So get out your Che posters, be ready to show solidarity with our Gitmo brothers and sing the Internationale, (Billy Bragg's lyrics), and lets paint Amerika red !

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Numbers Game

El Jefe’s World. An occasional summary in random statistics of interest to El Jefe.
(No. 1, Part 1).
Price, gallon of Super Unleaded, Valero, Bellaire Boulevard, Houston: $2.43 per gallon.
Price, gallon of Regular Unleaded, Valero, Bellaire Boulevard, Houston: $2.27 per gallon.
Price of a 6-pack, St Arnold’s Beer, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: .97 cents an ounds ($6.99 per six pack).
Price of a 12 pack Bud Light (calls itself beer), Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston): .59 cents an ounce ($16.99 per twelve pack).
Price of Gruyere Cheese, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $14.99 per pound.
Price of Parmigiano-Reggiano.Cheese, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $19.99 per pound.
Sirloin Steak, roger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston, $6.99 per pound.
Rib-Eye Steak:, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston, $9.99 per pound.
Mrs. Baird’s Large White Sandwich (thing called bread): $1.69 per loaf.
Red Leaf Lettuce, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $1.99 per head.
Red Tomatoes: Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $1.79 per pound,
Fish Eye Pinot Grigo 2004 white wine), Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $799 per 750 ML bottle.
Yellow Tail Shiraz 2004 (red wine), Spec’s Houston : $6.99 per 750 ML bottle.
Santa Rita Merlot 2004 (red wine), Spec’s Houston: $5.22 per 750 ML bottle.
St Clement Chardonnay 2004 (white wine), Spec’s Houston: $15.78 per 750 ML bottle.
Veuve Cliquot, Champagne, Spec’s Houston: $35.78, per 750 ML bottle.
Special K cereal, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $4.39 per 18 oz box.
Tidy Cats Cat Litter, Kroger, Vanderbilt Square, Houston: $2.39, per 10 pound bag.

Price of a Big Mac (no cheese), McDonalds, Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas: $2.29.
Pages in the March 2003 Houston Southwestern Bell Business Pages: (Listings for Houston only), 700 pp. (Sorry, most recent set at home and work !).
Pages in the March 2003 Houston Southwestern Bell Residential Pages (Listings for Houston only), 2208.
New York Stock Exchange, close, 9 January 2006: 11,011.90 (+52.59).
US Dollar to Japanese Yen (9 January): $1.00 = Y1.14.
US Dollar to European Union Euro(, 9 January): $1.00 = E0.82.
US Dollar to Canadian Dollar(9 January): $1.00 = Can $1.16.78.
US Dollar to UK Pound (9 January): $1.00 = L.5664.
US Dollar to Swiss Franc (9 January): $1.00 = F 1.2768.
Number of Fourth Graders at the Heir's School: 40.
Number of Fourth Grade Girls/Boys: 21/19.

Monday, January 9, 2006

Uh, Is that an iceberg ahead, Cap'n. ?

El Jefe has been sort of out of things, of late. She Who Must Be Obeyed (SWMBO) has had Lasek eye-surgery, the Mother In Law has been in town, and the Jefe is sort of behind the 8-Ball at work. But lots going on, which El Jefe shall pontificate on as soon as he can.

Big news out of Iran. The commander of the Ground Forces of the Pasdaran-e Enghelab-e Islami, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, (IRGC), General Ahmed Kazemi, has apparently been killed in a plane crash. Dead with General Kazemi are the IGRC Director of Intelligence, the IGRC Director of Operations, the IGRC staff artillery commander and an IGRC Infantry Division commander, plus some aides.
The IGRC is essentially the equivalent, in Mullah Iran terms, of Nazi Germany's SS. Check out the Winds of Change, Reuters, AP, and Belmont Club for more. An interesting quote on this business from Winds of Change:
...if you compare the frequency and prominence of current and ex-IRGC members in the current government to clerics you'll see that Iran looks less like a theocracy and more and more like a traditional military junta.

Planes go down, but I find the timing of this crash rather interesting. General Kazemi is interesting, Winds of Change says the General was part of Iran's effort in Lebanon in the 1980's, no doubt dealing daily with Hezbollah, and various other no-goodniks. Iran is, to put it mildly, under the gun, with a nutbar president, on the verge of having a nuke, and on a collision course with the United States. Where did General Kazemi stand ?
Meanwhile, Chester has returned, over at Adventures of Chester. I agree with him that there are icebergs right ahead, a vast disturbance in the Force or whatever your metaphor for an impending uh-oh may be. I think we're moving right toward some kind of blowup with Iran. Have a look at his piece, here. Meanwhile, our idiots of Congressmen and journalists can think of nothing more to do than play gotcha over wiretapping, Judge Alito and probably the location of Titanic's deck chairs. More on this subject later.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Suicide in Haiti

The Associated Press is reporting that the commander of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) Lieut. Gen. Urano Teixeira da Matta Bacellar (of Brazil), has been discovered quite mysteriously dead, apparently by his own hand. General Bacellar's body was found on the balcony of his room at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince. The MINUSTAH press release says he was 58 years old, and had been in the Brazilian military for 39 years. General Bacellar has been replaced, temporarily, by a Chilean general.
Most curious. Although I would probably feel somewhat suicidal at being assigned responsibility for maintaining order in Haiti -- the place is a madhouse at the best of times -- Lieutenant-Generals are not usually of a suicidal disposition. Still, calling the UN role in Haiti a "Stabilization Mission" represents the triumph of optimism over experience. A better, more accurate name for the UN Mission would be "United Nations Chaos Management Mission in Haiti."

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Obligations to the Dying

Drudge reports this evening that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon apparently suffered severe brain damage because of his cerebral hemorrhage yesterday. Drudge also reports, courtesy of, that Pat Robertson says that the Prime Minister’s stroke was possibly divine retribution for “divid…[ing]…[God’s]… land” although this personally made him “sad.” Meanwhile, Iranian President Mahmoud “Mad Jad” Ahmadinejad says he hopes the Prime Minister dies.

What a curse to live in such times, among such people ! I hope Mr. Robertson is misquoted. I do not altogether approve of him, but despite my disagreements with aspects of his politics, I have thought, generally, that he meant well. But how classless ! Prime Minister Sharon is dying, and whatever he did in this life, (which I will comment on at another time), and whatever offenses he gave to others, will be judged and weighted at another place, by another One whose judgments are true and righteous altogether. What are the theories and suppositions of a parson; or the deluded rantings of a slavering demagogue, next to that ?

Chivalry indeed seems dead. But one cannot expect nobility out of montebanks, who are what passes for leaders and exemplars in the modern world. How can there be peace, ever, without decency ? I can only remember what Confederate States President Jefferson Davis (someone whom I deeply admire) said about the death of his most formidable enemy, United States President Ulysses S. Grant. President Davis had every reason to despise President Grant, to hate him, to revel in Grant’s slow, agonizing painful death by cancer of the throat. Whatever his private thoughts, President Davis had the decency and the humanity to keep any such thoughts private. When asked about Grant’s sufferings, President Davis said: “General Grant is dying. . . Instead of seeking to disturb the quiet of his closing hours, I would, if it were in my power, contribute to the peace of his mind and the comfort of his body.” Christ enjoined us to forgive our enemies. Could anybody do better than that ?

What can you make of people who are so dead to honor that they would say such things ? I can accept that some do not like Prime Minister Sharon, but let the man die in peace !

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to USC's Coronation...

El Jefe, as a University of Texas alum, is a happy camper this morning. What can ya say about last night but...HOOK EM !!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Mark Steyn

Hie yourself off to the Wall Street Journal online and read this splendid piece by Mark Steyn: "It's the Demography, Stupid: The Real Reason the West is in Danger of Extinction." (You can find another link on Real Clear Politics). Mr. Steyn says, in substance, that if our Jihadist enemies win the present war, it will be our own doing.
Time constaints, for the moment, forbid much of a discussion, but the article is liberally salted with little gems like this: "Multiculturalism means your kid has to learn some wretched native dirge for the school holiday concert instead of getting to sing 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' or that your holistic masseuse uses techniques developed from Native American spirituality, but not that you or anyone you care about should have to live in an African or Native American society. It's a quintessential piece of progressive humbug."

Happy New Year

Happy New Year !

Okay, the Iranian mullahs have or are getting a nuke, they want to build a missile and every day they come up with new threats and vaporings about the Great Satan, Israel, or whoever they want to wipe off the map this week.

Meanwhile, Bolivia has just sworn a Coca farmer in as President, who promises to clamp down on the drug trade. Uh huh, just like wheat farmers are into low carb diets. Meanwhile, Pres. Coca Farmer wants to join Nutjob Chavez and Fuhrer Fidel in an "Axis of Good" to counter what he calls a US led "Axis of Evil." Evidently the "Axis of Good" term is coinage of Dictator Chavez, and that's seriously what they call it -- an "axis."

Leaving aside the nuttyness, has anybody told these guys about the history of the term "axis?" Maybe about its first users 60 years back ? Okay, okay, El Jefe admits he'd like to see Chavez and Fidel wind up at the gas-station trussed-up like Signor Mussolini, but just from the marketing point of view, El Jefe suggests that the Three Stooges are getting some bad brand-naming advice.

While Persian and Latin nutbars want to spin the world off on wacko axes, all Washington can talk about is how shocked, shocked everyone is that our security apparatus might want to tap into communications between the US and abroad. Almost like they're worried wackjobs might want to blow us up or something ?

More comment on all this in due time. For some weird reason, people expect El Jefe to hold down a job.

Meanwhile, something of far, far bigger import than Mullahs with Nukes, or Sawdust Caesars ordering their white horses...

Drudge has a headline, lead-in or whatever, today: "Lindsay Lohan VANITY FAIR Confessional: The Drugs, the Eating Disorder, The Breakdown, The BreakUps, the Compulsive Spending...Stress...Showbiz Spiral..." Bet there aren't any Google searches today for Lindsay Lohan. Bet nobody ruins their mouse trying to bring this story up. No image searches on Ms. Lohan either. Sure. Do you think Vanity Fair wants to rack up some serious sales ? Makes El Jefe want to go out and buy Vanity Fair NOW, NOW, NOW. And just for the articles.