Friday, March 25, 2005

This is how it is done

In the name of Artemesia of Halicarnassus, Deborah Sampson, the Sarmatian horsewomen, and a host of unnamed, unknown others --

Women Belong In Combat.

And there are pictures.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Silly Stuff

My Favorite Astronauts

The power of Silly has not gotten the attention it deserves. Some are motivated to climb mountains "because they're there". Some jump motorcycles, skydive, or file their taxes late just for the adrenaline rush. But think how much has been achieved by those who said "wouldn't that be hilarious!"

Like my boys of Apollo 12, linked above. They smuggled a camera timer on board the lunar module so they could take a picture of the entire away team on the Moon, just to see if anyone would ask "er, who took the picture?"

I saw an interview of the crew describing the incident and the contortions they went through to hide their prank from Mission Control. They couldn't talk to each other at the time since they were transmitting back to Earth, and it would have Revealed All. Thirty years later they were still chortling about it.

And of course, MIT makes a tradition of this. Brainy types, if they don't take themselves too seriously, make excellent Silly people.

Now you may be saying, "This is wonderful! Snarkatron, how can I invite Silliness into my life?" Nothing is easier! First, you need to know the rules. Next, you need supplies. The rest, like getting to Carnegie Hall, is practice, practice, practice! Mostly you need to develop your ability to detect the silliness that exists, right now, all around you, and then you can progress to increasing it. That done, you can relax and read tales of silliness in other times, in other worlds. Others may mock, or stare rebukingly, but you will be having more fun.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

So, you support the Iraqi "insurgents", do you?

Then you also are against picnics. (Via Little Green Footballs) These people are willing to kill because someone, somewhere, is having a good time. Also kindly note that no US troops were anywhere in the area. That won't stop some people, though. We'll still get blamed for this. Ya know what else these jokers kill for? Haircuts. Uppity women. Hello, I thought we were FOR uppity women, right? All you liberal types? Can we get a rousing chorus of support for women who don't feel like being smothered in a tent in desert heat? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

Maybe we can start a program teaching these women how to use firearms, and give them a gun when they graduate so they can fight back. So they can have a picnic if they damn well feel like it.

Oh, and anybody who has ever complained about the USA being a repressive, fascist, religion-heavy place needs to think real good and hard, because what happened in Basra is what REAL fascism looks like. No ACLU, no press conferences, no civil rights. Just your face meeting a rifle butt. Wanna switch?

A little housekeeping ...

20% of my readers (Hi Barb!) alerted me to the fact that the default Blogger settings only allowed other Blogger types to leave comments. This has been fixed. If you are wandering by and don't have a Blogger ID, would you mind leaving a test comment? Thank you. (All those other bloggers make it look so easy ...)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Can we talk?

Just as black people surely winced as the face of the bozo who thought shooting three people in a courtroom would help make his argument was shown all over the country, I winced when it was delicately made known that the deputy he overpowered to get the gun was a woman. A petite woman. And the usual suspects wagged fingers and moaned about "political correctness." Meaning, of course, that women cannot possibly, in any circumstances, be deputies that have to be able to deal with big bad dangerous men.

Not that I'm a fan of political correctness or anything, but I disagree with the diagnosis. I think it is a terminal case of intellectual and moral laziness. Nobody had the spine to say, "Deputies have to deal with big strong criminals who might not behave themselves, so they should be able to fight, oh, someone who weighs 250 lbs, 6' 4'' height, and able to bench at least 200 lbs." There are some little women who can do this, by the way. Size, gender, weight are only general guidelines. You can exclude someone who can actually do the job if you take the lazy way and just look it up on a chart, instead of finding out the truth. (There are some men who look big and strong, but can't fight their way out of a wet paper bag. Exclude them too, please.)

So yeah, if a woman can't perform the task, don't hire her. How dumb do you have to be? But the flip side is -- if she CAN do it, don't tell her to go home and learn to knit.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Lead by Example, MSN ...

I hear that the leaders of the media think bloggers should be seen and not heard. Certainly not read, heaven forfend! I very much doubt they are worried about me and my five readers (hi, guys!), but they probably are worried about how nobody seems to want to pay them money any more. And here they are, the only guardians of the Fountain of Truth, but the common herd do stupid things like, like vote for Bush! And watch Fox! But what really hurts is these hoi polloi read blogs. And the big blogs like Instapundit, Power Line, Captain's Quarters ... they contradict what the media says. They even back it up with verifiable facts, links to the original data so you can DECIDE FOR YOURSELF if their analysis is correct. Sometimes they let you, ordinary you, leave comments. I can guarantee you have a better chance of seeing your blog comment out for the whole world to see than if you write a letter to the editor of a newspaper. Especially if you a) disagree with said editor and b) are NOT a raving lunatic.

So what is it that they say they object to in bloggers? Lack of accountability? Please submit verifiable accounts of how Eason Jordan of CNN was held accountable for lying about Iraq under Saddam to preserve CNN's access. Lack of training? (At least lack of journalism training.) Judging from the blogs I read, maybe that's a good thing. They are written better. They don't cover subject x? Well, how often is the media covering, say, Afghanistan? You remember, place we still have troops? The place that had a successful election not too long ago? Is this godlike media covering the car bomb attacks in Iraq that don't kill anybody, because the Iraqis are getting pretty damn good about stopping them before they do? Besides, blogs don't have to cover everything. All they really have to do is point out glaring errors, omissions, and outright bias in the media. If they just do that, it takes all day.

And now we hear that the FEC is thinking of putting blogs under political election restrictions. Gee. I wonder who gave them that idea. Why not show us how it's done, Media? Be accountable. Tell the truth, the whole truth and not just the bits that support what you want to believe. In short, act the way you want us bloggers to behave. Dare you.

Where do we sign up for this?

So let me see if I have this straight. US soldiers are supposed to have telepathy, precognition, and the ability to foretell the future so that idiot Italian reporters can drive just like back home - in a war zone - and not get shot. (Memo to Sgrena: if they wanted you dead, you would be.) However ... be the Dear Leader of a country that shows up completely black on night satellite pictures, where they imprison a woman so hungry she stole a beet, gas whole families, together, so the parents can watch their children die as they die themselves -- and we can't criticise because that would be "unhelpful". That is an impressive, Olympic-level double standard ya got there. What do we have to do to get some of that?I'm not saying we can't hold our troops to a high standard. We do. But why can't you apply the same high standard to other people?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Snark in the time of Cherry Blossoms

It's hard to build up a good head of steam for snarking right now. Just when I think I've got something to rip and tear, I hear about how the Lebanese people are marching holding Korans wrapped with rosaries and telling the Syrians exactly where they can go and what they can do when they get there. Or I read that Afghanistan, for the first time since australopithecus roamed the earth, has a woman governor. Or the story of a little Iraqi girl saving a convoy of Marines hits the press (blogs got it first, neener neener!)

Or, more simply, cherry blossoms.

Same thing, really. Change is coming. Spring is coming. And you can see it getting better every day.

Oooh, just thought of a snark! You know, there are people who see the exact same thing, and think "Instability", "Why did it take so long?", "That can't be true, they all hate us", and "Global Warming". I laugh with glee in their general direction. Their misery is entirely their own fault. I bet they don't even like puppies. And puppies love everybody.