Offline For A Bit, And Thinking About This Place

TG, Littlest Guy, and I are headed to Paris tomorrow for a couple weeks, where we’ll connect with Middle Guy and spend our flimsy Yankee dollars in support of the new Sarkozy regime.

I’m not taking the laptop, and promised to minimize my time in Internet cafes, so you won’t see much of me until mid-January.

To be honest, I’m pretty unhappy with the state of the blog these days. For me, this place is most of all about the discussions in the comments, and there’s been far too little discussing and far too much gainsaying going on. I welcome disagreement – even heated disagreement – but what I’ve seen in my last few posts isn’t enlightening, isn’t welcoming to outside readers, and doesn’t feel to me like the kind of party I want to be hosting.

I’m honestly not sure what to do about it. But when I get back, I intend to do something. Feel free to make suggestions here.

Hey, Can’t We Just Leave The Bad Fascism Similes To The Nutroots??

Via lots of leftie blogs, comments on Jonah Goldberg’s jaw-dropppingly stupid new book: ‘Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

I’ve just looked at what’s on Amazon about it, and read the cites on the blogs.

At some point, you dilute the meaning of words until they don’t mean anything at all. I don’t like lots about what passes for liberalism now; and I’m also not shy about suggesting that the Islamists share characteristics with fascism – but here’s a key difference: fascists actually brutalize and kill people.

Liberals are annoying, and over-regulate things.

When gangs of Green thugs start beating down Hummer drivers, we can start talking about this. Until then, can I implore everyone – right and left – to find a new friggin’ metaphor?

Send Mike Hendrix A Little Love Tonight

Because I just don’t want to have to visit him in jail…and based on what useless ass Chuck Adkins has done, I’d worry that he’ll wind up on a gurney and Mike will end up in a cell.

I won’t reward lives-with-his-folks-at-35 slob Adkins with a link; go read about it on Mike’s site.

There’s a real issue with marginal personalities on the Internet; Deb Frisch, Elliott Stein, and now the third member of the worthless waste of oxygen trinity, Chuck. And the problem is that until the stakes are high – and they appear to be getting there because the links to the offensive posts on Chuck’s site are now 404-ing – they just seem to absorb the abuse they deserve as the attention they crave.

So go over and say a soothing word of support to Mike. He doesn’t deserve this shit, he deserves our affection and friendship.

Let’s Talk About Women In Combat, Again

Washington Post:

The gunman…was carrying an assault rifle, two handguns and as many as 1,000 rounds of ammunition when he shot his way into the huge New Life Church in Colorado Springs and was confronted and shot by Jeanne Assam, a former police officer who was serving as a volunteer security guard, police said.

“I saw him coming through the doors, and I took cover, and I waited for him to get closer,” Assam told reporters. “I came out of cover, I identified myself and engaged him and took him down,” she said.

Assam is a former law-enforcement officer; but was a private citizen acting as a volunteer when she acted Sunday.

So we have two mass shootings this week…in one, a civilian is encouraged to be armed and prepared; in the other…well, sadly, no (see this first-hand account).

And reading her account, I certainly question whether I – or any of the trained shooters I know – could have done much better.

About 80 feet down a main hallway, Murray encountered Assam, who fired several rounds at him, Sgt. Jeff Jensen of the Colorado Springs Police Department told a news conference. He said that “she definitely wounded him” but that police have not yet determined whether any of her shots were fatal or “whether there was a self-inflicted gunshot wound during this as well.”

“I didn’t think for a minute to run away,” Assam said. “I was given the assignment to end this before it got too much worse.” She said the encounter “was scary” but “my hands were not even shaking” as she prayed for help. “I was very focused,” she said. “I just knew I was not going to wait for him to do any further damage. I just knew what I had to do.”

I’ll wait for Kingsley Browne’s reponse…

Juggernauts Don’t Turn Well

Here’s an interesting article about the dynamics of the Democratic campaign:

The Clinton organization had a clear plan A: It envisioned the candidate, as the choice of the party establishment and natural heir to the presidency, to so dominate 2007 that she would be able to corner, not have to capture, the nomination. It worked perfectly for most of the year.

The strategy has imploded. In a similar situation, Bill Clinton would have changed plans on a dime — he could have gone from B to E during a rest stop.

Don’t Bogart That Joint, Prof. Nagl…

I’m East for a wedding, and while I wait for TG to suit up, I’m catching up on reading. I’ve bought a stack of books for Biggest Guy, and am slowly reading down them myself while I wait to give them to him.

So I just started the counterinsurgency classic, ‘Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife‘, by Nagl. And found a funny typo – or a suggestion that West Point (where he was a professor) isn’t as straight-laced as it’s reputation. From the Acknowledgements:

Special thanks to my mother and mother-in law, both of whom found books and provided emotional support and diversions from writing. Like mother, like daughter: Susi has fought insurgents in her pot plants and over the kitchen table as well as on the computer keyboard.

Who knew it was so much like UC Santa Cruz?? So far it does look like a damn interesting book…

Dec. 7

It’s the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The survivors, inevitibly aging, are fewer and fewer and one day soon we will read of the passage of the last one. And a page in our history book will turn and close, I guess.

But the history is still with us.On a side note, there is a loosely related local conflict in which a group of local artists from Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro (where we had the kerfluffle about showing Tora Tora Tora a few years ago) are working witrh the City Council to use more of the historic Ft. MacArthur site as a part of the arts community. This conflicts with the local military history crowd, based in the Ft. MacArthur museum.

If you had a moment today, you might drop a note to the local city councilwoman, , as well as an email of support to , on the board of directors of the little-used military museum, and you might even encourage the executive director of Angels Gate to find a path that supports both expanding the arts, and preserving our history.

It’s a difficult problem, because the museum is not well-visited and resources are scarce. But at some level , we need to preserve parts of our history regardless of whether doing so results in blockbuster traffic – just as we need to support the arts even when the market doesn’t necessarily do so (cue gnashing of conservative/libertarian teeth).

Copchicks and Raven 42

Jeff Cooper used to talk with veiled disdain about ‘copchicks’. And over at Volokh, Wayne State law prof Kingsley Browne riffs off his new book ‘Co-Ed Combat’ – following on his old book ‘Biology at Work: Rethinking Sexual Equality’ to talk at length about why it is bad to have women in the military.I actually agree that there are certainly physical and probably cognitive differences between men and women; but you know what, when the chips are down, I’ll happily stand next to (in back of, crouching, actually) any of several tough-ass women I know (hi, TK!!).

And in case you’ve forgotten this story, go read the whole thing:

What follows next is a classically executed counterattack. The two senior NCOs, one a woman, take the fight directly to the insurgents in their trenches:

The Squad leader dismounted with his M4 carbine, and 2 hand grenades, grabbed the section leader out of the first vehicle who had rendered radio reports of their first contact. The two of them, squad leader Staff Sergeant and team leader Sergeant with her M4 and M203 grenade launcher, rush the nearest ditch about 20 meters away to start clearing the natural trenchline. The enemy has gone into the ditches and is hiding behind several small trees in the back of the lot. The .50 cal and SAW (squad automatic weapon – corrected) flanking fire tears apart the ten enemy in the lead trenchline.

I’ll mount a more serious response in a bit, but for now…over to you, Prof. Browne…

“Paratrooper of Love”, Indeed!!

TG went to get her hair cut and brought home a copy of Penthouse she’d been reading – or claimed to have been reading. There was an article about the military in it, right between the naked Second Life and hentai characters and the “Wow!! He went 30 days without sex!!” article.

“Don’t you know this guy?” she asked.

In the Crosshairs – Snipers are vital to battlefield victory. Why did two of them become targets of our own military establishment?

…by Matthew Currier Burden, also known as Matty O’Blackfive.

Sweet!! You go, Matty!!