Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them - Isaac Asimov

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Cracking Down
by Lee

If only the evil Bush and Blair hadn’t invaded Iraq, this would never have been necessary.

British police hunting for international terrorists detained two men on Thursday, one of whom is believed to have connections with al Qaeda and whose arrest “could be pretty big” according to a security source.

Officers from Britain’s anti-terror branch arrested a 24-year-old man in the western town of Gloucester and said they had evacuated the surrounding area in case they found explosives.

“It could be pretty big in the sense that if we find what we suspect we are looking for, then we have got something big,” a security source told Reuters.

A police spokeswoman said the man had been arrested on “suspicion of involvement in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.” He has been taken to a police station in nearby Wiltshire.

Home Secretary (Interior Minister) David Blunkett said: “It is believed by the security and special branch services that this man has connections with the network of al Qaeda groups.

“We would not have taken these steps if we didn’t believe that this individual posed a very real threat to the life and liberty of our country,” he told BBC television.

One day the world will realize that the threat from Islamofascists has nothing to do with American foreign policy, or oil, or any other damn thing.  These are people who have declared war on the west, and it is a war that the west simply must win.  Unfortunately I think that it is going to take another massive terrorist attack before some begin to acknowledge this indisputable fact.

Posted by Lee on 11/29/03 at 05:05 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Dump ‘Em
by Lee

This is excellent news.

Speculation mounted Friday that Washington will scrap or roll back controversial steel tariffs after it sought and obtained an effective delay in retaliatory sanctions by countries opposed to them.

THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO), which had been due to rubber-stamp the verdict of its highest court that the duties are illegal, has put off the key session for nine days at the request of the United States.

The European Union, one of a number of trade partners to take action at the WTO over the levies, had warned it was ready to hit Washington with sanctions on up to $2.2 billion of goods within five days of the WTO approving the court ruling.

With the delay, the countdown to EU retaliation, which would be the largest ever unleashed in a trade fight, was also put on hold.

If the delay allows the United States time to withdraw the protectionist measures, that is better for everybody, said Fabian Delcros, a spokesman for the EU in Geneva.

I hope this pans out.  These tariffs need to go ASAP.  Hopefully Bush is using his head this time.

Posted by Lee on 11/29/03 at 12:16 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Friday, November 28, 2003

Have You Seen This Girl?
by Lee

If you live in the North Dakota/Minnesota area, take a look at this website.

Posted by Lee on 11/28/03 at 09:49 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

by Lee

A couple of times in the past I’ve blogged on how our free market and technological capitalism are driving astounding military technologies, real sci-fi stuff.  (See here and here.) Well, this story is sort of a cross between The Terminator and Attack of the Clones.

It’s called the Segway Human Transporter, but the Pentagon is drafting the two-wheeled scooter as part of a plan to develop battlefield robots that think on their own and communicate with troops.

The program is still in the research phase, so the self-balancing scooters aren’t expected to report to boot camp anytime soon.

So far, university researchers armed with Pentagon funding have programmed Segway robots that can open doors, avoid obstacles, and chase soccer balls—all without human control.

Researchers say potential applications for the robots include performing search missions on the battlefield, transporting injured soldiers to safety, or following humans around while hauling their gear.

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology built a Segway robot that can navigate hallways and open doors.

At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Segways are being used as part of a lab’s ongoing efforts to build robots that can play soccer with humans. So far, the robot can chase an orange soccer ball and kick it. The next goal is to teach the robot the rules of the game and get it to communicate with human players.

“They will come together not as a master-slave relationship, with the human telling the robot what to do,” , said computer science professor Manuela Veloso. “The human and robot will be part of the same task.”

University of Southern California researchers are working on ways to get the Segway to act as a “mule” that follows humans around, carrying their gear. The robotic Segway hauls as much as 45 kilograms.

Another USC project involves controlling the way the Segway pitches and bounces over rough terrain so it can carry sensitive cargo, perhaps an injured human, according to lead researcher Gaurav Sukhatme.

A University of Pennsylvania lab is getting a robot-controlled Segway to communicate with an autonomous robotic blimp and small, truck-like vehicles so they can work as a team to find a designated object in a certain geographic area. The robots would navigate and communicate with each other autonomously, but a human would oversee the whole network.

“The human operator can basically interrogate the robots,” said Jim Keller, a project manager. “If a robot has seen something it thinks is interesting, it will send an alert back. The human operator will get more images by bringing in other robots to look at the same location from whatever their perspective is.”

Awesome.  Keep praying to Allah, boys.  In a few years we’ll be sending the Terminator after your ass.

Posted by Lee on 11/28/03 at 09:17 PM in Science and Technology  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

The Struggle
by Lee

Now this is an interesting development in the debate over gay marriage.  It seems that not everyone is happy with its proponents comparing it to the civil rights movement.

But the Rev. Talbert Swan II said the two struggles are not similar because blacks were lynched, denied property rights and declared inhuman.

“Homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle,” he said. “I could not choose the color of my skin. ... For me to ride down the street and get profiled just because of my skin color is something a homosexual will never go through.”

A poll released by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press on Nov. 18, the day of the ruling, indicated 60 percent of blacks opposed gay marriage.

When asked if they favored legal agreements with many of the same rights as marriage, 51 percent of blacks were opposed.

Now, take a look at the article, and see how many times they use the word “conservative” to describe black attitudes towards gay marriage.  Blacks voted for Gore over Bush damn near by a factor of ten in 2000, and the media cannot bear to simply admit that blacks hold much more traditional values when it comes to issues like sex, religion, and morality.  They solidly vote Democratic, but they don’t toe the liberal line in many areas.  So, the only way to somehow impugn this viewpoint is to sully it with the “conservative” label.

Posted by Lee on 11/28/03 at 05:53 PM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Chef Boy-Ar-Lee
by Lee

Since I had the full turkey spread at my cousin’s house yesterday I’m cooking my own today.  I’ve got the bird in the oven, and the veggies boiling on the stove.  It’s starting to smell great in here, I can’t wait to dig in. 

Posted by Lee on 11/28/03 at 02:24 PM in Etcetera  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Foul Ball
by Lee

There’s some red faces in Australia.

Australian tennis officials were today forced to issue a grovelling apology to Spanish dignitaries after the wrong national anthem was played before the start of the Davis Cup Final in Melbourne.

The Spanish Secretary of State for Sport Juan Antonio Gomez-Angulo reacted furiously as Australian jazz trumpeter James Morrison played the Republican anthem Himno de Riego.

Named after a 19th Century revolutionary, it was Spain’s national anthem for eight years up until 1939 and its rendition today was greeted with boos from the Spanish contingent in the crowd.

It prompted farcical scenes on court at the Rod Laver Arena as Senor Gomez-Angulo instructed the Spanish team not to start the match before the correct anthem, Marcha Real, was played.

California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, who happened to be in the audience, issued the following statement:  “I think it is racist and outrageous that the Australians played the wrong national anthem, and quite insulting to the niggers.  I mean Spanish.”

(If you don’t get this joke, see here.)

Posted by Lee on 11/28/03 at 05:14 AM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

by Lee

A couple of years ago I was traveling through Asia on business, and I picked up a copy of Michael Crichton’s Timeline to read on the plane.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Like all Crichton’s books it was not so much great literature as simply a hell of an entertaining techno-thriller.  His books start with a basic factual scientific premise, then elaborate it into a great story.  So I found myself really looking forward to seeing the film adaptation of the book.

What a mistake.

Virtually all the actors are totally miscast.  I couldn’t imagine for a second Paul Walker actually being the character he plays in the film—he looks like too much of your typical Southern California dumbass surfer.  Also annoying was the way everyone seemed to instantly accept the time travel premise. 

“Look at this parchment, your father wrote on this 600 years ago.”
“Oh, really?”

The book goes into great detail to explain how the time travel works.  The movie spends all of about 30 seconds doing the same.  Because of this the film has a largely disjointed feel to it; it’s a techno-thriller, then it’s an action film, then there’s a preposterous love story angle, then it’s a techno-thriller again, and so on.  And even though this is medieval France, everyone seems to speak perfect modern English and French (the book deals with the language difficulties). 

I could go on, but suffice it to say that this movie completely sucked.  Save your money.

Posted by Lee on 11/28/03 at 03:28 AM in Life & Culture  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Taking Sides
by Lee

There is a long tradition in American politics involving former presidents—that is, once your time in office is over you step aside and leave the current president alone.  You accept huge speaking fees, play a lot of golf, and generally fade into the history books.  It should come as a surprise to no-one, then, that Bill Clinton, the egomaniacal scumbag that he is, simply cannot abide by tradition and keep his damn mouth shut.

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton has strongly defended Prime Minister Jean Chretien’s refusal to join the U.S.-led war in Iraq, calling the Bush administration’s criticism of Canada’s stand uncalled for and offensive.

In a Time magazine article about Canada-U.S. relations, Clinton took issue with President George W. Bush and other senior administration officials who criticized Chretien’s unwillingness to commit Canadian troops to the war.

“It was a low moment in our long and mostly happy coexistence. And it was uncalled for, because Canada has been such a strong ally of the U.S. in so many areas involving our mutual security, from border control to our duties as NATO members to the campaign against al-Qaida in Afghanistan,” he said.

Clinton said the Bush administration failed to recognize Canada’s contribution to Afghanistan, including “the brave soldiers who died there,” in its criticism of Chretien’s refusal to commit troops to Iraq without UN authorization.

Four Canadian troops died after a U.S. plane mistakenly bombed them in April 2002.

“Two thousand Canadian soldiers are serving in Afghanistan today,” he wrote. “To denounce Canada when Canadians are fighting and dying in the war on terrorism is offensive to all who value our long friendship.”

Clinton said Bush must put Canada-U.S. relations back on track and cooperate with other allies instead of turning to unilateralism and resorting to the use of force.

“The U.S. can win military conflicts alone. But as we see every day in Iraq, building peace requires partners. Moreover, since we cannot kill, imprison or occupy all our actual potential adversaries, we must find non-military means to make more friends and fewer terrorists. That too requires cooperation with our allies.”

What we have here is a former US president taking the side of a foreign leader over the current US president.  Whether or not Clinton’s comments have any merit is completely immaterial, this is simply disgusting, and it exemplifies Clinton’s total lack of integrity and respect for the office that he once held. 

As George Will so perfectly put it, “Clinton is not the worst president the republic has had, but he is the worst person ever to have been president.” While I disagree with Bill Clinton on most political issues, on a personal level I simply loathe and detest him.

Posted by Lee on 11/28/03 at 12:22 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Death Wish
by Lee

Here are two more people who would be dead if the Michael Moores of the world have their way.

A man in north St. Louis County was home watching “Death Wish,” a movie about a vigilante who hunts down criminals, when he saw his wife held hostage by a robber holding shears at her neck.

Allowed to get his wallet, the homeowner retrieved his pistol instead and shot the intruder to death, county police said Wednesday after sorting out details of the previous evening’s incident.

An intruder, 26, broke into the home through a basement window and tore down a curtain to tie over his face as a mask. The woman encountered him in the basement and he forced her up the stairs to confront her husband.

Police said the husband, 73, was watching the movie on TV when the stranger approached, demanding money and holding 4-inch shears to the throat of the woman, also 73.

The homeowner told the intruder he had to get his wallet from the bedroom, but he got a handgun instead. When he emerged, she pulled away and he opened fire.

The robber grabbed the wife again and pulled her through the front door with him, but then let her go and ran. He collapsed across the street, where he was pronounced dead.

The woman was treated for minor injuries at a hospital and released.

Didn’t that old man know that he was 43 times more likely to end up shooting himself by having that gun in the house?  Didn’t he know that his personal safety is the job of the police and not of private citizens?  Doesn’t he realize that by keeping a loaded firearm he’s just contributing to the culture of violence?

Good for him.

Posted by Lee on 11/27/03 at 03:16 PM in 2nd Amendment  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Bush in Baghdad
by Lee

Say what you want about President Bush, but the son of a bitch has class.

President Bush made a surprise Thanksgiving visit to American troops in Baghdad Thursday, flying secretly to violence-scarred Iraq to thank U.S. forces for serving there. It was the first trip ever by an American president to Iraq a mission tense with concern about his safety.

“You are defending the American people from danger and we are grateful,” Bush told some 600 soldiers who were stunned and delighted by his appearance.

The president’s plane its lights darkened and windows closed to minimize chances of making it a target landed under a crescent moon at Baghdad International Airport.

Bush flew in on the plane he most often uses, and White House officials went to extraordinary lengths to keep the trip a secret, fearing its disclosure would prompt terrorist attempts to kill him.

The news of Bush’s trip was not released until he was in the air on the way back to the United States. “If this breaks while we’re in the air we’re turning around,” White House communications director Dan Bartlett told reporters on the flight to Baghdad.

While here, Bush spoke with soldiers from the 1st Armored Division and the 82nd Airborne Division at an airport mess hall. “You are defeating the terrorists here in Iraq,” he said, “so we don’t have to face them in our own country.”

Terrorists are testing America’s resolve, Bush said, and “they hope we will run.”

“We did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq, pay a bitter cost of casualties, defeat a ruthless dictator and liberate 25 million people only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins,” the president said, prompting a standing ovation and cheers.

Those who have never been in the military cannot understand why the men and women in uniform love this man so much.  This is why.  All the whining the liberal media did in the hours following 9/11, hinting that Bush was a coward for staying in Air Force One.  This man is no coward, by any means. 

Flying into a war zone to meet the troops?  Class, and balls.  True leadership.

Update: You can read the text of Bush’s words to the troops here.

You’re engaged in a difficult mission. Those who attack our coalition forces and kill innocent Iraqis are testing our will. They hope we will run. We did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq, pay a bitter cost in casualties, defeat a brutal dictator and liberate 25 million people only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins.

We will prevail. We will win because our cause is just. We will win because we will stay on the offensive. And we will win because you’re part of the finest military ever assembled. And we will prevail because the Iraqis want their freedom.

Hell yes.

Posted by Lee on 11/27/03 at 03:04 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

by Lee

So, what am I thankful for this year?  I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who participates in the comments here, you guys keep[ the board rolling along.  A huge thanks to those of you who hit the tip jar, or bought a referred product from Amazon.com, or picked up a t-shirt or a mug from the Right-Thinking Crap Store.  The site really wouldn’t be what it is without you guys participating as much as you do, and I really love all of you for being here.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.


What do I have to be thankful for?  I’m more or less healthy, my parents still alive, and I’ve got a pretty good job (with the possibility of getting a much better one).  We’ve got a Republican controlled federal government, and while they’re largely blowing the chance that they have been given, I’m a thankful that I haven’t spent the last three years living under the Algore Regime.  I’m glad that Saddam and the Taliban are, if not dead completely, spluttering along on about their 12th minute of fame.  I’m thankful that the Arab world has seen firsthand the ease that we can depose their regimes, should we decide to do so.

What are you thankful for?  Leave a comment below.

Posted by Lee on 11/27/03 at 03:11 AM in • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Green Butts and Slam
by Lee

The Gap-Tooothed Slut is Jay Leno right now plugging her new children’s book.  I will refer you, gentle reader, to my thoughts on this subject from May 3 of this year.

Posted by Lee on 11/27/03 at 03:01 AM in Celebrity Idiots  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

America’s Asshats
by Lee

Today the Mac and Linux versions of America’s Army: Special Forces 2.0 were released.  Take a look at this page, which is the feedback page from a software update site that I subscribe to.  Here’s a couple of choice ones.

This isn’t a game, its a callous, cold recruitment tool appealing to those that think violence can solve violence. Yes teamwork is cool, but not when it’s used to kill as many people as you can. See Sept. 11 for the wrong use of good teamwork.

Yes, that’s right, a combat game promoting teamwork is the same as the 9/11 attacks.

I’m insulted that this game even exist for Macs. This might as well be “Nazi Death Camp 3D.”

The US Army = Nazi Death Camp.  Charming, huh?  There’s plenty more like this.  As for me, I’m downloading the update as I type this.

Update: I have to highlight one more of these.

snappermorgan, this IS a political game, and thus deserves political reviews. Don’t tell me this is totally innocent, just created to show the reality of the war to little kids…
I for one am an antimilitarist european. But I sometimes like to play violent games, as long as they’re gratuitous, don’t have an actual sense. America’s Army’s got a sense, and i hate that

So, some pantywaist Euroweenie antimilitarist pacifist jerkoff likes to play violent games, but not games that make sense and have an actual purpose.  So he’d love playing the upcoming 3D game “Saddam’s Death Chamber.  (With realistic mass graves!)” That game wouldn’t dare portray such icky anachronistic concepts like patriotism, teamwork, and the pursuit of excellence.

Posted by Lee on 11/27/03 at 01:41 AM in Left Wing Idiocy  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Family Class
by Lee

First came Billy Carter, then Roger Clinton, and now we have Neil Bush.

A Texas court has been asked to order the younger brother of President George W. Bush to give a new sample for DNA testing in a paternity-related defamation suit, sources told United Press International Wednesday.

The request for the new sample from Neil Bush, filed on behalf of Sharon Bush, was slated to be heard in Houston’s Harris County Civil Court on Dec. 9.

“We require he be forced to give a sample under court supervision,” David Berg, attorney for Sharon Bush, told United Press International. “He voluntarily did it before we got to court but not under court supervision. It was a good first step, but we want it under court supervised conditions.”

Sharon Bush is being sued for defamation by Robert Andrews, a business associate of Neil Bush, who claims she defamed his 2-year-old son by publicly saying the boy was fathered by Neil Bush.

Maria Andrews, now divorced from her husband, is currently living in Paris with the child. Bush has said he intends to marry the woman following his divorce from Sharon Bush last spring. It was unclear if Neil would join her for the Thanksgiving holiday or remain in the United States.

Neil Bush did not return UPI’s calls for comment by publication time Wednesday.

In a deposition given in the divorce case in March, a month before his divorce from Sharon, the president’s 48-year-old sibling detailed financial relationships with firms in Taiwan and China and admitted to having had sex on several occasions in years past with unidentified women who simply came to his hotel door in Thailand and Hong Kong.

Oh yeah, I can see them on the Jerry Springer Show.

Posted by Lee on 11/27/03 at 01:02 AM in Politics  • (13) TrackbacksPermalink
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