Saturday, January 19, 2002

Ahoy!

Just gotta link to the blog of a fellow WESTPAC (Western Pacific Naval Theater to Moira and others without a military background (not that there's anything wrong with that)) vet.

Hey, where'd my archives go?

Friday, January 18, 2002

Banzai!
This post was a much longer analysis of Hanson's latest at NRO. Blogger (with the help of a too quick delete of what I thought was a double post) ate everything but the title. Here's what I really liked:

Yet in precisely the same way as kamikazes off Okinawa led to frightful measures of mass destruction, so too jumbo jets exploding at the World Trade Center were the logical precursors to daisy cutters and bunker busters in Afghanistan, as an unleashed America resounded with a terrible fury and effectiveness not seen since 1945. And it is not over yet. A roused and angry mind at Caltech or in Silicon Valley, with a wife, kids, dog, and house in the suburbs, can conjure up far more lethal weapons and strategies than can any madman from the Middle East.

So true. And whereas Islamokazis don't get much better with use (since those that are any good are only good once) we Americans, military and civilian, learn and adapt with every attack.

Thursday, January 17, 2002

The kids are allright

Speaking of those cheesey holiday updates from acquaintances, this seemed to pass under our RADAR, though Carl Hiassen is a fellow Floridiot ( I grew up there) who I read regularly and usually enjoy.

Update: The first link was to Perry's story about a late arriving form Christmas update over at Samizdata. I don't know why, but it just seems to take you to the top the blog rather than the individual post. If you want to see it scroll down to "God bless the USPS."

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

If it is dirt and commentary on our "friends" in the Mideast you crave, grasshoppa's blog is the place.

Tuesday, January 15, 2002

Urrrp

No matter Shiloh's disdain for Martha, I gotta give her some credit. She just took a bite of a Wendy's Triple with bacon and cheese and washed it down with a shot of Jack Black on tonite's Conan rerun. Tom would say OOOH-RA.
It's 2002, Where's my friggin' jet pack?

Steve Den Beste at Clueless points to this personal helicopter as an unSegway-like (uniMac-like?) example of something that actually lives up to the hype. There are, of course naysayers:

But technology forecaster Paul Saffo, a director of the Institute for the Future in Menlo Park, isn't so sure. He wonders whether SoloTreks can be made idiot-proof enough for regulators to deem it safe for the public.
"The moment you move through three dimensions, that takes special skills," Saffo said. "This is a specialty for military, police and less obvious things - like power line inspection."



Speaking of the Segway, I mentioned earlierthat its tech would have other uses. I'll bet personal helos would become a lot more idiot proof with a Segway-like lean there/go there intuitive control system.
Me and Dubya Down by the River

The Prez visited the city that care forgot this week as part of his object lesson tour of why trade is good for the economy. He started a couple of days ago way up the river in the Midwest, visiting farmers and factory workers whose products would eventually go down the river and, likely via the port of New Orleans, out to the global market. I used the one or two drops of political juice I had to wrangle tickets to the event. It really just entailed finding out who had tix and using a connected friend's name to hold them until my bride could pick them up. FWIW, here are my impressions of the event:
First of all, the tickets admonished us to arrive no later than 0730, which might of made it a nonstarter for a lot of Crescent City residents, given how many, your author included, are late night types. Nonetheless, there was a good crowd. Tom, a Marine Captian friend of mine was there with a coupla comrades in arms. The demographics of the crowd were really pretty much a cross section of middle America in general rather than New Orleans in particular. I attribute this to the hour and the machinations required to attend. We went because the event literally took place about half a mile away from home. Even so, having stayed up late last night, we only just made it.

Earlier, after some debate, I decided to forego a suit and went "dot.com"- slacks, a sweater and a leather jacket. Beth, when I complimented her on her outfit replied tartly, (it was the pre-coffee AM) "Screw Ann Coulter, nobody does Republican better than me." Our sartorial choices proved appropriate as we were invited by a staffer to leave the rabble and become part of the wall of people you see behind the dias at these events. People in that number are, of course, hand picked to represent whatever demo the pol is trying to reach in a given speech. FWIW, I guess the big swarthy guy and tall striking blonde demos must've fit in there somewhere today. You can see us in some of the wider shots, about midway up, to the left. The pols and business guys actually stuck out in their suits and ties given the working class look of the rank and file who atteneded.

I'm sure most of you have already read or heard the gist of the speech or its critique by the commentariat, but here are some first hand observations:

The actual event took place in a sort of conex box (shipping container) canyon that opened to the wharf, where a conex laden frieghter blocked the riverward approach, easing the security problem I expect.


Hizzoner (the Mayor, off on a "trade mission" to Mexico) was absent but Bush quoted from a letter that offered his unqualified support for fast track trade power.

Bush thanked us for our forbearance and support in this "first theater" of the war. Loaded term that.

I remember the gaggle of press that usually followed Clinton and Bush Sr. when they visited Severn Vo-tec when I was there in the early nineties ( I was actully "pardoned" (freed from restriction) by both presidents during their visits to Canoe U, a unique experience for a citizen, much less a midshipman. Remind me to relate those events when the content gets boring). In both cases there were so many pressies and they were set up such that no mere mid (e.g. non striper) could really get a good look. It seems that the logistic and operational art involved in these events has improved sufficiently in the interceding years to greatly impove the experience for attendants. Still there seemed to be many fewer pressies than I recalled from previous events. I wonder if some had succumbed to the cocktail flu and decided to phone it in. New Orleans can do serious damage to the uninitiated. The bars don't close and their keepers pour heavy. In the Quarter, three for ones come in one big go cup and are cheap.


In person, the President seemed genuinely comfortable with the crowd and took a lot time to shake hands and sign autographs. His delivery was good and he really did not seem to need his notes other than when he read from the Mayor's letter, which was in fact the actual letter on City Hall staionary. There was no teleprompter. The speech was not particularly partisan and pretty much stuck to IMHO, no brainer pro USA themes other than to chide the Senate for sitting on the trade bill and the stimulus package. He also ridiculed the idea that the tax cut caused the recession but didn't name names.

Hey, I'm no Pro

I was at the President's speech today at the wharf. I'll post a full report soon. No, I'm not whoring for hits ala Jonah Goldberg and his on deck box. I am at work and haven't the time right now. Really.