Not quite dead

I’m having a rough time. but enough about me, how are you doing? And more importantly, how are the people to whom we entrust the solemn duty of serving us the preferred propaganda of their corporate masters and the crackpot billionaires that own them?

Here’s Jonah Goldberg being a hack again.

Obama has called for us to take common sense measures to reduce gun crime, especially mass shootings. He points out that Great Britain and Australia have virtually eliminated gun crimes, and have had no mass shootings in decades. Jonah correctly points out they did this by registering all firearms, banning most handguns and “assault” rifles, and confiscating all of the ones they could find. Jonah argues that somehow this isn’t a common sense solution, because a few hundred thousand Americans would disagree. So, in Jonah’s world, the rest of us must remain hostages to the paranoid fantasies of the NRA who see tyranny hiding behind every effort to reduce the 30,000 gun related deaths every year.

Victor Davis Hanson has looked in his tea leaves and discovered that the Iran deal guarantees war in the middle east. Of course this is VDH we are talking about, to him everything means war in the middle east, oil prices going up? war in the middle east. Oil prices going down? war in the middle east. the sun rises in the east? war in the middle east. Lunar eclipse? war in the middle east. And while it pains me to say it, given the history of the last 3000 years, he may not be wrong. There will be war in the middle east. It’s kinda their thing. Historically they haven’t been helped much by the successive invasions of Egyptians, Romans, Mongols, French and English, and any others I may have missed. But Obama has done nothing uniquely dangerous. He’s taken an increasingly unpopular and unsustainable sanctions regime and ended with a multilateral commitment to an inspection regime that will verify the cessation of Iran’s nuclear weapon program. That was probably the best deal Obama could get. Iran has convinced the international community that the sanctions were unjust and it was only a matter of time before the already creaky sanctions regime would have collapsed completely when Russia or China decided to trade openly with Iran.

There will be war in the middle east for a long time. Off the top of my head, there’s a civil war in Syria, there’s a civil war in Yemen, there’s Sunni/Shiite strife, there’s Israeli/Palestinian strife, there’s Wahhabi/21st century strife and that’s without checking any sources. People are dying in the middle east because of oil, because of colonialism, because of religion, because of realpolitik. If Obama nuked Iran to glass on his first day in office, Israel would be no “safer”, the middle east would be no more peaceful and the only person in the world who wouldn’t be horrified would be VDH, who would be screaming to nuke China or Russia next. I worry about him, really I do. The VDH I know from his columns is a man who see no use for humanity other than as toy soldiers to fight his fantasy battles. He seems to only understand politics through the lens of 2000 year old triumphal propaganda. I’m going to blockquote his last sentence:

In sum, the region is North Korea cubed, an Islamic shoot-’em-up Tombstone or Dodge City where punks with nuclear six-guns, not sober classical deterrence, will make the rules.

This is not a man from whom anyone should be taking military or political advice. This is a man who has learned everything he knows about politics, psychologoly and the military by reading the 2000 year old equilavent of SGT Rock comic books.


Comments: 42


I’m also having a rough time, due to this cold going round the place. It’s funny to highlight the extreme end of right-wing coverage of events, but it looks like the US mainstream are just as bad. Syria, Yemen don’t sdo much have civil wars as US, saudi terrorist mercenaries attacking them. Think of ISIS/ISIL/da’esh as just the latest name change of what used to be called Blackwater.


I won’t pretend to understand all of the politics and poker in Syria and Yemen, But I’m dead certain most of the pundits stomping their feet demanding the US do something to fight the jihadists in Syria and Yemen know even less.

It wouldn’t surprise me to find Blackwater or Xe or whatever Erik Prince’s former mercenaries are calling themselves these days (I looked it up, they are Academi these days)are up to no good in Yemen, but I have a hard time imagining them teaming up with ISIS.


Thought you might have hung up your keyboard.

I went to the big Interbike trade show in Vegas a few weeks ago. I ran the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame booth. Did you make it?


I wish I could have gone, but my ties to the bike industry were permanently severed when *huge bicycle company* gave me the boot in ’05. I won’t rule out working for one in the future, but there will be no more taking a substandard salary just to work in the bike industry. If you know of any bike industry IT jobs going unfilled that pay enough to choke a horse with every paycheck, I hope you will let me know. Provider_UNE might have made it tho. Fear not! I have not hung up my keyboard. I have been really busy, and my standard coping strategy of trying to outwait a crisis, does not apply in this case. I will try to resume my once weekly posting,


To : Helmut, Cerb, Provider, Major Kong, Pups & Teh Ho, bbkf, B4, tsam, eddie Leafs suck,Chris,kiwi, smut clyde,new mountain bike hero, actor, gary ruppert, fenwick and everybody who is going to bop me for forgetting their name –



Hi everyone. Haven’t been over here in a while.

We had a bit of a scare last month. I came home from the store and found her sitting in the upstairs hallway after having collapsed.

Took her to the ER and the next day they put in a pacemaker. They don’t really know why she needs one, just that she does. She’s otherwise quite healthy and fit.


By “her” I mean my wife of course.

I now tease her about being a cyborg.


Major, have action movies from the ’80s taught you nothing? Taunting cyborgs is a bad idea. Haven’t you ever seen Robocop?


Hi, guys. I regret I haven’t been here in a while either, but darn, the place looks good. And HM, thanks for the reminder about taunting cyborgs. And for the very fine post, which is heart-breaking, but in the way fine posts pretty much have to be these days.


I just had to check. Victor Davis Hanson, born September 5, 1953, failed to volunteer for the US Army at the age of 17, did not defend Fire Support Base Ripcord in the A Shau Valley, did not lie about his age and join the Marines and fight in I Corps in 1969, did not fly any missions over Hanoi or the Ho Chi Minh trail, did not evacuate the embassy in ’75, did not man a bunker in Beirut in 1983, did not liberate Grenada, did not serve as a Special Forces adviser in El Salvador, did not serve in a National Guard unit in Honduras preparing for the invasion of Nicaragua, did not liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein, did not liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein, and did not liberate Afghanistan from the Taliban.

But he did get his BA in ’75, and his PhD in 1980.

Crotchety old race car mechanic Smokey Yunick used to say that some people are pelicans: all they do is eat, squawk, and shit.


Welcome back Helmut!
War in the Middle East is about the most general statement going, which is why Biblical texts about specific contemporary events (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Revelations, etc.) keep seemingly like they are referring to events that are happening a few thousand years later. So VDH will no doubt be right about more war, but he’s still stupid to think the Iran deal means more war.
Has every conservative forgotten the “deals are for wimps” policy of Bush II led directly to North Korea having nukes? Turns out flexing does not deter countries that have the means from building nukes.


The influx of Saudi cash is a Big Fucking Deal, but these movements aren’t in it for the money. They believe in what they’re doing. The analogy you hear sometimes is to the International Brigades of the thirties – people from all over the world united by a common cause, but with superwealthy patrons that the Orwell/Hemingway types lacked. A better one might be the far-left terrorist community of the seventies and eighties (Baader-Meinhoff, Italian Red Brigades, Japanese Red Army) – same basic principle, lots of cross-pollination, but ultimately the Soviet Bloc bankrolling everything. Except the jihadists are a lot more independent of their national patrons than the “red” terrorists were. It’s hard to find a Western analogy that really works.

Though my impression with ISIS is that it’s actually less international than al-Qaeda was – much more tied to a particular conflict, a particular constituency, a particular place. That might change as foreign fighters keep coming in and as groups around the world declare loyalty to it.


ISIS is definitely dedicated to establishing its own state in whatever it can get its hands on. The foreign volunteers seem, for the moment, dedicated to helping that particular goal, likely as a first step to the creation of some modern pan-Islamic caliphate. For the broader international community the real danger is that the foreign fighters set up their own army within ISIS as al-Qaeda did in Taliban Afghanistan.
Saudi money isn’t as much about exporting Wahabism a la the Soviets so much as burnishing the royal family’s fundamentalist credentials and exporting Saudi troublemakers somewhere else. The royal family did the same thing for the Taliban, although the feud between bin Laden and the House of Saud kept them from ever funding al Qaeda even as the Sauds happily tossed their dissents to Afghanistan where bin Laden was ready to pick them up.


Glad to hear she’s okay and that you aren’t weirded out being hitched to a half-robot.

We’re three days out from the election here in hte Great White North and all anyone can talk about is bat flips.


S.A. vs. N.Z. for the South of the Equator Cup, I see. No fighting, please.

And best wishes to the Mrs., Major.


Hold my coat, MB. It’s going to be hell in here.

I wish I could airlift some strawberries and ice cream to the Mrs, Major. But, alas, good wishes and thoughts are all I can do. May her pacemaker last longer than Cheney’s.


PS. Leafs Suck > “bat flips” ????


Leafs Suck : “bat flips” ?????


Silliest thing in the (sporting) world: Not disposing of one’s baseball bat in the proper way after hitting a home run. Considered to be “showing up” the opposing pitcher.

I think I’m a Jays fan now.


I see V.D. Hanson is zackly two wks. older than I am. And not only did I not volunteer or serve where he didn’t either, I didn’t even bother to stick around & get a B.A., let alone that Ph.D.


We were just up in Leafs Suck on vacation. The Mrs. didn’t feel like flying this soon after her “event” and it’s an easy day’s drive up there from here.


I went down to the Interbike Trade Show in Vegas but I must’ve missed the Mtn bike HOF booth. Sorry about that. Would’ve said hello and bought your book.

If you’re ever in the Tulare Valley, let me know. Some great trails here.


Rugby ruined for everybody forever, by dodgy ref. #shameful


Election Update. Polls have closed, Liberals taking a lot of the East Coast. They will need to build a hefty lead through Ontario as Alberta’s seat count was adjusted upwards to account for all the folks who moved there for the Oil Sands Boom and now cannot afford to move back out.

That said, they voted in an NDP majority provincial government quite recently, so maybe Rachel Notley’s coat tails might carry some federal candidates through. Although none of the polls showed that as even remotely likely.

Big Bad Bald Bastard

It’s our busiest month of the year, and my co-worker who broke his arm in late August just returned to work this afternoon. I’m a bit run down, and if I have to deal with any more d-bags in the midnight hour, I will have to put somebody through a wall.

Otherwise, I am happy as a clam.


Hey, hope your busy night is okay. And that teh cow orkers gets well soon.

In election news, Liberals are outperforming out east. They were predicted to do quite well and take a couple dozen of the thirty-ish seats. How do you outperform that? You sweep. Right now they have 19 ridings called, and are leading in the remaining 13.

I am cautiously optimistic.


Andrew Coyne has sort of resigned as Editor in Chief of the National Post. The owners of his paper endorsed the Conservatives over his personal views. As a consolation, he wrote his own column calling for Harper’s ouster. That column got shitcanned.

To be clear – the editor in chief of one of the country’s national papers was overruled as to who the paper was going to endorse. Then when he submitted his own column to the newspaper he purportedly has final say in, it got dumped.

What could he do? Of course he quit. Sort of. He’s staying on as a columnist, just resigning as editor.

FFS. Andrew Coyne, you are a spineless shit gobbling dillweed. Cripes, where is your fucking dignity man? Oh wait, I forgot I was talking about Andrew Coyne. Lol.

Still, this is infinitely better than the Globe and Mail’s David Walmsley. Fuck, that was an epically stupid endorsement.


Also he “resigned” in a series of sixteen tweets. Actually, tweets numbered to 16, but he forgot #6 and sent that one out later. That was okay because there were two #11s.

A big petulant baby. Who let his employer shit all over him and use his name to prop up a political party he wants out. And that is still not the worst newspaper endorsement of this election. Print newspapers are going the way of the trees that constitute their circulation. Well with apologies to the handful of ink stained wretches who are decent folks – good riddance. They were always, for the most part, overly pretentious bloat rags. Adios assholes.


Okay, polls have just closed for the rest of Canada except BC which has half an hour left for hippie dippy west coasters to exercise their franchise. We should how it turned out shortly.


I don’t want to jinx it because we really do need things to change.

Jays are up 9-2 in the fourth. If we don’t choke like last game, we’ll only be trailing one game in the series.


The teevee talky heads are calling it for the Liberals. 2011’s orange crush has ebbed and the NDP are likely dropping back to third party status. So Harper is out of the PMO. Finally.

There is also still a possibility for a Liberal majority, although it’s nota very likely one.


Kansas City has scored two closing the gap to 9-4. But we’re not at the stretch yet, so plenty of time to choke.

BC polls have finally closed. Did someone remind our west coast Canucks to vote? Also too, I may have read the results a bit off. Liberal majority now looks like the mostly likely outcome. Who woulda thunk it?

One more dispatch. I have been drinking.


Liberal Majority. Expect speeches soon. Jays have a six run lead. Not yet 10:30 and I’m going to sleep. Night all.


Good job, Canada. Bit of a political surprise, eh?


Sweet dreams, Wangchuck.
And congratulations on being The Civilized One in North America again. Well done.
Er.. how are the Leafs doing?


Make Canada Great Again!

Great article, HM.


Are you sure you’re not Canadian? I mean federal elections ending 9 years of Conservative government and the Jays in the ALCS for the first time in over two decades – and the question you ask is “how are the Leafs doing?”

They suck. As usual.


Woohoo Harper’s out! Does Trudeau being PM mean we’re in for another Doonesbury hiatus?


I don’t normally do this, but I hereby take back all the things I’ve ever said about Andrew Coyne…


I know nothing about Canadian politics, other than they once prompted Charles De Gaulle to ruffle a few Canadian feathers by going “VIVE LE QUEBEC LIBRE!” (Always wondered why the PM didn’t respond by hopping the first plane to Ajaccio and making a thundering speech in favor of Corsican independence). But the replacement of a conservative government by a liberal one doesn’t sound like a bad thing in any context. Go Canada, eh?


(comments are closed)