The Yellow Dog Blog

More meaningless ramblings from another guy you don't know

Friday, September 29, 2006

The "torture" issue

Just in time for the home stretch of the election cycle, (in addition to National Intelligence Estimate leaks and weighty new tomes hitting the shelves) it's time to resurrect the Abu Graib torture issue. Granted, the House and Senate have just approved most of what the President asked for in the interrogation and trial of enemy combatants - so the subject does have some relevance given current news.

However, Dahlia Lithwick in Slate sees the legislative approval as a sign of something much more disturbing - America's desensitization to "torture" which has brought us to this pass where the evil Bush administration is given leave to wantonly violate the Geneva Conventions (never mind the fact that the conventions don't even apply to non-uniformed enemy combatants). To what does she attribute this new callousness? Well, a variety of things, including the lionization of Jack Bauer, the number of times the Abu Graib photos were displayed and even "congressional hairsplitting" over the acceptable level of "abuse" to which we'll subject suspected terrorists.

But the answer is really none of those things at all. The real answer is something that is beyond the ability of those of the mindset of Lithwick and the other liberal war opponents to conceive.

The reason that the President got what he asked for and that congressional Democrats didn't sufficiently "express horror over the brutalization of enemy prisoners" is that their constituents, from the very first, had little or no objection to what they saw. Take a look at the Abu Graib photos. I see not a single example of what can reasonably be called torture. There is a photo of a dead body that at the time was alleged to have been the result of torture, but that was never established. If, in fact, that man died as a result of actual torture, those responsible should be held to account. However, given what we know, it's just as likely that the body was brought in as an example to the other prisoners of their fate if they didn't talk.

Torture is causing lasting, damaging pain to an individual. Putting panties on his head, scaring him with a barking dog or making him lie naked in a pile of his buddies might be embarassing, but it doesn't cause any lasting damage and it certainly doesn't rise to the level of torture.

Confronted with the media-driven firestorm that was Abu Graib in April of 2004, just two and a half years after the 9/11 attacks, the vast majority of Americans looked at the photos and came to the conclusion that if we have to pile up some naked enemy prisoners and humiliate them a little to get valuable information that would save lives in Iraq and possible at home, then so be it. I don't have any numbers as to the response our distinguished congressmen and senators received on this and you wouldn't get a straight answer from them, anyway. But all evidence to the contrary, our elected representatives aren't completely brain-dead. They have enough capacity for thought to conclude that with an election just six weeks away, it is in their best interests not to hamstring the President on this issue and allow our military and CIA interrogators to do what's necessary to get the information they need.

The idiotarian wing in both houses is big and loud enough to have taken full advantage of this issue if they thought it would benefit them back home at the ballot box. But with few exceptions, they concluded that isn't the case. What Lithwick fails to realize is that not everyone thinks about this the way that she does. Just like their support for the war's basic rationale (better to take it to them over there than fight over here), most of us looked at those photos and decided that what they saw didn't justify disabling our efforts to get life-saving information from probable terrorists.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Be very aware

Hard to believe I almost let this go by without trumpeting it across the blogosphere so that it gets all the attention it so richly deserves. Just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and healthy squirrel awareness week.

Evidently, you need to be even more aware in California.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Satanic mascot goblins on the march

Quick, run for your lives! Don't let them get you!

If there's a better argument for carrying a firearm, I haven't seet it.

Can't wait to get a good look at Googoo, the Internet censorship ox, though.

No confirmation yet of the rumor that these horrifying characters were modeled after actual fetuses from China's forced abortion program.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Is that a rifle in your pant or are you just glad to see me?

Dontcha just love stories like this that end happily?

The second time she saw the man, she was walking up Brushton Avenue around 5:35 a.m. She recognized his clothing. "Oh my God," she thought, "It's him."

She walked faster, unobtrusively getting her gun ready, but kept it under her sleeve. When they reached the top of steep Brushton Avenue, he was out of breath and stopped; she continued. She looked behind her once, and she saw him leaning over, pulling his rifle out from his pants.

Knowing she needed to fire before he was able to take aim, she steadied her gun and fired twice at his abdomen. He continued to lean over, apparently unaffected, and Dunbar thought, "Oh my God, my bullets didn't work."

Then he stood up, yelled, and fell over.

I'm sure she's mighty glad she doesn't live somewhere like New York, D.C. or San Francisco where victims are conveniently pre-disarmed for their attackers.

The Muslim diagnosis

I'm not a Catholic, but like the Pope (in some cases, anyway), I stand on the side of reason and western civilization. The following is a letter to the editor from Richard Reay of Riverdale, New York in response to a 9/21 WSJ op ed by Reuel Marc Gerecht. It's not available on-line (that I can find) so I re-type the letter in its entirety:

As Reuel Marc Gerecht points out in his September 21 editorial-page commentary "The Pope's Divisions," many Muslims wrongly perceive Islam as a political and military tool of conquest ? which will only corrupt it as Christianity was during the Middle Ages. On the other hand, Jews are often accused of doing the opposite: using Judaism to insulate themselves and exclude others in order to concentrate their own power. Therefore, the power of spirituality can be misunderstood and abused, which is why reason is an integral part of faith and a solution to the infirmities of the mind and soul.

Pope Benedict is right to appeal to logos, that nexus of reason and spirituality, to compel people to ask what is going wrong in the world at large, and Islam in particular. When you look at history, Islam is simply one of many groups through which the intellectual legacy of the world has passed. Violence, therefore, is the cartharsis of its passingand the antithesis of reason and humanism, which are the basis of monotheism and the Greek philosophical tradition. As Christianity and Judaism work toward an interfaith understanding, Islam is the prodigal son that needs to return home to the cradle of civilization that it shares with its monotheistic brethren.

But reason, as a basis for understanding revealed truth, is the same foundation for understanding politics. And when people don?t want to acknowledge the conclusions that derive from reason and logic, they become dissonant, dissociated, even violent. ?Choice? is often considered the mark of intellectual independence, but it?s also a mask for denying what follows from reason. In other words, I have a right to believe what I wish, even if I know I?m wrong. This attitude often manifests itself in liberal democracies among social militants of the left. But you also see the ideology of victimhood ? one of its offshoots ? taking root in the Middle Eastern critique of the West?s alleged intent to subjugate Arabs through ?colonialism? ? when it is really their own culture and intellectual inertia that is holding them back.

It is this intellectual inertia that is now being institutionalized through jihad that Pope Benedict wants Muslims to reject through reason. Unfortunately, and to their shame, the pope?s critics don?t understand that his dialectic approach to dialogue by using Emperor Manuel?s statement as a starting point for inquiry. Thus the violent reaction on the Arab street. However, Pope Benedict is trying to prevent the world from devolving into a Tower of Babel where the ?us vs. them? mentality can bring down the tower of universitas and its richness of human variety. The antidote to this gathering chaos and nihilism is the appeal to reason as our salvation. And it is the universality of reason, as echoed in the words of Lincoln, that is the spiritual and civic religion of all people everywhere.

I wish that I were as sanguine as Mr. Reay about the universality of reason. Islam has a particularly difficult time with self criticism and self examination, let alone abiding either from an outsider. But I do agree that the violence and terrorism that has been displayed by elements of Islam in the last fifteen years or so (along with the reluctance to confront it from within by moderate Muslims) is a reaction to a sort of dissociative pathology and the politics of victimhood that have been promoted by the Muslim world?s dictatorial strongmen for over two generations. The Muslim world is being left behind, both socially and economically as a result of its own cultural inertia. This stagnation has negatively impacted almost a billion people across the globe and provides the basis for further claims of victimhood that feeds a self-perpetuating cycle.

I don't know if democratization in Iraq is right course to conter-act this. If nothing else, the violent responses by reactionary Muslims and the scorn among western leftists should be a positive indicator. Something, however, must be done or the problem will only get worse.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sportsmanship, pure and simple

Golf really is different. It's frequently praised as the only sport in which players call penalties on themselves. But it's this kind of sportsmanship that really impresses me.

As the Euros were administering their bi-annual, ritualized Ryder Cup beating, Paul McGinley conceded a tweny-five foot putt to America's J.J. Henry. The Americans had trouble with five footers, let alone tweny-five footers, but McGinley's gesture allowed Henry to ensure a tie in the match which prevented the Euros from scoring a record-setting margin of victory.

Can't you just see the the same type of sportsmanship coming from the preening, in-your-face idiots who play NFL football or NBA basketball?

Warning, Will Robinson!

I'm driving my son to school this morning when I glance at my dash and see it lit up like the Three Mile Island control board. I drive an '06 Honda Pilot with about 10K miles on it that I bought in February. Great car.

After deciphering the smoke signals, I determined that I'm being told that two of my tires are low. Much to my amazement (owner's manual - what owner's manual?), the car has tire pressure sensors that alert you when the air pressure in any tire is down about 10%.

So, after lunch I drive to my neighborhood petrol purveyor. As I needed a fill-up anyway, I topped off the tank and moved the car over to the air machine. After unsucessfully attempting to stuff my quarter into the pay slot, I asked the attendant who informed me that the machine was out of service. Natch.

I then drove up and down the street stopping at the four stations that are within a mile of my house. Three of the four had non-operative air machines Like 'Postal Service', 'service station' has become a laughable oxymoron.

I finally located a working air hose at the fourth station where the charge for air was 75 cents. Now, I'm second to no one in my capitalist bona fides and admiration for the system as a whole. The market can and should determine the price of almost every service and commodity. No other system is fairer or more efficient.

But 75 cents? For air?? Holy freakin' crap.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Um, pot...kettle...


The man continually redifines the meaning of chutzpah.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Deja vu all over again

Haven't we seen this before?

The Euros are obviously deep in the Americans' heads. They played all day with thousand yard stares while the Euros looked like they were playing in a benefit scramble. Garcia and Donald could have harassed the chick driving the drink cart, downed three or four brews and smoked stogies the whole time without changing the outcome one iota.

This won't end well. Again.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Happy 5767...

to all of my Jewish friends out there.

I just know I'll still be writing 5766 on my checks for a month or two, though.


Sorry. I really should have warned you to remove any small children from the room and to be sure you weren't even contemplating food before you check this out.



I've been a little negligent

It's been pointed out to me that given the name of this little narcissistic enterprise, there's been precious little in the way of actual yelllow dog-related posting. Bowing (bow-wowing?) to popular pressure, I'll introduce the beasts that inhabit my home, share my food and make life generally chaotic.

Allow me to introduce thing three. That's right, we currently have three yellow labs in casa de YDB. Why? Because last Christmas, snookums decided that what I really needed was a new puppy to go with our two fully grown, relatively well-trained and decidedly low maintenance labs. So, she contacted the breeder from whom we got our first lab (you'll meet him later) to arrange for another yellow male.

I went along with this grudginly. Snookums said that she and my son would train the pup (um, yeah). That he wouldn't be any trouble at all (right). And that it wouldn't be a broblem for our other two furry tenants.

Along with the attendant hassles of bringing up a puppy and the fact that no sane family needs three large dogs, my biggest concern was the effect a new pup would have on our oldest lab, thing one. Since the day we picked him up from the breeder, he's been the love of my life. He's now 11+ years old, has arthritis in most of his joints and is very definitely set in his ways. I didn't want to make his life unnecessarily difficult by introducing a new dog to the mix.

Well, snookums talked to our saintly veterinarian (who long ago was given instructions that he was to do whatever he needed to do to ensure that thing one never dies) about the prospect of a new addition to the herd and he said that thing one should be able to weather the storm.

So... we picked up thing three in late January when he was about 12 weeks old. The photo above was taken at about 4 months of age. This one was taken at about the same time. He's now nine months old and you can imagine what has happened. Snookums' nefarious plan worked perfectly. I proceeded to fall in love with this one just like I did with things one and two. The evil genious!

Intros to things one and two coming soon.

Mahmoud Rosannadanna

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Not just experts, academic experts

It seems that the esteemed Donna Shalala, along with the obligatory "committee of experts," has found that women in the fields of mathematics, science and engineering don't do as well as their male counterparts. Women working in these areas in universities "are generally paid less and promoted more slowly, receive fewer honors, and hold fewer leadership positions." And here's the kicker - this august group found "no good explanation for why women are being locked out (emphasis mine)."

So what did they concluded was the reason (good or bad) for this disparity? Why, the old reliable, of course - gender bias (cue ominous music).

Lemme get this straight. American Universities as a whole are far and away the most liberal (some would even say leftist) organizations in the country. No other industry even comes close. That being the case, we're asked by this "committee of experts" to believe that in what should otherwise be the most accepting, inclusive and nurturing of environments possible, bastions of affirmative action, the patriarchy still flexes its muscles of oppression to keep the wimmin folk barefoot and pregnant.

Uh huh.

First, let's say they've absolutely nailed the problem. The poor girls are every bit as smart and accomplished as the men they're working with, but those mean old department heads and deans won't let them fulfill their promise. That means that even in what should be the most ideal of circumstances (again, we're talking about liberal, bend-over-backward-to-be-politically-correct universities), men are still oppressing women to the extent that they're significantly underrepresented on faculties and in leadership. If that's the case, then what hope do they have of changing circumstances in the society at large?

What these experts refuse to countenance, though, is even the possibility that, Larry Summers notwithstanding, there really may be biological or cultural factors at work here that result in few women progressing in these fields.

Here's a thought experiment. Think about chess. That's right, the board game. Like sporting events, it's a meritocracy, pure and simple. If you win, you're better than the person across the board from you, no matter what sex or color you may be burdened with. Unlike sporting events, size and upper body strength aren't factors in women's success at chess. Grey matter is all that matters. OK, so that being the case, how many women grand master champions have you ever heard of. Have you ever read about any woman even playing against Bobby Fischer, Boris Spassky or Gary Kasparov, let alone beating one of them?

I'm not saying a woman won't or can't excel in chess or that one won't some day be ranked number one in the world. Good on her if it happens. I'm simply asking why is there a dearth of females in the chess world? Could it be that, like in other more obvious areas, there really are differences between men and women? Naw. I'm sure even a committee of experts wouldn't be able to find anything like that.

I think it's gonna be the P22

I've been kicking around the idea of buying my first handgun for a while now and decided that I wanted a 22lr semi-automatic. They're a good choice as a first handgun as they're relatively inexpensive, produce minimal recoil and use inexpensive ammo. You can shoot all day long for just a few dollars. I'd use it to learn pistol shooting, general target shooting at the range and plinking for fun.

After doing the requisite research on the net, I'd narrowed the probables to three - a Ruger Mk III, a Buckmark Micro Standard and a Beretta Neos. So... I drove out to a Bass Pro Shop as they had all three guns (or variants thereof).

Having handled all three, the Ruger was eliminated because it just didn't feel comfortable in my hand. I then visited a range that rented a few 22lr pistols to try the Neos. I put 50 or so rounds through one with mixed results. The gun certainly feels good to shoot and is very accurate. I had a number of misfeeds using first quality ammo (Eley Tenex) but wasn't too worried. I'd learned that 22 pistols frequently require experimentation with different ammo to determine what they like to shoot best. What really nixed the Neos for me was the design - I had to use two hands to release the slide. Not good.

I took the Neos back to the counter where the friendly sales guy suggested that I try a Walther P22. This particular range isn't a Browning shop, and didn't have a Buckmark for me to try, so I figured, what the heck.

Long story short, I immediately fell in love with it. The Walther felt like it was made for my (small) hand. Everything was in exactly the right place. The gun is small compared to the three I had been thinking about (which I like) and consequently is a little less accurate, though I got pretty good groupings from twenty and even at fifty feet. I put a hundred rounds through it without one failure. It just shot like a dream.

I still felt that I should shoot a Buckmark, but afer calling all over town, I couldn't find one available to shoot, and don't know anyone who owns one. So, I checked out and posted a few questions. But after doing the necessary due diligence, I've come to the realization that it's the Walther that I'm really lusting for.

So, after clearing a couple of financial questions in the next couple of weeks, I'll be buying myself an early Christmas present. More to follow once the pourchase is made.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thank you, Hugo

I think we all owe Hugo Chavez a debt of gratitude. The porcine Venezuelan strongman (in tandem with his kindred spirit from Tehran) did more damage to the average sentient American's regard for that rolling disaster on the East River - you probably know it as the United Nations - than any hyper-conservative, black-helicopter-fearing, one-world-government-hater could every have accomplished. Their tirades, accompanied by the hearty applause of most in attendance at the general assembly, have clearly demonstrated that corrupt conglomeration as the America-hating anti-semitic hive that it really is.

Thank you, Hugo. Thank you very much.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Outrage on the Charles

Well, as if there were any real doubt, we're getting another excellent look at the kind of people that run our institutions of higher learning. Harvard, the same people who ran Larry Summers out on a rail, have invited former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami to speak on the subject of, um the ethics of tolerance in the age of violence. That whirring sound you hear is George Orwell spinning as his mind boggles.

That's right, the geniuses at Foggy Bottom have given this former tyrant and patron of terrorism a "limited visa" so that he can present his ideas to the American people. And when did the leading lights of the Kennedy School choose to have the man who arrested, tortured and imprisoned thousands to speak? The day before the fifth anniversary of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. To use an old phrase, that's so September 10th. I think the American people got a very clear glimpse of the kind of tolerance Khatami prefers about five years ago.

Now to be fair, the State Department was probably obligated to issue a visa given that Khatami was invited to speak to the U.N. However, I'd be suprised if there isn't a way to confine him to New York City for the duration of his stay, rather than enabling his grand tour of the U.S.

As for Harvard, the same university that was so outraged by Ronald Regan that they rescinded an invitation to speak that they had extended to him (the courageous pre-summers administration caved yet again to the horror and outrage expressed by the faculty), has been able to find it in their hearts to overlook Khatami's open support of international terrorism, his crackdown against thousands of reformers in his own country, the torture he sanctioned and the uncounted thousands who have undoubtedly died in Iran's prisons during Khatami's seven year reign of terror.

How any Harvard alum can continue to donate when people that would sanction this are running the asylum is utterly beyond me.
More sage wisdom from

While trying to escape through Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden found a bottle along the way and picked it up. Suddenly, a female genie rose from the bottle and said "Master, may I grant you one wish?"

"You ignorant unworthy daughter-of-a-dog! Don't you know who I am? I don't need any common woman giving me anything," barked Bin Laden. The shocked genie said "Please, I must grant you a wish or I will be returned to that bottle forever!"

Osama thought a moment. Then grumbled about the impertinence of the woman, and said, "Very well, I want to awaken with three American women in my bed in the morning, so just do it and be off with you!" The annoyed genie said, "So be it!" smiled and disappeared.

The next morning Bin Laden woke up in bed with Lorena Bobbitt, Tonya Harding, and Hillary Clinton. His penis was gone, his knees were broken, and he had no health insurance.

God is good.

Monday, September 04, 2006

On this Labor Day holiday, it's always instructive and helpful to remind ourselves of our history and how we've gotten to this point in history (with a little help from the scholars at :

Humans existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters and gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in winter.

The 2 most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into 2 distinct subgroups: Liberals and Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early human ancestors were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as "the Conservative movement." Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the sewing, fetching and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement. Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as 'girliemen.'

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy and group hugs and the concept of democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.
Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare.

Another interesting revolutionary side note about liberals: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't "fair" to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, Marines, para-troopers, athletes, independant real estate brokers and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to "govern" the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tame and created a business of trying to get MORE for nothing.

Friday, September 01, 2006

It follows that one of the most sensational charges leveled against the Bush White House -- that it orchestrated the leak of Ms. Plame's identity to ruin her career and thus punish Mr. Wilson -- is untrue.

As one of the leading voices, along with the NYT, that promoted the Plame affair as requiring investigation due to the possibly nefarious intent of the Administration, it's refreshing that they had the good grace to print this editorial .

I'm sure the Times will be following right along with their admission that this was all a mistaken bunch of media-promoted hype. Or not.