A concerned Flea-reader writes regarding the Survivalist Militia community. He, Fenris Badwulf, wrote the following.
Nobody ever says much from the Survivalist Militia point of view. Where is the Survivalist Media? Is there a main stream Survivalist Media? Are they more or less biased than the main stream media?
What about funding? Is inadequate arts funding for Survivalist culture spending the root cause of the negative aspects of Survivalism? Do Survivalists feel unappreciated by the society at large.
I am concerned, a concerned citizen. I am outraged. Mayor Miller and his Toronto cronies should address spending initiatives for Survivalist cultural groups, let alone the inadequate number of programs for Survivalist senior citizens.
It is time that we, your money and my spending, take a stand against things we oppose.
Send me your money.
Your trustworthy ally and no questions asked trucking agent,
Excellent questions. Will Mayor Miller or his Toronto cronies respond? They will not.
Kryptonite gloves: Allow me to introduce you to them.
To elaborate on the point: Yes, Superman is faster and stronger and - with one notable exception - invulnerable. Batman, by contrast, has no superpowers whatsoever. Technically, he is not even a superhero. I get it. I get the point. In a fair fight, Superman wins.
So in what universe is Batman going to give Superman a fair fight? This is my point. Batman's superpower is being a pissed off white guy. I mean seriously pissed off. John McCain plus Die Hard to the power of Dirty Harry over 9000.
Supergenius, Grant Morrison is set to kill off the Batman. While I regret to point out (the blindingly obvious point) this "fate worse than death" cannot possibly be a permanent feature of the DC continuity, the news has already lead me to some interesting fan rumination.
Morrison isn't interested in complexity for its own sake: The stakes are much higher than that. As his intoxicated performance at the 2000 Disinfocom indicates, Morrison believes that writing comics is magic that can literally alter consensual reality. In Watchmen, Alan Moore surpassed every prior comics writer at imagining the "real lives" of superheroes. Morrison upends the genre in another way. Batman, lacking super powers, achieves his dark mastery by adhering to the magus Aleister Crowley's Nietzschean maxim: Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
I confess I had never thought of Bruce Wayne as a Thelemic Superman but I do like the sound of the idea.
Firefly Ship Works, Ltd. are offering the first ever comprehensive map of the Verse. I am going to have to exercise restraint with this one. As the map is double-sided, the temptation is to purchase two copies for display purposes.
Over two years in the making, the Map of the Verse measures 25 inches by 38 inches and is printed on both sides of a sheet of 65 lbs cover stock (believe me, we needed the space). It documents the names, positions, sizes, populations and other never-before-published details of the 215 terraformed planets and moons orbiting the five star systems that comprise The Verse of Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity.
Details emerge of Gurkha daring as they risked life and limb to recover the body of their fallen comrade, Rifleman Yubraj Rai of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Gurkha Rifles. I have already offered the opinion the Taliban have made a strategic error. Commenting at Rantburg, Anonymoose elaborates in detail.
I suspect the Taliban are about to learn a really terrifying lesson of what happens when you kill a Ghurkha.
A favorite classical technique of theirs is to sneak into an enemy camp, find two men sleeping together, and cut one of their throats. The next morning, the other man is the alarm clock to wake everyone else up.
In WWII, as few as half a dozen Ghurkhas caused a fresh Japanese infantry battalion to surrender without firing a shot. They snuck into their barracks at night, and painted a word on the sole of every Japanese soldier and officers' boot.
The preferred Gurkha method of silencing a sentry is to just use a large Kukri knife to split their head in half, vertically. If they are wearing a helmet, the Gurkha approaches laterally and cuts their head clean off.
Assuming, of course, the Gurkhas are not held in check by the most dangerous enemies of civilization: Lawyers and the press.
As long time Flea-readers will have inferred, for the sake of my blood pressure I make it as awkward as possible to leave comments. No spam and no idiots equals a serene blogging experience.
Unfortunately, it is now time to consider an alternative to TypePad. I am arriving via a different computer than usual this morning and, having been refused permission four times before I could post a comment to my own blog, I have to agree with reports the system has got wonky. Here is the unfortunate part: I have no clue how to get rid of TypePad and either install something else or default to MT's comment system (I am running version 3.2).
If someone could point me to on line instructions such as could be implemented by a five year old I would be most grateful.
The Instapundit links to news of V.I. Day. It is good news on one front of our eternal struggle against the enemies of Oceania but if we are ever going to really win this thing what we really need is Victory on the Internet Day.
Gluing sprockets and gears to a mouse does not make it a steampunk mouse. Given the role of the Bauhaus in killing off Victorian embellishment, it is with no small irony I say that form must indeed follow function. Replace the scroll wheel on the mouse with a gear and we are talking steampunk.
This Typealyzer gadget should come in handy. I am not unhappy for the Flea to be classified as "INTP - The Thinkers"; not that the Flea holds with Apple, mind you. This insight via Will who links to the personality types at issue.
They enjoy working with complex things using a lot of concepts and imaginative models of reality. Since they are not very good at seeing and understanding the needs of other people, they might come across as arrogant, impatient and insensitive to people that need to stop whining and bout.
Yes, I am impatient with those people. They are also known as people who need to stop whining and read a book.
This is apropos of nothing in particular. It has just been a while since I tried to post an embedded YouTube video. Once upon a time these were auto-playing in some browsers; a source of some irritation. I would quite like to posting links this way, however, so would be grateful for feedback on mileage.
It was 230 years ago that Edward Gibbon published the first volume of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Niall Ferguson expands on the theme of contemporary decline in "Empire Falls", an article that is a good deal more optimistic than I am on the subject. Though I expect the shade of Oswald Spengler would call me a downer too.
It is only when the extent of Western dominance in 1900 is appreciated that the true narrative arc of the 20th century reveals itself. This was not “the triumph of the West,” but rather the crisis of the European empires, the ultimate result of which was the revival of the East—beginning in Japan—and the relative decline of the West.
This has not been a decline in the sense that Spengler envisaged: a kind of corrosive metropolitan ennui. Rather, it has been an unexpected but inexorable military decline. It has been a scarcely perceptible economic decline. It has been a subtle but unmistakable cultural decline. Above all, it has been a creeping demographic decline. In short, it has been a decline in precisely the sense that Gibbon understood the decline of Rome’s empire.
Correct. And RTWT. Though I believe Ferguson is hasty to reject metropolitan ennui. The public assertion of commonplace truths - commonplace aspirations - held by my grandparents would be enough to land me in front of a "human rights" tribunal these days. Like so many in the anti-Palin class, Ferguson chooses to signal pornography and NASCAR as signs of cultural decline. He would have done better to point to and Oprah and NPR. Read between the lines of Plutarch's lives and you will find Mark Antony enjoying the same pornography and NASCAR enjoyed by his men; these are, after all, the pursuits of men.
It is the comprehensive feminization of the West that if left unchecked is sure to get us all raped, killed or converted. The usual suspects object to this sort of statement of the blindingly obvious but in the end I believe it may be our women who save us from ourselves. At some point, they are going to demand we start acting like men. The only question is whether our role models will be drawn from the best of our history and traditions or from the very worst. The latter option will be tempting to many; nobody sane wants to face another jihad in fifty years and a hundred and again fifty years after that. Let alone one armed with whatever new weapons - or office architecture and transportation - we have contrived and they have subsequently stolen and turned against us.
The Russian Navy will commission the Nerpa nuclear submarine, on which 20 people recently died, rather than sell or lease it to India, the chief of the General Staff told a Russian daily on Tuesday. ...
"The sum of $650-780 million, which Rosoboronexport and the Amur Shipbuilding Plant had negotiated over a long period of time with the Indian Ministry of Defense, will now be found in Russia, either within the state weapons procurement program or somewhere else," the Rossiiskaya Gazeta quoted General of the Army Nikolai Makarov as saying.
Now the Indians decide whether to throw good money after bad on the Gorshkov.
"Pay up $2 billion more for the aircraft carrier Gorshkov, or else we call off the deal" - that was the Russian threat on Friday. But if the Russians had expected the Indians to whimper and comply, they were sadly mistaken. Former Indian Navy chief, admiral (Retd) Arun Prakash said, "This is nothing but sheer, bare-faced blackmail."
Russia suddenly upped the price three years after it signed a $750 million contract for supplying the refurbished Admiral Gorshkov to India. However, the Navy Chief gave enough indication that India's patience with Russia was running thin.
I love it when wimps use someone else’s “tone” or “attitude” as their lame excuse not to support Cause XYZ. Sheesh.
Why do I always suspect they are really working for the other side - sort of the opposite of agents provocateur? Agents Collaborateur perhaps?
This issue never would have made it this far if it hadn’t been for “obnoxious/silly/whatever” people like Ezra Levant and other “right wing bloggers”. Who cares what those party hacks tell you they think? They’re probably just unprincipled nobodies who blow with the wind. If they really wanted to change the world they wouldn’t be wasting their lives as Conservative Party delegates. (see: “if you know so much about great careers, how come you’re just a guidance counsellor?”) Party politics is a scam run by con men and kept alive by suckers. The real fight is online and they’re just jealous because they are too sucky to risk their cocktail party invites to join us.
Tom Paine called King George an “ass”, and worse. Yeah, his tone REALLY hurt the American Revolution! I’m sure lots of boring, goody goody people thought so in those days. And who remembers them now? And aren’t you glad they were outnumbered?
(With apologies to at least one past conservative alternate of my acquaintance.)
A first look at the new look original Enterprise with extra styling nacelle action, James Bond's Lotus Esprit - the original Fleamobile - is for sale at auction, and Titus Pullo is potentially awe inspiring as the Punisher.
The nacelles I am fine with, leaving the geometry of the saucer section unchanged to reflect the new nacelles not so much. Pullo should kick ass - or rip out tongue - as the Punisher but the trailer is not doing it for me. The Lotus, by contrast, still rates an unreserved endorsement.
The Hubble Space Telescope captures the first image of a planet outside the solar system. Le Monde has a helpful diagram to point out the dot in question: the size of Jupiter, Fomalhaut b is twenty-five light years from Earth.
"I nearly had a heart attack when I confirmed that Fomalhaut b orbits its parent star," said Paul Kalas, a professor of astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley. "It's a profound and overwhelming experience to lay eyes on a planet never before seen.
"There is plenty of empty space between Fomalhaut b and the star for other planets to happily reside in stable orbits.
"We'll probably have to wait for the James Webb Space Telescope to give us a clear view of the region closer to the star where a planet could host liquid water on the surface."
The model was created by archaeologists and model-makers between 1933 to 1974 and housed in a special gallery in Rome's Museum of Roman Civilisation. The new map was unveiled at an event in the Italian capital, and the modern day Mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, praised the project.
"It's an incredible opportunity to share the stunning greatness of ancient Rome, a perfect example of how the new technologies can be ideal allies of our history, archaeology and cultural identity," Mr Alemanno said.
Though as a perfect example of texture mapping, sadly, not so much. Still, these stills and video of Google Rome are impressive and I would love to see much more like it. I expect the detail will come in time.
Technology transfer and some Indian public relations
The UK lifts ban on nuclear exports to India, the Indian navy sends an armed helicopter with marine commandos to have a word with some pirates and the Russians consider ordering French aircraft carriers. In an ideal world, I would have linked those three ideas in a clever sentence using the navy, nuclear and India as the pertinent tropes. But it was not to be.
More on those carriers.
The idea being floated is that all indications are Russia would like to build 6 aircraft carriers similar to the 60-70 thousand ton CVF design being developed for the British and French Navies. Ilya Kramnik's idea is to build the lead ship in France with foreign assistance, including some experience for Russian shipbuilders, then do follow on serial construction of the rest of the class in Russia.
The linked piece suggests the sale is unlikely due to technology transfer issues with the Americans, though quite what those might be is not spelled out. I would have imagined the British would have a rather larger objection to make.
Related: Taylor & Co. offers a much more detailed account of the INS Tabar's encounter with pirates. I am also pleased to note HMS Cumberland has also been doing what the Royal Navy is supposed to do
A small but important point for John Yorke: Not a good idea to let the Scientologists know you are in possession of potentially damaging paperwork on LRH. In case anyone is not au fait with the Crowley/Hubbard link, his name was Jack Parsons.
In September of 1941, HMC Ships Moose Jaw and Chambly sank a German U-boat that was attacking a convoy off the coast of Greenland. Lt. Ted Simmons led a boarding party over to the stricken sub and attempted to seize cipher equipment and code books before the boat sank. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for that action. A year later, while in command of HMCS Port Arthur, Simmons sank the Italian submarine Tritone, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. In 1989, Simmons died and was buried at sea from HMCS Huron - a true Canadian naval hero, typically unsung and practically unknown outside the small Canadian military family circle.
"In Canada, the received wisdom was so stultifying that conforming to it meant mental death. Conrad Black was one of those unusual people who decided early on that he was not going to be afraid and that he was going to live the truth."
- David Frum, quoted in Slate
"I wish there were more people like Conrad Black."
- Baroness Thatcher
"He is a terribly lively guy. He's most extraordinary."
- William F. Buckley, Jr
"It seems to me that what really gets up Canadian noses about Conrad Black is that he is rich (or was, at least, before legal fees drained him) and successful; he is also intelligent and outspoken. Elsewhere, these might be considered attributes and evoke admiration. In Canada they mostly evoke envy."
- Ian Hunter, professor emeritus, faculty of law, University of Western Ontario, National Post
"I wonder if Mr. Black knew how he tapped into that great wide streak of dissatisfaction that runs quiet and deep in many Canadians, the rising weariness with mediocrity and the hunger for excellence."
- Christie Blatchford, Globe and Mail
"Black invested in dozens of Canadian newspapers and magazines, he donated to Canadian causes, he represented Canada abroad and was famous as a Canadian proprietor of numerous international publications. He was the best friend that thousands of British, American and Canadian journalists ever had. And for this they have now turned on him. A biting of the hand that fed them, like some petulant and spoiled child laughing as a parent slips on the ice and is obviously hurt."
- Michael Coren, Toronto Sun
"…I am proud of my association with Hollinger, and I think that those who, throughout the world, hitched a ride on the Hollinger express should be proud as well."
- Martin Newland, The Independent
"Many of the charges are completely ridiculous. They include racketeering -- a charge that was intended to catch Al Capone."
- Andrew Roberts, historian, author Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership
"Conrad Black is innocent. No, I don't know Conrad Black, never met him. No, I have made no examination of the evidence against him. Nor do I need to in order to assert his innocence."
- Ian Hunter
"I'd be happy to appear as a witness for the defence."
- Mark Steyn, Maclean's
"The trial by attrition of Conrad Black has exposed the dark underbelly of the legal system, where the government can ruin a man, take his property, his means of livelihood and make him a social pariah -- all without the hassle of securing a conviction. An iconoclastic mentality has emerged in the legal system that is focused less on securing justice than on bringing down the high and mighty while pandering to the politics of envy."
- Alykhan Velshi, New English Review
It seems that the initial reports that one of our submarines was missing were not completely accurate
More than twenty people have reportedly died aboard a Russian nuclear submarine due to the accidental activation of a fire extinguishing system. While the vessel was reportedly undergoing sea trials in the Pacific, details regarding its name and class have yet to be released.
My question: Was it the Nerpa, set to be the INS Chakra come January 2009? If so, this is a tragedy with strategic implications. The following was published last Saturday: how many nuclear submarines does the Russian fleet have undergoing sea trials out of Vladivostok this week?
Batches of Indian naval personnel are to shortly leave for the Russia's far eastern port of Vladivostok to train on board the Chakra, (formerly the Nerpa) a Russian Akula-2 nuclear powered attack submarine which is to be transferred to India on a 10-year lease next year.
The Nerpa was launched at the Komsomolsk on-Amur shipyard in June this year after which she began harbour trials. Earlier this week, the shipyard announced that the submarine had been shifted out of the shipyard to a maintenance facility in the Primorye territory near Vladivostok for trials in the Sea of Japan.
The 12,000 tonne submarine, said to be the quietest and deadliest of Russia's attack submarines, has a crew of 100 personnel is currently being operated by the Russian Navy.
India is set to launch three of its own indigenously built nuclear powered SSBNs. Even if their ostensibly indigenous reactor design is inspired by the Russians, the Indians might consider training with the United States Navy instead.
Better yet, it seems to me some work accidents aboard the PLAN's nuclear fleet are in order. I can always stock up on jelly beans.
Update November 9: It is the Nerpa. The deaths appear to have been caused by the activation of the ship's freon gas fire extinguishing system.
... a source in the Amur shipyard administration named the submarine as the K-152 Nerpa, a nuclear-powered submarine of the Project 971 Shchuka-B type, or Akula-class by NATO classification, RIA Novosti news agency reported.
Everyone in the apartment complex I lived in knew who Ugly was. Ugly was the resident tomcat. Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and shall we say, love.
The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly. To start with, he had only one eye, and where the other should have been was a gaping hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side, his left foot has appeared to have been badly broken at one time, and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner. His tail has long since been lost, leaving only the smallest stub, which he would constantly jerk and twitch.
Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby striped/type, except for the sores covering his head, neck, even his shoulders with thick, yellowing scabs. Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. ´That’s one UGLY cat!!´
All the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave.
Ugly always had the same reaction. If you turned on the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around feet in forgiveness. Whenever he spied children, he would come running meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love. If you ever picked him up he would immediately begin suckling your shirt, earrings, whatever he could find.
One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbor’s huskies. They did not respond kindly and Ugly was badly mauled. From my apartment I could hear his screams, and I tried to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was laying, it was apparent Ugly´s sad life was almost at an end.
Ugly lay in a wet circle, his back legs and lower back twisted grossly out of shape, a gaping tear in the white strip of fur that ran down his front. As I picked him up and tried to carry him home I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. I must be hurting him terribly I thought.
Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear. Ugly, in so much pain, suffering and obviously dying was trying to suckle my ear. I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then he turned his one golden eye towards me, and I could hear the distinct sound of purring. Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled-scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion.
At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, or even try to get away from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.
Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly.
Many people want to be richer, more successful, well liked, beautiful, but for me, I will always try to be Ugly.
The first Gurkha has been killed in Afghanistan. One almost feels sorry for the Taliban at what they are going to face now.
A British Army soldier killed by enemy fire in Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence as Rifleman Yubraj Rai. The 28-year-old, from Khotang district in eastern Nepal, was the first Nepalese Gurkha to die in the conflict. ...
Rifleman Rai, from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, was killed in the Musa Qala area of Helmand province.
I recognize an intemperate tenor to my remarks as we approach America's moment of decision. Let us take a moment to appreciate Rihanna. No culture that would put a bin-bag over her head can be allowed to advance one more inch. Not on the battlefield. And not, for the love of God, into the White House. Let no one tell you defending this woman's honour makes you a racist. It is apologists for the rape cult who are racist.
KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov claims there was a process of demoralization and destabilization of US society through the use of the "active measures" by Soviet intelligence.
"Actually there are no grassroots revolutions, period. Any revolution is a by-product of a a highly organized group of conscientious and professional organizers. It has nothing to do with grassroots."
I am not certain which is more disconcerting: The idea that what he says may be true or the cynicism it takes to imagine all those grassroots revolutionaries did not aspire to something better no matter what the KGB may have intended. There are revolutions of the heart the secret police could never apprehend.
Local authorities have decided slow-witted foreigners, no hopers and the lowest common denominator shall henceforth rule the English - and Roman - language.
Bournemouth Council, which has the Latin motto Pulchritudo et Salubritas, meaning beauty and health, has listed 19 terms it no longer considers acceptable for use. This includes bona fide, eg (exempli gratia), prima facie, ad lib or ad libitum, etc or et cetera, ie or id est, inter alia, NB or nota bene, per, per se, pro rata, quid pro quo, vis-a-vis, vice versa and even via.
Its list of more verbose alternatives, includes "for this special purpose", in place of ad hoc and "existing condition" or "state of things", instead of status quo.
In instructions to staff, the council said: "Not everyone knows Latin. Many readers do not have English as their first language so using Latin can be particularly difficult."
The average eleven year old Harry Potter reader can do better than this. It is our fault for allowing ourselves to be governed by half-wits instead of placing them in the stocks where they belong.
Preliminary reading on guerilla warfare and counter-insurgency lead me to a Time magazine article published July 31, 1972 in the wake of an IRA ceasefire in Belfast. Citing Robert Taber in passing, one observation from "The War of the Flea" struck me as particularly surreal and absurd. Such was life in an urban war zone before cable television, before the internet and in the day when news often travelled at the speed of the paper on which it was printed.
After midnight, Bogside TV sets stay tuned for another sport: listening to British army headquarters issuing orders and receiving reports from units on patrol. The army's transmitters happen to be on the same frequency as a local TV station. British HQ is aware of this. Messages that could tip off Provo patrols are cut short by clipped instructions "to use other means" of communication. Such lapses as "We don't want another calamity like Lima's [code name for a British patrol] shooting on our own men" or "Can you claim a hit?" are met with the sort of hilarity among Bogsiders that Americans reserve for a good quip on the Dick Cavett Show.