Linking to InstaPundit referenced articles

Linking to InstaPundit referenced articles is often pointless, but this one’s worth it… and it’s best if you go through his link rather than directly. I strongly urge you to spend a minute considering the geopolitics involved and the possible common enemy of which Glenn speaks before proceeding on… see if you get it right…

Senegal Defeats France in World

Senegal Defeats France in World Cup Opener

As Nelson would say:

ha-HA!

This is especially delicious since apparently the entire starting line up of Senegal’s team actually play professionally on French league teams. Which, I would assume, makes them — let’s say it together boys and girls — immigrants.

(Hey, I’ve refrained from the obligatory blogospheric French-bashing up until now; a guy’s allowed to have a little fun now and then.)

Glenn Reynolds has challenged my

Glenn Reynolds has challenged my masculinity!

This will not stand! He may think he can run forensic rings around certain fools who shall not be named, but we shall see how he stacks up against a Real Bear! Have at you!

Actually, I think he was just being polite and not making assumptions. And good for him. Or, er, should that be “good for it”?

In my case, regardless, it’s “he” Glenn, honest. Ask my fianc

On a lighter note: Patio

On a lighter note:

Patio Pundit puts his finger on what’s been bugging me about the new Slate-supercharged Kausfiles:

“…is it me or does it suck now? Not the kausfiles content, that’s smoking. But it doesn’t feel right. There’s no archives, no link list. I understand that there are some tradeoffs “working for the man.” But they don’t even give Mickey that day tab thingamajiggy.”

Yeah. Mickey’s still cruisin’, but he needs to smack those Microsoft weenies slinging the HTML upside the head. The layout is killin’ us.

Is this where we’re supposed to start a petition or something?

“Free Mickey’s Prose! “

“What do we want?”

PERMALINKS!”

“When do we want ’em?”

NOW!”

SAM Missile Update: If you

SAM Missile Update: If you read nothing else, read this.

Well, had my moment in the sun, now back to work. And unpleasant work it is this morning.

The Washington Times (found via The Corner) has a report today that goes beyond yesterday’s CNN piece indicating that al Qaeda might have surface-to-air missiles that could be used against U.S. airliners and says that “new intelligence indicates that Islamic terrorists have smuggled shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles into the United States.” (emphasis mine).

The CNN report, which I mentioned here, contained no indication that these weapons might already be in the country.

This is very, very not good. I’m going to keep thinking long and hard about what I would do, if I were Bush or Ashcroft or Ridge right now, to stop what I fear is going to be another terrible loss of life. I will confess to you that right now, I just don’t have an answer. But please, if you’ve got an idea — send it to me. This is not an idle intellectual exercise: this is for real, and as intelligent, informed citizens of this country we damn well better be doing our part to think creatively about how to stop these monsters — because our diversity of mind and thought is our greatest strength. Let’s not squander it.

Update: VodkaGuy has a more reasoned assessment of the threat over at his place. He points out that modern airliners are pretty stable craft, and as such, might be able to withstand losing an engine to a SAM strike.

I’d like to believe that, but I question whether a SA-7 (which apparently is the type of missile most likely to be used) would outright destroy the wing of the plane, as well as the engine. Anybody with a better military background than VP and myself care to chime in here?

Update Again: VodkaGuy got back to me in email near instantaneously, and indicates that a SA-7 warhead is much too small to wreck the wing. This is good news.

I’m pleased and a little

I’m pleased and a little baffled to have an announcement of sorts to make.

My piece “Back in the Day”, which was previously posted here as a weblog entry, has been accepted for publication by Salon.com. You can now find it here, in all its actually-published-by-a-real-magazine glory. This is my first professional sale, and I have to admit to being a bit dazed by the whole thing. (I’m not doing a very job of acting all blas

Remember when folks were suggesting

Remember when folks were suggesting that the FBI needs to be blogging to improve their communications (search on ‘FBI needs a blog’ — I still haven’t figured out if Mickey doesn’t do permalinks now that he’s hit the bigtime or if I’m just clueless.)?

Well, looks like the military end of the war on terror already is:

“…the Tactical Web Page, (is) a secret, secure Web site being used in combat for the first time, through which American commanders at Bagram air base and in the United States can direct the fight in Afghanistan.

The system collects all information and communication in one place. Commanders confer in chat rooms and pass on orders; messages scroll across the screen, alerting developments from the field; maps show friendly and enemy positions. “

Cool. Not quite blogging, but close enough…

Bush is sending Rummy to

Bush is sending Rummy to South Asia to give India and Pakistan a stern talking to. I suspect top on the list of topics will be politely explaining to them that it is positively rude to interrupt somebody else’s war.

SecDef is also going to be giving a press briefing in about 30 minutes (9:30 am PDT), so you’ve got a few minutes to go grab some popcorn. I suspect he’ll be in a grouchy mood — mainly because, well, he’s always in a grouchy mood, and besides, I hear India is miserable this time of year…

Locking the gun cabinetHas it

Locking the gun cabinet

Has it occurred to anyone else that the fact that the September 11th terrorists were trained at American flight schools actually has a bright side?

Sure, it was a massive intelligence failure; we’ve been through that discussion. But I find some comfort in the fact that to gain the skills and knowledge required to carry out their attacks, the Islamofacists had to come to America to do it.

Why is that good? Two reasons.

First, because it reinforces the point that has been made before: that this is a war between the modern civilization of the West and its allies, and an essentially medieval subculture that does not, within itself, contain anything resembling the scientific knowledge required to thrive in the modern world. And you don’t have to be a serious scholar of history to know how that type of conflict always turns out.

Second, and more significantly, it means that the power to stop the next attack is most likely in our own hands. There are no al Qaeda scientists huddling somewhere coming up with a new weapon that we’ll have to counter. The weapons that they have used — and will continue to use — are ours.

This means that the problem we face isn’t analogous so much to a homeowner attempting to perfect his home security system with an alarm, private security guard, and watchdog — it’s analogous to that same homeowner simply ensuring he puts a padlock on his gun cabinet.

There will be future terrorist attacks; guaranteed. We will never be able to lock up the weapons of retail terror: small arms, light explosives, and the like. But the weapons of wholesale terror — nuclear arms, bioterrorism agents, radioactive material — these things are possible to ‘lock up’. And that’s where our focus needs to be.

I’m very optimistic that this can be done. I’m less optimistic that it will be done. Issues such as keeping Russia’s nuclear materials safe are non-trivial to say the least, as the Annual Report to Congress on the Safety and Security of Russian Nuclear Facilities and Military Forces (from the office of the Director of Central Intelligence) shows. The report, released in February 2002, includes such reassuring statements as:

“Russian facilities housing weapons-usable nuclear material

In case you had any

In case you had any doubts, the Washington Post lays out the connections between al Qaeda and ongoing violence in Pakistan:

“Local and al Qaeda footprints have been found” in every major strike against so-called soft Western targets in Pakistan this year, said a senior Pakistani security official. Officials have connected al Qaeda to the kidnapping and murder of American newspaper reporter Daniel Pearl in January, a grenade attack on a church in Islamabad on March 17 that left two Americans and three others dead, and a car bombing May 8 outside a hotel in this southern port city that killed 14 people, including 11 French technicians.

In addition, raids by Pakistani and U.S. security agents have uncovered evidence that extensive al Qaeda operations are being planned and carried out from inside this country, a key U.S. ally in the war against terrorism.

There’s a shuttle launch today,

There’s a shuttle launch today, and unusually, it’s scheduled at a time rather convenient for viewing: 7:44 pm EDT this evening.

The weather looks like it might not cooperate, but assuming it holds out, here’s some links of interest:

Main Space Shuttle page at NASA
– Basic information on the mission

Shuttle Countdown Status Page at NASA
– Cool page with a java applet showing the realtime countdown, with links to lots of detailed information on the launch procedure. Want to know exactly where the Hazardous Gas System Engineers sit in the control room? This page is for you.

Kennedy Space Center Video Feeds at NASA
– Nice page that has links to the actual RealVideo and Windows media streams from NASA (which presumably will broadcast the launch itself), but doubly neat in that it has a large gallery of still images, updated every minute or so (it’s configurable, too!) taken from various NASA cameras.

Shuttle Mission STS -111 Special Report from Space.com
More info on the mission from Lou Dobbs’ other gig.

Clear skies and the best of luck to the mission team…

Stop them, before they commentate

Stop them, before they commentate again

To: The Blogosphere

From: N.Z. Bear

Subject: Intervention for Layne, Welch

A troubling development has come to our attention here at TTLB, as I’m sure it has to many of our fellow citizens of the Blogosphere. Two previously articulate, intelligent bloggers have developed a most disturbing ailment.

They have begun talking about sports.A lot.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste; particularly when it’s wasted in such a clearly self-destructive manner. Observe, if you will, the following from Mr. Welch’s log (quoting Mr. Layne, so we can indict both of them for this particular offense):

“LA came back with some fucking energy and balls. Double-teamed the shit out of Moby, bummed out the Turk, bummed out Webber & the Serb. Defense was mostly terrific. Kobe started doing that thing he does, Shaq made four crucial free throws in a row, Milosevic missed a crucial free throw with a minute left, and you saw the rest…Motherfucking Horry. Motherfucker.”

I will give Mr. Layne the benefit of the doubt and grant him, for the moment, that the words involved in that convoluted mess of invective appeared to derive from what we commonly refer to as the English language. But the semantic content of the statement is an absolute mystery to me. He seems to be talking about a well-known electronica artist doing something nasty to Slobodon Milosovich, while avoiding hostilities with Istanbul, but I’m not entirely sure.

Another example: take this shining bit of prose from the previously articulate Mr. Layne:

“That guy who looks like Moby and that guy who looks like Webber, they were good…. .Memo to Phil: When Rick Fox is having a bad night, just get him out of there. Don’t be shy about using Shaw and Hunter. That third-quarter strategy? It sucked the big ass tonight. Sometimes you gotta drop that Zen Yoda shit and respond, eh?

Phil? Hunter? Zen Yoda? I kinda grok the last part there, but I just can’t comprende the rest of this gobbledygook.

Admittedly, I grant you, this appears to be primarily a problem with Mr. Layne, with Mr. Welch participating in somewhat of an “enabler” role. But I fear for both of them: truly, I do.

So I beg each and every one of you, citizens of the Blogosphere: lend Mr. Welch and Mr. Layne a hand in their time of need. Show them that there is a world inside their computer monitors that does not involve sweaty (heterosexual) men slapping each other on the ass and running swiftly back and forth, back and forth down a well-varnished parquet floor. The life of the mind is in here, in the blogosphere, where such mundane concerns as athletics, exercise, and maintaining a heart rate with a vague possibility of precluding a coronary before the age of 40 are irrelevant. Ideas are the thing!

We must rescue our errant sheep, and bring them back to the geeky flock. I beg of you all, have mercy on these poor lost souls, and show them the way back to true bloggerly happiness!

-NZB