Thursday, August 31, 2006

Elevated from the comments section 
Regarding the news that mortality among young black males in Philadelphia exceeds that of troops in Iraq, A reader comments:

Error on my part: the death rate of military personnel in Iraq is 2.5x the death rate of American males 18-39.

The statistic that really stands out is that the Iraq death rate is 18% of the Vietnam death rate. This makes me wonder whether the U.S. operation in Iraq is actually too cautious. Not that I want more dead, but are commanders being too risk-avoidant?

I have read elsewhere that U.S. troops in Iraq tend to use 100 bullets where one will do, to the point that a bullet shortage appeared and commanders had to tell troops to fire less often.

This is true of infantry combat since time immemorial. In combat, very few bullets actually strike human flesh. S.L.A. Marshall did a lot of writing to the effect that in a real infantry fight, only one or two men in ten are actually aiming their rifles.

This is certainly true of the insurgents, who routinely carry stockless AK-47s useless for anything but spray and pray.

But I don't think the author understands infantry combat. Modern combat, right down to the squad level, consists of fire and maneuver. The support by fire element is relatively stationary. It's goal is not to kill, so much, but to pin the enemy in place. This, theoretically, allows the assault element to maneuver to the enemy's flanks and rear, from a direction from which the enemy is not covered or concealed, and from which he cannot bring effective fires to bear, because his fire is masked by his own troops. Essentially, the infantry leader is trying to pin the opposing fleet on the rocks, and then cross his "T" with the assault element. Then the assault element does the real killing. Actually, the assault element fights a battle of annihilation.

It's a small-scale enactment of Sun Tzu's ordinary and extraordinary forces. The high volume of fire comes from the support by fire element. And this volume of fire is supposed to be overwhelming. If it's not overwhelming -- if the sheer volume of fire isn't disintegrating mason walls from in front of the enemy force, causing them to shrink their heads into their shirts, dig their faces into the ground, and pray for their Islamo-mamas long enough for the assault element to shoot them in their backs as they whimper and cry, then the support element leader isn't doing his job like he should.

The shortage of ammunition is not due to the inefficiency of the soldier, but to severe procurement problems because of an antiquated industrial base.

The US Army logistical system has plenty of spare throughput for ammunition. So does the USMC. They can each support a pitched mechanized battle at the division and corps levels. Military logistics are not being taxed. But the civilian infrastructure is - thanks to decades of short-sightedness and neglect.

Hope you didn't spend the entire peace dividend.

I've also read that U.S. troops in Iraq are more likely than, say, the British troops there to call in an airstrike when under fire from a sniper somewhere.

I would hope so.

Any on the ground commander who is in contact, and has air available, and doesn't use it is guilty of deriliction of duty.

The reason U.S. troops are willing to use more firepower than UK troops is because we have the firepower available. That's a good thing. Not a point of criticism.

There was a Scottish regiment sometime back that got into an old-fashioned bayonet charge against anti-Iraqi forces.

An English regiment engaged in a bayonet charge at Goose Green in the Falkland campaign in 1982. Yes, the leader of the charge won the Victoria Cross. And yes, it was posthumous.

As far as I'm concerned, if any U.S. soldier or Marine is reduced to a bayonet fight anywhere in the world, then someone in the logistical chain has failed him.

As an infantry company XO, it was my job to ensure that no matter how many bad guys we faced, there wasn't going to be any bayonet fighting.

I don't know if any of these criticisms are accurate, and I'm sure that the chest-beaters of the U.S. military will call me a friend of the terrorists for asking the question, because tough questions are the very last thing they want to face.

Don't worry. Your questioning isn't very tough.

But if the military is being too risk-avoidant

When it's you and your friends suiting up...and when you and your commanders have to write the letters home and attend the memorial services, the risk-reward calculation looks and FEELS a lot different than when you're posting on a blog.

That's not to discount the question. A commander must know when to commit, and must understand that violent action from a position of temporary advantage and resulting in a decisive victory NOW is better than delaying and risking an indecisive or bloodier engagement later. Which is true at all levels of command, right up to the commander in chief.

(an outgrowth of Rummy's not sending as many troops as the generals wanted in the first place?)

That sentiment, quite simply, is a lie.

Only General Abizaid and General Franks had the standing to request more troops. And neither of them did. In fact, General Abizaid made a conscious decision to limit the number of troops on the ground early on even though more were available at that point. (Looking for the link. It's buried in the comments section somewhere last spring).

Update: But see here for some useful critiques of my thinking.

the consequences could be expected to be pretty similar to the ones that are now going down in Iraq, such as daily disorder and a wide gap between the local people and the U.S. forces.

Although that sentiment is not a lie. In fact, I expected a protracted guerrilla campaign all along - akin to Israel in the West Bank or the Brits in Ireland. But the commenter refers to 'the local people' as if they were one monolithic group.

They are not.

The comment belies a fundamental misunderstanding of the war.

There are large areas in Iraq where relations between Iraqis and the United States are excellent. There are other areas which are hostile. This is no surprise. And this is key: No realistic amount of US troops in 2003 would have changed that fact.

It's astounding... 
Da's right, y'all.

Two tires blew out and one caught fire on US Airways seconds after landing at Miami International Airport Thursday afternoon.

All 113 passengers and five crew onboard Flight 431 from Charlotte made it safely off the 737-400 by sliding down chutes, said US Airways spokeswoman Valerie Wunder.

Passenger Tim Cawlie of Greenville, S.C. said the landing was normal, but then plane began shaking violently.

I wrote this shit up a day before it even happened.

The plane was shaking violently because of the overwhelming force from the horror show gamma rays emanating from my golovo, my droogies.

I'm gonna do some investing now.

Splash, out


These fucks will obey England's laws 
...just not ours.

The Army has met its reenlistment goal 
...a full month before the end of the fiscal year.

The article gives the top billing to the bonuses, of course. Journos seem to be hard-wired to think that way - as if they could be the only people on the planet motivated by the ideals of their profession and a deep love and reverence for the Constitution and our nation's freedoms.

Journalists frequently work long hours for low pay for the simple satisfaction of serving their communities. Soldiers do the same thing.

$14,000 is nothing for a six-year reenlistment with the probability of another tour in a combat zone with separation from families. And the bonuses don't explain why reenlistments are higher in frequently-deployed units and units considered elite, such as the 82nd Airborne Division.

There is something else at work.

And that something is this:

No bonus would make much of a difference if soldiers didn't fundamentally believe in their units, their leadership, and their mission.

That is the bottom line, and the foundation of any successful recruitment and retention program.

The papers devote 10 times more attention, as Rummy says, to Abu Ghraib than to Medal of Honor winners. But you can bet we in the Army know who Paul Smith is. And Leigh Ann Hester. And Jeremy Church. And Brian Chontosh (even though he's a jarhead). And we talk about them amongst ourselves with or without the media's help.

We also know the nature of the enemy we're fighting.

Splash, out


UN Logic 
So Hezbollah routinely soaks ball-bearings and nails and other frags in rat poison (an anti-coagulant) and then uses them to kill REAL civilians, nowhere near legitimate military targets, and the UN says nothing.

Hezbollah and Hamas set off bombs, and then set off another bomb to target rescue workers, and the UN says nothing.

But when the Israelis use legal cluster munitions against active combatants, the UN calls it "an outrage."

Fuck them.

The Israelis should have used cluster munitions or any other legal munition against any suitable target that presented itself from day one.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I won't spend a penny at Radio Shack again. 
Here's why.

If that's the kind of management they were paying $90,000 per year and up for, they don't deserve their jobs anyway.

Splash, out


Two conversations I just had in the last five minutes 
Guy in a Wifi cafe: Why do we say these things? It's ridiculous.

Me: What's that?

Guy: We issued a statement to Cuba that we'll lift the embargo if they release their political prisoners and legitimately elect their leaders.

Me: OK. Why is that so ridiculous?

Guy: How about we legitimately elect our leaders first?

Me: I don't think you can legitimately compare us with Castro's Cuba.

Guy: (silence).

Conversation # 2

Different guy: Did you hear about the Israelis firing up that Reuters van?

Me: Yep. That's what happens when you run around after dark in a war zone and point things at people. Those idiots are lucky to be alive.

Different guy: Huh?

Me: I would have fired at them, too.

Different guy: It was a missile.

Me: So?

Different guy: It was Gaza. Not Lebanon.

Me: Yeah?

Different guy: There's no war going on in Gaza.

Me: News to me. Tell that to the people who died there.

Different guy: Huh?

Me: Where's Corporal Shalit?

Different guy: Who's Corporal Shalit.

Me: He's the guy Hamas kidnapped that started this whole thing off. So where is he?

Different guy: They're not back?

Me: No. They're still gone. So if there's no war, where's Corporal Shalit?

Different Guy: They kidnapped him after the Israelis killed that family on the beach.

Me: (pissed off) (silent)

Different guy: Did you know about that?

Me: Yes, I do. I also know about a lot of pizza parlors, cafes, weddings, and school busses. Funny. There's no war going on in Gaza. So where's Corporal Shalit?

Different guy: Silence.

Passenger jet lands in Miami smoking out of two engines.

Tommy Chong not available for comment.

You got it here first.

Iran and Electronic Warfare 
DEBKA's got the goods.

Until the watershed date of July 12, 2006, when the Hizballah triggered the Lebanon War, Israel was accounted an important world power in the development of electronic warfare systems – so much so that a symbiotic relationship evolved for the research and development of many US and Israeli electronic warfare systems, in which a mix of complementary American and Israeli devices and methods were invested.

In combat against Hizballah, both were not only found wanting, but had been actively neutralized, so that none performed the functions for which they were designed. This poses both the US and Israel with a serious problem in a further round of the Lebanon war and any military clash with Iran.

It's long been the doctrine of the United States to maintain a significant technology advantage over our potential foes - even at great economic costs. That was the whole point, you will recall, of Rumsfeld's push some years back to "skip a generation" of weaponry and become early adapters of disruptive battlefield technologies.

Hizbollah's tactical successes against the IDF, and the IDF's failure to penetrate Hizbiran's electronic warfare countermeasures, have got to be wakeup calls for America's signal intelligence community.

It reminds me of the time when the Royal Navy took their first hits from Argentinian Exocet missiles during the Falklands war. All of a sudden, things got a lot more sober and serious.

Well, it was Israeli sailors who shed first blood against Iranian technology, not Americans. But we should focus our attention not a whit less for it. Iran cannot win a struggle against the U.S. But all it has to do is not lose - and draw some blood of its own int the meantime.

Thanks to a generous reader for the tip.

Splash, out


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Great Master... 
The first fiddler in this video is Caoimhin O Raghallaigh- a great, great master of the art. Here he is playing "Rolling in the Rye Grass," a well-known session tune.

He knows exactly where the tune is, and plays the tune. He doesn't overplay his hand. There are a lot of little variations - it's never the same way twice, because he knows the tune inside and out.

The second group of youngsters, Erris, is very skilled, but not quite my cup of tea. But O Raghallaigh, to my ear, is breathtaking.

Don't miss his brilliant album with Mich O Brian, Kilty Lie Over.

Tulg a mach,


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Carter calls Blair "Compliant and Subservient" 
Former President James Carter has launched a scathing attack on one of the pillars of the free world, calling UK Prime Minister Tony Blair "compliant and subservient."

I have a lot of respect for Mr. Carter's personal integrity and no doubt about his good intentions.

But he's an atrocious judge of character, and the most politically naive man to attain the office of President since Ulysses Grant. His foreign policy, particularly, was a disaster area, and the oft-quoted Zbignew Brzinsky, or however you spell his name, is probably the least effective - nay - DISASTROUS National Security Advisor in the history of the Republic.

This is the man who trusted Kim Jong Il at his word, for example - and the sum total of his muscular response to Iran's act of war was to leave our special ops soldiers' corpses smoldering in the Iranian deserts.

This is a man whose idea of bold action consisted of boycotting the Olympics and initiating a grain embargo against a country with a gajillion square miles of farmland.

The difference between Carter and Blair is that Blair routinely stands up against terror and tyranny, while Carter routinely acted to appease and mollify them. If anyone was compliant and subservient, it was Jimmy Carter - compliant and subservient to Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il, the Ayatollah Khomeini, and the Kremlin.

Indeed, it is difficult to imagine anyone locked in a death struggle with tyrrany in the late 1970s whom Carter didn't sell out, either directly or indirectly.

Which is one of the reasons, of course, he was a one-term President.

Carter's a nice man, and a decent man, and fundamentally an honest man. But when it comes to political and strategic judgement, I would consider it a badge of honor to be criticized by the likes of Jimmy Carter.


Now those murdering, terrorist ghouls have crossed the line!

(P.S....Is that the 53rd Brigade patch?)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Meatgrinder Metrics, Revisited (and why Lieutenants rock) 
The Washington Post takes a look at the mortality figures among troops serving in Iraq.

The Man Bites Dog story: Mortality among servicemen and women in Iraq is less than half of mortality in the United States, overall.

Which is why we can get good rates on SGLI, I guess.

I'm amazed it's taken so long for the media to get around to doing what looks to me like a no-brainer quant story. But the conclusion that Iraq mortality, even among Marines, is lower than the population of the United States at large doesn't fit in too well with the desired effect, I guess.

(Longtime readers may recall my post Meatgrinder Metrics, back in December of 2003. When I had, you know, traffic!)

Further, I'm sure that the 100th Infantry Battalion, based at Fort DeRussy, will be interested to learn that Reservists are not assigned to combat positions.

The most interesting statistic: Lieutenants have the highest mortality of any rank, 19 percent higher than the rest of the Army combined. It doesn't surprise me. America, once they climb that initial and steep learning curve, your lieutenants are doing yeoman's work. More than any other rank, it falls to the lieutenant to say "follow me."

Us captains have to fight the radio battle and control mortar fire and tell platoons where to go. It's that lieutenant that has to get it there. And in a fire-and-maneuver fight, he's got to lead that assault element.

The squad leader of the squad that's second in the order of march has to lead the assault element, too, usually. But if the LT rotates his marching orders (as he usually should) that squad leader doesn't draw point or assault element all the time. But the platoon leader always has to lead the element that closes with and destroys the enemy.

And smartmouthing in the ranks and good natured jib-ing aside, in the final analysis, that's why our lieutenants warrant a salute.

Splash, out


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Countercolumn News Ticker 
Pluto demoted from planetary ranks ...
"Behavior unacceptable," say astronomists ...
Vows revenge ...

Escaped Austrian kidnap victim lends false hope to thousands ...

Area graphics firm bankrupts self designing own logo ...

Al Qaeda announces venue for quarterly "Last Throes" banquet ...

Pro-War Milblogger insists we're winning, that girlfriend is faithful ...

Area brigade staff officer has another good idea ...

Pluto swells to 50,000 times normal size ...
"Who's a planet now, BEEEEAAATCH?!?!?!?!"

World Jews announce that they have been secretly controlled by an international cabal of drunken Irishmen ...

Slaying raises campus security concerns for everybody except one ...

Developing ...

Good news for Jessica Lynch 
She's preggers!

"I was not sure if this could ever happen for me," Lynch, 23, said in a statement. "Learning to walk again and coping with the internal injuries that I still deal with pale in comparison to the tremendous joy of carrying this child."

Muchas Mazel Tovs to Ms. Lynch and her boyfriend, Wes Robinson, for this wonderful news of another addition to the Army family.

Splash, out


All Right, You Bastards, I'm Calling You Out!!! 
ZombieTime is absolutely devastating.

On the night of July 23, 2006, an Israeli aircraft intentionally fired missiles at and struck two Lebanese Red Cross ambulances performing rescue operations, causing huge explosions that injured everyone inside the vehicles. Or so says the global media, including Time magazine, the BBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and thousands of other outlets around the world. If true, the incident would have been an egregious and indefensible violation of the Geneva Convention, and would constitute a war crime committed by the state of Israel.

But there's one problem: It never happened.

What Zombie establishes isn't the failure of one or two photographers. He carefully and methodically establishes, beyond reasonable doubt, the utter and unforgiveable failure of the Fourth Estate to live up to their basic professional ethic of practicing a culture of verification.

Without that ethic, journalism is nothing. A rag sheet.

The next step, of course -- and the far more difficult one -- is to construct a similarly methodical case that the failure of media coverage led directly to a strategic defeat for a US ally.

Zombie's case is overwhelming. I hope there is overwhelming demand for groveling retractions at Time Magazine and everywhere else these gullible ass-clowns danced to Hizbollahs organgrinding monkeys.

Splash, out


Recruiting going well ... 
Yeah, I've been blogging for a while that at least in my little corner of the army, things are going great.

In fact, I've got more youngsters wanting to join the unit than I have slots. We've been turning people away for some time. (I'd rather double slot them, because 1379 strength and foxhole strength are two different things, but it's not up to me).

At any rate, I had so many new soldiers joining the unit that the supply system had trouble keeping up with the demand for TA-50 (gear like sleeping bags, canteens, helmets, ponchos, and other basic issue items).

My recruiters have met their quotas, like, through December already.

So this isn't news to me.

These are great kids. Their eyes are open. They know they can and probably will be deployed at least once. They're being trained by great NCOs.

We have some problems on the maintenance side - and the Army does have a maddening tendency to overload unit training schedules with whacky "requirements" that crowd out meaningful training and tends to drive more senior leaders out. But recruiting woes were always mostly overstated.

...And you read it here first.

Splash, out


Ali Bubba ... 
Some fargin' icehole's muscling in on my trademark.

I mean, dude! I stole it off of someone's garage sale sign fair and square!

I was planning on making at least 20 bucks with that thing!!!

Ali Bubba T-shirts. Lunch boxes. Action figures. An Ali Bubba dating service - bringing Muslims and Rednecks together.

The bottom line is, though, I like his blog. A lot.

So I'm going to exercize my option not to get all midieaval upon his but-tocks at this particular time. Yeah.

Jus' callin' dibs, is all I'm sayin, Y'all.

Splash, out


The 8th of November 

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sorry for the light posting... 
Drill this weekend, and otherwise generally slammed. But all good stuff. Just haven't had the calling to blog for a while. My schedule will open up a little soon, barring hurricanes.

Thank you so much for reading and writing for almost three years now.

Shopping for a violin? 
Advice for new fiddlers of any age here.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

More Weirdness from Thomas Ricks 
Reporters, as a rule, are best when they don't speculate about what things "suggest." Especially when they've got a shaky grasp of linear logic. Case in point, Thomas Ricks of the Washington Post

The Marine officer who commanded the battalion involved in the Haditha killings last November did not consider the deaths of 24 Iraqis, many of them women and children, unusual and did not initiate an inquiry, according to a sworn statement he gave to military investigators in March.

"I thought it was very sad, very unfortunate, but at the time, I did not suspect any wrongdoing from my Marines," Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani, commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Marines, said in the statement.

"I did not have any reason to believe that this was anything other than combat action," he added.

Chessani's statement, provided to The Washington Post by a person sympathetic to the enlisted Marines involved in the case, helps explain why there was no investigation of the incident at the time, despite the large number of civilian deaths, and why it took several months for the U.S. military chain of command to react to the event.

It also provides a glimpse of the mind-set of a commander on the scene who, despite the carnage, did not stop to consider whether Marines had crossed a line and killed defenseless civilians.

It suggests that top U.S. commanders have been unsuccessful in urging subordinate leaders to focus less on killing insurgents and more on winning the support of the Iraqi people, especially by providing them security.

Bullshit. It suggests nothing of the sort.

Ricks is trying to draw broad conclusions from a single incident. He is arguing from a limited specific to the general. Sloppy logic. Irresponsible journalism.

More on Ricks here.

I'm all for reporters writing expository books. It's good for them to illuminate their own views so the rest of us can better evaluate their reporting. And there's no reason a reporter with strong views cannot be fair in his or her presentation of the story.

But really, if Ricks can't tell the story straight without projecting, he ought to be taken off the beat.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The other white meat!!! 
Whatever makes your bacon sizzle, baby!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sorry for the light posting... 
Didn't mean to take a vacation...it just happened that way.

Basically, I've been swamped with work as a copywriter - writing marketing materials for high-end home theater system gear and such.

Imagine! I, the last of the Luddites, the guy who hasn't even owned a television set in almost 15 years, writing about 5.1 and 7.1 audio and 802.11 IP-driven whole-home music systems and structured wiring solutions integrating security, distributed audio, and home theater systems, all in one handy remote!

Ironically, I think I'm a good guy to write about that stuff, for the precise reason that I know nothing about the technology. Since I don't understand the features, I can't get bogged down in them, and focus instead on the benefits.

It's a good exercize for a business writer, I'm learning a ton, and generally having a blast, even though I've probably never worked so hard as a writer in my life.

Which means, of course, no blogging during the workday - at least until the CEDIA Exposition trade show next month.

I did get in some good tunes at an Irish pub in Phoenix, last sunday, though. And I'm hosting a regular once a month Irish tunes session in Miami at the local radical left-wing commie pinko coffeehouse, which is going great! (If they only knew! :-) )

Meanwhile, Ace has been doing a great job of chronicalling the Andrew Sullivan meltdown and the general stupidity of the American left. Enjoy!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Rememer what Michael Moore said: 
"There is no terrorist threat. There is no terrorist threat. Yes, there have been horrific acts, of terrorism and yes there will be horrific acts again. But that does not mean that there's some massive terrorist threat."


Lattes, iPods among fears 
I suspect a deviant scheme on the part of fanatic followers of Sheikh Bill Gates.

It's about time we cracked down on those arrogant Mac user bastards.

We hates their ratty little lit-prof goatees and their stupid undersized square black glasses, too.

We hates them.


Props, baby! 
Did I call it with the explosive baby formula, or what?

Wish I wrote it... 
Iraq Beheading Videos Enter Summer Reruns

Friendly Fire Bullets Hurt That Much More


Thursday, August 10, 2006

I don't care if you sleep with elephants... 
"...As long as you don't cover the circus!"

No, there's nothing to see here. No evidence of a tolerance for political bias at CNN. Nothing to see. Move along. Move along.

Seriously...if CNN wants us to take them seriously, shouldn't they remove the bride of the chief operating officer of the Democratic National Committee from her post overseeing CNN's political coverage?

I mean, please.

Splash, out


UK Officials break up terror plot ... 
...I just pray to God nobody tapped their cell phones.

They were all complicit. 
Every so-called "journalist" at Qana was complicit in this ghoulish act of child abuse.

I wonder if anyone will follow up with Associated Press vice president Kathleen Carroll, who defended the Qana stringers in an August 1 news report:

The AP said information from its photo editors showed the events were not staged, and that the time stamps could be misleading for several reasons, including that web sites can use such stamps to show when pictures are posted, not taken. An AFP executive said he was stunned to be questioned about it. Reuters, in a statement, said it categorically rejects any such suggestion.

"It's hard to imagine how someone sitting in an air-conditioned office or broadcast studio many thousands of miles from the scene can decide what occurred on the ground with any degree of accuracy," said Kathleen Carroll, AP's senior vice president and executive editor.

Carroll said in addition to personally speaking with photo editors, "I also know from 30 years of experience in this business that you can't get competitive journalists to participate in the kind of (staging) experience that is being described."

Photographers are experienced in recognizing when someone is trying to stage something for their benefit, she said.

"Do you really think these people would risk their lives under Israeli shelling to set up a digging ceremony for dead Lebanese kids?" asked Patrick Baz, Mideast photo director for AFP. "I'm totally stunned by first the question, and I can't imagine that somebody would think something like that would have happened."

Nothing more pathetic than an unsuspicious journalist.

What if... 
Christopher Walken tried other jobs?

Hat tip: Dave

Countercolumn News Ticker 
Noise abatement project at Helen Keller School for the Deaf completed to indifferent reviews...

Area lieutenant knows where we are, dammit! ...

Local commander appreciates brigade assistance visit ...

World Jews hold interest rates steady, foment war in Sri Lanka ...

McKinney thrown out, Lieberman polls to win as Independent. Dems crow ...


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mel Gibson, Remixed 
From Why Ads Suck:

I have always been a sort of vilde chaya and have had my fair share of tsuris in my life. But due to my blabberings as a total shickered putz, I have shown just how much of a mamzer I can actually be.

Due to a severe case of narishkeit, I behaved like a total schlemiel, and after the whole incident, "I was so angry, I thought I'd plotz!"."

Nu, Lese dich the whole schlemiel.

Splash, aus,


A history of WMD 
The use of weapons of mass destruction far, far predates the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima - and even the mass chemical strikes of WWI.

From the Texas Department of Human Services comes this interesting timeline:

• 600 BC: Assyrians poisoned the wells of their enemies with rye ergot, which affected those ingesting it with sickness or death. The fungus that causes ergot produces ergotamine, a hallucinogen similar in chemistry and effects to LSD. Ergot poisoning causes delusions, paranoia, myoclonic twitches, seizures, and cardiovascular problems that can lead to death. Those affected seemed to go mad, which added the terror element and served to demoralize their comrades.

• 590 BC: During the siege of Cirrha, Solon of Athens is said to have used hellebore roots (a purgative) to poison the water in an aqueduct leading from the Pleistrus River. In that same era and area, Sparta used toxic smoke generated by burning wood dipped in a mixture of tar and sulfur during one of its wars with Athens.

• 400 BC: Sythian warriors reportedly dipped their arrows into decomposing bodies or in blood mixed with feces from diseased persons in the attempt to make even glancing wounds fester.

• 400 BC: Writings of the Mohist sect in China tell of the use of ox-hide bellows to pump smoke from furnaces in which balls of mustard and other toxic vegetable matter were being burnt into tunnels to discourage the besieging army from digging. The use of a toxic cacodyl (arsenic trioxide) smoke is also mentioned in early Chinese manuscripts. The Chinese may have developed smoke-type weapons for use in war as a result of their practice of fumigation of dwellings to eliminate fleas (know to have been practiced by the Chinese as long ago as the Seventh Century BC); or, according to other speculations, from the Chinese philosophy that all matter faded into an insubstantial form, which may have led them to study the effects and properties of vapors. Chinese writings contain hundreds of recipes for the production of poisonous or irritating smokes for use in wars, and many reports of their actual use. For example, they created and used an irritating "five-league fog" made out of slow-burning gunpowder to which a variety of ingredients –including, notably, the excrement of wolves – was added.

• 300-100 BC: The Romans used bees and hornets as weapons by catapulting them at their enemies. Some historians blame this practice for a shortage of hives during the waning years of the Roman Empire.

• 190 BC: In the Battle of Eurymedon, the Carthaginian General Hannibal won a naval victory over King Eumenes II of Pergamum by catapulting pottery jars containing poisonous snakes onto the decks of his enemy's ships. This imaginative tactic apparently actually worked. According to a Roman historian:

"At first these projectiles excited the laughter of the combatants [King Eumenes' sailors], and they could not understand what it meant. But as soon as they saw their ships filled with snakes, terrified by the strange weapons and not knowing how to avoid them, they turned their ships about and retreated to their naval camp. Thus Hannibal overcame the arms of Pergamum by strategy." [From "Hannibal," a section of Vitae Excellentium Imperatorum ("Lives of Excellent Men") by Cornelius Nepos]


Much more at the link.

Splash, out


Does the weight of the free world resting on my shoulders make me look fat? 
ABC is running a report suggesting that the President may be obese.

I'd like to see the reporter and editors tag along on one of his runs.

Splash, out


Lebanese Pieta: The lyin' bastards strike again 
UPDATE: The New York Times issues a correction.

Wow. What a beautiful picture.

The color. The composition. It's poignant, I tell you. No wonder the New York Times d

Kinda reminds me of Michelangelo, and shit. Knowwhatimean?

It's such a nice photo that I won't let it bother me that there's dust all over everything in the picture except the corpse. Well, there's dust all over his hands and feet, of course. But somehow there's no dust all over the rest of him.

I'm also not going to let it bother me that this same shirtless bloke, in the very same tattered cammie shorts and what appears to be a very similar hat to the one he's dangling daintily off his wrist in the first photo, also appears to be traipsing like a prancing zombie about the wreckage in a couple of other photos:

Well, on secon thought, I take it back. This photo doesn't remind me of Michelangelo and shit.

It just reminds me of shit.

Thank you, New York Times.

Hat tip: Ace.

Countercolumn News Ticker 
European officials dismayed at declining Jewish mortality...

Mr. Green Helmet to go on Middle East-Wide Tour ...

Hezbollah pledges to investigate Israeli Civilian deaths ...

Jews criticized for losing control of media as Mel Gibson makes another movie ...

Kansas City accountant Moishe Rubinstein, 56, responsible for Ethiopia-Eritrean war ...

International Cabal of Jewish Banking Interests announces multi-level marketing platform ...
...thousands of Mormons sign up to join Chosen People, LLC...

Rumsfeld announces Starbucks discounts in lieu of Purple Hearts ...

As Lebanon battle rages, Bert's whereabouts unknown ...

Scientists develop explosive bread loaves, baby formula ...

Designer home theater systems facilitating sexual liaisons for new generation of bachelors ...

Bush, Dems reach bipartisan agreement on extracting oil from aborted fetuses ...


Monday, August 07, 2006

History shows again and again...GODZILLA! 
Hiroshima Remembers Atomic Attack.

The mayor has the gall to refer to the world's nuclear powers - you know, like the United States and the UK, whose soldiers were murdered by the thousands and bore unspeakably depraved tortures in Japanese prison camps, as "enamored of evil."

Fine. Just don't talk about Nanking and the wanton rape and murder of Manila. Don't talk about Korean, Chinese, and Philipina "comfort women."

And when you bring up the insulting lie that the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima was "the first WMD," just don't mention Unit 731.

Don't mention the fact that the evil visited upon the entire hemisphere by imperial Japan was so evil, so wicked, so genocidal and murderous in its scope and sadistic in its cruelty, that the free world was forced to consider the release of the awsome power of the atom as the lesser of the two evils.

Weep for and honor the innocent dead. But remember, Japan, that the atom bomb represents a Godzilla you yourselves unleashed.

Life Imitates Monty Python 3 
"I'm not dead yet!"

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Off His Rocker 
Juan Cole describes the fighting in Southern Lebanon as "The wholesale destruction of all of Lebanon by Israel and the Pentagon."

The Jerusalem Post devotes an extensive article examining the failure of world news outlets to honestly cover the Israel-Hezbollah war.

Mark Steyn on Proportionality 
Stein, as usual, nails it.

Twenty-eight dead civilians in a village from which 150 Katyusha rockets have been launched against Israel doesn't seem "disproportionate" to me. What's "disproportionate" is the idea that civilian life should be allowed to proceed normally in what is, in fact, a terrorist launching platform.

Reuters caught faking photos 

Lyin' bastards.

This fake is positively egregious. How stupid do they think we are? How stupid are their photo editors?

UPDATE: News to nobody, but even Reuters managers know that "terrible quality problems" are nothing new at Reuters.

UPDATE: Reuters capitulates.

UPDATE: National Journal recaps the long and sordid history of MSM outlets doctoring war-on-terror-related images - ALWAYS to the detriment of the West. Always.

And EU Journal, who was over this shutterbug's ass like flies on turds since Qana broke, punks the media apologists with their own words:

"In addition to personally speaking with photo editors", she says – who tell the absolute, unvarnished truth - "I also know from 30 years of experience in this business that you can't get competitive journalists to participate in the kind of (staging) experience that is being described." Photographers are experienced in recognizing when someone is trying to stage something for their benefit, she adds.

Wow. Maybe they ought to hire some of them to replace their photo editors.

I don't condone wife-beating, under any circumstances... 
...unless she's a stupid bitch!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

That's the title of Washington Post reporter Thomas Ricks' new book: Fiasco: America's Military Adventure in Iraq.

It's also an apt description of the book's premise. Because I couldn't pick it up for 30 seconds without running into a series of boneheaded tropes.

Here's just the first paragraph:

President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003 ultimately may come to be seen as one of the most profligate actions in the history of American foreign policy. The consequences of his choice won't be clear for decades, but if already is abundantly apparent in mid-2006 that the U.S. government went to war in Iraq with scant solid international support ...

Stop right there, Thomas, because I'm not buying that assertion for a second, on two levels.

First of all, the notion that international support for the toppling of Saddam Hussein was lacking is an outright lie. The effort didn't run into a UN snag because of a lack of broad support among the community of nations, but because a few long-time allies of tyrants and despotism, France, Russia, and China, stood in a position to veto any UN security council invation specifically authorizing an invasion in so many words. The reality is there was a great deal of support for the US war effort.

In fact, according to Global Security, as of July 2005, some 26 nations not only supported the United States in Iraq, but actually committed their own troops to the conflict.

Another eight countries committed soldiers to the NATO security force operation there.

Mr. Ricks is substituting the unexamined falsehoods of America's far left for a close examination of the facts.

Second, and more subtly, Mr. Ricks' entire construction here is an elaborately crafted and sly red herring: After Saddam Hussein had already been found in violation of the cease fire AND some seventeen separate Security Council resolutions, in which Saddam Hussein had repeatedly been declared in "material breach" of the cease fire, and which had threatened him with 'serious consequences' if he did not comply, the United States, as a sovreign nation, did not require any further international support whatsoever in order to complete the war begun in 1991 and interrupted with a cease fire agreement.

International support, broad as it was, was simply irrelevant to the question. The assumption underlying Ricks' central argument is this: That the United States is not a sovreign nation, that it has no standing to enforce the terms of a cease fire to which we ourselves were signatory, and that America's strategic decisions are not ours to make, but are bucked up to handwringing bureaucrats in Geneva, in Brussels, and at Turtle Bay.

I wholly reject not only his false factual assertion, but the lies underpinning his entire argument.

Back to you, Tom!

...and on the basis of incorrect information -- about weapons of mass destruction and a supposed nexus between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda's terrorism

Woah! That's quite a mouthful. It is true that intelligence was imperfect about a whole host of things. I would ask Mr. Ricks when anyone could ever have a reasonable expectation of perfect intelligence? Intel certainly wasn't perfect when Clinton was bombing the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and napalming convoys full of refugees in Kosovo. At any rate, though, it's worth pointing out that the argument that Saddam was in violation of the UNSC resos and the terms of the 1991 cease fire does not rely on 100% of the intelligence being 100% accurate.

In fact, Saddam Hussein can be conclusively shown to be in violation of both using information that is not in dispute:

1. Saddam retained a nuclear centerfuge, which he had kept buried in a garden in a scientists' home.

2. Saddam retained a number of chemical munitions, including 17 122mm chemical rockets discovered in January 2003.

3. Saddam retained stocks of hundreds of chemical weapons, despite his obligation to destroy them. Not some of them. All of them.

4. The bipartisan 9/11 commission themselves conceded that there were "all kinds of ties - all kinds of connections" between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They never disputed those ties. In fact, the 9/11 report documented a number of known connections, mostly centering around cooperation with Al Qaeda's effort to obtain chemical weapons through Sudan.

5. Leaving aside the UN, Saddam Hussein was giving shelter to one of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers and had him on the payroll.

6. Saddam Hussein was giving shelter to Abu Nidal, who was a terrorist responsible for the murders of numerous Americans and other westerners.

7. Saddam Hussein was also giving shelter to Abu Abbas, another terrorist who was likewise responsible for the murders of numerous Americans and other westerners.

8. Saddam Hussein was also giving substantial material support to Hezbollah, subsidizing their suicide bombers. Hezbollah, in 2003, was responsible for the deaths of at least 244 Americans that I know of.

9. Saddam Hussein, through Ibrahim Izzat Al-Duri, personally invited Al Qaeda's #2 man Ayman al-Zawahiri at a conference in Iraq 1998 - while Al Qaeda's war against the United States was well underway.

These facts - none of which are seriously in dispute, more than account for the US decision to go to war, and are sufficient justification in and of themselves. Our information on those counts turned out to be correct. In addition, Charles Deulfer's report found that Saddam continued to operate in violation of the UNSC and cease fire terms by maintaining a 'variety of weapons of mass destruction programme activities.'

The decision to go to war does not rely on us being right about EVERYTHING the intelligence agencies suspected. The decision required only that an analysis of the risks and rewards of removing him from power warranted the invasion. The decision to go to war is justified not by us being right about everything, but on us being right enough on a few important things.

And that was our call to make; not Kofi Annan's, Mr. Ricks.

The Administration was wrong about some things. But it was right about enough.

Ricks can't get through his first paragraph being right about anything.

Back to Tom:

...And then occupied the country negligently

Objection, your honor. Makes charges not in evidence. Mistakes in complicated endeavors do not in and of themselves establish negligence.


Thousands of U.S. troops and an untold number of Iraqis have died. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent, many of them squandered.

Yes. And many dollars were well spent, and wisely invested. Tom: Please cite an example of a major government undertaking involving hundreds of thousands of people in which many dollars were not squandered.

Back to Tom:

Democracy may yet come to Iraq


Tom, in case you hadn't noticed, Democracy's been in flower in Iraq for more than a year and a half, with three overwhelmingly successful elections under its belt. Iraq has a democratically elected President, a duly appointed Prime Minister, and a democratically elected Parliament. It has debated and approved a constitution, recognizing the rights of minorities.

What's more, a lot of those Americans and Iraqis whom Ricks just mentioned gave their lives for that democracy.

If anything is negligent, it's Tom Ricks' "analysis."

Sloppy. Atrocious.


...But so too may civil war or a regional conflagration, which in turn could lead to spiraling oil prices and a global economic shock.

Once again, Tom's entire argument rests on a false set of assumptions. Tom is assuming, for instance, that leaving Saddam Hussein in power could NOT have led to spiraling oil prices and a global economic shock.

Which is, frankly, stupid.

All you have to do is go back to 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait. Saddam's invasion itself caused a spike in oil prices and a global economic shock which was partly responsible for the 1991 recession. Saddam's very presence risked a future Gulf war, it risked the destruction of the Saudi and Kuwaiti oil fields, it risked the destruction of Iranian and Iraqi oil infrastructure in the Western persian gulf and all the way up and down the Iraqi frontier with Iran.

Indeed, the installation of a friendly regime in Iraq - one grateful to the U.S. and desperate for short-term cash - arguably lessens the risk of an OPEC induced global oil shock in the future, since it is less likely to vote as a bloc with Iran and the other Arab Gulf States over something stupid, like an Israeli war.

In fact, the fact that OPEC has not embargoed oil supplies now, as they did after the 1973 war, is proof of this.

If anybody causes an oil shock, it is NOT going to be the United States. It will be the OPEC members. The fact that Ricks seeks to blame the Administration for an oil shock that might occur in the future someday serves as evidence that Ricks' reasoning has become, to put it gently, unsound.

Indeed, Ricks has, like so many, fallen victim to Bush Derangement Syndrome.

All that from one single paragraph in the front of his book.

Splash, out


Friday, August 04, 2006

They also serve 

CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier, critically injured by an IED while covering operations in Baghdad some weeks ago, is home from the hospital.

CBS News correspondent Kimberly Dozier has left a Maryland rehabilitation facility, two months after she was critically wounded in a Baghdad car bombing that killed two of her colleagues.

Dozier has made a remarkable recovery since the May 29 attack on the military convoy with which the CBS News crew had been traveling on a Memorial Day story. Both cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan, along with U.S. Army Capt. James Funkhouser Jr. and an Iraqi officer, were killed in the blast. Dozier is now walking assisted by crutches and a cane, and will continue outpatient rehab.

In a statement released Thursday by CBS News, a day after her release, Dozier thanked the military for saving her life.

"I owe my life to the quick actions of the 4th Infantry Division's Sgt. Mootoosamy, who took charge of the scene, with his commander down and many of his men injured, and medic Spc. Flores, who patched me up," Dozier wrote.

RIP CPT Funkhauser, Paul Douglas, and James Brolan, and prayers for their families, along with the family of the Iraqi officer who was killed. (I would have loved to have had his name.)

Yes, I make a hobby out of bashing reporters. But thank God for the ones who show up and get out into the field and their crews. In their own way, these people also gave the last full measure of devotion.

If you believe, as I do, that the press plays a vital role in a democratic republic, then these men, too, and Kimberly Dozier, shed their blood in the service of this country.

Splash, out


Interview with an Investment Firm 
Sorry for the light posting, but I've been engaged in a flurry of economic activity. After a certain lag of indeterminate length, it seems to be correlated with my capacity to buy food, clothing and shelter.

Blogging, on the other hand, not so much.

I did interview this morning for a position as an investment advisor with Edward Jones, which I'm very excited about. I selected EJ because they managed to keep their noses reasonably clean in the late 1990s while a tangle of conflicts and abuses was exposed at a lot of the other investment firms.

EJ got into a little bit of trouble a while back for failing to disclose soft-dollar arrangements with mutual fund companies paying them to be included on their "preferred list."

Yes, that's kind of scuzzy, but it doesn't bother me all that much - first of all, it's not just Edward Jones. It's just about everybody. The practice is absolutely pervasive in the industry - almost universal among transaction-based firms. And I wouldn't be surprised if a little digging suggested a fair amount of it at fee-only and fee-based houses as well.

Second, Safeway doesn't disclose that Frito-Lay paid them a "stocking fee" for premium, eye-level shelf-space, either, when I go to buy a bag of chips.

I'm not a fan of the practice at all, but it's very difficult to regulate and prevent, number one, and number two, I have my own moral and ethical compass, and I know lots of good funds that are on the preferred list - and deservedly so.

Main thing I wanted was the opportunity to build my own practice, do what's best for my clients, be able to offer a wide range of financial services and products, work with people with modest net worth levels and middle income people, and not have to borrow money to open a branch.

Edward Jones is a pretty good match on all these counts.

I would have liked to have seen a bit more openness towards index funds (not a huge deal since ETFs are still available). Other than that, it was a good interview. At this stage, it was really me interviewing EJ. Their interview of me comes later!

I would also have liked to have seen a more fiduciary model, but the Rep I spoke with said they are very careful not to set the bar of service that high. The folks who handle separately managed accounts are fiduciaries, but not the Reps in the field. Even though the woman who interviewed me was herself holding the Certified Financial Planning credential, they are very careful NOT to describe what they do as "financial planning," nor can they provide the client with a written financial plan - lest the client confuse the fact that he received a financial plan - which the advisor would have to do regardless - with the idea that the advisor who just worked them through the financial plan actually did financial planning.

Perish the thought.

I suspect a lawyer's involvement someplace.

Nevertheless, these are problems throughout the industry, except in the little independent fee-only shops where people like me so often go to starve, at least in the short-term. The idea of being independent appeals to me, but not the E&O premiums at this point, nor the thought of having to invent the wheel from scratch.

New advisors have enough problems. I don't need to compound them with learning how to administer the whole thing at the same time.

I did cruise the Internet looking for postings on professional boards by disaffected EJ reps. Didn't find much, but there are a few. The ones that I found seemed to have quit over the soft money problems.

Thanks for your patience. I'll let everyone know how it goes. There are other terrific firms out there, with terrific training programs, to be sure, but I like the face-to-face model that EJ uses.

In the meantime, I'm staying reasonably busy as a freelance writer at the moment, with a sudden uptick in agency work, which is nice. It's good not to be desperate, but the transition to the financial advisor field, as longtime readers well know, is a long time coming.

Anyone else out there with experience in the biz feel free to weigh in.

Splash, out


VA Questions? Disabled Vet? Have a family member who is? 
Dale Krause is an extremely knowledgeable elder law attorney and Medicaid crisis specialist who has compiled a lot of good information here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I got your reporter - source privilege RIGHT HERE!!!! 
A judge bitch-slaps a freelance journalist and blogger.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Col Steele's in trouble 
Yep...it's the same Mike Steele from Black Hawk Down, who commanded the company of Rangers that got bloodied in Mogadishu.

Col. Michael Steele, whose heroics were portrayed in the movie "Black Hawk Down," is under investigation for allegedly encouraging his men to go on a killing spree. The investigation begins just as the Army has started to make its case against four soldiers who are charged with murdering three Iraqi civilians while under Steele's command, ABC News has learned.

The soldiers' defense is that they were under orders to kill all military-age males.

ABC News has learned that Steele has already been reprimanded for the incident.

The hearing for the four soldiers that began today will determine if they should stand trial on murder charges. The killings took place as part of Operation Iron Triangle, which targeted a suspected al Qaeda training facility northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, in the city of Samarra.

I'm skeptical.

For one thing, there isn't a commander in the Army who would give such a stupid order, in my opinion. "Kill all military age males?" Ridiculous.

Second, commanders get reprimanded all the time for stuff that happens under their command, when they only have tangental involvement in the incident. Something about "setting the command climate," which is what they hang you with when they can't think of anything to hang you with.

No soldier is required to obey such an order - and all soldiers would recognize such an order for what it was - an illegal and immoral order.

Which is why I don't believe that they were under any such order. I suspect it's a desperate move by desperate defendants.

Splash, out


Life Imitates Monty Python 
...only in reverse

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Three Indian doctors caught on camera apparently agreeing to amputate the healthy limbs of beggars are to be questioned by the Indian Medical Council, an official said Tuesday.

Secretly filmed footage taken by the CNN-IBN news channel and broadcast Saturday showed one of the doctors asking for 10,000 rupees (about $215) to amputate a lower leg, leaving a stump that may draw sympathy -- and a few rupees -- from passersby.

He then suggests chopping off three fingers from the man's left hand.

Economics. Truly the dismal science.

Splash, out


Representative Dingell is a friend to terrorists 
Representative Dingell says that "we should be a fair and honest broker and a friend to all parties" in the Israeli-Hezbollah war.

I won't grant him the dignity of a response.

Splash, out


Actually argued in a U.S. courtroom 
Apparently, this is no shit:

The Jordan-based Arab Bank yesterday asked a federal judge in Brooklyn to dismiss a lawsuit brought by thousands of Israelis who claim the bank fueled terrorism by providing payments to the relatives of suicide bombers.

Lawyers for the bank said that the 4,000 foreign citizens who are plaintiffs should not be allowed to have their case heard in the American court system. They argued that terrorism against Israel does not violate any "international norm." Lawyers for the bank said that some 80 countries, most Islamic or African, do not consider Palestinian Arab suicide bombers to be terrorists.

Yep. That's the argument posited by attorney Kevin Walsh of LeBeof, Lamb, Greene, and MacRae.

And yes, they have the Eiffel Tower on their home page.

Splash, out


The same magazine that claims to "support the troops" 
Publishes this.

"Support the troops" 
I have an idea for this Mother Jones writer:

How about showing your support for your wife by condescending to her, infantilizing her at every turn, constantly telling other people what a dupe she is, and by opposing and hating everything she does?

Think she'll appreciate that?

Just askin'.

Dammit! They're on to us!!!! 
Ace of Spades HQ: It's just a fact that, apart from embassy staffs, reporter corps tend to be the biggest haven of spies and paid operatives in the world.

Ha ha ha ha ha 

This one goes out to the guy who wrote in talking about removing Muslims from the country in a plastic bag.

Update: Michelle Malkin is calling Taqiyya.

I hadn't thought of that. It seems likely.

But I still object to threatening our Muslim Americans with violence because of the actions of a deranged few.

Heh. Indeed.

Every time some leftist starts mouthing platitudes about supporting the troops, someone should smack ‘em hard right in the mouth and then explain, “I’m just supporting your right of free speech the same way you support the troops.”

No, I don't really agree with that. I understand the sentiment. But there have been some comments here lately that come uncomfortably close to the advocation of violence to me.

It's just politics, man. You can't take this stuff too personally.

Yeah, the moonbats on the left might. But that's their problem.

One of my closest friends grew up in West Belfast. Strong Sinn Fein guy and IRA sympathizer. Compares the Brits to Nazis. Also very pro Hezbollah. Got a couple of beers into him the other day and got him ranting. I got a good chuckle.

At least he's consistent. I encounter Brits who are strongly anti-IRA for being, you know, murdering terrorist bastards - and yet they're still pro-Hezbollah. I have a lot more respect for someone who's both pro Hezbo and pro-IRA than I have for someone who can't even grasp the contradiction.

Me, I think the IRA are a bunch of murderous thugs. Same with Hezbollah. ( I might have had some sympathy for their position if it were still 1920, but it's not.)

The only difference is Hezbollah uses terrorists to target Americans, while the IRA uses fundraisers.

Well, and I suppose I'll have to concede that the IRA doesn't want to annihilate the UK. Only push them out of Ulster.

Still, the more of them who meet an untimely end, the better.

At any rate, I can let my friend rant, take it in stride, and at the end of it, I still love the guy.

I understand the pro Hezbo sentiment from a Belfast Catholic. Everybody loves an underdog. Being pro Hezbollah is the geopolitical equivalent of rooting for the Cubs. I mean, every sports team has people who really, really hate them. But outside of some of the diehard White Sox fans, who really hates the Cubs?

The difference, of course, is that when the Cubs play the White Sox, they don't rig the bleachers with exploding seats. And they don't plant land mines on the warning track.

Tulg a mach,


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