Thursday, December 04, 2003

Remind Us

You know all those lists bloggers and journalists post of the reasons the Bush Administration stated for us to invade Iraq? This is visual and about 10 times more effective:

Remind Us (Shockwave, 1130K)
Out and Out Bribery

Who Tried To Bribe Rep. Smith?

On the House floor, Nick Smith was told business interests would give his son $100,000 in return for his father's vote. When he still declined, fellow Republican House members told him they would make sure Brad Smith never came to Congress. After Nick Smith voted no and the bill passed, [Rep.] Duke Cunningham of California and other Republicans taunted him that his son was dead meat.

Where is the NY Times, page 1, above the fold, banner headline: "House Threatens Members"? Where is it? Where?

*peers closely*

Did I miss it?

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Jessica Lynch and Finger-Pointing

Intel Dump explains how Elaine Donnelly in National Review got it wrong blaming PFC Lynch's capture on "Clinton-era" reforms of positions open to women that had nothing to do with Lynch's presence in a battle situation.

He makes 3 salient points in response to Donnelly:

1. "PFC Lynch's supply clerk billet would have been open to women in 1990 for Gulf War I. PFC Lynch was not a front-line position, such as that in the 3rd Military Police Company or 1-227 Aviation (Attack) -- two units where women fought as MP soldiers and Apache helicopter pilots respectively. Instead, she held a supply clerk position in a rear area logistics unit where the risk of combat was thought to be low." Clinton-era reforms of 1994 had nothing to do that position being considered a valid one for women.
2. Her company, the 507th Maintenance, was in harm's way because rear-area security was ineffective.
3. Her company, the 507th Maintenance, was not prepared for combat. (Probably in direct connection to #1.)

His solution? The right one: "Make every soldier a rifleman". Train even rear-area support services for front-line fighting. Train everyone, and keep that training up. Because, amazing as this may seem to us civvies, you cannot plan for everything. Why, your rear area may be overrun, for example.

So take a tip from the Boy Scouts and be prepared.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

One down, how many to go?

I finished The Sweater™ for my dad, binding off the ribbing on the second sleeve this morning while watching MTV (or was it VH-1? At 7 in the morning, they still show actual music videos, did you know that?), before heading off for some volunteer work I do every Tuesday.

It's a creamy colored gansey* worked in pretty run-of-the-mill yarn too thick for a properly traditional gansey, but I wanted to finish something complex before spending gobs of money on finer yarn and well, I started this project with only three completed sweaters under my belt, and I didn't want to risk 'wasting' money at the time when I started this one.

I have no qualms in that department now. :-) I can knit sweaters, by Jove!

Next up, finish a scarf for my brother. If I have time, throw out a hat or two, but that doesn't have to be finished by Christmas. I should have plenty of knitting time when I report next week for jury duty.

[*] A British fisherman's sweater -- not to be confused with the Aran, an Irish fisherman's sweater -- those are the ones known so well for their intricate cabling. The gansey or jersey is (generally) constructed differently and designs are frequently in horizontal panels across the body, rather than being vertically oriented work. Trust me, they're different beasts. It's OK.