MoonDawg's Den: September 2006

MoonDawg's Den

Thursday, September 28, 2006

More H5N1 H2H?

It looks like there may be another instance of limited human-to-human transmission of avian influenza A(H5N1) in Indonesia, where the very first episode of limited H2H transmission took place earlier this year. On Sunday a 23 year-old man in West Java died of bird flu, and two of his siblings were hospitalized shortly thereafter when they also became ill with the disease.

Since avian H5N1 is now endemic to Indonesia, the chances that the virus will recombine with human flu viruses to produce an easily-transmitted killer strain increase daily (indeed, today we learn that the sister of the bird flu victim mentioned above has tested positive for H1N1). Not good news as we approach the 2006-07 flu season...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

New link

Please note that I have posted a new link, a fear of flying, to my blog list. The blog is the handiwork of nosurfgirl, self-described as "a young married woman with 2 kids, a full-time job at a residential treatment facility, and a deep and abiding testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Her blog covers an eclectic array of topics, ranging from feminism to faith, movies to munching, lactation to liberalism - well, you get the idea. Like my friend Jeff (who is also a practicing Mormon), she is among that rarest of breeds: an open-minded Democrat. Don't ask me what she has against surfing, though...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Our "friends" the Russians

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has posted a report on Russian military exercises held last month in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan (emphasis mine), as described by the Iranian website Baztab, which is "affiliated with Expediency Council Secretary and former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezai":
"The maneuver, called 'RUBEZH 2006,' [which included] 2,500 troops from the armed forces of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, was held last week (August 24-29) in the port of Aqtau, Kazakhstan]... on the basis of the 'Collective Security Treaty' [CST]. Uzbekistan participated as an observer in this exercise; Belarus and Armenia did not take part in it.

"The maneuver was purportedly intended train [the forces] in combating terrorism, but was in fact a kind of military preparation [intended] to provide an answer to America's military threats in the region against Iran... Some believe that the maneuver, which was planned by the Russian military's joint chiefs of staff, was an exercise in preparedness for frontal confrontation in a possible American war against Iran in the region of southern Eurasia and in the Caspian Sea region.

Is this wishful thinking on the part of the Iranians, or would Russia actually commit military forces to defend Iran in the event that the U.S. decides to launch a strike against Iran's nuclear program?

Given how unhelpful Vladimir Putin has been in dealing with Iran on this issue, one cannot dismiss the possiblity outright.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Miller Time no more

This week a friend sent me a link to a Chicago Tribune story detailing the Miller Brewing Company's substantial support of the illegal immigration movement:

Marchers had to duck into fast-food restaurants for water when they first took to Chicago's streets in support of illegal immigrants five months ago. At the next two marches, family-owned grocery stores offered free bottled water from trucks emblazoned with their names.This time, as demonstrators march from Chinatown to House Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R-Ill.) Batavia office this weekend, they will have Miller Brewing Co., as a sponsor.

The brewer has paid more than $30,000 for a planning convention, materials and newspaper ads publicizing the event.

My friend says that we should support a boycott of Miller beer. Well, no problem for me - taste wise, Miller beer is on a par with equine urine, and it does not contaminate my fridge to begin with.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Deja vu Allah over again

Earlier this year adherents of the "Religion of Peace" reacted to a handful of Danish cartoons portraying Islam as a violent religion with, well, violence - some of it deadly. During the past week many adherents of the "Religion of Peace" reacted to Pope Benedict making an innocuous statement linking Islam with violence with, well violence - some of it deadly.

What kind of religion produces people who are so thin skinned that they cannot abide any criticism of their faith, and react to such with threats of murder? Who react to being called violent with violence, and incitement to violence? Recall a London protest in February of this year during the "Cartoon War":

Now compare that to another protest in London, held just this past weekend (photo via Michelle Malkin):

To paraphrase Yogi Berra, it's like deja vu Allah over again. Anne Applebaum has a column in yesterday's WaPo that sums up my own feelings nicely:
...nothing the pope has ever said comes even close to matching the vitriol, extremism and hatred that pour out of the mouths of radical imams and fanatical clerics every day, all across Europe and the Muslim world, almost none of which ever provokes any Western response at all. And maybe it's time that it should.
Time that it should indeed.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A true American hero

Apologies for the dearth of blogging this week, was spending a few days in Atlanta but am now back in God's Country. One of the things I did while in the ATL was represent the GaSDF at a 9/11 memorial ceremony at the National Museum of Patriotism (as you can see, my mug appeared for a short time on the local TV news, doubtlessly breaking television screens across Georgia). Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

But someone far more notable was at the ceremony on Monday: Michael E. Thornton, a Vietnam vet who is among the very few who have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving the live of another Medal of Honor recipient, Thomas Norris (of BAT-21 fame). Thorton was a Navy SEAL who saved Norris' life in an act of bravery most of us cannot even begin to imagine:

On learning that Lt. Norris had been hit by enemy fire and was believed to be dead, Thornton returned through a hail of fire to the lieutenant's last position and found him severely wounded and unconscious but alive. Quickly disposing of two enemy soldiers who approached at that moment, Thornton slung Norris over his shoulder and dashed for life over 400 yards of open beach, returning enemy fire as he ran. He carried Norris and another wounded comrade out to sea, beyond the range of enemy fire. The company floated for approximately two hours before being retrieved by the South Vietnamese Navy.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It was my honor to meet Thorton after the ceremony, which plainly moved him. Mr. Thornton is a soft-spoken and humble man, but became intense when speaking of the threat we face from Islamofacism, which he likened to cancer: "Cancer may go into remission for a time, but it will always return unless it has been completely cut out and removed." Which was Thornton's not-so-subtle way of saying that the Jihadist movement can only be stopped by completely and utterly destroying it. A shame that there are so many who cannot even recognize the disease, let alone the cure.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Blackhawk boppin'

My friend Captain Jim emailed me this pic from Iraq today. CPT Jim already saw his share of combat duty in Vietnam and could have chosen to sit this war out, but he's not that kind of guy...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

No Wolf, we're not idiots - but you are

I was watching Wolf Blitzer on CNN last night as he expressed apparent shock at the results of a poll that shows 43% of Americans "at least suspect" that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 terror attacks. Why is that so hard to believe, Wolf? Perhaps those Americans, unlike Wolf, are aware that:

* Saddam was a known sponsor of international terrorism
* The Iraqi government was implicated in the 1993 WTC bombing attack
* Iraq and al-Qaeda were developing operational links, as noted in the 9/11 Commission Report

We may never know if Iraq provided logistical support to al-Qaeda for conducting the 9/11 attacks. You're not going to find a memo from Saddam to Osama saying "Hey bud, need any more help with that hijacking gig you're working on?" But perhaps we will learn more as the tens of thousands of Iraqi government documents that were seized after the war are translated by Project Harmony - already, their work has provided evidence that there was greater collaboration between Iraq and al-Qaeda than was previously thought.

What we do know is this: at the very least, the Iraqi regime praised al-Qaeda in print and lauded the 9/11 attacks in art. If Saddam was still in power, it is entirely plausible that such approval would have eventually manifested itself in something far more substantial - and deadly.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A great kickoff

College football is back, praise be to the heavens, and yesterday was a treat with 12 hours worth of viewing pleasure. My own Dawgs romped over their 1-AA cupcake opponent, Hampton topped Grambling in an entertaining OT game, the UT Vols surprised Top Ten opponent Cal, and prime time featured an good match between Ga Tech and Notre Dame. Sunday night we had a high scoring contest between Louisville and UK, and the weekend was topped off Monday night with a close game between FSU and Miami (I was hoping there was a way both teams could lose in that one but alas, 'tis not possible).

Although I have no love for the Rambling Wreck, one has to give them credit for a fine performance against the No. 2 Irish. Keep an eye on GT's Tashard Choice, this kid could be one of the most exciting RBs to watch this year. But hopefully he won't be too exciting though when the Dawgs meet the Jackets late in November.

College football is back - does life get any better?