MoonDawg's Den: November 2006

MoonDawg's Den

Thursday, November 30, 2006


My friend Joe Dog in the Czech Republic photoblogged a trip to Vienna he took last week. Reminded me of when I visited Vienna about six years ago; it's one of the most gorgeous cities in all of Europe, and every street bursts with history. But I remember being taken aback when I saw an unexpected piece of Americana in the middle of one of Vienna's beautiful old shopping districts, just across the Danube from the amazing Belvedere Palace - a Hooters Restaurant, for crying out loud.

Vienna gave us Mozart, the Lippizzaners, and canned sausages. America gave Vienna spicy chicken wings, cheap beer, and scantily-clad waitresses. A fair trade, I'd say...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Is there anyone out there who will be even remotely surprised by this?

Women talk three times as much as men, says study

Monday, November 27, 2006

Blog Blitzkrieg

I stopped by Technorati this morning and noticed that the number one search term across the entire blogosphere today is Studivz. My first thought was, "WTF is Studivz?"

The Technorati search brings up thousands of German-language blogs. Since my knowledge of German is pretty much limited to bier and Einbahn (two words that stand out in my brain from a pair of visits to Germany a decade ago - one is useful for drinking and the other for driving; just don't do both at the same time). But a little Googling solves the mystery: StudiVZ "is a German-based social-network platform for university students", according to Kasi-Blog, which offers an English-language StudiVZ Encyclopedia for the uninitiated. The website, which boasts a million members, is apparently a carbon copy of the popular Facebook networking service.

But why is StudiVZ causing such a blogstorm among our Deutsch-speaking friends? There are various reasons, mainly involving poor site performance, questionable business practices, controversial actions by the site's founders, and, most disturbingly, the discovery of a stalker group within StudiVZ composed of men who hack into the personal information of young frauleins. The administrators of StudiVZ apparently did nothing to prevent data-privacy violations by members of the group.

So now we know why German bloggers are on the rampage. And once again it shows how much faster the blogosphere can get on top of a story than the dino-media.

UPDATE: StudiVZ went offline today, apparently the victim of a worm attack.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Quick Bites

Since we'll all be filling up tomorrow with a Turkey Day repast, here are some quick tidbits that won't leave you bloated before the holiday:

~ Gateway Pundit has a major roundup of news related to the appalling assassination of Lebanese leader Pierre Gemayel, who dared to raise his voice against Syria.

~ A deadly no-knock search in Atlanta - three cops shot, and a 92 year-old woman dead. As the Instapundit says, no-knock raids "should only occur when there's reason to believe that lives are in immediate jeopardy".

~ The US Embassy in Turkey warns of the "potential for violence" related to an upcoming visit to Turkey by Pope Benedict XVI. Radical Muslims are still hot about the Pope making a statement that obliquely related Islam to violence, so it looks like Turks are planning to riot in the streets during the visit - that'll show the Pope that Muslims aren't violent!

~ A Marine who disgraced his uniform is brought to justice. That's the difference between us and the Jihadists - when one of ours illegally kills an Iraqi civilian, he's thrown in prison. When one of theirs kills an Iraqi civilian, its videotaped and used as propaganda.

~ You Stargate geeks out there know that an evil alien named Apophis tried to destroy the earth. Now NASA is worried about an asteroid of the same name that could pose an existential threat to our planet in 2029 or 2036. Somebody call Jack O'Neill!

~ The major media appear to have lost interest in the bird flu, but H5N1 doesn't seem to care. Recently there have been new outbreaks of the virus in Egypt, Somalia, Indonesia, and Sudan, and a low path strain of H5N1 is now showing up in wild fowl across parts of the United States. Hope that doesn't spoil anyone's appetite for turkey on Thursday...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Dude, *Here's* My Draft

Last month I had a post (Dude, Where's My Draft?) about a scare tactic used by the Democrats in the 2004 election - namely, that the evil Republicans were secretly planning to bring back military conscription after the election. It never happened, of course, because the whole thing was a lie to being with.

But now we have a Democratic Congress, and one of the top Democrats in the House, Rep. Charles Rangel, is planning to use his new clout as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee to bring back the draft.

The liberal scare mongering in 2004 amounted to "Vote Republican, Get Drafted". The possible reality in 2006 is "Voted Democrat, Getting Drafted".

Friday, November 17, 2006

30 Years of Hell

Related to the post earlier this week about the need for able criminal defense lawyers, the NY Times today has a stomach-churning story about gross abuse of police powers by the federal government.

Hat Tip: Instapundit

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Suggestion for Fox News--Hannity and Corn!

Garry's post today about Hannity and Colmes made me remember an idea I had some time ago. I meant to blog about it then, but I didn't.

The idea stems from the absolutely ludicrous pairing of Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes to do a political talking heads show. Hannity is conservative to the bone, loud, fiery, arrogant, and never wrong (just ask him!). Colmes, on the other hand, is moderate, soft spoken, not contentious, and beholden--most of the time--to Hannity's ideas.

Al Franken discusses this pair at length in his book Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, which must be experienced in audiobook, btw, and claims (I haven't gone through the trouble of checking this) that Hannity got to pick his partner for the show. If that's the case, I can see why Colmes is on the show. His quiet demeanor makes him easier to bully. However, if Franken's claim is false, FOX made a bad choice.

Why have a political debate show that is so obviously one-sided? Why have one member of the team, the liberal, be such a wimp? If FOX really wants to have a balanced show where true debate can take place, I suggest they replace Colmes with FOX analyst David Corn, a true liberal and a cocky fireball in his own right. Now that would be a debate show that I'd tune in to watch. Perhaps FOX is too worried that they would have a fist fight on the air if they left these two alone together for too long, or (and far more probable) Hannity is worried that with a loud, take-no-prisoners liberal at his side, he might not be able to push his uber-conservative agenda at will and, of course, that Corn might make him cry (*grin*).

I say we get this idea rolling around the blogs and see what happens. Maybe FOX will listen...maybe.

In Defense of Defenders

While watching Hannity & Colmes on Fox News last evening (no link, couldn't find a transcript), I was aghast to witness both the conservative Hannity and the liberal Colmes lambaste a criminal defense attorney for - well, doing his job. More specifically, he's apparently doing his job too well and has had some success in getting accused pedophiles off the hook.

H&C tore into the attorney for "making the system work for the guilty". HELLO?? Our system is supposed to work especially for the guilty. In this country the burden of proof is on the state, not on the defendant, which is as it should be - if the state cannot make its case to sufficiently convince a jury of a fellow citizen's guilt, that's just too bad. Sometimes scumbags go free, but when this happens it should serve to motivate law enforcement and prosecutors to do a better job in accumulating evidence legally and presenting a more compelling case next time around. If the state starts to cut corners to imprison the guilty (rather, those believed to be guilty), it puts all of us at risk.

Criminal defense lawyers are all that stand between individual Americans and the unbridled police powers of the state, and I thank God that we have such dedicated professionals around to advocate for the accused - who are, at least in our justice system (are you listening, H&C?), entitled to the presumption of innocence.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Women enjoy being deprived of their free will"

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has posted an op-ed piece by a Saudi columnist, Maha Al-Hujailan, who finds himself at a loss to explain why many Muslim women not only embrace the abaya garment - and, by extension, the "humiliation" and "submission" that it represents - but have worked to "create new and more complicated garments which would confine her more than ever before". The male author of the article, which appeared in the Saudi newspaper Arab News last week, relates a very interesting tale about an American woman who donned an abaya as a display of solidarity with Muslims after 9/11; to her amazement she was criticized by Saudis for not displaying the properly sumbissive behavior that wearing of the abaya requires. He then asks the following:

" did men succeed in convincing women to transform the free personality that Allah endowed them with into enslaved characters wearing an abaya? The process was not simply a mental one. It was a combination of emotional factors which were cleverly exploited. Men used women’s weaknesses to make women believe that an important part of the male-female relationship was the man loving the weak and submissive elements of a woman’s nature. He then named these elements respect, honor and correct behavior. These do not exist objectively but can only be explained according to the individual man’s desire and will - in other words, a totally subjective conception.

What is strange is that women accepted the idea and were soon submitting themselves to the prison of the garment, the walking slowly, the looking only straight ahead - just to fulfill, it seems, what men imagined the abaya to be all about.

The author goes on to say that this apparently is "part of a strange phenomenon in which women enjoy being deprived of their free will."

While the sexist attitudes are certainly implicit in the Saudi author's reasoning, the underlying premise - that "the abaya makes women appear humiliated, submissive, and blindly obedient to men", and that this has negative social consequences - gives one hope that male attitudes towards the role of females in Saudi society could be changing.

Now if we can only keep these crazy broads from enjoying their subjugation...(joking, folks, JUST JOKING).

Monday, November 13, 2006

Shocking, offensive, disgusting...

...and absolutely hilarious. Borat movie is making most glorious funny of all film this year, great success!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wake-up Call

Well, my prediction for Election Day wasn't too far off (although there are still some undecided races in the House & Senate at this moment). Lots of people will be doing post-mortems today on the Republican loss, but Glenn Reynolds did a pre-mortem last month that I think covers all the Repubs' problems pretty well.

Bottom line is that, although the Democrats really didn't deserve to win, the Republicans very much deserved to lose. I'm in agreement with Roger L. Simon, who said today that "I'm not especially looking forward to Speaker Pelosi. But then I wasn't especially impressed by Speaker Hastert either (putting it mildly)." Let this serve as a wake-up call to Republican Party: giving people the choice between a big-spending, big-government party and a big-spending, big-government party is not a choice at all.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Super Mario

We had a great time at the Ft. Stewart FTX this past weekend, although I was a little surprised when I returned to see the gaggle of barking moonbats that my post from last Friday attracted. One of the highlights of the trip was getting to spend time with one of the finest men I know, my fellow PAO team member Mario de Carvalho (the mustachioed chap standing next to me). Mario is a veteran cameraman with CBS News, who has covered combat zones around the world for decades. While embedded with the 3rd ID, his CBS crew was the first news crew to reach Baghdad Airport during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His journalistic travels have spanned the Balkans war to rioting in Haiti to Hurricane Katrina, but even before that he saw combat while in the US military as a special forces operator in far flung realms. Mario has witnessed things that few people on the planet ever imagine - or even want to imagine - seeing.

But Mario never dwells on the tragic side of his job, and instead will regale you with hours of side-splitting stories. Although originally a native of Portugal, I'd put Mario's love of his adopted country, the United States, above that of any of the troopers I have ever met. His bravery is only matched by his loyalty, and I'm proud to call him my friend.

Friday, November 03, 2006

New York Times: Bush DIDN'T Lie

I'm off to Fort Stewart shortly for a field exercise this weekend, but I'll have more to say on Monday about today's big story in the NYT today. Although the Times meant this article to be a slam against the Bush administration for releasing dangerous info (that's a laugh in itself - the NYT being against the release of harmful classified material), the story actually bolsters Bush's case that Saddam had extensive ties to terrorism and that Iraq's nuclear program posed a serious threat.

Captain Ed has a must read post on the subject - a sample:
[The NYT article] appears to indicate that by invading in 2003, we followed the best intelligence of the UN inspectors to head off the development of an Iraqi nuke. This intelligence put Saddam far ahead of Iran in the nuclear pursuit, and made it much more urgent to take some definitive action against Saddam before he could build and deploy it. And bear in mind that this intelligence came from the UN, and not from the United States. The inspectors themselves developed it, and they meant to keep it secret. The FMSO site blew their cover, and they're very unhappy about it.