August 14, 2006
I have decided upon WordPress rather than Blogger. It is impossible in Blogger to have a truly unique look. My site would always appear like one million others. With WordPress, having a personal look to my blog is a snap. There are literally hundreds of templates. The one you see at my soon to be only blog site:
is only the latest look and feel I have been experimenting with.
Whatever the difficulties were with WordPress---photo insertion, for example---its myriad programmers (it is open code) have been working on them.
WordPress is more difficult to use then Blogger but time spent now will pay off in the end. I like the idea of using a true blog program rather than creating my own (crude) web pages. My site looks tighter and more professional. All I have to do now is improve my writing, alas.
I will be working all day to add links and things to the basic design. By tomorrow I will write no more here and will arrange with my DNS host to automatically direct all visitors here to my new site.
All archives from almost 4 years of writing will be available at WordPress but they will stay in the old format. Eventually all my backpacking files will be in WordPress as well. My Professional Teaching site will also have a link.
In the meantime, pray for Israel, hope for the destruction of Hezbollah, and go have a beer---but not necessarily in that order.
August 11, 2006
I have just finished a book about blogging called Blogging For Dummies. (Stop laughing.) The author writes of all the blogging possibilities mentioned below. It looks as if WordPress and Blogger are the best choices. Here is my blog in one of the Blogger templates, and here is one in WordPress. These are only temporary and likely will end up being radically different. This week I will choose one or the other and begin to write only on that platform.
Each has things I like and things I do not like. WordPress in hosted for free at Yahoo. Since I have my domain at Yahoo it is a snap to use. All files are automatically loaded on my host at Yahoo. To write I do not need special software but only need to log on to Yahoo. But: loading photos in WordPress is a slow and cumbersome business---and I upload these all the time. Apparently the font size for posting cannot be changed. Templates are few though WordPress has a site where there are literally hundreds more. Still, these are a bit clumsy to download and install. Many of these look great though.
Blogger seems to have about half the business in the blogging world. It is free and offers unlimited space for your blog. And it is simple. Photos are placed in your blog in a few seconds. Posting is easy, and I can host all my files on my ftp server at Yahoo. There are not many templates, however, so any Blogger site is instantly recognizable.
My main concern is this: though many bloggers begin there, the more popular a blog gets the more likely the owner switches to another platform, like WordPress, TypePad or Moveable Type. I would not enjoy changing my mind after a year or two and having to change sites. But it must be said that many of the most prominent bloggers---The Belmont Club, for example---use Blogger.
Alas, TypePad is another possibility, but I would have to pay around $100 per year. I could host my files at Yahoo though, and photos and editing are snaps.
What to do?
I have written several posts about how the mainstream media---what Rush calls the 'drive by media'---purposefully lies and distorts. They have no intention on providing news, only propaganda. They are in the business of shaping reality to their ideology. Media 'truth' is a relative thing, always able to be modified as circumstances change.
The war in Lebanon is only the most recent---and the clearest---example of how the media falsifies their 'reporting.' The media despise Israel. Period. (They also despise conservatives and Christianity, but more on these some other time.)
Here is a clarifying example of how they do it---and how they have done it. They really think us stupid.
As I have said for years, if you read them or listen to them or watch them---and believe them---you are a fool.
(Hat tip: Gateway Pundit)
August 9, 2006
I began reading blogs around 2000. Thus inspired, I acquired my own domain---mikeaustin.org---and started my own web page two years later. At first It was for professional reasons. I kept all of my teaching stuff over there---resume, biography, certifications and so on. I still do.
Beginning in 2003 I began to write blog-type commentary almost daily. It was at the outset of the Iraq War and I had much material to work with. I used Microsoft FrontPage as my HTML editor and still use it today. It was convenient, as I was about to embark on a year-long solo backpacking trip around Central and South America. I wanted a way to write a sort of on-line diary on all that I was doing in Peru, Chile, Honduras and parts yonder. Since every internet cafe throughout Latin America used Microsoft Office and usually had FrontPage as well, I could access my web page wherever I was. The plan worked marvelously and the results are here.
I continued writing after returning to the US, though deciding in January 2005 that I wanted to have two web pages, one for professional things and the other devoted just to writing. Thus was born my blog the return of scipio. You are reading it now.
Gradually I saw the limitations of my method, that of setting up my own blog using FrontPage. Bloggy things like trackbacks, comments, RSS feeds, permalinks were at the very least difficult to manage. Every blogger I read used one of several methods each offering software written for bloggers---Blogger, WordPress, Moveable Type, TypePad.
Now I will too. Today and tomorrow I will choose the software most suitable for me and for my blogging style. It will remain on my domain and retain my blog name the return of scipio. So expect a radically different site soon.
I am not sure how I will access my archives with the new software. More than likely they will not be able to be ported, and so will remain in the current web page format.
I am also working on a site devoted just to solo backpacking in Latin America. Surprisingly, it will be called Solo Backpacking in Latin America.
So I will be furiously busy getting all of these things done in the next few days before a new horde of 8th graders arrive.
August 8, 2006
As usual, Babalu Blog has the goods on events of that dismal isle.
I see where 400 'intellectuals' have warned the US to keep her hands of that workers paradise. The list is an excellent resource to find an idiot. Every signatory is a moral imbecile.
And if the US intervenes there, what will those 'intellectuals' do?
As for the future of Cuba...stay tuned.
August 7, 2006
Old Joe Goebbels had it right: If you lie make it a whopper and repeat it constantly. Do these and soon the lie will become such a part of conventional wisdom that everybody believes it without thinking.
Our own media have used this technique since before I was a babe---long before. Jefferson had their number back the youthful days of our Great Republic. He had a low view of the media of his day.
Amen brother! It appears that the inky wretches in days of yore were as truth challenged then as they are now. Plus ça change, plus c'est le meme chose.
And take even a cursory glance at the media during our Civil War. All was hatred of Honest Abe, who was described in terms that George Bush could understand. "Traitor!" "Liar!" "Murderer!" "War monger!" Harpers went further into its Thesaurus to describe Lincoln as "a despot, liar, thief, braggart, buffoon, usurper, monster, ignoramus." It sounds like Cindy Sheehan spewing forth about Bush, but these words came from the media elite of the day.
Here is one of their charming cartoons showing what they thought of Lincoln, one of the greatest men of any age and time:
Once our lovely media get an idea in their head, it stays there:
Our media have even started a war---the Spanish-American War.
We need not repeat here the media lies of Walter Duranty about the USSR, of Wally Cronkite during Vietnam, of Dan Rather about 'fake but accurate' reporting and of media darlings Eason Jordan, Howell Raines and Jason Blair. You really should be conversant with these folks and their shameless mendacities. If you are not, do your homework. Ignorance is not bliss, it is---ignorance.
And now our media are trying to end the war in Iraq---ignominiously, as is their wont---and assist the practiced killers of Hezbollah to defeat Israel. If you have not heard of Reuters latest attempt to falsify the news using photo-shopped pictures, just go here.
Reversing Hearst, our media exclaim, "You furnish the pictures and I'll end the war."
The media have been busy endlessly peddling Big Lies about Iraq. Here is a sample that would make Goebbels proud.
If you believe any of these to be true, you are irrational. No logic or reason could possibly change your mind, alas. You belong to the media and are their servant. And no, I do not wish to debate you. I would be wasting your time, and you, mine. And there is this:
There are more examples of Big Lies---there are always more---but it tires to write about them.
One of their constantly repeated refrains is that 'they speak truth to power.' As usual, the opposite is the case. Our media cringe when faced with real power, the type of power that can send you to a Gulag. Read any of their craven reports from Lebanon and Iraq. Watch CNN as it gets on its knees to the god Castro.
The media consider themselves bold and courageous because they 'stand up to Bush' while hiding behind the First Amendment. They betray secrets in wartime knowing that nothing whatsoever will happen to them. They willingly serve the role as 'useful idiots' to our enemies.
If you want to know how a real journalist speaks truth to power, look at the career of Oriana Fallaci.
The American media have nothing remotely like her. Instead, we have this worthless fellow, Pinch Sulzberger of the New York Times.
All major media---The New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, the BBC, NPR, CBS, ABC, NBC, Reuters, the Associated Press, CNN---agree on the major issues of the day. They march in lock-step, feeding us without end their view of the world. Few media creatures attend church, fewer vote Republican and almost none have served in the military. So what sort of 'fair and balanced' view do you expect from them? One expects what one gets: the views of a liberal, condescending, arrogant, craven and pagan elite.
If your views on 'Life, the Universe and Everything' come from these guys, you are a dupe. But you certainly do not have to remain one.
For years these media had an absolute monopoly on what Americans read and heard. Now they are faced with competition all around, from Rush to Fox News to bloggers. Just like all liars caught in a web of mendacity, the media howl and yelp when their bigoted and narrow opinions are challenged.
So many media lies, so little time! Which leads one to wonder: We can catch the media today in their falsifications and distortions. But what of the past? How many lies have they spread about Vietnam? About Goldwater? About Nixon? How many of us believed them? How much of recent American history is composed of nothing but lies conjured up in press rooms? Must we go back and review every article and editorial and photo and headline?
Truly Goebbels lives, a media icon for our time.
August 6, 2006
Still no Raúl! It has been almost two weeks and the hard drinking brother of Fidel is yet unaccounted for. Considering his extra-curricular activities he just might be curled up somewhere with his buddy Crown Royal.
The Cuban 'government'---hardly a real government, really just a family gang enterprise of the Castro brothers their sycophants---has issued several cryptic statements, some of which contradict others. This little gem appeared in the Brazilian newspaper, Folha de Sao Paulo.
Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva ('Lula') went all girly-girl about the problems of the Cuban tyrant. In the same words my mother said to me when my first puppy became sick, Lula wept:
So cry me a river, Lula! But anyway, one can hope that the people of Cuba are about to lose their little friend. But then one hopes the Cuban killer is already smoking cigars with Arafat---or simply just smoking. But then comes this from the Cuban regime:
Now we hear that little Danny Ortega (yep, the unemployed Sandinista of yore) has arrived in Havana to give aid and comfort to his long-time pal. Or perhaps, the Nicaraguan punk is there to help plan for a state funeral and line up favors for himself with the new Cuban regime when he returns to power in Managua.
While all of this has been going on, the Cuban military has mobilized and is taking positions across Cuba to prevent a US invasion. (No, really!)
So what is really going on down Cuba way?
I stick to my
1. Castro is dead.
2. Raúl is dead or soon will be.
3. The regime is not sure what to do, thus the contradictory statements and moving the army thither and yon.
4. There is blood flowing behind the scenes as the acolytes of the dead Fidel jockey for power.
5. A new ruling junta will be soon be announced.
6. In due course a new boss, same as the old boss, will rise to the top.
7. But he will not stay for long, and Cuba will enter period of violence against the regime funded by the US and by anti-Castro groups in Miami.
Or something like that. Remember, we have been here before when all those Soviet dictators died: the secrecy, the contradictions, the political maneuvering, the elimination of rivals, and so on.
All of which makes for great political theater.
(Hat tip: Babalu Blog)
August 5, 2006
Joe Lieberman is in trouble. No doubt he will lose the Democrat primary to the dissembling Ned Lamont. The reason why the Democrat Party has tossed old Joe over the side is because of Iraq. The party is controlled by its more kook elements---the Daily Kos, MoveOn.org and such flotsam---and like the ChiComs during the 'Great Cultural Revolution' these types brook no variation of the party line. So Joe must go.
And now a bunch of conservatives have lined up behind Lieberman, people such as the yappy Sean Hannity. But why? Lieberman is your run-of-the-mill eastern seaboard liberal. He supports abortion, special rights for sodomites and the rest of the liberal socialist smorgasbord. He enjoys being thought of as a practicing Jew---yarmulke worn in public and all that---but tossed much of his Jewish belief out the window when he agreed to be put on the ticket with weird Al Gore in 2000. He claimed to be anti-abortion before---the Jewish thing again---but became pro-abortion while running for vice-president.
What do you call a man who supports the killing of children so that he can gain power?
Lieberman is for sale. He has very little honor. And so those with even less honor---those who run the Democrat Party---have moved in for the kill.
So tell me why I should feel sorry for Joe? Run with pigs and you get covered in slop.
So here is a suggestion for Joe: Run as a Republican in the general election. After all, he would not be out of place with the smarmy likes of Specter and Hagel.
Mel Gibson is a drunk, not an anti-Semite. Demon Rum has him in its throes. Addictions---drugs, booze, gambling, pornography---are not things one can simply decide not to surrender to. The struggle with addiction is life-long. There are victories. There are defeats. No one---no one---can overcome addiction without God.
Addiction is in fact a being, a creature, though not a very nice one. Ask any cocaine addict. He talks of his addiction as if it were a person. Heroin addicts speak of 'the monkey on their back.' Porn addicts curse their addiction as if they are being pursued by a demon from Hell---which is exactly the case.
Were I Satan---and I am not, no matter what my students think---I would be heartily p***ed at Gibson for his Passion of the Christ. In the words of Pope John Paul II when asked what he thought of the film: "It is as it was." Furious at such negative publicity, Old Scratch then ginned up his pals in Hollywood---about everyone there---to condemn and attack Gibson. They failed, and Passion went on the earn upwards of 1 billion dollars. Think of all that cool publicity for God lovers!
But the Devil is a patient fellow. He caught Mel in a weak moment and went for the kill---and scored. And it was a 'two-fer'---bringing to ugly light Gibson's struggle with alcohol and putting Jew-hatred in his mouth. The Devil hates Jews, of course. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Paul, Peter, the whole original crowd---all Jews.
And so the friends and servants of Beelzebub line up to take a shot at Gibson.
But this will pass. You see, Gibson is a God lover. (I recognize the type. I also understand addiction well. Quite well.) He will pray for help and he will get it. But the removal of this thorn in Gibson's side will not happen in this life. Paul knew this too.
It is about impossible to speak of Ronald Reagan in something other than reverential tones. 'The Great Ronald,' as Rush says.
Ok, I love Reagan too. But his policies in the Middle East were disasters. For Reagan the Middle East was a sideshow, and his lack of interest in it showed. After the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks---financed by Iran, assisted by Syria, carried out by (guess who?) Hezbollah---Reagan did absolutely nothing. The American people would have completely supported a massive strike against Syria, Iran and southern Lebanon, but Reagan dithered. Our enemies took note that the killing of hundreds of Americans will get no response from the US government.
Kill one hoot owl in Oregon and you went to prison. Kill Americans by the bucket load and nothing whatsoever happened. Thanks Ron!
What we see today are the fruits of such policies.
The Middle East policies of Carter and Clinton were far worse, of course, if that makes you feel better.
This just in:
The sky is blue! The wind blows! Grass is green! Hell is hot! Eggs have cholesterol! Water flows downhill!
Damn! I didn't know half this stuff!
August 3, 2006
With brother Fidel dead, dying or otherwise out of the picture, Raúl is thought to be the next president-for-life. It is believed that Fidel turned over power to his brother before he went under the surgeon's knife. So where is the old boy?
Not only is Raúl silent, but the Cuban bureaucracy is more than a little closed-mouth.
It is known that Raúl has a special relationship with both Johnny Walker and Jack Daniels. It is also known that he personally murdered hundreds of his enemies. He is a true believer in communism. After all, it has served him and brother Fidel quite well. But he is no spring chicken. That he wears dentures is obvious. What are those medals for?
See here for an assessment of Cuba under Raúl and after Raúl follows his brother into the abyss.
The US is preparing for the death of the longest-ruling tyrant on earth. To bring Cuba back into the family of free nations has been US policy since JFK, though it was that president's agreement with the USSR not to invade Cuba that allowed Castro to place a vice-grip on the island nation.
The political spin and behind-the-scenes maneuvering in Cuba resembles nothing so much as that which always occurred when a Soviet dictator died. Some even believe a military coup is in play. Recall the death of Stalin in 1953. Beria seized power, but then was killed by his fellow communists. Like Raúl Beria had a lot of baggage.
My guess? Fidel is dead. Other regime communists could not see Raúl as anything but a problematic alcoholic, with many scores to settle after a lifetime of scheming, in-fighting and murder. Raúl is probably dead as well. Most certainly there is blood-play happening behind closed doors in Havana.
This is always how communism dies, in blood and conspiracy.
And perhaps Fidel's death was 'not so much timely as well-timed.' We will know soon. There are fun days ahead.
Stay tuned. And have a Cuba Libre.
(Update: Babalu Blog)
George Bush is on the case. Here is what he said moments ago. It seems the White House knows something the public does not---a good thing, I am sure.
Sounds like old George believes FIdel to be somewhere with Arafat. And George has Raúl's number as well. I hope los hermanos putos y Cubanos save a place for Chavez.
22August 2, 2006
The Jew-hating and viciously misogynistic child killers of Hezbollah are being defeated by Jewish girls like the ones below. (Click.)
No wonder the Hezbos are getting their butts kicked.
Of course, the guys are helping out too. Here they are with some---llamas! I have no idea what the IDF is planning with those llamas while crossing the Israeli-Lebanese border. It seems even animals want a piece of Hezbollah.
Oh dear, what will the Arab street do?
(Hat tip: Gateway Pundit)
Our own media have always been in love with political killers. They romanticize them, whether they be a Lenin or a Mao or an 'Uncle Ho' or Sandinistas or Palestinians or a Ché or a Fidel. The only requirement is that the killers hate America and her allies. Nothing else matters.
Hezbollah is the latest band of murderers to get this treatment. According to the standard media refrain, Hezbollah is:
1. A resistance movement. This conjures up images of heroic French Resistance fighters in WW II (all two of them) waging a courageous shadow war against the Nazis.
2. A political party. Here we are to believe that Hezbollah is rather like our own Democrats and Republicans, but with funny hats.
3. Anti-colonialists. Here Israel is seen as an outpost of Western Civilization, and thus nothing more than a group of invaders who should be forced to go home, wherever that might be.
4. The finest fighters in the Islamic world. Perhaps they are. Of course, such an appellation would not require much fighting ability at all. The competition for this title is rather less than fierce.
5. Beloved by the Lebanese. We shall see.
6. An 'army of God'. Of Allah, certainly. But of the Hebrew and Christian God? I think not.
You get the picture. It boils down to 'Israel bad. Hezbollah good.' These Islamic killers get the same treatment from the media that the PLO got. Thus, there are plenty of manufactured PR opportunities for the 'Hezbos.' Slain children are only the latest fad. All this takes is for some Hezbollah-type to inform the media that the Israelis murder Arab children. The media show up, take the required photos as the dead children are waved around, and---voila!---a photo op.
The world then purrs in Gadarene unison: 'Israel bad! Hezbollah good!'
Well. Just who are these Hezbos anyway?
They are indeed a political party of sorts, in the same way that the Capone mob was a political party of sorts. Old Scarface ran candidates, bribed judges and murdered his opponents. The Hezbos do the same thing in Lebanon. And like Capone they try to win the hearts and minds of the common folk, supporting schools and hospitals and such. When the Hezbos are rendered impotent by the Israeli army, we will see how popular they are in Lebanon.
As to their strategic and tactical abilities on the field of battle, they are woefully ignorant and demonstrably incompetent. The military leaders of Hezbollah are stuffed with arcane bits of Koranic theology, but of Sun Tzu, Clausewitz and Machiavelli, forget it. Here is one of their leaders, one Sayed Ali. He spent the last five years in Tehran studying Islamic theology. He learned nothing of any practical use in combat.
Not well enough, you moron. Of all the Arab-Israeli wars, Israel has won them all hands down. And this, even though the Arabs number 350,000,000 and the Israelis 7,000,000. And even as this military imbecile was speaking Israeli commandos strolled behind enemy lines right into the Hezbollah stronghold of Baalbek, killed a number of them and made off with some Hezbo commanders. The Israelis suffered zero casualties.
Our silly media was all amazed at how ingenious Hezbollah was because it built a whole series of underground forts and tunnels in southern Lebanon. Come again? What did Napoleon and Caesar and the Spartans and the Conquistadors think of forts other than places to be either ignored or destroyed. Sherman and Patton never built a one. The Marines in the Pacific theater in WW II bypassed most of the Japanese island forts and blasted the rest to pieces. For every Marine killed the Japanese suffered 22 killed.
Forts are monuments to stupidity. Ask the French about the Maginot Line and Dien Bien Phu. Forts provide an address for the enemy to either destroy or ignore at his whim, thereby leaving those inside them isolated and impotent---or dead. Hezbollah built forts which the Israeli Air Force is demolishing tunnel by tunnel.
If Hezbollah is 'the army of God,' then the Islamic god is a very poor general. Like all Islamic warriors from Mohammed to Baghdad Bob it are prone to bombast and a bizarre braggadocio that claims every defeat a victory and every humiliation a success. The Hezbos are competent at slitting the throats of bound women and murdering children, nothing more.
Hezbollah is an arm of Iran, a mercenary corps of fighters who do the mullahs' bidding. These mercenaries are re-supplied through Syria, an Iranian puppet state. Israel has for all intents and purposes cut this Islamic Ho Chi Minh Trail, leaving the Hezbos isolated and with a steadily decreasing supply of rockets and launchers. Hezbollah is being broken apart and annihilated. Nothing else will do. No cease-fire will do. No peace keeping force will do. Only victory will do. And every Israeli understands this.
And there is nothing that any Muslim can do about it. The media, true to form, howls about the 'Arab street,' about how Israel is only inflaming it. Who cares about what this ephemeral 'Arab street' thinks about anything? Who cares if it is 'inflamed' about Hezbollah or not? The ignorant and unwashed of the Islamic world are always aflame about this or about that. It takes nothing to set off the Moslems who live on the Arab street. Even cartoons suffice.
The coming destruction of Hezbollah will be one happy event. Iran will be seen to be impotent to aid her own fighters. Syria will be seen to be impotent to re-supply the terror group on Syria's own borders. Lebanon will at last have a chance to determine her own destiny. Israel will be free from missile attack.
The media will lament the death of these brave freedom fighters, of course. But these pompous sycophants will just have to find others. Already waiting in the wings: Hugo Chavez and Ahmadinejad.
Let the love fest begin!
August 1, 2006
And so the rumors fly: Is the 'Bearded One' dead? All who really know have not said. We have been this way before. Can it be true this time?
Please God. If not now, when?
The Cuban people imprisoned on their lovely isle wait.
The Cuban people living in Miami sing and dance.
Fidel himself either lies in a hospital bleeding internally or has already gone to his reward.
The death watch for this hijo de la chingada continues.
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