Monthly Archives: January 2018

A very small fiddle

By lex, Posted on December 18, 2008

 

From the BBC:

Muslims’ sense of belonging could be eroded by European nations not tackling discrimination, a watchdog has warned.

A report by a European Union-backed anti-racism body says the number of Islamophobic incidents in the 25 member states is probably under-reported.

And from the Daily Telegraph:

Jewish people are four times more likely to be attacked because of their religion than Muslims, according to figures compiled by the police.

One in 400 Jews compared to one in 1,700 Muslims are likely to be victims of “faith hate” attacks every year. The figure is based on data collected over three months in police areas accounting for half the Muslim and Jewish populations of England and Wales. The crimes range from assault and verbal abuse to criminal damage at places of worship.

Hmm. If there was only a way to link the two together, some sort of “unified field” theory…

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Europe pushes back

By lex

Posted on February 2, 2006

 

Offered the opportunity to avoid the fate of the Danes by going softly into the good night of self-censorship, Europe says “No, thank you. This is my stop.”

In support of the Danish position, newspapers in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland reprinted some of the cartoons on Wednesday. A small Norwegian evangelical magazine, Magazinet, also published the cartoons last month.

And nearly everyone got away with it, with the exception alas, of the perfectly named Jaques Lefranc, of France Soir, who got sacked by his paper’s owner, “French Egyptian” Raymond Lakah in a “a powerful sign of respect for the intimate beliefs and convictions of every individual.”

Wouldn’t want to challenge anyone’s intimate beliefs.

As a person of faith myself, I’ll admit to being a little bit steamed whenever some taxpayer supported “artist” stretches the boundaries by putting a crucifix in a bowl of urine, or paints the Virgin Mary with cow dung. But my general point is that tax dollars shouldn’t be used to support offensiveness in the name of “art,” not that the artists themselves ought to be burned at the stake, or whatever. And if I raise my voice (or write a letter) on that issue and the sense of the elected representatives is that I’m in the wrong of it, well I’ll go along my merry way, continue to pay my taxes while working for their defeat.

Because the answer to bad speech is always more speech.
That’s the way of the West, anyway.

 

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Carving a niche

By Lex

Posted on April 24, 2006

 

 

Far be it from me to pass out bloggo-tips, but I do think it’s important for the average blogger to differentiate his brand. We can’t all be closely reasoned conservatives and libertarians on the one hand, and foam-at-the-mouth, tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists on the other – it’s a buyers market, and it’s difficult for new folks to set up shop.

So it’s important to specialize: As I may have mentioned before, anyone searching for stultifyingly obtuse political opinions interspersed with the occasional sea story told by a super-annuated naval officer who once flew FA-18’s, but now commutes by motorcycle up and down the 5 in sunny southern California has very few choices apart from the digs of your humble scribe.

know. But still.

And yet.

And yet –

And yet, enabled as I have been by the magic of technorati, I can’t help wondering if certain people are casting rather too narrow a net.

Here’s a blog that links to my post, “Always a bridesmaid.” Which really had very little to do with bridesmaids. Unlike the blog, which is about bridesmaids, apparently.

And here’s another that links to my post in reGeo. Washington, and his famous spectacles. It’s about eyeglasses.

A blog about eyeglasses.

I believe that the wave might have passed – it may well be time to catch another.

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On courts martial

On courts martial

By lex, on January 29, 2006

 

In a quarter century of naval service I’ve never known anyone who was court martialed. Never have I been called to serve on one. In command, I never felt the need to convene a court martial, although such was in my power – all the sundry offenses brought before me were in the nature of military-style misdemeanors, and courts martial are generally reserved for very grievous offenses, felony equivalents that for whatever reason were not referred to civilian jurisdiction.

We do not do courts martial so very often in the US military.

Which might be a mistake.

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An officer and a gentleman

By lex

Posted on January 26, 2006

 

This is probably not going to be a popular opinion among the military men of my, em…

Vintage.

But I’m frankly not at all surprised at the crucifixion court martial of LT Bryan Black, who found it somehow necessary to not only tell a female midshipman that battleships made him feel a little funny in the drawers, but also attribute a different potential reaction to herself.

She took offense, he apologized, end of story.

Except that it wasn’t. Someone else took offense too, another officer who worked with Black. Was there bad blood between them? Who can tell.

Did he, through “conduct unbecoming an officer” open himself up to whatever else followed? Most certainly.

Because potty humor isn’t what we’re paying him for. We’re paying him to mentor his charges and execute the Naval Academy’s mission:

To develop midshipmen morally, mentally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor and loyalty in order to provide graduates who are dedicated to a career of naval service and have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.

Don’t see leadership by sexual innuendo anywhere inside there. Potty humor? Some can make it work, with others it is unfunny, with all of us it’s a risk, calculated or otherwise.

I’m not saying that had I been the Supe I’d have made the same call myself. What I’m saying is that the lieutenant put himself in a position of vulnerability by boorish behavior to a junior. He wouldn’t have said what he said to a female admiral, because he would have had to know that there would be consequences. In saying what he said to a subordinate midshipman, he tried to take advantage of his statutory position. And he also took a high risk/low return professional gamble. I qualify that as stupid. Was it criminally stupid?


Guess we’ll see.

“We don’t hang men for stealing horses. We hang men so that horses might not be stolen.”
– Edward Halifax

 

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Friday Musings 1/20/2006

By lex

Posted on January 20, 2006

 

Which will be a trifle less like musings and a bit more like the cribbings of a time-starved madman.

You get what you pay for.

They say that the Chinese word for “crisis” is a blend of the characters meaning “danger” and “opportunity.”

I wonder if that’s true, or just one of those bulls!t things “they” say.

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Agreeing with Gavin Newsome

By Lex

Posted on Novemeber 28, 2006

 

I don’t know how many chances I’ll get to agree with the San Francisco mayor on well, practically anything. So when I do get a chance to do so on the topic the SF school board’s decision to ban JROTC from city schools, I will.

Courtesy of Kris, in New England:

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Interacting with the traditional media

by lex,

Posted on January 21, 2006

 

The Radioblogger has an interview up between Hugh Hewitt and the Washington Post blog editor Jim Brady. Most of the top half of the article deals with the “meltdown” by some readers of the perpetually aggrieved set to the words of WaPoblog ombudsman Deborah Howell.

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Something old, something new

By Lex

Posted on November 13, 2006

 

Anyone that goes down to the sea in ships has to love this pic:

SomethingOldSomethinkgNew
Note the sailors “doffing their caps,” against VADM “Rat” Williard’s returned salute as he goes aboard the oldest commissioned warship in the US Navy, the USS Constitution. “Old Ironsides” is a 44-gun heavy frigate that brought our infant navy respectful recognition during the War of 1812 from Britain, far and away the dominant maritime power of the day.

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Lovely Place, Saturn

By Lex

Posted on November 10, 2006

 

Shame about the weather though:

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has seen something never before seen on another planet — a hurricane-like storm at Saturn’s south pole with a well-developed eye, ringed by towering clouds. The “hurricane” spans a dark area inside a thick, brighter ring of clouds. It is approximately 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) across, or two thirds the diameter of Earth…

A movie taken by Cassini’s camera over a three-hour period reveals winds around Saturn’s south pole blowing clockwise at 550 kilometers (350 miles) per hour. The camera also saw the shadow cast by a ring of towering clouds surrounding the pole, and two spiral arms of clouds extending from the central ring. These ring clouds, 30 to 75 kilometers (20 to 45 miles) above those in the center of the storm, are two to five times taller than the clouds of thunderstorms and hurricanes on Earth.

Think I’ll stay in Sandy Eggo.

LovelyPlaceSaturn

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