“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Karzai Survives Deadly Attack in Kabul.

Afghan Troops Fleeing the Scene - AFP photo

Afghan president escapes deadly parade attack

27/04/2008 08:05:03 AM GMT

KABUL (AFP) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai escaped unharmed Sunday after militants attacked a high-profile military parade with explosions and gunfire, killing at least one and wounding 11 including legislators.

The BBC has this video. It looks eerily similiar to the setting when Sadat was assassinated in Egypt three decades ago. One day ago this was the headline:

Karzai wants US to stop arresting Taliban suspects:

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Afghan President Hamid Karzai urged US forces Saturday to stop arresting suspected Taliban and their sympathizers, arguing that these arrests and past mistreatment were discouraging Taliban from laying down their arms.
The New York Times said the Afghan president, in an interview, also criticized the allied conduct of the war and demanded that his government be given the lead in policy decisions.
Karzai said the real terrorist threat lay in sanctuaries of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Pakistan. He argued that civilian casualties needed to end completely.
"For the success of the world in Afghanistan, it would be better to recognize this inherent character in Afghanistan and work with it and support it," The Times quoted him as saying in the interview. "Eventually, if the world is to succeed in Afghanistan, it will be by building the Afghan state, not by keeping it weak."
Karzai, who has been in office six years, is facing re-election next year. With the polls approaching, some diplomats have even expressed dismay that, for lack of an alternative, the country and its donors may face another five years of poor management by Karzai, the paper said.
But the Afghan president was quick to reject such criticism, pointing out "immense difficulties" his government had faced, according to The Times.
"What is it we have not gone through?" Karzai was quoted as asking.
The president also called for greater respect for Afghanistan on the part of its foreign partners.

VOA is reporting:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other dignitaries have survived a Taliban attack on a ceremony in Kabul.

Defense Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi says Mr. Karzai as well as scores of Cabinet members and foreign diplomats were evacuated Sunday after automatic gunfire broke out.

Government and military hospital officials said at least nine people, including two lawmakers, were wounded in the attack.

The gunfire erupted after Mr. Karzai and other dignitaries had taken the stage following an inspection of troops.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid quickly claimed responsibility for the attack, saying his fighters had fired rockets and automatic weapons at the dais where the dignitaries were seated. The spokesman said three Taliban fighters were killed.

President Karzai appeared on national television soon after the incident saying authorities have arrested several suspects.

Afghan state television abruptly cut its live transmission of the high-profile ceremony, marking the 16th anniversary of the fall of the communist government in Afghanistan to the mujahedin and the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the country.


  1. The irony of these sort of things is that the event is loaded with armed military, almost all without any ammunition in their weapons.

  2. Iraq will work out okay. This mess will go on till the end of time.

    No money, honey. No way to make a buck. Nothin to tax. No Caravans left to rob. Growing Poppies, and training terrorists, all it's good for. Bad Cess.

  3. This would make for some cool Afghan Video.

  4. I wonder what the re-fire recovery rate is on that thing.

  5. I'm wondering what the first shot costs.

  6. Iraq will work out okay. This mess will go on till the end of time.

    I was just thinking the same thing, and was thinking of that Scot author, a great scot!, Rory Stewart, who walked through Afghanistan, wrote "The Places in Between". I read he had gone back to Kabul to try and help. The way he described the folk in the country-side--'this mess will go on to the end of time.'
    The day of the ray gun has arrived.
    When they get miniturized, to we have a right to a little one, under the 2nd Amendment? How are we going to protect ourselves from a runaway government without one?

    That's mighty impressive--melt a hole in a tank from five miles.

    On the other hand, soon the tanks will have one too, probably.

  7. Reminds me of when I was a little boy. Everything was a pistol.

  8. I see these as largely defensive weapons - anti-rocket, anti-missile, etc.

    Also, air-to-air (stealth aircraft + laser?) Whew!

  9. For the little woman. Lady

    8", Fits in a purse.

  10. I had the greatest fly-gun. Was a kind of a dart gun deal, with a round fly swatter on the end, maybe six inch diameter, with a string attached, so you could haul the warhead back in, and re-load, without getting up out of the Lazy Boy. You could get 'em every time, if they landed. Never knew what hit 'em. No counter measures.

  11. A few threads back, Cutler mused about the utility and desirability of Desert Storm.

    Over time I become more convinced we'd be better off today if we had left the Afghans to the tender mercies of the Soviets.

    Russia woulda collapsed anyway.
    Having the Bear guarding the Pakistan border would have been much more cost effective than our softly softly approach.

  12. Over time I become more convinced we'd be better off today if we had left the Afghans to the tender mercies of the Soviets.

    I've thought the same thing. They'd still be f-ing around.

    Look at that delicate trigger on that LadyRay, Doug. Perfectly made for any petite hand. Work of art.

  13. I choose not to observe the female form, unless it is properly shrouded.

  14. BDS outbreak: Anti-war nut attacks wheelchair-bound girl; Update: Video link, “We Are Change” assailant info added

    A man heckling First Lady Laura Bush and daughter Jenna outside the 92nd Street Y was arrested after he punched a wheelchair-bound girl whose parents has told him to shut up, authorities said yesterday.

  15. http://www.quanticothebook.com/

    Here's a book that will keep you up nights. Quantico by Greg Bear was first published in 2005 but has been updated every year since then to capture the latest changes in technology as we spin headlong into the scary world of the next decade depicted in the thriller. There has been another 9-11 scale terrorist attack on the United States, this time on October 4, carried out after the destruction of the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem by a Jewish bomber. A new alphabet soup of agencies have sprung up, including the Bureau of Domestic Intelligence and the mysterious BuDark. It is a time when news of the the capture of the 2001 Amerithrax perpetrator is overshadowed the next day by a NUCDET in the Iranian Tactical Area of Responsibility.

    In post 10-4 America homegrown bio-hackers create real viruses, not computer ones, while Sunni factions in Iraq test the results on captured Jews and Shiites. Genes are spliced into yeast to create airborne mad cow disease, and dispersed by ordinary fireworks from the back of a truck. Specific trucks are taken out in Mecca during the Hajj by steel telephone poles dropped from orbit, guided by lasers, to drive them into holes and vaporize them before they can release their deadly cargo. Israel starts assassinating the extended families of suicide bombers, but still they come. While the House of Saud is overthrown by a US backed coalition of Arabs in a "controlled burn" revolution, hoping to keep the oil flowing, liberals in Congress, backed by Madam President and incensed by the discovery of "patriot files" on them systematically dismantle the FBI even as the final class of agents undergo training at the FBI Academy on the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia. This is their story.

  16. "Over time I become more convinced we'd be better off today if we had left the Afghans to the tender mercies of the Soviets."

    Roger that. There would have been:

    1. No Taliban.
    2. No Religious police.
    3. No al-Quaeda camps.
    4. More rights for woman.
    5. No Madrassas.

    Read Charlie Wilson's war. Makes you wonder.

  17. Anyone here read Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder? I just d/l'd a copy, the premise seems pretty interesting.

  18. "Over time I become more convinced we'd be better off today if we had left the Afghans to the tender mercies of the Soviets."

    I've been saying the same, for a long time now.

  19. Doug: I choose not to observe the female form, unless it is properly shrouded.

    This is my favorite style of burqua.

  20. We've got to wean ourselves away from our dependence on certain personalities to assure our interests in the region. We've already eased out Uncle Pervy Musharraf, now we need to get Afghanistan into a situation where even if the Taliban manage to whack Karzai it's not going to undo the revolution there. Because as Michael Corleone said, "If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone."

  21. As for me, I've got it figured I farmed in the wrong century, as Doug said:), and have lived into the wrong century. All these changes disturb me greatly. I've lived to see the ruination of some things I knew would come to pass, like the ruination of Lake Coeur d' Alene for instance. We built a road in there, dad and I. We used to see bears on the beach. It's wall to wall people now, people who come and think it's neat, having no memory. I could list a dozen other places around. Like an old Nez Perce, I dream of the old ways.

    On the other hand...:) tje best of times, the worst of times...

    Talking about Afghanistan, Barry the man of change Obama, his foreign policy guy is Zbig Brezinski, right?:)

  22. it is that you can kill anyone."

    or that anyone can kill you...:(

  23. What's the best kind of digital camera to get? Going to Wal-Mart to look around. Might as well take advantage of the new technology:) Do they make digital movie cameras?

  24. "What's the best kind of digital camera to get?"

    I'd get the Canon PowerShot 1100 IS ELPH.


    I have the old Canon PowerShot S400 model and like it better than my much more expensive Nikon dslr.

  25. That wasn't a very professional job, was it?

    It is an oversimplification (but ONLY an oversimplification) to say that today's "freedom fighters" are tomorrow's pain in the ass. Often enough they are one and the same on any given afternoon. And that's putting it generously. We are the glad champions of the enemy of my enemy. Had we the benefit of a static world, or one free of competing/contradictory priorities, this might not be so complicated.

    Ten, fifteen, twenty years down the road, what chickens currently incubating under our heat lamp will come home (or "home," as it is effectively everywhere now) to roost? (This is an especially good question to ask given that the failure rate of our democratization projects of the last 100 years is above three quarters a decade out.)

    (But blow back can provide unparalleled
    opportunities, too. This is really the signal lesson of 9/11, is it not?)

    In an antiques shop in WV a few years ago I came across and purchased a copy of the July 1985 National Geographic which became instantly and enduringly famous for the beautiful Afghan girl (then living in a refugee camp in Pakistan) on its cover. For the first time, I read the story that accompanied it; it's a geostrategic time capsule. A picture of us as much as of them.

    I don't think it's on the web, and that's a shame.

    In writing off the Afghans, however, it's easy to forget that while a Massoud lion sticker in the rear window will make your passage through much of that country easier, in Pakistan it will get you killed sure as the sun rises. But sooner.

  26. I remember that picture. She's dead now I believe I read. Blue eyed? Never got cut a break.

    I'd get the Canon PowerShot 1100 IS ELPH.
    I'll check that out.

    I used to have a 35mm with a super telephotos lens. Watch the eagle fed the chicks. Can you get a really good power telephoto lens on a digital, Mat?

  27. She's not dead, bob.

    Just aged far beyond her years.

  28. Trish, here's the original June 1985 Nat Geo article, if you are looking for it.


  29. That's the one.

    Look up the Lola Clyde cover, T. can't remember the date. That's Lola, holding the pie. Spent much time on their farm. Her husband farmed for my grandpa. Her father was a minister, worked with the Nez Perce. She had a rat trap memory.

  30. Thanks, T.

    I hope everyone here reads it.

  31. Can you get a really good power telephoto lens on a digital, Mat?

    Sure. Here you go:



  32. What Darwin Saw Out Back

    Though most people associate that book and Darwin’s ideas generally with his voyage to the Galápagos and his study of finches there, his work with plants was far more central to his thinking, said David Kohn, a Darwin expert and science historian who is a curator of the exhibition.

    Even in the Galapágos he focused on plants, said Dr. Kohn, who is general editor of the Darwin Digital Library of Evolution at the American Museum of Natural History. “He did not even label the finches,” he said. “He was fascinated by plants,” particularly the way their variation and sexual reproduction challenged the idea that species were stable, a key idea in botany at the time.

    As Dr. Kohn writes in the exhibition catalogue, “plants were the one group of organisms that he studied with most consistency and depth over the course of a long scientific career” of collecting, observing, experimenting and theorizing. But Darwin studied more than flowers. He was intrigued by what Dr. Kohn calls the “behavior” of plants — how they move, respond to light, consume insects and otherwise act in the world.

  33. Al-bob:
    Check out Wretch's video of a Parade in Sydney.
    (wearing kilts similar to mine, and almost as good on the bagpipes)

    ...taken with a digital cam.
    Canon G 7, I believe.
    I will get you the best site by far for reviews.

  34. Digital Camera Reviews and News Digital

    You can probly learn what you want to know reading only the intros and conclusions.
    (2 sections out of ~15 for every camera!)

  35. This Globe Trekker episode (aired last night) was a fascinating look at Pakistan

  36. "She had a rat trap memory."
    Sprinkling a little warfarin on the lobes will clear that up.

  37. Are you bitter, Doug? Bunch of little Eichmannettes?

  38. Yes, Doug is 'bitter', packs guns everywhere, gun rack in the truck, always in church, hangs with his own kind, you know the type...typical peckerwood:)

  39. Yes, Doug is 'bitter', packs guns everywhere, gun rack in the truck, always in church, hangs with his own kind, you know the type...typical peckerwood:)

    Out in Montana they caught two female school administrators from Wyoming holding hands and this got back to Cheyenne where the Adminstrator "confronted them angrily" about it and then refused to pick up their contracts the next year. They fought it in Federal Court and won some cash. Now the 10th Circuit Appeals Court has tossed their case out, because at the time there was no specific protection of the rights of equal protection, freedom of association and privacy for lesbian school administrators. It's the rules. No two gals holding hands out there past the Bitter Root mountains.

  40. Speaking of free speech zones, the Gates of Vienna blog was cut loose from their Pajamas Media contract due to, er, unacceptable content. Nappy headed hos or that sort of thing.

  41. Out in Montana they caught two female school administrators from Wyoming holding hands

    It's the rules

    Course the question might be, just where in Montana? The school grounds, perhaps?

    The 10th Court probably had it right, legally.

    If however they had been in the 9th Circus, which I'm in, out of San Fran, they probably would have won.

    If you don't like the decision, burn some city down, Helena maybe. But leave Missoula alone.

    I'm looking forward to day Montana secedes.

  42. Is Obama one of us

    By all odds, Republican retention of the White House should be as imperiled as it was in 1932, when the hapless Herbert Hoover faced FDR.

    Yet John McCain, who presides over a disconsolate party many of whose leading lights not only do not love him, they do not like him, is even money to be the next president of the United States.

    What explains this?
    On the big issues of 2008 – amnesty, the hemorrhaging of American jobs, Iraq – McCain is on the same side as George Bush, whose approval rating is 28 percent. McCain can be defeated on those issues.

    But if, with a little help from Hillary, McCain can paint Barack indelibly as a man of the trendy and radical left, he can win. America will have nowhere else to go.

    Journalists disagree on whether immigration, Iraq or the economy will be the major issue in 2008. The real issue may be – and this is what is causing heart palpitations among Democrats – is Barack Obama one of us, or is he one of them?

  43. You got me, al-Bob.
    What can I say?

  44. My daughter's favorite French professor committed suicide Wed night.

    You never know what perfect hell people have been through.

  45. Doug: The real issue may be – and this is what is causing heart palpitations among Democrats – is Barack Obama one of us, or is he one of them?

    You are overlooking Obama's great rhetorical strength. He is capable of rephrasing things in such a way, in such a way, that listeners will be ashamed to remember they even thought in terms of "us" vs. "them".

  46. I am sorry to hear that, Trish.

  47. This post the at Gates of Vienna, Surrender, Genocide or What? and Trish's comment about the teacher's suicide cast a pall on the evening.

  48. How's your daughter taking it?

  49. Sun Apr 27, 10:04:00 PM EDT

    Now that one made me, literally, laugh out loud.

  50. Gosh, Trish's daughter........

    ....is supremely humane and bright.

  51. She's handling it well, whit.

  52. You never know what perfect hell people have been through.

    That's true. And alot of times it's hard to know what's going on in someone else.

    "You can hide sadness, but you can't hide happiness."

  53. Young people are resilient. Us older ones generally reflect more on mortality.

  54. Well, there he was, on FOX News with Chris Wallace ...

    Wife tells me he doees well in that setting, she likes him better in a conversational style than when he is preaching from the podium.

    Obama, he is capable of rephrasing things, and be compelling to a female bank administraor. That is a registered Repub with a heart that does not bleed.

  55. I think he should spend the second half of his life pretending to be all-white, to balance out the first half of pretending to be 100% Black.

  56. Billy Don Moyers @work:

    "During coverage of the 2004 presidential election, Moyers stated,
    "I think that if Kerry were to win this in a tight race, I think that there would be an effort to mount a coup, quite frankly.
    I mean that the right wing is not going to accept it."[16][17]

  57. I think he should spend the second half of his life pretending to be all-white, to balance out the first half of pretending to be 100% Black.

    Excellent, :)