Mailvox: I’m in

K-rod proposes a bet:

Vox man u got it all wrong…chix don’t like rock stars cuz they rich, they like them cuz they sexy, which u are definately not. Please post a pic of your girl, whom u think is beautiful. I bet she’s a dog.

U missed the point, G. Chix like men who are wealthy AND they like musicians. Two altogether separate appeals. In any event, one doesn’t have to be a rock star; as I pointed out, even the lead singers of cheesy cover bands usually have a small female following.

Some people will no doubt want to argue about the appeal of shiny things to the fair sex, but I once had a woman I’d just met slide her hand inside my suit coat and turn her wrist so that she could see the label. The point is not up for debate.

As for Spacebunny’s canine countenance or lack thereof, I’ll be happy to take that bet. What stakes do you propose?

Listen to the waves

So my wave projection is 1.8178. Looking for a nice round-numbered gain from the point at which I hopped in, I figure, what the heck, I’ll just trigger my sell at 1.8183. Close enough, right? Over the course of the next few days, things proceed rather nicely according to plan until there’s a peak this morning.

At 1.8181.

Struggling with the concepts

A historian and eminent supporter of the struggle against violent extremism writes of the struggle in Iraq:

My own view remains absolutely unchanged — that we were right, in both a practical and a moral sense, in removing Saddam, that despite depressing lows and giddy highs, the democratic reconstruction of Iraq will work out, that an emerging constitutional government will make both Americans safer and the Middle East in general more stable, that preexisting jihadists are flocking to Iraq and being defeated rather than being created ex nihilo, that anti-Americanism will gradually subside in the Muslim world as millions see that we are consistent in our support of democratic reform, that the United States military has proved itself the preeminent fighting force in the world today and is on the offensive in Iraq and winning a difficult asymmetrical campaign, and that old allies in Europe and Japan and new ones from India to Russia will slowly come to appreciate American constancy and leadership as never before.

But I am not naïve enough to think that most Americans at this moment would agree with all — or any — of that.

VDH’s analysis presupposes so many things. One is that consistent American support for democratic reform will reduce Muslim ant-Americanism. This statement alone has two major flaws, the first being that American support for democratic reform is anything but consistent, even today. Americans may not realize it, but the Muslim world is perfectly aware that the administration stand firmly against free democratic elections and self-determination in Turkey, Algeria, Afghanistan and, yes, Iraq.

Second, the reason we do is that free elections are considered likely to bring jihadist political parties like Hamas to power, so that even if we were consistently supporting democratic reform, anti-Americanism would likely increase, not decrease. Hence George Delano’s support for his good friend and noted democrat, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

Now, I am not aware of any statistical measure that tracks the creation of jihadists, but it is clear that they are striking where they were not striking before, and the number of American casualties in Iraq continues to remain at levels from which they were long ago expected to subside. I have yet to see the administration produce any evidence that the killer tar-baby strategy is working.

If, as has been estimated by pro-struggle experts such as Daniel Pipes, ten percent of the Muslim world consists of extremists, and if killing 50 jihadists in a day is considered a newsworthy accomplishment by our armed forces, then it will take at least 3,852 years to eliminate all of those extremists even if a) only male extremists count, and b) not a single new jihadist is created in the process. No wonder the president doesn’t see an end to this struggle.

Let’s not even get started with the likelihood that France, Germany and Russia will come to appreciate American leadership, no matter what happens.

Nevertheless, I still have to respect VDH. At least he is intellectually honest enough to admit that most Americans are no longer buying this increasingly transparent business.

Speaking of Porsches

It’s about time! The Zuffenhausen wizards finally got rid of those abominable headlights they introduced in the 1999 models. Those ludicrously ugly lights looked like melted pats of glass butter, spreading messily out into the machine’s hood and ruining the appearance of the car from the front.

Now if they’ll only bring back the whale tail…. On the more affordable front, the 2005 Boxster is the first of the modern version that I actually like, as it now looks less like a Porsche-Karmen Ghia crossbreed and more like a proper Porsche. The headlights are still a little elliptical for my liking, but it seems to have a little 930 in its appearance, which can only be a good thing.

Pounding on #73 on the offense

From SI:

The Bucs signing of offensive tackle Todd Steussie, who had been released by the team about a week before, set off a target-practice session in the local press. Most outstanding in his criticism was Martin Fennelly of the Tampa Tribune. He called Steussie a turnstile, compared him to saloon doors, and proclaimed the tackle to be “back in the rotting flesh.” Also, “we eagerly await his first motion penalty.”

Okay, that’s excellent. Especially that last metaphorical kick in the crotch.