19. February 2005 · Comments Off on 60 Years Ago Today · Categories: General

A new chapter in the Marine Corps legend was written. My uncle was there, a Radioman 3c, on an AKA. He was lucky, he only had to contend with the Kamikazes (which he noted weren’t as bad as the ones he later encountered, literally, at Okinawa).

Today I’ll be at The National Museum of the Pacific War to remember those who gave us so much by giving their all.

Semper Fi, my friends, Semper Fi…

(If anyone finds me there, I’ll buy you dinner. Just ask, “Are you Sparkey?” Contest not open to friends, family, co-workers, members of the communist party, insurgents, weirdos, or the humor impaired.)

04. January 2005 · Comments Off on It is with saddest of hearts that I pass on the following news. · Categories: The Funny

Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community.

The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection, and complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy is survived by his wife, Play Dough, two children, John Dough and Jane Dough, who has a bun in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Buttersworth, Hungry Jack, The California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy, and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart “cookie”, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes.

Despite being a little flaky at times, he still, as a crusty old man, was considered a roll model for millions.

The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

31. December 2004 · Comments Off on HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! · Categories: General

May this new year be everything you wish it to be.

23. December 2004 · Comments Off on Eye Roll · Categories: General Nonsense

I received a link to a website rant written by an rather, er, ummm, (it’s the Christmas Season and I’m trying to be chairitable here) hyperbolic individual from non-domestic northern climes. I know he looks at the site, why else would he send me the link right after my last post? Well, guess what dude? Amateurs like yourself ain’t worth my time. No linkage, no retort, not even a copy of our home game.

Oh, and have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!
(That’ll really piss him off.)

22. December 2004 · Comments Off on I’m Back On · Categories: General

Well, sorta. At least my email is. Sorry if my address has bounced on you. But it’s working now, honest…

02. November 2004 · Comments Off on Hang It Out There · Categories: Ain't That America?, General

I may as well give my 65ยข:

Bush: 54%
Kerry: 44%
Nader: 2%

Bush will win 300+ Electorial votes
The Republicans will pickup 3 to 5 seats in the house and 2-3 in the Senate.

Anyway, that my SWAG at it. We’ll know soon enough. (I hope…)

28. October 2004 · Comments Off on Connect The Dots… · Categories: General, Iraq

Up Scope…

I just have to wonder if there’s any connection between this story and this one.

Down Scope…

21. October 2004 · Comments Off on Geek At Work · Categories: General, My Head Hurts, Site News

I’m adding a new banner for the site and some other stuff to the index page. The page looks okay in Internet Exploder, but the blog body slides under the banner in Netscrape. Grrrrrrrrr!

Please bear with me as I’m a hardware guy, not a bit counter.

Update: The Banner works in Netscrape now, yea!

20. September 2004 · Comments Off on Time Files When You’re Having Fun · Categories: General, Memoir

It was a beautiful Saturday when she held my hand, looked me in the eye, and said she’d be my wife.

It’s been eighteen years, three states, three kids, grad school, two houses, three cats, but still with the same husband who loves you very much.

Happy Anniversary, sweetheart, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me. Forever just isn’t long enough.

25. August 2004 · Comments Off on An Interview With Michelle Malkin · Categories: General, History

I am honored to be given the opportunity to email interview best-selling author Michelle Malkin. Michelle is the daughter of Filipino immigrants, wife and mother of two, blogress, TV commentator, nationally syndicated columnist, author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores and her just released book In Defense of Internment: The Case for “Racial Profiling” in World War II and the War on Terror.

Before we get on with the interview I want to state three things. First I want to say that I think that this is an important book that proves there is an intellectual case for the 1942 evacuation order. That there were abuses that occurred as a result of that order is undeniable, but they were not the reasons for the order. Second, my wife and I agree that this book is an impressive achievement given that Michelle gave birth while writing it. (Dr. Wife gave birth to Darling Daughter#2 while finishing her PhD long distance, so we empathize.) And thirdly, I personally want to thank Michelle for writing this book. After my posts on the 1942 Evacuation Order, I received many requests that I write a book on the subject. Michelle has written a book better than I could have imagined. So thank you, Michelle, for getting me off the hook!

Michelle: Thank you for your kind comments about the book. As you know, I embarked on this project in part because of your debate with Eric Muller last spring. If not for you, I doubt that this book would exist.

Sparkey: Thank you! I really appreciate that. Now, you once wrote that you believed the internment of “ethnic Japanese was abhorrent and wrong.” What changed your mind? Was there a specific “Aha” moment, was it a gradual process, or what?

Michelle: My “Aha” moment occurred as I read David Lowman‘s book, especially the MAGIC cables and intelligence memos that he reproduced in the back of the book. I put many of those documents in my book and online. Many more are available at www.internmentarchives.com, which was founded by Lowman’s publisher, Lee Allen.

The memos show that U.S. intelligence agencies regarded ethnic Japanese on the West Coast as a serious national security threat. My critics have written dozens of blog entries assailing my book. They have accused me of being a self-hater, of slander, of shoddy research methods, of providing too few footnotes (there are more than 600), and of being physically repulsive. But as of this morning, they have not addressed the concerns about Japanese espionage discussed in the intelligence memos reproduced in my book. Why? Because anyone who spends even ten minutes perusing these memos is likely to conclude that the evacuation and relocation of ethnic Japanese on the West Coast was rooted in legitimate national security concerns, not simply wartime hysteria and racism.

Sparkey: In the introduction to In Defense of Internment you state that it is forgivable that American’s don’t fully appreciate “the wartime exigencies of early 1942.” How do you feel the prism of Vietnam has distorted people’s view and understanding of 1942?

Michelle: In the late 1960s and the 1970s, anti-war agitation and ethnic identity politics became all the rage. Third- and fourth-generation Japanese-Americans embraced the America-bashing, victim-card culture and launched a nationwide bid for blanket payments to evacuees and their families. That movement led to the formation of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, which issued a biased report that reached the predetermined conclusion that Roosevelt’s policies were motivated by racism and wartime hysteria.

Sparkey: How widely publicized was the Niihau incident in the States, and how significant was the event to the Administration at the time? [Niihau is a Hawaiian island where ethnic Japanese Americans assisted a downed Japanese pilot after the Pearl Harbor raid. -S]

Michelle: It was written up by naval intelligence officers in Hawaii and was publicized by the local papers. The incident appears to have been very significant to the Roosevelt Administration-as evidenced by inclusion of reports related to the incident in the proceedings of the Roberts Commission.

Sparkey: After both Pearl Harbor and 9-11 many security fears were not realized. Critics point to these as evidence that such fears were unfounded. How do you respond to this?

Michelle: Obviously this is a logical fallacy. If X (say, an appendectomy) causes the absence of Y (say, a burst appendix), it is incorrect to conclude that since Y did not occur, X was unnecessary.
[I would like to add that just because a threat was not realized doesn’t imply that the concern for that threat was unjustified. – S]

Sparkey: Eric Muller insinuates that (based on the name of your book) you’re really advocating an Arab roundup of a sort. You address this charge in your rebuttal, but it does beg the question, why name the book In Defense of Internment if you’re not really advocating internment?

Michelle: The title is In Defense of Internment because the bulk of the book (including all 12 chapters between the introduction and conclusion) is devoted to a defense of the evacuation, relocation, and internment (policies collectively referred to as “internment”) of ethnic Japanese during World War II. This is very relevant to the War on Terror, obviously, and I tease out some lessons in the introduction and conclusion. But it is clear that my book is a defense of internment in 1942, not today. I do support racial profiling and other policies that my opponents have repeatedly likened to the WW II internment.

Sparkey: What do you see as the biggest benefits resulting from the 1942 Evacuation Order, and do they justify the policy?

Michelle: The greatest benefit was to severely disrupt Japanese espionage cells on the West Coast. Given what was known at the time, I believe the decisions made in early 1942 were justified.

Sparkey: What do you see as the biggest negatives of the policy and their effects on public perception?

Michelle: The biggest negative was the adverse impact on Japanese-Americans who were loyal to the U.S. and the PR campaign on their behalf that followed. The effect has been to wrongly discredit any and all homeland security policies that apply heightened scrutiny based on race, ethnicity, religion, or nationality as well as any detention policies that bypass the criminal justice system.
[It also didn’t help that the Government dragged its feet to the point of abuse in providing direct compensation for actual incurred losses after the war. – S]

Sparkey: How do you think the Evacuation Order could have been handled differently or better?

Michelle: There were numerous problems with the way evacuation was carried out. Military authorities did not initially appreciate how hard it would be for ethnic Japanese to move east on their own. They initially allowed Terminal Island residents 30 days to evacuate, then abruptly shortened that length of time to 48 hours following the Goleta shelling and Los Angeles air raid scare. This caused considerable hardship for the evacuees, who scrambled to sell off household goods (typically at rock-bottom prices) and pack for their move. The conditions in some of the assembly centers were miserable. (It is worth bearing in mind, however, that the centers had to be built quickly and at the time construction materials and equipment were scarce.) Some of these problems could not have been prevented, but others might have been with better planning.

Sparkey: It’s obvious many critics haven’t even read your book before casting aspersions. It’s as if you attacked some article of their religion. How do you expect to “kick off a vigorous national debate” with those who believe in the infallibility of their faith?

Michelle: There are many people who feel the issue is settled and should not be debated. This is unfortunate. If they are confident that their position is right, they should have nothing to fear from an open, vigorous debate. There are others, however, who are willing to debate the issue-most notably Eric Muller and Greg Robinson.

A word about that debate. Muller mainly addresses side issues, such as the book cover and my research methods and terminology and the book’s title and why he didn’t receive an advance copy of the book from my publisher and whether I slandered Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga and whether I mischaracterized Sarah Eltantawi of the Muslim Public Affairs Council and whether I took too long to respond to his critique.

Robinson, to his credit, focuses on the core issues-but much of what he says is flat out untrue. He says most of the MAGIC cables I discuss in my book came from Tokyo or Mexico City and refer to areas outside the United States. Wrong. He says those cables that do speak of the United States detail various efforts by Japan to build networks, and list hopes or intentions rather than actions or results. False. He says I said that Hoover’s opinion was not reliable or relied upon. Nonsense. He says ONI opposed evacuation. Rubbish. He says the Navy opposed evacuation. Wrong again. I pointed out these errors 18 days ago, but he has yet to acknowledge any of them.

Sparkey: Your book Invasion didn’t receive the attention it deserved from the mainstream press. How does the reaction to In Defense of Internment compare?

Michelle: I was heartened by the pre-release response, particularly the coverage my Bothell, Wash., speech received in the Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Invasion was never covered as a news story by any major newspaper. Though I sent In Defense of Internment to every major newspaper, it appears it will not be reviewed, just as Invasion was not reviewed (except by a few small-town papers).

Sparkey: The next time you are in the Dallas area, would you give my family and me the honor of having dinner with us?

Michelle: If time allows, I would be delighted. I will be in Houston later this week, by the way, at an event sponsored by the Houston Forum. More details here.

18. August 2004 · Comments Off on Sloppy Ad Hominem · Categories: History, Stupidity

I didn’t intend to get involved with the point-counterpoint between Michelle Malkin and her critics (Eric Muller et al). She can obviously handle that herself. I do find most objections to her book sounding more rhetorical than substantive, blatantly ignoring what she, you know, actually wrote in her book. But a bit more on that later, as I really want to address our long-lost favorite cheap-shot artist, Dave Niewert.

To recap, Michelle responded to a journalist’s question to President Bush at the at the UNITY conference in Washington DC. She felt the question was a cheap shot at her book. This is what Michelle quoted (the reporter) on her blog:

I wanted to ask you about protecting all Americans, as well. There are many Arab Americans and Muslims in this country who find themselves unfairly scrutinized by law enforcement and by society at large. Just yesterday we had arrests in Albany, New York. Immediately afterwards, some neighbors in the community said they feared that the law would come for them unfairly next. We have a new book out today that suggests perhaps we should reconsider internment camps. How do we balance the need to pursue and detain some individuals from not well-known communities, while at the same time keeping innocent people from being painted by the broad brush of suspicion?

Michelle sent an email to the reporter identified in the transcript as CBS News Anchor Julie Chen:

It is obvious from your ignorant question to President Bush at UNITY that you did not bother to read my book. In fact, you didn’t even bother to read the back cover of my book, which says, “Make no mistake: I am not advocating rounding up all Arabs or Muslims and tossing them into camps. But when we are under attack, ‘racial profiling’-or more precisely, threat profiling-is wholly justified.” [Emphasis added – S]

Now anyone who has really read the book (and I don’t mean those who’ve read it the way the Grand Inquisitor would a protestant tract) will understand why Michelle took offense at the mischaracterization of her work in front of the President of the United States, but it’s not befitting according to Mr. Dave (When I do it it’s Okay, but when you do it that’s bad) Niewert, who writes:

Just a reminder: The book’s title is In Defense of Internment. It clearly calls for a reassessment of the meaning of the World War II internment, evacuation and “relocation” process.

Does anyone else see a “cheap shot” there? Hm. Me neither.

This is a sloppy mischaracterization first of all, but right now I have something else to point out. Dave continues:

In any event, as you can see, Michelle promptly fired off a letter to Julie Chen — who among other slots at CBS, is the host of the game show “Big Brother” — outlining her thinking. Evidently, Michelle believes that writing a defense of the Japanese American internment and linking it to post-9/11 racial profiling should not lead anyone to conclude that she was suggesting that internment is an appropriate response in the current “war on terror”. Heavens no. She’s only laying down the dots. God forbid anyone would connect them.

Typical postmodernistic red herring. Dave is telling his readers “don’t believe what Michelle writes; I’ll tell you what she really believes.”

Well, in any event, before firing off her nasty letter, Michelle forgot to perform one of those good ol’ Journalism 101 functions: Double-check your source.

Just the way you do all the time eh, Dave?

Does this sound familiar? It should. Because this is the kind of approach to basic standards of factuality we’ve come to expect from Malkin.

More familiar all the time, just not the way you think…

Malkin was clearly working from the White House transcript, which as it turns out, misidentified the questioner.

Oh, my goodness, she trusted a written source. She actually believed what she read on paper! Terrible, how careless of her…

Had Malkin taken the time to, say, review the tape or double-check by placing a quick phone call with UNITY officials, she’d have discovered that the questioner was none other than CBS’s Joie Chen.

How awful, she criticized the WRONG person?!?! Goodness, it is not as if you’ve never done that, eh Dave? Like back in early 2003, when you didn’t notice that each post on this web site had an author’s handle, and they might be different? Remember how it took me three emails to get it through your head that it was I, Sparkey, not Stryker who wrote the posts you were so lamely critiquing. It so frustrated Stryker that he wrote this post:

To all those who link to various posts to disagree with whatever’s been written, I have a small reminder. We Have Several Authors Christ, do you know how stupid you look when you’re talking trash and flinging sarcastic remarks disparaging the intelligence of the piece when you can’t even get the name of the author right? Oh yeah, Mr. Smartypants, you’re a mental giant, all right. Each post is clearly delineated and contained within its own box with the name of the author at the very top! You’re like the guy trying to give a serious presentation, unaware that his fly’s unzipped and wondering why everyone’s snickering at him. Yeah, but why am I trying to correct you? Seeing a bunch of ill-equipped and uncoordinated numnuts trying to play the game is entertaining, to say the least. By all means, continue.

Of course you could have exercised good Journalism 101 and double-checked your source by emailing the author, or maybe just maybe, actually reading the post. Oh, but wait, you eventually apologized on the basis that you’re “a bit new at this blogging game…” That makes it all better, because you couldn’t read my handle off the stinking web page because you were an arrogant newbie. Now you’re just an arrogant blowhard taking Michelle to task for making a mistake in more forgivable circumstances, just so you can score worthless debating points and inflate your own self-importance. Leave it to a postmodernist like Dave to specialize in the sloppy ad hominem attack.

Now let’s return to Dave’s earlier sloppy mischaracterization, the book title. Seeing how he has difficulty reading what other people actually put down on paper, I reiterate, the title of the book is not “In Defense of Internment” it’s In Defense of Internment: The Case for “Racial Profiling” in World War II and the War on Terror. That is a very important difference, one that Dave is desperate to cover up.

The collective group think on 1942 has so distorted history that our nation is now going to great lengths to avoid any profiling whatsoever. This leads to absurd situations where two obviously Middle Eastern men can board a flight without so much as a second glance whereas my blonde, blue eyed, 8 year-old son is searched not once, but twice for the same flight. Had 911 been perpetrated by the Baader-Meinhof Gang that might make some sense, but it wasn’t. Instead of prudent filtering to the threat, we have a colossal waste of both public and private resources that takes away penknives and 7/16th open ended wrenches without making us one iota safer. Despite protests to the contrary, the rehabilitation of the histography behind the 1942 evacuation order is not a call for a round-up, but rather for a logical policy of allocation of resources in a time of some very direct threats.

The proposition that the 1942 Evacuation was all about racism forces one to ignore certain factoids from history, the first of which is that the people of warring nations tend to not like one another. However, the purveyors of victimology would have us believe that just because people from a belligerent nation living in the United States who have documented divided loyalties like dual citizenships, that are educated in nationalistic schools centered on and financed by the “mother” country, and hold to a faith that teaches of their ethnicity’s divine and holy destiny (Shinto) are de facto and a priori benign. You have to trivialize, marginalize, and suspend thousands of years of human history to conclude that a people coming from such a background would automatically have allegiance to the United States and not the land of their parents’ birth.

Though he be a gentleman, remember, Eric Muller is also lawyer. His critiques of Michelle’s book reflect his “legal brief” training: spray a bunch of stuff out there, hope no one looks too hard at the substance (nits, tons of nits), and pray something sticks (above all convince people to not read it to begin with). Scholarship is like detective work–outliers do not by themselves disprove a thesis, because one must look at the totality of the record; however, to a lawyer pointing to outliers can bring reasonable doubt – the truth isn’t his concern, winning his case is.

Historically, the evidence is there: Imperial Japan weaponized its expatriate populations, and when the opportunity presented itself, large segments (i.e. the majority) of those populations assisted the Empire. The failure to acknowledge or address this on a logical or historical basis is the failure to consider the real world ramifications of such a stance, that one’s theoretical “fears” may prevent one from addressing a very real danger. One that wants to display our severed heads on TV.

Now excuse me, I have a real job to do, I have a weapon sensor to finish. It’s not as if there isn’t a war on ya’know? (Just in case you’ve forgotten – and some seem to have – and if you do happen to take offense at that then maybe, before objecting to me, you should ask yourself why you feel that way.)

16. August 2004 · Comments Off on Is It Real or Is It Photosbhop? · Categories: Domestic, Local

Go look at this set of pictures showing how a river tow boat used a rather unorthodox method to navigate a river hazard. That tug Captain shouldn’t waste another dime on the lottery he’s already won his.

14. August 2004 · Comments Off on Is It Just Me…? · Categories: sarcasm

Am I the only one who finds the Olympics boring since the demise of Soviet Union?

My family is in the TV room watching the opening ceremony right now, and I’m, er, well, you know…

13. August 2004 · Comments Off on I HATE LOTUS NOTES! · Categories: General


There, I feel much better now….

(Notes is our Corporate email tool, and it stinks!)

04. August 2004 · Comments Off on I’m Flattered! · Categories: History, Site News

She noticed!:

I was further inspired by some intriguing blog debates last year between Sgt. Stryker [FYI: that would be me – Sparkey, not Stryker] and Is That Legal?. After reading a book by former National Security Agency official David Lowman called MAGIC: The untold story of U.S. Intelligence and the evacuation of Japanese residents from the West Coast during WWII, published posthumously by Athena Press Inc., I contacted publisher Lee Allen, who generously agreed to share many new sources and resources as I sought the truth.

And now I feel it is time for a public service announcement:

(A gentle reminder for those Neanderthal’s whose, ignorance, penchant for creative spelling, and remote locations make it difficult to take their hostile messages seriously – despite the author’s intent. We now return you to our regularly scheduled blog.)

To make it easy, here’s a list of my blog entries on the subject.

Some Facts (Not PC Shrill) on the Relocation of Japanese During WWII

Update to Japanese Evacuation/Internment

Response to Eric Muller

Interpretations of History

History, MAGIC, and Sources

Bing, Round Three

A Reader’s Insight

I have a big deadline tomorrow, but more soon, I promise!

UPDATE: I fixed the links!

30. July 2004 · Comments Off on I’m Baaaackkkk!!! · Categories: General, Site News

I’ve been out of pocket, out of touch, and close to out of my mind. But I’m feeling much better now… However, I now have to go to a dinner party.

Back to blogging in a bit!