Welcome to The New Chainik Hocker. I am your host, the eponymous Chainik Hocker, here to share news, reviews, pretty pictures, and silly opinions with you. Contact me at chainik DOT hocker AT gmail DOT com

Friday, February 24, 2006

Port in a storm.

The port thing.

I dunno, honestly.

I mean, on the face of things, it seems like a staggeringly bad idea.

And, we can all agree, Dubya saying “I’m going to do this thing and you can’t stop me, nyah nyah nyah, nyah nyah” was an astonishingly bad reaction. “Tone deaf” was how Lileks described it.

Ummm… free market is good, but this is our security here. Not that some terrorists couldn’t get a job in an American run port, but it would probably be a bit easier to do so in a port run by some guy whose brother in law has some sympathies in the wrong direction.

Frank J. doesn’t know what to think of this either.

Bottom lining it: is there an good, solid reason the UAE has to have the contract?

If the answer is no, let’s put it back up for bid.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pimp my Gun!

Welcome to MTV's Pimp my Gun. With your host, Xzibit!

Hi, and welcome to MTV's Pimp my Gun. Let's meet Ranger Smith.

Ranger Smith: Hi, Xzibit. I'm a Park Ranger, and I need something with a lot of firepower, but it can't clash with my uniform.

Squirrels getting bad? No. It's that bear. He smarter than the av-er-age bear, and he keeps getting into pic-a-nic baskets. I want that sumbitch's pelt for a rug. Him and his little Boo-Boo. Pedophilic, kleptomaniacal bears piss the hell out of me. Well, that's certainly understandable, sir. We have just the thing for you. It's a carbine in green and tan, just like your uniform.

Happy hunting.

Up next we have Carl "C.J" Johnson.

Hi, Xzibit. Nice to be here. I'm a huge fan.

Now, as an average, run of the mill thug, I didn't really see the need for flashy showmanship. Then I went to jail, and I learned the value of making a bold statement from my cellmate and "prison wife", Ken Lay. Kenny Boy is the former CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and to forstall me raping him like a Catholic chiorboy, he used to lecture me on leadership and management techniques. I must say, I learned quite a bit from Kenny Boy. In fact, I've been inspired to initiate a hostile takeover of my old gang, now that I've been released from prison (thank you, Democrats!).

One of the manegement techniques Ken stressed was flair and style. I'm looking for a signature personal weapon with a high rate of fire and unique styling.

Can you find me a weapon that matches my outfit? I want to smoke some bitches and look good while doing it.

Um. You're just wearing a floppy hat and some jeans.You got some kind of problem? How about I waste you right now, mofo? Uhhh... no, no, I don't got no problems...

Let's see what we have.

How's that? Very nice. Kenny would be gratified that I've taken his lessons to heart. Do you have a weapon for my ho as well?

Ooh, do I get a gun too, CJ? I wanna pretty gun!

Sheesh. Let's see what we have for the lady... It has a cellphone charger, too.

Well, that's all for MTV's Pimp my Gun; join us next week as we pimp the guns of Dick Cheney and Machine Gun Kelly.

(theme music)


Larson Tactical


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hugo Chavez found dead in Brooklyn

Hugo Chavez’s body was recovered from the trunk of an abandoned 1989 Crown Victoria in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, this morning. It was not immediately clear how the 51-year-old Venezuelan president died, or what he was doing in Brooklyn.

Lt. Irish McStereotype, head of the NYPD’s Brooklyn North Homicide Task Force, stated that President Chavez’s body was “riddled with buckshot”, but said that this was not the cause of death. He did say that a note was attached to the body. Sources within the Department tell us that the note read “Don’t call me ‘girl’”. “Dead Eye” Dick Cheney, Vice President of a prominent country, was being held for questioning at the 81st Precinct, but Lt. McStereotype refuse to name him as a suspect.

President Chavez had been in the news recently after a provocative speech in which he said, addressing US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, in which he said in part “Don't mess with me Condoleezza. Don't mess with me, girl.” In a press conference yesterday, Secretary Rice responded “Who you calling girl, nigga? Do not start with me. Do not start with me. I am a strong, independent black woman. I gots my education. I gots a BA in political science from the University of Denver, a Master’s in political science from Notre Dame, and a PhD from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. So do not start with that weak-ass “girl” crap. I will pop a cap in yo ass, nigga. Mmm-hmm.”

At an unrelated briefing last night, the press questioned Secretary Rice about Vice President Cheney’s possible involvement in a homicide so soon after the “hunting accident” that left a Houston trial lawyer in the hospital. Dr. Rice responded “Cheney? That old white man couldn’t kill Chavez even if he got all his Secret Service homeboys to help. I killed that crazy Mexican myself. I even left a note. Da-yum, you reporters be stupid. Cheney? Probably have hisself a heart attack, he ever tried killin some fool Mexican.” When a reporter pointed out that Chavez had been Venezuelan, Secretary Rice began pistol-whipping him.

The press briefing broke up soon after that.

Police still have no leads as to the identity of the killer. If you have any information, please call (866) 313 TIPS.


Monday, February 20, 2006

Book Review: The Case For Democracy

I just finished reading The Case for Democracy, by Natan Sharansky.

It is hard to describe a book of such awe-inspiring breadth in just a few words, but I will try: this book is freaking awesome.

Using very simple sentences and plainly-stated, bald ideas, Mr. Sharansky lays out an ambitious plan to do nothing less than change the free world’s foreign policy.

He claims that the Soviet Union would have been a going concern today if not for the introduction of the Jackson-Vanik amendment to the 1974 Trade Act.

According to the 1974 Trade act, the Jackson-Vanik amendment, named for its major co-sponsors, Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson (D-WA) and Rep. Charles Vanik (D-OH), denied Normal Trade Relations to certain countries with non-market economies that restricted emigration rights. Permanent normal trade relations would be extended to a country subject to the law only if the President determined that it complies with the freedom of emigration requirements of the amendment. However, the President had the authority to grant a yearly waiver to the provisions of Jackson-Vanik, and these waivers were granted to the People's Republic of China starting in the late 1970s and later to Vietnam.

Jewish “refusniks” were jailed and sent to gulags simply for asking permission to leave the Soviet Union and immigrate to Israel. The Soviet Union, angry that dissidents wanted to leave the worker’s paradise, clamped down hard on these people, the most famous of which was Natan (Anatoly) Sharansky. Politicians in the US had been complaining about civil rights violations in the Soviet Union for a long time, but these denunciations had about as much practical effect as windy political pronouncements usually do.

However, the Soviet Union needed American technology in order to survive, as their own political system discouraged scientific innovation. They wanted to buy from the US, and they needed Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to do so. For the first time, real world benefits, in the form of favorable trade agreements, were linked to internal policies. If the Soviet Union wanted US technology, they would have to abide by American standards of civilized behavior. They would have to allow the refusniks to immigrate.

Sharansky says that allowing even the minor, tangential issue of immigration rights to be put on the table- by forcing the Soviet Union to allow people to dissent, even by allowing the dissenters to leave the country- the Soviets opened the floodgates of dissent to eventually destroy the political system of the country. By allowing a few people to dissent a little, they had to allow everyone dissatisfied with the way the country was run to dissent a lot. As the majority of people in the country was dissatisfied with the current political system, and as the only way the Soviets had survived for as long as they did was through a system of official terror to coerce their own citizens into compliance, one good kick was enough to bring the whole rotten structure down. As another enemy of the Soviets once put it.

In the last part of the book, Mr. Sharansky asks that the US be true to the ideals it was founded upon.

Currently, the US is propping up some pretty stinky dictators in the Middle East. Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, for one. All the innumerable princelings of the Saudi government, for another. The Palestinian Authority, for a third. The reason we are propping up these jerks may be good ones- we may have a legitimate need to prop them up for tactical or strategic reasons- but the fact of the matter is:

First, they wouldn’t be in power if not for the fact that the United States was backing them.

Second, they are dictators who trample on the human rights of their subjects.

Third, terrorism is a clear and present danger to the safety and security of the United States.


Terrorists have an easier time recruiting fighters in a society of oppressed, poor people than among well-off people who enjoy full civil rights. Lots of terrorists in Iraq, very few in Ohio.

In the three states we mentioned, much of the human misery is the fault of the local government; the government trample on the human rights of the people and pursue venal, shortsighted, kleptocratic economic policies designed to do little more than enrich a few people high in the government.

Therefore, let the United States, upon which the dictators rely on for support, tie support for the dictator to demands for real, meaningful governmental reform.

The Evil Empire was brought to its knees because it allowed a few Jews to move to Israel. A simple thing, but ultimately a powerful one. Maybe we can find our own Scoop Jackson to find the thing that brings about a civil society in Saudi Arabia.

Because a civil society will find it hard to recruit 19 guys to kill themselves by flying a commercial jet into the side of an office building.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Nuclear Iran

Iran has increasingly become the center of attention in the Middle East. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s weekly calls for the destruction of Israel and Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons have made Tehran the center of international condemnation. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) voted to refer Iran to the UN Security Council earlier this month, and from Washington to Brussels, world leaders are proclaiming that a nuclear Iran is not acceptable.

Unfortunately, all of this posturing by the West is a sham. We are not going to do anything to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and what’s more, the ayatollahs know this. For all of his wonderful successes, President Bush does not have an Iran policy. We have deferred ours to the Europeans, and when it comes to meaningful action, the Europeans are an absolute joke.

For starters, diplomacy will never work with the Iranians because nothing will assuage them from acquiring nuclear weapons. In the Sunni dominated Middle East, Iranians stand proudly as the world’s largest Shiite Muslim country. They view themselves as the rightful disciples of Muhammad— the true defenders of the faith and all of their fellow Shiites across the Middle East. Adding to their religious status is their ethnic status as Persians—not Arabs—and as Persians, they are the heirs to the great empires of Cyrus and Xerxes. These two aspects give them an inflated sense of geo-political importance, and consequently, they see it as their birthright to be among the first rate world powers…and to be a first rate world power, they need nuclear weapons.

They will never bargain away what they see as their birthright, and therefore all of the European diplomacy in the hopes that Iran will strike a Grand Bargain—where they give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons and their support of terrorism in exchange for guarantees of security and economic benefits— will never come to fruition. Any negotiation at this point will only legitimize the Iranian government and win concessions for the mullahs while compromising our own standing with the Iranian people.

What the Europeans and President Bush are ignoring is that the Iranian people are the most pro-U.S. population in the entire region. The single most important fact about Iran is that 70% of the population is under 30 years of age. These young people are disillusioned with the clerical regime that their parents created, and major democratic networks exist within and outside of the country. Like the Soviet Union in the late 1980’s the clock is ticking for the old regime in Iran. The pressing question is which will happen first: Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, or a democratic revolution?

Unfortunately, Iran is much closer to acquiring those weapons than seeing any sort of regime change. As adamant as everyone is that Iran cannot be allowed to produce nuclear weapons, at the end of the day, the world will be willing to live with a nuclear Iran—if for no reason other than they are not willing to do what is necessary to stop the Persians.

One option is sanctions, but Europe’s oil economy depends upon Iranian petrol, and consequently France and Germany would veto any sanction that affected Iranian oil exports. A widely talked about scenario is a strike resembling the 1981 Israeli destruction of an Iraqi nuclear facility at Osirak. Several problems with this option make it unwieldy. For starters, in 1981, Israel had only one target to destroy. We would need to destroy over a dozen such Iranian facilities, and secret refineries that we do not know about likely exist as well. Such a strike would be a setback, but it would not seriously deter Iran.

The sad truth is that we know very little about the Iranian nuclear program. We would never be sure if we fully eliminated everything that we needed to, and the Iranians would just come back even more resolute to acquire nuclear weapons so that they could be part of the world elite.

Surgical strikes, sanctions, or even a full blockade of the Straight of Hormuz would in the end, do little to stop Iranian nuclear development. With this in mind, we should cease worrying about Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, and instead worry about the type of regime that ultimately controls them.

If a nuclear Iran resembled a nuclear India, for instance, the prospect would not be so terrible. As a modern, democratic state, Iran would be a responsible world member. If however, the current Iranian regime acquires nuclear weapons, the situation would indeed become terrifying. The ayatollahs would believe that they could strike at American interests at home and abroad with impunity, as we would be held hostage by Iranian nuclear weapons and hence not be able to respond.

What then is our course? As Ronald Reagan once asked, “Must civilization perish in a hail of fiery atoms? Must freedom wither in a quiet, deadening accommodation with totalitarian evil?” As unpleasant as it is, the only solution is full scale regime change. A military campaign in Iran would be long and hard, but it is the only way to keep the world’s most dangerous weapons out of the hands of men like Mr. Ahmadinejad.

We might even get lucky. The young and pro-Western citizenry might even rise up and battle the ayatollahs along side of us. Unfortunately, however, there will not be a revolution in Iran unless we make one. Student uprisings were brutally crushed in the late 1990’s, and Iranians will not be willing to rise up once more unless their oppressors are gone for good.

We clearly have our hands full in Iraq and Afghanistan, and cannot afford to invade Iran while we are still tied up in Iraq. We must finish the job in Iraq, but we must also keep one eye on Tehran and use whatever secondary methods available to buy critical time until we are capable of launching a massive invasion.

Unfortunately, the West does not look like it will be willing to resort to this final measure and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And so when Iran does acquire them, in perhaps the next year or two, the world will sit back, resigned to accept Mr. Ahmadinejad’s control of nuclear weapons, because it was not willing to do what was necessary to stop him. Just like that, it will be Munich, 1938 all over again, and the world will truly have learned nothing.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Drink Me.

How to make a Chainik Hocker

3 parts success

5 parts silliness

3 parts joy
Stir together in a glass tumbler with a salted rim. Add a little wisdom if desired!


Unhappy? Start a blog!

From GulfNews.Com:

Revealing your innermost feelings on the internet is good for you, psychologists said today. A study of the phenomenon of blogs - or online diaries - found people writing them feel happier and more organised. "Feeling that you have a forum for expressing yourself can make a huge difference to your psychological well-being," said psychologist Honey Langcaster-James, a Big Brother analyst. "It can really help people organise their thoughts by talking about their day and give them a place to let off steam."

Unless you are between the age of 12-17. In which case, no one wants to read your MySpace angsty rants. Seriously, everything on MySpace sounds like rejected Evanescence lyrics.

I got into blogging partly because I'm a frustrated novelist, partly because I'm a loudmouth with a lot to say about the 2004 Presidential election campaign, but mostly because I want attention.

Why did you get into blogging? And why do you continue to blog?


Monday, February 13, 2006

Batman joins War on Terror; Captain Planet organizes Sheehan book tour.

Back in the day, superheros stood for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. Remember that?

In the forties, Superman could pick Hitler up with one hand, Tojo in the his other, and bang their heads together until they saw the logic of Freedom, Democracy, Liberty, and 31 Flavors of Ice Cream (we call this “multiculturalism” nowadays, but the principal is the same).

But today, our superheros must be angst-ridden and guilt-wracked. Gone is the sense of mission, the chivalrous behavior, the duty to protect the weak, the ability to Make Things Right by throwing a villain through a wall. We don’t have superheros anymore. We have antiheros.
Well, the original angst-ridden, guilt-wracked antihero, the Dark Knight himself, is going to take on Al Qaeda, courtesy of Frank Miller.

Miller returns to the world of the Batman, this time with Holy Terror, Batman!. Though the title plays with Robin's classic catchphrase, the book deals with a serious subject. Gotham has been attacked by Al Qaeda and Batman sets out to defend the city he loves. The book, which Miller has inked through 120 pages, is expected to run roughly 200 pages total… Miller doesn't hold back on the true purpose of the book, calling it "a piece of propoganda," where 'Batman kicks al Qaeda's ass."

Go get ‘em, Frank.


Got those low-down, we-aint-gonna-make no-gains-in this-midterm-election blues.

Midterm elections coming up.

Are the Dems gonna make any gains?

Prolly not anything significant, in your humble blogger’s opinion.
The problem: Politicians are to money as leaves are to the koala bear: something to eat, drink, sleep with, and crap on. To paraphrase P.J. O'Rourke. The only people giving money to Democrats nowadays, in meaningful amounts, anyway, are the Angry Left morons that litter America's monied classes- the entertainers both from Hollywood and from the media. In the immortal words of The Honorable Clarence D. "Doc" Long, "Them as has the gold, makes the rules".

And so, our lovable but clueless Democrat cousins are forced to make the kind of speeches Ed Asner wants to hear, so Ed Asner will give them dump trucks full of those sacks with the dollar bill signs on the side we all remember from the Ducktales cartoon. And thus, our poor (in spirit) Democratic brethren, wishing to be less poor (in flesh), are forced to adopt a campaign that can be stated, simply, as "Bush suX0rs!!!!!!!!!!eleventy!!"

This does not inspire confidence among your average American voter, no matter what it does for Sean Penn.

They aren't even very effective rabble-rousers and demagogues. The rhetoric is of the most tepid kind, preaching to the converted while sounding crazy to the undecideds. If I had been running Kerry's campaign in 2004, I'd have had the mob braying for blood before the DNC convention people started bowing up balloons. By August, I'd have had them burning Bush in effigy all along the Bible Belt.

Although in the end, those undecideds usually just end up voting for the candidate of the party their father always voted for. Or they stay home and don't vote at all. I love this country, but we are so gosh-darn stupid sometimes. But I digress.

The only chance the Democrats have of taking back even on branch of the legislature is to find some kind of crazy fearless stupid moderate independent maverick McCain type to run, one who can actually make a speech. Of course, he or she will be hated by most of the Democratic base, just as many conservatives hate McCain... or at least, hate about half of his positions.

The only thing Democrats have to be thankful for is the widely reported 10 or 12 former military types returning from Iraq or Afghanistan to run as Democrats. They sure as hell don't talk like Democrats, except that they're against the war. Maybe people will vote for them. And maybe the Dems can find some more.


How to act Israeli.

Are you an American about to engage in a business deal with an Israeli? Need some pointers in acting Israeli so you don't get taken for a ride?

Well, you're screwed, because you are going to be taken for a ride no matter what you do. Oy, such a ride! Gevalt, your bubby would cry if she knew what kind of ride you are going to be taken on. I hope you packed a lunch.

Nevertheless, these guys have put together a few helpful hints, so you may understand some of what the Israeli is saying as you go on that ride... together.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

And the hits just keep on coming!

Vice President of the Entire Goshdarn United States of America Dick Cheney shot a man over the weekend while on a hunting trip. “Because I can”, he snarled at reporters. “Now go f*ck yourselves, you liberal *$$holes” he continued, brandishing a pistol and a bottle of Wild Turkey.

The victim, Harry Whittington of Austin, insists he is “feeling fine”, that it was all “a big misunderstanding”. He declined to comment on the tattoo on his forehead reading “Cheney’s Prison Bitch”.

Condaleeza Rice said in a press conference yesterday “when I shoot a man, not only does he stay dead, the press never hears of it! Amateur!”

In other news, Kofi Annan is set to privatize the UN.

Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, has commissioned a study into the outsourcing of the department for General Assembly and Conference ­Management, the main UN ­decision-making body whose officials issue about 200 documents a day in six languages.

He’s already placed an ad in the New York Times Classified section.

Wanted: motivated self starter to do nothing as dictators murder their own citizens, terrorists slaughter innocents, tyrants seek nuclear weapons, and everyone blames everything on Israel and/or the United States. Some light filing. Must provide own blue helmet. Bilingual a plus, especially French. Knowledge of Windows 98, Word for Windows, Nepotism and Bribery a must. $38k + benefits. May need to relocate to Bern or Paris if the Americans ever get sick of our tomfoolery. No fat chicks, Zionists.

Also: it’s snowing! A lot!

In the blogosphere:

The Islamo-nutfudges are throwing a hissy fit over some cartoons (good link- check it out before it gets taken down. RTHT, which I’ve adopted as my trademark). Elisson has the cartoons getting jiggy right back at the nutfudges.

Abbagav is hawking bumper stickers.

Yaron has, it seems, something of an odd opinion of me (slightly old).
Sorry about being inblognito- it was work related, it was important, and it worked out fine.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The State of the Union

Last night, President Bush gave his annual State of the Union address, in which he outlined his agenda for the coming year.

I have to say that it was an impressive speech in many aspects—particuarly the first twenty minutes—but it trailed off at times from there.

On a whole, it was a continuation, of the President's argument that in order to win the war against Islamic Fascism—and totalitarianism in general—we need to aggressively champion democracy abroad.

The key line in perhaps the entire speech was when he bluntly observed that

We seek the end of tyranny in our world

The President deserves tremendous credit for sticking to his guns when it comes to foreign policy, and while he has not always been perfect (the nihilistic absence of policy in regards to Iran springs to mind) he has done more to champion liberalism and genuine republican government than perhaps any President has done before.

For that, we all owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. As President Bush observed last night:

There is no peace in retreat. And there is no honor in retreat. By allowing radical Islam to work its will - by leaving an assaulted world to fend for itself - we would signal to all that we no longer believe in our own ideals, or even in our own courage. But our enemies and our friends can be certain: The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil.