Thursday, September 30, 2004

Our Efforts In Iraq

I was working on a reply to these questions when lo and behold Beldar went ahead and wrote the post I was going to, only more succinctly and capably than I ever could.

The challenge of Islamist terror isn't going to be resolved over a conference table. Iraq without Hussein is good, even if it means that france lost a market for third-tier aircraft and Germany will have to sell chemicals that really will be used for fertilizer. Uday's Olympic Training Table and Medieval Torture Faire or Saddam's Backhoe Grave Diggers will not be missed.

If I thought the domestic opposition to this war was based on anything more noble than a desire to bring down the Bush administration, or the U.N./france/Germany machinations on anything more than pique and envy, I'd take them a little more seriously.

Barring liberal revolutions in Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, we will need a solid base for military operations in the heart of the swamp for years to come. Iraq was the sensible choice when we invaded. Twelve years of failing sanctions that were exploited by U.N. profiteers in partnership with Saddam only hurt the Iraqi people. Twelve years of the U.S. and Britain maintaining No-Fly zones served only to give Hussein victim status for propaganda purposes. A functioning, democratic Iraq will have more positive impact on its neighbors than any number of troops we station there...and will ultimately reduce the cost of victory whether we measure it in lives or treasure.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Men Working

Tuesday is drywall day.

What would you say to a serialized novella here? It just might happen...

Monday, September 27, 2004

Monday Multiple Subjects

Start with Lilek's...make that MISTER Lilek's "Bleat". It's true what the good book says: there are none so blind as those that won't see.

H/T Hugh Hewitt.

I don't know much about Ann Althouse beyond the fact I am finding her thoughts and writing referred to more and more often; today the Instapundit (Glenn Reynolds) mentioned her. Ms. Althouse and I are moderate liberal swing voter and viking helmet broken glass conservative, but we both share common ground with the concept of a Mr. Kerry presidency. Substance, please. Nuance for nuance's sake becomes tiresome and attack without alternative becomes insulting.

I reckon it's time to find out more.

Crude prices are up. The Dow is down. The FEMA relief operations in post-Charley/Frances/Ivan/Jeanne Florida will exceed the efforts for both the Northridge earthquake and 9/11. Mount St. Helens may be building up to another eruption. We may witness something along the lines of Ted Kennedy after one too many scotches on clam chowder night at the compound.

I think that if we get nuked it will be because we don't kill enough terrorists fast enough. Not because we don't have the french or the U.N. waving pompoms from the sidelines. Call me simple.

DailyKos ruminates on (mostly political) blog popularity and the future of the medium from the left. I think that the force determining the future of blogdom is easy to define: the market. Build it well, and they will come. Lots of interesting links here, but the background hum of paranoia in the comments rises and falls as you navigate them.

Take that for what it's worth. If you had a meetup with all the people who have visited Three Rounds Brisk to date, you could split a KFC Family Size meal and take home leftovers.

You have yourself a fine Monday.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Life Intrudes

Here I am with my brand spanking new blog and I am up to my ass in alligators in the basement. I wish the people who put in the basement (you read that right - basement dug after the house was built) had believed in conservative design of electrical circuits. If I do laundry, turn on the hall light, and plug in a waffle iron the intermountain west will go dark. We are evaluating how many square feet of ceiling has to come down to establish a downstairs circuit breaker box.

No, I'm not an electrician. And this wiring would be rejected by any reputable castle dwelling mad scientist. Dave the amazingly able jack of all trades friend (routinely wanders through parts yards picking up scrap sheet metal, lug nuts, and tail light lens covers and shows up the next month with award winning show Landcruisers; he also dabbles in frame-up restoration/remodels) is officiating over the technical end of this and is just about ready to call in a contractor. Bleh.

In between reevaluating technical and style objectives for the basement, I've been reading "Warriors of God" by James Reston, Jr.. There may well be a book report submitted after I am done.

I've been a two-book a week reader forever. The flavor o'the lately has been biography interspersed with Terry Prachett or Patrick O'Brian. If anyone has suggestions for good reads, I'm always open to new talent.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Michael Totten Wrote... excellent essay entitled Terror and Victory. It's a keeper.

The following is what I posted on his thread:

I'm a starry-eyed idealist on a few narrow, specific, subjects.

One of them is the conduct of citizens of a republic in time of war. I believe that once the vote is cast, a reasonable period of time needs to pass before a faction declares defeat. Or that fascism rules the land. Or that anyone lied. Or that countries that ally with us are dupes, bought, or worse.

"Most of us who criticize America do so out of love, not hate."

I read this in your original post. Then your clarification. I still don't buy that line. Not at all. I think that people who get a stiffy criticizing America because they disagree with the policy they are not in support of have a fundamental blind spot in how things work in the real world. There is a duty attached to citizenship, and that duty is to suit up when a decsion is made to act. That's not fascism. That's called unity, or common purpose arising from compromise.

People like me want to see portions of the Islamic world invaded yesterday, specifically Iran and Saudi Arabia, with the employment of whatever force is necessary to accomplish that end. I'd like to see armed intervention wherever we can locate a terrorist organization. That means if we call Syria on Monday and inform them we would like the following individuals now living under surveillance at this address in Damascus delivered to our custody, they have until Tuesday to do it. Or we'll come get them. I cannot speak for you, but I gather your solution to the problem before us is somewhere on the opposite side of the Bush Doctrine from me. That's great. It is our right to have differing opinions.

This isn't George Bush's war. Sorry to bust any balloons, but that label is incorrect. Lazy, too, but for the sake of brevity I'll let that part go. The actions taken against Afghanistan and Iraq, as national policy, were debated in congress and authorized by bipartisan majorities.
The same is true of Patriot, the establishment of the DHS, and all the other changes wrought on our security and diplomatic posture in response to the war on terror. All the money spent on this so far has come from legislatively approved budgets. Yes, Bush has lead us here - but we (collectively, using our mechanism of decision) have followed. This is our war.

We have hundreds of thousands of uniformed troops, civilian contractors, government employees, and just plain citizens scattered around the world. Some are actively engaged in offensive operations. The vast majority of them - /US - are just trying to live out our lives and make our futures the best they can be. Each and every one of us is subject to death at the hands of Islamofascists; it's a question of probability, not of philosophy, diplomacy, or guilt. We are all targets. The primary function of our government is defense. Now that we are finally defending ourselves, a minority has resolved that we aren't defending ourselves CORRECTLY...and so they don't acknowledge a responsibility to support the effort.

This is sort of like the "wrong kind of jobs" argument vis a vis the economic growth we've enjoyed, except that people aren't dying over the economy every day.

The enemy rejects our right to live in freedom. They reject our right to live, period. That's why we are engaged in the war we are in, and that's why we are in Iraq right now. We, via our elected representatives, chose a response and have been attempting to successfully implement it for the last three years.

The antiwar minority may not hate America. They may not even hate George Bush. What they do hate is not being in power. The emotion runs so deep it adversely affects their actions and thought processes. They compound their problems by scaring the hell out of citizens who otherwise might welcome some alternative suggestions.

I'd buy the contention they don't hate the terrorists, though. In a heartbeat. They don't have enough hate left over. Equating Bush to Hitler or spelling America with a K or blaming thirty years of political decline on not being as good at dirty tricks as the Republicans all smack of a profound lack of faith in or respect for the democratic process. I tend to believe what people tell me. The message I get from icons like Jimmy Carter, Terry McAullife, Kerry, and a boatload of other parasites (Moore, Kos, Streisand, et al.) of that stripe is that despite their party's patent failure to solve any domestic issue they ever embraced, a long standing tradition of disastrous foreign policy/defense agendas, and willingness to incite class or race envy at the drop of a hat, I'm a moron for questioning their fitness or worthiness for my trust or my vote.

We have put our troops in harm's way in order to counter a threat. We. Us. The People (yes, capitalized) spoke, and in a perfect world we'd put aside our personal conflicts and work hard to show our enemy that they were not long for this world, and more importantly, show our troops that they had our faith and confidence as they undertook the most unpleasant duty any person can be asked to do. That would be in a perfect world.

Bush isn't perfect. Not even close. There have been setbacks and mistakes and lost opportunities. When is life EVER perfect?

I have yet to see the presentation of a coherent, believable alternative to the current strategy to defeat terrorism on the part of the democrat minority. Kerry and his surrogates are all over the map on this. As the campaign progresses the positions and talking points shift so fast I don't have a clue what Kerry would or would not do...but I get the impression that he wants me to believe WHATEVER happens, he'll be more effective than Bush because he is liked by unnamed foreign leaders. Or because he's not Bush. I have no way to know. He says that diplomacy will work with Iran, while at the same time that Bush is criminal for letting North Korea become a nuclear power...which we all know was enabled by the last administration's...diplomacy.

Yah. Right. Whatever.

The enemy has been trained to embrace our lack of will to fight as a gospel truth. They are wrong; they have been learning just how wrong for three years and are frankly terrified (ha) of what four more years of the same will mean to them. The viciousness and scale of their attacks (worldwide) in these last two or three months tells me how they regard the current administration. They are investing much, much more than they can afford to lose...unless we choose leadership that will allow them grace to reorganize and recover. They hate us...but this operational pace is driven by desperation, not strategy.

I don't doubt that the first few years of a Kerry presidency might be largely least where it effected Americans. The enemy does know enough about our political alignments to know that given half a chance the left side of our political spectrum disarms, retracts, and refuses to confront. They desperately seek that succor now; were it not for our election cycle they wouldn't even be contesting Iraq in spite of the fact that allowing a popularly elected government to rise makes it that much harder for them to eventually bring it down.

Make no mistake about it: the war on terror will be won or lost in Baghdad. Won or lost in a way that will determine if Islam will continue to exist, I should say.

We can do the ambitious, tedious, liberal thing and kill only those who are actively trying to kill us while bringing light to the darkness. We have the wealth and the technology to do it. Or we can vacillate, temporize, and deny right up until we lose a few thousand more people, or a city, or entire populations in one shot.

Then the enemy will find out what terror is really about. I wonder if the look-away-in-shame left will feel badly about that?

They'll have meant well, of course Too bad for them that meme no longer survives in the market place. Too bad for the lives of our citizens spent avoiding the confrontation. Too bad for the Arabs, too...too late.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Maintenance Day

Today was all about carpentry. And splinters. And a little bit of electrical work.

Oh, and what else...(via The Creator Of Worlds and Bill at INDC Journal) have a tsunami of timelines, dramatis personae, killer commentary, and links without end on the forgery mess. Both bloggers are the first stars I sight when I need help finding the way. Both are minus on sleep and probably ditto on bandwidth after their magnificent work of the last week. Pray consider bestowing a modest shower of gold upon them when you next go on board. Let's see: Dan Rather still thinks he's got some business in journalism. Strike that: he still is selling the documents aren't fake. Joe Lockhart is waiting to be subpoenaed or worse; those phone calls from Chappaqua can end careers. Max Cleland probably has his wheelchair checked for 'packages' under the seat every morning by now. Mary Mapes is lawyered up. Burkett was lawyered up, then he wasn't, and his former lawyer seems willing to put that client/attorney kind of to the side in order to protect his Texas political ambitions. Burkett's supposed source has been identified as George O. Conn, a former WO in the TNG - army side. Problem is he's on record as having no clue what Burkett is talking about.

I see a gold mine for Saturday Night Live skits but maybe they don't do anxiety convulsions of democrats the same way they yip it up about Dick Cheney dropping with a heart attack? They could at least do "Throwing CBS Producers Off The Sled To Be Eaten By The Wolves", though; that would be cool. Wolves are so PC these days.

I'm old. I remember when SNL was funny.

If Burkett sues and CBS settles does the story die a death of non-disclosure? I'll wait for Beldar to weigh in on that one.

And a second American contractor was murdered today under the auspices of the religion of peace. The time is coming when they'll regret their actions. They'll pay for their obstruction, their arrogant denial of duty in a world we are attempting to defend from evil. They cannot win by stabbing better men in the back....oh, sorry, drifted. I was going to talk about Kerry and the Democrats tomorrow. My bust.

John Kerry gave a landmark speech in which he managed to contradict himself over fourteen times, piss off his base, and insult the intelligence of any voter who reads above a fourth grade level. Wrong audience; he would have been a rave at the U.N. I heard about it today but it may well have been delivered yesterday but it doesn't really matter. As soon as the next round of polls tells him which demographic is U-hauling their votes away from his failed candidacy next, he'll nuance up another speech just for them. Jim Geraghty of National Review has been riding the mother of all waves of Kerry Spot info for literally days now. He's having to eat the fish that swim by; check the time stamps on his posts.

Hat tip to Allah for identifying that first step...and nobody knows if a thousand leagues will be even close to the end of this journey.

Be safe, y'all. Pull those breakers out; don't just flip them to "off". Trust me on this.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Mail Call

Today's outbound email:

Mr. Dave Phillips
VP/GM KUTV-TV Salt Lake City:

The willful and fraudulent attack on the incumbent president by the CBS news department marks a new low in the annals of what used to be thought of as journalism.

They had a story they wanted to sell. Problem was they had no facts. So they made them up. They still had no evidence. So they went out and got some from an "unimpeachable source". After a lot of serious reporting, they finally arrived at two quasi-qualified document authorities out of a field of six that didn't laugh outright at the memos they were asked to inspect. Then they rushed the story to publication in a coordinated effort with the DNC to amplify any impact the DNC "Fortunate Son" ad campaign might excite.

Until Dan Rather, his coterie of CBS enablers, and the source they are so desperately seeking to protect are repudiated by forced resignations or public exposure (in the case of the sources), there is clearly no basis of trust that can exist between your network and myself or my family. We can deal with crappy sitcoms by not watching them. What we will not tolerate is blatant abuse of the First Amendment freedoms and the supposed standards of public trust and ethics that news services are always so anxious to tell us they adhere to.

In the case of CBS, just say goodbye to all that. And your station, too, if you fail to aggressively and publicly demand the resignation of Mr. Rather, his producers, his immediate management, and a public apology on the part of the president of the network for allowing a fraud of this scale to be perpetrated.

I have deleted KUTV from our digital cable remote and removed your website from my suite of local information resources.

If Mr. Heyward lacks the character to can Mr. Rather within the next forty-eight hours, he's got no business running a carpet cleaning business, much less a flagship of American corporate journalism.

If you will not stand and publicly demand accountability of CBS, my family will just have to get by without your product.

CBS has written off the trust of their viewers an asset worth less than satisfying their own personal political agenda. That’s business suicide when the market they operate in (at least if they want to more than pretend they have a news division) is based solely on the trust of the consumer that they are getting information worth the time they invest in watching the broadcasts. You, as the subsidiary distributor of their product, have a responsibility to your viewers that you not become an accessory to what is now (and has been for the last week) so clearly a fraud of epic proportions.


xxxx xxxxxx
xxx E xxxx S
Orem, UT 84058

(801) xxx-xxxx

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Selling is like being shipwrecked or lost in the desert. If you fail to do what you must do, you will not survive. My last year as a Marine was spent as a production recruiter in the Bay Area. I failed. I put in some good kids, but I didn't put in enough, and elected not to reenlist when the time rolled around. I wasn't nearly alone. Recruiting Station San Francisco (responsible for substations from Eureka to Palo Alto and both sides of the Bay) had an attrition rate of better than fifty percent among its production recruiters, meaning that half the recruiters assigned would not finish their three year tour. That's not intended as any sort of excuse, it's just the way thing were.

Sure sounds like a dodge, though, doesn't it?

J.B. Doubtless of Fraters Libertas posted a script excerpt from Glengarry Glen Ross, a 1992 film about the real estate game, that really hit home. *WARNING* - the language is pretty rich.

Successful selling doesn't mean taking. It doesn't mean getting over on anyone. It means having the will to succeed in the face of any obstacle. The Marines spent three months and over ten thousand dollars on my sales education and despite my lack of success in SF some of it must have stuck. Last week I helped a friend prospect among the attendees of the Utah League of Cities and Towns convention. Now he's talking with his partners about bringing me in to assist in following up several of the contacts I generated, turning them into prospects, making the presentations and then closing some deals.

I am intrigued. The product is solid and the market is there. The question is do I have it in me to succeed where once I failed. More news as it happens, as always.

The floor in the basement looks GREAT!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Home Improvement.

We are hosting the extended family for Christmas this year. That means that we need to do a wee bit of work on the basement. The One True Love rejected the trackhoe option, so we are going a room at a time with new electrical, flooring, and sheetrock.

Today we bought the last supplies we'll need until the paint goes on. The Goddesses exhibited great initiative by stripping the institutional-grade 9" sqaure tiles off the floor we are working in...but neglected to consider we were going to do that AFTER all the carpentry/wiring/rocking/tool dropping. Still, nice to see them reaching for the tape, as it were. So we are now halfway through laying the new tile (since the floor is clean as it's going to get) and will be done with the lighting and wiring tomorrow.

Work like this keeps blogging at bay. In my abbreviated evening blogscan I caught Victor Davis Hanson's latest essay and considered writing up an entry on it but while kicking around that idea I saw that both Roger L. Simon and Michael J. Totten had already started discussions on the subject. Still, I do have an opinion...and a blog:

There are over a billion people that practice, pardon me, submit, to Islam out there. Some discrete and minor percentage of that number are actively engaged in Islamist terror. Even small, that number is large enough to represent a global threat. Call it a million Islamofascists waiting on the bench or already in the fight.

I was a senior in high school the first time I heard the term "Great Satan". That was shortly before we started shipping boxcars of Stingers and bundles of cash to the mulhajadeen for use against the Soviets. That Great Satan label is important; it was an inadvertant favor granted by an insane old mystic to a young man just getting ready to step out into the world. I knew what racism and prejudice was already, both from growing up in the sixties and seventies as well as a result of a pretty solid education. I was able to recognise it when I saw it - and the words of Ayatollah Khomeini were a declaration that as long as he hauled his dieseased, hatefilled carcass across the surface of the earth he'd work to see his hate translated into action. If you hear shit like that from the daft old man down the block, you grimace and take him off the Christmas card list. Some people's minds aren't going to change. When you hear the same stuff from the dictator of a nation of three hundred million people, and the guy that played the leader of the free world like a cheap harmonica, you tend to pay more attention.

These people killed friends of mine in 1983. In the years since, they've killed thousands more. We stopped taking it on September 11th. Most of us did, at least.

The last three times ascendant Islam bumped against western civilization that is exactly how the issue was decided - via wars of annihalation. Those wars ended only when the jihadis were knocked down hard enough that they would have to be content with fighting among themselves for decades or centuries afterward. This time around the terrorists have started from so far behind the rest of the world that not even their numbers can bring them any strategic advantage. They can cut our heads off, but bombings, shootings, or other attacks can only be carried out if they can buy or steal the tools from somebody else. They know this.

That million I mentioned above? They must be run down and killed or captured. Where ever they go, who ever hides them, we must be relentless. I applaud the Bush Doctrine as a tremendous statement of faith in the power of democracy, but if it becomes impossible to get ahead of the enemy's breeding curve because our political landscape prevents us from effectively changing the face of the mideast from third world despotism/theocracy to self-sustaining democracy, then we will be better served by attacking populations than merely replacing regimes.

Japan was done as an offensive threat in 1944 yet failed to surrender. By 1945 the situation was even more starkly clear, yet we prepared to conduct an invasion that was expected to cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of allied troops and quite possibly bring the Japanese culture to an end.

That generation knew and accepted the reality of their enemy and acted. We must do the same.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Experience may not bring wisdom...

...but it does bring experience.

The following is edited from a post I wrote on one of Michael J. Totten's threads. He attracts posters of widely diverse and deeply held opinions and acts as benign despot over the resulting axe fights:

My chief problem with the Democrat party goes a long, long way beyond philosophical differences. I can pleasantly disagree with anybody over a cup of coffee, or on a forum like this. The problem is that at some point, philosophy ends up becoming policy, and policy eventually becomes history. That's where the current Democrats, or self-identified liberal/progressive folks, have eliminated themselves from my consideration for elective office. I do not want a group that embraces victimization, exploitation, moral relativism, and farcical equalization of outcomes anywhere near halls of power.

I have lived through enough progressive-inspired social engineering, race politics, class warfare, income redistribution, and ineffective foreign policy to decide that they didn't work, and not because for a lack of effort or funding. Do I think that all Democrats are acting on an agenda aimed at totalitarian government? No..but they are clearly clueless when it comes to recognising failure or the necessity of discriminating between good intentions and the actual results of their actions. I think that too many progressive folks have more time and liesure on their hands than they have been able to handle. It's nice to think that we can MAKE a perfect world happen. People are imperfect, though, and the world is a complicated place. The more vigorously you attempt to force an idealized solution onto real people the less effective the effort becomes. The problem the democrats have run up against is very simple: in spite of how much good they want to do, there aren't enough voters who think they can deliver after watching the last three or four decades roll by.

I vote for candidates that embrace ideas like minimal government interference in individual citizens' lives, minimal taxation at all levels, a color/sex/ethnic blind beauracracy, domestic policies that encourage entrepneurship personal responsibility, citizenship, and foreign policy based on strong defense and vigorous prosecution of foreign threats where necessary.

Do I get everything I want by voting straight-ticket Republican? No; I can't remember the last time I voted for a straight ticket, either. But I certainly get closer to what I want by voting republican than if I vote for somebody voting left of say, Ted Kennedy, right?. Think of elections as feedback loops in a system. We have a regular and predictable opportunity to tweak the system. We can afford to splurge on new ideas as long as we don't write checks the rest of the system cannot cash. New is not bad; objective failure left uncorrected out of pique or because of personal emotional investment most certainly is.

The function of the Electoral College has been a recurring topic of interest, especially since the 2000 election. I think it is an essential mechanism ensuring the maximum accountability of presidential candidates to the issues facing the nation as a whole.

The Electoral College was included in the constitution precisely because the simple majority model of elections would not be effective in weighting regional issues in regard to national executive power. Senators and representatives represent localities; direct election works because those candidates usually have to get every possible demographic they can and local issues are, well, local. The interests of people in large states A and E almost certainly bear scant relation to those in small states B, C, and D...but to adhere blindly to nationwide simple majority decision out of an urge to exercise ideal democracy (which is NOT the case - Democrats' last bastions are dense urban populations; tossing the EC is a tactical, not ideological, move) can only lead to election of individuals who recognise no accountability beyond the demographic whose population is great enough to see them elected.

We folk - we who argue these subjects and fine points across the weeks, months, and years - we are not the people who elect presidents. The big lump of votes that will tip the balance will be cast by people who look no further than their immediate life situation as the measuring stick they will hold up against the candidates. The EC means that means that candidate A can't arbitrarily pander to a few select regions and coast to victory.

Food, shelter, and security trumps utopia everytime, and this is good. When the process by which the election is ultimately decided accurately (as is possible)reflects the concerns of the nation as a whole we are in effect buying insurance against balkanization. Do the important stuff adequately, Joe Politician, then you may have room to experiment.

I don't want to MAKE anything work. I want to LET it it work...which on balance has been the most successful practice of American government.

Y'all have a fine weekend.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Thursday is For Linking.

If you want to see why I read blogs, please check out commentor Catherine's 10:35a.m. post at Roger L. Simon.

I was pelted by monkey scat in both the Philippines and Thailand way back in the mid-eighties. Now I know why the mere sight of Tony McAullife revolts me. I guess when you don't have anything else to throw...

Thanks, Catherine.

Back to the present: Once again, I spent the day in Salt Lake City at the Utah Leaugue of Cities and Towns convention. I have never spoken to so many councilmen, mayors, and managers in one day and likely won't get the chance to do it again. It's quite an education to find out that a mayor of a town of fifty thousand people has many of the same concerns and needs of one of five hundred; growth, water, and citizen involvement were recurring favorites. ALL of the people I spoke to were interested in ways to encourage citizen participation, feedback, and turnout. I listened to a luncheon address by DanJones, who is the most prominent pollster in the state.

I didn't know he was a Democrat until today. Not that that's a baaaaad thing - he's THE authority on political races, business trends, and public opinion here and has been since long before I arrived here in 1992. He's got a real thing going about the 2000 election. Don't mention "Sandra Day O'Connor" within his hearing -trust me on this. He doesn't like the electoral college. I may email him and ask how he figures having nine coastal cities elect the president will be better? No thanks, Dan.

He closed with the results of a poll he had conducted - the eight issues most important to Utahns. I didn't have a notepad (some blogger, eh?) but the top two were security and economy, the bottom three were taxes (mechanisms, not burden - our property tax/fees/sales/income mix SUCKS), the need for honesty (transparency and access, not just ethical action) in governance, and last at number eight was the desire of the people to see a return to civility in partisan politics. Remember that Utah is 80% Republican - there's still enough vitriol here for civility to come up as a response in a random answer poll.

What do I want to see, come this November? No close elections. Please. Let there be winners, losers, and an absence of lawyers.

Is that too much to ask?

UPDATE: Michael Moore is coming to town next month. I'll go out on a limb here - I don't think there will be any standing O's. UVSC is five minutes from here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

It's just business...

...this Wednesday.

I spent the day helping a friend make contacts among Utah public office holders at the Utah League of Cities and Towns convention in Salt Lake City.

I will be there all day tomorrow, too. Asked back. Not bad for somebody once described as antisocial, eh?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

One fine morning April, 1775, rural Massachusetts awoke to the sound of church bells. The people stepped out from their homes and scanned the horizon looking for the tell-tale column of smoke that meant a fire at a neighbor's farm, or the multiple columns that signaled Indian trouble, though it had been years since that had last happened. The sky was clear and the last mists of the spring morning were still in the trees. The bells continued to ring. As the rifles came down off the pegs and pouches and horns were filled, riders and runners spread the word that the Regulars were out. No fire, no Indians, but General Gage intended to make good on his promise to disarm the colonists.

Wives were kissed, then left behind in the doorways of fine clapboard homes or rude cabins with dirt floors. The paths and roads filled with hurrying men, and soon ones and twos became fives and tens stepping out toward their villages.

They gathered on the greens. They stood behind the captains they had elected from among their own and waited for what was to come. Fine coats or homespun - they had been pushed beyond the point of no return and would stand here, today, on their own, for their own, against the cream of the British Empire. An anonymous gunshot would soon turn the world upside down.

In September 2004, General Rather marched his army onto the virtual village green. He didn't see a soul and proudly fired off his volley. The Cb.s. column declared victory and broke ranks for a celebratory brew up.

Unfortunately for them, Buckhead, poster number 47 on Free Republic took a long look at the rolling smoke and decided to fire back. Then others flipped open laptops and fired up PC's and Macs. Powerline, Hugh Hewitt, Allah, and Charles of LGF(and literally scores, if not hundreds, of others) hustled out onto the green. The Captain cleared for action and sailed down on the wind, the slow-match smoke drifting out the gunports to windward. Document experts. Typewriter aficionados. Lawyers. Screenwriters. Web Developers. Accountants. Radio hosts. Journalists. Authors. IT professionals. Mechanics. Pizza guys. Psychologists. People in need of good psychologists... and everyone in between. They stood up. We joined them on the green, just like the farmers and tradesmen who spilled out of the muddy lanes and fell in rank facing the redcoats. Three Rounds Brisk is a direct result of this situation.

When General Gage crushed the standing ranks at Lexington and Concord, the difference was measured in weight of firepower. Who was right or wrong didn't matter at the moment of decision - it was who brought the most mass to bear at the point. The British column's long walk back to Boston was a nightmare of sniping and ambush. Redcoats fell every foot of the way, so many that the English were compelled to abandon their baggage and fill their wagons with the wounded. The weapons on both sides were equal when measured man against man.

General Rather showed up on the virtual green prepared to fight the last war. He mistook his big black building, army of flunkies, and decades of power as having anything to do with what victory is measured by in a free market. Numbers don't matter when facts...when truth...decides the issue.

We don't have better guns. What we do have is ammunition - truth. Dan Rather left his balls on his desk, right next to his credibility. Hence smoke and noise in massive amounts, a pageant of precision but with little effect. Our ranks are firm. Of General Rather himself... he may not even make it off the green. I don't think that tossing off a handful of minions will come close to making good on this fraud.

We didn't suppress Cb.s.'s story. There have been no printing presses tossed in the street, no studios burned. There are no gulags filled with talking heads; there is no need. Being discredited is the worst thing that can ever happen to an MSM pundit.

Digital brownshirts? Hell no, you sons of bitches. Meet the Minutiae Men of 2004.

Maybe someday they'll write a poem about us.

Stranger things have happened.

Site news: I will expand my blogroll very soon. For my first guests, thank you so much for stopping by. I'm off to the green.

Monday, September 13, 2004

I don't do pajamas...

...because they just get in the way.

This blog will be a chronicle of observations, opinions, and occassional predictions by a middle-aged American male trying to figure out what works, what doesn't, and where to go from here.

I am conservative in the Burkean mold, with an accent on not breaking what doesn't need fixing. I do not give as much weight to the 'divine plan' as Burke did yet cannot conceive a healthy society that rejects out of hand even the possibility of deity. Look up at the desert sky on a moonless summer night. It's not an accident...

I don't believe that statist solutions for personal problems are ever viable. I believe that our failed public education system is the single greatest domestic threat to our freedom, followed closely by judicial activism and the explosive growth of the litigation culture.

Pessimist/optomist? Call me cyclically cynical. I wake up ready to have a better day; who can ask more than that?

"Three Rounds Brisk" as a title springs from the writing of Patrick O'Brian. If you saw the movie "Master and Commander" and liked it, I highly recommend the entire Aubrey/Maturin series.

Welcome aboard.