Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

I don't have much to say as 2005 comes to an end. It has been a good year, on balance, for the Team.

Tonight Mrs. Tmj and I are home alone. The Goddesses have social commitments and it will be just mom and I watching the ball drop at midnight.

Used to be I'd pull the cannon out and fire a blank round at the stroke, but there are just too many old folks with weak hearts in the neighborhood and it's raining too much to make a pull down to the park worth it.

Old age may be creeping up on me.

I don't have any resolutions this year. There's much I can do to improve; I'll let you know how things go (if only intermittently) as the new year unrolls.

Predictions for the next year:

1. Iran and Syria will be under new management, Iran first. I see a spring strike against Iran's nuclear infrastructure and other critical military assets.

2. Republicans pick up two or three house seats, and at least two senate seats. They don't deserve either, but more Red staters will vote to keep democrats out than doctrinaire conservative Republicans will stay home in protest of the disgraceful lack of leadership and discipline on display in the current caucus.

2a. Please PLEASE replace Frist.

3. There will be multiple indictments in the NSA leak case, and more than a few pleas.

3a. One of the pleas will be made by a sitting democratic congressmen/senator.

3b. Indicted FS or CIA professionals won't be offered deals. There will be a message sent.

4. Photo I.D. will be required for the 2008 general elections. This prediction is based on the widespread fraud to come in November of 2006, which will set standards of deceit and chicanery that Mayor Daley or LBJ would blush to even consider.

5. Howard Dean, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi will lose their leadership positions before summer.

5a. In the event this doesn't happen, increase the numbers in prediction number two by at least two house seats.

6. The U.S. economy will cool off about a percentage point worth of GDP during the winter months. By March, Paul Krugman will announce the looming end of running water and flush toilets. TmjUtah and millions of other small investors will see that column and invest in blue chips, small caps, and index funds and realize double - digit gains by October. Shucks, it worked last year...

7. Hybrid cars will become more popular but battery replacement costs will begin to become a factor in resale value. This fact will go underreported.

8. Michael Yon will not receive the Pulitzer Prize. Damn it.

9. Kofi Anaan will retire to be dictator of a small African country. Possibly Berkley.

10. The EU economy will contract four percent. At least four percent, as far as anybody will be able to tell, given the way they do accounting over there.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A Message From The East

We've been here two days.

The family is great. The women have been cooking since they crossed the threshold. The garage is the designated cold room, and inside there on a groaning table sits seven kinds of pie, a spread of foil-covered casserole platters, and bottles of soda, beer, soy milk, and eggnog.

The skies are clear, tempatures fair. We have about six inches of snow left on the lawn from last week's storm. Rain forecast for tomorrow.

All the presents are bought. We will be wrapping tonight, but there are NO bicycles to assemble. The snake has been fed. There are no youngers still pensive of Doing The Wrong Thing and somehow causing Santa to pass us by.

This house is full of love, none the less. All except the corner where the dining tables are shoved together in an "L" shape. That's where the Uno game is going hot and heavy, and sometimes the nieces and nephews learn new words. All in good fun, though. "You BASTARD!" can in fact be said in the holiday spirit.

Notes:

(1) I've seen more "Bush 04" stickers here than I ever did in Utah.
(2) The only sidewalk argument I've seen outside a mall was between two folks standing behind a car plastered with "No More BUSHit" stickers and a full-poster board panel "Bush Must GO!!!" sign in the back window.

Most unhappy folk. Dropping the "F" bomb and not following up with the blow is such bad form. Words mean things.

(3) Ended up behind a car on the 3 with a bumper-length bumpersticker. It read "Hey, peaceniks: You're supposed to support OUR troops, not the other side, you ungrateful bastards!" - plus a smaller one on the window that read "No oil for pacifists".

I LIKE New Hampshire. I haven't been able to run down Mark Steyn yet, but I understand he travels a lot.

Mrs. Tmj and I are taking a drive up the coast on Monday unless the weather just crushes us.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

We are LEAVING!!

Until the 28th, we'll be in Nashua, NH*, celebrating Christmas with the extended clan.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!






*TmjUtah needs meds anywhere east of Denver!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Required Reading

Mark Steyn, this time around:

"And no, I'm not questioning their patriotism. Honestly, who can be bothered questioning anything so footling as Howard Dean's patriotism? If you're a Democratic patriot and you're outraged by my linking your party to the "insurgents," take it up with your leaders: They're the ones who've over-invested the party in American failure. And instead of being angry at me you should be ashamed of them."

I don't think we'll know just how much self-inflicted damage the Dems have sustained until 2006. That's what democracy is about - accountability.

(via Lucianne.com)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Elsewhere

There's an interesting post up at Captain's Quarters.

Seems an article got published on Salon, authored by a self-described teacher of radical philosophy. He questions whether or not it's time for him to sack up and declare the revolution.

What utter crap.

Please read the Captain's post on the subject. He has extensive quotes from the subscription-only article.

My comment on his thread follows (there's a grundle of good ones there):

ol·i·gar·chy Audio pronunciation of "Oligarchy" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (l-gärk, l-)
n. pl. ol·i·gar·chies

1.
1. Government by a few, especially by a small faction of persons or families.
2. Those making up such a government.
2. A state governed by a few persons.

(from Dictionary.com)

Mr. Tennis didn't pick up a dictionary before he reached for the vaseline.

Mr. Bush is a member of what could be regarded as a politically dynastic family.

I guess the Kennedy's could be thought of that way, too.

Al Gore's dad was a senator. Is Al Gore an oligarch?

Where does the power come from? That's the question.

In my book, it's not power that matters in American politics. It's the responsibility of office - and the periodic accountability to the governed and the continuous process of checks and balances of the system on the holders of the offices in question.

Mr. Tennis isn't a revolutionary in waiting. He doesn't live in an oligarchy. He is a member of a political movement that has lost the trust and support of electoral majorities across the nation.

He is, in short, a loser.

The adult response to losing on any given Sunday is to get up on Monday resolved to identify what factors led to failure in the past contest and to prepare for the next opportunity to succeed. This demands honesty and objective clarity... which is where the wheels fall off for folks like Mr. Tennis.

The Democrats/Left/Progressives/Herd o' Cats that comprises Mr. Tennis fellow travellers persist in bringing flawed product to the marketplace of ideas.

Americans don't want income redistribution. They don't think that male/white/religious automatically equals chauvinist/racist/snake dancer. They don't think that the bulk of American History belongs in the text of an indictment from some UN/Hague court. They like to keep most of what they earn - and they would like to see what they do pay in taxes spent efficiently and wisely. They want freedom of religion - not from religion. Americans like clean air and water. They don't like being told they are terrorists for driving a certain class of motor vehicle. Americans don't really care what Hollywood, high profile university icons, race pimps,or media has to say about .... well, frankly, anything, if it can' t be verified via source documents or stands up to historical scrutiny.

Americans don't want whiners. We don't want good intentions in a vacuum of results. And we certainly don't want people like Howard Dean near sharp objects, much less the levers of national responsibility. We want clear stands on issues, independent of whether or not women and minorities will be most affected. Or if "the children" are going to get a special slice.

Oh, and we want to be defended when we are attacked. We want to take the fight to the enemy, where the enemy lives, and make sure that he NEVER forgets the experience.

We are one nation, forged out of the achievements and constant,continuing potential of the many - the result of the sum of individual freedom striving toward our own definition of happiness, repeated across hundreds of millions of lives every day stretching back more than two centuries.

The Democrats seek victims. We are better than three decades worth of elections into trying to make the point that we need leaders, not nannies. The shrill, empty bloviating as typified by Mr. Tennis' submission has been long common on Left blogs/Indie media sites/The Nation; it is remarkable here only in that it surfaced on Salon, and surfaced now, on the eve of Iraq's parliamentary elections.

The 'fringe' has been the heart and soul of the Democrat party since 2000. Losers, and bereft of the maturity to look at themselves for a fraction of a second to honestly ask "why?" they loose under this free market of elections and ideas. They lose elections... so they question the legitimacy not only of certain races, but now they are moving the argument to the legitimacy of elections at all.

Because they lose.

Screw 'em. I rather think that "direct action" will continue to be under-attended marches, point vandalism, and freak shows ala Cindy Sheehan. But if they want to formally line up against democracy with al Q and take it to the streets - they will be the visiting team.

And they'll lose.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sick Call

I don't know what's wrong with me, but I've been in decline for about two weeks and it finally caught up with me yesterday.

Looking back on my posts of the last week, even I can see more rough edges than usual; bad sentences, mixed tenses, the whole nine yards. See?

That I lack the ability to clearly ariticulate my thoughts in no way changes the fact that the Democratic Party has become a pathetic group of third-best choices for any problem. I am muddled, in pain, and exhausted. I worry that a sizeable minority of my fellow Americans are clearly incapable of pouring piss out of a boot, else they would not have come to be represented by such a constellation of losers as is their current crop. My disgust at the craven behaviour by the Republican majorities in both houses is just icing at the cake.

But at least the Republicans fight.

The latest chapter in bad faith Democrat pontificating comes from Sen. Daniel Inoyue, senior Democratic senator from Hawaii and recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for service in World War II:

"The Republican Party’s latest ad is a shameful and disgusting attempt to distract the American people from the problems in Iraq."

Shameful? Disgusting? What about your own party chair declaring the war lost? Or you r pathetic colleague's blithe assertion that our troops are terrorists? Your party is become a greater threat to democracy than the current terrorists, and to be honest, more insidious and lethal over time than the enemy you fought against and for which you were awarded our nation's highest honor.

McKinney. Clinton. Dean. Pelosi. Reid. Wexler. Leahy. Kennedy. Boxer. Feinstein. Kerry. Murtha. And now Inoyue. They all shriek loudest when their own words are quoted. Losers. I cannot imagine any of those names affixed to a Declaration of Independence, or a Constitution written by people that would be free. Now manifestoes - they'd line up for an opportunity to sign one of those.

On December 15, the people of Iraq will vote for their first permament, constitutional government. This event has been made possible by the leadership of the United States and the actions of our, and our allies, armed forces. In the face of fanatic and sometimes suicidal resistance by former Baathists, foreign jihadists, and the Democrat Party, the people of Iraq are taking their third huge step toward a future without dictators.

Go read this at Powerline.
John's last paragraph expresses exactly what I have been trying to say for the last two weeks, and does it superbly.

(via Powerline)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Sins of Omission

Bubba's back in the news:

"MONTREAL ( [al] AFP) - Former US president
Bill Clinton took to the podium at the UN climate talks here to ram home a grim message about global warming and demand the United States move quickly away from the fossil fuels causing the problem."


and later:

"To loud cheers from an audience of thousands of delegates and green activists, Clinton said: "I liked the Kyoto Protocol. I helped to write it. And I signed it."

As did Al Gore, too. I forget which release; I think it was Gore v3.2b (pre earthtones/alphamale).

Question for the class: What is the relevance of the number "0" to this story?

The answer is here, in the paragraph headed "Position of the United States".

What a country. We can afford TWO former presidents more damaging to the nation after they are out of office than they were when they were in. And that's a pretty high bar for these two gents.

Only in America.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Cold Day

It's a cold day here in Utah. Snow and ice and a tough day in the field for me.

Things are chilly over at Jeff Goldstein's Protein Wisdom, too. I posted the first and last paragraphs of the following essay on his thread:

What's the ability to determine the origin of a nuclear weapon based on its isotope signature going to do for the hundreds/thousands/millions of dead people whose ashes that material will had to have been gleaned from?

I fully expect to wake up some fine morning (maybe this spring - maybe sooner) and find out that U.S. forces have bombed multiple sites in the nation of Iran and have troops ON THE GROUND in several locations.

As has been noted before, Bush has stated that Iran will not be allowed to produce or possess nuclear weapons. Not "shouldn't be" or "we oppose" but "will NOT be allowed".

We think in terms of politics, polls, and PR way too often. That's not what we have a government for. The Iranian mullahocracy is the executive arm of world terror. Saudis and a grundle of other barbarian regimes may write checks and send excess manpower off to jihad, but the organizing entity - from the top down - is the government of the nation of Iran. If the Iraqis win, the game is over for those in search of establishing any caliphate.

The Democrats have been losing elections yet remaining viable via entrenched PR for most of my adult life. Their core beliefs - or what passes for core beliefs depending on the makeup of the loose coalition of narrow interest groups fighting for power - pivot on income redistribution, identity politics, state control of critical industries (healthcare, pensions, energy, etc), and multicultural/postmodern templates that debase notions such as good character, honesty, piety, and patriotism as antiquated concepts that need to be quashed. They seek to dismantle the judiciary's role of interpeter of law and instead create a fiat legislative third branch.

The top of the party believes in nothing but getting that office another two or six years or maybe picking off the presidency. They'll pit one neighborhood against another, one ethnicity against another, one income group against another, or even side with foreign aggressors, as they are currently doing regarding the war.

They appeal and cultivate the sizable minority of Americans who embrace the concept that the cause of their own perceived want or failure can always be assigned outside of their own personal responsibility. Whatever amphorous agendas they propose today are indistinguishable to those that marked my teen years: malaise, a struggling economy, and a sad, sputtering failure to finish the bright beginnings of the civil rights era. I remember Social Security debates as far back as my junior high school years - and the Dems owned the house and senate at the time, yet failed to do more than talk. As a middling-teen, I couldn't square how a country that came so far in two hundred years, and had just finished winning WW2 less than a generation before I was born, could get beat in a tiny hole like Vietnam. A cutting part of it all was an absence of pride, and even more deadly, an absence of hope. The worst was that some people -important and PR-famous people- were saying we deserved to be miserable because of our previous successes.

Not hard to glom on to "shining city on a hill" after an adolescence marked by the seventies, let me tell you what.

I build stuff. Rather, the work I do is critical in getting stuff built. Shit doesn't just happen. The Soviet Union didn't collapse. I am proud that my years spent in uniform helped in a miniscule part to beat the Soviets into the dustbin of history. It was hard work, sometimes dangerous, often monotonous, but necessary to see the objective achieved.

Democrats don't build stuff. They are a parasite on the fuzzy ass of freedom. Fecund and bloated, and hopefully about ready to fall off, but they do still possess the ability to poison the host. They willfully pretend that tomorrow doesn't have to happen. Listen to replays of morning - after - election coverage from any of the last five or six national elections. Election day is a moment of decision all too rare. The bedrock evidence in lost races, seats, and governorships of their continuing decline are made to fade against the voluminous, shrill, biased pop culture/media that tries so hard to define a reality that just doesn't exist anymore - at least not for the Democrats and their herd of cats.

People who measure their lives by news cycles are horribly unsafe to allow anywhere near adult institutions. Get them their own blogs, or maybe their own coffeehouses or drumcircles - but keep them away from the institutions that are supposed to keep us free and our families safe. Please. 2006 is coming - do your part.

The only reasons that Iran has for developing nuclear weapons are to increase its ability to export terror from behind a nuclear threat, or, since we are dealing with fanatics, to carry out a genocidal attack on the nation of Israel, and possibly us or nations aligned with us such as Britain, Australia, or Japan. Suicidal, you say?

A democratic Iraq - unquestionably sovereign, economically viable, and politically functional across the tribes and ethnicities within the country - is a death sentence for jihadism. A nation of free Arabs, finally broken free of the shame generated by subservience to despots over the centuries, will become the epicenter of a pan-Arab reformation that can avert the climactic last confrontation between Islam and Western civilization.

That's the stakes on the table, folks.

G.W. Bush and his cabinet know it. I'm pretty sure that the concept never makes it past the daily morning turns on the mechanism that stretches Nancy Pelosi's face over her skull. The leader of the Democrat Party? I don't think he thinks at all anymore, if he ever did. He's a caricature of the stereotypical "little guy" - and I don't believe he ever got past "yeargh".

So I think that someday in the not too distant future, probably between CNN's coverage of Pam Anderson's latest boob job and a story on how low unemployment adversely effects women and minorities, we'll get a bulletin letting us know that at least one part of our polity still understands the world we live in and is willing, and able, to do the heavy lifting necessary to keep us free, and at least as safe as can be hoped for in a very troubled world.

Impeachment, you say? Excessive force? Unilateral? We, with all our bickering and faults, still successfully practice constitutional government. We, of all the industrialized world, are the standard of economic productivity and stability, even execution of justice, and so rich we can even afford democrats.
We are the single most sought after immigration destination on the planet. All people, all colors, all creeds, from everywhere - come here. Many die trying. Look through the noise - through the yearghs - and see the beauty that we are become. We must protect this shining city on a hill. Do not doubt that the barbarians are at the very gates.

With great power comes great responsibility. Bush understands that. I believe he'll act when necessary - and if even the IAEA says the balloonis going up, time is short indeed.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Technical Difficulties

I can log on to Blogger, but I can't bring up my blog.

Can't see any other Blogspot Blogs either, so I guess I'm not alone.

How 'bout that Howlin' Howie?

Know the enemy. Always KNOW THE ENEMY.

UPDATE: Everything seems to be working now.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

RFI: GPS

I use a Trimble GPS base/rover suite every day I go to work.

I know nothing about hand held units. I know how they work, and I've got some word - of - mouth on precisions that are possible, but I dont' know jack about brands.

We are flying to Boston then driving to Nashua, NH for a Christmas family reunion.

We are looking for a color screen GPS that can upload mappacks and be programmed for specific routes. It would be nice if it came bundled with a vehicle bracket and external antenna. I like rechargeable units, not batteries. Price range is flexible but I don't want to spend more than four hundred dollars.

I'm googling now, and will ask around at work tomorrow. Any input would be appreciated.

Required Reading On Cleanup Sunday

We're leaving for New Hampshire in three weeks. I've done four loads of laundry and cleaned two bathrooms, and am moving out to the kitchen next.

Take some time to read Mr. Steyn's latest thoughts:

"So Bush has chosen to embark on a project every other great power of the last half-millennium has shrunk from: the transformation of the Middle East. You can argue the merits of that, but once it's underway it's preposterous to suggest we need to have it all wrapped up by Jan. 24. The Defeaticrats' loss of proportion is unworthy of a serious political party in the world's only superpower. In next week's election, the Iraqi people will shame them yet again."

That last line is important. Seems to me that over time the Democrats have established a pattern of committing to particularly disastrous talking points just prior to administration successes. The latest "cut & run" crop of nonsense may well join "worst economy since Hoover", "brutal Afghan winter", and "Bush lied" entries on the shelf marked "Stupid Things Said By Democrats: 2000 - XXXX".

(Via: Powerline)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Friday Night Last

I'm not going to edit anything on the previous post.

What you do in rage is yours, warts and all. That was all me.

Had a heck of a work week; winter has indeed arrived. Daily temps are low double digits except at dawn when we are setting up. Then it's really cold.

We've kicked some serious ass on this project. We being everyone from the landscapers to the Real Estate Professionals (REP, hereafter) and everyone including our happy few surveyors in between. I work better when I'm wound up sometimes. The last four days of last week were all of that.

I reward myself for work well done. Friday night I visited our local Barnes & Noble to pick up a book. I spotted my favorite local Leftist on the way in. He was sitting in the Starbucks corner, immersed in an earnest discussion with two folks I'd not seen before.

Call them Jerry Garcia and Mama Cass. That ought to be enough to let you know what the stage looked like.

I met My Favorite Leftist (MFL) three years ago, give or take, in this same Starbucks. His bio includes a stint in the Vietnam era army (DIA, no RVN tour), documentarian, writer of fiction and political commentary, eco activism, political activism, apartchik in the local Democrat party (until just recently), and the last time I saw him he was heading back to school for a masters in writing.

I bought the book, and gave him a wave as I was heading out the door. At that moment his guests stood up and made "See ya later" motions. MFL turned half way to face me and I saw that he was wearing a Che shirt. The one with "Hasta La Victoria Siempre" under the little bastard's picture.

I told you already that it's been a trying week. I just stood there and smiled until the white rage dissipated. I'm sure it only took a moment or two, but surely felf like forever.

I went over to the table - feeling this horrible smile on my face, not knowing WTF I had in mind to do. I was purely along for the ride - somebody else was pulling the levers right then. I was beaming. And bouncing in on the balls of my feet like a teenager. Or Muhammed Ali getting ready for work.

What follows is all paraphrase. I don't carry a tape or digital recorder but they might just have to change:

"How you doing, MFL?"

"Just fine, sir, just fine. I've left the Democrats. At least the ones in Utah. They are beyond saving."

Me: "???"

"They just don't get what we are going to have to do to win this war. Real progressives are committed to seeing freedom in Iraq, and we won't stand for any party that puts itself above that goal." His eyes were like marbles and he was sweating.

"MFL... (I had the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing behind my eyes by now, and my smile was MINE and so big it hurt)... so if I understand you correctly, the hard Chomsky Left of Utah doesn't want anything to do with the Democrat party? Does this mean that Bush was right?"

Insert five minutes of capitalist crimes against indigenous populations, Bush's ties to Saudi cronies, the pending impeachment of Bush for lying, a sidetrack into why he's not a Sierra Club member since the fires of last summer - seems he thinks that controlled burns are o.k.; not to save any f*cking houses, mind you, but for the wildlife - and he just had to make that mighty step of not paying dues any more.

I still had the smile.

"MFL, why do you wear that shirt?"

"Che said these words leading REVOLUTIONARIES who were killing SIX THOUSAND of Batista's troops while Castro made speeches. He believed in action!"

"You really think he really killed six k in battle? If I remember correctly, Batista kind of forfeited the game early. How many priests, teachers, and other 'enemies of the revolution' go in that KIA total, MFL?"

MFL says, "He should have killed the boards of the corporations who supported Batis.."

And I laughed at him. Heads did turn. I haven't laughed so hard since the One True Love overdosed on wassabi at the Chinese Gourmet buffet.

"Good luck on the masters, MFL. NYU? Great school, I hear. And for writing, no less. I'm sure you'll get a fair hearing for your ideas there. Yes sirree. And too bad those Democrats just can't seem to keep your respect. You want the war won... but want Bush impeached for starting it. Good plan! Speak truth to power, always, and thanks for making my week."

The Left knows the Democrat party is dead. Now if we can just keep the zombies from hooking up with the dead of Cook County in 2006. Maybe we can drive a stake through the heart of our enemy's greatest weapon.

Related issues being discussed here and here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Just So Everyone Understands Where I Stand

this is a hasty post. There will be no editing or links until later.

I listened to almost all of the President's speech this morning. I was programming a sewer alignment into my survey controller, and if I took an extra few minutes... well, maybe I was waiting for the tempature to break into double digits, o.k.?

I didn't hear anything "new" in the speech. I listened to the argument and debate before the war in 2003. I have followed the published aims and objectives since then and have noted where changes were made to adjust to the conditions on the ground.

The mission is to establish Iraq as a reprasentative republic. The challenge is to overcome four thousand years (give or take) of despotic rule and a culture impervious to flush toilet technology, much less democracy and rule of law.

Oh, and we also have to deal with homicidal maniacs bent on reestablishing the eighth century, too.

What I did hear was a clear commitment to a policy that was adopted and executed by the representative government of this nation. The end objective remains the same as it was when we set out on the mission; we were warned the job would be diffucult, expensive, and take a chunk of time to see through to success.

Those are the same points I heard made in the speech today. The President touched on accomplishments we have seen - elections, local government beginning to function in most of Iraq, the ongoing effort to restore infrastructure where it had failed through neglect or war damage, or to build it where it had never existed before.

He pointedly mentioned the ultimate sacrifice on the part of some individuals, both American and Iraqi, and recognised their heroism in pursuit of a noble goal.

He reaffirmed his committment to taking the fight to the enemy, and bearing good faith toward our troops and allies in the ongoing war.

Later, I listened to soundbites from various Democrat notables to include Senators Kerry and Clinton. And I hear that the august Mr. Dean thinks the Dems are going to run the table in 2006; at least enough for majorities in both the house and senate.

If it weren't for the elections of 2002 and 2004, the Democrats wouldn't be jumping through the hoops they are today. They could have acted out of conscience and honesty, and surrendered to the mullahs already.

NOW HEAR THIS:

The bastards who killed my friends in 1983 are the same bastards who killed our citizens in 2001. State or stateless, they are all tied together by the common thread of their membership in the Failed Culture Club of planet earth. While their world has existed in brutal stasis and leavened by abject failure and selfdestruction, the rest of the world has gone on to achieve better things.

Folks like us... well, we may deserve the Fat Dumb Happy Button. We're so fucking rich we can afford to have almost half our population stupid enough to elect Democrats. We've been afflicting ourselves with these parasites for a few generations now (we spare no expense in our vices, and what we aren't willing to spend they just steal) and today they are clearly become the enemy, and not just the opposition.


I'm just a land surveyor with a high school education, but even I understand that evil ignored will eventually become evil triumphant. That our Democrat party can put aside that head-chopping, WTC collapsing, and nuke armed Iran foofooraw in exchange for the POSSIBILITY they might be able to score political points by sabotaging our war effort is beyond the ethical limits of political calculation.

They have nothing to offer which will accrue electoral advantage to themselves. Faux populism, race farming, state regulation of every aspect of our lives, and a bald cynicism regarding the potential of individual human achievement. They do not seek to represent. They seek to rule.

They are consciously rendering aid to our enemies. They are no better than quislings.

I checked out of the Republican party shortly after the last election. The failure of the party to address border security and profligate spending were the issues that drove me to reregister as independant.

The only way to change a party is from within. The Reps lack congressional leadership, have been disgracefully lazy in their treatment of the constituent concerns that got them elected, and are frankly not who I would support if there was a better choice out there.

They did nominate a president who would fight for the country. That will have to be enough for me now. Allowing Democrats near the levers of power is not an option.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Ungulates Gone Wild

Norway has struggled along under a California style education model and is rapidly slipping into its slot in Eurabia, but this just might be the tipping point:

"This is the first time I have heard that moose are getting drunk. But I assume that they react the same way people do to intoxication - some become harmless while others are the exact opposite," said district veterinarian Paul Stamberg in Kristiansand.

People are afraid to leave their homes:

Laila von Scheele no longer dares let her children out of the house, for fear of an unfortunate encounter with the plastered visitor that frequents their garden.

"I am terrified. It can be dangerous when it's drunk," von Scheele told Swedish newspaper Expressen.


I'm glad that all I have to worry about is cats underfoot betwixt the backdoor and the woodpile, and that's a fact.

Black Friday Shopping

The OTL took the Goddesses out shopping at zero dark thirty this morning.

They reported amazing crowds. Twenty percent off your order at the fabric store, if you bought before nine a.m.. Lowes was packed, too, but they didn't offer any hint as to why they happened to be there. Heh. Oldest Goddess did NOT drive today - too intense for a learner's permit holder.

I've always had a strong dislike for shopping on this day. The deals are great, yes, but the stress just isn't worth it. I used to stand on the edge of the mall walkways and watch for the Perfectly Attired Woman carrying the bags from All The Right Stores. She always had that glassy happy smile on, but her eyes said "If I had a shotgun, you'ld all be DEAD!!!".

I did offer my shopping advice before they left but they decided to just do the old fashioned thing and tough out the lines.

Something about carrying an idling chainsaw on a sling always got me right to the register. It was either that or the hockey mask. Go figure.

The only commerce I have planned for today is to move out my blessed old (1987) Mighty 'Burb. I have replaced her with a 2002 Dakota quad and she's going to move on to either Mexico for parts or become the homebase for a bunch of Utah drywallers.

She was a good damned truck for almost then years, and I will miss her.

This Guy Doesn't Get A Fork Or Knife For His Turkey

Whenever I think of the EU diplomatic corps, I have this vision of pinstripe-clad men in silk top hats bent so far backwards the crowns of their hats rub the dirt.

"European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso Thursday stressed that there is no connection between acts of terrorism and Islamic countries."

The rest is here.

Yah, I read the enemy. Besides the Times, I mean.

The closing paragraph contains a bit of honesty, however inadvertent the inclusion must have been:

"The Brussels-based Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) in a statement said the Barcelona Process "did not significantly help improve the human rights situation in the region during the past ten years".

Duh.

There are more clowns in this circus than you can shake a stick at.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanks

A delicious aroma fills our home. The sideboard groans under the weight of covered dishes and baskets. The table is set. The chatter of friendly voices filters down the hall to our little home office; we have no immediate family this side of the Mississipi, so we generally invite friends over to share Thanksgiving.

A timer just sounded.

I'll be carving a nineteen pound turkey in just a few minutes.

I give thanks for good friends. I give thanks that we are able to provide a roof, a bed, and a meal for our family. I give thanks that we have our health (can't do anything about knees and age - and why bitch about the memories the twinges always recall?) and our that our happiness is on the plus side of life's ledger.

I'm grateful that I was able to hang up my Budweiser license more than five years ago and give thanks and all credit to the higher power that made it possible for me to quit.

I give thanks that the most wonderful woman in the world roped me out of the herd. I give thanks for two beautiful daughters and pray for (yet more) patience and calm as the roll of "nice young men" coming to visit grows ever longer.

Most of all I give thanks that we still have men and women who will stand for good. People who consciously sacrifice creature comforts or the comforts of home, and sometimes much, too much more.

Not many folks read the stuff that I write here. That's perfectly o.k. - this blog is more an opportunity to shield the One True Love from the worst of my compulsive political junkyism than it is any serious attempt to draw an audience.

I'm glad you dropped by. Thankful, even.

But if you have read this far, please read the rest:

Thank a serviceman/woman for their duty. Thank the families of those in service. If you have a congresscritter who shows fight, you might drop them a line of support, too. I don't have any advice for you if your representation is Democrat, unless he's Joe Liberman. If your rep or senator is less a statesman that you wish he or she was, still get in touch - and tell them what's on your mind. PR, polls, or whatever happens to be oozing out of the TV set or theater right now fades to insignificance when our votes are counted. We are an imperfect nation, but we are people and that means we'll never get everything right.

The United States of America is still the last best hope for this troubled world. Even imperfect as we are, we can still keep trying to get it right. Today we fight for a world of freedom - for a "world without dictators", as Tom Grey would say.

I believe that all men can be free. I also believe that it takes a lot of work to make it happen.

I believe that our blessings as citizens of this shining city on a hill come not from chance but are instead based on the hard calls of men long dead and the two hundred plus years of argument, politics, and sacrifice since. I believe we can always be better tomorrow than we are today.

Y'all have a fine Thanksgiving.

And thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

This Would Be Good News

If it pans out.

(via Drudge)

Sunday Dispatch

I've been following the brouhaha over Tulip Advertising/Pajamas Media/Open Source Media (trademark, trademark, who's got the trademark?) for several months now. Given that in the end all I have to go on are the accounts presented by the two principals I have come to the conclusion that Kenton Kelley got screwed in the finest traditions of Hollywood business practices.

I cannot say that Roger L. Simon is the one reason I decided to establish my own blog but he sat at the top of my meager blogroll because I did regard him as my blogfather.

Business is business. Written contracts serve to protect the interests of all parties - but in the absence of written contracts, it is crucial that everyone involved in a project be forthright in their intentions from the beginning, and as it takes shape.

I'm a land surveyor. In my line of work, there's a substantial amount of liability, complexity, and risk inherent in most any project in which I participate. Some projects do begin "on spec" - a client approaches my employer with a proposal that we provide services that will be paid for based on future profits from the completed product. These arrangements almost always begin based on the professional reputation or prior relationship between principals and companies - real handshake contracting.

I've seen such efforts go both ways: projects that pan out, and prodigious failures with associated painful (one company I worked for actually folded) loss. In the latter category the most common thread was where one party to the deal elected to pursue different objectives than those that were originally defined and then did not inform the other parties. From that point on, whether or not a finished product plopped out at the end of the tunnel, somebody got screwed.

The legal ramifications depend on the arrangements in place. Those have nothing to do with the issues of character, respect, and good faith already put into play.

Based on my understanding of the situation, Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson broke faith with their partners.

That's all I have to say about that.

Monday, November 14, 2005

How's That Again?

I guess if I kick a mugger in the balls, I'm guilty of escalating the situation, right?

UPDATE: Link corected.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

We Interrupt This Program

Tonight's post was going to be a hard-hitting Citizen Journalist report of Mary Mape's Friday studio interview with Doug Wright of KSL Radio out of Salt Lake, but their vaunted podcast archives don't seem to want to work.

That woman is clinical. Unhinged to a disturbing, my - goodness - she's - crazy - let's - just - back - away - quietly - before - she - notices - us experience usually reserved for people who make eye contact with a bag lady in a subway station.

I never knew that Texas lived in thrall to the Bush family - and in a deeper darkness than any peasant in Russia ever experienced under Stalin. (NO - not her words. But that was the inferrence I got from her account.)

I caught five minutes of the exchange while I was managing my survey controller files between staking jobs. Now, Doug Wright finishes a distant second to Larry King where the issue is getting the real marrow out of the bones of an interview, but I could tell that even he was apalled at what this woman had to say even if he couldn't bring himself to point out the simplest contradictions to her version of the events. I was at least hoping he would ask her why every one of Bush's ANG peers who had ever had anything good to say about the president were contacted ONCE by CBS, then never again. I believe he did mention this dissent of her work published by E.J. Will, a forensic document professional who was retained by CBS during the runup to the Rathergate fiasco.

I'd have loved to listen to the whole thing, but it's hard to say no when the contractor is ready to go.

But I can't get a transcript - at least I haven't had a reply to my email yet - so please go and visit Dr. Sanity, who has generously donated some couch time to the Angry Left:

"What makes Bush Hatred completely insane however, is the almost delusional degree of unremitting certitude of Bush's evil; while simultaneously believing that the TRUE perpetrators of evil in the world are somehow good and decent human beings with the world's intersts at heart."

Read it all.

(via Instapundit)

UPDATE:

See Protein Wisdom for an extensive post on the current "Bush Lied" campaign being conducted by the Democrats.

"What we are seeing now, however, is a cynical, orchestrated attempt to weaken the President—and importantly, one that is based on what most Congressional Democrats know to be a faulty premise, that Bush either “lied” or “manipulated intelligence” to take us into war.

Glenn Reynolds labeled such behavior unpatriotic. To which I responded, “Glenn touches on an important distinction that we should now be willing to embrace: namely, that though the anti-war position is not inherently unpatriotic, those in the anti-war movement who use lies and misinformation to harm the country are—and political opportunism that relies on revisionist history and the leveling of false charges in order to regain power is indicative of mindset that profoundly cynical and profoundly anti-democratic.”


I propose this: those that would presume to cater to crazy people have to have a few screws loose themselves. I used the word "clinical" back up there to describe Ms. Mape's patent inability to accept that she was at the very least a dupe - much less actively a party - to a blatantly partisan act of unethical journalism. If a cossetted main stream media professional will willingly bet the credibility of her entire organization on a three card monte pitch as laughable as the Killian memo, what's the leap to seeing what's left of the Democrats rolling the dice on making us lose this war in exchange for the satisfaction of seeing Bush brought down?

This strikes me as eerily similar to al Qaeda willing to blow up a score of school kids just to scratch the paint on a Bradley. It really does. Brutal, callous, and terribly, terribly counterproductive in the long run.

Mr. Goldstein's post doesn't refer to he-said/she-said opinion mongering, but rather to a years' long trail of documentary evidence showing clearly that the intelligence that was out there was judged as "good enough" by our intelligence agencies, foreign governments, and our own individual legislators and executive to base policy decisions on. The world of Saddam Hussein v. America didn't spring into existence in November, 2000, and all the television minutes and column inches to come over the next few weeks or months cannot cannot change the fact that regime change for Iraq was offical U.S. policy before GW Bush won a single primary.

Hindsight is always 20/20. But presuming to exculpate one's decisions while indicting another's based entirely on hindsight (especially of the disengenuous, hypocritical, and flat dishonest flavor) depends on the gullibility of the audience to be successful.

In this wired world there are ample resources with which to influence public opinion. But the market decides what actions will result. And the market moves on what is judged to be real. Look at where Mr. Goldstein goes, follow those links not to commentary but to source data.

All the PR in the world couldn't make New Coke a winner. Because New Coke flat sucked. How long will the Democrats flog this horse?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

10 November 1775

A tavern in Philadelphia.

"Hey, you guys wanna see the world?"

And thus it began.

Happy birthday, Chesty, wherever you are.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Game Over

WTF?

We have abandoned the fight. If I was still serving, and had read this article sitting on my cot in Mosul or Kabul or some other fucking armpit of the earth in the middle of my second or third tour of duty, I'd be reexamining my career choices. Big time.

I can't even begin to imagine what is going through the mind of the officers reading this. Their job just got orders of magnitude more diffucult, and the challenge was already enormous.

This is betrayal. The individuals in question are illegal combatants, not protected by any statute in any accepted conventions governing land warfare. And they for sure aren't candidates for rehabilitation.

Maybe Hillary will do a better job in 2008. She'll have majorities in both houses, too, if this keeps up.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

That's MISTER Vodkapundit...

This is required reading for anyone interested in seeing western civilization win World War IV.

Stephen Green writes:

"Previously, I wrote that in order to win the Terror War, we must "prove the enemy ideology to be ineffective," just as we did in the Cold War. In that conflict, we did so in three ways: by fighting where we had to while maintaining our freedoms, but most importantly by out-growing the Communist economies. I argued that similar methods would win the Terror War. We'd have to fight, we'd have to maintain our freedoms, but the primary key to victory in the Current Mess is taking the initiative.

What I didn't see then - but what I do see today - is what "taking the initiative" really means.
"

I'll have two of what he's having. Or I would, if I still drank that kind of stuff.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A New Addition

I picked up a Schmidt Rubin K31 carbine today. It's a straight-pull bolt action rifle that feeds from a six-shot detachable box magazine. The workmanship is superb - good finish, great bore, and the stock comes complete with bicycle scratches where a soldier's pack buckles rubbed on the right flat of the buttstock.

Ballistics are supposed to be comparable to a .308. I've wanted one for years, and today the Higher Command (the One True Love) approved the purchase. I got mine from Big 5 for just over a hundred dollars, including the background check.

Now I have to round up reloading components for 7.5X55 Swiss. Has anyone got suggestions for brass other than Norma?

Thirty One Flavors. And Counting.

Captain's Qaurters provides a chilling glimpse into the world of terror. Don't think that the Islamists are the only fanatics willing to kill for their religion:

"I don't think you'd have to kill, assassinate too many. I think for five lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, or 10 million non-human lives."

Those are the words of a practicing trauma MD currently working in hospitals in the Los Angeles area. He is also an "ecological activist" associated with North American Animal Liberation, a group that appears to perform the same function for the Animal Liberation Front that Seinn Feinn does for the IRA.

Arson. Assault. Vandalism. I guess that's one way to go with if you can't win elections.

The good doctor was called to testify before the U.S. Senate. I send kudoes to Senator Frank Lautenburg (D New Jersey)for his righteous words to the witness:

"You are the super moralist. You are deciding where it is right and where it is wrong. There are many people who have causes. Some of them are justified, but to take tactics like the intimidation of people, to spoil their lives or spoil their ability to make a living is an outrageous thing to propose. You are anti-social in your behavior, obviously. But to sit here so smugly and be proud of the fact that you stand by this statement about five or ten lives…if those lives were your kids…maybe you don’t have anyone you love. Maybe you don’t have any kids."

It takes guts to say something like that to a witness who is more likely to represent members of the democrat base than not. Good on you, senator.

Read the whole thing.

At Least It's Not A Coal Mine

I don't talk about work much. This is a private journal and who I work for and the clients we support will always enjoy confidentiality within these posts. Having said that, since I spend sixty hours a week (since last March) doing the work thing, it just stands to reason that some mention has to creep into the narrative at least once in a while. Anyone who has ever been involved in major construction who reads this can fill in the blanks - companies/clients/projects really aren't material to what I'll talk about.

Our main client wants to buy a few sections (square miles) of land contiguous with the chunk they are already in the process of developing and for which we are already doing the construction surveying and inspection. They'll probably pay cash for both the real estate and our survey work - we LIKE working for these people. Our part of the process is to locate and tie all the boundary points to ensure that the deeds are correct, identify and possibly resolve any conflicts with neighbors, and ensure that the client actually gets what they pay for. We will produce maps and legal descriptions based on our field work, and these documents will be the basis on which a title company provides their services.

One minor drawback associated with working for truly high-end clients is that once they've established an objective they want their subcontractors to deliver NOW, if not yesterday. They positively don't like to hear words like "not this week" or "our schedule is full". "Can't" is NEVER used.

We run two GPS crews full time, ten hours a day, usually six days a week, just keeping ahead of the contractor on our site. (Here's where confidentiality really sucks - I've surveyed in Utah for over a decade, and if I never work with another contractor on any project until I finally hang up my boots, I'll finish a happy man. These guys are that good.) Last Thursday my chief of surveys gave us a warning order that Friday and Saturday we were to conduct a title survey of the land in question - which meant locating and tieing as many of the record property markers as we could find. Across literally miles of broken, roadless, and mountainous terrain.

The kicker? If we don't have the completed product - descriptions, plats, maps, and title bond in hand by the end of next week, the client will "reexamine our relationship".

I have to believe that Anne Boleyn probably got the same word from Henry the VIII, way back when.

Ten years ago the job would have taken three or four two-man crews working a solid week to accomplish. Friday we set out with two GPS rovers, five men, and an ATV and were rained/snowed out completely before noon. We went back at six a.m. on Saturday with three rovers and the resolve that comes not from being worried about a paycheck, but from having been told "you can't do this, but give it a try anyway". There was mud, and some rain, but the weather did improve after dawn.

I walked about ten miles yesterday. Located six or seven section corners (brass cap BLM or USGS or state monuments) and a dozen or so deeded mining claim markers. Ten miles, up and down several canyons , a number of ravines, and then walked out two miles along the shore of a resevoir where the fifth man picked me up at sunset. Our other two rovers worked the high western section and located more than thirty points between them. In the end there were only five points not found and as of now I don't think their absence will materially effect the legitimacy of the survey.

Our office folks worked yesterday and today - we wirelessed our points and photographs from the field - and sometime tonight they'll line us out for anything else they might need tomorrow. Barring unforeseen conflicts, we've given the office two additional days to wrap up the package.

We got our part done. I'm proud to work with such a team - just in case you couldn't tell.

I'll let you know how things worked out.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Housekeeping

I have been remiss on many counts lately. Some of the Purser's List blogs have disappeared. Others... others, I've flat lost interest in.

Allah still comments over at the magnificent, read - every - day protein wisdom (and elsewhere, I'm sure) but the URL I had for him links to porn spam now.

Kim du Toit, alas, has folded his tent. Luckily, I was able to find a totally unrelated site to fill the void he left. Please check out The Nation of Riflemen, run by someone who calls himself "The Gun Guy".

I am in the last stretch of the annual race to winter all construction types must endure. Looks like the tape is going to pop some time tomorrow, with heavy rain turning to snow my midafternoon. I may be able to blog a little more consistently for the next little bit.

With the Democrats loading up all six cylinders for their Russian Roulette Tournament, the looming French(and possible EU) Revolution, the 2006 election warmups, and the prospect of an avian flu pandemic, I flat don't know where to start.

Oh, and pumpkin shooting. Can't forget to include that on the list of things to write about, either.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Well, Yeah.

I heard about the Democrats' little publicity stunt this afternoon as I was surviving yet another commute home through Provo Canyon.

It's nice to hear some straight talk from a politician every once in a while:

"They have no convictions, they have no principles, they have no ideas...", (said Bill Frist, Senate Majority leader).

As a blogger I can pack my things up and do other stuff when I get the urge.

It must suck to have to show up in the Senate chambers opposite those losers every damned day. It surely must.

(via Instapundit)

In the same vein: Have you noticed that whenever Howard Dean is interviewed these days, he comes across sounding just like the neighbor kid you might catch in your garage on a warm summer night?

Who'd buy a car from this guy?

(via The Political Teen)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Testing Times

I was schlumping through my news safari and found a "What General Are You" test on The Corner. Thanks, Mr. Goldberg.

Ulysses S. Grant


You scored 62 Wisdom, 58 Tactics, 65 Guts, and 59 Ruthlessness!


Like you, Grant went about the distasteful business of war realistically and grimly. His courage as a commander of forces and his powers of organization and administration made him the outstanding Northern general. Grant, though, had no problem throwing away lives on huge sieges of heavily defended positions. At times, Union casualties under Grant were over double that of the Confederacy. However, Grant was notably wise in supporting good commanders, especially Sheridan , William T. Sherman , and George H. Thomas. Made a full general in 1866, he was the first U.S. citizen to hold that rank.



Grant was a quartermaster during the Mexican War. A supply guy.

In his first battle as supreme commander of the Union Army Grant lead the Army of the Potomac across the Rapidan River, intent on destroying the Army of Northern Virginia. Combat was joined in a densely forested area known simply as "The Wilderness" and raged for six days and nights. The battle was fought first by regiments, then battalions, and finally fragments of companies and confused stragglers in burning summer heat and in nights lit by forest fires. Wounded men of both sides burned to death in the fires, and their screams figure prominently in diary and historical accounts of the battle.

When Grant finally began assembling his men on the far side of the Wilderness they were exhausted, filthy, and dispirited. In his first battle, he had lost thousands of men, and Lee had withdrawn a short distance and entrenched in the hopes that Grant would reprise the mistakes of Fredericksburg.

The Army of the Potomac had fought for four years across the same bloody strip of ground between Richmond and Washington, D.C.. Even when they managed to win a battle, the soldiers had always been ordered back to the District by their timid commanders. Much more often, the preceding springs of war had opened with grand Union offensives that ended in disgraceful shambles and ignominious defeats.

For four years, the Confederacy had whipped the Federals in battle and watched them march away.

Grant changed that. Upon reorganizing the bulk of his army, he laid a holding force on the entrenchments in front of him and issued the order to advance right, along Lee's lines. The Commander's Intent was published: the objective remained to find a flank or a weakness, and then attack with the maximum concentration of force with the objective of destroying the Army of Northern Virginia.

The Army of the Potomac raised a cheer. There were very few green recruits in the Army of the Potomac by the spring of 1864. They were veterans - many who had reenlisted after their first three year term - who knew full well what battle meant, even if the horrors to come in 1864 and 1865 eventually eclipsed what had passed before. Those men had fought under MacClellan, Hooker, and Burnside, only to be committed piecemeal to fights that would have been won had they been lead properly. They had fought and beaten Lee at Gettysberg in July of 1863, under Meade, only to watch the Confederates withdraw to fight another day.

They cheered, knowing that victory was in reach. And knowing the price that would likely be paid.

Grant fought a war of attrition because he knew that the Union could not lose the war except by refusing to use its power without restraint or remorse. He knew that the Confederacy had able leaders, but was incapable of fielding or equipping armies as was the North.

He also knew that there is nothing more contemptible in leadership than refusing to do the duty necessary to win.

The war we fight today began over thirty years ago. That a majority of us belatedly realized it was actually in progress only after the enemy managed to hit us at home is a sad testament of our complacency.

The anti-American crowd is celebrating an artificial data point today. 2000 is just a number. It doesn't mean anything at all when stacked up against the numbers of fallen over the last three decades, except this:

Those fallen men and women were fighting back.

The ones who remain in the fight are depending on us to stay the course until the job is done. For the next little while we have a leader who will do what is necessary to win. They are the most magnificent Americans of this generation. I give thanks for them every single day.

Will we do our part?

UPDATE: Bum link to the NRO Corner fixed.



I wrote the above post in about an hour, then walked away for an hour, then came back and diced/shuffled/cut/pasted/reworded for about fifteen minutes. The result: the cream got tossed out with the curds. Doesn't it just make you want to tear your hair out when you edit out the main point of a long essay?

Grant not only knew he had the tools at hand to win - he also knew, implicitly, the soul of the enemy. He knew that the landed southern aristocracy had to be destroyed. Until the self-annointed feudal lords of cotton quit leading their serfs into battle, there would always be a next battle. He and Sherman exchanged letters on this subject, and they make fascinating reading. They discussed many possible outcomes to the war, ranging from political collapse on the part of the North to a decades-long insurgency threat to be faced if the war ended any other way than unconditional surrender on the part of the south.

Democracy can work anywhere - once you've prepped the field. For it to work in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond, we still have to kill quite a few more Islamic Jeff Davis's and Nathan Bedford Forrests.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Saturday (Feels Like Sunday)

We came home from the Tabby Mountain hunting area after ten o'clock last night. I had forgotten the stove, and neither Oldest Goddess nor I had brought our gloves.

The plan was to return this morning, charging hard up Provo Canyon at six a.m., but it was not to be.

When I woke at five a.m. this morning, my morning constitutional down the hallway to the bathroom became a death march. The alarm chirped at 0530.

ME: Woot! Hunting! First things first, though, just have to mosey down the hall for a moment.

LEGS: Good morning. Hope your plans for the day don't include us. Right OR left.

ME: ?!

LEGS: We did some math last night. Now on any given work day, we expect to carry you an average of six miles on the clock over a period of eight to ten hours. Care to guess what the average has been on your four hunting days?

ME: ?!

LEGS: Be that way if you want. The working figure we have is an average of ten - with a daily vertical change value of between 1500 and 2000 feet. Why can't you road hunt like all those other people?

ME: What union are you guys with?

LEGS: Meh. How about you slip into the Nikes, mow the lawn, wash some clothes, and maybe spend some time with Mom today? BTW, you get a free pass to the bathroom - but if you touch those boots get ready to learn how to walk on your hands.

ME: Hey, I just put new insoles in on Wednesday. Doesn't that mean anything?

LEGS: When your feet come out of coma we'll ask them what they think. If we can hear what they have to say over the screaming of your knees.

ME: I promised the Oldest Goddess...

LEGS: Take a peek in Youngest Godesses' room down the hall. Oldest Goddess is sleeping there tonight, since she didn't feel like doing the stairs down to her room...

ME: Alright. You win. How about Sunday? One last trip out, and we'll camp over the tanks I found? The one at the top of the canyon? The spot that has a road right to it if you come up the other side?

LEGS: *whisperarguemumble* From Wednesday? The ledge that's three miles and seven hundred feet higher than where you parked the Mighty Burb? Journey Boy? Master of land navigation, maps, and shit?

ME: Yes. But there IS a road on the other side.

LEGS: We want thirty minutes in the shower after mowing the lawn. Oh, and feet want two hours of sock time while you read in bed tonight. Do that, and it's a deal.

ME: I'll throw in ice on the knees for Sunday night, too.

LEGS: (laughing) You think you have a CHOICE?



Friday was a beautiful hunting day. We met a wonderful bunch of folks who use the elk hunt as their family reunion week. They come from all over the Uintah Basin and set up a laager of tents, RV's, and horse trailers. After introductions, we worked out where everyone was going to hunt, the better to maximize everyone's chances of seeing animals while staying safe.

Yes, there was a bit of walking, too, but even with that it was a beautiful day. No joy on seeing much wildlife, though, but we will be out tomorrow for the last day of the hunt.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Too Much Happening...

Work. Winter coming. The elk hunt.

I am a little overtasked to make even a pretense of keeping up with my own blog. However, here's the FIRST PHOTO to appear here on Three Rounds Brisk:



And just because you don't know us (Tmj and the Oldest Goddess), here's another pic, this time of Andy and Mary getting ready to hit the field:



We spent last weekend around Strawberry Resevoir along with about ten thousand of our fellow Utahns. I went out to another area near Tabiona on Tuesday and saw one middling bull and several cow and anterless elk. Mary and I are heading back that way tomorrow, equipped with some good books (me) and homework (her) to spend a little quality time overwatching a tasty canyon I found.

More to come.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Call Of The Wild

Last night about this time I was tinkering around downstairs in The Gun Room.

It's a small space where I keep my hobbies corralled. I think the last time I thought of "doing something" with the space, it measured out at about ten by eleven feet. Big enough for a reloading bench, some book shelves, a rack for the antique guns that don't fit in the safe, and some fishing poles. Then there's the tech library, the leather stuff, and some camping gear...

Like I said, just tinkering. I purchased new scope rings for my Remington 700 back in September, and after having to resort to a drill press to get the old ones off I had walked away from the project. I finished tidying up, giving a glance at the rifle and scattered scope hardware. The elk hunt is in October - and back in the spring I had even put up a sheet of paper with "October 20" smack over the middle of my main bench, right between the Dillon Press and John Wayne's picture.

This morning my boss asked me if I needed any time off for the elk hunt. I told him that I was going to decide by the middle of next week if I wanted more than the weekend in which to hunt. That's when he clued me in - opening day is TOMORROW.

I work with and for some really great people. I was home by eleven a.m., got the scope mounted by noon, and had rounded up the essential hunt stuff by three p.m. when oldest Goddess arrived home from school. We blazed up to Salt Lake and zeroed up the Remington and my beloved old Swede at the Lee Kay Center - zeroed up quite well, thank you. An update will follow with a pic of the targets.

Oldest Goddess doesn't like recoil. She's got enough discipline to concentrate on the front sight or the crosshair until the rifle's report surprises her, though, and she shot quite well enough for me to be confident in her to hit her mark in the field.

(Tech Note: I have thousands of dollars invested in reloading equipment, tools, and components. And I buy .30'06 Winchester Silvertips in 180gr for elk. Inexpensive, superb accuracy, and they don't have as much recoil as my own 165gr load for deer.)

I do not like opening day in Utah. Something about that first glimmer of dawn coupled with the smell of musk on the wind turns normally sedate Utahns into walk-ons for the beach scene in Saving Private Ryan. We will get into the Strawberry Ridge area before lunch tomorrow and probably just concentrate on getting away from the road and up on a high spot we found last year.

Oldest Goddess drove us part of the way back from Lee Kay. ON THE HIGHWAY. In TRAFFIC. And past a nasty ACCIDENT. I was largely unmoved, except that I caught myself thinking in CAPS when I felt she needed ADVICE.

She's a great kid... who is rapidly leaving any hint of "kid" far, far behind.

Time to round up the rest of the gear and throw it in the back of the Mighty Burb.

Liver and onions for Sunday brunch, if we are lucky.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Miers

I'm with these guys for now.

The worst thing Bush has done in his tenure is sign CFR. That was probably a move he made on the advice of counselors who were positive that the Court would pick up the slack. The link takes you to Instapundit, who is quoting a George F. Will column that I mostly disagree with - but Mr. Will is mostly right on the CFR portion.

I've not noticed much slack emanating from the Oval Office since, except for the lack of leadership in attempting to corral Republican wimpishness, profligate spending, and securing our borders. Making headway on those fronts truly requires the dedicated service of statesmen, and Bush is saddled with legacy Republicans. I see it as a matter of managing finite resources; unless Frist and Hastert grow some testicles or even better resign their leadership positions to spend more time with their families, I doubt much will change on the day-to-day level.

The President has won both his elections. He is changing the world to a better place one dead terrorist, one freed country at a time. Not to put too fine a point on it, the executive branch is doing all the heavy lifting on that end. I believe that the congress isn't all that hip to having to do their jobs as legislators; they've become willing accomplices in passing uncomfortable issues to the Star Chamber instead of doing their jobs.

I believe that Bush's selections to the Court are predicated on returning the responsibility of writing laws back to the legislature. Not in overturning any particular laws, but in fixing the institution of the court before it does any more damage to our nation.

The nicest thing said about Ms. Miers so far has come from Harry Reid. I believe that Democratic opposition to Ms. Miers will be perfunctory; only time will tell how silly the Republicans might get before she's confirmed.

Odds are good Bush will have at least one more seat to fill, too. As far as Reid's initial remarks are concerned... how is it a guy from Nevada, of all places, can be such a lousy poker player? This is the longest game in politics, these court picks. Where the left in this country is concerned, it's like what Rocky said: they "ain't got nothin'left" without an activist court to write laws that can't make it through legislative debate and compromise.

The long game. No wonder the mouth foamers on both sides are out. Too many of them are thinking in terms of news cycles when the real time frame here can only be measured in decades.

Freedom for a quarter of the world and returning constitutional rigor to the best damned justice - NOT legal - system on the planet.

The effects of his judicial picks will tie or beat the impact of the war when history measures this administration. I hope I live long enough to see how it all plays out.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Waypoints

I just signed my oldest daughter's driver's license learner permit.

Old age is creeping up on me.

Saturday's Coffee

I am winterizing the Team's sprawling compound this weekend. Swamp cooler, firewood, replenishing the water storage, washing blankets and such.

I saw this over at Captain's Quarters during my morning coffee break:

"Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist faces a serious investigation into his finances after apparently directing the sale of stock while his assets supposedly remained in a blind trust -- and dumping family-business stock just before the bottom dropped out."

The Captain's post raises some interesting questions. Commenter larwyn provides a link to Tigerhawk's blog that contains what may well be exculpatory information in Frist's favor. I don't know, and will wait for things to shake out over the next few days and weeks.

This is what I put up about the Honorable Senator Frist (and by extension the Republican majority):

"I've had it with Frist, and whether or not this story will develop legs or not is neither here nor there.

The Republican caucus has shown the fiscal discipline of a sailor hitting Subic Bay with three months pay (edit: burning a hole in their jumpers), and there's no end in sight due to the current leadership vacuum that seems to define the top tiers of the caucus.

Republicans. They win running as conservatives then govern like Democrats.

I've gotten tired of supporting Republicans who can't seem to understand what "majority" means.

If Bush fails to (a) nominate a strong constitutionalist jurist for O'Connor's seat and (b) is incapable of leading the Rep caucus in REAL spending cuts to counterbalance the Katrina/Rita PorkFest, then its time to start looking hard at other options for 2006 and 2008.

That the Democrats are patently, spectacularly, unfit for public service even as dogcatchers is no excuse for the behaviour of the Republicans the last five years. None. Asking for my support based soley on the fact that Democrats are even worse is a losing proposition.

Another Perot figure could well rise out of the discontent spreading among conservatives; I doubt whoever it might be could win, but even a ten percent draw could deliver the White House back to the Dems.

Two years is a long time. There's still time to change directions but without new leadership in both houses I just don't see any improvement at all.
"

I'm getting a little concerned about 2006. And by 2008 there may well be enough dissatisfied conservatives that sit out the election to really screw things up.

The Republicans have no one to blame but themselves.


UPDATE: Fixed the link to Captain's Quarters

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Trust But Verify

It's late on Sunday, and I'm not sure if I believe this or not.

"The North "promised to drop all nuclear weapons and current nuclear programs and to get back to the (Nuclear) Nonproliferation Treaty as soon as possible and to accept inspections" by the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the agreement by the six countries at the talks."

If the agreement includes sufficient transparency, via nothing less than unrestricted inspections, this is good news.

And if the Norks have agreed to such a regimen, well, that's pretty good work on the part of McChimpyBushitler, ain't it?

The Norks haven't gotten around to mentioning any agreements yet. Maybe they are waiting on advice on how to phrase the press release.

(Via Drudge)

UPDATE 2115 19 September: The Norks never change.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Points Of Perception

I listen to thePacifica Radio Network on my way home. Our local speak-truth-to-power station is KRCL out of Salt Lake. If I get to the end of my day and it hasn't been as crappy as it could have been I make sure to tune in for "Democracy Now". Just the thing to make a happy man slit his wrists on a fine autumn afternoon.

In the run-up to their recap of the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing for Judge Roberts, Amy Goodman and some guy whose name I didn't get maundered on about Dem primary politics in New York City and then moved on (no pun intended) to discuss statements made today by Michael Brown, who recently resigned as head of FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

I will not paraphrase their conversation; I couldn't afford to pay that much attention to them. A trip to the corner store in Provo traffic is a life or death matter when BYU is in session. If you can imagine the witch scene from Macbeth, except there's only two witches and one of them is a querulous guy with a Brooklyn accent and the other one is the lady who shouts at you in the grocery line when you don't stack your cans separately from your refrigerated items, you know what I was listening to.

I got the impression that Mr. Brown had damned the Feds in general and the administration in detail.

(Disclosure: Anyone here who has listened to Pacifica knows that the threshold for coverage IS damning the (Republican) Feds in general, and the administration in detail. No news here...)

I got home and whipped my time card off to the other members of my team and then rang up Instapundit and found this post that in general confirms my general take on the response to Katrina. I checked Drudge next, and saw this article covering the statements Mr. Brown made today.

please read the whole thing. I make it a point to run through any Times product verbatim once, then go back and read it again, ignoring the editorial content presented as news.

Some graphs that jumped out at me:

"In his first extensive interview since resigning as FEMA director on Monday under intense criticism, Mr. Brown declined to blame President Bush or the White House for his removal or for the flawed response.

"I truly believed the White House was not at fault here," he said.
"

Where did Goodman find any indictment on the part of Brown?

"The account also suggests that responsibility for the failure may go well beyond Mr. Brown, who has been widely pilloried as an inexperienced manager who previously oversaw horse show judges."

That one is for people who didn't want to read the entire article. This is editorializing combined with a puerile cheap shot from where I stand. To me Brown's story seems to illustrate more his dilemma as a bureaucrat caught between a wholly ineffective local political infrastructure and his higher headquarters at DHS and the administration who, in my opinion, were caught flatfooted by the total lack of competence at the state and local levels.

You have to read all the way to the bottom of the page for the best stuff, though:

"Mr. Brown acknowledged that he had been criticized for not ordering a complete evacuation or calling in federal troops sooner. But he said the storm made it hard to communicate and assess the situation."

I'd dearly love to find a transcript of the press conference or interview this article was based on. Mr. Brown doesn't have the authority to order evacuations, nor does FEMA appear in any chain of command for deploying troops.

I believe that if fault for failure is ever fairly assigned, the onus can only land in Louisiana. The federal response was just that - a RESPONSE conforming to the requests (or lack thereof) that should have come in timely fashion from the state.

All the bullshit about the Army Corps of Engineers blowing up levees, Bush hating black folks, and the Feds/FEMA in some way being responsible for New Orleans and Louisiana chucking their emergency response plans doesn't even rise above the background noise of Left politics any more, for me. Recovery response in this case meant getting hundreds of thousands of displaced persons rescued or relocated, moving in tons of supplies and personnel into a flattened, flooded area slightly larger than the UK, and then wading through the moonbats and their media folks anxious to find the next cross on which to hang GW. It was never going to happen overnight, and has so far played out better than I expected.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Live By The Moonbat, Die By The Moonbat

Looks like one of my least-favorite senators has a PR problem.

If Diane Feinstein isn't left enough for the the base, what's left of the national Democratic party?

I predict the winner of the 2008 Dem primaries will be the one who wears a kheffiya for the debates.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

This Day

Fall is here. We no longer sleep with all the windows open at night. It is still and cool outside, with the bright light falling on leaves that have just begun to dry and fade. Last night my daughter got home from her first Homecoming dance after midnight, so the Team slept in this morning. Mom and Dad didn't really wait up, of course; we just happened to have good books to read.

She was beautiful in her midnight blue satin dress. She wore a silver filigree band over the crown of her head, and strand of fine silver beads were woven through her jet black hair. I'm sure there's a fashion term for the effect, but it wasn't a tiara and I'm certainly no Mr. Blackwell to pull the right word out of the bag. Her date was one of the neighbor kids - one of my former scouts even, from back in the day when our LDS ward drafted me for assistant scoutmaster duties with the twelve year olds.

Talk about "in my wildest dreams"...

She's making pancakes now. It's Sunday and that's what she always does. Last night was a rite of passage, and she said as much this morning while thanking us for the dress and recounting the experiences of pictures and dancing and the silly or embarrassing things that happened to her or around her.

But now it's time for pancakes. Because that is what we do on a Sunday.

Four years ago today was also a brilliantly clear and cool morning. On that Tuesday we were involved in last minute packing for a cross country trip to say a final goodbye to my wife's mother. Services were to be held Thursday in the family church in Burlington, Vermont, and then we'd all go up to the most beautiful hillside in that most beautiful northeastern state and lay her ashes to rest among the plots containing her neighbors and ancestors going back almost three hundred years.

The kids and mom were in the living room putting the last items in their carry-on bags. The TV at the end of the coffee table was probably tuned to Nick or Disney; I don't know.

I was on our bed contemplating a cat nap when my wife literally dragged me to my feet. I was coming out of my doze quickly but still spinning up when I began to understand what she was asking me.

"What kind of bomb did that? What happened?"

I came through the kitchen into the living room. The TV sat on the entertainment center, framed between the still heads of my daughters. The Twin Towers filled the screen - the one on the right scarred by a smoking hole near the top third of the building.

I'm a surveyor. I've staked out a dozen or so commercial buildings, plus bridges, dams, and highways. Nothing on the scale of a genuine skyscraper of course, but I knew just enough about the design of the WTC to confuse the hell out of myself in those first few seconds. The WTC was built with the mass of the structural support in the walls of the building - soaring vertical steel columns spaced narrowly and then tied to floor pans for rigidity. The gaping wound in that building traversed four or five floors - which meant that whatever kind of bomb had been used must have been massive to have punched through so many floors. I wondered why there were any windows left on the floor where the bomb had to have been. The spaces inside the floors were huge and open; what office walls did exist were aesthetic, not structural. The majority of the spaces in there had to be cube farms. Were there multiple bombs? Maybe smuggled in as copiers or computers or office supplies? Blast follows least resistance... so why one big hole and intact windows on each side? The noise from the TV was just that - noise. The commentators were reporting an explosion and ad libbing while they tried to catch up.

"What kind of bomb? What kind of bomb?" My daughters hadn't moved since I came into the room.

Then the second 767 flashed into view, in a skidding bank to port, and disappeared behind the other tower. A blink of awful silent stillness and then the eruption of smoke, flame, and glass filled the screen.

I told my wife "We are at war". And then I cried with my family.

There were other awful moments in that awful day. My girls figured out where the airplanes had come from in less than an hour - and that some had been hijacked from Boston, which was to have been one of our connections. The urge to fight back - to reject the terrorists' goals - drove both my wife and I to head into work shortly after noon. I was on the way to a construction site in my work truck when the President's second statement was broadcast.

The thought struck me that had things gone differently, I could just have well been listening to Al Gore.

I pulled over and threw up.

I've always known that I live in an embarrassment of riches. Random chance placing me here in America has been the greatest blessing a person could ever hope for. Those that feel differently are free to do so. "Free" as in so shielded from the potential of their convictions that they can embrace agendas tantamount to suicide if they should ever be fulfilled.

What a country, eh?

I will continue to do those things that a citizen must do to support and defend our nation, and hope that enough of my fellow citizens do the same. Lincoln was right when he predicted that if we ever fell it would be a failure from within and not the result of some foreign attack.

Jihadis can only kill us. Should we ever lose our liberty, it will be by our own hand and no other's.

It's time for pancakes. Y'all have a fine day.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Current Events

I posted this comment on American Digest:

I watched the increasingly insane statements emanating from the party of reality coalesce into a full court press of blinding hate by mid-last week. I didn't figure out exactly what the driving PR objective was until Bill Whittle published "Tribes".

Remember that four or five week period right after 9/11? Establishment Democrats and liberals waited with dread the demand of a unified American public for retribution on those responsible for the attacks on our cities... and accountability from those who allowed the primary individual behind those attacks to have run free after so many ignored opportunities to apprehend or simply kill him.

We were one people there for a brief shining moment - excepting creatures like Sontag, Chomsky, Moore, McKinney, et al - and the potential for political backlash was so great that Patriot, DHS, and a land war in Afghanistan shot through both sides of congress without a blink.

By the time we actually got into the meat of removing the Taliban, we lost that unity of purpose. Media sniping, the realization that the core of the Democrat base is closer to al Qaeda than Al the union plumber in affection for democracy and defense of the country made it imperative for those who like DC jobs to say what that base wanted to hear.

With Katrina we had a chance to pull together again - but with a weather event there is no one behind the tragedy to seek vengeance on, to focus on, but rather only the prospect of hard work and expensive effort ahead, as with all other historical natural disasters we have experienced as a nation.

We could dig in and do the right thing, and it would be good, and it would be a moment to be proud of. What's Left of the left still owns most of the cameras and barrels of ink, and that shit just wasn't going to be allowed to happen again.

Now our public view into the efforts to help the victims eerily parallels the coverage of the war in Iraq. Turn on any channel, read any column, and you'll wade through vicious second guessing tempered with editorial opinion purveyed as hard news long, long before you get any hard data on tons of supplies, numbers of rescuers, or restoration of services. Thank goodness for Blogs is all I can say.

A great city is on the cusp of destruction and many other smaller communities have been damaged or wiped out entirely. Hundreds of thousands of our citizens are displaced or are yet marooned and awaiting relief. Now is the time to get the job done as best we can, yet the focus of the left remains zeroed on destroying one man, regardless of the cost to the fabric of our society, to the victims on our Gulf shore, the lives of our troops engaged against the veil of evil that is fundamentalist Islam, or the fate of the mere chance of representative democracy rising from the barbarism that is the at rest state of most of the Muslim arc of nations.

I heard mentioned a Gallup poll today that noted that only 13% of the sample blamed bush for the disaster. Had to search out the report and read all the way to the bottom to find that stat, though.

I think thirteen percent would probably be the number for people who think the CIA piloted the 9/11 aircraft, too.

I hope the news cycle rolls over pretty quick; their best effort doesn't seem to be selling the product. Again. Still.




Have mistakes been made, opportunities squandered, and chances missed over the last week? Yes. Hell yes, and there are individuals and agencies that should be held to account for their performance or lack thereof. We who follow the news too closely are uncomfortably aware of shortcomings in planning, failures in execution, and stark incompetence on display in any direction we care to look.

That still doesn't change the fact that a storm blew in from the Gulf, like a thousand times before, and we have a huge task ahead of us.

How much harder is the Left willing to make this? They've turned this tragedy into an aberration that Jerry Springer wouldn't air.

Oprah Winfrey stood in the middle of a domed stadium three hundred miles away from the disaster, surrounded by people resting on cots, trying on clothes, eating hot food, being checked by doctors... people who were abandoned by their local elected officials, people who were rescued and transported by complete strangers (many volunteers), and Oprah advised them to ask for an apology from the nation.

To Hell with you, ma'am. And all the other bottom feeders trying to play this out as a political game.