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)