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.