Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com The Barnyard: March 2006

Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday Daydreamin"

AArrghh, I am sick of rain and tired of being serious all the time so tonight welcome to the Tiki Club on the shores of Jamaica. I have been there a couple times, once for the reggae Sunsplash Festival and for my honeymoon, I had a blast both times of course.
So after a day of snorkeling and sailing you find yourself at the Tiki club, beachside as the sun burns itself into the sea, a tall frozen beverage at your side. The sounds of latin gutar waft from inside as the breeze brings the smell of salt and the day's adventures to mind along with the tantalizing odors of the grill. A graceful couple has taken to the dance floor and is putting on quite a show, visible through the windows from your gazebo as you drift in reverie. A young man walks by hawking his fresh lobster catch, you make your selection and summon the waiter for its preparation......
The evening begins with Armik and moves through Ottmar Liebert, DiMeola and a few others. Armik is a new find for me and I am very impressed, and I am not impressed easily when it comes to the guitar, especially latin jazz, classical, bluegrass/folk and rock and roll. I love guitar music and by association all the stringed instruments.
The instrument that has the power to enchant me the most however is the human voice, I can't sing which increases my love for the beauty, a voice that stays with in its range with power and elegance.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Almost Friday

Sorry folks, I had a long hard day today, a good thing. Stay tuned for my ongoing interview from the al Anbar region with a Marine Sgt stationed there, good stuff. Soldiers Angels.com . is the place to go for hands on support of our troops, I am stoked to be helping .

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Memorial Day

We had a very nice gathering of folks today to memorialize our late boss today, good food, lots of friends and inside tales and jokes, a fitting remembrance of a good man.
I recently was linked to a Sgt. on the front in the GWOT through Soldiers Angels, this is an awesome group, get to know a soldier. Marine GySgt Sean is my contact, based outside Fallujah, this should be interesting, an eye behind the combat camera, OORAH ! To view some of his work and see some pictures go here. I implor all my readers to sign up with Soldiers Angels, I am glad Pero gave me the final nudge to do something I had been meaning to do for a long time.

Monday, March 27, 2006

An Odd Connection

John Fund has been following the story of of the Taliban student at Yale and his latest will add my odd connection on immgration. The connection involves the translator for Afganistan's most famous woman for a speech recently delivered at Yale. She is a political refugee that came here with her mother and siblings, works fifty hours a week and is studying to become a physician, not at Yale, at a local community college. Read the article.
This made me think about about work ethic and immigration, illegal trespassers being the hot topic on the Hill at the moment. I don't post on immigration much though I know it well after trying to build a PAC on the issue. We have freedom and jobs so people that want those things want to come here, I would. Why are they hired over americans? Work ethic, they are happy to have a job and work hard to keep it. Americans expect a job they don't have to work hard at, or work hard. They grew up in hard demanding systems where hard work was needed just to survive not thrive as our grandparents and parents did. My grandparents were sharecroppers, basically slaves to the landowner. Many years later on their own land I spent many a summer day bent in labor not playing or swimming with friends. I learned a work ethic, the harder you work , the more sweet the play.
I am a tradesman and growing number of us are immigrants, or 2nd generation, my family immigrated in 1623 so I don't count myself, most are eastern european, asian and latino. I hate to remind folks that most of the southwest was Mexico not so long ago so don't expect their traditions to disappear from your suburb.
My position is to secure the border by fence or National Guard patrol first and foremost, deal with the millions here already with an employer sponsered worker program, deport the criminals and those not sponsered and reenact the Brassero program which worked till the unions killed it. The unions are not as strong now so perhaps this is a way.
To be honest the only way to stop it is to teach a work ethic better than those that want to take your job, if they can do the same or better for less money, guess who gets the job. If that american teen doesn't want to get out from behind their x-box and work hard, I'll take the mexican standing in the rain with the soggy green card, if he is legal, he'll move on up if he works hard, he has to, to survive. American kids want experienced pay as entry level workers just because they sorta speak english and are hip in their crowd, it doesn't work that way, maybe in France but not here. Here you are free, free to succeed on your own merit and ability or fail for lack there of and free to pick yourself up and try again. It is work ethic, show up on time, do the assigned job to perfection no matter how dreary, be courteous, professional no matter the level of job, if you can't handle the work at the bottom of the ladder, you can't handle the work at the top.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Open Thread

Above the southern end of California's "Lost Coast" of Mendocino, an absolutely stunning region of nearly virgin coast and coastal highlands. It is time for a wine and wildflower camera tour of the Alexander and Russian River valleys just to the south.

A Sunny Sunday

Though it is hard to complain about rain in California, I am ready for it to stop long enough to get my early garden planted. It was gorgeous today but way to wet to get in the garden. I know the skiers are happy with 25+feet of snow at Squaw Valley and more on the way, they will be skiing through memorial day the way things are looking. It was nice to be able to get outside for a change, cabin fever is setting in.
Some further essays and interesting reading along the lines of last nights post can be found at the American Thinker including this three parter, here, here and here by JR Dunn, very good. Just to confuse you, here are some good pieces from the American Spectator. Quin Hillyer has a look at the caveman in us conservatives, hmmm. Morton C. Blackwell has some telling insight on power, politics, money and Jack Abramhoff . Lisa Fabrizio has some interesting comments on March Madness in the Swamp and Jed Babbin aims his pen at Rich Lowry of all people in a needed debate among conservatives and the direction of the GWOT or the Long War as it is now being called.
A couple more reasons why I visit the Officers Club on a regular basis can be found here and here, John and Charlie are on the money discussing liberal/progressive ideas.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Weekend Rambler

Ah, springfever, and so many activities and chores to do, the golf course calls, so do the many miles of trails nearby and I can't skip the parties in the wine country. I can't wait to get back on the golf course, it is such a great game, besides it keeps my legs in shape for hiking.
On to more serious topics like the war and specifically what we are fighting. I have heard it called a clash of civilizations, it is more a war for civilization against a fanatic religious doctrine of Islam. I don't care what anyone says that tries to lessen that claim including the president. Islam is not peaceful, their own scholars scream for Jihad, holy war against the infidels, captured jihadis tell us, Usama and company have told us time and again. This Lebanonese Christian woman, Brigitte Gabriel can explain it much better than I in this must read speech transcript sent by a reader, a couple excerts:

The west has been wallowing in a state of ignorance and denial for thirty years as Muslim extremist perpetrated evil against innocent victims in the name of Allah. I was ten years old when my home exploded around me burying me under the rubble, drinking my blood to survive as the perpetrators shouted Allahu Akbar. My only crime was that I was a Christian living in a Christian town. I learned at 10 years old the meaning of the word infidel.
As a victim of Islamic terror, I was amazed when I saw Americans waking up on September 12th 2001 asking themselves Why do they hate us? The psychoanalyst experts were coming up with all sort of excuses as to what did we do to offend the Muslim World? If America and the west were paying attention to the Middle East they would not have had to even ask the question. Simply put, they hate me and you because we are defined in their eyes by one simple word, infidels.
We are fighting a powerful ideology that is capable of altering human basic instincts. An ideology that can turn a mother into a launching pad of death. A perfect example is a recently elected Hamas official in the Palestinian Territories who raves in heavenly joy about sending her three sons to death and offering the ones who are still alive for the cause. It is an ideology that is capable of offering highly educated individuals such as doctors, and lawyers far more joy in attaining death than any respect and stature, life in society is ever capable of giving them.
And yet, there are still Americans who are unable or unwilling to recognize the nature or the extent of the threat presented by radical Islam. Whether motivated by naïve wishful thinking or rigid political correctness, they assert that Islam is a moderate, tolerant and peaceful religion that has been hijacked by extremists. They ignore the repeated calls to jihad, Islamic holy war, emanating from the government-controlled mosques of so-called moderate Islamic countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia. They refuse to accept that in the Muslim world, EXtreme is MAINstream.
We are fighting an enemy that as much as it hides behind lies, it hides behind obfuscation. It is an enemy in disguise that doesn't wear a uniform. It is an enemy that hides behind political correctness and lives in our midst. It is an enemy that hides behind normal civility and the instinct of self-preservation that thrives to die just to kill us.

Read the whole speech, it is a stemwinder and hits the Islamic nail on the head. islamic sha'ria law and western laws and freedoms are heading for a show down and it ain't gonna be pretty as this is just the beginning of a very long war unless we all submit to Islam. Then which form of islam, they seem pretty adept at killing amongst themselves as well. Oh well, what can you expect from a religion that calls a desert pirate its prophet? Mohammed's, no peace to him, prophecy was death to those that didn't bow to him or pay him not to kill you and live in servitude. That is islam today, convert or choose between death and slavery. Muslims ran the African slave trade and still do and then I hear those idiots in the black community over here jumping on the islamic bandwagon, shameful lack of historical knowledge of islam's treatment of Africans.
I don't trust any of them unless islam can reform itself from within and that does not appear to be on the agenda alongside the destruction of Israel and the West, meaning us the US and our allies.
To further drive the point are stories like this from LGF about a jihadi doctor killing patients and in this chilling sermon or this missive from the nut in the SUV at the university in North Carolina. I know america better wake up or the coffee we smell will be a koranic blend and we'll be banging our heads on the floor five times a day, not me, I prefer the words of Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson and the father of our freedom George Washington. My Saviour is Jesus Christ whose teachings were based in Judaeism, formed millinia before Mohammed was a glimmer in his great gramma's eye. They are welcome to follow a desert brigand if they so choose, we also have the right to defend ourselves when they try to kill us or dictate to us what we can say or do.
A reader sent me this joke:
Three travellers meet at a crossover in Montana, one a cowboy, one an american Indian, and the other a radical muslim student. When this fact comes out an uncomfortable silence breaks out as the cowboy leans back and pulls his hat down low. After a few moments the Indian quietly offers,"Once my people were many now they are few, why do you think that is?
The muslim student sneers back,"Once my people were few now we are many, why do you think that is?"
The cowboy adjusts his toothpick and snorts,"We ain't played cowboys and muslims yet."
Michelle Malkin has been following the Abdul Rahman case closely and here, the afgani man on trial for his life for converting from islam to Christianity, she links to Mark Steyn's comments here, he is a must read.
Sunday Update: Charlie Munn over at the Officers Club examines it as well in this post. He is a student of the middle east so I take his analysis seriously, plus cool posts like this one.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Unfortunate Day Off

We closed the shop today for obvious reasons though life carries on. Normal blogging will resume this weekend.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

R.I.P. and God Bless

The boss passed on today, peacefully at home, lung cancer and chemo' took him down quickly. He was a good man and should be welcomed at St. Peter's Gate. I am proud to have worked with him and I learned alot from him, he will be sorely missed. May he rest in God's Grace!
His name is Larry if you wish to offer him up in prayer and lend some wings to his soul. I feel peace when I pray, I guess the Lord felt the need for a gifted artisan/craftsman

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Plastic Evil

I will be proud to say by this time next week I will be debt free, with the exception of my mortgage,4.75% fixed and in another year my equity will equal loan value. Don't ever fall into the credit card trap, I have escaped the jaws a few times now and expect myself to stay well clear. I was tought to save for what I wanted and need to return to that regimen. I have to add my use of credit wisely through the years enabled me to get a top rate mortgage with zero down, it has become the necessary evil of modern life, credit.
This is a great feeling, I encourage all to seek it plus planned home improvements will lead to at least 2/3s off utilities. It is about time to continue my' explore California' adventure. Its like a deep haze has lifted and the sun is shining once again. Time to rejoin a gym and hire a trainer to replace some of this soft winter tissue build up with muscle, I have big dreams for this summer. I want to add Shasta to my peaks list, it will be my highest yet at a little over 14,000 ft. Mt. Winchell in the Palisades is my highest so far at 13,775, a few summit pics have been published here.
The golf course awaits as well, I love the game and every aspect of it from the first tee to the nineteenth hole. It is a game of chances and options, personalities and egos, your very self will be revealed on the course, in every nuanced extreme, that is why so many business deals take place on the course and many lasting friendships. I am good enough to recognize a championship course and appreciate it and to have a blast at the local "hardhat" course. The thing about golf is the personal challenge, noone can swing that club but you and the rules are honor bound by centuries, committing both the athlete, the soul and the intellect in the negligible journey of placing a little white ball in a hole in the ground by means of fancy sticks. It combines the best of intellectual gamesmanship and physical talent in a unique way and teaches a gentleman's/ladie's etiquette along the way. I love the game, can you tell? It drove reconcilliation between me Pops and myself, we played in rain and snow and eventually refound each other. I miss those days as Pops has moved on. He taught geometry and vector trig and he approached a golf course the same analytical way, the money making way, keep the ball in play, quiet and conservatively. I am sure other golfers would agree, the analogy works for most anything in life, the risk/reward factor. I am always more than happy to discuss the philosophies, tenents and nuances of this great game.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Weekend Rambler

Blogger was down all day yesterday, I hope they have resolved the problem. It has been an awesome spring weekend here and thus the cleaning bug, long dormant has awoken though it is still to wet to get in the garden. Yes it is time to sweep the winter blues out the door.
Since blogger was down I caught a documentary on the French-Indian War and its place in our history. They have an interesting premise that this is actually the war that shaped america as our future leaders were trained in this war, George Washington learned how to defeat the British as they were routed time and again early on by the French and Indian forces. It was on PBS so look for it again.
I also today watched Al Gore's and President Bush's speeches from earlier this week as well as a sit down with Mitt Romney on Cspan's Q&A . It is hard to miss the seething anger in Al Gore as well as the escape from facts to pure rants. Bush was on his typical stump with more twist to the positive economy and back with his "flyboy" swagger. I am more and more impressed with Mitt Romney everytime I see him, unless things drastically change expect this page to be pro Mitt as my colleague has already shared.
Meanwhile on the war it seems the MSM way overblew our latest air assault in the Samarra region. It makes sense that we can transport more troops more swiftly, accurately and safely by air assault than ground deployed forces facing IEDS and poor roads and placing crack units on the spot almost instantaneously. Bill Roggio as always has tons of coverage at the Fourth Rail. Amir Taheri reports on Iraq and Iran. Victor Davis Hansen casts his glare towards Europe. Of course you must talk to the horse to get it from his mouth so visit, CentCom and Defend America to get the same press briefings the MSM so loves to distort and spin.
You just have to love the moonbats, they are so much fun when they are cranky.(hattip: Right is Right ).
Paul has a few interesting things to add to the conversation as well.
On the lighter side Karen has some cat tales and other fun stuff (this one is a must)

Friday, March 17, 2006

This is a summer shot of a favorite waterfall. I am going to have a look during the rainy season this weekend in the planned walkabout. The wild flowers are starting to bloom so it looks like a photogenic weekend.

A Happy St. Patty's Day To Ya

I stuck to green labels on a domestic ale, Sierra Nevada's fine IPA, thats india pale ale for the non-ale lovers. I like an IPA for its slight bitterness and ability to cut through a hard day's dust. I had not tried their IPA before, very good., slightly hoppy with a good twang to the finish, you are left wanting another one. Yes St Patty's Day is the chance for our Scots/Irish heritage to strut and drink, at which we can accomplsh handily. May the winds of good fortune fill your sails of hope, me lads and lassies and may God guide your course.
Meanwhile, good reads floating around , here, here (more), here, on the war, also on the war and St. Patty's Day the Officers Club, a favorite watering hole,

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Spring, Election Year

The Patriot Post Founders' Quote Daily
"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined."-- Patrick Henry (speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention,5 June 1778)Reference: The Debates of the Several State..., Elliot, vol. 3 (45)
Of course the pundits are all over the board on all sorts of topics, these two caught my eye. James Taranto has some interesting items on the populist vote effort in a move against the electoral college. The electoral college is a system by which the majority of states choose our president. We are not a true "democracy", we are a constitutional federalist republic. A majority in the majority of States gets to choose not a simple majority. I far favor the system we have now, with its simple flaws over any other. A simple democracy leads to mob rules and that does not cross well with freedom. This means conservatives, in all districts must vote in '06 and '08, even at the primary level, and uproot the RINOs and place good folks up there in congress,. We have done it before , we can do it again. I have zero problem with the people in charge of our protection snooping around for those that want to kill us or harm our children, so Feingold is a fool , we knew that already. Time to kick the free spenders out once again, and show our clout. There is a bunch of goofy stuff going on in the swamp, stay informed.
Other good reads can be found here and here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

One of my favorite areas, just outside Ridgecrest Ca., a great place to escape the fog of LA. If you like to rockclimb, as I do, it is heaven, the rock is a cross between the Buttermilks of Bishop and Joshua Tree granite, all tough face climbing and cracks, few caves, many unsent and sunrises and sets cannot be matched.

Rights of Religious Organizations--Catholic Charities as a Case Study

Recently, Catholic Charities of Boston announced it would cease its adoption services branch at the end of its current contract. The reason? The state of MA forces agencies licensed by the state to abide by its non-discrimination policy, no exceptions made.

Over the years, CC has placed over 700 children with couples, including 13 to gay families. However, after much reflection, Archbishop O'Malley decided this was in direct conflict with church doctrine and decided the Catholic organization could no longer participate in the adoption process.

While this is no doubt, a shame as Catholic Charities of Boston has been a great asset in placing children in need with families, I believe this entire episode speaks to a larger issue. That issue is freedom of religion.

In MA, any agency licensed by the state must not discriminate on any basis. The problem, however, is that in MA, the sole adoption licensing agent is the state. As a result, there can never be, as the system is currently structured, an exemption for religious based adoption services. It puts groups such as Catholic Charities in a horrible position. Abide by man's law and continue as an adoption agency, or abide by your church's law and close shop. Sadly, we know the decision that was made.

At the end of the day, I believe, as does my man Mitt Romney, that an exemption should be made for religious organizations so long as they do not take state money. As of right now, Catholic Charities only receives one million a year in state aid--a sum easily found in the coiffers of the diocese. The greater good is served by allowing Catholic Charities the right to place children with whom their hearts and their church dictates to be the best for young kids.
To me, this is only right.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Open Thread

Beauty can come from the most unlikely of places.
Google earth is a very, way cool program to have on your computer, this is a special geologic tool beyond the old global models. Want to check out the Grand Canyon, or a route up a Himalayan peak, sit down with your topographic maps and have a napkin handy, you may drool. This a cool program to have, then you can eliminate the Jay Bennish's from your child's intellect.

Geography Nuts

Since I am one of those wierdos that thinks maps and geograghy is a good topic, and in a public education that should be the best on the globe with private pushing the stratospheres of personal achievement, I think I can comment. I grew up on a private high school campus, my dad was head of the math department. It is a shame I can't list the school here for security reasons, but if you want information on one of the best college prep schools in the country, located in the southeast, email me.
Back to geography and the teaching of it, let's see, 10th grade, we had to be able to fill in a blank map of the world, every country, capital, major river, valley and mountain range and a similar breakdown of the US, Canada and Mexico. We had our political banter, Carter years, but always in the compare and contrast level of debate. I had a good professor, really good, he would be all over the middle eastern conflict, covering every nook and bloody cranny. He would have shown the cartoons and even the beheading flicks, he is a liberal. A typical essay question modernized; Compare and contrast the reaction to the Mohammed cartoons to the religio-politico forces and socio-economic situation in Palestine and the West. He tought me alot of history and how to break it down and its impact is now showing a quarter century later.
Today's kids wouldn't know Sudan from Siberia, many can't even get our coastlines correct, let alone point out the country their teacher is squawking about, this incident recently getting so much flap is the norm not the anomaly. I have to draw maps to show a college student where a particular state is, so sad. I wish our teachers were freed from the politically correct, revisionist crowd. I support vouchers and oppose teachers unions, I am worried about where the kids will be in thirty years, not where their teacher' s pension will have the teacher playing golf. You, know like reading, writing and arithmetic, how to debate and converse in public and not appear a fool? I can be good at that, at least I admit it.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Mitt Romney, The Talk of The Town.

All the commentators were abuzz about the straw poll this weekend, even my local host,Eric Hoghue was harping on the mormon thing this morning, which has zero to do with his leadership abilities, my phone was dead so I couldn't call in. Eric did acknowledge that this represented a major win for Mitt. He went as far as saying Mitt actually won the poll. There were only a couple of callers negative to his Mormonism, and a couple wondering how same sex marriage got through on his watch. The rest were supportive, I will have plenty more chances to call in. Hugh Hewitt had Mitt on his radio show today and helped bring another root into the spreading grassroots that know this man can and should win.
Meanwhile Mike Spence has reignited the conservative fire that lead to the Gingrich revolution. My prediction is the seats that change will be through retirement or primary vote, not in the general election. I really don't see the dems retaking anything, they don't have a message, or a solution beyond more tax money for the the evergrowing beast or 'Bush whacking'. When you are are off trail in the backcountry, cut off from mankind, that is what I call bush whacking, pun intended. They are way off track and seem to have lost their moral compass. We will see.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Rambling On

I wish the rain would stop so I could play in my garden, oh well, it means a pretty spring. Bored and housebound I checked on Iraq and here are a few items I found.
From General Casey, courtesy of Defend America

BAGHDAD, March 6, 2006 — The crisis generated by the bombing of the Golden Dome in Samarra has subsided. As I said last week, Iraq has passed a crucial test in their journey to becoming a democratic country. There is a terrorist threat here that will stop at nothing to undermine the formation of this constitutionally elected government, a government of national unity and a government that that represents all Iraqis. They tried to make the bombing of the Golden Dome mosque the straw that broke the camel’s back and it failed. Iraqis rose to the occasion. Have no doubt, there are still sectarian tensions that the Iraqis will have to work through. However, throughout this sensitive period the Multi-National Force - Iraq will continue to monitor the situation and support the government of Iraq.

And this.
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2006 – The people of Iraq are rising up against an insurgency bent on derailing democracy in the country, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman said today.
"The people of Iraq are uniting against the insurgency," Army Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch said during a news conference from Baghdad. "Out in al Anbar, the terrorists and foreign fighters have become the enemy to the people."

People in that province have collectively turned against Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his network, Lynch said. Seven of Zarqawi's leaders have been killed in Anbar since September, and insurgent access to Ramadi has been physically blocked, he added

We are also removing the means for jihadist murders to carry out their evil plots as reports from Centcom show like this one.

Release Date: 3/10/2006

Release Number: 06-03-01PA

Description: BAQUBAH -- Over the course of 11 days, Soldiers with the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Brigade of the 5th Iraqi Army Division and the Patriot Military Transition Team with 1-68 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Band of Brothers, have together discovered 30 hidden weapons caches.
Each discovered cache prevents anti-Iraqi forces from wounding or killing innocent civilians and military members. One of the caches was found after a detainee provided its whereabouts during an Iraqi Army intelligence interrogation. It also happened to come out of the same field the detainee was arrested from, which had already been searched and produced an earlier cache.
“This type of operation denies the anti-Iraqi forces resources. It costs them their money, it costs them their mobility and it costs them their time,” said Maj. Thomas Baccardi, the S-3 operations officer in charge for 3rd HBCT, 4ID, Task Force Band of Brothers. “Efforts in this regard disrupt their tempo and facilitates our ability to target their nodes.”

Total items seized from all 30 caches were:

Seven AK 47s
One Russian PKC machine gun
One Russian RPK machine gun
One Fabricated sniper rifle
One Rifle with a silencer
Seven Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers
Three 60 mm mortar systems
Two 82 mm mortar tubes
46 RPG anti-personnel rounds
21 RPG anti-tank rounds
14 60 mm mortar rounds
Four 82 mm mortar rounds
Two 120 mm mortar rounds,
20 SPG (anti-tank) nine rounds
Nine 90 mm rockets
Two 3.5-inch high explosive rockets
187 M6 mortar fuses
Seven MP6 mortar fuses
13 90 mm rocket primers,
Two 40-pound bags of propellant,
Five Assorted hand grenades,
Two Unknown rounds,
50 Rounds of PKC ammunition
1000 Rounds of AK ammunition
Nine Trip flares
Three Flak vests
Five Scopes,
Three License plates
35 feet of IED wire,
14 Assorted radios,
12 IED control boards,
Six IED timers,
10 Black brick 5 x 7 with batteries
30 AK 47 magazines
10 AK 47 ammunition vests
One RPG back pack
One Set of binoculars
One Vehicle periscope
One 60 mm mortar level (and)
One 60 mm mortar sight


Sounds like some fun stuff, speaking of guns I am looking for some opinions on which .300 mag. load is best. input on gun smiths is welcome as well. I like what I have learned of Dakota Arms above the traditional makers. If I have any historic carbine experts that happen to click on, I need some help IDing a .35 cal. carbine made on a browning patent , it looks like a browning shotgun from the chamber back, it has a double barrel design different from the sks, which is the closest match I can find so far. My dad's was stolen by his widow's son, water under the bridge, though I would like to find another one.
I have to close with the incomperable Mark Steyn.
This week's Voldemort Award goes to the New York Times for their account of a curious case of road rage in North Carolina:
"The man charged with nine counts of attempted murder for driving a Jeep through a crowd at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last Friday told the police that he deliberately rented a four-wheel-drive vehicle so he could 'run over things and keep going.' "
The driver in question was Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar.
Whoa, don't jump to conclusions. The Times certainly didn't. As the report continued:

Republican Straw Poll Results

As is no surprise to anyone with an understanding of how political campaigns work, John McCain fell off the radar in yesterday's Republican Straw Poll finishing fourth amongst party loyalists who, are really just a small representation of overall future primary voters.

Bill Frist finished first, which was to be expected in his home state of TN, but more importantly, my man Mitt Romney came in second. That is great news for him and a sign of future successes to come! He immediately took off for Iowa.

Go Mitt!
Update by Goat: Captains Quarters also has some comments on the straw poll, here and here. This is huge for Romney showing he may be able to overcome the Mormon albatross.
Here is Hugh's take on the matter, a closet Romney man???

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Open Thread

Let the brook flow free and clean.

The Rambler

Good comparison of the leaders of both parties by the Hatter, welcome on board.
I agree with her on Mitt Romney, as she pointed out, he is a fiscal genious , and understands how the economy works and how to run complex issues involving massive sums of money.
Meanwhile , Larry Kudlow has some good things to say about the economy.

Despite the grim picture the mainstream media continue to paint about just about everything — the insurgent-ridden reconstruction effort in Iraq, the looming Iran threat, the failed Dubai ports deal, the twin deficits, the president’s sagging poll numbers, the Jack Abrahamoff scandal, and on and on — there’s one thing they just can’t taint: This U.S. economy remains very healthy.
It’s always amazing to listen to conventional demand-side economic pundits and mainstream reporters who try as hard as they can to minimize the excellent performance of the American economy ever since lower marginal tax-rate incentives were put into place almost two-and-a-half years ago. The latest chant is that a warm winter has artificially stimulated consumer spending, and that a day of reckoning marked by a housing-price crash and an overwhelming debt burden is headed our way. This is utter nonsense.

Of course no saturday morning is complete without checking out the latest from Victor Davis Hansen and his observations on Iraq.
In recent weeks prominent conservatives — William F. Buckley, Niall Ferguson, Francis Fukuyama, George Will, to a name only a very few — have, in various ways, suggested that the war in Iraq was either a mistake or unwinnable, or both. The blowing up of the shrine at Samarra, together with subsequent sectarian killings in Baghdad and the failure so far to form an executive branch, were the most recent catalysts that apparently pushed a great number of wearied observers over the edge.

I'll insert more tidbits and maybe a picture as the evening sees fit. I almost forgot this piece in the American Spectator on the Katrina rebuild with some useful insight that conservatives should back. The shear truth of the matter is the scope of the destruction, it will take a long time to clean up. There is no place to house workers, or misplaced residents left, the gulf coast from Pensacola to Galveston was wiped out, many years of growth and labor gone in a single blow, pun intended. It can't be fixed over night by a wave of a bigger beauracray's magic wand. It is going to be slow and require vast amounts of labor in a difficult situation. Mississippi lost its gulf coast communities as well, Alabama and Texas sustained heavy damage yet their governors are handling it much smoother. I will add my support to Baker's proposal. This is also a must read article.
SOME CONSERVATIVES THINK that President George W. Bush approved too much federal money in response to Hurricane Katrina. Many liberals think he hasn't approved enough. Nearly everybody believes that whatever money has been spent has not been spent wisely.

They're all correct.

I will also add the Hatter is much more savvy on movies and pop culture than I am so if an earlier commenter wants to continue that discussion, perhaps she will engage the discussion. She is known for some great posts on modern pop culture, one of many reasons she is here. Hatter, I am sure will enjoy it.
For FYI reasons, a picture post is an open thread to bring good discussions forward or possibly opening a new one with a lucid lead. Thanks for the idea, PL.

Friday, March 10, 2006

2008 On The Democratic Side

Hillary Clinton. She's it.

Others who will play for national exposure and higher speaking fees are:
Joe Biden
John Edwards
John Kerry
Evan Bayh
Barack Obama

Others who will run, perform well and are really vying for the VP slot are:
Bill Richardson
Mark Warner

Hillary has everything a shell candidate needs to win in this media crazy age but whoever wins in 2008 will be inheriting some very serious situations which will result in, or one would like to hope, the electorate, demanding heavy experience in both. In other words, Hillary needs help and she needs it in two main areas--substance and softening.

Obama would compliment Hillary fairly well. He looks good. He sounds good and he would very possibly increase black voter turnout. However, the Democrats have always won, and will continue to win, decisively, the black minority vote. This bloc already delivers for Hillary and while a female/African American ticket would certianly spike interest, Obama would not necessarily help her in the experience department.

In order to win in 2008, the Democratic nominee is going to have to hold the solid states and flip a few that went red in 2004. With Hillary's national profile, fundraising ability coupled by the support of countless 527s who can raise unlimited soft money and Bill Clinton by her side, she should be able to do this no matter her running mate. However, Hillary does lack experience in some of the major areas that will, pesumably, be of concern to voters come 2008. For this reason, Bill Richardson would make an incredibly strong running mate for Hillary. He has endless experience and Bill Clinton like personal political skills. He has also been praised for alternative energy development plans.

Hillary/Richardson. Thoughts?

2008 Potential Republican Candidates

Every time I turn a discussion to who the nominee will be in 2008 on the Republican side, I hear names that I know simply can not win. These include Condoleeza "I don't know how many ways to say no in this town" Rice, Rudy "I’m pro-choice. I’m pro-gay rights." Giuliani, and John "Most Republicans call me by my nickname, 'RINO,' McCain.

None of these people have a chance in the current system of primaries which are dictated by party loyalists. If the primary process was abolished and we went right to a general election after somehow nominating a candidate, all three would stand a very real chance of victory. However, as it stands, they haven't a chance in Hell.

The other potential players who may bore us to tears:
Mike Huckabee
Sam Brownback
Bill Frist
Newt Gingrich
Chuck Hagel

None of these men have the entire package. In fact, few have any of the core attributes which create a sense of a relationship between the voter and candidate. Where does that leave us? Well, this is going to be an extremely unique situation as it is with this being the first presidential election since 1952 where neither the current president or VP was running. So, let me add to the uniqueness of the race by predicting that Mitt Romney of MA will wind up in the winner's circle.

Obviously Governor Romney's Achilles heel will be his devout Mormonism. However, he has so much else going for him that if, with the help of his long time friends, the Bushes, he can win over the southern evangelicals, he will be unstoppable. He has looks and charm that play incredibly well on television. He is a great speaker. He is off the charts intelligent holding a MA and JD from Harvard. He has internal support in the party. He can sell his successes in a hostile MA as an ability to unite to solve problems. I don't believe the man has ever met a deficit in his life that he didn't turn around. For all of these reasons and many, many, more, I predict it's going to be Willard, aka Mitt, Romney in 08.

Weekend Ahead

I hope everyone has had a good week, mine has been interesting though no need for details. I am pleased to announce my Boston insider is coming back to the Barnyard as a contributer and fellow Romney grassroot, working inside politics for the GOP she will stir the conversation a bit and bring am east coast perspective from the land of Kennedy, Kerry and Mitt Romney. She used to post as Tequila Rain, I do not know if that will change.
It is Mad Hatter, I encourage a full Barnyard wekcome, for the big cat in the Barnyard, mouser extrordinair

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

More Crunchy Con

Chuck Colson also weighs in on this movement with this piece tonight.

If you encountered someone who made his own granola, bought his veggies at a food co-op, wore Birkenstock sandals, and wanted to save the environment, if you’re like me, you’d probably think, well, there goes a lefty, or a liberal, or maybe an aging hippie. But the author of a new book says someone like that is just as likely to be a conservative Republican. In his book, Crunchy Cons, journalist Rod Dreher writes about a group of people he calls “crunchy conservatives,” a group that includes, among others, “hip homeschooling mamas,” “Birkenstocked Burkeans,” “gun-loving organic” farmers, and “right-wing nature lovers.”

George Will extrapolates on the latest court decision on forcing public institutions to allow military recruiters on campus and provides some great quotes from CJ Roberts' clearly written text. To me CJ means a jeep able to move over tough terrain with ease.
The institutional vanity and intellectual slovenliness of America's campus-based intelligentsia have made academia more peripheral to civic life than at any time since the 19th century. On Monday, its place at the periphery was underscored as the Supreme Court unanimously gave short shrift to some law professors who insisted that their First Amendment rights to free speech and association were violated by the law requiring that military recruiters be allowed to speak to the professors' students if the professors' schools receive federal money.

One of america's best economists Dr. Thomas Sowell also has a great piece up on energy and prices, supply and demand.
The Supreme Court's recent 8 to 0 decision (Justice Alito not yet participating) shot down a claim that oil companies were colluding in setting prices. That claim was upheld by the far-left 9th Circuit Court of Appeals but neither liberals nor conservatives on the Supreme Court were buying it.

This unanimous vote should also tell us something about those politicians who are forever blaming rising gasoline prices on oil company collusion and "greed." There is no point exposing a lie unless we learn to be skeptical the next time the liars come out with the same story.

Yes, I am a right wing conservative that loves my guns and my cow dung grown squash and tomatoes, I particularly like the heirloom varities to go with my fresh venison or quail, they simply taste a whole lot better. I am a countryboy and gay sheepherders and ghetto gangbanging pimps simply are sinful fools as a Christian I can forgive sin only if it is nolonger practiced and rejected. Christ said," Go and sin no more" and forgave the thief on the cross but did not commute the sentence by devine means. The Lord expects us to follow His word and to submit to the laws of the land that we live in. This is what the symbol of the fish means, it was traced in the dust as a means of communicating in an oppresive society. The Lord will survive no matter how hard the secularists try to eliminate His followers.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Squishy Europe

Has old Europe become the soft underbelly of western civilization? This Dutch writer seems to think so, Leon De Winter has an interesting article today in the OPJ. I tend to agree with him.

After two years of disastrous dialogue, and more of the same in recent days, we can conclude that no diplomatic initiative can stop Iran from getting the bomb. The International Atomic Energy Agency meets again this week to discuss the mullahs' nuclear ambitions, while Russia floats a plan to get Iran to enrich uranium on its soil. But before we got to this point, we had the Europeans in the starring role. The foreign ministers of the leading European Union countries--Britain, France and Germany--did try for years to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear ambitions, most recently at Friday's meeting in Vienna that ended up in yet another failure. But Iran knew all along that this threesome, formally the "Troika," had no real negotiating authority and would never resort to serious measures.

They can't even lock up violent jihadis for more than a couple of years or extradite them back to their home states for crimes commited there instead they grant them visas and slap their wrist when busted for preaching for violence. Amir Taheri reports on a sham trial in Britain.

For almost two weeks last month, the British media had a field day with the trial of Abu Hamza Al Masri, an Egyptian-born self-styled Islamic "scholar" charged with a number of violent crimes.
The trial ended with Abu Hamza being sentenced to five years imprisonment, which means he could be out in two and a half years.

Jed Babbin further takes it to Britain in this scathing piece.
There won't always be an England. And -- based on all the S*^! Goin' On over there -- a good argument can be made there isn't one today. It's not enough to make a liberal shout, "Cry God for Tony, England and St. George!" But it is enough to make you weep. Multicultural Britain -- too easily distinguished from that of Wellington and Churchill -- is sinking so fast from sight that it may disappear altogether before anyone notices very much. Blame it on Tony Blair, blame it on the UnConservative -- Tory leader David Cameron -- or, if you choose, blame it on 007.

If you missed the latest from Victor Davis Hansen who recently returned from a trip to Iraq, well, you should read it.

Fear in the U.S. of Russian nukes made strange bedfellows during the Cold War, like our relationship with the shah of Iran, Franco, Somoza, and Pinochet. The logic was that such strongmen, unlike Communist thugs, would evolve eventually into constitutional governments, or, unlike elected socialists, they could at least be trusted not to turn their countries into satellites of the Soviet Union.
We paid a price for such realpolitik when the Berlin Wall fell. Few gave us the deserved thanks for bankrupting the Soviet empire, but we did get plenty of the blame for the mess left behind by third-world dictatorships.

Now Middle East autocracies use the same "it's either us or them" blackmail. They hope to survive the tide of democratization by showing off their antiterrorist plumage. The problem is that the defeat of terrorism — like that of global Communism — ultimately rests with promoting freedom, not authoritarianism.

And don't miss this from LGF on Hollywood then and now. At one time there were real heros in Hollywood, some of our most decorated vets, like Audie Murphy.
Audie Murphy, little 5’5“ tall 110-pound guy from Texas who played cowboy parts?
Most Decorated serviceman of WWII and earned:
Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, 2 Silver Star Medals, Legion of Merit, 2 Bronze Star Medals with ”V", 2 Purple Hearts, U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, 2 Distinguished Unit Emblems, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France) World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar, Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar, French Fourragere in Colors of the Croix de Guerre, French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier, French Croix de Guerre With Silver Star, French Croix de Guerre with Palm, Medal of Liberated France, Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 Palm.

And from the Medal of Honor site:

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B 1 5th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Holtzwihr France, 26 January 1945. Entered service at: Dallas, Tex. Birth: Hunt County, near Kingston, Tex. G.O. No.. 65, 9 August 1945. Citation 2d Lt. Murphy commanded Company B, which was attacked by 6 tanks and waves of infantry. 2d Lt. Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to prepared positions in a woods, while he remained forward at his command post and continued to give fire directions to the artillery by telephone. Behind him, to his right, 1 of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to the woods. 2d Lt. Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, 2d Lt. Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer, which was in danger of blowing up at any moment, and employed its .50 caliber machinegun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to German fire from 3 sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver. The enemy tanks, losing infantry support, began to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminate 2d Lt. Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad which was trying to creep up unnoticed on his right flank. Germans reached as close as 10 yards, only to be mowed down by his fire. He received a leg wound, but ignored it and continued the single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way to his company, refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack which forced the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many of the enemy; he killed or wounded about 50. 2d Lt. Murphy's indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction, and enabled it to hold the woods which had been the enemy's objective.

We need more like him!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Good Reading to Start the Week

"We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our won Country's Honor, all call upon us for vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions. "-- George Washington (General Orders, 2 July 1776)
W. Thomas Smith has an interesting piece on the young men america is raising, he is right.

I’m often asked whether or not America is still producing future
generations of the right sort of men. Not just good men—a man is either good or
bad—but tough, clear-headed, un-emasculated, young male leaders capable of standing up to future threats against this nation. After all, as Dr. Walid Phares
concludes in his book, Future Jihad, what most Americans “may not want to accept
is that the pre-9/11 peace is not coming back soon, and may not come back at

Yes, I could be labeled a crunchy-con, I wear sandles, love organic gardening, very into invironmental conservation, socially and fiscally conservative and deeply Christian. Suzanne Fields, one of my favorites, has a review of Rod Dreher's new book "Crunchy Con's". Michael Medved had him on the radio show the other day talking about it, very interesting.

That crunching noise George W. Bush and the Republicans hear is not ice in
the White House bird feeder, where those of us taking in the sun here at the
southernmost tip of America imagine ice must be. It may be the faint sound of
the conservative coalition cracking at the edges. A few tiny cracks don't
constitute a trend, of course, and strange and unexpected noises in the night
aren't necessarily trends.
Nevertheless, Rod Dreher may be an outrider of
the new counterculture. He's a columnist for the Dallas Morning News with
impeccable credentials in Hillary Clinton's celebrated "vast right-wing
conspiracy" -- he worked in the nation's capital at The Washington Times and
then at National Review -- and his new book, "Crunchy
," rebuking the perceived sins and shortcomings of what he regards as
runaway mindless capitalism.

How does this compute? Yale wants to keep ROTC and military recruiters off campus, turned down by the SCOTUS 8-0, but they admit a Taliban spokesman as a student at a discount. John Fund is all over this story.
Are there no limits to how arrogant and out-of-touch America's Ivy League schools can get? Last week it emerged that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former deputy foreign secretary of the Taliban, is now a student at Yale while at the same time the school continues to block ROTC training from its campus and argues for the right of its law school to exclude military recruiters. King George's troops played the music to "The World Turned Upside Down" as they surrendered at Yorktown. Perhaps the Ivy League should adopt that tune as they surrender all vestiges of common sense.

LGF as usual has some disturbing links to the jihadist world, here, here and here. Of course on one's reading adventure a stop by The Fourth Rail and Threats Watch is in order followed by the Officers Club for a cold one and some cool photos and perhaps a side trip to Blackfive and The Mudville Gazette and beyond to Lt Smash and the Counter Terrorism Blog. Who knows, you may be lead to such sites as these here, here and here. If you want great analysis of current events I recommend, Captain's Quarters, The Belmont Club, Powerline and of course Hugh Hewitt, the blog godfather and Michele Malkin for a dose of everything.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Rambling On

I just saw John Bolton give a speech to the American Israeli Public Affairs Council on Cspan discussing Iran and boy he pulled no punches. He also hammered on the UN a bit. It was today so I am sure excerts will be out on the blogospere soon. He is exactly the ambassador we need at this time tough and unnuanced.
President push also cemented a strategic alliance with India and really wooed the people there according to some Indian news excerpts I saw, I believe at Powerline. He could care less about his manipulated poll ratings in the press, he is doing his job and this is will be part of his legacy, a very bright part. This is a needed balance against Chinese or Islamic hegemony in the region.
Meanwhile in Iraq, the tempertantrun after the bombing of the Al-Askirya mosque has quieted down, it was understandable. The Iraqi people are fed up with the radicals are increasingly tipping off the soldiers of the MNF and IDF to weapons and terrorists, thanks to tips from locals we have bagged a bunch more in recent days including some important AQ leaders along with massive amounts of weapons and explosives. It is not hard to find out what is really going on over there, I link most of my sources on my blogroll and the rest can be gotten to from anyone of them.
To be honest it is not hard to find out what is going on anywhere if you are willing to dig a little bit with a semi-open mind. The internet is such an information tool that real time reporting from people on the spot is now so prevalent that the press is already behind and even TV news has trouble keeping up. In the time it takes the evening news to run I can visit several sites verifying or debunking what they are saying as they say it, and then find intelligent dicussions of the matter shortly after. Moonbat conspiracy theorists are discounted in minutes and good ideas and analysis spread far and wide, and it is very easy to tell who is well informed and who is not, who takes the MSM at its face and who looks further, who uses partisan talking points and who actually can back them up. A new media elite has definately butted its way into the picture via radio and the internet via blogs and webzines with links to all kinds of information.
The Oscars are tonight, oh happy joy, whoop-di-doo, I am sure the ladies will be resplendant, all primped and polished. So freakin' what, they are actors and actresses, paid fakes and posers, lost in their wierd little world. There are some good people with good intentions that don't make a scene about it but for the most part I see the celebrity circuit as nothing but a bunch of nihillistic narcissistic prima donnas whose own heads have grown so big they think they are actually important. The problem is to many idiots out there actually feed into this warped thinking by worshipping their favorite "star" of the moment. I have met a few famous folks in my time and treated them with the same respect I would a friend's mom.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Weekend Rambler

Ah, I love spring as it turns California into a lush colorful landscape after the dead browns of summer and fall and the dreary foggy rain of winter. I could not live in Seattle or London though in the foggy mist the rolling hills do take on a celtic resemblance. My bonnie bells and wild iris are blooming as are my plums, peaches, cherries and nectarines and my citrus trees are heavy with fruit. I really felt blessed as I toiled in the yard today, cleaning up my annual plots, and tending to my perennials, the songbirds were in full voice and serenaded me in my work. The recent storms even took out a branch on a neighbor's olive tree that I wanted to cut off and was added to the woodshed, olivewood burns good and hot. It is still to wet to drop a couple yards of compost on the veggie plot and till it in though it is about time to plant early crops like snow peas, sugar snaps, carrots , early potatoes , corn and spinach.
I have so many projects and things to get done it seems daunting, I never thought owning a house, a very small one with a bit of land, could be so much work and I grew up on a working farm. Oh well, I ain't complainin' caus' its mine and a great investment, 25% per year so far. It is a fairly quiet, country burrough where kids still ride their bicyles around safely, good ole boys clean their deer hanging from a tree in the frontyard, 4x4 trucks are the most common vehicle, roosters crow, horses whinny and an occassional Stars and Bars is still seen, may I remind you I live just outside Sacramento, Ca.. San Francisco does not represent us, that is a foriegn country along with LA to the rest of the Golden State.
Friends of mine that are life long residents of the area cannot believe the amount of renovation and construction going on. I just started a job in a mansion and the initial phase involves a powder room, two closet doors, and a built in china cabinet that is $25,000 in glass and mirrors and this is a three story house with ten bathrooms, I will be there for months. I love rich people. I have worked with most of the individual contractors on other jobs so it is a pleasant worksite with all the yahoos and inside jokes and war stories from other sites. This is my kind of job, big, involved and with great folks around that know their trades.
Speaking of knowing their jobs, I will have a round up of milbloggers reax to the recent Zogby poll and some very surprising opinions on Dubai , DPW and our ports up tomorrow, along with just some great stuff from our boots on the ground in Iraq and Afganistan. I jumped the gun on my earlier condemnation of the ports deal, now that I studied it a bit I remain a tad leery but think the deal should go through, but more on that tomorrow. Have a great saturday evening and God Bless!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Art Of Conversation

As a veteran of many fire ring talks, I have to wonder. I know few people that can carry on an actual conversation, in person or online, liberal or conservative . I am so tired of " You know, well Umm, you know, its like, you know, well like you know ". While, I am like "Please tell me, do you have a consistant thought? " I try to post things that require serious thought and conversation and I try to comment in a converstional manner when I comment on other blogs, as if they were sitting across the fire from me. What has happened to this artform? Today's level of conversation is like comparing Bach or Mozart to today's pop music. I have visited an online forum or two and by far the most challenging was Bill OReilly's, the best informed I have conversed with online.
Blogging has been an interesting process of developing a site and attracting readers. The matter that stands out the most to me is individual bloggers that seek to bring down another's site through gross misrepresentation of the facts or just being nasty. I will not go down that road, I will not engage idiots, I will ignore them and delete them. If you have something worthy to add to the conversation I encourage you to add to the conversation. Help America grow not diminish !
Good reads , this from Larry Elder
I recently interviewed General Georges Sada, who served as the second-highest ranked general in the Iraqi Air Force. A two-star general, he wrote a recently published book called "Saddam's Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied and Survived Saddam Hussein." Here are some sound bites from that interview:
Good reads everywhere , this one came from Townhall and they have many more at Townhall.com.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Humpday Musings

Sometimes it becomes necessary to just start typing and let the muse take over and tonight the muse is weak and unsuccessful, so I will offer acouple articles from the OPJ.
Victor David Hansen added on to his recent articles on his trip to Iraq.
"If many are determined to see the Iraqi war as lost without a plan, it hardly seems so to 130,000 U.S. soldiers still over there. They explain to visitors that they have always had a design: defeat the Islamic terrorists; train a competent Iraqi military; and provide requisite time for a democratic Iraqi government to garner public support away from the Islamists.
We point fingers at each other; soldiers under fire point to their achievements: Largely because they fight jihadists over there, there has not been another 9/11 here. Because Saddam is gone, reform is not just confined to Iraq, but taking hold in Lebanon, Egypt and the Gulf. We hear the military is nearly ruined after conducting two wars and staying on to birth two democracies; its soldiers feel that they are more experienced and lethal, and on the verge of pulling off the nearly impossible: offering a people terrorized from nightmarish oppression something other than the false choice of dictatorship or theocracy--and making the U.S. safer for the effort. "
I found this article by B.L.Sherer and related link intriguing, as I am into geography and history, and very interesting.
"Because almost every archaeological dig unearths new facts, however, our view of the ancient world has continued to evolve since the publication of the Barrington Atlas. The constant need to update information led to the establishment of Chapel Hill's Ancient World Mapping Center (http://www.unc.edu/awmc/), of which Prof. Talbert is now acting director. The center is comfortably based on the fifth floor of the UNC library, and is open to all who are interested in the field. The Web site itself is very clearly organized, with existing and planned links to a variety of basic areas, as well as a very rich research page with further links of its own. In January, the center received a $390,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create a multilingual online workspace for updating and expanding information about ancient geography."
I like maps and compass work, it is a needed skill in the backcountry. I don't have a gps device and if I did it would be used to store cool spots, not to navigate. I am frequently off trail with neither map nor compass so I have learned to pay exquisite attention to the details of my surroundings as I explore. The toughest to navigate by gut are heavily wooded flatlands and desert devoid of hills or mesas. I have lost the well traveled road at times though I have never been lost. It is attention to the detail of stumps and the cadavers and matriarchs of massive trees, the rock formations and their, climbing potential, waterways and common sense. Still I like maps, I like to look at them, analyze them and determine the best way. That can be applied to politics as well, it is why I now choose to vote GOP.