Thursday, December 27, 2007
The Islamists will see this as a victory. Murdering a candidate for office...a woman...is a victory for them. Their brutality has no bounds. As things appear to be working in Iraq, we need to keep in mind just who our enemy is.
Seen first at Captain Ed's place (along with his insightful analysis here), but it'll be discussed just about everywhere else on the net too.
Edit: My gold-bug internet acquaintance is saying that this will be the trigger for another World War in the same way that the assignation of Archduke Ferdinand was the trigger for WWI.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
I dunno, though. The article brushes by Kerrey's famous quote that [referring to Bill Clinton] "Clinton is an unusually good liar. Unusually good". To me, this seems to be an awfully wide gulf to bridge, and it only serves to remind the general election voter of the many Clinton scandals, and in particular, remind that voter of Hillary's connection to a number of them.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I had to wonder: Why this change now?
My answer? General Petraeus and the success of the Surge. The War doesn't look like it is failing like it did last year. Indeed, the opposite is true: It looks as though we're winning.
I think it is a mistake to make a political connection to absolutely every topic that we might think of (and far too many people make this mistake, IMO). With that said, I think this Christmas Cheer I see, and the connection I see to the success of General Petraeus' Surge, bodes ill for the Democrats.
They've staked their claim to opposing everything President Bush has tried, and cannot in any way attach themselves to the success of the War.
This morning on Fox News Sunday, Fred Barnes predicted that Barak Obama would win the Presidency. I take his point that the R's have not coalesced around either a candidate or a theme, but I must disagree with Barnes. The D's, and Obama, have done nothing but criticize the effort in what I believe is our most pressing issue...winning the GWOT. The Surge is working, we don't hear about the casualties in Iraq in the daily news, and the public is cheerful. This ought to worry the Democrats.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
So we've got this piece of land in eastern Arizona that we hope to retire to. She'd like a cute cabin. I, of course, envision something more resembling a fortress. Something with firing ports and either concertina wire or claymores.
Now, courtesy of Ace, I finally found the solution to my power problems.
Off the grid! I'll finally get to use that degree in Physics!
This opinion piece in today's New York Sun offers what I believe--that allowing the mortgage borrowers and lenders to fail--is the best course. The Free Market will correct these problems with a far better solution than the .gov can ever dream up.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
"...The grassroots are justifiably disappointed and I am too that we could not do something to end this war," Pelosi said at a press conference today. "The assumption that I made that the Republicans would soon see the light and listen to their constituents was not an accurate one."
She continued: "They like this war. They want this war to continue. We thought that they shared the view of so many people in our country that we need a new direction in Iraq. To affect that we need redeployment of our troops with a goal of a year to do that. But the Republicans have made it very clear that this is just not George Bush's war, this is the war of the Republicans in Congress...."
h/t HotAir, via Blackfive.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Anyway, via Ace, here's a nice way of unobtrusively thanking the next soldier you see...
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
That said, I certainly haven't followed Atlanta Falcons football. So when Falcon players send public messages of support to Michael Vick, one wonders just how grown men can not understand the gravity of Vick's crime.
The coach complicated the drama by resigning to go coach college ball. Lots of intrigue in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (registration required) on the coach's resignation, but not one word connecting the players support for Vick and Petrino's resignation.
I'm not defending Petrino at all. As I said, I don't follow football at all. Perhaps he was wrong in the way he handled the team and especially in the way he left. But the Falcon players were totally wrong in supporting Vick during their game.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
...While we’re in the neighborhood, let’s not kid ourselves about Pakistan. They don’t have control of their side of the border either, and their intelligence service is thoroughly infiltrated by the bad guys. At least Musharraf is able to wear a decent suit, but I don’t trust ole’ Pervez as far as I could throw him. I mean, he’s both the President and a General. Bad combo, man. Bad combo. Does anyone really believe he wouldn’t incinerate Bombay in a New Delhi minute if he thought he could get away with it? He may have figured out that cozying up to Bush was the key to keeping his job (and his head on his shoulders), but I’m tellin’ ya’, he’s bad juju. Bad juju....
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
[OK. Maybe Things I Never Thought I'd See: Las Vegas deserves a whole book, rather than just a chapter. Maybe I'll get around to that one day.]
Most Las Vegas visitors would consider our layover hotel to be an absolutely miserable place. Imagine the cheesiest, cheapest stereotype of a bad Vegas hotel. Now imagine Cheez Whiz. You are now beginning to get an idea of the Las Vegas Greek Isles.
The Greek Isles is the former Debbie Reynolds Casino and Hotel. When she went bankrupt, she ended up selling it to the WWF. Here's a place that sells vintage casino chips.
Almost nobody except airline crews stay at the Greek Isles. They do have a Rat Pack show which I'm told is actually pretty good, but I dunno...that's kinda hard to believe. The place is pretty much a joke among the airline business, and I'd have to guess it would be thought of as the same joke among the Vegas hotel and casino folks.
However, I actually don't mind the place. Because the clientele is almost exclusively airline crews, there really aren't any noise problems. While the room furnishings are spartan and dated, the beds are fairly comfortable. I can get Fox News on their TVs. The curtains are fantastic. It takes almost no effort to get the room completely dark. Their workout room is not the best I've seen, but also not the worst either. They have a crew room (again, spartan) with microwave, large TV, pool table (I think) and a couple of computers (!). All-in-all, for my needs, not a bad place.
They run a karaoke bar, which is often active when we check in.
After working in a service industry for many years now, I confess that it isn't often that I'm surprised by what I see the public do. People will do anything, and I mean: A. Ny. Thing.
However, not once in a million years would I imagine I would observe a 60-something woman...someone's grandmother...karaoke....
Jethro Tull's Aqualung.
Only in America, folks. Only in America.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Survived the Turkey day well enough. It was a small affair--just the five of us--but this will be the last year with all of us home, so that was appropriate.
We still have to get the Christmas decorations out of the attic and the house decorated. This year will be bit different as the new layout of the family room will mean changes to how we've done things in the past, and some of our decorating will have to wait until the bookcases are installed.
Serious blogging (well, if you can call any of this "serious") will resume once the decorations are up and my damned computer is fixed.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
On the political front, it appears that Hillary isn't all that invincible, which is something I've thought for some time. Now if the R's can get a front-runner, then maybe the D's can be beaten.
Thanks to all my tens and tens of faithful readers (as well as those here after searching for pictures of Iranian WIG vehicles) for your continued patience. Serious blogging (assuming I can get my computer up to speed) should resume no later than the Christmas holidays.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
I was putting in my time on the treadmill this afternoon in front of a window overlooking one of the streets outside. There I watched a homeless guy stop on the curb at what I initially thought were a bunch of bread crumbs. He spent five or six minutes handling the "crumbs", until I finally figured out that he was taking apart numerous cigarette butts to gather up enough tobacco to make his own smoke. Once he lit the thing, he wandered off.
Only in America, folks. Only in America.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The paperwork for this project will, I'm afraid, be with us for some time. One of our bigger vendors took our deposit and then promptly went out of business. We've tried to get the charge credited back to our credit card, but no luck as of yet. If that avenue doesn't pan out, I'm thinking we'll be hiring a lawyer and heading into either the bankruptcy court or small claims court. Maybe I can put a lien on something the bastard owns.
In other news, my main general construction guy is an illegal immigrant. Nothing surprising here, as most of them are. I was reminded today that a couple of weeks ago, while on a Mexico City layover, I was able to watch 3 Sunday NFL games as well as some Mexican football. Not fútbol, but real American football, played in pads.
I was struck with this idea: For as much as Americans (and especially the GOP) complain about illegal immigration (from Mexico primarily), and the Mexification of America, it appeared to me that the Mexicans are seeking some of the trappings of America. They want to be American in Mexico, as much as some here see that they want America to be more Mexican.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
“You know there's something about when you hear a pump shotgun click. It makes everybody think twice.”
More to do today before I go off to work, but it looks as though I'll get it finished.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Oh, wait. That's not what she said. It's what I heard, but not what she said.
I will give Hillary credit for dropping the "baby bonds" idea, though. I guess lead balloons don't float after all.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
But here we have a liberal saying that "...the NRA may have been right." [Well, maybe the NRA was wrong in electing Larry Craig to it's Board, but that's another story entirely.]
That's going to make it difficult for any Democrat to run with anything resembling a gun-control plank.
What you're seeing here is a relatively large--and still living--bark scorpion caught in the web of a black widow spider residing in the crevasses of my garage door.
[Note to self: Make sure the exterminator isn't just spraying scented water on his next visit.]
For those not from Arizona, scorpions are nearly impossible to get rid of. They walk up on their "fingernails", so they don't pick up much of whatever pesticide you lay down. If they do get a "dose", they have an ability to hibernate and wait out the effects of the pesticide. I live on an acre of irrigated orange orchard, and there is nothing--nothing--that can done to get rid of them all. There is also nothing that can be done after a scorpion's sting. A sting will be painful for about a week or so, but for all but the very young and the very old, they are rarely fatal. FWIW, scorpions glow while under a black light.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
I think I've mentioned that Dau#1 came back from France engaged...to be married (**rimshot**).
In truth, this was not really a surprise...it would have been surprising if they hadn't made it official. They've been long-distance dating since high school, and now it's time to do this thing.
Soooo, we've got a wedding to put on. Wifeof- and Dau#1 have been doing a lot of looking at wedding magazines, wedding sites, etc. and we are finally settled on a site and a date. There are a ton more details to decide upon--dress, flowers, menu, guest lists, DJ--these just the ones from the top of the Father-of-the-Bride's head.
However, one of the details is now becoming a pressing concern...getting this house ready to hold an Engagement Party over the upcoming Christmas holiday. We've got new furniture being delivered, the old furniture (for the new couple) to be moved to a storage locker (yet to be rented), bookcases to have built, new mantel installed, electrician hired, plumber to move a gas line (to accomodate the new mantel), paint applied, crown molding and baseboards installed, carpet laid...well you get the idea.
Today and tomorrow we're having the popcorn ceilings removed from the house. After that, I'll have to paint said ceilings so that we can recover use of three bedrooms and the living room (in which to store the new furniture meant for the family room).
Couple all this with a need/desire to work any extra flying I can (so as to pay for the above), and it ought to be obvious that it's going to be very busy around here for the next few months. I'll try to stay engaged here, but I don't think I'll be adding to this blog much in the next few months.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Soon, Ahmad. Soon.
h/t: Soldier's Dad in the above linked OPFOR post.
Secondly, here is a posting which destroys the Lefty "If you support the war, why aren't you over there fighting it?" meme. h/t Gerard.
Finally, here is a riveting story of the courage that it takes to endure the chaos of combat while wounded and facing superior numbers. This story came through this story at American Thinker. Read both.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
"A convincing four-star general, an activist group that overplayed its hand and a plainspoken Defense secretary who doesn't bother to defend the Iraq invasion."It's not until the second to last paragraph that we get...
"...Public opinion still remains in [the Democrats] corner, and they believe that, as the 2008 elections inch closer, Republicans will be in a tighter spot."But what if this does not reflect American public opinion, but rather just the unchallenged view of the vocal Sheehan/Code-Pink/KosKidz/MSM left? Personally, while I do believe that the American public is tired of our Iraqi War front, I don't believe that we have ever wished to end it on terms other than victory. And the American public is becoming increasingly aware of the danger that Iran poses to us.
We are no more than thirty years into a Hundred-Years War against Islamofacism. Despite that the Democrats believe that they can legislate an end to the war, this won't be over soon.
It's almost enough to make one believe that hostilities with Iran are in the offing.
Friday, September 21, 2007
BTW, I continue to get some of my very few visitors from the very kind links of Theo and Fran at Eternity Road. If you're a returning visitor; Welcome back. If you're new here, I hope you like the place...such as it is. I'm especially proud of this posting from last fall. I haven't seen anyone else make this point about John and Elizabeth Edwards. Finally, we enjoyed a great Arizona vacation earlier this summer.
The fellas were kind enough to include me anyway (I wasn't the only pistol-only shooter), so I used the opportunity for what it was.
My previous month's shooting was horrible. I showed up with my DAO USP to a single-stack match (with their higher round counts and longer distances). I found myself grouped with guys who were clearly better shooters than I, and rushing my shots, shot very poorly. I was so disgusted that, for the first time ever, I did not turn in a scoresheet. Further, I decided that until I have a single-stack gun and rig, that I won't be returning.
However, at this month's match, I shot better than I had expected. Again, I was out-classed and with the wrong equipment, but I didn't rush my shots this month and did much better. [Tangentially, this match whetted my appetite to get started in 2- or 3-gun. However, this will have to wait at least until the older two kids are out of ASU and Dau#1 is married off.]
But that's not what I've learned from watching others.
One of the guys, looking very much like this guy, was all tricked out. I don't claim to know my bullet-resistant vests, but the one he wore appeared as if it was a Level II vest, with molle attachment points front and back, and he carried a suppressed AR15 with a Red-dot sight enhanced with some sort of flip-away magnifier. It was clear that he had spent lots of time and money on his rig.
Another guy, not quite the gear-do described above, had a 9mm AR15 with a Red-dot sight.
Anyway, it appeared that both these guys put quite a bit of effort into making their guns work for them. They shot well too.
But they both had serious enough failures with these customized and tricked out guns that they were unable to finish a stage. This would not be satisfactory in a gun-fight. There is simply no other option: The gun has to work. First shot to last.
What I've learned here is that there appears to be a breakover point beyond which more customization away from a stock, out-of-the-box guns leads to less reliability, not more.
Question: What's your reaction to the MoveOn.Org ad that mocked General Petraeus saying he cooked the book on Iraq. Would you like to see Democrats including presidential candidates repudiate the ad?His answer, like most of what he says about the military, seemed to me to be both heartfelt and pitch-perfect.
President Bush: I thought the ad was disgusting. And I felt like the ad was an attack not only on General Petraeus, but on the U.S. Military. And I was disappointed that not more leaders in the Democratic Party spoke out strongly against that kind of ad. That leads me to come to this conclusion -- that most Democrats are [more] afraid of irritating a left-wing group like MoveOn.Org, than they are of irritating the United States military. That was a sorry deal. And one thing to attack me -- another thing to attack somebody like General Petraeus.Many of the Senate Democrats, also pitch-perfect, have refused to condemn the MoveOn ad. The names of these Democrats deserve to be remembered in future elections.
Not voting were Obama and Biden.
One of the main Superbad characters is a guy--a dweeb, really--who gets a fake driver's license in the name of McLovin. One name, like Cher or Bono.
I bring all this up because not long after seeing the movie, I ran into a police officer with the most unusual name...Morris McCool.
Even if it were a family name, or somehow honored someone close to them, knowing the inevitable ridicule that would come with the name, I cannot imagine what would possess a parent to name their son "Morris McCool".
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
However, that wasn't the thing I never thought I'd see.
He had absolutely pornographic tattoos on both shoulders of naked women engaging in rear-entry copulation.
What will his little girl think when she's old enough to appreciate what Daddy has had immortalized under his skin?
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Normally, I start these things out by saying "My Fellow Americans." Not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more
than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and
that you're really not fellow Americans any longer. I'll cut right to the
chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting
to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure
you: there's been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this
The reason I'm quitting is simple. I'm fed up with you people.
I'm fed up because you have no understanding of what's really going on
in the world. Or of what's going on in this once-great nation of ours. And
the majority of you are too damned lazy to do your homework and figure it
out. Let's start local. You've been sold a bill of goods by politicians and
the news media. Polls show that the majority of you think the economy is in
the tank. And that's despite record numbers of homeowners including record
numbers of MINORITY homeowners. And while we're mentioning minorities, I'll
point out that minority business ownership is at an all-time high. Our
unemployment rate is as low as it ever was during the Clinton
Administration. I've mentioned all those things before, but it doesn't seem
to have sunk in.
Despite the shock to our economy of 9/11, the stock market has rebounded
to record levels and more Americans than ever are participating in these
markets. Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of
you are too damn stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there's
increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of
noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beachfront property than
your economic security.
We face real threats in the world. Don't give me this "blood for oil"
thing. If I was trading blood for oil I would've already seized Iraq's oil
fields and let the rest of the country go to hell. And don't give me this
'Bush Lied People Died' crap either. If I was the liar you morons take me
for, I could've easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be
'discovered.' Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was
faulty. Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the
goods, same as me. Let me also remind you that regime change in Iraq was
official US policy before I came into office. Some guy named 'Clinton'
established that policy. Bet you didn't know that, did you?
You idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during
the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models
squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the
Communists wanted to survive, just as we do. We were simply able to outspend
and out-tech them. That's not the case this time.
The soldiers of our new enemy don't care if they survive. In fact, they
want to die. That'd be fine, as long as they weren't also committed to
taking as many of you with them as they can. But they are. They want to kill
you. And the bastards are all over the globe. You should be grateful that
they haven't gotten any more of us here in the United States since September
11. But you're not. That's because you've got no idea how hard a small
number of intelligence, military, law enforcement and homeland security
people have worked to make sure of that.
When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and
difficult fight. I'm disappointed how many of you people think a long and
difficult fight amounts to a single season of 'Survivor'.
Instead, you've grown impatient. You're incapable of seeing things
through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that
wars should last a few months, a few years, tops. Making matters worse, you
actively support those who help the enemy. Every time you buy the New York
Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-and-run Democrat's political
campaign, well, dammit, you might just as well FedEx a grenade launcher to a
Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.
In this day and age, it's easy enough to find the truth. It's all over
the Internet. It just isn't on the pages of the New York Times or on NBC
News. But even if it were, I doubt you'd be any smarter. Most of you would
rather watch American Idol.
I could say more about your expectations that the government will always
be there to bail you out, even if you're too stupid to leave a city that's
below sea level and has a hurricane approaching. I could say more about your
insane belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes
from. But I've come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail
right over your heads.
So I quit. I'm going back to Crawford. I've got an energy-efficient
house down there (Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be fully
self-sufficient. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as
soon as I'm done here pretty much no one will ever hear of it again. Maybe
I'll be lucky enough to die of old age before the last pillars of America
Oh, and by the way, Cheney's quitting too. That means Pelosi is your new
President. You asked for it. Watch what she does carefully, because I still
have a glimmer of hope that there're just enough of you remaining who are
smart enough to turn this thing around in 2008.
So that's it. God bless what's left of America. Some of you know what I
So, just what is going on with the airline business?
Here is my insider's perspective.
Firstly, the two ladies. While they are attractive young women (although the blond doesn't do a thing for me), let me be clear: They are not dressed appropriately for airline travel. For a night at the clubs: Yes. For airline travel: No. The word circling around the internet on the Kyla Ebberts story (but not heard in the MSM) is that she wasn't wearing any undergarments. Regardless of that...take a closer look at her photo in the link above. Her "skirt" is maybe 6 inches top-to-bottom. The top of her skirt rests clearly right on her pubic area. From the back, this would make her butt-crack clearly evident. Her top is pulled down to make it appear to all flow together, but she is clearly not dressed conservatively. Put her seated for any length of time in an airline seat, and her dress is entirely too short for the public to be exposed to. Qassim came in with her "Me Too" story, but offers little else (except to come off as a dim bulb, if you watch her TV interview). Her dress is a bit Marilyn Monroe-esque, which doesn't make it as "bad" as Ebberts was (in my eyes), but still more of a party dress than something for public view.
I'll get back to the girls in a minute.
Collier expresses a common frustration with airline travel: Having to deal with changing policies and an uncaring employee group. I'll tie into this too a bit later.
But first a story...
At my airline, new Captains go to a two day event designed to allow them to interact with some of the decision-makers in the company. I went in 1999. One of the issues percolating back then was something called the Airline Passenger Bill of Rights [I'd like a Bill-of-Rights Bill of Rights which says there is only one Bill of Rights. It is formed from the first 10 Amendments to our Constitution. Everything else is just policy. But I digress.], which sprang up after Northwest had a gridlock event (during a storm) and was unable to get passengers off their planes. Northwest is not the only problem-child here. American did it in Austin in 2006 (again with a major storm delaying flights into DFW), and then JetBlue most recently on Valentines Day of 2007 (where, let's not forget, that airplanes and jet-tugs were literally frozen to the ground). [Source] Everybody recognizes that these are frustrating situations to find oneself in...the question is: What can be done about it.
This event I went to in '99 brings all the big-cheeses in the company to these new Captains to offer their perspective on their parts of the company, and to answer very frank questions about the direction of the company. [Another brief digression...It takes a lot to become an airline pilot, and as a result, pilots are generally driven, focused individuals. We often believe that we could be successful at anything we tried. This can lead to a bit of arrogance...and in the case of new Captain posing questions to a CEO, the questions often come with more than a bit of attitude.] A question was asked of our CEO at the time (who has since departed) who he was supporting in the 2000 Presidential race. Answer: Al Gore.
However after this, he digressed into the PBoR thingi and what he saw for the future. He said then that the industry was moving 700-800 million passengers per year, and that the forecast growth of airline travel had the industry hitting it's capacity in the next 8-10 years (essentially now). When we hit capacity, there would be all kinds of cries for the government to "do something" to correct these problems. He said that he didn't believe it would matter which party was in power at the time...the government would have to do something.
I don't care what industry you're in, you can't operate at capacity forever. General Petraeus knows that he can't keep The Surge working past next spring. General Motors knows that you can only make cars and trucks so fast for so long. If you encounter one little problem, it throws a giant monkey wrench into the operation. There is no flexibility to adapt to the inevitable problems which will crop up.
Collier, after becoming frustrated at Delta over their changing policies, says: "I'll never be back". Delta (and every other airline) can change their policies-- at will--because they know that for every passenger who says "I'll never be back", there is at least one other passenger who has said the same thing to one of Delta's competitors. Collier isn't the only blogger with problems with Delta...Glenn Reynolds has had them too. Collier and Reynolds also both touch on something else: Uncaring employees. Not to offer a defense of poor customer-service in a customer-service industry, but I will appeal for a bit of understanding. Airline employees have seen jobs lost, their wages slashed, and their retirements disappeared. Couple that with watching more-than-a-few senior executives flee with extravagant golden parachutes, and a public which often seems to want a Waldorf-Astoria experience at a Motel-6 price, and a less-than-caring airline employee might be understandable.
Southwest can remove these two young ladies dressed as trollips (Thank you, Paris Hilton), because they know that by doing so, they'll please more than a few other passengers.
I hope the reader will not infer that these problems are limited to Northwest, Delta, JetBlue or Southwest.
I submit that the airline industry is operating very near to it's capacity. What you're seeing here is evidence of a systemic problem.
The FAA has very recently said that the airlines need to reduce "over-scheduling". The airlines will respond: "If the flights are all very full (see the "11-year Summary"), then how will reducing flights make things better? We're only offering what the public wants." The analysts will offer that (scroll down to "Announcing: The Marie Antoinette Solution To Airline Delays" and read the whole thing):
"... Delays are caused by flight volumes that the FAA Administrator's ineptly-managed ATC system cannot handle. Airlines are not adding a flood of extra sections for the holidays, so the number of aircraft flying across the nation will be about the same as last week-end, and the week-end before that...." [emphasis mine]The solution here is long and complex, and a fast-food public won't want to hear it.
If you want the air travel system you're seeking, we've got to build more runways. Lots and lots of them. This will take both time (locating sites for new airport facilities and fighting the inevitable NIMBYs) and money (tax dollars). Boyd is right: The FAA needs to update their Air Traffic Control system. This has been occurring, but at a dial-up pace in a world used to their high-speed connections (pun only somewhat intended). For those with the means, please do not fall for the folly of the Very Light Jet phenomenon. While on the surface it may appear that you'll be skipping the security lines and the wonder of your chances of making that Atlanta/Dallas/Chicago major airline connection, these VLJs will do more to clog up an already slow system than anything we've seen in decades. The airlines could do a better job of scheduling (read: build enough time into your trip to allow for the flexibility that the system doesn't have today), but this will cost the public too. An idle airplane is like an idle factory: It isn't making money. The airline industry is only now getting out of the predicament where nearly 40% of the industry was either in- or near- bankruptcy. They don't have the excess profit margins to offer this gratis to the public. You want good service? Great. How much are you willing to pay to deal with an employee who isn't surly? The good service you get at the Waldorf doesn't come just with the territory. Those employees are well paid.
I offer this all not to dispute that passengers don't have a right to be frustrated at air travel today (you do), but rather as another perspective on these frustrations and what it will take to get to the service level both passengers and this pilot would like to engage in.
But as I said, this year, I chose to be at work. I guess because this anniversary fell on a Tuesday, I got caught up in wanting to stand up and say: "Al Qaeda...We're still here. You can't knock us down." So, this year, for me, 9/11 fell on the last day of a three-day trip.
Anyway here, in no particular order, are more Random Thoughts...
- The Democrat-led Congress had scheduled themselves to receive their report from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker over 9/11. This seemed to me to be an intentional poke at President Bush.
- While at this point it should not come as a surprise to rational person, Move-on.org found a way to plumb new depths.
- The Democrats, and especially the Democrats running for President, cannot find it in themselves to distance themselves from these nutcases.
- Some of the Democrats are nutcases themselves. How they continue to be re-elected is beyond me.
- Despite this, Petraeus and Crocker absolutely slayed the nay-sayers.
- Gerard, in his always-wonderful essays, offers some remembrances and observations. A wonderful picture. Our wounds. And finally, questions whether we remember that we're at war.
Here is the tie tac that I wear every day while I am at work.
(Click to enlarge)
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I'm not quite certain when or where I took this photo (it's been in my phone for a while), but I think it was in New York City near Madison Square Garden maybe a year and a half ago.
If it is not obvious, you are looking at the door to an armored car.
Note the bottom left corner of the window.
Specifically, note the bullet splash in the glass. Not one of those cute stickers but a real bullet splash.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
"...The trend is an outgrowth of the tendency to lionize CEOs as critical to the businesses they lead. If their performance is so vital, the researchers say, investors should want to know anything that could affect it...."
"...[The three finance professors] were able to track links between CEO-family deaths and the companies' profitability over a decade.
It slid by about one-fifth, on average, in the two years after the death of a CEO's child, and by about 15 percent after the death of a spouse...."
"...A study [Yermack] co-wrote looked at executives' home purchases. It found that on average, the stocks of companies run by leaders who buy or build megamansions sharply underperform the market...." [emphases mine]
So, why did this pique my interest? Since you asked, I'll tell you.
John Edwards is running for President. Essentially, CEO of the country. A while back, I wrote of how the recurrance of Elizabeth Edwards' cancer, in an uncurable form, will affect his chances at the polls. I repeat my sincere wish for her health, but the numbers do not lie: She is dying right before our eyes. The Edwards also just moved into what can fairly be described as a "megamansion".
I have fundamental differences with John Edwards' political positions. Yet on these two counts, "investing" in a company with John Edwards as CEO does not seem to be a rational investment.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Oh, wait. He's gone, isn't he?
Maybe this is just a good thing to do. And if raises the blood pressure of Harry Reid or Hillary Clinton, then well...c’est la vie.
The D's and the MSM are, even at this late date, still learning that Bush has some tricks up his sleeve, and that he deeply loves our troops.
And here I begin to see how all this connects.
The world is on the cusp of a world-wide financial and monetary crisis. I don't know what to do about it, but millions of others are going to be caught totally unawares.
Related: I often wonder if I were an African villager or a guy living paycheck-to-paycheck in Detriot, if I wouldn't have better skills at living with the upheavals that may be about to be on us than a guy of some modest means and an understanding of what is happening around him.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
I've seen TDBFB in bookstores, and have briefly looked at it, but not having a son (or grandson) of an age who would benefit from it today, I really haven't looked at it deeply. It seems to be a great gift for a guy like myself who would like to give a son a glimpse of the glories of Danger.
But, courtesy of Gerard, I see that TDBFB includes some less-than-manly topics...for instance: "How to Marble Paper". Gerard also directs the reader to Sippican Cottage, who offers his modern-day version: The Borderline Sociopathic Book for Boys, and the companion blog, The Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys. Do read both.
Ah. Childhood. Sweet memories of burning bugs with any means possible, drawing pictures of guns and tanks and fighter jets, making gunpowder with my chemistry set, and shooting my brother with my BB gun.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
"...Iraq looks more doomed from inside the base than it does outside on the street, and it looks more doomed from across the Atlantic than it does from inside the base...."Michael J. Totten. Read it all.
Monday, August 27, 2007
With that said, I don't check in with them often on the web, and I really can't explain why.
So, here is a nugget meant to account for my previous deficiencies. Emanuel makes the same point that Michal Yon has been making for some time: The Surge is working.
And, I will hope you'll join me in checking in with TAS online more often.
Personally, and without offering a full endorsement yet, as of now, I'm more of a Fred Thompson guy. He's gonna have to shit-or-get-off-the-pot soon, and his campaign has shown some indications of internal disarray, but he's at the top of my list today.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Now it appears that "Momentum [is] shifting to [the] GOP in Iraq debate". (courtesy of Glenn) The Democrat's strategy of militarily losing is also becoming a political loser. Bush will make use of this, but it will be interesting to see if, when, and how strongly one of the Republican candidates will do the same.
Update: Ace says the Democrats are caught in a quagmire. Imagine that.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
And now, again unsolicited, Theo rewards me with a Theo-launch. My traffic has almost quadrupled to the stratospheric levels of 40--Yes. 40--visitors in one day. [Said with a wink, for those who aren't getting it.]
So. Welcome, Theo-logians, Spark-plugs, or whatever you may call yourselves. I only will occasionally offer the "totty" that Theo does, and do end up taking breaks for one reason or another, but I hope you'll look around a bit, and enjoy what you find.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
First, two caveats...
- I missed the first couple minutes of Fox News Sunday this morning.
- Maybe it was just this week, but NBC's Meet the Press started on the half hour this morning, and I entirely missed the first half.
I noticed that the bulk of the discussion on these two shows this morning was tied up with Karl Rove (the guest on both), and of course, electoral politics. The Media Organ of the Democrats, and liberals, criticized the Bush administration for what it was pursuing with Padilla.
Yet, not one word on the conviction of Jose Padilla. Why no outrage at his conviction? Are they not still concerned about civil rights?
Thursday, August 16, 2007
And internet-friend has been predicting all sorts of bad things for the past 5 years. His basic premise (which is all that I understand) is that the Fed. and other Central Banks, when they get in trouble, just start printing money.
The US Fed, as well as others around the world, have been injecting money into their systems willy-nilly, over the past week or so. In addition, Bernanke is under pressure to decrease interest rates, as a means to bail out those who are exposed to failing sub-prime mortgages. We're getting squeezed from both ends, and the balloon is about to burst.
Hang on, fellas. We're in for a bumpy ride.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Call it the Medium Time. Someone I don't know, and frankly, have never heard of, has recommended my humble blog as one of "a few newish blogs recently, and have decided to commend them to your attention".
So, thank you, kind Fran Porretto. I don't know you, and don't know how you came upon my meager writings, but the recommendation is quite generous. I hope I can live up to your readers' standards.
And if you're here from this kind recommendation from Eternity Road, then I hope you'll dig through the archives. I am especially proud of this post from back in October. It was written as a response on a Forum I frequent (which shall go unnamed). I believe it's length prevented me from posting it there, so I put it up here instead. I wrote about the effect of Elizabeth Edwards' cancer on her husband's campaign here. It's nothing political, but if you can stand a travelogue, and are remotely interested in a photogenic part of Arizona, the family and I recently hiked to Havasu Falls.
Imagine my surprise when I find that I've had six readers here today. SIX! To my humble and largely unread blog.
But moreso, one of them turned out to be from Halliburton! Gasp!! What will my liberal readers [**Sniff....As if...**] do when they find out?
Dau#2 moves into the dorm tomorrow and school starts next week. The extra flying won't last forever, and I'll be back putting up links to far-more-clever and connected bloggers than I.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
The Fox News coverage of a news conference with Bob Murray, the unhinged company president who rails against the United Mine Workers, media, hovering helicopters, emergency equipment, etc. Somebody will put this up on YouTube. I'll try to find it and add it later.
Monday, August 06, 2007
I know it'w wrong and stupid to base your political principles on polling, but it makes one wonder if Pelosi and Reid even read the things.
Barak Obama is an example here. Unlike most other Democrats, he has opposed the Iraq War from the start, and been critical of Hillary Clinton's position on her vote to go to Iraq. Despite the consistent predictions that leaving would result in carnage, he wants us out of Iraq now.
Yet, now, with the aim of eliminating al Qaeda hideouts in Waziristan, he says he would invade Pakistan. He'd invade an ally. He'd invade a nuclear ally.
We're winning in Iraq. The Surge is working. Leaving now (or in the foreseeable future) would undo that. He'd invade an ally. Does Obama really expect that no consequences would fall out of these decisions? He'd have us lose a fight we are winning and enter a fight that we might not have to stones to win.
This is an Upside-Down, Alice-through-the-Looking-Glass view of things.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
I am in the middle of a moderately busy work schedule. It is lucrative for me to fly more right now, so I am doing so.
More importantly, this will probably be the last summer that I can enjoy with all three of the kids home, and I am thoroughly engaged in time with them. Our trip to Havasu Falls was an example of this, and we're off for a "car-camping" trip next week. Couple this with occassional evening swimming sessions, a trip or two to the range, and there aren't many free hours for me to sit here and write. SonofAzlib and Dau#1ofAzlib will both graduate next year, and Dau#2- is off for her freshman year next month. Dau#1 came home from France engaged to her beau. The family is busy!
With our nest rapidly emptying out, we find ourselves approaching the point of being ready to downsize the house...which brings into mind the projects necessary around here to get the most from the place. Also, an approaching wedding (date not set yet) means the same thing: Which remodeling projects can we do, and in what order?
So, I haven't forgotten you, my tens and tens of faithful readers. I shall return!
Friday, July 13, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
I stand my ground: John Edwards is a lightweight of the first order.
The hair, up close, is peppered with tiny strands of blond. Chestnut brown and
so finely trimmed, mellifluous, smooth, and feathery, it could almost be a
weave, the Platonic ideal as imagined by the Hair Club for Men. Along with the
piercing blue eyes, slashing V-shaped smile, and a shimmering burgundy shirt
tucked into stonewashed Levi's resting low on the hips, the hair completes the
man: John Edwards, a populist Adonis, a golden god of a Southern Democrat.
This whole episode has been wrong. The Democrats and their screaming left wing began with the demand that someone--ANYONE--be punished for the crimes they believed took place in the Bush administration. They really wanted Rove's, or perhaps Cheney's head on their pike, and had to settle for Libby. So they invented the crime of "outing" a CIA officer (who never was covered by the law preventing such), then "lying" about the "outing". The Special Prosecutor knew early on that it was Richard Armitage who had spoken with Novak, but Fitzgerald continued with his investigation anyway searching for a neo-con to convict on something (Armitage is not a "neo-con", but rather a Powell protogee).
However, if I may, I think this commutation is right on a number of levels...
- As to whether this was the right thing to do: I think it was. I've said in the past that I think Libby was over-charged. He was essentially convicted of having a faulty memory on evidence provided by others who also had faulty memories. There was no underlying crime charged, and on this point, I noted the strange company I keep here. I long ago said that Martha Stewart should have never gone to prison. If a prosecutor (Special or not) can't charge or gain a conviction on a underlying crime, then lying about that crime shouldn't be chargable.
- Libby was also over-sentenced. From my distance, the judge appeared to throw the book at Libby because he didn't express any contrition at all.
- Allowing Libby to stay out of prison while his appeal progressed also seemed like a reasonable request. He wasn't going anywhere. Why throw him in the slammer?
- The commutation removes the most excessive part of Libby's sentence. It also allows his appeal to progress, and with some luck and good lawyering, Libby may find this whole thing erased completely. Of course, that won't get him back the money he's spent on his legal defense, or the job he has lost, but it will get him back his good name (as opposed to this guy--who apparently has given up on any defense of his "good name").
I think a pardon, at this point, would be too much special treatment for Libby. Allow the legal system to find justice, and if it still has him convicted, then Bush ought to consider a pardon.