Sunday, December 28, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
"A new military plan for troop withdrawals from Iraq that was described in broad terms this week to President-elect Barack Obama falls short of the 16-month timetable Mr. Obama outlined during his election campaign, United States military officials said Wednesday...." [my emphasis]
As Tom Maguire notes, The Times buried this in their A section. I guess they see no sense in making a big deal now of the issue that seemed to be such a big deal only a few weeks ago.
I have long said that the answer to the question of "When are we leaving Iraq" is: "Never. We're not leaving Iraq. It isn't in our national interests to leave Iraq. It isn't in the interests of the West for us to leave Iraq. The stability we provide in a region that (unfortunately) is the source of much of the world's energy mandates that we stay. Like it or not."
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Oil drops 9 percent as demand outlook overshadows OPEC
I paid $1.39 a gallon for gas last week. And, as is the case with everyone else, I like paying that a whole lot more than I like paying $4+ per gallon.
But on the day after OPEC cuts production by 2 million barrels per day, when the Price of Oil falls 9%, we're seeing our economic House of Cards fall right before our eyes.
Buckle up, kiddes. It's going to be a rough ride.
That said, a couple of years ago as part of a bookclub she was active in, Mrs. Azlib did read The Purpose Driven Life.
But it is interesting that the lefties are all up in arms over The Prophet Obama's (PBUH) selection of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. Chapter two of America's new docu-drama: Heartbreak: The Obama Years.
Wear this betrayal like a robe, lefties. Barry's a playa', don't ya' know. You've been played.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
While Blago may be an obvious criminal, he is also arrogant and thinks he can beat this. But neither of these explain why he won't resign.
Blago won't resign because doing so will be to admit that the charges against him are correct. His lawyer won't let him resign. The correct thing to do will be for the Illinois legislature to impeach him. He'll be able so say that he did not quit on his own, and will then be able to fight his criminal charges as well as he can.
Other than the wiki on him, and the (D) behind his name, I don't know the first thing about him.
Edit: Another interesting item was that his Ohio State Police escort motioned to his gun being in an ankle holster. I've got a low-end ankle holster for a Walther PPK, and I hate it. For the few times that I've worn it, I'm always wondering if the damned thing is going to slip down my leg and onto the floor, and if I ever do have to get into the thing, pulling my pants leg up high enough to access the gun won't go smoothly, I guarantee it. They're more for movies and very discreet carry--so discreet that accessibility is almost impossible, if you ask me. To each, his own, though.
More Edit: This post is again exposing for me the vagaries of blogging. I can sometimes get tens and tens of readers a day, so tracking them isn't all that difficult. Today, I'm receiving a good number of my readers through this post. I wonder: Why is that, and how do you people find me?
Just sayin'. That's all.
My first candidate...
Governor to sign union measure
Gov. Janet Napolitano is prepared to sign an executive order allowing about 25,500 state employees to select union representatives who would have a seat at the table with state officials during talks regarding employee pay, working conditions, disciplinary actions and other personnel issues.I am reminded of Hillary's "I have a million ideas. The country can't afford them all."
There will no doubt be others to follow. We won't be able to afford those either.
Do read them all.
I agree with Gerard that Hanson's call for true courage would go something like this....
"...Real courage would have been to throw shoes at Saddam; or even to return to
Cairo and throw something at a Mubarak during a public event. That would take
singular courage and establish the integrity of the journalist as a consistent
critic of authoritarianism—and might additionally earn you a noose rather than
accolades on Arab websites...."
Monday, December 15, 2008
OK, so anyhooo, regarding this episode, and with Bush himself joking about it at an improptu press conference, and with inspiration from this comment thread, I thought I'd try my hand at blog humor. [As I have found with writing, and blogging itself, blog humor is probably more difficult than it appears, but I'll try none-the-less.]
I call this effort "Responses I'd Have Liked to Have Seen" [And some of these are stolen from the above comment thread.]
George Bush whips out a .44 Magnum and says: "[T]his is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"
George Bush: "Who throws a shoe? Honestly. You fight like a woman."
Dick Cheney1: Blam! [Shotgun to the face.] Slide operates.
Dich Cheney2: "Awright, Motherfucker. I'm gonna wrap my dick around your neck and strangle you."
John Edwards: Ouch!
John Kerry: Yessssss! Another Purple Heart!
Al Gore: The Globe has become so warm that this poor man was forced to take off his shoes.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
That said, I was pleasantly surprised at the cutting defense Rice offers here of the challenges the Bush administration were left with in comparison to the ones being left for the Obama administration. A few snippets....
So, I take most of it back, Condi. We are far better off as you and your boss leave office than when you took it.
"... [The Bush administration] inherited a terrorism problem that had been ignored for years and allowed to grow until it exploded on 9/11...."
"...What we inherited were the failed Camp David Accords, and as a result the Second Intifada." She recalls Palestinian bombings of clubs and pizza parlors, the shelling of the Bethlehem Church of the Nativity. "Yasser Arafat was in power, stealing people blind and working with terrorists. Ariel Sharon was elected not to bring peace, but to defeat the intifada...."
"...We inherited a Lebanon with Syrian forces there for 30 years. Now, Syrian forces are out. There is a democratic government in power -- yes, being challenged by Hezbollah -- but the prime minister has survived and they've elected a president. The Lebanese army is out in the country for the first time. And," she says, "they are friendly to the United States...."
And most importantly...
"...Then? Saddam Hussein dragged the region into a war and lost over a million lives. It dragged the U.S. into war. He murdered his own people, terrorized his neighbors and sought weapons of mass destruction. Today? You have a multiethnic, multiconfessional democracy that isn't threatening its neighbors." [my emphasis]
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Now, PEBO (PBUH) is saying that we "will offer Israel a 'nuclear umbrella' against the threat of a nuclear attack by Iran".
Now that he's been elected, he's every bit the warmonger than Chimpy McBushHilterHalliburton is.
The D's and the media are desperately (break) dancing to protect The Prophet Obama (PBUH) from any of this, but I cannot believe that a guy with Zero's thin resume could rise in Chicago machine politics without being touched somehow by this corruption. He'll be answering Blogo questions for some time.
But I do know that this sort of thing scares the pants off me.
From what I can gather, the core of our monetary system (and that of others around the world) has just rotted through completely. Nobody who has gold is selling it. Our fiat currency is fatally ill, and the means of an individual protecting oneself is now gone.
That said: I'm buying ammo and ammo components.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
They're talking about having some sort of special election to fill this seat. The problem I have here is that there is already a process for filling that seat, and a special election isn't part of that. The Governor appoints the new Senator. The thinking is that whoever takes that seat would be tainted by this scandal, so who wants it?
I say that if the IL System is corrupt, then they should sleep in the bed that they have made. Don't make shit up just to keep from further embarrassing the Party.
Obama's Campaign Manager, David Axelrod, on Obama and Blagojevich and the question of who ought to be appointed as his successor.....
"I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."
Now that would make emminent sense.... I don't care if it is corrupt Cook County, or a bunch of Mormoms from Utah: A senator ought to have an opinion on who ought to be appointed to the office to which he was elected but has now moved on from, and he ought to share those thoughts with his state's governor.
But that was way back on November 23. Today, after Blagojevich's scandal broke, the Axe and O show are singing a completely different tune. Axe....
"I was mistaken when I told an interviewer last month that the
President-elect has spoken directly to Governor Blagojevich about the Senate
vacancy. They did not then or at any time discuss the subject."
I don't know whether Obama or any of his team knew of the shakedown that Blago was attempting to run. It would be somewhat naive to think that an Illinois politician might have never heard of such a thing, but at this point there is no evidence to believe that O was part of the (alleged) corruption. But The One has a history of blaming staffers, or saying he or others had mispoke when their previously-uncontroversial statements came up to bite them. And when you couple this with the thing that is really, REALLY grating on me--that the YouTube of the Axe interview is now no longer available (thrown down the Memory Hole, no doubt)--you'll pardon me if my Suspicious Spidey-Sense is tingling.
There is something else going on here. Something that the O-bots, the Chicago Machine, and the press don't want us to dig into. The thinking now is that "Senate Candidate Number 5" is none other than Jesse Jackson, Jr (which would explain Jesse Jackson's tears in Grant Park). I also can't help but remember that Rahm ("Rahmbo") Emanuel is also a Chicago politician of some note. I can only speculate that Emanuel was offended at the depth of Blago's corruption and set up the governor for the fall he deserved to take.
The players here are too close for me to believe that Blago's indiscreet corruption was not known among them.
"...At what point does sexist behavior get taken seriously?"
In fairness, Myers' husband wrote a rather scathing Vanity Fair article on Bill Clinton (which drew a somewhat bizarre and equally scathing response) and was only in the Clinton White House for its first two years--missing the whole Lewinsky episode. She did (rightly) complain when she found out that she was being paid less than subordinates with lesser responsibilities.
However, Bill Clinton's problems with "bimbos" was not something he developed in Washington. This has been a lifelong problem for him, and for Myers to now decry sexist behavior from Obama's speechwriter towards a Hillary image is at least forgetful, if not disingenuous.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
My First Officer and I are just back from The Wilkes House, where we enjoyed one of my layover favorites--good ole' Southern cookin'. I am now his favorite Captain. If you're in Savannah between the hours of 11am and 2pm, you simply must get yourself to Mrs. Wilkes House.
I'll be back (with the wife) for future afternoons of consumption.
"...Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut called for the resignation of General Motors’ CEO Rick Wagoner saying he should “move on." Meanwhile, Dodd — the largest recipient of Freddie Mac money in the Congress, beneficiary of plum deals from subprime mortgage villain Countrywide, and a key player in watering down mortgage standards that led to the current credit crisis without which the Detroit Three wouldn’t be in the pickle they are — clings to his post as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee...."
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Sorry, but Shiseki was wrong about Iraq, and Rumsfeld was right. As was evident at the start, the extra troops that Sheseki was insisting on were not needed to take down Saddam's army. Taking the extra "hundreds of thousands" of troops into Iraq would have had us there with the larger, more oppressive footprint that would have reinforced the impression that we were there to occupy, rather than free Iraq. It is incorrect to assume that the extra Surge troops would have brought about success earlier. Not that this was the plan all along, but the Surge troops succeeded because they were applied at a point where the Iraqi public (at least the Sunni) had grown tired of the al Qaeda excesses and began their Anbar Awakening.
Shinseki is to Bush what McClellan was to Lincoln--a General who wanted to build his Army to an enormous level before using it.
The reason behind this selection is simple: The Prophet Obama (PBUH) has been drawing considerable criticism from the Angry Left for his choices for Defense, State, and National Security Advisor, and for his approach to the economic troubles we are in.
Shinseki is a bone thrown to the Angry Left.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Episode 1: Campaign Promises on Ending the War in Iraq Now Muted by Reality
[I really love that one. The Reality-Based Community (sic) now finds itself "muted by reality". Those NYT headline writers really know how to stick the knife in.]
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
"Former President Bill Clinton says he is open to the possibility of a role in the Obama administration but said he otherwise plans to be deferential to both the president and Clinton's wife, the soon-to-be secretary of state...."
Yeah. Good luck with that, Barry.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
However, Stein has become quite fickle on our Global War against Islamic Terror, specifically as it has been played out in Iraq. At one point, he said that he thought that "Mr. Bush is going to go down in history as one of the great peacemakers and democracy-builders in the history of the world". Then, not a year later, he said that Bush should admit that Iraq had become a "quagmire".
I first noted my disillusionment with Stein here.
And now, here is another example of how my heart is breaking at losing my cyber-friendship (if in my mind only) with Stein. In the interests of the economy, he is endorsing the same big-government, big-spending programs that got us into the hole that we're in.
Aides to President-elect Barack Obama and President George W. Bush are rushing to craft measures to shore up financial markets and prevent a policy vacuum from further harming the economy during the transition of power between the two men.OK. Let me get this right...President HopeandChange--the guy who incessantly decried the "failed Bush economic policies"--is telling us he will continue these same policies?
Mr. Obama's team is putting together a new economic stimulus plan containing more than $500 billion in federal spending and tax cuts over the next two years, Obama aides and advisers said Sunday. That package would be far more aggressive than anything envisioned during the campaign.
Let's slow down a bit and look at this again. Bush announced a $168 billion tax rebate program in February as a means of "economic stimulus". Then, in March, the Treasury and the Fed engineered the J.P. Morgan Chase takeover of Bear Stearns--another $30B. The FDIC had to takeover IndyMac--to the tune of $8.9B--in July.The insurer AIG needed a $85B bailout in early September. Fannie and Freddie were bailed out for an unknown(!) pricetag. A week later, we were bailing out all of Wall Street with $700B. This, of course, became an issue in the campaign. Recently, they've been wrestling with how to bailout the Big Three in Detriot--$25B.
Update: As if all this weren't enough (and courtesy this morning of DrewM. at Ace's Place), how about another $800B to further unfreeze lending. [Will this ever end? Ever?]
So, with that as background, I have two questions...
- Have we really, really not been aggressive enough in addressing our economic problems? Does anyone seriously believe that Bush hasn't been doing exactly what Obama is proposing here?
- What am I to understand by "$500 billion in federal spending and tax cuts"? What is the division between additional federal spending and tax cuts? Where should we expect to see this additional federal spending? Who benefits from these tax cuts? (And is this a walkback from Obama's promise to increase taxes on the top 5%?)
Back to the fisking....
Democratic leaders in Congress are preparing to rush passage shortly after New Year's to have a stimulus-plan bill ready for Mr. Obama to sign once he is inaugurated Jan. 20.Welcome to the West Wing, Mr. Obama. Here is your housewarming gift.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bush's outgoing Treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, is now considering a more activist stance in his final weeks in office than he had signaled as recently as last week. He is considering tapping the second half of the government's $700 billion financial-industry rescue fund, and rolling out new programs in response to worsening market conditions, according to people familiar with the matter.Let's keep something else in mind here. Hank Paulson (like Bush) is no conservative. He never has been.
Among other things, he is seeking ways to make it easier for households to borrow money. He is also looking for ways to reduce the burden of foreclosures on homeowners.Wait a minute. Just. Hold. The. Damned. Phone.
Isn't the availability of easy credit the reason we're in this pickle in the first place? And we want to cure the problem by doing more of the same? Is this not the definition of insanity?
The moves came as officials at the Treasury and the Fed spent the weekend on yet another emergency rescue plan, this one for giant Citigroup after its stock fell 60% the past week. Citigroup's deterioration underscores the fragile state of markets and the economy during Washington's long transition of power.And now, Citi. $20B. "A necessary safeguard". More insanity, if you ask me.
Mr. Obama is planning a press conference Monday to introduce the leaders of his economic team, which is headed by Harvard economist Lawrence Summers, who will run the White House National Economic Council, and New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy Geithner, his choice for Treasury secretary.Isn't this exactly what we've been hearing from Bush? Have any of these programs worked? I am far from well-versed in macro-economics, but isn't debt destruction necessary here?
The president-elect is likely to use the event to assure investors and consumers that he will take rapid, large-scale action in the coming weeks and months. The message will be: "This is an extraordinary time, and extraordinary responses are going to be needed," said one aide.
Mr. Obama is also expected to try to calm Wall Street worries about trying to rewrite the rules of existing aid to Wall Street, and excessive spending in his new administration, according to Obama transition officials.OK. I'm confused here. Are we getting more regulation or less? Do we want more "excessive spending" or less?
So far, the main government response to the economic crisis has been the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, designed to help banks and other financial institutions. Mr. Obama's economic-stimulus plan would be separate from that.OK. Now I think I'm beginning to see. $700 billion, not preventing the collapse of Wall Street banking, is seperate from the $500 billion that Obama proposes to spend elsewhere. Exit question: Why should we expect O's $500B to be spent any more wisely?
On Monday, Mr. Obama will likely offer for the first time an explicit pledge to honor all commitments already made by the Bush administration in the TARP program, without imposing new conditions even if there are changes are made to the program in the future. Obama officials also say the president-elect will promise to find spending cuts to try to keep short-term stimulus spending from ballooning the budget deficit over the long term.Finally! A place where I can agree with the Prophet Obama. Spending cuts! More please! Faster! (But I thought O's approach was to have more federal spending?)
While Mr. Obama is moving quickly to give markets unusually early clarity on what he'll do when he takes office in January, Bush aides are rethinking how they'll handle their final weeks in power.You know what? As a political matter, I don't mind at all that Bush and Paulson are spending that money now. [I fully disagree with each of these bailouts, but that is another question.] Obama spent his campaign blaming every bad thing on Bush. The libs have no goodwill--none--towards Bush and conservatives (Again. Bush is not a conservative.) Bush's legacy will not benefit one whit by setting aside some of this money for Obama's use. I say: Spend the money if you think it is necessary.
The Bush Treasury is in the middle of injecting into banks some $250 billion of TARP funds, and Mr. Paulson had suggested earlier this month that he wasn't planning to do much beyond that before he leaves office in two months. Another $40 billion of the
TARP money has been invested in American International Group, Inc., the giant insurer.
But last week's deterioration in the markets heightened concern at the Treasury that it might need to take confidence-boosting steps before Mr. Obama's team takes over. On Friday, Goldman Sachs Inc. revised down its projections for economic growth, saying the economy is in the process of contracting by 5% in the fourth quarter and would contract another 3% in the first three months of 2009. If Goldman is right, it would mark the worst performance since the 1982 recession, one of the deepest contractions since the Great Depression.
Goldman placed the blame largely on Washington. "The main reason for the downgrade to our forecast is the policy impasse that has developed in Washington and the tightening in financial conditions it has provoked."Of course. Blame everything on Washington. Not that they don't deserve blame, but when dishing it out, one ought to look in the mirror first. Goldman, BTW, was once run by Robert Rubin, who now runs Citibank, and was also formerly run by one Hank Paulson. Are the dots beginning to be connected here?
For the sake of time, I'll dispense with fisking the rest of this article, but if it isn't already apparent, I am less-than-impressed with the Bush/Paulson/Bernanke approach to our economic problems, and it appears that Obama will not improve things at all. The rest of the article....
Since winning the presidency Nov. 4, Mr. Obama has expressed reluctance to begin steering economic policy, repeatedly saying the country can have only one president at a time. Large-scale economic stimulus is all but impossible before Mr. Obama takes office, since Mr. Bush has said he would oppose big new spending plans before he leaves the White House.
But Mr. Obama and his team have chosen in recent days to signal fairly explicitly that a sizeable boost will come as soon as he takes office.
Obama advisers decline to detail publicly just how large the stimulus would be. But several senior aides have pointed to analyst reports calling for $500 billion to $700 billion to be injected into the economy.
In an appearance before chief executives in Washington earlier in the week, Mr. Summers suggested stimulus of that size was possible. He also said stimulus should be "speedy, substantial, and sustained"-- a shift in tone from his calls earlier in the year for "temporary" and "targeted" aid. "We're going to need impetus for the economy for two to three years," he now says.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the new Congress, which will be dominated by Democrats, will have a stimulus package completed "during the first couple of weeks of January."
Mr. Obama's selection of Mr. Geithner for Treasury secretary has, in effect, given his administration a greater role in the current handling of the financial crisis. That's because Mr. Geithner has already been a close partner of Mr. Paulson in managing the bailouts in his role as New York Fed president.
The selection of Mr. Geithner is providing comfort to Treasury officials, who view his selection as an indication they will be able to push ahead with using more of the $700 billion rescue fund to respond to the financial crisis than perhaps Mr. Paulson had suggested last week.
Treasury spokeswoman Michele Davis on Sunday said Mr. Paulson had always planned to implement new programs when they were ready, and never ruled out tapping the remaining half of the $700 billion fund. "We're looking at a variety of programs to support the market and we'll implement them as soon as they're ready," she said.
Treasury's immediate focus is on establishing a program, along with the Federal Reserve, that would help increase the availability of auto loans, student loans and credit cards -- which Mr. Paulson believes will help alleviate strains in the consumer borrowing market.
A person familiar with the planning said the Treasury and the Fed have agreed on the structure of such a program and are working on the details, such as whether the Fed should buy assets itself or provide loans to entice private investors to buy securities. The Treasury is expected to contribute $25 billion to $100 billion to the program, which could be announced within a few weeks, this person said.
Treasury is continuing to look for a way to prevent more foreclosures on homeowners, including trying to improve a proposal floated by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair. Democratic lawmakers have been pressuring Mr. Paulson to use some of the $700 billion rescue fund to help people in danger of foreclosure.
Treasury had also been designing another capital-injection program aimed at financial institutions beyond banks, in addition to considering making more money available to banks that have already received a government infusion.
And only because the truth is so damned funny sometimes, I offer this.....
In The Know: Should The Government Stop Dumping Money Into A Giant Hole?
Thursday, November 20, 2008
And, of course, the obligatory Obama '08 sticker.
Why is this story post-worthy?
His license plate began with the numbers 666.
I kid you not.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Ammo is on my list for the upcoming December gunshow (I--along with about 10,000 others--will be looking for a couple AR lowers), so I was going to buy anyway. I'll probably come home from the gunshow with a couple handguns, and perhaps will sell some long guns.
Yesterday, I took one of the Colt Pocketlite's into the gunsmith for a little work, and found out that they are more valuable than I had thought. I really don't have much need for another .380, and I had considered selling these two at the gunshow, but the new knowledge of their value has me reconsidering. Perhaps I'll keep them; perhaps I'll pass them to Dau#1-and Dau#2ofAzlib; perhaps they'll go to the highest bidder.
Anyhoo, 250 rounds of 40S&W are now safely in my hands.
Monday, November 17, 2008
FWIW, for as much as I love Ben Stein, I have begun to become disillusioned with him. I don't know where he turned, but for a guy who passionately writes about the hate and death brought to the world by Hitler's Germany, Stein seems to turn a blind eye to the War against Islamic Terror. The Marxist Obama has a similar blind eye, and this is not just limited to our foreign enemies. Obama will attempt to ruin the economy too.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
We are quite happy for her. She came back from her honeymoon looking very happy. He's a great guy, and is everything a parent would want out of a son-in-law.
That said, she has been a great kid, and we're going to deeply miss seeing her regularly. Many tears were shed today. I suspect more will be shed tomorrow.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
I mean, really. We have long asked...
Somebody, somewhere commented that Michelle Obama is going make us think back fondly to the charm of Hillary Clinton. I'm afraid that that may understate things.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
So anyhoo, Dau#1ofAzlib (the upcoming bride) told me this morning that futureSILofAzlib wants some advice about guns. Thus far, he's been uninterested in guns, but I'm guessing the now pressing prospect of needing to protect a family, and a potential reaction to the recent (disastrous) election results has had him come away with the idea that guns may be soon harder to get.
As Drudge says....Developing.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
It was either on one of the blogs I infrequently get to or one of my internet acquaintances, a guy who I listen to when he speaks, who has a theory about global politics/economics. For the sake of telling this story, I'm going to say it's the later, but I could be wrong. Anyway, it's kind of a long story, but he believes that the Powers That Be are acting according to a script and that all the large geo/economic/political acts that we're all now watching are part of that script. The PTB have built up a large house of cards of debt, and the only way to consolidate things from here is to crush our economy and to end up with a global currency (which they, of course, would control). Control the currency, and you control everything (which is why our Founding Fathers were [rightly] concerned about the power of a Central Bank).
Anyhoo, he believes that the PTB are looking at a number of issues circling around things. One of the larger items on their plate is the question of: What to do about Iran? They're obviously crazy with an apocolyptic view of the return of the 13th Imam or Seventh Seal, or whatever their damned thing is. A rational world has to believe they're serious when they start talking about destroying Israel or London or whatever other city is bugging them. Iran just has to be dealt with. The question is: When?
As much as we may see this as a conflict between America and our western allies and Iran, China and Japan are really big players here. They apparently have bought off on the idea of subdueing Iran. Again, timing is the key.
The Chinese Olympics this summer were a really big deal for them. They had invested a lot of prestige on this event, hoping to make the world believe that they deserve a place in the First World. So attacking Iran before these Olympics was out of the question. Parenthetically, the Russians embarassed the Chinese by their little adventure into Georgia during the Olympics.
What form will the attack take?
The Israeli's have a deep interest here. The Iranians are absolutely irrational about Israel. Both Israel and Iran have conducted exercises which, for any observer, would look like an attack on the other.
As the theory goes, the determinant then goes to our election. If the Israeli's think that we'll elect a President Obama, then the attack may take place before the election. If they think we'll elect McCain, then the attack will occur between the election and the inauguration. In any event, it will occur on Bush's watch.
So why do I write all this?
I'm glad you asked.
When I read that "US special forces launch rare attack inside Syria" and "Syria: US conducted cross-border raid", it may have been exactly what we're saying: Taking down a foreign fighter network, or grabbing/killing an al Qaeda bigwig.
But part of me has to ask: Is this an "October Surprise"? Did we eliminate a Syrian radar or anti-aircraft site to create a corridor for the Israelis to get to Iran?
Like I said: "Hinky".
Saturday, October 25, 2008
They think they have this won. They may be right, but I can't help but hope that they're not.
And if The One does fail in his quest, I am concerned that we will see violence. They are utterly convinced that The One is this country's Savior.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
But now we see that Biden has clarified his remarks to two bloggers.
Jim Treacher "quotes" Biden as explaining that it will be "a great comfort when the Obama administration strangles the U.S. economy and sets off a long, terrifying race war."
And in his Iowahawk "interview", Biden offered "There will be a point -- maybe one week, maybe two weeks after the inauguration -- when the opinion polls will look bad. Really horribly bad. Despite our best efforts, a couple of mid-size cities will inevitably be vaporized. People will be complaining. 'Why are you nationalizing the Safeway?' 'When is Omaha going to stop glowing?' 'Why do the Chinese soldiers keep asking for my papers?' When this happens, we will need you to keep supporting us because, trust me, you really won't want to be observed not supporting us. "
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
"...If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list
of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money
from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.
Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the
finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's
prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a
fair share of the blame at Obama's door...."
Do read the whole thing.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
One of the coolest musicians from my childhood was Edgar Winter. He was (is?) kind of a blues-y rock guy, and with his completely unusal albino looks, drew quite a bit of attention.
Anyhooooo, he and his group were on my flight the other day. So, apropo of nothing, here is 10 minutes of Winter's Frankenstein...
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Folks, bubbles can't be inflated forever. This money supply is going to pop. When that happens, the things you need in life--food, water, electricity, gas--are going to become outrageously expensive. The things you don't need in life--an iPod, a ticket to the movies, a RV--are going to drop like rocks.
And because many, many people around the world are going to become very uncomfortable, very fast, I am concerned that all-out war is not out of the question. It is how governments placate their citizens.
But the topic of this post isn't just our rapidly deterioriating economy and what will happen next, but rather this poll. We have serious, serious problems if Americans cannot understand that the money that we just "bailed out Wall Street" with is just a figment of the Fed's imagination. Using that "money" to buy three months of gas is about the dumbest thing I've ever heard--short of using it to bail out Wall Street.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Turns out, he's not waiting for the Mint to put him on a coin.
h/t Capt. Ed.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
It seems that, contrary to that wish, the rally turned out to be a political event anyway.
[Note: Thanks to those coming in via Exurban League. Those fellas run a first-class, and local site, and I'm not sure what I've done to rate their link. Lately, I don't post all that often (watching my investments dwindle, and we have a daughter getting married soon), but I'll try to be worthy of their support. In that vein, if you care to see one of my rare uber-posts, and especially if you're interested in Arizona, here is something I did last year on Havasu Falls.]
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I would like to note something in this video.
There has been a recent increased use of body language experts in stories in the public domain. O'Reilly uses a body language expert (Click "Body Language" in the menu in the center left part of his page). CBS just ran a story on the body language of Hillary's speech in Denver.
So, rewatch the video above and pay attention at 1:45. Watch Obama's rate of blinking his eyes.
I'm no expert, but I wouldn't be surprised if a body language expert says that this indicates discomfort, if not disingenuity.
h/t Allahpundit over at Hot Air.
Two. Obama on Russia's involvement in Georgia:
“...We’ve got to send a clear message to Russia and unify our allies,” Obama told a crowd of supporters in Virginia. “They can’t charge into other countries. Of course it helps if we are leading by example on that point....” [my emphasis]Two. Michael J. Totten on Russia's involvement in Georgia:
“...We've been trying to tell the world about this for months. If you go back and look at the archives you'll see plenty of calls from the Georgian government saying they're really worried. Even some Russian commentators agree that this is exactly what happened. Don't forget, they sent in a lot of irregulars, Chechens, Cossacks, Ossetians, Ingush – basically thugs. Not normal Chechens or Ingush – thugs. Thugs out for a holiday. Many Western camera crews were robbed at gunpoint ten meters from Russian tanks while Russian commanders just stood there smoking their cigarettes while the irregulars...that happened to a Turkish TV crew. They're lucky to still be alive. Some of the Georgians were picked up by the irregulars. If they happened to be female, they got raped. If they happened to be male, they got shot immediately, sometimes tortured. Injured people we have in hospitals who managed to get out have had arms chopped off, eyes gouged out, and their tongues ripped out.”The math adds up to this: Obama is blazingly ignorant in the field of foreign affairs. The story Totten tells is probably too complicated to explain to Joe Sixpack, but the truth shines through: Russia's Putin is a brute.
Plus it's the oldest law of warfare: have your guns in populated areas, and when the enemy responds, show the world your dead women and children....”
h/t to Vodkapundit for the Totten article.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
So I haven’t been here all that much recently. So, sue me. Cancel your subscriptions, and I’ll gladly refund whatever you’re due.
Seriously, I have recently been alternately busy and lazy. We’ve got a wedding coming up. I don't have much directly to do with that, but it is another thing going on in the house that keeps others busy. I’m spending a bunch of my online time learning to invest and on That-Forum-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named, frequently discussing the same sorts of things I’d be putting up here.
However, on my re-entry here, and I may live to regret these words, I thought I’d put up my Pre-Election Post-Mortem.
This morning Obama announced his Vice Presidential pick as Joe Biden.
Yes, that’s right. Joe. Biden.
And, in my mind, this pick pretty much nails down my view that Obama is going down in flames. Here’s why…
Obama has had to deal with the distractions of the Edwards scandal and the Olympics. That said, he flubbed his announcement by delaying until Saturday and by not testing his text-messaging before his announcement. He needs every little bit of bounce he can get, and at nearly every opportunity, he's whiffing at the ball.
There is plenty to wonder about Obama’s pick of Biden. I’m sure the McCain camp has been working through all the possibilities for months now. But off the top of my head, here are the questions I have…
- Joe “I think that I stand by the statement [that Obama is not ready]” Biden.
- Joe “Plagiarism” Biden
- Joe “ [A]rticulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy” Biden
- Joe “Been in the Senate since 1973” Biden
Bonus Snark: Q. Where was Obama in 1973? A. In seventh grade.
- Joe “Delaware’s 3 Electoral Votes” Biden
- Joe “Never more than 3% of the vote” Biden
- Joe “Yea on the Iraq War Authorization” Biden
- Joe “Negative Net Worth” Biden
- Joe “The Senator from MBNA” Biden
OK. That’s enough…I think you get the idea. While Obama may view that Biden offers his ticket everything that he does not—foreign policy experience being primary—he also comes with a fair amount of baggage. Obama’s Biden pick allows McCain to bring along someone like Pawlenty or Palin as the younger, less loose-cannon-ish, and baggage-free alternative (although Palin does have her problems too).
Obama still has a P.U.M.A. problem that he will have to work through next week. I don’t think that Hillary herself is stupid or arrogant enough (but who knows) to seriously mount a Convention challenge to Obama, but this lack of unity, at this point especially, is a problem for Obama. That said, the very idea that Hillary has had to form her own “whip teams” speaks to Obama’s weakness at his own convention (not to mention bringing up some disturbing images).
The Democrat Party Future
This is an I-told-you-so moment for the Republicans and conservatives in general.
The D’s should have got on board with removing Bill Clinton from office. They’d have lost the election by a larger margin in 2000 than they did, but by not doing so, they immediately allowed Hillary to be elected to the Senate as nothing more than America’s Most Scorned Woman. Then, as a Senator, she became the party’s “inevitable” primary candidate in 2008. Her “inevitability” was, of course, not a foregone conclusion, but this allowed Obama to sneak under the radar with little examination of just how unqualified a candidate he is. The D’s are about to pay for this.
Had the D's gone along with removing Clinton, I believed they'd be healed as a party by now and have grown a good crop of candidates. As it is, the D's have been beholden to the Clinton machine, and now the party is floundering because of it.
Mark my words: The D’s are going down hard this year. Both as a party and with regard to McCain, the R’s are still far, far from perfect, and they may not recapture either House, but I won’t be surprised if they do increase their seats. The Kos Kidz, the DUers, and the other libtards will take this hard, and frankly this concerns me a bit.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
He ran an intellectually empty campaign...running away from positions he had sincerely taken in the past, and adopting a populist message that he had no history with.
However, I began to have some sympathy for John and Elizabeth Edwards when her cancer recurred.
No more. Sympathy for her--Yes.
He is a snake.
I don't have any idea how many married American men and women are unfaithful in their marriages. I do know that infidelity is wrong. It is wrong when you're trapped in a nightmare marriage. It is wrong when you're drunk. It is wrong when you're both drunk and in a nighmare marriage and happen to stumble on Ms. Right.
A marriage means committment...to one person. If the marriage has failed and you're done with that commitment--fine. Get out of the marriage. Then move on to another relationship.
But infidelity is wrong. There are no circumstances when it is right. And I know that you know that infidelity is wrong. How so, you ask? It's really very simple...
Because the unfaithful keep their infidelity a secret.
And, in the case of John Edwards, it is wrong when you're running for your party's nomination for President. And it is especially wrong when your wife has a terminal illness.
The guy is a snake.
Ace has gone a bit overboard on every little detail of this (as well as subsequent posts), but he does make a number of good points.
- That Hunter is in love with Edwards and thinks that post-Elizabeth that they'll get married tells me that she's a snake too.
- That Edwards-aide, Andrew Young, is fessing up to paternity tells me that either Hunter can or was passed around the campaign. Not very flattering to any of the parties.
- That Edwards has fat-cats who may be paying off Hunter tells me that this is not just about infidelity and love-out-of-marriage, but also of money. Snakes. (Did I mention that yet?)
But Paul at Powerline makes a good point too...this is none of our business, and especially so considering Elizabeth's illness.
But the larger story here is one of the media. The MSM are so deeply in the tank for whichever candidate the Democrats will nominate that they could not explore Edwards' infidelity when handed the information. It was the National Enquirer which broke this story. It is clear to me that the N.E. is riding this story for all it's worth...they're a for-profit company, after all. They probably paid Hunter for her story and/or the blurred photo of Edwards and the child. Who cares? (I don't.)
But the MSM completely failed the public. Had this been a Republican former Senator and VP candidate, they would have been all over this story months ago. They (deservedly) dug into Larry Craig's restroom misbehavior. They used the Foley scandal over inappropriate emails (but no physical actions), among other Republican failings, into a change of leadership in 2006.
The MSM was maintaining their silence here to keep a scandal centered on a Democrat formerly running for the nomination from hurting all Democrats.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
My academic and professional backgrounds are in technical areas (physics and aviation). I rarely write anything more than a brief report while at work. My command of the English language is not the best. I am not a wordsmith. That said, I found interesting this video found via John at Powerline, where we see Obama using verbs in the first person. Beginning at 0:54, he says:
"My job is to think as the national security interest as a whole, and to have to weigh and balance risks in Afghanistan and Iraq. Their job is to just get the job done here." [My emphases]
Obama is full of expectations about this race, and his verbs tell me he has already measured for the new drapery.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Most recently, he essentially tells us that "You and your kids are stupid and your mom dresses you funny." (Ok. I made that last part up.)
The French have noted Obama's lack of foreign language skills. [Tangentially, many of the Democrats who have called Bush "stupid", fail to note that he has a basic ability in Spanish.]
Related, (and I saw this point yesterday, but can't find find the link now--sorry), Obama is the product of a prep school. He did his graduate and post-graduate work at Ivy League schools. His daughters attend a private school. The elitism obscuring Obama's eyes may prevent him from knowing that it is quite common for public schools to begin foreign language exposure in the early elementary school grades.
[BTW, whatever you do, don't embarrass Barry.]
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Saturday, July 05, 2008
I am struck, however, by this memory....McCain's Feb. 2006 letter to Obama on Obama's changing position on campaign finance reform.
The politically expedient change of positions is nothing new for Barry.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
The decision came and I quickly put up something on The-Forum-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named and headed off to my departure gate. I sat there under a monitor which was set to CNN Headline News.
On the CNN reporting regarding Heller, they immediately had the thoughts of someone from the Brady Center. Did they include anyone from the NRA as balance? Nope.
And after the Brady Center opinion on the decision, the newsreader made the comment that BATFE is charged with ensuring that gun shops conform to local ordinances and that nothing in this decision would prevent the District from not allowing gun shops inside their borders--the implication being that if the Court says it's OK for an individual to have--to "keep"--a firearm in their home--then he could be prevented from having one in the first place by preventing it's sale.
Two points to all this...
- The Mainstream Media is all about the narrative. Whatever you do, make sure what is said fits with what ought to be said. Offering opinions from both sides of an issue would allow thoughtful people to decide for themselves, and that would be horrible.
- And when a decision goes against you, immediately start muddying the waters. The issue of gun shop locations had nothing at all to do with Heller. Yet the CNN reporting suggests that it does. Again, this goes to the support-the-narrative point, but it also shows that the shallowness that the Media (and unfortunately, much of the American public) has towards important issues allows them (us?) to conflate irrelevant points into an argument. Far too many of us get our only news from 30 minutes in front of a Big Three anchor or USA Today. Is it any wonder that we don't understand the issues?
Friday, June 27, 2008
However, there are some bad points to sitting in the back. I was glad to have an aisle seat, even if it was very much in the back. The really bad point came with the guy next to me.
Although he did announce that we were the lucky two who got to sit next to the guy with a 48 inch chest, he wasn't a totally unpleasant guy. He did ask about the Heller decision and otherwise had some small talk--mostly with the guy in the window seat.
He also had some obnoxious qualities. He got up four times--once during taxi out. What was really, really obnoxious, however, was his habit of raising his arms over his head. He didn't smell or anything, and he was wearing a shirt, but exposing your armpits for extended periods just isn't appealing.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
That's all done now. I do have some things I need to get to...learning about investments, further work on my garage, light trimming and painting of the trees, but a great weight has been lifted and I foresee more time for this until the wedding begins to consume us.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
From the op-ed...
Yes, Barack. For what, exactly?
"...That only makes America's ambivalence toward its democratic creation that much stranger to the Iraqis. Will the next administration abandon both its principles and its friends in the region? For what?..."
Monday, June 09, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
What Kind of a Western Bad-Ass are You?
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Clint Eastwood |
Names aren't important as you dish out steaming bowls of piping hot brutality to your enemies. You also enjoy a good spaghetti dinner once in a while.
h/t Cowboy Blob.
Whether public statements regarding Iraq by U.S. government officials were substantiated by intelligence...
Receptionist: "Hello. Obama Campaign Headquarters. How may I help you?"
Receptionist: "No. Senator Obama's not available right now. He's in a meeting. But I'd be happy to take a message for him."
Receptionist: "Umm, hmmm. Yes. Yes. Ok. I've got it. Any number where the Senator can reach you? No? Ok. I'll make sure he gets the message."
Receptionist: "Oh, there you are, Senator. I've got a message from somebody who called himself '2003'. No need to return his call, and I don't really understand what he meant by this, but he asked that I let you know that he'd like his argument back."
h/t to Paul at Powerline, but nearly everyone else has addressed this as well.
Friday, May 30, 2008
"...One can debate the relative importance of these and other factors. But based on the historical record, the Bush administration obviously has done something since 2001 to dramatically improve our security against terrorism. To
fail to recognize this is to sow the seeds of greatly increased susceptibility to terrorist attacks in the next administration."
Sunday, May 25, 2008
However, we are headed to Colorado Springs to see the future Son-in-LawofAzlib graduate from the US Air Force Academy and take his commission into the Air Force.
In our hearts, if not over our driveway this year, we will be flying the colors.
This ought to call into question whether these agencies, even with their good intentions, are good for us. Parents have a right to raise their children the way they want. Abuse claims should be carefully examined.
And Glenn has it right: At least in their concern for the safety of the children, they didn't burn the place down.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
“They poured everything they had into this place. The battle against Americans in Anbar became their most important fight in the world. And they lost.”Of course, the quote is about Fallujah, and Michael J. Totten wrote it. I read this article about the First, Second, and Third Battles for Fallujah as a microcosm of our presence in Iraq...to leave Iraq will invite al Qaeda back in, and we cannot allow them to believe they've beaten us.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
The Very Big War.
Concluding sentences (with my emphasis)...
"...Wars are awful but some wars really are necessary and this war is against an existential threat to the entire world. Since it must be fought, let there be no half measures, let victory be total. Any other result insults the memory of those already killed in this conflict and means that, ultimately, we will face a future nuclear war that will see tens of millions of us die."
"...George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president's extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel...."
However, Obama also said...
What Obama wants us to believe here is that he thinks there is a difference between a state that supports terrorists and the terrorists themselves. He would talk to the former, while denying he would talk to the later.
On this count I can't help but wonder: Would Obama talk to the Afghan Taliban while attacking the al Qaeda in Afghanistan?