Monday, October 23, 2006

Birthday present

Tamsey gave me a few birtday presents this year: a camo robe, a butane torch, and this. The last is my favorite. Thank you, most excellent wife!


What is this country coming to?
Omaha's tough new anti-smoking ordinance banning the practice in nearly all public places comes with an even tougher enforcement policy. The Nebraska city's elected leaders and police department are urging residents who see violations to call the 9-1-1 emergency system for an immediate response. Omaha banned smoking in public Oct. 2. Penalties are $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $500 for the third and subsequent infractions. Teresa Negron, sergeant in charge of public information for the police, explained the department encourages observers of infractions to pick up the phone to report the infraction – just like they would for any other crime they observe being committed.
Insane. This proliferation of laws designed to save us from ourselves injects the government deep into the realm of legislating personal morality. Deviating from the Fathers' ideals has dire consequences. Some quotes well known, but not well enough. Well worn, but not worn publicly enough. Jefferson:
A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.
There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation.
Surely if the multiplication of laws is a sign of moral sickness, this is a strong indicator. Walter Williams puts it well in recent column:
Smoking bans are another violation of private property rights supported by most Americans. If a person owns a restaurant, it is his right to decide whether or not he will permit smoking. If a restaurant owner wishes to permit smoking, he might put up a "Smoking Permitted" sign and let customers decide whether they wish to enter. Similarly, if an owner didn't permit smoking, he might put up a "No Smoking" sign and let customers decide. I'm guessing that a restaurant owner who didn't permit smoking would see it as a violation of his property rights if a coalition used the political arena to create legislation forcing him to permit smoking. It is no less of a property rights violation the other way around.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hunting Season

The weather is finally more like fall. I got a bit chilly this morning in the tree, but Coty got a deer, so it was worth it. We now have shot 4 does between the two of us, in 4 weekends, so we are doing quite well. The rain drove us in today, so I am sitting by a nice warm fire updating my blog and studying for ACSC. One interesting note: when I came back today, Zephyr was, as usual, waiting by the back door. I thought she wanted to chase squirrels. When I looked out, there was this guy, happly eating acorns: Zephyr was pretty excited, so after I took a few pictures I let her out. Around the garden they went, and ZP caught up just before the critter made it back to the pecan tree. Fortunatly for the woodchuck, Zephyr didn't quite know what to do:

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Moral Equivalency

Moral Equivalency is not a sign of unbiased reporting, but CNN seems to think it is :

And then, the crack of gunfire is heard and the soldier in the turret slumps forward.

"Allahu Akbar (God is Great)!" is the exclamation as the sniper's vehicle starts and they slip away.

The deadly tactic is one the U.S. military also uses to take out insurgents.

Retired Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin was one of the top U.S. Marine Corps snipers in Iraq and has written a book about his experiences -- "Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper."

"I have over 60 kills," he told CNN's Gary Tuchman. "We seek out the enemy and eliminate them with precision fire."

It gets worse. CNN admits that they are aiding and abetting the enemy's plans:

We are assuming they included the sniper tape to prove the authenticity of the Al-Shimary interview tape and to establish their credibility. Of course, we also understood that some might conclude there is a public relations benefit for the insurgents if we aired the material, especially on CNN International.

Yes, war is a terrible thing, and yes, the American people deserve to know the truth. Unfortunatly, picking and choosing the most negative, dramatic footage to air is not only demoralizing to those who are in harm's way, but it erodes support for the war by concealing the bigger picture of why we are there. It is not presenting the truth, nor even a real part of the truth. As Steve Taylor wrote in "Meat the Press (1984)":

When the ratings point the camera's eye
They can state the facts while telling a lie

And as Stephen Crumbacher wrote in "Perfect Crime": "The camera never lies, though edits often do".

This mantra from the left calling for a US defeat will take its toll, unfortunately. And Americans will pay with their lives if they succeed. Not merely those who today will have to face an opponent cheered on by Ted Turner's dogs, but also those who in the future will have their blood spilled on American soil if we fail to bring this implacable enemy to its knees.

As John Lewis Gaddis points out in the above linked speech :

we need to take more seriously than we have the question of whether regimes that treat theirown people this brutally are not likely to behave similarly toward the outside world. Internationalrelations theorists have shown quite convincingly that democratic regimes tend not to go to war withone another - that civil society at home tends to project itself onto the international scene. But whatabout the other side of the equation? What about authoritarian societies and the terror that sustainsthem? Are such states ever "normal" states, to be dealt with in normal ways?

He is talking about the Cold War, but the point is still valid. Don't let the narrow focus of the camera fool you. We are on the right side, they are on the wrong. We are the good guys, they are the bad.

It really is that simple.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Mead Making

I think a few people were looking for this info, and so, as promised, here is a link to my meadmaking spreadsheet. Unfortunatly, comments from Excel did not translate, but the basics are all there.


WSJ: Army Sees Value in Pentathalon

Top Army officials also are trying to change a culture that discourages good officers from taking advisory posts. Over the past decade, the path to success has been through conventional combat jobs in big brigades. Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army's top officer, uses a track analogy to describe the problem. The Army, he says, is full of specialists, or "single-event people." To prevail in today's wars, he says, he needs "pentathletes" with a broader range of experiences.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Tryout of Google Docs...

Can I insert a hyperlink?

Of course!

Can I insert a picture?