December 30, 2009

Pic courtesy of the Anchorage Daily News

Putting the Dogs of War on a Short Leash

As I’ve watched the events of the last few days it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war. He seems to think if he has a low key response to an attempt to blow up an airliner and kill hundreds of people, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gives terrorists the rights of Americans, lets them lawyer up and reads them their Miranda rights, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if we bring the mastermind of 9/11 to New York, give him a lawyer and trial in civilian court, we won’t be at war.

He seems to think if he closes Guantanamo and releases the hard-core al Qaeda trained terrorists still there, we won’t be at war. He seems to think if he gets rid of the words, ‘war on terror,’ we won’t be at war. But we are at war and when President Obama pretends we aren’t, it makes us less safe. Why doesn’t he want to admit we’re at war? It doesn’t fit with the view of the world he brought with him to the Oval Office. It doesn’t fit with what seems to be the goal of his presidency – social transformation—the restructuring of American society. President Obama’s first object and his highest responsibility must be to defend us against an enemy that knows we are at war.

Dick Cheney

December 29, 2009

Flight Contingency Operations

If we take anything away from the latest attempt by radical Musloons to take down an American jetliner it is that once again the last line of defense in the war on terror is every able bodied soul that boards an aircraft. When Janet Napolitano tells us that the system worked and the President calls the incident an alleged act of terror they want us to believe as long as the plane makes a safe landing all is well at Homeland Security. Eventually however the terrorists will perfect the exploding apparel device and the final link in the security chain will tragically fail. Until then passengers need to take an active role in their survival because the rest of the system is obviously just a little bit flaky.

It may be inappropriate for the TSA to profile passengers but the individual traveler is under no such moral constraint. Begin in the boarding area by sizing up your fellow travelers to identify anyone that might fit the profile of a terrorist. Chances are your choice will not be the same as the ones that got the pat down going through security.

I know at this point some are saying to yourselves, "That's so prejudicial you fascist Neanderthal!" To that I say, "Screw you." The first rule of survival is awareness of your surroundings. I haven't heard a statement from the fellow on the Delta flight that climbed over the seats to get to the bomber but the fact that he acted so quickly would indicate that he was already alerted to the threat.

The second is having a contingency plan in the event that your newly profiled friend should actually have plans to land your flight a cornfield short of your intended destination. Preparedness is not paranoia and traveling with a plan to defend yourself is just as prudent as an insurance policy. Spike TV's recent "Surviving Disaster" series showed a realistic response to an aircraft hijacking that gives many tips and tactics that I think you will find useful. Lets hope those charged with our protection get their act together so you never have to use it.

The Original F15 Eagle

The following piece of hanger flying landed in the inbox yesterday.

I went out to plant corn for a bit to finish a field before tomorrow morning and witnessed The Great Battle. A golden eagle - big bastard, with about a six foot wingspan - flew right in front of the tractor. It was being chased by three crows that were continually dive bombing it and pecking at it. The crows do this because the eagles rob their nests when they find them.

At any rate, the eagle banked hard right in one evasive maneuver, then landed in the field about 100 feet from the tractor. This eagle stood about 3 feet tall. The crows all landed too, and took up positions around the eagle at 120 degrees apart, but kept their distance at about 20 feet from the big bird. The eagle would take a couple steps towards one of the crows and they'd hop backwards and forward to keep their distance. Then the reinforcement showed up.

I happened to spot the eagle's mate hurtling down out of the sky at what appeared to be approximately Mach 1.5. Just before impact the eagle on the ground took flight, (obviously a coordinated tactic; probably pre-briefed) and the three crows which were watching the grounded eagle, also took flight thinking they were going to get in some more pecking on the big bird. The first crow being targeted by the diving eagle never stood a snowball's chance in hell. There was a mid-air explosion of black feathers and that crow was done. The diving eagle then banked hard left in what had to be a 9G climbing turn, using the energy it had accumulated in the dive, and hit crow #2 less than two seconds later. Another crow dead.

The grounded eagle, which was now airborne and had an altitude advantage on the remaining crow, which was streaking eastward in full burner, made a short dive then banked hard right when the escaping crow tried to evade the hit. It didn't work - crow #3 bit the dust at about 20 feet AGL.

This aerial battle was better than any air show I've been to, including the war birds show at Oshkosh . The two eagles ripped the crows apart and ate them on the ground, and as I got closer and closer working my way across the field, I passed within 20 feet of one of them as it ate its catch. It stopped and looked at me as I went by and you could see in the look of that bird that it knew who's Boss Of The Sky. What a beautiful bird.

Thanks Fred

December 28, 2009

From the Desk of G.K. Chesterton

There is no fear that a modern king will attempt to override the constitution; it is more likely that he will ignore the constitution and work behind its back; he will take no advantage of his kingly power; it is more likely that he will take advantage of his kingly powerlessness, of the fact that he is free from criticism and publicity. For the king is the most private person of our time. It will not be necessary for any one to fight again against the proposal of a censorship of the press. We do not need a censorship of the press. We have a censorship by the press.

G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to All

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David), to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord come upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this king which is to come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us." And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Luke 2:1

December 22, 2009

Graduation Day

Leave it to the wisdom of a six year old to ground a person that is in need of frequent re-grounding. Last Saturday afternoon we had just returned home after lunch with friends and I assumed my normal position on the family room couch for a much deserved nap. The dog was barking at the back door, six feet from my position of repose, and I called for my littlest Angel, who was in the west wing of Casa de Salmon, to come to my assistance. She huffed to the back door, let the dogs in, and as she stormed past declared, “It may be your special day Dad, but it’s not all about you!” Did I mention that she is only six?

Several years ago I had reached a crossroads in my life. My wife and I had married in February 2002 and soon thereafter we left Alaska when I accepted a short lived job with USA Today in Michigan. Eight months later and severely pregnant we were loading up a truck and moving a second time to Minnesota. Once again I found that I had landed another terrible job in the rapidly dying newspaper industry and a year later I was at a loss as to what to do next. I was torn between finding another newspaper or doing something new which would require some retooling.

I always regretted not going to college but it was not something I remember being stressed in our house as a kid. Instead I elected to enter the Army right after high school. In Uncle Sam’s infinite wisdom I was offered an opportunity to go to West Point shortly after entering basic training. What were they thinking, were they that desperate for officers? I was seventeen, had escaped the grip of high school by the skin of my teeth, and in my current position as grunt trainee was not sure that the military was a career path I was particularly enamored with. In my infinite ignorance I declined. Eventually I served my time, found a trade, dabbled in a few classes at the local community college, but by and large just got on with life until the events described above.

I’m sure that anyone that has contemplated a midlife transition has at some point found himself filled with doubts and fears, I was no different. Fortunately I had unwittingly married an Angel and she suggested that we pack up and return to Iowa where I could attend school full time while she would support us. Little did I realize what “support” would mean.

It would mean her working overtime while I studied and worked part time at near minimum wage. It would mean that she would work miracles with the checkbook so I could spend a week at Oshkosh. It would mean giving moral support, prodding, and the occasional beating to this recalcitrant non-traditional student to keep me focused on the goal that had been set. Essentially it would mean that her Angel like qualities would be tested to their limits.

We finally graduated Saturday and I say we because without the help of my two Angels this dream would not have been realized. Commencement was indeed a special day and the degree an accomplishment that I will always cherish but as my little Angel pointed out, it was certainly not all about me.

December 21, 2009

December 17, 2009

For Our Jewish Friends.

Moved back to the top from Dec. 2007

Thx Adam.

December 14, 2009

Please Donate

I have never sought to promote any particular organization here at the Salmon but every once in a while you come across the work of Angels that just screams out for support. Saturday on a PBS quilting show I found one such cause. This is their story:

The Camo Quilt Project:

The first camouflage quilt was designed and made by Linda Wieck in April of 2006. Her son-in-law, Todd, was being deployed to Iraq and asked her to make him a quilt to take along. His specifications were that it be small, made from camouflage cloth, and it needed to have cotton batting.

While Todd was at Camp Shelby, MS for training prior to being deployed, other soldiers in his unit saw the quilt and wanted to buy one. Todd asked Linda if she could make each of them a quilt and they would pay her for them. She scrambled to finish all 48 before they left for Iraq in July of 2006.

After the local newspaper published an article about her work, one of the readers asked Linda to conduct a workshop to train others to make the quilts. The first one day workshop was held in April of 2007 at a local banquet hall and was fol-lowed by
additional week-long work-shops. Hundreds of volunteers helped at these workshops. All the money needed for materials and supplies were donated so the quilts could be given to the soldiers free of charge.

Amy's Quilts: (Unit Pictured Above)

Before her death in the Fort Hood massacre, SSG Amy Krueger had requested quilts for her entire unit. We were able to complete these quilts, and thanks to a local company they were delivered to Fort Hood before the unit deployed. We received this note of thanks from MAJ Suttinger:

What a wonderful gift. Notice the smiles all around. We are all very touched and astonished at Amy’s wish and the entire dedicated effort it took for the Camo Quilt Project to make this work (along with some help from Johnsonville for delivery!) We leave soon and these will comfort us through the upcoming year. Thank you x 46!!!

MAJ Laura Suttinger

To donate to the Camo Quilt Project, you can send a check payable to:

Franklin Legion Post 387 c/o Steven Bender
N7417 Bittersweet Rd
Plymouth, WI 53073

Thanks, S

December 12, 2009

December 04, 2009

The Tenth Commandment

I ran across this gem from P.J. O'Rourke:
And then there is the Tenth Commandment. 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's.'

The Ten Commandments are God's basic rules about how we should live — a brief list of sacred obligations and solemn moral precepts.The first nine Commandments concern theological principles and social law. But then, right at the end, is 'Don't envy your buddy's cow.' How did that make the top ten? What's it doing there? Why would God, with just ten things to tell Moses, choose as one of those things jealousy about the starter mansion with in-ground pool next door?

Yet think how important the Tenth Commandment is to a community, to a nation, indeed to a presidential election. If you want a mule, if you want a pot roast, if you want a cleaning lady, don't be a jerk and whine about what the people across the street have — go get your own.

The Tenth Commandment sends a message to all the jerks who want redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, more government programs, more government regulation, more government, less free enterprise, and less freedom. And the message is clear and concise: Go to hell.

December 03, 2009

Obama Riles Alaska Airmen

From FP:
When President Obama spoke to troops at Alaska's Elmendorf Air Force Base last month, the unit there parked a shiny new F-22 fighter plane in the hanger. But according to multiple sources, White House aides demanded the plane be changed to an older F-15 fighter because they didn't want Obama speaking in front of the F-22, a controversial program he fought hard to end.

"White House aides actually made them remove the F-22-said they would not allow POTUS to be pictured with the F-22 in any way, shape, or form," one source close to the unit relayed.

Stephen Lee, a public affairs officer at Elmendorf, confirmed to The Cable that the F-22 was parked in the hanger and then was replaced by an F-15 at the White House's behest.

The airmen there took offense to the Obama aides' demand, sources told The Cable, seeing it as a slight to the folks who are operating the F-22 proudly every day. They also expressed bewilderment that the White House staff would even care so much as to make an issue out of the fact that the F-22 was placed in the hanger with the president.

Obama Afgan Speech in a Nutshell

Obama's Magic No Longer Works
From Der Spiegel

But in this case, (the Afgan speech) the public was more disturbed than entertained. Indeed, one could see the phenomenon in a number of places in recent weeks: Obama's magic no longer works. The allure of his words has grown weaker.

It is not he himself who has changed, but rather the benchmark used to evaluate him. For a president, the unit of measurement is real life. A leader is seen by citizens through the prism of their lives -- their job, their household budget, where they live and suffer. And, in the case of the war on terror, where they sometimes die.

Political dreams and yearnings for the future belong elsewhere. That was where the political charmer Obama was able to successfully capture the imaginations of millions of voters. It is a place where campaigners -- particularly those with a talent for oration -- are fond of taking refuge. It is also where Obama set up his campaign headquarters, in an enormous tent called "Hope."

In his speech on America's new Afghanistan strategy, Obama tried to speak to both places. It was two speeches in one. That is why it felt so false. Both dreamers and realists were left feeling distraught.

The American president doesn't need any opponents at the moment. He's already got himself.
I predicted some time ago that Obama would weigh the political implications and then give McCrystal what he asked for. It looks like I was only 75% right.
Update: I just read that the number is now 35,000 so my accuracty has improved to 85%.
What the caveat laden speech illustrated however is how hard it is to split the baby when you actually have to lead. I don't think I can recall any prior president saying we cant let a war go on too long because we have other programs that need attention. War is not a government program.

On a lighter note:

I was only half paying attention to the speech as it aired live on Tuesday night with the drone of I,I,I and "Bush made me do it" barely registering in the background. We have heard it all before.

Obama then got to the part as he does in every speech where he feels the need to inspire. On the campaign trail this is usually accompanied with a change in pitch and cadence that signals to the crowd that they have gotten to the juicy part. The part where you pour out your adoration and excitement.

It would be inappropriate of course to soar the rhetoric in a speech of such seriousness. So he blathered on about the efforts of great Americans blah blah blah. Then he hit a line that literally jerked my head toward the set. I reached for the rewind button to find that without credit to the author Obama stole a line from the greatest presidential speech ever given by arguably the greatest wartime president that ever lived. Do they allow plagiarism at Haaaverd?

December 02, 2009

Crunch Time

I haven't had much time for posting lately as it is once again that time of year where a multitude of projects runs headlong into the end of the semester. Part of the crunch is of course due to my own dithering. Against my better judgement I took another online course and despite my self made promises to knock it out before Thanksgiving it's completion is still hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles. Then there are two major papers and the upcoming finals week to contend with. Fortunately the light at the end of this very long tunnel will finally be reached. Graduation is the 19th.

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

What I am Thankful For,
1. My family
2. Friends
3. Food and Shelter
4. Air that we breath.
5. My dogs
6. God because he created us.

~Arwen age 6

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The two writers above show us that the things we love, cherish, and give thanks for today are essentially universal, except dogs perhaps. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

The Salmon

November 18, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

The object of the game is to destroy American capitalism by having the government take over everything.
Wanna play? No? Too bad, you're already playing.
And in this game, nobody wins.

Thx Rick

November 17, 2009

Flying Inspiration

The following was borrowed from AOPA Blog.
My Dear Mother,

The red letter day of my life has come and gone–I have driven an airplane through the sky. I have done banks, spirals and straight flying. It is great and glorious and worth all the efforts I have (made) to attain it, and when I cross the great divide, I will do so knowing I have toyed with the clouds and frolicked in the skies; that I’ve raced through space with a joystick in my hand.

I know now what “pockets” in the air are, how they make you skip, toss and rock, and I want you to know that, sitting there 5,000 feet above ground, nothing matters much; you feel as secure as if in a rocking chair. You ride easier than the most luxurious limousine. I repeat, it’s great!

Driving an airplane is more like a combination of swimming, steering an auto, scenic railway riding, and roller skating than anything else. You have three controls: directional, longitudinal, and lateral, and the first time an instructor turns them over to you some 3,000 feet above the earth, you love so well a strange and lonesome feeling that comes over you. But there you are.

He signals what to do, say it is for a bank, your heart comes up into your mouth, and then if never before you realize you’re helpless–and all you have learned seems one tremendous pile of ignorance, but dauntlessly you lower your right wing and shove your right rudder–then, mother of mine, that right wing goes to the bottom and your machine turns practically on its side, your left wing nearly straight up and you seem to turn around in the length of your ship, which you don’t.

Then still alive and happy at your success, you bring her out, and once again you’re tearing through great gobs of atmosphere at 75 m.p.h. And you’ve done your bank.

About my commission, I’m not terribly interested in it. It’s a secondary thing, not the primary. The great and only thing is to fly. Being a flyer naturally brings a commission, but you’re not a flyer until you’ve done 75 hours in the air. I have been up four times, each time with an instructor, so you see I am not just on the verge of being haled as an “ace,” but just the same, an accident is the only thing that can keep me from being a pilot . . .

Van B. Foster, Army flight student. June 25, 1918
I'm sure that everyone that has ever gotten the urge to fly has a story like this that sums up the joy and excitement so inherent in flying. I am reminded of this piece I wrote several years ago.

November 15, 2009

Hawkeye Heartache

Photo: Freshman Quarterback James Vandenberg

On a Saturday when a bruised and battered Iowa Hawkeye team could have folded and given credence to the the season long naysayers, they proved once again that they could hang with the best despite the loss of Ricky Stanzi and others. They lost in overtime against an Ohio State team that by all accounts should have dominated.

I for one thought that freshman back up quarterback James Vandenberg would get chewed up and spit out but as one commentator noted Vandenberg, "played like a fifth year senior." And once again in the third quarter when it looked like the game was over the Heartattack Hawkeyes hung tough, tied up the score and sent the game into OT.
Of course the outcome was not what we wished but there is a bowl game in the Hawkeye's future and we can rest easy that a large part of this team will return next year.

Next week, Minnesota.

November 13, 2009

Fasten Your Seatbelt

US Airways Hudson River Ditch

Via Ace of Spades HQ

November 11, 2009

November 09, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

The Miracle Comes to An End: Iowa vs. Northwestern: Stanzi injured; Hawkeyes Fall 17-10
From the Des Moines Register

Raiders get a bye Week: Pretty sure they still suck.
We moved another step closer to Dystopia on Saturday as the House Passed Healthcare Reform 22o-215. Despite the Salmon's letter writing campaign Iowa's congressmen voted along party lines.

Dave Loebsack Will Rue This Day
Reed Sets his Sights on Loebsack in Iowa’s 2nd CD

What Iowa's Delegation Had to Say
From the Des Moines Register

What the Pelosi Health-Care Bill Really Says
From the Wall Street Journal
These are the folks that have possesion of your childrens minds 7 hours a day.
Recommended Reading List at the National Education Association, "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky
From the NEA

Ten Components of Emergency Preparedness
From Preparedness Pro

November 08, 2009

Ice Queen President

I doubt that this was intentional, but George Bush highlighted that America has elected an Ice Queen. Friday, under the cover of darkness, George Bush snuck into Fort Hood to console the victims of the Fort Hood Massacre. From the LATIMES:
Last night former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura made a secret visit to the devastated military families at Fort Hood.

The Bushes instructed the commander of the mourning military base that they wanted no publicity. With their Secret Service detail, Bush and his wife made the 30 mile trip unannounced from their ranch near Crawford, Texas Friday evening.

Fox News broke news of the visit this afternoon. Other sources said the former first couple spent about two hours meeting with the wounded, family and soldiers, talking quietly and at times hugging them as they did in private at other times of crisis such as post-9/11.
Bush’s selfless act would probably not seem so extraordinary but for the fact that it comes on the heels of Obama’s midnight excursion to Dover AFB, complete with press, staff, and photographers so he could "see first hand the human cost of the Afghanistan war."

Now, as USA Today reports. "President Obama will visit Fort Hood soon to pay tribute to the victims of Thursday's shooting, a decision that scrambles the rest of his schedule, possibly including next week's trip to Asia." Gee, sorry for the inconvenience. Perhaps the President can persuade them to hold the memorial on Veterans Day and get some real mileage out of it.

I’m not saying that Obama is cold, calculating, or heartless it’s just that by all appearances he is an automaton; cold, calculating, and heartless. A case in point was the President’s address to the nation on Thursday. Obviously the events in Texas were still unfolding but I for one sat stunned as Obama rambled on for two minutes and gave a Palinesque shout out to someone in the audience before he coolly stated the obvious. Soldiers were being killed on a US military installation and the Presidents schedule proceeds uninterrupted? The disconnect here is disturbing.

His performance on Friday was equally obtuse. He sounded more like a local news caster as he moved deadpan from the Fort Hood update to the economy story. I half expected him to say “Now let me shoot you over to Rohm Emmanuel at our weather desk.”

Perhaps I'm just longing for the days when a President could at least feel our pain, and if necessary command a tear when appropriate. It is often said that what made FDR so effective was his ability to make people feel that he connected to them personally. These recent events leaves you wondering if the Ice Queen is connected at all.

November 05, 2009

Iowa vs Oakland

As many of you know I have been pretty excited about the Iowa Hawkeyes this season but come Monday mornings I have have been forced to post "Raiders Suck" about 8 times. Oh the humanity!
Could the Big 10 Hawkeyes beat the NFL Raiders? HMM, interesting question.
If Cable took his Raiders and brought them to college football’s best conference in the Midwest, would Oakland succeed? Well, the answer is simple: No...

Do the Raiders have the fattest quarterback-kicker combination in the league?

Do they have a senile old man who has possibly turned into a zombie as an owner?

Are they the first NFL team to lose at least 11 games in six straight seasons?

The Raiders have been such a laughable organization since their Super Bowl run in 2002, never doubt the ways in which they can screw up. Sure, they might give Indiana a run for their money and a game against Illinois could end up in negative total points, but the Raiders could never compete with Big Ten heavyweights.

Ohio State has more future NFL hopefuls currently on the Buckeyes roster than the Raiders do.

Penn State wins in an old man competition pitting JoPa against Al Davis.

And Iowa would win ugly, because that is what the Hawkeyes do.

Letter to the Iowa Congressional Delegation

Dear Sir.

As the healthcare bill inevitably moves toward the reconciliation process in congress I would ask you, as a fellow Iowan, to take a moment and reflect on the four basic goals that congress set out to achieve with this legislation. Reducing medical costs, insuring all Americans, and reducing the deficit all without increasing taxes on Americans.

By every metric this bill fails to accomplish those goals. It does not cover everyone. It does not bend the cost curve of medical care. It will negatively impact the deficit while raising taxes on a majority of Americans. To ignore these facts and still vote for this bill would require, as the great Senator Hillary Clinton once declared, “ the willing suspension of disbelief.”

I could go on to argue about the increase in the bureaucracy, the history of the government’s inability of to operate similar programs efficiently, the loss of personal liberty, or the question of constitutionality but those issues while very important are secondary to the fact that this bill fails to live up to its original intent.

I don’t believe any Iowa legislator would intentionally pass legislation that would ultimately harm their constituents, their neighbors, or their family but a vote for passage of this legislation would be a travesty for the people of Iowa and all Americans. Please vote no on this healthcare legislation.


Cc: Iowa Congressional Delegation

November 04, 2009

Speaking Truth to Power

I came across an interview of Obama’s Frau Blucher the other day when she was lamenting the dissenters of the B.HO administration, “The administration has said very clearly is that we're going to speak truth to power.”

As John Steel wrote in the WSJ, “Much of the American political world collapsed in laughter, pointing out that her boss was president of the United States, the most powerful man on earth.” I personally have always pictured David waging his finger at Goliath.

From what I have since been able to ascertain the phrase originated in the Quaker community in 1955 as the title of a study “Speak Truth to Power: A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence” which sought a way for the US and the Soviet Union to peacefully resolve their differences. Historian Larry Ingle writes:

Its title, which came to Friend Milton Mayer toward the end of the week in summer 1954 when the composing committee finished work on the document, has become almost a cliche; it has become common far beyond Quaker circles, often used by people who have no idea of its origins. (One current example: Anita Hill entitled her memoir of her sensational charges of sexual harassment against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Speaking Truth to Power.)

The best contemporary definition of the phrase comes, from of all places, the Urban Dictionary which reads in part.
A vacuous phrase used by some on the political Left. Ostensibly, it means to verbally confront or challenge conservative politicians and conservative ideals using the overwhelmingly logical and moral arguments of liberalism. Doing so would naturally devastate the target individual, leaving them a stuttering, stammering bowl of defeated jelly. That or cause them to experience an epiphany that would have such a profound, worldview-changing effect that they would immediately go out and buy a Che t-shirt and start reading Noam Chomsky.
I think that is the best explaination for the point that Frau Blucher was trying to make.

November 03, 2009

The Warning.

I caught the documentary "The Warning" on PBS a couple weeks ago.

It is the story of lone regulator Brookley Born as she tried to sound the alarm in the mid 90s that the derivatives market was a ticking time bomb. In 1998 the system nearly collapsed, but was bailed out by the bankers in that instance. Despite the evidence congress, republicans and democrats, along with the Fed refused to reign in Wall Street.

The players, particularly Clinton's Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Obama's economic advisor Larry Summers who fought against regulations went on to make millions in the market that they were charged with overseeing. Also fighting to discredit Born was Alan Greenspan. When Greenspan recently announced that, "Gee, I didn't see this coming" he is a liar in the first degree, he knew the systemic risks but elected to defend Wall Street.

I am beginning to believe that we are living in an oligarchy. I'm not sure what other conclusion to make after seeing this program. If you feel that your level of disgust at your elected officials, the Fed, or Wall Street just isn't high enough then this is the documentary for you.

November 02, 2009

Looking for a True Conservative

From Forbes

...The noisiest single lobby in the world today is the Climate Change/Global Warming/Green alliance, of which the supposedly liberal President Obama is an enthusiastic member and which has the support of left-wing ideologues all over the world.

This is essentially a reactionary movement, for its aim is to confine and even reverse capitalism, returning to a precapitalist arcadia in which woods and forests expand, the sea is no longer harvested, energy is strictly rationed and controls on human activity, especially wealth and job creation, are universal...

Indeed, many of its supporters would prefer a pristine world in which Homo sapiens remained primitive or did not exist at all. Their faith, like most forms of political absolutism, is a substitute for genuine religion. In fact it is, in one sense, a crude form of religion--pantheism, the worship of the Earth and all its manifestations.

October 31, 2009

Children of the Corn at 9-0

I have been searching for a Halloween analogy for the Hawkeyes come from behind win against Indiana today and the best I have come up with is the Children of the Corn. Fitting because this is after all Iowa where corn is king plus, another team wandered into town thinking they were meeting just a ragtag bunch of misfit kids but were then dragged out into the corn field for the ritual sacrifice.

In the third quarter the Hawks were down by ten points and Stanzi had just thrown 4 perfect passes to the Hoosier defense. Then with the Hoosiers on their own 2 yard line "He That Walks Behind the Rows" blocked an Indiana pass that bounced off four players and miraculously landed in the hands of Iowa's Tyler Sash who took the unexpected gift 86 yards for a TD.

In what is becoming typical Iowa form, a fired up Stanzi then led the Hawks to 28 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to put away the Hooseirs. Trick or Treat.

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination...

You are entering the Obama Zone

Pulled from yesterdays post and updated:

Thomas Sewell; the dismantling of America Part I
From RCP

Just one year ago, would you have believed that an unelected government official, not even a Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate but simply one of the many "czars" appointed by the President, could arbitrarily cut the pay of executives in private businesses by 50 percent or 90 percent?

Thomas Sewell; the dismantling of America Part II

Obama poised to cede US sovereignty

"Affordable Healthcare for America Act" All 1990 pages worth.

October 30, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Alaska's Sarah Palin to Visit Iowa
From The Iowa Republican

In what has to be the irony of all ironies, The Iowa Republican reports that Sarah has been invited to speak Nov 21 at the Family Policy Center’s fall fundraiser in Des Moines. Across the street on that same night Joe Biden is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Democrats Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. Sounds like a good opportunity to have a tea party.

Update: 10/30/09 Pleasant Hill, IA – Iowa Family Policy Center ACTION received word this morning that Governor Sarah Palin is unable to accept our speaking invitation due to her book tour contractual commitments, which cannot be changed.
We extended our invitation knowing she would be in the middle of her book tour and the chances of her being able to accept any invitations were extremely slim.
She has asked if she could speak at a future mutually agreeable date. She will not accept any fees for her appearance.

While we are on the subject of Alaska...
Alaska's Great Wide Open
From The Smithsonian

A land of silvery light and astonishing peaks, the country's largest state perpetuates the belief that anything is possible.

Interview with Charles Krauthammer: 'Obama Is Average':
From Speigel International

October 28, 2009

The Attack on Americanism

Illustration from The Masses. ca 1910-1920

During the same era as the illustration above, German sociologist Werner Sombart questioned why socialism never became viable in America while the rest of the world was embracing the ideology. He suggested that, “all the socialist utopias have foundered upon roast beef and apple pie." Sombart believed that Americans had no need for socialism because they were living in the land of plenty. The reality of the time however was far from a land of roast beef and apple pie. In fact if Sombert was right in his assumption then it would seem that conditions were ideal for the establishment of another socialist state.

The second industrial revolution was under way; mechanization was eliminating skilled jobs at a time when waves of unskilled immigrants were flooding into the country. Anarchist, sydicalists, and socialists existed in fairly large numbers and the new European immigrants were not strangers to the radical tradition. The social conditions included high unemployment, high levels of poverty with masses of people living in squalid urban conditions.

Many Americans were in fact foundering and yet, even with the roast beef and apple pie offered by the left, socialism still did not take hold in America. The left never jelled into a cohesive force capable of unseating the cultural norms inherent in Americans. The reason for that lies in the fact that Americans are cut from a different cloth. As Seymour Lipset wrote in "American Exceptionalism";

Born out of revolution, the United States is a country organized around an ideology which includes a set of dogmas about the nature of a good society. Americanism, as different people have pointed out, is an "ism" or ideology in the same way that communism or fascism or liberalism are isms. As G. K. Chesterton put it: "America is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed (not on ethnic identity).

That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence. . . ." the nation's ideology can be described in five words: liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism, and laissez-faire. The revolutionary ideology which became the American Creed is liberalism in its eighteenth- and nineteenth century meanings

Polls show that the majority of Americans still adhere to this creed but Americanism is once again under attack. This time led by a president that openly rejects Exceptionalism.

The battle that is raging over health care and the rest of the left's agenda is not that there are problems that cold hearted conservatives would rather ignore as the left claims. It's that the majority of Americans, like our ancestors in the early 1900s, are not willing to fundamentally reorient the Ameican Creed in a new and dangerous direction to ameliorate these conditions.

The outcome of this latest attack on Americanism remains to be seen but if we hold true to our values, as a nation, we should once again emerge intact. Battered perhaps but not beaten.

October 27, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave: Americas Progressive Hexagon
From The Founding Blogger

mmmm Charts and Graphs: Conservatives Maintain Edge as Top Ideological Group
From Gallop

Obama's Rift With the Military
From Foriegn Policy

President Obama is presiding over a slow-motion civil-military crash occasioned by his meandering Afghanistan strategy review.

... President Obama has been slowly veering off into a civil-military ditch of his own digging. Despite his relative inexperience in national security matters, this was not inevitable; during the campaign President Obama showed himself to be fairly deft rhetorically in regards to civil-military relations and he carried this strong performance through the first several months of his presidency. However, in recent months he has seemed far less at ease with his wartime Commander-in-Chief role.

From the Pet Peeve Department: 'Yuppie 911': Beacons make calls for help too easy
From the Anchorage Daily News

In the span of three days, the group pushed the panic button three times, mobilizing helicopters for dangerous, lifesaving rescues inside the steep canyon walls. What was that emergency? The water they had found to quench their thirst "tasted salty."

I wrote several months ago about the "Washington pussies rescued from Alaska's Killer Midnight Sun." I also was incensed when the pinheads on this seasons "Survivor" opted to take pillows instead of a tarp. Perhaps I'm just being too critical but I'm convinced some people are just too stupid to survive.

Almost forgot the weekly shoutout to the Raiders: Still Suck!

October 25, 2009

Iowa Hawkeyes 8 and 0

Wow, after a defensive battle between the Hawks and the Michigan State Spartans the Spartans scored a TD to put them into the lead with less than two minutes to go. All hope was suddenly drained. Then miraculously the Hawks marched 70 uncontested yards in 11 plays and with 2 seconds on the clock QB Ricky Stanzi connected on a seven yard pass in the end zone to Marvin McNutt to win the game. I am still stunned and amazed. 8 and 0... Wow.
From the CR Gazette:
Ricky Stanzi’s slant to Marvin McNutt immediately gets its own wing in the Hawkeye Athletics Hall of Fame. It gets replayed over and over and over and over in Iowa this week, the rest of this year, maybe the rest of this half-century.

Here’s how a big a play it was: It made you briefly forget its big-picture significance, which was to keep a perfect season perfect and take Iowa to 8-0 for the first time since football was invented.
From KCRG Sports: Video Here.
BCS Standings: See #4 HERE
Graphic borrowed from the University of Iowa

October 22, 2009

Flying the North Country

The following was brought to my attention by alert reader and fellow pilot MrTex:

One rule to remember when flying the Alaska back country is to remove all those tasty bear treats before leaving your aircraft unattended. The unfortunate Super Cub pictured below fell victim to one such inquisitive ursine critter that thought he happened on a giant can of pink salmon. Heartache! See all the pictures HERE

In typical Alaskan fashion the pilot,with a little plastic wrap and a generous supply of hundred mile an hour tape, was able to effect repairs and get the plane home. A little fresh paint and this one would be good as new.
This type of innovation is not that unusual although you would probably have a hard time getting a field approval from your local AI. I had a friend that once ground looped his Cessna 180 while glacier landing in the Wrangle Mountains. He proceeded to secure the upturned wing tip with climbing rope for the flight back to Anchorage.

October 21, 2009

When the Revolution Comes to America

I have been making the claim for some time now that Obama is a radical but I have never really taken the time to explain myself. First let me describe the character of revolutions in general and then Obama’s revolution in particular.

When revolution comes to America it will not be in the form of an AK47 toting, cigar chomping, beret wearing radical. Although Obama is outwardly atypical of the radical’s persona his ends are identical. The goal of the revolutionary obviously is to overturn the status quo and replace it with some alternative.

It is probably fitting that one of Obama’s first stops was Turkey and it was humorous when he praised Turkey’s long rich history. The long rich history that Obama was paying homage to is barely a century old. Following World War I Mustafa Kemal Ataturk buried the Ottoman past , sometimes brutally, and installed a western style democracy.

Other examples include Iran during the 1920s when the Shah likewise undertook a revolutionary project to replace the Persian culture with a western culture; modernity was the buzzword of the post Ottoman Middle East. In more recent memory Iran rejected modernity and replaced it with Islam. In Africa most nations replaced imperialism with communism. In colonial America, monarchism was replaced by a liberal republic. Etc.

There is little doubt about Obama’s radical intentions but socialism has never played well in America. Therefore Obama has a special challenge before him; how to replace the status quo in America without openly declaring what will replace it. The closest that any democrat comes to full disclosure is the ubiquitous phrase “leveling the field”. (Google - level the field Obama” 25 million hits)

The first phase of the revolution requires the dismantling of the old order. Outwardly this has been largely rhetorical. America is not exceptional; America is not a Christian nation, capitalism has failed, etc. The second phase is Obama himself; the Obama blitzkrieg, all Obama all the time, the continuous campaign. World Tours, television appearances, speeches overloaded with self adulation are just tactics in the larger strategy.

It may look on the surface look like a “cult of personality” or narcissism but Obama is at least for now the face of the revolution which explains why he was so quick to accept the Nobel. It is a persona builder much like the recent attempt at using the NEA for new Obama iconography or getting the president into the classroom.

On the other side of the battlefield however, and what makes this strategy so precarious, is the persona wreckers. Rush Limbaugh was an obvious target early on. More recently, “tea baggers”, Fox News, and particularly Glen Beck have been not just criticized but openly attacked by the administration.Obama may appear thin skinned when the administration lashes out but the revolution demands it.

Like a vampire, sunlight could be fatal to the revolution so from the administrations perspective anything that damages the persona must be extinguished immediately and forcibly. Its up to the counter revolutionaries to increase the wattage on this revolution to shatter the ediface which is Obama.

October 19, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

Iowa Hawkeyes Ream Wisconsin 20-10: The Hawkeyes are 7-0 overall, 3-0 in Big Ten play, and number one in the conferance. This week they are ranked No. 6 in the first BCS poll, seventh in the latest Associated Press and Harris polls and eighth by USA Today. Until they get beaten its time to put the "do they deserve this ranking" to rest. Up next Michigan State.
BCS Standings

Oakland Raiders: One upset does not a winner make. Still S...!

Decline is a Choice: A must read.
From Charles Krauthammer

The question of whether America is in decline cannot be answered yes or no. There is no yes or no. Both answers are wrong, because the assumption that somehow there exists some predetermined inevitable trajectory, the result of uncontrollable external forces, is wrong. Nothing is inevitable. Nothing is written. For America today, decline is not a condition. Decline is a choice.
UPDATE: Crass Newweek hyphenates Krauthammer's name. "Charles Kraut-hammer doesn't represent any swing voters."

From the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Department

READY TO REVOLT: Oath Keepers pledge to prevent dictatorship in United States
From The Las Vegas Review Journal

Launched in March by Las Vegan Stewart Rhodes, Oath Keepers bills itself as a nonpartisan group of current and retired law enforcement and military personnel who vow to fulfill their oaths to the Constitution.
Iowa Petition for Immediate Recall and Arrest of U. S. Senators Grassley and Harkin:
From In Perpetuum Rights

We, THE PEOPLE, the SOVEREIGN ELECTORS, FREEMEN, and INHABITANTS of the State of Iowa, in accordance with our Unalienable Rights forever protected by the Constitution of Iowa (1857), do so hereby COMMAND the immediate Recall of the two U.S. Senators of for the State of Iowa and thus THE PEOPLE, Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley... in violation of their Oath of Office to Protect and Defend the Rights of THE PEOPLE, as secured by the Constitution for the United States of America,...

Wouldn't it be better to just repeal the 17th Amendment?

Be Prepared: Wow, emergency rations at COSTCO and Self contained underground composite structures. Honey, can I have the credit card?

October 15, 2009

The Road to Dystopia: The Obama Fiasco.
From NRO
Barack Obama is obviously a very intelligent man, and should be a popular and successful president. But his mandate for profound reform and a steam-cleaning of the Augean Stable of Washington is being squandered. So far the change is more of the same, only worse.

The Obama administrations "change" only looks worse if you are viewing them through the lens of past "transformative" presidents such as Reagan or Roosevelt. Those presidents largely worked within the framework of American institutions and historical political norms.

Obama is, pardon the phrase, a horse of a different color. He is a radical that plans to upend the status quo and transform America into his own image. What most view as ineffectiveness or failure is in reality what a socialist revolution would look like when it finally comes, full force, to America. An Obama Fiasco? Hardly.

October 14, 2009

I'm a racist, Your a racist, Limbaughs a racist too

From the Dr. Seuss collection c1945.

MSNBC Contributor: Rush Limbaugh Would ‘Love to Say He Owns a Plantation Full of Black Men’
From Newsbusters

October 13, 2009

Iowahawk Art Contest Wrap Up

Well Salmon fans it grieves me to announce that despite your hard work and dedication the Salmon masterpiece "A Man Among Giants" fell a little short in the Iowahawk Endowment for the Arts Contest. The actual winner graciously accepted the $33.18 prize here although I must say that the content of the acceptance speech seems vaguely familiar.

My fears that the free and fair voting process may have been compromised by ACORN-like tactics and hanging chads have been put to rest in Iowahawks winners announcement.

One reader asked where the inspiration for the Salmon entry came from. I have to admit that it was stolen from the works of Andy Thomas. For my Democrat friends Mr. Thomas also has a Democratic version available.

Once again thanks your support. Now excuse me while I go cry in my morning beer.

October 12, 2009

John Murtha; King of Pork

The general response to complaints about earmarks is that they are such a minute portion of total spending that they are not worth worrying about . Last spring despite campaign promises to reign in earmarks Obama admitted "On occasion, earmarks have been used as a vehicle for waste, fraud and abuse." He then went on to sign a budget containing nearly 9000 earmarks worth about $7.7 Billion . It will be interesting to see if the president will be tougher this time around. From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

In September the Center for Public Integrity showed that last year 12 of 16 members of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, which is chaired by Johnstown Democrat John Murtha, earmarked $100 million in government work for firms linked to friendly lobbyists, contractors and contributors.

Last week the organization released a new review that found similar interactions by 10 of the 16 members now on the committee. In next year's defense spending bill, the House version contains 30 earmarks obtained by subcommittee members that direct $103 million to contractors who either employ or recently employed former personal staff members or subcommittee aides who are now lobbyists.
Its not that the money is being spent, its how its being spent that is criminal. As Obama admitted "Projects have been inserted at the eleventh hour, without review, and sometimes without merit, in order to satisfy the political or personal agendas of a given legislator, rather than the public interest," This scam with the taxpayers money is nothing more than a modern day spoils system.

In the USA, the granting of offices and favours among the supporters of a party in office. The spoils system, a type of patronage, was used by President Jackson in the 1830s in particular, and by Republican administrations after the Civil War. The practice remained common in the 20th century in US local government.

The term is derived from a speech after an election victory by Democratic Senator William Marcy: ‘To the victor belong the spoils of the enemy.’

Wahington Times; March 2009 Obama Signs Spending Bill, Vowing to Battle Earmarks

Flotsam and Jetsam

Iowa Hawkeyes Squeak by Michigan: After a thriller Saturday night the 6 and 0 Hawkeyes edge up one place to # 12. Go HAWKS!

Oakland Raiders. Still suck!:
NFL.Com "Oakland finished with as many punts (seven) as it did first downs (124 yards net offence). That is perhaps the best example of how poorly the Raiders' offense performed."

I have refrained from offering Al Davis advice this season, for some reason he refuses to take my calls. If you are listening Al, QB JaMarcuss Russell is not yet ready for prime time!

Homesteading Alaska: A good read.
From The Anchorage Press
“Real estate is more or less the male biological clock. There is some hardwired imperative that kicks in at a certain point, the way caribou migrate and birds sing,” war correspondent and outdoor journalist Patrick Symmes wrote in Outside Magazine a year ago. “Around the start of their fifth decade, men suddenly discover gardening. They plant trees. They lay down fence lines. They construct and hold. Like a spoiled child, we say, This is mine. Mine, mine, mine. Building a cabin in the wilderness is a nearly universal dream. Honestly, if you haven’t had it at some point, there’s something wrong with you.”

October 10, 2009

Extreme Flying

Top Gun Reenactment with the Oracle Challenger and the Blue Angels. Photo Courtesy USA Today.

You are never to old to learn: Seasoned Citizen Earns Sport Pilot Certificate at 82.
From EAA.

October 09, 2009

Happy Anniversary Che
From American Thinker
Forty two years ago today, Ernesto "Che" Guevara got a major dose of his own medicine. Without trial he was declared a murderer, stood against a wall and shot. Historically speaking, justice has rarely been better served. If the saying "What goes around comes around" ever fit, it's here.
The Afghanistan Dilemma
From Big Lizards

The Left has always hated America more than any other country, for the obvious reason: We're the world's greatest bulwark of liberty, individualism, and Capitalism against international socialism. The revolution would eventually have to go through us before it could gain world domination; so leftists decided long ago that one of their strategies had to be to inflict military defeat on the United States whenever and wherever they could.

Shock Dismay Disgust

Shock Dismay Disgust. Those were the feelings that rushed over me as I sat down for my morning coffee and opened the browser for the news of the day.There at the top of Drudge, "Obama Wins Nobel Prize..."

Shock: Certainly this has to be some kind of a joke. Perhaps it was a slow news day and Drudge picked up a story from the Onion. Unfortunately it is not a joke or a hoax or even a very bad dream. The Nobel Committee has given this somtimes esteemed award to a man simply because he has hope and vision.

Dismay: This should not be surprising I suppose, the award has gone to other visionaries such as Al Gore and Yasser Arafat. At least they were purported to have made some concrete accomplishments in changing the world. If you call making a very bad movie or terrorizing a nation as major strides towards world peace that is. From Rueters;

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations...
Disgust: That's it? He made a speech about arms control and he wins the Nobel? He has spent the last two years making speeches, some I admit are awe inspiring, and by golly he ran a great campaign but I submit, never in the history of history has one man received so much from so many for accomplishing so damn little!

Update uno: Shock, Dismay, and Disgust is beginning to roll in from unexpected places-

From Hotair: Even mainstream media stunned, skeptical over Nobel Peace prize:

Update dos: We might be disgusted and dismayed but we shouldn't be shocked. The Committee just rewarded a fellow traveler.

From John Podhoretz: The Michael Moore of Oslo

He is an American president queasy about the projection of American power. He is an American president who rejects the notion of American exceptionalism. He is an American president eagerly in pursuit of legitimacy to be granted him not by those who voted for him but by those who do not cast a vote and who chafe at American leadership.

It is his devout wish that America become one of many nations, influencing the world indirectly or not influencing it at all, rather than “the indispensable nation,” as Madeleine Albright characterized it. He is the encapsulation, the representative, the wish fulfillment, the very embodiment, of the multilateralist impulse. He is, almost literally, a dream come true for the sorts of people who treasure and value the Nobel Peace Prize.

It’s the most obvious choice, once you think about it, since Michael Moore won an Oscar for Bowling for Columbine.

Update tres: From the desk of the DNC
...DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse told POLITICO. "Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize...
"The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn...
Was it unpatriotic for the little boy to point out that the Emperor was bare ass naked?

October 06, 2009

Via Ace

Flotsam and Jetsam

With the much ballyhooed release of Sarah Palin’s autobiography last week I was inspired to release the long awaited, much anticipated, tome unto thyself.

The Iowa Hawkeyes continued their roll to a 5 - 0 record with a tough win over Arkansas State. My favorite sister in law, from deep in the heart of Texass, pointed out in my post last week that I can't call the school my Alma mater until I actually get a diploma. Such a smarty, but her ALMA MATER Texass A+M was crushed by the other Arkansas team this week. Sorry JJ

The Oakland Raiders: You still suck!

October 05, 2009


The Iowa Hawk has closed the competition and its time for the FINAL VOTING FOR THE IOWAHAWK $33.18 STEEL CAGE ART DEATH MATCH!

OK Salmon Team make your way into the election booth
(HERE) and click on entry number 69. Yes#69, I know that number holds special meaning for most of you so lets go out there and reel one in for the old Salmon.


The Salmon Submission:
"A Man Among Giants"

I'm Somebody Now!

Channeling Navin R. Johnson

Entry #69, Cedar River Salmon! I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at the IowaHawk everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity - your name on a website - that makes people. I'm in print! Things are going to start happening to me now.

Update: In my excitement I almost forget...Welcome IowaHawk fans!

Update: Moved back to the top for some crass self promotion.

The Afghanistan Decision

I always thought that George Bush’s framing Afghanistan and Iraq as two wars was a mistake when Iraq was obviously an extension of the “War on Terror.” That Cheney is such a sly bastard, it’s now clear that if the Bush administration wanted to ensure that the war was brought to a successful conclusion the “two war” framing was brilliant.

It opened the door for democrats to proclaim the “good war -bad war” analogy that has now trapped Obama in a rhetorical box. He is going to find it politically hazardous to walk away when he has promised to keep his eye on the ball, fight the good war that was “ignored by the Bush administration”, and to get Bin Laden.

Insurgencies are won and lost not on the battlefield but on the home front. The French learned this in Algeria and the US learned it in Vietnam. The insurgency in Iraq was in effect al Qaida’s Tet Offensive and it almost succeeded but for the tenacity of Bush, Petraeus, and the American soldier. The insurgency in Afghanistan is now heating up not because the front was ignored but because the enemy believes that they now have an opportunity to sway a war weary American public led by a weak kneed president.

Obama will either come to realize that he has the opportunity to be remembered as the President that won the war. Or he can opt to go down the path of the slow bleed as Joe Biden has suggested and eventually pull out as the left demands. The reality is that while Obama has compared himself to every president since Abe Lincoln I don’t believe B.HO wants to be the next LBJ. After a few days of political self reflection Obama will give the commanders what they need to finish this fight.

October 04, 2009

Sunday Service

The Quitter

When you're lost in the Wild, and you're scared as a child,
And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you're sore as a boil, it's according to Hoyle
To cock your revolver and . . . die.

But the Code of a Man says: "Fight all you can,"
And self-dissolution is barred.
In hunger and woe, oh, it's easy to blow . . .
It's the hell-served-for-breakfast that's hard.

"You're sick of the game!" Well, now, that's a shame.
You're young and you're brave and you're bright.
"You've had a raw deal!" I know -- but don't squeal,
Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.
It's the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don't be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit; it's so easy to quit:
It's the keeping-your-chin-up that's hard.

It's easy to cry that you're beaten -- and die;
It's easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope's out of sight --
Why, that's the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each gruelling bout,
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try -- it's dead easy to die,
It's the keeping-on-living that's hard.