Tuesday, August 21, 2007
At least once a year, and maybe twice, I do a roundtrip cross country and love almost every minute of it. This madness has been going on for over two decades now.
Everyone needs a Cannonball in their life. Everyone needs to know how to do a road trip and stay reasonably healthy, energized and safe.
Anyone want to drive up to the Arctic Circle next week to cool off? (And no, Al, you can't go with me.)
Monday, August 20, 2007
Meanwhile, I pray all those in harms way will be protected and safely ride out the storm. Look for oil prices to go up if the hurricane damages Mexico's petroleum rigs. And natural gas prices too.
Thanks to Michael Ramirez at IBD for both cartoons on the ongoing housing bubble debacle, now underway. I, like IBD and Jim Cramer, believe this crisis can be somewhat mitigated, fairly quickly by the Fed's cutting interest rates soon, sooner and soonest.
Larry Kudlow weighs in with three key points. Cut it, cut it, and cut it.
Meanwhile, Karl Rove, aka Satan with horn-rimmed glasses, thinks the Republicans are in a better place to win elections in 2008 than most people acknowledge. That could be good news, however, I simply don't yet agree with him on this one! But I'm open to having my mind changed.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
A favorite quote from C.S. Lewis:
"When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understand his own badness less and less.
A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right.
This is common sense really. You understand sleep when you're awake, not while you're sleeping...You can understand the nature of drunkeness when you are sober, not when you drunk. Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either."
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Blogger just erased my commentary which accompanies this video, so I will rewrite it in a shorter version later. But for now, I think this process work is quite amazing and believe Katie is a gifted therapist who obviously has done her own work and understands a thing or two about projection and how it guarantees stuckness and immaturity in our lives.
We all are guilty of projection---I believe it came into the world with the fall of man from Grace----but not all of us are able to see it for what it is in our lives and start to get this kind of healing from it. I believe it is a lifetime project of the spiritual journey and allows God to begin to work mightily in our lives.
"While the credit power outage is a big problem, the Fed and Congress could provide the key solutions. But the economy is not dead. Not by a long shot," according to Kudlow.
Larry wants the Fed to start cutting interest rates after over a dozen rate hikes, and I agree with him.
Read the whole thing.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I had someone e-mail me and ask me what I thought about what is going on in Iraq and my prediction for General P's report, here it is. Please feel free to pass it along.
I am in Ramadi, Iraq and as you may have read, things here are very quiet. There have been several articles in major publications that have accurately described what is going on here.
"A War We Just Might Win" is one of the better ones I have seen. We had about 50 Al Qaeda fighters try and sneak into the city at the beginning of July but they were defeated before they could reach the city. This shows what a success the peace in Ramadi is and what a major defeat AQI considers it.
Ramadi is probably (in my opinion) #2 on AQI's hit list after Baghdad.
While things at the top of the government in Iraq aren't progressing as we'd hope, the progress at the local level is much greater than anyone could have expected. The Al Anbar Sunni tribes have been working with us to defeat AQI. Ramadi is almost a normal city again. We are nowable to concentrate on rebuilding the water mains, sewers, and powerlines. The residents are clearing up rubble and building new houses and schools. The residents of the city are taking part in day labor programs to clean up their neighborhoods.
In the area I patrol daily, there are new butcher shops, fruit stands, household goods, building materials,and auto part shops opening up. While there is heightened security and a curfew in effect at night, the residents of the city have clearly"bought in" to the CF/Tribes coalition rebuilding process. These are the types of things that can't happen until the area is secure and you have "buy in" from the people. It is very hard to put up powerlines or fix a sewer line while someone is shooting at you.
I've seen several opponents of the war try and shift the debate when asked about military progress on the ground. They say that the surge isn't working because the power is out, there hasn't been any progress on rebuildingsewers, or water mains, etc. This just shows their complete ignorance of military operations. Power, water, and sewers are the last step inthe secure, hold, and build strategy we are using.
These are the last things that will happen as the Iraqi's continue to secure their country with our help. While Al Anbar is predominantly Sunni, the Al Anbar model is spreading to areas with Shia and Sunni population. The rest of Iraq has heard or seen what Al Anbar is like now and tribes in other areas are using the Al Anbar model as a way to make their province safer.
There have been reports of Sunni and Shia tribes working together with the CFto rid their province of AQI. So while General Petraus's report on the progress of the Iraqi Government will highlight that it has missed the benchmark, the cooperation and progress on the district, city, and province level has surpassed expectations. While everyone hoped that the progress would go from the top down, it now appears progress is happening from the bottom up.
Two final thoughts:
Baghdad will be the last area of Iraq to be secured. It has the largest population, largest mix of Sunni and Shia, and it has been the power center of the country since its inception. This naturally makes it the largest target for AQI and other insurgent groups. Most of the Western press corps is also located there so AQI will continue to concentrate their attacks in Baghdad to ensure they get the media coverage they need and crave.
Second, I can't say enough about what a great job General Petraus is doing. It is my sincere opinion that he will tell Congress what he thinks and not what the administration wants to hear.
God bless you and your fellow soldiers there, Matt. We are behind you in every way.
Thought I would post several excerpts from these. (You may subscribe or view their webpage at Walkthru.org):
Proverbs 2. Wisdom must be sought after with our entire being.
INSIGHT, Nothing of value is easily obtained. If it were, it would no longer be valuable. Inherent within the concept of value is the feature of scarcity. If all gravel were made of pure gold, then gold would not be valuable. The same is true with intangibles like wisdom. She is an exceedingly valuable life commodity, but she is not easy to come by. If we want wisdom, we must incline our ears, apply our hearts, cry for her, lift our voice for her, seek her as we would silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures (vv. 2-4). Then, and only then, will we understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God (v. 5).
Psalm 100. All men are exhorted to praise the Lord because He made us and we are His.
INSIGHT: Psalm 100 is perhaps the finest example of a praise psalm in the Bible. The righteous heart pours forth a spontaneous stream of undefiled praise. First, he calls upon all men everywhere to praise the Lord. Then he identifies the relationship which God has with His children. We are not our own; He has made us. "We are His people and the sheep of His pasture" (v. 3). Next he calls for us to praise God again: "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise" (v. 4). Give thanks. Bless Him. Then he finishes by listing attributes of God. God is good; He loves forever. Make this psalm your personal psalm of praise.
Psalm 37. The righteous will receive eternal life, while the wicked ultimately will be destroyed.
INSIGHT: Serving the Lord does not always pay temporal dividends. The righteous still experience misfortune, financial reversals, physical illnesses, natural disasters, and persecution. At the same time, the unrighteous often prosper, enjoying wealth, fame, honor, and health. David realizes God´s justice wins in the end. So do not be discouraged in doing right, even when the unrighteous prosper. Do not be tempted to copy them. "Depart from evil and do good" (v. 27). "Wait on the Lord, and keep His way" (v. 34). "Mark the blameless man" (v. 37). "The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord" (v. 39).
Friday, August 10, 2007
Stu Bykofsky | To save America, we need another 9/11ONE MONTH from The Anniversary, I'm thinking another 9/11 would help America.
What kind of a sick bastard would write such a thing?
A bastard so sick of how splintered we are politically - thanks mainly to our ineptitude in Iraq - that we have forgotten who the enemy is.
It is not Bush and it is not Hillary and it is not Daily Kos or Bill O'Reilly or Giuliani or Barack. It is global terrorists who use Islam to justify their hideous sins, including blowing up women and children.
Iraq has fractured the U.S. into jigsaw pieces of competing interests that encourage our enemies. We are deeply divided and division is weakness.
Most Americans today believe Iraq was a mistake. Why?
Not because Americans are "anti-war."
Americans have turned their backs because the war has dragged on too long and we don't have the patience for a long slog. We've been in Iraq for four years, but to some it seems like a century. In contrast, Britain just pulled its soldiers out of Northern Ireland where they had been, often being shot at, almost 40 years.
That's not the American way.
In Iraq, we don't believe our military is being beaten on the battleground. It's more that there is no formal "battleground." There is the drip of daily casualties and victory is not around the corner. Americans are impatient. We like fast food and fast war.
Americans loved the 1991 Gulf War. It raged for just 100 hours when George H.W. Bush ended it with a declaration of victory. He sent a half-million troops into harm's way and we suffered fewer than 300 deaths.
America likes wars shorter than the World Series.
Bush I did everything right, Bush II did everything wrong - but he did it with the backing of Congress.
Because the war has been a botch so far, Democrats and Republicans are attacking one another, when they aren't attacking themselves. The dialog of discord echoes across America.
Turn back to 9/11.
Remember the community of outrage and national resolve? America had not been so united since the first Day of Infamy - 12/7/41.
We knew who the enemy was then.
We knew who the enemy was shortly after 9/11.
Because we have mislaid 9/11, we have endless sideshow squabbles about whether the surge is working, if we are "safer" now, whether the FBI should listen in on foreign phone calls, whether cops should detain odd-acting "flying imams," whether those plotting alleged attacks on Fort Dix or Kennedy airport are serious threats or amateur bumblers. We bicker over the trees while the forest is ablaze.
America's fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater.
What would sew us back together?
Another 9/11 attack.
The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda.
Is there any doubt they are planning to hit us again?
If it is to be, then let it be. It will take another attack on the homeland to quell the chattering of chipmunks and to restore America's righteous rage and singular purpose to prevail.
The unity brought by such an attack sadly won't last forever.
The first 9/11 proved that. *E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Drudge.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Of all the cities in America, there's none I like better than Dallas, Texas. It's smart, sophisticated, conservative, Christian, but much less fearful, narrow and provincial than many--most--other cities in the Southeastern U.S, or many other cities for that matter. The only problem is, there aren't any hills here and that's a problem for a country girl, like me.
The women in Dallas, look like women should. Feminine. But I don't think they know a thing about fly fishing or hiking.
When I arrive here from Wyoming every August for the past six years, I want a total makeover: hair, nails, feet, wardrobe and high-heeled shoes.
But for now, I settle for a Christian counsellor and spiritual director whom I check in with several times a year. I am most blessed to be able to do this.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Please note our Barbary Wars when, beginning with President Thomas Jefferson, the United States decided to stop paying radical Islamic Barbary pirates/thugs bribes and ranson from the National Treasury---up to a quarter of all national revenues---not to attack American ships in the Mediterranean.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
This from this morning's RNC News e-briefing. The Rule of Law is breaking down in Congress. How far behind is the rest of society?
OUTRAGE IN THE HOUSE :
Reps. Behaving Badly: Democrats Promise Open, Ethical Congress, Instead UNDERCUT DEMOCRATIC PROCESS fix vote totals to ensure benefits for illegal aliens.
Washington D.C.- Despite election year promises of transparency, accountability and reform, House Democrats spent their first 7 months undercutting the democratic process, stifling debate, attempting to hide earmark requests from public view, requesting plane and travel privileges typically reserved for the President and Vice President of the United States, raising taxes, and spending frivolously.
Then Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi , the pledge:
“We pledge to make this the most honest, ethical, and open Congress in history.”
(Christian Science Monitor, 11/14/2006)
Top Outrages of the Democrat 110th Congress (If you're not outraged then you're obviously on heavy sedation---Webutante)
FIX IS IN - Democrats Change House Vote to ensure illegal aliens get benefits: On August 2, Democrats fixed a House vote in order to defeat a motion that would prevent undocumented immigrants from receiving federal housing funds. Earlier this week, the Democrats voted to take billions from the Medicare Trust Fund, force millions of seniors off of Medicare Advantage, and tax every private health insurance plan in the nation, because they were determined to provide Medicaid to illegal immigrants. They did this by overturning a law, originally passed by Republicans, requiring individuals to prove their citizenship before receiving federal Medicaid benefits.
Friday night, the Democrats proved that they were not finished with the week’s business. The House voted 215 to 213 to deny housing and employment to illegal immigrants on the annual agriculture spending bill. The votes were counted, but the Speaker closed the vote with his gavel. The Democrats then unilaterally and imperially overturned this result—defying 218 years of precedent. The Speaker reopened the vote to ensure that the motion was then defeated by a vote of 212 to 216, disenfranchising the American people and making it possible for illegal immigrants to receive federal housing and employment benefits.
·Democrats Pass Largest Tax increase in History: On March 29, House Democrats passed the FY2008 Budget –which sanctions the largest tax increase in American history, raising taxes. The last time the Democrats controlled Congress, they imposed the largest tax increase in American history, and today they managed to top that dubious distinction. Though they get an ‘A’ for tax-and-spend consistency, they get an ‘F’ for fiscal responsibility.
Speaker Pelosi Requests taxpayer funded travel on Air Force Jet to & From San Francisco: Shortly after being elected Speaker by House Democrats, military sources revealed that Speaker Pelosi requested access to a military jet from the President’s fleet (which includes Air Force I and Air Force II) to fly to and from her district in San Francisco, along with family members and other members of the California Congressional Delegation. After military officials initially balked at providing the plane, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) chairman of the Appropriations Committee subcommittee on defense, threatened them, telling CNN that the Pentagon was making ‘a mistake’ by leaking information unfavorable to the speaker ‘since she decides on the allocations for the Department of Defense.”
Business as usual, but he's probably right.
So next time, Jim, tell us what you really think. Things may get a lot worse before they get better in the stock markets. Best to stay on the sidelines and keep your powder dry.
Hat tip: Hot Air
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Today, Lon heads the 12,000 member McLean Bible Church outside of Washington, D.C. where I have had the privilege of attending when I'm in that area.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
The Parachute Adams (above), the worlds finest general attractor. If I had only one fly to fish the world, this would be it, in all sizes from #10 to #20 (on 5X-6X tippet). Parchutes are so visible for keeping your eye on the fly.
The Parachute Hopper, the next best thing to a steak dinner to hungry trout in season. All sizes. No telling how many big fish, BIG fish, I've been caught with this one. There are an infinite number of variations on this, but, this particular one's my top choice.
The Fat Albert, the new 'hottie' in the world of fly fishing, I'd take it anywhere for anything, in fresh or salt water. It can be dead drifted, stripped or jigged for stunning results. I now prefer it to my old favorite, a Madame X or a Muddler Minnow.
The Elk Hair Caddis, leaving this fly behind on an around-the-world journey would be like forgetting your toothbrush. All sizes.
The Ausable Wulff. Invented by fly fishing great Lee Wulff up in the Beaverkill Valley, this fly, or the similar Ausable Wulff /Trude comes in handy in all sizes on certain overcast days when other flies aren't working. Love this fly!
The Prince Nymph. I'd rather go hiking than fish a nymph, and still there are times when nothing else will work to catch fish. Here is my favorite. Others would argue that the pheasant tail nymph is preferable to the Prince. Either one will often do the trick.
The Bead-Head Woolly Bugger. Underwater, especially fishing for big browns in the fall, this great fly slays 'em all in black or olive, all sizes. You can't fish it dead as successfully as with lots of action. But it's irresistible to big fish on the bottom who are too lazy to come up for a dry.
Sometimes you just have to take it to them, and when you do, this is often "the one."
Yes, there are many, many other choices. But year in and out, these are the ones with staying power and class, in my opinion. Any one of these will match almost any hatch when presented correctly. If there is a runner up to this fabulous seven it would perhaps be a black ant or beetle.
Deluded, self-important, disloyal to his country, used and pathetically naive, Sean Penn makes pals with one of the world's most insane dictators. His career is finished, as is that of Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover. If they did that in Venezuela, they'd be in prison or worse.
Friday, August 03, 2007
Soon to be leaving, I enjoy these last few twilights on the river with friends before winding my way back to the East and the hustle and bustle of the city.
It's quiet as a mouse when the sun goes down, and oh so peaceful. A warm, gentle wind blows the bugs on the water. No one wants to leave the river. When I guided professionally and the days were the longest, I often didn't get home from this work until 10 pm, many days a week.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Nothing's more fun in the world than seeing people you care about do what they love to do, and have fun and success doing it! Everyone caught big fish and successfully released them to catch another day.
Fish in the net, about to be released.....
Fishing before catching.....
We were most graciously invited to fish some of the best private waters around this valley. Thanks Barbara and the SRR for letting us ruffians spend a day having fun on Fish Creek.
Does he really think having his wife as his chief political adviser and campaign manager is going to set well with the American people? If he does, then I think he's kidding himself. I hope he proves me wrong.
Hat tip: Don Surber.
If there's anything we need in this country today, both individually and nationally, it's moral fortitude and endurance to fight the good fight that's on our plate and not turn back.
We must not and cannot now turn back in Iraq without the direst of consequences. We must buck up and stay the course, no matter what.
Over at Elephant Biz, Bill Hobbs wonders, Is Harry Potter really an allergory about Islamofascism and the left's failure to truly grasp its threat?