Friday, March 30, 2007


My two cents worth regarding the current 6 people out of whom will come the next President.

Hilary Clinton: Larger than life. Mercurial, tougher than the other men, and probably quite capable of leading the nation. However I don't really care for her. She is probably the best choice if you want a larger than life leader who will get stuff done while making lots of enemies.

John McCain: In my opinion the best the Rep's have to offer. Far better and more level headed then Rudy. He is clumsily trying to court conservatives who he will abandon as soon as he is elected. I do not think he is fooling too many of them. But they may vote for him just to back a winner. I have read his book and he seems pretty down to earth and very much not an ideologue. Too bad he is a republican. His wife and little adopted Bangladeshi daughter are pretty photogenic too. He would be an able leader as long as he did not follow the wishes of the idiotic dunderheads who tend to vote Republican.

Barack!: He has the big MO, or at least has had it. Could very well be a democratic version of McCain 2000's straight talk express, an express to no where. He is a charismatic generalist. People like that. However that might leave him open to problems in the general election. Could be a VP

Rudy: Big name and BIG BAGGAGE. The Fire Department of NYC hates him, he has problems being an open adulterer, and now there are revelations about when he knew about his crooked police chief. He would be a good VP, sort of Dick Cheney without the three hundred pounds of fat.

John Edwards: Rock solid and decent as they come. He would be the best choice if you wanted what Bush claimed he was. Edwards is the real thing. But he has a biiiiiiig battle to overcome Obama and Clinton.

Romney: I knew he was going to be in the mix. He is, I think, really running a Vice Presidential campaign like Edwards.

So My guess is this:

Clinton~Edwards vs McCain~Giuliani and I would have to say that if the race is set up like that it is anyone's guess who might win.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I know my head has lots of stuff in it. I know this because at odd times all sorts of personal history comes swimming to the surface. Making me think "Oh yes, I forgot all about that." only to have the memory float down again. I was determined to see some grave stones today to help drag up some recollections of people who are no longer walking around here.

I stopped at my Dads grave first. There are a lot of great things about my dad. He was one of those men who you would feel proud to be associated with. To be his son. Well that was icing on the cake to me. However this also leads to a problem of glorification that kind of dehumanizes the dead. It can turn them into caricatures in my mind. So on my way there, to that splendid hillside where one can see for a hundred miles, I tried to think of some memory that was not holy or grand. Some little memory.

When I was ten I had a fight with a friend. I cannot even remember what it was about. But I was mad about something a ten year old might be mad about. I was stomping around saying how I wanted to beat the kid up. My dad was in the yard and over heard me. He said, "Your not gotten beat anybody up." I was made madder that my own father seemed to be implying that I didn't have it in mean to do that.

I know now that is not what he meant. I have had to say the same thing to my kids at one time or another. My dad was a man who did not walk around with a chip on his shoulder and he didn't think too highly of those who did. I did not act on my initial impulse. By the time my friend and I were playing, in about an hour, it was all back to happy normality.

Another memory. My dad was a big kid who loved playing around as much as we did. I went into our kitchen one day and my dad had this big contraption sitting on the table. It was a volt meter, though to me it was like something out of a scifi movie. He had a wire wrapped around a tent nail. He proceeded to take the tent peg, that was galvanized, and stuck it into a potato. he took the wire and wrapped the other end around a light bulb. He took another wire and plunged it into the other end of the potato and then touched the base of the bulb. The light bulb lit up.

He then went on to explain how there was an electrochemical reaction between the potato and the metal electrodes in the potato. This somehow made electricity. At that time my only experience with electricity was finding out why you should not plunge scissors into a outlet. Events like this, to a young kid, helped me really trust what my dad had to say. Any guy who could light up a bulb with a potato and a nail was a guy to listen to. My inquisitive nature was never stifled by dad. If anything he was always showing me and my brother some other way to look the world.

This being said my dad was anything but an "intellectual". Some people like the idea of thinking of themselves as brainiacs or some how superior. My dad was not like that at all. He was a working man.

There are other memories. But they are mine for now.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Bush is right

Any government that supports, protects or harbours terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent and equally guilty of terrorist crimes.

Okay GW is not our own CIA now funding Alqaeda assets in Lebanon since they are at odds with the Sunni Hezbullah? And how about Pakistan, the nation that bank rolled the taliban and sold nuclear weapons technology to North Korea? Are they not you buddy? Or what about the people you and your stupid war has killed in Iraq? You sound like a hypocrite.

Any outlaw regime that has ties to terrorist groups or seeks to possess weapons of mass destruction is a grave danger to the civilized world and will be confronted.

Well technically you were not elected in 2000, you were appointed by the Supreme Court, something that is not spoken of at all in the Constitution 9The law) So you are an outlaw regime. You possess weapons of mass destruction. And you have proved beyond anyones doubt to be a danger to world civilization. So why would you be freaked out when Americans confront you?

Free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction.

You attacked Iraq, a nation that did not attack us. You actively possess and want to develop more weapons of mass destruction. So I guess you have forced the USA out of the club of free nations, at least by your standards.

I believe that God has planted in every heart the desire to live in freedom.

You are so right. So get out of town you fascist pig! And don't let the door to DC hit you in the ass on the way out. Freedom makes us strong not your worthless wars.

I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.

I just want you to know that, when we talk about kicking you out of the White House, we're really talking about kicking you out of the White House.

Our nation is somewhat sad, but we're angry. There's a certain level of blood lust, but we won't let it drive our reaction. We're steady, clear-eyed and patient, but pretty soon we'll have to start displaying scalps.

What you sew so shall you reap. I am glad I am not you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hopeful Future

We have all seen images like this in years past and they all look like happy images of yesteryear when people really clung together to make for a happy future. Now days we are all a bunch of self absorbed schleps, especially the youth. Hedonistic and unconcerned with anything other than their i-pods. Living in MySpace worlds that do not exist, and not having an opinion on anything but the latest band.

At least this is the conventional wisdom, or at least the way we are told to look at things. Well let me tell you about what I saw two weeks ago. I had to pick my daughter up from High School. She was in the gym, waiting in line. The bell had rang and they had no reason that they had to stay. They could have gone home, or to the coffee shop, or went out back to get high. Or just hung out with their friends on MySpace. But no, these lazy self absorbed kids had other ideas.

In front of them were rows of cots filled with other students giving blood. Willingly, without coercion, without payment, laying down and getting stuck with a big needle and literally giving their lives blood to total strangers, getting nothing in return but a sore arm, dizziness, and a day glow bandage. Many students I saw almost pass out. Still they went on to do their part in making the lives of total strangers better. They also joked around, chatted, laughed and carried on like all youth. None of them acted like what they were doing was anything special. In other words they acted like hero's, real hero's. The kind that are too busy with life to know how special they are.

Much of their blood will course into the veins of cancer patients. Some of whom will get a new chance to live because of these kids. Some of whom will get to live a bit longer so they have a decent chance to at least say goodbye. Some of this blood will help accident victims survive their trauma, some of this blood may save your life, or mine. None of it will be wasted.

To look out into the gym and see all these kids doing this is to make me feel pretty good about our future. So when people try to tell you how the young don't care, or are only interested in themselves remember that statement is usually a convenient, media generated, stereotype meant to make us older folks feel better about ourselves while looking down our noses at those kids, those little hero's, who will be, and in fact already are, saving lives.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cimarron Processing Plant

This modest building is the beginnings of the Cimarron Processing facility at the end of the line for the Cimarron Mine. This is the oldest part of the comming facility. I have to build things chronologically. This building is actuall built into the wall of the bluff overlooking Gregg Junction. The back end is a now abandoned mine shaft from the middle 1800's. I downloaded plans for a gold processing facility and it will be my guide to what the final structure will look like. There is not a whole lot of room for it but Cimarron couldn't care less. Michael Patrick III is standing on the old loading dock looking stoic. The broze Cow in the upper left is atop Mijo MeatCo.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fannin the flames of vacation

For those of you who cannot wait to explode into the summer vacationing season. Here are some links to help kill time, if not yourselves. They contain information that may or may not help you.

Cougar Campground
Yale Lake Levels
Campsite Weather Forcast and current conditions
Stuff you are glad you will not be doing on vacation
Alpine Lakes Information
Our hiking path

Happy 4th Birthday Operation Iraqi Freedom

Happy birthday Iraqi Freedom.
Happy birthday to the 3218 families of those killed fighting on "our side"
Happy birthday to the 100.000+ families of those who were unfortunate enough to be born in Iraq.

Happy birthday to the millions of refugees, the brutalized, the shell shocked, the depressed.
Happy birthday to all the congressmen who never went to Iraq after sending others to fight and die.
Happy birthday to Bush bravely and courageously sending other to fight and die. (Texas Cowheard)
Happy birthday to all the pundits who lied to us and those that still lie to us.
Happy birthday to all the terrorists that flooded into Iraq after we flooded in.
Happy birthday to all the Americans still dumb enough to think that this war was justified.
And happy birthday to all the American taxpayers who willing spent 410 billion of their own dollars to topple one man and create anarchy.
Happy birthday to all the kids overthere that get to be blown up while going with their mom to the market or their father to prayer.
Happy Birthday to all the Blackwater contractors making $110,000 a year along side soldiers who make only $30,000 a year and get to worry about ending up here.
Happy brithday to all the saps and finks and fat-headed idiots who got us into this big stinking mess.

No onto refuting and lambasting our useless leader:

Mr. Bush,

You spoke this morning of the need for patience. You spoke of securing Baghdad. You spoke of the importance of winning this fight.

1: We the People have been patient now for 4 years. Longer than it took us to defeat Germany and Japan at the same time.

2: Your grand strategy to bring stable democracy to the middle east now seems reduced to stabilizing one city. So much for grand illusions huh?

3: If winning this war was you main concern you, the President of the most powerful nation in the history of the world, had all the resources to do that. You chose to fight "on the cheap" and this is why we are stuck.

I would assert that GW Bush had no intention of winning any war in Iraq. I would assert that he, as a puppet of WAR INC. has been used to open an endless war where a few get rich while millions suffer. I assert that those supporting this useless puppet, useless to the American people, are also accepting of this idea of endless war and death. They seek the war of wars for various reasons, some for profit, others for God.

These people need to be stopped and sent away. Bush needs to be sent to prison for life for his butchery of US soldiers and Iraqi civilians. He is nothing but a mobster who happens to live in the White House. The organized crime of Washington needs to be stopped. NOW!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Comparing Lenses

What we have here are two Nikkor Lenses. The big dude is an 80-200mm f2.8 AF lens and the other is a compact 55-200 f4 AF lens.

The 80-200 retails for around $1,500
The 55-200 retails for around $150

Ivey has the big lens and I put it through its paces on the D50. I took a series of shots with both it and my compact lens. The only difference I found was the benefit of the f2.8 aperture. In low light the f2.8 rocks. On the whole I like my compact lens way better.

1: It is less than 1/4 the weight of the 80-200
2: It takes up less space
3: Its AF mechanism is slightly quicker

I thought I would see some appreciable difference at maximum zoom but both lenses appeared the same. The compact lens had no aberrations at the extremities. Nikon really made a great little lens. The big lens looks much better on the camera body than the small compact lens, but it is not as useful to me and does not give me as great a range.

So what do I want for my D50? Not much. A speed flash would be nice. But even that is not critical. Filter kit? No I have a UV and Polarizing filter and anything else can be done in photoslop. A higher power lens would also not be that helpful because then you end up having to shoot a lot on a tripod or monopod, unless you get a $5,000 lens.

Poll Crunch for March 2007

I have been very delinquent in not publishing a Poll Crunch. So here we go. Does the nation feel GW is doing better, worse, or what in his job as the big P? The numbers say it all.

Approve: 34%
Disapprove: 60%
Duh?: 6%

The slide in popularity has stopped for Mr. Bush. The hardcore of his supporters will not be moved by any amount of facts. So I think it is safe to say that, after a year of being at about this rating, Mr. Bush's hardcore support is 35%. They will vote for him even if horns grow out of his head and he starts farting brimstones.

Following up on my last blog about the 20%, that is the inner core of support. 15% is the outer softer core. Combined it is 35%. I will not waste my life trying to reach this mentally challenged folks. Their brains are simply wired differently than the rest of us. Pity them and for God sake keep them away from the reigns of power. They are a danger to themselves and others.

On the sobering side it is still 86 weeks before the next Presidential Election. 86 more weeks of the Bush league. It is also 86 weeks of electioneering by both sides. This is enough to loosen anyones bowels. The many headed hydra of the 2008 Campaign follows:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Jesus and God

I listened to a great Fresh Air, one of many, where two smart women talked about the gospel of Judas and how it and other Gnostic gospels show a broader view of early Christianity. One point that I wish was made is that despite all sorts of new writings and discoveries, Christianity for many will never change.

In my view 20% of Christians will gladly view any new information has an enriching addition to their faith. On the other end there is another 20% of Christians who will openly and soberly look at this stuff as satanic and designed by the devil to confuse the children of God. They will argue that all the details about the Word was worked out by God and his prophetic writers long ago. There is NO way for this 20% to ever get along with the others. They will never allow, in their own minds, the idea that each person can have their own authentic faith. To this 20% of conservative Christianity any allowance for differing views is an open door to hell.

They have their counterparts in Islam too. To many conservative Muslims, a Koran that is translated into English is blasphemous since the Koran was dictated verbatim by God in Arabic.

The 20% on the edge is, in my opinion, necessary to any faith tradition. Without it the faith will disolve. However if the 20% becomes too ascendant in a religion then it becomes a danger to the faiths existence. The rigidity leads to fractures in faith. The rigidity of the Church has led to a multitude of Christian traditions. The flexibility of Christianity has led to its subliminal and overt alteration of the entire world. Even Islam has been influenced and molded, to some degree, by Christianity as well as Judaism.

The 20% are also dangerous for they are the warriors. They are the ones who will strap a bomb on themselves, or hijack a plane, or argue about dropping a bombs on Iran, or want the Jews back in Jerusalem so that that the Jews can all convert to Christianity at the end of the world, which the 20% would like to help get started.

The 20% will always have uses in each faith, but it must be restrained by grander and more thoughtful segments of each faith tradition.

Now onto other things. It seems to me that we seldom question what we worship. Church services are held, songs sung, sacraments given and taken. I was reading "Places Inbetween" about a walk through Afghanistan and many devout Muslims, who could recite the entire Koran, could not read or write their own langauge. They also could not understand one word they had memorized. At first I thought this was pretty sad, but then I think of how like those peasants we are. Even when our services are said in a language we understand, do we comprehend much?

Our medieval view of a King God, with crown, or halo, angles waiting on him, the Queen Mary, the prince of peace Jesus. I hate to say that this view is silly but it is. If God needs angles and other such "servants" then that would mean God is not all powerful. Since an all powerful being would not need anything to accomplish His will. I think most of us worship a being assembled by visions of what we wish we were. A being capable of destroying the wicked, and at the same time being merciful on those who stray. A savior, a punisher, a guide, a lover, and friend and all totally perfect; never mind that what we look for could be mutually exclusive.

I have felt the connection to God. That connection, when viewed, is obvious. Even though I have this connection to this being, I cannot fathom the totality of what that being is. Nor can I know what the full implications of this connection are. Somehow the light and fluffy stories of old, may not be too helpful when this being reveals more of itself to me. Or then again may God will be an old man with a crown. Either way I am on the ride and will have to accept whatever is the reality behind the enigma.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Review of 300

I was prepared to dislike this movie. I have already heard enough right wing and left wing pundits tell my how I was supposed to take this film. Xerxes is Bush, going to his imperial doom! No Leonidas is Bush stalwartly defending liberty against all odds! Actually neither is Bush. Bush would not be on the battlefield of Thermopylae. He would have been back in Sparta, or Persia, playing the greek of persian equivalent of golf.

Enough talk of the texas turd. He has nothing to do with the events of 480 BC. This film was a big and pleasent, dispite the royal bloodletting, surprise for me. It's script was poetic, well acted, masterfully shot and edited, and on the whole worthy of an oscar of some kind. This was a good movie. As far as comic adaptations go this may be the best yet. Unlike other masterful adaptations, such as Sin City, one could actually care about the characters and their fate. Like the LOTR movies this film relied on a solid story. Unlike the maudlin and limp Alexander or TROY, though they were not totally bad, this movie was a film that the Greeks of Homer's Day would have loved to watch. It tells the tale from a perspective and does not deviate from it by trying to humanize all sides. This makes it a problem for some people.

I think that many people, in our politically devisive times, will want to read all sorts of crap into this story. This is stupid. The Greeks loved a good war story just like we do. Read the Iliad or the Odyssey, lots of warring there. War played a major role in Greek life just like it does in our own.

Poor Xerxes, after defeating Leonidas and his 300, was held in check long enough for the Athenian navy to muster itself together and wallop the Persian Navy at the battle of Salamis. Xerxes took off back to Persia leaving his army in Greece. The Spartans and the rest of the Greeks assembled and beat the daylights out of the remaining Persian army at the battle of Plataea and so ended the Greco-Persian war.

The movie ends with the begining of the battle of Plataea and totally ignores the Athenian sea victory. But on the whole it is a fitting Greek military epic. I give it a 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Building a Democracy

In 1776 the colonies of America, at least the ones south of the Saint Lawrence, declared their independance from Britain. The rebels were supplied by France and brutaly faught by the British. After 5 years of bloody war the British left.

In 1784 the first nation, after Britain, to recognize the new American republic was the nation of Morocco. Moroccos neighbor Algeria did not have such nice relations with the US. During the next war the US continued smaller wars in the waters of North Africa to reduce the "pirates"

On July 7th 1798 the United States recinded its treaty obligations with its former ally and launched sea operations against French vessals. Between 1798 and 1800 the United States and France faught at sea a war known as the Quasi-war.

Then on June 12, 1812 the United States delcared war on Britain over the latters continued blockade of Nepoleonic France, Britains seizure of American ships, and over the border with Canada. This lasted 2 years and resulted in the burning of the new city of Washington. The war continues untial 1815 when the British are finally stopped in New Orleans by Andrew Jackson. Couriously the battle takes place after the peace treaty is signed in Ghent.

In 1846 the US, after trying and failing to buy half of the nation of Mexico, went to war to take it. The war lasted two years and ended in the US having won all it wanted and also in the ousting the Mexican President. It was also the begining of the American anti-war movement led buy such figures as Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Quincy Adams, and Henry David Thoreau. The US had about 14,000 casualties.

Many of the future generals of the coming Civil War cut their teeth in the Mexican War. Fighting with indians continued all through this time from 1776 until, well pretty much now.

The Civil War, which claimed around 620,000 soldiers, tens of thousands of civilians, and impoverished millions, almost destroyed American democracy. The photo above is a negro grave diggers reinturing battle field dead.

I guess my point here is that we are really stupid to think that Iraq will settle down and be at peace anytime soon. For the first 87 years the United States was in one war or another. We are the poster child for successful revolutions. "Successful" revolutions. If we are the successs story good God almighty we better not get involved with making democracys around the world. Not unless we want unedning war and carnage.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Camping 2007

I really don't want to go into the minute details on this public blog but here is the camping map for 2007!! Yellow circles denote location of sites!!!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Who would Jesus Bomb?

The image below is disturbing and not at all nice. There is no way to look at this child and say that the child had to suffer so we Americans could be safe at home. Is that going to fly with God? Sorry we had to drop a bomb on this kid God, but we were at war with evil doers and doesn't that give us a get out of hell free card? The kid will probably grow up and be really happy that a bomb fell on the house. Heck it got rid of Sadam.

All I know is that if I was the father of this kid I would be toting an AK-47 and putting caps in the heads of the enemy that did this to my child. Where does the insurgency come from? Look at the kid, it isn't really to complicated to figure out. What would you do if your kid ended up this way because some forging nation wanted to "help" you out even though you never asked for it.

I know there may be some freaks and morally bankrupt people out there who can justify this image in thier own empty heads. So here is another real winner of an image. Does it make you feel better to have that stupid ribbon on your f'ing bumper?

This war makes me sick. I have no problem fighting an enmy in a war that needs to be waged, but this is the stupidest cluster fuck that I have seen. We either send a million guys over there or get the ones who are there out NOW!!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Hitler and Coulter

"I spoke for thirty minutes, and what before I had simply felt within me, without in any way knowing it, was now proved by reality: I could speak! After thirty minutes the people in the small room were electrified and the enthusiasm was first expressed by the fact that my appeal to the self-sacrifice of those present led to the donation of three hundred marks." - Hitler recalling his first speech at a beer hall in 1919.

In 26 years 50 million people were dead along with Hitler. So when hatefilled fanatics rise to speak be forwarned. They may have a right to be heard, but we have a right to combat them with speech of our own. And use the laws at our disposal to force them leave the stage and hopefully avoid other conflegrations where millions have to die.

It is not good enough to simply say, after Ann Coulter refered to Edwards as a faggot, "well that is Coulter being Coulter." No that is not a good enough response. Whether it is a black leather coated Michael Savage telling a gay person, on the air, to "go get aids and die you pig!" Or a black leather dressed Coulter telling her freinds in the conservative community, who applauded by the way, that she would have to use the word faggot to talk about Edwards. Or Hitler railing against the Jews and Leftists it is all the same kind of hate speech. And it is all dangerous. Millions of corpes, from piles of dead at Aushwitz, to the dead GI's on Omaha beach, to the millions of Russian bodies frozen at Stalingrad all call out to us not to forget the power of words to unleash great evil upon the world.

Speakers who do not ask us to seek out the better angels of our nature, but try and divide and conquer, show us that they are wolves on the prowel and are not interested in the common good of mandkind. Those who would applaud Coulter for hate speech are not much different than the drunken Germans who applauded Hitler in that beer hall in 1919. And if you asked them then, about Hitlers rantings and ravings, they would probably tell you "Hitlers just being Hitler. He's harmless. Just a homeless Joe from Austria"

Monday, March 05, 2007

New bombs for old

While we are steadfastly, and sternly warning Iran about the consequences of making an atomic bomb we are about to announce that we will beging production on all new H Bombs!

A whole new production line of happy little H-bombs will start up in the not to distant future with bi partisan support. You see all the thousands of H-Bombs we have now are getting old and we can't have them not work in case we want to commit global suicide so we better make new ones.

This will cost the taxpayers more billions so forget about retireing or healthcare. You need to prop up the arms industry. I know that other sissy nations get to exist with very high standards of living and no H-bombs but who wants to be them. We'd rather live short overworked lives under the nuclear umbrella.

Nobody is going to make a fuss over this. The assembly lines will start up and thousands of super-bombs will roll off destined for the tops of missles across the midwest and trident submarines. I am so glad we had them all on 9-11 they sure helped us out. And who can forget how they helped us win Vietnam, and Korea and Iraq. Hell those things are so f'ing useful. Money well spent. Never mind that you can't acutally use one. But just when you think your johnson is a little small, all you have to do is think of a minuteman II and your manhood, at least for a minute, is restored.

I wonder how peaceful the world would be if all the tiny peckered idiots left?

Republicans Unite!

Satan responded today after Britney Spears scribed 666 in her head and chanted "I am the anti-christ" at her rehab center, saying "My side must really be losing! With anti-christs like these who needs enemies!" He then went off to sulk on a brimstone.

So what does the self professed "antir-christ" have to say about GW Bush? You would think that Bush, being Gods chosen President, would probably not fair well with devil dudes. But shockingly this is what she had to say,

“Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.”

Words to roast in hell by, says this author. No need to read every other word in the bible and try to figure out satans plan for Earth. The anti-christ has spoken, in all her drugged up, fading glory.

Now on to other not-news:

Anne Coulter, supposedly a person of note at last weeks big Conservative Action gathering in DC, called John Edwards a "faggot" This is not news since pretty much all conservatives that I know refer to gays as faggots and blacks as the "N" word. The only difference is that the only use the "N" word behind closed doors while the "F" word they feel can be used in public as much as they want, sort of like how the conservatives of yester-year felt about the "N" word. So how would Coulter refer to Mary Cheney?

I personally love letting the right-wing-nuts speak. As a democrat I wish to take this opportunity to thank:

Anne Coulter
Rush Limbaugh
Michael Savage
Laura Ingerham
Sean Hanity

And all the other conserva-nazis out there for helping the Democratic Party get back into the seat of control. Now please don't stop now wing-nuts. We need your continued aid and support to retake the White House. I am confident with your help, as before, the liberal agenda (making life better for people) will win the day.

Thanks Righties!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ack! Iraq part III

Fact: President Jalal Talabani is in Jordan in a hospital and has been for almost a week.
Fact: Vice President Abdul Mahdi was injured when his enterage came under attack today at the Public Works Ministry.
Fact: Car bomb on Sunday killed 60 and wounded many more.
Fact: Today US forces began artillary attacks into Sunni areas of Baghdad

The bomb that was supposed to kill the Iraqi VP was placed in the ceiling of the room he was in. In other words this was a carefully planned assination attempt. 25 others were wounded in the bomb blast.

I am at a loss to understand how artillary barrages into southern Baghdad are supposed to calm things down? Clearly the US, by its own operations, is escelating the violence in Baghdad with the idea that more violence now means less violence later. God knows if this will work. Iraq is in the middle of a civil war and we are still along for the ride. From a military standpoint I am again at a loss to understand why the command allows its army to remain in an engagement it does not control?

In order to regain the initiative now would mean the reduction of Baghdad, or at least of sizeable areas of the city, resulting in massive colateral damage. The authorities are using militia to defend them and press their own agendas. The Prime Minister needs Sader to keep him alive, the President is not around either. So it is the hight of stupidity and foolhardiness to put our troops into such a hopeless situation. Who are they defending? What government? What part of the government? Is a Sunni death squad any more evil than a Shiite death squad? Are bathist sympathisers more trouble than the government rife with allies of Iran? It seems that there arre no forces in Iraq, other than the poor shleps on the road, who are worthy of one drop of American blood.

Now we are going to sit down with Iran and Syria to talk about Iraq. Talk to the Syrians who are terrified of Hezzbulah and the Iranians who actively seek an anti American islamic republic in Iraq. Oh yes by all means lets talk. But now, instead of talking to them from a position of strength, we are coming to the meeting hat in hand, not knowing where else to turn.

God help us.

4-6-6-4 Challenger a Challenge

The plastic drive shaft that failed has been replaced with a steel shaft that has been machined specifically for this unit. It is probably the only Rivarrosi locomotive with an all-metal drive shaft. That is the good news.

The bad news is that, like the Northern 4-8-4 the track needed some adjusting to allow the beheamoth to make certain curves. It took about an hour of pulling track, scrapping off balast and glue and then realigned shit to make it work. But now all the curves for all our locomotives work flawlessly. That is the bad news being turned into good news.

The other news is that there is a little attachment on the locomotive that allows for electrical pick up off the trailing truck as well as the tender that is sheared off. I do not think VIC's new about it. I think I can fix this but it is in a very tight spot. How I found out is that the trailing truck (the last 4 wheels) tended to jump the track at odd times. Sure enough the attachment is gone. So I have to get a little, itty bitty, tiny winny, screw or rivet to fix it.

I added Kadee couplers between the cab and the tender too.