Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Out-Freaking-Ragious: The New York Times Defends Blagojevich

In a dispicable display, the New York Times defends Governor Blagojevich using the excuse that it just political business as usual and that the legal requirements for prosecusion are not ideal!

What Blagojevich is accused of having done is an example of the worst type of political corruption. He was willing to use his political power to benefit the highest payer. The fact that his crime may not be prosecutable is not relevant to the need for his resignation.

Surely, if this had been a Republican governor, the NYT would have already called for his resignation screeming that such corruption cannot be tolerated in government (as it cannot). Yet, the NYT shows their amazing bias by not just simply ignoring the case, as happened when John Edwards was caught in an affair, but they actually defend this slime!

The simplest test for bias is this: if the roles where reversed, would the reaction be the same? No Republican would receive the benefit of defense from the NYT.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who has served and who has won Victory in Iraq.

Thank you to every Soldier.

Thank you to every Marine.

Thank you to every Sailor.

Thank you to every Airman.

Thank you to every Coast Guard.

Thank you to every DOD Contractor.

You have won! The United States of America, The Republic of Iraq, their citizens, and all of the Free People of the world owe you a debt of gratitude and respect.

Victory in Iraq: A Look Ahead

Today is Victory in Iraq Day! We should celebrate and thank everyone who has made it possible.

Today also, we should take time and look ahead and see what challenges we still face both in Iraq and in the broader War on Terror. We have asked a lot of our servicemen and women. They have performed wonderfully and we should thank every single one. But more is required. When we ask them, they will go. Some will not come home. So let's take some very careful time and look at the challenges still ahead.


We still have a lot to do. Despite the remarkable progress that has been made this past year, we can't just walk away from our obligation to ensure the safety of the Iraqi people. AQI still has a presence in Iraq though their numbers and capability have been drastically reduced. Several "special groups" continue to operate. But, this is not our role at this point. We are training and teaching the Iraqi army and police force to deal with these problems. Indeed, the majority of our work is training Iraqis to defend their own country. This will still take time and it is a good thing that the Iraqi government has agreed to let US troops remain until 2011.


The situation here is worse. I encourage you to read everything you can about Afghanistan especially Michael Totten. The Afghani government needs lots of improvement. The country is still highly fractured. Poppy and opium production is rampant. Though al Qaedi and the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan, they use the boarder with Pakistan for safe passage to conduct attacks, raids, and intimidation campaigns.
Needless to say, this is where a good majority of our focus, time, and resources are going to be spent for a long time.


We are allies with Pakistan. But Pakistan has severe problems. The greatest is that the government has absolutely no control of nor influence in the FATA or Federally-Administered Trible Area, a region in the western part of the country where the Taliban have taken control, al Qaedi finds safe haven, and terrorists train, recruit, stage attacks. This problem affects the situation in neighboring Afghanistan, but it is also threatening the Pakistani government. Pakistan wants to help, but frankly, they can't. They have too many internal problems. I don't know that we can currently do anything either.


Iran not only has nuclear ambitions, but they see themselves as the regional power able to affect all of the Middle East. This isn't far from the truth. Unfortunately, their ideas for the Middle East will cause war, death, and distruction. Iran's power is waxing and the world isn't doing a thing about it. Though I think comparing Iran to Nazi Germany isn't a good comparison, I think that the unwillingness of anyone to face Iran before it's too late has many parallels with Europe in the 1930s.

Global War on Terror

Obviously, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are a major focus of our efforts right now and in the years to come. But, they are not the only places with severe problems. Saudi Aradia, Yemen, Somalia, South-East Asia, and many other places all have a presense of international terrorist. Each country is unique. Some have governments that are at least seemingly wanting to fight terrorism. Some of these countries have no government at all. This is a dangerous time and a dangerous world. We still have a lot to do.

A Special Note

Let's not forget that we have hundreds of thousands of brave men and women who have volunteered to step up, serve, and be away from their families. They need to know that we support them and that we're behind them. Let's show our support by sending them care packages, letters, and cards. Additionaly, the following links may be very helpful in giving you specific information.

Go to AnySoldier.com
Go to AnyMarine.com

Go to AnyAirman.com

Go to AnySailor.com

Go to AnyCoastGuardsman.com

If you need any ideas, read Samantha Speaks. She has lots of ideas and helpful information.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Analysis: Does this mean it's too late? Answer: Yes.

Journalist are not known for their technical and scientific brilliance. The article linked below clearly states that Iran now has enough raw material for a nuclear bomb. It goes on to mention that as of now, they only have enough for one.

Analysis: Does this mean it's too late? Iran news Jerusalem Post

Firstly, the fact that they have enough for one is quite disturbing by itself. Would anyone be less concerned if they had ten? No.

Second, what the reporter doesn't realize it that enrichment is an accelerating process. That is, it takes a long time to get enough material for the first bomb. But after that, you get a lot of material very quickly.

It took the US several years of planning, construction, and work to get our first bomb. Shortly thereafter, we dropped the second and third on Japan. What most people don't realize it that because we had the infrastructure and technology to produce bombs, we were capable of producing two bombs every month at the end of the war. This is the same situation in which Iran is now. Again, this is not comforting.

"But isn't Iran just enriching uranium for peaceful, electricity-generating purposes?"

Well, no. Electricity generation doesn't require highly enriched material. Several types of nuclear power generators actually do quite well with unenriched fuel. Yet, the centrifuges continue to spin.

So, for what should we look in the coming months? Iran will continue to enrich fuel for additional bombs under the guise of electrical needs. The IAEA inspectors will get thrown out of Iran. In 12 months, they will perform the first test of an atomic bomb.

Of course, Israel is very concerned about this. Iran has repeatedly stated that they wish to wipe Israel off the map. Given their advanced missile program, Iran will shortly have the capability to level entire Israeli cities. Israel, of course, will not wait for this to happen. Once the IAEA inspectors leave Iran because they cannot do their job, Israel will strike the nuclear facilities in Iran. This strike doesn't have to be on all of the facilities at the same time; a few key facilities will suffice to slow weapons production.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

More and More Good News

Over the last few months, several bits of good news have come from Iraq. Of course we, myself included, have been distracted by other things. That doesn't mean operations and progress in Iraq have stopped. Here's a recent story of the kind of progress being made in Iraq. Iraqi troops find EFP factory in Sadr City - The Long War Journal Of course, the best good news is the news that hasn't been reported. For the years following the invasion, we heard about the "Ramadan Spike". This was a huge increase in the number of attacks and deaths during the month of Ramadan. Every year, we heard story after story of the copious amount of violence. Well, did you here about it this year? What about last year? The answer is no. The reason is because for the last two years, there hasn't been huge spikes in attacks and violence. Ramadan and come and gone in Iraq and the violence continues to drop, not increase. Though officials we always say that this is more to do, which, certainly there is, they won't say we've won in Iraq. I'll say it. We've won.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Illusion of Choice

A recent conversation in our home:

"Honey, we need something from the store to cook dinner. Do you want to go or should I?"

"You go."


"Fine. I'll go."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hello! Pay attention!

One more time: CONGRESS sets the national budget. CONGRESS determines tax rates. NOT the President. Blaming the President for Congress' failures is like blaming a parent for a baby messing its own diaper. The President can only SUGGEST a budget. Congress doesn't have to listen to the President nor does it usually. Congress' budgets usually look NOTHING like would the President would like. If you don't like how our country has spent YOUR money the last few years, look at the DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS.

I ended a RSS feed over someone missing this simple fact.

UPDATE 20 November 2008: I watched a video yesterday in which most people, who had just voted, didn't realize that Congress is controlled by the Democratic party and has been since 3 January 2007.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Funny (Ironic), not Funny (Haha)

I've been wanting a projection screen for my classroom for two years. I finally get one. They mount it then realize that the big dent in the side keeps it from going up and down. So I can't use it. They say they'll replace it, but it will take a while.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Absolutely Fantastic!

LiveLeak.com - Ben Stein interview

This video is highly edited but I think you won't have any mistakes about his opinion.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Important Update, Good News

Wow. Read this and tell me what you think.

Knowledge Is Power

Update (17 Sept): Iraq is won. There's no denying it. Even I, who wants to keep up with what's going on there, am having trouble staying interested. Troop levels are down to pre-surge levels and even lower. Violence is way down. Troop deaths are way down. The Iraqi government has met 15 out of 18 benchmarks. The big battlefield now is Afghanistan, not Iraq.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Rasmussen Reports™: The most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a presidential election.

Congress is doing such a poor job, only 9% of voters think they're doing a good job. If I understand it, this is an all-time low.

HT: Mad Ogre

Update (17 Sept): By the way, President Bush constantly receives criticism regarding how low his poll numbers are. With a quick check, his lowest approval rating, ever, was 25%.

How I've Changed

When home in the US, I get asked a lot of things. One question that I hear is, "how have you changed?" This isn't an easy question. After six years of living in Budapest, I think I can start to really answer that question.

As I was washing the dishes today, it occured to me, "I understand my grandmother." This happened as I was putting a washed straw away into the drawer. It's a strange behavior. It's weird. And the only other time I've ever seen it was when I would visit my grandmother.

She grew up during the Great Depression. She came from a family of nine. Life was hard. More than once, I heard the story about how she with her sister, both younger than ten years old, would ride the street car across town to go sell vegetables. They didn't care about child labor laws; they did what they had to do to provide for the family. They saved and they used everything they could to get the most of out it. That's why she saved the straws much later in life.

Why did I save the straw? Life here isn't easy for expatriots. It's not as hard as surely as it was during the Depression. But, I saved the straw because I don't have much disposable income. When I do, I don't want to waste it on something silly. Even when I do, I don't want to travel accross town to get something I really don't need. There are more important things to spend money on. So, I'll save the stupid straw and get the most of out it.

I think I understand my grandmother a bit better.

Personal note to my mom and dad who will read this: Don't freak out. We're fine. This a commentary. We're doing OK and we're eating fine. We'll see you in a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Update on License Plates

I went to go fill out the paperwork for my new license plate yesterday. Originally, the police said that since the plate was reported as stolen, if, in the future, any police officer checking the license plate on my car would see it listed as stolen and so not only would I need news plates, but the number on the plates would also need to be new. Of course, this would cost extra money.

Well, the lady at the government office checked, and the police didn't list it as stolen. So, the whole process, while still frustrating and expensive, won't be quite as expensive.

I think this is the first time I have ever been thankful for police incompetence.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Required Listening: BLACKFIVE: A President's D-Day prayer

BLACKFIVE: A President's D-Day prayer

A Few Observations

My wife and I went to Budapest's Museum Night last week. Budapexan has the report.

A few observations:

1. If you are going to organize a city-wide event, you need to make sure all of the materials you print for it have correct information. Sure, typos happen, but big mistakes in information shouldn't happen. That's why you use proof-readers.

2. Modern art is crap. Sorry if you disagree. I must not be cerebral nor cultured enough to appreciate it. But, on the other hand, I teach both chemistry and physics and know the difference between Pavarati, Paganini, and Pucini.

So, modern art is crap. That said, there were two pieces that I liked. One was a joke, very funny, and entertaining. The other one actually could have been very nice in a home. The rest of it should have never been in a museum.

3. We also visited the Terror House. If you don't know what that is, it was the headquaters of the secret police during communist rule in Hungary. Esentially, it was one of those places you never wanted to see the inside of because you would probably never see the outside again. It has now been renovated to serve as a museum depicting the horrors of living under communism. It was very well done and I would like to go back again some day. The secret, underground torture rooms and execution chambers are still in their original state and are very grim. So, what did I take away?

Well, how did Hungary fall into communism? After WWII, the people actually voted for a democratic government, but because too much power had been given to too few, the people were powerless to determine what type of government they would get. Observation: power should be distributed as much as possible and we should we very careful of letting government take power from the people.

Also, we must protect free speech. That includes the speach we don't like. Because, someday, someone may not like our free speech. Government should not be allowed to regulate political speech, ever.

Last, we must protect political dissent. When we don't like someone's ideas, we should discuss the situation, not call for their silencing. This, superficially, may seem very similar to what I already mentioned, but its not. The above talks about the expression of political ideas. Here, I am talking about the holding of ideas.

For those of you who have never visited a former communist country, let me explain. In George Orwell's 1984, merely having ideas against the state was a crime. It was called thoughtcrime. Now, in free countries, we read that and say, "how absurd that would be." But, what we don't understand is that it actually happened. Orwell didn't write entertaining fiction. He wrote informed fiction. Communist countries didn't merely aim to control the economy, but rather the very thoughts of its people.

And we, as free people, need to take this lessons to heart.

Wow, this is good. It made me misty-eyed.

BLACKFIVE: VFF Guest Authors- Women to the front

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Another Fun Video

Another video that, if this actually happened in real life, life would be MUCH more fun.

HT: Mad Ogre

Saturday, June 14, 2008

New Change with my Blog

After completing my Google Reader, I've added the Blog Roll to this blog. It's pretty cool in two ways: 1. You can see what I'm reading about because it imports the links from Google Reader. 2. It actually gives you a bit of a preview before actually clicking through.


Oh, and if you want to add it to your blog, here's the link.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I've Been Bee-Peed

It happens from time to time living in Budapest. Something happens to you that you have absolutely no control over and you just have to suck it up and take it.

Someone stole the front license plate off of our car. Why I don't know, but it's going to cost me about $90 to get them both replaced. Oh, and I'll have to update all the paperwork for the car to match the new license plates. That will cost me about $60.

Well, in order to get the new plates, I had to report the theft. So, I was driving on my way to do that when I got pulled over and ticketed for not having the front plate. That cost me about $130. Nice. The cop either didn't believe that I was on my way or didn't care.

So, all-in-all, someone's lovely like jester will end up costing me about $280. Thank you, whoever you are.

Oh, and I spent about two and a half hours at the police station filling out a report. They were pretty nice about it all. Oh, and I will also spend untold hours visiting different government offices and getting all of the paperwork done. Ba!

May Recruiting | A Soldier's Perspective

May Recruiting | A Soldier's Perspective:

Take a look at the recruiting results for May. Does it look like we're having trouble recruiting to you? HT: A Soldier's Perspective

"Marine Corps - 122% of requirement
Army - 101% of requirement
Navy - 100% of requirement
Air Force - 100% of requirement
Air National Guard - 131% of requirement
Army Reserve - 107% of requirement
Marine Corps Reserve - 100% of requirement
Navy Reserve - 100% of requirement
Air Force Reserve - 100% of requirement
Army National Guard - 94% of requirement"

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Google Reader

Well, I had tried Google Reader a while back and was pretty disappointed. Mainly, I couldn't figure out how to subsribe to my favorite blogs.

Recently, I was remotivated by my friend Julie to give it another try. Wow. Talk about time saving! Thanks Julie!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I Missed It

D-Day was yesterday. I meant to post something appropriate.

Thank you to all who participated in D-Day, 6 June 1944. We owe you a debt of gratitude.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More Good News

by Gina Chon of the WSJ: "BAGHDAD -- U.S. and Iraqi military officials said violence in Iraq has decreased significantly in recent weeks to levels not seen in four years."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Go Baby! Go!

Bloomberg.com: Worldwide: "Futures Traders Bet on Dollar Gain For First Time Since 2005

By Bo Nielsen and Ye Xie
May 2 (Bloomberg) -- Futures traders are betting for the first time since December 2005 that the dollar will gain against the euro."

Update: 1 U.S. dollar = 158.679784 Hungarian forints

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

YouTube - Banned Xbox 360 advert (train station)

Man, this would be fun. Life certainly would be more interesting.

YouTube - Banned Xbox 360 advert (train station)

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Surprise! Military hits recruiting goals across the board

Who says a war drives down recruiting? It certainly doesn't seem that way. Also, I'm sure the whole fiasco with CODEPINK probably helped, too. They're probably not happy about that.

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Surprise! Military hits recruiting goals across the board

More Good News in Iraq

Just how are things going in Iraq? How damaged is AQI and how functional is it?

Argghhh! The Home Of Two Of Jonah's Military Guys has some answers:

MG Lynch, Part II: Security.

Friday, April 18, 2008

BLACKFIVE: DoD Press Release Reports What MSM Won't

BLACKFIVE: DoD Press Release Reports What MSM Won't

On Blackfive, there is a great article on yet another major setback for AQI. Yet, we really haven't heard that much about it from the MSM. In the comments section, the discussion heats up. Usually, I don't comment on very much. But, here, I couldn't resist.

Go and read the article and the comments. Here is the comment I left:

A good way to evaluate this would be to consider, "What if the opposite was true?" Consider if, instead, the headline was, "AQI captures critical US intelligence; 53 American commanders, generals and colonels, captured or killed."

What kind of reaction would this get? What sort of reporting?
1. It would be on EVERY network's primetime coverage.
2. It would be on EVERY newspaper's front page.
3. EVERY congressman would demand immediate investigation.
4. Massive protests and demonstrations in EVERY city.

Now, let's ask the question, "Is the MSM's level of coverage appropriate?" Hmm.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Maxed Out

This is a great documentary on the bad effects of credit cards and borrowing in general. I think most people would be able to watch this and immediately identify with a lot of the people interviewed.

One critique I do have is that the film seems to suggest that the solution is for government to step in and protect people from corporations. But, as you can see, the government can't even fix it's own credit problem. The solution is individual responsibility. The government can't fix the problem. So you will need to fix the problem.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Good Advice from Lincoln

NPS Source Book: Abraham Lincoln: "As his station in life slowly improved over that of his poor relatives, Lincoln was frequently called upon for assistance. He always displayed a keen interest in the welfare of those who had been close to him in his youth, especially his stepmother, and gave liberally to their aid from his limited means. The following letter to his step brother, however, shows that he was not to be imposed upon in this respect. It also bespeaks a regard for the dignity and value of labor that is in the best American tradition."

"Dear Johnston: Your request for eighty dollars I do not think it best to comply with now. At the various times when I have helped you a little you have said to me, "We can get along very well now"; but in a very short time I find you in the same difficulty again. Now, this can only happen by some defect in your conduct. What that defect is, I think I know. You are not lazy, and still you are an idler. I doubt whether, since I saw you, you have done a good whole day's work in any one day. You do not very much dislike to work, and still you do not work much, merely because it does not seem to you that you could get much for it. This habit of uselessly wasting time is the whole difficulty; it is vastly important to you, and still more so to your children, that you should break the habit. It is more important to them, because they have longer to live, and can keep out of an idle habit before they are in it, easier than they can get out after they are in.

"You are now in need of some money; and what I propose is, that you shall go to work, "tooth and nail," for somebody who will give you money for it. Let father and your boys take charge of your things at home, prepare for a crop, and make the crop, and you go to work for the best money wages, or in discharge of any debt you owe, that you can get; and, to secure you a fair reward for your labor, I now promise you, that for every dollar you will, between this and the first of May, get for your own labor, either in money or as your own indebtedness, I will then give you one other dollar. By this, if you hire yourself at ten dollars a month, from me you will get ten more, making twenty dollars a month for your work. In this I do not mean you shall go off to St. Louis, or the lead mines, or the gold mines in California, but I mean for you to go at it for the best wages you can get close to home in Coles County. Now, if you will do this, you will be soon out of debt, and, what is better, you will have a habit that will keep you from getting in debt again. But, if I should now clear you out of debt, next year you would be just as deep in as ever. You say you would almost give your place in heaven for seventy or eighty dollars. Then you value your place in heaven very cheap, for I am sure you can, with the offer I make, get the seventy or eighty dollars for four or five months' work. You say if I will furnish you the money you will deed me the land, and, if you don't pay the money back, you will deliver possession. Nonsense! If you can't now live with the land, how will you then live without it? You have always been kind to me, and I do not mean to be unkind to you. On the contrary, if you will but follow my advice, you will find it worth more than eighty times eighty dollars to you."


Spring Break in Croatia

Wonderful. Fantastic. Beautiful.

Posted by Picasa

April 15th

I did my taxes. I managed to keep some of my own money. I took me 27 pages to do it though. Does that seem reasonable? I don't think so. Can anyone say, "reform"?

P.S. I highly recommend using Intuit's DeluxeTurboTax online. It's quick (5 hrs.), cheap ($29.95), and did a great job (I'm getting a refund).

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Politics and Nonprofits

In case you haven't noticed lately, I haven't been blogging very much lately. There is a reason for this.

I work for two separate nonprofit organizations. I'm paid by one; seconded to the other. Well, I got an e-mail from the first that was sent to the entire organization warning us that we could endanger our IRS tax-status if we use the organization's name or resources to endorse political canidates.

So let me set the record strait:
  1. My personal views do not come from my work with either of the organizations I work for.
  2. The two nonprofits have not asked me to do any political work on their behalf.
  3. The two nonprofits are strictly apolitical.
  4. From this time on, none of their resources will be used for political commentary on this blog. That includes time, computers, and e-mail.
  5. Any political contents on this blog will be a result of my own time and efforts without endorsement of either nonprofit.

I should be a lawyer.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Point?

Recently, if you haven't been under a rock, you know that protesters are trying to drive out Marine recruiters from Berkeley, CA and now Washington, DC. The general method is to show up, deface property, and in general try to prevent anyone from communicating with the recruiters about the Marine Corps. The idea is that the protesters can intimidate the Marines and scare them away.

Does that make any sense to you? Think about what the Marines are trained to do. Their primary mission is to storm hostile shores defended by vicious enemies under heavy and deadly fire. The Marines took island by island the Pacific away from the Japanese. The fought long, bloody, hand-to-hand battles in Korea. The engaged stealthy enemies in the dense jungles of Vietnam. The directly engaged Saddam's army in Kuwait.

Names like Guadalcanal, Chosin, Fallujah, Inchon, and Iwo Jima will forever be a part of the Marine Corps ethos.

Many of the Marines serving as recruiters have personally been in close-quarters combat against people willing to die just to take a single American with them to death.

Do the protesters really think that the Marines will be intimidated by a bunch of ladies in pink dresses? I mean, has CODEPINK thought about that.

I think they have. I will be willing to give them the benefit of doubt and say that they are intelligent people capable of reason. They know they can't intimidate the Marines. Therefore, all of the "direct action" protesting is for publicity, recruiting for their own organization, and is little more than a political statement.

The Marines aren't going anywhere.

But I don't think CODEPINK has truly thought it through. And, by this, I mean they haven't analyzed the consequences if they were to be successful. CODEPINK doesn't think the Marine Corps shares their values. They believe the Marine Corps is out of touch with America. Therefore, they want to drive the Marine Corps recruiters out of their neighborhoods. But this means displacing the recruiters to locations more in line with the values and beliefs of the Marines. This would have the effect of driving the Marines further away from the values and beliefs of CODEPINK. If CODEPINK has really thought of the consequences, I think that they would want Marine recruiters in their area.

But again, this is hypothetical. Remember, does anyone truly believe that the Marine Corps will be intimidated by pink dresses and megaphones?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Homeless: Can you build a life from $25? | csmonitor.com

Can you use nothing but determination and work-ethic to get yourself out of poverty? Appartently so. One writer did. He started in a homeless shelter with $25 and within 10 months was "making it". Hmm.

Homeless: Can you build a life from $25? csmonitor.com

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Adnan G. El Shukrijumah

Do you remember 9/11? Want to stop another day just like it? Help find this man:

FBI Seeking Information - Adnan G. El Shukrijumah

He is considered the most dangerous man inside America. He's already made it in.

More Good News: Attacks in Baghdad fall 80 percent: Iraq military

Go and read the article but I think the title alone says a lot.

Attacks in Baghdad fall 80 percent: Iraq military International Reuters

Friday, February 15, 2008

More Good News

Iraqis have recently passed an important law that sets up the future of provinvial elections. I didn't really hear that much about it but this article seems to summarize the information well.

The Associated Press: Lawmakers Pass Provincial Election Law

Friday, February 8, 2008

My Favorite Picture

This is my favorite picture of my wife and me. It was taken on 1 May 2004, the day that Hungary officially entered the EU. We're standing on what is called the Chain Bridge. The center span is lit up behind us. If you look closely in the background, you can see spotlights shining up into the sky. I love my wife.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Good News!

I just finished reading one of the daily intelligent summary from the US military in Iraq for 30 January.


Though the list of incidents seems, at first glance, long. It is worth the time to fully read each description and its comments. When you read the comments, the only conclusion is that things in Iraq are improving. Al Qaedi in Iraq (AQI) is in retreat. The Iraqi army is chasing them. Supplies lines to the enemy have been cut. More IEDs are being found than detonated.

Also, as I have mentioned before, the use of more and more of what would normally never be considered military worthy individuals is a sign of desperation. If AQI was winning and its ranks swelling with recruits, why wouldn't one of the new recruits eagerly volunteered to be matyred as soon as possible. The recent use of Down's Syndrome women bombers clearly indicates this.

Another couple of things. First, the phrase "hearts and minds" has been used many times the last few years to make the point that we need to convince the Iraqi people to support our efforts against AQI. While that is true to some extent, AQI may be doing a lot of the winning on our behalf. Read the news articles of how AQI treat the people of Iraq: intimidation, threats, beheadings, torture, harassment, murder, subjugation, and using civilians as human shields.

Second, we cannot loose in Iraq if we are willing to finish the job. Think about it. We have bases, big and small, all over Iraq. From time to time, the come under attack, but these attacks are mortars or sniper rounds. Not the kinds of attacks designed to over-run the base. We're not in danger of having to engage in a fighting retreat. We're not going to be pushed back to the see. We won't be loading up all of our guys onto ships in Kuwait. AQI simply cannot match our military might and the excellence of our men and women. The only way will we loose in Iraq (or Afghanistan) for that matter, will be if we lack the political will. This is what the terrorist are trying to do. And, as the recent debates indicate, some of our politicians are willing to give them that victory.

Let's finish the job. I want to win.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

This is from Newsweek?

The War Against Jihadism Newsweek Religion Newsweek.com

New Categoy: Good News

We don't here good news often enough. Usually important and significant advances are ignored for sensational and alarming news. So, starting today, I will begin posting the little heard but important stories you should know.

To begin, top Al Qaida scum dies!

al-Qaida Commander in Afghanistan Dies World Latest Guardian Unlimited

Good News!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Nuclear Power Solutions

This article talks about several of the things I have been saying for years.

IBDeditorials.com: Editorials, Political Cartoons, and Polls from Investor's Business Daily -- Nuclear Fuel: Waste Not, Want Not

If we want to change the energy picture in our country, we need to change our priorities. Oil is a limit resource. Yes, we can get a lot of it, but the supplies will eventually diminish and a lot of our oil comes from unstable regions. Green energy sounds nice but isn't scalable to a national or global portion. Therefore, we need nuclear. And we need it more than before.

Some priorities we need to change are:

1. Build more nuclear plants. They're safe. They're clean. They're cheap.
2. Reprocess waste. Not only does this produce more fuel, but it reduces that amount of waste we have to dispose.
3. Open Yucca Mountain for storage. We need a long term solution for nuclear waste. This is the best, safest option. We cannot continue the short term solution of storing waste on the site of nuclear plants. It's dangerous, and it is only viable in the short term.

Let's wake up and do the right thing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Good and Bad

Caboodle.hu - Budapest policemen caught taking bribe from gun-runners

"Budapest police officers were captured by special commando units after they accepted a Ft 700,000 bribe from a drug and firearms courier, who had been under police surveillance."

Ft 700,000 is just over $ 4000. Adjusting for differences in GDP per capita, this is like an American police officer taking a $9450 bribe.

"Warrant officer Sándor Sz. and sergeant major Csaba H, both patrol policemen in their thirties, stopped a car driver for a routine check on Fõ utca in Budapest’s First District Sunday afternoon.

By the way, this is the famous Castle District, the biggest tourist center in the city.

"The police officers found drugs and firearms in the car, but agreed to let the driver go after he offered them Ft 700,000. Within a minute the two police officers were handcuffed, as detectives from Vas county police and special commando units swooped on the courier, who was known to be carrying drugs, firearms, ammunition and forged Ft 20,000 banknotes.

Firearms are also illegal in Hungary unless you have a very exclusive, special permit for hunting.

"The driver was let go by the commando units, but was stopped on route 8, in the Jánosháza region, on Monday morning, when a search uncovered seven grams of cocaine, a pistol, 19 bullets and 53 counterfeit Ft 20,000 banknotes.

Ft 20,000 is worth about $120.

"Budapest's police chief fired Sz. and H. on Monday night."

Good things: The Hungarian police are concerned about corruption and are making arrests. They fired the offending officers.
Bad things: There IS corruption within the Hungarian police, and why, oh, why did the "commando unit" let the perp go in the first place?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Fred Thompson Quits Presidential Race

I salute you, sir! And thank you for running.

Fred Thompson Quits Presidential Race

My candidate didn't win. Too bad. I really like Fred Thompson and his ideas. Who will I endorse next? I'm not sure yet. I'll need to do some research and thinking.

So, why did he not succeed. Well, lots of reasons have been suggested. Part of it is though the properties of self-fulfilling prophecies. What do I mean? During primaries, voters want candidates that can win the general election. Therefore, they support "leading" candidates. Therefore, candidates who are labelled as "also rans" from the get-go have a hard time getting support. Therefore, they never lead. It's a vicious cycle.

Dear Mr. Thompson. Thank you! We need a conservative voice more than ever and I am glad someone had the guts to speak.

"Gunmen" take "refuge"

I just read this story from the Wall Street Journal. I was particularly interested in the language.

Gunmen Take Students Hostage At High School in Pakistan - WSJ.com

In a nutshell, "gunmen" abducted a public official and then took "refuge" in a school. Oh, and dozens of students and teachers are still in the school. The school is in a "volatile" region which in a stronghold for the Taliban.

Not until the fifth paragraph is the word "terrorists" mentioned and even then it is a "quote" of a government official. Not until the sixth paragraph is the word "hostage" mentioned.

Let's just called them what they are: lowlife, pathetic, and cowardly terrorists.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Michael Yon: Moment of Truth in Iraq

Michael Yon has written another fantastic essay that everyone should read. Also, given his incredible insight into the situation from Iraq, I would recommend that everyone order one of his books.

Michael Yon : Online Magazine » Blog Archive » Moment of Truth in Iraq

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

San Jose Mercury News - Vaccines pose no risk for autism, research shows

This is big news and should go a long way to have parents vaccinate their children with all available vaccines. Unfortunately, the rate of vaccination has dropped in recent years because of fears of the side effects of vaccines. Recently, a school registrar that I know revealed, with confidence, that the actual rate of students not vaccinated in public schools is alarmingly high and schools haven't told parents for fear that enrollment would drop.

San Jose Mercury News - Vaccines pose no risk for autism, research shows

"'Thimerosal exposure bears no relationship to the risk of autism,' wrote Canadian autism researcher Dr. Eric Fombonne in an editorial accompanying the study. 'Parents of autistic children should be reassured that autism in their child did not occur through immunizations.'"

'Some doctors believe the increase [in diagnosis of autism] stems from better awareness and diagnosis of the disorder, not more actual cases.'

Also, 'in 2004, an Institute of Medicine panel, after examining more than 20 studies on autism and vaccines, said there is no convincing evidence to support any link between thimerosal or the MMR vaccine and autism. The current California Department of Public Health study adds to that body of research.'

But of course, 'Geraldine Dawson, the chief science officer for the advocacy group Autism Speaks, called the California research "a very important study. The bulk of the evidence thus far suggests that mercury is not involved, but I think parents still have many questions," Dawson said. "I think until parents are satisfied, we need to continue to examine the question."'

So, in other words, "we're not happy and we will still doubt the safety of vaccinations despite 20+ studies that show otherwise."

For parents that are reasonable and responsible, I have one piece of advice: listen to your doctor and get you children vaccinated!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Why I read blogs:

I read lots of blogs. Lots. Some are great and some are OK. But the great thing about blogs is that from time to time, you get something... amazing. What I just read and what I want you to read is just that.