Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Not So Inconvenient

Let me preface this post by saying if you haven't seen "An Inconvenient Truth" yet, you need to. Now.

It was wonderful seeing Al Gore at the Oscars on Sunday night. He was witty, warm and personable. The kind of candidate who could have won... Most importantly, he showed that he really has become the preeminent voice for the need to do something - and soon - about global warming.

In that vein, I'd like to ask the few folks who still come by to see what I'm doing to head on over here and help send a message, to be delivered by Al Gore, to Congress.

It's important.

Vitally important.

And to those who would say that reversing climate change is bad for the economy I leave you with Thoreau:

"What good is a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Putting the "Surge" in Insurgency

Here's the thing about insurgencies; the insurgents want to avoid, at all costs, meeting the occupiers on the field of battle. The term "asymmetric warfare" was created for just the kind of tactics our military is facing in Iraq. The insurgents cannot defeat us head-to-head and much like Vietnam it really doesn't matter. They don't need to.

So what do recent events in Iraq tell us about the incipient success or failure of Bush's surge?


If attacks are down it's because during this time of year, over the past 5 years the late winter and spring have always seen the number of attacks go down. There just isn't any way to judge whether the few additional troops already there are making a difference. It's too early.

If the attacks are bigger and more deadly, as they have been for the past week, it's only because the insurgents are carefully following the dictates of asymmetric warfare; hit fast, hit hard and then disappear. And with a few more soldiers in-country, now starting to relocate to more dispersed, less heavily fortified bases, the opportunities for mayhem are increased.

But don't count on BushCo. to discuss the finer points of counter-insurgency operations in public - most of them probably can't even spell it - as it doesn't fit well with their current spin cycle. And don't count on hearing about the vagaries of insurgency peaks and valleys or about the methods of asymmetric warfare in the media. It takes too long to spell out and there are no good sound-bites to be had from such a discussion. Finally, don't count on hearing much public discussion about any of these things in your local pub or grocery store. Most people you meet would think that COIN Ops refers to how they get their laundry done.

The lack of information from our government and our media and the general lack of knowledge about military operations in the citizenry means that BushCo. can spin events however they want. And only a very few will know that - as usual - they're lying through their teeth.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Rumors of My Death...

Totally exaggerated, I assure you!

I'm over the wicked head cold I was suffering under in my last post. It's just that as seems to be the case in my life lately, events have piled up to the point where I have found my self totally overwhelmed and with no time left for pleasantries like blogging. For sure I'm trying to keep up with the news and the goings on at some of my favorite blogs, but every effort to make time to write myself have been stymied.

The weather here in upstate New York hasn't helped matters. The little free time I find is often taken up with various versions of digging out and blowing snow. There's a drift in my back yard that's easily 4 feet deep. And I've run the snow blower up and down my drive way five times in the past two days. We haven't gotten nearly the snow that the poor folks in Oswego county have gotten - now nearly 11 feet in the past week - but three feet can still leave you plenty worn out!

So, Steve, I'm not buried, but I sure do wish it would stop snowing for a while!

So... I'm still here; still engaged and worried and reading.

Hopefully I'll have some time to get a few thoughts down over the next few days. There's lots on my mind!

Monday, February 05, 2007


I stayed home from work today - an extremely rare sick day for me - since I could not breathe or see. Whatever I've got, some sort of upper respiratory virus, has stuffed me up and crusted over my eyes.


So I finally make my way to my computer and tried to read some news when I saw the size of the budget that Bush has submitted to Congress. Then I really felt ill.

More on all this when I'm feeling better. In the mean time, check out the size of our Republican President's Tax (the poor) and Spend Budget.