31 March 2008

Feats of Engineering.

A Saudi prince plans to build a tower ONE MILE HIGH. That is more than twice as tall as the tallest buildings in the world. This graphic from the U.K. Daily Mail illustrates:

I wish them luck.

El Plátano

This interesting book review has almost inspired me to read 300 pages about the Banana.

Ever thought about how there are many apples or oranges and only one banana?


I enjoyed this article from Pajamas Media about the supposed but apparently non-existent ideological shift between old and young cubanos. Apparently we are just as conservative as our parents.


McCain, the Conservative?

There are three interesting articles demonstrating some things that I like from John McCain. He's growing on me, and I hope that continues. A lot will depend on his choice for Vice President.




Colombia, Liberty, & Trade

I think U.S. support for Colombia's liberalizing government is vitally important to our economic and national security in this hemisphere. Democrats are abandoning Colombia at a critical time, in a ploy to shore up support among opponents of free trade. This is a bad idea, but continues Democrat's long tradition of doctrinal inconsistency.

Read the following for more:



29 March 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXVIII

I give you...the Saga of Bumbo! (Thanks Gladys!)

Part II

Part III

27 March 2008

Not so Super

The Wall Street Journal has this great editorial about the very murky nature of the Democrat's process of selecting their nominee for President. It is not at all consistent with the way they have assailed Republicans in 2000 and 2004.

Saddam & Terror

It appears that Saddam Hussein DID have extensive ties to terror and terror networks.

22 March 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXVII

This video is truly AWESOME. That is why it gets its very own AweVidSat.

20 March 2008

A Mystery

This is an interesting article from NPR. It talks about the difficulty that scientists are having interpreting data on seawater temperature. It's not getting warmer. Hmmm. Could this mean that understanding of climate change is imperfect? Unsure?

Seems to be the case.

Iraq, 5 Years hence

More than 5 years have passed since the U.S. invasion of Iraq. I remain convinced that going to war was the right thing to do and that long-term success is both possible and likely.

Slate is an online magazine that is predictably left-leaning. Notwithstanding those tendencies, several of their writers supported the decision to invade. Like many erstwhile supporters of the war, many have changed their mind. Like me, Christopher Hitchens has held fast. I think that his column to that effect is an excellent one. His conclusion:

There is, however, one position that nobody can honestly hold but that many people try their best to hold. And that is what I call the Bishop Berkeley theory of Iraq, whereby if a country collapses and succumbs to trauma, and it's not our immediate fault or direct responsibility, then it doesn't count, and we are not involved. Nonetheless, the very thing that most repels people when they contemplate Iraq, which is the chaos and misery and fragmentation (and the deliberate intensification and augmentation of all this by the jihadists), invites the inescapable question: What would post-Saddam Iraq have looked like without a coalition presence?
The past years have seen us both shamed and threatened by the implications of the Berkeleyan attitude, from Burma to Rwanda to Darfur. Had we decided to attempt the right thing in those cases (you will notice that I say "attempt" rather than "do," which cannot be known in advance), we could as glibly have been accused of embarking on "a war of choice." But the thing to remember about Iraq is that all or most choice had already been forfeited. We were already deeply involved in the life-and-death struggle of that country, and March 2003 happens to mark the only time that we ever decided to intervene, after a protracted and open public debate, on the right side and for the right reasons. This must, and still does, count for something.

Invading Iraq was just the right thing to do.

17 March 2008

A Fantastic Trip

Out of the more than 200 pictures that I took this past week, these are some that I wanted to share. I'm sure that Lacy will post some on her blog as well, as will the Palmers and Da Costas. We had a fantastic time, enjoyed wonderful hospitality, and saw some beautiful sights.

We had a lot of gear with us. How do you like that beard?
We enjoyed taking the kids for walks.

Joseph was excited to see his Mom ski.
At the top of the mountain at Kicking Horse. An incredible view.

Remembering our trip in 2002., when we stayed at these Kicking Horse River Chalets with Matty Matt Nielsen.
Beautiful Lake Louise, frozen with ice 3 feet thick. Joseph liked to slide around. It was very, very cold.
Lacy spotted this impressive elk when we stopped in Banff.
Two bee-u-tee-ful ladies. I am one lucky man.
We went ice fishing and Joseph liked examining the catch (rainbow trout).
Joseph on an ATV with Mom at Lanny & Mark's. Lanny is Justin's mom.
Here is Mark at his restaurant in Turner Valley, Alberta. Excellent food. Route 40 Soup Company. Their chips (french fries) are incredible.

It snowed most of our last 2 days in Calgary. That was the SWEET Suburban we rented. Nice to have 4 wheel drive out there. This pic is at Mark & Lanny's ranch.
On a cold, cold day in Calgary it was time to come home. We flew on Westjet, had a great experience (direct flight) and look forward to our next trip to Calgary.
This is a panoramic shot that I put together from photos at the top of the mountain. This was our prettiest, clearest, and last day to ski.

Perhaps I'll post some video later.

09 March 2008

Going, going, back, back to Cal(gary)

During the 2002 Winter Olympics I fled Utah's magical atmosphere for beautiful Canada. With two of my best buds, Matt & Justin, we visited Calgary and then Golden, British Columbia for a great week of skiing and relaxation.

Today I am going back. This time it will be with Lacy, Joseph, & Millie along with the Palmers & Da Costas. There will be less skiing and more sledding, less late nights and more early mornings. We are very excited.

This will be the first long trip I have been on for quite some time where my computer will not be accompanying me. Between kids, skis, and winter clothes my hands will be quite full. So I don't plan to post while I'm gone unless I end up with free time and a computer.

08 March 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXVI

From the Mouths of Babes, Star Wars Episode 4. Pretty awesome.

03 March 2008

Worth your Time

For the past 2 years I have been involved with the Leadership Gainesville program of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. My class, LG 33, is promoting a charity 5k race to benefit to very worthy causes, Tyler's Hope and Junior Achievement.

I have personal connections to both of these charities and am excited for us to make some money for them.

The race is $25/runner, $23 if you register early on active.com. I am sponsoring a team through our company. If you are in Gainesville and want to run the race you only need to pay $20. I'll cover the rest for anyone who wants to run. It will be fun, there will be food and music, and it is for a good cause.

It is at 6:30 on April 16, 2008. Check the link for more information.

02 March 2008

Bush in Africa/Projection

I cited a few links in SPOTD #136 about President Bush's visit to Africa and the very positive views about him held by many Africans. There was also praise from Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof. Geldof has written a longer piece for TIME. It was very interesting, but revealed something about Geldof (and I think many other people) that he has not noticed.

Geldof's praise for Bush in Africa is matched by Geldof's criticism of Bush in Iraq. Why the difference? On Africa they agree and on Iraq they don't. Seems pretty simple, doesn't it? When someone agrees with you, and does things that you advocate/admire, they are brave, courageous, a genius. When you they act contrary to your opinion they are ignorant, stupid, or perhaps even malicious. Geldof does a poor job, a non-effort really, to reconcile the dichotomy. I'm not just criticizing liberals like Geldof. This extends to the folks that like the president on terror but hate him on immigration. He must be in league with the construction companies or "big agriculture."

This tendency to view proponents of policies we disagree with through the prism of good/evil is often incorrect and just as frequently is the source for today's acrimonious political discourse. Sometimes people just disagree. It is as simple as that. Win the battle with superior ideas, not ad hominem attacks that betray at best a lack of sophistication and at worst the exact kind of malice that one may be projecting on the target of their ire.

More trouble from Chavez

I was dismayed by this report about troop mobilizations by Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. He has moved units to the Colombian border following that country's successful killing of a top FARC leader. As I've written before, Chavez has recognized FARC as a legitimate political actor, despite the fact that they are funded through illegal and immoral activities. He did this to undermine the Uribe government in Colombia, a close ally to the United Statets.

I mentioned that I was dismayed, but that is less so at the behavior of Chavez (hardly surprising) than at that of Congress which failed to approve enhanced trade relations with Colombia. Colombia has greatly improved over the last several years, but politicians in Washington don't seem to understand how tenuous that success is.

The death of Raul Reyes and 16 of his comrades is the death of more terrorists. We all know how I feel about that.

01 March 2008

Awesome Video Saturday XXXV

Michael Bay... AWESOME