Sunday, August 31, 2008

Peg or Palin?

Now here's a funny comparison.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who Started the War?

[Update: What the--I thought this posted days ago. Yet it's been sitting in draft form behind the scenes. Let me give it another try.]

[Updated at the bottom to add more quotes.] It's unclear. Or, maybe not:

“Can I stop you for a second?” I said. I was still under the impression that the war began on August 7 and that Georgian President Saakashvili started it when he sent troops into South Ossetia's capital Tskhinvali. What was all this about the Ossetian violence on August 6 and before?

He raised his hand as if to say stop.

“That was the formal start of the war,” he said. “Because of the peace agreement they had, nobody was allowed to have guns bigger than 80mm. Okay, so that's the formal start of the war. It wasn't the attack on Tskhinvali. Now stop me.”

“Okay,” I said. “All the reports I've read say Saakashvili started the war.”

“I'm not yet on the 7th,” he said. “I'm on the 6th.”

“Okay,” I said. He had given this explanation to reporters before, and he knew exactly what I was thinking.

“Saakashvili is accused of starting this war on the 7th,” he said.

“Right,” I said. “But that sounds like complete bs to me if what you say is true.”

Thomas Goltz nodded.

Added: Why did Totten bury the lede?

Added: It's a very long post.

The [Georgian] peacekeepers had a military objective, and the first rule of warfare when you're talking to the media is not to reveal to your enemy what you're going to do. So they weren't going to blather into a microphone and say well, actually, I'm trying to go through Tskhinvali in order to stop the Russians. So what did he say instead? I'm here to restore constitutional order in South Ossetia. And that's it. With that, Georgia lost the propaganda war and the world believes Saakashvili started it. And the rest of the story...you know.”

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Attention Instapundit

A school district in Texas is allowing teachers and staffers to carry guns on campus.

That is all.

Update: Prof. Reynolds, you are a gentleman.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Wasatch: Mountain Flowers

The mountain air was fragrant with the smell of sage, potent with it, really. I've never seen the mountain so lush and green. These were taken with the Olympus.




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Wasatch: The 'Time Allows' Post

Here's what Aunt Jolene's cabin looked like when I was a kid. Back then, it was Grandpa Joe's cabin. In 1963, he caught wind that lots were being sold in Big Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountain Range for $750 a piece and wondered out loud if he should buy one. Nah, he said, he didn't have any cash on him anyway. His adult daughter, my Aunt Jeanne was with him at the time; she had $50 on her and encouraged him to purchase the land.

You can't tell from this picture, but you're looking at the upstairs, with a bedroom and living room, to a two-story cabin. Down a narrow, steep staircase is a kitchen and door to the outside.

It must have been in the late 70's or early 80's when they added this part to the cabin. The upstairs is a bedroom and modern bathroom. Before the only toilet facility was a (very clean) outhouse. The downstairs of the addition is a living room with couches that can be slept on.

If you turned around, this is what you'd be looking at:


This is the view from the back side of the cabin. (More pictures of the backyard below in the "Moose" post.)


Before you drive the private road a quarter mile up to the cabin, you have to stop to unlock a gate over a bridge at a rushing creek. We walked down to the creek and I climbed out on to a rock and encouraged the kids to follow me. They were hesitant but also eager. While on the rock, my brother called. That's me on the cell phone holding on to my four-year-old.

Should be a mountain flowers post up next. [Added: there's definitely a metaphor for parenting in the above picture.]

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Another Taste of Wasatch

Lake Mary is a nice little day hike in Big Cottonwood Canyon with enough uphill climbing to keep you huffing and puffing, but my seven-year-old daughter and six-year-old nephew were able to make it up unassisted. My four-year-old son likes to be "up on shoulders." The ascent was somewhere around 760 feet in the one-mile hike. The trail head is in the parking lot of the Brighton ski resort.

We stopped at nearly every rock because the kids think they're great photo opportunities:
My nephew Jack loved carrying around some plastic binoculars that the kids got two years before at Yellowstone.


The kids started whining not long into the hike, but when we caught site of either a beaver or badger sunning itself on a slab on concrete a quarter of the way up, and when we heard about a moose on the trail ahead, they set the pace ahead of me and Gene, who had a four-year-old "up on shoulders."

Here's the moose cooling off on a patch of snow:

Sigh. It was a very nice hike. I'm taking a guess, but I think we ended up around 9300 feet elevation.

More later as time allows.

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