Thursday, May 31, 2007

The whole story from Michael Yon

A couple days ago I posted about a note Michael Yon had sent to Instapundit about the arrest of an Iraqi General.

Here's the whole fascinating story.

I had talked about the importance of the rule of law and how those in government must be subject to it.

I hope, very much, that as this goes into the Iraqi court system that it will be an example of fairness that will encourage the people in Iraq to trust the process and have confidence in their justice system.

It's *important*.

Yesterday...

... was our 20th wedding anniversary and *both* my husband and I forgot.

I suppose that means we're meant for each other. ;-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chickens on demand




These are my chickens. They are even worse at holding still than the silly dogs are. The white rooster in the back and the little spotted hen in the front are Norwegian Jaerhon or "yard hens". There's a Welsummer in the middle and the white hen lays green eggs and the buff hen in front lays light brown eggs.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fat Rant

This post from Ann Althouse brought on the need to rant, but I resisted it! Well, not entirely, it's a "fat rant" on You Tube and I always rant about fat because even skinny people are made to worry about being fat and it's so stupid and I think about all my life thinking I was fat and how much of a waste it was not to *feel* thin and pretty even when I *was*. Grrrrr.

So anyhow, later on I see this on Instapundit, which has nothing to do with fat women, and I followed Glen's follow-up link to this blog and I'm now looking at artwork by Frank Franzetta.

I actually own the book with this on the cover.

Just LOOK at the bulges. Look at the rolls! Isn't it glorious?

Oh, in real terms Franzetta women aren't fat *either*, not really, but they aren't even slightly thin. I mean... they have butts! Big butts! And breasts and belly bulges and *thighs*.

And they wear tiny little metal bikinis and prance about in naked primitive glory and aren't the least bit worried that someone is going to point at a cellulite dimple and shriek.

Sort of says something that male fantasies and female fantasies really aren't that different. ;-)

Accepting the Rule of Law

This link from Instapundit about an Iraqi General arrested for murders and other crimes is important.

I'm not sure if everyone will realize why. I've no doubt that to many this will just seem proof of how impossible things are over there.

They aren't impossible. It's not honest to look at a difficult situation, call it impossible, and excuse ones self from any further corrective action. It's not honest at all.

Democracy is a new idea in most of the middle east. Even more of a new idea, and many times more important than Democracy, is the idea of the Rule of Law.

To be free a nation has to be ruled by LAW, not by whatever leader manages to get to be on top of the heap, even if he or she got there democratically.

In order for democracy to work the people, all of them, have to be confident about what will happen when they don't win an election.

The minority has to trust the Rule of Law.

No, I'm not any kind of lawyer, and I may use words incorrectly but the concept is simple. The Law has to apply to everyone. Our leaders must not be exempt. Our governors, congresspersons, and police chiefs, must not be exempt. And do I need to say that even here in the US this is an ongoing battle? There's a reason that people become so angry when they find that a trooper got in trouble for trying to issue a DUI to the wrong official.

Iraq is hardly unique in having a culture where a position of power is a position of privilege. Saddam kept order through terror and the fact that the military and police certainly *did* kill people. The police aren't trusted. The courts aren't trusted.

But it's just not honest to look at this fact and claim nothing can be done. Something *can* be done and LTC Doug Crissman did it.


The American commander, LTC Doug Crissman, narrowly averted a possible bloodbath today when he intervened, without orders from above, and arrested the General.


People *must* know that the law applies to everyone. It will never perfectly apply, but people have to have confidence that it does apply *most particularly* to those in government, to those in power.

We'll find out more later. I hope it all goes well.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Don't Look Down by Crusie and Mayer

Not really a review, just wanted to say that I enjoyed this book, _Don't Look Down_ by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer.

I went to Amazon to get the link and noticed that it's getting trashed in the reviews by people who have been fans of Crusie's romance novels. I can see why they were upset but I hope she continues to collaborate with Mayer because all I can say is "your loss is my gain."

I'm also going to be looking for Mayer's books written as Robert Doherty to check them out.

_Don't Look Down_ is a silly novel that had me laughing or trying not to let the kids see I was crying... The laughs weren't belly laughs and the tears weren't heart wrenching sobs... It was just fun. And it *was* a romance.

With guns.

And knives.

And Wonder Woman action figures with matching "wonder wear" underwear.

And the items the international terrorist was shipping to the Russian mob boss? Pre-colombian jade penises.

At least two people get eaten by an alligator named Moot.

Anyhow, the people who didn't like this won't like the next one either, pre-viewed in the back (I have a love-hate relationship with this "pre-view" practice,) called _Agnes and the Hitman_. Agnes thinks she's crazy, and her court appointed psychologist isn't helping. She keeps nearly killing men with frying pans, but it's not her fault, and she *was* hitting the dead guy with a frying pan but that's not what killed him. Her only friend is an aging mob enforcer who calls in a favor, namely his nephew, to protect her. The nephew, it seems, is a assassin (though I'm betting he turns out to be with the good guys.) She hits *him* with a frying pan, too.

Can't wait. :-)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Save the Dresden Files?

This is rather upsetting! How can such a fantastic show be in danger of being canceled?

I suppose worse things have happened so I think I will at least send a post card or something to let the network know that I think that the Dresden Files is one of the best shows on television. I was just assuming that there would be a "next season" on this.

If it is canceled, I will be desolate!

Here's the Sci-fi channel website. There's supposed to be a link to watch whole episodes someplace on there.

How to communicate with teenagers

IM

I've got three windows up atm, chatting away with my kids who are at the other end of the house.

Yellow Lady's Slipper Orchids


These were found growing in near full sun among the grass when my parents built their new house. My mom didn't move them, just cleared a garden around where they were growing.

This is last year's picture.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Liaden Universe serial... check it out!

As the authors explain, this is a draft. In some respects it reminds me of the Zorro book I have, which was also a serial and published a bit at a time. That was a rather "drafty" read as well. Once Theo's story is all done it will be gone over, edited, fixed up. As a writer I appreciate any opportunity to see that process and how it works.

It's a fun read so far, though. Persons of a certain age should get a particular kick out of the emphasis on consensus and team building in the culture.

Theo Waitley is a misfit because of the very things that will make her great. Someday.

So check out Fledgling: A Liaden Universe Project. Tell me what you think.

Theo appears at the very end of _I Dare_, which is available on e-books from Baen. Fledgling is previous to that, explaining how she got there.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Script Frenzy

I'm not sure why I keep doing stuff like this. It usually all turns out badly and I don't get anywhere fast.

But I figure, what the heck. So... come June I'm going to write a script. Really. I am.

As usual, I'm plot-less. As usual I have any number of unwritten stories that I could use for the project and as usual, if I like them enough to consider them I don't want to take the light, spew out crap daily, approach to my baby.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Talent


I can't figure out how to clean this up but I think it looks great anyhow.

Hm... looks like I'm going to have to have another talk with my daughter about signing and dating her sketches.

More Iris


These are pretty *and* smelly.

Iris


What color is that?

Yes, I bought these. I have a bad habit of buying flowers that don't look like much. I've got some Iris that are pale greenish blueish, too. The sparklie gold edge to the upper ruffles on these is sort of fascinating but a person has to stick their face right down in them to see it.

I moved these last year and I think this is the first time they've bloomed since I bought them.

I do know *why* I picked these out of the catalog. They're fragrant. I figure, whenever possible, that flowers should *smell*.

More tulips


See? At least twice as many as last year. (Last year's picture is about five posts down if you scroll.)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Diplomacy and Peace

*This* war couldn’t have been won with diplomacy. Diplomacy isn’t peacemaking. Diplomacy is advancing your country’s interests. Our interests were not advanced.

Simply put.

Our interests were degraded and undercut during the 10 years of "diplomacy" with Saddam. Going backwards, even slowly, is not a win. Though we weren’t going backward slowly. By playing by the rules during Desert Storm, keeping to the immediate problem of pushing Saddam back but not going beyond that UN mandate, we failed our county’s interests. Following up with "diplomacy" did not even marginally advance our interests. It amazes me that no one seems to remember the hatred and accusations that the US got for it’s troubles during those years after playing nice and letting Saddam live. No one remembers, and it wasn’t that long ago. Oh how the world hated us! How many Iraqi deaths were laid at our feet, directly at the feet of the US, how many children there died in horrible agony because of America and her Satanic evil, while Saddam built palaces, his sons built rape rooms, and the UN took a slice of diverted food aid and called itself the moral authority, virtue defined.

And no one remembers.

No one remembers outrage about weapons grade chlorine. No one remembers the moral weight of all those dead babies.

Because sanctions, diplomacy, was *working*.

It’s like a religion.

Uncle Jimbo delivers Memorial Day poetry

Uncle Jimbo takes exception to John Edward's tasteless bid to turn Memorial Day into an anti-war rally.

Oh that's special John, we as a nation set aside one day to recognize the ultimate sacrifice made by so many better men than you, and you feel free to push them aside so you can grab some spotlight. You miserable empty suit, you pathetic, girly man, you lying, cheating, petty, little narcissist.


I think that just about covers it.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day grinch...

As much as I love and appreciate my mother, the day has become focused outward rather than inward toward those personally dear to us. If my child says "happy mother's day" to me I feel warmed and happy. If someone else starts to go on about how noble I am to be a mother is just makes me cranky because it's such a foolish thing. It *really* doesn't take any more effort or virtue to be a mother than anything else. Have sex. Ta-da! Motherhood. It's not nobility, it's biology. It's not virtue except intimately between people who share share that relationship and bond.

It's life.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Guns, guns and more scary guns

Instapundit wonders if the scary guns in this picture from a Huffington Post post are Airsoft or not.

Firstly, you can't tell by looking because Airsoft guns are replicas all the way down to the manufacturers stamp. It's one reason that they are sometimes used in movies. They look exactly like the real thing. (Other than the law mandatory orange on the muzzle, which can be removed like sofa cushion tags.)

Which comes back to the picture. If real machine guns are illegal to have where that picture was taken *probably* those are toys. But I don't see orange on the muzzles, but that doesn't prove anything either.

Oh what the heck, see what the commentators (I really hate that my spell checker thinks "commentors" is wrong) at Say Uncle have to say about it. (Perhaps it's just me, but wouldn't the "real thing" at a gun expo have a cable on it? Or do they really let people pick up the expensive stuff without supervision? I'd think that the sellers would lose their stock.)

I have an MC51 like this one. (Changing the battery is a bear for this model unless they fixed that since I got mine.)

Iraq in a nutshell

There has been no military defeat, just a psychological one, and it is self-generated.

And there is no reason that it has to be that way or *stay* that way.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Went to the bookstore...

... and got _The Sharing Knife_ by Lois McMaster Bujold.


Update: And it's only the first half! Grrrrr... hate that. And I did like the story, over all, and desperately want to know what happens next and I *really* don't want to pay for the hardcover in July. It's mostly a romance though it doesn't quite follow the standard romance arc, it's more... realistic... if such a word can be used for a fantasy. I mean... the two people don't go about three quarters of the book believing the other person hates them.

I also suspect that the girl lying about her age that she's 20 was originally much younger than what it finally gives as her "real" age.

They were just as pretty this year



... except there were about twice as many. I took pictures, too, but don't have the right software on my new computer to download the memory from my camera.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Why hide gun ownership?

So Glenn Reynold's says this. Andrew Sullivan replies with this. And Glenn responds.

And I have opinions.

First, it's simply privacy. Someone doesn't have to be "in the closet" about something to not want it listed in the newspaper. If nothing else, people want to be in control of their lives and left alone.

Then there's motivation. Why is a concealed carry permit list *interesting*? Why does it rate a published list? Going with the "closet" metaphor, suppose the newspaper published a list of "out" gays? To whom would such a list be interesting?

Then there's the criminal element. Suppose someone published a list of women who kept expensive jewelry in their home. Lots of people do, lots of people don't. Some people routinely carry a wad of cash. Why publish a list of those who do?

Now I suppose I could put a "neighborhood watch" type sticker in my window that said, "This household is armed. The children know how to shoot to your center of mass." and it might well work to warn off criminals. But better for community safety if the bad guys don't know who has guns and who doesn't.

And specifically concealed carry... the point is that it's concealed. I suppose it would be fine with me if people carried openly, a visible holster on their hip, but there are reasons not to do that.

Lastly and most importantly... lists of gun owners shouldn't be kept to begin with. I know why they are. In some respects I don't even mind registration and classes and licensing. It does valuable things to ensure law abiding people know how to handle weapons safely. But it comes with a price, a negative trade-off. A list is a handy way of disarming the population... but only the law abiding ones who own and carry legally, of course.

I've fallen to the dark forces.



Was going to post flower pictures... but...

The gray monster is Ukiah. The black and white boy was supposed to be Indigo. But he's a boy so he's Inego instead. Messed up my naming scheme which was supposed to go with Miles and Ekaterin.

Monday, May 07, 2007

At least he was walking

A fellow stopped by the house today to get new members signed up for an environmental lobby group to end global warming. They were going to get emissions limits on SUV's in New Mexico.

I said no. I didn't explain myself. I suppose he figures I don't care about the environment.

It's not true. I just don't care about global warming.

Glenn Reynolds linked to someone today saying that people were getting tired of global warming. Makes sense, and the hype is part of the reason. Having to be emotionally engaged is exhausting and that's what the gloom and doom is about. It's about getting people motivated. Start to quibble about the "science" and you'll get the "better safe than sorry" argument. In other words, if it motivates people, it's okay to misrepresent the "consensus" as science.

I do, however, give the young man credit for walking up and down these hills.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I have moods.

And right now I'm not in the mood for political arguments. I want to chat with my friends on EQ2 (on Crushbone server Synova is a provisioner) or read a book.

Yesterday I got _Wolf Who Rules_ from the library and read it again. I actually own this book in e-book form but happened to see it and decided that it would be nice to read on paper.

Wen Spencer is fabulous. _Tinker_ and _Wolf Who Rules_ are great but I have to say that the Ukiah Oregon books starting with _Alien Taste_ are even better.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

We Win, They Lose

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

White Sands Tornado


I hope I can get this to work... A friend just sent this picture from White Sands.

I'm trying to find out for sure who took the picture so I can attribute it properly.

Update on the photographer. His Name is Ron Cooper. They were taken by Ron at White Sands Missile Range between 1300 and 1330 hours 2 May 2007.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I can't stand the word "ilk"

That's all.

I wish it would just disappear and no one would ever use it again. "You and your ilk." ARGH!