Tuesday, November 25, 2008
What’s needed in Afghanistan is an Afghan solution, just as Iraqi solutions have contributed so fundamentally to progress in Iraq. And a surge, if it is to be successful, will need to be an Afghan surge.The size of the country, the number of domestic security forces, the kind of economy, are all different than Iraq. Throw in some poppy fields and some Pakistani Taliban, and it's a whole different ballgame.
Additional troops in Afghanistan may be necessary, but they will not, by themselves, be sufficient to lead to the results we saw in Iraq. A similar confluence of events that contributed to success in Iraq does not appear to exist in Afghanistan.
But he's positive:
The singular trait of the American way of war is the remarkable ability of our military to advance, absorb setbacks, adapt and ultimately triumph based upon the unique circumstances of a given campaign. Thus it has been throughout our history. And thus it will be in Iraq and Afghanistan, if we have the patience and wisdom to learn from our successes, and if our leaders have the wherewithal to persevere even when it is not popular to do so.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
So we'll give it another try. This time the doctor will be a little more aggressive with one of the drugs Lia took last time, since she handled it pretty well. Pretty much everything else will be the same, since on paper, it looked good.
One more shot. Wish us luck.
First of all, EVERYBODY bikes in Copenhagen, and Denmark in general. But in reality, it's not just because they're eco-conscious, or because no-one can afford a car (both of which are somewhat true). It's also because the terrain allows it. Practically the entire city of Copenhagen can be found between the elevations of 10 to 30 ft above seal level.
This is actually a shot in Malmo Sweden, across the Baltic from Copenhagen. But it's pretty typical of the piles and piles of bikes that are parked everywhere: bus stations, grocery stores, the ferry, etc. If you look close, you can find me in the picture among the bikes.
Seriously, there are bikes everywhere. There are like 1 million people in the urban area, but I'm pretty sure I saw 5 million bikes the whole time we were there. It makes sense. Driving, parking, paying for gas and a rental car are all a pain when you visit another city. The fact that it's so amenable to get around on a bike make it pretty easy to visit this city. And it suits Lia and I anyway. I got to practice my track stand at all the red lights.
Sites Around the City
Here's a view from the top of the Rundetarn, a lookout tower in the middle of downtown. Looking southwest, the building in the foreground is Vor Frue Kirke (kirke = church).
The Radhus (City Hall), from Radhuspladsen (City Hall Plaza)
There are several huge chunks of land set aside for gardens and parks, too. This pic doesn't do it justice but this is a shot of Rosenberg Have (have = park)
This is Kongens Nytorv (kongen= king, torv = square, ny = new - and prounounced exactly the same), basically a roundabout at a major intersection in town.
Christiansborg is the fifth palace to stand on the site called Slotsholmen (slot = palace). Slotsholmen was the original site where Copenhagen was founded by Bishop Absalon. They put a fort there for protection, it grew into a castle. Then a bunch of Germans got pissed off and tore the place down. They actually went out of their way to hire STONE CUTTERS to demolish the structure brick by brick! Then later another palace was built there, and it grew up and was a pretty big place by the 1700's when King Christian VI decided to tear the place down and build Christiansborg I. That burned down by the end of the 1700's, so they built Christiansborg II. That burned down at the end of the 1800's, so they built Christiansborg III, which is what stands today. Hmmm, let's see, about every 100 years...
Lia at Christiansborg Palace with her supersweet cruiser.
This is a picture of the actual ruins below the palace, which have remnants of both Absalon's castle and the first Copenhagen Castle.
This a fortress on the coast in the middle of town. There are still military training grounds there.
Me on my super-sweet cruiser bike.
In the suburb of Vesterbro, there's a round-the-clock carnival called Tivoli. We managed to get there the night before they closed it down to decorate for Christmas. There are stages for plays and whatnot, rides, restaurants, and of course, the ever present hot dog stands that are everywhere in Copenhagen.
A view from the middle of Tivoli park looking Northeast towards city hall.
A big band plays in the gazebo.
The design for this restaurant inside Tivoli was the idea of chemist Niels Bohr.
An artistic shot by Lia of some lanterns in a...uh...lantern aquarium, apparently.
More from Malmo, Sweden
This is probably what I looked like in college, studying Kinematics in the local pub over a pint of Guinness, except that's not what this is. This pub is in Sweden, the Guinness cost $8, I have less hair, and I'm not studying engineering, but looking at a map trying to figure out where the heck we are.
Other stuff with a story that doesn't have a picture:
- The Absolut Ice Bar and all the Swedish girls.
- Dinner at The Paul (super-nice restaurant inside Tivoli) with all the Gore folk.
- Losing my luggage because United sucks, and SAS rules!
- My relief upon getting out of the suburb of Vesterbro for the first time and realizing that not all Cope's are insane punk weirdos with pointy shoes.
- The visit to the M.C. Escher exhibit in the remote northern town of Holte, and our Hike from Hell.
- Mountain biking with Arne, my guide from Skovbrynet (not pronounced at all like it looks).
- Christiania: the socialist experiment that turned into a unattractive jobless punk hangout.
Friday, November 7, 2008
There were a lot of "Not MY President" bumper stickers floating around or other nonsense that seemed to say more about the crybabies who bought them than the person they were targeting. (Guess what buddy? He IS your president no matter how much you complain!)
Ace of Spades has a good roundup of some of the old stuff that some people still remember, and a link to a new site that has sickly sweet messages "From 52 to 48."
This time around, hopefully the "48" don't resort to the same jack-assery that we saw after the last presidential election. It feels good to take the high road, even though you remember a time when others in your position didn't.
Of course, "No Whining" doesn't mean avoiding criticism, mockery, well-structured complaining, and good old sarcasm every once in a while. Hilarity ensues when you follow your most base, animal instinct like Frank at IMAO: The New Direction. I gotta say, I'll never call myself a conservative, but that doesn't mean I don't like Awesomeness and Kick-Assery.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I am a 54-year-old high school graduate. I didn’t go to college like you, I was too ready to go “conquer the world” when I finished high school. 25 years ago at age 29, I started my own water well drilling business at a time when the economy here in East Texas was in a tailspin from the crash of the early 80’s oil boom. I didn’t get any help from the government, nor did I look for any. I borrowed what I could from my sister, my uncle, and even the pawnshop and managed to scrape together a homemade drill rig and a few tools to do my first job. My businesses did not start not a result of privilege. It is the result of my personal drive, personal ambition, self-discipline, self reliance, and a determination to treat my customers fairly.
...You see, Mr. Obama, I’m the guy you intend to raise taxes on. I’m the guy who has spent 25 years toiling and sweating, fretting and fighting, stressing and risking, to build a business and get ahead. I’m the guy who has been on the very edge of bankruptcy more than a dozen times over the last 25 years, and all the while creating more and more jobs for East Texans who didn’t want to take a risk, and wouldn’t demand from themselves what I have demanded from myself. I’m the guy you characterize as “the Americans who can afford it the most” that you believe should be taxed more to provide income redistribution “to spread the wealth” to those who have never toiled, sweated, fretted, fought, stressed, or risked anything. You want to characterize me as someone who has enjoyed a life of privilege and who needs to pay a higher percentage of my income than those who have bought into your entitlement culture. I resent you, Mr. Obama, as I resent all who want to use class warfare as a tool to advance their political career. What’s worse, each year more Americans buy into your liberal entitlement culture, and turn to the government for their hope of a better life instead of themselves. Liberals are succeeding through more than 40 years of collaborative effort between the predominant liberal media, and liberal indoctrination programs in the public school systems across our land.
just a ordinary, extraordinary American, the way a lot of Americans used to be.
P.S. Yes, Mr. Obama, I am a real American… www.cmillerdrilling.com