We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As you've probably noticed, one thing that's continually not mentioned in the oil spill articles is why we're drilling in such a precarious spot in the first place. While this isn't how I would have framed it, at least this guy's pointed in the right direction:
Then came cable, the Internet, and the profusion of media sources. Now you have outlets, shows and Web sites whose only real interest is the kvetching and inside baseball.
In other words, over the course of 50 years, what had once been considered the least important part of government became the most important. These days, the inner soap opera is the most discussed and the most fraught arena of political life.
And into this world walks Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
On the subject, Bruce and I were lamenting in email the other day how sadly different this is going to be for General Prayforus than it was in Iraq.
(H/T Theo) For those of you under, say, 60 or so, this is exactly what happened in Vietnam. If you were looking for one word to sum up our failure there, it would be the word handcuffed.
Update: Well, that was coincidental. I wrote the above last night, dropped by Theo's this morning, and what did I see?
Good call, Feebs. They missed the (delicate cough) "accuracy" of hand guns in general, and the Old West guns in particular. If you could freeze-frame the stagecoach scene, clamp the pistol in a vice, aim it as accurately as you could at the frozen Indian on horseback, then fire it electronically so your hand wouldn't nudge the gun while pulling the trigger -- there's actually a chance you'd hit the guy. Maybe. With luck. On a windless day.
To give credit where credit is due, both of the 'Wyatt Earp' movies tried to present the guns of the day more accurately than they traditionally had been. You can judge for yourself, about a third down the page.
Boat Safety - It is that time if year. Already in CT, year-to-date, we've had 8 drownings - 5 caused by boating accidents or incidents. Folks, Personal Flotation Devices are meant to be worn, not stuffed under the seats or in a locker. I know I know - they are "Uncomfortable", "Hot", "Bulky", blah blah blah. Not true - there are PFDs today that are not only comfortable, but quite comfortable and while they may still look dorky, comfort is no longer something to complain about. Pricey? Perhaps - you aren't going to purchase a auto-inflate PFD at Wal-Mart like the ugly orange 5 for $20 square types, but still - if you look around you can find them for $75 to $100 - well worth the investment.
This is the brand I prefer as they are comfortable, come in different sizes and apparently, unknown to me, in different colors - Mustang.
Speaking as somebody who has a lot of big and small water time, they can save your life. I've had the misfortune to go over the rail (and in one case over the stern) five times in my long relationship with open water - it only took once to convince me that PFDs are a good idea - the first time I did it.
On my boats, when it's underway, you're wearing a PFD - my boat, my rules. No argument. And I can tell you I've lost fishing clients because of that rule, but thats the way it goes.
Asian Carp: This one is no joke - this will have serious consequences if they get into the Great Lakes. Another case where it isn't the right crisis to be exploited for political benefit by this Administration. Everybody is hollering for help, but the Administration seems to be deaf and dumb to the issue.