Thursday, July 31, 2008

Change you can believe in

He was the one they were waiting for, apparently:

Thu Jul 31, 1:47 PM ET

LOS ANGELES - Police Chief William Bratton said Thursday the city has had fewer problems with paparazzi since Britney Spears "started wearing clothes" and other celebrities changed their partying ways.

"If you notice, since Britney started wearing clothes and behaving; Paris is out of town not bothering anybody anymore, thank God, and evidently, Lindsay Lohan has gone gay, we don't seem to have much of an issue," Bratton told KNBC-TV. [...]

"If the ones that attract the paparazzi behave in the first place, like we expect of anybody, that solves about 90 percent of the problem. The rest we can deal with," he said.

It took just one day of Obama being included in the celebrity circle the chief mentions above, thanks to John McCain, for the likes of Britney and Paris to clean up their act.

That's what we call a community organizer.


MORE: No, we do not take seriously the idea that he turned Lindsay Lohan gay.


Dollars and sense

Obama is accused of playing the race card with this statement, in which he is predicting Republican attacks against him:

“What they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me,” Obama said. “You know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

But wait! Not so fast!

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said the senator was not referring to race.

“What Barack Obama was talking about was that he didn’t get here after spending decades in Washington,” Gibbs said Thursday. “There is nothing more to this than the fact that he was describing that he was new to the political scene. He was referring to the fact that he didn’t come into the race with the history of others. It is not about race.”

So, it’s not about race, it’s about being a fresh face.

So Obama was criticizing Republicans because they were going to say “he didn’t come into the race with the history of” the Presidents on the “dollar bills”? Dastardly Republicans!

Anyway, here we go.

George Washington, the first President of the United States, is pictured on the $1 bill. Washington became President in 1789 after, well, zero years in Washington, the district bearing his name that was created after he was elected.

Thomas Jefferson, the second President of the United Sates, is pictured on the $2 bill. Jefferson was elected President in 1800, after serving as Secretary of State from 1789-1793 and as Vice President of the United States from 1797-1801. This sets Jefferson apart as the having spent the longest time in Washington before becoming President of those pictured on “dollar bills”

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United Sates, is pictured on the $5 bill. Lincoln was elected President in 1860 after serving as a US Representative from Illinois from 1847-1849.

Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, is pictured on the $20 bill. Jackson was elected President in 1828 after serving as a US Representative and Senator from Tennessee from 1796-1798 and again as Senator from 1823-1825.

Ulysses S Grant, the eighteenth President of the United Sates, is pictured on the $50 bill. Grant was elected President in 1868 after, well, zero years in Washington having served as the leading general in the Civil War prior to being elected.

Oh, fine. We'll say it.

Obama appears to be angling for his picture to appear on the $3 bill.

Methodus Pugnandi

McCain’s offer to the editorial board at the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday to have Obama join him in the paper's meeting with the candidates to decide who to endorse was brilliant.

While we don’t have a response from Obama yet as to that specific offer, Obama did manage to make his own offer yesterday on the campaign trail (h/t Elliott):

Presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama challenged his Republican opponent John McCain Wednesday to a ‘duel’ on taxes while touting his policies in a key swing state suffering from economic woes.

“These anxieties seem to be growing with each passing day,” Obama told a crowd of over 1,500 inside a Springfield, Mo., high school gymnasium. “We can either choose a new direction for our economy or we can keep doing what we’ve been doing. My opponent, John McCain, thinks we’re on the right track.

“I’m ready to duel John McCain on taxes right here, quick draw,” Obama said, comparing himself to western legend Wild Bill Hickock who once fought a duel in Springfield.

There’s that saber pistol rattling again.

After calling Obama chicken yesterday, let’s give him partial credit for this. Of course, the offer of “right here” leaves him plenty of wiggle room as he’s probably learned his lesson from his “anywhere, anytime” comment earlier.

He’ll still say no to the invitation from the San Francisco Chronicle.

And Team McCain drops the ball here:

"If Barack Obama wants this so-called duel then why did he and his entourage run for the hills when John McCain challenged him to 10 town halls."

Making a relatively cheap political point about Obama’s past cowardice is fine as far as it goes.

But McCain should have said, “Meet me in the town square. Tomorrow. High noon.”

I suppose there’s still time. But Obama’s words have an expiration date. All of them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No footprints left behind

Jennifer Rubin at Contentions writes:

...if you weren’t surprised that Barack Obama got through his stint as head of Harvard’s Law Review without writing anything, weren’t surprised that he didn’t accomplish much as a community organizer and know he has no legislative achievement from his brief tenure in the Senate, you won’t be shocked to learn that he left no footprints as a lecturer at University of Chicago’s Law School. [...]

Why this recurrent pattern of non-achievement and invisibility? ... if you take a position you are likely not to please everyone. ... Once you voice a view, people will disagree. You won’t be a uniter and you won’t be universally loved. And finally, if you put out your views, whether in writing or verbally, you will be subject to scrutiny. People may find your logic wanting or your ideas outmoded. And then (and years later) you will be held to account for the positions you took.

So it should hardly come as a surprise that Obama has left no trail.


Footprints

One night I dreamed I was walking
along the beach with Obama.
Many scenes from my life
flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed
footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were
two sets of footprints,
other times there were
one set of footprints.

This bothered me because
I noticed that during the most
challenging periods of my life,
when I was speaking truth to power,
trying to break down walls,
and was being held down by the man,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to Obama,
"You promised me Obama,
that if I followed you,
you would strengthen me with hope
and lift me up with change.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been
one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
have you not been there for me?"

Then Obama replied,
"The times when you have seen
only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I thought getting involved
might have compromised
my aspirations for higher office."


He'll say no

From the editorial board at the San Francisco Chronicle:

Sen. John McCain came up with a terrific idea Monday when he was handed an invitation to meet with our editorial board as part of our endorsement process.

"Why don't you invite Senator (Barack) Obama to join me?" McCain suggested.

McCain noted that he has been frustrated in his attempts to have "just the two of us stand there and answer questions" in a town-hall format.

"Unfortunately, he (Obama) has refused to do so," McCain told our colleagues Debra J. Saunders and Carla Marinucci at the start of an interview at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel.

Senator Obama: Consider this an official invitation for a debate with McCain before The Chronicle's editorial board. [...]

What do you say, Senator Obama?

He'll say no.

We hate to tell them this, but the rooster is the male member of the species G. gallus.

That’s right, we just called Obama a chicken.

It wasn't the first time; we have said it before. It won’t be the last time; we will say it again.

And again.

And again.


(h/t Red State)

Obama can’t stop it, he can only hope to contain it

Via Peter Wehner at NRO’s The Corner, here is your daily dose of Barackadoodledoo, brought to you by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post:

The 5:20 TBA turned out to be his adoration session with lawmakers in the Cannon Caucus Room, where even committee chairmen arrived early, as if for the State of the Union. Capitol Police cleared the halls -- just as they do for the actual president. The Secret Service hustled him in through a side door -- just as they do for the actual president.

Inside, according to a witness, he told the House members, "This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for," adding: "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

Seriously. What the bleep is a parodist such as myself supposed to do to compete with this stuff?

Anyway, Mr. Milbank cuts to the chase:

As he marches toward Inauguration Day (Election Day is but a milestone on that path), Obama's biggest challenger may not be Republican John McCain but rather his own hubris.

We’ve been over this before. Obama kicked off his entire campaign by telling us:

Over the next year of a primary and the next two years leading to the election of the next president, the campaigns...(APPLAUSE)... the campaigns shouldn't be about making each other look bad, they should be about figuring out how we can all do some good for this precious country of ours. (APPLAUSE)

That's our mission.

And in this mission, our rivals won't be one another, and I would assert it won't even be the other party. It's going to be cynicism that we're fighting against.

Fighting cynicism has drawn our mocking attention, but with the shape the campaign has taken recently, perhaps it does make a lot of sense, if not in the sense that Obama intended.

In the speech above, Obama defined cynicism as the response of voters to years of politically divisive discourse (blamed on the Bush administration, of course), claiming that the cynicism would cause people to give up on politics.

But deep down, in places he doesn’t like to talk about at parties, Obama may have been admitting that his hubris, as Milbank refers to it, would be harder to overcome in convincing voters that he is presidential material than even the dreaded VRWC.

Perhaps Obama doesn’t see the danger in acting and talking in such a presumptuous, arrogant and nearly messianic manner, perhaps he simply can’t help himself (or perhaps he actually believes it). But with Milbank here offering yet more proof that charges of hubris isn’t a baseless Republican smear or just some right-wing talking point, Obama certainly has a problem.

So indeed the cynicism of voters may prove harder for Obama to overcome than McCain.

Because when people see Obama for who he is, understand him for what he represents, witness him in all his vainglorious narcissism, compared to who he offered himself up as, who could possibly blame them for becoming cynical?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's time for questions

In an article at Politico we reach by way of Hot Air, we draw your attention to several questions raised.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi Questions the Humanity of her opponents:

“Listen,” she laughs, “I go on the floor of the House every day and deal with people who don’t want to give health care to poor little children in America.

We’ll leave it to others to work up the longer-winded outrage to the suggestion that Republicans want kids who get sick or injured to go without health care.

Us? If that’s the way she wants to play then we’ll just Question Her Patriotism:

With fewer than 20 legislative days before the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1, the entire appropriations process has largely ground to a halt because of the ham-handed fighting that followed Republican attempts to lift the moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration. And after promising fairness and open debate, Pelosi has resorted to hard-nosed parliamentary devices that effectively bar any chance for Republicans to offer policy alternatives.

That is, if dissent is still considered the highest form of patriotism. Maybe when you hold the majority, that principle becomes principally ignorable.

Further, we’ll Question Her Sanity:

“I’m trying to save the planet; I’m trying to save the planet,” she says impatiently when questioned.

Save the planet? You would think one Messiah would be one too many for a political party, yet the Democrats have two vying for the seat at the left hand of God.

OK, fine, we’re kidding. We don’t think she’s insane. She probably doesn’t believe in her own divinity half as much as Obama.

On the other hand (no, not the right hand of God, it’s a rhetorical device) she certainly doesn’t believe in personal responsibility when it comes to reducing her carbon footprint.

Pelosi is simply engaging in hypocritical demagoguery rather than demigoddery, of course.

And finally, we simply must Question the Timing:

“I have always loved longitude,” Nancy Pelosi says before breaking into laughter. “I love latitude; it’s in the stars. But longitude, it’s about time. ... Time and clocks and all the rest of that have always been a fascination for me.”

Actually, we have no real comment on that. We simply include it because without Questioning the Timing, a post about questions is unquestionably inadequate.

And we are nothing if not fully engaged in a fight to combat inadequacy.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Surrogationism

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs on CNN’s American Morning:

CHETRY: Can you give us a ballpark of what - of possibly how big a residual force and for how long they would need to be there?

GIBBS: No. Look, I'm not a commanding general on the ground. And obviously that would depend mightily on where we were in the situation with Iraq.

Jennifer Rubin at Contentions quips:

If the McCain camp had a bold enough sense of humor they’d run a “Obama would stay in Iraq 100 years” ad.

Yes. And let's see...Obama has no idea how many troops he would leave in Iraq nor does he know for how long. May we suggest that Obama was against:

...an occupation of undetermined length, with undetermined costs, and undetermined consequences.

...before he was for it.




More Gibbs? This time on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, reacting to McCain’s ad criticizing Obama for cancelling his visit to wounded troops in Germany:

McCain’s ad on the subject is “totally inappropriate,” said they would be attacked no matter what they did. Called McCain “an honorable man running an increasingly dishonorable campaign.” “It’s beneath the John McCain we thought we knew.”

Now that McCain has started turning up the heat on Obama, the Obama campaign responds the only way they know how, by trying to throw McCain under the bus.

Uh, yeah, good luck with that, Team Obama.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Debating in the Rockies

We spent nearly six years in Denver, leaving in early 2002. While there we were never interested in politics, especially not state or local politics.

So we come to the video below with very fond memories of the state of Colorado overall, but not much knowledge of this particular Senate race nor of Republican Bob Schaffer or Democrat Mark Udall.

No matter. It is compelling stuff even without that background. We found this in a diary at Red State, so let's have diarist NightTwister set it up:

Former congressman and Colorado Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer had a debate with congressman and Democrat Senate candidate Mark Udall this past week. I was unable to attend, but there was quite a lively crowd. Mark Udall was blindsided by Bob Schaffer during the debate with his response to a question from the channel 9 News moderator. This is one that's best seen, rather than read.

Ouch.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We support Obama!

In a temporary fit of post-partisan hope and change, we rise to defend Obama on two counts.

First, someone taking the written prayer that Obama left at the Western Wall and someone publishing it is indescribably offensive.

We'll let The Anchoress speak for us here:

I’m kind of appalled that anyone took his prayer out of that wall, more appalled that it was made public, and incredibly appalled that some a faith-based site is “fisking” the prayer while a few bloggers (and forum commenters) are daring to mock it or to judge its content as being insufficient because it does not mention his country, or Israel.

To which I have to reply - to anyone enjoying or exploiting the theft of this prayer, or judging it: “screw that. You don’t get to decide on or judge another’s prayer.”

If that seems uncharacteristically harsh, well…I never said I was a saint. In fact, it is precisely because I am no saint that I am so offended by the idea of anyone glomming on to someone else’s prayer - particularly for the very basest of reasons: to make political hay of it.

Amen.

Second, Obama was speaking with British Tory Leader David Cameron, apparently unaware a mic was picking up their conversation:

"Do you have a break at all?" asked Cameron.

"I have not," said Obama. "I am going to take a week in August. But I agree with you that somebody, somebody who had worked in the White House who -- not Clinton himself, but somebody who had been close to the process -- said that, should we be successful, that actually the most important thing you need to do is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you're doing is thinking. And the biggest mistake that a lot of these folks make is just feeling as if you have to be -- "

"These guys just chalk your diary up," said Cameron, referring to a packed schedule.

"Right," Obama said. "In 15 minute increments …"

Now, we have no problem mocking the idea that Clinton was using chunks of time "thinking" rather than simply telling people he was "thinking" alone in the oval office when he was neither alone nor using the head associated with thinking -- but we are firmly in the Obama camp on the idea of having chunks of time for thinking.

We like such chunks of time. This from a comment we left at Just One Minute:

I am sure the radio on my SUV (take THAT Obama!) still works, though I only assume that. I commute 16 miles to work each way each day -- in silence.

And it is what keeps me sane.

Please indulge a quick story (because you know you want more evidence that I am not sane)...

My freshman year in college -- my roommate (we went to highschool together but were just baseball teammates there, not really friends) would often come back to our dorm room from classes -- and I would be in my bed -- completely awake, no stereo, no tv, nothing -- just silence. I wasn't doing anything. I was ... in contemplation. (you can say prayer, meditation, whatever...)

Freaked him out.

By the spring semester that roommate had transferred ... my new roommmate (another baseball teammate who knew of my propensities the semester before) decided to keep a pair of scissors under his pillow at night.

Just in case.

Silly. I just really, really like silence.

[VIMH: Me too!]
Me too, too.

[VIMH: We should hang out]
Totally!

“All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”
--Blaise Pascal

STOP ME IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE: Huh, apparently that was the second time telling the story of the college roommate on JOM. The question now is, will it be the last?


Barackadoodledoo!

We reworked the posts below about Obama being Chantecler the rooster who believed he made the sun rise and the media being Pheasant-Hen who believed him out of love into a piece for American Thinker.

You can view it here.

Enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Obamuh

Rush Limbaugh put this montage together of clips from Obama's press conference in Amman, Jordan this week. He did not repeat any part of any utterance made by the Greatest Orator Since Time Began.




Enjoy!

Kidding. If you make it all the way through this video, there is something wrong with you.



GOOGLE, PLEASE: "Did you mean: obama" No, we did not, thank you very much.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama's Germany speech

Obama's speech to our ears was -- to be perfectly honest and as surprising as this may be for those who know us -- much better than we expected.

Believe it or not.


Well, then again, that's because we didn't watch it.



IN OTHER NEWS: An honest-to-goodness Man Boy Bites Dog story.

In the beginning

What to make of the story that the Obama transition team is already gearing up?

Well, some think it smacks of arrogance. Or reeks of presumptuousness. Or if you are team McCain, it is flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct or something.

Well, we think it is certainly premature.

But not because he hasn’t won the election yet.

Because it simply wouldn’t take so long that it would require starting now.

It would only take, at most, like seven days.


The Book of Presidential Genesis

Chapter 1
1 In the beginning Obama created his transition team.

2 Now the team was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the group, and the Spirit of Obama was hovering over the waters.

3 And Obama said, "Let there be staff," and there was staff. 4 Obama saw that the staff was good, and He separated the transition team staff from the campaign staff. 5 Obama called the campaign staff "hope," and the transition staff he called "change." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

6 And Obama said, "Let there be an expanse between the goals to separate strategy from tactics." 7 So Obama made the expanse and separated the headquarters staff from the field staff. And it was so. 8 Obama called the expanse "organization." And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

9 And Obama said, "Let the staff be gathered to one place, and let a leader be named." And it was so. 10 Obama called the leader "organizer," and the gathered staff he called a "community." And Obama saw that it was good.

11 Then Obama said, "Let the staff produce memos: documents that bear my presidential seal, according to their various tasks." And it was so. 12 The staff produced powerpoints and spreadsheets and directives and newsletters bearing the presidential seal in them according to their kinds. And Obama saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And Obama said, "Let there be a project plan to separate the tasks into discreet steps, and let them serve as signs to mark progress, 15 and let it be updated continuously to give direction to the staff." And it was so. 16 Obama made two great plans—the greater plan to govern inaugural festivities and the lesser plan to govern his cabinet selection. He also made decorating plans. 17 Obama posted the plans on the transition team’s intranet website to grant access to the entire staff, 18 to govern the activities, and to separate individual action plans. And Obama saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And Obama said, "Let the inaugural committee teem with party ideas." 21 So Obama created the order for great parties and dinners to celebrate his inauguration, inviting every great and powerful person from D.C to Chicago to Hollywood. And Obama saw that it was good. 22 Obama blessed them and said, "Be here in number and fill the parties, and let the merriment increase on the earth." 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And Obama said, "Let the nominating subcommittee produce a list of persons who according to their kinds may serve me: sycophants and radicals, each according to his kind." And it was so. 25 And Obama saw that it was good.

26 Then Obama said, "Let us find a vice president in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over things not fit for one such as I."

27 So Obama selected a vice president in his own image,
in the image of Obama he selected him;
in hope and change he selected him.

28 Obama blessed him and said to him, "Be fruitful and increase our consolidation of power; fill the campaign coffers and subdue Republicans. Rule over the voters and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

29 Then Obama said to the decorating subcommittee, "I give you every color and fabric swatch on the face of the whole earth, everything that has Michelle’s approval. 30 And to all the staff on this committee and all the peole necessary to pull this off—everyone who has decorating taste—I want every ‘green’ idea to be used." And it was so.

31 Obama saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Chapter 2
1 Thus the transition team’s mission was completed in all its vast array.

2 By the seventh day Obama had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And Obama blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

From the rising of the sun

John Kass in the Chicago Tribune uses a literary analogy to help describe the relationship between Obama and the media (h/t Kevin D. Williamson at NRO's Media Blog):

[Obama is] the Mr. Tumnus of American politics, the gentle forest faun of Narnia, with throngs of reporters trembling to sit with him at tea and cakes, like the little girl in the C.S. Lewis story, as he plays the flute, chanting "We Are The Change We've Been Waiting For." And nobody laughs.

You don't laugh because you can't make fun of Obama. The ground would swallow you whole.

Brilliant.

Well, since we have started our own literary analogy, casting Obama as Chantecler, the rooster convinced he makes the dawn rise, we may as well extend it as well to include the media.

In the play, Chantecler reveals his secret for making the sun rise to Pheasant-Hen, yet she begins with some hesitation in believing that Chantecler possesses such power:

PHEASANT-HEN: And you believe that at the sound of your voice the whole world is suffused--?

CHANTECLER: I have no clear idea of the whole world. But I sing for my own valley, and desire that every Cock may do the same for his.

PHEASANT-HEN: Still--

CHANTECLER: But here I stand, explaining, perorating, and forgetting altogether to make my dawn.

PHEASANT-HEN: His dawn!

CHANTECLER: Ah, what I say sounds mad? I will make the dawn before your very eyes! And the wish to please you adding its ardour to the ordinary forces of my soul, I shall rise in singing, as I feel, to unusual heights, and the dawn will rise
more fair to-day than ever it rose before!

PHEASANT-HEN: More fair?

And yet, as Chantecler begins his song, performing brilliantly and beautifully as dawn begins, Pheasant-Hen cannot help but be swept up in the moment:

PHEASANT-HEN: How beautiful he is! [...]

He is so beautiful that what he says almost seems possible! [...]

What great breath lifts his breast-feathers? [...]

He is magnificent! [...]

I love you! [...]

The Sun! Look, the Sun! [...]

You are beautiful! [...]

And you sang beautifully! [...]

Indeed, indeed, I admire you beyond all bounds and measure! [...]

Yes, my glorious Beloved, yes, it is you who make the dawn appear! [...]

The media doesn't laugh because you can't make fun of Obama. The sun would refuse to rise.

Barackadoodledoo!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The unbearable lightness of preening

Jim Geraghty highlights the latest revelation about the Obamessiah:

SPIEGEL: Critics say the trip is nothing but a PR stunt to strengthen his foreign-policy credentials and that he has only rarely been to Europe before.

Rice: Senator Obama has travelled to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia many times before. He lived in Asia. He bows to nobody in his understanding of this world.

When Hillary was beating the stuffing out of Obama beginning in March, one of themes she began to build in order to pry working class voters away from him is the notion that Obama is elitist.

It began when Obama claimed that small town Pennsylvanians are bitter and clingy.

That theme continues and expands. Many people are noticing the high regard Obama has for himself.

Among other recent events on the campaign trail…

Obama created his very own presidential seal.

Obama felt that 17,000 people watching his speech at the DNC convention was too small, and moved it to Invesco Field at Mile High to try and give another 60,000 or so the privilege of watching him.

But even Invesco Field is small potatoes for Obama – he tried to arrange his big speech on his world tour at Germany’s Brandenburg Gate to cast himself in the same light as John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

Some people are stunned at the audacity of a campaign willing to showcase this large an ego without any evidence of modesty or shame. But it is becoming apparent that we saw Obama's last gasp effort at combating the notion that he considers himself more highly than he ought in his victory speech in St. Paul upon securing enough delegates to claim the Democratic nomination:

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility.

Give him points for trying. But then again, even in this attempt, Obama bows to nobody in his humility. Because his is profound.

But even that humility lasted all of a few seconds when he quickly shed it with this:

I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when...the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.

Like Chantecler, the preening rooster in the Edmond Rostand play, Obama is probably convinced that he makes the sun rise each morning:

And when I feel that vast call to the Day arising within me, I so expand my soul to make it more sonorous, by making it more spacious, that the great cry may still be increased in greatness; before giving it, I withold it in my soul a moment so piously; then, when, to expel it, I contract my soul, I am so convinced of accomplishing a great act, I have such faith that my song will make night crumble like the walls of Jericho — […]

And sounding its victory beforehand, my song springs forth so clear, so proud, so peremptory, that the horizon, seized with a rosy trembling — obeys! […]

I sing! Vainly Night offers to compromise, offers a dubious twilight — I sing again! And suddenly — […]

I fall back, blinded by the red light bathing me, dazzled at having, I, the Cock, made the Sun to rise! […]

I dare assume that the East without me must rest in idleness! […]

That which opens flower, eye, soul, and window! Certainly! My voice dispenses light! […]

Barackadoodledoo!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Consider the source

As the general election ramps up in earnest, there is a pattern emerging. The battles Obama is choosing to wage in the campaign show that when he attacks McCain, he often does so on issues on which he himself is vulnerable. It is an odd pattern to be sure. It is hard to tell if it is a deliberate strategy intended to head off criticism, or if it is the unintentional reaction of someone who is projecting his own potential weaknesses onto his opponent.

Several weeks ago, when McCain said the US had drawn down troops to pre-surge levels, Obama went right after him. When McCain refused to back away from his comments and instead chose the “verb tense” defense, Obama turned up the heat:

"Now we all misspeak sometimes. I’ve done it myself. So on such a basic, factual error, you’d think that John McCain would just say, 'Oh, I misspoke, I made a mistake' -- and then move on. But he couldn't do that. Instead, he dug in," Obama said and connected it to Bush’s handling of the Iraq war, "We all know this president refused to admit that he made a mistake. That’s the leadership that we’ve had enough of over the last eight years."

This line of attack is interesting because of Obama’s own unwillingness to admit mistake. Did Obama admit mistake when he said that we need more Arab translators in Afghanistan? Did he admit mistake when he answered in the affirmative when asked, “Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?”

He did not. In each case, Obama spent considerable energy trying to convince everyone that what he actually said was not what he really meant, and that what he really meant was not what he actually said. It was the listener who was mistaken, not Obama who had made one.

Obama has been a consistent opponent of the surge. His opposition was based on the premise that the surge would not work:

We cannot impose a military solution on what has effectively become a civil war. And until we acknowledge that reality, we can send 15,000 more troops, 20,000 more troops, 30,000 more troops. I don't know any expert on the region or any military officer that I've spoken to privately that believe that that is going to make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground.

Yet the surge has indeed made a very substantial difference in reducing violence and opening the door to significant political reconciliation. And though the progress remains fragile and still potentially reversible, the success of the surge has surpassed the expectations of even the most optimistic predictions. Has Obama admitted his mistake in not only opposing the surge, but claiming it wouldn’t work? Hardly. When McCain recently questioned Obama’s foreign policy judgment, Obama dug in:

[McCain] should explain to the American people why almost every single promise and prediction that he has made about Iraq has turned to be catastrophically wrong, including his support for a surge that was supposed to achieve political reconciliation.

And now, with everyone including the media acknowledging the success of the surge and the progress in Iraq, instead of admitting his mistake, Obama simply scrubs his website of the passages that denigrated the surge and denied its success.

On balance, it is Obama who is much more likely when confronted with a mistake, to refuse to admit it and dig in.

In Obama’s victory speech in St. Paul as he was securing the Democratic nomination and moving from his bruising battle with Hillary to the upcoming campaign against McCain, he said the following:

Because while John McCain can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party in the past, such independence has not been the hallmark of his presidential campaign.

It's not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush ninety-five percent of the time, as he did in the Senate last year.

That’s a nice statistic. The fact is, however, John McCain has earned the nickname Maverick the old fashioned way – he earned it. And while Obama is concerned with the “hallmark” of McCain’s presidential campaign, he simply wants to deny the hallmark of his own Senate career. He has been ranked as the most liberal Senator by National Journal based upon his voting record in 2007. The Wall Street Journal described Obama as a reliably liberal Democrat who, since he talks a good game of bipartisanship without actually ever delivering on it, may well lack the philosophical inclination or political backbone to stand anywhere other than with his feet firmly planted on the left side of the Democratic party.

On balance, it is Obama who is the toe-the-line partisan.

Further in the St. Paul speech Obama delivered this:

The other side will come here in September and offer a very different set of policies and positions, and that is a debate I look forward to. It is a debate the American people deserve. But what you don't deserve is another election that's governed by fear, and innuendo, and division.

As for fear, it was Obama who tried to scare people by twisting a McCain quote, suggesting that McCain would have us waging an active war in Iraq for 100 years. As for innuendo, it was Obama who obliquely referred to McCain’s age by saying he was “losing his bearings”. As for division, it was Obama who told a wealthy group of elite San Francisco supporters that it would be a struggle to get economically-challenged rural Pennsylvanians to vote for him because they were bitter and clung to religion and guns.

On balance, it is Obama who campaigns in very the manner he accuses John McCain and using the tactics he says the American people do not deserve.

Not all battles a candidate must engage in are ones of choice. Some are thrust upon him by circumstances beyond his control. Others, however, are ones which a smart candidate, as Obama surely is, selects because he thinks they will provide him an advantage, help advance a key theme, or help frame his opponent in a particular manner. As this campaign progresses and the number and intensity of the battles between Obama and McCain increases, it will be fascinating to watch the ones Obama chooses. And to consider each time Obama goes after McCain: is this just another example of the pot calling the kettle... Oh wait. Can't go there. The use of a colorful phrase might create a hue and cry as being divisively distracting. Rather, each time Obama goes after McCain, we should consider the source.

In honor and through tears

(Bumped this post to highlight the additional links below)

Via John B. Dwyer at American Thinker, we point to this account of the recent attack on an Aghanistan outpost.

The entire account is heart breaking. But even moreso, the account is a tale of heroism.

We note it here to honor a local hero.

RIP Cpl. Pruitt A. Rainey, 22, of Haw River, N.C

Read the whole thing...but of Cpl. Rainey we bring this from the account:

Cpl. Pruitt Rainey radioed the FOB with a casualty report, calling for help. Of the nine soldiers at the observation post, Ayers and Phillips were dead, Zwilling was unaccounted for, and three were wounded. Additionally, several of the soldiers’ machine guns couldn’t fire because of damage. And they needed more ammo.

Rainey, Bogar and another soldier jumped out of their fighting position with the third soldier of the group launching a shoulder-fired missile.

All this happened within the first 20 minutes of the fight.

Platoon leader 1st Lt. Jonathan Brostrom and Cpl. Jason Hovater arrived at the observation post to reinforce the soldiers. By that time, the insurgents had breached the perimeter of the observation post. Gunfire rang out, and Rainey shouted, "He’s right behind the sandbag."

Brostrom could be heard shouting about the insurgent as well.

More gunfire and grenade explosions ensued. Back in the fighting position, Gobble fired a few quick rounds. Gobble then looked to where the soldiers were fighting and told Stafford the soldiers were dead. Of the nine soldiers who died in the battle, at least seven fell in fighting at the observation post.

The insurgents then started chucking rocks at Gobble and Stafford’s fighting position, hoping that the soldiers might think the rocks were grenades, causing them to jump from the safety of their fighting hole. One rock hit a tree behind Stafford and landed directly between his legs. He braced himself for an explosion. He then realized it was a rock.

Stafford didn’t have a weapon, and Gobble was low on ammo. Gobble told Stafford they had to get back to the FOB. They didn’t realize that Pitts was still alive in another fighting position at the observation post. Gobble and Stafford crawled out of their fighting hole. Gobble looked again to where the soldiers had been fighting and reconfirmed to Stafford that Brostrom, Rainey, Bogar and others were dead.

God bless Cpl. Pruitt Rainey, and may God grant peace and comfort and strength to his family.



MORE: Some local coverage here. And more here. Read it all.


ANOTHER LOCAL ACCOUNT: This one worth visiting for sure.

Again, the family and friends of Cpl. Rainey are in our prayers. The Spirit intercedes with groans that words cannot express.


FINAL ROLL CALL: "'We feel angry, even bitterly so, because our young men lived better lives, had higher hopes and more perfect love, than their attackers,' Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Stevan Horning said during the invocation. 'Please help us to not become weary of doing what is good; renew our courage so we complete the mission you assign each of us.'"


HOME: (July 22) Corporal Pruitt Rainey's Body Comes Home to Alamance County

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Time waits for Norman

Yes. We are pulling for Greg Norman in the Open Championship.

Per the incomparable Elliott at JOM, the title of this post is a first for this occasion.

We do what we can.

In 1996 we worked at a golf course in Denver (Golden, CO, to be precise). It was a stormy day in which we hunkered down in the club house...when the pilot of Greg Norman's private jet entered and regaled us with stories of Norman's various travels.

Being 1996, only one story was important, of course. It was that year that Norman had undergone the monumental collapse in the Masters, losing to Nick Faldo.

It was in that conversation with a not-so-insider, insider look that we got a feeling of Norman's professionalism.

Norman, upon that collossal collapse, reached the plane with little visible external emotion. It was, "Eh, things happen. Let's go."

He may have been hiding the understandable pain, he may have been repressing the self-anger at letting such a championship slip from his grasp.

We don't know -- we have only the account of this pilot to go on. But this account comported with the experience of highs and lows, wins and losses, triumphs and defeats that portray Greg Norman as an unusually grounded professional athlete.

We don't know what we don't know about him.

But what we think we know, from that conversation and from causual observation through the years compels us...

Go Shark, go!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Poultry politics

In my American Thinker blog post yesterday, the basic conclusion was: Obama is a chicken.

Charles Krauthammer, in his Washington Post article today, comes to a different conclusion: Obama is a preening rooster.

Americans are beginning to notice Obama's elevated opinion of himself. There's nothing new about narcissism in politics. Every senator looks in the mirror and sees a president. Nonetheless, has there ever been a presidential nominee with a wider gap between his estimation of himself and the sum total of his lifetime achievements?

Barackadoodledoo!



MORE: Let’s welcome Kathleen Parker to the fun, basically calling Obama a hen-pecking candidate in her National Review article:

Barack Obama's levity-free reaction to the now-famous New Yorker cartoon leaves one reluctantly wondering: Is he humor-challenged? Perchance, does he take himself too seriously for a nation of wits and wags?

So soaring has been Obama's rhetoric and so dazzling his smile that we've missed the possibility that the Illinois senator is less the lanky rock star and more the purse-lipped church lady, clucking his tongue in disapproval of the chuckling masses.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Campaigning for versus serving in office

I have a blog post up at American Thinker. It begins:

Obama apparently isn’t much of a cyclist. But he is a runner. In fact, Obama is a world-class runner.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gratuitousness revisited

Rick Moran at American Thinker notices a poll from the New York Times and says:

Is it possible that Obama's recent spate of flip flops has so damaged his reputation as a man of principle that the voters now see him as something less than a savior of America?

If this New York Times poll is to be believed, that is exactly the case. By a 51-43 margin, voters now believe Obama says what people want to hear rather than what he thinks.

Now stay with us, this is going to be a little circuitous, more than a little non sequitus [sic], and hopefully on the cutting edge of being very gratuitous.

Now, it is neither surprising, nor shocking, nor appalling, nor extraordinary that a politician puts his finger to the wind before opening his mouth. And it is not new to those paying attention that Obama is just such a politician, his lying about being above such cynical political acts notwithstanding.

And while we are grateful that an increased number of voters recognize this, let’s address this from the opposite angle. Why? For the gratuitousness!

If Obama says what he thinks people want to hear, do you think he wants people to say to him what they think he wants to hear?

Why ask that question, you ask?

Because there was one brave candidate in the primaries who boldly stood on the principle that he would not stand for people simply telling him what they thought he wanted to hear!

His name?

John Edwards

And, well, based on that stand we mocked him in such a way so as to catch the eye of James Taranto and his Best of the Web Today. (scroll to the last item)

What can we say? He brings out the gratuitousness in us. (Edwards, that is, not Taranto)

Syntactically challenged

Obama wants to make sure everyone knows that his comment about Jerusalem remaining undivided does NOT reflect a lack of foreign policy experience (h/t Jaime Sneider at WWS):

Senator Obama, in his speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said, "Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided." The next day, an unnamed adviser tried to "clarify" the statement to suggest it left room for Palestinian sovereignty.

On Sunday in a CNN interview, Fareed Zakaria questioned Mr. Obama about his AIPAC speech supporting Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. Mr. Zakaria asked him, "why not support the Clinton plan, which envisions a divided Jerusalem."

Mr. Obama responded, "the truth is that this was an example where we had some poor phrasing in the speech" and a reminder of the need to be "careful in terms of our syntax." He said his point had been "simply" that "we don't want barbed wire running through Jerusalem, similar to the way it was prior to the '67 war

Hmmmm, didn’t he use the “syntax defense” before?

Why yes, yes he did:

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama said yesterday that he "mangled" his words when he described small town Americans as "bitter" at a private San Francisco fundraiser.

Obama spoke to the Philadelphia Daily News editorial board last night, after a long weekend spent clarifying his statement that many small town voters had grown "bitter" over their economic status and "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them."[…]

"My syntax was poor," Obama said.

Question is, should Obama be made to write “I will use proper syntax” 100 times on the chalk board, or should he be made to diagram the sentences in all of his speeches?

His speeches as prepared for delivery, of course. If he tried to diagram transcripts of his speeches, where in the world would he put all the “uh’s” and “um’s”?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

There's no reason to stop loving Obama

The old saying goes:

“You cannot reason a man out of a position he was not reasoned into.”

And that may worry those of us who have reasoned our way into antipathy toward Obama.

We can present our case, reasonably, logically, intellectually, irrefutably until we are blue in the face. Yet some Obama supporters will not be moved – especially if they arrived at their support for Obama, not through their heads, but through their hearts.

Which brings us to this harrowing account of a disillusioned Obama supporter, as told by his father, Democratic analyst Bob Beckel (h/t Greg Pollowitz):

Far from needing encouragement, his supporters were energized by the New Hampshire defeat. My kid kept bugging me to get behind Obama. I tried to tell him as a political analyst for Fox News I had to stay neutral. He wasn't buying that and reminded me that his grandfather (my dad) had been involved in the civil rights movement and "if granddaddy was still around he would be for Obama". That was followed by "you're a wuss".

So I was a little surprised last week when my son asked me, "What's wrong with Senator Obama?" I asked why. "Because he sounds different", he says. Thinking the kid was referring to Obama's recent moves to the center on some issues I tell him every candidate for president repositions for the general election. My son gives me one of those teenage 'what planet are you on' looks and says, "never mind."

It took awhile but I realized my point about Obama's repositioning on Iraq, FISA, etc meant nothing to my kid. All he knew was that the "Obama of Summer" was somehow different than the Yes We Can "Obama of Winter" - and it bothered him. To my kid it wasn't a question of issues, but a perception that somehow Obama had changed. As Barack Obama learned this week it is a perception shared by thousands of his supporters who do understand the issues and, unlike my son, can vote.

Let us offer another saying that may provide comfort to people of reason, reflecting on young voters who may prove similar to Beckel’s son:

“Hell hath no apathy like youthful romance scorned.”

Monday, July 14, 2008

Don't drink and drive, continued

We are back home from vacation. The trip consisted of driving through parts of the following states:

North Carolina
Virginia
West Virginia
Kentucky*
Indiana
Illinois
Missouri
Iowa
Nebraska
Wyoming
Idaho (where we spent our vacation)
Montana
Colorado
New Mexico
Texas

From Texas we took a flight that took us through Philadelphia before returning home.

Our wife and kids remained in Texas, and in three weeks we will fly back and then drive with them back home. This will take us through:

Louisiana
Mississippi
Alabama
Georgia
South Carolina

In all, we have driven just under 4,000 miles so far, with roughly 1,400 remaining on the Texas back to North Carolina trip. $4 gas isn't so much fun for such a thing. But now, another problem for such a trip is beginning to ripple around the news. The idea of bringing back the federal 55 mph national speed limit.

American Thinker covers the issue today. One point made in that article goes thusly:

Take for example coastal industries. Turn a three hour drive each way into a four hour plus drive each way to get to the beach, and you'll see far fewer folks doing it for the weekend. Turn a 12 hour drive to the Florida or Carolinas beaches into a 16 hour trek, and the week long vacations won't happen.

We certainly admit that our vacation is extreme, one not one undertaken by very many people. But let's do the quick calculation on the difference between the trip we have made at current speed limits, and the trip if 55 mph again became the federally mandated speed limit.

Our trip from North Carolina to Idaho was nearly all interstate, and we averaged just under 74 mph while the car was in motion (our GPS records such things). The trip from Idaho to Texas was a little less interstate, and we averaged just over 68 mph. To simplify for our purposes here, we will round the overall average to 72 mph. And for our purposes we will assume our trip from Texas back to North Carolina will also average 72 mph.

By the time we make it back home in three weeks, we will have spent 75 hours traveling 5,400 miles.

Now, if the posted speed limit was 55 mph maximum -- and we assume our overall average would be 58 mph -- slightly over the maximum speed limit -- our same vacation would consume 93 hours of drive time.

14 more hours.

Or to put it in terms this blog favors, it would have made a 27,000 bottles-of-beer-on-the-wall drive into a 33,480 bottles-of-beer-on-the-wall drive.

That's nearly 6,500 extra bottles of beer.

Now, as much as we like beer (and we really love beer), one can only take so many down and pass so many around before one is driven from being a fun, family road trip dad to a menacing road rage threat to any and all other vehicles along a 20-state route.

It would be enough to drive a man to drink.



MORE MATH: Adding the states up, we will have visited 40% of these United States by the end of the summer vacation travels.

TO BE CLEAR: We are using the traditional count of states, and not the Obama new math, which would put us at a mere 33%.



*Thanks to Strawman in the comments for pointing out my oversight in forgetting Kentucky.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Photo of the day

Falls on Darby Creek

Falls on Darby Creek, Teton County, Wyoming. This is still on the western side of the Tetons.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Obama is full of it, continued

We've avoided the election since arriving here on vacation.

But Obama and cynicism is a hobby horse that we simply cannot help but drag up onto our soap box. So here we go.

Via Yuval Levin at the Corner, we come to this account from the Caucus Blog at the NYT of an appearance, in which Obama wants to refute this dastardly notion that all his recent flip-flopping is cynical, political flip-flopping:

“One of the things you find as you go through this campaign, everyone becomes so cynical about politics,” Mr. Obama said. There is an “assumption that your must be doing everything for political reasons.”

There you go. All those cynical Obama moves we went to lengths to document in the original "Obama is full of it" post?

Phooey, says Obama. It is not he who is cynical, it is people like us -- voters.

It comes as no surprise that he holds voters in such disdain, of course, since we've been paying attention. But it is surprising to hear Obama state it so blatantly.

According to Obama, Obama is too pure to be doing any flip-flopping out of base politcal motives. Obama transcends the ability to act cynically. Rather, it is the rubes who cynically attribute cynicism to Obama that they themselves cyncially project onto a cynicalless post-partisan, trans-political Messiah such as Obama.

Obama basically says, "who you gonna believe, me or your cynical lying eyes?"

Pheh. With our right eye tied behind our back we see right through this BS. Tie our left eye behind our back too, and we would smell it.

Let's quote ourselves from back in February (the second post we ever did on this blog and the first non-introduction post, in fact):

It is not without evidence that such a charge is leveled, Senator. It is not without justification that many of us find ourselves very cynical about your message of change – about both your ability and your intent to make the change you promise where it conflicts with your self-interest.

The change you are promising to bring, Senator, is simply not something we can believe in. Not when it is premised on you being the one to deliver it.

Go ahead and call me a cynic -- I deserve it. But so too have you earned my cynicism.

Obama has made people call him cynical the old fashioned way -- he's earned it.

For him to say differently means he is either lying or delusional. In either case (or both! Why either/or when it is just as likely to be both/and!), he is someone not to be trusted as president.

Photo of the day

Thistle

If you're trying to maintain a field of grass here in the Teton Valley, here is your main enemy: The Thistle.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Photo of the day

South Teton

View of South Teton peak*, through an irrigation wheel in an alfalfa field, Teton Valley, ID.

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* We inadvertently identified this peak in abstentia in a previous post as the Grand Teton, but have since been disabused of this notion by a full-time resident in the Teton Valley. The Grand lies to the north of this peak (that's to the left on your computer screen).


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day

The second best part of the 4th of July parade we went to in Victor, ID today:

Victor parade

The best part was the lead procession -- five veterans representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, carrying the flag. We stood, applauded, and shed a tear.

God Bless America.

Go, balloons!

It was a beautiful morning. It began at 5:30, which is a wee bit early. But it was worth it...

Go, balloons!

Go, balloons

Keep coming, balloons!

Keep coming, balloons

We need more balloons!

We need more balloons

All balloons! All balloons should be going!

All balloons

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"That’s right — six exclamation points"

While on vacation, we are keeping one eye on the news back home.

So, what could be more exciting than news from the local airport? Nothing, actually.

Credit: Joseph Rodriguez / News & Record

Army Spc. Lee Howerton faced a difficult choice as he strode up the airport hallway, suitcase in one hand and a black beret clutched tightly in the other.

Up ahead, the surprise welcoming committee of 31 people included his fiancee, mother, brother, even his fourth-grade teacher.

So after a 15-month tour of duty in Iraq, who gets the first hug?

Howerton’s family made the decision for him. A white-haired man seated in a combination wheelchair/walker held a homemade sign in his trembling hands: “Pop gets the first hug!!!!!!”

That’s right — six exclamation points.

Robert “Pop” Mitchell , an 81-year-old former Navy man, cried just a little as he embraced his 21-year-old grandson.

Lanette Ezell speeaks for us:

The family and friends gathered at Piedmont Triad International Airport were obviously proud of Howerton.

They were not alone.

Lanette Ezell and Joel Roach stood a short distance away. They were fellow passengers on the flight from Memphis to Greensboro, the last leg of the soldier’s cross-country journey from Fort Lewis.

“I don’t even know him,” Ezell said. “I just walked by and saw all the people here, and I got all choked up.”

Ezell dabbed at the tears in her eyes as she watched loved ones greet the tall, broad-shouldered stranger in the smart dress uniform.

“They should all get this kind of welcome home!!!!!!”

We admit having taken some editorial liberties with that last sentence, giving it the "Pop" Mitchell treatment.

That’s right — six exclamation points.


MORE: Thanks to Blog-ah for the link. Blog-ah focuses on Fort Lewis -- and should be read...repeatedly...

AND MORE, MORE: Thanks, too, to Mudville Gazette for the link in their Dawn Patrol section. The Dawn Patrol is a "daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics" at Mudville Gazette -- and is a daily must read.

Photo of the day

Here is the lower pond at our house. At the far end, you can barely make out the little waterfall that was in the video in this post, which is mostly obscured by the aspen leaves.

Lower pond



Because of the difference in the light between the pond and the mountains in the background, the Grand Teton is washed out in this picture. It's not a full view of it -- just the tip peeking its head up over the foothills and keeping an eye on us here down in the Teton Valley.

----------
UPDATE: See this post, where I am reliably informed that the Grand does no peeking down on us; rather, it is the South Teton peak that is washed out in this photo. Apologies to both peaks for the oversight.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Flora

According to the calendar, summer has begun.

For us here vacationing in the Teton Valley of eastern Idaho, we are definitely still in spring. The snowfall was near record level this year, and the temperatures have been mild.

We are reliably informed by our brother who lives here full-time that as recently as last week, we could have gone sledding at Grand Targhee -- the snow pack still reached to the base of the mountain.

It's warmed up now, of course -- but the flowers are blooming here several weeks later than normal.


We are not complaining. Not in the least.

Here are some of the shots we took today in a traipse around the property with our five year old daughter. One of the pics she actually took, though we won't tell you which one.


Columbine:

Columbine

Columbine:

Pink Columbine

White Lilac:

White Lilac

Pink Lilac:

Pink Lilac

Goat's Beard:

Goat's Beard

Flax:

Flax

Lupine:

Lupine

Streaming video

We've arrived in Idaho. It's just...so...peaceful. Yesterday we were treated to a cool overcast afternoon with a few sprinkles. Today it is sunny and warmer.

Let's share some of the sights and sounds around here.


We have two ponds and a stream that runs between them. This is a source of much of the peacefulness here. The sound of the water running over the rocks, which you can hear so very clearly if you open the windows at night, provides the background for the best sleep ever.

We'll embed one video of the stream here and link the others:

More videos here and here.