Saturday, December 31, 2005


The impending new year brings with it the dawn of new hope, pledges of reform (kind of) and fevered dreams of salvation.

Me? I'll just mix up a Manhattan and make irresponsible claims of future vision with near metaphysical certitude:
  1. In the 2006 mid-terms Democrats will once again snatch defeat with a death grip from the jaws of victory and gain no seats in the House or Senate. In fact, they may lose some.
  2. The Chicago Bears, after a surprising defeat of the Seattle SeaHawks on their home turf will lose the Superbowl to the New England Patriots in one of the hardest hitting, well fought gridiron battles of recent years. Old timers will be heard far and wide to remark, "yup, that's the way they used to play the game".
  3. That is unless they clobber the Pittsburgh Steelers in a defensive gem.
  4. Osama, my most wanted man-a, will be found to have been dead, and will remain dead for all of eternity. White Flag Murtha will be heard to mutter, "I shouldn't have let Dean buy me that extra martini at lunch".
  5. Pursuit will be unexpectedly called to the stage at Chicago's United Center on January 22nd to sing "Dead Flowers" when Mick needs a short breather. Critics will hail this "fresh new era" of the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band.
  6. Unfounded and vehemently denied rumors of an affair with Chrissie Hynde will be floated in Rolling Stone shortly thereafter. When asked to comment Chrissie will say, with a distant look in her eye, "only if...."
  7. Mrs. P will roll her eyes!
  8. The Yanks will win the series in five.
  9. Trumpet's long running and highly entertaining tale of love, lust, romance and ultimately redemption will end with a tragic not completely unforeseen twist.
  10. A conservative revival that belatedly and wonderfully renounces goofballs and hucksters such as Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and the rest of they're crayon scribbling ilk will begin and be led by a surprising figure.
  11. This guy will continue to write one of the most thoughtful blogs out there.
  12. Sadly, this guy won't.
  13. The curtain of silence that protects the MSM from itself will be pierced when one major news outlet investigates another. Subscriptions will be canceled heads will roll.
  14. My buddies here will continue to post some of the funniest bits out there.
  15. Michelle will have a great year in the mountains.
  16. Duf will become a neo-con after another year of reading my inspired political writing.
  17. Joe Wilson, in a desperate attempt to keep his 15 minutes alive, will do something to further discredit his wife.
  18. Zarqawi will die.
  19. A grateful world will rejoice.
  20. It will be a happy and prosperous new year for all my blog buddies.

Are you Ready For Some Football!!!!

Yup week 17 baby. The season has gone by fast, and somehow.....incredibly.....the Bears (Da Bearsss) are in first place in the North.

They didn't even play any mini-Ditkas. Go figure.

Considered the luckiest man on the planet is General Manager Jerry Angelo, of whom I wrote earlier this year. While every word of my criticism remains true, the man found a way to win without a quarterback, until Rex Grossman managed to come back from a broken ankle two weeks ago. Word of advice: if you're in Vegas and Jerry sits down at the table next to you, walk away.

So the Bears are headed into the playoffs and I find myself at a season recored against the spread of 120-120. Here is how I get over the top;

Vikings 4 Bears: Vikes
Colts 6.5 Cards: Cards
Ravens 3 Browns: Ravens
Bills 1.5 Jets: Jets
Panthers 4 Falcons: Falcons
Chiefs 7.5 Bengals: Chiefs
Steelers 13.5 Lions: Lions
Pats 5.5 Dolphins: Dolphins
Bucs 13.5 Saints: Bucs
Texans 1 Niners: Texans
Jags 3.5 Titans: Jags
Pack 4.5 SeaHawks: Pack
Redskins 7.5 Eagles: Eagles
Cowboys 12.5 Rams: Cowboys

Friday, December 30, 2005

My New Obsession

Recieved seasons 1,2 & 3 of "24" for Christmas. Whoa, watching these shows back to back is pure sphincter clenching fun.

You know, not in a gay way or anything.


Wow, that's going to generate some bizarre google hits.

Blogging will be light.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Another view from my skis. By the way thats PD1 &2 in the chair in front of me.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The View From My Skis

It's awfully warm here, but the snow is decent and it sure beats 30 second runs in Wisconsin. Which, come to think of it, sounds like something you get after eating a bad bratwurst!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas from me and mine to you and yours! To the left you see Cody the Christmas Dog full of the Christmas spirit, antlers and all.

Posting will be light the next few days as the Pursuit family celebrates the season. Skiing, eating, drinking and more skiing will be the order of the day.

All that, and remembering to be thankful for all that blessings of life that we all too often take for granted. In that spirit, I'd like to thank my faithful readers.....yes both of you.....for your time, attention, comments, and encouragement. I find myself a bit surprised that I'm still at this after a year of blogging, but the truth is I enjoy it more now than I did at the start. Clearly, the biggest reason for that is you guys.

Merry Christmas, I'll check in when I can over the next few days, perhaps with another "View
From My Skis".

Monday, December 19, 2005

I Stand In Awe

Of The Functional Ambivalent.

No, really I do. The man has accomplished the something truly remarkable.

Go on over and take a look at the linked post. It's well written, interesting, with just the right touch of humor; typical of the stuff over at his blog. But look a little closer and you see true genius at work. Somehow, Tom has managed to take a shallow fantasy that resembles the wispy air of a Woodridge wine commercial, and somehow make it sound like a deep, zen-like reappraisal of life and it's meaning.

Why, in the name of all that is decent, did this man ever get out of TV? The whole industry is built on that sort of thing! Really, I think we'd better book him a lunch at The Ivy pronto!

The Strangest Spy I Ever Saw.....

Grandstanding husband who includes her name in his online bio, penchant for bizarre candid photos, five year old twins, and now this?

Any of my liberal friends want to try to make the case that this wasn't a pathetic, yet surprisingly effective attempt to undermine the President and/or the war effort?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

No Room At The Inn

True story.

My church has been organizing to help a homeless family that I'm told was living behind a strip mall near our town. Apparently they fell on hard times due to drug abuse, but have now managed to get sober and are trying to get back on their feet to provide a stable life for their two children. I don't know much about the details, but our minister told us about the family last week, and asked for donations of clothing and once they find shelter, furniture to help these folks get back on their feet.

As of last week things were going pretty well and a small apartment in another church's manse was identified as a possible place for the couple to live while they got jobs and saved enough money to find their own place. It wasn't much, a king size bed was too big for the bedroom, but it was a warm and safe replacement for the alley that they had been living in.

Today was our Christmas pageant at church. PD1 gave the bible reading about Mary and Joseph looking for room and being turned away from the inn. Our minister's wife, herself a minister and director of our youth ministry, had helpfully typed out on a sheet of paper for PD1 to read.

Here's the thing. As she was typing it earlier this week, the other church called and said the couple that we're trying to help couldn't use the manse after all. It seems they aren't married, and you know, that sort of thing isn't allowed. I kind of makes you wonder how people think sometimes doesn't it?

The story of Christmas reminds us that the most humble among us deserve basic goodwill and dignity, not because they might be future kings, but because we're all in this together and we need to help each other out. In fact, if there is one lesson that I've gleaned from 44 years of life it's that nobody does this alone. Nobody.

I'm not writing about this unfortunate circumstance to highlight the intolerance of others, or the hypocrisy of Christians; those are subjects that the religiously intolerant wallow in and frankly I think they say more about those folks than the targets of their ire. No, I'm telling this story today because it is my hope that we all remember our friends, family and the less fortunate this coming week and beyond. I hope that we remember the blessing of life and our obligation to help those that are in need.

Much has been said and written lately about "the war on Christmas". I understand some of these thoughts, and will admit to being annoyed at having to be careful about who I wish a Merry Christmas to; but this is a very minor thing.

The real threat to Christmas, if there is one, is when we forget our obligation to our fellow man. We've all done it; we're in too much of a hurry with our own lives, or can't be bothered by the dirty guy looking for a hand. I'd go so far as to say that it's human nature to look beyond these sad reminders that life is tough, and it can be tougher on some more than others. What better way exists though to spread Christmas cheer? Stop a moment to extend a hand. Buy some gifts for children that will wake up to nothing unless you help. Drop a couple coins in the Salvation Army's bucket. Find out where your local PADs shelter is and mobilize your friends to help.

Christmas doesn't need saving, we do. Buy working to bring hope and love to our fellow man's life we enrich ourselves in the process. Love wins, evil loses and we learn that the greetings of the season can be accepted for the spirit in which it they're offered if not necessarily for the exact words.

Peace be with you.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The View From My Skis

The sun was out, the snow crisp; in short a beautiful morning for a ski, despite the 15 degree temperature.

This time next week I should be careening down a hill out in Utah, but for this moring, cross-country was the perfect way to start the day. I did about five miles and then came back to a hot cup of jo. Off to buy presents for Mrs. P now.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Zeal of Reformers

I am a supporter of torture.

It’s hard to believe, but according to the fevered rants of the torture hysterics (how’s that for a loaded sentence?), I Mr. Pursuit, support torture.

This is non-sense, but my goal today is not to debate what specific acts constitute torture, and what others are simply “enhanced interrogations”. I think as a generally good people with admirable intentions, we Americans get a little squeamish when the curtain on what really happens during war gets drawn back a bit. We would prefer to stay blissfully ignorant about what it takes to win, and this is certainly understandable because war as they say “ain’t pretty”.

What isn’t understandable is why we choose to let our emotions get the better of us in these moments and we respond by voluntarily acting to ensure that our troops fight with one hand tied behind their back. This is an indulgence of our emotions that we as a people can afford because of the quality and strength of our troops, but make no mistake, the price that is paid, and there is always a price, is born by our men and women in uniform.

We have a long history in America of over reacting to the horrors of war, and every time that we’ve done it we have caused trouble for ourselves, and saved no one. My first memory of such an instance was with the Church Committee in the mid-seventies. Frank Church was a well intentioned senator from Kentucky (I think) who was outraged by the “abuses” of the CIA. There is no question that the CIA did some bad things back then, although the truth was never as bad as the alleged horrors made the situation out to be. Yes there were some attempted coups, yes there were some assassinations and yes those things are bad.

The context of these misdeeds was that we were in the process of fighting a global war against communism, which by the way we won, but still, some lines shouldn’t be crossed and new boundaries were required to clarify what we as a country would tolerate. The Church Committee stepped in and wrote new rules that in most views were an over reaction that gutted American intelligence gathering and forced the CIA to move from a physical asset approach to the electronic and satellite approach common today. This was a “cleaner” means of gathering intelligence, but it left gaping wholes in our network, and put us at the mercy of other nations for physical information gathering in whole regions of the world.

One such region was the middle east.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the poor intelligence that led up to the Iraq war, and blame has been aimed squarely at the President. Surely he should receive his share, but missing in the debate has been a discussion about the sourcing of that intelligence. Astute observers have noticed that huge amounts of information, the kind that could only have been gathered by agents on the ground came from secondary sources; primarily French and Israeli. The remainder was from the U.S. in the form of electronic eavesdropping and satellite data. This might in part explain why an idiot such as Joe Wilson was sent to check out the Niger yellow cake claims, instead of an experienced field agent embedded in country.

This is no accident and is a direct result of the constraints that the Church Commission’s rules put on American activities. Even more distressing is the fact that the U.S. had to rely on intelligence sourced from countries that had their own agendas; the French have never put U.S. interests at the top of their list, and one could make a case that the Israelis would have been quite happy to see Saddam removed from the neighborhood. This is the position we put ourselves in.

In the 80’s congress tried to legislate foreign policy in South America with the Boland Amendment, which disallowed funding for intelligence activities in the region. Lucky for the U.S. the Reagan administration tried to find a way around these restrictions and continued to fight the communist beach head in Nicaragua. We emerged from this effort victorious, but several good Americans were not quite as lucky as the rest of us. These folks got caught up in the Iran-Contra scandal as a result of their actions being in conflict with congressional meddling. As a result, they were threatened with jail time and the rest of us dealt with an otherwise successful presidency that had to spend two years of its last term completely distracted.

In the ‘90’s Jamie Gorelick, lately of the 9/11 commission, created a wall between the FBI and the CIA that prohibited the sharing of domestic intelligence. While the full damage assessment of this misguided policy isn’t complete, and it will be years before we know exactly the price we paid, it is not an overstatement to say that this policy did nothing to help us prevent the attack on the WTC.

The past 12 months have been dominated by an increasingly shrill debate on the definition of torture and its application against terrorists. While there is no doubt that what occurred at Abu Gahrib was not torture, it also wasn’t acceptable. In fact, this inexcusable breakdown in military discipline has been more damaging, given the follow on developments that have occurred, than any of us could have predicted.

The truth is that very little evidence of any torture has been found by anyone. We’ve heard about waterboarding, which depending on your view might be considered torture, and there have been 5 documented homicides which are under investigation. We’ve also heard about enhanced interrogation techniques that involve sleep deprivation, temperature extremes and physical discomfort, but in most views these do not qualify as a crossing of the line.

Despite the relative lack of facts surrounding this debate, political opportunists, angry gay activists, and liberal bush haters have used the argument to try and damage the president politically and discredit the war effort. The results have been profound. American standing has been damaged, CIA prisoner transports have been revealed and now we seem to be ready to pass a whole new set of regulations that will encumber our troops’ ability to keep themselves safe in the war.

Is it going to far to say that this, more than any act in recent history, is the greatest threat to American security today? I don’t think so. The McCain amendment is an excellent example. On its surface the bill seems benign enough, but the implications for our troops and citizens are profound. Make no mistake; the bill will on day one convey the rights of the Geneva Conventions on terrorists. This is no small policy change when you consider that the Geneva Conventions’ prime goal was to protect civilians, and now these same rules will be used to protect those who kill civilians as their prime goal.

Where will this folly end? We cannot continue to enact these self restricting rules and expect our troops to believe that they have our full confidence and support. We cannot continue to fight those who would kill us, with anything less than the full force of our power. We have seen the price paid when good intentions, driven by an emotional response to war, led us down the wrong path.

Seemingly simple regulations destroyed our ability to collect intelligence in the Middle East. Compartmentalization of information inhibited us from identifying the enemy who walked freely among us. The price we paid on 9/11 was enormous. There really is only two questions left; when will the price finally be too great, and how many will die on that horrible day?

"The nation must to a degree take it on faith that we too are honorable men, devoted to her service."

Richard Helms, then DCI
April, 1971

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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Bubble Boy

I see the media is now officially out of new ideas. Somehow it has taken five years, but they are now back to the traditional criticism of Republican presidents. The bubble.

I read it in Maureen Dowd's column this morning and heard Brian Williams ask the President about it earlier in the week. It's a tired old bit and goes something like this; the President is unable to get out a be with "the people". He has surrounded himself with yes men advisors and is blissfully ignorant of the fact that the country is falling apart around him. Rome burns, Nero fiddles. Blah, blah, blah.

Oddly, liberal presidents who are every bit as isolated as conservative presidents never seem to be on the receiving end of the bubble critique. It sure is hard for me to believe that this has anything to do with liberal bias in the media, so I assume that President's such as Mr. Clinton for example, really can feel our pain while their having sex with post pubescent interns.

Silly me.

Frankly, the whole bit is absurd if you ask me. Presidents, of all types, are isolated to a degree from the public. This does not mean that by any stretch of the imagination that they are in a bubble and unaware of public opinion and thought. Hell, Clinton was taking polls to see if he should sneeze, and Bush is kept keenly aware of public opinion on a daily basis by his political advisors. This is job requirement number 1 for a simple reason. These guys want to get re-elected, and even when they're in their second terms, they want their party to gain in future elections. So they make every effort to puncture that bubble and understand what public opinion is saying.

That is not to say that a bubble doesn't exist, because one surely does. The fact is that our national media live in one of the greatest bubbles ever created in the history of man. Provincial, subject to ideological group-think, and almost uniquely the most distrusted entity in American life today the media hasn't got a clue about what is going anywhere in the world if it isn't in New York city or Washington D.C.

Rarely has a greater example of the dangers of isolation, and intellectual constipation been on display than that we seen in our national media today. For years readership of newspapers has been in decline, network news has continually lost audience, and the trust of the people has drifted to oblivion. Still, to hear the chatter of these folks as they sit amidst the wreckage of a once proud industry is to get a view of the utter lack of recognition of their own failure.

It would be sad if it wasn't so darn amusing. The rest of us have done well, and miss the media not a wit. We've found alternative news sources, learned to question everything we read, and in general have a much more informed view of the world than our would be media superiors. We can list, with little effort, everything that the media has gotten wrong and continues to get wrong on a daily basis; from the war against terror to the continued resilience and strength of the American economy.

So enjoy the bubble folks! The warmth you feel in there is just the combined effect of all that hot air you've been emitting. Oh yes, there is a greenhouse effect, but it will be solved when your bubble pops!

Losing Never Really Works as a Strategy

Well, not since Vietnam anyway.

The Anti-war left seems to once again have put themselves in a corner regarding the war in Iraq. For a while their relentless attacks on America and our policy in Iraq, which included the lies about lying and the continued hysteria over "torture" by some people, seemed to serve their political purpose; drive the President's approval ratings lower and hopefully win back Congress next fall. Ironic since these very same people spent so much time prior to this fall standing vigalent for any sign that the Republicans were trying to politicize the war or 9/11.

Sadly, they didn't count on the resolve of our troops, the President, or the Iraqi people. Which leads them to their uncomfortable position today. The linked article above references tomorrow's Iraqi elections and points to the expected turnout which by all accounts should be enormous. Most importantly, the Sunnis seem to be getting on board with the election process as well.

Despite this the left continues to predict failure, and counsels imediate withdrawal from the country. In particular, the left seems concerned that terrorist violence, recognized for what it is by most level headed people, represents some sort of hyper nationalism instead of murder. So where does that leave our anti-war friends today? Well, if I've got their message right it is something like:
  1. The real Iraqis are those that are bombing, not voting
  2. Iraq has no real chance to be successful
  3. We should withdraw immediately
  4. An apology to the world for promoting freedom in country where terror once reigned would be appropriate
This when Sunnis are coming on board, there seems to be growing support for secular government, and public optimism about the future remains high.

It almost makes you feel sorry for Dim Harry and Ole White Flag.

No, I guess it doesn't does it?
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Me? I'd rather hear Chrissie sing "Precious" right about now

Why Do They Insist On Making All News Bad?

I suppose I should scold Bush for falling into an obvious trap, but at some point doesn't the media have an obligation to at least try to get the facts straight. I guess this news made them think they had to do something to help the Dems who seem to have chosen to follow Ole White Flag on his path to oblivion.

Purple fingers coming up next!

UPDATE: I'm watching our local news and they just did a bit on some Quakers (good people, great oats, not sure about the religion) who set up a memorial to dead Iraqi civilians in one of Chicago's plazas today. The Hispanic member of the perfectly balanced news team intoned over pictures of shoes (why shoes I wonder?), "by some accounts, over 100,000 civilians have died". No mention so far of the vote which has already begun.

Via Annika.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Conservative Blogs Are More Effective

Apparently the NYT Magazine has come to the none to surprising conclusion that conservative blogs are more effective than their liberal counterparts, and will say so in a published article this weekend.

Well duh.

I don't mean to be harsh on our friends at the Times, I'm a subscriber, and despite their obvious and at times, overwhelming, liberal bias they remain the best source of news in the U.S. This is because of their scope of coverage, and the fact that most other papers cover a only a subset of stories that the Times deems important, usually following the Times' theme. Really though, it is hard to believe that the NYT is just now realizing this fact.

The interesting question for liberals to ask themselves is "why is this so?"

The broad answer, in my view, is simple; conservative blogs, reflective of the state of conservatism, are just more interesting. This is not to say there aren't interesting liberals out there, surely there are, but modern liberalism is not a movement that welcomes diversity of thought. For all the bluster we hear from our liberal friends about diversity and celebrating our differences, at a practical level there is little or no commitment to anything other than a very shallow interpretation of these views.

Think about it. When was the last time a pro-life speaker was allowed prime-time podium time at the Democratic convention? We know that just as pro-choice Republicans exist, there are pro-life Democrats, but to publicly espouse these views is to risk alienation from the powers that control liberal money.

Similarly, it is nearly impossible to find an African American in liberal circles that has any different view on race relations or affirmative action than the orthodox liberal views that were developed in the 1960's. This, more than anything, is the reason why black thinkers with differing views have been forced to join the conservative movement in order to get their views heard. Think I'm wrong? Give Clarence Thomas a call, or perhaps Bill Cosby and ask how their alternative views have been received in liberal circles.

All of this has resulted in a stagnation of liberal philosophy that reflects a worldview of a time that has passed. Enforced groupthink such as we've seen in liberalism never results in progress and often ends with the dissolution of the organizations that were created to promote the underlying views; ie., in this case the Democratic Party. History is replete with examples of groups that have died because they failed to evolve. In fact, Darwin said it best when he said that "victory does not go to the strongest, but to those that can best adapt to change".

Truly the most bizarre aspect to this decline of liberalism has been that it was the direct result of being correct. I, and many of my fellow conservatives, can speak to this point better than most since we started our political lives as liberals. I won't rehash the history, but all of us in our way supported the push for equality, freedom and yes, the pursuit of happiness for all. The really cool thing is that we won! Oh, of course things aren't perfect and perhaps they never will be, but if anything is certain it is this; different times and different situations demand a change in process, thought and approach.

Liberals have failed to take this lesson in any significant way, and therefore have yielded ground and momentum to the conservative movement....."The Movement" as many of us called it when we first joined. And that is the point isn't it? "The Movement" implies that we have some. It ain't pretty, it's often raucous and we beat each other bloody when we don't agree. Just ask Harriet Miers.

The point is that conservatives don't have any single view which has been and continues to be to our benefit. I can name at least three major groups of conservatives; Paleocons, Neocons and Libertarians. Each group is divided by their underlying philosophical views. Paleocons "stand athwart history yelling stop". Neo-Cons, of which I am one, are "liberals who were mugged by reality". Libertarians want pot and prostitution legalized.

Ok, I'm just teasing my Libertarian friends there.

The point is each of these groups have underlying views that we hold dear and fight for within the conservative movement. Liberals on the other hand, rather than dividing themselves by philosophy, divide themselves by interest group. Women, minorities, Hollywood stars are just a few. These groups, because they want to battle for big government goodies, play a much different game than conservatives. Liberal groups make deals with each other to split spoils, and enforce groupthink so that each group's credibility and reason for existence is never really questioned. I'm not saying that conservatives are not guilty of some of the same things, but I am saying that unlike liberals it is not our entire reason for being.

So conservatives are more interesting. Because we're driven more by ideas we also are more entrepreneurial and tend to find new technologies such as the web, or ways of exploiting old technologies, such as radio, better than liberals. This is a shame because many of my liberal friends, and some of my liberal readers, are quite interesting and thought provoking people. I'm challenged by their ideas, I'm forced to question my own views and I enjoy the give and take that I have with these folks.

Alternatively, when I read the New York Times, or visit Kos I just roll my eyes.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

An Amazing Christmas Light Display

Ever wonder what would happen if a guy, say a guy who used to orchestrate light shows for ELO arena concerts, moved in next door and had entirely too much time on his hands?

I haven't either.

The good news is, after one viewing of the linked video we can be thankful for two things:

1. We won't ever have to look for an answer to that question and,
2. That guy doesn't live next door to us!

Thanks to Martini Boy for the heads up on this one.

Happy Blogerversery!!

Thanks to Trumpet and PDS who remind me that today is one year since the first Pursuit of Happiness post. Back then I was posting about Kofi, NRO, Channukah and what a squalid hell hole the state of Florida is.

For the record none of the opinions expressed in those posts have changed!

Thanks to all who take the time to read the blog, and here's to year 2.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

APB: Irate Savant

If you haven't been reading the undiscovered genius known as the Irate Savant, don't say I didn't alert you to one of the best sites on the web. After a series of increasingly bizarre rants, he's gone missing. My guess; some terrible turkey fryer accident in his foresaken homeland, but we may never know for sure.

Or maybe he is just looking for some free pub to promote his site

London Blogging

Today, history is made......The Pursuit of Happiness goes international.

Good evening and welcome to the moment that the world........well some of the world.....ok very few people if anyone at all, has been waiting for. Live from London it's the Pursuit of Happiness.

There was a time in my life, pretty much from 1995 - 1998 that I did this route as a commute. Two weeks in Chicago, and two in London. To be perfectly accurate, it actually started out as two weeks in Zurich, two in Chicago between '94 and '95 and then morphed to London.

It was amazing how quickly I got used to it, and established a iron traveler routine. The gate personel in both locations knew me by name. I'd get on the plane, order the quick meal, down a couple glasses of wine and then fall promptly asleep. Once we landed I'd hit the ground running, go straight to the office work all day, go to dinner at night and collapse exhausted sometime around midnight. In fact, so frequent a visitor to the Zurich airport was I that last time I checked, I was in the Swiss Air "Welcome to Zurich" video..........I'm the guy in the background pushing a luggage cart.

So, after not making this run in five years I wondered if I could return to my old habits. The answer is yes. Landed at 8 this morning, made it in to the office and had dinner tonight. I sit here now blogging in a state of sleep deprived mania as CNN International reports on the incredible cold in my home town. Note to Mrs. P: its in the 40's here!

Speaking of CNN, the international version still sucks. You'd think that overtime the folks at the channel would have realized that the same bland news reporting offered by a guy with an accent doesn't make the channel anymore international than calling fried potatos "french".

So I see Howard Dean is up to his old tricks again; you know the ones where he goes off his meds and says what most Democrats are secretly thinking. Dean is a real piece of work. I say this not so much because he is such an unapologetic fool, but more because he actually convinced the party elect him as their head. As a conservative I find this to be a real tragedy. In general, I have no use for politicians and while I tend to vote Republican I have never identified myself as a member or supporter of the party.

Politicians, when you boil away all of the philisophical mumbo jumbo that they claim to support, are really nothing more than mercenaries supported by our tax dollars. To the extent that we at one time in our country had a credible liberal party - the Democrats - then shear brand differentiation required Republicans to be the conservative party. Never mind that many of the Republican politicians didn't really support conservative principles, they at least were willing to go along with them if such an alignment served their need to get re-elected.

Tragically, the Democrats went insane. How else can you explain the party's warm loving embrace of losing positions, nut job celebrity "activists", and anti-American foreign policy pronouncements. This was supposed to be the foundation of a ruling coalition? Only in bizaro world.

All of which is a long winded way to get around to my point. I say this is tragic because once the Democrats went crazy, the Republican politicians were free to revert to their real impulses and became the tax and spenders that they secretly always wanted to be. The rest of us are stuck with this sorry state until we can identify a true revolutionary to act as the catalyst for change. One wonders what would happen if Newt were to run. Say what you will about the man, while I'm sure he isn't electable, I'm equally sure that he would force some serious discussion about fiscal sanity. Then again maybe I'm just really tired.

Which brings me to old White Flag. Have the Demos realized hitching their anti-war case to Murtha may have been a really bad idea? Yes, he is a war hero who we all really, really respect for his service, but what the hell has gotten into this guy? Not only is he speaking against our troops (the army is broken), but on the Sunday shows this weekend he was contradicting himself between comercial breaks on the same show!

Really, this is quite odd. The only time I've ever seen a performance like this from politicians has been when they were trying to get out in front of some impending bad news by attempting to claim the moral high ground on an issue of the day to make themselves uncriticiseable. I have no way of know whether or not that is what is happening here, but really, something is going on.

One final thing on a completely unrelated topic. What is going on with my blogroll? I load up these guys as recommended reading and then one by one half of them have quit posting! Was it something I said?

So, I'll be updating the blogroll to get some real posters and those that aren't posting (Habitat Girl I'm talking to you) will be removed. Any recomendations for a new blogroll will be appreciated.

Over and out

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Talley Ho!

Off to London for the rest of the week.........will attempt to take the Pursuit international!

Monday, December 5, 2005

Excellent News In the WOT

No, I am not referring to Howard Dean's proclimation today that we "would not win in Iraq". Although it is tempting to expect with metaphysical certitude that like George Costanza ,whatever Mr. Deans predicts, the exact opposite will occur, I won't be tempted to go anywhere near that joke.

Nope, I'm bigger than that, and ABCNews in the linked report, gives us news today that the Al Queada biggies have been talking. So lets be cheered by that. Of course, as with any comitted enemy (and lets face it these guys should be comitted) it has taken "enhanced interrogation techniques to get them to talk. All but one required waterboarding to start to give up the goods, but most didn't last for more than a minute once we began to get serious with them.

I've been amazed that we haven't been hit again since 9/11, and as the "9/11 Commission" said in their report today, it hasn't always been because of the excellent security systems that we have put in place domestically. The truth, it seems, is because these techniques have worked and have allowed us to get information and stop attacks before they start. I've long believed that the best defense is a good offense, and taking the fight to the bad guys is proving this basic principle once again.

After 9/11 I heard that an Israeli security agent said that they fight terrorism differently than us. "You guys look for weapons, we look for terrorists" he said. Perhaps we've learned something after all.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Target One

Sunday is the day, and this man is Target One. He will be stopped and The Most Storied Team In The History of The Greatest Sport will be victorious on or about 3pm CST Sunday. I'll be there on the lake front with a cheer in my heart and flask in my pocket to witness this; the latest chapter in the Bears-Packers rivalry. Afterwards, I'm sure there will be a story to pass on to future generations of Bears fans. But for now.

Target One: Get 'im boys.

I hear there are other games this week. I've left the boys at Pursuit Football Central to do most of the calculations this week. It's been a tough November, and we're just about even against the spread; a situation that brings shame to all of us accustomed to the glory of beating the experts. So, I've put the staff on bread and water until they perform better. The server farm has been cranking new algorithms around the clock, and here is what they say:

Bears 7 Packers: Do you really need to ask?
Dolphins 4 Bills: Dolphins
Steelers 3.5 Bengals: Bengals
Ravens 8 Texans: Texans
Colts 16 Titans: I never give 16 points, Titans are a no brainer here.
Jags 3 Browns: Browns. Today is the day of charter franchises
Giants 3 Cowboys: Giants
Vikes 3 Lions: Vikes
Panthers 3 Falcons: Falcons
Bucs 3.5 Saints: Saints
Cards 3 49ers: Cards
Redskins 3 Rams: Rams
Pats 10 Jets: Giving 10 with the Pats? Yes, yes I think so
Broncs 1 Chiefs: Chiefs
Chargers 11.5 Raiders: Chargers
Seahawks 4 Eagles: Eagles



Bear Down, Chicago Bears
Make every play, clear the way to victory!

Bear Down, Chicago Bears
Put up a fight with a might so fearlessly!

We'll never forget the way you thrilled the nation
With your T-formation

Bear Down, Chicago Bears
And let them know why you're wearing the crown!

You're the pride and joy of Illinois,
Chicago Bears, Bear Down!!

Posted by Picasa

Ole White Flag Murtha Strikes Again

You were saying Congressman...... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Halas Stops By The Packer Locker Room

I've enjoyed recounting the Bears-Packers rivalry this week. There are so many great stories, and I got a little off track from what I intended and ended up telling more about my personal experience with the rivalry, than some of the antics that went on between the teams.

Tonight I'm in Stamford, CN traveling on business. Oprah is about to appear on Letterman, and I'm getting a little tired since my phone at home rang at 3:50 in the blessed a.m. this morning with a wrong number. Who misdials at 3:50 a.m?

So this one is going to be short. There is no doubt that the rivalry between the two teams started with Halas and Lambeau. Both were fierce competitors, and when it came to winning there was little they wouldn't do. For example, one time Halas found out the Packers were illegally using college players, and reported Lambeau to the league. The Packers were thrown out of the fledgling league and had to apply for reinstatement the following year.

The fact is Halas wasn't really outraged that the Packers were pulling a fast one on other teams at all. The Bears, and most likely, everyone else were doing the same thing. What upset Halas was that the Packers had signed up a couple players that he really wanted for the Bears, and the only way he could sign them was to get the Packers disqualified! Sure enough, by the time the Pack was back in the league the following season, Halas had converted the players in question to Chicago Bears.

Off the field Lambeau and Halas had respect for each other, and my guess is that a friendship existed between the two, although I don't know that for sure. I do know, that when Lambeau died, Halas was a pall bearer at his funeral.

When Lombardi joined the Packers to replace Lambeau, a better foe for Halas couldn't be found. Lombardi loved to win and soon was as committed to the rivalry as anyone. Packer great Willie Davis remembers Lombardi fondly; "Lombardi said you had to dislike everything about the Bears, even Halas as he stood on the goal line during warm-ups," Davis says. "Lombardi made it seem like Lambeau had never left." So it was with great relish one day that Halas decided to visit the Packer locker room minutes before the upcoming game.

Halas knocked on the door and it was answered by the equipment manager for the Packers. "I need to speak with Coach Lombardi" Halas said. When Lombardi came to the door Halas said, "Coach, I hope you have your team ready because we're going to kick your [butt]."

The rivalry lives on today. In recent years the intensity has been less than past decades, but these things go through cycles. In the 80's Mike Ditka and Forrest Gregg had developed such an animosity for each other that they nearly came to blows in the middle of a game - as coaches!.

I sense that things may be heating up again. The Bears are getting better, and the Pack is having a tough year. I'll be at the game Sunday, here's hoping that we have some fun.

And that we kick the Packer's collective ass too, of course.