Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sierra Nevada Wheat Beer

Yes, a beer review!

I am avid drinker of Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale and therefore I was looking forward to their wheat beer.

I bought a six-pack this last weekend looking forward to some sunny & warm weather with a good wheat beer. Unfortunately, the Sierra Nevada Wheat was not exactly what I had in mind. It was definitely a beer in line with their Pale Ale in that it had a fair amount of hoppiness. I like hoppy beers but not in a wheat beer.

I recommend this beer with the following warnings - it is not a traditional wheat beer and drink in similar situations you would drink their pale ale. However, if you are looking for a beer to cool and quench in the heat of summer I would not suggest Sierra Nevada Wheat beer.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

2 Parts Military 2 Parts Political and 1 Part Diplomacy

Barak's Continued Display of Foreign Policy Weakness

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Democrat Barack Obama said Tuesday the recent increase in American troops in Iraq may well have helped tamp down violence, but he insisted there is no military solution to the country's problems and U.S. forces should be redeployed soon.

Obama spoke a day after his main Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, made similar comments. She said the tactics of the short-term troop increase were working but political progress did not seem to be in sight and the U.S. should begin bringing some troops home.
Source: Yahoo News – Obama: No military solution in Iraq (By JOHN HANNA, Associated Press Writer)
Wow Barak, very cut & dry or black and white. Where is that famous trademarked nuance the Democrats and the Left love so much?

A 1/4 Cup of Diplomacy A Cup of Diplomacy, and a Cup of Military

Barak's statement lacks a basis in reality and shows once again his naivette as a statesman. No one denies the diplomatic and the political are part of the solution to Iraq, but the military and force is part of the solution too. All are needed in these sorts of situations. Yes, sometimes players get the exact mix wrong – use too much diplomacy, too much political, or too much military.

A Top Down Solution?

In Iraq we are trying to impose a political system top-down. That is like constructing a building without a strong foundation. Michael Yon reports political progress is happening! However, it is happening on the streets of Iraq, in warehouses, between mayors and in other small and countless ways too small to be noticed by the nightly news.

The Immigration Failure - A Study in Top Down Politics

Think about it. If you have any experience working for or around campaigns and/or causes you know it is not enough for for leaders to stand up and announce they are going to work together to do something and POOF it gets done. If that were true, than the immigration things would have been done this last year. However, it was not supported at the grass roots level and the leaders had no standing upon which to construct their grand solution.

So why do many think Iraq is going to be different? Michael Yon reports indicate the main power of the surge is that it allows local leaders more freedom to work with each other. The warehouse manager doesn't want to release food to Baqubah's mayor? Why not? Because he is afraid of it ending up in the bellies of Al-Qaida (or giving Al-Qaida a "food weapon"). However, with negotiation, discussions, and the like the Mayor of Baqubah and the warehouse manager come to terms. If the military is able to maintain those conditions long enough that cooperation (stubborn cooperation to be sure, but in the end cooperation) will eventually percolate to the upper levels of the national Iraqi political scene.

The question then is do we continue to foster the conditions needed for grass roots political reconciliation or do we in a pique our upside down pyramid fell apart and leave? If we leave too soon we will be back and at much higher cost.

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Fred's Dress

I am not convinced Fred Thompson is what his supporters make him out to be. Certainly could be, but I do not see why his supporters think him the Great Conservative Hope.

Fred is a like a beautiful woman who knows it is not a good idea to wear a dress that is too revealing. This way, the woman's admirers drive themselves into a frenzy imagining what is under the dress. Of course, we know often times what is imagined often beats the reality.

The other candidates to date have had to disrobe in the debates. Some disrobe with zeal others less, but not Fred. He just sits in the sides letting the imaginations of his supporters do the work and he keeps his dress on. Its working.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Ruthlessness of Side Not-Us

Quite often I hear partisans state how they wish their side can be as ruthless as their opponents. Well, if a movement wants to live and compete it has to be as ruthless as their opponents.

I do not think the Left is any more or less ruthless than the Right. I would attribute the attitude as one of either the grass is greener on the other side of the fence or the belief that ones ... smells like perfume. Quite simply, I do not believe it. Seems to me both sides play and fight to win the political game.

If side Not-Us does not fight as effectively or as viscously as side Us then side Not-Us will be side Not-Existent.

I do grant to you though the partisan sides express themselves differently. It seems the left is in constant vulgar primal scream mode. Funny thing is, the stereotype of the American tourist is a guy walking around who thinks if they talk loud enough people who do not understand English will all of a sudden pick it up a stereotype that fits the Left as well. If they scream their case loudly and profanely enough it will convince people to think like them. Loudness and vulgarity are not signs of sincerity, truth, and conviction.

I started working on this post a couple of days ago. Since I started this post this was posted at Kos Kid: We're Not Vicious Enough. I will not excerpt the post or the rant Charles passes onto us, but this is definitely case of our ca-ca doesn't stink-stink. Admittedly, Our-Side is no shrinking violet when it comes to the political fight, but the point is if the Krazy Kos Kiddies (aka Barking Moonbats) think they are nice and refined wow!

I would suggest too, the difference in perception is one side's press is not as good as the other. Karl Rove is treated as Lucipher by the MSM and James Carville is barely mentioned.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Selective Service

Remember sometime ago when there was a push to allow a conscience clause for those working in pharmacies to not sell or handle transactions involving abortificients (i.e. the abortion pill). The idea was a pharmacist who objects to the pills due to religious belief (or other conviction) would be protected from losing their job in case they refused to participate in such transactions.

I oppose abortion but oppose such protections. Why? Religious conviction should not be a cheap thing and such laws cheapen the conviction. If a person truly opposed such practices then the best solution is to find another line of work or an employer more accommodating rather than forcing the employer (by point of gun) to go against their convictions.

Here is a case in point why we do not want to let the government protect employees not doing their jobs. Sooner or later such protections will be applied to employees who object to t-shirts:
In the editorial, we learn that a Maryland student recently was denied service by a check-out clerk at a food collective in the student union because the clerk disagreed with the message on her shirt. The shirt proclaimed "I Stand For Israel." Because her speech was "offensive," i.e. it offended the Israel-hating clerk, the student ended up apologizing to the clerk and counting herself lucky that the store provided a different clerk to ring up her sale. Oh, and the student proved the sincerity of her apology by offering the clerk a chocolate cake.
Source: Power Line – A "teaching moment" at the University of Maryland

The government has no business in protecting employees who out of conviction refuse to do their job no matter if the conviction to not do the job arises out of religious conviction or moonbattery. In the case Power Line notes having the government step in would team the force of government up with the miscreant employee to suppress customer's freedom of speech. Now, if the employee and the employer said no one may express the sentiment sharp cheddar cheese is the best cheese in their store that is fine (after all, no one has the right to use another's property to advance causes opposed by the owner), but the government may not add force one way or the other to that prohibition (remember government forced speech is not any freer than government suppressed speech).

Thursday, August 16, 2007

On Padilla Guilty-Guilty-Guilty

One link: ex-parte quirin

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Friday, August 10, 2007

The Poison Irony of Gossip

Here we go again.

On a recurring and somewhat regular basis we have to deal with the fallout from random gossip.

I just took a phone call from a friend and she is upset at the Empress. You see, someone told our friend the Empress said our friend was a gossip and how she was going to stop making calls and instead wait for our friend to call us.

A couple of months ago The Empress received a call from a woman we know (at best) casually (I have no idea who she is, but the Empress says we met her at a party sometime somewhere). This woman was upset about what The Empress was saying about her. The Empress pointed out the nature of the relationship hardly allows one (both in terms of knowing something interesting to say about the other or even having the other come up in a conversation)to talk about each other. I have no idea if this is smoothed out or not but I hardly care.

In this latest episode, however, I do care. The person leveling the charges is a good friend and I want very much to preserve this friendship. The Empress is no gossip and when I told her about the phone call she denied it flat out. I asked our friend who she heard this tale from and to our friend's credit she refused to share (good) and our friend said the Empress would know.

Our friend kept insisting the source of the information is a close friend (of who was never told a close friend of her's or of the Empress or both?) and therefore it must be true.

Gossip contains quite at least a nugget of irony, doesn't it? Our friend hears gossip about herself that she knows is not true, but then assumes the gossiper gets the source correct.

One aspect of gossip and gossipers a friend observed is somewhat scary. Gossiper X calls you and starts unloading all of their (+@% onto you. You do not participate in the conversation and in fact nod along. Hmmm, okay, hmmm-hmmm, I see. The conversation ends and the gossiper gets things mixed up and all of a sudden the person they were just talking to becomes the source for some of their stories.

I remember years ago watching the 700 Club or something similar (it was a SA morning when I was not feeling well enough to get up and change the channel) and they had puppets going through the gossip cycle to demonstrate how it works and the harm it does. They catch-phase they used over and over was zip your lip to gossip.

Hear something juicy? Keep it to yourself don't even tell your spouse or significant other. Zip your lip to gossip.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Brendan's Song

Brendan Dassey sentenced to prison. The term is essentially life without parole. The sentence is just, the events and outcome are sad. I do not rejoice but feel a grim satisfaction.

First thing I remember knowing was a lonesome whistle blowing And a young ones dream of growing up to ride On a freight train leaving town not knowing where I'm bound No one could steer me right but mama tried.

One and only rebel child from a family meek and mild My mama seemed to know what lay in store In spite of all my Sunday learning towards the bad I kept on turning 'Til mama couldn't hold me anymore.

And I turned twenty-one in prison doing life without parole
No one could steer me right but mama tried mama tried
Mama tried to raise me better but her pleading I denied
That leaves only me to blame cause mama tried.
[emphasis added]

My dear old daddy rest his soul left my mom a heavy load She tried so very hard to fill his shoes Working hours without rest wanted me to have the best She tried to raise me right but I refused.
Source: Lyrics to Mamma Tried