Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Degrees of Difficulty

What is the most difficult language to learn? And other difficult undertakings.


 Wonderfully edible wild mushrooms. I harvested four of these delectable delights right across the street from my home. Fry them in margarine, a little salt and pepper, and eat them on toast. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What a Moronic Presidential Press Conference!

Fred Kaplan - Slate Magazine: "As for Iraq, it's no news that Bush has no strategy. What did come as news—and, really, a bit of a shocker—is that he doesn't seem to know what 'strategy' means.

Asked if it might be time for a new strategy in Iraq, given the unceasing rise in casualties and chaos, Bush replied, 'The strategy is to help the Iraqi people achieve their objectives and dreams, which is a democratic society. That's the strategy. … Either you say, 'It's important we stay there and get it done,' or we leave. We're not leaving, so long as I'm the president.'

The reporter followed up, 'Sir, that's not really the question. The strategy—'

Bush interrupted, 'Sounded like the question to me.'

First, it's not clear that the Iraqi people want a 'democratic society' in the Western sense. Second, and more to the point, 'helping Iraqis achieve a democratic society' may be a strategic objective, but it's not a strategy—any more than 'ending poverty' or 'going to the moon' is a strategy.

Strategy involves how to achieve one's objectives—or, as the great British strategist B.H. Liddell Hart put it, 'the art of distributing and applying military means to fulfill the ends of policy.' These are the issues that Bush refuses to address publicly—what means and resources are to be applied, in what way, at what risk, and to what end, in pursuing his policy. Instead, he reduces everything to two options: 'Cut and run' or, 'Stay the course.' It's as if there's nothing in between, no alternative way of applying military means. Could it be that he doesn't grasp the distinction between an 'objective' and a 'strategy,' and so doesn't see that there might be alternatives? Might our situation be that grim?"

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Pikes Peak Marathon

 I had a slower ascent time today than yesterday, but I got "crazy legs" for the downhill portion of the race, passing about 20 runners while getting passed by no one. I managed to run down the mountain in 1hr45min thereby sneaking below 5 hours for the marathon: 4:56.

Matt Carpenter won with an age group record (40-44) in both the ascent and the marathon. He ran the ascent in about 2:10 and the marathon in 3:33. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Pikes Peak Ascent 2006

 SB near the top of Pikes Peak in today's Pikes Peak Ascent race. I ran to the top in 3hrs 3min from Memorial Park in Manitou Springs: 7,800' elevation gain, 13.3 miles. Tomorrow I run the roundtrip: Pikes Peak Marathon! Posted by Picasa

The Power of Nightmares

Must see BBC documentary: "The Power of Nightmares". In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares. The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Blogging With the Prez

Imagine a president who can speak to foreign media (watch this) without a script and address root causes of atrocity in the Middle East: Blogging With the Prez

Tim Flannery on Big Picture TV | Gristmill: The environmental news blog | Grist Magazine

Grist has this on Tim Flannery , author of "The Weather Makers" and "The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples " -- one of the most important books I've ever read.

Monday, August 14, 2006 - The *real* Spiderman - The *real* Spiderman

Beijing pledges 'a fight to the death' with Dalai Lama

Beijing pledges 'a fight to the death' with Dalai Lama - Times Online:
"China’s new top official in Tibet has embarked on a fierce campaign to crush loyalty to the exiled Dalai Lama and to extinguish religious beliefs among government officials.

Zhang Qingli, was appointed Communist Party secretary of the Tibetan Autonomous Region in May. An ally of Hu Jintao, China’s President, Mr Zhang, 55, has moved swiftly to tighten his grip over this deeply Buddhist region."

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Iraq Report 109th Congress

John Conyers: Patriot -- Iraq Report 109th Congress

The BEAST: America's Best Fiend

The BEAST: Top 50 America's Best Fiend: "2. Dick Cheney

Charges: At the forefront of nearly every administration effort to annihilate the constitution. A true psychopath with only one motivating force; insatiable greed. Insists that we can only remain 'free' through torture, spying and secrecy. Bears the crooked ugliness of a man whose entire life has been devoted to a senseless pursuit of power, and whose most effective weapon is a total lack of ethics, or even decorum. So cartoonishly evil he defies parody.

Exhibit A: 'I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.'

Sentence: Strapped to chair; eyes removed with melon baller. Nursed back to health. Lips sewn to a rubber hose connecting him to a 500 gallon nutrition shake. Nursed back to health. Fingers, hands, toes, feet, nose and genitals devoured by hungry pigs. Nursed back to health. Legs and arms ground to stubs with belt sander. Nursed back to health. Fitted with earphones that play only Christina Aguilera songs, and left alone to think about what he has done."

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Possibly the weirdest sentence in the English language is: “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo”.

Sam the Wolfdog

 Sam the Invincible, Mountain-Climbing, wonder Wolfdog in his prime, atop Mt Ellingwood, April 2001; Blanca Peak is in the background. Posted by Picasa

Are We Running out of Oil?

Les Magoon: Are We Running out of Oil?

Wrong question. The correct question is: "When is the Big Rollover?". Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 12, 2006

U.S. Lags World in Grasp of Genetics and Acceptance of Evolution

What a strange country we live in: - U.S. Lags World in Grasp of Genetics and Acceptance of Evolution: "A comparison of peoples' views in 34 countries finds that the United States ranks near the bottom when it comes to public acceptance of evolution. Only Turkey ranked lower.

Among the factors contributing to America's low score are poor understanding of biology, especially genetics, the politicization of science and the literal interpretation of the Bible by a small but vocal group of American Christians, the researchers say.

“American Protestantism is more fundamentalist than anybody except perhaps the Islamic fundamentalist, which is why Turkey and we are so close,” said study co-author Jon Miller of Michigan State University."

Sunrise on Pikes Peak

 Sunrise on Pikes Peak on my return from running the summit yesterday -- my last run to the summit before the Pikes Peak Ascent Race on August 19th and the Pikes Peak Marathon Race (roundtrip) on August 20th. I'll be running both races... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


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A Short History of America

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Critics Blast Bush For Not Praying Hard Enough

Critics blast Bush for not Praying Enough:  "President Bush, already facing the lowest approval ratings in history, is coming under fire from former supporters over what they call his 'ineffectual and incompetent' use of prayer for national guidance and assistance."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

End This Tragedy Now

End This Tragedy Now: "As the world watches, Israel has besieged and ravaged our country, created a humanitarian and environmental disaster, and shattered our infrastructure and economy, putting an intolerable strain on our social and economic systems. Fuel, food and medical equipment are in short supply; homes, factories and warehouses have been destroyed; roads severed, bridges smashed and airports disabled.

The damage to infrastructure alone is running into the billions of dollars, as are the losses to owners of private property, and the long-term direct and indirect costs due to lost revenue in tourism, agriculture and industrial sectors are expected to be many more billions. Lebanon's well-known achievements in 15 years of postwar development have been wiped out in a matter of days by Israel's deadly military might.

For all this carnage and death, and on behalf of all Lebanese, we demand an international inquiry into Israel's criminal actions in Lebanon and insist that Israel pay compensation for its wanton destruction."

onegoodmove: Exxon Exposed

onegoodmove: Exxon Exposed

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Amanita Muscaria

 Taken on the Barr Trail today as I ran to Pikes Peak's summit once again from Memorial Park in Manitou Springs. We've had a lot of rain recently and the mushrooms are plentiful. Don't eat these though! They are deadly poisonous. 

I saw a bear next to Ruxton Creek around 6:30 this morning. The same bear I watched from my deck Friday night as he dropped down to Ruxton Creek from the road in front of my house. A little later I espied him walking along the tracks of the Cog Railway.

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One Ring to Rule Them

One Ring to Rule Them

by Juan Cole. "It may be that that hawks are thinking this way: Destroy Lebanon, and destroy Hizbullah, and you reduce Iran's strategic depth. Destroy the Iranian nuclear program and you leave it helpless and vulnerable to having done to it what the Israelis did to Lebanon. You leave it vulnerable to regime change, and a dragooning of Iran back into the US sphere of influence, denying it to China and assuring its 500 tcf of natural gas to US corporations. You also politically reorient the entire Gulf, with both Saddam and Khamenei gone, toward the United States. Voila, you avoid peak oil problems in the US until a technological fix can be found, and you avoid a situation where China and India have special access to Iran and the Gulf."

Friday, August 04, 2006

Rep. Conyers Issues Report Identifying 26 Laws Broken by Bush Admin | BuzzFlash

Rep. Conyers Issues Report Identifying 26 Laws Broken by Bush Admin | BuzzFlash: "Many people are aware that George Bush has broken numerous laws during his presidency. BuzzFlash has certainly pointed out several instances. But today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI) released 'Constitution in Crisis,' a report identifying 26 specific laws and regulations implicated by the Bush Administration.

The 350-page document is divided into sections on Iraq and civil liberties and supported with more than 1,400 footnotes.

'The situation we find ourselves in today under the administration of George W. Bush is systemically worse than previous scandals such as Watergate and Iran-Contra,' Conyers said. 'The alleged acts of wrongdoing my staff has documented -- which include making misleading statements about the decision to go to war; manipulating intelligence; facilitating and countenancing torture; using classified information to out a CIA agent; and violating federal surveillance and privacy laws -- are quite serious.'

Conyers proposed a series of recommendations based on the report's findings, many of which are based on passing some of the many bills he and others have introduced to improve oversight and accountability."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Barr Camp

 SB and JC at Barr Camp, July 27th, the night before yet another summit bid on Pikes Peak. Posted by Picasa

After the Deluge

John Courtney on the way to Barr Camp last evening directly following a thunderstorm. We stayed at Barr Camp last night and ran up Pikes Peak at 3 A.M. this morning. Posted by Picasa