February 27, 2007

In the Footprints of Giants

They say that a man's shoe size is directly relates to the size of his...

So after reading about The Al Goracle's gigantic footprint I went and found carbon footprint calculator. I had to compare because that's what guys do.

I hate to admit it, but compared to The Al Goracle I have a very small footprint.

Excuse me, there are some lights that aren't turned on in the other room.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:38 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment


February 19, 2007

The Hillary Clinton Roadmap to Surrender

So I went to Hillary Clinton's Campaign website because I wanted to tell her what I think about her idea of nationalizing oil company profits. I never heard back from Hillary on that one. But apparently they saved may email and made the assumption that I wanted to hear from her on a regular basis. Well, this should be fun.

So I got an email from President Designate Clinton today. She wanted to let me know that she has a "Roadmap Out of Iraq." Now all this time when the left was complaining about Iraq being a quagmire I thought they were complaining about our strategy and how long it was taking. Turns out they think we're just lost and Bush, typical male, is too stubborn to stop and ask for directions. So Hillary went out and got a map. It's probably a pretty simple map out too. Run to the CENTER of Baghdad then make a big turn to the LEFT and keep going.

She even has a video on her website - she calls it a Hillcast. (could it be any more pathetically lame than that?)

Her email (and I presume the video - I couldn't bear to watch it) is all about her plan - her roadmap for Iraq.


Dear Stephen,
Right now, there isn't one of us who isn't thinking about Iraq. That's why I went there recently: to meet with the commanders on the ground, to talk with Iraqi leaders, and to speak to the men and women who are fighting this war so heroically.
I came back even more determined to stop the president's escalation of troops into Iraq and to start the redeployment of troops out of Iraq. So I outlined a plan, and on Friday, I introduced it to Congress as the Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act.
My plan accomplishes a number of goals. It stops the president's escalation. It protects our troops by making sure they aren't sent to Iraq without all of the equipment and training they need. It puts an end to the blank check for the Iraqi government. It calls for an international conference to bring other countries together to help forge a stable future for Iraq. Finally, my plan would begin a phased redeployment of our troops out of Iraq. I've been pushing for this for almost two years.
So her road map is really just warmed over Iraq Survey Group "realist" nonsense spiced up with a bit of John Murtha slow bleed surrender. There are apparently more details in the video if you dare.

Like every piece of legislation passing through Congress, the Hillary surrender plan has a very pious sounding name: The Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act.

The Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act is a roadmap out of Iraq. I hope the president takes this road. If he does, he should be able to end the war before he leaves office. But let's not kid ourselves. From everything we've seen, this president is going down a very different path. He's fighting to escalate the war, not to end it.
Hillary, you've got to be kidding. The President is not fighting to escalate the war - he is fighting to win it. I know that you do not consider victory an acceptable outcome but for a lot of us that is vastly preferable to walking away. And what is this "from everything we've seen, this president is going down a very different path" nonsense? By "from everything we've seen" are you referring to the nationally televised speech in which the President explicitly outlined his plan to take a very different path? It's not like this has exactly been a very big secret.
I know we're at the start of a presidential campaign, but I think all Democrats should be focused on working together to push the president to change course. We have to end this war in a smart way, not a Republican or a Democratic way, but a way that makes us safer and gets our troops home as soon as possible. That's what I'll be fighting for.
And let's not kid ourselves here either Hillary. The only reason you've put forth this road map - that will NEVER be passed by the congress, and would be vetoed if it were, is because you need to make political hay with the anti-war left of the Democrat party.But the best line of the whole email was the last one. (emphasis added)
But let me be clear, if George Bush doesn't end this war before he leaves office, when I'm president, I will.
Aren't we being just a tad bit presumptuous? Did we forget about the whole election and people getting to vote part?

UPDATE: Over at Hot Air they essentially took the same points (and a few I missed) and worked them into the "Hillcast." Proof once again of that old saying about great minds.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:34 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


February 18, 2007

Could there be a connection

Fridays headlines were about the House non-binding resolution criticizing the current strategy and tactics in Iraq.

Saturday's headlines were about the same resolution being voted down in the Senate.

Sunday's talk was about how the congress can bring an end to the Iraq war by forcing the president to withdraw U.S. Forces.

Sunday's headline: Spate of attacks shatter recent calm.

Nah. Couldn't possibly be connected.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 03:24 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


A New Low For the Times

In a News Analysis piece by Michael Slackman, The New York Times makes the case for Iranian involvement in Iraq.

Faced with more than 100,000 American troops next door and a White House that pursued a policy of pre-emptive war, Iran’s leaders moved quickly to try to prevent the United States from gaining a permanent foothold.
“Iran’s policy in Iraq works to prevent the U.S. from feeling safe and secure,” said Talal Atrissi, a researcher and writer on Middle Eastern affairs based in Lebanon. “It works to prevent the formation of a pro-American Iraqi government, in favor of at least an Iraqi government that does not feel enmity toward Iran.”
While the United States sees in Iraq a venture that will affect its foreign interests for years to come, Iran sees an occupied neighbor with close religious, cultural, political and economic ties.
At no point in the pieces expression support for Iran does Slackman even make note that the practical application of the policy he is so squarely behind is the killing and wounding of American soldiers.
Those links to Iran’s religious and revolutionary identity, combined with the presence of American troops in Iraq and thousands of NATO forces in Afghanistan, are more than enough justification for Iran to try to counter American influence next door, political analysts in the region said.
“It is not logical to have an American presence in Iraq, and Iran sitting passively, waiting for the formation of an anti-Iranian Iraqi government,” Mr. Atrissi said. “From the Iranian perspective, Iran is a country defending its national security.”
And Slackman and the Times (and most Democrats) are behind them 100%.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:20 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


February 17, 2007

Something In the Air

Instapundit provides a link to an article about a guy with a potentially reasonable, and testable solution to Global Warming.

Here's the gist of the idea:

[Gergory] Benford has a proposal that possesses the advantages of being both one of the simplest planet-cooling technologies so far suggested and being initially testable in a local context. He suggests suspension of tiny, harmless particles (sized at one-third of a micron) at about 80,000 feet up in the stratosphere. These particles could be composed of diatomaceous earth. "That's silicon dioxide, which is chemically inert, cheap as earth, and readily crushable to the size we want," Benford says. This could initially be tested, he says, over the Arctic, where warming is already considerable and where few human beings live. Arctic atmospheric circulation patterns would mostly confine the deployed particles around the North Pole. An initial experiment could occur north of 70 degrees latitude, over the Arctic Sea and outside national boundaries. "The fact that such an experiment is reversible is just as important as the fact that it's regional," says Benford.
Reynolds suggests you read the whole thing. I say don't bother.

Even if Benford's idea worked and it managed to stop climate change (whether you believe it to be a natural or man-made phenomena) and was otherwise benign to the environment and was as relatively cheap and easy as he suggests, it will never happen.

The Global Warming religion is not about the temperature of the planet, ocean levels, melting ice caps and stranded polar bears. Global warming is about control. It is about one group of people acquiring the power to tell the rest of us how to live our lives. An idea that prevents the climate from warming without that transfer of political power is dead on arrival.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:39 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment


February 16, 2007

The House that Nancy Built

For years we heard Democrats complain about the Bush Administration's strategic failures in Iraq. The left has called for impeachment of both the President and Vice President. They wanted Rumsfeld drawn and quartered then imprisoned. They yearned, and screamed for Bush to admit that mistakes had been made. They demanded change.

They got change.

Bush canned Rumsfeld. He looked at the Bi-partisan Iraq Study Group resommendations. The he changed the strategy. New Tactics. New Rules of Enagement. 21,500 reinforcements.

The problem is that wasn't the change the left wanted. In typical liberal nuanced fashion when they said "change," wqhat they really meant was surrender. The only thing they meant by change was to pack-up turn tail and run. Bush did change the other way around.

So the Democrat controlled House of Representatives took bold action. They stood up and declared, in an entirely non-binding have no effect on anything kind of way, that they don't like it one little bit. They have announced to the world, our enemies included, that the U.S. House of Representatives opposes any action by the Commander and Chief with the objective of actually winning the war. And they bravely did so in a way that has no force of law.

They could not have done this however without the expectation that it would not send a message to our troops in combat and to the enemies they face. To our troops it says we expect and want you to fail and we do not support you or your efforts. To our enemies it says that we are divided and that we lack the will to achieve victory. They had to know this. And they voted for it. This has to be what they wanted to say.

This is the House for the next two years. I wonder how much worse it's going to get.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:11 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment


February 15, 2007

Marketing 101

The knowledge requirements in the subject of basic sales and marketing are apparently very low in the field of vending machine maintenance.

Because the company I work for has been in the same location for about 40 years there is no one in Senior Management who knows the first thing about buying and selling commercial real-estate. See if this makes sense to you.

First you close down most of your manufacturing and ship that production to other facilities you own around the globe where labor is much cheaper. So far so good.

Now you have a large facility where you used to manufacture that you don't need, and you need to find a home for the 350 or so people on the business side.

So you go out and buy a building. So far it all makes sense, right?

In the mean time you have moved some people from a remote corner of the facility to a newly available space in the part of the building you are still using.

You buy a building. You spend $17 million dollars. The problem is, the building is full. The companies there have leases that are good for more than a year. Now you own a building you can't use and large mostly vacant manufacturing facility you don't use. Suddenly there's less sense.

But why stop there. Sell the existing facility to a property management company and lease back the space you are still using. So now you have a $17 million building you can't use and you're renting space in the place you used to own.

The new owner is anxious to lease as much of the facility as possible and you still have a small group of people in one corner of one building that someone wants to lease. So you take the people in that corner and move them to that remote corner of the facility you moved the other folks out of a few months ago - because you can lease that space cheaper that it what it would cost you to keep them where they were. Even after you factor in the costs of both moves.

So they stuck my department, the company's global marketing management and a few other folks in a remote corner about as far from the rest of the business people as you can get and still be on the property. (It's a five minute walk to a meeting.)

But you want the people to be happy so you set up a lunch room. You put in a sink, a refrigerator, a coffee maker and a microwave. Then a few tables and chairs. Finally a soda machine, and a candy machine.

One of my great weaknesses is a sweet tooth and a high level of fondness for snacks. When they first moved us I thought it was good that the vending machines were so far away. But I was happy when they gave us our own. And apparently I was not alone, there were three items that sold out in the first week. the first to go was a Little Debbie Coffee Cake, then the Hostest Zingers (chocolate), then the Little Debbie Zebra Cake. I had had a few of them, but I certainly had not eaten them all so they were popular, and I wasn't the only snacker looking forward to them being re-stocked.

They came yesterday and refilled the machine. In place of the coffee cake, Sun Chips. Were there were once Zingers, Smart Food Popcorn. In place of the Zebra Cakes, crappy chocolate chip cookies. They will not sell more than 2 of any of those before the next refill. Is it just me? If I was making my living on vending machines, I would make sure that I had marked down what was in each slot. And if something sold out that fast there would be two rows of them the next time. I would also look at what sold out and then run back to the truck and grab some other snack cake. Anything that hadn't sold one package would be gone. It's pretty simple. If you want to sell more junk, put in the kind of junk that the people using the machine seem to like. Don't waste space in the machine on stuff that people aren't buying.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:54 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment


February 13, 2007

February 11, 2007

Evidence of Global Warming Buried in Snow Drift

This is Global Warming?

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:25 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment


February 08, 2007

OK. So War with Iran Seems Pretty Much Inevitable

The Grand Wizard of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a statement that essentially amounts to a declaration of war against the United States.

Our enemies know very well that any aggression will have a response from all sides by Iranian people on their interests all over the world,” he said.
"But wait," you say. "He's not declaring war he's merely reaffirming Iran's right to defend itself against American aggression. That seems perfectly reasonable." And if we were dealing with perfectly reasonable people you might even have a point other than the one on your head.

What all of the stories I've seen on this statement so far fail to explore is at what threshold of aggression will Khamenei unleash his wave of terrorism - for that is what he has threatened to do. As you ponder that question remember that we are talking about serious hard-line Islamists. You know the kind of people who attacked another nation's sovereign territory because of some cartoons.

I don't have a lot of confidence that the leaders of the religion of the perpetually outraged and offended are going to set the aggression bar too high.

You might also be wondering why would Iran make such a bold statement? I know the answer but I forgot where I put the link to the Senate debate on How and When we should surrender in Iraq.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:19 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


February 05, 2007

Comrade Hillary Speaks

The mask has slipped a bit more - revealing the Socialist core of the American left and the Democrat party. The latest Glimpse of the truth comes from Hillary Clinton.

If you don't want to listen to her, here is a transcript of her remarks:

... The same is true with energy independence. The Democrats know what needs to be done. Again we're working to try to push this agenda forward. The other day the oil companies reported the highest profits in the history of the world. I want to take those profits and I want to put them into a strategic energy that will begin to fund alternative smart energy alternatives and technology that will begin to actually move us toward the direction of independence
Let's dispense with the minor stupidity first. Hillary, and presumably the rest of the Democrats who are pushing this agenda don't really want us to be energy independent. They want to seize oil company profits and invest in something that will make it look like they advancing energy independence. They want to "move toward the direction of independence." They want to take other people's money and use it to make it look like they are doing something.

From the stupidity, let's look at the pure evil.

Hillary derisively comments on the record profits EARNED by the oil companies, then announces "I want to take those profits."

By what right? What claim do Hillary and the Democrats have on the profits EARNED by any company? It doesn't matter in the least what she and they plan to do with it, this is just plain naked socialism. This is enslaving one group of people for the benefit of another.

This is the Democrat party.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 03:17 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment


SHUT THE HELL UP

This is an entire post listed from Powerline.

Plans for a joint American-Iraqi offensive against insurgents in Baghdad have been laid, and the commanding Iraqi general, an American nominee, has been named. American officers say the offensive will dwarf all prior efforts:
"It's going to be an operation unlike anything this city has seen," Col. Doug Heckman added. "It's a multiple-order magnitude of difference, not just a 30 percent, I mean a couple hundred percent" larger than previous offensives.
Whatever happened tothe days of "Loose Lips Sink Ships?" I mean can you imagine some Colonel giving a statement to the press to the effect that: We're going to launch a massive operation against the Nazi's in France. It's a multiple-order magnitude of difference. When we hit the beach at Normandy it will be like unlike anything the German's have ever seen." I mean seriously, if your going to be announcing a major new offensive, you'd better be doing it about 3 minutes before the troops roll. Other wise you're just giving them time to prepare or go to ground.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:22 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


February 03, 2007

This is Too Delicious

I love coffee. I love a good cup of black coffee. In fact I love several every day. I have no use for overblown overpriced self-important pretentious coffee concoctions. So when I saw this at Instapundit I just had to make note of it for all my half-cafe low-fat latte sipping friends.

McDonald’s beats Starbucks in coffee smackdown
In the ultimate coffee smackdown, it was yuppie Starbucks vs. Ronald McDonald.
And the clown won.
Consumer Reports magazine said today that in a test conducted at two locations of each emporium, its tasters found McDonald's coffee to be "decent and moderately strong" with "no flaws." On the other hand, the Starbucks brew "was strong, but burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes water instead of open."
The March issue of the magazine, due out Monday, thus advises, "Try McDonald's, which was cheapest and best."
You want fries with that?

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:20 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


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