Monday, July 30, 2007

Big love, hard love from a Utah artist

Utah painter, Keziah Hancock, paints portraits of dead soldiers and sends them to their parents. See her story here.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Iraq: three inconvenient truths

Are we losing? Read on.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

An Iraqi's progress report

In an LA Times opinion piece, Iraq's national security adviser catalogs advances and argues for more time.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Out of touch with John Kerry and Barack Obama

There was no bloodbath in Viet Nam after U.S. withdrawal. -- Senator John Kerry

Preventing genocide is not a good enough reason to stay in Iraq. -- Senator Barack Obama



Nancy Pelosi to publish memoir

About ... ? Being speaker of the House when it has garnered all-time low approval ratings? Read more here.

Toast of the town: tasters say SLC water best

Wine tasters on "Today" show say Salt Lake City tap water is best out of 12 municipalities.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

AP: whose side are they on?

The Associated Press acknowledges al Qaeda lies, suggests Bush administration lies, but is, itself, the source of distortion and .. well ... lies. Read about it here and here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

While we're waiting for the college football season...

A cool football helmet site. Some samples:

Zimbabwe woman gives birth in line for groceries

Others in line didn't come to her aid -- because they didn't want to lose their places in line. Socialism doesn't work very well. Read story here.

Hot items: iPods and Mac laptops

Gotta have 'em: two bullet-bike riding thieves broke into a Mac store. Sounds like most of the property was recovered (albeit damaged), though the burglars are still at large.

Top al Qaida figure captured in Iraq

Abu Shahid. On the 4th of July. Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

CJC calls "surge" a success; Senate pulls all-nighter to debate pullout

Life is full of irony:

The surge has resulted in a "sea-change" in Iraq, reports Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Peter Pace after touring Iraq and conferring with commanders.

Meanwhile, the Senate is pulling an all-nighter to debate how to get us out.

UPDATE: Latest Zogby poll shows Congress at all-time low approval ratings: 14% -- 83% of those polled believe Congress is doing a fair or poor job. These ratings are even worse than the President's. They're even worse than Nixon's. On the day he left office (he resigned). Hmm.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Osama bin Laden videotape: summer rerun

In the immortal words of Dr. McCoy to Capt Kirk: "He's dead, Jim."

Else why trot out a 2001-2002 era videotape if he's still alive?

If it wasn't Tora Bora that did him in, perhaps some quiet, ignominious hit. Martyrdom, indeed. How about just death -- and eternal silence?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

BYU promo: Raising the Bar

Are you ready for some football, Cougar fans? To get the blue blood going...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Vets who want to win the war: undercovered

Glenn Reynolds says:

"VETERANS WHO WANT TO WIN THE WAR: If 3 veterans want a pullout, they'll be on TV everywhere. These guys could put a thousand on Capitol Hill and get ignored."

Too true.

UPDATE: Vets on the Hill -- and no coverage.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

"What about the Iraqis?"

ABC correspondent Jake Tapper has the question. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has no answer (to the question, anyway). Read it here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Oregon man flies 193 miles on lawn chair and 105 balloons

How cool is that! (Hat tip: Instapundit)

Not favorite things

Heard someone say, "Osama, Obama, and Chelsea's mama!"

Obama speaks truly

He attacks the hypocrisy of those (e.g., Hillary) now tacking hard left.

"Sen. Barack Obama today chided his Democratic presidential rivals for vehemently opposing the Iraq war after initially voting to authorize it, contending real leaders don't get any 'do-overs' on an issue as monumental as war."

From the Chicago Tribune (registration required) via Glenn Reynolds on Instapundit.


Obama started and has stayed hard left. (At least he's consistent).

Greatest College Football Game Ever

While we're waiting for the college football season (52 days and counting until BYU's opener against Arizona), it's probably a good time to reflect on what I believe was the greatest college football game ever. BSU v. OU in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Three trick plays in crunch time executed to perfection. Enjoy:

And for the greatest ending in a high school football game? Maybe Plano East v. John Tyler in 1994 -- the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat:

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Sound of Freedom

I've served in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years (11 active duty, 11 as a reservist). When people around Air Force bases would complain about the noise of jet engines, we used to reply, "That's the sound of freedom."

Retired Army colonel and friend Don Andrews forwarded the following email:
Luke AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded by civilization that complains about the noise from the base and its planes, forgetting that it was there long before they were.

A certain lieutenant colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat on the back. Apparently, an individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB wrote the local paper complaining about a group of F-16s that disturbed his/her day at the mall. When that individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it must have stung quite a bit.

The complaint:

"Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m., a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns early bird special? Any response would be appreciated."

The response:

Regarding "A wake-up call from Luke's jets" (Letters, Thursday): On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m., a perfectly timed four-ship flyby of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques.

Capt. Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day. At 9 a.m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend.

Based on the letter writer's recount of the flyby, and because of the jet noise, I'm sure you didn't hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son's flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured. A four-ship flyby is a display of respect the Air Force pays to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter
writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects.

The letter writer asks, "Whom do we thank for the morning air show?" The 56th Fighter Wing will call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques, and thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives.

Lt. Col. Scott Pleus
CO 63rd Fighter Squadron
Read more about the story here.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Baqubah update: 5 July 2007

Michael Yon's dispatch from the front.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Our all-out everything 4th of July

Our law firm was a sponsor for this year's America's Freedom Festival at Provo. (We've been pro bono legal counsel to the Festival since 1996). So we got some comp and discount tickets as part of the bargain.

We started the festivities off at the Freedom Awards Gala. We had the good fortune of sitting at a table with Wayne Baruch and Chuck Gayton, producers of the Stadium of Fire show the past three years. Fine gentlemen. Honorees at the Gala included Bert Brady, who has spent 300 days a year greeting troops coming home through DFW Airport for a couple of weeks of R&R from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Then we attended the Patriotic Service at UVSC. The highlight for me is the playing of the service songs (sung this year by the barbershop choir, The Saltairs) -- and standing for the Air Force song -- and the traditional Stars and Stripes forever played by the Freedom Festival Band at the end of the program.

We also attended Freedom Days on Center Street in Provo. Great ethnic food. And free performances celebrating our cultural diversity.

Then, on the 4th, we got up early and watched the Balloon Fest balloon launch at Fox Field.

Then we had grandstand seats for the Grand Parade. Our firm had an entry -- a 1955 Chevy Belair Convertible driven by owner Fernando R. Gomez.

After the parade, we spent the rest of the day at Seven Peaks Water Park. We rented a cabana and had a bunch of family join us for KFC, watermelon, and lots of snacks.

Then Caroline and I went to the pre-show reception at the Cougar Room at Lavell Edwards Stadium. We met with show producer Wayne Baruch who introduced us to Corbin Bleu's manager, and Caroline got to shake hands with Corbin (while Wayne kindly held her food plate). We also saw Dick Nourse and Nadine Wimmer from KSL 5 Eyewitness News (and their families), Grant Nielsen (and his family) from Utah's Morning News with Grant & Amanda on KSL Radio, Jaden Bliss (one of the Freedom Award honorees) and her family, Bo Craig (Freedom Festival President), Governor Huntsman, Hal Wing (of Little Giant Ladder fame), and Brooks & Dunn (the headline performers), as well as several of my law partners and their wives.

We returned to my parents' home for a few minutes before the show. My brother-in-law Mark was doing the cooking at the barbecue.

Governor Huntsman's group, Politically Incorrect, opened the Stadium of Fire pre-show with some classic rock standards (with the Governor in shades on playing keyboards).

The traditional F-16 flyover included two brothers who had attended Stadium of Fire as boys and dreamed of participating in the flyover. One of the members of the squadron was commissioned in the Air Force by my father-in-law.

The colors were delivered to the field by a group of skydivers.

Hundreds (thousands?) of cheerleaders and dozens of dancers opened the show.

Members of Gold Star families (those who have lost a loved one in Afghanistan or Iraq -- they were the Grand Marshalls of the parade) sang the national anthem.

Glenn Beck emceed, and Fred Willard stole the show with humorous bits throughout.

Corbin Bleu did a fine job.

Brooks & Dunn put on a fabulous full concert.

And the fireworks at the end were over the top.

An amazing Fourth. No better place to celebrate it in America than right here.

Utah sets new all-time heat record

118 degrees F near Utah-Arizona border.

New Miss Utah is a also a member of the Utah National Guard

Per KSL News: "Life just took off for the newly-crowned Miss Utah, who has a different story to tell than most pageant contestants. Sergeant Jill Stevens of the Utah National Guard is a combat veteran."

Read more about her 2004 deployment to Afghanistan as a combat medic with the 211th Aviation Group.

iPhone: The Musical

NYT's David Pogue did his way: "I Want An iPhone"!

Orem, Utah woman arrested for not watering her lawn

Per KSL News: "A widow and grandma spent the morning in jail, arrested for refusing to give a policeman her name when he tried writing her a ticket for failing to water her yard. The woman hasn't watered her lawn in more than a year, and the condition of her yard violates an Orem zoning ordinance."

Apple: a visual history

For a cool chronological history of Apple computer's products, click here. (Be sure and click your mouse to zoom in).

From the Apple I in 1976... the iPhone in 2007

Insanely great! (Well...most of the products, anyway...).

BYU near top in football game attendance

For the 2006 season, BYU ranked 26th (the only non-BCS school in the top 40) in home game attendance averaging 60,524 fans a game.

Go Cougs!

Zawahiri videotape: jihadist's Independence Day message

How are things in Iraq?

Bush's approval ratings are low because of the unpopular war, and a poll reflects that a plurality of Americans would like to see the President (and a majority would like to see VP Cheney) impeached.

Coalition forces are in the midst of an offensive against insurgents. Meanwhile, Democrats, and now some influential Republicans, are trying to force a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

In the midst of U.S. politicians' plans to abandon Iraq, al Qaeda's Sheikh Ayman Al-Zawahiri has issued a 4 July 2007 videotape to rally the jihad.

According to PowerLine,
Zawahiri's plea for unity in Iraq reflects the abandonment of al Qaeda by most Sunnis there, and the fact that many Sunnis have joined with the U.S. and the Iraqi government in fighting al Qaeda. But the defensiveness Zawahiri betrays goes well beyond that schism. He plainly is concerned about how things are going in Iraq, and is anxious to generate support for his organization's efforts there.
Hmm. So -- who should we listen to: those in our country who say we're losing and should come home, or the leader of the enemy who is not claiming victory -- but trying to rally his forces?

See the first 1/4 of the tape here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Standing for something

Our forefathers made a stand and begat a nation. Today are we committing incremental societal suicide? Mark Steyn suggests we are.