San Diego Soliloquies

Friday, July 14, 2006

It's Too Damn Hot

Something no one with a lick of sense living here in the West should be in doubt about:

Warming Climate Plays Large Role in Western U.S. Wildfires, Scripps-led Study Shows

We who live in San Diego get little or no sympathy from the rest of the U.S., or the world, when we complain about the weather. But they should really listen to us about the climate.

Some of the major engines of weather in the world are the the currents created by ocean currents. For example, you've probably heard of the Gulf Stream which carries warm water from the tropical Atlantic into the North Atlantic, moderating the weather in northern Europe. Stop the Gulf Stream and the Arctic starts heading south through Scandinavia. Here on the west coast of the US we have the California current, carrying cold (frigid actually) water from Alaska down here to San Diego. It's a broad swath of water that is much cooler than the waters further west in the Pacific. Since warm air carries more moisture, as winds from the west traverse these cold waters we get condensation, resulting in San Francisco fog, and Southern California's "late night, early morning low clouds and fog". Until now.

It looks like the waters of San Diego are growing warmer with each season. Some species of tropical fish are being found as far north as the Bay Area and further. Meanwhile we have a fire adapted landscape that is exposed to far more heat energy (it used to be that cool and wet falls stopped anyway bad fires. Now we have had wild fires occurring in January!), while more homes and communities spring up amongst the chaparral.

It's too damn hot. It's gonna burn.

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Friday, December 30, 2005

Not So Much Ineffective As Stupid

Digby points out that in additions to the many screwups in the War on Terror we have rarely missed the opportunity to miss an opportunity. The biggest opportunity of 2005 is passing away, as the recovery in Pakistan tries desparately to get food and shelter to people who survived the earthquake there.

I thought we were tapped out after Katrina, but we managed to still money to the Pakistan releief. Given the onset of winter, and the fact that there are still a lot of people that still haven't been reached months after the earthquake, they need more. From Digby quoting Husain Haqqani and Kenneth Ballen of the the Carnegie Endowment:

    For the tsunami, 4,000 helicopters were donated to ferry life-saving aid to stricken areas, and in Pakistan just 70 - even though there are almost three times as many people who need the food and shelter to survive than after the tsunami.
    International humanitarian assistance doesn't just save lives, it helps fight the war on terror. According to post-tsunami polls conducted by the Maryland-based, non-profit group Terror Free Tomorrow, support for Osama bin Laden dropped by half as a result of international assistance to tsunami victims in the world's largest Muslim nation.

Admittedly we had to clean up after Katrina, but there are a lot of ways we could have led and helped the effort. But, like so many times before, our leaders failed to do the right thing.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Unhinged Grief

Found amidst pictures of a beautiful white dog...

    We had our fourteen year old dog, Luna, euthanized today.
    And I am angry. I’m angry and I’m overcome with sorrow.
    Luna was the most beautiful dog I have ever seen. She was the smartest, the most docile, the quietest and loveliest creature among her kind, and it makes me angry that something I loved as much as she is dead.
    It makes me angry that people walk around this world laughing and scorning eternal life and the resurrection of the dead. It makes me angry that people of the Academy, the Media, the Government, the entertainment industry have got nothing but hatred for Christians and those who suffer the pain of losing beloved people and creatures and who turn with their whole hearts to the redeemer of sorrows and the resurrector of life.
    Have these people, these haters, these vicious, cynical homunculi never lost someone, something they loved to death, and not known in their heart that there must be something more than death? Have these wise fools never grasped the depth of grief, the righteous demand for a justice which makes love itself an eternal reward?

(emphasis added)

Um, sorry for your loss, but, huh? Ok, you're torn up inside, but, who the hell is the Academy? And who exactly hates people who suffer the pain of losing beloved people and creatures?

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Monday, December 26, 2005

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Friday, December 23, 2005

Time's Photos of the year

You can see them at TIME: The Best Photos of the Year 2005 and vote for your favorite.

I was stunned that the one I picked was ahead of every other photo by at least 10%. For me it's the perfect illustration of duty, honor and sacrfice being observed by those who live it, and those who wonder at it.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Taking It Personally

Sorry I've been out of touch. I've been busy putting food on my family.

Like a lot of San Diegans, I'm torn about what to do about Duke Cunningham. At the very least, I hope he does some seriously hard time. If I supported the death penalty I would add him to my short list of people who truly deserve it: Jonathan Pollard, The John Walker gang, Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen. Stringing up people who truly betrayed and undermined this country should have the chilling effect that the death penalty currently does not have by only executing poor colored folk.

We are reminded all the time that "We are at War", and it seems we will always be at war. This war has cost us billions of dollars, and as a result of that, the war will cost us New Orleans. We are at war and Duke, along with quite a few of the Republicans running the place, are pissing away money like beer at a rush party. And I am personally quite bitter about the amount of time and effort I've spent trying to get into that money stream.

I spent quite a lot of time in companies large and small, trying to get attention for products that could really solve problems the government in general and armed forces in particular were and are having. Most of these products have been communications systems: from instant high-speed communications (in the 2000's) to encrypted portable email (back in the early 90's!). We did it the way dozens of guides tell you you are supposed to, go to the shows, arrange demos for interest groups, respond to RFP's and get coverage in the technical journals. We always suspected that companies who jumped ahead of us in line had a hidden advantage, we just didn't know it was pandering to an over compensating latent homosexual's need for French antiques.

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Gee, You're Dumb

So Scott Johnson, the Big Trunk of Time's Blog of the Year[sic] 2004 wonders why the Pentagon is not responding to Stephen Hayes' Freedom of Information Act requests for documents that prove there were WMD's in Iraq According to Hayes:

    the Department of Defense has denied a request from The Weekly Standard to release unclassified documents recovered in postwar Iraq. These documents apparently reveal, in some detail, activities of Saddam Hussein's regime in the years before the war.

And Johnson's brilliant conclusion?

    Hayes refrains from suggesting the answer here, but the answer is related to the biggest story of the day: The war of the bureaucracy against the Bush administration, and the administration's reluctance to fight back. This is a story that is lying in plain view, waiting to be told.

Let me summarize that for you. In Johnson's view the Pentagon, the one that continuously tells us the war is going well and the sacrifice is worth it, would rather smear the Bush administration than produce documents that prove the war was worth it. Um, one more time: Johnson is accusing the Pentagon of undermining the war effort. Jeez, I thought that was the job of us liberals.

As a San Diegan, may I suggest that Mr. Johnson move some place where the winters are not so long [but not here!], or at least check to make sure that his furnace is well-ventilated? This sort of psychosis may have an organic rather than genetic origin.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

2000 Times

If they are smart, they will work in threes. Two will approach the door, one will knock, all will wait. It's common that a wife or mother, upon seeing who is at the door, will scream or cry at them to leave, and block the door. It's also common that they will calmly be invited in. The two will deliver the news, and usually wait until they are sure that someone will be there to help the person they've just told with the enormity of what they now must face. That the life they knew, the son, daughter, or spouse doesn't exist anymore, and they will never get to touch, see, hear or listen to them again.

The two who went to the house will then go back to the vehicle, where, if they are smart, the third one is still waiting, still able to drive, only because the third one sat some distance away.

My Dad, as the youngest in his squadron, used to be the third , or second, one, driving the chaplain around the base to tell young Navy wives that their husband crashed, died, or lay broken in the hospital. Dad only told us he used to do that, he never told us how it was.

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San Diego Soliloquies