Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

November 30, 2003


Filed under: International — Bunker @ 6:15 pm

I just noticed a story on the MSNBC web site about a big attack on a US convoy north of Baghdad, so I turned on the TV to see what Fox News had to say. For something like this, Fox News has the absolute best analysts in the business: Bob Bevelacqua and David Hunt.

Major Bob was an operator. I don’t know what business he is in now, but he just returned from Iraq. Colonel Hunt took a little getting used to. When I first saw him, I thought, “Who is this bozo?” Over time, I’ve come to appreciate his insight. Both of these men apparently have very good contacts, and they view things very objectively. When they offer an opinion, I pay attention.

Bob hasn’t formed an opinion on the motives behind this attack, yet. He does say, though, that the convoy was carrying a large amount of money. And the bad guys must have known it. But the attack itself was really in the “not too bright” category. The vehicles were armored, and at least one tank was part of it. Not the kind of target to hit with AK-47s and grenades. Bob also was asked whether the Iraqis captured would be able to shed some light on the operation. “If we keep the JAG out of it they will.” was his response!

Playing Lessons with a Pro

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 5:35 pm

Nick Faldo is on the Golf Channel right now, explaining how he plays and his thought processes on each shot. It’s and interesting program, and I catch it when I can. Nick is quite a character, so this episode is even more enjoyable. I like the format because it brings together all the points made by all instruction into focus.

For example, Dave Pelz has a system for playing the short game where he defines club distances by the swing clock. That is, each club will fly the ball a different distance based on the backswing arm position. He identifies the 7:30, 9:00, and 10:30 positions as repeatable swings for specific distances. Faldo makes the same point about an individual shot he makes. He says he hits a full wedge 140 yards, so for a 120 yard shot, he wants a 10:00 swing. He also makes the point that it is irrelevant whether his hands actually get to the 10:00 position if his mind and body “feel” they’re at 10:00. The shot he made was distance-perfect, even though his hands actually only got to about 9:00. So, it’s really mind over matter.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the brain and how it works, and I also picked up a thin book on the mental side of golf. Realistically, you can do a lot to help your game (or anything else in life) with visualization and positive thought. I’ve learned to pick out a target on the course, whether fairway or green, and implant the image of the ball flying through the air and landing on that spot. Amazingly, I’ve had far more success with my shots doing this than I do with simply finding a “target line” for alignment.

The mind can retain an image for approximately eight seconds, which is why you can stare at something then look at a white wall and still see the image. I’ve begun to try and visualize the shot while adressing the bal so that it is implanted during my swing. It is amazing how the brain can control direction and distance, but not really all that surprising. Consider throwing a ball. You look at the target and throw…the brain accounts for the distance automatically.

Well, almost. It takes training and repetitions. Which is where I’m at right now. But I can saw there is strenth in the concept–I normally shoot mid to upper 80s. My last three rounds have been 84, 82, and 81. And I didn’t even feel like I played well.

November 28, 2003

Funerals, anyone?

Filed under: Society-Culture — Bunker @ 11:53 am

With Bush’s visit to Iraq all over the news, overshadowing Senator Clinton’s trip to Afghanistan and Iraq, Democrats are scrambling to find something bad to say about the President. Bush was welcomed enthusiastically, Clinton barely noticed (“I think they’re more excited about [meeting] Geraldo,” coalition spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty told the Boston Globe).

It is interesting to see the debates regarding President Bush’s decision not to attend funerals for soldiers killed in Iraq. People seem to be quite angry about this. But the people who are angry are media personalities and hard-core anti-Bush types. At one left-leaning online forum, people proclaim their indignation and hatred, and view it as an affront, ostensibly, to the families. However, they really see it as an affront to themselves

Bush in Baghdad

Filed under: Military — Bunker @ 7:29 am

‘Gen. Sanchez, thank you, sir, for your kind invitation and your strong leadership.

November 27, 2003

Architects I

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 12:58 pm

I started a quest last year to play as many courses by different architects as possible. I really want to play courses designed by the ‘masters

“Our fairways have real bunkers in them”

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 11:30 am

That quote is from LtCol Jeff Kelley, who plays the TPC at Mosul every Friday. It looks a little rougher than the course in Kuwait. I was in Kuwait last spring, and really wanted to play, but never got the chance to get out there.

In the story on TPC at Mosul, there is an address to send donations. I can tell you from experience, nothing would give these guys more pleasure than to be able to take a break from what they do to spend a little time in “the real world.” A dozen balls, some cast-off irons, or that persimmon driver you keep promising yourself you’ll use again would be a welcome addition to their club.

November 25, 2003

Years ago, when I was

Filed under: Society-Culture — Bunker @ 7:03 pm

Years ago, when I was in school, we read parts of the Federalist Papers; or perhaps it was all of some of them. I don’t remember for sure. Regardless, it was a part of everyone’s education, along with memorizing the Preamble to the Constitution. Like everyone else, I couldn’t understand why we had to read and memorize such things. I guess my generation grew up to be teachers for the next generation, and decided students shouldn’t have to learn such things any more, so these things are seldom taught in our schools. At least, that is my impression from all that is written about the education system in the US today.

Well, I started reading the Federalist Papers again last night. The copy I purchased is edited by Mary E. Webster, and is “translated” into modern English. The Library of Congress has the Papers on line. The is also a version of the Anti-Federalist Papers on line. While the FP were written in support of adopting the new Constitution, the AFP were…well, you know.

Anyway, FP #1, General Introduction, was written by Alexander Hamilton. It is interesting to me that many of the issues we deal with today were present then:

“It would be wonderful if we based our decision only on the best interests of our society, unbiased by less noble interests unconnected with the public good. Although we may ardently wish this, it can’t be seriously expected. The Constitution offered for consideration affects too many special interests and changes too many local institutions not to expect discussions on subjects other than its merits. Views, passions and prejudices unrelated to discovering the truth and meaning of the document are expected.

Funny thing about special interests. Just about everyone in this country has them.

I find it amusing and painful to hear some politician bemoaning the influence of special interest groups, followed by a rousing cheer from NOW, AFL-CIO, NRA, or whatever group he happens to be speaking to.

Are you a member of the Chamber of Commerce? A union local?

Do you contribute to any tax-exempt organization?

Do you support someone simply because they have the same skin color you have, or have the same ethnic background?

Were you born before 1938?

Do you have leukemia, heart disease, diabetes, ALS, psoriasis?

Have you lost a limb or the use thereof?

Are you gay or lesbian? Unsure?

Do you support abortion on demand? Do you think abortion should be outlawed?

Are you homeless? Uneducated? Lazy? Stupid? Smart? Confused?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, and a thousand more, YOU are part of a special interest group.

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