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

August 31, 2004

Eternity Road

Filed under: Bunker's Favorites — Bunker @ 5:33 pm

The Curmudgeon is relocating, and will pick up where Steven left off. Not completely, but in the same illuminating way as always.

Check Francis Poretto’s new site.

First Tee

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 2:12 pm

Nearly twenty-five years ago I was stationed at the Presidio of Monterey. I played golf at Fort Ord. There were two courses there, the Bayonet and the Blackhorse. Blackhorse was the newer of the two, and hadn’t quite settled in as yet. It was still a challenging course and has since grown up.

Bayonet, though, was as nice, and tough, a course as you could find anywhere. Tour players coming to the Monterey Peninsula often played Bayonet as a warm-up for the Crosby (now AT&T) tournament at Pebble Beach. Nobody had ever broken par on that course in tournament play, so it was humbling to play. The Nationwide Tour now has a tournament there annually, and par is no longer the barrier it once was.

Of course, it has changed in the intervening years. I played there last January when I went to visit relatives in Santa Cruz. There is no longer iceplant in the rough, which once stole many strokes from me. Although I didn’t score well the day I played, it was certainly easier than before if I strayed from the fairway. Even so, we had several golfers playing qualifying rounds in our tournament to get into the AT&T. The best of them shot 71. With no wind and soft greens.

I mention all this in anticipation of the Champions (Senior) Tour playing on the Peninsula this weekend. One round will be played on Bayonet, and the others at Pebble Beach. Don’t be surprised to see lower scores at PB this weekend, unless the wind picks up.

Tongue & Quill

Filed under: General Rants — Bunker @ 5:56 am

The Air Force takes writing and speaking very seriously. Communication is essential. That doesn’t mean it can’t be humorous.

When I attended Squadron Officers School, a professional course for junior captains, we were blessed with presentations by the AF CINC Writing, a gentleman with a PhD in Literature. He was also a pretty good historian in regards to military writing. Being long-winded in writing is always an issue. He brought up a case study involving George Washington to illuminate the difference between rambling prose and terse directive in writing.

One of Washington’s generals sent him a long description of the apprehension, trial, and conviction of two soldiers for rape. The penalty was death. The general detailed the offense, trial, and his intent to carry out the execution. It went on for a full page.

Washington sent his reply at the bottom of the same sheet. “So do.”

The underling learned quickly. He responded, again on the same sheet of paper, “Done.”

Tongue & Quill is one of the best texts on writing and speaking I’ve read. Officially, it is AFH 33-337, an Air Force Handbook. It is not what most people expect from an official military publication. It is very clear, has outstanding guidance, and humor. All that makes it a book most Air Force personnel kept on their desk when I was in. It is not just a good learning tool, but a great reference as well. The newer version is okay, but I prefer the older version. Nostalgia, I guess.

As soon as I saw the chart put out by the Kerry Campaign to link Dubya to the Swift Boat Veterans, I thought of this chart in Tongue & Quill.

orgchart (810K)

The block midway down the left side may have been created with Kerry in mind.

August 30, 2004


Filed under: General Rants — Bunker @ 6:21 pm

I feel our federal government is pretty inept. But do we really want it to be THIS inept?

Good for a laugh.


Filed under: Politics — Bunker @ 10:42 am

James seems to think John McCain will replace Dick Cheney on the ticket this week. That would vindicate Dan Rather, and perhaps that’s a good thing. He could retire and let someone else run the newsdesk at CBS. James likes the idea.

A more pressing question is whether true Conservatives can live with John McCain’s presence on the ticket and with it his de facto coronation as the 2008 front-runner? On behalf of all true conservatives, I

Give Peace a Chance

Filed under: International — Bunker @ 10:14 am

Canada, the country that wants to be like the US, but not really, reports Bush’s policies are bearing fruit abroad.

According to the Stockholm Institute, which measures the number of conflicts that produce greater than 1,000 deaths in a year, 19 major wars were in progress in 2003 compared to 33 in 1991.

Okay. Some people will quibble with a report from a single report. So, here’s another:

Project Ploughshares, which measures the number of wars that accumulate 1,000 deaths from the beginning of a conflict, reports a drop to 33 conflicts in 2003 from 44 in 1995.

Maybe there’s hope for this old world after all.


Filed under: Politics — Bunker @ 9:29 am

As I think about the political divisions in this country, I’m less convinced that there is a giant chasm between the folks who make up the general population. There is a very determined group on the far right, led by such sociological luminaries as Pat Roberts. They try to be vocal, but get little face time unless they can be made to look foolish. There is an equally determined group on the far left led by many names which have become almost caricatures–Jesse Jackson, Michael Moore, NOW, MoveOn.org. In between are the bulk of Americans, people who simply want the government to stay out their way as they try to do what’s best for themselves and their families.

This is not to say people in this group don’t sometimes want government intervention. That desire, though, changes as their circumstances change. Every college student wants the government to pay for their education. Every person without enough education they need to get the kind of job they want looks to the government for help. Unions want government to help them coerce employers. Gimme gimme gimme. Not always, and not always in the same manner.

What that means is things fluctuate for all of us, and our perspective on politics changes along with them. We can be easily led from one side to the other depending on our situation.

This election cycle began the day Dubya’s election was confirmed. Some refused to let it settle. You cannot look at all the evidence with an unbiased mind and conclude anything other than Bush won. All other theories thrown around have been debunked. Yes, you will still find people convinced he “stole the election” or “was selected by the Supreme Court,” but those folks refuse to see anything that conflicts with their antagonistic vision, or have no understanding of exactly what transpired in 2000. What they are doing is basing opinion on someone else’s opinion rather than fact.

These folks have been embraced by the Democratic Party. Pat Roberts and his ilk have not been embraced by the Republican Party. Don’t believe it? Simply look back and remember Roberts and Buchanan when they attempted to gain the nomination. They ended up somewhere between what Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich did this year.

The only message the Democrats have offered in the last four years is one of hate. That hate drives the party faithful. Even when they try to evince a look forward, they revert to class warfare–more hate. Dubya was sincere in trying to heal the wounds of the previous eight years. He went straight to Ted Kennedy to get his education reform package through. He refused to allow Clinton Administration documents be released to jackals who wanted a juicy story, and was villified by both left and right for it. It mattered not at all. He stole the election.

They made a great show of unity on 9/11, and 9/12. But when Americans rallied behind Dubya, the sniping began again–quickly. They may have lost focus for a day or two, but regained their footing and went back on the attack. Even after many in Congress did the right thing in giving the President a virtual declaration of war, they began to try and undermine our military.

This election is about far more than having John Kerry or Geroge Bush as President for the next four years. It is really about this hate. A close election either way will keep these fires burning. If Kerry wins, it will be an “I told you so” moment. If Bush wins, the hate may very well intensify and we are on the road to four years even worse than these.

The only way out is for the hate crowd to be absolutely demolished, and their philosophy to be completely disavowed by the majority of Americans. This requires a landslide for Bush.

Normally, I view a balance to be best in politics. This time is an exception. The RNC is not as Machiavellian as the DNC, and Republicans don’t hold grudges the way Democrats do. Okay, time for you who disagree to quickly list instances in contrast to what I just wrote. You’re wrong. Both sides have given in to such passions before, but the DNC has a history of being a far more political organization. Just look back at all the real voter manipulation and tampering in our history and you will find it has been Democratic organizations doing it. A quick scan of 527 groups will give you another indication. The fact that Al Gore’s average donor gave him more than $800 in 2000, and Bush’s average donor gave $300, yet Bush received more money should say something of who provides support to whom.

A landslide for Bush will make some of the more virulent politicos on the left sit down and shut up for a change. And it will allow him to reach out once again to try and heal some wounds. Perhaps then some on the other side might be actually willing to shake that hand and make things work.

I sincerely hope that is what happens. Then we may be united once more in the face of our enemies.

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