Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Papawswrench calendar

I recently stumbled on Lulu.com a self-publishing service and my first item to publish is a 2008 calendar with photos of some of my wrenches in my collection. I think you can preview it by clicking the link on the right sidebar.
I won't make much money with these efforts, it is really just "vanity" publishing. I hope to make more calendars and possibly some photo books in the future, as my photo skills revive themselves from years of neglect.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Alvin, Texas Historical Museum

Our museum opened yesterday, May 20, 2007, after many years of work by many volunteers. It has been a long process, but worth all the effort.
“You don’t want to miss the dramatic life-size birch wood carving of Alvin Morgan, his dog and his goose. They went everywhere together,” Brothers said. Alvin is named for the colorful and much-loved Morgan.
as reported in the Brazosport Facts newspaper.

The ribbon Cutting was performed by Gary Appelt, Mayor of Alvin, Miss Cleo Congady, President of the Museum Society, and Tommy Peebles, head of Accessions for the museum.

The Museum is in the old Post Office building in Alvin, Texas.
Here is a photoshow of the opening-

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Changes to Randomview

I am tired of playing around with politics. I am going to start posting some of my photography here, now that I have a new camera and will be taking more pictures.
First is an old stump in my back yard.
Next is Gracie, a grand niece.
Next is my 12 year old Dalmation, Freckles.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More good news from Iraq

Our media does not want to tell us about the good things happening in Iraq. In January this year, Condi Rice made a statement , explaining the need to build up Iraq and provide its people with independence. If this was reported , I missed it somehow .

For some provinces of the country, that independence has been achieved. Setting a milestone on July 13, 2006, Muthanna became the first province to transition its security to Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC). The second province to transfer authority was Dhi Qar on September 21 and An Najaf on December 20. Most recently, Maysan transferred authority on April 18.

But the government in these areas is still in its fledgling stages. Having spent so much time under the Saddam-controlled central government, many officials in provinces such as Dhi Qar and Muthanna are learning how to manage and provide essential services for the people in their areas.

That’s where the Provincial Reconstruction Teams come in. The PRTs exist as a civil-military effort, which in many places become the number one interface between U.S. and Coalition allies and Iraqi provincial governments.

These provincial reconstruction teams are rebuilding Iraq daily, but all we hear is about suicide bombers and soldiers being tried for doing their jobs. Our soldiers are much better than the Left would want us to believe and they deserve our support.

Richard Riley, the deputy team leader of the Italian-led Dhi Qar PRT, said there were four areas in particular from the President's New Way Forward plan the PRTs were focusing on to build capacity within the Iraqis themselves.

"[We need to] bolster the moderates in government of the provinces where we work," he said. "Another is foster reconciliation across the political lines around the province. Develop the economy to the degree that we can by advising the government in economic development. The fourth is to develop the capacity of the government in the province to perform its functions as a government.”

Readers should go to cent.com and read the article.

Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Our Peace-keeping Mission

On The Elitist Pig , Dave Nalle hits the nail on the head about our involvement in Iraq. The actual war ended 4 years ago, and we have been conducting a peace-keeping mission since then all by ourselves practically.

Contrary to the popular spin, the war in Iraq ended just about 4 years ago this month. We went in, fought Saddam's army, defeated them, killed his raping maniac sons, captured the Beast of Baghdad himself and neutralized Iraq's potential to make trouble in the region and around the world.

I have to agree with Dave on this.

All this time various groups have found it politically advantageous or convenient to keep calling what's going on in Iraq a war, and there's certainly plenty of fighting going on to make it look like one. But what's absolutely not going on there is a war between the United States and Iraq. Putting aside our conflict with al Qaeda, our main role in Iraq for the last four years has basically been babysitting - we've been keeping the peace. We've been doing the job the UN was made for, without their support and without the support of most of the nations which ought to be in there risking their soldiers to try to sort out the chaos so that Iraq can survive long enough to stand on its own.

I have had these same thought, but have not been able to express them as well.

Someone is going to have to have a hell of a lot of troops in Iraq for years to come. If we continue to allow the situation there to be presented as a war, it's likely to be us going it alone for much longer than we'd like. No one wants to join in and help out with an unpopular war. Only by affirming and publicly acknowledging the transition from war to peace mission which really took place almost 4 years ago are we going to be able to move forward and do what needs to be done there and do it with the support of the American people and the international community who should have been there with us from the start.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Sad Parallel

Consider this -

I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily accessible food. But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table, and next to the barbecue. Then came the poop. It was everywhere: on the patio tile, the chairs, the table...everywhere. Then some of the birds turned mean: They would dive bomb me and try to peck me even though I had fed them out of my own pocket. And others birds were boisterous and loud: They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food. After a while, I couldn't even sit on my own back porch anymore. I took down the bird feeder and in three days the bi rds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio. Soon, the back yard was like it used to be...quiet, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.

Now lets see...our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, free education and allows anyone born here to be a automatic citizen. Then the illegals came by the tens of thousands. Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services; small apartments are housing 5 families: you have to wait 6 hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor: you child's 2nd grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn't speak English: Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box; I have to press "one" to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than "Old Glory" are squawking and screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.

Maybe it's time for the government to take down the bird feeder

Got this in email from a friend of mine.