Thursday, November 27, 2008

Record Rainfall

San Diego is deluged with over 1 inch of rain. Truly a storm of biblical proportions. Note that sections of Florida received 15 inches in one day during Tropical Storm Fay.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"See No Evil" by Baer

"See No Evil" is an extremely interesting look into the CIA from 70's through 9/11 from a bottom up view.  The first section is a surprisingly candid look at the nuts of bolts of HUMINT (at least the way it used to be according to the author).  The later sections describe the gradual disintegration of the CIA starting from Reagan and culminating with the complete intelligence failure that led to 9/11.  Although the author finds fault with the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations, he minces no words when describing the utter disdain the Clinton administration had for the CIA.  A novice observer might argue that with the Cold War over, there was/is no need to maintain an expensive overseas intelligence framework.  However, Clinton's policy of appeasement made us blind to terrorists and other threats (like China and Russia).  It also contributed to the faulty intelligence that led to the Iraq War.
Written right after 9/11, this book has some interesting characters that are seen in a much different light 7 years later.  One is Ahmed Chalabi.  Baer writes about Chalabi's efforts to overthrow Saddam Hussein in the mid 90's that Clinton refused to support (for nefarious reasons the author later found out).  Chalabi was then a prime mover in getting Bush to invade Iraq in 2003.  If the CIA has boots on the ground, that whole mess might not have happened.
It will interesting to look back at the Bush administration to see if he allowed the CIA to get back to its roots and foster a new HUMINT network.  One lesson we need to learn is that there are always bad guys and we need to keep an eye on them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

PMBA Books

Two more books from the PMBA. Note that the PMBA has an updated list so some of the books I have read are no longer on it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Activities

* Hiking at Guajome County Park.
* Classics 4 Kids concert at the newly renovated Balboa Theatre. The Balboa is a wonderful venue. I highly recommend taking your children to see Classics 4 Kids to kick start their appreciation of the arts.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend Activities

* Awesome Adventure Princess event at Agua Caliente County Park. Visited the mud caves which were amazing. They are formed by water carving tunnels through the hills, but they look like they were drilled out by man. Tested out the new pool which is unheated buy very refreshing.
* Kids had a piano recital.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stock Ratings

Is there anything more ridiculous than brokerage stock "ratings"?  One example of how worthless these ratings are can be found in todays GM news.  JPMorgan just now decided that GM is deserving of a downgrade.  But even given the stock's 65-year lows and the very real chance the company could go under any day now, the geniuses give it a rating of "neutral".  Not a "sell" or "shitty" rating, but a "neutral".  What does it take to get a bad rating?  It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the stock itself.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Soon to be Homeless

The Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean is looking for a new home. If you have a spare bedroom or room for 273,800, give them a call.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend Activites

* Built a bottom bunk for Jaya's loft bed
* Walked the dog in the rain
* Visited the new SRF book shop

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Break Up the Trojans

Maybe Obama will help distribute the college football wealth like he will all our money.  At least UCLA might be able to complete.

Single Muslims

Came across this image ad on some site. I thought it was a joke.