Sunday, August 31, 2008

 

Barone's Sound Advise Not Taken

In a stunningly good piece by a knowledgeable good guy, Michael Barone, who often gets boring going too deep into detail, he points out the perpetual mistake some politicians make--inability to admit a past mistake. His examples are all Democrats, but the lesson should well be remembered by Republicans. Money quotes:


...the Democrats’ charge that Republicans make illegitimate attacks on their candidates, attacks that imply that they are far out of the American mainstream. The two examples they cite are the “Willie Horton” ads against Michael Dukakis in 1988 and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads against John Kerry in 2004.
[...]

I used to be a Democratic campaign consultant. In that capacity, I would have advised the Dukakis campaign to admit early on that the furlough policy was a mistake. I would have advised the Kerry campaign to go before a veterans’ group early on and apologize for the Foreign Relations testimony. Voters understand that candidates sometimes make mistakes and that young men say outrageous things that in time they come to regret.
[...]

On Ayers, the Obama campaign has tried to suppress discussion. But it will likely fail. The emergence of new media and the First Amendment mean that is like stopping the Mississippi River from flowing to the sea. If I were advising Obama, I would tell him to confess error, as he arguably has on Wright, on both Ayers and the Born Alive Protection Act, lest they cause his campaign as much damage as the furlough ads caused Michael Dukakis and the Swift Boat ads caused John Kerry.

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Leading Feminist Gushes for Palin


My favorite feminist, Camille Paglia, had this to say in the London Times online article about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, in slightly more objective coverage than Palin is getting here. The only way to describe Paglia is gobsmacked. Behold.


"We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling,” said Camille Paglia, the cultural critic. “That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails."

"Good Lord, we had barely 12 hours of Democrat optimism,” said Paglia. “It was a stunningly timed piece of PR by the Republicans."

Indeed.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

 

Good News From Israel

Israel has finally decided that, no matter what the rest of the world does, the Israelis are not going to allow Iran to create a nuclear weapon. That may mean an Israeli military strike like the 1982 strike on the Iraqi nuclear reactor. With what Iran is doing with the centrifuges and its ballistic missile development, on top of what Ahmadinejad has been saying about the intentions of Iran vis a vis Israel, there really was no other choice.

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Another Republican Stereotype Bites the Dust

The Republican reaction to McCain's choice of Governor Sarah Palin ranges from ecstatic (Hugh Hewitt) to worried about her lack of experience (Bill Stuntz), with the ecstatics outnumbering the worriers about 50 to 1. Mark Steyn, who has been pretty quiet since his prosecution for 'hate' speech, weighs in in the middle, I think, or on the support side of the middle. Then there is the reaction of the left. And contained in the reaction is a strong whiff of misogyny.

Semi dwarf 'comedian' Bill Maher called her a MILF and a stewardess on his program among other classy things, none of which, sadly, were funny. He's funnier here.

It is funny that Governor Tim Kaine has almost the same experience as Palin, but when he was in the running for VP, not a word was uttered about his lack of experience. To the Democrats he was fully qualified for VP.

The Obama camp was utterly dismissive. Let's hope they continue not to take her seriously.

CNN 's John Roberts worried could she be VP with her triploidy 23 baby boy. He managed to offend two groups of Americans with one comment.

Here are some picked at random comments from lefty sites on the web.


I suspect that there was some calculation that selecting a woman for the ticket would motivate some Democratic women who supported Senator Clinton during the
primaries. Personally, I find it hard to believe that supporters of Senator Clinton would be moved by this pick. Palin is an anti-choice former beauty queen
-- she has none of the experience, depth, or gravitas that Senator Clinton has. In fact, I think this selection is an insult to women who supported Senator Clinton. McCain thinks they are stupid, and that selecting any woman would be enough to win their support. It doesn't matter who it is -- as long as she has ovaries.


I am surprised. I thought it would be Romney.
I didn't expect this and it frankly astounds me.My first thought is that maybe he's having an affair with her. Really. It's that bizarre. She looks like Katherine Harris. More makeup than Cindy McCain. Talk about caked on like a trollop. They must be planning to steal the election.


Women are stupid
if they vote for her...... We already know men are stupid. She is not ready to be commander in chief, imagine the commercials with the Experience label.

79. "Here's a vagina, girls... cast your vote!"
That's what this is...sheer desperation marketing. Their thinking? Hillary rallied the troops, and now this sweet thing will benefit McCain.So... what is it? A re we voting on a vagina? Is that all we want? Someone who looks like US? She isn't me. No thank you. And I can't believe she quoted HIllary. I am so offended.


You know, this is touted as being a close race, where just a few votes in a handful of states could very well make the difference. I know there is a lot of dissatisfaction among the feminists that their candidate was barely defeated yet wholly discarded, not even vetted for consideration for Vice President. And Hillary is twice the man Joe Biden is and outpolled him by a ratio of about 1,000 to 1, among Democrats. I know that most of them will bitch and moan and then vote for Obama, but if even as few as two or three thousand are so turned off by that dissing and the current anti woman spectacle, in the right states, that could make all the difference in the world.

The truth is that you just never know how someone is going to perform in an executive role. Lincoln was a one term Representative and had no executive experience, yet took to it like a duck to water, was in the top two presidents of all time. Carter, on the other hand, had been a state legislator for years and a governor of Georgia for four years, and he just sucked at it. It all depends on the strength of character and judgement of the person.

There's also a lot of 'pot calling kettle smoke darkened' on the left, in that Obama has little to no experience, certainly none as an executive, if you ignore wasting $100,000,000 of the Annenberg Challenge money. And even Obama thinks he's inexperienced.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

 

Class--Either You Have It or You Don't


Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America. Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, Congratulations. How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow, we’ll be back at it. But tonight, Senator, job well done.

From John McCain's Convention Night ad, viewable here.


It's not because John McCain doesn't care; it's because John McCain doesn't get it.

You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives.

From Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech.

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It's Not Checkmate, But A Seriously Good Check


John McCain gets something all right--he picks Governor of Alaska Sarah "Barracuda" Palin as his VP candidate. Take that Hilary passing over Obama! Take that change meme! There's not a lot of change in picking as the Veep a very senior male Senator from Delaware, a Washington insider, no matter how often he takes Amtrak to Wilmington. We'll see what's more appealing, Biden's bathetic bluster or Palin's plain-speaking profundity. Palin not only talks the pro-life talk, she walks the walk; she was told her last child had triploidy 23 and doctors urged her to abort. She did not. She and I agree about no gay marriage but full gay partnership rights.
This choice will help bring back the social conservatives not excited by the Maverick nature of our GOP candidate for president, and will energize nearly everyone in the party. Paul Miregoff is not happy at all. (His update reveals he's somewhat mollified).There is no simple counter to this; the move is made and the results will be seen in November. This election, due to Bush's undeserved unpopularity and the horrible actions, and inactions, of the Republicans in Congress, was Obama's to lose and he appears to be doing it, but I'm shortchanging McCain's shrewd, and bold (i.e. risky), political judgment here to focus at this moment on Obama. Let's see what the intrade market does over the next few days. Obama is still comfortably ahead but the trend lines are promising.

The photo is of the new VP pick visiting a wounded soldier in Landstuhl, Germany, where Obama failed to go when he was in the neighborhood a few weeks ago.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

 

Thoughts on Biden's Speech

First, he didn't just ramble on and on and on about himself, so from that prospective it was a triumph.

OK. If we are supposed to judge him a success for his son Beau, who is on his way to serve his country in Iraq as part of the mighty Delaware National Guard, what judgment are we supposed to give for his son Hunter, who is a lobbyist and financier who has ear mark, conflict of interest and lawsuit problems?

Then there was this series:


Barack Obama will reform our tax code. He'll cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people who draw a paycheck.


What is Biden talking about? Barack's original plan was to repeal the Bush tax rate cuts. Since that was an across the board tax rate cut, that is, it applied to every single tax bracket, repealing them automatically would result in an across the board tax rate increase. But he was also going to cut tax rates on the lower middle class. The poor don't pay any income taxes so it's not possible to cut their income taxes. But he now has a new plan which mentions tax rate cuts on the bulk of Americans not at all. He still wants to stick new payroll taxes to the rich. This 95% cut is, at worst, a lie, and, at best, more inane and boring class warfare.


Barack Obama will transform our economy by making alternative energy a genuine national priority, creating 5 million new jobs and finally freeing us from the grip of foreign oil.

Pig may fly before we have sufficient bio diesel, wind and solar power to replace even 5% of imported oil. If we can't drill many, or any new oil or gas wells, there will be huge job losses in the oil and gas industry, not increases. Windmill and solar panel panel production are not highly labor intense. Farmers, who are only 2% of the workforce to begin with, won't substantially increase their numbers to raise more corn or switch grass or algae or whatever, they will merely increase the acreage under highly mechanized production. Difficult to see much of an increase in jobs there. This is complete bs, pie in the sky promises which only the truly gullible buy.


...John McCain proposes $200 million in new taxes for corporate America, $1 billion alone for the largest companies in the nation -- but no, none, no relief for 100 million American families, that's not change. That's more of the same.


John McCain does not propose new taxes on corporate America. Biden obviously misspoke, as you can tell from the rest of the 'thought'. Even the numbers he gave don't make any sense. McCain actually intends to do just the opposite, however, he proposes cutting corporate taxes, of which we have the second highest in the World, after Japan, and which are all passed on to the consumers and are therefore just a tax on each of us who use the corporate American product or service. The high corporate tax merely hobbles the American corporations in competition with other nation's corporations, which do not have to collect the tax for the government from the populace.

If there was any genuine triumph in Biden's speech last night it was of rhetoric over substance, just as the top of the Democrat ticket generally accomplishes.

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Apology

I can't get my videotape to load up, or upload, or, whatever. I am much more comfortable with 19th century technology, but this is embarrassing. Sorry.

That failure put the damper on my trying other coverage of the riots, but there appears to have been very little to cover. Who knew that the '68 they were referring to in Recreate 68 was 1868? The anarchists here were like Squeaky Fromme from the Manson family (who couldn't get her Colt 1911 to fire at President Ford)--Dangerous but inept.

I knew those guys were candy ass the moment I saw them.

Perhaps they'll do better in St. Paul.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

 

This Day in the History of the British Slaughtering Numerically Superior French


On this day in 1346, between 9,000 and 16,000 British warriors beat the snot out of between 27,000 and 86,000 French knights and men at arms at the Battle of Crecy, south of Calais, France. The Brits used five primitive canon, shooting either arrows or grapeshot, to rout the Genoese crossbowmen and all the while the Brits well employed, en masse for the first time, a Welsh weapon, the yew longbow, with a 150 pound pull, to bring down the French fighters on horseback and trudging serially up the hill in the mud. The rest was a bloody mess, war hammer blows to the head, knives slid into the interstices of the armor at the neck and groin. Tough day to be French.

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Thought of the Day

Right after liberal Democrats, the most dangerous politicians are country club Republicans.

Thomas Sowell

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Monday, August 25, 2008

 

The Freedom Dead Zone

video

Here is a 360 degree pan in the Freedom of Speech Zone, one half mile from the Pepsi Center, and on the other side of a big tent so that no one at the speaker's podium, such as it is, can see anyone beyond the double fence, guarded by armed, but friendly, police officers. What a wonder no one is using this bastion of civil rights.

I do question how they sold this to a federal judge? Maybe the big white tent wasn't up yet.

Then there is video of the Suburban flying squad, Paul Begala, and the only actual protest I saw today, religious guys against abortion.

I hope I'm on a learning curve for camera work.

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DNC Monday Stills


I can see why the protesters are angry. I took a very long walk to the freedom of speech zone. Here are the images from along the way.


Here is a non Denver policeman in Denver directing the clueless delegates towards the Pepsi Center about a mile and a half away.

Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has plenty of time on his hands as he was not asked to speak at the Convention. Seemed like a nice enough guy.

Larimer Street, the old part--where the winos were during the Jack Kerouac period, is all decked out for the states' delegates. Good that they hung the U.S. flag properly.

I've see Obsession. I don't think Osama wants us to watch it.
The Code Pink ladies prepare to decamp from the Freedom of Speech zone and do their pointless protest of whatever it is they protest elsewhere. Nearly all that didn't walk used pink bicycles. Nice touch that. I took a photo (on their camera) of two Pinkies holding a banner about half a mile from this spot. I guess they were lost but at least could see the Pepsi Center from there. I have no memory of what the banner said.
Here at Speer and Arapahoe, just outside a check in gate to the Pepsi Center, there was a religious, anti-abortion rally with about 30 people. I spoke there with former Speaker of the Colorado House John Andrews who hosts Backbone radio on Sundays at 5:00 pm (KNUS--710 AM). He was friendly until I admitted that, although I'd seem him at Republican events, we hadn't actually met before. Then he was a little more formal. Perhaps he thought I was impertinent to use only his first name. He's giving fellow Colorado blogger (and candidate for the Colorado House--District 6) Joshua Sharf his credentials, so be sure to check out View from a Height over the next few days for a look inside fortress Pepsi Center.

Here we are in the promised land, the Free Speech Zone. This tourist was the only guy I saw use the microphone in the time I was there. He and his wife and friends couldn't believe that the place was so dead and empty.















Here is a satirical list of speakers near the microphone. Not bad.




This is why I love this country--not only will the Government not arrest you for saying the most hateful and horrible things about this country and its leaders, but they even will set up a live mike with a huge PA system behind it to allow you to say the hateful and horrible things very loudly.

Of course, as the final photo shows, you're about half a mile from the site of the convention (the long black thing above the white tent to the left is the roof of the Pepsi Center) and you can't see any delegates and they can't see you; so all is not Nirvana in the Freedom of Speech zone. I'm willing to bet that none of the looney lefties who spoke and rallied yesterday will use this oasis of rights, but where will they exercise their right of free association? Time will tell.

I think this is where the horrible concert venue, City View? City Lights?, whatever,was a few years back.

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This Day in the History of Americans Fighting for the Freedom of Others


On this day in 1944, Paris was liberated from over four years of Nazi occupation by allied forces, mainly the American Army.
De rien.

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Thought of the Day

Si pace frui volumus bellum gerendum est si bellum omittimus pace nunquam fruemur

Cicero

If we desire to enjoy peace, war must be waged; if we shrink from war, we shall never enjoy peace.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

 

Not the Whirlwind the Democrats Expected




Photos of a tornado over Parker, south and west of here about 25 miles or so. Hope no one was hurt.

Hender Adams took these and was kind enough to send them along.

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DNC Sunday Stills


Presidential candidate Cynthia Mckinney (Moonbat Party), wearing a kaffiyeh, before she addressed the 'crowd'.
Capitalism is alive even on the farthest left fringe; most of these booths were selling something only tangentially related to politics.


I don't know what has her panties in a wad about Free Trade, but, since I was too shy to ask her, I guess I'll never find out now.

And what is it with covering the lower part of your face? I think I could still pick the guy with the red kerchief over his nose and mouth out of a line up. The camouflage guy does it a little better.
Here is a policeman videoing the crowd from above, outside the Speaker of the Houses' office. I wonder if he got my bald spot?





The Wobblies were there. Just so you know. I thought they had disbanded. My mistake.

The 'Truthers' were there too and for really silly look at what's written on the guy's green t shirt. If you ask him about his vow of silence won't he have to break it to tell you what it's about. Maybe his friend in blue, busy texting, will answer for him. Very silly indeed.




Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, Iran and, of course, the whole of Occupied Native North America were not the only places that came in for criticism. China too.











This was more of a test than anything. The tiny anti-war and completely self delusional rally that was held this morning on the west steps of Colorado's capitol building here in Denver, was not the rousing barnstorm the Recreate 68 guys were hoping for. Talking about getting out of Iraq now seems about as relevant as protesting the liberation of the Philippines in WWII (although some one did mention that was wrong). I'd say about 500 people showed, including about 250 members of the press mixed in. I also took videos of Cindy Sheehan, Ron Kovic, Cynthia McKinney and Ward "I'm just a pretend Indian" Churchill speaking. But posting those snippets hit a snag. I have run into technical problems which can be solved in time. More later.

So far, except for mobbing the 'evil' Fox cameraman, et al., pretty dullsville. The guys I saw today are much too wussie actually to do anything violent. Looks like I wasted my money on the Israeli gasmask.

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This Day in the History of Successful Attacks on Our Capital


On this day in 1814, British troops under General Robert Ross captured Washington, D.C. They were too few to occupy the town, so they set fire to several buildings, including the Capitol and White House, in an effort to do as much damage as quickly as possible. Ross, an Irishman by birth, was shot and killed by a teenage sniper team (I kid you not) on September 12, 1814, in Maryland.


Burn our capital, and you pay the price.

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Thought of the Day

tam bonus gladiator rudem tam cito addcepisti

Cicero

Has so great a swordsman so quickly accepted a pointed stick? (i.e. retired)

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

 

This Day in the History of Evil Deceiving Evil


On this day in 1939, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany. Within 2 months, Hitler would take over Poland. Stalin, 90 days after Hitler's invasion of Poland, invaded Finland in the Winter War throughout which the Finns managed somehow to hold on. Hitler respected the pact for almost 21 months, until June 22, 1941. Stalin stayed out of Germany (for obvious reasons) for over 5 years, until October 23, 1944, when Soviet forces first entered East Prussia.

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Kinsley's Backhanded Compliment

In an interesting article, Michael Kinsley describes why the Republicans could pull off a win at the top of the ballot in November. They jujitsu the opponents strengths into weakness, says Kinsley. Perhaps we do.

Notice that Kinsley repeats two talking points that are not in fact true.


The [Republicans] conjured up the Swift boat campaign and managed to turn Kerry's military service into a negative. As is usually the case, the media helped.
They didn't intend to. But journalistic convention makes it hard for reporters to deal with a big, complicated lie.

The only proven lie regarding the Swiftboat veterans campaign against John Kerry is that, as Kerry finally admitted, he was not in Cambodia on Christmas Eve, even though on the Senate floor in 1986 he said the moment was seared, seared into his memory. The Democrats just claim the statements of the anti-Kerry veterans are untrue; they've never actually gotten around to showing they are untrue. That's like hard.


Most amazing among the principles of the Republican Way of War is: Don't waste much time and energy probing the enemy's weaknesses. Go directly to his biggest strength. Four years ago, it was easy to imagine any number of ways the GOP might go after John Kerry. You would not have guessed -- or at least I would not have guessed -- that they could successfully attack his service in Vietnam.
Especially when the Republican candidate, George W. Bush, not only had avoided Vietnam by joining the National Guard but had avoided much of the National Guard by skipping the meetings and then had grown up to start an unpopular war that even four years ago seemed to have been going on forever.


Where to start? Both Kerry and Bush joined the reserves during the Viet Nam War, not the regular Navy and Air Force, respectively. Kerry was called up, Bush wasn't. George Bush completed all the hours that were required of him. Both Kerry and Bush requested early discharge to work on campaigns for office and both were discharged from the reserve units they ended up in, although we don't know the full circumstances of Kerry's discharge as he has never released his full military record to the public, as he repeatedly promised. Bush didn't start a war, he ended, properly, Gulf War I.

It's just not that hard to get it right, Michael.

I do think that his point is well stated.

The Republicans just play the game of presidential politics so much better. They play it with genius, courage, creativity and utter ruthlessness.


Go team! Kinsley thinks you're great.

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The Whining Ticket


It's the Big O and Slow Joe

Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) has been anointed by the Chosen One to be his running mate for Vice President. That locks down the important swing state of Delaware and puts the combined fatuous egotism of the ticket into overload territory. The sad news is that the office of the VP is not worth any sort of bucket and it really does nothing of substance to the chances of the presidential candidate. Look at the 'help' Edwards and Lieberman gave to their running mates. I can barely remember a Democrat VP candidate before '92. Uh, Mondale, Shriver, uh...

Biden couldn't get arrested during his most recent run for the presidency, he never got a double digit piece of the voter pie and had no delegates for him when he quit the race last January. Edwards at least got 4 and 1/2 delegates. He only got 3% of the vote in his own state. 3%! I believe Biden also said a lot of unkind but generally true things about Obama. Obama certainly looks good, bright and clean and he is very articulate (while on teleprompter); off the cuff there are a lot of uhs. A lot of them.

This may be a pick of gaffetastic proportions, and let the data mining of past Biden misstatements begin, but we Republicans should hide our glee and be prepared for Vice President Biden. Just in case.

Has an all Senator ticket won since Kennedy/Johnson?

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Thought of the Day

Noscitur a sociis

Pegged by the guys you hang with.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

 

All One Needs is an Encompasing Frame of Reference

One of the divides between left and right is that the left generally wants higher and ever more progressive tax rates and the right generally doesn't. (Both sides of the political aisle appear equally to love to spend other people's money). However, the overwhelming majority of Americans don't want to pay more taxes (so the voluntary contributions to state tax are tiny). Accordingly, the government's making employed citizens pay more taxes on their wages and salaries is not at all very popular. So the left tries to hide the fact that it's raising tax rates. Regarding tax rates now, the left always says that they're for repealing the tax rate cuts under the Bush Administration. But that's just raising taxes put in different (and concealing) words. While it wasn't tax cuts for the rich; it was tax rate cuts for the tax payers, who really cares now what the tax rates were in 2000? In 1960, the highest rate was 91%. In 1913, the highest rate was 7%. Those nuggets from history have virtually no importance compared to what the rates are right now.

The justification, such as it is, for taking not just more but more at a higher rate from the most successful is "they can afford it." There is no moral justification for taxing the successful at a higher rate. A flat tax is fair; a graduated tax is socialistic income redistribution, unfair and wrong.

Here in Colorado, the Governor wants to raise taxes on the companies producing oil and gas in this state. The amount he is seeking is in excess of $300 million. But he and his supporters don't come out and say we want to tax the oil and gas companies more; they say that they're correcting an inprovidently too generous tax credit, regarding severance taxes, put in place some three decades ago. That's, at best, camouflage, and, at worst, just plain lying. Whatever should have been the 'proper tax' in the past, what is being sought right now is higher tax rates. A lot of the less sharp will support the proposed higher taxes with approving cries of 'Yeah, let's stick it to big oil. Those guys need to pay more. Enough is enough!"

The smart will know that corporations don't pay taxes, they collect taxes, from the people to whom they sell their products or services. Every business must cover all its expenses and costs of doing business or it will not be in business for long. A tax on a corporation is just such a cost of doing business. The increased tax will be passed on to the consumers in higher prices for oil and gas which means everyone who drives a car or heats the house with gas will pay the extra tax, not the corporation. The oil and gas supplier will continue to make the same profit (about 8 to 12% of sales); the price of the oil and gas will be slightly higher to cover the cost of the new tax. WE will suffer from the Governor's deceptive wording with less of our own money in our pockets.

I'm going to use the ballot proposal (Initiative #113) as an IQ test for the state. I have some faith in my fellow Coloradoans' ability to see this is not a suspension of past tax credits and therefore a 'correction' that cuts into the profits of the prosperous oil and gas companies, but a higher tax on each of us. I hope they can see it.

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Thought of the Day

sed quum res hominum tanta caligine volvi adspicerem laetosque diu florere nocentes vexarique pios rursus labefacta cadebat religio

Claudian

When I looked at the things of men, involved in such thick darkness--the bad exulting forever in their prosperity, the good suffering wrong--my spiritual feelings, reeling backwards, collapsed.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

 

Lame Plame Affair-- I Hope the Last Words

CBS's sclerotic Sunday program 60 Minutes used its crack reporter, hard hitting, while perky, Katie Couric, to misrepresent what really occurred about CIA desk jockey Valerie Plame a few years ago.

Here are a few of my problems:

Plame claims to have been covert when she was working at CIA headquarters in Langley, VA. So she's driving from her house to the CIA building, parking in their employee lot, and then driving back each work day. If that really qualifies as covert, we need to get a new definition of covert. She was covert only if her cover was 'openly working at the CIA.'

Plame says she believes she was 'outed' by the administration in retaliation for her husband's (lying) op-ed, but the original source to Bob Novak (pray for him) was anti-Iraq war, not part of the administration in spirit, noted gossip, deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage. How did the administration get him to leak the name to Novak? Jedi mind trick? (This question begged to be asked--it wasn't).

Plame calls this part of the 2002 State of the Union--The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa-- a lie. It is not a lie; it is literally true and the things lying Joseph Wilson discovered in Niger supported those words, which the British investigation into pre-war intelligence ruled were 'well founded' and which Christopher Hitchens has established as true to a moral certainty.

Plame says the fact that she repeatedly urged the CIA to send her husband to Niger, including a very forceful memo urging them to send Joe, was not nepotism. I guess we need a new definition of nepotism for her as well.

The final thing left out entirely was that the Court of Appeals recently affirmed the dismissal of her lawsuit against members of the administration. She has no case, well, except on left leaning, 'news magazine' programs where the hard questions are skipped and the lies of Wilson and the lies of Plame are repeated as fact.

I have one final question. Recently several hundred metric tons of yellow cake were removed from Iraq and taken to Canada. On the show, Plame was called "chief of operations for the CIA's joint task force Iraq ". Did she know about that uranium in Iraq?

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Good News From Afghanistan


As I suspected, regarding the recent uptick in casualties NATO forces (and we) are taking in Afghanistan, the bulk of the increase is from a change in tactics, a change to a losing tactic. The rest is because it's too hot for al Qaeda types in Iraq and they have fled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to try their luck there. Or so says Stephen Brown at FrontPageMagazine online.

Money quotes:

Such highly publicized attacks on NATO troops [like the attack on French paratroopers] are part of the enemy’s strategy to undermine public support for the war in Europe.
[...]

But the truth is that despite the media-savvy Taliban’s endeavors to impress the world with reports of successful operations, it is losing ground. For all intents and purposes, the Afghan war is what experts term a “low-intensity conflict.”
[...]

A military news site further reports that “gun battles with the Taliban are down fifty per cent this year.” Another hopeful sign is that fewer civilians, and more Taliban and al-Qaeda, are being killed.
[...]

Credit for this achievement goes to Afghanistan’s steadily improving 70,000-man army – it was an Afghan unit that surrounded and killed some of the suicide bombers at Camp Salerno – as well as to the nearly 60,000 American-led NATO troops. Facing well-trained, professional soldiers, backed by smart bombs and air superiority, the Taliban has had difficulty finding new recruits despite offering generous pay. Ignoring Taliban propaganda, many Afghans seem to realize that guerrilla tactics are not going to win this war.

As a result, the Taliban has been forced to rely more on suicide bombers and roadside bombs. However, these brutal tactics have caused the deaths of countless civilians, and in the end could turn the population against the Taliban, much as al-Qaeda’s massacres in Iraq ultimately inspired a nationwide backlash against the terrorist organization. To take one example among many, last February a suicide bomber aiming for Canadian troops in a crowded market place in the southern city of Kandahar wounded four soldiers but killed forty Afghan civilians. It may be just a matter of time before Afghans rise up against the Taliban’s indiscriminate carnage.


Sounds right to me.

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This Day in the History of Changes in Government


On this day in 1192, Minamoto Yoritomo founded the Japanese Shogunate, which would rule Japan until 1868 and the Meiji Restoration.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

 

Good News About al Qaeda

Here is an article that indicates all is not well with a group dedicated to the re-establishment of the Caliphate through war with the West. Indeed, the author says al Qaeda is losing the Jihadi war. Sounds right to me. Money quote:


Until 2006, hardcore European jihadists would have traveled to Iraq. But the numbers doing so now have dwindled to almost zero, according to several European counterterrorism officials. That's because al-Qaeda's affiliate in Iraq has committed something tantamount to suicide.


It is never a good thing to bomb your fellow religionists, no matter what spin you later put on it.

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Liberal Denial Playbook

Here's how the left reacts when people say harsh but true things about Democratic leadership:

1) Too horrible and shocking; it can’t possibly be true;
2) It’s not true;
3) You can’t prove it’s true;
4) Why are you trying to prove it’s true?
5) It’s disgusting that you’ve proved it’s true; and,
6) What’s the big deal anyway? ...

(h/t Paul L. at Kingdom of Idiots)

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Dangerous Ignorance

The cornerstone of a democratic society is a well educated populace. When the populace is wholly misinformed about things, other things go poorly. Here is an important article about just how misinformed the Brits are about current and historical facts regarding America. The first line mentions crime statistics, but I can find no mention of it in the rest of the article. (It's here) I'm sure most British citizens are indeed ignorant of the hugely rising crime rate in all categories but murder there while we have been undergoing a continuing decline (with fits and starts) for the past few decades. I'm struck by the congruence of lefty talking points and the mistaken beliefs of the Brits. You don't think the BBC had anything to do with the dissemination of all this invidious propaganda against the United States? Here is what the bulk of Brits believed followed by the the reality:

70% believe the US reduced CO2 less than the EU did since 2000--The US reduced it more.

80% believe the US sold Saddam at least 25% of his weapons--The real figure is .46%.

Most believe that, since WWII, the US has backed non Muslims over Muslims in conflicts between them--We've supported the Muslims in 11 out of 12 conflicts.

Most believe polygamy is legal--All 50 states ban even bigamy.

Many believe the United States executes more criminals than China--China has more than ten times the executions.

A third believe that a British citizen is more safe from assault than an American citizen--The Brit is more than twice as likely to be assaulted than an American.

Nearly half believe that a white applicant to college will be accepted over a black applicant with the same qualifications--The opposite is true.

It is little wonder the Brits look down on their former colonial cousins.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

 

Thought of the Day

saevit amor ferri et scelerata insania belli

Vergil

Love rages in iron and the insane wickedness of war.

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This Day in the History of Tactical Misteps for Political Ends


On this day in 1942, the German Sixth Army under General Paulus, which was already across the Don river, was ordered to capture Stalingrad. They nearly did; at least 90% of the city was in German hands when things went badly on the flanks. It probably would have been better to push on to the Caucuses as the German mechanized forces were constantly facing fuel shortages. The Germans never reached Soviet oil fields there, because they had to come back and try and rescue the Sixth. It all ended in tears early the next year in Stalingrad, then the real suffering for the captured Germans started.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

 

Thought of the Day

fallit enim vitiam specie virtutis et umbra cum sit triste habitu vultuque et veste severum

Juvenal

Vice can deceive under the shape and shadow of virtue when it puts on a sad face and severe dress.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

 

Obama's Banking Committee

"...which is my committee..."? What a liar! He's not the chairman of the Banking Committee. He's not even on the Banking Committee. This sort of gaffe/lie would be like death to a Republican running for office. Care to bet if the liberal madia will cover this (or supply Obama with cover)?


 

This Day in the History of Pointless but Famous Battles


On this day in 778, Christian Basques beat up a small part of Charlemagne's Frankish army at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in the Pyrenees. The rear guard of the retreat was slaughtered, but the bulk of the Christian Franks made it back to France to prepare for the bottling up of Muslims in Spain for 700 years, until they were kicked out of Spain entirely, at least for a while. The battle is famous for its loose inspiration for the Song of Roland, which is actually pretty good.

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Olympic Coverage


I finally broke down and watched some Olympic coverage and it was far worse than I could have imagined. All I saw in several hours was exhaustive coverage of some little gnome girls vaulting and twirling and the rest of the time was swimming. There are few sports less exciting to watch than swimming. Here is a partial list of the cool sports which go on in the Olympics and which apparently have not been covered at all:

Archery

Skeet

Pistol competition

Judo

Tae Kwan Do

Fencing

Even Badminton on the Olympic level is better than watching swimmers for hours prepare for preliminary heats.

They could show the hits, throws, blows of the day for each of them, rather than show several hours of little gnome girls taping up and then sitting around waiting for their turn. Just a suggestion.

I won't be watching any more.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

 

This Day in the History of Insane Fighting Spirit


On this day in 1945, members of the Japanese Imperial Guards failed in a coup against the Emperor, which they initiated because they wanted to fight on. We had slaughtered the Japanese after the Battle of Coral Sea in May, 1942, destroyed from the air all their major cities (except Kyoto) and, co-incidentally, had just obliterated the last oil refinery in Japan, the last target actually worth bombing. We had sunk all their ships, destroyed most of their aircraft and had nuked two cities and replacement bombs were set to be delivered in mid and late August. The Russians had entered the war and were wading through the remnants of the once proud Imperial Army. And these guys wanted to depose the Divine Emperor so as not to surrender.
Apparently cooler heads prevailed. That's the Emperor recording the surrender speech.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

 

WWII Joke

Here's a story my much missed cousin Dick Cross, who flew Jugs over Italy, told me once:

A radio announcer was interviewing a new American ace from the European theater during WWII and he asked, "What was the most difficult dog fight you were involved in?"

The pilot started to reply, "Well, I once got jumped by a flight of German fighters, and one Fokker went to the left and the other Fokker..."

The radio announcer, not wanting any misunderstandings, interrupted the pilot and told the radio audience, "Ladies and Gentlemen a Fokker is a type of German airplane."

The pilot grinned and said, "Yeah, but these Fokkers were flying Messerschmitts."

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This Day in the History of Evil Being Destroyed


On this day in 1521, Hernando Cortes captured Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) after a three month siege. He stopped the institutional cannibalism, which many members of his conquistadors had been victims of, and generally was a force for good in the New World, in contradiction to the anti-historical pap being force fed our children these days--that the peaceful, kite flying Indians were raped and murdered by the evil Spaniards. It is still difficult to believe ten dozen Spaniards could bring down an Empire with a million citizens and a dedicated warrior class, but the evil of the Aztecs was a big Karma driver (local native warriors seeking to end Aztec rule may have numbered 150,000) and disease, specifically smallpox, was Cortes' greatest ally.

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Diversity Thought of the Day

quot capita tot sententiae suus cuique mos est

Terrence (attributed)

So many heads, so many minds, each has his own way.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

 

Pre-Zionist Thought of the Day

immortale odium et nunquam sanabile vulnus

Juvenal

A deadly hatred and a wound that can never heal...

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The Potemkin Alliance

That's what Victor Davis Hanson calls NATO because, as the fighting in Afghanistan these past 10 months has clearly revealed, only the English speaking members of the mutual defense treaty organization show any willingness actually to close with, and shoot weapons at, the bad guys; and of them, only the Americans have a large enough military to threaten either Russia or China (but certainly not both) with serious damage if not outright defeat in a non-nuclear war.

This would be a very good time to implement the Fraley Doctrine. If you effete, sapped by socialism, non combat types in Europe get invaded again by a bad guy, we're not coming to save your sorry asses. Talk them out of it, or appeal to the UN for peacekeeping forces. That should work.

There might be new exceptions to the Fraley Doctrine for Eastern European nations which have a Republican form of government and a military expenditure of 1/2 of ours per capita. Tough cookies for the former members of the soviet union, however, you'll always be a little bit the bitch of the bear.

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This Day in the History of American Military Successes


On this day in 1972, the last American combat ground troops left Vietnam. I wonder whether, even if I had volunteered on my 18th birthday in June, 1971, I could have actually made it to Viet Nam as a soldier. Anyway, we left it in pretty decent shape--the VC were combat ineffective since Tet, and the NVA operating in the South, who were good, were kept in adequate check by our air force and by the ARVN, who were OK on defense as long as there was air cover.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

 

Learning to be Bad

The horrible Gang of 10 deal was so bad that it makes one wonder how normally intelligent Republicans could be so blind and stupid. But there was another maverick in their party who was willing to work across the aisle to get things important only to the Democrats done. The pure thinking Reagan Conservatives from 8 months ago, seeking the presidency, are all nearly forgotten losers now. McCain is our candidate. Is the message from that success lost on the other Republican Senators? I am at a loss for another explanation

If the party doesn't at least bad mouth such behavior, and for our feisty Senator, rewards just such behavior with the nomination, the party will be 'rewarded' by even more bad behavior.

Just so in the wider world. Hitler was able to become totally corrupt (and competent in action) because no one opposed him; the French and the British, powers who actually could have taken him on early, let him do what he wanted. When America's government finally took action, in 1941, against Japan's half decade of aggression against China, by cutting off their oil, the Japanese reacted, not by stopping, but by sneak attacking us in order to knock us out of the war so they could take the oil producing regions of the Dutch East Indies. It all ended in tears for them, but the early message they got was go ahead, we can't/won't stop you.

The Soviet Russian invasion of Georgia has that familiar odor, a familiar theme, like Roger in Lord of the Flies realizing he can hurt people without repercussion. Putin has watched savage lap dog NATO fail to let Georgia join, has watched us actually reward North Korea for developing a nuke, watched us flutter about like chickens about Iran developing a nuke, without doing anything. China has watched us fail to sell Taiwan modern weapons.

The Bush administration, on top of the inevitable lame duckness, has been stunned to inaction in part by media and popular vitriol for the proper and finally successful end of Gulf War I. Condi Rice, our Russian expert Secretary of State, is now in complete eclipse, reduced to removing state department personnel from Tbilisi. Israel is wholly paralyzed by wholly inept leadership. All of Europe couldn't field a competent army if they had the will, and they certainly don't have the will. Weakness breeds boldness (and badness) in others. Few lessons of history are so clear. I see the expansion of the former Soviets, expansion by the Chinese, dead civilians, all ending in tears.

And that's when I'm being optimistic.

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This Day in the History of Terrible American Leadership

On this day in 1964, the U.S. Congress approved a major 'War on Poverty' bill called the Economic Opportunity Act. The U.S. government has spent $7.4 trillion on anti-poverty programs since the bill passed. Yet the poverty rate is 12.7 percent, just 2.4 percent lower than in the year the 'war' began. Which means about $3 trillion was spent for each point dropped. Wow, that was money well spent. Had they just handed out money, it would have been far, far cheaper.

Every so called war on a concept or product, 'poverty' 'drugs' and even 'terror' is a very bad idea.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

 

This Day in the History of British Replacements


On this day in 1942, General Bernard Montgomery assumed command of the British Eighth Army, in North Africa. The 8th, with lots of support from New Zealand and South African forces, had stopped the Afrikakorps at the First Battle of el Alamain just two weeks before. Churchill had hand picked William Gott to take over the 8th Army and Sir Harold Alexander to be CinC of the area; and had offered another position, regarding Persia, to the old leader of the 8th, Claude Auchinleck (who refused it). Gott, however, was killed in an attack on his air transport by a German fighter. Monte was next in line. Not, in my book, a great general, he did give the Nazis their first major defeat a few months later, after the minor Battle of Alam Halfa, at the Second Battle of el Alamain.

That's the general in a silly black hat in the turret of the terrible Grant tank. See the screws holding things together? Other parts were riveted together. When a shell hit the tank or even close to it, the ends of the screws and rivets ricocheted around the interior of the tank like deadly metal bees. We quickly replaced these with the slightly better, all welded Shermans, which were outclassed by the less numerous Panzers 5 and 6 for the remainder of the war.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

 

Russian Tanks Near Tskhinval

Russia comes to the aid of the Sudeten-Russians in Georgia.

Few people outside Georgia knew the capital of the breakaway province of South Ossetia. I still can't say it. Look at the reactive armor on the T-8072s in Georgia. Tiny squares. We don't really use reactive armor as we, along with the developers of it, the Brits, have the near magic Chobham. The Israelis use it a lot but it's in big squares or other parallelograms.

I was for Georgia just because it was the underdog here, but now that I know that Georgia’s pro-Western President, Mikheil Saakashvili , wants into NATO, and has 1000 troops helping us in Iraq, I'm with them for more than just anti-Soviet sentiment (and I believe the actions of Russia here are Soviet-like). So let me be the first to say it: Save Georgia!

UPDATE: I think now I misidentified the tanks. Sorry.

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Free Tibet


I saw a very weathered Free Tibet sticker on a very old Volvo wagon the other day and had to laugh, a bitter, ironic laugh to be sure. Mark Steyn has nailed the 'Free Tibet bumper sticker versus the free Iraq reality' divide between left and right. The left talks about freeing Tibet from ChiCom authoritarian rule for decades but never does anything about it, except talk. There never were any 'Free Iraq from Dictator Saddam Hussein' bumper stickers, we just went in under a Republican administration and did it.

Loyal reader and friend T constantly writes that it is a fools' mission, that the Iraqis are perhaps genetically (or trapped by history into being) incapable of self rule. I reject that, but it is ultimately not that important whether the Iraqis can keep the Republic we helped give them, the importance is that through the sacrifice of many, and 4100 gave the ultimate sacrifice, we freed, again, strangers from a brutal dictatorship (and gave them a lot of money with which to rebuild their country).

Others on the left, call the war lost no matter what the situation on the ground there is. Many, indeed the majority of Americans unfamiliar with the reality in Iraq (the media representation was very bad indeed), think the war was not worth it. I guess the 'pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty' Democrats are indeed extinct.

There is valid criticism in the conduct of the war--hunkering down in bases when there were only a few roads on which to travel seems in retrospect to have invited the queen of the Iraqi insurgent battlefield, the IED. However, these tactical mistakes, such as they are, pale in comparison to the failure of tactics in Brooklyn, in Canada, along the York/James peninsula, at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, at Belleau Wood, along the whole of Italy and at Peleliu. In all those wars, the ultimate outcome was success despite the mistakes.

In short, I'm a Republican in part because the left has not successfully finished a war since Truman dropped atomic weapons on Japan about this time of year in 1945, and there is absolutely no reason to believe the Democrats of today will successfully fight the war being waged against us by Muslim extremists. I'm a Republican because we generally get things done while the left engages in a multi-decade, ineffectual campaign of harsh language. Just as they are now embarked in Darfur.

I'm proud of what my country under George Bush did in Iraq, and any reasonable analyst would think the same.

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This Day in the History of America Nuking our Enemies


The bodies of Japanese civilians create a carpet of the dead.
On this day in 1945, the United States expended the last of its nuclear arsenal over Nagasaki, which city was chosen because the primary target, Kokura, was obscured by cloud. The ordinance used, a hollow plutonium sphere crushed to critical mass by chemical explosive implosion, ('Fat Man') became the general model for the 50,000 or so more nuclear weapons we built thereafter. The bomb was dropped from the B-29 Bockscar. At least 45,000 men, women and children were instantly killed in the blast, far less than Hiroshima because, even though the bomb was more powerful, the hilly topography of the city shielded some sections. Nagasaki had been the center of Christian (Roman Catholic) activity in Japan for nearly four centuries. The war effectively ended the next day when the Emperor voted with the majority of his ministers to surrender to the Allies.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

 

The Dam Breaks

Edwards has admitted the affair, and admitted lying about it to everyone, but he has denied the little baby girl of Ms. Hunter is his. This seems weird to me. The damaging thing is that he cheated on his wife, dying from cancer. That's about as low as you can go without actually committing a crime. Who cares if the kid is his or not?

It certainly does not explain why he visited both Ms. Hunter and the kid in the hotel in July, if she's not his and he was there for more sex (always the default motive for nearly any man). Nor does the lack of parentage explain the over $114,000 expenditure by his campaign to Ms. Hunter for very little in the way of blog videos. Hush money? Is that legal?

Another Democratic sex scandal with real sex.

You know, the confession, such as it is, doesn't make me dislike Edwards any more. You can't actually get below what I thought of the man.

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Full Moon



Of course, the Sun is behind it so that the upper solar atmosphere streams out beautifully. Also the Earth was 'full' too so that earth-shine lit up the surface of the moon and it's not just a black circle in front of the Sun.

As my old friend Jim Barnes once pointed out, one thing that causes you to believe in the Divine is the fact that the giant Sun and the relatively tiny Moon appear to be the same size to us here on Earth. Hmmmm?

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Russia Invades Georgia


The former Soviet Republic Georgia, that is. It seems Georgia is trying to retake a break-away province and for reasons that don't seem all that logical to me, Russia objects and has sent a column of tanks, and jets. Georgia is going after the Russians. Hmmm?

The weapon in the photo is a Georgian self propelled anti aircraft weapon. Doesn't the operator of the ZU-23 (2A13) twin 23mm cannon look a little exposed to you?

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