Sunday, November 30, 2008


This Day in the History of Injudicious Uses of the Foreign Policy Bluff

On this day in 1950, President Truman declared the United States would use the atom bomb to get peace in Korea. So he was thinking about doing the right thing, but he didn't use them and the UN forces lost nearly 40,000; the Chinese lost perhaps as many as 400,000 and both North and South Koreans suffered, mainly the North Koreans over the past 58 years. If you say you're going to take Vienna, take Vienna. It appears that my criticism of Truman is 180 degrees from most peoples' criticism of Truman. I fault him for not using the bomb.



Thought of the Day

...the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger might have offered some brief hope to role back the state's decline, but after a failed attempt to reform the system, he's wimped out and become as much of a girlie man as the politicians he once derided.

Betsy Newmark


Saturday, November 29, 2008


Sunspot Maximum Versus Now

Here is how the sun looked 8 years ago.

Below is how it looks now, and has looked for a very long time.

Excuse me, I have to go put on a sweater.



Thought of the Day

So Bush is history, and we have a new president who promises to heal the planet, and yet the jihadists don't seem to have got the Obama message that there are no enemies, just friends we haven't yet held talks without preconditions with.

Mark Steyn



This Day in the History of Liberations from Communism

On this day in 1989, the Czechoslovakian people ended the Communist party's 40-year monopoly on power with the 'Velvet Revolution', a largely non violent overthrow of dark overlords. Just over three years later, the Czechs amicably divorced from the Slovaks and now we have the free Czech Republic and the free Slovak Republic. Let's hope the Moravians and Bohemians can continue to get along, otherwise we'll have to learn even more nations' names.


Friday, November 28, 2008


This Day in the History of Karma Finally Getting Around to Justice

On this day in 1994, Jeffrey Dahmer, serial killer of 17 (specifically a homosexual strangler and cannibal) was beaten to death (with another inmate) in a Wisconsin prison by a fellow inmate, Christopher Scarver, a lifer who could not be further punished, as Wisconsin has no death penalty (despite popular support for the punishment). BIH



Wising Up

Going green to reduce CO2 emissions has already lost the je nais se quoi that makes things cool. There are, no doubt, a lot of true-believer, save the planet types and old hippies and the Birkenstock biddies still supporting the cause, but it's just not cool anymore. Indeed, it's not even that popular.

I put this down to not being able to fool all the people all the time and the growing awareness that CO2 levels above 350 ppmv does not invariably lead to higher temperatures; it doesn't do squat, in fact. Oh, and to the fact that all the climate models predictions are not panning out (when compared to reliable satellite measurement) and, finally, to the fact that it's getting colder rather than warmer this past decade while CO2 levels have continued to go up.

If we can just get the gullible politicians to wise up, we'll get past that Charybdis of proposed bad legislation (cap and trade) before everyone realizes just how full of it the anthropogenic global warming hysterics were and we stop worrying about this non problem. Keep your fingers crossed. Reducing CO2 emissions won't effect the climate one way or the other, that's pretty much out of our hands, but it will destroy a vibrant growing economy in our near future, one that provides all the creature comforts we demand. The gullible politicians are well capable of effecting that.


Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thought of the Day

Few challenges facing America and the world are less urgent than combating the non-problem of "global warming".

The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley



This Day in the History of Two Cultures Failing to Co-exist Peacefully

On this day in 1817, U.S. soldiers attacked a Florida Indian village, beginning the Seminole Wars, which lasted hot and cold for 41 years. There were three hot parts, the second of which lasted 7 years. Part of the problem for the Seminoles was that they had been accepting runaway slaves into the tribe for decades and faced 'theft' charges if they surrendered. So they fought on, sometimes very well, until overwhelmed, defeated and many were removed from Florida.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008


More About Tarawa

Jules Crittenden does a longer post on Tawara, regarding discovery of a 'lost' Marine graveyard there. He uses the same photo I did at the start of my post, but he has a lot more. Tawara was one of the few places during WWII where a combat photographer took some film of enemy troops moving about in the open (at about minute 8:40). If you've seen Full Metal Jacket (based on The Short-Timers, the best and most savage book on Viet Nam I've read) it will look very familiar to you (the bird is the word). In the first photo I use today, you can see another problem with the Marine assault on the atolls. Those are M-2s .50 Browning machine guns at the front corners of the amtrak (LTV-1). So why am I calling them a problem? There's no metal shield for the gunners. The guys manning them were picked off quickly as they slowly churned onto the beach. The Marines solved the problem later and almost all the LTVs on Iwo Jima had near complete shields for the BMGs, almost turrets.



20 Year Old Science

Serious criticism of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) scare, which was first mentioned by Hansen, et al in 1988, comes from Canadian Professor of Geophysics Norm Kalmanovitch. Highlights:

The sole support for AGW is the climate models, and the sole support for the climate models with respect to CO2 is the forcing parameter. There is no actual physical rational for the forcing parameter, because it was simply contrived from the assumption that observed warming of 0.6 C was due entirely to a 100 ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. There was never any verification of this parameter either by theory or observation. There is no justification for this parameter based on the physical properties of CO2...

There is only a single vibration mode of CO2 that resonates within the thermal spectrum radiated by the Earth (and Mars). This bend vibration resonates with a band of energy centred on a wavelength of 14.77 microns (wavenumber 677 cm-1) and the width of this band is quite narrow as depicted on the spectra from Earth and Mars.

It only takes a minute amount of CO2 to fully “capture” the energy at the resonant wavelength, and additional CO2 progressively captures energy that is further and further from the peak wavelength. At the 280 ppmv CO2 preindustrial level used as reference in the forcing parameter, about 95% of the energy bandwidth that could possibly be captured by CO2 has already been captured. There is only 5% of this limited energy available within the confines of this potential “capture” band left to be captured. The greenhouse effect from CO2 is generally stated as 3 C, so an additional 100 ppmv above the 280 ppmv level is only capable of generating a maximum 5% increase or 0.15 C. Furthermore if this 0.15 C increase has used up the full 5% of the remaining possible energy as the concentration reached 380 ppmv, there is zero warming possible from further increases in CO2.

Unless all these points can adequately be addressed, the climate models based on this forcing parameter must be declared invalid, and all work based on these models as a reference for global warming mitigation must also be declared invalid.

QED, believers.

Has any scientist supporting AGW addressed these issues? Anyone at all?

(h/t ICECAP)



Short TV Post

I now get the military channel on my TV and life has rarely seemed so good. Some of the shows have problems, usually with the geekiness/assholiness of the hosts/show members. The Top Ten show is outstanding and I can rarely fault its judgment. However, they followed that one up with a new show called Greatest Ever and the first one was about tanks. Many of the ones chosen probably should have been on the marginal to worst tanks ever list (the Sherman, the Sheridan, the T-72 , the Swedish S tank, are you freakin' kidding me? ) and the M1 Abrams was #2 to West Germany's Leopard tank at #1. The Leopard's a great tank but it couldn't take on an Abrams and survive. I don't think a platoon of Leopards could take on an Abrams and survive. What are they smoking over there? Can't wait for the show on airplanes.

The Shield ended, very sadly, with a loose end not tied up (very untypical) and with former Det. Mackey in bureaucratic hell over at ICE. Devastating for those who watched the whole series. Just devastating.



Absolutely Badass

30 Marines were ambushed by 250 Taliban types in Shewan, Afghanistan, this past week. Results: At least 50 Taliban types killed versus no serious injuries to our badass Marines. One sniper went 20 for 20. Don't tread on me, indeed.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Valkyrie Trailer [2008]

Claus von Stauffenberg (played here by Tom Cruise) failed to blow up Hitler, at least twice. I'm not sure that makes for such a heroic premise. Would this have been better in German (assuming Cruise could actually speak German)? That's a tough call. I'm pretty sure the movie sucks, but I'm going anyway. Even a flawed, Hollywood representation of history is sometimes worth watching.


This Day in the History of Finally Giving Up the Ghost

On this day in 1783, the last British troops, nearly 6,000 of them, evacuated New York City two and a half months after David Hartley, for King George III, signed the Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War, the last battle of which, our miraculous defeat of Cornwallis at Yorktown, in Virginia, was over two years prior.



Thought of the Day

...since Kyoto was ratified:

Emissions worldwide increased 18.0%

Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1%

Emissions from non-signers increased 10.0%

Emissions from the U.S. increased 6.6%.

Kimberly Kindy and Dan Keating


Monday, November 24, 2008


This Day in the History of Groups of People Being Worthy of Contempt

On this day in 1947, a group of writers, producers and directors--Alvah Besse, Herbert Biberman Lester Cole, Edward Dmytryk, Ring Lardner, Jr., John H. Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott, and Dalton Trumbo--who later became known collectively as the 'Hollywood Ten', were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about the extent of Communist influences in the movie industry. The main reason they didn't answer HUAC's questions is that the were Communists and their truthful answers would have gotten them in some trouble, although less trouble than the year in prison and subsequent blacklisting most received. Several worked again in the film industry, notably Ring Lardner, Jr. who wrote the screenplay for MASH and Dalton Trumbo who wrote the screenplay for Spartacus, among others, but several had their careers ended by the HUAC investigation. It wasn't a crime to be a member of the Communist Party, some people just wanted to know. These guys didn't want us to know.



Thought of the Day

Called my mom from a payphone
I said "I'm down to my last."
She said "I sent you to college...
now go call your dad."
And the waitress that he married,
well she hung up the phone.
You know she never did like me,
but I can stand on my own.

Cracker from Eurotrash Girl


Sunday, November 23, 2008


This Day in the History of Victories in Unnecessary, Poorly Planned Assaults

On this day in 1943, U.S. Marines seized control of Tarawa and Makin atolls from the Japanese. It had been a rough three day battle for the Marines who had killed all but 17 of the islands' Japanese defenders, once numbering 4,600, but it had cost the Marines 3,000 casualties because the Higgens boats were sent at low tide and ran aground on the reef 500 yards from the beach. Very few Marines were able to get out of the boats, not drown and walk neck deep to shore under withering Japanese fire. The second wave only got about half of it contingent ashore and the Marines held at the end of the first day a very narrow strip of sand about 100 yards long. The Japanese held out for two more days, causing horrendous casualties to the last and then waged a Banzai wave attack which was barely held off by the surviving Marines. This group of islands could have easily been bypassed thus making the costly lesson completely unnecessary. Worse, the validity of the lessons learned only lasted a year or so until the Japanese changed tactics and allowed the invading forces to land unopposed but then slaughtered them inland. A monumental waste for which few heads rolled.


Saturday, November 22, 2008


This Day in the History of Lefties Shooting at Our President

On this day in 1963, Communist defector and loser Lee Harvey Oswald, despondent that his Russian wife Marina had refused his offer the night before to live with him again, took three shots at President Kennedy's motorcade as it passed slowly down the road at Dealey Plaza. Oswald was on the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository and was using an Italian rifle, a Carcano (sometimes called a Mannlicher Carcano) in 6.5 x 52mm, which he had purchased through the mail for $21.45 (ah, the good old days). It had a Ordnance Optics 4 x 18 telescopic sight. At the first shot, Kennedy was less than 200 feet away. Most shooters from height tend to overshoot and you have to lead a moving target, that is, aim ahead of it, but the distance was ideal and a target moving slowly away from you is very easy to deal with.

Oswald may have hurried and jerked his first shot and it completely missed the vehicle and hit the curb and slightly wounded someone in the crowd. A tree might have interfered with that shot. Oswald put the second round into Kennedy's high back and the bullet exited at his throat and then proceeded to wound Governor John Connolly sitting in the open car ahead of him. The bullet, 160 grains, round nosed, full metal jacket, only slightly flattened, actually fell from Connolly's thigh and was recovered from a gurney in the hospital later. Oswald again worked the bolt quickly and his last shot took out the right side of President Kennedy's head, killing him instantly. Here and here and here are film of the motorcade; the first two show the aftermath of the first shot through the head shot. Jackie Kennedy is seen picking up pieces of her husband's skull from the top of the trunk. People do strange things under stress. A huge industry has arisen to claim that Kennedy was not killed by a Communist loner, but by a weird, vast and so far undetected criminal, Cuban, CIA or right wing conspiracy. This is hooey. One guy, a lefty, as usual, Marine trained, with a scoped rifle at under a hundred yards did it. More and more people are slowly coming around to that fact.



Thought of the Day

δόξει τις ἀμαθεῖ σοφὰ λέγων οὐκ εὖ φρονεῖν.

Euripides (in the Bacchae)

Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.


Friday, November 21, 2008


Thought of the Day

On soft gray mornings widows cry
The wise men share a joke;
I run to grasp divining signs
To satisfy the hoax.
The yellow jester does not play
But gentle pulls the strings
And smiles as the puppets dance
In the court of the crimson king.

Peter Sinfield



This Day in the History of Appeasement Chickens Coming Home to Roost

On this day in 1938, Nazi forces occupied western Czechoslovakia, the so-called Sudetenland, from which base, within 6 months, they would expand to take over all of Czechoslovakia, and within two years, most of Europe. It's rarely a good idea to appease a tyrant.
Do those raised arms look like proper Sieg Heil salutes to you?


Thursday, November 20, 2008


This Day in the History of Near Complete But False Victories

On this day in 1950, U.S. Marines followed Republic of Korea troops and pushed to the Yalu River, within five miles of Manchuria. The utter defeat of the guys who started the war in June, the Communist North Koreans, was already accomplished and had we prevented China from entering the war with the strategic use of nuclear weapons against Chinese troop concentrations, North Korea would have remained free (as free as South Korea) and the rest of the world would have noticed that we carried a very big stick indeed. How that perception would have changed subsequent military history in Southeast Asia is unknowable. Would the Russians have started a nuclear war with us over our keeping Chinese forces out of North Korea? That's the question which stopped President Truman from going 'all in' and allowed for unimaginable North Korean suffering for half a century or more. The Soviets and the Chicoms were never tight. In fact, Russia waged a lukewarm border war with China in 1969. I'm not saying we wouldn't have gotten our hair mussed, but I do believe the Soviets would have ultimately had only harsh language in response to our nuking Chinese divisions in Manchuria and North Korea.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This Day in the History of Turnings of the Tide

On this day in 1942, Soviet forces initiated Operation Uranus and took the offensive at the Battle of Stalingrad. They attacked the largely non-German troops on the flanks (Romanian, Italian and Croatian) and within a few weeks trapped the German 6th Army in the city. German forces had been surrounded by Soviet forces in late Autumn earlier in the war and had survived the Winter, supplied by air, until Spring came and a break-out was successfully mounted. It was not to be for the ill-fated 6th. Of the quarter million Germans who went into Stalingrad in Summer 1942, perhaps 10,000 returned to Germany many years after the war ended.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


This Day in the History of Generals Finally Seeing the Bleeding Obvious

On this day in 1916, General Douglas Haig finally called off the first Battle of the Somme in Picardy, France after five months of futile battle which included the first use of tanks. The Allied gain of just 125 square miles claimed 420,000 British and 195,000 French casualties. German losses were over 450,000. That's 1.065 million or about one per 400 square feet of the land won. What a monumental waste.

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Thought of the Day

You used to think that it was so easy
You used to say that it was so easy
But you're tryin'
You're tryin' now
Another year and then you'll be happy
Just one more year and then you'll be happy
But you're cryin'
You're cryin' now

Gerry Rafferty in Baker Street



Measuring the Measurers

There are four major global temperature measurers and here is a sample from this decade of their products all on the same graph. NASA GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) is run by climate change hystericist, and Al Gore's go to guy, Dr. James Hansen. It is in blue and it is nearly always the highest. Despite it being run by and connected to NASA, it doesn't use satellite data but relies on ground stations and other things measuring from the ground up. Much more on that below. The Hadley outfit, usually called HadCRU3, also eschewes satellite information and is generally second highest. Then the two satellite outfits, Remote Sensing Services (RSS, in red) and the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH, in purple) are the lowest but pretty congruent. They both use microwave telemetry which is why their acronyms are followed with MSU on the graph (the M stands for microwave).

As you can see, all four have a general congruence with the main differences a matter of amplitude, how hot or cold the highs and lows of the graph get; but certainly a consensus trend can be detected even if the absolute data points are different. And that trend for all is down for the period shown. However, at the right side of the graph, after a steep dive of all four in 2007, the ground based two go up a lot while the satellite based two go down a lot. Who's right? [Hint: it's not the ground based].

The unraveling of the GISS scientific fraud started on Monday last when their scientists announced that October 2008 was the hottest on record. What? This past month there were a lot of record colds and early snowfalls around the planet; the Arctic sea ice recovered at the fastest rate ever measured. How could it be the hottest October ever? Anthropogenic global warming deniers Anthony Watt and Steve McIntyre were on the case. Earlier McIntyre had helped demolish the fraudulent Mann "hocky stick" temperature graph the formula for which, he discovered, produced the same results no matter what numbers were fed into it. In a similar vein, both men had found mistakes in GISS and had made Dr. Hansen admit, grudgingly, that despite his claims that the 1990s was the warmest decade ever, it was actually the 1930s, but just barely. That's a blow to a scientist's credibility. Watt has an animated chart of a GISS temperature history rewrite. GISS can't be right now--the current temperature does not change what the temperature was in the past. More to come.

First, GISS spokesmen stood firm. Then it was revealed that rather than use purely October temperature readings, GISS had merely repeated September numbers. Oops, a hit, a palpable hit. Then the worst. GISS spokesman said that because the GISS haa limited resources, it cannot vouch for the accuracy of the data it receives from foreign sources, so don't blame us, you nitpickers.

Wait, it is the duty of a scientific outfit to verify the data it uses in its published analysis. This is a central requirement of any scientific endeavor, but especially important when the analysis is being relied upon by the leaders of nations around the world to form policy--like taxing CO2 production.

Watt was interested in what effect paint, versus whitewash, on the wooden, louvered boxes, had on the measurement of temperature within. He visited some weather station sites to see and discovered most stations do not follow the established siting protocols and thus the increase in temperature they have recorded is largely just a measurement of heat island effect. Many are unreliable for other reasons. Don't get me wrong, if because of concrete and steel and glass, it's 5 degrees hotter downtown than it is in a farmer's field 30 miles away, at both places there are valid temperature readings. But if the urban area is just 5% of the state, then having 50% of the weather stations in urban sites (merely for convenience) will skew the records to hotter than it really is. That's what appears to be going on, basically, with the ground based measurers.

It's actually worse for GISS, and like Fredo to Michael, GISS is dead to me and is not to be taken seriously and will remain so until the employees there openly and publicly clean up their act and become rigorous scientists, rather than cheerleaders/high priests for the new religion of the church of anthropogenic global warming. My prediction is that it will never happen. The first thing that would have to happen is that Hansen would need to be fired.

Here is the reason, I believe, GISS pushes to report higher temperatures than really exist, 20 years ago, in front of the US Congress, Hansen predicted it would get a lot hotter. His team is trying to make their boss appear precient and wise.

Here's how the prediction is actually panning out--not so good.


Monday, November 17, 2008


This Day in the History of Russians Who Couldn't Be More Wrong

On this day in 1956, USSR Premier Nikita Khrushchev said of the West, and particularly of the USA, at the end of a long speech he gave at the Polish Embassy in Moscow, that "We will bury you." Some people think this was a threat to murder us; no, just a boast to outlast us. And since the USSR ended in moral and political bankruptcy nearly 20 years ago, it seems like Nikita got the event right but the parties wrong. I had always thought the quote came from a speech in the United Nations in the '60s, when Khrushchev pounded his shoe on the podium. I was wrong.
Here's the less than prescient Commie with the former Commie leader of Cuba.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


Scenes From a Previous Struggle

Rough day on the USS Franklin, CV13, which burns from the result of a successful Japanese Aichi B7A "Grace" dive bomber attack on it while the ship was just 50 miles off the coast of Japan. None of our Essex class carriers were sunk, but it was a close run thing for the Franklin which was taken out of the fight for the rest of the war by this one plane strike.

Although some of the damage control efforts were truly heroic, the subsequent actions of Captain Gehres was not as laudable. He accused many sailors of desertion, even the ones blown into the sea by the explosions. His baseless charges were quietly dropped before the war ended.



This Day in the History of Naive American Presidents Acting All Butch

On this day in 1961, having failed in Vienna, Cuba and Berlin, President Kennedy raised the anti-Communist ante in Viet Nam when he decided to increase military aid to Saigon. He would continue to increase military aid to South Viet Nam throughout his administration and his VP, and successor, Lyndon Johnson did the same, declaring 'all in' by 1968 with over half a million troops in an extremely hot spot in the Cold War. How John Kerry, and his ilk, could even think of the Viet Nam War after 1969 as Nixon's war is evidence of a serious cognitive disconnect. Nixon ended the war quite successfully and brought all the combat troops home, having turned over the ground fighting against the NVA to the ARVN. The photo is of the bones of massacred victims of the Communist liberation of Hue in 1968.


Saturday, November 15, 2008


Thought of the Day

As the scientific evidence continues to accumulate, it becomes increasingly clear that "global warming" hysteria is based on a combination of bad science and fraud.

John Hinderaker



Report on Architectural Details From Prague and Bern

Here's a fairly lame photo array from my recent jaunt to the old country. I certainly ate well over there, but the beds are a symptom of socialist self-loathing, or something like that. I've slept on more comfortable hardwoods. Here we go.

Here are a series of downspout gargoyles on the side of the big cathedral of St. Vitus. Scary freakin' downspouts.

I guess this is a dragon, but it might be another mythical beast.

A lobster beast. Good detail on the under appendages.

A more realistic leopard.

Boar with recent repair extant.

A different church in Prague, this one to St. Nicholas.

The St. Vitus cathedral which has the downspout details.

I have a feeling I've seen this mouse before. Perhaps in a cartoon. Somewhere.

Blue wolf, but out of focus. Sorry.

Obviously the model for this detail had to sleep on a Czech bed.

This a portion of the church of Saints Cyril and Methodius where the killers of Reinhard Heydrich, and several others, made their last stand. Three were killed by the Germans (who had used torture, always effective, to find out where the patriots were) and four killed themselves. This seems to be 8mm damage around a window on the front of the church, probably from a MG 34. The Germans lost fourteen in the assault, with many more wounded, so the Czechs gave a good account of themselves. It is possible that the assassination of Heydrich caused an intensity in his chief of staff Adolf Eichmann regarding the Endloesing, the Holocaust, which Heydrich might not have had (although he was clearly a cold blooded, murdering, Jew hater). We'll never know.

These houses probably looked better on paper. The photo does not accurately convey the odd sense of ugliness they have in reality.

You don't often see a figure here in America eating children. Proof of the subtle superiority of European nations.

Modern bridge, but lovely in its own way.

Bern, since it's the German word for bear, is full of statues of them. Some are nice but not this one.

Nor the one in armor ready for a fight.
We saw a lot of citizen soldiers in their good camo with folding stock, full auto SIG 551s slung over their backs. Pretty macho for an always neutral non world power.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Snapshots of the Election

6:12 pm Liddy Dole goes down hard in Note Carolina. I'm not crying. She was not very good as(that's Republican code for 'really sucked as') chair for the Senate re-election committee in 2006 and she had lost a step or two on the Sunday talking head shows.

There have been no surprises to this time. Nothing really horrible. Yet.

7:40 pm OK now it's really horrible. McCain lost Ohio and therefore the election. Oh well, a few cards short of the inside straight. Looks like no worse than an eight seat loss in the senate. Well, now I can do the drinking part.

Non serviam, Obama, non serviam.

UPDATE: I've decided not to drink (never my strong suit) but to do some thinking, instead. In the Thumper school of comments, let me say that I think Obama is very bright. He seems like a very nice guy. I have no reason to doubt that he is a good father and husband. He has run a shrewd campaign that outhustled, outthought and outperformed first the Clintonistas and then the candidate of the Republicans. I in no way think that he is evil, but...

His grasp of history is not strong, and worse, a lot of what he thinks is right is wrong. His idea about wealth spreading is anathama to wealth creation. He, or rather his party, with his blessing, will fritter away the hard work of millions for no real gain to anyone, just as he and Ayers frittered away the Annenberg challenge millions in the still dreadful Chicago public schools. He will pick horrible judges. He will triple the national debt in 8 years. Secret ballots for unions will be history. He will indeed be tested by foreign leaders, who are evil but who correctly judge the hardness of his spine, and he will fail those tests just as certainly as Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton failed theirs. He will make our military weaker. He will pull out too early from Iraq, endangering the real victory we have achieved there, and he will flub the handoff in Afghanistan, which is difficult now and will be more difficult they way he'll chose to fight it, especially if Pakistan is estranged by our dear new leader. He will go back to treating the Islamic extremists waging war against us as mere criminals. Our enemies will gain strength and edge closer to attacking us again. Israel should prepare for a second holocaust with an Iranian nuclear strike on Tel Aviv in the next three years, to which we will respond with nothinig.

But other than that, things should be fine.

Congratulations, President-elect Obama.

God bless America (she's going to need it).

Oh, and the next person who calls America racist in my presence, I'm metaphorically slapping them silly. Just warning ya'.



Photos From the Front

This is a staged photo to celebrate good retention numbers in Afghanistan. Of interest to me, besides the amazing mushroom fireball, are the mine resistant vehicles to the left and right. If I'm not mistaken, they are Cougar Hs, with a V shaped bottom to vent the mine/IED explosive force to the side. They have a turret on the top for little machine guns up to the .50 M2 or the Mk 19 grenade launcher (these are un armed at this point). The South Africans pioneered these sort of trucks to fight in Namibia against irregular forces 20 years ago. Good to see we've played semi-effective catch up. The bigger mine resistant truck, the Buffalo, has suffered a few deaths inside with IEDs but they might have been shaped charge penetrators from Iran.
Still a funny photo.



Non Serviam

Really good, smart people, like Andrew McCarthy at NRO, and my fiance, are saying that if Obama is elected then he will be their president and they will support his office (but not most of his policies). Screw that. If the election is a Reagan or Johnson like landslide, I'm starting the Non Serviam wing of the Republican Party. The phrase, which means 'I will not serve', has a good pedigree--it's what Lucifer told God before God sent him to the Hell in Earth. In fact, the phrase/name is about as far as I've gotten. I'll be working on what we'll be standing for, what we'll refuse to do. I know it will be non-violent and won't involve any malum in se crimes, but I need more time.

If it's a close election and McCain loses by a length or less, perhaps it won't be necessary. Certainly the Republicans will have to lose the 'compassionate' sub title. Back to low taxes, low spending, less government, less debt, pro business, pro defense, free trade libertarians. Yeah, that's the ticket. More later.



The Reason Things are Funny is Because They are Fundamentally True

Take this Obama faux poster. He has all the makings of a smiley face fascist and I hope none of them come real.

UPDATE: This is based on a 1933 Nazi poster about the movie SA Mann Brand, which I recognize, so the Godwin rule has been semi-violated. There is a definite Soviet whiff to this as well.



The Double Ring Galaxies of Arp 147

One has bright blue massive stars and the other older red ones. The universe is not only more wonderful than we imagine but it is more wonderful than we can imagine. This is a Hubble photo showing the result of a collision of galaxies. The stars rarely actually hit each other but, in the blue one a tidal force from the passage through in the interstellar dust and gas creates an outgrowing circle of new stars. What's going on in the red one is beyond my understanding.



Voting in 2008

As opposed to the two hour ordeal voting in the District 3 police sub-station in 2006, the new polling place, a big Baptist church, was a 10 minute non ordeal an hour after they opened for voting. I don't know what the lack of lines means. Certainly a lot of people have already voted here in Colorado and probably in a lot of other states as well. I was told originally that I had already voted by mail but I hadn't and they proceeded to fill out a provisional ballot until the poll worker said that there were two of me at that address and I really didn't look like I was born in 1923.

So I got to do the regular ballot, which was long, but I had a cheat sheet for the twenty propositions etc., so it went pretty quickly. I liked the paper ballots. Canada only uses paper ballots and they can count them in a few hours. I know we have ten times the people here in the states but we can have ten times the counters as well. Alia jacta est. We should know the roll by 10:00 tonight local. Then I can probably start championing the non serviam Republicans for the next 8 to 12 years.



Thought of the Day

Me, I’m going to vote my conscience and drink heavily. What’s your plan?

Stephen "Vodkapundit" Green on his plans for this election day


Monday, November 03, 2008


This Day in the History of the Births of Nearly Forgotten Poets

On this day in 39 A.D., Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, know to us as Lucan, was born in Corduba, Spain. He died a forced suicide at age 26 in Rome. He is included in the Roman silver age of poetry and, although more popular than Virgil during the middle ages, is almost not read now at all. Perhaps his best work is a long 'history' of Gaius Julius Caesar's improbable victory at Pharsalus, called, not surprisingly, the Pharsalia, which contains a lot of the plot elements from the first season of Rome.
The wood cut is from the 15th century when Lucan was at his height of popularity in Europe.


Sunday, November 02, 2008


This Day in the History of Historic Upsets

On this day in 1948, Harry S Truman defeated Thomas Dewey to the surprise of pollsters and newspapers, in perhaps the greatest presidential upset in U.S. history. Would that we could repeat that in two days, but I fear the odds are about 13 to 1 against. Possible, but not bloody likely. Looks like Chicago papers were writing stories before the event back then too.


Saturday, November 01, 2008


Manning the Republican 96 Hour Election Push

I did a three hour stint at McCain/Palin Victory Headquarters deep in the suburbs. I sat next to the only non-white in the room of about 50 people. We were calling away with a pitch and more commonly a message if the answering robot responded. I had a few really rich people on my list who had real humans (but not family) answering the phones for them. Who knows how they are going to vote. I also was tasked with calling the coach of the Broncos, Mike Shanahan; I left a message on his wife's machine. He seems like a McCain man to me, but it's hard some times to tell.

Sarah Palin called on speaker phone for the 'troops' as she traveled from town to town in Florida to buck us up. That was nice. I was sufficiently bucked.

I had to clamp the phone tight to my ear to hear and after a while it hurt, my ear, that is. So I was glad to get out of there to do the other errands I had on my list. Most of the people I actually talked to were McCain supporters, or so they said. It remains an outside possibility that McCain can win. It's like drawing to an inside straight, however. Only one card of 13 can help. Still, the polls have been wrong before, especially here in Colorado.



Report on American War Dead in Afghanistan and Iraq

The news is finally pretty good. A total of 31 American servicemen died in Iraq and Afghanistan last month, split almost equally between those two countries, according to Department of Defense news releases. 17 died in Afghanistan and 14 died in Iraq, less than during the Summer months. Here are the further breakdowns.

In Iraq, only two servicemen died from IEDs. That's very low. Either we have made a breakthrough in IED detection or we really have won in Iraq, in that the enemy has abandoned its former primary weapon. Very good news, at least for me. Three were killed by small arms and none in combat operations. That doesn't indicate much toe to toe combat. Seven died from non combat or non hostile cause. Two died from indirect fire.

In Afghanistan, seven were killed by IEDs (that's down from last month) and four were killed in combat operations. Two were killed by small arms, two died from non combat causes. one in a vehicle accident and one from indirect fire.

This adds up to one a day which is less than what it cost us during the occupation of Germany in the first year after the war ended, which figure I use as baseline for any occupation after a successful invasion/liberation.

There was one woman killed: Stacy Dryden, 22 of North Canton, OH. She died of a non combat cause.

The officers lost were: 1st Lt. Trevor J. Yurista, 32, from Pleasant Valley, NY (combat operations in Afghanistan); Col. Michael Stahlman, 45, Chevy Chase, MD (non combat cause in Iraq); and, Maj. Robert D. Lindenau, 39, Camano Island, WA (small arms in Afghanistan).

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all our brave warriors and their families.

UPDATE: The count is now 33 according to some late DoD news releases. One died of small arms fire in Afghanistan and another died of a non combat cause in Iraq.



This Day in the Long History of Leftists Trying to Kill Our President

On this day in 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists (and socialists), Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo, attempted to assassinate President Harry S Truman at Blair House, Washington, DC (where the Trumans were living during a three-year renovation of the White House). A mortally wounded White House policeman, Leslie W. Coffelt, (left) who had been hit with three 9mm bullets in his center mass, killed Torresola with a head shot from thirty feet and thereby foiled the plot, which could well have been successful otherwise. The surviving assassin, Collazo had his death sentence commuted by Truman and was pardoned, pardoned! by Jimmy Carter. Worst president ever. Testosterone fiction king Stephen Hunter has a good book on the subject, American Gunfight which he co-authored with John Bainbridge.

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