Friday, November 30, 2012




Wednesday, November 21, 2012


What Is He Ashamed Of?

 A German POW hides his face from his captors' camera in 1945. He's in the Luftwaffe (from his collar tabs) and he wears a Hitler Youth proficiency badge (with the arrow up), a DRL sports medal, and what I believe is a Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper) campaign badge (eagle swooping down). He has a ribbon for the Iron Cross, Second Class through his top front button hole. I like his neck scarf, very debonaire.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012


First Look at Oliver Stone's New History Series

It's called "The Untold History of the United States" but that is a pretty complete misnomer. In the first episode he told me pretty much nothing I didn't already know. I'm willing to bet that most reasonably well educated people knew most if not all of what he said and showed in the 50 plus minutes of the show. But there are a lot of things he has chosen not to tell, and a lot he says that is only partially true or completely non-representative, that is, the anecdote he relates is the exception that tests the rule.

I have to admit I am completely at sea when he talks about an American Empire. We don't have one. You have to change the meaning of the word 'Empire' beyond all recognition to apply it to America.

He implies with his lionization of vice president, for a while, Henry Wallace, that Democrats in the 30s and 40s were the spearhead of civil rights for blacks. Nope. The Democrat party and its armed/terrorist wing, the Ku Klux Klan, were the oppressors of blacks though out America. It was now unknown Republican politicians who were then fighting the battle to overcome Jim Crow laws and bigotry.

One would never know from Stone's facile retelling of the armed struggles in the 30s and 40s, including WWII, where on the political continuum the belligerents stood. I have no problem with holding up the USSR for praise for its citizens' sacrifice and courage fighting about 80% of the war against the Nazis and winning the conflict with only a minor assist from the Allies. But that doesn't make the USSR a force for good. Far from it. The war in Europe was largely lefty against lefty, the national socialists against the international socialists. That's untold history from Mr. Stone and Peter Kuznik. Beam in the Commies' eyes ignored. Speck in Americans' eyes harped upon.

One cannot apply the left to right political continuum to Japanese politics in the 30s. Japan was then divided between the party that really wanted to create an Empire and the party that kinda didn't. They didn't much read or follow either Marx or Burke.

I could go on and on, but needless to say, there is so much to history that every retelling leaves things out. I just wanted to point out the irony of Stone retelling history he only thinks has been untold while not telling some very important details about his friends on the left and the extreme left.

Cum grano salis, if you want to stomach the lefty love-in of history.  

Pas D'Ennemi à Gauche, I always say.



Deutche Hyperinflation



Sun Pillar

This was a small sun pillar in a pretty good sunset as we waited in vain for elk. The next day, around noon, a group of about 20 hunters surrounded a dozen elk who happened onto the wrong place (public land) at the wrong time (daylight) and shot up the group of elk. Three survived, two with grievous wounds although they were small elk--yearlings really. My friend and I elected to put the animals down as a mercy even though, as I said, the wounded elk were young and small. We advanced on foot until we had a clear shot. The elk began to run (as well as they could) away from us. I went to kneeling position and my hunting buddy went to a knee too with his shooting sticks crossed to support the rifle. I shot offhand kneeling a Remington 7mm mag 150 grain soft point boat tail in my new $300 Savage bolt action rifle, and I believe the distance was around 215 yards. I hit the slowly moving young elk in the back about two inches from the center of the spine about a third of the way from the tail to the head, and the elk went immediately down and was dead when I reached it. It had been shot before (in the initial melee) in the right foreleg (which broke the bone) and left rear hind leg (which left the bone intact). We felt pretty good about our choices to stop suffering. The back shot ruined about 1/3 of one para spinal (back strap). Oh well. This meat should be the veal of elk and I have enough for some steaks and stews and I hope some homemade sausage.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012


A New Beginning

As opposed to the old beginnings we're so used to. The franchise went Disney with the freakin' Ewoks in the third film. The recent set of three prequels sucked from beginning to end. This new set of three sequels (always on George Lucas' mind) by Disney probably will be bad as well, but if Lucas is not writing it, all I see is up side.


Monday, November 12, 2012


So Far, So Good

(h/t Iowahawk)





Friday, November 09, 2012


Thought of the Day

His first thought [on seeing the rifle he was to use] was "Shit," because it was an M16. Well, an AR-15, as the civilian variant was called. As a man of the .30 caliber, he'd always despised the pipsqueak .223 of the classic AR platform with its tendency to bore tiny holes in people, keep going and kill the talented orphan-kid piano-prodigy while the bad guys didn't blink an eyelash and kept shooting.

Stephen Hunter in Night of Thunder

Good to see the great testosterone-fiction author Stephen Hunter has the same low opinion of our country's mainline battle rifle's ammunition as I do. Fortunately for the hero of the series, Bob Lee Swagger, his AR-15 is chambered for 6.8mm Remington SPC. Would that the responsible Pentagon geniuses would wake up and supply our nation's heroes with the same fighting chance against our up ammoed enemies.

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Thursday, November 08, 2012


Interaction on a Galactic Scale

The Tadpole Galaxy, about 420 Million light years away, is the result of a smaller galaxy passing close to this spiral and having its dust gas and stars flung around in a thin shepherds crook shaped tail. There are some truly massive blue stars all along this tail. You can still see the core of the intruder behind the disrupted spiral. The really cool thing about this photograph is that almost everything else in it is another galaxy. If it doesn't have quadrant point rays coming off it, it's probably a galaxy.

Just a little needed perspective for our troubled times.


Tuesday, November 06, 2012


Hitler and the Fau Vay

Hitler, on his 50th birthday in April, 1939, inspects one of the automotive developments of the Third Reich which would last, the Volkswagon, the people's car. We sometimes call it by its initials a Vee Double-U or Vee Dub for short. Because the Germans pronounce some letters of the alphabet differently, it's a Fau Vay to them. You can tell this is pre-war Nazi Germany as the SS men are in black and the party officials are in sandy brown. It is a popular idea that Hitler double-crossed the people Germany, many of whom had started to put money into government accounts to buy their Fau Vays. Hitler took the money but never delivered the cars as the production all switched after Poland was invaded to the German version of the jeep, the Kübelwagen, which looked exactly like the VW Thing, which were sold here in the late 70s for a couple of years. I have no idea if the story is true or not. I wouldn't put it past these fascists.


Sunday, November 04, 2012


Coming Ashore

US forces, probably Marines, wade ashore at New Britain in December, 1943, from the landing craft most likely LSTs, given the angle of the photo, that have had to stop short of the beach. Fortunately, there was little resistance from Imperial Japan.

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Thoughts on the Welfare State

Paul wrote in his first letter to the early church in Corinth that:

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 

As C.S. Lewis noted, the Greeks had several words for love: Eros, ἔρως, which, as you might suspect, involves erotic thoughts--sensual, sexual desire; Agape, ἀγάπη, which is difficult to define in a short sentence but here goes--an intentional desire to make things better in response to the dilute evil and general suffering of mankind; Philia, φιλία, which is the love we feel for our friends and family members; and, Storge, στοργή, which is the fondness we get for people, things or places from spending time with them or in them.

Agape is the word used in the gospels for God's love for us. It is either translated as love or as charity.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.—John 3:16
The word Greek word love in that scripture is agapao.

John 4:8 uses the same word.  ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν, God is love.

Agape is the word used in Jesus' description of the two new commandments in Matthew 22:37; and in the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:43-46; and, it is the word, translated as charity, used in I Corinthians 13:13, quoted above.

For me, charity is love for strangers, for people we have never and may never meet. It is an act of giving which enobles the givers without enabling the givees. It is one way for people to be the best that people can be.

Our American government has tried to replace charity with welfare payments of varying sorts, collected from the medium to highly successful and given to the losers and less prosperous. Our current form of welfare is in no way charity. It does not involve love at any level. It does not enoble the tax-payers (as they are forced by law, ultimately by people with guns, to pay). Force and charity cannot coexist in the same act. Just so, erotic love and force cannot really exist in the same act; we call that rape, not love.

And this false, forced charity has a bad effect on the receivers, the moral hazard of removing love from the act of giving to and caring for our fellow humans and replacing it with force, with law divested of real charity. The receivers are not at all grateful and their self-hatred and self-destruction, which helped cause them to be less successful in the first place, only grows worse. And when there is little to no pain resulting from bad behavior, then there is little to no reason to cease behaving badly.

The Republicans stand for love, for real charity; the Democrats stand for force, for government compelling a destructive transfer of earned wealth and property. I could never be a Democrat and I can't understand how the Democrats think that welfare systems they have created are in any way helpful to the downtrodden.


Thursday, November 01, 2012


We Are Yet But Young In Deed


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