Archive for the 'History' Category

“XMas” Origins

Jon Henke posts an interesting history lesson concerning the origins of the well-known abbreviation for Christmas:
Growing up, I sometimes heard - in church and from various religious scolds - that XMas was a secular attempt to “take Christ out of Christmas”, rather than, say, an attempt to save valuable space on signs.
Jon then links to […]

Blast From The Fashion Past

The linked post is a couple of months old, but the thoughts are yours to treasure for a lifetime.
Remembering the ’70’s:
Last weekend I put an exhaust fan in the ceiling for my wife’s grandfather. After a bunch of hours spent in The Hottest Attic In The Universe, he had a ceiling fan that […]

Happy Repeal Day!

For information on Repeal Day you can visit
The turn of the twentieth century was a dark time in America. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which had been promoting Prohibition for many years, believed alcohol was the cause of many, if not all, social ills. Mistruths like this were spread. Lines were drawn. Bars […]

Ron Paul on Racism

I don’t think Ron Paul is a racist, or rather I don’t claim to have any evidence he is, and that is enough to hold from suggesting he is. However, his view of racism and its history is rather bizarre and, dare I say it, wholly focused on “right wing” critiques of racial thinking in […]

The Key To US-French Relations

Newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy just completed a diplomacy visit with President Bush to much critical acclaim. As part of his playing host, Bush escorted Sarkozy to Mt. Vernon, the estate of Pres. George Washington, which is located about 20 minutes south of D.C., right at the end of the GW Parkway. […]

Powerful Imagery

Michael Yon captures a moment on film that in a world with a meritocratic media would surely garner a Pulitzer:

A Muslim man had invited the American soldiers from “Chosen” Company 2-12 Infantry to the church, where I videotaped as Muslims and Christians worked and rejoiced at the reopening of St John’s, an occasion all […]

Shift Happens

Sometimes information like this makes me sit back and think “whoa” (sounding to much like neo in the matrix.) Not only is this a small world (which we often forget,) but it is becoming an exponentially complex and interconnected one.

glumbert - Shift Happens
The Singularity is Near.
Heck, I read sci-fi, and try to keep up […]


It is a sad commentary upon the state of the world that anniversary of a bloodthirsty tyrant’s death is celebrated around the world, and here in the United States, not with glee that his anti-freedom rampage was cut short, but with mourn for the loss.
“I halt in my daily combat to bow my head, with […]

News Brief, À Cause Des Garçons Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

Dear God. The USAF thinks it will win counterinsurgencies by copying the Viet Cong? These guys are almost as bad as the PMFs. In a must-read analysis, Abu Muqawama concludes, “This, America, is your uniformed military leadership. Be proud.” Oh I am.
“The reliable replacement warhead is a symptom.” […]

News Brief, Tales of Taboo Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

Finally, after years of occupying their country, we’ve liberated Iraq from the burden of living in fear for collaborating with us.
P.W. Singer (again) on the devil’s bargain of PMCs. I like how he wonders how a force can be cost effective when it’s more expensive and so detrimental to […]

Good News, Bad News and The Big Idea

This is good news (via Insty):
The U.S. military is eliminating Al Qaida’s chain of command in Iraq.
Officials said several leading aides to Al Qaida network chief Abu Ayoub Al Masri have been killed by the U.S.-led coalition. They said two out of the four foreign aides of Al Masri remain alive.
On Sept. 25, the U.S. […]

News Brief, Lover’s Spit Edition

Three kinds of busy over at The Conjecturer.
Good News
I was ambushed by the Anonymous Lobbyist of Wonkette fame, and asked a lot of questions about Central Asia for Jezebel, a sister publication in the Gawker blog family. The result? A creatively-edited and mildly schizophrenic interview about the issues surrounding the region. Neat!
Defense & The War

Yes, […]

Towards A New Peace

Glenn Reynolds points to some interesting remarks regarding a plan for US withdrawal from Iraq:
In a report to be released Sunday, a panel of experts assembled by the U.S. Institute of Peace calls for a 50 percent reduction in U.S. forces in Iraq within three years and a total withdrawal and handover of security to […]

Living History

Does the blogosphere make history more relevant? Is it possible that Santayana’s famous admonishment is made less likely by bloggers routinely wielding history as a foil to those arguments favoring actions proven desultory in the past? And that’s not to mention how blogs go about correcting historical inaccuracies trotted out by our betters. […]

Constitutional Matters at the New York Times

So, when you spend a great deal of time touting your authority based on the unique advantages of editors, the question must be asked, who reviews the views and claims of the editors? From the editorial board of the New York Times we get this rather startling new information on our Constitution:
It is an eminently […]

Just how close to economic fascism did we come?

We may have been closer than we think in 1935, though Nate Oman believes the threat would have receded in the light of political reality. Whatever the case, the discussion of the case of Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States is well worth reading in understanding legislatively what we came close to passing, […]

Capitalist Genes (Updated)

Is it possible that a proclivity for capitalism is genetic, and therefore hereditary? At first blush the idea seems preposterous. How can an idea be hereditary? And how can capitalism, which rewards innovation, risk-taking, and creativity, no matter who you are or where you come from be an inherited trait? Well […]

Niall Ferguson asks if the Marshall Plan Mattered

To sum it up he gives us this:
In all likelihood, then, Western Europe could have pulled through without the Marshall Plan. But it certainly could not have pulled through without the United States. At the time that Marshall made his speech in Harvard Yard, no one could be sure that all would turn out for […]

How High to set the Bar

Instapundit today revisits a theme I have touched on a few times over the last year. I have maintained a pretty standard reply to claims about the awfulness of this administration. When I hear about how incompetent, dangerous, uninterested in civil liberties, uncaring about how we treat our enemies or any number of what I […]

Stunningly morally and intellectually obtuse

Senator and former presidential flop John Kerry astounds us with his ability for self deception. From Don Surber I find this:
Breitbart TV has video of Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts telling a whopper on C-Span.
Sen. John Kerry said during a C-Span appearance that fears of a bloodbath after the US […]

Trust Us, We’re From the Govt - II

Yep, there were valid reasons for investigating the CIA in the 70’s. I think the direction the agency went after those investigations and the resulting oversight and laws put on them, was overly reliant on technology, and less on getting eyes, ears and brains on the ground where they could learn about what was […]

Once More Into The Abyss

Probably the most confounding thing about the majority of modern journalists is their unsupportable claim to objectivity. They hold themselves out as above the fray, elusively detached from the world around them except as impartial observers designated to convey the “facts.” Writers’ determination to be uninvolved with the subjects of their stories and to […]

The Trouble With Harry

Is it really any mystery? The Senate Majority Leader is nothing more than a partisan hack who is solely interested in keeping power firmly in the hands of the Democrats. (Supposedly for the wonderful perks.) He is the spearhead for no real legislative issues or causes to speak of, and does not seem […]

Honor and Sacrifice

Today is the 63rd anniversary of the D-Day landings.

I can’t image what it was like. I’m sure the opening scenes of “Saving Private Ryan” comes as close as any film can. I remember seeing WWII vets at the theater, some of them, like me, with tears in their eyes. The sacrifice to […]

Calling Their Bluff

One of the aspects of blogging and commenting on political topics that I find quite overwhelming sometimes is tackling the vast amounts of disinformation and false premises that form the basis of a good number of arguments. It gets tiring having to continuously find the links to the same real sources, or to once […]

A Tribute to Communism

Hat tip Club for Growth via The Liberty Papers:

Sphere: Related Content

John Edwards, the “Truther” is out there (re-edited)

Edit note: In writing this I seem to have lost some edits, which when I recreated the post I left off. First, I neglected to re-link to the Cheerful Iconoclasts nice post on Edwards and also left off some tempering language and a whole key paragraph was left off. I have put some of that […]

News Brief, Casimir Pulaski Day Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer.
The Pentagon

Ready for SkyNet? The MULE is. So is the Reaper.
“Full spectrum capabilities” and “Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR)”—however the hell they are defined this week—are how the Air Force is to win the GWOT, according to Lt. Gen. David Deptula at a breakfast seminar the other day. He says the F-22 […]

The Return of “Fairness” to the Media

Often I am told how certain people value tolerance. The most irritating are a certain species of left/liberal/progressive. If it doesn’t apply to you, please don’t be offended. This species claims it is tolerant based on certain beliefs they have. For example, they believe homosexuals deserve equal marriage rights or stem cell research should be […]

News Brief, Do The Whirlwind Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer. 
The Pentagon

DARPA wants American snipers to have fool proof sniper scopes that are accurate out to 2000 meters. It also wants to expand its Boomerang sniper-detection system from simple location (which is itself a big achievement) to preemption. That’s cool, and both promise to dramatically improve the 4GW battlespace.
The Air Force […]