Sunday, July 20, 2014

As long as the water flows and the grass grows …

… or something.

“The Oglala Sioux and Lakota Sioux of the reservation have been told by the Federal Government that the National Parks Service will be taking land that comprises the South Unit of the Badlands National Park as a new ‘Tribal National Park’, only the wording in the bill clearly indicates that it will be a federally managed national park under the Department of Interior, giving mere lip service to its tribal title. The Congressional bill has already been written, and if passed through Congress, both tribal members and non tribal members will be stripped of their deeded land – at a price set by the federal government. If owners do not accept Washington’s offer (expected to be a meager one), the land can be acquired at no cost because the measure has waived all appraisal rights and stipulates that Washington can simply take Indian land by force under ‘eminent domain’.

"Thousands of tribe members will be affected by the land-grab. Some residents will be forced to relocate, and many more others will lose their income from grazing allotments on the land – a result which will ultimately force any remaining independent cattle ranchers out of business. In addition to all this, Tribal members will lose their share income from entrance fees collected at the adjacent North Gate fees of the Badlands National Park – a punitive measure which will further compound the existing economic depression on a reservation where the average annual income is around $8,000 per year.”

Link at, News of the Week; and PJ Media.

‘The Big Mystery Behind The Great Train Robbery May Finally Been Solved’

I didn’t know there was a big mystery. Maybe that was the big mystery -- Nobody knew?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

OMG! How could they do this?

Nannies missing from employer Facebook pictures!!

“Those imperfect metrics of resonance, ‘likes’ and comments, suggested I hit a nerve, as people I hadn’t heard from in years chimed in with responses ranging from upbeat (‘I’ve never thought about this!,’ wrote a mom friend of mine. ‘I’m going to take a picture of my daughter and her nanny and share today!’) to frustrated (a former nanny described herself as ‘always behind the camera’ or ‘holding the bags’ yet too intimidated to ask her employer to snap a photo with her charges), to indifferent (photos of my nanny, one friend wrote, is ‘something my friends just wouldn’t be interested in seeing’).

At fark.

Here is an answer: The rich are different from you and me.

Call me what you wish, but odds are these idiots are not longtime native English

Four men with machetes crash into man’s car, pull him out, attack him and then “ran down the road laughing.”

One man was arrested, but his name is not in the story.

At fark.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Legal protections mean ‘not enough men are being convicted of rape’

So, we’ll take away presumption of innocence.

“New Zealand's two major political parties, concerned that not enough men are being convicted of rape, are considering changes to centuries-old legal protections enjoyed by criminal defendants. The Labour Party wants to remove the assumption of innocence, shifting the burden of proof to the defendant in rape cases. Meanwhile, the National Party wants to allow judges and jurors to view a defendant's refusal to testify or provide evidence in a negative light.”

At and

Viva la revolution?

“The French Revolution felt the impact of the American revolution, but misunderstood its message.

“In the face of a colonial oppressor the American founding fathers raised a flag reading ‘Don’t Tread on Me’; in the face of a thousand years of feudalism the French Revolution raised the guillotine. The Americans threw off their colonial ruler and proclaimed a constitutional republic; the French threw off the miasma of feudalism, and replaced it with the dead weight of dictatorship. The American inspiration was John Locke; the French was Rousseau. The American Revolution threw up Washington and Jefferson; the French threw up Robespierre and St Just.”

It’s Bastille Day!

(OK, so I'm a few days late.)

‘Give me a better grade – I deserve it’

OK. Older generation vs. the young’ens. Happened since Adam and Eve started over with their kids. (The first two didn’t work out at all.) A previous generation always worked harder and had to learn more than the present gaggle of students/workers/soldiers/whatever.

At maggiesfarm.

In my first year of graduate school I got a B in a course in which I did A work and an A in a course I did B work. I did not complain about the B, nor did I give back the A for an earned B. When a teaching assistant I mentioned to my wife about an early 40s student, raising two kids, going to nursing school, and how the woman had earned her 50 average. I said I really wanted to give her a 70. My wife said, “Would you want a nursing school teacher to add 20 points?” End of discussion.

Why government is a problem

Australian writer Bill Bryson: “If I were contracted by the Commonwealth of Australia to advise on Aboriginal issues all I could write would be: 'Do More. Try Harder. Start now.'”

Suzuki Samurai replies: “This is the all-too-often default position for good people isn't it? Whatever has been done, has either done nothing or made things worse. But the situation is so shit, that any caring person would want something to be done. So if something ain't working – do it harder. If the money isn't fixing it – spend more. If government inference isn't changing anything – they should interfere even more in perhaps another way, or the same way, or both ... who knows? Something must be done – this looks like something – so just for f’s sake do it!!”

At maggiesfarm.

N. Korea protects West's reputation

“No North Korean people have access to the internet because the government is concerned that people would see things that would make them feel unfairly critical toward the West, and the government would like to protect the West’s reputation by preventing the people from going on the internet.”

“Yup. That is the story I was told when I asked our North Korean guide why no one can go on the internet.”

At maggiesfarm.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wierd Al is my hero

Word Crimes.

Diagram, diagram, diagram!!

‘Preacher Says He Was Beaten By Mourners’

The Fragmentary South

By Paul Greenberg
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Years ago, a decade ago, an old friend emailed me a classic Southern news story. It went down straight. Neat. Like a shot of Early Times. The story came out of the Mobile Press-Register down in Alabama back when it was still a daily.

That newspaper has since been reduced to a fragment of its old self, and now puts out a print edition only three days a week. The oldest paper in that state, the Press Register or one of its predecessors had been publishing daily since the early 1800s. The same thing happened to Louisiana's fabled Times-Picayune in New Orleans. But here was an article worthy of the old days. Or as my friend summed it up, "Now this is a news story.''

It was. The headline was simple, straight-faced, and it made you want to read on: Preacher Says He Was Beaten By Mourners.

Below the hed was a story by Staff Reporter Gary McElroy, a man who had enough sense to know that, when you've got a great story, you don't embellish it. That would be to ruin it. Like putting whipped cream on Southern-fried chicken.

Mr. McElroy just knew a good story when he heard it--and how to write it up. His article began: "A . . . street preacher who screamed at a funeral that the deceased was burning in hell said Tuesday he was beaten by mourners for telling the truth.''

The rest of the story had just about every element of the Gothic South:

Violence, of course.

Disappointed heirs involved in a dispute over, of course, land.

And, perhaps most Southern of all, theology--and not your nice, lukewarm, diluted mainstream variety, either. But your old-fashioned, holy-roller, speakin'-in-tongues, damnation-and-hellfire brand of religion, topped off by a fistfight. (What, no snake-handlin'?)

I had to wonder: Was this a news item or a short story by Flannery O'Connor? I laughed. I cried. I sighed. And then I was moved to repent my wasted life. I may have spent it in the geographical South but, wrapped up in the cocoon of what Walker Percy called everydayness, could I still see it? Gary McElroy could--if this story of his was any example.

The name of the preacher in the news story was Orlando Bethel. Of course. That's almost as good as Hazel Motes, the central character in Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood. Old Hazel, big as life and twice as scary, commits his provocation right off--in the very first chapter. That's when he tells/dares the lady sitting across from him on the train--a Mrs. Wally Bee Hitchcock--"I reckon you think you been redeemed." You know what comes next. Or you would if there was still a South somewhere, the old-time South full of old-time religion, which means full of old-time sin. Even today some Southerners may still be able to see, denounce, and be obsessed by it.

Brother Bethel down in Mobile admitted he was just supposed to sing at the funeral of his relative--an uncle of his wife's who he claimed had cheated her out of her inheritance. But then "the Holy Ghost told me to really speak the truth--I said this man was no longer with us because he is in Hell, that they needed to repent of their sins, there was a lesbian scheduled to sing, and there were fornicators . . . .'' And who knows what other outrages the Rev. Orlando Bethel had spotted at the funeral--or imagined.

It wasn't clear which of Brother Bethel's various observations about the deceased, or about the congregants, inspired several of the brethren to take him to the back of the church later and put the hiatus on his fiery sermon. Forcibly. Nor can I vouch for how seriously he was pummeled in the process. Reports differed. But I do know that you don't read many news stories like this one any more. Why is that? Is it part of the rampant Americanization of the South? Have we all grown as respectable as New Englanders? Or just forgotten how to tell a good story in these latitudes, once the epicenter of the American narrative tradition?

I doubt it. I bet the South is still out there, and that it holds just as many stories as it ever did. My theory is that we in the press--excuse me, it's now The Media--can no longer see those stories, hear them, feel them, know them. We've been to college. We have degrees in journalism. We know what an inverted pyramid is when it comes to writing a lede for a story. We know every which way to say something, it's just that we may no longer have anything to say.

In short, we've come down with a chronic case of the respectables. We've been so busy trying to be Tom Friedman, God help us, that we've forgotten how to see and feel and therefore write like Flannery O'Connor. We've had our native vision educated clean out of us, and I fear we won't be saved without being born again.

Miss Mary Flannery O'Connor was accused of writing grotesque stories, an accusation she gloried in, for she knew that depicting the grotesque, as in a Diane Arbus photograph, may say the most about the human condition, that it rips off our masks and reveals our fallen state. And that we can be saved only by grace--His and maybe our own to one another. That's why she wrote about Hazel Motes of the not so fictive Church of Christ Without Christ.

"Whenever I'm asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks,'' she famously observed, "I say it is because we are still able to recognize one."

Can we any more? It's been more than twice 20 years now since Flannery O'Connor told a college audience in Georgia, "I hate to think that in 20 years Southern writers too may be writing about men in gray-flannel suits and may have lost their ability to see that these gentlemen are even greater freaks than what we are writing about now."

Sure enough, now we write about the latest fraudsters in big business, or the current crop of politicos, their ups and downs and sideways, as if that were what really counted in this world and maybe the next--the ultimate reality. As if all these people in button-down collars and pin-striped suits, and their now just as respectable female counterparts, weren't the real freaks. For not recognizing themselves as such.

Gary McElroy is retired now, but I'm happy to report that once upon a time somebody in Mobile, Alabama, still knew a good story when he heard one, and just how to tell it. Straight. Neat. In one swig that clears out the soul.

Rolling Stone’s ‘5 Most Dangerous Guns in America’

1. Pistols
2. Revolvers
3. Rifles
4. Shotguns
5. Derringers

Link from maggiesfarm and nationalreview.

SgtBob's 'Most dangerous automobiles.'

1. Sedans
2. Pickups
3. Sports cars
4. 18-wheelers
5. Something else

And 'Most dangerous airplanes.'

1. Biplanes
2. Monoplanes
3. Helicopters
4. Jets
5. Propeller-driven

Monday, July 14, 2014

Everybody knows it’s the HobbleGobble AIC with BR549 Module

“Would the NGJ include Gallium Nitride modules from the start or IOC with GaA modules and later switch to GaN like the Gator?” – Comment to ‘The $10B Next Generation Jammer Is “On Track, On Schedule”’ at

If the anti-jammer breaks through the jammer, do we have an anti-anti-jammer or do we make do with the jamming anti-jammer jammer? Mimsy were the borogoves.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

We need more scientists and engineers and … What do you mean there aren’t enough STEM jobs?

“Roughly three-quarters of people who have a bachelor's degree in science, technology, engineering and math -- or so-called STEM fields -- aren't working in those professions, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.”

“Hal Salzman, a professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University, has calculated that twice as many STEM students graduate every year as are able to find jobs in their field. Some half a million grads with these degrees emerge from U.S. colleges and universities annually, and they must compete for roughly 180,000 job openings…”


This is too much, too much

Tourist loses tips of two digits on Disney ride. Spokeswoman Andrea Finger speaks to press. Yep. Finger.,0,6239546.story


Aw, rats!

Problem: NYC apartment building has rats.

Building superintendent’s answer: Bring in cats.

Tenant response: Animal abuse!

Found at

Arrogant and ignorant -- No wonder these people support Obama

They think a thing is true because they spoke it

‘Media ignorance Is Becoming A Serious Problem’

‘What prompts me to mention this today is that I'm just off the phone with a reporter from the same national paper. He's doing a story on Pope Benedict's new encyclical. In the course of discussing the pontificate, I referred to the pope as the bishop of Rome. ‘That raises an interesting point,’ he said. ‘Is it unusual that this pope is also the bishop of Rome?’ He obviously thought he was on to a new angle.”

Recent correction in The New York Times:

“An earlier version of this article mischaracterized the Christian holiday of Easter. It is the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection from the dead, not his resurrection into heaven.”

Link at maggiesfarm.

Friday, July 11, 2014

How many millionaires in USA! USA! USA!

You might as well search "where does oil come from." The answer is the same: No one knows.

From several sites: The U.S. has by far the highest number of millionaire households, with nearly 4.6 million. – 2014.

The world is home to more than 10 million millionaires. It's said that 1 in every 3 of those people are American. –2014. (NOTE: Trust a number by someone so grammatically wrong? The correct grammar: One of every three … is American.)

Dr. Bill Belew of PanAsianBizreports that the U.S. has 8.9 million households worth at least 1 million dollars. – 2007.

There are at least 9 million of those millionaires around good old America. – 2009.

A report by Merrill Lynch stated that if only direct financial assets are counted, there are approximately 2.5 million millionaire households in North America, versus 8.2 million in the US alone if all net worth is counted. – 2006.

In 2009 there were over five million millionaire households (5,129,385) in the United States.

More on the woman who shot her husband three times with a shotgun

July 10, 2014 -- “The District Court Clerk's Office says, 42-year-old Kathleen Erskine, of Arthur City, was set to go to trial Monday for murder, but accepted a plea deal Wednesday. She pled guilty to a lesser manslaughter charge.”

August 10, 2012 – “Forty-year-old Kathleen Erskine was arraigned on a charge of murder Thursday in the shooting death of her husband.

“Justice of the Peace Cindy Ruthart set bond at $250,000, and Erskine remained in Lamar County Jail today.”

August 21, 2012 – “Kathleen Erskine, charged with murder in the death of her husband, bonded out of Lamar County Jail Monday after her bond was reduced from $250,000 to $20,000.”

In murder cases, a lot goes on outside public view, as anyone who has watched Law & Order knows. In this case, bail was knocked down by $230,000. The charge was reduced from murder to manslaughter. You have to think prosecutors and the judge worked on the theory, “No matter what kind of worthless SOB the woman’s husband was, we can’t have people just shooting worthless SOBs.” No, that would cause a rapid decrease in population.)

Houston, we have identified the problem, and it is called 'stupid,'

Why some people should stay in town.

From the Associated Press:

‘Missouri man dies from copperhead snake bite’

“Finch said Levins was at a cabin, saw the snake and pointed it out to his son. The snake, 18 to 20 inches long, bit Levins two or three times after he picked it up.”

(Yes it is an attractive snake, tan and brown and all. But its very appearance screams, “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!”

(True story: At the company assembly area at Camp Maxey, Texas, on a spring Friday, 10 APCs, the XO, another NG soldier and me, the XO called, “Sgt. Merriman, do you have a knife?” Hey, I am a sergeant; I always have a knife, a pocket notebook, a pencil and a plastic spoon. “Yes, Sir,” I replied. He said, “Would you please bring it over here?” He was a little bent over, staring at the brown leaves and a 15-inch copperhead. I had a survival knife. Using a stick, the XO picked up the copperhead after the snake became headless.)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Texas woman gets five years; shot husband three times with shotgun

“An Arthur City woman, who allegedly shot her husband three times with a shotgun in August 2012, pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday. She received a five-year prison sentence from 62nd District Judge Will Biard.”

"She had found some utility workers on the county road and asked them to call the police because she had shot her husband, her ex-husband," says sheriff-elect Scott Cass.

According to Cass, when deputies went to the house, they found a man dead inside and he had been shot several times.

Get rid of the Export-Import Bank

“Conservatives are taking a run at a major dispenser of corporate subsidies, while Democrats have suddenly discovered a deep love of government-financed corporate expenditures.”

A commenter on NPR last week claimed Germany “invests” three times as much in its Import-Export bank as does the U.S., and indicated his belief we should meet Germany’s figure. Could it be Germany has to spend that much more?

Corporate welfare and Wall Street payments are part of Obama’s Chicago Boss government.

Fracking facts get in way of wishin' and hopin'

“No wonder the left is furious. Anything that promises to restore American greatness drives leftists crazy. Their dream of global socialism, with America brought down to the bottom of the heap, is at risk, and they have responded by targeting America’s oil and gas industry.” – Jeffrey Folks, ‘Seven Facts for Fracking Deniers’

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

There was a handshake

“Texas Gov. Rick Perry greeted President Obama when he arrived in Texas today for two fundraisers. … Perry originally said he would not greet the president, proposing instead a meeting to discuss the illegal immigration crisis at the Texas border (and elsewhere).

"In the end, the two reached a compromise. Obama invited Perry to a roundtable discussion on immigration and reportedly agreed to a one-on-one meeting. Perry greeted him at the airport.”

Photograph of Obama laughing contrasted with Perry’s … not so much.

Comments are hilarious examples of dumbasses who (1) don’t know Texas; and (2) have no clue as to reality

Gov. Perry to President Obama:

“I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, but a quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion regarding the humanitarian and national security crises enveloping the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. I would instead offer to meet with you at any time during your visit to Texas for a substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue. With the appropriate notice, I am willing to change my schedule to facilitate this request.”

“At any point while you are here, I am available to sit down privately so we can talk and you may directly gain my state’s perspective on the effects of an unsecured border and what is necessary to make it secure.”

“Since first calling the issue of border security to your attention in a 2009 letter requesting 1,000 National Guard troops to assist with securing our border, I have followed up with several further communications inviting you to tour the border and view this crisis firsthand. In addition, I have provided information on how the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety have supported, and continue to support, surge operations along a border, which has become a nexus for criminal activity of all kinds.”

Wow! Experts have not seen this in, like, 30 years!

Marine experts amazed at massive school of anchovies!

Even veteran oceanographers were amazed!

Offshore was “pretty much the warmest water the species has been reported in.”

“Pretty much”? Maybe either the water was the warmest, or it wasn’t?

Everything is drama.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sort of the same as why Puritans opposed bear baiting

Not because of injury to the bear, but because the audience too much enjoyed the performance.

‘The case for banning fireworks’

“Look, I’m an environmental reporter, and as such it is practically in my job description to be a killjoy. For this I am sorry. It’s not like I won’t personally be enjoying the fireworks over the East River — which at least can’t get any more polluted than it already is — but I won’t be able to do so without nagging self-admonishments about how fireworks are actually kind of stupid.”

At maggiesfarm.

“…I’m an environmental reporter…” STRIKE ONE! “…enjoying the fireworks over the East River…” STRIKE TWO! “…nagging self-admonishments…” STRIKE THREE, YOU ARE OUT OUT OUT!”

(Since Ms. Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon and watches fireworks over the East River, we may assume she lives in NYC. And since she has admitted “nagging self-admonishments” about things that bring fun, we may assume she is a Progressive/Liberal Democrat. And, one need only read her writings on fracking, global climate warming change and McDonald’s to support the Prog/Lib charge. One wonders if she and friends drank champagne while enjoying insidious rockets glaring red and bursting air bombs over the East River. And, yes, my regionalism is showing against a Northeasterner who believes she knows best for us all because … well, just because.)

Cheating at solitaire

Computer solitaire cheats. The program does not want me to win. The program changes card alignment and even sometimes changes suits when I catch a mistake and click undo and fix my mistake. Sometimes when I fix an oversight and flip the cards again, what was a spade has become a diamond.

My wife says solitaire does not cheat in her games. She agrees, though, that the three computerized hearts players pass cards (electronically) under the (electronic) table and talk to each other in a language we cannot monitor.

I think so, too.

The electronic players have three times as many cards to play, plus they know the cards in my hand, including the ones passed to me. Also, I always win the first two or three hands, but none after. And I have never successfully played the Queen of Spades, but have received it a number of times.

I do not know if the chess program cheats. I lost all six games I played. One time I played moves from 1930s championships, and the computer followed the encyclopedic chart. I gave up, though, because I did not know why I made the historical moves. The book said do this, so I did. That is not the way to play chess.

In solitaire, too, the computer erased my large wins. Saving the last game played for a couple of weeks, I had more than 25,000 points. And then one day I accessed the game and was told the computer for some reason had been unable to save my last game. As with Lois Lerner's emails, there was no explanation. Sorry. We lost it.

Maybe an electronic dog ate the saved game total.

Bark. Woof.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


My wife and I got her brother John from the group home for this week. Yesterday, John heard “Fourth of July” on TV.

“It’s Fourth of July,” John said to Priscilla. “There’s gonna be fireworks.”

“That’s right,” Priscilla said. “As a matter of fact, John, people here shoot off fireworks at the lake. Do you remember the lake where you went fishing?”


“Every Fourth of July, people go to the lake and shoot off fireworks.”

John clapped his hands and said, “Fireworks, fireworks! We’re gonna have fireworks!”

I am a fan of somebody else’s fireworks, but do not set off my own. No longer do hundreds or thousands of Army acres surround me, nor uncountable acres of rubber trees, woods or jungle. I do not have hand-held flares or M203 flares; I cannot call for 81mm or 4.2-inch illumination; I do not have a machine gun with which to make arcs of tracers in the nighttime sky. I want nothing pyrotechnic that might start a fire on or around civilians.

Fortunately, there is not a fireworks stand or store within 25 miles.

This morning, Priscilla. John and I were in North Little Rock. My wife got on the access road south of US 167. As we drove she said, “I saw a fireworks store somewhere out here yesterday when I went to the Social Security office.”

She found the store. It looked like a small Walmart.

“Fireworks!” John said from the back seat. “They got fireworks! We’re gonna get fireworks!”

They did have fireworks. Shelves and shelves of ground spinners and bottle rockets and stuff that was $75 and $1.99 and in between.

John said to a store assistant, “We want firecrackers.”

I said, “We want things that go way up in the air.”

We got stuff that goes way up in the air. We got cannon and mortars and howitzers -- and two packages of firecrackers -- none of which John will get close to with any kind of fire.

We had lots of stuff, but my wife said she wanted to look some more.

“I need to take you to a gun show,” I said.

She said, “The last time we were in a gun store, I said, ‘We could get that one.’”

That is not in my memory. I need to pay attention.

Come tomorrow night, John will get the red glare of rockets and the air bursts of bombs. He will be happy. And so will I. As long as the flammable material flames out before contacting grass.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A new low in dumb

A popup ad when I accessed Dilbert on Yahoo main page: Take a survey. To each it’s own.

How does each possess own? Or, What is meant by To each it is own?

Mentioned a few months ago: A question at the Pentagon Channel: How many live’s have you saved today?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Last Saturday, Priscilla and I went to Texarkana and picked up John from the group home. John’s workshop is closed this week, so he will spend the week with us.

Texarkana is an energy-sucking, mentally debilitating town. I lived there from January 1971-December 1973 and from June-November 1975. I spent two years there in college and more than two years working for the Texarkana Gazette. Priscilla and I were married there in 1972.

Every time I arrive in Texarkana, I lose 25 IQ points and about a third of my physical abilities.

Texarkana is a mean town. Part of that meanness comes from racial history, decidedly Southern white and Southern black. Of the approximately 35,000 people on the Texas side, 59 percent are white, 37 percent are black. The Arkansas part of Texarkana has a population of around 26,000 – 66 percent white, 31 percent black.

Towns with a history of racial animosity and roughly 60 percent to 30 percent racial population breakdown are always mean towns, as are towns with an almost even racial demographic split. Little Rock, for example, is 49 percent white and 42 percent black. North Little Rock is 62 percent white, 34 percent black.

Racial demographics cause a dome of other worldness, a modified Hotel California aspect. People who don’t check out are doomed cynicism and anger.

Hanukkah miracle in Aleppo

Or, Assad goes supersonic.

"The story is widely spread in the Russian internet sites, but I haven't seen yet its English rendering. So here it comes, in the midst of the summer, but there is always the next Hanukkah (Chanukah or Chanukkah). Whether the story is true - I don't know, but it is all good, I promise. So enjoy and prepare your dreidels.

"Everything happens for the first time once. Once upon a time the Israeli Air Force decided on a kind of a flying warning: a supersonic bypass at low altitude. Over a Syrian town of Aleppo, and the flight should have passed the main street of the city. Since then, much Cast Lead was spilled, and every time that Assad mentions in his speech the recapture of the Golan Heights, Israeli jets are visible from his window again.

"But then, that first time, it was an experimental trick with a powerful propaganda effect in the form of a strong sonic boom along the flight path, which creates a pressure differential in the front known as the Mach Cone. Since it was the first time and quite a long time ago, when computers were large and cumbersome, the calculation of the best flight altitude was assigned to the IDF eggheads, which, as it happens with theorists, made a mistake of about 100% in their estimates.

"The planes flew too low - and all the windows and lights on the main street of the peaceful and quiet Syrian town were shattered. Which was considered by the Israeli military experts an unexpected propaganda effect. It took the surprised Syrians a week to clean the debris from the street, the IDF conducted a usual debriefing, physicists were looking for the unexpected twist in the equations ...

"Time passed, and the chief of that Aleppo operation, David Ivry, who later became a commander of the Israeli Air Force, picked up a kid hitchhiker. The kid was a new immigrant from Aleppo (in those days there were immigrants from other than CIS countries). And the boy told him that life in the city of Aleppo in Syria was good to the Jews, none of the Arabs touched them, until suddenly a miracle happened on Hanukkah - and the miracle caused his father to decide to come to Israel. And what, in fact, was that miracle? On Hanukkah, Israeli planes flew over and completely blew out all the windows on the main street - except at the Jewish shops!

"- Are you sure about this? - asked Ivry. - Absolutely! - replied the boy, and added: - The Jews used the same glass as everyone else. The same! This is a miracle, and that's it!

"Where lies the solution of this phenomenon? - Ivry wondered. And he appointed an investigation committee. So what was the result? A long time ago in Aleppo some Emir or Pasha issued a decree, according to which Jews were forbidden to trade on the main street. And the cunning Jews kept their shops only in lanes perpendicular to the central street. Historically there were none of non-Jewish shops in these alleys. When the devastating Israeli sonic boom has come, the Jewish shops' windows were positioned perpendicular to the sonic boom front, and thus survived intact...

"And Aleppo Jews decided that it was a divine sign given to them on Hanukkah - to immigrate to Israel before it's too late ..."

Hat tip: L.G.

Back when Russian designers were ordered to design

Soviet concept cars.

In the 1930s, Soviet aircraft designers turned out some of the most amazing airplanes ever built.


From whence came Iraq?

Answer: British diplomats and British intelligence.

“The Kurds have been Kurds for thousands of years but Iraq has existed for only nine decades.”

Sunset in Mecca

“ISIS member Abu Turab Al Mugaddasi said that they would destroy the Kaaba in Mecca: ‘If Allah wills, we will kill those who worship stones in Mecca and destroy the Kaaba. People go to Mecca to touch the stones, not for Allah.’”

Through maggiesfarm and gatewaypundit.

(ISIS/ISIL/IS can kill and conquer, but its members are incapable of governing.)

Victory is just over the next hill

“For the west to ‘win’ in Ukraine, it’s going to have to win against three very powerful forces: Putin’s Russia, the oligarchs who have run Ukraine since 1990 and who still run it today, and the historical inertia, pessimism, and cynicism that are the legacies of Ukraine’s ruinous 20th-century history. There is little sign yet that either the EU or the U.S. has the wisdom, resources, ruthlessness, and long-term commitment to overcome these forces.”

(Two things: 1. God has been pi$$ed at the Russians and the Ukrainians for a looong time; 2. Nobody in the West is ruthless enough to do anything necessary.)

Via maggiesfarm.