Thursday, July 28, 2005

On July 28th in military 1914

On July 28th in military history….in 1914. Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia and sets off World War I. World War I could be called the "War of Interlocking Treaties" or the "War of Use-It-Or-Loose-It". On June 28th, 1914, a Serbian nationalist assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne in Sarajevo. Austria demanded that Serbia be punished and threatened to invade. However, Russia had signed a treaty with Serbia to protect their independence if attacked. Austria had a treaty with Germany that if Austria was attacked, Germany would come to their aid. Russia was part of the Triple Entente with Britain and France, so when one was attacked, the other two would come to their aid. There were other treaties involved, but these were the main treaties that pushed Europe to war.

Military staffs on the continent also had been working for years on calculations that involved the amount of time it would take to mobilize the military and send them to the front. The calculations were so specific that they could tell the government exactly how many miles of territory they would loose for every day that they delayed mobilizing the military, a "use-it-or-loose-it" scenario.

So, the leaders of Europe, faced with mutual-defense treaties on one hand and the military telling them that every day delayed equals the loss of X numbers of miles of territory on the other hand, it’s no wonder that World War I happened. It was more or less guaranteed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

On July 27th in military 1214

On July 27th in military history….in 1214. French forces under Phillip Augustus of France defeat the forces of Otto IV of Germany and Count Ferrand of Flanders at the Battle of Bouvines. In 1214, at the insistence of Pope Innocent III, King John of England had formed an alliance with Otto and Count Ferrand to invade France. King John had possessions on the continent and wanted to expand them at the cost of the French.

The idea was that King John would lure Phillip’s army south by attacking out of his possessions in southwest France (the Gironde/Lot/Dordogne) and then the imperial forces of Otto and Count Ferrand would attack from the north and march unopposed into Paris. Unfortunately, due to the imperial forces taking too long to get moving, after a few skirmishes with Phillip, King John had sufficiently lost all interest with his part of the plan and returned to southwest France. In the meantime, Phillip returned to the north to meet the imperial forces of Otto and Count Ferrand that were concentrated in the area of Valenciennes.

The town of Bouvines is located between Lille and Tournai on the Belgian border. Phillip wanted an area that would be good for cavalry charges, so he moved his forces there. Both forces formed up with cavalry on the wings, infantry in the center and more cavalry in reserve. As the fighting started, skirmishing between cavalry forces started on the French right, but the main fighting was between the infantry in the center. The Flemish infantry started pushing the French center back and it wasn’t until Phillip arrived with his cavalry reinforcements that things started looking up for the French. In the meantime, the French cavalry on both wings routed the opposing cavalry forces and began closing inward to prevent the imperial center from retreating. Due to the devotion of a few Saxon knights, Otto was able to escape, but Count Ferrand was taken prisoner along with three other counts, 25 barons and over a hundred knights. One hundred and seventy imperial knights lost their lives along with thousands of foot soldiers on either side.

This battle is noteworthy as it is considered as the birth of the French nation. So now you see just how far back the loathing between the French and the English goes.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Lance has done it again // It's good to be an American

Today is also the final of the 102nd Tour de France, and American Lance Armstrong has done again what no other man had ever done before, not only win the Tour de France seven times, but win them straight in a row. Before the start of this tour, he stated that he wanted to go out on top and retire at the end, so this will be the last time that we will see him standing on the podium on the Champs-Elyssees.

Since I'm in the same time zone as France, I have been able to catch the last part of each day's stage when I got home from work. Yesterday, as I watched the final stage in Paris, the Italian sportscasters were commenting on the fact that in 20 years, the Americans have won the Tour de France 10 times (Greg LeMond, 3 times, Lance Armstrong, 7 times) and Italians have been riding in the tour since it's inception and they have only won the tour 9 times. As for the French, although they have won the tour more times than anyone else (I don't know the number off the top of my head), the highest Frenchman in this year's edition was in 11th place, almost 16 and a half minutes behind Lance and also behind two other Americans. It might be kind of early to say, but it looks like Americans are going to start owning the Tour de France. Yet another reason for the French to hate Americans while they eat Big Macs at McDonald's and teach English to their children in school.

Happy 24th of July, Utah!!!

A happy 24th of July to all proud sons and daughters of the Great State of Utah!!! As I posted last year, today is the 158th anniversary of the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley and the biggest holiday in Utah next to Independence Day. I thought about working this into a "On this day in military history" post, but although this holiday and Independence Day go hand-in-hand for many of Utah, I couldn't find an angle to represent this for those not of Utah. Maybe if I said that thanks to the stalwart, pro-US Constitution, pro-US government, anti-slavery members of the LDS Church, President Abraham Lincoln did not have to worry about Brigham Young and the Utah territory rebelling against the United States during the Civil War. When he was elected president, he was told of the LDS Church in Utah territory and how the members were practicing polygamy. However, unlike his predecessors, he decided to leave the LDS Church alone and concentrated on keeping the union intact. As a result, most people from Utah are descended from pioneers and polygamists rather than Civil War veterans and Abraham Lincoln is one of our greatest presidents.

Friday, July 22, 2005

On July 22nd in military 2003

On July 22nd in military history….in 2003. Uday and Qusay Hussein are killed in Mosul, Iraq by elements of the 101st Airborne. When the US-lead coalition invaded Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power, former high-ranking members of the military and the regime were quickly sought out and apprehended. To give some idea of the importance in relation to others of the Iraqi regime, the United States put out a list of 55 high-ranking members of the regime with their names and photos on a deck of playing cards. Saddam Hussein was, of course, the ace of spades, but Uday was the ace of hearts and Qusay was the ace of clubs. There was also a reward put out for any information relating to their capture.

On July 22nd, the owner of the house where they were hiding, "dropped the dime" and alerted US forces to their location. A Special Forces unit arrived at the house and attempted to "arrest" the inhabitants, but it was fired upon by the inhabitants. This was the proverbial "big mistake" since the Special Forces unit fell back and called for back-up. When elements of the 101st Airborne arrived on the scene, they proceeded to return fire, which included TOW anti-tank missiles and air strikes by Apache attack helicopters and A-10 "tank buster" aircraft. After three hours of what amounted to "target practice", the troops entered what was left of the house and found four people dead and three others wounded. Among the dead were Uday, Qusay and Qusay’s 14-year old son, Mustafa.

The news of their deaths was met with much celebration in Iraq with Iraqis firing weapons into the air. However, the liberal, defeatist media around the world complained that they were killed in "cold blood" and it was a "crime" ("Alert the International Criminal Court") or that they should have been taken alive. A quick look at their lives here and here shows that taking these two worthless bags of fecal material alive would have been a slap in the face of all their victims.

I was in Baghdad the day of their deaths. We had already started to hear rumors about their deaths, but like many other rumors, you wait a day and the story would change. However, that night, we started seeing tracer rounds being shot into the air. At first we thought we were under attack and those tracers were ricochets, but after a few minutes, we came to realize that they rounds were deliberately being shot into the air. Since the Iraqis only do that when they are celebrating, we were pretty sure that Uday and Qusay had been sent to receive their "eternal reward" (which I highly doubt that it involves "72 virgins") for a life of brutality. I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to seeing their father, Saddam Hussein, swinging from the end of a hangman’s noose. Some may think that this is "inhumane" and "barbaric", but it’s better than having him walk thru downtown Kirkuk or Mosul, wearing a sign saying "Ask me how I gassed your relatives". How long do you think he would last without being beaten to death by an enraged mob or even worse?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Come on in, the water's fine

Pravda of Utah has discovered blogging.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Tribune just paid me and other members of the Pajamadeen a big complement. Although some of their more cranky fellow liberals at the Deseret News might not approve, the Trib is clearly thinking of the future. Blogging is the wave of the future; Dead Tree Media is on the way out.

No Comment Necessary

Having already said much about the Smart family, this time I decided to simply link to this story and not comment any further.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

On July 16th in military 1945

On July 16th in military 1945. The United States successfully detonates the world's first nuclear ("nu-klur" for rednecks) weapon at the Trinity test site in New Mexico, thereby insuring that World War II would end quickly, one way or another. In the winter of 1938, while the rest of Europe was preparing for war (at least the Germans), two scientists (Lise Meitner and Otto Robert Frisch) were able to come up with the theory of "nu-klur" fission from observing experiments in Nazi Germany. The US got wind of this when a Danish scientist, Niels Bohr, came to American to visit Albert Einstein and the rest of his colleages at Princeton University to discuss the theory (and probably give us a leg up on the Nazis since Niels Bohr was Jewish).

The first "nu-klur" bomb did not just pop out of some scientist's evil mind. It took a number of years for everything to come together. For three years after the discussions with Einstein, scientists tried to validate the theory and actually produce a sustained "nu-klur" reaction in the laboratory. When the laboratory experiments were successful, the design of plants to generate enough fissionable material for "nu-klur" weapons took two years. After that, it took 18 months fo enough fissionable material to be generated for a bomb. During this time, the design of the bomb had to be found that would work. The culmination of all this work resulted in the Trinity test. The bomb used plutonium and generated 18.6 kilotons of energy and left a crater 3 meters deep and 330 meters wide in the New Mexico desert. The shock wave was felt 160 kms way and the mushroom cloud rose 12 kms into the sky.

Since that time, many people and scientists have commented about how they felt that they were opening the door on the destruction of the world, yada, yada, yada, ad nauseum. On the 60-year anniversary, "nu-klur" destruction has gone way down the list on how humans will destroy the world. Most likely we will destroy the world by electing some numbskull president who will decide that the interests of the world are more important that those of the US and will force us to bend over while the UN gives us the big, blue weinie and we congradulate ourselves on what good world citizens we are because we ratified the Kyoto treaty. Kind of like Canada.

Hike Blogging: Naomi Peak, Wasatch-Cache National Forest

I spent the past couple of days hiking and camping in the Mount Naomi Wilderness Area. For some reason, the mountain is called Naomi Peak, but the wilderness it is named after it is called Mount Naomi, and the trail that goes through it is called the Mount Naomi Peak National Recreation trail. Go figure.

Anyway, I camped along High Creek, a small but fast-moving stream that drains the wilderness area. There is a decent dirt road that leads to the trailhead, and several primitive Forest Service campsites along the way.

Here's a picture of the campsite:

The creek is full of fat and tasty brown (Salmo trutta) and rainbow (Oncorhynchus myskiss) trout. It doesn't get much fishing pressure because of the heavy vegetation along the sides and the absence of slack water. That is a big advantage, as it keeps the Orvis crowd and their contaminated waders and boots away. As a result, High Creek is free of whirling disease and New Zealand mud snails, unlike most "blue ribbon" trout fisheries in Utah.

The technique for fishing this stream is to set up an ultralight rig, using only a single snap swivel and a snelled #8 hook with no more than 1 foot of leader. Thread on a small worm or a bit of nightcrawler, find a deep pool or eddy, and drop it in or let it flow with the current into the slow water. You should get a hit fairly quickly. The disadvantage of this technique is that you'll lose at least one hook on a snag for every fish you catch.

This is Cherry Peak, in the heart of the wilderness area. Note the large amounts of leftover snow from the heavy snowfall this winter. This is clearly a sign that Global Warming is upon us. Mayor Rocky Anderson is right: Utah's ski industry is doomed.

The trail is deceptively easy at first. There is only a 1,000 foot gain in elevation during the first three miles and the trail stays in the timber and follows the creek, so it's nice and cool. Then you reach the High Creek basin, where it spreads out and the trees become more scarce. From then on, it's much more difficult.

You gain 3,000 feet in elevation in the next three miles, and there's very little timber for shade. By the time I reached High Creek lake at 8,762 feet, I was pretty worn out. But I still had almost two miles left.

Up higher there were large snowdrifts that crossed the trail (Heavy snows persisting in the high country in mid-July? More evidence of Global Warming!).

Finally, I got to the top. Here is a view of Smithfield, Utah from the peak at 9,979 feet above sea level. It took me about 4 hours, 45 minutes to get there. Coming down was quite easy, as it only took 2 hours, 45 minutes. My pedometer showed almost exactly 6 miles one way, which is very close to what I calculated from the map.

This was one of the toughest hikes I've ever done. The rapid elevation gain, combined with the heat and the thin air, made this one more difficult than it appeared at first. Overall it was a nice mini-vacation, if only for the fishing.

Next up: Deseret Peak, Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

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Friday, July 15, 2005

Why the chicken crossed the road according to the Air Force

Ed. Note: This is something that was sent to me while I was in Iraq. I thought it was pretty funny, but I realize for non-military types, it may be hard to understand. I added some definitions for some terms in italics to help.


Colonel: Successful crossing, well planned and carried out in accordance with my directives.

Chief (senior NCO): About time that thing worked; hope the Colonel's finally happy.

NCO (non-commissioned officer): Changed two wings, a beak, and removed a bad egg, and the silly thing still can't fly!

2nd Lt.: Look at the pretty bird!

TOWER: The chicken was instructed to hold short of (stop before) the road. This road-Incursion incident was reported in a Hazardous Chicken Road Crossing Report (HCRCR). Please reemphasize that chickens are required to read back all 'hold short' instructions.

COMMAND POST: What chicken?

Air Education and Training Command (AETC): The purpose is to familiarize the chicken with road crossing procedures. Road crossing should be performed only between the hours of sunset and sunrise. Solo chickens must have at least 3 miles of visibility and a safety observer.

Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC): The chicken crossed at a 90-degree angle to avoid prolonged exposure to a line of communication.
To achieve maximum surprise, the chicken should perform this maneuver at night using NVGs (night vision goggles), preferably near a road bend in a valley.

Air Force Personnel Center (AFPC): Due to the needs of the Air Force, the chicken was involuntarily reassigned to the other side of the road.
This will be a 3-year controlled tour and we promise to give the chicken a good deal assignment afterwards. Every chicken will be required to do one road crossing during its career, and this will not affect its opportunities for promotion.

Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA): Despite what you see on CNN, I can neither confirm nor deny any fowl performing acts of transit. Questions? Please see the SSO (site security officer).

Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC): If it didn't happen on a Saturday or Sunday, we missed it.

Pacific Air Force (PACAF): We don't have chickens yet, as they haven't been funded. The latest projection is for chickens in FY2004 (fiscal year 2004) at which time they will be WRM (war reserve material) assets assigned to ACC (Air Combat Command).

Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC): Recent changes in technology, coupled with today's multi-polar strategic environment, have created new challenges in the chicken's ability to cross the road. The chicken was also faced with significant challenges to create and develop core competencies required for this new environment. AFMC's Chicken Systems Program Office (CSPO), in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM) CSPO helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge, capital and experiences to align the chicken's people, processes, and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program management framework.

The CSPO convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analysts, and retired chickens along with MITRE consultants with deep skills in the transportation industry to engage in a two-day itinerary of meetings in order to leverage their personal knowledge and capital, both tacit and explicit, and to enable them synergism with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals of delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median processes. The meeting was held in a park-like setting enabling and creating an impact environment which was strategically based, mission-focused, and built upon a consistent, clear, and unified Mission Need Statement, and aligned with the chicken's mission, vision, and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution. The Chicken Systems Program Office helped the chicken change to continue meeting its mission requirements.

C-130 CREW MEMBER: Just put the damn bird in the back and let's go.

C-17 CREW MEMBER: I ordered a #4 with turkey and ham, NOT Chicken!
Besides, where the hell are my condiments?! I ain't taking off 'til I get my ^&*(%$$ condiments!!!

AWACS CREW: Due to our being in a turn at that precise moment, we have no confirmation of any chickens in the area at that time. Our ACE (air combat element) advises that such an event is extremely unlikely, in any case.

FIGHTER JOCK: Look, dude, that was the frag (mission order), OK? I've flown my 1.0 (one hour) for the day and I ain't got time for any more questions!

F-117 PILOT: Wasn't that great! I snuck up on it at 2 feet AGL (above ground level) at 480 knots, illuminated its tail feathers with the laser designator, and 'goosed' it before it even knew I was there!

B-1 CREW: Missed the whole show: We had an IFE (in-flight emergency) so we couldn't get out to see it; you'll have to ask the SOF (special operations forces).

CHECKMATE (a Strategic Air Command staff group): The chicken used its unique ability to operate in 2 dimensions to bypass the less important strategic rings on this side of the road and strike directly into the heart of the enemy, destroying the will of the enemy to fight and ending the conflict on terms favorable to the chicken.

CONGRESS: The chicken appears to be an efficient substitute for F-22 fighters!

On July 10th in military 1943.

(Yeah, well I can't ever seem to post this things on time either. And don't bother trying to corret any speeling and/or grammattical errors, Cap'n)

On July 10th in military history….in 1943. The Allies invade the island of Sicily in Operation Husky. After having forced the Axis out of North Africa in the spring of 1943, the Allies had a problem. They had a very large army sitting around doing nothing in North Africa and wanting to keep the momentum going, they needed to start another campaign. The US wanted to invade France just as soon as possible, but the British were more keen on keeping the Mediterranean sea lanes open between Gibraltar and Alexandria. Since it was decided that the invasion of France would have to be put on hold for another year, the next best thing would be to invade Italy (the "soft underbelly of Europe" as described by Winston Churchill). In order to successfully invade Italy, you need to take Sicily first and the fact that North Africa is only a short distance from Sicily (as testified by all the boatloads of illegal immigrants who "invade" Sicily), it was a no-brainer that Sicily should be invaded next. So, Operation Husky was born.

Operation Husky was the largest landing of men and material in the war and also took place over the longest front. The Allies invaded with one American Army (the 7th under General George Patton) and one British Army (the 8th under the "hero" of Normandy, Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery). The British would land on the southern tip of the island between Syracuse and Pachino and the Americans would land to the west between Licata, Gela and Scoglieri. The plan was to have the British forces do all the "heavy lifting" and drive north thru Catania to Messina while the American forces would only provide support for the British and protect their flank. This was due to the belief by some in the British Army that the Americans were not really "up to speed" when it came to fighting since the British had been at it already for four years and the Americans had just joined the war a few years ago. The Axis forces, under the command of an Italian general, consisted of about 365,000 Italian troops but more importantly, two German divisions, the 15th Panzer Grenadier and the Herman Goering Armored.

The landings were executed in rough seas, but they achieved tactical surprise. Unfortunately, the Americans had decided to land infantry in the first waves without any armored support. This was a mistake as the Germans counterattacked the landing beaches at Gela almost immediately using the tanks from the Herman Goering division. It looked as if the Allies would be thrown back into the sea if not for Allied off-shore naval gunfire support. The Germans learned very quickly what the Japanese had already learned trying to repel US Marine invasions in the Pacific: naval gunfire rocks! Time after time as the German panzers came down out of the hills and valleys, naval gunfire would stop the attack in its tracks. As an example, the biggest gun carried by US light cruisers during World War II was the 6-inch cannon. In millimeters, 6 inches is equal to 152 millimeters. The main US artillery guns during World War II were 75, 105 and 155 millimeters. A US light cruiser carried 9 to 12 of these guns along with 8 5-inch guns (127 millimeters), so one well-placed broadside of 12 6-inch guns and 4 5-inch guns could quickly ruin any tank commanders day and destroy any counterattack. The first military action that my sainted father saw during World War II was the Sicily invasion and his ship, the light cruiser USS Birmingham, was instrumental in repelling the German counterattacks around Gela.

After the initial landings, the British started running into stiff resistance and their attack bogged down. Meanwhile, General Patton was chaffing at the restrictions placed on him by the invasion plan and decided to take matters into his own hands. He decided to conduct a "reconnaissance" towards Agrigento to the west and succeeded in capturing the town. He then moved on Palermo. The Allied land forces commander (a Brit) tried to stop him, but Patton said that the radio transmission was "garbled" and before you knew it, he was in Palermo ("Patton’s taken Palermo. Damn!"). He next wheeled his forces around and attacked to the east towards Messina to cut off the escape route for any German/Italian forces. The rest of the campaign degenerated into a race between the British and the Americans to see who would get to Messina first (the Americans did).

The Axis forces lost around 29,000 men and 140,000 were captured. However, due to poor planing on the Allies part, the Axis were able to evacuate over 100,000 men and 10,000 vehicles thru Messina to the Italian mainland. Luckily, the US press/Michael Moore was not on hand to scream "Quagmire!" and "We went to war with out a plan!" as they would in later US conflicts. The Allies lost about 29,000 men killed and wounded. Strategically, the Sicily invasion achieved what the British had hoped, it removed any threat to the Mediterranean sea lanes, but it also helped to topple Mussolini from power and hastened the surrender of the Italy to the Allies.

Monday, July 11, 2005

A scientific study worthy of the litter box

In what is the latest example of 60's-era, no-personal-responsibility-for-anything psuedoscientific studies, researchers in Europe claim to have found a link between infection by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii and undesirable human behavior. The changes in behavior are so significant, say the researchers, that they may account for the difference between French and English cultures. (lvi)

Excuse me while I stifle a guffaw. This is some of the silliest research I have ever read, similar to the view of some 18th-century French scientists who said that sharks would bite Englishmen first because they ate more beef. There's a strong "environment-uber-alles" streak in the psychology and public health disciplines that leads many otherwise intelligent researchers to attribute every pathological human behavior to some environmental cause, thus relieving the infected person of any responsibility for his behavior.

Listen, I used to work with the dregs of society on a daily basis, and I have a different theory: How about men who are slobs and women who can't say no are more likely to contract toxoplasmosis because they don't have the self-discipline to wash their hands after they change the catbox? Makes more sense, doesn't it?

Ah, but there's the rub; such a view requires that they be responsible for their behavior, and that would never do.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Still another example of Publik Skool idiocy

The schools are now teaching seminars on Harry Potter.

For one, I don't have much time for JK Rowling and her interminable series. Not that I don't read; I just enjoy history or science books instead (I'm currently reading "Roadside Geology of Utah"). However, lest anyone think we are unsophsticated rubes here at the Holly house, my son and wife have eagerly devoured the entire series.

But now we have the unseemly spectacle of a Utah school teacher organizing what in effect is a giant Trekkie, or rather, "Pottie" convention, complete with magic and herbs and other such decidedly non-scientific nonsense. All of it because the Harry Potter series are apparently the only books kids will read nowadays. Most kids of my generation read comic books, but no teacher back then would have been caught dead sponsoring seminars on "The Justice League".

I suppose as a summertime activity, reading Harry Potter and pretending to be apprentice wizards are much more preferable to watching TV and hanging out at the mall. Still, this is a tacit admission of the failure of Publik Edjukashun Systum. If you have to get kids interested in chemistry by pretending to make magic potions, then you've lost the battle. You're entertaining, not teaching. It's no wonder our Skools continue to produce mediocrity, because they apparently don't understand the difference between the two.

Global Warming is alot of hot air

Let's see, what would motivate mayors of big, liberal cities to come to Sundance Resort in July, rub elbows with Robert Redford and Al Gore, and excoriate Americans in general and President Bush in particular?

Why, Global Warming, of course.

It's no surprise that wealthy, liberal elites would want to spend a few days in July at a posh mountain resort. The fact that they probably caused the emissions of more carbon dioxide in coming to and holding this conference than my family does in an entire year didn't matter, either. This is all about promoting their agenda.

It's probably quite frustrating to uber-liberal SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson and his guests that Al-Qaeda has such poor timing. This conference was no doubt timed to coincide with the G-8 Summit, the central agenda of which was the Kyoto Protocol and how Europe could get America to agree to commit economic suicide. Now with the London attacks, everyone has stopped talking about climate change and is instead talking about unimportant rubbish such as terrorism and security. Don't they know that we're all doomed, DOOMED, and it's all Ronald Reagan's, er, George Bush's fault?

Facts, of course, mean nothing to Mayor Anderson and his ilk. Global Warming is here, and unless the commuters of Davis County agree to dismantle their highway system and ride only mass transit when they come to visit Salt Lake our fate is sealed. The good Mayor hyperventilated that the world "stands at the brink of environmental catastrophe from global warming", a statement that is clearly ludicrous to everyone except environmentalists and their Yes-men, er, yes-persons, in the MainStreamMedia.

Mayor Anderson seems to be only vaguely aware of what is happening in his own state, as demonstrated by his silly comment that global warming could "spell the end of much of the ski industry". Had he said this last July (come to think of it, he probably did) it would have been just another example of poor predictions; since he said it this July, it's sheer idiocy (Please note the picture in the above link; it's one of people skiing at Snowbird just one week ago).

The fact is anthropogenic Global Warming is not a proven fact at all. True, the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is steadily increasing and this increase is probably due to use of fossil fuels. There is also evidence that the earth has warmed over the past 100 years.

But since the earth's climate has warmed and cooled on it's own within the past 1,000 years, and has suddenly shifted from ice ages to warm times and back in the past 100,000 years, and has been much, much hotter than it is now in the past 50,000,000 million years, and it did all of this without SUVs and Republicans and air conditioning, and that simply reducing the amount of the predicted 2 to 7 degrees C warming by just 0.5 degrees will cost trillions of dollars, then it's no wonder people are more worried about being blown up by fanatical facist Muslims.

If Mayor Anderson and Robert Redford and Al Gore were more in tune with real people in the real world, they'd understand that. But then this isn't about global warming; it never was. It's about finding ways to run other people's lives, something the Brie-cheese-and-white-wine crowd will never grow tired of.

New Friend of the Warren (we need all we can get)

Long-time FOW Rosemary has started a group blog, Love America First. It looks very well done.

We are all Britons

Since the London attacks I've been searching for a suitable picture of the Union Jack to post in solidarity with the people of Great Britain. I found it today.

The statement "we are all Britons" is more than symbolism; like many Americans, our ancestry is about 1/3 British. We still have distant relatives in Britain, although I've never met them.

The Union Jack will remain on our blog until further notice.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Not so fast...

Al-Qaeda has apparently struck again, this time in Britain. Once again, innocent persons were targeted and killed, for no other reason than they were British.

Conventional wisdom at this early time is that this bombing was timed to coincide with the opening of the G-8 summit in Scotland. While that is certainly logical, there is also another possible reason: London was awarded the Olympics yesterday.

As one who was involved in the preparation and support of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, I can say there is no bigger terrorist target than the Games. Big crowds, lots of media, and an international presence are just what Al-Qaeda is looking for; such worldwide exposure is irresistible to terrorists. This may be the opening salvo in a coordinated effort to disrupt the Olympics, which would have a far greater economic impact on Britain than a symbolic swipe at the G-8 nations.

The coming days will provide more details. Unfortunately, that's little consolation for the loved ones of the dead in Britain. We at the Warren express our outrage and deepest sympathy to the people of the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Law of Unintended Consequences

For years, one of the mantras of the environmentalists Left has been renewable energy; specifically, wind and solar power. Despite their proven limitations, to the Greenies they are the pefect, earth-friendly energy sources.

Well, maybe not anymore. It appears that wind turbines kill more birds than a whole legion of Slob Drunken Republican duck hunters. The evironmentalist's remedy? Why sue the power company, of course. And demand that they shut down the offending turbines.

There's just no pleasing some people (lvd).

I love reading Iowahawk...

...and this is why (lvi).

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Happy Independence Day!

The Stars and Stripes and the Eagle, Globe and Anchor proudly flying on the flagpole of the Holly residence.

Image hosted by

God Bless America!

There he goes again...

It's late, and I really should beware the pitfalls of late-night blogging. But I can't let an opportunity pass to needle my favorite liberal curmudgeon, Don Gale.

Mr. Gale used to be a bigwig (as in an important person, not a world-famous blogger) in the Salt Lake media scene. He was the voice of the KSL editorial board, and for 20-plus years he harangued Utahns about their decidedly un-progressive attitudes. Since retiring, his disdain for conservatives and common folk has not diminished, and so the Deseret News has rewarded him with a regular editorial column.

The trouble is old Don is, well, getting old, and he is becoming less and less lucid, and more and more a parody of an aging New Deal/Great Society Liberal. In his latest column, he attacks Americans for their respect for the military, declaring that the Founding Fathers (Hippy Pacifists in their entirety, in case you were wondering) would have been dismayed by this unseemly burst of patriotism, apparently forgetting that Washington himself was a General in the Army, and most of the other Founding Fathers voted to appoint him to that office.

But wait, there's more. He declares that John Adams would have "shaken his head" at the Patriot Act, totally oblivious to the fact that President Adams enthusiastically signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, which made criticism of public officials illegal.

Not content with displaying his historical ignorance, Mr. Gale then asserts that Benjamin Franklin would have chided Americans for their scientific ignorance, suggesting that he would support the sale of irradiated food because it would be no different than microwaved food.

I agree that Franklin would have been a fan of irradiated food: However, a scientist like Franklin would have understood the difference between non-ionizing microwave radiation produced by electrical current, and ionizing gamma radiation produced by radioactive materials. Mr. Gale obviously does not.

Mr. Gale does, however, understand himself better than he knows, or at least admits. He begins his concluding paragraph by saying that "ignorance and fear are comfort zones for old people like me".

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Revenge of the Christians

I noticed this item in the Deseret News yesterday, but since I didn't have a functioning computer at the time, I wasn't able to blog about it.

It confirms something I've been saying for quite a while now: Children today are more conservative and religious because religious conservatives are the only ones having children. Secular liberals have pretty much given up on procreating (or at least the pregnancy and delivery part of it).

This is producing a demographic shift that is already yielding significant political results. As Mark Steyn is fond of pointing out, President Bush carried 25 of the 26 states with the highest birthrates; John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest birthrates. Sooner or later, the effect of this disparity will be undeniable.

It is ironic that those who profess to understand Darwinism fail to grasp it's central premise, which is the individuals who reproduce successfully are the ones who determine the future of the population. If you don't have any kids, don't be surprised when those who do are running the show 30 years down the road.

And make sure to put on clean underwear, too

In the previous post (the one that produced the Instalanche) I mentioned that I wrote it up quickly and didn't really take time to include several items that I wanted to. It was late Friday night, I was tired, and I had a busy day ahead of me. As I was about to click the "publish post" button, I thought perhaps I should expand it a bit and rewrite some parts to clarify the important issues. Naaahh, I thought. I need to get to bed. I can rewrite it later.

Besides, no one ever reads this blog, anyway.

I spent most of Saturday with a buddy from work, installing a new video card and expanding my RAM, and then re-installing Windows and all my software. I didn't bother checking the Warren. When I logged on this morning, I was surprised to see not one but four comments, something which rarely happens. While I was reading Instapundit, I noticed the link.

Surprise, surprise.

I've written several posts that are much better. That was not the one I wanted everyone to read.

This is a good lesson for all us low-level, part-time bloggers. If you think you can write a better post, then save it as a draft instead of posting it. You never know when the Great All-Seeing Eye of Instapundit or some other BlogGod will focus on you and deem you worthy of a link.

Friday, July 01, 2005

There's no such thing as a "pro-choice, limited-government" Judge

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has announced her retirement, and it has set off a predictable round of speculation as to who will be her replacement. In the more libertarian wing of the blogosphere, some have suggested candidates such as Judge Kozinski of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, or Professor Eugene Volokh or even the grand old Professor Reynolds himself. The consensus among the libertarians seems to be that pro-choice judges would be better at restoring Constitutional rule in America.

Hardly. To put it simply, there's no such thing as a "pro-choice, limited-government, original-intent" Judge. Roe v. Wade was not only an unconstitutional decision, it was an anti-constitutional one; by removing any state authority over regulation of abortion and creating a "right to privacy" where none existed, it greased the skids for later expansions of federal authority like Lawrence and Raich. After all, if states no longer have the right to regulate abortion, which had been illegal in most of America for the first 150 years of our Constitution's existence, how could they then have any authority to regulate purely intrastate commerce in pot?

The best indicator of this is the voting record of the current Supreme Court. Time and again, the justices who are the most pro-life (Rhenquist, Thomas, Scalia) are the ones who are also the most pro-state's rights. With all due respect to Professors Volokh and Reynolds (either of whom would be an overall improvement over Justice O'Connor), you can bet that the more pro-choice a judge is, the more pro-government he (or she) is.

You want smaller government? Nominate Pro-Life Judges.

UPDATE: It figures. I get Instalanched on the very day I reformat my hard drive and reinstall all my software. I was going to make this post longer and more detailed, but I just wrote it up quickly and got it posted. Oh well. As the saying goes, always put your best foot forward, and all that.

Welcome to the Warren, please check out the archives, and thanks for dropping by.

UPDATE UPDATE: More thoughts here.

This Day in History (I'm never on time with these, am I?)

(Posted from an e-mail at El-ahrairah's request, with editing -- CH)

On July 3rd in military history….in 1940.

The British naval forces destroy the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir in Operation Catapult. After the fall of France in June, 1940 to the Germans, the British feared that the French fleet would be used by the Germans to attack Britain. In order to remove this possibility, the British decided to either capture or destroy as many French ships as possible. Some of the French fleet was already in British ports and these ships were to be boarded and taken over by the British. However, the majority of the French fleet was located at the port of Mers-el-Kebir, outside of Oran in French Algeria.

When the British arrived at Mers-el-Kebir, they issued an ultimatum to the French fleet which gave them three options, 1) Scuttle your ships or join the British in their fight against the Germans and Italians, 2) sail your ships to the nearest British port and hand your ships over to the British or 3) sail your ships to the West Indies where they would be handed over to the United States (who at this time was neutral) and then given back at the end of the war.

The Vichy government rejected all the British demands stating that they would not allow the Germans or the Italians to take over their ships and that all attacks would be met by force. With that, the British fleet which consisted of 3 battleships, 2 cruisers, 11 destroyers and one carrier prepared for battle. The French fleet consisted of 4 battleships and 6 destroyers but some of the battleships were anchored in such a way that they could not use their main armament.

After the smoke had cleared, the British had sunk one French battleship (the Bretagne) and two others (the Dunkerque and the Provence) were damaged and ran aground. The other French battleship, the Strasbourg, was able to escape with 4 destroyers and sail for Toulon. Although the French fleet was not completely destroyed, enough of it was put out of action that it was no longer an invasion threat for the British.

Epilogue: In November, 1942, what remained of the Vichy French fleet in North Africa was captured or destroyed with the American invasion of Morocco. As for the rest of the Vichy French fleet at Toulon, the Germans did try to capture them in November, 1942, but all ships, including the Dunkerque and the Strasbourg were scuttled by their crews.

Family History: My Sainted Father participated in the Sicily invasion and one his war stories was the time that he went swimming in the Mediterranean at Mers-el-Kebir. I always thought it was just some port in Algeria, but little did I know what important events transpired there.

This Day in History (a little bit late)

(Posted from an e-mail at El-ahrairah's request, edited as necessary -- CH)

On June 30th in military history….in 1934.

Adolph Hitler purges the Nazi Party of potential rivals during the Night of the Long Knives (Die Nacht der langen Messer). During Hitler’s rise to power, the brown-shirted Sturmabteilung (SA), a paramilitary organization in the Nazi Party, was the “muscle” that was used to put down dissent and confrontations with other political parties, most notably the Communists. The leader of the SA was Ernst Rohm, a long-time friend of Hitler’s from the days of the Beer Hall Putsch. He was also either a 1) homosexual or 2) someone who enjoyed homosexual encounters (aren't they essentially the same? -- CH).

Whatever the reason, his lifestyle choice disgusted many of the Nazi Party. After Hitler became chancellor in 1933, having a armed group of men who numbered around 2.5 million (the German military was only 100,000) as an integral part of the Nazi party was cause for alarm by more conservative Germans. He was also coming under increasing pressure by other members of the Nazi party to do something about Ernst Rohm and the SA. The SA had started calling for the incorporation of the Germany military into its ranks and being more socialist than nationalist, were becoming discontented with the progress of the socialism part of “national socialism”. Although Hitler became chancellor in 1933, he still feared losing control in a coup d’etat and only the SA had the numbers of men and the ability to mount one. With that in mind and the other problems presented by the SA, Hitler decided to do something to reduce the SA’s influence.

Hitler ordered the leadership of the SA to attend a conference at the Hanselbauer Hotel in Bad Wiessee near Munich. On the night of 30 June, members of Hermann Goering’s Landespolizeigruppe Hermann Goring and Himmler’s Leibstandarte SS Adolph Hitler started rounding up the senior leadership of the SA. Hitler himself and a SS escort detachment went to arrest Ernst Rohm. He was found with his “pants down”, so to speak, with a group of young men engaged in homosexual activity. Rohm along with much of the SA leadership (some were shot on the spot) were arrested and eventually executed. Hitler had intended to pardon his friend Rohm, but ultimately decided that he should die. Officially, 77 members of the SA were killed, although unofficial counts are over 400.

Rohm is reported to have said “All revolutions devour their own children”. Truer words were never spoken.