Archive for December, 2007



The Little Town Time Forgot

I went to high school in the small Vermont town of Bellows Falls – there were just under 100 in our graduating class of 1960. Once an bustling railroad and paper town on the Connecticut river the town has only gotten sleepier since my time there. The last time I went through on the train [...]

House to House by David Bellavia

I just finished David Bellavia’s House to House, an infantry Sargent’s account of the second battle of Fallujah in November 2004. In personal terms it is about one man’s struggle to come to terms with his own shortcomings as a soldier and even as a father and husband. In military terms it is a detailed [...]

Bhutto Dead

Although reports are still contradictory and extremely sketchy, the news that Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated looks like it is correct. News sources have few details and Blogs are just breaking it. Blogger Abu Muqawama has the first post I can find that has a reasonably complete narrative: Hospital sources are confirming Benazir Bhutto has, [...]

The Semaphore

A semaphore tower – courtesy Wikipedia Riepl’s Law, put forward by the German newspaperman Wolfgang Riepl in 1913, states that when new media emerge old ones don’t simply go away, they adapt and change. A contemporary German media CEO, Mattais Dorphner put it in contemporary terms this way here: …..new media do not replace existing [...]

The Boy With the Barrow

In the fifties 5% of America’s population produced it’s food. The Soviet Union 50%, China 90%. Now the US does it with one half of 1% – farming, once ubiquitous, is now rare. Worldwide farmers are, for the first time in 5000 years, a minority. See here and here. We still have to eat, but [...]

Gratuitous Snark

Extreme Mortman nails the Washington Post for a bit of MSM gratuitous snark toward bloggers which seems to me to demonstrates the self wounding cluenessness of the established media in understanding the Titanic nature of their predicament or even the basic power of bloggers to widen the hole in their bow. The mainstream media keeps [...]

The Centre is Holding

The centre in Iraq has always been the Shiite majority and its decisive role has been both under estimated and under reported. The Kurds did exactly what the Bush administration hoped all of Iraq would do – get on with peaceful self government and economic activity. The Sunnis chose insurgency and the resulting violence has [...]

Visual Explorations

I was gossiping with my friend Griselda about a couple of very successful Australian businessmen we know for whom Communism/socialism represents good and America evil. The overwhelming problem they see in the world is America and believe that it must be stopped without for a moment recognizing any connection to their own genuine skill in [...]

Wee Whoppers

Alan Sullivan, the Seablogger, who lived on a boat for many years, happens to know rather a lot about the weather. He points out a small error in a BBC news story and speculates how such errors arise and accumulate in a post entitled Little Falsehoods. Here is the quote from the BBC: It was [...]

Shifting Sands

I’ve driven 400 kilometers south to Albany to visit an old friend so this will be a short post. David Brooks catches in this piece something I have been feeling for a while – the mood of the US electorate may be changing. I’ve been looking for someway to characterize it and I have to [...]