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Posts Tagged ‘General History’

Dear Readers: It’s another look at military history withe fellow San Diego blogger Barry Jacobsen/Deadliest Blogger.  Barry will be joining Silvio Canto Jr., and I on Canto Talk this Thursday (Nov. 21, 7 pm PST/9 pm CT/10 pm EST – click here for podcast or archived show).

As week look to the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, it seems timely to look another event that impacted the rest of the decade…the start of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

Barry has a great write-up at his Facebook Military History Page, and those interested in great information exchanges on the subject should check it out.

TODAY IN HISTORY, NOVEMBER 14: THE 7TH CAVALRY AVOIDS A SECOND LITTLE BIG HORN AS AMERICAN FORCES ENGAGE IN THE FIRST BATTLE OF THE VIETNAM WAR, AT IA DRANG VALLEY; 1965!

In the first use of airmobile forces, Lt. Colonel Hal Moore’s 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division is inserted on November 14, 1965 into the Ia Drang Valley; to conduct a reconnaissance in force. This will lead to the first battle between American forces and North Vietnam’s Peoples Army of Vietnam (PAVN).

Intelligence reported the presence of PAVN forces on or around Chu Pong Mountain on the northeast side of the valley. The North Vietnamese were attempting to dominate the Central Highlands of South Vietnam, and the mountain was in fact the base camp for the PAVN 33rd and 66th Regiments; approximately 4,000 troops.

Moore’s 1st Bn, numbering less than 400 men was landed in waves in an open area approximately 100 meters in width, designated LZ X-RAY. Platoons quickly established a perimeter along the wood line surrounding the LZ. Initially, no resistance was encountered.

However, 2nd Platoon under Lt. Henry Herrick spotted fleeing PAVN soldiers, and Herrick unwisely pursued into the wooded hills. 2nd Platoon was soon deep in the wood, isolated from the rest of the Battalion. As they continued the chase, the Americans ran directly into a prepared PAVN ambush. Herrick and his Platoon Sergeant were among the initial casualties. The Americans fell back to a brush-covered knoll, where they were subject to intensive fire and intermittent assault by the Vietnamese.

This force came to be referred to as the “Lost Platoon”. Though three attempts were made to establish contact and rescue the besieged force, they were cut-off and isolated for most of the battle; subject to continuous attacks. Sgt Ernie Savage took command and held out tenaciously despite lack of water, food, and ammunition.

Meanwhile, the PAVN began continuous, coordinated attacks against the 7th Cavalry’s perimeter around LZ X-RAY. For the next 3 days, the PAVN commander attempted to overrun the LZ or Moore’s command post. Moore directed his battalion brilliantly, fending off these attacks with slender reserves and occasional reinforcements; while helicopters braved deadly fire to bring-in fresh men and supplies, and take out the wounded.

Massed attacks by PAVN forces upon the entrenched Americans were met with withering fire and close air and artillery support. The American doctrine of defensive close artillery support proved devastatingly effective; providing a curtain of steel and fire between American and PAVN forces. Moore directed frequent counter-attacks, which threw the PAVN forces back on their heals and preempted several assaults.

Despite successes, LZ X-RAY was closed on the second day. A new LZ was cut with explosive charges; and the supplies continued to flow.

On the morning of the second day, a massed three-pronged attack broke through the perimeter, overrunning both LZ X-RAY and Moore’s command post. Moore radioed “Broken Arrow” to American Headquarters; the signal that an American force was in danger of being overrun. The response was immediate: all available support aircraft in the country were redirected to support Moore’s embattled Battalion. The exposed PAVN forces were hammered with napalm and high explosive ordinance, and their attack broken.

By the third day, Moore’s position was reinforced by both the 2nd Bn 7th Cavalry, and the 2nd Bn 5th Cavalry. The badly mauled PAVN forces withdrew, leaving hundreds dead. Despite the intensity of the fighting, American casualties were a mere 79 killed and 121 injured; a testament to both Moore’s leadership and the effectiveness of American tactical doctrine.

Ia Drang was a tactical victory for American forces, and showed the PAVN command that they were facing a much more formidable enemy than they had previously encountered in either the South Vietnamese army or the French. The PAVN command had thought to handle the American forces in the same way they had the French in the same region in 1954: a battle of annihilation through repeated ambush. Moore for his part stated in his memoir of the battle that he feared another “Little Big Horn” for his own battalion of the 7th Cavalry.

The battle is the subject of the excellent 1992 book, “We Were Soldiers Once… And Young by Lt. Gen. (Ret) Harold G. Moore (Ret.) and war journalist Joseph L. Galloway (who was present as a photo-journalist during the battle); and was adapted into the terrific film “We Were Soldiers” (2002) by Mel Gibson.

Related, Badass-of-the-Week offers this homage to one of the battle’s participants: Bruce Crandall:

Dealing out “death from above” while cranking Wagner from his boom box at maximum volume was cool and all, but it was during the bloody asskicking carnage on 14 November 1965 that Solid Old Snake Plisskin Crandall really made a name for himself as a stone-cold hardass who didn’t flinch in the face of ludicrous amounts of danger and giant raging explosions. Crandall’s company was in the process of combat-dropping the men of the 7th Cavalry Regiment in the Ia Drang Valley when all of a sudden the entire countryside erupted into a geyser of bullets, rockets, and general suckitude. The infantry came under intense fire, seemingly from all directions at once, and within seconds the entire valley was completely littered with dying and wounded American soldiers. Crandall himself was in an extremely exposed position – at one point a squad of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops occupied a position less than 30 yards from the landing zone, opening up at Crandall’s chopper with a burst of gunfire that wounded three men inside the bird – but this ice-water asskicker didn’t freak out and haul his shit full-throttle outta there like the MiGs in Top Gun just because a bunch of dudes with assault rifles and RPGs were hurling massive amounts of incredibly lethal substances at him in an angry and threatening manner. No, this guy waited for wounded men to be loaded into his Huey, refusing to take off until he had filled the cargo bay with soldiers in desperate need of medical attention, and only then did he burn rubber back home.

So, please join us for an exciting show.

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Conwy workmen’s ‘incredible’ medieval house find

Some of the best finds in life are unexpected.

A little archeology news to share today –

The remains of a medieval house and cesspit that could date back to the time of the 13th Century Conwy Castle have been uncovered by workmen.

The remains of a road and other artefacts have also been found in Castle Street about 100 metres from the castle itself.

Contractors working for Dwr Cymru Welsh Water made the find in May.

Experts say the finds are “incredibly important” and could provide a new insight into medieval Conwy.

Ashley Batten, senior planning archaeologist with the Gwynedd Archaeological Planning Service, said the remains could date from before the revolt against English forces, when it is thought that the entire town was burnt to the ground about 1401.

The earliest upstanding domestic building within the town walls is the National Trust run Ty Aberconwy which is dated between 1417-20.

The latest find is “incredibly important,” Mr Batten said.

“The key thing is the remains are deeply stratified remains. There are lots of layers of activity as you would expect in an urban area.

He added a “medieval cross section” of what was hidden under the ground had been uncovered by a trench dug by the workmen installing a sewage pipe.

Also found were items of medieval glazed pottery, coins and metalwork which will give details about medieval Conwy once they have been researched in post-excavation work, he said.

“It gives us an insight into medieval Conwy which may predate the Glyndwr revolts.”

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Dear Readers: Since my first post today seems to be redirecting to an interesting website, I decided to chime in on a second Obama-related topic. If I disappear on the next leg of my American Exceptionalism tour, just support my secession movement in California in memorium (thanks Left Coat Rebel).

On my tour of the East Coast, I have been listening to podcasts entitled STUFF YOU MISSED IN HISTORY CLASS. It has been exceptionally interesting. One gem featured Emperor Norton I, whose base was San Francisco. This confirms my theory that San Francisco has been a lunatic asylum since its inception, and allows me the opportunity to share a tidbit of history with my Shrine Friends.

American Emperor Norton I

Born in England, Norton spent most of his early life in South Africa. He emigrated to San Francisco in 1849 after receiving a bequest of $40,000 from his father’s estate. Norton initially made a living as a businessman, but he lost his fortune investing in Peruvian rice.[5]

After losing a lawsuit in which he tried to void his rice contract, Norton left San Francisco. He returned a few years later, apparently mentally unbalanced, claiming to be the Emperor of the United States.[6] Although he had no political power, and his influence extended only so far as he was humored by those around him, he was treated deferentially in San Francisco, and currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments he frequented.

Environmentalgraffiti.com has a great round-up on this quaint character: Norton I: America’s Unsung Emperor

….in 1859 he impressed the editor at the San Francisco Bulletin with a document that many would have laughed at.

Next morning, breakfast readers of the paper were amazed to see the following: “At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I Joshua Norton… declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these United States; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me invested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different states of the Union to assemble… To make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is labouring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, both in our stability and our integrity.”

He took the grassroots approach that has been so effective for our own Tea Party efforts. Norton I personally inspected sewage systems and drainage ditches. He conferred with the local police force on crime rates. Norton I was the first to make the suggestion of a bridge placement that ultimately became the SF Bay Bridge (which was once proposed to be named after the Emperor). Norton I became a very beloved figure in the city, because of his hands-on approach. Compare this to the current emperor’s golf-based governing style!!!!

Norton I had several innovative ideas, some of which seem to be appealing today. In one of his first acts, he abolished both the Democratic and Republican parties (an idea that we may want to revisit). He abolished the Presidency and dissolved Congress. Norton I also issued his own currency (which may actually be worth more than the current one, given the speed in which today’s administration is printing money).

Norton I Currency

Because he showed “his subjects” such respect and was mindful of their concerns, he was treated like royalty:

He usually ate at fashionable restaurants, but was never asked to pay. Plaques proclaiming his patronage were on show all over, and he used public transport free of charge. Theatres would reserve three free seats for him and his two dogs, knowing that his entrance would bring the audience respectfully to its feet. Newspapers happily published his ‘royal decrees’, and when his outfit became too shabby, the best tailors fought for the privilege of making a replacement, at city expense! Norton elevated all city officials to the nobility, as a thank you gesture.

Mark Twain used Norton I as the basis for his character, “The King”, in Huckleberry Finn. Over 30,000 locals lined up to watch Norton I’s funeral procession. His tombstone reads:

Compare and contrast the leadership style between Emperor Norton and the current occupant of the White House! I think Norton leaves Obama in a very distant second place.

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Dear Readers: I wanted to spend a little time delving into my love of science and history by providing some updates about the eruption in Iceland — as well as a nod to my interest in current events by noting an interesting civil eruption that happened in Los Angeles.

Co/AP; Marco Fulle, not for commercial use

One of the points of curiosity I had was what types of gasses were being emitted, and in what volume. As I noted in a previous post, the 1783 Laki Fissure eruptions created fumes rich in water vapor, sulfur oxides, and fluorine. This combination poisoned to death about 20% of Iceland’s population, impacted the respiratory health of millions of Europeans, and cooled the global climate to such an extent there was several years of severe crop failures throughout Europe. This via Wikipedia.

An estimated 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide were emitted, approximately equivalent to three times the total annual European industrial output in 2006, and also equivalent to a Mount Pinatubo-1991 eruption every three days.[6] This outpouring of sulfur dioxide during unusual weather conditions caused a thick haze to spread across western Europe, resulting in many thousands of deaths throughout 1783 and the winter of 1784.

One of the humorous moments in my quest for information came from uber-leftist environmental extremists. They seemed to delight in pointing out that Europe’s airlines generate more “global-warming” carbon dioxide than Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano (more via Left Coat Rebel).

I have sad news for those science-ignorant fools. It isn’t the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) that is the potential problem here. Firstly, where did this eruption occur? Right over a glacier….comprised mainly of…ICE! And ICE is frozen WATER!THE MOST DOMINANT GREENHOUSE GAS IS WATER VAPOR!Keep in mind, 60% of most eruptions are water vapor; this potential will be substantially increased because of the glacier. The white cloud below is indicative of the tremendous amount of steam and water vapor:

The Icelandic volcanoes are notorious for releasing tons of sulfur oxides, such as sulfur dioxide (SO2). The USGS published this analysis in: Volcanic Gases and Their Effects

The effects of SO2 on people and the environment vary widely depending on (1) the amount of gas a volcano emits into the atmosphere; (2) whether the gas is injected into the troposphere or stratosphere; and (3) the regional or global wind and weather pattern that disperses the gas. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a colorless gas with a pungent odor that irritates skin and the tissues and mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and throat. Sulfur dioxide chiefly affects upper respiratory tract and bronchi. The World Health Organization recommends a concentration of no greater than 0.5 ppm over 24 hours for maximum exposure. A concentration of 6-12 ppm can cause immediate irritation of the nose and throat; 20 ppm can cause eye irritation; 10,000 ppm will irritate moist skin within minutes.

Emission rates of SO2 from an active volcano range from 10 million tonnes/day according to the style of volcanic activity and type and volume of magma involved. For example, the large explosive eruption of Mount Pinatubo on 15 June 1991 expelled 3-5 km3 of dacite magma and injected about 17 million tonnes of SO2 into the stratosphere. The sulfur aerosols resulted in a 0.5-0.6°C cooling of the Earth’s surface in the Northern Hemisphere. The sulfate aerosols also accelerated chemical reactions that, together with the increased stratospheric chlorine levels from human-made chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) pollution, destroyed ozone and led to some of the lowest ozone levels ever observed in the atmosphere.

The SO2 tends to generate sulfuric acid mist in the atmosphere, which reflects light and heat from the sun. Subsequently, severe global cooling has often been the result of large volcanic eruptions. The color of the atmosphere also changes, as noted in this post-Laki description:

…the peculiar haze, or smokey fog, that prevailed for many weeks in this island, and in every part of Europe, and even beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man. By my journal I find that I had noticed this strange occurrence from June 23 to July 20 inclusive, during which period the wind varied to every quarter without making any alteration in the air. The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust- coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting.

The 1783 eruption result in an estimated 8 million tons of hydrogen fluoride and 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide, and created the mist that is described above that eventually become known as the “Laki haze” . The release of hydrogen fluoride killed a substantial portion of Iceland’s population via fluorine poisoning, as well as approximately 80% of sheep, 50% of cattle and 50% of horses.

So, I am still deeply concerned about this event — and am keeping my eye on the situation until the volcanic eruptions end. Essentially, Iceland is a Hot Spot over the splitting mid-Atlantic ridge. It is a very happening place, geologically. Large-scale volcanic actions have cause mass extinctions throughout geologic history.

The volcanic ash cloud has just hit North America!Though it is not expected to travel much farther than the Canadian coast, and air traffic is slowly resuming back to a normal level of activity. Another happy bit of news: At the current rate, there Eyjafjallajokull eruption will not impact the global climate:

The eruption of Mt. Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland has had a chilling effect on air travel, but unless the eruption starts lofting far greater amounts of volcanic material higher into the atmosphere than it has to date, or continues unabated for months, the volcano with the tongue-twisting name probably will not join the ranks of famous climate-altering volcanoes, such as Mt. Tambora in Indonesia and Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines.

Speaking of eruptions, it seems Obama’s team did not anticipate one at the Pro-Boxer rally being held in the Los Angeles California Science Center last night. The maximum leader was heckled by gay rights activists, and apparently gave the notorious death-glare. As Michelle Malikin notes: It’s not the color of his skin. It’s the thinness.The video is at realclearpolitics; Left Coast rebel has more details and analysis. Instead of showing you the event footage, I will show you a video from IOwnTheWorld that seems apt — KING OBAMA:

Democratic California Senatorial candidate Mickey Kaus sums it up best: Obama to Save Boxer Like He Saved Corzine!

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MUT’s News and Views:

Michelle Malkin: Obama: Hey, I’m fighting evil fat cats. Now, send me your donations!

Hot Air has more Junk Science for us today! Great news: FDA to regulate salt in processed foods Also: Obama: America won’t be in the economic position it was before I got here

Gateway Pundit: Dick Morris Bombshell: Reno Told Clinton She Stays On or She Blows Whistle on Waco (Video)
; CNN Anchor Don Lemon Makes Up News – Says N-Word Tape Exists (Video)
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SLOBs (San Diego Local Order of Bloggers)

Beers with Demo: You may be breaking the law by reading this

W.C. Varones: Bill Clinton was right: Allee Bautsch

Richard Rider: END SAN DIEGO BAN ON WAL-MARTS!

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Dear Readers: Before I start processing all the material from the Tax Day Tea Parties, I wanted to take a few moments to review science and history.

Photo by Rueters

Icelandic volcano still spewing huge ash plume

The cloud of ash from the eruption has hit air travel all over northern Europe, with flights grounded or diverted due to the risk of engine damage from sucking in particles of ash from the volcanic cloud.

The volcano under the Ejfjallajokull glacier, Iceland’s fifth largest glacier, has erupted five times since Iceland was settled in the ninth century.

Iceland sits on a volcanic hotspot in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and has relatively frequent eruptions, although most occur in sparsely populated areas and pose little danger to people or property. Before March, the last eruption took place in 2004.

Just by way of background, on 8 June 1783, the Laki fissure eruption began, with 130 craters opened with steam&gas-releasing explosions that were the result of the groundwater interacting with the rising basalt magma. An estimated 20-25% of Iceland’s population died in the famine and fluorine poisoning after the fissure eruptions ceased. The resulting global cooling, climate change, and crop failures eventually caused civil unrest through much of Europe. The French Revolution can trace its roots, in part, to this event. America was also impacted. (Full Details are HERE)

In North America, the winter of 1784 was the longest and one of the coldest on record. It was the longest period of below-zero temperatures in New England, the largest accumulation of snow in New Jersey, and the longest freezing over of Chesapeake Bay. There was ice skating in Charleston Harbor, a huge snowstorm hit the south, the Mississippi River froze at New Orleans, and there was ice in the Gulf of Mexico.

So far, air travel through Europe has been the most impacted. Flights between North American and Europe routinely go over the now ash-filled airspace.

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MORE NEWS:

Reid trails Republican by ten points in full-election poll
Obama mocks tea partiers: You should thank me for cutting taxes
Torquemada Waxman is still watching you
When “social justice” is a code phrase

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Dear Readers: Today, tears are in my eyes as I write — so I hope you forgive me if the thoughts are not as coherent as I strive to achieve. However, despite the pleas of the American people, their phone calls, and their protests, the Democratic leadership has managed to bribe, threaten, and essentially cheat their way to passage of the toxic Obamacare bill. I watched the vote on Fox News Channel last night, weeping as the count crossed 216.

My team at the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition had steeled ourselves for such an outcome. However, experiencing the thing is not the same. I am still tired, and inclined to mourn today. But, we do have plans, as outlined by the brilliant co-founder, Sarah Bond, on Fox this weekend:

Sarah also adds this note for the day:

Many are asking where do we go from here, well for us in California we ask our Attorney General to file a lawsuit and follow 10 other State’s Attorney Generals’ in suing over the Constitutionality of the mandates. Our Attorney General Jerry Brown is also running for Governor so this helps two fold. If he doesn’t seek to file on behalf of the state which is bankrupt now and can’t afford these mandates we will be able to show this as he makes his run for Governor.

Brown was elected to protect the state of California.

Mailing Address
Attorney General’s Office California Department of Justice
Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550

Public Inquiry Unit
Voice: (916) 322-3360 or
(Toll-free in California) (800) 952-5225
Fax: (916) 323-5341
Email: http://www.facebook.com/l/6fa4c;ag.ca.gov/contact/techncl.php

There are 39 states who are poised to legally fight to keep many of the aspects of the Health Care Bill from their doors. We must also contact Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and ask him to support California state sovereignty and not accept this Health Care Bill’s mandates.
Email: http://www.facebook.com/l/6fa4c;gov.ca.gov/interact

CONTACT THE GOVERNOR
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-558-3160 ( new number )

For the rest of this post, I am going to link to materials that give me cause for hope. After a good night’s sleep, I hope to be back to my usual “Spitfire” status tomorrow.

SILVER LININGS
by Powerline

Why America Hates Universal Health Care: The Real Reason — by Zombie of Pajamas Media (MUT Money Quote: Because millions of Americans are secretly thinking the exact same thing as Dr. Sunderhaus and I: Why should we be forced to pay for the costs of other people’s irresponsibility?)

The Future After Health Care — Megan McArdle of the Atlantic (MUT Money Quote — If the GOP takes the legislative innovations of the Democrats and decides to use them, please don’t complain that it’s not fair. Someone could get seriously hurt, laughing that hard. But I hope they don’t. What I hope is that the Democrats take a beating at the ballot boxand rethink their contempt for those mouth-breathing illiterates in the electorate.)

Fire Pelosi: What We Won Tonight — from Riehl World. (MUT’s Money Quote: You may have to wait for the GOP’s new Fire Pelosi site to open. It’s that jammed and donations are pouring in.) He ends with a quote that was a title of a previous post I prepared: ….this is not the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning.

Things we were told we couldn’t do — By Moe Lane.

In case you wish to start the push-back early, I would like to introduce you to Team Hillbuzz. This patriotic band-of-brothers is a group of independent Democrats (very fond of Hillary Clinton) and based out of Chicago. Subsequently, they know best how to counter the Chicago-style tactics the rest of us Americans now chaff under! They have an innovative program to target the donors, including those of MI-1st Bart Stupak, who toyed with his vote and sold it cheap.

By the way, here are the other dirty dozen. Call them up. I have links to their contact information, thanks to opencongress.org:

* Rep. Solomon Ortiz [D, TX-27]
* Rep. Jerry Costello [D, IL-12]
* Rep. James Oberstar [D, MN-8]
* Rep. Steve Driehaus [D, OH-1]
* Rep. Marcy Kaptur [D, OH-9]
* Rep. Paul Kanjorski [D, PA-11]
* Rep. Kathleen Dahlkemper [D, PA-3]
* Rep. Joe Donnelly [D, IN-2]
* Rep. Brad Ellsworth [D, IN-8]
* Rep. Daniel Lipinski [D, IL-3]
* Rep. Charles Wilson [D, OH-6]

The Anchoress offers a series of inspirational quotes from Eric Hoffer, American social writer and philosopher.

Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep.

Finally, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion gives a great PEP TALK, which I totally needed.

One of the most chilling things I heard related to this putrid process was on Rush Limbaugh this morning, when a caller stated that a “Yes” voting Democratic congressman said we would forget by November — that we would not be as energized.

Therefore, tomorrow, I will start to push back like it’s 1994. I would like to end with a quote from a man who knew something of difficult struggles:

“Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense” — Winston Churchill

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Some thoughts from by the San-Diego Local Order of Bloggers:

W.C. Varones: On the plus side, most of it doesn’t go into effect for years, so future Congresses and Presidents have plenty of time to undo it. And as bad as it is with no cost controls, driving up taxes, deficits, and premiums, I think the political will will be there to undo significant parts.

Beers with Demo: You see, though Obamacare is not a single-payer system, the template for complete government control of healthcare has been set and the battles in the future will not be for a repeal of Obamacare (given electoral realities, we just don’t see a full repeal being a possibility) but rather against the incrementalism towards a full-blown, British-style NIH system.

The Liberator Today: It seems appropriate that we should expropriate some of the tactics of our foes to wage a war to restore constitutional government. So here are some suggestions to get us started.

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Dear Readers: Though ancient Egypt will always be my first love, it was good to revisit the myths and legends of ancient Greece this weekend with the Young Prince and his best gal pal. I took both 8-year-olds out to see “Percy Jackson and the Olympians – the Lightening Thief” this Friday, and all of us were enthralled with the film. Bravo to Chris Columbus, the exceptional cast, and the talented crew who put this movie together.

Before I go farther in this quasi-review, I wanted to remark that for me — a 40-something mom — the best part of the movie is Kevin McKidd, who plays the sea god Poseidon and Percy’s father. During the film, Percy’s mom explains that his father was “dazzling”. Indeed. I loved McKidd’s portrayal of Vorenus in the HBO miniseries, Rome. Seeing him as Poseidon was a real treat.

The entire cast, including the three leads (Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson; Brandon T. Jackson as the satyr Grover; and, Alexandra Daddario as Athena’s overachieving daughter Annabeth), were wonderful. Based on the mixed reviews I read, the main point of the majority of complaints is that the movie diverges significantly from the book set upon which it is based. For example, the book-based Percy starts out as 12-years-old; in the film version, he is almost ready to graduate high school. However, as I have not read the series — yet (it is on order) — I was not in a position to experience the usual book-to-film-conversion disappointment.

Some of the sword play was a bit intense, and the Medusa sequence was somewhat scary for my son’s friend. So, as a mom, I say that if your kids are younger than 8 or are squeamish, then this may not be a good movie choice. But I wanted to note that Percy Jackson got a light round of applause during the credits, and entranced the two young children I took. I might suggest that parents who are not familiar with the Percy Jackson series do what I did prior to watching the movie — review the basics of Greek mythology with the children. Here are the key stories/elements to cover:

The Olympians

Perseus and Medusa
Hades Takes a Wife: Persephone

Another controversy, stemming from the world of current events, focuses on the dialog that the satyr Grover utters, which intimates that some demi-gods (children of mixed human-Greek divinity origins) have been/are in the White House. Does Teen Movie Claim Obama’s a Demigod?: Exclusive Interview With ‘Percy Jackson’ Screenwriter Craig Titley

I have to say, the comment was a throw-away line. How YOU interpret it says more about YOU than what the actor meant. When I heard it, my mind went to Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” and the Greco-Roman-rich foundations of this country….and to Brown’s description of the statue of President George Washington as Zeus.

I hope our current President doesn’t see that statue; he will only want to have one carved just like it with his image instead.

Based on the latest news, I might suggest Obama utilize Norse Mythology and carve himself in the image of Loki — the crafty and malicious divinity responsible for Ragnarök (the doom of the Gods).

It was refreshing to see an age of heroes portrayed on the big screen. I have not felt so uplifted since watching The Incredibles or Gladiator. I love the red-blooded dynamics, which is a pleasant change from the pallid passion-fest of the current tween favorite, “Twilight”. I hope that my son and his gal pal strive to develop their unique talents with the same grit and bravado of “Percy Jackson”, and avoid the “Twilight” craze entirely.

Unless the creators of “Twilight” manage to cast Kevin McKidd. 🙂

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TEA PARTY NEWS:

W.C. Varones has a picture/video essay on yesterday’s Orange County Tea Party. Senatorial Candidate Chuck Devore spoke, as did 53rd district congressional candidate Mason Weaver and Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition President Dawn Wildman.

Michelle Malkin as a post reminding us this is the anniversary of the first Tea Party: Anniversary of a porkulus protest: The roots of the Tea Party movement

GLOBAL WARMING NEWS:

Dr. Zero has news of a student protest — actually protesting something worthwhile: SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY!

Students at Penn State are rallying today, to demand an independent investigation into Michael Mann, one of the primary architects of the global-warming swindle. As the organizers of the Rally for Academic Integrity point out, the university’s internal review “consisted of three Penn State employees who have strong incentives to protect the school’s reputation, and the millions of dollars it receives from global warming research grants. There was no external oversight.”

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Dear Readers: I was excited to read that one of my cherished pundits, Charles Krauthammer, noted that Obama’s West Point Speech last night did not sound like either Winston Churchill or Hevry V — as I have quoted both heroes recently. I am using his comment as a jumping-off spot to provide a few updates for my Tea Party “band of brothers (and sisters)”. Before I do, I wanted to share my choice “Quote of the Week”:

King Henry V: We would not seek a battle as we are, yet as we are, we say we will not shun it.

I think all the citizen activists I know can relate. Personally, I would much rather be working on my consulting business — especially as I have been blessed with some wonderful new clients and interesting projects. I would also rather be hanging holiday lights and getting ready to celebrate this Christmas season with Horemheb, the Young Prince, and many others. Also, I am sure my beloved new friends — Dawn, Sarah, and Mark, Larry, W.C., Kimberly, and Dean, who are among the many other motivated patriots fighting to “Unplug the Political Machine” — would also LIKE TO BE DOING SOMETHING ELSE, too!

As long as political, union and corporate elites act to stem or liberties and squander our earnings, then we will not shun these battles.

Let me provide a map of the “field of battle”:

    UNPLUG the POLITICAL MACHINE

Californians are organizing the first Tea Party Petition — to limit the power of Unioln Elites to direct funds for their own political goals. Details are at the Citizens Power website (click HERE). Our local group, the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition, is hosting a “petition training seminar”:

Date: Monday, Dec. 7th
Time: 2:00, 4:00 or 6:30PM (you only need to come to one)
Where: Veterans Museum and Memorial Center; Lower Level Meeting Room (* Enter via the West door facing the large parking lot); Balboa Park; 2115 Park Boulevard, San Diego, Ca 92101

More: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=210207276538&index=1

To better understand the dire need for this initiative, I encourage everyone to read the Big Government series, which summarizes the events leading to the severe beating of citizen activist Kenneth Gladney in St. Louis, including the ties of the mega-union SEIU to the Obama for America (OFA) organization and Health Care for America Now (HCAN is an organization funded by various unions). The series details the unions connections to and manipulations of politicos — especial Democratic representatives — to derail investigations and charges related to this incident. Part 3 is due today, the first two parts are below:

Anatomy of a Beat Down – Part 1 — Why Kenneth Gladney was Beaten and by Whom

Part 2

(I will try and post the third one later today).

    A TOUCH OF NANCY IN THE NIGHT

Tea Party groups throughout Southern California are planning a rally at a Dec. 4th event that will be attended by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. These details are provided by SoCal-TRC’s Sarah:


Time to let the speaker know how you feel about Healthcare, Cap & Trade, or any other critical issue on your mind:

Friday, Dec. 4th
4:OOPM
Hilton Irvine/Orange County Airport
188800 MacArthur Blvd,
Irvine, CA 92612
Exit the 405 freeway at MacArthur (or follow signs for the John Wayne Airport).

Give yourself extra time to park and be prepared to walk. There is no free parking in this area. Airport long term parking may be your most convenient option (expect security at the short term lots to be very restrictive due to secret service presence).

Remember that it will get dark early, so bring flashlights, wear light colored clothing, and be safe. MacArthur Blvd is a VERY busy street!

    I WAS NOT ANGRY…UNTIL THIS INSTANT

I have detailed the toxic effects the California Air Resources Board (CARB), headed my Mary Nichols, has had on our state’s business and economy. I have been informed that many business organizations (such as the Engineering & Utility Contractors Association) are writing Governor Schwarzenegger to call for Nichols’ termination for perpetrating fraud by developing regulations based on the recommendations of a man with a fake PhD (click here for further details; and click here for a follow up story).

I think it would behoove all of California’s citizens to write the Governor to call for Nichols’ termination. It would send a clear message that the average taxpayer is now quite aware of the power-abuses of CARB and we expect our representatives to act. Click HERE for the contact information on Schwarzenegger’s district offices, the Sacramento information is:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building, 1st floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841

We now have much practice writing to our representatives on national issues (e.g. healthcare reform, cap-and-trade). It is now time to put some effort into state specific matters!

(For more on the fraud that is Climategate, please check out this John Stewart video, here).

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MUT’s NEWS and Views

Hot Air’s Captain Ed has a balanced analysis on the content of Obama’s speech last night: A few more thoughts on Obama’s Afghanistan speech.

Gateway Pundit, who first brought us news of Kenneth Gladney, provides Sarah Palin’s thoughts on the speech: Palin On Obama: I Am Glad He Mostly Heeded My Advice.

Speaking of Pelosi, Voting Female Speaks chimes in with: Apparently, 71% of American Voters are Angry Right Wing Extremists if you believe Pelosi! hahaha; Rasmussen Poll Tells the Real Story…

Ecosense has an update “On the Waterfront”…so to speak: Department of Water Resources announcement. Tighter water restrictions, government’s drought to continue.

Beers with Demo has a good look at the real healthcare reform numbers: Quote of the day (UPDATED) … with a “Person of the year” update.

Last, my favorite post of today:

W.C. Varones gives us a mixed lesson in linguistics, history, and culture: Berserker.

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Dear Readers: There was much news to be had through this weekend. As an apt synopsis for the totality of its meaning, this statement from Winston Churchill suits admirably:

“…now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”


(Photo credit: Solar Navigator, http://www.solarnavigator.net/ )

Churchill made this statement after the battle of El Alamein in Egypt, in which the allies soundly defeated the Germans lead by General Rommel. It was one of the earliest indications that the Allies had they could beat back Axis forces. However, Churchill recognized the long road ahead (e.g., invasion of Italy, D-Day, defeat of the Japanese) and the sacrifices still to be made.

In no particular order, here are MUT’s news highlights, and the reason each demonstrates the end-stage of the initial process of Tea Party citizen activism’s push-back on the big government power grabs.

* SNL- has an outstanding video lambasting the Obama deficit-based policies for “economic stimulation”. MUT’s Money Quote: “I like to be kissed when someone does sex to me”. Reason for entry: SNL would only mock Obama if the public at large lost “that loving feeling”that is, SNL humor is a lagging indicator of public sentiment.

* Global warming data has been debunked as the “snake oil” science that Sarah Palin said it was. The Bishop Hill blog has a nice summary of the emails that were apparently released by a Whistleblower (click here to go to this important link) A snippet:

# Phil Jones writes to University of Hull to try to stop sceptic Sonia Boehmer Christiansen using her Hull affiliation. Graham F Haughton of Hull University says its easier to push greenery there now SB-C has retired.(1256765544)
# Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)
# Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results (0939154709). Analysis of impact here. Wow!
# Phil Jones describes the death of sceptic, John Daly, as “cheering news”.
# Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request.(1212063122)
# Phil Jones says he has use Mann’s “Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series”…to hide the decline”. Real Climate says “hiding” was an unfortunate turn of phrase.(0942777075)
# Letter to The Times from climate scientists was drafted with the help of Greenpeace.(0872202064)

This means that the public will be more supportive and engaged in pushing back on junk science (e.g., repealing AB32–California’s cap and trade rules — and turning on the taps to the Central Valley water). It also indicates that the Tea Party groups are also more likely to utterly defeat Cap and Tax. A sweet, first victory — but much work remains to be done.

[CARB Update: We have been following the “snake oil” science of the California Air Resources Board. We want to congratulate Jeff Lassle and all others involved in getting CARB to grant another extension to the “sell-thru period” for composite wood panel products (the details on CARB’s hideous rules based on junk science are detailed HERE: The REAL Hazard to CA Citizens, Formaldehyde or CARB?). Jeff notes: I am not aware of anyone whom ever got CARB to cave in like this, but could be the economy or maybe this massive fight against them is working.]

California citizens need to keep fighting!

* Many of us our discouraged by the U.S. Senate cloture vote this weekend. Our own Sarah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition, offers these words that are similar to the points made by Churchill after El Alamein:

But I can’t help shaking this gut feeling it was for the best (sort of)…because it drags out the debate for at least a couple more weeks. I could be COMPLETELY wrong, and I’m sure I’ll hear from a lot of you on this. But if it has failed last night, Reid would have just gone to Reconciliation…where they only need a simple majority. At least we are still in a fight where we have to make them pick off 60 votes.

What we need more than anything in this fight is to delay, delay, delay. Drag this debate out as long as possible. The polling numbers keep getting better in our favor and 2010 creeps nearer and nearer.

We are hoping to get some good intel later today to pass along to everyone. Please keep up the pressure…it disarms the opposition when we DO NOT lose heart…when we make it clear we have the stamina to take this fight all the way to the finish line…even if that means taking this cause to the courtroom.

For those citizens wishing to discuss their viewpoints on healthcare reform with the “YES” Senators in Red States directly, here below is a list (courtesy of Jumping in Pools) of these policos, and HERE is a place to get the contact information:

Alaska – Mark Begich.
Arkansas – Blanche Lincoln.
Arkansas – Mark Pryor.
Louisiana – Mary Landrieu.
Missouri – Claire McCaskill.
Montana – Max Baucus.
Montana – Jon Tester.
Nebraska – Ben Nelson.
North Dakota – Kent Conrad.
North Dakota – Byron Dorgan.
South Dakota – Tim Johnson.
West Virginia – Robert Byrd.
West Virginia – Jay Rockefeller.

In conclusion, I say that three years from now, we are going to look back at Obama’s Asia trip as the Tea Party version of El Alamein.

(MUT Note: I have the Young Prince to thanks for the inspiration. We watched History Channel’s WWII in HD together all last week, and that is when I heard this Churchill quote).

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MUT’s News and Views:

* Hillbuzz outdoes itself, posting a great piece on teaming up of Cheney/Palin with a hint of Star Wars: Help Us Dick Cheney, You Are Our Only Hope. Gotta love it!

* From Voting Female Speaks: Obama to Congress: Do as I do – sacrifice reelection to unleash Socialism on an Unwilling America.

* Viscount Monckton on Climategate: ‘They Are Criminals’ .

* Where Has the Thrill Gone? (From the incredible Victor Davis Hanson).

UPDATE: Thanks to Charles Caesar: The Death Blow to Climate Science.

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Dear Readers: An awesomely awesome read today from Iowahawk, which is an essential for anyone who loves history and wit.

Obama Like Me? Roman, Please

Anyhow, every since we got wifi at the Pantheon, I’ve been spending a lot more time online checkin’ out the dillyo back in the mortal ‘hood. That when I read about this choad praetor Rocco Landesman, saying that your new imperator Obamacus is “the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar.” At first I was LMFAO because, let’s face it, the Juice didn’t waste his prime warrior time word processing a bunch of papyrus scrolls. Word cuz, where I come from that kind of bullshit is for light-in-the-sandals scribefags like Livy and Plutarch. So I guess it was like hearing “Obama is the greatest chariot mechanic since Julius Erving.” But then I think about it, and I’m like, WTF? Obama’s palace asslick is comparing him to me? Srsly?

Agrippa, please — act like you know. Skinny fool stages his own tribute in front of some brokeass styrofoam Roman columns, lines up some chump posse of media hagiographers and art school twats, and now y’all are like he’s some OG mac daddy Julio-Claudian baller. Well, the Juice is here to say there ain’t no half steppin’ in the SPQR

MUT’s MONEY QUOTE: Yo Obamacus, Rome up your shit!

Iowahawk, we love you, man! A special shout-out from the ancient Egyptian contingent at the Shrine of Flaming Capitalism! And here is a famous depiction of the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII, meeting Julius Caesar:

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