What animal can jump higher than a house?
All of them. Houses can't jump.
Getting out after 20 years gives Al Qaeda a propaganda victory, Ms. Cheney?
You know what wouldn't have given them a propaganda victory? Victory victory. Like 16 years ago. Too bad you don't know someone that could have helped pull that off, back then. Prolly shoula been 18+ years ago.
Prolly your Dad shoulda learned the lessons of Korea and Vietnam. I don't even mind all the treasure we spent (well, not much) but the lives and blood and PSTD and lost limbs deserve something better than "My political opponents are big fat poopyheads."
159 years ago (well, last week) this was the view for my Great Great Grandfather (photo credit: The Queen Of The World. Click to enbiggen):
The 7th Iowa was at the center of the line. This is what Great Great Grandfather would have seen looking to his right:
Peaceful today, not so much that day. This was the view the other way:
Then all hell broke loose. After 4 brutal hours, the 7th Iowa was forced back, regrouping at Grant's "Final Line" where they held the southern forces. Barely. Not all of the Union soldiers in the Hornet's Nest fared so well - 2,500 were surrounded and surrendered.
It was quite a feeling walking that ground today. Great Great Grandfather was a Kansas boy back when the war broke out. Kansas wasn't a state then and so he couldn't sign up, so he and his buddies went north to Iowa where they enlisted in 1861. He went all the way through the war - Ft. Donaldson, Shiloh, Atlanta, Savannah, Columbia, Bentonville. He marched in the parade in Washington D.C. and was mustered out.
On the drive back, The Queen Of The World wondered about all the men who died there. None of them have Great Great Grandsons to remember them, because the war took from them everything they had and everything they would ever have. I would quote from Abraham Lincoln's justly famous letter to Mrs. Bixby, but Mr. Lincoln is perhaps uniquely responsible for all those deaths, and that lack of descendents for all those men.
I also wondered on that drive back why I consider Grant to be a sympathetic character. Long time readers know my opinion of Mr. Sherman, but for some reason I can't shake a somewhat favorable impression of Grant. I need to do some pondering on this.
But like I said, it was a thrill to walk in Great Great Grandfather's footsteps on that battlefield.
The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.
- William Faulkner
Tam caught sight of a Citroen 2CV in the wild, which is pretty cool. But it was only one of the very many cool products to come from Andre Citroen's french autoworks, and highlights the importance of culture (both the corporate and national variety).
Let's talk culture. Andre Citroen was a graduate of L'Ecole Polytechnique, France's foremost technical university. It's influence there is sort of like what we would see here if MIT, Stanford, and Cal Tech merged. It's graduates have always been a big deal in France, and Citroen was kind of the poster child for that. He put his company on the map with the Traction Avant, the first unibody car (introduced in 1935). It's gorgeous exterior hides just how revolutionary its design was:
The unibody construction is unremarkable today, but this was 85 years ago. It meant that the car sat lower because there was no chassis platform. This lower center of gravity made the handling better, and the Traction Avant had a reputation as a getaway car beloved of gangsters of the day.
But there were two other innovations: front wheel drive (hence the name: "Traction Avant" means forward traction) and hydro-pneumatic suspension. This last is an alternative to leaf springs:
Here's where culture comes in. Hydropneumatic suspension is very clever, and much superior to springs - so much so that Rolls Royce licensed the design for its Silver Shadow, and it is used today on the British Challenger tank. However, it's complicated, with a lot of parts compared to a spring. This is both very French and precisely what you would expect from a Polytechnique grad. That culture (what The Queen Of The World calls "complicating a cornflake") is why the design remained mostly confined to France.
But here's a story from my young days. A friend's parents had one of Citroen's later models, the DS:
You could drive this on only three wheels - the dealer actually did this and was stopped by a cop who ultimately realized that there was no law against doing this. The car didn't even come with a jack - if you needed to change a tire you just raised the appropriate wheel off the ground using the hydropneumatic suspension.
It was entirely revolutionary, have superior results, and was overly complicated. In short, it was very french, and neatly sums up why those people simultaneously charm and irritate us here.
But there's no way to describe the engineers at Andre Citroen's company as anything other than genius. The 2CV, the Traction Avant, and the DS were revolutionary.
Here is a double helping of Dad Joke in celebration of Easter! If you're lucky you'll have kids (or grandkids) you can tell these to.
Why was the Easter Bunny so upset? He was having a bad hare day.
Why shouldn't you tell a funny joke to an easter egg? Because it might crack up!
But man is freer than all the animals, on account of his free-will, with which he is endowed above all other animals.Easter is a very old holy day, one of the oldest still celebrated. Things don't stick around that long if they don't speak to something deep in the soul. If they don't speak from an upwelling from some mysterious depth of great wisdom. The mystery, and the great strength of Christian doctrine is that it captures the human cycle of growth, middle age, and old age in a view of two gifts: Free Will and Grace.- St. Thomas Aquinas
No Noble Thing can be done without risk.But the other side of the coin is Grace. As the Child must go into the world to find his own place, so must the Man return from his journeys. We watch our children grow, and gain independence. Sometimes that independence causes friction, or worse. Sometimes the young adult becomes cut off from the old, because of careless words or foolish pride.- Michel de Montaigne
[God’s love] is at God’s initiative and choice; it isn’t given out on the basis of my performance. God’s gospel love is not wages that I earn with a model life; it is a gift. It is a gift that I cannot earn; more than that, it is a gift that I do not even deserve. God loves weak, ungodly, sinful enemies. The gift is the opposite of what I deserve. God ought to kill me on the spot. Instead, He sent His Son to die in my place.- David Powlison, Seeing With New Eyes
Originally posted April 24, 2011.
The Shield was another of the Fear's names. According to Laughter, it means he shields the seed of Abraham the way a man starting a fire shields the flame. When Sarah was about to die childless, the Fear gave her a son. When Abraham was about to slaughter the son, the Fear gave him the ram. He is always shielding us like a guttering wick, Laughter said, because the fire he is trying to start with us is a fire that the whole world will live to warm its hands at. It is a fire in the dark that will light the whole world home.- Frederick Buechner, The Son of Laughter
Did you know that this past February is the coldest in US history since 1894? This sure is some Global Warming. Compare and contrast: media coverage of this vs. media coverage of (hypothetical) warmest February in 127 years.
Quite frankly, this sums up Global Warming prognostication quite well:
I've posted before about the record high temperatures that were seen in 1936. As it turns out, that's only part of the story. 1936 was the year for "Climate Disruption" - and we've had 85 years of more carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere since then but haven't seen such record bad weather. Hmmmm ...
In non-climate dumbness, here's a list of the top 150 intellectuals. Color me unimpressed, although the biggest objection is the use of "intellectual" to apply non-perjoritively in this degraded age. I would have expected Arnold Kling to not put Joe Rogan as high as #1, or Thomas Sowell as low as #71. Hat tip: Chris Lynch who points out the list is silly.