Category Archives: History

In The (Red) Army Now?

It wouldn’t shock me if Obama’s uncle was in the Red Army, given his mother’s apparent political beliefs, but I suspect that he’s either repeating a family myth, or gaffeing again. I don’t think that this is his Tuzla, though. If he claimed to have liberated Auschwitz himself it might be Hillary-class, but not this.

[Update a while later]

Does Obama even have an uncle who could have served in the US Army?

It’s one thing to get your concentration camps confused, but conjuring up family members puts this in a different class of fabulism. Does he really think that no one will call him on this? Well, considering the way the media has been swooning for him, maybe he does.

[Update a few minutes later]

Heh. From comments, I agree. Maybe he was thinking about his Uncle Joe…

Memorial Day

I’ve been busy working on an article, and finishing the gutters (all done now except strapping the downspouts, because the straps I got are too short), so no posting today. But I did want to note the history of the holiday, for those unaware. Unlike Veteran’s Day, it’s not a day just for remembering war dead, but dead loved ones in general. I remember as a child that my grandmother would always go up to her home town of Beaverton, Michigan (sometimes stopping by on the way home from our cottage by Houghton Lake) to put flowers on her husband’s (my grandfather, who died when I was six) grave.

The Cosmic Ghoul Missed One

Congrats to JPL on the successful (so far) landing of the Phoenix. Interestingly (though almost certainly coincidentally), it happens on the forty-seventh anniversary of Kennedy’s speech announcing the plan to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

And (for what it’s worth–not much, to me, and even more certainly coincidentally) it’s the thirty-first anniversary of the initial release of Star Wars in theaters. I didn’t see it that day, but I did see it within a couple weeks. I remember being unimpressed (“the Kessel run in twelve parsecs”…please), though the effects were pretty good. But then, I was a fan of actual science fiction.

[Update late evening]

It’s worth noting that (I think) this was the first soft landing on Mars in over twenty years, since Viking. Surely someone will correct me (or nitpick me) if I’m wrong.

[Monday morning update]

OK, not exactly wrong (it has been over twenty years), but it’s thirty years. I’m pretty good at math. Arithmetic, not so much.

The Month Of The Natural Disaster

May ’08 has been a pretty rough month for the planet and its inhabitants, what with the volcanoes and tornadoes and cyclones and earthquakes, <VOICE=”Professor Frink>and the drowning and the crushing and the evacuating and the staaaaarving, glavin</VOICE>.

Jeff Masters has a roundup and some history, and some inside info on why the death toll in the country formerly known as Burma was so high.

Don’t Know Much About History (Part Two)

Jack Kelly has more thoughts on Obama’s frightening ignorance of American history (hey, it would be nice if he could just figure out how many states there are):

Sen. Obama is on both sounder and softer ground with regard to John F. Kennedy. The new president held a summit meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev in Vienna in June, 1961.

Elie Abel, who wrote a history of the Cuban missile crisis (The Missiles of October), said the crisis had its genesis in that summit.

“There is reason to believe that Khrushchev took Kennedy’s measure in June 1961 and decided this was a young man who would shrink from hard decisions,” Mr. Abel wrote. “There is no evidence to support the belief that Khrushchev ever questioned America’s power. He questioned only the president’s readiness to use it. As he once told Robert Frost, he came to believe that Americans are ‘too liberal to fight.'”

…It’s worth noting that Kennedy then was vastly more experienced than Sen. Obama is now. A combat veteran of World War II, Jack Kennedy served 14 years in Congress before becoming president. Sen. Obama has no military and little work experience, and has been in Congress for less than four years.

If we elect someone as callow as Obama, maybe Khrushchev will be proven right.

[Update a little later]

Heh. Suitably Flip has a new lapel pin for Barack:

.

[Late afternoon update]

Now he can’t even make up his mind. I guess he was for the unconditional meeting before he was against it.

Don’t Know Much About History (Part Two)

Jack Kelly has more thoughts on Obama’s frightening ignorance of American history (hey, it would be nice if he could just figure out how many states there are):

Sen. Obama is on both sounder and softer ground with regard to John F. Kennedy. The new president held a summit meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev in Vienna in June, 1961.

Elie Abel, who wrote a history of the Cuban missile crisis (The Missiles of October), said the crisis had its genesis in that summit.

“There is reason to believe that Khrushchev took Kennedy’s measure in June 1961 and decided this was a young man who would shrink from hard decisions,” Mr. Abel wrote. “There is no evidence to support the belief that Khrushchev ever questioned America’s power. He questioned only the president’s readiness to use it. As he once told Robert Frost, he came to believe that Americans are ‘too liberal to fight.'”

…It’s worth noting that Kennedy then was vastly more experienced than Sen. Obama is now. A combat veteran of World War II, Jack Kennedy served 14 years in Congress before becoming president. Sen. Obama has no military and little work experience, and has been in Congress for less than four years.

If we elect someone as callow as Obama, maybe Khrushchev will be proven right.

[Update a little later]

Heh. Suitably Flip has a new lapel pin for Barack:

.

[Late afternoon update]

Now he can’t even make up his mind. I guess he was for the unconditional meeting before he was against it.

Don’t Know Much About History (Part Two)

Jack Kelly has more thoughts on Obama’s frightening ignorance of American history (hey, it would be nice if he could just figure out how many states there are):

Sen. Obama is on both sounder and softer ground with regard to John F. Kennedy. The new president held a summit meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev in Vienna in June, 1961.

Elie Abel, who wrote a history of the Cuban missile crisis (The Missiles of October), said the crisis had its genesis in that summit.

“There is reason to believe that Khrushchev took Kennedy’s measure in June 1961 and decided this was a young man who would shrink from hard decisions,” Mr. Abel wrote. “There is no evidence to support the belief that Khrushchev ever questioned America’s power. He questioned only the president’s readiness to use it. As he once told Robert Frost, he came to believe that Americans are ‘too liberal to fight.'”

…It’s worth noting that Kennedy then was vastly more experienced than Sen. Obama is now. A combat veteran of World War II, Jack Kennedy served 14 years in Congress before becoming president. Sen. Obama has no military and little work experience, and has been in Congress for less than four years.

If we elect someone as callow as Obama, maybe Khrushchev will be proven right.

[Update a little later]

Heh. Suitably Flip has a new lapel pin for Barack:

.

[Late afternoon update]

Now he can’t even make up his mind. I guess he was for the unconditional meeting before he was against it.

State Department Issues New Language Guidelines

December 15th, 1941

WASHINGTON (Routers) In an effort to drive a wedge between moderate Germans and those more extreme, the State Department issued new rules today, stipulating that the word “Nazi” was not to be used by department employees to describe the enemy. Germany recently declared war on our country, as part of its alliance with Imperial Japan, which itself attacked us at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii a little over a week ago, and with which we are now at war.

“Nazism has a great many admirable features,” said a department spokesman at Foggy Bottom, “and we want to make clear that despite the fact that the Nazi Party rules Germany, we have no quarrel with the vast majority of Nazis with peaceful intent.”

She went on to describe the National Socialist universal health care plan, its youth programs that inculcate loyalty to the government, its strict and necessary control over unbridled private industry, its wage and price controls, its strict separation of church and state, its progressive views on food purity and safety, and other beneficial features of the fascist system.

“Many of the Nazi programs have their counterparts here in President Roosevelt’s own New Deal, such as the NRA, the CCC, our price monitoring boards, and so on. In fact, many of the ideas of National Socialism were first developed in our own progressive country, and we in turn might want to consider examining their policies for more ways to improve our own.”

She went on, “…if we call Hitler and his staff, who lack moral legitimacy, ‘Nazis,’ we may unintentionally legitimize their rule, and end up offending many of the peaceful National Socialist Germans with whom we can develop a productive relationship after the defeat of the extremist Hitler regime. We don’t want to tar all Nazis with the racism and war mongering of the more fanatical members of the party.”

“We are concerned that use of the term “Nazi” to refer to the murderous extremists may glamorize their racism, give them undeserved moral authority with the German people, and undermine our ultimate war strategy of winning their hearts and minds. We want them to understand that we recognize Nazism as an ideology of peace, and welfare for the common good and betterment of all Germans. Not to mention their understandable desire for lebensraum.”

When asked what term employees were to use to refer to the enemy, she replied, “We haven’t quite worked that out yet. We’re considering ‘the Hitler gang’ for now.”