Swagger VS Knowledge
Sep02

Swagger VS Knowledge

What do the Republican hawks hate about Obama?  George W. Bush had little foreign policy knowledge, remember he didn’t know the difference between Shi’a and Sunni in the lead up to the invasion and occupation of the Iraq war, but he did have “swagger.”  That’s what the hawks hate about Obama – he lacks swagger.  He is cautious and deliberate.  Michael Barbaro takes a look at Chris Christie’s...

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US Trained Alaskans As ‘Stay-Behind Agents’ In Case Of Russian Invasion
Aug31

US Trained Alaskans As ‘Stay-Behind Agents’ In Case Of Russian Invasion

This is interesting: WASHINGTON (AP) — Fearing a Russian invasion and occupation of Alaska, the U.S. government in the early Cold War years recruited and trained fishermen, bush pilots, trappers and other private citizens across Alaska for a covert network to feed wartime intelligence to the military, newly declassified Air Force and FBI documents show. Invasion of Alaska? Yes. It seemed like a real possibility in 1950....

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Things you can do that you couldn’t before digital photography and Photoshop!
Aug31

Things you can do that you couldn’t before digital photography and Photoshop!

As a photographer for nearly 50 years I have been known to miss the “good old days” of film.  Below is a scanned 2 1/4 negative.  A good picture except for one serious flaw – the dreaded white sky. In an attempt to salvage the photo  I used Photoshop  to turn it into a color night scene and replaced the white sky with a partly cloudy full moon  sky. If you look closely you  can see I also added some lights to the...

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SAS and US special forces forming hunter killer unit to ‘smash Islamic State’
Aug31

SAS and US special forces forming hunter killer unit to ‘smash Islamic State’

Now I’ll admit the London Daily Mirror is far from the most reliable source in the world but this wouldn’t surprise me at all. Elite British and US special forces troops are forming a hunter killer unit called Task Force Black – its orders: “Smash the Islamic State.” The undercover warriors will aim to “cut the head off the snake” by hitting the command structure of the Islamist terror group responsible for a trail of...

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Weekend Photo
Aug30

Weekend Photo

When I first arrived in Bavaria as someone who was from the recent Pacific Northwest the thing that amazed me was how I was surrounded by very old structures and...

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The Real Me
Aug28

The Real Me

My dear friend Dr E tells me that the “real” me is is found in my photographs not my words.  So in the future perhaps fewer words and more...

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The End Of Another Summer
Aug27

The End Of Another Summer

While most of my friends, real and virtual,  are bemoaning the end of summer I for one look forward to the shorter days and cooler and cold weather.  There are few things more exciting than a fall or winter Pacific Storm, few things more invigorating than the frigid east wind coming out of the Columbia River Gorge or the far to infrequent snowfall that shrouds the area in a quietness like nothing else can.  My sister came up to visit...

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Republican Surge or Wipeout
Aug26

Republican Surge or Wipeout

Will the Republicans retake the Senate?  At this point we have really no way to tell and we probably won’t until the polls close in November.  As Nate Silver points out only about 10% of the population actually respond to polling which means that political polling is all but useless.  A majority of the Republican base want to do away with the federal government while a majority of them of them are only able to keep their heads...

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A Potential Energy Breakthrough?
Aug25

A Potential Energy Breakthrough?

Hydrogen is not an energy source but an energy transfer medium since it requires more energy to produce the hydrogen than you get out of it when you use it as a fuel.  If it was economical hydrogen fuel cells would be an ideal power source for motor vehicles if not for the negative ERoEI of hydrogen.   But what if the negative ERoEI could be greatly reduced?  Hydrogen is perhaps one of the most common elements on the Earth’s...

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Another Bird Picture
Aug24

Another Bird Picture

Following up on the bird themed photos yesterday here is one from TMV commentator dduck taken in...

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Friends, Allies and Enemies
Aug23

Friends, Allies and Enemies

This post is going to make some uncomfortable, make some angry but just perhaps a few will see some wisdom in it. ‘  The socio-political world is in a constant state of flux.  As conditions change we must reevaluate who our friends and allies are.  One of the most disturbing recent events is the rather sudden rise of ISIS.  There are indications this organization is not so much driven by religion but a psychopathic desire to...

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Weekend Photo
Aug23

Weekend Photo

Well Dorian got tired of waiting for my weekend photo so he published some beautiful pictures of hummingbirds.  I will continue with the bird theme .  This is a lucky shot  I got of a pileated woodpecker.  Another one of those cases of being in the right place at the right time with the right lens.  There was some minimal Photoshop to correct for really bad...

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Book Review – A History Of The Future
Aug20

Book Review – A History Of The Future

James Howard Kunstler was best known for his dystopian non fiction until he made the move to fiction in 2008.  I reviewed his first novel, A World Made By Hand, in 2010.  The US Economy and for all intents civilization has collapsed suddenly.  The reasons really don’t matter, there are hundreds of scenarios that might result in such a collapse.  Only the strongest and the brightest are able to survive and move from a 21st...

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The Police
Aug18

The Police

Watching the scenes from Ferguson, MO has reminded of something a friend of mine, who was an officer in the Portland Police Department, told me some 30 years ago – probably a third of the officers on the force should not be for psychological reasons.   All police officers in Oregon  must attend The Oregon Police Academy.  About 10 years ago the Academy realized the truth of what my friend had told me 20 years before and included...

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Weekend Photo
Aug16

Weekend Photo

This is a beautiful photo by TMV commentor...

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Police Riot In Furgeson
Aug14

Police Riot In Furgeson

As sad and disturbing as the death and possible murder of  Michael Brown  by a police officer in Ferguson , Missouri may have been what I witnessed last night was perhaps even more disturbing.  It can really only be described as a police riot.  Police response to the primarily peaceful protest is only pouring gasoline on the fire.  I watched the coverage from Ferguson for about and hour and a half last night and it was shocking, it...

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When You’ve Lost Iran
Aug12

When You’ve Lost Iran

Iran, a long time supporter of Nuri al-Maliki, has signaled it’s support for the newly selected Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. Tehran (AFP) – Iran officially ended its long-time allegiance to Iraq’s sidelined Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Tuesday, swinging its support behind newly designated premier Haidar al-Abadi in a congratulatory message.   Even Iran has lost confidence in al-Malaki. Iran’s...

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Grifters
Aug11

Grifters

We often hear of different wings of the Republican party, corporate, tea party and libertarians.  But there is another wing, the Grifter wing.  Practical Politicking asks is Is the Tea Party Express Just a Fundraising Scam?  Looking at the data they have obtained it certainly looks like it. $9.5 million raised, at a cost of $8 million, with less than $400,000 going to candidates. What would you consider a charity that raised almost...

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Iraq Continues to Unravel
Aug11

Iraq Continues to Unravel

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse in Iraq they just did.  It looks like we could have a civil war or coup in the Green Zone in Baghdad. Kerry said that the formation of a government is “critical” to Iraq’s stability and urged Maliki not to add to tensions gripping Iraq – where Sunni militants have declared an Islamic state stretching into Syria. “Our hope is that Mr Maliki will not stir those...

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Weekend Photo
Aug09

Weekend Photo

This is a shot I got of a great blue heron a few years ago.  The background has been PhotoShoped but not the bird itself.  Good photos frequently have less to do with skill than being in the right place at the right time with the right...

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