2/26/2014

The Hudson




Two interesting articles below....

America Didn't Decline. It Went Global  (found on Politico, but interesting none the less)

By Sean Starrs | 2/24/2014

We’ve been obsessing over the decline or persistence of American power for more
than three decades now. The latest example is a Gallup poll out Monday
showing rising dissatisfaction with the United States’ standing in the world —
but it all started with a wave of declinism in the 1980s, set off by the rise of Japan. Then the
doom and gloom suddenly vanished amid the triumphalism of the 1990s, which
transformed the United States into the world’s only superpower. After the Sept. 11 attacks
and the invasion of Iraq, many thought “empire” was a better moniker, with the United
States apparently able to reshape world order virtually at will. And then just a few years
later — poof! — declinism returned with a vengeance, with American power supposedly
crashing like the latest Hollywood reality queen. China supplanted Japan as a hegemon on
the rise, and the biggest global financial crisis since 1929 — emanating from the United
States itself — was allegedly the final nail in the coffin of the American century.

But really? Is it really possible for American power in the world to flip-flop so wildly over
the decades? Surely, the economic underpinnings of national power run deeper than that?
And throughout these waves of conventional wisdom over the decades, there have always
been contrarians, including in the present. So how is it possible for commentators to look
at the same data and come to completely opposite conclusions?

2/17/2014

New Day Dawning...

My apologies for posting several pictures of the same scene (though I rather like them or I wouldn't post them), but with my knee finally feeling better, I will be getting out & about more.

Here is a little tidbit I received via e-mail from a weight lifting site I subscribe to;
Read it and ask yourself, could you imagine Obama doing that?
Hell, could you imagine Obama even spending time with wounded soldiers?

The last time he went to Afghanistan, he met with Marines only after they had been disarmed.
American Marines, disarmed before being allowed in the same building with the American president.
The mind reels...

With today being President's day, here's
a presidential feat of strength that you
probably haven't heard before:

*******************************************

On the day of April 8th, 1865, President
Lincoln was at a Union Army field hospital
in Virginia. spending hours shaking hands
and greeting thousands of wounded soldiers.

At the end of that long day, he spotted an
ax and walked over to it.

He was able to grip the ax by the very end
of the handle and hold the 7-pound tool
parallel to the ground, motionless.  He was
56 years old at the time.

"Strong men who looked on, men accustomed
to manual labor, could not hold the same
ax in that position for a moment," wrote
Francis Fisher Browne, a Union soldier who
authored a biography called "The Every-Day
Life of Abraham Lincoln."

Lincoln performed this feat on several
occasions and it was never mentioned
that anyone could duplicate it.

2/08/2014

Greatness, Past & Present


The trans Alaska Pipeline.
Construction on the Trans Alaska pipeline began on March 27, 1975 and was completed on May 31, 1977. It's approximately 800 miles long and crosses some of the roughest, coldest, most remote country in North America. It has survived earthquakes, attempts at sabotage, and has produced without a spill. The environmental destruction many said would result never happened.

Today, with the environmental laws, workplace requirements, and numerous other impediments, this pipeline would take at least twice as long to build, if it could be built at all.  Similarly, a nation, the only nation, to have placed men on the moon and brought them safely home numerous times can no longer put men in space on its own. Both conditions are self-inflicted. We still have the capability, but the will is eroding. How familiar today's prevalent attitudes would seem to the Romans of the early 4th century.