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September 26, 2009



OT, Alicia de Larrocha has died. I loved her music.


TM writes two or three columns per day that are funnier, better written and more closely reasoned than what most of the syndicated knotheads, left or right, turn out in a week.

Jack is Back!

I can't believe I am cheering for France.


"Sing the Marseillaise" from Casablanca

If I were the realists of the world, I'd be scared.

I'm gonna get boring about this, but Sarkozy also said 'We live in a real world, not a virtual world'. The judgement of the world's realists is that Obama is mad.

Captain Hate

I can't believe I am cheering for France.

I can; J'aime la France. My youngest Hatette was part of a student exchange and it was a great experience for her and the girl who subsequently stayed with us. I've been treated like a king everytime I've visited there; even when I was erroneously accused of shoplifting in Mt St Michel (despite that one of my favorite places anywhere). I find that the typical French person is very gracious.

Jim Ryan

I don't get it. A man with O's resume can't handle foreign relations hardball?

Cecil Turner

Okay, that was a wasted five minutes. Most interesting bit:

Welcoming and supporting the steps taken to conclude nuclear-weapon-free zone treaties and reaffirming the conviction that the establishment of internationally recognized nuclear-weapon-free zones on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at among the States of the region concerned . . .
Not sure how this stuff is supposed to work, since a regional treaty isn't going to stop a nuke from landing . . . and, like arms reduction efforts (and things like the 1972 BWC), it seems to me to provide a perverse incentive to proliferation.


I guess I'll have to do it, in the LUN.

Rodney Obama

can't we all just get along?

Jack is Back!

Cap'n Hate:

Tongue in cheek - my brother in law is French. And don't forget Normandy is the most pro-American part of France even Europe when you think about it. Mt. St. Michel is the most visited site in all of France - even more than the Eiffel Tower.

My point was after Mitterrand and Chirac and their crazy attitude toward us it is refreshing to find a more realistic leader for the French.

Thomas Collins

This takes the cake (or the croissant, as it were). Obama's supporters are always yapping that Obama has restored our prestige. It's exactly the opposite. Sarkozy's speech is an indication that the French (and most likely others) do not now take us seriously. Euros and others may have complained about GWB, but we were taken seriously when he was in charge.

Jack is Back!


While you're at it can you start to round up the usual suspects?

Gregory Koster

"The judgement of the world's realists is that Obama is mad."

Scary, yes. But also an opportunity to roll the madman. The Chinese have a long list of things they want, and are sure they are going to get them. They'll pay later, but why should they worry?

"Sarkozy's speech is an indication that the French (and most likely others) do not now take us seriously."


"Obama ought to auction off his senior thesis from Columbia on Soviet nuclear disarmament, with the proceeds going to pay down the national debt."

Why would anyone want to buy something NOT written by Ayers?

All those cheering the French: there seems to be an exclusion principle at work, viz: The French and the American presidents can't both be sensible at the same time. That's what you are cheering.

It's going to be a long three years and seven odd months.


The bloom is definitely off the rose with Obama now. He has shown his true colors, and they are a nice Stalinist red and gold.

He is selling us out everywhere he can and any way he can.

Have been independent for 30 years, but I find myself going to the California Republican Convention this morning to check for brain activity. Will report back.


The bloom is definitely off the rose with Obama now. He has shown his true colors, and they are a nice Stalinist red and gold.

Revolutionary Red and Comrade Crimson?

Comrade Red

JM Hanes

Ducking shoes, and crossposting:

Enduring America, which has some of the best daily coverage of background, events, rumors, analysis of Iran, doesn't hesitate to take Obama and the west to task, so the following assessment doesn't come from Obama apologists:

What must be emphasised is that the entire Obama policy in Iran, including the New Years message and the broad engagement strategy, was conceived with the full knowledge that the US could always bring out the “secret nuclear plant”. This was the ace in the hole, which Obama always had, if he needed to inject a sense of urgency into the process of engagement.
It will certainly shock opponents of engagement that Obama was prepared to offer so much knowing that the Iranians were building this facility. They will also now assume that all of the current US Government assessments regarding how long it will take for Iran to get the bomb, including the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, are incorrect. The immediate pressure, however, is on the International Atomic Energy Agency, especially as judgement has already been passed that the configuration of this site, and the nature of its concealment, are not consistent with a peaceful program.

While a lot of people are using the contrast between Sarkozy and Obama to ridicule Obama, the practical ramifications are going largely unexamined. It's certainly about time the Euros stepped up to the plate, and I suspect Sarko is thrilled to be the man out in front making the news. His unicorn asides have less to do with Obama than with establishing himself as the realist willing to make the hard choices, in other words, as the one taking, and being seen taking, the lead on the international stage.

That kind of ownership may, in fact, be the leverage which shifts the balance in the Security Council. The PR faceoff with the US fomented, and essentially being won, by the Russians is wildly popular at home, so there's not much incentive to collaborate in a bipolar US vs Iran venture. They may have sold Obama on the idea of abandoning the eastern Europe missile shield as a quid pro quo for sanctions, but I suspect they're a lot more concerned about pressure from their critically, economically, significant Euro market. In other words, they got a huge hegemonic bang from Obama for the buck they were probably already prepared to spend if useful. If/when they do, it won't look like they are acquiescing to the American Prez, but rather accommodating their European partners. They're playing the missile issue as a U.S. course correction, a measure of Russian influence, not the result of a U.S./Russian bargain. This is not just self-aggrandizing propaganda, as it seems to be described in much of the press.

If the Chinese do cave on sanctions too, it will be billed as a huge victory for Obama's multilateralist policy, and if not, it will be billed as a failure of the international community. That is, in fact, what it will be either way. What will be ignored amidst the plaudits for Obama or the disdain for a feckless Security Council, is the huge price that Obama is paying in the expansion of Russia's sphere of influence, if not dominance over abandoned US allies, and the augmentation of Russian influence in Iran where they will not hesitate to subvert any regimen imposed by the United Nations. Sanctions are ultimately a good deal for Russia and China; corruption 'r us, and doing business under the table is just a little more complicated than doing business in the open. This time, the end game may even look more attractive, if the French refrain from abusing sanctions for their own positioning and economic gain -- something which could easily diminish western influence in the region.


JM Hanes, it was worth reading twice.


Welp Matt, I am a rather newly minted Independent and I see no other choice than following you to the Republican Convention and having a look.
Obama is not in any way shape or form what I had hoped he would be, as you would say, the bloom is off the rose in every single aspect of what he is trying to accomplish.
I find myself saying silently that the enemy is not at the gate, he is inside the gate and almost in complete control.

The gut feeling rule is now something I will live by if we make it out of these next 3 years and still resemble anything of what our country was like when we we're growing up.

hit and run

President Barack Obama speaks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, before the start of the morning plenary session at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, Friday, Sept. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)

"Your American media say you have greatest pectoral muscle. I say it is not great as Vladimir Putin because it look, how you say, very soft. I must feel."



Remember, though, that Russia owns Western Europe these days. The natural gas cut offs hit a number of countries, with the exception of France, hard last winter and the one before. The Russians have been sending messages for some time.

The problem, as Saddam showed us, was that no matter how "stringent", someone will always break them. It's too profitable for the crooks like Russia and China. I wrote it up yesterday.

The only real options that might dissuade the mullahs are a military blockade or the threat of utter destruction delivered publicly. Of course the price of oil would skyrocket. It may be a good time to buy non-Persian Gulf oil stock anyway if the Israelis decide to move.

The problem then would be whether the Iranian people will overthrow the government or unify behind them. Maybe some Predator strikes as payback for Iranian meddling in Afghanistan and Iraq are in order, but President Pantywaist wants no part of any of this.

All of the options basically suck. That's what happens when you use Chamberlain policies.

JM Hanes

Appreciate the kind indulgence, Rich!


More caption contests than auras emanating from the press these days -- it's been awhile since last we saw halos embellishing the presidential visage, hasn't it?

Old Lurker

"The judgement of the world's realists is that Obama is mad."

Angry or Crazy?

Hmmm. Come to think of it, there IS a Mad Cow in his life.


Medvedev must be a fan of Robert Altman films. He seems to be about to engage in the move performed by Howard Duff in "A Wedding" and Michael Gambon in "Gosford Park."

Greg Ransom

France -- leader of the free world.

Original MikeS

What does the Iranian Regime care about? They don't seem impressed by condemnation from the West at the U.N.

They are experienced with sanctions. They will try to use the resulting hardships, to unify their population by blaming the West.

Iran must import 40% of its' gasoline because they lack refining capacity. If they cared about their energy dependency they would build refineries rather than nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons. Any disruptions in gasoline supply would be borne by Iranian civilians and to some extent blamed on the west.

The Iranians behave as though they think the pursuit of nuclear capabilities is worth the risk.


I do what I can JM. You're my favorite;)

I'll LUN my only bit ever published to American Thinker:

He also states previously that the threat from "Iran is grave, it is real ..." and he will, if president, eliminate it. However, as the above passage demonstrates, he must believe that prior to 2003, the US policy of "dual containment" was working. It wasn't. The Iranian sponsored bombing of al-Khobar in 1996, their sponsoring of bombings in 1992 and 1994 in Argentina, their collusion in the AQ Khan network, their counterfeiting of US currency are all data points for the failure of "dual containment". The failure of "dual containment" in the 1990's would require a multi-volume history to fully detail. The Middle East in the 1990's, for all of the Clinton administration's talks with Arafat and Syria, its weepy near apologies to Iran, and Clinton's own war against Iraq-made it more dangerous, not less, by the time the Bush administration was elected. Obama wants to dust off the Clinton playbook of failure, call it new, and with only wishful thinking, heal the Middle East with talk.

We knew since the 1980's, not in 2002, that Iran was a sponsor of terrorism. We knew in the 1990's, not just during the Bush Administration, that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons. The Council of Guardians, with their support for terrorism and their pursuit of nuclear weapons, are fighting a war against the US and Israel that they believe they can and are winning. How will a US retreat from Iraq dissuade the Council of Guardians that they are not winning? How will sweet words from an Obama Administration sound differently than the same sweet words from the Clinton Administration of the 1990's? Because they will be "tough", that they will be said without a southern accent, that they will be said in the special Said (Orientalism) code?

We have seen what happens when an army packs up and leaves in the Middle East, in Lebanon in 2000 and in Gaza in 2005. An Iranian sponsored terrorist force fills the void, the terrorist force consolidates its political power through violence, and then they launch another war to extract more concessions. Tough action against Iran would eliminate the regime, not strengthen it by legitimizing it in negotiations, giving it membership to international organizations, nor supporting UN sanction regimes which drive the economy deeper in the regime's hands, open up opportunities for international corruption, and are mostly ignored because there are few consequences for cheating.

bio mom

Haven't we been here before, more than once? The EU3, then the group of 5 plus 1 and all that? Why should this all of a sudden be called a brilliant strategy?


Insightful and beautifully written, as always, JMH. Thank you.

Original MikeS

If I was writing the screenplay, right about now I would introduce the "Oil Interests." Fearful of a nuclear conflagration that would contaminate Middle Eastern oil supplies, these "Oil Interests" would launch a campaign to convince the Iranian people that Iran's nuclear gambit was a foolish and reckless endeavor.

The "Oil Interests'" campaign would include harassing attacks, not intended to severely harm targets, against Iran's gasoline refineries, port facilities, and IED attacks on individual tanker trucks. The goal being to increase the Iranian people's awareness of their vulnerability, which was a direct result of Iran's nuclear programs.


Obama's and Sarkozy's comments aren't at odds. Sarkozy was affirming Obama's earlier comments and holding them up as an ideal that is hindered by the developments in North Korea and Iran.

Dave (in the People's Banana Republic of MA)

I hope we don't end up nostalgic for the more muscular foreign policy of the Carter years.

JM Hanes


"Remember, though, that Russia owns Western Europe these days."

I'm suggesting that the pipeline equation works both ways.

Russia literally can't afford to place itself in opposition to a united Europe. That's one of reasons why breaking off the eastern "bloc" has been a priority. Their newly revitalized sphere of influence could as accurately be described as newly created buffer zone. For the time being, Russia can shut off spigots selectively to great effect -- and now, more brazenly than ever, blame corruption in former U.S. allies, as needed, for the ensuing pain. If they make western Europe collectively too nervous, however, they could easily find their primary clients ramping up nuclear energy production, and more energetically looking to finance alternative pipelines as a result -- which would spell economic disaster on the Russian front.

Accommodation on sanctions is a cheap price to pay for a whole string of advantages. You get a chorus of Russo-European kumbayyah, a near monopoly on business with Iran, with only China as a potential competitor, and you keep Iranian oil off line. What's not to like?

It's a safe bet that Obama won't be interrupting Russian wheeler-dealing -- especially with sanctions in place -- by launching missiles or anything else other than diplomats. The intel on nuclear handoffs to terrorists would never be sufficiently dispositive for a politically driven Administration, and the odds on whether Obama would be more likely to condemn than defend a unilateral Israeli strike don't look good to me at all.

Given Obama's resemblance to Jimmy Carter, it would be foolhardy to underestimate the Brzezinski influence, which includes both pére et fils. The grand strategist of debacle, and former Russophobe, who was among Obama's earliest advisors, has actually crossed the Bear off his threat list. He believes that a new generation in Russia is warmly disposed toward the U.S. and is apparently convinced a second Russian implosion & dissolution is immanent.

From a Russian perspective, it's all good. From a U.S. perspective, how bad can jumping this shark get?


Medvedev: "is zees your RESET button?"

Booker T.  Gain

China and Russia are opposed to any action. Therefore Obama’s vaunted International Community will do nothing. The U.S., Britain and France won’t act unilaterally. They are all talk.

The last leader to take seriously the threats from a fanatic who “wasn’t fulfilling his international obligations” is still being vilified on a world wide basis, even after he liberated 28 million people and removed a U.N-defying, genocidal, mass murdering stalinist who today would be developing nuclear weapons, if he had not been deposed.

Obama will talk until Israel has no choice but to attack. There will be world wide outrage against Israel when it does attack and Obama’s mentor, ghostwriter and former dinner companion (who taught him so much) will all be delighted.

hit and run

Medvedev: "is zees your RESET button?"


"And why you laugh like Pillsbury Dough Boy?"

Manuel Transmission

Hey Caro,

Are you still in VA, or have you cruised on to distant ports? Our 43' is now nicely ensconced in her new slip which will allow for davits to hold the dinghy out of the water. (That much less maintenance.)

Cheers from the other coast.


"You have such a beautiful voice. The "Audacity of Hope" audiobook? Wonderful. When I get back to Moscow I will listen to it every night. It is most convenient for readjusting my circadian rhythms to our time zone."


I'm sure he's lobbying for his own iPod full of O speeches.


Although I'm sure the Queen would be ever so relieved to let him "borrow" hers.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Wow, maybe it is safe again to admit to the family name of: L'Hommedieu.

TM: This line has put me in a good mood for the rest of the day:

The Security Council achieved unanimity in their resolution by clever diplomatic maneuvering which sidestepped the divisive question of whether Obama's "dream" should be achieved through reliance on Magic Ponies or by means of the Care Bear Stare.


Med - "Glad to see you got the talking points we delivered to you".

BO - "Just let me know whatever I can do to help. George didn't know a thing about seeing into somebody's soul".

JM Hanes

I call dibs on RichatUF (don't tell MayBee)!

You are dead right about the real world consequences of sanctions. They don't debilitate dictators, they empower the despot who becomes the sole, official, nexus through whom all commodities must flow. Populations, and a middle class which might otherwise carry considerable counterbalancing weight, become so dependent on the government monopoly of goods and services that the possibility of resistance politically, economically, or by force, drops to near zero. That's what makes the idea, conveniently espoused from so many comfy chairs, that it's up to "the people" to dethrone their own tyrants is so fundamentally fatuous.

The very premise of sanctions is the counter-factual proposition that the internal pressure which putatively results will persuade recalcitrant governments to cooperate in their own devolution. The appearance of capitulation or good behavior, however, seems to come when the offending party's stranglehold on power is well nigh irreversible. The price for any international cooperation that results is paid by the citizens who are isolated behind their rulers' sovereign walls.

The willful blindness to example after example serves primarily to buttress the comforting (largely western) illusion that there are substantive incremental steps between simple diplomatic engagement and the use, or even the threat, of force. IMO, sanctions are part of a self-justifying progression that is really designed to avoid decisive action. I am cynical enough to believe that scruples over risking lives often figure less prominently in such equations than the calculation of political expenses.

The world's aggressors clearly understand the math. Russia has little compunction about sending tanks into Georgia, and China knows no one is going to complicate their contractual relationships in Sudan by intervening in the Darfur genocide on the ground. Lesser tinpots are only constrained by their resources -- and their usefulness to their veto-wielding co-conspirators in the Security Council, who operate with a very different set of whips and carrots.

JM Hanes


I wondered where you'd disappeared to. Jane hinted that you were out bounding on the main. Hope the weather treated you well.

Original MikeS

Despite sanctions and years of carrot and stick diplomacy, Iran insists on continuing a nuclear program that threatens the region.

I wonder if there is an intermediate military step that could be taken. Something less than the bombing campaign that would be necessary to disable Iran's nuclear program. Even the latter would have only a temporary effect.


In a love letter to RichUF, she woos me.

'Tis a crazy love polyhedron here at JOM.


ManTran and JMH, ahoy. Thanks for asking. I am currently marooned in an unexpected stopover in the Hamptons (nice place!). Shinnecock Harbor, to be specific, on the south shore of Long Island. I am wondering if there are any JOMmers out here! Some mechanical issues and pilot error, but all is well. And I can get wifi on the boat. Alternator in the shop until Monday.

hit and run

OK, back to this...JMH:
More caption contests than auras emanating from the press these days -- it's been awhile since last we saw halos embellishing the presidential visage, hasn't it?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090926/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_iran>Obama offers Iran 'serious, meaningful dialogue'

The picture they run with that headline?


Now. That's a pretty goofy look there by Obama. And it's a really goofy look when coupled with an article ostensibly about a "serious, meaningful dialogue" with Iran.

But, don't be hard on Obama for that. The photo is of him looking up at his family on the WH balcony after he got off of Marine One. In that sense, the goofiness is really endearing. And I mean that sincerely.

But back to JMH's point -- what's up with these media types that they've moved from deification to goofification?


I dunno why sanctions wouldn't work with crazyman A-jad. After all, look how well they worked with Mr. Rational-by-Comparison, Hussein, in Iraq.


More tough talk, this time by my senator, Russ Feingold:

“I am extremely troubled by the latest revelations that the Iranian government has sought to hide its nuclear activities from the international community. I applaud President Obama and other world leaders for clearly stating that this behavior by Iran will not be tolerated. The international community must act, through multilateral sanctions if necessary, to ensure that the government of Iran immediately opens up all of its facilities to international inspections.”

I'm so comforted, particularly by that "latest revelations" part indicating he's unaware that Obama's known for a months about this. And by his adoration for "clearly stating" things, as though A-jad isn't even more clear.


"Barack Hussein Obama, mmm mmm mmm ... tasty!"

-- A-jad


Simply wanted to say that it always amused me that Berkeley had declared itself years and years ago a nuclear free zone. Never wanted to lose an engine in the vicinity.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Add Castro to the list. Cuba has had what, nearly 50 years of "multilateral sanctions". In spite of that, how much mischief has that aged tin pot dictator running a two bit nation, 1/7th the size of Iran, (without a chance of any nukes), caused? Ask free nations throughout South America, Central America, and Africa.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Obama On Nuclear Conflict With Iran: "I'm Not Interested In Victory" (Video)

Gateway Pundit asks: "What kind of crackpot did we elect?"

Charlie (Colorado)

I've got to say, I've always had a lovely time in France anywhere more than about 20km from Notre Dame.

Charlie (Colorado)

Hard to dislike France when they give us dirty songs sung by Brigitte Bardot.

And the best national anthem evah.

Charlie (Colorado)

Okay, and while I'm at it, the song I think the Tea parties should adopt.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Here's looking at you, Charlie.

Charlie (Colorado)

Gateway Pundit asks: "What kind of crackpot did we elect?"

First class.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Perfect Charlie.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

NEW YORK -- The husband of U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney has died on a mountain climbing expedition in the Himalayas, aides to the congresswoman said Saturday.


And since Obama has to evenly distribute his weakness and fecklessness, the Powerline write up of a Times article on how Obama is planning on cutting-and-running from Afghanistan too.

From the NYT article: Mr. Powell is one of the three people, with Senator John F. Kerry and Senator Jack Reed, considered by White House aides to be most influential in this current debate.

Wow. Yikes.


The New York Times, via Powerline, discovers that the military isn't completely onboard with the Afghan
surge, they cite Gen. Casey, leaving
out how his reluctance to change strategy
left the vacuum, that they could blow up into the great Iraqi 'civil war'


Well I keep coming back the WMD and Iraq, and how our intelligence officers declared in 2007 there was no Iranian threat. Franky I didn't believe it, but somehow that history has got to play a role here somewhere.

Original MikeS

Iran has been getting away with training people to attack U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with supplying some folks with Iranian rockets to fire at our troops.

What's good for the goose...
I think some minor pyrotechnics in Iran would probably encourage China and Russia to support sanctions.

JM Hanes

[Completely O/T, although not inconsistent with previous detours]


You've probably jumped ship already, so to speak, but your reported troubles inspired me to dig out the journal of an outing my great-grandfather and assorted companions enjoyed in 1895.

Winsome Crew

They sailed from Boston around to Newport, down the CT coast to Sands Point, then back up northern Long Island and home to Marblehead -- aboard what they dubbed: "Our Majesties' Sloop Winsome."

OMS Winsome

They too, spent a night in port, with the Winsome up on the skids, after deciding that they were taking on just a little too much water. The talky account, complete with a more formal tintype cut into the front, describes some tricky sailing here and there, along with amusing details like: "Got snarled up with lobster pots on the run in [to Cuttyhunk], from which we borrowed some 10 lobsters."


The November 2007 NIE was all about the sound bite. It was a way that a few top "intelligence" people and Bush haters could undermine Bush. They knew he could never counter the headline. The text of the NIE wasn't as bad, it was the deliberate spin put on it.

WSJ back then:
Our own "confidence" is not heightened by the fact that the NIE's main authors include three former State Department officials with previous reputations as "hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials," according to an intelligence source. They are Tom Fingar, formerly of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research; Vann Van Diepen, the National Intelligence Officer for WMD; and Kenneth Brill, the former U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


President Pantywaist screams one of the British paper headlines. Wont the Democrats in Congress want to censure such rude ( and truthful ) behavior?


I expect Obama to kick start his dream by announcing the US will destroy 10% of its stockpile of nuclear warheads each year from 2010.

JM Hanes

Great stuff JMH,

Big time jealous of Great Granddaddy. ">http://www.amazon.com/Years-Before-Mast-Signet-Classics/dp/0451531256/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254020153&sr=1-3"> Two Years Before The Mast. Great read.


I see no reason whatever why a Belligerent Dictator intent on acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction should be pay the slightest bit of attention to an American President who won the Election by specifically running against the policy of the previous American President who considered it necessary to use to Military Force to unseat a Belligerent Dictator from acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction.

But that's just me.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

During the next three years, it looks like we will all have a "a choice and not an echo", to steal Barry Goldwater's old phrase.

I think it is somewhat interesting that many of us here at JOM were on the other side when Barry was running. He and Reagan, his most articulate and famous spokesman, now seem like a visionaries, even though we thought then that they and their followers were hopelessly backward thinking.

Most contemporaries thought Churchill an imperialist old fogie and Chamberlain a hero of peace in September, 1938. Less than a year later, Germany invaded Poland, and most everyone knew Chamberlain was a dope.

Will history repeat itself? Could W and Cheney have been right after all? I will be very surprised it doesn't and they weren't.

But then I drifted left for a long time.

AuH2O in '64.

Yup, it'll be a crime in Holder's DoJ.

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.


And let me remind you also that moderation in pursuit of sock puppets is no virtue!


Well the '64 campaign was the mostdetestable
thing in recent memory till last year. media was more monolithically liberal back then, one wonder if there had such a thing as the internet how might it have turned out. The seeds of '64 germinated in the Votings rights Act, Medicare, & the Immigration Act. Programs that have not been rescinded or modified in 45 years.
But the seeds of the debacle in Vietnam, typified by the response to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, the radicalization of the SDS and others also lie there. One is amused by Tanenhaus's ponderings on the
despair filled conservative movement as well as that of Pearlstein; that is to ignore history, Chambers, his last major
subject, thought he had joined the wrong side, former Trotskyite Burnham, famously coined the 'Suicide of the West' on the eve of that campaign. bDrury penned the first of his more dystopian series of tales, and
McCarry was finishing his stint in the CIA, experiences that would serve him become the
American counterpart to Le Carre and Deighton


The Security Council achieved unanimity in their resolution

Can one find another man not owing allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II who treats singular collective nouns as though they were plural? Yes, one can:

It's this non-ideological lens through which much of the country viewed Judge Roberts' confirmation hearings. A majority of folks, including a number of Democrats and Independents, don't think that John Roberts is an ideologue bent on overturning every vestige of civil rights and civil liberties protections in our possession. Instead, they have good reason to believe he is a conservative judge who is (like it or not) within the mainstream of American jurisprudence, a judge appointed by a conservative president who could have done much worse (and probably, I fear, may do worse with the next nominee). While they hope Roberts doesn't swing the court too sharply to the right, a majority of Americans think that the President should probably get the benefit of the doubt on a clearly qualified nominee. [source: Obama's Kos diary]

Why does Barack Obama hate American English?


what is that line," history is a tale, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, told by an idiot" seems to be the gist of that post, or as they said in Monty Python


Life, not history from the Scottish play.


By the way, I discovered a few minutes ago that it is nigh on impossible to find my Bacharach parody from last summer, which I'd suggested (but hadn't linked to) as the kind of anthem TM had in mind on the "Fortunately They Weren't Saluting The Flag..." thread, via search engine. In case anyone is interested, it is on this page.

"Got snarled up with lobster pots on the run in [to Cuttyhunk], from which we borrowed some 10 lobsters."

JMH, Cuttyhunk will be my next landfall when I get out of here. (Pouring rain now!) That Winsome is a beautiful craft. Your family history is inspiring. Now my corresponding photos would be of my grandfather in 1900, on horseback, homesteading in Montana. What got into me?



Thank goodness you brought your umbrella!

JM Hanes


And here I am, landlocked in the foothills of North Carolina, a southerner! I do long for the New England coast though, and the smell of the harbour -- an aroma probably better left unexamined. The first time I drove through the Appalachians into Tennessee, it was slightly disorienting to contemplate being separated from the ocean by a whole chain of mountains. It was a fleeting, but memorable, sensation.

How funny that of all the way stations mentioned in the journal, I'd single out your next stop. Thanks to you, this was the first time I actually mapped the trip -- if I'd been smart enough to chart it, it would have been much easier to locate tourist spots like the Hens & Chickens, also a scuba diving reef in warmer waters.

You probably won't be surprised to hear that my g-grand often stayed aboard at anchor on his own, while his companions went adventuring ashore. :-)

Manuel Transmission


Although we chatted a bit about Montana, I didn't mention that my g-dad, fresh off the boat from Norway worked at rebuilding the trestles on the Northern Pacific as well re-timbering the mines in Butte about that same time. He eventually homesteaded north of Spokane (near Kettle Falls) where he started our part of the tribe.

Lots of other g-aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. pretty well covered all the territory from Havre to Seattle to Alaska in the first part of the century. I'm sure if we work at it, we can find some crossed paths along there somewhere.


JMH, your Hens and Chickens reference rang a bell. I also remembered that in 1992 the QE2 went aground near the charmingly named Sow and Pigs Reef. Scroll down. You can see why it is such a great harbor, protected on all sides. I actually encountered the QE2 after she was off the reef that summer.

MT, I am sure you are right, with populations being so small at the time. My dad grew up in Missoula, a short couple of hundred miles from Spokane. My grandmother lived in Spokane where her father was a piano tuner. They were Germans and moved there from Milwaukee. Did anyone in your family have a piano?


hey Man tran, are we ever going to see your DC pix?

Manuel Transmission


Not sure about the piano, but there were enough of relatives around that it was certainly likely. One of my favorite authors was Norman Maclean for his stories of that area and time. He was about my dad's age and, in particular, his summer spent fire watching down near Hamilton was remembered by my dad for the kids that volunteered to go fight the fires. (Nobody had boots, so they took turns borrowing one pair to get chosen for the work.)

Another story was a g-aunt that ran a hotel in Helena where Judge Cooper would come in on Saturday nights for a dinner and a little poker. He left his boys with my g-aunt -- one of the boys was Gary Cooper.


mia culpa. I am so behind on my projects that I have barely downloaded the raw images onto my machine. However, I did get far enough to enlarge a shot of the helicopter that was keeping an eye on us. It was a Bell 412 owned by the Park Police (N22PP), so they were definitely scanning us with their eye in the sky. So much for no crowd estimates.


Heh, MT, I have a photo somewhere of my grandfather hunting with Gary Cooper! Ducks, I think. Guess he hung out in the area.


Jim Rhoads-

Have you ever read the classic The Strange Death of Liberal England 1910 - 1914 by George Dangerfield? It was written in 1935 and remains in print.

I reread it recently because it seemed apt. The blowups in labor, womens rights, Ireland, and destructive, treasonous split in Parliament were watched by Germany who thought Britain could never unite and fight under the circumstances.

The 1935 view of Churchill is a hoot and quite unflattering.



You remind me of me. It takes me forever to do that stuff too.

  Well, I like Lolo Pass and Spring.

Wow, great connection mantan, caro, et JMH.

Manuel Transmission

The Coopers lived up in Dead Man's Gulch IIRC which is up the hill to the west of Helena. I think the Judge sent the boys off to boarding school in England when they were the appropriate age. I'm not sure whether Gary came back to live there or went on to his HW life, but he certainly came back to visit. I remember a brief broadcast of him in front of a cabin just before he died that may have been on the old spread. Must have been around 1960.

Even in those earlier days (pre WWII) the HW guys were keen on Montana. My dad had a gas station down on the Yellowstone before we started ranching and had the occasional celeb show up. I remember him saying how short C. Gable was compared to the screen image. Great fun!


I started school, first grade, in Helena, ManTran, but we were only there a year. Lots of stars that seem big on screen are short. I will look for the photo if I ever make it home.

Kim, I love Lolo, too. I was cross country skiing up there some years ago and encountered tracks and blood that told the exciting story of a lynx chasing a hare and dispatching it finally, but the whole thing covered a wide territory and must have been a dramatic catch and release event.

JM Hanes


Fortunately, it was no longer called Poocuohhunkkunnah by the time my ggrandad went a roving! Ironically, the narrator of the tale devoted several lines to complaining about "some reformers who have attempted to change time honored appellations."

The Winsome, on the "Marine Railway" in New London:

Winsome on the Rails

Jones / the Dr. / my ggrand being one and the same, I naturally enjoyed these two observations:

We came within an inch of touching bottom; rocks in close proximity. Our centre board was up. Jones in command to-day and he enjoyed it.
And with three of their erstwhile companions having jumped ship at various ports along the way:
A nasty sea, but we are all good sailors aboard now. The Dr. was at the wheel most of the time, although Rob. and Henry did some steering, they spent the day lounging in the stern seeing how Jones did it.
All of which helps illustrate the what-got-into-me aspect of this story too. For some reason, I am the only one in my family who never learned how to maneuver anything other than a dingy -- something I didn't actually realize till I took my daughter out on a sunfish. Fortunately, it was not a terribly big lake.

Hard duty, or Home Sweet Home?


I've had such fun, finally attended to the sepia tinged pages and the faded photos I've long meant to scan. The chances of determining which of the two bearded, mustachioed brothers on board is mine are much improved by the passable skills I have acquired in Photoshop.

Hope you're off and running. May the WiFi follow wherever you go.


Thank you so much for keeping me company today. It has been raining all day but I am cozy and dry and connected. How divine.

The boatyard I am heading for on the Pocasset River still has the old railway similar to your photo to haul boats.

Hard duty or home sweet home? Depends on the person!

JM Hanes

We'll have to do it again some time. Anytime! Are you taking your boat out of the water for the winter, or is Pocasset just a stop on the way somewhere else?

My great aunt lived in East Sandwich, on the Bay side of the Cape, only about 10 miles away (crow-wise). We always spent Thanksgiving there, which always included a road trip down to Truro and "P'town," which always included huge bowls of (steamy!) steamers in a dark old tavern style bar that you probably couldn't even find in all the condos now, if it still exists. I have to laugh when I think about the first time I actually drove down to the Cape in the summer. So many people! I had no idea!


Yup, haul and storage in Barlow's Boatyard. One of the managers here in Shinnecock lives in Sandwich and commutes on the weekends. Thats a haul!
There are a couple of good punch-in-the-mouth bars in Sandwich that I frequent with Bucky Barlow from time to time. He's 93 now, and waiting for me to get there!
Love the off-season.


Cuttyhunk, for practice.


JM Hanes

Wish I were there!

So I rambled over to NOAA to check out the Pocasset Harbor too, where I found Chart 13230 which you have to look at in a primitive online viewer, so I decided to download it instead and discovered it's delivered in a format I can't read, so I went looking for a Photoshop plugin, which I found -- for PCs only, alas! -- so I kicked myself (again!) for not installing Windows XP, even though I finally bought my Windows capable intel based computer at least a year ago -- so I went looking for a plain ol' plain ol' TIFF chart which apparently does not exist, for free anyway, so I gave up, even though I'm absolutely sure that if my nautical forefather were alive today, he'd be an Apple user, so I'm wondering what NOAA has against Mac people.

So! Back to the journal for amusement:

With four of us in spectacles the impression that we were from Boston was verified.
And from a bunch of Harvard guys in New Haven:
Looked the College buildings over and concluded we would not buy them.
Maybe I should just scan the whole thing......

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