23 Apr 2014

Spring Ice Melt Moves Bridge

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Bouctouche River, Ste-Marie-de–Kent, New Brunswick.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

23 Apr 2014

Evidence of Decline

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WWIIProduction

Rare:

During the 3 1/2 years of U.S. involvement, here’s what we manufactured:

8 battleships, 22 aircraft carriers, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 420 destroyer escorts, 203 submarines, 4 million tons of merchant ships, 100,000 fighters, 98,000 bombers, 24,000 transport aircraft, 58,000 training aircraft, 93,000 tanks, 257,000 artillery pieces, 105,000 mortars, 3,000,000 machine guns, 2.5 mil military trucks 16.1 million men in uniform, and we developed the atomic bomb.

Simply astounding.

“During this same period of time, three and a half years, it should be noted that Obama couldn’t put together a functioning website,” Neal Boortz commented.

23 Apr 2014

St. George’s Day

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StGeorgePushkinMuseum
St. George, bas relief, Pushkin Museum, Moscow.

From Robert Chambers, The Book of Days, 1869:

Butler, the historian of the Romish calendar, repudiates George of Cappadocia, and will have it that the famous saint was born of noble Christian parents, that he entered the army, and rose to a high grade in its ranks, until the persecution of his co-religionists by Diocletian compelled him to throw up his commission, and upbraid the emperor for his cruelty, by which bold conduct he lost his head and won his saintship. Whatever the real character of St. George might have been, he was held in great honour in England from a very early period. While in the calendars of the Greek and Latin churches he shared the twenty-third of April with other saints, a Saxon Martyrology declares the day dedicated to him alone; and after the Conquest his festival was celebrated after the approved fashion of Englishmen.

In 1344, this feast was made memorable by the creation of the noble Order of St. George, or the Blue Garter, the institution being inaugurated by a grand joust, in which forty of England’s best and bravest knights held the lists against the foreign chivalry attracted by the proclamation of the challenge through France, Burgundy, Hainault, Brabant, Flanders, and Germany. In the first year of the reign of Henry V, a council held at London decreed, at the instance of the king himself, that henceforth the feast of St. George should be observed by a double service; and for many years the festival was kept with great splendour at Windsor and other towns. Shakspeare, in Henry VI, makes the Regent Bedford say, on receiving the news of disasters in France:

Bonfires in France I am forthwith to make
To keep our great St. George’s feast withal!’

Edward VI promulgated certain statutes severing the connection between the ‘noble order’ and the saint; but on his death, Mary at once abrogated them as ‘impertinent, and tending to novelty.’ The festival continued to be observed until 1567, when, the ceremonies being thought incompatible with the reformed religion, Elizabeth ordered its discontinuance. James I, however, kept the 23rd of April to some extent, and the revival of the feast in all its glories was only prevented by the Civil War. So late as 1614, it was the custom for fashionable gentlemen to wear blue coats on St. George’s day, probably in imitation of the blue mantle worn by the Knights of the Garter.

In olden times, the standard of St. George was borne before our English kings in battle, and his name was the rallying cry of English warriors. According to Shakspeare, Henry V led the attack on Harfleur to the battle-cry of ‘God for Harry! England! and St. George!’ and ‘God and St. George’ was Talbot’s slogan on the fatal field of Patay. Edward of Wales exhorts his peace-loving parents to

‘Cheer these noble lords,
And hearten those that fight in your defence;
Unsheath your sword, good father, cry St. George!’

The fiery Richard invokes the same saint, and his rival can think of no better name to excite the ardour of his adherents:

‘Advance our standards, set upon our foes,
Our ancient word of courage, fair St. George,
Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons.’

England was not the only nation that fought under the banner of St. George, nor was the Order of the Garter the only chivalric institution in his honour. Sicily, Arragon, Valencia, Genoa, Malta, Barcelona, looked up to him as their guardian saint; and as to knightly orders bearing his name, a Venetian Order of St. George was created in 1200, a Spanish in 1317, an Austrian in 1470, a Genoese in 1472, and a Roman in 1492, to say nothing of the more modern ones of Bavaria (1729), Russia (1767), and Hanover (1839).

Legendarily the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George was founded by the Emperor Constantine (312-337 A.D.). On the factual level, the Constantinian Order is known to have functioned militarily in the Balkans in the 15th century against the Turk under the authority of descendants of the twelfth-century Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelus Comnenus.

We Lithuanians liked St. George as well. When I was a boy I attended St. George Lithuanian Parish Elementary School, and served mass at St. George Lithuanian Roman Catholic Church in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.

StGeorgeXmas1979
St. George Church, Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, Christmas, 1979. This church, built by immigrant coal miners in 1891, was torn down by the Diocese of Allentown in 2010.

22 Apr 2014

The Leper With the Most Sores Wins

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Leper1

Dan Greenfield has another brilliant essay which identifies precisely the absurd intellectual underpinnings of the left’s only-too-successful moral jiu-jitsu.

The rhetoric of equality asserts a just cause while overlooking the social good. Rights are demanded. The demand is absolute and the logic for it remains left behind in a desk drawer on the wrong side of the table. Instead there are calls for empathy. “If you only knew a gay couple.” Hysterical condemnations. “I’m pretty sure you’re the devil”, one recent email to me began. And a whole lot of vague promises about the good things that will follow once we’re all paying for it.

We aren’t truly moving toward anarchy or some libertarian order, but a calculated form of repression in which shrill demands substitute for legal guidelines and those who scream the loudest get the most rights.

The new freedoms are largely random and chaotic. Donate enough money to the right people while helping out the left and a special addition to the marriage split-level house will be carved out for you. Why? Because there will be a lot of yelling. Naturally. And if the polygamists yell loudly enough and donate enough money, they’ll get their own marriage expansion as well because that is how things work now.

There is no longer a fixed notion of rights. The trappings of equality and angry causes are hollow. The legal doctrine on which courts make their decisions are targets in search of arrows, emotions hunting around for precedents to wrap them in. These decisions are not rational, but rather rationalizations. Their only anchor is a new role for government in protecting any group that is officially marginalized.

The old Bill of Rights extended rights irrespective of group membership. The new one wipes out universal rights and replaces them with particular privileges. Entire amendments may sink beneath the waves, but a few groups get comfortable deck chairs on the Titanic.

Why is one group protected rather than another? Why do gay activists get a government-bonded right, complete with Federal enforcement, while polygamy is outlawed? The only answers are rationalizations. With morality sinking fast and few common values that the people in charge will accept, there is no longer a common value system to rely on.

Progressive morality is constantly being reshaped in tune to the whims of the left. It can’t be relied upon, because it isn’t there. The only thing fixed about it is the need to fight for the oppressed, which not coincidentally at all is also the shaky civil rights era legal doctrine on which the whole modern house of cards rests.

22 Apr 2014

Nihilism on Twitter

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Tweet49

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How a “Failed Intellectual” Became One of the Internet’s Favorite Nihilists

Hat tip to Tristyn Bloom.

22 Apr 2014

Vipukirves Leveraxe

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leveraxe
The Vipukirves Leveraxe: a radical new axe design.

This morning, I got an advertising email from AllOutdoor featuring an intriguing new gizmo:

Some crazy Finn has gone and reinvented one of mankind’s oldest tools: the axe. Check out that picture — it doesn’t even look like an axe, but it splits wood like nobody’s business.

The Vipukirves Leveraxe is designed to flip around to the side right after impact and break off pieces of the log. So unlike with a regular axe, you’re encouraged to strike near the sides of the log. It’s also way safer, especially when you include a tire to catch flying pieces of wood.

You can buy them off the Vipukirves website for 193 euros, which right now is over $260.00. Yeah, I kinda want one.

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I notice that the wood getting chopped successfully in the video looks like birch (which figures, they’ve got a lot of birch in Finland). But, how, I wonder, would this axe work on oak? (In Pennsylvania, we burn oak.)

21 Apr 2014

31 Examples of Irony

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21 Apr 2014

This Story Breaks My Freaking Heart

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Maybe giving all those Barney Fifes out there Glocks was a good idea after all.

21 Apr 2014

Honey Badger Escape Artist

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Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

21 Apr 2014

Cincinnati’s Old Main Library

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CincinnatiLibrary375
Cincinnati Old Main Library, built 1874, demolished 1955.

History

More photos

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20 Apr 2014

Easter

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Rubensthe-resurrection
Peter Paul Rubens, The Resurrection of Christ, 1611-1612, Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp

20 Apr 2014

Sighthound Nailed Easter Bunny

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SforzaHoursBunny

Sforza Hours’, Milan 1490.

BL, Add 34294, fol. 45r

Via Ratak Monodosico.

20 Apr 2014

Obama’s Easter Morning

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Hat tip to Theo.

19 Apr 2014

I Could Vote For This Guy

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