Saturday, 19 July 2008
AN INTERESTING HISTORY LESSON
I just got this from my friend "Russ". If you don't enjoy it - and
learn from it - I give up.
Be sure to read through to the last paragraph!!
The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails)
is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.
Why was that
gauge used? Because that's the way they built
them in England, and English
expatriates built the US railroads.
Why did the English build them like
that? Because the first rail lines
were built by the same people who built
the pre-railroad tramways,
and that's the gauge they used.
'they' use that gauge then? Because the people who built the
the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons,
which used that
Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?
they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break
some of the old, long distance roads in England , because that's the
spacing of the wheel ruts.
So who built those old rutted roads?
Imperial Rome built the first long
distance roads in Europe (and England )
for their legions The roads
have been used ever since.
And the ruts
in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts,
which everyone else
had to match for fear of destroying their wagon
wheels. Since the chariots
were made for Imperial Rome, they were all
alike in the matter of wheel
spacing. Therefore the United States standard
railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5
inches is derived from the original specifications
for an Imperial Roman war
chariot. Bureaucracies live forever.
So the next time you are handed a
wonder 'What horse's ass came up with
it?' you may be exactly right.
Imperial Roman army chariots were made just
wide enough to accommodate
the rear ends of two war horses. (Two horses'
asses.) Now, the twist to the story:
When you see a Space Shuttle sitting
on its launch pad, there are two
big booster rockets attached to the sides
of the main fuel tank. These
are solid rocket boosters, or SRB's. The SRB's
are made by Thiokol
at their factory in Utah . The engineers who designed
the SRB's would
have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRB's had
to be shipped
by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad
line from the factory
happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and
the SRB's had to fit
through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than
the railroad track, and
the railroad track, as you now know, is about as
wide as two horses' behinds.
So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of
what is arguably the world's
most advanced transportation system was
determined over two thousand
years ago by t he width of a horse's ass. And
you thought being a horse's
ass wasn't important? Ancient horse's asses
control almost everything..
and CURRENT Horses Asses are controlling
EHUD OLMERT MUST RESIGN
Ehud Olmert is the Prime Minister of Israel.
He is a lousy Prime Minister who seems intent on making a named for himself
by appeasing the palestinian Arabs who are committed to vaporizing his
And, as it turns out, it has become apparent that he is also a crook
The accusations have been out there for months. But I held off writing
about them until there was little doubt that they were true. Now there is
Here is a brief but excellent account of the sorry situation from Paul
Mirengoff of www.powerline.blog:
Ehud Olmert and
the decline of Israel
Israel continues to face many serious threats and
potential threats: a nuclear Iran, an emboldened Hezbollah, and the dislike or
hatred of various European states and some on the American left. But one senses
that a greater threat is posed by what looks like rampant corruption within
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert symbolizes the problem.
Golda Meir resigned after the Yom Kippur war, which Israel won. Olmert did not
resign after the botched war in Lebanon. This contrast alone suggests
But now Olmert faces credible charges of corruption. An American businessman, Morris Talansky, says he gave
Olmert more than $150,000 over a 15 year period, much of it cash stuffed into
envelopes. Talansky says that, though the money was intended to help fund
Olmert's political campaigns, in fact it helped support Olmert's lavish
lifestyle -- a fancy Italian vacation, fine cigars, and a stay at the
Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C.
Olmert is also being investigated over evidence
that he may have bilked various charities of more than $100,000 by billing
multiple organizations for the same flights and hotel stays. These organizations
are said to include the Holocaust memorial authority, a group that supports
Israeli soldiers, and a group that helps mentally retarded children.
Olmert claims that it's all a set-up by corrupt
state law enforcement authorities. If true, that would exonerate Olmert, but it
would hardly reduce the sense that corruption is rampant in Israel. Nor does
that sense rest on the Olmert affair, whatever the truth of it. One reads
frequently of venality in high places in Israel.
Israelis live under great pressure, and it is not
surprising that they have become quite materialistic. Americans are at least as
bad, with less excuse. And while an Israel as materialistic as today's might not
have prevailed in 1948, there's no reason to assume that it cannot survive
today, given the technological and related advantages it possesses. But a
corrupt Israel -- one in which its soldiers are asked to sacrifice so much while
its leaders line their pockets -- is another matter.
It is long past the time for this human disaster to hand the reins of
government over to someone who might have a clue as to how to
lead Israel and protect the country from its enemies. Let him face the
charges described above and either disprove them or go to jail.
Olmert must resign. Now.
KEITH OLBERMANN LIES FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE
This comes to us from www.olbermannwatch.com. It is a
reminder that keith olbermann is a liar. And that all his bluster and
rehearsed fury is cover for the fact that he is a liar.
Olbermann is what he is. You just saw the proof. End of
JOHN MCCAIN'S CREDENTIALS: AN EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT
Not one word necessary from me on this one. Mr. James H. Warner,
writing for The Herald-Mail, says it all:
July 19, 2008
bravery, as seen by one man imprisoned with him
"Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and
getting shot down is a qualification to be president." That was retired Gen.
Wesley Clark's condescending assessment of John McCain's military service.
Clark's words have great weight because he was speaking as a key
political/military advisor to Barack Obama.
If Gen. Clark had been talking about me, his
remarks might be true. After all, I rode in a fighter plane and got shot down
over North Vietnam. In no way do Clark's words apply to McCain. I know, because
I was a firsthand witness to his singular leadership and courage. In the years I
spent as a POW in North Vietnam, I saw McCain inspire and lead under trying
circumstances that Gen. Clark has not the imagination to understand.
As for the role of a president, I was fortunate
enough to serve as a domestic policy advisor to President Ronald Reagan. Seeing
him in action, and seeing John McCain in action, I know they are equals in
character, ability and political courage.
I met John McCain in a POW camp in Vietnam. He
told me his father and grandfather read history every evening. Since our
release, I have done the same. From my study of history I know what we need in a
Great leaders have an undefinable quality: Call it
charisma. Young Winston Churchill once wrote to his mother, "We are all worms,
but I am a glowworm." And so it proved. John McCain, too, is a "glowworm." You
cannot help but notice him.
Gen. George C. Marshall, Army chief of staff
during World War II, said, "The first thing a leader needs is courage."
Churchill had courage. As a cavalry officer in the British army, Churchill left
garrison duty to go where the action was. During his army career he was several
times under hostile fire and conducted two daring and famous rescues. The second
rescue came when he was a war correspondent covering the Boer War in 1899. It
led to his capture as a prisoner of war. He escaped and after several adventures
reached safety in Portuguese Mozambique. The story made him a world-wide hero
and helped get him elected to Parliament.
When he became Prime Minister in World War II, all
looked bleak. After the surrender of France there were some who thought that
Britain could not carry on alone and should negotiate a peace with Hitler. But
Churchill would not quit. He fought on until, as he said, "In God's good time,
the new world comes to the rescue of the old."
McCain, like Churchill, has courage. McCain, like
Churchill, stood strong when all looked bleak. My friend, Col. Jack Van Loan,
was in a cell from which he could see several senior Communist officers, along
with an interpreter and men with a stretcher, enter McCain's cell. He knew that
John was immobilized by his wounds. He heard them offer McCain early release and
heard John answer that he would go home when we all go home.
He heard the voices of the officers rising until
they were shouting angrily at McCain and threatening him. This was followed by a
stream of obscenities from McCain and the rapid exit of the senior officers.
John told them never again to try to get him to accept early release. He was
defiant at a time that he was physically helpless, unable even to crawl on his
In the spring of 1971, I personally witnessed John
McCain's courage. After the attempted rescue of POWs at the camp at Son Tay, in
November of 1970, almost all Americans were moved to Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi, the
infamous "Hanoi Hilton." The communists felt so threatened by the raid that, for
the first time, they concentrated us in large cells, with as many as 60 men to a
One of the first things we did was to institute
regular religious services in our cells. On Jan. 1, 1971, we were told that all
religious activity was forbidden. This led to a long series of increasingly
hostile confrontations that someone has labeled "the Church Riots." I was in a
cell next to McCain's. In early March, the four senior men in his cell were
removed and for some time we lost contact with them. Then the four senior men in
my cell were removed, and we lost contact with them, also. The confrontations
rapidly escalated. On the evening of March 18 there was a confrontation that
almost descended to guards shooting mutinous POWs. The communists were now
afraid of losing control.
My recollection is that John McCain was now the
senior man in his cell. In any case, I know that he was deeply involved with
what followed. The senior men in our two cells kept us under tight control, but
carefully staged demonstrations of our anger over the religious ban and the
removal of our cell mates. On March 19, St. Joseph's Day, the day after the
dangerous confrontation, I remember the men in McCain's room singing, at the top
of their lungs, first "the Battle Hymn of the Republic," then "Onward Christian
Soldiers." This was not merely courage, but exquisite leadership to get men to
show open defiance when it was clear that there would be retaliation. The only
question was in what form and how harsh that retaliation would be. Remember that
all of these men had been tortured and knew to what lengths the enemy was
willing to go to maintain control.
Courage alone, however, is not sufficient. A great
leader also needs greatness of spirit. Again, I turn to Churchill, who never
held a grudge and was prepared to be gracious and magnanimous toward a defeated
foe. When McCain led church services, he prayed for the enemy who had tortured
him. I have observed Ronald Reagan in the White House and I have observed McCain
in the Hanoi Hilton. I have seen that McCain, like Churchill, like Reagan, has
courage, prudence, and magnanimity. That is why he is qualified to be president,
even if he hadn't ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down.
SPEAKING OF LIARS.....TODAY'S NEW YORK TIMES
Under the stewardship (make that sewership) of Arthur Ochs "Pinch"
Sulzberger, the New York Times has fallen from its lofty perch as "the newspaper
of record" into what basically is the New York Post with bigger words and a
Here is a perfect example.
story in this morning's Times is about Iraq. Taking time out from its
daily hit piece on anything and everything that happens there, today's
Times tells us that President Bush changed his policy regarding a timetable
for troop withdrawal. The clear implication is that Mr. Bush has finally
at long last realized the error of his ways and is now listening to that
giant of military expertise, General Barack Obama.
Here is the beginning of the article:
Bush, in Shift, Accepts Idea
of Iraq Timeline
HOUSTON President Bush agreed to a general time
horizon for withdrawing American troops in Iraq, the White House
announced Friday, in a concession that reflected both progress in stabilizing
Iraq and the depth of political opposition to an open-ended military presence in
Iraq and at home.
Mr. Bush, who has long derided timetables for troop
withdrawals as dangerous, agreed to at least a notional one as part of the
administrations efforts to negotiate the terms for an American military
presence in Iraq after a United Nations
mandate expires at the end of the year.
The agreement, announced in coordinated statements
released Friday by the White House and Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Malikis government, reflected a significant shift in the war in Iraq. More
than five years after the conflict began with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, the
American military presence now depends significantly, if not completely, on
The White House offered no specifics about
how far off any time horizon would be, with officials saying details remained
to be negotiated. Any dates cited in an agreement would be cast as goals for
handing responsibility to Iraqis, and not specifically for reducing American
troops, said a White House spokesman, Gordon D. Johndroe.
Notice that fourth paragraph, the one I put in bold print? It is the
paragraph which puts the lie to the entipre premise of this article.
Let me say it plainly:
President Bush has continually said that he would
reduce troop levels in Iraq if conditions on the ground permit, but he
would not create a pre-set timetable for withdrawal which does not take
into account what is happening there. This agreement, therefore, is
exactly in accordance with what he has been saying all along.
There, is that clear enough?
So what we have, again (and again and again) is the New York Times lying to
its readers by pumping out a headline which bears no semblance
of reality....then burying the reality somewhere in the body of the article
so the paper can say it was there.
It is amazing how low the Times has sunk. What a shame. But there
it is, at the bottom of its self-created cesspool.
Maybe Sulzberger should offer keith olbermann the job of news
editor. Hey, why not go all the way, especially when the paper
is so close to it already?