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calendar   Tuesday - May 31, 2005

Ring Of Misty Fire: 31-MAY-1916

“It was two o’clock in the afternoon watch, May 31, 1916.  A rusty tramp--the N.J. Fjord--with the flag of Denmark painted large upon her sides and splotches of red lead showing on her weather-beaten plates, steamed slowly across the North Sea.  On the far horizon the top hamper of a ship rapidly took shape:  the light cruiser Elbing of the Imperial German Navy.  There came the peremptory orders of the sea, ”Heave to!” The N.J. Fjord stopped.  ‘Her steam blowing off shot skyward in a cotton-white jet which mixed with her funnel smoke to spread into a listless cloud visible for miles against the leaden atmosphere.’ German destroyers nosed alongside--boarding and search, the routine procedure of wartime....”

imageimageThe rival British and German battle fleets had been watching each other from the outset of World War I, across the narrow confines of the foggy and stormy North Sea.  The British fleet was easily the stronger of the two, having won a pre-war capital ship building race at a ratio of 3 to 2.

Within weeks of war’s outbreak, it became obvious that the German High Seas Fleet had no desire for a head-on clash with the far stronger British Grand Fleet.  The best the Germans could hope for was that a portion of the British fleet might be cut off and annihilated, thus “leveling the playing field.”


See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Tannenberg   United States  on 05/31/2005 at 09:24 PM   
Filed Under: • History •  
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Mathematicus Giganticus

googolplex

A googolplex is the number 1010100, that is, 1 followed by a googol zeroes. The term googol was coined by the nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner. Googolplex was coined by Kasner to define an especially large number by extension from his nephew’s idea.

A googol is greater than the number of particles in the known universe, which has been variously estimated from 1072 up to 1087. Since this is less than the number of zeroes in a googolplex, it would not be possible to write down or store a googolplex in decimal notation, even if all the matter in the known universe were converted into paper and ink or disk drives.

Thinking of this another way, consider printing the digits of a googolplex in unreadable, 1-point font. Tex 1pt font is .3514598mm per digit, which means it would take about 3.5 * 1096 meters to write in one point font. The known universe is estimated at 7.4 * 1026 meters in diameter, which means the distance to write the digits would be about 4.7 * 1069 times the diameter of the known universe.

-- courtesy of Answers.com

Your task for today is to figure out which of the following is closer to a googolplex:



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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/31/2005 at 06:18 PM   
Filed Under: • OutrageousScience-Technology •  
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Wonder Woman

Lisa, at Urban Grind, is the blogosphere’s new Wonder Woman. In addition to the Grind, she has now started up a new blog (you’re gonna love this) to expose NewsSqueak magazine. It’s called the Madison Avenue Maverick. She is listing all of NewsSqueaks’s advertisers each week and plans to provide coverage of all the liberal MSM’s advertisers. Add it to your bookmarks and check it out regularly. The best way to send a message to the liberal media is through their pocketbook .... and say hello to Lisa while you’re there. Any gal who can run two blogs at once definitely has to be Wonder Woman!

P.S. Lisa is known here as BMEWS member “lisar915”. Watch out for her invisible jet and golden lasso though. Wonder Woman kicks butt, dont’cha know?


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/31/2005 at 03:59 PM   
Filed Under: • Media-Bias •  
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Bohemian Rhapsody

Mae, at Bohemian Conservative, has had a religious epiphany and it scares “epiph” out of me because it smells suspiciously like another religion’s “master plan”. Go read it. BYOK (Bring Your Own Kiwis).

But I’m just a poor boy and nobody loves me
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come easy go - will you let me go
Bismillah! No - we will not let you go - let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go - let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go - let me go
Will not let you go - let me go (never)
Never let you go - let me go
Never let me go - ooo
No, no, no, no, no, no, no -
Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
for me ..
for me ....


Note: Yes, I’m finally back home after a rough weekend. I’m catching up on e-mails now.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/31/2005 at 03:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Religion •  
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Amnesty Internationale

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Mike Thompson, Detroit, Michigan, The Detroit Free Press


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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 05/31/2005 at 03:18 PM   
Filed Under: • InsanityInternational •  
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SCOTUS Promotes Religion

The Supreme Court this week decided that prisoners must be provided with religious materials or states risk losing federal funding for their prisons ....

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the constitutionality of a federal law requiring state prisons to accommodate inmate religions.

Justices unanimously sided with Ohio inmates, including a witch and a Satanist, who had claimed they were denied access to religious literature, ceremonial items and time to worship.

Oh, really? Must our prisons now maintain a supply of goat blood and chicken feathers in addition to the TV’s, exercise equipment and other “perks” our nation’s criminals need in order to do hard time?

“It confers no privileged status on any particular religious sect, and singles out no bona fide faith for disadvantageous treatment,” Ginsburg wrote.

The law requires states that receive federal money to accommodate prisoners’ religious beliefs unless wardens can show that the accommodation would be disruptive.

Opponents of the law had argued that inmate requests for particular diets, special haircuts or religious symbols could make it harder to manage prisons.

“We do not read (the law) to elevate accommodation of religious observances over an institution’s need to maintain order and safety,” wrote Ginsburg. “We have no cause to believe that (the law) would not be applied in an appropriately balanced way, without sensitivity to security concerns.”

Wouldn’t you know the court’s designated Liberal Moonbat would write the opinion? She, along with the rest of her liberal buddies seem intent on providing more confort to the criminals than normal people are allowed on the outside. Why bother to be a law-abiding citizen when you’re much better off inside the Big House with the government catering to your every need, waiting on you, hand and foot?


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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 05/31/2005 at 03:06 PM   
Filed Under: • Judges-Courts-Lawyers •  
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News You Can Use


Kubie has teeth as long as human fingers and generates about 10,000 pounds of jaw pressure with each bite. That power is especially daunting considering Kubie had a toothache.

So the experts relied on anesthesia and hard-earned skills Saturday to make sure the big cat got the proper care.

Here, kittie, kittie, kittie ....


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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 05/31/2005 at 02:35 PM   
Filed Under: • News-Briefs •  
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calendar   Monday - May 30, 2005

Skipper Update

I have just got off the phone with The Skipper. For the record, he is in the North Georgia hills and will be flying back to St. Louis tomorrow. That’s a good thing because I have run out of the stuff he left me to post over the Memorial Day weekend. I will try to post some stuff in the news tomorrow and hopefully Skipper will be back on Wednesday and this ghost can fade back into the woodwork.

For those who are wondering, Skipper asked me to restrict all guest posters until his return. He says that it is just time for him to resume his full duties on this blog and to thank the gang who stood in for him in recent months. He says he will still accept guest posts that are e-mailed to him but he feels he needs to jump back in full-time.

I shouldn’t pass this along yet but here goes .... the reason for The Skipper’s abrupt absence was the death of a close friend .... more importantly, the suicide of a man he has known for nearly thirty years. I’m afraid it shook him pretty badly. I have never heard him sound so quiet and withdrawn as when I talked to him a little while ago. I’m sure he’ll be alright and may provide more insight when he returns.

I thank you all for bearing with me over the last several days.


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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 05/30/2005 at 07:06 PM   
Filed Under: • Personal •  
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A Warrior’s Tale

nce upon a time, in a far-away land, there lived a man who was a warrior and philosopher. His name was Xenophon and he lived from 427-355 BC in Greece. He was born an Athenian and was a student of Socrates. He was highly intelligent, loved the cavalry and was reputed to be the first “Horse Whisperer”, based on his book On Horsemanship.

In 401 BC, the Peloponnesian War had come to an end. There were thousands of Greek warriors with years of veteran experience under their belts and no one to fight. Out of Asia came Cyrus The Younger ready to hire the Greeks as mercenaries to help him take the Persian throne from his older brother Ataxerxes II. The Greeks willingly signed on for the expedition, believing Cyrus’ lies that he had been cheated out of the throne. There is much, much more to the story than I can tell about here, involving Cyrus’ father Darius and his support of Sparta against Athens, the treachery of Tissaphernes, the cunning plots of Alcibiades .... the entire region was one large soap opera.

Anyway, Xenophon marched off into Asia with 10,000 (approximate) Greek warriors to fight the Persians, along with approximately 20,000 Asian allies rounded up by Cyrus. The Greek infrantry marched across modern-day Turkey and finally confronted the enemy at a place called Cunaxa (near modern-day Baghdad). In the broad plains between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers a hard fought pitched battle was won by the battle-hardened Greeks .... but in the course of the battle, Cyrus was killed. When their allies saw that Cyrus was dead, they surrendered to Ataxerxes, leaving the 10,000 alone between Iraq and a hard place.

Through an act of treachery during proposed amnesty talks, the Persians killed Clearchus, the Spartan leader of the Greeks. The Greeks were left to elect new leaders and try to fight their way out of Injun Country. Thousands of miles from home or from the sea, they began the long march north to the Euxine Sea (present-day Black Sea).

Xenophon was one of those elected to lead the retreat and eventually became overall leader through attrition as the Persians harried and pursued them every inch of the way. Xenophon recorded the entire story in his monumental work, “Anabasis” ("March Up Country"). It is a tale of tremendous heroism and suffering. It is a tale of the infantry. It is a story everyone should read who would understand the rigors of war.

As a present to our many readers I present the full text of “Anabasis”, translated from the Greek (PDF - 528 KB), courtesy of the Gutenberg Project. You may download it and read it at your leisure. Any of our troops reading this may wish to visit the site of the Battle Of Cunaxa when the dust settles over there. I’m sure they will understand that in 2400 years, little has changed in the life of the infantryman. I salute all the warriors currently on duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and other lonely outposts around the world.

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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 05/30/2005 at 06:20 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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In Order To Form A More Perfect Union

Valley Forge To The Alamo

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“An army of skeletons appeared before our eyes naked, starved, sick and discouraged.”
-- New York’s Gouverneur Morris of the Continental Congress

“The unfortunate soldiers were in want of everything; they had neither coats nor hats, nor shirts, nor shoes. Their feet and their legs froze until they were black, and it was often necessary to amputate them.”
-- Marquis de Lafayette



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To David Ayers
March 3, 1836

Take care of my little boy. If the country should be saved, I may make for him a splendid fortune; but if the country be lost and I should perish, he will have nothing but the proud recollection that he is the son of a man who died for his country.

William Barret Travis

The letter to David Ayers is the last known letter
written by Travis before the fall of the Alamo on
the morning of March 6, 1836.

William Barret Travis died at his post on the cannon
platform at the northeast corner of the fortress.

He was 26 years old.



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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 05/30/2005 at 02:22 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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So That Others Might Be Free, Part VI

On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country.  Americans have known wars—but for the past 136 years, they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941.  Americans have known the casualties of war—but not at the center of a great city on a peaceful morning.  Americans have known surprise attacks—but never before on thousands of civilians.  All of this was brought upon us in a single day—and night fell on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.

After all that has just passed—all the lives taken, and all the possibilities and hopes that died with them—it is natural to wonder if America’s future is one of fear.  Some speak of an age of terror.  I know there are struggles ahead, and dangers to face.  But this country will define our times, not be defined by them.  As long as the United States of America is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror; this will be an age of liberty, here and across the world.

Great harm has been done to us.  We have suffered great loss.  And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment.  Freedom and fear are at war.  The advance of human freedom—the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time—now depends on us.  Our nation—this generation—will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future.  We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage.  We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.

-- President George W. Bush, Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, September 20, 2001

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So that others might be free ....

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May God watch over our honored dead this Memorial Day, 2005. We, the living, promise to keep alive their memory and the cause they died for .... freedom and liberty for all.


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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 05/30/2005 at 01:32 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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So That Others Might Be Free, Part V

Hue, Vietnam - Tet Offensive, 1968

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The Tet Offensive was a series of battles in the Vietnam War. It was a major offensive by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the National Liberation Front (NLF), commonly known as the Viet Cong, beginning on the night of January 30-31, 1968, Tết Nguyên Đán (the lunar new year day). It involved military action in most of the major cities in southern Vietnam and attacks on the US firebase at Khe Sanh. The attacks on Khe Sanh are usually considered separate from the actual Tet Offensive occurring at approximately the same time. The objective of the 1968 Tet Offensive was to take the Nationalist and the US armies by surprise since the North Vietnam’s government proposed a ceasefire for the celebration of the Lunar New Year.

The NLF and the NVA lost around 35,000 men killed, 60,000 wounded and 6,000 POWs. The US and ARVN dead totalled around 3,900 (1,100 US). US media reports of the battles shocked both the American public and its politicians. Apparently the depth of the US reaction surprised even the North Vietnamese leadership. The role of the US media in forming popular opinion about the results of the Tet Offensive has been most notably explored in Peter Braestrup’s book Big Story.

-- Wikipedia

The Misbegotten War, The Forgotten Heros

I graduated from high school in June of 1967. Like every other young man in those days, I had few choices. It was either get into college, join the National Guard or be drafted and sent to Vietnam (in my family, running away to Canada or claiming to be either homosexual or a conscientious objector were not options). I was lucky. A scholarship to the University Of Alabama kept me out of Vietnam, otherwise my family could never have afforded it. Others were not so lucky.

From the relative safety of my dorm room , I watched the protesters on the evening news, saw the carnage of the war, heard the reassurances from LBJ, Westmoreland and the other “powers that be” and tried to keep it all straight in my head. I also kept my head in my books and worried about all the friends and family I knew who were patrolling the jungles of Vietnam. I slowly began to hate the leftist, anti-war protesters as much as I hated the government they were protesting.

We had all begun to suspect there was something terribly wrong with that war. There is not enough room here to explain in detail all the things that went wrong both in Vietnam and on America’s streets and college campuses. There was mismanagement by our government, under Lyndon B. Johnson, lies from the top brass in the military, treasonous acts by Hollywood actresses, drug-fueled protests by leftist hippies all over the country (covered extensively by an increasingly liberal media) and .... caught in the middle were The Unlucky Few.

They didn’t ask for that war, they didn’t want to fight, they just did what they thought they had to do.

Others ran off to Canada, burned their draft cards, protested, chanted, marched and .... took it out on The Unlucky Few. Soldiers returning from Vietnam were treated horribly by a large number of Americans who felt their protests against the war should include protests against the soldiers.

These “others” lived in a virtual reality, all their own. Drugs played a large part in that scene. Self-righteous arrogance played an even bigger part. This great nation has yet to recover from their insanity. They are still blaming America for all the world’s ills, still living in a drug induced never-land of the mind, still spewing their hatred of the military.

And what happened to The Unlucky Few?

My father was one of The Unlucky Few. He died in 1978, after the war in Vietnam was finally concluded. Thirty years in the military and three tours in Vietnam. God rest his soul.

And the rest of them? Well, a grateful nation gave them a memorial. This nation dug a big hole in the ground and threw two huge black rocks in it in the shape of a “V”, then inscribed the names of all The Unlucky Few who had fought and died in that misbegotten war .... all 58, 253 of them. In my opinion, that just added insult to injury.

I take hope that today in America, there is a rebirth of common sense and pride in our country that is steadily growing. The majority of Americans are coming to realize that freedom is costly and any war should always be the last resort of an honest nation. Make no mistake, the current war on terror is justified .... by over 3,000 American lives that were lost on September 11, 2001. The problems in the Middle East have been festering for centuries. Our troops over there today will fight to help spread freedom and democracy. Some of them will die. So that we may live. In freedom.

I only hope and pray that one day our nation will allow the memory of those who died in Vietnam to climb out of that hole and shed the black rock they have been consigned to. When that happens, the people of this great nation may finally be forgiven by .... The Unlucky Few.

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 05/30/2005 at 10:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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calendar   Sunday - May 29, 2005

So That Others Might Be Free, Part IV

Pork Chop Hill, Korea - 1953

Total Cost Of Freedom (Korean War): 54,256 dead

Officially it was designated Hill 255, but its contour lines on a map of Korea and a 1959 film made it world famous as Pork Chop Hill. Based on a book by military historian S.L.A. Marshall, the movie dealt only with the penultimate, two-day battle for Pork Chop Hill in April 1953. In actuality, that hill claimed the lives of soldiers from the United States, Thailand, Colombia, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and China in an ongoing struggle that lasted longer than on any other single battlefield in Korea.

After Communist North Korean forces invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, the war raged up and down the peninsula several times as the United States, the United Nations (U.N.) and finally Communist China sent ground forces there. By July 1952, however, both sides had constructed such strong defensive lines that neither could undertake a major offensive without suffering unacceptable losses. In 1952, North Korea and China had 290,000 men on the front lines and another 600,000 in reserve. The U.N. countered with 250,000 troops on the line, backed by 450,000 reserves.

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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 05/29/2005 at 07:59 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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So That Others Might Be Free, Part III

Midway, 1942

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Iwo Jima, 1945

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Total Cost Of Freedom (World War II): 291,557 dead


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Posted by Ronald Reagan's Ghost   United States  on 05/29/2005 at 07:37 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
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  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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