April 2004

Excellent article by Jim Dunnigan about the situation in Iraq. The Myths of Iraq Jim Dunnigan is the author of numerous books about the military and is the long time editor of Strategy and Tactics magazine, though Joseph Miranda has taken over that post.

My copy of The Great Tax Wars came today. Already I am sucked into it. Tax history is such a colorful subject and the generator of such spirited and impassioned debate.

Genny is currently burrowed and nesting under the covers of my bed. She loves that quilt almost as much as I do. Cats are great.

Picked up Rick Atkinson’s An Army at Dawn to read while I am between chapters of Zinn. Ordered The Great Tax Wars from Barnes & Noble.

Found another kindred soul who is doing posts for their cat. Kotoka and Hassie sound like a fun pair of kitties. Now Genny can have a little feline blogosphere going.

Need to get moving on creating my game for Origins this year. Been most interested in Historical Wargaming. OMG! Command magazine is still around. Hmmmm, you can subscribe to the newstand version too! Kewl! Strategy and Tactics ought to look at that option. I have been looking for a good Age of Sail game, Close Action looks to be the best option right now. Maybe I can find a copy at Origins this year. Only 1400 copies in print. Yeesh!

Band of Brothers, excellent series. Typical for John Keegan and Stephan Ambrose to be so much individualistic. Very much from the POV of a soldier. The story on D-Day was excellent. But the latest Bastogne story was a little muddled and incoherent. Telling the Bulge story from Doc’s POV was a fresh view (taking wounded to a field hospital that had no way to evacuate them, ouch) but there was no sense of time passing. I am glad they did not focus on Patton’s Third Army coming to their “rescue”. Members of the 101 to this day deny they needed a “rescue”. Patton worship can be almost as bad as the Hannibal worship.

Zinn gets into the class conflicts before after and during the Civil War. He notes that during the Depression of 1877 Rockefeller expanded his monoploy control and his wealth. But Zinn completely misses the point that Rockefeller was not born into wealth. He made a business name for himself in Cleveland in the 1800’s and his father was a travelling con man who practically abandonded his wife and John D. America has always had mobility between the classes compared to Europe. If you find yourself stuck in between classes then do not blame “the elites”. find a way to get yourself out of it.

Watched The Missing on PPV. Ron Howard has made some really good flicks. Tommy Lee Jones does something at the end that he has never done in a movie. 🙂 No spoilers though!

Genny watched me assemble another little storage cube thingy for my room today, she is a wonderful little kitty. Jesse is sort of sunning herself in the window. I will need to use the camera to take some pics of the room to kinda keep a visual track of things in here as I go along. Speaking of which I need to find a Linux webcam driver for this cheapocam so I can use it natively.

Laura painted one wall of our bedroom. It is a nice Sage green and semi-gloss so it should work nicely.

Hiptop nation is a neat little moblog for Danger Hiptop (aka: T-Mobile Sidekick) mobile phone/camera: Hiptop Nation Check it out!

Shay’s Rebellion – my PolSci professor at university delved a little bit into it. Howard Zinn tells a much deeper story than any I have heard before. Such a wonderful, quiet little revolution. So sad that the proletariat sheep in this country will not be riled up enough to protest anything in that way anymore. Thomas Jefferson was writing of Shay’s Rebellion when he penned: ” The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Some counterpoint to Zinn: A condition of the American scene is that the class division in this country is purely economic in nature. And there is a mobility between this economic stratification that you do not see in Europe. If the “rich elite” were building themselves a personal enclave to protect their wealth, then why not set up laws to more directly engender the socio-economic system they were building?

Genny must be cold, she has been burrowing under blankets a lot lately. She is so spoiled.

Zinn’s People’s History has moved into the beginings of the American Revolution. This is an interesting speculation. The wealthy landowners, Washington, Madison, Jefferson, etc., favored the revolution because it would only make them richer. Kicking the British out would give them clear title to their plantations, the King had title above them and technically could have kicked them out, although it would have taken a lot of force. By kicking out the Brits the wealthy landowners secured their claims to the land and made themselves a lot richer. The trick then is to convert all the newly emerging middle class and the poor (but technically free) to the cause. Was all the talk of unfair taxation and other transgressions simply a way to get the large underclasses on the side of the rich elite? Hmmmmm… thats food for thought.

Took the cats to the vet this morning, Genny was rougher than Jesse this time. She got all upset when she realized they had to stick a thermometer up her behind to get her tempature. She is sleeping off the shots now. She has been such a good cat. Jesse did well because she had to get no shots this time. She did not scream or anything.

Picked up Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States. I am such a history book junkie. 😉 John Steele Gordon’s Hamilton’s Blessing: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Our National Debt should be required reading for people in this country. I was a little shocked when I got to the afterword and Gordon suggests a flat tax in combo with a little fiscal discipline would be the remedy for the financial crisis this country is heading for. See my post a few weeks ago where I suggest virtually the same thing. Sometimes I am so prescient that I manage to scare me. Zinn’s books’ take a great focus in looking at history from a proletariat view. The people made this country, not a few elitist rich landowners from New England. Better stop before I get on a rant.

Been playing with GNUCash. Powerful program if a little arcane. Double entry accounting is a better system than single-entry but it is hard to grasp for the uninitiated.

Please, Please, Please take the time to read Kathryn Cramer’s blog on the whole N4610 rent-a-coup mess which is being ignored by the press and is NOT being properly investigated. Her recent takes on the mercenary trend especially in Iraq is right on. Click Here! I am usually so dead on right when I look at events, early Iraqi protests had a put on look to them.Signs that were spiffy and manufactured as opposed to hastily put together led me to correctly realize that someone put those demonstrations up. Something in that whole mess watching those Iraqis in Fallujah celebrating the deaths of “civilian contractors” struck me as wrong. But Kathryn’s posts made it click. They were hot shots running around playing at being Rambo and the Islamic mercenaries went after their asses. Normally I would cheer the Iraqi/Islamics on in that case but those nitwit Rambo wannabes were there for the Blackwater company. In other words, they are being paid for by the US taxpayer… GRRRR!!

I have to go calm down now before I bite off someone’s head, I am so mad.