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Open thread 4/28/23

Today is Arbor Day.

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  • ghostsniper April 28, 2023, 8:50 AM

    Sitting at my desk trying to fit a size 10 foot in a size 8 shoe which is another way to say a client wants more bang for their buck than any home can offer. In this case it’s a custom master bathroom with all the bells and whistles. I’ll make it happen, I always do, but my method of trying all the wrong ways before I stumble upon the right way seems to be my only path. It’s 2pm and the sun is shining and the temp is about 68 degrees so I have the window next to my desk open and I can see the birds coming and going on the feeder about 6 feet away. Sometimes when I encounter a rough patch in a design process I’ll spin sideways in my chair and stare at those birds and let my mind drift…

    My big under stuffed, high backed RealTree chair can be too comfortable at times and I’ve been known to fall asleep in it. I heard a distant boom and felt the floor shudder slightly breaking me out of my stupor. My mutt Shannon woke from her slumber and with her head bolt upright she let out a low growl. I told her it was OK and it was just probably the army tanks over at Atterbury doing field exercises. After a moment she calmed down and a 2nd boom happened. That was more than Shannon could tolerate and she stood and started growling loud. I told her to cool it and to lay down and that everything was alright. It was just the tanks.

    I spun around in my chair and grabbed the mouse and focused my attention on the CAD challenge on the monitor. Shannon went over and got a drink then rolled up in her rack. After a few minutes my wife came in and asked if I could get a signal on my cellphone. I grabbed my Samsung ‘droid and hit the button on the side and the screen came to life but there were no icons on the desktop. Just one big symbol in the middle of the screen slowly rotating. I recognized that symbol from my high school years as an Ankh and it is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol meaning the Key of Life. It was a shiney gold color and sort of hovered in mid air. Thinking it might be an icon I touched it with my finger and it exploded and the pieces went off all sides of the screen. After leaving the screen the pieces went backwards, fading into the distance and then roared forward as an Ankh back in it’s original position, slowly rotating.

    My wife Jenny was watching over my shoulder and when I turned to her she touched the Ankh on her screen and it did what mine did. She asked me what it means and I said I have no idea. There was a knock at my office door and Jenny answered it and it was Heather our neighbor across the road. She had her iPhone in her hand and asked if we can get a signal. Jenny told her no and Heather replied that she has never been able to not get a signal in the 5 years they have lived here. Her phone too had the Ankh symbol and when she touched it it did the same as ours. Whatever the problem was it was universal to all phones it seemed. We figured there must be some kind of outage and we wondered if the booms we heard had anything to do with it. Heather was shocked that there was an army base 20 miles from here named Atterbury. She had seen the army planes and helicopters going overhead on occasion but never thought they were stationed so close. She seemed troubled by that knowledge.

    Almost at the same time our phones made the sound of an incoming text message and we all looked at our screens and read the message that appeared.
    The message was from the Whitehouse in Washington DC and it said the president will be speaking in one minute and we all looked at each other with puzzled, concerned looks on our faces.

    to be con’t.

    • julie April 28, 2023, 9:09 PM

      Yep, seriously creepy.

      Assuming it’s another step in TEOTWAWKI which weirdly doesn’t have any obvious immediate results beyond leaving people baffled and pissed off, I’d love to hear how you figure out the bathroom design.

  • jwm April 28, 2023, 9:08 AM

    As the kids these days would say, That’s creepy AF.


  • Joe Krill April 28, 2023, 6:34 PM

    Is there any chance you could persuade whoever is now running this site to let you run it? I am sure that Gerard left a lot of great material to be published that appears to be going by the wayside.

    • ghostsniper April 28, 2023, 7:36 PM

      Joe, I have no connection to anyone in control of this site. I usually have some time each day to post a comment or links but not enough to run a blog. Keep in mind, what Gerard has built here over time was gargantuan. He LIVED his blog and seems like most forms of social media. That ain’t me.

      Early on after Gerard passed I downloaded the whole site to a hard drive so I have access to all the old posts. If there is something you want to see just ask. Keep in min though, that archive is 5.04 GB with 67,114 files spread over 11,776 folders. Unlike WinXP I have on another machine, Win 10 is not friendly to global searches and it is glacially slow.

      Again, regarding this website, I’m doing about the best that I can. My full time job is running an architectural business. But I appreciate your mention.

  • ghostsniper April 29, 2023, 6:58 AM

    I know, TL, DR…..
    The mindset of this person is that of the “little man” disorder.
    Mixed in with a stout dose of arrogance.
    Some how he believes he gets to think for others and dictate what others should do.
    This elevates him, as far as I’m concerned, to the fate of “The 100”.

    **”The 100″ is the suggestion that American peace can mostly be achieved if 100 select people in the US would be “disappeared”.
    Urging his countrymen to support the then-forthcoming U.S. invasion of Iraq, Robert Kagan insisted in 2002 that “No step would contribute more toward shaping a world order in which our people and our liberal civilization can survive and flourish.” Please note: not could possibly or might, but would. Kagan was certain.

    In March 2003, George W. Bush took that step. Opinions may differ, but as far as I can tell, neither our people nor our liberal civilization have flourished in the nearly two decades since. Now, however, Kagan is back. And he’s not giving an inch.

    The latest issue of Foreign Affairs features a new rendering of what we have come to expect from Kagan. The title, “A Superpower, Like It or Not,” is less important than the straightforwardly didactic subtitle: “Why Americans Must Accept Their Global Role.” Not should or ought to, mind you, but must. “The only hope for preserving liberalism at home and abroad,” he insists, “is the maintenance of a world order conducive to liberalism, and the only power capable of upholding such an order is the United States.” There is no alternative. Of that, Kagan remains certain.

    The piece consists primarily of a tendentious reading of history since the turn of the 20th century, designed to show that the American people are always on the verge of abandoning “their proper place and role in the world” and thereby allowing the forces of darkness to run wild.

    Perhaps the most telling aspect of Kagan’s narrative relates to the Iraq war that he once promoted as essential to preserving liberal civilization. As it turns out, according to Kagan, the war in Iraq and its counterpart in Afghanistan rank as minor episodes of minimal relevance to his overall thesis. Indeed, he chides those who refer to “the relatively low-cost military involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq as ‘forever wars’.” In both instances, he writes, “Americans had one foot out the door the moment they entered, which hampered their ability to gain control of difficult situations.”

    Kagan offers no figures on dollars expended, ordnance dropped, or casualties inflicted or absorbed to illustrate what he means by “relatively low cost.” Nor does he explain how having one foot out the door meshes with the fact that Afghanistan and Iraq rank as the two longest wars in U.S. history. Instead, he cites popular unhappiness with these two wars as “just the latest example of [the American people’s] intolerance for the messy and unending business of preserving a general peace and acting to forestall threats.”

    In other words, the problem was not the Bush administration’s rashness in framing its response to 9/11 as an open-ended global war. Nor was it the non-existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction cited to justify the Iraq war, the incompetence of senior U.S. military leaders who flubbed the occupation of countries the United States invaded, or subsequent horrors such as Abu Ghraib that made a mockery of Bush’s Freedom Agenda. Rather, the problem was that the American people lacked Robert Kagan’s commitment to preserving peace and forestalling threats.

    For Kagan, the key to preserving and forestalling is to amass and employ military power. So he laments the fact that U.S. military spending as a percentage of GDP is less today than it was during the Cold War. That the United States also stations fewer troops abroad than it did during the “long twilight struggle” is another source of concern. Why these comparisons are relevant to the present moment he does not say. Nor does he note that at present the United States easily leads the planet in military expenditures and in the number of foreign bases it maintains. His bottom line is that the Pentagon needs more money and more warriors.

    “The time has come,” he concludes, “to tell Americans that there is no escape from global responsibility.” Americans “need to be told honestly that the task of maintaining a world order is unending and fraught with costs but preferable to the alternative.” Kagan laments the fact that “A failure to be square with the American people has led the country to its current predicament.”

    Let me suggest a different interpretation: It is time to be square with the American people about the consequences that stem from the reckless use of military power and the abuse of U.S. troops. Our actual predicament derives from the less than honest claim that history obliges the United States to pursue a policy of militarized hegemony until the end of time. Alternatives do exist.

    The wonder is that the editors of Foreign Affairs have not yet caught on.


    • DT April 29, 2023, 4:10 PM

      “neither our people nor our liberal civilization have flourished in the nearly two decades since”
      But the Bushies, Clintons, Obamas, Bidens, Schumers, Pelosis, and all the other similar evil certainly did.

    • Vhayes3 April 29, 2023, 5:09 PM

      Remember he is married to State dept. VICTORIA NULAND, war hawk

  • Joe Krill April 29, 2023, 7:24 AM

    All one has to know about Kagan is that he is a flaming neocon, is married to Victoria Nuland and that he is bosom buddies with William Kristol. It would be in the best interest of America and specifically the American people that our elected and unelected “leaders” follow the sage advice of our founding fathers and stay out of the affairs of foreign countries.

    • ThisIsNotNutella April 29, 2023, 4:48 PM

      Oh I think you can whittle down the commonality of that sorry bunch to something more pithy than just ‘Flaming Neocon’.

      The reason the USA sticks its nose (sic) so much into the affairs of foreign countries is because it is ruled by Foreigners.

  • Anne April 29, 2023, 8:01 AM

    I wrote earlier about my experience/observation as to what caused that war. Oil. OIL BABY–NOTHING ELSE BUT OIL!

  • ghostsniper April 29, 2023, 3:00 PM
    • jwm April 29, 2023, 4:50 PM

      High-tech secret bio-lab…
      In the middle of…
      Yes. That Sudan. The one in Africa.
      At least it’s not in China, right?


  • ghostsniper April 29, 2023, 3:08 PM

    Harvard CS50 – Full Computer Science University Course

    I just downloaded it (10.2 gb) and will peruse it at my leisure.
    I mean, why not?, it’s free.


    “When you stop learnin’ you start dyin’.”
    –gs, 2099

  • Casey Klahn April 30, 2023, 12:25 PM

    Just keep talking peace all you like. We just witnessed the second event of our lifetime where a tango alpha charlie formation foxtrot lima echo whiskey over our house, this time at low altitude. Not training. I don’t want to say more because things like this are classified.

    What was all that shit about I don’t need weapons of war, mr governor? I now wish for a sierra tango india november golf echo romeo, and a quad fitty.

    • ghostsniper April 30, 2023, 12:48 PM

      I’ve long wanted a trailer mounted Bofors Quad sitting right in the middle of our front yard.
      And 10k rounds.

      • Casey Klahn April 30, 2023, 1:26 PM

        Well, whatever threat matrix that admiral was anticipating would certainly be less threatening if Casey had that AAA relic in his front yard. Low level: VIP Leer-type jet, and 3 foxtrot alpha sierra tango /break/ mike oscar victor echo romeo sierra on his butt. No training reason for that.

        I’ve seen enough now to know that we are on full war footing West of me. This is some shit.

        • ghostsniper April 30, 2023, 1:49 PM

          Nobody gets to include me in their skuffles.
          If they do, it will go down like this.
          A=skuffle starter
          B=skuffle starters target

          SS starts some shit with SST
          SS causes SST to want to do harm to SS and C
          C breaks SS’s neck, then C and SST belly up to the bar and get soused

          I’m OK with just about anybody and everybody as long as they “leave me the fuk alone”.
          If anyone violates that one rule, “lmtfa”, then all bets are off.

          • Casey Klahn April 30, 2023, 2:05 PM

            Kinda hard to non-participate in a Nuke war. But, best of luck.

            Xhina has a Raptor-style UAV they call rainbow, that ranges from there to here, but just barely here according to open sources. WA is in range; Fla not. Lucky you.

            • ghostsniper April 30, 2023, 2:24 PM

              Geez, I messed that one up dint I?
              I write a code, then ignore it.

              Yeah, that nuke war stuff blows big time.
              If that goes down then I and a cadre will storm a large central city to the east like the barbarians we are and we will burn, pillage, and murder without limit. Got a personal creed, you cause me some shit I will cause you to extinct.

            • ghostsniper April 30, 2023, 2:30 PM

              I’m not in FL I’m in IN.
              Never been lucky ever.
              Do they make UAV in-air refuelers yet?
              One day I’ll tell you about my design concept for a dronecraft carrier.
              Think: an aerial aircraft carrier for drones.
              Why waste swarm fuel just getting to the battlefield when a dronecraft carrier can take them all, deploy the swarm and head back to base. Then the swarm can stay active longer with no fuel issues.

              • Casey Klahn April 30, 2023, 3:12 PM

                I request this thread I started be deleted by the end of the day. Thanks.

                I looked up the VIP jet and told my wife if they only have 3 in the inventory then it’s a certain person. Looked it up and the USN has: three. To help her understand who that was, I told her it was Val Kilmer. He had Maverick, Hangman and Phoenix in escort. @500 ft or so.

                A big UAV, Raptor style, doesn’t need refueling if it’s a Kamikaze.

                Not real happy to know I’m in an active war zone, of a sort. Need my governor to answer some serious questions. His stupid rhetoric with his gun ban is: “no one (civilian) needs weapons of war.” I call bullshit.

  • Anne April 30, 2023, 3:07 PM

    I posted this on Neo’s site but thought it might get lost so I’ll put it here.
    This is your next president of the US. https://www.tester.senate.gov/newsroom
    Scroll down and watch his video about not supporting Biden’s nominees on the Amtrak issue. You should get to know this guy. Sometimes takes care of the vets, loves the open border, and won’t protect coal, oil, or gas in our state. Very active environmentalist and he looks and sounds REALLY presidential. Pelosi loves him! He sounds so in control. . .

    • Casey Klahn April 30, 2023, 3:15 PM

      I have to assume he’s a democrat because I can’t find it on his website.

      • Anonymous April 30, 2023, 3:24 PM

        Amazing how the Ds are so proud of being Ds, they don’t directly state it. “By their actions, they are known” … or some such (Matt 7:20)

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