Archive | August, 2012

Book Review: My Father’s Country by Wibke Bruhns

30 Aug

My Father’s Country by Wibke Bruhns is the story about her father Hans Georg Klamroth a German business man and Wehrmacht officer executed in 1944 for his part in the Stuaffenberg assassination attempt.

It’s also one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read.

Because the author was only 6 years old at the time of her fathers death, she only has letters, diaries, and the words of others to gain insight into her father’s life.

Fortunately for her, her family kept quite a record of itself. Besides the family history there are extensive diaries and letters for her to use.

Indeed the story of H.G. as he is commonly referred to, is an interesting. Being groomed for the family business, young H.G. serves in WW I, travels to America for work, gets married and has five kids, and becomes a member of the Nazi Party.

In defense of H.G. he doesn’t become a Nazi enthusiastically, but more out of a sense of utility. This may explain H.G.’s role in the assassination attempt.

Though his role is hard to explain and at best he was merely aware of the situation, because his son-in-law was one of the major planners, he himself had nothing to do with the attempt.

Still that complicity was enough to have him hanged.

Getting to know Hans Georg Klamroth along with his daughter the author, is a very unique experience. From the family history, through childhood and adulthood the journey is quite surreal. You of course know where it will end up, but you have to keep reading to find out what else happens and how it happens from the perspective of all involved.

The story of the Klamroth family is an interesting one and one of historical significance and an interesting look at life from the German families perspective through the first half of the 20th century. A must read.

Don’t Worry Argentina, We Ain’t Crying

29 Aug

This is a story on Reuters;

Argentine leader’s image falls as inflation soars

Apparently Argentinian President Christina Fernandez’s popularity is half of what it was a year ago, now at 30 percent.

Funny thing what seizing industries for nationalization and pumping government money into markets will do for the rate of inflation, which for Argentina is now around 20 percent.

Of course this isn’t new for the Argentines as they long had one of the most up and down economies in the world.

Still it’s strange that having had so much experience in the matter they haven’t actually learned anything apparently.

Despite achieving incredible growth through the 90’s as the result of privitization and deregulation, they still were crushed by their debt load when the economy crashed thus depreciating the value of their currency.

Argentina is a prime example of what happens when A) debt overwhelms a nations ability to pay for it. Unfortunately like many other nations, Argentina suffers from the forced IMF and World Bank deals that were forced down it’s throat that have since created more problems for it(as it does in the other cases as well) and B) they are finding out that simply making obstructive rules to level the playing field for the people who are doing (government assigned) jobs they are not qualified for is nothing but a hindrance to real economic production.

The good news is that Argentina is a nice place to visit (I once had a college professor who was originally from Argentina). As long as inflation keeps going up, it will be cheaper to travel down there and have a nice steak dinner for the price of Mcdonalds.

Book Review: The Ghosts of Cannae

28 Aug

The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal and the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic by Robert L. O’Connell

The Ghosts of Cannae is the story of the Second Punic War. The war between Carthage and Rome really begins when Carthiginian General Hannibal Barca makes his famous trek from Spain over the Alps and into the Italian peninsula where he would wage war against Rome for 15 years.

O’Connell provides a great story by informing the reader of the historical context of the era. The competition between Carthage and Rome for control of the Mediterranean and Hannibals promise to his father to continue to wage war on Rome.

The reader becomes familiar with Hannibal through his wily tactics and ability to outsmart his Roman foes. A clear picture is also painted of the working man, those who served both for Hannibal and Rome.

The apex of the book is the battle of Cannae. This slaughter of tens of thousands of Roman legionaires leaves the survivors in an undesirable position. They are practically exiled to the island of Sicily where they remain for years as the Empire wants nothing to do with them.

Their redemption comes in the form of Scipio Africanus. Son of   Publius Cornelius Scipio, himself a Roman Praetor who was killed in battle against Scipio along with his brother(and Africanus’ uncle).

Of course at the time that Scipio revives the ‘Ghosts of Cannae’, he has not yet earned the name ‘Africanus’. That name is to be bestowed upon him for his successes in Africa against Carthage, namely the battle of Zama. Which he will rightly do after succeeding in Carthaginian Spain and then freeing Italy of Hannibal who is finally forced to evacuate the peninsula.

The ‘Ghosts of Cannae’  provides a terrific and quick history of both the Romans and Carthagians as well as life in general in the Mediteranean basin at that time. It also details quite well the history of the battles and events of the Second Punic War.

Though listed at 336 pages, the book really only reads for about 260 pages because the bibliography is that extensive. But when you’re writing about a 2,000 year old war there tends to be a lot of sources.

The book reads well and provides many interesting notes about the events and those involved. Such as how the Roman survivors of Cannae, after being essentially abandoned on Sicily are taken to Africa by Scipio and find themselves as the veterans in Scipios army who line up against the veterans of Hannibals army from Cannae and find themselves fighting the same men they fought against 14 years earlier.

NYC Boys in Blue Protect and Serve Their Pensions and Privelage

26 Aug

A little story is making it’s way to the corners of the internet regarding the recent Empire State building shooting fracas in New York City.

The crux of the story is that of the 9 people wounded during the events, all 9 of them were wounded by shots fired by the NYPD.

It’s been stated that both officers have never before fired their guns on the job. Though you can’t blame them for not firing their weapons on patrol if the opportunity doesn’t present itself. However you have to wonder how much training the had in target selection and aiming their weapons.

Considering how every single police officer in the nation will state how their safety is their biggest concern in everything they do, you’d expect them to be able to ensure their safety by knowing how to use their guns.

Then again this was in NYC so perhaps these officers suffered from a lack of time to complete that training, what with the sexual harassment courses, and learning how to spot illegal big gulps, firearms training has to take a backseat to the important stuff.

Once again a police department displays it’s complete lack of truth in the “Protect and Serve” motto. The only thing most police departments/officers care about is federal funding, pensions, and the privilages of ‘bending’ the laws in their favor.

For more details read the stories on the thetruthaboutguns.com or theblaze.com

 

War on Women, War on Intelligence

23 Aug

With the Democrat/Media playing up the narrative of a Republican war on women, the Democrats are set to have Sandra Fluke speak at their convention in Charlotte.

Here’s a small quote of hers previously;

“This controversy is not an accident, or a mistake, or an isolated incident,” Fluke wrote. “It’s a reflection of a Republican Party whose policies are dangerous for women.”

As one statement it well summarizes the narrative the media and democrats are trying to create.

If that many women really believe that a Republican victory will cause them to be chained to the kitchen, then perhaps they should be.

For the sake of humanity and the integrity of the United States if they’re really that naive and foolish perhaps it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep them locked up and away from anything even remotely important.

Redrawing the map of Europe

21 Aug

I came across this fairly humorous video “Redrawing the map of Europe” by the Economist.

While it is mocking and humorous it does present a ring of truth to it as well.

Vindication

20 Aug

This video has been making the rounds today.

It goes well with this one that’s began making the rounds a few days ago.

They contrast quite well and one serves as quite a good form of vindication of the others purpose.

Biden’s buddy get’s dough

18 Aug

Joe Biden is the gift that keeps on giving. This time is the report that his “good friend” is receiving a $20 million loan from the federal government to open a luxury car dealership in Ukraine as reported by the Daily Caller.

Two problems.

First is whether or not the money will be paid back. I don’t entirely have a problem with the government spending money giving businesses loans, so long as they pay it back. However with what we’ve seen from the Obama Whitehouse and its knack for picking losers its not exactly a policy that should be pursued with vigor considering how much has already been lost.

However, as a sidenote to this point, it should be asked, if you’re already a successful car dealership owner how do you not have enough money to fund your own business plans? Makes me think is just smart enough to know he doesn’t have to put his own money on the line.

Second, as someone who has spent several seeks in Ukraine earlier this year I am quite fond of that nation and also a bit familiar with it. One thing my familiarity tells me is that $20 million dollars goes a long way in Ukraine. I can’t imagine it costing $20 million dollars to open two car dealerships and that is only compounded by what it might cost in Hryvna.

As part of experience in Ukraine I noticed a lack of concern on a lot of construction projects and little details that tend to go unnoticed typically, such as unfinished sidewalks in front of banks. As a came to learn, as nice as Ukraine is, a lot of corruption and graft prevents most work from being completed because the right people simply haven’t received their cut and won’t give their approval.

I wonder if US taxpayers will be happy paying for the bribes in order to get this dealership completed if not they should at least be prepared to be funding a half finished project.

The jester distracts the royal court

18 Aug

In all the talk about Vice President Biden’s gaffe-proneness due to his latest statement from the video above, one thing that is being neglected in the discussion is the context of what was said. Sure Biden’s a goof, and that’s not exactly something you want in a VP, but lets put that aside and look at what he was trying to say rather than the ridiculous way he did it.

VP Biden, as part of the democrat talking point, has stated that Mitt Romney and the republicans want to “unchain” wall street, and that that in turn would put the citzenry “back in chains”.

Yes republicans want to ease up the regulations that choke not only the banking and financial sectors but every sector of the economy.

Still the main point in unchaining the banking/financial industries is that they will then be allowed to operate freely and also be held responsible for their actions. Allow them to be independent and void of any and all government butt covering bailouts.

 

The follies of fools

16 Aug

Today illegal immigrants are allowed to file paperwork to allow themselves to stay in the United States.

Here’s a CBS News video on the matter.

Here’s another video on illegal immigrants though this one from the actions on the matter in Europe.

A bit of a noticeable contrast. Good news is that as the Europeans attempt to undo their own destruction they created through socialism the United States is making efforts to embrace their failed policies. How is that good news? 60 years of socialist destruction later the United States might get back to principals again. Too bad we’ll all be dead by then and the nation will be so ravaged it won’t be worth taking back.

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