Friday, March 14, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Friday

Thanks to the comment section over at Dr. Crazy's place, I stumbled on a real classic via a new blogger from the Great White North. (Maybe you have to be of Scandinavian ancestry to react immediately to the ambiguous anger of a title like "We have mixed feelings about Sven Sundgaard", but so it goes.)

The classic is Garfield minus Garfield. I need to update the blogroll to include it and a few others, like the WW I soldier's blog (see below). "Garfield without Garfield" is about as surreal as it gets. Hysterical.

In addition, the 12 March posting by Pacifist Viking about the media also hit a nerve, more so about today's news coverage than the multi-day coverage of the departure of the governor of NY discussed in that blog. Consider the following:

  • A political discussion on "Hardball" where the host interrupted a guest talking about the issues (little things like the war and the economy) because he wanted to discuss the "horse race". Memo to Chris: That kind of thinking (if we are charitable enough to call it that) by the media is what resulted in a majority of Americans believing that Iraq had something to do with 9/11.
  • Hours of discussion about what the preacher at Obama's church had to say on topics as wide ranging as the US government infecting blacks with syphilis, ignoring genocide in Africa, and not acting on intercepts that implied Japan was going to start a war on 12/7, with most of the focus on an allegedly controversial statement about 9/11 that can be found in the 9/11 Commission report. [Side comment: My very Republican father often repeated the claim about Pearl Harbor that this allegedly radical left preacher made in video shown on Fox.]
  • Almost nothing at all about a run on Bear Stearns, a US investment bank that makes a bank run in the UK last year look minor by comparison.
Little wonder that "W" was out jawboning the economy today, saying it is just doing fine, but the sidebar on a BBC story tells a different version: Credit Agricole loses 5 G$, HSBC loses 17 G$, Citigroup loses 18 G$, and Merril Lynch loses 14 G$. Fortunately, reports are that those banks are still making money, but Bear Stearns did not have a problem either until rumors of a "liquidity crisis" (a fancy term for a run on the bank) created one. This is more important that what any preacher says, whether he is an Obama supporter or a McCain supporter.

Finally, the real time (albeit delayed by 90 years) blog of Harry Lamin, a World War I soldier has been fascinating to follow. As fame of it has spread through media stories, particularly on its first anniversary earlier this year, more has been added by others interested in the story. The latest is a set of maps (apparently based off of Google Earth) that show the terrain along with the location of his unit as we follow his letters.

I am particularly fascinated by this because the soldier involved entered service only 6 months or so before my grandfather did. He only told part of the story, as does Harry, whether in his letters, his diary, or the stories he told me. Its great to see another view of that conflict.

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