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Belmont Club

Monthly Archives: December 2010

Pearl Harbor 2010

December 30th, 2010 - 7:02 pm

In July 2010, an assemblage of allied ships from all over the Pacific gathered at Pearl Harbor. The US Navy’s Rimpac site features an aerial tour of the naval base.

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The Crusade of Innocents

December 30th, 2010 - 11:02 am

Two days before Christmas  package bombs were delivered to the Greek, Chilean and Swiss embassies in Rome allegedly by “an anarchist group, the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire”. Now a motorcycle-bomb has struck a courthouse in Greece in what police suspect is a protest against the trial of the Cells of Fire suspects. Because of a warning call, nobody was hurt.  According to USA Today, in an article full of irony, European anarchists are growing more organized as people suffer from declining levels of state welfare.  Even more fecklessly,  USA Today has described anarchy as a movement within the Left. Can it be?

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“Baby look at me, and tell me what you see”

December 28th, 2010 - 11:08 am

Jonathan Foreman describes the evolution of Julian Assange’s ‘War on America’ in an article in Commentary in which he traces Wikileaks’ disclosures which culminated in the release of “Collateral Murder” — “a selection of stolen and decrypted gun-camera footage that purportedly shows the unlawful killing of Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists by the crew of a U.S. Army Apache helicopter.” That took Assange into the big-time. “Skillfully edited and promoted, and widely accepted by the mainstream media as proof of a U.S. war crime, the video won WikiLeaks fame and praise around the world and made its founder, a 39-year-old Australian named Julian Assange, an international celebrity.”

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On A Darkling Plain

December 26th, 2010 - 7:30 pm

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man… I am satisfied with the mystery of life’s eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence — as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.”
– Albert Einstein

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The Xbox Defense

December 26th, 2010 - 2:28 pm

Andrew “Bunnie” Huang describes the underlying issues in “USA v. Crippen, where for the first time an individual, Mr. Crippen, was charged with an alleged violation of the criminal portion of the DMCA statute”. Crippen was found to be modifying Xboxes, but the government withdrew the case after their own witness established that the prosecution failed to provide a key fact on which the prosecution based its case. It is an interesting incident which may in the end, illustrate how Julian Assange plans to defend himself.

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Binary

December 24th, 2010 - 9:14 am

The idea of using interstate compacts to take back power from the Federal government has taken serious shape in Washington. Readers will remember the discussion on interstate compacts on this site three months ago. Now Fred Barnes at the Weekly Standard notes the idea has been presented to the newly elected members of Congress and received a warm reception.  The idea has taken a practical shape. Barnes writes:

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All the streets were dark and bare

December 23rd, 2010 - 3:10 pm

The  postal service says that this year, children are asking Santa for basics like “coats, socks and shoes — rather than toys and games”  this Christmas.  Maybe so. The presents have changed with time but the gift has always been the same.

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Ice Age 6

December 22nd, 2010 - 12:42 pm

Unseasonably cold weather in the UK has spurred speculation the earth may be entering a new Ice Age. This flies completely in the face of last decade’s strident warnings about Global Warming. “Piers Corbyn believes that the last three winters could be the harbinger of a mini ice age that could be upon us by 2035, and that it could start to be colder than at any time in the last 200 years. He goes on to speculate that a genuine ice age might then settle in, since an ice age is now cyclically overdue. Is he barmy?”

Piers Corbyn is about as “barmy” as Time Magazine when it predicted in 1974 that another Ice Age was right around the corner.

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The Beatles

December 21st, 2010 - 12:31 pm

Not the singing group but cyber-beetles with a killer beat. They will be one of the many kinds of insects controlled by machine interface under the Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems of DARPA. With a current budget of $3.2 billion, the program is “placing mechanical systems into insects during the earliest stages of metamorphosis.” The result? “Little insect cyborgs. Little spies. Little Terminators.”

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The Drunkard’s Progress

December 19th, 2010 - 7:44 pm

When Lady Gaga spoke at a rally in support of repealing the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy towards gays in the military, she said: “Our new law is called ‘If you don’t like it, go home!’” That kind of speech is described as a defense of tolerance. Today the New York Times narrates the case of a University of Nebraska astronomer who was denied a position at the University of Kentucky because he was “potentially evangelical.” The department voted to deny him the position because it would look bad for the university if it hired a religious nut. Both incidents highlight the new normal, whatever that is.

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