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The Big Shot

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    One April Morning (Stand your ground) "The shot heard round the world" is a phrase that refers to the opening shot of the battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, which began the American Revolutionary War and led to the creation of the United States of America. "Lay down your arms and there will be no trouble."...

Wars and Rumors of War

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    The Armenian/Azerbijani War - Still Brewing Yesterday, Armenia accused its historic national rival, Azerbaijan of fomenting ethnic hatred by displaying helmets of Armenian soldiers killed during the war between the neighboring countries last year. A decades-long conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh regio...

Sermonette Open Forum

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    I don't think that Virtual Mirage ever left you a blank slate for a sermonette. Sort of a "write-your-own-polemic". You can chalk it up to laziness on my part or perhaps a lack of imagination. That may be what it is. Or maybe not?   Here is my entry: Bobcats are at their very essence - cats. But they're not the sor...

Maille or Mail

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  Maille, or mail as it is anglicized, is a type of armor made of small interlinked metal (iron, steel, brass…) rings. It is also sometimes referred to as chainmail, which is a neologism dating back at least to the 19th century, mistakenly using mail to mean armor as a whole. A reenactor wears the equipmen...

France and America

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  Educating America The California Board of Education just nixed its history curriculum due to a purported stain of white supremacy, replacing it with an ethnic studies model rooted in critical race theory. In early 2021, the San Francisco Board of Education voted to rename 44 district schools, removing historical figures such as G...

Cultural Revolution & Counter

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    The lesson of China's Cultural Revolution was that once the lid blew off, all of the carefully laid plans were in the wind. The same may be said of Iran's radical Islamic Revolution.  Both had very common threads when it came to the central revolutionary government losing control, and they were both historically recent. There ar...

Teeth, Fish, etc.

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    It's Fishing Season And with that comes the cautionary tale of Fish and Game Warden Terry Grosz, who took his job very seriously. From 1966 to 1970 Grosz worked as a fish and game warden in California before he was hired by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Sports Fisheries and Wildlife. Grosz entered the...

Maps and More

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    No Surprise There The Capitol Police officer who allegedly shot and killed Ashli Babbitt, 35, during the January 6 gathering at the US Capitol will not face charges: An investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia determined “that there is insufficient evidence to suppor...

Historic Things

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    Putin's War of Maneuver in Ukraine Putin never had any intention of starting a war directly with Ukraine. He needs to have Western and especially American sanctions lifted before they strangle Russia's banking and other economic interests any more than they have. He knows a war would accomplish the opposite. He upped the ...

Hump Day Notions

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    Random Images A Robinson R44 of the Philippines' Special Action Force (SAF) headed for Fort Drum, a concrete battleship built by the United States in 1909, at the mouth of Manilla Bay. Having landed, it now takes off. Yes, boring. But the pilot was able to navigate to Ft. Drum, land and then navigate back, whic...

Topics

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    More Arcane Mortars? Ok, then, if you want more, you'll get more. As the Great War (WW1) turned from a Napoleonic war of maneuver to the trench slugfest we now know it as, the French army found itself in a dire situation. Their artillery’s poster boy, the famed canon de 75, was essentially useless against anything it cou...

What about Ukraine?

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    Before entering politics to become president of the Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky worked as a TV comedian. There are talents that successful comedians develop: timing, knowing their audience and picking hot topics all prepare you to be a politician. I'm not anti-Zelensky, but he has an agenda and it's important to understa...

Worth Considering

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The Seventeenth Amendment In 1913, the 17th Amendment was ratified. For the first time in American history, voters would be able to directly elect their United States Senators. The decision seems like a no-brainer. Shouldn’t the people be allowed to elect their own Senators? The debate surrounding the 17th Amendm...

Floating – and Floating – and Floating

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  Lone Survivor Chinese steward Poon Lim was found off the coast of Brazil by a Brazilian fisherman family after being adrift for 133 days. Lim found himself in the ocean after the British ship SS Benlomond, where he worked as second steward, was torpedoed by a German submarine (on 23 November 1942). Lim found an eight-foot (240 c...

Another Sermonette – Because you Need More

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    Why Was this Litigated to SCOTUS? First Amendment - Bill of Rights: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress o...

Sunday Sermonette

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    "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience." - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.     Sci-Fi Concepts When one writes fiction, even somewhat plausible fiction, the author can come up with whatever harebrained scheme that they are moved toward and it can be...

It’s About Intent

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    Intentions? (1) Is thinking that Russia or China want to physically invade the US less tethered to reality than Q-Anon? It does justify ever larger military budgets that feed the DC Beltway. And even with that, there's nothing like a war, continually expending material to feed the beast. (2) At the same time that the US is...

Considerations

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  Fighting Sail The open waist of L' Hermione. As you can see here, she doesn't have a closed main deck. The middle part is open and you can see her gundeck. This was done to reduce the weight of the ship.   Body Armor Marines wearing Interceptor (USMC) body armor. If they wear it, should you? By that I...

Friday Follies

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    HRH PRINCE PHILIP DUKE OF EDINBURGH It is with the sadness that we learned of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. His loss is deeply felt and our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. His popularity remained because he was by all accounts a very decent man, a man of courage, and a pa...

This and That

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    Radar Cross Section (RCS)   Sandbar, San Diego, CA Sometimes a basic BLT works wonders. I like to dip my fries in blue cheese dressing. Some prefer ranch or catsup. It all works.   Queso Fundido The name of the dish is literally, "melted cheese".  But it's pretty good.   Bad ...