One of the many annoying things I often hear is “Reagan won the Cold War”. It’s the wrong question. While the Cold Warn certainly wasn’t won by Jimmy Carter, it wasn’t Reagan either. Here is the analogy I use.
Imagine two men in a bar. They’ve just finished fighting other people together. After that fight is done, they start to squabble amongst themselves. Both men pull guns and a tense standoff ensues.
Neither side has a clear edge as both guns are comparable and effective. The standoff continues for quite some time. Both parties upgrade their weaponry periodically. One of the people spends all of his non-weapon money on health food, while the other spends all of his non-weapon money on crystal meth and salty snacks. After a while the first health food person buys a pricey new SA80 rifle. The meth/salt guy complains about a new arms race, then has a heart attack and dies.
That’s the end of the Cold War. The canard “We outspent them” ignores the fact that Communism is not capable of utilizing resources efficiently, and if the Soviets hadn’t been using their resources on weapons they would be wasting the resources some other way. While Reagan did see the evil nature of communism accurately, he wasn’t responsible for the heart attack. Happily, communism is self-limiting that way.
While perusing WikiQuote while waiting for some files to upload I came across these nuggets of wisdom
if a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.
An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows.
If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.
In his case, there seems to be no final answer to the question, “How stupid can you get?”
The runner up
The United States never lost a soldier or a foot of ground in my administration. We kept the peace. People asked how it happened — by God, it didn’t just happen, I’ll tell you that.
Any my favorite
Oh, goddammit, we forgot the silent prayer.
231 years old, and you don’t look a day over 190. 143 years without a civil war too!
One the whole I think we’re doing much better than can be expected.
I celebrated by driving around West Atlanta and attempting some HDR photography which didn’t turn out too well.
While perusing coverage of the latest British terror plots, I came across the words “Doctor’s” and “plot” in the same sentence. Being morbidly interested in Russian History, I thought of Stalin’s final purge, happily stopped by his death, the Doctors’ Plot, which is thought to be his pretext for getting rid of Russia’s Jews.. I was looking over the Wikepedia entry on the subject and came across this little tidbit
In the course of his career, Stalin became increasingly suspicious towards physicians. In his later years, he refused to be treated by doctors, and would only consult with veterinarians about his health.
I’m slowly working my way through the History Channel documentary on the Spanish American war. The black cavalry soldiers, known commonly as “Buffalo Soldiers” were known by the Spanish as “Smoked Yankees”.
It’s interesting to be reminded that America had a low-level conflict with the Indians for years up to that point.
Coming Anarchy has an awesome time lapse animation of the Civil War, it’s one of the best animations like this I’ve seen.