Monday, August 29, 2005

The tornado sirens are going best log off. Here is a shot of the local radar as a band from Hurricane Katrina moves our way.
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Now this is the way that I like a beach....big and empty, where you can walk and see no condos, no tourists, and nothing except for your own footprints.
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Great sunset over Sapelo Island, off the Georgia coast.
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Big waves on Sapelo Island......kicked up by Hurricane Katrina
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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I was one of the table captains at the BBQ contest in Manchester last weekend. My friend Bonnie snapped this pic of me, as I showed one of the boxes of meat to the other judges.
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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Manchester Bound

Manchester Times has the list of events for this weekend's trip to Manchester, Tennessee. I am judging the BBQ event there, and Bonnie is coming with me to keep me out of trouble! Will have some photos when we return.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

And now I can't even walk out the back door of the house to the garage without taking the long way around the house!
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A big branch broke out of the pecan tree...snatching down my power lines to the garage, and pulling some of the fascia boards and soffet down on the corner of the house. Luckily, no fire when the electric wires snapped and the big limbs missed my truck by about 10 feet. Looks like a few hundred dollars will need to be spent to fix it. Just enough to not make it worthwhile to claim on insurance.
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Sunday, August 07, 2005

60th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

This week is the 60th anniversary of the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WWII. I have been reading a fair bit about whether it saved lives or not, how ethical it was, and folks with 20/20 hindsight doing armchair quarterbacking. So I figured that I might as well join in.

It is difficult to judge how many lives the use of the two bombs in Japan may have saved.

Here's my opinion.....The overall number of lives saved...probably not that many. If Japan did not surrender and the US forces had to go in and seize control of Japan, the losses to American and Japanese troops would be very high....perhaps a few hundred thousand soldiers in total would be killed. Of course, by using the bombs, hundreds of thousands were killed...many instantly, others over the next several years due to radiation effects. So it seems to me, that the use really did not save that many lives in saved American lives...but not lives in general.

The real question is how close was Japan to surrendering when the bombs were dropped. There is still much debate on whether a negotiated peace could have been agreed to, which would have negated the need for a US invasion of Japan. In the original Potsdam Talks, the Japanese rejected the US demand for an unconditional surrender. Later, the US changed the language to say an unconditional surrender of the order for there to be some wiggle room for the Japanese to keep the Emperor. This option was never fully explored in negotiations to my knowledge. And keep in mind that after the bombs were dropped, Tojo took the fall for the war, going so far as to say at his trial that he always obeyed everything that the Emperor said, with the exception of starting the war. This was done primarily to isolate the Emperor, so that he could remain at least as a figurehead monarch...which he did.

I think that at that time, the decision to drop the bombs had more than just one goal. First and foremost, it was to demonstrate the power of the US and to lead to a quick surrender, without the need for a invasion. But there were more reasons.....the Russians had declared war on Japan only a few days before the Hiroshima bomb was detonated. The US had already seen how the Russian forces had seized large parts of eastern Europe and did not want to have a similar Russian presence in Japan. The US military also wanted to demonstrate to the Russians that they were not afraid to use the big weapons....a not so subtle reminder to the Russians not to break their agreements in Europe. And finally, it was a weapons test. Over $2 billion had been sunk into creating those two bombs and the Trinity device....and that is is $2 billion in 1945 dollars. There were some that believed that if we didn't use the weapons, it was a tremendous waste of much needed cash during wartime.

Ok. So that is my two cents worth on the topic of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I hate laundry day!

Got that lazy feeling

Well, the doorbell just rang. I was asleep and enjoying my rest on this, my day off....I peeked out the window and spotted a lady with a big stack of Jehovah's Witness pamphlets in her hands walking from the front door toward the back door. I thought about snatching open the door and blessing her out for waking people up. But I figured that it was just easier to ignore the doorbell.

Now I have nothing against individuals expressing and enjoying their own religious beliefs. But why do they have the need to come onto my property and do so? I am not seeking them out to tell them about my thoughts on things that are important to me.

Oh much for my nap today.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Day after tomorrow is the first day back at school here. I came across this old photo and it made me think about how much easier that we have it now. This photo was captioned as being from the late 1850's.
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