Jim Werbaneth's Blog (162)

Goodbye, Michael Jackson

This is based on something that I just posted on Wargamer.com, in response to the reactions to the death of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop.



Michael Jackson was not a genius on a par with Elvis, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, or a whole host of legends built on talent. He was a fine dancer, a good showman, and a passable singer. The rest was a testament to the power of hype and celebrity. After all, who gave Michael Jackson the… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on June 26, 2009 at 9:24am — 9 Comments

Fareed Zakariah's Take on Iran

Fareed Zakariah can usually be counted upon for excellent analysis of events in the Middle East and the Islamic world. In this week's Newsweek, he offers an examination of the crisis of legitimacy now facing the Iranian theocracy, one well worth reading.



Dr. Zakariah does not see the regime as… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on June 22, 2009 at 3:00pm — 2 Comments

Iran: Trying to Control the Uncontrollable

Events in Iran since election day on June 12 have been truly breathtaking. The Islamist status quo faces a crisis of legitimacy, very reminiscent of that which raged through Eastern Europe twenty years ago, and the upsurge of popular rage further calls to mind the popular wrath that drove Shah Muhammed Reza Pahlavi from the Peacock Throne thirty years ago.



In an… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on June 16, 2009 at 4:07pm — 14 Comments

Why Even Have a Holocaust Museum?

With yesterday's shooting at the United States Holocaust Memorial and Museum, attention has to be paid to the museum itself. A few people are going ask, why have one? Why should federal tax dollars, in a tight economy after all, go towards commemorating something perpetrated by foreigners a long time ago?



One reason comes to mind immediately: Deniers. Upon the exposure of the Nazis' crimes against humanity, General Dwight David… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on June 11, 2009 at 11:30am — 5 Comments

The Fourth Estate Takes a Holiday

One of the most incisive commentators in the national media, in my opinion, is Robert J. Samuelson of The Washington Post and Newsweek. There are times when I don't necessarily agree with him, but I usually respect his reasoning, and unlike the vast majority of the talking… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on June 1, 2009 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

The Lord's Liberation Army: Chasing Some of the Worst Hoodlums in East Africa

Africa might be called the Dark Continent because it's a giant blindspot to most people. We get used to the disease, famine, natural disasters, and the manmade abuses, the violence, even the genocide in Africa. After a while, it seems to be a matter of "What's another starving kid with a distended belly?" Or "What are a few thousand people chopped up by machetes among friends?"



What most of the rest of world calls shocking, disgusting and abhorrent, too much of Africa calls just… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on May 19, 2009 at 3:58pm — 3 Comments

Army Officer Oldest Service Member Killed in Iraq

Major Stephen Hutchison of Scottsdale AZ became, at age 60, the oldest American service person to die in action in Iraq. Major Hutchison was a Vietnam veteran who rejoined the Army in the wake of 9/11. His wife objected, so he waited until her death to rejoin.



When killed by a a roadside bomb, Major Hutchison was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armored Regiment, of the 1st Infantry Division.…



Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on May 14, 2009 at 8:54pm — 6 Comments

Backlash Against Sharia Law in Pakistan

As the government offensive in the Swat Valley heats up, there may be an erosion of support for Sharia law and Islamist governance that once existed throughout Pakistan. The Pakistani legal system reported was slow, inefficient, and corrupt, giving people reason to reach out for an Islamist alternative.



But that alternative did not work out quite as well as promised. Now Pakistan is in a fight for its life and its identity.…



Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on May 10, 2009 at 1:29pm — No Comments

Some Immodest Proposals to Save the American Defense Establishment

America is trouble. I read it in the New York Times, so it has to be true. And after minutes of careless deliberation while inebriated, I think I know the reason.



We are let down by those who establish our defense policy. These policies just don't reflect the realities of a modern world, reflecting a kind of Neanderthal, pre-2009 reality that many people would like to forget, and others never knew a damned thing about.



Therefore I've come up with some really good… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on April 29, 2009 at 2:27pm — 7 Comments

ConsimWorld and Blue Oyster Cult in the Classroom

I continue to use ConsimWorld as a classroom resource in my undergraduate history and political science classes. Today I finished off a series of classes on terrorism and 9/11, and wanted something to grab peoples' attention and get the discussion going.



I started things off with Blue Oyster Cult's song Divine Wind. It was written for the Iranian Hostage Crisis and released in the summer of 1980, then in 2001 an online… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on April 27, 2009 at 12:25pm — No Comments

The iPod Goes to War

Apple is a real industry leader when it comes to design, and the appeal of the iPod and iPhone is undeniable. Even a PC person like me has to admit that they aren't just incredibly cool, but highly functional. The Coke bottle was once the icon of American design, but I think in time people might recognize the iPod as the quintessential design of this generation.



Now Apple's better products are heading to war. There's nothing inherently military about an iPod, but it's a civilian… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on April 21, 2009 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Could This Be Progress?

In some ways, Baghdad is starting to sound more relaxed and enlightened than some of our more puritanical American cities, if you can believe this story, originally from The New York Times.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30289861/

Added by Jim Werbaneth on April 19, 2009 at 1:05pm — 1 Comment

Line of Departure Issue 64 Is On the Way!

I'm putting the finishing touches on Line of Departure Issue 64 right now. The lead review is of GMT's Chandragupta, marking a continued commitment to the Great Battles of History series in the pages of the… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on April 13, 2009 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

The Liberation of Paris - Forgotten Veterans

The BBC News web site ran a story today about an under reported episode of World War II. France was liberated by heroes, but not all were recognized during the victory march through Paris. Read the story and get the story:

Paris liberation made 'whites only'

Added by Jim Werbaneth on April 6, 2009 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

And Now a Moment of Silence

Three Policemen Dead, Two Wounded in Pittsburgh Shoot-Out



This happened in one of those neighborhoods where people can truly say "This stuff doesn't happen here." Stanton Heights is a middle-class neighborhood with a long tradition of being heavily Jewish and intellectual; the actor Fritz Weaver is from there, as is the conductor Lorin Maazel. Now, it has a heavy concentration of police, fire and… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on April 4, 2009 at 10:15pm — 7 Comments

Just So Nobody Misses the Spammers

Hey, check this out! Hot Russian girls at my Canadian pharmacy want to sell your realistic Rolex watches that offer all-natural male enlargement.



Unfortunately my father-in-law, General Francis Mbuto Klepto, recently died soon ago, leaving upwards of £15000000 dollars in a Swiss bank account, but the Nigerian authorities will not allow Switzerland to release it without a small down payment from a reputable American party. Since you look honest, may I ask you to help out a poor widow… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on April 1, 2009 at 2:17pm — 3 Comments

Happy Motoring

I'm about to post on something controversial. Some people here shy away and hate the political discussions. This might be worse. Some think that religion has no place on ConsimWorld. I go further than matters of mere religion. Nonetheless, I must broach a matter of major controversy, one that is very important to me, and for which I seek your help.



You see, I'm in the market for a new car.



Right now I'm driving a 2001 Chevy Cavalier that I purchased in December 2000. It's… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on March 25, 2009 at 1:11pm — 17 Comments

AIG and Bills of Attainder

As soon as the leaders in the House and Senate started talking about about recovering the AIG bonuses by taxing them at close to 100%, a phrase whipped through my head: Bill of Attainder. Bills of attainder are expressly forbidden in Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution. These are post-facto laws, targeted at individuals or groups, punishing them without benefit of those inconvenient things like trials and due process.



Admittedly, I am not an attorney. But I do teach… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on March 19, 2009 at 4:00pm — 16 Comments

Playtesters Wanted for The Battle of Midway

I'm developing Paul Rohrbaugh's game on Midway for Turning Point Simulations, and we could use another good playtest group or two. This game uses the same system as Paul's earlier game on Cape Matapan, published a few years back for Microgame Design Group. Additionally, there's a second game, based on the "postcard game" concept popularized in Against the… Continue

Added by Jim Werbaneth on March 12, 2009 at 6:51pm — 4 Comments

What Price Liberty?

This is about Britain, and perhaps our British members should pay attention and comment. Americans, Canadians, Australians and others from the freedom-loving world are probably going to see something of their own countries in this as well.

You Don't Know What You've Got 'Till It's Gone

Added by Jim Werbaneth on March 1, 2009 at 3:15pm — 4 Comments

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