All posts by mrossol

Married, 1st generation American, Christian, conservative, GCC parent, Agribusiness manager, long-time Mac-owner, in Ohio.

Outflanked by France

Review & Outlook: Outflanked by France –

As I have said before: “They are making it up as they go…”


The battle for Libya is moving fast toward what could be a Berlin-style climax, with opposition forces advancing on Tripoli even as demonstrators in that city are mowed down in the streets and mosques by regime loyalists. From French President Nicolas Sarkozy we heard the clarion call of the civilized world: “Mr. Gadhafi must go.”

And from the American President, the leader of the Free World, we finally heard yesterday—a call for sanctions. Details to follow.

The Obama Administration was missing in action amid the ouster last month of Tunisian dictator Ben Ali, and hesitant and erratic when it came to the resignation of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. Perhaps that was understandable given that the breadth of Arab revolt wasn’t yet clear, and that both regimes—along with Bahrain—are U.S. allies.

But that can’t be said of Libya’s “Brother Leader,” even after the U.S. made its cold peace with him when he abandoned his secret nuclear program in 2003. Whatever claims Moammar Gadhafi had on U.S. forbearance vanished the moment he began to open fire on his own people. We understand the Administration must take account of the security of Americans in Libya. So too must the governments of Britain and France, which have been outspoken in their denunciations.

On the other hand, the U.S. also has an interest in using its resources and power to prevent the bloodbath that Gadhafi’s bitter-end resistance now promises. For the Administration to stand by and propose sanctions that will have little impact while the regime murders hundreds or thousands of civilians will not endear Libyans to the U.S. when Mr. Obama offers his outstretched hand to the next government in Tripoli.

Mr. Obama’s first instincts in these crises invariably is to declare that the “international community,” whatever that is, must “speak with one voice.” What the world really needs is for an American President to lead.


High Priest of Stats Is the Go-To Guy

High Priest of Stats Is the Go-To Guy –

Yet the young are all the rage!? Some wisdom in this story.


… Mr. Silverblatt’s career has been made by winnowing huge amounts of data to produce such granular stock-market details. And over the years he has stuck to the methods that work. He uses a cellphone, though an old-fashioned pager still clings to his belt. (“When that goes off, I will jump. It’s ‘Houston, you have a problem.’ “)

His preferred method of crunching numbers is an old DOS-based database manager. When he churns out one of his email blasts several times a week on market minutiae—sent to hundreds of institutional investors, analysts, mutual-fund companies and government officials—he prints out hard copies, hand-checking figures with a pen. All this has helped make him the go-to guy for market watchers with wonky questions.

“I remember somewhat recently, I was looking for the largest traded gold companies in the late 1970s. I didn’t think he’d have it. But he had it to me in like five minutes,” says Chris Verrone, head of technical analysis at Strategas Research Partners.  …


The Man with a Flag…

Remember the Guy that Wouldn’t take the Flag down in his yard? (God Bless Him and all the other Men and Women who fight for our country.)

On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg — probably didn’t make much news back then.

Twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano , Italy , Van T. Barfoot,
who had enlisted in the Army in 1940, set out to flank German machine gun
positions from which fire was coming down on his fellow soldiers. He advanced
through a minefield, took out three enemy machine gun positions and returned
with 17 prisoners of war.

If that wasn’t enough for a day’s work, he later took on and destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.

That probably didn’t make much news either, given the scope of the war, but it did earn Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a colonel after also serving in Korea and Vietnam , a Congressional Medal of Honor.

What did make news in November 2010 was a neighborhood association’s quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban Virginia home. Seems the rules said a flag could be flown on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such as Barfoot’s 21-foot flagpole were

He had been denied a permit for the pole, erected it anyway and was facing court action if he didn’t take it down. Since the story made national TV, the neighborhood association has rethought its position and agreed to indulge this old hero who dwells among them.

“In the time I have left I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference,” Barfoot told The Associated Press.

As well he should.

And if any of his neighbors still takes a notion to contest him, they might want to
read his Medal of Honor citation.
It indicates he’s not real good at backing down.

Van T. Barfoot’s Medal of Honor citation:

This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the National Medal of Honor Society, is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry:

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 23 May 1944, near Carano , Italy . With his platoon heavily engaged during an assault against forces well entrenched on commanding ground, 2d Lt. Barfoot moved off alone upon the enemy left flank. He crawled to the proximity of 1 machinegun nest and made a direct hit on it with a hand grenade, killing 2 and wounding 3 Germans. He continued along the German defense line to another machinegun emplacement, and with his tommygun killed 2 and captured 3 soldiers. Members of another enemy machinegun crew then abandoned their position and gave themselves up to Sgt. Barfoot. Leaving the prisoners for his support squad to pick up, he proceeded to mop up positions in the immediate area, capturing more prisoners and bringing his total count to 17. Later that day, after he had reorganized his men and consolidated the newly captured ground, the enemy launched a fierce armored counterattack directly at his platoon positions. Securing a bazooka, Sgt. Barfoot took up an exposed position directly in front of 3 advancing Mark VI tanks.
From a distance of 75 yards his first shot destroyed the track of the leading tank, effectively disabling it, while the other 2 changed direction toward the flank.. As the crew of the disabled tank dismounted, Sgt. Barfoot killed 3 of them with his tommygun. He continued onward into enemy terrain and destroyed a recently abandoned German fieldpiece with a demolition charge placed in the breech. While returning to his platoon position, Sgt. Barfoot, though greatly fatigued by his Herculean efforts, assisted 2 of his seriously wounded men 1,700 yards to a position of safety. Sgt. Barfoot’s extraordinary heroism, demonstration of magnificent valor, and aggressive determination in the face of point blank fire are a perpetual inspiration to his fellow soldiers.”

If you read this but don’t pass it on – guess what – you deserve to get your butt kicked! I posted this because I didn’t want to get MY butt kicked and I wanted to let Van T. Barfoot know I appreciate him.