Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bokar Fort, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik City walls
The city of Dubrovnik is completely surrounded with walls and forts, including the Old Port. The history of the fortifications goes back to the early Middle Ages. No doubt the earliest urban settlement upon the islet of Laus was protected with walls. The fact that the city was able to resist the Saracens who besieged the city for 15months in the 9th century means that it was fortified well. The city first spread towards the uninhabited eastern part of the islet. The eastern section was included within the defence walls in the 9th and 10th century. When the sea channel separating the city from mainland was filled with earth in 11th century, the city merged with the settlement on land and soon a single wall was built around the area of the present-day city core. The whole city was enclosed in the 13th century, except for the Dominican monastery, which came under their protection not before the 14th century. The average thickness of the wall was 1.5 meters, and it was built of stone and lime. To increase the strength of the walls and ensure better defence, 15 square forts were built in the 14th century.

UPDATE: Many emails have asked whether I have visited Croatia. During my really active traveling for work days I was banned from entering most countries behind the Iron Curtain. Now that the iron veil of communism has been lifted I plan to visit Croatia and other countries in the area. My wife's family is from just across the Adriatic in the Abruzzi region of Italy, so, I hope to see this beautiful area soon. Friends have said that the people are as amazing as the country.

Election 2009 - Not A Good Day For Republicans Or Democrats

Yes, Republicans won in NJ and VA. Any day that signals the departure of a , albeit rich, dilettante who dabbles in areas in which only his thinking is less than his understanding is a good day. NJ is better for it.

Hoffman of NY-23 lost. Though not a Republican, he should have won and I need to study the results to understand why he did not. I will start by looking at the polls and speaking with pollsters in the area. They have some 'splainin to do. Ditto California 10.

So far a wash.

Here in Ohio, a quick look at local and statewide issues is very disheartening. Spend, spend, spend and more government everywhere. This is not good.

At a time which suggests that the Obama Administration is and will continue spending generations of money in mere months, more spending at the local level being approved by voters is curious. Local levies and other pure spending inputs and increases appear to have been approved all over the state. Why? Maybe locals feel that they better get some money in the pipeline now before what's left disappears, but where was the logical thinking that should have clearly stated, through the vote, that we already have too much spending by governments large and small? Again, more study at the local level and looking for regional and state patterns is needed.

Statewide, the 2009 election appeared to be a result in some welfare state instead of Ohio. Casinos? Who in Hell needs casinos? They are not a panacea, not even part of a solution, they are a societal cancer and the vote yesterday is an indicator that Ohio is sicker than previously thought.

Concerning Issue 2 I found the chatter from conservatives and liberals interesting. Is Issue 2 just another layer of unneeded government or a corporate conspiracy to wring more profit out of the local coven of comrades? Either way, voters heard "safer food" and saw signs supporting the issue in farmland where the here-to-fore trusted population of farmers ply their trade and voted for Issue 2.

All of this is more sobering when viewed through the progressive lens of Washington's current promise of a chicken in every pot and a Caddy in every garage. Terrifying, when viewed through the unruly and unfocused lens of a state governor and other state leaders flailing about like chickens with their heads cut off. Strickland and his cohorts, when faced with the realities of our economy, react with a misfeasance that is, at least to the logical, bordering on criminal.

I do not feel these results bode well for Republicans. Sure, a message was sent and moderate Democrats will heed that message in the upcoming votes on health reform and other pie in the sky claptrap that Pelosi, Reid and Obama will put up. These moderate moderate Democrats will heed that message until they are bribed the right amount of government largess for their district or until their political arms are twisted out of their sockets.

Yesterday exhibited pockets of resistance to be nutured and grown, but it also signaled a voting public so enured to the public teet that it signals more insanity that will accept an ever growing government in size and power, a savior in the chimera of an FDR, which, in the end, will bring us all down.

Not a good day for Republicans or Democrats. It was an even worse day for taxpayers who are going to have to pay for all of this waste, fraud, abuse and corruption. In all, we voted for a Potemkin village when we can't even pay for the paint to hide the cracks in its crumbling facade.