Patton’s Talk With God

June 5, 2013

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The article “Patton’s Talk With God” by Lt. Colonel Jack Widmer appeared in the December 1947 issue of True Magazine. On the anniversary of D-Day, this is a great example of the fighting spirit of the men and women who served in the face of true evil, the power of prayer, and how God answers all prayers–be the answer “yes”, “no”, “wait a little bit”, or “watch this”, as it was at Bastogne. God accepts all prayer, through His Son–even Patton’s unusually blunt and perhaps irreverent offering. He knows the contents of our hearts, and in answering prayer, however that prayer is made, God’s ultimate plan is better than even we could ask for.

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Presidential Pool Bracketology: Obama v. Carter

March 12, 2013

Barack Obama (6) v. Jimmy Carter (11)

Another matchup of deeply flawed presidents presents itself here between two Democrats, Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. Carter is widely regarded as one of the very worst presidents of all time, but Barack Obama despite and perhaps because of the refraction caused by a lack of historical perspective, is regarded by at least 51% of the population as a pretty good president. The rest of America, not so much.

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Carter tried a little too hard. James David Barber of Duke’s book “Presidential Character” analyzed the modern presidents based on their character traits. Carter reportedly invited Barber to the White House and spent the day carefully scripting his actions so as to produce what he deemed a positive analysis in the next edition of Barber’s book. He was not fooled.

Jimmy Carter, a lowly 11 seed in our tournament, is most known for writing thousands of useless cookbooks and self-help guides once he left office in shame after one term in 1981. During his presidency, he is most known for his platform for human rights. Largely, this was an accident of circumstance stemming from his campaign which polled well when he was seeking the Democratic nomination and needed to woo disparate parts of the Democratic Party to unify behind him. Read the rest of this entry »


March Madness Bracketology: The Presidential Pool

March 10, 2013

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In the spirit of March Madness, I’ve begun to work on a series (that will take as long as it needs to) of blog posts for a presidential bracket. I think it is a fun way to look at some of the lesser known attributes of some of our Chief Executives, to think about what makes a good president, and to perhaps rethink some of our own prejudices and notions about America’s political history. 44 presidents (including two Grover Clevelands) will compete in four different regions for the title of best president of all time. The selection committee has set the field, divided into four regions (East Wing, West Wing, Oval Office and Rose Garden Regions) and the participants will compete based on several criteria:

  • Problems that the president faced internationally or domestically and how he dealt with them.
  • Problems that he caused internationally or domestically and how he dealt with them.
  • How the president affected the prestige of the office or conducted himself.
  • Short term positive or negative effects of the presidency.
  • Long term positive or negative effects of the presidency.
  • How did the president upheld the oath of office?
  • How did he use presidential power?
  • How the president changed or shaped the presidency–was he shaped by events or did he control the narrative?

Fill out your brackets, argue about it with your friends and family, and then strap yourself in for this series. We will start the tournament off with the Rose Garden Region’s play-in games. Read the rest of this entry »


ORNL’s national importance highlights Knoxville’s pre-eminence

December 8, 2012
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Graphite foam, first serendipitously discovered in 1998 by James Klett of Oak Ridge National Lab, will soon be seen in a variety of functions to improve products and processes.

One of the many benefits to living in the Knoxville metro area is that Oak Ridge National Laboratory is in my backyard. As such, some of the most brilliant minds in the world are at my disposal. I’ve borne witness to the nascent stages of some of the world’s most revolutionary new technologies. I’ve toured the nation’s most advanced nanotechnology laboratories, the Center for Nanophase Materials Science and the Spallation Neutron Source. These will revolutionize our batteries and drug delivery systems, nanopores (carbon sequestration, methane recovery), DNA analysis, biofuel production, quantum computing, the improvement of catalytic techniques, and development of alloys. I’ve even viewed the world’s fastest super-computer, Titan (a room devouring behemoth designed for massive scientific computations).

One of the most interesting technologies I’ve been able to examine is a graphite-foam developed by Senior Researcher James Klett. While attempting to develop a new fabrication method for creating carbon-carbon composites, he accidentally stumbled on the foam in 1998. “We had been making [composites], which are carbon fibres embedded in a carbon matrix,” said Klett. “We were trying to find a cheaper way to make the composites,” he continued. Read the rest of this entry »


As Yet Untitled

June 14, 2010

As time creeps onward, men grow colder,

Soaring ever higher on wings of wax we chase the wind.

Ozymandias’ folly lay in graven immortal aspiration,

Tho’ left, eloquently set more firmly than any stone edifice,

The muse of ancients; wisdom, mores stewardship,

Fanning the flame sewn upon nature, harbinger of logos.

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Even as the heirs of this priceless foundation,

Raise ever higher the spires of achievement,

The swill of words leave the looters’ lips,

Sophists’ tendrils to brand with feigned righteousness,

Condemning to serfdom the torch bearing pillars.

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With hubris they raze aiming to birth morality anew,

The depravity of indulgence without purpose.

If there ever hath been a time, Lord Yahweh,

Show us the way, that time is today,

As Sophist’s hands beat plowshares into swords,

Shine perishing Republic, shine.


Supreme Court Observations:

May 15, 2010

Separated at birth? Forget whether Elana Kagan is gay or not--the real question is whether she is a stealth candidate... That is, Kevin James in disguise!

Judge Judy for Supreme Court. She has everything Obama is searching for in a Justice: minority status, humble beginnings, no qualifications and celebrity. Let the affirmative action checklist begin!

Avatar Debut in Iran?

March 21, 2010
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, seen here at James Cameron's 'Avatar' premier in Tehran: "Khalid, do you see this 3-D magic!?!? This Avatar movie is phenomenal! Best thing to come from the Great Satan since Night at the Roxbury! Allah be praised, it almost makes me wish to spare the zionist pigs! Maybe I won't run Israel into the sea after all!" Just kidding, this is actually Mahmoud Yabba Dabba Dooeyjad viewing some sort of uranium enrichment process which he plans to use to wipe Israel off the map. Happy Days.