September 3rd, 2008

George Bush and self-pity

A while ago, George Bush kept talking about what hard work being President is, so when he said last night:
I know what it takes to be president. In these past eight years, I've sat at the resolute desk and reviewed the daily intelligence briefings, the threat assessments, and the reports from our commanders on the front lines.

I've stood in the ruins of buildings knocked down by killers and promised the survivors I would never let them down.

I know the hard choices that fall solely to a president. John McCain's life has prepared him to make those choices. He is ready to lead this nation.

I was braced for more complaining. And there it was:
Fellow citizens, if the Hanoi Hilton could not break John McCain's resolve to do what is best for his country, you can be sure the angry left never will.

Um, George? A lot of people on the right are angry with you, too.

As a general thing, I don't have a problem with complaining. I'd better not, considering how much of it I do.

However, it does strike me as a little unseemly coming from the president, especially considering how hard it is to get the job, and that he chose to run for a second term.

Oh history junkies, has any other president complained about how hard it was in his public speeches?

Google's Chrome: too expensive at any price

From the EULA, and it's a good thing *someone* reads the fine print:
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

It's a damned shame. I'd like a more stable less memory intensive browser, but I'm hoping Firefox will imitate Chrome's structure.

In much less important news, the cartoon version kept failing to load for me.

Link thanks to shadesong.

Civil War: the divided South

This is about Bitterly Divided, which is about the southerners, both black and white, who opposed secession (the majority of whites outside the deep south) and the civil war.

The north's advantages were considerably amplified by many southerners-- a quarter of the Union army was southerners.
Q: The deprivations at home led to a very high desertion rate among Confederates. How bad was it?

A: By 1864, two-thirds of the Army was absent with or without leave. It got worse after that.

Q: There was a sort of Underground Railroad for deserters?

A: Yes. It surprised me that many Confederate deserters could count on the support of slaves to hide them and move them from one location to another.

Q: How important were black Southerners in the outcome of the war?

A: They were very important to undermining the Confederate war effort. When slaves heard that Abraham Lincoln had been elected, many of them thought they were free and started leaving plantations. So many eventually escaped to Union lines that they forced the issue. As other historians have said, Lincoln didn’t free the slaves; the slaves freed themselves.

Link thanks to laurent_atl.