The above link goes to an article for those interested in historical/geographical trivia. A l0t of folks, myself included, made a fuss in 2008 when Barack Obama claimed to have visited 57 states. Perhaps he would have been right if the proposed states in the article had been approved. I had heard of half of them; how about you?
This month marks twelve years since I uploaded The Xenophile Historian to its current location, on Freeservers.com, a Utah-based company. Obviously I am pleased with the performance of Freeservers as a host; twelve years is nearly a century in Internet time, right? If you haven’t read the story behind the website, you can go to it here.
Over the years I have added webpages, pictures, and a few other files, like sound files and PowerPoint presentations. Thus, the site has grown from 10 megabytes (the size when I left Geocities, the original host), to about 129 megs. In 2001 I started paying for hosting, and that gave me 200 megs of space. Therefore I probably could have kept growing for another couple of years, but it was starting to feel cramped.
A year or so ago, I learned that the original package I signed up for was out of date; I was still allowed 200 megs, but people who signed up more recently were getting much more space than that, and paying less for it. No surprise there; server space and bandwidth have gotten cheaper as more and more computers get connected to cyberspace.
Last year I called Freeservers and found out I could change my membership to take advantage of the newer packages, but was put off when they wanted me to pay up front for two years’ membership. I couldn’t afford it at the time, so I waited until now to take the plunge. The package I ended up choosing costs 1/5 less per month than what I was paying previously, but increases server space from 200 megs to a whopping 5 gigs. Bandwidth will increase too, but I have never needed to worry about running out of that, especially since 2003, when Wikipedia started taking away visitors that used to come to me.
I don’t know yet what I will do with all that space; I don’t need gigabytes to write history papers for the parts of the world I haven’t written about yet (Latin America since 1830, Central Asia, the South Pacific, and updates to previous papers). Most likely I’ll throw in some multimedia, like videos. In the past I never was big on multimedia, but maybe that will now change; I won’t have to post links to YouTube videos, anyway. Maybe more music, too. Those are the biggest changes you are likely to see. Keep on coming back to see what’s new, and have fun!
It’s a crying shame that these days, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, two comedians who get their jokes from current events, give us a less biased look at the news than the people who are supposed to report it, especially NBC, CBS and ABC. Earlier this week I commented on how President Obama is too busy campaigning to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but appeared on David Letterman and “The View.” Now Jon Stewart is making fun of Obama’s priorities, too. Stewart is firmly in the tank of Obama supporters, so I guess Obama made a bad mistake when it becomes fodder for Stewart.
By the way, Stewart complained at the beginning of that clip about how UN General Assembly meetings mess up traffic in Manhattan. One more reason why the UN headquarters should be moved out of the US, preferably to a Third World country like Haiti, where the organization can do something to justify its existence.
Mark Twain once said that history does not repeat itself, but it sure rhymes a lot. Well, this year’s election is rhyming with the one we had in 1980. In both cases we had a failed president trying to win a second term with negative attacks, hoping that voters would choose the known devil in the White House, rather than take a risk with the not-so-well-known challenger. 2012 isn’t a perfect match with 1980 – we don’t have a strong independent like John Anderson, and we don’t know yet who is this year’s equivalent of Ronald Reagan (perhaps Paul Ryan fills that role better than Mitt Romney). And Reagan only pulled ahead in the polls during the last week before Election Day; that may be why the media is reporting the race is tied, or that Obama has a narrow lead.
Finally, Obama did not suffer from an incident as embarrassing as the attack from a rabbit that Jimmy Carter dealt with. Nor did anyone in the media call Obama’s policy “more mush from the wimp.” Therefore comedy bits like the one above may be the closest thing to criticism of Obama that we see from anyone besides the Republicans.
Regarding the Netanyahu snub, this article suggests that it happened because Obama does not want to meet with the prime minister anymore:
The good news is that such cold relations will not exist under a Romney presidency. Romney has known Netanyahu since 1976, long before either of them entered politics, so they are old friends.
If the riots over the past two weeks have proven anything, it is that socially, the world’s Moslem community is woefully behind everybody else. I trust that only fools still believe that Islam is a religion of peace. It seems that we can’t do anything anymore without outraging folks in the Middle East, North Africa, Indonesia and Dearborn, Michigan. Now that the French have to close their embassies, just because of rumors of violence over another Muhammad cartoon, I’m sure a lot of folks besides Pat Condell and myself are tired of it:
Compare it to the reaction when anti-Christian artists smeared elephant dung on a picture of the Virgin Mary, or photographed a crucifix in a jar of urine. Folks like me were offended, but no one was mad enough to attack an embassy or kill somebody. Likewise, Buddhists did not riot when the Taliban blew up the world’s largest statues of Buddha in Afghanistan.
Recently The Onion, probably the modern world’s best-known source of satire, tried to offend the non-Moslem world by posting a picture of a group sex scene involving Moses, Jesus, Ganesha and Buddha. In the name of decency I won’t share the picture or a link to it here. The point is, as The Onion proudly said, nobody has been murdered because of that outrageous picture. As they put it, “Though some members of the Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist faiths were reportedly offended by the image, sources confirmed that upon seeing it, they simply shook their heads, rolled their eyes, and continued on with their day.”
Of course if we tried to kill or beat some sense into every Moslem, we would be no better than they are. They haven’t had their version of the Reformation or the Thirty Years War, to teach them that the Middle Ages is over; no wonder some of them are obsessed with the Crusades. Last Friday Daniel Pipes suggested that we keep publishing cartoons of Muhammad until Islamists become desensitized (see the link below), and they realize the futility of declaring every Friday a “day of rage.” Maybe our government should post the pictures of Osama bin Laden’s body that they are hiding, too; after all, didn’t they say they were classified to prevent more Moslem unrest?
I think I just found the place where I want to retire. Now if only I can convince my wife. Because it is in the tropics and the natives speak Spanish, it will probably look a lot like the Philippines to her. The main difference is the Mayan ruins; how close will this city be to Copan, anyway?
Anyway, go to the link above the picture for details.
Once again, President Obama has turned down a chance to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to meet with Hollywood celebrities again. This time he is going on “The View.” Or perhaps it would be better called “The Spew”; I said once that only our enemies should watch that show. Elizabeth Hasselbeck is the only bright spot there; if it wasn’t for her, you could show the program at Guantanamo and it would be considered torture.
As for Netanyahu, he will instead be meeting the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper. There’s no doubt about it, Canada has replaced the United States as Israel’s best friend. God once said, regarding Abraham and his descendants, “I will bless those that bless thee, and curse those that curse thee” (Genesis 12:3). Therefore I don’t think it is a coincidence that Canada’s economy is doing a lot better than ours right now.
By the way, have you noticed that the Israeli and Canadian flags look nice together? Both have a combination of white and a primary color, both have two bars, and both have the national symbol in the middle.