Living craftsmanship

Those who appreciate old-world craftsmanship are in for a treat.  Here’s how a longbow is made using traditional tools and materials. I suggest watching it in full-screen mode for best results. That was a pleasure to watch. John Neeman Tools is a Latvian outfit, making all sorts of interesting stuff.  They say of themselves: We are a small crew of craftsmen from Latvia who use our heritage of craftsmanship handed down through many generations to design and create woodworking tools and knives. Our process, our method and mission keep these traditions and crafts alive and well. In this high-tech age,

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The other fundamentalist Islamic threat

We’re accustomed to thinking of ISIS/ISIL as the major source of fundamentalist Islamic terrorism in the world today.  However, the rise of their self-proclaimed Caliphate has obscured another, equally (if not more) dangerous fundamentalist threat:  Iran’s Quds Force. StrategyPage has an interesting in-depth article about Quds. Iran has long had a secretive group of specialists who could go overseas and organize pro-Iran mischief. This is the secretive Quds Force, which belongs to the IRGC (the Iranian Republican Guard Corps.) Also known as the Pasdaran, the IRGC is a paramilitary force of about 100,000 full timers that insures that any anti-government

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Doofus Of The Day #918

Today’s award goes to a naive bird-watcher in Perth, Australia. A Mandurah woman’s post this week on a popular Perth Facebook page has drawn widespread interest – and no shortage of hilarity – after she thought she’d spotted a “black duck” on a grassed area near a lake. On closer inspection it turned out to be a large sex toy. There’s more at the link, including a picture of the offending ‘duck’ and a call for suggestions by the newspaper for appropriate captions.  I’m sure that literary- and photographically-minded readers like mine can help them out! Peter

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Lessons to be learned from a fatal gunfight

In December last year, David Stokes died in a gunfight with police in Cleveland, Ohio. The prosecutor’s office released two videos Tuesday of the encounter that took place in December during the drive and after Stokes’ arrival at the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland. Stokes was taken there after being arrested during a traffic stop on an outstanding burglary warrant. Officers also found a bag of cocaine and heroin in his car. The suspect was hand searched before he was handcuffed, the Metroparks Police have said, but managed to conceal the handgun inside a boot. . . . Moments later,

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Issues with the Red Cross and its aid programs

Yesterday, while commenting on non-governmental organizations and aid issues in the Third World, I said: [Other NGO’s] would raise, and expend, a great deal of money with little or nothing to show for it in terms of concrete, worthwhile results.  (The Red Cross, sad to say, was and still is notorious for this among people who truly know what goes on under such circumstances.) Some readers were upset about this, claiming that the Red Cross did very good and very important work, and that my comments were unwarranted.  I’m afraid that’s simply not true.  For example, in an in-depth investigation

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