Monday, July 31, 2006

Even More Hezbollah-Israel War Maps

Previous war map posts here and here. The next post in the series is here

Fellow blogger Vital Perspective has a map showing the targets the IDF is aiming for in Beirut.

I have map a map showing where Hezbollah is targeting the UN troops there or using the UN as cover.

Click to Enlarge

Category: Maps, War on Terrorism


Today's internet find is a project with amazing potential. WikiMapia can be summed up as a geographical encyclopedia with articles placed on the Earth (kind of like Catholicgauze's Atlas).

With WikiMapia anyone can edit or add places to the Google Maps mashup. It is just getting started so many places need to be added or expanded upon. But do not let the sparse, out zoomed initial page fool you; be sure to search for cities to see how in-depth WikiMapia really is.

The only problem I have noticed is that latitude and longitude are interchanged. This is a cardinal sin which upsets Catholicgauze.

Category: GeoInfo, Neogeography

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Give Geography its Place

Catholicgauze supports his fellow geographers so I believe it is important to direct my readers to the Give Geography its Place campaign website. The GGiP effort seeks to raise the profile of Geography as an academic subject in all forms of the media and increase awareness of the importance of Geography and the vital role that it plays in schools, colleges and universities in preparing young people for the complexities of life in the 21st century.

I have three proposals to increase geographic knowledge throughout the world.

1) Popular Geography
Writing academic works is nice but there is a tendency for scientists to babble amongst themselves. If we wish to tell others about the joys of geography writing works that interest the public should not be viewed as a cop out but as important as writting academic work. Think about the old National Geographics from the 1950s and earlier. Others like Harm de Blij have proven works can be excellent while written in a form anyone can understand.

2) "Geography Can Save Your Life!"
Young Tilly Smith proved this while on vacation.

3) Terrorism
We will practice selective annihilation of officials and other academics for example to create a vacuum, then we fill that vacuum, as popular war advances greater geographical appreciation is closer. (Just kidding kids. Remember what CG always says, "Terrorism just ain't cool.")

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Battle of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Basilique du Sacré-Coeur) is a church in Paris, France which has been and still is a discussion in the topic concerning the cultural landscape and politics of France.

The politics behind the church go back as far as the Age of Enlightenment. Conservatives and Monarchists were tied with the Roman Catholic Church as symbols of authority and the status quo. Liberals and radicals opposed the Monarchy and there for the Church as being oppressive against them and the people. Things came to ahead during the French Revolution where radicals were violently anti-clerical and attempted to stamp out Catholicism from France.

The revolutionary government was eventually done away with and for the next 70 or so years France's political landscape was in turmoil. Brief pro-Church monarchies would appear and disappear with republican governments then trying to reserve any Church gains.

Two very different reins would affect the outlook of French Catholics. Napoleon III stabilized State-Church relations until he committed the "forgivable" sin of withdrawing French troops from the Papal States thus leaving it open to Italian unification. During (or after depending who you ask) the Franco-Prussian War, Paris seceded from the rest of France forming the Paris Commune. The Commune was very radical and strongly anti-Catholic. The government assassinated many priests and even the liberal Archbishop of Paris. With the backing of the Prussians, the French attempted to peaceful secure Paris. On the hill Montmartre two French generals were seized by their troops and executed by Commune forces. The reprisal was possibly the most intense and bloodiest French on French violence ever (for its time span). Army corps battled in the streets gaining ground with death squads sweeping the liberated zones for leftists. Several of the Commune supporters were dragged to Montmartre and executed.

Catholics in France thought the loss against Prussia and the violence in Paris was punishment from God for the crimes against Church. They sought to rectify France's mistakes by making a monument to God which would forever show French piety. The cult of the Sacred Heart, traditionally strong in France and supported by Monarchists, suggested building a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The new Archbishop of Paris suggested Montmartre because of its imposing view over Paris and because it was the sight of the "martyrdom" of two French generals. Catholics in the government passed through legislation supporting the use of government funds to build the church. The construction of the Church was seen as a national effort.

Liberals and radicals oppose this however. They objected to the symbolism which they saw as a monument to the old ways. Radicals saw it as an affront to the memory of the Communers who were executed on the hill. After efforts to stop building the church failed by legislative means many proposed the government a statue of liberty (the first one was being built for the United States) in front of the church. This monument would be dedicated to liberty and freedom of thought; indirectly opposing the church at the time.

The church influenced the French middle at the time. Groups were encouraged to donate funds to construct chapels in the basement. One of the groups born out of the fundraising was a society of Catholic industrial workers. These were religiously devout Catholics who also supported social justice and other social causes. In 1899, Pope Leo XII rededicated the Sacred Heart to racial harmony, social harmony, and conciliation. This allowed Christian Democrats and other Catholics who did not support the Monarchy to support the idea of the Sacred Heart church.

Final consecration was delayed until the end of World War I. There was a huge celebration for the church and the French victory. For a while church's political statement lessened until the days of French radicalism returned. In 1971 radicals attempted to storm the church because they believed it was a symbol of government oppression. Later that year a small bomb went off exactly 100 years to the day of the execution on the Communers. Things have settled down once again. However, to this day the church is a controversial piece of the French political and cultural landscape.

Category: Miscellaneous

Friday, July 28, 2006

Medieval Christian book discovered in an Irish Bog

A medieval Christian book has been discovered in an Irish bog. The book is a copy of the Book of Psalms and is 1,200 years old. The book is a wonderful historic find and can give a greater appreciation of the monasteries in Ireland.

In a kind of weird and scary bit a trivia the book was open to Psalm 83 which describes a multinational effort to destroy Israel; sound familiar? (Note: National "freaking religiously dumb" Geographic tries to dismiss the Psalm 83 "fear" with saying how the King James Bible has the habit of moving things around. Sorry, but Psalm 83 and the Israel passage are the same in Christian faiths that use Bibles translated or made before the King James Version. Freaking Philistines!)

Category: Archaeology, Religion

Thursday, July 27, 2006

More Israel-Hizbollah War Geography Maps

Previous post on war maps here and the next one in the series here. Yet another War map post here

Counter-Terrorism Blog has a map showing the "neutral zone" "managed" by the United Nations. Of couse it is a complete joke of a neutral zone. Green are Israeli Occupied cities while red are cities on alert from the IDF.

Koolyoom has a mashup on various news stories from the war. (Hat tip: Ogle Earth)

Maps of Israeli air strikes (PDF), topographic map of Lebanon, and a map of the old Israeli occupied zone. (Hat tip: Map Room Blog)

The final map shows Israeli bombings of UN facilites. (Hat tip: Newsmax)

In bad news some anti-Syrian Christains and Hezbollah have reached agreements. I personally think the guy is trying to by votes to become president. For understanding of the internal Lebanese situation read TDAXP's write up and Strategy Page's thoughts.

Category: Maps, War on Terrorism

Free GPS in Europe

A team at the Global Positioning System Laboratory in Cornell University have cracked the code behind the Galileo GPS system! Unlike the GPS Americans are use to, European GPS is not free. The crack; however, allows for "free acess" to Galileo while remaining legal. The scientist join others who are fighting for free geo data in Europe. God speed and victory to them!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Minor Abortion Access By State

A Catholicgauze Map

The United States Senate has just passed a bill making it a crime to take a minor across state lines to get an abortion without the minor's parents' knowledge.

The issue is an issue because various states have differing laws when it comes to a minor obtaining an abortion. The above is a map of the many different positions taken by states. The information has been confirmed by several sources on both sides of the abortion debate.

The people of South Dakota will vote this November on whether or not to outlaw all abortions except in the case of rape. Louisiana passed a law outlawing abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Look for the map to change and political sparks to fly in the next few years.

Category: Maps

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Downfall of the Latin Empire

745 years ago today (July 25, 1261) the Empire of Romania, the attempted Catholic successor-state to Byzantium, the Eastern Roman Empire, fell to Michael VII Palaiologos.

In 1204 merchants in Venice convinced Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land to attack Constantinople instead of the Arabs. The Flanders-lead assault succeeded in bringing down the remains of the Roman Empire which split into the Empires of Nicaea, Epirus, and Trebizond.

After years of fighting the Greeks of Nicaea were able to defeat the invaders and restore the Byzantine Empire. The Greeks threw out the bodies of Crusaders buried in Saint Sophia (I cannot really blame them).

In a twist of irony Michael VII's rise to emperor restarted the fall of the empire. He withdrew troops from Asia Minor to fight wars of reunification in Greece and against the Bulgarians. The lack of troops on his east flank allowed the Arabs to conquer more territory. Michael also refused to reform the government and bureaucracy of the empire which the term “byzantine” (number 4) comes from.

The Turks took Constantinople and the empire in 1453 and advanced all the way to the Gates of Vienna in 1683 before being pushed back ever so slowly to modern borders.

Category: Historical Geography

Monday, July 24, 2006

Computer Virus Map

Note: Having some trouble with the hyperlink. Enter "" into the URL to see the map. - CG

McAfee has a map of computer virus infections around the world. The map is surprisingly customizable as it can depict the number of infected files, infected computers, infected files per million citizens, and infected computers per million citizens.

The Western Hemisphere and most of Europe are full of viruses while Africa lags behind (in a good way). One surprising fact is the amount of infection in the Middle East. Is this because of cyberterrorism or is Abdul rebelling against the Vice and Virtue Police by looking at naughty pictures of Fatima?

Category: Maps, Neogeography

Sunday, July 23, 2006


I recently attended an air show for the first time in years and it was awesome! The highlight of the show was the Blue Angels; the stunt plane group for the United States Navy. Nothing like 800 mile per hour fly over while upside down to get one's mind off the tedious work of research.

For those who wish to know the location and date for airshows around the world I recommend Fence Check's Fourm Calander.

Sure this post was not geographical but my brain is fried right.... about.... now.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Geography and Games: Oregon Trail

This post is dedicated to some of my friends who have never played "Oregon Trail." I pity you for never having a fun and educational childhood. Freaking Philistines.

835 miles to go Karen, suck it up!

Oregon Trail has a cult following in my generation. It was the game to play beating out others like Wolfenstein 3D (I remember when my computer teacher gave us all copies), Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, and even Life and Death! Many others like Gamespot and Gamespy consider the game one of the greatest ever made. I agree with them.

The purpose of the original Oregon Trail game was to journey from Independence, Missouri to Oregon City, Oregon Territory in 1848 along the Oregon Trail. One would have a family, need to buy supplies, cross rivers, trade, hunt, and all the "fun" stuff people would do crossing half of the United States. Throughout the game choices have to be which will have consequences. Over hunting in one area will reduce the amount of game; river crossing are dangerous, and pushing too hard may kill sick members of the wagon train.

I learned about many sites along the trail from this game. The game is also my inspiration for my current study of the trail. It is a worthy addition to any educational program involving United States History.

The highlight of the series was Oregon Trail 2. It was the very first computer my family ever purchased (bought the same day we purchased our $2,000+, 100 MHz Packard Bell) and it is the best Oregon Trail. The game had the right amount of multimedia and a fairly wide cast of fellow emigrant characters. One has to buy food individually (bacon, veggies, fruits) and one must choose the exact medicines they will need. The game has more choices like trying to heal wounds, encounters, and cut-offs. More places are depicted like trading posts, ferries, and natural wonders. The icing on the cake is the multiple trails on can take. One can travel on the Oregon, California, or Mormon trail departing from four different jumping-off towns from 1840 to 1860.

Afterwards three more Oregon Trail games were released but these have gone the route of more multimedia and less interactivity. So stick with the first games.

The original Oregon Trail can be downloaded here while the deluxe edition (colorful graphics) can be download here. Enjoy and have fun with the tombstones!

Friday, July 21, 2006

World Population Growth and Decline Maps links to a report on the migration patterns of humans around the world (excluding Australia and friends because they do not count for some reason).

The world's population is migrating to the coasts especially in third-world countries. "This type of migration will expose 2.75 billion people to coastal threats from global warming such as sea level rise and stronger hurricanes in addition to other natural disasters like tsunamis." Wow.

The Americas map shows steady growth with some loss in the Great Plains, Appalachian Mountains, bits of Haiti, and pockets in South America. The Old World map has a few "OH MY GOSH!" moments when one views the depopulation of Europe and westernized Asia. This map sinks in the fact of European depopulation stupidity. I guess that is what happens when horizontal social controls (family) are replaced with vertical ones (the state). Hopefully things will change before it is too late.

Category: GeoInfo, Maps

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Policing in the United States

The Cato Institute has a map of botched "paramilitary" police raids in the United States. The map shows deaths of innocents, death of police officers, death of nonviolent offender, raid on innocent suspect, other "excesses", and "unnecessary raids on doctors or sick people." The map is interesting and provides information on each mashup.

Cato is big-time libertarian. While I agree with them that police can be excessive; there are many times when cops need SWAT teams. The streets of DC, Detroit, and LA can be dangerous places.

Category: Maps

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Mexican Political Geography

The election mess is still going on in Mexico. The right-of-center candidate defeated the socialist by a very slim margin. The socialist, before saying he would accept defeat by even one vote, has now been supporting the "megamarches" demanding another recount/overturning the election results. Nothing is likely to happen because the right is being backed by the military forces who accept the vote count as is.

The New York Times has its own break down of the election results with the political geography behind it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Geography of the Hizbollah-Israel War

More Maps here and here. Yet Even More Maps here on the War

The BBC has a map with information on the key flashpoints of this war. The map shows areas hit by Hezbollah (Hizballah / Hizbollah / Hizbullah) and Israel. Let us all pray it will be over soon. (Stolen from Coming Anarchy)

Over at the great Map Room Blog they have a graphic of the range of Hizbollah's missiles.

USA Today has a great interactive map. The Globe and Mail has another great map. The Guardian has a very flash-y map. Finally, one can download a Google Earth KMZ file showing attacks by both sides.

Category: Maps, War on Terrorism

Frontiersmen in Blue

I just got done reading Frontiersmen in Blue: The United States Army and the Indian, 1848-1865 by Robert M. Utley and I simply must recommend it to anyone interested in American, Western, or American Indian history.

The book pulls describes how the United States Army primary purpose from 1783 to 1865 and for a while longer was not keeping foreign armies at bay but protecting western expansion, keeping the peace between whites and Indians (both ways), and building western infrastructure.

The books pulls no punches in the describing the triumphs and tragedies that occurred out west. Congresses unwilling to pay the price for Manifest Destiny, bureaucratic infighting between the War Department and Department of the Interior, corrupt Bureau of Indian Affairs Agents, overly aggressive army officers, and Indian chiefs unable to control their warriors all led to a series of problems in the Great Plains.

Peace was surprisingly maintained. Only about 200 engagements were fought past the Mississippi River in the years between the Mexican-American and Civil War. The average solider out west (only 10,000 in the whole army) may see one fight in his five years of service.

Details are abound in this book. The events before, during, and after the Battle of Ash Hollow are described in detail. Conflicting signs along the Oregon Trail gave me mixed messages on what happened by Utley cleared everything up for me.

Final thought: a fine book on American history.

Category: Books

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Extraterra Global Warming

Proof of Global Warming on Mars?

Global Warming is the hot scientific topic right now. The lines are drawn between Al Gore and those who disagree (ranging from no global warming to not as bad as Al Gore claims).

But there is something no one is disagreeing on: global warming is real... on Mars! Scientists are now leaning towards the opinion that the polar ice caps on the war planet are comprised of ice rather than carbon dioxide. The ice caps are showing strange pockets that are becoming bigger. This is probably being caused by global warming. A full NASA report sums it up much better than I can.

Triton, Neptune's largest moon, is also experiencing global warming. Jupiter is also going through climate change.

The reasons behind solar warming may be because solar activity is on the rise.

These are all things to seriously ponder as we wonder what, if anything can be done about global warming. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit and Stingray)

Categories: Physical Geography, Space

Saturday, July 15, 2006

World Happiness Index

I recently looked over the world happiness index and it made me unhappy. But first a little background information is needed.

The WHI "balances" life expectancy, life satisfaction, and "ecological footprint." A ranked list of the countries by WHI and an interactive map are available.

The problem with the ecological footprint enters in the picture when China is described as being green. Just ask TDAXP how green China is. Giving ecological footprint equal status with life expectancy and satisfaction mess everything up.

Here's part of the list with my thoughts (links go to CIA World Factbook)

1. Vanuatu - Score of 68.2- If I was from the South Pacific I would be pretty happy too.
2. Columbia - 67.2 - Are they not suffering from a 60-some year old civil war?
6. Cuba - 61.9 - Tyrant with mass emigration. Maybe all the sad people left
China - 56 - No words need
East Timor - 52 - Still in the top tier without a government, that's a triumph
Haiti - 43.3 - Getting close to the middle of the list
Spain - 43 - How the heck did they lose to Haiti?!? Red flag alert!
Saudi Arabia - 42.7 - ?????
Libya and UK - 40.3 - Tie? What the $#@&
France - 36.4 - I knew being full-blooded Formage was bad but dang
United States - 28.8 - That explains why Americans are emigrating all over the world; wait...
Kuwait and Sudan
- 27.7 - One's an oil rich moderate country with semi-democracy; the other is a hell hole going through a holocaust. But the genocidal country is green so it is all equal
Zimbabwe - 16.6 - I can agree with this one

After review the travesty of a list I tried my personal happiness index. My index number was 42.4 which I was told is the same as Cambodia. Now I have some bad memories but the worst day of my life did not involve Pol Pot and the mass murder of three million people! If I had the same happiness as Cambodia I would be one depressed individual. On a plus note I had a life expectancy of 89 years. Death Clock said I would die when I was 73 on a Christmas Eve (which is really bad because I would not open any Christmas presents).

Hat Tip:

Category: GeoInfo

Friday, July 14, 2006

21st Century Warfare

The Mideast is on fire:

Today's update:

I have read in the past how guerilla style warfare is the wave of the future. Now we are seeing guerillas using unconventional means to fight conventional over territory and seas. How this plays out will impact the future of warfare immensely.

The Mideast in Flames

"I will execute great acts of vengeance on them, punishing them furiously. Thus they shall know that I am the LORD, when I wreak my vengeance on them" -Ezekiel 25:17

The past week has been Hell in the Middle East and it is only going to get worse. First Hamas refuses to release the kidnapped Israeli solider, Israel continued its assault against the terrorist group Hamas among others; then Hezbollah kidnaps Israeli soldiers.

The gloves are coming off and it is important to know what is going on.

Lebanon is the newest front in the War on Terrorism. Lebanon once had a Christianity majority until an influx of Palestinian refugees and rising Muslim birthrates shifted the balance. A civil war in the 1980s caused a Christian exodus and the implementation of a pro-Syrian government in Beirut. The southern area was controlled by Israel and the South Lebanese Army, comprised of former government forces and Christian, Druze, and Shia militias. This changed when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak withdrew from the occupied zone without telling the SLA. The SLA was crushed by Hezbollah in sudden attacks. Barak still defends the decision to this day. The pro-Syrian, pro-Hezbollah government has suffered setbacks due to the pro-West Cedar Revolution.

The news from Lebanon is really bad. Hezbollah has launched approximately 85 missiles (video) into Israel killing two civilians. Israel has responded by placing a blockade on Lebanon blocking ports and blowing apart roads to Syria. This is the one area where most Arabs are rooting for an Israeli victory. Hezbollah is Shia and very anti-Sunni. Saudi Arabia does not care what happens to them and hopes Iran's mutant step-child is destroyed. The wild card are the reformers in Lebanon. Can they pressure the government to allow Hezbollah to be destroyed? Or will Arab nationalism hold out? Let us hope Hezbollah is broken.

Syria has been a very bad boy. Right after the Iraq War ended a Syrian foreign minister said "Syria is a small country, we do not wish to have problems" (paraphrased). They have making problems however. The leader of Hamas responsible for the first kidnappings lives openly in Damascus and Syria funds Hezbollah. The world is getting serious with Syria. Egypt is blaming Syrian-backed forces for the breakdown of a possible release of prisoners. Expect bombings around Damascus soon.

Iran is BAD NEWS. How bad you ask? Let's try APOCOLYPSE bad. President Ahmadinejad is hell bent on getting nuclear weapons and funding groups like Hezbollah. The people of Iran are sending mixed signals on what they want: nukes or freedom. Iran has announced Israeli attacking Syria would be an act of war. In scary news Ahmadinejad will wait until August 22 to make any announcements about nuclear energy. Why? Maybe because then he can usher in the end of the world! What happens in Iran will have major consequence in quieting-down Iraq and oil prices.

Operations in Gaza will continue but they will be out of the media picture until these new fronts see a climax.

For up-to-date information on what exactly is going I recommend Jerusalem Post, Strategy Page, YNet News, and Pajamas Media. For maps: Lebanon, Middle East, and Syria.

Category: War on Terrorism

Thursday, July 13, 2006

American, Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish Surname Mapper

Remember the cool link I had to a website which mapped last names in Great Britain? Well this post will blow that one away!

Now one can find out the distribution of last names in:

Have fun! See where your ancestors came from! (Hat tip: The great Cartography)

Category: Maps, Miscellaneous

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Global GPS

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is everywhere these days. Businesses like the transportation industry, government, and even average people are utilizing the ability to locate there exact position on the earth.

When most people say GPS they actually mean NAVSTAR GPS which is run by the United States government. This signal is available world wide for free.

Russia currently has a GLONASS GPS-like system. But that has been going downhill since the end of the Cold War. When oil prices drop expect to see the end of GLONASS. The focus of GLONASS is on Chechnya and is used primarily by Russian military.

Galileo is the new system on the block. A product of the European Union and European nationalism, Galileo's main purpose is to free Europe from using American technology. Many other countries like China, Israel, and India are signing up with research and services. The European Union is trying to find a way make Galileo a fee-service but so far there has been no practical way to implement this.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Over the skies of Africa was an ice ball the size of a microwave and weighing several pounds. The ice chunk begins its descent going faster and faster. It smacks with full strength into a park lot smashing the pavement.

The above is the story of a megacryometeor which recently fell on Douglasdale, South Africa. Megacryometeors are like humongous hail stones but we do not fully understand the science behind them. The largest megacryometeor recorded was about 440 pounds! Recently one landed in Oakland, California.

Here and here are good starting points for further research on megacryometeors.

Category: Physical Geography

Monday, July 10, 2006

Geography and Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is one of the best playwrights of all time. Many people know that Romeo and Juliet takes place in Italy and Hamlet in Denmark but that ends most people's knowledge on the geography of Shakespeare. However, one can now study maps of locations mentioned by the author. On the British Isles he was biased towards England. Internationally there was an Italian core; some mentionings in France, and a cluster in the Ottoman Empire.

While some consider him an archaic relic of a bygone time; he was made the transition of the neogeography age well. The Globe Theater can be installed into Google Earth or explore the mentioned places in Google Earth.

Finally, Google has a website with his complete works and links to more fascinating Shakespeare stuff.

Category: Neogeography, Books

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hitler's Geopolitical Plan

The unholy trinity of monsters of the twentieth century goes Mao, Stalin, and Hitler. Mao's plan was focused on changing Chinese culture and Stalin was more of a thug than an ideologue. Hitler; however, had plans when it came to the rest of the world. While many people know about Mein Kampf Hitler had a second book. This one, named "Hitler's Second Book," described Hitler's foreign policy.

Here is a good point-by-point of Hitler's plot with commentary and historical results.

Step 1: Alliances needed to be made. Germany would ally with Italy and England. Italy was under control by Mussolini who was Hitler's inspiration. Hitler saw Britain as a fellow Aryan nation. Even during World War II Hitler would stress the strong points of English culture and enjoyed going out on fox hunts.
In the real world Hitler got one out of two as allies. He was disappointed by the outcome.

Step 2: The Roman-Aryans Axis would take down France and any of her allies like Yugoslavia or Poland. This would give Germany Lebensraum. Lebensraum means living space and was stressed even in school as a necessity.
The real Italian-German axis took down Poland, Eastern Europe, and France pretty easily. I think it surprised Hitler that Petain would make France Germany's most powerful ally.

Step 3: In Mein Kampf Hitler claimed the Soviet Union was Germany's most dangerous opponent. Step three called for the destruction of the USSR and gaining a heck of a lot of Lebensraum.
Never get involved in an Asian land war! I have learned that too many times in board games and Hitler should have known that. "That's Stalingrad; you wouldn't have any fun in Stalingrad!"

Step 4: It is not discussed in the Second Book but Hitler talked about forming a "European union" which would primarily benefit Germany. It would be an economic and somewhat political pact between the victors of Hitler's wars.
Today's scorecard: European Union - check! Hitler as victor - blank.

Step 5: Hitler had nightmares of a sort of anti-Christ anti-Aryan state. He feared a country populated by Aryans but "controlled by Jews." This country was the United States. America was populated by Germanics, practicing segregation and eugenics, but Jews living openly and some with wealth. Hitler predicted a war between the United States and the German-English European powerhouse around 1980. The war would be for control of the world.
I bet Hitler really wished he had England as an ally rather than Italy towards the end.

Hitler order the book to be held in secret because openly publishing "I will destroy France!" would end appeasement. The book can be read online here.

Category: Historical Geography

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Location and Medical Geography

Get out of the cities if you want to live! That seems to be the point of the LA Times article "Death by Geography."

"For transplantation purposes, the U.S. is divided into 58 territories, each with its own supply of organs and demand for surgeries. To protect local access to organs, most donated within a territory go to patients waiting there, even if sicker patients are waiting elsewhere."

Be sure to read it all. You never know if it will one day save your life.

A New Imperialism to Create a New Africa

This is a Catholicgauze rant. Feel free to skip over it if you wish

As I wrote before I have a plan to fix Africa. Lexington Green was partly right on my theory but a bit off.

Before we start off here are some givens:

  • Africa is in bad shape. Al Qaeda-allied pirates are increasing their attacks; dictators are starving their own people; and multiple atrocities are being committed which would make the Nazis blush.
  • Billions of dollars of aid are being wasted every year by klepotmatic, corrupt regimes. It has been estimated that up to 9,000 people die a day due to poverty.
  • Independence is an important right for states. Africa has had both good and bad experiences
  • Turmoil in Africa is bad for everyone. Things from AIDS to Islamism negatively affect both Africans and the rest of the world.
  • Finally, it is better to teach a man to fish then to give them one.

First off the immediate deadly conflicts need to be ended. Whether by an international coalition force (the US is too tied down with current and possibly future problems to get involved) or private military companies like Blackwater; the Arab bands in Darfur need to be stopped and their allies in the Sudanese government overthrown. The Islamic Court Union in Somalia also needs to be destroyed.

The second step is to rebuild governments. This will be a long, several part plan starting off from pure imperialism, to transitional joint-government, to complete independence. The occupation government should be filled with people from political backgrounds (State Department-types), military types, and allied non-corrupt Africans.

The third step is also the first step for countries that need not be overthrown. It is also the main part of the new imperialism. It is an infrastructural imperialism. The political structure can be 100% native but all aid and infrastructure should be handled by foreign powers. This will be the condition of receiving any aid at all. The controlling power can be political countries or trusted groups like the Red Cross or Catholic or Anglican Church. Clinics, schools, roads, etc. at first must be in the hands of those who know how they can be operated. Eventually, the foreign civil servants can train natives to be their replacements.

While the infrastructural imperialism is in place the political overhaul should continue. Corrupt officials must be dismissed. The native armed forces should be built up so the government and foreign civil servants can be defended without foreign intervention from those who would try to destabilize the country.

Also at this point the AIDS crisis needs to be addressed. The deadly disease is being spread not only by horrible health conditions but also by bad cultural practices. In some areas of sub-Saharan Africa rape and polygamy are accepted. These practices have lead to a boom of AIDS cases. Laws must be passed outlawing rape. Polygamy must also be outlawed. These laws will enfranchise women and help curb the virus' spread. The two results will help a liberal democratic society grow. Foreign owned clinics can then see to it that medicine will be combined with healthy practices.

The end result on a case by case basis should be a more efficient government with a much healthier society. It is much easier said then done but people said the same thing could not be done with Japan, Germany, Afghanistan, or Iraq. Marshall Plans work. As documented in Savage Wars for Peace, countries that had American companies like Dole running much of the infrastructure were more likely to be stable.

The test countries, if successful, can then become key players in expanding nation building imperialism to neighboring countries. In short, a sort of domino effect.

Is the plan perfect, no. Are there other plans to heal Africa, yes. But we can all at least agree the status quo cannot be allowed to continue. Thomas Barnett predicted Africa will turn into the next Middle East, let us all pray that we can advance Africa before more violence and bloodshed occurs.

Category: Geopolitics

Friday, July 07, 2006

Review of Online Mapping Sites: Windows Live Local

Windows Live Local is Microsoft's entry into the world of online mapping sites and it is a decent one at that.

User Friendliness

Everything screams Windows user friendliness. The logo is that of Windows XP and the light blue hues are reused. Simple text boxes and easy to understand tool bars guide users. Third mouse button scroll is supported. To recenter one needs to right-click because a regular left click does nothing.

The zoom control is disorienting however. The image will become fuzzy then there is a load time to restore focus.

Driving Directions

Windows Live Local did standard on the long-term driving test. At the end it gave me directions which were slightly longer than they needed to be. However, directions were super clear and easy to understand. Also, information like "Entering Nebraska" was given.

The short term test was impossible to do. The street information of Washington DC was too much for the program. Also, "find businesses or landmarks" was unable to find what I wanted and a substitute could not be carried over to directions.

Map Quality and Quantity

The map quality is above average. Things are clearly labeled and drawn. However, at high views everything looks like different shades of the same color. The aerial view is nice and Microsoft is not shy about using black and white DOQQs. The imagery in some places is dated though and lags behind Google's database.

Maps and directions are available internationally. Detailed instructions were given for a Paris to Budapest fun run.

What sets Windows Live Local is "bird's eye view." This is a very detailed and angled aerial shot. It is limited for certain cities. One nice thing is that the direction can be changed; for example, south can be at the top of the screen. However, scrolling is forbidden and the reorientation is not available for the map or aerial views.


It is clear Microsoft has much in mind for Live Local. Mash-up technology is in place and can be used in Microsoft's version of MySpace. Traffic is much better than Yahoo's. It is easy and customizable to share, print, or save maps and directions.

Summing Up

Microsoft has a potential winner on there hands. A little more tweaking and who knows what they can do with this.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Along the Oregon Trail

This is related to, in part, my earlier post on depictions of Indians along the Oregon Trail in Kansas.

Jumping Off

We started our journey in Independence, Missouri. There were many starting points for the Oregon and California Trails but Independence was the primary town at first and has the best historical marketing.

The two things of interest here are Jackson Courthouse Square and the National Frontier Trails Museum. The courthouse square is the sight where people would meet and form wagon trains and also shop for supplies.

The museum is very nice. It is dedicated to the various trails of the old west. A history buff would greatly enjoy a trip there.

Saint Mary’s Kansas

Along the way in Kansas we stopped at the Pottawattamie Indian Mission/Saint Mary's Historical Museum. We were given a private tour and learned much about the area. The town was founded by Jesuit missionaries and served as an Indian mission. With help from mixed bloods the local Indians lived in log houses, farmed, and were protected from most of the troubles which affected other Indian tribes.

After the mission shut down the Jesuits opened up a school and seminary. Famous students include Catholicgauze's hero Spencer Tracy. Future Vice-President Charles Curtis; part Kaw, was baptized here as a child.

The town is in a sad state. The overwhelming Catholic majority is split between communion with Rome and the Society of Saint Pius X. The once beautiful church on the mission grounds burned down and has not been repaired. It was like seeing ghostly European ruins. Restaurants and stores on Main Street are closing down as is the National Guard building. The town has rich history and hopefully one day will be saved, hopefully.

Alcove Springs

In summer the spring were the Donner Party encountered death for the first time lacks its waterfall.

Fort Kearny and area

Fort Kearny
was interesting. Much of the displays were dedicated to day-to-day solider life. The fort itself is gone and one must make due with reconstructions of the blacksmith shop and fort walls.

Near the city of Kearney is the Archway. The Archway is a fancy, modern, multimedia experience about the historic trails and the Lincoln Highway. I was surprised how good this museum was. While I did not learn anything new here I do recommend it for those wishing to gain a general knowledge of the experiences along the trails.

Ash Hollow

Something bad happened near here. Really, really bad. While signs say the army went to "chastise" Indians for a massacre, a sign five miles away, almost hidden talks about how the army gained Indians trust by faking parley and then ambushing the Indians. The wild west was ugly. Atrocities and crimes committed by both sides.

Chimney Rock

Really neat. Erosion, cannon ball practice, lightening, and World War II training air raids have cut down the height however. The rock was known as the Elk's Penis by the Indians.

Fort Laramie

The neatest fort I have ever been too. Some of the buildings are ruins while others have been kept in ship shape. The officer quarters were prairie mansions while the enlisted men had to sleep in barracks on boarded beds.

The museum and displays unfortunately solely focus on the fort itself while ignoring its importance on the trail and in the area. I saw no markers discussing the 1868 Sioux treaty. Only general information was given about helping emigrants. A grounds keeper/tour guide however was a great source of information about the soldiers, civilians, and Indians who lived at the fort.

In the distance Laramie Peak was visible. Bluffs and hills encircled the area. The Great Plains section of the Oregon Trail was over and so was my trek. I had a wonderful time but am now physical exhausted.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Currency Exchange Map

One problem for the international traveler is currency exchange. So what happens when currency exchange and maps are combined? A very happy Catholicgauze.

Oanda, a currency website, features an interactive map which compares currency exchange rates and provides basic geographical information on each country. The map is a very useful tool for travel and research. (Hat Tip: Cartography)

Category: Maps

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

New and improved categories

I am now using to support my categories. Try it out for yourself!

I am now recovering from my trip along the Oregon Trail. Tomorrow I will post another geography tool post then Thursday it will be an Oregon Trail wrap-up then Friday I will continue the reviews.

/Pray for Catholicgauze that he will keep his sanity this upcoming year
//Work is hard :(

Happy July 4 and Independence Day

Happy Independence Day! On July 4, 1776 the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. The colonies decided the war against the English empire, started in 1775, was irreversible and followed Patrick Henry's words of "Give me liberty or give me death!"

The Revolutionary War started in 1775, reached a climax in 1781, and finally ended 1783. has excellent maps from the West Point Atlas of the various battles of the war.

The war started on Lexington Green spread globally. French, Dutch, Spanish, and Maratha remnants waged conflicts all across the globe. Great Britain won all the conflicts sans one. England learned from their errors and all other former British colonies were granted independence peacefully. Today the Anglosphere continues to advance peace and personal freedom as opposed to tyrannies on one side and the "progressive" politically correct states in Europe.

Also, happy birthday to Mother of Catholicgauze! July 4th is special in my family!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Good Intentions Pave the Road to Hell

This will affect several of my dear friends. People taking planes to or in France will now pay a tax in order "to help the world's poor." The raised funds will go to buy supplies for AIDS and other disease victims. However, the supplies will go directly to the countries were the kleptomatic governments will most likely use the supplies as political weapons or sell them on the black market for personal gain.

Catholicgauze has a plan to fix Africa. Maybe it will work; it will be hard to screw up that continent any further. Soon I will blog my in detail plan with reasoning. Here's a hint until then...

Sunday, July 02, 2006

World Cup and Globalization





These are the four countries that will battle it out to for the World Cup.

I know I have blogged about the World Cup before but I have a theory. Sun Bin thinks population can explain the teams that will rise or fall in the competition. But I do not think so. Globalization is the key. The list of countries in the World Cup at the start was a fair balance between the first and third worlds. However; only Mexico, Ecuador, and Ghana advanced into the finals and they were done away with in the first round. The way to have a winning team is to be globalized so it is easier to send players to play in the top leagues in Europe.

So what will happen? Well my top pick of Germany is still in so I have to favor them but it will be close.

The Germans will roll over Italy (I am sure on that) and the France versus Portugal game will be dedicated by how hard Portugal plays. If they play like they did against the Netherlands look for a battle royale between the Germanic nations. If France beats Portugal look for a thrashing not seen since 1940.

Category: Sports

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Guest Book Review: The Next Christendom

Fellow blogger and American hero (he is in the navy so stuff it!) Eddie of Live from the FDNF was inspired to read The Next Christendom by Episcopalian Philip Jenkins.

Below are Eddie's thoughts on the book

This book fills a valuable gap that has been notable in many writings of strategists (with the exception of Ralph Peters who discussed it in detail in “Hidden Unities”): the rise of Christianity in the “Global South”, i.e. the Southern Hemisphere. Already there are far more Catholics in the non-Western world (Latin America, Philippines, Africa, increasingly China) than “Western” Catholics, and the numbers are only going to rise in the near to mid-future. The author offers a fascinating portrait of what kind of Christianity exists in the Southern Hemisphere (his conclusion is that many of the “Southern” churches are a return to the “roots” of Christianity, i.e. before the Romans “widely” sanctioned it.), what likely impact the rising Southern populations will have on the global church leaderships (Catholic, Pentecostal, etc) and policies (liberal churchgoers are in for a hell of a surprise when their campaigns to liberalize issues like gay marriage and abortion within the church come up against the even more conservative global South) and the impact of the two great surging (and often competing (in countries like Nigeria)) religions, Islam & Christianity, in the future.

Two other reviews can be found here and here. Both Eddie and I recommend the book as a well researched and written piece of religion and geopolitics.

Category: Books, Religion