022904141657- Buffalo, NY–

This afternoon, I’m in Buffalo with the family, doing a little railfanning. This spot, out along Broadway, is one of the big spots for rail traffic.  It’s also the area of town that the Buffalo area band, The GooGooDolls sing about in “Broadway’s Dark Tonight”. Not exactly a high-rent district anymore, though this spot we’re in is safe enough.

Here’s a site with a lot of photos from the area.

The shots are mostly mid-90’s vintage, pre CSX stuff when Conrail still ran the show. Most of what you can see is still there today.

As we wait for events to unfold, I’m struck again, by a comparison I saw drawn a couple days ago in one of the many online discussion groups I’m involved with. The idiot actually tried to compare John Kerry to Alfred Nobel. Apparently, this guy thought them both motivated by similar interests… peace, and they both had life changing events that led them in that direction. Too bad the person making that comparison is such a poor student of history.

When Alfred Nobel’s brother, Ludwig, died in 1888 while doing oil exploration in Russia, a French newspaper of the day inadvertently published an obituary about not Ludwig, but Alfred, who in his turn was most famous at the time for having invented dynamite. The translated headline read, “The merchant of death is dead.” One imagines what goes through the mind of Nobel as he read his own obituary. Ironically, Ludwig was blown up incidental to mis-handling his brother’s invention.

There’s not much in the way of supporting evidence to this, but it’s suggested repeatedly among academics that this was a major turning point in Nobel’s life, and forced him into the active pursuit of peace, and to found the peace prize that now bears his name. Kenne Fant for example, in the book “Alfred Nobel: A Biography” (ISBN# : 1559702222, Arcade Publishing, NY 1993) notes that Nobel become so concerned about his legacy that he set about working to establish that legacy in a more peacful mode, establishing among other things, the fund that established the Nobel Peace Prize.

There are many among us who would suggest that Presidential hopeful John Kerry is not unlike Nobel, in having come to a juncture as regards military conflict and it’s results, and worked ever after toward peace.

Of course this is the best of all possible spins, but how true is it? There are extensive records on both people and they tend to paint some rather different pictures which do not favor Kerry. as Kerry’s supporters would have hoped.

First, unlike John Kerry, who was born into wealth and married into more of it, Nobel was born into poverty, in 1833, and worked his way out of it…. having amassed so many patents for inventions that only Thomas Edison had more.

Kerry’s never had a job, never worked a day in his life, never has understood nor will he, how the working man survives. Nobel knew.

Nobel also never turned his back on country and on his comrades in arms as John Kerry did…. Never embraced the opposition as Kerry has done.

I don’t doubt we’ll see the comparison come up during the campaign, particularly as Kerry gets more desperate. Think I’m off base, here? Think again; how much on the Democrat side got invested in Jimmy Carter got the Nobel prize some years ago… ironic, given he did more to bring about war with his capitulation than any President in history with the possible exception of FDR.

Josh Chafetz says very well over at Oxblog what I’ve been thinking for some days, now regards John Kerry:

“He’s trying to claim that, because he’s a veteran, any discussion of his views on national security is off-limits, even discussions about the way he has voted during his years in the Senate:

In a letter to Bush, Kerry wrote: “As you well know, Vietnam was a very difficult and painful period in our nation’s history, and the struggle for our veterans continues. So, it has been hard to believe that you would choose to reopen these wounds for your personal political gain. But, that is what you have chosen to do.”

Kerry was reacting to criticism earlier in the day from a leading Georgia Republican who, speaking for Bush’s re-election campaign, predicted trouble for Kerry in the state’s primary.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss said during a conference call arranged by the Bush campaign that Kerry has a “32-year history of voting to cut defense programs and cut defense systems.”

When Kerry responded later, at his side was Max Cleland, a triple-amputee Vietnam veteran who lost his Senate seat to Chambliss in 2002 after being portrayed as soft on homeland security.

He said the president “decided once again to take the low road of American politics.”

Look, no one is attacking Kerry’s record in Vietnam. He served honorably, and he, like every veteran, deserves thanks and praise from every American for what he did there. But that doesn’t insulate him from criticism based on what he’s done since — his anti-war activities when he returned are fair game; his votes in the Senate are fair game; his statements on Iraq are fair game. Note that Chambliss’ comment talked about a 32-year history — 32 years ago was 1972 — after Kerry got back from Vietnam. Again, no one here is questioning his Vietnam service — they’re questioning his political activity since he returned. And it’s Kerry’s attempts to foreclose these policy discussions that are taking “the low road of American politics.”

However, I’ll take it one step farther than Josh does, here. I WILL attack Kerry’s Vietnam record,as many vets have… openly and loudly. After all, Kerry’s the one who changed his middle name to ‘Served in Vietnam’, so his service, such as it is, is fair game as a target.

Kerry spent a total of four months in country. Four months.

During that time, he suffered three flesh wounds, two of them minor. When he got purple hearts for said injuries, they were given based on recommendations Kerry himself wrote. How many of US can be so fortunate as to write our own ticket?

Once he got his third Purple heart, he asked to be sent back stateside. This, he got, too. Again, the man writes his own ticket and dares call it ‘sacrifice’. His field commanders had serious questions about his service to this country. Even Adml Elmo Zumwalt stated flatly that he’d have problems in his political carrier based on his experiences in ‘nam.

Once he came back form ‘nam, he then proceeded to sit down before Congress and outright lie about a number of atrocities, committed he said, by American servicemen there. Yet, he never witnessed them In short Mr Kerry LIED, and slandered his fellow servicemen.

But, as Josh suggests above… The real issue is what he did since getting into office. This, it seems was very consistent with his anti- Americanism since coming back from ‘nam… Kerry is on record as having voted against every single Pentagon weapons program during his tenure in the U.S. Senate. Every single one.

And as for it all being with the intent of creating peace, tell me; why is it he never ONCE protested the actions in war that the Communists made? Or is it that he thinks it’s only non-communist nations that foster war?

Further, look at the statements made by John Kerry’s people this morning as regards the Rebels in Haiti; he’d have sided with the Communist backed Rebels.  All in the name of ‘peace’ of course.

This kind of selective weakness at best, and in truth, anti-Americanism, is something I want nowhere near the reins of power.

There’s a name for his kind of actions… but that name certainly isn’t “Nobility”, as some would have you think.

And it’s certainly is not “Presidential”, either.