Charleston — Look to Charleston

Big Red Car here. There is an enormous ball of fire in the sky, toward the east. It is making people uncomfortable as we have grown used to our constant rain. I will keep you posted on this development as it is very odd.

It has stopped raining.

Charleston, designated by Southern Living some years ago as the friendliest and most hospitable city in the United States, was founded in 1670 and moved to Oyster Point shortly therafter. In Colonial times, it was the fifth largest city in the United States. It continues to be an important city.

Today it has about three quarters of a million people who live on the peninsula created by two rivers (the Ashley and the Cooper) and one of the greatest natural harbors on the east coast. It is a sea scented city and it joins the land and the ocean to the rest of the world. It is a great food city. It is Southern. Hospitality, food, Southern influence — perfectly delightful.

In 2014, Conde Nast’s readers anointed Charleston the second favorite city in the world for travelers. It was second to Florence, Italy but far in front of such places as Rome, Vienna, New Orleans (#17), Sydney, San Francisco (#20) and Kyoto. You can see the entire list here.

Conde Nast Top 25 Cities in the World 2014

Charleston was the site of a horrific racial atrocity perpetrated by a young, disturbed man from Columbia. Columbia is inland, up the Interstate from Charleston. It is the capital of South Carolina and the home of the “other” Carolina, the South Carolina Gamecocks. There is a Confederate flag flying out its last few days in front of the state Capitol. Shortly, it will be coming down. Its time has come and gone. George Washington’s statue is in front of the Capitol steps. It, too, is a pretty city but it is the little sister to Charleston’s stunning beauty.

Charleston and Charlestonians have shown the world the meaning of calm under fire, aplomb in the face of adversity and a responsible attitude between and among people. It is an example so powerful to, literally, be Christlike. No riots. No violence.

Charleston is a city of churches. The atrocity took place in a church and Charleston has returned to its churches to heal their wounds, comfort one another and to pray. That is Charleston. That is Charlestonians. That is good triumphing over evil. That is the way forward.

If you doubt that there is evil in the world — look to Charleston. It was there.

If you doubt that there is undiluted goodness in the world — look to Charleston. It IS there.

This cruel crime — a man sits, freely invited and welcomed, in a Bible study class and then murders nine innocent classmembers — cannot be ignored nor should it be. It is a racial assault in the ugliest manner with absolutely no reasonable explanation as to its cause or why God let it happen.

The reaction of the mother who forgave the assailant — his name will never be mentioned by me — stands as a virtuous act of Biblical importance and proportions. Could you forgive someone who had just slaughtered your child? The answer for me is — NO. I am not that good a person. I would be consumed with hate and revenge.

Look to Charleston. Say a prayer for Charleston. They are praying for us. The world will hear those prayers and we will change. It will have started in the blood on the floor of a church in Charleston and its good people.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. God bless Charleston. God bless us all.




7 thoughts on “Charleston — Look to Charleston

  1. .

    The Boss has spent over a decade with business interests in Charleston. That entailed a lot of visits to this charming and delightful city. It is a great city with superb food, great architecture, the water surrounding it and Southern hospitality.

    It is heartbreaking to learn of the horrific racist atrocity committed in this beautiful city.

    It is uplifting to see the reaction of Charlestonians to this crime.

    Show the world, Charleston. Show the world by your example.

    God bless Charleston. Pray for Charleston.


    • My mother was from Columbus, OH, and my
      father, from a little south of Buffalo,
      NY. Since the US Navy had Dad near
      Millington, TN, I grew up in Memphis.
      They were still fighting the Civil War,
      and I didn’t like that and, thus, was glad
      to get out’a there ASAP and happy to be in
      NYS in the country 70 miles north of Wall
      Street — happy. Much happier when my
      business works.

      There is a current news report that one
      path into ISIS in Syria, and, thus, also
      Iraq, is via Turkey. Net, there are
      plenty of people in Turkey who really do
      not like Americans.

      So, I was terrified to hear that Fred and
      GG went to Istanbul and glad they got to
      Vienna, the land of Mozart,
      schmaltz, Schlagobers,
      whipped cream and a Richard Strauss
      ballet, coffee, chocolate, Fritz Kreisler,
      Johann Strauss, the total sweetheart
      Deanna Durbin movie Spring Parade

      about a peasant girl, good at singing,
      with a goat who goes to Vienna, etc.

      I can agree that Charleston is a nice
      place, but some places it’s best to be
      away from. Just declining to be there
      solves a lot of potential problems right

        • I can believe that.

          But there are some people in
          that part of the world who
          really do not like Americans.

          Let’s see: How about a Google

          Caucasus ISIS

          which gives:

          ISIS Declares
          Governorate in Russia’s North
          Caucasus Region

          The announcement pits ISIS
          against the Islamic Emirate of
          the Caucasus, …

          Isis in Russia: Chechen jihadi
          group pledges allegiance to
          Islamic State

          IBTimes UK

          Also from Google search

          ISIS Turkey Syria

          can see

          A Path to ISIS,
          Through a Porous Turkish Border

          By TIM ARANGO and ERIC
          SCHMITTMARCH 9, 2015

          ISIS doesn’t like the US. ISIS
          likes to kill, behead, blow up,
          torture, shoot, people they
          don’t like.

          Sure, in Gulf War I, the US had
          one of the greatest, most
          one-sided, astounding military
          victories of all time, e.g., as
          in the mother of all news
          by General H.
          Norman Schwartzkopf as at

          From Gulf War I, Saudi Arabia
          definitely should look at the US
          as their great, dearly loved,
          father figure. Absolutely,

          Still, on 9/11/2001 several
          suicidal Saudi citizens made the
          worst terrorist attack on the US
          ever and one of the worst
          terrorist attacks ever.

          Net, for that part of the world,
          i.e., that side of the Bosporus,
          North Africa through the Arab
          countries, into Iran, India,
          Pakistan, Afghanistan, to the
          Caucasus, etc., there are a lot
          of people who really don’t like

          Heck, if not for the US, Iran
          would be run by Germany now,
          from the German forces near
          Stalingrad moving south through
          the Caucasus and Rommel from
          North Africa moving north.

          Still, this week, the parliament
          or whatever in Iran shouted
          “Death to America”.

          When and if it becomes in the
          interest of the US, I’m not
          afraid to have the US fight ISIS
          — Schwartzkopf showed us how,
          and we can do better now. The
          ISIS military is something out
          of Lawrence of Arabia,
          complete with the camels.

          Susan, just a little background:

          (1) The first part of a war is
          the air war. The side that wins
          the air war stands to win the
          whole war.

          E.g., in WWII one of the reasons
          the Allies went so quickly from
          the landing in Normandy, June 6,
          1944, to the break out from the
          Normandy hedgerow country, the
          Falaise Pocket, August 8–17,
          1944, Paris, August 25, 1944,
          and the Battle of the Bulge,
          December 16, 1944, was that the
          Allies had totally won the air
          war. One of the more important
          airplanes involved was the P-47

          with eight 50 caliber machine
          guns, could make a big mess out
          of nearly anything — soldiers,
          cars, trucks, buildings, trains
          — on the ground in a big hurry.

          For ISIS, they don’t have an air
          force; so, we’ve already won
          that air war.

          (2) A big point in winning an
          air war and, really, the rest of
          a war, is just seeing where
          things are. Well, for that we
          have satellites, surveillance
          aircraft, and, now, drones. We
          can see with visible light,
          infrared, and radar, and the
          last two can see through smoke,
          rain, and dust, and the last can
          see fine at night, through
          clouds, etc.

          (3) Another big point in winning
          a war is to know just where the
          heck things are. For that we
          have the USAF Global Positioning
          System (GPS — also in
          smartphones) that can locate
          within an inch or so in each of
          the three dimensions.

          (4) Another big point is, once
          we have won the air war, located
          the enemy, and know just where
          they are, put a weapon right
          there. We can do that, e.g.,
          through the lower half of the
          fourth window from the SE
          corner, on the south side, on
          the second floor, at night.

          However, maybe the target is in
          a hardened bunker,
          covered by, say, reinforced
          concrete 200 feet thick. No
          problem: We have a bomb that
          will cut through the 200 feet in
          one stroke and destroy what’s

          (5) For more, the USAF has a
          really ugly single seat airplane
          the A-10

          with a long, detailed review at

          At times GE has had some really
          good engineers; basically the
          Pentagon went to GE and asked
          for a gun that would destroy
          cars, trucks, buildings, and
          tanks; and GE got a grade of A+:

          Each bullet is 30 mm in
          diameter, that is, about 1 1/4″.
          The effectiveness of a bullet is
          essentially from its momentum,
          and from physics that’s mass
          times velocity. So, want more
          mass; so, want more density; so,
          want a dense bullet, not iron,
          not lead, but, right, uranium.
          Cuts right through tank armor.
          An A-10 makes little pieces out
          of big tanks in a big hurry.

          In Gulf War I, the A-10s
          destroyed just short of 1000
          tanks, about half of all the
          Allies destroyed.

          Near the end of Gulf War I, a
          lot of Iraqis were on a road
          from Kuwait City back to Iraq in
          cars, trucks, whatever, with
          whatever loot they found, etc.
          Well, one or more A-10s saw the
          long traffic jam and took one or
          a few passes. The result was
          instant, total devastation,
          little pieces and big fires
          everywhere, so bloody that, as I
          recall, just for PR Bush 41 said
          don’t do that anymore.

          Supposedly the USAF says that
          the A-10 is obsolete and has
          more effective means — they may
          be correct. But against ISIS,
          the A-10 would be instant death
          for any target that could be

          And, at least for fixed targets,
          we don’t have to put a US
          soldier in harm’s way: Instead,
          drones, etc. can report GPS
          coordinates, and a cruise
          missile from, say, a US ship in
          the Mediterranean, can deliver a
          weapon to the coordinates.

          Net, if the US wants to fight
          ISIS, then as soon as ISIS has
          anything, fixed or moving,
          building, truck, etc., the US
          can reduce it to tiny, little
          pieces right away. Even easier
          for dedicated ISIS soldiers,
          even ones in black ski masks.

          If the US needs to fight ISIS,
          then I’m not afraid.

          Still, no way will you find
          private citizen me walking
          around in that area unless (A)
          the area is very peaceful, (B) I
          am fully anonymous, and (C) I’m
          not there often enough to lose
          my anonymity. I want to keep my

          Simple, powerful solution —
          just stay away.

        • I went to Istanbul at Christmas. After I left there was a bombing near where I was staying. While I was there, I had zero problems. However, my wife, daughters and I walked through a very conservative Muslim neighborhood. The local mosque had been taken over by a hard core sharia type sect. As my family walked down the street, men catcalled at them. Women walked around in full burka and averted their eyes when close. We went to an operating eastern orthodox christian church surrounded by barbed wire. We went into it like a person would have gone into a speakeasy in the 1930s. Our guide said that there would probably be no way to come through this neighborhood as a westerner soon.

          Istanbul is incredibly interesting, but Erdogan and hard line totalitarian muslims are starting to gain influence in the city. Fortunately, the last election there provided a little pushback.

          If I were Jewish, I don’t think I’d visit Turkey (or maybe even Paris)

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