We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Glenn Beck had a terrible time in the hospital in CT. He is right to complain, but I have never heard of an experience like that before, in the US.
Natural killers. This piece (via a reader) is fascinating but we ran out of time trying to figger out whether it's real. MacArthur is misspelled, which makes me skeptical even though the essay is persuasive. Update: A reader informs us that it is a fake. It's still interesting.
Speaking of natural killers, I am having fun with this book.
"This piece (via a reader) is fascinating but we ran out of time trying to figger out whether it's real."
Well, I'd say it's "real", in the sense that there are certainly "natural born killers" in the army, but the whiff I caught was that it was anti-military, couched in a friendly manner. Basically, "Sure, most, I mean many, I mean SOME American soldiers are natural born killers and it's the wise field commander who uses them to his best advantage!"
Or look at it this way: If it's on the level and he's just providing good advice to field commanders, well, what army brass doesn't know that some soldiers are natural born killers and should be used to best advantage? Isn't that kind of like advising the brass to arm their soldiers with guns, and be sure to provide water canteens?
As far as oddities go, apart from mixspelling 'MacArthur", there were some remarks that seemed off kilter:
- In the first paragraph, he's speaking to a tank commander who's walking around with a 14-hour-old bullet wound?
- Then there was what sounded like a piece of deceptive statistics to bolster a claim: "...only 15 to 25 percent of infantrymen ever fired their weapons in combat."
It should be kept in mind that, in order to fire a rifle during a battle, you need to have someone to fire AT. This isn't the Revolutionary War where the Redcoats are marching at you side by side. In modern wars, people are scurrying all over the place and while a soldier might see brief flurries of movement off in the distance, he might never get a clear shot. Add to that that modern battles are fought from great distances via air power and artillery and it's probably amazing that a modern soldier would EVER get a shot off.
There were other oddities, but, overall, it had the stink of armchair psychology about it, with no real point except obvious conclusions. At that point, the gentle reader finishes the article concluding that some (maybe even many!) American soldiers are natural born killers. Babies, women, children -- it's all the same to the natural born killers who make up our army thanks to President Bush!
If it is fake, whoever did it went through a lot of trouble. The writer is real, or at least someone with his name was given an award by the army last month:
The Command and General Staff College Golden Pen Award program provides recognition to personnel assigned to the college for their literary achievements.
David S. Pierson, Center for Army Tactics Department, for his article "Priority Intelligence Requirements in Stability and Reconstruction Operations: Doctrine verses Practice," Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin (Vol. 33 No. 1, January-March 2007).
"Global cooling blamed for citrus crop failure for third consecutive year in Mexifornia and Florexico."
Comparatively, there aren't any Mexicans here in Florida. The Hispanic population is about 2/3rds Cuban and 1/3 "everything else", with South American countries seeming to outweigh Central American countries. Rather than "Florexico", I'd call it "Fluba". :)
After having dug to a depth of 10 meters last year, New York scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors had a telephone network over a 100 years ago.
In the weeks that followed, California scientists dug to a depth of 20 meters and The LA news reported California archaeologists had found traces of 200 year old copper wire and concluded there was advanced communications there 100 years before New York."
One week later, the local newspaper in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan reports that after digging 30 meters near Moose Jaw, Ole Johnson, a self-taught archaeologist, has found absolutely nothing. Ole has therefore concluded that 300 years ago Saskatchewan had already gone wireless.
I just ordered that book, NJ. sheesh... three clicks and it's on its way.
If you like that one, check out "Shooter". It's by a guy who was in Iraq as a sniper. I saw him interviewed on TV and could not get over his sang froid when asked about details. These guys are not natural-born killers. The military trains them because they're good. It was kind of creepy, nonetheless.
We use them in many fixtures aroud the house because they cut our electric bill. However mandating them is not right and besides there are many places they don't work. Refrigerator and oven lights for example.
Holy Cow! A $99,000.00 lens... Wow. 1200mm no less. My DSLR has a 1.5 focal length and my longest lens is a 200mm (fast 1:2.8 zoom) giving me a 300mm, strapping on a 2x converter (losing two stops or 1:5.6) for a 600mm lens. I've used that configuration once. One time. A hundred grand... I'd be going out to do some photography with a 600mm prime and a 400mm prime in a refurbished Defender 90.