Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Musings*

(Source)
I have mentioned before (probably many times) that I tend to shy away from the television, radio, and other forms of mass media as I don't believe that they are purveyors of news anymore. I really think they have become something that Josef Goebbels would recognize and probably approve of, propaganda.

If you tell a big enough lie, often enough, it soon becomes accepted as fact. Even if it isn't.

Selah

I am by no means uninformed. I have sources, humans who tell me what they think is going on in the world. Face to face and through the magic of the Web of World Wideness. I have friends and colleagues who span the gamut of civilized political beliefs. They give me the data, I sort it, try and verify it and there you go. Informed. And balanced for the most part.

Selah
“If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.” - Mark Twain
I stopped reading newspapers at least a decade ago. It was disturbing to me to read so much nonsense being parlayed to the public as actual, factual news, as opposed to opinions and editorials. The advertisements wore thin as well. Digging through page after page of newsprint to find something worthwhile to read. After doing all that to discover that there wasn't anything worth my time, or the money I paid for the paper. And truly, I could read the comics on line. The ones I like anyway.

I do miss the Stars & Stripes though. The paper copy, for the memories that are in it. Read it everyday when I was stationed in Korea. (On Okinawa not so much, I had yet to attain the lofty rank of Staff Sergeant. Still an airman, I only cared about where the next pinochle game was and do I need to bring my own beer. The answer to that last bit is always yes.)

Selah

I used to spend a great deal of time watching professional football. (As an aside, the only college game I can watch is Army-Navy. I will not miss that. But even that is tainted these days. Aren't they there to become commissioned officers in our Nation's armed forces? I don't care if they're competitive in Division I, leave that to the semi-pros at the other Division I schools.)

Back in the day I could literally spend from 11 in the morning to 11 at night on a Sunday watching football. Three games and all the hoopla and pre- and post-game stuff there was.

Now? While I still enjoy the sport, to a certain extent, I don't crave it like I used to. For one reason, some of the people playing the game are folks I wouldn't care to have over for dinner. For another, the announcing of the game is generally abysmal. If I'm watching the damned game, you don't need to tell me what just happened. And all the pre-game prep some of the color guys do? They try to work it in regardless of what is actually happening on the field.

Opening Sunday a couple of years ago I sat down to watch football. It was a beautiful late summer day and I asked myself, "Why am I wasting my time with this?" I do watch the playoffs when they come around, and the games on Thanksgiving, or if I'm with folks who want to watch the game. The Missus Herself gave it up years ago.

Have I mentioned that she is smarter than me? Well, she is. Better looking too!

Selah

I don't like politics. I don't care for politicians. In general I feel that someone who wants to run for political office is probably the very person you don't want to have in political office.

I'm reading a good book on the French Revolution right now. Makes our recent political nonsense seem, not just tame but downright civilized.

Many of the big names of the French Revolution were lawyers. Surprised? I'm not. (Apologies to my lawyer friends and acquaintances. They're not all bad, but too many are. They know.)

Selah

Like Suz said, "You do know that you don't have to enlighten, educate, or tap dance stunningly for us every day, right?"

Juvat, ever the helpful and alert wingman, provided the following (in regards to the dancing). Go ahead and skip forward to around the two minute mark. (Unless you like all that fluff.)



Fighter pilots, they're like over-enthusiastic puppies at times.






* Avec des excuses à Lex...

78 comments:

  1. Only "at times"?

    I like puppies.

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    1. "...over-enthusiastic puppies..." This, sir, is a redundancy.

      Paul L. Quandt

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    2. I stand convicted of the sin of redundancy.

      And it ain't my first time!

      ;)

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    3. Ah- a repeat offender. Off with your head ( more of my blood-thirstiness ).

      Paul

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  2. The ones we want in DC are the ones dragged there screaming, "Not me! Not me!"

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    1. That's how politics originated- from the Demos leaving their farms for 2 years to represent their towns and serve their interests, sometimes compulsory. Career politicians become corrupt, greedy, and almost evil.

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    2. How do we get back to that? Can we?

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    3. Term limits are the only potential answer, but the chance of those idjits voting themselves term limits is about equal to them voting to join the rest of us on Social Security retirement, join us in healthcare plans and so forth.

      Pampered Princes for the most part.

      Maybe we can remove all the air conditioners from their quarters, offices and other places they frequent. Make Washington DC a hardship post like it used to be. No more $5.00 steak and prime rib lunches.

      Or, randomly, line them all up and decimate them (as in the old Roman way, kill 1 in every 10 of them.)

      And they are opposite of the values of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus.

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    4. Andrew:

      A great idea ( "...Or, randomly, line them all up and decimate them (as in the old Roman way, kill 1 in every 10 of them.) ); but I'd like to see it applied every six to 12 months. And do the same to the bureaucrats.

      Paul

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    5. Concur on the term limits Andrew, also the odds of that happening are about as good as me being elected Pope.

      Decimation without the violent aspect is what I would favor. Line them up, count off, every tenth person, back your bags, it's back to your home district. No appeal.

      Bureaucrats are another animal all together. Some of them are what make the system actually work, many of them seem to think they have a lifetime sinecure to do nothing.

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    6. PLQ - the frequency of such an occurrence is open for debate, but yeah, I'd go for the go home decimation. I am never in favor of killing fellow citizens, no matter how satisfying that may be. Sets a very dangerous precedent.

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    7. OAAFS:

      "Sets a very dangerous precedent." Of course you are correct; I am a blood-thirsty type. The reason that the revolution starts eating its own.

      PLQ

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    8. Something with which I am familiar, historically, not personally.

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    9. If you want term limits, here's the best way to do it, IMO.

      A. Get Congress to approve a constitutional amendment.
      1. Organize a group specifically for that purpose outside of any political party. Avoid party affiliation like Ebola.
      2. Coordinate the amendment proposal with as many states as you can. Thirty-eight total states need to pass it, so you'll want an office in every state, except maybe Rhode Island. Well, OK, Rhode Island can have one as well.
      3. Contact your representatives and senators in Washington and let them know what you want. In writing. In volume. E-mail doesn't count. Hand-signed petitions are also good for affirming public interest. Make it a point to get a written and a verbal pledge from each senator and representative to support your position. Work this until both the House and Senate pass the measure--you'll need a 2/3 majority in both houses. Then it goes to the states.

      B. Get your state legislature ready to approve the amendment. You should do this in parallel with the above steps.
      1. You need 3/4 of the states (38/50) to pass it. Contact your state legislators and let them know what you want. In writing. In volume. E-mail doesn't count. Hand-signed petitions help to affirm public interest. Make it a point to get a written and a verbal pledge from each state senator and representative to support your position.
      2. If your state allows ballot petitions, organize a group to pass one directing your state legislature to support the amendment. Even if it's non-binding, it will show you're serious. It wouldn't hurt to get your governor on board, either, although from what I understand governors aren't part of the actual process.
      3. Make this an issue with every state representative you can, every election. Keep up the pressure until you win.

      C. Include at least the following in the proposed amendment.
      1. Lifetime limits for representatives in terms of years. Pick a number: six, eight, ten, whatever.
      2. Ditto for senators. Twelve, eighteen, twenty-four? If you want to get fancy, you can limit them to 2.5 terms.
      3. A limit for total years in both positions, if you want that. Twelve? Sixteen? Twenty?
      4. An enactment date. This is key. If it's immediate, current seat-holders will balk, since they'll be voting themselves out of a job. Some might do so, but human nature being what it is, I suggest enactment eight years after ratification, or grandfathering current Federal seat-holders for a designated time period to reduce that "Hey, that's my job you're talking about!" effect.

      D. With great fanfare, disband your group when you succeed, thus forcing every Organizational Behavior 101 course in the world to be re-written.

      Lots of people talk about term limits, but you'll never get them without organization, drive, and persistence.

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    10. Now that's a plan.

      Much to think about. Much.

      Delete
  3. I understand (I think) your use of the word "Selah".

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    1. Got that from Lex (well, the Bible too) and thought of it when I wanted to delineate the different thoughts above as I read them. Having a graphical divider didn't work, then Selah popped into my head.

      I think of it as a musical (instrumental only) interlude. A pause of sorts.

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  4. I don't think that a virus that wiped out every single lawyer in New York City and Washington DC in a single day would lead to much mourning...outside of the sadness of some (not necessarily all) Jewish mothers. Of course they'd be replaced by other lawyers by the end of the week, but the virus, would continue to rage.

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    1. Shouldn't leave out San Francisco, LA, or Chicago, but you've got a good start, LL.

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    2. LL - it would certainly solve the political problems in that town!

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  5. I will echo your take on football.
    ...and puppies.

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    1. My wife and I watch her college football team, but much more enjoy the commenters on local or regional networks than national commenters.

      The NFL has gone the way of MLB to me. I used to watch MLB before the big strike, and then when the idjits struck, I got hooked on College ball. Better action, better players, fewer personalities, more like baseball used to be during the 30's, 40's and 50's.

      Pretty much the same with any 'professional' sport.

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  6. I have adopted the ostrich solution to politics, since the powers that be are going to get their way eventually anyhow.

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    1. Ah, now I have a name to go with my outlook! The ostrich policy, thanks Joe. We are, again, of like mind.

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  7. The only sport my father followed at all was hockey, and I seem to have inherited even less of an interest than he had.

    I agree that the media stopped being fair and unbiased a very long time ago.

    Puppies. I know I are returning to an older topic but, my everyday Timex wristwatch got fogged up because it seems water resistant does not include washing your hands, and I needed a new watch. I looked at several and decided that I really liked the one of the Casio's that was solar powered and auto synchronized with the time signals from the atomic clock. The price was right on Amazon and the only drawback was that it was somewhat larger than the watch that failed, and the new watch would have more dials and complexity.

    It was only after I began wearing the new watch that I realized my behavior had become, shall we say, more puppy like. The good news is that the behavior correction admonishments from my spouse do not (as yet) involve any smacks with a rolled up newspaper.

    I am about a third into "Fighter Pilot," and it is a very good read. Thank you for the suggestion.

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    1. I read it again after I retired and was pretty amazed at how mine and his careers followed similar paths (with the exception of that combat thing of course).

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    2. You're reading (and enjoying) a book about Robin Olds, you've now got the big watch, puppy-like behavior...

      By Jove, methinks that John is a fighter pilot!

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    3. Juvat - he was a man's man and a fighter pilot's fighter pilot.

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  8. Regarding politics, there are a couple of things to keep front and center: the people running for office are volunteers, and they're picked by a majority (usually) of voters. On the face of it, that's not a bad system, but...


    The media? Well, they're just good capitalists following the profit motive, if you ask me. Ratings bring revenue, and that's what all businesses look for. Sensationalist coverage of the so-called culture wars will always get top billing over insight, honesty, and calm debate. "If it bleeds, it leads" goes for politics, not just coverage of accidents and murder, and as long as viewership goes for circus over bread, that's the coverage we'll get. So while the media corporations should get some blame, we as a people share that blame for our media-consumption habits.


    If the problem is the "volunteers'" motivations, we need to winnow out those with suspect intent, i.e. remove the profit motive. In the U.S. we're usually pretty good at weeding out the more obvious forms of graft and corruption, but we can do more. I recall a "conservative" legislator named Joe Walsh (not the musician) who complained that his government-supplied health care was taking too long to kick in after his election: he was also a vocal advocate of repealing Obamacare. Hmmm. How about this, Joe? Maybe you should get exactly the same health care as your constituents? Huh? Waddayathink?

    We also allow a revolving door between government and industry: get a job as a House/Senate/White House aide or be elected to office, and then get into the industry regulated/reviewed by that position so you can use your connections. There is a limit on that for elected officials and certain appointed posts (a two-year break, I believe). We should extend that to everybody that holds a government position for any length of time: for each month in government, you must delay your return to that industry for two months up to, say, four years. The rationale: if you can afford to hang around for four years before returning to that area, you've got enough money, so it's not necessary to indulge in legal hanky-panky.

    Finally, we HAVE to get rid of money in politics, and I don't see how that's possible. Certain judicial "strict constructionists" have decreed that corporations are people in respect to freedom of speech. As long as that opinion holds in the Supreme Court, any legislative attempt to rein in the absolute flood of cash in elections will likely fail in the courts.

    A lot of office-holders on both sides would rather not have to go a-begging for campaign funds, but right now they're stuck with the system we've got. And once you take money from somebody, regardless of the purity of your vision, you're almost inevitably going to be at least a bit favorably inclined toward that donor. That's just human nature and nothing can be done about it, but it leaves constituents in the lurch. Removing money (at least large contributions) would go a long way toward reforming our politics. But can we do that?


    As for voters, the most critical part of the equation, I don't know what the answer is. Most of the electorate feels like you: this is an ugly part of life and they'd rather not deal with it. (There's a George Carlin video on YouTube that takes that position: if you vote, you're part of the problem.) This is what some "opinion makers" want: fewer voters means motivated radicals, both left and right, are more powerful and get to shape policy all out of proportion to their numbers. So they make politics look dirtier than it is, and a lot of people throw up their hands and say "F 'em all." Since much of the negativity comes from the masses of cash, and getting rid of that is unlikely (as noted in the prior paragraph), there's no solution to that right now.

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    1. The money aspect is the most troubling. Corporations are not the same as individuals, another call the Supremes blew.

      Term limits, though that brings its own difficulties.

      As an historian I often comfort myself with the realization that history shows things could be worse, far worse. Our own history has many examples.

      I do like some of your ideas. I'd trust you to represent me.

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    2. Represent you? Bwahahaha! If only you knew the TRUE extent of my ambitions...

      Yeah, the money's the problem, and "corporate persons" includes labor unions, etc. Get them all out.

      I get the argument for term limits, but I'm not sure that's a great answer. Whenever you get a "freshman class" in Congress, the lobbyists descend upon them with their extensive experience regarding the realities of Washington. While a fresh start is often a good thing, sometimes knowing how things REALLY work is better. Besides, the only way you'd pass them is if you put enactment far enough down the road that the people voting don't feel threatened.

      Personally, I think the best term limits are the thing we do every couple of years in November.

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    3. Yes, term limits, while nice in theory, are probably unworkable.

      A little ambition is a good thing, need a good henchman?

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    4. Maybe not allowing anything to be named after a politician until 30 years after their term of service is over, or 20 years after their death.

      The city council in the city I live in is still wrangling over re-naming the currently named "Corrine Brown" bus station. Gee. I want a city facility named after some twit who was so stupid she got locked up for embezzlement of government funds.

      And then there's the place named after a famous state politician after he died, from complications, of an auto accident, that he caused, while drunk, like Ted Kennedy drunk, not a little, but way drunk. Nobody mentions the other person he killed in the head-on collision.

      Take away their 'legacy' and you'll take away a lot of what attracts many politicians to the positions.

      (Oh, and go back immediately to the naming system that the US Navy used during WWII. And rename any vessel that does not comply. Right NOW!!!!)

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    5. Oh dear Lord. Corrine Brown? Damn.

      All good ideas. Especially the ship names.

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    6. Yeah, right in the lower center of East Berkeley, otherwise known as Gainesville, the 'cultural' center of the People's Democratic Republic of Alachua County. This place has gone full retard. (The Berkeley comment was from one of my old bosses.)

      And they forced the Daughters of the Confederacy to take back the Civil War memorial. And this is a place that used to celebrate the Battle of Olustee.

      And, well, just look last year's voting map...

      As to Ms. Brown, a friend living a little east of Gainesville actually had Ms. Brown's district borders go around her and her family's houses in order to maintain the 'right' flavor of her domain. You can see part of it if you pull up a map of that fief du Democrat.

      And to think, she's not even up there in corruption or stupidity in comparison to... Well, I'm starting tp froth at the mouth...

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    7. I mean, if you're gonna elect a 'puppet' congress critter, at least make sure it can assemble at least one coherent, rational thought and actually state it in a way that doesn't make the receiver of said 'wisdom' not want to blow one's brains out.

      Yeeesh.

      We in real Florida apologize for that person. And a few others that are currently from our state that are in the news lately.

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    8. Can you say "gerrymander"? I knew you could.

      Disgusting innit?

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    9. And yet 'that party' bitches and complains and acts like it is the end of the world whenever more sensible state representatives try to clean up the district boundaries.

      The media keeps using things like 'historically (some supposedly socially repressed group) held' to justify keeping the county boundaries. Now, if they really wanted 'historical' then they'd go back to the boundaries before the time of the third worst president ever (Les Grande Jerkoffski.)

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    10. Dear Viewers: Please insert 'keeping the district boundaries.' where it says 'keeping the county boundaries.'

      Please note that Andrew's brain sometimes does not connect correctly to the Brothers Hand and therefore communications are occasionally mistranslated by TBsH.

      Thank you for your cooperation.

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    11. Dear Viewers, Part Deux: Please ignore the above comment as for some reason the blogger system accepted the comment that the above comment was about and then, poof, said first comment (not the one above) disappeared. Dammit!)

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    12. Now it all makes sense as I found the original comment in the spam filter. Now that I've pulled it out it makes for a rather amusing sequence. Blogger's spam filter will throw a rod every now and again. Then I gotta go in and clean the filter. :)

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    13. Thank you. I was beginning to think the Blogger AI was a fan of that Texas president and was getting even with me.

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  9. Both post and comments are of the usual and expected standards for this blog. Should anyone care, I think Brews does not comment often enough. He brings up points on which I could expound for some time. However, if I wish to do that, I should start my own blog, not highjack someone else's.

    Thanks for the post.
    Late to the Ball

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    1. I don't mind folks "hijacking" a thread. Concur with you on the paucity of Brews' comments. He's always interesting and the amount of thought he puts into his comments is pretty obvious.

      Of course, Brews and I worked together at Kadena back in the day. So I'm a bit prejudiced in that sense, as he's a phormer Phantom phixer. He's a good man.

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  10. I don't watch much "pro" football either, for the same rationale. I do watch Gators Football (blessed be their name). I record it and start about an hour late to fast forward through the commercials and half-time. It usually works out that the last few minutes are live. I was privileged to attend two games in the "Swamp". It was a most memorable experience to be in the same stadium with 98,000 other Gators. Hard to describe my feelings the first time I walked through the tunnel and came out into the stadium with all of the people, noise, light and palpable excitement. Twice is enough though. "Fighter Pilot" is a good read. They should give every new student at the academy a copy along with his/her uniform.

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    1. I attended a game at Michigan not too long ago, okay, it's been seven years.

      Watching a college game, especially at the "Big House" was an experience I will never forget. We were there with Big Time's family, tail-gated and everything. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Lot's of fun.

      Concur on the "every student at the Academy gets a copy." Before commissioning they should be able to cite chapter and verse (so to speak) or they don't get commissioned. Robin Olds is what the Air Force is supposed to be.

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    2. Ah, how to stop a rabid Gator fan in their tracks? Mention "Galen Hall, Gaaaalennnn Haaallllllllll...."

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    3. Ouch! (I had to look that up, not being a college ball fan.)

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  11. This ( "They should give every new student at the academy a copy along with his/her uniform." ) is a great idea; however, I don't think that today's Air Force wants that type of officer, mores the pity.

    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. They were only wanted in wartime, then big Air Force only tolerated them.

      Read Once an Eagle (if you have not already), that book describes precisely the officers we want, and the kind we don't want.

      Warriors versus shoe clerks. Don't get me started...

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    2. I've got that one on my bookshelf. Very different from the mini-series, which had a "happy" ending.

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    3. I never actually saw the mini-series.

      A "happy" ending would spoil the tale I think.

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    4. Yes, it was very satisfying to me when I originally saw the series (1976?) but when I read the book I could see how much closer to reality it was than the series. I'm sure the producer demanded the change to satisfy the audience.

      I did see it again several years ago and was much less impressed with it, not just a little because I'd read the book.

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    5. According to wickedpedia, "Once an Eagle" is on the Commandant of the Marine Corps' reading list, and is required reading for all 1st Lieutenants of the USMC. And it is often used in leadership classes at West Point.

      Hmmmm, yet another book to put on my "I need to read this because of the power of the Chanters." Thanks, guys, I live in a 1 bedroom apartment and I have too many books already.

      There is a handful of military sci-fi authors out there whose characters generally denigrate anyone with a 'Legion of Merit' and no 'Combat Infantry Badge.' After searching what the LoM was, hrrmmmmm, kinda agree. Whole flocks of officers with no leadership or combat troop experience (for those who never got to serve in combat) rising up the ranks because their resumes have all the correct checkboxes, while real fighters and leaders languish and fall prey to the 'up or out' policies.

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    6. Andrew - I cannot recommend that book enough. Now I need to find my copy and re-read it.

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    7. From the synopsis, it sounds somewhat like a military version of some of Ayn Rands' writing. A book fit to drive the reader to anger and despair.

      Is it as frustrating and depressing a read as "Thud Ridge?" That book still haunts me, and I haven't read it in years.

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    8. I found a used copy of Once An Eagle on Amazon and pushed the buy button. I need something to read after I finish and reread Fighter Pilot.

      And no I am not turning into a Fighter Pilot, (the large watch and arm waving to the contrary) I think of myself more as someone that sparks a larger flame of discussion, yes, I see myself as a Pilot Light.

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    9. Andrew - I've not read any Ayn Rand, too heavy. And no, not a military version of any of her stuff.

      Two soldiers. Three wars. One warrior. One feather merchant.

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    10. Er, that does sound like some of Ms. Rand's work, except the characters in "Once.." are probably more than one-dimensional and most likely take less than three pages to say they need to get some toilet paper from the store.

      I think she was secretly allowed to escape the USSR in order to torture and physically ruin the total pool of US typesetters.

      Other than that, "The Fountainhead" isn't bad, just... just... sweepingly boring and the reader can see the plot from a hundred miles away. I tried "Atlas Shrugged" and gave it up when I realized the title meant what the reader was supposed to do with the book rather than carry the damned boat anchor around (and that was the paperback, can't even imagine the strain on the body having to carry a hard-cover copy.)

      For all those Rand supporters out there, I like her message. I got her message. Please, God, Ayn, quit beating the message into my head. I mean, "Moby Dick" is a good book, too, if you cut out about 3/4s of the chapters, and then take that and make a movie out of it, otherwise, no, just no.

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    11. Really? I did not know that. I avoided her work as she just seemed far too sincere and earnest and all that.

      Guess that was a good idea but for perhaps the wrong reasons.

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  12. Milton Friedman. The last sentence of the three is frequently overlooked, but is quite important:
    “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

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    1. Smart guy that Mr. Friedman.

      Once again my readers have given me much to ponder. Much indeed...

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  13. And then we have the present societal climate where it's perfectly fine for people to do the wrong things because reasons. Which takes us back to the first principle. Does a person actually believe and behave as if they believe that all men are created equal? I think it's pretty clear that the default position for humans is complete selfishness. Today we have a society where most of the people, most of the time, demand to be treated equal (more equal or special) while reserving the absolute right to treat their fellows as objects to be used and manipulated. No one should be surprised, that's the default setting, and even in the "best" of American times most of the people behaved that way most of the time. But during those best time, most of the people knew that selfish behavior was wrong behavior in the context of an integrated society and worked pretty darned hard -- sometimes -- to develop and adhere to principled modes of coexistence. I'm not sure that happens very much these days, although I see some hopeful signs.

    Interestingly, I think I see hopeful signs developing more quickly in a number of non-American societies. Great Britain for one example.

    One thing we know for sure, Britain's Got Britons!

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    1. They also have an excess of folks who aren't from there and don't wish to assimilate. Not that we don't have that problem

      People have always been selfish, I think it's in our DNA, sort of a default position taken by those who are unable to think of others.

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    2. Shaun:

      "...I think I see hopeful signs developing more quickly in a number of non-American societies. Great Britain for one example." What are you seeing that I am overlooking?

      PLQ

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    3. Inquiring minds want to know.

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  14. Sarge,

    Like you, I gave up on the mass media decades ago. In print form, the last straw of me was the NRA magazine 'American Rifleman'. In the far wayback times when I was an E4, I subscribed. I continued my subscription through the times when Harlan Carter and Neal Knox lead the fight. Then the "kinder, gentler faction voted them out. About that time my subscription lapsed and I let it go. The last time I looked at an issue, I saw and ad for Viagra and the articles seemed to be written on a fourth grade level. I have not picked one up since.

    That said, I have to admit that Tucker Carlson seems to be a breath of fresh air.

    For those interested in a window into what us old vets grew up on, here is a link to past issues of 'Guns' magazine. They are PDF and downloadable. I suggest starting with July, 1959. Enjoy.

    https://gunsmagazine.com/classic-guns-magazine-editions/

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    1. Yes, it was like that back then.

      Time marches on, hopefully not off a cliff.

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)