Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Odds and Ends

Alexander Pope circa 1742
Saw a quote yesterday which tickled my fancy over at IMAO. Liked it so much I decided to chase it down, especially as the name Pope rang a dim bell way in the back of the Halls of Memory.
There never was any party, faction, sect, or cabal, whatsoever, in which the most ignorant were not the most violent: for a bee is not a busier animal than a blockhead. However, such instruments are necessary to politicians; and perhaps it may be with states as with clocks, which must have some dead weight hanging at them, to help and regulate the motion of the finer and more useful parts. - Alexander Pope, "Thoughts on Various Subjects" (Source)
I daresay Mr. Pope would have a blog in these less-than-enlightened times. Then again, maybe not. I find the Left distressing and the rising predictions of doom and gloom to be somewhat bothersome. Here's how I'd treat the Progs...



One of the Sarge's favorites that one.

Speaking of movies, I do plan on going to see Midway in the next cuppla weeks. A couple of fellows I have a great deal of respect for liked it, so I reckon I will too.

As to the CGI, I have no problem with that, 70-year-old warbirds and ships are in rather short supply these days. The clips I've seen are entertaining and put me there in the time period. That's what I care about, if the history is a tad off (where the Hell is USS Yorktown is one question I've heard), well, if I want accurate history I'll read a book. At least the film celebrates American heroism.

Something which gets downplayed a lot in certain circles.

Not mine.

Have you seen it? Sound off in the comments.

Carry on...







40 comments:

  1. My dad quoted Alexander Pope sometimes while I was growing up, but without saying who it was from. I also did some online quote research later on in life. He has some good ones, doesn't he.
    Frank

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  2. The only trouble is, they are the liberals of that day.and they are handling it with humor. Conservative then still was wanting a return of the monarchy.

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    1. I have no problems with classic liberalism, it's the modern day hard left progressivism which sticks in my craw.

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    2. Classical liberalism gave us men like George Washington, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Today they'd be called radical conservatives, even TJ.

      And 'progressive' is such a backwards term. It does not mean what it sounds like it means. It is the opposite of forward-thinking, of looking positively to the future, of setting up, now, the events and achievements that will result in a better future. So I don't use that term either.

      Socialism or socialist barely has enough sting to it. 'Social' being another term the enemy has changed the meaning of. Used to be 'social' meant being nice and getting along. Not so much with modern 'socialism' and 'socialists.'

      I've stopped using any of these terms, except in the proper context, and only after explaining the context. I strive only to use the term leftist. With an adjective describing how far the leftist is. Hard leftist, soft leftist, average leftist, even conservative leftist or middle-of-the-road leftist. All leftists.

      And the danger of leftists is the sane, soft or middle-of-the-road or conservative leftists are more of a danger than the drooling, blood-covered hard leftists. As they (the soft, motr, etc.) make the craziness of leftism seem okay, and cover the sins of the hard leftists.

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    3. No, not even that. Commies are what the Puritans were for a year or two before they learned better. Commies are what you find at a commune.

      Communist used to be a member of a church group.

      Yet another term the left has appropriated for its use by perverting the meaning.

      But there's no other terms left. So, well, calling them the Red Menace or International Leftists or National Leftists, just seem to label the caller as a whacko.

      It's almost like they, the Leftist Bastiges, appropriated all the words in order to mask who they really are. Which is just another version of a monarchist system, with the people on top having it all, while the peasants suffer under their tender minstrations. The leftists even carve up the society into fiefs, and the leaders hand down these fiefs, which the fief-holder uses to live off of. Just like a fief-du-hauberk back in the medieval days. Except without the noblesse-oblige thingy.

      Friggin parasites, led by parasites, under control of parasites. And they are killing the host.

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    4. Can we call them Bolsheviks?

      (Yes, I get your drift. When will your rant be ready? I'm picking up seismic disturbances in your neck of the woods...)

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    5. Bolsheviks works for me. Unless there are nice people named 'Bolshevik' out there.

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  3. Tombstone, a fine movie. I'm your huckleberry Sarge.

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  4. Had a young officer go off yesterday about Midway. Not the movie, but the battle. He feels Midway should have never happened, that we sent three carriers out out of bravado, anger, and revenge. We should have waited a few months when the West Coast CVs under construction were ready and we could have had an overwhelming force. If it wasn't for the luck of finding their fleet as well as the bombs being loaded on deck, we would have lost 3 carriers. Yes, it turned the tide, but only out of pure luck.

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    1. Like many have said before (lookin' at you Juvat), I'd rather be lucky than good.

      Imagine if Japan had seized Midway. Unsinkable aircraft carrier right there.

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    2. Hey Tuna and Old AFSarge;

      I disagree with his assessment. We fought at Midway because we had to. If the Japanese had seized Midway, it would have put Pearl Harbor under direct threat and that was our main base in the Pacific. If the Japanese had gotten Midway, it would have left the west coast open. especially since they had seized 2 island in the Aleutians as part of the same operation. would have made it much harder for us to push back against the Japanese and the war would have gone on longer. Midway broke the aura of invincibility that the Japanese had.

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    3. Midway tossed the IJN on it's collective ass, cost the lives of a lot of their elite airmen, and shook their elan.

      They, Japan, did not have the depth of production or manpower that we had. So it was a needful thing. Send out our carriers at any time they could engage their carriers and forces, in order to keep them guessing and keep them reacting and moving rather.

      The Marshals and Marianas showed what happened if we gave Japan time to fortify. Midway would have been, as said above, yet another unsinkable carrier and unsinkable collier in a chain of bases that would have given them the ability to fly strikes from carriers to islands and islands to carriers. The ability to strike into our supply lines. And, in their estimation, the ability to force the status quo upon us once they've seized all those islands. (Kinda like what the ChiComs are doing now in the Pacific, thanks to backpedaling and kowtowing by our feckless leaders in the past.)

      Japan found out they were wrong. But those fortified islands took time, men and materials away from us, and extended the war.

      Midway was a needful thing. It, or a battle like it, had to happen, in order to give the building carrier fleet time to train and build and equip and supply. Time for new weapons, planes, tactics to be created as we found the old ones lacking (like low level torpedo bombers, by later in the war we found that encasing the torpedo in a simple plywood box, we could effectively drop our torpedoes from as high as 2,000 feet. Which, if at Midway, we would not have lost so many planes...)

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    4. Thanks for the feedback. I'll pass it along.

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    5. Educate that young whippersnapper!

      At any rate he actually thinks about such things, many don't.

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    6. There is some positive point to waiting 6 months. Just by 6 more months, that would have been 6 more months for the Japanese to get better, stronger, harder.

      Would we have won? Yes, oh yes. Would it have been harder? Yes, oh yes.

      Young officer, as OAFSarge said, is at least using his brain matter for something other than separating his ears. That won't last if he survives to senior rank...

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    7. Then again, it might. Though thinking outside the box often disqualifies one from higher rank.

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  5. I tend to not support the entertainment industry because reasons, while I clearly support the gargle part, so I'm not very consistent.

    Regarding the battle, counterfactual analysis and Monday Morning Quarterbacking are fun, but two things. Scale, context and perspective. Also, factual history. The Japanese were extremely overextended, to the point that they were eating their seed corn. They took a much larger risk than we did and lost. It was one hell of an ambush and far less than a Miracle. We got some breaks, the Japanese got some breaks. It's the way of battles. Plus we had more birdfarms in the pipeline and a comparably endless supply of flying machines and well trained men to fly and maintain them. And all on a shoestring budget as a good 80 percent of our effort was aimed at yurp first. It would take one hell of a fight and much blood and sacrifice to win out, but the Japanese were essentially toast on December 7.

    Love that quote and appreciate the link to what looks like an interesting blog and a writer I've never read, sooo, Thanks!

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    1. Admiral Yamamoto wasn't kidding when he told his bosses that they could run wild for about six months, then they would slowly get ground down and eventually lose. Pearl Harbor to Midway, six months...

      Yup, the Japanese were eating their seed corn.

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    2. They should have rotated about a 1/4 of their flyers, from Pearl Harbor and other early victories, home to train. But, well, seed corn. Which led to the Marianas Turkey Shoot.

      All which was good for us. Painful during those 6 months of running around, but we had the depth of manufacturing and manpower to sustain that. Without Midway, a good portion of the IJN would have had to go to home port for major repair/refit, which would have brought all that seed corn home to train and work out new tactics.

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  6. I am biased. The greatest WWII Pacific naval movie, to my tortured eye, is "Tora, Tora, Tora." Excellence in story, in factuality, in cinematography.

    Which is why that B movie love story "Pearl Harbor" sucked so bad. Not an excellent story, facts were all screwed up, the CGI was brutally bad, and incorrect, and lame, and it sucked.

    So when I first saw commercials for "Midway (2019)" I was skeptical. Wildly skeptical. So far reviews from people who matter seem to be 'okay' to 'fair' to 'relatively factual.' Which is enough to stir my interest in watching it on the teebee.

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    1. I will actually spend money to go see it in the theater. AAR to follow.

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  7. This is pretty well done. Midway from the Japanese side.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd8_vO5zrjo

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  8. Speaking of Admiral Yamamoto, and more specifically, the mission that took him out--this bit of background is often left out--

    "First one, then two pilots reported dwindling fuel and broke off for home. MacDonald ordered the squadron back but because Lindbergh had nursed his fuel, he asked for and received permission to continue the hunt with his wingman. After a few more strafing runs, Lindbergh noticed the other Lightning circling overhead. Nervously the pilot told Lindbergh that he had only 175 gallons of fuel left. The civilian told him to reduce engine rpms, lean out his fuel mixture, and throttle back. When they landed, the 431st driver had seventy gallons left, Lindbergh had 260. They had started the mission with equal amounts of gas.

    Lindbergh talked with MacDonald. The colonel then asked the group's pilots to assemble at the recreation hall that evening. The hall was that in name only, packed dirt floors staring up at a palm thatched roof, one ping pong table and some decks of cards completing the decor. Under the glare of unshaded bulbs, MacDonald got down to business. "Mr. Lindbergh" wanted to explain how to gain more range from the P-38s. In a pleasant manner Lindbergh explained cruise control techniques he had worked out for the Lightnings: reduce the standard 2,200 rpm to 1,600, set fuel mixtures to "auto-lean," and slightly increase manifold pressures. This, Lindbergh predicted, would stretch the Lightning's radius by 400 hundred miles, a nine-hour flight. When he concluded his talk half an hour later, the room was silent."

    Link--

    http://www.charleslindbergh.com/wwii/

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    1. Lindberg is proof that you can reform a lefty. Or at least a liberal isolationist.

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    2. Lindbergh was the consummate pilot.

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    3. Isolationism isn't all that bad. Our first President warned us about European entanglements.

      But reality often intrudes.

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    4. "Isolationism" coupled with appropriate use of SOF in preventative strikes off-campus is a good way to go.
      Purty sure GW said "foreign entanglements". Now, if the mohammedans are playing pirate, you gotta deal; we are still a maritime nation (or ought to be)
      Boat Guy

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    5. Boat Guy - You're correct it was "foreign" not "European." Pirates are fair game all the time and any time, no matter who they kowtow to. We are in agreement on that one.

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    6. A fellow bearing my slightly unusual last name was one of the pilots lost on that mission. I have never found out if he was kin.

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  9. Midway. Haven't seen it yet. I want to like it. But every trailer I see turns me off more and more. Zeros making X-Wing runs between battleships, Zeros strafing civilians below tree-top level, SBDs bombing en-masse... planes just doing things that were impossible for the type. The truth was amazing and heroic enough without embellishment... Ah well, the curse of being a military history geek.....

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    1. I hear you Jack, Hollywood doesn't try hard enough. But I still want to see it.

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