Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Pondering Matters of State...

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The WSO might tell you what that title means to her. It involves a throne. That's all you'll get out of me. Anyhoo...

Bit of a dry spell for posting topics, can't seem to bear down and work at it, too many distractions, work, games, books...

Speaking of which, for an excellent guide to the French Revolution, I highly recommend Christopher Hibbert's The Days of the French Revolution.

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I actually felt sorry for Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, they weren't quite the demons that history has painted them as. Bad times and a lot of bad folks determined to force everyone else to behave in certain ways.

Hhmm, seems familiar somehow.

I should mention that I purchased that book 17 years ago. This is the first time I've read it. It was on the "To Read" pile which The Missus Herself translated as the "Needs to be put away" pile and bingo, I read it 17 years later. How do I know it was 17 years ago? The receipt was still in the book.

Sigh...

After finishing that book I was wandering through the library trying to decide what to read next.

Part of the "vast" Chez Sarge library.
After a bit of digging, I decided on this one, it's heavy going in parts, well researched and well written. Just my cup o' tea.


Let's just say that The Missus Herself and her family certainly haven't forgotten that war (it was no goddamned police action Harry, you asshole). Nor have I. Me and mine owe a huge debt to the folks who fought there. And won. That's right, won. The Norks wanted the entire peninsula, we said, "Nope, y'all get your Nork butts back north of the 38th Parallel and stay there."

It has bugged the hell out of the Kim crime syndicate ever since.

By the way, it's not often enough that people remember that Harry Truman gutted the U.S. military. And gets a carrier named after him. Nope, don't like the man, though we share a birth date. (No, not the same year.) A catastrophe for the nation which we barely recovered from in time. We're still feeling the after effects though. Not good, not good at all.

Anyhoo, that book isn't going to read itself and I have Nazis to kill (it's a game, calm down) so there you have it.

Maybe I'll be more prolific tomorrow. Probably not, though you never know, the Old AF Sarge is learning the esoteric ways and what for's of the various Zumwalt systems. Fun in a way, makes my brain hurt at times.

But still and all, it's a paycheck. A nice one too!

Oh, and Happy Birthday to my grandson, The Big O. Hard to believe he's 9 years old. Dang!




44 comments:

  1. Dang, that Clay Blair book is what I have in my Korea section of unread books though I don't have the number of tomes you revealed. You have any of the Osprey series, the aviation series of which there are several, is what I'm heavy in.... sigh

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    1. I have a number of Osprey books, mostly on the Napoleonic era. Probably 20+ just on that topic alone.

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  2. My dad shook hands with President Truman after Ike was in office. Dad didn't like him. He didn't like LBJ either, not one little bit. My dad was a "field psychologist". (Texas peace officer). He could read people like a short book with a glance. I've never met anyone that could top him. He knew what you were about, an intelligent guess on your vices, and how much of a threat you were in a blink. I didn't appreciate that ability when I was young. Neither did my sister.

    She mentioned a guy she was interested in, dad ran his name, and found a list of offenses... He met the guy at the door when he came to pickup my sister. Dad had a sweat stained tee shirt on, with his badge pinned on it, his front teeth out (line drive down third base line in 1951) and his old Colt on his belt. "Whaddoyouwant??" "Nothing sir, not a thing" and he ran back to his car and drove off. Sis was mad for a week, but got over it.

    I trusted his view even though I didn't understand it. I miss that old man...... I wonder what he make of where we are now?

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    1. I'm sure your Dad would be pissed off at where we're at, but I think that he'd figure we'll get through this. We have before.

      Truman and Johnson were terrible presidents. Harry had delusions as to his own military abilities. LBJ was just a despicable POS of a person.

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  3. Heh, I picked up Sniper Elite III on cheapy-sale over the weekend. Pretty sure the kill-cam animations will never get old. (Version IV is still too rich for my blood.)

    I sorta almost felt bad that I signed on to shoot Nazis, but wound up blasting a bunch of Italians, too. Meh, they shoulda picked better friends.

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    1. I picked up V2 on the cheap over the last weekend. Bonus, get to blast Commies AND Nazis in the rubble of Berlin.

      I don't view them as Italians, to me they're Fascists. Feels better that way.

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  4. While I will agree with your assessment of Truman, he did make one correct tough decision though.

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    1. He did get that one right. Hell, even Obummer got a couple right (the hit on Bin Laden for one).

      I'm okay with the second bomb as well, let the bastards know that the first wasn't a "one time good deal."

      (My other favorite theory is that Nagasaki had to die to show the Russians we had more than one.)

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    2. Good posting of that video Juvat, thanks. Too many of our fellow Americans don't know that part of our recent history or don't care.

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    3. The schools seem to be not teaching history anymore.

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    4. What DO they do at schools.
      It's rhetorical ...I don't need an answer.
      There are enough teachers in the family who aren't allowed to teach.

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    5. Teachers are handcuffed by the huge crowd of administrators/experts/school board politicians who have never set foot in a classroom but decide what is best. For political/indoctrination reasons.

      I've worked with kids, taught them history, they love learning as long as it isn't overwhelmingly boring.

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    6. Many teachers are also hampered by the fact that they can't openly carry "The Little Red Book" while wearing a Che shirt while supporting 'Black Power' while protesting against 'The Man' during their crusade to protect GAIA from manmade global climate change while driving their electric cars.

      It's not just all the admin pukes. A lot of people sitting in the position called 'teacher' are also at fault. Just remember the classroom chants of "Mm, mm, mm, Worst President Ever" and all that mumbo-jumbo.

      The conservative public is exceedingly rare and soon-to-be-extinct.

      Stuff like this is why charter and private schools are so important to the future of our nation. That, and getting rid of Fed over-rule of local school systems.

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    7. Concur with Andrew's assessment. There are a bunch of teachers, even in our little town, who are very happy with the way things are.
      I get a plethora of help requests that begin "I can't teach because (pick the piece of technology) is broken." Typically, I stop reading after the first 3 words.

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    8. Andrew - yeah, there are places like that, I guess I'm too far removed from having kids in public school (15 years) to really "grok" the problem.

      I'm betting some states are worse than others. The girls did have one history teacher in high school to whom I told the girls to let the guy know that he was full of bovine excrement on a particular topic. History is what happened, not what someone wished had happened.

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    9. Juvat - seriously? I had hoped that things were better (see my response to Andrew for my out-dated-ness on the topic). Damn.

      If that's as widespread as it might be, we in a heap o' trouble!

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    10. Yes, it is that bad. Conservative leaning left-wingers are being booted out, as they have pretty much gotten rid of any middle-of-the-roaders and right-wingers.

      Go to any major university:
      The brainiacs and real thinkers all go into STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Consider high levels of Math/Physics to be Philosophy for super-nerds.) This may also include some entering the medical profession.

      Mid-brains enter Medicine, Law, and other careers that actually require you to use your brain and study. May include some old-school history people (but the real brainiacs in history usually are dual-degreed with a STEM...)

      Then there are the "Arts" where exact precision isn't required.

      The people that can't make it in any of the above degree programs go into Education.

      The people that can't make Education go into Social Work.

      Yes, there are exceptions, but pull up an entrance requirement for a major university and look at the requirements for the various schools and colleges. It will make you weep.

      My wife went back to complete a degree in an STEM-based Computer Information Program. Half-way through the university cancelled the course, leaving all the students hanging in the wind. She wound up in the College of Information Management, which was Bachelor of Arts degree. She had to fight to actually learn anything. She did a Thesis based Masters, which was the first that College had seen in over 10 years. After that, the College eliminated any chance of a thesis based Masters. Rumors from her friends is because it caused too much work for the involved professors. TOO MUCH WORK???

      Just walking those 'hallowed halls of edumacation' for my wife's final stuff she had to do (most of it was on-line, thankfully) caused my left leg to grow 5" to compensate for the political lean that seeped that institution.

      Now there are PHD programs where the person doesn't have to write a dissertation. Just take courses. Like in HIGH SCHOOL! WhatTheFrack! It's a good thing I've got short hair else I would have pulled it out by now.

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    11. Simple math and psychology; If you have one of something, well, you have one. If you have two, then you have a production line. The Japs were not stupid, they knew, from the Nazis, that atomic fission was difficult, two bombs showed them that the Allies had it sorted out.

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  5. I'm jealous.
    But then, I wasn't going to read most of my books again anyway.

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  6. I envy you your book shelves. I have a book series that I believe is the same as the one in the lower right of your photo. Just got some more of the Churchill series at our library book sale this past weekend. I've no doubt that we have other overlaps as well. Well, we have interests in common, so it stands to reason.

    Happy reading,
    Thanks for the post.

    Paul L. Quandt

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    1. If you look two shelves up from the series you reference (which is on WWII), you'll see Churchill's books on WWII. There are more of his books I'd like to get.

      Of course, the Library of Congress is on my wish list too. Well, a lot of it anyway.

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    2. "...Churchill's books on WWII."

      Yes, I saw them, that's why I commented about adding to my collection of that series.

      Paul

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    3. Ah, I must have been asleep when the clue train rolled by...

      Happens a lot these days.

      Sigh...

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    4. Ah, asleep at the switch. That's how train wrecks happen. Luckily, nothing was scheduled at this time, so we are all safe. With all you do, missing a part of a comment is no biggie.

      PLQ

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  7. Replies
    1. I've actually read all (most) of them. I indicate "most" as a possibility due to The Missus Herself's penchant for putting things away in the "To Read" stack.

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  8. I may have posted this here before. Don't remember. Anyway, seeing as how you brought up French history--

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diEVmQZ1QfM

    I have a copy of "Sled Driver" by Brian Shul copyright 1991. Out of idle curiosity, I looked it up on Amazon. I just about fell out of my chair at what they go for now.

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    1. Why yes, yes you did. A most interesting tale. Sordid, as are most tales dealing with money, but there ya go.

      I chased the book to Amazon...

      Ouch!

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  9. You should look at David Halberstam's "The Coldest Winter". A very good book

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    1. Off to the library I go...

      Thanks David!

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  10. My French history consists of my taking four years to get two years worth of credit at university.
    Mixed emotions ever since.

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  11. " I purchased that book 17 years ago. This is the first time I've read it."
    Only 17 years? I can recommend someone you could see for your lack of impulse control...

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  12. I like your Panda. When I was born, my Uncle Charlie was stationed at Hickam. He went to the nearest Panda Dealer, and bougt me a 3 foot tall one. He knew the crew chief on a C-124 Globemaster that was heading for MPLS, where I was born, and he agreed to drop the bear off at St. Mary's Hospital, where I was born, during the turn around. So, on 21 August 1961, I was born, and on 23 August, the United State Air Force air frieghted me a panda bear, which I still have. Like yours, he really could stand a cleaning.

    I suppose he could have his stiches removed, and his stuffing taken out, and then be cleaned. But I worry that might be the end of him. When I turned 18, my sister Martha gave me a stuffed dragon. About 5 years ago, I noticed Malcom was starting to look dingy, and I thought, " I shall try some of that carpet cleaning stuff, where you spray it on, and then vacuum it off after 20 minutes!" Alas, I sprayed it on, unaware that he had been assembled with fabric glue. Twenty minutes later, Malcom disassembled himself into his component parts. Fortunately, Paula DeJesus, a friend of mine who is a skilled seamstress, put him back together. But I am now leary about stuffed critter cleaning.I know he just a stuffed Panda, but I will soon have had him for 56 years! That is a long time to own a stuffed bear!

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    1. I've had Andy for 60+ years.

      Nice story about the panda airlift. That's an awesome Uncle. (I too had an Uncle Charlie!)

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  13. Love that book case- so much goodness displayed. From Frederick Forsyth, to Game of Thrones, some Jack Reacher books, some Pillars of the Earth to airplane models, that is quite a collection and a whole lot of awesome.

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  14. Hey Old AF Sarge;

    I know what you mean about the "stuffed animals", I have a couple still in my collection up in the attic. I should dig them out and display them. On a different note, I gotta add to the Truman bash, he did a couple of things right, he backed up West Berlin and did the airlift when his advisers whom mostly were soviet apologist were telling us to "Just let them have it", and when he left the white house, he returned to his little house in Missouri(I hope I am correct), and lived out his life with no secret service and back in obscurity. Something some of our later former presidents should do.

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    1. All true. He still screwed the pooch in Korea.

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