Patterico's Pontifications

1/11/2014

Bored with Politics

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:41 pm

Got anything else interesting to talk about?

122 Responses to “Bored with Politics”

  1. Well…, astronomers used an effect known as gravitational lensing to magnify images from the Hubble Telescope. In so doing, they were able to view galaxies that are 13.2 billion years old. A current estimate for the age of the universe is a little under 14 billion years old.

    Here is a picture and article of those galaxies that (“we” currently believe) existed near the dawn of creation: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140107-hubble-oldest-frontier-science-space-astronomy/

    Pons Asinorum (8ce71a)

  2. It’s been boring me too, but I feel like I can’t afford to be bored. There’s too much at stake. Every time I feel like not checking the blogs or Twitter or Fox News for the scandale du jour, I hear from news updates and read headlines stuff that upon greater examination, turn out to be cow droppings plopped on a plate and served up as chocolate mousse.

    The latest is, of course, this Christie scandal, which would be more troublesome to me if it weren’t for the fact that it’s being used by the Dem-heavy media forces to clear the path for Hillary Clinton, who is The Next President Of The United States for the second time in a decade. Every ounce of energy that was used to explain away Fast and Furious, the IRS scandal, the NSA scandal, the scandal of Healthcare.gov and to minimize the damage from President Obama’s lies about ObamaCare is being spent to pound the message into the heads of potential independents: You can’t trust Chris Christie. He’s a bully. Do you really want a bully to be President? Never mind that they were silent as the current President used the IRS to impede tax-exempt status of groups hoping to de-elect him in 2012. The same people who almost cheered as the former Secretary of State practically laughed off the deaths of four Americans in a terrorist attack at consulate were scouring videotape and emails for reasons to attach a body count to Christie for his underlings’ impeding traffic on a bridge.

    Reince Priebus is going to be on Meet the Press Sunday morning. He should by not saying anything before he reads host David Gregory the riot act about this tweet. But he won’t, because the GOP cowers before people who buy ink by the barrel. They’ve given the MSM a veto over common sense, because as they’ve told us, common sense is only practiced by “bullies.”

    L.N. Smithee (2ae40d)

  3. The Yukon Quest starts February 1, 2014 with the Iditarod starting March 1, 2014. Each is a dogsled race of about 1000 miles through the global climate collapse Polar Vortex.

    cedarhill (fdf899)

  4. This is an interesting article:NBA to pay $500M to guys with no team

    steveg (794291)

  5. Congrats to the Seahawks and Patriots. Today’s games should be good too. I think the 49ers and Broncos will advance.

    The new season of Justified started this week.

    JD (e21ea0)

  6. The Yukon Quest starts February 1, 2014 with the Iditarod starting March 1, 2014. Each is a dogsled race of about 1000 miles through the global climate collapse Polar Vortex.

    On it, cedarhill. http://i.imgur.com/3ljXRzz.jpg

    nk (dbc370)

  7. The biggest non-political ‘news’ of the week, for me, was the release of the Coachella lineup, which is the first lineup in years where my response has been: ‘meh’.

    L.N. Smithee – I view the Christie scandal as local news, and I think it’s scandal-worthy. I also think it’s one of the most glaringly stupid political scandals since the Quackenbush scandal – it shows a jaw-dropping level of “why the hell would you have thought that was a good idea?”

    aphrael (d09290)

  8. Dixie Gun Works has marked down its Pedersoli Howdah Hunter double barreled pistols from $815 to $649. So depending on which one you get (.50cal rifled, 20ga shotgun, or combo) it’s down in the price range of their kits. Plus if you buy the complete pistol you get checkering. If you buy the kit you have to do the checkering yourself.

    I have the double barrel 20ga.

    http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_92_187_189&products_id=14020

    It’s a bit pricey for a toy, but they’re really fun. And a lot cheaper to shoot than modern guns with fixed ammo. And I should advise that they’re not toys in terms of the damage they’ll do to the target.

    The kits are slightly marked down as well, but really only the long guns are worth the money given how much they’ve marked down the complete pistols. If you buy the long guns, the magnum 12 and 10ga shotguns, the locks aren’t color case hardened as are the pistol locks. I find naval jelly on the locks and other bare metal furniture works to get a look similar to the case hardening used in the 19th century. It wasn’t brightly colored as you’ll find today. It was a dull gray. Just don’t leave the naval jelly on too long as it will pit the metal. Several shorter coatings will do to get the look you want. Make sure to oil the metal well when done.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  9. We’ll be in Evanston later to watch the NO.23 ranked Fighting Illini play Northwestern Wildcats. Northwestern will be debuting their new uniforms which were player inspired and designed, and produced by Under Armour.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/nu-to-debut-new-uniforms-against-illinois

    elissa (5b28d4)

  10. Like Smithee said I am bored lately with politics, it is groundhog day with the current DC crowd. I also feel there is so much at stake that I can not take my eye off the ball for much time. I am constantly amazed by how little scrutiny the actual “news” gets and how blind so many people are to the horrible mess we are in currently. In my businesses here in Texas, restaurants, I have some patrons who just love the prez and think the world is all roses. I smile, give them great food and service and then go to my office and bang my head against the wall.

    But hey…..only 228 days till college football season begins. Go Tech!

    Jedward1000 (8ed689)

  11. Do you find the blogger jailed in Alabama troubling? He sounds like his own worst enemy, but is free speech at risk here?

    greg (7aa2ca)

  12. Actually, I take that back about the Pedersoli shotgun kits being cost effective. The 12ga magnum kits and complete shotguns are marked down to the exact same price.

    If you get the complete shotgun, it comes with checkering and all the furniture is blued.

    The 10ga kit is $100 less than the complete shotgun. They’re not hard to finish. I suppose it depends on whether or not you enjoy woodworking. Besides, I find firearm to be more attractive with the satin grey finish you get with the naval jelly than with the blued finish.

    Davide Pedersoli firearms, like most Italian guns, are beautifully made.

    http://www.davide-pedersoli.com/

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  13. I enjoy RedLetterMedia movie reviews more than I enjoy the movies.

    I know it’s old, but here’s the guy’s Avatar review in 2 parts.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJarz7BYnHA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLzKwTcGO_0

    It’s still topical because when the reviewer goes through the 3 step process David Cameron uses to dragoon gullible audiences into becoming emotionally invested in his movies, step one is getting them to hate the villains.

    Which are always one dimensional caricatures of conservatives. Greedy capitalists or sadistic military white men who rape the earth while slapping around their trophy wives.

    The exact same method the propaganda wing of the Democratic political machine uses to get people to Republicans. Watch the review, you’ll see.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  14. In my businesses here in Texas, restaurants, I have some patrons who just love the prez and think the world is all roses.

    It must be nice to live in a bubble, cushioned from the reality that exists around oneself. Such people are otherwise known as “limousine liberals” (and one doesn’t have to be wealthy to be suffering from that condition).

    However, if they do walk the walk and not just talk the talk, and if they’re experiencing a Greece-lite or Detroit-lite condition on a personal, daily basis, then at least they can’t be faulted for being what’s also known as a “latte liberal” or “champagne socialist.”

    Mark (58ea35)

  15. * …to get people to hate Republicans.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  16. 12. … In my businesses here in Texas, restaurants, I have some patrons who just love the prez and think the world is all roses. I smile, give them great food and service and then go to my office and bang my head against the wall.

    Comment by Jedward1000 (8ed689) — 1/12/2014 @ 7:27 am

    I’m in the same business, in Dallas.

    I don’t bang my head against the wall. I convert their money into donations to people like Ted Cruz.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  17. Congrats to the Seahawks and Patriots. Today’s games should be good too. I think the 49ers and Broncos will advance.

    I hate the Patriots and feel the same way about the 49ers. If the next few weeks are analogous to the days leading up to November 2012 (much less November 2008), then I better be prepared to yell “&*@#%&!!BS!!”

    Mark (58ea35)

  18. Or guns/shooting supplies.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  19. 1. Good post. Better info than found via Drudge.

    Another ‘classic paper’ on plasma lasers.

    http://cpdl.kettering.edu/kp2.pdf

    To be used on the new Zumwalt-class destroyers.

    http://www.popsci.com/article/technology/inside-zumwalt-destroyer

    More specifically I guess they are ‘free-electron’ lasers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-electron_laser

    I dunno, but would think there are plenty of countries that don’t have 200MW available.

    Note that the power plant and laser are ‘in development’.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  20. At this stage I’m mostly done with pro football and have moved on to college hoops, with baseball spring training sweetly waiting just around the corner. But taking out the Pack on their Lambeau home ice field gave me quite a bit of renewed respect for the Niners. I think they take it today from the Panthers, too, in a long marinated grudge match.

    elissa (5b28d4)

  21. Smithee captured and portrayed the current Kabuki Theater goings-on quite well. The media is about as transparent in what they’re trying to accomplish as they have ever been. My wife and I have tried to help our adult children (ages 31, 29, 27) understand that they need to become involved and to press for accountability and honesty and that they should accept no substitutes for same.

    As has been said, promises that can’t be kept won’t be. My wife and I both believe that the younger generation are going to be in for a very rough ride, one that will test them in every way imaginable.

    Colonel Haiku (bc027c)

  22. Review:

    The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Battle-German-Soldiers/dp/0306822083

    The story itself is about how American forces discovered a VIP prison in the Tyrolean Alps in Austria as the occupied a region they feared the Nazis would use as a final redoubt.

    The most interesting part of the book is when the author details the road each individual, French VIP prisoners, Germans who both were die hard Nazis as well as those who went over to the American side in the battle, Austrian partisans, the “number prisoners” who staffed the prison, and the Americans, took before fate brought them together at Schloss Itter. The alpine castle the Nazis turned into the prison.

    The actual battle itself is anti-climactic, I found. I don’t want to spoil the story in case anyone is interested in this sort of thing. I always enjoy reading about the kind of the out-of-the-mainstream side conflicts and and/or adventures that crop up during a world war. Particularly WWII because that was truly a global conflict.

    Stories about the scout/observation pilots who flew off of the cruisers or battleships. Who traded in their Vought Kingishers or Curtiss Seagulls for Spitfires during the Normandy invasion or how’d they fly into raging Pacific battles and load up with downed aviators, then taxi 30 miles to drop all the guys sitting on their wings off with the waiting submarines, etc.

    But I didn’t find this story very interesting. It’s fine light read I suppose, but you can probably find better material if you just poke around on the intertubes.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  23. Go Niners!

    Colonel Haiku (bc027c)

  24. elissa – The uniforms might prove to be more interesting than the game.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  25. And my wife tells me I’m failing miserably at the top New Year’s resolution on my list: to stop rolling my eyes so often.

    Colonel Haiku (bc027c)

  26. Ima soon put my lengthy training to work and begin offering therapeutic breast massage sessions to the wimmins in my building. Because ima giver.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  27. daleyrocks, Right. I’m expecting the homecooked dinner afterwards to be the true highlight! But we’ll also get to wear Chief Illinwek gear to the game which is bound to piss off a few people and that’s always rewarding.

    elissa (5b28d4)

  28. I was reading Insty about yet another famous person coming out as a Christian. The first I noted was Mary Gaitskill, a writer of kinky sexy transgressive literature lik The Secretary, whose main character had a religious conversion in her latest novel, which conversion was studiously ignored by her critics. :)

    And I wonder, will the new film of Unbroken omit or include the all-important turning point in this man’s life? I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it.

    Patricia (be0117)

  29. I believe we’ve all heard of the WWI “Christmas truce,” when German and allies on the western front stopped fighting, exchanged gifts, and had a soccer game.

    There was also a truce on the eastern front. But not for Christmas. Here’s a story from the 29 July 1917 issue of the NYT.

    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9E0DE3DD103BE03ABC4151DFB166838C609EDE&oref=slogin

    Russian Wolves

    There was a plague of wolves that was so bad, the German and Russian forces had to stop fighting each other.

    In the course of last Winter’s campaign the wolves of the Baltic and Polish Russian stretches had amassed in such great numbers in the Kovno-Wilna-Minsk district as to become a veritable plague to both Russian and German fighting forces.

    …As a last resort, the two adversaries, sith the consent of their commanders, entered into negotiations for an armistice and joined forces to overcome the wolf plague…

    Apparently European wolves, particularly Russian wolves, are not nearly as innocuous as North American wolves. Not that North American wolves don’t kill people, too, but not nearly in the numbers they did in Eastern Europe and European and Asian Russia. Both in terms of the numbers of wolves that would gather, and in terms of the numbers of human victims.

    The same thing happened during WWII, as well as in the immediate aftermath. I suppose if American Indians fought wars as frequently and on a similar scale wolves would have seen humans as prey, too. Just think about the number of unburied corpses lying around the forests and step as armies such as Napoleons move back and forth.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  30. step = steppe

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  31. The Civil War Christmas truces are the ones that bring tears to my eyes.

    elissa (5b28d4)

  32. Considering that you can get a 5-shot Mossberg pump, in 12 or 20 gauge, with as short a barrel as you want, for half the price, and just $5.00 for an AOW stamp if it’s pistol grip only ….

    nk (dbc370)

  33. 10. Don’t know where this falls in the sub basement of the gun universe but about the very best I’ll be able to manage is the Cobra Patriot .45 ACP concealable.

    Really shouldn’t come B4 this:

    http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect.com/Generac-6001-Portable-Generator/p10205.html

    The price is up 20% in just a few months.

    Or something like this:

    https://www.cobra.com/products/portable/hh-38-wx-st

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  34. 34. My Model 88 holds eight 2 3/4″ with one chambered.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  35. 34. Considering that you can get a 5-shot Mossberg pump, in 12 or 20 gauge, with as short a barrel as you want, for half the price, and just $5.00 for an AOW stamp if it’s pistol grip only ….

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 1/12/2014 @ 8:47 am

    I don’t shoot well on birds with those. I do better with a decent double, either O/U or SxS. And the lower end break actions aren’t as well balanced as the Davide Pedersoli shotguns.

    It’s not like I’m recommending them for home defense.

    Although, I think I’ve mentioned those Howdah pistols look intimidating as f*** from the muzzle end. No, I don’t guns at people. But I have pointed my Howdah pistol at a mirror. They’re reliable, too. If it were all I had, I wouldn’t consider myself unarmed, but given the range of options it’s not all I have.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  36. *I don’t point guns at people.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  37. 38. Principles are a good thing, within reason.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  38. And I wonder, will the new film of Unbroken omit or include the all-important turning point in this man’s life? I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it.

    Patricia, what an amazing book, no? If one needs a shot of courage, it’s the book to pick up.

    I was concerned when I heard Jolie was directing it… a star’s vanity project? However, after watching her film “In the Land of Blood and Honey” (she wrote/directed), I felt reassured. It was a tough subject matter (Bosnian war) and yet she handled it respectfully and deftly. Tying in a doomed love story actually brought the conflict more into perspective. Anyway, for now I remain optimistic about Unbroken.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  39. 27. If you find anything that works, I’m beyond desperate.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  40. Don’t tell anybody I have principles.

    On second thought, if they’re acquainted with me they won’t believe it so go ahead.

    I remember at my wedding reception my Captain had to make a speech. Japanese wedding receptions are very scripted, there even has to be a shikaisha or Master of Ceremonies, and so there has to be a bunch of speeches as well.

    We hired the shikaisha from some agency but she turned out to be completely incompetent so one of my Navy buds stepped in and did the translating. So my Captain is extolling what a hard working, conscientious, dependable guy I am and all my Japanese Rugby team mates are rolling on the floor laughing.

    So my Captain asks my bud, “Why are the guys at that table laughing?”

    And he says, “They know him, sir.”

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  41. 42. Seriously, Mr. 57, I have no idea how you, and some others here, accomplish all that you do.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  42. How about this, it’s something I wrote about on my blog a while ago. New Testament historians tend to not accept the traditional portrait of Jesus because they don’t believe miracles are possible. Yet given this standpoint, the consensus of these scholars accepts certain facts about the historical Jesus as demonstrable, provable, established historical facts.

    1. Jesus implicitly claimed to be God. Most scholars reject the explicit claims to divinity in the gospels, but they accept that Jesus did things which, in Judaism, could only be done by God.

    2. Jesus was tortured, crucified, and killed. This is considered one of the central events of human history.

    3. Jesus’ corpse was interred in a solid rock tomb that had a large boulder lodged in the entrance to seal it. Such tombs were commonplace at the time, and many have been discovered.

    4. On the Sunday after the crucifixion, Jesus’ tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers.

    5. On many occasions, individuals and groups of up to 500 people saw Jesus alive after his death. Some of the these people were skeptics or enemies. This fact is almost universal, if not universal, among New Testament historians.

    6. The earliest Christian beliefs, which originated in Jerusalem immediately following Jesus’ crucifixion, are that Jesus is God incarnate and that he physically, bodily, literally rose from the dead.

    Again, the majority of scholars who accept these facts do not accept the resurrection of Jesus because they start from the presupposition that such a thing couldn’t have happened. That’s why I find it so fascinating what they are willing to accept.

    Jim S. (a51c65)

  43. If muzzle loaders aren’t your cup of tea Olympic Arms makes a couple of interesting variants of the 1911.

    http://www.olyarms.com/

    There Westerner and Trail Boss are completely color case hardened.

    http://www.guns.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/olympic_westerner1.jpg

    http://www.yothinfirearms.com/images/introw_1263483670/1911-westerner-1024.jpg

    The Trail Boss is simply a long slide version of the Westerner.

    I dunno. I pared down my collection substantially a few years back. I found a lot of guns just stay in the back of the safe and never get used, so I sold them and bought ammo for the ones I do shoot a lot. I found I enjoyed shooting muzzle loaders, particularly shotguns as they’re just as effective as modern shotguns on game. Typically you have to move up a notch, so if you want to duplicate the effect of a 12ga you need to move up to 10ga. But other than being slower to load, there’s not the range handicap you experience with muzzle loading rifles. which depending on where you hunt can be no big deal either. I started out hunting Blacktail deer in what amounts to rain forest in NORCAL with leverguns. Considering how close the deer had to be to even see them and you really only got one shot I was just as well off with a repro Hawken.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  44. Back home for a life celebration of a close friend. The old wrecking crew went ice fishing again. Ice on Gull Lake was 4′ thick. North central Mn. In the south on Fox Lake its 3′ thick. Better fishing in the south.

    mg (31009b)

  45. from the presupposition that such a thing couldn’t have happened

    I too used to be a skeptic about so-called supernatural or paranormal activity or phenomenon. But coming upon fairly well-documented cases over the past few years — due in part to how easy it is to access information, including video documentaries, in the age of the internet — has changed my perceptions.

    Similarly, as the years have gone by, my impression of just how corrupting socio-political liberalism is, and how truly bad it has become (or always was), has increased by leaps and bounds.

    All in all, this is a very disturbingly unhinged period of time we’re going through right now, although I still remain a Doubting Thomas about the reliability of “End Times” prophecy.

    Mark (58ea35)

  46. 46. That’s a lot of fish killed this winter. Any historical perspective on 4 ft?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  47. @19- Raiders!
    A mere 5 or 6 wins short of the playoffs this year.

    (Maybe- )

    gramps, the original (64b8ca)

  48. 44, 47. Being Protestant I’ve no interest in relics, apart from the Shroud of Turin.

    While the Vatican allowed a sample taken from a repaired corner radiocarbon dated to circa 1600 AD, the linen in the main is authentic.

    And an unmistakable Czech painting of the shroud(with its subject) dates to 800 AD.

    Problems, even with synchrotron carbon dating lie with the interpretation of lab results. The industry has achieved Climate and Solar science inanity.

    More recent papers on the subject claim that the only conceivable source of the image is intense electromagnetic radiation.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  49. Not really politics so much as culture:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-12/french-first-girlfriend-hospitalized-after-francois-hollande-affair-actress-exposed

    Let us not forget the mother of his children:

    http://www.syriapath.com/blog/2007/05/09/the-french-are-crazy/

    Aren’t we lucky we are so unsexed that the sexual haunts and habits of our leaders do not interest?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  50. They (the “they”) claim they can analyze 400,000 year old DNA. It would be interesting to check the “shroud” for it. Personally, I think it was a dust cover over a sarcophagus, or a statue, or a raised mural, or even a fresco, and stuff spilled on it turned it into a rubbing. These kind of “miracles” do not fit into my view of my religion.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. I have to admit that I’m truly astonished at how much of an utter f**kup Obama is, how much long lasting economic damage has been done by Democrat policies – intentional and unintentional – and yet the nation just sits on its ass in a weird malaise and does nothing.

    SPQR (768505)

  52. a pox on the 49ers…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  53. For those of you with moolah, not to say DayTraders:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-01-12/great-buyback-surge-over-corporations-are-once-again-net-sellers-shares

    The days of the greater fool are prolly over until a bottom.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  54. Aren’t BitCoins an example of people looking for a greater fool?

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  55. 52. Synchrotrons cost billions so time is effectively leased or rented.

    PCR analyzers cost as little as $10K.

    Hundreds of thousands of techs into the latter, millions of applications, vs. a hundred or so techs in the former. No good guess as to the number of applications from archaeology, paleontology, climate science, geology.

    Perhaps tens of thousands of dates per year?

    But in the former case its all peer-reviewed research, in the latter case with PCR a profit motive is involved in the majority of applications.

    GIGO.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  56. Why do all detective stories involve murder? I think the mystery could be just as good, if not better, or easier reading anyway, without a murder.

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  57. 56. That would be this layman’s guess.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  58. Ace Ventura Pet Detective

    elissa (5b28d4)

  59. 52. “stuff spilled on it turned it into a rubbing”

    One cannot be informed about anything and everything, that enables comparative advantage to allow bulk of us to subsist.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  60. Being Protestant I’ve no interest in relics,

    FWIW, I used to believe the phrase “holy ghost” was a non-literal concept and rolled my eyes at the thought of it being more than purely figurative. It wasn’t all that long ago when I was a show-me-the-money skeptic — pretty much a Doubting Thomas — about purported extraordinary claims in the Bible or elsewhere. But learning about incidents like this one have made me sit up and take notice. Simply put, reality may be more astonishing than I’ve assumed previously.

    I now realize it was I who was a naif, if not a fool, about such things, since it wasn’t that long ago when I assumed a majority of Americans had enough sanity and common sense to not fall for a disreputable character like Barack Obama. D’oh!!! to me.

    Mark (58ea35)

  61. But there’s a murder there:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ace_Ventura:_Pet_Detective

    The Dolphins’ owner Mr. Riddle (Noble Willingham) believes the team will lose the Super Bowl unless Snowflake is returned. He orders his head of operations Roger Podacter (Troy Evans) and chief publicist Melissa Robinson (Courteney Cox) to find Snowflake. Ventura is hired to solve the case and discovers his first clue in the form of a rare triangular-cut orange amber stone, which he speculates to have fallen from a 1984 AFC Championship ring. Ventura then tries to find his culprit by tricking each member of the championship squad into showing their rings. Despite locating every player on his list, he is unable to locate the ring missing a stone. Melissa begins to doubt Ace until she gets a call that Podacter is dead.

    Maybe a different Jim Carrey movie?

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  62. lebouef and bieber picked the exact same week to flame out

    coincidence?

    or are worthless douchebags beginning to organize and act in concert?

    be afraid

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  63. a bit of good news for energy production…

    As Pulitzer Price winner Daniel Yergin once noted, “the major obstacle to the development of new supplies is not geology but what happens above ground: international affairs, politics, investment and technology.” In the case of Alaskan oil production, the biggest obstacle for oil companies has been the tax system implemented by former Gov. Sarah Palin. The system would increase the royalty percentage Alaska receives as the price of oil increases, and at high prices companies would have to surrender as much as 75% of all income generated on a barrel of oil. Now that Palin’s plan has been repealed in favor of a 35% flat tax, big Alaskan players like ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and BP (NYSE: BP) are looking to invest there again.

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/01/12/alaska-finally-fixes-sarah-palins-biggest-blunder.aspx

    BP and Conoco are both involved in the food stamp administrations only domestic energy development project involving for reals actual hydrocarbon molecules

    State and U.S. Department of Energy officials are working toward on a plan for a long-term production test of methane from hydrates on the North Slope. The state Department of Natural Resources announced July 31 it was setting aside 11 tracts of unleased state lands on the slope for methane hydrate research.

    [...]

    BP and ConocoPhillips were operators on two separate previous tests on the North Slope, as well as Anadarko Petroleum in an earlier test, all with participation and co-funding from the DOE and participation from Japanese companies interested in methane hydrates.

    The BP and ConocoPhillips tests were within the Prudhoe Bay field and there were concerns at the time about the test drilling programs possibly interfering with ongoing oilfield operations.

    Barron said the current initiative is aimed at identifying a site outside the existing fields but close enough to take advantage of infrastructure.

    http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/August-Issue-2-2013/State-DOE-map-out-plan-for-methane-hydrate-testing/

    As near as i can tell, American methane hydrate research is primarily a cooperative effort what is aimed at helping our Japanese friends in their arduous and quixotic quest for energy security.

    And you know what that’s very sweet.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  64. It rained somewhat yesterday. The high was about 60 degrees. I think the temperature is somewhere in the 40s today. There is no snow left on soft ground – dirt – where grass can grow. The only snow left is in places where it has been piled up by the boundary between the sidewalk and the street.

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  65. Theer were actually two surveys of dialect – one in 2002/2003 and one in 2013. I think in the 2013 one people were only asked where they lived now and that was theone used in the test.

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  66. Sammy, many of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories had no murder.

    SPQR (768505)

  67. Mark@62 I am not aware of your religion (if any) and I am not qualified to debate theology or desirous to do so. But the Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Ghost– are at the core of Christian belief. The very essence of it. If I have misunderstood or misinterpreted your comment I apologize.

    elissa (5b28d4)

  68. Small earthquakes in Texas due to oil and gas drilling – specifically fracking.

    http://rt.com/usa/texas-fracking-earthquakes-azle-445/

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  69. 69. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/12/2014 @ 11:18 am

    Sammy, many of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories had no murder.

    I’ll try to look.

    Maybe the custom only developed later.

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  70. small earthquakes are the best kind

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  71. The Purloined Letter. One of the progenitors of the detective story. There are any number of mysteries that do not involve murder — from Edgar Allan Poe, to Arthur Conan Doye, to Isaac Asimov (were there any murders in The Black Widowers?). Dozens and dozens of authors and hundreds and hundreds of stories, actually. You just need to know which they are, Sammy.

    nk (dbc370)

  72. 66. I don’t doubt that the oil companies lost interest in AK with Palin’s tax regimen.

    However, the Feds killed Royal Dutch Shell’s plans in the Bering Sea with no license. Meanwhile, it prohibited maintenance, let alone upgrade of the Alyeska pipeline rendering heavy sour Alaskan crude unprofitable in the face of Bakken fracking.

    The mere fact that Berkshire Hathaway is involved(see railroad investment versus the Keystone pipeline) means big Federal subsidies are involved in methane hydrate fantasies.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  73. as America moves towards an energy model with natural gas at the center it makes a lot of sense to explore hydrates I think

    hydrates and coal gasification are the future

    at least as long as our pathetic and cowardly little country keeps fumbling the nuclear waste problem

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  74. nk @ 74. were there any murders in The Black Widowers?).

    I read a few of the stories, but I don’t remember them. One Amaon.com review says:

    … In fact, in many instances, no crime took place. There was the story of a man whose wife disappeared from a restaurant and turned up at home safe and sound, one in which a man who is convinced that his lover has cheated at an academic exam, and several instances of guests who need to unravel a riddle to claim an inheritance from a deceased, idiosyncratic friend. Etc…..

    Another one says:

    The mysteries are all trite and unimportant for the most part, involving things like how did a student cheat on an exam, what did a thief take from an apartment full of odds and ends, or how a message might be transmitted…

    Another

    Some of these puzzles concern crime but other simply deals with peculiar events or strange circumstances.

    One review goes over each story. In one story someone tries to gte a murder mystery.

    I think the Caves of Steel, and the ones involving Wendell Urth involved murders, had murders in them, but I am not sure.

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  75. Elissa – I – L – L !!!!

    JD (5c1832)

  76. I’ve really enjoyed a couple of recent books about the Pacific War.

    Shattered Sword is a remarkably exhaustive analysis of Midway. It is fascinating to see how the cultural indifference of the Japanese to human life led them to create a fleet that just wasn’t able to deal with battle damage. The ship diagrams and other materials were of particular interest. One might hope that similar failures will plague the Iranians as they begin their wars of conquest. One can only use 12 year olds to clear mine fields or perform suicide attacks once, and the practice will have a number of unintended consequences throughout Iranian society.

    Target Rabaul is the closing chapter of a trilogy about the battles for Rabaul in the SW Pacific. It is very candid about Japanese atrocities and it doesn’t attempt to balance these practices with politically correct obfuscations that tend to destroy the credibility of so much of what gets published today, e.g. “Flyboys”. The book does include letters and diaries of Japanese soldiers that gives them a certain humanity, but their indifference to their own death, and the deaths of their captives, had consequences that were both horrible and self-defeating. The author, Bruce Gamble, doesn’t preach these lessons, they grow on you as you as the details of the last two plus years of fortress Rabaul unfold. The desciptions of the air attacks are riveting, and one can appreciate the courage and dedication of our servicemen in carrying out these hazardous raids.

    I’ve also been following the scandal of the mistreatment of the Indian Deputy Consul to New York City. Fortuneately, she was able to leave the country and return to India, but her husband, a U. S. citizen, and her two children are still in New York. It is based on charges by her maid, but there are a lot of fishy smells coming from the U. S. prosecutor’s press releases. I look to see Preet Bharara, the U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, joining the ranks of other prominent New York prosecutors, like Eliot Spitzer, in the halls of politically motivated malfeasance. He was gleefully looking forward to throwing the Deputy Consul in the slammer for 15 years, and this was after he gave her the full strip- and cavity search treatment in the arrest, and after collecting a bond of $250,000 for her release from a lockup with drug dealers and prostitutes. The cavity search part is in dispute, but unless the government can release video of the event, I am of the opinion that the truth is only known by the Deputy Consul and the thug (female) who poked around down in her private parts. I’ll go with the Deputy Consul given recent practices by Hte wON’s Justice Department. Also, we are supposed to view the maid as a victim, but this ignores the incentives she has for fabricating the whole thing. And one wonders if Mr. Bharara, who was born in India, doesn’t have his own axe to grind. By some reports, the Deputy Consul was not accompanied by her husband when this began, and one can imagine any number social contacts between her and the illustrious Attorney for the Southern District. It is also becoming apparent that our arrest practices are circumventing the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The clinical rape of federal prisoners is now a standard procedure in many states. And this occurs while the are still to be presumed innocent.

    bobathome (1b918d)

  77. 76. Low hanging fruit.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  78. But the Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Ghost– are at the core of Christian belief. The very essence of it. If I have misunderstood or misinterpreted your comment I apologize.

    Elissa, what I meant was I originally treated “ghost” as a purely symbolic or figurative concept, something that only gullible or superstitious people fell for. That to buy into the idea of the Bible’s “holy ghost” was a matter of faith, a big leap of faith on my part. But I now realize why the character of “Doubting Thomas” in Scriptures is so compelling to me, since it describes someone along my lines, at least until not all that long ago.

    In effect, I have a greater respect for religiosity, if only from more of a scientific standpoint. Meanwhile, as modern-day society is growing more and more secular, more and more agnostic, if not flat-out atheistic, things like this are moving me in the opposite direction.

    Mark (58ea35)

  79. I-N-I

    elissa (5b28d4)

  80. 48- Other than my own memory, no. Hand auguring as a kid took forever.
    Last year the ice came out as late as it ever has in N. Mn.The lake on a farm is a shallow plains lake 5-6′ deep. Freeze kills the fish, but the next spring they run right back in from the Des Moines river.

    mg (31009b)

  81. It’s actually an extensive and long lasting snow cover on the ice more than the freeze that kills the fishies. It prevents light from getting through to allow photosynthesis that produces oxygen for the fish to breathe. We had a terrible fish kill on our pond and other lakes in the area for the first time two winters ago. When everything thawed there were thousands of dead fish –some really fine nice big ones– that had died and floated to the surface. The DNR guy came out and splained it to us. It was a very smelly and expensive proposition to clean up.

    elissa (5b28d4)

  82. Politics is boring, mostly, because it ends up an endless cycle of same old same old back and forth. Nothing really gets resolved.

    Trying to work on actually solving problems systematically and you both get more annoyed and more hopeful. The annoying part is that you realize even better how utterly futile and useless so much of political activity is. The hopeful part is the payoff because really simple things that nearly anyone can do are available to make things better. How hard do you think answering the following questions are

    What governments do we have?
    What does each government do?
    Who is in charge of each function?
    Who is their boss?
    What are the relevant contact information?

    Here’s a case study for an example. The ordinary back and forth about bridgegate is boring and predictable. Nothing gets fundamentally resolved and if the mayor of Detroit or Chicago does the exact same thing to a political enemy none of the sound and fury over bridgegate is going to matter one bit.

    From the perspective of solving the actual problem, identifying the inventory of roads in the USA and attaching jurisdictions and responsible politicians and bureaucrats to each road segment in a GIS server means that you can write software so that any time you’re stuck in a construction zone, you can know who is in charge of that road and you can query to get project information, start and end times and what’s supposed to be done. In the bridgegate example, the project, budget, scope, and timing would all be missing and people would smell a rat within hours. Moreover setting up the inventory would trap any politician from any party in any jurisdiction in the USA. It would be effort that would produce a meaningful positive payoff for the whole country.

    Setting up this sort of software is specialized work but not that expensive. Doing the interviews and lobbying that governments adopt an ethic of information sharing is something anyone can do and by far it is the bigger part of the job.

    TMLutas (0876a3)

  83. 84- stinky indeed, the carp would rot for what seemed like weeks.
    Nature doing it’s natural cycle. Ends up being great fertilizer.

    mg (31009b)

  84. elissa you might want to check out investing in a winter aeration system for so your lil fishes can enjoy the winter more better

    http://www.aquadocinc.com/Winter-Pond-Aeration.html

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  85. Go Niners! Yay!

    Colonel Haiku (bc027c)

  86. Yes feets @87. Thanks. We did have one of those type thingies installed in our pond after the horrific fish catastrophe. The bubbler is deep and quiet and creates a not terribly large round of clear water, but appears to be enough to do the job for our finned friends to breathe. The ducks seem to like it, too. It can easily be turned on and off as needed.

    We restocked the lake, too, but I’ll prolly be dead and gone from here long before they reach the size of some of the bass and trout that went belly up. There were dead carp too but that wasn’t too sad.

    elissa (5b28d4)

  87. elissa, my problem here is keeping the fracking raccoons out of my koi pond. Since I like in town, I can’t shoot them. I don’t want to poison them, because of neighborhood dogs and cats. The raccoons use the motion detector sprinkler as their shower. I have air guns and I shoot them with that, and they leave. But they come back.

    I really hate them. I want to cut off their heads and mount their skulls on my fence every few feet, looking outward: beware the House of Pain.

    Simon Jester (c14723)

  88. Simon, those rascals are a nuisance, but a hoot. I remember years ago how they’d use my parent’s pool spa to wash the snails that they’d grab in the backyard.

    Colonel Haiku (bc027c)

  89. They are parasite ridden jackasses. I just want them to leave my pond alone. My current koi are wise enough to stay in the cave out of reach, but they make SUCH a mess.

    Sheesh.

    Simon Jester (c14723)

  90. You have my sympathy, Mr. Jester. My friends Nancy and John have a beautiful small koi pond. Their escapades and frustration with marauding and very bold raccoons mirrors yours exactly.

    There’re a lot of raccoons around here too, but as long as they stay out of my attic and chimney and don’t look down at me from the skylights I can live with it.

    elissa (5b28d4)

  91. the same freakshow dimbulb social conservatives what were squackering about how daddy duck should never have been suspended cause of his deep reflections about Vagina vs. Man-Anus

    are calling for a columnist to be fired?

    http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2014/01/10/creators-syndicate-no-were-not-firing-an-anti-catholic-columnist/

    These people must be products of Oklahoma public schools is my hypothesis.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  92. It was funny. I live in a pretty “progressive” neighborhood. One of my neighbors (with a “CoExist” bumper sticker, incidentally), used to live trap raccoons in his yard and then drown them in a trash can. The city made him stop.

    Another neighbor is very pro-Obama, has all the appropriate bumper stickers, etc. I don’t talk about my politics with him, nor does he know I own several firearms. Anyway, I was bemoaning this situation, and he calmly suggested I shoot the animals.

    “But it’s illegal to discharge a firearm in city limits” I reminded him (again, he doesn’t know about my gun locker).

    “Only if you get caught,” he replied. Then he offered to lend me a scoped .22 rifle, and intimated I must be smart enough to rig a silencer.

    My state is an odd place, I guess.

    Simon Jester (c14723)

  93. Sigh. Every time I try to post, there is more hatefulness and bigotry I have to read here.

    Thanks for your comments, Colonel Haiku and elissa.

    Simon Jester (c14723)

  94. hey no labels

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  95. I see self-reflection is not your forte, sir. I think you are a an angry bigot but many people think you are tres amusing and give a free pass.

    So I am the one with the problem.

    Simon Jester (c14723)

  96. i think you’re fine just the way you are

    you’re my grumpy internet friend

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  97. Simon, a few months back in the wee hours (around 5AM) I headed over to Krispy Kreme donuts for the once every 6 months dozen and rounding the corner on my way home, I see the rear end of what looked like a small bear just taking his time crossing the street heading into the neighborhood park. Imagine my surprise when I put the high beams on only to see the masked face of a large racoon bandit insolently glaring back at me.

    Colonel Haiku (bc027c)

  98. Yeah, Dana, I have hopes too. Jolie is nobody’s fool.

    Patricia (be0117)

  99. Carp are an excellent sport fish. 3 or 5 wt. fly rod with the proper fly or hopper and I am talking fun,fun fun. And then I let them go.

    mg (31009b)

  100. 66) the last thirty years, from Hammond to Murkowski, they were just ready to go ‘voom; only the two years, when she put the state’s finances on a solid footing, that was the problem,

    narciso (3fec35)

  101. 84, 102. Thanks for the insights.

    99, 103. Proving twice more on top of an uncountable sum, that reason is passion’s biatch.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  102. Yes Frank, we feel your pain:

    http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/luntz-pollster-sold-business/2014/01/10/id/546341

    Surprised it took you this long.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  103. Well his stock and trade was dealing with the ‘undecided’ those people too dense to walk and chew gum, so dissapointment is not an unlikely circumstance,

    narciso (3fec35)

  104. Shattered Sword is an outstanding book. I was mentally comparing the description of the battle of Midway in that book to Harding’s The Last Battle and I suppose that’s why I felt the latter book came up short.

    Also, Parshall & Tully’s analysis of the battle was superb. I enjoy reading those kinds of books because you can actually draw lessons you can apply to problems you confront off the battlefield. For instance the three causes of failure; failure to learn the lessons of the past, failure to adapt to changing conditions, and failure to anticipate future threats. One can use that to organize your approach to a business issue, for instance.

    If you enjoyed that book you may also enjoy Black Shoe Carrier Admiral; Frank Jack Fletcher at Coral Sea, Midway & Guadalcanal.

    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Shoe-Carrier-Admiral-Guadalcanal/dp/1591144752

    ADM Fletcher got something of a bad rap for “abandoning” the Marines on Guadalcanal. In fact, Fletcher understood the limitations of a carrier force than the Japanese. It was a raiding force; it couldn’t slug it out against land based air forces. That, if you recall, was one of the weaknesses of Yamamoto’s Midway plan that even the Japanese Naval General Staff brought up (before Yamamoto buffaloed them into accepting his plan warts and all). Just as the US could keep sending aircraft to Midway from Hawaii, the Japanese could keep attacking the carriers from Rabaul. In both cases, the islands that were the source of the problems for the carriers were completely out of reach.

    The author, John Lundstrom (friends with Parshall and Tully, who if I recall also helped him with the book) also relied on newly discovered documents to flesh out exactly what went into Fletcher’s decision to withdraw. A Marine on Fletcher’s staff kept a journal as well as had retained other papers that show in two days of battle Fletcher had lost a huge portion of his Wildcats, ships in battle (particularly destroyers) gulped fuel at a far greater rate than anyone realized in peacetime, there was only one oiler left out of Noumea after one had been torpedoed (which meant if he didn’t pull away from the battle his ships would be sitting ducks for the subs operating in the area in addition to aircraft should the one remaining oiler get disabled or sunk), so his position was really untenable.

    Don’t want to ruin it. I haven’t read Target Rabaul but I have read Gamble’s Fortress Rabaul. I believe that’s the first in the trilogy. If you’re interested in the Pacific War I can also recommend Hell to Pay.Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan 1945-1947.

    http://www.amazon.com/Hell-Pay-Operation-Downfall-1945-1947/dp/1591143160

    It’s actually chilling to read how well the Japanese anticipated where the US would land and what it would do should it have attempted to invade Japan. Just the chapter on planning for casualties, how MacArthur’s medical staff planned to supply whole blood from donors in the states to the troops (back in the 1940s it was impossible to keep whole blood fresh and useable very long, and they simply couldn’t rely on forces in theater to supply enough) is sobering because while they panned a massive effort it wouldn’t have been enough.

    Parshall and Tully have maintained a website about the Imperial Japanese Navy for years.

    http://combinedfleet.com/kaigun.htm

    Tully also has a new book out about the battle of the Surigao Straight.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  105. In the news you can use department: I’m sure a lot of you have heard to stock up on incandescent light bulbs because the federal enviro nazis have decreed we can’t use them any more because global warming.

    The good news is that that ban has so many loopholes it’s really not a ban.

    One of the exempted types is rough service light bulbs. These are designed for industrial applications. Apparently the mercury filled bulbs don’t resist vibration very well so it would be a hazmat problem to use them in certain applications.

    But the feds have no problem turning your your home into a hazardous waste site.

    They’ll fit your light fixtures, and there are no restrictions on who can buy them. So there are lots of places where you can order all the 100w or whatever bulbs you need to your heart’s content. For instance:

    http://www.lightingsupply.com/incandescent-bulbs/specialty-bulbs/rough-service.aspx

    http://www.1000bulbs.com/category/rough-service-light-bulbs/

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  106. Comment by Simon Jester (c14723) — 1/12/2014 @ 1:50 pm

    I guess it just goes to show what lengths the nasty critters drive some folks to.

    If you want to annoy them back, put out some sugar cubes, and watch their responses as they try to “wash them”…

    Yes, I too am looking forward to Unbroken. I was humbled to think of the courage and resilience the guy had. Yes, I hope they detail the significant things in his life after the war. Last heard, he was still alive.

    I have thought about seeing Lone Survivor, but I haven’t.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  107. I feel bad for Elissa to have to witness this travesty of a game in person.

    JD (d70bfc)

  108. #107: Steve, Thanks for the recommendations, I’d have “Black Shoes” on my Kindle shortly after dinner, if the publisher had made it available in an e-format. As it is, I’ll have it by Tuesday.

    It is educational (disturbing, freightening, sobering) to read these histories and then to compare even those failed adults from WWII (I’d put MacArthur in this group) with the children that currently “lead our country”. Your comment on unsinkable Midway, and likewise Rabaul, is on target, but it is also true that damage control and ship design played an important part in the outcome at Midway. In Castles of Steel, Massie makes the point that in WWI the Germans had superior ships mainly because their design goal was to make them hard to sink … they were supposed to stay afloat despite battle damage … and this almost made the difference.

    The Japanese had arguably the best carrier pilots at the beginning of the war, but they were regarded as just another piece of material that could be sacrificed for the Emperor, and as I read it, they made no effective plans to train the next generation of pilots. The idea that these men were, infact, the essential elements of the Empire was not compatible with the death-oriented culture that the Japanese Army was inculcating in the pre-war years. The belief in the mythical superiority of the Japanese warrior was supposed to outweigh technology, training, and tactical competence. And as a result they expended these men, and paid a horrible price two years later, thank goodness. On the technological front, we have a terrific museum in Seattle that features U. S., British, German, and Japanese fighter aircraft from WWII, (as well as WWI on the second level,) and it is immediately apparent when you compare the various planes that the U. S. was a generation ahead of the Japanese by 1943. The top-rated Japanese fighters were 1400 HP, highly maneuverable light-weights that relied on pilot skill. They had little chance against our 2000 HP armored beasts (Corsairs, Mustangs, P-47s) once their poorly trained (many front line Japanese pilots had just a 100 hours of flight time before they were sent to battle) replacements confronted our well-trained (500 to 1,000 hours of flight time) and numerous air forces (naval and land based.) In my view, this reflects societal priorities more than technical feasibility. Certainly the Japanese torpedoes were superior throuhout the war, so you can’t presume technical incompetence on the part of our enemy.

    I’m also looking forward to reading “Hell to Pay”. Howard Hughes’ “Spruce Goose” was designed so that a fleet of them could ferry hundreds of critically wounded soldiers back from Japan on a daily basis following the planned invasion. I have nothing but contempt for all my Boomer “friends” that made their debating careers arguing successfully that the atomic bombs we used on Japan were not needed. The atom bombs clearly saved tens of millions of Japanese lives, let alone millions of U. S. GI’s.

    War is Hell. As I fear my children are about to learn.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  109. I did not know that about the Spruce Goose, one is given the impression, it was just a vanity project,

    Here’s another example why people come to loath politics;

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/jeffrey-goldberg-smacks-down-santorum-overplaying-scandal-quality-of-gates-memoir/

    narciso (3fec35)

  110. 112: Narcisco, I watched the clip, and about all I can say is that I don’t regret missing these kinds of shows for the last decade. Code Duello, with no sex differentiation, would improve the civility of our political and journalistic classes, and also encourage a certain integrity that is totally absent. The loss of a few score every year would hardly be noticed. It would make better TV than the so-called reality shows.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  111. The game was sheer torture, JD. The team that showed up in orange had to have been impostors that overtook the #23 rated team’s bus somewhere between Champaign and Evanston. They could not sink a basket to save their souls. It was embarrassing and even more so since the audience in attendance was prolly more than two to one Illini “fans”. I think the officiating stunk up the joint too, but it really didn’t matter that much to the outcome. Did the officiating look as bad on Teevee as it did in person?

    elissa (5b28d4)

  112. 79. 107. 111. I think this actually should have been in the “What I’m Reading These Days” thread – or at least it used to be about that.

    I’ve got to mention some things sometime.

    Sammy Finkelman (28600b)

  113. Everybody gets the urge to comment on commenting etiquette, from time to time. Do not succumb to the urge, Sammy. Fight it.

    nk (dbc370)

  114. …but it is also true that damage control and ship design played an important part in the outcome at Midway.

    As a proud graduate of flight deck firefighting school I never meant to dispute that for a moment. Which is why I didn’t mention it. I thought you covered it and there was no need.

    …The belief in the mythical superiority of the Japanese warrior was supposed to outweigh technology, training, and tactical competence. And as a result they expended these men, and paid a horrible price two years later, thank goodness.

    Longer than that. In April 1945 the battleship Yamato made its final sortie. The official orders read that she was supposed to beach herself on Okinawa and lend her guns to the effort to beat back US invasion forces.

    In fact, she was just bait. She was simply supposed to draw off USN air cover so that the waves of Kamikazes could attack the fleet relatively unmolested. Counting the crew of her escorts which also went down, something like 4,000 Japanese sailors went down in this fools errand of a diversion. Such was American naval superiority that they could send aircraft from 10 carriers to crush these ships under the weight of their bombs and still maintain air supremacy over the invasion fleet.

    It’s hard to know what, if anything at all, the people who came up with this insanity were thinking. The attack force sent against the Yamato and her consorts did include fighters, but only for strafing and only because the USN had so many to spare. The USN expected no resistance in the air, and got none. There was no air cover over the Yamato. But the USN was able to send fighters simply because they had them in abundance. There were plenty left to ensure that the kamikazes didn’t have an easier time getting through to the ships than any other day. The diversion failed as it was destined to do.

    Really, the only reason if you can call it a reason is that the Army was grumbling about its men getting slaughtered on Okinawa while the Navy did nothing. So out of their sense of honor the Navy sent its last remaining surface task force out to die uselessly just so they could say they did something. Even if it was only symbolic.

    Such is yamato damashii, the Japanese spirit. That was supposed to be Japan’s secret weapon. Consequently except for tokko or suicide weapons the Japanese didn’t innovate much during the war. The attitude of the senior officers was that the weapons they started the war with for the men who humiliated the Europeans from Pearl Harbor to Malay, so they were still good enough in 1945.

    As the Yamato sortied, the survivors recalled after the war, the junior officers were reviewing intelligence reports on British and American advances in anti-air and anti-submarine warfare. At least one noted in the margins of the report that Japan’s only hope was to kill all the officers above the rank of Lieutenant Commander and start over. That’s how contemptuous were of their seniors who accused them of lacking yamato damashii, or fighting spirit. As another J.O. spat at an admiral in a conference following the Marianas Turkey shoot, it’s all well and good to talk about fighting spirit but in a sword fight it’s the warrior with the longer sword who usually wins.

    The Japanese, especially due to radar, were being outranged. The Americans were detecting and attacking them before they could hope to detect let alone attack the Americans.

    They had little chance against our 2000 HP armored beasts (Corsairs, Mustangs, P-47s) once their poorly trained (many front line Japanese pilots had just a 100 hours of flight time before they were sent to battle) replacements confronted our well-trained (500 to 1,000 hours of flight time) and numerous air forces (naval and land based.) In my view, this reflects societal priorities more than technical feasibility.

    You forgot the F6F Hellcat, the fighter that more than the others you mentioned really destroyed Japanese air power. It too had the 200hp P&W R-2800. It wasn’t as good a fighter as the Corsair, but it wasn’t supposed to fight the Corsair. It was supposed to fight the Japanese, and it was far better than the Zero and almost all Japanese Army fighters.

    It also was a lot easier for 90 day wonders to land on the boat. The Corsair on the other hand got a reputation as a fickle beast. That’s why the F6F was nicknamed the Ace Maker, while the Corsair was nicknamed the Ensign Eliminator. For a variety of reasons the Hellcat achieved a 19:1 kill ration (the highest of any fighter in combat ever) and was responsible for shooting down 75% of all Japanese aircraft downed by the Navy and Marines. Part of that was because the Hellcat was so much easier to fly. Part of it was due to the fact that the F4U had teething problems. When it got to the fleet the Navy initially refused to certify it for carrier operations. Marine squadrons and the USN Jolly Rodgers flew it from land bases instead. By the time the Navy figured out how to train pilots just out of flight training how to get aboard without killing themselves the F6F had shot down most of what the Japanese had left to put in the air.

    Plus the Navy got three Hellcats for ever two Corsairs because they were cheaper to build.

    And, yes, the Japanese could build fighters faster than they could train pilots. Not like they could build a lot of fighters. And that did represent their social priorities.

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  115. *the weapons they started the war with were good enough for the men who humiliated*

    Steve57 (f8d67f)

  116. “The top-rated Japanese fighters were 1400 HP, highly maneuverable light-weights that relied on pilot skill.”

    An excellent book is Herman the German, about a German engineer who wound up in Chennault’s Flying Tigers in China in 1941 and succeeded in putting together the first flyable zero the US had managed to obtain. This allowed them (us) to learn its characteristics, like the absence of sealing tanks, and its other vulnerabilities.

    Before this, which occurred about late 1942, the zero was a mystery.

    Mike K (cd7278)

  117. #117: Steve, Thanks for picking up my drop … the Hellcat was indeed a game changer. I recall that one flyable zero was recovered up by Dutch Harbor. It went down during the diversion the Japanese staged at the time of Midway. It flipped while attempting a landing on rough ground. I just downloaded Herman the German to my Kindle and will check him out. He sounds like a lot of the WWII vets who made our post war aerospace manufacturing so successful.

    Senior leadership and their motivating presumptions are critical. We may learn this once again to our regret. But as bad as things are, the country was in worse shape in the 1850′s. Now all we need to do is discover a Lincoln … and then a Grant.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  118. Lincoln and Grant, I’m in.

    mg (31009b)

  119. Elissa – the poor play so overwhelmed everything else that the crappy officiating faded into the background.

    JD (5c1832)


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