Friday, December 10, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The sales staff was very knowledgeable about the Herman Miller chairs. I was shown the exact differences between the basic and fully adjustable models as well as the newer Mirra model. Further, I learned some tips on positioning the model I had at work that I did not know. I ended up buying the fully adjustable model and drove away from the store with it in my van.
I don't often find such all around excellence in a store, so wanted to give them a little praise on the blog.
FTC Disclaimer: I may or may not have received valuable consideration in the form of swag, jack and/or coin to endorse these products. I am not saying and have the right not to do so.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
When I was in the Navy I always knew that if I was in real trouble, I could count on the Marines. In the 1990s, I had to arrange a submarine change of command on short notice. A color guard is a traditional part of the ceremony, marching in with the the nation's flag as well as the flags of the Navy and Marine Corps while the national anthem played. The day before the ceremony, at our only available rehearsal, the base color guard, made up of Navy sailors, showed up. They did not strike me as particularly military looking. Two of the sailors needed haircuts and the woman member of the team was pregnant. Call me sexist, and some will, but a pregnant woman carrying a flag, in military formation or not, does not look particular fearsome or military. They could barely march either.
I was in charge and I was in a panic. Then I remembered, there were Marines on the base as part of a weapons security detachment. I promptly dialed them up and asked to speak to their commanding officer. I was told that he was on leave, and my heart sank, but it shouldn't have. It turned out the executive officer was acting as C.O. and was ready to make a command decision.
"We can do it," he said to my great relief, "I only want a few things for my Marines." Oh crap, I thought, here it comes. The major continued "I want my Marines to get a meal on board the ship." "Done," I replied. "And I want them to be given a tour of the submarine and be given an official photograph of the submarine signed by the Commanding Officer." "Done" I said again, with what I hoped wasn't too audible relief.
The next day the Marines showed up and they looked great, they marched with precision and the ceremony was a great success. The old and new skippers were both happy and I had learned a valuable lesson, when you're in trouble, call the Marines.
I made sure those Marines got all that was promised as well.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
If you want to know more about the group performing the music, click here. Here is a little video from the first half. No video yet from the second half, but Collingwood continued the domination displayed here.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Better yet, watch the ending yourself. Collingwood Magpies are in black and white vertical stripe, the St. Kilda Saints are in white.
This is the perfect sport to fill the time between the NBA finals and the start of the college football season. But seriously, for Michele's Aussie cousins I have one question, a draw? In the the equivalent of the Super Bowl, there's no rule to conclude the game? Are you kidding me?
This game lends itself to so many really good options. To help out the Aussies and convince ESPN to broadcast more of this great sport I offer the following options so that the Grand Final doesn't end in a draw, waiting another week for a replay.
- Sudden death. Like American footy, except perhaps you have to score a goal, not just a behind to win. Maybe you could also win on six behinds.
- A ten minute overtime period, sort of like basketball, the game that Aussie Rules Football most reminds me of.
- First team to score 9 points or similar, that might be interesting, because getting some behinds would also count for something.
Friday, September 24, 2010
As a reminder and encouragement I am posting the highlights of arguably the most important Collingwood win of the season, against last year's champion Geelong that sealed their top seeding.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
I had the pleasure of watching a very enjoyable watchable sport yesterday, at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, where the Collingwood Magpies defeated the Carlton Blues 105-57. For Americans who have never seen the sport, it has elements of rugby and basketball and has quite a quick pace. The 105 scored by Collingwood was typical of a winning score. I'm not going to try to summarize the game, there are decent explanations here and here.
I adopted the Magpies because one of our hosts here in Australia, Mrs. Daddy's cousin is a big fan. Collingwood has the biggest fan base in the country, but has only won one championship since the league was changed from the Victoria Football League to the Australian Football League. This year, they are in first place, but the bookies still have the second place team, and last year's champions, the Geelong Cats as the favorites to win it all.
I liked the game, because it really took a minimum of explanation to understand the basics of play. Also, like basketball, your team can shift from offense to defense in a blink, as the ball is always in play. Because scoring often depends on getting a free kick close to the goal, tall strong players have an advantage, but the size of the field, about 150m by 135m, along with the need to run the length of the field, means there are no fat players on the field. In fact, there are a mix of players of varying speeds and sizes. The game puts a premium on overall athleticism. I saw some amazing catches (marks) with players going high in the air to grab the ball. The other amazing feature was the ability of some players to quickly launch an accurate kick towards the goal regardless of body position.
Given the relative size of the population, AFL is wildly popular. The cricket grounds weren't filled, but there were close to 78,000 in the stands. Like stadiums around the world there was overpriced beer and food for sale, some of it a little different. We all tried a meat pie; it was alright. The fans were overall well behaved. I was a little nervous because the fans are mixed in the crowd, there wasn't a particular side on sat on. (Also complicating the picture is that fans of both teams might be members of the Melbourne Cricket Club, as is our host. As a consequence, both Blue and Magpies supporters were mixed in the members section.)
The other interesting item was that we felt compelled to stay to the end of a blow out and not leave until we had sung the club song.
Good old Collingwood forever,
we know how to play the game.
Side by side we stick together,
to uphold The Magpies name.
Hear the barrackers a shouting,
as all barrackers should,
Oh, the premiership's a cakewalk
For the good old Collingwood.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I also wanted to show some video from a Collingwood playoff victory in 2008.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Chuck Norris may be tough, but can he do this? Check out this headline from the War In Afghanistan.
A brave British soldier who was shot in the face by the Taliban spat out the bullet – then walked nearly two miles for treatment before being rushed home for an emergency operation.
Stormbringer has the full story from the Daily Mail.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
From Allen Hunt at Townhall:
So why in the world did Lebron James land in Miami? Love and family.
As is well-known, Lebron never had a relationship of any kind with his father. In fact, it is unclear if the identity of his father is even known.
His need for love, family, and direction were filled by a group of childhood friends with whom he formed such a close bond that they played youth league, AAU, and then high school ball together. Very little change occurred in that group. They bonded, and with the help from a few teammates' fathers, Lebron emerged as the best high school basketball player in America. However, he did not emerge as the leader. Other players in that childhood fraternity led the team; Lebron starred. And there is the crucial difference.
The top dog role does not suit him well. Deep down, he prefers to draft behind the leadership of a stronger personality – his point guard in high school, and now Dwyane Wade in Miami. Lebron is Pippen. Wade is Jordan.
It is no accident that lead dogs like Kobe, Jordan, and Wade all had strong fathers in their lives. Lebron did not. As a result, he is still emerging as a man.
I know this is hard to explain, but I read those last words and I just want to cry for LeBron James. It sounds silly; he pulls down more in a year than I will in my lifetime, or several, but I truly feel sorry for him if that article is accurate. But I was blessed by a father that was always present in my life, even to this day, and feel a sense of self confidence as a result that I had always taken for granted.
Which brings me to Obama. We elected a President who has some of the same issues as LeBron. His father was mostly absent from his life. He never had to lead before and it seems to weigh him down. His most important priority? Health care. His response? Let the Congress figure it out. His biggest crisis? The oil spill. His response? Blame others, try to look tough, fail. Peggy Noonan commented that he looked snake bit; that comment comes into clearer focus when you understand that he probably isn't emotionally ready to be a leader. God help us all if there is a real crisis. Perhaps he will rise to the occasion if called upon, certainly, the nation is capable of rising to the occasion even if its leader falls short.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
As an advisor to major corporations, he focuses on building the capacity of organizations to develop and implement future strategies and on the creation of tools that enable this process.I'm jazzed. This is either proof that these Russians were very clever imitators of our culture, or... (drum roll please) they have been responsible for destroying large swaths of the American corporate landscape with ridiculous theories about management effectiveness. Hence the title of this article, stolen from Mr. Rich.
Before his web site is removed and perhaps lost to posterity, I have captured his personal page to document the diabolical treachery of the Russians.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Second, a much more popular game that had great music at every level, and was one of the most popular games on one of the most popular platforms of all time, here is the jungle theme from Donkey Kong Country:
Friday, June 18, 2010
Mrs. Daddy and I have argued about whose version is the best for a number of years; so out of fairness, here is her favorite version:
Thursday, June 17, 2010
The outcome was another Laker loss to the hated Celtics, and in the last seconds of a game 7, no less.
1972's championship run, including a record 33 game winning streak, went some ways in the healing process, it was great to see Jerry West finally get a championship ring. But as satisfying as it was to beat the Knicks, they weren't the Celtics.
Then in 1984, I thought the Lakers would have a great chance to avenge all those losses against the Celtics, but again, somehow the Bostonian prevailed, in a heartbreaking 7 games, again.
In 1985, led by a 38 year old Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, the Lakers finally beat the Celtics in the finals, making me very happy. Finally, we had beat the Celtics. Winning again in 1987 against Boston was sweet as well. Put to bed the meme that LA couldn't beat the Celtics.
Fast forward to 2007-2008. The Lakers had struggled following the loss of Shaq, half of the threepeat tandem along with Kobe Bryant. Lacking the right big man in the middle, the Lakers had suffered for a few seasons. Pau Gasol came to the team in March and immediately had an impact. I hadn't really expected the Lakers to win the Western Conference at the start of the season, I really thought the Spurs would take it again, but Pau Gasol gave them a fighting chance. Meanwhile, the Celtics were dominating the East with their big three. As the Lakers proceeded through the finals, I was worried, because I didn't think that the Lakers had enough time together as a unit to beat the Celtics and I was right, they lost in six games. I watched the whole brutal final loss of 39 points.
Given all that history, I had a lot invested in this series. As it came down to a seventh game, I was also keenly aware that the Lakers had never won a seventh game against Boston. When they got behind by 13 points, I admit that I was so upset I turned the game off for a few minutes. But they came charging back, despite shooting horribly the whole game, both from the floor and from the free throw line. They had played clutch defense the whole game, and that had kept it close. In the fourth quarter, Kobe willed the whole team forward as the chiseled out a small lead, clamped down and won the game. This really exorcises the demons, a seventh game victory against the hated Celtics, with the Lakers being the tougher, more defensive minded, willful team, reversing roles long assumed. Team sports don't get any better than this.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Waynok has a short restaurant review of Phil's as part of a birthday post for mew2ds over at Project Scatterbrain. We had a great time; I must say I favor the beef ribs over the pork baby backs, but they were both delicious. What Waynok didn't mention was the nice selection of local craft brew on tap at Phil's, making it the perfect place for ribs. It is darn close to Rendezvous in Memphis, where the section of the menu for chicken and other non-rib items says "Hard as it is to believe, not everyone eats ribs every chance they get."
Friday, June 11, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Anyway, the Offshore Tavern and Grill is a place my handsome brother-in-law Dean would like. It has a good assortment of local brews on tap (we had the Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale) pretty waitresses that are efficient and pleasant, a nice looking wood bar, a pleasant view and the aforementioned flat screens all over every wall. The food was decent, with very generous portions and the price was right. It is near another place on Morena Blvd. that Dean likes, The High Dive. I give this place a thumbs up and hope to have some good times here with family and friends.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
In an earlier post, I discussed how the competition of sports can become sublime. Today, two things reminded me of ways that sports teach us other lessons. First, Peggy Noonan discusses the blown call that cost Tiger pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. Not the blown call, but the classy manner that Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce handled the outcome show us how to handle disappointment with grace. From her column:
We see the opposite of this grace too often, even in Little League, kid's soccer, etc. where the parents are often an embarrassment to the kids.
What was sweet and surprising was that all the principals in the story comported themselves as fully formed adults, with patience, grace and dignity. And in doing so, Galarraga and Joyce showed kids How to Do It.A lot of adults don't teach kids this now, because the adults themselves don't know how to do it. There's a mentoring gap, an instruction gap in our country. We don't put forward a template because we don't know the template. So everyone imitates TV, where victors dance in the end zone, where winners shoot their arms in the air and distort their face and yell "Whoooaahhh," and where victims of an injustice scream, cry, say bitter things, and beat the ground with their fists. Everyone has come to believe this is authentic. It is authentically babyish. Everyone thinks it's honest. It's honestly undignified, self-indulgent, weak and embarrassing.
Coach Wooden's passing, whose giant character dominated the sport of college basketball while he coached, passed yesterday. Dean captures a truth about some of the most inspiring Los Angeles sports figures of the 20th century:
One of the enduring ironies if you are familiar with the Los Angeles sports scene is this: for a culture that is so temporal and is entirely about "the next big thing", trendiness and glamour and which lacks substance of any kind, the three most iconic sports figures, Vin Scully, Chick Hearn and John Wooden were men of faith and family and who plied their respective trades for decades and who did it in a gracious and humble fashion in a land around them where grace and humility are considered completely foreign terms.Indeed, we notice that character counts, it matters for the long term and the success of those men and their enduring legacy rests not just on their talent but their character.
Friday, June 4, 2010
BTW, is there a movie with a more manly cast than this, with Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, and James Coburn all on the screen AT THE SAME TIME?
Monday, May 31, 2010
One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease.
It was originally known as Decoration Day, and arose out of the practice of decorating the graves of dead soldiers on both sides of the conflict. From the Wikipedia article:
The Memorial Day speech became an occasion for veterans, politicians and ministers to commemorate the war--and at first to rehearse the atrocities of the enemy. They mixed religion and celebratory nationalism and provided a means for the people to make sense of their history in terms of sacrifice for a better nation, one closer to God. People of all religious beliefs joined together, and the point was often made that the Germans and Irish soldiers had become true Americans in the "baptism of blood" on the battlefield. By the end of the 1870s the rancor was gone and the speeches praised the brave soldiers both Blue and Gray. By the 1950s, the theme was American exceptionalism and duty to uphold freedom in the world.To commemorate this day and the war in which it originated, I am linking this video. The volume is a little low, so you will have to turn it up.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
I am a long time Windows user who always had trouble getting used to the MAC operating system even though there are two Macs in the house. On Friday, I bought a new iMac, because I thought it would actually be easier to transition my work to the iMac instead of a new Windows machine. This is due to the magic of VMware Fusion. I loaded up the VMware product on my iMac as well as some enabling software on my old Windows machine. I kicked off a program overnight and voila, an image of my old machine was now on my iMac in the morning.
This was a far easier experience than I have ever had when buying a new computer. There were a few hiccups, but they weren't too bad.
1. Nobody mentioned that I would have to disable the firewall on my old Windows machine.
2. Windows wanted me to re-register the operating system. It took a while to figure out the magic words to say to get them to give me a new product key.
3. I am still having a difficult time dragging and dropping out of Windows to the Mac. Works great the other way.
The Windows image starts up way, way faster than on the original hardware. Now I have the best of both worlds on a blazing fast iMac (quad core, 8Gb Ram, 1 Tb hard drive.) Certain programs, like my smart card reader and middleware, that don't run well or at all on the Mac run just fine. Don't ask me how the underlying Mac can't run something that Windows image can.
The iMac itself is a marvel of spare design and simplicity, there are almost no wires on my desktop, making Mrs. Daddy very happy. The screen is huge and the processing fast.
FTC Disclaimer: I may or may not have received valuable consideration in the form of swag, jack and/or coin to endorse these products. I am not saying and have the right not to do so.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Friday, May 7, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Mrs. Daddy felt a little like the poor anonymous schlub to takes the bullet after an encounter with our city's fine sanitation workers. Last week, after the regular garbage pick up, she walked out to find garbage from our can strewn about the street and what had been a heretofore perfectly usable "black refuse container" was now cracked beyond use. Being the trusting fool that I am, I calmly told Mrs. Daddy to give the kindly folks at the city's collection services a call, and that all would be made right. Certainly, since the city's refuse collectors had been a wee bit clumsy with our container, we would be provided a new one. Instead Mrs. Daddy was harangued mercilessly for what seemed like an interminable part of her life as to why the city would have to charge her for a new container, and how they would have to charge her for delivery (total $95.00) and how she couldn't pay on line, she couldn't pay over the phone and if she wanted to use a credit card she would have to drive to their office.
I feel lucky that my wife didn't harm herself in a desperate attempt to gain relief from the hideousity of the bureaucrateze to which she was subjected. (Some of those words don't spell check, but dang it, they should.) Here is the helpful explanation for all of this from the city's very own web site (they're mighty proud they have a web page, even if it can't take credit cards.)
Refuse containers damaged in the regular collection process will be charged prorated replacement costs. Containers in use for more than 10 years will be replaced for $70 plus delivery, if applicable. Containers within the 10 year lifespan will cost a prorated fee based on $7 per year, plus delivery charge if applicable. Call customer service at 858-694-7000 for amount if damaged lost, or stolen container was used for less than 10 years.That clear enough for you? To quote Iowahawk, "Pay Up Sucker."
Friday, April 30, 2010
The translation of all three entries today is approximately this:
Hava Nagila Lyrics
Transcription -- Translation
Havah nagilah -- Let's rejoice
Havah nagilah -- Let's rejoice
Havah nagilah venismechah -- Rejoice and be happy
(repeat stanza once)
Havah neranenah -- Let's sing
Havah neranenah -- Let's sing
Havah neranenah venismechah -- Sing and be happy
(repeat stanza once)
Uru, uru achim! -- Awake, awake, brothers!
Uru achim b'lev sameach -- With a happy heart
(repeat line three times)
Uru achim, uru achim! -- Awake, brothers, awake, brothers!
B'lev sameach -- With a happy heart
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I was thinking that maybe she was a little claustrophobic and was just hanging out in the bathroom. But I started thinking about the situation. As we began our descent into San Diego, the middle seat was still empty. This is where a little paranoia and maybe seeing too many movies got the better of me. I stood up, looking around for our erstwhile passenger and couldn't see her. The male flight attendant at the back of the aircraft motioned me to sit down, which I didn't. I could see him push the button for the fasten seat belt sign signal, to get my attention.
Finally, I was able to get the attention of a closer female attendant and told that we had a missing passenger. She said that the woman had gotten sick and they were tending to her in the back, mystery solved.
During the time when I had some doubts about what was going on, I kept thinking about all the in flight terror movies and news reports. I just didn't want to be "that guy" who could have done something, but was too embarrassed. But I also wonder about the paradigm of the flight crew. I think they are so used to treating the passengers as sheeples, that they don't consider giving them any information, even when an anomalous condition occurs. Too bad, because on any given flight the chances that any individual wants to arrive alive approaches 100% by a vanishingly small differential.
After the fact, I also realized that I was profiling that woman, not by race, ethnicity or religion, but by behavior. Her behavior, at least what I could observe, was outside normal range. She had spent what seemed to be a long time in the restroom and didn't return to her seat for turbulence or the descent. There are a lot of clues that people give in their behavior; I think this is why Israeli methods are so successful.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Just want to add that I miss you Irish; and hope you see this someday.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
And a little more video from the Aussies:
To quote P.J. O'Rourke, "Now that's the way to waste the taxpayers dollars."
Submarines once, submarines twice....
Ok, we won't go there, this is a family friendly blog.
- Reports have been out that the regime is "under stress." It has been Kim Jong Il's classic fascist style to manufacture crises to maintain loyalty and this would be a doozy.
- The manner in which the sinking occurred, with no witnesses, is classic as well. Now Kim can plausibly claim no responsibility while simultaneously threatening more such violence.
- The sinking happened near the disputed maritime border between north and south. This gives Kim a back up strategy of claiming self defense, if his first cover story is blown.
- The link to possible NorK action was quickly played down. At first I thought that would be in the "con" column, but read this from The Guardian, (H/T Information Dissemination (ID)*)
If the sinking of Cheonan was intentional, it creates a serious crisis for the Koreas' neighbours and for the United States. None of the US, Japan, or China desire the threat of major military action on the Korean Peninsula. The US, still embroiled in Iraq and Afghanistan, doesn't want another military confrontation on its plate. At the same time, it will be difficult for the US to restrain South Korea from some form of retaliation. Japan's patience with North Korea has similarly run thin, and it is unlikely that Tokyo could be relied on too heavily as a voice of caution. Beijing has only limited affection for its North Korean client, but certainly does not want war, or even the threat of war.Cons:
- ID also reports that the ship was in an area known for rocky shoal waters.
- Commenter Marcase on ID had this to say: Interesting titbit: the PCC-772 Cheonan belongs to the ASW-version of the Pohang class, which carry 12 depth charges on the rear-deck. If there was either an accident, or a lucky shot, most of the stern would've been destroyed and the ship would've sunk like a lead pipe.
- There has been no credible evidence to date that this was a DPRK action.
- The ship apparently was underway, meaning that action by divers would be unlikely. (Sabotage by a traitor might not be ruled out though.)
- I am doubtful about the efficacy of the Stalinist technology of the North's submarine fleet. While the sub pictured might be small and hard to find, its ability to score a hit with a worthy torpedo should be questioned.
B-Daddy's professional judgment, based on VERY limited information: I go with an accident, because many things can go wrong at sea, and that's the first way to bet in the absence of other information. But I like Ian Flemings quote:
Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
*By the way, Information Dissemination and CDR Salamander are the two "go to" blogs for all matters naval.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The paradigm of a "new class" originated in socialist Eastern Europe among dissidents and other regime critics as a way to describe the ensconced stratum of managers, technocrats, and ideologues who controlled the levers of power. The rhetorical irony of the phrase depended on the implied contrast with an "old class" as well as the good old class theory of the orthodox Marxism that once served as the established dogma of half the world. The history of class struggle, which had been history altogether, had culminated in the victory of a proletarian class that in turn had ushered in—or was well on its way to ushering in—a classless society. Or so the grand narrative went. To talk of a "new class," then, conjured up the unquestionable epistemology of class analysis, while simultaneously challenging the notional outcome: instead of the end of the state and classlessness, one was stuck with police states and a new class that, while eminently cooler than the Bolsheviks of yore, still exercised a dictatorship (of the not-proletariat) while skimming off the benefits of unequal power. The phrase turned Marxism against Marxism during those decades when the fall of the Berlin Wall was not even imaginable.
Migrating across the Atlantic, the term took on a new meaning in the last third of the twentieth century as a designator of the rise of a new post-industrial professional class, the cohort of the student movement after 1968 on its trajectory into social, cultural, and political power. At stake was the gradual displacement (if not disappearance) of the old markers of class distinction and the alternative privileging of sets of linguistic and intellectual capacities, combined with the assumption that greater intelligence implied a de facto natural claim on greater power: meritocracy means that the smarter should rule. Yet this trope just reiterated, in a new context, the problem of intellectuals and power, a curious echoing of East European rhetoric. As the best and brightest claimed power in order to rule better and with greater radiance, their critics came to dub them a "new class" in order to draw attention to their sanctimonious aspirations to pursue their own interests by remaking society in their own image. Paradoxically, the conservative critique of the new class could make the "Marxist" move of pointing out how universalist claims masked particularist interests. What ensued was a decades-long conflict between, on the one hand, advocates of more enlightened and ever more expansive administration of society, and, on the other, proponents of reduced state oversight, defenders of society against the state, and the deregulated market against the long reach of political power. The political wrangling of our current moment still takes place within this framework. The complexity of the new class and its culture, however, is that while it sets out to administer society and establish bureaucracies to regulate social and economic life domestically, at the same time it attempts to ratchet down the political and military power that might be projected externally: a strong state toward its subjects, a weak state toward its enemies!
Reading the whole article, and some Volokh commentary, they are saying that pointy headed professors who take over political parties think they know more than the rest of us and should be allowed to tell us what to do.
OK, that was an oversimplification. What astounds me is that cleverness by itself is considered to be superior to experience. In some ways you could say that both liberals and neocons suffer from this same malady, but in different ways. The neocon view of Iraq, was in a word naive. That a defeated people would welcome us with open arms and we therefor did not need "boots on the ground" to secure the victory was shown in hindsight to be a grave error. But liberals suffer their own delusions about foreign policy.
Its signature contribution to foreign policy is "smart power," a term that nobly implies that boots on the ground are dumb and that some—still elusive—strategic rhetorical eloquence will make enemies vanish without ever firing a gun, since language is its ultimate power. The corollary economic policy is negative, defined by discourses of environmentalism that imagine achieving greener national spaces by exporting dirty manufacturing and energy consumption to the developing world: not in our backyard.Obama's promises to talk to Iran are the epitome of this arrogance. Note also the dichotomy of dispensing with the use of physical power abroad, but the ease to which the whip is applied to one's own citizenry. That is because it is for their own good. But we conservatives note that, and rightly, that the imposition of a greater regulation and entitlements, to be administered by an ever hungrier regime of bureaucracies guided by the professoriat, becomes self perpetuating and devolves power permanently to those who have the hubris to believe they should wield it. It is in fact, the Road to Serfdom.
Which brings me to why Sarah Palin is so hated by the Left. She is the only politician who ever laid a glove on Barack Obama, he of the golden tongue. His soaring rhetoric induced some to forget that he had achieved relatively little in his public life. She did so in a way that in our gut, we knew was true, because it talked to our experience of others like Obama who are "all show, and no dough." She did so with humor and with a reminder of the value of traditional values. Her success and her rhetoric were both an affront to the members of the "New Class" who see themselves as superior because they hold superior opinions and have a large vocabulary.
Tradition and religion, values, and experience born of difficulty are all the enemies of the "New Class" because they stand in direct opposition to their agenda of imposing the "Wholly Administered Society" on the rest of us. Sarah Palin is the walking example of success born of those attributes. Her degree from a small state school, her love of hunting and the fact that she is a good looking woman to boot, presented too much cognitive dissonance for the left to take. Hence the unbridled derangement.
Obamacare is the direct outgrowth of this thinking as well. Decades of experience with the failures of central planning do not deter those who wish power for themselves at our expense. It is an issue of freedom, and not just in the particulars, but in the global sense that it removes from us the responsibility for our own choices, without which freedom cannot exist.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
It's a mentally rough, confined life, where the abrasiveness of close quarters is more than the average guy can handle. Don't see how this will go well. Also, the fact that they are only going onto SSBNs is a career killer for the female officers, because you need both SSN and SSBN experience to understand that particular warfare environment. The Navy has no money to modify the SSNs in a way that would be acceptable, the CNO is blowing smoke.With regards to career path, SSNs are nuclear attack submarines whose primary mission is to search and sink other submarines, often the SSBNs (Nuclear Ballistic missile carrying with nuclear propulsion, I dare Bush to say that fast.) The rhythms of the two types of submarines (ignoring SSGNs for the moment) are very different. The SSBNs operate on a very predictable 112 day patrol cycle, alternating crews. SSNs operate typically in a two year cycle that includes a major 6 month deployment, but their schedules are very unpredictable. Because of the different missions and optempos, service on both platforms is considered necessary for promotion, and more importantly, should be considered for promotion. This will put the women at a disadvantage. I also know that redesign of the already extremely crowded attack subs is not in the cards. The Navy has no spare cash for this, and the Congress isn't going to cough up the bucks.
The other reality of life on a submarine is that it involves living in very close proximity to your shipmates for extended periods of time, with nowhere to go to get away from them. It's hard to explain the toll that a lengthy patrol underwater takes on the psyche. I am ill qualified to know how mixing late teen and early twenty somethings in a pressure cooker environment will turn out. My guess? Usually ok, because of the caliber of our people; but occasionally off the rails, because they are still only human.
Finally, it will make leading submariners, always a challenge, just that much harder. Not a legit argument against, just a fact. But the hypocrisy of this plan is telling me that the Navy is doubling down on political correctness.
In case you were wondering about how this would all look; the image at top is of an actual midshipmen on a submarine, the image at bottom is from a movie.