Open Thread 2 November 2019

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20 Responses to Open Thread 2 November 2019

  1. d74 says:

    I would like to share a testimony of a Frenchman, the Honourable Jean-François Deniau, presented in a volume of his “Mémoires de 7 vies”. (“Memories of 7 lives”) To understand what followed, it is worth recalling that he was in Vietnam (Central Highlands) in 1953, a confirmed and distinguished guerrilla fighter (military medal and legion of honour), just before he entered ENA (ENA: university school that manufactures senior French officials, all trained on the same template.)
    In the early 1960s, he was French ambassador to the capital of a French-speaking African country. The US military attaché, a USMC colonel, came to see him, seeking his opinion on the form of fighting that the US army should adopt, before the massive US engagement in South Vietnam.
    Answer: “Living with the villagers and protecting them. Fighting at night, barefoot, light weapons, food on the country” follows a digression on the nutritional value of insects and the stinking nuoc-mam. He insisted strongly that it was essential not to abandon the night to the enemy’s initiative.
    Reflection of the US attaché: “I knew you were going to say all this. We will do exactly the opposite. We will impose a war on them at an altitude of 10,000 feet and all our aseptic food will come from our base in San Diego.”
    We know the rest: the (too) great power etc…

  2. Factotum says:

    Tune I also heard from the USAF – Dept of Limited War at Wright Patterson AFB – in the late 1960’s – we have superior fire power. Of course we will defeat them. If only we could release our full fire power.
    Teaching us yet again, wars should not be left to the generals or admirals. Again the Founders brilliant wisdom – a civilian commander in chief. Even back when it took many long minutes to reload a musket.

  3. Factotum says:

    Reminds me of the lessons from Barbara Tuchman’s “The March of Folly”- wooden headedness is what loses wars; not wins them. And also what gets one into them in the first place. In adequate supplies on both sides of the battle lines.
    Easy to be sanguine after the shooting ends. Which is never meant to demean those who did fight so valiantly and stood in for me, whenI never had to go. McNamera’s “Lessons and Tragedies of Vietnam” was unfolding at the same time GW Bush was using those lessons as an antithesis play book before Bush’s own choice to invade Iraq.

  4. different clue says:

    The picture hints at possible head-and-nose cold. Something I found that works for me is to take chicken soup and put as much tabasco sauce into it as I could stand, and it would loosen up and drain the runny nose for a while. Just a thought.
    Decades ago in elementary school, Teacher taught us kids that you could foretell the winter by reading the woolly bears. But I didn’t remember exactly how you did that. Recently ( decades later) I have tried finding that out. There are so many conflicting theories.
    A co-worker whose husband hunts and tries foretelling the winter through various nature signs said that the way to read the woolly bears is by the length and relative placement of the central chestnut band between the black front and back of the woolly bears. The nearer it starts behind the head the sooner winter will start. The closer it ends to the tail, the later winter will end. The longer the center band is overall, the longer winter overall will be.
    So far this fall I have seen three woolly bears. One was dead and said nothing. The other two were both almost entirely chestnut middle band with almost no black at all at the head and the tail ends. According to the theory I am working with, that means winter will start extremely early and end extremely late. And for part of the country, winter has made a very early appearance. So we will see . . .
    Just in case some of us-the-readers don’t already know what a woolly bear is, here is a bunch of pictures.;_ylt=AwrJ6ydl8r1daFYApShXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEya3ZjZ2xrBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjkwNTBfMQRzZWMDc2M-?p=woolly+bear&fr=sfp

  5. John Merryman says:

    Following on the general theme d74 mentions, here is an essay I’ve been working over, as to why our cultural assumptions seem so divorced from biology;

  6. turcopolier says:

    There are inventive soldiers and not inventive soldiers. The first kind get promoted to general in a deeply bureaucratic structure like the one our army had become.

  7. turcopolier says:

    In the Age of Napoleon really well drilled infantry could load four rounds a minute.

  8. turcopolier says:

    The Big Army and USMC did what the attache said. The Little Army and marines fought much more like the Frenchman advised. We who fought the French style war won the COIN War and the US Army and USMC heavy forces defeated the NVA. The North Vietnamese government and US leftist sympathizers defeated us in the IO war in the US.

  9. J says:

    Screw up, get sent to Kamchatka. That’s what happened to some recent graduates of the Russian FSB Academy in Moscow. Guess somebody forgot to mention to them that they were to remain in the shadows, not parade themselves as bunch of strutting peacocks. The Kremlin was none too happy with the FSB bunch over it. The Kremlin left it to the FSB boys to clean up their own mess, so they did.
    FSB Academy graduates who screwed up were given a choice, they could resign and leave the FSB, or they could do time in the Kooler [just like the TV show Hogan’s Heroes who frequently had to do time in the Kooler cause they pissed off Colonel Klink]. The FSB’s version of the Kooler are assignments near the border regions like Kamchatka or Chukotka. Both are approximately 8 hours 10 minutes flight time away from Moscow.
    Makes a person wonder if this is the FSB’s version of repopulating and developing the far regions.

  10. Johnb says:

    Today is Yesterday Tomorrow. We live at the point of Now, that is when all the Probabilities of the future become the reality of our existence and the record for the past. The future is Quantum, the past Newtonian. Ignatius of Loyola offers a different path for understanding the purpose of life, one of Spiritual exercise and meditation. I enjoyed reading your essay John.

  11. Factotum says:

    California has one remaining sane, voice of reason: Victor David Hansen who asks “Is California Post Modern”?
    Has the state finally reached Peak Liberalism and will it finally slide back into conservative backlash and reform. And make Kamala Harris a one term senator.

  12. turcopolier says:

    I know Victor well. It is a shame we never got on as well as I would have liked. We both resigned from an important board in protest against a board putsch against the president of the foundation. Sound man.

  13. Fred says:

    Worse is better; more regulation, more immigrants and less policing help politicaly cleanse the middle Americans from California, leaving the elite left and the credentialed class in firm control. I wonder which oligarchs will wind up in control of PG&E the way Carlos Slim wound up owning Telmex. Ain’t lefty politics great for the elites?

  14. JamesT says:

    I’ve been told by Russians that in Soviet times only the best and the brightest got into the KGB. You had to have graduated with top marks from a top University, and then perform extremely well on the entrance exams.
    I would imagine that the FSB has retained that cachet.

  15. JP Billen says:

    A former marine at the local VFW chapter was one of those that lived with and protected the villagers using just light weapons and eating the local food. He claims it was a three star, Lewis Walt, that championed and supported the program despite the grumbling of the fire-power advocates on his own staff, who called him Big Dumb Lou behind his back. He also faced opposition from Westmoreland.

  16. Mark Logan says:

    He’s calling on the State to fix the roads. Is that conservative or liberal? I’m becoming confused as to exactly what those terms mean. Victor decries the lack of power the State has, and labels that leftist? He says the wealthy are too heavily taxed. Does he want the poor taxed more? I recall the days when Eisenhower had the wealthy damn near taxed out of existence, so was Eisenhower a leftist? He says the State doesn’t do enough to fix the income disparity, and labels that “leftist”?
    The explosion in property values…which are largely responsible for the explosion of homelessness in the cities of the West…he blames the State for that, and labels it the result of leftist government. Does he expect a Rightist state to fix that? How? With Rightist rent and housing controls?
    The labels make us stupid. We seem to be required to first consider what ideology we are using before considering a COA here.

  17. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Highly recommended read. Author response to review of his book & then some.

  18. JohninMK says:

    That included Putin who was and probably still is, a skilled linguist.

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