Sunday Morning Book Thread 08-04-2013: War and Peace [OregonMuse]


iraq-soldierholdingiraqichild.jpg
Evil, Murderous Oppressor of Brown People


Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to the the award-winning AoSHQ's Sunday Morning Book Thread.

It's time to be proud to be an American again

OK, so when the U.S. military shows up to kill bad guys, how should the results be rated?

a) Unquestionably bad
b) Sometimes good, sometimes bad
c) Pretty good most of the time

If you're part of the Noam Chomsky/LuapNor Axis of Poo, or are sitting around waiting for your Obamaphone to arrive, you'll probably think the answer is (a). If you hear nothing but MSM accounts of the Iraq War and post-war phase, you might also be inclined to choose (a).

However, author Michael Banzet, a now-retired Air Force officer who spent his last tour in Iraq helping to rebuild the post-Saddam Iraqi Air Force, might want to have a few words with you. Not only would Mike choose (c), but he probably thinks it doesn't go far enough to describe the overwhelmingly benign influence of the U.S. military, even when its soldiers are doing their primary jobs, i.e killing people and breaking things.

Mike discovered that not many people seem to know about this, and one of the reasons is that the MSM simply did not report the good news coming out of Iraq.

So he wrote his book, A Flowershop in Baghdad, (available on Kindle and paperback) as a corrective. I'm mentioned this book in a couple of previous threads, but now I've finished reading it, so I can review it. It's full of amazing stories about what the American military personnel were doing to help rebuild Iraq, and this also includes accounts of some brave Iraqis who risked not only their own lives, but the lives of their families, just by showing up every day as students at the schools Mike helped set up to train the new generation of Iraqi leadership.

Think about this. We complain about going home from work because the rush hour traffic is bad. At least we have the expectation of getting home alive. But an Iraqi who is working close to the Americans might get ratted out to the terrorists and killed when he is outside the secure perimeter of his work environment. So many stay there all week, and when they do go home, they take randomly chosen circuitous routes so they won't be tailed.

The stories Mike tells are amazing, funny, and poignant, and sometimes all three. Especially the one I am about to repeat. I picked it because I think it best encapsulates everything Mike is trying to get his readers to understand about how beneficial the U.S. military's involvement in Iraq actually is, and how utterly at odds it is with how it got reported in U.S. media outlets:

Mike showed up at work one morning and all the Iraqis were upset and agitated about something and he was told thst a member of one of their families were taken at gunpoint by an armed group after first smashing in the door. Nobody yet knew who the snatchers were. It could have been terrorists, usually backed by Iran, or an ad-hoc Iraqi security force called the "Wolf Brigades". Or, it could have been Americans. So Mike goes out to make some inquiries about this, and was told there were no operations in the area where the relative was taken. So Mike goes back to the Iraqis, and they're not as agitated as before. He was then told that the armed men were using Humvees, so it most likely wasn't terrorists. Mike then goes out to make more phone calls, and again comes up with no information. Dejected, he goes back, wondering what he's going to say to the Iraqis and what they're state of mind they're going to be in:


Banzet02.jpg

So, fully expecting the worst, I opened the door and walked in. To silence.

The guys were back at work, typing on the computers, drinking tea, and chatting. It was a Twilight Zone episode. I literally took a step back, absolutely flabbergasted by the bizarre world that I just stepped into. I stood there for a second, trying to get my bearings.

"Asad, what is going on?" Asad returned a quizzical look as an answer. I got a bit exasperated.
"Asad, what is going on? You were very worried for your family ten minutes ago, and now everyone is acting as if nothing happened. What is going on?"

Asad blinked as if something clicked. In that instant, I got the feeling that he realized that he had to explain something to me that was obvious to everyone else. His eyes crinkled into a soft grin.

"I'm sorry, my friend. It was the Americans."

Then he clapped me on the shoulder and returned to work.

Oh, hell no. I needed more of an explanation than that. We were the bad guys, right? We were the ones oppressing and exploiting the brown people by taking their oil. And here, in a clear-cut case of oppression or imperialism or, at the very least, racism, Asad didn't have the common decency to be mad about it.

I stopped Asad. "You said that they smashed in the door and took a relative."

"Yes?"

"Aren't you pissed?"

He gave me a little shoulder shrug and a noncommittal no. But, looking at my slack jaw, he saw that a little explanation was in order.

"Mike, at first we thought the people were attacked by terrorists, maybe from Iran, maybe from another country. They are very, very bad. They kill everyone, but first they make them tell everything. And then they get the next one and the next one…" His voice trailed off thoughtfully. "But then we thought it may be the Wolf Brigade, and that would be very bad, but not as bad. They hurt many people, but not all. There is hope if they are taken by the Wolves. Maybe one of the Shia here could call them and let them free. They don't like the Sunni, but one of our friends could talk to them. But the Americans. When the Americans take someone, they are safe. We are not worried about their safety."

"But aren't you mad that they break down doors and take people?"

"Mike…" Asad looked at me for a while. "Not everyone is good. The Americans are sometimes wrong, but it is many times that an Iraqi has given them bad information. And sometimes, if they are very wrong, they will pay you to fix what they have broken. No Iraqi would do that. But the Americans-the Americans are mostly right."

I looked around at the scene. The regular murmur of office work going on. Samir had come out of the corner where he had bravely hid. He was grinning. "It was the friendly side!" he said, as if that explained everything. And to the Iraqis, it did.


As I said, I don't remember reading anything like this in the New York Times, Washington Post, or even a long treatment in one of those hoity-toity mags like Harper's or The Atlantic.

The only complaint I have about the book is that being primarily about military matters, there's a crap ton of acronyms used that my aging memory had difficulty keeping track of. I wish there were a glossary or appendix of all these terms, I could flip to when necessary.

FiB has a slight bittersweet taste: Not everyone makes it out alive. Mike both makes and loses friends with Iraqis and other servicemen stationed with them, and he has great respect and admiration for these brave men and women. And then there's the poltroons and sanctimonious know-it-alls, and he has to put with a bunch of them, both American and Iraqi. Those he mocks mercilessly.


garagesale.jpg


Moronette author Sabrina Chase e-mailed to tell me about the

The Human Wave Garage Sale

Which is going on right now. No, this isn't cut-rate sex trafficking. "Human wave" is a distinct sci-fi sub-genre. Of the "garage sale" itself, Sabrina says

a bunch of writing friends with a similar kind of outlook are doing a group promotion involving free or cheap (discounted) ebooks for a full week. It continues until August 8.

"Human wave" novels and stories are written with old-fashioned values in mind, like love, honor, courage, etc., rather than the fashionably post-modern negation of virtue, where the moral landscape is as dystopian as the actual landscape. In human wave stories,

the ennui of the cognoscenti no longer holds sway. The...characters might sometimes be trapped in dystopia but never helpless. And if they must go down fighting, they do so gloriously and for principles bigger than themselves.

Sabrina has compiled a list of human wave authors and the books they're offering at this garage sale, and rather than copy-and-paste it here, you all can go over to Sabrina's site and peruse it for yourselves. Me, I picked up the first book of Ms. Chase's Seqyoyah trilogy, The Long Way Home for $1.99. So go over to the garage sale and you're bound to find something you like.

___________


Books By Morons

This author, a former NBA cheerleader, is a "girls' night out" friend of moronette Jane Do'h. Ms. Do'h mentioned in a thread earlier this week that she writes murder mysteries. Lois' latest novel, Liquid Lies, has just been released. The story

is set in an affluent lake town in Wisconsin, and asks the question "Would you tell the truth, even if it meant losing everything?" In Liquid Lies, the main character Cecilia "CiCi" Coe has to answer that question, before anyone else is killed.

And you can't beat the $0.99 price for the Kindle edition

___________

Long-time lurker and occasional commenter artemis has a new book out. I mentioned it a few weeks ago, but it hadn't been release yet. But that was then. Murder in Thrall is now available on Kindle or hardback. It's a contemporary British murder mystery featuring first-year Detective Kathleen Doyle and her senior partner, Chief Inspector Michael Acton, a British lord turned cop.

Acton selects Doyle out of the newbie squad to partner with him on a series of investigations because she always knows when someone is lying - a trait that comes in handy when interviewing suspects and witnesses. Acton and Doyle are sent to investigate the murder of a trainer at a racetrack. Soon, new killings related to the first start unfolding, dragging the two into ever more perilous situations.


___________


So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, rumors, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then "gee mail", and then dot you-know-what.

What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as I keep saying, life is too short to be reading lousy books.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 11:05 AM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 Still working on the Joel C. Rosenberg series.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:06 AM (lZvxr)

2 AP would caption that picture: "An American soldier prepares to eat his lunch."

Posted by: zsasz at August 04, 2013 11:07 AM (MMC8r)

3 I thought that Sabrina Chase sale was only for last Thursday and I missed it because I forgot. I guess I'll have to mosey over there.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:11 AM (lZvxr)

4 Morning all.

Still reading that James Monroe biography by Cresson. It feels surprisingly even handed. Cresson isn't afraid of criticizing Monroe when he feels that Monroe deserves it. A very good read so far.

I also happened across this:

http://tinyurl.com/pnfkjnb

It's a biography of George Washington written by Washington Irving. How did I now know that Washington Irving wrote a biography of George Washington? It just seems to make sense.

It's all 5 volumes, and I plan on digging into it shortly after I finish Monroe (I may give myself something else before then. Someone at work recommended To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Wills. It's the same guy who recommended All Families are Psychotic, so I'll definitely give it a go.)

Posted by: David at August 04, 2013 11:12 AM (6Oj/Y)

5 Based on recommendations here, I got an ancient copy of definitely non-acid-free paperback copy of Callahan's Cross-time Bar via Amazon used books. I think I need to wear gloves when handling this copy as it has a strange looking fungus growing from the spine. Entertaining read so far.

Also read section 1 of Wool and thought it well written. I was a bit ticked that the first section was so short, sort of like the old Saturday movie shorts leaving the heroine tied to the tracks. I think I will try to get the other sections.

Posted by: Hrothgar at August 04, 2013 11:15 AM (XdnQT)

6 I'm reading Blacklisted by History right now,about 230 some pages in.Man,what they did to McCarthy was worse than I thought.

Posted by: steevy at August 04, 2013 11:16 AM (9XBK2)

7 WOW! What we were discussing this morning.

Over at Breitbart:

WHY DID FDR FAIL TO RELIEVE MACARTHUR AND 151,000 TROOPS FIGHTING THE JAPANESE IN THE PHILIPPINES?

The following begins a series in five parts based on questions that arise from integrating revelations of intelligence history – specifically, the influence on US policy-making by Americans acting on the Kremlin’s behalf-- into the well-known sequence of World War II events. These questions are discussed and documented extensively in the new book American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character (St. Martin’s Press) by Diana West.


Posted by: J.J. Sefton at August 04, 2013 11:16 AM (+98Gb)

8 I was sharing that godawful tropical chocolate from the C Rats with a Vietnamese kid. A guy from Stars and Stripes took a pic, never to be seen. Nowadays, AP would caption it "Marine luring child into van".

Posted by: Bill at August 04, 2013 11:17 AM (uvyrw)

9 I finished Silo, the second in the Wool series, a few weeks ago. Enjoyed it just as much as Wool

Posted by: Lizzy at August 04, 2013 11:17 AM (Lhux0)

10 Has anyone read David Stockman's 'The Great Deformation?' I have the audio downloading right now and it appears to be quite a doorstop at 29 CDs. But the description looked promising, looking back at nearly a century of how straightforward capitalism has been twisted by both the corrupt and do-good wannabes to what we have now. It also claims to spare no feelings for either side of the political axis, which give me some hope for the book. Too many other volumes on this subject veer off into fantasy land when the author's politics come into play. In reality, politicians of every stripe have done great damage. They all have in common a belief that government is the answer to all ills, even when they are well aware of how often the problem had government at its root.

Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 11:19 AM (kcfmt)

11 7 Under the Rainbow war plan in effect there was never any plan,(nor ability) to relieve the Phillipines..

Posted by: steevy at August 04, 2013 11:19 AM (9XBK2)

12
My summer reading list:
Liberation trilogy -Rick Atkinson; Civil War - Shelby Foote; Memoirs - Ulysses S Grant; Witness- Whittaker Chambers; Conservative Mind-Russell Kirk; Destructive Generation- Collier, Horowitz; Vision of the Anointed - Thomas Sowell - at least it is a goal - may need some light trash in between the heavy

Posted by: squirrel at August 04, 2013 11:20 AM (841my)

13 8 I was sharing that godawful tropical chocolate from the C Rats with a Vietnamese kid. A guy from Stars and Stripes took a pic, never to be seen. Nowadays, AP would caption it "Marine luring child into van".
Posted by: Bill at August 04, 2013 11:17 AM (uvyrw)


John Kerry, who LIED TO CONGRESS that American troops as a matter of policy were acting like the Waffen SS and the Eisatzgruppen, murdering the Vietnamese as a matter of military policy.

Every now and then you have to just stop and realize he is Sec. of State, Samantha Power is UN Ambassador (as was Susan Rice) and an acolyte of Frank Marshall Davis and Bill Ayers is the POTUS.

Oh. My. Fucking. G-d.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at August 04, 2013 11:20 AM (+98Gb)

14 I picked up several good things from the garage sale. Thanks for mentioning it :-)

Posted by: Kort at August 04, 2013 11:21 AM (9+awa)

15 Back in May microcosme recommended a book called, "The Best Congress Money Can Buy", written by Oren Litwin.

Thank you for that. I read the book this week and I thought it was brilliant. A collection of short stories, each of which is centered on a different political experiment to increase liberty. A very positive reading experience. I would recommend it to everyone here, and that goes double for libertarians.

The Kindle version is a very reasonable $2.99

Posted by: BornLib at August 04, 2013 11:21 AM (zpNwC)

16 OSP, I read your book, Amy Lynn, last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. Quite an excellent story; I'm hoping you're planning a sequel. Thanks

Posted by: sawhorse at August 04, 2013 11:21 AM (e1h7z)

17 4 Posted by: David at August 04, 2013 11:12 AM (6Oj/Y)



Did you get that for the Kindle or in a dead tree version? There is a one star review for the Kindle version that says not all chapters came with it.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:24 AM (lZvxr)

18 Is that "Wool" the mystery story that sheep solve?


I spent the week slogging through the middle part of "The Confidence Man" by Melville. After a point I took the Norton annotated version out of the library because I became too fucking frustrated with all his offhanded Shakespearean comments where I had no idea WTF he was talking about. Just when I'm ready to throw it through the fucking window, I'll hit a chapter where he'll step back and comment that the people in it existing in the thoughtosphere deliberately have no adherence to "real life" by design, which is kind of funny considering it was written in 1851. Still, everybody in my book group is sharing my negative opinion. We're scheduled to finish it for next weekend so I'll stick it out for that.

Posted by: Captain Hate at August 04, 2013 11:24 AM (eAQEs)

19 Working on a guilty pleasure -- "Deeply Odd" by Dean Koontz. All of the Odd series of books have been great fun.

Posted by: Doug at August 04, 2013 11:26 AM (q3H4U)

20 Larry Correia is starting a book tour this week.
http://tinyurl.com/qbz4svz

I plan to go to the Easton Barnes & Noble, Columbus, OH, August 8th event. I'll be taking a copy of "Monster Hunter Alpha" for him to sign and I plan to pick up a copy of "Hard Magic" there as well.

Posted by: BornLib at August 04, 2013 11:26 AM (zpNwC)

21 Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:24 AM (lZvxr)

I got it for the Kindle. Looking at the preview, it seemed to have everything in it. There's a working table of contents and each volume's got 30-40 chapters each.

I think that review is referring to another edition. It's date is older than the publication date on the Kindle edition I bought.

Posted by: David at August 04, 2013 11:29 AM (6Oj/Y)

22 I started "The Fate of the States" by meredith Whitney.

I am only 2 chapters in so will review it next week.

Posted by: Miss Marple at August 04, 2013 11:30 AM (GoIUi)

23 #7

Funny how history changes when information is declassified and foreign archives open for examination. It amazes me how often stuff that was revealed in the last two or three decades is ignored, especially if it means the popular interpretation has to be reevaluated.

The Japanese internment, for example. To this day, a lot of people I meet still base their thoughts on this from what was taught in the 70s before the MAGIC decrypts were declassified. The internment was a painful piece of history but it cannot be ignored that it wasn't just racism at work. The Japanese government truly believed they had a network of operatives to do their bidding in the US, and some of those people may have gone into internment without ever breaking cover, even long after the war was over. We'll never know what the real threat was but as far as can tell, the schools rarely teach the full story to this day.

Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 11:31 AM (kcfmt)

24 Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:24 AM (lZvxr)

Yeah, and if you click on the link in the review, it goes to another edition.

Posted by: David at August 04, 2013 11:31 AM (6Oj/Y)

25 Recently found a good hardbound copy of John Toland's "But Not in Shame" at the local book barn, and plan to start it this week.

Whatever his politics -- and he hides them well -- Toland was a good historian, and doesn't fill the story of the first six months after Pearl Harbor with revisionist bullshit.

I doubt the same can be said for more recent observers of that war, no matter whether they are liberal or conservative.

What Toland knew -- and modern writers conveniently forget -- is that facts analyze themselves. The heroes will always be heroes, and the bad guys will always be bad, no matter how much gingerbread is served up to reinforce the chosen narrative.

Posted by: MrScribbler at August 04, 2013 11:36 AM (/RIVS)

26 "Sabrina has compiled a list of human wave authors and the books they're offering at this garage sale, and rather than copy-and-paste it here, you all can go over to Sabrina's site and peruse it for yourselves. Me, I picked up the first book of Ms. Chase's Seqyoyah trilogy, The Long Way Home for $1.99. So go over to the garage sale and you're bound to find something you like."

Seven of those books are straight up free, three of those being by Sarah Hoyt.

Posted by: BornLib at August 04, 2013 11:36 AM (zpNwC)

27 21 Posted by: David at August 04, 2013 11:29 AM (6Oj/Y)

Thanks, I think I'll download it. I wonder why it is not on Gutenberg.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:37 AM (lZvxr)

28 Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:37 AM (lZvxr)

No idea, but it seems like something that really should be.

Hard to believe a major work by Washington Irving goes unnoticed by that community.

Posted by: David at August 04, 2013 11:37 AM (6Oj/Y)

29 Just finished Chamber's Witness, and it's a must-read. It weighs in at about 800 pages, but it's difficult to stop reading. Certainly explains the media's seething hatred for Richard Nixon and what a soulless ghoul Hiss was.

Posted by: wisenheimer at August 04, 2013 11:39 AM (cTHv4)

30 We'll never know what the real threat was but as far as can tell, the schools rarely teach the full story to this day.

Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 11:31 AM (kcfmt)


That would be raaacist!

The Japs were just about as anti-white as possible.

Posted by: Hrothgar at August 04, 2013 11:39 AM (XdnQT)

31 It's just hard not to be jaded and cynical these days.

Posted by: Eton Cox at August 04, 2013 11:41 AM (QCc6B)

32 Well David I just bought it and downloaded it to my Galaxy Tab 2

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:44 AM (lZvxr)

33 LOL, I now have a back-log of books to read for a change.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:44 AM (lZvxr)

34 Currently reading Ian Mortimer's "The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England". Read his "The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England" and his biography of Sir Roger Mortimer, "The Greatest Traitor" several years ago and enjoyed them immensely.
The Mortimer biography is one of the best biographies I've read. Great portrait of a very complex man.

Posted by: Tuna at August 04, 2013 11:47 AM (M/TDA)

35 PJMedia launching "Freedom Academy Book Club"

http://tinyurl.com/lfdkeab

Posted by: BornLib at August 04, 2013 11:47 AM (zpNwC)

36 We'll never know what the real threat was but as far as can tell, the schools rarely teach the full story to this day.



Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 11:31 AM (kcfmt)





That would be raaacist!



The Japs were just about as anti-white as possible.

Posted by: Hrothgar at August 04, 2013 11:39 AM (XdnQT)


If you want a good book about the interment read "In Defense of Interment" by MM. Do not pay any attention to all the negative reviews. These are mobied up libtards trashing it for no reason other than they hate her and thing the internment was the greatest evil since the Spanish introduced slaves in America in the 1500s.

http://tinyurl.com/mzcsey9

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:48 AM (lZvxr)

37 Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:44 AM (lZvxr)

I know exactly how you feel...

Not. Enough. Time.

If only there was time enough at last...

Posted by: David at August 04, 2013 11:48 AM (6Oj/Y)

38 Thanks for the "human wave" reminder.

Second the Flower Shop in Baghdad recommendation. Banzet does a very good job of bringing the people he worked with to life on the page.

Also second the Witness rec. Although I was astonished at how big the book was (and didn't manage to finish due to "stuff") Chambers wrote very well about an important part of history. It certainly explained why the left *hated* Nixon even though he gave them a vastly increased bureaucracy.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette, assault Hobbit at August 04, 2013 11:49 AM (dnqAI)

39 If only there was time enough at last...

Posted by: David at August 04, 2013 11:48 AM (6Oj/Y)

I normally have to re-read old ones because I can't find reasonable priced stuff by authors I like. Having two (or 7) in the que to read for the first time is abnormal.
But I am retired.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:51 AM (lZvxr)

40 Apart from webcomics, I've been leafing through Stephen Rapp Jr, "Studies in Medieval Georgian Historiography".

There appears to be room for three nations in the south Caucasus. Back then they were: Armenia (the elephant in this small room), Adharbayjan / Albania (now Turkic, then Udi), and Iberia / K'art'li / Georgia. Georgia, toward the north, was a bit more internally diverse, especially from Iranian peoples - like the Ossetians, who are still there.

Rapp makes the argument that the Caucasus after the Hellenistic period was culturally part of Iran. When its major princes converted to Christianity, their nations still told myths and legends on the Iranian model (this is also the model of "1001 Nights" and the "Shahnameh"). The Armenians held onto a *Parthian* monarchy until 428 AD.

Early Georgian literature was also oriented, so to speak, toward the Persians. When the Arabs took over the Near East the Georgians remembered it as the Arabs taking over "Baghdad" (and not Damascus, Jerusalem etc). The caput mundi of the Georgians was still Ctesiphon well into the 700s.

This changed in 800 AD-ish when an Armenian family, the Bagratids, moved north to Georgia and made a deal with the Byzantines. The Bagratids switched to the Georgian language, rather than keeping Armenian or adopting Greek, but they Hellenised the rest of the culture as best they could.

What sucks about this, for me, is that the Bagratids neglected to copy the old literature of the place unless they could use it. By contrast, the Armenians were much better at copying everything. That's why we have a contemporary history of the Arab invasions in Armenian ("Sebeos") but have close to jack shit in Georgian.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at August 04, 2013 11:52 AM (d7tB2)

41 I read "American Exceptionalism" this week by Murray and found it succintly excellent.

As far as being proud to be an American--why should I? Today's American aren't. Nor appreciative. Instead they scurry about figuring out how not to offend the Progressive mob, sacrificing any and all to do so.

There are simply going to be irretrievable scenarios happening if folks don't start doing the right things.

Posted by: T. at August 04, 2013 11:55 AM (V+Gkh)

42 41

Succinctly, not succintly.

Posted by: T. at August 04, 2013 11:55 AM (V+Gkh)

43 Also read Quent Cordair's most recent short story, "The Match" this week.

Most excellent and brings in the First Amendment and private property rights to boot.

Posted by: BornLib at August 04, 2013 11:56 AM (zpNwC)

44 I read Mystery Man by Colin Bateman on the rec of someone here and really enjoyed it. Has one of the cleverest last lines of a novel I've read in a long time. The first sequel, The Day of the Jack Russell, was good to okay. And there was some stomach-rolling Obama-fellating at one point, but this was written in 2009. Wonder if Mr. Bateman has wised up by now. Probably not, so I'm going to wait until I can borrow the third installment, Dr. Yes, for free on the Kindle, and spend my money at that "human wave" garage sale.

Posted by: Gem at August 04, 2013 11:58 AM (zw+pb)

45 Unfortunately more than a few commenters on the right don't have that attitude described by the Iraqi. It's more of a kill everyone and let god sort them out and we shouldn't rebuild anything.

Posted by: Sebastian Melmoth at August 04, 2013 11:59 AM (LkCGG)

46 #36

The Spanish didn't introduce slavery to the Americas. They just took over and continued the widespread slavery that already existed. But I expect you know that.

I found it very interesting that the practice of slavery among the North American Indians followed almost the same North/South divide that would define the sides in the Civil War. The first slaves owned by Europeans in north America were purchased from the Indians who owned them first. It wasn't until it was discovered that Africans had a much better resistance to malaria, which came from Africa to the Americas in the first place, that it became a practical expense to import slaves from all the way across the Atlantic.

A world without malaria, or even a much weaker form of it, would have a very different history. But the same could be said for many other infectious diseases.

Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 11:59 AM (kcfmt)

47
In the middle of "Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave", by Adam Alter. It's a treasure trove of tips and tricks on how to reachlo-fo voters (not that the author is admitting it). The chapters on names, lable and symbols was esp. mind blowing.

Now it's devolving into leftist propaganda (is that redundant?) with spin on certain psych experiments.

Also reading "American Gun," by Chris Kyle, as much a history lesson as gun tutorial and a fun read.

Posted by: RushBabe at August 04, 2013 12:00 PM (idNGj)

48 Thank you for the free book promotion OSP. I'm reading Amy Lynn now.

I normally stick to non-fiction and fantasy/sci-fi genre fiction but I am absolutely loving your book.

Posted by: BornLib at August 04, 2013 12:01 PM (zpNwC)

49 Read "The Fairy Rescue League" by Kevin Rattan. Absolutely charming and I only noticed a couple of very minor errors.

Almost done with "The Aristotelian" by Steve Poling. The difficulty here is that the book is written in the voice of Mycroft Holmes. This sets a very high bar; the language must be absolutely perfect, but it's not. It's close, mind you, but I've seen a "who" that should have been a "whom", a principle / principal confusion, inconsistent use of the Oxford comma (and inconsistent comma usage in general), many sentences that begin with "and" or "but" (most of which would be better rendered as a clause in the preceding sentence), and a constant switching between genuine dashes and double-hyphen dashes, among other things.

To be fair, the only thing that makes most of these eye-twitchingly bad is that the book attributes them to the hand of Mycroft Holmes. Perhaps Poling should have created a dimwitted sidekick for Mycroft to serve the purposes of plausible deniability...

Posted by: Anachronda at August 04, 2013 12:01 PM (U82Km)

50 Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 11:51 AM (lZvxr)

Part of me really looks forward to retirement, but I'm decades away.

Why can't I retire at 28? Seriously? Why can't a winning lottery ticket just fall in my lap? Why can't the government pay for every aspect of my life so I can go off and be a sculptor or painter?

/joking

Posted by: David at August 04, 2013 12:04 PM (6Oj/Y)

51 #36 The Spanish didn't introduce slavery to the Americas. They
just took over and continued the widespread slavery that already
existed. But I expect you know that.

Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 11:59 AM (kcfmt)



Not true. The Spanish dumped a load of slaves on the South Carolina coast and left them. They did not sell them was the only difference from what the Dutch did later. .


It is in this book somewhere. This book is used at Wofford as a History text.

http://tinyurl.com/lkztyrk

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 12:05 PM (lZvxr)

52 #46
Now that's interesting. Are there some books you would recommend that cover Native slave keeping and the malaria angle of the slave trade?

Posted by: BornLib at August 04, 2013 12:05 PM (zpNwC)

53 Checked out the wave on Sabrina Chase's site, had her books already but got some books of other writers to give them a try.

Listened to On Basilisk Station, first of the Honor Harrington books by David Weber. Really good especially the final battle, look forward to more in the series.

Half-way through the 1300-page version of The Stand by Stephen King. Pretty enjoyable read, surprised he didn't have the virus just kill Republicans. Maybe when he edits it a second time.

Posted by: waelse1 at August 04, 2013 12:07 PM (zoxgk)

54 A very good historical fiction read which unintentionally is pertinent to our status today in Afghanistan is the Afghan Campaign by Steven Pressfield.

It's not my favorite Pressfield book but its still very good. That is how good all of his other books are.

Posted by: Sebastian Melmoth at August 04, 2013 12:08 PM (hqMfv)

55 In addition to the free books I picked up both Chase's "The Long Way Home" and "Bureau of Substandards Annual Report" from the Human Wave sale. Thanks for highlighting it!

Posted by: BornLib at August 04, 2013 12:11 PM (zpNwC)

56 The Spanish didn't introduce slavery to the Americas. They just took
over and continued the widespread slavery that already existed. But I
expect you know that.


The Castilians were also preceded by the Portuguese who were trading slaves with coastal Africans and Arabs, generations before the unification of the rest of Spain but again, you probably know that...

Another point I'm beginning to wonder is how many of those slaves, on either side of the Atlantic, were actually *criminals*. If you're in a tribe living in a forest, life is nasty and brutal. It also gets shorter if you've got a couple of assholes raiding your foodstores. When you grab the assholes, what do you do?

You could imprison them, but then you've got to feed them. You could cut their heads off, but then you'll probably start a blood-feud with whatever family spawned them. Outcasting works when it's cold, but when it's tropical there's no winter for the assholes to freeze in - they just hang around and do more raiding. There's branding, flogging and mutilation but some people can't be reached. Enslaving them? Then you've got to feed them *and* watch them.

But sending them on a long voyage - now you're rid of the assholes and you've sent a message to their family, as well.

See also, "Australia"

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at August 04, 2013 12:11 PM (d7tB2)

57
Indeed,
far too much vermitar for 3 glasses and Tabasco cold-cuts.
I'll see your slave encampments and raise you a Detroit suburb...........

Posted by: Richard...who cares at August 04, 2013 12:13 PM (BIKcN)

58 52

No books on native Americans owning them, but Sacagawea was a slave of the Hidatsas, a slave before Charbonneau got her as a wife.

If memory serves, "Black Majority" discusses in detail the failed attempt to enslave the South Carolina Indians and the switch to Africans.



Posted by: T. at August 04, 2013 12:13 PM (V+Gkh)

59
SF publisher Tor has collected the original stories from their website into the ebook "The Stories: Five Years of Original Fiction on Tor.com". Free, but you have to register first to download. Available in pdf/epub/mobi.

https://tinyurl.com/okwnj6k

150 or so stories, many by name authors.

Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at August 04, 2013 12:16 PM (kdS6q)

60 A very good historical fiction read which unintentionally is pertinent
to our status today in Afghanistan is the Afghan Campaign by Steven
Pressfield.


I had a problem with Pressfield's use of Arabic loanwords to describe the landscape of Arachosia and Bactria. There weren't any Semites in this remote patch of nowhere at the time, let alone Arabs.

It took me out of the scene and it made it too obvious that he was telling a parable, not a story.

Given that I'd read "Gates of Fire" before this, I was actually shocked that this author had written something so ham-handed and lazy.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at August 04, 2013 12:20 PM (d7tB2)

61 Posted by: BornLib at August 04, 2013 12:05 PM (zpNwC)

I don't know if that is specifically addressed in his book, but "Plagues and Peoples" by William H. McNeill is one of the best things you could ever read concerning diseases and their effects on human history.

I've read many a book over the years about diseases, and almost every author cites his book as the reason they got interested in the subject, not to mention inspiring many to become MD's.

Posted by: HH at August 04, 2013 12:20 PM (XXwdv)

62 Every now and then you have to just stop and realize he is Sec. of State, Samantha Power is UN Ambassador (as was Susan Rice) and an acolyte of Frank Marshall Davis and Bill Ayers is the POTUS.

Oh. My. Fucking. G-d.

Posted by: J.J. Sefton at August 04, 2013 11:20 AM (+98Gb)

And a Muslim is the head of the CIA.

Posted by: baldilocks at August 04, 2013 12:21 PM (Tnlh/)

63
Currently reading Ian Mortimer's "The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England".
Posted by: Tuna





Now in convenient TV form as a three part BBC documentary of the same name. Quite good and available thru your favorite file sharing methods.


Posted by: Laurie David's Cervix at August 04, 2013 12:27 PM (kdS6q)

64 I found it very interesting that the practice of slavery among the North American Indians followed almost the same North/South divide that would define the sides in the Civil War. The first slaves owned by Europeans in north America were purchased from the Indians who owned them first. It wasn't until it was discovered that Africans had a much better resistance to malaria, which came from Africa to the Americas in the first place, that it became a practical expense to import slaves from all the way across the Atlantic.

Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 11:59 AM (kcfmt)

The sickle cell trait confers this resistance.

Posted by: baldilocks at August 04, 2013 12:29 PM (Tnlh/)

65
I finished Tom Sharpe's "Indecent Exposure" and the ending wasn't much, almost an epilogue, but still, exploding ... I'll never tell.

Then I read a free mystery - "A Shot in the Bark" -I got via Book Gorilla which sends me a list of cheap Kindle books every day. I generally only get the free or $0.99 ones. Anyway, it waspretty good if only because I still don't know whodunit and it definitely kept me guessing. Suddenly I wonder if the author had made up her mind.)

Now I am reading another cheapie called "Final Argument: A Florida Courtroom Thriller" or something like that.I'm moderately annoyed that the main character had an affair with the dead guy's wife - can't guys in books behave? - but I mostly got it for the local color.

I need to finish "Beyond Belief" by Jenna Miscavige Hill, but I don't think I have time. Right now, I'd just as soon read mysteries.

Posted by: Tonestaple at August 04, 2013 12:31 PM (3yidV)

66
Boys and girls, rons and ettes, it is not my place to criticize anyone's typing, but pet peeve here:

interment = burial

interNment = what was done to the Japanese in America in WWII

I apologize for being annoying.

Posted by: Tonestaple at August 04, 2013 12:33 PM (3yidV)

67
Most of you "learned" folks sure as shit know that the Muslims were the benchmark for the designs of the slave trade back about when Mohamed was getting it on with his most recent pre-teen bride.........

jus sayin......

Posted by: Richard...who cares at August 04, 2013 12:35 PM (BIKcN)

68 Still working on the same books I was reading last week. I've been distracted by other things and haven't devoted much time to reading.

Thanks for the FiB recommendation, I picked it up and checking out the Human Wave Garage Sale right now.

Posted by: DangerGirl, full of sweet rage at August 04, 2013 12:35 PM (GrtrJ)

69
Kris Jackson is another indy author I know of - and three of his books on Kindle are free for another day. Above the Fray is a two-volume novel about the Union Army balloon corps during the Civil War, and Love Strong as death is a mystery set around the Battle of Antietam. I've downloaded, haven't started to read them yet. Currently I'm going through two books that I have as advance review editions, so they're not out yet. (I'm an Amazon Vine Reviewer, so now and again I get the occasional good freebie.) One is Bill Bryson's One Summer: America, 1927, which I am about a quarter into, and enjoy very much so far. There was a LOT going on in that particular year, and Bryson makes it a very interesting and accessible narrative so far. The other is Countrymen, by Bo Lidegaard - about the Danish resistance to the Nazi attempt to round up Danish Jews during WWII. It's painfully thorough in setting the political scene, and outlining the backgrounds of the Danish and German officials who had something to do with it. I've only gotten to the part where word of the German plan to round up the Jews is just beginning to leak out, and so far, not very much about those ordinaryindividuals who escaped, or those who stepped up and helped them.
PS - Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog is fantastic and hilarious. I second or third any recommendations for it.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at August 04, 2013 12:37 PM (Asjr7)

70 When was it a time not to be proud to be an American?
RINOs

Posted by: Navycopjoe at August 04, 2013 12:37 PM (8sFfo)

71 67
Most of you "learned" folks sure as shit know that the Muslims were the benchmark for the designs of the slave trade back about when Mohamed was getting it on with his most recent pre-teen bride.........

jus sayin......
Posted by: Richard...who cares at August 04, 2013 12:35 PM (BIKcN)

Of course. Look up the book Legacy of the Arab-Islam in Africa.

Posted by: baldilocks at August 04, 2013 12:38 PM (Tnlh/)

72
70
"SPIT"
True!

Posted by: Richard...who cares at August 04, 2013 12:39 PM (BIKcN)

73 I read a book about senior military schools. Interesting history with north Georgia and Norwich.

Posted by: NCKate at August 04, 2013 12:41 PM (nYbxc)

74 Most of you "learned" folks sure as shit know that the Muslims were the
benchmark for the designs of the slave trade back about when Mohamed was
getting it on with his most recent pre-teen bride.........


I know that one of the earliest preserved foreign treaties from the Islamic world was a "baqt" with the Nubian government, in 652 AD. Guess what the Muslims asked of the Nubians.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at August 04, 2013 12:41 PM (d7tB2)

75 Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at August 04, 2013 12:20 PM (d7tB2)

I took that these references to Arab phrases were taken from the viewpoint of Alexander's armies prior conquests.

Tides of War was on of my favorite Pressfield books. It also had a theme that history repeats itself if comparing to present time.

Posted by: Sebastian Melmoth at August 04, 2013 12:41 PM (KdfFa)

76 Why can't the government pay for every aspect of my life so I can go off and be a sculptor or painter?
Posted by: David at August 04, 2013 12:04 PM (6Oj/Y)


Yeah! And you could sculpt a statue of Michelangelo...

Posted by: jwpaine @PirateBallerina at August 04, 2013 12:44 PM (/lWM8)

77
So,

I can go to sleep now?

If I can sleep?

Posted by: Richard...who cares at August 04, 2013 12:46 PM (BIKcN)

78
I've read this column, but not the book cited therein; may get around to doing it eventually.

http://ricochet.com/main-feed/The-Most-Overrated-and-Underrated-Writers-Ever

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars at August 04, 2013 12:46 PM (+5ahd)

79 I don't know if this has been touched on before but it sounds like the SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) is going completely to shit.

Michael Z. Williamson: SFWA: Boldly Snatching Obscurity From the Jaws of Relevance
http://tinyurl.com/m88qjbz

Larry Correia adding his 2 cents to Williamson's piece.
http://tinyurl.com/n2pbtc2

Sarah Hoyt: Alas, SFWA
http://tinyurl.com/lojfl5v

Andrew Fox: Burn the Witch! Swarm Cyber-Shaming in Science Fiction
http://tinyurl.com/k6p8tbt

Posted by: BornLib at August 04, 2013 12:48 PM (zpNwC)

80 I took that these references to Arab phrases were taken from the viewpoint of Alexander's armies prior conquests.

The problem with that is that Alexander's armies didn't spend a lot of time in the Arab deserts.

The Persians sort-of did, through their Aramaic-speaking go-betweens. But their misadventure in (again) Nubia (back in Cambyses' day) kept the Persians out of the southern deserts directly.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at August 04, 2013 12:49 PM (d7tB2)

81
Most of you "learned" folks sure as shit know that the Muslims were the benchmark for the designs of the slave trade back about when Mohamed was getting it on with his most recent pre-teen bride.........

So it was slavery that Barky refers to when he speaks of "this country's rich Muslim heritage"?

Who knew?

Posted by: Krebs v Carnot: Epic Battle of the Cycling Stars at August 04, 2013 12:49 PM (+5ahd)

82 I saw part of the Philippines discussion this morning. The reason they fell to the Japanese is because they were indefensible and the US Navy had regarded them so for at least a decade. Even without Pearl Harbor the navy would not have been able to maintain a supply line across the Pacific. The only thing that kept Australia open was a skin of the teeth victory at Coral Sea.

It is 6500 nautical miles from San Diego to Manila. From Manila to Yokohama it is only 1750. The Japanese had air fields and refueling stations on many of the islands they took over after WWI. A years long amphib campaign through the central and southern Pacific was strategically and tactically necessary for the navy to advance to the Philippines with a relieving army. Otherwise the Japanese are would just whittle the fleet down bit by bit with air and sub attacks and then win the great fleet battle in Leyte Gulf in 1942 and we are out an army and a navy.

Posted by: the guy that moves pianos for a living... at August 04, 2013 12:49 PM (E3gqr)

83
I'm reminded of a movie set in WWII, based on a Kurt Vonnegut book (Catch-22?). There's a scene where a young US soldier is speaking to an elderly Italian native.


The old man explains to the GI, how Italy will "win by being defeated".


Which is pretty much what happened, isn't it?

Posted by: Optimizer at August 04, 2013 12:51 PM (Mxt9o)

84 And that old Italian guy went on to buy the Cleveland Browns....

Posted by: Lincolntf at August 04, 2013 12:52 PM (ZshNr)

85 82

Don't forget there was a "non-fortification of Pacific possessions" treaty clause from the Baval Disarmabent conferences that also played a role. The Japanese, naturally, did not follow this clause in the Mandates. Oops.

And with that, I'm off to go spend time with a subset of the incredibly small number that actually give a hang whether someone lives or dies.

Well, lives.

Posted by: T. at August 04, 2013 12:55 PM (V+Gkh)

86 That is Catch 22 but the author was Heller not Vonnegut.

Posted by: the guy that moves pianos for a living... at August 04, 2013 12:55 PM (E3gqr)

87
82
Yet, we not only kicked their ass at Midway and Coral Sea.......

We also NUC'D them.......twice.......so much for THAT scenario.......

Posted by: Richard...who cares at August 04, 2013 12:56 PM (BIKcN)

88 Uhh yeah Richard that is kind of my point. We beat the hell out of them because we didn't waste the fleet in a vain attempt to relieve the Philippines.

Posted by: the guy that moves pianos for a living... at August 04, 2013 12:59 PM (E3gqr)

89 @61 Hear, hear. McNeill is the greatest living historian (he's 95, so he interviewed Vic about the Assyrians). His "Rise of The West" was just about the only conservative overview in a generation, crediting invention and cultural interplay as the great motivating factors, rather than racial intuitions, wealth accidents, etc. He invented the idea of the opening and closing of "ecumenes."

In the wake of "Plagues and Peoples," his son J.R. became the first "environmental historian." If he stayed in that wake, that could be good, but it's probably horrible. Has anyone read any of J.R. McNeill's books?

One bone I've had with McNeill's worldview - for 40 years now -- is his presumption that great cities enculture the hinterlands around them, which exist only to supply fresh meat (of many species) to the city-centre.

If you're teaching in Chicago at mid-20th cent., this will be a popular viewpoint, but Chicago itself proves the notion false. Great cities "exist" to provision the hinterland, not vice versa. One visit to the corner of Homes and Arthington will convince you.

Posted by: comatus at August 04, 2013 01:00 PM (JNUY4)

90 The Leftists, Democrats and MFM (but I repeat myself) have chosen to side with the Islamic terrorists. At least I'll get to watch those dumbasses get beheaded on TV if the Muz are successful in conquering the world.

Posted by: Retired Buckeye Cop at August 04, 2013 01:04 PM (pHY57)

91
88
Sorry missed the ref to Leyte....

my bad

Posted by: Richard...who cares at August 04, 2013 01:06 PM (BIKcN)

92 What time is it kids?

It's Dismal Science Time!

"The Great Degeneration" by Niall Furgenson is short and bitter - we've become what Adam Smith called a "stationary society" where rent-seekers and political factions have so tied up society and that the economy and civil society withers and progress is no longer possible. Think the West becomes Mandarin China.

"Depression, War, and Cold War" by Higgs is a technical look at the US economy leading up to, during, and after WWII. He traces the origins of the military-industrial complex to the command economy established by the New Deal people working with Big Business people.

On the other hand, I'm doing a book review for a dead tree magazine on "Nuclear Energy Leadership: Lessons Learned from US Operators." Nuclear plant owners crack the whip and get real after Three Mile Island. Lessons here for the oil and gas industry; published by PennWell.

Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 01:07 PM (k876Y)

93 Thanks for the "head's up" on all the free/cheap Kindle books this week.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette, assault Hobbit at August 04, 2013 01:08 PM (TqWnD)

94
"SIGH!!!!"
head droop.......fingers getting n u m b shit!! THE SUN IS UP????
sleep now.....

Posted by: Richard...who cares at August 04, 2013 01:10 PM (BIKcN)

95 92 Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 01:07 PM (k876Y)


I'll give you a short review of the real thing. A lot of largely useless and very expensive mods forced by the NRC. The things that did improve were improved training, including the use of Simulators, and improved Emergency Procedures.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 01:11 PM (lZvxr)

96 The B-17 was envisioned as a naval patrol bomber, and if we'd had the whole order in time, and deployed, they might have made a serious dent in a Japanese invasion fleet. MacArthur's naval plan, good as far as it went, was to harry an invading fleet with PT boats. But only a handful were available. On order, you see.

Once the arsenal of democracy got its ass in gear, WWII became, in hindsight, a foregone conclusion. For the first two years of US involvement though, "acquisitions" was a real issue. It always bothers me that the arsenal of democracy no longer exists.

Posted by: comatus at August 04, 2013 01:14 PM (JNUY4)

97 just read "Mirror's Edge" by Steven Sidor-- great book-- it's a cross between a thriller and horror novel-- happened to catch the author's name used in another book I was reading and thought i'd look him up on Amazon-- sure enough, this seems to be the one to read-- his other books weren't praised as highly, but i'd definitely recommend this one-- enjoy!

Posted by: tomc at August 04, 2013 01:15 PM (avEuh)

98 I'm one of the authors featured in the Human Wave Garage Sale. My book is The Cricket Learns to Sing. If anyone interested, I'm offering the second book in the series, A Cricket At Court, for free for the next few days as well. Both are Celtic fantasies, based very loosely on Irish and Welsh mythology. Very loosely. Okay, those mythologies are more the flavor than the substance. Enjoy!

Posted by: Michael Hooten at August 04, 2013 01:15 PM (WsORg)

99 Speaking of book deals, Amazon is having a huge sale on Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series today for $1.99 each. The catch; the first two in the series are not on sale. I thought that was very odd.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 01:20 PM (lZvxr)

100 #98

Cool, thanks for the heads up Michael!

Posted by: BornLib at August 04, 2013 01:23 PM (zpNwC)

101 New one up

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 01:23 PM (lZvxr)

102 The problem with the B17's was that Billy Mitchell was wrong. Heavy bombers were no substitute for a navy with aircraft carriers. If the air force in the Philippines had been up to full strength Yamamoto would have skipped the attack on Pearl and launched the big surprise at Manila and the navy would still have been years away from being able to mount a relief expedition.

It was a sticky problem that the navy chewed on for years before the war and never did come up with a workable solution. Probably because there wasn't one given the tools available.

Posted by: the guy that moves pianos for a living... at August 04, 2013 01:28 PM (E3gqr)

103
"The Moro War" by James R. Arnold. At the end of the Spanish-American War the U.S. came into possession of the Philippines and in the process inherited Spain's war with the locals.

In the southernmost islands, specifically Mindanao, much of the population was Muslim having been converted by Arab traders in the 15th century. This little known episode in American military history represents the first time a land war had been conducted against Islam and things have not changed much since.

History buff morons would do well to spend their nickel on this volume.

Posted by: Libra at August 04, 2013 01:29 PM (GblmV)

104 @49,
A Holmes short story I thought did a good job with the characters and putting you in the period is 'Sherlock Holmes And The Adventure Of Ichabod Reed'. Seemed pretty authentic, I enjoyed it.

Posted by: waelse1 at August 04, 2013 01:32 PM (ioNsG)

105 Posted by: Libra at August 04, 2013 01:29 PM (GblmV)


And we have been thankful to islam for the 1911A1 ever since.

Posted by: Hrothgar at August 04, 2013 01:36 PM (XdnQT)

106 #95 re 92 Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 01:07 PM (k876Y)

You speak a lot of truth

"I'll
give you a short review of the real thing. A lot of largely useless and
very expensive mods forced by the NRC. The things that did improve were
improved training, including the use of Simulators, and improved
Emergency Procedures."

My take was deregulation. Once management got bonuses for steady production and high capacity factor, important to profits, they got serious about maintenance, error-reduction, training (as you noted), and corrective actions.

Add in a new nuclear liability law that could charge EVERY nuclear plant up to $100 million a year for a screwup at ANY nuclear power plant, the whole industry really got serious about supporting collaboration and beating up the weak sisters and the bad actors.

The book is a bit of mush, talking about amorphous "safety culture."

Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 01:38 PM (k876Y)

107 106 My take was deregulation.

Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 01:38 PM (k876Y)



I hope that they are not writing that. Following TMI regulations increased by the bookcase full. They literally exploded over night. And like the call for Mods, 99% of them were entirely useless and expensive.


And I never heard of this $100M nuclear liability law. I do know that every year ANI reviews your operating history and does a fire protection tour of the plant. From that they determine what your rates for the upcoming year are.


Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 01:42 PM (lZvxr)

108
The Iraq story is indeed bittersweet - no, make that infuriating- and the plaintive comments about the world not knowing the true story in Iraq are so understated.

I lived part of this myself for several years, but to make it worse, was in constant direct contact with the press there. There were very good reporters, and some OK ones - but with a few exceptions, the organizational pathologies (clueless, anti-American, Vietnam-era idiot fascists) dominate the editorial chain, so even the good stuff rarely got out cleanly. I have hard-to-believe and sickening experiences of reporters showing me their dispatches (within the last few hours), and comparing them to what was published by their organizations online - and the reporters furiously jumping up and down and complaining. Mostly the younger ones, often non-American.

My favorite was an Indian guy working for AFP. The day after the Zarqawi hit (for a while that Jordanian psycho was the hot ticket "insurgent/AQ in Iraq" personality hunted by the Coalition), this guy comes to me and, unprovoked, launches into a tirade (perfectly correct and sensible) about the outrageous "coverage" being done by AP. AP was running absurd quotes from locals who said they thought US personnel had choked Zarqawi on his litter (of course they were trying to revive him - amazing he had a pulse after being a in a house leveled by a couple 500-pounders). So this foreign journalist is raging against the idiocy and moral slander of the US press agency, I was just nodding in agreement, and deciding not to tell him my own unbelievable story about the AP bureau chief's behavior and attitudes on another matter.

Anyway, the complete, pristine moral inversion of the whole Iraq story (from rationale for the operation, to its conduct, to the practical and moral landscape of the conflict 2004-2007) by the western media, its acceptance by many (most?) Americans (both elite and rank and file), and the failure of anyone in a responsible position to correct the record and defuse the delusions pretty much ended my respect for the country and any serious optimism for what is right and good.

You've never lived until you've had to suppress a dark laugh when answering a foreigner's sheepishly offered questions about something in the US, in which the foreigner is completely correct, and is puzzled why things they learned from us or already admired about us are contradicted by things Americans are doing (post-Soviet journalists wondering media distortion in the US press, Iraqis delicately asking what the hysteria was about in New Orleans during Katrina, just a slow-moving flood after a big rainstorm, etc.).

Oh - and I love to remember how we Americans (not the kind to whine much anyway, but still) would never feel like we could bitch about our conditions when our Iraqi employees literally risked their lives everyday just to commute to the International Zone. And then I come back and see firemen/EMTs holding up banners on election days pushing local propositions to, basically, give them even more money. 2003-2013 weren't 10 years to me - they were 1,000 years, and that's how distant my respect (or real concern) for the country seem now ....

Posted by: non-purist at August 04, 2013 01:44 PM (afQnV)

109 I had the pleasure of serving with Mike Banzet in Iraq. Great book, Great guy. Thanks for the review. More people need to read this book.

Posted by: Tony S at August 04, 2013 01:46 PM (Mr4OG)

110 That was ECONOMIC deregulation of nukes. Indeed, NRC regulations hit like a no choke 12 gage at 100 yards. They rushed every bureaucrat's wish list on the industry and had to take a bunch of them back.

If you can only eat what you kill, you stay in shape to fight.

The post-Fukushima mods were not as bad but they still ordered backfits that will require backfits to the backfits. For example, filtered containments - the science is way lacking.

Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 01:59 PM (k876Y)

111 110
That was ECONOMIC deregulation of nukes.

Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 01:59 PM (k876Y)



I don't understand what you mean by that term.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 02:03 PM (lZvxr)

112 @102 The Key West Agreement was not negotiated in the Chiefs' Mess of the Ostfriesland.

Posted by: comatus at August 04, 2013 02:08 PM (JNUY4)

113 104 @49, A Holmes short story I thought did a good job with the characters and putting you in the period is 'Sherlock Holmes And The Adventure Of Ichabod Reed'. Seemed pretty authentic, I enjoyed it.

I'll give it a look.

I don't really have a problem with the story in "The Aristotelian"; it's fairly simple and straightforward. The book comes across mainly as an excuse to play a bit with the character of Mycroft and take some of those big fifty-cent words out for a stroll, which is what makes the errors annoying. Taking on the guise of Mycroft requires perfect word usage and grammar, which Poling doesn't quite pull off.

He comes really close, but can't quite seal the deal.

Posted by: Anachronda at August 04, 2013 02:09 PM (U82Km)

114 Economic deregulation was the trend to take nukes out of the traditional regulated rate of return, where a utility set rates to customers based on a return on invested capital, and make merchant generators out of them.

A merchant generator sold its power output under contract to a wholesaler. If the price agreed to was $50 per megawatt-hour, when you made a million megawatt-hours at the bus bar you got $50 million revenue. If you made zero megawatt-hours, you got nothing.

Power sales contracts area bit more complicated than that but the emphasis is on making electricity, not gold plating your plant.

Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 02:17 PM (k876Y)

115 "It's time to be proud to be an American again."

I understand the turn of phrase but I don't need the "again" because I never stopped being proud to be an American, or like some prominent amateur dietitians, only recently began to be and whose pride seems come with strings attached.


That being said, while I can be proud to be American, that does not mean I am proud of all Americans! Most of them yes, but if you are a card-carrying Democrat please just stay out of my life and go fuck yourself, and that includes relatives and former friends. It is past time to take sides in what has become a Cold Civil War, and you have taken the other one.

Posted by: Ray Van Dune at August 04, 2013 02:28 PM (qIFL7)

116 Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 02:17 PM (k876Y)



No utility has been "economically deregulated" by that definition. CA, thanks to ENRON, is probably the closest and they have the most screwed up system in the country. The last time I had data available their rates were roughly twice the average in the country. Rates are still set by the PSC and they quit giving the utilities the "rate of return" long before TMI.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 02:35 PM (lZvxr)

117 Vic at 116,

I didn't mean to imply that the distribution utility is deregulated, but the generation side has seen a lot of it. The transmission and distribution parts of the electric utility business are always, to my knowledge, rate of return since they remain natural monopolies.

The first deregulated plant in the US was the Diablo Canyon nukse in California but it has returned to something like the classical rate of return model. All of Exelon's nukes are merchant plants. South Texas Project's two units sell to power wholesalers on a fix price per unit production basis.

Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 02:45 PM (k876Y)

118 Some States have had what I call Re-Regulation. There has been no deregulation and never will be. Our government does not give up power.


As for CA, that Diablo Canyon plant will be shutdown sometime I soon if I am not mistaken, And they already import almost half of their electricity.


CA is a doomed State and would have already been bankrupt if we the taxpayers had not been buying their worthless bonds.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 02:50 PM (lZvxr)

119 Where can I get some more of this delicious paste?

Posted by: occam at August 04, 2013 03:00 PM (71sq+)

120
40
Apart from webcomics, I've been leafing through Stephen Rapp Jr, "Studies in Medieval Georgian Historiography".
...
Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at August 04, 2013 11:52 AM (d7tB2)



I'm late to this thread, but I'd love to know how to get a copy of this for less than $157 (abe.com). email in name

Posted by: sinmi at August 04, 2013 03:00 PM (TuiTY)

121 yummy, yummy paste

Posted by: occam at August 04, 2013 03:01 PM (71sq+)

122 Vic,

"De-regulation" is that NOT the same as "no regulation." Regulations on the economics of nuclear plants have been relaxed but, as you implied, not eliminated.

Those rate regulation changes have changed management incentives.

Don't confuse Diablo Canyon on the Central CA coast with San Onofre near San Diego. The latter was recently permanently shutdown by its owner,

Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 03:04 PM (k876Y)

123 I'd recommend books by Sara King and the Randal Lee books by Charles Colyott.

Posted by: Jack at August 04, 2013 03:36 PM (gWHwW)

124
occam, or who ever you are, you're an ignoramus that most certainly has never flown anywhere, and get your "knowledge" of the world from such as NPR and the NYT

And you obviously don't know Iraq, not even a little. Perhaps you can tell me how the intel service in Iraq is "best friends" with Iran, and give recent examples of this. Ridiculous.

The mistakes made under Bush (ending the occupation way too early, allowing the situation to develop where the other side had much leverage in a SOFA) don't change the strategic or moral facts, even a little. Which are some of the things addressed by the OP. The only tragedy is that clueless parasites like you benefit from all that is good in the US, while understanding none of it, and striving to slander and undermine it. Verminous, really.

Posted by: non-purist at August 04, 2013 03:41 PM (afQnV)

125 I read The Forever War, which partially ruined Old Man's War for me. Between Haldeman and Heinlein I just don't see much new in Scalzi's work anymore.

I also read the Three Musketeers this past week. I finished it and felt fairly disappointed, which is the same reaction I had to The Count of Monte Cristo. Is this a problem with me? Dumas? Can anyone shed some light on this?

I need to stop reading Vic's daily deals, I keep buying what is linked. Poverty lies down this road.

Posted by: .87c at August 04, 2013 03:45 PM (TQLvG)

126 #52

Sorry for the delay. I had to go take someone to the airport.

Two books, '1491' and '1493' by Charles Mann are highly recommended as overviews of the most recent understanding of pre- and post-Columbian America. The bibliography also serves as a good reference to works that focus on specific areas in greater detail.

Much of '1491' is concerned with how the knowledge of the pre-Columbian period has evolved as new information has been uncovered. The long running debate over when humans first came to the American continents. Or the role of rampant disease in devastating the native population of the interior decades before Europeans reached in that far, thus leaving it for archaeologists to discover centuries later evidence of larger and more complex societies than had previously been believed to exist here. The European explorers of the era had no idea what they'd accidentally wrought, and since the natives had little or no written records, by the time Europeans reached deep within the continent they only found badly diminished tribes with only vague knowledge of what had happened in their grandparents' and great-grandparents' time. This is another way in which disease loomed large in shaping history.

One of the books referenced by Mann is 'Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean 1620 to 1914' by John Robert McNeill. I have it in EPUB and MOBI but haven't read it yet.

Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 03:53 PM (kcfmt)

127 Yesterday I started reading The Merry Heart, a collection of speeches and shortpieces by Canadian author Robertson Davies. It's been a while since I've read anything by Davies and I'd forgotten what a fabulous writer he is. He has a very distinctive voice - very old school with a sly sense of humor. When I finish I'll have to reread Murther and Walking Spirits, my favorite of his novels.

Posted by: biancaneve at August 04, 2013 04:03 PM (6bYlh)

128 #51

Vic, slave is not a synonym for African. The Indians were actively enslaving each other before any Europeans came on the scene, with more Europeans or any other ethnicity in chains.

Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 04:09 PM (kcfmt)

129 Vic, slave is not a synonym for African. The Indians
were actively enslaving each other before any Europeans came on the
scene, with more Europeans or any other ethnicity in chains.


Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 04:09 PM (kcfmt)


If I remember correctly what Edger said about the "Africans", who were bought by the Spaniards as slaves, were that after they were dumped on the beach they disappeared into the woods and were never seen again. Mostly likely killed bu the natives.

And Walter Edgar did categorize them as the first slaves to hit the North American continent. He is a noted historian.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 04:18 PM (lZvxr)

130 I'm late to this thread, but I'd love to know how to get a copy of this for less than $157 (abe.com). email in name

Sure... you can use Google Books for the overview, and you can live 20 minutes from a state university library for the rest of it :^/

Sorry I don't have a better answer.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at August 04, 2013 04:24 PM (d7tB2)

131
Vic, slave is not a synonym for African.


It was for the Umayyads and early `Abbasids: "`ubbad", "zanji".

Later on, Slavs were more popular on the market, hence the word we inherited in English.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at August 04, 2013 04:26 PM (d7tB2)

132
Whitehall and others, WTF with San Onofre? Forty years of nominal service life - just flushed down the drain? Yes, idiotic CA is trying to see if supply and demand really, really work the way they used to teach it in introductory micro.

But WTF?

If the local enviro-nazis prevent a thermal plant from being built, how long before the punitive, irrational electricity pricing will start to be noticed by even the cretinous voters/consumers of CA?

Posted by: non-purist at August 04, 2013 04:27 PM (afQnV)

133 #129

He may be a noted historian but he is either being taken out of context here or he is wrong. That slavery was practiced among the North American Indians before European contact is quite well established.

Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 04:32 PM (kcfmt)

134 That slavery was practiced among the North American Indians before European contact is quite well established.

Srs question here: was this industrial-scale slavery, or the tribe taking on a bit of "involuntarily hired help"?

My impression was that even the Aztecs didn't enslave the rival tribes to the level that, say, the Arabs did for the Zanj or the Europeans in the Caribbean. There wasn't a plantation system for a start.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at August 04, 2013 04:36 PM (d7tB2)

135 133
#129

He may be a noted historian but he is either being taken out
of context here or he is wrong. That slavery was practiced among the
North American Indians before European contact is quite well
established.


Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 04:32 PM (kcfmt)

Neither one of us said they didn't. In fact I think he mentions that in the book. I think his point was this was the first African slaves in North America. They were bought or stolen to be slaves and the Spanish ship dumped them because they were short on water or some kind of supplies.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 04:37 PM (lZvxr)

136 #132 - San Onofre

SCE bought replacement steam generators (major components) from Pick-n-Pull rather than OEM. They started to wear out way too early.

In fairness the Japanese supplier of the replacements extrapolated just a bit too far on the design and found some new flow regimes they hadn't earlier understood.

They could be fixed and the plant put back in service.

But I knew that the fix was in for closure when Senator Barbara Boxer started demanding CRIMINAL investigations of San Onofre management people. With that knife to the throat, the owners just hung it up. They will be able to pass on most of the costs resulting to the rate payers anyway so little loss - to SCE.

Good question as to where the replacement baseload power is supposed to come from. Maybe new coal plants in Nevada?

Posted by: Whitehall at August 04, 2013 04:38 PM (k876Y)

137 73 I read a book about senior military schools. Interesting history with north Georgia and Norwich.

-------------------

May I ask what the title of that book is? My undergraduate degree is from NGC. Which is now NGCSU. And about to become UNG.

Posted by: John the Baptist at August 04, 2013 05:04 PM (ul3m4)

138 My undergraduate degree is from NGC. Which is now NGCSU. And about to become UNG. Posted by: John the Baptist at August 04, 2013 05:04 PM (ul3m4)

Did your thesis make a big splash?

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at August 04, 2013 05:35 PM (d7tB2)

139 test

Posted by: Captain Hate at August 04, 2013 05:39 PM (LRLUQ)

140 Posted by: non-purist at August 04, 2013 03:41 PM (afQnV)



I tried to swat that mendacious turd earlier but my IP was temporarily among the banned from this fine software.

Posted by: Captain Hate at August 04, 2013 05:41 PM (LRLUQ)

141 #135

Thing is, if you specifically mean African slaves, you've got to say African slaves. Otherwise, it comes off as contradicting the post you were replying to with the resulting back and forth.

Without malaria the African population of the Americas would be very different as it would be primarily composed of people who came by their own free will. The portion of the population would likely be considerably smaller and far fewer people would have any recent African ancestry. OTOH, there would also have been a very different treatment of the native population, for better and worse.

Trying to track all of the historical changes for something like an alternate history novel is mind boggling. The cultural differences of a modern US where a major segment of the population never existed gets pretty out there. Do the native influences become more pronounced? Is it a lot closer to Europe with less of the distinctions we associate with the US?

Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 05:47 PM (kcfmt)

142 141 Without malaria the African population of the Americas would be very
different as it would be primarily composed of people who came by their
own free will.

Posted by: epobirs at August 04, 2013 05:47 PM (kcfmt)




I don't think so. The Lord Proprietors established SC purely as a "for profit" colony that they wanted to model after the sugar cane colonies in the carribian which were making money hand over fist. (at the time sugar was worth more than gold oz for oz) They were doing that with African slaves and the Lord Proprietors intended at some point to bring them in for that.


The problem with trying to research slavery in the US is that it is almost impossible to find honest research on it. Almost everything you find is propaganda from the left.


And lets not forget that slaves were not limited to the South initially. They were all over the colonies and initially SC was the only colony that had a problem with malaria and that was limited to the coastal regions near Charleston.


If you want to find something that would have limited slavery or ended it look to further than the cotton gin. If that had not come along slavery would have probably died out because until that was invented it was simply not economically profitable.

Posted by: Vic at August 04, 2013 05:58 PM (lZvxr)

143 138 My undergraduate degree is from NGC. Which is now NGCSU. And about to become UNG. Posted by: John the Baptist at August 04, 2013 05:04 PM (ul3m4)

Did your thesis make a big splash?

------------------------------

To all appearances, no. Whenever I show up on campus, drink in hand, I get escorted off rather rudely instead of receiving the executive-level, VIP treatment that an author and alumnus of my lofty caliber really deserves.

Or, it might have something to do with the restraining order I filed against a Spanish prof back in the day. Or the fact that I tend to end up parking on the drill field.

Posted by: John the Baptist at August 04, 2013 06:12 PM (ul3m4)

144 Hey JTB, the book is Corps of Cadets, The Boar's Head Brigade. Very nice informative book the school sent my son. He's considering UNG and Wofford as his top two schools right now going into his senior year in high school. Chinese as his major.

Posted by: NCKate at August 04, 2013 06:29 PM (nYbxc)

145 And the Norwich book's title escapes me now. Can't find it on my kindle.

Posted by: NCKate at August 04, 2013 06:51 PM (nYbxc)

146 Hey NCKate!

Thank you most kindly, I really don't get by the campus very often, and am blown away each time that I do by how much new construction has gone on there. I don't know anything about Norwich, but very much enjoyed my time at NGC (now UNG); it had a fine History Dept. back then, and we lived in Dahlonega for a number of years after I graduated, throughly enjoying the small-town-1-hour-from-big-city life.

Posted by: John the Baptist at August 04, 2013 06:55 PM (ul3m4)

147 Thanks for the heads-up on the Human Wave books. I think I bought every book on that website. I finally, finally finished Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End." Hated it. The biggest problem for me was the lack of any interesting characters. Well developed characters , characters I care about, usually help me overlook the inherent atheism/humanism/liberalism in a scifi/fantasy book. In this case the whole idea that aliens came to establish a socialist utopia on earth so that Man could evolve into the next stage - some sort of powerful hive mind - was too much to swallow. So I'm on to "Assassin's Apprentice" by Robin Hobb which I've heard was good. Hopefully, it won't take me a year to get through it.

Posted by: sinalco at August 05, 2013 02:28 AM (7580N)

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