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Mahatma Propagandhi
Arizona USA
Retired grumpy old fart, mapping the limits of ennui and lassitude.
Interests: The etymology of man's inhumanity to man.
Recent Activity
Colonel, though I am unqualified to assess the "troll control" effectiveness of Disqus, I use it a lot, and second bwilli123's recommendation for it. I join others here in appreciation for your reassuming the burdensome chore of herding cats, i.e., posting comments.
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2018 on By popular demand ----- at Sic Semper Tyrannis
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt." Usually misattributed to Abraham Lincoln or Mark Twain, the phrase is correctly attributed to author Maurice Switzer in his 1906 book "Mrs. Goose": Before dismissing others' dearth of "facts," one might endeavor to be sure of his own.
Thank you for your mention and links to the MRFF. I'm a long-time supporter of Mr. Weinstein's organization, which does not, IMO, get enough ink. His descriptions of, and battles with, Christian Dominionists who have captured the USAF Academy are scary indeed, not to mention his wider struggles against the ubiquitous proselyzation referenced in your post.
I apologize for the tortured syntax of my parenthesized sentence referring to FourthAndLong's claim. What I intended to convey was that I agreed with the Colonel, not with FourthAndLong. An equal-opportunity scourge of the corporate-owned duopoly, I hold Obama responsible for innumerable shortcomings, but any sins he committed as to the invasion and occupation pale beside those of his predecessor. So your response, as it turns out, served mainly to buttress the very points I (apparently unsuccessfully) attempted to make.
Toggle Commented Nov 3, 2017 on The next phase in Syria at Sic Semper Tyrannis
"I am sorry too if I pissed you of." Well, that's mystifying, as #1, I wasn't addressing you or your post, and #2, I see nothing wrong with challenging a writer's assertion. As I repeatedly (and unsuccessfully) tried to convey to Lyttenburgh, what is not acceptable, or useful, is hectoring the author for not having anticipated the reader's idle curiosity by ladening his piece with unwieldy supporting notes for each and every one of those assertions.
"That's rather anti-intellectual approach." No, it's an anti-hectoring approach. If a writer asserts something you doubt, look it up yourself instead of endlessly whining about his or her failure to prove every word written.
"But if you heard about it, why not share with us?" So, you expect citations buttressing every assertion in Mr Sale's thought-provoking essay? The best writing inspires curiosity, not burying it in unwieldy blocks of supporting links and footnotes more suitable to a scientific paper. Those whose curiosity he inspires would do better to satisfy it themselves than to demand the author do it for them.
"Need to expansion" I am at a loss as to why the sentence as I wrote it (not as you did) is confusing, and invite anyone here with advanced skills in English to parse why it might indeed be.
Colonel Lang, due to your wide experience and sterling career I submit the following with some trepidation. But I have to ask, need one excuse Stalin's totalitarian state (and its ambitions for expansion) in order to criticize the fervor of U.S. response, its drumbeat of threat inflation,* assault on civil liberties at home (McCarthy era), and other practices brought about by a near-hysterical fear of Marxism in any form? Every president from Truman on was persuaded, often against their instincts,** to sign off on operations earlier presidents would never have seriously considered, their core reason being a visceral, unquestioned assumption that, when it comes to anticommunism, anything and everything is justifiable on its face. I do not propose that the US should have capitulated to communist aggression, but hold that the fear embedded in our policy-makers drove them to practices (support for dictators and overthrows of elected governments) utterly inimical to democratic principles, and ended up costing this country the moral authority we have always striven to claim. * Typified by the "domino theory," whose sway sucked us into myriad morally questionable interventions. ** Though JFK, e.g., did resist his generals' clamor to widen and further support the Bay of Pigs invasion, he did eventually succumb to their insistence that, at a minimum, a quantum increase in the number of American advisors in Vietnam was called for.
It most assuredly was a compliment. Sorry about the double post.
Col. Lang, you constantly surprise me. The breadth, expertise, and gravitas of the posts in your blog are the reason I urge friends (from a wide swath of the left/right political spectrum) to bookmark and read it regularly.
John Minnerath: As a member of a flyaway dispensary team (an experiment in airborne MASH units) on McGuire AFB, New Jersey in October 1962, I and my fellow medics spent those thirteen days on alert to fly us and our gear to Cuba within thirty minutes' notice. Unschooled in politics, I later grew to appreciate the cool hand wielded by JFK, a man who had seen war up close and who -- in my opinion, though military historians justifiably continue the debate -- wisely vetoed the blood lust of his generals.
@ luxetveritas Amen to that. Ritter has long spoken truth to power, to the detriment of his career. From Iraq WMD to his recent buttressing of Sy Hersh's claim that the Syrian "sarin attacks" were bogus, Ritter has earned the bitter enmity of the borg.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2017 on Ritter on the magic 17 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Thank you, sir, for a most diverting and informative post.
Toggle Commented May 26, 2017 on First among unequals. at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Spot. On.
Your post spurred warm memories for an old fart. In the early 1960s I trained as a medical corpsman in the USAF. There were tests to further qualify for "independent duty status" (on, say, a radar base too small to rate an M.D.) which I took and passed. I loved it all. I wish you the best of luck in your courses and career, and remind you to count your blessings. As there was no civilian corollary to our modern-day EMTs in those (ancient) times, my separation papers listed my equivalent civilian occupation as "hospital orderly." I didn't see scrubbing bedpans as an opportunity worth pursuing, so thus ended my medical career. I miss it still.
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Aug 14, 2015