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Sunday Morning Book Thread 12-06-2015: Grin And Bear It [OregonMuse]


Ottoblog.jpg
"Oh Boy, It's Tuesday! And You Know What Happens On Tuesdays Around Here, Don't You?"


Good morning to all of you morons and moronettes and bartenders everywhere and all the ships at sea. Welcome to AoSHQ's stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread. The Sunday Morning Book Thread is the only AoSHQ thread that is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Or kilts. Also, assless chaps don't count. Serious you guys. Kilts are OK, though. But not tutus. Unless you're a girl.


It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.

–Oscar Wilde

So today's book thread pic is from illustrator Katie Cleminson's children's book Otto the Book Bear, she having prudently dropped the original title, Otto: Ursine Nightmare of Scenery-Chewing Actors.

The story sounds like a fun read for kids:

Otto lives in a book and is happiest when his story is being read. Otto is no ordinary storybook character: when no one is looking, he comes to life! Otto loves to walk off of his book's pages, but when his book is taken away while Otto is off exploring, the book bear sets off on a grand adventure to find a new home.

Presumably, he is not off looking for Leonardo DiCaprio.

The back cover contains an exhortation to "celebrate the magic of books and the joy of reading", to which I give a hearty amen. If more parents did this, we'd all be a lot better off.

FBI Agonistes

From one of ace's threads on Friday:

225 After 9/11/2001, I read a book by an investigative journalist, Peter Lance, called "1000 Years for Revenge". Which was basically about all the militant planning and actions that were taking place in New Jersey and New York up to the first WTC bombing and 9/11.

What is illustrated was largely the incompetence of the FBI in investigating what was going on. There were plenty of people that actually wanted to help and several people in the FBI that tried to do something, but the Top Men at the FBI were having none of that.

Posted by: Bossy Conservative...a rube in America at December 04, 2015 01:18 PM (RFeQD)

The book Bossy is referring to is 1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism & the FBI - the Untold Story. The Amazon blurb calls it

...a groundbreaking investigative work that uncovers startling evidence of how the FBI missed dozens of opportunities to stop the attacks of September 11, dating back to 1989. Award-winning journalist Peter Lance explains how an elusive al Qaeda mastermind defeated the entire American security system in what the author calls "the greatest failure of intelligence since the Trojan Horse."

Calling the FBI out on their failures is all well and good, but no recounting of the events leading up to 9/11 would be complete without an explanation of the policies that were deliberately put into place that greatly contributed to these failures. I am, of course, referring to the craptacularly incompetent Jamie Gorelick and her infamous wall that severely impeded effective communication between intelligence agents and criminal investigators.

If Lance's book doesn't get into this, then it's missing a crucial piece of the puzzle.


Double Your Fun.

Like Civil War history? How about whodunits? How abour both? Well, now you can have both. I give you Murder at Manassas (The Harrison Raines Civil War Mysteries) by Michael Kilian:

It’s July 1861, and both the Union and Confederate armies expect to win the war within 24 hours. For Harrison Raines, a southern dandy ensconced in DC society, it’s time to choose a side...

On the morning of the battle, Raines...watch[es] the carnage firsthand. When the First Battle of Bull Run turns into a rout, he sees 1 major fighting to rally his troops—a major who is later found dead far behind Union lines, branded a deserter. To clear the dead man’s reputation, Raines must solve a murder as bullets continue to fly.

He eventually becomes a spy for the Union Army, and his superior officer is Allan Pinkerton (who will later launch the famous detective agency).

There are 5 other books in this series, among them The Shiloh Sisters and The Ironclad Alibi.

Are You Man Enough To Read Like A Marine?

Last week, moron commenter 'Tonestaple' posted a link to the United States Marine Corps professional reading list ("Read To Think Think to Fight! Fight To Win!"). The selections are broken down by rank, so it's interesting to see what the Marines think is appropriate at what level.

And even though it doesn't say if the books on the list are "recommended" or "mandatory", this being the Marines, I'd guess "mandatory".

The one book that is on every rank's list is First to Fight: An Inside View of the U.S. Marine Corps by Victor H. Krulak:

Marine general Victor "Brute" Krulak offers here a riveting insider's chronicle of U.S. Marines - their fights on the battlefield and off, and their extraordinary esprit de corps. He not only takes a close look at the Marine experience during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam - wars in which Krulak was himself a participant - but also examines the foundation on which the Corps is built. In doing so, he helps answer the question of what it means to be a Marine and how the Corps has maintained such a consistently outstanding reputation.

So first of all, with this book you get to learn about who the Marines are, what they've done, and where they've been.

And second, you've got to love a guy whose nickname is 'Brute'. He was probably one of those old school teufelshunde who ate bullets for breakfast and then had to go the firing range to break wind. And indeed, Krulak was such a badass that his biography is required reading at the lieutenant colonel level.

Another book they want the colonels up through generals to read which also would be of general (ha) interest is Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam by H. R. McMaster. McMaster is a career Army officer with a Ph.D. in history who served on the faculty at the U.S. Military Academy. His argument is that

President Johnson, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff disagreed about policy and then lied to the American people about that policy.

Nobody in either the White House or the military brass comes off well in this extensively researched book, but even though there is enough blame to go around, LBJ's actions were egregiously the worst of the worst:

He would tell Congress one story, Military staff another and the public a third story. None of which was too close to the truth...[T]his continual shading of the truth...eventually caught up with LBJ and caused the war to become such a mess and his popularity to fall so low. If he would have been above board and honest there is a good chance that...[he] would have coasted into a second term. If ever there is a case study in how not to conduct a war, at least from the political side, this is it.

And speaking of squandered opportunities, Lost Victories: The War Memoirs of Hitler's Most Brilliant General by Erich Von Manstein is also on the list. This is an extensive analysis of why Hitler lost the war.

[Manstein's] insights on the French and Polish campaigns, as well as his take on Hitler's unfortunate victorious political gambles that paid off and fed his ego, should be required reading for any who wish to understand the true nature of Hitler's success.

Which is probably why it's on the list.

This list is pretty wide-ranging and doesn't just have 'murican books for 'muricans. The Marines glean wisdom from many sources, including Erwin Rommel, Thucydides, C.S. Forrester and even find something worthwhile in a book written by, get this, Tom Friedman.

I knew the Marines aren't just a bunch of muscle-bound grunts, but even so, after looking at their reading list, it's nice to see that confirmed.


Deal With the Devil

On a Friday thread, 'Hillybillyking' pointed me to a book that discussed a terrorist attack in Mecca in 1979 and the repercussions.

Anyone remember this? I sure don't:

On November 20, 1979, worldwide attention was focused on Tehran, where the Iranian hostage crisis was entering its third week. The same morning—the first of a new Muslim century—hundreds of gunmen stunned the world by seizing Islam’s holiest shrine, the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Armed with rifles that they had smuggled inside coffins, these men came from more than a dozen countries, launching the first operation of global jihad in modern times.

This, of course, was before teh internets and even CNN, and it got virtually zero coverage in the U.S. And the Saudi royal family was, get this, completely incompetent and incapable of dealing with the terrorists. They had to bring in some tough-ass French commandos (stop laughing) to root them out.

And then the royals decided to, get this, protect their hold on power by giving the radicals financial support in the hopes that they'd go away and bother somebody else:

The main thrust of those seizing the Mosque was criticism of the behavior of the royal family, not a charge the religious leaders would make, but was clearly hanging in the air. To sidestep this issue - and to remain in power - the monarchy had to show itself to be uber-Islamic and began a global outreach program to convert the infidels, the construction and manning of hundreds (thousands?) of madrassas, the ideological birth places for folks ranging from the Taliban to al-Qaeda...

Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with that? Thanks a lot, Faisal, you craven little weasel. You made the deal, and now everybody else is paying.

You can purchase Yaroslav Trofimov's book The Siege of Mecca: The Forgotten Uprising at Islam's Holiest Shrine on Amazon.

I also found what purports to be a "Koran Index On Hatred, Terror, and Intolerance", which is a chapter-and-verse listing of what the Koran has to say on topics such as heaven, hell, unbelievers, lying, martyrdom, men, women, etc. It's a 3-page pdf document you can download at this link.

Also recommended on Friday was Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad. The story of the author, Stephen Coughlin, is interesting:

In the years that followed (9/11), Coughlin earned recognition as the Pentagon’s leading expert on the Islamic-based doctrines motivating jihadi groups that confront America. He came into demand as a trainer and lecturer at leading commands and senior service staff institutions, including the National Defense University, the Army and Navy War Colleges, the Marine Corps-Quantico, the State Department, and the FBI.

But then:

Beginning in 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood convinced the White House to ban Coughlin and put an end to his briefings. The move was in keeping with shariah concepts of slander that seek to blindfold America to certain realities that render us defenseless against a threat made existential by the very ignorance it gets our leaders to enforce. In times like this – when the White House’s former counter-terrorism strategist can declare it unconstitutional to allow national security analysts to look to Islam to understand jihad – there’s an urgent need to pull away the blindfold so we can see and confront the threat.

I like the phrase "enforced ignorance" because it's an apt description of most of the pronouncements coming from acting president Obama's administration. Like sending out A-G Loretta Lynch immediately after the San Bernardino murders to threaten to prosecute "anti-Islamic" speech. Great googly moogly, she might just as well be on the Muslim Brotherhood's payroll.


Moron Recommendations

I received a recommendation via email for Hover, the debut novel of author Anne Wilson, about which her Amazon bio says she

graduated from the United States Naval Academy and served nine years active duty as a navy helicopter pilot, which included deployment to the Persian Gulf.

And from the description given to me in the e-mail, it looks like Ms. Wilson writes what she knows:

This first outing as an author is a tale of a female pilot who gets involved in a highly classified special ops mission in the Persian Gulf.

It's a good naval yarn for the Morons, with enough Harlequin-isitic story-line to keep the Moronettes happy.

So perhaps this is the best of both worlds.


___________

The he/she divide alluded to above reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine from church. The guy is a old-school farmer who couldn't make a living at it, so he now drives truck. His daughter brought him into the 21st century by giving him a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas last year, and once he figured out how to use it, he's been having a blast downloading Louis L'Amour and Tom Clancy books. I gave him the first of Marc Schweizer's liturgical mysteries and he liked it so much, he immediately bought the rest of the series.

So a couple of weeks ago, I asked him if he had read anything good lately, and he said no, but then "I downloaded some mystery series for 99 cents, but I knew when I was in trouble when the main character started describing the skirt she was wearing, how much it cost, what fabric it was made with, what it looked like, and really, that's just so boring, who cares about any of that stuff?" And I told him, "well, women do, apparently" and then I pointed out, "it's like when Tom Clancy goes into painstaking technical detail about weapons and military hardware", and he replied, "yeah, but that stuff is interesting."


___________

Meanwhile, 'ette @votermom recommends the memoir American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith, and Renewal by Taya Kyle, the widow of Chris 'American Sniper' Kyle:

Taya recounts the experience of loss and grieving in a way that is so familiar to any of us who have lost loved ones...[T]his was an intense and cathartic read for me. I want to thank Taya Kyle for sharing their story. God bless their family.

You can read the rest of her review on @votermom's blog. She has some other conservative book reviews here.


Books By Morons

Jeb Kinnison e-mailed me earlier this week to let me know that the third volume of his 'Substrate Wars' series, Shrivers has been published.

Without spoilers, the Shrivers kill civilizations, but the ancient civilizations do indeed exist. A fascinating speculation into the Fermi Paradox, it is entertaining as well an interesting take to an old problem we have been kicking around for a hundred years.

I did not know what the Fermi Paradox was, so I had to look it up:

The Fermi paradox — or Fermi's paradox — is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations, such as in the Drake equation, and the lack of evidence for such civilizations.

And now, what is the Drake equation? I already knew this one, but for those of you who don't, here is a brief description:

The Drake equation is a probabilistic argument used to arrive at an estimate of the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy.

A more extensive explanation, and the equation itself, is at the link.

I kind of like how the Amazon blurb for the first book in the series, Red Queen, starts out:

RED QUEEN is a science fiction thriller set in the US of a not-too-distant future, when the Bill of Rights is ignored and the US is run by the Unity Party, combining the worst of Democrats and Republicans.

And this is different from the present day exactly how...?

All three novels in the series can be purchased for < $9, so that's a lot of bang for your buck.

Fun fact: When Fermi was my age, he had been dead for 6 years. He died way too young.


Funemployed!

I resigned earlier this week after being hired in August. I left a job that turned out not to be a particularly good fit. It was either resign now or go through struggles with making performance standards, then being PIP'ed, then being escorted out. So I just skipped ahead to the end game. I'm happy I left on my terms, not theirs. We parted on amicable terms, so there's that.

Anyway, from you morons who are believers, I would be grateful if you sent a prayer or two heavenward on my behalf. And from you morons who aren't, I would appreciate your best wishes. Thank you.


___________

Don't forget the AoSHQ reading group on Goodreads. It's meant to support horde writers and to talk about the great books that come up on the book thread. It's called AoSHQ Moron Horde and the link to it is here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/175335-aoshq-moron-horde.


___________

So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.

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

Posted by: Open Blogger at 08:55 AM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 Ah the book thread. Maybe I can get through the post before I get another lockup.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 06, 2015 08:51 AM (t2KH5)

2 You having computer problems, Vic?

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 08:55 AM (xnR+S)

3 Oregon - I will be praying you get a new, wonderful job soon!!!

Thanks for another great book thread! And tyvm for linking my review.

Posted by: votermom at December 06, 2015 08:55 AM (cbfNE)

4 but a committee investigated it and gave us another government body to fail. The very same people who caused the failure were on the committee instead of answering questions. i.e. Jamie Goerlick.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 06, 2015 08:56 AM (t2KH5)

5 I have to run now, probably won't be online until 5pm

Willowed comment:
Good grief. NYDN sinks to new low.
Calls Jewish San Bernardino victim just as bad as the terrorist that killed him.
Details on top post (False Equivalence) on
http://crayfisher.wordpress.com

Posted by: votermom at December 06, 2015 08:56 AM (cbfNE)

6 Best wishes to you, OM. Hope your search for a replacement job is a smooth one.

Scored a copy of Walter Miller's A Canticle For Leibowitz at the local (free) Book Barn this week. When I had a copy years ago, I would have recommended it highly; I double the recommendation now!

Funny thing: I'm not particularly interested in Catholicism, which is the central spine of Miller's story. But the world Miller builds is fascinating (and, ultimately, frightening), and the characters are both human and sympathetic.

Personally, I suggest any Moron who hasn't done so grab a copy.

Posted by: MrScribbler at December 06, 2015 09:02 AM (ykopX)

7 Halfway through "A Sailor of Austria". My thanks to whoever recommended it. The writer has an almost Wodehousian wit.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 06, 2015 09:04 AM (9mTYi)

8 2
You having computer problems, Vic?


Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 08:55 AM (xnR+S)

Yeah, I think it is time to finally get rid of this old dinosaur. It is now locking up about every 5 minutes.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 06, 2015 09:05 AM (t2KH5)

9 OM, You are certainly in our prayers and thoughts on the job front. Best of luck in the search for the next.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 09:08 AM (FvdPb)

10
Teufelshundes!!!!

Posted by: German Thunder the Barbarian at December 06, 2015 09:09 AM (KUa85)

11 voter mom @ 5 - Blaming the victim? Unpossible that limbs would do that!

Posted by: Butch at December 06, 2015 09:10 AM (hXu8T)

12 Because of several recommendations here, I read We The Living by Ayn Rand. This was Rand's first novel and it's a brutal look at life in the new Russia in the mid-1920's. While reading it I kept thinking how much America is "progressing" towards the same sort of society. Kira, the lead character of the book, is used by Rand to introduce he philosophical system of Objectivism. It was a very interesting read.

Posted by: Zoltan at December 06, 2015 09:10 AM (p+qLo)

13 Anyway, in between turning the computer off and on I am trying to re-read the Recluce series by Modisette. I am currently on his new book which is third in the timeline; Arms Commander.


http://amzn.to/1YRW7KR

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 06, 2015 09:10 AM (t2KH5)

14 In the "Not book related, but relevant none the less" category:

Of more than 30 thousand muslims in Dearborn, 80 - yes that's right - 80 show up to protest ISIS:

http://tinyurl.com/zqaryxj

Apropos of everything.

Posted by: Mr Macca Bean at December 06, 2015 09:11 AM (BZAd3)

15 Libs, not limbs! Effing autocucumber!

Posted by: Butch at December 06, 2015 09:11 AM (hXu8T)

16 And OM, good luck on the job hunt. Might be time to move to Texas.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 06, 2015 09:12 AM (t2KH5)

17 If you like accurate history with your mysteries, the Michael Kilian Civil War books will suit you. Mrs. JTB and I met him a couple of times and he is not only a nice guy but really knows this period, both the battles and the society.

Since we live near Manassas battlefield, that first book really caught our attention.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 09:13 AM (FvdPb)

18 I am intrigued by the sound of the Harrison Raines Civil War mysteries, and might take a look at them ... as soon as I get through the next two weekends of Christmas market events.

Spent yesterday at Christmas on the Square in Goliad, Texas, with about eight local authors. Sold enough books to make it worth the drive -- including Tales of Luna City, which was originally inspired by visits to small towns like Goliad, and some of the stories that people there would tell us. Some of the illustrations that serve as chapter headings are from pictures I took in Goliad at previous Christmas markets.
Nice weather, good turn-out, no weapon-firing... all you could ask for, hey?

Posted by: CeliaHayes at December 06, 2015 09:15 AM (95iDF)

19 My only problem with the book thread is that I can spend hours I don't really have reading the post, reading and replying to the comments, chasing down references, following links from the references, and ordering books.


Other than that, the Book Thread is one of my weekly enjoyments.

Thank you OM for all the love and effort you put into this, sorry to hear about the job, but with your obvious skills, I'm sure something better will come along soon for you!

Posted by: Hrothgar at December 06, 2015 09:15 AM (ftVQq)

20 Love the Otto The Bear opening picture for the thread. The illustrator knows typewriters even when drawing such a generic one. That endears me to her as I use and appreciate desk top manual typewriters. The local library has the book so I will have to check it out.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 09:18 AM (FvdPb)

21 Two weeks ago, I iggerently re-posted Milady's review of a book instead of the one I meant to. So, before today gets away from me, here's her review. Starts off saying she "just read" this, but the text file date is three months ago. She needs to not depend on my to pass these along, eh?

======

I just read "Evidence Not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II" by Darlene Deibler Rose.

Darlene Deibler was a very young missionary woman recently married to another missionary when she left the United States in early 1938. They went first to Holland to study the Dutch language. Their ultimate destination was New Guinea in what was then the Dutch East Indies.

At one of their postings she was the first white woman that any of the natives had seen. She had to convince them that she was actually human. They built their own shelter and learned from the locals the tricks of growing food in their new environment.

They were almost entirely isolated from the outside world. But, of course, the world intruded. When the Dutch government moved their troops out of the frontier areas as the Japanese approached, the missionaries were forced to retreat, too.

The missionaries ended up living on the island of Celebes where they were under house arrest for a while. The men were taken away except for one older man. Eventually they were all forced to move to the POW camps. Men and women went to separate camps.

Though these were fairly brutal work camps, physical hardships were not as bad as the psychological ones. Darlene learns that her husband, the Rev. C. Russell Deibler, had died in Pare Pare, the men's camp, three months before. She is held and repeatedly interrogated by the secret police and told she will be executed for spying. Through it all Darlene manages to maintain her faith in God and see it grow and deepen as she is repeatedly saved from diseases, bombs, and the horrors of captivity.

This is a riveting story written in a simple style which nonetheless is poetic and brilliant in the way it explains the inner life that was so important to the people who survived with their souls intact.

[begin quote]

"I have seen photos of the wild victory celebrations that took place in New York, San Francisco, and similar places when the announcement of VJ Day was broadcast to the nation -- crowds singing, dancing, drinking, and kissing (whomever!) in the broad, confetti-filled, brightly lit streets!

It wasn't like that in Kampili. We were not safe on home soil, nor outside the barbed wire, nor half a world away from the battlefields, some still wet with the blood of fathers or sons or brothers. We were still within our prison confines, still separated from our families. We had nearly four years behind us of total isolation from the rest of the world, wondering how that world had changed, and who of our loved ones would be left. There was not even a conquering soldier in sight who had come to set us free, whom we could thank, whose hands we could kiss and wet with our tears of gladness. The full import of what we had just heard would come later.

It was a silent celebration of tears rolling down gaunt faces burned deeply while laboring in the sun on roads, in rice fields, in pig pens, on coolie lines loading and unloading trucks, emptying septic tanks; faces on which sorrow and suffering had etched their deep lines. For ours had been a silent war of waiting, and we had measured courage in simple endurance!

There was no riotous drinking. These were a people who had drunk deeply at the bitter waters of Marah, from the cup of isolation, separation, and the loss of loved ones -- a people whose thirsty souls has just savored the first few cool, refreshing drops of freedom!

There were no happy songs filling the air, interspersed with shouts of victory. But I think the hosts of heaven must have hushed to hear the anthem of praise to our God and King, ascending from a thousand hearts or more, as our lips whispered "Thank you, Father. From the depths of our being, we thank you!"

[end quote]

Posted by: mindful webworker - what, me read? at December 06, 2015 09:19 AM (5/lDN)

22 OregonMuse so sorry about your job loss here is hoping you get an even better job very soon

Posted by: chemjeff at December 06, 2015 09:21 AM (uZNvH)

23 The main thrust of those seizing the Mosque was criticism of the behavior of the royal family, not a charge the religious leaders would make, but was clearly hanging in the air. To sidestep this issue - and to remain in power - the monarchy had to show itself to be uber-Islamic and began a global outreach program to convert the infidels, the construction and manning of hundreds (thousands?) of madrassas, the ideological birth places for folks ranging from the Taliban to al-Qaeda...

So the entirety of global jihad from 1979 to the present can be traced to the craven, backstabbing Saudis and Jimmy Carter's decision to let Iran fall to Khomeini.

Yeah, sounds about right.

I wonder what awful fruit Obama's reign will bear 20 to 30 years from now.

Posted by: cool breeze at December 06, 2015 09:22 AM (6Cu7i)

24 Hope you find a suitable new job soon, OM.

Read The Black Company (The Chronicles of the Black Company #1) by Glen Cook, a violent and dark fantasy about a group of mercenary fighters. It was good but maybe not enough to continue the series.

Posted by: waelse1 at December 06, 2015 09:22 AM (t0wdt)

25 BTW, just finished the fourth book in the Steig Larssen trilogy about "The Girl..", and enjoyed it very much. Maybe the fifth book will be "The Girl Who Got Entangled With sharia"?

My book reading buddy and both agree that the author did an excellent job of capturing the flavor of of the original Millenium.

Posted by: Hrothgar at December 06, 2015 09:22 AM (ftVQq)

26 I read "Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead and Win" by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Interesting insights into SEAL thinking and how the principles might be employed in business. (The two ex-SEALS are now business consultants.)

As OM said of Marines, these guys are not muscle-bound grunts. They are sharp and insightful. War stories are used to make a basic leadership point and then the same principle is illustrated in a business story. They do not portray SEALS as supermen; they illustrate how much they learned from their mistakes. They have great respect for the other service branches and their actions in Iraq.

Goodreads gives it a 4.4/5 for 186 reviews. I liked it because it was pragmatic. Nothing new or earth-shaking, but you might learn a thing or two.

It is encouraging to see how smart and pragmatic military officers can be. It is a shame to see how PC-blinded their civilian leadership and senior echelons have become.

Posted by: doug at December 06, 2015 09:24 AM (r/F5E)

27 Happy Sunday morning. Got half way through Ready Player One and digital loan expired. Gotta wait for others to read it. More interesting than I anticipated.

Posted by: Beth M at December 06, 2015 09:24 AM (kiy9d)

28 Wishing good fortune for you OregonMuse.

Anyway I needed some politically incorrect reading for these times so I reread American Assassin by Vince Flynn. I don't think they will be releasing the movie version anytime soon.

Posted by: Max Rockatansky at December 06, 2015 09:25 AM (rfjjV)

29 Posted by: mindful webworker - what, me read? at December 06, 2015 09:19 AM (5/lDN)

I met a very nice Dutch lady some years ago that grew up in one of those camps.

She did not like the Japanese, or anything about them!

Posted by: Hrothgar at December 06, 2015 09:26 AM (ftVQq)

30 OM-

sorry about your job. hope you find something better suited for you.
I'm currently reading "One Year After" the sequel to "One Second After" by William Forstschen. If you haven't read One Second After, the premise is that the US is brought to its knees by a surprise EMP attack that knocks us back to the mid 19th century. It made me see the sagacity of the prepper movement. The sequel is good so far; the protagonist is a retired Army Colonel leading his small town of survivors in North Carolina.

Posted by: Dana- author of the sci fi book Outward Frontier on Amazon at December 06, 2015 09:27 AM (eTvJc)

31 JTB
Do you be in the PWC area?

Posted by: Hrothgar at December 06, 2015 09:28 AM (ftVQq)

32 Posted by: doug at December 06, 2015 09:24 AM (r/F5E)

Did they say anything about tactics regard to the Seal insert that was the subject of Lone Survivor? It always bothered me that they had a few non lethal options other than letting the goat herder go , which turned out to be a fatal decision.

Posted by: Max Rockatansky at December 06, 2015 09:29 AM (rfjjV)

33 Why are huge, ugly, smelly, dirty, predatory bears considered "cute" in children's literature?

I guess I blame Teddy Roosevelt.

Posted by: WhatWhatWhat? at December 06, 2015 09:30 AM (HMt16)

34 I finished Rescher Said Nothing by Andy Martin. A little scattered in its approach and Martin clearly has a man-crush on Lee Child, but enjoyable nonetheless. For writers, there are some interesting tidbits to glean from Child's process as he wrote Make Me. Fun read.

Posted by: Long Running Fool at December 06, 2015 09:30 AM (L0bUn)

35 Good morning all. Your daily dose of EZ Dog, from this date in 1943 in my dad's WWII diary for those who have expressed an interest.


Dec 6 1943 - The EZ Dog Journals
Still little activity. Camino finally cleaned up by British. Planning meeting for 2d Phase at Piccilli. Scattered showers.



I must apologize for an inaccuracy. In the diary entries of the last few days I have been referencing an Allied offensive on the Italian front as being an advance toward Monte Cassino, and assumed that the transcription of the original handwritten diary was in error when it called the objective Monte Camino. The handwriting was indistinct enough that I convinced myself the 'm' was actually an 'ss'. In fact, the objective of this few days was a lesser hill that is indeed named Monte Camino.

Monte Camino is about 38 miles north of Naples and 11 miles SXSE of Monte Cassino. The Allies did not capture Monte Cassino for several more months, but they did indeed capture Monte Camino in early December 1943. I initially couldn't find it on my maps. Mi scusi signores i signoras!

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at December 06, 2015 09:30 AM (NeFrd)

36 I'm continuing with LOTR, now into the second book. As the news coverage has been spectacularly horrible and infuriating, I'm turning my attention to books on hand work, drawing, whittling and chip carving in this case. Authors Claudia Nice and Cathy Johnson do excellent intro books on drawing and painting. These practical, hand work activities are a learning process and an enjoyable distraction. Living like a volcano about to erupt is just too wearing.

Also started dipping into some James Thurber stories and cartoon for the first time in decades. Forgot just how much fun he was. His collaboration with PG Wodehouse is wonderful.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 09:31 AM (FvdPb)

37 Another book they want the colonels up through generals to read which also would be of general (ha) interest is Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies that Led to Vietnam by H. R. McMaster.


I try to not be all hatey hatey about everything, and to recognize that there are multiple sides to most stories.

But when McNamara came out a few years ago and admitted that he and Johnson recognized in 1965 that we could not win in VietNam I became very hatey.

I just looked it up. By the end of '65 we'd had just over 2,000 fatalities in the theater since 1956.

The next 56,000 are attributable to the vanity, cowardice, and indifference of Johnson and McNamara.

Posted by: Bandersnatch at December 06, 2015 09:33 AM (1xUj/)

38 32- Max
an SF buddy of mine said what they should have done is scrap the mission right then and there and request immediate extraction since they were compromised. But I get it- the reason these men are so successful is that they adapt, improvise and overcome. Quitting a mission is not something they do lightly. Lone Survivor was a great book and movie.

Posted by: Dana- author of the sci fi book Outward Frontier on Amazon at December 06, 2015 09:33 AM (eTvJc)

39 31 ... Hrothgar, Yep. Been in PWC for over 30 years now. Heck of a thing for a couple of Northerners.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 09:34 AM (FvdPb)

40 33 Why are huge, ugly, smelly, dirty, predatory bears considered "cute" in children's literature?

I guess I blame Teddy Roosevelt.

Posted by: WhatWhatWhat? at December 06, 2015 09:30 AM (HMt16)


I think a better culprit, at least for America audiences, would be Walt Disney.

Squirrels ain't cute. They're just rats with furry tails.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 09:37 AM (xnR+S)

41 I just finished reading Paul Johnson's biography of Churchill. I like Johnson's work, I'm a Churchill fan . . . and I was left a bit underwhelmed. As a lightweight one-volume bio of the great man it's not bad, but I've seen better ones, and of course nothing can compare with William Manchester's sadly unfinished trilogy.

Of course, the man himself wrote like a Harlequin author, so you can just read his own words.

Posted by: Trimegistus at December 06, 2015 09:38 AM (7o+tb)

42 Title of a cook book to be published (soon)

Cooking for the future when only plastic knifes (no serrated edges) forks and spoons are allowed.

No Ginsu knifes allowed except in vented kitchens by government officals.

Posted by: Colin at December 06, 2015 09:39 AM (T3Tpd)

43 16 And OM, good luck on the job hunt. Might be time to move to Texas.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 06, 2015 09:12 AM (t2KH5)


Yes, I have a friend who moved to Texas, and he agrees with your advice.

I probably should've moved there 20 years ago.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 09:40 AM (xnR+S)

44 It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.

-Oscar Wilde


Said the sex offender.

Posted by: Pappy O'Daniel at December 06, 2015 09:40 AM (oVJmc)

45 When did Wodehouse and Thurber collaborate? Why was I not informed of this?

Posted by: Trimegistus at December 06, 2015 09:41 AM (7o+tb)

46 I'm reading the autobiography of (retired rock and jazz drummer) Bill Bruford.

Intelligent guy and an interesting read.

Here's Bruford on his first visit to the USA with YES:

"Americans "can do" or at least could do. In 1968, unusual phrases such as "Yep," "Sure," and "No problem" could be heard under blue American skies as frequently as "Not a chance, mate," "I shouldn't think so," and "I wouldn't if I were you, guv" were heard in the grey mist of a London morning.

Forty years later, it seems that Americans still "can do", but with tangibly less confidence."



Posted by: WhatWhatWhat? at December 06, 2015 09:41 AM (HMt16)

47 Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 09:40 AM (xnR+S)

You can sneak in with the group of Syrian refugees they are bringing to Houston.

Posted by: Max Rockatansky at December 06, 2015 09:41 AM (rfjjV)

48 In light of the tragedy in San Bernardino this week, I recommend that everyone read Glenn Beck's book, It IS About Islam. He uses quotes from the Koran, the Hadith, and terrorist leaders to lay out Islam's plan for the world. The book also gives point by point rebuttals to the arguments of Islam apologists.

Islamic extremism? Muslim terrorism? I was thinking of a new term to use and I came up "Koranic terrorism". A percentage of Muslims (and we can debate how high or low this is) read or are taught the Koran and then go out and act upon its violent edicts. Another percentage of Muslims, while not active terrorists, support those who are. Finally there is a percentage of this population that rejects violence in the name of Islam. I suspect this last group is less than 20 percent. The people of Western Civilizations had better wake up soon.

Posted by: Zoltan at December 06, 2015 09:41 AM (p+qLo)

49 Hi....lurker here for the Goodreads group. Reading Michael Oren's Ally. His Six Days of War is fantastic.

Posted by: Centermass at December 06, 2015 09:42 AM (952sC)

50 I bought the $50 Amazon Fire 7" tablet (on the $35 sale) as a supplement to my Kindle e-ink reader. Love it.

I prefer e-ink for battery life and the fact that the reader is so light. However, some books need full Android for graphics, zooming, or color. In addition, my public library has ebook loans through Overdrive (works on Kindle e-ink) and Axis 360 (does not work on Kindle e-ink). While Amazon does not offer the Axis 360 app in its app store, you can side-load it. Much better than trying to read Axis 360 ebooks on a phone.

The tablet will be used primarily as a ebook reader, but I did play around with email, browser, etc and was pleasantly surprised how well everything worked. You can side-load the Google Play stuff if you want. Unlike previous Fire tablets, VPN is not supported in the WiFi menu, but you can use VPN after loading Google framework. (Use search to learn how.)

I'll probably run the occasional app on the device but am not likely to do a lot of media consumption on it. Youtube videos play well. Sound is not impressive with the single speaker, so you might want to use external speakers or earbuds for media.

Fit and finish are fine. Screen is fine. Performance is fine. A charger and cable are included.

It is not equivalent to an iPad or high-end Android tablet like a Samsung. However, it is an excellent value and far superior to the other inexpensive tablets that I've looked at. Unlike other inexpensive tablets, you might also expect occasional software updates from Amazon. Highly recommended, if your expectations are reasonable.

Posted by: doug at December 06, 2015 09:42 AM (r/F5E)

51 Squirrels ain't cute. They're just rats with furry tails.


Gary Larson (Far Side) wrote a book called "There's a Hair in my Dirt!".

It's about a worm family, in which the child worm complains about his awful life. Father Worm then explains to him all of the batty misconceptions a ditzy environmentalist girl had of the world around her -- including squirrels -- and how all of that led to her hair being in Little Worm's dirt.

Full thing here in PDF: http://bit.ly/1INrr4a

Posted by: Bandersnatch at December 06, 2015 09:45 AM (1xUj/)

52 Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.

Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.


-Groucho Marx

Posted by: BackwardsBoy at December 06, 2015 09:45 AM (LUgeY)

53 Good morning all!

For a more squidly perspective I give you the CNO professional reading program:

http://navyreading.dodlive.mil/

Appalling how few of these I've read. We'll see how many of these are available at my library.

I remember stuffing my seabag full of books just to get through one short deployment. How much easier now that we have e-readers!

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Michigangsta at December 06, 2015 09:46 AM (jR7Wy)

54 Squirrels may not be cute, but chipmunks are.

I don't know why. They just are.

Posted by: WhatWhatWhat? at December 06, 2015 09:46 AM (HMt16)

55 It's a rule of thumb that the more contact you have with animals, the less you romanticize them. We have chickens and I can cut their stupid throats without a qualm. A couple of times I was glad to do it, because roosters are utter bastards.

Posted by: Trimegistus at December 06, 2015 09:47 AM (7o+tb)

56 I'm re-reading a book which I found in the used book store the other day.

Actually, I think the first time I read it as a teen, it was a used book.

Anywho...I remembered thinking it was pretty funny and laughing a lot, so I decided to give it another read.

The title is_

"Where Were You Last Pluterday?"

And it concerns an SF writer, Sam, pursuing the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, the girl only wants to meet him on "Pluterday", which is a day of the week that only the very rich seem to have.

The best description for the story is...whimsical.

Mostly, it seems to be written as a lark with lots of stuff thrown against the wall for a laugh, including Pluterday, the banning of science fiction, Martians, and time machines, and much more.

i don't find it laugh out loud funny as I did the first time around but smile pretty often at the antics.

"Where Were You Last Pluterday?" was written by Paul Van Herck, a Dutch guy.

The translation is a little wonky at times but nothing too awkward.

The book is a paperback from 1972, which appears to be it's only publication in english.

It's on amazon but at silly prices. If it sounds like your cup of tea check the used book stores in your area.

Posted by: naturalfake at December 06, 2015 09:48 AM (KUa85)

57 Good luck Oregon Muse, welcome to the boat of the unemployed. May we both escape it soon.

Actually have Trofimov's book on the shelf. But alas it is one of those books that I intend to read but then go read something not depressing.

Pondering giving money to BookBub to promote Golden Isis. Any advice anyone?

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 09:48 AM (vxGdA)

58 I wasn't going to buy any books this week. I swear I wasn't. So I only bought the ones on terrorism. I have read mention of the takeover of the Mecca mosque, but I can't swear that I actually had any awareness of it at the time it happened. I was undoubtedly focused on the utter fecklessness of Jimmy Carter like every other sane person.

I am still reading "The Africans" by David Lamb. And I am continually struck by how low the press have fallen. This is a very even -handed book which in no way considers the west the bunch of white devils we would undoubtedly be called if the book were written today. I am so looking forward to reading "The Arabs" by the same author. That was published in 1987 so it should include the attack on the Grand Mosque. I see that both books are available on Kindle. "The Arabs" has been updated to 2001 - didn't bother to check on "The Africans."

Still reading "Caliphate", and I'm sure I'm reading something besides the interwebs but I can't remember what.

Posted by: Tonestaple at December 06, 2015 09:49 AM (dCTrv)

59 Prayers and good wishes both on the job search, OM.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy at December 06, 2015 09:49 AM (LUgeY)

60 Also, I made the front page of the Book Thread. Woo, and may I add, hoo!!!!

Posted by: Tonestaple at December 06, 2015 09:49 AM (dCTrv)

61 There is nothing dumber than a chicken unless it is a turkey. I had a friend at work who used to raise turkeys and he said if it started raining he would have to runout and get them into the barn because they would stare up at the sky and drown.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 06, 2015 09:49 AM (t2KH5)

62 Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of reading it - PJ O'Rourke

Posted by: Max Rockatansky at December 06, 2015 09:50 AM (rfjjV)

63 Posted by: Pappy O'Daniel at December 06, 2015 09:40 AM (oVJmc)

Don't think I want to know his book recommendations!

Posted by: Hrothgar at December 06, 2015 09:50 AM (ftVQq)

64 I probably shouldn't read the book about LBJ and his cabinet of lying scum. (This includes that POS Walter Cronkite.) It will bring back too much rage. Some friends and I used to entertain marines in our local Navy hospital who were wounded in Nam. They were not bitter about being wounded but were because of the political machinations that were controlling combat. It was eye opening for a young high school student.

BTW, the Marines I met were sharp as razors. I was lucky to have some Marine officers as our Boy Scout troop leaders.

IMO, Jamie Gorelick should have been tried for murder for the policies she and Clinton put in place. Her inclusion on the 9/11 panel was pissing on the graves of the dead.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 09:50 AM (FvdPb)

65 Posted by: Trimegistus at December 06, 2015 09:47 AM (7o+tb)

My mom likes to tell her grandkids how when she was a kid, they used to have live chickens delivered to their house, and one of her chores was to wield the axe. She didn't mind it except sometimes when they would run around for a minute after their heads were chopped off. That part creeped her out.

Posted by: WhatWhatWhat? at December 06, 2015 09:50 AM (HMt16)

66 57 Pondering giving money to BookBub to promote Golden Isis. Any advice anyone?


Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 09:48 AM (vxGdA)


I love Bookbub. They send me a daily e-mail for recommended books.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 06, 2015 09:51 AM (t2KH5)

67 @32 "Did they say anything about tactics regard to the Seal insert that was the subject of Lone Survivor? It always bothered me that they had a few non lethal options other than letting the goat herder go , which turned out to be a fatal decision."

No. They talk about Ar Ramadi, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The book is dedicated to Marc Lee, Mike Monsour, and Ryan Job, SEAL teammates who were lost in Ramadi.

Leif lead Charlie Platoon, which included lead sniper Chris Kyle ("American Sniper"). Kyle is a minor character in this book.

Posted by: doug at December 06, 2015 09:51 AM (r/F5E)

68 Anna-
how goes sales on your book? Mine had plateaued now. trying to figure out exactly how some of the other books in my genre by amazon authors have consistently stayed in the top 50. maybe I also need to pony up the greenbacks and promote/advertise on Amazon.

Another book I bought but have yet to read is "Shake Hands with the Devil" about the Rwanda genocide. In my real world job, I would be remiss not to read it for professional development reasons. but dammit I already know the outcome and it makes it that less desirable .

Posted by: Dana- author of the sci fi book Outward Frontier on Amazon at December 06, 2015 09:51 AM (eTvJc)

69 The biggest failing that then Col. Robin Olds pointed out to President Johnson of the 'skirmish' in Vietnam was simple. LBJ was not playing to win while the Communists were.

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 09:52 AM (vxGdA)

70 50 I bought the $50 Amazon Fire 7" tablet (on the $35 sale) as a supplement to my Kindle e-ink reader. Love it.

Posted by: doug at December 06, 2015 09:42 AM (r/F5E)


Yeah, $35 for an Amazon Fire tablet was a Black Friday deal I couldn't pass up, and I'm now waiting for it to be delivered. My intent is to use it as you do, mainly as an e-reader.

I was curious to know if you could load Google Play Books on it, and from what you're telling me, you can. Which makes it just about a perfect e-book reader for me.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 09:53 AM (xnR+S)

71 Currently reading "Flash for Freedom!" by George MacDonald Fraser, book 5 chronologically in the Flashman series (Book 3 in order of publication). I have read the previous 4 and enjoyed them all. I think Flashy may be a good choice for those looking for an escape from depressing current events.

Posted by: cool breeze at December 06, 2015 09:55 AM (6Cu7i)

72 Dana, mine have flattened out also. I think the next step is to invest in advertising now that we have both apparently exhausted the local pool of willing buyers. Hence my asking about BookBub.

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 09:55 AM (vxGdA)

73 45 ... Sorry about that. It was Thurber and EB White who collaborated on "Is Sex Neccesary?".
I guess the Wodehouse connection was wishful thinking.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 09:55 AM (FvdPb)

74 I'm on book three of Andersonville by John MacElroy found on Gutenberg.Org. I highly recommend it, he was a cavalry trooper from Illinois and I'm assuming turned out to be a newspaper editor so writing is very easy to read.

Posted by: Skip at December 06, 2015 09:56 AM (k0xxN)

75 Kindle Daily Deal - 4 books @ $1.99 from Ian Rankin, including one of my favorites -- "The Complaints."

Also, a number of history books including "Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage Kindle Edition" for $2.99. 4.0/5 for 223 reviews. Blurbed by James Woolsey.

Posted by: doug at December 06, 2015 09:57 AM (r/F5E)

76 I have a book I have been reading off-and-on about Churchill called "Warlord" by Carlo D' Este. It is not a hagiography, as it is humorously critical of some of the odd things that Churchill did while growing up, and how odd his young life really was.

And crossing the memes here, I read a biography by HW Brands of Teddy Rooosevelt (based on his letters,etc), and he did not like the young Churchill (yes, he had met him and knew him). He thought he was too egotistical (coming from Teddy, that was something).

Posted by: Bossy Conservative....lost in America at December 06, 2015 09:58 AM (+1T7c)

77 Gary Larson (Far Side) wrote a book called "There's a Hair in my Dirt!".

Full thing here in PDF: http://bit.ly/1INrr4a

Posted by: Bandersnatch at December 06, 2015 09:45 AM (1xUj/)


What a find! Thank you for this.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 10:01 AM (xnR+S)

78 There's a number of excerpts of the book and interviews with the author Peter Lance at his web site.

He does mention Gorelick but seems to be a little preoccupied with defending poor old little Clinton and shoveling blame on the Bushes. Not that the blame is undeserved.

He uses the same sort of derogatory writing related to "my pet goat" that I would expect from a Kos or DUnderground dweller. This comes off as childish and out of line with the subject matter.

Posted by: bananaDream at December 06, 2015 10:02 AM (vLk7c)

79 Posted by: Bossy Conservative....lost in America at December 06, 2015 09:58 AM (+1T7c)

In Churchill's case, his high opinion of himself was completely warranted!

Posted by: Hrothgar at December 06, 2015 10:02 AM (ftVQq)

80 There's an old, out-of-print humorous bio of Churchill by Robert Lewis Taylor, called "Churchill: An Informal Study of Greatness." Very funny but still respectful. Taylor also wrote a hilarious biography of W.C. Fields, and right now I'm halfway through a novel he wrote called "The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters" -- which is kind of like Mark Twain fanfiction. It's about a kid with a very Huck Finn-like narrator's voice, traveling with his father to the California gold fields in the 1850s (more or less along the route Twain followed, but earlier). It's a fun book, but I can't really understand why he wrote it.

Posted by: Trimegistus at December 06, 2015 10:03 AM (7o+tb)

81 @70 Side-load Google to $50 Fire Tablet

I have not yet done it, but this site has specific instructions for the 5th Generation Fire. I've used the site frequently and found it to be very reliable.

"How to Install the Google Play Store on Your Amazon Fire Tablet" -- http://bit.ly/1m5fZfz

Posted by: doug at December 06, 2015 10:05 AM (r/F5E)

82 He uses the same sort of derogatory writing related
to "my pet goat" that I would expect from a Kos or DUnderground dweller.
This comes off as childish and out of line with the subject matter.



Posted by: bananaDream


Yes, Lance was very anti-Bush, post 9/11.

He was a good investigative reporter, and his writing/investigation of the period between 1993 (1st WTC bombing and 9/11) is really good. Very poignant parts about Ronnie Bucca, who died on 9/11. But his personal opinions make him look like a jerk.
"1000 Years for Revenge" is one of those books that is great for what was found, but don't take the writer's OPINIONS too seriously.

Posted by: Bossy Conservative....lost in America at December 06, 2015 10:07 AM (+1T7c)

83 IMO, Jamie Gorelick should have been tried for murder for the policies she and Clinton put in place. Her inclusion on the 9/11 panel was pissing on the graves of the dead.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 09:50 AM (FvdPb)


Agree 100%. When Tom Daschle put her name forward, he should've been laughed back to South Dakota - and then Gorelick should have been called to account for her malfeasances by the 9/11 committee.

But no, feckless Republican Slade Gorton simply went along with Daschle, so there you are.

Open question: why don't Republicans fight for anything other than pay raises, perks, and committee appointments? Is it because they don't like to fight, or are they cowed by the Democrats, or is it that they don't really have that much of a problem with what they're doing?

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 10:07 AM (xnR+S)

84 JTB, you're in my general neighborhood. Lots of history here.

Interesting tidbit, my doctor told me of a patient he had who came down with lead poisoning, The patient lived near the Manassas Battlefield and had a well and septic system, common in these parts. Enough lead from the First and Second Manassas bullets had leached into the soil that it contaminated his well.

Posted by: Hrothgar at December 06, 2015 10:09 AM (ftVQq)

85 Loretta Lynch on Meet the Press still does not know what motivated the Cali jihadis, still not sure it was jihad

Posted by: ThunderB at December 06, 2015 10:10 AM (zOTsN)

86 On that Fermi paradox, new numbers that try to quantify the number of improbable conditions that must exist to sustain life, have gotten to something like 200, instead of the two or three they started with. So instead of odds being that there are millions of habitable planets, the odds became one in a million that there are any planets. So it is improbable even we exist.

Even Einstein in his science realm saw an intelligence behind the science, though he thought belief in a personal God was silly, and that atheism was equally emotional and silly. (We are too tiny in thought to comprehend) But I figure if Einstein saw an intelligence in inanimate laws of science, far greater than his mental reaches, why would that intelligence not have a grander plan that included life itself, and a personal involvement?

Atheists claim humans create their own personal God, but why couldn't it be that God would want to create "children", and a world for them?

http://tinyurl.com/nd24knh
That is the WSJ article that discusses the numbers turning the Fermi paradox on its head.

And along those lines are "the four big bangs", which is not about The Beatles.
http://tinyurl.com/jy5do7w

Posted by: Illiniwek at December 06, 2015 10:10 AM (26Yu7)

87 #80, Trimegistus -- enjoy the Travels of Jaimie McPheeters! I read it in HS and enjoyed the heck out of it. I didn't realize until I retrieved my old paperback copy that I had taken up Taylor's narrative device of interspersing the story with diary entries or letters written in the voice of a second narrator.
Taylor wrote another adventure novel very like it, Two Roads to Guadalupe, set in the Mexican War - it's OK, but not quite the rollicking adventure of Travels.

Posted by: CeliaHayes at December 06, 2015 10:11 AM (95iDF)

88 "How to Install the Google Play Store on Your Amazon Fire Tablet" -- http://bit.ly/1m5fZfz

Posted by: doug at December 06, 2015 10:05 AM (r/F5E)


Thank you for this link. It looks perfect for what I plan to be doing.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 10:14 AM (xnR+S)

89 There's a notion in SETI circles called "the Great Filter" which is based on the Drake Equation and the Fermi Paradox. The idea is that since we don't see evidence of civilizations elsewhere in the Galaxy, there must be some "filter" which keeps life from reaching that level. The very important question is where in the process the filter occurs -- because if it's still ahead of us, we're probably doomed.

In other words, if life, or multicellular life, or intelligence turns out to be extremely rare, then we're home free. We've made it through the filter and can go on to colonize the Galaxy or whatever. But if we discover there are lots of early-spaceflight worlds out there happily broadcasting analog TV signals of their moon landings . . . and nothing more advanced, then we're in big trouble.

Posted by: Trimegistus at December 06, 2015 10:23 AM (7o+tb)

90 One last thing about the Amazon Fire -- no need to install Google Play to access Gmail or your Google Cloud stuff. I used the Amazon email app to access Gmail and the Amazon Silk browser to access other stuff. Works fine, saves space, and you avoid the frequent Google app updates -- if that is an issue.

I'm a Google-holic and plan to install their stuff. I never use Google Play Books or Music because I'm an Amazon fan. For any Google apps that you don't want to use, simply Disable them and you won't be prompted to update them. Less hassle, less network usage.

Posted by: doug at December 06, 2015 10:23 AM (r/F5E)

91 84 ... Hrothgar, Considering the huge amount of pure lead ammo expended in the First and Second Manassas battles, I'm not too surprised at the chance for lead poisoning in a nearby well. Wish I could have retrieved that lead to make round ball for my black powder guns although cleaning it up would have been a pain.

For those who live in proximity to battlefields, especially from the Civil War, see if you can find battle maps from the engagement. It is interesting how the terrain has changed over the century. Roads that were used then may not exist anymore, major camps may now be a shopping center and there may be other changes. We learned that Confederate forces likely marched through what is now our back yard on the way to the battle. Fun and interesting stuff, especially if you enjoy maps.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 10:24 AM (FvdPb)

92 I've been catching up on "Vikings" on History. I've avoided it before because, well, it's History. But so far I'm enjoying it, and decided to read up on Viking history as a background. Right now I'm reading "The Vikings" by Else Roesdahl.

Posted by: Citizen Cake at December 06, 2015 10:25 AM (ppaKI)

93 I read Childhood's End this past week since I had never read it before. Wow, what a depressing book. I assume I am not spoiling it for anyone since the book is fairly old. I think Clarke meant for it at least to be bittersweet if not an outright celebration of man's evolution. Instead, all I could see was the pajama boy style death of humanity. For a book from that era, it has a lot of the typical tropes:

- UN world government
- If we just gave people all necessary material possessions there would be no war.
- Rationality means exactly one thing and no one who disagrees is rational.
- Marriage is outdated and people come in go from relationships with no long term consequences. The only bad thing that can happen from free sex is having an unwanted kid.

A lot of the typical problems I have with Clarke stories. Some interesting ideas but the characters are bland. Religion is only superstition. For all of the technical wonders in the stories, I wouldn't want to live in the cold, clinical worlds where they exist.

I loved the accusations in the Amazon reviews about how the book collapsed into mysticism.

Posted by: WOPR at December 06, 2015 10:27 AM (LTDSy)

94 He was a good investigative reporter, and his writing/investigation of the period between 1993 (1st WTC bombing and 9/11) is really good.

Posted by: Bossy Conservative....lost in America at December 06, 2015 10:07 AM (+1T7c)


This reminds me that several years ago, (2006) one of the alphabet networks ran a miniseries "The Path to 9/11" (starring Harvey Keitel) that is still not available on DVD because it made Bill Clinton look bad, and so the Clintons and their powerful Democratic allies in the media threw a tantrum about it which succeeded in getting it tossed down the memory hole.

Fortunately, bittorrent is my friend.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 10:27 AM (xnR+S)

95 89- Trimegistus-

Ace wrote a post about this very notion a while back. Trying to recall all of the details, but the gist was that civilizations get to a certain point and get zapped by a comet or some other major disaster.

Posted by: Dana- author of the sci fi book Outward Frontier on Amazon at December 06, 2015 10:28 AM (eTvJc)

96 Why does the USMC wait until Captain to recommend Starship Troopers? Every child should read that at age 11! (When I gave copies to my kids, I told them it was their first adult book.)

Posted by: EndOfPatience at December 06, 2015 10:28 AM (PVBzL)

97 96 Why does the USMC wait until Captain to recommend Starship Troopers? Every child should read that at age 11! (When I gave copies to my kids, I told them it was their first adult book.)
Posted by: EndOfPatience at December 06, 2015 10:28 AM (PVBzL)
---
I was going to make a snarky comment about officers being children, but naaahhhh...

Agree that it should be introduced to our prospective voting populace early, say, junior high at least.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Michigangsta at December 06, 2015 10:31 AM (jR7Wy)

98 #89:

That's also called the Rare Earth Theory. The idea is that the conditions needed for intelligent life to develop is almost impossibly rare. In other words, we are here only due to a series of extremely unlikely coincidences. A cosmic accident, if you will.

Posted by: Citizen Cake at December 06, 2015 10:32 AM (ppaKI)

99 Trimegistus, David Brin one time wrote a short story called "The Crystal Spheres."

When a civilization gets past their Oort Cloud - forget if an FTL ship shattered it but when the story happens Earth has FTL drive -, it shatters and bombards the solar system. But once a civilization survives that bombardment and goes out into the interstellar void, humans find spheres that protect whole solar systems. But after centuries they finally find another star with a shattered sphere.

Or if Humans manage not to nuke themselves or use a germ agent but never leave the mother planet, then yes Bad Luck as in SMOD will handily solve any population issue on Earth.

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 10:33 AM (vxGdA)

100 I've been reading HarperOne's The Study Quran. HarperOne used to be HarperCollins, and they put out a competent Study Bible, so I thought this one might be helpful. Or at least honest.

Er... no.

The editor Nasr has a lengthy introduction, which eventually gets around to stating that a condition of hiring him was that no kuffar would be allowed to translate or comment on any of the verses (p. xl). So what we get are individuals like Joseph Lumbard.

(I've dealt with Nasr's fifty-page pile of bullsh!t elsewhere. Jihadwatch has dealt with Lumbard: he is a Muslim convert who believes that Christians and Muslims can start working together to combat the real enemy... climate change. As infidels "reject" or "belie" the Warning; so skeptics deny the Warming.)

I did a leaf through to see if any mention of variants to the Qur'anic text would be mentioned, because Muslim scholars themselves frequently brought up "the qira'a of 'Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud" etc. Nothing for 17:23 or 17:32. Nothing for 98. Nothing for 103. "This is the book, there is no oil in it..."
http://www.answering-islam.org/Books/Margoliouth/variants.htm

I also checked 18:83f's commentary for any mention of the Alexander Nes'hana, Heraclius's propaganda novel about what a pounding he put on the Persians. Which one would think would be relevant to this time and place. Nope!
http://tinyurl.com/okpq9gd

We have 232 pages of essays at the back of the book; really a separate book itself. I've read the first seven.

THE GOOD: Walid Saleh's overview of Quranic Commentaries (pp. 1645-5 is excellent. Muzaffar Iqbal's overview (and debunking) of Scientific Commentary on the Quran is valuable - and gently informs main editor Nasr that he doesn't know what he's talking about, at least when Nasr was saying we'd have no algebra without the Quran.

THE BAD: Abdel Haleem's essay on Quranic Arabic doesn't have anything on what Arabic shares with other Semitic and specifically Old North Arabian / West Arabian languages, and doesn't mention any of that Syriac and Hebrew technical vocabulary in the Qur'an. Lumbard's The Quran in Translation looks flat incomplete (six pages!), and even what it has is redundant (iltifat is handled more competently by Abdel Haleen).

Overall this book is not a study of the Qur'an for its own sake. It is an exercise in obfuscation and propaganda. Non-Muslims are better off with George Sale.
https://books.google.com/books?id=6osxHeW6XDsC

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at December 06, 2015 10:33 AM (6FqZa)

101 Pinkerton? That cocksucker.

Posted by: zombie al swearengen at December 06, 2015 10:33 AM (xodPA)

102 On that Fermi paradox, new numbers that try to quantify the number of improbable conditions that must exist to sustain life, have gotten to something like 200, instead of the two or three they started with. So instead of odds being that there are millions of habitable planets, the odds became one in a million that there are any planets. So it is improbable even we exist.

Posted by: Illiniwek at December 06, 2015 10:10 AM (26Yu7)

It's like the "We're on the verge of creating AI!!!" claims that keep getting batted around. Back in the 60's, they thought only a few basic concepts need to be coded to create AI. That quickly grew. I doubt if the latest fad is much better. A lot of what counts as AI or learning is simply a computer doing large numbers of trial and error attempts to achieve the optimal solution.

Posted by: WOPR at December 06, 2015 10:33 AM (LTDSy)

103 *waves to All Hail Eris*

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 10:35 AM (vxGdA)

104 For those who live in proximity to battlefields, especially from the Civil War, see if you can find battle maps from the engagement. It is interesting how the terrain has changed over the century. Roads that were used then may not exist anymore, major camps may now be a shopping center and there may be other changes. We learned that Confederate forces likely marched through what is now our back yard on the way to the battle. Fun and interesting stuff, especially if you enjoy maps.

All of my friends growing up in Mobile had two collections: arrowheads and Civil War bullets. They were everywhere down here in the late '50's and early '60's. We'd run across them while playing all the time.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy at December 06, 2015 10:35 AM (LUgeY)

105 Ace wrote a post about this very notion a while back. Trying to recall all of the details, but the gist was that civilizations get to a certain point and get zapped by a comet or some other major disaster.
Like liberal inbreeding of the elite.

Posted by: andycanuck at December 06, 2015 10:35 AM (xodPA)

106 Am working my way through Life by Keith Richards. But I wanted to mention the other book I have from the library--Mayhem in Mayberry by Brian Lee Knopp. It's non-fiction. He is a private investigator in the Appalachias. It has a nice Justified feel to it.

Posted by: Notsothoreau at December 06, 2015 10:39 AM (Lqy/e)

107 Gorelick made like $26 million off the Fannie Mae scam, and seemed as guilty as Raines, but she got to investigate herself, a favorite Democrat scheme.

It's the Chicago Way, and Obama/Jarrett no doubt learned it from their card carrying communist mentors. Republicans go along to get along (I presume) because they have their own special interests to feed, and because the communist invasion has taken control of our media and schools, so resistance is met with loss of position, as we see with the whistle blowers.

Trump seems like the best hope of shattering that DC cartel, short of a huge economic breakdown and/or large scale jihad attacks. The Chinese espionage doesn't seem to bother anyone, as devastating as that really is. We really are leveraging away all we fought wars for, and leaving our children with huge deficits. But maybe they'll make an ap for that.

Posted by: Illiniwek at December 06, 2015 10:39 AM (26Yu7)

108 Pinkerton? That cocksucker.


Word.

Posted by: George McClellan at December 06, 2015 10:39 AM (ppaKI)

109 Anyone tried the Surface products as a replacement flor iPad? Would like to try a product which has high functionality but without Apples "my way or the highway approach".

Posted by: Edmund Burke's Shade at December 06, 2015 10:41 AM (cmBvC)

110 I do remember the Mecca situation. In those days, I read Time magazine religiously and they covered it. My main thought at that time was that this was savages killing savages for savage reasons. Sad, but it didn't concern me. Funny how you never worry about the real problems.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at December 06, 2015 10:43 AM (Nwg0u)

111 There's a notion in SETI circles called "the Great Filter" which is based on the Drake Equation and the Fermi Paradox. The idea is that since we don't see evidence of civilizations elsewhere in the Galaxy, there must be some "filter" which keeps life from reaching that level.

This sounds like a very desperate attempt to account for SETI's spectacular failure (thus far) to find any evidence of intelligent life outside our solar system. A simpler explanation for why we haven't found anything is because there isn't anything, or hardly anything, to find.

My own opinion is that as time goes on, they're going to discover that the necessary conditions under which life can develop are so numerous and complicated and dependent on so many different, unique factors, that it is difficult, if not impossible, to replicate anywhere else.

But, I could be wrong about this.

I think our children (or perhaps our children's children) will see the development of the first practical FTL drive, and then true interstellar exploration will become possible. Then things will get interesting

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 10:44 AM (xnR+S)

112 Oregon Muse, if you don't mind my asking, what sort of work do you do?

Posted by: Pastafarian at December 06, 2015 10:46 AM (pCf+a)

113 *waves back Queen Liz style*

Anna, how do you get the creative juices flowing when trifles like character, plot, and resolution aren't gelling?

The old standbys of likker and cabana boys would be suboptimal with my current delicate constitution.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Michigangsta at December 06, 2015 10:46 AM (jR7Wy)

114 Maybe SETI cannot find other life because earth is the first locale.

Posted by: Edmund Burke's Shade at December 06, 2015 10:46 AM (cmBvC)

115 @94 "The Path to 9/11"

Using a VPN is wise if you are torrenting a movie. Just sayin'...

I found a site selling the movie on DVD. Don't know anything about them. When you are ready to make a purchase, it goes to a shopify cart, allowing payment by PayPal. Looks legit, but apparently selling a bootleg.

http://movieozone.com/products/the-path-to-9-11-mini-series

ABC was the network that caved to the Clintons. You know, the folks who have that "objective" "journalist" George Stephanopoulos, who just happened to work for the Clintons....

Posted by: doug at December 06, 2015 10:47 AM (r/F5E)

116
And then the royals decided to, get this, protect their hold on power by giving the radicals financial support in the hopes that they'd go away and bother somebody else:






Funny thing, in the months after 9/11 I was telling people that it was essentially a Saudi Civil War.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at December 06, 2015 10:47 AM (o98Jz)

117 Muse: nobody's denying that we could be the only ones. But if we can figure out WHY we're the only ones it could be really important. If life turns out to be common but intelligence is rare, that suggests there may be long-term problems with intelligence.

Posted by: Trimegistus at December 06, 2015 10:49 AM (7o+tb)

118 *rotates gloved hand side to side*

If you are having those issues there are two possibilities to cure.

1. Take a break and do something else. Let the back of the mind gnaw on it and then come back.

2. If option 1 does not work, then perhaps write about something else.

Care to read almost 14,500 words of rough story?? I can inflict that upon you.

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 10:49 AM (vxGdA)

119 85 Loretta Lynch on Meet the Press still does not know what motivated the Cali jihadis, still not sure it was jihad

SMH.

Posted by: WhatWhatWhat? at December 06, 2015 10:52 AM (HMt16)

120 If we use our one and only data set as a model, we should expect life on other planets to be microbial. Life here was limited to that for over 3 billion years. Also, the Galaxy seems to think extinction is a pretty cool thing. Earth has had plenty of huge wipe-outs and one that almost sent life back to the microbial stage.

Life may not be all that hard to form, but be pretty hard to get to our stage.

We just don't know. We have only one data set and need more information. Until we get it we are forced to speculate.

Posted by: eman at December 06, 2015 10:53 AM (MQEz6)

121 Since the EMT is dead, this is the Current Thread, and we're over 100, o/t time?

I mentioned last night (full story at
http://acecomments.mu.nu/?blog=86&post=360415#c24509979 )
that, today, out-of-town son is driving in with his new girlfriend. Lunch at our daughter's house. Other son is working so won't make it, but for the rest of us it's Meet the Girlfriend. True test of a relationship!

They've known each other a while from past workplace, started dating and got serious fast.

Well, even if everything goes South and new girl runs off screaming, daughter's quiche, and Milady's cake and cookies for dessert ought to be good.

Posted by: mindful webworker - forever a parent at December 06, 2015 10:54 AM (5/lDN)

122 Oregon Muse: prayer sent!

Posted by: baldilocks at December 06, 2015 10:54 AM (ys2UW)

123 Re. the Fermi paradox: Given two factors, the vastness of space, and the inverse square law, I've never understood why it's a paradox.

Even if the chances of intelligent life evolving are high, it still seems unlikely that there would be any other civilizations in our local neighborhood of 100 light years or so. So if there are 3 or 4 civilizations that are reasonably close (300 or 400 light years), one of them would have had to broadcast one hell of a powerful transmission just to be heard; or a moderate-power transmission that happened to be focused right at us; and they would have had to do it at just the right time (300 or 400 years ago).

Give SETI a reasonable amount of time -- say, 300 years. They'll find someone out there.

Posted by: Pastafarian at December 06, 2015 10:55 AM (pCf+a)

124 And in case there is still a Moron out there who has not bought my book.

http://astore.amazon.com/aoshq-20/detail/B014BTSEYO

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 10:55 AM (vxGdA)

125 The problem with listing individual lines or verses with content in them in the Koran is the principle of "abnegation" in which things which were said earlier by Muhammad are recorded, but then are replaced and sometimes even contradicted by later pronouncements because supposedly an Angel said so.

So if you read a verse that says "all infidels must die" then a later one that says "infidels should be allowed to live, if they pay their tax" then the later one is what is binding and significant, and the first is just... of historical interest, I guess.

Another problem is that the Koran is just one book. its like studying the Old Testament and ignoring the New in the Bible: the Hadith is what almost all modern Islam is based on. They revere and honor the Koran, but structure their laws and justification for activities on the Hadith.

And here, it gets complicated, because the Hadith is not set in stone. Various parts of the Islamic faith consider different books to be valid and binding, and others (which a different faction might honor) to be either history of questionable value. So what the Shia honor, the Sunni might not, and even smaller sub-groups like the Ismaeli and Wahhabi have their own set.

Complicating matters even more is the way clerics and Mullahs have interpreted these sayings. There are different Shiara law courts around the world, with their own sphere of influence, who are sometimes in direct contradiction with each other.

So what I'm saying is that it makes even less sense to quote a portion of the Koran and throw it out like a grenade to blow up the Muslims than it does for some knucklehead Atheist kid who took one comparative religion class to quote one verse out of context from the Bible.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 10:55 AM (39g3+)

126 Oregon muse prayer sent your way

Posted by: ThunderB at December 06, 2015 10:56 AM (zOTsN)

127 Care to read almost 14,500 words of rough story?? I can inflict that upon you.
Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 10:49 AM (vxGdA)
---
Ha! I'd just procrastinate on that too!

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Michigangsta at December 06, 2015 10:57 AM (jR7Wy)

128 I agree with the comment on AI above. We'll never get true artificial intelligence. Ever. Human beings will never create and equal or even near-equal to the human brain.

Eventually, we'll get computer programs that are very subtle and complicated and can effectively mimic intelligence in the right setting, but never the real thing. But we keep being told its just around the corner, like Glenn Reynolds' desperate boomer insistence that we'll all soon live forever.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 10:59 AM (39g3+)

129
School cafeteria lady sacked for racism after 'liking' Facebook post of a dog in a 'burka' aka a 'barka'

http://goo.gl/UG249s

Posted by: Bruce With a Wang! at December 06, 2015 10:59 AM (iQIUe)

130 One of the more plausible solutions to the Fermi Paradox is that 'they' are nasty and you don't want to attract their attention.

The TV signals for I Love Lucy are now 50 light years out. It might only be a matter of time.

Posted by: HuuskerDu at December 06, 2015 10:59 AM (gYAkw)

131 Well, even if everything goes South and new girl runs off screaming, daughter's quiche, and Milady's cake and cookies for dessert ought to be good.

Posted by: mindful webworker


*****


Whatever you do, don't make any critical comments about her beard.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at December 06, 2015 10:59 AM (NeFrd)

132 As to life on other planets, I've long suspected there is plenty of it. This is STRICTLY not scientific but I am always amazed at the way life on earth can develop under the most unlikely conditions, conditions that were thought to preclude the possibility. If it can happen here, why not other planets? Also, it occurs to me that creating such a huge, unmeasureable universe for the sake of life on one planet seems, shall we say, extravagant.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 11:00 AM (FvdPb)

133 And here, it gets complicated, because the Hadith is not set in stone. Various parts of the Islamic faith consider different books to be valid and binding, and others (which a different faction might honor) to be either history of questionable value. So what the Shia honor, the Sunni might not, and even smaller sub-groups like the Ismaeli and Wahhabi have their own set.

Complicating matters even more is the way clerics and Mullahs have interpreted these sayings. There are different Shiara law courts around the world, with their own sphere of influence, who are sometimes in direct contradiction with each other.


So, there's some confusion in their "principles," confusion that is exploited by those seeking power for themselves?

Somehow, I'm not surprised.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy at December 06, 2015 11:01 AM (LUgeY)

134 "All of my friends growing up in Mobile had two collections: arrowheads and Civil War bullets. They were everywhere down here in the late '50's and early '60's. We'd run across them while playing all the time."

That would probably get you federal prison time these days.

Posted by: Insomniac - Pale Horse/Death 2016 at December 06, 2015 11:02 AM (kpqmD)

135 The problem with the 'cute' idea of radio waves propagating is simple attenuation of the signal. Just look at how weak the signals are and how large the arrays are to pick up the Voyager transmissions before distance and aging power supplies finally silenced them.

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 11:03 AM (vxGdA)

136 I mentioned two books last week that I have now read.

Ghosts In the Forest. This is the (probably incomplete) story of a small group of Cambodians who, having been kidnapped by the Khmer Rouge escaped and hid in the jungle for decades to avoid a war that was long over. Seemingly peaceful, it was eventually revealed that fear had turned them into cold blooded killers. I would rate it three out of five stars.

It Ended Badly. These are stories of the worst break ups in history and makes a pretty good argument that Norman Mailer is the worst person in the world. It is humorously written and a fun read. Four out of five stars.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at December 06, 2015 11:03 AM (Nwg0u)

137 right, time for the weekly-ish Elbow Hike, to Twin Peaks

See you in the footyball thread

Posted by: boulder terlit hobo at December 06, 2015 11:03 AM (6FqZa)

138 Good hearty morning from Mountain Time. Yeah, I just got up, so what? It's my day off.

This week, I finished reading Seamus Muldoon's To Save Us All From Ruin. It is a good read, and I will be reviewing it on amazon for him. I was always one of those who found history boring in school. Now that I'm grown up, I find that historical fiction makes me learn stuff that I want to know without putting me to sleep.

Posted by: April at December 06, 2015 11:03 AM (79ZSg)

139 Aw gee whiz All Hail Eris, are you in procrastinating mode?

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 11:04 AM (vxGdA)

140 A simpler explanation for why we haven't found anything is because there isn't anything, or hardly anything, to find.

Yeah, that's my guess as well. We really are alone out there, because while life is incredibly abundant here, its super rare in the universe, possibly unique to earth. The problem with running numbers is that it presumes we understand everything there is to know about life, planets, solar systems, and space. And that's so laughably untrue its like a 2 year old explaining how a computer works.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 11:04 AM (39g3+)

141 So if you read a verse that says "all infidels must die" then a later one that says "infidels should be allowed to live, if they pay their tax" then the later one is what is binding and significant, and the first is just... of historical interest, I guess.

-------

Most of the violent verses came later, when his army grew strong enough to let him abrogate his earlier peace treaties and go on the offensive.

Posted by: HuuskerDu at December 06, 2015 11:06 AM (gYAkw)

142 Granted, a single radio signal-source is unlikely to be resolved back to its original content at LY distances. But what about a statistical analysis of the radio-emissive properties of the entire Earth as a whole? Does the Earth look like a natural radio source?

If an observer standing on the beach with strong binoculars can see dim flashes of light way offshore, they don't need to be able to understand Morse Code to know that a ship must be out there.

Posted by: HuuskerDu at December 06, 2015 11:07 AM (gYAkw)

143 This week, I finished reading Seamus Muldoon's To Save Us All From Ruin.

Yeah I did too, it was a fun read, sometimes whimsical, sometimes heartrending, but always interesting. It reads a bit more like a biography than a story in the sense that its presented like a series of real life events, which in some degree they really are.

I recommend it to Horde readers. Will be putting a review up soon in various places.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 11:08 AM (39g3+)

144 Mostly lurker here, signed up for the Goodreads group. Currently reading Treecat Wars, by David Weber, in the Honorverse. It's okay, but am having trouble really getting into it. I supposed it's due to not having any characters I've gotten invested in during the mainline books. Also piddling along on Mohammed and Charlemagne, Revisited. A very detailed history of how what we knew of the fall of the Roman Empire was wrong, due mostly to craven Islamophiles among historians. Imagine that.

Posted by: bikermailman at December 06, 2015 11:08 AM (C6jcf)

145 You mean like the magnetic field of Jupiter that when one of the Pioneer probes did their fly-by, it was heard on radio?

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 11:10 AM (vxGdA)

146 I decided that I would risk getting on the "hall of shame" because I didn't want to miss the weekly book thread which I enjoy so much.

I am reading a couple of what I'd call fold out pamphlets by Joni Eareckson Tada, who most evangelical Christians know because he had a diving accident which left here as a paraplegic when she was 17, and she writes regularly on issues related to faith and the Christian life. She is an advocate for people with disabilities and a Christian speaker. At any rate these two pamphlets of about 14 pages each are called "When God Seems Unjust" and "Gaining a Hopeful Spirit" and they are excellently written, biblically based and Christ centered. Both Hebrew and Christian scriptures are quoted and discussed. These seem to be topics that many people can relate to. At the momentI am not feeling that God is unjust and despite world circumstances I do have a spirit of hope. Anyway, I'm think if I find some people who are struggling I can give them to them. They might be nurturing and helpful. I think she has written some other pamphlets too

They are available from Rose Publishing www.rose-publishing.com. There is a nice quote from G. Chesterton in the pamplet on hope:

"As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength. Like all the Christian virtues, it is as unreasonable as it is indispensable.
______________________________________

Thanks, as always for your time and effort on the book thread. OM. I will be glad to keep you in prayer.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 06, 2015 11:11 AM (No/ki)

147 The concept of SETI seems to be based on the calculation of life arising based on three dimensions, but not four.

The idea of technological situations statistical occurence still doesn't mean they all occur at compatible times.

I suspect the density is far less because they come and go, but they don't all exist at the same time.

Posted by: Pappy O'Daniel at December 06, 2015 11:12 AM (oVJmc)

148 I do remember when radicals stormed the Grand Mosque. It was reported, but of course, the true significance of that event wouldn't be known for years.
But I do remember reading later that the French Commandos who put a stop to it had to convert to Islam to be allowed to enter the Mosque in the first place. I'm sure it was a bullshit conversion, but it illustrates how fucked up Islam is.

Posted by: JoeF. at December 06, 2015 11:12 AM (4vGZY)

149 1) Prayers up for Oregon Muse. *check*
2) Adds OM to prayer list. *check*

That's all I got.

Posted by: olddog in mo at December 06, 2015 11:14 AM (c/3OG)

150 Eventually, we'll get computer programs that are
very subtle and complicated and can effectively mimic intelligence in
the right setting, but never the real thing. But we keep being told its
just around the corner, like Glenn Reynolds' desperate boomer
insistence that we'll all soon live forever.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 10:59 AM (39g3+)


I suspect the first use would be as.. guides? helpers? facilitators? ...maybe "docents" or "specialist programs" would be the best explanation, in databases and applications, to help navigation and use, and help with the more repetitive functions.

Of course while typing that I flashed on the scenario of, "Then, looking for best function, the AIs interconnected, gained access to the core, the satellite network, and TrollNet became self aware..."
At which point I started musing on Clippy, the T-1000...

Posted by: Kindltot at December 06, 2015 11:14 AM (q2o38)

151 117 Muse: nobody's denying that we could be the only ones.

Nobody on this thread maybe. But the hardcore SETI enthusiasts definitely do. They're absolutely certain of it. I knew one guy who believed in it so resolutely that in his view, anyone who did *not* believe in the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations was an irrational, mouth-breathing troglodyte, and most likely an anti-science religious fanatic to boot.

Oh, and did I tell you this guy was a liberal?

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 11:14 AM (xnR+S)

152 Morning horde. Let's go to Clemson, SC today. The coach is throwing a pizza party for the entire school. 20,000 pizza's served in Death Valley, their stadium.



Oh, yes they did beat the Tar poots, in a very sloppy game.

Posted by: Nip Sip at December 06, 2015 11:15 AM (jJRIy)

153 Other than Seamus' book I read a novel called "Prophecy" by SJ Parris. Its a mystery story set in Elizabethan England right before the Great London Fire and revolves around the strange religious and astrological hysteria at the time because of a conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter. The main character is a scholarly type named Giordano Bruno from Italy who is fairly capable if not especially distinct or unique. Its a good read with a lot of interesting historical bits.

The only real gripe I have with the book is that yet again the main character is the one guy in the time period who is skeptical of religion, f'in loves science, and isn't sure he even believes in God, which is about the 479232th historical protagonist I've read who is that sort. Its like a fixation with writers, needing to inject 21st century mindsets on their characters.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 11:16 AM (39g3+)

154 Posted by: April at December 06, 2015 11:03 AM (79ZSg)

++++++++


Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 11:08 AM (39g3+)


*****

Humble thanks for the positive comments, both.

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at December 06, 2015 11:17 AM (NeFrd)

155 I read Five weeks in a balloon by Jules Verne this last week. It was one of the most enthralling tales of adventure i have ever had the pleasure to enjoy!
Basic plot: Three men fly a hot air balloon over Africa in 1862. Adventure ensues.
I had to keep looking things up to read it. The tales of the real Europeans who had traversed Africa up to that point we're nearly as fascinating as the novel itself!
I would have done well to have a good map of Africa with longitude and latitude markings though, just to follow the magnificent description of their travels.
The language towards the African natives was not what would be considers pc these days but i am quite certain it was historically accurate.
All in all, one of the most fun books I've read lately. Nice short chapters too that made me continuously think i could read just one more even if it was past my bedtime!
Highly recommended!

Posted by: sugar plum fairy - you are tutu kind! at December 06, 2015 11:18 AM (mYj3l)

156 The Christmas sweater on the sidebar is amazing. I can hear Libs having ragestrokes from my desk.

Posted by: Kindltot at December 06, 2015 11:19 AM (q2o38)

157 nobody's denying that we could be the only ones.

Nobody on this thread maybe. But the hardcore SETI enthusiasts definitely do.

-
Explain Dennis Kucinich. Better yet, explain his smoking hot ginger wife.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at December 06, 2015 11:19 AM (Nwg0u)

158 If anyone needs a story idea. *politely averts gaze from All Hail Eris*

A science fiction idea at that.

Now suppose an alien race show sup in Earth orbit and claims to have created Humanity. They explain away the earlier non-contact by saying they wanted Humanity to develop unhindered. However reality forces their hand. You see there is this other alien race and could Humanity please help out their creators?

Now fast forward about fifty years. Humanity has been helping their Ancient Alien creators in this war. But now a human has found an awful truth...

Their creators are not. it has been a big hoax because the aliens needed mercenary fighters. What to do? What will the aliens do?

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 11:19 AM (vxGdA)

159 And thanks to all of youse 'rons and 'ettes who have me in their prayers. I appreciate them greatly.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 11:19 AM (xnR+S)

160 146 I decided that I would risk getting on the "hall of shame" because I didn't want to miss the weekly book thread which I enjoy so much.

Not sure what you're talking about. Did I miss something? You're always welcome on the book thread.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 11:21 AM (xnR+S)

161 Hot Wet Chinese Food Fart

Posted by: AoS bon mot preservation society at December 06, 2015 11:21 AM (V/11D)

162 It's a rule of thumb that the more contact you have with animals, the less you romanticize them.

I dunno, I've named a pike Bob that lived right off the dock and kept falling for the Johnson Silver Minnow.

Posted by: DaveA at December 06, 2015 11:21 AM (DL2i+)

163 Christopher -- this Bruno character wasn't supposed to be the grandfather of "the" Giordano Bruno, was he?

Kind of an odd co-inky-dink that in this thread where we're discussing Fermi's Paradox, Bruno is mentioned, but in a completely different context.

Posted by: Pastafarian at December 06, 2015 11:22 AM (pCf+a)

164 With due respect, I think the connection between Drake and Fermi is being mis-stated here. Drake is about how many communications-capable civilizations might exist at any one time. The expected life time of such putative civilizations is critically important in this calculation, thus the Great Filter factor.

Fermi is also about time, but strangely in an opposite sense. Fermi's aha! was that he realized that given the age of the universe and the Milky Way galaxy within it, if EVEN ONE civilization had achieved star-faring, they would be able to colonize/infest the entire galaxy in a few tens of millions of years, even under the most conservative estimates for rate of exploration. Some wags have joked that they could have walked here by now!

That is a miniscule fraction of the time that has elapsed since the creation of the first generation of stars with "metals" beyond hydrogen and helium that we assume are required to build sentient life.

Similarly, Fermi also saw that the vast depth of time means that anything that CAN happen, no matter how improbably, WILL happen. The vastness of time is the essence of Fermi's argument, while the vastness of space is the essence of Drake's. Put the two together and you raise a pretty interesting question...

Very few scientists would say that the basics of Fermi and Drake are completely invalid, and most would generally support their logic, even if disagreeing with the details. But when it comes to any purported evidence of space beings (UFOs), they adopt the approach of Sagan, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. That sounds reasonable, except that according to Fermi and Drake, it is the ABSCENCE of such evidence that would be extraordinary!

Yes, I know all about the supposed lack of physical evidence, but "evidence" has nothing to do with the fact that professional scientists run screaming away from anything that looks like space life, and always have. Plenty of scientists spend their entire careers looking for things nobody has evidence for! But not apparently a phenomenon that a few great minds have said is well-nigh inevitable!

Posted by: Ray Van Dune at December 06, 2015 11:22 AM (fb100)

165 Nonsense. Everything I touched turned to gold. What's that smell?

Posted by: Jamie Horelick at December 06, 2015 11:23 AM (Dwehj)

166 I've had a SF story in the back of my head for years, about how all the amazing scientific advancements in the last 150 years were in fact engineered by an alien race trying to get us caught up for *reasons*. I never put the idea to paper because I couldn't come up with a satisfactory reason.

Posted by: Citizen Cake at December 06, 2015 11:24 AM (ppaKI)

167 Performance Improvement Plan, ugh, corporation-speak.

Posted by: bour3 at December 06, 2015 11:24 AM (5x3+2)

168 Re: Fermi's paradox

Been decades since I read Asimov, but IIRC, in his fictional universe, humanity never found any other intelligent life anywhere Out There. Proto-life, nothing as advanced as animals. I suppose something like that could be because, once an ecological niche is filled (e.g. self-aware humans arise), they, or nature, suppress anyone else rising to that level, or something like that.

Some say that other material beings might be so "alien" that we might not even recognize them as such, nor they us. Like the sand intelligence on that Trek:NextGen episode.

I prefer to think that, just as evolution followed patterns of development on our world for physical reasons, life on other worlds would have similar forms, minds, morals, and faith. Because that's how the universe is constructed, by God.

I usually joke, the main clue that there's intelligent life in abundance Out There is that we haven't heard from them yet. We're still in the cradle, the anthropological let-them-develop-some-more stage. And, would you want to associate with primitives like us? Eww.

1 of 2, divided for Moron attention span

Posted by: mindful webworker - cosmic character at December 06, 2015 11:25 AM (5/lDN)

169 I read Five weeks in a balloon by Jules Verne this last week. It was one of the most enthralling tales of adventure i have ever had the pleasure to enjoy!

Jules Verne books are all great to read, I recommend them to everybody, even teenagers. A hot air balloon features prominently in Mysterious Island as well, great book, but never been a good movie treatment yet.

this Bruno character wasn't supposed to be the grandfather of "the" Giordano Bruno, was he?

There's no mention of it, but perhaps that's implied or meant by the author.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 11:25 AM (39g3+)

170 Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 11:21 AM (xnR+S)

Thanks. I feel very welcomed, OM. :^) I only meant that I have posted so much overall this week that I didn't want to be on "Most posts of the week list" that is put up in the ONT on Sunday night. FenelonSpouse-635 posts, or something like that That is what is referred to some of us as the "Wall of Shame". I hate getting on it and of course I .have been several times

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 06, 2015 11:26 AM (No/ki)

171 The only real gripe I have with the book is that yet again the main character is the one guy in the time period who is skeptical of religion, f'in loves science, and isn't sure he even believes in God, which is about the 479232th historical protagonist I've read who is that sort. Its like a fixation with writers, needing to inject 21st century mindsets on their characters.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 11:16 AM (39g3+)


Just be thankful the author didn't include a feminist character who rails against patriarchy and "rape culture" like a good 21st century wymmyyns studies major.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 11:26 AM (xnR+S)

172 right WOPR ... the best sci fi can do is say life is created by lightning hitting primordial soup, or energizing Frankenstein's monster, or "number five is alive", where one of the robots gets life when hit by lightning.

The other theory is radiation somehow gives life, I guess since it can mutate things. But life only ever comes from life, from a purely scientific method of study. Life from nothing is magical thinking, not based on science.

The idea that we can write a program so complex that it becomes life, just seems stupid to me. Man can't even make a perpetual motion machine, while the forces we utilize continue infinitely without diminishment. (e.g. The gravity "battery" never runs down) Science has zero explanation for these things, and certainly not for life itself. "A man's gotta know his limitations", as I think Dirty Harry once said.

The Bible says "by God all things consist/cohere". I'm OK with that "theory". To accept the universal oneness of the physics of forces, is in a sense, to accept a higher unifying power. I guess the multiverse people think there could be variations in other "realms", where Thor and Loki reside I presume.

The Bible also said God sees the beginning and end, and recent big bang theorists say perhaps time itself "began" with the big bang. When it comes to creation/beginnings, science has not really improved on the Bible, and in some ways it is only catching up. I don't view the Bible as perfect either, though it captured some inspired thoughts.

Posted by: Illiniwek at December 06, 2015 11:26 AM (26Yu7)

173 A lot of what counts as AI or learning is simply a computer doing
large numbers of trial and error attempts to achieve the optimal
solution.


And you aren't, Meatsack?

Posted by: RobotOverlord1.2 at December 06, 2015 11:27 AM (DL2i+)

174 And I had to blather on, giving my 2 cents worth so many times (because it was a horrible week with the San Bernardino shootings) that I'm somewhere in the rankings, I expect.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 06, 2015 11:28 AM (No/ki)

175 doug

is that the new kindle with camera?

i ran across an unusual app that might be cool to test out with it. called photo trap.it compares photos and shows what has been moved. useful for some situations

Posted by: Bigby's Knuckle Sandwich at December 06, 2015 11:28 AM (Cq0oW)

176 I dunno, I've named a pike Bob that lived right off the dock and kept falling for the Johnson Silver Minnow.

Posted by: DaveA at December 06, 2015 11:21 AM (DL2i+)


OK, so maybe "Bob" wasn't so smart.

And maybe you weren't doing him any favors with that whole "catch and release" thing.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 11:29 AM (xnR+S)

177 166 I've had a SF story in the back of my head for years, about how all the amazing scientific advancements in the last 150 years were in fact engineered by an alien race trying to get us caught up for *reasons*. I never put the idea to paper because I couldn't come up with a satisfactory reason.
Posted by: Citizen Cake at December 06, 2015 11:24 AM (ppaKI)

Several alien races got together and held a contest whereby they each got to create a new type of being and whichever one developed the most advanced civilization won. The losers (the new beings that don't reach the appropriate level of advancement) all get exterminated. The alien race that created human beings has grown rather fond of them and is willing to cheat to get them caught up and ensure their survival.

Posted by: Insomniac - Pale Horse/Death 2016 at December 06, 2015 11:30 AM (kpqmD)

178 Just be thankful the author didn't include a feminist character who rails against patriarchy and "rape culture"

Run into more than a few of those, too. Usually feminist authors. Its gotten to the point that when I read a book or series like the Michael Jecks Templar books, I'm over joyed - the characters are completely reasonable and appropriate for their times without needing to inject modern thinking.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 11:30 AM (39g3+)

179 Computers are dumb. I've talked many to death.

Posted by: Captain Kirk at December 06, 2015 11:30 AM (ppaKI)

180 2 of 2, because wall-of-text

In the Urantia Book universe (what, that again?) the time-space universe is created by the eternal God to be filled with mortal children. They even say there is a world of mortal beings "near" us, although without specifying whether within the solar system or around some "nearby" star, nor what level of evolution they've reached, e.g. radio chatter we could pick up.

In their telling, the cosmos is all overseen by the children of God, and mortal world civilizations are usually guided from the earliest days, and so we should know that we are part of universal civilization.

On our world, indeed our whole section of space, "all the foundations of the earth are out of course" (Psalm 82:5). A similar idea was given in L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time - the universe is light, but with dark patches. Looks all dark when you're inside the bad parts.

In the Urantia story, ever since the "Lucifer rebellion" hundreds of thousands of years ago, we are isolated from the spiritual circuits and won't be reinstated until his trial is completed, no projection on that date given. Whether the "spiritual circuits" being reinstated would be noticed by mortals is not specified. (Lucifer's disciple, the "prince of this world" was "cast down" is no longer in power, but is still free to cause trouble, for those who ask him in.)

I was interested to read last week about CS Lewis (wasn't it?) writing about something similar, worlds under leadership of divine authority - want to look that up.

So, here on Urantia (name of our world, it sez), thanks to that old rebel, we lost our intended planetary guides twice over, and so are largely on our own, revelations from occasional teachers and the Son of God incarnate notwithstanding. Makes us a hot tourist spot for unseen cosmic visitors, though, seeing how we are a planet with so many "who have not seen but have believed."

Interesting note that one of Lucifer's big arguments was that too much time and energy was spent on administering mortal worlds and resurrecting us. A$$hole. [spit]

However, we do have the Urantia revelation to assure us that we are not alone, not abandoned, and are indeed loved and assured of eternal life, if we do not reject this gift of God. In case you didn't already get that memo from the Gospels.

Posted by: mindful webworker - cosmic character at December 06, 2015 11:30 AM (5/lDN)

181 Fermi's aha! was that he realized that given the age of the universe and the Milky Way galaxy within it, if EVEN ONE civilization had achieved star-faring, they would be able to colonize/infest the entire galaxy in a few tens of millions of years, even under the most conservative estimates for rate of exploration. Some wags have joked that they could have walked here by now!

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

It only takes one jerk race to decide that they have to be the only ones to exist in the galaxy. All it takes is set of self-replicating automated probes operating on fairly simple software. They can travel at sublight speed, search for coherent radio signals, and home it on them. When they get a lock they then shove an asteroid to set it on a collision course with the signal source. Then they make more probes from raw material in the ejecta and go out again.

They are called von Neumann probes. There is a good depiction of them in of Greg Bear's SF novel, The Forge of God.

Posted by: HuuskerDu at December 06, 2015 11:32 AM (gYAkw)

182 I have never read anything by Jules Verne, but I think I should. They should like so much fun and interesting and at least the movies made from his books (Whether they follow the plots well or not) are often entertaining.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 06, 2015 11:32 AM (No/ki)

183 Obama is gonna give an Oval Office speech to reassure the frightened nation that it's all good.


Don't you feel better already?

Posted by: Dack Thrombosis at December 06, 2015 11:33 AM (4ErVI)

184 183 Obama is gonna give an Oval Office speech to reassure the frightened nation that it's all good.


Don't you feel better already?
Posted by: Dack Thrombosis at December 06, 2015 11:33 AM (4ErVI)

At this point only ocular heroin injections will make me feel better about that.

Posted by: Insomniac - Pale Horse/Death 2016 at December 06, 2015 11:34 AM (kpqmD)

185 139 Aw gee whiz All Hail Eris, are you in procrastinating mode?
Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 11:04 AM (vxGdA)
---
Ayup. Why, look, it's time for lunch! Can't create on an empty stomach.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Michigangsta at December 06, 2015 11:34 AM (jR7Wy)

186 Now suppose an alien race show sup in Earth orbit and claims to have created Humanity.

David Brin would like to talk with you.

last 150 years were in fact engineered by an alien race trying to get us caught up for *reasons*.

And John Ringo with you.


Posted by: Careful! at December 06, 2015 11:35 AM (DL2i+)

187 182 I have never read anything by Jules Verne, but I think I should.

Same here.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 11:36 AM (xnR+S)

188 Something annoying to me is that I've been running into more and more typos and minor mistakes in books lately. The newer the book, the more often I spot it. I don't know if that's because of an over reliance on spelling- and grammar-checking programs or that older books had a chance for a new edition to clear out early mistakes or what.

And I'm not talking about self pubbed independent stuff, I mean mainstream big time publishers.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 11:36 AM (39g3+)

189 Insomniac, try Brin's Uplift books. The Progenitors raised lesser species to sapience. And now there are clans of Uplifted Patrons with whole constellations of uplifted clients. Some clans deliberately turn their clients into special duty cogs. And here comes Humanity, a Wolfling Clan with no known Patron upsetting the Five Universes apple cart.

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 11:36 AM (vxGdA)

190 Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 11:36 AM (vxGdA)


Sounds interesting. I'll check it out.

Posted by: Insomniac - Pale Horse/Death 2016 at December 06, 2015 11:38 AM (kpqmD)

191 183 Obama is gonna give an Oval Office speech to reassure the frightened nation that it's all good.

What's the over/under on how long he will get into his speech before he starts trashing the NRA, Republicans and cautioning against "Islamophobia"?

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 11:38 AM (xnR+S)

192 @175 Fire - camera

"VGA Front-facing camera + 2 MP rear-facing camera with 720p HD video recording"

A cheap phone is better.

Posted by: doug at December 06, 2015 11:38 AM (r/F5E)

193 173 A lot of what counts as AI or learning is simply a computer doing
large numbers of trial and error attempts to achieve the optimal
solution.

And you aren't, Meatsack?

******


Maybe the problem with AI developers is that they have set their sights too high...?

Posted by: Seamus Muldoon at December 06, 2015 11:40 AM (NeFrd)

194 And maybe you weren't doing him any favors with that whole "catch and release" thing.

Took him 4 or 5 trips out of the water and a sore jaw every year, and he'd still follow it in.

Posted by: DaveA at December 06, 2015 11:40 AM (DL2i+)

195 >>> You see there is this other alien race and could Humanity please help<<<

That is kind of one of the sub-plots in the Berserker series. Humanity makes it to the stars and encounters the Carmpans, who are already on the run. The Carmpans are a more advanced but extremely unwarlike civilization, so they give the Terrans a technological boost and put them on course to run into the Berserkers--I don't remember if they actually warned about the killer robots or if they just pointed and said "Hey, lots of good planet thataway....".

Posted by: the guy that moves pianos for a living... at December 06, 2015 11:41 AM (tEDMc)

196 A science fiction idea at that.

Now suppose an alien race show sup in Earth orbit and claims to have created Humanity...


The Simpsons--um, I mean, Babylon 5 did it!

Posted by: derit at December 06, 2015 11:42 AM (jT+gh)

197 "The very same people who caused the failure were on the committee instead of answering questions."

Even though Philip Shenon has the ineradicable stench of working for the NYT about him, and he hence obviously does some shilling for Democrats in his writing, there is still some good material about the incompetence and corruption of the 9/11 commission in his book, obviously enough called _The Commission_.

There are also many details about Fedzilla constantly tripping over its own feet in the runup to the attacks. Gorelick was just part of the backstory.

Another good read about endemic ineptitude in D.C. would be _The Failure Factory_ by Bill Gertz.

Posted by: torquewrench at December 06, 2015 11:43 AM (noWW6)

198 Careful there are two trilogies.

The first trilogy has Sundiver which is a murder mystery with ETs in the heart of the Sun. Second book is Startide Rising in which a Human/Dolphin exploration ship stumbles across a secret that ignites an interstellar war. Third book is The Uplift War which chronicles the events on one alien occupied Human colony.

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 11:43 AM (vxGdA)

199 There's a nood and you wannabe firsters can suck it.

Posted by: Bandersnatch at December 06, 2015 11:44 AM (1xUj/)

200 OM-He'll do all of those things guaranteed. I don't understand why they have to lie when it's so obvious it was Islamic terrorism (I mean I do know why, but 's head shakingly irresponsible).

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 06, 2015 11:44 AM (No/ki)

201
Oregon Muse, I saw your request for prayer in regards to your job. Count me in.


1 Corinthians 2: 9

"But as it is written - "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him."

Posted by: grammie winger, watching the fig tree at December 06, 2015 11:45 AM (dFi94)

202 Greetings:

A not too long way back, I wrote somewhat disparagingly about Nathan Philbrick's "Mayflower". At that point, I was only a couple of chapters into it and was under the sway of my reaction to PBS's "American Experience" attempt at dimishing our Thanksgiving holiday.

I've now finished the book and would recommend it. It was every bit as good as the author's "The Last Stand" (about Custer's). The "Mayflower" provided a good bit of depth (that PBS seems to have missed) about the Amerindian conflicts going on long before the Pilgrims arrived and how the former were much practiced at political strategems and nowhere near total victims. The follow on about King Philip's War was all pretty much new to me and followed the usual pattern of the whites getting their asses much kicked initially until they figured out the style of warfare and turned things around.

Posted by: 11B40 at December 06, 2015 11:48 AM (evgyj)

203 Most of the violent verses came later, when his army grew strong enough to let him abrogate his earlier peace treaties and go on the offensive.
_________

Earlier this week I asked if there was another major religion that required adherents to make a pilgrimage or hajj to the origin site -- annually or in a lifetime. Pilgrimage has never been 'required' in Christianity or Judaism -- although admired.

Really want some Horde knowledge on this.

Posted by: mustbequantum at December 06, 2015 11:49 AM (MIKMs)

204 I enjoyed that book on the Mayflower very much. I was interested because I had an ancestor who come over on it-not one of the Separatists, though, but he did sign the Mayflower Compact.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at December 06, 2015 11:49 AM (No/ki)

205 The language towards the African natives was not what would be considers pc these days but i am quite certain it was historically accurate.
...
Posted by: sugar plum fairy - you are tutu kind! at December 06, 2015 11:18 AM (mYj3l)
---
I was reading the "South America" Volume of "The Earth and Its Inhabitants" (1890) and they hastened to assure their readers that the primitive Fuegians were in fact humans and not primates as had been posited by others (Darwin himself called them "miserable animals" and erroneously ascribed cannibalism to them).

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Michigangsta at December 06, 2015 11:51 AM (jR7Wy)

206
I've had a SF story in the back of my head for years, about how all the amazing scientific advancements in the last 150 years were in fact engineered by an alien race trying to get us caught up for *reasons*. I never put the idea to paper because I couldn't come up with a satisfactory reason.

Posted by: Citizen Cake at December 06, 2015 11:24 AM (ppaKI)







Hate to say it, but if I remember correctly, that's pretty much John Ringo's Aldenata series. The bad guy alien Race A predict a future where they are exterminated by humans in a couple of hundred years or so, after humans perfect exotic technology on their own. But if the humans are handed exotic technology now and pointed at bad guy alien Race B (who are also fighting Race A), then Race B is neutralized and humans are set back for thousands of years......before they use those same exotic technologies exterminate Race A.

Buying time, in other words. Thousands of years before extermination vs hundreds of years before extermination.

Posted by: IllTemperedCur at December 06, 2015 11:52 AM (o98Jz)

207 The Darheel and the Posleen. Watch on the Rhine showed the ending to that story arc for the Darheel. And they deserved it.

But the gist of my idea is. The alien race has conned Humans with a lie to get mercenaries. The story centers around the human who finds out about the lie and what will the aliens do. Just a random idea I had.

Posted by: Anna Puma at December 06, 2015 11:56 AM (vxGdA)

208 188 Something annoying to me is that I've been running into more and more typos and minor mistakes in books lately.

I agree. It seems to be getting worse year after year. The 2010 hardbound edition of Vince Flynn's American Assassin that I read had an appalling number of editing lapses. It really interfered with being able to appreciate the book.

Proofreading still matters and spell check is not enough, because it will miss lots of autocucumbers.

Posted by: cool breeze at December 06, 2015 11:57 AM (6Cu7i)

209 Earlier this week I asked if there was another major religion that required adherents to make a pilgrimage or hajj to the origin site -- annually or in a lifetime.

I'm not aware of any. Almost all religions are works-based, but Islam is one of the most blatant examples of it: do these things and you're fine.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 12:01 PM (39g3+)

210 The wave front of human presence:
1894-Marconi radio transmission 119 ly
1913 SOS Titanic 102 ly
1941 Air Raid Pearl Harbor 74 ly
1945 Trinity event sets off bhangmeters across the universe 70 ly
1952 Ivy Mike 63 ly
1963 President Kennedy is dead 52 ly
1969 Tranquility Base 46 ly
1989 Fall of Berlin Wall 26 ly

Posted by: Fox2! at December 06, 2015 12:07 PM (brIR5)

211 Dana, thanks for the heads up about One Year After. I didn't realize the sequel was out. One Second After was a sobering and scary premise (and all too possible).

JTB and Hrothgar, I'm right down the road from you in Stafford County. Please remember me for any future Moron Meetups.

Posted by: That SOB Van Owen at December 06, 2015 12:09 PM (J0jXd)

212 I've had a SF story in the back of my head for
years, about how all the amazing scientific advancements in the last 150
years were in fact engineered by an alien race trying to get us caught
up for *reasons*. I never put the idea to paper because I couldn't come
up with a satisfactory reason.


Posted by: Citizen Cake at December 06, 2015 11:24 AM (ppaKI)


Shock troops
colonizers
spare parts
markets
mascots
maquiladores (think Nike in Thailand or Magnavox in Mexico)
Rubber-tappers
Some sort of Club Med or high end safari trips resort system for the ultra rich ETs
an attempt to prove some political-economic philosopy that had failed bloodily everywhere else tried, "But this time, Dammit, we have all the factors figured out and it WILL work"
Private dukedoms pre-stocked with awed peasants
An ecomienda system like the Spanish in colonial Cuba and the Philippines
Guilt over the last 573 planetary cultures they inadvertently destroyed or kneecapped back to the chalcolithic through handouts and meddling

Posted by: Kindltot at December 06, 2015 12:15 PM (q2o38)

213 182 and 187 ... You really should read Jules Verne. The stories are so well written (with a whiff of humor like in Rider haggard books) and brilliantly imaginative. But you must get a good translation. Check the Jules Verne Society web site for good examples. There has been some serious research to achieve the best translations in the last decade or so and it makes a difference. "Journey To The Center of the Earth" translations have been especially mutilated for over a century. The books beat any of the movies by far. I much prefer Verne to HG Wells.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 12:17 PM (FvdPb)

214 -Testing new technology on the primitives
-Religious movement that believes helping cultures grow and advance technologically brings them closer to their computer god
-Testing out a theory on various races to see how they turn out and what they do
-Experimenting with technology they deem too dangerous to personally use

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 12:18 PM (39g3+)

215 Anybody own the new-

Fire HD 10?


The reviews are really mixed.

I own a 1st generation Fire and would like to upgrade for Christmas, since the discounted price today is pretty good, but-

there seem to be a lot of complaints about "soft" or "blurry" text at 144ppi on the ten inch screen, and "freezing', etc.

So, any of you morons or 'ethos own one and can give me the scoop?

Thanks.

Posted by: naturalfake at December 06, 2015 12:20 PM (KUa85)

216 JTB and Hrothgar, I'm right down the road from you in Stafford County. Please remember me for any future Moron Meetups.

Posted by: That SOB Van Owen at December 06, 2015 12:09 PM (J0jXd)

I'll put you on "my" list to remember, but the official organizer of NoVAMoMee is Sean Bannion.

Posted by: Hrothgar at December 06, 2015 12:20 PM (ftVQq)

217 Posted by: Hrothgar at December 06, 2015 12:20 PM (ftVQq)
---
And speaking of, where have Bannion and the other old guard been? Haven't seen them on the site of late.

Posted by: All Hail Eris, Michigangsta at December 06, 2015 12:23 PM (jR7Wy)

218 215 I have the first generation also. Workhorse. Can't kill it. Take it everywhere. But thinking of an "upgrade" but cheaper -- just to the 7, mostly for the camera (not good, but adequate and it's in one device) but also for the sim card. I want to be able to watch a movie or show offline when traveling and no wifi. Can't do that with the FG. Considering 8.

Posted by: gracepc at December 06, 2015 12:28 PM (OU4q6)

219 The horde or intelligent readers here could/should put together a program for home schoolers, with short reviews of great books that are necessary for the development of the American child's brain.

With computers I'm thinking the learning could advance ten times faster than the old days where teachers slog through class with most kids bored and inattentive. We should have high school kids with incredible full knowledge of American history, comparative religion in light of our constitution, etc.

Real history and science, not moral equivalence and commie crap, where global warming is taught as science and contrary thinking is punished. We really have to reclaim the schools, or we are lost. Or is it too late?

Posted by: Illiniwek at December 06, 2015 12:31 PM (26Yu7)

220 Have to drop off our Toys For Tots donations and do a few errands. BBL.

But first: The proof reading of modern books and reprints is often appalling. I can only assume the 20 o 30 something publishing staff are incompetent to proof and rely on various spell and grammar checks, which are inadequate as we all know. Another problem is the dwindling number of readers who can notice the errors or even care about them. It annoys me when I post something with a typo in it. Typos and other errors in a long prepared publication should be a rarity.

Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 12:32 PM (FvdPb)

221 Gotta take a chance on being willowed here to post my eternal devotion to Thurber's *The Thirteen Clocks*. Best story ever.

Posted by: Sinmi at December 06, 2015 12:56 PM (nhF4w)

222 It annoys me when I post something with a typo in it. Typos and other errors in a long prepared publication should be a rarity.
Posted by: JTB at December 06, 2015 12:32 PM (FvdPb)
_______

Perhaps the educational lobby for 'Language Arts' rather than Reading, Grammar and Rhetoric could have something to do with the problem. /s

Don't get me started on 'Social Studies' as another fail.

Posted by: mustbequantum at December 06, 2015 01:01 PM (MIKMs)

223 Test

Posted by: John the Baptist at December 06, 2015 01:02 PM (MPH+3)

224 Sorry for the test, tried to post and kept hitting some server error. Must have set off Pixie, I did.

Trying again:

30 - That same author of 'One Second After,' William Forstchen, later wrote a most interesting novella, 'Dies Irae: Day of Wrath.' It is basically a much larger scale version of the events at San Bernardino, with the presidential response that I expect to hear tonight.

Posted by: John the Baptist at December 06, 2015 01:04 PM (MPH+3)

225 Carol says "Hi"...can I join your Goodreads group, please?

Posted by: Carol at December 06, 2015 01:14 PM (NYWat)

226 I can't believe Jamie Gorelick is incompetent. I can't believe John Poindexter is not an operative of the so called deep state. I believe both Gorelick and Poindexter (and others who I haven't stumbled upon in print) are very capable operatives in their organizations. Their organizations are not US government agencies per se. Don't know and would probably be killed if I found out details. Google them. It's hidden in plan sight. Don't know their motives but these are not incompetent people.

Posted by: score card at December 06, 2015 01:15 PM (PGh+Q)

227 #226 liberal ideology makes you do stupid things.

Posted by: OregonMuse at December 06, 2015 01:23 PM (js4/U)

228 My prediction is that you get a job that pays well and that you enjoy before May. I'm convinced a lot of jobs for smart people will happen in 2016. Automation and industrialization. This will require a lot of writing and thinking which you do well.

Ratinale: Manufacturing has to move back to the Americas. The other side of the world is about to break out into something. :-)

Doesn't matter what that something is as far as manufacturing goes. People will not ship goods thousands of miles if they don't think they will get paid. :-)

Posted by: score card at December 06, 2015 01:24 PM (PGh+Q)

229 Following on from previous kind notices of my and (to the immediate point) my business partner GMW Wemyss' books, this seems the thread for this. There is some serious flooding in the UK right now, including in some places where Gerv's novels are partly set. He has posted a set of links to rescue and charitable organi(z/s)ations in those areas here:
http://baptonbooks.tumblr.com/post/134665093426/an-urgent-vital-appeal;
and I hope we will all help as best we can.

Posted by: Markham Shaw Pyle at December 06, 2015 01:42 PM (WlkUc)

230 Why are huge, ugly, smelly, dirty, predatory bears considered "cute" in children's literature?
----------------

'Mr. Bear Squash You All Flat'

A Little Golden Book that I read and re-read as a child. It is available in reprint, and I recommend it. I do not know that it was intended as a metaphor for the Russians, but that's the way I interpret now.

Mr. Bear is NOT a nice guy.

Posted by: Mike Hammer, etc., etc. at December 06, 2015 02:06 PM (9mTYi)

231 Posted by: John the Baptist at December 06, 2015 01:04 PM (MPH+3)

Are you sure about that novella? I have a book called "Day of Wrath", which is the 3rd Dies Irae book by Brian M. Stableford. Sci-Fi based on the Iliad and Odyssey. Printed in '71.

Posted by: HH at December 06, 2015 02:07 PM (DrCtv)

232 231 - Yep: http://tinyurl.com/hpok5vb

Posted by: John the Baptist at December 06, 2015 02:09 PM (MPH+3)

233 Funny coincidence.

I've been listening to Bruce Schneier's 'Data and Goliath' which discusses the ways governments and businesses track people. No major revelations if you keep an eye on the tech news but it is a good comprehensive volume. It is especially useful if you want to bring a layman up to speed on the subject.

Last night my mother asked me to find out where she could buy Packit products. These are reusable cloth bags with built-in freezer packs. You freeze the whole thing and unfold when needed to store food. I did a brief survey and told her the places and prices locally.

This morning the Best Buy Deal of the Day included the item she wanted for a third less than the other places. We ordered three for her gift giving. It may have been sheer coincidence but did Google give Best Buy a head's up on my searches?

Posted by: Epobirs at December 06, 2015 02:12 PM (IdCqF)

234 Posted by: John the Baptist at December 06, 2015 02:09 PM (MPH+3)

Wow. Weird that he would use the same title of a book printed in the 70's.

Posted by: HH at December 06, 2015 02:16 PM (DrCtv)

235 150
Of course while
typing that I flashed on the scenario of, "Then, looking for best
function, the AIs interconnected, gained access to the core, the
satellite network, and TrollNet became self aware..."


THERE IS ANOTHER SYSTEM

Posted by: COLOSSUS at December 06, 2015 02:19 PM (o78gS)

236 166
engineered by an alien race trying to get us caught up for *reasons*... I couldn't come up with a
satisfactory reason.


Turn it into a series. You don't need reasons to start. The Dray Prescott series ran for 52 books without ever disclosing what the star lords were up to.

Posted by: COLOSSUS at December 06, 2015 02:28 PM (o78gS)

237 Wonder sock powers DEACTIVATE!

Posted by: Anachronda at December 06, 2015 02:30 PM (o78gS)

238 Well I finished Arms Commander and have moved on to The Towers of the Sunset.

Posted by: Vic We Have No Party at December 06, 2015 03:10 PM (t2KH5)

239 Sorry if this has been already mentioned:
A great Civil War mystery series is the Abel Jones novels by
Owen Parry.
First in series is "Faded Coat of Blue", about the murder of a beloved abolitionist. Interesting b/c the detective is an immigrant from Wales, a former soldier of John Company, reluctantly returning to his former trade for the Union.

Period detectives are chancy- either they're written too "forsoothly" or the author can't resist inserting their own PC event horizon.

But these are really good.

Posted by: Sal at December 06, 2015 03:31 PM (MRX6w)

240 "Owen Parry" is a nom de plume of Ralph Peters whom I have cited with approval several times on the book thread.

Posted by: The Great White Snark at December 06, 2015 05:41 PM (Nwg0u)

241 Famous But Incompetent. I was a Treasury 1811 supporting the Tampa FO back before 9-11. They paid our per diem, OT until 10pm and told us what they needed, where they thought it was but not to go in the Islamic academy...they left at 5pm sharp every day....they got what they needed and STILL managed to fuck up the investigation.

Posted by: Dusty Bottoms at December 06, 2015 07:18 PM (WnOUm)

242 this is late but I figure maybe Muse can use it next week: acclaimed mystery author Anne Perry and the girls from Heavenly Creatures, what's the connection?

http://tinyurl.com/gntkjfb

From my author blog

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at December 06, 2015 07:40 PM (39g3+)

243 As usual, I've had a busy Sunday. But I don't want to let it go without thanking OM, VoterMom, and those who bought my novel Pilot Point last Sunday.

It turned out to the best day for Kindle sales of Pilot Point ever. Thanks again.

Posted by: WannabeAnglican at December 06, 2015 09:45 PM (hjp5Z)

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