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Sunday, March 31, 2013

OTP: April 2013: Daily Caller: Baseball and the GOP: To rebrand the party, think like a sports fan

This week’s GOP autopsy report, commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, is a great start in the much-needed task of rebranding the Republican Party. As the chairman acknowledged, “the way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough” and “we have to be more inclusive.” The report contains 219 recommendations to “connect people to our principles.” To achieve that goal, the party will need a strategic vision of how voters think about politics, which is something that the report lacks. For that, the GOP can learn a lot from another American passion: baseball.

This year, about 75 million Americans will go to the baseball stadium to watch a ballgame, about the same number as those who will vote in next year’s election. We rarely think about why someone becomes a baseball fan, or why they root for a certain team. Nor do we usually think about why someone chooses to vote for a certain political party. But it’s actually a very useful exercise.

When it comes to baseball, fan loyalty has almost nothing to do with the brain, and almost everything to do with the heart. In all of history, there’s never been a baseball fan who rooted for his team because it had the lowest ticket prices, or because it had the most taxpayer-friendly stadium deal, or because its players did the most community service. For the vast majority of Americans, rooting for a baseball team — not to mention, voting for a political party — isn’t really a rational choice; it’s more of a statement of personal identity — a statement telling the world, “This is who I am.” And for most people, defining “who I am” starts with family and community, before branching out into areas like race, age, gender, and class.

Family is pretty straightforward. If your mom and dad are Yankee fans, you’re almost certainly a Yankee fan. The same is true in politics. If your mom and dad are Republicans, you’re almost certainly a Republican.

Community is also pretty straightforward. If you grew up in, say, Philadelphia, chances are pretty great you’re a Phillies fan. Likewise, someone who grew up in Republican territory like, say, suburban Dallas or rural Indiana is much more likely to become a Republican than a nearly identical person from Seattle or Santa Fe.

Cities with more than one baseball team, like New York or Chicago, show revealing breakdowns by race and gender. The racial split in Chicago between Cubs fans on the North Side and White Sox fans on the South Side is well-documented. In New York, there’s an intriguing gender gap between Mets and Yankee fans, with women gravitating a lot more to the Yanks. While there’s a few theories out there trying to explain that, one obvious answer leaps out: Yankees heartthrob Derek Jeter.

In sports, as in politics, people’s convictions can’t be conveniently reduced to who their parents are or what they look like. But those things are an important foundation, upon which more rational sentiments come into being. Once you’re attached to your team on an emotional level — seeing them as a personal reflection of who you are and what you care about most — a rational exterior comes into being through phrases like “the Red Sox are the best team because they have the most heart” or “the Republicans are the best party because they know how to create jobs.”

Tripon Posted: March 31, 2013 at 10:52 AM | 6544 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: politics

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   701. BrianBrianson Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4404152)
Apart from how much press attention it's been gathering, North Korea's actions aren't anything particularly new. Probably, nothing will happen, though as noted, if it's in China's interest to do something, they will. I doubt it will, thought.

The purpose of the posturing is probably all internal politics we're not super-privy to. Which makes it a bit hard to guess.
   702. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:24 AM (#4404164)
Looks like a good opportunity for some enterprising young reporter to do some journalism via civil disobedience.


The newspaper cited is my former place of employment, & I gather via Facebook that one of my friends there has his pilot's license ...
   703. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4404167)
2. China should go Saddam on NK and annex the idiots in return for money and contracts to offset the cost of the problem.

Hereby scaring the hell out of South Korea.


Let's see, could China blitz NK?
1: NK, like the Brits in Singapore in 1941/42 have all their guns facing the wrong way

2: Could China position sufficient forces near the NK border without NK noticing? NK has no satellites, I have a feeling they don't send drones or recon aircraft over China... Obviously we'd see a Chinese buildup (and few others- Russia...)- but would we or anyone else tip NK off?

Of course the NK regime seems to be one that values regime survival above everything else, who knows what the ##### they'd do if they really thought China had turned on them, my guess is that if they thought the odds of regime survival had dipped to 0% they'd level Seoul just out of spite.



   704. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4404169)
#691 According to Andrew Natsios what's really going on is an internal power struggle. According to him, Kim's trying to force out the top level old guard and replace them with people loyal to him.

It's seemingly not going all that well.

   705. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:32 AM (#4404170)
I studied for my finals in law school by writing outlines. The act of reviewing all of the work and organizing it into a coherent system re-taught me the material and enabled me to remember everything. Worked damn well.


Not to be snarky, but was there any other way to do this in law school, but outlining.
   706. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:35 AM (#4404174)
The fiscal cliff... sequestration... Greece/Cyprus... North Korea... Some people just need something to worry about. Their brains crave it, liberals and conservatives alike. FOX News and MNBC whipping their viewers into a frenzy over this stuff.

I get that Obama needs to be worried about North Korea. But I don't.

Not that there's much he can do about it, anyway. Crazy be crazy.
   707. Randy Jones Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4404177)
The fiscal cliff... sequestration... Greece/Cyprus... North Korea... Some people just need something to worry about. Their brains crave it, liberals and conservatives alike. FOX News and MNBC whipping their viewers into a frenzy over this stuff.


It's just the media. They know if they can convince their viewers something is a huge deal, they will tune in to the news shows. So they make everything a big deal.
   708. Greg K Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4404178)
The fiscal cliff... sequestration... Greece/Cyprus... North Korea... Some people just need something to worry about. Their brains crave it, liberals and conservatives alike. FOX News and MNBC whipping their viewers into a frenzy over this stuff.

Not to mention that without the crisis of the week we'd have nothing to talk about here except studying/guitar-playing techniques.

...oh, and baseball.
   709. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4404190)
Not to mention that without the crisis of the week we'd have nothing to talk about here except studying/guitar-playing techniques.

...oh, and baseball.


The new season has, so far, provided very little interesting fodder for discussion. Too bad.
   710. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4404193)
Roy Halladay looked last night like Tom Glavime looked that last year he had with the Braves after his Mets contract ended. D U N.
   711. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4404194)

1: NK, like the Brits in Singapore in 1941/42 have all their guns facing the wrong way


Virtually all the heavy guns at Singapore in 1942 had 360 degree traverse, or at least sufficient traverse to engage inland targets. They were short of HE ammo, though, having primarily AP rounds for use against enemy vessels. Nevertheless, the British didn't lose Singapore because the guns couldn't fire inland.
   712. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:57 AM (#4404197)
I see that 9 of Halladay's 10 outs were on strikeouts... to go along with the 3 walks and 2 HRs and 4 other hits.

Too early to tell, obviously, but the ship he got on last year does need to be righted and it hasn't been yet. I would normally be excited about the strikeouts but some of these power pitchers at the end of the line are still striking people out even as everything else goes. See, e.g., Smoltz.
   713. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 11:58 AM (#4404198)
Virtually all the heavy guns at Singapore in 1942 had 360 degree traverse, or at least sufficient traverse to engage inland targets. They were short of HE ammo, though, having primarily AP rounds for use against enemy vessels. Nevertheless, the British didn't lose Singapore because the guns couldn't fire inland.

Correct. The lost b/c they had no effective air force, and their ground troops (who greatly outnumbered the Japanese) got bugout fever from day 1 of the campaign, and never recovered their morale.
   714. zenbitz Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4404202)
Back to memory for a second... before we all forget.

I am pretty sure that THE major component to a good memory is remembering things that interest you. For example, I aced organic and biochemistry without even really studying because I loved the subject and it made sense to me... even though it's considered a very memorization-heavy class. (Of course, replacement level is very low thanks to the 100s of pre-meds forced to take these classes... because your Neurologist will someday need to know what a Grignard reagent does?)

My son (8.5) is an indifferent and lazy student (more of an athlete), doesn't have his times tables memorized, and when we asked him to remember the F29/green on the parking lot pylon at SFO he couldn't remember 90 minutes later. However, he has probably close to 2000 magic cards memorized - their names, casting cost, and powers - including ones that neither he nor I have ever played in a deck, and ones he just looked up in bulk on the internet. We play a game in the car where we try to stump each other about cards and he just crushes me - and we play about the same amount.

   715. zenbitz Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:07 PM (#4404206)
And Lincecum has put it all back together! 5 IP 3 H 2 R 0 ER 4K... and 7 BB.

Hilarous Bochy is Hilarious: 2 unearned runs score on a Hector Sanchez Passed Ball and Buster Posey fielding error.
   716. Randy Jones Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4404213)
This is pretty interesting. Some of it is specific to Canada, but most isn't.

Interactive Explanation of Offshore Tax Havens
   717. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4404232)
The fiscal cliff... sequestration... Greece/Cyprus... North Korea... Some people just need something to worry about. Their brains crave it, liberals and conservatives alike. FOX News and MNBC whipping their viewers into a frenzy over this stuff.


It's just the media. They know if they can convince their viewers something is a huge deal, they will tune in to the news shows. So they make everything a big deal.


So true. And this is why I think the news is broken. Too many people are swayed by what the media blows out of proportion.
   718. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4404234)
Virtually all the heavy guns at Singapore in 1942 had 360 degree traverse, or at least sufficient traverse to engage inland targets.


I know, but it's been used as an expression anyway

the Brits lost Singapore, among other reasons, because their military commander was criminally negligent and made absolutely no preparations whatsoever to defend the city from an inland attack, he had dug no trenches, erected no fortifications, set up no defensive positions, until it was too late, he seemed to have some bizarre belief that the Japanese advance down the Malaysian peninsula would stop of its own accord well short of the city.

Despite having a numerical superiority much of the campaign the Brits threw such advantage away by engaging the Japanese forces piecemeal as the Japanese headed south.

When the Japanese finally reached Singapore, given the lack of defensive fortification preparation, it was essential that the Brits MOVE the bulk of their forces to where they could block the Japanese advance into the city- and guess what, the British Commander (Percival) fell for a Japanese feint - sent almost all his men and equipment to one ares (NE I think)- and refused to change plans and redeploy his forces even when field officers began telling him, "NO the Japanese are over here!!! [NW])
and incredibly, Percival didn't even respond when the Japanese began their pre-attack bombardment.

Even more incredibly, even after the Japanese had landed to the NW of the city, and established a foothold, Percival still refused to reinforce the troops there, waiting for the Japanese to attack the NE- and the Japanese established a second foothold on Singapore by landing to the SE...
   719. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:38 PM (#4404243)

I remember being told as a kid that the French horn was the instrument most likely to get you into a good college.


   720. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:46 PM (#4404251)
#718 Singapore's a fascinating campaign because of the contrast between the commanders. It would be really hard to improve on Yamashita's performance, while Percival was just so dismal.

Snapper's right about the state of most of the British troops, but given any kind of time it's possible that they could have rallied. Yamashita was unrelenting.

What's truly remarkable was the extreme logistical constraints Yamashita was operating under. There was every chance that he's have run out of ammo had the British chosen to fight it out at the end.
   721. Publius Publicola Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4404252)
I'm completely with Joe on this. Wood comes from trees - do you want a cite for that too?


The sun revolves around the earth. Do you want a cite for that too?

And I would also like to point out that wood doesn't necessarily come from trees. There are lots of woody plants that are not trees, and could never be classified as trees.

See the problem you run into when you think linearly and simplistically?
   722. The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4404254)
What about the guns of Aqaba during the Arab Revolt? Please don't tell me Lawrence of Arabia is wrong.
   723. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4404257)
I remember being told as a kid that the French horn was the instrument most likely to get you into a good college.

Never heard that, but I always used to imagine that the way to a girl's heart was through a tenor sax that could play "My Favorite Things" like Coltrane.
   724. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4404261)
Lawrence of Arabia

Got to watch that a couple of months ago in a theatre, on the big screen, fully restored director's cut yadda yadda. Damn that is one fine movie.
   725. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4404281)
What about the guns of Aqaba during the Arab Revolt? Please don't tell me Lawrence of Arabia is wrong.


Remember the motto of the 5th Bengal Lancers, never ask questions ... you'll only get answers.

[edit] Let's just say that there was once a presentation given at the TE Lawerence society entitled: "Lawrence of Arabia" or "Smith in the Desert"?
   726. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4404291)
#721 - I don't have a problem with the phrase "wood comes from trees". Similarly, I can understand the generalization implied when someone says "Harleys are loud", "deer have antlers" or "NBA players are tall", and don't nitpick the point when I know full well what the person is trying to communicate.

This tiff arose because you were trying to refute the well understood concept that the children of unmarried women in Sweden are born into wholly different socioeconomic situations, in general, than are the children of inner city black American women.

Science/numbers/data will never be able to completely replace common sense. If you don't have any of the latter, the former isn't worth a tinker's damn.
   727. bigglou115 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:21 PM (#4404294)
Not to be snarky, but was there any other way to do this in law school, but outlining


I never outlined anything. But again, I use a ton of memory techniques. I'd get a commercial outline, scrawl some stuff that was specific to my professor on it, and then give it a good read before an exam. Never wrote a single outline in my entire law school career.

The downside was that my memory palace needed a ton of organization before the bar exam.

edit: If your larger point was, "can you do law school without an outline?" The answer is probably no. I can't imagine anybody studying that much information unedited, even if you don't write the outline yourself you'd need a commercial outline, or a nutshell or something.
   728. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4404303)
Snapper's right about the state of most of the British troops, but given any kind of time it's possible that they could have rallied. Yamashita was unrelenting.


A lot of the morale problems was Percival's fault, hard to have high morale when you know that your commander is hopeless, it didn't help that he only started having men prepare defensive positions and dig in when the Japanese were right on top of them, the men were rightfully asking, "WTF if the Japs were getting so close shouldn't we have done this last week? and HTF did they get so close in the first place? and gee shouldn't we not already have set up our defensive positions but spent some time pre-targeting our guns? etc etc etc"

Preparation preparation preparation, there was little to none.

Yamashita HAD to be unrelenting, given his supply logistics if he wasn't he'd have to break off, retreat and regroup.
He did what he HAD to do, Percival didn't do what he should have done.

Incredibly one reason offered by Percival as to why he didn't prepare defensive position (against an inland invasion) ahead of time- is because to do so would have been bad for morale- the men would either chafe over useless make work or would have panicked* over the idea than a land side invasion was possible/likely-
unbelievably stoopid- 1: Soldiers always bristle over retrenchment work, so what suck it up; 2: Jeebus, you think they'd panic over that? How about having the Japanese actually show up and you haven't done a damn thing to prepare- on D Day do you think the Germans were at least a little intimidated by the sight of our invasion fleet? Now imagine how they would have felt looking at that fleet from foxholes they only just dug the night before because their commanders had decided months earlier that building the Atlantic Wall would have been bad for morale?

*He was also concerned that civilians would panic if they saw the Brits too actively preparing for a Japanese attack.
   729. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4404309)
Incredibly one reason offered by Percival as to why he didn't prepare defensive position (against an inland invasion) ahead of time- is because to do so would have been bad for morale

I believe the technical term for this is "letting the perfect be the enemy of the good."
   730. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4404310)
I see that 9 of Halladay's 10 outs were on strikeouts... to go along with the 3 walks and 2 HRs and 4 other hits.

Too early to tell, obviously, but the ship he got on last year does need to be righted and it hasn't been yet. I would normally be excited about the strikeouts but some of these power pitchers at the end of the line are still striking people out even as everything else goes. See, e.g., Smoltz.


They were the least impressive K's in the world. He K'd the side in the first inning, but he gave up 3 runs against 8 batters faced, needing 40 pitches to do it. The K's were more an artifact of the Braves lineup (which is going to K a SHITTON this year) than Roy Halladay's effectiveness.
   731. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:40 PM (#4404318)
Yup, its pretty sad to see Roy reduced to this.
   732. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:44 PM (#4404323)
I'm pretty sure trees never gave me wood.
   733. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4404324)
Age 36 was the last truly great season for both Maddux and Glavine, and I would be shocked if Halladay had more tail end to his career than either of those guys. Maddux was league average for a few more years, and Glavine had some decent seasons in NY, but barring something happening mechanically to explain the new release angle (way lower than previous Halladay) and the loss of velocity (never broke 90 last night) he looks done to me.
   734. Greg K Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4404325)
I'm pretty sure trees never gave me wood.

You've clearly not seen the episode of Dr. Who where they witness the destruction of Earth.
   735. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4404329)
You gotta fight for your right to party.

For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. A national survey finds that 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not.


What a long, strange trip it's been.
   736. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:51 PM (#4404332)
For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. A national survey finds that 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not.


Are our children learning?
   737. zenbitz Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4404337)
It took 50 years but the pot-smoking anti-marriage gay hippies have finally won.
   738. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4404338)
Are our children learning?

Teach your children well. Their father's hell did slowly go by.
   739. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4404346)
I have a terrible memory in general, but I am better at remembering things I really care about. I am nearly hopeless musically as well. Foretunately the boys get some of both from their mother. I am very good at Math, which goes to show that math and music don't always go together. I have never been able to take notes (yes my handwriting is also very bad). In grad school I connected with some other students and we studied together, we had a note taker, a memory guy and me (I was the best at math and actually understood the subject matter better than they did) it was great.

Regarding North Korea they should be largely ignored (except by you know the President and stuff). They have put themselves in an interesting position, where they can't do much to anyone and in fact the worst thing they could do to an enemy is surrender to them - neither China nor South Korea wants to take ownership of that mess (OK the SK would love in theory a united penninsula, but know the reality of dealing with the mess would dwarf what it cost to unify Germany). If it were not for all those people starving and such, oh well.

But yeah I am doubtful of the article throwing water on Obama foreign policy part II. Sounded liek someone with an axe to grind to me.
   740. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:08 PM (#4404348)
The last of the people who watched Reefer Madness and didn't think it was a comedy are now dead.
   741. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:14 PM (#4404351)
The last of the people who watched Reefer Madness and didn't think it was a comedy are now dead.


It's not a pop culture thing so much as it's a police culture problem.

Police almost never talk about or claim credit for making the arrests. Police make so many because they are easy arrests and because significant constituencies within police departments benefit from the arrests. Police work can be dangerous. Ordinary patrol and narcotics police like the marijuana arrests because they are relatively safe and easy. If an officer stops and searches 10 or 15 young people, one or two of them will likely have a bit of marijuana. All police have arrest quotas and often they can earn much-desired overtime pay by making a marijuana arrest toward the end of a shift. In New York City, arresting people for petty offenses for overtime pay is called “collars for dollars.” Every cop in the city knows that expression. From the officers’ point of view, people possessing marijuana are highly desirable arrestees. As one veteran lieutenant said, people whose only crime is marijuana possession are “clean,” meaning physically clean. Unlike junkies or winos, people arrested for marijuana don’t have HIV, hepatitis, or even body lice. They are unlikely to throw up on the officer or in the police car or van. Frequently they are on the way to a party or a date, and if they have smoked a little, they may be relaxed and amiable. Marijuana arrests are a quality of life issue – for the police.
   742. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4404353)
That doesn't get into the huge racial discrepancies in pot arrests, of course.
   743. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4404365)
Of course this is much too early, but the generic congressional vote on RCP shows a +6.3 Dem advantage
that is flip the house territory, but of course 1.5 years to go anything can happen
   744. BDC Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:28 PM (#4404370)
the worst thing they could do to an enemy is surrender to them

The old "Mouse that Roared" scenario.
   745. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4404373)
Has anyone seen NK's US mainland strike plan?

apparently it's in the chubby kinglet's "war room" and shows missile paths from NK to the US...

one minor problem with the "strike plan"

the planet is round, the missile paths are, ummm, impossible...
   746. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4404376)
the worst thing they could do to an enemy is surrender to them


No that's merely second worst, the worst they could do is actually lob a nuke or two, and then collapse without actually surrendering
   747. The Fallen Reputation of Billy Jo Robidoux Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4404378)
In case anyone is interested, here's a decent finance blog post on "Rent-seeking in professional sports." Nothing too surprising (which is why I didn't submit it as news), but I found this interesting:

. . . one of the main reasons municipalities find themselves picking up a large portion of facility costs is federal tax law. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 placed a variety of restrictions on the issuance of tax-exempt municipal bonds for private business use. A municipal security is considered a private activity bond if more than 10% of the bond proceeds are used for private business purposes or if more than 10% is secured by or payable from property used for private business purposes. . . . Perversely, the private business use test has prompted governments to pick up more of the costs of these projects just to maintain the tax status on the bonds (or, to be more precise, to use as much tax-exempt financing as possible).
   748. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4404381)
The last of the people who watched Reefer Madness and didn't think it was a comedy are now dead.

I doubt it. My gf and I showed that movie on many college campuses in the early 70's, and every time we ran it, at least one person actually took its original message to heart and complained that we were showing anti-drug propaganda that "isn't funny". They'd only be in their late 50's or early 60's now, and they definitely weren't joking.
   749. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4404399)
Where's Hans Brix when you need him?
   750. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:54 PM (#4404401)
#728 He had some reason to be concerned about his troops. The only really good troops he had (the Australians) rioted just before the final Japanese assault. It's tough to tell exactly why, but it seems to have been sparked by fears of having to go on short rations.

Of course the Japanese troops had been getting by on less than what would have constituted short rations for Percival's men.
   751. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4404409)

A lot of the morale problems was Percival's fault, hard to have high morale when you know that your commander is hopeless, it didn't help that he only started having men prepare defensive positions and dig in when the Japanese were right on top of them, the men were rightfully asking, "WTF if the Japs were getting so close shouldn't we have done this last week? and HTF did they get so close in the first place? and gee shouldn't we not already have set up our defensive positions but spent some time pre-targeting our guns? etc etc etc"

Preparation preparation preparation, there was little to none.

Yamashita HAD to be unrelenting, given his supply logistics if he wasn't he'd have to break off, retreat and regroup.
He did what he HAD to do, Percival didn't do what he should have done.

Incredibly one reason offered by Percival as to why he didn't prepare defensive position (against an inland invasion) ahead of time- is because to do so would have been bad for morale- the men would either chafe over useless make work or would have panicked* over the idea than a land side invasion was possible/likely-
unbelievably stoopid- 1: Soldiers always bristle over retrenchment work, so what suck it up; 2: Jeebus, you think they'd panic over that? How about having the Japanese actually show up and you haven't done a damn thing to prepare- on D Day do you think the Germans were at least a little intimidated by the sight of our invasion fleet? Now imagine how they would have felt looking at that fleet from foxholes they only just dug the night before because their commanders had decided months earlier that building the Atlantic Wall would have been bad for morale?

*He was also concerned that civilians would panic if they saw the Brits too actively preparing for a Japanese attack.


By the time they were defending Singapore Island it was too late. Singapore got its water supply from the mainland via aqueducts which the Japanese promptly cut. You can fight a long time w/o food. You're toast after 2-3 days of no water.

Singapore needed to be defended inland, or not at all.
   752. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4404419)
Did we have the whole "Was it justifiable for the US to drop the nuclear bombs on Japan" discussion here yet? Does the answer generally split on political lines?
   753. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:11 PM (#4404430)
That debate tends to split on "WW II historians vs the rest," although there are some basic politically tribal lines in there too. It's not a straight D/R debate like the election threads by any means.
   754. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:13 PM (#4404434)
With regard to NK, even if we could morally justify preemptive nuking of Pyongyang (we can't, by the way) there's no way we're going to be dropping a nuke or three on China's front porch.
   755. BDC Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:20 PM (#4404467)
Wilson Miscamble has written one of the most thorough recent reviews of the historical evidence and the rhetorical controversy over the dropping of the atomic bombs in 1945. I found it pretty cogent. For a long time (as I say in the linked review) I would hear no defense of Truman; I considered the decision appallingly evil. Now I'm no longer so sure at all, and I think it has something to do with the receding of the perpetual global nuclear threat. I wonder if opinions aren't as generational as anything else: if you were born between 1940 and 1970 and grew up with the threat of nuclear holocaust every moment of your life, you might be (or for a long time have been) less inclined to see the atomic bomb as just another pragmatic weapons choice than people either older or younger – not invariably, but in ways that perhaps do cut across political allegiances.
   756. Lassus Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4404471)
You'll be happy to know, Ray, that in history class in high school I was part of the prosecution of the United States for war crimes for those bombs being dropped.
   757. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4404476)
By the time they were defending Singapore Island it was too late. Singapore got its water supply from the mainland via aqueducts which the Japanese promptly cut. You can fight a long time w/o food. You're toast after 2-3 days of no water.

Singapore needed to be defended inland, or not at all.


He had reservoirs on Singapore Island, he could have held out for a reasonably long length of time if he held them, he didn't prepare his defenses properly- even though anyone could see they'd be a high priority once the Japanese had a foothold on the Island. He then dithered after the Japanese took them and when it was too late put up the idea of whether or not to try to counterattack and retake them to a vote of his staff.

The only really good troops he had (the Australians) rioted just before the final Japanese assault. It's tough to tell exactly why, but it seems to have been sparked by fears of having to go on short rations.

What I've read is that the Aussies had been the ones trying to conduct a fighting retreat down Malaysia, were stunned when they retreated to the Island to find neither reinforcements nor prepared positions, then took the brunt of the initial Japanese bombardment and landings on the Island (when Percival ignored reports that the NW corner was where they were landing...)

so maybe, just maybe, after awhile, the Aussies had good reason to disrespect General Percival's command.
   758. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4404480)

Republican legislators in North Carolina want to declare an official state religion as a way of nullifying court rulings that prohibit prayer by public entities.

From the Huffington Post:

The bill, filed Monday by two GOP lawmakers from Rowan County and backed by nine other Republicans, says each state “is sovereign” and courts cannot block a state “from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.” The legislation was filed in response to a lawsuit to stop county commissioners in Rowan County from opening meetings with a Christian prayer, wral.com reported.


“The Constitution of the United States does not grant the federal government and does not grant the federal courts the power to determine what is or is not constitutional; therefore, by virtue of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the power to determine constitutionality and the proper interpretation and proper application of the Constitution is reserved to the states and to the people,” says the bill. “Each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion.”
   759. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4404484)
You'll be happy to know, Ray, that in history class in high school I was part of the prosecution of the United States for war crimes for those bombs being dropped.


Give me a moment while I retreat to my fainting couch.
   760. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4404493)
That debate tends to split on "WW II historians vs the rest,"


Which side tends to be in favor of the decision? I am going to guess the historians, but I could argue with myself and go the other way.
   761. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4404495)
With regard to NK, even if we could morally justify preemptive nuking of Pyongyang (we can't, by the way)


Militarily what would be the point of pre-emptively nuking Pyongyang?

Militarily speaking a pre-emptive strike would absolutely need to do two things- take out NK's nukes, and significantly degrade their artillery/rocket arsenal aimed at Seoul. Pyongyang could be part of an earlier decapitation strike, but there would be other more important targets.

Morality aside, targeting of population centers doesn't even seem to be even remotely an efficient use of military force most times. Of course given the way NK society seems to be constructed, taking out Pyongyang could be an exception that rule- but it wouldn't be the first target.
   762. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4404501)
You'll be happy to know, Ray, that in history class in high school I was part of the prosecution of the United States for war crimes for those bombs being dropped.


Militarily, I'd say that dropping those bombs was less unjustified than what was done to Dresden (And as far as I can tell the main reason for firebombing Dresden was to impress the Soviets)
   763. BDC Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4404503)
“Each state in the union is sovereign and may independently determine how that state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion.”

Uh-huh. What's their opinion on the sovereignty of a state when it comes to infringing the right of the people to keep and bear arms? one wonders :)
   764. The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4404504)
I don't have any problem with the general idea that in a the-world-literally-depends-on-this war such as WWII, one has to be willing to kill thousands of people gruesomely in order to save thousands (may even be a lesser number, doesn't matter) of your own people.

So I have no problem with that part. My question is, why couldn't they have dropped a "test" bomb somewhere uninhabited and said "please believe us, we seriously can and will do this to you"?

I can't help thinking that the reasons they didn't do that were A) the military-industrial complex wasn't going to let a bomb "go to waste" like that, and B) it was as much about telling the Soviets not to #### with us as it was about defeating the Japanese. And IMO, those are not good reasons. (Although with respect to point B, IIRC, snapper has argued that the US should have turned on the USSR immediately after defeating the Axis, and kept the war machine rolling into the Soviet Union. I shouldn't have to point out, however, that that is crazy.)

BTW, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Roger Ebert has died.
   765. BDC Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4404523)
it was as much about telling the Soviets not to #### with us as it was about defeating the Japanese

Miscamble doesn't think this was Truman's actual motive, nor even a logical one to pursue. The Soviets actually did start ####ing with us almost immediately, especially over Berlin and Eastern Europe, and if they were scared by the initial lead the US had in the atomic arms race, it didn't show very much.

   766. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4404524)
Uh-huh. What's their opinion on the sovereignty of a state when it comes to infringing the right of the people to keep and bear arms? one wonders :)


That's a Fundamental Constitutional Right
whereas the right to freedom of religion/freedom from religious comulsion obviously is not.
   767. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4404526)
Beat me to it, TDA - rest in peace, Roger - you played a big role in helping me figure out what it is that I like about and in movies as a kid.
(O/U on the balcony is now closed comments on twitter? What, a million?)
   768. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4404530)
#753 There are historians who (in good faith) argue against dropping the bomb, and they're probably becoming more common.

To my way of thinking they start from flawed assumptions. Most particularly they don't seem to get how delusional the bulk of the Japanese decision makers were. Right up until the moment the Soviets invaded, their plans centered around using Stalin to broker an honorable peace.
   769. BDC Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4404535)
Ebert was not only a fiercely consistent movie critic (I always learned from his reviews, despite or in fact because his taste was a lot different from mine) – he was also a fine political writer and an extremely eloquent assessor of the human condition as he became more and more ill and disabled over the past few years. One of my favorite writers.
   770. Morty Causa Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4404540)
So I have no problem with that part. My question is, why couldn't they have dropped a "test" bomb somewhere uninhabited and said "please believe us, we seriously can and will do this to you"?


The test bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima (it can seen that way) didn't seem to have impressed the Japanese--thus, the second one. Why do we think an actual dress rehearsal would have fared any better?
   771. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4404544)
, and if they were scared by the initial lead the US had in the atomic arms race, it didn't show very much.


They weren't scared, but they were concerned, the reason they weren't scared was because Stalin was firmly of the "it's just another bigger bomb" mindset (he wan't alone among WW era political military types either*), plus if they were scared- they probably would have ###### around with us even more than they did as a show of strength.

*Later after testing a few of their own they came to a rather different appreciation of what nuclear weapons could do, but at war's end in 1945, Hiroshoma didn't look all that different than Dresden- or Tokyo.
   772. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:51 PM (#4404546)
more Ebert notices.

cokes
   773. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4404555)
Upon hearing the news the other day that his cancer had returned, I figured Ebert had at least a few more months and maybe even another fight in him. Too bad he didn't. Cancer can be an absolute nightmare if not caught early, and people are in the dark about just how bad it can be on a daily basis once it has metastasized until they try to help as a family member or close friend goes through it.

RIP Ebert.
   774. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4404559)
A-bomb: I'm agnostic; enlighten me.
   775. Morty Causa Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4404560)
The further we are from a conflict such as WWII the more we are prone to engage in the niceties of academic parsing. We should be reminded, though, at every juncture of the discussion of this topic that allied military as well as civilians were being killed and wounded right up until the Japanese finally abjectly capitulated. Ask a soldier who was risking his life or was going to risk his life in an attempted invasion (or his parents) if it was worth it? How does a President or a national politician answer the question put to him by that soldier or his loved ones: "Let me get this. You could have annihilated Japan without a lost of American life, but decided that it would be unfair to the Japanese?" You think Viet Nam drove a wedge through the cohesiveness of this American idea? That was trivia compared to what would have transpired if WWII had played out with the unjustified, and unnecessary, lost of American life on a huge scale.
   776. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4404562)
Most particularly they don't seem to get how delusional the bulk of the Japanese decision makers were. Right up until the moment the Soviets invaded, their plans centered around using Stalin to broker an honorable peace.


I think the big problem was that those who knew the war was irretrievable lost fell into two camps:

1: The hawks didn't care, a Samurai doesn't quit because he can't win, he either fights until he's dead, or he commits seppeku

2: The ones who wanted peace, but knew that the hawks would not accept capitulation, most of those who pinned their hopes on Stalin knew it was really an absurd longshot- but in their minds even if it had a 1/10,000 chance of success, every other option had a 0% chance of success.



   777. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:03 PM (#4404564)
775/Morty: That's where I start, yeah.
   778. The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4404566)
(O/U on the balcony is now closed comments on twitter? What, a million?)
And "two thumbs down."

The test bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima (it can seen that way) didn't seem to have impressed the Japanese--thus, the second one. Why do we think an actual dress rehearsal would have fared any better?
Oh, that's entirely possible, if not likely. But I think it would make the decision to then drop it "for real" very different, morally.
   779. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:08 PM (#4404571)
To my way of thinking they start from flawed assumptions. Most particularly they don't seem to get how delusional the bulk of the Japanese decision makers were. Right up until the moment the Soviets invaded, their plans centered around using Stalin to broker an honorable peace.


I tend to fall on the side of "it was a war crime" on these arguments, but I am mildly sympathetic to the argument that Japan was a bigger, stronger, more brutal version of the North Korean cult (today) that had just raped half of the world in expansionary, imperial madness.
   780. Eddo Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4404574)
Ask a soldier who was risking his life or was going to risk his life in an attempted invasion (or his parents) if it was worth it?

Anecdotal: my grandfather served in the Pacific (New Guinea and the Philippines), earned a Purple Heart, and absolutely agreed with the decision to drop the bombs, until his dying day. (Which made the Nagasaki bomb - dropped on August 9 - quite the 26th birthday present for him.)
   781. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4404576)
#764 First of all, it's hard to get your head around the destructive power of one of those bombs in a test setting. This assumes you could actually arrange a witness. Not sure how you'd go about that.

Second, they were in short supply at that moment. Using a precious resource to no good purpose is kind of dubious (they had three, and were only truly confident that one of them would work). They were months away from having any more.

Third, they had to drop a second anyhow. The Japanese didn't surrender after Hiroshima.
   782. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:17 PM (#4404578)
Christ. Apropos of nothing, we just had layoffs here. Looks like I survived; I gather 20 percent of my colleagues didn't, including some really good people. (I'm sure they all are, but I can speak only to the several I worked directly with, including a former reporter of mine when I was editor of the local daily.)

Goddammit to hell.
   783. Steve Treder Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:18 PM (#4404579)
Anecdotal: my grandfather served in the Pacific (New Guinea and the Philippines), earned a Purple Heart, and absolutely agreed with the decision to drop the bombs, until his dying day.

So did my father and my father-in-law, both of whom were in the Navy in the Pacific theatre.
   784. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4404580)
I tend to fall on the side of "it was a war crime" on these arguments, but I am mildly sympathetic to the argument that Japan was a bigger, stronger, more brutal version of the North Korean cult (today) that had just raped half of the world in expansionary, imperial madness.

Do you believe the firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden were war crimes?
   785. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4404584)
Do you believe the firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden were war crimes?


Yes.
   786. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4404586)
Christ. Apropos of nothing, we just had layoffs here. Looks like I survived; I gather 20 percent of my colleagues didn't, including some really good people. (I'm sure they all are, but I can speak only to the several I worked directly with, including a former reporter of mine when I was editor of the local daily.)

Goddammit to hell.


We've been having rolling layoffs (by dept) for about 9 months. It sucks.
   787. Morty Causa Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:23 PM (#4404590)
Oh, that's entirely possible, if not likely. But I think it would make the decision to then drop it "for real" very different, morally.


Again, that's the luxury, and perquisite, of Monday Morning Quarterbacking. But, if you were there at the time, you'd know that Americans were in attack mode--we, not our leaders nor the ordinary citizen--were not in a dispassionate let's look at all sides of this frame of mind. That baby giant had been awakened. They were going to surrender on our terms (as we had maintained from the beginning) or we were going to kill every ####### one of them. That was the overarching sentiment. Moreover, there was a real fear that a some not too distant point, our democratic souls might just lose that passion that was propelling its crusading spirit if there was a prolonged play out of the conflict involving the confusion and compromise of previously enunciated goals.
   788. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:24 PM (#4404593)
#785 Curtis LeMay seems to have (sort of) agreed with you. Something along the lines of "evil but necessary".

I know he told McNamara that if they had somehow lost he'd have expected to be tried as a war criminal.
   789. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4404600)
Do you believe the firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden were war crimes?

Yes.


There's a valid argument that the intentional targeting of civilians is a war crimes. I tend to think that the British night bombing of Germany, where they didn't even pretend to target factories was a war crime. The American day bombing is less clear.

The issue I have with Japan is their total unwillingness to surrender. We had seen Germans surrender en masse throughout the war, but never the Japanese. I mean, they had just finished a campaign in Okinawa where we killed 100,000+ Japanese soldiers, and only ~500-1000 (mostly Korean labor troops) surrendered. Thousands of civilians committed suicide to avoid capture. I don't know how you were going to end the war without something approaching a war crime.

Continued blockade w/o invasion means millions die from hunger and disease. Continued conventional bombings kills even more than the A-bombs. An invasion probably kills 10+ million Japanese civilians, before you even get to American losses.

It seems there was no other option that wasn't even worse than the bombs.
   790. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:32 PM (#4404604)
We've been having rolling layoffs (by dept) for about 9 months. It sucks.


Yep. I suppose that if I were still in newspapers, this would've been about the 10th time for such a thing over the last few years. I don't know how people stay sane (assuming, of course, that they do), to be honest.
   791. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4404607)
Yep. I suppose that if I were still in newspapers, this would've been about the 10th time for such a thing over the last few years. I don't know how people stay sane (assuming, of course, that they do), to be honest.

Have you ever been laid off? If you have, it's not nearly as big a deal, especially if you get a decent severance package.

Never pretend a company has any loyalty to you. Individual co-workers and bosses do, but not "the company". Top management only has loyalty to their bonuses; that's how they got to the top.

You are an input in the production process. As long as they make money employing you, they will. Once they don't, they won't.

It sucks, but it's reality.
   792. The District Attorney Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:40 PM (#4404613)
if you were there at the time, you'd know that people were in attack mode--we, not our leaders nor the ordinary citizen--were not in a dispassionate let's look at all sides of this frame of mind. They were going to surrender on our terms (as we had maintained from the beginning) or we were going to kill every ####### one of them.
No doubt, but I'm sure you'd agree that "we were VERY angry" is not solid moral reasoning :-)

Basically, I think deliberately targeting mass civilian populations in a war is really, really, really terrible. I can only justify it if all possibilities to avoid doing so were exhausted. And I am not seeing how that was done.

It totally is second-guessing. The Masters of War don't generally act like this; I agree. But, I think they should.

It can almost only even be a conversation because it was World War II and -- unlike probably any of our other wars -- the stakes literally were good vs. evil for control of the world. Even then, though, I'd point out that a) these weren't the Nazis, and b) I'm skeptical that we would have nuked white people. (Yeah, I know, Dresden. It's still different.)

From my point of view, the best counter-argument to me is that we didn't have enough bombs in August 1945 to use one as a demo and then continue to use them if Japan didn't surrender. In response to that, the question becomes, what would waiting a few more months for more bombs have cost us. (Again, I totally agree that, in general, Truman has to be willing to sacrifice Japanese lives to save American lives. That's not my issue here.)
   793. BrianBrianson Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4404617)
I cannot at all fathom the idea that atomic bombings were war crimes; that the hunky dory think would've been to kill millions with conventional bombs, then millions more shooting them with bullets, tank rounds, blow them up with grenades, etc. WWII, a bomb had a fifty-fifty chance of landing within a mile of what you were aiming for - where it was a tactically good idea to launch unguided bombs from hundreds of miles away (Japanese floating firebombs to America, British floating wires to cause blackouts in Germany).

That, or every bombing and other attack was a war crime, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were 300k out of 30M such crimes, so why pay particular attention to them?
   794. Ray (RDP) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:43 PM (#4404618)
I'm not confident in rendering a firm opinion on the bombs as I need to read a lot more about it, but FWIW I lean towards the "horrifically necessary and therefore justifiable and not a war crime" side.
   795. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:43 PM (#4404619)
Even then, though, I'd point out that a) these weren't the Nazis

They weren't much different. They actually treated Americans (and our Allies) much worse. Germany treated Allied POWs with the full care demanded in the Geneva Convention.

Plus, the Japanese randomly raped and murdered millions of Asians. Worked hundreds of thousands to death as slave laborers. Tested bilogical and chemical weapons on Allied POWs and Chinese civilians.

If they were any better than the Nazis, it was only in scale, not in kind.
   796. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4404622)
Do you believe the firebombings of Tokyo and Dresden were war crimes?


Frankly, I think they're worse war crimes than either of the two Atomic bombs were ...

As I always do when we cover this subject, here's the link to Paul Fussell's rather trenchant essay on the subject,Thank God for the Atomic Bomb.

Anyone who has never read it is recommended to do so ...
   797. spike Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4404623)
war crimes?

The idea that there is a way to conduct a war that isn't inherently criminal is a a tough one for me to get my head around. Wars are by definition nasty amoral affairs that are going to require actions that people consider "criminal", as well as involve wholesale slaughter of innocents. Having said that, I can differentiate between Dresden/Tokyo and Dachau/Bataan, and even go a bit further and say that pretty much anything done to win WWII is fine by me. Dresden/Tokyo were located inside the areas of control of combatant aggressor countries. They get no special pass. I am with Sherman (although ironically an Atlantan) - " Next year their lands will be taken, for in war we can take them, and rightfully, too, and in another year they may beg in vain for their lives. A people who will persevere in war beyond a certain limit ought to know the consequences. Many, many peoples with less pertinacity have been wiped out of national existence."
   798. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4404624)
Have you ever been laid off? If you have, it's not nearly as big a deal, especially if you get a decent severance package.


I have, or at least they called it a layoff -- I'm pretty sure they were being nice about firing me. No severance package to speak of, because I'd been there only 4 months. I was making the transition from 10+ years of newspaper editing to reporting in a field I had little experience in (business), & I know damned well I wasn't pulling my weight compared to my colleagues.

That was a tough couple of years. As of age 41, I'd never lost a job. Then came a 21-month period in which I was fired twice & "laid off" (as just described) once.

In many ways I'm still gun-shy, I think.
   799. Ron J2 Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:45 PM (#4404625)
In rseponse to that, the question becomes, what would waiting a few more months for more bombs have cost us.


The number I've seen is 7,000 a week.
   800. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 04:46 PM (#4404626)
I cannot at all fathom the idea that atomic bombings were war crimes; that the hunky dory think would've been to kill millions with conventional bombs, then millions more shooting them with bullets, tank rounds, blow them up with grenades, etc. WWII, a bomb had a fifty-fifty chance of landing within a mile of what you were aiming for - where it was a tactically good idea to launch unguided bombs from hundreds of miles away (Japanese floating firebombs to America, British floating wires to cause blackouts in Germany).

That, or every bombing and other attack was a war crime, and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were 300k out of 30M such crimes, so why pay particular attention to them?


If you fly low, and take the risk, and target a train yard, or factory, that's clearly not a war crime, even if you kill civilians.

If you fly high, at night, and drop firebombs to "de-house workers" that's pretty damn close to executing civilians.

It's a valid argument: why is it a war crime to shoot or gas a civilian, but not to intentionally incinerate his home with him and his family in it?
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