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Selected News For The Week Dec 4 – Dec 10

This thread is for the busy bees of S&L to post news articles that expose the rampant distortions and biases of our media watchdogs.

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To make the articles as readable as possible, please use the format described here


  • Only post ‘hard news’ from establishment media outlets.
  • Avoid editorials and ‘thought pieces’ unless they are truly newsworthy.
  • Eschew major news items that most people will likely have seen elsewhere.
  • Articles that fit under the topic of a recent thread should be posted as a comment there.
  • Always spell out the name of the source and post a link to it.
  • Always post less than one quarter of the original article.

Posts of articles that do not follow these guidelines may be edited or deleted.


This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, December 4th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

32 Responses to “Selected News For The Week Dec 4 – Dec 10”

  1. heykev says:

    From the WGN Radio Archives:

    Radical In Chief
    Milt Rosenberg talks with author Stanley Kurtz about his new book “Radical In Chief, Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism”

    Milt Rosenberg who is (or perhaps was – having maybe retired by now) University of Chicago professor. He has had his own radio show on weeknights on WGN radio for as long as I can remember. He is very interesting interviewer and thought the fellow S&L readers would like to listen to this while online. It will provide interesting details on BHO’s Socialist background and leanings.

  2. proreason says:

    Rick Lowry at NRO talks about Innovation and Deirdre N. McCloskey:

    “Innovation Is the Thing”

    “In 1800 the average human consumed and expected her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren to go on consuming a mere $3 a day,” Deirdre N. McCloskey writes in her dazzling new book, Bourgeois Dignity. “The only people much better off than $3 or so up to 1800 were lords or bishops or some few of the merchants. It had been this way for all of history, and for that matter all of prehistory. With her $3 a day the average denizen of the earth got a few pounds of potatoes, a little milk, an occasional scrap of meat.”

    In short, almost all the world was Bangladesh. Then, everything changed. Even though the planet now has six-and-a-half times more people than it did two centuries ago, those people earn and consume on average ten times as much as they once did. “Starvation worldwide is therefore at an all-time low, and falling. Literacy and life expectancy are at all-time highs, and rising. Liberty is spreading. Slavery is retreating,” McCloskey writes.

    What happened? That’s such a fraught question that McCloskey’s book is the second in a series of six (!) planned volumes. Her answer is that it wasn’t foreign trade (too small), it wasn’t imperialism (it didn’t enrich the imperial countries), it wasn’t the establishment of property rights (they had existed before), and it wasn’t the Protestant work ethic (hard work wasn’t new).

    It was simply a new attitude toward wealth and its creation….”


    This is something I have been hammering on for a couple of years. But I disagree with McCloskey in one critical way. 1800 isn’t coincidental, and its not a “new attitude toward wealth and its creation”. That’s a sympton. It’s a symptom of freedom, and the freedom happened because of the American Revolution. 1776 changed everything. The change wasn’t a new attitude. New attitudes don’t pop out of the cosmos. The key change was that instead of a <.1% aristocracy with the freedom to innovate, all of a sudden entire populations became free to innovate, because they weren't serfs any longer, and if they were smart enough, their own efforts could allow them to live like royalty.

    Once that happened, life expectancies doubled in 200 years, and that is just one metric.

    Freedom is the most profound change in human culture since agriculture was developed and tiny groups of aristocrats realized they could control and oppress populations with thousands times more people than the oligarchy.

    And now we are in the existential struggle of all time. Obama / Soros and their fellow criminals want to put the freedom genie back in the bottle. They hate freedom because free people can challenge their authority. Free people have more power than a tiny aristocracy….and they want their power back, they want to go back to the age of kings.

    (note: see the video on the same NRO page for a mind-boggling visualization of wealth and life expectancies since 1800.)

  3. Mithrandir says:

    Charlie Rangel Avoiding Question he should be in JAIL.

    Rangel to reporter:

    1. What’s that? (pretending not to hear the question.)
    2. What paper are you from? (as if that makes any difference)
    3. What’s the question? (he heard the question very clearly)
    4. Could you kinda make your question a little more exact. (it was a clear, simple question)
    5. The criticism came from the floor? (it doesn’t matter where it came from)
    6. What is the question!? (again, very simple question)
    7. I’m not a psychiatrist. (that wasn’t the question)
    8. I don’t deal in ‘average American citizens.’ (you don’t, but the law does)
    9. Citizens are diverse and broad, I don’t know what is average. (evading question)
    10. I’ll come back when you can think of a good question. (did not answer)

    Reporter 2 (asks completely different question)

    11. Don’t you understand that is the same question? (totally and completely different question)
    12. Shouts at reporter.


    Since the voters can’t seem to get rid of these people, TERM LIMITS!

    • Mae says:

      Whenever I bring up term limits someone always responds with, “But what if we have a senator or congressman we really like and who is doing a good job?” Ready answer: “If the incumbent is that good, he can run for some other office, say, the local school board.” That always gets the questioner flustered or hot under the collar. The real answer is: “So what? No one is indispensable. If he is so great and courageous, then he should be willing to support and/or groom others of a like mind. Elected office should not be a permanent career with all the attendant perks and privileges, such as a pension for life. And how about leaving office with little or not much more monetary value as when he entered politics?”

    • proreason says:

      There is something I prefer to Term Limits, and that is an easy way to recall the criminals.

      Imagine if the people had a do-able way to get rid of Obamy. He would have been out of office at least a year ago, and the country would be recovering.

      Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, 500 more. We need a way to fire the bastards a few weeks after they begin implementing their agenda instead of the lies they told while they were campaigning. And you might say that Pelosi would never be recalled, which is probably true. But if only 1 or 2 Dems had been recalled in early 2009, the chill it would have sent throughout Congress would have been marxism-shattering.

    • proreason says:

      Here’s another idea for an amendment. Allow 2/3 of the states to repeal federal legislation, without recourse.

      Mark Levin describes it.


      Here’s a package of amendments that can save the country:

      1. 2/3 of states can repeal fed legislation (just described).
      2. Repeal 17th amendment (direct election of senators). Senators again to be elected by state legislatures.
      3. Balanced budget amendment.
      4. Fed expenditures not to exceed 19% of GDP.
      5. Voters enact recall election when 50% of prior election voters sign petitions.
      6. Term limits for Congress.
      7. Change the Commerce clause to prevent regulation of interstate commerce (that would be HUGE).

      Not a single one of those is a radical departure from the founding principles. Any one would help tremendously. All 7 would once again make the US the strongest, freeest country on earth.

    • tranquil.night says:

      There are going to have to be numerous steps to overhaul the electoral process, addressing corruption at several levels of the process. The ballot process, gerrymandering, pork, judicial and media cronyism. But this discourse narrative will take time and political capital that will be unrealistic during the crises we face over the next year.

      Currently the most effective course to blunting the public legitimacy and power of Modern Liberalism and its stalwarts, is with as much economic reform and defunding of its vast network of cronies, agitators, and apparatchiks as possible.

      No amount of reform in Washington is going to stop a group of determined liars from swindling foolish people into believing they can trade freedom for security. We combat the lie with the most powerful defense: removing the government obstacles so that these people have the opportunity, the freedom to live, learn, provide for and take pride in themselves rather than putting their hope in a false-messiah and his church of entitlement and blame.

      Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that we’re never going to convince them with rational debate. It’s going to have to be lived, and some are gonna sink and some are going to swim, just like the rest of us. But let the free markets operate robustly, and there will be a tide that lifts all boats beyond that which we can imagine. I know I.m speaking as an idealist, but it’s not exactly just a matter of faith when the results are so plainly spoken in history.

    • proreason says:

      Don’t forget the most important thing, tn.


    • U NO HOO says:

      I came up with a scenario:

      12 years as a Representative
      12 years as a Senator
      8 years as Vice President
      8 years as President
      Rest of life as Supreme Court Justice

      This would be an ideal career span for the “perfect” politician/public servant.

      And as Mae says, “If the incumbent is that good, he can run for some other office, say, the local school board.” Or get rich as a lawyer in private practice.

      We never promised them a rose garden. Note the lower case r in rose garden.

    • Mithrandir says:

      This is why Ron Paul and others want to cut off the blood flowto the tumor that is Washington D.C.

      That place is a mischief-maker for those who don’t have talent to control people with money made from private industry. So, they get elected to control and conquer others.

      When you REALLY LOOK into what these people do to manipulate others, it truly is the work of the devil.

      ~Infiltrate schools, set the agenda, reward those who are part of the system with jobs and rewards. Homosexuality becomes normal, when children have been exposed to it for 18 years.
      ~Create 100,000 political non-profit organizations, filter out the truly radical supporters, get them elected to office to create more mischief.
      ~Control colleges, give jobs to those who demonstrated their socialist stripes, punish students and those who don’t.
      ~Keep lists (and blacklists) of supports, organize to harass and crush dissenters.
      ~Infiltrate the media to control (and damage control) the socialist message.
      ~Get Hollywood on board to give socialism a pretty face.
      ~Manipulate the young vote, as they have been living under their parents’ socialism for 18 years, they have no reason to oppose socialism…yet.
      ~Control ALL the awards in America. Only those who support socialism are rewarded.
      ~Incrementally make demands, that weaken businesses, the Constitution, the country.
      ~Lie about your goals like the Palestinians, say one thing to the media, one thing to your supporters. “Socialists? ha ha ohhh no, we are not socialists….”

    • wardmama4 says:

      Good ideas all and good start – but how about start where their ‘real’ power is – Get rid of the IRS and make an across the board <20% FLAT TAX – politicos have written, rewritten and tweaked the tax laws until they benefit no one but the rich and connected. Everyone pays the same percentage across the board – from $1,000. to $1,000,000. Equal, fair and just – but alas – the DC crowd won’t get behind it – as they use class envy as a bartering and election tool.

      Mae – whenever I bring up term limits – I always get – we have them already – Elections – bs – because there are still pockets everywhere – where a person always votes a party (no matter what the person did or did not do) and/or get promised their particular bennie and vote that way.

      Term Limits make a limit that can’t be bribed, stolen or bought – time for the citizens of America to understand that fine distinction.

    • proreason says:

      It’s becoming fairly well known that no matter what they do to the tax code, tax receipts are 19% of gdp, within a very narrow band.

      The reason is that when they lower rates on the wealthy, they take more risks with their assets, which generates more taxable income. But when they raise rates, the wealthy get defensive and move their money to low risk ventures that don’t generate taxable income; i.e., municipal bonds.

      But aside from that, I have issues with a flat-tax or any major tax policy change, because I have already been driven to the verge of bankruptcy by Reagan’s tax changes, which wiped out my rental property business instantly. Big changes mean big disruptions, which will help some, but can destroy others. I can vouch for that.

      As another example, consider retired people, many of whom today pay virtually no taxes because SS is taxed at low rates or not taxed at all depending on other income. A couple with an income of 50,000 might pay 2 or 3 thousand in income taxes. How would that couple feel about a flat tax of 20% ($10,000). I don’t think they would be too happy. Of course, they might exempt some or all of SS, and there might be a big deductable…..but what about homeowners, or business owners, or people with children, don’t they deserve a similar break? Which is exactly what happens today. Sorry about the flat tax. It sounds great until you get to the details, or rather, until you see the details that make YOU pay more. Big disruptions cause lots of problems for lots of people. Not worth it, since the system will inevitably snap back to what it was anyway.

  4. dnlchisholm says:

    As much as many prognosticators and so-called experts are saying President Obama is going to have a tough time getting re-elected, the reality of the situation is that President Obama will get re-elected against almost any potential GOP challenger.

    However, one candidate cannot be over-looked. If we learned anything from 2008, we should’ve learned that organization and social media skills are paramount to a campaign. No one is actually going to “come out of nowhere”. To become the most powerful person in the world, you have to build quite an organization. That’s why only one person has a chance to beat President Obama in 2012.

    This will make it all clear:

    • proreason says:


      The moron’s approval ratings are 39%. That doesn’t guarantee victory but is does demonstrate that a lot of people should be able to beat him. In addition, he has shown very little ability to adapt and adjust, so his situation could well get worse. The days of him blabbing his way to victory are gone. He is going to have to do something positive between now and nov 2011.

      I would say almost the oppposite of what you said. Almost any potential challenger can beat him.

      The biggest risk for conservatives is to become so tied to one candadate that they refuse to vote if their favorite doesn’t make it.

      I don’t have anything against Romney, but even though he is an early leader, his odds are about as long as everyone else’s at this point. “The field” is the favorite.

      In addition, if you read the conservative blogs, you will see that Romney has very little support among the engaged right. He has a hard hill to climb to get the nomination, and he isn’t doing what he needs to be doing to solve his problems with the Tea Partiers. If he wants to have a chance to win, he needs to begin screaming that he was an idiot to do RomneyCare, and that he will never ever do anything like that again so help him God. And then he needs to list about 10 reasons why he was brain dead and has learned from his disease.

      Trust me on this. I like Mitt and think he would make a good president. But his strategy is bad.

    • wardmama4 says:

      Ah but you also forgot the primary reason that Obama, Franken et al got elected in the first place – election fraud. America has been told how corrupt ACORN was/is, America has been told about the SoS project of Soros (OH overturned their stupid Register/Vote policy as soon after the election as they could) and America has seen the NBPP video and how this Administration dealt with it.

      That can not happen again – maybe they will attempt to come up with another way to steal the election – but other than forbidding it (an act of War upon the States) – I don’t see it happening.

      I could deal with Romney – but he caved way too soon last time – which makes him a lightweight to me.

      We need someone like Palin – who can take a jab, turn it back on them and field strip a caribou (that she shot) in french nails.

      You know, a hard working, real American, who truly is concerned for the needs of the average American citizen.

      Not a seasoned politico – who claims hope and change – and then does the same old same old on overdrive.

  5. U NO HOO says:

    It is all up to Conservatives.

    Conservatives will win if they run as conservative and don’t take the hook by answering questions with pat answers that accept the premise of the question.

    Don’t forget though that Republicans aren’t going to eliminate any federal departments, Elaine “Mrs. Mitch McConnell” Chao was Secretary of Energy.

    Lynn Cheney was something in the artsy fartsy or something humanitarian departments …so hope for a Chris Christie who is what we hope Chris Christie will be. Does Christie’s wife or daughter or son have a gubmint job? Lynn Cheney Jr. also had a gubmint job, guess private industry wasn’t good enough.

  6. Rusty Shackleford says:

    If you thought France likes us now, think again:

    From a very happy AP via the WSJ


    Continental Guilty in Concorde Crash

    PONTOISE, France—A French court has found Continental Airlines Inc. and one of its mechanics guilty of criminal wrongdoing in the crash of a supersonic Concorde jet outside Paris a decade ago that killed 113 people.

    The court in the Paris suburb of Pontoise ruled the Houston-based airline must pay a €200,000 ($268,220) fine, and one of its mechanics, John Taylor, must pay €2,000 over the July 2000 crash of an Air France Concorde. The victims were mostly German tourists. Air France operated the Concorde that crashed. The court ordered Continental to pay €1.08 million to Air France for moral damages and damage to Air France’s reputation.

    Mr. Taylor was also handed a 15-month suspended prison sentence. All other defendants, including Mr. Taylor’s now-retired supervisor Stanley Ford, were acquitted in the verdict.

    “Portraying the metal strip as the cause of the accident and Continental and one of its employees as the sole guilty parties shows the determination of the French authorities to shift attention and blame away from Air France,” Continental Airlines also said.

    The presiding judge confirmed investigators’ long-held belief that titanium debris dropped by a Continental DC-10 onto the runway at Charles de Gaulle airport before the Concorde took off was to blame. Investigators said debris gashed the Concorde’s tire, propelling bits of rubber into the fuel tanks and sparking a fire. Three former French officials also facing manslaughter charges were acquitted

    For the record, rubber slamming into a fuel tank doesn’t “spark a fire”. The hole ruptured in the fuel tank allowed Jet-A to escape under the wing, where the plume of fuel encountered the afterburner flame of the engines (normal for Concorde takeoffs) and ignited. Newsies are so technically ignorant. Additionally:

    While France’s aviation authority concluded the crash could not have been foreseen, a judicial inquiry said the plane’s fuel tanks lacked sufficient protection from shock and said officials had known about the problem for more than 20 years.

    So you have a known problem, ignored by the manufacturers of the state-produced flagships of both Great Britain and France, which lost money in buckets for every year that it operated. Socialism and national pride run amok. Every ticket on that plane was a first-class ticket. But it never made money. Naturally, when the risk was evaluated about the fuel tanks being subject to danger, cost was the first thing considered. That’s not unusual for an aircraft but had the fuel tank mod been accomplished BEFORE the accident, the crash may still have occurred, or, the fuel would not have escaped and ignited and the aircraft would have been able to return to Paris and land. It’s still possible that with the mod, the fuel would still have leaked. Though it is conceivable that the results would have been far more favorable. But clearly this is France taking its frustration out on the US. Specifically, Continental Airlines. It is highly doubtful that if the roles were reversed, that Air France would be held liable. The facts of the case would remain, the aircraft would still have been required to have the fuel tank mods done, etc, etc. But the insurance would’ve paid out for the lost lives and the findings would not necessarily assign blame to any one person or entity. 99% of the time, an aviation accident is the result of a chain of events that, had one link in that chain not occurred, the accident most likely wouldn’t have either. But in this climate of “Hate America First” we have the French, who have always chosen to scold us, but now we have the complicity of our own government which will, most likely, go right along with the French court findings.

  7. canary says:

    Dead goats, sheep & cow carcasses thrown overboard Eygptian ships, on way to mecca Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha pilgrimage muslim pilgrim may have drawn rare sharks to attack & kill swimmers on beaches. Whew I’ll bet Mecca stinks until next years stink. Explains why some muslim smell like dead animals.

    BBC: Shark attacks in Egypt’s Red Sea probed by experts

    The BBC’s Jon Leyne: Azure waters of Sharm el-Sheikh a ‘no-go’ area
    Continue reading the main story
    Related stories

    Egypt’s tourism ministry has called in experts from abroad to investigate a series of shark attacks off the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

    A 70-year-old German woman was killed on Sunday, just days after four other tourists were injured.

    Officials have posted signs along the beach warning people not to enter the water, but some tourists are braving the waters close to shore.

    Rare attacks

    The woman had died immediately after the attack, in which she was reportedly bitten on the thigh and arm, Egyptian officials have said.

    International shark experts are now on their way from the US to help deal with this exceptionally rare series of attacks, the BBC’s Jon Leyne reports from Sharm el-Sheikh.

    After last week’s attacks, in which three Russians and a Ukrainian were mauled, Egypt’s environment ministry caught and killed two sharks – an Oceanic White Tip and a Mako.

    Meanwhile, some said predatory sharks could have been drawn to the area after a ship carrying Australian sheep and cattle for sacrifice during last month’s Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha dumped the carcasses of animals which had died during the voyage.


  8. canary says:

    Very likely, your community or city is following suit with this green attack. Article, which has changed from original posting is at end of transcript. It deleted the controlling population and rationing part that was originally printed. The attack is on homes built prior to 1978 not global friendly. Add the Supreme Court allowing communities to buy property and homes for the welfare of the city, and you may see a lot of older homes be torn down. Older homes people have lived in their entire lives, and older homes being held on to for investment for when their city expands and grows. And the EPA is getting paid for their expertise in this.
    Obama’s organizing & stimulus money at work.


  9. canary says:

    ChicagoNow: Another Big Labor Union Payoff: Obama Adds $3.3 Million to Construction Project

    12/09/2010 -By Warner Todd Huston

    The latest bloated price tag for a federal project is that of the Lafayette Federal Building in Washington D.C., a project that has seen costs rise at least $3.3 million thanks to Obama’s payoffs to unions…

    Barack Obama’s political tin ear is nowhere better revealed than in his constant payoffs to Big Labor. One of Obama’s very first actions, for instance, was to write an Executive Order that forced all government building projects to follow union marching orders in pay scale, work rules, and pension payouts by imposing Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on all of them.

    In February of 2009 Obama issued EO 13502, headlined, “Use of project labor agreements for federal construction projects.” This order forced all construction projects to adhere to union rules even if the companies and workers involved were not members of unions.

    Imagine being a non-union construction worker and being told that you are going to be forced to pay union dues even when you are not a member of the union. Imagine realizing as a worker that your hard earned wages are going to go to pay pensions for union members when you, yourself will never benefit from the very pensions you helped fund….

    This is an example of the tyranny of the minority if there ever was one. As the Washington Examiner’s Mark Hemingway reports, only 14 percent of the construction labor force is forcing 86 percent to follow the rules of the minority….

    As Ben Brubeck of TheTruthAboutPLAs.com says of this outrage:

    The costly and discriminatory terms and provisions in typical PLAs discourage competition from non-union contractors and increase the cost of construction. Numerous studies have found that government-mandated PLAs typically increase the cost of construction between 12 percent and 18 percent.

    other articles on Obama’s PLAs:
    Read more: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/publius-forum/2010/12/another-big-labor-union-payoff-obama-adds-33-million-to-construction-project.html#ixzz17h8K497F

    I heard Obama has changed rules, that only a small minority of voters wanting a union can win.

  10. canary says:

    Video of largest chemicals and bomb making items in factory, and the burning the unknown substances down or up. Gardner who stepped on some unknown explosive laying in hospital.

    BBC: US authorities burn California ‘bomb factory’

    9 Dec 2010

    Officials said the home in the town of Escondido contained so many explosives, they had no choice but to burn it down.

    Neighbours were evacuated before officials ignited the fire.

    Officials had concluded that the house was too dangerous to go inside and decided the best way to destroy the residence was to burn it down.

    Remotely controlled explosive devices were used to ignite the home and the blaze was monitored for potential health problems using helicopters and air pollution sensors.

    Crews built a 16ft (4.8m) wall around Mr Jakubec’s house last week and coated it with fire resistant gel on Thursday to shield the neighbourhood from the fire and any unexpected explosions during the burn.

    Mr Jakubec, a Serbian-born, unemployed software consultant, allegedly assembled an astonishing quantity of bomb-making materials, some of which were similar to those used in mid-air terror plots.

    Police were first called to the residence on 18 November when a gardener caused a small explosion in Mr Jakubec’s backyard.


  11. canary says:

    Now the BBC failing to acknowledge the radical Islamic law taking over Mexico.
    Just family values and their own written religion. .

    BBC News: ‘Family values’ of Mexico drug gang
    By Stephen Gibbs

    They decapitate, torture, and extort. Then they pray, and donate to charity.

    “La Familia was originally a social structure. And in many ways it still is,” says a former Mexico deputy attorney general and organised crime expert, Prof Samuel Gonzalez Ruiz.

    The group is believed to have originated in the 1980s as a loose self-protecting coalition between marijuana and opium farmers in the state of Michoacan.

    By the 1990s the farmers, who had formed an alliance with the neighbouring
    Gulf cartel,….

    Like other Mexican drug cartels, they were benefitting {sic} from the massive, successful, clampdown on drug trafficking led by the US authorities across the Caribbean. The strategy pushed the flow of drugs west, into Mexican territory.

    They embarked on a major expansion and diversification programme.

    They invested in the production of the synthetic drug methamphetamine in the state…., and set up a brutal debt collection service.

    Research by Prof Gonzalez’s team suggests that 85% of the legitimate businesses in Michoacan now have some link with La Familia, or with its money.

    One curious feature of the organisation is that, according to Mexican intelligence documents,

    it strongly discourages its members from consuming alcohol or drugs,…

    The group’s alleged spiritual leader, Nazario Moreno Gonzalez, also known as “El Mas Loco”, or

    “the maddest one” is understood to have published and distributed his own bible,

    “It is clearly an organisational tool,” says anthropologist and analyst Dr Elio Masferrer,..

    Notes, signed by La Familia, are often left on the mutilated bodies of their rivals, indicating that they are victims of “divine justice”.

    In 2006, five severed heads were thrown into a night club in the town of Uruapan. ‘

    A letter accompanying the heads declared: “only those who deserve to die will die.”

    In 2008, a grenade was thrown into a crowd celebrating Independence Day in Morelia,…,
    12 federal police officers were captured, tortured and murdered.

    The latest arrests in the United States confirm what Mexico has long been warning the US authorities: that the drugs which pour across the border every day bring organised crime with them.


  12. artboyusa says:

    Not exactly news that I’m reading a book but I’m about 100 pages into “The Pacific” by Hugh Ambrose (the HBO series, which stunk imo) was based on this. The story is so interesting that you keep reading but the author’s assumptions about the ignorance and stupidity of his audience amaze me. He feels it necessary to explain basic information ;like what “port” and “starboard” mean, what “RAF” stands for and who fought who in the Battle of Britain. He seems kind of uniformed himself: he says Japanese Zeros carried “heavy” machine guns and that our pilots evaded the “shots” of Jap planes.He uses “IJN” and “IJA” when he talks about the Jap navy and army, when that shorthamd was not in use at the time (oddly, he doesn’t use “USMC”, which was). He says someone was beheaded by a “sliver” of shrapnel; I expect it was a great, whacking chunk of the stuff. Anyway, its a weirdly amateurish book in many ways – has anyone else read it and feel the same? And does anyone agree that “With the Old Breed” by Eugene Sledge is the best ever war book from the soldier’s point of view? (“Quartered Safe Out Here” by George MacDonald Fraser would be second, I reckon).

    • canary says:

      Artboyusa, I recently read a piece from one of the only survivors on some ship that was 1st struck (forgot the ships name, but it is a tomb still holding fallen in memorial in Hawaii.
      He gave details of his surviving the ship explosion, the most gory was those that burned; especially those burned to a crisp who were still able to call for help. He said the ships sinking made it easier to get the wounded on to other boats. Something about a part sticking up of the ship that’s a memorial where many who died on it are entombed (he chooses not to be buried in it as his right, though he’s visited there. He immediately was put on another ship, where they dealt with the Japs suicide aiming planes trying to hit them.

      The Pacific, basically fiction to portray many experiences.
      Check out his disk to U.S. Marines
      his own inexperienced judgment on what our soldiers should have done.
      he focuses on racism against blacks & minorities

      Below show is a critical piece on Hugh Ambrose’s finishing the book his father started.

      Hugh Ambrose tells story of ‘The Pacific’ from viewpoint of fighting men
      Historian finishes a project he and his dad started with ‘Band of Brothers.’
      By Patrick Beach

      by Patrick Breach April 10, 2010

      As if being the son of one of America’s most popular historians – the late Stephen Ambrose – wasn’t enough, Hugh Ambrose inherited arguably his father’s most ambitious unfinished work: a history of America’s war with Japan.

      The resulting book,… nearly 500 pages that humanizes a conflict so large we will never see its likes again, at least not until humans start fighting across galaxies.

      Ambrose’s self-imposed limitations set him up for some criticism, which he has well anticipated. A reliance on contemporaneous accounts – letters, journals, reports and the like – forces him occasionally into speculation such as “He must have known …” or “he would have heard.”

      He does not capitalize “Marine,” an egregious offense to some active and retired Marines. “I don’t believe it is disrespectful,” he says. “If I did that I would have had to capitalize `soldier’ and `sailor.’ … I just didn’t want that to be misunderstood. This is a book about Marines, primarily.”

      Perhaps most enticing for academic ax-grinders who’ve made entire careers out of trumpeting the wartime accomplishments of ethnic minorities, there are precious few non-whites. Cameos by black porters aboard ship don’t really count.

      “I had to make the choice of who I chose based on who would take us from the first shot to the last battle and keep us connected so we don’t get lost,” Ambrose says.

      “I think that we as Americans need to confront the idea that our institutionalized racism was not that long ago. If I begin to find ways of including more African Americans, Native Americans and Latinos, is that a way of making us all feel better about this? They certainly served and did all that was asked of them and deserve recognition. I do sometimes wonder, are we going to make the past better than it was? I had to present what I found.”

      {canary notes – Abrose Jr. must live in a cave)

      After our phone chat was concluded, Ambrose, fretting just a bit, called back with this additional thought: “I wish there could have been more, but I hope people do wonder why that was the case – and the reason was it was a segregated military. That’s the truth.”

      One other thing that would be out of place in a narrative history is tactical analysis:…

      “My historical judgments exist at the meta level: who did I choose to represent…”
      That’s for the reader to ponder.

      And Ambrose is more than willing to talk about writing the book, what is or isn’t there, which is why he has blocked out 2½ hours beginning at 1:30 p.m. Saturday …


    • SinCity says:

      I read the book, and enjoyed it a lot more than the HBO mini-series. I especially liked the stories of the people that didn’t make it into the HBO series. The story of the POWs from Corregador was especially interesting. However, I was conflicted about Eugene Sledge, and how he was portrayed in the series and the book. I admit, I hadn’t read “With the Old Breed”, so I just don’t know much about him though. I just simply didn’t find his story all that much interesting, at least not as much as the POWs and the Navy dive bomber pilot.

      Overall, I did enjoy reading the book and, at times, found it hard to put down. It was a good way to pass the time on a couple of Trans-Atlantic crossings.

    • Petronius says:

      artboy: Have not read “The Pacific” but I certainly agree that George MacDonald Fraser’s “Quartered Safe Out Here” is top notch.

      If you liked “Quartered” then for context you might also want to try “The Unforgettable Army: Slim’s XIVth Army in Burma” by Col. Michael Hickey.

      For a pure soldier’s story, I rank Guy Sajer’s “The Forgotten Soldier” as the best I have read. There has been critical nit-picking over some of the book’s minor details that raised questions about its authenticity, but surviving veterans of the Grossdeutschland division accept it as genuine. Also P. R. Reid’s “Escape from Colditz” has to be considered a great classic.

      A couple of personal WWII favorites would be two little books, “Pegasus Bridge” by Stephen Ambrose and “Ill Met By Moonlight” by W. Stanley Moss. I would also recommend highly “The Battle of Britain” by Richard Hough and Denis Richards as the best book on that subject.

  13. artboyusa says:

    Thanks for all your comments, friends. I quite agree about “The Forgotten Soldier”, Petronius. Did you ever read “Tigers in the Mud” by Otto Carius? He was a panzer officer on the Eastern Front and he’s got quite a story to tell. I really, really recommend With the Old Breed”, Sin. Sledge’s description of what he and his buddies went through on Okinawa is searingly unforgettable. I’m about 200 pages into “The Pacific” now and it doesn’t get any better. Hugh Ambrose has just told me in a footnote who Stonewall Jackson was. Really, really clumsy style, especially compared to his father. A book badly in need of an editor and a proof reader.

    • DW says:

      I had a thought (that doesn’t happen too often but sometimes one sneaks up on me).
      Consider the membership here: many of us are veterans or at least have some military service in our background. Virtually everybody is a patriot with a love of country and an interest in it’s history and accomplishments. Pretty much everybody does a fair amount of reading things a bit more cerebral than say, Maxim Magazine or the Hollywood gossip mags.

      To you, me, or most people here, someone explaining who Stonewall Jackson was, or who fought in the Battle of Britain or what port and starboard meant is, yes, pretty much an insult to our intelligence.
      Now go quiz a half-dozen random people you know but don’t routinely talk to. Quiz a bunch of highschool kids or even college students. I once worked with a guy whom I would describe as bright and intelligent yet he couldn’t tell me what war the movie Saving Private Ryan depicted.

      Is it possible this Ambrose fellow is surrounded more by those types rather than S&L types?
      And is writing for that crowd?

      Just a thought …(thanks for the warning about the book though, and I too found the series to be a bit of a disappointment compared to Band of Brothers.

    • JohnMG says:

      Artboy, if you get your hands on “Goodbye Darkness” by William Manchester it is an excellent book (autobiographical) about the Pacific war. I remember reading his account of an event that took place on Tarawa Atoll thirty years after hearing the first-hand account of the same action from my father who spent almost 3 years in the Pacific, and who made five amphibious landings culminating with Okinawa. Dad was a combat engineer (demolition and flamethrower), an MOS whose life expectancy was measured in minutes. That one account raised the hair on the back of my neck, but the book is far better than the Ambrose effort.

  14. artboyusa says:

    DW, that was sort of my original point. Is the contemporary audience so ignorant that an author can’t assume any prior knowledge on their part? Do they have to have every reference explained and can’t it even be asumed that the know which way is port and which is starboard? If so, that is a bad, bad thing. John, I read Manchester’s book years ago and still have a copy. I enjoyed a lot of it but all the sexual stuff made me uncomfortable; not because sex embarrasses me but because it semed so undignified for a man of his age and accomplishments to be telling the world about the size of his wang and his youthful masturbation issues. Kind of creepy, that was.

    BTW, did anyone notice that in “The Pacific” miniseries, whenever a Jap soldier was shot a big, lurid FX of dust and blood jumped out of his clothes, so the audience would know he was killed? Ridiculous. What’s wrong with what we did as kids when we played war? That is, fling your arms up, scream “Aaaarrrgghhh!” and throw yourself around acrobatically? Worked for me, aged 8. Still does. Mrs Artboy: “You said you’d wash the car and clean out the gutters today”. Me: “Aaaarrrgghhhh!”

    • JohnMG says:

      Artboy; Manchester’s politics and mine certainly wouldn’t mix well, and he fits right in with the current gaggle of clowns calling themselves progressives today. I only remember three instances of what you referenced in your comments above (there may have been a couple more) and thought that a little less than necessary to the narrative. What he did manage, at least from my perspective, was to portray accurately what went on in that theater of operations, and in a war in general–the Banzai charges, “suicide cliff”, etc.

      My Dad didn’t talk much of his experience, except on rare occasions and until after I came back from ‘Nam. I’m not sure he even opened up to any of my other eight siblings like he did with me, since none of the others went to war despite two of my brothers having served later during those times. I’m sure it had something to do with “shared experiences”. My point was,, two people sharing the same fighting hole during the same firefight WILL remember the same fight but one may recall certain details, such details seeming to conflict with the account of the other participant. And some people are better at telling the stories. From my admittedly limited perspective, Manchester’s book was a more accurate portrayal of what transpired in the Pacific.

      By the way, one of my two sons served, and now my oldest grandson is serving, representing four generations, USMC.

  15. artboyusa says:

    John, you’re absolutely right about the parts of Manchester’s book where he tells the story of the Pacific war; he’s sound on his history and sound on his combat experiences, its when he gets into the really personal stufff that I wish he’d show some discretion. Otherwise, its a good read. Best military history read I’ve had in a long time, btw, is Shelby Foote’s history of the Civil War. I found Volume One in a secondhand bookstore for $2 when I was back home for Thanksgiving and it is terrific! Can’t believe I haven’t read it before, when I’ve read Bruce Catton, MacPherson etc etc. Going to make locating and reading the next two volumes my project for the winter.

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