Category Archives: Lex

Lunch

By lex, on August 9th, 2010

Durgin Park, she said. You won’t regret it, she said.

Durgin Park – “Established Before You Were Bahn.”

Lunch1

“The special today is the lobstah roll,” the waitress said. Her honor being a lady of certain age. “It comes with beans, fries and cole slor.”

Cole slor?

How could I resist?

lunch2

In faith, I had never had a lobstah roll before. I didn’t know how to eat it. I asked my neighbors if they were from Bahston, and they said no. “New Hampshah.”

Does one carve it up, or what, I asked, pointing delicately with my fork.

“You pick it up and eat it,” said the patriarch. A look of abiding contempt in his gimlet eye. “Whaa you from?”

Parts else, I was forced to admit.

Try the Indian Pudding, I was told. The waitress set it down, cautioning, “Cahful, it’s haht.”

Which it  had ice cream atop.

lunch3

“This is lo-cal,” I stated more than asked. “Right?”

“Let’s put it this way, hon: You won’t have no prahblem sleeping.”

“What’s in it?”

“Cahn meal, molasses and brown sugah.”

Right glad am I that this is but a short stay

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Rights and Responsibilities

By lex, on July 17th, 2010

Douglas Murray says that modern day Britain has done a whole lot better job of defining the former than requiring the latter:

“A lot of young Muslims have said to me in recent years, ‘You ask me to integrate, but what are we integrating into? What is Britain, what are British values?’ It’s very hard to tell people to integrate if you don’t tell them what they are integrating into. It’s very hard to tell them to be British if they don’t know and you don’t know what Britishness is. The fact is that we have been very poor in saying what we are and we have also been very poor is saying what we expect people to be. We’ve been very good in stressing what rights people get when they come to Britain and very bad at explaining what responsibilities come with them.”

He also appears to have the drop on the whole multi-culti thing, as well:

“Pluralism or multiracial societies seem to me to be good and desirable things,” he says. “Multicultural societies, where you encourage group differences, seem to me to be a very bad thing.”

For Murray, multiculturalism is a moral vacuum, and “into a moral vacuum always bad things creep.”

The Eton and Oxford educated Murray quotes Saul Bellow in his introduction to The Closing of the American Mind: “When public morality becomes a ghost town, it’s a place into which anyone can ride and declare himself sheriff.”

“Once so-called multicultural societies decided that they didn’t have a locus, that they didn’t have a center of gravity, anyone could ride in and teach the most pernicious things,” Murray expounds. “It didn’t matter. It was just another point of view.”

Divide et impera, Douglas me lad. Dividing the polis into aggrieved victim groups is a classic path to power.

Of course, there’s a world of difference between conquering and Conquering. But in the interim, there’s so much fun to be had. And the muddle-headed multi-culti set might just get lucky.

They might get eaten last.

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Chechen Snipers

By lex, on July 15th, 2010

US forces engage in a sniper duel in Paktika Province, Afghanistan:

Battalion intelligence overheard Afghans talking about foreign fighters in the village. A few days later, the company overheard traffic in a language its interpreters did not recognize. To kill the marksmen and to find out if there was indeed any foreign connection, the company commander, Capt. Joshua Powers, requested snipers.

In the last week of May, a platoon and a sniper team patrolled toward Palau, hoping to pick a fight with the sharpshooters.

From a roof, the sniper team watched as a pair of men with long rifles, clad in hooded desert camouflage jackets, moved toward the platoon’s position.

“We saw them, they saw us, and it was like a mutual ‘Oh crap, snipers,’ kind of thing,” recalled Cpl. Henry Uken, the American sniper team leader.

For the next two-and-a-half hours, the American and insurgent marksmen traded shots. The gunmen’s rate of fire and their arm movements, visible through scopes, suggested to the corporal and his gunner, Specialist Garrett Taylor, that the shooters were using bolt-action rifles like the famous Lee Enfield.

The fighters used their camouflage to move from place to place, firing at the sniper team from two directions.

Eventually, darkness came and the shooting stopped.

The “game” re-commenced the next day, and ended with a helicopter strike.

Whatever happens, we have got Air support, and they do not.

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PTO

By lex, on July 2nd, 2010

The new gig – I’ve been at it two years, and still think of it that way – is comparatively ungenerous in the article of paid time off, at least as contrasted to the Navy, which offered 30 days of leave per year and six month cruises to ensure your can’t use much of it. As a consulting gig, PTO is doubly expensive, since 1) you still get paid for it (hence the “paid” bit) and, 2) the company doesn’t get to charge on your hours worked. So it’s fifteen days a year plus federal holidays (10), but the good news is that – unlike the Navy – you only charge against the hours you actually avoid.

For example, if a naval officer wanted to take a Friday off, followed by the upcoming Monday, that’d be charged as four days of leave, since technically you’re never off duty. In the civilian world on the other hand, you’re only charged the 16 hours for Friday and Monday.

This Monday being a holiday, I decided to take Friday off and get a four-dayer. Which I spent flying. And golfing.

Pretty much perfect.

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Lessons Learned

By lex, on June 14th, 2010

Apart from the moral aspect, there’s one fundamental flaw in the terrorist technique of using suicide bombers – there’s no learning curve:

Nowhere is the gap between sinister stereotype and ridiculous reality more apparent than in Afghanistan, where it’s fair to say that the Taliban employ the world’s worst suicide bombers: one in two manages to kill only himself. And this success rate hasn’t improved at all in the five years they’ve been using suicide bombers, despite the experience of hundreds of attacks—or attempted attacks. In Afghanistan, as in many cultures, a manly embrace is a time-honored tradition for warriors before they go off to face death. Thus, many suicide bombers never even make it out of their training camp or safe house, as the pressure from these group hugs triggers the explosives in suicide vests. According to several sources at the United Nations, as many as six would-be suicide bombers died last July after one such embrace in Paktika.

It should surprise no one that the footsoldiers of the jihad are more or less morons: Unemployed and untrainable, even at self-destruction. This makes the policy of biffing the leadership via Predator and Reaper drone even more important: Although the terrorist leaders are very careful with their own lives while being all too willing to sacrifice others in their nefarious cause, cream can’t rise to the top from a pile of sludge.

Still, we have to be lucky all the time. They only have to be lucky once.

Speaking of lucky, some of these holy warriors get lucky in decidedly impious ways:

(Intelligence) picked up by Predator drones and other battlefield cameras challenges that idea—sometimes rather graphically. One video, captured recently by the thermal-imagery technology housed in a sniper rifle, shows two Talibs in southern Afghanistan engaged in intimate relations with a donkey. Similar videos abound, including ground-surveillance footage that records a Talib fighter gratifying himself with a cow.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: We deserve a nobler foe.

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Kaboom

By lex, on June 14th, 2010

Junior officers have always had a tendency to believe the worst things about those two echelons higher than themselves in the chain-of-command, some with better reason than others. In the past they mostly shared their observations among themselves, the Third Law of the Navy being enforceable across DoD. That was of course before Generation Why? came along, having grown up as the most (over?) exposed generation since the Rape of the Sabines , what with their Myspace/Facebook/Twitter accounts and, yes: blogs.

Generation Why? that is. Not the Sabines.

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Herndon

By lex, on May 25th, 2010

My plebe class spent two and a half hours trying to scale Herndon, the vaguely phallic monument strangely situated before the chapel at the US Naval Academy. Our senior class of 1979 had spent loving hours slathering the damned thing with grease an inch thick before rototilling the turf surrounding the monument and turning fine Maryland earth to a foot of mud.

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