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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

SINISTER HALO

To enlarge for easy reading, click on a page, then click on that page as it appears in the new window and it will blow up to full size. You'll then need to scroll. If you check the web, you MIGHT find it in a PDF file, but this is the best I can do for you.




















I MISS MY STUDEBAKER


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Archive Article from 2005. Spot-on commentary

Op-Ed Columnist

'Get Out, You Damned One'



Published: July 2, 2005
President Bush has the bully pulpit, but Saddam Hussein has the hot novel. Bootleg copies of his latest work are selling briskly in the Middle East, and not just because of the free publicity he got when Jordan banned it this week. Say what you will about Saddam, he knows his audience.

The critics have not been kind to the prose and the plot, but they miss Saddam's strength. He's a marketer. He is said to have finished the novel just as the war was beginning, when American leaders were fantasizing about their troops' being welcomed as liberators. But Saddam knew enough to give his novel a surefire title for the post-invasion era: "Get Out, You Damned One."
It's a naked appeal to xenophobia, an impulse that's far more ancient and widespread than the yearning for democracy that President Bush talked about this week. Yet it's been curiously underestimated by conservatives who used to pay close attention to just this sort of instinct.
When liberal intellectuals dreamed of a socialist world with a selfless "New Man," conservatives realized that he'd be as greedy as ever. When some feminists envisioned the end of gender stereotypes, conservatives insisted there were ingrained differences between the sexes. Yet when American troops met resistance after the war, conservatives dismissed the early insurgents as "dead-enders" and expected Iraqis to join Americans in quickly vanquishing the thugs.
In those early days, when the memory of Saddam was still fresh, you could walk down a street in Baghdad and be greeted by an Iraqi stranger thanking you for bringing freedom. But even back then there were plenty of Iraqis like Saleh Youssef Sayel, who proudly told me of the reaction of his 5-year-old son, Mustafa, to an American soldier.
"The soldier tried to shake his hand, but my son refused," he said. "He knew enough English to say, 'No. You go.' Later he told me he wanted a gun to kill Americans. This is a natural feeling. Nobody wants a stranger in your house or your country."
The natural impulse to dislike outsiders is so strong that it barely matters who the outsiders are.
When experimental psychologists divide subjects into purely arbitrary groups - by the color of their eyes, their taste in art, the flip of a coin - the members of a group quickly become so hostile to the other group that they'll try to deny rewards to the outsiders even at a cost to themselves.
And when the members of a group really have something in common, like family ties, they're willing to fight outsiders even if it means their own deaths. Xenophobia produced genetic rewards for hunter-gatherer clans. When the evolutionary psychologist J. B. S. Haldane was asked whether he would lay down his life for his brother, he replied, "No, but I would to save two brothers or eight cousins."
Iraqis have their own version of that line: "My brother and I against my cousin; my cousin and I against the world."
Because marriage between cousins is so common in the Middle East - half of Iraqis are married to their first or second cousins - Arabs live in tightly knit clans long resistant to outsiders, including would-be liberators. T. E. Lawrence learned that lesson when trying to unify Arabs early in the last century.
"The Semites' idea of nationality," he wrote, "was the independence of clans and villages, and their ideal of national union was episodic combined resistance to an intruder. Constructive policies, an organized state, an extended empire, were not so much beyond their sight as hateful in it. They were fighting to get rid of Empire, not to win it."
Today's liberators in Iraq like to attribute the resistance to Islamic fascists' fear of democracy and hatred of the West. But those fascists know that an abstract critique of Western ideology isn't enough to attract followers. In their appeals they constantly invoke the need to expel foreigners from their soil, a battle cry that is the great common denominator of suicide bombers around the world.
Maybe, as President Bush hopes, Americans can stay long enough in the Middle East to jump-start democracy and reduce the long-term risk of terrorism. But in the meantime, they're bound to face resistance, no matter how noble their intentions.
During the Civil War, Union soldiers were amazed to see poor Southerners without any stake in the slavery system defending it in suicidal charges. But there was a simple explanation, as a barefoot, emaciated Confederate captive famously put it when a Union soldier asked him why he kept fighting: "Because you're here."
Email: tierney@nytimes.com

* * *
Further reading:
Dying to Win : The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism by Robert Pape. Random House, 352 pp., 2005.
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker. Viking Adult, 528 pp., September 2002.
"Intergroup bias; social prejudice" by Miles Hewstone, Mark Rubin and Hazel Willis. Annual Review of Psychology, p. 574, January 2002.
"Social Identity and Intergroup Behavior" by Henri Tajfel. Social Science Information, Vol.13, No. 2, April 1974.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

ALWAYS THE BLACK FLIES NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO

Best version was by Jackie Washington, who attended B.U. back in the early 60's. If haven't found it yet, but when I do, you'll be the first to know.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I B 40 A LONG TIME AGO. ..WHEN DID UB40?

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Brian speaking of "The Rainbow" brought to mind "The Cavern Club"


Thursday, March 11, 2010

IF ONLY IT WERE THAT EASY

I put 'em both here, because the first has a sort of slide show and the second because it's a little longer and that great pic of Woody showing "This Machine Kills Fascists" on his guitar brings back so many memories. I must have know at least a dozen kids tho printed that on their guitar cases or wrote it on their beat up old Martins and (mostly) Harmony's.



Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. AND I DON'T MEAN PERFUME. LINK 'E'M, DANNO!


The Rise and Fall of a Female Captain Bligh

Click here to find out more!
Captain Holly Graf and the U.S.S. Cowpens
U.S. NavY

Women are so common in the upper ranks of the U.S. military these days that it's no longer news when they break through another barrier. Unfortunately, the latest benchmark isn't one to brag about: being booted as captain of a billion-dollar warship for "cruelty and maltreatment" of her 400-member crew. According to the Navy Inspector General's report that triggered her removal — and the accounts of officers who served with her — Captain Holly Graf was the closest thing the U.S. Navy has to a female Capt. Bligh.
A Navy admiral stripped Graf of her command of the Japan-based guided missile cruiser U.S.S. Cowpens in January. The just-released IG report concludes that Graf "repeatedly verbally abused her crew and committed assault," and accuses her of using her position as commander of the Cowpens "for personal gain." But old Navy hands tell TIME that those charges, substantiated in the IG report, came about because of the poisonous atmosphere she created aboard her ship. (See the best pictures of 2009.)
The case has attracted wide notice inside the Navy and on Navy blogs, where her removal has generated cheers from those who served with her since she graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1985. While many denounced Graf, even greater anger seems directed at the Navy brass for promoting such an officer to positions of ever-increasing responsibility. The Navy declined to make Graf available for an interview.
While in command at sea — where a captain's word is law and she or he has the power to make or break careers — Graf swore like, well, a sailor. She "creates an environment of fear and hostility [and] frequently humiliates and belittles watch standers by screaming at them with profanities in front of the Combat Information Center and bridge watch teams," one crew member told the IG. According to 29 of 36 members of the crew questioned for the Navy's report, Graf repeatedly dropped F-bombs on them. "Take your goddamn attitude and shove it up your f------ ass and leave it there," she allegedly told an officer during a stressful maneuver aboard the 567-foot, 10,000-ton vessel. (See TIME's special report on the state of the American woman.)
Junior officers seeking her guidance were rebuffed. "This is one of the reasons I hate you," she allegedly told one seeking her help. When another officer visited her quarters to discuss an earlier heated discussion, her response was terse: "Get the f--- out of my stateroom." She allegedly told a male officer: "The only words I want to hear our of your mouth are 'Yes ma'am,' or 'You're correct ma'am.'" She put a "well-respected Master Chief" in "time out" — standing in the ship's key control room doing nothing — "in front of other watch standers of all ranks."
While most witness statements contained in the IG report didn't specify whether the person testifying was male or female, the IG asked at least two women officers whether or not they viewed Graf as a role model. One younger woman recalled going to Graf to seek her help. "Don't come to me with your problems," she said Graf responded. "You're a f------ Department Head." The officer also said that Graf once told her: "I can't express how mad you make me without getting violent."
A second female officer told the IG that Graf "is a terrible role model for women in the Navy," alleging that Graf had once told her and a fellow officer on the bridge: "You two are f------ unbelievable. I would fire you if I could but I can't."
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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

THE ROAD BACK

U.S. airborne troops recaptured Corregidor in the Phillipines 55 years ago today.