His Majesty has joined a book club.
On the dangers of mass movements:
… In fact Gandhi’s own ashram, with his own very expensive ‘simple’ tastes and innumerable ‘secretaries’ and handmaidens, had to be heavily subsidized by three merchant princes. As one of his circle observed: ‘It costs a great deal of money to keep Gandhiji living in poverty.’
… The events of 1920-1 indicated that though he could bring a mass-movement into existence, he could not control it. Yet he continued to play the sorcerer’s apprentice, while the casualty bill mounted into hundreds ,then thousands, then tens of thousands and the risks of a gigantic sectarian and racial explosion accumulated. This blindness to the law of probability in a bitterly divided sub-continent made nonsense of Gandhi’s professions that he would not take life in any circumstances.
— Paul Johnson, Modern Times
G. tells us his muse is a goober. Mine is a crusty old retired Sith Lord.
The defence of Koszeg stopped the advance on Vienna in 1532; in 1541, a larger town, Szigetvar, repulsed another Ottoman attack, and delayed the advance once again. In 1556, Szigetvar was attacked once more and was close to capture, but the timely arrival of a relieving force drove off the Turks. Szigetvar became a symbol of resistance. It had only an ancient castle, and was of no great inherent strength. Its only defensive advantage was being built across three connected islands in an artificial lake. Any attacking army would have to take all three, including the citadel. (more…)
For the last few years, I’ve mused that the Church was inevitably going to have to separate from the BSA, and create the “Mormon Scouts of America.” Of course recent events have brought that possibility to the fore. But “MSA” would be a terrible name, so let me be the first to broach the subject of what to call the Mormon Scouts. (more…)
The other day I installed a cloak hook near the entrance of the domicile I share with His Majesty.
My cloaks can be heavy, and I also thought it might be prudent to be sure the hook could support the weight of His Majesty’s winter jacket, so I took some time to install the hook securely. I located the stud (much easier with the Force than with a stud locater, by the way) and made sure the hook was screwed firmly through the drywall into the stud. I figured it would easily hold a couple of cloaks and winter jackets.
I stood back to admire my work (funny; don’t you always do that when you finish any handyman project?) and just then His Majesty came storming through the door in a frightfully sour mood. He glanced at me, glanced at the hook, and without a moment’s hesitation he grabbed the hook and tried to swing from it. That was too much weight, of course; there was a loud crack and the hook came out of the wall, doing serious damage to the stud and drywall. In fact, since this is a load-bearing wall, the damage to the stud could wind up being a significant problem.
My jaw hit the floor, or would have, if the vocorder wasn’t in the way.
It turns out His Majesty has been thinking about original sin.
I don’t much bother with Wiccapedia, but a spread on this gent fixed my gaze. Seems he humbled a king and getted modern democracy in one crack shot, which is plenty for any hombre to crow about.
I reckon I ain’t heered of him afore now because I was raised to make G. Washington my hero. I kin live with that. It warms the cockrels of my heart that furriners got their heroes as well.
In a book on the sometimes soap opera-like politics of torpedo procurement in the decade before the First World War:
Perhaps it should not surprise us that this author succeeds in making a rather dry historical topic fairly interesting and readable.
One afternoon a crowd in the Bois de Boulogne gawked at an eagle wheeling high in the sky, and debated its significance. Was this a bronze symbol of Napoleon, or the family bird of the Hohenzollerns? Instead of either it proved to be a vulture, escaped from a zoo.
Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War
Good historians know they are creating literature, not publishing scientific papers. The best historians do this with a sense of irony and mordant wit that must not be mistaken for comedy or satire.
Although he worked for our Cold War enemy, and his classic rifle is generally used by folks we consider to be bad guys, his rifle design was well-suited for its purposes. Tens of millions of both the fully-automatic and semi-automatic versions of his famous rifle are still in use.
As far as firearms designers/inventors go, I would place John Moses Browning (a Mormon) at the top, for his classics which include, but are not limited to, the Colt 1911 and the Browning Hi-Power handguns, the M2 .50 caliber machine gun, the Browning Automatic Rifle (B.A.R.), and the Browning Auto-5 shotgun. I would rank Samuel Colt second, and Mr. Kalashnikov third.
My rankings are based on my limited knowledge of modern firearm history. Others whose knowledge extends further into the past may include other inventors in the top spots of fiream history.
From Rick Atkinson’s The Guns at Last Light, describing the French 2nd Armored Division on the eve of the liberation of Paris: (more…)
It is sometimes said that the British and American people are still today, in the twenty-first century, indecently obsessed with the Second World War. The reason is not far to seek. We know that here was something which our parents and grandparents did well, in a noble cause …
— Thus Max Hastings