Friday, March 27, 2015

The Human Condition.....

  Sometimes I find myself trying to avoid the news.  Almost always it is bad news and because it is on a global scale, it is often horrendously disturbing.  Call me an ostrich but I often choose to avoid it.  I am unable to do anything about 99.9% of the problems so I try to take a calm approach to current events.
  Technology has provided us with the ability to become aware of every event in the world instantaneously and, as in the case of war, we can now have live broadcasts.  One may think that these events are more frequent then in previous generations, but I think they have always been happening. The only difference is now we are so much more aware of everything going on.
  One of the most common news items is war. The Face of War has changed so much over the years.  I don't want to say it has evolved because that insinuates improvement.
  During the American Revolution, the British would wear bright red uniforms and march abreast into battle, easy for the Colonists to pick them off.  The musketmen were usually lined up in three ranks, bringing the maximum number of muskets to bear on the enemy. Firing rank-by-rank, the massed musketmen could fire nine volleys per minute.  
  As Mankind developed better ways to kill, battles became more elusive, even scientific, if you will. War tactics have been perfected over the years by strategists like Sun Tzu, and Carl von Clausewitz.
  With the start of the Vietnam War, a new term became part of our vocabulary, Guerrilla Warfare.  Guerrilla Warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants such as armed civilians or irregulars use tactics such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run, and mobility to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military.  
  Fast forward to today when the news reports are heavily entrenched with Terrorism.  Terrorism is commonly defined as violent acts (or the threat of violent acts) intended to create fear, perpetrated for a religious, political, or ideological goal, and which deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants.
  When war occurs, there is always ideology involved.  Either it is the cause of  the war or the justification of it.  Often times the attackers or defenders feel that their god is on their side.  What if both sides feel they are sanctioned by their deity?  Does that mean there are two gods involved or does it mean there is one god and that one side has got it wrong?
  No matter how tragic an event that takes place today, you can find an event that is equally tragic somewhere in the history of Mankind.  That being said, along with any civilization's god I feel that there is also a devil that may be an influencing factor over the minds of some warmakers.
  As I said, I am not a big fan of the news.  Call me whatever you like, that is the way it is.  I do believe, however, that I am very fortunate to live in a time and place where I am relatively free of the dangers of Man's inhumanity to Man.  (Is there a more politically correct way to say that?)

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill


Friday, March 6, 2015

Flash Back....

  Occasionally something will pop into my head.  I have no control over it.  I considered setting up a 'Firewall' to prevent it, but then thought there was no fun in that.
  The other day, something popped into my head that I hadn't thought about in years.  When I was young, I heard a sort of memory test, might have been at school or Scouts, I can't remember.  But I do remember the test and it went like this:

    Image result for one hen two ducks
  • One hen
  • Two ducks
  • Three squawking geese
  • Four Limerick oysters
  • Five corpulent porpoises
  • Six pairs of Don Alverzo's tweezers
  • Seven thousand Macedonians dressed in full battle array
  • Eight brass monkeys from the ancient, sacred secret crypts of Egypt
  • Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic old men on roller skates with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth
  • Ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who haul quay around the quo at the quarry of the quivery, all at the same time.

I never knew the origin of it, so when it did pop into my head, and with today's technology, my first thought was to 'Google' it, and I did.  Much to my satisfaction,  This little memory test was not a memory test at all, but a practice routine for radio announcers to be articulate.  Wikipedia has an accounting for it here.