Wednesday Afternoon Open Thread

In reply to everyone who disagreed with me today, in the words of Charles "I am not a role model" Barkley, I may be wrong, but I doubt it:

Open Thread.

< Birther Insanity In Arizona | Financier Allen Stanford Found Incompetent to Stand Trial >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    wow (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:34:36 AM EST
    very cool virtual sistine chapel.

    use the arrow keys to pan and the plus and minus to zoom.  the resolution is amazing.

    btw (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 01:40:48 PM EST
    I found this because the person sitting behind me was cruising it with the sound up and I thought I had a stroke or something and the angels were coming for me.

    so if you are viewing this at work please use headphones so as not to disconcert any senior citizens in earshot.


    um (none / 0) (#58)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:35:27 AM EST
    in firefox its the left mouse to pan

    sorry one more (none / 0) (#93)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 02:07:13 PM EST
    someone here who visited there recently pointed out that if you look very closely when it loads in the sky on the back wall to the left there is a tiny spot of pretty much black.

    that is the only unrestored spot.  it was left intentionally.


    Added to my favorites. Thanks. (none / 0) (#94)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 02:15:10 PM EST
    What a difference a state makes . . . . (none / 0) (#1)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 05:10:15 PM EST
    just one state over from the crazies in AZ, we have this

    Kim's objection to the pledge, she says, is that the ideals it speaks of are not reality, specifically its conclusion, which says "with liberty and justice for all." Kim says the nation is just not there yet.

    "I don't believe we are a nation with liberty and justice for all -- yet," Kim told The San Francisco Examiner on Tuesday. "So a lot of my work is motivated by wanting to be a part of achieving that ideal."

    another reason i don't mind... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 06:39:31 PM EST
    ...that I'm relocating to the San Francisco area in a month.  

    Anyone up there with tips, recommends, warnings, I'm all ears. Been a SoCal boy my whole life, gonna be strange in the NoCal.


    If you like beer... (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:03:41 PM EST
    ...then the Toronado down on the Haight is the place for you.

    If a long hair named Paulie behind the bar starts giving you a hard time, just tell him his skinny, blonde haired Colorado brah says to knock it off.  


    Italian food in North Beach (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:30:06 PM EST
    Hey! Welcome to my stomping grounds! (none / 0) (#5)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 06:57:32 PM EST
    I'm about 15 mins south of Napa :) I'm originally a SoCal gal, but have always preferred the north of the state.

    Have you settled on where you're living?


    we're actually coming up friday... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:19:55 PM EST
    ...to check out neighborhoods and hopefully narrow it down or find a place.  i work from home, but my wife will be working in the financial district, howard street, so we'll have to live close enough so her commute isn't too long.  a half hour is the longest she could handle and feel like she had a life.  so we'll see.  maybe south of the city, maybe east bay, maybe north bay, who knows. gonna be a crazy few days for us, then a crazy month making the move. my wife is going to have to live out of a suitcase for february, which she isn't looking forward to, but...we gotta do it.

    You can live in Marin County... (none / 0) (#9)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:26:52 PM EST
    ...hop on the ferry and be downtown in no time.  Larkspur--30 minutes via ferry--is a nice little place...

    I knew a guy who did that (none / 0) (#12)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:30:56 PM EST
    Sounded lovely.....

    Got an ex who lives up there... (none / 0) (#17)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:43:04 PM EST
    ...and just loves it.  Plus, it is quick and easy to hit Highway 1 and get to Muir Woods and the coast--Muir/Stinson Beach.  Stunningly beautiful.

    Cool, thanks for the advice (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 08:02:43 PM EST
    I looked at (none / 0) (#21)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 08:13:38 PM EST
    Berkley and north bay before I moved back. Weather wise, east bay before the hills on the SF side was more like I wanted. Other side of the hills gets too hot/cold for my taste. After NY, I wanted year 'round mildish, lol!~ Plus, I wanted space.

    Lots of commute options for your wife. One thing the area knows, it's commuting :) Ferry is prob the most peaceful . . .


    15 minuntes south of Napa (none / 0) (#10)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:29:25 PM EST
    is in the Bay, no?   By San Quentin?

    Nope! :) (none / 0) (#20)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 08:04:09 PM EST
    actually it may be a few minutes less. My friend thinks it's 12 from my door to the old Napa theater. I, of course, wasn't paying too close attention . . .

    I'm on the San Pablo Bay. Ferry to SF is about an hour ride, I think. I'll prob be riding it for Giants games this year . . . :)


    If you get lost driving there, (none / 0) (#8)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:24:00 PM EST
    And ask a stranger for directions, be sure to look at your watch and tell the stranger you only have a minute and are in a huge rush. Otherwise...............

         Before direction-giving begins:

    1. You'll be invited to their home
    2.  Offered an ice tea, juice, or other beverage
    3.  Be invited for a swim in the pool before direction-giving      
    1. Be queried  as to why you're going where you're going
    2. Forced to listen to a multitudes of interesting things to do
     and/see when reaching your goal
    6. And many variations and additions to this list

    They are sooo nice they make me puke!


    And the stranger will pull out (none / 0) (#15)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:39:06 PM EST
     a laptop or phone and pull up your destination on Google Maps or Mapquest, and then orient your present position to the map....

    LOL (none / 0) (#16)
    by NYShooter on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:41:41 PM EST
    probably......my stay in S.F was a long time ago

    To get into MacWorld starting tomorrow (none / 0) (#30)
    by nycstray on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 12:23:48 AM EST
    with a pre-pass (from the email):

    Barcode: Please print this barcode confirmation and bring it with you or have it displayed on your phone at the show.

    Friend/Client sent me her pass via email and I just had to laugh when I read that.


    that's the kind of nausea... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 08:03:43 PM EST
    ...that i can handle. lol.

    A few yrs. ago I was trying to get from (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 11:23:34 PM EST
    SF Airport to Golden Gate Bridge in my rental car.  Couldn't find the bridge.  Fulton St. Leather Fair was just finishing up.  I asked a couple guys walking along in their leather bikinis.  They tried to be helpful but had just moved to SF and didn't have a car so were as confused as I was.  My daughter, who wasn't there, has an entirely different image of this encounter.

    Not sure why this is a story (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:33:11 AM EST
    Unless she's trying to make it one.  Say the pledge, don't say the pledge, but the only reason stories like this are printed is to get a rise out of people and create a controversy where there shouldn't be one.

    I agree (none / 0) (#65)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:45:28 AM EST
    I don't care if she says it or not, and I don't think it's newsworthy.

    It's newsworthy... (none / 0) (#82)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:35:33 AM EST
    as long as there are people out there who would mandate a loyalty oath if they could...and they are out there.  Look at the stink over lapel pins, imagine if a big shot pol chose to dissent, Hannity would have a stroke.

    I was happy to read it and see it reported...just to know there are people out there, in government no less, who still believe in the right to dissent.  

    Not to mention she is right, there is no liberty and justice for all.


    When I was teaching (none / 0) (#84)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:58:27 AM EST
    in the public schools, I had the occasional student who was a Jehovah's Witness.  They don't say the pledge, and it was no biggie.  If any of my students had not wanted to say the pledge for any other reason, I certainly would not have cared.  But I guess you're right about public officials.  I'm certainly tired of blowhards like Hannity who would make a big stink about meaningless shows of patriotism, yet don't seem to mind that this country is dismantling the Bill of Rights, torturing people, or has sent our troops to get maimed and killed in wars based on lies.  

    When I was a student... (5.00 / 0) (#85)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 12:05:22 PM EST
    I said it, cuz there are quality ideals espoused in the pledge that I sure would like to believe in:), but like Kim's predecessor I left out the cold war bullsh*t add-on "under god"...none of my teachers cared or noticed...in catholic school no less.

    I agree that is shouldn't be newsworthy, it should be ho-hum in the land of the free...but unfortunately the "land of the free" is fantasy land.


    How long till Spring Training? (none / 0) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 06:52:37 PM EST
    "Pitchers and catchers report" means spring is around the corner.

    Huntsville Stars' season opener, April 7.

    Diamondbacks (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by CoralGables on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 10:44:01 PM EST
    Orioles, Tigers, Phillies, Cardinals. Pirates, Padres, Mariners, and Blue Jays are the first up with pitchers and catchers on Feb 13. Baseball is in the air.

    We just signed Jorge Cantu for a yr. (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 11:24:26 PM EST
    My brother says he'll benefit us at least until the All Star break.

    I'll be attending (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 07:53:38 AM EST
    more minor league games this year. Stars are AA Southern League. Eight or five buck for a general admission. No parking fees.

    Hot dogs at the ballpark, and peanuts, too.

    And all the wonderful crowd appreciation entertainment in the minors.

    Gotta make it to Atlanta at least once, and for oculus' sake, I'll try to make a Padres weekend, with three days of bleacher seats.

    If you notice a fat balding guy with no shirt, accompanied by a beautiful, slim, dark-haired women (couple in the 'mature'years) who seems to be covering her face in shame a lot, probably me.

    I've lost 30 pounds, but still have room for a XX size A on my stomach. ;-) If my brother comes, there will be one tall shaved head guy, portly, and one short baldy guy (apple shaped, with moobs). I'll be the second.

    For some reason, I dout we'll make the crowd shots, unless we eat ice cream and it drips all over us.


    But I just cut cable! Will head (none / 0) (#64)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:42:31 AM EST
    for sports bar with your description in hand.

    we'll be the bare-bellied guys (none / 0) (#92)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 01:44:33 PM EST
    that are so fishbelly white it burns out the camera.

    With huge A's painted on... ;-)


    adventures in Headline Writing (none / 0) (#103)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:27:54 PM EST
    Really poor. (none / 0) (#114)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 04:45:36 PM EST
    College hoops game of the night (none / 0) (#4)
    by Dadler on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 06:53:30 PM EST
    #4 San Diego State at #9 BYU.  7 p.m. pacific time, CBS College Sports.  The Aztecs, a veteran team of long and fast athletes who play hard D and rebound the hell outta the ball; the Cougars, who rely heavily on the nation's leading scorer Jimmer Fredette, who will shoot from the seats and just about anywhere else, the kid has madcrazy range  This will be a GREAT college basketball game.

    Charles Barkley (none / 0) (#13)
    by MKS on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:35:27 PM EST
    He was fun to watch doing half-time and post-game analysis during NBA play-offs last year....Once, one announcer said they would be back after commercial to talk about some playoff game between two nobodys....Charles, said, "Gee Ernie, do we have to?"

    Natch, that he is a Republican.   Charles said his mama was scolding him for being a Republican because they were only for the rich.  Charles said he replied, "Mama, I am rich."

    Nah, no longer a Repub (none / 0) (#23)
    by brodie on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 08:27:34 PM EST
    and no longer making silly excuses for belonging to a stupid party.

    A few years ago he said the Repub Pty had lost its mind, goodbye.  Then he went on to back Edwards and then Obama in the last two elections.  Strongly pro-gay marriage.

    Officially he might be registered Indy, but tends to favor Dems, and liberal ones at that.


    Charles could actually win in Alabama. (none / 0) (#34)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 07:55:33 AM EST
    Stands a better chance than 10 commandment s Moore. And he could easily self-fund. Better than, say Artur Davis.

    there would be a lot of white crossover vote. I don't think he'd carry Tuscaloosa County, though.


    Mebbe, and you probably (none / 0) (#80)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:22:03 AM EST
    know the political situation down theyah in Bammy a lot better than I do, never having set foot in the state.

    Though Chuck strikes me as another Warren Beatty type of celeb -- very interested in politics and current affairs, and always talking about and threatening to run for office, but never quite getting around to tossing his hat in officially.

    Agree about Artur Davis.  What a sellout disgrace and waste of some considerable intellectual talent.  


    Too smooth for his own good (none / 0) (#140)
    by MKS on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 07:34:17 PM EST
    INteresting article by Bill Keller (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 07:37:55 PM EST
    re NYT/Guardian/Der Spiegel dealing w/Assange:  NYT

    Kucinich files suit ... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 08:18:24 PM EST
    ... for "serious and permanent dental and oral injuries" sustained after biting into an olive pit in the House cafeteria.

    Heard that this morning... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:02:56 AM EST
    lost some respect for Kuch...c'mon bro, you're suing over an olive pit?  150 large?

    Ya got dental insurance I'm sure, count your blessings man...sh*t happens, and when it does its not a lottery ticket.


    Yeah, I'm kinda torn (none / 0) (#62)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:41:13 AM EST
    I can clearly see liability on the part of the cafeteria if the allegations are true, but I guess it's a question of damages.  $150K does seem excessive, but I guess it depends on the nature of his damages, which the article doesn't really discuss.  If he just cracked a tooth and needed to get a cap, etc., it seems way out of line.

    Thats the game... (none / 0) (#68)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:47:43 AM EST
    regrettably I have some experience with this crap...I was sued for one million dollars by some gold-digger over a miniscule fender bender...ya go in with a big number and hope they will settle for less.

    In my case the insurance co refused to settle and we actually went to trial, pretty rare...a jury of my peers came through like Aces...found the gold-digger at fault for the fender bender.

    I guess I shoulda sued:) But I like looking in the mirror without flinching...that's priceless to me.


    Good for you (none / 0) (#86)
    by Yman on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 12:22:29 PM EST
    As you said, it is uncommon for it to go all the way to trial, and often the insurance carrier will seek to settle just to avoid the expense and risk associated with a trial.  I had a case a few years ago where my client's dog bit someone on the hand.  As the dog's owner, he was clearly liable for injury to the plaintiff, but it came down to a question of damages.  Long story short, the injured party wanted $350K (homeowner's policy limit) and punitive damages.  The punitive damages were dismissed, but the guy refused an offer of $30K as a settlement - he thought he had won the lottery.  Jury came back with a verdict of @ $3,000, which just covered the medical costs.

    Score two.. (none / 0) (#87)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 12:38:27 PM EST
    for the jury system!

    Yep...its all rather unsavory, resembling a shake-down...settle or we will kill you with court costs kinda thing.

    Probably a necessary evil, access to the courts for legitimate claims of negligence must be maintained, even if some use that access to pull a shake-down scam.


    I'm surprised (none / 0) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 09:39:46 PM EST
    that birther thread got as many posts as it did.

    AP calls Social Security "Sick (none / 0) (#25)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jan 26, 2011 at 10:02:37 PM EST
    and getting sicker."

    SS will operate at a deficit this year, article says, trust fund will be exhausted in 2037.

    Don't people remember that the trust fund was established to handle the Baby Boom, not to create some gigantic, permanent trust fund?


    Fine, let's lift the cap now, tomorrow, since the program us doing what it's supposed to do, just not for as long, based on the last two years' economic issues and this 2 percent cut in the payroll tax.

    The games begin.

    Any of you have a recommendation for (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 12:09:04 AM EST
    an accurate historical account of the Cuban missile crisis and aftermath?

    There are a gazillion books about the Cuban (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 12:39:36 AM EST
    missile crisis. A lot, it seems, fall into the memoir category. Thirteen Days in October is an example of this.

    If you are looking for something less memoirish and more researched you might try Kennedy, Khrushev, and Castro On the Brink of Nuclear War by Michael Dobbs. Here is a link to a NY Times review of the book written by the late Richard Holbrooke.


    Don't know how old you are, oculus, (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 01:10:49 AM EST
    but there must be thousands of articles, books, stories about this monument us episode. (Google?) Or, are you asking which are the best and/or most accurate?

    Don't have an answer but I can tell you this: I was driving to NYC the night that President Kennedy addressed the nation to prepare us for what was to come. The Cold War was at its zenith and Khrushchev at his most belligerent. The Russian fleet was steaming towards Cuba and the Russian Premier, having humiliated and "beat to Hell" our young President in a recent meeting in Vienna, was at his bellicose best.

    So, after telling us all what preceded this crisis, and warning the Soviets that a Full Retaliatory Nuclear Strike against Russia would follow any Soviet aggression in the Northern Hemisphere, he drew a line in the sand (water). He announced the United States would initiate a "quarantine" (blockade) around Cuba and would stop, by force if necessary, any Soviet ship determined to reach Cuba.

    "This is it," I said to myself. My heart was pounding out of my chest, my mouth was dry as a bone, and my skin stone cold. I was 17 years old, and my life was now out of my control. Its impossible to describe what it feels like to know that in the next day or two the world could cease to exist.

    Gee, sorry to ramble on like this, but one more point, please. As horribly exciting as the Naval action in the Caribbean was, the communications between Kennedy and  Khrushchev that followed was even more so.

    So, my advice to you is: find a resource that tells the story accurately, and one that spends a lot of time on the aforementioned communications.



    Remember that presidential address? (none / 0) (#36)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:41:52 AM EST
    It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.

    A link to the transcripthere.

    I grew up 200 miles from Huntsville and it's rocket stuff, 30 miles from Fort Benning (Infantry, Airborne, and an Infantry Division), 100 miles from Fort McClellan, Al (chemical Coprs and Chemical biological Radiological training), 50 Miles from Gunter AFB-- a SAC B-52 base, ans 200 miles from Brookley AFB, Troop carrier (read carrier for Airborne operations) in Mobile (not even counting Pensacola, Keesler AFB, Mississippi, Eglin AFB, Florida, or Columbus MS AFB, a SAC base at that time, or even Craig Field, or Meridian NAS, both training bases.

    We lived in Auburn, Al. Given the accuracy of societ missiles at the time, they used a bracketing techniques. We were going to get hit, or have near misses.

    Interesting anecdote about BRookley AFB... it was a logistic center, Air Transport Command hum, had interceptors and fighter/bombers, and two B52 - length runways. It had been recently upgraded.

    On 19 November 1964, the Department of Defense announced a progressive reduction in employment and the eventual closure of Brookley Air Force Base. Local legend says that this closure decision was due more to political retribution by the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson for Alabama's support of Senator Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election than an effort for actual economies within the Department of Defense. Same for Craig Filed, a jet-transition training field, in Selma.

    I still like LBJ, but whe he got vindictive, there was nobody like him, except mayb eFDR.

    When Brookley finally closed in June 1969, the base represented the largest base closure in U.S. history up to that time, eliminating 10% of local jobs for the Mobile workforce, which provided an annual payroll of $95 million to the local economy.

    Meh, back to the crisis in my next post.


    What has come out since the collapse of the (none / 0) (#38)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:49:38 AM EST
    Soviet Union, tactical nuclear weapons were in place in Cuba. I think the command codes had been given to the local or area KGB officers for the nuclear weapons, in case of communications issues and/or US invasion.

    It would have been World War III had the USSR not been quite ready for a full-scale war. Kruschev and his military was concerned we'd attack with strategic weapons as the soviets were staging.

    It wasn't 'five minutes to midnight.' it was 'five seconds to midnight.'

    And Curtis LeMay was Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and more than a hawk, he was a loose-cannon hawk.


    "...near misses. " LOL! (none / 0) (#39)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:01:09 AM EST
    THERMONUCLEAR BOMBS, not Saturday night cherry bombs:)

    Great story, Jeff. Man, you can recite all those bases from memory? I'd of said "a whole bunch of bases."

    And Jack Kennedy; what power in his speech(es)! I held my breath reading just that little snippet you wrote.

    Nice to recall a momentous ordeal with a fellow space traveler. Let's hope none in our families, or future families, ever have to go through it.


    Well, religious, or not (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:06:54 AM EST
    Thank the Lord that Kennedy had the brains, and political experience/instincts, to weave through those communications. The political people were pulling one way, the military another....on both sides. And Jack had swim among all those sharks interpreting what Khrushchev "meant," not just what he said.

    I'm blessed, or cursed, with a (none / 0) (#44)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:39:49 AM EST
    good memory. Great for teaching, bad for getting rid of resentments. I still have issues with my older sister from 1963... but that's best left unsaid here, lol!

    That whole 'let go' thing... excellent in theory.


    Note: Pres. Kennedy did not end his (none / 0) (#146)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:32:46 PM EST
    speech with "God bless America."

    I'm "old enough"!!! Looking for a (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:32:04 AM EST
    recommendation.  Recent releases of documents seem to be significant so I'm looking for someone who has read a recent book incorporating the new information.  

    Yikes !! (none / 0) (#61)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:38:38 AM EST
    keep reading, answers abound :)

    The best day-to-day (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:56:09 AM EST
    account of the Crisis imo (haven't read Dobbs book yet) is Sheldon Stern's 2002 book, Averting the Final Failure.  Stern was for decades the chief historian at the Kennedy Library, and also has personally listened to many hours of the ExComm tapes, and is the most reliable source of any about what JFK actually said in the meetings (i.e, some books on the Crisis rely on faulty interpretations of the tapes).

    The best book that I've read that covers what happened in the aftermath -- that is relations between Kennedy and Khrushchev in JFK's final 13 mos in office -- is the recent book by James Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable(rec recent paperback ed with updated Afterward).  No other author quite details the interesting and promising path that both leaders took to begin détente following the near-nuclear confrontation.  

    It turns out that during the Missile Crisis, both were about in the same lonely moderating position within their own govts surrounded and hounded by a very hawkish and reckless military brass unwilling to budge and in some cases eager to begin battle.  The Kennedys privately feared a military coup against them unless Khru acted quickly to help out, which he did when he heard about JFK's precarious position.  Both leaders in 1963 began quietly behind the scenes to forge a new and more open and friendly relationship beginning with the summer '63 Test Ban Treaty.


    For all the destruction (none / 0) (#47)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:59:14 AM EST
    McNamara wreaked in southeast Asia, he was instrumental in keeping a world going. It is frightening just how close nuclear annhilation (is that speeled correcty?) came.

    Yes, McNamara was (none / 0) (#66)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:46:09 AM EST
    one of the steadier advisers on ExComm and perhaps the earliest to recommend the naval quarantine solution.

    JFK after it was over said to (iirc) trusted aide JK Galbraith that most of the advice he got in those 13 days from his top advisers was pretty lousy, and that if a half dozen or so of them had been in his shoes making the final decision, the world would have gone up in flames.


    the venerable Dean Atchison, (none / 0) (#89)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 01:33:20 PM EST
    whom I respect for his role in implementing the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift was one of those called in who suggested invasion.

    LeMay was a scary agitator. He WANTED nuclear war with the Soviet Union. He actually thought it could be 'won.' He and General Maxwell Taylor(2nd commander of the 101st Airborne Division, by the way had to get that plug in), who was Chairman of the Joint chiefs of Staff, had some serious conflicts during the missile crisis.

    LeMay and the Navy chief, whose name i don't recall, were pro-action, to the point of making policy that any attacks on US reconnaissance aircraft or naval vessels... any at all... would be met with massive conventional bombing. If that had happened, World War III would have started and ended in October, 1962.

    Let me point out that all of the joint chies supported invasion of Cuba, including Taylor, but LeMay wanted to provoke something. Had to look up the CNO's name-- George Whelan Anderson, Jr. Anderson was fired by McNamara and the president in 1963, based on insubordination, although I don't recall if he was officially charged with it. McNamara thought his behavior was mutiny.


    Ah, Acheson -- in the latter (none / 0) (#108)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 04:12:16 PM EST
    stages of his career, his first impulse, and second and third often, seemed to be a hawkish one (also Vietnam).  But in the Crisis, unlike some of the Chiefs like LeMay and Navy Chief Geo Anderson (who would soon be eased out for unstated "mutiny" reasons and given a safe ambassadorial post, iirc, in Europe), at least Kennedy knew Acheson in the end was always loyal if not always right.  And after it was over, he accepted the outcome and congratulated Kennedy in a letter for his outstanding leadership.

    McNamara also was a tad more hawkish than Kennedy generally, as was JFK's handpicked CJCS Max Taylor, but again both were smart, sane, and trusted and never disloyal.

    In the missile crisis, besides Acheson, some of the shakier and inconsistent advice came from nat'l security adviser Mac Bundy -- who shifted position from strike now to quarantine and back again several times and often irritated Kennedy with some vigorous questioning of the president's thinking -- and VP Lyndon Johnson, about whom RFK later said, He was a hawk one day a dove the next and so on, and after it was over, he was still grumbling that we'd left 'em off too easy.  "Unhelpful and never satisfied" is a near quote from RFK about LBJ.

    Others out there not satisfied with the outcome:  Dick Nixon, and years later when he first became US senator, Daniel Patrick Moynihan.  Both thought the crisis resulted in a defeat for the US, not victory for the world.


    RFK and Taylor became very close. (none / 0) (#113)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 04:44:42 PM EST
    One of them, I think Taylor, named a 'miracle child' Robert F Kennedy Taylor, or Kennedy named a child Maxwell F Taylor Kennedy.

    Well, since Taylor was the 101st Airborne Division Commander from Normandy through the end of European combat operations, he's one of my heroes.


    Right, both Kennedys (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:07:42 PM EST
    had very high regard for Taylor's intelligence and loyalty.  And loyalty, given the nature of some of the Chiefs back then, was a crucial consideration.  As was a level-headed, morally-based intelligence, given the Chairman (Lemnitzer) he replaced, an Ike holdover who, if memory serves, was constantly bringing unilateral first-strike attack plans against the USSR to McNamara and Kennedy, and who also if I'm not mistaken signed on to the false attack plans (Northwoods) re finding a pretext to invade Cuba.

    Kennedy improperly gets criticized by some hard lefty types (not exactly Kennedy backers to begin with) for passing on to Lyndon some hawkish FP advisers, but consider what JFK was handed -- with Lemnitzer, LeMay et al at the Pentagon, and Dulles at CIA -- when he took office, and considering the extremist cold warrior mindset of so many in the Pentagon and CIA at the time, people like McNamara, Taylor, Bundy and Rusk were almost a breath of fresh air with their smarts and loyalty, even as they had slightly more hawkish inclinations than JFK might have ideally preferred.


    The JFK pullback, (none / 0) (#118)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:14:12 PM EST
    relatively unrecognized. Something to think about.

    I'm not a Kennedy scholar, but I have done (none / 0) (#139)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 07:24:16 PM EST
    quite a bit of reading over the years. What I've gleaned leads me to believe a few important things about JFK.

     First, his experience serving in WW II left him skeptical of the military brass. He was not very gung ho on war as the answer to the world's problems. He distrusted the Joint Chiefs and often tried to work around them. Of course, the Chiefs hated that about Kennedy.

    Also, and this was especially true after the Bay of Pigs, JFK did not trust the CIA. He kind of thought many in the intelligence service were crazy. Another group he tried to work around.

    And, I think JFK was much more hawkish when he first took over than he was even 6-12 months later. Having his finger that close to the nuclear button changed his views. I'm not saying he became a pacifist, but it does seem he was sincerely looking for other ways to fight the Cold War, ways that de-escalated the chance of war with the Soviets.

    He was surrounded by military men who saw everything through the lens of war, and who were still flying high off the win of WW II, and who thought we should make use of our nuclear weapons.

    Oh, and LeMay was insane. Totally f&cking insane.


    Casey, Taylor was a hawk. (none / 0) (#144)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:51:04 PM EST
    But it's one thing to be a hawk when you know, firsthand, what the consequenses are.

    Taylor and I share something... we both have jumped into combat twice. We wear two bronze stars on our jump wings. If I wear my uniform and walk into a VFW, something that rarely happens, by the way, I almost never have to buy a drink. Professional respect.

    But Taylor as CoS evaluated the situation from a military perspective with one big assumption, no tactical nuclear weapons for use in the invasion, and no operational missiles-- what he had been informed by intel.

    I am glad we didn't invade, and the world of humans exist. I probably would have advised the same, given the flawed intel.


    Yup, he, and all of us, (none / 0) (#151)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 01:05:56 AM EST
    were also lucky that Jack had his brother, Bobby, to bounce ideas around. Can't emphasize enough the importance of having the ultimate loyalty only "blood" can provide. It didn't hurt that Bobby had a sharp mind either.

    a two-termer, from oh, 1955-6 till Taylor took over? If so, he lead the Army to the Pentomic organization based on offensive use of nuclear artillery... scary. A lot of my father's friends, who had served in Korea but were still in the Army, spend time in Nevada getting irradiated and breathing in dust from those nuclear experiments.

    you're very well versed, thank you; so (none / 0) (#122)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:22:33 PM EST
    can you tell us if LeMay, who seemed to be, while certainly a hawk, reasonably o.k. during WW-2, flipped out afterwards?

    It seems, almost like he didn't know that nuclear bombs weren't just bigger dynamite devices.

    Its beyond frightful that with diplomacy still taking place LeMay, and his cronies, were actually willing to send tens of millions of people to certain, horrible deaths.

    Were the President mentally shaky, like Reagan in his latter years, or Junior Bush, the clueless, or.......well, you get the picture.


    Flipped out might (none / 0) (#123)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:39:40 PM EST
    be a little strong, but, though I'm hardly an expert on LeMay, my understanding is that he came to acquire considerable power during the 50s as SAC Commdr, and with that position probably had independent nuclear strike authority apart from any presidential order, since Ike and his SecDef allowed that rather consequential decision to be placed in the hands of several military leaders (McNamara, under Kennedy, would change this and remove the military's nuke strike order authority, making it presidential order only).  

    With some, added power leads to added ego and irresponsibility, though since we didn't go to nuke war, one assumes LeMay at least wasn't insane or completely irresponsible -- just a lot more willing than most to want to go to war with the Commies.  And JFK got so frustrated listening to his warrior rantings one day that he left the meeting early, and angrily told an aide never to allow LeMay near him again.  

    Now, LeMay's chief deputy at SAC, one Gen Thomas Power, there apparently you had a real unhinged nutcase -- and that's almost a direct quote from his boss LeMay.  


    Brodie, we could have (none / 0) (#129)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:07:56 PM EST
    one tremendously enjoyable conversation, I think... except about Auburn football!

    Hey, ditto though I'm (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:57:56 PM EST
    probably a bit of a nut, DFH and dangerous socialist in some respects, at least according to a few of my detractors.

    And nothing against Auburn football (after a decent interval and some rest, counseling and prescribed sedatives).  No hard feelings, and that Cameron dude QB of theirs is indeed talented as is their D.  


    I'm a DFH at heart. (none / 0) (#143)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:33:18 PM EST
    And I know why soldiers hate war... I'm not posting to this thread, it's dying, but I'll post some MacArthur from 1962, his Thayer Award speech. Just not tonight!

    There was also a SAC (none / 0) (#130)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:09:31 PM EST
    cult of personality around LeMay. Not the same among pursuit or TAC personnel.

    LeMay was as heartless in (none / 0) (#127)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:59:18 PM EST
    WWII as afterward. I say heartless, but he was Niechian.

    He simply had less megatonnage in WWII and smaller, more difficult and smaller delivery systems. I'll have to review his ETO time, but a couple of points on his time fighting Japan: LeMay pushed for firebombing population centers at night. in the 1940s, most housing in japan was still wooden and paper.

    LeMay, in my opinion, wanted to destroy the Japanese population, not simply the infrastructure.

    But I can't single LeMay out. With the exception of MacArthur and his Southwest Pacific staff, the attitude toward Japan and Japanese was ethnocentric to the point of, if not proposing extermination, then not being concerned if extermination was a by-product. However, Navy leadership, with the implicit approval of Washington, accepted this.

    In part because of the ferocity and complete ideological submission to the war effort of the individual Japanese war fighter.

    I'd still say that LeMay was on the borderline between genius and insane genocidist. He probably went back and forth across the line.

    But to come to his defense, or at least present a different side, LeMay and his staff accepted, quickly, that even with the B-29, high altitude high explosive bombing was ineffective.

    First, the jet stream was not known as a meteorological effect, slowing down high altitude bombers to the same speed as Japanese interceptors. The B-29 was supposed to be and was, usually, faster and could fly higher than Japanese interceptors. With the jet stream winds, the bombers were slowed tremendously, and fuel issues combined with effective air interception led to unacceptible losses.

    To combat this, LeMay ordered night time bombing. Just like British nighttime bombing, the targets had to be strategic, such as population centers in general, instead of the precision bombing seen by US daytime bombing in Europe.

    LeMay swiched from high altitude daytime  high explosive bombing to low-level incendiary non-precision bombing. He even ordered the removal of defensive armaments, such as machine guns, from B-29s. No need, given nighttime and low-level, in his evaluation.

    A hyndred thousand civilian deaths in a firestorm in one of the raids on Tokyo in one night... like Dresden and the British.

    More to say, but at a later time.

    Personally, I think LeMay was insane, but in a manner considered useful. After the war, rank and seniority, and some way of keeping other high ranking generals from challenging him... the splitting of the Army Air Forces from the Army, creating the USAF...

    The person with the best results during WWII but still young enough, educated enough, with enough engineering expertise and strategic vision in a new, atomic era, seemed to be LeMay.

    Strange. I sincerely think LeMay was not sane, but he was consistently not sane. He hadn't changed from WWII through the Cuban missile crisis. He wanted to bomb. by 1962, he had tremendous power in the military as SAC and later Air Force chief...


    FTR, I believe some of (none / 0) (#141)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 07:38:43 PM EST
    the collective military and nat'l security mindset back in WW2 and the Cold War was insane, what LeMay believed in and vigorously espoused was insane.  Definitely JFK came to see him fairly quickly as if not literally insane, at least not remotely the sort of smart, level-headed type he might have wanted McNamara to have recommended to him as AF Chief.

    And certainly, as you suggest, it wasn't just some of the military leadership who held such amoral views, and even usually morally grounded people like FDR, HST and Churchill had to (presumably) sign off on the firebombing of major cities, and Truman with the 2 atomic bombs, knowing full well the civilian casualty figures would be enormous.

    Btw, finally on LeMay and his character and so forth, I think he went far early on, from WW2 as he showed courage and a willingness, as group commdr in Europe, to lead squadron bombing raids over Nazi Germany at a time when many US daylight missions were suffering high "abort" rates, which LeMay and his subordinate McNamara discovered was caused mainly by fear, airmen deciding to turn back because of the bad odds.  

    This instilled confidence in the squadron as their boss refused to sit back safely at his desk and have only the regular airmen run the major risk of dying.  This leadership and courage, and not the appalling civilian death toll LeMay wrought, probably was the most influential with McNamara 15 yrs later when he recc'd LeMay to Kennedy as AF Chief.


    Yeah, LeMay is truly (none / 0) (#152)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 01:29:40 AM EST
     an interesting character. Since I was born in Stalingrad, right at the end of the siege, and my mother & father survived the epicenter of the Russian/German apocalyptic battle, I make it a point to refrain being too judgmental towards those doing the fighting (and dying) And, certainly, in WW-2, a war for civilization itself, I am grateful we had people who possessed sufficient viciousness for the adversaries we faced.

    Having said that, and having read some of the history of Japan's military machine, it is really hard for me to discuss the Pacific War with anything resembling objectivity. Violations towards P.O.W's are  quite common, the Germans did some truly horrible things; but what the Japanese did to our troops............


    Why didn't Kennedy replace the hawks (none / 0) (#147)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:43:21 PM EST
    when he took office?

    I touched on this briefly oculus (none / 0) (#155)
    by brodie on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:56:21 AM EST
    in another post, but again it was a matter of who Kennedy was given as he took power, in the Pentagon/nat'l security chain, and a matter of the mindset of these institutions being increasingly powerful, arrogant, and ultrahawkish as the 50s became the 60s, hawkish certainly as judged by the nature of the leaders who emerged to lead them.

    And Kennedy did act, when and where he could, to replace some of them -- Dulles and a few of his lying subordinates at CIA (over the BoP deception), CJCS Lemnitzer, ultrahawk ass't nat'l security adviser Walt Rostow (sent out of the WH and over to State, out of Kennedy's hair, now a non-factor; LBJ would later bring him back and name him as nat'l security adviser).  Insubordinate and reckless Navy Chief Geo Anderson essentially fired after the Missile Crisis.

    But it wasn't a question, with the military in the Cold War, of replacing a Lemnitzer with some dovish general, not that there would have been many around back then.  JFK wanted intelligent and loyal people but not a bunch of Yes men, and politically he was in no position to replace them all with antiwar activists and conscientious objectors like his aide Sorensen.  

    So ultrahawk wildman Lemnitzer was replaced by a mere garden variety hawk, the sharp and reliable Taylor, which was a vast improvement and a switch that worked out for Kennedy.  And Max Taylor was about as "liberal" a general (though he was not, just not hawkishly insane) as the Pentagon political "market" would allow back then, imo -- any more left, and JFK would have had a military mutiny on his hands, Seven Days in May variety.

    Allan Dulles at CIA was ousted, but Kennedy though of a mind to "splinter the CIA into a 1000 pieces and scatter it to the winds" (as he said post-BoP) wasn't quite ready to do this with a real flame-throwing reformer type, so opted for a bipartisan moderate Repub replacement there, and the results were mixed though McCone, unlike Dulles, probably was loyal.  And more comprehensive reform of CIA was put off to his 2d term when one of JFK's thoughts (as Bobby noted later) was to name RFK to head the agency.

    Basically JFK did act when and where he could but wasn't given enough time to complete all the reform measures he'd envisioned.  


    Thanks. Until I read these comments, (none / 0) (#157)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 10:20:19 AM EST
    I was unaware JFK and RFK seriously feared a military coup in the U.S.  

    BTW (none / 0) (#115)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:04:25 PM EST
    were any audio tapes activated, or made public, regarding these deliberations, debates, arguments, whatever?

    ExComm tapes began (none / 0) (#119)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:14:17 PM EST
    to be transcribed and made public via several large tomes back in the 90s by the Miller Center, though the author I cited above, Sheldon Stern ex historian of the Kennedy Ctr, has criticized the Miller people for some sloppy and at times needlessly muddled and misleading transcribing.  Which is why, for an accurate account of who said what each day of the Crisis, go to the Stern book.  

    The actual tapes, or some of them, presumably can be heard if you visit the JFK Library site, though reading Stern, who's listened to 100s of hours of them, the sound quality is poor due to the technology and physical conditions of the time.


    GWU has docs. and tapes on website. (none / 0) (#136)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:58:25 PM EST
    Link (none / 0) (#142)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:14:29 PM EST
    oh, wow, thanks (none / 0) (#149)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 12:56:08 AM EST
    saved it.

    late night reality chiller time


    too bad, (none / 0) (#150)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 01:00:27 AM EST
    Some of the LBJ, and of course, Nixon, tapes came out pretty good. Maybe some audio-tech refining/scrubbing/refurbishing was done. Amazing what they can do to "clean up" old tape.

    I wish I could remember precisely. (none / 0) (#120)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:16:27 PM EST
    I think I've seen folks referring to these primary sources, but I can't say any are out there in the public domain. I think a lot of personal diaries have mentioned specifics. Beyond that, I don't know... Interviews with principles, definitely.

    Well some ExComm tapes (none / 0) (#124)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:50:53 PM EST
    are available, or excerpts, for listening online, as here.  Dunno what percentage of the overall # have been released so far, however.

    Added to my favorites. Looks like (none / 0) (#132)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:15:14 PM EST
    excellent reading/listening. Thanks.

    I don't know about Taylor's child, but (none / 0) (#134)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:56:16 PM EST
    RFK did name one of his sons Maxwell Taylor Kennedy. Bobby also named one of his sons after Kennedy's Treasury Secretary, Douglas Dillon.

    Does he explain (none / 0) (#51)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:09:47 AM EST
    the two letter responses from Kennedy? You know, the first, conciliatory, and the second, belligerent? kennedy realized Krushev was battling his own competing factions, and decided to answer the first, and ignore the second. What mind-numbing kabuki taking place behind the scenes.

    Would love to read an expert, factual interpretation of that most important incident.


    Yes, Stern goes over (none / 0) (#63)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:42:01 AM EST
    the two-message situation from Khru in some detail and notes how most history books get it wrong about how they were handled, starting with RFK's early memoir (heavily censored by the author and then by the editor, Sorensen).

    One of the most fascinating things about the Douglass book recounting of the Crisis was the statesmanlike way Khrushchev reacted when he got detailed word on the last Saturday about the RFK urgent private meeting with his chief Soviet contact in DC, and how Bobby had told him he was greatly troubled about the possibility that unless Khru helped out and backed down, RFK (and presumably JFK) strongly sensed that the US military would move to oust his brother.  That little item actually was first revealed in a book that came out in the 1990s but was little (or not at all) noted in the media iirc, even though the DC meeting with RFK and his contact turned out to be the turning point of the crisis.


    J. Kennedy made his share of mistakes, but (none / 0) (#88)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 01:21:45 PM EST
    its times like those that you thank whomever, that an intelligent, experienced veteran, politically & militarily, was in charge.

    Just think of the crop currently, and in the recent past, juxtaposed into a crisis like that.


    I for one think that CLinton handled (none / 0) (#90)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 01:39:28 PM EST
    Yugoslavia/Kosovo correctly, or as correctly as could have been done. Ruanda and Somalia, no. Also, Clark did an outstanding job. He crossed one of my heroes, General Hugh Shelton, but I still think he did an outstanding job.

    Somalia could have been much worse. It was mis-managed from the States, not so much on the ground.

    I don't think I need to re-hash what I've said about Iraq and Afghanistan here. I place a tremendous amount of the blame on Tommy Franks for the Mess O Potamia. Ahhh, analysis and opinion for another time.


    "some" of the current crop. :) (none / 0) (#116)
    by NYShooter on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:07:36 PM EST
    better? lol

    Weaker, not necessarily better. (none / 0) (#131)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:12:50 PM EST
    It's an odd situation-- the last 'blood and guts' commander was Shelton, but he was careful.

    Powell was one who wanted to use a pile driver on a finishing nail, but reduce US losses to a minimum.  

    Tommy Franks was the best golfer in the Pentagon. He got the job under Bush II. Go figure.


    Thanks. I will start with Stern's book. (none / 0) (#148)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:50:00 PM EST
    Interesting review. I just finished Carlos (none / 0) (#145)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:56:29 PM EST
    Eire's "Waiting for Death in Miami," in which he states Cuban ex pats knew six months earlier via their contacts in Cuba the USSR missiles were in Cuba.  And the ex pats tried to get this information to the Kennedy administration, but they were unsuccesful.  Also, Eire states the parents of children who came by air from Cuba (Peter Pan airlift) to Miami were subsequently unable to join their children because, as a result of the Cuban missile crisis, Fidel Castro cut off all legal departure from Cuba.  This is when people began escaping via boats, rafts, and, with a lot of persistence and luck, via third countries.  

    Not familiar with author (none / 0) (#156)
    by brodie on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 09:27:21 AM EST
    or book, and 6 months seems like quite a while -- I know that Sen Keating (R-NY) in August/Sept was making some public comments to the effect that the Soviets seemed to be up to something militarily in Cuba, offensive missiles, though Kennedy's CIA Director denied at the time any info to this effect, or certainly that they were offensive sites.  So it looks like Keating was getting good info from some anti-Castro Cubans in the know, but McCone was not, or so he said.

    Not sure myself what to make of McCone during this period.  And it was peculiar that in the days leading up to the official intell disclosure of the offensive sites, McCone decided to take off to Europe for a long honeymoon.  And then, later he would claim that all along he'd had a sense that the Soviets were building those sites -- but RFK said if that were true, McCone never managed to communicate his feelings to him, and he was in touch with McC on almost a daily basis.


    Carlos Eire's books are memoirs about (none / 0) (#158)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 10:22:59 AM EST
    growing up in pre-Castro and then Castro Cuba and being part of the Peter Pan airlift when he was a boy.  Then finding his way, with his older brother, upon arrival in Miami and later.  First book is "Waiting for Snow in Havana."  Good reads.

    I have no book for you (none / 0) (#53)
    by CoralGables on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:19:25 AM EST
    but as a child of South Florida at the time, I can tell you the nuns advised that if we received "the warning", we were to grab the supplies each of us were responsible for that we kept under our desk, and walk single file to the church where we were to get under the pews until we received the all clear when the attack ended.

    The supplies I was responsible for so my under the pew mate and myself could survive when a nuclear weapon rained down on us...one 56 ounce can of Hi C. Neither of us had a can opener. I doubt we would have ever had the time to drink it anyway.


    DK finds new ways to make himself look (none / 0) (#35)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:12:36 AM EST
    I regret this one, as I was going to support him (none / 0) (#37)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 08:44:35 AM EST
    if he primaried Obama. I've decided it's time for investment in a Department of Peace.

    Yes, this coming from an old cold warrior.  Times have changed, and I used to think the Soviets were the bullies, or worse than the US internationally. Now the Military-industrial-complex has un on a combination all-war/all-fear diet of propaganda. Just like the anti safety net folks.


    I would be very surprised (none / 0) (#42)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:07:58 AM EST
    if he did that

    This happened to a friend of mine (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:35:49 AM EST
    who was eating a salad at Sammy's Woodfired.  She had to have extensive dental work and Sammy wouldn't pay.  She didn't sue.

    still (none / 0) (#67)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:46:36 AM EST
    150 K?

    She was emotionally distressed (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:48:09 AM EST
    and extremely angry.  Then there's attorney fees and costs.  

    sorry (none / 0) (#71)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:53:15 AM EST
    no one is 150 K distressed by a broken tooth.

    He's a Congressman (none / 0) (#70)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:48:31 AM EST
    His teeth are worth more than yours.

    Actually from a legal pov (none / 0) (#72)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:57:29 AM EST
    I'm not sure that isn't true.  An important part of his job, he would plausibly argue, is being able to communicate with constituents in the various media and in person, and inability to do so fully and effectively because of someone's negligence has impaired his ability to do his job effectively.

    As they say, you take your plaintiff as you find him.  


    If the Kuch choppers... (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:32:14 PM EST
    were that important he shoulda called Lloyd's of London.

    I'm really surprised because Kuch usually seems to know where working people are coming from...ya know, only dreaming of having a budget to see a dentist regularly.  And he pulls this stunt?  D*ck move, I'm sorry.


    pfft (none / 0) (#73)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:58:24 AM EST
    I hope you are not serious

    Je suis sérieux, though I'm not (none / 0) (#74)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:03:52 AM EST
    a tort or any kind of lawyer, just giving my dos centavos as a simple country poster postin' his view.

    Dennis' teeth are probably, undoubtedly imo, more valuable than the average person's, just as George Clooney's face is more valuable than mine, and Julie Andrews' voice is more valuable than mine.

    And suing for $150k doesn't seem an unreasonable amount.  $5m or $15mill probably would be.


    well thats your opinion (none / 0) (#75)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:07:14 AM EST
    mine would be the his teeth are not worth one penny more than mine or yours and a broken tooth would not in any way prevent him from "doing his job"

    unless you define doing his job as mugging for the camera.  and then it would have to be a front tooth.


    Well you're giving (none / 0) (#78)
    by brodie on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:15:57 AM EST
    a political, small-d democratic argument, but I'm trying to touch on how the law views these cases.

    And in the law in civil matters, not all plaintiffs are created equal.

    Sorry, but that's my understanding of our civil system though it may ruffle some of your class-based sentiments.


    it does (none / 0) (#79)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:18:28 AM EST
    Does anyone take seriously the amount (none / 0) (#137)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 07:02:47 PM EST
    a plaintiff requests in his/her initial pleading?  Gotta prove it up.

    I was being snarky (none / 0) (#76)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:08:28 AM EST
    that I (none / 0) (#77)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:11:22 AM EST

    Dugway Proving Grounds (none / 0) (#41)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:07:21 AM EST
    Was locked down overnight last night.  No one was allowed to leave or enter.  Officials aren't saying why.  Dugway is a testing area for chemical and biological agents, among other things.
    Asked specifically Thursday if a chemical or biological leak or spill may have prompted the lockdown, Dugway public affairs specialist Bonnie Robinson said she could neither confirm nor deny that scenario.

    "I cannot talk about that," she said, giving the same reply when asked if public safety was ever a concern. She said Dugway officials tentatively planned to either hold a news conference or release an updated statement early Thursday afternoon.


    Humor-challenged friends... (none / 0) (#45)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 09:56:01 AM EST
    I changed my facebook pic to Antonio Banderas, with the comment, "I've been working out, don't I look better?" and someone asked me if I had made a mistake...

    Oh well, her child is in the hospital, I'll cut her some slack. Maybe I should have gone with a pic of Justin Bieber or Ru'Paul.

    I breifly had (none / 0) (#49)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:04:54 AM EST
    this as a profile pic.  someone asked "have you been sick?'

    facebook sucks.


    Maybe I'll put up a pic (none / 0) (#50)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:09:44 AM EST
    of Lenin.

    My doppelganger (none / 0) (#54)
    by CST on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:22:15 AM EST
    was Ms. Frizzle.

    No one thought that was really me...

    When in doubt, go with a cartoon?  Popeye perhaps.


    heh (none / 0) (#55)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:26:17 AM EST
    funny because I also used this for a while.

    no one thought that one was me tho.  as far as I know anyway.


    I've been using Oswald the Octopus (none / 0) (#60)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:36:59 AM EST
    from Dan Yaccarino's childrens books and cartoons.

    I decided to go with Dogma's (none / 0) (#95)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 02:59:15 PM EST
    "Buddy Jesus" for a while.

    classic (none / 0) (#100)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:07:48 PM EST
    Javier Bardem = Roland Deschain? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 10:17:43 AM EST
    Michelle who? (none / 0) (#81)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:26:36 AM EST
    this is funny

    Michele Bachmann poses challenge for GOP

    Cable chatterers and newspapers talked just as much about Bachmann as they did about the official Republican responder, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
    And therein lies the challenge for Republicans.
    Aides close to GOP leadership ensured Bachmann wasn't elected conference chair, the leadership position she wanted, and she remains a marginal legislative player. But Bachmann continues to be an oversize presence -- she's a headline grabber, and there's nothing Republicans can do about it.
    Boehner didn't even tune in for her performance on CNN.

    "No, I did not; I had other obligations," Boehner said when asked whether he watched Bachmann's address.

    please see this wonderful cartoon which draws on classic mythology to portray Ms B as Athena bursting from the forehead of Zeus.

    In order to avoid a prophecy made when that change occurred, that any offspring of his union with Metis would be greater than he, Zeus swallowed Metis to prevent her from having offspring, but she already was pregnant with Athena. Metis gave birth to Athena and nurtured her inside Zeus until Zeus complained of headaches and called for Hephaestus to split open his head with his smithing tools. Athena burst forth from his forehead fully armed with weapons given by her mother. She famously wields the thunderbolt and the Aegis, which she and Zeus share exclusively.

    does that make DeMint Hephaestus?

    yes! (none / 0) (#83)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 11:43:01 AM EST
       Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle of Nevada descended upon the movie premiere of a conservative Christian movie in Johnston [Iowa] tonight, and she wouldn't say that she was running for president.
    But she wouldn't say that she wasn't.
    "I'll just say I have lots of options for the future, and I'm investigating all my options," Angle said before a couple hundred people sat down to watch the premiere of "The Genesis Code," a $5 million film that aims to present a controversial view on religious freedom and on the balancing act between faith and science...
    "Please, just invite me back," she said to Iowans.

    seems like this was being discussed recently:

    a controversial view on religious freedom and on the balancing act between faith and science...

    imdb review (none / 0) (#97)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:03:08 PM EST
    I think anyone reading IMDb reviews of this film should be aware that as of this posting, there are 3 reviews. Two of which think the film is awful and one thinks it's wonderful. It's important to note that "wonderful" review was made by someone involved with the film and it's public relations. The username given "markv22" is surely the same person who runs the Genesis Code facebook page with the same name and initial. I'm a Christian who has tried very hard to balance secular and scientific fact with my belief in the Bible and I thought this movie not only panders to the Christian crowd but also does it a great disservice. Anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of cosmology or even someone with the ability to search wikipedia would know this film's "science" is about as real as episode of Lost in Space. Sure, it throws around names and jargon to make someone without a science background think "Oh, they just mentioned Einstein or Cosmic Background Radiation, this is smart stuff!" but so does any episode of Star Trek and it doesn't make the Federation any more real.

    btw (none / 0) (#101)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:08:58 PM EST
    this is what I mean when I say real christians need to speak up.

    fun little (none / 0) (#96)
    by CST on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:02:43 PM EST
    snow graphic in the news today.  Link

    And it's only January...

    Thank god I ski.  Otherwise this would just be annoying.

    it has been snowing like mad here (none / 0) (#98)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:04:05 PM EST
    far more than any winter I have spent here and old timers say more than they have ever seen.
    its snowing now.

    on the plus side (none / 0) (#99)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:06:48 PM EST
    my snow dogs have never been happier.

    I am usually ambivalent (none / 0) (#102)
    by CST on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:10:22 PM EST
    to positive about snow, but this is just a bit much.  The one nice thing is all this "refreshing" means we haven't really experienced city-snow yet.  Which is what happens when all the snow that you've plowed off the road sits in giant piles and turns black until it eventually all melts sometime in april.

    The annoying thing is I live with my sister who's a teacher.  So she's had like 4-5 snow days where I have been at work for every one of them.  I wouldn't mind it as much if I got the day off...


    The black snow of the sh*tty... (none / 0) (#105)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:35:38 PM EST
    and they worry about second hand cig smoke...lol.  

    Look at that black snow and tell me how many cigs it would take to turn snow that black.  Imagine what a city-dweller's lungs look like...but its cigarettes they wanna ban in outdoor areas...what a buncha jokers.


    ha! (none / 0) (#106)
    by CST on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:45:33 PM EST
    I thought they were forcing you guys outside...  Pollute the outside air rather than the inside air, or something.

    Honestly, almost all of my friends are smokers, and they all like the no indoor smoking rule - it just makes a place nicer to hang out in.  Even at their own houses it's usually out on the porch.   Although to me what that usually means is that I get left alone at the bar/restaurant/wherever for extended periods of time every time I hang out.


    The ritzy suburb of Great Neck NY... (none / 0) (#107)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 03:52:35 PM EST
    just banned smoking on the sidewalk...and Bloomy wants to ban on beaches, parks, Times Square...I sh*t you not.  These people are nuts.

    I was fine with restaraunts and offices...I get it.  I believe pub owners whould have the choice of smoking or non...Cali is one thing but Northeast winters are harsh...it keeps me outta bars and in the house puffing away warm and toasty...though maybe I should thank the anti-smoking zealots...easier to say no to a night of bar crawling and save dough:)

    It's weird to think that just 11 years ago I was smoking after my Sausage Biscuit w/ Egg in a Tallahassee McDonald's...my grand nieces and nephews will never believe it!  They even still had the little tin foil Mikey D's ashtrays and everything.


    Time to switch to snuff or chewing tobacco (5.00 / 0) (#110)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 04:28:08 PM EST
    my brother. Cheaper, and guaranteed to disgust folks. I quit smoking and began dipping oh, 10 years ago. Dipped in the army and also smoked 4 packs/day.

    I shut my office door, take a nicotine fix, and then don't bite students, usually. Just verbal castigation. Today, for example, two 18 year old females, sitting as far away from me as possible, were talking and talking. First, cleared my throat and looked at them. Silence until I turned away. Second, I stopped, looked at them, and gestured to hold it down. 2 minutes.

    third, walked to the door (They sit in the two closest seats) opened it, and said, "You're through for the day. Come back when you can keep your pieholes shut or contribute to the conversation I'm having."

    They looked disbelieving. I said, in my Army voice, only time I raised it, "Did I stutter? This is MY classroom. Get out!"

    I'm expecting a conference with the dean about being 'more understanding' soon, possibly as early as 8 AM tomorrow.

    My class, my rules. You can tell me to my face I pulled something out of my arse. You can't discuss something off-topic without my...interference.


    Can't do it... (none / 0) (#125)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:56:44 PM EST
    dip burns man...and it is nasty, or at least nastier than nasty cigs.

    Don't take no sh*t from those brats...and do you mean to tell me you can't smoke in your office?  I remember the teachers break room in school...they'd open the door and smoke would pour out like the Scooby Doo van.


    Quit when I got married, and now I'm used to (none / 0) (#128)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:06:17 PM EST
    dip... oh well, redneck time, or Special Operations time. Most 'snake eaters' in the Army dip.

    Hard to break some habits, but if I buy one can at a time, it may last 3 days. If I buy 10 at once, the 10 last 7 days... what can I say?

    Our univ. prez wants a tobacco free campus. In Rural Alabama. He's misinformed on the number of people who smoke or dip here.


    CUNY just went smoke free... (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 06:28:43 PM EST
    I'm with Joe Strummer.

    And I remember (none / 0) (#153)
    by NYShooter on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 01:48:04 AM EST
    My pediatrician storming into my room at Coney Island Hospital right after I had emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix (many years ago). Oxygen tanks, plastic tents, and warning signs all around, my good ole boy, Doc something-baum was smoking a giant stogie like he was the middle stack on the Queen Mary. I pointed at one the dozen "No Smoking" signs and said, "You can't smoke here, Doc." Doctor Something-baum (he had just come back from a tour in Korea) just laughed out loud and bellowed, "that means YOU can't smoke here son, but I'm a Doctor and it doesn't pertain to me."

    Imagine that today, hey kdog? lol


    Ha. The administration will (none / 0) (#138)
    by oculus on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 07:08:35 PM EST
    probably request a 72-hr. hold on you, post-Tucson.  

    dont you feel safer now? (none / 0) (#109)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 04:26:18 PM EST
    Airport officials ordered a holidaymaker carrying a toy soldier onto a plane to remove its three-inch gun - because it was a safety threat.

    Ken Lloyd was stunned when he was told he could not go on the plane with the nine-inch model soldier because it was carrying a 'firearm'.

    Heh! (none / 0) (#111)
    by jeffinalabama on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 04:28:55 PM EST
    Even without the 3 inch piece... (none / 0) (#126)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 05:58:24 PM EST
    I bet it has kung-fu grip...danger, danger!

    I was trying (none / 0) (#154)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Jan 28, 2011 at 08:15:03 AM EST
    to imagine someone trying to hijack the plane with it.

    Jay Carney to replace Gibbs (none / 0) (#112)
    by ruffian on Thu Jan 27, 2011 at 04:37:29 PM EST
    as press secretary. Ex-Time magazine writer/editor. I guess that should be centrist enough for everyone.