"A miracle on the Hudson"...lo, how the standards have dropped.

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"A miracle on the Hudson"...lo, how the standards have dropped.

New York governor David Patterson's own words, folks.  "Miracle", being the specific problem.  Nobody gets hurt after one of God's own creatures flies right into the fucking engine and the plane lands in a dirty river in January.  Back in the day, you had to bring someone back from the dead or part a sea, now all you've got to do is follow the safety regulations and act with a clear head and it gets called a miracle.  

Let's explore the psychology a little bit here, shall we.  Say that I condition a puppy to have a deathly fear of water by staging a series of mock drownings.  Then one day when we've got the pool open for the spring, I toss the little fellow in and immediately rescue him.  He's certainly going to appreciate it, but that doesn't mean that I've done a good thing in the altogether.  I'm just being an asshole, really.

You know, I appreciate the historical significance of New York getting it's first blind, African-American governor, but today, I think I would have preferred the whoring Jew they had this time last year.

 

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DamnDirtyApe wrote:New York

DamnDirtyApe wrote:

New York governor David Patterson's own words, folks.  "Miracle", being the specific problem.  Nobody gets hurt after one of God's own creatures flies right into the fucking engine and the plane lands in a dirty river in January.  Back in the day, you had to bring someone back from the dead or part a sea, now all you've got to do is follow the safety regulations and act with a clear head and it gets called a miracle.  

Let's explore the psychology a little bit here, shall we.  Say that I condition a puppy to have a deathly fear of water by staging a series of mock drownings.  Then one day when we've got the pool open for the spring, I toss the little fellow in and immediately rescue him.  He's certainly going to appreciate it, but that doesn't mean that I've done a good thing in the altogether.  I'm just being an asshole, really.

You know, I appreciate the historical significance of New York getting it's first blind, African-American governor, but today, I think I would have preferred the whoring Jew they had this time last year.

 

Apparently people do listen to the boring presentation given rapidly before each flight. This is the second miracle of people following safety regulations in the US in the last 30 days, the other being in Denver on 12-20. 

Perhaps the governor of NY thought it was a miracle anyone could follow directions?

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 Funny... I wrote a blog

 Funny... I wrote a blog about this very same thing over on my blogger site.  Since you've covered it, I will refrain from posting mine here.

 

Although.. now that I think about it, my blog's actually about equivocations... anyway, if you want to read it, just clicky the link in my sig.

Anyway, my take on it was that God ruining your trip without killing you shouldn't count as a miracle.

 

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In all the coverage I saw I

In all the coverage I saw I didn't see a single person praise any god or gods for the events, all was directed at the pilot crew and rescuers (the ones who deserve it).  Additionally, when the word miracle was used, that word alone was in inverted commas which generally signifies sarcasm or even irony in the usage of the word.  I was quite surprised and pleased by the coverage I saw.

I'm still having trouble believing the pilot managed to land it properly though, despite the pictures of the aftermath being the very first thing I saw of the events.  He deserves a heck of a lot of praise and then some.

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Hambydammit wrote: Funny...

Hambydammit wrote:

 Funny... I wrote a blog about this very same thing over on my blogger site.  Since you've covered it, I will refrain from posting mine here.

 

Although.. now that I think about it, my blog's actually about equivocations... anyway, if you want to read it, just clicky the link in my sig.

Anyway, my take on it was that God ruining your trip without killing you shouldn't count as a miracle.

 

Yeah, I just read your piece.  I especially like the Grim Reaper painting at the beginning.  Somehow reminiscent of late period Zeppelin for me.  I'm honestly just pissed that people are using the boring word "miracle" when they could be using the totally awesome action word "birdstrike".  Which is what I'm going to name my retro-metal band.

To address Thingy, "miracle" in "inverted commas" (you Commonwealth people are adorable) is only sarcastically intended when one of us uses it.  When the governor of a US state says "miracle" he means the ole time religion version, everytime, guaranteed. 

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DamnDirtyApe wrote:Then one

DamnDirtyApe wrote:

Then one day when we've got the pool open for the spring, I toss the little fellow in and immediately rescue him. 

Look at you, another hero performing miracles!

 

All kidding aside, I'm curious if you folks are ok using the word "hero" to describe the pilot.  I am, Kelly isn't a fan.  The act of going up and down the aisle of a plane filling with water twice to ensure everyone was out and the shirt he gave off his back to one of the passengers sit as particularly heroic acts in my mind. 

So... is he a hero?

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Sapient wrote:DamnDirtyApe

Sapient wrote:

DamnDirtyApe wrote:

Then one day when we've got the pool open for the spring, I toss the little fellow in and immediately rescue him. 

Look at you, another hero performing miracles!

 

All kidding aside, I'm curious if you folks are ok using the word "hero" to describe the pilot.  I am, Kelly isn't a fan.  The act of going up and down the aisle of a plane filling with water twice to ensure everyone was out and the shirt he gave off his back to one of the passengers sit as particularly heroic acts in my mind. 

So... is he a hero?

I say no to the hero. Someone that followed their job description, yes.  Brian, you should give him an "atta boy"     Eye-wink

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 I'm guessing the pilot

 I'm guessing the pilot wanted to live just as much as everybody else, so I'm not really going with the hero thing.  Heroes are people who intentionally risk their own lives to save others.  This guy saved many lives in the process of saving his own.

I vote "Not a Hero."

 

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Hambydammit wrote: I'm

Hambydammit wrote:

 I'm guessing the pilot wanted to live just as much as everybody else, so I'm not really going with the hero thing.  Heroes are people who intentionally risk their own lives to save others.  This guy saved many lives in the process of saving his own.

I vote "Not a Hero."

 

I suppose we'll get more details later but I am under the impression he essentially swam down the aisle of the plane twice (risking his life) to ensure nobody was going to lose theirs.  Maybe he was wading down the aisle, nevertheless I am under the impression he was putting his life on the line to ensure the safety of the passengers. 

 

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Hero: My definition of hero

Hero: My definition of hero is someone who braves a danger (mortal or not) in order to benifit others without clear benifit for him or her self when avoiding the danger is also a viable option. I think that makes the pilot a hero.

Miracle: Little annoys me more than calling these situations a miracle. It dismisses everyone involved in making safety devices, imrpoving airframe safety, and making safety plans and procedures as unimportant. The reason those passengers and flight crew are alive is because humanity spends a great deal of time trying to improve the survivability of the inevitable failure of our technology or our use of it.

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I'm with Jill on this one. I

I'm with Jill on this one. I don't consider him a hero for landing the plane (though I do consider him a damn good pilot). I do consider him a hero for staying and making sure people got out of the plane. Not landing the plane wasn't a viable option, but getting the fuck out once it was down, while ignoring everyone else was.

Peoples standards for miracles have been low since I learned the meaning of the word. Every things a miracle to some people.

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 Quote:I suppose we'll get

 

Quote:
I suppose we'll get more details later but I am under the impression he essentially swam down the aisle of the plane twice (risking his life) to ensure nobody was going to lose theirs.  Maybe he was wading down the aisle, nevertheless I am under the impression he was putting his life on the line to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Oh... well... then he's a hero Smiling

 

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I am so sick of the useage

I am so sick of the useage of the word "miracle". It is merely a false meme as a result of filling in the gaps when the reality of any given situation that results in death or survival are a result of multiple and often grey factors that are NATURAL.

If anything is "black and white" it is in that people either live or die in these situations and there is no magic involved.

 

These people survived as a result of the training of the pilot, crew, and quick response of those on the river.

I can remember back in the early 80s when the Air Florida flight 90 hit the 14th street bridge and landed in the Potomac. Only a handfull of people survived and they still called it a "Miracle".

 

When does it cease to be a miracle? When it is a 50/50 split?

Death and survival occures every day. 10s of thousands of people are murdered on the streets of America every year. 10s of thousands of people die from heart attacks each year. 10s of thousands of people die from cancer. 10s of thousands die in car accidents each year. Millions of people worldwide die of aids every year.

 

Saying that natural life and death events are a result of magical manipulation between from a fight between Superman vs Kriptonite is as rediculous as saying taking a crap is a "miracle".

Don't get me wrong, our lives are important, TO US, as individuals and those within our circles. But if anyone thinks anything in life is a miracle, remember this.

Neither the Pope, Thomas Jefferson, you or I will be in existance in 2 million years and humanity, if it continues down the road it is on, wont have the chance to forget, even the famous we know of now.

There is no magical man in the sky making you poo anymore than he is allowing you to survive, or selectively smoting others. It is mythical fantasim as a result, in the mind of the believer, of having the crap scared out of them.

 

 

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Sapient wrote:Hambydammit

Sapient wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

 I'm guessing the pilot wanted to live just as much as everybody else, so I'm not really going with the hero thing.  Heroes are people who intentionally risk their own lives to save others.  This guy saved many lives in the process of saving his own.

I vote "Not a Hero."

 

I suppose we'll get more details later but I am under the impression he essentially swam down the aisle of the plane twice (risking his life) to ensure nobody was going to lose theirs.  Maybe he was wading down the aisle, nevertheless I am under the impression he was putting his life on the line to ensure the safety of the passengers. 

 

I am going to look it up but my bet is that the airline would expect him to ensure all passengers are off the plane. I am sticking with he was doing his job.

A hero to me would be if "jane doe" in seat 35C, not heeding the warning/direction of the flight attendents, busted back into the cabin to help out any passengers that were left behind.

 

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 Quote:I am going to look

 

Quote:
I am going to look it up but my bet is that the airline would expect him to ensure all passengers are off the plane. I am sticking with he was doing his job.

A hero to me would be if "jane doe" in seat 35C, not heeding the warning/direction of the flight attendents, busted back into the cabin to help out any passengers that were left behind.

I think I'm leaning towards hero even if it was part of his job description.  I know it may not technically fit the definition, but let me explain.  As anti-war, anti-groupthink, and anti-brainwashing as I am, I have to give the Army props where they are deserved.  Armies have always been good at inspiring people to be heroic, and one of the ways they do that is to allow a double standard.  We call someone a hero when they do something truly over and above what we would expect from "normal" human nature.  The thing is, there really aren't very many people who do those kinds of thinigs because... well... it's not human nature.  So, we fudge the numbers a little bit.  We train people to be heroic under certain circumstances, and all they have to do is follow through on their obligation and they get a medal.  The more people get medals, the more people are likely to be heroic because they want medals, too.  It's a self-reinforcing system that only has to lie a little.  Even if the real truth is that this guy didn't even think and just reacted to his training, other people will see him as a hero, and that will inspire other pilots who might have a couple seconds to think.

That absolutely is human nature.  People will do what they're brainwashed/programmed to do, often to their own detriment.  So, I suspect (and I'll have to ask my pilot friend) that in pilot school, they drill you with your obligation to humanity if there's a crash.  They make heroes by adding heroism to the job description.

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote: Quote:I

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
I am going to look it up but my bet is that the airline would expect him to ensure all passengers are off the plane. I am sticking with he was doing his job.

A hero to me would be if "jane doe" in seat 35C, not heeding the warning/direction of the flight attendents, busted back into the cabin to help out any passengers that were left behind.

I think I'm leaning towards hero even if it was part of his job description.  I know it may not technically fit the definition, but let me explain.  As anti-war, anti-groupthink, and anti-brainwashing as I am, I have to give the Army props where they are deserved.  Armies have always been good at inspiring people to be heroic, and one of the ways they do that is to allow a double standard.  We call someone a hero when they do something truly over and above what we would expect from "normal" human nature.  The thing is, there really aren't very many people who do those kinds of thinigs because... well... it's not human nature.  So, we fudge the numbers a little bit.  We train people to be heroic under certain circumstances, and all they have to do is follow through on their obligation and they get a medal.  The more people get medals, the more people are likely to be heroic because they want medals, too.  It's a self-reinforcing system that only has to lie a little.  Even if the real truth is that this guy didn't even think and just reacted to his training, other people will see him as a hero, and that will inspire other pilots who might have a couple seconds to think.

That absolutely is human nature.  People will do what they're brainwashed/programmed to do, often to their own detriment.  So, I suspect (and I'll have to ask my pilot friend) that in pilot school, they drill you with your obligation to humanity if there's a crash.  They make heroes by adding heroism to the job description

 

Hambydammit wrote:

I think I'm leaning towards hero even if it was part of his job description.  I know it may not technically fit the definition, but let me explain.  As anti-war, anti-groupthink, and anti-brainwashing as I am, I have to give the Army props where they are deserved.  Armies have always been good at inspiring people to be heroic, and one of the ways they do that is to allow a double standard.

I am shocked that you would use the words "I know it may not technically fit the definition.."   Smiling

Does the army really 'inspire' people to be heroic? Weeks and weeks of rigorous training, routine and discipline - all the time sending the message of protecting the troops' home nation doesn't sound inspiring to me. It sounds like a sort of brainwashing. The US offers college $$$ for signing up to be a 'hero'.

Hambydammit wrote:

We call someone a hero when they do something truly over and above what we would expect from "normal" human nature.  The thing is, there really aren't very many people who do those kinds of thinigs because... well... it's not human nature.  So, we fudge the numbers a little bit.  We train people to be heroic under certain circumstances, and all they have to do is follow through on their obligation and they get a medal.  The more people get medals, the more people are likely to be heroic because they want medals, too.  It's a self-reinforcing system that only has to lie a little.  Even if the real truth is that this guy didn't even think and just reacted to his training, other people will see him as a hero, and that will inspire other pilots who might have a couple seconds to think.

So being a hero is a perception not a state of being? What I mean is this: Being a hero is dependant on what those around you observe and their emotional reaction to your action.

Hambydammit wrote:

That absolutely is human nature.  People will do what they're brainwashed/programmed to do, often to their own detriment.  So, I suspect (and I'll have to ask my pilot friend) that in pilot school, they drill you with your obligation to humanity if there's a crash.  They make heroes by adding heroism to the job description

So a person that happens to come across a burning building and enters it at the prompt of screaming is a hero too? Even though there was no brainwashing, no obligation to a boss or company to do so?

May I say Hamby that your past few posts regarding words we use, their meaning and misuse have me really thinking everytime I stumble across words like this. I guess a thank you is in order! 

Now I must spend a few hours looking up definitions/usage of the word hero...just to be sure  Smiling

 

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JillSwift wrote:Hero: My

dudnt red it thrue


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 Quote:So being a hero is a

 

Quote:
So being a hero is a perception not a state of being? What I mean is this: Being a hero is dependant on what those around you observe and their emotional reaction to your action.

I think this is mostly true.  A hero is only a hero if other people perceive him to be so.  Listen, I think of myself as a hero because I tell people their religion is shit.  Most of the world will not agree with me, and I would be laughed off stage pretty much anywhere in the world if I tried to get a medal... any medal at all.

This kind of goes back to the fact that self image is really what we think others see when they look at us.  Remember reading about all those experiments that prove we trust other people more than ourselves?  I'm thinking of one in particular where the subject is unknowingly in a room with lots of accomplices.  When asked to answer a simple question, all the accomplices answer wrong -- with complete conviction.  The poor subject changes his answer to the wrong answer a significant number of times, and what's worse, in debriefing, he very often believes that his own perception was wrong!

The last little piece of the puzzle is that heroism is for the public.  Going back to me, I think I'm a hero for atheism, but what does that do for anybody?  For me, I suppose it gives me motivation to keep doing what I do, but the whole thing about being a hero is they put you on the front page of the paper and the local diner gives you free meals and all the kids want your autograph.  Why else would we call people heroes posthumously?  Heroism is a label for the public, not for the benefit of the hero.

Quote:
I am shocked that you would use the words "I know it may not technically fit the definition.."   Smiling

I probably should have said, "The common definition doesn't exactly line up with the psychology of heroism."

Quote:
So a person that happens to come across a burning building and enters it at the prompt of screaming is a hero too? Even though there was no brainwashing, no obligation to a boss or company to do so?

Oh, sure.  I'm not saying you have to be brainwashed to be a hero.  I'm saying that for the most part, humans are programmed to not be particularly heroic.  You know the whole group syndrome where the more people are around, the less likely any one of them is to act?  That's how a hundred people can watch someone get mugged and not help.  Anyway, brainwashing (as in Army bootcamp) can train us to react by trying to help, and this facilitates heroic behavior in some circumstances.  I didn't mean to say that it was necessary.

Quote:
May I say Hamby that your past few posts regarding words we use, their meaning and misuse have me really thinkingeverytime I stumble across words like this. I guess a thank you is in order!

No, thank you!  I'm much more prolific when I believe I am doing good in the world, so you're doing me a favor by helping to keep me motivated.

 

 

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 Quote:dudnt red it

 

Quote:
dudnt red it thrue

Why, I oughta slap ya...

 

 

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Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
dudnt red it thrue

Why, I oughta slap ya...

 

 

Oh i readid da entire forum! just not the news article, which changed my posted response

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Brian37 wrote:I can

Brian37 wrote:
I can remember back in the early 80s when the Air Florida flight 90 hit the 14th street bridge and landed in the Potomac. Only a handfull of people survived and they still called it a "Miracle".

 

Well, it is really fucking odd that you should mention that particular crash. The fact is that I was on that flight. Not when it hit the bridge though. I was going to visit my father who lived in Falls Church VA. After he picked me up from the airport and we went back to his place, we put on the TV and there it was in the drink. It was a very surreal moment for me.

 

Past that, I have a couple of friends who are professional pilots and they pretty much hate the A-320 series. Based on what they tell me, there is potential hero material in the fact that the pilot managed to get the damn thing in the drink at all. What follows depends on the date of manufacture but for what it is worth:

 

The A 320 avionics has an auto-pilot system that can override the pilot and in emergency situations, pilots have found themselves having to fight the computer for control of the aircraft. The pilot tires to make an emergency turn and the computer decides that the plane should not, so it takes control away from the pilot and forces it back to whatever the dangerous situation was.

 

There have been a few mid-air collisions because the software did not consider a collision alarm as sufficient reason to change the path of the aircraft. If that happened, then the pilot certainly deserves credit for retaining control despite the avionics system trying to force him to do what would have killed everyone.

 

Also, the news reports that I am seeing are giving different accounts of what happened. Some say that there was a single engine failure, others say that both engines died. Which one actually happened is a pretty telling fact.

 

If it was a single engine that went out, then the response would be to cut the throttle of the good engine so that off-axis force would be minimized. However, the pilot would not want to shut the good engine down because it would be providing the hydraulic pressure which he needed to control the aircraft.

 

If both engines failed at the same time, then the plane would have become a glider with no real control. Given the altitude and other variables, it would be improbable that he would have been able to do what he did.

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Well... I was originally

Well... I was originally pissed at the term 'miracle' too, because of the obvious context the word is used in. After having watched the photos of the crash-landing, however, and reviewing the type of aircraft used - I have to say, the event does fit one of the definitions given to the word 'miracle':

3. a wonder; marvel.

That dude is fucking Clark Kent, as far as I'm concerned. He was flying a Goddamn AC-320! Gene already pointed it out, but I must emphasize this:

Quote:
The A 320 avionics has an auto-pilot system that can override the pilot and in emergency situations, pilots have found themselves having to fight the computer for control of the aircraft. The pilot tires to make an emergency turn and the computer decides that the plane should not, so it takes control away from the pilot and forces it back to whatever the dangerous situation was.

I want to try and put this in perspective:

Imagine that the company who manufactured your car has arbitrarily decided that there isn't a single human being who can drive (...some days I might agree, but anywho...), so your car came with a built-in computer that takes over driving the vehicle, even though it is a dumb, blind automaton just following a pre-programmed script with no regard for the current situation, any time you need to make a defensive driving maneuver.

Basically, the moment that the plane lost it's engines, you can imagine the pilot furiously swearing at, beating and wrestling with the controls as the computer merrily attempts to barrel roll the aircraft into the pavement. He had to not only maintain control over a several dozen ton, thrustless aluminum brick and maintain a gentle enough approach to get her belly-down in the river without pulling her apart, but had to fight a crazed autopilot feature that was likely attempting to get him killed at every turn!

If you don't understand the sort of accomplishment that is, training or no training, you have no appreciation for the difficulties involved in landing aircraft. Suffice it to say, it is not easy, even in ideal conditions approaching a standard runway.

Quote:

Also, the news reports that I am seeing are giving different accounts of what happened. Some say that there was a single engine failure, others say that both engines died. Which one actually happened is a pretty telling fact.

 

If it was a single engine that went out, then the response would be to cut the throttle of the good engine so that off-axis force would be minimized. However, the pilot would not want to shut the good engine down because it would be providing the hydraulic pressure which he needed to control the aircraft.

 

If both engines failed at the same time, then the plane would have become a glider with no real control. Given the altitude and other variables, it would be improbable that he would have been able to do what he did.

If one engine failed, what the dude did was just amazing.

If both of them failed? Holy shit, that dude shown be given a few million dollars and toured around the world to show everyone else how the fuck to fly a plane.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Quote:I think I'm leaning

Quote:
I think I'm leaning towards hero even if it was part of his job description.  I know it may not technically fit the definition, but let me explain.  As anti-war, anti-groupthink, and anti-brainwashing as I am, I have to give the Army props where they are deserved.  Armies have always been good at inspiring people to be heroic...

Yeah. Because nothing says 'heroic' like leaving hundreds of thousands of vietnamese to get butchered at the hands of the NLF:

 

 

Gotta give them boys in green ther due. Sticking out tongue

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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 Quote:Yeah. Because

 

Quote:
Yeah. Because nothing says 'heroic' like leaving hundreds of thousands of vietnamese to get butchered at the hands of the NLF:

I feel oddly as if I'd confessed to joining Youth for Hitler or something.  All I said was that basic training and army life can override the training that keeps people from doing anything at all.  Sometimes, this produces acts of heroism.

 

 

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Quote:I feel oddly as if I'd

Quote:
I feel oddly as if I'd confessed to joining Youth for Hitler or something.  All I said was that basic training and army life can override the training that keeps people from doing anything at all.  Sometimes, this produces acts of heroism.

This has much more to do with me than you, Hamby, I think. Sticking out tongue

Most people will make claims about acts of heroism in war. I completely reject such claims; I'm dubious that anyone could point to a single military action that was sanctioned for the express purpose of saving lives. The primary goal of military maneuvers is to defeat (kill) the enemy - any 'heroism' is tertiary. Armies are composed and deployed exclusively for pragmatic, territory-securing purposes - not to save lives.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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 Well, I grew up with a

 Well, I grew up with a Force Recon dad, as it turns out.  I've seen a lot of the day to day military life, and I know all about the military mind-set.  I'm certainly not prepared to get into a meta-discussion of the merits of military training, so I'm not going to belabor the point.  I have just spent a lot of time around military guys who might have been the biggest jerks around, but they were serious about protecting American citizens.  Call it what you will, but that kind of mindset makes the news from time to time.

(Maybe you think I'm saying I personally find their acts heroic... that's not it.  I'm saying the military manufactures heroes for the masses.)

 

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 I couldn't have said it

 I couldn't have said it better:

 

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Oh my. Ed Current just kills

Oh my. Ed Current just kills me. Hilarious stuff.


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Ah, Edward Current. I

Ah, Edward Current. I really like him. He never fails to deliver the goods. Here again he comes through by observing that Hurricane Katrina was an act of god. Not that the insurance industry did not already make that point but even so...

 

Kevin R Brown wrote:
Most people will make claims about acts of heroism in war. I completely reject such claims; I'm dubious that anyone could point to a single military action that was sanctioned for the express purpose of saving lives. The primary goal of military maneuvers is to defeat (kill) the enemy - any 'heroism' is tertiary. Armies are composed and deployed exclusively for pragmatic, territory-securing purposes - not to save lives.

 

You should probably read some of the stories of real wartime heroes. Don't get me wrong here, when you hear stories about John Kerry putting himself up for a purple heart every time he had a shaving cut, some degree of cynicism is understandable. Yet there are real heroes from time to time.

 

Let me tell you about Desmond T. Doss.

 

In WW2 he volunteered provided that his religious conviction barred him from even holding a weapon. At the time, there was no legal ground for “conscientious objector, willing to serve”. That was invented in part because of him. The army tried to section 8 him but he insisted that he be allowed to help in some capacity, so they made him a medic. At least that is the official story. I suspect that there is more to it than just that.

 

Any way, the battle where he earned his Congressional Medal of Honor is a really good tale of heroism under fire. He spent five hours running across the battlefield under Japanese machine gun fire pulling American wounded off the field. According to official records, Doss saved a hundred or so men. Doss would not admit to having saved more that fifty men (come on, that is still quite commendable). In the official citation, he agreed to split the difference and accept as the final number that he had saved seventy five men.

 

Mind you, the whole thing is conditioned on Doss being a Seventh Day Adventist and I am not really cool with that. However, I would have to admit that had I been there, I would have been one of the guys with a gun who got plinked. If I was able to live to tell the tale, it would have been because Doss was committed to doing what he thought was the right thing.

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Quote:You should probably

Quote:
You should probably read some of the stories of real wartime heroes. Don't get me wrong here, when you hear stories about John Kerry putting himself up for a purple heart every time he had a shaving cut, some degree of cynicism is understandable. Yet there are real heroes from time to time.

If I may, I do not get hung-up and individual acts of heroism in WWII for two reasons:

1) Only Allied acts are well-publicized. Hell, until recently, it's been only Western Allied heroism that publishers have toted around. The Russians, Germans, Japanese, etc each had good people enlisted in their armies - and when we decide we want to focus on how 'heroic' the Allies were, we effectively reinforce the idea that history is retouched to serve the purposes of the victors alone.

2) The Allies, as a body, were no less monstrous than the Axis. It's disgraceful that not even today will you find an average layman who knows, say, the following quote from Arthur Harris (head of the RAF bomber command):

"...I do not regard the whole of the remaining cities of Germany as worth the bones of one British grenadier."

...with regards to the firebombing of Dresden (Curious what was held as standard procedure for the destruction of 'infrastructure' at the time by the Allies: dropping an initial payload of superficially damaging incindiary explosives, as well as accelerants. Provide time for the local emergency service crews to attempt to extinguish fires and rescue the trapped/injured - and then, while they're at work, drop the real 'business' incidiaries, igniting the accelerants and wiping-out as many emergency service crews as possible in order to maximize destruction and casualty tolls), despite the fact that everyone seems to know that Hitler and his administration were beasts.

People will cheerily point fingers at Nazi propaganda posters and death squads, yet nothing but an uncomfortable silence ever appears to frame things like this:

...Or this...

...Or this...

...Or this...

...Or, say that rather disquieting tale of the aftermath of the Battle of Okinawa, where the American forces turned a town into, effectively, their own private molestation camp. Or the countless stories of Allied forces preferring to simply shoot Japanese wounded and surrendering troops on sight, as they were simply 'subhuman' and 'too much trouble to deal with', thus reinforcing the kamikaze attitude (as many Japanese believed - and rightly so - that they would not be taken alive even should they surrender).

 

The actions of Doss are commendable. The actions of the Allied war effort are not.

 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin, whatever you

Kevin, whatever you attempted to insert here:

Quote:

...Or this...

...Or this...

...Or this...

is not showing up.

Quote:

Or the countless stories of Allied forces preferring to simply shoot Japanese wounded and surrendering troops on sight

To be fair, the American treatment of the Japanese can hardly be compared to reverse situation. The Japanese had special hatred for Western POWs. Considering them to be untermenschen, they had no qualms with sawing off chunks of flesh, hacking off limbs, bayonet practice on prisoners, the use of slave labor, medical experimentation,  etc. etc.

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Quote:Kevin, whatever you

Quote:
Kevin, whatever you attempted to insert here:

is not showing up.

Oh. They show-up for me.

They're the American propaganda posters from WWII. See them here

Quote:
To be fair, the American treatment of the Japanese can hardly be compared to reverse situation. The Japanese had special hatred for Western POWs. Considering them to be untermenschen, they had no qualms with sawing off chunks of flesh, hacking off limbs, bayonet practice on prisoners, the use of slave labor, medical experimentation,  etc. etc.

If the posters, stories and quotes are anything to consider, the Americans had an equal hatred for their opponents (referring to asians as 'Japs', regardless of nationality), Admiral Bull Hallsey in fact once quoted as saying, "...the Japanese language will only be spoken in Hell by the time this war's over,"

Moreover, how is it 'uncomparable' when American troops landed in Okinawa and regularly raped, in a systematic fashion, any of the women there (occassionally to death)? Or machine-gunned crews of sinking ships attempting to flee in lifeboats (which likely also would've resulted in painful dismemberment)? Or just lined-up and shot injured soldiers whom were owed madical aid?

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Quote:If the posters,

Quote:

If the posters, stories and quotes are anything to consider, the Americans had an equal hatred for their opponents

And I never said otherwise.

Quote:

Moreover, how is it 'uncomparable' when American troops landed in Okinawa and regularly raped, in a systematic fashion, any of the women there (occassionally to death)? Or machine-gunned crews of sinking ships attempting to flee in lifeboats (which likely also would've resulted in painful dismemberment)? Or just lined-up and shot injured soldiers whom were owed madical aid?

Because the crimes that the Japanese committed across all Asia were ordered and sanctioned by the Imperial Army Headquarters, resulting in much greater scale and barbarity. In the same way that Oberkommando Heer issued the Kommissarbefehl before Operation Barbarossa and the Einsatzgruppen were formed on the orders of Heydrich, the Japanese war machine was under directive to commit atrocities. The Japanese formed a string of filthy brothels across all Asia, bringing in "comfort women" from all corners of their empire. The fact that this was happily sanctioned by High Command resulted in a scale of atrocity vastly exceeding those committed by the Americans.


 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Quote:Because the crimes

Quote:
Because the crimes that the Japanese committed across all Asia were ordered and sanctioned by the Imperial Army Headquarters, resulting in much greater scale and barbarity. In the same way that Oberkommando Heer issued the Kommissarbefehl before Operation Barbarossa and the Einsatzgruppen were formed on the orders of Heydrich, the Japanese war machine was under directive to commit atrocities. The Japanese formed a string of filthy brothels across all Asia, bringing in "comfort women" from all corners of their empire. The fact that this was happily sanctioned by High Command resulted in a scale of atrocity vastly exceeding those committed by the Americans.

Alright - I will concede that the Allies were, unlike the Axis, not scaling their atrocities on the industrial level. However, both Hallsey and Harris were certainly in high command positions, so I contest the idea that the Allied actions were not sanctioned by their command HQs (FDR himself, for example, may have frowned upon the atrocious behavior of his troops - but you'll note that very few (any?) Allied commanders were reprimanded for their behavior. Hallsey and Harris weren't).

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Now you can be a hero

Now you can be a hero too!

Click here!

 

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wow, that is really easy to

wow, that is really easy to win. Its much more fun to just dive straight into the water.