Saturday, June 30, 2012

Movie Review: Fortress

1. Short review: 

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked: The airplanes and the CGI.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Roller coaster.

2.2. What I did not like:  The acting and some of the writing. The acting was cheesy but okay. The writing suffered from a lack of research.

2.3. Who I think is the audience: Air combat history buffs.

2.4. Is the movie appropriate for children to see?  No. Profanity and lots of it.

2.5. On the basis of viewing this movie, will I pay to see the sequel? If there were a sequel, I would pay the same I paid to see Fortress. I guess that's a left-handed 'yes'.

2.6. Other:  How I rate movies.
-- I want my money back.
-- Worth a rental, not more. <-- Fortress 
-- Worth first-run theater price once.
-- I will pay first-run theater price to see it again.

I saw Fortress on cable. I think it went straight to DVD; that is, it never played in theaters. There is some evidence that it played theaters in England.

The plot in a nutshell:
The B-17 Lucky Lass flew bombing missions over Italy from a North African base. Her aircraft commander was killed on one mission, so Wally (Donnie Jeffcoat), the right-seater, got promoted to the left seat; that is, he became the aircraft commander. The Lucky Lass got a new right-seater, Michael (Bug Hall), and two replacements for the waist gunners who were also killed on the last mission. 

Michael had trouble fitting into the crew, but with time and effort he won their respect and led the crew out of danger (kinda, kinda not) when Wally got killed. Michael got promoted to the left seat; new replacement showed up; rinse and repeat.
For the little I paid for this movie, I enjoyed it. The acting was so-so, but I liked Howard Gibson in the role of Caparelli, the maintenance chief.

I liked the CGI airplanes. They were well done. I don't know if P-40 Warhawks ever flew escort for B-17s, but the P-40s in the movie were brilliantly done. I especially liked the yellow checkerboard tail motif.

In the movie, a P-40 flew a steep climbing turn to shake off and take out a ME 109. I don't know if a P-40 jock ever did that, but I know it can be done and with that exact maneuver. I had two friends who flew F-51s (the Air Force designation for the Army P-51) and took out F-86s with that manuver. I also met an Egyption Air Force major who use the same maneuver in '73 with a MIG 19 to take out an Israeli F-4. Would an American P-40 jock in '43 have the stuff to take out a Luftwaffe 109 pilot with that maneuver? Possible, but not likely.

Fortress showed that good CGI can be done cheaply. I said it is worth a rental, and -- since they released it straight to DVD -- that means they succeeded. Check it out.


There is what must be an administrative hearing before the squadron commander over a theft of officers' club scotch by one of the crew of the Lucky Lass. The prosecuting officer cites the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). This is an anachronism. The UCMJ did not exist until 1950. During the Second World War, the US Army Air Corps operated under the Articles of War. Something the writers would have discovered had they googled the UCMJ and spent 10 minutes reading the article.

Second addendum:

At the end of the movie, the producers complained that no one who had a flying B-17 let them (the producers) use their (the owners') plane. I saw why. Look, boys, just 'cause y'all wanna make a picture 'bout B-17s don't mean I'm gonna turn cartwheels over the opportunity to show off my plane. I get them opportunities twice a week. And they pay. Y'all want my plane in your picture? Pony up some money. Else, go on back to Hollywood and get your special effects department to whip up somethin'.

Third addendum:

Bug Hall? Your headliner is named Bug? That was cute when he starred in the movie of The Little Rascals, but that was eighteen years ago. How can anyone take you seriously as an actor when you insist on being called Bug? Your name's Brandon. Use it.

Fourth addendum:

I discovered that the checked-tail P40s in the movie truly existed. They were from the 325th Fighter Group. The group flew P40s from April to September 1943 when they swapped their Warhawks for Thunderbolts; half a year later they were flying Mustangs. And, yeah, they escorted bombers, and they often defeated 109s until Messerschmidt developed the 'f' model. 30 July 1943 they baited the Jerries to come up and play and shot down more than half of those who took the bait.

Here is a picture of checked-tail P40:
I have never seen a P40 with such a long canopy before. Unusual modification, that.


2.7. Links: IMDb review

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spiderman

1. Short review: 

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked: The cameo appearance by Stan Lee (LOL funny). Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker; he looked the part.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Roller coaster, but the wait to get on the ride was too long.

2.2. What I did not like:  A lot.
1. The story was Swiss cheese. There were too many holes in.
2. The slow pace. At 2 hours 16 minutes, the movie is AT LEAST half an hour too long. Be sure to go to the toilet RIGHT BEFORE you see the movie.
3. The set-up for the sequel. It comes after the credits start to roll (after the producer and director credits but before the cast credits). And it is not needed.

2.3. Who I think is the audience:  Marc Webb (the director).

2.4. Is the movie appropriate for children to see?  Yeah, but take 'em to see Brave instead.

2.5. On the basis of viewing this movie, will I pay to see the sequel? No.

2.6. Other:  How I rate movies.
-- I want my money back.
-- Worth a rental, not more. <-- The Amazing Spiderman
-- Worth first-run theater price once.
-- I will pay first-run theater price to see it again.

The Amazing Spiderman took an hour to get going. The first hour was just set-up and scenery shifting. The second hour was full of action but disjointed.

On the right side, Andrew Garfield gave a great rendition as Peter Parker; equal to or better than Toby Maguire's.

On the left side -- and there is a lot on the left side, the story had more holes in it than a wheel of Swiss cheese. Five samples (there are many, many more):

1. The young Peter Parker discovered his home had been broken into. His father dug a file out of the false bottom in his desk drawer, packed up his family, took Peter to stay with his Aunt Mae and Uncle Ben, and disappeared. Why run? Why leave the kid?

2. Peter Parker said his own self that he worked up his web and webspinners in his little lab. He was a tech wizard. So why did he haul around a butt load of film cameras?

3. With his new-found powers, Peter Parker taunted his high-school nemesis Eugene 'Flash' Thompson on the basketball court and leaped from half court to dunk and shatter the backstop. What did that display earn him? A stiff talking-to from the principal with his uncle present.  Were the writers brain-dead?

4. Uncle Ben got shot, and Peter hunted his killer. For a while. Then he gave up that hunt. Never found the killer. Did the writers think we wouldn't notice?

5. In the final chase, a cop shot Spiderman in the leg (from a hundred yards with a pistol while Spiderman was climbing the face of a building!). When the chase was over, Peter went home to Aunt May. She saw the scratches on his face and gave him a hug. Never a word about the gunshot wound in his leg. (Oh, BTW, the cop shot from Spiderman's left side but the entry wound was in the exterior of his right thigh with no noted exit wound.)
My wife had a two-for-one coupon that the theater honored. At that, it was worth the price of admission. Had I paid two full ticket prices, I would have been angry.

All in all, I would have preferred to stay home and watch John Carter on cable. 


2.7. Links: Rotten Tomatoes review
2.8. See the movie:  Find the show times for your location.

Friday, June 22, 2012

eBook Review: Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer

Brian O'Neill, Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer

Product Details

  • File Size: 5701 KB
  • Print Length: 454 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 4 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (April 30, 1999)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006B7LRQW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars (43 customer reviews)
  • Price: $9.99
1. Short review: 

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked:  Stories of the young men who flew the Big Bird early (1943-early 1944) over Germany. Follow-up on their lives after the war. The photos.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Because it is a book about aerial combat, it should be a roller coaster. Sometimes it is. But it is a roller coaster with all the excitement of a Travel Channel travelogue. I never felt like I was there.

2.2. What I did not like:
2.2.1. The formatting. Evidently this 'eBook' was scanned from a paper version. The quality of the print runs the gamut from passable to difficult. The best that can be said for it is that it is not illegible. Brad Geyser's Amazon review has more details.
2.2.2. The time to load. Perhaps the book loads slow because of all the photos in it. I dunno. But it took 9 seconds to load. Each time. Every time. Yes, I counted.
2.2.3. The lack of excitement. I don't know how he did it, but Mr O'Neill drained all the adventure from the stories of these men. As B. Barrett said in his Amazon review, the account is "[f]actual but dry". Even when I read the story of Staff Sergeant Joseph Sawicki, one arm shot away, buckling two wounded crewmates into their 'chutes and booting them out of their flaming Fortress to save their lives, I did not feel anything. Rightfully, Sawicki's actions should have been honored with a posthumous award of the CMoH. How do you drain that heroism of feeling? I dunno. Ask Mr O'Neill. He did it.

2.3. Who I think is the audience:  The families of the airmen named in the book. If your daddy or your granddaddy is in the book, buy the trade paperback and highlight his name.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  Yes.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? No.

2.6. Other:

     This book started as a factual account of the experiences of Bob Hullar's B-17 crew. Somewhere it morphed into an aggregate personal oral history of the 303rd Bomb Group. Well, at least an aggregate personal oral history of the missions that Bob Hullar flew.
     The problem is that Mr O'Neill was not there. He interviewed these men decades after the fact. Any emotion they felt when they recalled these events -- and I am certain they felt emotion -- was lost in the translation.
     I do not have a relative who flew with the 303rd. I never felt connected to the events Mr O'Neill related. But I got something that many related to 303rd crew may have missed: A feeling of outrage at the haphazard way the Eighth Air Force threw away the lives of bomber crews on disjointed missions that contributed nothing to winning the war.
     For example, the Eighth Air Force sent unescorted bombers into Germany in 1943 to bomb industrial targets like the ball bearing factories at Schweinfurt. Evidently they had read Giulio Douhet's The Command of the Air (aka 'The Theory of Frightfulness') and bought into its tenets. These raids did not work. And the price was excessive: 25% losses on that raid.  And still the command ordered more raids like it.
     The RAF won the Battle of Britain because the Luftwaffe turned from bombing airfields to bombing London. You would think at least the Brits would learn from their own recent history: Knock out the enemy air force first. But, no, the Italian captain must be right. We can destroy the morale of the enemy from the air. We don't need no stinkin' infantry. "[Douhet] believed that 300 tons of bombs over the most important cities would end a war in less than a month. This can be compared with the fact that the allies during War War II dropped in excess of 2.5 million tons of bombs on Europe without this being directly decisive for the war."
     I can justify bombing the submarine pens at Bremen. I can justify bombing railroad centers. I can justify bombing the V-1 launch sites. But bombing ball bearing factories? Better to spend the bombs, fuel, and men bombing Luftwaffe bases. Or Wehrmacht depots.
     The best part of the book relates the lives of the B-17 crews after they had flown through Hell. It made me feel good to know that they came back to live full lives. God knows they deserved them.
     Another reviewer wrote that the book made him feel as if he flew with the crews of the 303rd on their missions, but I never felt that way.
     I wanted to like this book, but I didn't. Still, it is a flying book, so it gets three stars from me.

     Years ago, I had a friend who flew in a B-17 crew in the Eighth Air Force. I think he was a gunner, but honestly I don't recall. I heard him read a poem about his piece of the war. He wrote of his father eagerly questioning him about his experience; his father had missed service in the First World War and wanted his son to fill the hole in his life.
     All my friend could recall were the cold barracks with a single stove for heat, the thin blankets, getting the shakes when on leave at Blackpool, the terror in the air over Germany -- terror without details, and moving one cot closer to the
stove and adding one more blanket to his covers when a squadron mate did not return. That was the story of his war: One cot closer to the fire.
     I heard my friend read that story and I knew in my bowels that there was no glory in the thin air over Germany. Just fear.

Second addendum:
     My notes from the book show four typos:
     1. Location 951: VIII vice VII,
     2. Location 4281: were vice was, 
     3. Location 5233: 1966-1967 vice 1966-1977, and
     4. Location 5412: Consul vice Counsul.

     I highlighted nine passages in the book:
     1. "[Y]ou heard that sound [of B-17 engines starting], you knew for sure that today men were going to die."
     2. "[T]he high command thought we were expendable."
     3. "I always had the feel- ing (sic) that the losses were justifiable some way."
     4. "After 16 missions they were the most senior crew in the Squadron." (What does this say about the loss rate? Nothing good.)
     5. "According to the metro winds we got in our briefing flight plan, the winds were supposed to be 320 degrees at 110 knots (!) at bombing altitude of 25,000 feet. I could tell from the way the winds were drifting us on the way to the English coast that they were not as metro had forecasted and the metro winds for the balance of the trip wouldn't hold true either." (Best weather advice I ever got from a flight instructor: Treat all forecast winds as headwinds.)
     6. "There was much anger among the 41st CBW's bomber crews at debriefing. As Elmer Brown recalls, 'I was furious about them having sent us up in the dark taht way, so that those midair collisions could happen. This was one the high command really screwed up.'" (Yeah, they screwed up with radio silence, too. IMO Eaker, Doolittle, and Spaatz all should have been court-martialed for dereliction of duty and manslaughter. Pour encourager les outres.)
     7. "Two minutes of combat is a lifetime." (Amen.)
     8. "[T]he day's operations really underscored the impact that seasoned combat veterans could have on the outcome of a mission. The skill and determination that Brown and McCormick showed was what made the difference between a successful strike and a failed one . . . ."
     9. "All during these years, Bud Klint's priorities were the same as those of the other veterans and fathers of his generation -- earn an income, raise his children . . . , get ahead in his career -- but in all this time Klint's World War II experiences were 'always there. In the background.'" (This one quote summarizes the book.)

     Three stars out of five. YMMV.

2.7. Links:
Bert Stiles, Serenade to the Big Bird (If you really, really want to read a book about B-17 crew, read this one. One of the best air combat books ever written.)
B-17 Flying Fortress in Action (coffee table picture book)
B-17 in Action (No. 63) (coffee table picture book)
B-17 in Action (No. 12) (coffee table picture book)

2.8. Buy the book:  Half a Wing, Three Engines and a Prayer

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Movie Review: John Carter deja vu cubed

John Carter [of Mars]

1. Short review: 

2. Long review:
I saw the movie again and again on cable. I still like it a lot.

My cable has video-on-demand, which means I control the delivery like it was a DVD. I got to play with the timing.

If you see the movie for the first time on DVD or VOD, I suggest the following:

2.1. Forget the title. Think of the movie as Barsoom. At the end, this will have impact.

2.2. Start the movie five minutes and thirty seconds (00:05:30) in. The prologue that eats up that time is disjointed and adds nothing. The editors should have deleted these scenes. You will have to do it instead.

2.3. To get the most from the experience, read the first two books in the John Carter series before you see the movie: A Princess of Mars and The Gods of Mars.

Enjoy the movie.

3. Links:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

eBook Review: High Adventure

James Norman Hall, High Adventure: A Narrative of Air Fighting in France

Product Details

  • File Size: 175 KB
  • Print Length: 252 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TPDZ4A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: no customer reviews
  • Price: $0.00 
1. Short review: 

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked:  Casual style.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Because it is a book about aerial combat, it should be a roller coaster, but it is more a walk in the park.

2.2. What I did not like: The lack of excitement.

2.3. Who I think is the audience:  WWI aerial warfare history buffs.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  Yes.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? No, but I will on the basis of reading his other works.

2.6. Other:

     This is a fictional account of Hall's service with the Lafayette Escadrille.
     It read like a fictionalized diary. The organization lacked coherence. It moved slowly from getting lost on patrols to fighting le cafard in barracks. The little organization there is broke down completely once Hall was shot down and captured.
     Years ago, I read Falcons of France and enjoyed it. High Adventure read like the first draft outline of Falcons of France.
     I wanted to like this book, but I didn't. For free, it's worth a download.

     Even though Hall fictionalized his account, this bit shocked me. I believe it to be true.
     [Chapter] VI. A BALLOON ATTACK. (p 143; location 1192)
     Hall wrote that two flights of three were detailed to attack German balloons (Drachen). Numbers 1 and 2 of each flight were to attack the Drachen with rockets. Number 3 was to fly cover for Numbers 1 and 2.
     Number 1 was to fly over the first Drachen, throttle back to idle, and dive vertically on his target. When the Drachen filled his gunsight, he was to loose his rockets. Hall does not say, but I believe these were Le Prieur rockets.
     If Number 1 was not successful and did not flame the first Drachen, then Number 2 was to attack the same balloon. If Number 1 was successful and flamed the first Drachen,  then Number 2 was to attack another Drachen. But first, Number 2 was to "attack the observers [from the flamed Drachen] in their parachutes." (p 146; location 1214).
     In other words, the Aeronautique Militaire ordered its airmen to shoot defenseless men. Hall rationalized an excuse for this, but he admitted that neither he nor his wingman liked it.
     I have no words to express how revolted I felt about this order. Shooting a defenseless man is not an act of war. It is murder. The order was unjustifiable and illegal by the standards of war and the laws of any civilized nation. I am shocked that the French would order such a thing.
     I can justify collateral damage, but I don't like it. I find no justification for this order, nor do believe that there can be any.
     If a gov't has to resort to such as this in order to survive, it were better for humanity that such a gov't fall and be forgotten.

2.7. Links:  James Norman Hall 

2.8. Buy the book:  High Adventure

Saturday, June 2, 2012

eBook Review: The Three Conjectures

Richard Fernandez, The Three Conjectures

Product Details

  • File Size: 111 KB
  • Print Length: 32 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006SOCAO6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 customer review)
  • Price: $1.99 (Warning:  I have seen the price vary from $1.99 to $3.99.)
1. Short review: 

2. Long review:
2.1. What I liked:  No misspellings.
Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Neither; non-fiction.
This book wasted my time. It is a collection of essays taken from Mr Fernandez's blog. It came late to the party, trumpeted old ideas as new, and added nothing to the discussion

2.2. What I did not like: Everything in the book.

2.3. Who I think is the audience:  Sogenannte Harvard scholars.

2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read?  No foul language but I would not want to expose children -- or adults -- to this ostentatious, factually inaccurate, logically flawed fraud of a collection.

2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? No. No. Never.

2.6. Other:
con·jec·ture (kən-jĕkchər) n.
1. Opinion or judgment based on inconclusive or incomplete evidence; guesswork.
2. An opinion or conclusion based on guesswork.
-- The American Heritage Dictionary
      Mr Fernandez was born in the Phillipines but holds Australian citizenship. He earned a master's degree in public policy from Harvard.
     The book is a collection of Mr Fernandez's blog posts as essays. The book lacks a Table of Contents. In order of appearance, the essays are (cumulative percentage of the work give in parentheses)
1) The Judge of All the Earth, [no date] (50%);
2) The Bomb Rises Again, May 6, 2003 (58%);
3) The Three Conjectures, September 19, 2003 (82%);
4) Abu Ghraib, May 7, 2004 (95%); and
5) The Fable, August 17, 2006 (100%).
     'The Judge of All the Earth' is an apologia for all who act without certainty; that is, everyone, but especially American presidents. The instances cited include FDR greenlighting the Manhattan Project, Truman choosing to drop atomic bombs on Japan, and George W. Bush invading Iraq on the weight of the evidence that Hussein was building nasty weapons. In Mr Fernandez's words, "[t]he challenge humanity confronts in the second decade of the 21st century is the same as Abraham's: to find a way to survive and still remain righteous."
     'The Bomb Rises Again' bemoans the fact that nuclear proliferation makes the use of nuclear weapons more likely. Here Mr Fernandez makes a factual error. He avers that the US Navy mounted nuclear warheads on SAMs. For his source, he cites the New York Times, a newspaper whose contact with factual accuracy is only tangential and fleeting.
     'The Three Conjectures' lays out Mr Fernandez's case that acquiring nuclear weapons will destroy Islam. The three conjectures are
1) Terrorism has lowered the nuclear threshold,
2) Attaining WMDs will destroy Islam, and
3) The war on terror is the 'Golden Hour' -- the final chance.
His argument is that radical Moslems will use nukes the first chance they get. The West -- read, the US -- in retaliation will slag the Moslem world. Moslems will ceast to exist. 
     'The Three Conjectures' also contains another error. It states "[t]he terrorist intent to destroy the United States . . . has been a given since September 11." Perhaps that is true for Mr Fernandez. I assure you that US intelligence services were aware of terrorist intent much, much earlier, and the people of New York City were put on notice of it the morning of 26 February 1993 when terrorists exploded a bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center.
     'Abu Ghraib' is a mishmash of a tale that grieves the loss of morality in war.
     'The Fable' is Mr Fernandez's vision of how Osama bin Laden will triumph even in death, because by destroying Islam the West -- read, the US -- will lose its soul. (When Mr Fernandez wrote this piece bin Laden lived.)

     After reading this work, I had the feeling that I had been regaled with a cocktail-party theory by a self-indulgent, self-righteous intellectual who marshaled for evidence only dubious newspaper reports. All I lacked was a stiff drink to enable me to swallow it. But the theory was delivered glibly with ten-dollar words and phrases that mimic erudition. This gloss of linguistic fluency fools other ignorant intellectuals who get their facts from NYT headlines and count themselves informed. Worse, the work is arrogant. It implies that these thoughts are new with it.
     Pthu! I would rather have a beer and hear a plumber describe his day clearing a blocked sewer.

     Let me tell you how the real world works.
     Thirty years ago, as a junior USAF officer, I sat in a seminar which had as its purpose to get us -- junior officers -- to think the unthinkable: when do we use nuclear weapons. Part of thinking the unthinkable was to figure out what the Russians were thinking, because they, too, had nukes.
     Why did the Air Force spend considerable time and money having all its junior officers study this question? Because the Air Force knew that some few of those junior officers would rise to become generals who had to think the unthinkable, and the Air Force wanted those generals to have the experience of thinking the unthinkable before that heavy responsibility fell on them. Folks, that's wisdom.
     The nuclear use equation reduces to two variables: capability and intent. We were told in the seminar that we had to assume that Russian nukes would be 100% effective; that is, all rockets would launch, all guidance would work correctly, and all warheads would detonate. All that was left was intent.
     In the seminar, I argued that the 100% effectiveness assumption was flawed. It was based on lack of evidence. That lack pointed up a hole in our intel. I also argued that the Russians were rational and had no intent to use nukes. Why? I can't tell you. You don't have the security clearance required to hear my reasons or the need to know.
     When the Soviet Union collapsed, I was doing performance analyses for the USAF Satellite Control Network. I was sitting with a contractor and a young captain over coffee discussing the fall of The Evil Empire. The contractor lamented its passing, because, he said, it would make his job and the jobs of his coworkers superfluous. I disagreed.
     The fall of the Soviet Union meant that the menace of nuclear exchange lessened dramatically. We could send a large fraction of our boomers (SSBNs) to the pens and keep them there. We could decommission some older ICBM wings and strategic bomber wings. We could call troops home from NATO, maybe stand down an armored division. But we needed more, not less, intel.
     When the USSR lived the threat to the US was monolithic. We only had to consider one enemy. Our intel focused on him. But with the fall of the Soviet Union the threat fractured. Now we had to look everywhere, and that would require more intel resources and more intel personnel. The threat was no longer existential for the nation, but the opportunity for multiple Pearl Harbor incidents exploded.
     The captain nodded. He got my message. Unfortunately, Congress did not.

     The Three Conjectures deduces that use of nuclear weapons boils down to capability and intent, something I knew thirty years ago. The Soviets had the capability but not the intent. Islamic terrorists, the book says, have the intent but not the capability. I am confident that, as I studied the problem thirty years ago, there are young men in blue today who study today's problem. And tomorrow's problems. And, unlike Harvard intellectuals, they will not be conflicted between the choice of unleashing Hell and the loss of their 'righteousness'. They will do what they have sworn to do: They will defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
     Sleep well tonight. You don't have to think the unthinkable. There are professional soldiers who have done that, do that, and will do that so you don't have to. And those soldiers do not abrogate their duty to the conjectures of Harvard intellectuals.


2.7. Links:  Richard Fernandez at The Belmont Club

2.8. Buy the book:  The Three Conjectures