Guest Contributor – War Pig – Memorial Day

My Memorial Day weekend will be spent visiting various cemeteries. I have veteran relatives to honor, such as mom, dad and several uncles and cousins. I will also remember conrades who died in action or later after retirement. My Vietnam generation is fast aging. Most of us who were privates then are in our 70s now, and those who were officers and NCOs are even older. Many of us served well into the War on Terror and against Iraq and even Afghanistan, as well as many places that never made it in the news.

For me and many others Memorial Day is bittersweet and rather melancholy. Families with a strong military tradition likely feel the same. Since the Civil War there have been men and women in our family who have served and fought in each war and “police action”. So I will stand and salute as the Anthem or Taps is played or the colors pass at various cemeteries and Memorial services, and I will shed the odd tear in memory of those braver than I who went before.

 

Guest Contributor – War Pig – Ulfberht Steel

And we still don’t know who by or where the Ulfberht swords were made. The steel was centuries ahead of its time.

Ulfberht steel was crucible steel. It was remarkably fine grained and had very few inpuruties. Likely imported from south Asia. Europe did not work out crucible steel for centuries after the Ulfberht swords were made. You can learn a great deal in the NOVA special on PBS.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ciave

Also MAN AT ATMS REFORGED did a short on making an Ulfberht sword from scratch. They made their own steel from ore and all.

The flexibility and strength in sword steels today we rather take for granted. Ulfberht steel would have seemed to be magic to the smiths if the age. An Ulfberht sword would be equal in value to a small castle back then. Of course, where there is quality there were counterfeits. Humans haven’t changed much in the last thousand years or so that way. The NOVA special references fakes. Just like fake Rolex qatches today, there were fake Ulfberht swords.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – 03MAR2022 – On War

(In reply to comments on the review of the 1965 movie “The Battle of the Bulge”) – photog

I’ve never heard what Eisenhower had to say about it. I get my lean on it from my uncle, an enlisted man. Battles are seen quite differently if you’re one of the dogfaces in the ranks than by staff generals and politicians and people who write about it later.

Having been in a couple or so battles myself I can say the troops fight a battle intimately, not cooly and detached like they do at headquarters. You fight what is in front of you and you do not fight for king or country. You fight for the dogfaces to your right and left, your brothers. Your own world in battle is quite small, really. Your brothers on your right and left, and what you can see to your front. Usually about 400 yards or so. Modern thermal sights changes that for tank xrews and the like, and better optics on rifles extends that range a little bit but the soldier with the rifle in the ranks can only worry about what he sees and what can see him.

I generally don’t watch war movies that involve ground action. They are so fake overall. I’ll watch Battle of Brirain or In Harms Way about planes and ships, but I usually don’t watch ground war movies. I saw Bulge before I went to Vietnam. After that I gave up on ground war movies. I especially never watch movies about conflicts or operations in which I took part. They remind me of things I’d rather not remember and they are so wrong I get angry.

 

Guest Contributor – War Pig – The Battle of the Bulge

My uncle, who fought under Patton, told me of how the battle shaped up for him and his tank crew. It was snowy and icy and muddy all at the same time. The Germans did blow up trees to block roads and used mines and panzerfausts with skill and daring. They shelled trees to make splinters to wound the infantry. Pattons forces did have to fight without air cover. I don’t know if it was the prayer Patton uttered or just a warm front moving in but when the skies cleared, P47s, B25s/26s and British Typhoons feasted upon the Germans. The brave men of the 101st Airborne were heroic in their stand which brought down the entire offensive. Both the last stand of the 101st and Patton’s charge are excellent examples of American military exceptionalism.

The Quadratic Franchise

Many, many years ago I read an essay by the science fiction writer, Robert A. Heinlein about civics.  He was making the case that democracy was the proposition that a million men were smarter than one man or a few men.  And he batted that idea around.  His point was that the average man might not be the right decision maker for society.  And then he thought of how we could rig things to make democracy better.  Now, being an engineer, his first idea was based on the type of tests that would appeal to a technical mind.  He imagined the voting booth being equipped with a visual display of some sort that communicated a problem to the voter to solve before being allowed to vote.  Heinlein favored solving a quadratic equation as the qualifying test.  I can’t remember if it was a multiple-choice question or not but at the time, I saw the sense of it.  Pick some minimally difficult standard of intelligence and make it a condition for voting.

But intelligence is not the only criterion for citizenship.  Moral fitness may be even more important.  You may be smart enough to know something is a bad idea for society but if you think that you’ll personally benefit from it then you might go along with it.  So, another way to rig the franchise is disqualify people who have chosen to live antisocially.  Currently, most states disqualify felons from voting.  That seems a reasonable measure.  But I think there are other larger voting blocks that should be looked at.  Perhaps civil servants should not be allowed to vote.  After all, teachers and prison guards have controlled politics in California and other states like Illinois and New Jersey for decades based on their habit of voting in Democrats to keep their pensions and salaries robust.  Maybe anyone on welfare should be taken off the voters’ roll because they’ll vote for the liberal who will keep their gravy train flowing.

Or maybe we should go the other way around.  Maybe people’s votes should be weighted according to how much taxes they pay.  So, Elon Musk pays on average ten million dollars in taxes a year and I pay fifty thousand so his vote should count for two hundred of mine.  And the guy who pays no taxes has no vote or maybe some minimal fraction of a vote.

But of course, the absurdity of this whole discussion is that none of this matters because as Dementia Joe recently pointed out, it’s not who votes but who counts the votes, that counts.  Even when unheard of numbers of Americans came out to vote in 2020 the people who rig elections in Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta, Madison and Phoenix simply ran the photocopy machines ten times as long and manufactured the votes needed to fake the election result they wanted.

We can talk about who the least responsible voters are.  My favorite is women because they vote with their emotions and because they’re gullible and easily flattered into thinking their self-interest is equal to the good of the country.  But even they will recognize grim reality when it comes in the likeness of a BLM mob.  So ultimately trying to fix representative government means absolutely nothing when the ballot box is being stuffed.

I think the attempts to fix this situation and the simultaneous attempt to codify fraud by the Democrats is the biggest struggle going on right now in our country.  I don’t want to overblow the criticality of the result because the bad guys never run out of ways to degrade our country.  Literally they never quit.  But I think the attempt to fix this problem is a fair test of whether there is enough strength left in our system and in our will to turn the country around.  If after what happened in 2020, we don’t solve this problem then we’re not going to have the strength to survive the diseases that afflict our country.  They will overwhelm the system like a parasitic disease that saps its host’s strength and eventually leads to death.

Heinlein thought about civics and ways that we could improve citizenship.  But he also predicted the decay of our society under the influence of progressivism.  I think he would have recognized the symptoms we are currently suffering from but he still might have been sad to see it happen to the country he loved.

War Pig’s Feedback

I prefer the government of “Starship Troopers”. I also like the idea he postulated in “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” – that any law passed can be nullified by I believe a 1/3 vote of the People. After all if a law is so poorly written or unnecessary that a full third of your citizens despises it, it is a bad law.

I do NOT trust the form of voting in Sam Clemen’s “The Curious Republic of Gondour”, since we have seen what craziness is professed in western colleges and universities. What was it William F Buckley Jr said;- “I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”

 

(Good to hear from you War Pig.  All the best.

photog)

Guest Contributor – War Pig – Favorite Westerns

My favorite western is Once Upon A Time In The West, followed by True Grit/ Rooster Cogburn (I consider them to be part one and two of a whole story), followed by Eastwood’s spaghetti trio. After that I like western comedies such as the Trinity movies with Terrence Hill and sometimes Bud Spencer. Blazing Saddle is a joy but could not be made today. Honorable mention goes to Quigley Down Under as it is set in Australia, and besides Selleck as the protagonist, it has an absolutely smashing musical score. I grew up watching westerns on TV and at the drive in. Roy and Dale. Lash LaRue, Rin Tin Tin, Sky King, Gene Autry, Gabby Hayes, Cisco and Poncho, you name it. I even belonged to the Rin Tin Tin fan club.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – When War Pig Met Karen

I agree about the movies for the most part. Until yesterday that last two movies I have watched in the cinema were Godzilla King of The Monsters and Godzilla vs King Kong. I happen to be a big Godzilla fan since childhood.

I don’t care for Disney’s Marvel Universe movies. I did, however, go see the new Disney movie Jungle Cruise. yesterday in the cinema. My nice wanted to see it so I took her as she hates to go alone. More on that in a minute.

It wasn’t a bad movie, in fact I rather enjoyed it. The Rock was better than usual in acting, Emily Blunt pretty much stole every scene and the special effects and action sequences were what you’d expect from Disney. A good time and I bonded a bit with my niece

My niece is a tall, attractive woman of twenty-one but she looks like sixteen. This frustrates her now but I told her in twenty years she’ll appreciate her youthful looks. At any rate, she went to the ladies’ room after the movie and I stood by to ensure no one with a penis entered the ladies’ room while she was in there. When she exited, we were walking to the entrance/exit and a very liberal Karen stopped us, told my niece she did not have to go anywhere with me and made noises about human trafficking. I told her just because an older man has a young woman by his side it is not always by force. That she was my niece and to kindly get out of the way. She kept it up and I told the kids at the concession stand to call the police.

The local gendarmeri4e arrived and Karen was still fuming. I greeted one officer by name and told him what was going on. Karen said we exhibited classic human trafficking patterns. The cop laughed in her face and told her to go home or he’d run her in for being a public nuisance. Then she accused him of being part of the trafficking gang. That was too much so off she went to the hoosegow to cool off.

My niece (adopted by my brother) is a tall, brown hair, blue eyed pale girl. Being half Blackfoot, my complexion, especially in the summer, is somewhat darker, My facial features also bespeak my (and my brother’s) heritage. My niece is QUITE attractive, which is why she asks me to stand outside the ladies’ room when she goes inside, in case she has to yell for help. But still, we were both laughing and talking about the movie. She was giggly but that is her nature. She likes her uncle and we have some good times together. I have taken her with me to Sandusky then onto one of the islands there where you can see evidence of the last ice age’s glaciers as they scraped the rock. She wanted some literature and photos of it for a school report.

I normally applaud any real attempt to end human trafficking, but this Karen went overboard and assumed she was right (a liberal fault). Heck, it could have been a sugar daddy/sugar baby relationship, or a grandfather/grandchild situation. I am old enough to be her grandfather.

So be careful, people in what you ASSUME to be happening. Assume makes an ass out of you and me, remember.

 

 

 

Guest Contributor – War Pig – East Berlin and Breaking Bread with Ivan – Part 2

Guest Contributor – War Pig – East Berlin and Breaking Bread with Ivan

 

(photog) – War Pig, what would an American serviceman have to do to enter East Berlin? Just a frontier checkpoint to inspect identification papers?

(War Pig) – Back then, you had to have a pass, and you had to be in uniform. Military from America, Brits, French, etc. were nothing unusual in visiting East Berlin. They were rather inclined to allow you in as you brought western currency with you. Your papers were inspected at the checkpoint but I don’t remember anyone being denied entry with the paperwork correct. You could even bring in a camera as long as you obeyed the “do not photograph” signs. You were overcharged but even at that it was cheaper than West Berlin prices. As I recall, we had black beer, & roast or corned beef sandwiches on dark bread. Hearty and satisfying. Must have been corned beef as I now remember I mentioned to the Russian that the corning spices in German corned beef were different than the Irish style used in America. That led to a side discussion about our favorite foods. He was surprised that I actually like borscht. I said I liked it some ways as I had had it about a dozen different ways and I only liked two or three.

I wish I could meet him again if he still lives. I’d like to see how he got along. It really would have been a pity if we’d had to fight each other.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – East Berlin and Breaking Bread with Ivan

When I worked in counter-intel I often went to West Berlin. There about every other person you met was a spy for one side or the other. Great parties, though.

I got into uniform and went into East Berlin all according to Hoyle. I had a camera and took some neat pictures of the architecture. Of course, the polizei had to come and harass me. I told them to piss off and get a Russian officer, which was according to the treaty. The polizei weren’t squat in East Berlin if you were an American in uniform. I kept walking about and a Russian officer approached me and was polite. GRU, naturally. We chatted and sat in a bistro and had beer and sandwiches, which I paid for. We talked and both agreed it would be sad if we ever had to go to war against each other as we had more in common than with most of our allies. Rather charming fellow. We played it according to the rules and he asked what I was photographing, I told him the buildings and that I wasn’t stupid enough to photograph military things out in the open with the polizei watching me like a hawk. We both laughed. I left him with a spare Zippo lighter with a naked woman on it and two packs of unfiltered Camel cigarettes. I had already gotten the message I went in to get. He walked me to the checkpoint and had them wave me through without issues. All gentlemen and friends.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – East Berlin and Breaking Bread with Ivan – Part 2