Friday, November 30, 2012

AFK - On Hiatus

...but not permanently. I hope to be back soon, certainly by Christmas week. 

Bless you and thanks for stopping by. RLK.

Monday, November 26, 2012

REPOST: Tattered Remnant #005:
A Man Out of Season - Thomas More


A MAN OUT OF SEASON: THOMAS MORE

The introduction to this series can be found here.

(Here I again break the rule mandating that I write only about obscure people--for in spite of his fame, great in his lifetime and growing since--More was surely a Tattered Remnant.)

Thomas More. Lawyer. Judge. Chancellor. Traitor. Executed criminal.

Saint.

His story is well known: a highly skilled lawyer in the early days of lawyering, he rose to the position of Chancellor of All England, that is, the equivalent of Chief Judge of the Supreme Court and Prime Minister combined. His master, Henry England, King, the Eighth of that Name, decided he wanted to get rid of his infertile Spanish wife who had only bore him a dull-witted girl and a number of dead sons. Nominated to succeed to the Chancellorship by his enemy Cardinal Wolsey, he too, like Wolsey, proved incapable of meeting the endless and impossible demands of his syphlitic and, ultimately, mad master. When given orders to pursue and formally approve an unjust divorce and remarriage, More quietly withdrew from his great office. He did not criticize his master, but neither did he approve. He remained silent, hoping that would save him.

But Harry England rightfully saw his silence as criticism, and ultimately demanded that he sign a formal oath of approval. More's refusal to sign led to his execution. He was beheaded with words that should be engraved on every public servant's doorway: "I die the King's good servant, but God's first!"

He is given the title of "Man for All Seasons"—the title of a famous play by Robert Bolt in which his story is used as a counterpoint for the age. Even thirty years ago, Bolt recognized the challenge More presented toward our modern mind set. But rather than being a man for all seasons, is not More truly a man out of season? Does he not contradict the whole spirit of our age?

Why, in this day and age where "mistakes are made" and responsibility dodged, where sensual desire is placed on the same plane as divine command, where "doing what thou wilt" has become "the whole of the Law"—why should a man like More, who tenatiously clung to his outlook to death, be taken at all seriously? In America today, where God is said to have died, the idea that a man should cling to the refusal to take an oath even unto his own destruction seems completely alien to us. More, who refused to sign an oath consenting to the divorce of Henry VIII from his first wife and was executed for treason, seems like fanatical Christians of old who chose death over Emperor worship: that is, almost an alien being. Why—so the thinking might go—why should we not simply take an oath while mentally crossing our fingers? Why lose our heads when we can simply claim that 'they would have killed me if I hadn't'? After all, an oath taken under duress isn't binding, is it? And if there is no truth, is not an oath just a mouthing of words?

Bolt answers this point directly. In one scene toward the end of the play, More meets with his daughter—who begs him to take the Oath and come out of the Tower where he has been held for a year. Bolt gives More these words: "When a man takes an oath, Meg, he's holding his own self in his own hands. Like water....and if he opens his fingers then—he needn't hope to find himself again..."(1)

But why should he take such a contrapunctual stand? At another point of the play, More is confronted by his good friend, the Duke of Norfolk, who points at the signatures on the oath, and says, "Damn it, Thomas, look at those names—you know those men! Can't you do what I did, and come with us, for fellowship?" To which More must reply: "And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?"(2)

And again: "I will not give in because I oppose it — I do — not my pride, not my spleen, nor any other of my appetites but I do—I!" He challenges Norfolk: "Is there no single sinew in the midst of this"—he taps Norfolk—"that serves no appetite of Norfolk's but is just Norfolk? There is! Give that some exercise, my lord!"(3) And with that their friendship ends.

To stand against the spirit of the age, to attempt to exorcise the Zeitgeist: this is dangerous, indeed possibly deadly, activity. In More's case it was admirable, but futile; the separation of England's church from that of Rome—against which he stood—is wider even today than it was in his own time. But in other cases—that of the Maid of Orleans in the fourteenth century, or more recently, the cases of Nelson Mandela, Mohandas Gandhi, or Natan Shchransky—the refusal to give in, to submit, to unlawful authority and the evil exercise of power, can lead to the ultimate destruction or transformation of the power defied.

The renouned English Catholic, G.K. Chesterton, makes an interesting observation on the inappropriateness of saints to an age:

[I]t is the paradox of history that each generation is converted by the saint who contradicts it most. St. Francis [of Assisi] had a curious and almost uncanny attraction for the Victorians; for the nineteenth century English who seemed superficially to be most complacent about their commerce and their common sense.... [Francis] was the only midieval Catholic who really became popular in England on his own merits. It was largely because of a subconscious feeling that the modern world had neglected those particular merits. The English middle classes found their only missionary in the figure, which of all types in the world they most despised; an Italian beggar.(4)


If indeed an age is converted by the saint who contradicts it most, then perhaps to call More a man out of season is not appropos: for given the superstitions we substitute for God in our day and age, a man willing to go to the block for a legal quibble may be its most inspiring contradiction. Perhaps this is what will make him a man for our season in the end after all.

1 Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons, Vintage Int'l Publishers, 1960, p. 140.

2 A Man for All Seasons at 132

3 A Man for All Seasons at 123-124.

4 G.K Chesterton, Saint Thomas Aquinas, "The Dumb Ox", Doubleday, 1933, at 24.
==========
This essay first appeared in EUTOPIA: A LAY JOURNAL OF CATHOLIC THOUGHT, in the Fall of 1997.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Come Back Jonee



47 49(!) years today.

John F. Kennedy.... you are missed.

Monday, November 19, 2012

In Honor of A Soldier Girl



This beautiful woman is my honorary niece, and first cousin (once removed), Maire C. Kent. She is 23 years old and as of now she lies in a cancer ward at the University of Michigan Hospital system. She is suffering from an incredibly rare form of cancer and has started chemotherapy.

I first encountered this wonderful young woman through this blog: her sister Nora discovered a post I made concerning my grandfather (and their great-grandfather) A. Leo Kent. I met her and her siblings at her wedding last year.

This vivacious and irrepressible young woman now faces the challenge of a lifetime. I just wanted to raise a glass to her, and all her family, as we pull together through the struggle that faces her.

I salute you, Soldier Girl.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

More Ads You'll Never See Again








Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ads You'll Never See Again

I think the phrase that applies here is "cringeworthy."

These were taken from one of those endlessly forwarded Emails. Enjoy.









More tomorrow. RLK.

Telecommunications in the 1990s... as seen in '68



"A keyboard! How quaint!" - Montgomery Scott

Friday, November 16, 2012

RIP Twinkies.... and Sonny Eliot

Today we mourn the passing of Detroit TV legend Sonny Eliot--whose bad jokes, worse puns, and fairly accurate weather broadcasting made him a Detroit institution since the 1950s. He was 91.

We also mourn the passing of the Twinkie, the Ho-Ho, Dolly Madison Cakes, and the Ding Dong.... Hostess Bakeries died today at the hands of its own unions, which just couldn't come to terms with the fact that making Twinkies just ain't as profitable as they used to be.

It's a beautiful world we live in. A sweet romantic place......

Thursday, November 15, 2012

wwjd?



Monday, November 12, 2012

WOO HOO: 100,000 VIEWS!!!!

In only 3.75 years.....




Next stop, 1,000,000 hits.........

(I do have the comfort of knowing I now have as many hits as Justin Bieber does on Youtube... in the last 15 minutes....)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

MAJOR MALFUNCTION: The Technical Reason Why The Challenger Romney Exploded On Launch

















THIS LINK BELOW NEEDS TO BE READ. REPEATEDLY.

THINK ABOUT THIS.

http://blogs.computerworld.com/governmentindustries/21310/inside-look-behind-romneys-loss-epic-failure-its-orca-big-data-app

Short version:

- In a close election Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) efforts on Election Day are crucial. Democrats have always understood this. 

- The Republican "Ground Game" was talked up through this election--but there was no ground game at all.

WHY?

- The Romnoids put all of their Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) efforts into a single high tech basket called "ORCA", operated out of Boston.

- It was supposed to feed GOTV information to local activists nationwide.

- They put all their eggs in this basket so that local GOTV efforts were suppressed in favor of this Cool New Thing.

- It did not work. At all. Critical failure. Major malfunction. It repeatedly crashed, was poorly accessable when it was running, and activists on the ground had NO INFO on whose door to knock on.

- It was kept a big secret through the campaign and rolled out at 6:00 AM of voting day. Thus the intended users could not even have gotten training on how it was used.

- It had never been beta tested, and had no redundancy.

- Intended users were told it was an "app" (= Iphone) when it was a "web app" (= Windows computer) program. Therefore they thought they needed to download it on their iPhones--and there was NO PROVISION for iPhone compatability.

- This is not mentioned in the story, but: who programmed the damned thing? If there was some hactivist or Occupier or "Anonymous" dude on the staff? FORENSICS. NOW.

What does this MEAN?

- This means that the 'missing white Republican vote' was missing for a simple reason: NO GOTV. It crashed at the critical moment.

- We could have gotten an EV victory with 400,000 more votes in crucial states. They weren't there. They weren't there because our voters didn't show up.

- They didn't show up because we didn't ask them to show up.

- This means that the fault of the critical launch failure of the Challenger is Romney himself for having bought into it, as well as those underlings who were supposed to make it happen. But primarily Romney's.

- This means that talk about the death of the Republican Party or of the Tea Party movement is extremely premature.

- This means too, that, in the immortal words of Senator Blutarski, "Nothing is over until WE decide it is!"

But I am afraid of one thing: it also means that if the system was hacked instead of hozed from the get-go, it is the beginning of a new and hideous phase of American politics.

More tomorrow.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Just Because I Like This




One of those Chinese animation videos, but way cool.

Tattered Remnants #22: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Time to rerun this to remind ourselves that nothing that is done alone in near despair, yet is against the darkness, is lost.


LEAP YEARS: ALEKSANDER SOLZHENITSYN

"If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being?"

The name Solzhenitsyn is known to every adult American over the age of 35. But times are changing; already, he is fading into history and into disregard as the train of history moves forward. Although he is today still among the most famous of men, he was, at his finest, an unknown, a single minded enemy of one of the 20th Century's Great Tyrannies, the smallest of Davids against the greatest of Goliaths. As such, he was without doubt one of the Tattered Remnant.


* * * * *

In the year of 1961, in a tiny town called Ryazan south of Moscow, a high school teacher sat, late at night, before his typewriter, composing a short story. It was written in single space, on both sides of the paper (to save on the paper itself, which was hard to find at the time).

The story he wrote was a hidden artwork, created in darkness in a corner of his small apartment; he had never shown this, or any other work, to anybody else, as he was convinced that his works would never be published in his lifetime. This was, after all, only eight years after the death of Josef Djughashvili, known as Stalin; and the gang of terrorists who had assisted him in blighting the evil empire called the Soviet Union still ruled the country with a bitter, iron hand. The cold body of Stalin himself still lay in state next to Lenin's in the latter's Tomb.

He sat in his room writing a story that would change the world, retelling his experience of eight years in Siberia, where he had worked as a slave for the Soviet state, under sentence for "disloyalty" and "founding a hostile organization." His crime had been one of calling the leader of his nation "The Whiskered Guy" and "The Boss" in a private letter to a friend.

The final paragraph he composed slowly, carefully, savoring every single word:

The end of an unclouded day. Almost a happy one. Just one of the 3,653 days of his sentence, from bell to bell.

The extra three days were for leap years.


It took time, but within thirty years the writing of this short story would come to be seen as the first and single most significant event leading to the destruction of his nation's dictatorship.

His name was Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn. And in typing his story he changed his universe, and ours.

Solzhenitsyn was at that time a 42-year-old survivor of the Soviet labor camps, a former "Zek", or zakliuchonniy, a prisoner. He had been arrested while serving in the Soviet Army in Poland as the Red Army approached Berlin. His letters to his friend having been intercepted, he was shipped by a special train to Moscow proper, where he was imprisoned in the famous Lyublyanka prison. He was severely beaten and, after a drum-head trial before three State Security officers, he was sentenced to eight years in the Soviet labor system. He was shipped to the east, to Siberia, where, in a series of camps, he labored as a bricklayer for the heroic Soviet people.

Solzhenitsyn had been an unquestioning Communist until his arrest. But as he spent eight years in backbreaking labor, his former appreciation for the Soviet way of life gave way to a realization that he lived in the heart of darkness, which called itself a light to the workers of the world but which was, in fact, a vile political monstrosity that ate human flesh.

(Let it not be forgotten that the Soviet empire, in its 70 years, consumed at least 40 million lives on its own initiative and lost another 20 to the invasion of Hitler.)

At the conclusion of his eight year sentence, he was freed from the camps, but sentenced thereupon to lifetime exile in the East. He was only allowed out of his imprisonment long enough to travel to the city of Tashkent, to receive treatment for stomach cancer.

After Stalin died, he was again allowed to leave the far East and he returned to central Russia, where he settled in Ryazan. His wife, who had divorced him during his imprisonment, remarried him and they settled down to a quiet life.

But he wrote on, regardless, knowing that he had no future: his works would never be published; indeed, if they were discovered, he would likely be arrested again and returned to the cold hell of the far East.

He chose, however, to take a chance. He sent a manuscript copy of his short story – Yedin Den' Ivana Denisovitcha, or One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch – to an old friend of his, Aleksander Tvardovskiy, editor of the magazine Novy Mir ("New World"). The excellence of the work was recognized immediately; some of those reviewing the short story comparing it to Dostoyevski.

But old habits die hard, particularly in socialist dictatorships. The publication of such a (counter-) revolutionary work would require approval at the highest level. It finally came from the unlikeliest of sources: Nikita Khrushchev himself, who, telling the Politburo of his decision to approve the release of the story, made what is possibly the most remarkable admission of any public official in Soviet history:

There is a Stalinist in each of you; there is even a Stalinist in me. We must root out this evil.

But this was but a false spring of freedom in Russia. Although the nation was swept by this daring new writer who actually was allowed to attack the (former) leadership of the Soviet Union, the brief era of tolerance for dissent soon ended when Khrushchev was overthrown and replaced by the Brezhnev clique of reactionaries. And Solzhenitsyn, the golden boy of the Khrushchev era, found himself almost an unperson.

In this period, his next novel, Cancer Ward, was published, but the following book, The First Circle, was blockaded. In the years that followed, while the children of the "Free Speech" protesters in Berkeley decried American "censorship" and Woodstock became the symbol of freedom, Solzhenitsyn's home was raided by KGB agents and a copy of his most important work, Arkhipelag GULag, or The Gulag Archipelago, was seized. In 1969 he was expelled from the Union of Writers: membership in which was a sine qua non to being a published novelist in the U.S.S.R.

While the police had seized the manuscript, however, copies had been carefully stored in the homes of friends, and were smuggled out of the Soviet Union to the West. An American at the Embassy, military attache' William Odom -- later head of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan -- got the manuscript to publishers in Paris.

As time passed, his importance as a writer and as a solitary opponent of the Soviet system became more apparent, even to his enemies. The Soviets could not afford to kill him, and they were unable to effectively silence him. His growing reputation became a rebuke to everything the Soviet system stood for. He was given the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970 – this, back in the days when Nobel Prizes were still meaningful – and he came to stand for all those silent men of good will inside the Soviet Union who quietly opposed the stone face of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Since he could not be silenced, and since he could not be safely killed, they expelled him.

One day, in 1974, he was again arrested in his home. At this time, he was informed by the KGB officers arresting him that the decision had been taken by the Politburo to strip him of his citizenship and expel him from Russia. He was forcibly placed on an Aeroflot plane to Germany, and he was unceremoniously dumped onto the tarmac.

In the days that followed, he was allowed to migrate to the United States, where he took up residence. His second wife, Natalya – he had divorced his first wife in 1971 – was allowed to join him, along with their three young sons.

He took up residence in Cavindish, Vermont, a small, woodsy town in the Northeastern United States, which resembled in many ways his old home in central Russia. He chose well, for his Vermont neighbors had almost as insular views of privacy as he did. He stayed there, protected by his neighbors' willing shielding of the family from the curious, and quite pointedly rarely left his estate. Although his wife and children all obtained American citizenship, he chose to remain officially stateless.

Never learning to speak English fluently – although of course he read it well enough – he spent his seventeen years in exile concentrating on finishing his Red Wheel cycle of four novels on the Russian Revolution. During his stay in Cavindish, he made one public appearance–a speech at Harvard University's Commencement ceremonies in 1977, where he denounced American culture, materialism, and "bad music" to an audience that found his words, to quote the New York Times, "bewildering." It almost seemed like he was biting the hand that fed him – except that this particular "hand" was made up of a lot of people who believed that the USSR was, to put it kindly, unobjectionable.

Your Author recalls seeing him in one of his very rare appearances on American television in 1984, giving an interview where he advocated that the USSR should be broken into its component parts, and the other nations forming it allowed to be free and independent states. Although he foresaw some internal border changes that never took place – he thought, for instance, that majority Russian-speaking regions in Ukraine and Kazakhstan should become Russian territory – his foresight in predicting the shattering of the USSR which came only seven years later was, in retrospect, truly astonishing. (Were that our CIA had had such vision!)

I can remember my father shaking his head after the interview ended. "The man's a dreamer," he said. But, as it turned out, he was (pace John Lennon) not the only one.

Time passed and the ice dam that he had first pierced shattered into a million pieces in his absence. To those of us who lived through those heady years, the events that moved so swiftly still seem miraculous – the "Easter Sunday party" that broke the fence between Austria and Hungary in 1988 to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the return of Solidarity, the death of the Warsaw Pact, the execution of Romania's Nicolae Ceausescu on Christmas Day 1989, the independence of Lithuania, the August coup of 1990, Boris Yeltsin standing on the tank, and, most gloriously, the fall of the Soviet flag from the Kremlin on Christmas Day 1991 and its irrevocable consignment to the ash heap of history.

But Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was forced to observe all this from exile.

In 1995, he finally came back to Russia, landing in Magadan, a city in the Far East near Vladivostok. His first act on emerging from the plane was to kiss the ground in remembrance of his fellow Zeks who had died as Stalin's slaves tearing this city out of the Siberian waste. He then took a train with his wife across Siberia, soaking in the "new Russia."

He was, as one might expect, dismayed. The collapse of the Soviet Union had left the nation impoverished, and yet the Russian people who had suffered so long did not seem to have emerged from their decades of horror morally improved. He saw Russian Mafia influence everywhere, Soviet Communistic influence still abounding, Western materialism,  gross sexual immorality, drugs, and mindless pursuit of pleasure, and he was shocked and appalled at what he saw.

He settled in Moscow and became what we might call a "pundit." He had, for a time, his own TV show, two fifteen-minute spots a week where he would interview leading politicians and thinkers of the day. But his bitter and hectoring style attracted few viewers and the show was cancelled after a few months.

He was, in the end of his life, viewed (fairly or not) as a has-been and an eccentric, a supporter of Tsarism and an opponent of democracy. He also held many views that today are held to be unacceptable, including a bitter attitude toward the Jewish people that approached anti-Semitism, although to his credit he recognized it in himself, admitted to it, and battled it. It should be remembered that it was he that observed that "the line between good and evil lies not between 'us' and 'them' but down the middle of every human heart." And none knew that line better than he himself. We all must struggle with evil; some of us have the misfortune of doing so publicly.

Yes, at the end of his life, he was in many ways a crank. But his legacy is clear.

Today, his master work, The Gulag Archepelago, composed in fear of the KGB, is now required reading in every high school in Russia.

ADDENDUM - MADELYN MURRAY O'HAIR

I will not recount her life story here. While she had the makings of a member of the Remnant – she was, indeed, courageous, in a twisted way – she chose to stand up and be counted for the other side.

In the spring of 1985, I was in my final semester as an undergraduate at Michigan State University. A major public speaking event was scheduled one evening at the main theater, where the celebrated Madelyn Murray O'Hair was to come to give a speech.

O'Hair of course was and is famous as the individual who was responsible for forcing public schools to stop allowing prayer or the reading of the Bible as part of educational curricula. She gloried in her title as "the most hated woman in America," and taunted those Christians who she claimed dreamed of her death.

I remember going to see her at MSU on that occasion. As was common at such events, microphones were set up around the amphitheater so that, following her speech, the audience could comment and ask her questions.

I do not remember much about the speech, except that it was standard atheist boilerplate: Christians are idiots, atheists are the smart ones; believers are idiots, scientific materialists are the smart ones; those who imagine that the world was created are idiots... yadda yadda.

I patiently stood in line and was standing before the microphone when someone asked Mrs. O'Hair about freedom of worship in the Soviet Union.

"I've traveled several times in the Soviet Union," she bragged. "In every city there are still churches. They're open. Nobody is in them because nobody believes there any more. But there is no persecution of religious believers in the U.S.S.R."

I spoke up into the microphone at that instant.

"I don't believe Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would agree with your last statement."

"Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn," she said, voice dripping contempt, "is a fascist."

At that the room erupted in applause. I had not realized, until that moment, how alone I truly was in that building – or that almost everybody else there seemed to be enthusiastically buying the bovine scatology that she was selling.

I will not recount what ultimately became of her: an atrocity so horrible that I would not wish it happening to Charles Manson.

I'll simply observe the difference between their respective legacies: Solzhenitsyn's being a book that every school child in his nation must now read; O'Hair's, a Book that no school in her nation is allowed to teach.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sums Up How I Feel Today

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I guess he wins it....

Well, congratulations to Mr. Obama. I think. (Assuming that Ohio remains Obama territory, and Florida and Virginia don't flip... which is not 100% certain at t his instant (12:25 AM EST)).

But he didn't win everything.

We still control the House.

We still can veto anything absurd in the Senate.

At this point he remains behind in the popular vote*.

And we still retain the ability to impeach.

We're watching you, Mr. President.

And the ghosts of Christopher Stevens and the other heroes of Bengazi demand justice.

________________________________________

*This is where we GOPers suck it up for what happened in Y2K.....

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NUFF SAID.


Monday, November 5, 2012

..... When Tomorrow Comes

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Man Who Saved The World



Came across the following from a post on Facebook, from one Mike Blackstock (whom I do not know):

50 years ago today [October 26, 1962], at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, second-in-command Vasilli Arkhipov of the Soviet submarine B-59 refused to agree with his Captain's order to launch nuclear torpedoes against US warships and setting off what might well have been a terminal superpower nuclear war. 

The US had been dropping depth charges near the submarine in an attempt to force it to surface, unaware it was carrying nuclear arms. The Soviet officers, who had lost radio contact with Moscow, concluded that World War 3 had begun, and 2 of the officers agreed to 'blast the warships out of the water'. Arkhipov refused to agree - unanimous consent of 3 officers was required - and thanks to him, we are here to talk about it.

His story is finally being told - the BBC is airing a documentary on it.

Raise a glass to Vasilli Arkhipov - the Man Who Saved the World.

So I checked Wikipedia.  It's apparently true.

On October 27, 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a group of eleven United States Navy destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS Randolph located the diesel-powered nuclear-armed Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine B-59 near Cuba. Despite being in international waters the Americans started dropping practice depth charges, explosives intended to force the submarine to come to the surface for identification. There had been no contact from Moscow for a number of days and, although the submarine's crew had earlier been picking up U.S. civilian radio broadcasts, once B-59 began attempting to hide from its U.S. Navy pursuers, it was too deep to monitor any radio traffic, so those on board did not know whether war had broken out.[5]. The captain of the submarine, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, believing that a war might already have started, wanted to launch a nuclear-tipped torpedo.[6]
Three officers on board the submarine – Savitsky, the political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, and the second-in-command Arkhipov – were authorized to launch the torpedo if agreeing unanimously in favor of doing so. An argument broke out among the three, in which only Arkhipov was against the launch.[7] 
Although Arkhipov was only second-in-command of submarine B-59, he was actually Commander of the flotilla of submarines including B-4, B-36, and B-130, and of equal rank to Captain Savitsky. According to author Edward Wilson, the reputation Arkhipov gained from his courageous conduct in the previous year's K19 incident also helped him prevail in the debate. [3] Arkhipov eventually persuaded Savitsky to surface the submarine and await orders from Moscow. This presumably averted the nuclear warfare which would have ensued had the torpedo been fired.[8] The submarine's batteries had run very low and the air-conditioning had failed, so it was forced to surface amidst its U.S. pursuers and head home.[9] Washington's message that practice depth charges were being used to signal the submarines to surface never reached B-59, and Moscow claims it has no record of receiving it either....
When discussing the Cuban missile crisis in 2002, Robert McNamara stated that we came "very close" to nuclear war, "closer than we knew at the time."[10]
Indeed. Salut!

ADDENDUM:

Reader Alex Pendjurin reminds me also of the story of Vasili Arkhipov, a nuclear launch monitor in the Soviet Union, who, in 1983, was "told" by the Soviet launch detection system that the Americans had released five missiles against the USSR. Having no confirmation of the launch he put the kibosh on further passage of the data up the chain of command. It is possible that he too likely stopped a nuclear war. His story is found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Vasili_Arkhipov .


Friday, November 2, 2012

EPIC Airline Instructions....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Smart Kid