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AmigaDragon
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 3:45 am    Post subject: Aslaug.eu blog comments Reply with quote

Ok, so my comments are over a week late. So sue me! Laughing
Bastion wrote:
It canít be a surprise to anyone frequenting this page that I am a dedicated football-fan.

It canít be a surprise to anyone that I am not talking about the utterly dreary game of Soccer, but that I am referring to American Football.
...

Oh, you mean that game where they stop the clock every few seconds? The one that ALWAYS runs over the allotted schedule time, thus delaying everything that follows?

As you might surmise from those comments, I'm not a football fan. For that matter, I'm not really a sports fan of any kind, though I'll occasionally watch the Olympics, a Globetrotters game or an auto race. You know, they make a channel specifically for sports. Wink

Am I making some kind of point here? Not really, I just felt like spewing a few letters from the alphabet. I even left out my usual "football players are wimps for taking so many time-outs and other clock stoppages" comment from the above paragraph. ...Oh wait, there it is, it slipped out right here. Laughing

Before starting this post, I had only read the first 3 paragraphs before starting this (primarily because it was sports related), but before finishing, I went back and at least quickly skimmed it. I'm glad missed all that drama this past season that you were complaining about. Maybe players would be more sportsman-like if they didn't make those multi-million dollar incomes, they've been spoiled like 3-year-old brats.
Well, look at that... I actually got around to making a point. Cool

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Aslaug
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't bastion writing those things. It was me, Amigadragon...

And it's fair enough not to be a sports-fan. I can't demand of everyone that they are, obviously Very Happy.

I am into American Football, but nothing else when it comes to sports, really. I like football because it's the ultimate team-sport. Because every player has to play 100 percent on every down, or the remaining 10 may as well not have bothered. Even if the ball is never near them, they have to play as if they expect it to be in a moment.

The timeouts are necessary. If one played as physically demanding a sport as they do, without those breaks, they'd be unable to play after 15-20 minutes.

But that's besides the point of the original post. The point was, as you figured out, that this was about sportsmanship and behaving like adults, instead of spoiled brats.

I don't mind that people in sports earn big salaries, really. They are entertainers, and we rarely complain that movie-stars get too much money. What I dislike is when people who earn that kind of money start thinking they are better than the people who put that money in their pocket in the first place.

When they think their sh*t smells better than everyone else's because they can do fantastic things on a playing field.

I also think that if you are a sports-personality, you are a rolemodel to a lot of young people out there, and as such you have a huge responsibility to be a GOOD rolemodel. Someone like Tom Brady is a piss-poor rolemodel when he walks off the field before the final whistle, instead of showing enough guts to congratulate his opponent.

I apologize for any hurt feelings out there, New England Fans, but that's the way I see it.

And besides, I'm Danish...we generally aways root for the underdogs...
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Frazikar
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:58 am    Post subject: Sports Earnings Reply with quote

Hmmm, too bad the various player's unions won't allow for restructuring the players saleries so that besides a base everything else is in the bonuses for acheiving the higher rackings in the various stats. If they really want to earn the big bucks, earn it on the field!
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The Silver Coyote
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<raspberries>

football...

Go Ducks!

SC

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Teric
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teric removes his hat and bows his head in reverence

Rest well, Gary Gygax... you brought many MANY long nights of fun role-playing to my world. Much of my own creativity and imagination find their roots in my early teenage years where I spent hours on end reading through the 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks.

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Nicolai Borovskaya
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, Aslaug. Well said, indeed.

Nicolai

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Karou WindStalker
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On Aslaug's latest post : it boggles the mind, the levels people will go to refuse to take the responsibility for actions they or their countries have made.

This is the same sort of mentality that leads some folks to refuse to believe that the Concentration Camps were real, and state, bald faced, that the Holocaust never really happened.

Personally, and this may get me flamed, but my opinion is that if you cannot come to grips with the fact that atrocities have been done, get your head out of your rectum and look at the world we live in today .. where atrocities still get performed, some on a daily basis. If you have to revise history to make someone you like look better, perhaps it's time you take a better look at why you chose that person as your hero. Every hero out there has flaws, and revising history will not remove those flaws, it'll only make those of us who accept those flaws look upon you as a lunatic who should never pass your genetic heritage on.

If you believe your hero is without flaws, then I hope you enjoy living on your flat earth, hopefully someday you'll come back to this oblate spheroid we call 'reality.'

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anthony
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They glorified the 'Okha' rocketplane?

Yeah...
Incidentally, the system had a big disaster; the twi-egine bomber used to carry it within striking distance. It was never very fast to begin with, and having to carry the heavy rocketplane under the belly slowed it down further. That made them easy to pick off by fighters as soon as the allied became aware of what was happening.
The Japanese got the idea for the plane from the Germans and their V1.
(The germans gave them drawings, parts, prototyes, and materials. Among them mercury, used in detonators, which Japan had a lack of. A lot of the mercury is still in sunken subs along the Norwegian castline where they tried to seek shelter after leaving German ports and before attempting the channel run)


The Japanese also had small motor-launches filled with explosives, and used similarly as the kamicaze fighters.(It was theoretically possible for the navigator to jump off before impact, but no one did. Not that it was used that often)

Ever heard of the japanese paper balloons?
They knew about the high altitude 'jet winds' and decided to use them offensively. They made large balloons(somewhere between 1 and 2meter diameter) of paper, mounted a small fuel tank and burner under, a timer and a bomb.
When they lit the burner the balloon rose up until it got caught by the strong winds and was carried towards USA. After a pre-set time it would release the bomb, hopefully above something of value...
(I don't think anyone was ever killed, but a few balloons were found tangled in treetops)
And no, they didn't launch one or two...

Pearl Harbour...
Yes, the Americans DID decode the messages, but it wasn't a sinister plan. Instead it was different branches of 'intelligence' and military which didn't talk to well with each other, and high-ranking officers who refused to believe the messages altogether. The usual incompetence, in other words.

As for the bombing of Dresden.
I still can't see the strategic or tactical reason for that.
(A lot of people consider it a 'revenge mission' )

There's a few 'neo nazis' here in Norway, too. Unfortunately.
In fact, you'll find them more often in the European countries that was occupied by Germany during WWII.
For some reason they think that the Germans are generally misrepresented in the historybooks because very little of what they hear ever happened in their countries...
(As if. Germans had strict rules of conduct in 'arian' countries. Here in Norway it has been documented that they were encouraged to seduce as many women as possible, and hopefully have children with them. )

Another thing that's worrying is the deliberate mangling of history done by Hollywood...
Remember U-571(I think that was the number) where the allies managed to capture an intact Enigma cipher machine and code books?
This was done by the English, but Hollywood decided that it would be better if it was done by Americans. 'so what?' a lot of people say...
Except that many believes that the film is 'documentary'...

Just as they mangled the story of Hitler was denied his atomic bomb when saboteurs blew up the heavy water plant here in Norway.
I guess they couldn't have a Kirk Douglas movie without gunfights.
In reality, they didn't fire a single shot.
(If you want to see what happened, watch the French/Norwegian film 'Heroes of Telemark'. It's so authentic that several of the saboteurs played their own roles. )
The saboteurs made very certain that they didn't have to fire their weapons so that they would avoid reprisals from the Germans.

The germans built or improved a lot of roads here in Norway. A lot of that work was done by Russian slave labour.
(I don't know if that happened in Denmark, too, but I'd be surprised if not.)

Ever seen the movie 'The Great Escape' where Allied POWs(flight-crews) break out of a POW-camp in Germany, en masse, and when they are recaptured, a lot of them are shot by the SS?
That really happened.

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Aslaug
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I studied in Oslo, I actually took the time to go and visit the large cemetary near Majorstua. I was highly surprised to see how many Chechs and Russians were buried there. I spent several hours walking amongst the war-memorials there, taking note of how many people from each country were interred there, and how many different countries were represented. I may have been born thirty years after the war ended, but that does not mean I don't owe these men a serious debt of gratitude, after all.

Denmark, however, did not have the same situation with Russian POWs as Norway did. The road-system in Denmark was already one of Europe's best by the time the war broke out.

Speaking of Dresden, Antony...I can tell you why it was done.

It was done because Dresden was directly...squarely in the path of the advancing Red Army. Stalin was bitching (as usual, one might add) that the western allies left all the fighting and dying to the Russians, and that they really were only allies by name, rather than by deed.

Considering the sheer amount of war-essential materials sent via the convoys to Murmansk, such a declaration was, at best, unfair. But fairness never seemed to concern Stalin, after all. However, there were already serious issues with keeping the alliance together, and it was deemed critically important to make a show of support for the Red Army.

Why?

Because some people were starting to worry...and not without reason...that Stalin might not live up to what he'd agreed to, pertaining to the partitioning of Europe after the war had been won. Dresden was bombed between the 13th and the 15th of February, 1945. That's only two days after the Yalta-conference had ended, where the post-war map of Europe had been agreed upon. It was critical to the western allies to show Stalin that they were, in fact, supporting his troops in concrete ways.

The bombing was -awful-. There's no question that it was a tragedy of immense proportions, and that thousands upon thousands of non-combatants were killed. This, however, happened to a large extent because the population of Dresden had swollen due to a massive influx of civilian refugees from the east. Germans from the old Prussian areas had fled to Dresden, and the city was so bloated that any kind of bombing would inflict disproportionate casualties.

HOWEVER...

Allow me to ask you to consider what would have happened if the Red Army under Konyev or Zhukov had arrived to find the city full of refugees and soldiers? Do you seriously believe the casualties would have been any less? They would have had to take the city in a set-piece battle, with the civilians caught in the middle.

I'll be honest and repeat that I think Dresden was a tragedy, but there were clear military and particularly -political- reasons for doing what was done. That does not make the suffering any less, though. All I'm saying is that one has to look at the bombing in the -full- context. We think of Dresden as a horrible scenario because so many civilians were caught in the city and killed in the firestorm. But why had the situation arisen in the first place?

England had TRIED to abstain from bombing civilian targets. The first years of the war had seen a policy in England of bombing -only- military installations. At that point in time, the Royal Air Force was even banned from bombing production facilities that produced essential war-goods. That was prior to the battle of Britain, and prior to the terrorbombings of London, Coventry, Birmingham, Hull, Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester and many other major English cities.

Arthur Harris, the man in charge of Bomber Command, put it succinctly when he said that

'The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everybody else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, Warzaw, London and half a hundred other places, they put this rather naŪve theory into operation. They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.'

It's one of the most famous quotes from a man who produced many memorable ones.

After the Blitz, there was no doubt that England had to retaliate against German munitions-factories and against German cities as well. Arthur Harris actually believed he could end the war by bombing alone, and while this wasn't to be, one example shows that he may have been right in his assumption. After the first 1000-bomber raid, which should have gone to Cologne, but ended up going to Hamburg due to poor visibility over the primary target, the destruction was so massive that Albert Speer, German munitions-minister stated that six more raids like that would have ended the war.

Unfortunately, Harris didn't have the resources to pull six more raids like that off within the foreseeable future.

I think it is important, in relation to Dresden, to remember that while it was horrible...the entire war was fought with such a degree of savagery at that point, that frankly, Dresden pales. Even if one looks at the highest estimates of deaths, 40.000 people died during the attack, mostly as a result of the firestorm. However, those people who claim that the city had no military importance forget a couple of very simple facts.

It was the largest city left in Germany still untouched by bombing. This meant that 127 medium or large factories producing war-materials from tanks to bullets to poison gas (which admittedly did not see use in combat, only in KZ-camps but that's more than enough reason to bomb the snot out of that factory) were still going at full speed. The road network was of critical importance to the German defense against the Russians, since pretty much all German troop movements to the southern part of the front had to go through Dresden. And if that wasn't enough...tens of thousands of soldiers...entire intact army formations, were defending the city. There is no chance whatsoever that they would've just scarpered and left the city to the Red Army, and the ensueing fighting would've placed the civilians and the refugees in the middle of it all. The refugees in that city were doomed no matter -how- one goes about it.

I lament the loss of life, but I can see why the allies chose to bomb the place...and to be honest I think the main reason why it's been used so consistently after the war, as an example of how the western allies went overboard in their bombing offensive, is because we -want- to feel that even in a war as savage as the Second World War, there has to be some measure of protection for civilians.

It is a myth. It is sad, but that's how it is. War is Hell, to misquote William T. Sherman. However tragic the situation was for the civilians caught in the middle of it, Dresden -was- of strategic importance.

It had to go.
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AmigaDragon
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I was watching a YouTube vid, and I came across the story of the Ohka.

I took a look at Wikipedia's page on the bomb/plane and noticed that one of the pictures appears to have a non-japanese crawling under it, captioned "mounting the bomb", though clicking on the picture (enlarging) the caption then says "An Ohka Model 11 being disarmed", that made me feel quite a bit better about what I was seeing (apparent American working on it).

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Tigermark
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anthony, the "paper balloon idea was taken quite a bit further than just one balloon dropping one bomb. The Japanese actually deployed a much larger system, and launched quite a few. each balloon could carry several 500lb. bombs, and did in fact drop them on teh US, hitting anywhere from the west coast all the way into Canada. Most hit nothing but unpopulated land, but did start several forest fires. Only one was ever confirmed to have ever caused any casualties, but that was one that struck a family out for a picnic, killing all four.

In wartime, especially in WW II, many strange and seemingly impractical ideas were floated and even tried, on all sides, to disrupt and cause damage to the enemy. The balloon bombs actually worked, technically, as advertised. but the wartime censorship of the press kept any and all news of them out of the public eye.

Also in wartime, atrocities happen on both sides. It is a savage and ugly business. Any attempt to say otherwise is to diminish its deterrent effect on anyone who contemplates it. There is no such thing as a good or clean war. There might be such a thing as a just war, but it will not be neat, clean, or pretty.

Also, from my point of view, the term Holy War should be banned from any language. It it not something Holy, as in set apart for God, but usually something very unholy, as in men hiding behind religion to cover either their own greed or their own shortcomings.

Okay, rant off. Sorry Filly.

TM

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Nicolai Borovskaya
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great blog yesterday!

I'm glad you encoutered your old friend, sounds like it was good for both of you.

Memories like those should be taken out and looked at periodically to keep them from becoming dusty, or even forgotten. I try to do that, myself.

And, yet again (and a day late) Happy Birthday, Filly. Very Happy Cool Applause Dancing

Are we ever going to hear about your new job? Judging from this blog, it's going well. I'm just a curious fur, I suppose.

Nicolai

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Teric
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy Birthday, Aslaug!
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Kaeto
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anthony wrote:


Another thing that's worrying is the deliberate mangling of history done by Hollywood...
Remember U-571(I think that was the number) where the allies managed to capture an intact Enigma cipher machine and code books?
This was done by the English, but Hollywood decided that it would be better if it was done by Americans. 'so what?' a lot of people say...
Except that many believes that the film is 'documentary'...



Actually the Americans did capture a German sub and got all the code books intact. Try looking up U-505. The sub is on display intact at the Museum of Science and Industry in the city of Chicago Illinois in the U.S. I've walked through it twice and have met the Officer who was in charge of the task force that captured it.

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Aslaug
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is correct Kaeto...but the HMS Bulldog beat the Americans to it. And the Poles had built a replica of the enigma-machine before the war even started, and they had given it over to the British when their country was about to fall. The problem was that while they had the machine, they didn't have the code-books and they couldn't get the spools to work without having an idea whether the order was FKDGHT etc. or DNWSOP etc.

As it turned out, the Germans had been highly unimaginative and simply kept the spools going ABCDEFGH etc.

The problem with U-571 is that it is presented as if the capture of the Enigma machine was an American accomplishment. It wasn't. It was done first by the Poles...and then by the British...and THEN by the Americans.
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