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25 June 2013


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Bill H

It was my experience in the Navy that officers, for the most part, met that standard pretty well. I grew up in the Air Force and I would say the Air Force officers met it quite well also. That was half a century ago, so take that for what it's worth.

William R. Cumming

Hear! Hear! TTG! A worthy request since I view this blog as devoted to reason as opposed to emotion!

Ad Hominem atttacks must be avoided!


Colonel Lang,

I recall the Qualifications of a Naval Officer being read to me the day I took the oath as Midshipman USNR [that was 52 years ago].

USMC 65-72
FBI 72-96

steve g


Agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments
you covered. I spend a great of time
perusing various sites and read many of the
comments sections. Some of the crude
comments remind me of junior high, middle
school?, or sophmoric coarseness. The last
bastion of the uninformed or ignorant is
blatant hostility and tangential diversions,


Strewth. In the old days BBC newsreaders used to have to wear Bow tie and tails to read the news on radio. Sorry, wireless. Does this mean we should be attired in full evening dress and wear kid gloves before we can post on this site?

I must confess to having just climbed half way up a mountain to inspect military installations - the Iron Age force of Caracatus, the last British war leader to stand out against the Romans. I am sweating profusely. Is sweating permitted on SST.?


A good standard to live by at all times.

John Minnerath

Only if you have problems with your knuckles dragging as you climb the mountain.


Well, said, TTG, we should aspire to such a standard even when we cannot meet it, like driving in this #$%@@^& Washington traffic, for instance.

Thanks for the reminder.

David Habakkuk


ah yes. The old days at the BBC. My wife started out her career as a secretary in BBC drama, in the late Sixties. She vividly remembers how the then Managing Director of BBC Television, Huw Wheldon, would come down into the bar, in particular at Christmas. People he knew, he would call by their Christian names. To everyone – including secretaries, though it might have helped if they were good looking – he would be courteous and friendly.

It is worth bringing into the picture the fact that Wheldon was not an English public schoolboy, but a product of one of the oldest grammar schools in Wales: Friars School Bangor, established in 1557, the year before the accession of Elizabeth 1. He was however a former officer, having enlisted in 1939 and been awarded the Military Cross for an act of bravery committed on D-day + 1. He had transferred from the Royal Welch Fusiliers to the Royal Ulster Fusiliers, in order to join the airborne forces.

As to the modern BBC, I have no direct contact, but my wife and I have quite a substantial number of friends who have. And I can assure you that the comfortable ‘democratic’ manner which it projects to the outside world hides an organisation where people are obsessively concerned with their status, and also obsessively watch their backs, out of a quite justified fear that someone may be intending to stick a knife into them. It is also a world where very many people talk a kind of ideological ‘volapuk’. And because nobody has any security of employment, almost nobody is going to take the risk of telling their superiors the truth.

As in so many areas of British – and I suspect, American – life, the pretence is to have made away with hierarchy. In practice, however, new forms of hierarchy replace the old. And the new forms of hierarchy are not necessarily preferable to the old.


Thank you. I suspect that many of us come to SST precisely because we are not in agreement on issues. There are plenty of places on the Internet where you can get your ideas loudly ridiculed. To find mine intelligently and sometimes convincingly challenged is, to me anyway, the central pleasure of this site.


Colonel Lang runs a very tight ship.

We are coming up on the twenty-third anniversary of the start of the Gulf War and the beginning of America’s never ending Middle East War. I am shocked the discussion of Israel’s involvement and America’s arming of Jihadist who the Marines have fought from Fallujah to Kandahar hasn’t erupted into a shouting match.

What is tragic is that our discussions seem to have no effect on policy. On my hopeful days I think the powers to be are listening in but don’t have guts to get the Colonel pissed off by shutting us up.


Sorry for the crabbiness. I recently quit smoking, but unfortunately none of you are reaping the atmospheric benefits.

Medicine Man

Duly noted, TTG. I always try to remain civil here and I hope someone will tap me on the elbow if I stray too far from that.


DH: "volapuk"?


There's a time for Marquis of Queensbury rules and there's a time for the eye gouge and the cheap shot.

TTG, I'd like to think we're all grown enough here to know when which is appropriate.


Entirely agree about modern BBC, David.

Have worked as a freelance for the Beeb for forty years and the difference is shameful.

40 years ago the place was run by Second World War ex army officers whose attitude, if you brought them an idea which they liked, was "Let's do it", and if we can cause a bit of controversy on the way, even better. Now it's run by overpaid cowards and duplicitous idea stealers. They are scared stiff of any controversy because it might interfere with their gigantic pensions.


There is a time and place for both, but I think most of the time the place is elsewhere.


Like I said, I assume we're all adult enough to know when to use what. I wouldn't go after a regular for disagreeing with me peaceably. The lefty sophists who wander through need the hammer and tongs treatment when they pipe up about how great our Chocolate Messiah is and how evil the South is.

I think the Colonel does a great job of moderating the dicussions here and keeping the discourse at the tempo he wants it. I think there's a happy medium between a roughneck dive and the Russian Orthodox Tea Room as far decorum goes.


I would expect that he's referring to this:


It's an artificial language created in 1880 by a German. Think of it as a precursor to Esperanto.

Alba Etie

The year we quit together- my wife put the daily cash saved in a five gallon mustard jar - and we spent that money on a very nice week in Cozumel , scuba diving & big game fishing . God speed with your recovery Kieran , - nicotine is a horribly addictive drug.
As for as the 'code of conduct 'herein at SST , I would say on the whole we do have lively but polite conversations . And when we don't we do make amends right Jonst ?

Alba Etie

Respectfully I grew up in the South , and I do support quite a bit of what President Obama is doing , particularly regarding matter such as not defending DOMA. We are long time friends with two same sex couples that are very committed to their respective monogamus relationships . Both couples IMO deserve the same rights that me and my wife enjoy. Furthermore I find your use of Chocolate Messiah offensive in several ways.
But you and me are in locked step when it comes to no boots on the ground in Syria .
Peaceable is preferable over Hammer & Tongs.


Tyler, the colonel is a Gentlemen.

Those liberals - they will be out in force the first time there is a post about the Supreme Court overturning the Civil Rights Act of 1965. Don't let them bait you into verbose hammer and tongs treatment since that's all they are trying to do; they certainly don't want a conversation - especially on their own academic blogs (I've tried, the comments get deleted if they do not support the political correct expectations of the hosts.)



Is it ok to use enhanced interrogation techniques against righty sophists that sing the love song of all things Bush/Cheney? I think TTG is right that rules of civil discourse should apply to everyone. My problem is I like to break the rules.


It's cute you think there's a difference between the neoliberals of the last administration and the neoliberals of this administration.

In other words: Waterboarding for all of them.


I don't know Fred - I think they're good at giving but when you throw their words back down their throat they clutch their pearls and find a place to faint.

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