June 4, 2007
I have to admit my study and application of Zen is laughably half-assed; maybe more like quarter-assed, given that I haven't even set myself to any kind of zazen meditation practice. In fact, I'd like to write more about it but I'm having trouble getting my thoughts in order, which is probably rather un-Zen-like in itself.

Quote of the Moment
Not that we weren't awesome. We wrote the Constitution in the time it takes you nimrods to figure out which is the aye button and which is the nay. But we weren't gods. We were men. We had flaws. Adams was an unbearable prick and squealed girlishly whenever he saw a bug. And Ben Franklin? If crack existed in our day, that boozed-up snuff machine would weigh 80 pounds and live outside the Port Authority. And I had slaves! Damn, I can't believe I had slaves!
Thomas Jefferson, introduction to the Daily Show's "America (The Book)"
"America (The Book)" , a faux textbook that was really making the rounds a few years ago when I got it as a gift, but I'm only getting to it now...

Article of the Moment
More from the War Nerd; mostly about the Tamils and their relatively low-tech air raids, and how have such a larger impact than the hardware they're using should be able to. Being so low and slow they're hard to hunt down, the enemy AA probably does more damage to the city its meant to protect than the bombs do, and the blackout is probably the most pointless aspect of it all. It reminds me a bit of a "War World" sci-fi story where the super future high tech air fighters had trouble coping with the rather retro-technology of the lost colony; specifically, the wood-and-canvas biplanes were invisible to the detection systems, and one biplane managed to take down a much superior craft by going kamikaze and getting swept into the air intake.

I like his take on the A-10 Warthog:
Take America's own A-10 Warthog. I remember back when it was in the procurement cycle, the USAF hated the A-10, bad-mouthed it every chance they got. One fighter jock said, "It's built to take a lot of hits and boy is it going to take a lot of hits." A lot of other pilots just said out loud, "It's ugly." The AF wanted to invest in another generation of flying Porsches, and the Army, naturally, tried to drag the money into up-armored choppers, resulting in the AH-64, the Y2K of attack aircraft - all hype, no kills. Little Orphan A-10, the Warthog nobody loved, ended up saving Christmas for everybody, becoming the best CAS aircraft in the world.
I think (not quite sure) that the Army is prohibited from flying its own fixed-wing attack aircraft, it being the Air Force's bailiwick, which is why they are stuck with helicopters.