did you pick up "bailiwick" from America: the Book?
--Nick B Mon Jun 4 10:11:25 2007
Nah, it's a word I've been digging for a while.
--Kirk Mon Jun 4 10:47:25 2007
Personally, I think there's room for Zen Buddhism to become a fascist cult, if you ask me. The fact that there's "correct" answers to koans make me think this way.
--The_Lex Mon Jun 4 14:34:43 2007
I don't think Zen does say that there are "correct" answers to koans; just some historical incidents that are part of the lore. Ideally, a Zen teacher would give a student a koan they hadn't heard before, and as they think about the question, they might be brought closer to some kind of enlightenment about the nature of Zen.
--Kirk Mon Jun 4 14:59:48 2007
I don't think everyone hated the A-10 as much as War Nerd says. Sure, it's unsexy, but a whole lot of that sort of thing is the usual rivalry between pilots-- I've heard enough chatter between "Fighter Jocks" and "Attack Pukes" in the Navy to recognize it as such.

The A-10 was designed to counter the massive Soviet tank buildup in Eastern Europe. There's a mountain gap by the town of Fulda in Germany, a border town in the division of East and West, and it was going to be absolutely overrun with tanks when the war began, and we had hundreds of A-10s to take them on, even though the calculation was that they'd suffer 75% losses in the first few hours.

Sure it's a great CAS aircraft, but that's mainly because it has a fuel-efficient loitering ability and a proper gun for the occasional ground attack. But it also means that our assymmetric answer to the Fulda Gap Scenario was turned into a delivery system for flares and smoke so the fast-movers could take out the tanks, AA, etc.

Anyone who knows aircraft and isn't biased by inter-service rivalry or married to a plane crew knows that A-10 was burn to kick-ass, take names, and take a malicious beating before it had to leave a fight.

Also, while the AF does like it's flying porsches, it also maintains a fleet of decidedly unsexy 70-year-old bombers that still manage to intimidate-- when they were used in Afghanistan, there was preliminary reports that they were dropping nukes because the sound of their bombs was so terrible.

And finally, I think the Army does have some fixed-wing gunships, in the form of the AC-130U "Spectre" and AC-130H "Spooky"-- both have the C-130 airframe but have side-firing guns in what's normally the cargo area. The pilot circles the target while banking and aims through the side window (I think he has a HUD there). 
--LAN3 Mon Jun 4 15:11:24 2007
Guess I'm not surprised to hear of some exaggeration from the War Nerd, though I think the core of what he says is on target. Thanks for the analysis!
--Kirk Mon Jun 4 15:45:35 2007
Yeah, ideally. . . ;b
--The_Lex Mon Jun 4 15:53:20 2007
A site you might like:

--Some Mac Guy Mon Jun 4 23:40:40 2007
I gave the article a closer read, and I can still say that the comparison to the Warthog is inapt. War Nerd nearly gets to the point that while fast-moving foreign jets have problems fighting slow-moving plane (the classic turn-and-burn plane vs. boom-and-zoom fast planes), a guided missile should solve a lot of their problems, working radar-served air-defense cannons (flak) more still, and one can train pilots to use guns on interceptors against low-flying slow-movers. The Tigers choice of airplane creates an inspired advantage, but a temporary one, if the Sri Lankans have their shit together. Guided AA missiles hitting the planes on their way out of the combat zone will give the Tigers a stumper as to what happened, at least until their intelligence (which is probably pretty good) tells them about the Sri Lankan missiles.

The Sri Lankans problem is that they're letting the Tigers set the tempo of battle. Bad move-- the army with superior resources needs to keep the pressure on in order that the inferior-resourced army can't keep up with the pace of expend-rearm-expend, etc. You need to put the other guy into a vicious circle. 
--LAN3 Tue Jun 5 18:07:51 2007
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