Tuesday, May 30, 2006
advanced book exchange
Monday, May 29, 2006
Friday, May 26, 2006
The one major criticism I have with this book is that in most of the other Osprey books I've looked at there has been a further reading section included. For some inexplicable reason in this book there isn't. That being said still an excellent acquisition for the collection.
war on terror
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I was surprised and delighted to see that Marine Corps Commandant General Michael W. Hagee released a very strongly worded memo today outlining what the Marines stand for. This was done as an attempt to bolster the Corps which has recently been shaken by allegations of the killing of civilians in Iraq. Some important extracts follow. The entire text can be read here “On Marine Virtue”.
To a Marine, honor is more than just honesty; it means having uncompromising personal integrity and being accountable for all actions. To most Marines, the most difficult part of courage is not the raw physical courage that we have seen so often on today’s battlefield. It is rather the moral courage to do the “right thing” in the face of danger or pressure from other Marines. Finally, commitment is that focus on caring for one another and upholding the great ideals of our Corps and Country.
We have all been educated in the Law of Armed Conflict. We continue to reinforce that training, even when deployed to combat zones. We do not employ force just for the sake of employing force. We use lethal force only when justified, proportional and, most importantly, lawful. We follow the laws and regulations, Geneva Convention and Rules of Engagement. This is the American way of war. We must regulate force and violence, we only damage property that must be damaged, and we protect the non-combatants we find on the battlefield.
When engaged in combat, particularly in the kind of counterinsurgency operations we’re involved in now, we have to be doubly on guard. Many of our Marines have been involved in life or death combat or have witnessed the loss of their fellow Marines, and the effects of these events can be numbing. There is the risk of becoming indifferent to the loss of a human life, as well as bringing dishonor upon ourselves. Leaders of all grades need to reinforce continually that Marines care for one another and do what is right.
Of course it will be all for not if there no changes to the actions of the Marines and if harsh punishment is not meet out to the guilty parties. It will be interesting to see.
War on Terror
Michael W. Hagee
Of particular interest is that the author obviously visited the battlefield and throughout the text mentions examples of how it is changed in the intervening 90 years since the battle. The underbrush which was such an important factor in the battles fought around this area actually expanded its hold on the land in the intervening time. Which considering the march of progress is rather surprising.
Unfortunately the work only occasionally mentions the sources from which it cites. There is no endnotes and only a partial bibliography. All that being said it is a excellent read. A welcome anecdote to the occasionally dry military history that in my education I have to inflict upon myself.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Saw the daVinci code last night certainly not Citizen Kane by any means but not the stinker the reviews made it out to be. Much like the book it was a serviceable thriller. For my money the Day of the Jackal was a much better thriller book/movie combination.
As a news junkie I am particularly fascinated by the Catholic churches response to the book and now the film. It strikes me that there are two reasons for why the church has bungled this one. They seem to be more worked up over this fictional book then they were over the child sexual abuse cover-up.
First of all why even bring it up this is a fictional work after all. If anyone loses their faith over this it evidently their faith wasn't particularly strong enough to begin with. It is after all what faith means as opposed to science
Second of all through the church sending out there PR minions to criticize the book/movie gives this a load of credibility. To be blunt Holocaust historians do not debate Holocaust deniers they do not dignify them with the response. The church shouldn't either.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Last night I was watching one of those interminable CBC presentations about how the the future is here. This was about e-books and how they were going to revolutionize the publishing industry. The usual sort of nonsense about how in five years printed publishing will be dead and no one will care.
"Authors of the world digitize all you have to lose is your chains"
This brings up a rather nitpicky question from the M.A. student in the room. How the hell are we supposed to cite these texts? In the
I've always enjoyed entering the date on which you visited the page. I'm pretty sure somebody wants lost a citations source and simply created a reasonable looking address and when the prof complained told him/her that the web site must've been shut down.
Unfortunately Gutenberg is of course made up of public domain texts where the page numbers have been removed. In fact it's part of their boilerplate that the text is not from any particular edition so don't come complaining to them if there's a mistake. But if someone happens to be citing for example Complete Project Gutenberg Abraham Lincoln Writings there's going to be a problem citing just the file. Yes I know that if it happens to be a direct quote the professor can simply type in part of it into their Web browser and search but it still very problematic for anything other than direct quotation.
Yes the Lincoln example gives information on where the writing comes from but still the student would have to meld together multiple citation formats.
So how can ancient sources help us? Well in most notation ancient sources are cited by line or verse for instance this Bible citation.
The same is true for non biblical texts. The better sort of English translations include this information as well. It would be easy enough for Gutenberg to include such information in their text possibly a new version could be posted if people do not want to be bothered by the numbers. Gutenberg would likely be big enough to set up this change and improve their position as the gold standard in free texts online.
Monday, May 22, 2006
After various wanderings around my favorite web site ebay I've managed to find two more books which will work for my republication project. One is sitting here on the desk beside me. The book is severely yellowed unfortunately. Which will mean I’ll be looking for a typist? Maybe this is something I can outsource. I'll have to look into that.