Days eaten by locusts; a Marine urination kafloozle.

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View 708 Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I am reading Lucifer’s Hammer over for proper formatting to get up a better edition of it for Kindle and other devices. That is eating my time, and I had to get a haircut and do some other errands today. It was cold out this morning making our morning walk a bit more strenuous (although Sable finds that delightful; colder the better for her. She acts like a puppy.)

The problem with the formatting is that Lucifer’s Hammer is a multi-viewpoint novel, and there must be a distinct way to show the reader that the viewpoint has changed, else the reader will be confused and have to think about the book as a book rather than as a story the reader is immersed in. That is Not Good. We did that with ornaments, spacing, and other such. On some Kindle apps on some devices such as my PC, a lot of the extra line spaces vanish, so you have a page that seems to be taking place in Burbank and suddenly you are in the next paragraph on Mount Prophet Elias on Santorini in the Mediterranean Sea. That makes you stop reading to figure out what is going on, and I don’t want you to do that.

We’re fixing these things.

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The news tonight is going to be about a bunch of Marine urinating on dead Taliban. I don’t have time to do a long essay on this, but some things are pretty clear. First, they allowed a comrade to tape this, and he put it up on a social medium, and it got loose. Is anyone here astonished? Which says several things about these particular Marines.

First, they won their battle. It’s them that’s doing the urinating, not being urinated on. Urinating on the enemy is a practice of war from at least 3,000 years ago, and probably a lot longer. It’s better to be the guy letting fly than the recipient. When you send young men into combat and they win this is what happens.

Second, none of these guys is ready for promotion to any kind of command NCO level. They may be good as combat leaders and may not – they did win this fight, after all – but they don’t think through enough. This hands the Taliban a bit of a propaganda device, but then we have plenty of tapes the Taliban made about themselves.

Third, this is a Marine matter, and if it were left to me I’d leave it to the Company Commander. That’s what company grade officers are for. There will be howls from the media, of course. It’s a free country. Of course it’s free because we have troopers like these.

And fourth, if nobody else wants them, in the extremely unlikely event that they post me to a combat command over there, I’ll take them. They look like good troops to me.

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