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August 28, 2010



Amazing story. And here's another one: FINEST HOURS: The making of Winston Churchill.

The author makes a number of points:

1. Churchill was good for refusing to negotiate with Hitler.

2. Eisenhower and Dulles are judged to have been "caught in a narrow ideological blinder" for refusing to negotiate with Stalin or Malenkov.

3. Stalin's "brutality and waste" (the purges are mentioned, but not the man made famine in Ukraine, etc.) was "sickening," but

4. Hitler's "murderousness" was "Satanic," different in kind from Stalin's.

Nowhere is it explained what malign ideology Eisenhower was blindly following, and how that turned out badly. Nor is it explained why Stalinist killing was "brutal and wasteful" and "sickening," but Hitlerite killing was "murderous" and "Satanic."

It seems to add up to a sort of rehabilitation of Stalin and a condemnation of the Cold War.


So many things could be fixed with "Big John."


And meanwhile, above ground but in the Middle East, a singer who performed in front of a “mixed audience” of men and women was lashed 39 times to make him “repent.” The lash was made from ass and bull skin. Ouch.

Charlie (Colorado)

Oh for crying out loud. Not only did you manage to digress in the very first comment, with a longish post on Winston Churchill, Eisenhower, etc, but your link in support is wrong.

Why don't you set up your own blog? It's cheap -- hell, use blogger and its free -- it's easy, and if you bought a few keywords from Google you probably would quickly accumulate a following.

I'd suggest "indehiscent", "hard shelled", "kernel", "General Tory McAuliffe", "ACORN", and "squirrel food".

Danube of Thought

I feel pretty bad just thinking about those guys. I think it is going to get a lot worse for them as the months go by.


He has one, Charlie, it is so esoteric, no one is interested in going there

Alessandro Machi

Anduril, I've never seen such a digression in the thouands of topics I've read over the years. Does it really have to stay up there?

Can't they keep making that hole bigger and bigger? They probably need several tubes for different purposes, in flow, out flow and so on.

It would seem to me that all those different requirements would require a bigger hole. Or, what about a second and third hole?

Do they have to sleep on the hard ground? Do they get overtime?


Ohmigod, Charlie, my apologies--really. FINEST HOURS: The making of Winston Churchill. There.

At least you can tell from my mistake that not only did I read TM's post, but I read his linked articles, too. Both of them, every single word.

BTW, I had a rationale for linking those two stories--I view them as stories of the human spirit.

Here's a bonus link, with a slightly different take on the human spirit: George Costanza - The Hats. You've probably seen that before, but I never watch TV, so it was new to me.

Have I ever mentioned how cheap I am? So I won't be buying one of those hats.


Anduril, I've never seen such a digression in the thouands of topics I've read over the years.

Which are you referring to? The first, second or third "digression?"



Is that anything like "Byzantine"?

How would you like to not know?

Oh, come off it, they aren't telling the miners they've got three months to wait. When do they plan on telling them?


My first thought - the Chileans ought to contact NASA

This really threw me for a minute. What kind of Muslim outreach can you do in a mine shaft? But then I realized - stuck in a deep pit for a long time, the coming out will overshadow Christmas - one of these guys could be the 12th Imam!

So, obviously NASA should be involved.


"Beyond the immediate 600-square-foot chamber the miners have sought refuge in, there are ample tunnels in which to move around and find a little privacy, mining company officials said. "

Well I didn't know that before, but that can make a huge differnece, the ability to walk around and get away. Also for the sanitation, to answer TM's daughter's questions. They have other areas to do their "business" in, and it will help keep them from getting sick from worse sanitation.


A chance to get away from it all and renew oneself spiritually.


I would suggest a couple sets of Risk, Monopoly, and Trivial Pursuit en espanol as soon as possible.

Danube of Thought

A report I saw last night said that the men had in fact been told that it would likely take four months to get to them.


It's about a good an account as we're like to get from Gopnik, Churchill was a Liberal before he transitioned to being a Tory,although it's doubtful he was that much of a progressive, and his testing ground at the now redolent battlefields of Khartroum, wherethe cruise missiles fell a hundred yearslater, and Malakand, and the Swat Valley in General are left out. As was the Anti Bolshevism that typified his efforts to topple
the newborn Lenin regime


A report I saw last night said that the men had in fact been told that it would likely take four months to get to them.

I am fascinated by the story of the 33 Chilean miners who were rescued but won't actually be resurfacing before Christmas.

Why can't they widen the borehole?

I'm glad to hear that DoT; the linked article didn't have that.


I'm glad to hear that DoT; the linked article didn't have that.

For days after discovering the miners alive, officials carefully avoided telling them that it could take months to get them out, for the sake of preserving morale. Then on Wednesday, the health minister announced that officials had informed the miners that they would not be rescued before Chile’s Independence Day on Sept. 18 and that “we hoped to get them out before Christmas.”

The miners reacted calmly to the news, Dr. Mañalich, the minister, said. “But we have the impression that in the days to come they are going to suffer from huge challenges regarding their psychological conditions.”


red·o·lent – adjective

1. having a pleasant odor; fragrant.

2. odorous or smelling (usually fol. by of): redolent of garlic.

3. suggestive; reminiscent (usually fol. by of): verse redolent of Shakespeare.


As was fiscal rigidity as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the mid 20s, which along with his
stance on India, which Arthur Herman has chronicled rather extensively, led to exile
from the leadership ranks


--"My daughter's first thought - what are they using for bathrooms?"--

They just dig a hole.


BGATES: "This really threw me for a minute. What kind of Muslim outreach can you do in a mine shaft? But then I realized - stuck in a deep pit for a long time, the coming out will overshadow Christmas - one of these guys could be the 12th Imam!

So, obviously NASA should be involved."

I have to be one of your biggest fans--that made me laugh out loud.


--A report I saw last night said that the men had in fact been told that it would likely take four months to get to them.

I am fascinated by the story of the 33 Chilean miners who were rescued but won't actually be resurfacing before Christmas.
Posted by: anduril | August 28, 2010 at 02:48 PM--


Needless to say, I don't always read all the suggested links I run across.

Oh, cool, anduril, two linked articles. What will Tom think of next?

Rob Crawford

A thought -- in a world that's "simpler" and "greener", no one would have the resources to put this much effort into not only rescuing them, but keeping them entertained.

We easily forget what the wealth of modern society has brought us.


Oh, Rob, come off it - in a simpler and greener world, they wouldn't be down there mining in the first place.

They would have frozen to death or died of plague years ago.


In a simpler and greener world the Eloi wouldn't try to save the Morlocks.

Jack is Back!


I have been following it in Chilean newspapers. Miners know they have a long wait. They have formed teams to handle daily activities and events like the sanitation issue, diet, health, medical etc.

Go to this link for La Tecera's presentation of the rescue plan. If you read Spanish it will tell you a lot more than the Times will. I have never understood why an english language newspaper would depending on wire services and their own reporting when for a small fee they could use the Chilean's own news services which seem to have more and better coverage.

BTW, from my engineering experience and perspective, 4 months is the best case scenario. Very rare indeed for anything to go according to best case. Rather the risk is it could be 6 months or more. Especially hard rock drilling depends a lot on making progress but not breaking a drill or having breakdowns. Plus you need downtime for maintenance and changing drills out. Anyway look at the presentation and you'll get a good idea of what they are doing.

Jack is Back!

I forgot to mention: You can bet your mortgage that the one thing the rescuers didn't consider is "What would Barack do"?


The page on "rescue options" looks to be the most informative. Jack, from the map of the mine, it appears that the miners could possibly work their way up from their "refugio" to a higher level to intersect with the rescue shaft, thus saving drilling time. Question:

Would that in fact be necessary--or at least very helpful--in order to clear away rubble in the "ramps" created by the rescue drilling?


All four options look pretty daunting. In fact, the site talks of a time frame anywhere from 2 - 25 months! I wonder whether that estimate has changed since that page, dated 8/23? I checked today and there didn't appear to be more info.


I wish we could transport Anduril into the hole with the miners so he could entertain them with his scintillating wit and intellect...

Ah, but if that were to happen he might really drive them nuts.


--"My daughter's first thought - what are they using for bathrooms?"--

Do not permit her to view Wajda's film "Kanal"


Google does it again

From PC World:
Google Maps Misplaces Lincoln Memorial
Sarah Jacobsson Purewal, PC World
Aug 28, 2010 2:38 pm

A curious thing has been happening on Google Maps -- the Lincoln Memorial is being misplaced in favor of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial [see screen capture from early today and compare it to the now correct map on Google] which is a good half a mile south of the more famous memorial.

According to the Geographic Travels blog, this "misplacement" has been happening for about two days now. Typing "Lincoln Memorial" into the regular Google search bar brings up a number of listings related to the Lincoln Memorial, yet shows a map of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial.

Is this a Google Maps glitch, or could this have anything to do with the fact that conservative radio and TV host Glenn Beck is holding a controversial "non-political" rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday?

Beck's rally, which is called the "Restoring Honor" rally, is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time today on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Ralph L

I hope they'll be able to find non-mining jobs when they get out.


One of their spouses should get Bunim Murray and Mark Burnett on the phone immediately, and start a reality tv bidding war.

Survivor:Coalmine or Real World:Coalmine

Either way, it's gold.


As long as Churchill has been introduced to the thread, let me encourage anyone who may be unfamiliar with him to pick up a biography -- you will be well rewarded.

He led an astonishing life, doing essentially anything he wanted and getting away with most of it, including bicycling across any enemy's capital city while a price was on his head.

He had a world-class ability to stir things up. There is a political cartoon from an opposition newspaper in 1913, when he was Lord of the Admiralty (Secretary of the Navy to Americans). The cartoon shows Churchill with the Prime Minister relaxing on the Admiralty's yacht while on an inspection tour of British bases. The Prime Minister is shown reading a newspaper.

"Any news from home?" asks Churchill.

The Prime Minister answers, "How could there be? You're HERE."


Cool story Bob D.

He really was an amazing and varied character and well worth reading and reading about.

Loren Ibsen

"Our staff is scouring the old medical texts to find ways these kind of conditions can be treated without intervention, only using painkillers and other remedies."

If the miners can hold out until November, we'll maybe have some surplus death panels we can send their way.

Melinda Romanoff

Some do not know what a Google Bomb is, and it is C++ proof.

This fact, I find, funny.


Yeah, Mel, I can't figure out why google's political antics dont bother more people


TM - "sanitation" was one of my first thoughts as well. Well - Maslow's Hierarchy of needs and all that, what could be higher other than the input?



Mel - I did my patriotic duty and pointed out to Google the other day, the error of their ways, and as of this evening it appears to have been corrected.

Hell - the maps app has lots of errors. Ask for directions to drive South on 95 from DC and up until recently they wanted you to get off at Potomac Mills outlet mall or a nearby rest stop (did the google van make a pitstop or are they getting some baksheesh?). Syracuse NY is totally FU'd.

Because the errors are often so funky I have resorted to consulting multiple mapping venues to determine the optimal navigation plan.


"more evil than Satan"

well, that stood to reason, right?


Michael Collins, was an honorable man, DeValera not so much I think


This is the title of one of Yves Smith's posts today:

Japan’s Experience Suggests Quantitative Easing Helps Financial Institutions, Not Real Economy

Who woulda thunk it? Kinda like googling "more evil than Satan."


From Richard Fernandez:

The Washington elite sees everything through its particular prism. Nancy Pelosi, for example, called for an investigation into whoever was ‘ginning up’ opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque because in her universe, no grass grows unless it is astroturf. Similarly Crook cannot imagine the such crowds at the Mall as drawn by anything other than mass hysteria and ignorance. It may never occur to him to recall the words, ‘therefore send not know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.’

The AP article by Philip Elliott is closer to the mark. He interprets the massive crowd as a sign of widespread voter dissatisfaction with Washington. Elliott is essentially correct. He understand that Beck is riding the wave, but Beck is not the wave. Yet that wave is real and the tsunami is headed straight for DC.

That’s not to say that the rally organizers did not carefully craft their tactics to achieve the maximum destruction. Nile Gardiner of the Telegraph [3] noted that the rally itself was calculated to show the weakness of the traditional media. “The large numbers who turned out defied an intensely hostile and negative media campaign that attacked the decision to hold the event on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” as a cynical political gimmick.” It was hardly a gimmick. It was downright provocation; a dare and double dare. The Press bet that if they ignored and pooh-poohed it, the “Restore Honor” rally would dry up and blow away. They bet wrong.

The “Restore Honor” rally was aimed at taking back the symbols of the Left, who over the last decades have appropriated certain locations as their own.


Michael Collins, was an honorable man, DeValera not so much I think

narciso, 100% agreement. no qualifications or nuances.

Jack is Back!

I wonder how many people Beck could draw to lets say the Arch in St. Louis or Mt. Rushmore or the Texas State Fair?

It stands to reason that the so-called citizen/voter/taxpayer tsunami is more middle America than coastal elitist. Look how many bikers do Sturgis, SD every year - more than the coastal bike week in February here in Daytona.

I guess it is symbolic to have it in DC but isn't that what we are fighting is the disconnect between DC and the rest of the country?


So I was thinking a little more about the sanitation problem, and engineering various and sundry solutions to different parts of the problem...

So you start with a cardboard TP tube and a full roll of TP. Tape the end of the TP to the inside of the tube, and start feeding down the hole, unrolling the TP as you go. A guy on the other end grabs the tube and detaches the paper, and then rolls up the TP on the tube as it feeds down the hole.

A great job to occupy idle hands and reduce anxiety, and at the end you have one of the singular achievements of modern civilization: a full roll of toilet paper!


This excerpt from today's WSJ appears to address my question (above) that went unanswered:

One of the alternatives being discussed was widening the third lifeline that rescuers have drilled into the mine, which reached the area where the miners are trapped on Thursday. That third hole came out in a part of the mine's interior that is closer to the surface than the other two supply holes reached, or where the Strata 950 drill is headed for.

Overall, the authorities are said to be considering up to ten rescue options.

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