I had the pleasure of crossing paths with Neil Fingleton. One night about 13 years ago, after visiting my father who was in the hospital in Worcester after his cardiac arrest, I went into a local restaurant to grab a late dinner. The man next to me was none other than Neil Fingleton, who had graduated from my alma mater, Holy Cross, the year before. He wasn't difficult to spot, being 7-foot 7 and a beefy 7-7 at that.
I struck up a conversation with him, telling him I watched him play up on the hill (HC) a few times. He told me he was looking to play overseas, and had come back from a tryout. But other than that short exchange, we talked no more about basketball. He had been a history major at Holy Cross, as was I. We talked about professors still there, and our favorite classes, and such things. He asked me if it had served me in good stead, and I told him it was indispensable for understanding the world around us. He talked quite a bit about the differences between education in England and the States, and how Americans were perceived in the UK. His opinions were thoughtful and interesting, tempered with a worldly maturity rare in such a young man.
Neil was engaging, highly intelligent, and funny. A delightful young man. He joked about his receding hairline beginning to resemble mine, and if he went bald, he wasn't going to try any hairpieces because nobody could see it anyway. He was not a bit self-conscious about his height, as often very tall people can be.
After a very long and rather somber day (Dad had not regained consciousness) at the hospital, I was ready to turn in. I finished my dinner and a beer and headed out. But I thanked him for the conversation and wished him luck with his career. He did the same, wishing luck with my Dad.
I was sad to read a while later that a lingering back injury ended his playing career. I had no idea he had taken up acting, but thinking of how well-spoken and confident he was that night in Worcester, I am not surprised he did so well, and that he was so highly thought-of. He had parts in a number of films, and starred most recently in Game of Thrones, in which he played a gigantic hairy monster named Mag the Mighty. As I read remembrances from those who knew him, I am not at all surprised that Mr. Neil Fingleton was remembered fondly as a kind and intelligent gentleman.
I am very sorry he is gone, and gone so young. Rest in peace, sir. And no, you could never have gotten away with holding up a convenience store, even with a mask on.
Newly appointed National Security Advisor LTG H. R. McMaster first rose to prominence in the Army as a Captain in command of a Cavalry Troop during Desert Storm. Eagle Troop, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment was the part of the screening force for the “hail Mary” wide sweep of the VII Corps main effort.*
Captain McMaster’s troop stumbled upon a Republican Guard defense, and in 23 minutes, destroyed the enemy, with no friendly losses. It was the first time the Army encountered the Iraqi Republican Guard.
The Battle of 73 Easting (a north-south grid line on the map) was one of many fights in Desert Storm. Each of those battles was different. Individual and unit experiences in the same battle often vary widely. The tactics that Army units use to fight future battles will vary considerably from those employed in Desert Storm. Harbingers of future armed conflict such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, ISIS’s establishment of a terrorist proto-state and growing transnational reach, Iran’s pursuit of long range ballistic missiles, Syria’s use of chemical weapons and barrel bombs to commit mass murder against its citizens, the Taliban’s evolving insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan, North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal and that regime’s erratic behavior all indicate that Army forces must be prepared to fight and win against a wide range of enemies, in complex environments, and under a broad range of conditions. There are, however, general lessons and observations from combat experiences that apply at the tactical level across a range of enemies and battlefield conditions. The purpose of this essay is to reflect on the experience of Eagle Troop, Second Squadron, Second Armored Cavalry Regiment twenty-five years ago during Operation Desert Storm to identify enduring keys to success in battle.
*Your Humble Scribe was a minor participant as part of the 1st Armored Division.
How about a little love for our Canadian friends. The Royal Navy’s fight against the U-Boats is fairly well known, but here’s a wartime propaganda drama about the Royal Canadian Navy’s contributions to the Battle of the Atlantic. It’s not the most historically accurate, but it is a pretty good movie. There’s a hitch in the audio midway through, but that only lasts a couple minutes.
Seems yet again the Global Warming Alarmist Industry has manipulated the "science" part of the "settled science" to push for signatures on the 2015 Paris Agreement, a massive plan to tax the life out of the US and UK economies in the name of saving the planet. The Daily Mail tells us the story.
Once again, we have a scam by the US Government perpetrated at taxpayer expense. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) produced the so-called "version 4 data set", along with the "pausebuster" paper to which the deliberately misleading numbers contributed.
The contentious paper at the heart of this furore – with the less than accessible title of Possible Artifacts Of Data Biases In The Recent Global Surface Warming Hiatus – was published just six months before the Paris conference by the influential journal Science.
It made a sensational claim: that contrary to what scientists have been saying for years, there was no ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the early 21st Century.
How did NOAA make its case? With some statistical sleight-of-hand which violates ethical and scientific norms. Again.
It turns out that when NOAA compiled what is known as the ‘version 4’ dataset, it took reliable readings from buoys but then ‘adjusted’ them upwards – using readings from seawater intakes on ships that act as weather stations.
They did this even though readings from the ships have long been known to be too hot.
No one, to be clear, has ‘tampered’ with the figures. But according to Bates, the way those figures were chosen exaggerated global warming.
And without this new dataset there would have been no Pausebuster paper. If, as previous sea water evidence has shown, there really has been a pause in global warming, then it calls into question the received wisdom about its true scale.
Then there is the matter of timing. Documents obtained by this newspaper show that NOAA, ignoring protests by Dr Bates, held back publication of the version 4 sea dataset several months after it was ready – to intensify the impact of the Pausebuster paper. It also meant more sceptical voices had no chance to examine the figures.
In the words of Lamar Smith, (R-TX), ‘NOAA cheated and got caught’. Precisely. For those who admonish my skepticism about global warming and man's responsibility for it, I will hear incessantly that I am a fool to "ignore the overwhelming evidence". News flash: If you had "overwhelming evidence", there would have been no Climategate in 2009, nor NOAA culpability in 2017.
Last time we were lectured by the anti-capitalist environmental Nazis, it was in the 1970s about global cooling. The next ice age was a certainty, "settled science", in fact, unless we stifled capitalism, expropriated from the US taxpayers, and redistributed wealth. Of late, naturally, those same far-left anti-capitalists try and tell us that no such global cooling scare really happened. As if we can't remember what was said and written forty years ago. (URR here.)