Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Monday, May 20, 2002
An anti-terror suggestion by N. Z. Bear has been jumped on by Instapundit and others. Bear noted in response to e-mail that the idea has already been tried in fiction, in the Niven/Pournelle alien invasion saga "Footfall". But there is a far more apropos precedent: it has also been tried against suicide attackers in real life. (Bear mentions this story, and knows that a group of writers including Heinlein worked for the Navy in WW II, but seems to have no knowledge of what the group was up to.) From Miller's outstanding biography of L. Ron Hubbard, "Bare-Faced Messiah", pp 109 - 110:
While he was at Princeton, Ron [Hubbard] was invited to join a group of science-fiction writers who met every weekend at Robert Heinlein's apartment in Philadelphia to discuss possible ways of countering the kamikaze menace in the Pacific. They were semi-official, brainstorming sessions that Heinlein had been asked to organize by the Navy, in the faint hope of coming up with a defence against young Japanese pilots on suicide missions. 'I had been ordered to round up science fiction writers for this crash project,' Heinlein recalled, 'the wildest brains I could find.'...
Heinlein's group never came up with any ideas about how to prevent US Navy losses from Kamikaze pilots.