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  • A Sadly Revealing Story

    Posted by David Foster on February 13th, 2021 (All posts by )

    A Houston physician named Dr. Hasan Gokal had a limited quantity of the Moderna covid vaccine to distribute.  The vial had been opened, and the vaccine would expire in six hours. He could either find 10 qualified people to administer it to, or just throw it away.  He chose the former course, rounding up 10 people, some of whom were acquaintances and others strangers.

    For that, he was fired from his job and criminally prosecuted.

    Officials maintained that he had violated protocol and should have returned the remaining doses to the office or thrown them away. According to Dr Gokal,  one of the officials startled him by questioning the lack of “equity” among those he had vaccinated.

    So, if he had just thrown away this scarce and valuable vaccine, he would have been just fine.  Because he used his judgment and took action, he lost his job and was prosecuted…the judge threw the charge out for its ridiculousness, but the prosecutor, whose name is Kim Ogg, has vowed to present the matter to a grand jury.

    We seem to be moving to a point in America today where the less you do, the better off you are: don’t use your individual judgment, don’t take action without bureaucratic approvals, don’t conduct informal conversations and don’t tell jokes.

    I am reminded of the Spanish naval official (see my post here) who in 1797 wrote a plaintive essay on the topic: Why do we keep losing to the British, and what can we do about it?

    An Englishman enters a naval action with the firm conviction that his duty is to hurt his enemies and help his friends and allies without looking out for directions in the midst of the fight; and while he thus clears his mind of all subsidiary distractions, he rests in confidence on the certainty that his comrades, actuated by the same principles as himself, will be bound by the sacred and priceless principle of mutual support.

    Accordingly, both he and his fellows fix their minds on acting with zeal and judgement upon the spur of the moment, and with the certainty that they will not be deserted. Experience shows, on the contrary, that a Frenchman or a Spaniard, working under a system which leans to formality and strict order being maintained in battle, has no feeling for mutual support, and goes into battle with hesitation, preoccupied with the anxiety of seeing or hearing the commander-in-chief’s signals for such and such manoeures…

    Thus they can never make up their minds to seize any favourable opportunity that may present itself. They are fettered by the strict rule to keep station which is enforced upon then in both navies, and the usual result is that in one place ten of their ships may be firing on four, while in another four of their comrades may be receiving the fire of ten of the enemy. Worst of all they are denied the confidence inspired by mutual support, which is as surely maintained by the English as it is neglected by us, who will not learn from them.

    I think Don Grandallana would recognize many of the behavior patterns in America today as being the same kind of thing that were so destructive to his country’s chances in battle.

    Note that Dr Gokal was questioned about a lack of ‘equity’ in his distribution of the vaccines. “Are you suggesting that there were too many Indian names in that group?” he asked.  Exactly, he was told.

    Time available for the vaccine distribution was strictly limited; Dr Gokal probably contacted patients and other people he knew and many of them were Indian.  Was he supposed to get demographic data for his county and ensure that the people he contacted matched the average statistical profile?

    I am also reminded of something written by historian AJP Taylor about the Austro-Hungarian Empire, cited in my post here:

    The appointment of every school teacher, of every railway porter, of every hospital doctor, of every tax-collector, was a signal for national struggle. Besides, private industry looked to the state for aid from tariffs and subsidies; these, in every country, produce ‘log-rolling,’ and nationalism offered an added lever with which to shift the logs. German industries demanded state aid to preserve their privileged position; Czech industries demanded state aid to redress the inequalities of the past. The first generation of national rivals had been the products of universities and fought for appointment at the highest professional level: their disputes concerned only a few hundred state jobs. The generation which followed them was the result of universal elementary education and fought for the trivial state employment which existed in every village; hence the more popular national conflicts at the turn of the century.

    We are now at the point in America where every possible decision and situation, down to the time-critical administration of vaccines, must be looked at through ethnic lenses. We may be heading for the same kind of creaky and rather dysfunctional society as was Austria-Hungary…and it’s quite possible that the actual outcome will be something much darker.

    Lead and Gold cited Sir John Keegan on British impressions of American GI’s who arrived in that country during WWII:

    Americans did not defer; that was the first and strongest of the impressions they made. European travelers to the United States had made that observation even in the eighteenth century, and it was made wholesale by British observers of the GIs. In a society which worked by deference, there were many who were shocked by the upstandingness of the individual American soldier. Enlisted men did not know their place, and their officers seemed unconcerned by the free-and-easy ways of their men. Many of the British, who had been taught their place well, found they liked the Americans for their casualness and admired a system of discipline which worked by getting things done. American energy: that was the second impression. 

    In America today, we seem to have lost much of that spirit.  Can we get it back?




    50 Responses to “A Sadly Revealing Story”

    1. Brian Says:

      No, we can’t. The frontier is long gone. Bureaucrats run everything now.

    2. Mike K Says:

      One small side light on this story is the fact that Medicine is the most regulated portion of the American economy, most of this occurring since 1990. It began in 1978 with something called Professional Standards Review Organizations, also called PSRO. It began under the Nixon Administration, in an attempt to control cost of health care. Of course, it was all described as a concern with quality, something that is unknown to government bureaucrats. It was tolerable, and even had some possibility of usefulness, until Obamacare destroyed the existing system. The Electronic Medical Record allowed micromanagement of doctors with predictable results. The latest aberration is “Equity,” which we see involved in this case.

      This means equality of outcome, not opportunity. This will require that the tallest trees be cut down to the height of the runts. As I am now a patient, not a provider, I can feel some relief that I am retired but recent experiences have brought home the consequences of changes in medical education and quality. My wife had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy in October. This operation has become the standard. Before retiring I performed 1,000 of them without a complication. Because I was an “early adopter,” performing my first case in 1988, I was very careful. I don’t want to get too much into detail but, for example, I videotaped each case. The hospital didn’t like it, but I thought they were foolish. It was easy to do as the entire procedure is done with a TV monitor showing the surgeon what he is doing. I kept the tapes for a month and then offered them to the patients. One small boy took the video of his appendectomy to school to share.

      The surgeon who performed my wife’s operation assured us that the precautions I was used to taking were no longer necessary. She injured my wife’s bile duct, the classic complication, and it took four more hospitalizations to get her back to health.

      I guess I am just old fashioned to expect things to be done as carefully, and competently, as I was concerned to do.

    3. Ginny Says:

      I don’t think that would have happened in smaller towns in Texas – ones less blue. But maybe I’m being optimistic.

      Certainly it is more likely to occur today than ten or twenty or a hundred years ago.

    4. Cão que fuma Says:

    5. MCS Says:

      Every time we enter a war we see a fearful attrition of general and field officers as we jettison the parade ground specialists more intent on appearances than actual fighting ability.

      Of course Dr. Gokal’s real crime was publicly demonstrating the dysfunction of his employer, almost always a fireable offense. I suspect that some of his “superiors” are now finding out first hand about the Streisand effect.

      While Dr. Gokal is certainly under some personal stress, I’m pretty sure that destroyed is a bit of an exaggeration. I’d be surprised if he had to go farther than the county line to find someplace he’ll be appreciated. The Governor hasn’t weighed in yet and he has shown a willingness to mix it up with officious cretins like Ogg.

    6. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      The good doctor chose the “former” course, trying to administer the vaccine before it expired.

      “In America today, we seem to have lost much of that [egalitarian can-do] spirit. Can we get it back?”

      Depends who “we” are. Current generation — No. Far too corrupted by the evil all around us. Future generations, after the coming inevitable collapse — Definitely yes. It will not be the former America, of course. It will have changed in ways we cannot predict. But the land will be occupied by human beings, and if they are smart they will see where we went wrong and chose a different path.

      There was a reason the previously-enslaved Israelites had to spend 40 years in the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. The slave generation had to die off along with their attitudes, and be replaced by men hardened by the experience of necessary self-sufficiency in the wilderness.

    7. PenGun Says:

      As the actual time the vaccine loses its usefulness is just a guess, there are most probably rules governing the use of ‘opened’ vaccine containers, he did not observe. I imagine that’s why he was fired, not for being helpful. As well, as the last one went to his wife, one might wonder why she had not been already vaccinated.

      There’s nearly always more to it, than the outrage describes.

    8. Xennady Says:

      We can get it back, but not with the present national “leadership.”

    9. John Cunningham Says:

      I can’t remember where I read this, but a US army officer was reading a book about the French army from 1919 to 1940. The book related how cadets and junior officers had it poured into them that it was crucial to write detailed battle plans that had to be followed rigidly. Senior commanders were expected to micromanage every detail. The US officer realized with horror that the book totally described the US army in the 90s.

    10. Dan from Madison Says:

      So lets see – these people are heroes:

      …but the poor doctor above gets fired. Interesting.

      By the way, I don’t believe a word of the “stuck in the snow y’all come get a shot” story that I just linked. So much wrong with it.

      The story about tossing the vaccine rather than vaccinating available people reminds me of restaurant rules tossing perfectly edible food instead of being able to take it to a food kitchen or whatever.

    11. Anonymous Says:

      I have been concerned about this issue, for quite a while.

      First, I’ll cite Walt Whitman:
      “There is no week nor day nor hour, when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their supreme confidence in themselves–and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance–Tyranny may always enter–there is no charm, no bar against it–the only bar against it is a large resolute breed of men.”

      Second: I’m sorry, but a good chunk of this lies at the feet of women.

      Part of the job of females, in the human system, is to select who to support and who to disdain. This power is FAR from a trivial one… And as women have gained other powers (including more direct control over their mates, which used to devolve much more on parents and elderly women, who used to be the main drivers of the matchmaking process), women have either ceased considering the long term significance of those choices, reduced those choices to purely monetary concerns, or generally looked for men they could easily manipulate and control.

      That is, in fact, a true disaster inflicted upon the American spirit.

      Men are far more docile, far less willing to stand for honor, and much less resolute in the face of evil than they have ever been.

      There are certainly other relevant factors, but, first and foremost, I’m gonna blame women as a GROUP (YMMV, Does not apply on the individual level!!). They’ve just fucked this up big time.

    12. OBloodyHell Says:

      That was me. :-/

    13. Mike K Says:

      OBH, I have to agree with you. One of the commenters at Althouse calls this a “soap Opera World” we are in right now.

      Women seek security as an instinct to aid in raising children, although many have forgotten that origin. Thus they are more likely to choose what seems a safe course. They have become the target audience of the Democrats who are now starting to lose the blacks and Hispanics. Suburban white women are now the Democrat base. Blacks are starting to realize that unlimited immigration is a threat. Of course, it is only a threat to those looking for or continuing with jobs. Even Hispanics are starting to drift toward middle class aspirations and see the threat the left poses to those ambitions. Only suburban white women can ignore practicalities like economics and law and order.

      I have been married to two women and was fortunate that both are conservative but my daughters, at least the older two, are leftists.

    14. David Foster Says:

      OBH…but are there really that many women looking for wimpy guys?…are you seeing that either in actual people or in fictional & film archetypes directed toward women? How about the Bad Boy thing?

    15. MCS Says:

      I don’t see what’s suspicious in the story. Once the vaccine is prepared for injection, the clock is ticking. The process is somewhat involved and I assume the doses were put in syringes, ready to be injected at the larger event.

    16. Keith Says:

      My wife’s grandmother told her to never trust and certainly never marry a man who doesn’t carry a pocket knife. Her dad ww2 vet , kept one handy even when bedridden.
      Unfortunately that would get my grandson expelled and likely arrested .

    17. Anonymous Says:

      Mike K: “Women seek security as an instinct to aid in raising children …”

      That’s as may be, but we probably don’t have to look any further for explanations than the Fundamental Law of Economics — Human Beings Respond to Incentives. We all would like to get the maximum return for the minimum effort.

      Look at some of the European countries, where a pregnant teenager can count on paid (free to her) health care, housing, stipend, even vacations. Getting pregnant pays better than studying hard at school, competing in the marketplace for a job, and then showing up & working. The only mistake the pregnant teenager could make would be to marry the baby daddy — at which point the goodies would go away.

      Not surprisingly, many young European women make the economically rational choice. We might blame men in positions of authority who made the decisions & set the policies to which those young women are responding.

    18. Gavin Longmuir Says:

      That was me, again. Really, it would be nice to make putting in a name (even Anonymous) a necessary step in posting a comment.

    19. Mike K Says:

      The pocket knife thing is amusing. I have lost two to the TSA when I forgot to leave them in the car when arriving at the airport.

      The “Bad Boy” syndrome is also interesting. Some might be a marker for testosterone in some women’s minds. “A Walk on the Wild Side”might be another temptation, just as women try to change the men they have chosen. My wife and I have been married twice, 25 years apart. When we were having trouble in our marriage 30 years ago, she gave me a book titled, “Women who love too much” and it was her ! I read it and much was explained. I gave her a book titled, “Why men are the way they are.” She didn’t read it. Both books are still in print.

      Anyway, we were apart for 25 years, she married someone else, and then we got back together and remarried about 5 years ago.

      We still have arguments but are much older and wiser.

    20. Ginny Says:

      At a pretty informal wedding shower (I don’t do such things and one of her friend’s mother’s thought it was terrible she hadn’t had one) a shower question was why did she chose him. She said it was because he would take care of her. Her idea of taking care of her was not mine but I could see what she meant. He had a comforting tone with her, he had proposed to her and almost immediately the mother in the family where she was staying/au pairing in Lyon committed suicide. (that’s another long story – let me sum it up by saying that when I asked if they would compromise on France rather than his native Germany or her native U.S., she said, no, one thing they knew for sure was that, even if they’d met there, it would never be “home” for their family).

      And her parents, for whom it was partially a matter of looking at literature the same way, would seem to have built on shaky ground but in the end, I’m not sure it wasn’t a better key than most. Or maybe I’m relatively mellow on Valentine’s Day.

      What we are talking about here has become more and more complicated. Women train themselves to be self-sufficient. This seems much more healthy than seeing themselves as bait, so it isn’t really bad. But that change came first with no fault divorce – they could be “free” – and then with birth control – the woman’s responsibility had become decisive in a different way. Traditionally women looked for men to take care of them because birthing and raising children needed a comfort zone. It still does – that is the reason women are likely to vote for a party who promises those positive rights it can not, of course, guarantee. It is like the bad boy drifter who seems redeemable but in the end is more likely to front money for an abortion than commit, will choose the teacher’s union over his children every time.

    21. george m weinberg Says:

      It’s unfortunate that Gokal was fired, but certainly someone should have been.

    22. Jester Naybor Says:

      We seem to be moving to a point in America today where the less you do, the better off you are: don’t use your individual judgment, don’t take action without bureaucratic approvals, don’t conduct informal conversations and don’t tell jokes.

      And that is how the vast majority of the distributed intellect in a nation, is disconnected from the problem-solving processes.

      Enlisted men did not know their place, and their officers seemed unconcerned by the free-and-easy ways of their men. Many of the British, who had been taught their place well, found they liked the Americans for their casualness and admired a system of discipline which worked by getting things done.

      This is the basis for what I call the “D-Day difference”; Allied troops took the initiative when superiors were unavailable to direct them, while the Germans kept their tanks parked waiting for their boss to wake up (and his attendants refused to do so prematurely).

      Unfortunately, our “egalitarian” elites are making every effort to impose a parallel to European class rigidity, upon us.

    23. Brian Says:

      Quite a few Marian apparitions of the 19th and 20th centuries warned about threats to marriage and the family, but of course we in the West have matured to the point where we don’t believe in such superstitions any more, thank goodness…

    24. Mike K Says:

      Allied troops took the initiative when superiors were unavailable to direct them, while the Germans kept their tanks parked waiting for their boss to wake up (and his attendants refused to do so prematurely).

      The Germans had two cultures in their army. At the squad level, their noncoms were far more assertive and independent than Americans. The German army was run by the sergeants (feldwebels), although the good generals like Model and Guderian and Rommel were great strategists. Others, like Keitel and von Kleist were more order takers from Hitler.

      SLA Marshall has been criticized for his history of the US army in WWII.

      In one of the books I have been reading about WWII, written by a British author, the issue came up about why we didn’t assassinate Hitler or Goring. The answer was that they were incompetent and we could have ended up with someone like Kesselring who would have been much more dangerous.

    25. miguel cervantes Says:

      indeed stephen fry wrote an alt history, where the absence of hitler, led to the rise of a much more calculating figure called gloder, who was able to seize europe and parts of asia and africa, and maintain a cold war with America,

    26. Xennady Says:

      The only mistake the pregnant teenager could make would be to marry the baby daddy — at which point the goodies would go away.

      My impression is that it isn’t much better in the US. Of course, this leaves men who are inclined to work hard at a disadvantage because what they can bring to a relationship is already assumed to be a given to the woman. Hence, the ladies are more inclined to hook up with those fun bad boys than the boring squares who can hold a job. Then, later, they count themselves as heroes because they are “single mothers.”

      We might blame men in positions of authority who made the decisions & set the policies to which those young women are responding..

      No doubt, but more recently it’s been women- or should I say womyn?- in positions of authority who have been setting the incentives- and they seem to believe the only reason government exists is to provide for all their wants and needs, regardless of anything else.

      This isn’t going to last, for many reasons.

    27. Xennady Says:

      Victor Davis Hanson wrote about the repair of the USS Yorktown after the battle of the Coral Sea in one of his books. He noted that it indicated why Western Civilization was successful as the yard workers were trusted enough to be allowed to work on their own initiative to make the repairs needed to get the ship back into the war. And they did, reducing the estimated repair time of three months to three days. The presence of the Yorktown was crucial at the battle of Midway, although the ship itself was lost.

      Compare and contrast that to what happened recently on the USS Bon Homme Richard when that ship caught fire and became a total loss. Reportedly one reason the fire was so disastrous was because the ship’s firemain was locked out and the fraction of the crew actually onboard had to call someone off the ship and wait to get permission to restore it to service.

      There was a lot more to it, of course. But on the topic of sadly revealing stories, that was one of mine. There are plenty more of them, alas.

    28. Mike K Says:

      Reportedly one reason the fire was so disastrous was because the ship’s firemain was locked out and the fraction of the crew actually onboard had to call someone off the ship and wait to get permission to restore it to service.

      Interesting parallel in the movie, “Heartbreak ridge,” a favorite Clint Eastwood product, one of many. There is a scene where the Marines are on a field exercise and the ammunition locker is locked and no one has the key. We will not see Eastwood’s like again.

      We are losing an entire generation of expertise. The man who could fix anything, much like my father who had dropped out of high school but could have been an engineer. He certainly had his faults but he could make anything.

      “Racial Equity” will do no one any good.

    29. Kirk Says:

      There’s a lot of fodder for comment in this thread, so I’ll try to condense it into one response:


      “Second: I’m sorry, but a good chunk of this lies at the feet of women.

      Part of the job of females, in the human system, is to select who to support and who to disdain. This power is FAR from a trivial one… And as women have gained other powers (including more direct control over their mates, which used to devolve much more on parents and elderly women, who used to be the main drivers of the matchmaking process), women have either ceased considering the long term significance of those choices, reduced those choices to purely monetary concerns, or generally looked for men they could easily manipulate and control.”

      Couple of thoughts on this… One, I agree with you, utterly. Women complained that they were second-class citizens, and powerless in the community under the “old system” prevalent during the days of ye olde yore.

      I would humbly beg to differ, and submit that the reality is that women were, ultimately, the gatekeepers for which males got to reproduce, and whose genes went on into the future. If that’s not real power, what the hell is? Prior to modern genetic testing, no man was ever really certain that the kids he worked to raise were actually his. Only their mother really knew for certain, which again ain’t the sort of “power” we think of when talking political sway in society, but… It sure as hell isn’t trivial, either. Plus, add in the opportunities attendant to being the nurturing sex–What, do you suppose, the realities are with that second generation? Is a mother’s influence over her sons and daughters really that passive?

      Second thought is, I agree–The women of America have fundamentally betrayed their responsibilities, in terms of who they’re allowing to breed. Look at how the Scots-Irish went from a situation where the social pathologies in their communities were not all that different from those we see in black communities today in the inner cities. Yet, the Scots-Irish came out of that situation, eventually–And, why? I’m not going to say it was the sole reason, but a large part of it was because their women refused to get on board with the criminality, and “decent girls” didn’t play footsies with the criminal element, while simultaneously refusing to turn them into heroes. What do we see in the black communities, today? Precise opposite–The steady, reliable males can’t get laid, and the rapping ghetto criminals are lauded as “real men”, who “pull that pussy”. Seen it for myself in the military–The real issue with this crap going on is that the community allows for it, and the women literally breed for it.

      Comment made to me one time by a slender girl was that men “bred for big tits and a vapid smile…” with regards to the women they chose. I had to respond that women were doing the same thing, for different reasons, breeding for the “bad boy” personality types. She had to acknowledge that I had a point, as I did with hers.

      @Jester Naybor,

      Dude… Just… Dude. You really need to lay off the stereotypes and do some f**king research. Your ideas about the German military are childishly wrong, and the artifact of Allied wishful thinking and propaganda.

      The reality of the situation with regards to initiative and military culture is that the Germans were never the lockstep automatons beloved of the propagandists–Not down at the tactical level, where they always insisted that the Allies were better. If anything, the whole thing is quite the opposite–At the strategic level, the German military was locked into following orders unthinkingly, while the Allies were able to ignore their politicians. At the lower levels, the Germans were astonishingly flexible and very much the opposite of their stereotype, which was, again, built up out of wishful thinking. The supposedly rigid “Prussian educational system” that all this was supposedly based on is actually nothing of the sort, and if you’ve never researched or read any of Wilhelm von Humboldt’s work, you’ve got no business even making the commentary you have.

      Misconceptions kill, and the reality is that the German military was much more open to the talents and initiative than we were in WWII. Their tradition demanded it–Auftragstaktik wasn’t just something they came up with for a buzzword, they lived and died by it. If you looked at German formal orders, they were usually succinct and simple, while the US, UK, and France would publish multi-volume detailed plans that were usually obsolete the minute their forces crossed the start-line. Allied leaders that expected the Germans to behave in a lockstep manner responding to their attacks usually wound up with their asses handed to them by the improvised counterattack that inevitably came. Meanwhile, the Germans could pretty much count on the Allies not reacting until orders came down from higher headquarters about what to do. A German leader was expected to create order from chaos, and counterattack before Allied forces even consolidated on the objective, and that fact alone usually gave them victory.

      Really the only reason we won that war was that we had superior strategy and logistics; tactics? LOL… Don’t make me laugh–If the Germans were what your infantile stereotypes tell us they were, the war would have been over with in ’41 or ’42, with most of their military destroyed in set-piece battles by the Allies. Reality was, they were better at war down at the lower levels, operationally and tactically. Strategy? Yeah, they sucked. Logistics and industrially? Again, they sucked–But, that was mostly due to Hitler and the Nazis. On purely military terms, they were often better than anything they faced, which is why they bestrode Europe from the Caucasus to the Atlantic at their height. If they were what you fantasize, they’d have never managed that, at all.

      Of course, I have to also point out that the largest part of why the Germans got as far as they did boiled down to one thing, and one thing only: Allied ineptitude at war. Germany should have been crushed in the cradle by the French and the British while most of their forces were in Poland. Hell, to be totally accurate, the German re-occupation of the Rhineland should have gotten a French response that would have pre-empted WWII and destroyed Hitler politically. That is precisely what the German General Staff anticipated, and didn’t see happen. Which was, in large part, why they went along with the Nazi program instead of opposing it.

    30. Xennady Says:

      “Racial Equity” will do no one any good.

      In the bad old days of slavery democrats made it illegal to teach slaves to read.

      Today, it’s racist to expect black people to learn to read- so democrat teachers won’t have be bothered trying to teach them and won’t be embarrassed when they don’t learn.

      I don’t see much difference in democrats, then and now.

    31. Mike K Says:

      Kirk, I agree with almost all you wrote. The British were worse than the Americans and were running out of men by 1944. Montgomery was good at set piece battle like el Alamein. Caen and Goodwood and Arnhem showed his limitations. Bradley got a lot of favorable publicity, especially from Ernie Pyle and he, of course, was the technical advisor on “Patton,” where he got to minimize the dead rival.

      The Navy in the Pacific did a better job than the army. I don;’t think “Olympic” would ever have come off. Too much trouble transferring from Europe and the point system which would have sent lots of experienced noncoms and company grade officers home. If they tried to change it, there would have been mutiny. Congress ended Selective Service in 1944.

      On women, the two books I listed are still good reading 30 years later.

    32. PenGun Says:

      You rattle on about how great the American soldiers were in Europe, as compared to everyone else. The Germans were not all that impressed by your ability to fight war, and the Russians killed most of the Germans anyway, by themselves basically.

    33. MCS Says:

      The Germans killed a good many more Russians than the Russians killed Germans. In the end, it did the Germans no good because the supply of Russians was inexhaustible, the Germans ran out of everything, especially time.

      Tolerance of initiative has always been predicated on success everywhere. Here we are talking about the sort of blind obedience to rote procedure that has never been popular here. Especially when the stakes are so low.

    34. Mike K Says:

      I see our resident Canadian troll is also a military expert.

      Has reading difficulty, as well.

    35. Kirk Says:


      I’d submit that the Soviets did not have inexhaustible manpower, in that they still haven’t recovered demographically or culturally from killing off all those human beings through sheer military incompetence and socialist venality.

      Same-same with Germany, but the damage was good for the rest of us in that it killed off German militarism dead, dead, dead.

      Military incompetence has a cost, and the Soviets paid it. Are still paying it, and will likely suffer the demographic side-effects for generations to come.

      Of course, you can make a damn good case that military competence also has a price, when you subordinate it to fundamentally insane politics. Germany would have been a lot better off, in the long run if they’d been a little less competent at war–WWI and WWII would have both ended before they ran through their human capital, and the recovery would have been quicker and deeper.

    36. Xennady Says:

      A book for PenGun:

      From the Amazon introduction:

      The German Wehrmacht was one of the most capable fighting forces the world has ever known, but in the end it was no match for the Allies. Some historians contend that the Allies achieved victory through brute force and material superiority. But, as Peter Mansoor argues, all of the material produced by U.S. industry was useless without trained soldiers to operate it, a coherent doctrine for its use, and leaders who could effectively command the formations into which it was organized.

      PenGun, I know you won’t read that book but I have. If the Germans were as good as they claimed they were, they’d have defeated the US army as thoroughly as the Brits beat the Italians in North Africa before the Wehrmacht arrived.

      I’ll refrain from elaborating because I figure you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about anyway.

    37. Xennady Says:

      On the topic of WWII, the videos of this guy may interest some:

      He reminds me of Trent Telenko, but with videos.

    38. PenGun Says:

      I know a great deal about WW2. It was my hobby for quite a long time. The Russians killed nearly 80% of all German soldiers killed in that war.

      Most of the war was fought in Russia and you would not have even got ashore without Russia holding most, and certainly the best of the German forces in Russia. I could go on for a very long time about whatever part you would like to discuss.

      I have also fought board war games at every level of WW2. I spent most of my time doing that, playing Panzer Blitz a company level tactical game set in Russia and Eastern Europe. Great fun but very instructive. Bring your fancy armour as a German, and face my horde of T 34s. ;)

    39. Mike K Says:

      I could go on for a very long time about whatever part you would like to discuss.

      No thanks but you could tell us about your experiences driving a garbage truck.

    40. miguel cervantes Says:

      they were trained on Soviet soil, even after Hitler took power, the officers involved Stalin had purged, using the pretext of the Abwehr report, they were plotting against hi,

      in researching for my novella, I discovered that the ruler of Yemen, sent some of his top officers to be trained in Germany, this was a country, that was presumably neutral, these same officers, would head the coup in 1962, that would spark the first of many civil wars there,

    41. Raymondshaw Says:

      “The Russians killed nearly 80% of all German soldiers killed in that war.”

      The Germans killed nearly 100% of all Russian soldiers killed in that war.

      Consider this Einstein: Absent Lend Lease, the Germans would have prevailed in Russia.

      Absent Allied day and night bombing, the Germans would have prevailed in Russia.

      Absent North Africa and Sicily, the Germans would have prevailed in Russia.

      Normandy wasn’t our only option.

      Russia lost 10s of millions of her citizens. That was really Stalin’s doing.
      He allied with Hitler. He invaded Poland.

      The people are always responsible for the acts of their leadership for the simple reason
      that the people always pay the price for the mistakes of their leadership. It pays to
      choose wisely.

    42. PenGun Says:

      Mike you are a treasure.

      The other main reason that the allies got ashore, was Hitler micromanaging Rommel. If Rommel had been able to do the things he wanted to in the sectors he commanded, the ones that the allies faced in Normandy, he would have very probably thrown the allies back into the sea. He understood that once the invasion started he would not be able to move his troops at all well, as the allied air power would wreck his ability to move anything much. He wanted his forces on or near the beaches that would be attacked. Hitler would not let him do this, and his forces were scattered about France when the attack came. It was Rommel that said fighting anyone with control of the air was like savages fighting against a modern army.

    43. Brian Says:

      In other news from TX, it seems likely that a generation of suburban women there are going to be strongly turned off of “renewable” energy as the solution to the world’s problems. They may like “clean power” over “dirty power” but they really, really, really prefer “dirty power” to “no power”. Who the heck wants to flee CA or NY for Sugar Land or Plano only to sit in a dark freezing house for days because the windmills froze?

    44. PenGun Says:

      “The Germans killed nearly 100% of all Russian soldiers killed in that war.”

      Indeed, they did not fight seriously with anyone else, so … yes. About 25 million Russians died from both combat and German brutality towards civilians.

      “Consider this Einstein: Absent Lend Lease, the Germans would have prevailed in Russia.”

      LOL. You gave then some armour, trucks and aircraft you mostly did not want. This did not happen fast but:

      “By the end of June 1944 the United States had sent to the Soviets under lend-lease more than 11,000 planes; over 6,000 tanks and tank destroyers; and 300,000 trucks and other military vehicles.”

      You did this because they were drawing German troops away from the battle in the west. A battle you would not have won otherwise.

    45. miguel cervantes Says:

      yes supplies were very important, had eppler not been caught, the germans might have won at el alemein, and then the root to both palestine and to the Saudi oilfields would have been clear, its’ likely orde wingate’s unit would have put up some resistance, but not much,

      if the German general staff had not been so viciously antislav, they would have had an easier path to the oil fields in the caucasus, had Hitler and Stalin, not made that pact, the full force of German forces would not have been able to move West to France Belgium et al

    46. Mike K Says:

      PenGun’s love for the USSR is almost equal to his love for China.

      The Russians killed a large percentage of German soldiers AFTER the war.

      A friend of mine is the son of a German soldier. His father was a POW in east Germany and his wife, my friend’s mother, visited him in the camp. The next day she went back and was told he had died. She managed to get her kids out of Germany and to Minnesota where he grew up and joined the US Marine Corps. He is the most famous Marine fighter pilot of the Vietnam era. 500 sorties in Vietnam. His flight suit is in the Smithsonian. His call sign was Fokker and was famous.

      Tell us more about your garbage truck reminiscences. A lot of us know about WWII; not as much about garbage trucks.

    47. PenGun Says:

      A very good friend of mine, my old charge hand at a Copper Mill I worked at when I was young, was a Sargent in the SS, and was captured at Stalingrad. Of the 1300 men in the camp he was in, 400 survived to be released.

      He had interesting stories to tell. ;)

    48. PenGun Says:

      For you Mike. For a long time I was on the Sunday shift at Smithrite in Vancouver. I had my own trucks before that and made out OK. Smithrite paid very well and I liked the people there. On the Sunday shift were the best operators in the company, and the most reliable as well. It was Sunday and there was no support.

      Anyway the Sunday shift involved 350 cans+, and they gave us 4 trucks, front end dumpers, and 2 swampers as there were a lot of Apartments with cans that had to travel a fair distance, before we could dump them. We invariably cleared the runs, and also took an hour breakfast and other long breaks throughout the day. They spied on us and could not figure out how we could dump so many cans, and still slack off for so long. They kept upping the cans, but we still cleared everything and sat about as before.

      One of the spies was a friend, and I finally gave the show away. We took 6 trucks, not 4, the swampers brought a couple, and then helped with the maybe 20 cans we actually needed them for, as we could solo apartments pretty well. What the swampers did was dump trucks. We elite operators could dump a lot of cans and fill up trucks really fast, and then we swapped them for freshly dumped trucks, that the swampers had emptied. We could clear the route and take several hours off, which drove them mad upstairs.

      Next time we’ll review the PNE and the hilarity of dumping an Exhibition in progress, every night.

    49. Raymondshaw Says:

      So, a goldbrick. Figures.

    50. PenGun Says:

      “So, a goldbrick. Figures.”

      As I pointed out, they kept adding cans to a route no one else could do. We did find ways to do the impossible, and only cheated a little bit. Two packers is not much. ;)

      I was one of the first long haired hippies, and it was my purpose to be the best employee that anyone who hired me had. I was one of the top Smithrite producers, and as I had been in trucking for a while, sorted out several screw ups, they got into. Ascher Smith who started and ran Smithrite till he died was friend. At 74 I could phone up Gord Smith, his son, who now runs the company, and have work tomorrow. ;)

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