Thursday, December 20, 2007

The War on Competence

Big news about a family who got turned around in a blizzard and ended up miles away and got rescued. Now, what I can't figure out is this. There's this nifty innovation called the "compass". Now, I know it's new, it was only invented in 1300 or so and that's, like, just yesterday (I mean, that's only 700 years ago!), but sheesh. You'd think someone about to go into the woods would, like, have one. Even a lousy one. You can even buy them at Wal-Mart if you're a cheapie like me. I have one that is on a lanyard and is built in to a whistle that I flop around my neck whenever I get out of my Jeep, even if I'm just going onto the other side of a tree to take a leak. Get out of truck, figure out which direction the road is from where you're going, then when you've done your business use your compass and go that way. Duh. I think I paid a whoppin' $5.99 for the thing. Yeah, it isn't accurate enough for orienteering. But it certainly is accurate enough to get you going the right general direction, which these people definitely did not do.

Then there's the celebrity mom who was about to publish a book on how to parent superstar kids. Now, her older kid is a drunken slut known for flashing her vagina to anybody and everybody and whose kids got taken away from her because, well, she's a drunken slut. And now we find out that the younger kid, 16 years old, is pregnant. Uhm, celebrity mom, here's a clue for you: You suck. You raised your kids to be irresponsible sluts. Crap, who needs a book to do that, in this day and age? Gah, the stupid, it burns, it burns!

Anyhow, no ID on any of these folks because then I'd have to take the names off when I recycled it next year for the *next* group of morons who got lost in the woods because they're too stupid to use a 700-year-old invention, or the *next* group of celebrity kids in trouble and their idiot celebrity mom who's writing a book on how to raise irresponsible drunken sexpots. Stupidity, alas, seems as American as apple pie nowdays. Dear Leader is not the problem. Dear Leader is the symptom. The problem, alas, appears to be that we as a people have become the stupidest, most irresponsible morons on this planet, which is probably why a buncha ragheads armed with 40-year-old weapons are kickin' our butts over there in Iraq (and if you don't believe that's the case, I got oceanfront property ta sell ya in Nevada...).

-- Badtux the Stupidity-burned Penguin


  1. When a kid I spent a lot of time in the mountains, never ever even had a compass other than a built in one.

    I'm not clear on how people get lost, I never did.

    "The problem, alas, appears to be that we as a people have become the stupidest, most irresponsible morons on this planet, which is probably why a buncha ragheads armed with 40-year-old weapons are kickin' our butts over there in Iraq"

    Ah, we got modern, but years ago we invented guerrilla warfare and kicked the English butts in the same manner.

    I'm not saying that is right, only that our ancestors did it also. No one ever wins against guerrilla warfare. No one.

    But that isn't the problem. The problem might be that you may not ready for anything that comes at you.

    Are you?

  2. Well, I have to admit that when I was a kid wandering around in the woods, I got turned around once. I'd forgotten to note the direction that the road went. However, I realized my mistake when I navigated in a straight line by the sun, and ran into a fence line. I knew damn well that there wasn't supposed to be a fence line between me and the road -- and I also knew that if I followed the fence line in one direction or the other, I'd end up at the road, because it was my Uncle Tilly's back fence. I thought about it a sec, realized which way I needed to follow it, and got home.

    As an adult I've also gotten turned around at least once. But I was always prepared and once I figured out what happened it was easy enough to get back on track. But I carry a compass. Which these dipshits did not.

    It's a lot harder to navigate in certain areas. But this wasn't one of them. This wasn't the middle of some trackless wilderness. This was a national forest chock-full of roads.

    Oh, regarding us inventing guerilla warfare -- didn't happen. Guerilla warfare existed long before George Washington's crew got ambushed by the French and Indians in 1756. The American Revolution was not, in fact, a revolution. It was a war of secession, fought by one set of governments against another, fought by regular armies of both sides, similar to the American Civil War in that regard. Skirmisher activities were ancillary to the overall goal of bringing your army to bear upon the enemy's army at the most opportune time and place. As I've pointed out in the past, this was due to the limitations of the weaponry available in the day. The colonials did not have access to AK-47's and RPG-7's. All they had was crappy smoothbore muskets with a maximum effective range of 50 yards (but capable of getting off several shots per minute) and Pennsylvania flintlocks capable of shooting several hundred yards but requiring several minutes and much hammering to reload (i.e., basically sniper weapons -- shoot and scoot). The weaponry available dictated the tactics -- i.e., since the accuracy of the smoothbore muskets was atrocious, to get decent results out of them you *had* to mass your men, you couldn't do dispersed guerilla warfare because the weapon wouldn't support it.

    But go read my article (see the Blogger search box above), I'm disinterested in repeating all that again.

    - Badtux the Navigation Penguin

  3. Hello, Mr Penguin.
    I was about to write a comment, but I got disoriented.
    No compass....


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