March 2, 2011

Nostalgia

From an LA Times story about Libyan rebel volunteers:
Among them was Masoud Buaser, 36, who wore a partial uniform and had strung a bandoleer of ammunition around his neck, though he had never served in the army. He also carried a satchel stuffed with TNT, which he said he uses to kill and collect fish.

"Now I'm fishing for Kadafi!" Buaser shouted as his fellow recruits laughed and jeered.

That reminds me ... In 1980 I was walking on a beach in Corfu, Greece, when suddenly there was a huge bang from about 200 feet offshore and water shot high into the air. My first thought was that a WWII mine had gone off. I looked the other way down the beach and there were two guys, similar-looking enough to be brothers. I expected them to be reacting with as much surprise as I was, but they were merely gazing complacently at the site of the explosion with their arms folded. 

Then, stunned fish began floating to the surface. The two locals waded into the water and began putting them into net bags. At that point, I heard shouting from behind me. A scuba diver was standing in the surf, holding his head and cursing at the dynamite fishermen.

27 comments:

Larry Larry and Daryl said...

Although the mind loses functionality with age, it does become better at making connections and recognizing patterns: stereotypes and such.

My own personal tangential association, had a one armed relative who liked dynamic fishing.

Larry Larry and Daryl said...

"dynamite fishing"

wmhde said...

reminds me of the ol' saying:

give a man a fish and he'll have food for a day,
give a man a stick of dynamite and he'll have food for a week BUT after that he'll starve as he'll have blown the source to hell.

Anonymous said...

"Dynamic fishing" would be a good euphemism.

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

I remember my father telling the story of grenade fishing in Vietnam. He served in the asian conflict in the early 70s. And as an officer, his job was to "win the heart and minds of the Vietnamese". When in the country side on patrols, villagers would beg US soldiers to drop grenades in ponds, killing fish. The army disliked the practice, but that is what the soldiers would do, with Vietnamese pleased with the help.

Anonymous said...

Off-topic, but it looks like Iowahawk is at least a lurker at iSteve:

Longhorns 17, Badgers 1
March 02, 2011
iowahawk.typepad.com

Case in point: Paul Krugman... Similarly, The Economist... point being, I suppose, is that unionized teachers stand as a thin chalk-stained line keeping Wisconsin from descending into the dystopian non-union educational hellscape of Texas. Interesting, if it wasn't complete bullshit...

So how to compare educational achievement between two states with such dissimilar populations? In data analysis this is usually done by treating ethnicity as a "covariate." A very simple way to do this is by comparing educational achievement between states within the same ethnic group. In other words, do black students perform better in Wisconsin than Texas? Do Hispanic students perform better in Wisconsin or Texas? White students? If Wisconsin's kids consistently beat their Texas counterparts, after controlling for ethnicity, then there's a strong case that maybe Texas schools ought to become a union shop.

Luckily, there is data to answer this question via the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)...

Anonymous said...

Winning hearts and minds with dynamic fishing. One village at a time

Anonymous said...

I was taught as a Boy Scout that fishing with dynamite was immoral. I accepted that readily. Which leads to the natural question - what is the source of morals?

It can't be the Judeo-Christian God. Moses and Jesus never saw a stick of dynamite. Mohammad either.

Presumably the faithful would say that the deep moral revulsion we feel for dynamite fishing was inferred and extrapolated from similar moral lessons that we received from the prophets. But just what similar lessons would those be?

Even if some biblical scholar can find some scriptural reference to how Jesus would have felt about dynamite fishing, how about his stance on intellectual property rights or arbitrage? What was Jesus' position on assault rifles?

The point is that we make up morality as we go along. Pretending our morals descend from above is both silly and dangerous.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Josef Stalin used to have his NKVD goons do this when he would vacation at one of his dachas on the black sea. Once a group of local fishermen complained that their livelihood was being affected. He casually had the whole village liquidated!

Severn said...

looks like Iowahawk is at least a lurker at iSteve

I don't think so, since he goes on to say:

Minority students - regardless of state residence - tend to score lower than white students on standardized test, and the higher the proportion of minority students in a state the lower its overall test scores tend to be.

Please note: this has nothing to do with innate ability or aptitude. Quite to the contrary, I believe the test gap between minority students and white students can be attributed to differences in socioeconomic status. And poverty. And yes, racism. And yes, family structure.

What a maroon!

Anonymous said...

no one cares dude.

we come here for our fill of race stuff.

Anonymous said...

You know what, dynamite fishing sounds pretty fun.

crawfurdmuir said...

I have in my book collection a work by Maxime Hélène entitled "La puodre à canon et les nouveaux corps explosifs," dated 1886. It contains a chapter entitled "La pêche au dynamite" (dynamite fishing) in which the effects of high explosives on various species of fish are described in a matter of fact fashion; e.g., pike require heavier charges than trout.

I'm reminded of the old joke about the country bumpkin who invites his city slicker cousin to join him on a fishing trip. They have made their way out to the middle of the lake in the bumpkin's boat, when the bumpkin reaches into a burlap sack, and extracts two sticks of dynamite, capped and fused. He lights both, tosses one overboard, and hands the other to his cousin. The cousin is aghast, and begins to remonstrate about how illegal this is, when the bumpkin interrupts: "Well, are you going to sit there flapping your jaw, or are you going to fish?"

josh said...

Reminds me of John Candy & Joe Flaherty on SCTV:"May the Good Lord take a likin' to ya an' blow ya up REAL good!"

Anonymous said...

"The point is that we make up morality as we go along. Pretending our morals descend from above is both silly and dangerous."

Albertosaurus

What!

Ok, let's stick with logic & long-term consequences. Dynamic fishing wipes out the fish population. It's like cutting all the trees in a forest down @ once exacerbated by no attempt to grow new ones.

Have you been on that Dawkins site again? Jeez, I think Dawkins would even agree with me on this one.

So now the villagers have no fish: they can resort to being vegetarians, selling their daughters' flesh, cannibalism...

Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic.

There seems to be a real dispute over the intelligence of stammerers. All the older references acknowledge that a stammer was a sign of a somewhat depressed IQ but the later references find such a notion to be not politically correct.

Most stammerers also have other neurological deficits.

So is The King's Speech just another exercise in neurological sentimentality?

In "A Fine Madness" the extroverted and charismatic Sean Connery just shrugged off a prefrontal lobotomy.

George VI was not quite as big an embarrassment as his older brother the Nazi, but he was definitely a dull, withdrawn, and shy young man. He was not as we say on this side of the pond - Presidential timber.

The movie seems to treat his speaking problems as just an unfortunate random eventuality - leaving the door open for a heroic self transformation. Better I think to view his speech as just another symptom of a defective nervous system. They could have just gotten another one of the royal brothers to read their speeches and retire poor George (Albert) to some island.

It must have been torture for Ge-Ge-Ge-George. Seems cruel.
Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

How about using submachine gun to hunt?

tsotha said...

I don't think so, since he goes on to say...

He has to put in that disclaimer, regardless of his actual opinions. If he doesn't, he leaves himself open to the "raaaaaaacist!" attack. It's a sad commentary on the quality of political discussion in this country, but you have to deal with things the way they are and not the way they ought to be.

Harry Baldwin said...

Anonymous said...[quoting Iowahawk]Please note: this has nothing to do with innate ability or aptitude. Quite to the contrary, I believe the test gap between minority students and white students can be attributed to differences in socioeconomic status. And poverty. And yes, racism. And yes, family structure.

Pace Iowahawk, I believe differences in socioeconomic status between minority students and white students can be attributed to the test gap. Also, to ape his redundancy, poverty. Family structure as well. Possibly racism too, if he would explain what he means by that infinitely elastic term.

Both liberals and neocons like to blame some aspect of NAM behavior, such as high crime rates, on some other aspect of NAM behavior, such as fatherless homes. (Ann Coulter and Heather MacDonald always do this.) Is it not obvious instead that both are manifestations of the same underlying problem, the one that must not be acknowledged?

Anonymous said...

How about using submachine gun to hunt?

The bullets tend to slow down VERY quickly once they hit the water; the fish would need to be VERY close to the surface.

Harry Baldwin said...

Anonymous said... How about using submachine gun to hunt?

I remember an old "60 Minutes" report on the newly revamped Orient Express. On of the passengers was a Saudi prince who was on his way to go swan-hunting with a gold-plated submachine gun.

I was impressed with how much decadence was contained in that one image.

Kylie said...

"Even if some biblical scholar can find some scriptural reference to how Jesus would have felt about dynamite fishing, how about his stance on intellectual property rights or arbitrage? What was Jesus' position on assault rifles?"

I think a discerning Biblical scholar could probably infer quite a lot from, say, Jesus's good sportsmanship on the soccer field.

Jesus Being a Good Sport

Kylie said...

"How about using submachine gun to hunt?"

Depends on what you want to hunt.

Are you using "hunt" as a euphemism?

Anthony said...

It is not immoral to hunt with a machine gun, but it is unsporting. If you are hunting to feed a group of people who have no other source of meat, a machine gun may be the most efficient way to do so. (Or not - bullets can be expensive, and too many in one target can ruin the meat.)

However, if you are hunting for "sport" - to prove your skill, mainly, then using a machine gun is, in some sense, cheating, as it makes your job too easy. (And probably scares away all the game after the first long burst, making it harder for your hunting companions.)

Anonymous said...

"Most stammerers also have other neurological deficits.

So is The King's Speech just another exercise in neurological sentimentality?"

Are you making fun of a smart friend who has a speech impediment or are you serious, Al?

Personally, I haven't found speech problems necessarily to be indicative of anything other than a difference in brain organization or evidence of perhaps temporary hearing loss. There's much more to the brain than the areas involved in producing speech so I don't think a deficit affects much more than a person's ability to communicate readily or profusely.

I'd be surprised if the majority of the population didn't have some difference or deficit or learning disability they compensated for, even in their choice of college major. Besides, I think being right or left handed entails some deficits in the less dominant set of abilities controlled by the opposite side of the brain.

Of course you're being facetious.

Otherwise, while I"m pretty sure my left hand is retarded, I still think I could convince at least one Saudi princeling that you are a swan.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Albertosaurus, for demonstrating that even low g is no armor against absurdly crazed thinking.

-Osvaldo M.

Truth said...

"Thank you, Albertosaurus, for demonstrating that even low g is no armor against absurdly crazed thinking."

Stick around, he's got more.