David Knights' Weblog

September 18, 2010

Book review: Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan 1942-1945

Filed under: General,Modeling — dknights @ 6:37 am
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Book review: Whirlwind: The Air War Against Japan 1942-1945
By Barrett Tillman
ISBN: 978-1-4165-8440-7

I had seen this book and planned on getting it and reading it since I have enjoyed other works of this author.  I just had not gotten around to it.  What caused me to move this one up my ever-expanding to-be-read list is that Mr. Tillman was a guest speaker at a seminar at the IPMS/USA National contest in Phoenix in August.  Mr. Tillman spoke on the subject of this book and I found his talk so fascinating and interesting that immediately upon returning home I purchased the book.  Unfortunately for Mr. Tillman, I located a used copy on eBay and was able to get the book for $6 including shipping.

The book did not disappoint.  It was every bit as interesting as Mr. Tillman’s lecture was in Phoenix.  The book starts with the story of the Doolittle raid on Japan.  However, that is simply the prelude to the meat of the book which is the B-29 raid on Japan starting in 1944.  The initial B-29 raids were conducted from India with staging bases in the middle of China.  The logistics of such an effort, which resulted in putting miniscule numbers of bombs on targets only on a small southern part of Japan, were daunting.  The B-29 itself was rushed into service before all of its issues were worked out in an effort to begin bombing the home islands as quickly as possible.  I had not known until I read this book that the project to develop and build the B-29 cost more that the effort to produce the atomic bomb.

The story gets into gear once Curtis LeMay is put in command of the B-29 bomber wings and bombing begins taking place from Tinian.  The author covers the U.S. Navy carrier raids on the home islands as well as the attacks by the British Far East Fleet.

Of equal interest to the Allied efforts is the Japanese response, or lack or response to the air attacks.  Despite being able to foresee the coming attacks the Japanese did little to prepare for them.  In addition the divisions between the Japanese Army command and the Japanese Navy command, each of which despised the other only slightly less than they despised the Allies did nothing to contribute to the poor efforts at home island defense.

I was amazed at how quick a read this book was.  It is 316 pages and yet it was so compelling and well written that I read it from cover to cover in a few days.  I highly recommend this book.  It is a compelling story well told by an author with a gift for writing.

September 17, 2010

Not sure what to say about this

Filed under: Legal — dknights @ 6:30 am

Read the this, here.

September 16, 2010

Movie review: Last Train Home (2009)

Filed under: Family,General — dknights @ 6:35 am
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The modelwife and I saw this film at the small Village 8 theatres in Louisville. Last Train Home is a film by a Canadian filmmaker which follows a  husband and wife who are migrant workers, working in factories in large cities and only going home once a year to see their children and parents in the small village where they came from.  That trip occurs at the time of Chinese New Year each year, when 130 million migrant workers make the trip home to be with family and friends.

The film is a documentary and is in Mandarin.  Frankly, we were interested in it because it takes place in cities in China that we have visited, however, I think the film would be of interest to almost anyone.  It is beautifully filmed.  The director has a great eye for shots.  The scenes of the life the mother and father lead working in the clothing factories make any American citizen realize how lucky we are.  Having experienced the lack of the concept of personal space while in China, I can say that the scenes of the yearly migration and the crowds of people really capture what it feels like to be in a crowd in China.

While this may not sound like a film you would find interesting, I can say that the hour and thirty minutes ran very quickly and left me wanting more.  I highly recommend it.

September 15, 2010

More government abuse

Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 6:41 am
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Here is another occasion, post-Kelo, of government abusing its power to take people’s property.  While I don’t oppose some ability of a city or county to eliminate a home the has become a crack house or haven for rats and oother pests, their ought to be some sort of court hearing before a government entity can tear down someone’s house.

September 14, 2010

Kentucky Judge stabbed

Filed under: Kentucky,Legal — dknights @ 6:28 am
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Perry County Kentucky District Judge Leigh Anne Stephens was stabbed while eating at a restaurant in Hazard Kentucky.  Her attacker was arrested and the Judge’s injuries do not appear to be life threatening.  More here and here.

I’ve appeared before this Judge on one or two occasions.  She is an excellent Judge.  I am very glad this was not more serious.

September 13, 2010


Filed under: General — dknights @ 6:52 am
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If half of this story is true, these folks have one heck of a lawsuit.

September 12, 2010

Magazine review: Small Air Forces Observer Vol. 33 #4

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:26 am
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This is the most current issue of this magazine.  I recently reviewed the previous issue.  Everything I said there applies here.

This issue has an excellent article about F-86s used during the UN intervention in the Congo.  There is also a nice small article on Greek Wellingtons used post-WWII.  In addition there are the usual book and decal reviews.  As always, highly recommended.

September 11, 2010


Filed under: Politics — dknights @ 6:16 am
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I love P.J. O’Rourke’s writing.  Every time I read something of his, I come away having been entertained, but also feling like I’ve learned something.  His latest on Afganistan is great.  Read it here.

September 10, 2010

Recovery of Medicaid funds paid from estates

Filed under: Legal,Politics — dknights @ 5:29 am
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Jim Bates has recently answered all the questions anyone in Ohio would want to ask regarding Ohio’s program to recover Medicaid benefits paid from decendent’s estates.  Read about it here.

(Insert usual rant about government picking the last bits of meat off the bones of their dead citizens here.)

September 9, 2010

Canadian lawyers

Filed under: Legal — dknights @ 6:24 am
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Canada apparently has some strange lawyers.  Read here.

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