Belated Happy Birthday abre, clarrie, Ebdim9th, IceLord, Jake, Maylia57, pfeifferpack, Petrona, and WallEyed!
Happy Birthday Amezri, Enchanted, Lady of the Lake, Lavaelf, FreckledFacedAngel, and VarneytheVampyre!
lostinamerica - Amen to the blue-collar support. The country runs on blue collar workers, is fed by them, made by them, built by them, and repaired by them. There are downsides to working with your hands. I remember that a friend and I reroofed a 60' shed row barn, and we had to finish the roof cap before a blue norther arrived. This involved spreading tar, laying the cap on it, and nailing lead head nails through the cap. So we were on the top, on a hill, watching the clouds blow in with lightning. The temperature dropped 20-30 degrees in a short period of time. The tar stiffened. It got dark. We'd take turns holding the flashlight while the other hammered lead-heads and thumbs. The next day I was in my warm office and comfy chair, at my computer, with raw and sore hands, thinking "I love my job". But our horses were dry that winter and for years thereafter. We were proud of that. *g* One of my grandfathers started working life in the meat packing houses of Chicago. He did wind up a mining engineer, then a professor, then losing almost everything in '29, working three jobs to support his family during the depression, and winding up fairly prosperous in the end. But to the day he died at 94, he would never touch ground meat. *g*
Christopher Marlowe - I think it's important to ask whether you can stand being a baker. It sure helps if you have a fun bunch of people to work with. I would find standing all the time challenging. As wolfguard suggested, very comfortable shoes would be a good investment. Aside from that, you are working in a place that has to move large numbers of supplies around, deal with a mail order business, handle personnel and payroll, and keep all kinds of books and inventories. It might be that just being there and being known to them might give you an edge to other jobs, if they have a preference for in-house hires.
wolfguard - I have tried to ponder your last post on various world affairs, but I didn't get too deep, I'm afraid.
I think that your analysis of Afghanistan is beautifully Kiplingesque. I believe that it has been true, and to some extent it still is true, and someday it may be true again. But the Soviet invasion, and the stresses and alliances required for ancient customs to adapt to fighting modern equipment, not to mention the tendency of countries such as Saudi Arabia to ship their ardent difficult youth (a practice I had forgotten and you had not) abroad brought about some changes. There was a broadening of experience, and a deepening of religious extremes, and an increase in the desire for power and the spread of true belief. I think the hill people decided that they would take over the cities for themselves. As for the women, who at one time had education and a degree of freedom under a more secular regime, the current negotiations with the Taliban make me ill. But either you go in and really try to conquer and occupy completely and stay there, and possibly exercise some brand of brutality to suppress revolt, or you do the best you can with what you have. Neither seems very good. I wish we could just grab the women who wanted to go and remove them.
We'll see what happens in Turkey, with Imamoglu. He may not survive. Physically, I mean. That is the Middle East, after all. Or he may survive to be a savior or his own brand of problem.
The British might have paid, but they won. The people in the Falklands were apparently pleased. The people in Argentina still brood over the Malvinas. Was there a point? I think there was, oh yes, invasion of islands. Specifically, Taiwan. But the Chinese are not like the Argentines. On the other hand, the Taiwanese are not like the Falklanders, and we are somewhat more powerful than the British, if we wish to be. I think we can agree that if the game of chicken stopped working, there would be a lot of blood and pain.
For Guadalcanal, I'm kind of fuzzy about the strategies at any given time. But if the US wanted to deny Japan a base useful for them and painful to us, did we not also want a base that would do the same for us and to them? If you are going a'hopping around islands, you want to choose your places strategically.
My only direct information about Guadalcanal came from an uncle who had fought there. He didn't speak of the fighting, but did once tell about desperately diving for cover in an air raid. He found himself up to his neck in a latrine trench. But otherwise unharmed.
Chinese communism was never precisely Marxist. I mean, you wouldn't expect the Chinese to slavishly adopt a barbarian philosophy without significant adaptations. I'm not sure anyone was ever a true believer in Marxism, Russian or otherwise. The whole business of elevating the proletariat by taking all they have, re-educating them, killing the dissenters, and trying to make them into obedient automatons just sounds so much like the line from The King and I - "might they not protect me out of all I own?"
The Chinese have tacked significantly in their various regimes, from brutality to looser control, and back again. Dogs are bad. Dogs are good. Ancient traditions are to be destroyed. Ancient traditions are to be respected. Commercialism is evil. Commercialism is good. I have a couple of pendants made from shards of antique vases shattered during the Cultural Revolution. They were gathered and saved and made into jewelry for tourists, and sold in Hong Kong.
From your footnotes, the first kamikazes were inexperienced. When they ran out of even those, they started choosing older pilots. There's an autobiography of one of the prominent Japanese pilots, Saburo Sakai, called Samurai. I haven't read it for some years, but I found it very readable and rather poignant. You might like it. Spoiler: he survived. *g*