Education: The Military's First and Best Line of Defense

The idea now prevalent among some defense officials that formal classroom-based education is either expendable or unnecessary flies in the face of millennia of historical precedent. Brilliant strategists and military leaders not only tend to have had excellent education, but most acknowledge the value and influence of their mentors. The roll call of the intellectual warriors is sometimes the best argument in support of training armies to think: Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Robert E. Lee, Erwin Rommel, George Patton, Chester Nimitz.

In stark contrast we can cite familiar military leaders whose educations were, we say, lackluster: the Duke of Wellington (he beat Napoleon – barely – after a slugging 7-year campaign), Ulysses Grant, George Custer, Adolph Hitler, Hermann Goering, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Manuel Noriega. For these men, military victories were often a matter of luck over tactics, overwhelming force over innovative planning, and soldiers more fearful than their masters than of the enemy.

I am a moderate, neither "red" nor "blue," with leanings in both camps. I firmly resist a draft, but support (and was once part of) ROTC. When I read that Columbia University had voted overwhelmingly to ban the Officer Officer Training Corps from returning to the campus, I felt that the concept of academic freedom itself had been violated. It is not the university's place to impute value judgments or decision on moral issues. Instead, universities were intended to be places where minds could visit among a broad range of viewpoints, hopefully to pick and choose the best parts from among them. By banning a campus ROTC contingent, Columbia has denied students that choice, and as an academic I am ashamed for them.

ROTC has much to offer university students, including (sometimes especially) those not enrolled as officer candidates. As a thirty-something graduate student working on my master's degree, I enrolled and participated in two ROTC history classes being taught by a multi-decorated Marine colonel, himself a holder of a master's degree in history. The things I learned about military implications of the battles we studied, the social effects of each decision, and the pains taken by most leaders to secure better materiel and intelligence for their troops far exceeded anything taught in the history department's coverage of the same incidents. It was from that extraordinarily patriotic US Marine career officer that I learned, for example, that during the War of 1812 the US invaded Canada and, when it discovered it could not succeed, burned the national Parliament buildings. It was for that last action that British soldiers later pressed on to Washington and set fire to the US Capitol and White House.

Does any of that make a difference? Indeed, I think it is crucial to national survival that soldiers and the public know the big picture behind events that becoming rallying later later. After 9/11, a precious few people asked the loaded question, "what have we done to incur this attack?" The overwhelming response was to stifle such questions – the US were the good guys, and those religious fanatics were angry because they were jealous of our luxury and wealth – and simply treat the attackers as nameless, inhuman enemies. There was no question allowed as to what the real problem might be, only that the US must attack them and annihilate aggression. But what competent physician, I ask, treats only a symptom but ignores the cause of the disease? According to numerous studies mandated by the UN and other agencies, the most important change that would most work towards eliminating poverty and war would be the universal access of women to an education.

We may "Remember the Alamo," but how many recall that Texas was either part of the US then, nor was it trying to become a state. It was seeking independence as a nation so it could maintain slavery, which Mexico had outlawed. When we "Remember the Maine," do we also recall that the ship was probably sunk by an engineering problem, and not from Spanish sabotage? That the war was pushed by US hawks and newspaper magnate William Randolph Hurst, knowing that a war would greatly boost newspaper sales? We must learn from history, because we are already doomed to repeating it. The 9/11 attack was carried out out predominately by Saudi Arabs, but the US response was to attack Iraq. Despite a preponderance of evidence that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, the American public still preferred the fabrications about anthrax attacks, WMDs, and terrorist training camps.

So what of military plans to merely enlarge the distance learning programs to replace classroom instruction? As a career teacher, I risk sounding like a ludite when I disparage distance learning. In my experience, there can be no substitute for a human-to-human interaction, where ideas can be immediately sorted, argued, and revised. Seeing the emotional expression of classmates when one discusses controversies ranging from "just wars" to the use of nuclear weapons to the pros and cons of a given policy simply can not be part of an electronic lesson. There is simply no substitution, for example, to having a combat veteran point out "I was there" in a class when another student has presented the sanitized version of a controversial event. That level of emotion will not come through a cable modem. We are already becoming extremely dependent upon the impersonal Internet, so how much more non-human contact can possibly be good for our psychological, especially empathic, development.

Historically, one of the first tragedies of war – after truth and diversity of opinion – is basic humanity. In wars, our soldiers do not kill Germans, French, British, Indians, Japanese, or Vietnamese people. Almost from the beginning, they instead fight krauts, frogs, limeys, savages, nips, or gooks. How much more difficult is it for a poorly educated soldier to understand the enemy when the enemy has been made subhuman? How, perfectly, can the war be won and, more important, peace maintained if we can not understand (but not necessarily agree with) the enemy?
It is unfortunate that the senior military officers so often bring the brunt of public hostility for actions made by civil authorities. The present administration is among the most academically impoverished in US history, while the senior officers are among the most highly educated. While it is true that some soldiers actually enjoy combat, the vast majority would welcome, nay embrace, a career of unbroken peace. The intelligent career soldier trains to protect that which he or she most values, knowing that wars are inevitable. Most pray that they need never fight, but stand ready to put their lives on the line should the rest of us need protection. Rather than reduce, compromise, or restrict education to these defenders, I would argue instead that they all receive free access to our universities and colleges. The academic world needs to get behind a unified message: education is not a privilege; It is the first and best line of defense.

RMS Titanic Insurance Claims

It is exactly 100 years since the pride of the White Star Line, the RMS Titanic, hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean and sank with the loss of over 1500 lives.

The centenary has prompted many insurance companies on both sides of the Atlantic to publish documents relating to the greatest maritime loss to date in relative costs, mostly showing their company’s involvement with claims payouts.

When the Titanic sank on the 15th of April 1912, the Lutine Bell was rung at Lloyd’s of London, and a very rapid claims process was begun.

A few months earlier the ships owners, the White Star Line, had instructed insurance brokers Willis Faber and Co. to find cover for the hull, cargo, contents and personal effects of the ship. Willis Faber passed the ‘slip’ to their Lloyd’s mercantile division where it was assessed and subsequently underwritten by multiple syndicates and insurance underwriters acting on behalf of members.

The Titanic’s hull was insured for total loss for $5 million or just over one million pounds sterling at the exchange rate of the time. The policy also included total loss cover for cargo at $600,000 and contents at $400,000 a value equivalent to two hundred thousand pounds.

The original broking slip passed around Lloyd’s has been lost, but was photographed and can be seen in Wright and Fayles book of 1928 called ‘A history of Lloyd’s’. It shows that seven large insurance companies took nearly forty percent of the risk between them and the other sixty percent was underwritten by over seventy individuals and Lloyd’s ‘Names’.

According to documents recently released by Willis the marine insurance policy cost White Star £7500 or $38,000 to insure the Titanic at a rate of 15 shillings per hundred. Modern day rates for cruise liners are considerably lower.

The Ship was considerably underinsured for a value of only five-eighths of its replacement cost. This was apparently because the owners thought the hull to be unsinkable and were prepared to bear the additional $3 million dollars of risk themselves.

Willis state that despite the owners belief in the vessel being unsinkable, they had trouble placing all the hull cover at Lloyd’s and some forty thousand pounds was underwritten in Germany. There was also an extremely high excess or deductible of 15% of the insured value.

Four days after the Titanic sank the US senate held a preliminary investigation at the Waldorf Hotel in New York. The surviving officers of the ship presented their evidence to the panel describing the events of the sinking and signed what is called a ‘protest’ which enable insurance claims to be paid.

Incredibly White Star were reimbursed for the loss of the hull within seven days of the sinking, presumably minus the excess, and fully paid up on cargo and contents losses within thirty days.

They were however grossly underinsured for their liability to others given the value of the people on board. Claims against the company exceeded their cover by over $1 million and whether they had private P and I accident cover for their staff liability, remains a mystery. Suffice to say that payouts to families of lost members of the crew, were paltry.

Claims for the loss of people amounted to in excess of five times what the value of the ship was worth, for those lucky ones who happened to have had life insurance policies or had taken out travellers personal accident cover. Although no disputes about loss of life occurred, families had to wait a lot longer than White Star for compensation.

The final payout for human losses has never been fully asserted as over one hundred and fifty different life of accident insurance companies were involved in cover, on both sides of the Atlantic. American companies took the bulk of the claims, due to the many rich entrepreneurs and millionaire family members who were drowned.

The total loss is estimated to be in the region of $20 million and one of the largest payouts was by the Travelers Insurance company of Hartford who paid out a life policy for over $1 million.

The sinking of the Titanic also brought about the first and only insurance claim for a car being hit by an iceberg, by a Mr William Carter who claimed five thousand dollars for his 25 horse power Renault, lost at sea.

Best Digital SLR Cameras – How to Choose The Best DSLR Cameras

Best Digital SLR Cameras – All about DSLR Cameras

Hi, this is Steve, thanks for reading my DSLR Reviews . I enjoy taking photos, so I appreciate it captured my enjoyable moments. If you are interested to learn more about digital SLR and how to pick the best cameras to invest in for taking extraordinary photos, here's the right place!

It should bear in mind what you need your camera to do before buying any one, so now I've added information and facts that you will find helpful for you to choose the best camera. I took the details from my own experience while shopping for the perfect camera to buy.

What is the DSLR Camera?

A great number of hobbyists are desiring for a DSLR, the fact is that they have no idea what it is exactly, if have, just like "It is like the compact one in my pocket, it will be better, it is a big one . "

In my way to describe a DSLR, it would be 'All-Round'; You can use the DSLR for almost anything, taking pictures of lovely animals, beautiful landscapes or amazing astronomy, recording vivid high quality video clips.

And there is a significant difference on the price too. How much are you willing to pay for a decent camera that fits your needs? I will recommend several cameras with affordable budget!

Why a DSLR Camera is better than Compact Camera?

Having a DSLR Camera, you will benefit from:

  • Interchangeable lens – based on the kind of photography you desire, you can purchase lenses optimized for the task, rather than the one-size-fit-all lens of a compact.
  • Optical viewfinder which goes through the lens via a mirror or prism – search through the camera lens for perfect framing and find out far more detail than using the LCD screen.
  • Faster autofocus – the digital camera will focus considerably faster and with better accuracy.
  • No shutter lag – when pressing the shutter release button and taking the actual photos, no lag time in between them – you will not miss any memorable moment.
  • No delay in between pictures – you'll be able to shoot no less than 3 fps (based on the camera model it may be even to 12 fps), ideal for action shots.
  • Less noise in low light – it is possible to shoot in low light while still get usable image.

How to Choose the Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners?

Think economy

Here, economy means deep consideration on a brand: camera bodies, lenses, third-party lenses, accessories, stuff you find on, such as Amazon, eBay tutorials, seminars, and more.

All manufactures brag that their cameras have been armed with lots of features; Sometimes they provide the same thing under a different name.

Generally, I do not recommend you purchasing a high-end and most advanced camera as your first one. The money you spend on the most advanced camera can not automatically complete the amazing master piece, the miracle operator is behind of the camera – you. On the other hand, the complex options will confuse you, finally, you only work with the "fully-automatic mode", that is what your "Compact Camera" could realize. An entry level of camera could product better images with a good lens than the combination of advanced camera and crappy lens.

Which is the Best Brand for Digital Camera?

No doubt, Canon and Nikon are the most competitive and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

The brand is not the most important matter, while the market share does, it should lead your choice. Let me tell you the reason, if you only need a camera and the kit lens, market share does not affect you

However, if you intend to keep investing and upgrading the hardware, choosing a most popular brand can save you money and your time, because you can easily find all sort of accessories for it, where you will have a hunt To find what you need, maybe with much more time and money.

High Resolution for DSLR Camera Is Always Necessary?

When choosing a digital camera, there are various important specs to take into account apart from which color to pick. Years ago, the way you'd approach this was to have the camera armed with the highest / biggest resolution. Everyone likes bigger one, right? It sees larger one means all-round, multifunction and more powerful. The fact under cameras is not that simple. Bigger resolution is truly fantastic, but do not forget the critical aspect – the final image quality depends a lot on the sensor size. Most DSLR cameras equipped with about 24X16mm APS (Advanced Photo System) sensors. As the resolution increases, noise increases too. The right balance is 16Mp for them. If you prefer a "Full-Frame" sensor which is very large and expensive and equipped in high-end cameras, you get a resolution of 24Mp by 36X24mm sensor. Being the first DSLR camera for beginners, it is a bit of earlier to talk about those details. Moreover, you could crop large portions of images captured through higher resolutions, but why not learn to frame the object much more effectively.

DSLR Camera: What is Live View?

A live view LCD on a digital SLR camera lets you preview the images you're about to capture using the large LCD on the back of the camera. A live view LCD is a fantastic feature for people who hate to peep the real world through a "Hole".

The continuous image shown on the LCD enables you to make sure you've got the composition right, no matter if your eye is not pressed to the viewfinder.

But hold on a sec … This " unique " feature sounds a remarkable lot just like the way every compact digital camera works.

It is, but adding a live view LCD to a digital SLR is not always a good option as it sounds.

LCDs can be handy, but they also do result in disadvantages in design overall performance; Especially, if you work with Live View, the auto-focus is going to be again slow, ending the speed advantages of SLRs over compacts. The most important aspect, the power consumption will be significantly increased. When shooting natural scenery in the wild, a DSLR camera with battery exhausted may be a good weapon against attacking from animals, instead of taking their photos back.

Optical Stabilization for DSLR Cameras?

Without using a tripod, taking pictures in low light and / or with telephoto lenses may be challenging. Almost all DSLR cameras get some type of stabilization. There is also a trick though: Canon and Nikon provide stabilization inside their lenses ( IS lenses for Canon and VR lenses for Nikon ), while Sony, Pentax and Olympus develop the stabilization function in camera body . The difference is critical simply because for Canon and Nikon you should buy IS / VR lenses , which may be quite more expensive than normal lenses, while with the other manufacturers the stabilization works with any lens. The effectiveness of stabilization is about the same in both philosophies (3-4 stops); The stabilized lenses provide the benefit of you seeing the exact stabilized image in the optical viewfinder, while stabilized bodies allow you to use any lens for the exact same effect.

Finally …

I tried to keep this guide as neutral as possible and offer you information to assist you make a decision, instead of making a choice for you. You could visit my website Best-Dslr-Camera-Guide.com, HERE for more details.

Traditional Marketing – An Introduction to Offline Marketing – Part 1

The Art of Marketing as a whole

Marketing is the process of establishing which products or services that might attract certain customers, and then determining what strategy to use to promote them. This mutual procedure is intended to create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to obtain trust and recognition within a business. The main purpose of marketing is “to attract” a target audience or specific individuals who are interested and want your product or service that you offer. That then leads to the primary goal of any business which is to ultimately make sales, or in other words, “to sell”.

While referencing to customers, it can be said that they are the main focus of marketing activities. It is pertinent to ALWAYS do these three key things:

  1. Identify the customer
  2. Maintain the customer
  3. Satisfy the customer

With these key factors in mind and the impact that advertising has on the potential success or failure of a business, it is correct to say that marketing in general is one of the most vital pieces of the business world.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is also referred to as “offline marketing”. The term traditional simply means the “passing on” of something, such as beliefs, customs, or practices. So when you think of traditional marketing, you should comprehend that it consists of techniques and strategies that have been used for a very long time. In addition, you can think of its relative term, “offline marketing”, as any method or means of promotion that does NOT include the internet.

Traditional marketing mainly focuses on the company and the product, as where online marketing centers on the customer and their interests. So basically, you would use traditional marketing to expand your business and strive to distribute your product through the three main geographical levels (local, regional, national) and ultimately worldwide. There would apparently be less focus on the actual customer and their needs although some might disagree with this logic.

The Four Ps

The four Ps, also known as the “marketing mix”, was developed by Jerome McCarthy after the term became widespread in the early 1960s. The four Ps are the four essential ingredients of marketing. They incorporate the following:

1. Product – All businesses revolve around a product or service. You must first develop a unique and quality product or service that you intend to sell. Here are other aspects:

  • Brand name
  • Purpose
  • Style
  • Safety
  • Packaging
  • Support
  • Warranty

2. Price – Second, you should investigate the price value of your competition (if any), and then determine the cost of your own product or service that’s both affordable and will earn you revenue. Other things to consider are:

  • Discounts
  • Types of payments
  • Seasonal pricing

3. Place – Third, you have to decide how you will distribute your product to the customers or where you will offer your service. More decisions to be made include:

  • Market coverage
  • Inventory management
  • Warehousing
  • Distribution centers
  • Order processing
  • Transportation

4. Promotion – Lastly, the marketing and campaign portion comes into play. You must determine who you will market to and what advertising methods and strategies you will use to acquire potential prospects. This is the most important piece of the marketing mix and can make or beak a business. Additional things to take into account are: 

  • Workforce
  • Publicity
  • Marketing budget

All four elements of the marketing mix must be completed and well thought out before you can think about starting any campaign for your product or service.

Is traditional marketing beginning to slowly disappear?

Traditional marketing is becoming a lost element in the business world. Many people are now marketing their businesses online as the number of internet users grow substantially every year. To give you a quick insight, there are currently over 1 billion people who use the internet today. I mean how can the offline market even compete with that? But just because a new revolution has arisen doesn’t mean the old ways are no longer effective. Traditional marketing can still produce plenty of customers and lead to major profits if it is used correctly. So don’t think that you should just market your business only on the internet. The idea is to incorporate both online and traditional methods to see maximum results.

Things to remember

The crucial points to keep in mind is that in order to achieve success in the business world, you must always do the key three factors of identifying, maintaining, and satisfying the customer and you have to constantly fulfill the four Ps of the marketing mix. The more often and the more effective you complete these two tasks, the higher amount of profits you will see yourself earning in your business.

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