Silicon Valley Technology and the Generals Kenney and Lemay

Victor Davis Hanson and cohost Jack Fowler take questions on social media, whether our world mimics Ayn Rand’s vision, and Australia’s military history, which leads to a discussion of the generals George Kenney and Curtis LeMay.

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16 thoughts on “Silicon Valley Technology and the Generals Kenney and Lemay”

  1. We don’t have mamba in Australia but the closest to an equivalent would prpbably be a species of taipan which are common in Queensland. They’re more venomous but not as vicious.


    Does our world mimic Ayn Rand’s vision?
    Well, in California, “Atlas Shrugged” is no longer a novel, it’s a documentary.

  3. Dr. Alan Joseph Bauer

    Professor Hanson:

    Thank you for the delightful discussion of General LeMay. For years I have had a question which I wish I could have asked him in his lifetime. From area bombing we have moved to smart bombs. One JDAM can more accurately hit a target than hundreds of B-17’s. While the smart weapons give accurate delivery of destructive power they raise expectations for no civilian casualties and remove the fear produced by tons of explosives being dropped on a target. Do you think that General LeMay would have been a proponent of the use of smart weapons? Thanks.

  4. Thomas O'Brien

    Victor, like all your podcasts, I enjoyed this one, as well.

    That said, I am utterly dismayed how you butchered the pronunciation of the 15th Mexican birthday celebration of girls (something of a “coming out party’) that is pronounced along the lines of “KEEN – see – era”.

    I raised my family in Salinas, CA in the ’80’s – ’90’s.; Lots of Mexicans there, but probably not as many as Selma area, and the rural school you attended.

    I took it upon myself to learn a bit of Spanish so that I could make use of the *cheap* Mexican labor (My conscience is clear: They were paid in cash and came out far better than if they were working for wages in Mexico. It was a win-win situation.)that would gather around our local Home Depot. Knowing some Spanish facilitated a number of property landscaping projects I was involved with over the years.

    If I were committed to farming as you were, I would have been far more proficient in the language. Yet, my sense is that you are not. Why is this?

    Maybe you had had it with languages after studying Greek and Latin? But from a pragmatic standpoint it would be very beneficial for a farmer to have a working knowledge of conversational Spanish. So most did.

    I stress that I am not doubting your claims to have been brought up around Mexican kids and neighbors. Your veracity is not in question with me. I am though, at a loss as to why apparently (to me, anyway) you did not have a greater command of the language.

    1. ~ ‘keen-see-aan-ñer-a’ 😉
      Most Mexican girls celebrate the status, except, of course, their most poor. Those unfortunates struggle alone mostly. Seemingly, after having gone through ‘turning the ocean upside down’ to have learned Latin, descendent Romance languages like French and Spanish comparatively would have been a piece of cake. French, or German, or Russian were required for a degree in physics because of the significant research across the globe in nations of those languages; now not so much.

      1. He’s gotta have some French and Deutsch-speak to do classics. Some guys even pick up a little Sanskrit or Old English. The audience demands answers!


          He does speak German, but his accent is awful.
          Sometimes his translations are wanting, too. Too literal, rather than idiomatic. For example, I just finished re-reading “The Two World Wars” yesterday. In the case of the Germans’ “Sturmgewehr” and “Panzerfaust”, he translated those literally as “storm gun” and “tank fist”. They’re better translated as “assault rifle” and “armored fist”.
          It doesn’t detract from his content, though, just something I notice as I read it.

          1. Over-precision seems to be baked into the Classical-Philological cake. It’s almost like a talisman. Gimme dynamic equivalents any day of the week unless you’re wanting a crib for language learning rather than a proper translation.

  5. Danford M Baker


    In re the new Dodge fuel pump, I bought a new Jaguar sedan in the late 70’s and the only dealer for my South Pasadena based car was in Long Beach CA, about 25 miles south of us. The British fuel pumps, one for each aft tank, were defective. I kept taking the car in for a replacement pump and after a few of those episodes and free loaner cars, the dealer said our warranty with the factory requires that we replace the defective pump with a new defective pump. Fortunately the car had two tanks and two pumps, so when one fuel pump failed you just switched to the other tank and pump. Balancing fuel in tanks was therefore an important task to make any long drive work. Ultimately in later Jags, they switched to Bosch pumps as they did install GM transmissions to replace defective British models. Insanity for the sake of the ease of the suppliers!!!!

    One of my favorite books about WWII leaders is the recent biography of Admiral Nimitz, Nimitz at War: Command Leadership from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay. Another superb book that just came out by Evan Thomas, The Road to Surrender: Three Men And The Countdown To The End of World War II!!!! It is about the moral dilemma regarding the atom bombs and killing humans to save lives, based on recently released US and Japanese documents about Admiral Togo, Henry Stimson and Tooey Spaatz.

    Great to hear your historical comments in this segment about generals George Kenney and Curtis LeMay.

    Keep up the superb work!!

    1. I believe 1970’s Jaguars were made by British Leyland. This conglomerate was majority owned by the government and the quality of their products could be poor. Did you have any problems with the Lucas electrical system?

      1. Jim d'Entremont

        As an import mechanic in the 70s, I learned quickly to respect British cars with Lucas electrical components:
        Approach the vehicle respectfully, gingerly touch the hood with ten fingertips while intoning, “Ah, Lucas, Lord of Darkness!”

  6. Gen. Curt LeMay was a patient of mine at Lackland 1975 or so. Recovering after a vascular operation, knowing he was a ham radio operator (like me) I handed him my two meter :brick: and explained we had a repeater on the hospital. He thrust it back at me with a cigar in his clenched jaw and said. Boy – I only like operating CW (morse code). So. I don’t know if he would trust smart weapons to do what he wanted. Probably not. I strongly suggest reading “Bomber Mafia” – awesome book. Yes he was a friend of Art Collins (Collins radio) and they did equip bombers with HF sideband transceivers for continent to continent comms. Hint.. we hams do that every day…73 W5RF

    1. Very interesting.
      Thank you.
      He was my commander in the mid ’60s.
      Mostly it was best to avoid him if feasible.
      His underlings sent us to Eniwetok.

  7. Thomas O'Brien

    I continue to be impressed by the expertise and breath of knowledge of those that post on the Blade of Perseus.

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