Unnamed Wednesday 9pm Eastern Time Conference Call

It’s that time of the week again, when we connect for another townhall meeting in the Village of the Darned. If the software tells you that you’re the only caller, don’t you believe it!  Press on with the access code and you’ll probably find us in there. US: 515-604-9908 Access Code: [see chat in “BDB Chat” tab above] International Local Dial-in Numbers Albania +355 4 454 1702 Argentina +54 351 569-7183 Australia +61 2 8077 0505 Austria +43 1 2650524 Belgium +32 3 294 11 50 Brazil +55 11 3042-5274 Bulgaria +359 2 495 1701 Cambodia +855 96 696 7824 Chile +56 2 3210 9930 Colombia +57 6 7334210 Costa Rica +506 4090 1321 Croatia +385 1 8000 111 Cyprus +357 77 788680 Czech +420 225 852 073 Denmark… Continue reading

A Great Quote

From the blog Samisdata, The post-terror cultivation of passivity speaks to a profound crisis of – and fear of – the active citizen. It diminishes us as citizens to reduce us to hashtaggers and candle-holders in the wake of serious, disorientating acts of violence against our society. It decommissions the hard thinking and deep feeling citizens ought to pursue after terror attacks. Indeed, in some ways this official post-terror narrative is the unwitting cousin of the terror attack itself. Where terrorism pursues a war of attrition against our social fabric, seeking to rip away bit by bit our confidence and openness and sense of ourselves as free citizens, officialdom and the media diminish our individuality and our social role, through instructing us on what we may feel and… Continue reading

This Week’s Book Re-review: The Southern Journey of a Civil War Marine

This is a reprint of a review I wrote published over a decade ago in the Daily News of Galveston County. Illustrated diary shows humanity of Civil War By Mark Lardas The Daily News Published September 17, 2006 “The Southern Journey of a Civil War Marine: The Illustrated Note-Book of Henry O. Gusley,” edited and annotated by Edwad T. Cotham, University of Texas Press, $24.95. 213 pages. In September 1863, a Galveston newspaper — not this one, a then-competitor: the Galveston Tri-Weekly News — began publishing a diary captured at the Battle of Sabine Pass earlier that month. The diary proved enormously popular. It was kept by a U.S. Marine from Pennsylvania serving on the Clifton, one of two gunboats captured at Sabine Pass. Although its author had… Continue reading

Modern Times

I have a new phone. In olden days of yesteryear, such an announcement would have been greeted with a big “So what?”. A phone back then was a simple device , used for the simple task of speaking directly to people anywhere in the civilized world. Such a feat amazed my mother, and my grandfather, who grew up in even simpler times, but for us denizens of the late 20th century, a phone was no big deal. Today, they are our alter egos, our valets, our staff of loyal servants. They have become, for many, a critical part of daily living.  When they stop working or are lost, you can see the twitching, the muscle memory in play , the person reaching for the device that is no… Continue reading

Holding The Line

Talking with Nanda last night got me thinking about something she said.  It is unfair that such a small number of our nation stand guard for all. The military services will argue that the “new” all-volunteer military is a great boon.  Some of this is probably just “supporting the boss.”  The congress has decreed that we will have an all-volunteer force, so it is the law of the land. Some of this may just be that the services are happier to have people who wish to be there.  Training a dedicated force usually works more cohesively, more efficiently, and projects more power. There are also “observations” that the nation has gotten soft, that it won’t fight, etc.  Perhaps.  But I have noted in reading that it seems a… Continue reading

Little Sisters of the Poor can sleep a little sounder

  Melania has disclosed that she is a practicing Catholic. She prayed in the chapel at Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital during their visit to Rome, after visiting with the children there. She and the President of course also met with the Pope, who blessed a rosary for her. I am very, very happy that our First Lady is a woman of faith. I think religious liberty will be protected under this administration, and I think the Little Sisters are probably singing prayers of joyful thanks today.

Myths

Talking to a co-worker, and we got on the subject of cars. She asked what I drove and I told her a Z06. She then said she wouldn’t want one because it didn’t come as a stick shift. I had to tell her it did, but the auto was faster. Her rebuttal was, “It’s not about the speed – it’s about the “experieence”. You aren’t driving a sports car if it’s auto.” I don’t understand this. It IS about the speed. ?Why else would you have a sports car. ALL modern race cars have auto transmissions. If you didn’t want to go fast, you could always drive a minivan. The world seems full of these silly myths.

Breakfast On America

Just had a great morning experience. I dropped my son off at the train station.  Went for coffee at a Starbucks close to base.  Saw a table of yard clams speaking a bit too loud. These civilian contractors to Navy shipyards are typically enlisted veterans who go straight from the military to directly supporting the military but with great heaving bellies, bushy beards, and a funk that comes from loose living and tight quarters. I waited for my decaf and fiddled with my trash, and eavesdropped on a fascinating conversation. They were discussing Trump, and while they had a great many pros and cons, the cons always seemed to get washed away as minor compared to the audacious goals and worthy strikes. The group was five, with a gaunt… Continue reading

The Coming Default

And just who will pay all of these pensions, retirement plans, benefits?  Certainly not the next generation or the one after that.  Just because Roosevelt decreed it, that does not, in fact, lay a burden upon as-yet unborn grandchildren to suck up the debt for our comfy ending days.  When we are gone and the debt remains, there will be a “pinch” generation; those who try to retire in the face of (and on the backs of) an angry, indignant generation which both outnumbers and out-influences them.  By then, the once-powerful AARP might as well be NAMBLA.  By then, debt will be unsustainable, and the sacrosanct 50% of government spending, the supposedly untouchable entitlements, will suddenly be very touchable. If you think this generation’s constitutional awakening is impressive,… Continue reading