Monday, February 17, 2020

THE MISSING VOICE

Back when I was nought but an OC we would get about 15 minutes after lunch to get haircuts and hit the little mini-exchange under Nimitz Hall at Newport. We were always there just in time to hear Paul Harvey with his Rest of the Story. I hadn't heard his voice in 30 years when I went over to this place new to me and right there was this,

WHY NOT BE HONEST?

When we read things like this in what passes for the news we are sometimes struck by the abysmal failure of the press to actually write what is real. They always seem to hit their default setting which bares very little resemblance to reality.
Many gun control advocates have denounced these chants (and the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement itself) as undemocratic and anti-American. While this reaction was predictable, voicing a collective refusal to comply with laws perceived as unconstitutional or unjust is a fundamental part of American democratic discourse.
They're not really gun control advocates. They are totalitarian anti-Constitution fascists who don't like that you own a gun and they do not care for that and insist that you play by their new rules for society. They'd like to see guns pass out of history along with women wearing long gloves and hats and for roughly the same reason. They didn't like them.

Gloves and hats are not inalienable rights and you can kiss them goodbye if you want. It seems the snowflakes are willing to piss away all of the inalienable rights Americans enjoy if they hates them. They hate free speech with a passion and view freedom of religion as nothing but a bar to all religion everywhere and God help you if you own a gun and like to shoot. I have to admit, I'm waiting for the day when antifa goes up against one of the lost with nothing left to lose who decides he's sick of them.


WHEN JOURNALISTS WERE

There are a couple of journalists I happened to read and enjoy without limit back in the days they were alive and writing. Yes yes I know, I'm dating myself but I date well enough thank you. The two I most admired were Herb Caen at the San Francisco Chronicle and Mike Royko at the Chicago Sun Times. Both of them could tell a complete story in their column every week. There is nobody in journalism today that comes close to achieving what they did week after week. The current crop are a sad bunch.


Time and a half, Herb Caen, 1992

Of course, I am not writing this on Labor Day. If I were, it wouldn’t appear till tomorrow, at the earliest. With any luck it wouldn’t appear at all, but editors aren’t as tough as they used to be and they like the occasional day off, too. So, he said with a sickly supplicating smile, here we are, stuck with each other. Hi!
It’s all quite confusing. The up-to-date thing among columnists — and my, aren’t there a lot of them — is to skip writing a column when the spirit moves them, or, more precisely, doesn’t move them. Thus, on some mornings, you pick up the old rag, turn to your favorite fount of wisdom and read that so-and-so “is taking the day off.” If newspapers were accurate, which would certainly make them less entertaining, this sentence would read that so-and-so “has taken a day off” — which one, exactly, we may never know — that that’s why his or her piece is not in place.

The line “Herb Caen Is Taking the Day Off” has never appeared in this sterling journal. I don’t say that proudly. In these enlightened times, this could mean I’m monomaniacal, driven, insecure, deadline-ridden and a good dancer. All these things are true, but the real reason is that I am from the old school. OK, make that the Very Old School. I was broken into “the game” to believe that the deadline was the holiest of holies, holier even than the Grateful Dead or the Republican Party. “Miss a Deadline, Go to Jail” was inscribed on the bumper sticker of my mind, a well-turned line if I do say so myself. Do I hear a second?
One of my all-time favorite bumper stickers was “The Marquis de Sade Was a young Whippersnapper.” The young whippersnappers who are granted columns today think nothing of missing deadlines sadistically or otherwise. It isn’t part of their work ethics, or perhaps they weren’t reared properly, a reflection on their “family values.” The irreducible minimum, I suppose, is one column a week and I know a young whippersnapper who decided to take that day off. He thought it was a funny idea. Got away with it, too.
I’m not saying I haven’t taken a lot of days off, but I write a column anyway because it’s in my contract. Veteran readers say chidingly that “I can always tell when you didn’t write the column,” as though I have this large staff of bad writers who can turn out the old column when this even worse writer isn’t in the mood. Seriously, friends, hack writers like us are not allowed to have moods. It’s not in the job description. At deadline time, “don’t get it right, get it written,” as the boozy old reporters used to say.

As I near the twilight of a lackluster career, I can say without dissembling more than usual that I’m proud to be a columnist, no matter what my batting average. As a baseball manager might out it, “He’s a feisty little guy who can play hurt and put out 100 percent every day.” Yeah, but 100 percent of what? Well, 100 percent of stuff to fit the space, all the way down to the bottom of the page. Sure, I make errors because I’m a feisty little guy who goes after every ball. Like fertilizer, I cover a lot of ground. Sure, I may be one step slower but (that’s enough baseball metaphors — Ed.).
It used to be that becoming a daily columnist meant you’d reached the pinnacle of success in starting as a copy boy (now known as copy person or “associate”), graduating to cub reporter, doing a stint on the copy desk (to this day I admire a well-turned headline almost more than anything in the paper), covering the police beat, the state house, executions and so on. Finally, when they didn’t know what else to do with you, they gave you a column or fired you. “Kid’s got a certain style.” “Yeah, but he makes a lot of mistakes.” “That’s what I mean.”

Well, I don’t know why Labor Day turned into True Caenfessions Day, but a lot of today’s kids who start out at the top with a column owe their jobs to me. Yeah, me, old Herb, his finger flying over the keyboard of his beloved Loyal Royal and calling for copy paper from copy boys who never heard of copy paper and never saw a carbon copy. I said “finger” because I still type with my right index finger and two on the left hand and turn out sloppy copy.
Once upon a time there were only a few columns in this town, so when I defected to the rival morning paper, a goodly group of readers defected also. Upon my return eight years later, the publisher assured me, “That’ll never happen again. One columnist won’t ever make that much difference in circulation. I’m loading this paper with columnists and if one leaves, who’ll care?” That’s why the old Chron was eventually described as having “more columns than a Greek temple.” Some of them are quite terrific, too.

If you’re still with me, Happy Labor Day. I used to put the knock on this holiday as sounding not very festive, but it’s better than no holiday at all. The good thing is that you don’t really have to do anything special about Labor Day. It doesn’t call for a certain kind of food or costume, gifts or rituals. It’s just a plain old day off for people who work every day. Well, most of ’em, anyway.

HOMELESS CRUSADE IS DO-GOODERS` FLOP
Mike RoykoCHICAGO TRIBUNE
During a recent holiday party, a sensitive and refined young woman was going on about the plight of the homeless and how upset she was that society was unable to deal with this terrible problem.
My instincts told me to drift to a different part of the house, where someone might be talking about whether it was inevitable that Mike Ditka would try to strangle Mike Tomczak. But that would have been rude of me. Besides, she was standing directly in front of the liquor table.
''Why can`t something be done for these unfortunate people?'' the young woman asked. There was a silence, then I realized she was looking at me and expected an answer.
I resisted the urge to say: ''And why can`t something be done to make you stand over by the platter of chicken livers wrapped in bacon so you don`t block convenient access to the booze?''
Instead, I just shrugged, and she went on about the heartlessness of those who have more than they need and refuse to share with those who have little.
''I read a story,'' she said, ''about some men who live on the lower level of Michigan Avenue and sleep under pieces of old carpet. In this weather, can you imagine?''
I couldn`t take it anymore. So I said: ''You know whose fault that is, don`t you? It`s your fault.''
''Are you trying to be funny?'' she said. ''If you are, this isn`t a funny subject.''
I said: ''You are a do-gooder, and the do-gooders must share the blame for the plight of the homeless. In fact, do-gooders might be the single worst culprits. It was their idea to tear down the flops and empty the loony bins.'' ''The what?'' she said. Her question confirmed what I had suspected. For all her bleeding-heartism, she knew little about modern urban social history. So I explained.
There used to be long stretches of dumpy hotels called ''flop houses.''
These were seedy joints where a person with a drinking disorder (formerly known as a wino or alky) could rent a bed for the night for a minimal price. In other words, a place to come in out of the cold and flop. That`s why they called them flop houses.
There were clusters of flop houses in different parts of town. Clusters of flops were known as a ''Skid Row.''
These neighborhoods didn`t look nice but they had many conveniences: low- cost diners, liquor stores that sold moderately priced pints of skull-popper, and a choice of cheap flops. So a wino could panhandle a few hours a day and then return to Skid Row and find the basic necessities: food, drink and housing. And if you got sick, a police wagon would come and haul you to the County Hospital for free medical care.
But Skid Row offended do-gooders. In the old days it was the various abstinence groups. Then came the social engineers who accused flop house owners of being misery-profiteers. And they constantly demanded that the flop houses and Skid Rows be torn down. They said such blight was intolerable.
They didn`t know it, but they had quiet allies-real estate speculators who could look into the future and figure that land would be worth bigger bucks some day.
And thanks to the do-gooders, it happened. The city`s biggest, most centrally located Skid Row was demolished. The winos and alkies no longer had to plunk down a buck or so for a smelly cot. Madison Street had been purged and the goodness of the do-gooders triumphed.
The only problem was that all those winos no longer had a cheap place to flop on a cold winter night.
This happened in cities all over the country. And it`s one of the reasons why there are so many chronic drunks sleeping outdoors instead of indoors. The do-gooders got rid of the indoors.
At the same time they were eliminating the cheap flops, the do-gooders had another outburst of reformer-zeal: state mental hospitals. They thought it was terrible that people who were mentally ill, but harmless to others, should be cooped up in bleak institutions.
These institutions (nut houses or loony bins, as the insensitive used to call them), were poorly staffed, oppressive, crowded, miserable places. They did little to cure the crazies. All they did was keep them penned up.
That wasn`t entirely untrue. There weren`t enough shrinks, nurses and attendants. There wasn`t enough tax money to hire them. Therefore, many institutions provided little more than food and shelter.
The do-gooders found a solution. Throw open the doors and let them out. At least those who weren`t dangerous, which was the vast majority. Those who needed it would be provided with out-patient treatment.
On paper, it sounded good. Except there weren`t enough clinics to provide all that out-patient treatment. And families often slammed the doors on their deranged relatives. The mentally ill couldn`t work and support themselves. Details, details. So they wandered the streets. And they`re still wandering.
The sensitive, refined young woman finally interrupted and said: ''But all the homeless aren`t alcoholics or mentally ill.''
That`s right. Only about 75 percent of them, if you include the crack heads and other druggies.
''Well, something should be done,'' she said, finally moving toward the chicken liver tray.
That`s right, something should be done. But next time, leave bad enough alone.
Copyright © 2020, Chicago Tribune

This was on my refrigerator in San Diego for 10 years.  From these you might get some idea of  how I used to read the papers. They used to have a lot of what was good and interesting in them with a soupçon of bitters. I get the bitters. The Wall Street Journal doesn't come close and the NYT is just a joke

Sunday, February 16, 2020

AND ABOUT TIME

This idiotic game we've been playing along with is just about over. Letting men compete against girls and declaring them all girls is one of the stupider things I've encountered over the last 58 years. It's right up there with letting perverts who identify as women into the girls locker room and restrooms. Finally, they are fighting back.

That a concept so idiotic on its face must be referred to the Courts is a sad commentary on the state of the American political class. They caved into the zealot 2% and let them run roughshod over the rights of girls and women because...... Because what dammit! We used to have perfectly good terms for boys that wanted to be girls. We called them cross dressers and fags. Either was descriptive and accurate and neither intruded on the rights of actual girls or women.

I used to fly with my little girl and it was with little trepidation that I sent her off into the ladies room at the airports because I had no fear any harm could come to her there. I'm not sure how that works for single dads anymore. I can't even imagine how it works in high school locker rooms.

If there is any justice the courts will sort it out properly and it will open the door for thousands of women everywhere to sue the schools and other polities for damages.

EXUBERANCE


Some people have it, most don't. It's always a delight to see it.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

SUNDAY READING

You could do worse than read this article about science and doomsday. The author describes a period of recent past history that we once held within our grasp and let slip away because the ones who knew it failed to pass it on via the schools and education establishment. I don't blame the practitioners so much as I blame the educrats who destroyed American education following World War II.
The United States was once known for extraordinary competence. Consider the D-Day invasion, the Manhattan Project, the Berlin Airlift, the moon landing: In example after example, the United States government—not the private sector, note—mobilized vast talent to overcome historically unprecedented military, economic, technological, and governance challenges. So widely-known was our government for competence that to this day, we’re the object of conspiracy theories worldwide. Whatever we do, however dumb and cack-handed, is presumed to be deliberate, because so mighty a superpower as the United States could not possibly be capable of screwing up in such stupid ways. Just yesterday I was assured that the CIA had unleashed the Wuhan coronavirus—cui bono, after all? How could I be so naive as to think it a mere coincidence that the virus just spontaneously emerged near a virus research facility?
It's a long read so start with a fresh cup of coffee and maybe a nice large slice of crumb cake.

Friday, February 14, 2020

SAD BUT TRUE

Our buddies in the 5 eyes have been getting staked by the enemy. Yes the enemy is a befuddled mass of incompetent slackers and boobs but they have the power and they appear eager to use it to silence dissent at any price.
The nation’s newspapers are owned by a small group of people and companies. Many of the major television and radio stations are under charter with the U.K. government. Book publishing companies are too afraid to publish a single word that goes against the progressive orthodoxy. The ability to congregate and hold rallies is tightly controlled by government bodies. And now, the last realm of freedom, the last place in which like-minded souls can exchange ideas, learn, and express themselves to their fullest is about to fall under the Orwellian control of an agency that will not even be accountable to the government itself.
The Ministry of Truth is here.
What Orwell predicted so long ago in his novel 1984 has come to pass. Britain has long been without any sort of real legal justice system and how they justify giving Scots free medicine, free college educations, free dentistry and gouging the English for all that is something I've never understood. But now they've decided that an Englishman will do best by holding his tongue and not waving any fingers over any keyboards lest he/she set off the Ministry of Truth and get sentenced to the gulag.

The English aren't alone in this. New Zealand quietly slipped into socialism decades ago and never re-emerged. Their latest gambit grabbing guns is just one tentacle of the liberal beast that rules the kiwis and Oz is perhaps even worse off. Canada started going down the drain when they got their Star Chambers to indict Steyn on speech issues. I can't say America is any better since his case against Mann has been locked up in the DC courts for something like 7 years now with no resolution in sight.

I'm waiting for the tech denizens of the deep to surface briefly and invite all the socialists to bite them before heading once more into the deep. Srsly, you're Bezos or the Google and some European polity or all of them via the EU tells you to play by their rules or else....... I'm pretty sure I'd invite them to the World. If you don't like what netizens are doing online with my stuff feel free to snuff it within your borders but don't bother to ask me to snuff it for you. "You don't pay me enough to care what you want or legislate in your little banana republic."

Who in the opening days of the 21st century thought we'd be referring to European countries as banana republics?

Sunday, February 9, 2020

CHIEF JUSTICE

In his closing remarks of the impeachment trial Chief Justice Roberts thanked the Senate for their support as he attempted "to carry out ill-defined responsibilities." He then invited them to cross the street where: "we keep the front row of the gallery in our courtroom open for members of Congress who might want to drop by to see an argument - or to escape one."

From Clinton's impeachment, Chief Justice Rehnquist adapted a line from an opera: "I did nothing in particular and I did it very well."

Roberts clerked for Rehnquist. It's good to see a bit of humor dribble out of the top court in the land.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

ON SPYING IN 5G AND OTHER STUFF

I get a real kick out of all the panic about China's new 5G networks rolling out across the civilized world. It's a hoot to hear and read about all the alarmists predicting that any Chinese made technology like that will of course be filled with back doors and trojans and tigers and bears and dragons and thus far too dangerous since it risks compromising stuff, even encrypted stuff.

Well as we know from Mr. Snowden, the enormous leaker now cowering in Russia and wishing he could come home and explain how he leaked 17,000 Top Secret NSA files to wikileaks who promptly published them, the NSA spent decades working with all the America manufacturers of servers and computers and all shipments being sent to certain countries were first routed to NSA facilities where they could be outfitted with back doors, trojans and spy software of the first order. Somehow grasping at our pearls at the thought that the Chinese might do the same is a little over the top for me.

On that topic, the idiocy of all the pundits now punditing about the insult of Russians interfering in US elections is a hoot. That's what USAID does, thats what the CIA does, that's what idiots in things like Radio Free Europe did. It's what 17 Americans organizing the Egyptian populace to resist (at least I hope that was their intent) the election of the Muslim Brotherhood were doing only to be arrested and sentenced to jail forever for interfering in Egypt's elections. One of them was an American Sr politician's kid so we moved heaven and earth to get him out. I wonder if the other 16 are still languishing in Egyption prisons. At least the damned Taliban sent back the morons they caught preaching the gospel hoping to get muslims to accept Christ where apostacy is certain death by stoning. Sure they made a big deal out of it but then they sent them back unharmed shortly before we invaded Afghanistan.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

THE DANGER OF HIRING INCOMPETENT CRONIES

We know why democrats always hire incompetent computer programmers and start-ups run by their friends and political allies as they try to implement various imperial directives but I would have thought at some point, since it inevitably results in a miserable failure, why do they keep on doing it?

I liked this from the link.

“I’m going to try and download every movie ever made, and you’re going to try to sign up for Obamacare, and we’ll see which happens first” – Jon Stewart challenging Kathleen Sebelius (former Secretary of Health and Human Services) to a race.

SOME PHOTO REVIEW





Tuesday, February 4, 2020

DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE TO STATE OF THE UNION

Captured live as Pelosi stands behind President Trump and rips up her copy of the State of the Union speech.



Classless and basically a statement that she doesn't believe in the things discussed in the speech. I think it was a very stupid thing to do at that moment.

All the democrats had to do to win was not act crazy. The shenanigans in Iowa are showing that they can't even pull it together enough to actually run a vote on their home turf without screwing it up. OTOH I think the few sane ones remaining know they have no hope of winning in the Fall with Sanders as their candidate and are willing to do any kind of low underhanded thing to make sure he doesn't get the Party nomination.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

I REALLY MISS MTV

HAD TO COMMENT

NASA has always had some truly remarkable people. We lost a few on this day.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

ON IDIOCY

You get old enough and you get to watch history repeat itself again and again and again.

The cunning authors of this piece are probably 14.
Chinese Communist Party agents are using our suicidal pathologies — blind worship of “diversity,” naive exaltation of “cultural exchange” programs, and reckless surrender of our education system — against us for economic espionage, intellectual property theft and world dominance. While Beltway blowhards rail against foreign interference in our elections, Beijing’s hijacking of our classrooms ensues with hardly a peep of political resistance.
What she doesn't see is that the theft doesn't cost this nation anything and leads to a better world for the peasants out there who can't, for instance, pay $40,000 a month for a life saving drug. To be honest few can but the way we've screwed up pharma means we all pay.

I was talking with my way better half this morning who works for a man who routinely does/did business in China and she told me how he made it to the countryside once a little while ago and learned something I could have told him 10 years ago. 3rd world cities are no picnic but you step out of them and you step back 300 years in time. Bucolic is a word best reserved for places in western Europe, Japan and South Korea. The rest of the world has barely caught up with electricity and most people in America don't know that.  They seem to think it's all like California. When I was young I took a bus from Rota to Cadiz and it went through southern Spain and it was like going back to the 16th century.

At one point I thought Castro's policy of sending hundreds of Cuba's doctors to the 3rd world to gain power and influence through communism was a joke. They're not at all what we think of as doctors but they were worlds better than the witchdoctors they replaced.

Knowledge is fungible. We can make it and trade it all day for centuries and profit by it. The people that think we're in some sort of war with China would profit if they read some history. China has a history going back thousands of years, much like Egypt. Egypt was overrun by islam and history stopped for them in the 8th century but China isn't going to let that happen.


Friday, January 31, 2020

A HIT FROM A BETTER BLOG

It reminded me so I went out and found it again.
UPDATE: And again.



Thursday, January 30, 2020

ON SCHOOL

No, don't worry it not's what you think. I was reading something tonight that made me reflect and what I reflected is usually an extraordinarily handsome man but tonight we got under the hood and I thought about the fact that l literally live across the street from the elementary, middle and high schools. All day and every day I'm awash in children going to or leaving school but what made me ponder tonight was that in spite of living here for many years I have been in the high school once with an alumnus and in the nearest elementary school once in order to return a letter addressed to them but which was somehow misdirected to our house.

The education of children is one of the most profound things a working society does and I have absolutely no idea how they're doing it. Or not. When I got here the vast internet real estate on line listed our high school as an 8 out of 10. I think it's now down to a 3 or 4. No, I don't want to look and see. It was painful watching it slip from being one of the nation's premier high schools into the same bracket as the worst schools in Camden or New York City. One can still get a world class education there but the bulk of the student body is settling for D-.

I never attended a PTA meeting. Never got asked to be honest but I also never attended any aspect within the schools to encourage them to do their job. I sense that I am not alone in this. In my opinion we have left the education of our young to the lowest common denominator. The reason I left them alone was because there is another lower common denominator and when dealing with school it is the only one that counts. Yes, you know what it is.

"I'm sorry, what's your child's name?" You are not allowed to play or criticize if you don't have one of those in the school. C'est domage.

Monday, January 27, 2020

I HAVE THE SENSE THAT THERE IS TOO MUCH LAW

and naturally when it goes bad it goes serpentine because it's a law library.

WHY INDEED

A man writes, another discourses and I wonder,
Kobe Bryant died in a helicoper crash in Calabasas Sunday morning ... TMZ Sports has confirmed. Kobe was traveling with at least 3 other people in his private helicopter when it went down. A fire broke out. Emergency personnel responded, but nobody on board survived. 5 people are confirmed dead. 
Why does anyone who isn't in the military ever fly on those things?

I can count the number of times I flew in one of those things. I flew in the better ones, not the Kaman coffins or the CH-46. You couldn't get me to fly in a CH-46. I flew in Huey up to Mubarek Military City from Cairo West, out to one of our Prepo ships in the Persian Gulf, up to Kuwait because I couldn't commander a real air plane. Once into the Red Sea. RH-53s and CH-53s and yes those are the model flown to death in Desert One.

My x wondered why I didn't want to rent a ride on a helo to fly over the Big Island in Hawaii and she explained that her parents had and she had no grasp of the idea that the things crash all the time with fatal consequences which should not happen because they can ride the rotor down if they can still autorotate. Unfortunately, what kills them and the people inside is the total complete failure of the gear box. When that goes bad the bird is pretty much toast and so are the people inside it.

Every time I landed in Honolulu I would step out of the terminal to catch the wiki or just walk to the main terminal and pass by the newspaper machines vending the latest news and the front page was always about a helicopter crash.

I was young and stupid once and acepted a ride on HELMINERON 14 which got out of ground effect hover when it cleared the flight deck and then dunked into the Red Sea before powering out and back onto the deck. It went back into the hanger for the rest of INTENSE LOOK and was craned off in Jeddah.

HELMINERON 14 didn't impress me at all favorably. One of the 3 helos we had onboard never really came out of the hanger during INTENSE LOOK and their OIC was an absolute piece of trash and their maintainers decided that they could best stop condensation on one of the pipes running through their spare parts store room by simply closing the valve that fed it. It was only the valve supplying all the cooling water to our #2 emergency diesel generator that consequently burned up when we lost power but I'm sure they had otherwise redeeming features even if helicopter maintenance wasn't high on their list.

The OIC of the det was a hoot. He told me (mess treasurer and thus point of contact for all things mess related)  that he and his pilots would naturally be taking over the wardroom lounge and told me to keep the rest of the officers out and when I said no he told me he would talk to the CO. Captain Julian would have eaten him alive but he never made it beyond the President of the Mess. The XO explained how things worked to him and we never had to bother the skipper with the idiot, although passing by one of those heavily militarized islands in the mouth of the Red Sea scared the OIC so much the skipper told them that if the people on the islands opened fire, he would open fire. None of us really had the heart to tell the pilots that our 3"50s were typically good for about 3 rounds before the inevitable misfire and jam.

We did the Red Sea from roughly Socotra to Yanbu while the Shreveport and other helos swept the shipping lanes from there north to Port Suez. It was all a nice piece of theater......with sharks.


Sunday, January 26, 2020

I LOVE THE MUSIC

Always have.

ONLY AMERICA

I've been pseudo watching The Martian and it struck me that only America would send a hammer to mars.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

A KEEPER

ANOTHER GOOD MAN

....stepped into the clearing at the end of the path. A good man named Jim.

He was the last of the men I respected in his profession. I spent many years watching his show for the news I didn't read on the siprnet. I actually went to WETA to meet him but he was out that day and since DC is not my home I never made it back. I did make it to his office there, an eclectic place as befitted the man. He had some rules I find worthwhile. Would that other people who style themselves as journalists would abide by them.


Oddly, these rules look much like the rules I expect out of gentlemen and was how I was raised. I found the rules stood me in good company. All of my peers were people who abided by these rules and made good company. Men like this always made good company and devastating chess players.
Lehrer attended Victoria College in Texas and later studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He served three years as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

WORD

We might have to say it again and again before they cotton on that with this President, we mean it.

EYES ONLY CO

I got one of those letters once. It contained the test results of a test we were all required to take before deploying overseas back in the 90s. I'm sure they don't require them anymore since that's the nature of a defanged society. Back then this was shattering. Without any care at all for what it meant, it was the kiss of death to one's navy career and also, you know, the kiss of death.


There was no treatment and the Navy certainly didn't have anything like a treatment. What the Navy did was invite HIV people to the world. It turned out that they were complicit in giving HIV to many servicemen via their hospitals and poor sanitary practices. That was what shed the stigma from that particular social disease. It was no longer just fags getting sick, it was warrant officers and their children who got contaminated blood transfusions in Navy hospitals.

As a CO I got to give the bad news to a man that he had tested positive. It took about a month for his worlds to end. Let go by the Navy, let go by his wife, let go by the nuclear power station where he worked as an electrician and let go by his church which dropped him overnight. There was nothing at all I could do about all that despair. He held on for dear life but when his church dropped him it was over. A month from opening that letter until the end. 30 days.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

ON THE READING OF HISTORY

I was willing to do it and did engage in it for many years. It has been claimed that history passes us by. Not in my experience, which is to say history. All reading of what passes for the 5th estate these days shows a public utterly devoid of any knowledge of history. Everything is a continual surprise to them.

My better half asked tonight that I wasn't watching the news. Truly, the TV did not come on today. The intertubes went mostly untapped as well up until I tuned in to see The Darkest Hour for a little bit.

I saw that Michael Avanatti was jailed by order of a court. He's now in the same prison Epstein was murdered in. I can't help but wonder as he faces his fate if he will know the man that kills him there.

Weird isn't it how the cameras outside his cell and within, don't work.

Monday, January 20, 2020

IT IS ALL OF SIX O'CLOCK

https://youtu.be/89w-L3aICj4?t=53

THE OLD DAYS

Newport used to close on snow days. I mean no cars on or off and you just suck it up loser.. On those nights when there was no food at all account of base closure, I used to put on the otherwise useless bridge coat, don the walkman and listen to this as I headed to the gate and food in the snow. We've got snow. Whoever commanded navbase Newport was an asshole back in 85. I'm pretty sure he aint changed.

On the other hand, the music stays....

JORDAN AND THE WEIGHT OF MY OFFICE

I stepped out onto the bridge wing while anchored at  Aqaba and used the binoculars to gaze at Israel and the city of Eilat. It doesn't look like much but in contrast to Aqaba there were many fires on the beach and you could see the bars and restaurant lights lighting up the hill behind where the people were having a good time. Naturally, we didn't go there.

We'd done our minesweeping earlier in the Red Sea and came back later as ships do and shared the hospitality of the King of Jordan and his Navy. Oddly enough, although we spent a week or more in Jedda, the King of Sauds never invited us for dinner. I'm sure it was just a scheduling thing. And yeah, even then, Yemen was a thing. As we used to say, the kind of thing one could wipe off one's shoe.


OH DRAT

I really dislike the way our naming of warships has gone. I'm not impressed by this either. Those ships used to be named America, Saratoga, Enterprise, Constellation, Oriskany, Bonhomme Richard. We named Destroyers after heroes and admirals. Now the very lamest ships ever to put to sea under our flag are named after famous ships and the largest are named after politics. The Doris will join the Gabby and spread our wokeness far and wide.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

THE TRIUMPH OF OPTIMISM

I remember sitting in my black racing chair at home of an evening in Solana Beach long ago when this movie came out and I used to see the trailer for it on the television which I still used to watch back then and even had 540 channels of cable. I never saw the movie of course but this part always stuck with me and again and again over the years as I bore witness to disaster and catastrophe (yes, future pet names) this was what I used to say.... I'm OK.




Saturday, January 18, 2020

FRIENDS ROMANS AND COUNTRYMEN

I hear Stephen King. I've read some of his books and seen some of the movies made from those books. Perhaps not by choice in either event but the power of the written word is most missed when it is absent or very rare and some people like horrible movies about killer cars, killer dogs, killer homebodies, etc and one goes along out of noblesse oblige or maybe out of love but not me so much. Nonetheless, you may safely record me as a vote in favor of King in this matter.
King weighed in on the controversy on Twitter. 
"As a writer, I am allowed to nominate in just 3 categories: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay. For me, the diversity issue -- as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway -- did not come up. That said... I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong," King wrote.
Those who somehow find it needful to weigh the race or background of anybody may, at best, be charitably described as racist.

Friday, January 17, 2020

TRIPPING OVER SPACE JUNK EVERYWHERE

Pretty good photograph. If only they'd been able to squeeze earth into the shot they'd be famous. It's from History on the right.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Hard to believe we used to be able to travel to another world 50 years ago. We can't do it now of course because mmmbmle...

Charles Conrad Jr., Apollo 12 Commander, stands next to Surveyor 3 which landed on the Moon 2 years earlier. Lunar module can be seen in the upper right. 1969. 

SLEEP

Most of my life I fought sleep. Live to read was my motto and if that was under the covers well after midnight with a battery rigged with a wire coil and flashlight bulb, so be it. It's not like I learned anything in school anyway. One might, at this end of the spectrum of life, point to the fact that I slept through class but I wouldn't. Until chemistry, classes were pretty much useless. One could read the whole year in about a week. This didn't help much with math but then they wrote crappy math books way back then. They're much better now.

I used to try to cudgel the brain to sleep since that was what kept me up after I left the navy where I slept very well indeed. 20 hour days do that to one. I would lie awake at 0200 in San Diego and tell my brain that if we weren't asleep in 20 minutes we were going for a run. Usually my brain knew I wasn't kidding. I ran a lot back in those nights. Well, I might run down W. Grape St. to Harbor Drive but then I always slowed to a walk as I walked the length of the harbor to Tom Ham's Lighthouse on Harbor Island and back. Wouldn't want to overdo it. A five mile walk was about good enough to induce sleep.

I managed pretty well in this vein until another life changing event. That one went as well as expected, no complaints. I learned that one really can live, function rationally and get by quite well on about 3 hours of sleep per night. I knew that going in after my navy experience but it was an interesting discovery in later years that sleep is malleable.

THE LAST INKLING HAS PASSED AWAY

Christopher Tolkien, a World War II veteran of the RAF,  was the last of the group of writers featuring C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and he died on the 15th of January. I read The Silmarillion but never really progressed to the rest of the history of Middle Earth since I found the territory I covered in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to be enough. I have most of them but I've never found the time to read them. One might say that about the thousands of books lying around here.

I would have paid money to buy them rounds to hear them talk but grew jaded in later life after listening to some authors talk, online, and came to the conclusion that many of them talk in the hope that others will pay to shut them up.

I've been to one author's talk to be honest. It was by serendipity that we went to our local B&N to find them hosting little known author Larry Correia, just by chance. Interesting talk. I haven't even attended my own sister's book talks at book stores near here. Maybe one day. She is never boring and writes well enough. You can guess that we might have been exposed to the same author influences growing up and you'd be write. Yes, I meant to do that. Oh, and I also attended an author's talk by this guy at the Army and Navy Club with the old man. It was a fascinating talk. You'd enjoy the movie at the link.

Christopher Tolkien, 1924 - 2020.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

CALLED TONIGHT

It seems it was a day of funerals for my parents in Arlington yesterday. The first was for the very good friend of theirs who passed away last year and the service was early in the morning. The second funeral was a couple of hours later for her son who made it out of Iraq but didn't survive the bitter cold of his return to the no longer loving bosom of his family. It's hard on a husband and father when love turns to hate. I wouldn't know anything about that of course.

Like me, they are forever young.


Their son was born 3 months after me. We knew each other intermittently for the first 14 years of our lives and went our ways in between. Such was the nature of growing up in an Army family that moved every 2 or 3 years. We would re-meet every second move or so but we were not friends, we were boys thrown into the occasional company of other boys of our era whose parents were very good friends based on their own backgrounds. Sadly, the Pastore family is greatly diminished.

When I wrote about the old man suggesting a tour for me as a provincial reconstruction team leader, this was the guy behind that and there were a dozen others I knew who went that route and I was glad enough that I had been seized up by the Navy to deal with the actual security nature of the business before I could be shoveled into one of those jobs working for the Army and State in Iraq or Afghanistan. That would not have gone at all well. In my world the Navy was very very different from the Army and Air Force and it would not have gone well for me to once again venture into their special worlds of make believe. I once worked directly for ARCENT for 2 months in Egypt. Never again.

My peers were accumulated over a lifetime, many of them little of my doing. We were born and raised by people who shared a common view that has faded to almost nothing now. I suspect the last of it faded away as I read A Sense of Honor shortly after it was published while I was still a student. 

I dare to say that the young men and women of the Forces today would disagree. Good for them!


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

PELOSI VS TRUMP

She is reputedly laying the charges against that monster right now. I was looking for another clip of the same show but if this does not perfectly portray the democrats in action against President Trump I don't know what does.



The one I was going for at first is this one of course.

[Don Cervantes]
May I set the stage? I shall impersonate a man
Come, enter into my imagination and see him!
His name... Alonso Quijana... a country squire
No longer young... bony, hollow-faced... eyes
That burn with the fire of inner vision. Being
Retired, he has much time for books. He studies
Them from morn to night and often through the
Night as well. And all he reads oppresses him...
Fills him with indignation at man's murderous
Ways toward man. And he conceives the strangest
Project ever imagined... to become a knight-errant
And sally forth into the world to right all
Wrongs. No longer shall he be plain Alonso Quijana...
But a dauntless knight known as -
Don Quixote de La Mancha!

Substitute "a democrat" for Don Cervantes and Trump for Alonso Quijana and use your imagination.

There used to be a very good u-tube video of that clip but I can't find it today.

Bring on the Inquisitors of the Senate!!!! It will be entertaining in the vein of

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

STILL

I still cannot get Blogger to recognize me when I comment on blogs, even my own. It means that I cannot comment on any comments on this blog even though.....
It's irritating.

THE WHIRLWIND OR شمال‎

The Iranian's ayatollahs are facing them now as the Iranian people once again seek to get out from under a 7th century dictatorship that has sought out to deliberately make enemies out of almost everybody in the world. Nothing the leadership has done over the last 20 or 30 years has changed by a single iota but the Iranian people appear to be fed up with them. What can you say, into every generation a new slayer is born.

I've written here before about the baseejis and their counterparts in Saudi Arabia. In Arabia the crown prince has taken it upon himself to severely curtail the powers of the mutawa. In Iran it appears that the ruling council has similarly acted to restrict the baseejis if not to the extent the crown did in Arabia.

Unlike the late and now somewhat lamented Shah, the crown prince in Arabia is under no delusions. He will rein in the out of control elements of a vastly corrupt society but firmly intends to signal that all opposition to the Crown and to the laws of the State will be punished with maximum force. This yields all the things Fox Butterworth was always claiming as a bad thing. With Fox it always depended on the viewpoint. From the viewpoint of the rapist going to jail for 30 years or the crack dealer who destroyed lives going to prison for decades, he was always the first on the news to decry the savagery of such justice. Nevertheless, the bulk of the people support that kind of punishment and so too in the Kingdom. They don't want murderers or drug dealers and while they aren't opposed to keeping them alive for the rest of their lives it's only so long as their heads are chopped off by the end of the year.

The media still gets in a froth about the Saudi citizen killed by saudis in saudi territory and claims it was by the whim of a mad dictator crown prince. As may be, it still isn't much of a crime when you factor in extraterritoriality and the fact that on saudi ground only saudi law applies. I find it laughable that those in the media most frenzied about the so-called crime have no problems treating Americans in America caught espousing support for President Trump or his policies like gutter scum and advocate their removal from polite society by any means necessary.

Of course the smarter of the dim ones have slowly come around to the simple fact that the folks wearing the red MAGA hats are also the ones that own most of the guns and ammunition in this country and don't care to be trifled with. Sure, you hear about the endless black on black shooting in places like Detroit, Chicago, Washington, DC, New York City and endless other places where it is a "CRIME" to own a gun and you rarely hear about men like this.  Oh, by the way. It is an easy leap to conclude that a former Deputy Sheriff of Texas who attends church, dare we say it, religiously, is probably going to vote republican in the next election. Democrats, muslim clerics, muslim terrorists (I know, I repeat myself) all favor degrading Christians and Christianity. It's been the rule of muslims since the 8th century and they mean to keep on doing it.

30 years ago I passed through LAX enroute someplace and found some alleged Iranian Students panhandling for change to overthrow the ayatolla. I laughed and passed them by. What the bravest ones must do now in Iran is to contemplate overthrowing a regime that had as one of its generals a man dedicated to using terrorism abroad to enforce the mullahs dictates. If he was what they used on the arabs, imagine the man or men they have holding the line in the IRGC. They probably make Soleimani look like a complete wimp fit only for unimportant work because we all know that the real terror is reserved for the 'preservation of the state'.

Monday, January 13, 2020

THE BURNING TRUTH

There's a little bit out there every week and one can catch it at Powerline's week in pictures roundup on Saturdays. Sometimes they have special editions. It goes without saying, they work much harder than I do. This is just a sample of this week that I enjoyed. They are far more amusing and truthful than the New York Times. Every weekend I struggle to read the Sunday New York Times and every weekend I come away convinced that those people are unbelievably out of touch with America every bit as much as they have been for the last 100 years. Srsly, those people who believe they have their fingers on the pulse of what is happening here and abroad simply by reading the NYT and watching the news are seriously deluded.

What if some parents are like anti-vaxers and refuse to believe in peanut allergies?

It may not have been Hillary, it was probably the Clinton Foundation or one of the Windsors.

All the democrats had to do was not act crazy to win in 2020.....

I'm waiting for the NYT to jump the gun with his obit

Everybody needs a coffee maker. We've got like 10 of them
It's as if they creep through life blind to what is going on around them


On par with working for the Clintons. It's like a form of assisted suicide.
Cherly Mills, Humma Abedin and a host of others must have convinced
the foundation that their secrets will survive their 'suicides'.

A FEW TELLING BROADSIDES FIRED AT HOLLYWOOD

I wasn't expecting it nor did I watch it live. Did anybody? Nevertheless, it's worth 8 minutes if you haven't already seen it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

GENETIC WARFARE

Sure, it starts with squirrels but where does it end? It kind of sounds like The White Plague.

Monday, January 6, 2020

SOME KURT SCHLICHTER

The editors have gooned their job. I'll fix it. Meanwhile, Kurt here has nailed it. By the way, when my father was a project officer in the Pentagon after he got home from Vietnam he was the one that came up with the name for the HELLFIRE missile. Helicopter launched missile fire and forget.

This has been a really difficult time for Ben Rhodes, John Kerry, and the rest of the geniuses who zombie Neville Chamberlain recently hailed as “a flock of insufferable sissies crowded around the behind of America’s enemy, shamelessly smooching their dignity away.” Zapping Qassam Soleimani ruined an Iranian offensive that had started with such promise. When the dirtbag catspaws of the dirtbag Iranian mullahs surrounded the American embassy in Baghdad, American liberals were more excited than the old Weekly Standard’s staff would have been upon discovering that it was sharing one of its cruises with a pool boy and sexy gardener convention. Libs and their Fredocon submissives were practically salivating at the thought of fellow Americans being murdered by scuzzy foreigners and the opportunity such a tragedy would present for blaming Donald Trump. This was Trump’s Benghazi test, they chortled on social media.
Yeah, except Trump passed his test. 
The Iranians had been getting uppity for a while, but then their punks killed an American contractor in a rocket attack on a U.S. base – and let’s not get distracted about whether we should still be there. They killed an American. We are there, and you don’t get a pass on murdering U.S. citizens because we may or may not have a good reason for them still being there. You get dead.

See, for too long we were asking the wrong question when tinpot dictators dared hurt Americans. We asked, “What would a gender-fluid Oppression Studies major at Yale do?” As I have observed before, the correct question is “WWJC do?” – “What would Julius Caesar do?” 
Trump ordered hard hits at five Shiite militia weapon sites, and not with any warnings either. They got one of ours, we got about two dozen of theirs. Like the old joke about 1,000 lawyers at the bottom of the sea, that’s a good start.
The Iranians, whose Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is the ultimate source of most of the Shiite terror in the world, decided to respond in what they thought was a clever way: send a few thousand of their camo-clad dummies to attack the embassy and hope and pray a bunch of them got mowed down on camera. In the meantime, wave a lot of banners, burn some stuff, and pound on the reinforced glass for the press’s benefit.
But apparently, no one told the “mourners,” as the austere scholars at the endlessly useless New York Times dubbed the members of Islamic Antifa, that they were supposed to get smoked. They went home with the embassy unseized. Getting martyred en masse is not that much fun when you’re just one sucker out of dozens – heck, they may run out of virgins. 
See, Trump made it clear he was not playing. There would be no Benghazi II: Bagdad Boogaloo on his watch, and he acted well before 13 hours ran on the clock. Rejecting the elite’s preferred model of craven submission to every Third World cretin with a grievance and a camera, the Trump administration flew some Apache gunships over the crowd of unwashed morons, kicking off some flares, and generally sending the unequivocal message that if those SOBs had a problem, the AH-64s had a 30mm solution. 
And then the administration sent in 100 Marines, about a company, on Ospreys as a quick reaction force and alerted the ready brigade at Ft. Bragg to start shuttling 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers into theater.
Whatever the opposite of “stand down” is, Trump ordered that. 
But there was more. 
He dusted Soleimani, who thought he could just cruise through Baghdad to conspire with his militia pals to kill more Americans. This guy had already maimed or murdered hundreds of our soldiers. But he thought he was safe. He thought Donald Trump was another punk like Barack Obama. 
Like Hellfire he is. 
No one wants a bigger war with Iran – well, Bill Kristol and Max Boot probably do, but no one who matters does. The fact is that we have been at war with Iran since 1979. It’s just now we’re shooting back. 
We didn't fuck around either back when. Praying Mantis was fun for us. Not so much for Iran. Vincennes was a fluke but they had it coming. Nobody in the air screwed around when UAE Air Defense Station #6 said turn around. 
When a foreigner kills an American, somebody needs to die. And somebody did. The Iranians did not expect it. And this rocket-powered justice from above will focus their minds wonderfully. 
Again, whether we should still be in Syria, Afghanistan and/or Iraq is a different question than whether we should turn a terrorist into goo – and one I’ve been clear on as far as my perspective. If you dare kill an American, you need to become a technicolor smear across a few dozen square meters of desert. 
This could escalate, sure. Maybe a show of force will be met by force in response. But if we roll over like gimps, our weakness will absolutely draw force in response. And we are never going to get every single American out of the Middle East. We’ll always have embassies, business contacts, U.S. citizens with family and Americans who just damn well feel like going there who can be targeted. 
You don’t get to hurt Americans. Ever If you do, bad things will happen. 
Welcome to the Trump Doctrine. 
We don’t want an escalation and we should show restraint where we can – but killing Americans must be a red line, a real one, not an Obama one. If this does escalate into a major confrontation, we need to keep some principles in mind. We need to do more than “send messages." Pain should be our message. Any strike should have a tactical (if not strategic effect). Hitting the arms caches means they have fewer arms, and they got the message. And we focus on destroying what the decisionmakers in Tehran care about: sink some capital ships, vaporize a bunch of aircraft, flatten a refinery. It’s even better when it can support the Persian patriots in Iran who want to hang their oppressors from the lamp posts. 
“Proportionality” is a sucker’s game. Our goal should be pain. Screw with America and we hurt you, mullahs. Personally. Not just the idiots who do your dirty work. You and your toys. 
Oh, and we should be aiding the resistance inside Iran, because someday – 40 years after that fool Jimmy Carter allowed the country to descend into theocratic tyranny – the people of that nation will take back their freedom. In the meantime, we need to reemphasize that the days of messing with Americans with impunity are over.
So, spare a thought for Ben Rhodes, John Kerry, and the rest of the liberal saps during this difficult time. And that thought should be, “You suck.” 
Liberals seem to hate this country so much because it is full of Americans. And my newest novel Collapse (along with other entries in the series, People's Republic, Indian Country and Wildfire) look at what would happen if the left got its wish and got rid of the Americans who work, pray, like freedom and know which bathroom to use. Dorky Never Trumps call them “appalling” because the books aren’t lame – you know, like Never Trumpers are. Check them out!

We need to go back to being like the citizens of what once was known as Rome. We were the ones that slaughtered the Barbary pirates when all of Europe was too chicken to take them on. It took a couple of frigates and a few hundred Marines. We can do it again....and no I'm not proposing an invasion of Iran. We have other ways to deal with their government of misrule.