Tuesday, May 31, 2022


By and large, they were good men. And later I was blessed to serve with some of the good women who served. Yes I know, this is to remember the fallen but I get to write what I like and I like to remember the ones who I served with and in all 30 years, I did not lose a single one.

Thank You each and every one of you. You rule.

I hadn't realized that there are a lot of people alive today who never heard of the Red Zone or knew that parts of France were still no go zones a hundred years after the war ended there.

Monday, May 30, 2022


We saw here the horrible results of drone tech in the Azerbaijan war with Armenia. 4 men could not assemble in daylight without instantly being the target of a drone weapon. They used bunker busters to kill them. I watched the video of those strikes a year ago and thought that was to be the lot of the Ukrainians.

On the gripping hand, I don't actually believe much of what I see in the media today. For some reason, all those drone kill shots dropped right out of history as Russia got involved in playing war for the first time in 70 years.

Sunday, May 29, 2022


Liberals, progressives and other idiots sincerely believe we can learn a lot from studying Stone Age cultures. Me? Not so much.


I used to be peers with a number of people some of whom were our squadron commanders. One of them was sacked while deployed with his squadron to the UAE. I just now found the full NAVY INVESTIGATION into the matter online and read it, all 42 pages of the Investigating Officer's report and the endorsements by Tillotson and NECC. As I read it I kept wondering, this was it! This was the exact moment we departed from being a combat force in being to being a shadow of irrelevance that could be dismissed as lightly as one dismisses a tame poodle. I knew the Commodore that was dismissed and sacked. He was a fairly insufferable CDR in my way as we tried to pull together Battle Experiment Echo with 3rd Fleet and a host of other really stubborn people. He was the representative from DEEP BLUE, NAVAL WAR COLLEGE and Second Fleet, IIRC. I might revisit our expereience trying to get any officials in San Francisco to honor the commitments they made to us when we went to their offices but maybe I'll save that for another time.

I read the full report of the Investigation into matter iN MSRON 12 while deployed to UAE and what struck me was the nature of the investigation. At no point at all did it ever address whether the squadron was combat effective in the conflict zone in the Persian Gulf. The entire investigation delved into whether the CO was mean and whether he had failed to comply with various administrative filings that would best be laid at the feet of his Admin Officer.

Dave took the hit, got sacked and terminated wtih extreme prejudice.

I had done something new at the time. At 42 I got married for the first time and had a daughter. The formerly motivated sailor was now not slacking off but disregarded all his friends who urged him to take squadron command. I wasn't going to do that because I knew what it would cost me in my life. As it happens, I could have done it since in the end marriage was not apparantly something I was any good at since I was still a staff officer and commuted to Korea at least once a month for years and this proved incompatible with a strife free life.

As the Operations Officer for the West Coast Maritime Expeditionary Security Forces, I knew Dave got sacked but I thought it was for something worthy. Reading the report of the Investigator, he didn't stay 100% on top of the admin ball and he was frustrated that he had incompetent subordinates. Been there, done that, got the medal.

All of this is from 10 years ago but the language of the Investigator and Tillotson and NECC makes me sure and certain that we don't really have any warfighters at any level of the Navy anymore. We basically have cud chewing cows out there running the Navy and nothing will change until they get Pearl Harbored, again.

Saturday, May 28, 2022


The police failed to act other than despicably as a killer was left in a 4th grade classroom for over an hour while he continued to kill children while the cops did nothing but restrain parents outside.

Children do learn and what will we say as a society when kids start to bring guns to school to protect themselves and their classmates since it's a given that the police won't protect them?

How much longer are the idiots to remain in charge and continue to forbid armed teachers and staff? Oh sure, there are an awful lot of people out there that should never pick up a gun but there are many who can and will. The cops totally fucked up another school massacre as badly as the worthless Broward cops. Every single law enforcement agency needs a 'come to Jesus after action' to emphasize that there are never any grounds whatsoever to not immediately rush in when there is a shooter in the school. I thought every cop shop would have made this point years ago and refreshed it every year. I guess I expected too much of them. God knows the parents thought so too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022


From the newspaper that brings up darkness every day in its relentless pursuit of truth, this

Wednesday, May 18, 2022


Well our friendly European hyprocrites are probably going to be hoist on their own petard again. For 50 years now the EU has staved off Turkey from gaining membership in the EU despite the fact that Turkey was practically a founding member of the Council of Europe. After the ten founding members in 1949, Turkey became one of the first new members (the 13th member) of the Council of Europe in 1950. The country became an associate member of the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1963, and was an associate member of the Western European Union from 1992 to its end in 2011. Turkey signed a Customs Union agreement with the EU in 1995 and was officially recognised as a candidate for full membership on 12 December 1999, at the Helsinki summit of the European Council. Negotiations for full membership were started on 3 October 2005. Really the EU gave Turkey the finger and continues to do with many of the more maniacal Germans declaring that they would never permit Turkey to join the EU while they were president of the European Commission. So now those craven slime molds are practically peeing themselves in the fear that Turkey will veto any membership in NATO for Finland and Sweden who were fast-tracked for full NATO membership in less than a week.

Keep in mind that NATO is a military defense organization that binds the members to come to the immediate defense of any member that is attacked. About the only member of NATO today that has anything like an effective military is Turkey and why would they commit themselves to a possible war with Russia for the Europeans who despise them? I'm not sure I can think of a reason for Turkey to approve admitting Finland and Sweden despite how friendly they have been towards the idea of Turkey becoming a member of the EU.

It's kind of amusing to me. Turkey is the full heir of the Ottoman Empire, the Sick man of Europe as it was known for a century and it tried quite valiantly to make its case for membership in the EU but the thugocracy wouldn't have anything to do with them except rely upon them for 100% of NATO's defense in the south during the whole Cold War.

Erdogan strikes me as very Middle Eastern in many respects but perhaps the leading characteristic he shares with his pals in Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories and other dismal places like that is his absolute inability to forgive and forget. I think he'll veto NATO membership for excellent and sound reasons and also to give the EU and the Germans the finger.


Listening to NPR the other day as they interrogated yet another 'expert' on society and what's wrong with the country, everybody agreed it was because the far right and extremists and white supremacists just "couldn't accept President Biden's Center-Right policies." Yep. They think of themselves as the "center" and of course anybody to the right of the center is nothing but a white supremacist far right extremist.

What a strange world they live in in their exclusive enclaves.

Sunday, May 15, 2022


In a lot of ways what I am seeing in the United States, Europe and Ukraine vs Russia is almost identical to the parade of folly that led Europe into The Great War. Every stupid thing that could be said is being said. Every threat that can be uttered is uttered. Every single action to move incrementally to a war that nobody wanted is being pushed hard from behind in order to accelerate the movement towards inevitable war with Russia. All the same outside parties are now weighing in on one side or another, promises extended, oaths pledged and yet just as in 1914, none of the parties or people involved see what is happening right in front of their eyes. Putin, they say, is a mad crazy man and dictator. Fine. So are just about all the other main characters involved in this plot although in a few cases it would be simply safer to assume that they're senile and their handlers seek some personal advantage from egging on the various powers into a confrontation. Back in the Cold War I always assumed that a war with the USSR would at some point go nuclear but that was a Soviet Union led by some of the most ruthless and pragrmatic men to ever live. As we saw over the decades, none of them ever sought to attack ANY OF OUR VITAL INTERESTS. Oh sure, they nibbled around the edges and sold weapons to the enemy in our various proxy wars but they didn't directly engage us because they knew perfectly well that a country that could not feed itself could not win a war with the United States and didn't need to bother so long as the communists ran the Soviet Union. Those men didn't care about the Eastern European empire anymore that we ever did. We gave them away at Yalta and Potsdam and nobody in the West every even poked into just why we let them be sold down the river to a fate we knew was inevitable. There are a damn sight fewer Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians today because hundreds of thousand of them were rounded up and shipped to Siberia, never to return home again. Now, like all the old Empires and Kingdoms of the West who slobbered over the Serbs vs Austrians and started making promises and sending arms and making threats we have all got to slobber over the Ukrainians vs Russians. The thing though is that I haven't changed my position on this matter. Poking Russia by continuously rolling the NATO frontier closer and closer to Russia even though history has shown that this is ALWAYS a STUPID thing to do was not merely provocative and stupid, it left Putin no choice other than to react violently since all diplomatic efforts to resist had simply been bulldozed by European boneheads eager to make a reputation for themselves.

Did Putin turn off the gas that Europe absolutely needed this winter even as every idiot there postured and prattled? Nope.

Did even one single NATO member start to increase the readiness of their military forces as their leaders started to lay the ground work for a totally unnecessary war with Russia? Nope.

Did the United States government attempt to remind everyone that Russia was the sole heir of the nuclear arsenal of the Soviet Union and that a good bit still worked and even if they decided not to use it themselves, they might as well start selling a few here and few there with handy instruction books printed in Arabic, Farsi, Tamil, Irish and few other languages? I thought not.

They'll all be so surprised one night to be told that Kiev isnt there anymore. And I'm sure that there isn't a soul in any government in the West that has prepared for that eventuality. Can you imagine the Senile Idiot in Chief thinking ahead? How about the feckless Boris living at #10? What about Macron who thinks if it looks good it must be good. That's it folks. Those are the nuclear armed powers in NATO and they're all out there in Poland and Ukraine swanning around as if their brave military show means anything at all to a man they've left very little to lose.

And worst of all, they don't know it.

Thursday, May 12, 2022


I see that the White House has finally awakened. I hope the House Rep Leader does accept the subpoena from the House Committee on Jan 6 and asks them over and over and over again to explain how the Executive Branch condoning attacks on the Judicial Branch is not somehow the same sort of thing they're accusing President Trump of doing when he held a rally on the that allegedly threatened the Congressional Brnach on the Mall.

Sunday, May 8, 2022


We had one particular guy call us every week, then several times a week always asking to talk to the lady of the house about making a donation to the police benevolent fund. He would call me at all hours of the day and it was always the same. As you can imagine I grew tired of him and told him to stop, but the little devil was deceitful and caller ID doesn't work when the caller can transmit a faux ID number. I took it about as well as any retired Engineer would and bought a couple of air horns. I needed one for the 3rd floor and one for the first floor. he would call and ask, "Is X there?" Boom. Horn in the ear. He was determined. He still called a couple of times a week with the same question and the same response. There is that wonderfull bit in Good Omens where the Dukes of Hell are sent down a phone line to one of those call rooms and turn all of them into weevils. It resonates.

Friday, May 6, 2022


When you give away a camera to a socialist you got what you paid for.

Thursday, May 5, 2022


I had cause to think of one of the smarter people I know and while it was not required and never will be I called to mind a phrase from one of Larry Niven's remarkable books about Kzin. The Ringworld engineers built things to last. Here is the thought.
I think about this as I watch people distress violently over little things.

We used to teach people 'civics' in school. I got my fill of them with the nuns, with the assistant football coach teaching Alabama State History and with countless other teachers who taught young people that this was a republic and taught us the nuts and bolts about how it was supposed to work. They never really got into the graft and corruption but they did lay out the fundamental principles much as one would talk about the laws of thermodynamics.

I really don't think anybody does that anymore. That is probably not a good thing. In fact, I'd venture to say it is a very bad thing. I really don't think people want to be in a society that has decided that the best way to lead is to outthug the rest.

I didn't expect to live in a kzin society.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022


I think that Irony has moved a bit. It's funny how a post I pulled out of the distant past just yesterday touches so neatly on the affairs of today. This is almost a Gunpowder Milkshake moment at the Diner. The wheels are well and truly coming off and because I have no dogs in the fight, skin in the game, I find them amusing.

The omnipotent left just woke up to a fact I've been laughing about for about 40 years.

ROE V WADE is not actually a law. It was a court decree but nobody in the last 40 years thought about what overturning a court decision absent a law would do. OH NOW they are scrambling in election season to put those things on the books and make a right to "privacy" lawful and God damn those who won't bow and praise the left. Poor bastards. They thought they could continue as they have gone on and just push this behind them. We will see.

Oh yeah, I'm wrong. Every single time a name for the supreme court came up in the last 40 years the wingers came out of the wings in a perfect frenzy of hatred. You notice of course that what they mostly failed to do was to try to legislate. What they hated was what they got.

I have stood there in the Jefferson Memorial in the morning and the evening and looked up and decided as a young man, a serving officer, a man with a lifetime behind him to go along with the words written there. They were good words. They are carved in stone all around the dome. Written in stone.

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

As we read earlier, FAITH is what guides us. The absence of faith is also a guide but to a lesser place and a poorer realm.

Those on the left believe in stupid transient things. The rest of us take a note from the bible from time to time but almost all of us believe in the 10 commands from on high. One of the things historians have noted is that one really cannot build a civilization without them.

Monday, May 2, 2022



On Faith

By lex, on December 11th, 2003

One man’s journey from the mechanical through the metaphysical to the spiritual.

My father was a southern Baptist, a merchant sailor twice divorced before he married my mom. She was a member of the Roman Catholic Church from the coal mining valleys of Pennsylvania, where she learned from her mother that “dirty black Protestant” was essentially one word. She divorced her first husband as a drinker, gambler and abuser, back in the days when good Catholic girls from the Pennsylvania valleys didn’t do that – instead they bore babies, and bore up. She took her two young daughters with her when she left, to Washington, D.C. to make her way in the world. The year was 1944, and it simply wasn’t done. In time, my parents met, they wooed, and they wed. And in time, I was born.

He being a Baptist, she Catholic, they compromised and decided that mixture made me Episcopalian. The Episcopal Church had all the ceremony of the Catholic convention, with none of the guilt – it was Catholic-light. My mom could close her eyes and feel at home. For my father, it meant at least that we weren’t Papists – it’s amusing to reflect these days that such divisions and classifications as my parent’s generation felt as viscerally as the air they breathed are nearly meaningless among the faithful today, at least as far as I can tell. Your car is blue? I prefer red. And so on.

I was raised in the “high” church – an incense-filled sanctuary of choral Eucharists and lovely teenage girls in Sunday-go-to-meeting dresses whose chastity and piety evoked in me a response that was very far from sacred in my own teenage years. I was an acolyte, or altar boy – fortunately the Anglican Church allows their priesthood to wed, so I was spared the indignities that have attended such service in other quarters, about which well enough has been said. As an acolyte, you are immersed in the mechanics of faith – just how and when to present the gifts, to ring the bell, to wash the dishes, as it were. A layer of the sacred curtain is pulled back, and you catch a glimpse of the little man at the controls.

And again, there were those lovely young ladies. I was conflicted – try to keep thinking about how He suffered for us and our sins, when what you’re really hoping is that the rays of sunlight arcing through the stained-glass windows might catch that summer dress in just the right way. I felt guiltily like a wolf among the sheep. I considered myself a relatively intelligent, logical young man – and the inconsistencies of faith, all faith, and the arrogance of youth combined in me to create a level of deep skepticism. I spoke to one of my priests, and told him that I was undergoing a crisis of faith – how was all of this to be believed? He told me to read the Bible, to think on what was witnessed therein, to realize that if it all could be proven scientifically, then faith would be unnecessary, and virtue would be mandatory – therefore not virtuous at all, but merely self-interested. Where would free will be in all of that? It seemed to me small beer, pat, perhaps even rehearsed.

My parents died within four months of each other when I was 21. How could a just and loving God have taken them away like that, so quickly? I was angry, and so very certain of my own perfection of thought, and being – what need did I have of these petty-bourgeois sensibilities? I was my own man; I would craft my own morality, and like Ulysses I would drink life to the lees.

It’s amazing what you can rationalize as being moral, when you have cut yourself free of millennia of burdensome restrictions on personal behavior. Even secular humanism is simply the tyranny of some fractionally superior number of people who believe that we should all act in this way, rather than that. Could not 50.1% of the popular vote be wrong? It was not enough for me. Farewell to all that, forever and ever, amen. Life has a way of wearing away at you though – we won’t all be President.

In my 30’s out of mere curiosity I took up the reading of philosophy, which in the beginning at least, with the Greeks, was dedicated to determining, “what is a good life, and how do I lead it?” That was before the modern study of philosophy degenerated into a game of making words mean something other than what they evidently were meant to say, by way of being dense and inaccessible to the masses. So that Sartre could eventually speak of “freedom” and “nausea” in the same breath, and the cognoscenti could nod, knowingly. So I experimented with existentialist philosophy for a bit – who has looked into the abyss, and not felt it looking back into him? Sartre spoke of standing on the edge of a precipice and being afraid – not that you might fall, but that you might jump. An intriguing idea, but as a philosophy of living one’s life, it leaves very much to be desired. You might do as well to blow your head off, than live a life where all the world’s joy and pain are uniquely yours to create or un-create with the opening and closing of your own eyes.

But in reading philosophy, I also came to understand that religion too was a philosophical worldview. It was a way of understanding the world, and interacting meaningfully with it. I had been raised a Christian, and my Weltanschauung was informed by those lessons I only scarcely thought I heard growing up. I was not yet a believer, but I understood.

And the big bang theory didn’t exactly do it for me either. Who lit the fuse? How could everything have come from nothing? How could Mozart develop inexorably from dust, to brilliance and back to dust again? Was there no guidance or intelligence behind this design, just a random collection of cold chemicals that somehow became animated, became alive? A lightning bolt came down to earth and hit a pool of water and created a single cell organism, which eventually became me? Really? Does our science understand how to do this? And what is on the other side of infinity, the place where our finite minds cannot reach? Who lives there? Was this really all there was?

So the questions didn’t go away, they just became other questions, all of them unanswerable. In choosing no faith, I had still chosen to believe in something that could not be proven. It was an anti-faith, existing not because of anything really, but in spite of something. And it was still contradictory.

In time I fell in love, and got married, and along came children of my own.

Suddenly it wasn’t really all about me, anymore.

In my business, I’ve had the occasion to speak to men who spent five, six, even seven years as guests of the People’s Republic of Vietnam in the Hanoi Hilton. They had faced unbelievable hardships in the prison camps, and somehow come through. I asked them how they survived, when all there was to life was torture, pain and suffering, no guarantee it would ever be any different. They all recalled that the one thing that got them through was their faith. Soldiers know that there are no atheists in the fighting hole, when the artillery is coming in. Throughout recorded time, people have used their faith to get them through the hard times; times that most of us will face in our lives, and all of us will face at the end of them.

So could I deny my children this avenue of relief, through my own solipsism? Could I be sure that their lives would be perfect? Anyone raised in the arms of the community of the faithful might one day decide rationally that it is all so much piffle, for the weak-minded only. But who among us, having been denied the keys to this place of internal strength and solace, will even look for the door if they have not been exposed to it in their youth? And all of us, I think, look for some larger meaning and context to our lives – the spiritual in the beauty of the rose, in the sunset, in the love of a good woman, in the smile of your child. Having been denied the collective wisdom of our culture, will they cast about instead for meaning inside the new age spiritualism of yoga, vegetarianism and green tea? Not that these are bad things, for those who choose them – but choice presupposes knowledge of value, the ability to compare and contrast with some degree of perception. The children must learn of faith from the inside, in order to make an informed decision to go out.

So, we went back to church. And in fact, I found that listening to the readings of the old, old books, gave me insights into the physical world and world of people and their interactions that I had not noticed I was missing. I felt a better person.

There was time to reflect upon your week behind you, and make promises to yourself about the week to come. And this was a good philosophy: to love the lord your God (in other words to believe in something more important and larger than yourself) with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments, we were instructed, hung all the laws and the prophets. There were nice folks there, too. So I felt a better person, but I did not yet believe.

Some years later I was driving down to Miramar, California from Fallon, Nevada, on one of the more Godforsaken (forgive me) stretches of road in the western United States. I came to a part of this road that had undulating hills, just as a fog rolled in. I was driving far too quickly, but it was late and I had hours yet to go before I could rest. Suddenly, in the pool of diffuse light cast by my headlamps at the crest of a small hill, I saw an enormous and ghostly-gray crucifix rise up from the ground, wheeling towards me – the symbolism was clear: I was about to die, this was my forewarning. And the thing that surprised me even as I felt it was not that my forewarning had come in the sacred form thus presented, but that I hadn’t seen the cause of my death coming – what had I missed? Was I about to run off the road, get hit by a truck, suffer a stroke? I looked around wildly, trying to see what it might be.

It was nothing of course – I am still here, still typing. The “crucifix” was merely a roadside power line truss, the wheeling effect created by the rise of my headlamps as I crossed over the hill in the fog, an illusion. I laughed to myself.

But with hours to go before I got to where I was going, I had this thought to turn over in my head: It was not the symbol that surprised me at all – I saw it and interpreted it immediately, unquestioningly. I knew what it meant. I believed.

There is a kind of logic here too, the logic of faith: It seems to me that taken logically, there are only two possible positions, binary: there either is a God, or there is not. I have said that I cannot believe that everything came from nothing, and concede that we cannot understand that which we cannot understand, what is on the other side of infinity, e.g. So I must believe through faith in that which cannot be demonstrated to be true, God’s presence, and reject through faith that which also cannot be demonstrated to be true – the absence of God. It is a choice I make.

And in this choice, there are only three possible positions: that God loves us, that he hates us, or that he is indifferent. If he hated us, we would know – this would in fact be hell. Between indifference and love, I choose to believe in love.

And if God loves us he loves us perfectly (or otherwise he would not be perfect, therefore not be God), what greater love could he show, than to give his only Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not suffer, but have life everlasting?

No, I am not now a perfect man, a perfect Christian, even a perfect Episcopalian (if there is such a thing). I am a work in progress. But in this faith is my philosophy of what is a good life, and how to live it. It is what I was raised in, and is as good a revelation as any other, far better than some. There is much beauty in it, much that is challenging, some things that I can scarcely bear to think of.

But taken as a whole, it is good.


Realize just how much whirlwind there is to reap out there? Just askin, for a friend.