New combat veterans deserve the attention

J.D. over at Mouth of the Brazos and I traded comments not long ago about how the whole Vietnam War, combat veterans like us, refugees and all, finally are on the shelf. It’s all mothballed news at best now.

I see it in the pitiful sales of my two books on the subject, which seem to have peaked at 164 for the Vietnam War short stories and 26 for the novel. Both have been outpaced by my Civil War novel (194) alone. And this year’s new Civil War history, now at 51 sales, has outrun the Vietnam novel and is on pace to eclipse the short stories as well. Not that my work is the best indicator of a trend, but it is one.

Neither J.D. or I created the political one-year combat tour of the Vietnam War. But neither of us would have liked to be in the position of the all-volunteer combat veterans now. Many of them already have served three or four years in combat assignments and the rise of ISIS suggests they have many more ahead of them. They already match the World War II generation which served for the duration.

All that occurred to me reading this WaPo piece about the 101st Airborne Division emplaning near their barracks at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, for a recent flight to Afghanistan. The pundits are still trying to figure out what Wormtongue’s secretive administration intends to do with them. Whether they will guard facilities or patrol. If he even knows himself. He isn’t much of a planner.

It also occurred to me that nowadays when some sergeant addresses a group of soldiers as “ladies and gentlemen,” he’s not trying to be cute, as he was in our day when few women served and none were in combat. He means it quite literally. And both the ladies and the gentlemen deserve all of our attention now.

Rule 5: Joni Ernst



Like her campaign posters said: Mother, Soldier, Former Farmer. Iowa Republican Sen. Elect Joni Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, could be the next Sarah Palin without Palin’s baggage.

Ernst wants to repeal Obamacare, cut taxes, reduce the size of government, restrict abortions, etc. Her election Nov. 9 also helped kill the War On Women meme, though the election took down four Democrat women senators with one more anticipated.

A public trial would have been better

As much as I despise the rioters in Ferguson, and the race hustlers and news media that set them in motion and cheered them on, the killer cop going free because a grand jury said he should be just stinks. It makes the whole system look bad.

Grand juries are secret. It’s a very old story that they are manipulated by prosecutors. And cops across the country are killing too many people these days, many of them black, and we need to know why.

A trial in the Ferguson case would have helped us figure that out. Even if, as Reason magazine says, heck especially if, the cop walked free. At least there’d have been adversarial cross-examination of his and his supporting witness’s testimony. There isn’t anything remotely like that in a closed grand jury room.

Law professor Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy: “…there are strong reasons to be skeptical of a suspect’s [i.e. the cop’s] exculpatory claim to have acted in self-defense, just as there are reasons to be skeptical of a suspect’s exculpatory claim on any other legal basis. [But] all the grand jury is doing is making a probable cause determination, not ‘finding facts’ in a trial sense…”

Or as Reason’s Jacob Sullum concludes:  “A public airing of the evidence, with ample opportunity for advocates on both sides to present and probe it, is what Brown’s family has been demanding all along. [Prosecutor] McCulloch took extraordinary steps to deny them that trial, thereby reinforcing the impression that the legal system is rigged against young black men and in favor of the white cops who shoot them.”

Indeed, it looks like a corrupt system is protecting its own.

Via Reason & the Volokh Conspiracy.

The times of Tittlemouse

Story-telling at MyOldRV whose author Andy is also working on his HAM radio license:

I did ask him if the truck was ‘hot’, had he run over a bunch of school chil’ren’s on the sidewalk in it?  Robbed a 7-11?  Any such thing as that?  He mumbled something about a problem with the registration and inspection and said that was about the size of it. Tittlemouse is a lot of things but a liar isn’t one of them.”

Worth a read, pard.

Via MyOldRV.

Ferguson small business will rebuild

Thanks to a crowd-sourcing campaign Ferguson small-business woman Natalie Dubose won’t be improverished by the idiot looters and destroyers who attacked her Natalie’s Cakes & More in the name of, what, sticking it to The Man?

“…The sweet lady who offered money from her social security check brought me to tears … Thank you to EVERYONE for the kind words, prayers, and emotional support.”

And the $98, 241 raised in 20 hours on the Internet. And more still coming in. Here’s hoping some of the other small-business owners who lost their life-savings-investments to the mob are similarly saved. And that the IRS doesn’t steal too much of what they raise. To give Joe Biden, et al, their cut.

Via Instapundit.


I’d give the guy credit if I could remember where I read this or heard it. Probably only applies to those of us of a certain age who remember how things were waaay back before the Internet came along and, certainly, the Web.

Back in the old days (as recently as the 1970s), you’d write a letter or a postcard and mail it and figure, at the least, it would take three or four days to arrive. And, then, if the recipient was particularly conscientious, and responded fairly quickly, in a day or so, it would be another three or four days before you got your reply. Call it ten days from message to response. Ten whole days.

Today (drum roll) you send an email or you text a text and what? Are you patient? Do you expect to wait for as many as ten days for a reply? Heck no. In fact, if you don’t hear back in ten minutes, well… An hour, tops. Should you not hear back in 24 hours, oh my, you begin to wonder if your interlocutor is still alive. And when as many as 48 hours have passed you figure either s/he is dead or they wish you were.

From ten days to ten minutes. Max. Expectations. Wow.

UPDATE:  By McGeHee, a commenter at Dustbury: “I distinctly remember watching Wile E. Coyote send away for things and receive them seconds later. And that was back in the ’40s!”

Rule 5: Waiting for Gadot


Israeli household name Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, that is, a sword-n-sandals flicker I may even venture into the sticky-floor theater to see, instead of waiting for the DVD as I usually do.