Huckleberry Finn

Saw an ad the other day for Hillsdale College seeking $100 plus donations by offering DVDs of its course on Mark Twain (another of which I took more than fifty years ago at Maryland) with the pitch that his Huckleberry Finn is banned by many American high schools. And more than a few colleges and universities, I imagine.

Because it has the word nigger in it. And a slave character who seems to be taking his slavery in stride. Though Huck is overtly opposed to slavery and racism.

Eleven years later and it’s still banned, eleven years after, that is, I read old Huckleberry to Mr. Boy (then eight years old) who enjoyed it immensely. Primarily, I suspect, because of Huckleberry’s disdain for school and the pc of his own day. The 20th century’s Holden Caulfield is a poor substitute.

Fortunately Huck is not out of print yet (if it’s not censored—sometimes called condensed—as many editions are) and you could enjoy it for yourself.

D+2 Omaha Beach

Several days beyond the 75th commemoration I suddenly remember my cousin Dallasite Jerry Stover who went ashore on Omaha Beach on D+2. He was an Army signal officer with the advance HQ of the Ninth Air Force.

Jerry, who passed in 2012 at the age of 92, would go on to do such things as help liberate the Dachau concentration camp near Munich. But on the beach at Normandy he helped set up combat communications—after connecting with his uncle William Edward Matchett, my maternal grandfather’s brother, a Navy communications officer who’d gone ashore on the first deadly day.

“It was much quieter when I waded in on D+2,” Jerry wrote, “but the grim carnage had me very concerned about Bill…I found him safe! When he was deployed back to USA a week later, Bill left me his Navy jeep. A great gift! I used it to carry our radio sets across France!”

Via 6th Beach Battalion

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Rule 5: Ashley Graham

Chernobyl: More fic than fac

The HBO series, which recently ended at five episodes, plays mighty loose with the facts, according to Forbes enviro writer Michael Shellenberger.

No Soviet helicopter crashed flying over the burning reactor; the firefighter’s wife losing her baby because it absorbed the radiation meant for her never happened nor could it; most of the firefighters survived; and the danger of exposure to radioactive bodies is minimal.

So, if we can believe this critique, the HBO series employed massive amounts of dramatization, i.e. lies. Midnight in Chernobyl is much better, if far less sensational.

Not to be outdone, the Putin government’s Cultural Ministry has set out to televise “the tale of a heroic KGB agent trying to thwart a supposed CIA sabotage plot” at Chernobyl.

Yeah, that’ll show ’em. Combating lies with more lies.

Via Forbes & PJMedia

Snubnose still popular

“But, in this day of semi-automatic pistols, it is wise not to overlook the tried-and-true snubnose revolver. They’ve been around for a long time and that is simply due to the fact they meet the defensive needs of a lot of folks.”

Now, if they just can get the aim-interfering, double-action trigger fixed, please?

Via Shooting Illustrated

A green wall

“…[H]ave army corps of engineers doze a mile wide strip on border. from the air, carpet seed cactus. really nasty cactus. really tight. a new green wall. [A]nd it flowers after winter rains.”—Waterman at Don Suber blog.

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Rule 5: Savanna Sievers