Saturday, December 31, 2022

Good Articles from National Review

Good Articles from National Review. If you don't hit a paywall:

Utopia's Price

Progressing to Nowhere

Japan Wakes Up

A Wartime Military in Peacetime

Book recommendations


The Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson

An Army at Dawn

Day of Battle

The Guns at Last Light

Atkinson is a great writer and a terrific researcher. The books cover, in order, World War II in North Africa, in Italy, and in Western Europe. Despite his tendency to repeat lines or stories he really likes, I thoroughly enjoyed the series. He doesn’t hesitate to point out flops, failures, and errors in judgement. He also gives as much attention to the average GI or Tommy as he does to the leaders. I finished the series with my disdain for Montgomery, and to a lesser extent for Clark reinforced. But all the great generals made errors that cost lives, military and civilian. Every student of military history and WWII buff should read the trilogy.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

White Christmas

 We will have the first white Christmas in years. The "Storm of the century" only gave us 4", but there was already 4" on the ground from last week, and it's been very cold. -11 when I got up yesterday, -32 wind chill.

Friday, December 23, 2022

My ninth anniversary

 Today, December 23, 2022, is the ninth anniversary of my right lung transplant. (In 2020, they took the left one out entirely, due to a fungal infection , so I'm living on the borrowed lung.) Given that 50% of lung transplant patients die in the first five4 years, I feel blessed to still be alive. ~Bob

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Good Articles if you don't hit a pay wall

 Good Articles if you don't hit a pay wall

How to count like Florida. National Review

The Currency of Utopia. National Review \

Rolling back Woke on Campus. National Review

 No. National Review

To paraphrase Voltaire after he attended an orgy, once was an experiment, twice would be perverse.

A bruised Donald Trump announced a new presidential bid on Tuesday night, an invitation to double down on the outrages and failures of the last several years that Republicans should reject without hesitation or doubt.

To his credit, Trump killed off the Clinton dynasty in 2016, nominated and got confirmed three constitutionalist justices, reformed taxes, pushed deregulation, got control of the border, significantly degraded ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and cinched normalization deals between Israel and the Gulf states, among other things. These are achievements that even his conservative doubters and critics — including NR — can acknowledge and applaud.

That said, the Trump administration was chaotic even on its best days because of his erratic nature and lack of seriousness. He often acted as if he were a commentator on his own presidency, and issued orders on Twitter and in other off-the-cuff statements that were ignored. He repeatedly had to be talked out of disastrous ideas by his advisers and Republican elected officials. He turned on cabinet officials and aides on a dime. Trump had a limited understanding of our constitutional system, and at the end of the day, little respect for it. His inability to approximate the conduct that the public expects of a president undermined him from beginning to end.

The latter factor played an outsized role in his narrow defeat to a feeble Joe Biden in 2020 in what was a winnable race. Of course, unable to cope with the humiliation of the loss, he pursued a shameful attempt to overturn the result of the election. He didn’t come close to succeeding, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. The episode ended with Trump, in a grotesque abuse of his powers, trying to bully Vice President Pence into unilaterally delaying or changing the count of electoral votes on January 6 and with an inflamed pro-Trump mob storming the Capitol while the president gave no indication that he particularly minded..

Since then, Trump has maintained his grip on the party and done all he can to force it to accept his delusions and lies about the 2020 election — boosting conspiracy theorists and fanatics and targeting for defeat, with considerable success, anyone pushing back too hard against him or his obsessions.

Trump’s success in imposing his fixations and candidate choices on the GOP played a large role in the GOP debacle in the midterms. This political backdrop raises the possibility that his low-energy announcement speech may be a damp squib.

Certainly, GOP voters should give up on the idea that Trump is a winner. After securing the GOP nomination with plurality support in 2016, Trump didn’t exceed 47 percent in either of his campaigns, winning in 2016 with 46.1 percent and losing in 2020 with 46.8. This is, to say the least, a very narrow electoral path, and one must assume that with all that’s transpired since 2020, Trump is weaker than in his first two races.

Justice Thomas Spotted Quietly Working at Arlington National Cemetery - Turns Out He's Been Doing This for Years

 Justice Thomas Spotted Quietly Working at Arlington National Cemetery - Turns Out He's Been Doing This for Years

Merry Christmas

 France: Muslim screaming ‘Allahu akbar’ cuts down town’s Christmas tree

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Recruiting for your military

 Recently Maj. Nathan Blackwell, OIC of Marine Recruiting in WI, the UP, and N. Il., spoke to the Wi Chapter of the Third Marine Division Association about the challenges of recruiting.

I said that many young folks or their parents rejected the woke military. He replied that her couldn't change the national commander structure, he could only concentrate on his own area, making his part of the Corps as good as possible to face future emergencies, and hope that the national mood may change. I thought that was good advice and wrote the following oped to submit to the madison paper. I encourage you either to write something yourself or to submit my oped to your paper. Feel free to crib from mine. Try to stay under 500 words to have a hope of it being published. Semper Fi. ~ Bob

Robert A. Hall

709 Harrington Drive

Madison, WI 53718


485 words


Your Military

Robert A. Hall


You have a lot to think about. Things like inflation, your family, the holidays, the opioid crisis, your job, and maybe losing weight or stopping smoking.


I would like you to take a moment to think about something else: your Marine Corps. And your Army, your Navy, your Coast Guard, and your Air Force. Oh, it’s nice when someone sees my Marine cap and thanks me for my service. It was a privilege to wear the uniform.


But saying “Thank you” isn’t the support your military needs. I say “your” because as a taxpayer and an American citizen, the military not only protects you, but it belongs to you. If it fails, the country fails, your way of life fails. What is happening in the Ukraine can happen here. It will happen here without a strong military. The comfortable life, the freedoms you take for granted, even life itself can be lost. Without a strong military, they will be lost. Si vis pacem, para bellum


Service in the military has gotten a bad rap. I saw a tweet from a college woman that said, “People go into the military because their (sic) too dumb to go to college.” A Marine tweeted back, “They’re.”


Many teachers, principals, and college professors actively discourage young people from serving. But they would be the first to scream if they had a government like our near peer adversaries Russia or China dictating educational policy.


Service in the military often enhances a person’s education. I was a “D” student in high school. My skipping record will never be broken. No way was I going to college. But four years in the Corps gave me tenacity, resiliency, and self-discipline. I thank God daily for my Drill Instructors. At 76, I’ve had a happy and successful life.


After the Corps, I earned a BA in Government, getting As and Bs. The year I graduated, I was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate, defeating an incumbent by nine votes. I served five terms, earning a Master’s at night and serving six more years in the Marine Reserves. Then I had a successful 31-year career in association management. In 2013, I had to retire to have a lung transplant; in 2020, the VA took the other lung out. Marine self-discipline carried me through against the odds. After my transplant, I worked four years as a part time writer-editor at the VA. Now I teach chess to kids after school for YEL.


Those who don’t want to go to college may learn a trade in the military.


Can they get hurt? Sure. But young people also die at home from drug overdoses or driving drunk.


So, encourage young people who might qualify (a majority don’t) to consider the service. Most will come out better people, better disciplined, better able to cope with work, life, and getting an education. Then you can thank them for their service.


If you do not wish to receive my emails, let me know at and I'll remove you from my lists.

Author: Quotes for the Conservative Heart: Ideas as Weapons of Defense

Print: $9.99 Kindle $2.99 

Semper Fidelis

Books by Robert A. Hall:

"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold."  --1st. Lt. Clifton B. Cates, Navy Cross, 2 Distinguished Service Crosses, (later Commandant), USMC, July 19, 1918 commanding 96 Company, 6th Marines, near the French town of Soissons.

"Casualties: many, Percentage of dead: not known, Combat efficiency: we are winning." --Colonel David M. Shoup, USMC, MOH, (later Commandant) Tarawa, 21 November 1943.

Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share. --Captain J.E. "Ned" Dolan, USMC (Ret.) Platoon Leader E/2/7, Korean War


We fight not for glory, nor for riches, nor for honour, but only and alone for Freedom, which no good man lays down but with his life. --Declaration of Arbroath, Scotland, 1320

Athens had reached the point of rejecting independence, and the freedom she now wanted was freedom from responsibility. There could be only one result... If men insisted on being free from the burden of a life that was self-dependent and also responsible for the common good, they would cease to be free at all. Responsibility was the price every man must pay for freedom. It was to be had on no other terms. --Edith Hamilton, "The Echo of Greece"

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else. -Frederic Bastiat, French Economist (1801-1850)


Friday, December 9, 2022

Cranberry Upside Down Cake


Cranberry Upside Down Cake


Line a cake pan with tin foil.

Spray it with non-stick cooking spray

Put a layer of Cranberry sauce on the bottom

Mix a box of yellow cake mix and pour the batter on top of the cranberry sauce.

Bake at 350 until top is brown and a toothpick comes out clean.


Bob’s New England Cranberry Sauce


Reduced Sugar Version


1 bag (about 3 cups cranberries or 16 oz.)

1 cup sugar-free Maple flavored syrup

1 cup water

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup white grapes, washed and halved

1 cup fresh raspberries


Original Version


1 bag (about 3 cups cranberries or 16 oz.)

1 cup maple syrup

1 cup water

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup golden raisins

1 can mandarin orange slices


Rinse berries, discarding any soft ones. Put berries, syrup, water & spices in pot and bring to boil. Boil until the berries start to pop then about ten minutes longer. Add grapes or raisins and nuts. Should be thick. After it cools, add raspberries or drain orange slices & add. Serve chilled.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Many Memes