Big Personalities

Blog Post

Caption: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb…


“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”


Bullet Points:

** (right) POE/EOP

** This date in history: The Normandy landings were the landing operations and associated airborne operations on Tuesday, June 6, 1944, of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often called D-Day, it is the largest seaborne invasion in history.

** Fast forward- Commander in Chief, leader of the free world, and so forth – 80 years after D-Day. The Ho who presided over the USAF Academy graduation this year. The clip was from last year. Pedo Joe is worse now than he was then.

** In the endless debate, which is better, a pike or billhook (in an armored infantry formation)? Even though this may seem like an unusual and esoteric topic of discussion, I have friends who will discuss the merits with me for hours — literally.

** A sign I saw in a government office pinned to a cubical partition: Too young for retirement;  Too poor to quit;  Too fat to strip. Sage advice from the public sector.

** It’s not your government, you just pay for it – Tucker.

** This is how it works at the Border. It’s a common thing, not an exceptional one. A friend who worked in internal affairs told me that it was greater than one in three.

** Dessert at Chinese restaurants is the topic.

** Vending machine pizza? Trending? Really? Somebody call Claudio for an Italian opinion on this.

** You want an evaluation of Texas? This isn’t a bad one.

** Megafauna: The mastodons died out, the bison grew smaller, but they’re still massive, and the moose and elk remained the same. Elk are large. They are larger when you hit them with your car/truck/motorcycle than when you see them at a distance. There are three elk who live at my house. They’re wild, but they’re here almost every day. I have no idea why.

** Do you know when President Trump’s mattress removal tag trial begins? A maid who saw him sneak into one of the rooms at a Trump Hotel and remove the tags from the mattress in the dead of night alleges it. Eyewitnesses say he took 34 tags, which equates to 34 felonies or 34 years in prison on bread and water at hard labor at a FEMA camp. It was ten years ago, so the mattresses don’t exist anymore, but that doesn’t change the heinous nature of the crime or the reliability of the illegal alien maid, now a citizen and a multimillionaire living on the beach in Malibu.


When Life gives you Lemons

I suggest that you watch this twice. Maybe three times. Ok, four times, but no more than four times.


File it under Warnings and Indications.


Identify the Aircraft





Try to be specific – but it’s not a Growler…


Parting Shot

 Boron at the gun store…



69 thoughts on “Big Personalities

  1. Lottery
    If I won in the next few weeks (I don’t buy tickets) there is a property up the road with own airfield and hangers for sale by auction next month.

    Plus enough land for a reasonable size shooting complex.

      1. If you win, you can fly all of the VM bloggers down under to an airport party to christen the new RCC lair!

          1. Burning Man Down Under…only with proper beer and the effigy would be loaded with [minimally] Tannerite, set off by a 1000 yard shot. Winner gets a RecTeq Barbie.

        1. Paul M, I have been to two of them. My ex wife was a little of a free spirit and was into Dungeon and dragoons stuff and the SCA nerd club and wanted to go with a girlfriend and I wouldn’t allow her to go alone and glad I did, the guys hitting on my wife and the girlfriend with me standing right next to them. My stern look and a strapped 357 under my light jacket was enough of a deterrent.

          1. She’s braver than me…not a joiner in big crowd events…however, the Opening scene of Episode 1 of The Grand Tour where Clarkson (“The Greatest Living Englishman”, h/t Kim Du Toit) gets fired from the BBC/Top Gear – after 22 seasons of epic work, gets on a plane and heads to LA only to find a Fisker-Galpin Rocket Mustang waiting in the rental pick up spot. Heading into the Lucerne Valley Hammond and May sidle up to him in their own aftermarket customized Mustangs while the Breitling Jet Team makes a flyover.

            The rest of the opening – with “I Can See Clearly Now” by the Hothouse Flowers as thery drive up to this stage set up in the danged desert with 100,000 people was…IS…THE BEST – opening scene in tele history. Not to be outdone by the feckless BBC, and a big you-know-what to them, Clarkson hired all the old (exceptional) production crew…WITH raises.

            This recurring comment speaks volumes (even real men cry when fast cars great showcasing of the manly man stuff coupled to cool music happen):
            “The scene where Hammond and May pull up behind Clarkson actually brings tears to my eyes… That’s true friendship right there”

            I would have attended that one.

            This stuff is just good fun…and God knows, we could use some fun as the haters and demented work overtime to take all the fun out of life…like trying to wreck the petrol car industry with crappy Duracell run EV’s. ThHAT is not America, the GT Opening scene is….from a trio of Motherland Englishman showing us in The Colonies what’s what,…taking a massive low point and by shear fortitude and SISU MAGA ™ level fortitude, turning a mess into a great high. (There’s a mini Sermonette in there somewhere.)

            Worth the watch:

          2. Oh, and it was called “Burning Van” with a van on fire hanging from a crane. hehehe (typo, 10k in attendance…but still…the coolest of cool)

  2. Little time, but: Pikes vs. billhooks / halberds / whatever. The key is the state of armoring
    of the combatants the heavy armor described favors the polearms, otherwise the pikes
    win out.
    Now over to our correspondent, Beans…
    – Kle.

    1. True. The heavy armor was a reaction to the effectiveness of the pikes. They didn’t have to maneuver; they just stood there and met the pikes.

  3. I’ve recanted this story here before, but it needs to be retold once more about Norman Corn, a tall lean Osage Indian, never married, member of our church. I was program chairman at our local lions club. Our speaker had backed out on Veterans Day. I asked the members who were veterans to give a short story of their service. Norman, who hardly ever spoke up, raised his hand after a bit, and stood up and offered this statement. “I was a member of the 101rst airborne, the screaming eagles. I jumped out of a plane over Normandy the night before D-day. I jumped into Holland during operation Market Garden. And I jumped out of the back of a truck at Bastogne. I never jumped out of anything ever again. Every time I jumped out of something bad things happened!”

    We all gave him a standing ovation, which embarrassed the heck out of him. Those of us who knew and remember him, are still giving him a standing ovation everyday. Thank you Norman Corn

    1. Norman Corn was fkn lemon and certainly deserved the remembrance.
      Short story told by Michael Herr in Dispatches as told to him, went something like this: “Ten guys went out on patrol. One came back. He died before he could tell us what happened.”

  4. Identify the Aircraft:
    1. Grumman XF5F Skyrocket
    2. Bristol 221
    3. Yokosuka E14Y Glen
    4. Boeing F-18F Super Hornet

  5. I can vouch for the size of moose. Forty-odd years ago I was driving US 2 in Montana when one trotted out in front of me. Only 30 year old reflexes saved the pickup.

    1. Everyone should have a moose (in the water near them) walk out of the water (also near them) to get a feel for the size and power.

      1. And they have lousy eyesight so run at you if they want a better look. Best left alone (like the 83 yo woman who thought the Yellowstone bison was petable).

          1. You need to expire to get the award and take yourself out of the gene pool. Anything short of that is honorable mention.

  6. Your Post today is chock full of excellent fodder, how do you do it? (I have a hard time focusing lately with “The Firehose Effect” by TPTB). But a few comments…which, for me, takes serious restraint:
    Lemonade- Got worried it might have been an ad for lululemon…and no, MrsPaulM does not wear overpriced recycled plastic bottle yoga pants out and about. As for one of my favorite actors and him expounding on the way things work in our “enlightened modern” society…yeah, spot on. Borrowed the clip for campfire attendee dissemination. Never watched the series…might need to now.
    Vending Machine Pizza – Just.No. Grew up around Philly, best thin crust on the planet (let the arguments begin), and…thank The Lord…never heard of pineapple until moving West, Oy!
    Mattress Tags…wouldn’t be 34 counts, it would be 68 counts, maybe even 102…seems DA’s like the two or three pile-on approach when it suits in order to make their version of “the law” fit their latest obscure not-a-crime…makes jury’s think the smoke-n-mirrors being presented is a big deal.

    Therefore, tomorrow – as it’s Friday and after 20 years on the memory foam, which has lost some of it’s “memory” (like me), MrsPaulM took advantage of Costco’s Memorial Day Sale for a new one (trying the “Purple” in case anyone cares), and a new one will be delivered and old one taken away…in rural Colorado no less (win, win). Sooo, I am calling Friday “SISU MAGA ™ Tear Off Your Mattress Tag Day!” I’ll be waiting for my 2 indictment count and the requisite 3AM raid by the Fibber Magoo’s for breaking some obscure law. If I don’t comment Saturday then you’ll know it happened.
    MOST importantly…to the men who stormed the beaches, MAJOR HUMBLE H/T WITH GRATITUDE!

    80 years later the knowledge of what they did is still there for most of our generation, yet it is easy to see why too many in the current generation don’t understand…this may help: Eisenhower v. Austin. Austin would have gotten dressed down by “Ike” for poor form, insubordination…all told at high volume that he was a disgrace to the military and his position. Likely peed his pants while slobbering all over his face shield. How far the self-proclaimed mighty have fallen…can’t imagine being one of those great men (boys really) we honor today, especially those still with us witnessing America’s demise. Theirs is THE example to follow for eradicating the Enemy Within.

    1. Let me know if you like the purple mattress. I sleep on a Saavata mattress and like it a lot, but eventually, it will need to be replaced. My inclination is to stay with the same brand since I like it, but I’m always open to new info.

      1. Will do…

        We bought our current $500 TempSoma from Sam’s, their in-store version of the Tempur-Pedic ($4-5K, not happening). We leave the box spring for base support. 20 years later and a pile of new mattress shops emerged, all touting theirs as the best (I’m not THAT picky). Researched replacements, DreamCloud, Nectar (seems like the same company as the websites are 98% the same), Purple, Helix, Casper, and Saavata…all highly rated in either Hybrid or Memory Foam. Didn’t look at the $3k or above ones..don’t need anything that fancy. Almost bought the Memorial Day special from DreamCloud but MrsPaulM convinced me that the MemDay Costco special on their Purple select (Costco only – upgraded version but for a lot less cash) was the right answer. Plus, for a few more bucks, the take-away aspect was the clincher (saves me a 60 mile roundtrip to the dump). Bottom line is it needs to be as good as our old one (which was surprisingly good, especially now that I have a few too many desserts on my frame on top of my already dense self, as dad would [sorta] jokingly say.)

        1. Does anyone else find it weird that mattresses now cost as much (or more!) as most of the cars
          I’ve bought over the last 40 years, or so?
          I always thought the old ones stuffed full of cotton batting were good enough…
          – Kle.

          1. From what I’ve seen, the more advertised mattresses are expensive. You go to the special store, where a well-groomed and well-compensated salesperson talks you into the need for a sort of ‘hospital bed’ in terms of mechanical adaptability, temperature control, and firmness. I agree; the older mattresses (in terms of tech) worked just fine. You’re paying for the show room and the sales pitch. I’m interested in PaulM’s take on the purple mattress as sold at Costco.

          2. Younger brother and SIL both have twitchy backs, bought the adjustable SleepNumber type (might even be that brand), not cheap. Hates it. Me, never tired of sleeping on the ground with my 1/2″ sleeping bag pad…that is…until recent years when MrsPaulM has now discovered backpacking for a trip or two a season. Bought the mini self-inflating pad, the bod doesn’t like discomfort as much as it used to and a little more ground separation means less aches in the morning that has the added benefit of getting quicker to coffee prep (often done from the bag while trying to not burn the tent down).

            Will update later once the Purple deal is in…and don’t forget today is “SISU MAGA ™ Tear Off Your Mattress Tag Day!”…screw ’em if they can’t take a joke.

  7. Ps. Yesterday Bongino read The _Resident’s daily schedule for the day: 1) Fly to France.

    That was it.

    Yet according to The Liars he’s sharp as a tack and fit as a fiddle…despite a Security Detail agent having to stand behind him at every step, or him using the short steps to disembark AF1 in case he falls…which Bongino says that is seriously bad form under normal overwatch because it makes The President look small and less “presidential”. Optics matter. Guessing today will be a disaster over there, or, like the upcoming “debate”, canceled altogether with some excuse. We shall see…might be ugly.

    America is a laughingstock. On our important Holiday’s like today that sentiment is massively galling.

    1. Dana Loesch just said Biden looked like he was filling his pants during the D-Day ceremony and Jill quickly shuffled him away to the confusion of other world leaders.
      God help us as America’s stalwart brand goes down the pit toilet at the hands of the true insurrectionists and Marxist tyranny-mongers.

      1. I saw the video and Not a Doctor Jill (former Biden babysitter) reacting to him voiding his bowels at the D-Day remembrance. I wonder how many diapers, spare suits, and clothing sets they bring when they leave the residence. 80 years after D-Day, we have a brain-dead husk of a human being in command, running for re-election. It would be kinder just to bring a cut-out of Biden to events.

        1. I’m thinking The Handlers are allowing him to fail miserably in real time as the Dementia sets in so they can have a reason/excuse to remove him from the Dem ticket…as if that actually mattered. The optics are getting so bad only a totally demented moron would support this guy in anything other than a Crayola Box (w/o sharpener) and a coloring book of ice cream cones. Proof of their demented mentality is how sitting congressman and “woman” are speaking about Trump, what he will do to America and his opponents. Odd though it is in the exact manner of what they are actually doing. I ask, “Do they even hear themselves?” Likely not, they don’t have to hear their own spew-age because elections don’t matter to them, only who gets installed. “Ike” would not approve and might have taken them out himself…send them to Valhalla poste haste. Guessing at least 200 million Americans would pay to see that, not cheer mind you, but certainly not shed a tear.

          1. From what I’ve seen, the media still maintains, “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?” Almost every time Pedo Joe emerges in public these days, he squats and pinches one off in his clothing. Since the liberal establishment thinks that’s cool, maybe they do the same thing? Regularly. Maybe it will become a fad since San Francisco – the liberal model of progressiveness and sexual ambiguity – has piles of human excrement everywhere, and they seem to like it.

  8. D Day. Just for a moment imagine if the Germans pre D Day had just air equality and could have bombed the daylights out of the ammo dumps, tank parks, trucks so on all lined up to get on the ships. Then once ashore, the same. Winning the air war pre D Day was critical. All that planning, war material building so forth. Absolutely amazing. Then the men who did the pointed end of the spear. There are no words adequate for their courage and accomplishments.

    Pizza from vending machine… aka… pizza MRE… only if no other choice… or it’s 3am at the truck stop 7-11 in the middle of Nevada then it’s delicious.

    1. We were always going to win the air war over Germany (and the rest of the axis). Look up how many aircraft
      the Nazis had active at one time on their best day of the war.
      We were throwing raids with that many *4 engined bombers* at them all at once, and not really giving a
      crap if none of them came back.
      Really, the Axis never had the slightest chance. It was like New Jersey, Delaware, and California vs. all of the
      largest nations on Earth, at the same time. All we had to do was bother to fight.
      That being said, IDK if the West is even up to “bothering to fight” in our Enlightened Modern Era.
      – Kle.

        1. Yeah, he was nuts. If they had had someone who could energize and motivate them like he did,
          who wasn’t a shithead asshole, thy might have been really dangerous.
          – Kle.

          1. He was good in the beer halls hanging with his coterie of chicken farmers (Himmler), washed up pilots (Goering), queers (Ernst Röhm – until Hitler murdered him) and the cast of freaks and misfits who are now historical. He was great with a crowd. He won an Iron Cross Second Class during WW1 so I presume he wasn’t a coward. At the end he was a lot like hollow old Pedo Joe.

          2. Can’t find it in a web search but heard a Paul Harvey “Rest of the Story”…short version as I recall: A young man was on the streets, down on his luck and was taken in by a Jewish family. Wife says something to the husband when he comes home from work and says “I’m worried about “our guest”” (as only Harvey alludes). Husband goes up to the attic spare room, walks in, this youth has a gun to his head planning to commit suicide from despair. The father talks him out of it. It was Adolf Hitler. Imagine that.

          1. Les sanglots longs
            Des violons
            De l’automne
            Blessent mon cœur
            D’une langueur

  9. Pizza – Microwave pizza out of a machine might be okay, if it’s decent microwave pizza.
    It will never be real pizza though, just another flavor of Purina Trucker Chow (not knocking
    PTC, I love some of that crap).
    In any place that real pizza is common (Eastern Seaboard, Chicagoland, various others) you can
    a vastly better whole pie for only $20, often way less for just cheese, on essentially every
    streetcorner. So ten bucks for this seems like a poor deal.
    OTOH, we’re talking about Vegas here – a city almost entirely populated by drug-addled compulsive
    Everything Addicts and their servants / hirelings. Good judgement is unlikely to be the catchword.
    – Kle.

    1. I was in Vegas overnight for a work meeting, which meant that everything was comped. The prices are more insane than they are in the general economy. Stale atmosphere, computer gambling without real slot machines and coins banging as they drop, lackluster entertainers (mutton dressed up like lamb), stale whores working the mooches, and expensive food. As I noted, somebody else paid for my time and expenses, so it wasn’t horrible, but I wouldn’t go without being paid to go.

      1. MrsPaulM’s experience as well, especially as a Christian woman with excellent “spidey-sense” operating. Was asked to give a series of high-level veterinarian talks in the next month or so, both seaboards and a middle location. West side talk is either Sacramento or Vegas. That’s like asking to get punched in the face or kicked in the stomach.

        1. Sacramento is a slum. Vegas might be a better choice – Temple of the Living Elvis and all.

          1. Her “lesser than two evils” as well. Hey! I could tag along for a vow renewal ceremony at The White Chapel, I’d even wear pale blue bell-bottoms and a white fluffy collared shirt. Flew in once for Comdex as a “vendor”, hired a Cessna pilot. Fly in private and they treat you like royalty even if it was a lowly tail-dragger.

            Do the hawkers still jamb Glitter Gulch “free” tickets at you as you exit the airport, or was that only for the desk jockey engineer and sales types let loose for a convention?

          2. I drove. It’s a 5 hour haul from the White Wolf Mine. Book on tape, stopped at In-n-Out in Kingman. Flying is for longer trips than that. I’m with CederQ.

  10. As a 5th Generation “Native” Texan from the Days of the Republic who was born on the Upper Texas Coast in “Lap Land”, Sire of four 6th Generation “Native” Texans, and Grand-sire of eight 7th Generation “Native” Texans, ….I wasn’t “real” offended by the video included in today’s post.

  11. not only was he a good comic actor, but there was one scene in “The Waltz of the Toreadors” (supposed to be a comic film) that IMHO should not be missed;
    Gen. Leo Fitzjohn is having an argument with his wife Emily in their bedroom; at the time I was unbelievably embarrassed being the fly-on-the-wall – he was a great dramatic actor as well..

  12. Lived in the (now-)People’s Republic of Maine for many decades, before sensing the decline and moving to Idaho 15 yrs ago. Took care of many deer and moose accident victims. Moose are killers: the bulk is big, up high, and come right through the windshield.
    In the worst m/c vs. deer I saw, the rider almost died not from his injuries but from his anaphylactic reaction to the grassy contents of the stomach of the deer he’d just center-punched.
    Had he been further from the ER he wouldn’t have made it in alive.
    Smelled like freshly mowed lawn.

    1. I love the smell of freshly mowed lawn in the morning… (if it’s not coming from a hole in my chest).

    2. Even a whitetail can do you in if you’re unlucky. A high school classmate’s mom hit a doe, which slid up the hood and went through the windscreen hooves first. The doe was mortally wounded but not yet killed. In its death throes it kicked the woman to death. It was a closed-casket funeral.

      1. I’ve seen those at the scene. A girl I attended high school with received a convertible from her parents as a high grad present. I drove up to the scene where a horse ran in front of her. She hit it, and it took everything off about chest high and deposited it on the ground a few hundred feet from where the car stopped.

  13. Lottery.
    A tax on people who are bad at math. Guilty I have a $10 a week habit. Yesterday checking my Mega Million ticket, I saw there was a grand prize winner. The Mega Ball was 17. Glancing at my ticket I saw my Mega Ball was 17! Of course, didn’t hit any other numbers. Still, my $2 ‘investment’ returned $4.
    Vegas. My only interest in the place is passing on I-15 without getting in an accident. I would rather RON in Mesquite.

    1. I never developed the habit, WSF. I don’t go into the gas stations, just use the contactless credit card at the pump unless I need to empty the bilge (TMI)

  14. John as a long mustache.
    The chair is against the wall.
    Heres to what the Greatest generation was capable of doing 80 years ago today.

  15. Ah, pikes or billhooks?

    Well, pikes themselves didn’t easily kill people unless they were being pushed onto the pikes. Pikes are an area/movement denial weapon. Horses won’t go into a pike square or line, and infantry get gummed up on them. Move a pike square forward and not much can touch it. Move slowly, because pikes aren’t easy to move quickly, especially if they get over 12′ long. And the front rankers are the ones wearing the most armor. Another reason that pike units don’t move quickly.

    The attack portion of the pike are primarily the push-thrust (a slow forward push-the-point-in, basically walking speed and keep going once you contact something) and the punch-thrust (make contact with enemy, draw the weapon back a foot or so then thrust fast and hard forward.) You can also club the snot out of someone with the head, but don’t use the plain shaft too much as it will break.

    Pike’s main failing is that the damned thing is long and heavyish and not useful at all in an open field as a single weapon. Pike works well with other pikes and polearms and even shields, but a lone pikeman, he best toss the damned thing and whip out his most-likely-falchion or short sword. And he’ll die an ugly death.

    The killing range of the spear is waaayyy out there, and you can’t choke up much on it in most situations, though there’s always the possibility that the user can grab the pike right behind the head with one hand and use it like a very-long handled punch dagger (it works, sometimes, kind of, better to die fighting than running…)

    The SCA version of a pike, the 9′ spear, is more maneuverable than the standard pike but the user needs cover on the sides to protect him. Shields, other spearmen, all fine. Fought many a battle using SCA spear and against spearmen using sword and shield. The secret is, of course, to close the distance and just hammer the dog-snot out of the spear guy. Especially if he’s alone. Jump him and you’ll win.

    But… even pike squares and lines need halberdiers or billhookers or two-handed swords working between the pikes to do the actual killing. That’s what makes a true pike line or square work. That’s what does the majority of the killing. It’s why the very famous Swiss Pike units had 3 lines of pikes and then halberdiers.

    Straight-up billhooks? Like any multipurpose pole arm, they can be used exclusively, but work better in a ‘combined arms’ unit of spears, billhooks, shieldmen and such. And they are much more useful in a skirmish than a pike, as the user can stab, chop, swing, choke up and change the range attack, use the hook on the back to snag and grab people and horses and shields and such. (Yanking someone out of a shield or pike line using the hook to snag necks, shields, arms and such. Trust me, you can do this and it works well against an unprepared opponent.)

    In the SCA, halberds and billhooks tend to be between 6 and 7 feet long, And there are rules about how you can swing them, maximum power swing is less than a 90 degree arc to point of contact. I have seen the effects of a 360 degree power swing to the back of someone’s helmet. Knocked him out, made him do the floppy fish dance, piss himself and flattened a 20 segment helmet, where there were 3 layers of 16 gauge steel overlapping.

    In real life, it was the billhook that killed Richard III, not swords, axes, maces or other weapons. Frikin 3-5′ single edged sword on the end of a stick. Very dangerous weapon, useful for whacking horses, people, stuff. Kind of a giant can opener.

    It’s a good question. One on one, billhook wins as it is a more versatile weapon. But in units, well, pike dominates areas. May not kill lots of people, but pikes keep everyone out at long range.

    The death of pikes (really, most polearms) was gunpowder. Before that was light infantry, which the Spanish used very well against other people’s pikes. Buckler to push the pike points away and a long thinner sword for stabbing and slashing arms and legs. Of course, then the hand gonnes and muskets came into vogue and they were used with pikes by being the 4th or 5th line behind the pikes. Advance to contact with pikes, gunners move forward and fire at 10-15′ range, then back off and let the non-pike infantry exploit the hole.

    Well, that’s my take on the question.

      1. One thing people tend to not understand is that weapons and armor evolve to defeat each other.

        Another is how tactics dictate weapons and armor.

        History class should be interesting, full of fun and facts and examples of how things work. Like the Battle of Marathon. Most history teachers don’t tell their students that the beach at Marathon was rocky, about a 20-30 degree slope and the Persians were on the edge of the water, wearing light armor. The Greeks, on the other hand, were above them, wearing heavy armor and heavy weapons. Try running down a 20-30 degree rocky slope while wearing 50-80 lbs of weapons and armor and try to stop. Ain’t happening. Only thing that will slow one down is the mass of dead bodies in front of the warrior. And many of the dead Persians didn’t die from getting hacked, they drowned. That makes the Battle of Marathon much funner, no?

        Same with Agincourt. The way most people teach it is boooooring. Totally boooooring. Leaving out the actual layout of the battle, with the field narrowing in the middle at a low point, it was raining heavily for days, the English had an issue with dysentery and most weren’t wearing any leg armor (making them faster on foot.) The rains hampered the crossbowmen who were using gut strings. Little things like that.

        Moving forward, how many children in the last 40 years were taught about how little Lt. Decatur became a hero? And why? Leaving out that whole Tripoli Pirate thingy and Americans being captured and sold as slaves and the firing of the Philadelphia and the Marines who basically stonked the living daylights against huge numbers of turban wearers….

        History should be fun. And informative. And educational. Dammit.

        1. Beans is correct. I’ll add one comment. Pikes were used by the Macedonian phalanxes (Phillip and Alexander). They weren’t spears as we understand a classic “spear” because of the length. The application by professional Swiss pikemen many centuries later was a reinvention and refinement of a very old and practical formation (front to the enemy, allowing slingers and light archers to protect the flanks). The arrival of gunpowder and the employment of hand gunners to protect the flanks of pike formations was an evolutionary move. Handguns were heavy and slow to load but impactful because they could maneuver on the flanks much faster than pikes. A handgun of that time period is not a pistol.

          1. HEB needs to be teaching a High School class, heck, I’d fly in just to attend….love this material.

            Our HS football coach taught History, and where I grew up in Bucks County, PA it centered around Colonial history, plus we could ride our bikes or drive to a lot of history, see it and minds-eye experience it. Didn’t hurt he presented it in a interesting manner…because he made it real.

          2. The best history teacher I had, on the first day of class, said, “I’m going to piss off the blacks. But that’s okay because I’m going to piss off all of you.” And he was right. He spoke truths I have never heard before, like how the Puritans almost died because of communism and such. And he thrashed anyone who tried to deny Africans’ involvement in the slave trade.

            I’d love to teach a class but I’d be arrested or killed within 5 minutes of starting.

            Though I do like teaching. My favorite is “Onion Soup.” Whut? Yeah, you give people who have sucking chest wounds or belly wounds onion or garlic soup and if you smell onions or garlic, well, no chance of survival so Mercy was given. It’s amazing how fascinated 7 and 8 year olds are with that. And how horrified their parents are when they hear it.

  16. Big Personalities.

    Yes, I know what you mean, they fill the room for better or worse.

    As things stand, they’re being thrown into gaol. Will corrupt, bureaucratic mediocrity win out?

    1. I have very little faith in the American capacity for honest government when the leader is a celebrated liar, pedophile and suffers from advanced dementia – and is backed up by a whore.

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