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  • Archive for May, 2021

    Random Pic

    Posted by Jonathan on 5th May 2021 (All posts by )

    stripes

    Posted in Photos | 1 Comment »

    Archive Post: Pax Romana

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 5th May 2021 (All posts by )

    (A snippit at Sarah Hoyt’s place reminded me of this post, from 2006 at my original milblog.

    The stone ruins of Imperial Rome underlie Western Europe and the Mediterranean like the bones of a body, partially buried, yet here and there still visible and grandly manifest above ground, all but complete. From Leptis Magna in North Africa, to Hadrian’s Wall in the contentious border between Scotland and England proper, from Split in the Former Yugoslavia, to the 81 perfectly preserved arches of the ancient bridge over the Guadiana River, in Merida – that part of the empire called Hispania –and in thousands of lesser or greater remnants, the presence of Rome is everywhere and inescapable. The same sort of cast- concrete walls, faced with pebbles, or stone or tile, the same sort of curved roof-tiles, the same temples to Vesta, and Jupiter, to Claudius, Mars and Mithras; the same baths and fora, market-places, villas and apartment buildings, all tied together by a network of commerce and administration. Goods both luxury and otherwise, adventurous tourists, soldiers and civil administrators— the very blood of an empire, all moved along the veins and arteries of well-maintained roads and way-stations, of which the very beating heart was Rome itself. Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anti-Americanism, Blogging, Capitalism, Deep Thoughts, History | 8 Comments »

    The Finished Product

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 4th May 2021 (All posts by )

     

    The finished Victorian-style christening dress for the prospective grandchild, who will be delivered early in June. The original family heirloom christening dress was one of those items lost in the fire which burned my parents’ Southern California retirement home in 2003. It was made of very fine cotton lawn, with yards and yards of elaborate embroidered eyelet lace. I found a pattern here, which closely resembled the original dress and promised Mom that I would try and replicate the dress … and  that was as far as I got until this year. I bought some very fine Pima lawn, and several lots of vintage eyelet lace on eBay, and had a go at pattern-bashing, with the above results. All the seams are encased or flat-filled, and while the long seams were done on a machine, all the rest was hand-sewing, including feather-stitching around the front panel, bodice and hem.  There is a drawstring fastening at waist and around the neckline, as there was on the original dress. When we talked about this on the  last Chicagoboyz zoom meet-up, Ginny said that I should definitely post a picture when I had it done.  So here it is, although I am still waiting on the last lengths of lace to finish the matching petticoat, and baby bonnet. My grandson’s godfather will be standing at the font with a bale of lace and fabric in his arms and a small baby somewhere in the center …

    Posted in Diversions, Personal Narrative, Photos | 6 Comments »

    “Believing Untrue Things”

    Posted by Jonathan on 3rd May 2021 (All posts by )

    AVI:

    Believing Untrue Things

    More Motives on Untrue Things

    Summary: People believe in the truth of ideas that don’t withstand even casual empirical scrutiny, e.g., that American police kill more black people than white people every year. Why do so many of us believe in and even defend vehemently the validity of bogus ideas when contrary evidence is easily found?

    You can find many examples of this kind of thing in Amazon reviews of controversial books such as Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean:

    5-Star Reviews

    1-Star Reviews

    The respective authors of the five-star and one-star reviews appear to inhabit separate factual universes. In one universe James Buchanan was a distinguished laissez-faire economist and originator of public-choice theory. In the other universe Buchanan, the Koch brothers and other prominent libertarians were members of a racist conspiracy. How can people on one side of a controversy remain ignorant about the other side’s arguments and even basic facts?

    AVI suggests possible explanations that are worth reading, as always. I think the main problem is the poor quality of our primary and secondary educational systems, particularly in the teaching of history, math and basic statistics. Another big problem is the ignorance of journalists who were educated in our lousy schools, and modern journalism’s clickbait business model that incentivizes the promotion of controversy and conflict even more than was the case back in Front Page days.

    Discuss.

    Posted in Book Notes, Conservatism, Current Events, Deep Thoughts, Human Behavior, Leftism, Political Philosophy, Politics, Society, Systems Analysis | 22 Comments »

    Biden Likes to Talk About Trains

    Posted by David Foster on 2nd May 2021 (All posts by )

    …both actual trains and metaphorical trains, as in a recent Biden social media post: 100 days in–and America is getting back on track.

    So I’ll give him a railroad story, actually a poem, the following excerpt from which was quoted by Winston Churchill in 1935:

    Who is in charge of the clattering train?
    The axles creak, and the couplings strain.
    For the pace is hot, and the points are near,
    and Sleep hath deadened the driver’s ear
    And signals flash through the night in vain
    Death is in charge of the clattering train!

    Original poem here; it appears that Churchill in his excerpt combined part of the first verse with part of the last.  The poem, which was published in 1890, was inspired by an actual railroad accident.

     

    Posted in Poetry, Politics, Transportation | 67 Comments »

    Father and Jack: Conversation as Life Preserver

    Posted by Ginny on 1st May 2021 (All posts by )

    My grandsons wonder about life in the fifties, life in their mother’s mother’s village, state. So here’s a personal narrative. Each family was unique, but this does describe another time & place.

    Jack was one of my father’s friends, indeed his best and closest. And I’m pretty sure my father was Jack’s. A bit of a narcissist, still, he would sob about my father’s loss if we ran into him for years after my father died. I doubt the depth of sentimental drunks, but he thought the affection was real – for all I know it was. My father was moody; I suspect he always saw himself (as did those around him) as unfulfilled and unproductive. I brought home a boyfriend well on the way to being an expert in Italian medieval history; he was surprised my father wanted to talk about meta-history – what was true and what wasn’t about the great arcs. I wasn’t surprised my father wanted to talk about that – that was the kind of thing he liked. If your life is unmoored, you want to make sense of it. I suspect he spent some time wondering about those arcs – what was real and what wasn’t, what they meant. He had plenty of time to speculate and Jack was his companion. Conversation went late into the night, beginning when Jack showed up at our door.

    Neither Father nor Jack had much self-discipline, though a lack of self-discipline for those maturing in the dustbowl and enlisting in World War II, husbands and fathers in the fifties was not the immaturity of pajama boys living in their parents’ basements. My father felt some duty: to friends, town. And to tradition in a broad sense – it drove him and the Missouri Synod minster to start the Kenesaw Great Books Club, it made the Legion a social focus, kept him Presbyterian and Republican.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Civil Society, Crony Capitalism, Human Behavior, Lit Crit, Personal Narrative | 10 Comments »

    Continuing Supply Chain Issues

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 1st May 2021 (All posts by )

    I have been sharing supply chain woe stories over the past year plus, ever since the Chinese commie crud took over the headlines. I work in the world of industrial distribution.

    Many of those supply chain issues remain to this very day, and some are getting worse. I have been in the industry for 35 years (HVAC distribution specifically, a subset of industrial distribution) and with a mature industry such as the one I am in, supply chain always had ebbs and flows, however these were easily predictable and looked like a very shallow sine wave. Over the past year and continuing to today, the supply chain is very spiky and extremely difficult to navigate.

    Disasters such as the Suez Canal closure and plants getting damaged in Texas over the Winter added to an already miserable time. Many businesses are opening back up and demand is surging as equipment that was previously mothballed or otherwise inoperative is coming online (and breaking). We continue to have transportation issues with LTL (for those who don’t know, LTL stands for Less Than Load, or semi trailers that are making deliveries of many skids of product to different locations rather than a straight shot to one location) being a disaster right now. Labor is a problem as many that were laid off have either moved to other jobs, or simply refuse to come back to work due to overly generous federal and state unemployment benefits.

    The whole enchilada is quite the mess. Oddly, when I go to work in the morning I am resigned at this point to just saying to myself “I wonder what insane thing I will have to deal with today” and just put my head down and deal with it. When you get used to adversity things don’t bother you as much, I suppose.

    I made the decision to never cancel any orders and simply take on more inventory. This hurts in the short term as cash flow and inventory turns are adversely impacted, but mission number one is to smooth out these spiky curves to our customers, so they can continue to make money – it needs to be my job to bear the brunt of this and to make it virtually unnoticed for our contractors. It remains quite the challenge. There will be major issues this Summer with imported equipment such as ductless mini splits, window airs and dehumidifiers imported from over there due to the persistent port delays on the West Coast. These issues are already happening. As hard as I am trying, I can’t get every product for every customer in these conditions. Most have been understanding. If they aren’t, well, I can’t unload the containers so….

    Here is an interesting story about a different industry, flowers. I always take my wife out to a nice brunch for Mother’s Day. In addition, I always get her a corsage with three spray roses, the white ones with the red tips. I called the florist to order it up yesterday and the person on the other end laughed and said that they hadn’t seen spray roses in a year. In fact, when I go to pick up my corsage, they couldn’t even tell me what type of flower it would be. The shipment of flowers shows up and they have to make do with what shows up. She said that it was probable that I could get a single white rose but no guarantees. I told her that I could completely relate as I have been living this hell for a while too. She was pleased to speak with someone who was sort of in the same boat and went on to tell me that the last year was full of enormous challenges in the flower industry – that a lot of flowers simply didn’t exist to purchase.

    While that is an anecdote, it is still telling of how we will likely see supply chain issues for some time to come.

    Posted in Business, COVID-19 | 8 Comments »