Open Thread – 24 April 2023

I know there’s a lot of things on your minds. Go for it.


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115 Responses to Open Thread – 24 April 2023

  1. Fourth and Long says:

    Tucker Carlson was cancelled by Fox. No further comment other than that this country is really seriously ill.

    • John Minnerath says:

      I’ll add that I think some powerful backroom leftist operatives are behind this axing of Carlson.

      • TTG says:

        John Minnerath,

        Do you think there are backroom leftists at Fox? This is more likely a business/legal move by Murdoch. It’s like a costly amputation in order to save Fox from pending lawsuits.

        • John Minnerath says:

          I do. Of course there’s much we don’t know and never will know, but I think Murdoch knew, while an expensive hit, what known lawsuits would not wreck the company.
          He’s smart and so also should have known axing Carlson in such a manner would cost a loss of value to Fox.
          But, he runs things his way. His way or the highway.

        • Deap says:

          It is probably more to save Fox from juries well-known today to be hanging jury hostile to anything “conservatives”.

          Time to stop paying government employees their full salaries when they serve on jury duty. Their willingness to serve and not miss a paycheck, while financial hardship tends to discourage others from doing their civic duty, could prevent juries from truly being juries our peers and neutral triers of fact.

          Instead they become smug juries of paid-for partisan interests who may well have preemptively judged the outcome, bringing in their own prior prejudices. Certainly the first Durham trial taught us that. Along with much of the highly charges exercises of faulty jurisprudence of late – to go unmentioned, but I am sure not unremembered.

          Attorneys read the body language of juries, even before opening arguments are made. I suspect taking the temperature of the room is what encouraged the Fox settlement.

          • TTG says:


            My jury summons for next month contains the following statement:

            § 18.2-465.1. Penalizing employee for court appearance or service on jury panel.
            Any person who is summoned to serve on jury duty … shall neither be discharged from employment, nor have any adverse personnel action taken against him, nor shall he be required to use sick leave or vacation time, as a result of his absence from employment due to such jury duty or court appearance, upon giving reasonable notice to his employer of such court appearance or summons. No person who is summoned and appears for jury duty … shall be required to work on the day of his appearance for jury duty. Any employer violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

            I’ve been summoned for jury duty about a dozen times since I moved to Virginia and served on two juries. The only ones I’ve talked with here who were not paid by their employer were the self-employed. This isn’t required, but employees here feel duty bound to do so. We’re also paid 30 dollars cash money upon sign in whether we sit on a jury or not.

          • Deap says:

            TGG. Nothing in your jury statement requires payment by employer for time taken off for jury duty. That is a separate contract obligation between employee and employer. Unions have obviously negotiated payment for government employees.

            However, since you are reporting from Virginia, shall one assume those you talk to when appearing for jury duty who still get paid, are in fact government employees? Considering the very high government employment in the Beltway surrounding counties of Maryland and Virginia.

            Continuing to assume, those “self-employed” are have a more conservative bent than those working for government agencies.

            Thus a fatal skewing built into the jury selection process when one end of the political spectrum is more than eager to serve on juries and not miss a paycheck, compared to the self-employed who often need to plead financial hardship and get excused.

          • TTG says:


            I’ve met surprisingly few government employees doing jury duty except for retired government and military personnel. Other than the retirees, I met quite a few in the trades and retail. Most, who I talked with, were getting paid by their employees. My fellow jurors didn’t skew one way or the other politically or socially. All took their civic duties as jurors seriously. The more self-absorbed, both government and non-government, are the ones who weasel their way out of jury duty. That’s my theory.

            This is characteristic of my extended community. People around here are courteous, friendly and helpful. They’re good people. Maybe it’s a function of southern hospitality/courteousness and the high percentage of military and former military living around here.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        John Minnerath,
        You wouldn’t be wrong normally to think so but in this case there’s more to it. The giveaway was the firing of Don Lemon by CNN at the same time. What are the odds of that? Zero, essentially. That was done to make the sheep think everything is balanced and fair. It was a ruling class decision – see the taped segment of TC at Sam’s Twitter link below. I happened to watch that address to the heritage foundation purely out of serendipitous circumstance. Tucker became a danger to their agenda of lies, he was far too articulate and effective.

    • Sam says:

      This is Tucker’s final speech before being fired at Fox — basically calling the American ruling class evil.

      Fox fires @TuckerCarlson five days after he crosses the red line by acknowledging that the TV networks pushed a deadly and ineffective vaccine to please their Pharma advertisers. Carlson’s breathtakingly courageous April 19 monologue broke TV’s two biggest rules: Tucker told the truth about how greedy Pharma advertisers controlled TV news content and he lambasted obsequious newscasters for promoting jabs they knew to be lethal and worthless. For many years, Tucker has had the nation’s biggest audience averaging 3.5 million — 10 times the size of CNN. Fox just demonstrated the terrifying power of Big Pharma.

      The American ruling establishment don’t want dissenting voices. But…these voices can’t be entirely silenced. America is more resilient. While Thomas Jefferson and James Madison will not be elected by the current American voters there remains a small minority who still stand with those values of liberty endowed by our Creator. The question is will this small minority grow larger or vanish?

      • gpc says:

        and it has nothing to do with a lawsuit lost few days ago…I ment out of court payment….:
        “The network will pay $787.5 million to Dominion Voting Systems as the price of retaining its audience”

        • Fred says:


          correct, Tucker was the highest rated show and revenue generator Fox News had. So less than a billion to avoid a hostile jury award followed by vaporizing a billion in revenue by canning the guy pointing out Biden’s corruption and oh yeah that war in Ukraine the neocons want us directly involved in.

      • Billy Roche says:

        As a sometimes Libertarian I will answer your question. No. America is filled with increasingly ignorant people who believe they are informed by the socialist media. That media tells them it is dumb to question. My sister is a perfect example. She says “I watch different stations so I can get different views. I watch CNN, MSNBC, CBS, PBS, and I also read the NYT for context. So I know what’s going on”. nuff said

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Yes that captures the essence of why he was deep-sixed – he reached the mountain top, essentially and had achieved the power to articulate and make sense out of the chaos and destructive, selfish actions of TPTB. This reminds me of the Martin Luther King assassination in 1968, two months before RFK was destroyed before he could get on the ticket. They don’t shoot them these days, they destroy them in other ways. WAPO (TPTB) are already busy slandering Carlson as a misogynist -an easy enough thing to do in an era of zero privacy of communication. They will carry on and on about how it was a “business decision” centered around fear of lawsuits without mentioning either the leverage that the fed government has over media empires like Murdoch’s or how and why we got to the point where every connected reporter can magically gain access to everyone’s emails, text messages or phone calls. I present this link not in support of its theses, but rather as an illustration of how easy it is to persuade the newspaper reading public who likes to think of itself as being informed.

        Tucker Carlson’s abrupt Fox News exit fits with Murdoch playbook.

    • Leith says:

      F&L –

      Didn’t Tucker also get fired by CNN 20 years ago?

      So maybe Lemon will end up at FOX News now that Murdoch is woke?

      • TTG says:


        I believe this is a hat trick for firings from major media companies for Tucker. Can’t remember the third. I don’t think Murdoch is woke, just getting gun-shy of future litigation. Smartmatic want more than what Dominion got. And there are other headaches coming his way.

    • Politico compares the reaction of the Pentagon top brass to that of the hoi polloi here:

      Carlson’s criticism of Biden-era personnel policies
      appealed to many of the rank-and-file,
      which has a large bloc of conservative members.
      But at the upper levels of the Defense Department,
      news of Carlson’s firing from Fox News on Monday
      was met with delight and outright glee in some corners.

      “We’re a better country
      without him bagging on our military every night in front of hundreds of thousands of people,”
      said one senior DoD official …

      “Good riddance,”
      said a second DoD official.

    • LeaNder says:

      You feel his activities were justified? When I read about matters I was reminded of his vaguely (good vs bad actor) feigned facial expressions. Oh look at me, I am as concerned as you, maybe even more. Do the people that watch him seriously want to be taken for a ride?

      [We all know its not true, but our audience demands it]

      This was interesting, by the way:
      The Universe is Hostile to Computers:

  2. Fred says:

    Lemon and Tucker are both out at the old stream media. Yawn. Snook are biting in Sarasota, looking forward to getting some King’s later in the week.

  3. Rob Waddell says:

    Good morning from the Antipodies..

    It ANZAC here in New Zealand, Australia and many Pacific Island states. It’s a public holiday and always on 25th April. I suppose its equivalent to USA Memorial day. Pre-dawn, groups of serving and retired soldiers along with large contingents of the public recognise the sacrifice of young men and women throughout New Zealands and Australians relativley short military history. Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War, Gallipoli in Turkiye. This campaign would have to be one of the worst military failures in the 20th century; imagine trying to invade a country from the beachhead when the defenders are at the top of the cliff.
    Nevertheless, we have moved on from that and ANZAC soldiers are predominant as peacekeepers mainly in the Asia-Pacific region but throughout the world. Recently, we have also been fighters in Afganistan and trainers in Iraq and UK (for Ukranian soldiers).

    I’m not sure what its like in USA, but here in ANZAC land nearly every small town has a cenotaph inscribed with the names of long dead soldiers. Sometimes the town is gone and all that is left is the cenotaph. Its a solemn reminder to read these names and it brings a tear to my eyes when I calculate their age.

    Whakaruruhautia te iwi i te pōuri.


    • TTG says:


      “Shelter the people from the darkness.” That’s a remarkable sentiment. I’ve never heard anything like that expressed around our Memorial Days.

      The majority of our war memorials, at least in the eastern part of the US, were erected after our Civil War. The monument in the town I grew up in was erected in 1906 and listed the town residents who died in the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War and Civil War. A lot of the names were from the same families that still lived in the town.

    • Leith says:

      Rob W – “They shall not grow old . . . ”

      Every city, town & village of a certain age in the USA also has a battle monument of the sons that did not return. Not so grand as a cenotaph perhaps. Ours is just an engraved plaque on a granite boulder at the base of the community flagpole. Not hundreds of names as we are a small town, but there are names from 1917/18, 1942/45, 1951/52 and 1968. All were young. What a future they might have had if they had lived to come home. I wonder how much stronger and more vibrant our community would have turned out to be if they had survived? Or if those wars had never happened?

    • Deap says:

      In my own way of memorialized their courage and bravery, I love making ANZAC biscuits. The story of this cookie (biscuit) was so endearing. Government forces devised a cookie to send the troops over seas that could last from Down Under to Gallipoli, and still be fresh and tasty. And indeed they are: flour, oatmeal, butter, Golden Syrup, sugar and dried unsweetened coconut. They shall be in the oven tomorrow.

  4. Babeltuap says:

    SALUTE to COL Lang.

  5. Sam says:

    A senior executive at Anheuser-Busch has been placed on leave in the wake of the anger over Bud Light’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney. Daniel Blake, who is the Anheuser-Busch vice president for mainstream brands, has stepped back from his job just days after Bud Light’s VP of marketing Alissa Heinerscheid took a leave of absence.

    I suppose this is a case of go woke and grow broke. Just like Youngkin won the Virginia governor on the back of frustrated parents sick of school boards going woke, Bud is learning the lesson the hard way that while wokeism is popular among establishment media the actual consumer of Bud products don’t want all this virtue signaling. AB lost $6 billion in market cap playing to the woke gallery.

    • Deap says:

      Next question: should rank and file Bud Light employees be asked to pay the price for their CEO woodenheaded moves? Or to save this brand, should the CEO’s issue a full mea culpa, roll the guilty heads out the door, and let the employees take the stage now to save their jobs and their brand?

  6. Sam says:

    Historical Cycle of Democracy

    spiritual faith

    Alexander Fraser Tytler, 1785

    Similar to Tocqueville, Mr. Tytler saw over couple centuries ago that democracy can’t be permanent, as once voters recognize that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury then it will inevitably lead to dictatorship.

    • Billy Roche says:

      Bondage in the beginning and in the end. Years ago I inquired on SST how it was that people are willing to accept fielty to a fascist state. Col. Lang opined that most people are “ok” in bondage. It is the few who are not who shake the others out of their stupor. IOW, individual liberty is the exception. “A republic Madam if you can keep it.” said Franklin. We could not. The Federalist never intended to honor individual liberty and an honest reading of American history shows that they began to promote order over liberty as early as the Nat’l Bank and The Whiskey Rebellion. We need separation of states or another civil war. Absent that, we are off to bondage … again.

      • Whitewall says:

        “We need separation of states or another civil war”. Sounds stressful. What I wonder is between who and whom?

  7. Fred says:

    I wonder if this Sudan timeline is both accurate or if it is important.

    • TTG says:


      Looks accurate to me, but the timeline left out Wagner Group recently supplying Dagalo’s RSF with surface to air missiles. The missiles are important to the RSF while they take on the Sudanese Army and Air Force. Still this is a fight between Dagalo and al-Burhan. Both Russia and the US are sitting in the peanut gallery on this one.

      • Fred says:


        Looks to me like the US funded another color revolution. If we were still drilling at home and had completed that pipeline we would have little need of concern for shipping sailing past Sudan.

        • TTG says:


          The US has been providing food aid to Sudan as well as emergency food aid and resettlement aid for refugees for many years. That’s hardly the stuff of a color revolution.

  8. English Outsider says:

    TTG – I referred in passing recently to the “Brexit Fiasco”. If you think a post-mortem is of any interest to your readers I link to a brief summary of how it all went wrong. If not, do please bin my comment. It was another time, 2016, that time when one hoped Trump or Sanders would break the armlock that status quo politics had in the States and Brexit would do the same in the UK.

    s it’s of any interest

  9. Peter Williams says:

    For those Westerners designing Russia to be broken apart, I give you this –

    • wiz says:


      a patriotic song is a poor substitute for having a strong and prosperous society where the essential rights of people are respected and corruption is not running rampant.

      Westerners wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of breaking Russia apart had it not been for enormous damage Russians keep inflicting on themselves.

      With all the resources and real estate, Russia should have been 10 times more prosperous and formidable than it is.

      • Peter Williams says:

        When the US has “a strong and prosperous society where the essential rights of people are respected and corruption is not running rampant” please get back to me.

        The US has spent decades trying to break Russia apart, supporting Ural Idel, the Wahhabis in Chechnya, amongst others.

        Homelessness in Russia, per capita, wouldn’t register compared to the US. Medical problems don’t cause bankruptcies in Russia. Mothers get Maternity Capital in Russia, not debts. Children are supplied with dairy and other products for the first year, better than Australia, and if they are lactose intolerant, alternatives are supplied.

        Russian Police don’t shoot you dead because of the colour of your skin, or because you’re a woman reporting a crime –

        I could go on, but you probably believe the myth that the US is the “greatest country in the world” –

        • wiz says:

          If you pick and choose some of the worst aspects of one country and the best of another, then the first one will look like hell on earth and the other like paradise.

          I’m not in the US, never lived there and probably never will, but from a EU perspective most of what you listed does not apply.

          Look at how much suffering the area of former imperial Russia has been through in the last 100+ years and no wonder most former imperial subjects don’t want any more of that.
          A patriotic song does not fix bad management.

    • Billy Roche says:

      PW; a Red Herring. I don’t wish to see Russia broken apart. None of the conservative/libertarian blogs I read wish Russia broken apart. None of my friends, left or right, wish Russia broken apart. I have not heard a single American politician, even the socialist ones, saying Russia s/b broken apart. I do wish Russia would leave her neighbors alone and be content to be just Russia. Isn’t that good enough? BTW, Russians would have that chance if Putin would call off his killers and leave Ukraine alone. Say, you don’t really believe that Russia “owns” Finland, the Baltics, and Ukraine … do you?

  10. Al says:

    Re Tucker Carlson. All kinds of conspiracies afloat about this conspiracy hound.

    Plain facts are he had become an unhinged/uncontrolled liability to Faux Nees.

    2 more civil suits directed at Carlson probably iced his going away cake: 1) civil action by former female producer re “hostile work environmet” (sexual vulgarity and antisemitic comments) and 2) by ex-Marine Raymond Epps who Carlson repeatedly claimed was a govt plant to incite the 1/6 riot.

    Interesting that on one hand Carlson claims that there was no 1/6 mob violence. While on the other hand Carlson claims Epps instigated such. But when a person is a fabricator like Carlson, no need to be consistent…just throw raw, uncooked meat out to the hungry conspiracy “minded”!

    • Sam says:

      But when a person is a fabricator like Maddow, no need to be consistent…just throw raw, uncooked meat out to the hungry conspiracy “minded”!

      This is the problem. Media has become toxic as each side plays to their gallery. At the end of the day Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same coin. The UniParty and their orbit of the ruling class are all about personal self-aggrandizement.

      • Al Spafford says:

        Sam, Why go on either extreme media like Fox or MSNBC, or “Huff n Post” Instead READ down the middle.
        Like Anerican Conservatve, Atlantic Monthly, National Review, the New Yorker etc etc etc. They all make mistake, usually corrected. There are good conservative and liberal leaning sources. I have mainstream conservative and liberal sources bookmarked, as I do Trucopolier

        I gave up cable TV years ago. Went with antenna. Just local news and major networks (oh, yea conspiracie tin foil hat wearers distrust the major non cable networks, forgot that!) Gives a much more balanced picture, tho!
        24/7 cable news has been a rot on our Nation!

      • Billy Roche says:

        Sam; Democrats and Republicans are NOT two sides of the same coin. Democrats, liberal but America loving and tolerant souls, were thrown out of their party in ’80. They have been replaced by America hating socialists. Republicans (conservatives and libertarians) were ousted in ’48 by professional politicians who have no ideology. Today’s landscape offers American hating socialist vs professional politicians w/o ideology. No, not part of the same coin at all.

    • Fred says:


      “Walls are closing in.”

      Can’t wait to see Ray Epps, “ex-marine”, go all semper-fi on maintaining his reputation. Discovery would be fabulous. Hunter should do the same!

    • Whitewall says:

      “uncontrolled liability to Faux Nees”,
      Do you have a single news source you would prefer over Faux?

  11. Fourth and Long says:

    Jimmy Dore & co have a more realistic take on why Tucker was silenced than others I’ve seen. He was the only non regime media on cable, essentially. They air some of his most recent statements just before being taken off the air and they are very interesting and not at all left wing other than being critical of militarism, war and corrupt corporate profiteering. He was one of the good guys, so he had to go. Like many martyrs.

    The Real Reason Tucker Carlson was Cancelled :

    • JamesT says:

      Fourth and Long,

      They are pretty left wing – but they are intelligent and fair and not just willing but eager to make common cause with the right. I have two friends who are very conservative while I am slightly left of center – and the three of us are big fans of Dore. I personally am convinced that the left vs right divide is in many ways constructed to keep Americans fighting with each other so the corrupt elites can do their thing without any accountability.

      • Fourth and Long says:

        Yes, you are correct, I wasn’t careful there. They are Left Wing in the more traditional sense – labor & civil rights plus humanitarian generally versus the new utterly foolish and faux “left wing” which centers on a very superficial approach to identity and diversity, which in my opinion only adds to divisiveness. Not at all surprising that the traditional left wing has disappeared in the neoliberal context where media coverage of anything, right, left or center, is provided by mega-corporations presides over by billionaires.

        • JamesT says:

          Fourth and Long,

          As a more traditional left winger I agree 100% with your characterization of the “new” left wing as being utterly foolish and centering on on a very superficial approach to identity and diversity, which I agree with you only adds to divisiveness!

          I heard somewhere that the Chinese expression for “woke” translates as “white leftist” … as in “white people’s leftism”. I suspect it has pejorative connotations.

  12. Lars says:

    I think the Icarus effect caught up with Tucker and I would not doubt that he saw himself as bigger than Fox, which ended up with him looking like he worked for Walmart. I do think Fox decided that he was too much of a legal liability. There are still some rather big legal challenges out there, but it is questionable whether this bandaid will do as much as they hope.

    • Deap says:

      Telling the truth about the current administration should not be a legal liability. But agree Me Boss – You Employee is still the name of the game. So is go woke and go broke. Times of transition require a period of chaos before the emergence of new beginnings.

      However none of this takes place until there is mourning for what we have lost, that thrust us into this chaotic time of transition. I am sure everyone has their own take on what to mourn that is now permanently lost in their lives and in our nations lives.

      My own immediate loss to mourn is the promise of the Age of Information curdled rather quickly to become the Age of Disinformation. This shakes any sense of fundamental bedrock riding into the electronic age – but that shake-up which we are all experiencing now directly or indirectly is also what ushers in anew beginning. Quo wadis?

      If you can’t trust the news, who can you trust? If you can’t trust the internet, what can you trust? If you can’t trust organized religion, government, civic groups, and even families today, who can you trust?

      Achilles is angry.

      • Billy Roche says:

        Deap; don’t know if it makes Achilles angry but your last paragraph made me angry. B/C it’s true. I’ve been around long enough to know that the press has always advanced a point of view. But the last thirty years have witnessed a change from advocacy to propaganda. While I am a card carrying agnostic I do note the politics of religions. Many churches, Protestant and Catholic, have advocated socialist opinions and preach them to their congregations. It’s pulpit/propaganda. For now, the only place to go for alternate opinions is the internet. Could that be why leftists gov’ts want to call differences disinformation? After all, “disinformation” can shorten your life, lead to poor living conditions, and anti-gov’t thought. Fear not, the gov’t will better “police” the internet in years to come. When people can’t trust the news, the pulpit, the internet, they get angry. Such people don’t make stable societies.

        • Deap says:

          The truth is we are on our own. A primary existential angst – that we are alone in the universe.

          Achilles was angry because he felt his expectations were betrayed. And thus begins the first line in the western civilization epic – the Illiad.

          Proving yet again everything new in fact is old. Which deepens appreciation for the importance of teaching the classics so we can build wisdom, after realizing there are no easy answers after all. Ouch.

          I shall always remember Col Lang’s lucid explanation of how Muslims view the Quran as the revealed text. The Quran was never written. It had no origins or endings. It was just there, and was revealed to Mohammed. Who then only preached these revelations.

          It is their bedrock, their article of faith and perhaps explains both its even modern appeal and its ferocious tenacity of belief. Take it away and you unsettle bedrock.

          Just like America, who has been dismantling its own sense of bedrock now for many decades since the 1960’s, and what or who do we now have? Right now it feels like shifting sands are our bedrock. Yet, something recently has seemingly triggered a call for bedrock. Even in our now highly pluralistic society in the US. I hope this nascent call for bedrock, lets us become again the “united” states of America. What revealed unity do we in fact share.

          Col Lang, did I get his right? Or even close. Shower me or smote me, I’ll get your message from afar.

          • TTG says:


            The question is which bedrock do you want? 1600s New England? Our Revolutionary 1700s? The antebellum South or the robber baron North of the 1800s? Or maybe you’re longing for a more recent bedrock from the 21st century. There are several to choose from. Our cultural bedrock has shifted over time, something akin to a cultural plate tectonics.

          • Fred says:


            The “anger of Achilles” lasted for years while he sulked in his tent.


            The cultural marxists are busy destroying the ‘mythos’ of America as Col. Lang put it. Many here cheer that on.

          • TTG says:


            What, in your opinion, is the “mythos” of America?

          • longarch says:

            Just like America, who has been dismantling its own sense of bedrock now for many decades since the 1960’s, and what or who do we now have? Right now it feels like shifting sands are our bedrock. Yet, something recently has seemingly triggered a call for bedrock. Even in our now highly pluralistic society in the US. I hope this nascent call for bedrock, lets us become again the “united” states of America. What revealed unity do we in fact share

            In my opinion the USA suffers from an excess of federalism, and the remedy is to recall the history of anti-federalism. If we are choosing bedrock, I say we should pick a list of known writers — e.g. Tom Paine, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, everybody who contributed to the Anti-federalist Papers. In that same era, we should mark and reject thinkers whose ideals contributed to excessive federalism. I think Hamilton looks bad in hindsight, but I’m not an expert — many other commenters here know more American history than I do.

            Then on top of that bedrock, look at other writers — a few foreigners like Montesquieu, Voltaire, and even Carlyle and Bastiat. Then on top of those look at relatively recent figures like Frederick Douglass.

            The USA was a propositional nation, not an ethnic nation. The propositions are still there, written down in black and white. The archaic English is difficult to parse, but we can handle it.

          • Billy Roche says:

            This in reply to Longarch; huzza huzzah. You are among the few who understand the initial conflict of 1787: order for the state vs liberty for the individual. It req’d great balance and sincerity on both sides of the debate. The federalists were liars but they won the debate. Forcing a Bill of Rights on the Federalist kept the leviathan away for a while but power sharing and obedience to the National Constitution was over by 1865. Lincoln saved the union at the expense of the constitution. The original propositions are still there but are anathema to socialists and you will soon not be allowed to read them. You will be punished if you do. Accused of spreading disinformation you will be accorded a modern trial akin to Salem. Think me daft? wait, its coming friend, its coming.

          • Deap says:

            Bedrock? A good time to re-read Huston Smith and his analysis of comparative religions to survey global spiritual thought. Toss in a bit of Carl Gustav Jung, and deeper appreciation for the power of myth -the collective archetypes and the suppression for too long of The Shadow drowning in the current PC hegemony. Rather amazingly, when one distills it all – collective global bedrock is not too far off from the tenants of the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments – these basic principles do appear to be repeated around the world. Christianity per se has no copyright on them.

            I speak as a non-denominational agnostic and lapsed Unitarian who does find more guidance from popularized Jung personally, than anything else. Bedrock is not rigid, but it provides a place where one does not fall any further into meaningless relativism. Instead one carries some fundamental sense of right and wrong.

            Eg: We US citizens all share the right to a US passport – one of the most coveted documents on the planet. That is an example of bedrock unity that binds us all in this country, regardless of what is currently tearing us apart.

            It is even what illegals recklessly intruding across out borders also covet. Do we cherish, earn and protect that right or do we degrade it handing it out to all comers, or lucky gestation recipients?

            What else binds us – both tangible and spiritual? (This was a tangible example of bedrock.) We are tearing ourselves apart over what separates us currently. What bedrock binds us?

          • If I might offer a response to TTG’s question
            “What, in your opinion, is the “mythos” of America?”,
            I think the American political scientist Samuel Huntington gave an excellent answer in:


            Who Are We?: The Challenges to America’s National Identity

            in his controversial [2004] work, Who Are We?,
            Huntington focuses on an identity crisis closer to home
            as he examines the impact other civilizations and their values are having
            on our own country.

            America was founded by British settlers
            who brought with them a distinct culture,
            says Huntington,
            the English language,
            Protestant values,
            religious commitment,
            and respect for law.

  13. Fred says:

    A biological lab in Sudan holding dangerous virus samples? What are the odds of that?

  14. Fourth and Long says:

    Since this is an open thread I will indulge myself by opining that this UK decision, which I neither agree nor disagree with, must be related to the war. I don’t exactly know why yet, it’s just an instinct kicking in, based on the stories about the gamer discord server and US Airman Jack Teixeira. Tenuous, admittedly. Did anyone find the discord server “folks” on YouTube? I did the other day quite by “accident” while browsing in desultory style. They seem like nice enough people, if a little weird and fuzzy for my tastes which are a bit archaic, while not completely set in stone. Continuing on in this manner thinking out loud, I wouldn’t be surprised at all, though I have no evidence whatsoever, if the Brits who made this decision did it in much the same fashion – they just didn’t think it felt right. That could be additionally due to the factor of caution which a disgraced gaming server story inspired would naturally awaken in experienced people. Why give over an entire industry interface which is on record as being recently quite possibly manipulated?

    U.K. Blocks Microsoft’s $69 Billion Bid for Activision, a Blow for Tech Deals
    The decision barring the takeover of a big video game publisher is a major victory for proponents of regulating tech giants, which have faced obstacles in the United States.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      Ok, thanks to TTG for posting the above conjecture. I think I figured it out. (If I can, certainly the Brits can). The entire lollapalooza which is “cloud gaming” is a prototype for a high level war interface. A war on a regional levels or a global level- or, thinking ahead, a war of the worlds. Why give the keys and rights to it to “evil Gill Bates” of all people? Kindly excuse the joke but you get the idea. Chess and Go playing neural networks function by utilizing huge multiple parallel simulations of the game in progress – this gamer tech could one day do the same with various levels of fighting – tactical, logistical and strategic. The gamers wouldn’t necessarily have to have any idea what else they were plugged into. Look at the picture in the Times article – a barracks full of warriors, cyber and otherwise … drones – targeting, reconnaissance, maneuvering etc. And all made to look like pizza delivery if someone so chooses. Brave New Squirells, working for ends and people they don’t likely suspect even exist.

      • TTG says:


        My introduction to the online gaming world was the Mechwarrior games played around the world with dial up modem connections. My younger son was heavily into it for a while. They played in teams of four (a mech lance) against other teams. My son’s team included someone from Saint Petersburg, Zurich and some place in California. I watched a few combat engagements. They were remarkably exciting and workable over international dialup connections to game servers. Much later, my team was conducting collection operations in Second Life complete with spotting, assessing and developing. We didn’t recruit. We did unwitting elicitation.

        It’s a fascinating world for recreation as well as military training, planning and simulation. These gaming companies merge, get bought out and go under at a pretty quick rate. They always have. Like you, I don’t want to see them amalgamated under a few tech giants.

        • KjHeart says:


          MechWarrior 5 is available on STEAM (if anyone is feeling nostalgic)

          As to Microsoft blocked from buying Activision/Blizzard/King the UK may have just saved the world from a third party game developer monopoly.


      • blue peacock says:


        Dunno about your speculation on blocking the deal. But…there could be a simpler explanation – monopolies.

        We have seen a remarkable consolidation of market power in the US since the early 80s. The DOJ and the courts have greenlighted this consolidation across practically every market segment. What we are left with are oligopolies. Just take ag as an example – from hundreds of seed companies to 2. Similar in meatpacking, inputs, distribution, etc. Media & defense production are other examples. Google & Meta have a lock on the online advertising value chain.

        Someone in the UK decided that pushback is necessary. Notice that Lina Khan at the FTC is continuously attacked by both the Republicans & Democrats in Congress even with highly limited actions to foster a more competitive market.

        There is a direct line from this consolidation in market power and the support of more oligopolies by both our political parties through the lack of enforcement of anti-competitive practices. The cash flows from the oligopolists to the politcians & the revolving door of the regulators grows. The fox are in charge of the henhouse!

        • Fourth and Long says:

          All true undeniably. Maybe I jumped the gun because the Times made it their lead story in their internet edition and I looked for something more profound. The one aspect of the recent decades of tech business I would never have been able to foresee is the popularity of gaming. To me it’s so banal that it passes me right by even though it’s apparent that everyone is into it. Even some people I thought I respected. I was shocked to find they were gamers.

          • blue peacock says:

            Gaming has been a huge industry for many decades now. Look up Electronic Arts. They were a big player in the space.

  15. JamesT says:

    I was talking to a Russian speaking colleague today and he mentioned that the Russian language press is talking a lot these days about the Lancet loitering munition. I guess it has been recently upgraded and the Russians are claiming a lot of success for it on the battlefield.

    The learning the Russians are getting out of this conflict is costing them dearly but there is no substitute for using tech systems in the real world in real world conditions.

    • Fourth and Long says:

      If this link works then scrolling way down to section 12 and following might prove very interesting. The direct analogy to the Israel v Egypt 1973 Suez breakthrough is not the point here, it’s just the way a correspondent framed inquiry into anticipated upcoming attacks on Crimea and thrusts toward Melitopol to cut highway connections from mainland Ru. Notice that the Kerch bridge is up for discussion too, I don’t see how it couldn’t be. There is quite a lot of worry on Ru Telgram recently about flurries of activity around Zaporizhzhia (equipment moved into positions) and harassment of Sevastapol. I don’t see much discussion of the entire issue of cutting off Crimea. That’s understandable for reasons of secrecy, but not understandable from my admittedly untutored point of view whereby it’s a glaring peril that’s impossible to miss. “Hey, you notice that guy walking around the last few months with his fly unzipped? What’s the deal – why doesn’t someone tell him?” .. “Sorry, sonny, it would be impolite and as you should know by now, we are anything but impolite .. .”
      The silence is noticeable. Maybe I’m imagining things.

  16. The subject of religion in Ukraine is certainly an interesting one.
    There are people who claim Ukraine is united in opposition to Russia.
    It seems to me that the following proves that to be untrue:

    The Pechersk Lavra in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv —
    often referred to simply as the Lavra —
    is at the centre of a bitter political dispute running parallel to the nation’s war with Russia.

    The fight over the Lavra reflects deepening tensions across Ukraine.

    a schism developed within the Ukrainian church
    between those loyal to Russia
    and those who wanted to be independent.

    [Metropolitan Pavel has] been banned from recording addresses to his followers.


    “A lot of priests became collaborators,” said Andrii Kovalov,
    a leading academic on the Lavra who joined the Ukrainian army last year.

    “They have actively supported the Russian army by informing Russian artillery and aviation.

    As I said, it seems to me that this disproves the “Ukraine is united” line.

  17. This seems worth noting, for good or ill:

    Approximately 30% of those 3.4 million search queries were outside the rules and regulations that govern warrantless searches, what the politically correct government calls “non-compliant searches.”

    Additionally, IG Horowitz also admitted that somewhere north of 10,000 federal employees have access to conduct these searches of the NSA database;
    a database which contains
    the electronic data of every single American, including
    text messages,
    social media posts,
    instant messages,
    direct messages,
    phone calls,
    geolocation identifiers,
    purchases by electronic funds,
    banking records and
    any keystroke any American person puts into any electronic device for any reason.

    Any comments on the veracity of Sundance’s claim in that last paragraph?

    • TTG says:

      Keith Harbaugh,

      And yet the feds still can’t discover those sharing top secret documents on gaming servers or plotting to shoot up schools. I have serious doubts about the true reach of this NSA database. The info in this database reads like what corporations collect on their customers/users which, in turn, is often shared with the USG. And I wonder how many of these searches are done on themselves, their friends, their girlfriends/boyfriends as office entertainment. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still disconcerting, but I doubt it is as all powerful as it is often made out to be.

      • Fred says:


        The feds “can’t” find the leaker of the suprem court decision. But they do have a massive “show me the man, I’ll show you the crime.” Database that is apparently accessible by thousands without a warrant or probably cause.

  18. KjHeart says:

    I always read carefully through the Open Threads – I learn so much.

    Speaking of Learning

    I am STILL studying tanks.

    Lately whenever I see a news article, I have been playing the ‘name that military vehicle’ game and am pleased to say that my diligence is paying off, I can now identify in an hour or two what used to take me days.

    It took me quite a while to have this much of a break through.

    Years ago I had a friend who worked for a company absorbed by Caterpillar Inc. We spoke about everything related to construction equipment so I am not at all adverse to learning about machinery.

    I had been studying tanks and trying to understand ‘things military’ until I literally got ‘white out’ – this is when the brain just ‘goes blank’. This ‘white out’ happened three times and the third time I realized that this has not happened to me since I was learning Italian from a professor who spoke in such a dialect that the lessons were pure hell.

    Putting in so much study on tanks, and things military was getting me to to point of being about to have to change my thinking.

    I had to get my mind off it for a while.
    So I started baking bread.

    I am a hell-of-a-good baker and there are some bread recipes I wanted to tackle. I have been working on a hand ground oat flour bread that has been taking all my attention. I needed I needed to get my mind off ‘tanks’ and all things ‘military’ by doing something I am good at so I could figure out why I am so bad at learning this new subject.

    When I was on the first kneading of a double loaf oat bread recipe I realized that my ‘white outs’ learning a new language happened when I was learning Italian reflexive verbs – there are no English equivalents to Italian reflexive verbs so my brain needed to make a new connection, a new synapse and thus the ‘white out’

    By the second kneading of the bread dough a question came to me ‘HOW DOES THE ARMY MOVE?” I stopped kneading the dough and said out loud ‘ON LAND” the next question ‘HOW DOES THE NAVY MOVE” and the answer ‘ON WATER” .. then I said out loud “Ariforce = air; Spaceforce = space… Gawd I feel like an idiot’

    This realization, however, gave me the large categories to start to organize all the new information. The next set of questions were ‘What does the Army DO? What does the Navy DO? and this gave be the sub categories I needed.

    Learning new information is useless without a way to categorize it and access it when needed. I am getting there.

    For each new military vehicle ‘How does it move” and “What does it do?” gave me the sub-categories I needed.

    I spend a whole day studying tank tracks and another two days studying armor (which I still find fascinating). and so on.

    I took breaks whenever the brain went into ‘white out’ and tried more bread recipes. I am a good enough baker that I can usually tell what kind of bread a flour will make just from it’s texture and moisture content.

    I now have five new bread recipes written down and tested.

    I also have well organized links for looking up military ‘anything’ and if I do not know what it is you all are talking about I am more confident I now have a way to find it.

    Its a start.



  19. Whitewall says:

    Any insight on this article? I don’t know if it means dire straights or distraction or what to believe:


    • TTG says:


      That one factory can’t be that critical. US production of 155 shells continues to rise. The Scranton plant went from 11,000 to 14,000 and now to 20,000 shells per month and will be at 90,000 by 2025 when the factor expansion is complete. The same for Tomahawks. They’re still being ordered, produced and upgraded. Still, production isn’t near enough as expenditure rates in Ukraine have shown.

  20. King Charles can speak German!
    This is quite remarkable, IMO.
    For evidence, see:

    Leander, what do you think of his proficiency in German?

    Personally, I think this is commendable,
    showing interoperability between two great nations and peoples that have tragically fought horrendous, mutually destructive, wars with each other.
    For an unbelievably horrific description of this, see
    The Fire by Jörg Friedrich.

    Friedrich presents a vivid account of the saturation bombing,
    rendering in acute detail the annihilation of cities such as Dresden, the jewel of Germany’s rich art and architectural heritage.

    • English Outsider says:

      Unfortunately I was unable to listen to all of the King’s speech to the Bundestag but I got the gist of it. Speaking as a loyal subject, a magnificent linguistic feat. Wonder whether the King’ll manage Russian as handily. When it’s time for him to stand in front of the Duma and say “We’re frightfully sorry we set those awful Nazis on you.”

      One has to leave it to the linguists to decide whether our Head of State tackles the umlauts as well as Volodya. I say, Yes! But I may be partisan.

      Moving away from the delivery of the speech to the content, I think we see here a significant evolution in British foreign policy since 2019.

      Back then it was us, the Brits, to whom Europe – the world in fact – looked for leadership and inspiration in these difficult times. We were, as is only proper, “Delivering the leadership that the world turns to Great Britain to actually provide.”

      But we see from the King’ Speech that we’re no longer sole leaders. We’re sharing the leadership of Europe with Berlin. Which is as it should be. We and the Germans both can help the Nazis together. Share the load.

      So all in all a fine performance from King Charles III and a useful pointer to recent developments in UK foreign policy. I still regret the passing away of the Duke of Edinburgh. He had something of a reputation for shooting from the hip. He’d have thrown away the PR brief and asked the straight question. The question all Europe’s asking but none dare voice:-

      “Hey fellas. Why’s no one in Berlin allowed to ask who blew up your gas pipes.”

      • Whitewall says:

        Sir the punchline was worth the read…and no there will be no answer to ‘who dunnit’.

        • English Outsider says:

          The BBC has an answer. Pinning it on the Russians:-

          “Nord Stream: Report puts Russian navy ships near pipeline blast site.”

          • TTG says:


            It wasn’t the BBC. They’re just reporting the story. It was several Scandinavian countries monitoring the communications of a few Russian ships with their naval base, satellite imagery confirming the movements of those ships and Danish Navy photography of those ships. The key ship was a Russian deep water salvage ship complete with an onboard salvage sub. Still, it’s far from proof that the Russians blew up their own pipeline.

          • English Outsider says:

            TTG – I’m afraid I may have given the impression that I reckon I know who was responsible. I don’t! Could be anyone.

            I spent a bit of time on the Hersh story but could see no solid proof there. Same with the yacht story – why not? But again no solid proof or any approach to it.

            But had someone – anyone – sabotaged the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve everyone – Democrat, Republican or whatever – would be raising hell wanting to know who did it.

            In Germany they’ve gone quiet on the subject. No serious attempt to find the perpetrator. That’s what I find odd about the affair.

            I saw Larry Johnson just now making the same point. Sometimes it’s the dog that didn’t bark that’s the telling part of the story.


            (Set, if it works, to around 16 mins)

          • TTG says:


            The Russians stopped sending gas through the pipelines. The Germans stopped using gas from the pipelines. It really doesn’t make a damned bit of difference who blew it up at this point. I don’t see the Germans or the Russians making any serious attempt to identify the perpetrator.

          • Fred says:


            You are wrong. It makes a great deal of difference who blew it up. Doing so prevented the Germans from leaving the new “rules based” gas distribution “order” put in place by sanctions. It is also helping ruin the European middle class, but that is an issue not of concern to the borg. The war will one day end. Injured parties will want compensation. The damage to US influence isn’t going to be trivial.

      • EO, thanks for your usual informative comments.

        There have been some reports in the US that the cost-of-living in the UK has risen substantially over the last few years, outpacing increases in income, and leading to generally lower living standards in the UK.
        Perhaps energy costs have played a major role.
        Perhaps Brexit.

        From your perspective, how much truth is there to the above?
        Thanks, Keith

        • English Outsider says:

          Keith – Economic damage to the UK resulting from Brexit? It wasn’t a particularly amicable divorce so there had to be some.

          Brexit moved the UK from being an integral part of the EU, and therefore able to trade freely with 27 countries, to being a “third country” – therefore unable to trade as freely.

          Since the UK has far less trading weight than the EU – I’ve seen the figure put at around a seventh – we did not have the negotiating weight to hold our own in the subsequent trade negotiations. “We can do seven times more damage to you than you can do to us” was not a negotiating position that could be argued with.

          Not that we argued that much anyway. With most of the political classes and half the country wanting to stay within the EU, Brexit was primarily an internal fight within the UK rather than a UK/EU conflict.

          But we did, sort of, manage to leave. We are now a “third country”. So we now find more impediments to trade with the 27 than there were.

          Some of us got indignant about that – “Why are you bastards messing up our trade?” was the usual refrain from those of us who voted “leave”. But the EU answer to that was “You were the ones who left. What are you complaining about?”

          The EU answer was correct. After all, we’re a “Third Country” to the US as well. Washington would find it odd were we to expect to be able to trade with the US on the same terms that Montana has.

          There were other difficulties to do with shared agencies where I don’t believe the EU position was as unassailable; but in essence the failure of Brexit was that we moved ourselves outside a big trading bloc without having made any preparations whatsoever for the change.

          The expert on EU/UK trading and other relationships – Dr North who wrote the article linked to above – had devised a plan to avoid or minimise the economic blow caused by Brexit. His plan was mainstream in the UK for a while and I still see people arguing for it; but for various reasons it was not adopted.

          Not only did I see no other workable plan put forward. I saw no other plan for leaving put forward at all! So Brexit was more akin to falling through a hedge backwards that to any sort of graceful departure.

          The economic damage of our tumble through the hedge falls into four categories.

          1. The loss of trade occasioned by moving ourselves outside a trading block that we did some 50% of our trade with. This seems to have hit the SME’s hardest but the overall effect cannot but be significant.

          2. The loss of the UK position as a “gateway into Europe”. On an anecdotal level, I knew of a Japanese company that was well along the process of opening a branch on the M4 corridor. The day the Brexit vote was announced the company cancelled the project. It took a substantial loss to avoid the risk of a greater. I suspect there were many such decisions made around that time.

          3. The uncertainty caused by the fact that no traders, large or small, could plan ahead because none knew what the final result of the protracted Brexit negotiations would be.

          4. HMG’s failure to put in place workable customs arrangements to accommodate the change. Unbelievable, but when it comes to EU imports we don’t have adequate customs arrangements at all. That’s particularly the case when it comes to the controversial Northern Ireland customs border but overall our customs arrangements at present are a joke.

          Quantifying the effects of these various factors is a matter of pick your statistician. Fair to say that the effect on our trade has not been good. The British economy was weak before Brexit. It’s now weaker as a result of Brexit for all the brave talk about “Global Britain”.

          Makes no odds now. It’s a mere blip compared to the disruptive effects on our trade, and European trade generally, caused by recent events. After all, when an entire continent is committing felo de se a botched Brexit is neither here nor there.

          • Billy Roche says:

            E.O. Britain retains her currency, laws, military, history, and herself. She retains her special friendship w/Canada, N.Z. and Australia. She retains her special relationship w/the U.S. She retains her ability to trade w/any other country in the world except 27 in Europe.
            The 27 E.U. countries include Lichtenstein, Montenegro, Slovakia, and her massive trade w/Bulgaria and the Baltics. C’mon, this is about British trade w/Germany, France, Ireland (the good one), the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Spain, and Denmark. Brexit was NEVER about trade. It was about nat’l sovereignty. The industrial production association growing out of ’45 was never meant to be the demise of European nation states but that is what it became. Expect similar unhappiness from the Poles, Hungarian, and Italians in the next few years.

          • Deap says:

            Always thought revising a new version the old Hanseatic League had appeal: UK, Scandinavia, US, Canada, Aus, NZ, and perhaps some Low Countries? (Change my mind)

          • Fred says:

            “She retains her special relationship w/the U.S.”

            Yes, GCHQ can interfere with US elections without blowback. The City of London is having a go at US banking the same way they did with the EU’s. Hopefully it blows up in their faces.

  21. Sam says:

    John F. Kennedy once stated: “The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest—but the myth—persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” Nowhere is this perhaps truer than the myth that America’s laissez-faire tradition enabled America to lead the world economically.

    The reality is that from the founding of the American republic until the end of the Cold War, economic policy was guided by “national developmentalism,” where leaders used government to achieve economic independence from the British, then to become the leading industrial nation in the early 1900s, and later to crush the Soviet Union technologically. This tradition, not the embrace of laissez-faire, is why America became the richest nation on earth. Once again embracing national developmentalism will be critical to enabling America to meet the existential challenge that is China.

    This is a provocative article contrary to the prevailing neoliberal consensus.

  22. English Outsider says:

    Bill – so agree with your comment.

    I suspect we may be the first and only country to escape, and that at some little cost. The others may be locked in too tight. They’ll have to wait until the thing collapses of itself.

    • Billy Roche says:

      Deap makes an interesting/fun comment about the Hanseactic League. But there is truth there. The idea of a self help trade group makes sense. Eliminate nat’l sovereignty was not necessary. This is where the Europeans went too far. The post ’45 need for a coal and steel assoc to help Europe rebound was good. But there are always those who f it up. They said the justification for a united Europe was to stop European wars. Lets consider for a moment. From 1900 on, who were they talking about? England, France, and Germany, that’s who. Were the EU advocates trying to stop those imperialist Dutch from warring on Denmark? Or perhaps war b/t Norway and Sweden had to be stopped! Then there was the possibility of Greece declaring war on Italy over ownership of Sardinia? I could go on. The very premise was silly.
      I give the Brits credit for declaring “they” were more important than trade. The issue of N. Ireland, the Republic, and Britain will work itself out. Dublin, Belfast, and London do not need Brussels to tell them how. They have had centuries to learn how to disagree w/one another. A more important issue for Great Brit. is her relationship w/Scotland, not her trade w/Lichtenstein.

    • TTG says:


      Good guide. The only thing I haven’t seen before was the use of mink oil inside your leather boots. It does make sense as a preservative against constantly sweat soaked leather. When I became a serious walker back in the 60s, my friends and I would use the books of Colin Fletcher as our bible. He spent a few months walking the length of the Grande Canyon by himself with his backpack and a few caches along the way. It’s also where I started my love going alone into the wilderness, much to SWMBO’s chagrin.

      • Billy Roche says:

        As regards trekking alone, you might enjoy reading Merriwether Lewis’ notes on the L&C Expedition. Forget the theories that he was crazy (sadly, I think he may well have been), enjoy his comments of life alone, on a walk in the western wilderness. He was a prolific recorder of his thoughts. Also I found remarkable how he and Clarke maintained unit discipline AND comraderie over their journey to the Pacific and back. Imagination + your interest in anthropology + your interest in small unit control= a great read!

        • TTG says:

          Billy Roche,

          I just found the complete journals online. Is this what you are referring to?

          I was always intrigued by the Corps of Discovery. It was the moonshot of its day. Thanks for the tip.

          • Billy Roche says:

            TTG yes. Lewis was a regular diary (hope that’s not milk) writer. As a military officer I think you would be astounded at how he and Clark kept the Corp of Discovery a military opn while keeping every man truly committed to the objectives and each other. One day they are just a bunch of guys exploring the west, the next, they are all involved in a disciplined defensive manuever. It is worth the time of any officer/nco to read his account. What a story.

          • English Outsider says:

            Jefferson did well to get off the mark as quickly as he did. Seems the Spanish, British and Russians, and of course the inhabitants, had other ideas about who owned various parts of the vast continent our rebellious colonial subjects found themselves proprietors of.

            Could have been a most sobering start to the enterprise. I came across this section:-

            “being invited on by some of the gentlemen present to try my airgun [5] which I had purchased brought it on shore charged it and fired myself seven times fifty five yards with pretty good success; after which a Mr. Blaze Cenas [6] being unacquainted with the management of the gun suffered her to discharge herself accedentaly the ball passed through the hat of a woman about 40 yards distanc cuting her temple about the fourth of the diameter of the ball; shee fell instantly and the blood gusing from her temple we were all in the greatest consternation supposed she was dead by [but] in a minute she revived to our enespressable satisfaction, and by examination we found the wound by no means mortal or even dangerous; ”


            In the Wiki account of the expedition there’s a gun of Austrian make – “Among these was an Austrian-made .46 caliber Girandoni air rifle, a repeating rifle with a 20-round tubular magazine that was powerful enough to kill a deer.[4”


            But the notes to the journal mention a different origin, if it’s the same gun- “5. This weapon, which much impressed the Indians along the expedition’s route, was probably manufactured by Isaiah Lukens, horologist and gunsmith of Philadelphia; it was returned to him after Lewis’s death in 1809, sold at auction on Lukens’s death in 1847, and discovered and identified in 1976. Probably more useful for impressing the natives than for hunting, it had a butt reservoir and was much like a Kentucky rifle in appearance”

            Wiki elsewhere states the expedition had “a reservoir air gun. It held 22 .46 caliber round balls in a tubular magazine mounted on the side of the barrel. The butt served as the air reservoir and had a working pressure of 800 psi (55 bar). The rifle was said to be capable of 22 aimed shots per minute and had a rifled bore of 0.452 in (11.5 mm) and a groove diameter 0.462 in (11.7 mm).”

            If it was a Girandoni the woman who was hit had a lucky escape. “The Windbüchse carried twenty-two .51 caliber (13 mm) lead balls in a tubular magazine. A skilled shooter could fire off one magazine in about thirty seconds. A shot from this air gun could penetrate a one-inch-thick (2.5 cm) wooden board at a hundred paces, an effect roughly equal to that of a modern 9×19mm or .45 ACP caliber pistol.”


            These old weapons are I suppose regarded as little more than toys today for anything serious. But going even further back, I recollect meeting a bow maker who let me try out one of his replicas. It had a 100lb pull.

            He pointed to a tree in the middle distance, some three hundred yards away or so, and asked me not to miss because there was some rough ground that it would be difficult to find the arrow in if I did.

            Of course I missed – just pointing it in roughly the right direction while holding the pull steady was enough of an achievement – but the force and velocity one sensed on release was extraordinary. Quite different from the bows one had played with as a child. Several hundred men releasing a barrage like that must have made even the armoured fighters thoughtful if that’s what their charge had to get through.

            The bowmaker also made replicas of the Mongol hide bows. He had a theory as to why the Mongols didn’t make it further than they had. The damper air of Western Europe rendered the hide bows less effective. They lost their spring.

            The notes to the journal are a masterpiece of scholarship and thoroughness. Not sure I’ll chase them up any further though. One could lose oneself in them for ever even starting following them all up. As perhaps even this discursive comment on one tiny corner of them shows …

            And I have other business to attend to. That brief excursion into outmoded weaponry has given me some interesting ideas. “the air gun was associated with poaching because it could deliver a shot without a significant muzzle report”. There’s a big shoot near where I live and I’m partial to roast pheasant.

          • Leith says:

            EO –

            I’m also a bit partial to roast pheasant. As a boy I carried a 410 gauge shotgun in the trunk of my car. On the way to work at a local golf course I could usually bag a pheasant or two in the rough off the 18th fairway. Gave it to the cook at the clubhouse and he would cook it for us caddies for lunch. We never made much money but the food was great.

          • Billy Roche says:

            Leith makes comment on pheasant shooting and eating. My senior year at New Paltz I lived on a farm and after class drove home and did a little pheasant shooting w/a 22! Yeah, I got a couple, cleaned, and cooked them. Wow were they tough, stringy, and not good eating.

      • Fred says:

        Boots now are not the same quality as decades ago, unless you get some custom made ones like the colonel once posted about.

  23. Al says:

    TTG, As I soon hit 80 yrs, my many backpacking trips into the NW Casades with my son are in the past. Still do many winter day hikes in SW desert, tho.

    Plan to restart canoe tripping this summer. Back in 1975 met up with former military buddy and spent a week padding, portaging, lakes to lakes in Canada’s Quetico. Then in ’80s and ’90s several canoe trips into lakes north of Sudbury, Ontario. A 55lb,16′ Sawyer canoe was an excellent “vehicle”.

    Getting “out and about” truly rejuvenating!

Comments are closed.