Huh? What?

Well, that’s a heckova way to start a new week. WordPress has gone wonky on my machine, so I guess I got some work to do.

Let me know if it’s goofy or not on your device, cause it’s ok here on my phone.

  1. Thanks, see you soon, I hope!!


2015 in review

I’ll have a bit more to say later but the reports for the year are out, and as usual, I want to share them with you, after all, you are the people who make this so rewarding. It gives an indication, as well, about where we will be going, although Jess and I are not driven by statistics, we do prefer to write things that you want to read (and comment on)! 🙂



The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


By no means on the numbers a bad year, in fact, it trails only 2012, and that by only slightly more than 1200 views. In 2012 you will remember, we had an election, and at NEO we were quite involved. Will we be this year as well? I don’t know yet, it depends on the candidates and the issues. What we intend to do is supply background and history for what we see happening, but everything changes nearly every day, except our dedication to normal people, God, and doing it right.

So we’ll see. We’re glad you are all reading here and hope if want us to write about something you’ll tell us. Never know, we might! If it fits with our knowledge, we sometimes have.

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

And so as Jessica and I wrap up the year, we like to share what we have done here. It has not been a spectacular year for us, although we have made steady gains. I think that is because we are a topical blog, in great measure, and 2013 was an off-year. Still we have done a lot of work in foundations of why we need to work our way back to what America was. We will continue this, as Jess’ wonderful articles wrapping up the year show.

We will, no doubt be more topical as we move through another election cycle, whether we wish it or no, it is incumbent upon us as (more or less) free citizens to inform ourselves as well as possible and act and vote accordingly. We will be part of that, as will many of you.

I firmly believe that we are much better off when we take the founders as our inspiration although it is also important to remember with L. P. Hartley that:

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

It has been a long and occasionally despairing year but we should not forget our ancient folk wisdom tells us that it is darkest before the dawn.

Jess and I thank you for joining us on this journey, and we wish you a most happy and prosperous 2014.

nebraskattitude: Conservatives FAIL Online – Please Read & Share!

My neighbor over at Nebraskattitude published this yesterday. I could not agree more, This is my  800th post, and I often wonder why I bother. I, like Shelly. work damned hard on these, to make them correct and fairly well written. While my audience is different from Nebraskattitude’s we have things in common. First we’re conservative, second we often feel like we’re working in a vacuum and mostly we’ve got something to say, that need to be heard.

The election is less than 50 days away, boys and girls, and if we don’t get to work, we could very well lose it. Normally, that wouldn’t matter all that much but, these are not normal times. I’ve got 322 followers according to WordPress, which considering I write fairly serious, unfun posts is not too bad. maybe but, you know what, judging by my comments and likes, while you may be following me, I could just as well tell it to the wall. One thing I agree with Shelly on, is Romney not the best candidate we could have had but, he’s the one we got, and he’s a hell of a lot better than Obama. If you can’t see that, you’re nothing but a fool.

We are watching direct attacks on American soil now; what is it going to be like after 4 more years on Obama? Read more of this post

Awards; 2

Well, imagine my surprise when I look at the new post from my very favorite Nomad, yes the Catholic Nomad, who if you’re not reading you should be. Follow her search for the extraordinary, and the Extraordinary Rite, in American Catholicism, and it’s fun and informative and life-affirming all at the same time. Go there, you won’t regret it.

Anyway the Catholic Nomad Girl has nominated me for two more awards that I am honored to accept. The Lovely blog award, and the reader appreciation award. Thank you CNG.

I’ve said before that while I treasure the appreciation from my readers, these are kind of like a chain letter, but they are fun.

So according to the rules that govern such things, I have to nominate some more blogs, who to choose, who too choose? There are so many great ones out there.

So, my nominees are:

Public Catholic

Rebecca Hamilton’s wondrous Public Catholic tells you all you want to know (and maybe more) about Catholicism (and Christianity) in the public square, and how the ruling class works. This will also serve as a farewell present of sorts as Rebecca leaves WordPress for Patheos, an incredible step up, where some of my favorites such as The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia reside.

The Lean Sumariner

Mac has been one of my favorite blogs for a long time, like me, I suspect he is not quite in the groove he envisioned, He’s a retired Naval Officer and an expert in Lean management. His commentary is top rate, I never miss a post.

Freedom, By the Way

Freedom was practically my first subscriber, was my first commenter, and a mentor as well as one of my best friends in the blogosphere, her blog is accurate, often humorous, and altogether one of the best. Don’t miss out.

Dan Miller in Panama

Dan brings a unique talent to this world of blogs, what else can you say about a Yalie and a Lawyer. This is one of those blogs that is erudite, accurate, and when he unleashes his wit, put down your coffee cup.

And just to end an upbeat post on still another upbeat here’s Wild Bill

So there you have it, four more blogs, that if you’re not reading, you should.

  • Awards (

I’m Honored

Those of you  come here often know that I love history, sometimes it seems that it has taken over this blog. That’s OK, we are in dangerous times in our country and the best guides we will find is in our past. I think part of the trouble is that we (especially our schools) have forgotten that it is History. It is the story of mankind’s climb from the first time we warmed ourselves at a fire started by lightning on the savannah, to our reach into space and beyond. It is a glorious story of climbing, falling, getting up, and climbing again.

A big part of that is the warriors who have guarded us, the sheepdogs, if you will. For the last 200 years the best part of the story of mankind has been the onward march of freedom led by the United States and that march has been led by the warriors who came into existence in a country that despised and distrusted (with cause) all soldiers, and who have come to be the most admired people in this country.

I also note here all of you who follow this blog, and who follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and I’m honored and pleased that each of you do. I think of you often when I’m writing, and am extremely pleased when you ‘like’ or comment on what I write. I’ve linked to many of you and be assured that I do read your blogs as well.

This week I had the rather extraordinary experience of having two blogs follow mine who I am in awe of. I want to give them what little exposure I can. (I hope they followed me for something other than publicity, my followers, while great, are a bit thin on the ground.)

Both have missions dear to my heart: the support of our military and veterans. As I wrote earlier the military has become the touchstone of integrity for Americans. It has done this slowly and surely. Why? Let’s have General of the Army Douglas MacArthur tell us:

General Westmoreland, General Groves, distinguished guests, and gentlemen of the Corps. As I was leaving the hotel this morning, a doorman asked me, “Where are you bound for, General?” and when I replied, “West Point,” he remarked, “Beautiful place, have you ever been there before?”

No human being could fail to be deeply moved by such a tribute as this, coming from a profession I have served so long and a people I have loved so well. It fills me with an emotion I cannot express. But this award is not intended primarily for a personality, but to symbolize a great moral code – the code of conduct and chivalry of those who guard this beloved land of culture and ancient descent. That is the meaning of this medallion. For all eyes and for all time, it is an expression of the ethics of the American soldier. That I should be integrated in this way with so noble an ideal arouses a sense of pride and yet of humility which will be with me always.

Duty, Honor, Country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying points: to build courage when courage seems to fail; to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith; to create hope when hope becomes forlorn. Unhappily, I possess neither that eloquence of diction, that poetry of imagination, nor that brilliance of metaphor to tell you all that they mean.

The unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.

But these are some of the things they do. They build your basic character. They mold you for your future roles as the custodians of the nation’s defense. They make you strong enough to know when you are weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid.

They teach you to be proud and unbending in honest failure, but humble and gentle in success; not to substitute words for action; not to seek the path of comfort, but to face the stress and spur of difficulty and challenge; to learn to stand up in the storm, but to have compassion on those who fall; to master yourself before you seek to master others; to have a heart that is clean, a goal that is high; to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; to reach into the future, yet never neglect the past; to be serious, yet never take yourself too seriously; to be modest so that you will remember the simplicity of true greatness; the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.

They give you a temperate will, a quality of imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a freshness of the deep springs of life, a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, an appetite for adventure over love of ease. They create in your heart the sense of wonder, the unfailing hope of what next, and the joy and inspiration of life. They teach you in this way to be an officer and a gentleman.

And what sort of soldiers are those you are to lead? Are they reliable? Are they brave? Are they capable of victory?

Their story is known to all of you. It is the story of the American man at arms. My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world’s noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.

His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy’s breast.

But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. He belongs to posterity as the instructor of future generations in the principles of liberty and freedom. He belongs to the present, to us, by his virtues and by his achievements.

In twenty campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people.

From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory’s eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march, from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads; to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.

I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood, and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light.

And twenty years after, on the other side of the globe, against the filth of dirty foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts, those boiling suns of the relentless heat, those torrential rains of devastating storms, the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails, the bitterness of long separation of those they loved and cherished, the deadly pestilence of tropic disease, the horror of stricken areas of war.

Their resolute and determined defense, their swift and sure attack, their indomitable purpose, their complete and decisive victory – always victory, always through the bloody haze of their last reverberating shot, the vision of gaunt, ghastly men, reverently following your password of Duty, Honor, Country.

The code which those words perpetuate embraces the highest moral laws and will stand the test of any ethics or philosophies ever promulgated for the uplift of mankind. Its requirements are for the things that are right, and its restraints are from the things that are wrong. The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training – sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him. However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country, is the noblest development of mankind.

You now face a new world, a world of change. The thrust into outer space of the satellite, spheres and missiles marked the beginning of another epoch in the long story of mankind – the chapter of the space age. In the five or more billions of years the scientists tell us it has taken to form the earth, in the three or more billion years of development of the human race, there has never been a greater, a more abrupt or staggering evolution. We deal now not with things of this world alone, but with the illimitable distances and as yet unfathomed mysteries of the universe. We are reaching out for a new and boundless frontier. We speak in strange terms: of harnessing the cosmic energy; of making winds and tides work for us; of creating unheard synthetic materials to supplement or even replace our old standard basics; of purifying sea water for our drink; of mining ocean floors for new fields of wealth and food; of disease preventatives to expand life into the hundred of years; of controlling the weather for a more equitable distribution of heat and cold, of rain and shine; of space ships to the moon; of the primary target in war, no longer limited to the armed forces of an enemy, but instead to include his civil populations; of ultimate conflict between a united human race and the sinister forces of some other planetary galaxy; of such dreams and fantasies as to make life the most exciting of all time.

And through all this welter of change and development your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable. It is to win our wars. Everything else in your professional career is but corollary to this vital dedication. All other public purpose, all other public projects, all other public needs, great or small, will find others for their accomplishments; but you are the ones who are trained to fight.

Yours is the profession of arms, the will to win, the sure knowledge that in war there is no substitute for victory, that if you lose, the Nation will be destroyed, that the very obsession of your public service must be Duty, Honor, Country.

Others will debate the controversial issues, national and international, which divide men’s minds. But serene, calm, aloof, you stand as the Nation’s war guardians, as its lifeguards from the raging tides of international conflict, as its gladiators in the arena of battle. For a century and a half you have defended, guarded and protected its hallowed traditions of liberty and freedom, of right and justice.

Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government. Whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing indulged in too long, by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as firm and complete as they should be.

These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a tenfold beacon in the night: Duty, Honor, Country.

You are the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of defense. From your ranks come the great captains who hold the Nation’s destiny in their hands the moment the war tocsin sounds.

The long gray line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses, thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country.

This does not mean that you are warmongers. On the contrary, the soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. But always in our ears ring the ominous words of Plato, that wisest of all philosophers: “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished – tone and tints. They have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen then, but with thirsty ear, for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll.

In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country.

Today marks my final roll call with you. But I want you to know that when I cross the river, my last conscious thoughts will be of the Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps.

I bid you farewell.

Given at West Point on 12 MAY 1962

The first of these is Operation Gratitude.

I think most of you are familiar with these extraordinary people. To quote from their “about” post:

Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to wounded warriors in transition.  Our mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face and express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$125 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship.

I can’t think of a more worthy mission than to support those who guard us. You will find them in my Blogroll as well as the link above.

The second is Project 365 – Our Veterans.

This is a new endeavor based on the WordPress 365 challenge: They have chosen to highlight one of our veterans each day for the year. I’ll let them explain:

We have decided to take part in the 365 project for 2012, our topic is going to be our Veterans. We plan to honor a veteran a day, every day in 2012. We will be sharing their stories with you. We hope to also include lots of photos. We think it is very important to not only honor our veterans, but to shine a light on the reality of their every day lives. I hope that you will join us in this journey.

Tina & Jennifer

Their second post (other than what I’ll call housekeeping) came up today and moved me nearly to tears. I strongly recommend you subscribe to their blog. Again you will find them in my blogroll as well as the link above.

I want to thank them and assure them that I am honored that they have elected to follow my blog, and that I will do what I can to forward their missions. I hope you will too.

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