Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Will for Wednesday

At this point, we just don't understand why President Johnson didn't get him a new C-in-C MACV if he wasn't happy with Westy. Lincoln went through a lot of generals, and so did W in Iraq. What the hell was going on in the White House? Fortunately HR McMasters' Dereliction of Duty arrived yesterday, and we'll probably get to work on it this weekend.

We read through another Korean War chapter yesterday and spent a lot of time doin' some fixin'. It's going well, actually. We are finding some places for additions, but we don't want to go overboard. The Great Salvation of 1976 is not a war novel. 

Yesterday we had our best sales day ever. No idea why. We'll get into more detail on Saturday but sales have been steadily climbing all month. All we can do is speculate. 

We admit that trolling teachers on NJ.com's stories about the WuFlu, budgets and school reopenings is getting to be a habit. So easy. Also, we're pissed as hell at authorities in general, and teachers specifically. These people are getting paid an awful lot of money to say they can't go back to work. Who else has watched their kids' virtual school and thought, That's it? That's all they do? It takes years of training to learn to say, 'Ok class, chapter six, odd numbers only.'

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Vietnam Scenarios: Real and Speculative

Hahahahahahaha!...ahhhhhhhhahahahahaha! Conservatives expected relief from the courts! No standing for election fraud and the US Attorney for Southern New York gets Trump's tax returns. But judges, right Mitch? Excuse this blog while it hits the laugh track once again. Sorry, I can't stop. Because we're a na├»ve fool we'll just go ahead and assume the Dems won't steal everything in 2022. Reader(s) just go ahead and hit that laugh track button again. Anyway, if GOP candidates aren't promising to impeach Biden and prosecute Hunter, then we're not interested.

William Westmoreland was the Mitt Romney of generals. Outwardly impressive, and good at certain things, but not cut out for the top slot in the corporation.* That President Johnson left Westmoreland at MACV for four years is one of his great failings. Lewis Sorely suspects that Johnson kept him in there throughout '68 because he was worried Westmorland had political ambitions. This wouldn't be the first time that happened. President Polk cast a weary eye toward General Winfield Scott during the Mexican War. 

Anyway we're also a hundred pages into James S. Robins' This Time we Win: Revisiting the Tet Offensive. This is an excellent revision of the Tet Offensive conventional wisdom. Two things we've learned. The American public was impatient and generally disapproved of the handling of the war even before Tet. A huge chunk of the public wanted to escalate and win**. Second, Hanoi was impatient, wanted to get on with things and felt that the war in the South was becoming a, what's the word, oh yes, quagmire.

The Confederate Contingent brings up nuking Hanoi in The Great Nuclear War of 1975. This is an interesting point. When hostilities break out it's only been a few months since the fall of Saigon and Pnohm Pehn. We make an oblique reference in the opening, but we can't pretend these events didn't happen and don't matter. Maybe the US decided hell with it? Nuking 'everything red' was in the Pentagon's DNA and was the plan till Kennedy told Air Force to come up with some other options. 

We read several Salvation '76 scenes yesterday and touched them up. Overall the first part of the chapter with the Americans getting pushed south moves very fast, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It might benefit from a few additional scenes, maybe one involving the air force. Overall we pronounce ourselves pleased, which just means today should be a bear [Oh my, the knobhead learns-Ed]. See, in anticipating the ironic wrath of the literary gods one can forestall them. [Idiot, don't say that outload!-Ed]. Ed's Never taunt the gods. [I am always right-Ed]

*If you don't know that's a reference you shouldn't be reading this blog. 

**Why don't we just nuke that bastards?

Monday, February 22, 2021

Various on a Monday Morning

And we did an hour on the treadmill yesterday! We're quite pleased. Given the mask, we've been long distance running at 3.5 rather than 4. In the end this amounts to a half mile difference, which just isn't that big a deal. It's time we care about, not speed. And we're amazed that we can stay on the damn thing that long. It also occurred to us that one day, we won't need a mask, and when that day comes, it'll be like removing an impediment. [It won't be 'like'-Ed] We lifted after. By the Lords of Kobol we feel great.

So yeah, Westmoreland. The more we read the less we like. At first we were impressed with the young Westy. He was a straight shooter indeed. Later he was a man of accomplishment, the kind of man who would decide one morning that he'd want to learn guitar and then go do it. But Westmoreland was a limited thinker, shallow. At MACV, well, Westmoreland just didn't get it. His staff, his generals in the field  couldn't make him see that attrition wasn't working. We're reconsidering giving Westmoreland command of the Korean relief force in The Great Salvation of 1976. While he did command XVII Airborne Corps, we're just not sure he was up to it. It's still a good idea, though. 

We're going back into the Korean chapter war this week. We approach the task with great fear and trepidation. We'll do an initial readthrough, then look for places to expand the chapter.  The Korean War chapter really ought to be the last tough nut in '76. [He's never going to learn. Are all you Yanks like this?-Ed]

Yesterday we watched Ben Shapiro's interview with Gina Carano,  late Cara Dune of Star Wars: The Mandalorian. Until recently she wasn't into politics. Carano hadn't even voted till last year. She was completely blindsided by the entire controversy and cancellation. We liked The Mandalorian, too bad. We're done. This blog just doesn't know how or when this crap stops. 

Well, Ron DeSantis is running for president.  DeSantis brings a lot to the primary race. Governor of an important state, he ran and won a tough, close campaign in 2018. He fights too. That's a good sign. DeSantis doesn't have a low-T problem like certain other Florida governors.

That's assuming Trump isn't running.  Right now our best guess is that he's not. We base that on absolutely nothing. As if anyone knows what the hell is gonna happen in 2024. We think Trump plans for himself a role as elder statesman, the Obi Won of the MAGA movement, if you will.  Of course Trump is keeping his options open. 

Nikki Haley, who betrayed Trump, has requested a meeting. Request denied. Good. Ahhh...Rubio/Haley, what might have been. Yes we've always thought they were a great way to get Latin and other minority voters. Steve Sailer has argued for years that GOP strategy should focus on getting more of the white vote. 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Will's Good Idea for the week of 2/21/21

We've lamented before that our weekends are pretty much just like the week. We get up, make coffee and get to work on one of the novels. Honestly it's not that healthy. Even a writer of our talent, depth, wit [Are you quite done? -Ed] needs a break. But we like working and don't like wasting that morning ju-ju.  So yesterday we worked on a piece of Russian collusion instead of a novel. Felt good. We'll do the same today.

That piece of Russian collusion is about Rush Limbaugh (dittos be upon him). How much can the Ruskis really know about the man? We excitedly told our GRU handler we'd have the article to him tonight and he replied, 'Thanks, comrade. But we don't go back to work till Wednesday.' The article would be a little past it's best by date by then, no? Still if the Ruskis want it, we won't let news expiration bother us.

Regarding things we'd like to write about, here's Robert Kagan defending American internationalism. There's a bunch of Kagans, Don, Robert, Frederick, Kimberly (kinda cute), and we weren't sure which Kagan this was. At first we thought Robert Kagan was the Kagan that thought up the Surge in Iraq. No, that was brother Frederick, whose wife Kimberley helpfully wrote a history of the Surge.  Anyway this statement on Iraq and Afghanistan is....appalling: 'That Americans refer to the relatively low-cost military involvements in Afghanistan and Iraq as “forever wars” is just the latest example of their intolerance for the messy and unending business of preserving a general peace and acting to forestall threats.' Yes. Do read the rest.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Saturday Updates

So we ordered Pimsleur Spanish I and have listened to disc I. It's already going better than the French. Screw them. When we're done with this we're going to fold some laundry and listen to disc II.

We had a couple of rough sessions on the treadmill this week. Real tough and herky-jerky runs.  Our head just wasn't in the right place. Yesterday we stretched real good and feeling much trepidation, we did 15 minutes at 4, or one mile. We felt real fear. What if our running days are over? The run went swimmingly. After that we did 15 minutes on the rope pully, the Stairmaster and the rowing machine. This morning we did 45 minutes at 3.5, our considerable intellect off in the ether pondering the important. We could have gone to 60 if we wanted to, but didn't feel it was worth the effort. Working out in the morning rather than the afternoon is better for us. We have more energy then, electricity really, buzz, snap...crackle. jjjjgh. 

Over on Substack, our latest article, the first of two on the South African Bush War: 'For most of the 20th Century, South Africa was protected from the chaos of greater Africa by a screen of friendly buffer states; Rhodesia, Angola and Mozambique. That buffer began to crack in 1974 when a military junta overthrew the Portuguese government and announced it would quickly withdraw from its African colonies. Angola especially became a tremendous problem for South Africa. Communist insurgents there offered safe harbor to various South African anti-apartheid groups and threatened South West Africa, a South African protectorate since the end of the First World War. The government of South Africa viewed South West, as it was called, as an integral part of the country. White Citizens of South West held South African citizenship and were represented in parliament...' Look out for a piece on the battle of Cuito Cuanavale next week. In the meantime click on through.

The things.

Not much movement. Slow but steady. More slogging through The Great Nuclear War of 1975 and The Great Salvation of 1976. We need to finish the Falklands chapter in the former and that'll be about it. The later stands at 58,000 words. You people didn't really want a 140,000 word novel, did you? We'd never forgive ourselves that marketing opportunity. Don't forget, there'll be a third novel. Our new plan is to have both wrapped up by 1 April. This week we'll be reading, editing and adding to the Korean War chapter. We oughta be in really good shape. We plan to have The Final Storm wrapped by the end of the summer.

Friday, February 19, 2021

A very February Friday

What a February. More snow here in New Jersey. It snowed, sleeted, iced snowed again and is planning to snow some more. We got about four inches [That's what she said! Sorry, couldn't resist -Ed] and didn't even bother to break out the snow blower, except to clear the driveway entrance. Right now the driveway is a sheet of ice. Very Russian. 

One other thing about Rush that always stuck with me. He used to talk about how much he loved his job. How on Sunday nights he felt a sense of anticipation when most people felt angst. On Monday mornings he'd pop out of bed and couldn't wait to get to work. That's exactly how I how I approached about being a college professor. Thanks, Rush. 

We've moved on to Lewis Sorely's biography of Westmoreland. It is with sadness, scorn and disappointment that we shake our head. Generals came back from the field telling Westy that his attrition search and destroy strategy just isn't working. He didn't listen. Almost everyone else in MACV saw it. Why didn't he? Sorely's bio is great, BTW. Highly recommended. 

After the war, well, we shake our head again. The man failed at just about everything. Westmoreland insisted the US didn't lose the war. He ran for office and lost. He sued CBS and settled rather then take the case to a jury.  Westmoreland tried to be an elder statesmen type but nobody wanted him. As they say Westmoreland faded. He was forgotten. We had no idea he lived till 2005. Very few showed up to his funeral at West Point. Our dad was still at NBC News then, and when he asked if anyone wanted to go up there and cover the story, nobody even knew who he was. 'Oh, right....the Vietnam guy.'

Next week we'll tackle the Great Salvation of 1976's Korean War chapter. Since we broke the original MS into two books we get to explore ideas in greater detail. We'll be expanding this chapter. With the general officer corps decimated, the Western White House is going to tap Westmoreland to command the relief task force. We had slated Haig for this job. But Rockefeller and the DoD (now in Gillette, Wyoming) will decide they need him representing America's interests in Europe. And so begins Westmoreland's redemptive story arc. Some of you people didn't want us to turn this into a trilogy. Never forget that we are very good at what we do.

Below, your Friday Flag:

Banned by Facebook

Thursday, February 18, 2021

We shall not see his like again

Awww dang it, Rush. The inevitable has happened. Mark Steyn eulogizes the man. Ben Shapiro talks about Rush's importance to conservatives and conservative media. Clay Travis talks about Rush and getting it right on radio; hard to do. Dan McLoughlin writes about Rush and the 1990's right. Rush was, as a former president would say, yuuuge. 

A friend broke the news. It was inevitable of course. I got a bit emotional. Rush meant a lot to me.

Rush Limbaugh changed my life. I first got into him in 1992 during my freshman year at Wesley College. My new friend across the hall liked to listen to him while we played Madden '93. This was the first real challenge to our assumptions. Later Rush kept me company on long drives from Wesley College (later Washington DC) up to the University of Delaware to see a certain girl whom I'm looking at right now.

In the 1990's I learned from Rush talking about himself, especially his failures. Rush failed a lot, at college, in his professional life, with market investments. And listening to Rush talk about his failures, we realized that we could get through our own failures, and boy did we fail a lot in the 90's. A lot of times we thought of Rush and kept going.

Another day we'll post more about Rush, and he'll probably be the subject of our Monday Inforos article. But not today.

Thanks for everything, Rush.