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Open thread 3/22/23

Here’s a photo Gerard took many years ago during a wintertime trip to Florida. Quite obviously, it was incredibly cold, and we were practically the only people walking around on the street that day.

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  • Anne March 22, 2023, 9:00 AM

    For many of us here in the west, that photo is a beautiful description of spring! We have had two weeks of sunshine and snowmelt–the warming up of spring. Now we are anticipating another snow and ice event!
    Thank you, Neo for working so hard to keep this site alive. I grieve that we who are hanging on are not able to provide the “beauty” part that permeated many of Gerard’s posts.

    • John Venlet March 22, 2023, 10:59 AM

      Though I do not necessarily possess Gerard’s talent at wordsmithing, I do think I see beauty in a manner similar to Gerard. Black Capped Chickadee Joie de vivre

      • ghostsniper March 22, 2023, 12:30 PM

        I likes the birds. An hour or so ago a notice popped up on my Win10 monitor saying I was running out of hard drive because my webcam was recording. I guess I had accidently hit the record key 4 hours earlier (at 6am when I turned the computer on). The webcam sits on my window sill and is focused on the tall double shepherds hook about 5′ from that window. On that hook is a suet cage and a red barn shaped (gambrel roof) bird feeder. The feeder is kept stocked with black oil sunflower seeds, which we buy 4 bags per month and each bag is 40 lbs. The suets are purchased at Rural King in 8/box for about $9 per box.

        Generally, the pecker type birds go for the suets and everybody else goes for the seeds. The pileated woodpeckers are the masters of the domain around here and they chatter up a storm while they pound the devil out of that suet. Highly suspicious characters they are. Cardinals form the majority of birds around here accompanied by the chickadees, titmouses, finches red and gold, wrens, sparrows, eastern towhees, and at this very moment there is a little Hoover vacuum cleaner on the feeder called chipmunk. I knocked on the glass and even though the bottom of that feeder is about 5′ above the ground that chipmunk jumped off of it and headed for one of it’s lairs across the yard..

        • John Venlet March 22, 2023, 1:23 PM

          Ghostsniper, sounds like you get alot of the same birds I get in my backyard down in Grand Rapids, MI. I feed the same mixtures you do, but add a Nyjer seed for the finches. Not alot of the migratory birds up here, yet, though I’ve heard the robin, and the pileated (which I don’t see in my backyard at home) but I’ve see a ton of their sign in the woods walking about. Beaver and mink are active in the crick up here, deer plentiful, the occasional Fisher, cool member of the weasel family, bears are still tucked in their dens, I think. In another couple of weeks, the warblers will start showing, and the migratory travelers. Had a couple of mergansers fishing the crick this morning too. They took right off when I walked out for a closer look.

          • ghostsniper March 22, 2023, 2:11 PM

            I’m waiting for ya’lls Grosbeaks to come a visitin’ next month, they’re my favorites. Red-white-black (kinda patriotic) in color and only hang around for a couple weeks. Take a look, aren’t they magnificent?


            • John Venlet March 22, 2023, 5:02 PM

              Rose Breasted Grosbeaks are magnificent birds! I only started getting them as fly throughs about 7 years ago in my backyard. Wonderful to see. They’re up here by my trout cabin, once the season is right. Their song is melodic, unlike the robin.

        • Richard G. March 22, 2023, 4:51 PM

          Yesterday we had our first visitation of the annual spring migration of Turdus migratorus, the American Robin.
          Spring has arrived.

          • John Venlet March 22, 2023, 5:05 PM

            Ah, yes, the Turdus Migratorious, Michigan’s state bird, for reasons which make no sense as they migrate south for the winter. It’s the first Latin bird name I taught my kids, and in as a most derogatory manner I could. They’ve made it as far north as Grayling, MI area already. Not a fan of that bird.

    • Mary Ann March 22, 2023, 6:07 PM

      I am also grateful for all Neo is doing.

  • Richard G. March 22, 2023, 3:34 PM

    There is a story that my father loved to tell of a time when he was a young medical resident at New York Hospital during the Great Depression. Part of medical residency involves doing training rotations through the various specialties, two of which were Psychiatry and Emergency Room practice.
    One of his fellow residents was a very bright young doctor who on this occasion was working the emergency room. A woman presented herself to the E.R. in a highly agitated state. The resident saw the patient, and asked her what was causing her such distress. She asserted vehemently that “she had pigeons living in her rectum”.
    The Resident concealed his surprise, as any one would know this was an impossibility. So he sent for her chart. The chart revealed that this poor long suffering woman was a frequent visitor who had a diagnosis of delusional ideation. The standard practice was to send her to the psych ward for a period of observation. After the statutory 72 hour time had elapsed she would be released, only to reappear shortly in the E.R. Trapped in a revolving door of ineffective treatment.
    The aspiring Resident was undaunted. He quickly assessed the situation: He was not to impressed with the effectiveness of psychiatry to deal with this patient. The Psychiatrists had obviously failed to treat the patient and achieve a successful outcome. He reasoned that if psychiatry had failed that he should try a different approach.
    He summoned a sigmoidoscope, in those days a straight pipe optical instrument, and took the patient to an exam room and proceeded to give the patient a physical exam. He gave her fundament a thorough visual inspection. He looked where the sun don’t shine. When the exam was completed and her modesty once more restored, he confronted the anxious patient with the result of his investigation: He was happy to report that he could see no pigeons living in her colon.
    The poor woman heaved a great sigh of relief and exclaimed “Oh Thank You Doctor”! Whereupon she was discharged from the E.R. and disappeared into the streets of New York City, never to return.
    The Resident made his entry into the chart concluding thusly: Sigmoidoscopy to 15 centimeters, no pigeons found.

    The moral of this true story is that to treat delusional thinking it is vitally important to NOT validate the patients delusions. Make them confront their delusions with reality.
    Now how does this apply in our modern delusion infested world where the inmates are running the asylum?

    • John Venlet March 22, 2023, 4:59 PM

      The best medical care is at times not only anecdotal, but anally actual. Great story!

    • ghostsniper March 22, 2023, 5:16 PM

      Excellent Richard all the way around!

    • Casey Klahn March 23, 2023, 12:41 PM

      Don’t validate her ideation. The next line writes itself, however I will demur. OK, I will say it if asked. Over a bourbon.

      Actually, this story of actual medicine being practiced, in multiple fields of the science at the same time, is a breath of fresh air. The patient’s actual problem area notwithstanding.

      • Richard G. March 23, 2023, 1:43 PM

        And then there is Groucho: “My brother thinks he’s a chicken-We don’t talk him out of it because we need the eggs”. That rings with a compelling currency in this day and age.

        • nunnya bidnez, jr March 24, 2023, 9:06 AM

          actually, that is the closing scene of Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall”.

  • Mike Seyle March 23, 2023, 5:45 AM

    Wonderful story, and proof that even the mad are more apt to listen to reason than the corrupt.

  • John Venlet March 23, 2023, 7:16 AM

    Mistakes Were NOT Made: An Anthem for Justice

    A poem with punch. I think Gerard would have appreciated this bit of wordsmithing. If you prefer a reading, rather than reading it yourself, it’s posted at Rumble. Mistakes Were NOT Made: An Anthem for Justice, written by Margaret Anna Alice.

    • Joe Krill March 23, 2023, 7:49 AM

      John Venlet—that is one dynamic poem. Thanks.

      • John Venlet March 23, 2023, 8:43 AM

        Pleased you enjoyed that, Joe.

    • Richard G. March 23, 2023, 1:37 PM

      Once you have read the printed version at MargaretAnnaAlice.substack be sure to follow the hyperlinks embedded in the lines of the poem. Truly jaw dropping the amount of info there. Blood curdling really.
      “The fact-chokers smeared the dissidents.”

      Don’t let Them get away with it.
      Don’t let Them get away with it.
      Don’t let Them get away with it.

  • Dirk March 23, 2023, 7:46 AM

    In 1979 my first wife and I arrived in Jacksonville Fl on a Gray Hound Bus, I had shorts a Hawaiian shirt flip flops, wife similar. The bad news, it was snowing in Jacksonville. Florida, snow, I’d never even given it a thought.

    We had sent all our stuff to ROTA Spain where I’d be stationed after P3 Flight Engineer school. Man it was cold, a very wet damp kind of cold, nothing I’d ever experienced. Luckily a church across the street was having a sale, sourced a wool older suit jacket for warmth. My wife similar.

    I still have the jacket, over the years I’ve grown larger, no chance of ever re entering this fine ol jacket.
    Wool is amazing stuff, this jacket still looks new, I’m guessing it was at least ten yrs old when I cabbaged on to it. Fifty something years later it still looks brand new.

    Florida cold is wayyyyyyy different than top of the Calif Sierra’s kinda cold. Much colder in my mind.

    Still no takers, three tee shots new in packages left, if anybody’s interested.

    • John Venlet March 23, 2023, 8:37 AM

      Dirk, your story of you and your wife’s arrival in Florida, and your attire, reminds me of coming back to Grand Rapids, MI on leave wearing basically the same attire you mention, as I had no winter attire. Flew out of Honolulu at 10 at night Hawaii time, and landed in Chicago O’Hare at 5:30 CST. Offloaded at a terminal gate way out in the back 40. It was 10 below zero outdoors, and maybe 55 degrees in the back forty gate. Froze my keister off waiting for my flight to GR, a three hour wait. When I got to GR, it wasn’t any warmer, and there was knee deep snow. I got alot of weird looks.

    • ghostsniper March 23, 2023, 10:15 AM

      Jan 1973, Fort Myers, FL, I was 18 and working in concrete construction on a high rise and living with my parents. My younger brother was working there too. I had crashed my 66 Mustang a few months earlier and was in the process of putting it back together and my means of transportation during that period was a 1970 Honda 350. 6:30 on that Jan morn my bro and I saddled up and headed out. It was unusually cold, in the high 20’s. It was a half hour ride from the crib to the job. Halfway there I pulled into a parking lot and my brother and I warmed our hands on the exhaust pipes for a few mins before heading out again. At the job there was a 50gal filled water barrel that we used for mixing mud in the machine. Fired up the mixer and had to use a shovel handle to break the ice on the top of the barrel. A year and a half later I was on field duty in the army in germany and I found out what real cold was like. 2-3 weeks out in it and no motorcycle pipes to help out. After living that way for 37 months I am a qualified winter soldier.

    • anon March 23, 2023, 11:20 AM

      I suggest you give the shirts to Goodwill (or similar). Seems like people would really like to get something brand new there, and there are plenty of large people who need shirts. 🙂
      (Smaller people could even sleep in them.)

    • Casey Klahn March 23, 2023, 12:52 PM

      Why these stories weren’t nuthin compared to when we was kids back home. Mostly living in the streets, in dirty rags; no shoes or undershorts, baffles for a shirt and we were made to tong great blocks of ice over our shoulders and made our ways home, if you’d call it that, to mum who’d hit our shoulders with pine 2 x 4’s to get the feeling back in them.

      We had nothing to eat except the local creamery would discard ice cream and popsicles into the bin behind in the alley. We were only too happy to eat such fare, even in the windy and freezing Winter streets, just to keep our energies up to fight the rabid packs of dogs on the way to the factory. At factory, they’d kill us, then have us work double-shifts with North Pacific fish canning. We’d go home and cry to dad, and he’d tell us to toughen up, then kill us a second time.

      You tell that to kids these days and they don’t believe you.

  • Anne March 23, 2023, 9:39 AM

    You, gentlemen, are talking about arriving home in warm weather clothes to freezing snow and ice.
    I have experienced another arrival that I will never forget. It was a day in 1970 or 1971 when our military men were arriving home from Viet Nam in military uniforms.

    It was Oakland, CA airport. I was in the waiting area to board my outbound flight when a World Airways flight landed and offloaded an entire plane load of Army boys (men?) coming home from Viet Nam. I moved to the entrance of the ramp so I could yell “well done”, but I was outnumbered and outflanked by a group from Gerard’s old university–UC Berkeley. The weather was what I call “bay area pleasant”.
    As the boys first started walking up the tunnel they were so happy and so full of positive energy and excitement–so glad to be home. But then the crowd around me pushed through into the tunnel and started yelling “baby killer”, “murder”, etc. The dynamic changed instantly. I remember seeing their faces change almost instantly from excited joy to total confusion and disbelief. In the very next moment, many of the boys up front were ripping off their military shirts, so they would be seen in just their T-shirts, and look like civilians. So the animals would not be able to identify our warriors and spit in their faces as they had started doing. I heard one of them shouting to the crowd as he pulled off his shirt, “hey look, see, I’m just like you– I’ve got a joint too!” (He meant marijuana).

    • ghostsniper March 23, 2023, 10:29 AM

      “…and spit in their faces…”

      Long ago debunked.

      One of the most popular chants during the anti-war marches was, “Stop the war in Vietnam, bring the boys home.” You heard that at every peace rally in America. “Bring the boys home.” That was the message. Also, when one thought realistically about the image of what was supposed to have happened, it seemed questionable. So-called “hippies,” no matter what else one may have felt about them, were not the most macho people in the world. Picture a burly member of the Green Berets, in full uniform, walking through an airport. Now think of a “hippie” crossing his path. Would the hippie have the nerve to spit on the soldier? And if the hippie did, would the soldier—fresh from facing enemy troops in the jungles of Vietnam—just stand there and take it?


      • anon March 23, 2023, 11:46 AM

        Are you calling Anne a liar? She was there and witnessed it.
        Her comment made me furious. Furious at the treatment our vets received, and continued to receive. Maybe the Bay Area was worst; it’s easier to go out and “protest” and sling hate around when the weather is good, as it usually was in the Bay Area.

        FYI, wiki (in all its forms) is a major player in leftism. Research it (which is difficult due to censorship).

        • ghostsniper March 23, 2023, 12:49 PM

          Pedo Troll got triggered again.

      • Joe Krill March 23, 2023, 12:01 PM

        Ghostsniper, the article that you linked to was, in my opinion, pure propaganda. It is all in the way these individuals use what I call their out words, their disclaimer words. “Alleged”. “Media Report”.
        “At the time he wrote The Spitting Image, Lembcke had not found a single substantiated media report to support the now common claims of spitting.”

        “Bob Greene’s book Homecoming reprinted letters he had solicited, asking to hear from veterans if they had been spat upon.[6] Greene’s book includes 63 alleged accounts involving spitting, and 69 accounts from veterans who do not believe anyone was spat upon after returning from Vietnam, among other stories.”

      • Richard G. March 23, 2023, 3:52 PM

        ‘“Bring the boys home.” That was the message.’
        That may be true where you were but I grew up in Berkeley (BHS’70) and witnessed the true nature of the local Marxist Overlord wanna be cadres. They earned their bona fides by joining the Vinceremos Brigade to go to Cuba to help harvest the sugar cane. There were a few who swaggered around high school lecturing us on Marxist theory. Few but loud and obnoxious.
        I stood on the corner of Telegraph Avenue and Woolsey St. across from the Smokehouse burger shack as a ‘peace march’ came down Telegraph from the University. In the vanguard were maybe a hundred loud people who looked to be right out of central casting from Forest Gump, waving North Vietnamese flags and chanting their ‘PEACE’ cry “Ho Ho Ho Chi Min, The NLF Is Going To Win”. They were marching to the port of Oakland and Alameda naval base to ‘shut it down’ an ammunition train. To me it looked like the vast majority of the rest of the large crowd that marched behind were indeed antiwar bring the boys home types.
        The march came to an abrupt halt at Woolsey Street, the boundary between Berkeley and Oakland, where they were confronted with a flying phalanx of Oakland riot police in full regalia of helmets and gear. Not one commie stepped cross the line. Sure didn’t see no spitting neither.
        Few but obnoxious. And dangerous if they out numbered you.

    • Joe Krill March 23, 2023, 11:45 AM

      Anne, Thank you. When we deplaned there was a lot of police in the airport (there were signs but nobody got too close–maybe we all stunk too much–we did stink because many of us came right from the field) and we were marched to buses to ETS at Fort Lewis. When I was drafted I was working for Alpha Beta Acme Markets. They would not give me my old job back. Those were the days. As far as my opinion of those who did demonstrate——I wish that they all had the courage and opportunity to live somewhere else, somewhere where they could live out their fantasy dreams of floating on a cloud and not having to work. Sort of sounds like today.

      • Casey Klahn March 23, 2023, 12:09 PM

        I appreciate Anne’s first hand account, and yours, Joe.

        One that sticks with me from the hundred s of men I knew in the Guard who were fresh from Vietnam, was of a commo sergeant who wasn’t able to hold down a job. He said he never felt normal or at ease unless he was in his uniform, but the 28 days of the month when he was a civilian were like hell. You see, he deplaned in SFO, and someone confronted him. Later, in a job interview, the asshole managed asked if he was a baby killer. As a matter of fact, he was. A child had run straight into the grill of his 5 ton truck on Highway 1. Nightmares and civilians. What’s the difference?

        • Joe Krill March 23, 2023, 1:40 PM

          Casey, If I had not lived this I could not make it up. I was riding in the back of a 3/4 ton with our hoi chan and the driver. I was in the Central Highlands, somewhere. The driver pulled over at a small village, I do not know why, and this little girl–no more than 5 or 6 came running toward me with a zip gun in her hand. First time I ever saw what I call a zip gun and the last time I ever saw a zip gun. A barrel on piece of wood with a large rubber band stretching back to the hammer area. The hoi chan leveled his 16 at her and yelled something in Vietnamese. She dropped the zip gun and fled. If she had fired I might not be writing this.

          • Casey Klahn March 23, 2023, 4:07 PM

            Joe, what was your unit in Nam? Also, your job? Thanks. I’m not interrogating – it’s my actual interest. I ended up as an infantry captain, but half of my service was as an enlisted grunt. Everyone in my inf. units was a Nam vet, in ’75 and for many years after. Thousand yard stares – I have said before you could almost smell the cordite on their uniform. I made just a big a life’s pursuit out of talking with WWII and Korea vets, because of my dad. The main thing I tell those who want to hear stories first hand is to just listen, and look at a veteran’s eyes.

            One time, I happened to be in a circle of men, and more than one man had been a WWII aviator. After a few sentences, you could cut the stillness with a knife.

            Anyway, my compliments.

            • Joe Krill March 23, 2023, 5:53 PM

              Casey, You can read about my mos at http://vietnamwarvet.com. Called “Eye in the night”. I was with the 4th in the Central Highlands. Spent a lot of time 1 K from the border. We were sent to where the action was anticipated. Charlie did not like us.

              • Joe Krill March 23, 2023, 6:01 PM

                Casey, when I found the site I was amazed and thankful. I made two comments on the latest guestbook section. Worked my whole life and every day was and am thankful to my Heavenly Father for the chance to have lived in America. Did not like school and was lucky to graduate from HS. I do not like people who do not like America. If you want to know what our enemies have planned for us visit https://www.revolver.news/2023/03/new-video-has-many-questioning-if-china-is-using-our-open-border-to-build-a-secret-underground-army-inside-the-us/. Have a Blessed day.

                • Anne March 23, 2023, 10:58 PM

                  Joe. Thank you for bringing up this subject. Just today as I was listening to the report from our southern border about a bus load (30) Chinese Nationals being bussed into the heartland of America. To my understanding they have not been fingerprinted nor has a snapshot been taken. The only thing that has been done is to give them a court date about 5-7 years from now to show up in order to formally ask to be admitted. What REALLY bothers me about this happening THIS WEEK is the TikTok hearing in DC. Why have 30 illegal Chinese suddenly shown up on our border the same week the largest Chinese spy operation in America is being forced to close down? I do not believe in coincidences! To my knowledge, this is the first time we have had Chinese as illegal immigrants on the southern border. Anybody with more accurate info please add your comments–I also don’t like guessing the facts!

                  • nunnya bidnez, jr March 24, 2023, 9:24 AM

                    30 years ago, in New York City:
                    “Golden Venture was a 147-foot-long (45 m) cargo ship that smuggled 286 undocumented immigrants from China (mostly Fuzhou people from Fujian province) along with 13 crew members that ran aground on the beach at Fort Tilden on the Rockaway peninsula of Queens, New York on June 6, 1993,”
                    (Fort Tilden isn’t very far from the world famous Coney Island … were they just coming for the hot-dog eating contest?)

                    That’s a lot of people to cram into a small ship, reminescent of other stories about hundreds of Haitians on 80 foot boats , but that’s a much shorter trip, in safer waters. The Golden Venture traveled halfway around the world, through some very treacherous waters; rounding Cape of Good Hope against the prevailing winds and waves.

              • Casey Klahn March 24, 2023, 7:56 AM

                You were essentially right on top of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Fuhk.

                TY for the link.

                • Joe Krill March 24, 2023, 10:01 AM

                  Casey, After I found that site the memories came flooding back. Had kept them in a closed closet in my mind for a lot of years. While we did operate along the border we also stood watch over a lot of other hot spots in the highlands. You might say preemptive. Make no mistake–the Army protected us. The fire power that we could call on in a moments notice was huge. Only had one arc light. Because we were in the Highlands we had “yards” everywhere–a most beautiful people. I will say this without reservation–if we had our units along our southern U.S. border today, nobody would be entering illegally. I’m finished. Closing the closet door.

  • pfsm March 23, 2023, 10:02 AM

    A co-worker who spent some month as a missionary in Thailand told a story about freezing his ass off in the airport in Honolulu on his way home to western Washington….

    • ThisIsNotNutella March 23, 2023, 4:18 PM

      And people die of hypothermia in Thailand. It’s a funny old world.

      My first winter stint in Bangkok, I was mightily amused when the locals started shivering and sneezing on the BTS Skytrain when the temperature went a degree or two below 20 Celsius on some December morning. Of course, I didn’t feel the cold. But soon stopped laughing because regardless of how I *felt*, all those winter viruses having a field day had zero respect for my wondrous cosmopolitanism and by the next morning I was coughing and sneezing along with them.

      The late great Alistair Cooke claimed that he’d never felt as cold in his life as he once did in SF in July or August. And he used to summer there.

      • ghostsniper March 23, 2023, 6:21 PM

        Got up to 62F today, and off n on rainy.
        With long shirt and pants I was over dressed and feeling it.
        It don’t need to get any hotter.
        Tomorrow out comes the tshirts and shorts.

      • anon March 23, 2023, 7:46 PM

        “The Coldest Winter I Ever Spent Was a Summer in San Francisco” (—source disputed)

  • John Venlet March 23, 2023, 1:34 PM

    Neil Foard has a new video up, Good People. It’ll take 2 minutes and 17 seconds of your time. The message of Christianity is best spread the same way as noted in the video, though it’s only tangentially associated with the message of Christianity. Worth your time.

  • Thos. March 23, 2023, 6:00 PM

    Anytime I think of Gerard and “cold”, I’m reminded of his essay “The Gift of the WalMagi”.

    To me, that is a perfect example of his particular brand of genius – the ability to see the sublime in the world around him; and to retain his sense of wonder in spite of all the things that drive people to be cynical and bitter.

  • Nori March 23, 2023, 9:25 PM

    His particular brand of genius – the ability to see the sublime in the world around him; and to retain his sense of wonder in spite of all the things that drive people to be cynical and bitter.

    Crystallization of Gerard. Thank you Thos,for this.

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