Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Just when I was wondering what to be thankful for in this, my year of general malaise, brought on by economic distress and stupid wars, I came across this. That's right, folks, the phony shit kicker from Texas, the walking embodiment of the old slur about all hat and no cattle, is gone from the scene. Yes, his successor, despite all of the strong words during the campaign, all too often seems intent on emulating the Crawford Clown, but this post isn't about that.

I say we should just take our blessings where we can. Me, I'm blessed by still being on the right side of the grass and by not having any family or close friends leave me this year. I'm also blessed in having a wonderful spouse and kid, both of whom deserve high marks for putting up with me all these years. And, in the huge blessing department, my daughter is in the process of moving from the San Francisco area to Cambridge, MA, where, just after the first of the year, she will take up new duties as an associate director with a large biotech firm. Boston in the winter: ugh. Boston as a warm weather destination: nice. Boston any time, with my kid there: very good news.

I'm thankful to FDChief, for doing the heavy lifting in putting this blog together. And to the other MilPub bloggers: You make my days brighter and the heavy lifting not quite so heavy. I salute you. I may sometimes disagree with you, but I always respect you. I especially hope Al and Seydlitz, our friends abroad, find a way to carve out a little piece of America on this most American of holidays. Further thanks go to other members of our blog family: to my friends Lisa and Jim, from Ranger Against War, and to all of you who take the time to read our maunderings and to make a contribution. I consider you all friends.

A couple of years ago I asked one prominent military blogger about his practice of "moderating" (read censoring) reader comments, "What are you afraid of?" I noted that, IMO, reader comments were often the best part of a given post, and that I disagreed with any actions taken to censor them. I did not get a satisfactory answer; in fact, I was invited to "get lost." At that point, I decided that no matter how brilliant or well informed this blogger was, if he couldn't stand the heat, participating in his blog wasn't worth it. I bring this up only to note that no one posting on this blog is afraid of comments. Keep 'em coming.

Thinking of Al and Seydlitz, residing in nations where this distinctly American holiday isn't celebrated, takes me back some 30 years or more to when we resided in Bayreuth, FRG. As the person in charge of operations for a large swath of the border with Czechoslovakia and East Germany, I devoted much time to social gatherings with West German government officials. We hosted a Thanksgiving dinner with some of them. And, of course, along with the turkey and the stuffing, we served corn, that most American vegetable. And then I had to talk my German friends into eating the corn.....

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everybody.


  1. Hurump! Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  2. Awesome post Publius. I have a lot to be thankful for as well. A great wife, two wonderful kids and another on the way. We're hosting some family at our place this year, as well as our neighbors who have toddler with liver cancer. This great kid, despite multiple surgeries and another year of chemo displays the kind of resilience that make me have hope in humanity.

    I know the blogger you speak of, Publius, and I remember your comment well. I also noticed that was your last comment on that site. That same blogger, at one point, was convinced I was a neocon cabal sent to troll his site. I've been accused of many things in my life, but that was a first!

    Finally I'm really thankful for this site and all its contributors, especially those I'm usually at odds with. Thanks for the work you do so that trolls like me have a place for intelligent discussion and discourse.

  3. Best of the Indian and Turkey to those here, and all the ships at sea. I've greatly enjoyed this little taverna, made over from our old Intel Dump hangout of years past.

    To name names is to forget someone, so I'll just say that as far as comments go, good friends ask good questions - and made good arguments. So long as you're willing to argue with me, you all are my friends and always will be.

    Happy T-giving!

  4. Speaking of the old Intel Dump, it seems Phil Carter is in the news. He is leaving his job at the Pentagon as dep asst secretary for detainee affairs. See

    Oh and go easy on the turkey, potatoes, and gravy. Save some for tomorrow.

  5. Andy, it's folks like you that make this business so much fun. I've greatly enjoyed the interplay with you over the years and I look forward to more of the same. I'm also very happy that everything's going well for you and family.

    And tell that brave little dude who'll be visiting that he's never alone, that there are tons of folks out there rooting for him.

  6. There was someone - French, from the sound of it - who is quoted as saying something like "Lord, either send me a good friend or a noble enemy." Andy, I would say that you have been among the best of "enemies" - lucid, intelligent, knowledgable and honest. I have learned from you here, and I can't think of an accolade I'd rather bear.

    Happy T-giving. And to you little man, well, he's got a tough row. But he sounds like a great kid and a tough little guy. I wish him luck and hope he's bathed in the love of his friends and family.

  7. Happy T-Day to all from far away. Great post, Publius, and and yes, just being healthy and on the green side of the grass is a blessing of great treasure. We did our turkey dinner a day early to accommodate their departure on holiday on Thurs.

    Best to all for another good year.

  8. Happy Turkey day gentlemen (and any ladies lurking out there)-

    Regular work day here and work load accelerating into Saturday, so quite different here. We had our American Club T dinner last Saturday where my family and I got all dressed up and had turkey and all the trimmings on a boat on the Douro river. The manager is a former USMC officer - "Fox factor" survivor if ya know what I mean - and we all had a good time. Took three of my Brit friends along to introduce them to the custom, which they all enjoyed in spite of the heartburn.

    Andy, give that child an extra hug from me.

  9. Happy Thanksgiving Publius, FCChief and all here at the MilPub. And thanks for what you do.


  10. Publius and all.
    It's my estimation that healthy discourse is the goal of our interactions. There is not an attack dog attitude here and maturity is the order of the day.
    This site is synergistic b/c of the respect reflected in all our attitudes. All replies force clarification of our thinking.
    Happy holidays to all. If the gods bless then i'll make it thru the holidays at least 1 more time. Hope the same for all the usual suspects.

  11. Hello All,

    Belated Thanksgiving wishes to the troupe, with which I am deeply honored to be in fraternity, quiet though it often is. As I have written FDC, I am humbled by the collection of knowledge to be found here.

    As I see Ranger has written above, anyone who can keep him to a "mature attitude" is to be saluted.

    Publius, to you in particular, gratitude for your friendship is reciprocated (and your accurate Myers-Briggs typology.) An obvious thanks to FDC for his inestimable efforts, all 'round.


    Lisa (the Lurking Lady)

  12. Mike,
    I predicted that Phil Carter would not last long in the big puzzle palace. This 1 little fact that he is gone tells more than a book. It tells who really runs the Pentagon, even the civilian side.