The book that revealed was another excellent book by historian and former Saturday Evening Post editor Clay Blair,  entitled Ridgway’s Paratroopers: The American Airborne in World War II. It was an easy select since I enjoyed some of his other books, notably A General’s Life: An Autobiography of Army Omar N Bradley, Silent Victory, and The Forgotten War: America in Korea. I confess that until I read this book, I had no real interest in paratroopers and only read it to fill a gap in my WWII knowledge, trusting Blair to give a comprehensive look. I wasn’t disappointed. Blair gave this subject his usual fact-filled , thorough history. At the end of the book, I still had no real interest in General Ridgway as a person but felt a new affinity with the role of paratroopers. Of course, the book concentrates on battles in which the 82nd and/or 101st Airborne participated, beginning with the disastrous Sicily invasion, during which many were unceremoniously dropped behind enemy lines. Other than admirably fulfilling its role as settled history, the book also conveys the evolution of airborne troops in the US military, from its uncertain beginnings through the internal fights as to where they belong in the hierarchy, to their successful role in victory. I like Blair is not only for his thoroughness but his reluctance to fall into the opinion trap.

He lived up to his fact-oriented reputation but he did offer a little light onto American-British relations. It’s well-known that Churchill clashed with American leaders’ views when we entered the war and that the British soldiers/sailors/officers scorned American troops for a long time, reaching critical mass at the Kassarine Pass debacle in North Africa. I hadn’t realized the Brits equally disdained the American paratroopers. After a time, these criticisms at all levels became moot since the Americans were contributing the bulk of manpower and goods for the Allies, plus supplying heavily to the Brits and Russia all while bearing the brunt of the war with Japan. Perhaps some of that disdain was reduced by the war’s end but I recall that some British soldiers bitterly boycotted the movie The Great Escape on the grounds that it reduced the British role and greatly enhanced the American role. As to Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, Blair merely states the obvious and well-accepted view that Monty was arrogant, indecisive, scornful of the Americans in general and of Eisenhower in particular, often taking advantage of Ike’s diplomatic position.

It is ironic and poignant that Monty, who had so little respect for the American paratroopers throughout the war, essentially destroyed the British paratrooper elite divisions with his ill-advised catastrophic Market Garden project.

The book that concealed was A White House Memoir by long-time journalist Merriman Smith. Compiled and edited by his son Timothy Smith in 1972 [Norton Publishers], I thought I’d enjoy this retro look by a journalist I well remember, covering the WH from Roosevelt through the first term of Nixon. Unfortunately the liberal Democratic views  of both the father and presumably the son – a Democrat operative – kept leaking through until it was painfully obvious toward the end. In one writing, the journalist expresses great relief that Goldwater was defeated and Johnson won in 1964. Not all of us today share that belief, I believe LBJ may be the worst president we ever had. Just consider how his personal beliefs affected the coverage of this “great” journalist. Also, Smith won a Pulitzer Prize for his live coverage of JFK’s assassination. It was likely well-deserved but his Kennedy-worship was a vivid reminder that journalists covered the Camelot lie, knowing he was a serial philanderer and worse, was so ill he likely wouldn’t have lived through a second term. I just have no tolerance any longer for the liberal Democratic media that flatters and rewards itself for its pretense of professional standards of objectivity when they’re really political operatives. Yes, I’m one of those angry voters this year and I’m most angry at the MSM. Today’s MSM is the natural culmination of the Merriman Smith.

The book that confused was a weird book The Forgotten Monarchy Scotland: The True Story of the Royal House of Stewart and the Hidden Lineage of the Kings and Queens of Scots by Michael Stewart, HRH Prince Michael of Albany, Head of the Royal House of Stewart [Element Books, 1998] . It doesn’t read like a book written by a European prince but I found the extensive Scottish history interesting until I got to modern days when he basically says he’s the rightful heir to the British crown, not the usurping Windsors, who are likely using their prowess to steal his heritage and wonder if they harmed Princess Di. At that point I read some reviews of him and his book, and he seems quite spurious. Wonder if his book or person had anything to do with the recent vote to establish Scottish independence? Wonder how much of the fascinating history of Scotland is true?

January 31, 2016

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Prelude: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling [Craig Phillips]

Call to Worship, Prayer of Invocation

Opening Hymn: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling [Hyfrydol]

Call to Confession, Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Pardon

Response of Thanksgiving: Just As I Am verse 3 [Woodworth]

Anthem: The Heavens Declare God’s Mighty Power [G F Handel]

Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 13

Sung Psalm 71: In Thee, O Lord, I Put My Trust [Azmon]

Gospel Lesson: Luke 4:21-30


Affirmation of Faith: Credo for Christians

Sermon Hymn: Though I May Speak [Gift of Love]

Prayers of the People, The Lord’s Prayer

Offertory: A Gentle Aria [Christopher Tambling]

Doxology: Puer Nobis Nascitur

Prayer of Dedication

Closing Hymn: More Love to Thee, O Christ [More Love to Thee]

Charge and Benediction

Benedictory Response: Spirit of Love [St Denis]

Closing Voluntary: Voluntary in C Major [John Travers]

What fear looks like

Well, the fear of losing their jobs or being uncomfortable if student activists such as BLM give them a hard time. Notice these college administrators aren’t afraid of pissing off voters, taxpayers or legislators. Oh, no. They’re afraid of having their names or pics in the news or on FB, being touted as racists or some other -ist by activists who are conducting a Al Sharpton Shakedown. There’s gold in them thar colleges.

The most irritating part of all this is that our own colleges, UK, UK WVU, etc haven’t done a thing to help those of us in Eastern Kentucky who are being hammered by Obama and his coalition of greenie power-grabbers. In fact, our own colleges put out “reports” and “studies” and “papers” about how bad coal is or logging sucks or we’re just a bunch of dumbass Scot-Irish descendants and that explains everything, why we’re dumb or anti-establishment or have bad teeth or whatever. Our newspapers dutifully follow suit. We have the MSM vilifying and mocking us at every whim, seems like somebody should stick up for US..

You know what else I smell here, besides fear? I smell job security for the college administrators, for the relevant faculty and for students of the “Studies” programs who won’t get jobs in anything but taxpayer-subsidized crap like this.


The UL Law School has decided to quit pretending to be neutral and go full progressive. http://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2016/01/13/commentary-uofl-law-school-no-longer-neutral/78655014/


Black History Month honors black achievements. Native American History Month honors American Indian achievements. Hispanic History Month honors Hispanic achievements. White Awareness Month? It’s intent is to shame whites for all their -isms. http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=7174Portland Community College to devote an entire month to ‘whiteness’-shaming; The school says the month is an “educational project” exploring how the “construct of whiteness” creates racial inequality.


This is a must-read article. http://www.mindingthecampus.org/2016/01/the-leftist-intellectuals-hovering-over-the-campuses/


I heard this on the Cumberland Highlanders Show on RFD-TV last year. I didn’t recognize it but my husband said it’s a common old British saw. I don’t remember the group who sang it in the Bluegrass version but the Wikipedia link says the song is quite common in Bluegrass music. Here it is, h/t to Maggie’s Farm, which showcased it today and jogged my memory. http://www.maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com


Music and lyrics by Henry Work, arrangement and performance by Tom Roush, who has this work, a lesser-known sequel and other works available on a CD, http://tomroush.us

I find it very charming.

Hypocrisy reminder


h/t http://www.legalinsurrection.com, one of my daily reads and highlighted on my Blog Roll on the right side of my home page. Check it out.



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