Book Review: No End Save Victory by David Kaiser

[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own] No End Save Victory: How FDR Led the Nation into War is one of those books that at first glance looks like it is going to be one of those dry, difficult to read history books that is nothing more than a litany of dates and facts.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  It is an interesting and compelling account of the events in America during the 18 months prior to American entry into WWII.  Oddly, this period is mentioned in every … More after the Jump…

The Makin Raid of 1942 and the Recovery of the Marines Lost After the Battle

In August 1942 the 2nd Marine “Raider” Battalion raided what was then called Makin Island in the Gilbert Archipelago of the South Pacific.  The present name of the island is Butaritari in the island nation of Kiribati.

In 1942 the island had a small, roughly 160 man garrison, and was the site of a Japanese Airfield.  The raid was conceived as a way for the Marines to gather intelligence on what and how many Japanese forces were stationed in the Gilbert Islands.  The plan was for 211 men from companies A and B of the 2nd Marine “Raider” Battalion led by LTC Evans Carlson to land on the island under cover of darkness, neutralize the small Japanese garrison and ransack the island for anything of intelligence value before destroying the facilities and leaving the island.  The Marines would land from two submarines the USS Nautilus and USS Argonaut using small rubber boats equipped with outboard motors.

View of Makin Island from the Periscope of the USS Nautilus Before the Raid
View of Makin Island from the Periscope of the USS Nautilus Before the Raid

More after the Jump…The Makin Raid of 1942 and the Recovery of the Marines Lost After the Battle

WWII Animated Day-by-Day

Below is an animated map of the progress of WWII day by day from 1 September, 1939 to October, 1945 when the last major units of the Japanese military surrendered.  It provides a fascinating view of the way in which the fortunes of the went back and forth.

Book Review–SPOKE, by ‘Coleman’

 

In the sixties ‘wheel of life’ folk song The Great Mandala, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary sings these lines: “Take your place on the great Mandala— As it moves through your brief moment of time— Win or lose now, you must choose now— And if you lose you’re only losing your life.” With this book, Coleman brings those words full circle, so to speak, delivering a rendition of his own life that, though marked by hardship and judgement, turns always toward a better day. Here’s the story of a man who took his place on that great wheel, and did not lose his life but gained a richer, better one. Even the title of the work evokes the turning wheel metaphor, in addition to other meanings.

More after the Jump…Book Review–SPOKE, by ‘Coleman’

Murder in Iraq

This is kind of an amusing story, unless of course you are the guy that got killed.  When I was deployed to Iraq in 2004 with C Troop 1/4 Cav we had a platoon of National Guard soldiers assigned to my FOB to assist with Force Protection (Guard Duty).  The Guardsmen pulled duty in the towers ringing the perimeter of the FOB.  Along with the Americans, Iraqi National Guardsmen (ING) pulled duty, supposedly it was some sort of trust building thing although I was never certain of the logic behind that decision.  That set up the circumstances whereby the murder could occur.  I was at FOB Wilson, which is about … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776 by Richard R. Beeman

[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own] Our Lives, Our Fortunes and Our Sacred Honor: The Forging of American Independence, 1774-1776 by Richard Beeman is the tale of the First and Second Continental Congresses from the opening of the First until the Declaration of Independence in July, 1776. It was serendipitous that I received this book from the publisher when I did because the events leading to and surrounding the Declaration of Independence have recently become an area of interest of mine. The book is 418 pages of text separated … More after the Jump…

Support the Syrian Rebels?: How stupid can the West be?

 Video shows Islamist rebels executing 11 Syrian soldiers:  Yet for some unfathomable reason the Administration is talking about providing support to the rebel groups in Syria.  The video is below (Warning, it is graphic). After watching just contemplate that these are the folks some in the West want us to help.  How they differ from the regime thugs I have no idea. Compare the picture in the linked article with the video.  Notice there is no mention of the cries of Allahu Akbar in the article although they do mention in passing that the group is Islamist.  Now also remember the constant refrain about Islam being a Religion of Peace, which Muslim’s give the lie … More after the Jump…

First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run; Which Should it Be?

This post is more in the nature of a question.  I am currently putting together a post on the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run.  Typically, those from the South refer to the battle as First Manassas and the North as First Bull Run. I personally like First Manassas both because I am from the South and I just think the name rolls off the tongue better.  I have to admit though that First Bull Run is more descriptive as that creek bisects the battlefield while Manassas is just the nearest decent sized town to the battlefield. My question is:  What should the battle be named; First Manassas or First Bull … More after the Jump…

Blueprint North Carolina or, How should treason really be defined?

I just wanted to add this because I think everybody should read this document.  I ran across a mention of it yesterday while perusing some political sites and then had to find the originally posted document and read it myself at first because I could not believe the inflammatory stuff in the piece about it.  It turns out that the entire document is actually worse than I originally thought.  It is literally a blueprint for how the Blueprint folks (a Dem/Progressive organization) can paralyze state government in NC and do it while blaming the Republican admin of the state for the paralysis. After reading it there should be no questions … More after the Jump…

Truth in Education and the Vietnam War

This post is a direct result of my frustration with the garbage spouted by history teachers in the modern education system.  The subject is a photo taken during the Vietnam War and the lies that have grown up around the events leading to the picture.  The Photo is named “The Terror of War” and it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 in the Spot News Photography category. Along with the 1968 photo “Saigon Execution” (another post their as well), this is one of the most iconic images to come out of the Vietnam War.  What started this is when my son came home from school and asked me about the photo.  He was told by his history teacher that the … More after the Jump…

Pearl Harbor Day

Today is Pearl Harbor Day, 71 years ago this morning at 0755 Hawaiian time the Japanese Navy began its attack on the US Navy Fleet anchorage in Pearl Harbor Hawaii.  The attack lasted for two and a half hours and cost the lives of 2,402 Americans and 64 Japanese.  The navy lost 6 Ships sunk, 4 of which were Battleships  and additional 13 sips were damaged to a greater or lesser degree. Let us all take a minute today to reflect on the attack on Pearl Harbor and the war it started.  Most importantly, let us remember the men who lost their lives that day and the hundreds of thousands who followed them … More after the Jump…

Book Review: 11/22/1963 by Stephen King

I will say up front that I have read every book by Stephen King.   He generally hits it out of the park but he has had some books that I just hated, Gerald’s Game and The Dark Tower Series come immediately to mind as duds. 11/22/63 is not one of them.   It is a great book that you won’t want to put down until the end. Ostensibly, this is the story of a man who goes back in time to try and stop the assassination of JFK in Dealey Plaza.   That is how it starts and for the first little bit you will think that is all it is about. … More after the Jump…