Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Drift Radio Show

Join hosts Gary Wellings and Ed Bonderenka as they discuss Buzzfeed Fake News, State of the Union, Pelosi and POTUS trading barbs over the shutdown, border security and a few laughs.

Listen to "The Drift Radio Show January 19, 2019" on Spreaker.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Are You Ready?

Ready Player One, a Steven Spielberg film.

I saw this movie finally.
My oldest (40 something) told me I'd like it.
He was right.

There were so many cultural reference points in it that  got a kick out of spotting them, and I'm sure I missed many.
The plot is about a young protagonist who enters a simulated reality created by a reclusive and now departed computer genius.
But it's really about connectivity, of the human sort.

There's a lot of suspension of disbelief involved.
Like many of this genre (Inception and The Matrix comes to mind), you try and figure out how the real world is influencing the sim world, or vice versa.

But I found it to be an ultimately satisfying movie.

And I woke up the next morning, and as is my custom, I began to thank my Father in heaven for a new day and all the blessings I enjoy. After all, I did wake up.

Then I began to think of the intricate universe He created and I was reminded of the movie and the intricate simulated world that the recluse programmer (and I assume his team) created.
Throughout the movie, in order to win the contest, the hero investigates everything he can get his hands on  to understand the motives and intent of the creator in order to win.

I (and you) live in an intricately created world. It was given to us to live in.
And the clues are there for us to deduce a Creator.
He even gave us a book that describes the rules and His intent.
When the original players were put into the game, they broke the rule. One simple rule.
But that rule was the one that demonstrated their inability to follow the rules.
They broke the world.
Literally broke the world. (That's why we can't have nice stuff.)
And it's been broken since.
And the players have been trying to find the reason it was made.
Trying to win.
Trying to find the prize.

So few are willing to follow the rule.
So few are willing to read the instructions and if they do, fewer believe they apply.

But those who do, in the end, meet the Creator.
And like Willy Wonka, he gives them everything.

All He asks, like most of us, is to be believed.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Plot to Take the White House Addendum

We discussed the preceding post about General Smedley Butler and The Plot to Take the White House on the radio show last Saturday. You can listen here.

The Drift Radio Show January 5, 2019

I just received an email from Mustang, whose opinion I sought on the preceding post.
The Colonel told me that he had attempted three times to post a comment and could not, so he sent the following:

The US military is an instrument of foreign policy and defense.  Butler was correct to criticize the government for using the military as a means of ensuring ideal economic environments in foreign countries, but of course he tacitly supported these policies by remaining on active duty and participating in them.  I’ve always believed that whenever an officer is no longer able to do those things that his government wants him to do, for whatever reason, he owes it to his country —and himself— to resign his commission and pursue a different vocation.  The closest Butler ever came to actual resignation was the two-year sabbatical from the Marine Corps to serve as Philadelphia’s Director of Public Safety.  He didn’t get along very well in that position, however —the mayor fired him, and Butler returned to active service with the Marine Corps.

But if we suppose that Butler might have resigned his commission (perhaps at the rank of captain or major) and returned to civilian life, what should we expect him to do?  His father was a lawyer, a judge, and a 31-year member of the US Congress.  He chaired the House Naval Affairs Committee through two administrations.  Not only did Butler’s career benefit from US foreign policy, it also benefited from having a family member overseeing the Navy Department.  By the way, Butler’s grandfather was a Republican member of the United States Senate.  So, I think Butler’s book was a result of something more than his guilt for serving as a hit man for the US government; he was angry and childish from the fact that he was court-martialed, at the direction of the President of the United States, and he had been passed over for the post of commandant.  His nose was out of joint.

Butler later ran for the US senate and was defeated.  He later supported the Marxist Norman Thomas in the election of 1936 ...

Semper Fidelis, Ed ...

As a veteran with no military experience (I was in the Air Force), I wanted an experienced military/political mind to validate my suspicions.
Butler went extreme in his politics, and his voice was used by the left as much as the bankers had sought to use it, perhaps in reaction to their overtures.

Friday, January 4, 2019

The Plot to Take the White House

I have recently been reading about a former Marine Major General named Smedley Butler.
Colonel Mustang (USMC Ret'd) has written about General Butler.
From Wikipedia:
Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler later became an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences. He also exposed an alleged plan to overthrow the U.S. government.

General Butler is somewhat widely known for his speech "War is a Racket" which has had various iterations and also was printed as a book.

The closing words of the speech were:
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

I thought of General Butler upon the announcement of the withdrawal from Syria, and the wisdom thereof. I am not a Rand Paul supporter, and I do see the value of an international posture of our military. I am suspect of some of our "entanglements".

Then I started reading "The Plot to Seize the White House". I got tired of the scanner errors in that on-line text and reformatted it as a pdf, you can download it here. You do not have to sign into DropBox.

The book, in short, describes a retired Marine General, immensely popular with veterans, being approached to address the American Legion and during that address to speak in favor of the gold standard, which FDR and the New Deal were threatening. The rationale was that the dropping of the gold standard would lead to inflation which would devalue the Veteran's Bonus promised to the veterans of WW1, to be paid in 1945.
This bonus was dear to General Butler, and he had been involved in a push to get it paid early so that veterans suffering poverty during the Great Depression would have some relief.

The book I referenced alleges that the American Legion had been founded and funded by wealthy benefactors to provide chapters that would become involved in strike-breaking and general anti-communist activities. There were many chapters of the American Legion nationwide as there were many veterans of that war recently discharged.

According to the book, and the congressional testimony it presents, General Butler was approached again, on numerous occasions, to eventually form a large group of veterans to march on Washington, and in some way facilitate the removal of FDR from active power and make the president a figurehead, leaving the day to day administration to a more business friendly "Secretary" to be named. Some have suggested a candidate was Prescott Bush, father of George H.W. Bush.
Many people at the time were enamored of the fascist ideal as represented by Mussolini and Hitler, both very popular international leaders. It seems the plotters hoped to replicate that fascism here.

The plot is outlined in the book.

While this might seem far-fetched, I was reminded of the movie Meet John Doe.
The full movie is available on YouTube as seen below.
The link below starts with the introduction of publisher D.B. Norton who is behind a movement of "the little guy" the John Does of the nation.
Norton hopes to ride into political power (the presidency) on the tails of this organization he is building. The scene that I have the clip below set to start at shows him overseeing a demonstration of his motorcycle cadre. This scene always intrigued me as it seemed rather fascist in it's nature.
Looking back, I think that was Frank Capra's intent.
I think he was inspired by the Butler story in making this movie, the John Doe Society being a representation of the veterans groups that Butler was supposed to muster, just as Gary Cooper was to rally the Does.
Funny thing is, I kept seeing Gary Cooper as General Butler while reading the book.

Some say that the plot was the inspiration for the movie "Seven Days in May" which, some of you may know, is about a plot of a general (Burt Lancaster) to lead a coup.

I know that when Obama was president, and all seemed lost, I hoped for a coup.
It's interesting that Obama was actively purging anyone on the general staff would might oppose him.
In retrospect, I'm quite glad it never happened as it's legitimacy would always be questioned (Franco of Spain) and we would not have gotten Trump.

We are now witness to another attempted coup, the "soft coup" of the attempt to remove Trump from power, albeit by "legal" methodology. Mueller, "Impeach 45!", the Soviet Style Media, etc.

I'll admit (especially since my earlier posts on the matter are still available) that previously I was initially opposed to Trump. I suspected him to be a D.B. Norton, a fascist.
I could not have been further from the truth.
It is the fascist left who hope to overthrow him and, with him, our personal liberties.

Anyways, I suggest you enjoy the movie. and keep the above in mind.

Please let me know what you think.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Christmas Story

Something I printed in The Courant for December.

You can click on it if you want to see it a bit bigger :)

And our Christmas show:
I should say that the first half of the show was an interview with an anti-illegal immigration spokeswoman and the effect on American citizens. AOW was mentioned.
The second half was was on the government shutdown (such as it is), Syria (General Smedley Butler was discussed) and the last quarter was on Christmas and Festivus (45:30), wherein I play my favorite Christmas song at 48:20.

The Drift Radio Show December 18, 2018

If I don't see you before then, Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Job Report

In our Bible Study (that I moderate), we were talking about Luke:
8:20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.
21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
Jesus' family was there to take him away for being mad, many think.
If they did that, it could have impeded His ministry, so He had to make a decision to reject them because they rejected His claims to that ministry.
After we discussed that verse we moved on, but a week later, I heard an Old Testament Bible passage that struck me as illustrative of that passage in Luke and I wanted to bring it up when our group next met.
We met and I could not remember it.
We discussed the passage some more and did get some good insight, but it nagged me that I could not remember it.
I felt it was an excellent OT shadow of NT fulfillment.
I (and the others) prayed that God would bring it back to my memory.

The next night (last night) I saw that the TV series "The Rifleman" was available on Amazon Prime.
I watched the first episode, and then the second, from which I copied this video clip.
Boy, was I surprised!
Lucas McCain paraphrases Job to his son Mark in the midst of a trial they find themselves in.
God answered my prayer!
Job lost his unbelieving family during his trial of steadfastness to, and belief in the righteousness of, God, but after the trial, he was given a new family.

And BTW. How often do you hear such scriptural references regarding faith on popular TV series.
And it was written by Sam Peckinpah!

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Day That Will Live in Memory

I posted much of this before.
You may have missed it, so here it is.

The following is excerpted from a letter I transcribed for my friend Nate Weiser to a high school class that had asked him to relate his Pearl Harbor experience on Dec 7th, 1941.

Nate had a degree in education with a sports career and had worked his way through college in the depression.
His military career was somewhat unique in that he was both at Pearl and Normandy.

His commander at Pearl had given him permission to forgo mess duties as he pursued radio courses at the local college in Honolulu.
The mess sergeant saw Nate as a slacker for that. When the dishes rattled in the following story, he came out roaring at Nate for dropping them.

Nate and his two friends had been on a date the night before with some nurses.
He was stationed at Pearl in the Army Air Force and he was in radio.

My two friends and I were going to visit a friend later in the day who was in the Navy, and in Pearl Harbor for a short stay. We were in the Mess Hall around 7:50am Sunday morning. We were waiting in line for our Super Sunday Breakfast before we would go to see our friend when around 8:00am, give or take a few minutes, we heard a large noise that shook the building, and all the stacks of dishes that were on the table fell to the floor. The Mess Sergeant came out and was cussing everyone out. Right then, the second bomb fell and the table plus the food went crashing to the floor. I ran to the door and saw the Japanese Insignia on the aircraft and said to Don and Merrill, "Why are the Japanese planes here? This could be war!"
The planes were strafing all over the area. We were going to hide under the warehouse building next to the Mess Hall, but "Indian Joe", a WW1 veteran told us to get going and try to go to the Residential Area, and go in between the buildings so we wouldn't get hit. We saw the Number 1 hangar on the runway in flames. Half of it was full of ammunition (rumor had it that we were going to Wake Island in a very short time). They hit that hangar first, they knew what was in it. The planes on the ramp were tail to tail, all they did was strafe down the line and get two planes at a time. The reason they were tail to tail was so every Saturday morning the post could march in front of the commander before we had the weekend free. It was a miserable sight to see with us running for our lives. The planes flew so low that you could see some of the pilots red scarves and goggles. That sight I will never forget.
We finally got to the Residential Area and I went into one of the homes near Schofield Barracks. A sergeant lived there and had a couple of children. He told us to stay for a while and then go back to our base for instructions. It was thought that the Japanese might land and try to take the island over. The sergeant would get his company and go up into the mountains, and if the Japanese did invade, he told his wife what to do. We went back to the barracks, and each one of us got a .45 and a belt full of ammo. The second wave of planes was not as great as the first, but that evening it started to rain. The captain called us in his portable quarters and gave us a box about 8' long, 6" wide and 4 or 5" high. He told us that in case of emergency, this would be our only communications between our squadron and Honolulu, so guard it with all our might. It was a transmitter and receiver, all in one! We were to be sure to let him know where we were at all times. We decided to head toward the mountain, but not too far from the runway, near the captain, and hid in case of invasion, but where the planes would not strafe us. Little did we realize that the water off the mountain (it being a very rainy night) would fill our foxhole. We had a very uncomfortable couple of nights. We were very happy to learn after a couple of days that there would be no invasion by the Japanese. All islands were in blackout nights from here on in. By 1943 I was a Staff Sergeant and I and two other Sgts were sent back to the States to go to OCS. (Nate was to be an officer but declined. Also, his two friends died in the attack). After one and a half months, I asked to be sent back to the Air Force.
I was then assigned to Jefferson Barracks in St.. Louis. From there I was assigned to Richmond, Va with the 365th Fighter Bomber Group, 386th Squadron . I was a Tech Sgt and communication chief for P-47 Thunderbolts in the 9th Air Force. We got an all expenses paid tour of Europe.

Nate got the Bronze Star in Europe. it was an award for an idea he had for aircraft radio that allowed them to turn around and get back in the fight quicker in the event of radio failure.
His friends from the night before didn't make it through Dec 7th.

Nate passed shortly before his 99th birthday Dec 5th, 2016.
In case you don't know, I'm proud to say he was my friend.