Previous Articles

  • Worth Reading November 1, 2021 November 3, 2021 by The Editors - JDeQB increasingly finds humor to be an excellent antidote for the woke madness that has befallen our society. Matt Taibbi’s recent Article about the Let’s Go Brandon Media Freakout is humorous while being very serious, as befits a writer who gained his spurs writing in the USSR and understands totalitarianism both governmental and social.  He also finds the Commentary podcast to be of special pertinent these days. The November issue of Commentary is entitled Woke: The Threat and there is much in it of interest.  But the podcast of last Thursday was especially trenchant and also, at points just hilarious. It is a good listen. Commentary Podcast, The Great Democratic Faceplant.  On a more serious, but no less vital note, the Sam Harris Making Sense Podcast #265 is an interview with John McWhorter discussing the Religion of Anti-Racism.  It is a terrific listen. John McWhorter is African-American, a Professor of Linguistics at Columbia and the author of many books, most recently Woke Racism: How a New Religion has Betrayed Black America. The Sam Harris site is behind a paywall, but one gets about 20 minutes or so of listening before getting shut out. Even the first twenty minutes is worth it for non-subscribers. Subscribers, of whom I am one, find his material…
  • Thinking About Things Would Anyone Today Actually Fight to Preserve the Union: A Thought Experiment November 2, 2021 by John DeQ. Briggs - John DeQ Briggs November 1, 2021 Since the turn of the new century, the American people have devolved into warring camps.  People no longer have mere political disagreements.  People have come to hate their opponents’ political views. And while  religion is rapidly disappearing from American life, it is being replaced by faith in one’s tribe.  This tribal faith is replacing reason, logic, critical thinking, and many other advances of the Enlightenment.  In the circumstances, one can be forgiven for thinking we have devolved into a high Tech version of the 12th century in our politics and governance.   It is not fruitful right now to delve into the reasons for all of this. Suffice it to say that for present purposes, I take it as a given that the unification of the country through a political process is simply not possible in the foreseeable future.  None of the warring parties (I shall call them the Reds and the Blues) is interested in solving the nation’s problems.  Both parties are instead interested in stirring up hatred for their opponents and perpetuating their own power by any means possible.  Nearly all of our major institutions have been corrupted in this process, each in somewhat different ways.  Neither individuals nor institutions seem to have a stake…
  • Thinking About Things: Mr. Magoo as President and the Collapse of the President’s Poll Numbers October 11, 2021 by John DeQ. Briggs - Thinking About Things: Mr. Magoo as President and the Collapse of the President’s Poll Numbers  October 12, 2021 John DeQ. Briggs        I have been thinking about the performance of our President in the wake of my article of a month ago about the debacle involving Afghanistan. Since then, the Biden Administration has been through one embarrassment after another, demonstrating a startling incompetence at managing the basics of government.  Virtually everything that the President has touched has turned to chaos; his policies have had obvious unintended adverse consequences, both economic and political.   As I sat down to begin writing about this yesterday, the image of Mr. Magoo as President popped into my head and made itself home there, immovable.  Not only does Mr. Biden bear an uncanny likeness to the nearsighted Mr. Magoo, but both leave mayhem in their wake, and both are completely oblivious to the consequences of their actions.  The main difference is that Mr. Magoo seems always to come across as a likable nearsighted old soul who means well.   But contrary to his appearance during the campaign of 2020, Mr. Biden now comes across as an unlovable, mean and mean-spirited person. He has transmogrified completely away from his “Lunch pail Joe” and…
  • Worth Reading October 12, 2021 October 11, 2021 by The Editors - JDQB notes that below the radar screen are some interesting articles. Edward Snowden writes especially clearly about an obscure but interesting subject most people (including me) never heard of Central Bank Digital Currencies. It could be subtitled “the Surveillance State comes to Money.” Matt Taibbi just keeps getting more interesting. The insights he brings from his upbringing in the Soviet Union to our rapidly evolving social totalitarianism  deserve wide circulation.  The article is short, but this paragraph, especially in context, is dynamite.  As a student in the Soviet Union I noticed subscribers to what Russians called the sovok mindset talked in interminable strings of pogovorki, i.e goofball proverbs or aphorisms you’d heard a million times before (“He who takes no risk, drinks no champagne,” or “Work isn’t a wolf, it won’t run off into the woods,” etc). This was a learned defense mechanism, adopted by a people who’d found out the hard way that anyone caught not speaking nonstop nonsense could be suspected of harboring original thoughts. Voluble stupidity is a great disguise in a society where silence is suspect.  Robert Kaplan’s article from last week in the Wall Street Journal is worth reading even if you have to drive somewhere to buy the proper paper issue of the newspaper (sadly,…
  • Kabul Now September 27, 2021 by Guest Author - Guest Commentary by Rev. Peter Wm. Gray P.S.S. This horrific photo was just sent to me from my sources, contacts in Kabul. It is authentic. These 2 young  men were caught stealing bread this AM.  They are now on display before they will be "disciplined".  This spying and capturing  is now a daily occurrence in Afghanistan and nobody will do anything to alter this draconian interpretation of the Koran. Where is the outrage from the International Islamic Communities ?  Where are the media from the West?   Where is Pope Francis?   Where are our bishops and other Christians? I am beyond anger when I am seeing this and realizing that there will be no one to intervene and stop this barbarity. Our government, the Legislative Branch no less than the Executive Branch is responsible for this debacle, which was the conscious choice of both parties. Yet having made “peace” with the Taliban, our government writ large is now pretending this is not a problem at all. Meanwhile, the jaws of Hell are opening wide. Father Gray is a Roman Catholic priest of the Order of St Sulpice. He is actively supporting Christian families in Afghanistan and working to get endangered students and friends out of…
  • Preserve Our Seafood Industry’s Heritage September 27, 2021 by Guest Author - Guest Editorial by John Fithian  A newspaper article published last month reported that Maryland Comptroller and announced candidate for governor Peter Franchot promised, if elected governor, to phase out the centuries old wild commercial oystering industry; likely starting with a moratorium.  The article also reported Franchot saying he would rather “properly compensate” watermen for losing their jobs than find a bipartisan solution.I can guarantee that if this happens, you will eventually destroy the entire seafood industry as we know it. Tilghman Island Watermen's Museum I find Franchot's announcement to be a knee-jerk reaction by someone who has spent little time trying to help the industry over his many years in politics but has obviously spent a great deal of time counting votes promised by environmental groups. My biggest question is, when did Franchot first become interested in the health of the seafood industry or the Chesapeake Bay? I am not aware of Franchot reaching out to the industry to lend a helping hand or any efforts to understand the many issues facing the industry. Millions of gallons of raw sewage are dumped into the Bay almost daily by Baltimore City. He is witnessing firsthand the catastrophic harm caused by the Conowingo Dam,…
  • Worth Reading 9-28-2021 September 27, 2021 by The Editors - Local historian Barton Cockey wrote a strong essay on the preservation of monuments that brings a new perspective to the Talbot Boys debate.  Those who want to tear down statues try to claim the moral high ground, and this thoughtful essay reveals the emptiness of that claim.  In an article that reminds JDQB and WDM of where we were 50+ years ago, Harvard professor emerita Ruth Wisse points out how distant the rising members of the political class are from the experience of national service.  She writes that ROTC was driven off campus during the Vietnam War by the combined opposition to the war and the draft.  After that era was long past, “rather than encourage outstanding students to undertake military training as part of their civic responsibility, faculty at Harvard and elsewhere took the lead in banishing ROTC from campus.”  Thus the understanding grew among those elite students that the nation was not worth their privileged lives to defend.  As a result, she writes “the war in Afghanistan was lost in the halls of Harvard.” While on the topic of elites, Matt Taibbi reviews a new book that examines the rise of “credentialism” – the “last acceptable prejudice” of the highly educated that makes them despise the less-educated, particularly…
  • Never Forget… September 11, 2021 by The Editors - Sgt. Nicole Gee KIA Kabul, 8/27/2021 World Trade Center, New York 9/11/2001
  • Thinking About Things: Afghanistan, Mr. Biden, and Coming Full Circle September 11, 2021 by John DeQ. Briggs - John DeQ Briggs Homage to A Government, Philip Larkin, 1964 Next year we are to bring all the soldiers homeFor lack of money, and it is all right.Places they guarded, or kept orderly,Must guard themselves, and keep themselves orderlyWe want the money for ourselves at homeInstead of working. And this is all right.It's hard to say who wanted it to happen,But now it's been decided nobody minds.The places are a long way off, not here,Which is all right, and from what we hearThe soldiers there only made trouble happen.Next year we shall be easier in our minds.Next year we shall be living in a countryThat brought its soldiers home for lack of money.The statues will be standing in the sameTree-muffled squares, and look nearly the same.Our children will not know it's a different country.All we can hope to leave them now is money. My wife and I flew over Afghanistan in 2019 on the way back to London from a three week stay in Vietnam as a sort of pilgrimage to celebrate the 50th anniversary of my own departure from Vietnam after my second tour of duty with the Navy. We seemed to be flying over Afghanistan for hours, but it…
  • Worth Reading 9-11-2021 September 11, 2021 by The Editors - JDQB notes these as materials worth reading Harking back to George Bush’s  embarrassingly premature Mission Accomplished ceremony aboard an aircraft carrier after the initial few weeks of the invasion of Iraq, Noah Rothman writes about Joe Biden’s Mission Accomplished moments.  Peggy Noonan has an excellent article from September 2 in the Wall Street Journal (apologies for paywall). The Afghan Fiasco Will Stick to Biden. The Economist magazine has put together an issue with a number of articles of real depth. Two of these are Henry Kissinger on Why America Failed in Afghanistan and Francis Fukuyama on the end of American hegemony.  The Washington Post published an especially good article by Robert Kagan in late August busting various myths about Afghanistan.  John Podhoretz hosts a podcast on  Biden’s claim of victory for partially solving the very hostage crisis he started. God knows what the Taliban are being paid for allowing the occasional plane to take off.  https://www.commentary.org/john-podhoretz/solving-the-hostage-crisis-you-started/ Interesting article by Jonathan Turley on the legal question whether the vaccine mandates should apply to those who already have natural immunity and antibodies by virtue of having recovered from the Covid-19 virus.  https://jonathanturley.org/2021/09/10/california-medical-ethics-expert-sues-university-over-vaccine-mandate/ Finally, and as something of a precursor to my next article, the hysterical reaction by the media to the Texas abortion…