Friday, October 31, 2014

REPOST: Tattered Remnants:
The Good Reuben James
Oct. 31, 1941

What was their names, tell me
What was their names?
Did you have a friend on the good
Reuben James?
- Woodie Guthrie, November 1941.

(first posted October 31, 2011)

As I have written, this blog has tried to avoid honoring military heroes for the simple reason that they receive many honors already--and this blog is about the unnoticed.

For this occasion I will breach the rule.

Seventy[-three] years ago today, as I write this, in the cold and dark waters of the North Atlantic, the first American warship was sunk in World War II.

She was the destroyer Reuben James, and she sank before there was war between the United States and Germany.

The Second World War was not going well for the Allies at this point. In North Africa, the Germans were within striking distance of the cities of the Nile; British preparations for a counteroffensive had not yet borne fruit. In Russia, the forces of the Barbarossa invasion were at their maximum extent; they were tantalizingly close to Moscow and the Kremlin could even be seen by scouts through binoculars. And Britain was slowly starving to death as her ships sank almost as fast as they could be built.

Reuben James was part of the North Atlantic protection ordered by President Roosevelt, nominally to guard our shipping with Britain–but intended, in fact, to provoke the Nazis to making a blunder, much as they did in World War I when the passenger liner Lusitania was sunk by the German Imperial Navy.

A small destroyer, with a crew of 159, the James was an older craft, keel first laid at the end of the First World War and then mothballed for almost ten years. She was reactivated and eventually stood guard over Convoy HX-156, a group of several score ships loaded with goods to help the British in their stand against the Nazis.

A German U-boat, U-552, spotted the James as it guarded an ammunition ship, and launched torpedoes. Reuben James took a single hit to the bow; an ammo magazine exploded and the ship was shattered into two pieces. Of her crew, 115 died; 44 survived.

It is generally forgotten today that prior to Pearl Harbor the people of the United States wanted very little to do with another war in Europe, as the First World War was seen as many to have served the purposes of the power elite far more than the people. Many among the interventionists who wanted immediate American involvement in the war tried to use the sinking of the James as a causus belli. Woodie Guthrie (little remembered today, but whose son Arlo eventually would write about littering on Thanksgiving) wrote a famous ballad about the sinking.

Woodie Guthrie or no, however, their deaths did not have the effect of mobilizing American involvement. A movement might have coalesced around the sinking, but history had other ideas. The incident that would mark the world forever would not come for another five weeks, when the Japanese struck at Pearl Harbor. And in the smoke of Pearl Harbor, the sinking of the James was eventually forgotten in the United States.

But their deaths were not in vain.

In the two days following the Pearl Harbor attack, America was still divided. We were keen to avenge the horrors of Pearl Harbor, but we still were reluctant to get involved in Europe: that was still seen as a European problem, not our own. In Washington, those who had strained at the leash to lead us into war against the Nazis were at their wits end to get us to liberate Europe.

But then, three days after Pearl Harbor, Hitler solved all of our strategic dilemmas by mindlessly declaring war on us--citing American operations in the Atlantic as being the cause. In a long, ranting speech to the German Reichstag meeting in the Kroll Opera House on December 10, Hitler shrieked that American aggression in the Atlantic had become "intolerable." Invoking the Axis Treaty, he then declared war--and in so doing guaranteed his own doom.

In short, the Reuben James (and other US Navy ships involved in the Battle of the Atlantic) jabbed Hitler into a fury--and into making a decision that killed him. And his regime.

So today, take a moment and remember these forgotten men, who lost their lives for our freedom seventy[-three] years ago today.

What was their names, tell me
What was their names?
Did you have a friend on the good
Reuben James?



Lieutenant Commander Heywood Lane Edwards, U.S. Navy (Commanding)
Lieutenant Benjamin Ghetzler, U.S. Navy.
Lieutenant Dewey George Johnston, U.S. Navy
Lieutenant (J.G.) John Justus Daub, U.S. Navy.
Lieutenant James Mead Belden, D-V (G), U.S. Naval Reserve.
Ensign Craig Spowers, U.S. Navy.
Ensign Howard Voyer Wade, D-V (G), U.S. Naval Reserve.

BAUER, John Francis, Jr., Chief Radioman (AA) Class V-3, U.S. Naval Reserve.
BEASLEY, Harold Hamner, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
BENSON, James Franklin, Machinist's Mate second class, U.S. Navy.
BIEHL, Joseph Peter, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
BOYNTON, Paul Rogers, Yeomman first class, U.S. Navy.
BRITT, Harold Lelie, Coxswain, U.S. Navy.
BURRELL, Herbert Ralph, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
BYRD, Hartwell Lee, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
CARBAUGH, Leftwich Erastus, Jr., Fireman first class, U.S. Navy.
VARUSO, Joseph James, Radioman second class, U.S. Navy.
CLARK, James Brantley, Fire Controlman second class, U.S. Navy.
COOK, Raymond, Mess Attendant first class, U.S. Navy.
COOPERRIDER, Carl Eugene, Gunner's Mate third class, U.S. Navy.
COSGROVE, Lawrence Randall, Gunner's Mate second class, U.S. Navy.
COUSINS, Alton Adelbert, Cheif Machinist's Mate (PA), U.S.N.R., Class F-4-C
COX, Charles Beacon, Chief Torpedoman (AA), U.S. Navy.
DANIEL, Dennis Howard, Yeoman third class, U.S. Navy.
DEVEREAU, Lawrence Delaney, Chief Boatswain's Mate (PA), U.S.N.R., Class F-4-D
DICKERSON, Leonidas Camden, Jr., Storekeeper third class, U.S. Navy.
DOIRON, GIlbert Joseph, Water Tender first class, U.S. Navy.
DRINKWATER, Karl Lee, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
DUNSTON, Nebraska, Mess Attennndant third class, U.S. Navy.
DYSON, Corbon, Radioman third class, U.S. Navy.
EVANS, Gene Guy, Boilermaker second class, U.S. Navy.
EVANS, Linn Stewart, Fire Controlman third class, U.S. Navy.
EVERETT, Carlyle Chester, Fireman second class, U.S. Navy.
FARLEY, Edwin Louis, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
FITZGERALD, John Joseph, Quartermaster third class, U.S. Navy.
FLYNN, William Aloysius, Torpedoman second class, U.S. Navy.
FRANKS, Hartley Hardy, Ship's Cook second class, U.S. Navy.
FRENCH, Ralph George, Chief Commissary Steward, U.S. Navy.
GASKINS, Lester Carson, Machinist's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
GREER, John Calvin, Chief Electrician's Mate (PA), U.S. Navy.
GREY, Ernest Dwane, Jr., Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
GRIFFIN, Arthur Raymond, Signalman second class, U.S. Navy.
HARRIS, Charles Waldon, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
HAYES, Charles Chester, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
HENNIGER, William Henry, Gunner's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
HOGAN, Francis Robert, Gunners' Mate third class, U.S. Navy.
HOUSE, Hugh, Gunner's Mate third class, U.S. Navy.
HUDLIN, Maurice Woodrow, Fireman first class, U.S. Navy.
JOHNSON, Joseph, Mess Attendant first class, U.S. Navy.
JONES, Glen W., Chief Quartermaster (PA), U.S. Navy.
KALANTA, ANthony J., Boatswain's Mate second class, U.S. Navy.
KAPP, Donald, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
[sic: should be "GUNN, Donald Knapp, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy" -HyperWar]
KEEVER, Leonard A., Chief Machinist's Mate (PA), U.S. Naval Reserve, F-4-C
KLOEPPER, Ralph W.H., Signalman third class, Class V-3, U.S. Naval Reserve.
LITTLE, Joseph Gustave, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
MAGARIS, Paul L., Radioman first class, U.S. Navy.
MC KEEVER, William James, Sean second class, U.S. Navy.
MERRELL, Windell Harmon, Fireman second class, U.S. Navy.
MERRITT, Auburn F., Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
MILLS, Gerald Edward, Seaman second class, Class V-1, U.S. Naval Reserve.
MONDOUK, Albert J., Chief Water Tender (PA), U.S. Naval Reserve, Class F-4-C.
MUSSLEWHITE, Edgar W., Machinist's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
NEELY, Kenneth Cecil, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
NEPTUNE, Aldon W., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
NEWTON, William Harding, Yeoman third class, U.S. Navy.
ORANGE, Harold J., Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
ORTIZUELA, Pedro, Officer's Cook first class, U.S. Navy.
OWEN, Benjamin T., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
PAINTER, William H., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
PARKIN, Joseph J., Chief Water Tender (PA), U.S. Navy.
PATERSON, William N., Coxswain, U.S. Navy.
PENNINGTON, BUrl G., Quartermaster second class, U.S. Navy.
POLIZZI, Joseph C., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
PORTER, Corwin D., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
POST, Frederick R., Boatswain's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
POWELL, Lee P., Pharmacist's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
RAYHILL, Elmer R., Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
REID, Lee Louis N., Torpedoman first class, Class V-6, U.S. Naval Reserve.
RESS, John R., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
ROGERS, James W., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
RYAN, John J., Jr., Coxswain, U.S. Navy.
RYGWELSKI, Clarence, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
SALTIS, Edward Peter, Boatswain's Mate first class, U.S. Navy.
SCHLOTTHAUER, Eugene, Chief Water Tender (AA), U.S. Navy.
SETTLE, Sunny J., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
SORENSEN, Walter, Gunner's Mate third class, U.S. Navy.
SOWERS, Wallace L., Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
STANKUS, Anthony Gedminus, Seaman second class, U.S. Navy.
STELMACH, Jerome, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
TAYLOR, Wilton L., Fireman first class, U.S. Navy.
TOWERS, George F., Chief Gunner's Mate (AA), U.S. Navy.
TURNER, Lewis Aubrey, Signalman third class, U.S. Navy.
VOILES, Loyd Z., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
VORE, Harold M., Fireman first class, U.S. Navy.
WEAVER, Jesse, Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
WELCH, Chester L., Fireman second class, U.S. Navy.
WHARTON, Kenneth R., Fire Controlman first class, U.S. Naval Reserve, Class F-4-C.
WOODY, George, Jr., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.
WRAY, Edwin E., Seaman first class, U.S. Navy.

APPLETON, Chrlie Edward, Jr. Fireman 2c, US Navy.
APPLETON, Parmie Glendon, Fireman 2c, US Navy.
BEASLEY, George Napoleon, Jr., Machinist's Mate 2c, US Navy.
BEGLEY, Claborn, Machinist's Mate 2c, US Navy.
BERGSTRESSER, William Henry, Chief Machinist's Mate (AA), US Navy.
BOYD, Solon Gescovy, Machinist's Mate 1c, US Navy.
BRIDGES, Brent Neil, Radioman 3rd class, US Navy.
BUSH, Roy Virgil, Fireman 2c, US Navy.
CARR, Robert James, Fireman 2c, US Navy.
COYLE, Floyd Bob, Fireman 1c, US Navy.
DEL GROSSO, Daniel Joseph, Seaman 1c, US Navy.
DELISLE, Gerald Joseph, Coxswain, US Navy.
ELNITSKY, Joseph Fedenich, Fireman 1c, US Navy.
GIEHR, George Frederick, Fireman 2c, US Navy.
GORZIZA, Arthur Emil, Machinist's Mate 1c, US Navy.
GRAHAM, Guy Shipp, Machinist's Mate 2c, US Navy.
HAJOWY, Joseph, Machinist's Mate 2c, US Navy.
HINGULA, Norman Francis, Fireman 1c, US Navy.
HOWARD, Robert Joseph, Torpedoman 3c, US Navy.
JACQUETTE, Charles Samuel, Jr., Fireman 1c, US Navy.
JAEGGI, Earl William, Shipfitter 2c, US Navy.
JAMES, Vance Turner, Metalsmith 1c, US Navy.
KAPECZ, Rudolph T., Gunner's Mate 1c, US Navy.
LONG, Gordon H., Watertender 1c, US Navy.
MOLNAR, Joseph, Fireman 1c, US Navy.
NAGLE, Earl G., Seaman 2c, US Navy.
NIECE, Delos, Seaman 2c, US Navy.
OAKS, Kenneth Courtland, Radioman 3c, US Navy.
OLEXA, Steve, Seaman 2c, US Navy.
PHALEN, Charles W., Fireman 2c, US Navy.
RICHARDSON, Lester E. Fireman 1c, US Navy.
ROBINSON, Clarence F., Seaman 1c, US Navy.
SILLS, Lawrence, Jr., Seaman 1c, US Navy.
SIMS, Lloyd E., Watertender 1c, US Navy.
STENCEL, Julius, Machinist's Mate 2c, F4D, US Navy.
STEWART, Aaron H., Gunner's Mate 3c, US Navy.
STEWART, Robert S., Seaman 2c, US Navy.
TATE, Cleophas, Electrician's Mate 3c, US Navy.
THOMPSON, James C., Seaman 2c, US Navy.
TURNBULL, Thomas P., Electrician's Mate 2c, US Navy.
TYGER, Leland E., Fireman 3c, US Navy.
WESTBURY, William C., Machinist's Mate 1c, US Navy.
ZAPASNIK, Fred F., Shipfitter 1c, US Navy.

For more:

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Extracts from the Little-Read Book: Chapter 033

Wit, wisdom, pseudonietzscheanistic aphorisms, and bad jokes.

* Middle Offspring came home from Freshman World History Honors a few weeks ago. His teacher went to great lengths to explain how using "BCE" and "CE" instead of "BC" and "AD" showed you were not a religious bigot. I then spent dinner telling him how enforced use of "BCE" and "CE" showed HE (the teacher) was an ANTI-RELIGIOUS bigot. Middle Offspring squirmed uncomfortably. (....It's gonna be a long year.)

* It sez here: Fast Food Strikes Coming To 150 Cities, Organizers Say ( AUTOMATION NOW! AUTOMATION NOW! AUTOMATION NOW! WE WANT MORE ROBOTS! WE WANT MORE ROBOTS! $10 BIG MACS! $10 BIG MACS! Fools. Every damned one of them. And note well: Burger flipping: NOT a career... never intended to be a career. Don’t like it get another job. Or stay in school.

* "That's what your mother said." POW! TO THE MOON, ALICE!

* I'm more of the opinion that the Antichrist is not one person but an office. The Walkin' Dude, as Stephen King calls him. He wears different faces from century to century but he’s pretty much the same guy. You’d think Satan would show more diversity.

* It sez here: Visa Program Struggles to Track Missing Foreign Students ( I often hear my fellow conservatives, who want LESS government, scream for the strict policing of visa holders so that those who are out of status are arrested the morning their visa goes bad. Fools. Fools! Inefficient bureaucracy guarantees freedom. And sometimes the price of freedom is someone you don’t like getting one over on the system.

* It sez here: Angelina Jolie would play me in the story of my life! Who would play you? ( Divine.

* It sez here: Depression may not be caused by a lack of serotonin: study ( No. It's not. It's caused by following the news.

* It sez here: Yes, Ted Cruz IS eligible to serve as president ( We need Ted Cruz like we need a hole in the head. TOO YOUNG! (Same with Scott Walker in Wisonsin.) I just want them to run someone old enough to recognize a communist when they see or hear one.
* I know of a land that has no dead bodies on it from massacres. It is called the moon. Antarctica is also 100% war free. For now.

* Those new electronic gizmos on cop cars that read your license plate and cross reference your plate with your driving record and list of overdue library books is perfectly legal in Macomb County. Found that one out one day after plates expired. Again: Perfect enforcement is perfect tyranny. Enforce the old fashioned way and dump the electronic surveillance stuff. And put down the goddamn donut.

* And while we’re on the subject: every Stingray in the country must be destroyed. Not return to the federal government, destroyed. And I'm not referring to bicycles or Corvettes. Read it and fear.

* It Sez Here: Instapundit » Blog Archive » CHANGE: Jeff Bezos Replaces WaPo Publisher With Politico...( So they replace a fourth-generation aristo-kakocrat with a pluto-kakocrat. Somehow I see no improvement.

* For those who wonder why I truly fear Ebola: My grandfather A. Leo Kent--a funeral director--nearly bankrupted AND killed himself burying people in the Great Flu. We lost half a million people in eight weeks: the single greatest disaster America has ever known and it's barely remembered. My greatest nightmare (and I mean this literally, it wakes me often) is a similar horror.

* Pitchfork Pat Buchanan thinks that the US should never have gotten involved in WW2. Or WW1. Bah. All you have to do is play a wargame (say Avalon Hill's old "1914" or "The Guns of August") without the USA and watch the world we know melt before your eyes. Or better yet, play "Third Reich", be a Pat Buchanan fantasist and keep the US out, then watch Russia take Brest in 1946. Not the one in Poland--the one in France.†

*†(I have always been amused that Europe has two 'Brest's :) ).

*  "Don’t say nasty things about Pat Buchanan. He lost a relative in the Holocaust, falling out of a guard tower." (Not mine but I wish it was.)

* The F-35 project will cost a trillion dollars in 50 years. That’s about right. How many do we get for that kind of moolah? Can't give exact numbers but they're intended to replace ALL of our fighter aircraft in ALL SERVICES, carrier based, land based, air force, navy, army, marine, will be F-35s. This design is intended to fly until well past 2050. The idea is to have fundamental interoperability and part replacement for all craft in the services. A wrecked Navy F-35 is supposed to provide spare parts for an Air Force plane.

* It sez here: Nancy Pelosi to receive Margaret Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood ( Next up: San Fran Nan will receive the Juan Corona Award for achievements in population control. (This is a real award, BTW. The California lower house so recognized serial killer Corona in 1979.... seems some legislator wanted to make a point about how they were passing laws without reading them. The elders of the House were not amused.)

* Do not think "they" are the problem. The problem is right here and the cause is the man in the mirror. "The line between good and evil does not run between 'us' and 'them' but runs down the middle of each human heart." - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Harvard Lecture, 1978

* Give me your tired, your poor your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so long as they submit properly filled out I-130s, I-485s, I-601s, I-601As, I-212s, G-28, G-325As (four copies each for petitioner and spouse), I-864s for spouse and co-sponsor, I-864A for spouse of co-sponsor, I-693 medical forms (latest edition only; all previous editions obsolete and will be rejected), $420.00 filing fee for the I-130, $1070.00 for the I-485, $585 for the I-601, $585.00 for the I-212..... Filing for a green card is like breeding elephants. Everything is done with a lot of trumpeting, decisions are made at a high level, and you don't get results for two years.

* Whenever there is a final solution, government is the cause.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Extracts from the Little-Read Book: Chapter 032

Wit, wisdom, pseudonietzscheanistic aphorisms, and bad jokes.

* "Myers-Briggs is like astrology except you get to pick your own sign." - Phil Rose

* This article discusses The Osteen Predicament — Mere Happiness Cannot Bear the Weight of the Gospel ( Two words: Dietrich Bonhoeffer. "When Christ calls a man He calls him come and die." Anyone who thinks that happiness is for this world has completely missed the point of the Gospel. This is why I cannot abide Joel Osteen. He's great for greedy yuppies. Those who suffer? Notsomuch.

* Sign the petition: Tell The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to Protect the Threatened Monarch Butterfly ( First the human fetus. Get back to me when that happens.

* It sez here: The Coded Message Obama Delivers When He Says ISIL Instead Of ISIS ( He doesn't like using ISIS because Isis is a pagan goddess and he doesn't want to offend our new insect overlords.

* Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.

* It sez here: Guantanamo Remains a Dilemma for Obama and the Media ( He needs the space for Republicans the next two years.

* Fed: US consumers have decided to 'hoard money' (CNBC via "Hoard money"? HOARD MONEY???? That is commie speak for "savings." Just as "speculation" is commie speak for "owning a retail store with goods in it."

*  I hear that Captain & Tennille got a divorce. NO! Next you'll tell me that Kenneth Branaugh and Emma Thompson are getting divorced. No, wait....

* True story: When I was a gradual student I had to read a ten page undergrad paper in which Nietzsche's name was never spelled correctly.... or spelled the same way twice. It wasn't until about page 4 that I realize the paper writer hated ol' Friedrich and did it deliberately. He got an 'A'.

* I've been paying for my own plan for 12 years. Your Obama took it away, jacked up the price 60%, and cut my medications. My plan got canceled because it didn't pay for my hysterectomy or abortions.

* So you're not insured? Great plan. I unfortunately have three autistic kids to insure, and Obama's lies may cost me the ability to protect my family's health.

* BTW, dear reader, can you send me $600? Every single month? You'd be doing it anyway under Obamacare.

*   Bush saved the auto companies. All Obama did was take credit -- AGAIN -- for something someone else did.

* "Stay out of my bedroom. Pay for my abortion. Get one for yourself. Retroactively, if you're a Republican." How is her body not my business when paying for what it does IS?

* Obama has demonstrated he couldn't organize the bailout of a two car funeral.

* Noah the Movie: AKA Master and Commander: The Top Side of the World :) (I hear the ending is a real Surprise!) OTOH, that ark was very green. They got thousands of miles to the galleon.

* Blog: 'Imagine: Living in a Socialist America' ( The good socialists do is immeasurably small compared to the harm they cause. And the omelette they make from broken eggheads? They eat them, we do not.

* After the revolution things will be.... totalitarian.

* The new intolerance: will we regret pushing Christians out of public life?( I'm entirely concerned with the whacks we’ll get. It won't be pretty.  I will say this: anyone who thinks that Christians should be driven out of public life belongs in a concentration camp--wearing a guard's uniform.

* "I can't eat this! It's full of ingredients!" - Linus Van Pelt, 1966

* Hell, I'm awesome in bed. I can sleep all day.

More Thursday.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Once more unto the office dear friends.... but first, GREG'S GIGGLES!

Ladies ‘n’ Germs, Mr. GREG SCHANKIN!

*     Politicians in Miami have passed a resolution to split Florida into two states. Yeah, the two states would be known as Geezerville and Methylvania.

*     Yesterday on TV they interviewed an 82 year old African American Grandmother who is voting Republican this year. No bigs. A few years from now she'll be voting Democrat again forever.

*     It is a little known fact that upon arrival in Heaven we are each given a 'true name' to replace the one we used on Earth. Anyway, one day a lawyer arrives in Heaven and is given a new name by St. Peter before he enters. "Your name from now on shall be 'Tigger.'" "'Tigger'"? Why????" he said. "You’re a lawyer – and you're in Heaven, so yoooooour the ONLY ONE!"

*     There are no funny lawyers. There are only funny people in the wrong business. (You hear that, Kent?)

*     I sent my book to the publishers’ to review. The company gave my manuscript a new title. "Thank you for submitting your manuscript."

*     I have always liked PJ O'Rourke's Law of Budgetary Circumcision: You can take 10% off the top of ANYTHING.

*     I saw the Star Wars trilogy again this weekend. Look at the Emperor, and it struck me: the resources of a billion planets at his beck and call and still they don't offer a decent dental plan?

*     "Facebook Autocorrect: We Make You Look Even Stupider Than We Think You Are!"

*     The other day President Obama had all his staffers in the White House and yelled at them about the Ebola crisis and their poor handling of the information. He said, "It’s not tight, people!" (Of course, when Clinton used that phrase in the Oval Office he was referring to something completely different.....)

*     Did you hear about how Jeffrey Dahmer started going to church in jail? They said that he wanted to be a Lector.

Ththththat’s all, fffolks.....

Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Why doesn't Emmanuel get a girlfriend.....?"

"...when you study philosophy [in college] you remember just enough to screw you up for the rest of your life." - Steve Martin


Anyway, a friend of mine posted the above on my home page the other day. He remarked, "I read the condensed version of the Critique of Pure Reason. It was 100 pages longer than the original."

Well, Kant IS hard to read. A review of the philosophical literature makes it clear.

"1. It is said that Kant is incomprehensible. 2. On the other hand it is also held that Kant is impossible to understand. 3. Therefore it is clear that Kant is both incomprehensible and impossible to understand." - Aquinas on Kant

"Kant is impossible to understand."
"You are certainly right, Socrates." - Plato on Kant

"Insulting clarity." - Nietzsche on Kant

"Kant, is, um, how do you zay in English.... he is un, hmn, .... " (waving around Galois cigarette held between second and third fingers, takes sip of undrinkable French coffee) ... "...un, je ne sais quoi.... he does not speak to me, no yes?" - Sartre on Kant

"Im Kant sind keinen Sein im Dasein." - Heidegger on Kant

"Kant smiles on us all. All a man can do is smile back." - Marcus Aurelius on Kant

"Men suck." - Gloria Steinem on Kant

"Gloria Steinem sucks, but not in a good way. And Kant? He’s impossible, you know? All right?" - Camille Paglia on Steinem on Kant

"I will understand Kant." -Schopenhauer on Kant

I realize I’m getting very low Marx for these. So in conclusion, all I can do is join with Augustine of Hippo who said:

"Lord God, let me understand Kant.... but not yet."

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kaboom! (Or, A Little Nukey Never Hurt Us.)

Fridge Pics: Memes of the Week, 10/19 - 10/25, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Plague(?) Diary, Entry 0008:
FIVE (< < < scratchout)

Another one. New York City. Ebola treatment doctor just returned from overseas. Went bowling yesterday. Slept with girlfriend who is now in quarantine.


And this after some idiot at the CDC said he was "cautiously optimistic after five days with no new infections."


The question mark in the title remains.

For now.

There is one small note of hope: this infection did not derive from Patient Zero in Dallas but is a new arrival, a doctor returning home; he saw the problem and jumped on it. We still appear to have contained the Dallas outbreak to Patients One and Two. We still have some reason to hope.

Repost: Tattered Remnants:
The Guardians Themselves
(Special Canadian Edition)

Today we salute Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers, the chief of security at the Canadian Parliament, who, in the line of duty, killed a murderous armed intruder into the country's chambers yesterday.

In the picture above he walks down the Aisle of Parliament as members of all parties granted unto him a lengthy salute and applause.

The instrument he carries is the Mace of Parliament, the symbol of order for that honorable House. (The US House and Senate each have their own.)  It symbolizes the power of the legislature on its home territory.

I am sad to also report that another Tattered Remnant, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, was killed by the same terrorist while acting as a Guard of Honor at the Canadian war memorial.
Corporal Nathan Cirillo, Armed Forces of Canada (1989-2014)
This is not the first time that something like this has happened. I'm going to repost my story of what happened at the U.S. House of Representatives in 1999, when two honorable men laid down their lives for their House and nation while I was working there.

(Yes I only reposted this in July.) 

Please note: the article you read below, part of the Tattered Remnant series, was first written and posted in 2009.***)

THE GUARDIANS THEMSELVES: Jacob Chestnut, John Gibson, Stephen T. Johns [And Leo Johnson]

Two millennia ago, the satirist Juvenal wrote of two men, prominent Romans, on a long trip away from the city. The first one lamented leaving his wife alone at home, as he feared she might not be faithful to him. The second boastfully stated that he had already provided for that difficulty by hiring a guardian to watch his wife and ensure proper behavior on her part. The first man looked at the second and laughed: "Who shall guard, then, the guardians themselves?"

That phrase (and a good one it is) raises the question of who can be entrusted with power.

But then, we must also take note of a second meaning to the phrase: who protects those who protect us?

Like most Americans, I usually view most public-security personnel as something between fixtures at best and annoying droids at worst. Who are these people who tell us to take our shoes off before we get into an aircraft? Why should I subject my computer to close inspection before I so much as enter the federal building? Do I really need to empty the change from my pockets before I walk through the metal detector? And (my pet peeve) why should I take my belt off of my ill fitting suit before I walk into a courtroom?

Security guards are the bottom of the public safety totem pole. They don't get no respect. They don't go on adventures with cool equipment like soldiers; they don't have the glamor and babe-attraction qualities of cops. We usually ignore them. We often get annoyed at them. We decry their necessity as fundamentally anti-freedom.

And yet, once in a while, not often (thank God) we are given reason to remember them and be thankful that they're there. They're the white corpuscles of the public immune system, and sometimes, they go from fixture to hero, and we ask ourselves why we never appreciated them before. Their heroism is instantaneous and comes and goes in a flash, and we ask ourselves why we never saw it before.

We never saw it before because they were the very definition of The Tattered Remnant: silent, dutiful, often bored, but ready to act in an instant when called for, and in so doing, showing the hidden gold within.


In the summer of 1998, I was working on Capitol Hill, in its grungiest, most out-of-the-way attic: the top floor of the "O'Neill House Office Building", located at 2nd and C Street, down the road a block from RNC Headquarters and well separated (like plague bacilli) from the rest of the Hill.

At the time, I had just graduated from law school, and was working for Subcommittee on the Census, helping (I thought) maintain a constitutional, head-count-derived census for the upcoming apportionment cycle and looking forward to a long, successful, money-making career as a Very Important Person.

The O'Neill Building was a dump. It was an ancient building, built originally as a hotel for Congressmen to stay in when they were in town (this was back the days of yore, before elected Members bought homes with mortgages in DC and their home districts). Later on, the building was bought by the House of Representatives outright to serve as extra office space, and to serve as a home for the high-school-aged Congressional Pages (who, I should add, were extremely well guarded and closely watched).

The offices of the Subcommittee on the Census was on the highest, and crappiest, floor of the building; the furniture we were provided looked like they came from an Anacostia garage sale. The Census Subcommittee was on its ten year cyclical uptick of staffing, as the 2000 Census was then fast approaching; but since it was only important two years a decade, they never got any decent diggings.

My office mates were an interesting crew. The Committee Chief was a sixtysomething demographics expert, a wizard well versed in the ancient and dark art of redistricting. His assistant was a porcine, sly, self-important, Machiavellian political operative whose self-opinion far exceeded any of his nominal talents.

The chief counsel--i.e., head lawyer--was the very attractive brunette wife of a senior GOP fundraiser; her assistant, a squat, ugly bottle-blonde with a foul mouth who I think was the model of J.K. Rowling's Dolores Umbridge. This woman owed her position to the fact that her older brother was high in the House staff leadership, working for Tom DeLay, The Hammer, then the third most powerful man in the House.

The mapmaker was a tightlipped, angular Boston Irishman, a true computer geek (in the best sense of the word) who did not say more than five words in the two years I knew him. Our press secretary was the sad soon-to-be-ex-wife of a prominent New York neoconservative scion whom I am sure you've heard of; her press assistant was an unnaturally handsome gladhander with a Sinatra fetish. There was a rotating stream of volunteers and interns, mostly young, blonde, and very pretty; one was a flower of New Orleans who we all called "Beeee-yeth."

Then there was myself, probably well out of my turbo-geek element, accepted in spite of all, with an overly long staff title and too little to do. But this was a good thing as it gave me the opportunity to study for the upcoming bar exam without too much difficulty.

Working on the Hill was cool. I got to shake Newt Gingrich's hand once, and later met Dennis Hastert. Important "Members" (the official title of sitting Congressmen, and the source of many a double-entendre) came in and out of our office every day and we learned to know them on sight. Occasionally major fund contributors would come into the office for High Level Meetings With The Honcho, to which I might occasionally be invited, if only to sit in and take notes.
I used to pat myself on my back for being in with such important people, the company of which I, in general, was unfit to unloosen their sandals.

I hardly gave the guys at the front door gate, whom I regarded as poor rentacops in cheesy uniforms, a second thought.

On July 24, 1998, I was at home, preparing for the bar exam, which was only six days off; it was not going well. I was desperately reviewing my very expensive and overpriced Bar Bri Bar Review Materials, and trying to memorize the difference between the Rule Against Perpetuities and The Rule in Shelly's Case (neither of which, BTW, I have ever had occasion to use once in the course of my legal career).

At about 3:45 in the afternoon, and suddenly, without warning, I felt my heart race. Something was wrong. Something had just popped up... and I didn't know what it was. I walked outside. I walked back in. I called my wife on her cel phone, to make sure she was alright (she was). I called my mom–ditto. I went inside again, sat in front of my Windows 3.1, DOS-driven computer with the Laserjet III printer and the $2000 scanner, and stared at it, playing with two floppy disks.

I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't work. Something was wrong.

I turned on the radio, which I kept tuned to WTOP-FM, the All-News, All-the-Time Talk Radio Station.

"Shooting at the Capitol!" the voice shouted. "The Capitol Building and all Capitol Hill buildings on the House Side have been shut down following a shooting on the grounds. At least one is dead, two wounded. Stay tuned to WTOP for this developing story!"

It appears that a man suffering from paranoid schizophrenia thought that he needed to express his opinion to the individuals behind the voices in his head. Driving straight through from Montana to Washington in a day and a half, he tried to enter the Capitol Building's main structure through the Documents Entrance, a staff-only entrance on street level. On entering, when asked to walk through a metal detector, he immediately drew a weapon and shot Capitol Police Officer Jacob Chestnut, a twenty year veteran of the force. He died instantly. The man then charged for the nearest official looking corridor on the first floor.

He chose the main office area for the Majority Leadership of the House. The exact door he barged through was that of the Majority Whip, Tom DeLay.

There he met Detective John Gibson, whose gun was already drawn.

They exchanged pistol fire. The man put multiple rounds into Detective Gibson, wounding him fatally but not instantly. Gibson responded, hitting his target with every round, gravely wounding the gunman and rendering him (as they say) "ineffective." The shooting was over in less than a minute.

Officer Chestnut gave his life with practically no warning or preparation. However, his life was not lost in vain. The sounds of the shots that killed him gave Gibson an opportunity to draw and charge his weapon, so when the man entered into his area, he was able to respond instantly. He disabled the shooter, and subsequently died of his wounds.

Behind the main door guarded by Detective Gibson were Whip DeLay and a dozen or so staffers, who, following proper procedure, dropped behind their desks to avoid being targets. None were hurt. Among those dozen was the elder brother of the gal who worked in my office.

It was like 9/11 in the sense that it was one of those moments where the ordinary are revealed to be extraordinary. The security people, Capitol policemen, and others responsible for maintaining security went from zeroes (in the estimation of those working on the Hill) to heroes overnight.

Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson lay "in honor" (not "in state", but practically the same thing) in the Capitol Rotunda, a gesture never before given to the non elected. Furthermore, Jacob Chestnut was the first African American to be granted this privilege.

The day of the funeral, thousands of people, including yours truly plus almost all of those working on the Hill at the time, stood at attention as the motorcade drove their flag-wrapped coffins from the Capitol to Arlington National Cemetery, where they were buried with military honors.

I certainly never met Detective Gibson; he was assigned to the VIP detail and the area he worked I only entered once, long after the incident. On the other hand, I am sure I probably saw Officer Chestnut at the O'Neill on one occasion or another. However, I don't remember having done so. So much the worse for me.

The shooter was never charged; a mad man, he was consigned for life to a Federal facility for the criminally insane. He remains there to this day. This is justice; paranoid schizophrenia I would not wish on my worst enemy. Let him never be free, but let him not be punished.


I look back now, lo! these ten years later, with wonder.

They're all gone, now.

All those Very Important Persons ... all the powerful I knew ... dust in the wind.

Newt Gingrich and Dennis Hastert are "former Speakers." Tom DeLay was hammered himself, having been convicted of several political felonies.

Our subcommittee chief was forced out after Newt Gingrich's resignation as Speaker. His assistant, who engineered his removal, found himself back in the pack of the House staff, denied his former boss's job. He haunts the Hill to this day, ineffective in the minority, still waiting for a second chance that will probably never come. (Engineering your boss's downfall tends to discourage future bosses from trusting you.)

The fundraising husband of our chief counsel was convicted and sent to prison because of his connection to the Jack Abramoff scandals. The brother of her assistant, he who hid in Tom DeLay's office during the shootings, was also convicted in connection with Abramoff and as of this writing awaits sentencing. Both ladies are gone as well. Nobody loves you when you're down and out.

Last I heard, only Beeee-yeth survives and thrives on the Hill; she now walks the Corridors of the Powers that Be at the RNC Headquarters a block away from our old haunts.

Oh, yes, and somewhere in there I lost my Hill job too. (Cue best Ms. Piggy falsetto: "Bit-ter? Moi?")

Even the O'Neill House Office Building is gone; it was demolished in 2002. They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot.

Sic transit gloria mundi–-

Today, it's all Democrats, all the time, on Capitol Hill. All of them are so important, now, you know. Things will never change. They'll always be in power, now, and forever, amen.



Yet somewhere in a quiet spot near the Documents Entrance of the House of Representatives there stands a plaque, in memory of two quiet heroes, Tattered Remnants who gave their lives for those far less worthy of honor than they are.


Forgive me for leaving Mr. Johns as almost an afterthought. He deserves better.

Let me say this of his sacrifice, which was much like Gibson's and Chestnut's.

On June 12, 2009, an evil old man, a black-hearted racist and Jew-hater of the lowest sort, tried to invade the United States Holocaust Museum. (I forget his name.) My guess is that the man, who was 88, decided to commit 'suicide by cop'. He brought a rifle to the front foyer of the Museum and tried to blast his way inside.

The shooter was met straight up by a half-dozen security personnel. He shot and killed Stephen Tyrone Johns before the other guards (who were, alas that it is needful, heavily armed) responded and shot the man, disarming him. The man survived and was held in custody until his death of natural causes in 2010.

Stephen Tyrone Johns died later at a hospital. He was 38, and left behind a wife and son.

Like Gibson and Chestnut, he gave his life for the peace and good order of the United States, protecting a building that has become, of its own, a shrine worthy of the highest respect. And like Chestnut, his sacrifice allowed his comrades-in-arms to bring this armed invader down before he was able to harm a visitor.


A much happier outcome occurred with regard to a similar incident on August 15, 2012, when a self-proclaimed gay activist invaded the headquarters of the Family Research Council, armed with two pistols. His explicit mission was to kill supporters of traditional marriage. He was met by security guard Leonardo Johnson, whom he shot; Johnson, wounded in the arm, tackled the gunman, and held him until police arrived. The gunman was eventually sentenced to 25 years in a federal prison for committing an act of terrorism and other crimes.

Nobody else was harmed that day.

Leonardo Johnson was honored on October 22, 2012, with the DC Mayor's Medal of Honor, the first recipient of such an award.

I know nothing about Mr. Johnson, except this: he was and is to be saluted. Silently doing a boring job and then instantly springing to life as a hero: the very essence of the Tattered Remnant.

What can one say?

Thank you, Leonardo Johnson.

Thank you, Stephen Tyrone Johns.

Thank you, Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson.

And thank you, Kevin Vickers and Corporal Nathan Cirillo.

And thank you to everyone who ever had to stand on their feet for a full eight-hour watch being sneered at by the muggles that they protect.


ADDENDUM: NOV. 19, 2014: Another. This year in Jerusalem: an Israeli Druze policeman sacrifices himself to save those at prayer in a synagogue.

His sacrifice preserved the lives of the survivors. He left a wife and an infant daughter.

To quote the traditional benediction: May his memory be a blessing.

And thank you, too, sir.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Extracts from the Little-Read Book: Chapter 031

Wit, wisdom, pseudonietzscheanistic aphorisms, and bad jokes.

* Every election season I am reminded of that scene in 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY when the two troops of protohumans argue over ownership of the water hole.

* There is a solution to pay inequality. Stop women from reproducing. That will work.... for 90 years or so. Then no more people. A final solution....

* Pay inequality in real life works like this: Man is employed; woman stays at home with kids. Man earns money and gives it to woman at home with kids. Which of the two parties generally has the money?

* I don’t really earn money at all–I merely am in custody of the money for a day or so until my creditors get it.

* Is there anyone out there who still believes that:

1. There is any privacy anywhere anymore? (In one sense, of course there is. All you have to do is take out the battery.)

2. No one can hear what you say on your cell phone or see you through your computer camera without your authorization? (Of course they can't, if you take out the battery from the cel and put electrical tape over the camera....

* The problem with secret police is that they don't know what a safeword is for.

* It asks here: Was the IRS's War on Conservatives the Result of Legal Ignorance? ( No. Guilty. Let them recite the law to themselves from a prison cell.

* Hey! Can't you read the sign? NO "STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN"!

* It sez here: Judge Who Sentenced Saddam Hussein to Death – Killed by ISIS ( ISIS may have shot him but Obama killed him.

* What? Misunderstand a post on Facebook? THAT never happens!

* When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! (This offer void to those lacking water, sugar, cups, a pitcher, and cops that won't keep you from selling lemonade, or in New Jersey.)

* It sez here: Media Having Trouble Finding Right Angle On Obama's Double-Homicide ( That's cold. Hilarious, but cold.

* There something deeply flawed about American culture in general... Ergo I reserve the right to arm myself if necessary.

* Yes I no how 2 spell unportunately this speech 2 text thing not work very well.

* There are no greater bullies then supporters of so-called gay marriage. I will push back nonetheless. Whether I convince the gay activists of the wrongness of their position doesn't matter to me. What I'm doing is standing up to them in a way to show that people are still resisting. This is a political equivalent of the tulip bulb phenomenon. They think they are winning, but history is not on their side. Any more than any other insane temporary mob hysteria.

* If you think that the "gay rights" extremists are going to leave the Church alone, even after the most base capitulation to every demand of the ‘gay agenda,’ you do not understand the history of leftist fascism. They cannot abide anything less the total surrender because they are terrified of the truth ... That truth being that they know they are wrong fundamentally and from the beginning. They cannot tolerate dissent any more than their communist or nazi spiritual forefathers. And they cannot tolerate anyone hearing about the truth of Christ, even if they never hear it themselves.

*  I'm not afraid, however, for in three thousand years the Church will still be in business and the Faith intact, and the very cause the crazies are willing to harm others for will be left in the dustbin of history.

More Thursday.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Sometimes you NEED a squirrel. So here's some Greg's Giggles......

LADIES ‘n’ GERMS, Mr. Greg Schankin!

* What does Barack Obama call lunch with a convicted felon? A fund raiser.

* Obama shocked the nation over the weekend when he proposed that we replace The Star Spangled Banner with something more contemporary. Apparently, R.E.M’s ‘It’s the End of the World As We Know It’ is currently the leading contender.

* They say a lot of people walked out when the President started talking in Baltimore yesterday. Not surprising. Here's how Obama stacks up these days popularity wise. Obama is at 33 percent positive. Mitt Romney is at 43 percent positive, a big bounce back. And the Ebola virus is holding steady at 0.00%.

* A new study found that 16 percent of Americans under the age of 24 don’t have a job. There’s even a name for that group: Art History majors.

* Dutch scientists say they're continuing research into making artificial meat from stem cells, and in about eight months they'll have a complete hamburger patty. When I first heard this, I was shocked. There are Dutch scientists? It's got to be uncomfortable working in a lab with those giant wooden shoes on.

* This weekend I found out that Taco Bell came out with a taco that's wrapped in a Doritos shell. If for some reason that doesn't sound appealing to you, you're not stoned right now.

* On Friday, President Obama spent the night at his home in Chicago for the first time in over a year. It was nice — he even went down to the basement and dusted off some old campaign promises. That’s right, Obama spent the night at his home in Chicago. Of course it got awkward when he left and his housekeeper was like, "So, see you after the election?"

* Forget the Mayans. According to NASA, the world will not come to an end for another 4 billion years — or about the same time your 401(k) comes back.

* The CDC’s press conference on Ebola had its agenda changed at the last minute this morning. The subject was changed to the life cycle of squirrels.

* The Secret Service just sent out a memo reminding President Obama's security detail that they shall not take drugs, get drunk on duty, or hire hookers. If the agents have to engage in such misbehavior, they shouldn't be in the Secret Service. They should be members of Obama's cabinet instead.

* I heard that Al Gore and Tipper got a divorce. They apparently experienced global cooling.

* I’m officially sick of superhero movies. I feel the same about inspirational posters with kitties hanging onto things.

* The Chinese economy has shown signs of slowing down. Experts say that’s what happens when your workforce starts to enter its teens.

* Saw something on Netflix over the weekend. It's "Snow White and the Huntsman." Charlize Theron is the evil queen. She's willing to commit murder just to keep a more youthful appearance. They have a name for that type of person in Los Angeles. It's called everyone.

* President Obama gave the commencement speech at Barnard College the other day. He told graduates their future is bright unless they want jobs.

* Al Gore has a new girlfriend. Apparently, it's getting pretty serious. He's already been over to bore her parents.

Thththththtat’s all, fffffolks!

Plague(?) Diary, Entry 0007: Smart Kid


"Yes son?"

"I noticed something about your blog."

"What's that?"

"Your quote columns have three digits for the chapter numbers."


"Your Plague Diary entries have four digits."


"If you need more digits, do you think that that series will last longer?"


"'You are perceptivo, Court Composer.'"

^^^actual conversation Saturday afternoon


This just in:

Jonathan Last, who is even more, um, concerned about this than I am.

Smart man.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom!
Martha A. Kent:
The Arc of a Life

Today would be my Mother's 92nd Birthday.
I first ran this post after my Mom's death in June 2010. It remains one of this blog's most popular postings; I still get at least three hits a day on it. Happy Birthday Day, Mama. You are missed.

It is short. Simple. And will take up but a few column inches in the newspaper.

But it means the world.

Martha Ann Kent
News Death Notice

KENT, Martha Ann formerly of Detroit, MI, Minneapolis, MN and Miamisburg, OH, passed away on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at Sycamore Glen Health Center. Martha was born on October 19, 1922 in Detroit Michigan to the late Frank and Loretta (Dueweke) Remski. In addition to her parents, Martha is preceded in death by her husband, Major William J. Kent and by her sister, Jane DeCosmo. Survivors include her children, William Kent Jr. (Gayle Gyure), Mark Kent, Gerald Kent (Christine), Raphaelle Tamura (Michael), Cecilia Wendler (Tom Johnson), Brian Kent (Linda), John Kent (Susan), Richard Kent (Patricia), Eileen Kent (Ed Stevens); her grandchildren, Thomas, Caroline, Mario, Nicholas, Gregory, Zachary, Andrew, Stephen, Daniel, Jennifer, Abigail, William, Paul and Philip; her brothers and sisters, Helen Cassidy, John Remski (Therese), Mary Rose Carey, Pauline LeTarte (Edward), William Remski (Florence), Frank Remski (Helen), Richard Remski (Julianne), David Remski (Jill) and other loving relatives and friends. Martha attended Marygrove College in Detroit. Before opening her own video production company, Kent Creative Communications, she was a communications and video executive at J.L. Hudson, Bendix Corporation, and Sidney A. Lutz and Associates. Martha was widely recognized in her career by both the Detroit Chapter of the International Television and Video Association (ITVA) and Detroit Producers Association. She was a member of St. Gertrude Catholic Church in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. The family will receive friends and relatives on Monday July 5, 2010 at the ROY J. KAUL FUNERAL HOME, St. Clair Shores from 3:00 to 9:00 PM, with prayers at 7:00 PM. A Mass of Catholic Burial will be on July 6, 2010 at St. Gertrude Catholic Church in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, beginning with a final pre-gathering at 9:30 AM and Holy Mass at 10:00 AM. The Mass will be immediately followed by graveside internment at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, 35800 W. Ten Mile Rd, Detroit, Mi. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Martha’s name to Sycamore Glen Health Center, 2175 Leiter Road, Miamisburg, Ohio 45342.
What an extraordinary woman she was. You can see the arc of her life in the photographs that follow.

You know, there is no 'in the beginning,' just a continuation: "When LAST we left our heroes...."

It was the year 1910. (A very good year.) A ten year old girl named Loretta Dueweke, the youngest of 13 children, was having her first communion. At about the same time, in another parish, Frank Remski, aged 14, was also celebrating his.

In the days that followed the end of the first World War, they met and fell in love.

Wedding Picture of Frank Russell Remski and Loretta Marie Therese Catherine Dueweke, August 16, 1921.

"In the front row was Best Man Thomas Remski; Groom Frank Remski, Bride Loretta Remski, and her sister Rose Duweke Manquen. In the back row was Matron of Honor Irene Dueweke Steinhoff, Dan McDonald, Albert Dueweke, Mary Remski Allison. The wedding took place at Annunciation Parish in Detroit." - MAK, typewritten note, ca. 1985

And in their love they produced their first of ten children, a daughter, Martha Ann Remski, born October 19, 1922.

The Duewekes were a large clan, the largest in Detroit at the time. This picture was taken in 1930.

"This picture was taken at a Family Reunion at Chandler Park, on Detroit's East Side. It includes all my mother's brothers and sisters and their spouses andchildren, as well as my grandfather, Louis Dueweke [who died in 1939]. "Grampa" is the bow tied gentleman on the far left in the front of the picture; I am fifth from the right, between my brother John (rubbing his eyes) and Mary Rose (facing backward).

"This picture was subsequently submitted to a Detroit News contents looking for the "largest family in Detroit" ... and it won. Our prize was for all of use to be picked up by cab and taken to the Michigan Theatre downtown, where we saw the first talkie version of "Tom Sawyer." The picture was also published in the Annunciation Parish paper in the year of Msgr. Stapleton's Jubilee Year, 1931." - MAK, typewritten note, ca. 1985

A closeup of Mom from the picture above.

Martha learned the love of books under Frank and Loretta's guiding hand; she also was guided at her school by her namesake, Martha Helen Remski, then known as Sister Marie Fidelis, I.H.M. All were loving but uncompromising teachers.

This picture was taken when she was about seventeen, in 1939 or so.
As she grew she blossomed in beauty....

....and grew in knowledge. Her high school graduation photograph, 1940.
She went on to study at Marygrove College in Detroit.

As the clouds of war gathered overseas, business opportunities opened for women here at home. At the time this picture was taken, she had started her career at Hudson's, which ended in 1946 with her as Hudson's senior advertising exec.

Here she is standing with her mother, Loretta, and her younger sister, Janie, who was about 13 years old (note the cut of Janie's blouse--a modified military cut). This picture was taken around 1945 or so--a color picture, unusual for the time, and likely right after wartime rationing had ended.

About this time, she met a charming young gentleman just out of the Army Air Corps, who called himself Bill.... William J. Kent, Sr.

Mom's engagement picture. Mom and Dad were married in 1946.

Mom, November 1946, on her honeymoon, a glamor shot at the top of the Empire State Building.

Mom as Dad saw her. This had rather dramatic demographic effects.....

(Cecilia and Raphaelle.)
As the family grew.....

(Mom & Dad; Mark, Cecilia, Jerry, Raphaelle, Bill.)
...and grew....

(Jerry, Mark, Bill; Brian, John, Raphaelle, Me, Mom, Eileen, Dad, Cecilia.)
...and grew. This picture was taken on June 6, 1966, the day my Dad retired from the Air Force. (I'm the one kicking his heels up.)

(Brian, Jerry, Mark, Bill; John, Raphaelle, Me, Mom, Dad, Eileen, Cecilia.)
Eventually the family stopped growing larger and we all started, well, growing older. This picture was taken in June 1980, when Brian and John (on the far left) graduated from Michigan State University and I (mustachioed and sitting on the ground) graduated from Lakeview High School.

Mom enjoyed her middle years immensely. Here she sits on Bicentennial Day, July 4, 1976, with her sisters in law Pat (Mary Ann Whelan Kent) to her left and with Ginnie (Virginia Potts Kent), standing. Aunt Pat died in the 1980s. Aunt Ginnie died only three weeks before Mom did, and only two days before our Uncle Pat O'Brien, who was the other living Greatest Generation Kent.

(Birth order: Bill, Mark, Jerry, Raphaelle, Cecilia, Brian, John, Me, Eileen; Mom in Front)
But time moves on. This is Mom and the Nine at Dad's funeral in 1991....

(Mark, Michael Tamura, John, Robert Wendler, Trish, moi, Bill, Brian, Jerry; Eileen, Raphaelle, JP's Abigail, Susan, Cecilia, Cecilia's Andy, Mom, Anne,Bill's Caroline, Linda, Brian's Daniel, Brian's Steven; on floor: JP's Jennifer, Cecilia's Zach, and Bill's Thomas.)
....and at a happier occasion, my wedding, in 1993. All 8 of the then-living direct grandkids are in this pic; missing are Jerry's Mario, and Raphaelle's Nicholas and Gregory. (Later we'd gain three more, my sons Will, Paul and Philip. As you can see, the family, uh, started growing again....)

Mama enjoyed much travel before conditions changed. Here she is in 1992 or so.

But Mom was bound and determined to have a joyful time, which she usually did. Here she dances with Cecilia at Eileen's wedding in 2006.

Eileen took care of her in her final days...

And here Mom receives her precious Mary statue back in one piece a few weeks ago.

Mama entered into the new life on June 29, 2010, shortly before one o'clock in the morning. She was the matriarch of both the Kent and Remski families.

These pictures by no means sum up this remarkable woman's life. But her vibrancy and strength can be shown even in her final pictures.

Now THIS is how a life should be led. God love you, Mama, and watch over us as we come to join you in the days ahead.

With love,

Your son,