A Biography of Clipper Ship Captain Henry Gillespie


Henry Gillespie was a Maine native. His parents owned and ran boarding houses, hotels and saloons. Henry chose another path. In 1874 he became a sailor, signing aboard a whaler at age 18.

From Whaler to Clipper Ship: Henry Gillespie, Down East Captain, by Michael Jay Mjelde, tells what happened next. The book, a biography of Gillespie’s life, also follows the history of the United States merchant marine over half a century, from 1874 through 1921, when Gillespie finally retired.

A period of great change at sea, Gillespie took part in that change. In 1874, when Gillespie signed as an able-bodied seaman aboard whaler Wave, most of the American merchant fleet was made up of sailing ships. In 1921, when he retired as captain of the 12,000 deadweight ton tanker SS Swiftsure, most of the windjammers had retired and steamships ruled.

Saturday Night Classics: Long Cool Woman by the Hollies


This is a song that never gets old for me.  Although I don’t believe I have ever seen Melissa Praemonitus wearing a black dress, I think of her whenever I hear this song, as she’s about the longest, coolest woman I know.

There are a few lines in this song that I never have been able to decipher, so I looked up the lyrics.  I’ll share them in case any of you have also wondered what that third line is.  Or the fifth line, or whatever.

On this episode, Andrew and Beth speak with Free Press reporter Francesca Block. We discuss her recent reporting on the blatant antisemitism and leftist ideological capture of K-12 schools, specifically in a post October 7th world. Block talks about her articles which reports on how BLM materials are used in some New York City public schools, and how one school literally wiped Israel off the map being used to teach students.

We also talk about another recent piece of hers which reports on whether we will see a political realignment of progressive Jews, and her interview with Civil Rights leader Clarence Jones, co-author of Martin Luther King Jr’s I have a Dream Speech.

The Bonfires of Mendacity


I have enjoyed the privilege of spending some time with an old friend the past few months.  We grew up together in our teens, and then found ourselves separated by too much geography as we lived our lives.  Now, some four decades later, we are frequently in the same city at the same time and find occasions to get together.

It is refreshing to reminisce.  More importantly, we realize how much our shared roots of experience have nourished and shaped our perspectives despite not crossing paths for so many years.  Even as our lives moved in dramatically different directions, there was still a collective past that shaped our futures.  Spending time reminiscing and catching up has not only renewed our memories of youth, but has also helped us make sense of our separate experiences and better comprehend the present.  In doing so, our common roots have been invigorated.  Yes, as Kierkegaard noted, we live our lives looking forward even as we understand our lives only in reverse.  It is the now that illuminates and helps us better understand the past and prepare for the future.  But such illumination is not a one way street.  Today’s present is tomorrow’s past, and will shape our future depending on the heed and diligence that we use to honor and understand what is happening around us.

The Diner: Where A.I. meets three little words scribbled on a note pad.

It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.

Quote of the Day: The Pillars of Civilization


We know that the pillars of civilization are cheap energy, meritocracy, Law and Order, and free speech and all four of those pillars are currently under attack. – Michael Shellenberger

I would add a fifth pillar: cheap and available food. But this quote is several years old. The assault on farmers may not have been as obvious then as the attacks on the other four.

Bulk Mail Voting is an Open Invitation to Fraud


Legislative Republicans in Arizona are advancing a bill to terminate your right to vote… well at least from the “comfort of your kitchen table”, according to Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts. Arizona’s beleaguered voters would instead have to “schlep down” to actual polling places.

But wait – it gets worse! The bill also eliminates the ability to cast your vote anywhere you choose, or it won’t count. Of course, in the real world you would’ve been repeatedly notified of your polling station and if you went to the wrong one anyway, poll workers would helpfully direct you to the correct one.

The Passing of Brian Mulroney (1939-2024)


Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has passed away.

Mr Mulroney was Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993. His leadership brought a greatly improved relationship with the United States. A personal friendship with President Ronald Reagan was a great assistance to him attain the Free Trade Agreement. It ended with the Goods and Services Tax, which, until the current carbon tax, was the least popular tax ever to be imposed on an unwilling population.

This week the Three Whiskey Happy Hour gang join James for a riotous good time, even as discuss and debate their beloved nation’s precarious situation. They cover Joe Biden’s visit to the border, Donald Trump’s appeals to the Supreme Court, the latest on the war in Gaza, and a silly journalist’s constitutional illiteracy. Plus there are whiskey recommendations and a must-hear story about apish antics on the high seas.

And if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe to the Three Whiskey Happy Hour podcast!

Life at the Gym and Helping Others


At the gym this morning, I was going through my usual routine, which includes walking the treadmill. The man on the treadmill on my right was gazing hopefully at the buttons; I could tell that he was probably a novice. So, I removed my headphones (listening to Three Whisky Happy Hour) and asked if I could help. Men in particular sometimes get flustered if they realize a woman has caught them in a confused moment. He didn’t answer, but I suspect at that point his brain was flooded with anxiety. Still, I explained how he could engage the TV and change the volume. I realized he hadn’t even found the “Start” button for the treadmill, so I directed him to the main screen, and he was able to begin the process again. Except, I thought he might want to go a little faster. So, I showed him the pluses and minuses for speed, and he was off and running. So, to speak. He didn’t thank me, but I think he was overwhelmed with relief, and walked the treadmill for several minutes

I love to help people on the machines, when they let me. I usually mind my own business unless they are completely stuck or are about to hurt themselves. We have trainers around, but they never seem to show up when you need them.

Mitch McConnell ain’t gone… but he’s got one foot out the door. Google Gemini is really gone. As in gone crazy woke. The tech giant has had to pull its entry in the A.I. sweepstakes as the results turned out to be downright embarrassing.

Plus the MMTLP army continues to patrol the halls and offices of Congress.

Riding with George


The ancient, piece of crap car, likely a Trabant, fishtailed around a corner, throwing me against the interior of the passenger door. Oncoming cars veered into ditches, their terrified drivers leaning on the horn while white-knuckling the steering wheel. Righting myself, I turned to look at the recklessly incompetent driver of the car in which I found myself. I half expected to see my now dead father-in-law who, for all of his admirable qualities, was thankfully refused the renewal of his driver’s license when his age and aggression behind the wheel had far exceeded his abilities. Instead, behind this particular wheel, I saw a smiling and amiable George Soros.

For a few days before this dream, I had been researching accounts of the effects of the psychedelic drug DMT. I had been, and still am, trying to determine if the eerily similar reports of its users’ experiences are due to common Jungian psychological archetypes, or if something much weirder, and much more disturbing, is going on.

Those hoping for a sign that a 2020 presidential rematch could be averted will be disappointed by Tuesday’s primaries in the Wolverine State. National Review’s Rich Lowry joins to explore what Donald Trump’s grip on the GOP means for the future of conservatism. Plus, Henry takes a look at the effectiveness of the Michigan Democratic Party’s “Uncommitted” pressure campaign against Joe Biden.

Section 230 and Hitler’s African-American Nazi Soldiers


I’ll keep this short because I’ve been away and it wouldn’t surprise me if someone has already commented on this (though I didn’t see it in my quick perusal of the site).

As we all know, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the bit of legislation that protects providers of online services from civil liability when people post otherwise actionable content on the services they host. The law says:

Status of Humans 2024


The Alabama Supreme Court, pretty much without even trying, has greatly roiled the political waters of America with its decision concluding that human embryos are human embryos, eg, human beings.

They got the science right. But that is not allowed in America today. Science is what leftists say it is, nothing more and nothing less. So the unmitigated chutzpah of the Alabama SC is far beyond the pale for our modern/postmodern society.

Gemini: Spawn of White Narcissism


The wealthiest, most powerful, best equipped, most technologically advanced corporation in the history of the world, in possession of better and more complete access to the world’s data than any government, has created an enormously powerful AI that spews ideologically generated nonsense.  It is a kind of Marxist Omega point, a culmination of decades of work by the spawn of the Frankfurt School that effected not the dawning of a Marxist nirvana but an outbreak of Deep Stupid.

Gramscian/Frankfurt/cultural Marxism was always intended to undermine confidence in our heritage and even common sense itself.  But its weakness is that it is a parasitic entity that has no praxis or logic if the host dies.  No centralized raw power can win a war against economic, biological, or physical reality.  Much damage and destruction can accrue but reality always wins in the end.

Musical Memories: Our Town


A friend and I were chatting a couple of weeks ago about a shared love of authentic American music, and Iris DeMent’s name came up. I’ve never seen her perform, but remember her from appearances on early A Prairie Home Companion days, when Garrison Keillor was genuinely entertaining and gently funny, before he became infected with what I refer to as “David Letterman disease,” which presents with the same sort of symptoms, in which what was once entertaining, funny and endearing becomes nasty, bitter and off-putting. (Keillor is walking some of his worst excrescences back these days: I guess signs of impending mortality will do that to a guy, although I don’t think Letterman’s yet received the memo.)

Iris DeMent is the youngest of fourteen children, born in Paragould, Arkansas and raised mostly in California, where she began her entertainment career at churches and revival halls, singing with her siblings.

We’ve got A.I.! (Is Jonah really worse than Pol Pot? — The answer may surprise you!) We’ve got Oscars! We’ve got best movie performances ever! And yes, we’ve got… coffee tables! Well, we have one particularly infamous coffee table. You’ll have to listen to find out what that’s all about.

Mitch McConnell to Exit Republican Leadership


This afternoon on the floor of the Senate, Mitch McConnell announced that he will resign from the leadership after the November elections.

“One of life’s most underappreciated talents is to know when it’s time to move on to life’s next chapter,” he said. “So I stand before you today … to say that this will be my last term as Republican leader of the Senate.”

This week on The Learning Curve, guest co-hosts Alisha Searcy and Charlie Chieppo interview Yale Prof. Beverly Gage, author of G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American. Gage delves into the enigmatic life and career of J. Edgar Hoover, tracing his formative years in Washington, D.C., his rise to prominence as director of the FBI, and his enduring influence on American law enforcement and politics. She discusses his early career monitoring domestic radicals to his aggressive pursuit of gangsters like John Dillinger, communists, spies, and Civil Rights-era figures. Hoover’s tenure at the FBI was marked by both innovation and controversy. She closes with a reading from G-Man.

You’re Tall…


When you’re in the supermarket and you hear,“You’re tall…” you’re about to be asked to retrieve something from a high shelf.

Biden May Sacrifice Israel, or Tlaib is Aiding and Abetting Terrorists


The people in Dearborn, MI seem to think that they can singlehandedly determine whether President Biden wins the election in November. With those who have joined up to sabotage his election run, including local Dearborn officials and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who is essentially supporting terrorism, it could have an impact on election results.

But will the effect be as consequential as Democrats and Joe Biden believe?

Growing Up Segregated: Three Witnesses to the Struggle for Civil Rights


Mary Bush, Freeman Hrabowski, and Condoleezza Rice grew up and were classmates together in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, in the late 1950s and early ’60s. After taking a brief visit with Rice to her childhood home, we gather them again for a second conversation in Birmingham’s Westminster Presbyterian Church, where Rice’s father was pastor during that period. In this second part of our interview, the three lifelong friends further recount what life was like for Blacks in Jim Crow Alabama and the deep bonds that formed in the Black community at the time in order to support one another and to give the children a good education. They discuss how they overcame the structural racism they experienced as children to achieve incredible successes as adults. Lastly, they discuss their views on the recent reckoning with racism in today’s culture and weigh in on the 1619 Project and other social programs.