sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Hawaiian Secession

I don't know how many of you are aware of the growing movement in Hawaii for secession from the United States. The method for this is to declare the islands an Indian Reservation, thus a "sovereign nation". (

(Fox News) HONOLULU – A U.S. Supreme Court justice on Friday issued a temporary stay blocking the counting of votes in an election that would be a significant step toward Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Justice Anthony Kennedy's order also stops the certification of any winners pending further direction from him or the entire court.

Native Hawaiians are voting to elect delegates for a convention next year to come up with a self-governance document to be ratified by Native Hawaiians. Voting ends Monday.

A group of Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians is challenging the election, arguing Hawaii residents who don't have Native Hawaiian ancestry are being excluded from the vote. It's unconstitutional for the state to be involved in a racially exclusive election, they say.

...Those who support the election say it's an opportunity to create their own government for the first time since 1893, when American businessmen — backed by U.S. Marines — overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom.

And how different is that from the South's move to secede from the Union in 1860?

Of course, it's all about power.

Hawaii State Flag
Proposed flag of the independent nation of Hawaii

The Hawaiian economy is tied to tourism and to military bases that keep things rolling. It's also tied to a vast number of people on welfare. Where do they think the money will come from when the welfare is turned off, the military leaves and tourism dwindles as infrastructure crumbles?

Climate Change - Terrorism Nexus

I'm still waiting for the progressive left to explain their proposed theoretical nexus between global warming (no proof of it but they promise that it's coming) and angry Muslims. Near as I can tell, as long ago as 2000 BC the Middle East was a desert - back when they burned camel dung to keep warm. Now, apparently, they're upset that they live in a desert and feel that because I drive a gas guzzling car (that they supply with oil) that it's all so unfair.

And to retaliate against the weather, they travel to European countries and to the US to kill innocent people sitting down to supper. John Kerry says that it makes sense to him, right? Barack says that it makes sense to him as it does to Bernie Sanders.

What am I missing?

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Thirteenth Colony (concluded)

Thirteenth Colony
(part five)

a fictional short series

On the thirteenth day, one of the two boats, tacking north is dismasted by a strong gust in an afternoon storm and it taken in tow. They now use oars to offset the drag that they cause, and rotate crews every day so that everyone has an opportunity for exercise.

On the twenty-first day, they see a sail on the horizon, hugging the coastline. In time it is revealed as a fast bireme galley sailing with the wind. The oars are extended, offering a stable lee for the sailors and Quintus to board the ship.

As he came over the thwart, Quintus saw soldiers in fatigue uniforms and his eyes locked on Governor Marcus Marius Longinus, who smiled from ear to ear. "We've been looking for you, Quintus."

Quintus drew his gladius as the last of the sailors crawled aboard and backed toward the ocean and the small boats, now adrift.

"No, NO! Quintus," Gracus said, and he picked up the governor bodily and threw him over the side.

Quintus stared over the side as the governor splashed and sputtered.

"He made me swear to spare his life and leave him bodily intact if we found you. We have and I am good to my word." Shifting to the governor flailing in the water, "I've kept my word. Now all you need do is swim for those boats or to shore, Marcus." Shifting back to Quintus, "The man has diarrhea of the mouth. He would not stop talking."

"I don't understand."

"First sheath the sword and then we will talk. The gods love you Quintus and your uncle is now caesar. He sent us to find you and bring you to Rome where you will serve with the praetorians."

"What about him?"

Gracus shrugged. "He can sink or he can swim. Up to him." To the ship's master, "Take us back."

The lower level of oarsmen were chained slaves, the upper deck was manned by praetorians and only rowed when there was a need. The slaves moved the sweeps to the sailing master's request and the galley pivoted.

"Did you ever find your woman? The governor's..." Gracus looked over the tops of the waves, "widow? She set out weeks ahead of us in search of you."

Ice gripped Quintus' heart. "No," he said faintly. "This the first word I've heard of her since I left Tingis (Tangiers)."

"We did see smoke inland, and a river inlet some five days north of here. Maybe that is them?" Gracus speculated.

The people that Mattia and her ship encountered were indeed pirates, disgraced legionnaires and misfits from the empire who found a new way to live. As soldiers, they paid close attention to rumors of Imperial movements along the coast.

The drawing, made by a dark man of a Roman military encampment and his count of at least one cohort of soldiers south of them indicate that the Empire is expanding. The arrival and presence of one cohort of regular legionnaires (not auxiliaries) indicates that there will soon be more. A permanent fortress instead of a temporary camp tells the pirates that a large military campaign will soon be underway.

The arrival of a ship containing a queen and her escort would be rich booty under other circumstances, however taken in total, it invites circumspection.

Mattia, (the queen), asserts that a strong force of Roman infantry will be arriving soon on the river. She pleas to be released. The pirates think on the situation. It costs them nothing to wait and they use the time to unload Mattia's ship of supplies. They take her two female slaves for companionship, but allow Mattia, her escort and the sailors the freedom of the camp. She is treated like a visiting princess.

Further sketches, made by dark men suggest that the legion in place in camp south of them is none other than is Ultria Victrix, the thirtieth. It is a main force legion, and if one cohort is present, the other nine are typically on the way.

Not more than a week after Mattia's ship is taken near the camp, a fast bireme is sighted at the river's mouth. Half a cohort of praetorian guards disembark and make their way to the camp, where they too are treated as honored guests. Normally pirates are crucified on sight. As humble traders, they are spared that fate.

This story, Thirteenth Colony, is based on historical records, but is a work of fiction. I hope that you've enjoyed the blog series.


In due time, Quintus and Mattia return to Rome as husband and wife. Quintus is elected to the Senate in 129 AD and serves until he retires to the country.

The Thirteenth Colony is not viable and the evocate who settle there are relocated inland of Tangiers, where they prosper.

Governor Marcus Marius Longinus is reported to have fallen overboard in a storm while looking for the emperor's nephew, but is not mourned.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Thirteenth Colony (part four)

Thirteenth Colony
(part four)

a fictional short series

Roman formation "receive cavalry"
Gold fever strikes the camp when Quintus and his men return with fifty-four Phoenician gold coins, minted hundreds of years earlier in Carthage. Ursinius is circumspect in regard a campaign to hunt the dark men with more vigor, and to plunder their camp. Scouting the area confirms that the best place for a settlement was where the ruins now exist of a prior colony, but he is unwilling to uproot the fort simply because of the effort involved in that relocation. 

Seleucus tries to extract information from the captive that they took in the skirmish. His efforts are unsuccessful.

They called him Nero (meaning "black") and after Seleucus castrated him, they gave him work with the other castrati, laboring in the wheat field on the slope outside the walls of the fortress. The run-off of the spring had been diverted to irrigate a field of wheat and a field of barley that took form after the brush had been cleared.

Nero tried to run away, but the most he could manage was a painful hobble. Two burly legionnaires intercepted him while he was still in sight of the watch tower that stood over the ramparts. Now in addition to a weeping wound under his manhood that they'd plastered with pitch for a dressing, he wore a large, heavy wooden collar and thoughts of escape were put on hold. He understood Phoenician, but could not speak the language as Seleucus put questions to him. He tried to tell them that they wore leather pouches with gold coins in them for luck, because the traders who visited in generations before he was born had done so. The coins, with images of gods and men on their face were said to be good luck, though how much luck they'd been to him was something that he came to terms with as he sweated in the field with the large wooden collar around his neck.

Ursius and Quintus stood on the ramparts of the fort, looking over the fields now under cultivation.

"I love the smell of the countryside, free of cities and of the smells that accompany them," Ursinius said, leaning out and looking down. "But we are fast coming to the capacity of this land to support us in our present location."

"Time for me to go?"

"I think so, Quintus. We need support if we are to settle and farm this land. That support can only come with young men with dreams of their own land, and young women who can bear children who will grow up to expand themselves to other land. We can take slaves like Nero, but it is not our solution. We were promised more and younger people if we became pioneers. Naturally, nobody knows our fate and it should be you who goes and shares what you have seen here with your young eyes and your family connections to the political class."


"Whenever you are ready. Take the two new boats and the sailors. They feel sour on the land anyway. The two captains can lead them. Go back and share our fate."

They made their offerings to Neptune and Mars early in the morning and the omens were propitious. Quintus and two boats with four seamen and the captains of the Fidelis and Sea Monster, respectively, cut through the surf and set their lateen sails early on a cloudless day with a freshening off-shore breeze.

The Thirteenth Colony will be continued


Separate but Equal

Sunday Sermonette - such as it is:  I've been amused recently by strident calls from black students at UCLA who demand a blacks-only dormitory. While I have no problem with that, I find it strange that black students are demanding segregation (separate but equal), when you consider how much they and their white sponsors didn't want that back when the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.

When I attended university back in the Jurassic era, the African-American students claimed a portion of the Student Union for themselves, referred to by non-blacks as "crow corner". Today it would likely be declared a "Safe Zone on campus for black people". Everyone was content to allow them to segregate themselves and most people wouldn't want to go there anyway because it was filthy even though the custodial staff cleaned it every night. Yet the irony of self-segregation wasn't lost on in that era of forced integration and hiring quotas based ONLY on race.

Gen. Colin Powell
I was in Washington DC some years ago and learned of a regular gathering of black military officers, hosted by General Colin Powell. I asked for an invitation to the event for shits and giggles, even though I am not a negro. When my request was declined out of hand because of my race, I became more strident. I received a telephone call from the great man (Powell) himself, disinviting me, explaining that it was an opportunity for blacks to get to know up and coming blacks and to help advance their careers. My presence, he explained, would be a damper on the culture that black officers liked to share with each other. I didn't push it. Powell was the US Army Chief of Staff. But how ironic? 

Academia is the worst offender. Consider university petitions for hiring on the basis of race to ensure particular racial percentages for faculty and staff. They would be considered racist if turned around and applied to college football or basketball teams, which are often racially disproportionate. Why would that be? How ironic!

Can you imagine a bunch of non-black students parading through the university library while people are studying, screaming, "All Lives Matter"? Neither can I.

Live and let live is not politically correct. Neither is do unto others as you would have them do unto you (which is the point of the sermonette).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving - Aftermath

The food-baby is too large for comfort. Way too much food.

And mid-way through the after-meal discussion while we were watching Carolina beat Texas, my brother-in-law said that President Obama said that we should talk about gun control on Thanksgiving. So we started talking about it. Keep in mind that there is a certain class of people who are allowed to be in my home and all of them are armed.

That being said, we talked politics, guns and football, which are part of a common theme, when you think about it. And from there it spiraled down to ObamaCare.

But it never reached the bottom - Bruce Jenner, woman of the year.

I have four daughters, all of whom are members of the NRA, and who are stewards of the Second Amendment. They may be mothers (all but the youngest), but they shoot, and have attitude.

My parting thought was that I'm glad we can talk about gun control at Thanksgiving and what load of crap that it is. Thanks for the suggestion, Barack.

Thanksgiving Wishes

Today is the "great eating holiday", and I will be participating, likely to end up in a turkey/food coma at the end of the day, while watching a football game. Normally when this happens, I have little grandsons and granddaughters laying all over me, equally stuffed, wondering why grandpa is calling the plays from his position on the couch.

Yes, the turkey is important as is the gravy, but to me, it's nothing without good stuffing (where bacon is an ingredient) and home made rolls. I must admit that I am a gravy hog. Just about everything is better if there is gravy on the plate on it or next to it.

In 1863, at the hight of the War of Northern Aggression/American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln designated a day of thanksgiving, to take time out and express appreciation to God for everything that we have. That is the genesis of the holiday in the US. Bringing in the Mayflower, pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians makes some sense, but the holiday was not predicated on stuffing ourselves with turkey. 

Take time out, show some appreciation, and maybe donate to your local food bank (I buy flats of canned goods at Costco and drop them off), because the shelves will be empty after Thanksgiving.

The Thirteenth Colony will resume after the Thanksgiving holiday break. I appreciate the feedback and that you are enjoying the story.

Will Governor Marcus Marius Longinus be crucified at the gates of the capitol city of the Province of Mauritania? If so, will crows peck out his eyes before he expires?

Will Mattia be captured by pirates and once captured, will she escape or will she live out her days as a pirate queen? Will this be the end of innocence?

Will Quintus stay at the Thirteenth Colony to search for more gold Phoenician coins and will he abandon the thought of returning to reclaim Mattia (who he thinks is safe at home)?

All this and more will be explored further as the saga moves forward, and I hope that you will be entertained.

I'm a writer. An author is a writer with a friend in the publishing business. If you want a novel, I need to find a friend.