Memorial Day Bits and Pieces

What is a conservative?

Will’s perspective here has resonance for me, especially because I agree that TR was the progenitor of the modern Presidency.  I have always thought, since law school anyway, that Taft deserved better placement in history, but Wilson, quite a bit worse.

I will be reading McCain’s final book as soon as it is in paperback.


Our Adriatic cruise was the first pleasure cruise longer than eight hours for me.  Plusses:

  • we got a taste of several different “go to” destinations – the ruins at Delos, the ruins at Minos, the UN historical site at Alborello, the mountain views on Corfu, the surprisingly [to us] inviting old Dubrovnik, and Venice.
  • a decent amount of walking at each destination.
  • perfect May weather, 70s, no rain.
  • relatively low cost way to “sample” several destinations.
  • comfortable and efficient cabin on ship (MSC Lirica)
  • talented entertainers nightly in big production staged music, magic, dance, and acrobatics.
  • a world of travelers and a core crew fluent in five languages; mix of ages, families, singles.


  • Cruise ships are apparently studies in captive audience selling – massages, youthful skin treatments, yoga, dance lessons, photos, duty free inflated priced jewelry, and much more.
  • The shipboard food is plentiful but uneven in quality –  e.g.; great fresh fruit but beef like shoe leather no matter how you order it.
  • Public spaces are superficially glitzy, like casinos – visually tiring after a few days.
  • People past middle age in bikinis and skinny briefs flaunting beer guts and worse.
  • Bad lounge singers in the bars – remember Bill Murray’s parodies?
  • Ping Pong on the deck of a ship making 20 knots.


I had never intended to cruise anywhere except perhaps a river or the Inner Passage from Alaska to Vancouver.  I am still of that mindset.  We did this trip because my brother in law arranged it for his wife’s 60th birthday. Thus there were three siblings and their spouses traveling together.  We all get along well so Rosanne and I were willing to join in.

My bucket list is long and my time may not be.  Too many National Parks left, plus Australia, New Zealand, more UK, more Canada, and more Italy.  Cruises are not the way to do that.  And Corfu may be pretty, but it isn’t spectacular like the American west and northwest, or many stops on the Canadian Pacific route from Vancouver to Banff.


13 Responses

  1. Needed perspective in the age of “tRump is Literally. Hitler!!!” Trump is a piker compared to FDR or Wilson..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. New quote is for Memorial Day, D-Day, and Independence Day. Could be for V-J Day as well if I get really lazy about this site over the summer.

    Brent, I think FDR faced desperate times and DJT does not. Because of that I would never draw a comparison that favored DJT, who just makes up stuff every day to engineer a sort of alternate universe in which he and his cronies can line their pockets. It’s like comparing Berlusconi to Churchill by saying Berlusconi never savaged the Indian subcontinent, so Berlusconi wasn’t as bad as Churchill.

    Liked by 1 person

    • FDR was a true believer in a strong-man president and the imperial presidency but not the war monger or racist that Wilson was. Trump is classless and narcissistic which is why he generally seems worse.


    • Also, think FDR trying to pack the SCotUS. That’s a serious Trump move.


    • Mark:

      Brent, I think FDR faced desperate times and DJT does not. Because of that I would never draw a comparison that favored DJT…

      FDR almost certainly made desperate times worse, or at least dragged them out a lot longer than would have been the case had he not been FDR.

      Trump has a lot of time to go so nothing is definitive, but if one actually values Constitutionalism, indications so far are that he will compare very favorably indeed relative to the constitutionally corrupting force that was FDR. Indeed most of the worries that people have about Trump controlling the levers presidential power wouldn’t exist if not for the thorough corruption of that power by FDR.

      As an aside, I wonder who will end up having “lined their pockets” more from being president, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, or Trump. Again, it’s early yet, but I’ll wager Trump finishes 3rd on that list.


  3. I love Cruises. Next one will be in 4 years, by which time My Carnival sea miles card will pay for the whole thing …depending on how dance I get. But at least $1000 will just be covered so that’s good. Don’t get good that generally isn’t good from frozen. Presumably that was most of your beef. Don’t mind the captive sales stuff at all. Love to talk to people.

    Anyway, great post and happy Memorial Day!


  4. Glad you are having a good time Mark. I tend to avoid cruises due the potential for norovirus.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i’ve been on 7 disney cruises. and the Inside passage of Alaska is a must do .. on any line.


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