The Great Depression vs Today’s Economy

Pacific Paratrooper

circa 1937: Four men sitting on a step reading a newspaper during the Great Depression. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

What happened during the Great Depression is very different from what is happening today, but there are some lessons in that history.

We’re starting to see some devastating economic indicators related to the global pandemic. More than 3 million people filed first-time unemployment claims the third week of March. On Thursday, we’ll find out how many people filed for unemployment in the fourth week, and on Friday, we’ll get the first monthly unemployment report since large parts of the economy started shutting down.

One of the big questions on your mind is probably: Just how bad things are going to get? That’s why we asked a few historians to tell us about the economic crises of the past — and in particular, the Great Depression — and what we should be…

View original post 749 more words

You were just a 19-year-old kid/The History of the Congressional Medal of honor

Jim Campbell's

You’re a 19-year-old kid.
You are critically wounded and dying in the jungle somewhere in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam.

Its November 14, 1965 . LZ (landing zone) X-ray.

Your unit is outnumbered 8-1 and the enemy fire is so intense from 100 yards away, that your CO (commanding officer) has ordered the MedEvac helicopters to stop coming in.

You’re lying there, listening to the enemy machine guns and you know you’re not getting out.

Your family is half way around the world, 12,000 miles away, and you’ll never see them again.

As the world starts to fade in and out, you know this is the day.
Then – over the machine gun noise – you faintly hear that sound of a helicopter.
You look up to see a Huey coming in.

But.. It doesn’t seem real because no MedEvac markings are on it.

Medal of Honor: History and…

View original post 8,751 more words

Memorial Day + “You Are Not Forgotten” book review

Pacific Paratrooper


From Arlington to remote prairie shrines to foreign fields, America provides a resting place for her fallen.  Now, on this poignant 25th day of May, we revive the memory of those heroes, though we should honor them every day.  Long after the agony of Bunker Hill, Heartbreak Ridge, Normandy, the Chosin Reservoir, the Tet Offensive and Bagdad, the dead lie in peace.  They and their comrades have left us names the world should never forget.  Make certain they did not die in vain.



******   ******

Two men, their lives separated by over 60 years, became forever intertwined.

“You Are Not Forgotten” shows the inspiration and commitment of the American military.   For this nonfiction story, it goes from the Pacific in WWII to a memory and experience of Iraq.

A USMC,  F4U Corsair pilot, Major Marion ‘Ryan’ McCown, is lost during a battle over New…

View original post 289 more words


H/T Breitbarts Big Peace.

Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong — Ronald Reagan.

As citizens of a free country it is necessary that we acknowledge the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform that died to defend it. Civil society only survives in a world of violence and tyranny if there are rough men ready to do violence on our behalf.

Andrew Jackson, after winning the Battle of New Orleans, reminded us of the necessity of the soldier when he said our sacred liberties would be in trouble indeed if we only employ “lawyers” to defend the Constitution.

Days of memorial for those that sacrificed and died in service to their country are common in American history, stemming back to the Revolution. But the modern practice of celebrating Memorial Day as a national holiday was established after the Civil War as a way for Americans to pay tribute to their Union and Confederate dead. Some of these earliest commemorations were held at Arlington National Cemetery, which this year turns 156 years old.

However, as we look back and remember those that have died defending us we must note the famous line by philosopher George Santayana: “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” Modern Americans are being failed by an education system that no longer teaches about war and neglects its study to a dangerous degree.

Instruction regarding war, especially those fought by the United States, is vital for every educated citizen and not just the tiny number who now serve in the armed forces. It is important to not just respectfully mourn those lost in battle on this Memorial Day, but to understand why they fought and sacrificed.

There was a time in American history when almost every student would learn about the intricacies of American wars from a young age. In famous historian George Bancroft’sHistory of the United States of America, the standard history textbook in the 19th century, the battles of the American Revolution played almost more of a role than the ideas.

Bancroft focused on the sacrifice, toil, and hardship that George Washington’s troops faced and highlighted the necessity for this service to the new republic. This encouraged young Americans to join the ranks when their country called in the Civil War; they were inculcated with a belief that they owed a great debt to the previous generation for the great Constitution that protected their liberties and a duty to defend it for those that would come after. Without their sacrifices, and the service of generations of Americans, our grand experiment in liberty and government of, for, and by the people would have faded long ago.

Unfortunately, for modern American students, the “mystic chords of memory” connecting them with past defenders of liberty and the Constitution are being lost. How many today are taught about the suffering at Valley Forge, the heroism at Gettysburg’s Little Round Top, or the world-changing Invasion of Normandy that set a continent free?

Worse, students are left with a serious lack of insight into human nature and will be unprepared when war finally comes.

Thomas K. Lindsey, director at the Center for Higher Education at the Texas Public Policy Foundationrecently wrote about the frightening lack of military history education at American universities. “If the seeds of war are planted in human nature, the study of human nature, the humanities, needs to take account of it. For this reason, American history courses had always — up until recently — offered military-history courses,” he continued. “No more: Observers have noted an alarming decline in military-history courses in university history departments nationally.”

This lack of military history teaching is bad at the primary and secondary levels of education, but even worse at the university level where any focus on the war itself is intentionally diminished. In an article by military historian Victor Davis Hanson he explains the results of a 2004 survey of the top 25 U.S. history departments:

When war does show up on university syllabi, it’s often about the race, class, and gender of combatants and wartime civilians. So a class on the Civil War will focus on the Underground Railroad and Reconstruction, not on Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. One of World War II might emphasize Japanese internment, Rosie the Riveter, and the horror of Hiroshima, not Guadalcanal and Midway.

Great works on warlike Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage, and Carl Von Clausewitz’s On War are now utterly neglected.

The burying of military history in modern academia may be a result of the generally anti-war views on college campuses, or a result of it not fitting in with the overall ideological agenda, but regardless of the specific excuse, it is a great disservice to those who want to be educated about the consequences of human nature. Citizens must have insight in how to avoid unnecessary wars and win necessary ones. Hanson had it right when he said: “A wartime public illiterate about the conflicts of the past can easily find itself paralyzed in the acrimony of the present. Without standards of historical comparison, it will prove ill equipped to make informed judgments.”

So, this Memorial Day it is important for Americans to re-learn the lessons of war, especially as the conflict in Ukraine continues to heat up and great powers like Russia and China become increasingly belligerent. We serve the honored dead by becoming informed about our nation’s great and small conflicts, and serve ourselves by cultivating a stronger understanding of human nature and the horrors of war, which will be priceless when, inevitably, the next battle comes.

The Post World War II Boom: How America Got Into Gear

Pacific Paratrooper

Chrysler tank production

In the summer of 1945, as WWII drew to a close, the U.S. economy was poised on the edge of an uncertain future.

In late 1940 for the United States to serve as the “arsenal of democracy,” American industry had stepped up to meet the challenge. U.S. factories built to mass-produce automobiles had retooled to churn out airplanes, engines, guns and other supplies at unprecedented rates. At the peak of its war effort, in late 1943 and early 1944, the United States was manufacturing almost as many munitions as all of its allies and enemies combined.

On the home front, the massive mobilization effort during World War II had put Americans back to work. Unemployment, which had reached 25 percent during the Great Depression and hovered at 14.6 percent in 1939, had dropped to 1.2 % by 1944 — still a record low in the nation’s history.

Shopping with ration stamps

With the…

View original post 587 more words

The New York Times Crossword and WWII

Pacific Paratrooper

The WWII home front and this generation have something in common, lock-downs.  This post seemed appropriate for right about now.

There are plenty of crossword puzzles in publications across the country, but when we think of the pinnacle of puzzledom (Not officially a word, but, perhaps, it should be?), the purveyors of the most preeminent puzzles, we bow to The New York Times (NYT).

For more than 75 years, the NYT crossword puzzle has been stumping readers with its clever clues and then sending them soaring when they finally fill in all the squares.

When did the NYT Crossword begin?

When crossword puzzles first came about in the 1920s, the NYT turned up its nose at them. In 1924, the paper ran an opinion column that dubbed them, “a primitive sort of mental exercise”.

So, what absolved the crossword puzzle in the illustrious publication’s mind and made them eat their words? Reportedly, it…

View original post 665 more words

Armed Forces Day/Week

Pacific Paratrooper


Armed Forces Week is celebrated in the week leading up to Armed Forces Day (the third Saturday in May). For American service members, Armed Forces Week is an occasion to remember past and present service for all branches of the service.  The week also includes “Children of Fallen Patriots Day” 13 May.

Armed Forces Day was observed for the first time on May 20, 1950, the day was created on August 31, 1949 to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches. Armed Forces Day/Week was created in the wake of the consolidation of military services under the United States Department of Defense.

Today, there are many Armed Forces Week events around the globe, but sources report the “longest continuously running Armed Forces Day Parade” for Americans is held in Bremerton, Washington. In…

View original post 349 more words