Thursday, December 23, 2010

Of course the local reporter picked our kids out of the crowd at the airport. So now they have all been on TV:

Merry Christmas to you all.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Anthonyisms, Part 7,682:

This past weekend all three of our children had their first sleepover at a friend's place. Our understanding is that the kids got a solid fifteen minutes of sleep, so all went well on that front.

In the morning, while the wife and I were making our way to pick them up, the kids went to a park near the house where they were staying. The park was at a church, and it had a ship or ark of some sort on the playground for the kids. The mast of the ship, of course, was a cross.

So Anthony, who goes to a Catholic preschool and is thus familiar with the key theological issues relating to Christianity, leans out one of the windows of the ship to talk to the adults standing nearby.

"Do you see that cross," he says.

"Yes," they reply.

"We killed Jesus," he says, "and took his pirate ship."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Once Upon a Time Story,

by Anthony

Once upon a time there was a rabbit inside a monkey cage, and there was a banana on the rabbit and the monkey wanted it and took the banana and ate it. Then the rabbit cried and the monkey went and looked for more bananas and the rabbit looked for carrots and couldn't find any carrots. The monkey found a big pile of bananas and ate all the bananas because he was hungry, and the rabbit didn't find the carrots because he was at the zoo. But there was a giraffe and it was eating leaves and the rabbit said that rabbits don't eat leaves, they eat carrots. But then the rabbit found the guy that worked at the zoo and the guy went and got the rabbit carrots.

Then the monkey was in his cave and ate all the bananas and he was very hungry so he had a big pile of mud. And there was a pig who went by the squirrel and they saw the mud but it wasn't really mud, it was water on top of the mud, and the monkey drank up all the water in his cave. But then the monkey ate all of the hair, all of the hair on the polar bears, but the polar bears didn't want the hair so they were very happy when the monkeys ate all of the hair. And then the monkeys climbed into their bunk beds and went to sleep.

The End.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Heard at the table tonight:

Daddy: "Eat your sandwich."
Mari: "It's not my favorite!"

Anthony: "I ate my whole sandwich. I chewed it up into little bits and pieces. Like a hammerhead shark. Hammerhead sharks chew things up into little bits and pieces."

Anthony: "Mommy and Daddy, I'm going to eat all of the pudding cups in the whole entire world. Then keep buying them and bringing them home to me. Even 100,000. I mean all 10. That means keep buying them. And then when I eat all ten of them, I will feel a lot better."

Anthony: "Mommy, look what's on your head."
Mommy: "What's on my head?"
Anthony: "A Transformer."
Dominic: "April Fools!"
Anthony loudly hums soundtrack from Transformers 2.

Anthony: "Wet and sticky! That gives me an idea."

Book news. From now on, all book news will be on a page only for the book, which can be found here: A Nation Forged in War.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Book. For the time being, this is a running post for material on the book:

Thomas Bruscino, A Nation Forged in War: How World War II Taught Americans to Get Along (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2010).


“Thomas Bruscino’s important study helps to demystify the experience of World War II in America by showing that the war fostered greater toleration among many white ethnic and religious groups in America but was also marked by continued racism and questionable moral practices on the part of the generation that fought.”
— John Bodnar, Chancellor’s Professor of History, Indiana University

World War II shaped the United States in profound ways, and this new book—the first in the Legacies of War series—explores one of the most significant changes it fostered: a dramatic increase in ethnic and religious tolerance. A Nation Forged in War is the first full-length study of how large-scale mobilization during the Second World War helped to dissolve long-standing differences among white soldiers of widely divergent backgrounds.

Never before or since have so many Americans served in the armed forces at one time: more than 15 million donned uniforms in the period from 1941 to 1945. Thomas Bruscino explores how these soldiers’ shared experiences—enduring basic training, living far from home, engaging in combat—transformed their views of other ethnic groups and religious traditions. He further examines how specific military policies and practices worked to counteract old prejudices, and he makes a persuasive case that throwing together men of different regions, ethnicities, religions, and classes not only fostered a greater sense of tolerance but also forged a new American identity. When soldiers returned home after the war with these new attitudes, they helped reorder what it meant to be white in America.

Using the presidential campaigns of Al Smith in 1928 and John F. Kennedy in 1960 as bookend events, Bruscino notes a key change in religious bias. Smith’s defeat came at the end of a campaign rife with anti-Catholic sentiment; Kennedy’s victory some three decades later proved that such religious bigotry was no longer an insurmountable obstacle. Despite such advances, Bruscino notes that the growing broad-mindedness produced by the war had limits: it did not extend to African Americans, whose own struggle for equality would dramatically mark the postwar decades.

Extensively documented, A Nation Forged in War is one of the few books on the social and cultural impact of the World War II years. Scholars and students of military, ethnic, social, and religious history will be fascinated by this groundbreaking new volume.

Thomas Bruscino is the author of Out of Bounds: Transnational Sanctuary in Irregular Warfare. His work has also been published in Military Review and War & Society. He is assistant professor of history at the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Here is the UT Press webpage.

The book is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

It has been noted online by Instapundit, at the Chronicle of Higher Education, HEPPAS Books, and Sir Read A Lot Reviews Books.

Here is a WorldCat page for it, to help track many of the libraries that have it.

It has also been featured at The Page 99 Test and in an article from Adams State College. On June 1, 2010, the book received the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Golden Pen Award.

On another note, I feel I must mention that my two and a half year old daughter has developed a new technique for trying to get what she wants. She will try to do something she is not supposed to, for example get into candy in a bowl on the counter. We will tell her no. She will then tell us "Don't see me!" and then try again.

Feel free to use that one at work.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I cannot believe there is any doubt. Of course the Browns have to fire Eric Mangini and move on. Here's the deal, the Browns beat terrible Chiefs and Raiders teams. I went to the Chiefs game, and I can assure you that had the KC receivers not just blatantly dropped multiple passes, they would have won the game. And while I am giddy that the Browns finally beat the Squeelers and pleased that they beat the Jags, both those games were played in ridiculously cold conditions that greatly hindered the passing game. That didn't matter for the Browns, because they were so incompetant passing the ball that it was not an issue. Look, even the "discovery" of Jerome Harrison is actually an indication of incompetence--Harrison should have been handed the ball a long time ago, by Crennel and Mangini. It took injuries for them to realize that a guy who averages over 5 yards a carry and reminds me of Priest Holmes should get the ball 20 times a game. Even then, it was disgusting to watch the team waste Harrison's running by complete ineptitude in the passing game. As far as I know, they didn't even try a play action pass in those last four games. I know they didn't against the Chiefs.

But leaving all that aside, there's no way that an offensive guy like Holmgren is going to stand for the goat rope we had this year on the offensive side of the ball. So he is going to all but install an offense and/or name an offensive coordinator. How's that going to work? Will the new guy report to Holmgren or Mangini? We all know how it will seem, especially given how much control Mangini demanded and got this past year.

Which brings us to another issue that Mike cannot ignore: Mangini's reputation. The word is out, and very few players in the league want to play for a chubby non-football playing control freak who does not win consistently. Since good ole Eric went and traded away or alienated all the skilled Pro Bowl offensive players (Winslow, Edwards, Lewis) this past year, the Browns need to draw players in free agency, and they won't be competitive with Mangini as coach. Sorry, he's gotta go.

Now let's go get Gruden, keep Ryan as the DC, and turn this thing around.

A few years back, a fellow historian who I had met and befriended when we were on a conference panel together at the Society for Military History introduced me to a journalist friend of his who had some questions about historical issues relating to the U.S. Army. I helped him out as much as I could, although frankly he's a smart enough guy that he didn't need me much. As evidence, he now writes pretty regularly for the Atlantic Monthly. Here's his latest, "SimCity Baghdad." His name is Brian Mockenhaupt. I've mentioned him before, but look him up again (here's a recent sample). He's rapidly becoming the most fair, most informed, and simply the best journalist covering the military today.

Finally, it took a while, but I have finally come of age as a hobbit. Now I go eat ice cream cake.