Author Archives: Bill Brandt

El Paso Part II

I’ve been trying to decide how to write this the last few days. The battle lines were set years ago, and the same arguments keep coming back.

Today, some of my early experiences with firearms seems so foreign and other-worldly.

Some public schools even taught firearms safety.

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Filed under Politics, Politics and Culture

What’s really the issue?

In a move that seems at least to me to be common sense, President Trump plans to deny issuing “Green Cards” (permission for US residence) to legal immigrants who use, or seem likely to use, social programs such as Medicade, Food Stamps, or housing assistance once here.

But these are politically contentious times.

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Filed under Politics

Sailing Zatara

Yesterday in the Lex Facebook group, xbradtc recommended this series on YouTube. A self-made man, who created a successful business decided (with his family’s agreement) to sell their Dallas house and business, and buy a 55′ sailboat in Florida to sail around the world.

Keith (the husband) didn’t propose this with some pie-in-the-sky plan but devotes the early episodes to his methodical approach in learning sailing and re-outfitting the boat.

He’s a commercial pilot, having flown a Beech King Air and Bell Jet Ranger. He is thorough in his approach to starting this new adventure.

I’m already to episode 9 and I am hooked.

Hat’s off to that family for having the adventuresome spirit to cast aside everything for a dream.

Their website is here.

They have 180+ episodes (which go from 5 minutes on up), and the first one is here.

H/T to xbradtc.

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Filed under Travel

El Paso Part 1

It’s funny how with age some of the smallest things in life one can still remember, like a photograph. My very first memory of El Paso was upon hearing Reveille , looking out my barracks window and seeing nothing but an ocean of sand. The day before, I had finished basic training at Ft Ord, along the coast of the Monterey Peninsula, and the Drill Sgt had us all in formation as he was giving out assignments with the Army post we’d be going to for advanced training. .

Guys were getting infantry, signal corps, and when it came time for him to call my name, “Brandt! Ft Bliss, Texas – Air Defense!

I’m thinking (to myself of course) – say what?

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Filed under Army, In Memoriam

Only in the Bay Area?

I just took an Uber ride to downtown and as with most of their drivers they are a good conversationalists.

My driver had moved from the Bay Area about a year and a half ago.

I said “I don’t see how you guys can afford to live there”.

He said that he couldn’t. He was making $130,000 a year and eligible for food stamps and section 8 housing.

I guess Manhattan is similar.

Other cities?

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Filed under Humor, Politics and Culture

Trade and China

When we stopped treating mainland China like a pariah that should be isolated, and trade opened up, we had high hopes.

It was thought that with trade opening up for China would come a liberalization for the government.

China was admitted to the WTO in 2001 following lengthy negotiations, amid widespread expectations that membership in the world body would ease its transition from a state-run to a market-oriented economy.

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Filed under International Affairs

The Not So Great Escape?

Over the years, I have enjoyed the BBCs History Magazine not only for the breadth of history they cover – from the middle ages to a few years ago, but frequently the different light its writers can shed on things we have just considered as “fact”.

And writer Guy Walters suggests that the escape on the night of March 24th from Stalag Luft III, made popular in the 1963 movie starring Steve McQueen and an all-star cast, was in reality a foolish action that accomplished nothing.

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Filed under History