Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | October 26, 2020

What Is Missing in Virginia’s U.S. Senate Election?

Daniel Gade in Yorktown, Virginia – October 2020.   West Pointer, 2 Purple Hearts, Retired Lieutenant Colonel, PhD in Public Administration – patriot and common citizen running to represent all Virginians.

 

What Is Missing in Virginia’s U.S. Senate Election?

What’s missing in the dark picture above? Obviously, a man’s leg is missing. Oh, that would be the leg that Army veteran Daniel Gade lost serving in Iraq. You can’t miss noticing what he is missing. When you hear him talk, you quickly learn what he isn’t missing. He isn’t absent a vision for what needs to be done in the U.S. Senate, what is right and wrong on every issue, what values sustain a person in public service, and what principles guide selfless service.

Selfless service with the courage of a combat veteran, wounded warrior, and leader who always suffers the loss of good men. The leg may be gone on Daniel Gade, but nothing is missing in what is needed to make him a stand out Senator for all Virginians.

But something important is missing in Virginia’s U.S. Senate election. The clear contrast between the Constitutional Conservative candidate – Gade – and the incumbent Leftist politician masquerading as a moderate – Warner – is missing. If a “free and open press” did their Constitutional duty to show the candidates to The People with blazing, cleansing sunlight, the contrast would be astonishing.

Virginians would gasp to see what Mark Warner is missing. It’s more shocking than the absence of a limb. Mark Warner doesn’t have the well-earned scars that come from living a life of sacrifice.

Mark Warner worked hard and used his insider knowledge to make hundreds of millions of dollars. That’s hundreds of millions. He had a political elite job in Washington and, as they do in the DC swamp, turned his privileged information and connections into cash.

What’s the biggest sacrifice Mark Warner ever made for Virginians? For America?

How many years ago did Mark move up to the Establishment Elite level of life where he never has to worry about the mortgage again? Or, about having his hours cut or, worse, losing his job. Losing his business. Facing his family and watching their loss. The problem isn’t Warner’s obscene wealth, but the immunity his wealth creates to the awful outcomes of every policy which he, serving the Left as a Democrat, forces on The People.

Such immunity creates the kind of insensitivity that had him veto a bill to stop Partial Birth Abortion when he was the Governor of Virginia. It took a coalition of Republicans and Black Democrats to overcome his wanton disregard for a baby about to be born.

By contrast, Daniel Gade knows what Vets feel about their “Band of Brothers” and sisters in arms. It’s what the old Labor Movement, when it was really needed, called “Brotherhood.” And, what all Americans felt after 9-11 and in the first days of the Wuhan Virus Pandemic. It’s the comradeship, fellowship, and family of “us all being in this together.”

Elites don’t get it. Because their money and power protect them and their families.

When Mark Warner’s votes create an Obamacare destructive to healthcare, a bigger welfare state breaking families, a hollow military weakly pursuing pointless wars, and confirming judges who make up law as they like, while opening our borders to an illegal alien invasion and getting richer while selling production jobs to China – it’s clear he won’t suffer the consequences. Warner supports the mobs who destroy monuments in Virginia and politicians who won’t keep the Rule of Law.

Being a moderate in today’s Cultural Marxist mob isn’t much of a moderate. Especially, since he still follows the mob’s methods and aims.

Warner uses the Politically Correct words politicians pander as caring. Virtue signaling phony sensitivity to you peasants. What selfless, truly sacrificial thing has Mark Warner ever given since he moved to Virginia?

Warner is MISSING what every citizen who ever served as a soldier, every cop on the beat, every fire fighter and EMS, every medical servant, minister, or truly devoted teacher and Daniel Gade GOT – from their selfless service to others.

Daniel Gade is missing a leg, but has the same heart the rest of us share.

E Pluribus Unum – from many one.

Virginians, vote for Daniel Gade for the U.S. Senate.

Sic Semper Tyrannis                   

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | October 19, 2020

On Porpoise

Porpoises came alongside about 3/4ths of the way to the land on the right horizon.

On Porpoise

Two porpoises paralleled my paddle today. I don’t know the porpoises’ purpose, but I know they swam as I stroked – on purpose. I was on the 35 minute open water leg of a 90 minute paddle around Cow Island and through the salt marshes there. The two porpoises came up for 12 breachings! It’s about a minute between each breaching for their breath of air. I suppose each breached 6 times for a 5-10 minute visit. I can’t track time when I’m lost in the moment.

Normally, I have to go out to visit them when they’re in Sanctuary’s watery neighborhood. I’ll direct my kayak to a pod of porpoises where a couple will check me out, briefly, from 12 to 20 feet away, as they all speed on their way.

Today, several breachings were less than 3 feet from my kayak. The first one came up just to my left rear. When it suddenly broke the water, it surprised me. My instant scare became intense joy as soon as I saw the large, sleek dark gray body dive back in the water up on my left front. I said out loud, “Whoa, big guy! You scared me, fella. You’re beautiful! Thank You, Lord!” Then, I just started laughing. Happy time.

The porpoises swam under me and popped up a foot or so in front of my kayak’s bow several times. I kept talking to them and laughing. Of course, I didn’t have a camera with me. I never slacked my stroke but pressed on hard. Then, they went off back towards the broader waters of The Bay. Two watermen were in a work boat working their crab pots some distance in that direction. Maybe they went to check them out.

That was it. Closest I’ve ever been to these magnificent sea mammals. It was just wonderful. I kept thanking the Lord God for creating these creatures and letting me see them so.

I don’t propose to know the purpose of the porpoises coming alongside for so long on my paddle. Play? Curiosity? Dunno. But, to spend so much time so close to this old man, meant the porpoises had a purpose. Let’s just say that I had a lovely, life enriching encounter “on porpoise.”

Cow Island and the other islands of salt marsh are out yonder to the right.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | October 13, 2020

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Same picture every year since 1970. 1971? Smaller gathering because of the “Rona”.

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

            When Norm waddled into “Cheers”, everyone in the Boston bar knew his name. When I stomp through the mud to the former David Bowden Community Center in Tipton County, Tennessee, which was the former Leigh’s Chapel one room school house, everybody knows my name is “Bubba.” I like that.

Some of my West Point classmates, mainly 24 guys from our company, call me “Bubba” as my cadet nickname. Convenient, because it is my lifelong name. I’ve always been Bubba. I was “Jim” for the first year at school. Then, when some company mates visited my family in Virginia, they found out I was actually “Bubba”. My Hawaiian roomate howled the hardest. I don’t know if he ever had heard the name before.

My late wife couldn’t stand the name “Bubba”, so I’ve been Jim, socially as well as professionally, except where they know my name – in the country outside Covington, Tennessee.

Being “Bubba” in West Tennessee is different. I’m with my “People.” Starting around age 4, I heard about my “People” from both of my parents and my grandparents.

“Your name is all you have in life that is yours only.”

“You can NEVER shame your name.”

“You have a People.” “You come from a People.”

“You can NEVER shame your People.”

“Your word is your bond.”

Our name is “Bowden.” Our People are the Bowdens. But, as I enjoy pointing out every chance I get with my kin, it’s the women that keep the family together. The strong women make their mark. In fact, we Bowdens are really a matriarchy of descendants from Florence Ellen Maley Bowden (1853-1944). Every ounce of her was Scot-Irish, Southern, and West Tennessee. We are about 300 living Maleys who call themselves Bowden.

Women who marry into the Clan become as Bowden as those born to it. Of course, it’s not “to the manor born.” Our family comes from humble circumstances.

Our People came to West Tennessee when it was frontier. They built everything with their own hands. Any wealth built was lost to the war effort – as were the crops, animals, and outbuildings to the conquering Yankees. Three generations had to come up from nothing. They did by hard work. Men, women, and children worked in the fields up past World War II. Some men worked on the railroad, but it wasn’t until after WW II that many folks moved off the farm.

Now, we come back to an old building we own that’s hard by a corn field, church, and across the road from cotton and more cotton. It’s not the former farming that binds us. It’s the ties that bind families in faith and lovingkindness. In pork barbecue and smoked bologna.

I didn’t understand why a delegation of great aunts and an uncle came over 900 miles to my sister’s High School graduation. No big deal in 1966, right? Wrong. Every graduation, new job, new car, marriage of course, and – especially – baby is a big deal. It’s all good for the Clan. Every win is a win for our People. Life certainly brings defeats and disappointments enough. Yet, life is celebrated one for another. At least that is how I saw and heard it on our annual pilgrimages from Virginia to West Tennessee. Pilgrimages where many of my father’s 33 first cousins came over to sit a spell and talk a lot, because “didj’all hear Albert’s home?”

The Army and finances kept me away from the annual Reunion and pig-picking for almost 30 years. The first time I came back, my youngest daughter – a High School Senior in fateful 2001 – was the only one who would accompany me.   She had met only a couple of her Bowden kin in her whole life. I told her, “Just say, I’m Albert’s granddaughter and Bubba’s daughter. They’ll know who you are.” They did. Now, she couldn’t come this year, and my People asked about Maggie.

I believe, and I may be wrong, that Great-Grandmother Maley Bowden’s devout Bible-based Christian faith is a thread that pulls us together through the years. It’s sincere and strong in our People. It sustains and uplifts. It teaches the loving kindness that makes kinfolk dear. No matter how far apart we live. Although, some of my cousins my age went to the same High School and know whose land started and ended where. I knew only the dimensions of my Grandfather’s cotton fields, barn, pen, roost, and general store.

But, I know many names in the Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church cemetery. I was at a few funerals there. Moreover, I can hear the voices and see the faces that I knew from the generations of my People from 1880s to now.

Fun to think maybe 60 years from now my People may talk about those old folks born back in the 1940s/50s/60s that they knew. They’ll still sing some Country Gospel. Hope so. Bet the barbecue will be delicious.

It’s good to be where everyone knows your name.

One room schoolhouse 1900-1940s

“In them cotton fields back home.”

 

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 28, 2020

A Time for Trump. Experiencing a Trump Rally.

Me standing by legal immigrant lady. 14 years. From China. Baptist. Hates Communism.

A Time for Trump

Good times at Trump Rally in Virginia

Why He Should Win

            I went to President Trump’s rally in Newport News, Virginia two days ago. I’m still digesting what I saw and heard, yet, I think I’ve got enough insights to give a “hot wash”, if not a proper Army “AAR” – After Action Report.

The rally was good political theater to my eyes – with 30 years of partisan Playbills in my memory. Moreover, the whole affair was an indication of why President Trump is likely to get re-elected on Tuesday, November 3rd.   Thousands of regular folks spent long hours on a Friday to hear the President do a riff that most have probably heard through TV and on-line many times before. And, they loved every minute of it.

The vibe was beach party. Proven crowd pleasing pop music – YMCA, Eye of the Tiger, etc. – played as lines which would make a Disney World queue seem short moved steadily through serpentine enclosures. Everyone was happy. The misty rain didn’t dampen anyone. Strangers talked to one another. The banter was light and smiles abounded. We just needed big drinks with little umbrellas to make the moment complete.

Many people wore “Trump” gear from the iconic red MAGA hat to T’s and sweatshirts broadcasting myriad policy positions – in humor, in clarity, some with wit, and often in-your-face- Liberals Democrats Socialists Establishment RINOs Commies. A few loons wore costumes which cried out how they needed to get a life. My “Army” hoodie and jeans fit in fine.

Funny about fitting in, because I came within days and millimeters of becoming a Never Trumper in 2016. Experienced, educated political genius that I am, I thought Donald Trump would lose 52-48 across America.   I was so wrong!

Here are my polemics against Trump in 2016: Evangelicals for Trump https://wp.me/pp1uG-UW , A Trumpian Folly and Fallacy or The Money Man is the Music Man   https://wp.me/pp1uG-UW , Conservative and Christian Judas Goats for Trump https://wp.me/pp1uG-V1 , Virginia Voters Blind Rage https://wp.me/pp1uG-Vd.

Then, I wrote this 2016 post-election piece, Trumpenstein   https://wp.me/pp1uG-VT and another after the election of 2018, From Trumpenstein to Forrest Gump Trump https://wp.me/pp1uG-Z4 .

So, I’m not a glassy-eyed disciple spouting superlatives about DJT – the man. I don’t defend his words or his tweets. And, I don’t care about them either. I care about President Trump’s actions. No need to list them, unless our “Dear Reader” suffers Trump Derangement Syndrome or knows only what the drive by media puts out as agitprop.

Furthermore, I agree with the thousands of Virginians who stood shoulder to shoulder that afternoon and night, that President Trump is the only man, the only thing, standing between the Commies, the Islamists, and the Establishment Swamp Creatures who will destroy America and we Americans. At this time, Trump alone, is pushing the Left back hard. His assorted and too few allies in lesser positions of power are following his lead.

The often obnoxious and abrasive manner in which he engages the legions of the Left were honed by his life in the City, congenital self-promotion, and on stage. He is able to communicate more in an hour’s stand up riff than most politicians could in a month of speechifying. His main points are what really matters to normal, working folks.

Especially, and never forget this, DJT connects with many tens of millions who believe “America” is still an ascending idea. Sit with that a second. It’s something I put together when I led the Army 21 Study (a 1990-92 study for the years 2005-2015) – that the majority of Americans love America deeply and will for decades to come.

These Americans – we – don’t ask for handouts or special privileges, but want the freedom of economic opportunity and demand the freedoms of our God-given, Constitutionally-written, Law and Order supported, individual rights. For over 30 years no one in power has stood up and fought for us the way President Trump has.  The “us” isn’t the identity politics of the Left. Our “us” is the good people with shared idea politics of family, faith, and freedom.

A snob could look down at the people at the rally as plebian, proletarian, what a cynical Sinclair Lewis called the “Boobocracy”, petty bourgeoisie, hicks or any of the Left’s descending list of slurs. I was proud to be there. Truly grateful to be an American among patriots. If this makes me a Prole, count me in.   All in.

If President Trump has this connection across America, then he will win on Tuesday. He may be cheated out of it by Friday or weeks later, but he is going to win. Bigly. Yugely.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 21, 2020

A Reprise of Seven Summers at Sanctuary

A Reprise of Seven Summers at Sanctuary

Examining Exuberance

            Had this thought yesterday, “When I write, there’s always more to say. But, no need to say it all.” And, sometimes, I come back to write something more that I need spoken. So, it is with the seven full summers as a widower at Sanctuary.

If seven is the Biblical number of completion then what is complete? The book, “A Grief Felt”, is done. Ok. But, what else in the one’s march of years is complete when the right number pops up? What’s complete in a life that continues until the end? A life, which for Christians, continues with the same consciousness for eternity?

Maybe the measure of completeness is a phase of life finishes. A full season of being, like one full summer, passes. Or, the time could be a major milestone of time passing. Not time ending. Obviously, I’m not sure.

I realized for certain that a major milestone for me comes quickly this November. I’ll be 70. And, I’m not kidding, seriously, it came to me as a real surprise on Labor Day. My seventy was off in the foggy future of someday, if, and maybe. No, it’s about to be now and then past. Wow. Who knew? The calendar, of course, but not Ish.

This seventh summer I lived in the moment more than I probably have all of my life. I know to take pleasure, real joy, in a moment, but that isn’t the place where I abide in my head. For me the moment yo-yos to history past and futures possible. Back and forth. What was and what might be. Welcome to my inner world.

I was up almost every single dawn. I enjoyed every sunset. I cherished them all. Took a lot of pictures and posted same.

The smells of this summer thrilled me. I’ve loved the smells of summer since I was a little boy. I remember them distinctly from West Tennessee, Upcountry South Carolina, suburban Virginia, town and country France and Germany.

I know what a Southern “scorcher” smells like at dawn before the heat turns on. I relished these mornings. Even the ones my Mother would call by the polite term, “muggy.” On a number of mornings this summer, the wind picked up to blow away the bugs while wafting the musky smell of fish and the slight tang of salt from The Bay. Those were blessed times for coffee on the dock or deck.

This seventh summer spent kayaking so much meant paying close attention to the tide tables and wind reports.   It felt like my days this summer were in rhythm with the tides. Not a clock. That’s a different, and very wonderful, way of knowing what time it is. I like living in synch with tides.

I looked each day for when the tide would be high enough and the winds as low as possible. Tried to avoid the mid-day as my dermatologist instructed, but sometimes the high, direct sun time was the moment to seize.

The rhythm of tides could be written as many metaphors. The only one demanding attention is how constant the tides are – and how the natural world is ageless compared to lives of humans. The Bible says we live like blades of grass.   The affairs of man are temporal and the way of the world, including the nature of man, is timeless.

As the repetitive tides lose their individuality, so too, the days of summer blurred together. There was on-line Sunday school and worship. Weekly zoom calls with high school and West Point classmates. Even so, the days didn’t seem distinct. I liked it like that.

This summer, I figured out something that made this growing inner peace, joy, contentment, and gratitude – since 2018 – become “exuberance” in 2020. For some summers after my wife died, I was just trying to survive. Working to not die on my kids. For many years there was a struggle with a number anxieties in body and mind from multiple sources. Real concerns for self and others remain, but the anxiety seems to have taken a walk this summer.

Finally, the sweetest sound at Sanctuary this summer was the laughter of my grandchildren. Three wee ones had a week here. The older three had many more days and nights to make this place resound with the joy of their voices. It’s as wonderful as when our three children were so innocent and fun. The calls of the many birds of The Bay entertain, but can’t compare to the blessing it is to hear beloved family so alive.

When loving life is loving others, it’s easy for gratitude to grow to exuberance. Thus, the Pandemic summer of 2020 was sweet as such. This is time treasured.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 20, 2020

7th Summer at Sanctuary

7th Summer at Sanctuary

Kayaking Through a Pandemic

In Hebrew, seven is the number of completion. This is my seventh summer at Sanctuary – my home on The Bay as a widower. It feels like it was a time of closure. It seems so many things – bar one very personal subject – came together in my mind. Of course, that’s where I live even though I share a lot of life with others. Don’t all writers live in their own minds?

I spent more time here this summer than in any of the previous six. The Wuhan Virus Pandemic restricted my travel to one week in June and another in September for Papa time in Georgia. All my immediate family gathered at the 4th of July to celebrate what Private John Bowden of the Continental Line, his brothers, and that fellow Washington accomplished to create our America.

Kayaking was the order of the day with very few exceptions. The excursions became explorations as my kayak time built to two hours non-stop paddling.   Finding the way through marsh islands shaped like jigsaw pieces while sitting eye-level to the reeds and eelgrass was a real challenge. Dealing with sudden winds or the surprising chop of conflicting waves, tide, and current brought perspective and humility to those paddles. The water can kill. One portage through quicksand suggested that the mud muck might do it as well.

Old Man and The Bay

Kayak time was mental house cleaning. Conversational prayer of acknowledgement, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication abounded. The current writing conundrum was worked. Reflections on how current events, history, and life merge – which are the standard fare of my introspection – to run repetitive cycles of examination. Joy and gratitude were spoken out loud often.  Sang some songs softly, breathed in meter with my stroke.

After I completed a good, hard paddle on Labor Day, I realized that I wasn’t just happy to be here at Sanctuary and where I am in life – this late in life. I am exuberant!

Getting my book, “A Grief Felt”, published is part of this summer of completeness. My tale of going from grieving to gratitude with God is done. I’m overjoyed with the feedback I get when it serves someone well. It’s absolutely thrilling. I give more thanksgiving to the Lord for giving me the words to write. I still have to pound out the wordsmith-ing, shaping the words, but never have writer’s block. Ever.

This summer was weeks of quality time with close by family, reading, writing, binge watching, two weekly Zoom calls, breakfasts with prayer group, a few shared visits, and limited store runs because, you know, pandemic stuff. Interestingly, the whole of summer home staycation was better than many road trips.

Summer 2020 was splendid isolation. Well, sort of, from the pandemic. But, not from loved ones and life.

Protest, riot, and politics didn’t play on my screens since I unplugged from cable TV four years ago. I know uproars resound nation-wide, but not here at Sanctuary.

Some of this completeness is acceptance of my insignificance to outside events. I see this critical time for America and care accordingly. But, my influence in written and spoken words has short reach and little weight on worldly scales.   That’s okay. King Solomon, who had everything, came to a similar conclusion. Unlike Sol, I’m content. Even unto exuberance.

My gratitude doesn’t exclude the great sympathy for family in losing my brother-in-law of 45 years. I wrote about how he honored his life in the choices he made living it.

Finally, not having my heart go wacko since two ablations to fix it in 2019 is just wonderful! I know the arrhythmia is likely to return someday. It didn’t today. Good enough.

I did what I was supposed to do with “A Grief Felt.” Done. Now what?

Believe it or not, I feel as alive as when I was 25.  And, let me repeat what I’ve said through 40 years of Bible reading, “Here I am, Lord, send me.”

Or, keep me here at Sanctuary and send my words forthwith. How sweet another summer here!

Exuberant

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 13, 2020

9-11 at 19

Saint Sophia being desecrated as a mosque, again, is an example of how long Islam’s war with the West is.

9-11 at 19

I keep re-publishing this piece I wrote right after 9-11-01.  Because it is accurate.  And a good piece.


One Front: Two Wars

The first front of the World War against International Terrorism (WW-T), our American Homeland, is remarkably united – today.  Getting nine out of ten Americans to agree to anything is heady stuff.  Yet, the adrenaline cocktail of shock, fear and anger intoxicates only for a season. Someday soon enough Americans will waken with headaches and ask themselves ‘Why’.

Will the hangover of a patriotic binge be worth it if war and its consequences become a daily, lifelong addiction? Or, will the glum awakening, even on the brightest of mornings, be the residue of restless nights worrying over our resolve?
Our America shall have many, many nights of anguish as we struggle with the ‘war questions’ Americans always ask – during a war of ever changing dimensions, consequences and demands for commitment.

Americans will speak to the dark hours of legitimate doubt with characteristic straightforwardness:

  • Who are we fighting?
  • Why? What are we defending?
  • What will be victory?
  • How much, how long, what risk will war cost?
  • What must I do?

The answers to these questions over time will result in two wars being waged for our Homeland Defense. The first, the WW-T, will lead to another, but different, Civil War in the U.S.  Prayerfully, hopefully, the severity of both wars- the consequence management – will be minimized.  Regardless, the nature of both conflicts merits the name – war – and will be fought to the ultimate ends of any and every war – peace through victory or defeat.

When WW-T expands beyond the destruction of one species of terrorist vipers – the Al Qaida organization – the coalition will devolve.  The best efforts and high purpose of the magnificently experienced and talented Bush team can not stop shifting tectonic plates of history, culture and the clash of civilizations. Sooner or later, WW-T will be the West and its shifting Moslem Allies vs. Raging Islam. Then, Americans will realize some fuzzy, global, generic, secular human ‘freedom’ is not under attack, but the West – Western Civilization – is the enemy of the resurgent Islam that breeds radicals and rage.

What is the American Civilization worth defending for long decades? What must be preserved at all costs? Who will bear any price for what liberty? These questions will split the unity of our nation along the fault lines of our
American Culture War.  Americans with different worldviews will seek alternatives for peace.

Some will be happy to defeat one group of terrorists and pretend there are no more until another bright September morning explodes in a new terror attack. Some will shake in fear and shout ‘stop’ when an Islamic country turns on us as we pursue the next den of snakes or when a radical Islamic coup topples some friendly despot.

Some will stay the course to defeat the enemy, and their means of attacking the West, everywhere and suppress their successors’ ability to attack ever again – for decades and succeeding generations to come. The nation will divide between those who seek peace at any price – because they don’t see the ultimate destruction of America and the West – and those who know that a hostile ideology – a vigorous, aggressive theology – must be defeated utterly and completely.

WW-T will be waged on the terms of the old Roman Empire. Our enemies will fight us for generations – even centuries – until they change their way of thinking or are conquered or we are defeated from within. Our America, as the leader of the West, has imperial responsibilities without imperial ambitions.

Moreover, our nation faces its greatest test since the American Civil War (ACW I). Can a nation so powerful, so rich, so hated remain a Republic with the protected individual freedoms endowed by our Creator? The American Culture War will become ACW II. WW-T and ACW II will be fought on the same front – our American Homeland.  The distinctions between today’s liberals and conservatives will widen as WW-T progresses. When ACW II heats up – may it be a war of words and battles at the ballot boxes only – the two primary sides of the conflict will shape up in new alignments of allies, perhaps with new political labels.

One side will be soldiered largely by citizens who know that since 1776 America is the country where it is safe to be a believing, practicing, proselytizing Christian and Jew. Their troops will advocate the big ideas, the worldview supporting American Civilization and the West, namely, Judeo-Christian thought. This side will show tolerance for the Moslems, the pagans, the atheists among us, but not cede the nation to their hyphenated ideas of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

America faces a long, long perilous WW-T and ACW II indeed. May the God of America’s Founders, the God of Jesus Christ and Abraham, have mercy on us all. May God Bless America. In God We Trust.


Nineteen years later, these USA, Western Civilization, and all who don’t want the “peace” of submission to Islam are in a new phase of the World War against Islamist Totalitarianism.

The fight isn’t the trivialized “endless wars” the historically clueless declaim.  Certainly, wars could be fought with better strategic direction – like not trying to do nation-building in a time of PC half-measures.  Some fights can be avoided altogether.  But, the long, long fight which will continue is true Koran-believing Muslims against everyone.  Including the Muslim sects they dispute.  It’s every generation on the bloody borders of Islam, as Churchill described, since Mohammed’s first act of genocide in 627 AD.  That’s a long war. It’ll continue until Islam is as rejected and dead as the pagan religions of Indian tribes or transitioned to be as insignificant in individual lives as some Christian churches are.

Americans should never forget that 20% of all Muslims are at war with us.  The 80% that aren’t have the opportunity to re-define Islam and assimilate into Western Civilization or provide mute, tacit support to the Islamists.  In the years to come, those percentages could change either way.  The long war will evolve until it ends.

Let’s keep rolling until we win.

 

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | September 7, 2020

My Labor Day 2020

Traditionally celebrated with one daughter and three grandchildren.

My Labor Day

I could write volumes about this Wuhan Virus Pandemic Labor Day and – you name it.   But, I’ll spare you boring wisdom and just share my personal life.

Had fun this Labor Day with some of my precious family.  Daughter demurs on photo releases to the public.  Good time together.


Labor Day is the real “New Year.”

From Rosetta 6.2, a novel by James Atticus Bowden:   “Every year of his conscious life fit completely on one side or the other of the demarcation line of September, exactly at Labor Day weekend. Summer and the old school year fell to the rear. Autumn and the new school year stood, waiting, on the other side. Even a dozen years of work since college could neither blur the distinctions nor dampen the need to divide, label and catalogue the year. Except of course, for September 2001 when the 11th divided life as it divided the world.

Jack recalled a year like pulling a book from a library shelf. He smelled the dust, the ink, the paper of the year as he ran his hand on the binding. He felt the weight of the names of the past few years…”


So, it has been.  Until, now in my 7th year living at Sanctuary.

One grateful man.

Sanctuary has two seasons.

Kayak Season goes from the first week in March to the first week in December.

Fireplace Season goes from the first week in October to the first week in May.

In the weeks of overlapping seasons, the water in The Bay is “Winter Ranger” cold enough to speed me from the kayak to the fireplace with alacrity.  The gas fireplace at Sanctuary is like a blast furnace.  Maybe it’s the raised hearth that creates such an effect.  Perhaps the builder made blast furnaces to forge steel or was an apprentice to Lucifer.  Either way, it works great and looks like a real, appealing wood fire.

Today, I realized that we’re only a month from Fireplace Season!

And, it suddenly dawned on me, not kidding, that I’ll be 70 years old in November.

Seventy.  70.  LXX.

Wow.  Ten years my Daddy didn’t have here with his family.

When I turned 65, I went on an adventure.  I flew military space-available to Spain.  Had no plan.  No reservations.  Nothing.  Just winged it for 10 days.  Don’t speak Spanish.  Did a lap of beautiful Andalusia.  Churches, castles, and museums.  History nerd and nature nut happiness.  Solo.  Sorted my heart and mind out as the third year of my wife’s death approached.  Spoke my soul to the Lord out loud – alone.

Hmm.  Is Space A still operating for retired military geezers or succumbed to pandemic hysteria?  Gotta check on that.

 

Almost 70

In a few weeks it will be a year since my heart went out of rhythm.  I had Atrial Flutter followed by Atrial Fibrillation for two months until two heart ablation procedures stopped the wild, erratic beating.

This morning I kayaked over 90 minutes.  No breaks.  Only seconds to check my time.   No chest pain.  No loss of rhythm.

I have an erratic heart beat, but likely have had that all my life.  Showed up in my 30s when Army doctors said I had a “benign” heart murmur.  I asked what that meant.  The U.S. Army Walter Reed cardiologist said, “It’s always benign to the doctor.  It means we’ll find out during the autopsy.”

So, when I lifted up my 14 foot kayak early this morning and looked out on the growing waves of a rising wind, I was exuberant.  More than grateful.  Exuberant!

My praise is to the Lord Jesus Christ.  I love the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, when I praise my living, risen Savior.

I have aging medical issues – normal stuff of declining years – but I can do anything I please.  Well, not run as I used to do.  But, I can come and go and do as I like.  I have freedom, when so many dear to me are suffering, crippled, or gone.   Such freedom is a gift.  Not a glory, but a genuine time to treasure and use for good.  To do well, as best I can, in His Will.

I don’t know that I’ll live another decade, but my mind reels at the opportunities every healthy day of a decade portends.  Seriously.

I was told, “You will read and write,” on March 15, 1987.  If I read 50 books a year, just a bump up from my current pace, I’d read 500 books in ten years.  In addition to reading through the Bible every year as I do.  That’s equal to 4 Master’s degrees or 2 PhDs – roughly.  If I learn good stuff and write about it, how might that serve well?  How about if I just do it every day, see what may?

Ten years means grandchildren from ages 10 to 23.  Ten years of Papa time with them.  Ten years to encourage and love our three blessings into their 40s and 50s.

Ten years could mean many, many things.

We’ll see what will be.  God makes all things new every day.

God is good.  All the time.  No matter what.  NO MATTER WHAT.

Seriously happy. Serious man. Happy heart. Normal look. Exuberant from the inside out.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | August 22, 2020

Ron Kyle

Jackie (Pookie), Katherine, Ron.  CHRISTmas 1977.  Beckley, West Virginia.

Ron Kyle

July 14, 1947 – August 6, 2020

My brother-in-law of 45 years passed away after a long fight with cancer. I’ve been brooding about how to properly honor him. Ronnie richly deserves honor for the life he lived because he was a good man. And, that goodness was a deliberate choice. He decided to live his life to be as much like his grandfather, Papaw, as he could. I knew his Papaw – Arnett Miller (1900-1987). Papaw was one of the best men I’ve ever known in my life. Ron Kyle chose to live like Papaw.

A life guided by such a deliberate act of will made a man who became remarkable for his kindness, respectfulness, honesty, hard-work, loyalty, gentleness, and loving devotion to family and friends. That’s a moniker that doesn’t quite fit a man whose nickname was “Bear”. Unless, you imagine the gentle brown bear that only rises to threats. “Bear” indicates how big Ron was.

He was six foot four with a barrel chest and shoulders squared like an anvil. Yet, he was fast. In his 30’s he was considered as a walk on for a National Football League team. His basketball jersey hangs in the West Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. He was a stand-out center in High School and college. He starred on teams in the Air Force. Also, he was a great baseball player. He was fiercely competitive, but never the bully.

A boy and man of his size and strength could always use it to bully. Ron chose to use it protect. Nellie Katherine, the younger sister he called “Cassey” and “Sis” – my late wife, talked about him being her protector all of her life. She was only 14 months younger. She always smiled telling the story of a high school boy who learned to not make any leering comments about her – and how word got out about “Bear’s little sister”. The brash kid was lifted off his feet by his throat against the wall lockers and given explicit instructions by Ronnie.

Ah, but that reads like a violent killer Kodiak bear, not a harmless Yogi Bear park scrounger!

Which is precisely the point: Men who are capable of great violence, but only use their strength with great restraint are the most kind and gentle of good men.

Ron was kind because he was strong. He was gentle because he wasn’t weak.

And, competitive isn’t mutually exclusive to any goodness. Ron was a very successful entrepreneur. His soft West Virginia accent may have made him more approachable. He transplanted to Sacramento, California permanently in the early 70s, but his voice stayed in the Hills.

Yet, it never took long for anyone to know he wasn’t a hillbilly that could be taken for a ride. I’m sure the players at casinos in Reno were more surprised than I was at how often and how much he would win. He figured out what and where he could win, even when the House ultimately wins.

He loved sports and had encyclopedia knowledge of them. He stayed current and engaged.

However, the competitive desire that fuels careers took a back seat in his priority to care for family. He made decisions that cost him advancement, so he could be home with Wendy and Nate. He worked tirelessly to provide for them as well as to care, cook and clean for them as their primary parent.  He adored his son-in-law, Julio, as his own.

Ron is his children’s rock.

He was a cherished Uncle Ronnie to my children and grandchildren.

He was dutiful and loving in marriage. In the last twenty years, he became a beloved step-grandfather because of his devotion to Linda’s grandchildren. Probably, because he was much like Papaw.

Arnett was six foot six. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War I. He dug coal on his knees for a few years. Taught in a rural school house. Ran a store. I saw what was left of the river stone and plank bridge he built over the Coal River to get to the farm they had for a while.

My wife loved telling about going with Papaw to collect the rent from houses they owned. He put on his suit, hat, and took his black ledger. As each occupant told him about injury, illness, and other calamity, he neatly put a zero in the book and asked them to pay what they could, when they might. Ron’s sister claimed that caring about others is real soul of West Virginia. Ronnie shared that soul.

And, he shared a tremendous sense of good humor. Time around Ronnie led to laughing. From teasing his Mother with a loving mocking to telling awful jokes awfully well, he chose joy and happiness.

Ron chose courage. He was fearless as C-130 navigator in and hot of hotspots during the Vietnam War. He showed quiet courage in his long fight with cancer. He didn’t complain even though he was in great pain.

My youngest daughter had a dream about her late mother preparing the house for Ron’s homecoming celebration. Years ago, “Cassey” confirmed with Ron that he believed Jesus bodily rose from the grave. His inner belief didn’t get displayed in outward religion. When I knew Ron was in his final moments, the thought came to me, suddenly, of how happy my wife was going to be to see him again. Pray it was thus so – with his mother Bonnie, Papaw, and, of course, Mamaw – the indomitable Wavie Winona.

Our loss as Heaven’s gain is small comfort to the grieving living. Yet, an eye on the choices Ron made may make someone take heart and mind to choose the same. From Papaw to Ron to whomever – a good man or woman is gained deliberately. And, life for many others becomes better. That’s what the life of a good man or woman can mean.

You are a good man, Ron Kyle. Thank you.

Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | July 31, 2020

The Creepy Line

Interesting documentary. Beware of Big Data. And act!

The Creepy Line

I watched the documentary “The Creepy Line” at the behest of a bright Facebook friend. It’s an alarm bell about Google and Facebook – Big Data – and what they do as well as might make happen with data. It’s a reveal about how much personal data is collected by these corporations and the absence of accountability whatsoever. I knew much of the story, but learned some new stuff. It hit hard on my former day job analytical buttons and my policy wonk predilections.

My first comment is a question, of course. It’s Napoleon’s “De quoi s’agit-il?” – What is it about?

To evaluate the issues about big data, you have to understand the five W’s and How it works. If my company, BowdenHouse Inc, had a consulting contract, I’d get some very smart people in a room and Dick-and-Jane them through creating an Operational View 1 (Department of Defense OV-1).

I’d begin with an old computer flow chart format and a plumbing diagram to see which models Big Data – all data – better.  That’d be fun, because it is scalable from an individual up to any demographic including the whole US – and global connections.   Also, the scope can be expanded to include all communications – expressed in sent, filters, received, and consumed data – including “analog” speech and reading, newspapers, books, radio, etc.

The OV-1 can show what is different in the Information Era. Show what can change with 5G and whatever next generation capabilities are in R&D. This is important, because you can NEVER separate history from the future. Past is prologue. Many of the alarming accusations against Big Data were acted out – using different technologies – from the start of recorded history. Information has been power forever. Power attracts attention and action.   The changes over time are technology primarily, not human behavior.

In our Information Era, the speed, size, effectiveness, secrecy, and absence of counter-weights for manipulating data is very different. That’s where the line of what is “Creepy” or not enters the analysis. I’d love to see this work done, then switch gears to the legal and political analysis to look at the approach to solutions.

The analysis may suggest places where Big Data can be changed, but any decision is predicated on Big Data’s legal status and political perception. Consider some options – what is Google and Facebook?

  • Private Company. Is the company acting as a monopoly? Should it be broken up?
  • Public Square. Are First Amendment protections and limits applicable? Can the companies be declared “public forums” at some point of citizen participation – say 1k subscribers?
  • Public Utility. Subject to regulation by the Federal Communications Commission like radio and television?
  • Free Press.  Subject to First Amendment protections and limits like newspapers?

Or, does Big Data need a new legal definition as an entity that is a combination of the options above? That offers a combination of policy alternatives.

The final analysis is the close-in tactics of what could be done now. Federal and State governments might consider:

  • Data Reports: Require reporting to review items of concern.
  • Data Investigation: Get search warrants to do deep dives for the 5 W’s on data. gathering, storage, and use. Same for algorithms and logic for human interventions.
  • Data Purges: Require periodic data cleansing purges and inspect for compliance.
  • Data Transparency: Require key data be published regularly.
  • Cyber War: Use National Security capabilities to snoop through data and algorithms.

I realize all above is utterly meaningless to some of my handful of readers. Indulge me, please. But, I’d want to know as much as I could about the subject before I commented on it.  So, my comments about The Creepy Line are this line of thought about analysis.  This is how I worked as a contractor for the Department of Defense for over 20 years. It was interesting and challenging work.  It was wonderful in as much as it contributed to defending these United States of America.

Congressional committees, States, Executive inter-agency groups, and Conservative public interest think tanks should do the work I described. Hope they look closely at the Creepy Line.

Oh, by the way, I wrote about all kinds of sneaky data manipulation – including imagining cyber “spiders” before they existed in the early 90s – when I first wrote my novel, Rosetta 6.2.

I’d like to see “my file.”

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