TOTD: Inheritance vs Legacy

Back in the 1960s, as I understand it, anyone could walk into a hardware store and walk out with a gun very easily; which shouldn’t be surprising because guns, after all, are tools.  Some of these hardware stores would sell all manner of military surplus rifles, usually out of the barrel in which they were received.

My dad was a traveling pharma rep in the 60s before he went to med school, and he would stop in just about any hardware store he encountered on his rounds….and many, many times would walk out with a trophy.

Most of these were hung on the wall in a little-used loft in his house, and have seen little light until recently.  In the two years since my dad passed, I’ve spent a lot of time researching his large collection.

Here are a few examples.


And while I’ve always been a “gun nut”, and have always taken an interest in history, I’m embarrassed to admit how little I knew about the firearms used in the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, and other military action in between.  The act of inheriting a physical collection prompted me to learn about and develop a true interest in something that was important to my dad.

Which brings me to the point of this post…while I may have inherited some physical items from my father, he actually established and preserved a legacy of knowledge and appreciation for something my dad esteemed, for two generations, at least, because my 15-year-old son has been involved as well.

What physical things have you inherited from loved ones that make their presence, cause, or influence continue to be felt?

PS.  Bonus points for those that can identify any of the three rifles above!


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You think you had a bad day…

Engineer: I’m calling to report the total loss of my truck.
Insurance agent: What happened to it?
Engineer: It was hit by a rocket.
Insurance agent: No, what really happened to it?

This was the January 17, 1997 attempt to launch the first GPS Block IIR satellite.


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Book Review: Freedom Betrayed

“Freedom Betrayed” by Herbert HooverThis book, begun in the days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, became the primary occupation of former U.S. president Herbert Hoover until his death in 1964. He originally referred to it as the “War Book” and titled subsequent draft manuscripts Lost Statesmanship, The Ordeal of the American People, and Freedom Betrayed, which was adopted for this edition. Over the two decades Hoover worked on the book, he and his staff came to refer to it as the “Magnum Opus”, and it is magnum indeed—more than 950 pages in this massive brick of a hardcover edition.

The work began as an attempt to document how, in Hoover’s view, a series of diplomatic and strategic blunders committed during the Franklin Roosevelt administration had needlessly prompted Hitler’s attack upon the Western democracies, forged a disastrous alliance with Stalin, and deliberately provoked Japan into attacking the U.S. and Britain in the Pacific. This was summarised by Hoover as “12 theses” in a 1946 memorandum to his research assistant (p. 830):

  1. War between Russia and Germany was inevitable.
  2. Hitler’s attack on Western Democracies was only to brush them out of his way.
  3. There would have been no involvement of Western Democracies had they not gotten in his (Hitler’s) way by guaranteeing Poland (March, 1939).
  4. Without prior agreement with Stalin this constituted the greatest blunder of British diplomatic history.
  5. There was no sincerity on either side of the Stalin-Hitler alliance of August, 1939.
  6. The United States or the Western Hemisphere were never in danger by Hitler.
  7. [This entry is missing in Hoover’s typescript—ed.]
  8. This was even less so when Hitler determined to attack Stalin.
  9. Roosevelt, knowing this about November, 1940, had no remote warranty for putting the United States in war to “save Britain” and/or saving the United States from invasion.
  10. The use of the Navy for undeclared war on Germany was unconstitutional.
  11. There were secret military agreements with Britain probably as early of January, 1940.
  12. The Japanese war was deliberately provoked. …

…all right—eleven theses. As the years passed, Hoover expanded the scope of the project to include what he saw as the cynical selling-out of hundreds of millions of people in nations liberated from Axis occupation into Communist slavery, making a mockery of the principles espoused in the Atlantic Charter and reaffirmed on numerous occasions and endorsed by other members of the Allies, including the Soviet Union. Hoover puts the blame for this betrayal squarely at the feet of Roosevelt and Churchill, and documents how Soviet penetration of the senior levels of the Roosevelt administration promoted Stalin’s agenda and led directly to the loss of China to Mao’s forces and the Korean War.

As such, this is a massive work of historical revisionism which flies in the face of the mainstream narrative of the origins of World War II and the postwar period. But, far from the rantings of a crank, this is the work of a former President of the United States, who, in his career as an engineer and humanitarian work after World War I lived in or travelled extensively through all of the countries involved in the subsequent conflict and had high-level meetings with their governments. (Hoover was the only U.S. president to meet with Hitler; the contemporary notes from his 1938 meeting appear here starting on p. 837.) Further, it is a scholarly examination of the period, with extensive citations and excerpts of original sources. Hoover’s work in food relief in the aftermath of World War II provided additional entrée to governments in that period and an on-the-ground view of the situation as communism tightened its grip on Eastern Europe and sought to expand into Asia.

The amount of folly chronicled here is astonishing, and the extent of the human suffering it engendered is difficult to comprehend. Indeed, Hoover’s “just the facts” academic style may leave you wishing he expressed more visceral anger at all the horrible things that happened which did not have to. But then Hoover was an engineer, and we engineers don’t do visceral all that well. Now, Hoover was far from immune from blunders: his predecessor in the Oval Office called him “wonder boy” for his enthusiasm for grand progressive schemes, and Hoover’s mis-handling of the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash turned what might have been a short and deep recession into the First Great Depression and set the stage for the New Deal. Yet here, I think Hoover the historian pretty much gets it right, and when reading these words, last revised in 1963, one gets the sense that the verdict of history has reinforced the evidence Hoover presents here, even though his view remains anathema in an academy almost entirely in the thrall of slavers.

In the last months of his life, Hoover worked furiously to ready the manuscript for publication; he viewed it as a large part of his life’s work and his final contribution to the history of the epoch. After his death, the Hoover Foundation did not proceed to publish the document for reasons which are now impossible to determine, since none of the people involved are now alive. One can speculate that they did not wish to embroil the just-deceased founder of their institution in what was sure to be a firestorm of controversy as he contradicted the smug consensus view of progressive historians of the time, but nobody really knows (and the editor, recruited by the successor of that foundation to prepare the work for publication, either did not have access to that aspect of the story or opted not to pursue it). In any case, the editor’s work was massive: sorting through thousands of documents and dozens of drafts of the work, trying to discern the author’s intent from pencilled-in marginal notes, tracking down citations and verifying quoted material, and writing an introduction of more than a hundred pages explaining the origins of the work, its historical context, and the methodology used to prepare this edition; the editing is a serious work of scholarship in its own right.

If you’re acquainted with the period, you’re unlikely to learn any new facts here, although Hoover’s first-hand impressions of countries and leaders are often insightful. In the decades after Hoover’s death, many documents which were under seal of official secrecy have become available, and very few of them contradict the picture presented here. (As a former president with many military and diplomatic contacts, Hoover doubtless had access to some of this material on a private basis, but he never violated these confidences in this work.) What you will learn from reading this book is that a set of facts can be interpreted in more than one way, and that if one looks at the events from 1932 through 1962 through the eyes of an observer who was, like Hoover, fundamentally a pacifist, humanitarian, and champion of liberty, you may end up with a very different impression than that in the mainstream history books. What the conventional wisdom deems a noble battle against evil can, from a different perspective, be seen as a preventable tragedy which not only consigned entire nations to slavery for decades, but sowed the seeds of tyranny in the U.S. as the welfare/warfare state consolidated itself upon the ashes of limited government and individual liberty.

Hoover, Herbert. Freedom Betrayed. Edited by George H. Nash. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-8179-1234-5.


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TOTD December 14, 2017: Japanese Bingo

[Ed. Thoughts of the day don’t have to be long. Short is okay.]

Back on the wall there is a poster with different color circles. Those colors correspond to different color marbles in the octagonal thing in the center of the table. If you get the right color, you win. BTW, no white privilege here since white is the loser color.  You spin that once around and one marble falls out. I had ten tickets so I could spin it 10 times. (10 is a good number for me.) I WON!!! TWO PRIZES!!! I got a Red Marble and a Yellow Marble. I also won some gift certificates.

The clear bag at the end of the table is one of my winnings. Rice Crackers. Yum! The other prize was from a ham company and had four sausage/ham related products inside.

I don’t know if bingo is the right word for this since I have not seen this type of thing in the States. Anyone seen this before?


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TOTD: Thought of the Day Sign-up

Hello Ratburgers,

We are less than a week old and still need testing to get the bugs out. Please help us test the site and put up some content at the same time. Here is the plan.

Please put up one of the following:

  1. A photo with a brief description
  2. A quote
  3. A short anecdote
  4. A brief introduction of yourself

Pick a date to put the post up. (Starting from 12/14. I will pick the first one. Till we get more people taking more than one date is okay.)

12/14   10 Cents

12/15   Dave L

12/16   Pencilvania 

12/17   Happy2B

12/18   Phil Turmel 

12/19   drlorentz

12/20   Dime

12/21    Mike LaRoche






12/27   Phil Turmel 





Remember these are the steps to edit a post after you have published it.

  1. Go to the top of the page to the Speedometer Icon with the mouse and click on Dashboard.
  2. This gives a menu and click on Posts.
  3. On the post to edit put the mouse over it and you will see Revert to Draft.
  4. Click on Revert to Draft
  5. Click on the Post and that puts you in Edit mode so you can correct and then Publish.


You may have noticed a new item in the main menu at the top of the page: “Chat”.

This will take you to RatChat, Ratburger’s integrated chat system, implemented using CometChat.  When you click the link, you’ll be taken to a chat page already logged in to the “Ratburger” chat group, which is for general discussion among members of the site.  Other groups may be added for general topics or special events, but with the current paucity of members, it doesn’t make sense to further subdivide the number of people participating in chat.

There is a full-screen interface to chat, not currently linked on the site, which allows you to create groups or enter into one-to-one chat with on-line members.


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Some Prehistory

My thought a few weeks ago was to start an online Conservative community. Why? The reason was I saw a need that was not being met properly. I wanted a simple, stable, and secure site.

I talked to a few friends. One friend, Stu in Tokyo, told me about his woodworking community. I thought I would use that model and use the same forum software package. Before I started I wanted to run the idea by John Walker.

John Walker surprisingly was thinking on similar lines. As we were exchanging ideas he offered to put up a basic installation with server connections. My understanding it would take a couple of weekends. (I will let you know when those couple of weeks is up.)

The decision to start the site happened on December 9th. I thought it would have little functionality but usable. I thought it would take months to be presentable. I dreamed of major problems and setbacks. I was wrong.

Originally I thought of calling the site some variation of Lint Trap. It was to work off of the Sock Puppet motif. I had no idea that John was the founder of I was surprised by the Ratburger name but have grown to like it.

I write this because I like history and love to know how things come about. Who knew less than a week ago we would be here?

A Member sent me a PM saying Christmas came early this year by having this site. I think that sums things up nicely.



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Steyn on Moore

I agree with much of what Steyn writes concerning the stupid party screwing up a slam dunk election by meddling to keep Mo Brooks out. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but I’m disturbed by the number of “Republicans” celebrating losing. If someone is always happy when their side loses or brags about donating to the other side to ensure a loss, they’re not really on the side they claim to be on.  Beyond that, they have enabled the media to get away with dropping unproven accusations at the last minute to smear a candidate as a pedophile or pervert with zero proof.  I find it naive to think that the Left will treat this as a one time event and won’t repeat this tactic next year. This put the Senate in play in 2018 barring some turn of events like the Mueller investigation imploding due to criminal behavior by its members.


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Update December 12, 2017

Welcome Ratburgers,

The site is going through growing pains and steps are being made to make it better.

To Edit a Post after you Publish it. Follow these steps.

  1. Go to the top of the page to the Speedometer Icon with my mouse and click on Dashboard.
  2. This gives me a menu and I click on Posts.
  3. I find my post then put my mouse over it and I will see Revert to Draft.
  4. Click on Revert to Draft
  5. Click on the Post and that puts me in Edit mode so I can correct and then Publish.

The reason for these steps is to protect your private information. The simple way would have been less safe.



If you have any thing you want added to the site make a comment on the Group: Wish List.

If there is a problem make a comment on the Group: Bug Reports.