And now, for something completely different

Kind of.

Roughly three weeks after packing up my utilities, combat boots, and Dress Blues, and then saying goodbye to the Corps, I threw a pile of civvies, a few books, and various other sundries into my now empty sea bag and moved to Austin. It was a weird time – while I had no real idea what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go, I was absolutely certain I didn’t want to stay in Houston.  I’m not ragging on Houston, just saying it wasn’t for me.

I don’t know where I would have ended up had a good buddy from high school not convinced me that Austin was the perfect place for someone of my “ilk.” I told him I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. He said that didn’t really matter because Austin was also a great place to figure that kind of thing out. He was right.

One of my first (and favorite) discoveries in Austin was a local rag – The Austin Chronicle. Free and distributed every Thursday, the Chronicle is the perfect place to get a feel for what’s going on in and around the city. It’s still around, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for some quality reading. You can find it here.

I’m not sure when I discovered him, but within the pages of the Chronicle I sometime later found a column by Michael Ventura called, “Letters at 3am,” and I’ve been reading it ever since. No kidding, this guy is the cat’s pajamas.

What’s the point? Just this: until Senator McCain stood up at the convention and talked about all the challenges our country is facing the only thing I heard from the right was the firm, aligned, and completely incomprehensible position that our country is doing just fine. The last 8 years have been a blessing for America. We’re safer than we’ve ever been. Our economy is a little slow, but it’s cyclical, don’t you know. We’re doing dandy.


It was while thinking about that and grinding my teeth I remembered this August article from Ventura. It’s worth checking out… 



  1. What do you expect. We are quickly becoming the Country that doesn’t make anything or sell anything, but buy everything. Interesting article.


  2. Indeed. “Letters at 3am” comes out every other week – obviously, some articles are better than others, but it’s worth checking out if you think about it.


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