Will Fort Jackson eventually move its valuable Basic Combat Training exhibit to civilian space (like the state museum downtown)?


I’ve recently checked up on the Basic Combat Training Museum at Fort Jackson, SC,

Note the text in bold at their website link.

It’s a silly catch-22.  Only a member of the public who “knows someone” with a military ID to accompany him or her can visit.


I spoke to them about this in 2015, and indeed there seems to be some long-term interest in moving the museum off-base to a privately managed non-profit space.  There is a little bit of BCT exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum in downtown Columbia.  There’s probably room to move other BCT exhibits to the second floor of the museum.  It would be nice to have a model of how the post looked in 1968 at the time of Tet — “Tank Hill”, and the “tent city” for Special Training Company.  A documentary film about training during the Vietnam era would be nice.  I visited the museum in September 2015 (just before the floods).

See earlier detailed post here Dec. 9, 2014.

OutWrite DC event for me; some other new books that begin with “my” wordmark (“Do Ask, Do Tell”)


I did attend OutWrite  DC today and exhibit my three “Do Ask Do Tell” books.  There were sales.  I am capable to taking credit cards when I have a laptop with me (or iPad) but I don’t have the reader device yet, or a scripted page yet for the website.

I did not include “Our Fundamental Rights” today.  It got left out.

I’ve covered my interviews on the Media Reviews blog here.

Search results from Amazon for “Do Ask, Do Tell:” have recently changed.  My (older) books are farther down the chain, and there is a spurious result (including brackets) for the 1997 title 2000 reprint that shows only the third party resellers;  the link with POD does not include the brackets.  (This seems like an SQL coding issue in the internal dababase programming.)

Search results seem to drop if the same arguments are tried repeatedly, at least in Chrome;  Firefox seems to be less sensitive to accidental caching.

There are some entries using the introductory moniker with material unrelated to mine, or with a very different spin on their potential meaning. I’ll name a few of them here but “review” them later on the Media Commentary blog.

Brad Hambrick writes “Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk”: Why and How Christians Should Have Gay Friends” (March 2016), 125 pages, Cruciform Press. The book takes for granted supposed Christian view of homosexual behavior as sin (with no need for a secular intellectual explanation) and the author states that he does not experience “SSA” (same-sex attraction”) but accepts the fact that some other men do as biological fact.  I’ll leave further rationalizing for a review.  But this is a book “for” a specific audience (“evangelical Christians”) and a bit of a workbook, in a style I would never consider penning.

There are two interrelated short books, much cheaper (or free reading) on Kindle, the “Do As,k Do Tell Dating Guide: The Romantic Revolution” (Mar. 2016) and “Do Ask Do Tell Workbook: The Romantic Revolution Workbook, Vol. 2 (Feb. 2016), both by Christina Chemhuru (Amazon Digital Services).  Both are workbooks for those who want to look for relationships (presumably heterosexual).  One of them concerns what to ask the prospective partner, and one what to ask the self (“introspection”).  The idea of becoming “imprinted” with a fixation on someone is covered.

There is a summary of the Powers and Ellis “guides” using the “Do Ask Do Tell” buttons in the 1990s on my legacy site here.

The phrase seems most logically related to the repealed policy regarding homosexuals in the US military (with the policy repealed in 2011), but it has been used for psychological relationship (or social inclusion) counseling, especially for disclosure of HIV status before intimacy.  It seems like a phrase that should not be monopolized for one commercial use.

There is also “The End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” by Marine Corps University Press.

(Posted: Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 at 9:30 PM EDT)

Reader recommends footnote on special needs education for Chapter 5 of DADT-1


A  spokesperson fo “Public Health Corps”  has recommended these links as a footnote for Chapter 5 of the first (1997) “Do Ask, Do Tell” book.  This would logically become footnote 53d.

Life long accommodations for special needs children.

Teaching your child about peers with special needs.

Creating the optimal living environment for a child with ADHD 

Autism service dogs

ADHD and Addiction: What Is the Risk

Supports, Modifications and Accommodations for Students”:

Austism and addiction: Coping with and treating your dual diagnosis/

20 incredible colleges for special needs students

(Published: Sunday, July 31, 2016, at 10 PM EDT)

Back to chess


Finally played in the Arlington Chess Ladder last night:

Lost, with Black, but there may be something interesting.

Grunfeld defense (tranposition):

1 Nf3 Nf6 2 g3 g6 3 Bg2 Bg7 4 OO OO 5, d4 d5 6. c4 dxc 7. Nc3 c6 8. Re1 Nbd7 9. a4 Nd5 10 e4 (finally!) NxNc3 11 bxc e5 12 Ba3! Re8 13 Rc1 exd 14 cxd (the center is strong this time) Nf6 15 e5 Nd5 (again) 16 Rxc4 (finally) Bf8 17 BxBf8 KxB 18 Qs2 Kg7 19 Ng5 Bd7?  Now my counterplay implodes after all.  My opponent thought that …B f5! and giving up the bishop for white’s strong night would work, because then Black really could afford to start moving his Q-side majority.  But now watch what happens. 20 Ne4 b5 (now this won’t work tactically, so White was better) 21 axb cxb 22 Ra1 a5 23 Nd6 Be6 24 Rc5 Nb4 25 NxR e8 QxN 26 BxRa8 QxBa8 27 RxP Ba3 (a last swindle) 28 d5!  1-0  It isn’t often that two exchanges are lost by force in succession.

Update: Aug. 21

I happened by a chess game at the Montgomery Village Mall, MD, Saturday night on the way to the county fair.


White had played a Colle opening; Black had set up an ordinary defense and gotten overrun in the center.  White opened the game on e and f files, won a piece and then another exchange with mate threats along the light squares.  The best setup against the Colle is a Grunfeld-like formation.





Payment by credit cards for direct orders soon will be possible


I have created an account with Payment Sphere, which means that in a short time I should be able to accept credit cards as well as Paypal or checks for books ordered directly.

The payment facility should get set up by August 1, 2016.   The facility would need to go through this specific domain because it has https (SSL).

I also should mention that I will be present at Outwrite in Washington DC on August 5, 2016 (more info).

Update: Aug. 3 — see instructions at end of the Purchase Page.

(Posted: Friday, July 29, 2016 at 2:45 PM EDT)

“Give to whoever asks?” or “Step up”: I was suddenly challenged yesterday, way “off the wall”


The “Epilogue” of my DADT-III book preaches about the moral obligation of individuals (especially those who see themselves as outliers) to “step up” when challenged by the needs of others, including sudden, unscripted or unexpected situations.

I had stopped at a service plaza on the West Virginia Turnpike, I-77, northbound, a bit south of Beckley The parking lot was pretty empty and I had bought some coffee and was carrying it back.  After I got into the car a woman (white, middle aged) materialized out of nowhere and says, “Can you lep me?  I’m broke down with my babies.”

My first reaction was to the word “babies” (and I didn’t have kids myself)..  I knew it could be emotional manipulation. But the words out of my mouth, presumably reacting to the idea of a life-threatening problem of some kind, were “I can call the police on my cell phone for you.”

“Thank you, Sir” she said, and walked away angrily.

Later, as I drove out of the lot, I saw grade-school kids (a boy and a girl) running around the cars and playing.

OK, you way, doesn’t common sense say she “just” needed a jump start?   (I did give one on a parking garage returning from New Years Eve a few years ago, but the other people had the cables and knew what they were doing.)  Maybe she needed a tire changed.  Let’s back up.  Had she gotten a jump start, her car would have failed the next time, because probably her alternator had failed.  (It’s unlikely she just had  left lights on a long time.)  She didn’t have the money to pay for old car repairs, and I can imagine other things – like starter, ignition coil.  oil leaks and transmissions.  Did she need someone to spend all day with her getting her ca towed to a repair shop and hundreds or thousands of dollars for a repair paid for by a goo d Samaritan?


I can recall a female coworker in Dallas back in 1980, lecturing me on the idea that men are supposed to be able to change tires for women.  That came to mind.

It’s easy to preach about “personal responsibility”, especially from parents.  But a lot of people (especially now in West Virginia) don’t make enough to afford AAA memberships or pay for regular car maintenance and are one incident away from disaster.


It’s also possible, on paper, that she was a scammer, or part of a carjacking team, and that the only safe thing to do is drive away.  I drove away when approached at a service plaza on the Ohio Turnpike (north of Akron) on 2010, because I felt it was a threat and told police at the next exit. (This even happened to Mark Zuckerberg once shortly after he moved to California to start Facebook, and he reportedly just drove away suddenly;  I thought of that incident when confronted in Ohio and did the same thing.)  In this case, with this particular woman, I doubt that. One does think of “imprisoned relative” scams common on the Internet now.

A totally different interpretation of the “stranded mom” situation could be that the helper can attract an instant family, an idea exploited in at least one comedy movie “The Fundamentals of Caring“.

If you want to “moralize”, you can look at a reader’s response to a Dallas Police Department’s advice on dealing with panhandling. A world of hyperindividualism seems to require hunkering down and avoiding the slightest risk or sacrifice that could violate one’s own autonomy.  There is some risk in playing Samaritan and it can result in walking in someone else’s shoes indeed, suddenly.  Yet when no one is willing to take personal risk for others at all, we see even more people seeing no sense in being expected to follow the law.  Look at what happened all over the country last week.

I’ll close this post with a Presbyterian commentary on Matthew 5:42 where Jesus says, “Give to him who asketh thee.”, link.  Yes, this is very radical.  I’ll come back to this again.

(Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 1 PM EDT)

Update: Aug. 3

Had an incident Sunday night.  On a sidewalk, a woman fell off a bicycle and didn’t get up.  That happened as I was stopping at a light on the other side of the street.  I waited for the light to change.  Someone else without a phone arrived before I did.  I called 911.  She was able to talk to the operator. When the medics came, she was able to sit up and walk with assistance.  I don’t know what happened later.

Cyclists should ride with traffic, observer traffic signals;  motorists should always allow cyclists a minimum of 3 feet when passing.

My own fatal flaw, or the contradiction that goes with my freedom


I can remember an online essay on the site for the WB show “Everwood” by prodigy Ephram Brown (Gregory Smith), Ephram’s Fatal Law”, where Ephram said, “my fatal flaw is in inability to change”.


So it is with me.  Is it inability or unwillingness.  To change would be to be reborn as someone else.

Yes, I can play Pharisee (as the last story in my DADT III book begins).  I like to get recognition for finding holes in people’s “partisan” demands or victim-playing.  I like the “distance” of playing journalist and “keeping them honest”.  Maybe I haven’t paid my dues (I haven’t been to conflict zones, and I don’t need to take a self-defense course before going to one of this summer’s political conventions.)

I also would like to get recognition by getting some of my own composed classical music performed.  I think it has some merit.


And I get something out of relationships where there is “upward affiliation” involved (the most relevant post on that issue here seems to be June 15, 2014).   I cease that affiliation and capacity for emotion if the person “loses it“, even because of aggression from someone else (even politically motivated, or as in war or terror) or from disease.  I nurtured the notion that some people are logically better than others, who do “low work” for them according to some notion of deserved (as opposed to merely “assigned”) station in life. And I get some mileage out of euscociality, like in following some hometown big league sports teams.

But I don’t get enough out of taking care of other people, or meeting their “real needs”, or letting relations with people with “needs” mean something.  Maybe it’s a chicken-and-egg problem. I may have “pruned” my brain too early, to make room for my individualized talents, at the expense of “social graces” and group or family risk sharing (and “unit cohesion”).

This relates to selling to other people (including authored books).  Selling is supposed to relate to meeting needs (even if that means “being entertained”).  Someone’s ability to pay is supposed to relate to meeting needs.  Of course, it’s easy to run from that, by noting all the “easy money” people try to make with spam, porn, underwater financing, and so on.  Yet the other side of the coin is, if we resist responding to sales calls, we’re becoming insular, and too caught up in “not needing others” except on our own terms.


The implication is disturbing.  Others perceive me as simply cherry picking and not “caring enough” to want to matter to “average Joes” with “fatal flaws” (worse than Ephram’s, of at least more visible).  Particularly unsettling is the coercion I get sometimes to become more responsive to people whom I would not normally “choose” by my own value set,  especially when a spectator in discos.  I look to ratify my own idea of “virtue” in what I see.  If this is OK, then politicians will eventually take advantage of it.  No wonder you get presidential candidates like Donald Trump, who hate “losers”.  If too many people get away with this kind of attitude personally, you invited fascism down the road, once not everyone matters anymore.  That is a kind of paradox of my own freedom.

(Published: Thursday, July 7, 2016, at 11 PM EDT)

Combined Book Exhibit (Washington DC event)


I did go to the address of the National Education Association today, on 16th Street in Washington DC, and did not find that anyone knew about the Combined Book Exhibit for this weekend.  And the website does not give me a different address.


Maybe authors had to apply (by June 20) to be given the address, but this would seem unusual.

I had previously written about this event on another blog, here.

I suppose the title of my DADT-III book, including the phrase “Being Listened to Is a Privilege“, doesn’t exactly encourage large public turnouts at booksigning readings and parties and the sales of large of quantities of physical books, as a commercial activity. Rather, the content is just “there” to be found.

But I suppose there is something to be said for the idea that when you write a book, you should “sell it” “as is” and let it stand for a long time, rather than continuing to add to it (or essentially rewrite some of it) online in blogs and social media — for free. So, you have to “let go” of your baby?

Reid Ewing was on to something with his 2012 short film “It’s Free” set in a Los Angeles library.  Some things in life should be free.


If I had to pick a passage to read to a crowd, it might Section 07 of Chapter 2 (“The Virtue of Maleness“), titled, “An Alien’s View of Anthropology.”  You can read it “free” (PDF) here.  This isn’t the sort of material people “buy” because it can “do something for them” (fix their lives), but it’s frank stuff you need to know or recognize.  (By the way, one of the patients at NIH in 1962 had majored in anthropology, and had insisted she wanted to become a man — early transgender before society could deal with it, much less me — see Jan. 14, 2014 here).


Or I could read from the final story “The Ocelot the Way He Is“, which ends with the protagonist realizing the country faces an existential challenge from the kind of terrorist attack Newt Gingrich warns about (like in the foreword to “One Second After”). — right when Donald Trump is about to name him as VP candidate. I have a screenplay treatment for this story in a proposed film that would be called “Two Road Trips” here.

Update: July 5

At a church potluck on July 3 in DC, we had a “smart phone” book-signing party, where I discussed my DADT-III book, as well as the new book by Bob LeBlanc and Pam Daniels “Silent Drums” and Sebastian Junger’s “Tribe”.

(Published: Saturday, July 2, 2016, at 6:15 PM EDT)


This site will add e-commerce and SSL soon.


Just a brief note:  This site is being converted to use SSL and work with “https”.  I expect this feature to be working by Wednesday June 22.   The migration to new IP addresses (starting early this AM) appears to have been completed.  My apologies for any outages. Conversion is a somewhat complicated process, especially for sites using other security like Site Lock.

Soon I’ll add e-commerce with the possibility of purchasing books directly for customers who prefer that.  There are some practical advantages to having one’s own inventory as well as using Amazon and BN and other online retailers.

The other three WordPress sites (see the “Other related sites”) page will not have https for now because the hosting architecture allows only one SSL site per account.  I suspect that over time improvements in offering more site security will make it possible to extend this to the others sites.

Note that legal business identifying information has been placed on the “How to Purchase” page.

(Posted Tuesday June 21, 2016 at 4:45 PM EDT)


My own experience with media perils insurance


I wanted to make a note about my own experience with media perils (or media risks) insurance in 2001.  The details are explained in the DADT-II book, Chapter 9, on p. 150, or here.

I did purchase a six-month policy through National Writers Union (NWU) sponsorhip in late 2000.  The premium as about $160.  In May 2001, I applied for renewal.  This time, the insurer asked more questions, including about third party supervision.

On July 3, 2001 I got a letter from NWU returning the premium check (which had gone up to about $300) and saying the coverage had been declined.

I thought that the reason might have to do with self-publishing, lack of supervision, and uncontrolled search engine exposure.  But, as I note in the book, I got a shocking email from the insurer that the reason for the “declination” was the “controversial” nature of the material.

There is no reason that controversial nature alone should be a problem.  That is, not an ethical reason.  But the company obviously feared having to defend frivolous litigation or SLAPP suits from potential “enemies”, which has not happened.

NWU insisted that it should not be acceptable for coverage to be declined on the basis of content, as long as lawful.  NWU seemed to think that the company somehow had sloppily associated LGBT materials with pornography.

All of this happened while I lived in Minneapolis (left in 2003).

(Published Sunday June 5, 2016 at 6:45 PM EDT)



A repository of footnotes for my DADT books and other stuff