Time for a Break

The Bacon family is heading to the once-great state of West Virginia (“once great” in the sense that it once was part of Virginia) for a little R&R at the Showshoe resort. Last year, there was no Wi-Fi access, so I do not anticipate doing any blogging. Which is just as well. While others in our party go skiing, I will be doing the kind of prolonged and thoughtful reading that I have little time for now.

Right now, I’m finishing up Mark Steyn’s book, “America Alone,” a depressing but impossible-to-ignore treatise on the demographic decline of the secular Western World in the face of a resurgent and fertile/virile Islam. Next on my list is the Toffler’s book, “Revolutionary Wealth,” which, from what I can glean, is a tad more optimistic about the future of the world.

To all my friends and readers, I wish you Merry Christmas — unless you’re offended by my cultural chauvenism, in which case I offer my abject apologies and wish you a happy winter solstice.

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17 responses to “Time for a Break”

  1. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    Jim. I wish you well but I’m betting … that they’ll either have WiFI … or you’ll get pretty desperate!


  2. At 70 degrees, I hope they have polystyrene snow!

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Once great? Get a life! West Virginians had the sense back in 1863 not to follow the Colonial Aristocrats on their suicidal war to keep their slaves and their immoral way of life. After that, what else can Virginia claim? Massive Resistance?
    True, W. Va.’s rich resources has been ravaged over the years by outsiders including some in Virginia. But the spirit and the strength of the West Virginia people is far greater than anything in the Old Dominion. Remember: “Mountaineers are Always Free!”

  4. Anonymous Avatar


    I hope you and your family have a good holiday in West Virginia.

    I have visited your blog as anonymous, a Civic Minded Virginian,
    a Civic and Civil Minded Virginian, An Angry Fredericksburg
    Resident and another name I wish not to disclose yet.

    I hope you and your associates will give some additional thought
    to your roles in discussing Virginias problems.

    We will only find solutions to our growth and transportation
    issues if we find a means to reaching a common ground. I think
    that is hard for someone like Larry Gross. Think about it.

    A Friend of Virginia

  5. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Dear Anon 12:15. Take a deep breath.

    Half the counties that are in West Virginia voted for Seccession, but a rump state of 22 or so counties wouldn’t do. So, when the Federal Government specifically violated the Constitution (okay, class, name the article and section) and, oh by the way had one state secede from another (wasn’t that what the Yankees said Virginia couldn’t do?) they drug along 25 counties that had a majority vote for seccession.

    The decision for secession came after the second plebescite – when Lincoln demanded that Virginia send 7500 troops to attack SC and said the Federal Army would march through the sovereign Commonwealth to attack another state. The vote about Lincoln and slavery was NO to secession.

    WVa got looted by the coal companies because of the corruption of the politicians and the unions.

    I’m married to a proud West Virginian. Proud of her family and their values, but not confused about history.

    Merry CHRISTmas.

  6. Anonymous Avatar

    JAB Good post.

    Bacon, you wimp, why aren’t you skiing with the kids?

  7. Anonymous Avatar


    Let us live in the present and plan for the future, not dwell on the past.

    It is time for another realignment. Part of northeast West Virginia, most of Maryland some of Pennsylvania and the northern part of Virginia plus the federal capital district make up a logical new state / New Urban Region (as EMR calls them).

    Beating on the past only destroys the ability to build the future.

  8. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear James “Atticus” Bowden.
    Want to run the West Virginia succession by me again? Like many of your columns, it isn’t very clear.

    HAPPY Holidays!

    PS: Yes,there was corruption in W.Va. but many of the population were tricked into signing fraudulent, one-sided mineral rights agreements by unscrupulous sharpies operating out of Roanoke, Richmond,Pittsburgh, Baltimore, etc.

  9. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Anon: Sorry I confused you. My middle name is mine – why the quotes?

    Look at the votes, county by county in the April 61 plebescite. Then, look at the U.S. Constitution.

    In addition to local citizens failing the caveat emptor test, the governments could have built great schools, road, rail, etc with a very modest tax on the natural wealth ripped out of the ground.

    Other Anon: Years ago at the end of a GA session some wags proposed trading Arlington and Alexandria to Maryland for their Eastern Shore. I think it is funny. I wouldn’t recommend it though unless you dig a big moat and re-route the Potomac through it to separate the new Maryland from Olde Virginia.

  10. E M Risse Avatar


    Take a deep breath.

    When most of the current state borders within the Washington-Baltimore New Urban Region were drawn, 95% of the citizens were farmers. Now over 95% are urban citizens who can sustainably use less than 1/10 the land per capita for daily activities.

    When the Virginia / West Virginia border was drawn it took longer to get from Nolan to Meyertown than it does today to go from Hampton Roads to Kuala Lumpur and then to Dar es Salaam then to Montevideo and then back to Hampton Roads.

    Most of the presents you and your fellow Bull Islanders will exchage during the winter solstice holidays were made in China, Mexico or Japan.

    We hope one of that you received was “Collapse” by Jared Diamond. (My copy was printed in the US of A.)

    If you read the book you will find there are two things Diamond suggests prevent societies from collapsing:

    – Planning for the future

    – Reconsidering traditional values when conditions fundamentally change.

    They have changed.

    Have a happy holiday season and stay away from the turnip wagons.


  11. Anonymous Avatar

    Dear Mr. Bowden,
    Somehow your point on West Virginia secession is lost on me. Lots of border states had regions favoring the South. So what?Are you saying that the state never really seceded and no one has figured it out yet? If so, Richmond should get on the stick and start expanding mineral taxes pronto. Our road fund problems are history!
    As for the unions being responsible for corruption, there’s no question of the UMWA being complicit in bad stuff, including murder, in the 1960s. But most of the mineral rights contracts were let by fat cats from out of state in the late 1800s when there weren’t any unions.
    Sorry about the quotations around your middle name, but I thought you might be a namesake of another prominent Southerner — Atticus Finch, the protaganist in Harper Lee’s novel. That Atticus, however, was a liberal. So maybe it doesn’t fit.
    Take a deep breath and don’t take this seriously. Have an egg nog and toast Mother Jones on me!

    Happy KWANZAA

  12. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    EMR: Sitting here munching a turnip and not getting your point. So things change? Okay.

    Anon: My point about the Mountain State is that it was created at the point of a gun. The Constitution was violated and the plebescite ignored.

    There are sound reasons for unions. It was the whole political culture – unions, bosses, sheriffs, etc. who got paid off for pennies and the millions were taken out that could have served The People.

    Merry CHRISTmas.

  13. Anonymous Avatar

    Good Morning Mr. Bowden,
    I can see that you are a Gentleman who is used to the last word. Nevertheless . . You are right that the Mountain State secession was politically complicated, but “at the point of a gun” does seem a little simplistic and the action was later validated by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  14. Larry Gross Avatar
    Larry Gross

    I’m afraid that I too am headed to to my own version of Internet Purgatory at the in-laws whose primary attitude about the Internet is that it is a worry and a bother because they don’t understand why virtually all of their neighbors on online.

    I’m reduced to HORRORs… dial-up .. and even then at hours where normally people don’t call or need to call.

    I here tell that a nearby place has a hot spot.. so I might check that out.

    In the meantime – Good Holidays to all of you … and remember… the holidays are only a TEMPORARY break from this Blog.

    Everyone is expected to keep their thinking caps on .. and contribute earth shaking ideas not previously conceived before.


    p.s. I myself.. have a large list of New Years resolutions … one of which is moderation with respect to size and frequency of my posts…

  15. Anonymous Avatar

    Mr. JAB

    Your know very well what the point is.

    You know if you admit your are living in the 19th century that you will have to face loosing power in the family, in the community and in market.

    You white, male, religious minorities have to move beyound cluching to the past or the institutions that protect your rights will be overcome by those who find your smogness an excuse for terror and domination.

    Happy Winter Soltice.

    Anon Zoro

  16. Anonymous Avatar

    Anon Zoro makes an interesting point. The entire purpose of the United States was to create a nation where religion was not a test for admission. Nor should be racial or ethnic origin.
    Good thing. Catholics, for instance, were not allowed by law to hold office in North Carolina and were put upon by nativist “Know Nothing” parties in Virginia and other states. Later the Ku Klux Klan harrassed them and the Jews. Blacks have been oppressed in enormous ways. People from all such groups have made enormous contributions to the U.S. More recently, Indians, Vietnamese, Pakistani, Russians and others have replenished America’s sagging engineering and technology sectors. One of the most famous structural engineers responsible for making sure that some of the most dramatic high rises in the U.S. can stand without falling was none other than Pakistani.
    By focussing on a right wing diatribe that targets Muslims as his holiday reading material, JAB inadvertenty comes across what we all see too much in Virginia — some white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant (maybe Episcopalian since they especially think themselves elite and entitled although they are now in disarray), who is grasping to preserve his position of privilege, whether that is real or not. This type of man sees himself at the top of the totem pole (regardless of whether he earned that position) and wants to protect his self-proclaimed superiority in “morality” against “move heres” and “Secular Humanists” whom he sees as dangerous. The worst example is non-other than Virgil Goode who is once again making Virginia look like a yea-hoo redneck state one step away from the lynching noose. That’s a shame became much of the rest of the country (including some progressive Southerners and not just the “Yankees”) ridicule Virginia for similar inanities such as legislation to prevent showing underway among teenage boys. If any of the nativist Virginians traveled out of state much, they’d realize this.
    Virginians must fight against these nativist sentiments as they are not just stupid but potential catastrophic. Other than Native-Americas, all, including the WASP guys, are immigrants. They’ve all made the U.S. great. On the flip side, nativism, xenophobia and racism are some of the worst traits of this country, however, and that’s what we’re becoming known for. Nativism and hatred fuel another downside of the U.S. that’s been around for decades — anti-intellectualism that will truly sap this country’s strength.

  17. Anonymous Avatar

    Anon 8:33

    Very well stated.

    Let us hope Hon. JAB reads your post with care and does not pretend not to get the point.

    Anon Zeus

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