Christmas stockings were filled with mail here, and the Czar put his unstockinged feet up on the Ottoman to relax rather than respond. Before Mark Spahn, of West Seneca, New York, writes to disabuse the Czar on his capitalization of Ottoman, he should be aware that in this case, the proper noun applies. Mehmet as been here for three days now, dutifully kneeling so that the Czar may rest his feet. Now that Christmas is over, and the stockings have been returned to our feet, Mehmet will be on his way home tomorrow.

Meanwhile, three messages warrant our attention. First up, the Retired Spook wants the Czar to feel better of his wife’s choice of television viewing:

Your Immensity;

Don’t feel bad; The Boss and I are rapidly approaching 23 years together, and she is still waiting for the perfect guy. It’s a little disturbing to watch her swoon over Tom Selleck in Blue Bloods, but what the hell. Everybody needs a hobby.

We have satellite TV (Dish) because we live out past the corner of No and Where, so far out in the sticks we have to pipe in daylight. Honestly, if it was just me, I wouldn’t have a TV, since I struggle to find three hours worth of stuff to watch in a month. Still, she enjoys it (she being retired and all) so it’s worth the expense and aggravation.

Someone (Gallagher, maybe?) said “There should be a button on the TV to turn up the intelligence. They’ve got one marked “Brightness” but it doesn’t work!” Yeah, I can agree with that.

Guess it’s just one of the prices we pay for living in a modern world, like traffic jams and telemarketers.

Screw it. Imna get ready for church, then head to the deer stand afterwards. And I honestly don’t care if I see a deer or not, at least it’ll be quiet.

Enjoy today, tomorrow won’t be as good.

Retired Spook

Meanwhile, a former presidential candidate (probably) writes to the Czar that IMDB has not been invented yet:

Julie Warner was also the love interest in Doc Hollywood.

Dare we put forth that Doc Hollywood is another film we have not really gotten around to see?

Finally, well, it’s Island Dweller.

Your illustrious majesty:

A television documentary, a portion of which I saw just a few moments ago, has caused me to devote some thought to the issues of political correctness, worship (vice “stewardship”) of the environment, and the USS Arizona.

On Saturday, December 6, 1941, one of the less popular tasks for the ship’s crew occurred aboard the USS Arizona, moored in Pearl Harbor. While some lucky members of the crew were able to secure liberty ashore in Honolulu, other less-fortunate souls performed the task of topping off the ship’s fuel bunkers with oil. By the time they were finished, and the fuel barges were taken away, the ship had aboard approximately 1,000,000 gallons of fuel for its firerooms.

It is estimated what happened less than 24 hours later burned off approximately 50% of this amount. The balance of the oil has been leaking from the ship, in the form of droplets, since the day of the attack. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil remain trapped in the bunkers. A collapse of the adjacent ship’s structure, or of the bunkers themselves, will undoubtedly lead to a significant ecological event for Pearl Harbor, and the waters immediately outside the harbor entrance.

A lot of concern has been voiced by the National Park Service, the EPA, and the many environmental/ecological groups endemic in Hawaii, about the impact of a sudden surge of fuel oil into the waters of Pearl Harbor. The NPS has conducted exhaustive underwater surveys of the wreck, and its physical condition is closely monitored. Many proposals have been put forth to deal with this impending situation.

Why am I raising this issue?

We are living in an age where individual memories of that war, and its personal impact, are fast fading from public memory. In fact, corporate memory is fading rapidly and the entire tragic event is increasingly being accorded only a few passing pages in school textbooks. When it is described, there is usually something interlaced into the account about the insensitivity of the US in the conduct of that war, its racist overtones, cultural intolerance and so on. For some young people, who will have no connection to WWII in their families since the vets and others who lived through that time (grandma and grandpa) are dying off rapidly now, it’s only a page in the history books. Increasingly, only lip service is being paid to this horrific time, and with the aforementioned qualifiers. This sort of treatment has the end effect of trivializing the individual suffering of the Americans involved in that war. When the last WWII vet is dead, their loss and any artifacts left behind as a result of that war will assume the proportions of Waterloo in the public psyche. Just look at how much deep thought is given by the public to any WWI memorials that may be in their vicinity.

Environmentalism has reached the proportions of a religion for many people, a significant number of whom seem to have found their way into the EPA or state environmental agencies. There will come a time, probably shortly, when a determination will have to be made about what to finally do about the environmental “time bomb” the Arizona represents. Undoubtedly, the most effective method of dealing with the potential disaster will be to remove the oil from the ship. This is going to result in destruction of some of the ship, and undoubtedly the disturbance or loss of crew members’ remains. It will also be called by some ardent environmental devotees the most effective way of preventing further environmental damage to Pearl Harbor and its environs. Visions of the Gulf oil spill of a few years ago will be resurrected by those advocating these measures . Rest assured little consideration will be given to alternative methods that are either more costly, or have an extremely slightly higher risk of being marginally less effective – but which will respect the integrity of the ship – such as it is – and in particular the crews’ remains.

It will be a test, pure and simple, between what is expedient, politically correct, environmentally conscious, and respectful of Mother Earth – and what is just by-God right.

The ship may yet prove to be the scene of another battle.


That’s something the Czar has heard before, and has no reason to doubt it. Interestingly, this is one of those rare cases where the government can be the responsible authority here and do something in the public interest. And indeed, the federal government is uniquely suited to order a thorough cleanup even though such an effort will literally disturb remains—normally a no-go. What thoughts have our readers?

About The Czar of Muscovy

Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia by upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.