Not gonna lie, boys, it’s been a rough week, yet again. There is so much craziness and nonsense going on with this epic global overreaction to the Kung Flu, and it appears to be getting worse by the day, even as the already mountainous body of evidence telling us that policymakers completely freaked out over the threat of a virus that is far less than an order of magnitude more deadly than a seasonal flu, continues to grow.
It’s hard to keep up one’s sense of hope in these dark times. I know it’s rough. I pray for you and I know that several of you pray for me – for which I am deeply grateful. We’ve all got our own individual crosses to carry now, and there are days when it seems like the weight of that cross is fast becoming unbearable.
In these dark and difficult times, it’s worth paying attention to the life and words of a truly legendary man – one who faced the darkest times imaginable, and never once lost his sense of hope and faith.
That man is Admiral James Bond Stockdale, born December 23, 1923, died July 5 2005. And if anyone ever needs a working definition of “hard as nails”, then the only thing that he needs is to look at a picture of that man.
His call sign as a naval aviator was – not terribly surprisingly – “007”. And here is what happened to him:
On September 9, 1965 while returning from a mission, his A-4 Skyhawk was hit by anti-aircraft fire. Stockdale ejected, breaking a bone in his back and badly dislocating his knee. Stockdale wound up in Hoa Lo Prison, the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”, where he spent the next seven years. Despite being kept in solitary confinement for four years, in leg irons for two years, physically tortured more than 15 times, denied medical care and malnourished, Stockdale organized a system of communication and developed a cohesive set of rules governing prisoner behavior.
[In] the spring of 1969 he was told that he was to be taken “downtown” and paraded in front of foreign journalists. Stockdale slashed his scalp with a razor and beat himself in the face with a wooden stool knowing that his captors would not display a prisoner who was disfigured. Later, after discovering that some prisoners had died during torture, he slashed his wrists to demonstrate to his captors that he preferred death to submission. This act so convinced the Vietnamese of his determination to die rather than to cooperate that the Communists ceased the torture of American prisoners and gradually improved their treatment of POWs.
And here is what “007” had to say about the people who died in captivity:
“The optimists. They were the ones who said, ‘we’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And then Christmas would come, and Christmas would go.
And then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And then Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving. And then it would be Christmas again.
And they died of a broken heart.
This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose– with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
Brothers, we WILL prevail in the end. Have no doubt about that. We are going to get through this, we are going to be all right, and we are going to see the Good, the Beautiful, and the True triumph in the end.
But don’t ever mistake that hope for optimism. This is not going to end soon. And we absolutely must hold those who have done so much to destroy our lives to bloody account when things finally begin to ease.
With that in mind, and talking about the Beautiful, if probably not the Good and the True, let’s get to this week’s closing Instathot. She is Nina Serebrova, age 34, from Gomel, Belarus and currently based in Miami, FL. I don’t know much else about her, but she certainly is pleasing to the eyes – and isn’t your typical leggy Russian blonde.
Having lived in Russia for a decent chunk of time, I can tell you that Russians are an ethnically diverse people – they aren’t just all white and blonde or brunette, there is a considerable Asian admixture within their genetics as well.
All right, that’s it for this rather lengthy Friday post. Get some rest, relax a bit, take the time to enjoy life while you can, and remember – do not lose hope.