November 14, 2019

Tom Clancy Updated..

Our world sure has changed since the 1980s and much of it is regrettable. As an old codger yearning for a simpler time, I have been watching some talks given by the late Tom Clancy and have found them at once entertaining and sad. The sadness comes from the nostalgia one feels for the time some forty years ago when we had everything all figured out, the politicians in Washington were just doddering, cumbersome oafs who passed laws that put obstacles in our pat, crimped our wealth, or otherwise were -- by comparison -- annoyances.

They were served by bureaucrats who insisted on perpetuating themselves in their job, enlarging their petty fiefdoms and that was about it. Similarly, the secret initialed agencies were dedicated -- more or less -- to preserving the safety of this country, the sanctity of the Constitution, and guarding the privacy of [most of] its citizens.

And, of course, our military was rebuilding itself from the nightmare downsizing by an administration run by a former Navy nuke sub driver who had not clue one how to run the country.

It was about this time that this insurance guy from Maryland decided to get into the writing business about all of the above with an emphasis on the clandestine and evil in the world and the "good guys" who spent their careers and their lives fighting it.

Tom Clancy's talk here is from 1986 made just after his Hunt For Red October became a screaming success and he had published the follow-on Red Storm Rising. He gave one of his usual entertaining presentations to the NSA (the guys who would eventually snoop on all of us) about how he wrote and where he got his information (from a $9.95 computer game manual and reading stuff in the Washington Post) and how he was branching out to write about the incipient terrorist threat in Ireland.

Some things in the talk are prescient but he was certainly no 20th century Nostradamus. It does make one wonder, however, had he not passed away in 2013, what he would have to say about today's world.

Enjoy. I will post more.

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