Friday, July 25, 2008


Examples of the lack of common sense abound us daily. However, on the public stage, there seems to suddenly be an epidemic. Think of the Texas cop who arrested a nine months pregnant illegal, handcuffs and chains her to the bed. (He did have a little help in all this stupidity, however with supervisors). The mother eventually delivers her child, which is promptly taken away from the mother by other brilliant Texans--a whole series of sans common sense actions. It is Texas, however which may serve as some excuse.

And, now taking a cue from the Texas mental giants, some Air Force generals siphoned off millions of dollars from terrorism money to build luxury planes to haul other generals around. This, of course, on top of flying nukes all around the nation while some of their other compatriots are found to be napping on the job.

Let's see what happens to these guys--anybody this stupid needs to get the ax but doubly so since they are suppose to be protecting us. Honestly, it is as though the Air Force's top military brass has been taken over by an alien force at worst or brains bottled in formaldehyde at best. HELP!


These are two stories that won't go away. The first one is the infamous Swift
Boats Vets
and how they were used for political purpose. John Kerry won't let it go! Somehow his honor is tied up in it. I understand. Did it cost him the Presidency? I don't think so. It is kind of like a last ditch field goal in a hard fought football game--wouldn't be a problem if the field goal was not the difference. The election was probably lost in other ways. If the contest had already been decided, the Swift Boat Vets would have been a non issue.

Regardless, the Swiftboat Vets were used at least as I see it. Although John Kerry's tour of duty and awards didn't fit a usual pattern, his awards were in order. And, if you know the military, nothing is left to chance in the awards arena: everything is verified--Witnesses have to be produced--no chance. The Swiftboat Vets, with their own agendas, either lied or didn't think. Had they been thinking, I would like to hope that they would have given a fellow vet the benefit of the doubt. They didn't. Their main funder, T Boone Pickins, appears to have switched course. Come on, John, LET IT GO!!!!!!

The second story that hangs on is the Tillman friendly fire incident. I get it. On the part of his Mother, who has authored a book--it has to be grief--we surely understand.

Nothing could or will replace her son. However, I doubt that blaming
his fellow Rangers, the Army, God, whoever will take care of the
grief. Having read lots of the material, official and otherwise, it
was an accident which may have been prevented. But, in war, all the scenarios are off the table. When you are in the fields of fire, anything can and does happen.

I don't know what happened. What I do think might have surfaced for some who were there, they wanted to preserve Sergeant Tillman's hero statue. In the Nam, we did it when we had too and nobody questioned it. Often, they could have. Being killed by the enemy is a heck of a lot better than killed by your own.

Did the Army lie? Probably, somebody did but it doesn't change anything. Grief is a powerful emotion and sometimes people have to do what they have to do to get past it. Could be this is what Ms. Tillman is doing. God bless her.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


This is the anniversary of the Volunteer Army: 35 years. I would not have known it had not the Chief of staff of the Army, General George Casey, called our attention to it. Instead of touting the success of the Volunteer Army, he should have been apologizing for leading us down the primrose path.

What the military is charged with at the higher levels is making sure that we are prepared for any military contingency. The generals have failed miserably. During the cold war, they went for a smaller Army and were literally seduced by high tech. They said we were prepared by producing a gaggle of slogans even as Casey has: sustain, prepare, reset, transform--what the hell does that mean? Some civilians have spent days coming up with it. Every new Chief needs some gimmick. How about this, admitting that a Volunteer Military, even though good, cannot sustain us when we are in a prolonged war.

What we now know is that Casey and other generals have been willing to claim success of the Volunteer Army and by doing so have put us in an incredibly precarious situation. They accepted plans for a war in Iraq with an inadequate force, creating untenable choices for our soldiers.

Multiple tours of duty have become the rule rather than the exception. Problems abound, i. e., suicide, divorce, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) in varying forms. If our Army isn't broken, it is close. Policies like Stop Loss and forcing Guard and Reserve troops to perform missions for which they are not trained or ill equipped is tantamount to unforgiven--think Abu Grabib. Almost every single difficulty we face with our military today can be placed at the feet of the top Generals , plain and simple.

Although I understand the generals retiring from The Forces and writing books telling their true view: what went wrong, adinfinitum--any way served up, however, comes out somewhat disingenuous. For once, I'd like to see just one general say with clarity and no military speak the real truth is: the Volunteer Army simple is not working, in our present war footing nor will it likely work in the future.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I once had a blog called, Most Americans Are Stupid. I did away with it after the last elections mainly because the voting public surprised me. I had become jaded on the idea that our President had poll numbers almost like he does today and still got elected. My big thing was the war--how could we be so stupid after Vietnam to get ourselves into an impossible situation like Iraq. Hence, I had the need to write about it in a blog, but after the election and regaining faith in my fellow Americans, in honor of them, I deleted the blog, not that anyone was staying up nights reading it anyway.

I feel like in many ways, it is time for the blog again. Why? Well, Rush Limbaugh for one thing. Honestly, talk about fluxmoxxed. Here is a guy who was a dope head and should have gone to jail. He used his maid to get the drugs for him and yet he is supposedly in command of a 40 mil salary per year with 20 million listeners daily. Who are these people who would listen to this guy? The NY Times Magazine did a centerpiece on him a couple of weeks ago. I was amazed--to give such a guy this much ink is amazing and reduces in statue a magazine like the Times by at least 50% in my mind.

Still, this many Americans listening to anything this blowhard has to say simply floors me. In the same somewhat category is Howard Stern--how does it happen! He almost commands an entire radio hemisphere and yet, if you were to remove the "F" word and a few others, his vocabulary would be reduced by about fifty percent. Crude is not even close to the word. Who are these people who listen to this guy? And, in my biased view, the best we can hope for is that these listerners of these bigoted a'holes don't vote. Maybe it is time for my blog back again!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


***I’m sorry I can’t send you a personal email but with over 2,600 individuals in our address book it just isn’t practical. I hope you understand?

As is the case each summer, I am offering you a special gift in return for helping us through the dog days of summer. This is the time of the year when donations drop-off dramatically. It happens every summer. So, I have an incentive to consider sending something extra this month to help Vets With A Mission through the summer shortfall. On a first-come, first-donation received basis of $100 or more, as long as supplies last, you get your choice of one of the following books:

PS: If you would like to make a donation online through our secure web site click here: . Then send me an email to and let me know which book you would like.

***The above excerpt from an email gave me a chance to define my own view of giving.

I've expressed this view before but as usual, no one was listening--I like the idea of giving to individuals as opposed to organizations. This isn't always practical and organizations have to come into play but even with that, a person should follow the gifts and know where the money is going. Usually, the tax deduction issue comes up. Individuals have to decide on how important it is: personally, I don't think it's very important.

The little nonprofit that I'm involved with, Vietvets Family Project, has built two schools in Vietnam, plus a language lab in the old Cholon section of Saigon. We don't raise money, just word of mouth in case somebody wants to give to someone and run it through us, i. e., like a student. (Don't even know if this is legal, as we've never done it but sure that other nonprofits do). The worker bees, of VVFP, me and two other Vietvets, keep it simple.

This is not a pitch but just follows the idea of giving to individuals. A couple of the "girlfriends" gave this gal with terminal cancer a few bucks, as Andy says, a "C" note, to help her with expenses as she was going to Santa Monica for treatment. This was good and they got points but should have given a few thousand as they could afford it.

My basic view is that most people are pretty selfish and don't give. To be a little kinder and not appear judgemental, let me say it this way: most people simply don't think much about sharing their bountiful resources and they don't. I have stories but will spare you.

OK I'm ending this treatise as I'm certain you are hanging on every word.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Wow, if only the Iraqis would say get out and in my view, there is only a slight possibility they will. I am holding my breath, however, even with the least bit of chance. In my way of thinking, it is BS brinkmanship on the part of Iraqi politicians. The slight possibility, however, is a two parter dilemma presently in the mix; one, an LOA (Letter of Agreement) on allowing Americans to stay in the country and the other is the Status of Forces agreement that says who basically is in charge of the "Forces," meaning America or the Iraqis.

Could it be that the Iraqis could do for us what we will not do for ourselves? What has concerned me all along is our look of being permanent. We have established permanent type bases with great GI amenities telegraphing we're staying. It just can't happen. The politics and religious fanaticism simply will not allow it. Iraq is not like Germany after WW ll when we were an occupying force or for that matter, Korea. We transitioned in both places to a support role. In Germany and Korea, we became guests, not occupiers. We cannot do that in Iraq as our very presence denotes occupation. And, the presence of a foreign army in a Muslim country will, without a doubt, be a magnet to fanatics of all stripes.

With the Iraqis throwing us out, not only can we save face but end this debacle by declaring victory--we got rid of Saddam and gave you back your country.

It may sound stupid but the President actually opposes our getting out now. He once did say that if the Iraqis tell us to leave, we will. Let us fervently pray they will.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


As far as I know, my mom only voted one time in her life. It was when
Jesse Helms ran for the Senate. She use to watch him on WRAL TV in
Raleigh. It really didn't make any difference about the subject or
issue, Jesse was always running. To my mom, Jesse was the embodiment
of tradition and old time American values. The fact that Jesse
switched from Democrat to Republican should have caused her pause but
it didn't.

I was sad to read of his death even though it was time, 86. Based on
where one stood politically, maybe emotionally, is how one sees Jesse.
To some, he was a bigot, divisive, mean spirited with a talent for
character assassination.

To those like my Mom, he was a God fearing man who wanted prayer in
the schools, supported a strong military, was against taxes and was
for the "little" man whoever he/she might be.

In short, Jesse was probably somewhere in between. He was a
politician,afterall. An African American friend of mine, a fellow
North Carolinian said over breakfast the day after Jesse had gone on
to his reward that he was the least racist of any politician he knew.
I don't know how he knew but I think he's close to the truth. Jesse
could play to his audience. And, my Mom was on the front row.