Thursday, March 31, 2011


NPR (National Public Radio) is under fire again by the "right wing" Republican, non thinking recalcitrant neanderthals. And, I am being kind. I've listen to the debate off and on all week, mainly when I've been in my car and guess what it was on, NPR. I've only come to NPR in the last few years mainly as I had to travel lots and I would find myself listening to the radio. I found the programs on NPR stimulating, a great variety and completely objective. I'n fact, if I had any complaint about NPR, it is that they bend over backwards to present all sides. I hate that: those who stick their fingers In the air to see which way the wind blows. If I wanted that bullshit, I'd listen to Fox News.

I really don't know what the issue is. Maybe it is that government shouldn't be involved iyn something like NPR. My suspicion, however, is that Republican objection is merely something disguised and a chance for the right wing to finally get one of their favorite targets.

And, the CEO of NPR just resigned based on another executive putting the bad mouth on the Teaparty. The NPR f..ker should get a medal. To me, that's pretty funny. I don't know much about the Teaparty but they've come to prominence by electing congress types who are to the right if Ghengis Kong. To me, it is a real mystery who these people are who are after NPR and who seem not to have a brain.

I recently heard on NPR as part of the debate on who listens to them: Upper middle class, college educated, mostly white, have a liberal tint. What the hell is this? Nobody ever surveys me. I hate labels anyway. Liberal, conservative, right wing, left coast, teaparty. What in the hell does all that mean? I am a Democrat but it doesn't mean I park my brain somewhere and don't try ro see what is right or the real truth and have some measure of objectivity.

Maybe NPR needs to get out from under having to deal with this B...S..t I pledge evey year to my local station. I would up my pledge as NPR is a valuable resource to me. And, then they could day to these a..holes, go f..k yourself. The only problem I have with that is giving these sorry ass MFers the satisfaction of think they have won something. Then they would get up and proclaim victory for the American people. If I hear "American people" one more time, I'm going to throw up. Come on! Most of the "American people" don't give s..t.


When I advocated taking Qaddafi out, my thinking was, now or later but ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) that I am, it was only later that I suddenly remembered my thoughts when we invaded Iraq. The same: It is now or later. At that time, I opted for NOW. Big mistake. 8 years later and counting, we are still in Iraq and I am still suspicious that we'll get out clean. And, for most of the residents, they'd like to have Saddam back. Sure as hell, they'd have more electricity in Baghdad. And, if we are going to get anything out of our foray, costing precious young lives, I don't know what the f..k it is. We are not even getting a cut on cheap oil. I've fretted about Iraq, from the moment we went in--and the literature backs it up: it is as though we could screw up a two car funeral parade. I have envisioned guys like Rumsfelt, Wolfawizw(sp), and then Fieth, the one that General Tommy Franks called the "dumbest man in America," sitting around and saying, "how can we f..k this up."

We were not long into Iraq until I regretted my view. And, when we started bombing Libya, suddenly I felt the same way. Not so much, here we go again as it was "heavy heart" time. Three wars. Damn! And, although I was glad to see France and Britain take the lead, it didn't seem like very long when all of a sudden, it was us. I don't know the ends and outs of the strategy, the plan as most Americans don't but we can't let this drag on. And, based on history, this could embroil us. Here's my plan. Take a few more days to destroy tanks and anything related. We hope something is already happening to arm the rebels. Then, announce that we've accomplished the mission and depart with maybe an occasional flyover just to let Qaddafi know we're around but leave it to what happens happens!!!!


Recently, a buddy of mine and myself were debating the Lybia dilemma. I had expressed that I would go in and take Qaddafi out. He didn't disagree but expressed the fact that Gates in particular was cautious. And, he allowed that it was probably both Iraq and Afghanistan that had made him so. Maybe for good reason: we're pored billions into Iraq and Afghanistan with virtually nothing to show for it. Our brave youngsters have done their best under unbelievable odds. However, Gates keeps talking about concentrating less on leaving and more on getting the job done. Say what! Everybody who thinks we'll get out of Afghanistan with any degree of rapidity, raise your hand. Gates, the generals and Mullen all say the same thing, "leaving is situation based." What the f..k does that mean? A land of corruption, a police force that is as loyal to the Taliban as the government, an intractable enemy who kills and intimidates at will, a drug culture that actually finances the enemy and lines the pockets of the President's brother or other cronies. Need I go on? Now, what about this overlay when the SecDef says, "finish the job."

The job can't be finished, plain and simple. What to do? I've advocated a liberal immigration policy, especially for women. Exit, whether the fat lady has sung or not.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I love war stories. I mean, literal war stories. Those of us who are Vietnam vets especially love them, mainly because nobody ever wanted to listen to them. In fact, in one military assignment, Korea, since the vast majority of us were Vietnam vets, we had a little game we played. Anytime, there was a gathering, someone would invariably try to pass along a war story, "when I was in Vietnam...." they were stopped immediately and reminded of the rules: once a week, we had a special Vietnam vets party and each person got to tell three war stories. Funny, "yes," but real. And, as I've read and told my own war stories, there is kind of something that happens to them. They grow, they change, they get bigger. Here's an example: When I was in Vietnam, I remembered this guy, can't remember his name. But, OI do remember some unusual circumstances surrounding him. His claim to fame was that the killed the 5000 VC/NVA soldier for our battalion. He was something like a PFC and was immediately promoted to Staff Sergeant. Quite a fascinating story as I remember it. One of our Infantry Companies, A company, I, think, had swept through a village and cleared it. The soldier goes into a hut and sees some straw fall from the roof. He empties his M16 into the straw. Kills all five of the VC hiding there. So...

Now, the following is the real story.

Many have asked me how I came about the nickname of MadMonk. Well, as Paul Harvey would put it, “and here’s the rest of the story”.

The story actually begins back in 1967 at Ft. Campbell, KY. We were undergoing some rather intensive training in preparation of joining our 1st Brigade in the war in Vietnam. My unit was E Company-Recon, 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Airborne, 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. day during this rather intensive training I mentioned (which was quite near the time we were to be deployed to Vietnam) it sort of came to me that, even as short as it was, my having very blond, almost platinum colored hair in a combat situation was most definitely not an ideal condition. So I lathered up my head and shaved it completely bald.

This didn’t seem to sit very well with my leadership at the time and I caught a bit of hell for it, however, it made perfect sense to me as it seemed that the best way to survive in any firefight was not to present any well defined target. I mean, if I were to somehow lose my headgear during a firefight what better target than this bright white globe popping up from cover to shoot at you? Right?

Now...after deployment to Vietnam I maintained this “close haircut” look for some time and during one of our very early missions somewhere in a dense jungle type area (damned if I know where) we ran across this old, old abandoned Buddhist pagoda where I happened to find this very old and very large (2" to 2 ½" diameter) bronze coin with a square hole in the center of it. I thought it to be a real unique find and I was so enamored with it that although it was badly tarnished I managed to scare up some leather thong and craft the coin into a necklace which I wore from then on.

Okay...So jumping ahead in the story, there this grunt in one of the line companies (A Co. 1/501 I believe). He was a rather plain looking fellow with glasses that hailed from somewhere in Michigan and he went by the nickname “The Hippie”. He had a peace symbol drawn on his helmet cover and a large pewter peace symbol necklace around his neck. Don't let this fool you as this guy was a hellion and I was convinced that he was at times quite insane. He was awarded a number of medals including the Silver Star and was promoted quite rapidly to the rank of Staff Sgt. E-6.

In our capacity as a Recon Platoon we were called on quite often to assist various line companies which frequently included the unit he was with and as I became more familiar with this crazy bastard he began calling me “The Monk” due to my shaved head and my old coin necklace.

As our tenure in beautiful Southeast Asia progressed and his reputation compounded I began calling him “The Mad Hippie” due to the role he played in a number of rather controversial incidences. Not long thereafter he reciprocated by calling me “The Mad Monk” and the nickname has stuck ever since. So now you know “the rest of the story” except I intentionally left out the particular incidences that instigated each of us to call the other “Mad”. I prefer to keep that little bit of the story unpublished, okay?

I will, however, tell one side light to the story that I can’t really say surely happened or not. I heard a report that the grunt mentioned earlier, after returning home to Michigan I guess really couldn't handle the transition from one minute being a “hero” to the next minute being a “mother-raper and baby-killer” so one day he lost it and pulled a combat assault on the neighborhood gas station/convenience store which only succeeded in his earning some time in the “cuckoo’s nest”. A truly sad epilog on the story of an average American boy that was radically changed by the Vietnam War.


E Co.-Recon, 1st/501st Inf.
Vietnam, class of 67/68

Here is another account by the best soldier I've ever known.

I remember being is training with the same soldier mentioned above, stateside back in Fort Campbell, KY. I believe it was sniper school. If I were to describe him, I would say that he had very fair skin, and he wore black rim glasses, he looks very much like a church goer, if I were to pick a religion I would say that he may have been a Jehovah Witness but I have any proof to that statement I would like to add, if I were to pick an bird that looks like him, I would say an owl. Anyway, as the 2nd Brigade deployed to South Viet Nam, and as time goes on, several months in country, there was a continuing enemy body count by Brigade, and this soldier gets credit for the 5,000 kill--he was immediately promoted to the rank, Staff Sergeant E-6, and he was granted a weeks stay in the Battalion Commander’s bunker, drinks were on the house as were his meals. Now for the rest of the story……..

This soldier is walking through a Village, he enter a hooch, notices some straw was falling from the rafters, he puts his M-16 on full auto, and shoot blindly into the ceiling area then a body drops down, the kid was still alive, this guy was one of the few infantrymen who walks around with his bayonet attached to his M-16, slowly Michael inserts his bayonet into the suspected VC stomach and he was screaming with agony, just then a helicopter lands with his sister and a officer from the local Popular Force (I believe that’s what you called them, it could have been a ARVN officer). The sister runs into her hooch, just in time to watch her brother die. She turns around and says that her brother wanted to surrender as a Choi-hoy (sp?) that was a program where a VC can forfeit his rights in being commie and become an agent for the American forces. I would put this time frame towards the end of our Tour of Duty, maybe Oct. or Nov. of 1968. Shortly thereafter I rotated stateside, and one afternoon while watching a local TV talk show, I saw this soldier, along with Lt. Calley of My-Lye fame. On the show I heard the soldier that killed the 5000 enemy soldier in our Unit saying that he low crawled up to a local gas station with a rifle and while in the prone position held it up. CSM WC, Vietnam Class of 67/68