Sunday, June 10, 2012


Brien Stowe, a San Francisco Giants fan, paramedic, father was beaten senseless by some thugs at an LA Dodgers game. A tragedy in every way and brought to mind when I did Special Forces Training (Green Beret). A minor portion of the training but very important when you think of this tragedy. Could it have been avoided? I don't know but...The training taught, if you are confronted, do everything you can to get away: run, scream, call 911, anything. However, if you absolutely can't get away, then you tell the MFers that you don't want to fight and you'll do anything to avoid it but if there is no way out, you say, "this is not going to be a fight, I am going to kill you."

Friday, June 08, 2012

Book Review--DRIFT

Drift is somewhat of a history lesson on what has happened with the military and our penchant for war. And, how to conduct it with the least amount of political fallout and if not in secret, close: use civilian contractors. This has been one, if not the best book, I've read, on perspective in our misguided rosy policy in terms of the "fast train to nowhere" in Afghanistan. But, this book is more. Incredibly readable, the Commander in Chief should be reading even as we speak. Unfortunately, based on our continued direction in Afghanistan,  he will not nor his aids and that is a major f..k up. If I gave any criticism and it really is not that: it is more a different view. Maddaw, like many of the strategists about our present debacle in Afghanistan, simple don't "get" the nuances of the military, having not served. I think the president has learned quickly, i. e., the generals ganged up on him and based on his lack of experience, he caved on something like the "so called" surge in Afghanistan. It has not worked: it only worked in Iraq because the military forced their own type of ethnic cleansing and literally separated the factions. Maddow's history lesson on the love affair or lack thereof between the military and Americans, is superb and so, "right on." She does the best  evaluation I've seen about Vietnam and vets in particular. It was awful seeing the way we treated returning soldiers from Vietnam (thanks to the President who used the word, shameful). Men and women who had given their life's blood and the country gave them the "finger" with mostly nothing but distain. We will never get ovet it!  If Vietnam vets have a legacy, it is that we were treated so badly that Americans who care(not all do); are trying to get it right this time around. At least our leadership publicly acknowledge our soldiers. I doubt it will last. What Maddow gave short shift too in terms of fallout is I think the Prez is in trouble over that which he can't do anything about. Thoughts of the Republicans returning us to 1950 makes me nauseous. As a white boy from NC, I've been proud that we elected an African American president. Somehow, I thought, "wow, we have come a long way."  I never dreamed for a moment that we would experience this enormous hatred  by the right wing nuts. To me, there is simply noway to look at it but racial. And, I am leaning toward conspiracy theory. Bankers hate him, business hates him. Banks sitting on two trillion of cash. Won't lend, companies are struggling, they can't hire. Banks/big business equal Conspiracy. It sounds crazy but the objective data is there. Poor guy has learned how to be president. Inherited worse economy since the great depression, two wars. I am amazed that the guy can stand upright. So, my thought is that we Americans who care (And, not all do) need to get off our ass and stand up for what is right. F..k the racists! I was especially incensed at Maddow's  descriptions of the cavaliar contractors and their horrendous behavior and the awful way they represented our country. I, like most Americans, have been "asleep at the wheel" on this one.  The sorry immoral MFers. She nailed it. (I would like to think that "Drift" contributed to the Secret Service types getting caught in Columbia. Unfortunately, the contractors and their awful behavior seemed to get a free pass). She deals with our nuclear mess in a "shake your head" unbelief way. The practicality of where we find ourselves with all these nukes is almost beyond belief. Drift's conclusions leads us to discover that Maddow is an idealist. She thinks we can turn all this around. I am more skeptical. We would do well as a country to take to heart this very laudable and readable book. I don't have much hope that we will. I plan to do my part and read Drift again and buy two or three more copies for friends. I have never watched Maddow's show. Not a single time but I'm going to start.

Monday, June 04, 2012


Carolyn, thanks for remembering Raz. I will have to admit that I've had a harder time "moving on" so to speak, than I thought I would. I really miss picking up the phone and calling him. It was a weekly ritual. Plus, I am so grateful that I said goodbye and, of course, I stopped by briefly and you fed us which was great as usual.  I probably related thisl story when we were there: about the second day, Raz seemed to rally a bit and so Kathryn and I decided to take him for a drive. I got him in his wheelchair, brought the car around and got him in it. He really had had a big day, all the brothers showed up and we went to the fine dining of Waffle House. He really ate heartily: country ham, grits, etc. We laughed and told the same stories we always do. A good time. So, after a nap, Kathy and Raz and myself took off. Later on, we discovered, we were fugitives. We hadn't signed him out or anything. We decided to go for Smithfield Barbecue and I'm on the way to Fayetteville, I think. The next thing I know, Kathy, who has no sense of direction, tells me we are headed to Hope Mills. What! I do know we are way out in the country. We wander around for awhile. Laughing all the time about "touring the countryside" while looking for a barbecue sandwich.   With something akin to a miracle, we see a sign for 401. We head in that direction. Finally, after about what seems like  hours, we end up at the Cultural Center of Hoke and Cumberland County: Walmart. Low and behold, there is Smithfield Barbecue. We pull in, get a barbecue, with all the cholesterol clogging good stuff. We have a feast and Raz eats it all. We jump on 401 and head back to Raeford, still not knowing we are fugitives. Just inside what I guess are the City Limits, a policeman pulls us over. He looks in the car. Kathy is in panic mode. I'm thinking, "give me the ticket so I can get Raz on back to his present abode, Open Arms, this nice skilled nursing facility. The cop takes my license. Goes back to his car and I guess checks it. Comes back and says something like, "I don't know how you do it in California but here in North Carolina, we obey the law." I figure at this point the better course of valor is to say nothing. Finally he says, "You be careful and watch your speed."  "I will. Thank you very much." (In fact, as an aside, having spent a night at the Days Inn where I heard sirens all night. My thought: Brooklyn doesn't have that much police activity).  Anyway, we get back and people run out to greet us in a panic. They have been looking everywhere for us and have called his son and are within milliseconds of  calling the police. Well, we had temporarily sprung Raz. We thought it was funny. Nobody else was laughing. {{{{{{{Jerry}}}}}}