Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Hagel will have his hands full. There's a kind of military mafia: (I just know the Army) West Point graduates who look after each other. They are "ring knockers" and help each get promoted and get choice assignments. They talk about looking after the troops but don't overall do "s..t." Their mantra is mostly, "Nothing is too good for the troops and that is what the troops get, nothing." Hagel has been an enlisted guy, he gets it.

Like Downton Abbey? There's an example: the Aristocracy (Officers) are upstairs, the Servants (enlisted) are downstairs.

Biggest challenge I think for Hagel will be the military itself. We do what we always do after wars. We downsize the military. Shrink it to where it is questionable about its effectiveness. Not to mention the fact that we get rid of some of our best men and women. In to many cases, we absolutely treat them awful. We have used them up and throw them out. The Army is already way to small. The All Voluntary Force is a bust in my estimation. Those in now are good, quality soldiers but we have deployed them over and over. They are spent. Deployed over and over. Unlike Vietnam, if we needed more "cannon fodder, we drafted more. Now, we merely sent them to war over and over.

This is an aside but so fits into the present equation. We let Melvin Laird and economist icon Milt Freeman sell us a bill of goods when we ended the draft. We could have easily turned the draft into a community service, requiring our young people to serve. After 9-11, we discovered this vast amount of patriotism across the board, the children of the "have" and the "have nots" lined up to serve and we squandered the opportunity. And, now, of course, it is too late. We don't have the political will to bring back a Community Service, giving Amerrica's youth choices. Many would have chosen the military.

Hagel is a good choice for SecDef. Those who don't think so, "F..K you very much."

Monday, February 25, 2013


Part of the thing is that in days past, you could have a fight or ruckus, whatever. Now, somebody or everybody has a gun. So many crazies out there. I still remember when I went through Special Forces Training, they teach you to avoid a fight at all costs. Run away, try to talk yourself out of it, anything to avoid. However, if you can't and get backed into a corner where you have to fight or they will hurt up or even kill you, then you do what you have to do. Good advice. So...

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Jake Tapper: 'The Outpost' That Never Should Have Been

I heard this author interviewed on NPR by Terry Gross. It was incredibly moving and as an ex military type, it made me angry. I always hate second guessing and I am going to, relatively speaking refrain from it, till I read the book. There are so many things about Afghanistan as there were about Iraq that are f..ked up at the highest levels.

Here you have, Outpost Keating, which shouldn't have been there in the first place and shows the basic weaknesses in military leadership that has failed at the highest levels.

Outpost Keating, named for the brave Lieutenant who, according to the interview, lost his life trying to make this bad scene work. He was a Lieutenant for God's sake! What was the Battalion Commander thinking? Did he feel under pressure to do this, to do something.

Based on the interview, the living conditions for the troops were horrendous. No basic hygiene, insects, things that are unimaginable for American soldiers. This was an isolated situation but shouldn't have been. Afghanistan, any way we cut it is a disaster. We can't really even fight to a standstill. Corruption at the highest levels. Our own generals have shown the worst of leadership and been out to lunch. Screwing around when he should have been countermanding

Americans that care should be shaking their heads in disgust and sorry that we have sacrificed young Americans. This isn't second guessing, this is opinion after the fact. The author's point: a disaster which should have never been. To reinforce: Outpost Keating, in addition to stupidity of putting these young soldiers at risk, to have been there in the first place, given the terrain and the likelihood that the Outpost was vulnerable, is beyond the pale.

Tapper was not a war correspondent, he simply became intrigued with the debacle of sending young Americans into an impossible situation. What the f..k. Let's read the book.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Recently I watched the president present the Medal of Honor to a young soldier who obviously showed extraordinaire bravery in the face of a tenacious enemy. From having served in combat and seen bravery close up, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that scores of heroic soldiers who should have been awarded the Medal of Honor didn't get it. This is certainly not to take away from the brave young soldier just given the MOH. Something as simple as paperwork snafus can derail a well deserved medal. I remember a medic named Smitty who during a battle under enemy and rocket fire inched his way for a hundred meters plus, to save several soldiers. We put him in for the Medal of Honor. The paperwork was lost. It bothered me and others and we resubmitted the paperwork. We don't know what happened but it never made it--time passed and everybody moved on. Not good.

Quite serendipitously, I talked to this WW ll vet, an extraordinary hero anyway you cut it. He made me think of the wonderful heroics of soldiers that never get recognized. Monti Nachman is one of those. His story is a movie. At least as interesting and maybe more so than "Saving Private Ryan." Monti was a young 17 year old when he enlisted in the Army. He didn't know what he wanted. He decided that the Army Air Corp sounded good. In good Military fashion, they socked him in the Infantry. He ended up in Germany in some of the fiercest fighting of the war. Seventh Army was routing the Germans and soldiers like Monti were on the chase. One morning, Sergeant Nanchman and his squad of soldiers came upon Camp 6 which was one of the overflow camps from the infamous Daucha. It was horrible beyond description. Human beings stacked up like cord wood and men walking around like skeletons. His unit did what they could, rounded up every blanket they could find for these pitiful souls. The sadness and pity turned to anger and when their captain sent his squad after some fleeing Germans they were more than ready for a fight. When they caught the Germans, they immediately surrendered. "It was very tempting to kill them but we were Americans and so we took them prisoner", said the Sergeant. "I will never forget that day. The experience has stayed with me all my life. I think all of us from that time were 'shell shocked.' That was what it was called then. Now they call it Post Stress or something like that. Over the years, I've met Holocoast victims. How they survived is way beyond me."

Yes, Sergeant Nachman received twelve medals, to include two purple hearts but nothing could suffice for that day. "The horror of what we experienced." Thank you Sergeant Nachman, you are a hero.


It never ceases to amaze me how little the civilian world knows about the military. Understandable, no draft, leaders have little or no military experience. Case in point. The much ballyhooed article by Phil Bronstein, formerly of the San Francisco Chronicle, about the Navy Seal who was the no 2 guy to shoot Bin Laden, like he needed killing twice. Bronstein's article says no medical care and no retirement for the "Seal." Of course, no retirement. He got out after 16 years. Why? The minimum for a pension is 20 years. The military did go through a short period when they wanted to get rid of people and allowed retirement earlier but even then it was 19 years I think. My suspicion is Bronstein wanted a good hook so maybe rendering the military as heartless was it.

A basic wrong in the Bronstein article and in a reference in Time Magazine is the VA. You don't apply for VA, you are entitled to it. The vet merely signs up. There is a "means" test which is self defeating I think. It really is punishing vets for being successful but that is a side issue. But, most, like the Navy Seal merely need to "sign up." No problem. And, all soldiers should be evaluated anyway. My suspicion is Bronstein wanted a stothesis the hell with the facts. This afterall is the guy who was married to Sharon Stone and then got bit by a kimono dragon. Does that tell us something.

Friday, February 15, 2013


The lead story in a recent Sundays "NY TImes" was incredibly disturbing. It had to do with addiction, mainly a highly addictive drug frequently prescribed for someone diagnosed as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

The article profiled a young college graduate, addicted to Adderall, and the efforts of his parents to save him and the culpability of psychiatrists and various therapists who so willingly prescribed the drug. What it seems to me is that nobody pays any price for helping this youngster destroy himself other than the parents. There has to be some accountability. Or, maybe not. Maybe the health care system, the patents, friends did all they could. When somebody appears hell bent and determined to destroy themselves, can anything be done? I don't know.


What the f..k? The Pope is resigning. The Catholic World is aghast. As a non Catholic, I am at a little more than a yawn. Really, I get accused of sometimes of being anti-Catholic. Not so. Just hostile to non thinking. With all the newsworthy items in the world, this much time on the Pope's resignation is more that a bit irritating to me. I am amazed. Something like 1.1 billion Catholics world wide. About a quartet of Americans are Catholic. You can't be serious, how about a note or two but days on this, etc. Give me a break.

For starters, the Catholics have invented an entire theological system. Really, this isn't religion 101 but merely pointing out the absurdity, from my perspective, that makes the concept of a Pope, a Jesus on earth, such bullshit. Where is the authority for these claims.

This is a loose commentary but the Bible says to the disciple Peter, "Upon you will I built my church." From that the Catholic Church claims that Peter was the 1st Pope.

Hell, they have their own country. Jesus didn't say, "Let's get us a Pope." Amazing, all the teachings that the Catholics lay claim to. This one really ticks me off: "that Priests can forgive sins." The theology for establishing their church are teachings that really have no real basis in fact, like the Christian Bible.

Listening to various news accounts of the Pope's resignation, plus commentary from educated people, I am simply amazed that we are so gullible with a church that exists on such shaky ground. As a parting shot--When we look at the Catholics in the world and their social positions, defined by the Pope and swallowrd by the masses of Catholics, the Church is like the extreme right wing of Republicans that would take us back to the Middle ages.


Let's face it. If you like the Prez, he did great. If you don't, not much slack. NPR did an analysis on every word, phrase, any sort of BS. I heard the speech. I didn't hear any of the same they heard. SO.... Sometimes I think we get too much info. America has lots to face. We will do it. Politics is pretty poor to get us past our challenges. Our system is broken and can't be fixed. We refuse to admiit it. An example: Congressmen like Boehner could care less, knowing that he can be anyway he wants without voter repercussion. He is very disrespectful I think toward the President. Nobody seems to call him on it. Just my view. I think it is a constant fight and it's not going away. How to handle it? More sex. Airborne.

Monday, February 11, 2013


My ancestors, the Irish, have done some major "f..k up"s over the years. What the hell is wrong with the Irish Catholics. First of all, they are protecting the pedophile Priests and now it has come to light that the Nuns had about 10,000 young waifs working as slave labor in these laundries called Magdalene. What the F..k! What absurdly fascinated me about this atrocity is how do these people dare invoke the name of Christ. There is no way to look at the life of Jesus, especially the first four books of the Bible, (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) that essentially have recorded what Jesus said and did; not like the rest of the Bible that talks about what people said He said and did. This is what the Catholics have done: invented an entire literature claiming some sort of authority, which is basically nothing more than what someone made up. Well, I guess you can say that about the Bible in general. It is all about "faith" but at least the writing down of the narrative Bible is attributed to the Disciples. All that being said. You sure as s..t ain't going to find Jesus condoning the mistreatment of little girls at the Irish Magdalene laundry.

Thursday, February 07, 2013


My dad had a simple ethic. Always try to do what's right. Come on! Drones targeting those who may be suspected but haven't done anything wrong. Even targeting Americans. Noway. If I have been disappointed in our President, it has been that he appears to have been led down the primrose path on these drones. Come on! Let's go with Dad, "Do what is right." Drones running amuck won't hack it in living up to my Dad's, "doing what's right."

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


Denzel Washington is my favorite actor. His best movie for me was "Man On Fire. "In Man On Fire," He absolutely killed everybody in the movie but the Director. "Flight" is an ethereal movie in a way. It is about a remarkable pilot who was essentially drunk while landing a crashing plane in an impossible scenario--a feat that no one could do like Denzel. It goes against every single thing that we think/believe. Come on! The guy saves all these lives and doing it while drunk. But, he does it. We see it. Denzel is a functional drunk. Could it have really happened that way? Maybe. I doubt it. It is the movies. But, people who have made a career of drinking can and perform. I've seen it. They have the alcohol plan as I call it. The man who starts drinking on Friday after work, drinks all weekend, stops at 3 in the afternoon so he'll be ready for work. It happens. "Flight" and Denzel was one of those. Good movie. See it. A few loose ends that weren't tied up, i.e., the damsel in distress he rescued what happened to her? Here's the last thing: storyline comes down to a single question. The good and heroic pilot only has to answer one question before the Transportation and Safety Board adand he walks out, career in tact, hero. Just one last question.

drugs in a lifestyle that splt works for them for awhile. Eventually it catches up to them. In Flight


Sunday, February 03, 2013


Gun hearings on gun Control in Congress is like most of what Congress does: a frigging waste of time. There is no such thing as rationality when you are dealing with the NRA and a host of other gun nuts and 2d amendment zealots. Watch my lips MF. It is SYMBOLIC. Twenty precious children were gunned down at Sandy Hook School. They could have been any of our children; lives gone, no future. As a country, the majority of us want to at least feel like we are making some response, weak though it may be. Symbolic!!!! 😳😳😳😳😳😳


Just heard this: some researcher, Robert Jones, in a poll, found that a quarter of Americans thought that "God played a role in winning" in Sports. In other words, God, if He/She so chose could give the 49ers, a Super Bowl win.

Bad theology, why don't I just get God to give me a winning lottery ticket. Lot of explanation and reasoning here if I wanted to take a few years. Let's suffice to say this: Ball players pray, politicians send prayers to folks in tragedy. The prez says, "our thoughts and prayers go out to them." (Could be a tragedy like Sandy Hook, refugees in Syria, etc.) the president doesn't literally pray (I don't think). It is what we do as decent human beings. We are, I believe, spiritual by nature. Athletes and politicians and us regular people are just following out nature when we say, "we will pray."

Would God reward the most spiritual ball players? Please! Come on!

So, a third of Americans believe that God determines the outcome of sports. I don't know why I'm wasting my time even reasoning about this. The pollster may have made this up. On the other hand, only a third of Americans believe this. Based on where we are in American life today and knowing a few sports nuts, you better believe they believe this, anything for an edge. Better than steroids. God bless 'em! See what I mean. Do I really want God to bless 'em. Or, will God really do it, anyway. F..k, don't we think God has better things to do. GO FORTY NINERS