Tuesday, March 25, 2014



The mud slide in Washinton State which took lives is so sad. Mud like this is like "quick sand." It reminded me of a "mud" experience that was more frightening after it was over than while it was going on. I was kayaking in the San Francisco Bay, paying no attention to the tide.  It went out in what seemed like milliseconds. I was about a hundred yards from Shore. It was an emerging experience without any awareness on my part of how dangerous it was. Here I am, surrounded by mud, the tide had gone out and I have two choices. Stay where I am and wait for it to return or try to walk make it out. Laborious is not even close to the task. Here I am in mud, sometimes up to my elbows, I am pulling my kayak. About two hours later I dragged myself onto the shore. As I reflected for days on exactly the experience and told others about it, I came to realize the potential for disaster. I was lucky. Those poor folks in Washington State, not so. God bless them. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

General F..ks Up

THE GENERAL AND THE CAPTAIN. This could be a movie. It is both a debacle and tragedy. They had a three year affair. Death threats, lying, and no telling what else. For my part, regardless of the circumstances, a "David which the General wasn't, escaping from Pharaoh's wife;" the general should be strung up and have his gonads cut off. The Captain was a subordinate and in the military, he violated the absolute code, in addition to a parcel of rules. He has to pay. His price was not as much as it could have been. There is much about the story and his sentencing that we don't know. Forget the f..ging politicians who are playing to the crowds. 

Keeping an affair of this nature secret is unheard of in modern theater. My suspicion is that the Captain was quite successful in helping do it, as well as the general. She probably fell "in" love with the f..ker which is the worst possible thing. Love is one thing but "in" love makes you crazy. I feel sorry for the "Captain." F..K the General. 

Consider recent history. Two examples:
Bill Clinton and Patraeus came close to making it but were discovered by the fact that the "affairee" talked. Bill was done in, not by Monica, but a witch, Linda Tripp, that Monica talked too. And Petraeus almost succeeded as he  engineered himself a job at the CIA. What he didn't count on was an egomaniac in FL who was playing "footsie" with his deputy when in the Army, which linked him to his "affair." 

The Captain and the General is a strange case in light of all the publicity. And, to say there was no command and polical imfluence is the height of bullshit, not to mention lying to themselves, at the highest level, even.

Yep,  my suspicion is that we have the "in" love element, they broke up: messy, threats, etc; but apparently what sunk the Captain's credibility was lying about dates--the General and the Captain got it on after she said it ended. Either the sex was that good or she was still trying or hoping (all speculation) to rekindle. But, at some point, it appears, it became,  "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." 

However, the f..ker (pardon the pun) was her superior and taking advantage, even though she was willing, is not only a flimsy excuse but totally unacceptable.

All the other stuff is interesting and it is hard to know. Death threats: I will kill your family. Clint Eastwood. Sinclair may be capable, having been to all these macho schools: airborne, ranger, no telling what else. He couldn't have been an Assistant Division Commander in the 82d Airborne if he had not been a mean "mother." (Use your imagination). 

Part of the issue is that we listen to media and they don't know "s..t" as well as Congress. 

The investigation of the General and the Captain is what we call an Article 32. Unbelievably through. They have minions fanning out all over the globe investigating, checking facts, you name it. They are so through that the concept of "bring the guilty bastard in" is about 110% true. The General, you can on it, even if he had not confessed, would have been uncovered by the Article 32. 

In addition to the cautionary tale, there are so many issues. Let's put aside the sordid details--a general who lost his way and a very sad victim who paid an unseen price for wanting love and who is victimized over and over. God bless her. But, there is an issue that may not be a greater one but still an issue. How in this world can we avoid this sort of blight on the military? We throw men and women together in crisis situations, they get involved. Plain and simple, it is going to continue to happen. The only way is to exclude women from combat. We are not going to do that, so what to do? We have to be prepared to accept it. 

The military is not a social organization and it is not a social experiment. It has one purpose: to fight and win wars. We have f..ked it up by eliminating the "draft." The soldiers that are in the military are good soldiers. They are all volunteers and at all levels of the military, they are trying to improve. There will inevitably be some "f..k ups. The General and the Captain f..ked up.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


One of the stories I read recently was about the Obama factor which had to do with his lagging polls. This sort of bullshit becomes a type of self fulfilling prophesy. The best example I know are the vets I hang out with--Several receive various Vietnam benefits which they were only able to get because the President simplified the claims process. For instance for Vietnam vets or any veteran to file a claim for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), they had to have all this collaborating paperwork, the process was laborious and most Vietnam vets who needed the services of VA, plus the meager compensation, gave up. (I know because I was attempting to help them). 

I never filed a claim as I always figured it was just a price to pay for being in combat, plus I didn't need it. But, many of my fellow vets that I knew in Vietnam were suffering and desperately needed help that they couldn't get. The President changed all that with a signature. And, for some odd reason that escapes me, the Vets either don't get the fact of what the president did or refuse to accept it, The President made it possible for them to now easily file their claims. They only have to prove they were there, i.e. in Vietnam. Easy. And, yet they are really disparaging of the President. I don't get it. What is so hard about connecting the dots. 

Now, stretch this out to the country at large. The election in Florida won by the Republicans, for example. The vast majority of people voting for the Republicans are on social security, medicare, etc., yet decrying government intrusion. Where the f..k do they think these programs come from. That is just it. They don't think. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014


"Face of Love." Very interesting movie even if a little thin. Two terrific actors,  Ed Harris and Annette Bening can do a lot, even with a thin plot. Annette Bening's husband drowns. Fast forward five years, she sees someone who looks exactly like her dead husband. She makes sure. Turns out, he is a gentle and sensitive college teacher/painter. They begin a relationship. He falls "in" love. She can't bring herself to tell him that he looks "exactly" like her dead husband. They have some "moments." Finally, unearthed mainly by the daughter and neighbor. The relationship ends as Ed discovers. Fast forward another year, Ed has died, probably from heart failure. However, for the last year, he had painted in a frenzy as for ten years he was locked up emotionally. 

I liked the movie. Annette Bening will forever be the doctor's sister in the cowboy movie, "Open Range." Ed Harris is always good. Great to see them work. Tolerable movie about grief and honesty. Playing the story line out, surmising. Could have been different if she had told him "early on" and prepared the daughter and Robbin Williams, the neighbor (this could have been another movie: neighbor who has bad marriage contrasted against neighbor with good marriage. Spouses dead, chance for neighbors to get together) But, maybe not. Annette and Ed had a "moment." Leave it there. 

Friday, March 14, 2014


Sexual Assault in the military is a tough subject. It may not be for most in Congress. Discrimination, suppressing women, adinfinitum. And, if you are one of those who feel you've been sexually assaulted, it is a 100%. It is not so simple for the military. The military has only one mission. To fight and win wars. 


There's a vast difference in some guy like the General at Fort Bragg (NC) accused of sexual assault and some young soldier accused, possibly because in his unsophisticated way is "hitting" on her. The General should be strung up by his gonads. And, it looks like it will be just short of that. And then there are those who should know better. The two officers supposedly in charge of investigating sexual assault are now accused. If it wasn't so serious, it would be laughable. 

With females in the ranks in such numbers and a bunch of stupid men, we will see more and more of it, I fear.  Answer? Probably none. Will readiness of our military be effected. Sure, it already is if we are honest. And, thinking about my old Unit, the 82d Airborne, I can only surmise--If I was a young male soldier, trying to avoid being stupid, I would avoid contact with female soldiers at all cost. 

Most, especially indignant female congress persons, only see the assault side of it and rightly so. However, in asking some retired military chaplains, who have seen all the transitions and changes of the military, they see a broader side. Here are comments...


"I have not changed my mind since all this first came up in our emails long
ago. It is asking too much of "Testosterone High" young men to go into combat areas, to live in close proximity to to females and think that they will not be tempted beyond that which they can bare." CN

"I think that the chickens are coming home to roost!  The "grand experiment" of making everything "equal" in the name of 'political correctness' has demanded that we turn a blind eye to the realities that are inherent in gender differences. I don't want to imply that we should just  "let boys be boys with  uncontrollable hormones." But there has to be some systematic way to utilize the skills of males and females without having them essentially live together 24/7.  We need to get creative about that. Don

"If the problem does affect Military Readiness, and I believe, like you say, it already has, then the leaders need to bite the bullet and let the administration and society know.  However, the politically correctness influence is so strong that no one wants to take the chance."

Sunday, March 09, 2014


A friend sent this along. I felt the need to respond since I have read the book. 

To Dr. Nuland, "death was messy and frequently humiliating, and he believed that seeking the good death was pointless and an exercise in self-deception. He maintained that only an uncommon few, through a lucky confluence of circumstances, reached life’s end before the destructiveness of dying eroded their humanity."

“I have not seen much dignity in the process by which we die.” 

I am going to give this some thought. But, I don't think I totally agree with him. Death with dignity is possible with a belief that something comes after. (Doesn't make any real difference if it is true or not. Only the one believing it has to accept it). It can't be reasoned, only through one's faith (maybe). The end on this earth, free from pain, can be achieved while looking forward to the next life-- regardless of how it has been constructed. Amen

Plus, my experience does not bear out Dr Nuland's views, totally. I can name several that I have known who have left this earth in what I considered dignity. I think there is a process of shutting down which we are often reluctant to let happen and should be more amenable too. Our worst fault is to deny. 

Thursday, March 06, 2014


Ukraine is a little like Afghanistan in our psyche. We had never heard of it or maybe never thought about it until we got mired in it up to our ass. (I personally thought Carter was off-base in canceling the Olympics when Russia took over Afghanistan. All his action did was penalize American athletes). It should give us pause now. But, it doesn't. It is as though our brains get soaked in formaldehyde. In fact, Ukraine should bring to mine invasions of Panama and Grenada. Do we run the risk of hypocrisy. Much of the rest of the world thinks so I bet. Think Iraq. F..k

It is hard to get your arms around what has happened in Ukraine. What we can get our arms around is that we have no part in what Russia does on its borders or anywhere for that matter; yet we are at the center of the potential conflict. What the hell? Our potential for stupidity is overwhelming. We have all these voices acting like, as usual, this is our battle. It ain't our fight. Putin is going to do what he is going to do. 

I just think we want the heck out of it. I hear voices like John McCain and John Kerry and I wonder what the Hell!!! Really. People who have known war don't want to even contemplate it but these two are "sisters under the skin:" maxed out hawks.  If not war, even the tough talk. McCain is really a mystery. This guy has suffered in war. POW/tortured. He surely knows about Vietnam--we could have stayed over there forever. We could not beat HO. 

And John Kerry is talking tough. What the hell. He is still battling the Swift Boat Vets who kept him from the presidency maybe. I have always thought they were "used." Who knows. But, Kerry's hawkish attitude bespeaks of unresolved issues along his time in Nam. Here is a guy who during Vietnam became a peacenik. Now, the ultimate hawk. What I don't get is something that is almost universal for combat vets. They hate war. If you have known it, the horrors of it, you sure as shit, hate it and want to avoid at all costs.  Maybe the Swift Boat vets knew something about Kerry that we don't. Kerry talking tough bullshit is a mystery.

What worries most people and it surely does me. Some little disagreements add up to big trouble. While the two vets like NcCain and Kerry ought to be tamping down the rhetoric, they are leading the chorus. Come on! 

Americans who care are weary of war. Our problems at home are enormous. Let's take a step backwards here. We are almost universally hated and blamed for meddling. 

Time to chart another course? I think so. Listening to some young State Dept issuing threats ain't helping the situation. Let's SHUT THE F..K UP!!!!!!

Monday, March 03, 2014


Downsizing the military is really called "firing." It happens after every conflict. As a country we are so stupid. With the present SecDef, Chuck Hegel, I had hoped for more. He is acting like an Alice in Wonderland character who just woke up in a new world. Hegel has been in the Army and should "get it" more. 

I saw it after Vietnam, we threw soldiers out of the Army who had given their life's blood for their country with barely an Elvis "thank you very much." Promises that were made were discarded. And worse still were those like Mel Laird who let economist Mort Friedman lead him down the prime rose path of ending the military draft. Suddenly youngsters in America didn't have to confront choices like serving their country. 

We've had a good military since the AVF (All Volunteer Force) but they've come from a socioeconomic pool, not representative of our country. A smaller military resulted in repetitive tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, handicapping soldiers both physically and emotionally--something we will be dealing with for years, PTSD/TBI. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Traumatic Brain Injury)

And, then there are "base closings." By the time Military Installations are turned over to civilians, the cost savings are negligible. Worse still is the "loss of presence" to the civilian community. The San Francisco Bay Area is a good example. Relatively speaking, they have seen all military go. The Presidio, Oakland Army base; others too numerous to mention. This is a great loss to our culture. The civilian community loses the sense that the military belongs to them. 

And, it isn't good for the military. They become cloistered, a subculture. They go to war and have an experience that defines them while less than one percent of Americans have any idea of who they are. And, they will go to war. After Vietnam, we thought, "lesson learned," we will never be this stupid again. Guess what? We were: Iraq/Afghanistan. And, we will be that stupid again.