Tuesday, December 29, 2015


When I was on the way to Vietnam in 68, I had a couple of days to kill before my flight from Travis(AFB). Somebody talked me into going into San Francisco. We ended up on Broadway Street, with place after place of stripers, bars., etc. I was enthralled. I could hardly believe it. My joke was that I had only been wearing shoes for a year or two and here I was suddenly in Sodom and Gomorrah. 

The truth is that I was just out of Seminary and to say I was naive isn't even close. I was just speechless. We went in one bar and my buddy ordered a beer. I got a Coke. Heck, I was a Southern Baptist even. The bartender asked to see our IDs. With the old ID, across the back of mine was a big "Cross" that said Chaplain. The bartender held up my ID and said, "Hey look everybody, we got us a priest." I could have died. I wanted to get out of there ASAP. I gave the scantily clad waitress a twenty. I never saw her again. I could hardly believe she kept my $20. 

Regardless, that experience, began my love affair with San Francisco. It was the most beautiful place I'd ever seen. I can't leave it. Relatively speaking, I never have. 

EVERYTHING CHANGES. San Francisco has changed, probably several times. Back in the day, it was a place where you could count on running across two or three characters on every street corner. San Fran has seen the hippies, the "Beat Generation," whoever they were. They have known the Pranksters, the jokesters, the "Summer of Love." (Us vets would love to have been on Haigh Ashbury rather than dodging bullets in the Nam.) 

Now the techees. What has happened in the present is different, I think. Technology has brought money. Mostly in the City (the locals call it The City). It was the late Herb Cain, a newspaper columnist, who made it a crusade to call it San Francisco/or The City. Sometimes just to be obstreperous, I will call it Frisco which the old timers did. 

MY TAKE. It looks like San Fran has lost the artists. Greed  has run them off. The Board of Supervisors (Town Council) appear to be pretty impotent and offer no real help. When I first got here, what was emphasized were the neighborhoods. In reality, Frisco is just a bunch of little neighborhoods stuck together. 

It is hard to know how many of the techies will stick. I think lots. The money will drive out some. But, many non techees will figure it out. I hope so anyway. Regardless, FRISCO ain't going nowhere. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015


This is one of those movies that you know the ending and you don't like it but nothing you can do about it. Cleverly done and holds your attention. 

My view and what we have is a bunch of crooks betting on it all coming down around the heads of the poor; and, scant attention is paid as they don't give a s..t about anything or body but themselves. 

The movie is cleverly done. When it is over you wonder how did they hold your attention this long on a movie that you lived. Every American who cares should see the movie. Lots of culprits who should have gone to jail but didn't. I think if "The Big Short" has any fault it is that it should have spent more time showing the people who lost homes and jobs, the poor, the marginalized. 

My big thing as of late is that nothing changes. Nothing f..King changes. 

I've seen "Spotlight, Truth, etc. During and before and after some good books and movies showed the stupidity of the Iraq war, what happened--didn't  make any difference: the country went ahead with its stupidly. Think Afghanistan. Billions of dollars wasted and the country is no better, worse after all these years. Nothing makes a difference. 

There are no answers but at least it would be nice to see some politician say, "f..k, we can change this. We can but I don't have much faith that we will. See the movie. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


A Sad Day
The Lucky Penny is closing in favor of high rises, just what we need in Frisco. I am here eating as a personal memorial. Lucky Penny is one of those disappearing diners, a hang out place for old guys usually. They lie,  tell jokes and get the Morning Special for five or six bucks. It is the never ending coffee and water, amidst the war stories as most are vets. 

I first started coming to the Lucky Penny when I was in the military stationed at the Presideo. Most military types would view a PSF (Presideo of San Francisco) a choice posting. For me, it was and can any place be more beautiful? No, throw in the Lucky Penny. Enough said, thanks for the memories. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Memory

When you are old, kids and grandkids doing their thing, what are you left with? Memories. And, let's face it, Christmas is more a cultural holiday than a religious one and so most celebrate the day, regardless of their faith. 

I was in Seminary before the Army. Next door, was Bill Stebbins. I recall his name as it is a chance to honor his memory. A really great guy. A “Yankee” from Boston. Bill was an engineer and had enjoyed a meteoric rise in his profession but along the way, he got the “call,” and here we were, Divinity School buds. It is Christmas eve. My daughter has her heart set on a "play stove" that actually glows and has a small amount of heat and a 5 year old can pretend to cook. Meg is asleep, sugar plums dancing in her head. I have to put the stove together. How hard can it be. Two hours later, I am no further along than when I began. All the parts are laid out, no sweat. 

Admitting I have no abilities, I call in my back-up plan, my next door neighbor, Bill, the engineer. A “piece of cake,” he says. Five hours later just as the sun is coming up, we get it together. A great Christmas but not nearly as great as the story told over and over. Here we had an engineer and it took him five hours. What chance does a mere mortal have? A great Christmas. Lesson learned, “Is this already assembled? 
“Forget it” !!!!!! 

 abilities I. This area. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Getting Fired

In my not so illustrious career, I was fired 4 times. In the military, you can't be fired like in the civilian world but your career can be ended, many things can happen: being relieved from duty is no fun but I will have to admit that I took a somewhat pride in my four firings and still survived. Here is one of them. 

The Chaplaincy had been sued in the courts as unconstitutional. The chief of chaplains had hired the rabbi, who was also a lawyer, to represent the chaplaincy and their interest. I didn't even know him. We were having a big conference at the Presideo. I was merely an attendee. At the last moment, the chaplain, who was running the conference at 6th Army, asked me to step in and give a devotion. 


I made a few remarks and led with an illustration that in the "City" we had a business called "Class Act." They would cater parties, deliver flowers, anything you wanted and with "class." It would cost you big time but they themselves were a "class act." Then I said, the Chaplaincy ought always to be a "class act." And then I used the chaplaincy constitutional issue as a good example. We could not let that issue effect our ministry. We had to be a "class act." If we were Baptist, Presbyterian, Jewish, Mormon, whatever, (at that time, Muslims were not on the score card.), we had to do our job, we couldn't slow down or pretend we were something we weren't.  

Devotion over, thought I had done a good job. Pat, pat, pat

About an hour later, I get a call to come to The Deputy Commander's office.  The Deputy Commander was a great guy. I go to his office, the Rabbi is there with his general's star, etc., shining. Pete was kind of pale as I remember. The Deputy Commander began to dress me down. It was a couple minutes before I realised what was happening. When I tried to explain, he cut me off. A tirade. Finally, I got an opening and said, "I don't know what you are talking about." 

"Your remarks at the breakfast about the Constitutional issue. You degraded it." 
I said, "I just gave an illustration." 

The Deputy tried to jump in. The Rabbi would not let him. He finally ran down and to my credit I was pretty calm and tried to apologise. 

He then said, "I will destroy your career. I am going to recommend that you be given an article 15." By this time, I knew he was out of his league and none of those things could happen, anyway. I was already on everybody's "s..." list anyway. I said something like, "Rabbi, (He already had emphasised that he was a general). "Rabbi, I don't care what you do. And the way you come across to me is that you are a classic asshole and you can just kiss my ass." I departed the area.  I don't recommend this course of action. 

The Rabbi and a buddy of mine went on to write a book about the Constitutional issue. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Movie review. SPOTLIGHT. Good movie, about the child abuse scandal in Boston. Movie showed all the difficulties of the "Boston Globe" in breaking the story, going against all the powers that be in the Catholic Church. The Priests, over 90, abused hundreds of kids. Usually they were poor kids from poor families who blindly believed. What amazed me is that the scandal has hardly dented the church. 

Michael Keaton's character was the catalyst. His best movie and still very appropo, "Clean and Sober."  Good movie about how a young up and coming business type got caught up in drugs. The movie opens with one of the most "grabbing" movie scenes I've seen. He and this girl are in bed and he is getting up and tries to awaken her but she has overdosed and is dead. 

Spotlight was good but didn't quite seize you like, The Big Short. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


I've always liked the president. I think he has tried to be president to all and with this "route step" Congress, not easy, to say the least. 

Seeing him/Secdef talking about the great strides we are making against ISIS makes me wonder. First of all, we don't know if the claims of the Air Force/the generals are true. It is not that they lie but have an uncanny ability to deny reality. 

Bullshit, on more involvement in the Mideast. We have been there and done that. Think of all the rosy reports from Iraq. Give me a break. Reminds me of Vietnam. The "body parts" fiasco. One North Vietnamese bites the dust. We are fighting a war. Suddenly, the one becomes several. A finger is one, how many parts you could count, equal how many bodies. Not much has changed. 

The predident has a decent course, no large forces in the Middle East is the best. The Air Force, whatever but let's stay realistic. We have sorry Middle East allies. It is their fight, let us stand tall.  

These comments of defeating ISIS IS BULLSHIT. Am I the only person in America who knows you can't defeat an ideology. So, you knock them off in one spot, they pop up in another. Keep doing what we are doing but forget this bullshit of defeating which is stupid and false. 


My good friend went in for a knee replacement. His body shut down. For a couple of days, he was kept alive, hoping to save him. He died. 

Instead of lamenting what happened, we need to rejoice. A wonderful transition: live a long (84), rich life (Army Chaplain for 30 years. Touched scores of young soldier lives. Wonderful musician. He and his wife Shirley were known throughout the military for their entertaining); go in for routine operation, unforeseen complications, unrelated to original problem. Goes into a coma and dies in a few days. No lingering, acceptance of death. 

What a wonderful way to do it. For one who has anticipated heaven all his life, when he got a chance to go, never hesitated. HooAhhhh Lamar, you did it. God bless you on your journey. 


TRIBUTE. A few days ago, one of my best friends from Army days, died. It was really weird. He went in for a fairly routine knee replacement and died. He was a Chaplain. I remember many things about him. So unselfish: Vietnam, Germany, other assignments where paths crossed. Hands down, He should have been the Chief of Chaplains (A General). What prevented him? Mainly, he never played politics or forgot that he was a pastor. 

A few weeks ago, he called me out of the blue. Left a message. Just wanted to chat. I called him back. We had the best talk and once again I thanked him for being a mentor and setting me on a pathway. He loved to chide me about living in San Francisco and being on the "left coast.”Maybe he was saying goodbye and didn’t know it. 

What I hope for with the funeral, the family will go all out. Lamar always loved a big show, a big extravaganza. He was the master of the grand gesture, making everybody happy to be around him. If it were up to me, I would do a massive 82d Airborne Division parachute drop just for show. Everybody at the “Service” will have a Lamar story and I am doubly sorry I am going to miss it. I hope the tribute is an all day affair with dinner on the grounds. If there has ever been a life to celebrate, Lamar's is it. God bless him on his journey.      

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


I am in the bathroom washing my hands. This old guy comes out of the stall. The old guy says, "Today is my birthday and  where are we going to lunch?"  

I say, "well, not sure." 

He says, "you aren't my friend. The gray hair and glasses fooled me." Then he says, " you don't have prostrate problems do you?" I said "no." Then jokingly, I say to him, "I am still blowing it out." He gives me the puzzled look. I say, "you know, sex." He laughs. "Well, he says, "I kept telling my wife that we had to keep doing it. She agreed but didn't help, got it anyway but had a lot of fun." "Well, I hope you aren't giving it up are you?" 

"I am 93, I think not."  

Tuesday, December 08, 2015


Let's put it in terms SC voters can understand. 


Monday, December 07, 2015

PREZ'S Speech

I thought it was good. In a way, nothing new. I think, in a sense, it is like 9-11. We have to protect ourselves the best we can and go on with our lives. Not much choice. 

What is pretty scary to me now is Ted Cruz. He's cunning and the "Donald" will fade--too much of an idiot, even for the Repubs. 

I love the magazine, "The Economist." It is good to me because it is written by the Brits but much about America. No PC stuff. Here's a quote from them about the people who follow Trump, "middle aged or white or older, rather poorly educated and awed by a shoutee billionaire." 

Also, this is an original thought if there is such a thing. I think that the Pasadena shooters did the rampage on the "spur of the moment." One of the guys they killed, a coworker, was a Zionist/Jewish, a zealot. From the pictures of his wife and him, both rather large persons. The coworker was outspoken, maybe even bullied the shooter. Who knows, only speculation but doesn't make sense, based on the arsenal they had amassed, that something didn't happen to get them ahead of their plan. It could have been much bigger.  

Sunday, December 06, 2015


Recently I had a couple of hours to kill and went to see the movie, Brooklyn. I read the little excerpt and it seemed like something I wanted to see, mainly because of my fondness for Brooklyn. I lived there a couple of years while I went to grad school at LIU (Long Island University). LIU was a great fit for someone just back from Nam. Originally LIU was supposed to be one of many schools spread throughout NY. It never happened. I didn't know why. The locals called it Jewish University. I choose not to see that as derogatory as when they called me Cracker. A term of affection. 

My MA was in Sociology and part of our thesis project was a survey of the Bedford Stuyvesant area and the NY City welfare system. We (my fellow student) had to devise questions, go house to house for a couple of blocks and then stand on a corner and see if we could get a few people to talk with us. 

This doesn't sound so out of the ordinary when you just looked at it on paper. What made it downright funny was the timing. It was 1972, the Vietnam war was winding down and here were two college types, one white with a deep southern accent and the other black. Both of us were Vietnam vets and angry. It could have been comical, not to mention dangerous, but as I remember it, several street hoods as my bud called them, answered our questions and pronounced us dumb as dirt or something like that. But, for me, I developed an admiration for Brooklyn. It was the epitome of blue collar, lots of Irish, Italians and Jews. They didn't seem to mix but from my perspective, they got along well.

 Brooklyn was the first place I ate real pizza and discovered bagels. 

Going to see the movie, “Brooklyn,” was a chance to maybe recognized some of the things I remembered. It didn't work out that way. “Brooklyn,” the movie was incredibly timely, however. A young Irish girl comes to NY. The experiences of homesickness, finally meeting a love although Italian. Sister dies, she goes back to Ireland and it has changed. She had secretly married her sweetheart but the temptations to remain in Ireland were immense but through some crafty insight, she regains her composure and returns to Brooklyn. 

A sweet little movie, coming of age, the emigrant experience. The movie didn’t capture what I hoped, places that I wanted to recognize, as it wasn't about Brooklyn even though the title implied it. But, what the begingles, see the movie. 

Saturday, December 05, 2015


“Pentagon Will Open All Combat Roles to Women.” Good. Anybody who has paid any attention and most don’t, have no doubts women can do the job. As a Vietnam vet, even in that sorry war, women faced combat and more than did themselves and the country proud.  What irritates me are those like the SecDef who don’t take into account the psychological effect of women in combat. I’m not sure if it would make any difference anyway. Example: I was once a teacher in a military school.You have 49 men in a class. Introduce one woman, everything changes. It isn’t the woman’s fault. It is us sorry men. What we should be asking ourselves is how good is our military? 

Because most Americans are uninvolved and you get Ash Carter, the SecDef and the generals view which is about as credible as George W. and Iraq. What can you trust from them? PC BULLSHIT. A high percentage of recruits drop out of basic training even. As always happens, those who fill the ranks come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.  Americans think, "Seal Team 6, Special OPs," etc., that ain’t it. The regular soldiers are going to be these elusive “boots on the ground,” both men and women and we don’t know the what/how. 

Friday, December 04, 2015


I got all caught up on the latest regarding the San Bernadino attack. I did not know the couple had a child. And I discovered a few more details. Such as what was going on at the facility prior to the attack. 

Regardless, no matter the details, what an awful, senseless, stupid, needless, selfish, crazy act. I just don't know what else to say Brother. 
I still don't know if it's a terrorist act or not but it's looking more and more like it is. If the FBI says it is I'll believe it is. 
Of course, there is no good time for an event like this to happen. But from a political standpoint it could not have happened at a worse time.  Think any Syrian refugees will have a snowballs chance in hell of getting into this  country now?  

And then there's Trump. He's riding this for all it's worth and no one will call him out on it. He lies, he makes inflammatory statements, he's downright mean-spirited and yet people just let him bluster on. No one takes him on; everyone seems afraid of him. 
God help us Brother. 

Thursday, December 03, 2015

US of A

"Being in a country as a nobody, where everybody thinks they can be somebody, is infectious." 
Freddy, a character in the British TV drama, "The Hour," talking about his trip to America. 


Been reading about latest mass shooting in San Bernadino. Baffled, I'm sure, like most Americans who care. Absolutely floored that a couple with a young child could be this misguided. What mother would leave her baby to go with her husband to kill people, knowing they are probably going to die. Unfathomable!!!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015


One of the great things about growing older is that you get a chance to be a little more outrageous. Example, yesterday at the Post Office, I was behind this very pregnant female. She says to me, "go ahead, I am not ready." 
"Are you sure? I have nowhere to go." She says, very happy that she is getting this done. (Mailing her packages) 

I am silent, to be honest, I don't want to engage her as I have other things to do and this might take awhile (if we start talking). I don't know her but there are all kinds of questions I might asked: (1) Why is it so important that you get packages mailed? (Actually none of my business but she did start talking to me). She is pregnant, very pregnant). She says to me. (2) “My baby is being born on Christmas Day”). Now that is an opening.(3) could say, "is there a Dad or Grandpa that goes with that baby." This could have elevated a casual conversation. 
“Congratulations,” I did say. Then, without thinking I comment, “You know your baby will have to always compete with Christmas (Could have said holidays but am on a personal crusade about all this "political correct" bullshit. It is Christmas. 

She says, "yes, hadn't thought of that." Again, without thinking I say, “here is a plan, give him/her (him she says). Give him a half birthday in June or July. Make a big deal out of it. The real birthday comes at Christmas.” 

My business with post office was done. I departed after saying “good luck.” 

Monday, November 30, 2015


In the military, Christmas seems a special time, especially to soldiers away from home. 

One Christmas that sticks out to me is one in Germany. I was a young Captain, maybe 26 and assigned to a Nike Hercules Missile unit. We had this crazy Sergeant Major who pretty much ran everything. One day he says to me “Chaplain, it is Christmas, we need to get a project where the troops can feel like they are in the spirit of Christmas. What about finding us something like an orphanage and we’ll get some presents and visit.” I go to several German Orphanage type places. Other American military units had the kids locked up. OK, let’s do something else. I found this old folks home we could visit. 

The Sergeant Major rounds up a bus load of troops to go with me. We bring presents for the old folks. We get there in early afternoon. Bunch of American GIs, maybe twenty. We are met by the Director of the home who says something like, "I hope you aren’t going to be disappointed. The men and women don’t get much attention, seldom are they visited. They mostly just sit." 

There were about 39 or forty grandmas/PAs. The GIs don’t speak a word of German other than eine beer bitta. The Germans don’t speak English. 

The old folks, men and women, began dancing with the GIs or with each other. I guess they didn’t need language They were all having such a good time. The Director was flabbergasted. Finally it was time to go. We loaded all the troops in the bus. The director said, "I’ve never seen anything like this. Most of the patients refuse to do anything and here they have been dancing and having a ball. 

We pulled out of the driveway and the oldsters were following us waving goodbye with their handkerchiefs. What a good time. Two days later I discovered that the soldiers had spiked the punch. All the old people were pretty soused by the time we left. Oh well, we gave them a great Christmas. 

Friday, November 27, 2015


Recently I had a tête-à-tête with a friend. He is from my perspective, the worst communicator I've ever known--interrupts, makes these declarative statements, essentially shutting down the dialogue. Drives all of us crazy. I thought of this musing  by George Bernard Shaw, 
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw 

Monday, November 23, 2015


Have a blessed Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. As "Mericans" we have so much. Recently I asked a friend who is Irish, successful business person and desperately wants to emigrate to America. I definite get it for the really sad Syrians trying to find peace and safety. But, hard to say about my friend and I asked him why does he want to emigrate. His answer: you Americans have no earthly idea of how fortunate you are. You are safe. You have, even the poorest, a measure of what you want and you don't even think about it.  

However, even Thanksgiving can't take away these random thoughts. (1) Best treatment of the whole ISIS issue I've seen in the "Economist." (2) Very disingenuous to watch the Prez beating his chest like I saw him last night about how we are going to destroy ISIS. THEY HAVE US BY THE GONADS, let's face it. (3) If you saw 60 Minutes last night and the episode on Iraq, amazing. We are still pouring millions into that operation; some American general is claiming great victories. I think that we are at the stage where they outright lie. (4) Or, maybe it is downright perception. And, what we know is that a person's perception is his reality, regardless of the facts. I've always thought they bear some of the blame to where we find ourselves. Rosy reports, how we are kicking ass when out here in the hinterlands, we are not seeing these great victories. The examples are everywhere. Think Paris. It is a mess. 

God bless, Have a blessed Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015


Can we or will we go for an effective coalition. NO, mainly because it has to be done by an effective and "cool" leadership. And that appears to be missing or in short support. It is not that it is not our fight but it is not something that we can do or should do, alone, if at all. Countries like the Saudis, Iran, all have to come together. (Good luck with that). I heard on one news outlet that there are Saudis who are actually contributing financially to ISIS. Saudi is a country where they behead citizens who are not Muslim. What the f..k. 

I have been an Obama supporter but he has of late f..ked up. I see nothing that we are involved in that is working. What is that saying. Something like, "To continue doing what we have always done and expecting different results mean that you get what you've always done." As a country, we know how to be stupid. 

I can't "get" this on our attitude toward Russia. This is, by any estimation, dumb, dumb, dumb. To tame Syria, Assad is the key. Take care of the problem (ISIS) and then sort it out. 

The prez and his choir say our strategy is working. WHAT STRATEGY IS THIS?

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Any amateur military tactician can tell us what we have to do to defeat ISIS. (1) OVERWHELMING  Force,(100,000)
 much like we defeated Saddam in Kuwait. Surround wherever ISIS is concentrated. (2) Cut off their supply routes, no one in or out, outside activity suspended (hauling oil). (3) Close off escape routes. (4) Bring lethal force, which means being prepped with air strikes by the dozens, tanks, mortors, reducing the ISIS space to rubble. Invade with ground forces, from every direction, two weeks max to kill or capture ISIS fighters. Mission accomplished. Not simple but the only way to defeat them for the present. 30 days max. 

Will we do it? NO! The reason Gulf War One worked is because we had a coilition and did not disguise what we were doing. It is complicated and the last thing we want to see is America, alone or with Europe, take up a fight that is not ours. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Maybe We Ought To Think About The Draft

I don't feel safe in Paris and am emigrating to Israel. I feel safe there. Although they live with danger, they feel safe. Maybe it is because everybody in Israel has to serve in the military and they learn how to handle themselves. 

A Parisan Interviewee 


A couple of weeks ago some AF type said we were killing thousands of ISIS fighters. How does he know? Well, the targets, drones, whatever, are effective. Then some Colonel says yesterday that we have now targeted/destroyed 16 gas trucks. Yet hundreds are lined up getting oil. Then some government money guy estimated that we have seriously hurt the fanatics in the pocketbook. They are only making millions. Some Bloomberg reporter says, "let's try billions." The rosy, make that over optimistic, Alive in Wonderland spokesmen/women take us for a bunch of idiots. What ever it seems they need to tell us to float our boat, they do. The bottom line is that we are supposedly killing the leaders, defeating them in every way and we still have "Paris" and ISIS is stronger and more lethal than ever. 

We don't want to think our leaders are selling us a bill of goods, the equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge. I say again, ISIS is as ruthless and powerful as ever, despite our chest beating. I think it is time that "Americans that care" are told the unvarnished truth or just accept the fact that we just "did fall off the turnip truck". 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


I confess upfront that Bernie is my man. He has new ideas and my independent nature likes him. He thinks that to deny refugees is unAmerican. Our country was built on immigrants, to include all of us. For us to deny helping people who have struggled for the very basics in life goes against all that we are. 

Are there terrorists among the refugees? Probably. Any young man or woman will have to be vetted throughly. It is another wrinkle in the great security apparatus. 
The politicians, grandstanding on the backs of trying to do the right thing, is counter productive, to say the least.  


We have said some stupid things but failing to coordinate with Russia on getting ISSI IS CRAZY. THIS IS A CHANCE; wanting Assad to go? Where is he going to go?  

Retribution and revenge against ISIS is what we want. Let's wake up and smell the roses. Syria has changed and we have to deep six (get rid of) our demand that Assad go. He has nowhere to go. And, we are not going to get anybody to the peace table or any table without him. 

Monday, November 16, 2015


Already politics is entering the scene.  According to Senators McCain and Lindsay; naturally, it is all the Presiden's fault,  And, I get so tired of hearing; the "American People." Bullshit. It is not American People. We should say, "Americans that care." Let's face it, many Americans don't care, don't give a s..t, one way or another. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Paris terrorism reminded me of 9-11. My daughter called me then and said, "Dad, are you watching TV?" Afterwards, I was glued to it for days. Now, with the terrorist attacks on Paris, the same emotions have evolved. Just so happens that I was on a pheasant hunting trip with a few of my buddies, mostly vets. 

We have talked, postulated from the very beginning of news of the attack: what to do? In a sense we admitted that there is nothing to do unless we are willing to be ruthless. One of my buddies called to mind the Clint Eadteood movie, "Unforgiven." Clint has killed the corrupt Sheriff and he gets on his horse and looks at his good buddy, Ned, in a casket on display for all to see. (Morgan Freeman.) Clint stops and says something like, "You better give Ned a proper burial or I am coming back and will kill you and then I will hunt down your families and kill them." This is what we call "ruthless." It is the only way to confront ISSI. 

One of the aspects of what we are seeing is that ISSI doesn't mind showing us and telling us who they are because they are counting on our value system to keep us from being "ruthless." We will do limited retaliation but not much. We don't have the heart for "ruthless". 

In other words all we can do is react and not much of that. Do we have it in us for "ruthless." I don't think so. Are we ready to deport/blame families for their terrorist children. What about torture, water boarding. This is the way you get information, water boarding, profiling, listening in on conversations. What about it? Can we be "ruthless?" I DON'T THINK SO. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015



Yesterday we decided it was time to get another dog. Our beloved died in late September. 


Saturday morning we got an email from a breeder in Aiken, South Carolina. We had sent her our previous dog's obituary, which included pictures of him, and asked if she had a "Jack Russell."


With this email was a picture of a long-legged rough-coated male Jack Russell in many ways similar to our departed. This dog was a year old, had not been neutered and lived outside with 5 other Jack Russells, so that both he and his coat were thin.  The breeder warned he would be a project, having never been on a leash nor socialized. But, he was adorable, calm, and loveable and that closed the deal.


On the trip back to Atlanta, we stopped at a truck stop in Madison so everybody could go to the bathroom. My wife slipped a leash around the dog's neck. Never having worn a leash, he spooked, tightening the leash around his neck. With that he panicked and went berserk, biting her as she tried to grab him, and pulling the leash out of her hands.  The dog ran off to the trucks parked overnight.


Our turn to panic.  It was dark, this dog did not know and trust us, and would not come when we called...he didn't even have a name for us to call.  


We chased him as he darted around the trucks in this huge truck stop in the dark with his leash dragging behind. Fortunately he is white so easily seen by the big rigs that kept pulling in.  Then two guys in a pickup truck came to try to help...every time we would get even close to him he would sprint away. They were at least able to help us keep him in sight as he ran next door to Lowe's and on beyond to the Chick Filet.  The chase went on for over an hour.


Then two more people joined the chase...young guys, string bean thin, one wearing a cowboy hat. The boys were 17 and seniors in high school in Madison. 


 Our fear was he would head to the highway in front and sure enough he did.  At that point nobody could see how this would have a happy ending. Either he would be hit on the highway or would run off into the woods never to be seen again. We were as traumatized as well as the dog.


Suddenly one of the young guys ran up and said "We got 'im."  Turns out the two of them had chased him around the car dealership across the street and finally managed to corner him and step on his leash.  He, of course, bit the guy who grabbed him and pooped on his shirt but he managed to hang on. 


There was elation all around and I gave the two guys what money I had.  The dog calmed down immediately as if nothing had happened. As we drove home he stayed in my wife’s lap and peed on her pants to show his appreciation. It took us much longer to calm down. Once home he slept soundly on the foot of our bed, hard to say which of the three of us were most exhausted.


By today the dog and my wife have bonded. He still growls when I come into the room.


Oh yes, we named him.  Truck.



Talk about a laugh, I had it. Don't tell The owners (thanks to them for sharing) but "Truck," I am afraid, would have been history with me. My lack of patience and a realization that Truck was a dog would have done it. LOL. Now, if Truck had been a six year old child, I would have hung around.  

I guess that pets for those who don't have children become their children. Our upstairs neighbor who is now gone,  grieved/cried over her dead cat for months; she spend thousands of dollars on "Henry" to keep him alive. I blame the Vet. It was a money thing for him. Even after he died, she erected a shrine. So...LOL. I don't mean to be laughing. Thanks for sharing. I love pets. My daughter is fostering two cats that were abandoned in a fire. 

But, dang, good story and writing. 

Monday, November 09, 2015


    Robert Redford) and "60 Minutes" producer Mary Mapes (Cate Blanchett) get in hot water after the network broadcasts a report about President George W. Bush and his military service. Good movie to me. Kate Blanchett reminds me of my daughter. 
        The big overall story is about Bush using influence to get him out of Nam. When a rival network, ABC questioned  documents like OERs (Officer efficient reports), CBS caved. Dan Rather retired. CBS fired the Blanchett character who was the hero of the movie. 
    Good movie, showed how the behind the scenes work; power, nobody tells the truth. Surprise surprise!! Historically, makes me think way back to Al Gore. What if he had hung in. Or, for Bush 2nd term,  CBS had not caved but said "F..k you very much," to the right wing. John Kerry, the Democrst at least went to Vietnam. The Swiftboat vets were "used" and did him in. 
    Let's face it, the country would be a different place today. 

    I liked the movie. A good story about something meaningful. George W., was not all that bad, just a little on the dumb side and easily manipulated by Rumsfelt and Chaney. Let's at least, give him his dues, he had to deal with 9-11. 

    Can't give Chaney or Rumsfelt or CBS any slack. Chaney couldn't go to Vietnam, his own statement, he had "other priorities." Rumsfelt altered the military, making it less effective by closing posts and creating generals. CBS went for the bottom line, money. My personal protest is that I am not watching CBS anymore. Ever! MFers!!!!! 

Friday, November 06, 2015


Donald Trump has a house worth 100 million. Most of the Republivans are way up there. Milk Huckaby, a preacher lives in one that costs 3 million. Sorry MFer. The average ones of these assholes' size houses, 4440 square feet. Average American size of house, 1800 sq ft. 

What ticks me off to the max is that we keep electing such MFers or that we even give them a forum. . San Fran, my town, for instance, didn't do shit for the poor in the election. The rich and developers won on every hand. The poor don't vote and until they do, they are going to take it in the shins. 


One night recently, I found myself at night deep into the heart of the
San Francisco's mission district. What I noticed were the scores of mothers/grandmothers with small kids, with their backpacks waiting for the bus. It is pitch dark--what an interesting phenomena to me, a life that most of us don't think about. A mother, children in tow heading home, probably been at work, maybe cleaning houses. Minimum wage you can count on it. Hardly the American Dream. Created a kind of sadness. WTF

Wednesday, November 04, 2015


Yesterday, I was boarding the bus and in front of me were two females, I guessed Brits. They asked the driver if the bus went to San Francisco. The very large African American female said, "No and you need to get off the bus." I started to jump into it but didn't F..King coward. The bus did go to San Francisco. Why the driver did this is beyond me. The mystery, If you think about it, how often had this bus driver been discriminated against/denied, whatever and yet she does the same thing to others. A mystery. 


My political rantings about SF. Big money won and as some columnist I read, said,  "if you don't think money rules the day, I want to sell you a nice bridge painted golden with a nice view." The people are stupid acting. And we knock out prop F on the strength of $6-8 mil poured into the campaign. We are stupid beyond words as overall even in liberal SF, we vote against our own interests. 

And then we are enhancing our democracy by not voting and as my late brother, Raz, use to say, "if you don't vote, keep the f..k out of this conversation." We need some more high rises in the City, anyway. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015


A "Sixty Minutes" story shook me to my toes. As a grandpa, the scariest 70 Minutes program I've seen. I couldn't help but project: Projection from all these kids that are hooked on drugs telling their stories to the pain of their parents. Here's just one. Google 60 Minutes and read the full transcript of the segment. 

"All of these parents say they wanted to talk to us (Bill Whitaker, the interviewer who is terrific) because too many other families are embarrassed, in denial about their kids' heroin use. 

These parents say the stigma and shame are compounding the epidemic. Here's a sad, sad comment. "So, for us, we were in total shock when it happened. But, the struggle was the stigma.

Lea Heidman: She passed away, (overdosed) the day after Saint Patrick's Day and she posted on Saint Patrick's Day a picture of her on her laptop, studying, doing homework, saying, "No partying for me, not even a single drink, I'm staying in and I'm-- and I'm working." The next day she used herion and that was the last time she used. She died. 

Monday, November 02, 2015

Prop F

I am not a San Francisco voter but It portends a lesson for us all. Prop F is yes and no. The NOs are spending 6-8 million on defeating the Prop, plus have brought in all the big guns. The other side has only $350,000. As a voter, does that tell you something? 

Sunday, November 01, 2015

A Stupid Pill

Sometimes, I have jokingly said that teenagers, in particular, get up every morning and take a stupid pill. Now we can say this about our government. What the F..K, "they get up every morning and take a stupid pill. Here it is: US PLEDGES $100 Million to opposition fighters ." What opposition is this? Already, we spent millions and ended up with fourteen fighters. We are spending 10 million a day bombing without any real knowledge we are doing shit. Unless, of course, you have been to the American Generals "school of spin." Throw in Iraq and Afghanistan and it is endless; cruelty of war that is like a NC goat rope. "Nobody stands still and impossible to tell who the players are." 

We have a great "out" with the Russians in Syria. Assad has literally nowhere to go and we are not like some High School kid in a rivalry. I have always supported the Prez but might have to step away. 

Hello! Hello! John McCain wants to invade everybody. Does he have no memory of our stupidity in Vietnam. He was a POW for God's sake and should be the first to point out that Syvia is a "fast train to nowhere" for us. STUPID!!

The pundits are hinting oneupmanship to our leadership as opposed to the Russians. I sure as hell hope so. Maybe eventually the Russians will realize as we should have, get the f..k out. But, we've taken a stupid pill.  We can't win, we can't tie and by sending in a few Special Forces solders, we invite disaster. Stupid is the only answer I can come up with. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

An Alcohol Culture

A couple of days ago I texted my granddaughter who is a soph at BU and subtlety said, "be careful with all those parties and drinking too much." In fact, it is a simple fact: We live in an alcohol culture, plain and simple. If you really want to discover this, the next party/gathering you go too, just observe without drinking yourself. 

Recently my wife and I were invited to an anniversary party. It was not in our town and so we had to drive We decided ahead of time which of us would drink and the other a designated driver. It was a wonderful get together. Quality all around. Of the thirty or so there, I venture to say that I was the only one not drinking. The waiters kept filling the glasses. In a word, I saw personalities change. Some in remarkable ways. Not bad, just different. 

We live in an alcohol culture. What am I saying? Good or bad. Not really but basically I can’t think it’s good for us. 

Friday, October 30, 2015


Real combat vets often discuss the veracity of fellow soldiers war stories. Most true combat vets, those that actually fought, on the front lines, rarely talk about it. Here is one a friend passed to me.  

 "I tell people I don't really see a person as a combat vet unless they have a CIB, (combat Infantry's Badge or a Purple Heart or a Bronze Star or better. I often see everyone's DD214 (this is the official record of every soldier) so I know the bullshitters. I had lunch last year with a quiet Korean War vet as I told him I was collecting stories. I knew what he earned (all the above). He got hit with a grenade in the leg when he went to check a ridge during an advance. Getting toward the top, a grenade came rolling down the hill. 

He was back in the trenches a few weeks later. He said, 'All I really remember is how cold it was. All the time.' A real (and quiet) hero.

Monday, October 26, 2015


60 minutes. 

Fascinating. Showed this vast military operation we have in the Middle East. Costs "10" Mil!!!! Get this, TEN MILLION a day. $$$$$ Dollars we are talking about. Who would have thought bombing would costs this much. $$$$$ LOL. Imagine what we could do with those bucks (consider we have been doing this over a year) if we applied them to out problems in America.

 We are so f..king stupid. 60 minutes asked the Air Force types, "why a terrorist outfit like ISIS could still exist if we were so successful as the commanders said. One LTC allowed something like, "We are killing thousands." What in the f..k has he been smoking. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Germaine Greer

Germaine Greer is speaking at some University and an on-line petition is badgering her because of her comments concerning transgender women. The University said, "no way" would she be prohibited from speaking (Cardiff U). They didn't cave like Amerivan schools have when faced with controversial speakers. (Brandeis University notably exhibited a marshmallow backbone by withdrawing an Aysan Hirsi Ali honorary degree as they didn't have the guts to stand up to controversy. They preferred censorship to listening to all opinions). 

I like this comment about Germaine Greer. She scoffed when asked wherther she understood that her views could hurt the feelings of transgender women. She said, "People are hurtful to me all the time. Try being an old woman for goodness sakes." 

I am not a conspiracy theorist but do wonder about the fact that the "Times" reported this in a little small article buried way down the page. 

My favorite Germaine Greer quote is something like this: "men have always been interested in T and A (trying not to offend any sensitivities. HaHa)  And now after centuries,  they are still interested in one thing, T and A and A nd T. True. 


Recently, I was discussing the candidacy   of Hillary and Bernie with a friend who was a "dyed in the wool" Hillary supporter. I like Bernie because he has some fresh ideas and Hillary and Bill have had their chance. To me, Hillary will be so divisive. My friend pointed out, "And, you don't think Bernie will?"  Of course, the "right wing fundamentalist" will have a field day but with either Hillary or Bernie, no pulling the country together, even if it has ever been possible. 

It is our system. Broken and we can't fix it. When voters who care hear the word,  "broken," the illusion that we can "fix" it enters the stage. Ideally, we could vote out the present crowd and vote in a new one. But, we'll not do that.

 I have no faith in the electorate. We keep
 putting in the same worthless politicians. Many Americans even vote against their own interests as they get involved in so called wedge issues, i.e., Planned Parenthood, gay marriage, various bullshit sort of stuff. Politicians say, "American people" as if they have a clue what it means. What should be said, "Americans who care" and not all do. 

The best, I think, we can say about our system is "high drama and political theater." And, as a rock/blues guy, Sam Cooke, would say, 

Thursday, October 22, 2015


This was an HBO show that said for the first time ever, politics is addictive. So, Joe not running is even more impressive. Finally a politician who is willing to fade into the sunset. No use to analyze, just Way to go Joe. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Millinnials Revisited

Feedback from a follower:

We now live in the age of connectivity.  My children are always connected to their "clans"-those whose lives they value highly, and those they wish to communicate with on a regular basis.  It allows them the dynamics of "family" life no matter their location.  It's a fantastic, modern, technological transformation of the meaning of 'family'.
     We, you and I, etc., barely scratch the surface; but they are in up to their eyeballs.  We had to worry about the cost of long distance calls, toll calls, telegrams, sitting down, writing letters.  Not them: they flip open their "devices" and starting communications immediately.  Stay connected as much and as often as you like. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Social Media

A few months back, my wife and I went to Seattle for our first gay wedding. I went kicking and screaming but it turned out OK, met some nice folks. Yesterday, a couple we met came to our place for lunch. He is a high tech guru in a start up and his partner, a theater type of some sort. They were absolutely delightful and
educated us in how "millennials" think/act. Here is my interpretation. They are always connected and organize their lives around social media. Their friends on social media are organized in groups, whom they are involved with in various avenues of their lives. They are "Facebook" friends with my wife and many others who were at their wedding. They touch base on FB and announce they are coming to San Francisco, give dates, etc. They "couch surf" (think that is the term--it is, relatively speaking,  where people who are "friends" on social media offer up their couch for free. There is a website). They didn't "couch surf" but could have. My wife checks in on FB, they plan lunch with us. Delightful. Their next social activity is already planned through FB. Absolutely fascinating to me. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015



Big mistake. The Taliban can't be beaten. They have an endless supply of soldiers. To be effective, we would need say, 50,000, to use the stupid term, boots on the ground. We are setting ourselves up for a disaster. When we lose soldiers like we have before, the public outcry will be enormous i.e., 220 American Marines killed by a truck bomb (1983) at a Marine compound in Beirut, Lebanon

The President is often bamboozled by the generals. The cry in Vietnam was, "more troops," same thing today. In Vietnam, "more troops and we'll be home by Christmas. The only problem, nobody told us what Christmas. 


As my Dad would say, "I am already jaded." The Democrats, not so much a debate as a "group hug." Republicans go at it again tonight. 
I've really thought about what it means coming to this election season. I am an Independent/Democrat. I don't trust the Republicans to run the country. They would break down all that we've put in place. Hillary and Bill have had their shot. I think Bernie Sanders might be the guy. Glad Joe didn't run. Joe can now do something useful, Hang out with his grandkids. 

We need term limits. Will never happen as the ones who would put "term limits" in place would have to vote themselves out and we know what chance that would have. Term limits have worked in California. Let's face it, we are basically f..ked. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


I love the Vietnamese. I seek them out. For a long time, my barber was the Kim girls. I moved. Recently, I've come to know Suzies. They are manicurists.

I've always felt, we f..ked up their country, we owe them. My mission is teaching them to say, America, the Southern way--the NASCAR way. Not America but "Merica." It is adorable. God bless "Merica. You should see them smile. 

Every immigrant has a story. We are all immigrants. Susie, for instance, escaped (her words) Vietnam when she was 10. She loves America, the freedom, "blessed," she says. I always walk out feeling humble. 

The Vietnamese are maybe the most successful emigrant group in American. This is not to acknowledge those f..k ups we did. I always asked the question: If the Americans hadn't come to Vietnam, would you be better off. From SUSIES, 
a resounding NO. 

This is not such an objective questioning for sure. We did go To Vietnam for eleven long years and for most of us Vietnam vets, Vietnam rewrote our life story. To me, part of the Vietnam legacy is how little our involvement there has impacted future American f..k ups. Iraq, Afghanistan, the MidEast in general. We never learn. Well, we still have Suzies. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015


For about 20 years I have been watching the Blue Angels fly over the SF skyline irritating the locals. Most every year I have been irritated myself. Not at the noise or any related activity. They are marvelous flying machines, no doubt. But, here is my gripe: can you fathom the money? I would say millions to put on this show and to what end? Soldiers (soldiers include all servicemen/women.) don't have adequate housing, low pay; some actually qualify for food stamps. And, what are we doing? Putting on an air show. F..K


The old, "truth is stranger than fiction" popped up recently in a long article in "Rolling Stone" about a young Lieutenant who goes AWOL (Absent without leave), joins the French Foreign Legion for five years. Finally comes back and is "court martialled" and sent to jail. Talk about the condensed version, this is it. Read the long, long article. 

Not the Army's finest hour from my perspective. It is piss poor leadership, to include some hair brain general who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground. But, it is more. 

For the Lieutenant, having a father/family whose concept of nurturing was built around running a marathon or something related. 

A bigger picture may be how a system like the military deals with mental illness. A Lieutenant who was maxed out depressed and finally with a feeling of nowhere to go. Where were the docs, shrinks, the chaplain, social workers. The military has all of this, yet the Lieutrnant doesn't take advantage of it. Why not? A mystery. 

When I was a young Captain in Germany, freshly back from Vietnam, one of my Lieutenants wanted to talk with me about Vietnam as he was scheduled to go. We had this long talk. I remember it exactly. We even retired to the Officer's Club, continued  talking over a beer. I was candid with him, Vietnam was a sorry war. Useless but it was the only war we had at the time and unfortunately if this Lieutenant wanted to make the military a career, he has to go to Nam to get his "ticket" punched. The humor to my sad story is that the Lieutenant leaves me at the Club, gets in his MG and defects to Sweden--good for him, one smart Lieutentant. 

There are lessons in the Rolling Stone story. First of all, why did the military feel they had to make an example of the Lieutenant. They could easily have given him a field grade article 15, dishonoble discharge and put him out of the Army. No, they had to be stupid. You can forgive the two star general but it is why there is a chain of command: to counterman stupidity. Somebody above the general, to include the president, could have said, "whoa." Come on, as strange as it sounds, the Lieutenant  did join the Foreign Legion for five years. Now, that I'm thinking about it, where the f..k are the French standing up for him. 
The last time I looked, the French are allies. The Prez is the commander in chief. But, not to be. It is one of the reasons that I think the military is in grave shape. The leadership only knows vertical thinking. No real leadership or creativity. Here are the facts, go with it. I often think of a realization that came out of WW Il. The basic difference in the Germans and the Americans is that the Germans had a plan. But, if something happened and they couldn't execute their plan, they didn't know what to do. If something went wrong with the American plan, they made another plan. This is what we've lost, I think. 

Read this story. Think it's called "The Good Soldier" Worth your time. 

Thursday, October 08, 2015


When I was a grad student at LIU (Long Island  U in Brooklyn. Don't ask?) our Sociology Prof, a wonderfully sensitive guy, trying to make a point about the sanctity of life, said something like, "There are 3000 muggings in NY City every day. In a city of 12 million, more or less, that is not a big deal. However, if you are one of the 3000, it is a 100%." 

I've always remembered that when someone points up a tragedy and says, it could have been worse. To the victim, it is a 100 %. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


I hear these talking heads, government spokesman and others, mostly, PBS interviews and the WSJ. Here is s chance to "skate" out of an impossible situation in Syria. Think the Russians and Afghanistan. Eventually, they simply went home. If they thought Afghastan was tough, they ain't seen nothing yet. Let them have Syria. 

The thing that is crazy is we still talk about getting rid of Assad while the Russians are there to prop him up. Will we never get it that the f..ker has nowhere to go. We still continue to sing the same tune: Assad has to go, the 14 people we've trained to fight ISIS are the model for the Russians to join. Wake up and smell the roses. GOOD LUCK Putin, we are out of here. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


I am so please to see the "End of Life Options Act" come to pass. Too many times I have seen patients continue treatment because they didn't know what else to do. Now, there are options. 

The reality of course, is that you are interacting constantly with those who can now choose when they depart the area. Amen and God bless them on their journey. 

A nurse in the Cancer 
Infusion Center. 


Long time coming. Finally we have to applaud the governor. Although I have supported him, he will always be Guv Moonbeam. This wasn't courageous so much as what the f..k have we been waiting on? 

My old professor, Albert Ellis. (actually I was a student at LIU [Long Island U] and took a class taught at Ellis Institude.) I will never forget the class and Ellis view of "death and dying." Something like, "a person's life belongs to them and they can do with it what they want." Right on. The stories and examples are legion on how important it is at the end for someone departing this life to choose how they exit. So IMPORTANT. The law, although a long time coming, is here. Thanks to all those folks who have worked so hard to see this happen, many in the final chapters of their time on earth. God bless them.  


There is an NC saying, "Snake Bit." What it roughly means is that regardless of what you try to do; good, moral, whatever, it comes across f..ked up. Snake Bit. Bad luck on every turn. That is us, overall in our present involvements. We pretty much get blamed for everything. Maybe, right or wrong. But, here's an example of Snake Bit. Russia is indiscriminately bombing most everything that moves. We are going for the big condemnation. At about the time we are taking the moral high ground, we bomb a hospital in Afghanistan and "tick" off the unflappable "Docs Without Borders." We are SNAKE BIT. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015


Going to SF Giants last game today. Symbolic, they are out of playoffs but been an entertaining season. 

The other day when I was watching the "Willy Mac" awards, I thought, how would it be to spend years playing baseball and then it ends. Now, of course, they make millions and we have to view them as entertainers. 

What I like about the Giants is that they are a kind of, "Peoples" team. Their manager is brilliant but not flashy. He doesn't "grandstand." You feel like you know the players.  So, Giants, thanks for the season. 

Saturday, October 03, 2015


San Francisco didn't make the baseball playoffs. They didn't finish last but not in the money, so to speak. I love baseball for its strategy. Some say it's boring. I've never been bored seeing managers maneuver. 

Overall, not much of a sports type but baseball, as Susan Sarandon quoted in my favorite baseball movie, "Bull Durham," 'Walt Whitman said, Baseball is America's game.' " 

Moping around, bemoaning the loss, I thought of a Lieutenant I knew in Nam. He was a West Point graduate and told me this tale. At "The Point" when the cadets get close to graduation, cadets who finish first or close to the top, their hard work has paid off and there's much of which to be proud. However, at this stage, nearing graduation, the real prize goes to the one who finishes "last." He is called "the goat." 

According to the Lieutenant who said he was more proud of being "the goat" than anything ever, when you get close to the end, you know how many points you need to pass a test, how much to fail one. There are scores who are vying to be the cadet "goat." When "the goat" walks across the stage at graduation, he is given a standing ovation. 

Well , my beloved Giants didn't win but they weren't the "goat" either. A sad note to this war story that I remember distinctly: the Lieutenant was killed shortly after telling me the "goat" story. Sad beyond words. We spent a million dollars educating this fine young troop to have him die in a useless war. It is not the money, it is just an example. The Lieutenant will never be married, have children, love the good American life. We sent him off to war and he died. The greater sadness is the anger at what we did. We have done it many times since Vietnam and continue. We f..king never learn. 

Friday, October 02, 2015


And, I mean no disrespect to those who struggle with mental illness but the word "crazy" conveys the idea that a person, obviously mentally ill, is living in a parallel universe. He is hearing voices and having conversations that we can't share or know. And, from initial readings, his mom who coddled him was not a paragon of mentally stability, herself. 

As one who has no answers, maybe this could be an approach. Let's go
after the "gun dealers," make it a profession where they have to truly screen for mental illness. As much or more like TSA. The "crazies" might not be getting on a plane but they are loose in society with a gun. How can we keep guns out of their hands? The gun sellers! And, if a crazy has bought a gun from a dealer and the dealer has not done due diligence, he goes to jail. Now, jail is an incentive. Solve the problem? No, not really but it is something. 
God bless us all. 

Thursday, October 01, 2015

HELLO, Russian war planes bombing

Hello, Hello. We are surprised that the Russians are bombing everybody who is not with Assad. They entered the frey and we are maxed out dumb to think they are going to fall in line with American views: Get rid of Assad, the one the Russians came to prop up. 
Hello, Hello. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Jack Kemp

"Either we stay as a team or we don't play." Quarterback Jack Kemp, on a road trip with the San Diego Chargers, upon learning that black players were staying in a ratty hotel. 

I once met Jack Kemp and was impressed how down to earth he was. This quote is taken from the book. 

Monday, September 28, 2015



Sitting out here in the hinderlands, listening to the President and then to hear Putin saying something like, "American arrogance, policies gone wrong," sounded about "right on" to me. What it looks like is continuing stupidity about Syria as we still are "beating our chest." What the f..k!  

There is no solution in a real sense for Syria. The underlying menace is ISSI, the fanatical Islamic religious idealists who are smart and have no rules. Brutal MFers who can attract immature youngsters by the scores. 

The sad reality is that a couple of hundred Americans have joined them and will most likely forfeit their lives for bullshit. This is an aside but important, what always gets me is that here are these American kids exposed to our way of life, untold basics: food and shelter, limitless opportunities and they give it up it to believe in some fanatical ideology which is opposite of what they have known. How f..king crazy is that!  In an anachronistic way, they join up with a herd of fanatics mired in the 12th Century. In America, they could be out chasing p...y, rather than getting themselves set up to die. 

We apparently will never learn; as historians kn even as far back as the Vietnam "Gulf of Tonkin" sham. LBJ at that time called Vietnam a "pip squeak nation." Well, we know what happened after years in Vietnam--that pip squeak nation drove Johnson from office. 

Iraq, for example, as one of our ill conceived adventures, is like a distant cousin of Vietnam. Vietnam ended up taking the smart path and making use of our screw ups. Not so Iraq and now Syria. 

But, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Syria; really doesn't make any difference, we keep being arrogant and pushing an American style of democracy that has no chance of succeeding in the Middle East. After the so called, Arab Spring, smart people should have grasped this but as usua, we could f..k up a two car funeral possession. 

 And from listening to the President speak, same old stuff. Let's hope that when Putin and Obama stole away from the cameras, they bullshitted a little. 

"Putin, how's it hanging?" 
"Good and you?" 

"Let's have a drink. Thanks for taking this Syria mess off our hands. You know I don't think you are a bad guy, we have got to say certain things for the benefit of show and politics. And, let's face it, our style of 'democracy' is pretty messy. You got the right wing fundamentalists Republicans who wouldn't know "smart" if it ran over them--not like your country where you can kick a few asses, send a few to prison, take over a country or two. Still, I get it. Thanks again."

Now this is smart. The only other thing to realize is to "get real" about Assad. Core US principle, oust Assad. Bullshit. This is the epitome of stupidity. 

All along, nobody has said the obvious, at least I haven't heard it. Assad has no where to go. He looks around and sees what happened to Kadify, Saddam, Muslim brotherhood, etc. Literally he has nowhere to go--luckily for him, he has Russia, Iran, Iraq. 

Let's make like the shepards  guarding their sheep. They hear noises, possibly a wolf, one looked at the other and said, "let's get the FLOCK out of here." OK, "Merica," let's get the F..K out of Syria.