Monday, March 30, 2015


Listening to Charlie Rose interview Syria's Assad, who, by the way,  sounded like an American politician, I thought, "Charlie Rose is no Mike Wallace." Wallace could cut to the "quick." But, I'll have to say, "Charlie did pretty good." 

All along, I've thought, "where do we expect Assad to go?" Here is reality: Assad has nowhere to go and where do we go? If we can put our  maxed out stupidity aside, plain and simple, the players have changed, as well as the stakes. As my dad would say, "anybody with one eye and half sense," would get this. The enemy is ISIS. It is in our interest, if we are going to do anything, to align ourselves with Assad. Wake up and smell the roses. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Like most people in the Western World watching the MidEast where the so called "Arab Spring" sprung and then  crashed and burned. Thoughts like "don't you know that the people would give anything to have Saddam back" which such thoughts are a reflection of the present chaos in the MidEast. 

Then you look at comments on the death of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore who for years was a benevolent dictator as opposed to the messiness of democracy. What the "f..K. Choice? This is no contest. 


TIME MAG had a good review of a new book of Steve Jobs. (I learned computing on a Mac but never became much of a disciple). In thinking about "Jobs," I think
probably he was a classic asshole. Still thankful that he gave me the Mac, however. 

The cautionary tale for us, however, for someone like Jobs, if we want to have an opinion, is how he treated the "little" people. From what I've read, he failed miserably in this area. But, all of this is relatively bullshit. Jobs is for the moment,  an example that everybody dies. Just that simple--rich/poor, famous, innocents/guilty. Whoever! EVERYBODY DIES. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015


I like the way the Journal is laid out. If I can focus, I can read it in 15 minutes. The WSJ is good at reporting the news but are the shits at being objective.   Rupert Murdoch should be home playing with his grandkids, if he has any. Who the f..k, with any sense, would read an editorial page, peopled by bigots.  Everything in existence that is of a "concern" to mankind is the President's fault: Global warming, Mideast debacles, invention of Ted Cruz, loud crinkling of paper. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


In an odd set of circumstances, I get the WSJ (Wall Street Journal) every morning. Editorially, way too "right wing" for me but I love the way it's laid it--I can run through news, finances, investing, personal, with ease. Stay away from editorials and good to go. 

Anyway, the thing that got me in this morning's WSJ is our position of paying off the Sunnis. (I think, haven't we done that before? We paid them off, they switched sides. The money ran out, they switched back). HELLO!! We must run the most stupid foreign policy in existence, ever. We are still pumping millions and millions of dollars into Iraq. What the f..k? Here's a great foreign policy: GET THE F..K OUT. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015


In a sad sad episode on 60 Minutes, all the Christians now refugees, like most of Iraq, say they would give anything to have Saddam back. This is beyond disturbing and why politics is so messed up. Do you think George W. or Rumsfeld or Chaney are losing any sleep over f..king up. 


San Francisco remains the capital of Gay America. Historians trace its roll in part to WWll, when the Navy discharged gay sailers because of their sexuality at Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. Many stayed in the City, which already had a reputation as a welcoming place for refugees and free spirits. 
From an article in the New York Times. 

POLITICS. God bless "Merica."

Netanyahu. Give me a break! We are pissed because of his "fear mongering and lying."  Please! He is politician. What the f..k do we expect him to do? It is what politicians do. What amazes me is that we take some self righteous attitude when we are as bad as Netanyahu, maybe worse. It is like politicians develop a certain gene. Get elected and then lie to win your next election. Then, of course, do anything to keep being elected. We must tolerate it as we keep promoting the liars. Wouldn't you love to hear some politician for once say, "I am not going to lie to you. If you elect me, I am going to do what's best for the country.  This is the unvarnished truth. Take this to the bank." He wouldn't even make it to the door. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015


If I knew I could die at any time I wanted, then everyday would be as precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. 

Terry Pratchett, an advocate for medically assisted suicide that he preferred to call assisted death. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015


The NY TIMES recently did an editorial about dying with the dignity that a terminally ill patient deserves. Their choice. When I was a hospital chaplain in a military hospital with many older retirees, one year we averaged a death a day. Did they all die dignified deaths. No. Many were hooked up to machines and they would have wished for their last days as anything but this. 

The idea that only 8 states have laws that let terminally ill patients end their lives on their own terms, is unbelievable. Last year when Brittany Maynard, a Californian had to go to Oregan to die with dignity,  I could hardly believe it. 

I have always been proud of California, a front burner in terms of attitude and leading the way in being creative, innovative and intuitive. And, I might say, taking risks. And,  yet we do not have a law that allows  individuals to be in control of their own lives. Politics I guess and a f..king bunch of zealots. The late Albert Ellis, my therapist hero said something like this,  "every person's life belongs to them and consequently they choose when, where, how they leave the earth." 

Saturday, March 14, 2015


I read the Fox News Article that featured Chaplain Modder.  On the surface it does look like the Chaplain was "railroaded" , although, I am aware that some evangelical chaplains, [historically] have not handled such cases very well.  

Having said that I do believe there is growing pressure in government institutions to secularize Christianity and get down to the lowest common denominator.  I would like to see our denominations , including Roman Catholic Church, LDS, (all who believe in the sanctity of marriage b/w man and woman) get involved in order to protect freedom of religion, free speach, etc.  There are issues where most denominations could come together and have a great impact....this being one of them.  (there is power in numbers)  --Tom ---you could organize the effort.
I know Tom mentioned that there is "more  to the Story"., and I don't doubt that, however,  the bottom line is, there is increasing pressure on chaplains, especially, in  Navy and AF to adapt their faith to societal and cultural standards. 
Last week I preached  a message on "The Law of God in an increasingly Lawless society".  No doubt the sermon needs more work, but I think it has potential.  Part of the thesis is:  The foundational principle behind all of God's laws (speaking of the10 Commandments) is contingent upon the recognition and adherance to the first two:  1) Thou shalt have no other God's before me and 2) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images.  Once those two commandments are compromised it is easy to disregard the rest.   Result:  Secularism; Judging our behavior and standards on cultural norms (relatives rather than absolutes), etc. 
DP, Col. USA, Ret

😳Dave, I think you have the right idea but I don't think it will fly. The structure of the military won't allow it. Top generals are too much politicians. Plus, Fox News is so biased by aligning ourselves with them is a "fast train to nowhere." What we need is for the volunteer military to fail and I don't know how to bring that about. Readiness is affected by gays as there is a homophobic nature to it. Same sex marriage, of course, is not a separate issue. I can't conceive that the 82d would accept homosexuality on a wholesale scale. It is not in their nature. And some gay male introducing a man as his husband, these guys would go bananas. 

But, I also think women have hurt readiness, too. 

We don't have any champions. You have the Republicans but they are grandstanding, writing letters to Iran, such bullshit as that. But, we don't have anybody on a wholesale scale who will rise up and say the military is vastly affecte as they are not a social organization. 

Of course, I have no faith in the Navy or AF. To me, we have to figure out how to tie the issue to readiness and I don't know how to do that. Probably all of us, if we are honest, are homophobic. I sure am and find myself making jokes, "fruits," etc. But, none of us would be cruel to gays. 

Being in the gay capital, I see it everywhere but it really is a type of segregation. We have all kinds of gay friends but don't socialize. I kid Jackie, she has this gay boyfriend. She has lunch occasionally but not much interaction. To be honest, I just don't know. I am in line with the EPC mostly but nobody has asked me to perform a gay wedding and so not a problem. 

A dilemma and I don't know the answer. I hate it for the chaplain. He looks angry but I have a sneaky feeling he is a good chaplain. 

LOL. I Have this great war story that relates to this. I will send along sometime. God bless us all. As my dad use to say, "might as well laugh as cry." 
Jda, Col., USA, Ret

Friday, March 13, 2015


What do you think of our Congress now?  I'm so disgusted with those assholes. It just goes to prove once again that the Republicans will go to any length to try to discredit Obama and pander to their ultra conservative constituents. They disgust me. And especially because they don't propose any alternative courses of action, they just stay in the non-critical attack mode. 

And what about Hillary?  Has she shot herself in the foot?  Frankly I'm not sure I care. WR, Colonel, USA. Ret.

APPLAUSE 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

I  totally agree with you about our politicians. The height of a broken system and we can't fix it. Those who are most affected, still support those who go against their own interests: the dismantling of our social system in every way. 

I surely hope Hillary doesn't run (sure she will). Do we want yo deal with things like private email accounts, shady dealings constantly. I don't see anybody on the horizon. What about Joe Biden? I would go for Joe. He is always putting foot in the mouth but think he is harmless. Anyone but the Republicans. 


St Patrick's Day is very special to me. Mainly because I have no real heritage, meaning that not like African American, Italian, etc., I identify with the South but overall just proud to be an "Merican."

My neighbor, and "R"ishman (says it like I've tried to spell it.) He loves "Merica" and constantly reminds me how great this country is, even with all our problems. And, of course, on St Patrick's day, we are all Irish. 

In my all time favorite (mini TV series) movie, "Lonesome Dove," Captain Call and Gus are discussing who is an "Merican." At some point Gus says that "Call" is Scottish and he says, "I am just as much "Merican" as somebody from Ireland". If this isn't exactly how it goes, it is close and a good encounter. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


These are a bunch of imbeciles. What Netanyahu did was disgraceful. This is disgusting.

Let's face it. Sending a letter to Iran about nuclear proliferation is like pissing in the wind. Here's what a friend of mine had to say. 

This must surely be the first time in 238 years that almost a majority of US senators have shown total disrespect for, and blatantly undermined the President of the United States with the country’s most implacable foe at a critical moment in negotiations with implications for war or peace at a massive scale.

From morons like the two senators from the great state of NC I understand — even expect. But from the likes of seasoned political leaders like Rob Portman, John McCain, Chuck Grassley, Mitch McConnell, Orin Hatch….????  What ever happened to partisanship ending at the country’s shores?

I am truly finding it difficult to comprehend. RL

Sunday, March 08, 2015


Recently I had lunch with this delightful Canadian who happened to be Korean. Came to Canada when she was twelve. 
My daughter invited me and when your adult daughter invites you to lunch, drop everything and go. What I discovered quickly is that I knew more about Korea than she did. Good luncheon. 

In today's obits,  wonderful article about a wartime pilot who accidentally bombed an orphanage in Germany during WW11. Years later, he gets the opportunity to save scores of Korean orphans. He does. Did he feel like it redeemed him? He wouldn't say.  

Saturday, March 07, 2015


On behalf of all Southerners, I want to
ask forgiveness and so apologize for the awful cruelty that we were a part of at Selma. There are no excuses. To think that we treated fellow "Mericans" with such cruelty is unthinkable. I am deeply ashamed. 


I support it as people can love who they want. However, the Feds are after some cake-maker  because his religious views prohibited him from making  a same sex couple a cake. Who would want this MFer making them a wedding cake, anyway. Not me. 

The Feds need to cool their jets. A small business owner can be an asshole and bigoted but does he have a right to choose his customers? Big question.  I think so. 

 We get it that "we have the right to refuse service to anyone" is a throwback to overt racism. For me, too much energy, getting excited about those like the cakemaker. I would get me a cake somewhere else and tell him to go f..k himself. 

Friday, March 06, 2015


America was created by numerous crowds of Europeans who moved there. Italian, Danish, Spanish or French. A lot of people went there because it was the promise land. There was poverty and starvation in Europe and people thought paradise might be over there. It obviously wasn't as simple as that. It was a new nation trying to find its own feet. It was an enormous country. And, obviously you could not keep the law everywhere. Sometimes law was created in a different way. Danish Actor

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


The speech by Netanyahu. I texted the prez, gave him some advice. "Mr Prez, 'Living well is the best revenge.' Meet the Prime Minister of Israel, tell him how glad it is that he is sharing his views. He is always welcome in'Merica.' God bless you and as Elvis would say, 'f..k you very much.' " 


"This is classified" is often the refrain of military, FBI, etc. who don't know s..t about the whole process. This is just easy to say. They then set out to prove what they don't know. The military in particular, slap classified on anything and everything. Dumb. 

I have no real sympathy for Petraeus and think the comments are great in summing up the overuse of "classified." 

"The issue is not whether Gen Petraeus was dealt with too leniently...the issue is whether others are dealt with far to severely for conduct that is no different. This underscores the random, disparate and often unfair application of the national security laws where higher-ups are treated better than lower-downs. Abbé Lowell

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Right on Bill. I'll look forward to the book. I am involved with a group of vets and we have a lot of fun.  We all find the great "affirmation" of soldiers now very interesting, based on our experience.

The unbelievable hooplah about "American Sniper" is very baffling. It fascinated me. I guess Clint Eastwood, who is really John Wayne, must have figured he could make something that would be deeply felt. He made a war movie. Basically Chris Kyle was a good old Texas boy, parents fundamentalist Christians. Hunted as a kid. But, watching the movie, seeing them kick in doors, wives crying, kids frightened. Frankly for me, it was embarrassing and made me feel ashamed. 

Jesus said, "peace, peace but there is no peace." 5000 years there's been turmoil in the Mideast. We can't bring peace.  Personally, I am not sure that we can ever forgive, metaphorically speaking, George W and the neocons. No doubt Kyle suffered from PTSD, which we all have. 

What amazes me often is how soldiers, especially in combat, always are pretty much where this Marine was,"Despite the rhetoric I internalized from back home about why we were in Afghanistan, I ended up fighting for very different reasons...a mix of loyalty to my Marines, habit and the urge to survive.  "How We Learned To Kill" by Timothy Kudo, then LT in Afghanistan and now Captain (Marines are sending him to grad school at NYU. Good for him).

Bill, sorry about running off at the mouth, would love to hear your views. Will see it in the poetry for sure. It is great to hear from you. I asked your sister about you often. Whatever happened to the book on mules. I was excited as mules played a big part in my life growing up. I remember us talking about it. I have George, who was like a brother, as my screen saver on my iPhone. Talk to him everyday when I messing with it. And, in that light, I apologize for not being more involved with you as a kid. You certainly couldn't have had it easy. 
I don't know where my head was: you were younger and who knows but in my own mind, I have always been proud of your accomplishments and will definitely promote your book. Can't wait. {{{{{{Jerry}}}}}

On Mar 3, 2015, at 2:21 AM, William Blackley <> wrote:

Hi Jerry, Mine'a not a very uplifting look at war, but then how can it be.  I pray  for an end to world conflict.  If we could just get rid of greed . . . but then we have humans.   Love, Bill

On Mon, Mar 2, 2015 at 11:59 PM,<> wrote:
Bill, great. I can't wait. 
34 Marie Street
Sausalito, CA 94965


On Mar 2, 2015, at 5:39 PM, William Blackley <> wrote:

Hi Jerry, 

I wrote some poetry regarding my experience in Vietnam and would like to send you the book.  Can you tell me  your mailing address.  

You can see the link below but . . . do not buy the book because . . .  I'm sending this book to you at no expense to you . . .  please let me do that.  

Love, Bill Blackley


Here’s a link directly to my author’s page:


The MSR Online Bookstore:



William J. Blackley, MD
Elkin, NC 28621
336-835-4630 H
336-483-7061 M


William J. Blackley, MD
Elkin, NC 28621
336-835-4630 H
336-483-7061 M

Sunday, March 01, 2015


Despite the rhetoric I internalized from back home about why we were in Afghanistan, I ended up fighting for very different reasons...a mix of loyalty to my Marines, habit and the urge to survive. 

Short excerpt from the article, "How We
Learned To Kill" by Timothy Kudo, then LT in Afghanistan and now Captain (Marines must be sending him to grad school at NYU. Good for him).


If I were a North Carolinian. I am, in fact. I would be ashamed of UNC CHAPEL Hill. If even a portion of the book, Cheated, is right, as Mom would say, scandalous. Honestly, we are crazy and we have an insane look at sports and winning. 

The WSJ had almost an entire page review of the book. This has made big splash and is an indictment of bigtime sports, in general. Players with 400 on the SATs, which is basically illiterate, can't read, getting "As" in courses they never attended. 

Coaches make over a mil, not just UNC but most Universities where football is king. The idea of win win. 

My suspicion is that it will now be "kill the Messenger." I doubt the book will make much difference. The stands will still be full at UNC, NC State, Alabama, etc. 

The sports like football will continue to bring in big bucks. And in my skepticism, a book like, Cheated, will cause a "ho hum."