Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Vietnam revisited

Programming on public TV, All this week is stuff about Vietnam. The fall, baby airlift, the draft. As I look back over my not so illustrious career, I think my saddest time had to be when I was at an Army leadership school, CGSC (Command and General Staff College) and Vietnam fell. For me, it was the realization that all had been for nothing. All those lives lost, the stuff we are still dealing with today. Amazing. F..K


Bruce Jenner has been all over everything. Diane Sawyer's interview. My favorite NPR guy, John Hockenberry. I never can keep it straight; transvestite, transsexual. What the hell! This is "Merica," people can be what they want. 

The best comment I've heard was from this guy interviewed on NPR. His basic comment was that for transgender types, court cases, etc., could go only so far, people getting to know each other is the key. Once they got to know each other, it works out. 

At first it sounded a little naive. But then he illustrated with an anecdotal story. He was a teenager, wrestling with gender issues. He had worked all summer at some back breaking job at a peach or cucumber packing plant. He was getting his last paycheck and his boss shook his hand and the interviewee said to him something like, "I am transgender and would Iike you to know." The older guy listened and finally said, "Will you be back to work next summer."  (Guess you had to be there but I liked it). 

In the final analysis, getting to know each other takes care of issues like transgender. "You are a good worker and see you next summer." 

Sunday, April 26, 2015


This is Vietnam nostalgic week ( this my term). Documentaries on the draft, fall of Saigon, etc., then there is the one on Nixon that was sbsolutly amazing. Of course, various ones seeing things from their perspective. Nixon going out into the crowds and being very human. 

I see him as a sorry , MFer, prided to get us out of war when in fact he ended up prolonging g it. At the te henprised, there were something like 6000 casualties. By the time it was over, closing in on 40000. What astounds me is thatVietnam taught us nothing. One would think, the country goes through a traatizing experience like Vietmam and they say," never again." The mantra rather becomes, "never again till next time." Pretty disconcerting to me

Saturday, April 25, 2015


As passionately as people are debating the issue, they are also working hard to find short and long-term solutions. They range in philosophy: eliminating the "Greek" system, encouraging sororities to hold their own parties; wearing a fingernail polish that when swirled in a drink, can indicate the presence of a date rape drug; letting women carry guns on campus; and employing an anti rape device known as "Tape X" which is a female condom with teeth lining the inside. 

Kathryn Masterson, Furman University Alumni Magazine 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


The world seems to be gone nuts, especially in the Mideast.  That ISIS is something. This is my favorite view and where we are, 120,000 Iraqis facing 400 ISIS fanatics. What is wrong with this picture? Guess what happened? Mostly nothing. 

Millions and millions we poured into Iraq and they can't do s..t. This is fascinating if it wasn't so tragic. My prediction is that ISIS will eventually take Iraq and we will get drawn back into it. The "retired generals and talking heads" will give the rosy reports, etc.  

It is already happening. I love listening to the BBC. They are "hard up" for so called, experts--they will have anybody to talk too. 
I have, as usual, written a book. Speaking of books, I am about a fourth into Hirshi Ally's book, called "Heretic." I think she is going to be my latest hero into the mess. Her basic theme seems to be, "forget this idea that many Americans have: "we merely need to be tolerant of Mislims. "Bullshit. Muslims believe in violence, based on the "Quran." It needs to be reformed but no Muslim is going to do it. I am not into it enough to be sure I am accurate. She is a credible person to me, however. More later. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015


From a Dad whose son has gone to join ISIS. Two sons have already died. I keep telling him I have faith in the fairness of the system here (British). But the fighters surrounding him keep trying to dissuade him, telling him that dying as a martyr is better than living this life (British). 


There message is: it is better to be a Muslim in Raqaa (Syria, I think) than living next door to a Christian neighbor in London. From the article, "Why Do They Go." (to be a jihadist?) NY Times Mag. 


The "NY Times Magazine" recently had a long article about mostly the 700 Brits that have gone to fight mostly with ISIS--the radical fanatics who personally, I think, will eventually overwhelme Iraq. 

A study group, that the article mostly profiles, basically says these youngster go to fight who have had every advantage British society can give them. They are mostly early twenties and thirties. The article especially showed the barbarism of ISIS. They clothed it all in religious terms. 

These youngsters are driven by a particular view of Islam. To them it makes no difference--they will continue to follow jihab because they have bought into it and it drives them. "You convert or you die." Think of a recentf event as an rxample. Migrants are on a leaky vessel escaping from tyranny, and yet along the way on this dangerous journey, the Muslims took time to throw twelve Christians overboard. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

My Brother Raz

Today is the anniversary of my brother Raz's death. I still miss him. He was my hero and truly a renaissance man. 


Recently, a really good friend's son was joining the State Dept. My friend is my hero: Marine in Vietnam, highly decorated; Silver Star, wounded severely. After healing and returned to combat, he led a 30 man sniper unit. A real "American Sniper," sans Hollywood. He sent this, "Sec. State Kerry will give the swearing in oath in a few minutes."

My response to him. 

"Wow, wish you had a chance to talk to him. He is still chafing over the "Swift Boat Vets," I think. They were "used" by the lying, cheating Republican MFers. And, now they realize it. I voted for Kerry. Could you imagine where we might be had Kerry been elected president.  I don't particular like him. "Demonstrating against the war when soldiers were still fighting,  makes him at worst, stupid and at best, misguided  in my mind but let's move on. Airborne. Sempi FI. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Holocaust Remembrance Day

Yesterday. I forgot. Slap, slap. Let us never forget. I am going to remember through the picture of Anne Franke. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


ATTITUDE is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. Saw in the WSJ. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Baseball is "America's game" as Susan Sarandon said in my all time favorite 
baseball movie, "Bull Durham." And it is: AMERICA'S GAME. Yesterday was the opening day, at home, for the San Francisco Giants. 

The game was really lackluster. The Giants didn't have much spark, for whatever reason. Baseball crowds, however, as a rule, are great. Example: One fan I met had been to opening day with his Dad for 28 years. So hoping he could make one more. Dad died a few days ago. 

For us, we were there to honor our good friend, Sharon. Good time, relatively speaking in honoring her. Nick, her husband, had a tee with Sharon's picture on it, very sweet. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015


You can mock Christianity or Judaism but you can't criticize Islam. 
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Saturday, April 11, 2015

An Essay called, Why Evangelicals Should Love The Pope

Peter Wehner, an evangelical, said something like this, "The authorities were constantly at odds with Jesus because He hung out with the wrong people: The despised and the outcast were his congregation.  To make matters worse,  he claimed the authority of God. Jesus was condemned for being a friend of sinners and cavorting with prostitutes. The proud hated him while the broken flocked to him.  

Sunday, April 05, 2015


Lon Simmons died today he was 91. He got me the baseball sign by Buster Posey. 


Happy Easter. Heading out to Easter sunrise service. I always think of my DAD. 

When I was growing up, my dad and I went to the Cemetery where they had Easter sunrise services. We would always get there early and sit in the car, usually freezing. I would say, "Dad, why are we doing this?" He would laugh and say something like, "son, just think of it like this. We are having fun." Finally we would get out of the car and walk about a mile to where the services were held. When it was over, Dad would always say. "Now, aren't you glad we came." He would laugh. The last time we went, I was about sixteen. Shortly after then he had a massive stroke. He was a super dad.

Saturday, April 04, 2015


You live your life at the time you live it--you don't have much of an overview when what is happening to you is still happening. John Irving in the novel, "In One Person"