Saturday, April 30, 2016


I don't have a Facebook account. I did but it got where I was spending 4 and five hours a day on FB and noway would I do that. I think FB can be good for keeping up and for those who have some discipline. I don't happen to be one of them. Plus, my joke, relatively speaking, "I have all the friends I want." 

My Trump dilemma is how to handle my friends who support Trump. This is no small matter. My friends mean a great deal to me (we are not talking FaceBook type friends. I am always suspicious of FB and its algorithms
' intrusive nature). Please! 

I am hard pressed to see how even the most hardcore Republican could vote for Trump and especially my friends. He has insulted every ethnic group possible, lies and the press doesn't call him out. 

I really could care less about Trump but am amazed at Americans who would vote for him or who have gotten him this far. Dang crazy. I think David Brooks of the "NY Times" is right. People will agree with you when you say he is a bigot, lies, male chauvinist, "trailer trash" but they somehow ignore--"Well, he does make these outrageous statements but he's our man." Trump, in getting this far, is a hate monger, plain and simple. 

I don't particularly like Hillary and think she and Bill have had their chance and certainly they are ethically challenged, bordering on criminality but there is no doubt that she is capable. She's been Sec of State for God's sake. 

But, we are in for the Republican hate machine getting cranked up--as much as they might dislike Trump, they hate Hillary more. Here is a mystery to me. Do these people who are crying that they have been left behind really believe that a sorry asshole like Trump, flying around with his TRUMP emblazoned on his private plane, can actually identify with them. If they do, they are dumber than I thought. 

I am pivoting to BASEBALL. We would truly be much better off with BASEBALL as our passion and less attention given to Trump, a mere blip on our radar screen. 

Monday, April 25, 2016


Last night "Sixty Minutes" had a really poignant segment of what they called the Gold Star Parents/Families (not sure of title). It was at Marines Memorial in San Francisco. (This alone causes me to smile. If there has ever been a place more of a contrast than Frisco, I don't know where it would be). I am not going to recount all the story of the 60 
Minutes--don't think I could. Marines Memorial is a hotel, restaurant, bar, etc; most of all as viewed by the Marines, a living memorial. Now, it has provided a place where all the men and women who died in Iraq, Afghanistan--their names are on a plague, on a wall. (Somewhat like the Vietnam Memorial Wall).

A retired, "old salt," Marine, retired 2 star and Vietnam vet was the "shaker and mover" in getting this done. The "take away" for us from the program is that the parents desperately wanted their sons and daughters to be remembered. It was important to them. I get it. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

7 Ways to Save Your Marriage

A buddy and myself wrote this book, "7 Ways To Save Your Marriage." We never tried to get it published, mainly because he died. Great guy. I was reminded of it recently when a friend told me he'd filed for divorce. Why? Not to be judgmental but I guess I am. Pretty flimsy reasons--some lessons to be aware of, mainly that when people divorce and especially if they remarry, they usually trade one set of problems for another. All people deserve the good things that can happen to them but getting there, if divorce is a possibility, is a mission where "smart" sure helps. 

 The book's premise was that most marriages that end in divorce could be saved if three things came together: (1)couple loves each other, whatever that means to them and love means different things to different people. (2) couple is willing to work hard in counselling. MOST AREN'T, because you have to do things that you don't want to do.  (3) No third party is involved. If there is, has to be faced and handled. 

This is good stuff. God bless. 

Friday, April 22, 2016


In a recent segment on PBS about suicide, they interviewed the author of a recent study, detailing the increase. Nice person but no real insight, might as well been talking about the mysteries of Donald Trump's hair. 43,000 killed themselves last year. Sad. 

Imagine the pain if stretched out: parents, extended families, friends, on and on. All trying to make sense of the senseless. There are no real answers, especially with the high numbers of teenagers. Boys in particular. Dang! When a boy ought to be thinking about the wonders of the opposite sex, stressing about other stuff and takes his life. F..k!!!!!! 

What is it that would cause youngsters to do themselves in? Or, anybody for that matter. Terminal illness maybe, when a person comes at it from, "this is my life and I own it." A Mystery. 

Personally, in my experience, a person who takes this drastic step enters a period of "craziness." They momentarily go crazy. Unfortunately, during that period, if they are successful, there is no changing their minds. Carroll O'Connor (Archie Bunker) whose son killed himself had very poignant comments. Although in his case, the son was a druggie, O'Connor said something like, "Whatever it takes, get between your loved one and craziness." Pretty good advice. 

Monday, April 18, 2016


I thought the Prez had learned his lesson on trusting the Generals. Listening to the Generals is like trusting a spokesperson for Payday Loans. Give me a break!!!!!' Sending more troops to Iraq is courting disaster. We are some kind of f..king  stupid. 



My granddaughter who is a soph at Boston U tells me that Boston is pretty much, on this date, geared to a giant Memorial Service. Great! When I was in Vietnam, I did scores of Memorial Services. For soldiers alive, celebrating the lives and memories of fellow soldiers was paramount to their well being. 

It is the way it should be. My seminary professor, Dr WW Boyce said that sometimes there is a sympathy so great that there is nothing to say. Exactly. God bless all who were/are connected to that terrible day in any way. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Every time I read or hear something about these ultra right wing hate groups, I say, "who the f..k are these people?" Well, they are ignorant, uneducated, and voting as Trump Republicans. "Time Mag" had an article on some ignoramus group called NPI (National Policy Institute) dedicated to the advancement of people of European Descent. They don't even try to mask it. And, now they have embraced Trump. I guess social media is a culprit of giving them a forum. A Vietnam buddy of mine recently sent me a piece which was so way out there, I texted him with, "what in the f..k is wrong with you." My suspicion is that he was in the sauce or else  he wouldn't have sent such idiocy comments. If not, I am going to kick his ass. I am ashamed of these people and don't have it in me to call these bigots, "fellow American." 

HooAhhhhhh for the Pope


"Pope takes 12 Muslims, six kids back to Rome." Lucky kids/families. Also, way to go, Bernie Sanders, in meeting the Pope. Some may say, just grandstanding but I say to the critics, "f..k you very much." I choose to believe that the "Pope" is following St Augustine's edict. "Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by accidents of time, or place, or circumstance, are brought into closer connection with you." 

What the Pope could have done is say, “because I can't help all, I can't help any.” He didn't and I choose to thank Augustine for the Pope's wonderful gesture. To me, it's the way that all of us, who are generous and care, should deal with life as we meet those in need. 
Amen (let it be so). 

Thursday, April 14, 2016


I can't. NC is under the negative light these days. The Repubs are so recalcitrant, so stupid. I have always prided myself that NC was different than most of the Deep South states. They even voted for the Prez in the last election. But...

The whole bathroom thing about transgenders is maxed out dumb. Part of the issue however, unless you know this, is that Eastern NC hates Charlotte, who passed the original ordinance--transgenders can use the bathroom they want. Immediately the Republican legislature passes a law to force transgenders to use a bathroom that matches their biology. ( I might be a little uncomfortable if someone wearing a dress was taking one next to me but it ain't going to kill me). Eastern NC is not about to let Charlotte get away with anything if they help it. 

The French settled Eastern NC and I contend that's where we all got our stubborn streak. 

All things being equal, a great place to live and if my kids, well mainly the grandkids, weren't in SF, I would be out of here to NC. I think saneness will return. But, if businesses think they can threaten NC into shaping up or they'll depart the scene, my suspicion is that the respond will be "F..K you very much

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Okie From Musgogee


Meryl Haggard is one of my memories that evokes Vietnam. "Okie from Musgogee" is considered the first pro Vietnam song.  My favourite line is "we don't grow our hair long like the hippies out in San Francisco."

In the early part of Vietnam, all of us GIs were still saying, "we are fighting for our country, fighting communism." We thought it was a just war and we were fighting for the cause of freedom. We were really angry about was what was going on in the States, protests, etc; what we considered the people putting the badmouth on us. A guy like John Kerry, burning his draft card. Then one day, I remember it like yesterday; i was about half way through my tour in Nam and was walking across the FSB (Fire Support Base) to my tent and over the loudspeaker came Meryl Haggard singing "An Okie From Muskogee." The GIs ran out of their tents and started cheering.  Needless to say that was a seminal moment that didn't show up again.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016



I haven't read this book CONSEQUENCE but am ordering it simply as a show of support for the author. I heard Terry Gross's interview on NPR. (She is the best interviewer ever to me). Her interview of the author was about our tangled involvement in Iraq as relates to torture. Listening, hurt my heart. What the f..k is wrong with us. We invade a country, spend millions of dollars and in the title of this book, have to face "consequences." 

This author's views of torture were so "right on." Call it any bureaucratic name, it is still torture and to think we have leaders (No, not leaders but sorry ass politicians) who think, it is OK to torture is pretty sad to say the least. 

I was so impressed with this author: Eric Fair: had been an enlisted man in the Army, then was a contractor twice, doing interrogations. This is his "Memoir," and from my perspective, about "his view of himself" (A lot and coming to terms with his involvement in what we were doing which was "wrong").

There were consequences for him personally. And, of course, the out and out wrongness of what we were doing. The interview pricked me at that point; never any doubt that we are in a "moral lapse" in issues like this: Invaded Iraq under faulty intelligence and ended up with something like Abu Ghraib/ Guantanamo. Absolutely moral lapses. What the interview says to me is that our sense of right and wrong and what we are about as a "Country" has to be corrected or we are lost. 

Monday, April 04, 2016


Basketball. My home state, UNC, mired in scandal and denial. Hard to be proud.  Big scandal; some basketball players remained eligible when they didn't even go to class a single time. One player made the "Dean's (Not Dean Smith, former UNC Coach who these worshippers put somewhere in the Trinity: Jesus, God, Holy Spirit, Dean Smith, not necessarily in that order) List" (all As) and never even went to class or turned in a single required paper. 

NC folks who follow basketball, major denial. Basketball is king at UNC, Chapel Hill and in NC, let's face it. I have friends who refuse to talk about the scandals which I have asked about repeatedly. Those crazy Tar Heels, Trump voters I suspect. NC basketball fans wrote the book on denial. 

There are many issues but plausible too when you think of the "right wing" Christians in particular. They operate with what I call the "sins" life philosophy. Even though UNC has cheated, God forgives them. They have committed sins which means they are saved by grace, through faith. Their theology involves "sin" which means they are believers. Once that occurs, the sins of UNC are forgiven.  

Here is an aside that might make their philosophy clearer. The governor of Alabama gets it on with an assistant, is caught but is forgiven the "sins" as he has taken care of the sin (he's a believer). Clear as mud, right? 

Saturday, April 02, 2016

A Phenomena: Trumpet

So much has been said about Trump that what makes me think I have anything to add. I don't, other than I can cuss in referring to Trump, the sorry "mother." I heard Mark Shields  on the PBS Newshour give an opinion which makes sense to me about the Trump phenom. He said, 
"Fitzgerald wrote, the rich "are different from you and me." Those with a lot of money are paid an unearned respect and deference by people seeking their favor. The opinions of the rich — even those that are foolish and without merit (Trump)— are almost always greeted with apple-polishing approval and praise. But if we don't challenge one another's errors, facts or flaws" an asshole like Trump is clueless because all his life he has been rich. Never struggling, asked to step up. He has had it all. Now, in a sense he is at a point where if he needs to know something, he will know it. 

When I was in the Army, I saw the same thing with generals. They have private places, servants (they don't call them that but same thing). The people around generals tell them exactly what they want to hear. Same with the rich, they don't really need to know anything. How a stupid f..ker like Trump thinks he can be President is beyond me. 

Friday, April 01, 2016


I must confess. I have completely turned around on "the Donald," known in some circles as Trump. It mostly happened last night at this charity event in Marine City, at one of the fine dining spots, "The Outback." (A fundraiser to help Marin City school kids on a trip to DC). 

Marin City is the "black eye" as the county of Marin is literally almost all "lilly white" with the exception of Marin City. Marin County is regularly, in various studies, touted as the richest county in America. There is a long history of Marin City that goes back to WW ll and ship building days. 

All that aside, I was walking in and there it was, something I thought I would never see in Marin: a Trump Bumper Sticker. It was a flash of light, like one of those near death experiences when reportedly, you see a bright light. It happened. Suddenly I realized that Trump was a Savior. That he, in insulting every ethnic group and proposing preposterous things, really was just joking. That he did not look down with disdain on the common man but had, in fact, in his own heart, embraced all mankind, even as he flew around the country in his big jet. The people who voted for him, understand this. It has been us recalcitrant non believers and would be truth seekers who have missed it. 

The bumper sticker made me aware of Trump's desire for the good of his fans and not selfish views. This extended to all "Repubs" who think of the good of the country first and not their own careers and personal gain. And, of course, "Hillary," who has signaled that she is ready to return the millions she and Bill have received from financial institutions. She is most in need of a "group hug." And, even Bernie, as a red bloodied self described Socialist, is ready to embrace Trump's wife mostly. 

When I departed the "Outback," the car with the bumper sticker was gone.  Was this merely an APRIL FOOL illusion? Or, maybe a cunning Ted Cruz sneaking around, slapping Trump bumper stickers on cars. Motive unknown. APRIL FOOL.