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."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MY COUNTRY, RIGHT or WRONG...still my country

My country, right or wrong. If right, to be kept right. If wrong, to be set right 

Karl Schutz, courtesy of the WSJ. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Fascinating movie that won the Academy Award for best Foreign Film. On the surface, a simple story, very well done and with a familiar but very complex theme. It was hard to nail down the message of IDA--does it have to have a message. It does to me. 

IDA, heading toward her vows in a cloistered nunnery sets out to discover her Aunt who is worldly. The Aunt decries all the experiences IDA is going to miss. IDA tries them and goes back to the Nunnery. We are left with the idea that all the worldly experience: music, sex, drinking are no great shakes or the lure of the cloistered life is in the final analysis, the life for IDA. 

I don't know. Really I don't. I can hardly fathom someone locking themselves away. Not just the Catholics but Buddhist, whoever. My problem. 

See this movie, if for no other reason than the unbelievably stark black and white Polish countryside. 


The head of the VA claims he was in Special Forces (Green Berets). What the f..k is it with these guys. He says he was trying to connect with a vet and merely got caught up in it. In his case he could have just told the truth and come out way ahead. . 

The crazy thing is that he, in fact, is a paratrooper and a Ranger. Ranger School in the Army is a hell of a lot tougher than being a Green Beret. The Special Forces is designed for one thing, conduct counter insurgency warfare. They go into a village, train the people and help them fight whoever the enemy might be. The Special Forces (Green Berets) worked well in Vietnam.  It did not work at all in Iraq or Afghanistan. To help them out, John Wayne immortalized them in a movie. 

The head of VA should have called me and I would have told him, you got caught bullshitting on camera. Get smart. You are a "Ranger."

Sunday, February 22, 2015


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Lupe. I remember the day exactly 19 years ago. WOW. I love you. 

 She sounded awake!  Sounded great!  

Ok she clearly answered for her grandparents but not her mom! Will try from ny! Ily 

 I know you'll love to hear this. I would call you at Vanderbilt, you would never answer. This was in the old days with little or no social media. I would get beside myself imagining what could be happening as I was calling throughout the day. Finally by the end of the day, after I've called a hundred times, you would answer. "Oh hi Dad, how's it going?" 

Oh yeah. Answering her grandparents is truly a good thing. LOL. 

The Oscars Revisited


I am deeply apologetic for missing my first Oscar in decades – my favorite holiday.  I promise this will NEVER happen again.  Please drink champagne and vote in my stead – we will return next year! 

I've heard that Ugandan red carpet is something else.   I have a whole new voting strategy now that I know that the voters are 75% male, 90% white with an average age of 63.  Really going to miss everyone and our annual spectacle, but, given the nature of your conflict, you are forgiven.

Here's to female directors and drunken acceptance speeches!
It's ok.  Just as long as you don't send us pictures from the Oscar party you are going to instead.   That would hurt.  



As for the Oscars, I don't see how "The Imitation Game" can possibly miss. Selma is a close second. It was good but I lived it, smack dab in the middle of it. As a white boy from NC, I know racism. As an aside, It is one of the reasons I've always liked the president. The poor guy has endured racism on every turn even if they call it something else. 

The "gay" thing I can hardly believe. The very idea that the sorts of biases went on are more than appalling. I can hardly believe it. And, even on Dowtyn Abbey, they dealt with the same issue. I am amazed. I am so grateful that we are where we are now, at least facing the prejudices. And, no doubt, we'll hear from the Academy tonight on the subject, even if The Academy is dominated by a bunch of old white men. . 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


They are not a country. You wipe out an element, they just recruit more. What to do? Keep killing them with whatever means you have.