Friday, April 11, 2014

BASEBALL

God is in his heavens, baseball is back and all is right with the world. There is something about baseball that is indescribable. My favorite baseball movie is "Bull Durham." Maybe partly because it calls to mind my home state. Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon fit. The movie is about the love of baseball, the strategy, the philosophy. 

Annie Savoy, Sarandon's character, spouts Walt Whitman. Whether he said it or not doesn't make any difference to me, I love it and believe it. She said, "Whitman once said, 'I see great things in baseball. It's our game, the American game. It will repair our losses and be a blessing.' "  All my favorite people in the world love baseball. Thank you Lord. Baseball is back. ⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾







Sunday, April 06, 2014

Afghanistan and Vietnam

When Vietnam fell and war weary "Mericans"  realized that all this money, time and more importantly, lives had been for nothing, they had "hard hearts." Then came the first Vietnamese refugees. Most of us were braced for more of the same. We definitely had "hard hearts." Then we saw those little Vietnamese kids file off those buses. Our hearts melted. Now, we are experiencing the same thing. Our hearts are melting watching Afghans vote. What an incredible display of democracy. When we have 40% voting in our own country, here are these people under threat of death, determined to vote. 

I have been ambivalent about our continuing role in Afghanistan. My thought has been, "if we stayed a hundred years, we couldn't make a difference." Now, I don't know. Maybe. They deserve a chance and if we are it, we have to do it. F..K. 




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

MUD

THE MUD SLIDE

The mud slide in Washinton State which took lives is so sad. Mud like this is like "quick sand." It reminded me of a "mud" experience that was more frightening after it was over than while it was going on. I was kayaking in the San Francisco Bay, paying no attention to the tide.  It went out in what seemed like milliseconds. I was about a hundred yards from Shore. It was an emerging experience without any awareness on my part of how dangerous it was. Here I am, surrounded by mud, the tide had gone out and I have two choices. Stay where I am and wait for it to return or try to walk make it out. Laborious is not even close to the task. Here I am in mud, sometimes up to my elbows, I am pulling my kayak. About two hours later I dragged myself onto the shore. As I reflected for days on exactly the experience and told others about it, I came to realize the potential for disaster. I was lucky. Those poor folks in Washington State, not so. God bless them. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

General F..ks Up

THE GENERAL AND THE CAPTAIN. This could be a movie. It is both a debacle and tragedy. They had a three year affair. Death threats, lying, and no telling what else. For my part, regardless of the circumstances, a "David which the General wasn't, escaping from Pharaoh's wife;" the general should be strung up and have his gonads cut off. The Captain was a subordinate and in the military, he violated the absolute code, in addition to a parcel of rules. He has to pay. His price was not as much as it could have been. There is much about the story and his sentencing that we don't know. Forget the f..ging politicians who are playing to the crowds. 

Keeping an affair of this nature secret is unheard of in modern theater. My suspicion is that the Captain was quite successful in helping do it, as well as the general. She probably fell "in" love with the f..ker which is the worst possible thing. Love is one thing but "in" love makes you crazy. I feel sorry for the "Captain." F..K the General. 

Consider recent history. Two examples:
Bill Clinton and Patraeus came close to making it but were discovered by the fact that the "affairee" talked. Bill was done in, not by Monica, but a witch, Linda Tripp, that Monica talked too. And Petraeus almost succeeded as he  engineered himself a job at the CIA. What he didn't count on was an egomaniac in FL who was playing "footsie" with his deputy when in the Army, which linked him to his "affair." 

The Captain and the General is a strange case in light of all the publicity. And, to say there was no command and polical imfluence is the height of bullshit, not to mention lying to themselves, at the highest level, even.

Yep,  my suspicion is that we have the "in" love element, they broke up: messy, threats, etc; but apparently what sunk the Captain's credibility was lying about dates--the General and the Captain got it on after she said it ended. Either the sex was that good or she was still trying or hoping (all speculation) to rekindle. But, at some point, it appears, it became,  "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." 

However, the f..ker (pardon the pun) was her superior and taking advantage, even though she was willing, is not only a flimsy excuse but totally unacceptable.

All the other stuff is interesting and it is hard to know. Death threats: I will kill your family. Clint Eastwood. Sinclair may be capable, having been to all these macho schools: airborne, ranger, no telling what else. He couldn't have been an Assistant Division Commander in the 82d Airborne if he had not been a mean "mother." (Use your imagination). 

Part of the issue is that we listen to media and they don't know "s..t" as well as Congress. 

The investigation of the General and the Captain is what we call an Article 32. Unbelievably through. They have minions fanning out all over the globe investigating, checking facts, you name it. They are so through that the concept of "bring the guilty bastard in" is about 110% true. The General, you can on it, even if he had not confessed, would have been uncovered by the Article 32. 

In addition to the cautionary tale, there are so many issues. Let's put aside the sordid details--a general who lost his way and a very sad victim who paid an unseen price for wanting love and who is victimized over and over. God bless her. But, there is an issue that may not be a greater one but still an issue. How in this world can we avoid this sort of blight on the military? We throw men and women together in crisis situations, they get involved. Plain and simple, it is going to continue to happen. The only way is to exclude women from combat. We are not going to do that, so what to do? We have to be prepared to accept it. 

The military is not a social organization and it is not a social experiment. It has one purpose: to fight and win wars. We have f..ked it up by eliminating the "draft." The soldiers that are in the military are good soldiers. They are all volunteers and at all levels of the military, they are trying to improve. There will inevitably be some "f..k ups. The General and the Captain f..ked up.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

CONNECTING THE DOTS

THE PREZ GETS NO CREDIT
One of the stories I read recently was about the Obama factor which had to do with his lagging polls. This sort of bullshit becomes a type of self fulfilling prophesy. The best example I know are the vets I hang out with--Several receive various Vietnam benefits which they were only able to get because the President simplified the claims process. For instance for Vietnam vets or any veteran to file a claim for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), they had to have all this collaborating paperwork, the process was laborious and most Vietnam vets who needed the services of VA, plus the meager compensation, gave up. (I know because I was attempting to help them). 

I never filed a claim as I always figured it was just a price to pay for being in combat, plus I didn't need it. But, many of my fellow vets that I knew in Vietnam were suffering and desperately needed help that they couldn't get. The President changed all that with a signature. And, for some odd reason that escapes me, the Vets either don't get the fact of what the president did or refuse to accept it, The President made it possible for them to now easily file their claims. They only have to prove they were there, i.e. in Vietnam. Easy. And, yet they are really disparaging of the President. I don't get it. What is so hard about connecting the dots. 

Now, stretch this out to the country at large. The election in Florida won by the Republicans, for example. The vast majority of people voting for the Republicans are on social security, medicare, etc., yet decrying government intrusion. Where the f..k do they think these programs come from. That is just it. They don't think. 





Saturday, March 15, 2014

FACE OF LOVE

"Face of Love." Very interesting movie even if a little thin. Two terrific actors,  Ed Harris and Annette Bening can do a lot, even with a thin plot. Annette Bening's husband drowns. Fast forward five years, she sees someone who looks exactly like her dead husband. She makes sure. Turns out, he is a gentle and sensitive college teacher/painter. They begin a relationship. He falls "in" love. She can't bring herself to tell him that he looks "exactly" like her dead husband. They have some "moments." Finally, unearthed mainly by the daughter and neighbor. The relationship ends as Ed discovers. Fast forward another year, Ed has died, probably from heart failure. However, for the last year, he had painted in a frenzy as for ten years he was locked up emotionally. 

I liked the movie. Annette Bening will forever be the doctor's sister in the cowboy movie, "Open Range." Ed Harris is always good. Great to see them work. Tolerable movie about grief and honesty. Playing the story line out, surmising. Could have been different if she had told him "early on" and prepared the daughter and Robbin Williams, the neighbor (this could have been another movie: neighbor who has bad marriage contrasted against neighbor with good marriage. Spouses dead, chance for neighbors to get together) But, maybe not. Annette and Ed had a "moment." Leave it there. 





Friday, March 14, 2014

SEXUAL ASSAULT

Sexual Assault in the military is a tough subject. It may not be for most in Congress. Discrimination, suppressing women, adinfinitum. And, if you are one of those who feel you've been sexually assaulted, it is a 100%. It is not so simple for the military. The military has only one mission. To fight and win wars. 

THE MILITARY IS NOT A SOCIAL ORGANIZATION. 

There's a vast difference in some guy like the General at Fort Bragg (NC) accused of sexual assault and some young soldier accused, possibly because in his unsophisticated way is "hitting" on her. The General should be strung up by his gonads. And, it looks like it will be just short of that. And then there are those who should know better. The two officers supposedly in charge of investigating sexual assault are now accused. If it wasn't so serious, it would be laughable. 

With females in the ranks in such numbers and a bunch of stupid men, we will see more and more of it, I fear.  Answer? Probably none. Will readiness of our military be effected. Sure, it already is if we are honest. And, thinking about my old Unit, the 82d Airborne, I can only surmise--If I was a young male soldier, trying to avoid being stupid, I would avoid contact with female soldiers at all cost. 

Most, especially indignant female congress persons, only see the assault side of it and rightly so. However, in asking some retired military chaplains, who have seen all the transitions and changes of the military, they see a broader side. Here are comments...

 RETIRED MILITARY CHAPLAINS 

"I have not changed my mind since all this first came up in our emails long
ago. It is asking too much of "Testosterone High" young men to go into combat areas, to live in close proximity to to females and think that they will not be tempted beyond that which they can bare." CN

"I think that the chickens are coming home to roost!  The "grand experiment" of making everything "equal" in the name of 'political correctness' has demanded that we turn a blind eye to the realities that are inherent in gender differences. I don't want to imply that we should just  "let boys be boys with  uncontrollable hormones." But there has to be some systematic way to utilize the skills of males and females without having them essentially live together 24/7.  We need to get creative about that. Don

"If the problem does affect Military Readiness, and I believe, like you say, it already has, then the leaders need to bite the bullet and let the administration and society know.  However, the politically correctness influence is so strong that no one wants to take the chance."