Category Archives: America

The presidents and their ladies

There’s been a temptation on the part of the opposition for the last couple of decades to make as much hay as possible when it’s discovered the US president has a mistress, or had one.  This hasn’t always been so.   Presidents of the past venerated by those finger-pointers and accusers have frequently had their affairs during a time when such matters were left for gossip columnists and rumor mongers.

Lucy Page Mercer Rutherfurd was one of two women believed to have been FDR’s mistresses. Lucy has the distinction, though, of being the only certainty. Eleanor found her letters to FDR. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucy_Mercer_Rutherfurd

Then there was Ike.   Commander of Allied Forces in Europe during the invasion, and Republican president after Truman.

All those years Ike was in office I never knew anyone to criticize him about that particular issue.    If they hated him at all [and the rabid right wingers certainly did] they didn’t bring his private sex life into the conversation.

Then of course there was LBJ and his shenanigans too numerous to bother mentioning except one.

As far as I know Ford, Carter, Reagan and both Bush presidencies were either adultery-free, or discrete enough to keep it out of the public eye.    As was Obama.  Goes to prove some presidents have the good sense to either keep their peckers zipped up safely inside their pants, or go the extra mile to keep it out of the headlines.

And there’s no point even discussing Bill Clinton….. that one’s the record Trump is trying to beat with Stormy Daniels.

Maybe it’s time, really time for a woman president so we can put all this sexual scandal to rest.

Old Jules

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The thorny ethics of silence – Philosophy by limerick

This is Stormy. Her reputation was ruined when the president broke their non-disclosure agreement and gabbed to all his evangelist buddies. Now her phone rings day and night and she can’t get a moment of quiet rest.

The porn-star named Stormy was nice
And of course everything has its price
Including discretion
And public confession:
The ethics aren’t all that precise.

Old Jules

The Social Security Entitlement Adventure

What with the Congress and prez conducting a war against Social Security now in 2018, I was surprised to find this in my blog posted back during 2012. After reading through it I find my perspective hasn’t changed all that much, but my dependency on SS has. Old Jules

So Far From Heaven

Good morning readers. I’m obliged you came by for a read.

I got an email yesterday from an old acquaintance who’s carrying a serious chip on his shoulder about somebody calling the Social Security pension he lives on an ‘entitlement’. He raged on about how he paid into it fifty years, and his employers matched everything he paid. So, he says, it’s not an entitlement.

Sheeze. I wonder what else a person would call it. He’s entitled to it. What the hell is it but an entitlement?

But I think he’s concerned that because ‘entitlement’ has become a buzzword for something else he doesn’t like.  Namely a whole range of government payouts to bank owners, automobile companies, multi-national corporations, all manner of people bleeding the US budget dry with bailouts and payoffs.  I think he figures they might quit paying him his pension because they called it an entitlement.  Putting him down…

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These youngsters and their ‘March For Our Lives’

I suppose you have to have buzz words and jingles if you want to turn out the masses for your demonstrations.   I’ll confess I’m a bit ambivalent about the anti-assault weapon frenzy and don’t believe for a minute any lives will be saved by taking them out of the hands of civilians.    I wouldn’t lift a finger to support an issue I consider a meaningless gesture.

But on the other hand, it’s an inconvenient fact the same folks who rally for the 2nd Amendment and want to wave their assault rifles around also want to rape Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.    And these youngsters in the streets waving signs wouldn’t lift a finger to keep them from doing it.

So what a lucky coincidence!   The flood that’s going to sweep away assault rifles [I couldn’t care less about] will carry with it the people who want to rob senior citizens of their livelihood, health care, and keep them from having to live under bridges [which the anti-gun youngsters couldn’t care less about].

Just imagine it!    800 places all over the US, thousands of people in the streets inadvertently working to throw the people out of national elected office in 2018 and 2020 who want to destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicade.

March 24, 2018, March of our Lives locations in the US. People inadvertently marching and demonstrating to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/22/us/politics/march-for-lives-demonstrations.html

Well friends, I might just have to get me a sign and join them.

If I had to take away every assault rifle in the US to save my SS pension and Medicare, I’d be out there carrying signs pretending to believe that confiscating every assault rifle in existence would stop those school shootings.

Nobody ever demanded the two issues had to ride in the same boat, but once it happened I favor torpedoes to sink the ship and making sure any lifeboats carrying them don’t reach a safe harbor.   They haven’t left any room in the equation to call themselves a loyal opposition.    They are the enemy who happens to like guns and hate letting old people have a means to live.

What a lucky coincidence the same politicians who pander to gun lovers want to rob seniors of their Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Sooooo you can have my Social Security check when you pry it from my cold dead fingers,

You can have my Social Security check when you pry it from my cold dead fingers, I reckons.   Me and my kiddos who want to take your guns away and incidentally protect my livelihood are going to sink your ship.

Old Jules

The Genius MBA – Philosophy by Limerick

Made his money the hard way, inherited.
Went to Yale where he struggled and merited
Every cent that he earned
With his MBA; spurned
Do-nothings with slogans he parroted.

Old Jules – July 31, 2012 blog entry

 

 

Which US war had most bald-faced liars?

Empire of Japan finalizes surrender aboard the USS Missouri September 3, 1945. By Army Signal Corps – Naval Historical Center Photo # USA C-2719. Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2684817

WWI had an Armistice Day… it celebrated the end of that particular horror.     WWII had VE [Victory in Europe] Day, and VJ [Victory over Japan] Days.   Celebrations to the end of two more horrors.   Then there was Korean Armistice Day, which nobody ever heard of, much less celebrated.   And, of course, there’s Veterans Day, just acknowledging all us veterans no matter when we were in the military.

The trouble with having undeclared wars and losing them is that nobody knows why they’re there in the first place, what it takes to win it, or how to know when it ends.    Maybe for Vietnam we should celebrate the day the last helicopter with people hanging off it lifted from the US Embassy in Saigon.

The last helicopter leaving the roof of the US Embassy in Saigon April 29, 1975. By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31234270

But now there’s this:

Honoring Vietnam Veterans Day, March 29, 2018

US landing craft 1945, Iwo Jima

Ever noticed [assuming you’re old enough] you never heard a WWI vet bragging about whatever it was he did during his time in the service?    Most I ever encountered never spoke of it at all.

And WWII veterans are pleased to tell you they spent the war burying bodies in the Solomon Islands, or in a Japanese POW camp, surrendered without firing a shot, or as a postal clerk in North Africa.   It’s always been surprising to me just how few guys actually were on the front lines ducking bullets [or saying they were during the decades afterward].

Same with Korean War veterans.     Nobody ever wants to tell you he was on a ridge with a bunch of other cold, hungry, scared GIs gunning down swaths of Chinese with a quad .50 machine gun.    In fact, Korean War vets hardly say anything at all.

That’s the reason I’ve wondered many times why the same is not and has never been true of Vietnam vets.     I’ve seen file clerks, supply clerks, mechanics,  and one particular logistics officer all claim to have been heroes, laying ambushes in the jungle.    More recently I even ran across a guy who was in Korea at the same time I was when there were few incursions and firefights on the DMZ a decade after the ceasefire.     Even knowing I was THERE the silly bastard began laying BS about how he and his unit were setting up ambushes on the DMZ… he was in the 8th Cavalry, which was on the DMZ…..   But nothing else he said held any water.    Maybe he was jealous of all those finance clerks in DaNang who’ve now become jungle fighters by hindsight.

vietnam era veteran

They’ve even got these ‘Vietnam Era’ caps so we can all get into the act. Yeah, I’m one of them Vietnam era vets….. spent my tour in Asia crawling through the jungle trying to get a dose of clap for my country. If I ware one of these I’d be what they used to call, “All hat and no cows”, same as all those REMFs on patrol.

But I’ve digressed.   My real question is this:   What was it about the Vietnam War that brought out the lies and the brags?    Why were WWII file clerks never tempted to pretend they were heroes, but the Vietnam War file clerks bought themselves ball caps proclaiming themselves brothers to the finance clerks, the supply clerks, and all the other rear echelon folks who discovered later they’d been combat vets.  Hell hundreds happily tell one another they’ve been troubled with PTSD.     Not more than two hours ago I was talking to one who was in personnel administration who is actually drawing a service-connected disability for PTSD.    A personnel admin clerk.

Vietnam never had an Iwo Jima.    No Guadalcanal or Midway.   No Bataan Death March.     When US troops landed on Guadalcanal August, 1942, they’d never seen any movies about jungle warfare.    Surprise!    They had no idea what they were in for.

Maybe that’s the distinguishing factor.    Maybe it was all those WWII movies, John Wayne pulling the pins out of grenades with his teeth.   Frank Sinatra drooling over Gina Lollobrigida between firefights in Burma.   Robert Mitchum outsmarting the Japanese while protecting a nun [Deborah Kerr].    Maybe that was the missing factor, the systemic flaw in the Vietnam War that caused all those non-combatants to spend all the remaining decades of their lives trying to correct it.

After all, shooting water buffalo out the door of a helicopter with a machine gun is a story that can be embellished with a lot more vigor than stories about typing a company morning report at the motor pool.

Don’t get me wrong.  Not all Vietnam veterans are lying.    If a guy tells you he was a Navy engineer, and upon questioning tells you he ‘poured concrete for the Navy’, he’s telling you the truth.    If he tells you he repaired field telephones, he’s telling you the truth.

And there’s always that one-out-of-ten, or one-out-of-twenty, who actually did serve in the jungle and participated in all that stuff you’ve seen in the same movies the file clerks with the Vietnam veteran caps got their stories from.

So how can you tell if a Vietnam veteran is lying to you?   Well one of the ways is to listen to his claim.     If he says he was a medic in a VD clinic he’s probably telling you the truth.

But if the US is going to carry on endless presidential wars without having to re-institute the draft they’re going to have to keep glorifying their warriors.  And  a person who spent a tour in Asia greasing and changing the oil on jeeps in Saigon loves being called a warrior.   Loves the feel when he pulls a straight face and announces, “Yeah, I fought in Vietnam.”

Old Jules

 

Sky Pieces

A couple of distant relatives of mine, Cole and James.

Sky Pieces by Carl Sandburg

Proudly the fedoras march on the heads of the somewhat careless men.

Proudly the slouches march on the heads of the still more careless men.

Proudly the panamas perch on the noggins of dapper debonair men.

Comically somber the derbies gloom on the earnest solemn noodles.

And the sombrero, most proud, most careless, most dapper and debonair of all, somberly the sombrero marches on the heads of important men who know what they want.

Hats are sky pieces; hats have a destiny; wish your hat slowly; your hat is you.