Category Archives: patriotism

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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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

 

That time again

We’ve seen enough  to allow us to draw some conclusions about the White House and those who occupy it these days.   They’re not bothering to wear masks anymore.

The storm of finger pointing and claims of authoritative evidence this side, that side, or some other side the daily deluge is not  going to bring sanity into the equation.  When all parties and at least two foreign governments illegally influenced the last elections or otherwise sold the country out maybe it’s time to back away a while.   See who’s left standing when the dust settles.

I seems clear nobody’s going to come out of this thing clean if they’ve occupied the White House since 1992, or aspired to occupy it.   And the irony that everyone in the White House or aspiring to be there sold their souls to the Russians ought to be funny because it’s too overwhelmingly absurd to be anything else.

What we do know, or ought to know, is that one way to become wealthy is get elected to National Office.   And that doing what makes you wealthy once in office is evidently universally irresistible.   Even when the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court dies in spang in the middle of a piece of a bribe payoff it barely raises an eyebrow.   It certainly doesn’t interrupt the public display of remorse at his loss.

I get all my news off Facebook and from Johnny, my neighbor-across-the-hall, who owns a television.   Watches sports, stock-car racing, weather, and picks up the occasional piece of juicy Washington gossip.

Which might be too much news for me to stomach.

Back in the Clinton years I vowed to go through an entire presidential term without knowing who was in the White House.   I would have succeeded, I think, were it not from the interruption of 9-11.   After that I gradually allowed news to creep back into my consciousness.

Now, it seems I can resign myself to be constantly dumbstruck, or I can just retreat back into my worship of Old Sol, listen to Gregorian chants mornings, classical music the rest of the day, and leave current events to those who love knowing them.

If I have the will power to manage it.

Old Jules

Disturbing insights

This ignorant cracker entered the US Army in 1961 during the Berlin Crisis [when the Berlin Wall went up]. Given the similarities of patriotic rhetoric between countries he’d as happily taken the orders of an Adolph Hitler as John Kennedy.

Yesterday I was down at the laundromat, which was a bit crowded with the lower-end of the socioeconomic scale of Leavenworth, Kansas.   But because of the time of day, most were senior citizens or younger wives with kiddos.   Several old Vietnam era vets and a couple of granny-ladies.

When it’s that crowded in the place it forces people to become social instead of just staring at the clothing tumbling in their washers or dryers.   And when strangers discuss anything these days it will be sports, television, politics, or Muslims, for the most part.   Some of which inevitably leads to confessions of some nasty hatreds and deep biases.

I was a bit shocked when the discussion centered almost entirely on the president and the enthusiasm shared among the ones who were vocal on the subject.    These people, senior citizens who obviously rely on Social Security pensions and Medicare, are still devoted and determined to to see this president and the Congress with intentions to destroy their Medicare and Social Security remain in office.   Increase their power.

I’ll confess to have been quietly dumbfounded.   They sneered at the class of people who are openly critical or have doubts about the prez and the Congress that’s likely to put them out on the streets cold an hungry.  And the old vets were noisy about the opposition being expressed in some quarters to a proposed military parade somewhere.   Which I couldn’t care less about one way or the other.

But I’ve digressed somewhat.    All that got me remembering, wondering just what sort of people we veterans are, on the whole.   Obviously we aren’t deep thinkers.    And while many spout patriotic rhetoric and indignation, as nearly as I can tell most have remained the ignorant crackers most of us were back when we entered the military 50 years or so ago.

But what’s more disturbing than our lack of growth and acquired wisdom over the decades, is the fact so many of us evidently are using our stupidity as a launchpad for active participation in the political process.

To demolish our own livelihood.

Figure that one out.

Old Jules

Remembering the Fallen from All Eras who died for our property rights.

 

Kansas City VA Medical Center, Kansas City, MO.

Hi readers.    Thanks for coming by for a smile.

I was sitting in the Silver clinic waiting area at the KCVA Medical Center today and got some really good news!   Keep in mind that I was just a few dozen yards from the Hall of Heroes and fairly close to Valor Elevator.   So this guy doing all the talking really seemed appropriate.

He was a severely overweight old fellow with a lot of bends in the wrong places, hair coming out in patches.   Had the man next to me pinned to his chair as he went on bludgeoning the people of this country for not supporting the president more, for all the ‘snowflakes’ and cowards nowadays, and for the fact nobody is honoring our soldiers dying in these presidential wars.

Guy next to me, “I voted for Trump.   I don’t regret it yet.”

“They complain about him going to Florida!    Heck, Florida, at least, has a park where they honor the dead from all wars!”    He named the park, and I went back to trying to read my book.

But then I got to thinking.    All wars?   Wow!

Anyway, I looked it up.   He was right!

Field Of Honor Recognizes The Fallen From All Eras , Hillsborough Veterans Memorial Park.

By golly I think it’s about time someone honored all those fallen soldiers at Little Big Horn who got themselves killed trying to attack a lot more Sioux and Cheyenne than they thought were there.    And all those twenty-five soldiers killed when they massacred all those people at Wounded Knee.

Heck, when you  think about it, all those Indian wars have all sorts of fallen GIs who got themselves offed trying to kill Indians…… Apache, Navajo, Sioux, Cheyenne, Yuma, Ute, Comanche, Kiowa, Seminole.  I’ve never heard one solitary soul stand up in front of a podium and pronounce how those men died for our freedoms.   But without them we wouldn’t have farms and ranches scattered all over the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.   And condos and resorts all over Florida.  Those men died for our property rights.

And what about all the heroes who fell in the Mexican War when we were taking California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada away from the Mexicans?   Nobody ever stands over their graves, stares at the flag, gulps, and talks about how they fought for our Constitution, our freedom of speech, our property rights.

Then there was the Spanish American War, where we took Puerto Rico, Cuba, and all her other possessions away from Spain …… and the heroes who died in that war for our property rights.

There’s just no getting around it.    We’re falling down on the job honoring our fallen from all eras.   Good thing someone is at least remembering the guys who died for our freedoms in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq one and two, and various other places in the Balkans, the Middle East, Korea, and Africa.

In fact, probably having someone stand in front of a podium and explain how all those guys were protecting our freedom would be a good place to begin.   I’m inclined to think General Custer came about as close to protecting our freedom as anyone who died in a war after 1950.

Yeah, all those fallen heroes  killed by Geronimo and Cochise won’t rest until someone honors them by explaining how they died for our freedom.

Old Jules

Amber waves of marijuana and shale oil deposits – Protecting the Mexicans from people like us

Re-blogged from September 18, 2013

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by.

Those damned Mexicans.  They refuse to protect themselves.  This time 150 years ago they had a damned Austrian monarch running the country and French soldiers keeping him in power.  A little before that the US Army had to go down there and whip the bejesus out of them because they wouldn’t give us New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and California.

Heck, a century ago they refused to protect themselves again and we had to send General Blackjack Pershing to beat some sense into their heads.  Bastards had the cheek to kill 19 US Navy men when a US ship drove into Vera Cruz and started shelling the town.

Now they’ve got all that marijuana growing down there nobody can make any money from until it gets across the border.  Nobody making a penny off it except Mexicans until it gets up here where someone can use it.  Bad enough, you say?  Well, I agree.  But it isn’t all.

The shale oil deposits Old Sol gave us because we’re his Chosen People don’t necessarily stop at the Rio Grande.  There’s a better-than-even chance some of it’s down there where nobody can make any money off it except Mexicans.

We’ve been patient and we’ve tried hard, but those shiftless, indolent people down there keep having stuff we need to be making money from and they refuse to protect themselves from us.   There doesn’t seem to be any way we’re going to be able to avoid having to invade them to protect them from us.

People like that don’t have any respect for human life the way we do and it gets downright boring and tiresome forever having to invade them.  Time to put a stop to it.

Time to make them Chosen People with us, annex them.  Time to make Mexico a US territory so we can protect them.

Old Jules

The four civilized countries in the world

Re-blogged from September 9, 2013

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

When I confided to you a while back that Old Sol told me the people of the US are his 21st Century Chosen People I knew some of you would be skeptical. So I held back part of what he said to give you an opportunity to digest it a piece at a time.

If you look at the maps you’ll immediately see Australia is just the 48 contiguous states of the US turned upsidedown and placed in the southern hemisphere. This is no coincidence. It’s proof of Old Sol’s intentions.

Old Sol wants the four civilized countries in the world, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada to all be his own Chosen People. To accomplish this He wants those four countries to form a confederation which, once accomplished, will make them all Old Sol’s Chosen People!

Isn’t that exciting?

Naturally Old Sol wants the Promised Land to have secure borders easily defended. So He points out, as He used to do in ancient times with his former Chosen People, that a few pieces of real estate currently occupied by Non-Chosen People will have to be absorbed. Namely everything from Texas to the Panama Canal. Which shouldn’t be a problem.

In fact, Old Sol even suggests offering to move Israel to the new Promised Land and establishing them from the north shore of the Panama Canal north to Guatemala! Give them Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and northern Panama. Maybe even Guatemala if they behave themselves. That way they’ll be able to once again be Chosen People, same as the Jews in the four civilized countries already are.

Isn’t that exciting?

But what’s equally exciting is that Old Sol wants the southern hemisphere Promised Land to be occupied by left-handed Chosen People. Right handed Chosen People will be moved to the northern hemisphere Promised Lands.

There’s a lot more, but I’m going to allow you time to digest this before I pass it on to you.

Old Jules