17 October 1968

As FDR would say….”A day that will live in infamy”……every year I reflect on a turning point in my life….a day that no sane person could ever forget.

On this day in 1968 my plane touched down at Bien Hoa Air Base…..Republic of South Vietnam…..a day I shall never forget.

I was a young Army soldier brimming with anticipation at my very first overseas posting.

We arrived at 0900 hrs and temperature was already hovering around 90 and the humidity was about 95%…little did I know that I was in for some nasty weather….the Monsoon season….when heavy rain fell and fell and fell as if there was no end.

After a de-brief we were giving our final a destination mine was the 9th Infantry Division.

After a miserable deuce and half ride we arrived at Long Thanh HQ of the 9th.

Upon arrival we were given our sleeping assignments and our unit within the 9th…..mine was the LRRPs.

Amazon.com: MAGNET E Company (RANGER), 75th Infantry (AIRBORNE), 9th  Infantry Division 11.75 Inch Magnetic Sticker Decal: Automotive

For the next 11 months I spent almost every waking minute sneaking around the local flora and keeping as eye on the “bad guys”……

For those that are fuzzy of the Vietnam War…..

The Vietnam War was a long, costly and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The conflict was intensified by the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. More than 3 million people (including over 58,000 Americans) were killed in the Vietnam War, and more than half of the dead were Vietnamese civilians.  Opposition to the war in the United States bitterly divided Americans, even after President Richard Nixon ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973. Communist forces ended the war by seizing control of South Vietnam in 1975, and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.


A photo history….

Life magazine photographer Larry Burrows (far left) struggles through elephant grass and the rotor wash of an American evacuation helicopter as he helps GIs carry a wounded soldier on a stretcher from the jungle to the chopper in Mimot, Cambodia, May 4, 1970

A US paratrooper wounded in the battle for Hamburger Hill grimaces in pain as he awaits medical evacuation at base camp near the Laotian border, May 19, 1969


War has a way of changing a person….some get the blood lust and others see the obscenity of war and work to end it …..I became the later.  Let me state here…there is NOTHING romantic about war….regardless what Hollywood tells you.

Be Well….Be Safe….

“Lego ergo scribo”

8 Million And Counting

Sorry to be a downer but the US has hit a milestone…..the first nation to come to 8 million cases of Covid-19.

Not something to be proud of and definitely nothing something that should be lied about….and yet our leaders seem to do just that.

The count keeps rising and rising….and some keep ignoring and lying…..we have past the 8 million cases….and are approaching 219,000 dead…..

Less than a month after the total number of coronvirus cases reached 7 million, the US has hit the next major milestone. The nation is now the only one in the world to have 8 million reported cases, USA Today reports. That’s out of 38.9 million world cases, per Johns Hopkins‘ count. The global death toll is almost 1.1 million, while the US has counted 217,000 deaths. Researchers have said actual US total surely is higher than 8 million, per CNN, because testing capacity was low early in the pandemic.

Especially worrisome to experts is the recent jump in US daily infections, which are up 55% in a bit over a month. The one-week average of new daily cases now tops 53,000, per Johns Hopkins. Seven states had a record number of hospitalizations Thursday for COVID-19: Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. And 14 set records for seven-day averages of new daily cases. The Covid Tracking Project lists the nation’s average test-positivity rate over a week at higher than 5%. “The virus is now winning,” said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

There are few words to describe this nation’s response to a pandemic….

Plus the toll will not stop anywhere near the current level….

As the Trump administration ignores the pleas of its own health experts and embraces a “herd immunity” strategy that scientists have condemned as fringe and dangerous, researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine are predicting an 80% spike in U.S. coronavirus deaths by February as cases continue to rise across the nation.

A model designed by experts at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecasts that the U.S. coronavirus death toll will soar from around 217,000 at present to 389,087 fatalities by February 1.

Under the model’s best-case scenario—in which all Americans adhere to mask guidelines—the U.S. death toll is predicted to rise to 314,000 by the beginning of February. If mask-wearing requirements are eased, the model predicts total U.S. deaths from the pandemic could rise to 477,000.

( CommonDreams)

One final thought on Donald the Orange’s embracing of the “herd immunity”….

“Instead of selling false hope that will predictably backfire, we must focus on how to manage this pandemic in a safe, responsible, and equitable way,” it reads.


Be Smart!

Be Well…..Be Safe….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Townhall Tango

Thursday night we had battling townhalls….Trump on NBC and Biden on ABC…..I gave an analysis on Friday’s post……https://lobotero.com/2020/10/16/those-battling-townhalls/

The whole evening was a study in chaos and conflict…..and I watched and read all the analyses and the noise surrounding the evening….

First let me say….Trump is the only person to lose a debate without having an opponent.

Thursday’s night presidential town halls were very different from each other, and a similar theme has emerged in the political post-mortems. What was originally supposed to be a face-to-face debate “morphed into a long-distance study in contrasts,” write Alexander Burns and Katie Glueck at the New York Times. Essentially, the events provided viewers with a choice: Which style of president do you want, combative or, well, dull?

  • The “dueling town halls were like a choose-your-own-ending book, letting us peer into the future and see what the two election outcomes would be like,” write Mike Allen and Margaret Talev at Axios.
  • “It came off less like a split screen than a breach in the political universe—Die Hard versus It’s a Wonderful Life,” per David Siders and Anita Kumar at Politico.
  • “On one channel, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. On the other, a rerun of Celebrity Deathmatch. Or, at least, that’s how it felt,” write Scott Bixby and Asawin Suebsaeng at the Daily Beast. That wasn’t the only comparison to Mister Rogers. Biden’s town hall “feels like I am watching an episode of Mister Rodgers [sic] Neighborhood,” tweeted Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp. USA Today notes that “Mr. Rogers” was soon trending.
  • The events “appeared to be broadcast from entirely different dimensions,” according to a story by Michael Scherer, Jenna Johnson, and Josh Dawsey in the Washington Post. “The soft-spoken Biden leaned back in a white chair, relaxed and conversational as he hit upon notes of optimism and uplift. Trump’s appearance was heated and at times abrasive, with the candidate leaning forward as he defended his record and challenged the motivations of moderator Savannah Guthrie.”
  • “In a nightmare alternate universe, Americans find hope by viewing films from a different dimension, where life unfolds as normal,” writes David Frum in the Atlantic. “That’s the plot of the Amazon science-fiction series The Man in the High Castle. It was also the experience many Americans had as they flipped back and forth between two town halls last night.”
  • “Unsurprisingly, Trump’s town hall was much more combative than Biden’s,” writes Kira Davis at RedState. “The Election Commission should have just gone ahead with an in-person debate, since Savannah Guthrie just ended up debating the president anyway. The ratings numbers will be interesting to see, but flipping back and forth between Trump and Biden, it was crystal clear that the more entertaining conversation was over at NBC.”
  • “As a journalist whose job involves trying to write articles people read, I was, frankly, sad to have been assigned to watch the Biden town hall, which was just not that interesting,” writes Matthew Yglesias at Vox. “But as a citizen, it was tremendously reassuring.”

All in all the evening was a waste of time……voters already know who they will vote for….all the evening was was either for entertainment…..or to induce the gag reflex.

But who won the numbers game?

Donald Trump often has been a TV ratings hit, but maybe not this time. Preliminary results from his nearly head-to-head matchup Thursday night with Joe Biden show the president bringing up the rear, Variety reports. Biden, whose 90-minute event was carried by ABC, is averaging 13.9 million total viewers in early returns. Trump’s hourlong appearance is coming in at 13.1 million combined on NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC. The difference was bigger when comparing the broadcast networks. MSNBC had about 1.7 million viewers and CNBC 700,000, which puts Biden ahead of Trump on the two major networks, 13.9 million to 10.7 million. The final numbers aren’t in yet. ABC’s livestream on YouTube also outdrew the Trump feed.

Before the town halls, both campaigns predicted a ratings triumph for Trump, per CNN; TV executives agreed. Jason Miller, a Trump campaign aide, had said, “We’re gonna have a much bigger audience than Joe.” But the former vice president has shown his ratings strength this campaign. The Democratic presidential nominee averaged 6.7 million viewers in a town hall shown last week on NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC, while Trump’s event last month on ABC drew 3.8 million. Biden also outdrew Trump in their national conventions this summer. Biden had 24.6 million viewers, while Trump drew 23.8 million to the Republican National Convention.

Will any of this equate to votes?

We have the 3rd and last debate in 5 days (that is if Trump does not find a way to weasel out of it)…..should prove to be as worthless as the past ones.

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“lego ergo scribo”