Remembering Absent Friends

Closing Thought–31May21

It is Memorial Day

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I would like to remember some absent friends from my days in Vietnam.

In 1967 I was sent to South Vietnam and became part of the 9th Infantry Division Long Range Recon…my team was made of Buchanan, Puckett, Stern, Miller and myself….we served together from 1967-1968….in that year we were involved in many operations and toward the end of our year we lost Puckett and Buchanan….they served with bravery and I have no complaints.

Miller, Stern and myself returned to Vietnam in March 1969 through October 1970….during this time we had many team mates some could not stand the tension of the job as a LRRP or were killed in action pr asked for a transfer…..during this time I was wounded as well as Stern….Miller came thru two tours without a scratch.

We were assigned to Oakland Army Terminal for mustering out of the US Army in October 1970……we had a night on the town in San Francisco and we went our separate ways saying we would stay in touch.

After a couple of years I heard from Miller’s sister….it seems that Miller was off work and stop by a liquor store for a bottle of wine….he walked into a robbery and was shot in the face and killed…..after 2 and half years in combat and he dies at the hands of a punk with a gun… way for a warrior to die.

The last I heard of Stern was he was in Africa……I got two stories… he was working as a mercenary in Angola the other was he was working for a government (no one was sure which one) as a hunter of poachers…..knowing Stern I would be inclined to believe the latter.

Then I lost all contact with anyone that would know about Stern.

That leaves me for any reunion and my days are numbered pushing 75 I think of my comrades from days past.

So I raise my glass to absent friends…I shall never forget my absent friends.

Please take a moment to remember those brave souls that gave their all.

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Be Well….Be Safe….

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Who Was The First West Point Grad To Die In Combat?

First some sad news on this holiday……

Two people died and an estimated 20 to 25 people were injured in a shooting outside a banquet hall in South Florida, police said. The gunfire erupted early Sunday at the El Mula Banquet Hall in northwest Miami-Dade County, near Hialeah, police told news outlets. The banquet hall had been rented out for a concert. Three people got out of an SUV and opened fire on the crowd outside, police director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III said. Authorities believe the shooting was targeted, per the AP.

200 mass shootings so far for 2021……A situation that has become all too common in this country…..and yet few care.

It is Memorial Day…that time when we remember all those that gave their all in service of the country.

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For that reason I would like to present a warrior who was the first West Point grad to die in combat….

Cadet of the Military Academy, June 15, 1808, to Mar. 1, 1811, when he was graduated and promoted in the Army to Ensign, 1st Infantry, Mar. 1, 1811.

Served: on the Northwestern Frontier, 1811-1812; and in the War of 1812-1815 with Great Britain, being engaged in Captain Heald’s desperate engagement near Ft. Chicago, Ill., Aug. 15, 1812, with a vastly superior force of savages, two of whom he slew in a hand-to-hand fight, but, while upon his knees as he had fallen faint from his bleeding wounds, still wielding his sword, he was himself killed in combat, Aug. 15, 1812: Aged 28.

George Ronan was the first West Point graduate to be killed in action. Because many of the American dead and wounded were civilians, the engagement is usually referred to, certainly in Chicago itself, as the Fort Dearborn Massacre, but it did not occur at the fort, rather some distance south of it; the fort had been evacuated and the Army was trying to lead the civilian inhabitants to safety in Indiana, when they were ambushed. The sites of both fort and massacre are within the present city limits of Chicago.

Remember those that gave their all for the country….a moment of silence would be nice….

Memorial Day is a day to seek peace | The Seattle Times

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Waiting For Godot

I am not a theater person….not a big fan of musicals….or for that matter Shakespeare…..did enjoy some of the Greek tragedies and one two act play called “Waiting For Godot”…..

For those not familiar with this 2 act play…..

tragicomedy in two acts by Irish writer Samuel Beckett, published in 1952 in French as En attendant Godot and first produced in 1953. Waiting for Godot was a true innovation in drama and the Theatre of the Absurd’s first theatrical success.

For those visually and mentally imparted here is a video that explains the play….

Now that I have stepped into the realm of nostalgia maybe I should explain my trip down this path…..

I recalled this play because of a photo I took of my best friend and companion, MoMo….


For some reason the photo caught my fancy and made me think of the play…..

I leave with a quote from a bathroom stall…..this is for all those theatrical nerds…..

‘I’ll Be Right Back”–Godot

Enjoy your day…..

Be Well…..Be Safe…..

Peace Out!

Does Anyone Remember The Cambridge 5?

A History Sunday……

Probably only UK visitors will be the only ones that will remember and then only those that are aging….like me.

The Cambridge Five were the most notorious of all the spies who worked for the Soviet Union. This British quintet were exceptional for a number of reasons: while they worked independently, they knew the identities of one another; they spied at a critical time (during the Second World War and the early Cold War); the content of their espionage complemented each other, as each worked in different parts of the government. And the amount of information they provided was unsurpassed.

The five were recruited while students at the University of Cambridge in the 1930s and each would go on to have successful dual careers as British civil servants and Soviet spies. Kim Philby (1912–88) spent most of his career working for the British intelligence agency MI6, including a period as head of Soviet counterespionage and as MI6 liaison officer to the CIA in Washington DC. Donald Maclean (1913–83) had a successful career in the Foreign Office, working on atomic and military matters. Guy Burgess (1911–63) worked briefly for MI6, but also spent some time in the Foreign Office, working in London on propaganda, and then in the British Embassy in Washington.

From the mid-1930s through the early 1960s, the Soviet Union benefited from the services of five British traitors. Reams of classified documents transferred from British files and offices to those of the Soviet’s. During the height of World War II and the Cold War which followed, classified information shared between the United States and Great Britain received an eager welcome from the Soviets. The traitors sent so much information to their Soviet handlers that some in the NKVD/KGB questioned its value. Others were simply overwhelmed by the amount of data received and had insufficient time to properly analyze it all. Much of the damage done by the group originally labeled the Cambridge 4, later expanded to 5 when another traitor’s activities came to light, remains unknown.

This Spy Ring Betrayed the US and British to Soviet Intelligence

These spies did some major damage to the US and the UK in their sell-out to the Soviets.

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Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Heroes To The Left….Heroes To The Right

Memorial Day weekend and we here in the US celebrate the ‘heroes’ that gave their all for their country….

We all have our idea of who were the heroes this country should celebrate….some are not as heroic as you might think and then there are heroes that you probably never heard of at any time….

The label ‘hero’ is overused these days….

And there is where I pick up the meat of this post…..

We begin this lesson on heroics with Hugh Thompson…..

Hugh Clowers Thompson, Jr. (1943 – 2006), was part Cherokee, descended from survivors of the Trail of Tears. Raised in Georgia, Thompson was a Boy Scout from a religious family whose children were taught discipline and integrity. In their corner of the segregated South, the Thompsons stood out for their opposition to racism, and for standing up for and helping people of color. In his youth, Thompson, Jr., helped his family make ends meet by plowing fields and working in a funeral home, before he joined the US Navy in 1961. He was honorably discharged in 1964, returned to Georgia, studied to become a licensed funeral home director, and settled in to raise a family.

When the Vietnam War heated up, Thompson felt obligated to serve his country, and enlisted in the US Army in 1966. He was trained as a helicopter pilot, and was sent to Vietnam. On March 16th, 1968, Thompson flew an OH-23 Raven observation helicopter in support of a search-and-destroy operation near Son My when he realized that a massacre was taking place below. He landed and tried to get some soldiers to help wounded civilians, but they offered to finish them off, instead. Their commanding officer, a Lieutenant William Calley, brushed Thompson off. So he took off in his helicopter, frantically radioed the chain that a massacre was taking place, and set about saving as many people as he could.

Heroic People Who Deserve to be Way More Famous

Please read about these people and you decide if they are heroes.

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Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend…..

Class dismissed!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Those Battlefield Blunders

As I checked my comments this morning I got an ‘atta boy” from Word Press……

You’ve posted 210 days in a row on In Saner Thought! Keep up the good work.

WP needs to check their stats a bit closer….I have posted at least one post for the last 10 years…..back in 2011 WP had a challenge for bloggers to post at least once a day…..I stared then doing so and have continued for a decade… their stats are wrong.

Now for a Saturday history lesson…..

Every war has its blunders…..wrong decisions by leadership, bad planning, and just stupidity……but there are a few that were monumental….monumental in the sense of disastrous.

Imagine how much longer and bloodier World War II might have been had Admiral Yamamoto not filled the decks of his vulnerable carriers at Midway with fully fueled airplanes awaiting ordnance. What if Hitler, despite his anger at the bombing of Berlin, hadn’t switched tactics from downing Spitfires to uselessly attacking London?

Battlefield blunders can be as decisive as brilliant tactics, whether they suddenly advance tribal factions toward nationhood, punish a proud military unaccustomed to losing or temporarily swing the balance of power in an utterly unexpected direction.

That said, following are five losers who might have wished for a do-over.

The Worst Battlefield Blunders: Five Battles That Ended Badly

For once I agree with the choices…..Gallipoli, Little Big Horn and Dien Bien Phu…..

Dien Bien Phu should have been a warning to the US about involvement in Vietnam….Giap was a genius in the planning and the French were arrogant and completely clueless of their enemy.

Do you have any others that were left off this list?

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An Explanation

Closing Thought–28May21

In the past couple of months readership has fallen off of IST….I hope it is because that people are starting to get out and about and chase life and not that people are starting to care less about the events in this country.

So I have decided to cutback on my time on the blog…..I will post one or two posts daily as opposed to the 4 or 5 from months past… there is a situation (will explain that a little later) at home and my garden needs attention plus my best friend MoMo deserves more attention.

Again I am not leaving or changing anything other than the number of posts published per day.

I would like to thank all those diehard IST readers and let them know that I appreciate their visits and comments so very much.

Be Safe…..Be Well….

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The Second Coming!

But this time one will become two……

Sorry guys this is not some fanciful Biblical tale.

The Lord High Prophet of the lunatic Right has died….and the Far Right faithful have waited for his return….and now their worship and diligence has been rewarded…..two will appear to take the ‘idols’ place…….

It’s going to take two people to try to fill the radio void of Rush Limbaugh on the right. Premiere Networks says Clay Travis, 42, and Buck Sexton, 39, will co-host a show in the noon to 3pm ET time slot, reports the Wall Street Journal. Both are radio veterans, though Travis might be better known as the founder of the sports website The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show will begin airing June 21 across the country. Premiere has largely been airing old segments of Limbaugh’s show (supplemented by live updates with guest hosts) since he died of lung cancer in February, and the Journal notes that those are bringing in a respectable 75% to 80% of the usual audience.

“We’re not going to replace Rush Limbaugh, we’re going to have an evolution of the show with fresh voices—those that grew up on Rush and admired him,” says Julie Talbott, president of Premiere Networks, which is owned by iHeartMedia. The Hollywood Reporter notes that Travis and Sexton will have an additional challenge. Radio stations around the country already have begun giving the Limbaugh time slot, or parts of it, to others, particularly Fox News regular Dan Bongino

The question is will they be a conservative talk show or will QAnon invade rationality on the news airways?

My guess is they will drink the QAnon kool-aid and become just another source for lies and misinformation that will continuously stoke the fires to stupidity and ignorance.

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“lego ergo scribo”

The League Of Democracies

This is a brilliant idea (sarcasm) of the Biden admin….bringing together all the democracies in a summit atmosphere…..I comment on the idea when it was first announced…..

This sounds like a con job as usual….it will be nothing more than rhetoric from the Cold War….and will not really be about ‘democracy’ at all…..

Reliable reports continue to circulate that President Biden intends to call for a “summit of democracies” to convene this summer, although concerns that such a large gathering might become a super-spreader of the coronavirus may delay those plans. The implicit goal is to create a political, diplomatic (and eventually a military) bloc of democratic countries to contain the power and influence of the two leading authoritarian states, Russia and China, and to counter the supposedly surging appeal of authoritarianism globally. It is a concept that is deeply flawed both conceptually and in terms of execution. Indeed, the pursuit of this pernicious chimera has the potential to poison America’s already fragile relations with several important countries and to heighten risks to the security and well-being of the American people.

Biden and key advisers highlighted their wish to create a league of democracies (under Washington’s benevolent leadership, of course) even before the administration took office. Biden himself gave the proposal considerable prominence during the 2020 presidential election campaign. He and other officials also have exhorted Washington’s existing democratic alliance partners to create a common front against both Moscow and Beijing.

In remarks delivered on December 28, the president-elect stated that “as we compete with China and hold China’s government accountable for its abuses on trade, technology, human rights, and other fronts, our position will be much stronger when we build coalitions of like-minded partners and allies to make common cause with us in defense of our shared interests and values.” Biden added that “on any issue that matters to the U.S.-China relationship,… we [the United States] “are stronger and more effective when we are flanked by nations that share our vision for the future of our world.”

The Fraudulent ‘League of Democracies’ Scheme

This is a waste of time and energy……for the US turns a blind eye to nations that pretend to be a democracy while committing heinous crimes against people.

US needs to cease being a huge hypocrite on the world stage… can we truly be a world leader when the word ‘democracy’ means NOTHING to us?

This is a pathetic attempt to bolster the station of the M-IC…..not about the people of any given country.

It is about profit over people…..the usual crap we pretend is democracy.

A League of Democracies is a huge con job.

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Closing Thought–27May21

Do you have student debt?

This is a hindrance to people as they try to pay off thousands of dollars in debt for their excellent education…..this crippling debt keeps college grads from living the ‘good life’…..

There has been ideas to help people get on with their lives by lessening or cancelling student debt.

Some progressives are calling for the canceling of all student debt….the new president is calling for the cancellation of $10,000 of debt…..that figure is not nearly enough.

Forty-five million Americans now owe a total of $1.7 trillion in federal and private student loans.

For many people, that debt is the biggest drag on their adult lives. It prevents them from buying a home or starting a family or investing in their future. They are stuck in a perpetual loop.

This crisis has led to calls to cancel all that debt and liberate an entire generation of Americans — something I instinctively support. But when you start to think about all the obstacles and trade-offs, you quickly realize how politically fraught such a proposal would be. Is there any way to do it fairly? What about the millions of people who spent decades paying down their loans? And what about the people who didn’t go to college because they didn’t want the debt — how would this land for them?

So I reached out to Astra Taylor, documentary filmmaker and author of the 2019 book Democracy May Not Exist, But We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone. Taylor has become a leading advocate for debt forgiveness, and she treats it as not just an economic problem but as a small-d democratic problem. We talk about why that is and how it shapes her argument.

A total cancellation of student debt could be fuel for the economy….it would put $1.7 trillion dollars into the economy…..and that would be a huge boost across the board.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”