Veterans Day #99



SEGMENT – VETERANS DAY (00:00)

As a Veteran, I love Veterans Day, but… I refer it’s original incarnation, Armistice Day. In my view, it’s possible to celebrate Veterans, but not forget the real reason that November 11th is remembered by every Allied nation in the World. It’s why the VFW hands out poppies. It’s why we pause at 11am. And for those of us who served at any point in our nations history, it’s a reminder of how fragile things really are; to appreciate them each and every day.

On the 11th of November, 1918, the Armistice, which had been signed at 5am, was set to go into effect at 11am. World War I, at least the fighting part of it, was six hours from its end. But for reasons only he knew, Marshal Foch of France, the Supreme Allied Commander, refused a German request to have the fighting stopped immediately. He stuck to the 11am hour as the time, and so over the next six hours, 11,000 more men were killed and wounded. All unnecessary, in an unnecessary war, fought for unnecessary reasons that have left us fighting many of the same conflicts a century later.

And while we celebrate Veterans day, most of the rest of the world holds Remembrance Day. A day when we remember the fallen and the hope for the future…


SEGMENT – DONNA BRAZILE’S IMPENDING DOOM (32:22)

A few years back, some phony ex-Congressman wrote a book about how Congress was corrupt and it made it so mad that he… he… well.. he wrote a book abut it. Because that’s what you do when you want to be mad about something of which you have been a part for a long time, reaping the benefits until one day, you find yourself on the “outs.” Then you write a book “exposing” the corruption and shenanigans so that you can get all new friends on the other side who will shower you with praise and benefits. I’ll give Donna Brazile this much, at least she put her own name on the book, unlike Congressman X.

On the other hand, there’s no way in heaven or hell that she didn’t know about this stuff until after the fact…


SEGMENT – WE “FORGOT…” (44:00)

The USAF announced this week that it “failed” to report the Texas church shooters Court martial conviction on domestic abuse and assault charges – for which he spent a year in the brig – to the national database that tracks such things and keeps weapons out of the hands of people who are bad. The question, of course, is “Why not?”

We may never know that answer. And while the Air Force may never be able to tell us who screwed up, I’m reasonably certain that whoever was the person who was supposed to do it, knows.

Meanwhile there is a new debate on just why these attacks happen. Is it as simple as mental illness? Is it a “spiritual crises?’ Or is it something else?


SEGMENT – PVT HENRY GUNTHER (54:35)

On the 11th of November, 1918, the Armistice, which had been signed at 5am, was set to go into effect at 11am. World War I, at least the fighting part of it, was literally one minute from its end. But for reasons only he knew, Marshal Foch of France, the Supreme Allied Commander, refused a German request to have the fighting stopped immediately. He stuck to the 11am hour as the time, and so over the next six hours, 11,000 more men were killed and wounded. All unnecessary, in an unnecessary war fught for unnecessary reasons that have left us fighting many of the same conflicts a century later.

Private Henry Gunther was a American of German descent (his Grandparents were German immigrants) who hadn’t really wanted to be in the war. He never volunteered, but when he was drafted in September of 1917, he went. He worked his way up to Sergeant, and then got busted back down to Private for being a bit loose with his words in a letter back home. Now, with just one minute left in the War, he decided that he had one last chance to prove to his Unit and his Country that he wasn’t a failure…


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But… But… RUSSIA!!!!!!!



SEGMENT – BUT… BUT… RUSSIA!!!!!! (00:00)

For pretty much most of my life, certainly the first thirty years of it, the Soviets, er, Russians, were the Evil Empire. In Kindergarten I did Duck and Cover drills at Ashley Elementary School in Denver. As a boy I listened to my Dad explain to me that Barry Goldwater would have defeated the Russians. As a teenager I watched the Soviets invade Afghanistan. In Junior High I was appalled when Ford announced that the Poles did not consider themselves dominated by the Soviets. In High School I listened as Reagan declared the Soviets “The Evil Empire.” And then I went to sea, putting my own right index finger on “the button” of nuclear deterrence.

Get what I’m saying? I’m the hawk here. I hated the Soviets from the day was was born. I’m the guy who would – all over again – go back to sea to wait for the law to be signed outlawing Russia, followed by the command to bomb them back to the Stone Age in five minutes.

I don’t trust Putin or the neo-Stalinists. I don’t believe them when they say they want peace and prosperity. I’ve never trusted them. And I never will.

And for all of that, I still cannot believe the way this country is going into full 400Hz flop and twitch over $150,000 worth of idiotic Facebook ads.

Facebook ads people… Quick – don’t think about it… name five people you personally know who actually click on Facebook ads…

EEEEEERRRRNNNNTTTT. Times up!


SEGMENT – BOWE GOES FREE? (28:28)

The news that ex-Sgt Bowe Bergdahl will serve no prison time for his desertion has the nation and social media abuzz. I’m not in any way, shape or form surprised that he got no prison time. Why? Because the 6th Amendment still applies to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And the Commander in Chief still doesn’t understand that.

Now matter how many people scream and yell that “Since when does deserting your post in war time not require the firing squad?” it doesn’t change the facts. First, we don’t shoot – or at least very rarely – shoot people for desertion in the face of the enemy. Second, you can’t have the Commander in Chief out screeching about how justice for an accused but not convicted (or at that point even charged) soldier should be treated. It taints the presumption of innocence, and it makes it impossible to get a fair trial or sentence.

So you can be mad if you want. But be mad at those who ignore the Constitution, which still applies to a deserter. 


SEGMENT – WHY I AM NOT A LIBERTARIAN (49:18)

For years I’ve been asked over and again why I am not a member of the Libertarian Party. For most of those years, my answer was milquetoast, mainly dealing with the LP’s position on drugs and in the Ron Paul era it’s position on isolationism. But in truth, I am not a hard-line anti-marijuana guy, although I would never use it myself. And while I am not an isolationist, I think that there is need for a national discussion and much more congressional debate about our military involvement overseas.

So imagine my surprise when I was doing my Torah Study this week, and I found the answer as to why I am not a Libertarian. Mostly, it’s because the Libertarians themselves are not able to truly define what it is that they believe, and when they do, it is not compatible with my faith…


 

Intended Unintended Messages



SEGMENT – GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS HERE

In Alexandria, VA, Christ Church was once the where George Washington himself worshiped. Today the Church still stands and has a plaque marking the pew where Washington and his family once sat to hear sermons about G-d’s love and mercy.

This week, the church has – more than two centuries after Washington’s death – decided to remove the plaque, as the church says that the plaque “makes some feel unsafe or unwelcome” in the church. The church says that it believes that some visitors get “an unintended message” from the plaques located throughout the church. Of course, there is both outrage and even mockery.

But the real problem here is that the church is making the worst mistake that anyone can make when looking at history, and getting exactly what they intended to get…

SEGMENT – THE SLANTS

It was one of those iconic moments. If the Astros go on to win the World Series, it will be in part because of Yuli Gurriel’s home run. It will also go down as one of the moments that remind us if two indisputable truths. First, that racism and racist behavior will never be fully eradicated. Second, that EVERYONE is a least a little bit racist…

Meanwhile Bruce Maxwell, the one-time Stockton Port’s player and current Oakland A’s catcher, was arrested over the weekend for assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly pulling a gun on a pizza delivery girl. This is the same Bruce Maxwell who last week was screeching about another waiter in Alabama refusing to serve him because he “was that guy who knelt and I am a Trump supporter.”

That story fell apart as quickly as a late lead in the wildcard Game for the A’s, when it was shown that nothing like that came close to happening. My question is simply, what happened to a kid who worked his rear end off to go from a Division III School to the Major Leagues? Did something really change? Or was this what he intended all along?

SEGMENT – SIXTEEN YEARS AND WHAT DO YOU GET?

The use of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force continues to be the basis for getting US troops into nearly every corner of the world. In the past few days, we’ve seen the death of more American Soldiers in a faraway place that most Americans had no idea even existed, let along how to pronounce. As some have noted, sixteen years is a long time. Most of us don’t really even think about it anymore. And with the all-volunteer military, the sense of all-out American sacrifice to gain the ultimate goal of victory and peace isn’t the primary focus.

Then again, we are so consumed, as a society, with the micro-aggression’s and who identifies as what, that how can we focus on something as important as an actual war?

Doesn’t it feel like that is what the powers-that-be intended for us all along?

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