Saturday, January 30, 2010
For the past couple weeks now almost, folks have been celebrating the victory of Senator-elect Scott Brown, and rightly so. For a Republican to win the seat that Scuba Ted clutched in a death-grip with his bloated, vodker-stained fingers for 47-plus years, in a state that the Dems and their union thugs held by the short & curlies since time began, that’s one hell of an accomplishment.
But look at reality. This is but one seat, and while it does prevent a filibuster-proof mega-majority, there’s still a long fight left in store. Watching everyone whoop it up, I couldn’t help but compare this to the Doolittle Raid in April, 1942. It wasn’t a major blow to Japan, but it was a huge symbolic victory for morale and showed the Japanese that they were not invulnerable.
This in turn got me to thinking harder about the similarities between various events in American politics over the past 18 months and many of the major events of World War Two, both in the Pacific and in Europe. This is what I get for being a military history buff……
The run-up to the 2008 elections is like that pre-war gathering storm. Posturing, threats, hand-wringing, a crappy economy, a charismatic young firebrand promising hope, change, and prosperity, and a conciliatory jelly-back in John McCain to be our Neville Chamberlain.
When hostilities began in September, 1939, opposition was swept aside by the Blitzkrieg. In the same juggernaut fashion, the Democrats’ campaigns and national convention built a seemingly unstoppable momentum that spilled over to Election Day. Much in the same way that the various countries of Europe capitulated after being invaded, state after state fell under the yoke of The One and his Hench-socialists.
The time between Election Day and Inauguration Day, that quiet yet scary time, is a bit like the time referred to as The Phony War, a prelude to the unholy unpleasantness to come. The Vichy French were the forebears of today’s RINO Republicans, all friendly and conciliatory and turncoat collaborator. As the Bush administration cleaned out their desks and vacated their offices, one couldn’t help but think of the defeated forces being evacuated off the beaches at Dunkirk.
And yet, most of America was still not involved in the war. Not until Pearl Harbor, and the Coronation of the Obamessiah…
All hell broke loose at once. Sweeping changes came into effect with deadly bailouts and stimulus packages, each one a fell blow akin to the fall of Corregidor, the Bataan Death March, and the operations that took over North Africa. When a few valiant governors led by South Carolina’s Mark Sanford tried to refuse bailout money, they resisted as long as they could in a heroic last stand like that on Wake Island, until at last they too succumbed and the survivors surrendered.
Times looked bleak. We despaired. We worried. We almost panicked. But we would not be broken. We would not be vanquished. When London was under the Blitz, brave aviators took to the skies in Spitfires and Hurricanes and showed the Luftwaffe what we were made of. Taking up the challenge of our RAF forebears in the Battle of Britain, local heroes held town hall meetings and Tea Parties, culminating in a Tax Day Triumph in Washington over a million strong.
The seeds of victory had been planted, but there were doubters still. We needed more concrete successes to ensure the defeat of those who would destroy us.
Jimmy Doolittle carried out his aforementioned daring raid on the Japanese home islands, proving that indeed Tokyo was within reach and that they were vulnerable. Again, it was mostly a symbolic victory but it gave people hope. The November 2009 gubernatorial race in Virginia did the same thing. It was just one race but it showed them we were coming for them. The victory in New Jersey was another victory for freedom, a jumping off point like the Battle of Coral Sea, again just one state but a tactical victory that denied them another stronghold. We learned a valuable lesson in overconfidence though when we were bloodied at Kasserine Pass, and we likewise learned from losing the Congressional race in New York’s 23d District.
Forcing Van Jones out of The Inner Czar Circle was our victory at El Alamein, and the brilliant exposure of ACORN for the fraudsters and illegal operators that they are was a huge turning point that cut their influence off at the knees, our Battle of Midway if you will.
Despite the difficulties in Sicily and moving into Italy, we persevered. Despite the awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize, we made sure the world knew it was a joke, a fraud, a sham. We persevered.
It took a long and bloody fight to take Rome after bogging down at Anzio, but the Allies broke free from Kesselring’s panzer army and the day was ours; likewise the disastrous Climate Conference in Carbonhagen was in the end a huge loss for the Left after we showed the Global Warming hoax for what it was.
In much the same manner that Germany had its Lost Cause in a fight they couldn’t win, the Dems have theirs. They’re finding out rather quickly that Health Care has become their Russian Front. They invaded, they made great strides, and then they bogged down. At one point the Wehrmacht was almost to the suburbs of Moscow…and at one point the House had passed a version of a bill and the Senate had their version.
Healthcare Reform in the versions they want to force feed us are stalled. Frau Pelosi says that she doubts the House can pass the Senate version. This is their Stalingrad, people. We’re gonna jam them up at Stalingrad and force their retreat. If we can get someone like Reid or Shumer or someone else to fall, that’ll be like the surrender of the German Sixth Army and capture of General Paulus. Obama says he’s going to force the issue and get it passed, much like Hitler ordering Operation Citadel, a last offensive in Russia, and after the great tank battle at Kursk, anything else on the Russian Front was a retreat back to Germany. So let it be with Obamacare.
The Scott Brown victory…I almost don’t know where to place this. Maybe with the long battle for the seat after Kennedy’s death and all the unpleasantness heaved upon Brown, that final victory was almost like winning Guadalcanal, the perfect stepping stone for our island-hopping campaign to victory.
As I said before, we still have a great struggle ahead of us. And I do mean “us”, for you and me, we’re the foot soldiers in this. Bloggers, Tea Party-goers, campaigners, we’re the grass-roots ground-pounders who get the word out and fight the fight.
The countdown is on to the 2010 elections. This will be our D-Day invasion. We’ll storm the polls in waves. Early & absentee voters will be our airborne drops behind their lines. We’ll establish our beachheads and storm inland. When we take back Congress and liberate Washington, it’ll be like liberating Paris, and Obama can ask “Brennt Washington?” (Is Washington burning?) over the phone, screaming at Barbara von Boxer.
They’ll attempt to rally their forces prior to the Presidential elections. They’ll attack in one last offensive, a Battle of the Bulge so to speak; if a race is almost too close to call and the Left is calling for us to concede that race, I sincerely hope that our candidate will have the audacity to quote Anthony McAuliffe and simply say, “Nuts!”.
When we go to the polls to win back our country, we’ll have DC surrounded like Berlin in ’45. The Conservatives rushing in from one side and the disenfranchised Obama voters from the other, shaking hands on the bridge at the Elbe.
And then we’ll accept their unconditional surrender…they may still resist, but do they really wanna get nuked? But what would that metaphorical nuke be? Aha! A Nigerian birth certificate? Nahhhh…his mom was an American citizen so all that birther crap is out the window. A photo taken holding hands with Osama bin Laden? Nahhhh, too easily Photoshopped.
No, his own policies will be his undoing. The sheer righteousness of our cause is enough. C'mon, gang; your country needs you.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Y’know, I’m really starting to get tired of hearing the rest of the world bitch about our efforts in Haiti. If it weren’t for the dire need of the people there for our help, I’d just say to Hell with it and say we should just pack up, head home, and let the rest of the world handle it and pay for it.
I refer to the asshole-ish comments by Italy’s top disaster official, Guido Bertolaso, who whined that the U.S.-led effort in Haiti was a pathetic failure turning into a “vanity show for the television cameras”.
Maybe he’s referring to the $60 million raised by Clooney’s telethon?
The head of Italy's Civil Protection Agency, Bertolaso told Italian television on Sunday that the U.S. military "tends to confuse military intervention with emergency intervention," and that despite the presence of 13,000 U.S. troops there, "no one is giving orders.". He said there is a danger that aid will be lost by the "inefficient" operation.
Maybe he wants to be in charge?
However, the Italian government was pretty quick to distance itself from its Cabinet-level official. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini quickly said Bertolaso was not speaking in any official capacity when he lit into the U.S.. "We have lamented from the first day that there has been a lack of adequate coordination," Frattini told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. "But this doesn't mean that Italy has any intention of criticizing the U.S. efforts."
A clearly embarrassed Frattini, who is headed to Montreal for talks with Hillary Clinton and other foreign representatives about rebuilding Haiti, said that Bertolaso had not gone to Haiti as "world coordinator" of aid and reiterated that had not been speaking in an official capacity. “Bertolaso ... has attacked American and international organizations head on. The Italian government does not share these statements,” Frattini said.
One report I heard today said that with donations from private citizens, combined with donations from various celebrities and telethons and government aid, over half a billion dollars had been raised from the USA, despite our crap economy and over 10% unemployment.
This compares to Italy’s donations of some $9 million dollars, which is very generous, and the sending of Italy’s brand new small aircraft carrier Cavour to assist. Barely six months old, the Cavour is comparable to one of our amphibious assault helicopter carriers.
Dude, you seem to lack perspective as to the scale of things here. Last year you did an admirable job of dealing with a quake in Italy at L'Aquila, which killed over 300 people, and your country has sent money and equipment. But this quake has killed nearly 200,000 people and left over a million homeless. We’ve sent 13,000 people, not including civilian disaster experts, and a flotilla of ships. Nice carrier, but it ain’t the Carl Vinson. Quit bitching about our efforts, which as usual dwarf the rest of the world’s, as it makes you just sound like a jealous neighbor who’s pissed that someone brought a bigger cheese platter to the party.
Roberto Dormino, an Italian UN aid official in Haiti, said Bertolaso had not understood that "Haiti is not L'Aquila". He said: "The government does not exist and there is nothing to requisition, not a single lorry, not a car, not even a taxi. Bertolaso cannot throw mud at us like this, many in the UN mission have died, we who are left are doing what we can."
We’re making the best we can out of chaos and trying to get as much materiel into an airport that used to get a maximum of 13 flights a day, and as usual someone has to say we’re theones in the wrong. Thankfully, the rest of the world gets it and the detractors are getting called out.
Monday, January 25, 2010
This comes to my attention via Cliff (http://randommusingsbycliff.blogspot.com/) and arrived to him via The Armorer's page (http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/2010/01/haiti_relief_ge.html). Thanks a bunch, Cliff; this kind of info is important.
This is an email from an individual aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort, written whilst enroute to Haiti.
"Sorry it’s been so long for an update but internet access has been non-existent on the ship. In fact as I’m typing this I still don’t have access but I wanted to catch some notes on my laptop and mail them as soon as I can.
When I do send email, if you reply please delete all the text of the email I sent you to keep the message small. The bandwidth for this entire ship is less that 1 MByte per second. Way less than what you have in your home. And here it’s shared by almost 1,000 people.
I got on the ship without a hitch and they assigned me berthing. They told a petty officer to show me where I’d be. He looked at my paper and said, “Oh no, sir. You don’t belong there!” and took me to the enlisted berthing. That was fine by me but it turned out he was wrong and I’ve ended up in a stateroom with four senior Navy Captains. How’d the old Sarge ever end up here with these O-6s?! I have to remember to behave and not pick my nose…
We were supposed to get underway Friday at 1800 but were delayed. There are two diesel powered electrical generators on the ship and when they went to fire one up, neither would start. So they placed a temporary generator on the deck and wired it up. Electricians worked all night and we shoved off the pier around 1000 Saturday with only that external power. Because of that limited power and how this old ship’s wiring is configured, we didn’t have any communications. None. The Skipper and the ship’s master were communicating on satellite phone and a hand held maritime radio. The Navy sent a big ship full of people out to sea with no comm… THAT’s how serious the Navy is about getting the Comfort into Haiti ASAP.
A few hours out of the Chesapeake into the ocean they got the power up and started bringing internet service up. But there was just a small fire in the radio room. As I type this, power is all back and running and ‘soon’ we’ll have internet access. Then I’ll send this.
We understand that a lot of the media is bad mouthing the Navy. They always seem to take the half empty glass frame of mind. They ask how is it that China has people on the ground operating and the Comfort still isn’t there. Well, the US military could easily put a surgical team on a C-17 to come to Haiti and perform simple surgeries like the Chinese did. In fact the Army 82nd Airborne field hospital is operational. The media doesn’t say that the Chinese and Russians and Cubans are all holding their serious patients THEY CAN’T HANDLE for the Comfort to arrive. The Comfort will have the capability to take in 1100 Haitians at any time. That takes a staff of 1300 blue suit Navy professionals with all the medical supplies… and food and water for all those people.
Last Tuesday morning the Comfort was sitting at pier 11 in Baltimore with no power or people or supplies. A big chunk of cold steel. From the time the President said go, in 66 hours we were turning knots. That means getting all the people and supplies and getting the ship seaworthy. This was a major accomplishment!
We sailed with almost 500 crew on board. The remainder of the crew will be flying into Haiti over the next few days. Some crew members will be hot racking. That means two people will share a bed on different shifts. For the first two days the crew ate MREs. We’ve got meals now as they’ve brought up the galley.
When the ship has its full compliment, with the water requirements of the patients and the water making capabilities of the ship at anchor, the crew will probably not be able to shower every day. And when we do it’ll be a ‘Navy shower.’ Turn the water on and get wet then turn it off. No more than 15 seconds. Soap down and wash, then turn it on and rinse. No more than 30 seconds. And by the way, the water may not always be very warm… oh well.
I started to write, “So that’s the bad side.” But that’s not the bad side. It’s just the way things are. And I’ve not heard a single complaint from anybody on this ship. I say again these are professional caregivers. The best the country has to offer.
The bad news you probably know better than me right now because we’ve seen no news. We know people are dying. We’re getting there as fast as we can but that’s only about 12 knots. And people will be dying here on the ship.
Personally, this isn’t OpSmile with cute kids we can fix. This’ll be people with severe injuries: amputations, brain injuries, etc. We’re going to be dealing with newly orphaned kids. And what do we do with everybody after their medical treatment? Especially the orphans.
Being in the news isolation bubble is sort of strange. We don’t know what we’ll see when we get to port. We’re chugging along preparing and rehearsing. But it’s going to hit the fan soon. I don’t know what to expect.
It’s Monday evening now and we just had the 1900 briefing. We’re about 36 hours out so we’ll be arriving Wednesday morning. When we’re within range of the Carl Vinson (CVN-70) some MH-60’s will begin lifting the most critical patients here and the pace will change. They’re talking about thousands of patients going through here over the next few months. We’ll be going to 24/7 operations. Flight operations can’t fly at night [gee… my dear old friend Mike Stratton flew LOTS of night dustoff flights around Hui Ba Den in Viet Nam! I miss him.] so the casualty receiving will slow down at night but the ORs will keep cranking.
So what is it I’m doing you may ask? I’m working for the Skipper on how the Comfort will work with Non-Government Organizations to replace the blue suiter to go home for…. a break. Project HOPE has a long list of doctors, nurses and other folks who have volunteered. With the Navy taking close to 1,300 of their people out of the Navy medical centers, those left behind are stretched very thin. So we can’t maintain this many blue suits on the ship. After a couple weeks we’ll start bringing in those Project HOPE people. I’m working on planning that. American Red Cross is sending 100 Haitian-Americans here as translators. I’ll be assigning them to wards, OR, ICU, CASREC, etc. Including 2 for the chaplains. The chaplains said their job is “To help the Haitians die and to keep the sailors alive.” A chilling look at what may be in store.
We’ve gotten lots of email from Church of Christ, Latter Day Saints, Catholic Relief, Rotary Club, and others about people already on the ground in Haiti. We need to put teams on the ground for triage. But we don’t have enough blue suits to run the hospital AND do triage. So one thing we discuss in staff meetings is who and how to mesh all this together. And my friends, I sit in these meetings and just wonder how the hell I got here. One of the biggest GOOD things our country has done in a very long time and I’m involved in the planning… and they listen! What an unbelievable honor it is to be here with these people and be part of this. I’ll carry it the rest of my days. You all know I’m not a religious man and lots of you aren’t very religious… maybe not as much a heathen as I am, though. I ask you to pray for these good people. And if you don’t pray, just think of them. They’ll need strength physically and mentally. One of my roommates has a master’s degree in disaster medicine and he briefed about care giver PTSD. I knew nurses from Viet Nam with that problem.
Several times the CO, XO, and head of nursing have stressed that the surgeons are critical and do a great job. But it’s the nurse and nurse practitioner who touches and treats and heals the patient. Or it’s the nurse who holds the patients hand as they leave this world… and wraps them up in a bag. Please pray for our nurses.
It’s Tuesday afternoon. This morning after the Skipper's SITREP briefing, Captain Ware talked about how the pace will change. How although nobody will be shooting at us here on the ship, it will be like a battle with a fast pace of critically injured and dying people. Patients dying and perhaps crew dying ashore. He told us to prepare for the possible loss of a shipmate. I sat there feeling like the ‘war’ was getting ready to start and I was being left out. How was I going to be involved and help people more than just pushing paper and coordinating NGOs. So I talked with the CO of nurses and got his permission to spend my spare time on the 2 Forward ward, pediatrics. I went down to meet the staff and let them know I was available for whatever they needed and while there the chaplains came in. They talked to the staff about children dying. I’ve got to go to the 1400 planning meeting. This will be the last planning meeting before we go into operation so it’s all got to be finalized today. I wish you could see the planning and caring that goes into this. Take all the politician assholes out of the picture and get it down to the people of the United States and we can do just about anything.
Here’s an exchange from the 1400 briefing… “How many bodies can the morgue handle?” “Sir, the morgue will hold 22 bodies. But of course we could stack 4 or 5 babies or 2 or 3 kids into one slot.”
19 January We had our first two patients come aboard at 2130. It’s a woman with a big chunk of cinderblock in her brain and a child with a crushed pelvis whose bladder is pretty much destroyed. The staff on the Vinson had them stable but couldn’t do any more. My roommates are working tonight.
20 January This morning I went to the galley about 0545. Around 0600 the ship shook. A LOT! Some thought it had gone aground and some thought they’d put the screws into reverse. Chiefs told us later this old boat doesn’t have the power to reverse the screws. It was a magnitude 6.5 earthquake. So big it shook a ship over 300 feet long like a toy. Patients are flowing in and the mood of the ship has changed dramatically. Casualty receiving (CASREC) is packed. I’ve talked with the nurses in pediatrics about toys and stuff for the kids. Unlike OpSmile, the Navy doesn’t bring toys on a mission!
I talked with a chief about when we’re going to get the post office working then I’m going to try to order some stuff. They want coloring books and crayons, underwear [what’s that?!], and what they’re asking for the most is Bibles. I’ve talked with the chaplains about that because Bibles printed in Kreyol may be hard to find! Kreyole is not the same as Creole.
Time for the 1900 briefing. It’s Wednesday. A week since I was sitting watching TV. What a ride so far… I hope I can sent this tomorrow.
So it’s not tomorrow yet… We saw 81 patients today. The count will go up once the Haitians learn where the landing zones will be and they start showing up. We don’t have our Marine combat cargo Gunnery Sergeant yet so a Navy chief filled in today. We had 147 helicopters land on the Comfort. Only 81 patients so you can see there were a lot of politicians trying to show the world how important they are. Plus media was all over CASREC today.
Captain Sharpe, one of my roommates, just came in all pumped up about the day. He said, “This is what it’s all about. Helping people.” We talked about how much busier things are going to get. Last night he and I talked about amputations. You chop the limb off clean _ they call it a guillotine amputation _ cover it with gauze, and put the patient in the ward for a couple days. Then you have to bring him back and operate again to take out what’s died, rap it up, and put them away again for a couple days. This may go on 3 or 4 or 5 times until you open it up and nothings dead. Then you can close the skin flap and be done. The point is that a person with an amputation doesn’t get operated on once and done. So he’s concerned with the number of amputations we’ll see the number of surgeries will go thru the roof. We’ll just have to see.
So today was a 15 hour day for me. The medical folks had it a lot harder. Chief Woods was on the flight deck non-stop, except for 5-minute bathroom breaks, on his feet in the sun from 0630 to 1930. And all he could do tonight was smile. I’ll see you all tomorrow. Yeah yeah yeah...
So obviously I have email but it’s convoluted. This morning the Skipper reassigned from NGO support to supporting the Navy Captain and Lieutenant Commander preparing metrics for the ship. Patient Admin keeps metrics for onboard admissions very well but nothing is set up ashore. We have teams setting up clinics. 82nd Airborne is setting up secure perimeters. But nobody is keeping records ashore. Skipper is talking with legal about a civilian [me] doing that and what the liabilities may be. I hope we can work past that so I get ashore and into the action. We’ll see. Take care of yourself and remember my shipmates aboard the Comfort."
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Tiger has seemingly been spotted at a sex rehab facility in, of all places, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Yes, you read that right. Deep in the pants, I mean, heart, of Dixie.
Most people think of those plush, cushy celebrity rehab vacation spots in Palm Springs and Malibu and other fun spots. However, it turns out that the best sedxual addiction clinics in the country include Sierra Tucson in Arizona, Tulane University’s program in New Orleans and the Menninger Clinic’s program in Topeka, Kansas. I’ve been to Topeka, and there’s nothing sexy about it.
Personally, I don’t buy it. Not 100%. He’s doing what every celebrity caught in a public fuckup does when caught with their dick in a blender. They claim to have an addiction, apologize almost sincerely enough to be believed, and then toddle off to rehab to save their reputations and attempt to avoid prosecution and jail time. Look at me, I’m all contrite and sad and broken….fix me.
I’m not buying the Sexual Addiction angle. Even though some of Tiger’s behaviors are classic sexual addiction markers, like multiple extra-marital affairs, multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands, and exhibitionism in the form of doing the nasty in a church parking lot, he seems to be lacking a few of the others. We’ve received no reports of things like compulsive masturbation, obsessive use of porn, stalking, obsessive dating through personal ads, and using prostitutes…..(no, I’m not a doctor. I looked it up)
I think instead of an addict, he’s a guy who was a horn-dog, a guy who had the ability and resources at his disposal to bang as many chicks as he could. Has anyone spotted him running off to a Porta Potty to squeeze one off in between holes at The Master’s because he can’t help himself? Is he waking up in a filthy hotel room in the red light district, sticky and confused, with a tranny meth-whore fixing his/her wig in the mirrror and rifling his wallet? Is he dropping Roofies from a Pez dispenser? Nahhhhh…..apart from the parking lot romp, all of his actions seem pretty calculated and hidden, which shows a measure of control and possibly restraint, something many addicts in need of rehab stints lack. He’s a PLAYA, baby. He’s a pimp, not a perv. He’s a squirrel tryin’ to get a nut. And he got caught by getting careless and not being bright enough to have a secret pre-paid cell phone. Dude, you epic-failed at Sneaky 101. I learned that much after watching 3 episodes of Cheaters on G4 Network.
It’s hard to feel sorry for a guy who had money rolling out of his ass for chasing a ball around a meadow with a bagfull of sticks, who has a trophy Scandanavian supermodel wife, and pissed it all away banging the Perkins hostess in a church parking lot. He damn near had to spend money to get additional dicks sewn on to keep up with all the places he was parking his johnson. So the wife bails to Sweden with the kids, and he flees to his luxury yacht, and now turns up in freakin’ Hattiesburg?
It’s a ploy to save what few sponsors he has left. He’ll claim addiction, chillax at the ranch, say what Dr. Drew and Company wants to hear, and go back to making boo-coo bucks again.
For what it’s worth Eldrick, there’s not a Perkins in Hattiesburg. The closest one is either Arkansas or Georgia, I think. However, you’ve got 2 or 3 Waffle Houses in Hattiesburg and plenty of church parking lots. Lotsa quality chicks at the Awful Waffle at 3AM, bro. And hey, it’s a college town, and college chicks like to experiment. Just tell ‘em you’re the new celebrity host of Girls Gone Wild. It worked for Snoop Dogg.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I apologize to everyone, for I have been remiss. Somehow this story escaped my attention, and I feel the need to rectify this post-haste. Special thanks to Evan Stiner for bringing this to my attention.
It is with great sadness that I report that retired Army Colonel Robert L. Howard passsed away on December 23, 2009 in Waco, Texas at the age of 70.
Howard was recommended for the Medal of Honor on three separate occasions for three individual actions during thirteen months spanning 1967–1968. The first two nominations were downgraded to the award of the Distinguished Service Cross due to the covert nature of the operations in which Howard participated. The third recommendation stuck, after a rescue mission in Cambodia on December 30, 1968, while second in command of a force that was searching for a missing American soldier, and was finally awarded the Medal of Honor.
Howard was wounded 14 times during one 54-month period during the Vietnam Conflict. Among his awards in addition to the MoH and 2 DSC's, Howard received a Silver Star, 4 Legion of Merit medals, 4 Bronze Stars, and 8 Purple Hearts.
Colonel Howard's Medal of Honor Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 1st Lt. Howard (then Sfc .), distinguished himself while serving as platoon sergeant of an American-Vietnamese platoon which was on a mission to rescue a missing American soldier in enemy controlled territory in the Republic of Vietnam. The platoon had left its helicopter landing zone and was moving out on its mission when it was attacked by an estimated 2-company force. During the initial engagement, 1st Lt. Howard was wounded and his weapon destroyed by a grenade explosion. 1st Lt. Howard saw his platoon leader had been wounded seriously and was exposed to fire. Although unable to walk, and weaponless, 1st Lt. Howard unhesitatingly crawled through a hail of fire to retrieve his wounded leader. As 1st Lt. Howard was administering first aid and removing the officer's equipment, an enemy bullet struck 1 of the ammunition pouches on the lieutenant's belt, detonating several magazines of ammunition. 1st Lt. Howard momentarily sought cover and then realizing that he must rejoin the platoon, which had been disorganized by the enemy attack, he again began dragging the seriously wounded officer toward the platoon area. Through his outstanding example of indomitable courage and bravery, 1st Lt. Howard was able to rally the platoon into an organized defense force. With complete disregard for his safety, 1st Lt. Howard crawled from position to position, administering first aid to the wounded, giving encouragement to the defenders and directing their fire on the encircling enemy. For 3 1/2 hours 1st Lt. Howard's small force and supporting aircraft successfully repulsed enemy attacks and finally were in sufficient control to permit the landing of rescue helicopters. 1st Lt. Howard personally supervised the loading of his men and did not leave the bullet-swept landing zone until all were aboard safely. 1st Lt. Howard's gallantry in action, his complete devotion to the welfare of his men at the risk of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
If Chuck Norris has a Chuck Norris to look up to, it's Bob Howard. Godspeed, sir.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
But the Left, and other nefarious world forces, would have us all believe we're simply running pell-mell through the Third World killing anything that moves....
Monday, January 18, 2010
(Tell you what...before you read this, you can also go check out what J-Summ had to say about things....
and then read my first post about it at
I got into a seriously heated exchange on Facebook this weekend over Haiti. My friend the Absolute Flaming Liberal did the usual Liberal Shuffle about Bush and Cheney and war and evil and blah blah blah when I said that I knew that somehow the Left would try & blame Bush for Haiti.
Speaking of Haiti and Facebook, it's getting outta hand, this Help Haiti stuff. If you're on Facebook, then I'm sure you're familiar with the Farmville, Fishville, and other various games associated with Facebook. If you use your imaginary money to buy imaginary special corn for your imaginary farm, they supposedly help Haiti. If you buy an imaginary fish for your imaginary aquarium they supposedly help Haiti. The Mafia Wars game has a Haitian drum and their online poker has special Haiti chips. The blog for Zynga, the company that makes these games, claims they've already raised 1.2 million dollars for Haitian relief, but I'm not sure I understand how it's working since we're using imaginary money. I mean, I have never sent Zynga a single dime but my farm in Farmviille has 14 Farmville Bucks ( I had more but "bought" an imaginary Clydesdale at Christmas for 12) and this imaginary magic corn costs 25. I only have 7 Fishville bucks so I also cannot buy the imaginary special Haiti fish for 10.
The view of the Haiti white corn market from my farm...
I really don't see myself donating to Haiti at all. I'm sorry, but the shitty economy hasn't been especially kind to me & the missus this past year. Besides, in essence, we're all donating anyways.
Income taxes, kids.
See, out of the $400 million dollars or so cobbled together for Haiti so far, a full quarter of it is coming from us, we the people. Where Obie's getting the money from is beyond me; I thought we were broke? I guess we're pulling it out of the standard taxpayer coffers, which means that you and me are already donating to Haiti. Plus, we're sending all these troops and planes and ships to Haiti, and who pays for that? Bingo! Us again. I've seen American helicopters dropping off 100,000 meals and 70,000 bottles of water, I've seen American C-130 cargo planes coming in. I know the first American C-17 cargo jet from right here in Charleston, SC landed the other day with half a million pounds of gear. Add to that C-17's from McChord AFB in Washington and the Mississippi Air Guard, from MacDill AFB in Tampa, Dover AFB in Delaware, and Travis AFB in California.
I get beset by these asstards who keep asking me why we have to send soldiers to Haiti like we're invading....and I have to keep from choking the living shit out of them with a strand of piano wire.
That aircraft carrier you complained about us sending? It comes equipped with helicopters, and command/control/communications setups, a full operating room suite, the ability to produce over 475,000 gallons of drinking water per day, and that evil nuclear reactor that you can hook a giant cable up to to provide electrical power to a fair-sized city.
Add to that the amphibious assault ships of the USS Bataan's Amphibious Readiness Group, which is normally supposed to be able to deploy in 96 hours but was able to get rolling to Haiti in half that time. The group includes USS Bataan, USS Carter Hall, and USS Fort McHenry, and will be supplemented by USS Gunston Hall. These ships carry even more helicopters for delivery of supplies. USS Bataan has a 600-bed hospital facility, second only to our dedicated hospital ships.
We've sent Coast Guard cutters to repair damaged piers and docks and to keep navigation and shipping going, and to keep shady & nefarious types from engaging in scumbaggery during a time of crisis when criminals might feel the authorities are distracted and occupied elsewhere.
The hospital ship USNS Comfort? She's a floating 1000-bed hospital. The ship's 550-person medical team includes trauma surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, head and neck surgeons, eye surgeons and obstetricians and gynecologists. The ship can also distill 300,000 gallons of water per day.
We've sent a fleet oiler, and two massive cargo ships full of necessities, as well as several other ships.
Why are we putting Marines and paratroopers ashore? Because someone has to maintain order in that 10, 714-square mile clusterfuck of land called Haiti. Look, I'll be blunt; that place was a goatrope before the earthquake. It just slipped from the Third World to the Stone Age in about six minutes. The United Nations thinks it's in charge, but they can't seem to find their asses with both hands. So, that leaves us. As usual.
Army Specialist Brent Nailor of the 82d Airborne hands out rations to Haitians. Further evidence that we Americans are horrible people.
You liberal mental defectives, led by your hero Hugo Chavez, think we're there to invade and occupy. Bullshit. There isn't a damned thing in that country we want or need that would cause us to want to keep Haiti as a possession. But when you have an already unstable populace panicked by a disaster and a lack of central control, you now have riots over food, and roving gangs of thugs with baseball bats ready to cave in any stray head available for a bottle of water. The looting is on a scale that makes your typical Los Angeles riot look like Cub Scout Camp.
We're providing air traffic control for the airport. We're rescuing survivors. We're feeding people. We're providing at least 25% of the money and supplies, and yet there's what, 192 members of the United Nations? And of course the world has to bitch and complain and blame America for causing bottlenecks in distributing relief supplies. Yep, it's our fault if things go wrong, and everyone's else's achievement when things go right. The fucking French are lodging a protest with the UN to force us to clarify our intentions in Haiti. Fuck you, France. You just want your colony back.
Refugees aboard a C-17 being transported to Orlando. But America is bad...
In addition to the governmental money, thousands of everyday Americans are donating to the Red Cross to help. There's been over $21 million in texted donations. And of course, there's Hollywood and the sports world. Of course...
There's reports that Brad and Angelina donated $1 million (and have first dibs on buying local orphans ahead of Madonna and Rosie). The NFL and NFL player's Association gave $2.5 million, the MLB gave a million, the New York Yankees gave a million because they have millions to spare, and the NBA gave a million. Lance Armstrong's foundation donated $250,000 and the NHL donated $100,000 to UNICEF. Alonzo Mourning & Dwayne Wade started the Athlete's Relief Fund for Haiti and have received initial pledges of well over $800,000 from at least 27 professional athletes, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Michael Vick and Gilbert Arenas.
Wade's donation was a one-game salary, about $175,000. Mourning, James, Durant and Paul each pledged $100,000. Vick and Arenas want to help, I'm sure, and in doing so will get some positive press for a change that doesn't include law enforcement.
Last night's Golden Globes Awards was just a warmup act for the George Clooney Super Telethon coming up soon. Some clever soul had the bright idea to invent a Haiti Ribbon and now it's THE trendy fashion accessory. If you didn't have one on your Armani tux or Chanel gown last night, then you're just a scumbag of the highest order. Nothing says "I'm aware and I care" like pinning 25-cent scraps of ribbon on your $10,000 dress or $3000 tux.
Lisa Edelstein from the TV show "House" was asked about her ribbon, and told an E! reporter,"We're all wearing these Remember Haiti ribbons. It's to remind ourselves what's going on."
Like we could forget? The news is saturated with it. No one will let us forget it. And if you're not on the Haiti bandwagon, then you're a total pariah. If you're in Hollywood, you better have that shred of fabric somewhere on your person or you'll be ostracized. You'll never get a table in the VIP at The Viper Room without one. And if your attention span is that short that only a ribbon will keep you straight, then you need to up your meds.
Heidi Klum and Seal at the Golden Globes. Heidi's in a Roberto Cavalli gown studded with Swarovski crystals, and that 100-carat Lorraine Schwartz diamond necklace was worth $3.5 million. Nice ribbon, Seal. Is that from Jo-Ann Fabrics or from AC Moore?
Former Presidents Clinton and Bush have joined forces to help coordinate relief efforts. I'm waiting for a statement from Kanye West, since he claims that Bush hates black people. How much have you donated, Kanye? I'll reserve my respect for Wyclef Jean, who returned to his native Haiti and is personally sifting through rubble by hand to hunt for survivors.
The Obama Administration has said that it wants to grant amnesty to illegal Haitians living in America. How nice of them. Pelosi already considers illegals to be true American patriots anyways.
Now that we have folks being treated on US ships, look for people to be screaming that their babies are American citizens and start demanding benefits. Hell, maybe there's something to this occupation business after all? I mean, the Dems can just say that due to extenuating circumstances all of Haiti is to be declared the 51st state, and all Haitians can get a bailout and welfare and free Obamacare. Hey, Barry; only six more and you can have those 57 states you talked about in the elections.
Always room for more, Obie. Send the SEIU down to pacify & unionize the locals, and ACORN already has them pre-registered as Democrats. You'll get your 57 states yet!
PS--Bugger off, Kanye. Just for good measure. Bugger off.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Seriously. People who exhibit a marked bent for stupidity should feel excruciating pain every time they do something stupid or utter something stupid...eventually it might hurt if they think stupid thoughts. Eventually they'll either die of the pain or they'll quit being stupid.
And since there's nothing like a natural disaster to bring the stupid in front of cameras to toot their own stupid horns, Haiti is no exception.
We have Pat Robertson, noted evangelist and fountain of stupid quotes. If you've ever wondered why people rail against Christian zealots, this guy is a prime example.
He gets on TV and claims that Haiti made a pact with the Devil years ago to get out from under the French yoke, and it is this Satanic pact that is the cause of the earthquake and every other tragedy that has befallen the Haitian people.
Wow. The Devil did it. Why not? That's just as laughable and plausible as the next idiot's babblefest.
Danny Glover, another Hollywood Liberal Mouthpiece, had some rambling diatribe call-in to a show and he ensured that I'd never again fork over my hard-earned coin to see one of his films.
It seems that Glover is under the impression that global warming caused the earthquake and that additionally it was punishment for the botched Climate Scamfest in Carbonhagen.
Glover mumbled his way through his statement claiming that what happened in Haiti could happen to anywhere in the Caribbean because all these island nations are in peril because of global warming....and then went on with "When we see what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I'm sayin'?"
No, I don't see what you're saying, unless you're saying you're an idiot and that the vengeful Gaia Earth Mother Goddess has awakened to smite us all.
On one hand we have a right-wing extremist kook blaming it on his vengeful deity, and the other hand gives is a left-wing extremist kook blaming his vengeful deity.
I guess no one ever taught you two fruitbags about plate tectonics and what actually causes earthquakes?
At least these two shitheads have a spooky boogeyman to blame. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has nothing better to do than blame salt as the Number One Enemy of Mankind.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
What kind of One-World Government, Socialistical, Scam-Assed Hopey-Changey Bullshittery is this?
It seems The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering a plan to ask world governments (ie: America, the world's wallet) to impose a global consumer tax on such things as Internet activity or common everyday financial transactions, like paying bills online.
Such a scheme could raise "tens of billions of dollars" on behalf of the United Nations' band-aid bunch from a broad base of consumers, which would then be used to transfer drug-making research, development and manufacturing capabilities, among other things, to the developing world.
This, my friends, is socialism's redistribution of wealth. If you live in a country developed enough to have the internet, and are savvy enough to do financial transactions online, now the world bullshit brigade wants to tax private citizens that they have no jurisdiction over...oh, wait....I forgot that our President sold us out to Interpol so then the U.N. occupation can't be too far behind. They want to punish our success and our ability to do things without paper by taxing us.
We're helping the environment by doing something that doesn't use paper, and they wanna tax us for it? What the hell? I mean, you wanna tax us for using paper, and then tax us for not using paper. Green Movement? Yup, green in your bank accounts, you scumbag bastards.
Can you guys see the UN patrolling American streets? Hell, it'd be comical seeing a group from Ghana and a group from Lichtenstein patrolling downtown Detroit on Devil's Night.
UN peacekeepers from Ghana on location in Darfur. Viet Nam-era surplus flak vests, AK's held together with duct-tape, and Dollar Store sunglasses. Your tax dollars hard at work supporting the United Nations.
A word to the wise, UN: those silly blue beanies make an easy aiming point. By now you should know that from every place you show up in white vehicles & blue hats.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
That's the headline I'm waiting for. Somehow, some way, they'll lay the blame for the Haitian disaster on Bush.
Yes, it's a terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to the people of Haiti affected by the quake. But, as is my wont, I have thoughts and concerns.
As always, we're the first ones jumping to the rescue of people. I'm proud of the fact that we Americans are always the first to help out when another nation experiences a tragedy, but sometimes it feels like we're the ones expected to help, regardless of our own problems. We spend billions of our dollars and use countless resources of food, medicine, fuel, etc. in places where sometimes we're hated & reviled for being helpful Americans.
Half the world wants us all to die for being Americans, but not before we help them. They'll gladly take our help and then car-bomb us. Earthquake in Iran? Sure, send us help and then we'll drive you into the sea with your Israeli lackeys.
Like after the tsunami a couple years ago, when the Indonesian government wasn't all that welcoming to American military personnel coming to help out. Sure, guys, we'll just drop the supplies over here on the beach & motor off.....you can come pick 'em up...what? no roads? No helicopters to come get it? Damn, maybe you shoulda' let us do our thing then, huh?
The United Nations will promise help for Haiti and wrings its collective hands in worry, but who bankrolls the UN? We do.
US troops are fighting wars on two fronts, and yet we're ready to send a brigade's worth of soldiers to Haiti. We're looking at anywhere from 10-15% unemployment, and our economy is in the shitter, but we gotta help. Tens of thousands homeless in America, and we gotta help. The Haitian people have slowly (or not so slowly) destroyed their own country for the past few decades (I know, blame the French, or blame us, or blame everyone except the Haitians)and we gotta pick up the pieces for them.
The world hates us, but we gotta save them. Oh man, I can hear the Libs now, frothing at the mouth to tell me that we're hated because we're arrogant, and we start wars, and we pollute, and blah blah blah blah....no wonder they hate us blah blah. I'm waiting for them to say Global Warming caused the earthquake.
We can barely take care of our own, and we're expected to drop everything & help everyone else. I dunno, gang. I guess maybe I'm sick of being the world's babysitter, the world's pantry, the world's wallet, the world's bitch, the world's whipping boy, for a world that's ungrateful at best and openly hostile at worst. We're treading water, clinging to the floating door, and the rest of the world gladly climbs over our freezing body to get into the last Titanic lifeboat.
And as our frozen corpse slides beneath the waves, they'll row to safety, only they'll still have that big-assed jeweled necklace in their hands courtesy of Uncle Sugar, and they'll wrap up in that toasty green wool blanket with "US" stenciled on it and laugh. Enjoy the briney deep suckers.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Stolen gleefully from Feed Your ADHD
Six Foods That Will Make You Puke on a Global Warming Frozen Morning
In order to fully appreciate this post, it has to be read aloud to unsuspecting family members. I laughed so hard I cried.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Last call for Flight 666 to ObamaLand...
I remember it like it was yesterday…or maybe last week.
After the Christmas 2009 incident in Detroit when the UndieBomber burned his scrotum off trying to blow up a plane, Comrade Chairman Obama (Blessed Be His Name) enacted sweeping changes to the airline industry. Aftre valiantly foiling the potential Man Caused Disaster, Comrade Field Marshal Napolitano was able to ascertain that the criminally evil and corrupt Bush Administration was to blame for causing the global warming climate change that made the UndieBomber lash out (rightly so) against capitalism. Comrade Speaker Pelosi of the Politburo conferred instant citizenship upon the poor wretch immediately, hailing him as a true American patriot.
The government mandated sweeping draconian security measures in the weeks immediately following. At first, passengers were forced to remain in their seats for the final hour of the flight, with laps empty. Then they had to sit the entire flight, with their hands on their heads. Bathroom breaks were done by rows under guard. This was then alleviated by making all passengers show up 3 days prior to their flight to be starved so that there’d be no solid waste to evacuate and to have catheters installed to take care of liquid waste. Passengers would then fly naked and handcuffed to their seats.
Now we have passengers show up a week in advance to undergo security interviews, background checks, DNA screening for diseases and database cataloging, polygraphs and oral interviews. After a quarantine, all bodily fluids are then drained from the body to comply with the No Liquids Law of 2010. Passengers were then cryogenically frozen in a block of carbonite, like Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. After hardening in their stasis cocoons, passengers were then stacked like cordwood.
Luggage itself was outlawed to force passengers to stimulate the economy by buying new clothes at their destination. The airlines themselves were no longer able to make money off of passenger amenities like blankets or food or extra bags or oxygen, and so thusly received huge bailouts. This in turn saw the nationailzation of all airlines of U.S. ownership, creating Government Airways in 2012.
Since the stacked passengers no longer required actual seats or windows or flight attendants, civilian airliners were all given to members of Congress so that each could have a personal aircraft at their free beck and call. Civil “Carbonite Flights” were instead flown on US Air Force C-17 cargo jets, leaving no military airlift capability in the nation. Have no fear; American military cargo, what little remains, is sent by government contracted sailboats to redistribute the wealth to poorer nations while reducing carbon emissions. Emergency military flights were contracted to Third World nations operating surplus Soviet aircraft from the 70’s.
As part of The Great World Apology and Redistribution Plan of 2010, airline hubs were also changed. Delta Airlines former hub in Atlanta was yanked out of a traditionally Republican state and moved to Mexico City. American Airlines kept their Pittsburgh hub due to union connections, but Continental moved from Newark to Hugo Chavez International in Caracas. A Delta flight from Nashville to Boston would route through Mexico City, and an American flight from Seattle to Kansas City routed through Caracas. United was of course able to keep its hub in Chicago. No one messes with Chicago thanks to Chairman Obama (Blessed Be His Name). However, O’Hare had a name change to Obama International Hope & Change Gateway to the Future, and Midway was changed to Che Guevara Jetport.
Yeah…laugh it up because the truth is gonna be stranger than fiction. These governmental assclowns missed all the signs that pointed to this terrorist attack and that this terrorist/enemy combatant posed a dangerous threat to the security of this nation. I refuse to use namby pamby terms like “alleged” in referring to him. Dude’s guilty, flat busted, caught red-handed and burned-balls. This guy made a concerted effort to kill hundreds of people and readily admits his connection to terror networks. And yet, people are granting him the same rights to due process and legal protections afforded to United States citizens.
This guy should have been waterboarded and interrogated. Instead, he’s given free medical treatment, given a free huckster lawyer, and advised of his new rights, including the right to remain silent.
They bump Joan freakin’ Rivers off a flight because her passport looks suspicious, and they let anybody in a man-dress screaming “Allah Akhbar” waltz through unchecked in the name of political correctness. And we get the same knee-jerk reactions to terrorist acts time & again. They don’t necessarily make it harder for radicals to attack us, but instead further & further inconvenience travelers.
If I fly from Australia to Paris, I can get up and pee up till we hit final approach, and I can read a book in my lap the whole way. But flying into America, I lose any and all sense of being a free American returning to my ostensibly free country. Whatever a terrorist tries, it creates another set of rules, restrictions, and laws that make it unbearable to even think about travel. One asshole sets his shoe on fire, and people wait for hours in lines in bare feet. They hear about liquid explosives, and no one can carry more than a thimble full of anything remotely wet. Now that our little friend from Nigeria blew off his knickers I guess they’ll outlaw undies on flights to and from America. Not that it stops terrorism but the Beltway Bunch has to be seen as doing something.
They should outlaw breast implants on planes; they could be filled with explosives. And holy shit, no one’s gonna frisk a chick in a Burka; she might get offended. All of Islam would be offended and fatwas issued and Jihads called for, and then the woman would be killed for flying, or killed for not blowing herself up, or just killed for being a woman. Typical day in IslamoLand.
Yup, the terrorists will be sewing their own boobie-bombs into their chests any day now.
At least one European government says they’ll begin doing full-body scanning on all passengers headed to the USA. Not on all passengers. Not on random passengers flying anywhere in the world. Just people headed here. Well, shitfire, Abdullah, I guess you better fly to Canada and drive across, huh? Fly to friendly Venezuela, then to Mexico and just walk across the sieve we call a border. Of course, everyone here clamors for full body scanners in all American airports until they’re the one being scanned and laughed at, or until they’re the ones who have to pay for these $200,000 machines.
Note: would it make sense to stop sending bogus stimulus money to ZIP codes and Congressional districts that DO NOT EXIST, and instead funnel that money into things that actually work? Things that deter and/or stop terrorist activity? Nahhhh, that makes too damned much sense. Especially when shovel-ready under this administration means bullshit money sprinkled here & there to placate a few people and the bulk of the money stays in the ether until just before the elections….
It was quality entertainment to see the Inner Circle of Power backpedal after Comrade Janet stated the system worked, when it was an epic fail. Obie now declares "ultimately the buck stops with me," and hey, why stop there? Ultimately, several TRILLION bucks stop with you, and start with you, and revolve around you. John Brennan took a share of the blame, and rightly so as he continued his ski trip after the news broke of the attack. Hell, Obie Himself couldn’t be pulled away from Hawaii for four full days afterwards.
Now, not to defend Obama (oh HELL no!) scurrying immediately back to DC may have sent encouragement to Al Qaeda by sending everyone into Full Crisis Mode after a failed attack, but really, Obie, you should have had an immediate major presser where you highlighted the seriousness of the event and reassured the country that it failed. You seem to enjoy interrupting TV shows every few weeks so why stop now? Instead, you hid for four days & acted frikkin’ annoyed that you had to be bothered by the tedium of being the alleged Commander In Chief. Sorry to interrupt yet another vacation and drag you back via luxurious Air Force One to the Global Warming paradise of Washington.
UndieBomber was indicted yesterday. Coincidentally, they also revoked his visa. Seriously.
So, we wanna bring Khalid Sheik Mohamed to New York to enjoy our legal amenities, and we’ve extended full legal protections to UndieBomber so that maybe he can do a plea bargain. WTF? I repeat….WTF? Plea Bargain? The only choice he should get is whether we shoot him in the back of the head or the front, and the only courtesy is a blindfold. This is a WAR, people. They really don’t care if they die, so why waste our time & resources prolonging it? In war, you kill people. They have no compunctions against killing us. They would gladly kill you, and gladly kill me.
Try redirecting those bullshit stimulus dollars, and those excess TARP fund, to putting armed air marshals on our flights. Pay ‘em 80 grand a year. That should take up a 3 billion dollar TARP surplus. Shovel-ready jobs, chief. Shovel damned ready.
Either that or put a Dutch film director on every flight.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Hi, guys! I'd like to cordially invite all of my readers to either tune in live or set your DVR/TiVo to record the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien on Tuesday night, January 5th, 2010.
One of Conan's guests is a brilliantly funny standup comic named Juston McKinney, and I think you'll all really enjoy him. He's had a special on Comedy Central, and has done voice work on Crank Yankers.
I,however, knew him before he was famous...back when we were schoolmates at Robert W. Traip Academy in Kittery, Maine. It's cool to see someone you knew in school do good.
So forget about winter for a few minutes & enjoy a laugh!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
New Year’s Eve marked an extremely special anniversary for me.
On December 31st, 1989, perched on the eve of the 90’s, I started a love affair that has seen me through good times and bad, thick & thin and everything in between, has always been for me in various forms or other, and is permanently etched into my being.
It was the first time I heard “Enjoy The Silence” by Depeche Mode.
I was already a die-hard Mode fan. That had started a few years earlier in high school thanks to classmate Mike Ramsey and they were without a doubt my favorite band. Today they still are. I’ve always been perversely proud of being so deeply into a band that most people barely know, if at all.
New Year’s Eve 1989/1990 was a little subdued. I was still hung over from possibly the most intense party binge my then-20-year-old body would ever see, so instead of bar hopping & clubbing, we went over to the home of my assistant squad leader, Joe Clipp, and had a couple beers there. Being off-base in the town of Eislingen, of course Joe had German cable TV, especially since he’d married a German girl and spoke the language himself quite well. The channel ZDF was on with a Peter’s Pop Show New Year’s special, and they’d left it on partly because the previews stated there’d be a performance by…who else? Depeche Mode, who was hugely popular in Germany.
They’d released a single three months previously that was from a forthcoming album (still another 3 months away) that was wildly successful called “Personal Jesus”. I expected a lip-sync of their latest hit and that’d be it.
Sure enough, they came onstage and that was exactly what we got. The crowd ate it up and then…magic happened….they performed another song. They put the title on the screen and it burned into my memory, as did all new things Mode-related. For the next 4 minutes I was in a tingly trance, hearing for the first time the anthem that would become my all-time favorite song ever. The song was officially released as a single itself a few weeks later, followed by the album in March. Soon after, with the single climbing the charts worldwide, the song was inescapable throughout most of 1990.
But I heard it first on New Year's Eve.
Go here to see a copy of that same performance: