Monday, December 19, 2011

Season's Politically Correct Greetings

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2012, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. (Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere.) Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wish.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2012

Thursday, December 15, 2011

You Might Be A Racist...

I was in WalMart yesterday & saw a guy walking through the store with an HBCU tee shirt on. That stands for Historically Black Colleges & Universities, and the shirt listed all of the members of the HBCU organization. While the shirt itself wasn't offensive, all I could think was, "Damn, if I had a shirt that mentioned Historically White Colleges & Universities, I'd be a racist."

Therein lies the racism double standard. Racism, which doesn't just work both ways but EVERY WAY, seems only to be racism when it's propagated by a white person. If the white person encounters reverse discrimination, reverse racism, or any hostility towards them, whether real or merely perceived, then that's not racism. That's just someone being proud of their race or heritage, and Whitey be damned.

I'm 42 years old, born in 1969. Yeah, I was born after the Civil Rights Movement, and after desegregation, and grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood in the Washington DC suburbs. We all got along just fine with no hard feelings or problems, and no one would know that just a few years before there'd been riots less than 20 miles away. I never experienced segregation or race riots or marches. We were just kids who all got along & played & learned & hung out together at recess.

It's a double standard that we have a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, but don't you DARE call them colored people, because only they can do that.....and if we have the same association to promote White People, we're racists. One dares not say the word "negro" anymore because it's racist, but those kids don't seem to mind getting scholarship money from the United Negro College Fund. I myself got college money from the US Army because I couldn't find a United Caucasian College Fund...oh, wait; that'd be racist.

Last February, during Black History Month, I ran a particularly successful series of daily posts highlighting heroic, inspirational black Americans throughout our nation's history, while it took the NAACP website several days to start highlighting anyone. How do I know? Because I checked their website DAILY to see when they'd catch up to what a white Conservative Tea Party military veteran was doing. For several days the first thing I saw on the front page of their website was a request for donations. Feel free to blow up the picture below, which is a screen capture I took as late as March 1st, showing that same request for money so that they can keep spreading the liberal doctrine of social justice from the ballot box to the classroom....

Here in Charleston, SC we have an annual event called the Black Business Expo, or more rather Black Expo South, that promotes black businesses locally and brings in famous black business leaders & celebrities and vendors galore....and if there was a White Business Expo the backlash would make Sherman's March look like a Sunday stroll. We have a local Black Pages phone directory.... the local White Pages is all-inclusive, like the Yellow Pages. If there was a Caucasian Pages it'd be racism. We also have a Black News newspaper, which of course isn't racist, although a White Times would be.

As you may recall, I have taken on the issue of racism in the past a few times here at G.D.T.A.I., most notably in April of 2010. Find that little gem right HERE. And as I have said in the past, I am absolutely 100% sick to effing DEATH of being referred to as a racist or potential racist for being a middle-aged, white, Conservative military veteran. I disagree with the current denizen of the White House, so I must be a racist. I vote Conservative so I must be a racist. I served in the United States Army, an Army that according to organizations like the Black Panthers sent blacks to fight Whitey's wars for him, so I'm not only a racist but a likely terrorist too, if the administration is to be believed. I vehemently disagree with the policies and actions of my Representative to Congress, Jim Clyburn, so I must be a racist, despite being a fervent supporter of the Representative from the next district over, Tim Scott. Both are black.

That leads to another ugly facet of this racism thing; black Conservatives are accused of being racists themselves, or Uncle Tom's. I simply cannot fathom why black Americans continue to drink the Kool Aid of the Democrat Party, a party formed by the very people who subjugated & enslaved them. (Oh crap...I said Kool Aid; that's racist). Congressmen like Tim Scott or Allen West, and former Presidential candidate Herman Cain, they get lambasted by the black community for believing in smaller government, fiscal responsibility, protecting our borders, and upholding the Constitution. You know; being Real Americans.

Look, I'm no racist. I hate everyone pretty much the same. I believe in Steve's Equal Opportunity, in that everyone, daily, has an equal opportunity to piss me off and incur my wrath. No one has a monopoly on stupid, or on ignorant. If you're an idiot, I'm gonna' call you out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More fun with the Sunday Comics!

Yeah, I know; I haven't written much lately, yet again. I just don't feel like making much commentary on the GOP nominees and I've been pretty busy with my day job & some other pursuits. However, I'm still here & still alive. Time to poke fun at Liberal Fail once again!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A date that still lives in infamy

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, an attack that cost 2,390 American lives and launched the United States into full-fledged involvement in World War Two. Fifty-five Japanese airmen were killed and 29 of their aircraft were shot down in the attack.

Hardest hit at Pearl Harbor were the “battlewagons”, the battleships moored together along Battleship Row. Hard hit, yes, but obliterated, no.

USS Nevada, the only battleship to actually get underway during the attack, was hit by a torpedo and six bombs and was beached. She was refloated in February of 1942 and after repairs returned to duty in October of the same year. She served as a convoy escort in the Atlantic and as a fire-support ship in four amphibious assaults: the Normandy Landings and the invasions of Southern France, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.

USS Maryland took two bomb hits and after repairs returned to service in February 1942. Already in dry dock for repairs, USS Pennsylvania was severely strafed and took a bomb hit. After repairs she returned to duty in April, 1942.After taking two bomb hits, USS Tennessee was repaired and returned to duty in late February, 1942. After taking two torpedoes and a bomb hit, USS California had her bow plates ruptured by a near miss bomb. After three days of continual flooding, she settled into the mud at the harbor bottom with only her superstructure remaining above the surface. She was refloated in March of 1942, sent for repair and rebuild, and returned to service in January, 1944.Two bombs and seven torpedoes struck USS West Virginia, also putting her on the bottom. She was eventually refloated on 17 May, 1942, and in May of 1943 she was sent for a complete rebuild, coming back into service in July, 1944.

Not all the ships, however, returned to the war. Within 12 minutes of the beginning of the attack, USS Oklahoma had taken five torpedo hits and capsized. Salvage began in July of 1942, and after 8 months of preparation and 4 months of efforts she was righted and refloated in June of 1943, too badly damaged to be saved. She was decommissioned in January, 1944 and sold for scrap in 1946. As she was being towed to a salvage yard in San Francisco she sank in a storm 540 miles out of Pearl Harbor in May of 1947.

USS Utah, an obsolete training battleship, capsized during the assault on Pearl Harbor. Partially righted to clear the shipping lane, it was declared surplus and never refloated. Major portions of the hull still rust on the bottom off Ford Island. And, finally, USS Arizona; about 7 seconds after her fourth bomb hit, her powder magazine exploded. The explosion killed 1,177 of the 1,400 crewmen on board at the time, almost half of the lives lost during the attack.USS Utah before the war, and today...

The USS Arizona Memorial

The battleships of Pearl did have their revenge however at the Battle of Leyte Gulf during the invasion of the Philippines. USS West Virginia, USS Tennessee, USS Maryland, USS California and USS Pennsylvania all were part of 7th Fleet providing fire support to the troops going ashore. When the Japanese fleet appeared steaming through the Surigao Strait, Admiral Jesse Oldendorf sent them to meet the oncoming foe. They helped send the Japanese battleships Yamashiro and Fuso to the bottom, along with the cruiser Mogami and the destroyer Asagumo. West Virginia led the assault, firing 96 shells into the Japanese ships to make up for the torpedoes and bombs she took at Pearl Harbor.

Just the Utah and the Arizona still lie in the dark blue waters of Pearl Harbor, memorials to the sailors still entombed in their wrecked hulls. And only survivors of those vessels may return in death to their ships to rejoin their lost shipmates. You see, many survivors of Pearl have over the years opted to either have their ashes scattered in the harbor or in the case of former crewmembers of Utah and Arizona, placed in the ships themselves.

Lee Soucy decided five years ago that when he died he wanted to join his shipmates killed in the attack. Soucy passed away this past January at the age of 90 and yesterday, seven decades after dozens of fellow sailors were killed when the USS Utah sank, a Navy diver took a small urn containing his ashes and put it in a porthole of the ship. The Utah lost nearly 60 men on December 7, and about 50 are still entombed in the battleship.

The ceremony for Lee Soucy was one of five memorials being held this week for servicemen who lived through the assault and want their remains placed in Pearl Harbor out of pride and affinity for those they left behind. Soucy's three children, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren, 11 family members altogether, attended the sunset ceremony Tuesday. His wife Peggy also died earlier this year, and Soucy's children also will spread ashes belonging to their father and mother at St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral in Honolulu, where the pair were married in January 1945. Peggy Soucy was a Navy nurse who met her future husband at Pearl Harbor.

Tonight, an urn carrying the ashes of Vernon Olsen, who was among the 334 on the Arizona to survive the attack, will be interred in a gun turret on the ship. He passed away in April at the age of 91 after a bout of pneumonia.Vernon Olsen during the war...

Three other servicemen will also have their ashes scattered at Pearl this week. Pearl Harbor interment and ash scattering ceremonies began in the late 1980s, and started growing in number as more survivors heard about them. Jim Taylor, a retired sailor who coordinates the ceremonies, has helped 265 survivors return to Pearl Harbor. The vast majority have had their ashes scattered, however he's arranged for the remains of about 20 survivors to be placed in the Arizona and about a dozen to be put in the Utah.

Each year, the number of Pearl Harbor survivors shrinks as their members pass away. Each year it becomes harder and harder for survivors to gather at Pearl. Sadly, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association has decided to disband at the end of the month. So if you are fortunate enough to ever meet a Pearl Harbor survivor, consider yourself blessed to be in the presence of one of the remaining heroes of The Greatest Generation.

Divers prepare to take an urn carrying the cremains of Petty Officer Charles Guerin, Jr. below to be placed inside USS Arizona on December 7, 2008.