Wednesday, November 11, 2015


____________ QUESTIONS ____________

How does it feel to be cut in half 
_____ by a sudden burst of machine gun bullets?

What does it feel like at the precise moment 
_____ when a bullet enters your eye, and pierces your brain?

Can you imagine having your lower jaw smashed by bullets
_____ and then see its bloody, splintered fragments 
__________ drop to the ground ?

What is it like to take a direct hit to the skull? 
_____ Would you know that you were dead?

What sensations must a person feel 
_____ as his body is being consumed by fire?

What would be the thoughts of someone 
_____ just thrown to the ground and kicked, 
__________ whose hands have been tied behind his back, 
who then gets chained by his heels 
_____ to the rear end of a vehicle 
__________ about to drag his still-healthy, still-unbroken 
_______________ young body over stones, gravel, 
_______________ dirt and thorny stubble?

How does it feel to have the flesh ripped off your cheeks? 
_____ To have all the flesh on your hands torn off 
__________ exposing bones and tendons? 

How does it feel to have grit and gravel 
_____ embed themselves in your eyes? 

How does it feel to be torn 
_____ limb from limb by a jeering mob?

Exactly how does it feel to have your head 
_____ stomped to jelly by hobnailed boots? 
Or your genitalia ripped out by the roots 
_____ and stuffed into your screaming mouth?

How does it feel to be smart enough to realize 
_____ you are suffering and dying for the sole purpose 
__________ of lining the pockets of international bankers, 
_______________ global industrialists and the suppliers 
__________________ of war materiel with gold?

Exactly how would you react to being held down 
_____ and having your teeth kicked down your throat, 
__________ your eyes gouged out, 
_______________ your ears and your nose sliced off, 
_______________ or a glass rod inserted in your urethra
____________________ and then broken?

How would you feel when you are forced to eat 
_____ ground glass or drink hydrochloric acid?

How would you feel if you were sodomized by barbarians 
_____ then buried up to your neck in sand 
__________ and systematically stoned and kicked to death?

How does it feel to be held down 
_____ and deliberately blinded by acid?

How does it feel to be maimed by “Friendly Fire?

How does it feel to be flayed alive 
_____ and then slowly cut to ribands?

How? How? How?

But much more important is


__________ WHY?

___________________ WHY?

~ FreeThinke


  1. I always preferred Patton's line, "Make the other sob die for HIS country."

    1. Thersites,
      General Patton knew that sometimes war is the ONLY way to prevent something even worse -- i.e., "the Hun."

    2. But much more important is


      __________ WHY?

      ___________________ WHY?

      Because the people of nations, tribes, etc., choose leaders who often have nefarious motives. Choices (elections) have consequences -- as does not responding to a enemy's armed force has consequences.

      The bottom line: sin. Yes, I believe in original sin, which has wrought all manner of evil and devastation.

    3. Yes, General George Patton suffered an unfortunate demise after the war was over and the peace was being enforced. He had witnessed sub-human behavior after the war was over and the voracious greed and inhumanity of those "victors" that outdid those atrocities attributed to "The Hun".

      He was about to make public this despicable behavior that may have had a severe detrimental effect on the upcoming Presidential aspirations of Isaac Eisenhower. He ultimately met his maker in the loving care hospital staff after being involved in a car "accident" while out for a Sunday afternoon of pheasant hunting.

      He's now revered as a good soldier and sneered at posthumously as an anti-Semite by some folks that may think he'd come too come too close to the real truth of what was really behind the two World Wars .. as we are learning today, as we speak.

  2. The other side:

    Merry Christmas, My Friend

    By James M. Schmidt, a Marine Lance Corporal stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1986

    Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
    In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.

    I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
    and to see just who in this home did live

    As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
    no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
    No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
    On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

    With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
    a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
    For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen.
    This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

    I'd heard stories about them, I had to see more,
    so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
    And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
    Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.

    He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
    Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
    Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
    Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

    His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
    I soon understood, this was more than a man.
    For I realized the families that I saw that night,
    owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

    Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
    And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
    They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
    because of Marines like this one lying here.

    I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
    on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
    Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
    I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

    He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
    "Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice
    I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more.
    My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

    With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
    I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

    I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
    I noticed he shivered from the cold night's chill.
    So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
    and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.

    Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
    with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
    And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
    and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

    I didn't want to leave him so quiet in the night,
    this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
    But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure, said
    "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas Day, all secure."

    One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
    Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

    The story behind the poem is HERE.

    Let us also remember that our military forces today are all-volunteer. No draft anymore.

  3. How does it feel to be smart enough to realize
    _____ you are suffering and dying for the sole purpose
    __________ of lining the pockets of international bankers,
    _______________ global industrialists and the suppliers
    __________________ of war materiel with gold?

    And how does it feel if a stand isn't made against the foreign invaders? Foreign invaders don't come to the negotiating table our of the goodness of their hearts.

    I slept peacefully in my bed last night because of "rough men."

    Is war evil? Yes, it is. But there are things which are even more evil.

  4. FT,
    You and I often agree.

    This time, however, we do not agree as to the appropriate way to commemorate Veterans Day.

    Remember that I am the spouse of a veteran.

    I freely admit that I am biased.

    But I know the hearts of many veterans. Good men!

    They did their duty -- and they still serve in different ways in their communities. For example, because of "Comrade in Distress," veterans came here to build the wheelchair ramps for Mr. AOW. And Decorate A Vet showered us with bounty in November-December 2013.

    So, on Veterans Day, I endorse this kind of commemoration: Ronald Reagan's commemoration of Veterans Day.

    The rest of the days of the year (except for Memorial Day)? Anti-war expressions are fine by me.

  5. This was not intended to insult or condemn veterans. It was intended to arouse awareness with hideous, graphic, true-to-life images of what war truly is on the front lines.

    It was also meant as a condemnation of virtually every decision our so-called leaders have made since the end of World War Two –– the last just and fully necessary war in which we participated –– that led us into a series of pointless, fruitless, military "exercises" in foreign lands that have, indeed, lined the pockets of international bankers, global industrialists and the suppliers of war materiel –– i.e. "The Oligarchs" –– with gold.

    Every poor Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or member of the U.S. Air Force who died, was maimed, made chronically ill, or driven insane in Korea, Vietnam, and our lengthy series of misadventures in the Middle East has suffered and died in VAIN.

    Our leadership, since the end of WWII, has become so greedy, so corrupt, so depraved –– and so demented –– by the infernal machinations of opportunistic Oligarchs it has made a mockery and a travesty of our once-great republic.

    I find it beyond despicable that hundreds of thousands of our young men and a few women have been DUPED and COERCED into believing they were fighting, suffering and dying for a worthy cause, when in fact they were fighting for NOTHING but the bad decisions made by fatuous politicians who had allowed themselves to be manipulated by "The Donor Class" to make enormous sacrifices strictly FOR "The Donor Class" aka "The Oligarchs."

    1. FT,
      I'm not as cynical.

      Now, I do believe that The Oligarch" have manipulated. But the Oligarchy has enabled at least some of us -- perhaps most of us -- to live off the fat of the land.

      So, I don't believe that benefit has been strictly FOR "The Donor Class". It's all a game of dominoes, IMO.

    2. If that is true, then perhaps the USA really HAS acted as "The Great Satan" and really DOES deserve to be vilified and condemned by the rest of the world.

      But perhaps you misunderstand what I mean by "The Oligarchs?" I do NOT mean those who have grown rich by inventing and successfully marketing a "better mousetrap."

      Success in business is a wonderful, highly desirable thing. I am anything-but a starry-eyed, feather-brained egalitarian who believe the janitor should make as much money as the president of the corporation et al., and I certainly do not believe any arm of the GOVERNMENT should have the power to LIMIT the earnings of ANYONE or decide HOW they ought to spend their own money. HOWEVER, when rich people –– like George Soros, for instance –– become megalomaniacal and start ABUSE their privileges in order to push people around in unprincipled ways, and exploits them to serve a corrupt, nefarious, subversive POWER AGENDA, I think their efforts should be forcibly curtailed.

      What is so terribly terribly WRONG with the way we are running things at present is that these very very rich megalomaniacs have been able to suborn most members of the U.S. Congress by PAYING them to do the Oligarch's bidding. These Oligarchs have been effectively able to BUY most of the judgeships as well.

      The RESULT?

      A government OF the Oligarchs, BY the Oligarchs and FOR the Oligarchs, where the PEOPLE are LEFT OUT almost completely –– exactly the kind of situation the Founding Fathers sought to END once and for all.

    3. FT,
      Another aspect of the Oligarchs: manipulation of the financial markets so as to line their own pockets. In the process of lining their pockets, many others have benefited via investments.

      I happen to believe the the markets have been manipulated for a very long time now.

      I have benefited from that manipulation -- as have many others. Call it "trickle down economics" (not in the Reagan sense, but in the sense about which I'm speaking in this comment.

    4. FT,
      If that is true, then perhaps the USA really HAS acted as "The Great Satan"

      Or, the Great Benefactor for preventing something even worse from happening.

    5. Possibly in the short term, but doesn't the bible say, "A corrupt tree bringeth forth corrupt fruit?"

      A house built on sand or boggy ground is doomed to collapse sooner or later.

  6. _______ KILLERS ______

    _____ I am singing to you

    Soft as a man with a dead child speaks;

    Hard as a man in handcuffs,

    Held where he cannot move:

    _____ Under the sun

    Are sixteen million men,

    Chosen for shining teeth,

    Sharp eyes, hard legs,

    And a running of young warm blood in their wrists.

    _____ And a red juice runs on the green grass;

    And a red juice soaks the dark soil.

    And the sixteen million are killing –– and killing

    _____ and killing.

    _____ I never forget them day or night:

    They beat on my head for memory of them;

    They pound on my heart and I cry back to them,

    To their homes and families, dreams and games.

    _____ I wake in the night and smell the trenches,

    And hear the low stir of sleepers in lines--

    Sixteen million sleepers and pickets in the dark:

    Some of them long sleepers for always,

    Some of them tumbling to sleep tomorrow for always,

    Fixed in the drag of the world's heartbreak,

    Eating and drinking, toiling –– on a long job of
_____ killing.

    Sixteen million men.

    ~ Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

    1. Yes.

      But we didn't intervene in the USSR or Mao's China. How many did Stalin and Mao condemn to tumbling to sleep tomorrow for always?

      The history of the world is one long and dreadful march of trenches with sleepers in lines.

  7. The Charge of the Light Brigade


    Half a league, half a league,
___ Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
___ Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
___ Rode the six hundred.


    "Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
___ Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
___ Rode the six hundred.


    Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
___ Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
___ Rode the six hundred.


    Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
___ All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
___ Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
___ Not the six hundred.


    Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
___ Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
___ Left of six hundred.


    When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
___ All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade
___ Noble six hundred.

    ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

    1. The Tennyson poem is about the Battle of Balaclava (Crimean War) and condemns poor strategy, which is deadly and devastating during wartime. The British were trying to be merciful by using a siege instead of an all-out assault. Look what happened!

      The failure of the British and French to beat the Russians at Balaclava immediately set the stage for a much bloodier battle

    2. Factually correct, AOW, but The Charge of the Light Brigade –– like all good poetry and literature –– is about much MORE than any specific historical event. It is a condemnation of systems and situations that result in the gruesome unnecessary death of multitudes of young men because of callousness, stupidity, arrogance, and pride of inept leadership.

      I do not believe we should ever engage in military combat unless we are attacked first.

      Once we are attacked, however, I do not believe in staging a "measured," "proportional" response. I believe we should always seek to ANNIHILATE aggressors with whatever vicious, appalling tactics it may take to liquidate the danger they represent.

      I also believe in decisive, no holds barred PEREMPTORY strikes against obvious threats BEFORE they get big enough to do us harm.

      Imagine the millions of lives that could have been saved, if we had sent in a commando squad or elite cadre of hit men to ASSASSINATE HITLER and break up the cabal of thugs surrounding and supporting him BEFORE he invaded Poland and the Sudetenland.

      There could be nothing more idiotic and self-defeating than trying to be "fair" to one's known enemies.

      That said ,war for the sake of war and profit is the WORST policy imaginable, and those who engage in it should be stripped of their power, stripped of their fortunes, publicly disgraced and sent to prison.

  8. FT,
    This was not intended to insult or condemn veterans.

    I don't dispute your intention.

    But I do believe that many veterans may take this posting as insulting and condemnatory for Veterans Day. One veteran certainly reacted that way: Mr. AOW.

    Perhaps other veterans will weigh in and provide their reactions. I'd be interested in their interpretations.

  9. A little tidbit about the Korean War...

    Every Korean immigrant whom I personally know is grateful to the United States for having intervened. Several of my students are descended from those Koreans who are grateful, and these students frequently write about the topic.

    I admit that before I saw those essays -- which began trickling in last year -- I constantly decried our involvement in Korea. I've changed my mind as a result of those essays.

    1. Naturally, I'm glad about your good experience with Korean students and all that, but why THEIR well-being should have to have been purchased with the gruesome deaths of FIFTY-EIGHT THOUSAND of OUR young men and the intense suffering of hundreds of thousands more, when those battles accomplished no GAIN whatsoever for the wealth and well-being of the USA or the rest of the free world I can't imagine.

      In my view our good men, and now women, have been and continue to be ruthlessly EXPLOITED by those remote figures in high positions of PRIVILEGE, POWER and CONTROL.

    2. Hindsight makes the Korean War look a lot more palatable. The Koreans themselves built what they have today. We kept them safe. Korea is a very peculiar and particular place, however. It's not a good analogy for anything or anywhere else.


  10. ________ Is It Worth Dying? ________

    Is there anything worth dying for, I ask?
    Show me why I should give up my life.
    I feel this Gift from God is like a cask
    That too soon emptied functions like a wife
    Who pledges love, then treats it like a task,
    Or welches on an honorable bet ––
    Reneging, shameless, insolent –– to bask
    Truculent –– a Booby Trap to Let.
    How ironic to be born just to regret
    Duty’s dreary dictates spelling Doom ––
    Years of preparation to beget
    Impossible demands shrouded in Gloom.
    No Innocents should be required to cede
    Great future hopes to Selfish Monsters’ greed.

    ~ FreeThinke

    1. FT,
      Is there anything worth dying for, I ask?

      Well, our Founders thought so.

  11. _________ DULCE ET DECORUM EST _________

    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--An ecstasy of fumbling
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.--
    Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

    In all my dreams before my helpless sight
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

    If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
    Bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

    Wilfred Owen

    The Latin title of this poem means:
    "Sweet and fitting it is to die for one's country."
    (From Horace, Odes, III. ii. 13)

    1. That's a pity. Until the majority realizes the truth of Wilfred Owen's extraordinarily moving poetry based on his hideous, real life EXPERIENCE in the battlefields of WWI, NOTHING is EVER going to IMPROVE.

    2. FT,
      Until the majority realizes the truth of Wilfred Owen's extraordinarily moving poetry based on his hideous, real life EXPERIENCE in the battlefields of WWI, NOTHING is EVER going to IMPROVE.

      Here's how I see it....

      It's not the majority that need convincing. It's the political leaders! And now only our political leaders, but also the political leaders of other countries.

      I don't think that we the majority can get through.

      I lean non-interventionist. Always have leaned that way.

      But I have come to wonder if non-intervention won't have its own terrible cost -- perhaps a higher cost in human lives lost. American lives lost!

      Lives can be lost in ways other than on the battlefield.

      Lives can also be lost because of a failing economy, and there's no way around the fact that a strong military doesn't help to guarantee a strong economy.

      As American diminishes on the world stage as she has done the past several years, our economy has contracted. Yes, I do see a relationship between that contraction and the loss of military power.

      And there is also the terrible reality that much of our economic interest now lies outside our borders. That economic interest does indeed affect our domestic economy.

      If our economy continues to contract, taxes will rise, income; wealth will be redistributed.

      A strong military force doesn't mean that there will be no challenges to that force. Victory is the only option. To the winner go the spoils.

    3. BTW, when I typed in Not all believe that it is a lie, I also mean that other nations will never sign on to the better angels.

  12. The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner

    From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
    And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
    Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
    I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
    When I died, they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

    ~ Randall Jarrell

    [AUTHOR'S NOTE: "A ball turret was a Plexiglas sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24, and inhabited by two .50 caliber machine-guns and one man, a short small man. When this gunner tracked with his machine guns a fighter attacking his bomber from below, he revolved with the turret; hunched upside-down in his little sphere, he looked like the foetus in the womb. The fighters which attacked him were armed with cannon firing explosive shells. The hose was a steam hose."]

  13. We can cite anti-war poems and other works ad infinitum.

    We can also cite pro-war poems and other works ad infinitum.

  14. I concur with Always on Watch. This blog post is gratuitous, morbid, and cartoonish. It stands as an insult to Veterans everywhere and a blasphemy against this special day set aside to remember those who have fought and died. We veterans have seen horrible things that can never be unseen. You are not teaching us anything by posting such pictures. The last picture may be real, but the aspect of it makes it look like something out of a poorly-produced 1950's horror movie. You are not teaching anyone else anything, either. I was going to urge you to read "Death of the Ball Turret Gunner," but I see you've already posted it. Now, go off and study it! Learn some subtlety of protest while still respecting the subject matter. This is a new low for this blog. You dishonored Veterans Day with this post.

    1. I'm very sorry you feel that way, whoever you are, but it's simply not true.

      Your churlish insults and haughty exhortations are gratuitous and normally would be unacceptable, but because I believe everyone is entitled to his feelings, –– as long as they are sincere and not disingenuous ––, I shall let your remark stand.

      Life is always full of surprises. It's a shame that most of them turn out to be unpleasant.

      I blame this on the avid urge always to find reasons to take offense, then chastise, castigate, counsel, and condemn. Most regrettably this has emerged as THE dominant characteristic of the Human Condition.

      Instead I greatly favor making every effort to take Walt Whitman's sage advice:


    2. It is gratuitous. War is gratuitous. It is a state of things far outside what the average civilian could ever understand. For those who haven't experienced it, the vast majority of people, you have to use gratuitous language. How else would you describe such a thing to someone who's never seen anything like it?

      I've never been to war. The closest thing to it I can imagine is to be involved somehow in a violent crime - on a continuous but irregular basis. When you look at the great writers, poets, filmmakers on war, you see some really stark, vivid, highly critical and snarlingly angry, gratuitous works.

      To be honest, it reminded me of my old music days. It' the kind of thing I would have put to heavy metal! ;)


    3. "We veterans have seen horrible things that can never be unseen. You are not teaching us anything by posting such pictures..."

      I was not trying to teach you anything, sir. I was attempting with powerful, carefully considered WORD IMAGES to help others who have not experienced combat understand and possibly empathize with the kind of gruesome experiences combat veterans have been exposed to.

      I'm sorry, but the more I've thought about this the more persuaded I am to believe that you harbor a tremendous amount of free floating hostility and therefore carry a big chip on your shoulder.

      That means you have developed a predominantly negative view of life and are always spoiling for a fight.

      "Addicted to dispute" would be another way of putting it. You're not alone. Rage addiction and the concomitant desire to strike at others seems almost universal in the blogging community.

      I'm sorry, but I am not responsible for your rage, and there is nothing I can do, apparently, to alleviate it. If you weren't taking umbrage at my post, you'd be royally pissed off about something somewhere else.

      PS: The images I selected were entirely incidental to the poem. I was not particularly satisfied with them, myself, but after searching in vain for over an hour for something better, i had to give up and use what I found.


    As I tried to explain, I was not thinking of the veterans when I wrote that poem. I was thinking of the dirty rotten bastards who USED them as PAWNS in an international chess game that has had little or nothing to do with protecting AMERICAN interests at home or abroad.

    In my view virtually everything we've done militarily since the end of WWII has been a tragic waste of blood and treasure.

    I am, and always have been, a NON-interventionist.

    I am surprised anyone would take "QUESTIONS," which I wrote in 2011, as an indictment of VETERANS. I've published it before, and it received no attention whatsoever that I can remember.

    As for Koreans –– or any other foreign victims of the brutality and stupidity of their leaders –– I do not believe it was worth even ONE American life to make a better experience possible for THEM.

    Sorry, but that's the way I feel, and it's unlikely my feelings will ever change. As a people we have loused ourselves up to a fare thee well trying to mind OTHER peoples' business at home and abroad "for their own good." I'm sick of it, the world is sick if it, and it's long past time for it to STOP.

    There is nothing to honor or celebrate about having been deceived and manipulated into dying or being maimed for some politician's STUPID MISTAKE.

    I feel the same about the Civil War. It was entirely UNNECESSARY, and Lincoln should be memorialized in the Hall of Shame, instead of lionized as "Our Greatest President."

    1. FT,
      I do not believe it was worth even ONE American life to make a better experience possible for THEM.

      I must interject that some of THEM are among the finest American citizens whom I know. I'm speaking of people whom I personally know -- not of the anonymous THEM.

      Gotta go! Long workday for me today!

    2. I can only REPEAT:

      Naturally, I'm glad about your good experience with Korean students and all that, but why THEIR well-being should have to have been purchased with the gruesome deaths of FIFTY-EIGHT THOUSAND of OUR young men and the intense suffering of hundreds of thousands more, when those battles accomplished no GAIN whatsoever for the wealth and well-being of the USA or the rest of the free world I can't imagine.

      In my view our good men, and now women, have been and continue to be be ruthlessly EXPLOITED by those remote figures in high positions of PRIVILEGE, POWER and CONTROL.

      I think we have been busily wasting energy, blood and treasure fighting the WRONG SET of DEMONS since the onset of the Korean War.

      Ask yourself what our immense sacrifices in these various armed conflicts have gained –– for US as a NATION ––, and you'll come up with BITTER DEFEAT, HUMILIATION, LOSS of PRESTIGE, MILITANT DIVISIVENESS at HOME, and INCREASED RATES of POVERTY and DEPRIVATION.


      As I tried to explain, I was not thinking of the veterans when I wrote that poem. I was thinking of the dirty rotten bastards who USED them as PAWNS in an international chess game that has had little or nothing to do with protecting AMERICAN interests at home or abroad.

      I think that you should rethink that

    4. My opinion has been formed over a 35-year period of close observation, Anita. It is unlikely to change, unless I see evidence that might cause me to doubt my perceptions –– always a possibility –– but I am anything but a weather vane, and have no desire to win popularity. Ah jess calls 'em as I sees 'em. ;-)

  16. I meant no insult. I was speaking frankly from one man to another.

    May I sum it up by repeating, Not on this day.

    1. A Veteran,
      Not on this day.

      Yes, that's my point.

      Analogy, albeit imperfect: on Christmas Day we shouldn't be "commemorating" the day by discussing the atrocities perpetrated by the Christian church. That kind of discussion can wait until another day.

  17. We in the colonies of the of the once great British Empire don't celebrate Veterans Day. Here we celebrate Remembrance Day (formerly Armistice Day) which commemorates the signing of the peace agreement at the end of World War I (11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. And I'm not sure if there is any subtle esoteric Masonic meaning to those numbers, but is was supposed to be the war to end all wars.

    Obviously that was a mistake or an outright blatant lie since it was only the end of the beginning as later conflagrations would prove. Somehow I feel more sympathetic toward those who went off innocently to fight in World War I actually believing they were doing the honorable and patriotic thing to fight for God and country and the King.

    The United States came late to this fight. Was there a clear reason to involve America in this war? The theater of war was across the sea far from the shores of the country and what was unfolding "over there" was more of a bloody family feud that was about to rearrange the world in many ways that still remain with our world today.

    It may have set the precedent for today in which more time is spent "over there" breaking countries, lives and homes of many innocent people ... for little apparent reason, other than because it's us, because we can and we are "the free world" (supposedly).

  18. Veterans Today says: Veterans are everywhere. In homeless shelters, mental hospitals and even on death row.

    They are celebrated and glorified one day a year ... to keep skin in the game, I guess.

  19. ______ A Backward Glance ______

    I gaze now in perpetual wonderment, grief
And sorrow at the jagged, rotting stump 

    Of the once-vital, arcing grandeur
Of the dear and familiar tree 

    That gave me shade and comfort, 

    While all around me weeds, thorns
Strange, stunted saplings, and bitter fruit

    Litter the parched stony soil

    Beneath a pitiless, gray wintery sky.

    ~ FreeThinke



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