Category Archives: Perspective

ROE

I’m ten years older than Lex was, and Vietnam to me is still on my mind.

I remember something he said in one of his posts, about a time he was playing golf at Miramar with a retired Naval Aviator who served in Vietnam .

His partner  said that around the beginning of the war in Vietnam everyone was gung-ho (which is I believe a military expression Claire Chenault and his pilots brought back from China)

Towards the end of the war with so many targets determined off limits those who flew through some of the heaviest and most dangerous AAA just wanted to finish their tour and go home. Many of them died doing this. Dying from targets that could have been destroyed.

Our military has always had some form of Rules of Engagement but it seems since WW2 it has been overly restrictive. The civilians control the political side while the military controls, obviously, the battlefield side.

Truman was right in that the civilians – and President in particular – are in charge. But was MacArthur right in wanting to take  the war to the Chinese? Truman was worried, obviously, about starting WW3.

Should Truman have given MacArthur more freedom?

After all, 60 some years later there has never been a truce signed and we are still worried about the North Koreans. Now we are worried about them having nukes. Would we be doing this today if MacArthur had captured Prongyang and secured Korea from the Yalu River?

(For that matter let’s speculate how the Cold War would have been different had Patton gone to Berlin. On the positive side I have read that some historians consider one of the reasons Truman dropped the Bomb on Japan was to keep the Russians out of Japan. Imagine a partitioned Japan, like Germany,  for 60 years.)

What made me think of this was just seeing a movie on Netflix, Hyena Road. It is  a Canadian film from a Canadian perspective on the war in Afghanistan, but I doubt that it was much different from American units.

Two of the main characters are an intelligence officer who is back at Begram and a sniper team. The sniper is constantly radioing back to headquarters asking for permission to shoot a target. The intelligence officer sees “the bigger picture” and the sniper wants to shoot an obvious belligerent.

Where’s the balance?

It’s an open question.

 

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Filed under Perspective, Politics, Terrorism, Uncategorized, Vietnam

It is a couple days early

Remember…………………………………………………That is all.

Poppy-Remember

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Filed under Perspective, Remember

Off to Mystic, Connecticut this weekend.

I’ll be winging my way to the great New England area and Mystic, Connecticut.

I’ll be leaving the Chi tomorrow morning and arriving in the early afternoon.

I may be going to the New England Air Museum and later to the Quonset Air Museum with pictures to follow in a future post.

Sunday at noon will be the Lexican meetup at the Harp and Hound located at 4 Pearl Street in Mystic CT 06355.

If you’re going to be in the area I look forward to seeing you.

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Filed under Are we having fun yet?, Beer Blogging, Buffoonery, Family, Funny Stuff, Good Stuff, Guinness - For Strength!, Humor, Other Stuff, Perspective, Really Good Stuff

Blogging Centurion

No, not this one:

centurion

Or even this one:

Cylon_CenturionIn my mind it’s somewhat more analogous to this:

wUSSAmericaCenturion

Centurion patch.

At least I’d like to think so.

100 traps aboard the boat is a career milestone in NAVAIR. Patches are handed out to commemorate every 100 landings. Given that traps (landings for you non-aviator-ish people) are the most demanding task in all of aviation this is by no means a small feat. It’s not unusual for pilots and crews to log hundreds and even 1,000 (I do recall seeing a 2,000 somewheres) traps over a career. Case in point. Maybe 1,00 isn’t so common anymore is post-cold war NAVAIR but still.

photo

Here’s the trap from the jet.

4725205750_941f56e0e6_z

Here’s the trap from the “not so” cheap seats…who wants to play PLAT LSO? 🙂

I’m getting to the point…

I noticed a few days ago that I reached the 100 post here. Since I missed my “blogo-versary” I’d figured I take this time to first thank xbradtc for handing me a set of keys (and now I’m posting there too!). I didn’t think I do THIS much blogging but still. My goal was to write about things I’ve always wanted to see posts on so…here I am.

My co-bloggers here are freaking awesome people with a wealth of knowledge, experience, and blogging talent. I’m blessed to be a part of this group.

Finally, I’d like to thank all the readers and commenter. Hell, I’m just a pilot dude with attitude (pun kinda,kinda not intended), a brain and a computer hoping to contribute something to the conversation. All of you readers and commenter keep me motivated to keep putting out content.

Another thing I’d like to mention. The commenters here have SO much expertise on things I just usually read about. That’s been the biggest reward for me is to talk to you all that have the proverbial “t-shirt to prove it.” I’m honored and humbled that you take the time to read and/or comment.

So here’s to all of you and the Blogfather of course:

Guiness

…for strength.

and hopefully 100 more:

Patch, Enterprise Centurion 200

Thank you all again so much.t

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Filed under Airplanes, Beer Blogging, Good Stuff, Lexicans, Naval Aviation, Navy, Other Stuff, Outside the Box, Perspective, Plane Pr0n, Silliness, Small Stuff

Frederick Von Stuben’s NCO “Blue Book.”

You never know what you’re going to run into at the Pritzker Military Library. I’ve been a member now for just under a year and I’m usually there weekly doing research on something for the blog.

Last night was a new member tour and I happened to run into this:

photo

That’s Fredrick Von Stuben’s NCO “Blue Book.” Published in 1779 (I think) this is one of 3 copies in existence.

Go to Army.mil to find out the rest.

In 1779, Von Steuben’s publication, “Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States,” was ready to be printed. Due to the war, however, there was a scarcity of paper. The first printer decided to bind the book with the blue paper he had on hand. This is how the book got the nickname: The Blue Book. In March of 1779, Congress endorsed it and ordered it to be used throughout the Army. Many of the state militias also adopted the Blue Book. In 1792, Washington pushed through the Uniformed Militia Act, which included the use of Von Steuben’s regulations.

Each respective owner has signed the book as it’s passed on to the next. This copy is available for viewing in the rare book room at the Pritzker Military Library in beautiful downtown Chicago, IL. There are other interesting things here in addition the huge military book collection.

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Filed under History, Patriotism, Perspective

The Gathering Storm

Gathering StormGeorges Michel

Gathering Storm
Georges Michel

And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (Matthew 24:6)

What is going on in this country? The Constitution is either the law of the land, or it is not. If it is not, then we are no longer living in the United States of America. If that be the case, then the current civilian leadership in Washington D.C. and the military leadership of the Armed Forces have decided to set aside their oaths of office and govern by fiat. Can the use of armed force to enforce the will of the current political regime be far behind?

A while back I was doing some research regarding the oaths sworn by both officers and enlisted upon entry into the Armed Forces of the United States. Well, I have been doing some further research on this topic and found something interesting, to wit:

One notable difference between the officer and enlisted oaths is that the oath taken by officers does not include any provision to obey orders; while enlisted personnel are bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice to obey lawful orders, officers in the service of the United States are bound by this oath to disobey any order that violates the Constitution of the United States.

Before going any further, let’s take a look at the oaths. Here is the officer oath:

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

And the enlisted oath:

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Note that in both instances, the “So help me God” portion of the oath may be omitted for persons who desire to affirm rather than to swear to the oath. Yes, I have a bit of heartburn with that bit but Article Six of the United States Constitution states:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

The underlined bit being that which relates to the phrase “So help me God”.

So those are the oaths sworn by the members of the Armed Forces of the United States. The President, Vice President, members of Congress and federal judges also swear oaths. All of which make reference to the Constitution.

The President:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

The others:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]

Now as regards the current President, he may actually not be in violation of his sworn oath. I say this because the oath does state “to the best of my Ability“. It’s quite possible that he is doing the best he can. It’s possible that he’s just not that capable and the office of the President is beyond his competence. If so, then the electorate is at fault for electing an incompetent to the office.

Now the oath as taken by members of Congress, the judiciary and the Vice President don’t cut them any slack as regards “ability”. Their oath states “I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office”. My guess would be that if they are unable to do that, then they should step down.

Now all of that aside, there seems to be a hue and cry in this country for a “conversation” regarding firearms. Exactly which part of the 2nd Amendment don’t these clowns understand? To wit, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed“. No “conversation” is necessary, we have the right to keep and bear arms. The government is specifically prohibited from infringing upon that right.

The 2nd Amendment does not specify the type of arms. Various legislative acts and court decisions down through the years which have prohibited citizens from bearing certain types of arms are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court does make mistakes and has since the country was founded. I need only refer to the Dred Scott Decision.

From Wikipedia:

Dred Scott (1795 – September 17, 1858), was an African-American slave in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as “the Dred Scott Decision.” The case was based on the fact that although he and his wife Harriet Scott were slaves, they had lived with his master Dr. John Emerson in states and territories where slavery was illegal according to both state laws and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, including Illinois and Minnesota (which was then part of the Wisconsin Territory). The United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules. Moreover, Scott’s temporary residence outside Missouri did not bring about his emancipation under the Missouri Compromise, which the court ruled unconstitutional as it would improperly deprive Scott’s owner of his legal property.

While Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had hoped to settle issues related to slavery and Congressional authority by this decision, it aroused public outrage and deepened sectional tensions between the northern and southern U.S. states. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the post-Civil war Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments nullified the decision.

So the Supreme Court made a mistake, they are, after all, human. Any decision made by the Court which infringes at all upon our 2nd Amendment rights is unconstitutional, period, full stop. One does not need a law degree to figure out the Bill of Rights. One just needs to be able to read and comprehend English.

The way I see it, the President, the Vice President and a large number of congress-critters are in violation of their oath of office and should either correct that behavior or resign their office. Any officer in the US Armed Forces who supports the infringement of the 2nd Amendment needs to reconsider that stance or resign their commissions. They are morally and legally bound to do so.

Enlisted soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coast guardsmen need to understand that any order or orders which may cause them to infringe upon the rights conveyed by the 2nd Amendment are illegal orders and should not be obeyed.

Why are Progressive Elements in this country so intent upon dismantling the Constitution, or at least the parts they don’t agree with? Because they think they know what’s best for the rest of us.

Beware America. Once your 2nd Amendment rights are taken away, the rest won’t be far behind.

Say goodbye to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of worship, freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances, freedom to peaceably assemble, in short, say goodbye to the United States. You might as well learn how to speak Chinese. You’ll need it when the new rulers take over.

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Filed under Freedom!, Perspective

Saudade

Almeida_Júnior_-_Saudade_(Longing)_-_Google_Art_Project

Saudade (1899),
by Almeida Júnior.

Over on Facebook I learned something new last night.

You see, lately I’ve had this nearly indescribable feeling that “something is missing”. At first I thought it was just a touch of post-holiday depression. But it’s more than that, much more.

Then on Facebook, I saw a post from our friend Mongo, regarding an “Instagram” from the daughter of another friend of ours. That other friend was our own beloved Lex. His daughter, the Kat, had posted a picture of her with her Dad when she was very young. She also explained the Portuguese concept (for it is more than just a word) of saudade. As the first anniversary of Lex’s passing approaches, I can only imagine what his family must be feeling. Especially how his youngest child is dealing with it.

From Wikipedia:

Saudade is a Portuguese word that has no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return. A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing.

Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one’s children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. In Portuguese, ‘tenho saudades tuas‘, translates as ‘I have saudade of you’ meaning ‘I miss you’, but carries a much stronger tone. In fact, one can have ‘saudade‘ of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.

In Brazil, the day of saudade is officially celebrated on January 30.

Saudade is exactly what I’ve been feeling lately.

For me it’s getting close to the anniversary of my Father’s passing, three years ago. It does not nearly feel like it’s been three years. Every time we go to visit my Mom, it feels like Dad has just stepped out for a moment. Saudade.

We didn’t go to my Mom’s for Christmas this year. Instead we went up for New Year’s. Of course, the Christmas decorations were still up. And naturally she told us all about the Christmas she had, with my brother the Old Vermonter and his family and my other younger brother the Musician, up from Boston. It was something I wish I’d been there for. Saudade.

Then at New Years’ I had a lot of fun with my Mom. She’s in her 80’s yet still acts like she did in her 30’s. But still, she’s in her 80’s. I am terrified at the prospect of my Mother not being around someday. Saudade.

At least it’s how I understand the concept of saudade.

Where I live there are many Portuguese, primarily from the Azores (Açores, in Portuguese), I can’t wait to talk to my Portuguese friends about saudade.

It’s something I’ve felt and understood for a long time. Now I’m glad to know there’s actually a word for it. A word with many subtle shadings and nuance. Saudade.

I also have a new day to “celebrate”. On the 30th of January, I’ll remember those absent from my life.

My Dad. And Lex.

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Filed under Family, Lex, Perspective