A Hero Comes Home

Hi guys. *waves sheepishly*. 🙂 I’ve been having trouble most of the week with my digestive tract, and at least for me, it tends to screw badly with my sleep schedule, and so yesterday, I forced myself to stay awake. Well, today is the perhaps inevitable result, So this won’t be a complex post! 🙂


I suspect most of you have seen this, but it won’t hurt any of us to see it again.

Jackson Proskow, a Canadian journalist had an unusual experience this week, at Dallas Love Field. Let him tell it.

This week, the long flight home took me from the devastating shooting in El Paso, Texas, to Washington, D.C., with a layover in Dallas.

Jackson Proskow

@JProskowGlobal

I’m at the airport in Dallas, waiting for my flight home to DC from El Paso, and something incredible is happening.

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Dallas became the place where the weight of the world seemed to melt away — the place where the good outweighed the bad for the first time in days.

When we arrived at our gate at Dallas’ Love Field, I noticed a few camera crews waiting. I didn’t think much of it. Perhaps they were waiting for a politician or a newsmaker.

A few minutes later, a gate agent from Southwest Airlines appeared and started handing out American flags.

Then came the announcement over the P.A. system. A gate agent, his voice cracking, told us about the very special arrival we were about to witness.

Jackson Proskow

@JProskowGlobal

I’m at the airport in Dallas, waiting for my flight home to DC from El Paso, and something incredible is happening.

Jackson Proskow

@JProskowGlobal

Our incoming plane is carrying the remains of an American pilot shot down over Vietnam in 1967. His remains were only recently recovered and identified and brought back to the US.

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Our inbound plane from Oakland was carrying the remains of an American airman, Col. Roy Knight Jr., who was shot down in combat during the Vietnam War in 1967.

Colonel Knight was a Sandy, flying the very last propellor propelled Air For aircraft, the Skyraider, on search and rescue missions, to try and save his fellow airmen. He held the Air Force Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and six air medals. Nothing ordinary about this hero at all, and yet, amongst the “Sandys” nothing unusual either. Some of the best amongst us.

So Love Field and Southwest Airlines did it right. The water arch from the big Oshkosh fire vehicles, the appropriate pomp and circumstance, the little flags and pretty much rapt attention on the concourse, even solemn TSA employees.

But there was a bit off difference when then Captain Knight left for Udorn AB, he left from Love Field, and amongst those saying goodbye was his five-year-old son, who would not see his dad again. Well sort of, that son of Colonel Knight’s commanded the Southwest Fight that brought him home to Love Field.

Welcome Home, Colonel. We’ve missed you.

Tet

Fifty years ago, today, a great battle was engaged, all across South Vietnam, and the NVA and Viet Cong attacked all the cities, in the hopes of a general uprising. It was a battle on the scale of the Ardennes in 1944, and again the valor of American troops and their allies won the day, sometimes in very tough fighting. The battle in Hue, for example, has been compared to Bastogne, and with reason.

The battle was won and left the North with almost nothing to work with.

But…

America’s first major encounter with the Big Lie, with all its disastrous consequences, started 50 years ago today, when the American mainstream media — CBS and the other networks, plus the New York Times and the Washington Post — decided to turn the major Communist Tet offensive against U.S. forces and South Vietnam on January 30, 1968, into an American defeat, rather than what it actually was: a major American victory.

We’ve all lived in the disorder and chaos that campaign set in motion ever since.

By the end of 1967, the Communist cause in the Vietnam War was in deep trouble. The build-up of American forces — nearly half a million men were deployed in Vietnam by December — had put the Vietcong on the defensive and led to bloody repulses of the North Vietnamese army (NVA), which had started intervening on the battlefield to ease the pressure on its Vietcong allies.

Hanoi’s decision to launch the Tet offensive was born of desperation. It was an effort to seize the northern provinces of South Vietnam with conventional troops while triggering an urban uprising by the Vietcong that would distract the Americans — and, some still hoped, revive the fading hopes of the Communists. The offensive itself began on January 30, with attacks on American targets in Saigon and other Vietnamese cities, and ended a little more than a month later when  Marines crushed the last pockets of resistance in the northern city of Hue.

It not only destroyed the Vietcong as an effective political and military force, it also, together with the siege of Khe Sanh, crippled the NVA, which lost 20 percent of its forces in the South and suffered 33,000 men killed in action, all for no gain. By the end of 1969, over 70 percent of South Vietnam’s population was rated by the U.S. military as under government control, compared with 42 percent at the beginning of 1968.

The American public knew none of this, however. Almost from the moment the first shots were being fired, skeptics of the war effort in the mainstream media, including CBS News icon Walter Cronkite, would use Tet to prove that the war wasn’t being won as the Johnson administration was claiming. They went further, representing the failed attacks on the U.S. embassy in Saigon and other sites as symbols of Communist success.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455881/tet-offensive-media-bias-50th-anniversary

In other words, they simply lied to us, then, and they continue to do so today. The main difference is that today we have alternative sources of news, and so their lies, their sedition, some would say treason, is caught out and debunked. Sadly not enough of us have caught on to completely kill the Propaganda Kompanies, but that day is coming as well.

This is where the anti-Americanism of the press came to the fore, and in fact, literally cost us victory in a war that we won on the battlefield. Valor and persistence won the Vietnam War. Lying and treachery cost us, that victory. That it cost an American president (Johnson) his job never mattered to them, the cause is all. But Johnson’s party was badly infected as well, as we would soon see as they refused to honor our treaty commitments to South Vietnam.

Nothing has changed, if it is good for the America we grew up in, one can expect the Democrats and the media (But I explicitly repeat myself) to oppose it (or simply bury it).

The conservative way is to learn from the past so that we may make new mistakes. Do so here.

John Wayne and the American Brand

My old friend Pumabydesign picked up an article by Vassar Bushmills about John Wayne and his brand. It’s good stuff from Watchers of Weasels.

For close to ten years, in the late 60s and early 70’s, the most hated man in Hollywood was John Wayne. That’s right, the Duke. It was all about the Vietnam War, about which you never saw one contemporaneous film released except for Wayne’s “Green Berets”, a 1968 film released just as public sentiment was turning against the war because (take note) the American media, especially Walter Cronkite and CBS News, decided it was a war that could not be won, and who then took great strides to make their analysis came true.

Like the Vietnam War, Hollywood, New York and Washington were largely of one sentiment about John Wayne, only, the rub is, the rest of America loved him. And in a contest of numbers, that matters. Throughout the war period he was America’s top box office draw. He had established a “brand” by the 1960s that lives on today, and nothing those anti-war leftists could say would diminish it. And yes, Donald Trump’s presidency is in part a result of the resiliency of that brand.

It’s simple math, actually. A point that will be driven home shortly in a different context, Richard Grenier, in his 1979 elegy to John Wayne, wrote:

“But Richard Dreyfuss and Robert de Niro are known to only a small proportion of the people who knew Gary Cooper and John Wayne.”

With that alone, John Wayne could protect his brand by not having to say a word. All he had to do was continue about his business in a way that silently said “Screw you” to Hollywood and the political left, and let his brand speak for itself.

The beat goes on. Because Americans demanded such heroes, he and Coop were succeeded by others, men such as Clint Eastwood, who began his Dirty Harry franchise in 1971 after a string of spaghetti Westerns had established him as a quiet but deadly gunslinger. Over the years Eastwood’s “brand” also grew as an anti-liberal, law and order patriot, and is still an icon today.

Yep, an icon and an ideal, still for so many of us. For me growing up, dad was my hero, but you know, he represented almost the very same things that the Duke did. He just had never had time for the movies and so I wasn’t much on them either. But when I started watching some, it was John Wayne, because I already knew him.

They weren’t all guys though, how about this.

I think I might know a few women who might have said this!

Maureen O’Hara, from Ireland, was discovered by Charles Laughton and landed her first Hollywood role in 1937. By that time the “casting couch” was a fixture of the template for getting ahead there. Everyone knew. And The Harvey Weinstein-type producer-director was the template, not the exception, for Hollywood executives. But Maureen O’Hara considered this an occupational hazard and charted her course accordingly. She refused to allow directors and producers to lay a hand on her, (“to be pawed”, her words) until they finally quit trying. She threatened to quit several projects, and eventually earned the reputation of a “cold fish”, black-balled by some studios and producers. Like Wayne, she ended up being type-cast, as a strong woman figure, fiery temperament, but honorable and noble, a heroine. Just not one who would wear a pink hat in a protest march. Like Wayne, she liked her image, and with friends like Wayne and Gary Cooper was able to established an incredible brand without ever once having to lift her skirt or run off to the front office or media with an assault charge.

I’m sure it cost her some fine roles, but she didn’t like slutty roles anyway, which earned Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Fonda both Oscars. In the 40s Joan Crawford was always there to pick those up, anyway.

Like John Wayne, Miss O’Sullivan also realized her brand was immeasurably larger outside Hollywood than inside it. So “screw ’em”.

I can remember trying on the old “Everybody’s doing it” when I was a kid. I was swiftly informed that one: I wasn’t everybody, and two, I wasn’t doing it. So were the Duke and Maureen, and they didn’t, so nobody had to cower before the bullies, but they did. Well, those people always exist. We call them victims, and we pity them and then forget them. They too made their own beds and get to lie in them.

Every encounter between two people is always different, but something I’ve learned and relearned over the years, people who want to take advantage of you, in any manner, whatsoever, are bullies, and more or less evil. Many will rationalize letting them have their way, but that is your choice. You may not get the part, you may not be the most popular guy in school, but over time, things will come, and they will be due you. Because you did it, not so much ‘my way’, as the right way.

America is like that, always has been. That’s why John Wayne symbolizes America to the rest of the world. The closer we run the country to that image, the better it is for America, and Americans, but here’s the catch, the better it is for the people (although often not the government or elites) of those other countries. That’s why all those people we thought were our friends last week voted against us in the UN. It’s not their people, most of whom, if they know us, like us. Rather like the Duke and Maureen were great friends, because they are like us, trying to feed the family and do the right thing. The people that have usurped control of their countries away from the people, well they are not like us.

As the Duke would say, “Screw ’em”. And don’t get me started on what that fiery redheaded Irishwoman would do to them.

And Vassar is right, Clint Eastwood picked up the gauntlet when he started playing Dirty Harry. In fact, I’ve read that the Duke turned down the role, clearing his path.

So I guess the elites are going to have to answer that All-American question,

“Do ya feel lucky, punk?”

Working

So the unions want a $15/hr minimum wage. Who makes minimum wage? Mostly fast food workers, at $15/hr they will look like this.

xsnJe74

By the way there a robotic machine that can replace three burger flippers as well. No problems with employee discipline, no breaks, and no Obamacare. Do you really want to go there. We call these entry level jobs for a reason. They’re designed for people in high school and college who need to make some money while they’re learning about the real world. If you want a career in fast food, you can. It pays pretty well, otherwise find a different job.

While we’re at it Nick Gillespie has some advice for you (and the trades unions as well) if they want to survive into the 2d decade of the century.

[…]

It needn’t be. While there is nothing wrong with any job, the simple fact is that nobody is going to get rich—or even comfortably middle class—if his or her main gig is punching the buttons at a McCafe. The skills necessary to work there are simply not that advanced to increase wages exponentially and the entire economy of fast food is based on keeping prices—and by extension, wages—relatively low.

Rather than focus on fast food, it would be smarter to focus where the jobs—and wages—are. There’s something on the order of 3.7 million openings (about the size of the entire minimum wage workforce) in various trades ranging from construction to carpentry to ++electrical to welding. These are jobs that are not only in high demand but pay relatively high wages, often around the median household income of $51,000. Mike Rowe, the former host of the cable show Dirty Jobs, makes a compelling case that these are exactly the sort of gigs that can secure people steady work that allows for advancement and serious benefits.

Read the whole thing Big Labor’s Big Mac Attack

Nick also talked some about Mike Rowe’s’ Profoundly Disconnected, go there too.

Listen Up, you will never hear me disparage the wonders of the liberal arts. They are an unalloyed joy, and I love nearly all of them, especially history. But do you, or your kid really want to be 24 years old with a hundred plus K debt and no job? That’s what studying the liberal arts are going to do for you. You’re right, it’s probably not fair, but it is. Deal with it proactively, the world really does have enough lawyers for the moment. Electricians, not so much.

This has been around a while but, it’s as valid as it ever has been

Courage, Cowardice and the Wordsmiths

ByStephen Rittenberg, MD

“…there must be a wonderful soothing power in mere words…. I take it that what all men are really after is some form or perhaps only some formula of peace.”
– Under Western Eyes
, Joseph Conrad

When I served as a Navy psychiatrist during the Vietnam War, one of my weekly duties was interviewing and assessing potential draftees who were seeking to avoid service by claiming mental illness. Many of these were recent Ivy League graduates, students of the humanities, who were active protesters of what they insisted was an immoral war. They thought of themselves as idealists.
Yet they were not principled conscientious objectors. Instead, they were glib, had read up on symptoms of psychosis, and could feign the manifest behavior of any disqualifying syndrome-including homosexuality. Their efforts to dissemble were usually rather obvious. They were predicated on the arrogant assumption that they were smarter than any military psychiatrist.
Once it was pointed out to them that if they avoided the draft, someone else, less educated and less favored by fortune would go in their place, they quickly revealed their true motivation: fear. I realized I was observing cowardice masquerading as idealism. These young men would do anything to avoid the risk of fighting and dying for their country.
I then would return to my hospital responsibilities, working with wounded vets. These were not glib wordsmiths. It took real effort to get them to talk about their experiences. They didn’t think of their courage in battle as anything special. When they did talk about it, they often worried that they’d let down their comrades. The contrast with would-be draft evaders was striking. There was absolutely none of the self-preoccupation of the Ivy Leaguers. Instead these were men who had done deeds, fought battles, rescued other wounded platoon members, risked their lives. They readily acknowledged having been afraid, and many paid a high emotional price. They felt fear, but unlike our Ivy Leaguers, the force that propelled them was courage, not cowardice.
Over many years of clinical observation, I repeatedly confirmed the truth of Wordsworth’s observation that “the child is father of the man”. So who were these wordsmith cowards as children? In his great essay Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?, Robert Nozick pointed out that wordsmith intellectuals-writers, journalists, liberal arts professors, film makers, television pundits-had frequently been children who achieved success in school, based on their verbal skills. They were rewarded with elite status within the school system. As adults, however, they were not similarly rewarded. Capitalism rarely gives its greatest rewards to the verbally skilled. Nozick tried to sort out the puzzle, and concluded that it is our educational system, where, as he put it:

“…to the intellectually meritorious went the praise, the teacher’s smiles, and the highest grades. In the currency the schools had to offer, the smartest constituted the upper class. Though not part of the official curricula, in the schools the intellectuals learned the lessons of their own greater value in comparison with the others, and of how this greater value entitled them to greater rewards. The wider market society, however, teaches a different lesson. The greatest rewards do not automatically go to the verbally brightest. Verbal skills are not most highly valued… Schooled in the lesson that they were most valuable, the most deserving of reward, the most entitled to reward, how could the intellectuals, by and large, fail to resent the capitalist society which deprived them of the just deserts to which their superiority “entitled” them? Is it surprising that what the schooled intellectuals felt for capitalist society was a deep and sullen animus that, although clothed with various publicly appropriate reasons, continued even when those particular reasons were shown to be inadequate?…The intellectual wants the whole society to be a school writ large, to be like the environment where he did so well and was so well appreciated. “

As Eric Hoffer succinctly put it:

“Nothing so offends the doctrinaire intellectual as our ability to achieve the momentous in a matter-of-fact way, unblessed by words.”

Continue reading Courage, Cowardice and the Wordsmiths. Do, it’s all this good.

Iaccoca, on America and Leadership

I had a lot of problems with the bailout of Chrysler we undertook when Lee Iaccoca was running it, and for that matter, I didn’t much like the vehicle they made after that. But that’s me. The vehicles sold, and sold well, the bailout was paid back so it worked out. One thing about Iaccoca is that he’s always said what was on his mind, and he doesn’t mince words either. So, with a hattip to A Voice for Retribution! | Jericho777’s Blog, here’s what Iaccoca thinks of where we are now.

By Karen Hild

Remember Lee Iaccoca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from its death throes? He’s now 82 years old and has a new book, ‘Where Have All The Leaders Gone?’.Lee Iaccoca Says:
‘Am I the only guy in this country who’s fed up with what’s happening? Where the hell is our outrage with this so called president? We should be screaming bloody murder! We’ve got a gang of tax cheating clueless leftists trying to steer our ship of state right over a cliff, we’ve got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can’t even run a ridiculous cash-for-clunkers program without losing $26 billion of the taxpayers’ money, much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, ‘trust me, the economy is getting better..’ Better? You’ve got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned ‘Titanic’.You might think I’m getting senile, that I’ve gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore..The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs.. While we’re fiddling in Afghanistan , Iran is completing their nuclear bombs and missiles and nobody seems to know what to do. And the liberal press is waving ‘pom-poms’ instead of asking hard questions. That’s not the promise of the ‘ America ‘ my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I’ve had enough. How about you?I’ll go a step further. You can’t call yourself a patriot if you’re not outraged. This is a fight I’m ready and willing to have. The Biggest ‘C’ is Crisis! (Iaccoca elaborates on nine C’s of leadership, with crisis being the first.)

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It’s easy to sit there with thumb up your butt and talk theory. Or send someone else’s kids off to war when you’ve never seen a battlefield yourself. It’s another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A hell of a mess, so here’s where we stand.

We’re immersed in a bloody war now with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving.. But our soldiers are dying daily.

We’re running the biggest deficit in the history of the world, and it’s getting worse every day!We’ve lost the manufacturing edge to Asia , while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health carecosts.Gas prices are going to skyrocket again, and nobody in power has a lucid plan to open drilling to solve the problem. This country has the largest oil reserves in the WORLD, and we cannot drill for it because the politicians have been bought by the flea-hugging environmentalists.Our schools are in a complete disaster because of the teachers’ union.Our borders are like sieves and they want to give all illegal’s amnesty and free healthcare.

The middle class is being squeezed to death every day.

These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you’ve got to ask: ‘Where have all the leaders gone?’ Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point..

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo?

We’ve spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Everyone’s hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping the government will make it better for them. Now, that’s just crazy.. Deal with life.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when ‘The Big Three’ referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, look what Obama did about it!

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the Chicago gangsters in Congress. We didn’t elect you to turn this country into a losing European Socialist state. What is everybody so afraid of? That same bonehead on NBC or CNN news will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don’t you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough? Hey, I’m not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I’m trying to light a fire. I’m speaking out because I have hope – I believe in America .. In my lifetime, I’ve had the privilege of living through some of America ‘s greatest moments. I’ve also experienced some of our worst crises: The ‘Great Depression,’ ‘World War II,’ the ‘Korean War,’ the ‘Kennedy Assassination,’ the ‘Vietnam War,’ the 1970′s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years since 9/11.

Make your own contribution by sending this to everyone you know and care about. It’s our country, folks, and it’s our future. Our future is at stake!

And that, Folks, is the way it is, we need (many) more leaders  like that!!

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