The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Saturday, April 27, 2019

I don't have it in me......

I have been really busy doing real world stuff and haven't been able to blog like I want.  I blog because I like it and usually I can sling a sentence or two.       Mostly.....

....Usually                                                                                    From the Movie "Aliens"

But I don't have it in me...

There is so much that I want to talk about...Like last week on our Holy Day, ISIS decided to blow up a bunch of Christians at several churches and at several hotels.  Killing over 300 people and wounding many more...
Apparently the "Religion of Peace" decided to strike,  Various talking heads besides unable to mention the word "muslim bomber" but used the word "extremist" and stated that a bunch of "Easter Worshippers" were blown up.  It is like they got a memo at the same time that NOT to use the word "Christian" because it changes the optics but to use the word "Easter Worshippers"....Really?
When the ChristChurch shootings happened in New Zealand, the media and everyone else tripped over themselves condemning the attack standing in solidarity with "our Muslim Brothers" against hate, it fit the narrative because the shooter was a white guy with an AR-15, something the media loves to crow about when it happens because...well  "White guys...bad" is the narrative.  For several weeks we had people tweeting support for the muslim community, we had the New Zealand president wearing a hajib and pushing gun control with a vengeance.
Well compare it to the reaction of Sri Lanka, the media is pretty quiet, and it has quickly fallen off the radar and teleprompters of the various news agencies....Like it was planned....Compare to the weeks of posturing, and lecturing we got about the New Zealand shooting, and the 50 people killed.  To the over 300 people killed and many more wounded by suicide bombers. and the reaction is totally different...compare the tweets of President Obama and Hillary Clinton to the ChristChurch shooting and the Sri Lanka bombings....
And to prove that I ain't picking on President Obama by himself....
This is the 2008, and 2016 candidate for President Hillary Clinton...
I'm not able to find her tweet by itself, only was is for those that screenshot it.  I couldn't find it on "google and "Duck,Duck,Go"   What I am saying is that killing people over their religion is wrong period...but somehow one is held to a higher standard than another and that is the scary part.
     The Talking heads say that the Sri Lanka bombings is in retaliation for the ChristChurch shootings....I Venomously disagree, DAESH has a habit of planning attacks for months in advance and this didn't strike me as a hastily thrown together attack, they are terrorist but they are cunning terrorist and half planned half assed attacks isn't their M.O.  I believe that this attack was planned months in advance to defray from the Syria debacle where they are suffering defeat at the hands of the coalition.  This is them proving that they are not down and out and the talking heads mentioning ChristChurch is deflecting blame from DAESH where it belongs because they can't blame muslims for "misbehaving" back to the ChristChurch shooting because it fits the narrative that only white dudes are terrorist. ... But I don't have it in me....

     Now to the Notre Dame fire....I was dismayed to see the 900 year old church go up in flames, the history and the craftsmanship that went into that building.  They were able to save a lot of the treasure and other things that are a part of the history of the Cathedral.  People intermediately pledged money to rebuild the church and a bunch of the French mega millionaires pledged large suns of money to get it fixed.    My facebook feed filled up with the most self righteous tripe I have ever seen,
 This kind of crap pisses me off, what kind of self righteous drivel is this?  Nobody says shit when they build another stadium for some professional ball club spending millions of taxpayer dollars to help fund it.  But they immediately start preaching about giving the money to the poor and impoverished....Let me give you idiots a clue...once the money is given to the "Poor" and "World Poverty", the money is GONE and the poor and world poverty is still there because it is an endemic condition and people will always be poor and there is nothing to show for the money except some of the NGO and 3rd world dictators would have some more money in their swiss bank accounts.  Notre Dame is a symbol of over 800 years of history and long after we are gone it will still be there, as a symbol kinda like the pyramids....could you imagine one of the Egyptian Pharoh's dealing with this?   People who style themselves as "woke" are total idiots and have totally lobotomized their logic though processes for "It feelz good",   but I don't have it in me.....

      The Mueller report was released over a week ago and for over a week my facebook feed from the never trumpers and hardcore Democrats were silent as they saw their dreams of replacing "The Hated Cheeto Man" via the "Collusion" from the Mueller report went up in smoke.....
Now they are trying to cherry pick certain data from the redacted Mueller report to get President Trump on "Obstruction of Justice".  The various democratic committee's in the house are working overtime trying to get President Trump's tax records so they can cruise through them looking for something so they can charge him with some crime.  They are looking for anything to push an "impeachment" before the 2020 election.   Personally with the exception of the hardcore hacks and other democrats, everyone else is tired of this incessant drumbeat of "Impeach 45" that the democrats and the media keep pushing and I believe that this will come to bite the democrats hard in the 2020 elections.    But I don't have it in me.....

Well "Uncle" Joe Biden has formally thrown his hat in the ring for the 2020 election joining all the other clown cars driven by the other candidates with the only unifying thread on all of them is the usual "Orange man Bad"  and how much "Free Stuff" they can give to the base for their votes...
I have heard "reparations" from Kamila I slept my way to the top Harris, she also talked about using the same idea that Obama did"I will draft an executive order outlawing Guns", Well Obama did that executive order thing to pass policies and Trump rolled them back when he got elected

 We have Elizabeth 1024th indian  Warren talking about making college free.  As I recall, besides this screwing the taxpayers on the irresponsibility of the people borrowing the money to pay for college and their lifestyle now want their debt "forgiven"...WTF?   They borrow money, sign their name on the dotted line and now wants someone else to pay for it?  What about those people that didn't go to college, and have bills and mortgages to pay? they still have to pay for their stuff.  This is a sop to the college student that overwhelming wants socialism because it is "Fair".  Really well guess what sport....Life ain't fair, the sooner you figure that out before the kid from China or India cleans your clock because they don't have their head shoved up their ass.  And don't get me going on the Educational Industrial complex that for 20 years had the High School Guidance councilors tell all the kids in high schools, "you have to go to college" to have a career even the kids that could have gone into "trade School" and done much better instead of going for several semesters, having the debt and having to drop because the college wasn't for them.  And having the Federal Government guarantee loans and having the student unable to use the bankruptcy courts to get out of the loans was like an ATM for the colleges, and they started raising their rates far in excess of inflation because they have guaranteed money coming in...what can go wrong? We Have Pete " the new flavor" Buttepeg,  we have Corey "I am Spartacus" Booker trying to out left the left....We have Bernie the socialist from Vermont making a second run for the nomination after Felonia Von Pantsuit and her super delegates shafted him in 2016. and many others.We have "Beto" O Roarke who has changed his position so many times he makes John Kerry look Stalwart ...and Uncle Joe can't rely on the support of President Obama whom Joe was the VP, now that is messed up.  Joe Biden works for the Obama White House for 8 years as his VEEP and now Obama tells him "Sorry Joe".  Apparently from what I have heard...they want a POC* or a women to be the candidate so the old white dudes need to step away from the ring.  The Intersectional identity politics of the Democrats are in full swing...It don't matter how good you are, just what your gender...or lack of and your shade of skin tone.
      But I don't have it in me.....I am just tired....

  * "Persons of Color", the new word from the intersectional Left that describes anyone that ain't white.

Friday, April 26, 2019


I remembered reading in my history books of Vietnam about the Helicopters callsign "Dustoff" who would fly through enemy fire and sometimes get shot down in the process to rescue injured American soldiers.   The "Whop-Whop" of an inbound "Huey" would do more to raise morale and hope of someone hurt in the bush that they would soon be in a hospital and taken care of. 
    When I was in the service in the 1980's, the Callsign "Dustoff" was still reserved for the helicopters that were tasked with picking up the wounded and seeing the name in the division radio call sign book reminded me of the stories from Vietnam.  This name honors those "That others would Live".

Among a variety of iconic scenes of the Vietnam War depicted in movies, documentaries, and news coverage, there is one in particular that makes this “first-ever televised conflict” instantly recognizable.

The image, accompanied by a specific sound, is the sight of a Bell UH-1 Iroquois or “Huey” flying over the jungle suppressing enemy fire, deploying soldiers, or evacuating wounded GIs.
While helicopters were used to some extent in Korea, it wasn’t until the Vietnam War that the idea of a helicopter ambulance corps was fully developed.
This was due to the necessity of using aerial transport to evacuate the wounded in Vietnam, as dictated by the terrain. Since most of the combat activity was in the jungle, roads proved useless even if they were nearby.

A UH-1 "Huey" in Vietnam.
While helicopters were used to some extent in Korea, it wasn’t until the Vietnam War that the idea of a helicopter ambulance corps was fully developed.
This was due to the necessity of using aerial transport to evacuate the wounded in Vietnam, as dictated by the terrain. Since most of the combat activity was in the jungle, roads proved useless even if they were nearby.
South Vietnam. A UH-1D Medevac helicopter takes off to pick up an injured member of the 101st Airborne Division, near the demilitarized zone.
Date 16 October 1969

Ambushes and mines made land routes very unpredictable, for the jungle belonged to the Viet Cong.
However, the skies were off-limits for the guerrilla forces, making the Huey one of U.S. Army’s most important assets.
This article is dedicated to the “Dustoff” men–the medics and pilots who rushed into “hot” zones and willingly risked their lives to rescue as many soldiers they could. The name comes from the call sign of the 57th Medical Detachment which began operating in Vietnam in 1962.
“Dustoff” soon became synonymous with all helicopter ambulance units operating in Vietnam.
A well-trained and experienced crew could provide medical treatment for wounded personnel in the field within just 35 minutes.
The crew usually consisted of four men–two pilots with one acting as a commander, a medic assigned to evacuate evacuating the wounded, and the crew chief whose role was also to keep the chopper in top condition
Once in action, the pilot and the helicopter commander remained in the aircraft, ready for take-off. The commander would maintain radio communication with the unit requesting evacuation and headquarters.
101st Airborne Division Soldiers are loaded on to a UH-1 during Operation Apache Snow , May 1969
During those very risky moments, the medic and crew chief would jump into the fire and load casualties into the helicopter with the assistance of nearby soldiers.
It is important to note that most of these missions were undertaken during a skirmishes, so the helicopter would often come under a rain of small arms and mortar fire from the enemy.

 The Pilots and Medics of the "Dustoff" units were universally respected especially by their fellow Vietnam Veteran.  It takes a special kind of person to fly an unarmed helicopter to pick up woulded facing an enemy that really didn't believe in the "Geneva Convention" .

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Berlin Wall Escape that was financed by an American News Agency.

Berlin is near and dear to me, as far as German cities goes, only ones that really beat it, is Stuttgart and Munich.  I have Blogged about Berlin a lot in my Blogging.  I was stationed in the Stuttgart area for 5 years with the U.S Army so I have an affinity for that city and I hope to one day go back and see the city again.  I also was part of Field Station Berlin so I also know a bit about Berlin and how the divide affected that city.  I remembered walking in West Berlin and it being a 24 hour party and east Berlin was dour like the spirit of the city was gone. 

Map of Divided Berlin that hangs in my bonus room.

In 1962, an American news producer struggling to find stories about East Berlin escapees decided to create one. Rumors of a tunneling attempt that had run low on funding reached an executive at NBC News, and it was decided that the best way to get their big scoop would be to fund one themselves.
East German leader Walter Ulbricht had spent a long time urging the rest of his party for a wall to be built in order to stop their country from hemorrhaging large numbers of people to the West. In 1961, he got his wish and began making plans away from public scrutiny.

The Berlin Wall went up almost overnight. On the morning of August 13, 1961, East and West Berliners were left scratching their heads as they peered past the barbed wire and beyond the East German soldiers guarding the border. By the end of the first day, almost all the gaps were sealed, and the fate of those trapped on one side or the other was all but decided.

East German construction workers building the Berlin Wall, 20 November 1961.

Families were separated. Jobs held in the West by those living in the East were lost. Houses bordering the divide had their windows bricked up.
In the early days of the wall, there were ad hoc escape attempts, such as vaulting the barbed wire or jumping out of windows. Some were successful, but the GDR’s (German Democratic Republic) violent reactions to these attempts quickly set an example for any future endeavors. From then on, meticulous planning would be required if anyone wanted to escape.
Late August 1961. A worker spreads chemicals to kill weeds and to provide a clear line of fire for the East German guards watching the border for anyone seeking to escape to West Berlin
The 1960s saw a high number of elaborate escape plans. The wall was still a fresh wound, and the idea of reuniting families and friends was a popular idea — not just in Berlin, but internationally.
News companies from all over the western world were desperate to obtain images of escapes. Often, the cameras arrived only in time to capture the reuniting of loved ones. The escape attempts themselves had to be kept secret as nearly one in six East Germans were working for the Stasi (secret police).

“I’ve got a tunnel,” journalist Piers Anderton said as he walked into the office of executive producer Reuven Frank at NBC. Anderton had made a connection with a group of German and Italian students determined to save whoever they could from the East.
Choosing the basement of a West Berlin factory, the students had begun to dig the 100 yards necessary to reach the East. But they lacked funding and, consequently, were short of the necessary tunneling materials. The clay earth had proved treacherous and the collapse of nearby tunnels, as well as the near deaths of friends, had indicated that this was a job to be taken seriously.

Late August 1961. An East Berliner is seized by the East German police as he attempts to escape to the West.

Tunnel 29 cost NBC around 50,000 Deutschmarks (about $150,000 in today’s money) and was dealt with “outside the NBC channels.” Only the small Berlin team, the NBC News president, and his assistant knew of the details: no lawyers, no politicians.
The secrecy was, in part, an attempt to hide the planning from Eastern ears. However, the most pressing matter was East-West relations. The risk of potentially sparking an international crisis would have certainly been acknowledged by those in the know at NBC News.
Seeing it as a humanitarian investment as well as a “big scoop,” the news channel decided to continue regardless.

Soviet and American tanks at Checkpoint Charlie in 1961

Using this new injection of money, the team was expanded to 40 tunnelers. Tools and food were purchased, and underground rest areas were built to house the workers. Sending a camera team down the pit, NBC News began obtaining images unlike anything previously seen.
Speaking in a German language interview in 2001, one of the tunnelers, Joachim Neumann, spoke about the digging of Tunnel 29:We sometimes housed in there, like in barracks, for one or two weeks at a time. We wanted to keep the traffic in-and-out down to a minimum, so we slept right there instead of heading home after each shift.”
Aiming for two meters per day, they were to dig continuously by rotating day and night shifts with four to five people per shift. The 40 tunnelers would take it in turns.

Oct. 7, 1961. As her husband watches, Margarthe Finder prepares to escape East Germany by jumping across the border into a net held by West Berliners.

“[We] had a real shift schedule so that everyone knew when and where he was assigned to work and if he couldn’t make it one time he had to find a substitute,” Neumann said.
In a world of spies and informers, the tunnelers were naturally suspicious. The team leaders secretly changed the tunnel’s exit location, and a code was established. And they were right to do so. Little to their knowledge at the time, one of the diggers was an East German secret agent, remember the 1 in 6 Osters spied on the others..?  Fortunately, he was kept in the dark regarding the location change.

October 1961. East German workers tear down a house on the border with West Berlin, removing cover for those trying to escape to the West.

On the surface, escape attempts continued. Peter Fechter, an 18 year old East German, dashed over the wall before being gunned down by border guards. His photo was pinned to the tunnel’s entrance as a reminder of why they were working so hard.
Once the tunnel was ready in late September 1962, NBC News broadcasted a series of coded messages, and the escape attempt was set to go.
News cameras at the ready, the East German refugees began to appear. One woman wore a Dior dress so that she could look her best when entering the affluent West. One man tearfully embraced his wife and baby who had been waiting for him for over a year.

Memorial plaque, Tunnel 29, Schönholzer Straße 7, Berlin-Mitte,FRG

Another escape trip was attempted, but it was to be the last. The wet clay and a series of leaks forced the closure of Tunnel 29. Only on its collapse did the Stasi uncover the true exit of the tunnel.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Monday Music "Voices Carry" by Til Tuesday

Sorry about the week delay, I was down in Warner Robins going through a "Prep" course as part of my professional development.  They did a lot of general aviation stuff down there, things I don't do with my present employer.  I can now say "Yes I can now time a magneto", lol. 

My Monday Music song is "Voices Carry" by the group "Till Tuesday"

"Voices Carry" is a song written and performed by American New Wave band 'Til Tuesday. It was produced by Mike Thorne for the group's debut album Voices Carry, released in 1985. The song's lyrics, written by Aimee Mann, are about past sour relationships and were originally written and sung as if to a woman, but changed due to Epic Records' pressure. The song was inspired by Mann's breakup with Hausman.
The single achieved strong American radio airplay and MTV rotation in the summer of that year.
Directed by D.J. Webster, the accompanying music video received wide exposure on MTV, positive reactions from critics, was nominated for numerous awards, and it is attributed to be the reason behind the song's success. It was released in North America in March 1985 to positive reviews from music critics. "Voices Carry" became the band's highest charting single and their only top ten hit in the U.S., peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. Internationally it reached the top twenty in Canada and Australia.    
"Voices Carry" was recorded in 1985 at RPM Sound Studios in New York. The song is about past sour relationships, and was originally written and sung by Aimee Mann as to a woman 'Til Tuesday rehearsed that format in Boston the previous summer, but Epic was unhappy with the lyrics; they thought that it was a "very powerful, commercial song", and wanted to remove the lesbian components to appeal to the mainstream market.
Despite the pressure to replace the lyrics, producer Mike Thorne thought that "it didn't matter any to the impact of the song itself", and the band eventually changed the gender of the love interest. At the beginning, 'Til Tuesday and Thorne were undecided between "Love in a Vacuum" and "Looking over My Shoulder" to be released as the first single, but ultimately Epic's A&R executive Dick Wingate chose "Voices Carry", because it "define[d] precisely the band and its style". According to Thorne, his contract stated that he had the right to be the first to remix the song for the 7" single release. He was then told that it had been remixed by Bob Clearmountain; about this he commented, "not what the rules were [...] but it sounded pretty good, as well it might coming from one of the finest American engineer/producers".

The music video for "Voices Carry" was directed by D.J. Webster, and filmed at Dorchester's Strand Theater, in Boston. The clip incorporates dialogue and acting, and resembles a mini-movie. The plot centers around the band's lead singer, Aimee Mann, who appears as a musician with a violent boyfriend, played by actor Cully Holland. He mistreats her for playing in a rock band, and demands that she change her look to fit in his upper-class lifestyle. The video uses spoken dialogue in between to interrupt the musical parts, including Mann's boyfriend demands: "Why can't you for once do something for me?". At the end she lashes out at him during a concert at Carnegie Hall, she stands up from her seat in the audience and yells the lyrics—"He said, shut up! He said, shut up! Oh God, can't you keep it down?..."—as she removes her cap to reveal her spiky, rat-tailed hair.
The success of the single was largely attributed to the video, which received wide exposure on MTV, along with positive reactions from critics and nominations to numerous awards. Keith Thomas of Knight Ridder newspapers called the video "a clever and stunning effort". Praising the dialogue and acting he said that it "looks better than most feature films", adding that "everything about the clip is grand". Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times also praised Mann's acting, saying that she appears "marvelously charismatic" in it, while Dennis Hunt from the same newspaper said that it was "cleverly conceived". Debbie del Condo of the Orlando Sentinel called it the "Most Memorable Video of 1985", and added that she will "keep waiting for their next video". In his book Totally awesome 80s, author Matthew Rettenmund called it a "great story video". Author Brent Mann in his book 99 Red Balloons..., called the video "pure New Wave" and added that it was "perfect for MTV and VH1 consumption".
At the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards, the band won the award for Best New Artist in a video.The same year, at the Fourth Annual American Video Awards, Mann was named the Best Female Performer in a video for "Voices Carry". The video was placed number forty on Slant Magazine's 2003 list of the "100 Greatest Music Videos",and was listed on Pitchfork Media's "100 Awesome Music Videos", in 2006.

Monday, April 15, 2019

on vacation.....well sorta....not really....work related....

I will be out of battery, I in school for the week and the course is a cram, kinda like what it was like in AIT. back in the mid 80's.....Jeez, there I go dating myself...again.   I will be posting stuff next week.   Please check out the people in the sidebar, they are a lot better than I am .

Saturday, April 13, 2019

"Thoughts from a Hipster Coffee Shop"

I ran across this on Facebook, and decided to clip and paste.  I have said the same thing for the past 10+ years. It gives me hope that some of the younger generation does realize it.  Unfortunately most of them don't.  They have been conditioned to believe that America is "Evil, Racist and the scrouge of the Earth."  I am hoping that the younger generation realized the gift and luck to be born in this country.   

Thoughts from a hipster coffee shop…

My generation is becoming the largest voting bloc in the country. We have an opportunity to continue to propel us forward with the gifts capitalism and democracy has given us. The other option is that we can fall into the trap of entitlement and relapse into restrictive socialist destitution. The choice doesn’t seem too hard, does it?
via Alyssa Ahlgren
I’m sitting in a small coffee shop near Nokomis trying to think of what to write about. I scroll through my newsfeed on my phone looking at the latest headlines of Democratic candidates calling for policies to “fix” the so-called injustices of capitalism. I put my phone down and continue to look around. I see people talking freely, working on their MacBook’s, ordering food they get in an instant, seeing cars go by outside, and it dawned on me. We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we’ve become completely blind to it. Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don’t give them a second thought. We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty. One. Times. Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.
Our unappreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist policies among my generation continues to grow. Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said to Newsweek talking about the millennial generation, “An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity.”
Never saw American prosperity. Let that sink in. When I first read that statement, I thought to myself, that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing I’ve ever heard in my 26 years on this earth. Now, I’m not attributing Miss Ocasio-Cortez’s words to outright dishonesty. I do think she whole-heartedly believes the words she said to be true. Many young people agree with her, which is entirely misguided. My generation is being indoctrinated by a mainstream narrative to actually believe we have never seen prosperity. I know this first hand, I went to college, let’s just say I didn’t have the popular opinion, but I digress.
Let me lay down some universal truths really quick. The United States of America has lifted more people out of abject poverty, spread more freedom and democracy, and has created more innovation in technology and medicine than any other nation in human history. Not only that but our citizenry continually breaks world records with charitable donations, the rags to riches story is not only possible in America but not uncommon, we have the strongest purchasing power on earth, and we encompass 25% of the world’s GDP. The list goes on. However, these universal truths don’t matter. We are told that income inequality is an existential crisis (even though this is not an indicator of prosperity, some of the poorest countries in the world have low-income inequality), we are told that we are oppressed by capitalism (even though it’s brought about more freedom and wealth to the most people than any other system in world history), we are told that the only way we will acquire the benefits of true prosperity is through socialism and centralization of federal power (even though history has proven time and again this only brings tyranny and suffering).
Why then, with all of the overwhelming evidence around us, evidence that I can even see sitting at a coffee shop, do we not view this as prosperity? We have people who are dying to get into our country. People around the world destitute and truly impoverished. Yet, we have a young generation convinced they’ve never seen prosperity, and as a result, elect politicians dead set on taking steps towards abolishing capitalism. Why? The answer is this, my generation has ONLY seen prosperity. We have no contrast. We didn’t live in the great depression, or live through two world wars, or see the rise and fall of socialism and communism. We don’t know what it’s like not to live without the internet, without cars, without smartphones. We don’t have a lack of prosperity problem. We have an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem, and it’s spreading like a plague.
With the current political climate giving rise to the misguided idea of a socialist utopia, will we see the light? Or will we have to lose it all to realize that what we have now is true prosperity? Destroying the free market will undo what millions of people have died to achieve.
My generation is becoming the largest voting bloc in the country. We have an opportunity to continue to propel us forward with the gifts capitalism and democracy has given us. The other option is that we can fall into the trap of entitlement and relapse into restrictive socialist destitution. The choice doesn’t seem too hard, does it?

Thursday, April 11, 2019

My Thoughts on the Doolittle Raid

What brought this post about was the death of the final "Doolittle Raider" Colonel Cole joined the rest of his squadron.  it was a sad day for us as a Nation.  I had used the quote "Ordinary men stepped up and did Extraordinary things during Extraordinary times".  I had posted this following post on a friends Facebook post., but I decided to repost it here.  The Pics are compliments of "Sarge"

B25's strapped on deck, really good pic btw, and looks like there are a few SPD's mixed in with them.

FDR wanted a "Morale Raid" to show that the Americans can strike back against the Japanese Juggernaut. After the litany of bad news from the war in the Pacific, from Pearl Harbor, the Battle of the Java Sea, the loss of the Prince of Wales and Repulse, the surrender of Singapore. The fear that the American public of invasion was real. FDR had the American government intern all the people of Japanese ancestry. But in retrospect, it probably saved the lives of some of them because the fear was so real, reprisals were possible. The raid effect was all out of proportion to its actual damage caused. Yes a bomb did hit a Japanese light carrier the Ryuho, but if the ship was to be used in the battle of the coral sea I don't know. The effect on the Japanese psyche can't be measured. Until the attack in April of 1942, Japan has never been attacked by a foreign power, it totally rattled the Japanese and raised doubts about the direction of the war. It also greenlighted Admiral Yamamoto's plan to attack Midway and the Aleutians. The general staff comprised of both Army and Navy and they had to come to a consensus on the future prosecution of the war effort against the Americans. The General Staff had different priorities, the Navy viewed the Americans as the main threat, whereas the Japanese Army viewed the Russians as the main threat. The attack broke the deadlock on the General Staff and they gave Admiral Yamamoto approval for the Midway operation upon the completion of the Port Moresby operation which turned into the battle of the Coral Sea. Admiral Yamamoto continued with his "Operation MI" to catch the American carriers at sea and destroy them which would force the Americans to sue for peace leaving the Japanese with the land and resources that they captured. Then the "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity sphere" would have been a reality. Instead the Americans surprised the Japanese with better intelligence and luck, and defeated the Japanese with 4 first line carriers sunk along with the myth of Japanese invincibility. The Doolittle Raid set the pins in motion that eventually defeated the Japanese, but it took about 3.5 years to do it.

  From left: Lt. Henry Potter, navigator; Lt. Col. James Doolittle, pilot; Staff Sgt. Fred Braemer, bombardier; Lt. Richard Cole, co-pilot; and Staff Sgt. Paul Leonard, engineer/gunner.
That being said, what those men did can't be discounted. They volunteered for a mission with a high risk factor going up against a nation that has defeated us several times already and they were willing to fly a medium bomber off a pitching carrier in the Pacific ocean, bomb a nation at the height of their power and then go for landing in China after overflying the huge alerted Japanese army in China. It took huge brass ones to do what they did. They inspired us when we needed it most. It brought hope to a battered nation. We are lessened by their passing.

 Archived Movie released to American Theaters during WWII

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Drug use and the Troops in Vietnam

I asked my Dad about the article since he was an MP his first tour and "El CID" his second tour and he knows a lot about the subject.  I did ask him if "Hashish" was a problem in Vietnam and he stated, "No, that was a European Troop problem" and I recall my friends that were in the Army in the early 80's in Germany "Doing a bowl".  My Dad did tell me that the biggest source of "hashish" was through Amsterdam from Lebanon. Afganistan, and Turkey.  The color told where it came from 99% of the time, Black was Afgan or Turkey, Light brown  or reddish was Lebenon, the color came from how it was processed.   It also was brought through France and smuggled down on the Rhine and Mosel River boats.  I never saw a drug problem in my unit, partially because of what we were, drug use wasn't our thing. We got drug tested a lot because of our job. 

....Booze was different though.  We would buy a few racks of beer for the weekend.  The Germans thought we were heathens because we like the beer cold whereas the Germans would drink it warm.

The year that peace and love were being celebrated at the first Woodstock festival, 11,000 soldiers were killed in the Vietnam War.   And I still hate hippies.......

The widespread use of drugs by soldiers in the Vietnam War was a hotly debated subject at the time. Even today there are different opinions. Was the problem exaggerated for political reasons? Or was it denied and under-reported for the same reasons?
The two decades of the Vietnam War constituted a unique period in modern American history. Drugs were very much part of the counterculture; another part was the music of the time which included many anti-war protest songs.

In 1970, President Nixon was told by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs: “You don’t have a drug problem in Vietnam; you have a condition. Problems are things we can get right on and solve.”
There have been suggestions that not only was the use of both prescription and recreational drugs widespread but that this also played a significant role in the brutality that was witnessed against the people of Vietnam.

U.S. Marines with Company G, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, direct a concentration of fire at the enemy during Operation Allen Brook, 8 May 1968.

Since ancient times, drugs have been used by soldiers in battle. Sometimes these were taken to provide courage, increase endurance and stamina, or deal with fear and stress. The Vietnam War was no different in that respect.
However, what did make the Vietnam situation different was the scale and availability of drugs.

American infantrymen crowd into a mud-filled bomb crater and look up at tall jungle trees seeking out Viet Cong snipers firing at them during a battle in Phuoc Vinh, north-Northeast of Saigon in Vietnam’s War Zone D.

Although the Vietnam War lasted for 20 years from 1955 – 1975, things intensified towards the end of the 1960s. Spending on arms increased significantly as did the number of troops being deployed. At the same time, there was a general increase in the availability and use of recreational drugs in America.
Research on drug use among soldiers suggests that it was common across a wide variety of substances. It was reported that 51% of GIs had taken marijuana while 31% had tried psychedelic drugs such as LSD and 28% had used hard drugs including heroin and cocaine.

Bayer heroin bottle, originally containing 5 grams of Heroin substance. The label on the back references the 1924 US ban, and has a batch number stamp starting with 27, so it probably dates from the 1920’s.

To some extent, the use of recreational drugs by soldiers was overlooked; it was even tolerated, informally at least.

This seemed to be the case especially with the use of marijuana which could be acquired easily and cheaply from the local villagers. All soldiers needed were a few packets of American cigarettes which could be traded for a drug that would have cost them a considerable amount of money at home.
This laissez-faire attitude changed in 1968 when war reporter John Steinbeck IV (son of the well-known author) published an article describing the extent of the abuse of drugs among soldiers in Vietnam.

John Steinbeck at 19 (left) with father John (center) visiting President Lyndon B. Johnson in the Oval Office, May 16, 1966.
The nation was shocked by his claim that 75% of the forces serving in Vietnam were regularly under the influence. Although this figure has since been disputed with claims that it was grossly exaggerated, the report created public outrage at the time.
The response of the military was to attempt to crack down on the use of drugs, including marijuana. During the initial crackdown, many soldiers were arrested, and fields of cannabis plants were destroyed
But of course, as America should have learned from the prohibition era, banning something can simply drive it underground, or worse. In this case, many soldiers turned to heroin which was also widely available. Because it was odorless, it was that much harder to detect than marijuana.

Destroying enemy bunkers after assault on Hill 875, 2nd Bn., 173rd Abn. Bde., Vietnam, 1967.

As well as illicit recreational drugs, it is known that prescription drugs were also taken by soldiers in Vietnam in large quantities.
Prescribing levels among GIs in Vietnam were a major cause for concern with millions of tablets being prescribed to soldiers.
The most common prescriptions were for amphetamines which were helpful in dealing with fatigue and increasing endurance. Many GIs were also prescribed sedatives to help them deal with anxiety and stress caused by the situations they faced daily.
U.S. army troops taking a break while on patrol during the Vietnam War
The impact of these drugs is hard to access. War creates such extreme circumstances that it is common for soldiers to behave in ways that are completely out of character. Some of the atrocities of the Vietnam War such as the My Lai Massacre need an explanation, and historians have suggested that drugs played a significant role.
In his book Shooting Up: A Short History of Drugs and War, Lukasz Kamienski suggests that many of the atrocities carried out against the Vietnamese people were not due to hard drugs like cocaine and heroin but at least partly as a result of soldiers suffering from amphetamine withdrawal.

The backdrop to all this was America in the 1960s. It was a time of major social change where drugs were also playing an increasingly large part in the music scene. The music of the period was heavily influenced by events in Vietnam both directly and indirectly.
It is tragically ironic that in 1969, the year that peace and love were being celebrated at the first Woodstock festival, 11,000 soldiers were killed in the Vietnam War.
The music that was popular at the time, including protest songs, spoke to the soldiers just as much as it did to others of their generation, After all, many of those who fought were reluctant young conscripts who would rather have been at home, getting on with the business of living their lives.

A marine gets his wounds treated during operations in Huế City, in 1968
Not surprisingly, many of the most popular tracks of the era alluded directly or indirectly to Vietnam.
A classic of the time was Fortunate Son by Credence Clearwater Revival. The song was written in response to the marriage of Eisenhower’s grandson to Richard Nixon’s daughter.

The song contains references to the war and became a major anti-war anthem. More broadly, it addresses the inequalities of society that resulted in a majority of the working class and young black men being sent to fight in Vietnam.

A female demonstrator offers a flower to military police on guard at the Pentagon during an anti-Vietnam demonstration. Arlington, Virginia, USA
Other popular songs included Otis Redding’s Sitting on the Dock of the Bay. Perhaps its popularity rested on it offering at least a mental escape from the pressure and stress of the conditions of war.

The title of the 1965 hit by the Animals We Gotta Get out of this Place says it all and is enough to explain its popularity. As with other iconic songs of the era, it addresses universal hardships rather than the specifics of the situation of the soldiers in Vietnam.
Whatever the true impact of drugs, the history of the Vietnam War will always be bound up with both the music and drug culture which were very much part of the prevailing mood in America at that time.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Douglass DC-3 flew under both the Axis and Allies forces.

Lisunov Li-2 of Aeroflot at Monino near Moscow in 1994

1935 to 1945
The Douglas Air Company’s iconic DC-3 airliner and its military counterpart, the C-47 Skytrain (more famously known as ‘Dakotas’) were built in enormous numbers, with a combined total production of around 16,000 airframes.

The DC-3 entered service at the end of 1935 and the twin-engined metal-construction monoplane helped popularize and revolutionize passenger air travel, particularly in the US.
The plane was cheaper and could fly faster and further than its contemporary aircraft, while it also offered greater comfort and passenger capacity.
  • Nationality: USA
  • Speed: 230 mph
  • Range: 1,500 miles
  • Service Ceiling: 23,200 ft
  • Passengers: 32
Douglas DC-3A Landing at Oakland Airport in 1940.
L2D2 ‘Tabby
  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Speed: 220 mph
  • Range: 1,996 miles
  • Service Ceiling: 35,752 ft
  • Passengers: 21
The L2D2 ‘Tabby’ was the Japanese license-built version of the DC-3.
A captured Japanese Nakajima Type L2D2-3 “Tabby” at Clark Airfied, Luzon, the Philippines in May 1945.  Check out the Extra cockpit windows
Boeing 247D
  • Nationality: USA
  • Speed: 200 mph
  • Range: 745 miles
  • Service Ceiling: 25,400 ft
  • Passengers: 10
The Boeing 247D was the DC-3s direct competitor. The 247D failed to take full advantage of entering production slightly ahead of the DC-3 and only 75 were made.
Boeing 247D.

DH.86A Express
  • Nationality: British
  • Speed: 166 mph
  • Range: 760 miles
  • Service Ceiling: 17,400 ft
  • Passengers: 12
The de Havilland Express was beautiful and chic, but it had an abysmal safety record. Many of the 62 planes that were built crashed due to its poor design and stability issues.
Royal Air Force De Havilland Dh 86, 1939-1945.
Ju-52/3m 3ge  "Tante Anne"
  • Nationality: Germany
  • Speed: 155 mph
  • Range: 808 miles
  • Service Ceiling: 19,357 ft
  • Passengers: 17
The Junkers 52 was produced in large numbers, with nearly 5,000 built. The aircraft entered service from its first flight in 1930 and a very limited number remain in service today.

Ju-52 in Greece, 1943.
Savoia-Marchetti S.73
  • Nationality: Italy
  • Speed: 205 mph
  • Range: 994 miles
  • Service Ceiling: 24,274 ft
  • Passengers: 18
Only 55 S.73s were ever produced. Although a little underpowered, the aircraft proved to be extremely rugged and reliable.
Savoia Marchetti S.73.

It, therefore, made a lot of sense to build a militarized version of the DC-3, which had a large cargo door, reinforced floor, and an Astrodome in the cabin roof.
The C-47’s proved immensely popular and were used as cargo planes, troop carriers, as glider towing aircraft, among other roles.
It may be surprising, but the DC-3 was also built under license in the USSR (Lisunov Li-2) and the Imperial Japanese Empire (L2D2).
The Japanese acquired a production license in 1935 for the bargain price of $90,000, little more than the $80,000 cost of a single DC-3 at the time.
The Japanese wasted no time getting production started on their own version of the DC-3. The Nakajima Aircraft Company teamed up with Showa Aircraft Industry, an aircraft manufacturer established in 1937 to produce military planes.
Nakajima Aircraft Company had designed and constructed various types of military aircraft since the 1920’s for the Japanese Armed Forces. The company’s previous aircraft included reconnaissance planes, seaplanes, fighters, high-altitude interceptors, and naval torpedo bombers. Towards the end of the Second World War, the company designed a prototype jet aircraft (Kikka- Orange Blossom) and began mass production of a suicide plane (Tsurugi- Sabre), although it was never deployed.
Kikka “Orange Blossom.”

Furthermore, the Nakajima Aircraft Company’s 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine (SakaeProsperity) powered the legendary Mitsubishi A6M “Zero,” but it had little experience building passenger or cargo aircraft.
Meanwhile, Showa Aircraft Company had no previous aircraft production experience, but the company had money to invest. Showa subsequently set up a strategic partnership with Nakajima in 1938 after it purchased the production license and tooling to construct DC-3 passenger liners.
Nakajima and Showa set up aircraft production lines in 1939 and its version became known as L2D in Japanese service. The aircraft was later given the Allied code name ‘Tabby’.
Japanese Army transport plane Showa L2D.
The first aircraft were completed in 1940. Two planes were initially produced with the designation L2D1, built with American-sourced components and engines and differed little from the original DC-3.  
Production using locally made components and engines then began in earnest, to be designated L2D2. In all, Nakajima produced 71 L2D2 transport models through to 1942. Nakajima then left the project to concentrate on manufacturing combat aircraft such as the Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa fighter, code name ‘Oscar’.
A Japanese Nakajima Ki-43-II Hayabusa fighter.

The Showa Aircraft Company went on to make 415 L2D2s before the end of the war.
The vast majority of the aircraft were produced for military service, although a small number of commercial passenger planes versions were made. These were built for civil use by Imperial Japanese Airways, Japan’s national airline throughout the Second World War.
The military version of the L2D was similar to the US C-47 Skytrain, with its large cargo door and reinforced floor. A noticeable difference between them was the cockpit cabin which was extended and had three windows added either side so that all four crew members could sit together at the front.
Showa L2D in 1945 with Flying Tigers personnel.
A handful of the later production models carried three machine guns, with an A13 mm machine gun in a dorsal turret and two lighter 7.7 mm machine guns that could be fired out of fuselage hatches.
Nonetheless, it is unlikely this configuration was particularly effective since US B-17G bombers carried a total of 13 heavy machine guns to defend against enemy attacks.
Near the end of the war, about 20 L2Ds were built with non-critical parts constructed from wood instead of metal due material shortages.
There was even a plan to make a version (L2D5) that used wood wherever possible, but the war ended before completion of the project.

By the end of the war, nearly 500 L2Ds had been constructed, making them Japan’s most numerous military transporter and accounting for around 3% of all the DC-3 and its derivatives built.
No version of the L2D survives to today. Regarding its manufacturers, Nakajima underwent a number of changes and is now called the Subaru Corporation, a leading Asian car manufacturer. Meanwhile, after the war Showa diversified and established itself as an aircraft component manufacturer.
Of Japan’s Axis allies, neither Fascist Italy nor Nazi Germany produced DC-3s.
DC-3 cockpit. Photo: Intersofia CC BY-SA 2.5.

The Italians managed to acquire a single Belgian DC-3 in 1943 while fighting in Algeria, which was later handed over to the Germans.
In addition, Germany managed to gain several at the beginning of the war.
Germany captured four Czechoslovakian-owned DC-3s when it invaded, with the aircraft handed over to Lufthansa in 1939 for use on commercial routes.

A further five DC-3s entered German hands after the Dutch surrendered in 1940. One of these was rumored to have been used for covert operations by III./KG 200, the German Special Operations Squadron.
Several hundred of the American version remain flying today, a true testimony to the quality and durability of the design