Remember Harold Martin?

Last Friday, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Republican members of Congress advising that the case against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had been reopened because information had been found in “an unrelated case” that might pertain to the case. Now, this is earthshaking news that veteran reporter and Clinton biographer Carl Bernstein says can only be due to blockbuster information. (Bernstein has also said there’s “no way” it can be bigger than Watergate but then he has no knowledge of the information and doesn’t know what it contains.) Naturally, the Clinton campaign and Clinton are screaming foul and demanding “answers” even though the answer has been given – that Hillary Clinton is under criminal investigation. The New York Times came out and claimed that the information was found on a computer jointly used by former Congressman Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin, the Indian Muslim and former White House intern Clinton took under her wing back when her husband was doing the same thing with Monica Lewinsky. The Times and other news outlets, including FOX news have “confirmed” this information through “unidentified sources in the FBI”. While it is possible that the unrelated case is the Weiner case – he is being investigated for sending inappropriate texts to an underage female – there is another, more likely source.

On August 29, a National Security contractor named Harold Martin was arrested for possessing classified information. Martin, a US Navy veteran, possessed highly classified information dating back for two decades. Now, let’s think about the National Security Agency and what it does. Dating back to 1917, the NSA was chartered in its current form in 1952 by President Harry Truman. The documentation chartering the agency was (and still is) classified and the organization’s very existence was kept secret The NSA – often referred to as “No Such Agency” depends heavily on signals intelligence services in each of the military services. Until 1979, the Air Force, of which I was a part from 1963-1975, had the Air Force Security Service. The Army and Navy each had their own signals intelligence services/commands. The role of the AFSS was interception of foreign communications, particularly radio communications, using sophisticated listening equipment at remote sites around the world and onboard modified transport airplanes and bombers – the C-47, C-54, C-130 and C-135 and B-17 and B-29. Highly intelligent young airmen were selected to train as “Crypto” technicians through a battery of tests administered during basic training. (I was tested because I had taken Spanish in high school.) Those who were selected to train as linguists were placed in special programs that included two years at selected universities. Linguists and technicians were cleared at a level even higher than Top Secret, it was commonly referred to as a “Crypto” clearance but no one who didn’t have one really knew what it was called. I once met a young cook at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina who had cross-trained into the aircraft loadmaster field from crypto. Although he had a high security clearance, his job change required a new background check. He had recently been married and the background check revealed that his new wife had family connections in a communist country. He lost his clearance and was sent to the chow hall as a cook!

There is another side to the signals intelligence mission that is not generally known. It was whispered about within the military. It is the mission of protecting US secrets by monitoring communications of American officials and military personnel. The first time I ever heard it referred to officially was when I went on temporary duty to Kadena AB, Okinawa (I later went PCS to Naha, an airbase some 12 miles away.) We were told during our orientation that all telephone lines were monitored and we should be very careful about what we said on the telephone. The admonition was repeated when I reported for my permanent assignment at Naha several months later. There were signs on the wall by telephones reminding that calls were monitored. Several years after I left the military, I worked with an Army veteran who had served in the Army’s counterpart to the AFSS. He told me that his job was monitoring telephone lines, and how that he and his buddy had once monitored conversations between a high-ranking general and his mistress. I was reminded again of how the NSA and it’s military agencies monitor communications when my son entered his plebe year at the US Naval Academy. Shortly after he got there, he told me to be very careful what I said in Emails because their Emails were monitored.

Now, NSA monitoring of communications is conducted not only of military personnel, but also of Federal officials, including Congressmen, Senators and members of the Executive Branch with access to classified information. There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton’s communications were monitored throughout her term as Secretary of State and probably while she was a US Senator since she was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and would have had access to classified information. Her communications may have also been monitored – and probably were – while she was Bill Clinton’s First Lady. It is highly likely, no, it is CERTAIN that Harold Martin’s trove includes Emails from and to Hillary Clinton.

Now, the question arises -if Hillary was discussing classified information on unofficial channels while she was SOS, why wasn’t she prosecuted? The answer is simple – while military personnel are subject to prosecution under the UCMJ, members of the Executive Branch are prosecuted in the Federal courts and any prosecution would have had to be initiated by the DOJ, which, like the SOS, is headed by a presidential appointee. Any information would have been “kept secret,” or covered up at the highest level.

What we’re seeing now is a struggle at the highest level, a struggle between Congress and the Executive Branch. We’ll see what happens.

Polls and Drugs

Let me start this out by saying that I have already voted, I voted this afternoon at my local library, the polling place for my precinct. There was a line but it wasn’t terribly long. When I went there first, the line was fairly long and made up primarily of blacks, Hispanics and Middle Eastern/Indians. I didn’t have my cane and knew I’d have a hard time standing in that line without it so I went home then went back after lunch. There was a line but it was far shorter than the one this morning and the demographics had become more white. I stood in line for about 15-20 minutes then went to the machine and cast my ballot. It didn’t take long – all I had to do was check Republican then go through the pages and hit “cast ballot.”

As I write this, the Evening News is on our local CBS station. Scott Pelley was talking about how far behind Trump is, and maintaining a straight face even though he knows he’s lying. Let me tell you something about polls. First, there are polls and then there are polls. Some that pass as polls are actually “surveys” with no controls. Some are by telephone, the traditional method of polling, some are online and some are a combination. Some are one-time polls and some are Daily Tracking Polls, which are actually more accurate. And it’s the Daily Tracking Polls that are showing that Trump is actually ahead of Clinton in some instances and tied in others. One poll, the Dornsife poll conducted by the University of Southern California, showed Clinton with a slight lead this morning after several weeks with Trump ahead. The TIPP poll, which is considered the most accurate poll of all, shows Trump 2 points ahead as does the Rasmussen poll. All three polls are Daily Tracking Polls. Donald Trump is saying he doesn’t believe “the polls” and he has good reason to do so because the polls showing Hillary Clinton with big leads are lies.

How are polls manipulated? It’s actually very simple. Most polls are taken by companies either contracted by or favoring Democrats and they are looking for results favoring their candidate. Those favoring Clinton include all three of the broadcast TV networks and CNN along with the New York Times, Washington Post and numerous other newspapers who have all endorsed Clinton and are pulling out the stops to get her elected. (FOX may be favoring her as well.) Their pollsters bias the polls by concentrating on urban telephone exchanges where they know they will get more Democrats and more people to answer their phones. There was a time when everybody answered their phones but that day is long gone, thanks to Caller ID. Those who are most likely to answer are those in the demographics favoring Clinton, named those in lower income groups. This not only allows more respondents from the main demographic favoring Clinton, it also means more Democrats, which leads to what is known as “over sampling.” Pollsters stack the respondents they report with Democrats at a proportion far higher than their actual numbers in the national population. This causes polls to be biased toward Democrats and leads to results showing Clinton several points ahead of Trump while unbiased polling shows a dead heat or even Trump leading.

Now, let’s talk about drugs, drugs and the Clintons. Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas in 1979-81 then again in 1983-1992. During the Clinton administration, a notorious drug runner conducted one of the largest drug-running operations in history from the airport at the Ouachita Mountain town of Mena, Arkansas. Barry Seal’s operation brought billions of dollars worth of drugs into Arkansas yet he was never prosecuted for his Mena activities. (He was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and became a government witness. I am not certain if I ever met Barry Seal or not, but we are “connected.” I worked as a flight instructor and charter pilot for a fixed-base operation in Little Rock and met a lot of people who came in to see my boss and at airports around the state. However, I never made a trip to Mena during that time. In fact, it wasn’t until I came to Houston that I went in there with my friend John Danek to take our airplane for paint and interior. By that time, Barry Seal was long since dead but people were still talking about him. Even then, I didn’t know about our connection and it wasn’t until  a few years later when I was living in Findlay, Ohio and happened to buy a book about the Clinton’s activities in Arkansas that I realized how closely connected we were.

While I was still working in Kentucky, I happened to run into a fellow pilot I had formerly worked with at Union City in the pilot’s lounge at Owensboro. By that time, our former employer had shut down and we talked about what had happened. Larry told me that one of our airplanes had been bought by “that drug dealer in Arkansas.” At the time, I didn’t know which drug dealer he was talking about and I’m not sure I remembered the conversation until I read the book. I’m not sure which book it was because I sent it to my daughter but I think it was this one. I was shocked when I read that one of Seal’s airplanes was a Piper Navajo with the N-number either 7509L or 7248L. I’m not sure which it was but those numbers were two airplanes I flew out of Union City. They had both modified with what was called the Nayak Conversion with the addition of fuel tanks in the engine nacelles that hadn’t been installed at the Piper factory. The additional fuel gave the airplanes vastly increased range, enough to fly to and from Central America from Mena.

Now, what does all of this have to do with the Clintons? As I mentioned above, Seal’s Mena operation was in operation during Clinton’s term as governor of the state. Incidentally, Mena is just north of where Clinton was born in Hope and 65 miles west of his boyhood home in Hot Springs, a town well-known for its connections to organized crime. Coincidentally, or perhaps not coincidentally, when Seal was busted, the lawyer he hired was Richard Ben-Vineste, a high-placed attorney and friend of the Clintons who had worked with Hillary on the Watergate investigation and who – WAS BILL CLINTON’S PERSONAL ATTORNEY! Now, is it mere coincidence that Seal was represented by him?

 

 

Puritanical Hypocrisy

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything on my blog, for a number of reasons. For one, I finished writing and published a novel, have been working on another, have read a few books, including the late Jim McDougal’s ARKANSAS MISCHIEF and started a memoir by a fellow loadmaster. Today I thought I’d take a short break and post some of my thoughts on the election, in which I will be voting tomorrow – for Donald Trump. Tomorrow is the first day of early voting here in Texas and I intend to take full advantage of it.

If there’s one thing that this election has made clear, it’s that there is a large wave of Puritan hypocrisy in this country, as the NBC audio tape have made clear. I’m not sure if people are so upset because Trump used the words “fuck” and “pussy” or because he told Billy Bush that he had once made a pass at Nancy O’Donnell, Bush’s coworker at Access Hollywood. Was it that he said “I tried to fuck her” instead of “I tried to get her in bed” or “I made a pass at her.” Then the media got all upset because he said that women throw themselves as “stars” – Trump was a TV star – and that he said “grab them by the pussy.” Of course, the media reported that Trump was talking about assaulting women when what he actually said was in reference to women who threw themselves at “stars”.

Now, the so-called “F-word,” fuck, is just that, a word, a word that goes back until at least the thirteenth century. That it’s in reference to sexual intercourse is obvious. It’s only a “dirty” word to people who (claim) don’t want to talk openly about sex, even though in today’s society it’s used in general conversation, particularly by so-called “millennials.” Broadcast TV shies away from it but the same can’t be said for cable, and particularly for Hollywood. That Trump used it should be no surprise – by the way, Hillary Clinton uses it too. The late General George Patton was famous for it. I first heard – or saw – the word over 60 years ago when someone wrote it on an outside wall at Lavinia Schoohere I was in fourth grade. I had never seen or heard it before and asked my buddies what it meant and they all burst out laughing. I hardly ever heard it growing up in rural West Tennessee but when I went in the military, it seemed to be every third word used in the conversations of men from Chicago and the Northeast.

Today’s Puritanism is not religious, but rather political, and it’s widespread in the media and among political pundits. Just as the English Puritans imposed certain conditions on their fellow adherents, today’s pundits impose strict conditions on, well, on just about everyone! It’s hypocritical (just as Puritanism was) because those who condemn others are guilty of the very same practices. They cluck-cluck when some woman “comes forward” (no doubt after having been paid) to claim that Trump kissed her without permission. Never mind that kissing on the lips is common among New Yorkers and in Hollywood. What is most hypocritical is that Democrats who accuse Trump of being a monster ignore the far more contemptuous conduct of presidents, particularly Bill Clinton, who was impeached for lying about his relationship with a young White House intern, Lyndon Johnson, who brought a famous hooker to the White House, and John Kennedy whose flagrant sexual activities were well known but ignored by the media. Kennedy seduced and deflowered a 19-year old intern (who was enrolled in a well-known Christian university) then ordered her to give his special assistant a blow job! Yet the media and Democrats have gone ballistic over an 11-year old tape in which Trump relates how a woman turned him down!

 

 

Why I Distrust the Clintons

I could make this very simple – BECAUSE THEY’RE LIARS! However, although that’s the intent of this post, I want to go into some detail.

Over the past few months, I’ve read three books about the Clintons. The first, David Schippers’ SELLOUT, The Inside Story of the Clinton Impeachment, was originally published right after Clinton’s impeachment. Schippers was the lead prosecutor in the impeachment investigation. The second book is former Secret Service Uniformed Division officer Gary J. Byrne’s CRISIS OF CHARACTER. Last night I finished Bill Clinton’s high school friend and later paramour Dolly Kyle’s book HILLARY, the Other Woman and I have Peter Schweizer’s CLINTON CASH beside my chair to read next. All of these books contain information revealing how both of the Clintons have consistently lied during their political career. That Bill Clinton is a liar is well illustrated by his having been impeached by the US House of Representatives for perjury (lying to a grand jury) along with other issues. That the Clintons are liars is well documented.

Gary Byrne was one of the Secret Service officer’s called to testify to the grand jury and after the Supreme Court ruled that there was no legal basis to prevent a government official from testifying and revealing “privileged information.” His main revelation is that Bill Clinton was alone in the Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky, a young White House intern, on several occasions and that it was common knowledge in the West Wing that he was sexually involved with her, and allegedly with the late Eleanor Mondale as well. He was also involved with an unnamed White House receptionist. Bryne reveals how that a Navy steward assigned to the Oval Office came to him with (expensive) towels containing not only semen, but lipstick (that Byrne believed was not Lewinsky’s, but the lipstick worn by the receptionist). The Filipino steward was afraid to send the towels to the laundry so Byrne smuggled them out of the White House and disposed of them.

When it comes Hillary and her lies and corruption, it is Dolly Kyle’s book that is most revealing. Ms. Kyle, whose last name is Browning, met Bill Clinton on a Hot Springs golf course when she was 11 and he was almost 13. Although Clinton was two years older, they ended up in high school together because Dolly skipped two grades and graduated at age 16. Although they didn’t have sex while they were in high school, Dolly and “Billy,” as she an others around Hot Springs knew him, often got together to talk. Dolly reveals that Billy was not raised in Hope, but that although he was born there, his mother moved to Hot Springs and left him with her parents until he was 5, at which time she got him – over her mother’s protest – and took him to Hot Springs, where Billy lived until he left for college in 1964. Dolly points out that Billy’s claim in the movie The Man From Hope that his grandfather protested the closing of the Little Rock High School in 1958 is false because he passed away a year before the school integration took place.

Dolly reveals that Billy Clinton was basically a coward, and it was his cowardice that led him to protest the Vietnam War and evade the draft. (Contrary to assertions, Donald Trump never evaded the draft – he had the standard student deferments while in college then was classified 1Y because of medical defects found in his draft physical. When the draft lottery was initiated, Trump drew a high number.) Even worse are the many allegations of sexual assault and even rape, including a young English woman named Eileen Wellstone who met Clinton at a bar near Oxford University where he was a student and was raped by him. Clinton says the sex was consensual. Dolly was writing back and forth with him while they were in college but she wasn’t aware of his sexual escapades. Dolly got pregnant while in college and was married at 18. She had three children before the marriage ended in divorce in 1974 when Dolly was 25. By this time, Bill Clinton had graduated from Yale Law School and moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas and was teaching at the University of Arkansas.

Kyle and Clinton corresponded with each other throughout his college years and would see him when he was in Little Rock, where she was living. He told her that he’d moved in with a female student named Hillary Rodham but indicated it was for purely financial reasons – he was at Yale on scholarship and had little money but Rodham’s father was paying for her education, including her residence. Billy told Dolly after he moved in with Hillary that he “thought his sex life was over but at least he had a roof over his head.” Dolly doesn’t say when her relationship with Clinton became sexual but she was definitely seeing him within a month after her divorce (and possibly before. Dolly says that she was raped at 16 and afterwards became rather loose.) She saw Clinton in February 1974 at a fundraiser in Little Rock – Clinton was running for Congress – and spent time with him in a hotel room. Later that year, Bill got a job for Hillary at the University of Arkansas and brought her over from Washington, where she had lost her job with the Watergate Commission. She had failed the bar and had no job prospects. They moved in together in a small house in Fayetteville. They lived together for over a year and were finally married by a justice of the peace in their house in October 1975. Clinton was elected as the Arkansas attorney general in 1976 – he had no opposition.

Clinton is known to have been sexually involved with several other women during his time at U of A, including Dolly Kyle, who dated him until she met someone and was married, then moved back to Texas to attend the Southern Methodist law school. At least one of his conquests was one of his students. He claims they were consensual but there’s reason to believe the women were pressured when they were named as witnesses in the Paula Corbin Jones case. Schippers learned that Clinton’s lawyers pressured witnesses to lie in their dispositions or sign documents calling for their subpoenas to be “quashed.” It was those actions that led to the witness tampering charges against Clinton.

Hillary Clinton, who often referred to the presidency as “we”, was heavily involved in the attempts to cover up Bill’s indiscretions. Dolly Kyle says that when the Gennifer Flowers story broke, Hillary came up with a plan to have her appear on 60 Minutes with them. She would acknowledge that she had been Bill’s girlfriend and lover in an attempt to turn the attention to her and away from Flowers. The Clintons had already gone after Kyle over a novel she was writing. Although Bill knew about the novel – and encouraged it – he (or Hillary) realized that it could be damaging to his political hopes. Kyle’s own brother and sister advised her that if she continued with the novel and didn’t deny her relationship with Clinton to reporters that “we” (meaning the Clinton campaign in which they were both involved) “will destroy you.” Hillary attacked all of the women who accused her husband of sexual assault, and made salacious charges against Monica Lewinsky once news of her affair with the president became public knowledge.

Kyle doesn’t state but insinuates that Hillary is either a lesbian or bisexual. Bill Clinton once told her that having a baby would help project the image that “we’re a normal married couple. We need to do something serious to take attention off The Warden’s (Clinton referred to Hillary as “The Warden) lifestyle. There is a curious irony in the Clinton’s story. Hillary’s well-known assistant, Huma Abedin, was a White House intern at the same time as Monica Lewinsky. They have been together ever since.

The Clintons are also blatant racists, even though Bill was once called “the first black president” and Hillary claims to be all about equality. While Bill was governor of Arkansas, he promoted policies that were overtly racial. He referred to blacks as “G-damned niggers”, sometimes by name and sometimes as a group. Hillary shows evidence of distaste for blacks. They are hypocrites.

That both of the Clintons are serial liars are well established, Bill by his impeachment by the US House for perjury and Hillary by her many statements – such as landing in Bosnia under sniper fire – that have been disproved by photographs and film. There is nothing honest about them.

 

 

 

What the Heck?

I had no intentions of watching last night’s debate. If heaven opened up and announced that God has his hand on Hillary Clinton, I’d know it was one of Satan’s many deceptions. She’s NEVER going to get my vote no matter what. However, after we discovered that the damned debate was on every channel, my wife suggested we give it a few minutes. So we watched, and there were so many things that Clinton said that made me say or think “what the heck?” (That’s not really what I said but I want to keep this PG at least.)

Hillary claims that her “economic plan” will create millions of jobs but she has yet to explain how she plans to pay for it. She says “the wealthy will pay their fare share”, whatever that means since the hated 1% currently pay almost 40% of all Federal taxes paid. In fact, the top 25% of Americans pay 86% of all taxes and the bottom 50% pay less than  3%. Hillary’s plan is the same as the one Barack Obama pushed in 2008, a plan dependent on Federal spending of funds the government doesn’t have. One part of her plan is free college tuition – where’s she planning to get the money? Most of Hillary’s money has been given to her, leading her to evidently believe money grows on trees. As Trump pointed out, the nation is already currently $20 trillion in debt. Hillary is planning to spend money she doesn’t have. Not only that, if she is elected, she’s going to be dealing with a House dominated by Republicans and possibly a Republican Senate as well. She must think she’ll be able to obtain the funding from her fairy godmother. She said that helping people get college degrees would boost the economy, but a major problem today is that are already too many people with college degrees and not enough jobs to accommodate them. Consequently, many college graduates with worthless degrees are waiting tables and tending bar while there’s a shortage of skilled laborers. There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians in modern America.

Hillary loves to jab at the wealthy and talk about “income equality,” whatever that is. Since she has never created a job in her life, she doesn’t know that every job in the United States is somehow dependent on the wealthy. The “wealthy” in Clinton’s mind are those who own the corporations that create the high-paying jobs that fund the nation. It is the taxes paid by the wealthy, their employees, those who contract with them, those who sell their products to corporations and those who sell products produced by them that funds the country – taxes paid by government employees and contractors are not increasing the Federal tax pool, they’re merely putting a portion of their income from it back into the pool from whence it came. Hillary’s plan seems to be to create her own distribution of wealth plan to take MORE money from those at the top of the money heap to put in the pool to fund her programs. She refers to Trump’s plan as Trump Down economics but hers is actually Take From the Rich And Give it to Government to Distribute economics. Yes, her plan has been lauded – by fellow Democrats and Hillary supporters such as Paul Krugman, some of whom are stated socialists. Clinton seems not to know how wealth is distributed – it can only be distributed from the top down. Any other attempted means will result in failure and ultimate economic collapse. She and her fellows criticize the theory of “trickle—down economics” but that is exactly how economics works – those who have employ and buy and their money trickles down and fills the pool.

“Income inequality” has been a buzzword for the Democratic Party in recent years. Party wonks whose income is hardly unequal rant about how women make less per dollar than men, without recognizing that men and women don’t perform the same jobs. I worked for two major corporations and know that there are many different jobs in a company and that the pay is not the same for all of them, not to mention that pay is based on seniority and performance. A female accountant in an accounting department is not going to be paid the same as a male engineer in charge of a pipeline project. She’s not going to be paid the same as her female supervisor. Secretaries aren’t paid the same as those to whom they are assigned. Yet Democrats are convincing people that everyone should be paid the same, regardless of the various factors used to determine pay scales.  It appears that this is a belief of many Americans who don’t realize that this is a major precept used by Marxists in order to garner power.

Hillary also shocked me when she said how she would “defeat ISIS.” (Never mind that she had a lot to do with the rise of ISIS in the first place and there is evidence she was behind their arming.)[1] There’s no doubt that the debate was watched with interest by Islamic terrorists. Clinton clearly telegraphed her plans so they now know what to inspect if she become commander in chief of the military. She also telegraphed her plans to “provide security” against domestic attacks. She stated she would “increase intelligence”, which is a euphemism for domestic spying, which the NSA already does. Speaking of the NSA, there was discussion of hacking of American Email servers by foreign governments. Now, Clinton knows full well that the NSA, the National Security Agency, is charged with both monitoring communication of foreign governments and detecting revelation of classified information by US military and government officials – which is why Hillary sought a means of communicating outside of official government military channels, which she knows are monitored.  Hillary not only revealed classified information in her Emails, she revealed information that should be classified last night. She knows American hackers work overtime hacking foreign government and foreign business servers. That’s what the NSA does.

Hillary is a slick one all right. She knows how to throw out “policy” for the media to lap up like dogs and after three decades in the public eye, she knows how to give the appearance that she’s an expert in things she really isn’t. She knows that her base is made up of those who feel left out and think everything should be handed to them. She’s a deceiver, and if she is elected, the American people are going to suffer for a long, long time. What the heck?

[1] The United States maintains forces that are basically gunrunners for the CIA. They operate clandestinely, either with aircraft and ships provided by the military or with civilian contractors. Their operations are highly classified, not so much to keep the enemy from finding out but rather to provide “plausible deniability” and conceal them fro the American public.

 

The Real Meaning of Words

This past Friday night, Hillary Clinton branded essentially some 20-30% of Americans as being inside “a basket of deplorables.” She went on to define us with a litany of brands of her own making. What she failed to realize – or maybe she did – was that by making that comment, she identified herself as a bigot in the truest sense of the word for bigotry is defined as “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.” The words she uttered that night in a New York restaurant where she had gathered for a fund raiser with a collection of top 1% left-wingers including Barbara Streisand branded Hillary Clinton as a bigot.

Clinton and other elitists tend to use words for their own purposes, without considering their real definition. This not surprising since the news media is notorious for using words in print and broadcast whose true meanings are far from the meaning they imply to it. A classic example is the use of the word Tarmac for what is actually a concrete parking ramp at an airport. Those who use it are ignorant of the true meaning of the word, which is actually a brand name for a method of paving roads using a mixture of tar and macadam, and there’s not an airport parking ramp in the world made of it. This is but one example. There are many words commonly used to mean something entirely different from their actual meaning. This is particularly true of words ending with the suffixes “ism,” and “ist.” Other suffixes that may be used contrarily are “ology” and “phobe or phobia.”

The most commonly misused terms are “racist” and “racism.” Before we look at their meanings, lets first consider the word “race.” Race is a Scottish word that literally means “to run.” Sometime around the 16th century the word was corrupted into a new meaning to define a particular group of people of common descent (it  was evidently used because of common characteristics “running” through descendants of a particular pair of ancestors.) It was later applied to groups of people of common appearance. By the mid-1700s, naturalists had adopted a concept of five distinct races – Caucasian, Mongoloid, Malaysian, Negroid and American, with the latter race being the native peoples of the Americas. Such people are now referred to as Amerindian. These five groups were identified as sub-species of the human race. Each group was identified based on particular characteristic – skin color, hair texture, shape of the skull and shape of the eyes.

Now, let’s look at the meanings of suffixes. “Ism” means a practice or belief, as in baptism, Methodism, communism, progressivism, conservatism, etc. In each case, the word means a practice, as in baptism, or a belief in the case of each of the other words. The suffix “ist” means one who practices a belief, philosophy or discipline, as in communist, Baptist, Methodist, geologist, scientist, etc. and etc. In short, words with suffixes have specific meanings. Unfortunately, in recent years, the meanings of many words have been twisted to something entirely different from their actual meaning. Racism and racist are undoubtedly the two words misused the most often. Simply, racism is a belief based on race and a racist is one whose beliefs are based on race.

In the 1930s, some people started referring to the policies of Adolph Hitler’s NAZIs regarding certain peoples, specifically Jews and Eastern Europeans as “racist.” The term was actually misapplied because Jews and Eastern Europeans are not really separate races, but are actually  branches within the Caucasian race. Hitler believed the Germanic peoples are a “master race” and other peoples are inferior. For some reason, even though he was a Jew himself, he held Jews in especially low regard and is believed to have wanted to exterminate them. However, Germanic tribe are just one of a number of tribes of Europe, all of which are actually Caucasian. The word was also misapplied because the true meaning of the word “racist” is one who studies races and holds to beliefs pertaining to race. Journalists mistakenly began referring to NAZI policies as “racism” although they were actually tribalism. They naturally began referring to white Americans, particularly in the South, as “racist” because of their perceived treatment of negroes and Amerindians. In fact, the word was misused because a racist is actually someone who adheres to racism, a belief based on race. Although there were some policies in the United States that were definitely based on race, they were not “racist” or “racism” in the true sense of the words.

There are, however, groups in the United States whose core believes are based on race and who can truthfully be labeled as racists. The best known group is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, an organization formed in 1909 and which was and still is based solely on race. Other groups in America of consequence based solely on race are the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Nation of Islam and the recently established BlackLivesMatter movement. Even the much hated Ku Klux Klan is not a racist organization in the sense that it is based solely on race.  Although some of its policies are based on race, the organization has other goals that are applicable to all Americans.

An organization similar to the NAACP that cannot be termed racial is the B’ nai B’ rith, a Jewish organization founded in 1843 to promote the Jewish people and the state of Israel (which didn’t exist when the organization was founded.) Instead of racial, the organization is actually religious since Judaism is based on religion as well as origin. However, Jews are actually Semites, a subspecies of the Caucasian race that also includes Arabs and was originally based on language. Basically, Semites are descendants of Abraham, Jews from his wife Sarah and Arabs from Sarah’s handmaid, Hagar. Another group that is commonly mistakenly referred to as being a race are Hispanics or Latinos, which are actually a different group. Hispanics are actually people who speak either Portuguese or Spanish. True Hispanics are white Europeans from the region the Romans called Hispania, specifically, the Iberian Peninsula. Latino is a recent term used by people from what they call “Latin” America, meaning the American countries colonized by Spain where Spanish is the predominant language. Latinos can be either Caucasian, Amerindian or mestizo, a term used for those of mixed Spanish and Indian ancestory. Some may be negroes. “Mexican” is also often mistakenly referred to as a race but it is actually a nationality.

After being applied to NAZI policies in the 1930s, “racism” and “racist” began to be applied to Americans who don’t accept politically progressive ideas pertaining to race in the United States. The progressive position – and that of true racist organizations such as the NAACP, SCLC and Black Lives Matter – is that members of the negro race deserve special treatment because negroes were brought to the United States as slaves and kept in slavery until slavery ended after the Civil War. In fact, slaves weren’t brought to the United States originally because it didn’t exist, and they weren’t brought to the British colonies – they were brought to the Caribbean, Central and South America by the Spaniards and Portuguese to work as laborers in sugar cane fields. Slavery was already prevalent in the Spanish colonies more than a century before the first African indentured servants were brought to the Jamestown Colony in Virginia by a Dutch ship in 1619. Because they had been baptized as Christians by the Spanish who purchased them in Africa, they were treated as indentured servants and set free after a specified period of time. There were free blacks in Virginia for several years prior to the sentencing of John Punch, an African indentured servant who ran away instead of working out his indenture, to slavery. There is some question as to whether Punch was actually the first slave. Another man named John Casor was indentured to an African named Anthony Johnson who had been indentured, then became a planter after his period of indenture was satisfied. Casor claimed he was indentured and due to be released but Johnson claimed Casor was his “slave for life” and a Virginia court agreed. Regardless, blacks owned other blacks in what became the United States almost from its inception until slavery was abolished by the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment.

“Racist” and “racism” have become pejorative words primarily since the adoption of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the resulting special treatment given to blacks. Many whites, with good reason, are resentful that blacks – and, now, other groups – receive special treatment in areas such as college admissions and hiring simply because of their race. Other words that have achieved the same status are “homophobe,” which is applied to those who have reservations about homosexuality due to Biblical pronouncements, and “misogyny,” a word that actually means hatred of women as a sex but which is used pejoratively as a label for those who don’t accept the precepts of feminism (another “ism” word that is a belief). It’s also applied to men who express disdain for a particular woman. A recent word thrown out by progressives is “Islamophobe,”  which is applied to those who have reservations about the immigration of Muslims to the United States. Those who used such words use them as expressions of disdain for those who don’t accept their own views regarding these particular issues. In short, they are used by bigots. (Bigot and bigotry are also misapplied – they are now used as synonyms for the modern use of racist and racism.) The irony is that with most of the pejorative words, those who use them are actually themselves guilty of bigotry. They are deplorable.

 

 

 

The Military, Heroism and “Gold Star Families”

 

DFC                                    AirMedal

The current flap over Pakistani immigrant Khizr Khan’s appearance at the Democratic convention prompted me to write about something that’s been bugging me for a long time. There seems to be a belief that anyone who serves in the military is a hero, particularly those who’ve died, and some seem to think that family members of military members and of those who died while in military service are somehow deserving, although deserving of what I’m not sure.

In the summer of 1963 my dad signed a document granting permission for me to enlist in the United States Air Force. He – or my mother – had to sign it because my birthday is late in the year and I was still seventeen when I graduated from high school a few weeks before. Air Force regulations required that although seventeen-year olds could enlist, they had to have parental permission. My dad had been in the Army Air Corps during World War II – his brother had also and had remained in service for twenty years – and he had mixed emotions about my plans to join the Air Force. He would have preferred that I stay home and farm, or perhaps go to college. I had been accepted at several colleges but didn’t know where the money was going to come from. I would also be subject to the draft once I turned eighteen and as a single teenager, would have been prime meat. So, daddy signed. (I heard later that my maternal grandmother accused him of “signing Sam’s life away.” No one ever told me until after she was dead.) A few months later I turned 18 but by that time I was already in the Air Force and in the final weeks of training to become a jet aircraft mechanic.

When my dad signed the papers for me to join the Air Force, the United States was not at war, at least not officially. Yes, we had military personnel in some Asian country called Vietnam few Americans were even aware of it. I wasn’t expecting to go to war myself and certainly wasn’t expecting to see combat, although I wouldn’t have minded. As it turned out, I spent 12 years in the Air Force with a good chunk of it in Vietnam where I saw war up close and personal. However, it was MY service and my family didn’t have a damn thing to do with it. I collected quite a few medals and decorations during those 12 years but just because I’m a decorated combat veteran doesn’t make me a hero. Had I died, it would have been my death, not theirs, and while they would have grieved over me, they were deserving of a no particular status other than that of a family that had lost a son. It wouldn’t have mattered if I’d died wrapping my car around a tree, I’d have been dead just the same as if I’d been shot down on a mission over North Vietnam. Maybe my mother would have joined Gold Star Mothers but somehow I doubt it since she never joined the DAR even though she had ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. No member of my family has ever joined the DAR, the DOC, SAR or SOC. I’m a member of three veterans organizations, one which I had a role in founding, another I was coerced into joining and the DAV, which I joined because I’m a disabled veteran and I thought they’d be of help dealing with the VA (I was wrong, they’re not.)

In recent years – mainly since Reagan – an idea has developed that anyone who’s ever served in the military is some kind of hero. People like to greet veterans with “thank your for your service” or, if a veteran “welcome home.” Now, I don’t care for such bullshit. I do sometimes wear caps, one that says “C-130 Hercules Vietnam” and one with an emblem of the Distinguished Flying Cross on it but I don’t wear them to get recognition. I only wear them in hopes of attracting the attention of a fellow C-130 veteran so I can tell them about the organization I helped found. I don’t want anyone to thank me for my service because I didn’t do it for them and I don’t need to be welcomed home. I don’t want anyone to think me a hero because I’m not, even if I did fly some 1,500 combat sorties. My dad flew 30 missions over Germany and Occupied Europe during World War II and he didn’t think of himself as any kind of hero. He put his DFC and Air Medal lapel pins in the lapel of his suit but he hardly ever wore a suit. The fact is that just being in the military -and even being in combat – doesn’t make a person a hero, not even if they die while in service. To be a hero, a person has to do something heroic.

The modern perception of military service seems to be shaped largely on the service of the men who served during the period from World War II to Vietnam when military service was to a large extent compulsory, as it was in World War I and the Civil War. Young men were forced to serve in the military against their will, and their service was seen as sacrificial, particularly by politicians eager to get their vote after they returned to civilian life. But military service hasn’t been compulsory in the United States since early 1973 when the Department of Defense announced that there was no longer a need to draft men for military service. (The end of the draft came as the United States withdrew the last military personnel from South Vietnam.) Since that time, all men and women who have served or are serving in the military are there of their own free will. They are making no sacrifice as their fathers and grandfathers did who were drafted into interrupting their lives for a period of military service. They are compensated with a pay check, a pay check that is substantial for men and women in the modern military and often in excess of what they would likely be making in civilian life. This is true even of the lowest ranking enlisted men and women. Those who elect to stay in the military for a 20-year career draw 50% of their base pay; those who stay longer draw a higher percentage all the way up to 75%, which can amount to a considerable sum for senior officers and enlisted men and women.

Contrary to popular belief by those who’ve never served, military service isn’t particularly hard. New recruits must complete a period of basic training which consists primarily of physical conditioning and military training in regulations and such disciplinary skills as learning to march in formation and small arms training. Upon completion of basic training, a new recruit is sent on to additional training that may involve additional military training if they’re assigned to the infantry but may be classroom and practical training to learn a particular technical skill. Such courses consist of as little as a few weeks from some skills to as much as two years for skills such as nuclear reactor operators. Some new officers are sent to special courses such as military pilot training or submarine officer training. Once a young man or woman has completed their training, they are assigned to an operational unit, which may be a combat unit but could also be support. If they are assigned to a combat unit, they can expect to spend their time in continued training since combat units aren’t engaged unless they are actually in a combat zone. Military training in itself can be dangerous and hundreds of young men and women die each year in accidents, both while on duty and in vehicle accidents when off duty. In fact, accidental military deaths have exceeded deaths from hostile actions in many years since the beginning of the so-called “War on Terror” after the 9/11 attacks. This was true in the years 2002 and 2003 and has been true since 2008. In fact, in the years from 1980 to 1989, accidental deaths in the military exceeded 1,000 a year; the most hostile deaths in a year since 2002 is 847 in 2007. My point is that a military member is more likely to die due to accident than from hostile action. Military Deaths by Year, which brings me to my next point.

Just because a person serves in the military – or dies while on active duty – does not make them heroic. There have been men who truly were heroic in the military, starting with Sgt. Alvin C. York in World War I and continuing through such men as Lt. Audie Murphy, Major Edwin Dyess and Colonel Paul I. “Pappy” Gunn, but such men usually became heroes because of desperation. York decided to take matters in his own hands when he saw his buddies being mowed down by German machine guns, Murphy defended his men against a German attack, Dyess carried out attacks on Japanese ships in Subic Bay in one of the few remaining Air Corps fighters left in the Philippines and Gunn waged an essentially one-man war against the Japanese to free his family from captivity in Manila. Since then, military heroes tend to have been men who performed “selfless” acts such as jumping on hand grenades, acts that might be more correctly identified as thoughtless since they happened so quickly the individual didn’t have time to consider the ramifications of his actions.

In truth, much of what is hailed as heroism is merely a military member doing the job they were trained to do, whatever it may be. Some medals – the Bronze Star in particular – are often awarded as commendations for routine performance of one’s administrative duties. In fact, the Bronze Star was originally authorized as a counterpart to the Air Medal, which was authorized in 1942 to recognize the role of airmen flying combat missions – often against great odds – at a time when ground forces had yet to enter combat. A colonel felt that infantrymen, in particular, should be awarded some kind of decoration to recognize that they had been in combat. No particular act of valor was required for award of the medal – any soldier who had qualified for the combat infantryman’s badge was eligible – and the award was also approved for administrative actions, such as maintaining files in an orderly room.  The Bronze Star It and the Air Medal were equal in prestige – until 1985 when military politics led to the elevation of the Purple Heart from a low-level award to prominence above the Meritorious Service Medal and dropped the Air Medal to the lowest precedence of any combat award and below the level of the MSM, which is only awarded for non-combat  service. (By doing so, the DOD robbed hundreds of Army Air Corps and pre-1985 USAF airmen of the recognition they so richly deserved for their meritorious service in aerial flight.)

Military medals are a story in themselves. Prior to the Civil War, there were no medals and even then, the Confederacy did not recognize its heroes with medals. The Medal of Honor was authorized during the war and was often awarded for such mediocre actions as reenlisting. (Hundreds of Medals of Honor were taken away when the criteria for the medal was changed in the early Twentieth Century.) The Distinguished Service Cross and Silver Star were authorized just before World War I and the Purple Heart was authorized in 1932 for presentation primarily to men who had been wounded. The Distinguished Flying Cross was authorized in 1926; it was awarded to civilians such as the Wright Brothers and Amelia Earhart. The Air Medal and Bronze Star came along during World War II, along with the Legion of Merit, which is essentially an award for high-ranking officers. Since Vietnam, a veritable library of new awards have been authorized, to the point that it seems that the modern military man and woman gets medals just for showing up for chow! In short, most military medals today are meaningless.

This brings us to “gold star families,” a term little heard of before a Pakistani immigrant named Khizer Khan made a speech at the Democratic Convention. To begin with, there is no such thing as a “gold star family.” It’s a term that the Army has on its web site to refer to families of military members who lost their lives on active duty. However, there’s no official organization or recognition of such families even though the military was authorized to present lapel buttons to family members – parents, spouses, children, step-children, brother and sisters – of those who die while  on active duty starting in 1947. The lapel button carries no significance and no benefits to those to whom it is presented except recognition. It’s something for family members to have to remember their family member, the same as the flags used to drape coffins and which are then presented to the family, usually to either the wife or mother of the deceased. The design is different for those who died in a combat theater, regardless of the cause of death. There is no organization and they have no official standing.

There is, however, a formal organization for Gold Star Mothers, women whose son or daughter has died while on active military service. Gold Star Mothers was formally organized in 1928 when the mother of a US Army Air Services pilot who died during the war decided to start an organization for mothers of men who had died while in military service. They got their name from the gold-starred flags family members displayed in their windows during the recent war – families with men in uniform displayed a flag with a blue star and those whose sons were lost displayed gold stars. The blue and gold starred flags became prominent during World War II but they died out after the Korean War. They were not popular during the Vietnam War – in fact, they were hardly ever mentioned. They were resurrected in the 1990s and began attracting some attention from the media – and politicians. In September, 2012 Barrack Obama proclaimed the last day of September as “Gold Star Mothers and Families Day.” However, the memo must have got lost because no one seems to know anything about it.

Families of men and women who die while on active duty have recognition, but not status or standing, as members of the media proclaimed that Khizer Khan and his wife have. The Khans claimed they have made some kind of sacrifice because their son died in Iraq. In fact, they have made no sacrifice at all and whether their son’s death was a sacrifice is debatable. Captain Khan’s commander, Maj. General Dana Pittardi, (Gen. Pittard was Bill Clinton’s military aide 1996-1999), wrote a piece for the Washington Post but was very vague as to how the officer died. He says only that he was killed by a suicide bomber and that he “may” have been trying to prevent the death or injury of innocent Iraqis. The captain was awarded a Purple Heart, which is awarded to all military personnel who die as a result of enemy action, and a Bronze Star, which is basically a glorified commendation medal. If his actions had been seen as “heroic,” he would have been awarded at least a Silver Star and possibly a Distinguished Service Cross. In the Khan’s minds, their son died a hero but in reality he was the victim of a bomb. Regardless, their son’s death reflects solely on him, not on them.

Military valor reflects solely on the individual, not corporately on their family, regardless of how close. My actions while in the military reflect solely on me and if I’d died, while my family would have suffered loss, they would have made no sacrifice. Neither would I if my son’s submarine had gone to the bottom of the China Sea while they were playing cat and mouse with the Chinese navy. Several of my ancestors served in the Revolutionary War but I have never been a member of the Sons of the Revolution and no one in my family has ever joined the DAR (except my great-aunt.) At least two of my ancestors were Confederate soldiers but I’ve never joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans – and never will. My valor is my own and no one else’s. Similarly, while I’m proud of my father for flying 30 missions in B-24s over Europe, his service is no reflection on me, nor was it a reflection on his parents, brothers and sisters.

What I’m saying is that military service and any recognition for it only applies to the one who serves, not their mother, father, spouse, brother, sister, children, grandchildren or anyone else.