Monday, September 07, 2009

Scattershooting While Wondering Whatever Happened To Smedley Butler

Not much going on here on the peaceful shores of Lake Tawakoni, not even quite as much boating, it's a bit cooler because of Algore's glowbull warming. The fisherpeople are out, of course, but not so many of the people just running around at sixty miles per hour on the water, running around in circles. Or maybe the boats have all been repo'd.

I've been alternating, eating large bowls of my ham and lima beans with rye bread and then something, anything else. That's the downside to being married to Linda Lou and having all the kids far away, a big pot of beans lasts forever. I got some turkey pastrami and have been eating pastrami on rye and potato salad, too. I am curious, though. All these folks spending a bunch of money on colon cleansers. Why don't they just buy a two pound bag o' lima beans, the butt end ot a football ham and a couple of onions?

Of course with International Bacon Day this weekend I didn't just eat turkey pastrami on rye and ham and lima beans. I made poor Linda Lou make me bacon and eggs. I can scramble eggs just fine, I can even boil eggs, I cannot fry eggs and that's the only way I like eggs with bacon. Now with slices of ham I like my eggs scrambled with cheddar cheese. Put the cheese in until there is way too much, then add some more cheese. With sausage I can swing both ways.

For some reason I am unable to turn eggs over while frying them. I dunno if it's the Parkinsons or just clumsiness, I've never had much luck with flipping eggs. So I make Linda Lou do it and she grows lazier each day.

Seems good ol' Van Jones has bit the dust, to the total surprise of those getting their "news" from the NYT and it's cohorts at ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. According to those "news" agencies Van was doing just fine, no one at all knew he was a "truther" and no one knew he was slightly to the left of Vladimir Illich Lenin, notrthat Gateway Pundit caught him out on it and Glen Beck poured on the coal oil. No, to the consumers of the mainstream media none of this ever happened.

There is a little something I need to get off my chest. I'm a veteran. I served in wartime in a combat zone. This does not make me a hero, just a guy that did a difficult job for a few years way back when he was young. In my day most men and women in the Services, even during that war, never fired a weapon at a human. Nor did many get shot at. We were not heroes. Just young men far from home with very low pay.

It's been a very long time since I put on Uncle's Suit. It's almost the average life expectancy of many African and Asian nations, now. It still grates on me, though, calling every Tom, Dick and Mary in Uncle's Suit a hero. Oh well, it still grates seeing all those troopies wandering around in their work clothes. In my day we had to wear a somewhat more formal uniform off base.

I believe that the "everybody is a hero" drill is a reaction to how so many treated us during the Southeast Asian War Games. Well, it's an overreaction. You will know the heroes when you see them. They'll be getting off the airplane from the cargo hold. They'll be the ones wearing that shiny aluminum box, under a blanket of stars and stripes.

So I was fooling around reading about some old campaigns and noticed some mention of Old Gimlet Eye, Smedley Butler. General Butler lied about his age when he ran away from the Quaker School he was attending to enlist in the Marine Corps at 16. He somehow was commissioned a Lieutenant at that tender age and was sent to Gitmo during the Spanish American War.

He was one of the very few men who received the Medal of Honor twice. Oddly, in spite of those medals and combat service in Latin America, the Philippines and China and being a Brigadier General at the young age of 37 he was refused a combat command in France during WW1. Later, when he was the senior Major General in the Corps he was refused the honor of being promoted to Major General Commandant of the corps. Interesting factoid, it wasn't until WW2 that there were any Marines promoted past Major General. At any rate, after being passed over he retired in 1931. He then went on the lecture circuit and wrote a short book, maybe closer to booklet entitled War Is A Racket.

Old Gimlet Eye became an Isolationist. He figured we had two oceans to protect us and that if we didn't stick our noses everywhere we need not fear attacks. He wanted a rule saying that our Navy had to stay within two hundred miles of our coastline with our airplanes allowed five hundred miles out. He may have been right. It's too late to do it now, though, not after WW2. Half the world already hates us, if we pulled back now it would be far worse than it is now.

He did have a good idea or two, though. My favorite is that no one, no Congresscritter, no industrialist supplying anything to the military, no President and no Military Officer could make more than the takehome pay of the private soldier.

That is a reform I'd like to see. We'd still be able to fight wars, they'd just be the ones we're really serious about. And I suspect our troopers would be better paid.

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