Friday, August 30, 2013

Will Obama attack Syria against people's wishes?

I voted in a Newsmax poll Thursday and this morning checked the results -- Americans are heavily against another war and are emphatic Obama should not attack Syria without authorization from Congress.

On whether the United States should strike Syria for using chemical weapons, the vote was:

Yes--5, 549    10%
No --45,451   89%

On whether Obama should be authorized by Congress before military action, the vote was:

Yes--48,337   94%
No--2,788       5%

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Remembering our time in Japan

While there was wild celebrating in the United States, the Pickens and other ships with troops waited for orders.  After all, while Japan had announced it was surrendering,  who knew how the Japanese military and general population would act when we landed occupying troops?

It began to appear that our country had forgotten us.  All of the ships gave out of food and shared the rations  the troops had.  Next we bought sweet potatoes and rice from the natives; the potatoes were frost bit and the rice was hollow.  Finally, a ship with supplies was met and the food was confiscated.

We eventually were ordered  to Nagoya where took on a Japanese pilot to navigate us through the minefields.    I will always remember the captain and pilot enjoying a breakfast of bacon and eggs. Japan formally surrendered on September 2, 1945.  We had no part in that ceremony and on August 31 we headed for Guam to board troops and take them home, beginning the "Magic Carpet."
cash sings how great thou art

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Please tell me -- why attack Syria?

Questions I want answered --

Will we attack Syria?  Why?  How?   What is our goal?  Are we prepared for the consequences? 

If Obama has answers to some of these questions, please tell us what they are.  Some critics are saying
Obama must act to regain some credibility after making a fool of himself with his previous empty threats. 

If  we do attack by firing missiles,  innocents  -- if there are any -- will be killed. The United States will become the air force of  Al qaeda. Again, what will we accomplish, and at what cost?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pickens goes to Japan

For most of my life after serving in the navy, I made no effort to refresh my memories of events, but as my time slips away, I review  the booklet, "The Story of the Pickens," about once a year.  A few things I remember, others that are mentioned are almost strange to me.

For example, I know that on August 23 or 24 we took on the Blackhawk Division and  transported them to the Philippines to occupy those islands.  We took on board the troops that had occupied the islands and took them to Japan.  I know this,yet I have no memory at all of going ashore in the Philippines.  We left there with accompanying ships and went to Wakanoura Wan, for all appearances a small, dirty village.  I don't know whether it was there or at Nagoya that a typhoon hit.  Most of the ships sailed out to sea to ride out the typhoon.

I'll have more to say about this later.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Holder sues Louisiana school voucher system

Twenty-two scandals of this administration--including but not limited to Benghazi, IRS and NSA--but Eric Holden avoids them and goes :"fast and furious" to bring a suit against Louisiana's school voucher program.
What is his problem? He complains allowing students to leave failing public schools for private schools could result in a school becoming predominately minority or predominantly majority -- or something.

No one with any knowledge can deny many of our schools are failing but any attempt to improve the school system is opposed,

How Great Thou Art played by Gail Russell

I have not been shy of complaining about the selections of hymns for church service, so I am pleased to say when I enjoy the service as I did  Sunday morning.  We sang several familiar hymns but the highlight was Gail Russell's piano presentation of "How Great Thou Art."

I have heard the great hymn sung (on recordings) by George Beverly Shea, Jim Nabors, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Andy Griffith, and Susan Boyle, among many others, but I never appreciated the music until I heard Gail play the arrangement she gifted us with Sunday.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Yes, Mr. Obama they could be your sons

When I learned that two black men had beaten a World War II veteran to death, I exploded in anger. Delbert Belton, known as Shorty,   was 88, I'm 87, he was at Okinawa and was wounded; I was at Okinawa.I almost feel like I knew him.  Who will the Left blame for this murder -- certainly not the murderers.

When the three thugs murdered  the baseball player from Australia, the Leftists said the murderers were not to blame; it was the fault of the gun lobby.  They refused to accept that those youths did not need a weapon other than their fists to carry out the crime. Who will Obama and his brainwashed idiots blame for the murder of Shorty?

It is not politically correct to call attention to the black on white violent crime, but it is a fact and the leaders from Obama on should stop making excuses for it..

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I''m 87 today

Yes,  the good Lord has seen fit to give me  more time.  He didn't promise me that I wouldn't have aches and pains, and it is up to me to make of the rest of my life what I will.

Taking a glance at what I wrote on my 86th birthday, I said August  has a number of  birthdays of family members and friends.  I wish my brother-in-law Frank Cascio a happy birthday tomorrow, August 22.
Mark White, a shipmate and ship photographer, would have been 100 tomorrow.  I never knew Mark while we served on the USS Pickens, but I have come to know him through his son, John, who has provided me with much material about the Pickens.

Grandson Oliver is looking forward to his second birthday August 31.  We were able to help him celebrate his first birthday last year as we traveled to North Carolina.

Hey, I am not going to starve for awhile.  My brother, Jon, just delivered me some peas, potatoes, tomatoes, okra, and a watermelon.  All I need now for a birthday dinner is some cornbread and buttermilk.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Jessica arrives in North Carolina

Jessica has arrived in North Carolina and has begun moving her furniture out of storage and into her apartment.  In a few days she will begin her second year at Duke Seminary and will also serve as an intern at Apex United Methodist Church.

My last day at age 86.

As I observe my final day of being 86, I think back to August 1945, a month important to the country, to the USS Pickens, and to me personally.   We had arrived in San Francisco August 3;  an atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima August 6; a second bomb hit Nagasaki August 9, and Japan surrendered on August 14.

We left the states August 24 with the Blackhawk Division on board, but instead of  taking those soldiers to Japan we left them in the Philippines, picked up the troops who were occupying those islands and took them to Japan.  About two weeks after leaving San Francisco, I realized that my 19th birthday had passed,

The fouled up affair we had to put up with before unloading the troops in Japan, including running out of food, is another story.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Name one good thing Obama has done

What a coincidence!  I was planning to ask that question after reading a poster on Political Talk posed that to Leftists and those who voted for Obama for president.  I can show how he has wrecked the economy and foreign policy in addition to many other bad things so if he had done anything good I would like someone who is an Obama supporter to inform me.

The coincidence is I looked back to see what I had written in August last year, and on August 23 I had  challenged Obama to name  one good thing he had done that has created jobs and got us on the way to economic recovery and health.

With Obamacare and all its problems hanging over us, I pose the question to anyone--name one good thing Obama has done.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Jessica completes internship Sunday

When I reported on the trip Jen and I made to Michigan to hear Jessica give the sermon, I failed to mention  that we were accompanied by Jessica's cat.  She traveled in a basket and slept or remained quiet  all the way. Jessica was not permitted to keep a pet in the apartment so she arranged for a lady who has two cats to host Jessica's.

Jessica's last day as an intern with the First Methodist Church of  Bermingham,  Mi; will be this Sunday.  She will leave Monday to drive back to North Carolina to resume studies at Duke Seminary. Reflecting on her time spent in Bermingham, Jessica said, in part:

"As I reflect over these last nine weeks, I am shocked by how much change and growth have occurred within me.  I've learned a lot more about the different roles and responsibilities a pastor has, as well as how a church functions, but even more so I feel like I have developed and matured internally much more than I imagined possible."

Obamacare is a vicious disease

Obamacare is a vicious disease for which we  have no cure and no means of easing its pain.  Some Republicans talk of refusing to vote funds for departments that will be responsible for enforcing some parts of the law, but the taxes scheduled to begin next year will be levied and collected. A tax preparer will be unable to sign a return that does not include the taxes.

Obama will use all constitutional powers of the presidency, and some not permitted by the constitution,  to see that this program goes on.  What else can he say he accomplished as president?  He has destroyed our economy; his foreign policy is a disaster; his administration has been a miserable failure.

Democrats, who foisted this monstrosity upon us. are now saying they expected Obamacare to fail; they say it is a step to socialized medicine (they don't use that word yet) and government control of our health and our lives.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Elegy written in a country churchyard

No, I have not written an elegy, but I was remembering some of the visits I made to country cemeteries.  I wonder if some one is maintaining the one at former Bethlehem Methodist Church. I was just a child and got a great sense of being part of history when I saw a birthday of 1812 on  a tombstone.

I wonder if some of these country churchyards  still have "cemetery workings" each year along with dinner on the grounds.  I don't think I was yet a teenager when I accompanied my dad to help clean off the cemetery adjacent to Antioch Baptist Church.

My experience at digging a grave was at  the same cemetery.  Why we were  doing it I don't know, because it wasn't for a relative.  Years later we did prepare a grave for a kinsman, an aunt.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My take on V-J Day

Today, August 14, is the 68th anniversary of  Victory over Japan , celebrated as V-J Day.  As I have written on this blog before, I was in San Francisco on board the USS Pickens, which was taking on board the Blackhawk Division, which would be a participant in a planned invasion of Japan.

I was alone on a rare liberty when rumors were confirmed that President Truman had announced that Japanese leaders had agreed to surrender terms, ending the war.  I went into a crowded restaurant and was seated at a table with strangers.  I was the last customer allowed in as the restaurant, like many businesses, was closing.

When I went back outside, wild celebrations were beginning.  A girl snatched my hat and ran.  A guy yelled, "She just wants you to kiss her."  I chased her and got my hat back; MP's were everywhere making arrests for being out of uniform if for no other reason.

Somehow I did not feel like a wild celebration, and there was no place to celebrate and no one to celebrate with so I returned to the ship to quietly mark the end of the war with shipmates, who, like me, knew what the surrender meant to us personally -- no invasion of Japan.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Obamacare can fine hospitsls who treat emergencies who have no insurance

Ambulances rush to the scene of a bad automobile accident.  The injured ate taken to various hospitals in the city, including a not-for-profit hospital.  One victim is bleeding internally; his spleen is removed and other treatment is given.

When this person regains consciousness and his family arrives, the hospital discovers he has no insurance. An IRS spy reports that the hospital has treated a person without government insurance, the hospital is fined and loses its tax exempt status.

That's the way Obamacare works.

My sad day in the navy

It was one of the saddest days of my life, and I can still visualize that moment 68 years ago.  My plea for a leave had been rejected again.  "You can't make it there and back in six days, and I can't let you have a 12-day leave," :Lt. Patchel, the division officer said.  I said let me have six days and worry about making it home and back.

The USS Pickens was in San Francisco taking on the Blackhawk Division and preparing to invade Japan.
I wasn't worried about the danger although we expected 50 per cent navy casualties.  I had never had a leave since entering the navy -- no leave after boot camp; no leave after radar school, and of course no leave was possible during our 11 months in the South Pacific

Japan surrounded a few days after this.  Though I served for several months more, my record is clean; I never got a  leave.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Those "phoney" scandals

I recently read a list of 20 so-called Obama scandals and another list of 22.  Some on either list could be treated with an apology and a promise to clean them up. Some, including Benghazi, IRS and NSA are enough for impeachment if the president was not given a pass by the mainstream media and Democrats.

Will we ever get complete and honest answers on Benghazi? That is really three scandals,  the failure to act to protect the Benghazi mission, the change in talking points to blame a video for the attack, and  where Obama was and what he did the night of the attack.

The IRS continues to flout the law and answers must come sometime, but I would be happy to get the answers on Benghazi.  We cannot allow terrorist to murder our diplomats without paying a price.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

68 years ago tomorrow bomb dropped on Nagasaki

Three days after the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, on August 9 a bomb hit Nagasaki, causing immense damage and loss of life.  We had been hearing rumors of a possible surrender by Japan and only hours after the second bomb, Emperor Hirohito  convinced the military leaders to surrender.

Fighting did not stop immediately and the Japs sank two ships.  It was August 14 before the Japanese people knew the war had ended.

Many veterans who would have been in the first invasion of Japan believe the decision to drop the bomb on Nagasaki saved their lives.  I share that belief to a certain extent.  The navy expected 50 per cent casualties, and from what we later learned about their many suicide planes, the casualty rate would probably have been higher.

During this time, we continued to  take on board the Blackhawk Division.  A couple of weeks later we headed to Japan, stopping at the Philippines on the way,

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Obama drives country into disaster

While thousands are losing their jobs, or being  reduced to part-time work, many people seem blind to the terrible condition of the country and our future.

Do you realize that 94 per cent of the people who were hired in July are filling part-time jobs?  Do you know that almost 90 per cent of the jobs created since Obama was elected are part-time?  Do you understand that Obama's policies are in opposition to job creation and a return to prosperity?  Obama is forcing this country into a condition worse than bankruptcy.

The Obama policies include war on retirees and all elderly.  Bernanke has forced interest rates to near zero in certain conditions.  Take a look at who is suffering the most from those low rates.  Many retirees saved and sacrificed, denying themselves with the hope to have money for retirement.  Now, the return on  their money is less than one per cent.

Who has benefitted the most from low interest?  Well, homebuyers -- if they can come up with the down payment.  Mostly thought, it is the big banks; they can get money for almost nothing and lend for four per cent or more.  Also getting rich are mjor corportions whose top executives draw multi-million dollar salaries.

Of course, the government.  Obama  borrows and borrows and expands our nation's indebtedness.  That is the purpose -- take the money from the elderly. Wake up, and kiss the cactus.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Atom bomb dropped August 6, 1945, while we are in San Francisco

Sixty-eight years ago, August 6, 1945, the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.  My  memory may be faulty, but I don't remember  that we were thinking that this would result in Japan surrendering and making an invasion unnecessary.guys 

Our ship, the Pickens, had arrived in San Francisco three days before.  Some guys  had gone on liberty and it was being arranged for some shipmates to be considered for leaves of six or twelve days.  I was pleading my case for a leave but was told I only qualified for six days and I lived too far from San Francisco to get home and back in that amount of time. 

Instead of a leave, I was soon standing double watches, 16 hours day and night, taking over the duties of those who got leaves.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Love it -- subsidies for federal workers and their health plans

It continues -- those who supported the law for Obamacare get waivers and changes in the law while the low earning citizen gets soaked.

Are you not filled with joy to know that Congressmen and federal employees will be awarded subsidies to help them pay for their health coverage?  After all, consider how poor government workers work very hard for little money.  The average salary for federal employees is 78,500 dollars a year.  The mean  -- half make more and half less -- is 74,114 dollars.

Where will the money come from to pay the subsidies?  Why, from those people making eight dollars an hour, often for part-time work.  Haven't you heard Obama say how much he loves them and wants to help, or have you been keeping up with his multi-million dollar vacations?

(Please forgive me if sarcasm has slipped into my comments.)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Obama discourages growth

Unemployment improved to 7.4 per cent in July -- good news?  No.  Jobs created totaled only 162,000, with unemployment dropping slightly as more and more people left the labor force, some giving up  hope of finding work.

Obama, with his policies and biases, will continue to put more and more people out of work.  Even if a person finds work today, it is likely to be part-time like 103,000 of  the jobs gained in July.

The president seems determined to take every action possible to keep the country growing  slowly. Take a look at growth rates for different periods--
     1929 to 2012 -- 3.2
     1959 to1992 --  3.5
     1992 to 2007 --3.2
     2007 to 2012 -- .8

That last number of  less than one per cent is the period of  Obama's first term.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pickens anchors in San Francisco bay

Almost a year since we  left San Francisco, the USS Pickens returned   before dawn August 2, 1945. I was operating the radar and giving the navigator range and bearing on fixed points on land.  We had lookouts posted but fog made everything all but invisible to the naked eye, giving me the task of telling whether a little blob on the radar screen indicated a buoy or a fishing vessel leaving for the sea.

We were back in the USA to do maintenance on the ship and take on board the Blackhawk Division for the scheduled invasion of  Japan.  All of we crew members were anxious for liberty and possible leaves before heading for Japan and a bloody battle. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August brings memories

August on the farm had its good points but also some not so good.  Best was the food -- a variety of freah vegetables and fruit, including cantaloupe with your peas and corn at lunch and watermelon early every afternoon.

Most crops are "laid by' with no more cultivation required.  Most harvesting of crops including cotton, peanuts, and sweet potatoes began later in the month, going on into September and November for sugar cane.

Haying went on and led to "the ox is in the ditch" when a shower would threaten Sunday afternoon.  We would hustle to get the hay in before rain got to it.

Dad had special jobs lined up for any spare time we had in August.  Once we built a chicken house and I can still feel how it hurt to re-roof a barn with tin when the temperature hit 100 degrees.

Revivals were customarily held during August.  We tried to stay cool by fanning with fans provided by the funeral homes.

Some memories never completely leave us.