Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cameron gets it; Obama does not

England's prime minister David Cameron made it clear -- we are fighting a philosophy, that of radical Islamic extremism.  Can't Mr. Obama understand?  He has seen thousands murdered and hundreds of children forced to watch crucifixions and beheadings.

The Saudi king states the jihadists will strike England within a month and the United States within two months. Will Obama continue to say ISIS is no threat to the United States after hundreds are killed?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Can the West -- and Christianity survive?

This is a  serious question  -- one I have pondered for some time.  At times I have considered the steady decline in church attendance, the rise in political correctness, and the general displeasure of governments, including schools.

We  have an even greater threat -- to Western countries in Europe and more particularly to the United States.  As England's prime minister David Cameron warns,  the threat comes from "poisonous Islamic extremism."  Radical Islam is murdering Christians all over the world and nothing is being done to stop it.  In fact, Obama has been ridiculous in avoiding the obvious role of religion in attacks by Muslims.  When a Muslim doctor killed 13 and wounded 38 while shouting Allah, Obama went to the extreme of silliness by terming this "work place violence."

Obama's refusal to defend this nation from Muslims means we must depend upon other leaders as we battle for decades for freedom.  Obama's failure to show courage can encourage terrorist attacks in America.  Hopefully, Congress and  other leaders can wrest control from Obama.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Weary of war? Cowards cannot win

I am weary, weary, weary of Obama and other so-called leaders crying that "the people are war weary," using this as an excuse for decimating our military ability and lacking the courage to make decisions.  We can sing "Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace" over and over but it does not stop our enemies from waging war against us.

Why should Americans be war weary anyway?  Some people have paid  a high cost for war, losing limbs and  lives,  but most of us have barely felt the wars, sacrificing little or nothing.  Now, today, we need to wage an all-out war.  The enemy is at war with us and is committed to our destruction.  The cowardice of the president and congress cannot save us.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Do something -- even if it's wrong

We have  begun to observe ISIS headquarters in Syria, although our effort  is less effective  than it would be if Obama had not weakened our military.  Will we go further by attacking ISIS  in Syria?  In the past Obama has lacked the courage to make decisions, instead "leading from behind."

We can't defeat ISIS by bombing alone but it would be a start.  In the end it is going to take somebody's "boots on the ground." if it is not ours.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A salute to World War 2 veteran

Jack Foster, a veteran of World 2 and the battle for Okinawa,  as  was I, died a few days ago at 92. I first met Jack when he came to the church on a motorized wheel chair, wearing a World War 2 veteran cap. It wasn't long before he was saying, as did  many naval veterans of Okinawa, "Mr.Truman saved my life,'' He was referring to the dropping of the atom bomb on Japan, forcing that country to surrender and save many of us from having to invade.

Jack had many problems but he had a positive outlook, enjoying his hobbies, which included building bird houses.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Be a leader, Mr. president

Members of the Obama administration, including the secretary of defense, are joining former military leaders in speaking out about the threat posed by ISIS.  The  video of the beheading of an American journalist is a declaration of war against us, and the American people are waking up to that reality.

But one man, the president, refuses to face the situation.  He plays golf and giggles and slaps backs like the ignorant, uncaring guy he is.  Several weeks ago I said we will be at war with ISIS.I am surer than ever of that.  Obama must listen to his military leaders and develop  a strategy that damages the terrorists and delays, at least, an attack in this country.  Otherwise, forget 9-11; this could be much worse.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The lost birthday

Oh to be 19 again

The nation was celebrating the August 17 surrender of  Japan, which  hopefully would eliminate the need to invade that nation, an action  which would have  resulted in many casualties.  We of the Pickens had been preparing for the invasion and had loaded on the Blackhawk Division, which would now occupy Japan.

Our plans changed and we left Blackhawk at the Philippines and took the troops that had been occupying that area to Japan.  So much was going on and we were so busy that we had reached the Philippines before I realized that I had missed my birthday August 21.   I have claimed I can always reclaim that birthday.

I wish I could, but I should be thankful for the birthdays God has given me.

I'm 88 today

I'm 88 today.  I don't know how  a person should feel at 88, but God has let me live this far,  I' m not claiming  I did anything  to deserve it.

August is the birth month for several family members.  Frank Cascio, brother in law, will celebrate a birth day tomorrow; Sister-in-law Diane Alello observes her birthday August  26, and my grandson   Oliver will be three August 31

Mark White, a former shipmate on the Pickens, would have been 101 tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Can a white policemen get a fair hearing?

I and seemingly no one else knows all the facts about the shooting of a black man by a white cop in Ferguson, Mo. but that has not stopped me from having some thoughts.  For example, what in hell is Eric Holder doing in a local case with no federal status?

We have a pretty good idea that the president sent Holder  to the scene not  to help stop the looting and violence but instead to present a biased case against the officer.  Just by sending Holder Obama has made this a case of black against white.

Does a cop have the right of a regular citizen to defend his life against a violent thug?  Maybe not in the  world as seen by Obama.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Japan surrenders 69 years ago today

I was in San Francisco the evening we received the news trhat Japan, shocked by  us wiping out two cities with atom bombs, had agreed to surrender terms, ending the war in the Pacific.

The air was rife with rumors that surrender was likely  when   I left the ship on a rare liberty.  My first stop was at a restaurant where I was seated at a  table with a family group I did not know.  The restaurant was trying to close early as word came of the surrender.

This should have been a moment of great joy for me because my ship, the Pickens, was to leave in a few days to invade Japan.  As mobs began to go wild a girl grabbed my hat.  A sailor yelled, "she just wants you to kiss her," but I chased her down and recovered my hat.  To me this should have been a solemn occasion, a time for thanks to God, so as the celebrations became wilder I went back to the ship.

Friday, August 15, 2014

What happened to that "shining city on the hill?"

What has happened to the heart  - -to  the soul of America?  I can remember when thousands of Americans would have clamored for the opportunity to go overseas and fight to save the refugees from torture and death. Now, do we speak out when the Obama trio of  the president, Kerry and Hagel, say there aren't as many  refuges on the mountain as first  thought so it isn't necessary to rescue them or give them food and water. 

Thousands have been beheaded because they refuse to renounce Christ or because of another minority religion. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again -- We are  going to have war with ISIS, maybe next month or next year, but it is coming.

What has happened to that "shining city on the hill?"  Maybe I'm all wrong; maybe America has never been a force for morality and peace I thought it was.  Maybe those boys who  climbed volcanic hills in the face of machine gun fire in Iwo Jima were fools as are  those  who today  have given their lives or their health for this country.

My heart breaks.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Glasses are in my future

Went  to the eye doctor this morning for her to examine my eye that had been treated with a laser.  She said the eye looked good and examined me for  glasses, then wrote  a prescription.

I got measured for frames and paid for glasses that  I hope will be ready Monday.  One thing for sure -- glasses aren't cheap.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Japan considers surrender

I'm back in August 1945, my ship the Pickens preparing for the invasion of Japan.   San Francisco was crowded and frantic as troops were boarding transports and the air force, army, and marines were getting ready.  I don't remember any secrecy about the planned invasion, which was projected to cost Allied forces 10 times as many casualties as were sustained at Normandy.  We could understand that because we had seen at Okinawa how effective suicide plane attacks were.

We had hopes that Japan might surrender and make an invasion unnecessary.  Japanese leaders were meeting, some advocating surrender while others insisted on  continued resistance no matter how high the cost for the people.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

I prayed for the president

I prayed for President Obama Sunday.  I prayed that he would have the courage to do the right thing -- the  Humanitarian thing -- in Iraq.   It doesn't take courage to do what is politically popular, but a leader will do what's right even if the polls say the public favors an opposite action.

We  -- the United States -- must act for the refuges and against ISIS.  Using airplanes is a first step, but much more aggressive action is required.  Arming the Kurds would be a good second step.

Eventually it will take somebody's "boots on the ground" to defeat the terrorists and give safety to the religious minorities and other refugees.

I can see forever

Well, maybe not, but I think I can see better as a result of the laser operation on my right eye.  Three hours ago the doctor took only 10 or 15 seconds to zap my eye.  I was expected 15 minutes or so at the least.  The doctor said I could begin to see better as soon as an hour. I can't say there was much improvement that soon but I definitely notice the improvement now.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Johnny Cash - I'll Fly Away

Second atom bomb dropped 79 years ago today, August 9

The second atom bomb was dropped on Japan August 9,  1945, this one destroying Nagasaki after the first hit Hiroshima with horrible effect.  Was this enough to get Japan to surrender? 

We ( of the USS Pickens)  were still preparing for the invasion and , as I remember it, were not much changed by the first bomb but began to hope after the second.  How many bombs did we have?  Only a few people knew; Japanese leaders did not know but what we had dozens or more.

Friday, August 8, 2014

We WILL go to war with ISIS

Yes, you can count  on  it -- we will go  to war with the murdering ISIS.  Maybe not now, a month or a year from  now but we not only will but must go to war with ISIS.  Using Americans in their ranks they will be responsible for killing thousands in terrorist attacks  if we haven't brought them under control before they strike us here at home.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

One of the saddest days of my life

San Francisco was crowded that August of 1945 as preparation were underway for  the invasion of  Japan. Some of the troops had come from Germany and were expecting leaves instead of further action. The crew of the USS Pickens  felt they rated some days at home after almost a year in the South Pacific.

We learned that some leaves would be granted, some for 12 days and others for 6 days.  I badly wanted a leave of some duration.  I had never  been granted a leave and had not seen my family since joining the navy. I did not receive a boot camp leave because I was selected to go to radar school . I did not get a leave after school was over; instead I went to the hospital.  I did not get a leave then because I insisted on being restored to active duty.

I was told I had a six-day leave but would not be allowed to take it because my home was too far from California. When my  arguments did not prevail and I was not given leave it was one of the saddest days of my life.

(The dropping  of the atom bomb on Japan August 6 would change the world  but did not mean much to us at that time.  We were still fully expecting the invasion would go on as planned. It took the second bomb and the knowledge of what that weapon could do that finally convinced Japanese leaders to surrender.)

Tough night and rough day

What  a day -- or really  a night and day.  I had chest pains during the night and had to get out of bed and turn the air conditioner  as cool as it could go.  Then this morning  at 10 I went to have my eyes examined, expecting  a prescription for glasses.  Instead I was put through a range of tests, resulting in an appointment to have a laser treatment Monday.

On top of all that, the computer is slow.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A few August memories

August has come blasting on the scene before I was ready for it.  I know August comes the same time every year but it seems like it should be no later than  April or May.  This is a special August on the calendar, with  five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays.   This won't happen again for 11 years.

A lot of my memories are of August events, especially as a boy on the farm and in the navy in 1944 when the atom bomb was dropped and Japan surrendered, saving us from having to invade.

August was supposed to be a slow time on the farm but Dad always had in reserve a  special task, such as building a chicken house or re-roofing the barn.  One consolation was that we had watermelon and cantaloupe every day.

August of 1945 found the USS Pickens in San Francisco, preparing to take on the Black Hawk Division and then, along with other ships, invade Japan.  We knew that many of us would not return. Of course, the course of history changed when the first atom bomb ever was dropped on Japan.

Not that the world cares deeply, but my birthday is in August as is that of one grand son and other relatives.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

What disaster will be next?

With all the  problems the nation is facing, domestically and foreign, a recent poll showed more people consider illegal immigration and the border disaster as the  worst.  However, the rotten economy and scarcity of jobs together  have almost twice as many voters ranking those as our leading problem.

Our greatest threat of our own greed is the stock market, which can be manipulated in a way to destroy savings workers have made for their future retirement.  Too many people have most of their assets, except possibly their home, in IRA's invested in mutual funds.  When the market crashes -- and it will -- it may be nearly impossible to get much of those savings back.

The Obama administration is determined to do everything wrong to the economy, especially taxes and regulations.

This coming crash may be the one we never recover from.