Friday, July 31, 2015

Internet Wins - Dammit!

This has been a bad week for  using the internet.  Turn on your computer and some times it works and sometimes it doesn't.  I have a difficult time typing because of pain in my shoulder but I managed to complete telling  about when I fell from the ship into a boat.  At that moment internet went off and destroyed my brilliant tale.

The internet finally returned and I re-wrote my story.  Again the internet ate it. This time we saved it on Word and when the internet lived again we (Jen) pasted it.

I'm reminded of that fall daily by the pain from  the injury which stays with me.  My roommates at LSU demanded I go to the dispensary for help.   I got it from a wise doctor.  He said I will hurt  all my life, only more and more. I see many people much  worse off than I and know I should be thankful and not complain.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How I earned my F.I.B.

Even though my memory is full of holes, I am convinced that during my time in the Navy, I was called on to serve on more than my share of working parties. Some times we worked long hours without food. That did not apply to the party I am remembering here.

I was dizzy and probably had fever as we gathered to descend into  the  LCVP that was to take us.  We were on the deck from which fully loaded Marines had descended to ride the boats to Iwo Jima. As I crawled over to clamber down I fell, either because I was dizzy or careless or both.  I hit the bottom of the boat on my back and right shoulder. The pain was great but worse was I was completely paralyzed.  I thought, "Here I am, not yet 19, and I'll be unable to move a finger all my  life."

The boys in the boat moved me to a more comfortable position and above deck they began rigging a stretcher.   Some feeling returned to my legs and with help I was able to walk the steps on the side of the ship.

I spent a week in sickbay where I had visitors,  two I remember.  The navigator said I survived because I was a good person. The exec promised me if I did not want to go on a working party he would get me off without me needing to fall.

I can't blame my fall on the pain in my back and shoulder but the fall  has part of the blame.

And that's  how I earned my F.I.B. (Fell Into Boat)

Monday, July 27, 2015

The battle that wasn't fought--Thank God

As the USS Pickens neared Frisco, we knew we would stay just  long enough to take on troops and prepare to attack Japan.   How much we were told about Downfall, the name given for the invasion of Japan, I do not remember.  Today the only memory I have is being told the navy expected 50 per cent casualties.

Now 70 years later as I study the war, I learn that military leaders knew casualties would be high, too high for America to accept.  Downfall was a combination of Olympic and Coronet, with Olympic being an attack  on Kyushu to seize airfields.  The joint chiefs of staff estimated that Olympic alone would cost 456,000
men, including 109,000 killed.  Personnel of the Navy department estimated that the total losses could be 4 million with 400,000 to 800,000 deaths.

Those of us who were at Okinawa are not surprised at those figures and often credit President Truman and the atom bomb for saving our  lives.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Serving in Tent of Nations

"I haven''t had a shower in six days."

Girls know what is important.  That was the first line in Jessica's report on her first week with the Tent of Nations.  Water is available, just scarce.  Jessica is serving with 20 other international volunteers working with Palestine youths living in Bethlehem.

Countries with volunteers taking part are from Spain, France, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Palestine,  Denmark, UK,  Italy, and   USA.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A wild taxi ride

Recently George Bush, former president, was unrecognized by his uber driver, but the guy, who said he never voted, was going to vote for Hillary. I am the veteran of many taxi operators.  Some took me on a long drive to pad the fare; some talked my ears off, and some wouldn't speak at all.

I'll never forger a ride I had in Cincinnati  early one morning. The driver told me about all the famous people who had been his passenger.  "Oscar Robertson (NBA star) sat right where you are sitting."

 We were following a map to my early morning appointment --this was before GPS -- and the interstate was packed -- three  lanes each way.  I tried to get the driver's attention in time to take an exit but he passed the exit. I pointed this out and he stopped in the traffic lane and began to back up. I finally convinced him to go to the next exit.The driver wasn't shaken at all.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Excitement as Pickens nears San Francisco

Excitement was building  as the USS Pickens continued on to San Francisco.  After all, almost a year had passed since we were in the United States.  Now we were to have leaves and liberties.  So we thought.   We gave little thought to what was ahead.  As a member of the planned invasion designated Olympic we were to take on troops and invade  Japan.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sweet Sixteen --that's enough

Ohio Gov.  John Kasich  aannounced today that he will be a candidate for president, adding his name to the long list of those seeking nomination as the Republican party nominee.  Of all the candidates Kasich is qualified if anyone can be qualified to serve in the land's highest office.

Kasich has been involved in politics since age 24 and he worked for Ronald Reagan.  He was elected governor of Ohio in 2011, giving him the  advantage of serving a bell weather state.

Jessica begins Tent of Nations camp

Jessica is staying busy in Israel and learning her way around, but she feels rootless, comparing herself  to  a cat adapting to a new home.

She is  starting what seems to be challenging and interesting for two weeks as she takes part in  a two-week camp on a farm between Bethlehem and Hebron. Called Tent of Nations   it will be attended by some 50 Palestinian kids who will be learning how Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace.  For the two-week camp, Jessica will live on the farm, sleeping in a cave.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What is heroism?

Donald Trump may have gone too far when he ridiculed John McCain's captivity in North Vietnam as not making him a hero. That led me to wondering what a man must do to be a hero in some people's eyes. To some,  heroism must include violence, danger, and loss of life, an example being a soldier  jumping on a grenade and saving his comrades.

          Which, if any, would you consider heroism?
*A single mother works two menial jobs to feed her children.

*A plumber, after an operation, is paralyzed from his waist down but drags himself along the ground

*A navy pilot  is shot down and tortured in a North Vietnam prison for five and a half years

*A seaman works to get his boat running and off the Iwo Jima beach

*A boy scout persuades another not to take drugs

The cat and rabbit story

Speaking of cats scouting a new area  (as my daughter in Israel compared to her getting oriented  in a strange land) reminded me of the time our cat cried pitifully when  her half grown son killed her new litter. A day or so later Dad plowed into a rabbit's nest and disturbed some nursing   little rabbits, who were rejected by their mother.

The mama cat accepted the  rabbits and they nursed greedily and happily.  An adoption  made in heaven.  But wait.  Mama cat left to get some food and the half-grown cat raided the nest and ate the baby rabbits.

If my daughter reads this I can hear her complaint = "Why do your stories turn into happy stories and then twist and become sad?"  Sorry, Jessica but that's the way the world is.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pickens nears San Francisco

The USS Pickens left Saipan in late June headed for San Francisco where we were to load on troops,  then as part of a fleet, attack the mainland of Japan.  We knew what we faced, having taken part in the battle for Okinawa where Navy casualties were greater than for the Marines and Army combined.

Japanese suicide attacks were so effective the  military brass estimated Navy casualties would exceed one of every two men.  At this time, though, our thoughts were of home; we had been away from the country for a year.

Friday, July 17, 2015

It's war and ISIS is winning

ISIS wages war in France, Egypt, Iraq and the United States.  Furthermore, ISIS is winning and the president of the United States is not aware of it and cannot even call it what it is.

After the terrible shooting and killing attack at Fort Hood, (when one gun by a soldier would have saved lives)  I hoped the policy of no fire arm protection would have been abolished.  Only the policeman had a gun as a jihadist  killed four Marines and wounded a sailor another Marine, and a cop Thursday morning.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sniff test for stinky feet

Happened  to read some stories of my school days and  noticed the majority relate events from. the seventh grade, taught by Mr. Trout.

One day Trout complained that some people had stinking feet.  He said everyone should not wear the same shoes two days in a row, plus always wear clean socks.  Didn't he know that most of the boys were like me, with only one pair of shoes.

Then he came up with the idea to walk the rows sniffing as he went, and  he would point out  those with stinky feet.  The fool began his walk, stopped opposite a girl and made sounds and faces that implied he smelled something bad.

I suppose he thought he was joking, but one girl burst out crying and  became hysterical.   He swore he didn't mean it and finally the girl quit sobbing.  That ended the sniff test.

Acccept the deal or go to war --Obama threatens

We all know those three brilliant phrases --

          "We have to pass it to learn what's in it;

         "You can keep your doctor;

        "It will save you 2,500 dollars a year.

We could list many others, but let's chew on this one:

        "We have only two options -- accept the deal with Iran or be forced to go to nuclear war."


Tomorrow is the anniversary of Dad's birthday

"July is the best (most enjoyable) month of the year," my dad would say.  He would call attention to the fact that July was the best month for watermelons, cantaloupes and other fruits, plus fresh vegetables.

Dad had a special reason for praising July.  He was born July 16, 1881,  in a log cabin in Claiborne parish.
When he was born he already had a full brother, two half brothers, and two half sisters.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I enjoy visits with two doctors

This week has begun with visits to two doctors, the pain doctor Monday morning and  a visit with the cardiologist Tuesday morning.  Both lived up to our expectations -- long  stays in the waiting room. On Monday I listened to a sales pitch on a new drug and a possible treatment with needles.  I always  promise to think about it.

We were kept waiting an hour for the cardiologist.  Everything is about the same as my last visit, except I'm older.  Next visit is three months away.

Israel is not far away

In this electronic age Israel is as  close as your phone or the internet.  Jessica and her mother talk on the phone and text.  We visited on Skype a few days ago.

No, Israel is a long way from home  -- you can''t hug or even touch.

Jessica is happy with the way things are going, especially making friends.  Her greatest problems are language and transportation.  Each one builds on the other,  leading to being stranded at times, looking for a bus or taxi.

Jessica will be living and teaching on a farm the next two weeks.  She is looking forward to spending her nights in a cave, built to protect the inhabitants from attacks from overhead.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A better use for campaign funds

Few days pass that my mailbox is not filled with requests for funds for a good cause, especially for food for children.   At the same time I almost daily learn of a boasting report of millions being contributed as campaign funds for one candidate or another.  Jeb Bush gathered in  over 100 million dollars, but the champion in collecting dough is still  Hillary.

Something  is very wrong here --  millions are spent in political campaigns while children go hungry.

I have an idea how we can make things better.  Change  laws governing campaigns to require a portion of each campaign dollar be spent to aid needy children.  Twenty per cent would be  a good  start.  We could strive to work up to 50 per cent..

                (By the way, Food for the Poor just sent me a letter containing a penny and a nickel -  six cents   which will feed  a child. I'm not  promoting any organization but in case you are interested, the address is:

Food for the Poor, Inc.
P O Box  979002
Coconut Creek, Fl. 33097-9002


Do away with sanctuary cities now

When I became aware of sanctuary cities and their purpose, I became angry and denounced their existence. They seem to exist to protect  especially illegal aliens who have been deported.  Commit murder and get to one of 200 sanctuary cities and live off government largesse.

We must make our representatives  speedily take whatever legal action is required and eliminate this love fest with illegal aliens.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

LSU fires professor for naughty words

Teresa Buchanan, a tenured professor,  has been fired by LSU for telling dirty jokes, profanity and naughty words.

I can fully understand  why she did whatever she did -- she had to teach education.  I was in an education class at LSU.  To be kind, it was childish and stupid and the future teachers cheated and clowned.  I asked a girl who was taking education at Baylor and she told me the same thing went on there.

And we wonder why our schools are bad?

Jessica settles in Jerusalem apartment

Jessica recovered from long plane ride to Tel  Aviv and satisfied officials with her interview and papers.

She is getting settled in her apartment in Jerusalem.  Among those greeting her were eight cats in the back yard.

More football violence OFF the field than on

I seldom write about sports but I feel compelled to complain about the many reported assaults on women by college football players.  I've read long lists of players getting arrested, suspended for awhile, and then put back on the team.

I am not going to name any players  or schools except for Oklahoma which put a player back on the team but kicked out of school some students accused of making racist remarks.

Maybe I am mistaken but I would hold coaches  responsible for recruiting undesirable players and continuing to play them when they do wrong.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Our daughter leaves for Israel as missionary

What would be your feelings and thoughts if your daughter was leaving  Sunday to spend a year as a missionary in Israel?  Probably the way my wife and I feel -- proud and excited. but sad because we will not see her for a year, and apprehensive because Israel is part of the troubled  Mideast. 

Jessica, our daughter, was 25 in June.  She graduated from Duke Seminary and was commissioned a minister of the United Methodist Church.   She will draw no pay but she raised funds from relatives, friends and  church members to finance her mission.

She announced during a sermon two years ago that she felt God was calling her to this mission.  She recognized that many obstacles would be faced but was positive God would help her overcome them.

Now, we have climbed every step   with her and will say a  prayer as she boards the plane Sunday afternoon.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Why - why do you do the things you do, Obama?

The president claims he does not support  Isis but  insists other nations should do the fighting.  Okay, the Kurds answer.  They only ask that the United States live up to its promises and supply arms.  Instead, we give armaments to Iraq and they go to Isis.

There is hope.  Our Arab friends are promising to supply the Kurds with the arms that the United States has refused to supply.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

That elusive visa

Is Israel always difficult to grant  visas or is the violence in the Mideast a reason for so much trouble?  Jessica and Jen went to Houston this morning (Wednesday) hoping to see the consul and obtain the visa.  They may have to spend the night and meet the consul Thursday.