Friday, October 15, 2004

The Fine Print

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Saturday, September 18, 2004

The Declaration of Independence, its true meaning.

All things taken out of context lose their meaning.

The Declaration of Independence, was just that, (a declaration of independence), in effect a declaration of war to King George of England.

To determine the meaning of those words they must be put back into context.

The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

The time has come for England and the American Colonies to part ways. We believe that this is our given right and decency requires that we give our reasons for this separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We say these things are self explanatory, no man is set in status above another in the eyes of the Creator. Our Creator has given us Rights that can not be taken away and among others are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

Government should be instituted to protect those Rights and that government derives its power from the governed.
--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Whenever any government becomes abusive of its power or tyrannical, it is the right of the governed to overthrow it and form a new government that will carry out its duty and respect their Rights. These thirteen Colonies have suffered under the despotism of King George long enough detailed by the following list of grievances.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

We have petitioned King George at every step and he has refused to acknowledge our petitions with anything other than more of the same. That makes him unfit to rule a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We have spoken to our British friends and family and asked them to intervene on our behalf, to no avail, so now we must treat them as we would the subjects of any other nation.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

It is a breath taking document which signaled the start of a world wide revolution that continues to this day. The idea that government should only rule by consent of the governed was as foreign to that world of 1776 as a jet fighter.

And each signer of that document effectively cut his ties with England and signed his own death warrant.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

It's the same old song

Boston Globe
(1984 Senate race)
"War and Peace" was Kerry's campaign theme, but the emphasis was mostly on peace. War, however, specifically the Vietnam War, may have saved his candidacy in the primary.[...]

Shannon was smarting from Kerry's taunts that the congressman had reversed himself, voting first for and later against the MX missile system. A week before the primary, Shannon tried to turn the table, contrasting his own U-turn on the MX to Kerry's change of heart on the Vietnam War.

"If you felt that strongly about the war, you would not have gone," Shannon said during a televised debate. "I was very proud that you changed your mind."

But two nights later, in another debate, Kerry jacked up the issue to another level.

"You impugn the service of veterans in that war by saying they are somehow dopes or wrong for going," he said.

Shannon refused to yield.

"John, you know that dog won't hunt," he said. "I don't owe anybody an apology."

A band of Vietnam vets, all Kerry men, then wheeled into action. "There was a kind of raw, gut instinct, and the campaign acted on it the way you wouldn't today," said longtime Kerry strategist John Marttila, meaning there was no polling data as a guide.

Vietnam veterans began shadowing Shannon in the primary campaign's final days, traveling around the state, "looking for ways to pick fights," Marttila said.

"But this was not fake stuff. John's bona fides had been called into question, and these guys had gone to Vietnam. It was powerful material," Marttila recalled.

With help from the vets, who called themselves "the dog hunters," Kerry stopped Shannon cold. His athletic stamina and what one campaign staffer called "laser-like focus" became major assets in the frenzied final days as he outworked the field.

The finish was memorable. Kerry's field organization pulled him over the top. He lost Lowell and Middlesex County by big margins, but beat Shannon in Boston and most other major cities. Kerry's statewide margin was paper thin, only 24,529 votes, or 3.1 percent, out of 790,000 cast.

I think this is profound. Kerry seems to be using a tactic he has used in the past with proven results. The problem for him this time is, another group of Vietnam Vets is taking him to task. He thought that 30 years would insulate him. He has polished it up a little and changed the message and his "dog hunters" have become his "band of brothers".

I have heard John O'Neill hint that this has also happened in his other Senate races complete with, "the dog hunters,".
Who were/are these "dog hunters"?
Where were they recruited?
Who paid their expenses, and did they get paid "more" than expenses?

One more question:

Given John Kerry's record, including his and other (veterans?) testimony before congress in the, "Winter Soldier", investigations and the fact that many of those that testified lied about their service and some (apparently) were not Vietnam Veterans, or Veterans at all.

Were these, "dog hunters", Veterans at all or were they some more of John Kerry's true band of brothers? (That would be a bunch of liars and traitors!)

If I had the resources, I would love to investigate this!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Viet Nam according to Warren

Somebody asked me to do this for them, in an informal way, on a message board.
These are not all my words. I have C&P much, then simplified it and left out the unnecessary. Although I remember the general outline and important information, it’s hard to remember the details after so many years. I will not answer request for links although I “MIGHT” argue with you about it. Some of the replies are noted as quoted text within the post and it isn’t in complete chronological order.

***8/25 I'm a Viet Nam (Era) vet. Sorry for any confusion. ***

The people of Vietnam had been at war with each other and their neighbors for about 300 years before we became involved.

The roots of US involvement go back to WW2 and the Japanese occupation of Vietnam, Korea and China. Communist forces (Marxist), made alliances with other political factions in those countries to fight the Japanese. In China, Mao made an alliance with the Nationalist Chinese and turned on them at the end of the war forcing them to flee to Taiwan to escape. Red China became a client state of the Soviet Union (USSR or CCCP) and adopted the policy of exporting Marxist Revolution throughout the world. Marxist Revolution in practice is enforced totalitarianism and in every case involved the murder of millions of innocent people, possibly more than 23 million in the USSR and even more in the purges and so called "revolutions" in China. Millions more in Cambodia and the Baltic States.

Prior to WW2 Vietnam had been a French colony. In 1946 at the end of the war with Japan, French troops landed to occupy their former colony and immediately encountered the fierce resistance of Vietnamese nationalists determined to protect their newly won independence. There followed six months of indecisive negotiations. During this period, French troops were permitted to land in the North.

By December 1946, it became clear than no agreement could be reached and Viet Minh forces attacked the French on a wide front. The war which resulted lasted for eight years and ended with the Geneva Agreement in July 1954, which divided Viet Nam at the 17th parallel into two parts (the Northern part was reserved to the Communists, and the Southern to the nationalists).

The keystone of 1954 Geneva Agreement was the cessation of hostilities in Viet Nam but the Communists in the North organized, directed and supplied armed forces operating against the South, forcing the government of South Viet Nam to seek help in taking defensive measures. On October 1st, 1954 President Eisenhower (of the US) decided to assist the government of South Viet Nam, in developing and maintaining a strong, viable state, capable of resisting attempted subversion or aggression through military means. In 1962, President Kennedy, at the request of the South Viet Nam government established the US Military Assistance Command sustained it by modern airpower and antiguerilla special forces.

In 1963, two days after the death of President Kennedy, President Johnson reaffirmed the US intention to continue its military and economic support for South Viet Nam in its struggle against the aggression from North Viet Nam.

Although there was a pretext that the war in South Viet Nam was a popular war waged by guerrilla fighters in the South, in actuality it was a war of Communist aggression waged by the North against the South which is undeniable when you look at the end of the war and who negotiated with the South and the US without any of the so-called Vietcong included in the negotiations.

After the fall of South Viet Nam at least 65,000 people were executed for political reasons.

Yes the US fought Communism throughout the world. If you find that somehow to be reprehensible then possibly you don't value freedom or human life as much as many Americans do. It is always easy to criticize others for doing a difficult job, it's much easier to do nothing and make soothing noises that mean nothing.

In the 1930s Europe sat on its collective ass and did nothing (while it was still able) as Hitler and Germany dragged the world into war.

The Armistice that ended hostilities in WW1 was violated time and again by Germany but instead of doing the (hard) thing and enforce the Armistice treaty, European Nations followed a path of appeasement that led directly to WW2 and the death of millions.

The same thing has been going on in Iraq for the last 10 years since the end of the Gulf war. Instead of enforcing the treaty that ended the Gulf War, Europe (once again) would follow a path of appeasement. ***I originally put this togeather in 2002.***

I'll go through by point and sight the history of the war as I go. The reason I didn't go into this before is it becomes very complicated because of all the people and groups involved, and the length of time the war went on.

We won the war on the battlefield but owing to many things, (the corruption of the South Viet Nam government, the attitude of our politicians [Lyndon Johnson mainly], the undermining by Marxist groups in our own country and a general unwillingness by our population in general to pay the price). We lost at the bargaining table and South Viet Nam was the biggest loser in the whole rotten deal.

IMO, probably the most disgraceful thing this country ever did was abandon SVN people that were our allies to the mercy of the NVN. I feel that we are equally responsible for those 65,000 executions when the NVN took over. (From now on I'll use the convention SVN & NVN for South & North Viet Nam and VC for Viet Cong).

In October 1955 a referendum was held and Ngo Dinh Diem became the first ruler of the Republic of South Viet Nam. The North became the Democratic Republic of Vietnam under the rule of Nguyen Ai Quoc (Ho Chi Minh).

Between 1955 and 1974 NVN & SVN had no diplomatic, cultural, or commercial relations with each other. From the end of the 1950s, a virtual state of war existed between the two countries. NVNs intensified armed and revolutionary activities made reunification through free elections impossible.

Meanwhile, the United States had reinforced Diem's troops and in three years had transformed SVN into something of an "American protectorate". December 1960 saw the creation of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (FNL) which began launching revolutionary activities against the unstable regime in the South, under the banner of national liberation. The Southern communist movement, christened the Viet Cong by Diem's government, grew considerably during 1961 and 1962.

Facing mounting popular pressures, Diem ordered repressive measures against the Buddhist Church. This move provoked a wave of suicides by Buddhist who set fire to themselves in protest against the regime. On June 11, 1963, Thich Quang Due, a 66 year old monk, immolated himself on a street corner in Saigon in protest of Diem's anti-Buddhist campaign (maybe you have see the pictures that were in Time Magazine). The flames, which consumed him, signaled the beginning of the end for President Diem's regime. Diem and his brother were murdered by Diem's own officers following a coup d'etat on November 1, 1963.

The following years brought a succession of coups, which destabilized the nationalist regime in SVN. Several generals and civilian politicians took it in turn to preside over the unstable Saigon/ SVN regime. In April 1967, the constitution of the Second Republic of South Vietnam was proclaimed and in September, General Nguyen Van Thieu was elected president. South Vietnam's principal aim was to gain the free world's understanding and support for its struggle against NVN and its Southern political arm, the National Liberation Front (NLF/ VC).

Quote:why were the Buddhists all up in arms (figuratively) about the SVN regime?

Partly it was because the Buddhists are as a group non-violent and partly it was because most of the South Viet Nam government was Catholic (French Missionaries and Catholic Schools). Indeed most of the Vietnamese I know are Catholic.

They squeezed the Buddhists out of governmental positions.

The uneducated villagers and fishermen tended to be Buddhists, if anything, so they had popular support. I believe that Diem looked on them as natural allies of the Communists.

Quote: if it was an American protectorate (in some sense), then would not SVN have been democratic?

It was formed as a Republic but you can't just take illiterate people and make them understand Democracy overnight. The Deim regime was somewhat corrupt but not as bad as what was to follow. In a nation involved in war there are many opportunities for the greedy to make money.

The Communists played on class envy and took every opportunity to increase the corruption.

Quote:was the hold of the Buddhists threatened by this regime?

Yes, but Deim made a mistake cracking down on them.
Diem, was under pressure (of course). By its nature Buddhism tends toward socialism and teaches pacifism in the face of oppression. Diem was Catholic as were his government officials. Buddhism was the prevalent religion in SV. With Buddhists protesting his government and urging the population not to comply, it would eventually become impossible for him to keep his government in power and at the same time fight the NV/VC.

I believe he saw the Buddhists as natural allies of the NV/VC, especially when they started protesting his government.

Ultimately I believe that we must hold Johnson at fault because of the responsibility of leadership that goes with the highest office in the land.

Lyndon Johnson was a profoundly insecure man who feared dissent and craved reassurance. In 1964 and 1965, Johnson's principal goals were to win the presidency in his own right and to pass his Great Society legislation through Congress. The Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, was particularly adept at sensing the president's needs and giving him the advice he wanted. Lyndon Johnson knew that he faced a difficult choice between war and disengagement in Vietnam. However, because such a decision would alienate key constituencies on which his domestic goals depended, he sought a middle course aimed at ">placating those on both sides of the issue. McNamara developed the strategy of "graduated pressure" that, along with the profound dishonesty of LBJ and his closest advisers, prevented a debate on Vietnam until it was too late. America was already at war long before the American public recognized that fact. Not only was LBJ's conduct undemocratic, it also removed an important corrective to what was an unwise policy.

LBJ determined what level of military force was politically palatable in the short term, made it available to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and told them to do the best they could with what they got. That is why we had lots of military activity in Vietnam (bombing North Vietnam and killing the enemy in South Vietnam)without a clear idea of how that activity represented progress. That is also why many brave, patriotic men took risks and made sacrifices without knowing how those risks and sacrifices were contributing toward an end of the war. That is why, along with the recognition that they had been lied to for years, many Americans lost faith in the effort.

From November 1963 to July 1965 Lyndon Johnson made the critical decisions that took the United States into war almost without realizing it. The decisions, and the way in which he made them, had a profound effect on the conduct of the war and its outcome.

Robert McNamara was once a statistician in the Army Air Force during World War II, and later, the President of Ford Motor Company. John F. Kennedy enticed McNamara to Washington to head the Defense Dept and Lyndon B. Johnson inherited him at Kennedy’s death.

In public testimony given in the mid-1980s, McNamara said he had decided the war could not be won militarily as early as 1965--just as he was sending tens of thousands of soldiers into combat.

Instead of the result of the effort to contain communism, the war was only made possible through lies and deceptions aimed at the American public, Congress, and members of Lyndon Johnson's own administration. The decisions Johnson and McNamara made mired the United States in a costly war that could not be won at a cost acceptable to the American public.

During the period in which Vietnam became an American war, Lyndon Johnson and Robert McNamara created the illusion that attacks on North Vietnam were alternatives to war rather than war itself. Thus was born the policy of "> limited warfare.

Once the United States crossed the threshold of war against North Vietnam, the future course of events depended not only on decisions made in Washington, but also on enemy responses and initiatives. Pentagon war games predicted the enemy reaction, a massive offensive on the ground, but McNamara ignored that advice. Indeed, many people within the administration made compelling arguments against the assumption that bombing would affect Hanoi's will sufficiently to convince North Vietnam to desist from its support of the insurgency in the South. Until the massive deployment of ground troops in 1965 forced him to confront the consequences of his earlier decisions, McNamara continued to view the war as another business management problem. The notion that air power alone could solve the military and political problems of Vietnam was based in ignorance and the advocacy of air power zealots.

McNamara developed an attack of conscience in February 1968 and resigned his position as Secretary of Defense.
In a way I believe that LBJ looked at the war as just another situation to be manipulated for political benefit and the greater glory Lyndon B. Johnson. Unfortunately for him, it was his political downfall.
It may have finally dawned on McNamara that Viet Nam wasn't winnable but I believe that is was, if that had been the intention to start with. McNamara and Johnson thought that they could fight the NV to a stand still if they only escalated the pressure to match what was needed.
We could have won if we had acknowledged right off the bat that it was a war against NV and not against insurgents in the south. If we had made the ground war the responsibility of SV instead of "Americanizing" it. We could have provided them with whatever support they needed and we should not have supported corrupt leaders in the South.

Instead we more or less "brushed" the SV army aside and acted in a schizophrenic manor, sometimes acting like we were fighting an indigenous guerrilla army and at the same time bombing the north.

The NV could have been defeated simply by bombing the Dikes that kept the rice fields from being flooded out in monsoon season and starving them out.

LBJ was a complicated and interesting (but not in a nice way). But by all accounts he was a crooked politician. I'm sure that part of the reason was to drum up support in congress for his Great Society programs (Welfare, Medicare, AFDC - aid to families with dependent children, desegregation, affirmative action). Gathering votes and political trades.

I heard a taped conversation he had with a prominent politician. LBJ told him "I'm the GD President and you'll vote the way I tell you to or else!" (As close as I can remember the exact wording). One of his famous quotes was "I trust no man unless I have his dick in my pocket!” He was a manipulator and I imagine that he had several reasons.

Quote:when 65,000 political executions take place...that is not a good base to form a country on.

Every Communist government in this world has started in the same fashion. First a promise of equality and increased wealth, then bloody revolution and a purge that ends with the disappearance/deaths of everyone who opposed the revolution. The equality and wealth never appear and the newly formed "workers paradise" becomes more repressive than whatever government it replaces.

These numbers are probably slightly inflated but even if they are off by 50%, they are staggering in number.

USSR under Stalin:

30 million great purge related deaths
25 million during collectivization of farms
18 million deaths by genocide against the Cossacks
15 million deaths in Poland during the partitioning by Hitler and Stalin
5 million deaths in the Baltic states
3 million as a result of the failed counterrevolution in Hungary

In Communist Russia under Lenin:
approximately 2.3 million (not counting deaths in battle of combatants during the civil war in Russia, as combatants are fair game)

USSR from Kruschev to Gorby:
18-22 million deaths total (executions, genocide, gulag, etc.)

Chinese Revolution:
18 million peasants opposed to communism killed
25-50 million in gulags killed
60 million killed in cultural revolution
45 million killed in Great Leap Forward

Vietnamese democide: 1,040,000 (1975-87)
Executions: 100,000
Camp Deaths: 95,000
Forced Labor: 48,000
Democides in Cambodia: 460,000
Democides in Laos: 87,000
Boat People: 500,000 deaths (50% not blamed on the Vietnamese govt.)

The Peace Accords!

The agreement;
The U.S. pledged to cease hostilities (ground, air, naval, deactivate or destroy mines in all waterways). Cease-fire in-place also applied to other belligerents. Total withdrawal to be completed in 60 days.

A four-power joint military commission would oversee cease-fire and troop and adviser withdrawal, to be completed in 60 days. Military bases of U.S. to be dismantled in same period.

No introduction (by either Vietnamese party) of new troops, advisers, etc. or arms and war materials into their respective cease-fire zones; this article to be supervised by Four-Power Joint Military Commission.

All parties committed to no further acts of force. This prohibition also included terrorism and reprisals. Both Vietnamese sides were permitted to replace arms and war materials destroyed damaged, or worn-out, under supervision of the Joint Military Commission.

Return of all captured military personnel and foreign civilians within 60-day period, also under supervision of the Joint Military Commission.

Exercise of South Viet Nam's right of self-determination, asserting the 1954 division of Viet Nam as provisional and not political or territorial in nature.

North and South Viet Nam to begin peaceful negotiations on establishing normal relations and reunification.
An International Conference (within thirty days) to acknowledge the signed agreements, guarantee the ending of the war, the peace of Indochina, and the right of self-determination by the South Vietnamese people.

Reconciliation and normalization of relations between the U.S. and the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam. We promised postwar reconstruction aid.
The Paris Peace Accords were signed by the U. S., South Viet Nam, North Viet Nam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government on 27 January 1973. It restricted the U.S. to a maximum of 50 military personnel in South Viet Nam. Agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Viet Nam.

There were charges and counter charges of land grabbing, deception, and deceit by both the North and South Vietnamese.

The International Commission for Control and Supervision, virtually powerless, found enforcement of the Paris Peace Accords impossible. The North Vietnamese indifference and flagrant disregard of the peace terms so frustrated Canada that it gave proper notice and quit the commission on 31 July 1973. Announcement of the decision to withdraw came on the heels of the 15 July Viet Cong release of two Canadian observers whom the Communists had illegally seized and held captive since the 28th of June. After a personal request from President Richard M. Nixon to Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Iran agreed to replace Canada on the ICCS and on 29 August its first observers arrived in South Viet Nam. The new member soon learned what Canada and the other members of the ICCS already knew: some of the signatories to the Paris Peace Agreement had chosen to ignore their own words. Just prior to its departure from Southeast Asia, Canada charged that North Viet Nam regularly had been violating Article 7 "... by moving thousands of troops into South Viet Nam and that the infiltration was continuing on a 'massive' scale.

The Communists argued that the United States did not adhere to the spirit of the Accords. General Tran Van Tra, the Viet Cong representative to the Four-Power Commission, maintained that the United States and South Viet Nam attempted to use the agreement, "in accordance with their existing plans, ... to pacify, encroach, and build a strong army in order to change the balance of forces in their favor and gain
Between 27 January and 27 March 1973 the last American military forces left South Viet Nam. U.S. Army soldiers and U.S. Air Force airmen board a plane bound for the United States while representatives of the four-power Joint Military Commission observed.

Even more critical than the issue of total removal of U.S. forces and their allies from South Viet Nam was the question of what to do with North Vietnamese troops still occupying RVN territory. Despite serving as voting members of the Joint Military Commission responsible for maintenance of the peace, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong openly violated the cease-fire agreement. Using force wherever necessary to accomplish political ends, Communist military activities focused on strategically important areas. One such area and the site of numerous cease-fire violations was the Mekong River which played a central role in the resupply of Cambodia and U.S. support of that government.

On 29 June 1973, Congress altered that role when it voted on the Case-Church Amendment, a measure to end military assistance to Cambodia. Unlike its predecessor, the Cooper-Church Amendment that had attempted to ban combat activity in Cambodia in 1970, this rider to a continuing funding resolution passed. It prohibited the United States, after 15 August 1973, from engaging in any combat activity in Indochina.

Under the direction of General Van Tien Dung, the Ho Chi Minh Campaign was the final assault on Saigon between April 26 and April 30,1975. During late March and early April, Dung moved eighteen North Vietnamese Army (NVA) divisions into place within a 40-mile radius of Saigon. Dung's attack plan worked flawlessly. The fighting was intense, but ARVN units kept falling back into an increasingly tight circle around Saigon. On April 29 the city was coming under intense artillery barrages, and NVA units had entered the outskirts of the city. The last Americans were evacuated on April 30, and the North Vietnamese took control of Saigon.

The Ho Chi Minh Campaign, and the war, was over.

Monday, August 16, 2004

A few Poems

A Plea

Come darkness
And hold me in your sweet embrace.
Wrap me in your flowing cloak
That others may not see
My tears.

Night Seasons

I love the night,
The way snow falls through the light.
As if it just magically appears
From just out of sight.

I love the spring rain,
The way it heals pain.
The staccato rushing sound,
As it runs down the drain.

I love the summer wind,
The way tree limbs bend.
Howling storms in the dark
That seems to never end.

I love the fall,
Most glorious season of all.
Bone dry colored leaves
Scatter rustle and sprawl.

These things I hold dear.
My loved ones are near.
All through the long night,
I have no fear.



Head over heal.
Through the darkness I wheel.

No one to hear.
Is what I most Fear.



In this black pit.

God help me

Wake up

Before I…

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The unbearable brightness of being John Kerry,2933,128561,00.html

In an Oct. 14, 1979, letter to the editor of the Boston Herald, Kerry wrote: "I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real."

Kerry, a senator from Massachusetts, also talked about his experience during a speech on the Senate floor on March 27, 1986.

"I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia," Kerry said.......

...... The Kerry campaign first asserted that the Massachusetts senator never said that he was in Cambodia, only that he was near the country. But when presented with a copy of the Congressional Record and asked about Kerry's letter in the Boston Herald, the campaign said it would come up with an explanation. After repeated phone calls, there was still no clarification.

From “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert
Transcript for April 18, 2004
.........MR. RUSSERT: The Boston Globe reports that your commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Grant Hibberd has suggested that you perhaps didn't earn your first Purple Heart and question whether you should have left Vietnam after six months. In order to deal with those kinds of issues, when I asked President Bush about his service in the Texas Guard, he agreed to release all his military records, health records, everything. Would you agree to release all your military records?

SEN. KERRY: I have. I've shown them--they're available to you to come and look at. I think that's a very unfair characterization by that person. I mean, politics is politics. The medical records show that I had shrapnel removed from my arm. We were in combat. We were in a very, very--probably one of the most frightening--if you ask anybody who was with me, the two guys who were with me, was probably the most frightening night that they had that they were in Vietnam and we're...

MR. RUSSERT: But you'll make all your records public.

SEN. KERRY: They are. People can come and see them at headquarters and take a look at them. I'm not going to--but I'll tell you this. I'm proud of my service. I'm proud of what we did. I know what happened. And the Navy 35 years ago made a decision and it's the Navy's decision and I think it was the right decision......

My commentary:
It is quite evident that either, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth or John Kerry is lying through their teeth. One is principled and believable, the other is.... John Kerry.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Once upon a time, there was a young man that was drafted into the US Army. He didn't think of people as members of a race but as individuals each different than the other. He had to change his view, not because he didn't still think of people as individuals but because he found out that a lot of the people he considered as individuals actually thought of themselves as members of a group divided by their skin color.

Some of these people thought that they were better because their skin color was lighter than others and some of them thought that everyone with a skin color lighter than their own, owed them something because their ancestors were mistreated.

The young man passed for being "white", but actually his blood was tainted by Indian, (which the PC crowd likes to call Native American), blood, enough to claim membership in the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. And knowing that those Indian ancestors were not particularly put off by race and having a couple of ancient photos of his ancestors; realized that there might be more than a touch of the tar brush in his genetic make up. (That also explained the knappy hair on a couple of his more recent ancestors.)

The young man had several incidents that have perplexed him to this very day.

One was a "Black" friend that expressed a desire to be a dentist but stated that he couldn't become a dentist because he was "Black", (actually he was light brown and other "Blacks" called him 'Spot', because of his suntan). The young man told Spot he should move farther North, away from his home state of Alabama, where it wouldn't be as much of a problem. Spot, told him he just couldn't understand because the young man was "White" and "White" people wouldn't go to a "Black" dentist.

Another incident was on a bus at night and the young man was the only "White" person on board. A strange "Black" person started ranting about how badly his ancestors, and himself, (evidently), had been treated by "White" people and tried to incite other "Blacks" on the bus to murder him. None of the other "Black" people on the bus stood up for the young man although the few that he knew on board averted their eyes and wouldn't look at the young man. Luckily the trip was over quickly and the young man was setting at the front of the bus. He darted off quickly when the bus stopped. The young man was frightened out of his wits.

The young man was not familiar with the concept of the hyphenated American, (i.e. Afro-American, Mexican-American, ect.), and ran afoul of the consequences of his ignorance. If you are unfamiliar with the relationship between the US and Puerto Rico, a short explanation is in order.

Although Puerto Rico is a "Protectorate" of the US and its citizens have automatic US citizenship; all of the Puerto Ricans the young man knew did not consider themselves US citizens and had a disdain for "Americans" in general. That included Mexicans and Cubans but especially "White" Americans for whom they reserved the special title "Angelos".

The young man found himself in the position of an acting platoon sergeant in a training unit where he was responsible for 30 other young men and among them were six Puerto Ricans. Although the young man had a very limited understanding of Spanish, every time he tried to give an order or pass information, an overwhelming chorus of "no comprehende" came from the Puerto Ricans. Fairly sure that the fault wasn't entirely his own he asked the advice of another acting platoon sergeant that he knew spoke Spanish.

"I'm having some trouble from the Puerto Ricans." YM said.
"What about the Mexicans?" The OYM said in a sharp voice.
"What Mexicans?" YM.
"Rodriguez and Olivera." OYM.
"they're both from Texas!" YM.
"%@$**^ Angleo!" OYM, stalking off in a huff.

Come to find out, the other young man, (OYM), was a hyphenated Mexican-American, with a chip on his shoulder.

You might be glad to know that the young man solved the problem by going to a certain Drill Sergeant Guteries, who handled the matter by threatening the Puerto Ricans lives then told the young man to come and see him if he had any more problems.

One day the young man stopped in a grocery store in a "Black" neighborhood. He attempted to get some change to make a rather urgent phone call. He was refused service because he was "White", even though he offered to buy something.

The young man had many other adventures but what is important are the conclusions drawn from them and not the adventures themselves.

1. It isn't important what other people think about the color of your skin or the skin color of your ancestors. The only thing important is how you acquit yourself as a human being and how you treat others.

2. The "White Man" doesn't keep you down. You do that very well without any help from the "White Man".

3. If you accuse someone of being a racist it is the same thing as accusing them of being a pedophile, there is no defense! It is a cheap shot and morally repugnant. There is nothing you can say or do to prove otherwise. The accusation will live on.

4. If you assume that every "White" person you meet is a racist, without a doubt it will be true, (but only in your mind)!

5. Nobody living is responsible for the wrongs done to your ancestors, real or imagined.

6. You are not entitled to damages done to your remote ancestors, they are dead and those damages were done by other dead people.

7. The worse damages to my ancestors happened over one hundred fifty years ago. Even if yours happened a slightly lesser period of time ago.

Get over it!

What is a "Liberal"???

Since the label, "Liberal", has come into disfavor lately among those like John Kerry; this point may become moot. I have used this point in the past to argue, successfully, that those that have used it are not in fact Liberal.

Mirriam Webster defines it thusly.

capitalized : of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with the principles of political liberalism; especially : of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives

But a few short months ago the definition was different:

Main Entry: liberalism
Function: noun
Date: 1819
1 : the quality or state of being liberal
2 a often capitalized : a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity b : a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard c : a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties d capitalized : the principles and policies of a Liberal party.

A few other definitions:

Main Entry: conservatism
Function: noun
Date: 1835
1 capitalized a : the principles and policies of a Conservative party b : the Conservative party
2 a : disposition in politics to preserve what is established b : a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change
3 : the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change.

Main Entry: progressive
Function: noun
Date: 1846
1 a : one that is progressive b : one believing in moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action
2 capitalized : a member of any of various U.S. political parties: as a : a member of a predominantly agrarian minor party that around 1912 split off from the Republicans; specifically : BULL MOOSE b : a follower of Robert M. La Follette in the presidential campaign of 1924 c : a follower of Henry A. Wallace in the presidential campaign of 1948

Main Entry: state socialism
Function: noun
Date: 1879
: an economic system with limited socialist characteristics introduced by usually gradual political action.

As you can see above, actually those that call themselves Liberals/Progressives are State Socialists. They have merely co-opted their respective labels in an effort to blunt the stigma associated with Socialism. It all reality the people that Call themselves Conservatives actually tend to be more classically Liberal that the people who have co-opted the Liberal label.

George Orwell, noted is his novel "1984", if you control language and education, you effectively control the masses. By changing the meaning of words and by the process of political correctness, the ability to even discuss things like politics or race, is removed.

When I noticed the change in the definition of Liberalism I checked on another word, (marriage). It's definition had also been changed.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The Milk Truck Bogey

Many years ago When I was young and dumb.

I used to change and repair truck tires for Danny's father, Bob. Bob owned a trucking outfit and I had been changing tires for him since I was 14 years old. He would wait until he had several flat tires then he would call me and take me to where he had the tires and vehicles and leave me with tire changing tools. His stepson, my friend Danny, would work with me, and sometimes my brother; and I could make up to $10.00 in a day, which was good money for a punk kid back then.

The process to change a large truck tire, by hand, is labor intensive and dangerous. It involves using large pry bars, sledge hammers, blocks of wood, hydraulic jacks and an assortment of smaller tools for patching and airing the tires.

Bob bought an old milk truck and removed the refrigeration unit so that we could use it to transport our tools and ourselves back and forth, (so he didn’t have to). The milk truck was quite ancient with loose steering and the wind blew through it as if it didn’t have any doors. The truck did not have a heater but it was a place to use for a windbreak, somewhat, and to get out of the rain.

Danny called on a Saturday morning and said, "Dad wants us to go over to Henderson, (a town across the river from us), and change some tires". I said ok, and he came over to pick my brother and I in the milk truck. It was in November and it was raining and as cold as it could get without freezing.

On the way, Danny jerked the steering wheel and said, "watch this". My brother and I were sitting on an old tire in the back, there were no seats, and the truck started swaying side to side, worse and worse, until we slid off the tire we were sitting on and all the tire changing tools were skittering around on the floor. We stared yelling at Danny and he grabbed the steering wheel and the truck quit swerving back and forth.

Now that I’m older I realize that, "watch this", has been the last phrase spoken by many a redneck but Danny thought it was the height of sophisticated wit. He laughed like demented clown and did it again, so I picked up a tire iron and whacked him a good one on the shin. He was sullen the rest of the way to Henderson.

My brother thought that the whack I gave Danny was funny but refrained from laughing out loud because I was still holding the tire iron and eyeing him.

We arrived at the place where the trucks, trailers and tires were and worked for a while. The rain had tapered off to slow cold drizzle and our hands were getting numb from loss of body heat. I complained and Danny said that he had a charcoal grill, starting fluid and charcoal in the back of the truck. So we took them out and started a large charcoal fire in the grill and when the flames went out we put the grill in the back of the truck with the doors open so we could take breaks to warm our hands, and other body parts, over the hot coals in the grill.

We finished the job and Danny said that we needed to change a couple of tires elsewhere. We loaded up the tools and I started to dump the charcoal when Danny said, "Just put it in the milk truck, we’ll need it again and it’s so drafty in the milk truck we aren’t going to suffocate." So we piled into the truck and took off.

We were approaching an overpass on a cloverleaf interchange when Danny looked back at me, gave an impish grin, then whipped the steering wheel again. The truck swerved back and forth harder than before. I was too busy, trying to keep the grill from flipping over with my foot, to do anything about Danny. The truck was swerving wildly and Danny couldn’t seem to get it under control. We struck the guardrail, the truck was top heavy, and it flipped over the rail and rolled down the embankment toward the road going under the overpass.

I don’t know how many times the truck rolled over, at least once, not more than three times. My brother, the tire tools, the sledge hammer, me and charcoal grill did a bit of acrobatics that I don’t believe I’ll ever forget.

The truck landed upright and Danny managed to hang on to the steering wheel and stay in the seat, with a very strange look on his face.

There we were driving down the road in the wrong direction, bruised like we had been in a fight with baseball bats and swatting at smoldering clothes and singed hair.

I earned my money that day!


My wife informed me that we are becoming wealthy.

She bought a new purse today without wearing out the old one first.


Friday, July 30, 2004


My name is Warren and this is my first attempt at a blog. So bear with me as I struggle along and we will see where this goes.

People always tell me how they can't figure me out, (I'll admit it might seem that I'm a bundle of contradictions). It also tells me that someone is trying to pigeon hole me when they say it.

Philosophically I'm a libertarian, (small l), but I realize that not every need can be met with the private sector and that in practical terms liberty comes hand in hand with responsibility. Too many Libertarians do not recognize the need to temper their ideology with practicality. Each decision must be tempered in terms of practical limitation but still must not be fettered by the unreasonable fears held by statists.

I find myself allied with conservatives on most issues although I might come to the same conclusion from a different angle or use history as a reference point for my views.

Enough for now.