Thursday, April 16, 2009


Don't Miss the USS Inchon Association's 5th Reunion! April 22-26 2009, Washington DC

On Christmas 1982, I had the honor of going to Beirut, Lebanon to visit our troops for the USO. I went with Johnny Grant and singer Kellee Patterson. Shortly after I left, over 250 Marines of the 24th MAU were blown up by a suicide bomber. I have such wild tales of my time in Beirut. The Marines picked us up at midnight from the airport in a blackout, driving the jeep through mine fields. We stayed in the partially bombed out Beirut Carlton hotel, where we sat up all night drinking whiskey with Capt. Dale Dye. The next day we were picked up by helicopter and flown to the decks of the USS INCHON and USS SHREVEPORT where I met these amazing men, one of whom is David Fix. David found me on Facebook and invited me to Washington D.C. for the 5th Inchon reunion, which starts tomorrow.

Talk about a strip search! As we left Beirut we were strip searched by the Lebanese... (just the women were!)

I am still trying to figure out a way to fly in on the weekend and surprise them. I had a work-related conflict and couldn't make it as of last week. If by Friday, I am back in town I would love to be there!

The 5th Reunion for former shipmates of the USS Inchon will be held in Washington, DC From April 22-26, 2009. We will be meeting for hospitality, tours, dining and friendship at the Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Dulles Airport.
Host Hotel:

Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts

ReservationWeb Site: Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts

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But first, an important word from

"War is the thread that binds, even as it unravels." - Scott Kesterson, veteran and war reporter

Today we'd like to tell you about an important new project that has the potential to both change the way veterans communicate and to revolutionize the treatment of combat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It's called Not Alone, and this is what it's all about:

Mike Jones was back home for almost a year when he started to wonder why the problems weren't going away. He wondered why he couldn't drive down the road without his heart racing, why he could still hear the echo of chatter on the tactical radio in his head, and why the dreams wouldn't stop. "I can do this," Mike said to himself. "I survived war. I can defeat this."

Yet there he was, angry and bitter a year after his second tour. He was alone. For the first time in his life, something was defeating him. Mike's body and his mind were still on patrol. He just wasn't deployed anymore.

It doesn't have to be like that.

"Not Alone" is a community, by warriors and spouses and for warriors and spouses, created to help find the new normal after the war. It lets warriors and spouses anonymously talk about their problems through forums, social networking and blogs. Here you can find others that have gone through exactly what you have gone through. And soon you will be able to find expert help here too.

You can help and find help at Not Alone in three ways...

1. Listen to stories of other members such as Brandon Friedman and Kayla Williams, as they discuss what war is like and what they faced in coming home. Hear how they've begun to rebuild their lives after the devastation of war. Or hear how spouses like Michelle Briggs and Marshele Waddell picked up the pieces after their husbands returned with deep wounds, visible and not.
2. Sign up now! Join the community. Find support and be supported in the forums.
3. Donate either time or money to tackle the issues that combat stress are placing on our warriors and families today. Rand, in their groundbreaking 2007 study, estimates that over 300,000 families are dealing with combat stress and post-traumatic stress.

Most importantly, you can spread the word. Tell others about Not Alone.

Sincerely, Brandon Friedman
Vice Chairman,
Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran

I really feel badly for these women. If there are any psychiatrists in the house, please tell us where phobias like these come from. What causes this kind of thing? Is it a brain disorder or did someone the kid to eat cotton candy early in life? And to viewers, would you please share your own phobias? You can do it anonymously, as I turned on "anonymous comments" here in the comment section. Thank you.




  1. Friday Comic Relief: Please look at the blog if you need a laugh. You may leave comments about anything going on -- the tea-baggers (you have to hear our radio show today with political strategists Dave Schwartz and Peggy Maze Johnson) it is HILARIOUS -- all about the tea-baggers with some naughy jokes.

    Check the archives at

    And let me know if you think Congress will go after the big guys on the torture memos. Do you agree with Obama for saying he won't prosecute the CIA employees who were just following the legal orders? Should we go after the lawyers who wrote these memos?

    Also, it would help to turn off the TV and all media at least one day a week, or for several hours each day. Meditation is the key to peace:

    "That's why so many of us teach meditation. Because when you stop thought, you stop resistant thought. When you stop resistant thought, then you let it in. That's why we teach appreciation, because when you're in appreciation, you are not in the mode of resistance, and you are letting it in."

    Excerpted from the workshop in North Los Angeles, CA on Monday, August 13th, 2001

    Our Love,
    Jerry and Esther

  2. By "Letting it in" they mean, letting love and peace in. Prayer is asking God, meditation is listening to the answers from God -- or your highest self that knows all the answers. It's within you.

  3. No country that treats its veterans the way we do deserves to exist. They get shot at, maimed, mauled, and all they get when they get home is a slot on a long waiting list. Why? Because those yellow-magnet "patriots" don't want to pay a DIME towards doing right by our veterans. Much like their hero, the cockroach Cheney, they dismiss what has been done to our vets with the Rushpublican chickenhawk cry of "THEY VOLUNTEERED!!!"

    I really wish that all these yellow-magnet war lovers could be rounded up and dropped in Kandahar. Maybe then, they might understand what it is that's happening to our servicepeople. Hell, they might even consent to PAYING a little bit to take care of them afterwards.

  4. Lydia,

    Thanks for the heads up on VoteVet. I'm now a member.

  5. Great Frank! I think they need actual face-to-face meetings in every city. Like 12-step meetings, which are so incredibly healing and fun.

    There is nothing like being with people who totally understand what you're going through. One minute you're laughing and the next you're crying and it's the most healing thing on earth.

  6. I am also on Not Alone. What a great site. Thanks again.

  7. Lydia, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for posting on my blog ... and also a sincere thank you to Will for the same thing.

    It's not much but it is kind of nice to have a place to let your feelings be known where people can see them.

  8. I think your example of phobias, though funny in this case, resonates with the case of using an insect on a detainee who had a deathly fear of insects.

    These documents read like Nazi rule books.

    This is abominable that a civilized nation would allow this.

  9. I am speaking of the abominable torture memos. Have you read them?

  10. In a footnote to a May 10, 2005, memorandum from the Office of Legal Council, the Bush attorney general's office argued that restricting the caloric intake of terrorist suspects to 1000 calories a day was medically safe because people in the United States were dieting along those lines voluntarily*

    **Women in the U.S. were dieting on 1,000 calories a day with Slim Fast and Jenny Craig. This is the Bush administration's rationale.

    "While detainees subject to dietary manipulation are obviously situated differently from individuals who voluntarily engage in commercial weight-loss programs, we note that widely available commercial weight-loss programs in the United States employ diets of 1000 kcal/day for sustain periods of weeks or longer without requiring medical supervision," read the footnote. "While we do not equate commercial weight loss programs and this interrogation technique, the fact that these calorie levels are used in the weight-loss programs, in our view, is instructive in evaluating the medical safety of the interrogation technique."

    Buried on the seventh page of a 43-page document, the note on dietary restrictions underscores the painstaking detail to which the Bush administration went in order to validate the use of harsh interrogation techniques. It also reflects a tendency by the memo's authors to put some of their more interesting reflections not in the text of the memo itself, but in the footnotes.

    Also listed at the bottom of some of the memorandum pages are admissions of interrogations that crossed medical and ethical lines, tips on how to prolong techniques while staying within the confines of the legal limits, and detailed efforts to objectively define what constitutes torture and pain.

    Take, for instance, a footnote from the page 41 of that same memo, in which the authors acknowledged that for a period of time interrogators had been using waterboarding with more frequency and intensity than was deemed medically safe.

    "The difference was in the manner in which the detainee's breathing was obstructed," read the footnote, citing an earlier Inspector General report. "At the SERE school and in the DoJ opinion, the subject's airflow is disrupted by the firm application of a damp cloth over the air passages; the interrogator applies a small amount of water to the cloth in a controlled manner. By contrast, the Agency interrogator ... applied large volumes of water to a cloth that covered the detainee's mouth and nose."

    After medical officials said they could not ensure the safety of the form of waterboarding being used by Agency interrogators, the interrogators implemented "a number of changes in the application ... including limits on the frequency and cumulative use of the technique," according to the footnote.

    Sam Stein

  11. I just watched the Susan Boyle clip -- amazing!!!

  12. Interesting,

    The guy the reich wing trumpeted to deny this story as false;

    Shock TroopsMaster Sergeant John Hatley, First Sergeant for Company A, First Battalion, First Infantry Division, during it's deployment in Iraq.

    .... was convicted two days ago by a military Courts-Martial in Germany of executing four handcuffed, blindfolded Iraqi men by shooting them in the backs of their heads.

    In effect senior officers of the United States Army said he was not what he portrayed himself to be during the orchestrated reich wing media attack on the Beauchamp article. Instead he was criminal guilty of murder, and sentenced him to life in prison. sort of undercuts his statements don't ya think?

    In other words what was written by Private Beauchamp did have merit because the people he wrote about especially senior enlisted have been found guilty. The people the reich wing spinmeisters relied on sort of have been convicted of crimes like Beauchamp wrote about.

    Besides Hadley two others have Beauchamp served with also been imprisoned for the crimes they committed.

    Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr., 28, the medic for the unit Hadley was in, was found of premeditated murder in February and sentenced him to life in prison.

    On March 30, Sgt. First Class Joseph P. Mayo, 27, pleaded guilty to murder and received a 35-year sentence.

    Sort of makes you wonder why the reich-wing media worked so hard to deny the truth the US Army just confirmed?

    Sort of makes you wonder why the reich-wing media worked so hard to deny the truth the US Army just confirmed?

    Why not actually find out what the truth actually is before going all rabid over somebody who in the end simply reported what he saw?

  13. Gary, welcome and thank you. I agree and didn't think of it when I posted that video of the woman afraid of cotton balls!

    Thanks Clif, very strange stuff.
    Hey remember that Lindy Englund (is that her name?) - the woman they put in prison for the crimes of Abu Ghrahib?

    This one lone woman and I think one or two other soldiers were indicted for all these crimes.

    Obama needs to address this stuff, these memos out loud, and say to the world: "See, America examines its own behavior, feels shame, tries to right the wrongs, and opens these documents up for all to see, because we can't hide the truth or keep secrets such as this. These kinds of secrets always are discovered and the cover-up or the crime of hiding things is always worse than just admitting mistakes and rectifying them.

    One thing I admire about America is our intense debate over moral issues.

  14. Hi Everyone...

    I love the phobia thing.

    I do know a bit about phobias...and they are not "really" major psyciactric issues...Unless they really hinder your day to day living. I didn't watch the videos though...for some reason my computer is not playing things in web pages. I will say this. A lot of phobias arise from a trumatic experience...a lot of the the experience is forgotten or blocked from the conscious. Some phobias are not....for they remember the inital experience...and "pickles" or "cotton" bring to them a fearful or grossed out memory. The psyc issue around phobias is that...they can be hereditary...OR...conditioned to a child at an early age. I'll explain.

    My grandmother, my Mom and her siblings...down to my generation are very phobic and supersticious. No one in my family has anything to do with the color GREEN. It is a pretty different shades...Kelly Green...nature in the grass, trees and plants...etc... Something trumatic happened in my family generations ago when someone was wearing green and a gypsy told her..."because you are Irish...and today is such and will receive very bad news...someone you love will die".
    That night her mother died of a bad asthma attack. So...there is one form.

    I have...and there is a word for's called sensory something or other. I HATE to have anything on my hands. I don't like peanut butter, sticky syrup, dirt...etc on my hands.

    I also am a 4th generation claustophobic. I feel smothered very easily. I hate when someone is standing over me when I'm lying or sitting down. I hate being in cars without sunroofs. I hate to sleep in the bed facing a wall...etc...

    When I was a best friend to this day...dropped a big scary beetle down the back of my shirt. It was crawling and running around inside my shirt on my back. Bang. I am phobic about bugs.

    I have very bad dreams about dark water...running on the pier at night...and starting to lose my vision. I have a fear of dark scary water under bridges and such at night. Phobia, hello? That stems from a recurring nightmare that I've had since childhood. I don't get it...but, I still avoid that situation.

    I'm afraid of getting worms.

    When I was a kid...raised by my grandmother, everything would give me worms. "That gum is loaded with sugar...AND YOU'LL GET WORMS!!!" OR "Take off that wet bathing suit or YOU'LL GET WORMS!!!"

    I hate worms.

    Then finally, I hate orange flavored chapstick. I smell the scent of that "orange" from time to time and really feel a bit nauseous...and ready to hurl.

    This is just a scratch off my phobias.

    More to come...



  15. Oh,


    he ……


    Call fake noise,


    the fat drug addict,

    the WSJ,

    Moonie times

    charge up the ranting reich wingbat screeching machine;

    because Obama shakes hands and bows to;


    Humans are no longer safe ………..

    this needs hyperventilation

    like none other

    they have done

    since November.

  16. It wasn't a bow. He grasped his paw with two hands, and he's taller than the golden retriever...

    That and the dog probably harbored anti-American sentiments, and I'm sure Obama apologized to the dog for America's behavior.

    You gotta admit though it's refreshing to finally have a president who grovels at the feet of petty dictators and third world thugs.

  17. As opposed to trying to be one?t

  18. "That and the dog probably harbored anti-American sentiments, and I'm sure Obama apologized to the dog for America's behavior."

    Thanks to the previous administration -- most of the world is harboring anti-American sentiments.

  19. Lawrence O'Donnell really stood up to the right-wing talking points on this one.

    I'll post it on the blog shortly.

    Jim - love your phobia story!

  20. The long suspected blackmailing of Democratic congress members to support crimes and abuses has begun to be reported as documented fact in at least the case of Rep. Jane Harman.

  21. Thank you for supporting the troops. That is a sad story about the marines that were killed in Beirut. The USO is a great organization. They send packages to our troops around the world. Please support your USO.
    thank you

  22. Yep, support the troops.

    End the illegal Iraqi war,

    and bring all those troops home to their families.

    Then give them the medical care they need and stop allowing mid level bureaucrats the right to deny care based on the scams the DOD and VA used under bush mis-administration to deny care.

    Make sure they all get a real chance to use the Webb GI bill.

    PS take the liars and scam artists who started the illegal War in Iraq starting with Bush, Cheney Rumsfeld, ET Al and ship their sorry asses off to the Hague for the War Crimes trials they deserve.

    All those who advocated torture using the powers of the US Government, they need their time in the docket, because if we could imprison Japanese soldiers for water boarding US troops we need to demand the same justice for the Bush Admin criminals.

    Justice is supposed to be blind, thus it can never be stopped because it is Americans who committed war crimes.

    When we do then we all can claim to be returning to the America which fought communism and nazism, instead of following both in their darker propensities of absolute power, for it's own sake.

    That would be supporting the troops.

  23. Brig. Gen.Janet Karpinski makes a very good point,

    Where the hell was the chicken sh*t, chicken hawk, dick cheney ET AL when the US Army was trying the Abu Graibe low ranking soldiers, for acting on the orders they received?

    Because we all now know the soldiers were acting on orders from HIGH above, the Pentagon and possibly the White House.

    Where the f@#k was Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush when enlisted soldiers took the fall for the crimes they ordered?

    Being the cowards they have always been.

    They have allowed enlisted people to have their lives disrupted and sent to jail, and LIED to hide their criminal complacency, and guilt.

    Looks like the Bush Admin (and their echo chamber spin machine) never really supported the troops at all ....... just used them and then abandoned them.

  24. I guess they water boarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the 183rd time because they couldn't accept the intell they got from the previous 182 water boardings of him.

    To wit;

    ...for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."


    "There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," he continued.

    "Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."
    .... because we all know it is the special 183rd water boarding that is absolute proof.

    The rest just softening him up.

  25. I cant believe that Nazi Imbecile Cheney is STILL trying to justify and and glorify torture..........there is NO justification for torture........torture and premptive war are the "Nazi Doctrine"

    Cheney is a fool to be brazenly admitting and trying to justify torture he should be given a fair trial and turned over to the hague or hung if and when he is found guilty.

    Like I said 3-4 years ago this treasonous war criminal should be twisting in the wind at the gallows.

  26. No Cheney should spend the rest of his days walking the halls of a place like Spandau Prison was.

  27. Blogger clif said...

    Brig. Gen.Janet Karpinski makes a very good point,

    Where the hell was the chicken sh*t, chicken hawk, dick cheney ET AL when the US Army was trying the Abu Graibe low ranking soldiers, for acting on the orders they received?

    Because we all now know the soldiers were acting on orders from HIGH above, the Pentagon and possibly the White House.

    Where the f@#k was Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush when enlisted soldiers took the fall for the crimes they ordered?

    Being the cowards they have always been."

    They were throwing the soldiers under the bus just like they did by using them as cannon fodder to enrich their oil company and military industrial complex cronnies when they committed treason by lying us into a disaterous war of choice based on a pack of self serving Neo Con lies............then denying them proper eqipment to keep them safe, proper medical care, benefits and adaquate rest time from active duty deployment.

    They dont give a rats ass about the troops...........they just use them as props like GWB did with his pig farm/ranch to win elections and get support for their treasonous and destructive policies.........just as they do with their PHONY Patriotism.

  28. Shame on Obama and his administration if he obstructs justice and tries to shield or protect these dispicable treasonous war criminals.

  29. In the annals of wingnuttery this is just plain mean spirited;

    Commissioners rejected $373,000 in stimulus money to buy three new transit buses and upgrade their fleet, citing their opposition of deficit spending for buses and vans.

    "I'll let Warren County go broke before taking any of Obama's filthy money," Commissioner Mike Kilburn said.
    ODOT spokesman Scott Varner said the money was specifically for transit improvements in rural areas to improve transportation for disabled people, seniors and others needing access to health care and educational opportunities."I'm tired of paying for people who don't have," Kilburn said. "As Reagan said, 'Government is not the answer, it's the problem.'"Disabled people, seniors and others needing access to health care and educational opportunities. obviously the very welfare queens Reagan lied about also.

    Damn why are so many wingnut politicos such a$$holes?

  30. Chris Mathews absolutely bitchslapped that repug IDIOT John Ensign who was TRYING to justify torture.

  31. People NEED to remember this stuff and vote these A$$holes out of office.

  32. Holder says 'no one is above the law' as calls for special prosecutor mountThe Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer in the United States, saying he will follow the law, and punish people who broke it;

    What a concept.

    amazing .......

    Hope Gonzo don't get too scared he failed miserably at the job.

  33. The repug party has become the party of TORTURE and reckless tax cuts for the ultra wealthy..........they are intellectually bankrupt and dont stand for ANYTHING ELSE.

    They have been using the SAME tired talking points for close to 100 years now they essentially want to torture JUST LIKE the oppressive regimes and dictators they CLAIM to abhor and they want to redistrute income by robbing from the middle class and poor and redistributing money to the ultra wealthy while CLAIM to hate income redistribution and welfare.

    the repug brand of cronny capitalism is kind of like the reverse Robin Hood plan where Bush and Paulson and their band of merry men rob from the working class and poor and give corportate WELFARE to the corporate elite and ultra wealthy.

  34. The repug brand is imploding just as it did in the 1930's during the Great Depression!

  35. Mike, the social conservatards, no longer can stomach the small goberment of the libertarians cause they don't get to force us to blindly follow their batsh*t insane ideas, with the full force of the biblical goberment they crave, the fiscal conservatards can't thunk of how to defend the bush mis-admin, and penile dysfunction militarists and neo-cons can't defend their war crimes of the last 8 years, so they are all tearing at each other for control of the sinking stinking pile of flotsam they call a party and of course Reagan's rotting corpse, with King Oxi-codone riding shotgun booting everyone off who doesn't bow low enough to him.

    Get some popcorn and soda, this will take a while.

  36. Hey, we're having M*A*S*H* star Mike Farrell on the show tomorrow, and he's narrating a documentary called "life sentence"

    Please tune in.

    I just am about to post amazing articles on the torture memos, the Senate Armed Services committee report implicating Rumsfield, et al, and a brilliant article on the evils of Dick Cheney. Several items on this.

    On the new blog thread please tell me your opinion: should we prosecute them for war crimes and show the world we don't tolerate criminals in the White House and in our government?

    Please leave comments on the new thread. Thank you...