Thursday, April 30, 2009


In no particular order . . .

CASABLANCA - see article below dedicated to this all-time Hollywood classic.

CITIZEN KANE - Orson Welles was the star, producer & director at a mere age 25. The movie was controversial as it supposedly paralleled the life of William Randolf Hearst of the publication world. The film was originally released in 1941, and for that reason (the war) it wasn't seen by a lot of movie houses. After the war it was re-released & it took off like wildfire . . . R-O-S-E-B-U-D ! ! ! (Remember that name...)

CALIGULA - "When in Rome . . ." this is Penthouse founder Bob Guccione's depiction of the most sexually depraved society of all time at it's most extreme (I included this one on a dare.) The Roman Empire was never portrayed in more vivid realism - if you want to see Rome, see this movie.

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA - An English guy who fought the Turkish, Lawrence was a candidate for Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder Poster Boy. A fantastic story, an incredibly well-made movie experience.

LORD JIM - Joseph Conrad's masterpiece brought to screen. Another Conrad-inspired story made this list, do you know which one?

THE PATRIOT - Given the way things are going against those who would call themselves patriots . . .

RAN - Akira Kurasawa's version of King Lear, set in medieval Japan. Armies of samurai hacking each other to bits.

APOCALYPSE NOW - Best War Movie of All Time (BLACKHAWK DOWN is a close second for this title); War is stupid, and dodging bullets cannot be replicated in a theater, so why not go all-out insane and make it a good show?

BEN HUR - 11 - count 'em - ELEVEN Academy Awards; the chariot race alone is worthy, and then there's the sea battle.

THE GREEN BERETS - (or just about any movie with John Wayne) Based on a true story, it demonstrates the bias of the left media 40 years ago - they should update it for Iraq/Afghanistan and re-release it; nothing has changed with left-wing media bias.


" . . . the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world . . . "

CASABLANCA (1942) is Stormbringer’s personal choice for Greatest Film of All-Time if for no other reason it takes place my old stomping grounds, French North Africa, and mirrors to an incredible degree a memorable life-imitates-art episode of my unusual career.

A remarkable piece of Allied wartime propaganda, Casablanca takes place in unoccupied French Morocco during the early years of World War II. The film won three Academy Awards; Best Picture, Best Director, and Writing Adapted Screenplay.

Humphrey Bogart plays American soldier-of-fortune Rick Blaine. His nightclub, "Rick's Café Américain", is infested with intrigue. This was back in the day when people actually dressed in style; Rick holds court and holds his own amongst a collection of desperadoes, ne’er-do-wells and outright criminals, decades before James Bond adopted the dinner-jacket as a personal trademark.

A complex character, Rick carries himself as a hardened, embittered cynic (“I stick my neck out for nobody.”) Rick is a man’s man, but his outer shell masks an inner human spirit revealed by a recitation of his credentials – he ran guns to the Ethiopians in their struggle against Mussolini’s forces, he fought the fascists in Spain.

Corrupt leader of the local French gendarmerie, Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) nearly steals the show. The following dialogue suggests Captain Renault’s tolerance and admiration for Rick as a kind of romantic adventurer:

Renault: I've often speculated why you don't return to America. Did you abscond with the church funds? Did you run off with a Senator's wife? I like to think that you killed a man. It's the romantic in me.

Rick: It's a combination of all three.

Renault: And what in Heaven's name brought you to Casablanca?

Rick: My health. I came to Casablanca for the waters.

Renault: The waters? What waters? We're in the desert.

Rick: I was misinformed.

Captain Renault utters several of the film’s many signature lines:

“I'm only a poor corrupt official.”

“I'm making out the report now. We haven't quite decided whether he committed suicide or died trying to escape.”

And this sublime classic:

Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

(A croupier hands Renault a pile of money): Your winnings, sir.

Renault: Oh, thank you very much.

The film features a classic 1940s lineup of high-profile characters; Peter Lorre is Ugarte, a petty criminal, ("... somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust.") Sydney Greenstreet plays Signor Ferrari, a major figure in the criminal underworld and Rick's business rival (“As the leader of all illegal activities in Casablanca, I am an influential and respected man.”) Conrad Veidt portrays the film’s obligatory Hollywood Nazi, Major Strasser.

The well-known main plotline involves Rick’s former lover Ilsa, Swedish hottie Ingrid Bergman, who arrives in Casablanca (“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”) with husband (and third wheel) Czech resistance fighter Victor Lazlo, played by Paul Henreid.

And of course there is Dooley Wilson as Rick’s sidekick, Sam, one of the few American members of the cast. Wilson enshrines himself into Hollywood immortality in less than a dozen lines and a stanza of song:

Ilsa: Play it once, Sam, for old times' sake.

Sam: I don't know what you mean, Miss Ilsa.

Ilsa: [whispered] Play it, Sam. Play As Time Goes By.

Sam: Why, I can't remember it, Miss Ilsa. I'm a little rusty on it.

Ilsa: I'll hum it for you. [Ilsa hums two bars. Sam starts to play] Sing it, Sam.

Sam: [singing]
You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss
A sigh is just a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by . . .

The action is at a realistic pace; irony, intrigue and sub-plots abound, gunfire is infrequent but 100% lethal; and sex is obliquely referred to (not vividly portrayed as it is nowadays to the point of distraction). Annina, a young Bulgarian refugee (played by Joy Page) offers her body to Rick in exchange for visas out of Casablanca - the premise for the film’s intrigue – for herself and her husband:

Annina: Oh, monsieur, you are a man. If someone loved you very much, so that your happiness was the only thing that she wanted in the world, but she did a bad thing to make certain of it, could you forgive her?

Rick: Nobody ever loved me that much.

Annina: And he never knew, and the girl kept this bad thing locked in her heart? That would be all right, wouldn't it?

In a rare glimpse of his inner human side, Rick declines the offer:

Rick: You want my advice?

Annina: Oh, yes, please.

Rick: Go back to Bulgaria.

In a gesture of class that is his personal style, Rick squares away the couple with visas, gratis. The indirect manner this sexual proposition is suggested – as with heroine Ilsa’s nocturnal rendezvous with Rick later in the plotline – is typical of the 1940s film noire genre.

Discussion of the love affair between Rick and Ilsa requires analysis worthy of a term-paper; their incredible parting scene makes the film and is iconic in Hollywood lore:

Rick: Last night we said a great many things. You said I was to do the thinking for both of us. Well, I've done a lot of it since then, and it all adds up to one thing: you're getting on that plane with Victor where you belong.

Ilsa: But, Richard, no, I... I...

Rick: Now, you've got to listen to me! You have any idea what you'd have to look forward to if you stayed here? Nine chances out of ten, we'd both wind up in a concentration camp. Isn't that true, Louie?

Captain Renault: I'm afraid Major Strasser would insist.

Ilsa: You're saying this only to make me go.

Rick: I'm saying it because it's true. Inside of us, we both know you belong with Victor. You're part of his work, the thing that keeps him going. If that plane leaves the ground and you're not with him, you'll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.

Ilsa: But what about us?

Rick: We'll always have Paris. We didn't have, we, we lost it until you came to Casablanca. We got it back last night.

Ilsa: When I said I would never leave you.

Rick: And you never will. But I've got a job to do, too. Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that. Now, now... Here's looking at you kid.

Rick’s status as a cold-as-ice tough guy is confirmed in the film’s final confrontation, with Nazi Major Strasser:

Rick: Get away from that phone.

Major Strasser: I would advise you not to interfere.

Rick: I was willing to shoot Captain Renault, and I’m willing to shoot you.

There is an exchange of gunfire; the German officer’s shot goes wide, Rick’s M1911 Colt .45 (Stormbringer’s personal sidearm of choice) barks once and Major Strasser crumples to the ground.

As the gendarmes arrive on the scene, Captain Renault – who witnessed the shooting - handles the situation with typical Gallic pragmatism:

Renault: Major Strasser’s been shot! Round up the usual suspects.

The film closes with a remarkable camera angle as Rick and Captain Renault march away in step, in near-military style. A final exchange dialogue that punctuates the understated brilliance of the screenplay’s dialogue:

Renault: It might be a good idea for you to disappear from Casablanca for awhile. There’s a Free French garrison over at Brazzaville. I could be induced to arrange a passage.

Rick: My letter of transit? But it doesn’t make any difference about our bet. You still owe me ten thousand francs.

Renault: And that ten thousand francs should pay our expenses.

Rick: Our expenses?

Renault: Uh-huh.

Rick: Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Fade out – The End.

Monday, April 27, 2009


What can we expect from the Obama Administration backing up Israel? Forget about Carter and Camp David; Chamberlain and Munich are a better comparison. Barack cozies up to dictators and delivers pain and suffering:

During the Presidential Campaign, Obama said he'd make dialog with our adversaries and restore the esteem which the United States held prior to the Iraq Invasion.

Recent actions by the Obama Administrations have done little to reassure Israelis. On the contrary, the current message being telegraphed from Washington to Tel Aviv is: get ready to evacuate the West Bank settlements if you want our help with Iran. What is more disturbing is that similar concessions are not being sought from Iran. The Guardian reported April 14: "In what amounts to a major policy shift, the Obama administration is set to drop as a precondition for the start of negotiations on the nuclear issue - that Iran first suspends its uranium enrichment process. The precondition has been the biggest stumbling block in efforts over the past few years to open talks. The Bush administration insisted upon it but Tehran adamantly refused."

I hope the next Brit that visits the White House gifts him an umbrella, for all the excrement that is about to befall the people of the United States (and Israel).


This is strategic analysis of the highest order and you can bet dollars to doughnuts the CIA, the DIA and the US State Dept are looking long & hard at these developments.

Can a guerrilla force of 500 knock over a modern, established nation-state? In 1959 Fidel Castro pulled such a maneuver off, but Cuba of the Batista regime did not possess an army as professional and well-equipped as the Pakistani Army.

Contrary to popular opinion, the majority of the Cuban people were not with Fidel's revolution . . . and the majority of the Pakistani population is not with the Taliban. It is only possible for the Taliban to make such advances in the Federally Administered Tribal Regions, which are semi-autonomous and only nominally controlled by the government of Pakistan.

I suggest is that it is one thing for the Taliban to establish themselves in the autonomous Tribal areas; taking and (holding) territory in Pakistan proper against the regular Pakistani forces is quite another equation altogether. The one single factor that galvanizes Pakistani military forces against internal threat is the EXTERNAL threat they perceive (India).

Remember when Obama called for the invasion of Pakistan, during the election? We all laughed this off at the time as a classic case of foot-in-mouth disease.

I imagine it comes down to a question of will. If we - or the Pakistani government - possess the national strength of will, then the Taliban do not stand a chance. On the other hand, if we waiver in our commitment and the Pakistanis are weak in the face of adversity, then we are looking at the possibility of a total mess in Pakistan. At this time the US must consider the extreme worst-case-scenario: a nuclear-armed Taliban.

Queen's knight to Queen's bishop 3; your move, Mr. Obama.

Sunday, April 26, 2009



On a Saturday afternoon in Washington, D. C., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's aide visited the Cardinal of the Catholic cathedral.

He told the Cardinal that Nancy Pelosi would be attending the next day's sermon, and he asked if the Cardinal would kindly point out Pelosi to the congregation and say a few words that would include calling Pelosi a saint.

The Cardinal replied, "No. I personally don't like the woman, and there are issues of conflict with the Catholic Church over certain of Pelosi's views."

Pelosi's aide then said, "Look, I'll write a check here and now for a donation of $100,000 to your church if you'll just tell the congregation you see Pelosi as a saint."

The Cardinal thought about it and said, "Well, the church can use the money, so I'll work your request into tomorrow's sermon."

As Pelosi's aide promised, House Speaker Pelosi appeared for the Sunday sermon and seated herself prominently at the edge of the main aisle. And, during the sermon, as promised, the Cardinal pointed out that House Speaker Pelosi was present.

Then the Cardinal went on to explain to the congregation: "While Speaker Pelosi's presence is probably an honor to some, she is not my favorite person. Some of her views are contrary to those of the church, and she tends to flip-flop on many other views. Nancy Pelosi is a petty, self-absorbed hypocrite, a thumb sucker, and a nit-wit. Nancy Pelosi is also a serial liar, a cheat, and a thief.

"Nancy Pelosi is the worst example of a Catholic I have ever personally witnessed. She married for money and is using it to lie to the American people. She also has a reputation for shirking her Representative obligations both in Washington and in California. She simply is not to be trusted."

The Cardinal completed his view of Pelosi with, "But, when compared to Senators Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, and John Kerry, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a saint."

Saturday, April 25, 2009


The Dardanelles / Gallipoli campaign of 1915 set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies, via the straits of the Dardanelles. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany.

This was the Operation Enduring Freedom (Iraq War) of its day; what had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. But while Operation Enduring Freedom actually achieved its tactical objectives, Gallipoli was a tactical and strategic defeat for Allied forces. As First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill is credited with developing the overall strategy; the campaign's failure led to Churchill’s demotion and contributed to the collapse of Prime Minister H. H. Asquith's government.

On 15 November 1915 Churchill resigned from the government, and, though remaining an MP, served for several months on the Western Front commanding the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, under the rank of Colonel. This is the equivalent of a Bush Administration cabinet-level Secretary – or a serving Congressman - participating in a front-line capacity in the battles of Fallujah or Rumallah.

The campaign began in February 1915 with a series of naval actions in which aging British and French battleships attempted to force the straits. These actions proved disastrous after mines sank two British battleships.

Commonwealth & French forces landed at Gallipoli on 25 April against fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders. At the end of 1915 allied forces evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships.

In all, the Gallipoli Campaign cost the Allies 141,113 killed and wounded and the Turks 195,000. Over 11,200 Australian and New Zealander soldiers were killed and approximately 23,700 were wounded in Gallipoli, of which some 2000+ were permanently maimed (as attested in the patriotic song ‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’).

The Australian and New Zealand casualty figures represented a significant percentage of the overall military-age population:
• Approximately 40% of the available men of military age of Australia and New Zealand (about 10% of the total population of both countries) served in World War I.
• Of the total casualties 1914-1918, almost 15% of all Australians and New Zealanders killed in action (KIA) during the First World War died during a six-month time period in a very small place called Gallipoli.

By direct comparison to the current American men-of-military-age demographic, this would represent an approximate figure of 600,000-plus KIA across any single six-month period 2003 to present, in an area of operations less than 7 miles wide by 25 miles long. I have always maintained that “body count math” is a sick science that absorbs defeatists, but this ratio certainly puts our current engagements into a perspective that even the most cynical critic of the current conflict must appreciate.

References –
website, Australian War Memorial,
website, New Zealand History Online,


What is ANZAC Day and why is it important? Scroll down to learn more about ANZAC Day . . .


Modern ANZAC Day Aussie Pride . . .


What is ANZAC Day?

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. ANZAC Day – 25 April – marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

This day special to Australians -

In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. They landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers were killed. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Crazy Times — Crazier Times to Follow

There have been a few crazy years like 2009 in American history — 1860, 1929, 1941, and 1968. And given what followed all of them, it might be wise to prepare for even crazier times for us ahead.

This is the genius insight of Victor Davis Hanson . . . classicist scholar, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


This is on MSN MONEY for Chrissakes ! ! !

All this time I've been looking for the perfect investment for these times and all this time the answer's been sitting there right in front of me staring me right in the face . . .



Here's an interesting link to the TEA website. This page is to a national map with pins showing locations of all the parties registered for July 4. There are 442 sites already:

Whatever this phenomena is, whether it's it's a flash-in-the-pan or it's the true beginning of a groundswell movement - and I believe it is the latter - I bet you dollars to doughnuts the current occupiers of the Whitehouse are watching with trepidation . . .


Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I have been asked to provide analysis on the following story that's been making it's rounds on the Internet, of Obama's decision making with the hostages . . . (Italics mine - STORMBRINGER)

"Internet Scuttlebutt has this report originating from a Marine that 'lives just outside Coronado where the Seals train . . . he uses the Coronado Officers’ club' . . . - the events stated in this report jive with what I was told via other sources . . . OK this guy is in San Diego and the SEALs who pulled off the opn were DEVGRU SEALs from Little Creek - that does not shake the credibility of this report; we live in the Information Age, people. Telephones and emails and secure briefings happen. Get used to it.

I'm going out on a limb here saying I buy the general themes expressed here and I'll tell you why: A) I did two tours in in-extremis units (if you never heard that term I'm not going to explain it) - this anecdote expresses the doctrinally correct sequence of events for how this sort of thing is supposed to play out . . . the National Command Authority states broad guidance regarding Rules of Engagement and the criteria to engage, the ranking man at the situation puts his assets into place and makes the call regarding when to engage the shooters . . . .

Having spoken to some SEAL pals yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:

1. BHO wouldn't authorize the DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander) recommendation.
2. Once they arrived, BHO imposed restrictions on their ROE that they couldn't do anything unless the hostage's life was in "imminent" danger
3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction
4. When the navy RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the raggies were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.
5. BHO specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge CPN and SEAL teams
6. Bainbridge CPN and SEAL team CDR finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead raggies
7. BHO immediately claims credit for his "daring and decisive" behaviour. As usual with him, it's BS.

So per our last email thread, I'm downgrading Oohbaby's performace to D-. Only reason it's not an F is that the hostage survived.

Read the following accurate account.

Philips’ first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadn’t worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his country’s Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors — and none was taken.

The guidance from National Command Authority — the president of the United States, Barack Obama — had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostage’s life was in clear, extreme danger.

The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates — and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed. This was again due to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel thanks to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington and a mandate from the commander in chief’s staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a “peaceful solution” would be acceptable.

After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the on scene commander decided he’d had enough.

Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage’s
life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer, Commander Frank Castellano, — unnamed in most media reports to date — decided the AK47 one captor had leveled at Philips’ back was a threat to the hostage’s life and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots.

Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA and Philips was safe.

There is upside, downside, and spinside to the series of events over the last week that culminated in yesterday’s dramatic rescue of an American hostage.

Almost immediately following word of the rescue, the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean and [1] declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put paid to questions of the inexperienced president’s toughness and decisiveness.

Despite the Obama administration’s (and its sycophants’) attempt to spin yesterday’s success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort. What should have been a standoff lasting only hours — as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location — became an embarrassing four day and counting standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship.


It is long, but it is a worthy Speech by Judge Vince Okamoto at the 66th Anniversay of the 442nd Combat Team on March 29, 2009 in Honolulu.

Every American should read this speech and be proud of the members of the 442nd.

442nd Veterans Club Speech: Hawaii, March 28th, 2009.

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. I’m pleased to be here and I want to thank the 442nd Veterans Club, and president William Thompson for allowing me to join you today. I must tell you when Bill contacted me several months ago he said “As a judge do you believe in free speech?” And I of course said “Yes.” Than Bill said good, because you’re going to give a speech for free at the 442nd anniversary lunch.

Before we came into the banquet room I heard a veteran of the 442nd regaling some of his young listeners with war stories. He said during the Italian campaign, in the mountains, it rained continuously night and day. They were cold, wet, and miserable, and were kept on the line for weeks without any hot chow or change of clothing.

Then the division commander called them together and said, “Men I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is you’re all going to get a change of underwear. The bad news is…Ito you change with Hayashi. Ige…you change with Yamamoto.”

Another veteran said that in the waning days of the war, often there weren’t enough trained medical personnel to treat all the wounded GIs. So they used captured German prisoners of war as hospital orderlies. Then one morning every single POW refused to leave the stockade. It seemed when they heard that several wounded soldiers of the 442nd were being brought to the hospital the Germans were afraid to show up for work.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the great Roman orator Cicero once said, “Poor is the nation that has no heroes, but poorer still is the nation that having heroes, fails to remember and honor them.”

I look around tonight and I see gathered here a room full of heroes. Today, we come together to remember, honor, and commemorate the 66th anniversary of the founding of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

They were an unlikely band of heroes. They were young, many only teenagers. Their average height was 5-5, their average weight, 120 pounds. The unit did not have an auspicious beginning.

Initially, there was no love lost between the Nisei from Hawaii, and those from the mainland. They fought over real or imagined insults: they fought over differences in speech, they fought over differences in dress, they fought over differences in local customs, they fought over differences in diet, and often they fought each other just for the hell-of-it.

But ultimately, they were able to come together because despite all their perceived differences they shared two common traits…they were Japanese American, and they were all determined to prove their loyalty in combat.

And in the killing fields of Europe, the soldiers of the 442nd RCT gained renown in some of the bloodiest fighting of the war, and went on to become the most decorated unit in the annals of American military history. It was a distinction purchased at a terrible and bitter price. The 442nd suffered heart-breaking causalities.

Every week the local newspapers published the names of the young Nisei soldiers killed and wounded in action, and Issei mothers quietly hung gold stars in their windows to symbolize their sons who had died fighting for their adopted country.

But the courage and sacrifices of those young Nisei soldiers who shed their blood on a hundred different battlefields in Italy and France resonated throughout the islands of Hawaii, and in the grim confines of the internment camps, rekindling the pride and reaffirming the loyalty of an entire people.

Regrettably, some people have forgotten that, and do not understand just how profoundly war forever changed the lives of the men, and the families of the men who had to fight. Those fortunate enough to have never had their lives touched by war, and who take freedom for granted may never truly understand. But perhaps they might gain some small insight by a letter written by a man who served as an infantryman in the Vietnam War, and he wrote:

“I was a soldier. I did what others feared to do. I went where others refused to go. I’ve seen the face of war, killed and watched friends die. I lived through times that other say are best forgotten. I ask for nothing from those who gave nothing. I remember and grieve, but am proud of what I was…a soldier.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the men who gazed upon the obscene face of war pass through a door through which civilians may not follow. They emerge from the other side of that door, sadder, but wiser men.

Sadder because they’ve experienced the on-going pain of seeing close friends killed, and maimed. They witnessed the death of innocent women and children because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And they fought and killed other young men because they wore different uniforms, because they were told to do so, and because those others were trying to kill them.

But they emerged wiser men because the horrors of those war-time experiences taught them to appreciate just how fragile and precious life is. In the midst of violence and carnage they learned about themselves, for faced with the mind-numbing fear of death, they were able to overcome that fear by reaching deep down into the recesses of their souls to find courage they never before knew existed. And throughout it all were able to maintain their own humanity.

And they came to recognize and respect true valor and selflessness. On the battlefield they formed special friendships with their fellow soldiers, friendships forged in fire, and tempered in blood that can’t be duplicated in civilian life.

I’m pleased to be here because it provides me an opportunity to acknowledge a long standing debt of gratitude I owe to many of the men gathered in this room today. I’m the youngest of ten children and the seventh son born to Japanese immigrants. All of my six older brothers served in the military. The two eldest brothers with the 442nd RCT.

They were my boyhood heroes, and I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to follow in their footsteps. I dreamed boyhood fantasies of going off to war and performing deeds of derring-do on some shell swept battlefield. Then, having proven myself in combat, returning home, wise in the ways of the world, and having earned my right to stand with my older brothers as an equal.

I could be a poster-boy for that old saying watch out what you wish for because it may come true. Fate granted me my wish in a strange faraway land in Southeast Asia. After college I went into the Army, and volunteered for Vietnam. And there all the naïve romantic concepts I had as a boy were quickly dispelled by the ugly realities of war.

Combat was nothing like I imagined it would be. Vietnam was a different world; a special universe with its own rules, heroes and villains. There was no glory or glamour in the no-quarter fighting in the jungles and hedgerows of Vietnam. It was a lethal unforgiving land where nightmares became a reality, and I learned the true meaning of fear.

After ten months of prolonged combat, having been wounded several times I was physically exhausted, afraid and sick at heart.

I desperately wanted to live and to go home. At times I wanted to pull my helmet down over my face and block out the violence and horror around me. I wanted to just give up and quit.

But when I began to feel sorry for myself I remembered that in a previous war, other young Japanese American soldiers had it just as tough or tougher than me, and they never gave up. They never quit.

Their example of courage and commitment gave me the strength to do what needed to be done because I felt I could not betray that standard. So to the men of the 442nd RCT, I say thank you!

Ladies and gentlemen, every day of our lives we walk unknowingly among quiet heroes.

The aging Nisei, who at 20 years of age went to war as a young medic, and in the assault on the Gothic Line, time and again exposed himself to enemy fire, trying to save the lives of wounded GIs, and on many nights quietly cried himself to sleep feeling guilty over the young men that couldn’t be saved.

A veteran is a former hot-shot, high school pitcher who turned down a chance for a college baseball scholarship to instead volunteer to fight and won a Silver Star for four hours of extraordinary heroism in the battle for Bruyeres. And today is a member of the Disabled Veterans of America, and every Memorial Day pins on his campaign ribbons with a prosthetic hand.

A veteran is the old guy, holding up the check-out line in the supermarket, now palsied and aggravatingly slows; but who once stormed the bloody heights of Monte Casino, and helped liberate Italy. And today spends most of his time wishing his wife was still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

A veteran is an aging Nisei, who returned from the war irrevocably changed, who never told his grandchildren why he needs a cane to get around, and never spoke to anyone about the time his unit suffered over 800 casualties to rescue 211 Texans of the “Lost Battalion” in the Vosges Forest in France.

Veterans are many of the men in this room today; each with their own compelling story. Each of whom left their homes, families, and loved ones and went off to war with no expectation of reward or even thank you, but went because they felt it was their duty, and went because someone had to go.

In our society some men are lionized for their great wealth, or their political power, or their social position. Some are renowned for their athletic ability. Others are accorded celebrity status as film stars or rock icons. But of all the titles in the world I believe the proudest is that of veteran because it refers to an individual who was willing to give up everything for America.

In William Shakespeare’s play “Henry the 5th,” the king of England on the eve of the last great battle of the One Hundred Years War, stood before his beleaguered and out numbered soldiers and said to them,

”We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, for he who sheds his blood with me this day until the ending of the world is my brother.”

The veterans who wore the uniform of this country are a brotherhood. They represent less than 7% of the population making them members of the most exclusive fraternity in America, forever connected by a shared sense of duty, commitment and willingness to sacrifice their lives that set them apart and make them different from everyone else in our society.

To the young people in the audience tonight…I say remember and honor those who fought, bled, and died for you. Remember that the blessings and unlimited opportunities we Japanese Americans enjoy today are ours in large measure because we stand on the shoulders of giants; men small in stature, but titans in courage, the soldiers of the 442nd RCT.

What they did allowed and prepared us their beneficiaries to live in a larger and better world.

Most of those who fought in that long ago far away war remain with us now only in memory, taken by the one relentless implacable enemy that cannot be stopped…time

Those fortunate enough to have survived the war and return to their homes and families now experience the aches, pains, and infirmities that come with age, and are now old soldiers.

So I close in honor of those old soldiers with a quote from the Bible, from the 2nd Book of Timothy, Chapter 4, verse 7 and it reads, “The time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.”

Although that passage was written more than 2000 years ago it accurately describes the soldiers of the 442nd , for they too, fought the good fight, finished the race and kept faith with America in peace and in war.

What they did bequeathed to this nation ideals that unite all of us Americans. What they endured speak to the values that sustain us during times of trial and crisis.

What they achieved speak to the dreams that inspire ordinary people to perform extraordinary acts of courage and self-sacrifice.

They speak to us of the value of loyalty, courage, fundamental fairness and personal dignity and is a testament to the glory of the human spirit. This is the legacy of the 442nd. This is our inheritance.

Tonight we commemorate, nay, tonight we celebrate these brave men on the 66th Anniversary of the founding of this fabled unit.

To the veterans here tonight, I tell you that old soldiers though we may be, there are still wars for us to fight. Not with guns and bayonets but against bigotry and prejudice, against racism and corruption, against ignorance and poverty. We’re still needed to fight that war.

So before memories dim, before the bygone epic events, and heroic deeds of the past slip out of focus, and fade into the pages of history, until the last bugles sound taps and we assemble once again at that final formation after the last patrol, let us as veterans resolve not to permit petty differences to divide us.

Let us remain friends and stay united as veterans, and extend one to the other, the mutual respect earned by men who stood together in defense of America.

“Let us, we few, we happy few, until the ending of the world, remain a band of brothers.”

To all gathered here, but especially to my brethren, the veterans of the 442nd RCT, I wish each of you, good health, good fortune and God’s speed. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attentiveness and I bid you good evening.

Monday, April 20, 2009


HERE IT IS . . . the President of the United States yukking it up with the great anti-American, anti-semitic fascist pig Hugo Chavez . . . can somebody explain to me how it is the Democrats fall in love with every ruthless thug dictator they encounter?


According to the Obama Administration, returning Veterans (amongst others) are suspected domestic terrorists, and require close scrutiny.

Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, in coordination with the FBI, released an intelligence assessment on what it calls "Rightwing Extremism". The same people who deplored "domestic spying" when it applied to al Qaeda operatives - REAL terrorists operating within our borders - are now establishing guidelines for watching American citizens who harbor an interest in limited government and Constitutional rights.

Whatever happened to the Liberal's (morally bankrupt) mantra "We Support the Troops We Don't Support Their Cause"? It didn't take long for the old "babykiller" sentiment to coalesce into national policy. Personally, I'm not surprised, I've seen it before; the next time I am called a "trained killer" will not be the first.

Welcome home, Vets! Be advised: you are being profiled.

This is disgraceful.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I don't know the source of this but it is brilliant . . . read & heed:

You're sound asleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom door. Half-awake, and nearly paralyzed with fear, you hear muffled whispers. At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way. With your heart pumping, you reach down beside your bed and pick up your shotgun. You rack a shell into the chamber, then inch toward the door and open it. In the darkness, you make out two shadows.

One holds something that looks like a crowbar. When the intruder brandishes it as if to strike, you raise the shotgun and fire. The blast knocks both thugs to the floor. One writhes and screams while the second man crawls to the front door and lurches outside. As you pick up the telephone to call police, you know you're in trouble.

In your country, most guns were outlawed years before, and the few that are privately owned are so stringently regulated as to make them useless. Yours was never registered. Police arrive and inform you that the second burglar has died. They arrest you for First Degree Murder and Illegal Possession of a Firearm. When you talk to your attorney, he tells you not to worry: authorities will probably plea the case down to manslaughter.

"What kind of sentence will I get?" you ask.

"Only ten-to-twelve years," he replies, as if that's nothing. "Behave yourself, and you'll be out in seven."

The next day, the shooting is the lead story in the local newspaper. Somehow, you're portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two men you shot are represented as choirboys. Their friends and relatives can't find an unkind word to say about them. Buried deep down in the article, authorities acknowledge that both "victims" have been arrested numerous times. But the next day's headline says it all: "Lovable Rogue Son Didn't Deserve to Die." The thieves have been transformed from career criminals into Robin Hood-type pranksters. As the days wear on, the story takes wings. The national media picks it up, then the international media. The surviving burglar has become a folk hero.

Your attorney says the thief is preparing to sue you, and he'll probably win. The media publishes reports that your home has been burglarized several times in the past and that you've been critical of local police for their lack of effort in apprehending the suspects. After the last break-in, you told your neighbor that you would be prepared next time. The District Attorney uses this to allege that you were lying in wait for the burglars.

A few months later, you go to trial. The charges haven't been reduced, as your lawyer had so confidently predicted. When you take the stand, your anger at the injustice of it all works against you. Prosecutors paint a picture of you as a mean, vengeful man. It doesn't take long for the jury to convict you of all charges.

The judge sentences you to life in prison.

This case really happened.

On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk , England , killed one burglar and wounded a second. In April, 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term.

How did it become a crime to defend one's own life in the once great British Empire ?

It started with the Pistols Act of 1903. This seemingly reasonable law forbade selling pistols to minors or felons and established that handgun sales were to be made only to those who had a license. The Firearms Act of 1920 expanded licensing to include not only handguns but all firearms except shotguns.

Later laws passed in 1953 and 1967 outlawed the carrying of any weapon by private citizens and mandated the registration of all shotguns.

Momentum for total handgun confiscation began in earnest after the Hungerford mass shooting in 1987. Michael Ryan, a mentally disturbed Man with a Kalashnikov rifle, walked down the streets shooting everyone he saw. When the smoke cleared, 17 people were dead.

The British public, already de-sensitized by eighty years of "gun control", demanded even tougher restrictions. (The seizure of all privately owned handguns was the objective even though Ryan used a rifle.)

Nine years later, at Dunblane , Scotland , Thomas Hamilton used a semi-automatic weapon to murder 16 children and a teacher at a public school.

For many years, the media had portrayed all gun owners as mentally unstable, or worse, criminals. Now the press had a real kook with which to beat up law-abiding gun owners. Day after day, week after week, the media gave up all pretense of objectivity and demanded a total ban on all handguns. The Dunblane Inquiry, a few months later,sealed the fate of the few sidearms still owned by private citizens.

During the years in which the British government incrementally took away most gun rights, the notion that a citizen had the right to armed self-defense came to be seen as vigilantism. Authorities refused to grant gun licenses to people who were threatened, claiming that self-defense was no longer considered a reason to own a gun. Citizens who shot burglars or robbers or rapists were charged while the real criminals were released.

Indeed, after the Martin shooting, a police spokesman was quoted as saying, "We cannot have people take the law into their own hands."

All of Martin's neighbors had been robbed numerous times, and several elderly people were severely injured in beatings by young thugs who had no fear of the consequences. Martin himself, a collector of antiques, had seen most of his collection trashed or stolen by burglars.

When the Dunblane Inquiry ended, citizens who owned handguns were given three months to turn them over to local authorities. Being good British subjects, most people obeyed the law. The few who didn't were visited by police and threatened with ten-year prison sentences if they didn't comply. Police later bragged that they'd taken nearly 200,000 handguns from private citizens.

How did the authorities know who had handguns? The guns had been registered and licensed. Kinda like cars.

Sound familiar?


" does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.."

--Samuel Adams


This week I had a very interesting conversation with eight young soldiers in their twenties - two Hispanics, (one male / one female, married w/2 kids) and six white (one female, single). Each one of them had joined the Army after September 2001.

The situation was a non-traditional military training environment; because of my professional experience and qualifications I serve as a consultant in a very intense action-oriented training program with an academic / informational aspect. I introduced myself with a brief introduction, my experience and credentials. As we spoke of our backgrounds and beliefs, in time each of these young soldiers revealed that they had voted for Obama, because he represented change.

I pointed out the support Obama enjoys in the Arab world, how in some circles he was referred to as the “Hamas Candidate”. Of course the situation in the Middle East is of great interest amongst soldiers these days. Somehow the phrase “jihad” came out into the conversation; I took the opportunity to ask these young soldiers, “Does anybody here know what the word ‘jihad’ actually means?”

Shrugs all around. Despite a surprising handle on basic Arabic amongst the group, nobody seemed to know what the word ‘jihad’ actually meant.

“It means ‘the struggle’,” I explained, “This word is usually understood to mean a Muslim ‘Holy War’, against the infidels, or non-believers of Mohammed, although a more legitimate meaning of the word is the Muslim’s requirement to struggle in the way of Allah, or God – not necessarily military combat.”

“The term ‘mujahideen’ comes from the word ‘jihad’ – one who is involved in jihad,” I continued. They had all heard of mujahideen; the Muslim terrorist enemy. The opportunity had just presented itself for an interesting point. “Can anybody tell me what they call us?”

“Crusaders . . .”

“That’s right,” I replied, “Does anyone here know what the Crusades are, or were?”

Incredibly enough, nobody spoke up.

A certain memory came flooding back, from my time in the Mahgreb.
It was in the house of one of my Moorish hosts, a mud hut, we were sitting on carpets drinking tea and enduring the heat. The strife between the Western countries and the Arab world was the subject of the afternoon’s conversation.

The Moors spoke in Hassaniya Arabic dialect amongst themselves, with some French thrown in, then they’d turn to me and we’d speak French. I understood the Crusades had made their way into the conversation when the Moor Moktar mentioned le grand Roi français Louis. I asked, did he know who the Crusaders were? Moktar nodded and indicated on his chest a cross, like the Crusader knights used to wear on their cassocks.

There was agreement when I said that the Arabs seem to feel they are still fighting the Crusader wars; a general sentiment exists amongst the Arabs that Israel - “the Jewish State” - is actually a modern Crusader foothold in the land of Palestine. It surprised my Moor hosts when I said that most Americans don’t even know what the Crusades are.

This was before September 2001. At that time, most Americans paid very little attention to the sentiments of the Arab world. Return to 2008, and my conversation with the post-9/11 “Army Strong” generation; it was obviously time for Everything You Wanted to Know About the Crusades in 5 Minutes or Less:

“The Crusades were a series of wars, starting way back in the collective insanity known as Dark Ages. The West, mostly France because that was the only country around back in those days, sent Christian armies - Crusaders - over to the sand countries, to re-take the Holy Land from the Muslims . . .

“. . . The Crusaders took Jerusalem, and held on to a cluster of Crusader Kingdoms in what is now Israel, Lebanon and Syria, for over a hundred years. But the Crusaders weren’t really very nice people; they weren’t the heroes they’re often portrayed in books and in the movies. They were quite indiscriminate about killing, and they killed in the hundreds and in the hundreds of thousands. They killed Arabs, Jews and anybody else who got in their way – to include other Christians.

“Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Kill Them All, Let God Sort Them Out?”

“Oh, yeah!”


“Kick Ass!”

“A French bishop said this, around the year 1200, during a Crusade that spun out of control in southern France. He was concerned some heretics would masquerade as Catholics to escape death. Around 10,000 were massacred that day. No Muslims were involved, on either side.”

Absolute silence.

“My point is it might behoove you to bone up on some cultural information, to increase your situational awareness before you go downrange. Think about it; we’re involved in a war the enemy calls a jihad. The same enemy refers to us Crusaders – now you know the significance of that – and our new President’s middle name is Hussein.”

Surely I am not the only one who senses some kind of terrific irony going on here?