Category Archives: military news

Nature saved this city

BAMBERG, Germany — I learned something while walking through one of Europe’s most charming cities … at least I will presume its charm ranks at or the near the top of European cities.

Near the end of World War II, Allied air forces were carpet-bombing many German cities. The air assault was led by the U.S. Army Air Force and the British Royal Air Force.

Bamberg was supposed to be hit with thousands of bombs dropped by the USAAF and the RAF on a particular mission. Except that Mother Nature intervened. The city was blanketed in fog, which meant that the aerial bomber crews couldn’t see the city below them. Given that the 1940s pre-dated global positioning systems, pilots had to rely on visual confirmation to determine whether to release their ordnance.

So it was that Bamberg was saved from carpet-bombing during WWII. I also learned that a church named after St. Martin did take a single bomb dropped from a US bomber; the explosive damaged the roof of the church. The building was repaired eventually.

The city remains full of charm 80 or so years after the bloodiest war in human history. As the saying goes … One shouldn’t ever mess with Mother Nature.

All is quiet … for now!

NUREMBERG, Germany — I cannot help but feeling somewhat vulnerable as I visit with friends and travel around the lush countryside of this beautiful region of Europe.

Why? Because of the war that rages just two countries to the east of Bavaria in southern Germany.

Ukraine continues to fight for its life against Russian invaders. Someone will have to explain to me why Russian thug Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago. It was thought Kyiv would fall in four days. It’s still standing. Ukraine is going to get more U.S. aid.

Meanwhile, Germany — the nation the world fought eight decades ago — stands on the precipice of armed conflict. As someone told me the other day, “If Russia invades any NATO country, we’re all in the fight.”

I’m here visiting friends and relaxing. It’s been a joyful time for me and for my friends as we have gotten reacquainted.

But if I get way up on my tippy toes and cast my gaze to the east, I see the signs of potential trouble for Germany … and, indeed, the rest of the world.

This just makes it imperative that we stick with Ukraine as it fights for its very life.

Is he really that stupid?

NUREMBERG, Germany — As you know, I am visiting friends in this lovely city in the gorgeous Bavaria region.

They are well-read, erudite and sophisticated. Alena asked me a fascinating question today about the intelligence of the POTUS No. 45. “Do you think he’s really that stupid,” she asked, “or is he just playing to the people who support him no matter what?”

Her reference point is that ghastly mini-speech he made the other day about the Battle of Gettysburg, the fight that turned the tide of our Civil War. The ex-POTUS offered not a single word about the significance of the battle, but instead prattled on about how “bloody” and “beautiful” it was.

Her point is interesting to me. She believes he might just be saying such a thing to appeal to his MAGA cult base of voters who themselves might not have any notion about the importance of this — or any other — significant event in our nation’s history.

Hmm. I thought for a moment about what Alena said. I don’t believe the former Philanderer in Chief is that sophisticated. I do believe he is an ignorant fool. She describes him as “evil.” My bride used that term,, too, to describe the presumed  Republican Party presidential nominee.

Perhaps the term “evil” connotes a level of genius. I’ll have to consider it. He strikes me as someone I have felt all along is unfit for public office, given that he’s never devoted a nano-second of his professional life to giving back to the nation,

Yes, I also believe he is that stupid.

Nice knowin’ ya, Mr. Speaker

House Speaker Mike Johnson might not be long for the powerful post he now occupies. Why is that?

Because he has decided to do the right thing by allowing a vote on an aid package for Ukraine, which is likely to piss off the MAGA crowd that opposes sending more aid to the nation fighting forces sent to Ukraine on orders from Vladmir Putin, the good pal of the POTUS No. 45.

“I believe Xi, Vladimir Putin, and Iran really are an axis of evil,” Johnson said recently. There you have it. He’s on the record calling Putin, the Russian strongman, part of a newly formed evil triumvirate.

Did Mike Johnson Just Get Religion on Ukraine? | The New Yorker (

I cannot even begin to wrap my arms around the irony here.

He is speaker largely because he was endorsed by the former Liar in Chief. Now the ex-Moron in Chief might turn on him if the MAGA cultists in the House engineer a vote to remove him.

Jiminy Crickets. My head won’t stop spinning!

He is going to allow a $60 billion aid package to come to a vote. The MAGA crowd won’t stand for it.,

It, however, is the right thing to do. Johnson knows it. So do most Americans. The MAGA cultists, however, march to their own cadence … and it is seriously out of step with the rest of this nation.

The moment still sickens me

Time for an admission, which is that every reference to the 2016 presidential election outcome fills me with the same level of revulsion I felt when the TV networks called it for the former Moron in Chief.

Case in point: I just finished watching a nine-part Netflix documentary series on the cold war, titled, “Turning Point: The Bomb and the Cold War.” It is well-done, thorough and it walks us through the period from World War II to the present day. The images from Hiroshima and Nagasaki are heart-breaking and stark, to be sure.

Then it walks us to the here and now. The Soviet Union has imploded and the new president, Vladimir Putin, is filled with delusions of grandeur and longs for a return to the Stalinesque era of repression.

He invades Ukraine in February 2022 and there he is, plastered on the TV screen, along with the 45th POTUS and his buddy-buddy relationship with Putin.

Netflix felt obliged to show the candidate-to-be riding down the escalator in the office tower that bears is name with his wife to announce his run for the presidency. It also replayed the moment when the GOP nominee was declared the winner of the 2016 contest.

So help me, I cannot help but feel sickened beyond measure at the idea of replaying that scenario this coming November.

The documentary made no editorial comment on what occurred in 2016. The producers delivered it straight and for that I applaud them.

Critics of this blog accuse me of suffering from the “Derangement Syndrome” associated with the once and likely future GOP presidential nominee. I plead guilty! Yes, I suffer from it.

But … so should all Americans who give a damn about preserving democracy and scorning the dictatorial impuses of the moron who aspires to re-take control of our nuclear arsenal.

Media falling asleep

A longtime acquaintance of mine takes time every week to review the contents of the Amarillo Globe-News, a once-thriving newspaper in the city my wife and I called home for more than two decades.

It’s now a battered shell of its once-proud self. My friend noted the absence of a major breaking story that should have raised an eyebrow or two in what passes for the newsroom at the AGN.

What was missing: The story this week in so many print and electronic media sites about the demotion of former Rear Admiral and current Congressman Ronny Jackson after the Navy OIG found multiple unacceptable aspects of his service.

Jackson is serving his second term as a Republican congressman from the 13th Congressional District. He moved to the Texas Panhandle to run for the office when Mac Thornberry announced his retirement from Congress.

Dude once served as White House physician for two presidents: Barack Obama and the idiot who succeeded him. The Navy inspector general stripped Jackson of his rear admiral rank, busting him to captain after probing many allegations of serious misconduct.

This is the kind of story that should be splashed all over the front page of the local newspaper … except that the 13th District doesn’t have a local newspaper based in Amarillo. 

Jackson is a disgrace to his office and to the uniform he once wore. He continues to tout himself as a rear admiral on his website. The guy doesn’t even have the decency to tell his constituents the truth about his post-military standing. “As a retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral with nearly three decades of military service I understand the commitment and sacrifices made by servicemen and servicewomen to serve our country,” the two-term Texas representative writes on his congressional website.

I am left to ask: Does character matter any longer to what passes for a formerly great political party … or to the media outlets that report on the conduct of those in power?

Attack NATO allies? Seriously?

The former POTUS continues to spew garbage from his overfed pie hole. Consider this little gem.

He was campaigning the other day and said out loud that he would encourage Russian despot/dictator/dipshit Vladimir Putin to attack our NATO allies … namely those of them that haven’t been paying their “fair share” to protect Europe against Russian aggression.

Think of this for just a moment — that’s all it’ll take — to ponder the effect of such an action. It would trigger World War III, pure and simple. There’s a clause in the NATO treaty that declares that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all the nations. It would require a military response.

Is there any more reason to realize how utterly unfit for office this idiot is? That he must never again be allowed near the Oval Office?

This is a dangerous man who continues to reap support among most Republican Party primary voters. He and those who endorse his rants are certifiable lunatics.

GOP channels Democrats

Yep, it’s true. What passes today for a once-great political party is channeling the backbiting, backstabbing, in-your-face accusations of another great political party.

The Republican Party today is mirroring, more or less, the shenanigans of Democrats in the 1960s and 1970s. There is a big difference, though, in the context of these struggles.

In the 1960s, Democrats were at war with themselves over the conduct of an actual war, in Vietnam. Today’s Republicans are at war over something far less grim, but equally significant. They are feuding over how to govern this great country.

You had Hawks vs. Doves in the 1960s. The Hawks in Congress supported our involvement in the Vietnam War; the Doves wanted us to get out of there sooner rather than later. It was policy, man, that drove that internecine fight.

The policy this time is driving by those on the far right, the MAGA crowd, is throwing obstacles in front of mainstream Republicans who cling to the notion that they need to work with Democrats to enact meaningful public policy. The MAGA crowd — led by The Former Guy — obstruct efforts at, say, immigration and border security reform. They tie border security to funding the Ukraine war against the Russian invaders. They also tie the border to our continuing aid to Israel, which has declared war on Hamas over the terrorists’ hideous attack on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, 2023.

What’s TFG doing about it? He’s cheering on the MAGA followers, encouraging them to stop our government from doing its job.

Just as Republicans were virtually unified in their efforts in the ’60s and ’70s to wage war in Vietnam, Democrats today lock arms and don’t lift a finger to stop the battle that’s underway across the great political divide.

Wow! I think I’ll continue to hold on with both hands.

Former Guy swims against tide

As I examine the political history of The Former Guy, I am left with trying to parse through a serious quandary.

Consider these known facts about TFG’s limited foray into public service.

He declared his POTUS candidacy in 2015 and immediately launched into an attack on immigrants … the type of people on which this nation was founded.

He was elected in 2016 basically on a technicality. He lost the popular vote by roughly 3 million ballots but won because he garnered more Electoral College votes than Hillary Clinton.

TFG served a single term as POTUS, embarrassing himself and the people he represented.

Joe Biden ran against him in 2020 and defeated him, winning 7 million more votes than TFG and defeating him in the electoral vote by the same margin TFG garnered in 2016.

TFG had squandered the nation’s response to the COVID crisis; he went through senior White House staffers and Cabinet secretaries like Happy Meals.

The voters said “hell no!” to his request for a second term, but then he didn’t accept the voters’ decree. TFG fomented The Big Lie about alleged 2020 election theft. He provoked the 1/6 attack on the government, he took classified documents from the White House and pressured state election officials to “find” 2020 votes that didn’t exist.

Oh, and he was impeached twice by the U.S. House of Representatives during his term in office.

Now, dude wants his old job back.

What simply doesn’t compute with me is how The Former Guy continues to scarf up the loyalists among American voters. The economy is No. 1 in the world. Do we have problems? Sure. Name me a president who has been problem-free in his first term in office.

Is TFG the man to “fix” what he alleges is wrong with the nation? Hah! Don’t force me to upchuck.

Defense boss’s privacy need backfires badly

Lloyd Austin seems to have lost sight of an important fact of a grownup’s life … which is that everyone must answer to someone else.

Therefore, for the U.S. defense secretary to keep his whereabouts hidden from those to whom he reports was a serious mistake. There needs to be some action taken to prevent this kind of keep-away from ever recurring.

Austin was hospitalized for four days before the brass at the White House knew about it. He had gone into the hospital for a routine surgical procedure. He didn’t tell the fellow who hired him, President Biden, nor anyone on the president’s staff.

One of his deputies stood in for him while he was “away,” which in itself is no big deal; Cabinet officials have done more of that since the COVID pandemic ravaged the nation.

It is troubling, though, that the individual who runs the Pentagon, the nation’s military establishment, would treat his absence from public view in such a cavalier fashion. The weirdness of this episode is illustrated by the fact that Austin is a retired Army four-star general who no doubt never would tolerate such secrecy from his subordinates in the military.

Politico reports: White House and Pentagon aides insist that Austin’s job is not in jeopardy — at least not yet. But they are sticking to that line despite seeming to lack full information about what’s actually been going on at the Pentagon. The precise nature of Austin’s surgery, medical complications and even his current condition remain unclear or addressed only in vague terms. Senior Defense Department and White House officials still don’t know the details of the procedure.

What the hell? The White House still doesn’t know the “details of the procedure”? Hey, Secretary Austin isn’t some chump mid-level bureaucrat. He is sixth in line to the presidency. He runs an agency that spends about $800 billion a year to keep us safe from our enemies.

The White House needs to know at all times the defense secretary’s status. For that matter, I want — and I deserve — to know what is occurring when it involves the defense boss.

Must he be fired over this? Probably not … but damn, he needs to shed this misbegotten need for privacy.