Friday, August 22, 2008

Carrying out the garbage...

I no longer talk about this stuff. I shot my mouth off one day in the eternal silence/internal noise of the web, and some busybody monk from Utah or somewhere told me I'd meet Yama, King of the Dead someday and shortly change my tune.

I told him he couldn't damn my soul to Hell because a medical missionary to the Navajo, somewhere out there on Route 666, had already done that, being a concerned Baptist and a member of the family and all. Who did I find harder to forgive?

The monk, of course. He was right.

Bear in mind, kiddies... John McCain went off to Vietnam in 1967 under the Johnson administration, whose "micromanagement" of the war he held in vociferous contempt, and limped back in 1973, four months before Richard Nixon resigned the Presidency.

He missed the best (worst) part of the Nixon years, and so, as an indifferent student of anything but his own opinions, had neither concept of nor sympathy for what the war was all about on the home front. (Remember Nixon Shocks? Kent State? The Draft? VVAW? M*A*S*H (the one without Alan Alda?) Easy Rider?)

Then too, McCain has long had trouble keeping stuff up. He crashed three A-1 Skyraiders prior to Vietnam, flew "crispy critter" runs over North Vietnam on 23 separate occasions, and seems to have been vastly surprised by the ferocity of his welcome when he ditched his A-4E Skyhawk ($20,200,000 before options and add-ons, in 2008 Iraq War inflated dollars) into White Bamboo Lake near the Old Quarter of Hanoi at the end of his last outing. Catch 22. The experience made him a fervent believer in the Geneva Conventions, an opponent of torture by U.S. agents, an artful dodger full of evasions and moral rectitude under stress, and benightedly enough, an advocate of bringing back the draft in 2009.

That infuriating "micromanagement," of course, owed chiefly to the inconvenient fact that the USSR and the PRC both had nuclear weapons, as Poland is even today remembering. Where memories are long and attention spans actually do, that concept carries with it a certain fallout...

But, hey, if nuclear holocaust bums you out, cheer up! There's a rumor that BestBuy has Nuka-Cola bottle openers straight from the Cafe of Broken Dreams.

(Real fallout, IMHO, belongs in cautionary videogames, not right wing world domination fantasies.)

You'll recall that Nixon jettisoned the gold exchange rate in 1971, which had pegged the U.S. dollar to gold at $35 an ounce. The A-4E Skyhawk price ($860,000 in 1967) is quoted in today's Iraq War inflation dollars, where spot gold trades at $822 an ounce.

The so-called evidence for John McCain dropping napalm on women and children in Vietnam appears to be no more solid than that 1997 60 Minutes confessional interview with Mike Wallace, which doesn't bear repeating here for obvious reasons. "Crispy critters" is a term used by U.S. pilots to refer to napalm-incinerated "gooks" (military status irrelevant); I heard it from a Vietnam vet and former U.S. Navy pilot, then U.S. Congressman Tom Harkin, Iowa-5th, at a campaign stop in Carroll, Iowa in 1971. (Tom is now Iowa's "junior" U.S. Senator, of course.)



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