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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Body in Michigan - Heart in California
Home country: Born in USA ... Reborn in Tahiti
Current location: Right here, under my hat
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 71,592

About Me

Matrimonially experienced man, leading edge baby boomer, seeking long term relationship with warm sunshine, seawater, soft breezes, coral reefs, palm trees, and the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. http://www.tahitinut.com/

Journal Archives

That map is missing some stuff, I think.

The DSC (Data Service Center) was where it's labeled '19' and my hooch was between 34 and 10. In fact, if you attended one of our BBQ's and tasted Herb Saito's teriyaki beef strips, you were right outside my hooch. You confirmed my faulty recall that Special Troops HQ was the barracks-style building "on the street" ... which we'd pass when going back to work after the Vietnamese barber doused our skulls with that awful stinking stuff. The 'USARV Chapel' was in a fairly open field, along with the AG pool and 'theater' (seats under a huge, green cargo parachute on a pole). I remember throwing things at the screen (along with many others) when they showed John Wayne in 'Green Berets' ... possibly the absolute worst movie EVER. I remember the EM Club, of course, and especially the night we walked out on Johnny Cash because of his abysmally foul-mouthed 'performance.' His wife, June Carter, was there and BOY! did he misjudge his audience! Literally a third of us walked out. Talk about a disappointment.

I had a similar 'blessing' at the Bien Hoa Repo Depot. I had a friend there with whom I'd served at Ft. Sam in San Antonio. I didn't know he was there but he saw my name on the orders list and corralled me as soon as I arrived to keep me from being 'requisitioned' by the field unit commanders who came 'shopping' for fodder. My orders had me going to 'Special Troops' as a 74F20 ... and John was interested in seeing that come true.

Strange... I see #16 is called the location of the 'Main PX' and I seem to remember it was over nearer to the 24th Evac. (and Chase Bank). Hell... I went there to punch my ration card for cigarettes and Seagram's Vodka each month. My brain must be pharting. They don't ID our bunkers, our section of the perimeter ... directly below (south) of #31. I think Charlie had better maps. That's where the NVA came at us the night of Feb 23rd. That was the night I watched above me and saw Puff limping off to Bien Hoa airbase ... as Levitow earned the MoH. (I didn't learn about Levitow until maybe 10 years later. But I sure remember Puff leaving.) That was olso the night the XO Speical Troops (LtC) bought it. Rumor was it was a fragging. (Just a rumor, y'know.)

You can actually see our bunkers in the background on http://www.flickr.com/photos/aodcurator/3687463382/in/set-72157620946947816/lightbox/ I recall Bob Hope's visit there, too. I didn't bother going. FAR too crowded and I was more interested in getting some zzzzz's.

Our company CO was (if I recall correctly) CPT. Marcuse. He had a souvenir AK47 on the wall behind his desk. It was (unbfuckinglievably) loaded with a full banana clip. The co. clerk was cleaning using a feather duster and accidentally hit the trigger ... and that fucker stitched rounds up the wall and across the ceiling! The ceiling was the FLOOR for the barracks above and only by the grace of god didn't kill or wound someone. Marcuse was, iirc, a ROTC joke (not a ring-knocker or mustang) ... who carried war comic books around in his back pocket. I pitied anyone who had to serve with him in the field. I think it was 'Marcuse' ... since,as I recall, we had 3 CO's while I was there ... due to the 6-and-6 rotation.

I vivdly remember the Sec. Guard ... 1,000 mile stares. They didn't mix well with POGs. I also remember the night (in January) when I saw the incoming hit the MP Co. barracks (as I was high-tailing it for cover). Another round hit about 100 yards from me as I 'floated' to the ground (gravity wasn't working very well that night). That's the night I discovered my adrenal gland. And relativity.

The war was a totally surrealistic mix of horror, boredom, insanity, and just plain dumbfuckedness.

I was working the 'night shift' at the DSC and sleeping (as much as I could when I wasn't doing vodka gimlets) during the day. One day I was awakend by a shot. Looking up at the corrugated tin roof, I saw three holes in a cluster ... daylight above. Looking down, just about 18-24" adjacent to my head, was a nice, neat hole in the plywood floor. It seems some jackass, coming back from overnight heliport guard duty, ahd a round in the chamber of his M14(!)... and failed to clear it into the barrel. The arms room doofus was going along the rack, pulling the trigger housings and checking for dirt/rust/etc. Replacing the trigger housing, he had to pull the trigger because removing it cocks the weapon. BLAM! Just a couple of rack places down and I wouldn't be typing this. Fucking insanity.

Here're my photos of our (assigned) bunker ...

Long Binh Post - Southern Perimeter by TahitiNut, on Flickr

Long Binh Post - Bunker by TahitiNut, on Flickr

And, speaking of our BBQ's ... here's a few of the attendees at one of them (my hooch is behind them) ...

Our Co-workers by TahitiNut, on Flickr

Me ...

Face of Viet Nam by TahitiNut, on Flickr

You forgot ...

... that they'll create a "working class" without voting rights!

From "illegal migrants" to ex-felons to folks without the 'proper papers,' the GOP is obsessively removing the rights of workers to have ANY voice in this country. Collective bargaining is just one more 'voice' being silenced. At the same time, the fascists on SCOTUS call money "speech." Don't have any? Then shut up!

It's antebellum Plantation Economics ... and the GOP gets wet just thinking about it.

Oh... and by the way ... I'm a Viet Nam vet, too. USA SP/5, 1969, USARV HQ Company, US54980___ (not RA___) ... yeah, a POG. Not a "REMF" because there was no "RE" in Nam. When we repelled an augmented battalion of NVA on Feb 23, 1969, I lost my REMF-hood.

I'd favor a change in FASB that mandated exec comp as POST-tax distribution of profits.

Executives, particularly officers, should be regarded as agents/proxies for ownership (NOT 'employees') and their compensation treated as after-tax distribution of earnings. In no way should they be treated as "employee compensation" and skew the relevant quick ratios and labor metrics. Also, being "tax deductible," it means, in effect, that every taxpayer subsidizes that redistribution of the wealth created by (real) labor. That's just horseshit.

Owners vs. Workers ... a "war" of long-standing.

What I find most noxious is the hi-jacking of language, most notably the word "entitlement." Ownership itself is the very embodiment of the word entitlement, which refers solely to a power or 'right' conferred by a Title - which is a legal fiction created solely by law (or fiat) and enforced by the state. We are all familiar with the terms "King" and "Prince" and "Baron" (all titles) ... and we're all familiar with a Title to land or real estate, or even our vehicles. What we seem to disconnect on, mentally, is that they're the very things to which we refer when we use the term entitlement. While the use of that term in reference to Social Security is, in fact, technically correct, it's the far more inequitable powers enforced by the State that lend a negative connotation to the term.

Nowhere is this inequity more evident in today's economy than in the "lion's share" (i.e. might makes right) extracted from an enterprise by the "owner" -- or shareholders. Today's S&P500 corporation distributes more than twice as much of its net income to the 'owners' than it does to those by whose labors such income was created. Yes, Virginia, the workers get less than 30% of the wealth they create in today's corporation. (And the NBA players went on strike because their share was less than 50%!!! Imagine that! Organized labor.)

The "Fuck Detroit" attitude among Michigander right-wingers is a long-held view.

The Mitt-Wit is merely echoing an attitude long-held by bigots and sociopaths hereabouts, going back to the 40s, 50s and 60s when 8 Mile Road (the demarcation between Detroit and suburbs, Wayne County and Oakland county) was 'white' on one side (north) and 'black' on the other. It was STARK.

As a kid in the 50s, one of my very favorite summertime haunts was Crystal Pool on the northeast corner of 8 Mile Road and Greenfield. It was a fresh water public (privately-owned) swimming pool. People of color were NOT allowed. Folks living and sweating in the summer heat (air conditioning was NOT common) mere yards away to the south, on the other side of 8 Mile Road, knew they were banned. Period. They risked life and limb if they ever tried. On the off-chance they got past the admissions folks, they'd be beat up in the locker rooms. It was (in retrospect) weird. Families felt fairly comfortable allowing their teen-aged kids to spend the day at Crystal Pool without adult supervision, but the color line was in full force.

The attitude of right-wingers all over the state, whether in Oakland or Macomb County (both on the northern border of Detroit and Wayne County), or on the west side of the state (e.g. Grand Rapids and DeVos/Amway territory, or Michigan Militia territory), or other provinces of Dumbfuckistan has traditionally been one of regarding Detroit as populated by "those people" -- and not safe for "God-fearing" white folks. The resentment over ANY state funds being spent on Detroit (people or infrastructure) continues to this day. Any visit to Dumbfuckistan (most areas not in southeast Michigan) and interaction with locals would normally encounter the "I wouldn't live anywhere near there with 'those people" attitude. The animosity was so thick it was disgusting.

As a student at Wayne State University (adjacent to "inner city" Detroit and the "Cass corridor"), I was very accustomed to enjoying the diversity and variety offered by the urban experience. I live off-campus. I continued to live there immediately after graduation and working at my first jobs -- teaching math at a Detroit parochial high school and then working at Chevrolet Central Office as a computer programmer. Then ...

It was 1967 ... and the riots broke out. I was living off-campus and working at Chevrolet. Convenient. Local. The urban lifestyle for a 20-something. Good years. Accommodating my family whose "concerns" for my safety were exaggerated, I agreed to spend the night(s) at my mother's home (in Oakland County) while the city was placed under martial law and the National Guard was brought in. That Sunday evening, as I drove north from Detroit and crossed 8 Mile Road, I encountered a police roadblock. Police reservists and some regulars. Their headlights aimed south into my face. I was stopped by a carbine-wielding cop ... aiming the muzzle of his carbine right at my head and telling me to keep my hands visible on the steering wheel. I was required to produce ID, explain where I was going, and have my car subjected to scrutiny lest I be carrying any passengers. ("Those people.") I was allowed to proceed. "Allowed." Barely. Civil rights? Civil liberties? Due process? Forget it.

Bigotry and racism have been pervasive here as long as I can remember. It's no wonder that I feel more "at home" in the SF Bay Area than here, where I was born and raised. The Mitt Wit, on the other hand, shows EVERY symptom of a privileged right-winger, steeped in the attitudes of his 'class' at the preppy Cranbrook School (all white, of course) and nurtured by pervasive animosity towards "those people" in Detroit. The Mitt Wit was a studnet there at the same time I was a student at WSU. (I'm a few years older than him.)

Hell, the "Reagan Democrats" of Macomb County were largely union factory workers whose resentment that the union and the state Democrats were defending the rights of "those people" drove them from being "Kennedy Democrats" to "Reagan Democrats." Many of them were only Democrats by heritage, often being first generation refugees from the Jim Crow south ... coming north for the jobs.

The dog whistle is getting worn out.

Far too frequently (and more these days), people seek to profit

... and benefit themselves by obtaining public office, feeding upon that office to attain wealth, power, and personal aggrandizement. Sometimes, we see those whose service and devotion to duty and honor are the basis for any prestige such office obtains. We live in a time when far too many of us emblazon ourselves with symbols of attainment ... the attainments of others, not ourselves. Our institutions, in all sectors of our society, seem overrun with predators and vampires ... feeding upon the work and sacrifices of others. From the sexual perverts in our religious and educational institutions to the greed-obsessed in our business enterprises to the power-obsessed narcissists in our political institutions, the corruption of self-seekers is a plague on our society. But then ... occasionally ... often out of unspeakable tragedy ... we see one such as Gabby Gifford, demonstrating grace, courage, and selfless service to others. And it humbles us.

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