Save One For Hachioji

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A B-29 releases incendiary bombs on Yokohama in May 1945. (U.S. Air Force photo) 

Veterans’ Tales by Vassar Bushmills

When my family and I first came to Japan, in Spring,1972, we flew on an American contract airline, via Honolulu and Wake Island, from Travis AFB, California.

We arrived at Yokota AFB in the northeast outskirts of greater Tokyo at night. An Army staff car and driver picked us up and took us the two and a half hour trip to Camp Zama, the old Japanese Army military academy grounds, and dropped us off at a BOQ, where we would stay until we received our household goods and could move into quarters.

Other than that I never had any occasion to travel to Yokota, except in 1974 to try a batch of criminal cases for the Air Force when their legal staff there had placed themselves in a conflict-of-interest situation, where they would rotate prosecutors and defense lawyers, so ended up arguing both sides of the case on different days. It was a big Buddha-weed bust on an AF transport heading back to the States. A civilian lawyer caught them at it, called them out, and those cases had to be retried. Egg on the Air Force’s face.

In all, I traveled back and forth to Yokota three times in normal daylight hours and we went through a small city of half a million, actually a suburb of Tokyo, named Hachioji. The first time, I wasn’t prepared.

Driving through what looked like just more endless city, just like the several miles on the south side of Tokyo, where I lived, my driver, a Japanese man in a suit, turned around, and said, “Captain, we are coming to Hachioji City. Please roll up windows, lock door, and look straight ahead. Make no face.”

Shortly, along the narrow streets that Japanese called “two-lane highways”, people began coming out of the shops and little 3-stooler restaurants they would lunch at, and began pounding on the car, shriek curses (I guess), spitting, making hand gestures, with scowls that could cause an exorcist to squirm.

In a couple of minutes they either quit or we left the city[…]

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Out for Maintenance – Will Return Shortly


My trusty laptop is up to its old tricks again. Actually, since I demand so much from my devices, it might just be that time…again. (Oh, drat!)

Please excuse us while we work out the kinks and hopefully put the old girl back together again.

We’ll be back up and running as soon as we get the nuts and bolts worked out.

Thank you for your patience.

Trump Directs his SOTU to the PEOPLE

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Source: @RepAnnieKuster/twitter.

Unified Patriots by Vassar Bushmills

On paper the State of the Union Address has been from the President, the Chief Executive, to the other branches of Government, telling them how the country was faring.

The People, the object of the Constitution, (don’t forget) only learned what the President had to say about the State of the Union through the Media, who, for most of those years, served as a go-between the People the Government. A quaint notion, I’m sure.

For the longest time, into my lifetime, the print media, newspapers, were the sole means of communicating to the People what the President said.

Then came radio (1920s) and now television, since the 1950s.

I can’t say when the SOTU became little more than a banquet speech by the company president to his board of directors, but for the most part it was rarely directed to the People as a vehicle to either encourage, persuade, or fire them up. Ronald Reagan stands out in this regard because in his eight years in the White House, every thing he achieved with Congress’ help was done with the opposition wing in charge of the Congress. Reagan’s only ally was the People, and he encouraged them to encourage, or threaten, their Congressional representatives to give the President what he asked.

It largely worked, for it took the Democrats 20 years to undo most of what Reagan accomplished, while it took Trump only two years to undo the bulk of Obama’s handiwork.

In retrospect, Reagan’s was a kinder, gentler time.

I haven’t watched a SOTU live in thirty years, since Reagan, although I have seen many of the snippets of past presidents. I had no intention to watch this one, except my son encouraged me to because he thought something big might happen, you know, like a 5-car pileup at Richmond Raceway. With casualties[…]

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President Donald J. Trump holds 2020 campaign rally in El Paso, Texas (02/11/2019)

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screenshot president donald j trump kag 2020 campaign rally in El Paso Texas

Below is last night’s KAG (Keep America Great) 2020 campaign rally in El Paso, Texas in its entirety.

The video begins with a short speech by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx), followed by Donald Trump, Jr. who enters the stadium at 11:23 and then President Donald J. Trump at 44:00 of video.

Streamed live 16 hours ago Fox News

President Trump begins his 2020 campaign with his first rally of the year in El Paso, Texas. Trump is expected to reiterate his demand for a border wall as Democrat Beto O’Rourke leads a protest against it at the same time.

Excerpt: The First Lecture: First Principles of Being American

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Castle Beaumaris Source: CadwWales.gov Wikipedia (ogl)

Castle Beaumaris Source:cadwWales.gov, Wikipedia (ogl)

Veterans’ Tales by Vassar Bushmills

“Can you tell me how many nations…in the History of the World…have sent armies, and sacrificed their men’s lives, to rescue the people of other countries?”

16-17 year-old kids are a tough room in any generation. That’s because every generation is different, so you never know what you’re going to get when you meet them as a group. They are often very smart but also skeptical about older people who try to tell things they don’t know, unless presented to them under special circumstances.

A classroom is one of those circumstances, So one you have them there, you have to reach up and grab them.

The good news is that Veterans, unlike almost anyone else in America, have  street cred no other group of Americans have.

This “First Lecture” is designed to demonstrate how you can do this simply by 1) being a Veteran and having seen and done things they haven’t and 2) telling them something really extraordinary about their country and their heritage they would never have heard anywhere else, and possibly never believed had it not come from a Veteran or at least a certified teacher.

And you will have done your country a favor, for they are learning these things anywhere else.

These kids are almost old enough to enlist, so think about how you looked at the world your junior-senior year in high school. Most will come to your class because they have to be there, not because they want to be there.

I went down that road for a few years in a small city college with some tough inner-city kids in the early 90’s, who also didn’t want to be there. They knew they had to be there or they couldn’t get their degree.

This opening lecture is how I grabbed them. Over five years, it worked every time.

In order to win them over you need to make what you are teaching them to be relevant in their lives, as they see it now, as 16-17 year olds. You need to plant seeds that will stay buried in their sub-conscience forever, arising only when the subject arises again in later years.

You will be teaching those kids things that were taught to generations of Americans in public schools before 1970, in basically this same way, but are hardly mentioned any longer. And there are colleges today that openly refute all sorts of things about America’s history that you must know to refute.

If we do this right, in another generation, those anti-American professors will be washing dishes at TGI-Fridays.

People who don’t like “America-as-founded” have tried to put a stop to that process of passing our heritage on, which the people of America, since the early  1800’s, demanded be a part of public school curriculum.

You first task is to get the students in front of you hooked, since if you can get them hooked, they won’t have to be pushed out the door to come back a second time.

*    *   *   *   

There are no rules as to how to handle your classroom. I like the lecture method, where I stand and they sit. There are hundreds of years of reasons why this is the chosen best way for people to teach people younger and less experienced than they are.

Expect there to be adults in the classroom as well, both observing you and how the kids react to you.

The things I have written for you here they will have never heard it before. And the things you will teach them will beg several questions. And some future lectures will be based on those. Spin-offs. At the end, below, I’ve listed some of those topics, previews of coming attractions.

We are not just teaching American history and American government, but also American culture and its moral foundation, and how those things have blended to make America unique.

It’s the American culture and moral foundation we are trying to save.

This is not a script, unless you want it to be. With any luck you’ll get to give each of these lecture 5-10 times a years.

*   *   *   *

Walk into the classroom, write your name on the board, and introduce yourself.

They’ll already know you’re a Vet. That’s your street cred with them. So act military and stand tall (unless you’re in a wheelchair). Kids have a high degree of respect for wounded Vets but are also conditioned to have a certain level of pity, too. Your enthusiasm for what you’re teaching will disabuse them of this notion.

State you are a Veteran, and tell them your branch of service, and also the number of years you served. Remember, 17-year old kids were born after 911, so even the blowing up of the Two Towers are ancient history to them. If you served in a war zone tell them where. But don’t go into too much detail, for kids love war stories. You’ll have plenty of time to tell them your MOS and the sort of things you did or saw there in chat sessions after class. They’ll have all sorts of questions[…]

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Editor’s Note:  The above excerpt of this lecture is in follow up to Vassar Bushmills’ earlier posting,

Instruction Page for Veterans’ Lecture Series

Originating Source:

Veterans’ Tales 

Category:

(Vets In Class)

Please feel free to visit Veterans’ Tales to view the above lecture in its entirety, future lectures, etc. In addition, please share and direct any comments, feedback or questions that you might have to VassarB@gmail.com,