Thursday, July 23, 2015

STRONG WOMEN



  I love strong women. Matter of fact I love women period. A black lady friend of ours once asked my son if he liked black women. He said "I just like women",  Right answer. Personally I hate to see women mistreated and I don't understand why some men want to possess or abuse women both verbally and physically. This is because it was drummed in to my head growing up, by my mother and my grandparents that a real man doesn't mistreat women. In addition the death of my mother at the hands of my father affected me greatly. After my parents died my Aunt Goldie (Didi) Anderson took my brother Mark and I to raise along with her own two children. She was a divorced woman raising four children on a single income. Luckily she didn't have to worry about childcare because she lived with my grandparents who watched us while she was at work. For the 1960's she had a good job with Southern Bell Telephone Company which is AT&T today. Unfortunately she was not making the wages of a male doing the same job.  Even then I considered this to be unfair. At that time women were pretty much limited to secretarial work, nursing, teaching, the restaurant industry or department store work. Female doctors, and lawyers were pretty rare. It is fair to say that most women were housewife's. If they worked outside the home it was part-time in order to make a little extra spending money. If a woman joined the military they were commonly thought to be a whore or a lesbian.

A nurse in a Nashville Civil War tent hospital


  Things started to change in the early 1970's. I saw this first in the military. Although I had known many W.A.F.'s, as they were called in the Air Force, women were usually confined to administrative jobs, nursing, or cooks. I had several friends who were dating or married to W.A.F's. There were no female Security Policemen until just before I was discharged from the active Air Force in the Spring of 1972. On most bases there was security and law enforcement. They began allowing women into law enforcement but I never worked with any until I joined the Guard in 1977. The fight over the Equal Rights Amendment was gearing up throughout the 1970's but in the end it would be defeated. I was happy about that because I didn't think that an Amendment to the constitution was needed to bring about change. This has proven to be the case. Although I have always considered myself to be a feminist I hate the modern feminist movement. To me organizations like N.O.W. have been more anti male and political, than  feminist. They are just an arm of the Democratic Party. Whenever Democratic male leaders mistreat women they are given a pass. For example when Ted Kennedy's gross negligence killed a young woman staffer at Chappaquiddick no feminists spoke out. During the many Clinton scandals, including his violent rape of Juanita Broderick, N.O.W. and other feminists were no where to be found. However they were ever present during the confirmation process of Clarence Thomas when they drug Anita Hill out of the closet. Then they were outspoken during the sexual harassment scandal involving Republican Senator Robert Packwood.  To me it is about Party politics and not so much about protecting women. If you notice the homosexual movement and the modern civil rights movement work the same way. Republican homosexuals or black Republicans are routinely attacked or ignored by these groups depending on the situation.


  There have been certain myths that have been promulgated by the feminist movement.

1. Women are morally superior to men. - I hate to burst their bubble  but no sex has a monopoly on morality.

2. Only women have a right to have an opinion on abortion. - I have been told many times that because I cannot have a baby I have no right to have an opinion on abortion. Wrong. Abortion involves the taking of a human life. That makes it a moral issue and we all have a stake in that.

3. Men and women are the same. - News flash, men and women are very different and have different roles to play in life.

  We have gone from the inequality of the 1960's to women pretty much doing everything occupationally.  This includes fighting in combat units. being police officers, firemen, linemen, and many occupations historically reserved for men. My attitude about equality in the workplace is this. Most men are physically stronger and bigger than women. There are many women who can easily kick my butt and are stronger but at 6'3" and 285 lbs. I generally tower over most women. Women should be hired in to any job as long as they can physically do that job. In our politically correct society the standards are lowered for women in order to accommodate them many times. I have seen this done in military, fire department and police training. When I was a a supervisor at a local industry about 75% of our employees were women. When I started there in 1983 most of these women worked as line operators. Except for a couple of exceptions men primarily worked the utility jobs and were tow motor drivers. The utility jobs were more physical. This required a lot of lifting and where we packaged Epsom salt the utility person used a heavy iron bar to break up the salt, which was in 100 lbs. bags. They would then have to lift the bags and empty them in to a hopper. This work was very hot and tiring. After I became supervisor the company opened the utility and tow motor jobs to women. This became problematic because women were selective about where they wanted to work. Because of the physical hardship they complained about working in the salt room. After a while only men ended up there and they were constantly complaining to me about it. We had three production supervisors and the other two would only put men in the salt room. One was a male and the other was a woman. Whenever I worked in the area where the salt room was I tried to be fair and I would divide the time equally between men and women utility workers. Soon the other two supervisors began scheduling the female workers out of my area so they wouldn't have to work in the salt room. This was not fair to the male workers who ended up working in the salt room more than they should have. Over the years, no matter where I have worked, I have seen this kind of thing happen repeatedly.

  I have no problem with women serving in the military. Women are just as smart and brave as men. They have actually served in one way or the other in every war since the American Revolution. Women disguised themselves as men in the Civil War and served bravely. It is believed that as many as 5,000 were in combat and an unknown number died. However they had to disguise their identity. The ones that gave in to romance or sexual activity were usually exposed and forced to leave the army. They were sometimes found out if they were wounded  I believe that allowing women to fight in combat units today is a mistake however. The physical differences in most women and men would be a primary disqualification.  Most women cannot pull or carry a wounded man my size out of danger if I were wounded. Combat units do not need the sexual tension that will exist with troops at close quarters under field conditions. There is always the possibility of love triangles and jealousy destroying unit cohesion. Men have been shown under combat conditions to be overly protective of women soldiers. This is what happened to the Israeli army in 1948 when they allowed women to fight alongside men. All Israeli citizens are required to serve in the army and there are female combat units in Israel but for the most part women do not serve in combat there.





  Recent polls reveal that the American people are ready to elect a woman president. My attitude has always been that I am ready for any race or sex to be elected as long as they are of good character and in line with my political beliefs That eliminates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Personally I am really liking Carly Fiorina. She is brilliant and has not said anything that I disagree with. I believe that she can go far if she can make it to the debates and gain some exposure. What really amazes me is the number of  women who do not believe that a woman should be president. Occasionally I will run into a man who believes that way but there seems to be many more women. There are many examples of strong women leaders in history. Queen Elizabeth I established England as one of the great world powers. She ruled England from 1558 until 1603. It was during her reign that the English Navy defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. She also brought about peace between Catholicism and Protestantism by the 39 articles of 1563 which was a religious compromise. Queen Victoria ruled England from 1837 until her death in 1901. Her reign was during the greatest expansion of the British empire in history. Golda Meir was called the Iron Lady of Israeli politics before Margaret Thatcher ever received that nickname. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion called her the best man in the government because of her toughness. Margaret Thatcher was one of my heroes on a par with Winston Churchill. There was no one tougher than the English  (Iron Lady). When Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979 Britain was on the verge of economic disaster. Thatcher privatised  and deregulated industry. Reduced the power of trade unions. Lowered the marginal tax rate, the rate of inflation. and lowered spending. During the Thatcher years Britain experienced an economic revival. She also revived British nationalism and was a strong partner with Ronald Reagan in his effort to defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Her finest hour was the defeat of Argentina in the Falklands War. Women have been some of the staunchest patriots and many times have shown more backbone than men. At a time when men in the establishment Republican Party have shown a lack of leadership and courage many times I turn to people like Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, and Carly Fiorna for inspiration. Although I disagreed with Coulter's endorsement of Mitt Romney, she and Malkin are absolutely fearless and brilliant. 
Queen Elizabeth I



Queen Victoria

Margaret Thatcher

Michelle Malkin

Ann Coulter

  Finally I want to honor those women who stay at home and raise their children  They have gotten a bad rap by the modern feminist movement. I don't care what the experts say. Women are better nurturers than men in my opinion. I have known women with the maternal instincts of a barbed wire fence but most women have it I believe. My mother nurtured and raised me from a baby through the most formative years of my life and I think that I was the better for it. I realize that many women would prefer to stay at home and raise their children but because of economic necessity, divorce, death of a male partner, or career choices it is not possible. The modern feminist movement discounts and degrades the stay at home moms. They should always be on a pedestal to me. The largest funeral that I ever attended was that of my mother-in-law. For the two days of visitation leading to her funeral and the day of the funeral the building couldn't hold the people there to pay their respects. To my knowledge all she ever did was work at home and raise her four children. She also had a hand in raising a multitude of children that she babysat over the years. She never learned how to drive and rode the bus to town every Saturday in order to spend her babysitting money on everyone but herself. Hopefully I will go before my wife but I expect to see a funeral just as large if not bigger, God forbid when she dies. For the most part she has been fortunate enough to be a housewife for most of our married life and I think that our children, although far from perfect, reflect the impact that she has had on their lives and the lives of our grandchildren. There were countless children that are adults today that she loved, nurtured, and had a positive impact on their lives. I see bumper stickers all the time that read, well behaved women don't make the history books. That might be true but the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Illegal Immigration - The Trump Card For Trump





If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world, but I am sure we would be getting reports from hell before breakfast.

William Tecumseh Sherman

As usual the press get's it wrong in it's reporting of a news event. As in most cases it is done intentionally. Trump did say that John McCain was not a war hero. However he immediately corrected himself and said four times in a row that McCain was a war hero. The following is what he actually said to Republican pollster Frank Luntz. 

Luntz: "He’s a war hero. He’s a war hero …"

Trump: "He’s not a war hero ..."

Luntz: "He’s a war hero."

Trump: "He is a war hero ..."

Luntz: "Five and half years in a Vietnamese prison camp …"

Trump: "He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured. So he’s a war hero …"

Luntz: "Do you agree with that?"

Trump: "He’s a war hero, because he was captured, okay? I believe, perhaps, he’s a war hero. But right now he said some very bad things about a lot of people. So what I said is John McCain, I disagree with him that these people aren’t crazy.

  Trump was upset over the fact that McCain had described his supporters as a bunch of crazies. In my opinion John McCain is the poster boy for what is wrong with the Republican Party right now. He has been strong on foreign policy and national defense but beyond that he is pathetically useless. McCain was part of the gang of eight that tried to push a so-called comprehensive immigration plan down our throats. Basically the same plan that Obama did push down our throat with his famous pen and phone. However I cannot discount McCains status as a true American war hero. McCain's father was the commander of the Pacific fleet during the Vietnam war. As the son of such a high ranking admiral the North Vietnamese wanted to release McCain in order to cause division and as propaganda. McCain refused to accept release from captivity just because he was the son of an admiral and he didn't want to be used as a propaganda tool of the Communists. McCain did this knowing that he would be tortured for refusing release. In addition he nearly died from his injuries after ejecting and being captured. If for no other reason McCain should be considered a war hero for refusing to be released early and enduring the torture of captivity. The only beef that I could have with Trump is over his statement that he preferred heroes that weren't captured. I could see how our former POW veterans, especially those that were captured in such places as Bataan and Korea might take offense to that statement. 






John McCain being captured by the North Vietnamese


  Beyond this McCain, in my opinion, has squandered an opportunity to be the hero of the people. Instead he is an elitist and hero of the special interests. He expresses that elitism by calling everyday people crazies for supporting Trump. Many people believe that Trump is not a serious candidate. I hope that he is but even so his candidacy has proven what I have been saying for years now. Illegal immigration is a winning issue for any Republican that is brave enough to take up the cause. The issue also exposes politicians like Jeb Bush and just about every other Republican as supporting the interests of the Chamber of Commerce and the special interests rather than the people. Trump will survive this as long as he continues to show a don't care attitude to his critics. His supporters are smart enough to know what is going on here. The more he is opposed the higher that his poll numbers will go. This will drive his opponents crazy and we can all sit back and enjoy the ride.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

WHITE PRIVILEGE? HOW ABOUT THE PRIVILEGE OF JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS?


  

  Jose Antonio Vargas has a new show on MTV where he questions squirming guilt ridden white people about their supposed white privilege. I wish Mr. Vargas would ask me about white privilege. I would then ask him a question. Who in the hell do you think you are? You are an illegal alien and have ignored our laws. Yet you are given your own television show and go around asking people about white privilege. Who is the privileged one here?. What country on earth, other than the USA, would award illegal behavior with a lucrative salary and a television show? Hey check out China or Russia and see if you get that kind of gig over there. The very race of people that you insult, by asking this question, gave you this opportunity.Viacom, which owns MTV, is primarily run by white people. Van Toffler, a white guy, is president of MTV. Instead of making the big bucks you should be in jail or having your ass deported.

  Yes many white people have been guilty of evil in the past. They along with every other race, had a hand in enslaving people. However white people were also the instrument of change. The white men who formed the greatest government on earth gave a promise in Philadelphia of a brighter future. They said that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness No, this promise did not immediately apply to people of color, or women. Their generation was not ready to grant freedom to all. However the promise was for the future. People like Frederick Douglas, Ida B. Wells, Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King and a multitude of others appealed to the conscious of America by constantly reminding us that the promise was not yet fulfilled. It was white people like presidents Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson, Judges such as Earl Warren, and Frank Johnson. Legislators like Thaddeus Stevens and Everett Dirkson. Finally the nearly 400,000 white Union soldiers who died to preserve the Union and end slavery These were the white people who actually had the power to do something about slavery, segregation. and inequality. What race you are is an accident of birth. I could just as easily be a starving child living in a hut in Ethiopia.. With the right attitude you can even rise above that. The privilege is not acquired through race or gender. The real privilege is being an American.
MTV president Van Toffler

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Destruction Of Black Wall Street - The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921

  Oklahoma became a state on November 16, 1907. The state had been settled by many white Southerners of whom many were former slave owners. Between 1907 and 1921 thirty-one people were lynched in the state and 26 of them were black. It had been settled by many blacks and a number were veterans of World War I. Tulsa Oklahoma had a sizeable population of blacks who had become very prosperous at a time when other blacks were not doing all that well on a national level. The Greenwood section of Tulsa was so prosperous that it was known as the Negro Wall Street. Blacks created businesses and services such as grocery stores, newspapers, movie theaters, nightclubs and churches. There were doctors, dentists, lawyers and clergy. An oil boom was going on and many blacks had benefited from it. On August 16, 1916, Tulsa passed an ordinance forbidding blacks or whites from residing on any block where three-fourths or more of the residents were of the other race. This kept the black sections black and the white sections white.



  Memorial Day 1921 fell on Monday May 30th. A 19 year old black shoe shine boy named Dick Rowland, who worked at a Main Street shoe shine parlor, boarded an elevator in the nearby Drexel building. He usually rode the elevator up to the Colored only restroom on an upper floor. Dick knew Sarah Page, the white 17 year old female elevator operator very well. Dick and Sarah were the only two on the elevator, because most businesses were closed for Memorial Day. Sarah was heard to scream and it was later speculated that Dick tripped as he was walking on to the elevator. Falling he grabbed Sarah's arm to steady himself. Another theory put forward was that Dick and Sarah were lovers and were having a lovers quarrel. Somehow it was reported that there had been an attempted rape. The police arrested Dick but they soon realized that no rape had been committed and Sarah refused to press charges.

  A white newspaper, the Tulsa Tribune, printed the story and an editorial warned that Dick Rowland might be lynched. Willard McCullough, the newly elected white sheriff, was determined to protect Dick from the lynch mob. He positioned his men all over the courthouse. The sheriff also disabled the elevator and gave orders to shoot on sight anybody trying to get to the prisoner. The sheriff tried to calm the gathering mob but was shouted down. A meeting was called in the black section of Greenwood and the younger black war veterans were determined to protect Rowland. The older black citizens were worried that things would get out of control if they got involved. Heavily armed, the young men showed up at the courthouse. The sheriff and his black deputy refused their help. Local white leaders, including a pastor, tried to talk the white mob into going home. A even larger group of armed black men showed up at the courthouse. Their heir help was also turned down. It is a mystery what happened next but a shot was fired.




  

  A gun battle broke out in which ten whites and two 2 blacks.were killed. The blacks retreated toward the Greenwood section of Tulsa and the armed whites gave chase.The white's shot into a crowd leaving a movie theater which caused a mass panic. By 11:00 PM the National Guard arrived on the scene but was only deployed to protect white neighborhoods. One prominent KKK member said that he saw at least five black bodies along with one that was being dragged behind a car. Later that night another white mob showed up at the courthouse to lynch Rowland but the sheriff managed to disperse them. During the morning hours of June 1st there were more armed clashes. The whites set the black business district on fire. When the fire department tried to put out the fires they were turned away. As the armed blacks prepared for a fight there was a mass exodus of unarmed blacks from Tulsa.

  At 5:00 AM a siren sounded which was the signal for a mass attack. One white man was shot dead as he stepped out from cover. A car load of five whites died in a fusillade of bullets. Overwhelmed by the sheer number of whites the defenders retreated North to the edge of the black district. Many black people fled in panic but were gunned down in the streets. Whites looted empty black businesses and homes. They rounded up blacks that were still at home and sent them to detention centers. The whites even flew airplanes over the Greenwood district shooting blacks and dropping fire bombs. The blacks that stood and fought would ultimately die while the ones who surrendered were taken prisoner. Many white families who employed blacks as maids, or in other positions, were told to hand over their employees. Some whites complied but the ones who didn't were harassed and vandalized. Around noon the National Guard was finally able to declare martial law and suppress the violence.






  To this day nobody knows how many people actually died in this riot. The authorities and newspapers were all over the place with casualty figures. The best estimate is that about 30 whites and as high 300 blacks died. There was an unknown number of injured. At least 800 people, mostly white, were admitted to the white hospitals. The two black hospitals were burned down and blacks had nowhere to go because of segregation laws. More than 6,000 blacks were arrested. The commercial section of Greenwood was destroyed. There were 1,256 houses burned and 215 more were looted but not destroyed.Property losses were 1.5 million along with 750,000 in personal property losses. It would be the equivalent of thirty million in today's dollars. Over the years there have been numerous lawsuits and requests for reparations with varying degrees of success. The worse thing about the Tulsa riots was that it was blotted out of the history books. Very few Americans know about this blot on American history. . .


  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Growing Up In The Cold War


  As a child growing up in the late 1950's and early 1960's this period was one of the happiest and scariest times of my life. I can't remember exactly when I became conscious of the threat of nuclear war but I just remember holding my ears whenever the grown-ups would talk about it. Starting in the late 1950's I can remember duck and cover drills. Sometimes we would do them out on the playground or inside our class rooms. Then there were the movies like On The Beach, Fail Safe and Dr.Strangelove. Or: How I learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb. I never grew to love the bomb but I did learn to stop worrying. That would come years later when I was stationed at NORAD.

  My grandparents lived behind Eastland Baptist Church and there was one of those yellow Civil Defense air raid sirens on top of the building that you would see on the roof tops all over Nashville. They would usually test it once a week at noon. If I was doing something when it went off, and had lost track of the time, my heart would stop until I realized it was just a test. Then in the early 1960's the war rhetoric between the the Soviet Union and the United States intensified to the point that the Kennedy administration began encouraging citizens to build fallout shelters. Fallout shelter contractors would advertise various types of shelters. My best friend's parents built one in their basement. One day my dad and I started digging one in our backyard. His plan was to save money by digging the hole and then have a contractor finish the work but it never happened. We ended up with a big hole in our back yard that we eventually had fill in. I always wondered what would happen in the event of a war. Would the neighbors with shelters allow us in or lock us out? The thought wasn't pleasant to contemplate.
Civil Defense siren of the 1960's







  I will never forget the look on my fathers face the night that he learned about the Cuban missile crisis. Not until years later did I learn how close that we came to nuclear war. We went to a DEFCON 2. This mean't Defense Condition 2 or as we called it in the Air Force, (Cocked Pistol). DEFCON 5 was normal status and DEFCON 1 was war. When I was in the Air Force at Kingsley Field Oregon I had just gotten home from a midnight shift when I got a call to return to base. We were on actual alert status when I arrived.and at DEFCON 3. This was a worldwide alert and we were never told the reason. There were twenty aircraft and all of them were supposed to be uploaded with tactical nukes by midnight. This alert lasted about ten days straight and we were on twelve hour shifts. To this day I don't know what this alert was about.
Kennedy's fallout shelter in Palm Beach Florida


  The Cuban Missile crisis from a military standpoint occurred in a similar fashion from what I have gathered from talking to veterans over the years. They were not told anything but were all loaded on aircraft and transported to bases in Florida. In the end the Soviet Union backed down because America had a 16 to 1 nuclear superiority. The American's also negotiated a secret deal to remove American missiles from Turkey. We didn't know it at the time but the Soviets had tactical nukes and they were under the control of Russian generals. Khrushschev was terrified that one of these generals would use the nukes if the American army invaded which would make war inevitable. After this crisis I was never again as scared as I was in the years prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The baby boom generation has been the most blessed generation that America has ever produced. I don't think that there will ever be another generation that has had the blessings and opportunities that we have had. But the Cold War was a tense time in American history that I never want my children or grandchildren ever to have to experience. The fear of nuclear annihilation My biggest fear today is that the policies of Obama and other liberal politicians will produce dangers for my children and grandchildren that will make the Cold War look like child's play.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. / American Hero

  The Longest Day was shown at Nashville's Paramount theater for the twentieth anniversary of D-Day in 1964. My brother Mark and I rode the bus downtown and walked to the theater on Church street. The left front section of seats were roped off for veterans of the battle. When the movie was over I remember one veteran, who was probably in his late thirties or early forties, telling a buddy " I wish it had been that easy". The Longest Day was good for it's historical reality but it didn't show the reality of war in the way that Saving Private Ryan did. I ended up seeing the movie about three or four times at the Paramount and many times since. There was a long list of big stars in the movie. John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Eddie Albert, Curt Jurgens, Sean Connery, Richard Burton, Paul Anka, Robert Ryan, Richard Todd, Rod Steiger, Red Buttons, Robert Wagner, Henry Fonda. and the list goes on and on. Henry Fonda played the role of Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Until then I had never heard about him and for many years I knew very little. Although Theodore Roosevelt Jr. is overshadowed by his more famous father he was a heroic figure in his own right. 

  Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was born on September 13, 1887. He was the oldest child of President Theodore and Edith Roosevelt.  Roosevelt's  first wife Alice died on February 14, 1884, just two days after giving birth to a daughter that would take her name. Only hours earlier his mother had died from typhoid fever in the same house. Roosevelt wrote in his diary that day, "The light has gone out of my life" Besides Theodore Jr. the Roosevelt's had three more boys and a daughter. They were Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin. Ted Jr. was in awe of his father and lived under the pressure of being the oldest son of a great man. In 1915 Ted went through a military summer camp hosted by his fathers former military commander Major General Leonard Wood. After America declared war on Germany in 1917 he was commissioned as a Major in the army. All three of his brothers served in the service. The youngest brother Quentin would become a pilot and would die after being shot down in 1918. Ted was so concerned for his men's welfare that he bought them all combat boots out of his own pocket. He fought in many battles and was wounded and gassed. Ted would be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for bravery under fire. At the end of the war he was one of the founders of the American Legion.


  In civilian life Ted became a New York assemblyman, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy under Warren Harding. He became tainted by the Teapot Dome Scandal due to his involvement in the oil business. Ted ran for governor against Al Smith and lost. President Herbert Hoover appointed him governor of Puerto Rico and he worked hard to ease the poverty of the people during the depression. Impressed with his work in Puerto Rico president Hoover appointed him governor general of the Philippines. After his cousin Franklin Roosevelt was elected president his job ended in the Philippines. This was because he was a Republican and Franklin was a Democrat and they were political enemies. In 1940 Ted took a military refresher course and was promoted to colonel in the army. He returned to active duty in April 1941. 

  After Pearl Harbor he would fight with bravery in North Africa but being second in command under Major General Terry Allen didn't set well with General George S. Patton. He didn't like Terry and Roosevelt was tainted by his association. After the death of Roosevelt however Patton would call him the bravest man that he had ever known. That is a real tribute coming from Patton. Roosevelt was assigned as a staff officer of the 4th Division in order to help prepare for the D-Day landings. As a staff officer he would not be in combat but he wanted to lead his men on to the beaches of Normandy. At 56 Roosevelt was the oldest officer and he was on a cane due to rheumatoid arthritis. This was from his WW1 wounds. He had also had a heart condition.  After several requests that were denied, Roosevelt finally sent a written request that was reluctantly approved by his commander and friend General Tubby Barton. Tubby was afraid that Roosevelt would not come back alive. 

  On June 6, 1944 Ted's son Quentin Roosevelt II stormed Omaha Beach in the first wave. Ted led the 4th division on to Utah Beach and soon found out that the landing craft had drifted a mile off course from the objective. He then spoke  the famous words that are depicted in the Longest Day. "We'll start the war from right here". His cool and calm under fire inspired his troops while bullets were chopping up the ground all around him. He also acted as a traffic cop untangling traffic jams. On July 12, 1944 while talking with his son in a captured German truck he suffered a heart attack at about 10:00 PM and died around midnight. He would be awarded the Medal of Honor. There are only two sets of father and son that ever won the medal. Arthur MacArthur and Douglas MacArthur. Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt Jr.  President Roosevelt was not awarded his medal until 2001. He had been nominated by his superiors during the Spanish American War but for political reasons it had been blocked. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was buried in the Normandy military cemetery. In 1955 the family exhumed Quentin's body and he was buried next to his brother. The following is Theodore Roosevelt Jr.'s Medal of Honor citation.
Ted with his son Quentin II
Funeral of Theodore Roosevelt Jr.





 

For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in France. After 2 verbal requests to accompany the leading assault elements in the Normandy invasion had been denied, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt's written request for this mission was approved and he landed with the first wave of the forces assaulting the enemy-held beaches. He repeatedly led groups from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland. His valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack and his complete unconcern at being under heavy fire inspired the troops to heights of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. Although the enemy had the beach under constant direct fire, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from one locality to another, rallying men around him, directed and personally led them against the enemy. Under his seasoned, precise, calm, and unfaltering leadership, assault troops reduced beach strong points and rapidly moved inland with minimum casualties. He thus contributed substantially to the successful establishment of the beachhead in France.





Monday, July 13, 2015

NATHAN BEDFORD FORREST DAY


  I just wanted to wish everyone a happy Nathan Bedford Forrest Day. This was a proclamation signed by Governor Bill Haslam on June 2, 2015, just two weeks before the church shooting in Charleston. Of course being the weasel that Haslam is he is claiming that by law he had no choice but to sign it. I wonder though if he would have signed the same proclamation two weeks after the church shooting. I am sure he could have come up with an equally good excuse not to sign. Haslam conveniently forgot to tell the reporter about the proclamation when he was asked his opinion on removing the bust of Forrest in the capital. He told them that he would have no problem removing the Forrest bust from the state capital building.


  Seriously though I believe that Forrest is worthy of honor on this day. July 13th was his birthday and it was also the date of one of his greatest military victories. Forrest's Murfreesboro raid on July 13, 1862.  From a historical point of view I see at least two of historian David Barton's principles of left wing historical interpretation at work here. Modernism and Minimalism. Forrest is being judged from the modern standards of morality which is Modernism and his accomplishments are being overshadowed by his flaws in an oversimplified manner. For example his involvement in slavery, the Ft. Pillow massacre, and the Klan are reduced to one line platitudes. Forrest's character was complicated and worthy of serious examination. Most modern critics primarily focus on his involvement with the Klan although he swore under oath to Congress that he was not a member. There are some good biographies out there on Forrest that examine, in a scholarly way, the complexities in Forrest's character. One of my favorite is a book by Jack Hurst, named Nathan Bedford Forrest. Some of the early books written in the late 1800's and early 1900's gloss over the bad aspects of Forrest's character and even exaggerate to some degree his military accomplishments. As a student of history however I am just not ready yet to throw Forrest under the bus. I know that I am fighting a losing battle. In our modern politically correct environment people like myself, who are standing up for the Confederate flag, hero's, monuments and heritage are going the way of the dinosaurs. Maybe in that way we are more like our ancestors than we know. We are fighting for a lost cause. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is just the prelude of the fight to come. The fight to continue honoring our American heroes such as our Founding Fathers, traditions, our national anthem and even our flag. If the left is successful in destroying Southern heritage our American heritage may be next.


  I have written many articles about Forrest over the years. About the fact that Forrest was a hundred years ahead of his time by developing the concept of mobilized infantry and battlefield tactics that were the basis for German blitzkrieg and is still being used and studied by armies all over the world. This from a man who was nearly illiterate. What I want to focus on today however is his contribution to not just the history of the Confederacy but to American history. All Americans should read a book called April 1865: The Month That Saved America, by Jay Winik. The author makes the point that Civil Wars are the bloodiest of all wars and that they almost always end badly. A Civil War is a national domestic situation. It is a family fight and they are the most dangerous. Besides traffic stops more police officers die responding to domestic situations than anything. America has been very fortunate. We have endured two civil wars and because of superb leadership America has survived reasonably intact. The American Revolution is usually not seen this way but it was a civil war. We were British subjects fighting against other British subjects. George Washington was offered a dictatorship or the opportunity to become our king after victory was secured. Washington saved our Republic and our revolution by refusing both.


  In April 1865  Lincoln's biggest fear, and the thing that kept him up at night was that Robert E. Lee, Joseph Eggleston Johnston, and Nathan Bedford Forrest would not surrender. Lincoln's nightmare scenario was that Lee, Johnston, and Forrest instead of a formal surrender would split up into partisan bands and take the war into the mountains. It would then become a bloody hit and run guerrilla war that might last for generations. In April 1865, Southerners held these three men in high esteem. Whatever direction they chose to go the Southern people were willing to follow. Ironically the man that was urging his generals to do just that was president Jefferson Davis. He was at that time the least liked man in the Confederacy, but he wanted to fight to the bitter end. Lee was the first to surrender on April 9, 1865. Surrender was anathema to Lee but he felt that his men had given their all and his farewell address to his men admonished them to strive for the reconciliation of our country and to become good American citizens. Johnston surrendered on April 26.  Lincoln had encouraged his two main generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman to "Let em up easy". Grant and Sherman were so magnanimous in their treatment of their defeated enemies, Lee and Johnston, that all four men had the most profound respect for each other until the end of their lives. Johnston would die of pneumonia after standing bareheaded in a cold rain at Sherman's funeral. When asked why he would do such a thing, Johnston responded that Sherman would have done the same for him. Lincoln showed great and wise leadership in treating the Southern leaders this way. It also reflected his knowledge of the Bible and the gospel of Christ's forgiveness.
Lincoln
Grant

Sherman

Lee

Johnston

Forrest


  If any of the three leaders were born for guerrilla warfare it was Forrest. It is said that he came to a crossroads just before disbanding his troops and told an aide that one road leads to Mexico and the other leads to hell. Forrest took a third road however. Upon hearing of Lee and Johnston's surrender he made the decision to disband his troops and gave them his farewell address. Jay Winik makes the point that April 1865 was the month that saved America. In spite of the fact that a bloody civil war ended and Lincoln was assassinated America survived in spite of this. He points out that six men, three Union men and three Confederate men saved America by exercising mature and moral leadership in the hour of America's maximum danger and vuneralbility. One of those men was Nathan Bedford Forrest. The following is Forrest's farewell address to his troops. 


Civil war, such as you have just passed through naturally engenders feelings of animosity, hatred, and revenge. It is our duty to divest ourselves of all such feelings; and as far as it is in our power to do so, to cultivate friendly feelings towards those with whom we have so long contended, and heretofore so widely, but honestly, differed. Neighborhood feuds, personal animosities, and private differences should be blotted out; and, when you return home, a manly, straightforward course of conduct will secure the respect of your enemies. Whatever your responsibilities may be to Government, to society, or to individuals meet them like men.

The attempt made to establish a separate and independent Confederation has failed; but the consciousness of having done your duty faithfully, and to the end, will, in some measure, repay for the hardships you have undergone. In bidding you farewell, rest assured that you carry with you my best wishes for your future welfare and happiness. Without, in any way, referring to the merits of the Cause in which we have been engaged, your courage and determination, as exhibited on many hard-fought fields, has elicited the respect and admiration of friend and foe. And I now cheerfully and gratefully acknowledge my indebtedness to the officers and men of my command whose zeal, fidelity and unflinching bravery have been the great source of my past success in arms.

I have never, on the field of battle, sent you where I was unwilling to go myself; nor would I now advise you to a course which I felt myself unwilling to pursue. You have been good soldiers, you can be good citizens. Obey the laws, preserve your honor, and the Government to which you have surrendered can afford to be, and will be, magnanimous.


— N.B. Forrest, Lieut.-General

Headquarters, Forrest's Cavalry Corps

Gainesville, Alabama




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