Seventy years

It’s been seventy years since D-Day, June 6th, 1944. Neither I nor my wife were yet born. My father was too young for WW1 and too old for WW2. He also worked in an exempt industry, coal mining.

U.S. troops disembark from a landing vehicle on Utah Beach on the coast of Normandy, France in June of 1944. Carcasses of destroyed vehicles litter the beach. (Regional Council of Basse-Normandie/U.S. National Archives)

My wife’s father, on the other hand, was in the Army and fought in WW2. He went ashore in France at one of the D-Day landing sites. I don’t know which one. He wasn’t in the first way, but went ashore in one of the following waves. He was captured later and escaped when the train taking allied prisoners back to Germany was strafed by allied planes. I don’t know more of his history. He never talked to me much about them. It’s also possible my memory of his comments has been corrupted over time.

Most families today had a least one family member who was in WW2. In 1945, the United States military contained 16.1 million soldiers, sailors, and marines out of a population of 139 million. That was nearly 12% of the total population in uniform.

When I was in my teens, in school and later college, nearly all the adult men, and a significant number of the adult women, were veterans. That fact was supported by one reason, the draft that continued from before WW2. The draft, while widely disliked, did have a positive result, a significant percentage of the US population were continued to be veterans.

The draft changed during my senior year in college to a lottery. It was too late for me. I had to make a choice to be drafted in the the Army or the Marines (yes, they did draft into the Marines at that time) or take advantage of my Air Force ROTC and go into the Air Force. I followed the Air Force adage, “It’s better to fly over it than to walk through it.”

A few months later, the lottery took effect. I have no idea what my lottery number was. I still don’t. I went in and did my time. A few years later, the Selective Service was suspended and the military no longer conscripted recruits. The consequence was a drastic reduction of military servicemen and the resulting veterans. today, the percentage of all veterans compared to the total population is low, only 6.5%.

Out of a population of 313.3 million (2012), there are 21.2 million living veterans, 7.6 million of those are from the Vietnam war. I’m one of the 7.6 million.

I suppose it should not be unexpected that respect for veterans has decreased over the years. While the military is still viewed with respect for much of the country, the left has disparaged the military and veterans since the 1960s. I still remember warnings from my time in the Air Force to not wear my uniform off base unless I was in transit  to or from my duty post and home, or on official business. The left has learned since then to not be as vocal and public with their abuse, but the abuse is still there. You only have to look at the state of the Veteran’s Administration to see that the liberal abuse of the military and veterans has become institutionalized.

Robert A. Heinlein once wrote a novel called Starship Troopers. In it, veterans, abandoned by their governments, revolted. After the dust died down, society was divided. Citizenship, and the resulting political power, was limited to veterans. If you wanted the vote, you had to serve. In fact, if you wanted to join, you could not be turned down. Something would be found for you to do to earn citizenship, even if, “it was counting the fuzz on caterpillars with your fingers.

Is this a good idea? It has been discussed my many over the decades. The left hates it. The right, for the most part, embraces it. However the current crop of politicians would flee in panic from any discussion on this subject. But the idea that citizenship—and the benefits thereof, should be earned is a good one and it remains a valid argument.

When you see Obama pontificating in Europe about D-Day, also remember that he, like democrat Bill Clinton, never served.

Monday’s Moments

Mrs. Crucis and I attended final services for a WW II veteran on Saturday. He was 93 and passed on his birthday. He flew B-29s in WW II, flying 35 missions over Japan.

We didn’t know him all that well. In fact, we had only met him once at another funeral. But at that funeral, we had a long conversation. We talked about flying, airplanes, travel and many other topics. Last year, he and his daughter went back to Saipan and Tinian, airbases he flew from during WW II. They met another old veteran and were interviewed by the local Okinawan and Tinian newspapers.

He had a full military funeral. Two Army troops came down from Fr. Leavenworth to present the flag to his daughter. The American Legion provided a firing party for the last salute and some local pilots flew over in formation. In all, it was a very moving experience.

Fare thee well, Lee Florence.


I was going to say, “Interesting,” but it isn’t. I’m not surprised by this paragraph from Rasmussen at all.

Belief that the Republican Party has a plan for the future has tumbled 20 points since last year, but nearly half of voters still believe neither major political party represents the American people. — Rasmussen Reports.

Last Friday and over the weekend, Boehner, Cantor and other GOP so-called leaders, went to Obama, cap in hand, with a plan to fund the government, fund Obamacare, raise the debt limit and dissolve the Sequester spending limits. It was a near-complete surrender.

Obama turned them down.

Why? Obama demanded the debt limit be raised for a full year, not just two months. Boehner and his quislings caved, giving Obama all that he demanded and Obama refused, demanding more, and more, and more.

It’s evident the shutdown was carefully planned by Reid and Obama and they are not giving in until they’ve destroyed the GOP power in Congress. And, he is near success.

The only leadership being shown in the House, is coming from the Senate—Harry Reid for the dems and Ted Cruz with Mike Lee for the ‘Pubs. It is a sad state of affairs with House ‘Pubs have to look to conservative Senators for leadership because they are receiving none from Boehner, Cantor, Ryan and the other establishment clones.


An opinion-piece appeared over the weekend in the Washington Times. It echoes the opinions of many, including me, that the GOP is disintegrating. There is a ground-swell building across the country to remove, not only the GOP establishment, but every elected Representative and Senator possible in the next election.

What does it mean? A repeat of the 2008 election most likely, but it will also mean the death-knell of the Republican party—just like the end of the Whigs in 1860.

PHILLIPS: The last days of the Republican Party

Saturday, October 12, 2013 – Judson Phillips: Cold, Hard Truth by Judson Phillips

WASHINGTON, October 12, 2013 — The Republican Party was born in the darkest days of the American Republic.

In the next few days it will die.

The Republican Party saved the Union and abolished slavery. The Republican Party stood against Franklin Roosevelt’s internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and against Jim Crow laws in the 50’s.

On a hot summer day, the most famous Republican of the Twentieth Century stood before one of the great icons of tyranny, and over the objection of his cowardly, country club Republican advisors, Ronald Reagan demanded, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

In 1975, Reagan told conservatives to raise a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels.  Today’s Republican banner is the colorless banner of John Boehner’s freshly laundered white flag of surrender.

The Republican Party will die of suicide by cowardice.

It would be unfair to say that the leaders of today’s Republican Party lack the courage of their convictions; they have no convictions from which to draw courage.

For the leadership of the Republican Party — the Establishment, as conservatives like to call it — the signs should be obvious.  The GOP has lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections.  The base complained loudly about most of the nominees, yet the Establishment insisted that President Dole, President McCain and President Romney would be loved by the people.

They weren’t.

The Establishment has been openly disdainful of the base that puts Republicans in power.  Some of that base, such as Tea Party members, aren’t even members of a country club. Many of them are blue-collar workers, they have convictions, and they want to see the party act on them. Perhaps most shocking of all, many of them are outspoken Christians!

This must be horrifying to Northeastern, liberal, Establishment Republicans. How can they possibly face their Democrat friends, knowing that most of their base believes in Jesus Christ as something more than a swear word.

The Republican leadership in Washington was pushed into this fight. They did not like it.  House Speaker John Boehner and Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor had already worked out a plan to surrender with style. The conservatives could even have another meaningless vote against Obamacare they could take back to the home folks.

When Boehner, Cantor, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were forced to fight, they screwed it up. McConnell punted and put the onus of the fight on the House Republicans.  Neither Boehner nor Cantor had the stomach for a fight.

The issue was Obamacare. It was a train wreck. It is a train wreck. The base wanted Obamacare delayed for a year and the base did not want the debt ceiling increased. 

Delaying Obamacare should have been the mother of all no brainers, especially after its roll out on October 1. The government spent $643 million for a website that does not work. This alone should have been enough for the GOP to get a message to the American people and rally support.

Boehner and Cantor stumbled around like newly castrated cattle, trying to figure out what they were missing and why.

They never did.

They could never get on message and the Democrats destroyed them.

Now Boehner, Cantor and McConnell are surrendering. Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid know the Republicans will never fight again and they can have anything they want.

Actually, that is not true. The Republicans are willing to fight again.

This fight is against their base.

Establishment Republicans, former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu and former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour have declared war on the Tea Party. Establishment Republicans are now vowing to primary Tea Party Congressmen. Michigan Congressman Justin Amash already has an opponent and Establishment Republicans are looking for a “pro-business” candidate to primary Iowa Congressman Steve King.

In 1858, Republican Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That is what is happening today in the Republican Party.

Conservatives are expected to line up and support moderates when they win the nomination, as conservatives did in 2008 with John McCain and 2012 with Mitt Romney. But when a conservative wins, support is optional for the moderates of the party. This is happening today in Virginia, where conservative Ken Cuccinelli won the nomination that was supposed to go to moderate Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Bolling has pointedly refused to endorse Cucinelli, and according to some reports is preparing to endorse his opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

After the elections of 2006 and 2008, the Republican Party was on the political endangered species list. The same Establishment geniuses who thought Mitt Romney and John McCain would be good nominees destroyed the Republican brand and lost control of the White House and the House and Senate to the Democrats.

Along came the Tea Party and saved the GOP.

How did the GOP show its gratitude?

The establishment told the Tea Party to go away and let the professionals handle government. These were the same professionals who screwed things up to begin with.

If the Establishment wants a war with the Tea Party, the Tea Party should welcome that war.

All the Tea Party has to do is leave the GOP and the GOP will quickly be relegated to the status of the “Rent is too damn high” Party.

That last paragraph is telling. Too many ‘Pubs think the Tea Party is dead because the big rallies of 2008 through 2010 are gone. The truth is that the Tea Party has been organizing. Just look at the political clout of Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation and the Tea Party Express.

Those are the a few of the biggest Tea Party organizations, but most of the Tea Party is independent local groups. Many limit themselves, concentrating on local and state issues. Cass County has not had a group until a month ago. That group is now organizing, gathering members and strength.

The ground work exists for a third party. All that is needed is some trigger—a trigger that will force those conservatives to leave the GOP for a NEW party. No, not the Libertarians or Constitutionalists. They have no organization and all too many of their members have alienated themselves from the Tea Party conservatives by supporting abortions and legalizing drugs.

Many conservative politicos, like Cruz and Lee, along with their supporters in office, will come over, too. Why should they stay when Boehner and McConnell act like two dictators suppressing any contrary opinions?

The creation will be messy. It’s unlikely the new party will win many elections the first time around. The original Republicans didn’t do well against the Whigs in 1856, either. But the second election, after a few years of organization and consolidating power, the Republicans won. And the new Tea Party, or whatever it is named, will, too.

Once a Marine, uhhh, Legionnaire…


The American Legion

The American Legion

The Obama administration fears veterans, it appears. First they deny benefits to returning and discharged veterans, then they cut funds to the Veterans Administration. Now, they are attacking veteran support organizations like the American Legion.

There were veteran organizations prior to the Legion, many from the Civil War, but none of those elder organizations survive.  The three largest today are the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Amvets. These three are the most recognizable, but there are many, many more.

The Obama administration is attempting to curb opposition using the IRS as its tool of choice. Their attacks against conservative and Christian organizations have been exposed. Now they are focusing on Veterans.

A very bad choice for them. Veterans have survived privation, stress and warfare. If pushed, does anyone think government bureaucrats can do worse than what these veterans have already experienced? I doubt it.

Rogue IRS Shamefully Targets Nation’s Veterans

 Posted 08/26/2013 07:01 PM ET

 Scandals: One of the nation’s largest veterans groups is being required to provide proof of membership eligibility. Posts that can’t or won’t comply face heavy fines. Your government thanks you for your service.

“The American Legion has recently learned of the so-called IRS ‘audit manual’ and is concerned that portions of it attempt to amend statutes passed by Congress and approved by the president,” American Legion legal counsel Philip Onderdonk Jr. told The Daily Caller.

“The IRS now requires American Legion posts to maintain dates of service and character of service records for all members. …The penalty for not having the required proof of eligibility is, apparently, $1,000 per day,” the American Legion stated.

‘Unconscionable’ is an overused word in describing the abuses of power and the continual overstepping of legal and constitutional boundaries by this administration. But it certainly applies in this case. The American Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit veterans organization chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919, and now has more than 2.4 million members in 14,000 posts worldwide, according to its website. It has never had to deal with such a requirement until now.

The American Legion will take up the issue during its national convention in Houston this week and decide whether to pursue the matter through the courts or Congress, where at least one lawmaker has already come to the organization’s defense.

“On the heels of Americans’ anger over revelations that the IRS intentionally targeted certain groups, it has been brought to my attention that the IRS is now turning their sights toward our nation’s veterans,” Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran rightly says.

“The IRS seems to be auditing veteran service organizations by requiring private member military service forms.”

We are aware that some individuals, including some politicians, have invented or embellished their service records. But what the IRS is suggesting here is that American Legion posts, as organizations, may be enjoying tax-exempt status under false pretenses.

The Obama administration, which has already dishonored survivors of the Fort Hood terrorist massacre by calling the attack “workplace violence,” causing them to lose needed benefits, now is telling those who have honorably served their country and risked their lives in its defense, “show us your papers.”

I’ve not heard if the VFW, the AMVETS or other veteran organizations have been targeted like the Legion…yet. But, if the IRS attacks one, why would they hesitate from attacking others? And, why attack these organizations? Is it, perhaps, because they are conservative, critical of liberals and the Obama administration, because of their vocal support of veterans against the VA?

I do have a personal stake in this attack on the Legion. I was once a member. I’m not now, but my reasons for not renewing my membership had nothing to do with the parent organization. If I were still a member, I, like the other members, would have to be heading for our lock boxes to get our DD-214s or other documents to prove our active service. Documents that contain much, much more than just our periods of active service.

When I joined, I filled out a form on-line. When I went to my first Legion meeting, I met a couple of my peers from my Air Force days. They, like me, stayed in our local area after we left active service. I hadn’t seen some of them for over thirty years.

The Marines have a saying, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” I think that motto applies to veterans from all the services. In this case, for me, “Once a Legionnaire, always a Legionnaire.”