from1perspective [today]

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May 25, 2015


The center of Memorial Day Week, Memorial Day (observed).


The POSIC, who in our opinion could best Honor The Fallen by largely staying as far removed as possible beyond a symbolic appearance, made some remarks [from what appears a remarkably limited vocabulary, and far too great a reliance on certain  -- and questionable (it can be OK to sometimes begin a sentence with "And", but only now and again) --  constructions] at Arlington.  We inserted something of a running commentary [in a different font] into the transcript below.


Thank you. (Applause.) Please be seated. Thank you very much. Good morning, everybody. I want to thank Secretary Chuck Hagel, not only for the introduction but, Chuck, for your lifetime of service -- from sergeant in the Army to Secretary of Defense, but always a man who carries with you the memory of friends and fallen heroes from Vietnam. We’re grateful to you.

I want to thank General Dempsey, Major General Linnington, Kathryn Condon, who has served Arlington with extraordinary dedication and grace and who will be leaving us, but we are so grateful for the work that she’s done; for Chaplain Brainerd, Secretary Shinseki,

Who left the admin in disgrace over the assorted scandals at the VA that continue even now

all our guests. And most of all, to members of our armed services and our veterans; to the families and friends of the fallen who we honor today; to Americans from all across the country who have come to pay your respects: I have to say it is always a great honor to spend this Memorial Day with you at this sacred place where we honor our fallen heroes

He "has to say it is always a great honor?  Didn't think the Secret Service would let anybody hold a gun to his head.  "Honor"?  This guy knows Honor like (s)H(r)illary knows ethical behavior [may have read briefly about it once long ago].  Heroes?  Poor phrasing at best and inclusion of that single word throws the whole comment under suspicion of being just so much more drivel.

-- those who we remember fondly in our memories, and those known only to God.

Beyond these quiet hills, across that special bridge, is a city of monuments dedicated to visionary leaders and singular moments in the life of our Republic. But it is here, on this hallowed ground, where we choose to build a monument to a constant thread in the American character -- the truth that our nation endures because it has always been home to men and women who are willing to give their all, and lay down their very lives,

Yeah?  What percentage of military [and others?] go out there into Harms’ Way to “lay down their very lives”, as opposed to trying to get the job done and be able to survive the experience?

to preserve and protect this land that we love.

Far too many question, and with substantial cause, that the guy making this speech actually loves this land.

That character -- that selflessness

Another bad word-choice: for many, it may have been as much or more a part of their essence, who they were at their very core, an expression of “self”.

-- beats in the hearts of the very first patriots who died for a democracy

We got “a Republic”, whether anybody today  -- or in the interim, or the future --  likes the idea or not.

they had never known and would never see. It lived on in the men and women who fought to hold our union together,

So none of those who fought for The Confederacy might have been similarly motivated or of similar and as laudable character?  What horse-pucky!

and in those who fought to defend it abroad

Oh well; “that character” is apparently in very limited supply, and only comes with certain experiences but not in the making ones’ self available for whatever may come, to death and worse [yes; there are things worse than death]; no, only for those from which certain situations, usually well beyond their own control, exact certain tolls…qualifying only in retrospect, and by the determinations of others.  Color us impressed; now, would you like to try for “favorably”?

-- from the beaches of Europe to the mountains and jungles of Asia. This year, as we mark the 60th anniversary of the end of fighting in Korea, we offer a special salute to all those who served and gave their lives

Wrong holiday, fella.  There is a difference between “all those who served” and those who “gave” their lives.  Gave?  Odds are pretty good that, while those lives were ended, most of The Fallen were more interested in winning and going home than in becoming The Fallen.

in the Korean War. And over the last decade, we’ve seen the character of our country again -- in the nearly 7,000 Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice

“Made the ultimate sacrifice”?  While it happens occasionally, as with those who jump on a grenade to save others, it is reasonable to suggest that little “sacrifice” is made by our military personnel.  Oh, we know that is not politically correct, and that many will see such a position as disrespectful at best.  But we believe that, particularly in that we’ve had no draft in generations, military life is a choice; a conscious choice, made by people who are blessed to have it as an option.  That is hardly a sacrifice.

What about the sacrifices of the families?  Sorry, if you don’t like the impact on your family resulting from the choice of job, maybe you need to take that up with the family member responsible for the choice.

No, for the most part our military are fulfilling the requirements of their own beliefs; not a sacrifice to them.  On the other hand, The Fallen have paid what is arguably the greatest individual price required by our society for our way of life.  “Arguably”, because there really are things worse than death.  Ask the 22 veterans a day who commit suicide; ask the others who consider it seriously, perhaps frequently, perhaps daily.

“Sacrifice”?  Please  -- and this goes for us all, not just “O” --  be very careful about use of that term.


on battlefields and city streets

Uhhhh, city streets cannot be battlefields?  Who writes this junk, and why doesn’t the current occupant of The White House  -- allegedly an educated man --  manage to go over this stuff at least once before delivering it publicly?

half a world away.

Last Memorial Day, I stood here and spoke about how, for the first time in nine years, Americans

Another imprecise term.  Yes, we all pretty much know what was intended by this phrasing.  Still, even if it was accurate regarding the hemisphere let alone the nation, what of foreign-born non-citizens who serve?

were no longer fighting and dying in Iraq. Today, a transition is underway in Afghanistan, and our troops are coming home. Fewer Americans are making the ultimate sacrifice

“Americans” and “making the ultimate sacrifice” again.  See above.

in Afghanistan, and that’s progress for which we are profoundly grateful. And this time next year, we will mark the final Memorial Day of our war in Afghanistan.

Hey, if this guy is so good at predicting the future, why are we having any of the current crop of problems, or even any problems of any kind?  We would like to be so sure of, well, almost anything.  [OK, we are quite secure in a few things that have to do with the future…but even those could prove our fallibility as they are based in our “beliefs” rather than any demonstrable scientific proofs.]

And so, as I said last week, America stands at a crossroads.

Uhhhhh, there was a time when this country [as opposed to “America”] didn’t?

But even as we turn the page on a decade of conflict, even as we look forward, let us never forget, as we gather here today, that our nation is still at war.

If that is really reflective of the belief of the guy reading the remarks, why have we not been on a war footing for a decade?  Why are we not now?

It should be self-evident. And in generations past, it was.

Kind of opens legions of questions, doesn’t it?

And during World War II, millions of Americans

“Americans” again.  Just keep pluggin’ away with the buzzwords.

contributed to the war effort -- soldiers like my own grandfather; women like my grandmother, who worked the assembly lines. During the Vietnam War, just about everybody knew somebody -- a brother, a son, a friend -- who served in harm’s way.

Today, it’s different.

It is our understanding that at the peak of WWII, about 9% of the population was in uniform.  At the peak of Korea, that was about 6%.  For Viet Nam, that had dropped to about 3%.  Today, only about 0.5% of our population is active military.


Perhaps it’s a tribute to our remarkable all-volunteer force, made up of men and women who step forward to serve

Conscription  -- a “draft” --  has not been the standard throughout our well-over 200 year history: we have relied primarily on volunteers throughout most of our time as a nation.  Even when there has been a draft, many if not most of our military personnel were volunteers rather than draftees.

and do so with extraordinary skill and valor. Perhaps it’s a testament to our advanced technologies, which allow smaller numbers of troops to wield greater and greater power. But regardless of the reason, this truth cannot be ignored that today most Americans are not directly touched by war.

Are you bragging or complaining?  The losses and pains of war is a major deterrent to it.  Perhaps, if more people felt such losses and pain more directly, wars might be prevented/avoided, or at least lessened in duration.

As a consequence, not all Americans

“Americans”: a pet peeve here [see usann].  Are we insisting on our form of “political correctness”?  We don’t think so; we do not argue for distinctions without a difference, but a distinction where there is one.

may always

Beware the absolute.  If anything should be absolute, perhaps it would be a ban on terms like “always” and “never”.

see or fully grasp the depth of sacrifice,

Here, “sacrifice” may actually be the correct term…maybe.

the profound costs

There are indeed "profound costs", and well beyond the acreage consumed by cemeteries.  Many of the severely injured may well need care for decades to come.

that are made in our name

That suggests validation of part of our position: that, for the most part, the individual members of our Armed Forces have not, certainly not for several decades, sacrificed; they have been sacrificed, by our society.

-- right now, as we speak, every day. Our troops and our military families understand this, and they mention to me their concern about whether the country fully appreciates what’s happening.

Sorry, but military families are not the point.  How many of them have been “drafted”?  Does one have to be a member of a “military family” to have concern for The Fallen, and the rest of what this society offers up as sacrifice for our way of life including the errors of government (“in our name”)?

I think about a letter I received from a Naval officer, a reservist who had just returned from a deployment to Afghanistan. And

“And”?  Altogether too many times the opening of a sentence.  Delete.  If it doesn’t add, it detracts.

he wrote me, “I’m concerned that our work in Afghanistan is fading from memory.” And

“And”.  Noise.  Insecurities of speaker?

he went on to ask that we do more to keep this conflict “alive and focused in the hearts and minds of our own people.”



he’s right.

Not a hint that this is opinion: a “fact”…according to He who has achieved perhaps more Pinocchios than any other individual.

As we gather here today, at this very moment, more than 60,000 of our fellow Americans still serve far from home in Afghanistan. They’re still going out on patrol, still living in Spartan forward operating bases, still risking their lives to carry out their mission. And when they give their lives,

We’ve been over this ground.  But tell a big enough lie often enough with enough conviction, and certainly from a position of “authority”, and many will come to believe that lie, no matter how wrong or how obviously so.  Goebbels would be proud.

they are still being laid to rest in cemeteries in the quiet corners across our country, including here in Arlington.

Captain Sara Cullen had a smile that could light up a room and a love of country that led her to West Point. And

“And”.  From someone so many pretend is a great orator.  It appears to us to be a poor [and failing] attempt to be “folksey”, “one of the people”.

after graduation, Sara became a Black Hawk pilot -- and married a former Black Hawk pilot. She was just 27 years old when she and four other soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash during a training mission near Kandahar. This past April, Sara was laid to rest here, in Section 60. Today, Sara is remembered by her mother, Lynn, who says she is “proud of her daughter’s life, proud of her faith and proud of her service to our country.” (Applause.)

Staff Sergeant Frankie Phillips came from a military family and was as tough as they come. A combat medic, Frankie was on patrol in Afghanistan three weeks ago when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. He was so humble that his parents never knew how many lives he had saved until soldiers started showing up at his funeral from thousands of miles away. And

Yet again?  Getting really old.

last week, Frankie was laid to rest just a few rows over from Sara.

Staff Sergeant Eric Christian was a born leader. A member of the Marine Corps Special Operations Command, Eric had served five tours of duty, but kept going back because he felt responsible for his teammates and was determined to finish the mission. On May 4th, Eric gave his life

Meaning no disrespect to S.Sgt. Christian, we suspect he wasn’t “giving” his life but that it was exacted from him, even as he did everything in his power to, within the constructs of his belief system requiring he go back "to finish the mission", not have his life end at that time and place in that manner [though we suspect that he was well aware of what he risked, and was at relative peace with that].

after escorting a high-ranking U.S. official to meet with Afghan leaders. Later, his family got a letter from a Marine who had served two tours with Eric. In it, the Marine wrote, “There were people who measured their success based on how many enemies they killed or how many missions they led to conquer a foe. Eric based his success on how many of his friends he brought home, and he brought home many -- including me.” Eric was laid to rest here at Arlington, just six days ago. (Applause.)

So today, we remember their service. Today, just steps from where these brave Americans

That pet peeve again.  Could have gone with the “men and women” again instead of the endless drumbeat of buzzwords selected for emotional impact.

lie in eternal peace,

While most of us may hope that “eternal peace” is the case, and a number may “believe”, few have knowledge of this as a “fact”.

we declare, as a proud and grateful nation, that their sacrifice

We still think this has been sacrifice of them rather than by them.

will never be forgotten. And just as we honor them, we hold their families close.

"And", One, more, time: this is not about “the families”.

Because for the parents who lose a child; for the husbands and wives who lose a partner; for the children who lose a parent, every loss is devastating.

This statement does not apply for relatives of people not in military service at the time?  The Great Divider just cannot seem to do much beyond divide, even as he theoretically attempts to draw the populace together.


For a change-up, could we get maybe a “Now,” instead?

for those of us who bear the solemn responsibility of sending these men and women into harm’s way, we know the consequences all too well.

Really?  Is your closest, perhaps only, personal connection, the one grandfather you mentioned earlier?

I feel it every time I meet a wounded warrior, every time I visit Walter Reed, and

Oh, so much “Honor” in the undue inclusion of persons other than those for which the holiday exists.  This is not about “the families”; it is not about Veterans; it is not about the injured.  It is about The Fallen.

every time I grieve with a Gold Star family.

Ooops; got this one right.


What a tremendously talented teleprompter-reader! 

that’s why, on this day, we remember our sacred obligation to those who laid down their lives

They risked; they, at least for the most part, weren’t likely donating.

so we could live ours: to finish the job these men and women started

Perhaps “engaged in” would be more accurate than “started”?

by keeping our promise to those who wear America’s uniform -- to give our troops the resources they need; to keep faith with our veterans and their families, now and always; to never stop searching for those who have gone missing or who are held as prisoners of war.

Ooops; got another one right.

But on a more basic level, every American

The pablum is old and dry.  Time to vary the phrasing, isn’t it?  Well, maybe not, if the objective is to appeal more to emotion than to thought.

can do something even simpler. As we go about our daily lives, we must remember that our countrymen are still serving, still fighting, still putting their lives on the line for all of us.

Good propaganda is sprinkled with Truth.

Last fall, I received a letter from Candie Averette, of Charlotte, North Carolina. Both of her sons are Marines. Her oldest served two tours in Iraq. Her youngest was in Afghanistan at the time. He was, in her words, “100 percent devoted to his deployment and wouldn’t have had it any other way.”

Hmmmm.  Validation of our argument about “choice” as opposed to “sacrifice”?  He “wouldn’t have had it any other way.” Simply does not seem like a huge “sacrifice [to us].

Reading Candie’s letter, it was clear she was extraordinarily proud of the life her boys had chosen.

OK, then: no question about the validation now.

But she also had a request on behalf of all the mothers just like her.

Words matter [see “Watch Your Language”].  Why were these chosen, and placed as they are?  The absolute “all”?  “Mothers” but not “parents”?  What of others as close?  How much “like her” qualifies as “just” like her?  The Divider in Chief, it seems, simply cannot function relative to others without first dividing as much as possible in accord with characteristics  -- some perhaps of no relevance whatsoever --  of his choosing, then unifying such divisions as he chooses for reasons that may have no logic whatsoever for an appearance of strength as desired.

She said, “Please don’t forget about my child and every other Marine and soldier over there who proudly choose to defend their country.”

Please note that Ms. Averette has also here validated the “choice” rather than “sacrifice” position.  Since she probably hasn’t quite the education or the access to speechwriters that the POSIC has, we will figure not having included members of the Coast Guard, the Navy, and the Air Force, was just a slip…and the hiccup is a typo or transcription error.

A mother’s plea -- please don’t forget. On this Memorial Day, and every day, let us be true and meet that promise. Let it be our task, every single one of us, to honor the strength and the resolve and the love these brave Americans felt for each other and for our country. Let us never forget to always remember and to be worthy of the sacrifice they make in our name.

This summation paragraph is almost frightening in the proportion of terms that are “emotionally charged”  -- mother, plea, please, forget; this, Memorial Day, every day; true, promise --  all in just the first sentence.  Like as if the reality of Memorial Day needed additional emotional charging.  Platitudes compounding all the crud that has gone before.  Yuk.

May God bless the fallen and all those who serve.

Once again the undue inclusion.  Perhaps worse, an awful lot of the noise made on and/or about Memorial Day for some years, by officials and pundits and the general public, has gone the same route.

And then, he got another one right:

And may God continue to bless the United States of America. (Applause.)





May 24, 2015



We have pushed too hard physically today to focus well at this point on certain aspects of this Memorial Day that seems to insist on being Memorial Day Week.

It was already our intent to leave the previous entry in place for the sake of continuity.  For that same spirit of continuity, we ask readers consider looking into our Archives for our entries for and about Memorial Day for the last few years.




May 23, 2015


Running a bit late: leaving the previous entry in place because this “holiday” that’s become a weekend and now a 3-day weekend and seems to be headed into a week-long thing, seems to suggest a bit of continuity here [when the bunch is Archived we may well return them to a chronological order].



From a vet who takes exception to at least some of what is wrong in this country today:


We are hardly alone anymore in our disquiet over the sloth that pretends to be concern.


From a “Friend”:

“The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. As Moment of Remembrance founder Carmella LaSpada states: “It’s a way we can all help put the memorial back in Memorial Day.”

Since the country has apparently concluded that “convenience” is more important than “sacred” [as in holiday, a word from “Holy Day”], we suggest the 3 p.m. observance every day from now through Memorial Day (proper) [“traditional”, as opposed to “observed” (the “convenience” for a 3-day weekend {side note: are these 3-day weekends, intentionally created by Congress for “convenience”, a part of the “bread and circuses”, the dumbing down of “America”?}].



May 22, 2015



The “Memorial Day Weekend” begins.  That Memorial Day won’t arrive for a week seems of little consequence: “convenience” must Rule the day.  Don’t get us wrong: we like our convenience to some extent; we just don’t feel it is necessarily the greatest of good at all times in all things.

Every year, twice a year, we go through a particular emotional turmoil: Memorial Day, then, again, on Veterans Day.  These are Holy Days for many…including us.

The idea of “Holy Days”, however, held “at convenience” somehow just doesn’t work.




We continue to petition to The White House in support for “Hierarchy of Law”, largely designed to keep UN & similar attempts against US sovereignty, as regarding arms and the Law of the Sea Treaty, from ever allowing the UN or others to dictate to the US, while still allowing the US to adopt positions in line with such.  Do you really want the UN telling us what to do about an invasion at our border, for example?


Please help this effort to protect US Sovereignty and The US Constitution.  More, here.  Or, take our word for it and immediately go to The White House site to sign: http://wh.gov/iBHYi
[making use of the WhiteHouse.gov site ensures that nobody need leave any information here, potentially saves us a lot of work, and provides opportunity for visitors to also choose from a variety of other petitions that they may also wish to support...or not].

Let’s get this thing over the 100K signatures-in-30-days threshold for a response…in record time.

If you are familiar with the place “III”, or “3%” holds in the gun rights realm, then it becomes simple: just 3% of the “likes” for National Association for Gun Rights on Facebook would be sufficient.  A similar proportion of NRA “likes” would get the job done as well.  That doesn’t go directly to questions of sovereignty, either; those who dislike “foreign entanglements”; those opposed to the Law of the Sea Treaty; or any number of other specifics, each of which would be covered by the proposal at issue.  [Gun people tend to not be “joiners”, so the potential pool from such resources could be far greater than indicated by “likes” for NRA or NAGR, so the proportion needed might be significantly less…but every signature counts, as does timeliness; please do whatever research you need to make yourself comfortable with signing ASAP and sign].
The confirmation email for having created a petition includes:

 Until your petition has 150 signatures,  
it will only be available from the following URL and will not be publicly  
viewable on the Open Petitions section of We the People


We need 100,000 signatures, and would rather have twice that  -- how about a half million? -- by May 31, 2015.

We've a companion petition at 
http://wh.gov/iBHYs  with the objective of maintaining and even improving this petition access as a tool for responsive government [novel concept, huh?].  Signatures also requested for that one.




September 17, 2011, Constitution Day: we begin another effort at blogging.  Previous efforts have ended unceremoniously for a variety of reasons; for the most part we simply have not found it appropriate to pretend that we had something of significance to say publicly each and every day, too easily then neglecting for too long, distracted by daily life rather than making such an effort a part of daily life.

This process may well be subjected to similar problems but should result in a different end: for this blogging has a new intent added to the old, one of being an exercise in and a marking of self discipline [do not expect perfection; we don't, though we will strive for minimal evidence of our imperfections].  A daily entry is a part of our objective: it may be as brief and seemingly dismissive as " Nothing today", "We, too, sometimes need a break: this is one of ours.", or " Have noted news; gathering thoughts", but we are committed to at least checking in each day, and ask readers consider doing likewise.  [Entries may or may not be keyed to or even linked to other parts of the site, but we will endeavor to minimize choppiness.]

Too often, we may go on too long.  We may try to cover too many bases, resulting momentarily in a light treatment of heavy material, but we believe longer treatments will be available elsewhere on or at least through this site.

One of our objectives is to not waste a visitors' time.  We don't mind even offending folk, if it is all honest and above-board; but we would be disappointed if, having visited, somebody left feeling they'd wasted their time [much as we don't mind somebody leaving our table not being uncomfortably full, but would feel badly if they left hungry despite their efforts to become at least reasonably satisfied].


That will have to do for today: life interrupts.


Addendum, October 4, 2011

Any post more than a week old will be subject to being moved from this page and archived. For the immediate future, the Archive will be available on another page on the site.

Addendum, October 6, 2011

We will, from time to time, review and edit for typos et al, so that later readers may not be subjected to them.

Addendum, December 9, 2011

We have reorganized [again] so that the single most recent blog entry is readily available without having to mess with a slide bar much.  Recent entries will go to another page, eventually to archives, though those pages will be as we read, oldest first.  We hope this makes things easier for visitors.


Change is not sufficient; we need improvement.






(general) PLAN

Exercise integrity, and encourage others to do so: Support each other, and encourage others to do so;

Educate ourselves, and encourage others to do so; Use the term Usann, and encourage others to do so;

Resist tyranny, and encourage others to do so; Exercise authority over officials, and encourage others to do so;

And take the country back, one day, one moment, at a time.

Our goal is to follow the above plan in our lives and our business, thus being a part of returning our country, The United States of America, to the Republic it was envisioned and designed to be and The Great Experiment -- the Rule of Law -- brought to the world by the Founding Fathers.

We ask readers -- and others -- consider doing likewise.


Taking no ads, the only revenue to keep this site going is out of our own pockets and should arguably
be going to other things, from the few items sometimes in our store, and whatever
donations might be put in the tip jar on our Comment/Support page.

To the extent that you think reasonable

-- and please think for a moment about how long it would take you to put something like this together,
and what it would cost you, in energy and money, to then make it and keep it available on the web --

we ask you consider contributing to our delinquency.