Monday, November 9, 2015

You Need An Appointment

Back when the junior son was a whippersnapper barely able to sign his name, he marched himself into the Naval Recruiting Station on Robert Street (next to the old Rainbow in the creepy strip mall,) clambered up onto a plastic chair and informed the rather startled officer behind the desk he wanted to attend to Annapolis... and it was time to get started. The man was very nice, asked the junior son a variety of very serious questions and received very serious answers. The recruiting officer told junior son he needed someone to nominate him, and explained who can do that. Making up a packet of information about the Naval Academy, he presented it to the kid in an official Navy folder. He then looked at me and said, "I think he could do it, y'know. I've never seen a kid this intense before." When the junior son presented the packet to his dad and told him what he'd done, Ziggy listened to him closely and told him this was a very good goal to have. Later, the Pappy-Unit turned to me and said, "Not a bad idea, hon. Service academies are tuition free."

Anyone who lives in this country and is even mildly aware of how officers get to be officers knows that the five service academies
  • The United States Military Academy (USMA) West Point, New York, est. 1802
  • The United States Naval Academy (USNA) Annapolis, Maryland, est. 1845
  • The United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA) New London, Connecticut, est. 1876
  • The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Kings Point, New York, est. 1943
  • The United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) Colorado Springs, Colorado, est. 1954

accept nominations, not applications, and admissions are called appointments. An appointment to a service academy means your tuition is paid by We, the People in order to insure our military has the best trained commanders in the world. 

Ben and his BFF Jesus
Dr. Carson, practitioner of psycho-ceramic surgery, clearly has no frickin' idea what he's talking about. It's not admission; it's an appointment, and no one offers to get you one, much less a scholarship. And if anyone had a serious conversation with you about pursuing a nomination for West Point or Kings Point or all points in between, I'm pretty sure you would remember that conversation for the rest of your life. "Hey, wanna go to West Point?" doesn't strike me as a serious conversation.

And therein lies the problem. This guy thinks casual chatter passes for serious conversation. He can't get his stories straight. Not about trying to stab someone, not about what classes he took in college. Not about the snake oil he's been selling à la Dr. Oz, another wacko who, based on Dr. Carson's success, is probably planning the launch of his campaign. 

What is wrong with these people? 

Bread and circus. That's what our elections have come down to. 

Photo by Arthur Levin
The last few days have been spent following the elections in Myanmar, the first free elections in that country in a quarter century, and people are putting selfies of their ink-stained voting fingers all over Facebook. These are people that have seriously gone to the polls to have a certifiable voice in the future of their nation. There are so many problems to tackle, so much damage to undo, but millions of Burmese are bound and determined to prove they have a voice. They are fighting for their very existence as a people. Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, after years of house arrest, is leading the opposition party even though their constitution excludes her becoming president because she is married to a foreigner. (Her husband is British.) One of my friends happens to be there now.... I am  so envious that I cannot be there to watch history being made.

Elections are serious stuff and we treat it like a circus parade. How can we possibly put up for election someone who believes the pyramids were built by Joseph for grain storage? 

The common fodder these days is that Marco Rubio will be the nominee. I hope not. He's no better than any of the other lying, fear-mongers running for office. At least the Democrats have the good sense to keep the cadre of candidates down to a reasonable number. 

President Obama nailed it in a single line the other night, when, at a Democratic fund raiser in response to the GOP field whining about the CNBC moderators, he said:
“I mean let me tell you, if you can’t handle – if you can’t handle those guys, then I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you.”

If this is really the best field of candidates out of a whole country of 321,216,400+ people, We, the People are in deep and serious weeds. 

Wifely Person Tip o'the Week
Think about the last time you were proud about voting.
Now, is there anyone reaching for the ballot 
who would inspire that same sense of pride?
If there isn't.....go out and find one. 


  1. Ben Carson is delusional. Oz? Belongs in prison.

  2. My comment is pending approval. I prefer not to be anonymous but no other category is for me . Carole.

    1. Carole, send me an email; there's away to make that work for you.

  3. Ben Carson has "embellished" his autobiography (ghost written, for sure) to make his life-story more appealing to a conservative, religious, and white audience. He most likely took a conversation with someone about West Point and made it about him and his self-professed greatness (because who would check this anyway?). He strikes me as a narcissist and quite calculating behind his "gentle ben" persona. I I wish the press would go after his lack of substantive policy because POTUS doesn't require brain surgery, it requires thoughtful policy, proven negotiaion skills, and the ability to compromise to effectively govern in a divided nation and a contentious global environment with complicated economic issues, urgent climate issues, and complicated international politics and security issues. I, for one, don't think it's time for amateur hour.

  4. We've been on amateur hour for the past 7 years. How different is Ben Carson from Bar. Obama? Dreams from my Father- Bill Ayers was the primary writer and overall editor of the book. The story has composites of women. Who even does that for an autobiography? Obama has no proven negotiation skills or ability to compromise. Sounds like Ben Carson is made from the same cloth. Are Carson's college records sealed, too?


    1. College records aren't public records. No one's are. Why don't you try looking up famous alumni of your local institution of higher learning, and ask to see their records. Go ahead. See how that works out for you. It's not some nefarious plot, it's just this thing called "privacy."

    2. Doug - Cite the evidence that Bill Ayers was the primary wirter and overall editor of "Dreams of My Father"? Or did you get that information from the same person who said Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya?

    3. President Obama had a resume that was different than some of his predecessors, but there really is not much to the comparison between he and Dr. Carson that you posit.
      Obama is a former professor of constitutional law - he has a basic understanding of how the government works.
      Obama was a community organizer - he worked with people in needs to help them better their lives and their communities (something to which politicians should aspire).
      Obama was a state legislator who worked with others in a governmental body to pass laws and govern a large state.
      Obama was a U.S. senator who worked in what is sometimes referred to as the "World's Greatest Deliberative Body."
      There is no evidence Ayers actually authored Dreams from my Father. He has stated he did so as a joke in order to point out the outlandish nature of the Right's pursuit of connections between he and Obama.
      Obama has tried to compromise. The easiest example to show that is "Obamacare." If he hadn't tried so hard to pander to Republicans (i.e., serving up things they long supported), he could have signed into law something much closer to a single-payer system. Throughout his presidency, Obama has looked for ways to compromise, but the Right has deemed that politically untenable on ANYTHING. Yes, in the last year he has decided that he cannot wait any longer. He is no longer to be Charlie Brown trying to kick the football. The Republicans have decided that being Lucy is a great campaign strategy...we'll see.
      I respect your right to voice your opinion but you seem to simply be spewing unsupportable statements as facts to back up a long pre-determined conclusion. Oh, wait; you are a conservative and that description is the modern American definition of the term. I am sad that we cannot have discourse without facts and attacks.

  5. So, did your son end up going into the service?

    1. No. There were a number of factors that, as the date of application drew near, caused him to rethink entering the service.

  6. I often think you have to be crazy to want to be President of the United States ... but we don't want them this crazy.

    1.'re probably right. Scary thought, all the same.

  7. Enjoyed the post (as usual), but must correct you on one thing: my alma mater, the Coast Guard Academy, does not require (or accept) nominations. Admission is based entirely on merit.
    While Dr. Carson's storytelling is definitely noteworthy, in some ways I'm inclined to agree with Sen. Sanders on this one: if folks just look at his policy positions (or lack thereof), they'll see that there is no substance and move on. The Carson campaign is built entirely upon the story of a poor child who put his faith in Christ and did great things. For that he should be applauded. However, his lack of knowledge of how the Federal government works, world affairs, and basic human history make him a less than viable candidate.
    I can't say I agree with any of the Republican candidates, but at least some of them are pretending to care about the office they are seeking and the substance of that position.

    1. Thanks for the correction.That's an important difference. While the nomination process is in place for at least the Army, Navy, and Air Force, beyond that the requirements are stringent and difficult. As it should be.

      I am still waiting for you to run.........