Tuesday, November 11, 2003

No Mama-No Papa-No Uncle Sam

No Mama-No Papa-No Uncle Sam:

A Veterans' Day Tribute to my Uncle Paul Nagurney
To Paul: a Veteran; a Patriot; a Great Man


"It is wrong to place our military in harm's way and not support them.
May God forgive those who did so in Bataan, and may God forgive those who forget the sacrifices of Bataan,
and those other Americans who rest here."

Maj. Richard M. Gordon (USA Ret.)
Battling Bastards of Bataan
Remarks at the Manila American Cemetery
-Ft. Bonifacio, Makati, Manila, Philippines-
April 2, 2002
Senator Inouye, Senator Stevens, Ambassador Ricciardone in attendance


On this Veteran's day I wish to thank my Great Uncle Paul who died in 1981 at the age of 67...and whose sacrifices and stories I will not forget.

He was a survivor of the Bataan Death March of WWII.

He served 20 years with the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force.

He was wounded December 10, 1941 while stationed at Nichols Field in the Phillipines.

He was evacuated to Bataan and then to Corregidor.
When Corregidor fell to the Japanese, he was taken prisoner.

He survived the Bataan Death March, thanks to his sheer will and a secret stash of quinine, which he shared with others to
help sustain them.

Hundreds of Americans died or were killed in that Death March.

Uncle Paul survived over three more years imprisonment by the Japanese. He was later awarded the American Defense Service Medal with a bronze star, a Distinguished Unit Badge with two oak-leaf clusters, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with a bronze star, the WWII Victory Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Phillipine Defense Ribbon with a bronze star.

"Ghost Soldiers" by Hampton Sides tells one of the best stories about the Bataan incident.
Fourth Marine Mel Sheya, a Bataan survivor, wrote a first-hand accounting of Bataan in "The Battling Bastards of Bataan".
I am lucky enough to have an autographed copy of the book.

In one section of the book, Sheya writes:

"In our short stay at Cabanatuan, we had seen our comrades face the firing squad, hundreds die from dysentery, malaria, malnutrition, and shot by guerillas who were after the Japs.
When we left, the camp was in a precarious state, for many
men were lying around about to die. The camp looked more like a graveyard than a prison camp. Men weighed from sixty to eighty pounds and were unable to hold anything on their stomachs.
We bid them adieu, knowing that soon many would be buried.
Some of the dying would give buddies their sentimental valuables and ask them to give them to their wives or families when Uncle Sam liberated us.
The time for departure came and we lined up ready to march.
You wouldn't realize men could become so close in friendship until you could see the tears shed by the men whose close friends were leaving...."

He also wrote:

"Many nights I would dream of home..my Mom and the friends I would love to see, then I would be awakened by the sobbing of some boy that was less fortunate than I in concealing his emotions. There was alwas some one of us prepared to comfort and try to console these men that were still human enough to cry..."


"Old Glory, to me, really means the flag of freedom and democracy.
May it forever fly proudly.
Damn the men that ever try to depreciate it."

Mr Sheya and my Uncle survived a living hell in captivity for
42 months under the Japanese. Corregidor was not only the bloodiest battle in the WWII Pacific, but was possibly the worst form of defeat ever inflicted in the U.S. armed forces.

There were very dark moments when these prisoners would feel they were forgotten and abandoned by the American generals. Lorcha Dock was where General MacArthur (realizing too late that he had spread his troops too thinly) uttered the words "I Shall Return", before departing for Australia. He had ordered a general retreat of his troops on Luzon to the Bataan Peninsula on the western side of Manila Bay. The American and Philippine Army troops scattered across eight of the other large Philippine islands were abandoned to the Japanese.

How might YOU have felt if you were one of those left behind?

Uncle Paul learned that, when all is said and done, we only have ourselves on which to rely upon for our own survival.
He was not angry at his nation for what happened to him.
He held no grudge.
He believed in the cause of true American democracy and freedom.

Yes, through it all, my Uncle Paul loved America for what he believed she stood for.
Freedom and democracy.
I learned many important lessons from Uncle Paul through the years I was lucky enough to have his
company and his counsel.
His thoughts, his patriotic love run through me and through all the words you see here on this page.

I intend, as long as I live, to never let his memory die.

The bottom line on Howard Dean and the Confederate Flag Issue

The bottom line on Howard Dean and the Confederate Flag Issue:

"I intend to talk about race during this election in the South
because the Republicans have been talking about it
since 1968 in order to divide us...
and I'm going to bring us together!"

Howard Dean

Yes, this is me...a Northern girl who
came up through Connecticut Yanks over the past
375 American years. Just take a look at me..
posing in front of the "dreaded" symbol of
our nation's once-fragile and fractured unity.
How can I possibly be smiling, you ask?
Some would call it hope.
My hope for America rests with the People...
and for a leader who will help them understand how
to heal and find strong enough common ground
for the mending of our tattered civil and civic fabric.
We will never make the world a better place when
we cannot find a spot our own land solid enough to stand together.

Morton H. Halperin: Safe at Home

Morton H. Halperin: Safe at Home

From: TAP/American Prospect online
-At the dawn of the Cold War, America's leaders created new institutions that made us safer.
Fast forward to the present.
Why isn't the Bush administration following their example?-

In this article, there is a definitive list and brief review of what we have done over the past two years which provides a basis for determining what needs to be done from this point forward to make the nation safer.


"....President Bush got one thing right: The greatest threat to American security is a rogue state providing a terrorist group with a weapon of mass destruction and the means to deliver it in the United States. Unfortunately, almost everything he has done since September 11 has made this problem worse rather than better. We need new policies, new approaches and new institutions to reduce this risk...."

"....None of this argument is based on altruism. It is a straightforward claim that the administration's policies to date have failed to make us safer, and that a new approach is more likely than the path we are now on to prevent rogue states from sharing true weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery with terrorists who would wish us harm."

George Soros Rocks

George Soros Rocks!

Soros's Deep Pockets vs. Bush
Financier Contributes $5 Million More in Effort to Oust President


"We were disappointed. We thought a guy like George Soros could do more.
It was thrilling."

Steve Rosenthal, CEO, America Coming Together


"...It is the central focus of my life," Soros said, his blue eyes settled on an unseen target. The 2004 presidential race, he said in an interview, is "a matter of life and death."

"....Neoconservatives, Soros said, are exploiting the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to promote a preexisting agenda of preemptive war and world dominion. "Bush feels that on September 11th he was anointed by God," Soros said. "He's leading the U.S. and the world toward a vicious circle of escalating violence."

"..Soros believes that a "supremacist ideology" guides this White House.."


"...It's incredibly ironic that George Soros is trying to create a more open society by using an unregulated, under-the-radar-screen, shadowy, soft-money group to do it," Republican National Committee spokeswoman Christine Iverson said. "George Soros has purchased the Democratic Party."


For more on George Soros, see: "The Bubble of American Supremacy"