Fading Memories

 

This old green “blouse”, as it’s called in the Marine Corps, hangs in the closet. Never seen; almost forgotten. It was a long time ago and I’m aging as are my brother Vietnam Veterans. There are six medals and three ribbons. They are from lower right to upper left:

1. Republic of Vietnam Campaign
2. Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Actions, First Class)
3. Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross)
4. Vietnam Service Medal (1 Silver & 1 Bronze Star)
5. National Defense Service Medal
6. Good Conduct Medal
7. Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon
8. Presidential Unit Commendation Ribbon
9. Combat Action Ribbon

And the only one that means anything to me is the one at the top leftalmost hidden by the lapel and shadow―the Combat Action Ribbon. It shows that I did fight the enemy in personal close-up battles. That I killed the enemy I am proud. In my day it was Communists. And Communism means that one’s life belongs to the State. I performed my small role in eradicating this abomination. Look at Vietnam today. A Communist nation but with little power. Communism holds little sway with the citizens. They want what America invented―freedom of the individual. And they’re gaining it as time goes by with wonderful Capitalistic products.

Today it’s much worse. Today’s American warriors are killing religious killers. Our enemy now fights to make our lives belong not to the state, but to their God.

By the nature of man; according to the sanctity and independence of the noble soul of the individual human being, we fight this evil.

I’m too old to engage in the fight in a physical way. So I can only offer my thoughts on the matter.

In a nutshell, my life belongs neither to the state nor to any Goddamn religion.

Semper Fi!

Advertisements
Published in: on September 23, 2007 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Artist and the Dealer

spanish_sardines.png

Marvin Steel
Spanish Sardines
Oils on heavy canvas
16 x 20″
1967

Marvin writes:

“The painting was full of dust and looked terrible, A dealer offered me $300.00 for it, and!, I would have to clean it and varnish it. So I cleaned it and varnished it, found the original frame and hung it on the studio wall. The dealer, well, he doesn’t own a Marvin Steel.

“I like the colors. The models were later used for bait.

“The painting was in my surrealistic period.”

Looks like Marvin is the better dealer.

“An artist is a trader….the hardest and most exacting of all traders.”
―Ayn Rand “Atlas Shrugged” p.782 (HB)

Published in: on September 19, 2007 at 1:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Stigma of Religion

This is a picture I took at H & S Co., 1st Military Police Bt., 1st Marine Division in 1970.

Chaplain in Vietnam

Here is a chaplain. His religious realm is well protected presumably by secular Marines. Secular in the sense of “a person not a cleric; layman” (Webster’s).

Today it’s the case that America needs protection from religion.

I will give honor to the religionist who has earned recognition.

Congressional Medal of Honor

 

CAPODANNO, VINCENT R.

Rank and organization: Lieutenant. U.S. Navy. Chaplain Corps. 3d Battalion, 5th (Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein). FMF

Place and date: Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam, 4 September 1967

Entered service at: Staten Island, New York

Born: 13 February 1929, Staten Island, New York

Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Chaplain of the 3d Battalion, in connection with operations against enemy forces. In response to reports that the 2d Platoon of M Company was in danger of being overrun by a massed enemy assaulting force, Lt. Capodanno left the relative safety of the company command post and ran through an open area raked with fire, directly to the beleaguered platoon. Disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire, he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and giving medical aid to the wounded. When an exploding mortar round inflicted painful multiple wounds to his arms and legs, and severed a portion of his right hand, he steadfastly refused all medical aid. Instead, he directed the corpsmen to help their wounded comrades, and, with calm vigor, continued to move about the battlefield as he provided encouragement by voice and example to the valiant Marines. Upon encountering a wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Capodanno rushed in a daring attempt to aid and assist the mortally wounded corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire. By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring example, Lt. Capodanno upheld the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.

 

At the same time I see religion as the source of all evil in the world. Just look around. Islamic killers are getting away with it because, in America, one political party (Republicans) base their doomed-to-failure policy in fighting the war―on religion. The Democrats, hungry for power to destroy America, jump in every way deceptive on the religious band-wagon.

Other than curves and levels adjustments in Photoshop I leave this photo as is, with scratches and spots as religion is just that way―stained with corruption.

Published in: on September 15, 2007 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Good and Evil

Secular vs Religious

There is in every village a torch – the teacher:
and an extinguisher – the clergyman.

― VICTOR HUGO

The Old Lamplighter
by Charles Tobias

If there were sweethearts in the park
He’d pass a lamp and leave it dark.
He made the night a little brighter
Wherever he would go.
The old lamplighter of long, long ago.

Venetian Lamplighter

Venetian Lamplighter
Maxfield Parrish
Oil on panel
1922
Private collection
Copyright © by Maxfield Parrish.

Inspired by Victor Hugo

Esmeralda and Phoebus Surprised by Claude Frollo
Auguste Couder
Oils on canvas
circa 1800’s

Published in: on September 11, 2007 at 12:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Paula

Paula was a fabricator of facts. She hated reality, living in a world that was never dull. A tall tale, to her, was better then telling the factual truth, besides it was more fun.

Some of us remember the funny story, mostly told to kids, that she was really a Mermaid, keeping her tail in a box, only taking it out when she wanted to go for a swim.

One could talk to her about any subject, hearing her ideas, mostly made up creations, that would leave a person in wonder. She was very convincing, forcing a listener to doubt he ever knew what the true facts were!!

She did not care to be an example for others to follow, however, she was.

Paula’s legacy is one of individualism and independence.

She stated, not in words, but in a life style that was: Never be like others to please anyone; be fearless to do what you want to do; live for enjoyment; never fear illness or dying, only think of living; never work just for money and security, because it is the ruination of one’s freedom and happiness, she hardly ever worked for anyone, but rather, lived by her wits always having enough money to travel the world; always look in the mirror to make sure you are what you want to be, it is important to always be Paula; if you are not great, act as if you are; always dress as if you are going to meet the Queen; and, don’t waste money on trivial things, money is to be used for great endeavors like going to Japan or buying a mansion, never buy a newspaper when one can find one for nothing.

Now, Paula has gone to get her Mermaids tail.

Paula
Paula
Marvin Steel
Oil Sketch
12 x 16″
1960

Tribute and painting by Marvin Steel

Post Script:

I didn’t know who Paula was, so I wrote back to Marvin. This was his answer:

I took it for granted that everyone knew this was my Mother. This statement was read at the funeral, no clergy invited. Her name was Paula Shubow, like shoe bow.

The funeral started with a loud Hip Hip Hooray and ended that way.

My Mother would have loved what I said. She was one in a million. She had red hair and walked in her high heels until she was ninety two.

It will take time for me to realize the extent of the loss.

The painting is very rough and fast, we laughed through the entire hour. At least I caught some of the fun we had.

Published in: on September 7, 2007 at 8:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sign of the Dollar

Dollar Sign
Graphic by Robert Tracy

From The Wall Street Journal
Story by Melik Kaylan
8/25

Mikheil Saakashvili is the American educated, pro-free-market…President of Georgia, the former Soviet Republic.

Saakashvili is delivering a speech to Georgian businessmen:

“The Government is going to help you in the best way possible, by doing NOTHING for you, by getting out of your way…of course, we will provide infrastructure [presumably this means a military, police and courts–Saakashvili is no anarchist], and help by getting rid of corruption, but you have succeeded by your own initiative and enterprise, so you should congratulate yourselves.”

When Saakashvili flies over Western Europe–and now Georgia–and sees perfectly cultivated fields he calls it the “aesthetic look of the Free Market”.

Published in: on September 6, 2007 at 2:46 pm  Comments (2)  

Jonathan Hoenig

Johathan Hoenig
Illustration by Carl Green

Fox’s Cost of Freedom broadcast on Saturday (9/01). The subject was government regulation of what people eat. Jonathan Hoenig is no PC guy at all. He said that obesity is an achievement in the history of man because over the centuries and eons mankind has had the opposite problem: starvation.

Then Jonathan enjoyed some Kentucky Fried Chicken on camera!

The topic came to the usual PC BS on smoking bans in bars and restaurants.

Jonathan lit up a cigarette on national TV!

This is a delightful way to make a principled stance on these issues.

Congrats to Jonathan and what a breath of fresh air!

Published in: on September 4, 2007 at 4:39 pm  Comments (2)  

Lovely Linda

My Love’s a match in beauty
For every flower that blows.

Linda's Flowers

These are flowers that my wife, Linda, really didn’t expect to bloom.

She just threw seeds in the earth in the Spring and here they are.

Published in: on September 1, 2007 at 1:33 pm  Leave a Comment