An Air Force POW Speaks

I’ve written before about the week in which three Vietnam vets approached me to tell me their story. It was uncanny in that in all of them, I just listened. I asked very few questions, but spent hours nodding my head and saying a word or two. (Of course, the second one was on an airplane and planes make for good confessional booths.)

The last Vietnam tale is short and Air Force related. I have a small team of guys, all civilian, who work for the Navy program I oversee. All of them are older than me, make more money than I do, and are more educated than I am. But the nature of this sort of work requires a uniform and that is where I come in.

Most of my guys are former military, including an Air Force Sergeant who fueled planes in Vietnam. He told me of stories of lying in sweat night after night over there. And of re-fueling planes during the day when they came in. He was proud of his work, as he should be, and never complained about the conditions. For years, he wore a POW bracelet of an Air Force pilot who was shot down over Vietnam. I’ll leave his name anonymous, the reasons which will soon become apparent.

Years later, in the late 90s, the Air Force Sergeant used a primitive search engine and actually found the guy whose name was on his bracelet. The POW had returned to the United States after years over in Vietnam. And the Sergeant asked the former-POW if he wanted the bracelet back. (Apparently, this is the tradition? If so, first heard for me.)

Anyway, the Air Force flier told him to keep it. Not in a mean way. But the pilot proceeded to share a list of gripes about the US government and their actions concerning his captivity. He even got a dig in on Jane Fonda. The former-POW felt like more could have been done from the governmental end. And he did not want the bracelet as a reminder. A good American, may God bless him. . .

Hanoi Jane as Nancy Reagan?

Jane Fonda and Alan Rickman as Nancy and Ronald Reagan.

Jane Fonda is playing Nancy Reagan and Alan Rickman is starring as Ronald Reagan in a new movie? Lee Daniels directed the flick called The Butler, about just that. A butler to 8 US Presidents. If you read the comments, you may want to down-vote this one:

I met this woman in person not too long ago and she looked marvelous. Her surgeries were done so well she looks like she just aged well and she takes great care of herself. She is very thin and small boned in person and was very gracious to the people who talked to her. She took her time and spoke with everyone at the women’s conference I was attending. This is not Hanoi Jane and she did turn out to be right about the vietnam war. Vietnam war was a total disaster. I was a young person in that time frame and we hated the coverups and lies we were told.

Yes, it is Hanoi Jane and for her to play Nancy Reagan is treasonous. . .

USS Jane Fonda?

USS Jane Fonda?

At one time, before the Vietnam mess, Jane Fonda supposedly supported the troops. She did not call us baby killers, nor did she spit on us or fly to North Vietnam for all of that.

Hence, the Navy is in talks to name a ship after her:

Both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars issued a joint statement today condemning the U.S. Navy over the launch of its newest warship, the USS Jane Fonda.

“Without getting into Jane Fonda’s activities during the Vietnam War, we feel that it is highly inappropriate to name a warship after an actress with no ties to the military,” said James Mitchell, a spokesman for both groups.

James Mitchell is spokesman for the Legion and VFW? Good job Jim!

Lady Gaga Almost Gives Bill Clinton a Heart Attack

A Decade of DIfference

The former President Bill Clinton threw a party on Saturday for both his 65th Birthday and his charity, the WIlliam J. Clinton Foundation. All the stars, has-beens, and will-bes were there.

Joni Mitchell and that traitor Jane Fonda. Who smokes in public anymore?

Specifically, the concert:

“A Decade of Difference,” doubled as Bill Clinton’s 65th birthday party and brought out a group of activism-inclined singers to fete the initiative and a former president currently on an unexpected tide of nostalgia, based largely on the foundation’s work abroad on a variety of economic and political justice issues and its efforts at combating disease.

Stevie Wonder, Kenny Chesney, the Somali singer K’Naan, Colombian rocker Juanes, Usher and U2’s Bono and the Edge joined Gaga for a four-hour show that felt a bit like a pop music Davos — a reminder that the big players of geopolitics still look to musicians for a certain vitality and influence.

Edge+Bono = U1

As indicated, many music stars performed, including the Edge and Bono from U2. The awol’ish other members of U2 prompted the thought: just maybe the Bone-man and the Gillette Edge were starting their own group. If so, perhaps U1 might be an appropriate title, no?

Some dressed appropriately, others not so much. Let’s look at some of the sartorial offerings shall we?

Kenny Chesney, Usher, and Grace Potter

Kenny Chesney forgot to wear a t-shirt underneath his sweater.

Usher, an R&B singer, goes 80s with a Michael Jackson inspired zippery number. The thing with Michael is that his initials were among the best initials in the world. I forget why, only that MJ has a poetic resonance.

And Grace Potter looks radiant in leather. I know nothing about Grace other than familiarity with her brother, Harry. Who gradauated from an Ivy League school known as Hogwarts.

Lady Gaga impersonating Marilyn Monroe, Maria Bello and her grungey-looking son, Patricia Arquette impersonating Glenn Close, and Lindsay Lohan flashing the V

Lady Gaga actually embarrassed the former President with her Marilyn Monroe impersonation:

But the night was Gaga’s, even if her kittenish and bawdy set might have made for an interesting ride home from the Bowl in the Clinton caravan. Playing atop what looked like a Nordic tree fort, she dedicated “You & I” to Hillary with some eyebrow-cocking overtones. Even Bill had to admit in a later speech, “I thought I was going to have a heart attack from Gaga on my birthday.”

Febrezing Wall Street

An Occupy Wall Street’er sniffs a nostrilful of Febreze, courtesy of Mrs. Jensen. She sprays her husband’s police uniform with a spritz of perfumey heaven every morning, right before work. 

By guest poser poster Armin von Schenliech III, Occupy Any Town Protestor

I am a petulant baby. I must get my way. Nevermind that I do not want to work. You will forgive my college loans. I am the 99%. We are an elite club, most of you are not in it.

I stand in solidarity with Ben and Jerry’s Ice-Cream.

Likewise, I do not stand in solidarity with fake eyebrows.

Kanye West at Occupy Wall Street with Bodyguards and gold chains

As for our protest, you say Kanye West was there?

 I’ll download his albums on iTunes because he is one of us.

He appeared with the Deaf Def Jam mogul, Russell Simmons? He the man too.

(Russell Simmons’ tweet: “I love how sweet and tolerant [Kanye] was to the crowd.”)

I don’t care that:

Critics have cited that West ranked No. 3 on Forbes’ list of top earners in hip-hop. The rapper didn’t make a speech when he attended the protests but simply walked through the throngs, who warmly greeted him.

I wonder if anyone (who is anyone) else appeared, to show support for all us law-abiding citizens and all:

Kanye West and Russell Simmons followed visits from documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, actress Susan Sarandon, actor Mark Ruffalo, comedian Roseanne Barr, actor Tim Robbins, rapper Talib Kweli and “Gossip Girl” actor Penn Badgley.

Blake Lively and Penn Badgley (Tool)

Wait, you say Penn Bedgley is a hypocrite because he stars in Gossip Girl? And attends glitzy award shows and had the paparazzi following him and his then-girlfriend Blake Lively on their expensive vacations? Oh, and he drives a sporty Audi? I don’t mind. . .

When Badgley attended the demonstration last week, he acknowledged some awkwardness in his celebrity status as a sign-carrying protester.

“I mean, listen, it’s cheesy … but I want to do whatever I can,” Badgley told the website Capital New York. “Let’s be honest: I’m on … ‘Gossip Girl.’ … It’s absurd that celebrity power is what it is, but, like, use any tool you have, you know?”

Hmm, what sort of merchandise is available at the protest? How about some condoms:

Meantime, a lesser-known merchandiser, New York City-based Condomania, is selling “Occupy Condoms.” They sport the slogan: “We won’t be screwed!” But doesn’t this bold declaration essentially negate the need for a condom?

Is it hypocritical, you ask, for millionaires who do advertisements for credit card companies to support the protest? I don’t think so:

Others have pointed out the corporations some of the supportive celebrities endorse.

Yoko Ono, Alec Baldwin and Jane Fonda have voiced support for the protests. Baldwin is a pitchman for Capital One Bank.

Capital One Bank, adding more chins to Alec Baldwin, while he supports protests against them

Baldwin has used his Twitter account to rebut criticism.

Responding to claims that he was hypocritical for being anti-capitalist and a wealthy actor, Baldwin wrote, “No. They just want regulated capitalism.”

Ono tweeted:

“I love OccupyWallStreet. As John said, ‘One hero cannot do it. Each one of us have to be heroes.’ And you are. Thank you.”

In the meantime, I will wear my Occupy Wall Street T-shirt.

Ideas are bulletproof. Unless, of course, they are not. Only one way (sarc) to find out.