Archive for the 'Drinking and more drinking' Category

Dec 29 2016

Goodbye and farewell

I regret nothing.

There seems to be an impression among some people that a blog or a Facebook or Twitter account is about what pleases them and what they want to read, rather than the message(s) the owner of these accounts wishes to convey. And that, if those messages are ones that the readers disagree with, it is the fault of the owner of said account for posting them. Total and complete nonsense. My blog, Facebook and Twitter are about the messages I want voice-for myself.

So, I regret nothing.

And that includes advocating for the corporeal demise of one Donald J. Trump. Because the rise of Trump is THE central tragedy of America now in history. It is impossible to overstate what a calamity it is, a calamity that was enabled by the laziness and apathy of a 100 million Americans who did not vote, coupled with the stupidity of 62 million who did. Less than 25% of the US population have imposed this worthless demagogue and tyrant upon the rest of humanity. Their sense of victim hood, resentment, and desire for revenge, overcame the obvious and palpable flaws exhibited by this charlatan, to plunge the land of my birth onto a disastrous course of events. It is hard to think of a president-elect less versed in the workings of the world than Donald Trump.

These are events that threaten me personally-both physically and financially. The threat posed by this short fingered vulgarian is real. It is bothersome beyond words. Since I have not yet taken leave of my common sense and knowledge of the world as it is, as well as the history that got it there, I wish to speak out against it. If my sense of outrage offends you, then I recommend you head for the exit. I have no use for Trumpism or its acolytes. It is destructive for both of us.

2016 has cost me friends and acquaintances, and, with the advent of Trump, forced me to stop writing this independent publication. That troubles me deeply. Even more troubling, however, is this hypocrisy that some people have embraced by becoming cheerleaders for a so-called “movement” advocating “revolt against elites” and supporting events that are truly awful for the countries where they have taken place. (Yes, this means Brexit and the other harbingers of misguided nationalism). It is a dangerous set of beliefs that will lead to nothing good. The last time America turned inward was after the first world war and the consequences were calamitous. Coupled with other countries’ jealous nationalism, it is nothing short of an extinction level threat. As global politics is poisoned, America will be impoverished and its own anger will grow, which risks trapping us in a vicious circle of reprisals and hostility. It is no accident that anti-Semitism has infected the bloodstream of American politics for the first time in decades. The hypocritical people cheerleading this “movement” are playing with fire, a fire that is easily able to rise and destroy them.

I cannot, and will not, be a part of such nonsense. It is wrong and I won’t accept it or be a part of it. I fear that the ability to resist this danger has been weakened by the very technology that we thought would improve Civic nationalism and universal values, such as freedom and equality.  The information tools like Twitter and Facebook were supposed to improve the goal of political commonwealth, not destroy it. Sadly, that has proven to be just the opposite. Thanks to the single-minded evil of some reprehensible individuals it has fostered an ethnic nationalism that is destructive to nations and to people. If we are lucky enough to survive it, we must find safe havens in which to rebuild our shattered lives. 2017 will represent the start of my search for such a haven for myself.

Every bad thing is now possible. A world is collapsing before our eyes.

Till the world either ends, or sanity is restored-I wish you well.





7 responses so far

Jan 01 2016

Happy New Year!

One of the traditions I like in Japan is their New Years greeting: Akimashite omedetou gozaimasu! Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu! ( Happy New Year. In this year too, please favor me).


(It's a one size fits all Nengajo- New Years Card). This year is Heisei 28.

Here in Germany, the S.O. and I were witness to the annual carnage that is Germans going nuts with fireworks. It was foggy this year so we could not see the adjoining villages as clearly as last year, but the carnage full throated with a low level of fireworks going from about 8 o'clock and all hell breaking loose at midnight. One can buy all kinds of fireworks in the grocery stores in the period right before Christmas.

Sadly, I was not at a New Years party much as I would have liked to be. So we enjoyed some of this:


The S.O. fell asleep and I watched the London and Edinburgh fireworks on BBC. Quite impressive-and made me want to be there myself.

In Munich there was a terrorist alert, police ward of an "imminent threat", while in Dubai there was a major building fire. True to form the Arabs showed how utterly tasteless they can be by going ahead with their huge fireworks show anyway.

Brussels, on the other hand canceled its fireworks because of credible information about terrorists. After all, they probably can only support one police orgy per year.

The Sydney, Auckland, Hong Kong, and Singapore fireworks looked awesome-wish I had been there.

But here I am at home-yet again. Meet the new year-same as the last year.

Happy New Year.



2 responses so far

Mar 25 2015

The benign dictator

Lee Kuan Yew passed away on 23 March. He was 91. For those who don't know ( and you really should know this) he was the first Prime Minister of Singapore and was the founder of much of what we consider modern Singapore. As he himself said, Singapore is his legacy. That applies for both good and not so good.

Now truth in advertising, I love to be in Singapore. Its where I want to live, (as well as Japan) and I have been there 18 times. I love the place. When Lee Kuan Yew became the prime minister of Singapore in 1959, he assumed control of an ethnically divided, impoverished territory lacking in natural resources. In his 31 years in office—followed by another 21 in advisory roles—Lee transformed his country into one of the world’s most prosperous societies, a major business and transportation hub boasting a per capita GDP of $55,000.  I was often grateful for the quality of life he masterminded there.

But that quality of life came with a price and a dark side-and any eulogy of the man has to take that into account:

He will be remembered as the father of his country, a political street fighter who cut his teeth in the struggle against colonialism. Some will recall an unapologetic taskmaster — a leader more respected than loved — whose pragmatism lifted a Southeast Asian backwater into a sleek metropolis and global business hub. Others will recall the politically incorrect pundit who became an outspoken champion of “Asian values” and a sharp critic of American-style democracy. Each is correct, and captures part of the man. But to these remembrances one more should be added: Lee was the most successful dictator of the 20th century. (emphasis added-SS)

It’s a verdict that will please almost no one. For his admirers, he is a singular historic figure, not an autocratic strongman like those who eventually lorded over other former colonial outposts. He may not have been a Jeffersonian democrat, they say, but he was no dictator. On the other end of the spectrum, dissidents and democrats will take umbrage at the notion of an illiberal, authoritarian leader being remembered fondly at all. Still, Lee was one of the most universally celebrated statesmen of the last 50 years. American presidents, British prime ministers, apparatchiks from the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and European officials all lined up to heap praise on the leader of this authoritarian duchy…………..

…..When Lee retired from office in 1990, Singapore had some of the world’s busiest shipyards, cleanest streets, top schools, lowest taxes, best healthcare, and most efficient public services. The so-called “little red dot” had become one of the world’s most livable cities, a magnet for skilled foreign workers and the multinational corporations who hire them.

But the miracle wasn’t without its price. Lee kept his political project on a tight leash, dampening free speech, muzzling his critics, and squashing political opposition before it could take root. The ruling People’s Action Party is rightly considered synonymous with the government because it has won every election since 1959. Singapore didn’t have a single opposition leader in office until 1981, and until 2011 there have never been more than four opposition members serving in the parliament at one time. On one hand, Lee’s political machine was unquestionably effective at delivering results for Singapore. In most years, it’d be hard for any political party anywhere to compete against PAP’s record of accomplishment. That said, when it came to ensuring their political future, Lee and his cohort were incredibly gifted at putting their finger on the scale.


As I said, I really do like the place, even with all its faults, and people who are less enlightened then I am, tend to think I overlook them. Its not true and never has been. If you go back through my posts since 2005 you will see I have been pretty even handed in my reporting. I admit, I do like a place where I can go out for a piece of pizza or a piece of ass with the same general ease, and in my mind that was always one of Singapore's pluses.  But there was much, much more to the city than just my hunger. And Singapore is a great place to eat. ( as well as do other things….   cheeky ). Its services and general atmosphere are unmatched anywhere, especially the United States. Singaporeans solved problems efficiently and in ways the world could and did learn from -specifically with respect to health care and housing. The United States, being exceptional and all, did not seem to take the lesson on board. I still bridle angrily at people who say that Singapore's solutions cannot be applied to the United States. Its completely wrong , they could be, and would work.

That said, there were troubling aspects to the place too and still are. Just ask this guy.

My driver, a middle-aged Chinese guy, recognizes me. For most of my working life I was forced into exile overseas. Despite graduating from Cambridge in 1983 with a first-class honors degree in economics, no one in my home country would employ me. But in 2008 I decided to return home anyway and last year I stood as candidate for the Opposition in the general elections. My driver is sneaking surreptitious glances at me in the mirror. Finally he says:“JBJ. Very good man!”

I tell him he’s right and he goes on:

“But in the end very poor. Selling his book on the street corner. I buy a copy. Very sad, lah!” Then after some thought, “That’s what happens when you go against the gahmen (government).”

He is referring to my father, Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam. When I was a boy growing up in Singapore my father had been one of the highest-earning lawyers. He was also the first Opposition politician to get a seat in parliament, breaking a 16-year monopoly by the PAP. He was subjected to multiple defamation suits and perverse judgments which forced him out of parliament and out of his law practice and eventually bankrupted him.

Kenneth Jeyaretnam then goes on to ask the question of Mr. Lee that we all should ask, could not the government have found a way to have prosperity, progress and innovation without sacrificing central control and whilst not repressing freedom?  I personally think the answer is yes, especially because there are examples that prove me right, but Mr. Lee would not have agreed with that answer at all. Perhaps at the start he needed a tight grip-for the Communists where a real and persistent threat. But later-not so much:

During his last decades in public life, the Singaporean regime became increasingly critical of the American-led notion that human rights—including democracy—had worldwide applicability. In an interview published in the Atlantic in 2013, Lee argued that “Americans believe their ideas are universal—the supremacy of the individual and free, unfettered expression. But they’re not—and never were.”?

There is one other aspect of the society he crafted that I, for one, find particularly troubling and its not unique to Singapore, the Middle East and other parts of Asia have it too-namely the fact that a part of Singapore's success rests on the backs of an underclass of foreign workers, that will never enjoy the benefits of the prosperity that has been brought there."Singapore cannot compete with cheap labor overseas so it brings the cheap labor to Singapore, with no minimum wage there is no bottom to how cheap this labor can be. Not surprisingly this exploitation has fueled an explosion in GDP but not in real wages, which have stagnated or fallen." Specifically for me, and since this is women's history month, the exploitation of so many people troubles folks a good deal.  The fact that American feminists pay ZERO attention to the plight of these women, is just grounds to shout at them repeatedly.

Singapore is a mixed bag to be sure-but its a better bag than most places, ( light years ahead of Shopping Mall USA) and a lot of that was do to the vision of Lee Kuan Yew. “People want economic development first and foremost,” he said in an interview printed in his 1998 book, The Man and His Ideas. “The leaders may talk something else. You take a poll of any people. What is it they want? The right to write an editorial as you like? They want homes, medicine, jobs, schools."

That they got. At what price they paid-that is what will be the discussion in the years to come.

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Mar 17 2015

Happy St. Patricks Day!

May the luck of the Irish be with you.

And me these women rise up to meet you:


Toast you friends with a pint of Guinness;



And remember, its just a Tuesday-you will still have the weekend to do it all over again.


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Mar 10 2015

Another orbit around the sun.

Today is my birthday which in the grand scheme of things is not really important-and tomorrow is the 4TH anniversary of the Tohoku Tsunami which is. If had not given up booze for lent ( and believe me I think its a big mistake tonight)-I would probably be drunk off my ass tonight and not typing this post.

So lucky you, I am sober. sad

Its 2015-the year Back to the Future promised us a lot of things. And we do have a lot of the technology toys that were promised, although I am still waiting for  my hoverboard and flying car. Not to mention the demise of all lawyers.

But given the way the future of the world, and in particular the US is heading, we might need those lawyers after all. For certainly 2015 has not turned out the way I thought it would be in 1979. I mean, besides the fact that I am not rich and successful with a svelte young blond by my side-the overall direction of the land of my birth is backwards not forwards. And that troubles me a lot more than you know.

I feel cheated in so many ways. So many things were supposed to be true this years that are not simply in the cards. The world was supposed to be a more peaceful place. Technology was supposed to have improved the lot of all the worlds populations such that disease, hunger, pollution, and poverty were supposed to be a distant, albeit unpleasant memory.

And we won't even get into the fact that the age of "free love", e.g, lots of sex with lots of partners got a real cramp placed on it in the 80's. WTF is up with that? Certainly its not been for lack of trying on our part as a species-after all monogamy sucks.

And what can one say about the United States? Nothing good I am afraid. The direction of the country's politics is definitely regressive, not progressive. President Obama did himself proud when he eloquently pointed out that it does not have to be that way, and that the cruel vision for the country held forth by the tea sniffers is not in keeping with real patriotism at all. It is what teabaggers will never understand:

What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than this, what greater form of patriotism is there than the belief that America is not yet finished, that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals?"

That’s what America is. Not stock photos or airbrushed history or feeble attempts to define some of us as more American as others. We respect the past, but we don’t pine for it. We don’t fear the future; we grab for it. America is not some fragile thing; we are large, in the words of Whitman, containing multitudes. We are boisterous and diverse and full of energy, perpetually young in spirit. That’s why someone like John Lewis at the ripe age of 25 could lead a mighty march.

More on that tomorrow. It was a wonderful speech-but then he had to return to Washington and govern the country with a legislature filled with morons. Suffice it to say, I am not optimistic about the direction of the country. I am deeply concerned what will happen in the back half of this decade, especially when some asshole like Scott Walker gets elected. 

Like everyone on their birthday-especially when in their late 50's I have paused to reflect on the fact that the more of the journey has been completed than is left to run. That's indeed a scary thought. I also, once again, marvel at the changes that have occurred in me and my viewpoints of both my former profession and the world.

For example, I continue to marvel at how completely I have been able to slam the door on my former career as a Naval Officer. While I am grateful for the gifts it gave me, I have no longing desire to go back to it. Especially in the "no fun of any kind" Navy that exists now. I was even able to pick up the latest Navy Times , where the MCPON says chiefs iniations are not "tradition" and not completely lose it. ( Even though the statements by the MCPON are complete and utter bullshit). I find myself speculating on the alternate paths I might have taken-especially as I hear so many people on the radio who left college and do not even , ever, consider the service. At the time I was 20, the idea of not going into the Navy was non-existent to me. But who knows what adventures the alternate path might have led to?

Or not. Either way, I don't find myself missing the wearing of the uniform one bit. That door is closed and will remain so.

There are other things I think about too. I think a lot about injustice these days, and the unfairness of the economic system. I am asking myself what can I do about it? And not liking the answer of, "not very much", at all. I have become a voracious consumer of economic news of late and I find what companies are doing these days quite disturbing. Disposable workers were not what 2015 was supposed to be about either. That they exist,  well that happens. That so many people blithely defend the practice-that is what is truly troublesome.

And it brings me back to the question of my closed door former life. What was it all for? Certainly not to defend this sick and twisted view of life, society, and humanity. If it was-well than may God forgive me for devoting such effort to the profession.

And that brings me back to the idea of what will it take in the future to correct that?

More to follow on that later this week. Have a good day.


2 responses so far

Sep 17 2013

Random thoughts.

When I think of yesterday's events.

First of all, I hate it when someone prescribes, based on their own social conventions and biases, how exactly I am supposed to feel and react to such a horrific event. My values are not your values. So you will forgive me if I don't react in exactly the manner you-or the thousands like you think I should react.

How do I react to an event like yesterday's as an American? Fear, disgust, despair and anger.

Fear because when you look at the names of the victims-one quickly realizes that there is nothing to distinguish them from you. The went to work-to do their jobs-never expecting it would be the end. They had plans, families, dreams, a life. And it was all ended senselessly. Consider:

  • Michael Arnold, 59.
  • Sylvia Frasier, 53.
  • Kathy Gaarde, 62.
  • John Roger Johnson, 73.
  • Frank Kohler, 50.
  • Bernard Proctor, 46.
  • Vishnu Pandit, 61.



They have a lot in common with you-and with me. I don't know their individual stories but I'll bet a couple were prior Navy or otherwise prior service. They just wanted to do their jobs. These are hardly the "moochers" that government workers are portrayed as daily in the halls of Congress and in supposedly "smart" political circles. If I had taken a job in DC ( or LA , or Washington State, or Pittsburgh, or Charlotte) -it could have been me.

Which leads to a second point. I don't understand those who say they were targeted because they were Navy. That they were Navy is actually a secondary consideration. This was a workplace shooting. Nothing more, nothing less. If they had been working for Honeywell, General Dynamics, Merrill Lynch, the Department of State-would their deaths somehow have been less tragic? The Navy was their corporation. They were randomly targeted because the shooter objected to something that had occurred connected with the corporation. This work place had extra security to be sure-but the shooter still got through.

It's disgusting to me that this happened in my own country. Its also less than thrilling to realize that in the grand scheme of things in the world-it is just a drop of water in the sea of violence that engulfs our planet. Consider, in the 24 hours of yesterday:

41 people died in Mexico yesterday due to flooding.

8 People died in Colorado for the same reason.

No one knows how many people died in Syria yesterday.

The most senior police woman in Afghanistan died in as a result of shooting injuries.

36 people died in Iraq over the weekend.

3 people died in Japan on the 16th-as a result of a Typhoon.

64 people died in the Philippines as a result of fighting in Zamboanga.

And the list goes on.

Its here that anger can and should kick in. Its all tragic. Its all unnecessary. Its all fundamentally unfair. Yet we daily see events such as these pass us by and pay no mind to it. We become numb to it-unless it happens to someone we know.

I've been a bystander to a couple of instances of work place violence. During my time as a squadron XO, a Sailor in a sister squadron, after getting a career ending piece of paper, injured another Sailor and shot himself. On another occasion a fellow officer went AWOL and committed suicide. When I was in college-a Freshman refused to come home from leave. So he shot his family in their beds.

The cycle of violence goes on.

Those who survived and were spared, in the sheer joy of being alive, attributed the fact that they did so-because "God was with them". Are we then to surmise that God was not with the dead and wounded? That's hardly fair….or just. What kind of a God just lets random, senseless acts of violence roll on unabated because its some kind of "divine plan"? If it is a plan-its not divine nor is it much of one. Its pretty goddamn twisted and unfair if you ask me.  I'm not getting into the problem of why evil exists. Or how believing people reconcile themselves with the fact that God lets bad things happen to good people. I certainly do not know the answer.

However,  I do know its unfair-that unfairness undercuts His attempts to draw people unto himself.

And, while we’re discussing things that are unfair, here’s another: how the owner of the contracting firm that hired the shooter got so damn rich. Or how he has the balls to blame what happened yesterday on the sequester. Sorry pal-as the purveyor of a product, sequester or no, you still had an obligation to do due diligence. There is more here than meets the eye-and hopefully it will come out.

And if you are not mad about that-then perhaps you should be.

There's a lot more to be angry about-and I have a right to show my anger.  Its the primary feeling I had yesterday-especially since I was pretty sure from the start it was a disgruntled employee and not a terrorist attack-and it appears I was right.

I'm going to start drinking now because here is where the despair kicks in.

Because nothing is going to change.

Oh sure there will be tighter security-and background investigations for non deluded, non shooting, non messed up people are going to get really painful. Despair that dickheads like Joe Wilson can spout off nonsense. And never get called on it. A year will come and go and he will still be Joe fucking Wilson.

Despair that the clock is ticking till the next place of workplace violence appears-because rather than do the best thing one could do to honor their memories,-namely find a way to keep that next event from happening-the country will slump back into its pit of doing nothing and accepting this kind of mindless violence as the "cost of doing business".

And of course the same government employees now being praised will be screwed when the Congress shuts the government down next month.And it will only be a matter of time until some asshole Congressman tells us that clearly, only more sequestration, more budget cuts, more tax cuts,  can make our troops safe.

Because you know….we can't make any real changes. That benefit someone besides rich people.

As I said-I have a right to be angry. 


One response so far

May 18 2013

A rare sunny day

Two weeks ago the sun actually saw fit to make an appearance here. The S.O. and I decided to take advantage of it and go walking through the woods behind our house and to the nearby town of Waldenbuch. Who, unbeknown to us, was having the festival celebrating their 650th birthday.

Here are some pictures I took along the way:



The pasture is quite open right behind our house-then it feeds into the woods:



After about 3km of walking you come out into the town of Waldenbuch


And it was festival time:


And they had the old cars out on display:



This is an interesting and small BMW:


An Early 60's Opel:


After a few bratwursts, a few beers and some ice cream-it was time to head back into the woods and home:


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Mar 17 2013

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

There has been little free time of late-between the preparations for a fairly large meeting this week-made more complex because of the sequester and the rape of our travel money; my Hebrew classes and the general nonsense.  It has meant I have had to put together a string of electronic video conferences. That's some thing I hate-since "all day VTC" meetings never work very well, and they certainly don't accomplish the confidence building that makes for a good rapport with someone from another nation. Especially a society as complex as that of Israel.

And second, I have been fighting off  spell of birthday induced depression, conjured up by being a year older and no closer to my dream of returning to Asia. Curse the financial burdens that weigh upon me! I want to shed them all and move off to paradise. In the olden days one might have been able to do that-now with the advent of electronic banking- they can hunt you down and find your ass(ets).

I can't even celebrate St. Patrick's day in proper style-as I have to be up and gone very early tomorrow.

More to follow when I can break free. - There's no gentle way to tell you that you're the designated driver on St. Patrick's Day

One response so far

Dec 11 2012

The cycle of mistakes

I have been keeping in touch with friends in Japan, listening to them tell all about the complete stupidity of VADM Swift:


While the specific recommendations that were developed as part of the summit are reviewed, additional, temporary measures will remain in place in addition to the U.S. Forces Japan curfew, an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. liberty curfew for all U.S. service members in Japan. These Navy specific additional measures include: the consumption of alcohol is prohibited from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. for all 7th Fleet assigned personnel in order to ensure all Sailors will be better able to meet the curfew requirements in Japan and all Sailors with any alcohol-related incidents within the last 3 years be placed on Class “C” liberty risk status which administratively curtails their ability to take liberty off of a U.S. installation..



Suffice it to say there are a lot of upset people. And their should be. These rules are , for one thing,  completely unenforceable-which, as I was taught early on generally makes a rule a bad one. Swift is fooling himself if he thinks that it is going to reduce liberty incidents-and it certainly is not going to prevent the consumption of alcohol after 10 PM.

Lets look at the smart persons strategy to beat this little measure, shall we?

1) Move off base. Preferably far off base and away from other Americans. Just about all of the southern Kanto plain is within a 30 minute train ride of Yokosuka, or Atsugi. Better to have a long commute in order to have some privacy over one's private life.

2) Stock up early. On cash and on beer. Lay in a good supply from the exchange and use some of the cheap supermarkets and 7-11's to keep it topped off.

3) Get an answering machine with phone forwarding. Never, Never, Never answer your phone-let it go straight to voice mail and call back as needed.

4). Learn Japanese and start going farther afield. Plenty of great bars away from Roppongi. Most with "Stay or Rest" hotels nearby. Bring cash-and don't go back to the ship till after 6AM. Talk to your buddies in Korea who have been avoiding "courtesy patrols" for years. Japan offers ten times the options that Korea does.

5) Write your Congressman and tell him-in strongest possible terms that the 7th Fleet commander has lost his mind. Then next week write him again.

6)For those of you with a Japanese girlfriend-submit a request chit making your girlfriend's apartment an approved overnight location. If they turn you down-submit another one. This has the added bonus of pissing off the American female Sailors who hate the fact that so many of their male counterparts ignore them and go after nice looking Japanese tuna.

7)Remind any khaki in sight-that his children enjoy more privileges and a later curfew than he does.

8) Non Seventh Fleet Commands should refuse to be dictated to by Seventh Fleet. This has the two fold affect of showing the powers that be that the restrictions are unnecessary-and it creates friction with the prisoners assigned to Seventh Fleet units. That kind of pushback led to easing of these stupid restrictions before and will again.

9) Take lots of 5 day leaves to Thailand. If they insist you take a buddy, get a friend to go-and then stay at hotels on the opposite ends of Sukhumvit.

Seriously, it strikes me as just an arrogant course of action. This is not acceptable in a home port. No commander could legally get away with it in Guam, San Diego, Puerto Rico or even Norfolk. Yokosuka may be on Japanese soil-but it is first and foremost a homeport. Treating it as a liberty port is not only a basic violation of the Sailors rights and American law-its unsound policy.

Oh and as an extra added benefit-better train some more rape facilitators. Because you will have more sexual incidents in the barracks and the ship. When you want it bad, you get it bad.

Clearly VADM Swift is being poorly served by his advisors-more importantly is being clearly misled about what the Japanese really want and expect. What most folks fail to realize is that most of the "outrage" by the Japanese is feigned-to produce a reaction among fellow Japanese and not with Americans. Like noise complaints-the real agenda is about squeezing the Japanese government-especially when it comes to Okinawa. I am surprised that Swift and company cannot understand that.

What the Japanese do want of Americans-is to have serious criminal offenders, like the guys accused of the Okinawa rape ( who incidentally were NOT Seventh Fleet Sailors), turned over to the Japanese criminal justice system. And for the good of the people who don't get in trouble ; the 98% of Americans assigned there-they probably should be.

Willard got this wrong in 2003, They got it wrong in 2005 and again in 2008. They are still getting it wrong. If you want your Sailors to behave like adults treat them like adults-and stop meddling in their personal lives.

Look! I'm smarter than a three star……..

15 responses so far

Sep 21 2012

Can’t lose in a crowd….

Back in the bad old days, before cell phones, e-mail, VTC's and women on warships-people used to amuse themselves ashore with dice games in bars. I was thinking about those games, and those days tonight.

As I may have mentioned before, I love bars. All kinds of bars. Dive bars, high brow bars-in between bars. I know I shouldn't-but I just do.

And back in the day-part of the fun in bars was dice games. Games played for drinks-or played for money.

Now before the Navy went on its morality kick and out lawed fun of any kind-it used to be a time honored tradition to go to the Officers Club. There upon as beer and other spirituous beverages were consumed, at some point in the evening someone would "bring em out!". Bring out the dice that is.

It usually took a lot more booze before any thing else came out.

Now the favorite game when rolling for drinks was "Horse". Learning the ins and outs of this rolling of the dice used to be a right of passage in a squadron and it was the duty of the older members to teach it to the younger ones. We know now, of course, that does not happen-because every one is too afraid of the morality police. Ah but once upon a time…………

The object is to create the best score of the dice. The scores, ranked from high to low, are five of a kind, four of a kind, full house, three of a kind, two pair and one pair. Straights or runs do not count in the game of horse. One variation of the game has aces, one dot on the dice, as wild. This increases the scores in the game. In a proper game of horse with a lot of players-the goal was to reduce the number down to two as quick as possible. Thus the origins of the phrase, "Can't lose in a crowd". Until you do. In most bars I played in four of a kind on the roll was an "auto-out" till you got down to some pre-determined number of people. ( Usually four). Prior to the that the dice would be rolled once. You took the hand you got-if you were low, you were still in. If you went out-well, God bless you. Go order the drinks.

The finale came when it came down to you vs one other person. At that point-mano y mano-may set aside any of the dice to build his score, and continue with a second roll of the remaining dice. He may roll a total of three times but is not obligated to. He can stop after any roll if satisfied with the score. Less rolls the better. Loser bought the round-which could be a big bill ( like the $75 round I bought in AFSOUTH once).

Now if one were more sporting-you played the money games. In the Navy there were primarily two: "Ships Cabin Crew" and Klondike. Klondike was a favorite with P-3 guys for some reason and some games-such as those at the Flytyrap in Sigonella could run into serious money. I knew a guy who refurbished his living room off of his Klondike winnings.

A banker rolls the dice first and players then roll the dice in turn trying to beat the combination first thrown. Only one throw is allowed. Numbers rank high to low as 1, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Any die not used in a combination is ignored. If a player rolls a combination equal to the banker's the banker wins. The payoffs are made by the banker at even odds. i.e.. players get their stake back with an equal amount. Winning combinations in descending order are as follows.

  • Five-of-a-kind
  • Four-of-a-kind
  • Full House (Three-of-a-kind and a pair)
  • Three-of-a-kind
  • Two pairs
  • One pair

Obviously, the ability to stay and to put up a big stake were required.

The final game, I used to love was Ships Captain Crew. I played a lot of that at the Rodman O'Club in Panama in 1992. One night I walked out $150 dollars richer than I walked in-and that was in spite of buying several beers. In this game you rolled all five dice with first goal being to "qualify" . To do that you had to get a 6–5-4 in less than three rolls. You put money on the bar to place your bet-and in some games you also had to ante like in poker. In the simple 6-5-4 version you must first have the ship (6) before you have the captain (5); likewise, you must first have the captain before you have the crew (4). This can be very frustrating when you fail to roll a six, and have a score of zero. As you shoot each one of these points in order, you can pull that die out of the cup and set it aside. Alternatively, you can elective to put as many of the dice in the cup and try again (this is stupid, since it does not improve you odds, but it is legal).  Each player gets at least one and no more than three flops (toss of the dice cup) in the two player game. The score is the total of the two dice left over after the Ship, Captain and Crew have been completed. A 2 is the lowest score and is called a "minimum" while 12 is the highest score and is called a "midnight".

The highest score wins. If there is a tie in a two player game, they just play another hand and ante more money into the pot. If there is a tie in a multi-player game, then then players who tied for high score play shoot two dice again for highest score. This process continues until you have a winner.

Obviously in a more player game-the chances of a tie go up.

I have not played any of these games in years. But oh I do miss them so.


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