Sunday, June 29, 2014


LET'S TALK ABOUT STUFF.    Stuff, to me, is different things.  Could be politics, music, religion, memories...a whole bunch of things.  As an example, the other evening we watched a DVD of Guys And Dolls, and it took me back a long, long way.  I grew up in Brooklyn, back when it was worth your life, or a limb at the very least, to go into a neighborhood that wasn't yours.  As a matter of fact, it was when I got a bicycle chain wrapped around my head by a kid that was smaller than me, that my mother said "that's it...we're moving", and we moved to Florida.  Wow, talk about a culture shock!  I got a driver's license at 14 and when my father and I visited Brooklyn I was king of the hill.  That's a good memory.   New York City was never going to be's just too vibrant, but there was a time when it was better than it is now.  It wasn't unusual to go to a friend's house and open the door and walk in, because a lot of doors weren't locked.  The parks were places you went to play ball, row a canoe, visit the animals in the zoo and, if you were lucky, eat something that your folks brought for the picnic.  Yeah, we had ants back then wasn't all paradise...but it was better than it is now.  My father and I used to go to Times Square every Sunday and we would pick out a movie from one of the seven or eight that were in that immediate area.  I remember seeing vaudeville at the Loews State, with acts like Gallagher and Sheen, and I heard Frank Sinatra at the Paramount.   Yeah, I'm old, but in my time all the big ones were just coming along, and it was my privilege to see and hear them.  There was Gargantua the ape at the circus, the tiglon at the Bronx Zoo, and if the weather was right, we'd go to Coney Island and ride the steeplechase horses at Luna Park, have hot dogs from Nathan's and hot buttered corn.  Those are good memories.
          For me, "the war" was World War 2, even though I served after it, and  during Korea, because that was the era in which the world was the most dangerous...and reading the headlines in the paper alternately made my family happy or scared, depending upon the news.  We had a map of the world that covered nearly a whole wall in our living room and we knew where the war was going good for the allies, and where it wasn’t.  There wasn’t a real fear that America could be bombed, but it might be invaded, and that was almost a daily discussion.  I had a pal that had a .22 rifle and we’d go to a vacant lot and shoot bottles…I got pretty good with it, but nobody was shooting back at us then.  During the war you couldn’t go a block without seeing a flag flying, or, if you looked in a window you might see a small pennant with a blue star…or a gold one.  There was so much patriotism it was easy to get caught up in it.  We would scour neighborhoods for glass bottles, or any sort of aluminum pots or pans, or any metal at all.  Rubber tires were especially prized, and we thought seriously about taking them right off cars, but we got a lecture about that, and didn’t do it.
          The music of that era was, I think, better.  You could understand the words to the songs, none of them had cursing in them and many were patriotic in their message.  There was “Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer”…”Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition” and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” along with many others, and some songs that carried over from The Great War in the 19-teens.  One of my favorites was “Lili Marlene” even though it was a German song.  We felt bad when Glenn Miller disappeared.  We were deeply moved by the reports from London by Edward R Murrow, and Drew Pearson was an oddball at the time.  Walter Winchell spoke to “all the ships at sea” and at some time, Ernest Hemingway moved to Key West.  I lost a nice guy cousin when his B-24 was shot down returning from a raid in Ploesti, Romania.  The world had never seen the magnitude of the military might that the United States amassed, to free, and arm, the world.  It was said that, during the raids on the German homeland, there were thousands of American aircraft in the sky.  That was some stuff then and, speaking of stuff…do you remember the stuff that dreams are made of?  I do.  I have a Maltese Falcon looking down at me from just above my monitor’s screen.
          Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired   www.AirHumanityRadio.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


     Our know-nothing, do-nothing imposter-in-chief is dithering again.
Between playing golf and fund-raising he is doing what he's best at doing...campaigning.  The problem is that once you've successfully campaigned and won the office, you have to actually know what you're supposed to be doing...and the current president doesn't have a clue!  He has never run so much as a lemonade stand, so the business or executive background is not there.  To top that, he has several other know-nothings, and Susan Rice is a prime example, to advise him as to what this country should be doing.  The administration consists of his cronies, all yes-men, and all determined to shield the president from the real if he wasn't already in his own little fantasy world.
    If it wasn't obvious before, it should certainly be now, that this president has an agenda that has as it's main goal the destruction of the United States.  Add all the internal scandals together and you have a picture of a president that is either a congenital liar, which I believe he is, or a president that is so incompetent that he couldn't find his way from the Oval Office to the West Wing unless he had someone to guide him along the way.  The people, or at least some of them, that are guiding him are Valerie Jarrett, a foreign-born slum-lord, a product of the Chicago political morass, General Martin Dempsey, whose only aim in life is to retire without a blemish on his record, and if that means that he has to plant a kiss now and then on the posterior of the president, he will do just that.
     Every possible thing that can be done to decimate this country's
position in the world, is being done by this administration.  They have literally opened the southern border to thousands of illegal aliens.  These people come here knowing full well that the odds are very much in their favor that they will never be found and deported, once they get into the general population.  It's a dream-world, and no pun intended, that the administration is living in, thinking that what they are doing is sitting well with the public...because it isn't.  Does the president care what the public thinks?
Nah…not unless it interferes with his plans, and since he thinks he can do anything he wants, who’s to say nay?  Certainly not the spineless Congress that he has cowed.
     It isn’t just the Congress that is cowed, it’s the mainstream media as well.  They just don’t have the guts to bring the stories to the forefront, if it something that will cast a shadow over this president.  You would think, and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility in my mind, that all the bosses at the alphabet networks are being paid off by the White House.   Why else would they distort the truth, deliberately lie about events, and omit crucial details about what’s going on in the world?  I can’t be the only one that sees the mainstream media as being in the president’s hip-pocket?  Sure, I watch them from time to time, but it’s to see if they are covering what’s actually happening…and they are not.  Fluff and marshmallow interviews are their stock-in-trade it looks like.
          With the exception of Israel, and maybe Egypt, the rest of the Middle East is a tribal-and-warlord type of region.  For centuries, maybe thousands of years, the peoples of the Middle East have been fighting each other.  There is no universal concept of a central government, there is no equal sharing of power, there is no respect for the borders of a country…they roam all over, killing their enemies as they find them, and in the case of the United States, they sort of have a common enemy.   China is much older than the majority of countries in the Middle East and it has taken a couple of strong leaders, albeit cruel ones, to bring them into the modern era.  I just don’t believe that will happen in the Middle East, at least not during my life time.
          The president, that incompetent, lying, buffoon, is pursuing the agenda that was given to him, right down to the abandonment of our troops and civilian workers, who are working for our government.  The all-volunteer armed forces that we have now will shrink because the potential volunteers will realize that their government is not backing them up…not on the battlefield, not in the hospitals and not in return to civilian life.  A diminished military also diminishes the nation.  Between an ineffective military, and a feckless president, the rest of the world sees us as a weakened power, something more to be pitied than feared…and that, my friends, is a very sad commentary on the United States, and something I never thought I’d live to see. 
          Wake up America…your country needs you!   Make some sort of effort to get rid of the leeches in Washington, and especially those in the White House.   It saddens me when I think of the America in which I grew up and which, unless things get changed and quickly, my grandchildren will never know.
          Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired

Sunday, June 15, 2014

It bears repeating. DON'T SCREW WITH AMERICA!

It bears repeating.  Don't screw with America.  
            Why is it even necessary to say something like that?  When, exactly, did we become something less than exceptional?  When did we lose the stuff I'll call "guts"?  Where did we turn from the road of the shining city on the hill to the garbage dump?  Yeah, I could say that it began with the current president...but it didn't.  It might very well end with him, because of his extreme views on some things and dithering on others, but it's been brewing for a long time.
America came out of World War Two the mightiest power on earth.  We armed the world during the war, we fed a lot of the world after the war, and we developed things that seemed marvelous back then, but are taken for granted now.   What the devil happened to America?
            My political affiliation changed when this president was running for the office.  It was clear, at least to me, that he did not have any idea of what to do, how to do it, or when to do it.  A perfect campaigner, sure...but once you get the job you'd better know how to do it, or at the very least, have competent advisors.  Every president should have a cadre of people that he can depend on, and, ideally, they should all have the welfare of the country as their first priority.  It hasn't worked out that way with this administration.  Oh sure, we've had cheaters, liars, and less-than-brilliant men in the Oval Office...but I believe they had the country's welfare at heart.
            America was, and might still be, the most powerful in the world, so why is it that we are so far down the list when it comes to respect...or fear?   We, as Americans, used to be able to travel anywhere in the world and feel safe.  Not so anymore.  Now, Americans are targets, for killing, for kidnapping, or as political pawns.  When, exactly, did we give up the position of top dog?  There is no way I would travel anywhere outside the United States anymore.  There is no country, including England, that could give me the sense of security that I used to have when traveling.  Speaking of England, it's interesting that the public there is slowly, but surely, rebelling against the stealth jihad of the Muslims...but that's a whole other story.
            From time to time the question is posed, "where are our leaders"?   There is no one in the government today, at least not in the administration, that anyone could point to and say that's a great leader.  What a sad state of affairs that is, that no one stands out.   My time in the Navy gave me a rather salty vocabulary, but one thing that I can say is the title, DON'T SCREW WITH AMERICA.  Maybe that still holds true for events outside this country, but are we screwing ourselves,
from within?  With all the scandals, and you can go back to Watergate and Nixon, the power of the White House seems to corrupt the occupants to the point where each of them has a notable scandal. 
Few seem to have escaped, and I suspect that might be because we just didn’t dig deep enough.   Going back, there’s Eisenhower and Truman, and those two seem to be the only ones that escaped any scandal…at least while in office.
This isn’t supposed to be a retrospective look at our chief executives, and there’s lots that could be said about each of them, but rather, let’s examine why the world, and I, see the United States as a fading power. 
            Militarily we’re being weakened.  Politically we’ve been weakened.  Economically we’ve been weakened.   Those three things are boiling in the pot now but remember, a pot doesn’t start boiling instantly.   These lessenings have been in the works for decades, but they started boiling under, and with the help of, the current president.  Because he doesn’t have a clue, he’s exacerbated the problems.  Because of his humongeous ego, he truly believed, and still does, that he could charm all our enemies into cooperating with us.  It didn’t work.
other words, folks, don’t screw with America because we’re from hardy stock, and we don’t take kindly to being pushed around.
            Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Stuff I don't want to hear anymore.

Stuff I don't want to hear anymore.
            There are phrases and idioms that become popular, last for awhile and then fade away.  Take, for example, "political correctness".   This is a phrase that seems to be steering us in the ways of speaking more gently, less coarse, if you will.  In actuality it is shrinking our vocabulary because words that WERE descriptive of a person or an event, are now politically incorrect.  We don't dare identify someone as being black, white, or indian...nope, they are African-American, Caucasian, or Native American...and that is just plain stupid.   It would be pretty stupid of me(and anyone else) to think that every black person in this country came from Africa.  Oh sure, maybe 7 or 8 generations back, but not now.  How many white people that you know came from the Caucasus region?  Native THEY have a legitimate claim to that, but when you grew up they were indians, and you probably played cowboys and indians...they were indians in the movies too.
            Over the years, women have been called a whole bunch of names, and I mean words that you could say in mixed company.  They've been skirts, frails, broads, dishes, and...well, you get the idea.  It defined a woman because they WORE skirts, they were considered "frailer" than men, usually had broader rear-ends and they looked good.  It was more of a compliment than anything else.  Today, if you used any one of those words, and several others as well, you might be on the receiving end of a lawsuit for defamation of character, or some such rot.  Men, on the other hand, seemed to have been called men, or gents, since forever.  We just don't seem to get the respect that women do, and that's fine with me.  There's nothing I can find wrong with being called a gent, or a male...unless you add the words "chauvanist pig" after it.  I have been called that also, by the way.
            "I don't read books"...this is something that I simply do not understand.  People will spend hundreds of dollars buy an electronic device so that they can read the same information that they could get from a very inexpensive newspaper, or a real book.  In my personal library as I look at the shelves, there's probably 200 books on all sorts of subjects.  Growing up books were my ticket to adventure, history, education, and if you can picture a kid under the covers, and using a flashlight to see the word on the pages, that was me.  Almost nothing escaped my reading, unless it was really scientific stuff which was just too far above my childhood mind.  Today, to hear people tell me that they don't read books is almost a crime, and in some countries, even now, to have books IS a crime.  It certainly was in Germany in the 1930's, and that country gave us some really brilliant minds.
            Then there’s the people that say “I don’t take any interest in politics”.  These are the types that are willing to go along with just about anything that government does, because they don’t know any better.   The facts don’t confuse them because the facts are hidden in a volume of double-talk spouted by someone that really doesn’t want you to know what they are really saying.
As an example, there are people in government today who want to dramatically change the words in the United States Constitution, and those changes would bring you less freedom…unless you know about them you will find out that things have changed and you wonder what happened?
Pericles, way back in 430 BC said it and it’s still true today, "Just because you don't take an interest in politics, it doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.".   Take a moment and
think about the ways that politics, or government, affects your life.   Amazing, isn’t it?
            Finally, I don’t want to hear anyone say “America sucks”.   Memorial Day, which we observe every year, is a testament to millions of Americans, living and dead, who didn’t think that was a good thing to say.  Safe to say that there’s been many, many fights over that phrase, and the person that utters it better be prepared to defend it, and themselves.   For as long as anyone living can remember, the United States has been the protector of freedom and liberty for those who asked our help.  Defeated enemies are now our friends because they recognized what was brought to them.  Unfortunately, there are those in the world who will never know us as friends because of something that they heard, read, or believe in…and that’s sad.   The America in which I grew up, and spent a major portion of my life defending, is changing.   The generations coming along now will have to live with their decisions, or decide that this country is worth living in, and
perhaps, dying for.  Think about it because YOU have to live with it.
            Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

"A Republic—If You Can Keep It"

"A Republic—If You Can Keep It"  June 18, 2010 by Chip Wood writing in Personal Liberty Digest

          At first I couldn’t believe my eyes.   In fact, I had to look away and blink a couple of times before reading the email again. But it still said the same thing: “Benjamin Franklin said, ‘We have given you a democratic-republic… if you can keep it.”   No, he didn’t!   The first effort, the Articles of Confederation, was generally regarded as a failure. But what should replace them? Each state sent a group of representatives to meet in Philadelphia and hammer out a new agreement. The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended, eager to learn what had been produced behind those closed doors.  
          As the delegates left the building, a Mrs. Powell of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got?”   With no hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Not a democracy, not a democratic republic. But “a republic, if you can keep it.”    Democracy, as the author sees it, is five wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for lunch. If you were the sheep, which would you rather live in—a republic or a democracy?”   Wood goes on to say I told them about the importance of “binding men down with the chains of a Constitution.” That this was the only sure way to protect their freedom. And that anyone who wanted to change this republic into a democracy was an enemy of liberty.    Today, if you take a poll of high school or college students, the overwhelming majority will tell you that we are a democracy.
          Please don’t dismiss this as a mere quarrel over semantics. Understanding the difference between the two systems of government is absolutely vital. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that our very liberties depend on getting more Americans to realize the importance of this seemingly arcane dispute.    They had been taught that the United States was, and had always been, a democracy. That “majority rule” was the fairest of all possible forms of government.   So I quoted what some of our founding fathers had to say. I asked if they had heard of The Federalist Papers—the collection of articles written during the debate over ratifying the new constitution.   In Federalist No. 10, James Madison, often referred to as “the father of the Constitution,” had this to say:  “…democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they are violent in their deaths.”
          Alexander Hamilton concurred. In a speech he gave in June 1788, urging ratification of the Constitution, he thundered: “The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.”   Fisher Ames, a member of Congress during the eight years that George Washington was president, wrote an essay called “the Mire of Democracy.” In it, he said that the framers of the Constitution “intended our government should be a republic, which differs more widely from a democracy than a democracy from despotism.”   Yes, our founding fathers were well aware of the differences between a republic and a democracy. They revered the former; but as I said above, they hated and feared the latter.   In view of the founders’ ardent convictions, it is no surprise that you cannot find the word “democracy” anywhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the U.S. Indeed, the Constitution not only proclaimed that our Federal government should be a republic; it went further and mandated that “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.”
          These principles used to be widely understood and commonly accepted. John Marshall, chief justice of the Supreme Court from 1801 until 1835, said that, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that “democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors.”   Nor was it only Americans who feared and despised democracy. Lord Acton, the famous Englishman who coined the aphorism that “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely,” had this to say:   “The one prevailing evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.”   It was only during the last century that the falsehood about this country being a democracy became widely accepted. Woodrow Wilson declared that we fought World War I “to make the world safe for democracy.” Franklin Roosevelt said that the U.S. “must be the great arsenal of democracy.”
          So today, almost every schoolchild in America believes that the U.S. is a democracy. Why did the liberal intelligentsia in this country, supported by their slavish followers in the media and their docile puppets in politics, pull this “bait and switch” on us?   For the answer, let’s turn to another Englishman, Alexander Fraser Tytler, also known as Lord Woodhouselee, who wrote:  “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”   The only part of Mr. Tytler’s warning I’ll dispute is his use of the word “always.” You and I have been given the power to prevent our country’s descent into a democracy. It’s called the ballot box. Let’s hope enough of us use it this coming November  to begin the process of taking our country back.