……have a nice day?……
…..what is that sound?…………
…now aren’t you glad you clicked it?……..
…….now wasn’t that just another fun thing for the……………….back….of your …………………………..mind…………………w
…….now wasn’t that just another fun thing for the……………….back….of your …………………………..mind…………………w
To understand the war, we have to understand what motivated that generation of Americans not only to protest but also to fight, and later to seek some sort of closure. Wars are far easier to initiate than to conclude. And for those who serve, the memories endure long after the fighting stops.
At his inauguration in January 1961, President John Kennedy said, “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
Those born after the boomers may find it quaint to read about a president asking citizens to sacrifice, to “pay any price.” Nonetheless, their parents or grandparents, the baby boomers, will most likely remember a brief shining moment of energized promise and of unfulfilled dreams. It was the echo of that call, just a few years later, that motivated hundreds of thousands of young men to enlist for Vietnam, for the chance to ensure “the success of liberty” — and many others back home, at least at the outset, to support the fighting.
In popular memory, the boomers quickly turned against the war. Many did, but many also served. Over 10 million boomers served in the military, some 40 percent of the males of their generation. Many of them served in Vietnam. More baby boomers died in Vietnam than went to Canada or to prison for refusing to serve. Those boomers in uniform were more blue-collar and minority than their generational median, but they were not some marginal part of it, nor were they the only ones to fight. So did college dropouts and graduates — and not only as officers.
CreditRohn Engh/FPG, via Getty Images
The profile of those who served was more complicated than their stereotype — the men and women in Vietnam were not defined by peace symbols and love beads, although some displayed them. They were not a group of mutinous draftees, although many were drafted, and if they did not begin their tour disillusioned by their war, they most likely concluded it with that view. They were not a band of rebellious “fraggers” assassinating their officers or marauding killers piling up body counts of the innocent in a haze of marijuana smoke.
They were soldiers and marines, sailors and airmen, doctors and nurses, who learned about survival, about protecting buddies, about cruel death. They witnessed the suffering of the Vietnamese and they served even when an ending to their war and a clear meaning for it seemed increasingly elusive. Their favorite song was the Animals’ recording of “We Gotta Get Out of This Place.” But when they did get out, their homecoming was often difficult and lonely. The impact of their indifferent, if not hostile, reception was all the greater because they had assumed the responsibility of citizenship they understood was theirs.
The baby boomer generation grew up in the world of the 1950s, a world of “duck and cover” drills in schools in preparation for a nuclear attack, of reminders of the threat posed by Soviet and Chinese Communism, of the fear of the near-inevitability of war, and of their obligation to serve in this war. It was a time of fear, but also an era of national confidence and of individual obligation. These children of World War II veterans learned their responsibility to serve when called — or to volunteer before being called.
The journalist Philip Caputo was a young Marine officer who went ashore with the first American combat units in Vietnam, in 1965. He recalled, “For Americans who did not come of age in the early 1960s, it may be hard to grasp what those years were like — the pride and overpowering self-assurance that prevailed.” When they marched across rice paddies, he said, they carried, “along with our packs and rifles, the implicit convictions that the Vietcong would be quickly beaten and that we were doing something altogether noble and good.”
Few could have anticipated the duration and cost of this commitment. Their leaders did not, although they were seldom honest about this. So when President Kennedy proclaimed at his inauguration that the torch had passed to a new generation, his World War II generation, it was a torch that few held very long. Within a few years, they quickly passed it along to their children.
In 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson sent in ground combat troops, there was criticism and dissent, but the dominant image was of young Americans taking a stand in the jungle, a heady sense of Americans defending the “free world.”
This changed as the numbers of troops grew, their casualties increased, as draftees made up more of the units, and as the rationale for the war and its conduct were more broadly challenged and unpersuasively defended. As Americans became disillusioned by the war, some of their sons and daughters, siblings and friends continued to go to Vietnam. To the protesters and critics, by 1967 the troops had become objects of pity for serving on a dangerous assignment in a cruel and unjust war.
In 1968, the chant from protesters was “Hey, hey, L.B.J. How many kids did you kill today?” But by late 1969, when Americans learned of the atrocities committed against an estimated 600 civilians at the village of My Lai, some protesters focused on those who were serving in Vietnam, not as victims but as willing participants in their cruel and unjust war. Johnson was back in Texas, and the young men serving now were the baby killers. Pity became contempt. More people probably knew Lt. William Calley, the man in charge at My Lai, than knew the name of any other combat officer who served in Vietnam. This left little room in the Vietnam narrative for stories of courage and sacrifice.
My Lai framed the image that for too many retrospectively described the Vietnam generation. Theirs was the “Apocalypse Now” war. That movie bore as little relation to the conduct and experience of the Vietnam War as “South Pacific” did to World War II — except the latter was kinder to those serving. An overwhelming majority of Vietnam veterans served honorably and bravely.
We cannot come to terms with the Vietnam War until we acknowledge the story of the generation who served there and understand the emotional complexity they confronted. In the years after the war, as civilians they have continued to serve their country and their world and to make a difference. Powerful, often unshared, memories remain.
Understanding this is essential: Those with responsibility to send the young to war need always to consider the enduring consequences of war and the human cost of undertaking this action. Winston Churchill, reflecting on the Boer War, understood it a century ago, and the Vietnam generation experienced it a half century ago. As Churchill wrote, “The Statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.” He argued, “Let us learn our lessons.”
“I’ll say something at a rally and I look out and see all these TV cameras taking every word down,” Trump told Fox News’s Sean Hannity. “No one in politics has ever been subjected to this kind of treatment.”
“It’s unbelievable and, frankly, very unethical,” he added.
At a rally in Florida, the candidate lashed out at a TV cameraman whom he caught in the act of recording his words for broadcasting purposes.
“Look at him over there, picking up everything I’m saying, folks,” Trump shouted. “Get him out of here.”
In his interview with Fox, Trump hinted that he might drop out of this fall’s televised Presidential debates if the media continues its practice of reporting the things he says.
“I’ve always said that I would be willing to debate if I’m treated fairly,” Trump told Hannity. “But if the media keeps recording everything I say, word for word, and then playing it back so that everyone in the country hears exactly what I said, I would consider that very, very unfair.”
The Republican convention……..Melania Trump’s excruciating blunder …..Jul 19th 2016….. BY J.A. Cleveland at The Economist ….
IT HAD been billed as the high point of the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland—a speech by Donald Trump’s beautiful, Slovenian-born wife, Melania, on July 18th, in which she was expected to paint the presumptive Republican candidate in a new and softer light. Mr Trump’s advisers have described that rebranding exercise as their big objective in Cleveland; Paul Manafort, the campaign’s manager, says the four-day coronation of Mr Trump as the Republican nominee will show a “very personal” side to him. Interviewed on her way to deliver the speech, Mrs Trump claimed to have written it herself, “with a [sic] little help as possible”.
She did not, in fact, say anything terribly new or personal about her husband. Introduced by the man himself—after Mr Trump, emerging from a light-filled backdrop, to the sound of “We Are the Champions”, had made a memorable first appearance at his coronation—Mrs Trump delivered a familiar panegyric. She praised her husband as an “amazing leader” whose “achievements speak for themselves”.
She offered no clue on how Mr Trump might differ in private from the thunderous braggart he has made for public consumption. Neither did she say anything to support his claim that she is one of his most astute political advisers. Mrs Trump offered instead an anodyne portrait of wifely devotion—with no acknowledgement of the potentially humanising strains or peculiarities inherent, it might be assumed, in her match to a difficult man a quarter of a century older than her.
In any event, her speech went down well with the Republican crowd. Mrs Trump is thought to be a nice person. And her speech was, at least, a pleasant change of tone from the noisy, ill-tempered events of earlier that day. The afternoon had been dominated by a row between the convention’s organisers and a group of delegates from Virginia and elsewhere, whose effort to register their dissent against Mr Trump had been ridden over roughshod.
The evening of speeches that followed was then filled with windy harangues against Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump’s presumptive Democratic rival, offered by an assortment of B-list actors—including Scott Baio, a television star of the 1980s—former soldiers and Rudy Giuliani. It was noisy, nasty and, with the exception of Mr Giuliani, who delivered a powerful, foam-flecked denunciation of Mrs Clinton, often low-grade speaking. Mrs Trump’s speech, by comparison, was at least peaceful.
But then things went badly wrong for her, her husband, and what is already shaping up to be a strange, modestly provisioned and poorly attended convention, from which most of the party’s luminaries are absent. Two passages of Mrs Trump’s speech, it emerged, had been lifted, more or less exactly in places, from Michelle Obama’s address to the Democratic convention in 2008.
“Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do,” Mrs Obama said in a speech richly praised at the time by, among others, Mr Trump.
“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect,” said Mrs Trump.
“And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation,” Mrs Obama’s speech continued. “Because we want our children—and all children in this nation—to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Or as Mrs Trump put this: “That is a lesson I continue to pass along to our son, and we need to pass those lesson on to the many generations to follow, because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Mrs Trump is not her husband. So her apparent plagiarism is not about to kill his campaign—as happened, for example, to Joe Biden’s fledgling presidential run in 1988, after he was shown to have unwittingly ripped off speeches by both Robert Kennedy and Neil Kinnock, the then leader of the British Labour Party. Yet Mrs Trump’s blunder is still worse than embarrassing.
It points to the inadequacy of Mr Trump’s campaign effort, which is lagging behind that of Mrs Clinton, his presumptive rival in November, in cash and organisation by any measure. Late last month, Mr Trump was trying to roll out a national campaign with less than a hundred employees; meanwhile, he sought to preserve the close-knit, deeply loyal and scattily amateurish spirit of the skeletal operation he constructed during the primaries. That one of his speechwriters appears to have ripped off Mrs Obama suggests he might wish to buck up that idea. That this error or idiocy was not picked up in the weeks-long editing process that followed is remarkable.
Worse, the scandal raises an obvious question about the straight-shooting honesty of Mr Trump’s campaign that is one of his main boasts. Plainly, Mrs Trump was trying to reinforce just that impression by claiming, falsely, to have written the speech herself. She now looks a phony, which makes Mr Trump look like a phony, too.
He would now seem to have two ways of dealing with the fallout. He could admit the error and fire the errant speechwriter. Or Mr Trump, who almost never admits to possessing any weakness, may choose to ignore the blunder and simply blame the media for making an unnecessary fuss. His spokesman, in a statement released shortly after the foul-up was noticed, suggested Mr Trump preferred the second path.
“In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking,” it ran. That contained at least an admission that Mrs Trump was wrong to have claimed authorship of the speech. But America’s media, long bullied and abused by Mr Trump, and now delighting in his embarrassment, are going to want to see more of a climb-down than that.
“Maybe [this is] the funniest fuck up in the history of political conventions,” tweeted the conservative commentator David Frum. It really was.
Of course it would be historically naive to pretend that time has
stood still since 1856. To do so would mean ignoring that the South,
which hated the original Republicans, is now the dominant force in the
party. It would involve being blind to the way in which our two great
political parties have switched sides in how they view the capacity of
our federal government to promote a more inclusive prosperity.
It would be equally untrue to history to claim that the nativism of
Donald Trump is alien to the party. On the contrary, the
anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic Know-Nothings were an important force in
early Republicanism, and the party embraced opposition to newcomers at
various points in subsequent eras.
Nonetheless, Republicans who are not in the least progressive have
reason to mourn what is likely to come to pass this week: the
transformation of the Party of Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower into the
Party of Trump. Some are bravely resisting this outcome to the end —
and good luck to them. A fair number of leading Republicans have
stated flatly that they will never vote for Trump. Their devotion to
principle and integrity will be remembered.
But so many others in the party have found ways of rationalizing
support for a man who plainly does not take governing, policy or even
what he says from one day to the next seriously. It is comical but
also embarrassing to watch politicians and consultants fall all over
themselves to declare that Trump is “maturing” because every once in a
while, he reads partisan talking points off a teleprompter. This is
seen as a great advance over the normal Trump, whose free-association
rants refer to his opponents as “lyin’,” “crooked,” “sad,” “weak,”
“low-energy” and — in the very special case of Sen. Elizabeth Warren —
Liberals have long complained about conservatives “dog whistling”
appeals to racial animosity. But hypocrisy really is the tribute vice
pays to virtue and so it does mark a decline in simple decency that
Trump has shouted out his prejudices openly: falsely claiming that
Barack Obama, our first African American president, was not born in
the United States; railing against Mexican immigrants as “rapists”;
and calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the
And a party that helped build popular support for internationalism
after World War II is about to turn to a man whose foreign policy
pronouncements defy coherence. He’s not even consistent in supporting
noninterventionism or protectionism, both of which are part of a
historically legitimate Republican tradition. He substitutes bullying
for choosing, bluster for strength.
Many Republicans oppose Trump because they see him as the one
candidate most likely to lose to Hillary Clinton. But others fear
something worse: a Trump victory. They know that his presidency would
represent a grave danger to the republic, a repudiation of the most
noble Republican aspirations, and the end of their party as a serious
vehicle for governance. The GOP can survive a Trump defeat. It will
never get over being permanently defined by his politics of flippant
This is the official live stream for the Republican National Convention. #RNCinCLE
Subscribe to our YouTube channel here: http://bit.ly/RNCYouTube
The 2016 Republican National Convention will be held in Cleveland, Ohio at the Quicken Loans Arena July 18-21, 2016.
The Republican National Committee (RNC), the convention will host approximately 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories.
The convention will also include approximately 15,000 credentialed media as well as a global audience that will witness a front row seat online thanks to our Internet and social media efforts.
…….. roughly 50,000 people are expected to visit the Cleveland area during the gathering.
2016 will mark the fourth time the Republican Party will convene its convention in Ohio. The Buckeye State also played host to the 1876, 1924 and 1936 Republican National Conventions in Cincinnati (’76) and Cleveland (’24 and ’36).
Melania Trump, Donald Trump’s third and current wife, is speaking tonight at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
According to Google search trends data, many people would like to know where she is from and how old she is. The answer is that she’s 46 — born in 1970 in Sevnica, Slovenia.
Slovenia, to be clear, is not the same country as Slovakia. Slovakia is north of Hungary and south of Poland and used to be part of Czechoslovakia. Slovenia is east of Italy and south of Austria and used to be part of Yugoslavia.
Melania left Slovenia relatively young for a career as a model in Milan and Paris and then New York, where she met Donald Trump in the late 1990s and married him in 2005.
Melania Trump has not articulated many strong political views over the years but has attempted to assure American audiences that her husband is “not Hitler” and really simply “wants to unite the country and bring people together and bring jobs back.”
Now I’m getting phone calls from a blocked number that play Hitler’s speeches when I pick up. Sad!
Melania’s view on this was a little odd.
John Quincy Adams’s wife, Louisa Catherine Johnson, currently has the distinction of being the only foreign-born first lady in American history, but her father was an American merchant and diplomat who was living in London when Louisa was born — making her something of a liminal case.
There is a certain irony in Melania’s foreign-born status given the strong association between the Trump campaign and anti-immigration themes — including promises to restrict legal immigration — but polling Vox has done in partnership with Morning Consult shows that European immigrants are perceived very differently from Latin American or Middle Eastern immigrants.
When she speaks tonight, you’ll notice that Melania speaks English with a fairly heavy accent despite having lived in the United States since 1996. When listening, keep in mind that English is actually her sixth language, behind not just Slovenian (her native language) and Serbo-Croatian (the main language of Yugoslavia when she was a kid) but also Italian, French, and German, all of which she learned over the course of her career as a model.
As the ghostwriter for Donald Trump’s 1987 memoir The Art of the Deal, Tony Schwartz spent more than a year with the businessman. The book, which was largely penned by Schwartz, helped create Trump’s national reputation as a savvy dealmaker.
For the next 30 years, Schwartz watched as Trump’s fame continued to grow — first as the star of the reality show The Apprentice, and eventually as the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party.
While he was working on the book, Trump gave Schwartz unprecedented access to his business dealings, letting him listen in on dozens of calls. As a result, Schwartz says, he got to know Trump better than anyone outside his family. In a new interview with the New Yorker, Schwartz says he “genuinely” believes that if Trump were the president of the United States, “there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization”:
“I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”
If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”
This, of course, is strikingly different from the narrative Trump has told on the campaign trail.
Trump has built his presidential campaign as a bombastic and foolhardy candidate, but he has long hinted that he’ll be able to change his stripes once he gets to the Oval Office. “I can be the most politically correct person you have ever seen,” he said at an Iowa rally in January. “When I’m president I’m a different person.”
But Schwartz portrays Trump as a pathologically self-centered man with the attention span of a 9-year-old. Given that the president is often called on to quickly absorb complex information and then make high-stakes decisions, this personality trait might prove to be a liability in the White House.