“Good ol’ shoe” rides again – 2016


"Motss decides to invent a hero who was left behind enemy lines, and inspired by the idea that he was "discarded like an old shoe" has the Pentagon provide him with a soldier named Schumann (Harrelson) around whom he constructs a further narrative including T-shirts, additional patriotic songs, and faux-grassroots demonstrations of patriotism. At each stage of the plan, Motss continually dismisses setbacks as "nothing" and compares them to past movie-making catastrophes he averted.

When the team goes to retrieve Schumann, they discover he is in fact a criminally insane Army prison convict before their plane crashes en route to Andrews Air Force Base. The team survives and is rescued by a farmer, but Schumann attempts to rape the farmer's daughter and the farmer kills him. Motss then stages an elaborate military funeral, claiming that Schumann died from wounds sustained during his rescue."'  wiki on WTD


There is just so much BS out there this year.  The meme attack team at Ft. Brooklyn is working over-time to produce an unfavorable meme per day on Trump.

The latest stupid thing is the falsehood that claims Trump said the US military is WEAK psychologically.  He did not say that.  He said that SOME people exposed to combat stress are not strong enough to bear the pressure.  I know that psychiatrists are busy selling the self serving idea that returned soldiers or evidently also those who have never been exposed to combat stress are wounded children.  A lot of moms like that idea, but those who have fought know that what he said is profoundly true.  Some people are unaffected by combat stress and others crumble at the thought.  Others soldier on however much they quake inside.  A woman up in Ottawa asked me once if I were one of the crazy brave or the phony tough.  I should have asked if she had more options.   

"Good ol' Shoe" rides again.  pl




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58 Responses to “Good ol’ shoe” rides again – 2016

  1. Edward Amame says:

    The actual Trump quote:
    “…Look we need that so badly and when you…when you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it. But a lot of people can’t handle it. And they see horror stories. They see events that you couldn’t see in a movie, nobody would believe it…”
    Trump did not call anybody weak. The people on my side of the aisle have spun this into a dig at members of the military suffering from PTSD. Not our proudest moment.

  2. Imagine says:

    Mr. Trump has historically said that our enemies do not respect America because America’s military is too weak. !?!!???. “How To Get Rich” p.2 is photo of “my nemesis & mentor” honorary Col. Theodore Dobias, 50-yr headmaster & drill major of the New York Military Academy, born a Czech. Trump learned spit+polish, in-your-face screaming, wooden-soldier dissociation from emotions at early age, and has not changed. I believe he’s like Scott playing screaming Patton, with contempt for lesser mortals not angry and fearless all the time. Fearlessness is good, but anger must be tempered with pragmatism, humanism, and compassion in the true soldier, in order to avoid fascism (thus America’s soldiers are greater than Imperial Japan’s). America needs our true soldiers, not military academy Napoleonics. IMO.

  3. Castellio says:

    Among the current media misrepresentations and the increasingly “muffled zone” of free speech, this is relevant: two people were arrested when one asked a question of Dennis Ross at a public event held at a Kansas City library.
    from http://www.timesofisrael.com/man-faces-trial-after-criticizing-israel-policy-at-dennis-ross-panel/
    “Issues arose after Ross finished speaking and took a question from Jeremy Rothe-Kushel concerning whether Jewish Americans like Rothe-Kushel should be concerned about actions by the US and Israel that amount to “state-sponsored terrorism. ‘When are we going to stand up and be ethical Jews and Americans?’ Rothe-Kushel asked. When Rothe-Kushel tried to ask another question, a private security guard grasped his arm, followed by an off-duty police officer, both employed by the Jewish Community Foundation. Rothe-Kushel then shouted, ‘Get your hands off of me right now!’ Steve Woolfolk, director of public programming for the library, tried to intervene. Both men were arrested by off-duty officers.”

  4. Imagine says:

    PTSD: National Center for PTSD: “PTSD can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness.” Estimates 11-20% of Iraqi/Enduring Freedom vets have PTSD.
    That’s a huge number of vets + families affected.

  5. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    I wonder if, for the woman who asked you that question, Hillary Clinton is “one of the crazy brave or the phony tough”. Some folks are no better than they should be.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  6. Imagine says:

    VIPS call for Obama to talk with Putin:
    “forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us”

  7. turcopolier says:

    I thank you for your honesty. Would the Trump people do the same if they had the skill? Probably but they lack the skill. pl

  8. turcopolier says:

    Have you ever been a soldier? pl

  9. Kooshy says:

    Colonel, this country, for this election, and mostly do to the democrats, is now so polarized that I have not ever seen in past 40 years here. I see, that media jurnalist openly and without need or care for balance in thier reporting, take sides, IMO,this media biase is originated deep inside the corporate media, and is mostly one sided. I can see American people are mostly confused, as to who and what is the real truth, while they are being feed thier daily dose of lies that they get from thier goverment and supposedly independent media. This now is to a point that the goverment, and their subservient media don’t even care or are shamed if and when their lies are reveled or proven wrong. We now see, and are very used to this daily cycle of goverment and media lies, and it’s immediate refutation,erevelation and explenation of the real truth, by small independent analysts like yourself, without any explanation or apology from the lying in side. If required they just change a line or two and move on.

  10. BabelFish says:

    I concur with that. His voice was soft and I translated the whole statement as having empathy, serious empathy, He is, of course, inartful at times but this clearly was not intended to be a put down of folks with PTSD.

  11. turcopolier says:

    11 to 12% potential PTSD cases? That would line up with my experience. The rest do not get PTSD. The military needs to identify the 11 to 12% BEFORE they are allowed to join and refuse them enlistment. Psychiatrists are a menace to good order and discipline as are a lot of journalists. We have several psycho invalids from VN hanging around at SST whining and spewing venom to assuage their pain. I have no use for them. War is a business for the strong in body and mind. It is not an activity for weaklings. I am, of course in favor of first class care for the truly impaired. pl

  12. Peter AU says:

    pl, regarding PTSD, do you think there would be a difference between a soldier who is fighting a war defending his country which is under direct attack, and say, a war where a soldier goes away to in effect attack another country to “defend his country’s interests”?

  13. Liza says:

    Col. Lang:
    Regarding PTSD: Research has indicated that vulnerability to PTSD lies in a part of the brain called the hippocampus. Specifically, individuals with a smaller hippocampus are vulnerable to PTSD. I presume that an MRI scan would indicate which soldiers are at risk.

  14. turcopolier says:

    Thanks. What is the function of the hippocampus? It is noticeable in combat that the vulnerability often seems inherent and therefore probably biological. pl

  15. michael brenner says:

    Could you please explain what you mean by “fearless?” When in his life has Trump ever been in a position where he had to overcome fear?
    Is every blowhard fearless just because he compulsively shoots his mouth off – and is cushioned by $1 billion rom any negative consequences?

  16. turcopolier says:

    Peter AU
    Very little. IMO politics moves the needle a little but not much. Really good soldier whom I knew in combat often hated the policy that led to war but they fought better than others who agreed with the policy but just were not good at the job. I think the behaviors are inherent in individuals and in some sense in related populations. IMO we are dealing with inherited proclivities. The hippocampus thing is interesting. pl

  17. michael brenner says:

    We should bear in mind that homo sapiens are the only species that fights wars. Other mammals, even primates, don’t have the capacity to organize or to abstract meanings and objectives that are required for war. Their violent fights are all brief and keyed to matters of survival. Essentially, it is only the Reptilian brain that is involved in those fights with a small contribution from the next evolutionary level of mental function that always for a measure of cunning.
    Hence, the human experience of war is one that our physiology is not prepared for since our greatly enhanced capacity for organized violence has far surpassed the rest of our psycho-somatic apparatus.
    No wonder we are vulnerable to stress. Isn’t the question, therefore, how is it that most humans are able to fight in wars without cracking up?

  18. James Loughton says:

    Concur with that as well. Billary have again shown their is no depth to which they will not descend in order to win the presidency.

  19. turcopolier says:

    Michael Brenner
    It is easy to talk about things of which you have no personal experience. There is a bigger world than that of academia. I would be more impressed if you had chosen to serve. pl

  20. Liza says:

    Col. Lang:
    The function of the hippocampus is long-term memory.

  21. michael brenner says:

    Follow-up. Military technology that permits fighting at a distance far from the battle-field and the enemy avoids this contradiction generated by sustained fighting. People who push buttons, though, encounter another contradiction. Their Reptilian brain is not engaged in combat even as their brain’s higher functions are activated is killing people. Hence, the hormones that can override effects of the latter are dormant. This likely is the source of the PTSS that some of the drone operators snug in a Nevada cubicle experience.

  22. michael brenner says:

    Pat – your comment is irrelevant. I have experienced exactly the same amount of combat as has David Petraeus – not to speak of Donald Trump. If we all scorned “book knowledge” we’d have no trouble with PTSD since we’d be living in caves like Neanderthals and fighting brief skirmishes with clubs.

  23. ked says:

    I would be careful linking the size of one’s hippocampus (or any organ) to causation of PTSD.
    Before you know it, we’re into phrenology all over again.

  24. turcopolier says:

    Phrenology and physiology are the same thing? pl

  25. turcopolier says:

    Michael Brenner
    David Petraeus is a terrible soldier. you want to be compared to him? The self-serving idiot now wants NFZs in Syria. Did you not dodge the draft? pl

  26. turcopolier says:

    Michael Brenner
    This is a fool’s argument. My mother made the same argument to me in 1958 saying that he day of the soldier was ended because of technology. Are you not excusing your lack of service to the country? pl

  27. michael brenner says:

    You know noting of my life history as it relates to military service or otherwise.

  28. herb says:

    Trump’s comments were awkward, vague and unartful, but not as bad as the attacks based on them. He was speaking off the cuff, so should be given the benefit of the doubt, but a response to his offhand comment is calculated and indefensible. I don’t think this is at all an appropriate tit for tat subject for “my side”. It’s wrong.
    I’ve never been in combat, but have been in many, many “life or death” situations (mountain-climbing, ocean sailing, etc.), and it is really tough to tell who will be frozen in fear when the shit hits the fan and who will keep their head. The former are a serious liability, to be blunt. I don’t know if the latter group gets PTSD at the same rate, but there has to be a way to weed out people who can’t take stress well? Which is not at all a value judgment against them as people, just need to keep them out of combat, for their sake and the safety of their comrades.

  29. different clue says:

    Edward Amame,
    Ordinary people? Or Clinton’s legions of winged flying brockmonkeys?

  30. different clue says:

    If the guard and off-duty policemen did anything that could be sued-for, one hopes that Messrs. Rothe-Kushel and Woolfolk work with the most serious lawyers possible and take their time preparing the most plausibly winning and devastating lawsuit possible. If crimes could be plausibly alleged, one wonders how the two targeted gentlemen could either get the people who did this arrested, or begin building a case for various kinds of illegal non-performance of duty on the part of law-enforcement officials higher up the enforcement chain. I don’t know if such things can be done, or how they can be done, but if they can be then they should be.
    If indeed this happened as described then this could be an example of what I once told David Habakkuk that Paul Findley described in his book They Dare To Speak Out. This would appear to be another case where a Likud-based ideologically-motivated bunchload of people have engineered total power for themselves and their agenda withIN the Jewish Community Organizations, and use that power to stamp-out-on-sight any questioning of this agenda by Jews who have questions. It would be an example of why so few “Jews against Likudery” are visible. They are stamped out and shut down fast and hard as soon as they appear. At least that’s what this looks like a case of to me.

  31. Imagine says:

    1) Military academies teach soldiering frozen in time c. 1775, when being tough meant standing stiff & strong marching in rows while cannons took out those to left and right. Trump applies same strategy metaphorically to China, enemies: “they don’t respect us ’cause we’re not tough enough”. Thinks a “tough” army will get more respect. Feist-dog against bear, no fear. Thus he sounds like a fox terrier.
    Others w/ more experience can explain why being fearless, tough, and marching in rows is not enough to win wars.
    2) Trump evidently does not fear shame (nor probably guilt). This is slightly different from being a sociopath, but still seems dangerous in the long run. He does seem like a classic strongman. What happens when one converts embarrassment into energy:

  32. Babak Makkinejad says:

    “The Madness of Heroes in the very Logic of Life.” so the poet wrote…

  33. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Ants fight wars.
    So do the chimpanzee troops.

  34. Balint Somkuti says:

    This whole ‘waggin’ the dog’ story reminds me of the architectural fashion called facadism.
    From a nice old building nothing remains, but the facade. Behind there is a completely new buidling bot from the fron or sometimes from the side it looks the same. I think this characterizes well the current state of democracy.

  35. Imagine says:

    EMERCOM of Russia: Large-scale All-Russian civil defense drill to take place from 4 to 7 October; “More than 40 million people, 200,000 specialists of emergency rescue divisions and about 50,000 units of equipment are going to be involved in the drill.”
    but no mention in RT, Sputnik, America. 40M is huge number. How extensive is this actually? It sends a most worrisome signal as to Russian appraisals of U.S. sanity.

  36. JohnsonR says:

    We should bear in mind that homo sapiens are the only species that fights wars. Other mammals, even primates, don’t have the capacity to organize or to abstract meanings and objectives that are required for war.
    This is, famously, not the case:
    Gombe Chimpanzee War
    Nature of war: Chimps inherently violent; Study disproves theory that ‘chimpanzee wars’ are sparked by human influence
    I see no particular reason to suppose that other social species won’t ultimately be found to wage wars, as well.

  37. ked says:

    no. wiki has a good overview.
    like the popularity of social eugenics in the early 20th century, phrenology was an example of how a little bit of newly realized information was “repurposed” as proof to support a range of policies without basis in medical science. think of it as unsupported theory run amuck – analogous to your consternation w/ unproven policies derived from academic research in the social sciences – upon reflection, a number of popularized concepts become embarrassments to the field from which they issue. they can also drive big industry (Pharma, always telling us how the latest pain-killer is not addictive, so they can sell it until contrary evidence is clearly manifested), or destructive popular movements like the anti-vaxxers.
    decent quality-control & corrective feedback loops have always been a challenge, moreso these days w/ the pace & broad distribution of information often becoming the enemy of rigorous, dispassionate evaluation.

  38. ked says:

    I suppose I could’ve bern more succinct. A correlation is not causation. Do not base clinical practice upon an appearance of correlation. Do more research until causation can be established with a high degree of certainty. And even then, be very careful about remedies – one must be sensitive to 2nd & 3rd order effects & even their interaction’s outcomes. We live in a time where the assertion of possible causation seems to drive new & improved … & often dubious … policy / practice overnight.

  39. turcopolier says:

    You don’t understand the function of leadership in war. The modalities of tactics in the 18th and 19th centuries are not important to the subject. The application of force still requires a steady hand and a firm heart whether muskets and muzzle loading artillery are involved or Abrams tanks and fighter aircraft. Officers and NCOs are present on the battlefield to provide an example of devotion to duty. Old Army saying – “Officers have no morale. They are always the same.” That is the standard to which one is held. If you do not meet that standard you should be removed. pl

  40. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    IMO you are right. However, your supposition is contrary to the general “received wisdom”. One could first read Robert Ardrey’s “African genesis”, which classifies humans as killer apes, and then “The Seville Statement on Violence” of 1986, which rejects violence and in particular warfare as genetically determined, to see the correct party line. The genus Homo Sapiens is probably flattering itself as being sapient.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  41. shepherd says:

    Journalists tend to overstate findings of neurological studies. With research like this, you typically have a narrow finding. In this case that current sufferers of PTSD have a smaller hippocampus, while those who have recovered do not. Then there is a section of the study where the researcher hypothesizes what it might mean. The paper in this case offers two possible explanations, neither of which it proves. One is that a smaller hippocampus is a risk factor for PTSD, the other is that PTSD shrinks the hippocampus. In other words, it raises the question of whether the findings demonstrate a innate trait or an effect of combat stress. Those are quite different possibilities, but again, neither was investigated nor confirmed by the study.

  42. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Much to Jane Goodall’s shock, two bands of Chimpanzees she had been studying since 1960 went to war. Intermittent hostilities took place over a period of four years in a national park in Tanzania in the 1970s. They had been one band when Goodall began studying it in 1960 but began splitting in the early 70s.

  43. Babak Makkinejad says:

    تَزُولُ اَلْجِبَالُ وَ لاَ تَزُلْ

  44. hemeantwell says:

    “Trump evidently does not fear shame (nor probably guilt”
    Wrong, and you’ve fallen for his pretense. The reason that he is so oriented to shaming people is that he’s very sensitive to it. He wants to come across as a thick-skinned narcissist, as though nothing can touch him. But his constant shaming, leading him into utterly foolish early morning Twitter attacks on (attractive!) women for being fat, indicates the opposite. He lives in a shame/contempt economy, and he can’t get out of it.

  45. Norbert M Salamon says:

    Colonel, this is not a refutation of your above comment, but a note to inform you of recent development re PTSD. Recently either in New Scientist {UK] or the Scientific American they had an exposition on PTSD, indicating that it is prevalent in approx. 10% of population [if memory serves right] for various causes.
    I will look up the article and give the exact citation tomorrow morn.

  46. LondonBob says:

    Running for President with the positions he holds ranks as a pretty brave act in my book. A point alluded to by a former member of JFK’s and RFK’s staff when he said he would be voting Trump.
    As I am sure Mr Trump knows, a lot of lone nuts, and not so lone nuts out there. Would have been easy to have played a lot of golf and focused on his family (and wife).

  47. Imagine says:

    These numbers can’t be right, it sounds like a N. Korean news-piece. Perhaps someone translated thousands and millions wrong? Or simply sending emails to 40M people?
    Far East, second day: “The practical rehearsal involved more than 43.5 thousand people and almost 6.5 thousand pieces of equipment, including 6,021 people and 667 pieces of equipment provided be the Russian Emergency Ministry.”[sic]

  48. Imagine says:

    My apologies. I have no beef with the highly difficult and brave job of officer/NCO military leaders who get stuff done when SHTF. My beef is with the political leaders and policy analysts who put people in the situation in the first place…when done needlessly.
    “Winning 100 battles is not the ultimate. The ultimate is to have your opponent cooperate with you without having to war in the first place.” or sunthink like that.
    may whoever wins the election embody this principle.

  49. turcopolier says:

    Military leaders are managers of violence not diplomats. The more they become diplomats and policy wonks the less skilled nd useful they are as soldiers. pl

  50. Fred says:

    I believe that this talk of PTSD is focusing on the wrong people. We should have a conversation on how our educational system has generated a society of damaged snowflakes who cannot handle rude words in a college setting. These folks should not be receiving credentials that start them on a path of civic leadership if they are suffering so badly. Perhaps we should be reforming our colleges and universities rather than our military. After all we haven’t lost a war in a long, long time but we sure seem to be undergoing civil decline. We do fire generals and admirals though I can’t remember the last university president to get fired. Even the one who ran the school into bankruptcy didn’t get canned. Perhaps having a spouse who is a sitting Senator kept that from happening.
    “Burlington College, … once led by the wife of … Bernie Sanders, … will close later this month, citing “the crushing weight” of debt incurred during her presidency.”

  51. Tyler says:

    My own experience with PTSD among my peers is that more and more it’s becoming a crutch and Get Out of Jail Free card.
    Emotional maturity of a 6 year old? Muh PTSD. Can’t hold a job and want to drink all the time? Muh PTSD? Telling me to get over it and that the War was a decade ago? You hate vets!
    I see people who didn’t do more than a 3 year tour a decade ago still posting pics of themselves in Iraqwith captions “best time of my life” ” miss it so much”. Good grief, gtf over it.
    The Colonel is right in that psychologists and the whole apparatus is designed to coddle veterans and regards them as babies who shouldn’t be expected to get through what they saw or think they saw. As someone who had a period of readjustment and moved on, my empathy for those who continue to plead for compassion a decade after Iraq is non-existent. That the mental health apparatus buys into stories of obvious fabulism and exaggeration is part of the problem. That there’s a large group of vets constantly looking to be offended doesn’t help either.
    Some people want to live as victims. “A slave is one who waits for another to free them.”

  52. Tyler,
    Damned insightful and I agree with your observations. While I still believe mental illness is a serious problem, the inability of so many to accept the fact that life can suck and you have to deal with it is disheartening. I was always put off by VietNam vets wearing often tattered pieces of old field uniforms while older vets wore jacket and tie to such events. SF Association members also stick to the jacket and tie when they appear at public events. It’s probably a small, inconsequential thing, but it still bugs me.

  53. LeaNder says:

    Liza, that’s incidentially something I am a little interested in. Thus I somewhat doubt your statement. The epilepsy case referred to is HM
    One patient does not render empirically reliable data about long-term storage in the brain.
    They did and apparently still do all type of stupid things in medicine, if you ask me, like dissecting the corpus callosum. What I found interesting is that they liked to cut a lot in the brain long before they had a sufficiently good idea of its functions. There are still a lot of disputes. But yes, one can study the results.
    Without doubt the split-brain patients are interesting to study.
    If you put them in a laboratory setting where each one of their eyes sees a different image, when asked what they see, they tell you one thing, while shaking their head. Guess which side dictates and which interferes?

  54. LeaNder says:

    Without looking, let me guess, one of the males didn’t like to be second in line concerning the available females and felt strong enough?
    But I am a bit disappointed in Babak, I thought he’d bring more to the discussion then ants. 😉

  55. Tyler says:

    No, it’s the details that make the difference. I guess the modern version is guys who won’t leave the house unless they’re swathed head to toe in 5.11, Ranger Up/Grunt Style, and sporting “Operator” beards. Laughable.

  56. LeaNder says:

    The Colonel is right in that psychologists and the whole apparatus is designed to coddle veterans and regards them as babies who shouldn’t be expected to get through what they saw or think they saw.
    tyler, I was close to cite extensively from a 1939 lecture series by an American psychoanalyst printed in 1941, called: The ABC of criminology. But it no doubt would have only picked up on one of my pet subjects. … in any case the lecture seemed to partly explain an accidental encounter I once had with two nurses, or their conversation, while dining somewhere. They were horrified by one specific type of patients…
    Admittedly, I am a fan of psychosomatics or the interaction of body and “soul”, if I may choose that term.
    Long introduction. I can understand your objections. Yes, there may be a circular movement: academic interest resulting in potential candidates for further studies. And yes, once the movement exists it no doubt can be exploited. … Will it lead to the development of new drugs that prevent the phenomenon in the future, if the soldiers are not substituted by robots at that point in time. 😉
    What I am slightly wondering about is, are the PTSD specialists available for Vets, actually aware of the “shell shock” syndrome? Maybe they are. I wasn’t aware of the syndrome over here, only vaguely of studies that looked into it. Seems here they were called “war tremblers”. But somewhat I assume, that researchers may only have looked at the same phenomenon over here. Someone shaking doing odd things and apparently quite unaware of it afterwards.
    I met one in London, once again in a diner. I was startled, but my friends told me to shut up, ignore it, simply look the other way. They were familiar with the syndrome. One had a teacher who fell under “the spell” occasionally. And there was some type of unspoken agreement among pupils to ignore it. Which was simplified by the fact that the teacher didn’t remember his spells either.
    The phenomenon is listed on the English Wikipedia under: Combat Stress Reaction:
    Not to worry, though, case solved, it was brain injury, stupid!

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