Saturday, August 27, 2016

Another Bataan Survivor Has Died

New Mexico honors its Bataan survivors. It always has, ever since they were rescued at the end of World War II. Here is the latest example, a story printed in the Albuquerque Journal yesterday (Friday, August 26).

Bataan Death March survivor dies in Oregon
By Charles D. Brunt / Journal Staff Writer
Thursday, August 25th, 2016 at 11:44pm

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Dwight Raymond Cable, a Bataan Death March survivor who joined the New Mexico National Guard’s 200th Coast Artillery Regiment while stationed here as a research scientist with the Soil Conservation Service in April 1941, died in his sleep Aug. 12 in Eugene, Ore., his nephew, Gary Cable of Peralta, said Wednesday. Dwight Cable was 99.

The Chicago native grew up in Tucson and attended the University of Arizona before graduating from the University of Idaho and going to work for the Soil Conservation Service, now known as the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service. Eight months before Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, which triggered America’s direct involvement in World War II, Cable joined the New Mexico National Guard and soon shipped out to the Philippines.

In April 1942, Japanese captors marched about 78,000 prisoners of war – 12,000 Americans and 66,000 Filipinos – for six days on the Bataan Peninsula on the Philippine island of Luzon to a prisoner-of-war camp known as Camp O’Donnell. Many were denied food, water or medical care, and some were stabbed or bayoneted along the 65-mile route.

Dwight Raymond Cable, who was in New Mexico National Guard’s 200th Coast Artillery Regiment, is shown in 2002. He died Aug. 12. (Courtesy of Gary Cable)Dwight Raymond Cable, a sergeant during World War II, is shown in 1941 shortly after joining the Army. Cable died Aug. 12 in Eugene, Ore., at age 99. (Courtesy of Gary Cable)

Among the American defenders of Bataan were Cable and some 1,800 soldiers from New Mexico, many with the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments. About half of them did not survive the war.

Cable, who was a company clerk with C Battery of the 515th Coast Artillery Regiment when captured, was sent on a “hell ship” to a POW prison camp near Shinjuku, Japan, where more than 2,300 other American POWs were held. His capture was first reported to the International Committee of the Red Cross on May 7, 1942, and the last report was made on Oct. 15, 1945. Based on those reports, he was imprisoned for at least 3½ years before being liberated by U.S. forces.

Gary Cable said his uncle’s only comment on his POW experience was: “You had to keep your sense of humor. Those that didn’t, didn’t make it.”

“What I remember most about Dwight was his dry sense of humor,” Gary Cable said. “He was once hiking with my parents in the mountains near Ouray, Colo. My mother was interested in learning about the plants they saw, and asked Dwight to identify them for her – including by scientific name. It took her a while to realize he was giving her the same scientific name for every plant she pointed to.”

Dwight Cable’s younger brother, Lowell Dean Cable, went into Normandy via Omaha Beach on the day after D-Day. His older brother, Donovan Chambers Cable, tried to join the military as well but was medically disqualified from contributing to the war effort.

After the war, Cable went back to work for the Soil Conservation Service and later for the U.S. Forest Service. He wrote more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers and articles on native desert grasses and other plants. He was an avid hiker, outdoorsman and nature photographer.

Even after he retired and moved to Eugene, Ore., his family sent him a “care package” every year for his birthday, filled with items like biscochitos and a bag of red chile pods.

A memorial service will be held in Eugene on Dec. 16, which would have been Cable’s 100th birthday, his nephew said.

With Cable’s passing, only 13 former members of the New Mexico National Guard’s 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments who survived the Bataan Death March are still living, according to the Bataan-Corregidor Memorial Foundation of New Mexico. Seven of them reside in New Mexico.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Police Retraining

There's no guidance or discipline in the home. The family situation is so unstable, 'Junior' doesn't even know where to send a Father's Day card. Junior gets dumped into the education system where he is socially promoted because the overwhelmed school district can't deal with the undisciplined whelp. Junior's major formative influences are 'gangsta' rap videos and a corresponding peer group of gangsta wannabes.

At age 18, Junior is turned loose on society carrying a bad attitude, a broken compass and no respect for authority. Junior gets himself in big trouble with the law because he is illiterate, unskilled, unemployable and his only source of income other than Government assistance is illegal and meets dire consequences. Then, the situation diagnosis is that the police need more training, compassion, sensitivity and understanding?

Pardon me for asking, but do you really believe this B.S.?

The conditions described here have taken decades to fully develop, and to result in the kind of unrest we see today. Fixing these conditions will not be easy or quick. It will take even longer if we don't get started.

We know what must be accomplished — teaching individual responsibility and accountability, as well as self-discipline, as well as providing an education that prepares young people for success in life without having to lean on gangs and illegal activities. We can only hope we can come to some agreement on how to get there.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Boss of the Sky

This came from a gentleman who runs a 2,000-acre corn farm up around Barron, WI, not far from Oshkosh and not far from the Twin Cities. He used to fly F-4Es and F-16s for the Air National Guard and participated in the first Gulf War.

His story:

I went out to plant corn for a bit, to finish a field before tomorrow morning and witnessed 'The Great Battle'. A golden eagle — big, with about a six-foot wingspan — flew right in front of the tractor. It was being chased by three crows that were continually dive-bombing it & pecking at it. The crows do this because the eagles rob their nests when they find them.

At any rate, the eagle banked hard right in one evasive maneuver, then landed in the field about 100 feet from the tractor. This eagle stood about 3 feet tall. The crows all landed too and took up positions around the eagle at 120 degrees apart, but kept their distance at about 20 feet from the big bird. The eagle would take a couple steps towards one of the crows and they'd hop backwards & forward to keep their distance. Then the reinforcement showed up.

I happened to spot the eagle's mate hurtling down out of the sky at what appeared to be approximately Mach 1.5. Just before impact, the eagle on the ground took flight, (obviously a coordinated tactic, probably pre-briefed) and the three crows that were watching the grounded eagle also took flight — thinking they were going to get in some more pecking on the big bird....

The first crow being targeted by the diving eagle never stood a snowball's chance in hell. There was a mid-air explosion of black feathers, and that crow was done.

The diving eagle then banked hard left in what had to be a 9G climbing turn, using the energy it had accumulated in the dive, and hit crow #2 less than two seconds later ... another crow dead.

The grounded eagle, which was now airborne and had an altitude advantage on the remaining crow that was streaking eastward in full burner, made a short dive, then banked hard right when the escaping crow tried to evade the hit. It didn't work — crow #3 bit the dust at about 20 feet AGL. This aerial battle was better than any air show I've been to, including the War Birds show at Oshkosh.

The two eagles ripped the crows apart, and ate them on the ground; and, as I got closer and closer working my way across the field, I passed within 20 feet of one of them as it ate its catch. It stopped and looked at me as I went by, and you could see in the look of that bird that it knew who's Boss of the Sky.

What a beautiful bird!

One of the best Fighter Pilot stories I've seen in a long time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Little Bit of Politics

Last week, President Barack Obama jumped into the presidential race. Supporting Hillary Clinton, he asserted that Donald Trump is "unqualified to be president" unfit to be president, lacking the necessary temperament and preparation for the office. His statement hit the news, as they say, big time — even though he's been saying the same thing for a long time, including in an interview reported in May.

My reaction on hearing Obama's latest outburst was this:

We know what the last 7½ years have done to us. We know what Hillary has done in every area she has touched, and what kind of disaster she has been in those areas. Trump doesn't have that kind of record — or any government record. That's why Obama is calling him unqualified; he doesn't have his government "union card". Translated, that means we know how bad Hillary would be, but Trump is an unknown and we're left with guesswork.

Thomas Sowell may be right when he asks, "How did we get into the predicament where our choices for President are narrowed to a candidate who inspires distrust versus a candidate who inspires disgust — and where both are dangerous?"

In an earlier column, Sowell says "Voting for an out of control egomaniac like Donald Trump would be like playing Russian roulette with the future of this country. Voting for someone with a track record like Hillary Clinton's is like putting a shotgun to your head and pulling the trigger. And not voting at all is just giving up." As Sowell also says, "Nobody said that being a good citizen would be easy."

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Hillary Railroad

It's on the wrong track, naturally. (What would you expect?) Following the track well-established for her by her party and her (she hopes) predecessor.

Once again, Trever hits it out of the park!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Hiroshima — It Had To Be Done

Seventy-one years ago today, an atomic bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima. That was the day World War II in the Pacific began to end.

In late May, just a little over two months ago, President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima — the first U.S. president to do so. That visit reopened some of the discussion over whether the atomic bombs should have been dropped on Hiroshima and, three days later, Nagasaki.

Veterans of the war were pretty clear about that. One said, “I was there. I saw firsthand what kind of fortifications the Japanese had. We would probably still be there fighting if we hadn’t dropped the bomb. I don’t regret that decision for one minute.” The comment from another was “It had to be done; otherwise, that war would have gone on and on. Those bombs, they stopped the war.”

The bottom line is this: This was the day the war finally began to end. Hiroshima was bombed on August 6th. Nagasaki was bombed on August 9th. The Japanese empeeror announced his country's surrender on August 15th. And then the war was over.