Several days ago, the San Diego U-T carried a story of the new Jack Cheevers book, Act of War and the story in the newspaper carries comments by a real hero of that event, Bob Chicca.

Bob was awarded the Bronze Star, but in a rational world it would have been the Navy Cross. Only the internal politics of the Navy denied him his just award.

Jack Cheevers did relentless research for many years to produce this definitive history, and he had access to many originally classified but subsequently declassified documents.

The capture is still controversial among many who were not there, but Bucher’s crew adored him. Bucher was isolated from his crew immediately upon arrival at Balboa Hospital to allow him some sleep, but on Christmas Day as Bucher entered the dining hall among the families and crew, I saw a crew member reaching through the throng with tears in his eyes,trying to touch Bucher’s trousers.

THAT is leadership!

During the Court of Inquiry, Bucher, his attorney (E. Miles Harvey) and I were going up the ladder to the second deck auditorium on the Amphib Base where the Court was being held. Several members of the Crew were being escorted by MPs (because they were witnesses) were coming down the ladder.

I saw a Crew Member flash a white note in his hand and as we passed on the ladder he palmed the note into my hand.

It read: “Skipper, we started this together, and we will end it together.”


“The French don’t care what you do actually…”

“Textopornographie” is the latest French word so that they can avoid an English word — in this case the English word, Sexting.

It reminds me of that great line from My Fair Lady, “The French don’t care what you do actually, so long as you pronounce it properly.”

The French must torture their language to avoid English words, particularly technical terms, because the French don’t invent much in the technological field.

Their aversion to using English words actually banning the official use of English words is so, very French.

Note to Machinist Union Members: Compete or Die (Metaphorically)

January 3 is the scheduled date for Local Machinists in Seattle to vote on the Boeing company final and last offer an offer they turned down but with Boeing shopping the business to a dozen other states, the national union has scheduled a new referendum.

Of course, liberals on Blogs are saying that the threat of moving the 777 line to another state is just Corporate Greed (as if the company is in business to provide local jobs) and if Boeing doesn’t make a profit, it closes and ALL employees lose their jobs. European Air Bus would love for Boeing to be non-competitive because of increased labor wages.

The national union has required a vote on the Boeing offer, a vote which the recalcitrant local union refused to permit its membership . The membership gets the opportunity to save their jobs — if they wish– or see those jobs go away. (The local union tried to block the vote.)

Competition exists in this world, between Boeing and Air Bus, and between the State of Washington and more than a dozen other states.

Compete or die!