Monday, March 28, 2011

Custer's Last Stand

The truth about Custer and what happened on the Little Bighorn

This subject has long fascinated me, and I have spent a fair number of hours researching it. There are some 300 books and over 40 movies on it, not to mention the even more numerous magazine articles and television programs. All seem to have a bias affecting the story as presented, even history books.

I too am guilty of a bias in this, though I have tried to always keep an open mind; and have swung my bias like the pendulum of a clock from being an admirer of Custer to viewing him with the worst disdain, and back again. Trying to sort out the actual facts have led me to some disturbing things and I am not referring to the mutilations of dead soldiers or the deaths of several women and children at the battle but to something perhaps uglier; a very real coverup and long running defamation campaign.

In discussing this topic I have tortured all those around me with the various tidbits especially Beth and my brother Dusty, and I owe them for their patience with me and for suggesting to assemble the information into a book. I am certain that it will be both enlightening and disturbing, and just as certain that it will be controversial as most people seem to be divided into mutually hostile camps over this topic.

The amount of erroneous information available is astounding; worse there are vast numbers of sources both online and in print that are not only erroneous but false, in some cases deliberately false.

There is an agenda at work here, and a pattern emerging. For not only in the subject of Custer, once held as an American hero not unlike king Leonidas of Sparta who led the brave Spartans and allied Greeks in a last stand at Thermopylae against the Persian host but other American heros have come under attack as a part of what appears to be a concerted effort to defame and discredit them. Take for instance the battle of the Alamo, another example of Americans fighting to the death against an overwhelming force, and one of the main heroes there Davy Crockett. The surviving American witness, the wife of Captain Dickinson, stated that all of the defenders went down fighting, including Crockett. Today, the popular story is that Crockett along with a number of other brave Texans simply surrendered and were later executed - based on some of the most questionable sources available, including one known for creating false documents and written in several different hands; supposedly authored by a man known to have held General Santa Anna in deep enmity so he had a bone to pick. Recently there were tales of grade school history exams which included questions such as whom were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and the correct answer was "two important slave owners" instead of the father of our country and the author of our Constitution!

In the case of Custer, it seems very popular today to 'kick the dead lion' and ignore the fact that he was a courageous man who died while fighting for his country, along with all his men. The odd reports of a few warriors who claimed to have seen soldiers commit suicide is focused upon and extrapolated to claim that ALL of the soldiers acted that way, ignoring the numerous testimonies from surviving Indian combatants who stated "There were no cowards on either side." {Sitting Bull, interviewed while living in exile in Canada}

So in spite of the fact that there are so many books already published on this subject, I can see that there is room for yet one more. The findings will include such tidbits as;

  • Some of the Indians were not willing participants; several Arapaho warriors stated that they had been seized and held as suspected spies or scouts for the Army, and only the intercession of the Cheyennes and their active participation in the fighting prevented their being killed. Kill Eagle's band of some 26 lodges were treated likewise, and only managed to escape the hostile camp thanks to the Cheyennes offering protection.

  • The actual numbers of warriors, taken from all available sources including the statements of Cheyenne, Sioux, and Cavalry survivors and actual numbers from the surrender ledgers.

  • Evidence of a defamation campaign against Custer, from sources including even president Grant and ongoing to this very day

  • Custer's real record as an Indian fighter, and why he was chosen to lead the 'tip of the spear' was not simply based on the battle of the Washita

  • Evidence that Custer may have been sacrificed in what I term an "Uriah maneuver" - similar to the story of King David sending his faithful captain Uriah to be killed by the enemy, in order to get his beautiful wife Bathsheba.

  • Benteen and Reno changed their stories over time, covering up the truth

Just a sample of some of the facts that have turned up, I hope it will make for an interesting read and a welcome addition to the vast library of material already in print on Custer and his famous last fight. A most astonishing archive online that has been of much help, and I highly recommend for anyone researching this subject is:
100 Voices

On other topics, it gladdens my heart to see that the rebels in Libya are gaining ground, though I wish that our military would provide more assistance. The rebels do not need a lot of aid to win the revolution and end the war, so I hope that the other nations in the coalition will provide it - air cover for the ground forces, arms and ammunition for the fighting men as well as food, clothing, medical aid and other assistance.

No exciting news to report otherwise, still have not completed my first book project and it is probably a mistake to try to get another done before finishing but I believe it will work out.

Good luck and good hunting dear reader, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Can't post to CNN Blog...

Another political tirade

Having spent hours trying to post a few sentences on the CNN blogs, in hopes that my words may be read by the reporters or even better, read aloud to the viewing audience without any success, I decided to simply post the tirade here. At least it is off my shoulders.

We keep hearing all kinds of complaints about our current war in Libya, such as who are these rebels anyway, perhaps they are Al Qaeda etc. What nonsense. The rebels have been telling us all along exactly who they are - they are the doctors, dentists, students, housewives, teachers in other words the common citizens of Libya. People who found enough courage to stand up and fight against an evil tyrant.

We keep hearing complaints about our not having an "end game" etc. It is simple, really simplicity itself. Just protect the civilians from Gadhafi's murdering mercenary thugs, provide some air cover for the rebel forces and maybe even offer some boots on the ground as well to help things along - advisors if you will. These advisors could help train the rebels and advise them on how best to fight against Gadhafi's military forces. They could also act as ground to air liaison or FAO - to help guide the air strikes onto the correct targets and help avoid any mistakes.

What we do NOT hear from any of the commentaturatii is the bald fact that Gadhafi and his regime are doomed. The only thing that can save him now, would be if the coalition were to life the no-fly ban and naval blockade. He cannot fly in new mercenaries to replace his losses, nor replace the munitions expended, even the fuel for his tanks will run out. Even if the rebels take their time about liberating the nation, Gadhafi cannot survive this. Simple attrition will eventually end in his scurrying for a spider hole like Saddam did.

It is starting to look like perhaps the day of the dictators is over, world wide. If the dictators truly loved their country and their people, they would simply step down and allow open and free elections to take place. I wonder if we will see any of the remaining dictators do that.

That is it for this political tirade, I will try to come up with something more interesting to post soon. Good luck and good hunting amigos, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


A Fight For Freedom
We are witnesses to history unfolding across the Arab world today, a story of people fighting for their freedom. No more dictators, regardless of what title they call it, no more secret arrests, torture and vanishings and repression in every form. No more of the massive oil wealth being siphoned off to help enrich and prop up totalitarian regimes. These incredibly courageous people are fighting the tyrants with practically no weapons of any kind, and are paying the cost in blood.

Meanwhile we in the west fret and argue about whether we ought to do something, anything, to assist the rebels in Libya in their desperate fight. A comment sent to one of the talking heads on CNN put it bluntly, why can't we help those people? For if we do not stand for freedom, what in heck DO we stand for?

We so often forget that our own freedom was not granted by the grace of some autocrat, we too had to fight with rifle, cannon and even bayonet. We could not even pay for the gunpowder we needed to press that fight, over two centuries ago. We had foreign assistance in a very big and palpable way - France sent chests of money, weapons, ships and her own sons to fight and die in the battle for our independence, and we had aid from Russia, Spain, even Poland and Germany in that long war. We as a nation have been "burned" in foreign wars before, getting deeply involved in Vietnam and paying in blood for a war that many at home felt was wrong. We have had failed rescue missions and blunders of the first magnitude such as invading Iraq to get weapons of mass destruction which turned out to exist only in Saddam's mind. We have a record of foreign intervention that has caused many to dislike the USA. But let us not forget that we are capable of being the good guys too.

How would the two world wars have turned out, had the USA simply remained neutral for instance? How many would have died had we kept out longer? Our enemies of those days are today our strongest allies; back in 1944 we had American soldiers fighting German soldiers every day, today they fight side by side against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, along with French troops and other allies.

Yes we need to have these debates over whether our nation should intervene in the internal affairs of another country. We do believe in national sovereignty; we ought not simply send in troops and planes to any country that has some disorder by any means. On the other hand, we should remember that in our own fight for our freedom, we may well have lost if not for the aid of foreign allies, and that in many cases people fighting against an evil tyrant like Gadhafi need the help of foreign power. To stand by while people are being killed, and let us not play word games, a 3 year old child is not a rebel soldier and yes Gadhafi's murderous mercenaries are killing man, woman and child, is not being "neutral" it is almost like being an accomplice to the murder. Every day we do nothing, helps the tyrant in his war on his own people.

A no-fly zone would be a good start; air power is a particularly strong element in battle that can tip the balance and Gadhafi knows this. it is why he is using his air power to overcome the rebels as he knows that he cannot trust the army to kill its own people and he has only so many mercenaries. Yes this would mean that we may lose a plane or even some people, but there is always a price for freedom and don't forget that foreign sons helped pay for our freedom with their blood too, so in a sense we owe it and being the only world superpower are the only nation that CAN really provide help to the rebels in Libya in a meaningful way.

We are warned that a no-fly zone will mean war, that we may end up having to go further, to airstrikes against Gadhafi's ground forces, perhaps we might even have to send in ground troops because once we commit to the rebels we cannot lose. So be it; some air strikes against Gadhafi's tanks and artillery would be very helpful to at least level the field for the rebels as the people are poorly armed against tanks, armored cars and artillery not to mention military training, officers and tactics. Supply weapons to the rebels too - we can't we are told, because of the arms embargo against Libya well that embargo truly in a legal sense applies only the Gadhafi and his government, there is nothing to prohibit sending weapons to the people. They need anti tank and anti-aircraft weapons especially, for a man with a rifle, no matter how brave he is, has little chance against tanks and helicopters.

We are warned that we could end up having to send in ground troops; well yes it may come to that too. I am willing to bet that our troops would overcome the best that Gadhafi can put in the field without much trouble, and our troops could be used in a judicious manner, to help the rebels where they need it the most. We would not need to send in massive armies to be enough to topple the dictator and I doubt that it is necessary at all. The Libyan people do not lack the courage or the manpower, only the heavy weapons, ammunition and air power. If ground troops were needed at all, it would likely only be to protect civilians against a massacre by Gadhafi's mercenaries. Is that not a noble cause?

While our respective governments fuss and dither, the city of Zawiya has been surrounded by Gadhafi's henchmen and the civilian population are being slaughtered. Brave free men and women are fighting his killers every day in many different places in Libya. Yes we need to have our debates on whether we should intervene and to what degree, but we must not allow our debates to drag on so long while those freedom fighters are dying.

If I am sounding like a war-monger, then yes I may well be. War is a great evil, but unfortunately sometimes war is the only way to end an even greater evil. At least a war will end, tyranny can go on and on for centuries. One last point will end my political rant here; back in 1945, then president Truman had a moral dilemma over whether he should use his new secret weapons against Japan in an attempt to end the war quickly. He reasoned it out, that as terrible as the effects would be, how much more terrible the cost would be if he should choose not to use them, and how would he face the mothers of those sons who must die in a land battle to take Japan if they found out that he had such powerful weapons but didn't use them. So we are today faced with a similar dilemma; if we intervene, we may well lose some of our own sons and daughters, we may lose some machines, we will kill Gadhafi's soldiers and mercenaries and may even kill innocent people by mistakes, but think of what will happen if we do nothing. Gadhafi may well win the war by attrition as he knows the rebels have very little ammunition and he will not likely be gracious in victory, there will be a bloodbath as he punishes everyone he perceives as an enemy. Blood splatters, and by our standing by and doing nothing, some of the splatter from Gadhafi's butchery will likely be on us.

Another argument we hear is that we do not know whom the rebels are, there may be some evil Al Qaeda or other bad element among them and we cannot put arms in their hands. I will grant that it is possible there may be some among the rebels whom we do not like, but clearly they are not the majority - this is a populist uprising, not some group of fanatic terrorists as Gadhafi claims. If some few of our weapons did end up in the hands of our enemies, it would be a tiny minority, the great majority will go into the hands of freedom fighters who need them and will appreciate them.

I may be a little biased in this case as I have a love of history, and Libya has a very rich history; from the days of ancient Carthage and Rome to the battles of Rommel and Montgomery, many important chapters of history have unfolded in this beautiful country. Libya has some impressive ancient ruins and the incomparable Sahara desert of legend, and I do have an attraction to desert lands. Were I wealthy enough to afford the trip, I would sooner make the trip to see Libya, than I would go to see the great pyramids of Egypt. I hate to see such courageous good people under the heel of a bloodthirsty tyrant and it bothers me that with all our power, we do nothing to help. Let us not do to the Libyans what we did to the equally brave Kurds when our president asked them to rise against Saddam Hussein and then did nothing while they were butchered.

Please email and call your representatives and urge them to intervene in Libya. It is quite literally a matter of life or death, and the death of freedom is not something we should simply stand by and watch.

Usually I don't mind apologizing if my words should cause anyone offense, however in this case if you are offended by my words - tough. This is what freedom is all about.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Metric System

The Metric Nonsense System

This is a subject I have had some interesting private discussions with relatives and friends, and some felt the outcome was funny enough to be worth sharing so here goes.

We all know the public version of how wonderfully sensible and excellent the metric system is; how most of the world has been forced to convert to it and we silly Americans are the last ones on Earth to refuse. We could point out that the old English system used by Americans really is more sensible on several grounds (try dividing a meter into thirds, compared with dividing a yard or a foot into thirds) but let us examine the idea of taking that metric, TEN based system into other areas.

First lets start with a metric calendar! We shall have ten days per week, ten weeks per month, and ten months per year making a year 1000 days long. Our orbit of the Sun will have to be adjusted to fit the new metric calendar system of course but that should not be so difficult.

Next, lets move to metric clocks! We shall have ten seconds to a minute, ten minutes to an hour, and ten hours to a day; of course this makes our day length 1000 seconds long so our planet will have to be speeded up in order for our metric clocks to fit the actual passage of time, but this should not be any more difficult than changing the orbit.

The new metric calendar system will mean that people will live longer too - for a little quick math will show you that an average year under the old antiquated system lasted some 31,536,000 seconds compared with the new metric year of 1,000,000 seconds so a person who would have lived to the age of 70 under the old system will now live to a metric age of 2207.52 years! This may have repercussions on our social security and medicare programs so we may have to make some metric adjustments to those as well.

We shall have to legislate new laws to force everyone onto the new metric time and calendar systems, with appropriate punishments for everyone who fails to comply. Now I hope that everyone who reads this will contact your congressional representatives and push for our new metric calendar and metric time system to be enforced at the earliest possible moment.
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