On June 18, 1985 I enlisted in the United States Army at Ft. Hamilton, Brooklyn. I was 19. This is a life-changing decision that continues its influence 30+ years later. I did not understand the ramifications at such a young age. I do now. On Veterans Day I am one of 21.8 million. As a member of the 2nd Squadron 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.
I enlisted for two reasons. First, the Army offered the Montgomery G.I. Bill at $10,800. To qualify a soldier forfeits $100 per month for the first twelve months of service. Second, my contract required the Army to retire $4,000 in student loans. I wasn't motivated by Fields of Fire or Jon Voight in Coming Home or a determination to conquer the Soviet Union AKA The Evil Empire. I was motivated by self-preservation.
At 5:00 a.m. on August 28, 1985 I flew from LaGuardia Airport to El Paso Airport in El Paso, Texas. For the first day of Basic Training at Ft. Bliss. It is uneventful. The second day is unforgettable. I exited the bus in front of the three barracks with 200+ other recruits. The drill sergeants descended on us. It is 30 minutes of Full Metal Jacket taunts, insults and threats.
A drill instructor screams in your face to test if you can tolerate the intimidation. To determine if you possess the character and will. During this ferocious introduction to Basic Training one D.I. is nose-to-nose with a recruit next to me. In a profane display he screamed: Did you brush your teeth today? What is wrong with your teeth? Why does your breathe smell? I watched this abuse with alarm and fear.
This psychotic drill instructor is relieved of his duties during the second month. His brilliant advice to us at the beginning of basic training is: Lie, cheat, steal, privates, do whatever it fucking takes. I heard those nine words every day and I concluded it is ludicrous and fraudulent language. But one impressionable soldier-dunce embraced it. By cheating on the hand grenade qualification.
The dishonorable soldier is the exception. Every large institution is subject to the high art detailed by Lawrence J. Peter. The U.S. Army is not a perfect assemblage of humanity. The Uniform Code of Military Justice dispenses the reward for those in violation of its tenets. I witnessed its righteousness as the recorder at courts-martial. This proceeding is a brutal examination/accusation.
From August 28, 1985 to May 27, 1988 the U.S. Army is an unrelenting challenge to excel. To exceed expectations -- and those of your superiors. To represent the division with a character and discipline that animates the oath. To discover honor. To embrace order. To rely on friendship to overcome doubt. To understand the truth.
How to seek the truth. How to identify the truth. How to pursue the truth. How to do everything humanly possible to elevate the truth. The truth is a liberating force that has no equal and no superior.
My roommate is Anthony O'Neil of Redlands, California. The Army brings you together when you are first 3,000 miles apart. A.O. worked in S-2 or intelligence. Before the fall of the Soviet Union it is our intelligence apparatus that deters this super state of surveillance and tyranny from global domination.
It is a bunk-bed arrangement in our room. The last time I slept on a bunk bed it is with my brother Stephen. I was 8. The military bed is not discarded every morning. You must make your bed with hospital corners. I better fold these hospital corners correct or it's my ass for a surprise inspection.
Military service invades your life. When I was a PFC I relaxed in my room on a Saturday afternoon. Knock! Knock! Knock! After I opened the door an NCO ordered me into uniform for guard duty. I'm driven to the flight line. For the next eight hours I sat at a wooden shack in front of a airplane hanger. There is not a single living organism within a mile of me. I'm thinking: This is absurd. It is a lesson. Don't allow the things you can't control to influence your confidence and determination.
Three times a week at 3:30 p.m. there is a formation for PT or physical training. It begins with push-ups and sit-ups and concludes with a two-mile run. Fortunately, this is the least challenging requirement of Army life. As I ran on the cross country team in high school and SUNY.
The two-mile run is an invitation to identify the weak. If a soldier falls out of a little two-mile run, than what is to prevent this soldier from falling-out in combat? I have doubts about holding an automatic weapon next to a soldier incapable of a fifteen minute physical exertion. The physical demands the Army presents hold the weak accountable.
Before August 28, 1985 there is zero comprehension for the value of leadership. After May 27, 1988 the paramount status of leadership and its decision-making structure is continuous. A true leader identifies the strength of an institution and the weakness of an objective. It is a balance that requires the constant evaluation of facts and circumstances.
The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) is the Band of Brothers. It is the embodiment of readiness from June 6, 1944 to November 14, 2017. It is a commitment to the United States Constitution's perfect explication of freedom. It is forever dedicated to the soldier as America's representative in the joy and inspiration of life.
I don't require a gratuitous lecture from uneducated militants responsible for a massive arrest database. It features 330 pound Michael Bowie of the New York Giants. On August 18, 2017 he is arrested for "domestic assault and battery, grabbing girlfriend by the neck and throwing her to the ground in Tulsa." According to ESPN: "It then became physical when she made a remark about his mother." What a prize.
The NFL must fine and suspend every player convicted of a crime. Misdemeanor and felony. How is Adam Jones a Cincinnati Bengal given his disgusting prior arrests? Jones is arrested at least nine times since 2005. I could not determine the precise accurate number. Because his degeneracy is a constant spectacle.
From "Adam Jones' Latest Arrest Should Be Final Nail In 'Pac Man' Redemption Lie" by Adi Joseph in The Sporting News on January 3, 2017:
"The cornerback occasionally known as 'Pacman' was arrested Monday night in Cincinnati on multiple charges, police said: assault, disorderly conduct, obstructing official business and harassment with a bodily substance. The last of those is a felony charge, which is nothing new for Jones. He has been arrested at least nine times since being drafted in 2005."
This appalling behavior has escalated during the pathetic tenure of $30 Million-Per-Year Commissioner-Warden Roger Goodell. Given the sideline spectacles and the explosion of aberrant behavior from the players, how does the commissioner-warden maintain support from the owners?
The owners are unrivaled Kool-Aid drinkers obsessed about money alone. Google "USA TODAY Player Arrests Database" and this link emerges. It is an disgusting roll call. The chronicle of offenses is also found from inmates in our Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York.
$30 Million-Per-Year Commissioner-Warden Goodell displays the gall to demand $49.5 million per year despite gratuitous sideline spectacles and the explosion of aberrant behavior from the players. It is appalling greed. It is stunning arrogance. It is the celebration of incompetence.
The National Football League is on an accelerated path to extinction. Ten years from now it must surprise no one if the epitaph is:
Freedom Lies In Being Bold -- Robert Frost
To: Lonzo Ball
From: Chris Chichester
RE Your Communication Skills
"If you not with us now don't be with us later . . . we gone figure it out."
I am dedicated to improving your communication skills Lonzo. I encourage you to read The Elements of Style by E.B. White and William Strunk, Jr. It is 105 pages. Given your intellectual abilities you are certain to complete this invaluable book by 2020.
If you not with us . . .
Correction: If you are not with us . . .
. . . we gone figure it out.
I understand your limited communications skills are produced by your father LaVar. I advise you to avoid your father's language. Such as:
"When you don't win and don't even make the playoffs, and don't even stay on the court long enough, that's the best thing you can do is Tweet, make some stuff. Ain't nobody else doing that, because they're working on their game in the gym. These guys ain't played a game, always hurt, and at the bottom of the totem pole. So guess what, get your asses off the goddamn Tweeter, and get in the gym."
Where is the goddamn Tweeter, Lonzo? I think it is under the couch. Please retrieve it and give it back to your father so he can watch the blind midgets:
"Add their games up and see how they turn the program around. LSU (where Simmons attended) wasn't turned around, they're great players. They're good, they made it to the NBA, they're good kids that can play. Both of 'em played in college and didn't uplift their team. I ain't got nothing against Fultz, that boy can play, but if you really that good, your team gotta go at least .500 if you got a bunch of blind midgets."
I. Ain't. Got. Nothing. That is the perfect description for your father.
Tittle never kneeled in disgrace to protest The National Anthem. Tittle never tops a list of 20+ NFL players arrested for domestic violence. Tittle is never arrested with a .217 BAC for DWI. Tittle is never ordered by the Nevada Supreme Court to pay $12.7 million for causing a riot in a Las Vegas strip club by throwing money in the air.
Tittle is never convicted of a disgusting, illegal dog fighting operation. Tittle is never arrested for violation of an order of protection. Tittle never punched a Pizza delivery driver in the head over a parking space dispute. Tittle is never charged with felony hit-and-run and possession of brass knuckles.
Title never drove 102 MPH in a 65 zone. Tittle is never sued for failure to make child support payments. Tittle never threw his girlfriend against a bathroom wall and dragged her by her hair onto a futon covered with guns and attempted strangulation.
Tittle never spat in the face of his fiancé and knocked her out with a punch on an elevator. Tittle is never arrested for soliciting a prostitute and two counts of assault. Tittle never fornicated in production of eight children with seven women.
Tittle never twerked in the end zone. Tittle never pretended to defecate in the end zone. Tittle never signed the football with a Sharpie. Tittle never spit on an opposing player.
Tittle is a 4-time First-Team All Pro. Tittle is the 1963 NFL Most Valuable Player. Tittle threw for 28,339 yards. Tittle holds the NFL record for seven touchdown passes in a game. Tittle is the first professional football player to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated on November 22, 1954. Tittle is the helmetless subject of the iconic Morris Berman photograph taken on September 20, 1964 after he suffered a concussion and cracked sternum. He played that entire 1964 season, which was his last as a member of the New York Giants.
Tittle is a part of the brilliant San Francisco 49ers "Million Dollar Backfield." Tittle led the NFL is passing touchdowns three times. Tittle is the MVP of the 1947 Cotton Bowl Classic. Tittle created the "Alley-oop" pass. At the time of his retirement after the 1964 season Tittle held eight NFL passing records. Tittle's No. 14 is retired by the New York Giants.
"Tittle has the attitude of a high school kid with the brain of a computer." -- Frank Gifford.
Y.A Tittle is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on July 31, 1971 at Canton, Ohio. With the president of the United States in attendance.
Y.A. Tittle, R.I.P.
Los Angeles Times
I contact you in response to your story "Harvey Weinstein Expelled From Motion Picture Academy" in the Los Angeles Times from October 14, 2017. You are delusional.
The vast right wing conspiracy of women attacking my husband's good friend Harvey Weinstein are narcissistic looney tunes. To verify this fact please contact Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones.
If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hairstyle. I advised Harvey to adopt the same bizarre strategy. What hopes and dreams you have for the world, but more, what hopes and dreams you have for your hair. Pay attention to your hair, because everyone else will. Such as President Donald J. Trump.
You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic--you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.
YOU KNOW. I can't stammer three consecutive sentences without my pathetic reliance upon: YOU KNOW.
My handsome, charming friend Chris Chichester of Penfield, New York has provided the incoherent Basket of Deplorables transcript from Time on September 10, 2016:
"I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas -- as well as, you know, New York and California -- but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they're just desperate for change. It doesn't really even matter where it comes from. They don't buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won't wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they're in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well."
I recount for the people of Los Angeles my disgusting White behavior that illustrates Harvey's behavior at The Weinstein Company:
Secret Service Agent: Good morning, ma'am.
Hillary Clinton: Fuck off.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Post Office Box 5256
New York, NY