Friday, April 30, 2010
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010
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Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
By JAMES DAO and DAN FROSCH
COLORADO SPRINGS — A year ago, Specialist Michael Crawford wanted nothing more than to get into Fort Carson’s Warrior Transition Battalion, a special unit created to provide closely managed care for soldiers with physical wounds and severe psychological trauma.
A strapping Army sniper who once brimmed with confidence, he had returned emotionally broken from Iraq, where he suffered two concussions from roadside bombs and watched several platoon mates burn to death. The transition unit at Fort Carson, outside Colorado Springs, seemed the surest way to keep suicidal thoughts at bay, his mother thought.
It did not work. He was prescribed a laundry list of medications for anxiety, nightmares, depression and headaches that made him feel listless and disoriented. His once-a-week session with a nurse case manager seemed grossly inadequate to him. And noncommissioned officers — soldiers supervising the unit — harangued or disciplined him when he arrived late to formation or violated rules.
Last August, Specialist Crawford attempted suicide with a bottle of whiskey and an overdose of painkillers. By the end of last year, he was begging to get out of the unit.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
JAN 22, 1908, 2,566 MILES FROM PUNTA ARENAS
BATTLE FLEET NEARING RIO
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 11 – The captain of the German cruiser Bremen received a wireless dispatch from the American battleship fleet this afternoon announcing that the fleet is nearing Rio de Janeiro.
The dispatch did not give the position of the American vessels.
Admiral Evans’ Command May Make Trip to Puget Sound Early Next Summer
VALPARAISO, Jan. 11 – A government commission, with Admiral Simpson at the head, will proceed to Punta Arenas on board the cruiser Charabuco to welcome Rear Admiral Evans and the American battle ship fleet to Chilean waters.
Admiral Evans’ fleet may make a trip to Puget Sound, after leaving San Francisco, in the early summer, according to an official statement made at the Navy Department yesterday. Many applications requesting that the fleet visit that section have been received at the Navy Department, which have the strong indorsement of public men.
Fleet Program at Rio
Today Rear Admiral Evans and his officers will go to Petropolis to pay his respects to the American ambassador, Mr. Dudley. They will then be introduced by the American ambassador to Dr. Penna, President of the Brazilian Republic.
Tonight a banquet will be given to Rear Admiral Evans and flag officers.
Tomorrow a luncheon will be given on Mount Corcovado by the minister of marine, Rear Admiral Alencar.
Wednesday the American ambassador and the four flag officers of the American fleet will be guests at the presidential pageant, after which a garden party by the American ambassador has been planned.
Thursday there will be a festival at Rio de Janeiro given by the American colony.
Friday a garden party will be offered at the Naval Club and on Saturday a ball at the Diar Ros Club, at Petropolis, will be given in honor of the American Navy.
The entertainment for Sunday includes a large auto party.
Monday, January 20, a banquet of 600 covers will be offered to Admiral Evans and his men.
Tuesday, January 21, a farewell entertainment will be given aboard the flagship Connecticut.
FLEET ARRIVES IN RIO DE JANEIRO
RIO DE JANEIRO, January 13. – The sixteen great fighting ships composing the American battleship fleet arrived here at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon. When the fleet arrived off Cape Frio, eighty miles to the eastward of Rio de Janeiro, it was met by the tender Yankton, Lieut. Gheradi commanding, which arrived here last Friday, she having been dispatched from Trinidad in advance of the fleet. The Yankton delivered to Admiral Evans dispatches containing instructions regarding the anchorage of the ships in the harbor here, details of the official plans for the entertainment of the officers and other matters concerning the visit of the battleships.
The voyage of over 3,000 miles from Port of Spain, Trinidad, was unmarred by any serious accident.
The fleet weighed anchor at 4 o’clock the afternoon of December 29 at Port of Spain, and exactly at 4 o’clock yesterday the vessels were swinging at their anchors in this beautiful harbor. All of the battleships are here, but the supply ships Culgoa and Glacier are still at sea, not having been able to keep along with the others. The fleet has now covered about 4,600 miles about a third of the distance of the voyage to San Francisco.
A Magnificent Scene
As the fleet passed the lighthouse on Cape Frio, a signal, set by order of the government, conveyed a welcome from the Brazilian people. As the warships came up the bay every man who could possibly do so was on deck to view the picturesque scenery, for which Rio de Janeiro is noted the world over. Each warship moved to the anchorage position assigned to her, anchors were dropped, and fleet presented a magnificent picture to those having the slightest interest in nautical affairs.
Many Dollars for Tradesmen
A tour of the money changers shows the jackies spent ashore approximately $100,000 in the last four days. About 9,000 men have been ashore, spending an average of $11 each. Hundreds of pairs of light shoes and a great quantity of souvenirs were bought. The shopkeepers welcome the influx. Moving pictures of the arrival of the fleet and of the jackies in the streets are exhibited.
Ambassador Dudley visited the flaghip and lunched on the Connecticut. He also visited the Brazilian flaghip and the Italian and German cruisers, which fired salutes.
President Penna intends to view the fleet on the day of its departure, when it will leave in company with the Brazilian cruisers.
Two hundred and fifty officers attended a smoker last night at the Parque Flumigense, given by American and British residents. A band of fifty-four pieces from the fleet were present and there was a vaudeville entertainment. The total cost was $6,000, and the affair was a huge success.
Alexander McKenzie, vice president of the Rio tramway, gave a dinner to Capt.. Osterhaus, Lieut. Commander McLean and others. The New Jersey’s team has defeated the Rio Athletic Club at baseball.
The Japanese minister is successfully promoting the immigration of 2,000 Japanese to work the rice fields in Rio Janeiro province. A Japanese company will bring the immigrants soon.
Twelve-Oared Cutter Race
There was great excitement among the jackies today over a race between the battleships Minnesota and Louisiana. The course was three miles straightaway, and the Minnesota crew won after a lively struggle. The jackies bet their money on their choice with great enthusiasm, and it is said that nearly $12,000 changed hands as a result of the victory of the Minnesota’s men. The winners will race against a crew from the Illinois tomorrow over the same course.
Sailors in a Riot
Scenes of disorder marked the presence ashore of the sailors from the American battleships last night. Ten sailors were slightly inured in a disturbance at the fleet landing, and the trouble was so serious that the liberty parties were recalled to the ships.
The riot was due to the arrest of a native by the fleet police. The sailors say the man flourished a knife and that the Rio police released him. In the confusion the man, it is alleged, cut two sailors. A great crowd fought the sailors and stones were thrown and knives used. Three hundred sailors and 2,000 natives were in the flight until officers intervened and restored order. The reserve police were summoned.
Eighty sailors were hit by stones. Seaman Doyle of the Louisiana was struck on the head and sent to the hospital. Men were sent through the city offering the sailors back and three natives were arrested. The officers say the liberty order may be revoked or modified.
Distributing Many Dollars
It is calculated that between the buying of supplies for the ships and the money spent on the shore by officers and sailors, not less than a quarter of a million will have been left behind in Rio by the time the vessels sail on their way south, on January 21. These prospects are naturally very pleasing to the tradesmen of Rio Janeiro, who wish the fleet was going to stay longer.
Admiral Evans’ Report
Rear Admiral Evans, the commander-in-chief of the battleship fleet, yesterday reported to the Navy Department that a slight disturbance occurred Monday night on shore at Rio de Janeiro, involving a number of shore liberty men. It was promptly suppressed by a patrol of petty officers and police. Four petty officers were slightly injured. The shore liberty men were directed to return to the ships immediately, and liberty was temporarily suspended. Admiral Evans says that after investigation, however, the granting of liberty was resumed as many as 4,000 men going ashore at a time. The commander-in-chief reports that the men have been received with great cordiality.
FLEET OFFICERS GIVEN LUNCHEON BY BRAZILIANS
RIO JANEIRO, Jan. 14 – Every officer who could be spared from the American fleet came ashore today and was greeted at the landing by Rear Admiral Alecar, Brazilian minister of marine, and his staff. Following formal addresses of welcome the party entered special conveyances and made a tour of the city, after which they went to Mr. Corcovado.
There the Brazilian naval officers and the minister of marine entertained the Americans with an elaborate luncheon which served the purpose of making the American officers better known to their hosts.
Four Thousand Enlisted Men Go Ashore and Are Made Welcome Everywhere
While this was going on, liberty parties of marines and jackets were being entertained by the rank and file from the Brazilian warships in the city proper. The entertainment so far afforded the visitors has equaled anything American sailors ever had. All hands are on their mettle.
There has been no drunkenness and no disorder and the bluejackets from the ships have been made welcome every place they have gone. So far, 4,000 men have been giving shore leave and their conduct is being praised by city authorities.
The city is being policed by 200 masters at arms, detailed from the ships, and under command of Lieutenant C.P. Nelson, of Minnesota. He secured automobiles for his men, and in them they are patrolling, but have had nothing to do. Just to keep their hand in, though, a couple picked up an intoxicated Brazilian soldier, who was spoiling for a fight, and took him to a station, explaining they thought he was better off there. The city police officers did not know what they said, but smiled at them, and took care of the soldier.
Admiral Evans Suffers From Rheumatism, and Has to Decline All Invitations
Admiral Evans is still suffering severely with rheumatism, and is compelled to refuse all invitations for entertainment. He has designated Rear Admiral Thomas to act in his stead.
No foundation has been found for the extraordinary rumor set on foot that the minister of marine had been informed Japanese would try to blow up one of the ships at anchor. Still, the fact remains that the minister of marine has designated special police boats to patrol the roadstead, and all boats are compelled to land their occupants under their direction.
This precautionary measure is undoubtedly responsible for the wild rumor.
Friendship of Brazil: Cordial Greeting of President Penna to American Captains
The following is the toast of President Affonso Penna of Brazil at the luncheon he tendered yesterday to Rear Admiral Thomas, acting commander of the American fleet during the illness of Admiral Evans, and to the captains of the Louisiana, the Minnesota, the Rhode Island, the Connecticut and the Georgia:
“The warm and brotherly welcome which the people of the capital of the republic have given to the powerful American fleet will have proved to all how deep and sincere is the sympathy and friendship that moves the Brazilian nation with regard to her great and prosperous sister of North American.
“These are not ephemeral and occasional sentiments. They came to us from the cradle of our nationality, always growing progressively in the course of time and ever binding more closely the friendly ties and the economical relations of the two countries.
“When the South American nations proclaimed their independence, in that first moment of doubt and vacillation as to the future, the encouragement of the young American republic came to use with the solemn declaration of indestructible solidarity among the peoples of the new world issued by the voice of their great President Monroe, whose name shines in history as that of a statesman of far reaching sight and of rare political prescience.
“The long and difficult cruise of the powerful fleet to which Brazil is host today, its mission of going around the whole American continent, constitutes a new surpassable vigor and of the extraordinary energy of the great people friend of Brazil.
“With my ardent and sincere wishes that the navigation of the friendly fleet continues to be an unbroken record of favorable circumstances, I raise my glass in honor of the glorious American Navy, for the prosperity of the United States of America and for the personal welfare of her eminent chief and great statesman, President Theodore Roosevelt.”
THANKS FROM EVANS
Ships are Ready to Sail
RIO JANEIRO, January 18. Rear Admiral Evans today expressed appreciation of the magnificent reception accorded to the fleet by the Brazilian government and people. A serious attack of rheumatism, from which he suffered soon after leaving the Port of Spain and which has troubled him ever since, has prevented his enjoyment of the many receptions and entertainments organized in honor of the visitors, but has in nowise lessened his appreciation of the efforts of the nation to make the sojourn here a pleasant and memorable one.
Passage Of Magellan
The admiral is now anxious to press on to his destination. All the vessels are shipshape and have taken on their supplies, awaiting only the signal from the flagship to weigh anchor and begin the third leg of the journey to Magellan, a distance of 2,500 miles or more. Punta Arenas on the east coast of the Brunswick peninsula, the most southerly town of any importance of the world, will be the next stop.
Passage of the Strait
Admiral Evans said today that he did not fear any difficult in the passage of the Strait of Magellan by the fleet in regular column formation. The so-called dangers of the strait he does not consider serious, and he believes that the fleet of battleships under his command, with the accompanying flotilla of torpedo boats will make the tortuous trip without a jar.
Squadron Will Have Good Weather For It
With their departure from Rio Janeiro today the sixteen battleships under the command of Rear Admiral Evans enter upon their third stage of their voyage to the Pacific. In this run of 2,230 knots which will terminate February 1, according to the schedule at Punta Arenas, the most southern port in the world, the ships will traverse the hazardous narrows at the eastern entrance to the Strait of Magellan.
BID FLEET GODSPEED
Final Salutes are Exchanged and the Vessels Disappear at a Ten-Knot Gait
RIO JANEIRO, January 23. To the booming of guns and the cheers of the thousands on the accompanying pleasure craft, the American warships sailed from Rio Janeiro yesterday afternoon, bound for Punta Arenas, on the Magellan strait. Ten days will bring the fleet almost midway on its 14,000-mile cruise to San Francisco, and the ships and the men carried with them today the godspeed and good wishes of the whole Brazilian nation.
The beginnings of aerial navigation by the Navy may be accomplished in Magdalena Bay, Rear Admiral Evans said. “Before I left Hampton Roads, Rear Admiral Chester informed me that he would try to send one of Alexander Graham Bell’s aeroplanes to Magdalena Bay to meet the fleet in March. I promised all possible assistance. If the aeroplane is sent I will conduct the experiments. Whether aerial navigation will become feasible for military or naval purposes, I can’t say, but I believe it should be investigated; then if practical flying machine is developed we will be the first in the line of progress. I hope Prof. Bell sends the aeroplane.
Excerpts taken from:
The Evening Star Newspaper
Courtesy of The Naval Historical Center
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Friday, April 9, 2010
In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain & the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness of Cuba- no one knew where. No mail nor telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly.
What to do!
Some one said to the President, "There’s a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can."
Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How "the fellow by the name of Rowan" took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, & in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia, are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.
The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, "Where is he at?" By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing- "Carry a message to Garcia!"
General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias.
No man, who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man- the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it. Slip-shod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, & half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook, or threat, he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle, & sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant. You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office- six clerks are within call.
Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio".
Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir," and go do the task?
On your life, he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:
Who was he?
Where is the encyclopedia?
Was I hired for that?
Don’t you mean Bismarck?
What’s the matter with Charlie doing it?
Is he dead?
Is there any hurry?
Shan’t I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?
What do you want to know for?
And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia- and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average, I will not.
Now if you are wise you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Correggio is indexed under the C’s, not in the K’s, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself.
And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all? A first-mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting "the bounce" Saturday night, holds many a worker to his place.
Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply, can neither spell nor punctuate- and do not think it necessary to.
Can such a one write a letter to Garcia?
"You see that bookkeeper," said the foreman to me in a large factory.
"Yes, what about him?"
"Well he’s a fine accountant, but if I’d send him up town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for."
Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?
We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the "downtrodden denizen of the sweat-shop" and the "homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," & with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.
Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy ne’er-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long patient striving with "help" that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues, only if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer- but out and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go.
It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best- those who can carry a message to Garcia.
I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to any one else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress him. He cannot give orders; and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, "Take it yourself."
Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular fire-brand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled No. 9 boot.
Of course I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in our pitying, let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold in line dowdy indifference, slip-shod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude, which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry & homeless.
Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a-slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds- the man who, against great odds has directed the efforts of others, and having succeeded, finds there’s nothing in it: nothing but bare board and clothes.
I have carried a dinner pail & worked for day’s wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; & all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.
My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the "boss" is away, as well as when he is at home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly take the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aught else but deliver it, never gets "laid off," nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted; his kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town and village- in every office, shop, store and factory. The world cries out for such: he is needed, & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia.
American Forces Press Service
Gates will kick off the week hosting Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim at the Pentagon on April 12, where Brazil and the United States will sign a defense cooperation agreement aimed at deepening and broadening their military-to-military relationships, a senior defense official told reporters.
The accord, the two countries’ first formal defense arrangement since 1977, is more “aspirational” than specific, the official said. But he called it “a big deal” that establishes a formal framework for more military-to-military engagement and exchanges, information-sharing and cooperation in defense-related research and development.
In Peru, Gates’ meetings with President Alan Garcia and Defense Minister Rafael Rey are expected to focus on its fight against illicit drug trafficking and the Shining Path terrorist organization. The Shining Path had been all but neutralized in Peru, but has begun to surface in recent years through sporadic violent attacks funded largely through cocaine trafficking, the official said.
Gates, who hosted Rey at the Pentagon in February, will reaffirm the U.S. commitment to helping the Lima government confront what it has declared its top security challenge, the official said.
In Colombia, Gates will offer congratulations and support for that country’s fight against its own internal threat, the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, known as FARC, and other paramilitary groups.
The secretary is slated to meet with President Alvaro Uribe and Defense Minister Gabriel Silva Luján to discuss progress in that offensive, with support from the U.S.-funded Plan Colombia and a new defense cooperation agreement.
The U.S.-Colombian Defense Cooperation Agreement, signed in October, formalized the military-to-military relationship between the two countries to better address narcotics production and trafficking, terrorism, illicit smuggling and humanitarian and natural disasters.
The meeting is expected to be Gates’ last with Uribe before the Colombian president leaves office in August. As Gates acknowledges Uribe’s accomplishments during the past eight years, Gates will offer assurance of continued U.S. support for the next Colombian administration, the official said.
“He will make clear that our commitment to Colombia is not to a government or president. It is a state-to-state commitment,” he said.
Gates will wrap up his Latin America trip in Barbados, expressing support for the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative aimed at curbing drug trafficking and other trans-border threats.
President Barack Obama announced the initiative at the Summit of the Americas in April 2009 to promote regional cooperation in confronting security challenges that extend beyond any one country’s border. His fiscal 2011 budget request includes almost $73 million in military and economic aid for the program.
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