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Socialism has a poor track record

Opinion Piece By Samuel Strait – September 7, 2018 –

It has been some time since I’ve had the privilege of appearing in the
Crescent City Times in any way other than a comment or two.  A local
friend of mine has been pushing me to share some of my thoughts on
Socialism and a few other topics for some time, but I have resisted the
urge particularly in light of the great amusement I have gotten out of
listening to the “Snowflakes” program on KFUG 101.1 FM.  I have to say
listening to Paul Critz and Brayden Hatch stumble through their versions
of Socialism and Progressive thinking in any meaningful fashion is a
positive hoot.  For them to continue their quest to validate Socialism
on Facebook, then talk about it on air with the solemnity of true
believers has continued my merriment to the point of considering some
words on the topic.  Yet, it came to a bit of video on the internet
trying to spin Socialism that has me sitting in front of the keyboard to
post this piece.

The thrust of the video was to dispel any of the commonly held
misconceptions about Socialism as a poor choice for governing any group
of people.  The narrator of the clip spent the entire video spewing
unsupported “facts” in the voice and mannerism of a livestock
auctioneer, I suppose in the hope that listeners would be so
overwhelmed  by the verbal assault that none of her “facts” would come
to be questioned.   This is somewhat along the lines as to how Mr.
Brayden Hatch chose to describe his notion on KFUG, that in his opinion
the Catalan region of Spain during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1938) was
a successful example of Socialism that actually worked prior to the
National Socialists crushing Mr. Hatch’s single example of “successful
Socialism”.  I do not wish to rain on Mr. Hatch’s parade, but Catalan’s
experiment with Socialism was historically well into the self destruct
phase before the National Socialists appeared on the scene.  In
addition, it was never more than token socialism to begin with as it
relied heavily on small and medium private land owners to provide food
for the Catalans who would have surely starved to death had the reliance
been on the collectives.

While not being a scholar of Marxism, Leninism, Fascism, or any of the
multiple versions of leftist political thought, I can confirm one thing
that most people who have become experts on the subject of Socialism, is
that there has yet to be a successful version despite hundreds of
attempts to make it work.  For many of the attempts it is simply a human
thing, as in Mr. Hatch’s example where they could not settle on which
version of Socialism to employ.  While that might be too simplistic of
an answer for avowed socialists, it does explain to some extent why
socialism has such a poor track record.

The key item when considering the record of socialism is the
consistently dire effects that it has had on every country or region
that has tried it.  Mr. Critz, by way of saying, but the other side does
it too, has pointed to the many wars that are products of a Capitalist
society, but that presumes those Capitalist countries operate in a
vacuum, and that only that particular form of economic activity can be
found as the cause. He must have missed the part that says, somehow,
many countries have managed to survive the effects of Capitalism over
the centuries, something that cannot be said about Socialist economies.

As much as Mr. Critz rails against Capitalism as an economic formula,
most countries such as the Social Democracies in the Euro zone continue
to employ that system to prop up the trappings we view as socialist.  It
for some reason is hard for Progressives and modern socialists to
understand that individual human beings all have differing perspectives
on what it takes to solve all of their problems and make them happy.  We
might find some that think a billion dollar bank account will do it for
them.  Another, might find living in a cardboard box homeless is just
the ticket.  What never seems to occur to Mr. Critz and Mr. Hatch is
that the same independence of thought process may be in the brain of
each and every individual  to the point that collectivism  becomes
impossible and Capitalism as an alternative might provide an answer in a
free society.  Just as many of the problems we currently experience with
Constitutional Representative Republicanism can be found in the human
condition where character and responsibility are often lacking, yet many
have done pretty well for themselves.

While most people would naturally assume that I am a Conservative by
nature, that would hardly be an accurate description of my political
bent.  I do find the cumbersome mechanism of government that currently
exists at all levels here in the United States problematic, and wish it
were more in line with writings of the founders of this Country.   I
fully understand the need by people to tinker with any government system
“to make it better”.   What I have a hard time with is the continued
effort to employ a system in all its many versions, or even its
trappings being pressed on the population by modern progressives that
has had a spotless record of complete failure.  I suppose I am guilty of
wanting a form of government that has the lightest hand, the most
freedom, and most importantly works!  If it can be shown that things
like minimum wages, universal single payer health care, open borders,
gender equality, collectivism, social justice and hundreds of other
divisive activities enforced  by necessity from government, I’m all
in.   Until then, I will take a pass on anything remotely resembling
socialism, communism, fascism, marxism, leninism, or any of the hundred
other variations on the theme.  I can think for myself!  It builds
character, not dependence.

24 Responses to Socialism has a poor track record

  1. Anthony R Fogleman Reply

    September 21, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Going back to the meaning of the word, let’s argue with other words, which are in its definition, shall we? This way, semantics won’t play a part.

    so·cial·ism
    noun
    a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

    Given the meaning, it is prima facie evidence that socialism is in place before someone comes along and claims to own your property.

    If you claim the road as your community property, and it is a means to produce, distribute and exchange, and is regulated by the whole, then I maintain that you already DO have a socialist community.

    When all the roads are private, then you will know that socialism was a failure.

    Who can come up with other examples of why we already have a strong degree of socialism? Examples can be things such as “police who answer your call”, “fire departments”, etc.

    Thank you for respecting this word (socialism), and understanding why Bernie Sanders achieved a popular majority for campaigning with a democratic socialist platform. Simply stated: it works.

    • Samuel Strait Reply

      September 21, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      Nice try Anthony, but the government does not own the roads in this country. In a socialist system, the government owns everything and distributes it equally, that includes the roads, police service and fire departments. We pay for those roads and services through our taxes and are thereby “owners”. How those roads and services come about are up to the people who actually “own” them, not an over arching government. In essence all roads are in fact private property, because the government does not own them. Police and fire departments are organized around what the local people desire as services and are once again not “owned” by the government at the local level but by those who pay for the service. Community property is not government property and cannot be construed as such, therefore not socialism.

      As far as Senator Sander’s platform that he is calling democratic socialism, socialism it is not. He is not calling for the government to take over anything. He merely wishes to enlarge the welfare state, which once again is paid for by private citizens not the government. Of course just how he is going to get enough private citizens to pay for it is another question. The social democracies of western Europe can’t seem to do it for any length of time and have experienced it in only a very limited fashion until the cost becomes to big of a burden for their capitalist economies. No where has anyone successfully created a true socialist country and the socialist democracies are not such an animal. So please explain what exactly about socialism works.

      Just to give you a heads up, even Bernie Sanders does not consider himself a socialist and the democratic socialist is merely spin for welfare state.

      • Mel Reply

        September 23, 2018 at 9:03 am

        That was a silly way to see it. Though, the roads are owned by the government on behalf of the people in either system. In a socialized nation, they pay taxes to maintain publicly owned roads just the same. Our troops, our fire, our police, are all socialized assets belonging to the government that represents the people. Unless they are a private force like at an airport etc. Nice try Sam

  2. Kirk Douglas Reply

    September 16, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    John Wood

    How can I or even anyone try to explain to someone like you that is already so entrenched in their own misguided beliefs? You seem to function on pure emotion ( which most of the time does not turn out too well ). You also appear to believe that others you speak to or even write to are affected by your emotionally driven rants. I and many others do not respond or are hardly affected by such attempts of this kind. My purpose as a human being is to help my fellow man the best I can. I am sorry John but from your rants all there seems to be is hate, anger, and frustration. I really feel sad for you and hope you are able to see what is REAL and Truthful before your time comes. I believe in my Heavenly Father and do not have to explain myself to you or anyone else EVER.

    One of many things in this world that troubles me is personal responsibility and individual accountability. Two major things that go unchecked in this country and around the world. The individual must be held accountable for his or her actions. PERIOD. NO EXCUSES or Reasons. Way too many people get away with things that someone else ends up paying for. This must stop. NOW. People have become so selfish that it is disgusting. People have forgotten how Cause and Effect work or just don’t give a crap anymore.

    John
    Spend some time trying to find your true self. Seriously. Before it is to late, because your actions do not match the words that come from your mouth. Remember : make sure that the way you portray yourself whether it be in a paper article or online is the same person you are in real life. Be true to yourself and others. If you are not it will catch up with as it will with all of us.

    Good people must defend, protect, and help one another because we know there is so much evil out there. John, try and love thy neighbor.

    As for me and my GOD, he knows exactly where I stand. I only care about what he thinks of me. See, the problem with my fellow man is that he knows he can get away with his evils ( lies, deceit, manipulation, thievery, etc. ) towards one another. God sees EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING. We are not perfect beings but ones true intentions is what he sees.

    John
    Think of others
    Help others

    Best of luck out there
    Remember : you may be watching others, but you are being watch as well. We all must be held to the exact same standards

  3. Roger Gitlin Reply

    September 15, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Sam Strait speaks the truth, to some an inconvenient truth. Flat out fact, Socialism does NOT work. Those who condemn
    Capitalism, the Free Enterprise System, attempt to supplant the dreams.and aspirations of the individual, falsely relying on the artificial group to bolster the entreprenural spirit which lies within us all. Ultimately, Socialism ALWAYS fails.

    • Mel Reply

      September 16, 2018 at 9:03 am

      Says a person that has earned his incomes throughout his life with government paychecks.

  4. JR Reply

    September 8, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    “Government is essentially an insurance policy with a standing army.”–Paul Krugman, NY Times.
    In a perfect world the anarchy model would be the best form of government, because true anarchy is NOT an absence of rules, but an absence of rulers.

  5. Robert Derego Reply

    September 8, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Capitalism is just animal nature made into official policy.

  6. Paul Critz Reply

    September 8, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Oh, good, Sam FINALLY weighs in on Socialism…we can all exhale, now.

  7. Social Democracy advocate Reply

    September 8, 2018 at 5:16 am

    “Capitalism is religion. Banks are churches. Bankers are priests. Wealth is heaven. Poverty is hell. Rich people are saints. Poor people are sinners. Commodities are blessings. Money is God.” – Miguel D Lewis

    “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” – Winston Churchill

    • Samuel Strait Reply

      September 8, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      Too bad that all previous examples of Socialism have ended up with misery for all except for the few Socialists at the top of the heap. Of course those at the top of the heap are for the most part dictators and it is the rest of the people that suffer the consequences of Socialism. I personally would at least like a shot at the blessings, something that is an extremely rare commodity under the boot heel of a socialist dictator.

      As far as Capitalism being a religion, guess it must take a Social Democracy Advocate to see it that way. Kind of an odd way for a Social Democracy Advocate to look at things when all the current social democracies use a form of Capitalism to prop up their socialist program spending.

      Course I could be responding to an internet Troll who uses a Social Democracy Advocate handle to hide behind? Please take a shot at informing us, the unwashed and uninformed. just when and where Social Democracy has been beneficial, self sustaining (sans Capitalism), and successful any where in the world past or present?

      • John Wood Reply

        September 8, 2018 at 11:00 pm

        I am Spartacus!

        • Samuel Strait Reply

          September 9, 2018 at 9:03 am

          It didn’t work out all that well for him either, did it. Unless of course you consider hanging from a wooden cross along the Appian Way a good outcome?

          • John Wood Reply

            September 10, 2018 at 6:55 am

            Sounds like you are making a threat Samuel Strait. I would never waste my time listening to your preposterous diatribe on your so-called radio program, but I did hear how you used that platform to berate me and my Triplicate column entitled Wood’s Way. Still, I shall continue to remain on the high road in spite of your bloviating pomposity.

            As the brilliant Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high.”

            Have a nice day.

            John Wood,
            Bronze Star and Cross of Gallantry recipient,
            Recon,
            5th US Cavalry,
            Cavalry Scout,
            Black Knights of the Bastard Cavalry,
            9th Infantry Division,
            5th Infantry Division,
            Vietnam, Laos

            • Samuel Strait

              September 10, 2018 at 10:11 am

              Yikes, John, its only a historical fact man, not a threat. The Romans purportedly hung the remnants of Spartacus’ rebels from wooden crosses along the Appian way following their defeat at the battle of Petelia in 71 BC. At least that is what is speculated by historians. Of course it could all be romantic license to call attention to what is also speculated, that Spartacus’ rebellion was a effort to call attention to an example of an oppressed people fighting for their freedom from a slave owning oligarchy. Its pretty well known historical theater. But, then again it is funny how history can be so easily altered depending political perspective. Loved the “bloviating pomposity” bit too. Did you ever get around to Phu Bai while you were there? Glad you like my radio program man, it means a lot coming from you.

          • John Wood Reply

            September 10, 2018 at 11:53 am

            Guess it went completely over your head. The term “I am Spartacus” has been in the news lately. Allow me to explain. I am taking credit for being a Social Democrat opposing the current oligarchy, corpratocracy, and fascism the Trumpsters, for the most part, were duped into supporting.

            As for Nam, Phu Bai was in the safe and secure rear, far south of my A.O. I did get pulled out of a search and destroy mission in the A Shau Valley and sent to Phu Bai to see the Bob Hope Show when it was the 101st Airborne Division HQ. My area of operations was the northernmost of I Corps — DMZ,north of the Ben Hi River, Con Thien, the A Shau Valley, Khe Sanh (Operations Dewey Canyon 2 and Lam Son 719), Hamburger Hill, The Rock Pile, Cam Lo, and the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and Vietnam working with Montagnards, Hmongs, Green Berets, Ranger reams from Company P, 75th Ranger Regiment, and the occasional SEAL Team.

            As for talk radio, I suggest you tune into Thom Hartman. http://www.thomhartman.com, or every weekday at 0900 Hrs on progressive radio channels throughout this country such as KGOE 1480 AM out of Eureka, or Sirius XM channel 127 (Progress Channel, and Free Speech TV. Thanks to Professor Hartmann, intelligent voters learned about Bernie Sanders over a decade ago. If Bernie runs again, I will again cast my vote for him.

            As for the draft dodger-in-chief, Corporal Bone Spur and his treasonous collusion with he Russians and his Uncle Putin; My Cold War Victory medal is now rendered invalid. It sure is odd that when I volunteered for the Army at age 17, I had a bone spur which is still there and the Army didn’t mind at all. I was not exempted, but sent right on to basic training with the induction doctor’s full approval and stamped ready for duty. Want to feel my foot to see?

            Have a nice day and remember, you really can handle the truth. Try it, you will feel better about yourself.

            • JR

              September 10, 2018 at 4:19 pm

              Plus there is Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now!” heard on KHSU 91.9 FM weekdays from 9-10am. http://www.democracynow.org

            • Samuel Strait

              September 12, 2018 at 11:56 am

              First, My apologies for not responding to your comment sooner. Hope you haven’t been waiting to exhale. As to your question? Yes, I am aware of Senator Corry Booker’s political theater at the Kavanaugh hearings. Shame he couldn’t wait to run for president until closer to 2020 and simply do his job. Too bad he is clueless about actual oppression. As far as your “explanation”, couldn’t be further from the mark if you tried. The “I am Spartacus” phrase is a commonly used theatrical device used long before you or Corry Booker used it as a simile for being oppressed. The first common usage of it was during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries at popular theatrical performances in England when opposition to the crown or the prevailing religion of the time for its oppression engendered rather dire consequences for a performer, something neither you nor Senator Booker would likely face. While opposing as “a Social Democrat, the current oligarchy, corpratocracy, and fascism” might lead to oppression, it is highly unlikely. Of course it is funny that you should be offended by something that has been around for at least five or six decades and
              several progressive administrations only now to have been moved into the serious opposition stage.

              As far as Nam, I know it has been awhile, but I think you have misspoke. While you are right Phu Bai was the main base for the 101, it was hardly “far south” or in a “safe and secure area”. It actually is within spitting distance of all the lovely garden spots that you have mentioned. I could be wrong and I know that there was a lot of overlap, but the A Shau valley, directly over the hills to the West of Phu Bai was the AO of the 101. Didn’t run into many Cav guys around there or even up north until around Tet in 68. Seemed like they played more in the Central Highlands, not in I Corps territory until the North Vietnamese started to build up before Tet. That was Third Marines and some ARVN troops, until January of 68 when the Cav troops got sent up to Quang Tri just in time for Tet. There never were any “official” AO’s north of the Ben Hai, not Ben Hi, River as that was North Vietnam proper, north of the DMZ. I know of a few incursions into the DMZ south of the river, but I don’t recall anyone going north of the river, at least officially. None of the places you mention are north of the Ben Hai. Besides, after the summer of 69, actually the fall of 68 it was relatively quiet in I Corps territory. The North Vietnamese were pretty beat up after Tet of 68 and having a hard time with resupply from the north even in the summer of 69 all the way to the pull out. I don’t know much about Bob Hope or any USO shows in Phu Bai, but maybe you spent more time there than I.

              Moving on, When I got back to the world, after being in country, the “Conflict” wasn’t too awfully popular in the good old US of A and those who attended were greeted by those thoughtful progressive, leftists of the flower power generation with curses and spitting, clearly not understanding what it was like to be “ITS”. My experiences with other vets upon return was that nobody was willing to talk much about their time in Country or where they spent time. They certainly didn’t spend much time obsessing over ribbons or how much ITS time they spent in Country. There just weren’t many truly “safe and secure” places over there. And….for the record, I never would suggest or even imply that someone that spent time in Vietnam was an REMF or that his time was spent in a safe and secure area because there wasn’t such a place.

              As to Radio Shows, I listen to plenty of Progressive Talk, as well as some Conservatives and Libertarian. I watch David Muir on ABC fairly regularly and haven’t seen much FOX unless the younger son is around. I don’t tend to value academics as reliable voices particularly when it comes to applying their theories to reality. Must be the science in me. Plenty of experience there in time spent in Academia and in the Social Democracies of the Eurozone as well. I am more inclined to view things in terms of what actually works and is not hugely detrimental to those affected by those things, say fantasies. The current crop of European Social Democrats have managed to mess things up for their people nearly every time they are in Power. You’d think people would learn from historical experience, but as with the failings of Socialism, its a human thing. As far as your column and my radio program goes, it only came up when I was talking about the obvious bias on the Triplicate’s editorial page and the practices of our Censor in Chief, Robin Fornoff. No debate on the editorial page of the Triplicate kind of defeats the purpose of having one. As a practicing Social Democrat, I would think it would be of enormous concern for you as well. How can a person possibly be truly informed if you live in a Vacuum Chamber. As far as the content of your actual column, I haven’t given them much radio time on any broadcast unless you have transported yourself down to the “low” road.

              One thing that truly puzzles me about vets who have spent time ITS in Vietnam, and carp about Trumps’ deferments, medical exemptions, and lack of military service, then would bind themselves like a lemming to someone who tried to avoid military service as a conscientious objector, later rejected as false, then was “found to be too old for military service” at the ripe old age of 24. Go figure. In the fall of 64 when Bernie was available, and the army was taking just about anyone who had a pulse. So where did Bernie get off to?

              Next, when you can explain how Senator Sanders, if he were to become President, can pay for his proposed Welfare State or even parts of it in any meaningful manner, and not in the context of what has been tried already and failed miserably, I would like to hear about it. The Social Democracies in Europe certainly haven’t figured it out yet if that will help. Tax the rich hasn’t worked. And if you are thinking about running the Scandinavian countries up the flag pole of success, that hasn’t worked so well either. So good luck with your vote.

              Finally, one last thing to consider. There has been nonstop criticism of the current occupant of the White House, yours included, which has been characterized as “the end of the country as we know it”. David Muir on ABC News opens nearly every night with a segment about the failures real and imagined, of the current administration. Now that the media has grudgingly had to admit that positive things are occurring in this country and the previous occupant suddenly has come forward to claim exclusive credit, do you intend to castigate him as well? Then again, it is probably undeserved as it seems to have been the reversal of his economic policies of regulation and taxation that has spurred the economy. Maybe Bernie can chime in with that old saw “but only the wealthy are benefiting”? In the mean time, I will be here off to the side and wait for all the future mayhem and chaos before I exhale. Have a nice day John…… I won’t ask you to handle the truth, or feel better about yourself, that’s too personal.

      • Kirk Douglas Reply

        September 14, 2018 at 9:50 am

        Mr. Strait
        Please be very careful with this individual ( john wood ). In no way does that mean to be physically concerned of him because he is no threat in that manner at all. Where his main problem is centered is his continual need to be someone of importance. What I mean is this individual has a major problem with putting his nose in everyone’s business. An individual should be able to live their lives in their own manner as long as they do not bring harm to others, PERIOD. This individual does not believe in privacy unless it is his own. ( hypocrite). He has his nose in everyone else’s business and believes he is their savior. Technology has given him a platform to hide behind. Try having a face to face with him and see if his words and overall demeanor remain stern. Remember : we all have large balls when we have something to hide behind. The fact he even mentioned Michelle O tells you a whole lot about him. He not once mentioned anything spiritual and that means our Heavenly Father. He bragged about himself and his accomplishment in which he was a follower or puppet of someone or something else. He was a pawn in some else’s game.

        Socialism is Evil

        Here’s my list of words :

        God fearing
        Spiritual
        FAMILY
        Self responsibility
        Accountability
        Libertarian
        Conservative
        Egalitarian
        Anarchist ( not without Rules but WITHOUT ” Rulers ” )
        Morals
        Ethics
        Realist
        Loving
        Compassionate
        Caring
        Gracious
        Peaceful ( until threatened)
        Selfless
        Free will
        Choice
        Right over wrong
        Positive over negative
        Truth
        Honesty
        RED PILL
        GIVE over take
        HELP others ( truly help others selflessly without any motive or something in return )

        Remember
        We fight for Liberty
        Because GOD gave us FREEDOM and not Man

        • Samuel Strait Reply

          September 14, 2018 at 6:09 pm

          Thanks for the heads up Mr. Douglas, I’ve kind of had the same impression myself of Mr. Wood. He’s entitled to his opinion,but he really should be a bit more accurate when he starts going off about the places he’s been. Others spent time there too and were just as involved. As far as Socialism, or Social Democracy Mr. Wood has no frame of reference to judge it except by it repeated failure. So if that is the road he wants to travel, best of luck to Bernie and John.

          • John Wood Reply

            September 15, 2018 at 1:40 pm

            Strait–I will not discuss your horribly misguided political opinions. I fight fair, and it just wouldn’t be a fair fight with someone who has drank the Kool Ade as you have. Use you fear tactics of divide and conquer on someone other than me. Why don’t you admit your real motive here. Triplicate Editor Robin Fornoff told me 2 years ago that your problem with him and me is that you asked him to allow you to be a Triplicate columnist — he turned you down. In my case, I submitted a Coastal Voices piece over 2 years ago, Robin Fornoff called me and asked me if he could hire me to contribute a regular column. Can you say “sour grapes” boys and girls?

            As for where I was and what I did in Nam, you should use your Google finger for more than just Spartacus. By the way, I am well aware of the complete history of your acting in that movie Spartacus, Mr Douglas. In the movie you stood up for the underdogs. What happened? Kool Aid?

            Relevant to when and where I was in Northern I Corps in Quang Tri Provence, Phu Bai was the safe and secure rear, and south of my rear base. More specifically, I was with 3rd Squadron, 5th Armored Cavalry Regiment, The Black Knights since 1855. In Nam we started out with the 9th Infantry Division, attached (up-coned) to 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, Mechanized Infantry, (Red Devil) who’s Division HQ was Quang Tri. I wore the 9th Infantry Division patch. Hq & Hq Troop, A, B, C, Troops were armored (113 APCs and Sheratons) and the rear base was Dong Ha, and our D Troop was Air Cav, attached to the 101st in Phu Bai. 3/5 Cav was designated as official “Division Recon” in the northernmost of I Corps, and regularly worked with the special forces I gave. I gave you two campaigns, for which I have 2 campaign stars for on my Vietnam Service Ribbon/Medal. (Operation Dewey Canyon 2, and Operation Lam Son 719). Google that, as well as after action reports. My AO was exactly those and more. Look at a map of the DMZ and where the Ben Hi River is located. It is within the DMZ, and as a function of the official 1/5 Infantry Division(mech) Recon, 3/5 Armored Cav Spearheaded the Operation Dewey Canyon 2 as security for combat engineers as they built new roads and erected pop-up bridges through the jungle into Khe Sanh. It was called the Red Devil Highway. No one had been back to Khe Sanh since the seige of 68 when we retook it and held it for about 2 months just after TET of 71. 3/5 Cav Squadron Commander was Colonel Osborn. Google that!

            When I was there, northern I corps was all Army. Prior to that it was USMC, but the closest Marines were down in Da Nang. The furthermost fire base was a small artillery and CIA base on the DMZ near the destroyed town on Con Tien. That base was known as Alpha-4, from which one could look across the DMZ and watch an NVA training camp raise their flag in the AM, and lower it at dusk.

            On Operation Lam Son 719, casualties were, and you can Gogle it on Wikipedia and US Army after action reports as well:

            American KIA – 253
            American wounded – 1,149
            American MIA – 38

            South Vietnam 1,529[3]–8,483[4] killed
            5,483[3]–12,420[4] wounded
            625[3]–691[4] missing
            1,149 captured[5]
            United States 253 killed
            1,149 wounded
            38 missing[6]
            Vehicles (US/ARVN): 32+ artillery pieces destroyed, 82 captured[7][8]
            168 helicopters destroyed, 618 damaged[9] source: 2,163 killed and 6,176 wounded[10]
            South Vietnam claimed: 13,345 killed[11]

            3/5 Cav arrived in Northern I Corps during the TET of 68 and fought to liberate Khe Sanh and Hue City. Shortly after I left Nam, Northern I Corps (Dong Ha and Quang Tri) were overran by the NVA, My rear base in Dong HA was never retaken. Yes, Phu Bai was safe and secure at that time.

            Google — Operation Lam Son 719

            Who were you with in Nam?

            • Samuel Strait

              September 20, 2018 at 11:35 pm

              Oh Dear John, I certainly would hate to be accused of adding to your health woes. Never fear though, if it will make you feel any better, I have never had any such conversation as you have described, with Editor Fornoff about writing a column for the Triplicate. You may rest assured that the field is wide open to you. If for some reason you feel that Robin Fornoff is a man of integity, I would hate to burst your bubble, but no such conversation written or otherwise ever took place. If you have made this up, well shame on you.

              As to your recollections of your time in Vietnam, it would seem that our recollections are coming closer to mine with regards to geography. Seems once we got your AO back south of the DMZ and the Ben Hai(not Ben Hi) river, it would appear that we are getting closer to reality. Of course you seem to be resisting the correct placement of Phu Bai, but hey! that is okay. It doesn’t seem like you are inclined to look at a map anyway. As far as me using Google, well there is not a much better experience than actually being there and agreeing with a map. Kind of doubles up on you.

              So, you were caught up in that ARVN cf/invasion of Southeast Laos, better known as Lom Son 719. Should have turned us loose instead of the ARVN’s. I’ll bet being the diversion and support troops really chapped your butt. Not being able to cross the border for political reasons really left the ARVNs hanging. And Yes, I don’t need to Google that one either. One last thing to leave you with. The marines were still in I Corp until 1971. Chatted with a few of them just north of Hue sometime late summer of 1971, just before they rotated back to Okinawa.

              Now, we’ve settled Fornoff’s fiction and refought the Vietnam war up in I Corp after Tet of 68. The last thing you and I need to settle is, If you are going to comment on an article about Socialism and its proclivity for failure, you might actually wish to defend your position rather than resorting to hot air. But, never fear, I am here to help. First of all, Venezuela, which actually tried valiantly to operate as a Socialist country, and even attempted to employ some of Marxist theory in its effort, is now clearly a complete failure.

              As far as Bernie Sanders being a Socialist, what a joke. Try Welfare peddler and you might be a lot closer. Just to move things along, Sanders has three fairly regular propositions to peddle, that of single payer health care, free college tuition at Public Universities, and relief from debt for current college graduates. Now I could show how each proposition is not really practical, but lets stick to just single payer health care. Using ONLY progressive-liberal sources, they have reluctantly admitted that single payer for the first ten years will cost conservatively some where north of $40,000,000,000,000.00. Lots of zeros huh! Bernie of course blows this off as attainable with a simplistic, “We will tax the 1%”. Unfortunately for Bernie is, that those same progressive-liberal sources admit that in the same time period of taxing the 1% for ten years, the federal government will only net $2,000,000,000,000.00, only about $38,000,000,000,000.00 short. Now I am a whizz at Math and I find Bernie is just a little short on paying for his pipe dream.

              It is for this reason and many other things that have become problematic when people start singing the praises of Socialism that it fails. However; my only object in writing this particular opinion piece, is simply, that in every instance where it has been attempted, it has historically been a 100% failure and creates great human misery for those in its cross hairs. You have not in any way aided in the discussion to say otherwise and hide behind a great deal of dismissive wording, misdirection, and name calling. So much for the “high road”. If you can control your animosity, perhaps you can Google some support for your position and Bernie’s as well, and then we can have a constructive debate on the merits. As you have said, and I am not worried about your “truth”, but the truth might set you free and disabuse your notion that Senator Bernie Sanders has the answers. He does not……

        • John Wood Reply

          September 15, 2018 at 3:45 pm

          Yes, I am now frail with multiple maladies. My body suffers from Agent Orange diseases, fractures and diseases of the spine, and many other health problems. I am so very impressed that you are such a physical force that “In no way does that mean to be physically concerned of him (John Wood) because he is no threat in that manner at all.” Kirk Douglas, sir or madam, might does not make right, but what big muscles you must have underneath that nom de plume.

          I shall never waste another minute attempting to educate pseudo-intellectuals who bloviate pomposity, or those who hide behind their hateful version of “GOD”. Whomever calls its-self “Kirk Douglas” does not practice what it preaches when it speaks of the Bible. I am saved, baptized, and have studied it in depth, so this is the end of your enlightenment lesson. Your grade in F minus. I will pray for you.

          I have far better things to do than try and educate those who are over opinionated and under informed. Lie and belittle Triplicate Editor Robin Fornoff and me as much as you like, we don’t care because the truth always prevails in the end. Should I take a notion again, I can write for the Triplicate anytime I choose. Remember as Mark Twain is credited as saying, “Never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel and paper by the ton.” As for this blog — I’m done. I have tried to educate and enlighten this community to the brotherly love teachings written in red letters by Jesus, and you hate me for my truth-telling — wallow in your ignorance. I pity you, but will pray you see the light some day.

          Perhaps you can right a letter to Western Communications in Bend Oregon and have me blocked from further opining in the Triplicate. Ask Roger Gitlin if he will give you some official Del Norte County Board of Supervisors stationary to use for that letter.

          Strait, make sure you bad mouth me some more on your radio show. Don’t forget to say “bloviating pomposity”. Keep “misspeaking” and you may even land an interview for a job on the Foxaganda station. Who knows, Rush Limbaugh may take you under his wing in an apprenticeship.

          “Kirk Douglas”, I know not who your “GOD” may be, but I follow the teachings of Jesus, and as Jesus said on the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:6 in the King James version of the Bible: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

          I’m done here. You already have your minds made up, and don’t want to confused by the truth.

          Over and out.

          • Mel Reply

            September 16, 2018 at 9:07 am

            I am glad John Wood comments in here. The truth should shine in all nooks. It would be hard to find a successful socialist government because they were not strong enough militarily. Syria, Iraq, Libya, all destroyed by our military and/or CIA and friends. How about some of the first nations? The big weakness among all of them is not having big enough guns.

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