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The Butlers

August 15th, 2013 - 3:45 pm
The Butlers

The Butlers

Just Oprah being Oprah: Winfrey winning praise for performance in The Butler (with video).

I don’t think it is a particularly edifying thing to note that Filipinos have been the mess staff through history. But it is the truth. Today, only a few days after the global commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima, almost no one remembers that more Filipinos died in the Battle of Manila than either atomic bombing.

Hollywood is often careless with the truth and perhaps one day the Hollywood version will be the only “truth” there is.

The video clip is from the Gallant Hours. One reviewer writes: “The most remarkable feature of The Gallant Hours is its willingness and effectiveness to show emotions seldom dealt with in military movies. One of these shows Halsey in the horrific dilemma of knowing that he is sending two close friends (Admirals Scott and Callaghan) to certain death, but being constrained by circumstance from any alternate course of action. In yet another sequence, Dennis Weaver gives a brilliant portrayal of a combat pilot dealing with the conflicting emotions of being relieved at having survived his mission and yet feeling both disgust and shame for what he is doing as he and his command “roll up a big score.”

There are no combat scenes – none. Yet the battle sequences are among the most powerful I can remember. Halsey, having bet the farm on his attack of a superior Japanese fleet, sits alone in his quarters waiting for the battle to begin, waiting for word from the Combat Information Center, while in the background disembodied radio chatter chronicles the preparations of war. Wow. Cagney’s face is all you need to see. Your tension increases with his. And then his transformation into a warrior leaves you unable to take a breath.

The stewards also died with the ships. In the same fire, storm of shell or flood of inrushing water. And though some were at their designated action stations, in the nature of things doubtless some will have perished with a cup of coffee or a platter of sandwiches in their hand, for their God, their admiral and for their country.


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Top Rated Comments   
Obama: the US does not take sides in Egypt.

Not even its own side? Is there a US side? Maybe that's your problem right there.

http://www.euronews.com/2013/08/15/obama-us-does-not-take-sides-in-egypt-s-conflict/#.Ug2tJv8Yl-k.twitter
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have become deeply suspicious of the narrative. Recent events in Egypt are portrayed as if someone were the good guy. Doubtless there are good guys and bad guys as individuals, but the situation on the whole appears to resemble the SA vs the SS, Rohm vs Hitler in some kind of Night of the Long Knives.

I have no problem accepting that the Egyptian Generals are scoundrels but if the situation were reversed it seems equally likely that the Muslim Bros would go on a rampage. One is reminded of JKG's bon mot: "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."

According to CNN "Al Qaeda leader's [said] 'I told you so' on Egypt". Remind me again what they said? I think what they said was "whatever the Great Satan says, believe the opposite."

Well the problem is that the Great Satan has been saying so many contradictory things of late I've kinda lost track. There's a piece accusing the current generals of being much, much worse than Mubarak. Why then did Washington grease the skids under him? Tell me again: do we want Mubarak back, the Muslim Bros back or the current mob kept in office? And when the current mob are inevitably hanged or dismembered will want them back then?

Some said on Twitter that what we are witnessing is the US/KSA vs Russia/Iran proxy show. Whatever happened to the good old days of Captain America vs the Red Skull?

Maybe the search for white hats should begin in Washington. The turbans in Cairo can look out for themselves.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I would go to sea again in a heartbeat if it could only be like that, and it was and when I served there were still those who remembered or who had been with those who did. Memories can live in institutions. Mutual respect and a purpose. With those ordinary men can do extraordinary things.

The Filipino Stewards were not imported labor. They were American citizens from an American territory. There is nothing demeaning in their service. On a ship all can live and die together.

What is the purpose of all the formality and deference given to rank? Why does Rank Have its Privileges? There are two types of Ensigns in the Navy. One is the flag, in some nations a special device flown by ships either military or civilian but in America it is the nation's flag. The other type of Ensign is the most junior of commissioned officers.

In a disciplined community the Admiral is given every courtesy because his every gesture is a ritual that reinforces the respect not only that others have for him but that he has for them and that which they serve, which he is also merely a servant of. The Admiral as he departs faces the stern and salutes the ensign (flag). He is instructing to the last, not just the enlisted but also the would be future admirals. The Ensigns who are the living link between the past and future pull the Admiral's barge.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (24)
All Comments   (24)
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At my wife's services, the Housekeeping Staff gathered at 7:30 am because they had to be at work at eight.

They formed a circle of about 60, hands joined, as a Hawaiian with a conch shell stood inside and blew a note in four directions.

Then they formed a line, and hugged me and her best friend in order.

Toilet Cleaners to the World, Indeed!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"That potentially puts the KSA on a collision course with the U.S.A."

naaaaahhh. The Saudis are thinking in terms of money and action, the US is only thinking in terms of soft words and meaningless catchphrases. No conflict or collision possible there.

Whenever push comes to shove, this administration will fold like a cheap lawn chair and start talking about how mean and uncivil its critics are, or something like that. Everyone else knows it, and we know it too. Like I said, no collision coming there.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When an ensign, ships stewards were almost exclusively Filipino. A couple of years later all rates were opened to Filipinos and ultimately the steward rating has been discontinued.
The discontinuation had nothing to do with social consciousness, it had to do with gun crews. On my WWII era all gun DD, I required 136 men to man the main guns, out of 350, yet only needed about 20 for maintenance. The rest were cooks, bakers, laundrymen, supply clerks, yeomen and stewards.
In WWII guise, when 3" and 20mm were still aboard it was yet more.
The US Armed Forces, until the middle 80's maintained a special relationship with the Philippines, recruiting extensively and having great honorable fellow service men. Sad that it is fading.
(PS San Diego has one of the largest Filipinos communities outside the islands themselves)
(PPS I wish they would sign back up and become a self governing territory again, for no good reason but nostalgia)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It all could have been obvious when they started to remove Gaddafi. He was scared by Iraq and neutered but instead of using him our geniuses (on both sides) decided to remove him.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
President Obama unequivocally condemns the Egyptian government's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood yet stays silent about attacks by the Muslim Brotherhood against Christians. In the language of diplomacy, this would generally be regarded as a green light to attack Christians. In Egypt, this would almost certainly be regarded as a green light to attack Christians. Although President Obama may not have intended to send a green light to the Muslim Brotherhood that endorses attacks upon Christians, his silence still speaks volumes.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Maybe the Obamanation could outline principles of democracy and the respect for human rights. Short of that, how 'bout outlining what would be punished instead? Oh yeah, lines in the sand mean little to the nascent dictator who is punishing his democratic opposition at home with denial of benefits, disenfranchisement of political identity and other illegal acts of tyranny. O is a poor role model for democracy. Maybe he should have supported all of the strong men from Kaddafi to Assad. He sure seemed to have empathy for poor Hussein.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Incredibly, some officials close to Kerry were arguing in recent weeks that one reason not to designate Egypt’s coup a coup was to avoid dampening the Mideast “peace process” — whose prospects for success are invisible to all outside the administration, including the Israelis and Palestinians themselves. Never mind the burning city, goes the logic; we’ve got our hands full building this Potemkin village.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jackson-diehl-obamas-dangerous-passivity-on-egypt-on-display/2013/08/15/69d085fc-0522-11e3-9259-e2aafe5a5f84_story.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
'Horrible': Christian churches throughout Egypt stormed, torched

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/15/world/meast/egypt-church-attacks/

It's always America's fault. In the absence of America, the Jew did it. Where no Jews are available, burn the churches.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama: the US does not take sides in Egypt.

Not even its own side? Is there a US side? Maybe that's your problem right there.

http://www.euronews.com/2013/08/15/obama-us-does-not-take-sides-in-egypt-s-conflict/#.Ug2tJv8Yl-k.twitter
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In Syria, it may be a perfectly reasonable thing to for the US to have a position that we want both sides to lose. It may even be perfectly reasonable to see that both sides get enough weapons to make sure they lose even better. But them you better be prepared to manange the resultant mess if you can't manage the war that caused it.

But in Egypt that should not be the case. Given our withdrawal from Iraq, there were no good options in Syria. We should have had some good options in Egypt. The first step in pulling a rabbit out of a hat is to put a rabbit in the hat. Obama is like Bullwinkle, pulling a lion out of the hat and being surprised that it's not a rabbit. Then he says that lions are just as good as rabbits so it does not matter.

"There ain't no good guys. There ain't no bad guys. There is just us and them and I'm confused."

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To take a side is to have a position.

After Benghazi, Barry wants to hide under his sheets.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
But 0bamaCo does have a pre/post-Benghazi position...Supine.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A bomb blasts Hezbollah. Those interviewed suspected Israel, al-Qaeda, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Syrian rebels, Sunni rebels and the United States. Really.

I guess Hezbollah has a guilty conscience.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/16/world/middleeast/beirut-bombing.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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