August 28, 2002
9:23 PM   Subscribe

One of the Marine Corps' greatest living heroes was dying. A donor liver had been found, but he might not live long enough to get it. Who ya gonna call? Semper Fidelis.
posted by swell (56 comments total)

 
"Hello, Domino's? We got John Ripley here, and he needs a large pepperoni pizza and cheesy bread, pronto."
posted by madprops at 9:46 PM on August 28, 2002


I don't know about Marines‘ livers, but that is absolutely a $5 million cat.
posted by nicwolff at 10:06 PM on August 28, 2002


I think it was a great story, brought tears to my eyes...made me proud of the Marines in my family. Semper Fi indeed.
posted by dejah420 at 10:09 PM on August 28, 2002


very impressive...

unfortunately, Jerry Bruckheimer's probably already optioned it.
posted by condour75 at 10:17 PM on August 28, 2002


What an awesome story!

People who don't have an understanding of military life will undoubtedly bitch about COL Ripley's treatment, calling it 'preferential' or 'elitist', or even worse an abuse of military resources. But that's just it, they will never understand what it means to serve their country.

This man did his country 'right' a thousand times over - he's a living legend and American hero. The whole thing is a testament to what the military - and the Marines - stand for; doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done, no matter what. Screw the bureacracy, screw the red tape, and screw the obstacles in your way - just make things happen to get the job done.

Makes me proud to be in the military - Semper Fi to all the military MeFi's out there!
posted by matty at 10:28 PM on August 28, 2002


I'm not a big fan of hero worship, but was touched by this story. As much as we love to hate bureaucracy, its good to know that many of the bureaucrats really are intelligent, reasonable human beings that have their priorities in order. Semper Fi.
posted by gsteff at 10:36 PM on August 28, 2002


. . .People who don't have an understanding of military life will undoubtedly bitch about COL Ripley's treatment.

matty, I find your comment unnecessarily presumptuous.

Give people a little room.
posted by plexi at 10:40 PM on August 28, 2002


Plexi, this site ingrains an attitude of a 'preemptive strike' - please forgive the cynical outlook, and THANK YOU for caring. Matty...
posted by matty at 11:07 PM on August 28, 2002


Okay, why did blowing up th Dong Ha bridge have to be a one man job? If 20,000 troops were bearing down, it seems sort of Hollywood-ish to just have one soldier working to blow up the bridge.

matty, I find your comment unnecessarily presumptuous.

Seriously. It's a shame everyone can't get that sort of treatment, but no one's begruding Ripley the service.
posted by slipperywhenwet at 11:13 PM on August 28, 2002


Unfortunately this kind of treatment is reserved for only a few of those who serve our country in miltary service.

I laud the compassion but wonder where it goes when veterans who are not marines or are of lesser caliber get ignored.
posted by yertledaturtle at 11:20 PM on August 28, 2002


slippery... you have no understanding of military service.

Just like in civilian life, plans are made, contingencies are mapped out, and options are explored - but in the instance of the Dong Ha bridge (as well as countless other situations) things just 'happen'. COL Ripley was a man that rose to the occassion and did what he perceived needed to be done at the time without regard to his own personal well-being. Hollywoodish? Of course it's Hollywoodish - art imitates life.

As for Mr. Turtle - this kind of treatment isn't reserved for military heroes. A certain effort surrounding a set of Siamese Twins joins at the head comes to mind....
posted by matty at 11:30 PM on August 28, 2002


Okay.. can someone who doesn't speak in cliches explain why it was a solo job? Has anyone read his book?
posted by slipperywhenwet at 11:37 PM on August 28, 2002


Hollywoodish? Of course it's Hollywoodish - art imitates life.
So, so true.
posted by liam at 11:52 PM on August 28, 2002


matty;

I did not begin with the the presumption you attributed to me.

Siamese twins joined at the head are a special case.

What matters to me are those who are not given exceptional treatment because they are not unique but are ignored or are give second rate treatment.


It's one thing to be a siamese twin joined at the head which is a somewhat unique and newsworthy event, compared to a gulf war vet with Gulf War Syndrome that is written off as a kvetching vet with an axe to grind.

If one vet is treated with honor and dignity why aren't all vets treated with the same dignity whether they are "semper fi" Marines, Army, Navy or Airforce?

Or whether or not they have committed heroic acts that happen to be documented?
posted by yertledaturtle at 11:54 PM on August 28, 2002


Okay.. can someone who doesn't speak in cliches explain why it was a solo job?
The first third of this article is Christian editorializing, but starting from the heading "The Attack" there's a detailed account of the events.
Essentially, there were only 700 US and ARVN troops to cut off the North Vietnamese assault at the bridge, the decision to destroy the bridge was only made at the last minute, the bridge was built too strongly to be destroyed by artillery, and only Ripley had any knowledge of demolition.
posted by twitch at 12:05 AM on August 29, 2002


This misuse of resources infuriates.

Aside from things that strike me as odd about this story (this 63 year old had a genetic disease that affects the liver AND had hep-B AND this was his second transplant?), let's put that aside. Get in your cars and drive to the nearest VA hospital. Go up on the wards, especially in the summer months (some VA hospital wards weren't even air-conditioned until recently - some may still not be). Look at the long lines for the outpatient clinics. Talk to the vets (they love to chat, and their hearts of gold and their stories are wide open). Ask veterans how long it takes to be seen in urgent care, or how long it takes to get an appointment. Report back on how the treatment of this Marine poster-boy and so-called "hero" compares with that of the average veteran you'll find there.

And of course, I can't help but ponder the number of vaccinations and prenatal checks for which this officer's "special treatment" would have paid.

Apparently Marine officers do continue to take care of those they can still use to perpetuate the Marine image. It's a public relations thing, don't you know (vital to the base and banal leaders of any organization). Sadly for the vast majority of veterans, they are no longer of any use to our government...and their medical care reflects that fact.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 1:10 AM on August 29, 2002


It would be nice if we truly did take care of our own. I would actually believe the knee-jerk sayings about loyalty and pride and the blatant lie of 'taking care of our own' if there really wasn't almost three hundred thousand homeless vets on the streets. This is preferential treatment. This man is connected. Good for him. Not too good for them:

Why are veterans homeless?

In addition to the complex set of factors affecting all homelessness… extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income, and access to health care… a large number of displaced and at-risk veterans live with lingering effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and substance abuse, compounded by a lack of family and social support networks.


Maybe someday we'll see the promise of semper fidelis realized as opposed to it just being a pro-military slogan. Its easy to 'Semper Fi' Ripley, but how about the PTSD suffering filthy bum wandering traffic collecting coins? No one says Semper Fidelis to him.

Perhaps I'm comparing apples and oranges, but the military pride this article has produced in some here is still overcast by the realities of how some ex-service members are treated. I find that more than a bit disengenious and somewhat morally insincere. All we have is a rare isolated case of an ex-soldier beating the reaper mainly through his connections and reputation, not some massive 'call to duty' which proves that the US does really take care of its own.
posted by skallas at 1:28 AM on August 29, 2002


In this environment, marketing of VA services with such activities as health fairs, veteran open houses to invite new veterans to the facilities, or enrollment displays at VSO meetings, are inappropriate. Therefore, I am directing each Network Director to ensure that no marketing activities to enroll new veterans occur within your networks.
Which is nice. Semper fucking fi, indeed. And the sugary prose of that article nearly gave me diabetes: the way the writer glosses over the exploitation of privilege that has little to do with the man's wartime service ("A well-connected Marine buddy of Ripley's called the president of Georgetown University and got permission to land on the school's football field.") just shows up the fact that Americans are far too easy to tolerate blatant inequality as long as it's dressed up like a high-class tart. So, obviously I'll 'never understand what it means to serve my country.' But if all it means in the long run is more of the Old Boys' Network, then I'm actually quite glad.
posted by riviera at 2:54 AM on August 29, 2002


Semper fucking fi

riviera: Sometimes its nice to just sit back and admire a story about an individual who has made a personal sacrifice for the sake of another. The Marine Corps problems aside (which I totally agree with you that they exist), why can't you admire someone who went out of his way to donate his liver?. We're not talking about minimum wage laws here. We're talking about an extremely scarce resource (A LIVER). What part of that do you not understand? It was entirely this man's choice to give the liver to whomever he pleased, or not give it at all. He should be commended for what he did, but I guess in your world a noble act is really justification for derailing a perfectly good thread.

Or is everything so blatantly evil regarding the Marines? If it's not so black and white, then please be more specific. Do you know what you're talking about?

Can we get someone familiar with medicine to explain how the process works? I'd really appreciate it :)
posted by insomnyuk at 3:39 AM on August 29, 2002


ehhm maybe i'm missing something here, but the reason he "gave" his liver was because he was shot dead the day before. He wasn't being generous, or making a "personal sacrifice" - he was dead.
posted by kev23f at 4:31 AM on August 29, 2002


Oops, misread the story. Sorry. I retract my statements of fact but I still take issue with riviera's utterly pissant attitude.
posted by insomnyuk at 4:49 AM on August 29, 2002


at least we can all agree that it's another example of how gun control is harmful, right?

or were other marines seen running from the scene of the donor's demise?
posted by andrew cooke at 5:13 AM on August 29, 2002


Ah, I love the smell of indignant liberal outrage in the morning... So young, so cynical, so early in the morning...
posted by JollyWanker at 5:22 AM on August 29, 2002


Great story.
posted by GriffX at 5:51 AM on August 29, 2002


Terrific story. As a Marine myself, it truely moved me. It highlights the ideals we all live by.
posted by Addiction at 5:57 AM on August 29, 2002


I retract my statements of fact

Oh, and I love the sweet hoppy smell of libertarian ignorance in the morning: want to try again, since pretty much all of the basis for your supposed outrage was washed away by the facts. ('Donate' a liver while still alive? I think not.) And hey, I don't see any of your libertarian outrage at the waste of precious taxpayer dollars here. Hypocrite much?

My point -- and here, f&m hit the nail right on the head -- is that as Bush's underlings are ordering veteran medical services to avoid publicising the medical facilities that veterans are entitled to receive, this one bloke (who undoubtedly did more in that utterly pointless war than Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld put together) has the good fortune to have the right connections at the right time, including the president of a university, and gets special treatment. And the article's still reads like soft-focus rubbish: perhaps I'd have more sympathy if it wasn't fawning over the man so much. Anyway, let's hope he doesn't have to rely upon another teenage gunshot victim, and makes a full recovery.
posted by riviera at 6:05 AM on August 29, 2002


Rivera - Why can't you accept that he knew more people than you and got the fruits of his connections? It's not what you know or what kind of government you have no matter what liberals like to think; it's who you know that makes things work in the world.
posted by SpecialK at 6:19 AM on August 29, 2002


Can we get someone familiar with medicine to explain how the process works? I'd really appreciate it :)

People generally need a liver to survive. That, in fact, is why Col. Ripley was dying. People can't donate their liver the way one might give a kidney, we only have the one.

Liver donations are handled the way most other organ donations are. If someone who is a donor, or a minor whose parents agree to donate, dies for whatever reason the organs that can be used go onto a national list. If there is a match with a patient on the list of those needing organs (generally organized by time applied, severity of the condition, and if they have had a transplant rejected) then a transplant is made. Someone who has rejected a transplant isn't the same as, say, someone who gets a new liver, trashes that one, and then needs a third. A rejected organ just means the doctors didn't make a good match, and the recreant's body can't handle it. It's not the patient's fault, although it can often make their condition worse than it was before the transplant.
posted by Kellydamnit at 6:25 AM on August 29, 2002


Ah, I love the smell of indignant liberal outrage in the morning...

Well, you know, it *is* possible to take a little time to savor the good feeling that goes along with a story like this, and then also, you know, acknowledge the real world. The long history of neglect of vets in this country is obvious; it shouldn't be surprising that a feel-good piece like this would raise those issues -- which, btw, don't seem to me to be particularly "liberal" in flavor.

riviera: fold_and_mutilate's Yahoo! article mentions that the problem stems in part from Congress opening VA hospitals to "nearly all vets -- not just the very poor and those with service-related disabilities" back in 1996. I wonder if that was wise (even though my dad was a vet who had reason to be grateful for VA medical care in his last years). In areas where there are long waits, at least, I can understand someone thinking, "Should we really be advertising for new patients here?"

I'm curious what the military folks in the house think about the idea of larger copayments for vets with higher incomes, an idea the article says Congress "balked" at.
posted by mediareport at 6:29 AM on August 29, 2002


It's not what you know or what kind of government you have no matter what liberals like to think; it's who you know that makes things work in the world.

Right. Hard work, learning, pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, earning what you get on your merits -- these are all liberal, not conservative, positions.

Er, wait a minute...
posted by mediareport at 6:35 AM on August 29, 2002


"I understand many Marines destroyed their livers in Vietnam. Eating uncooked babies will do that, don't ya know?" Joan Baez, or was it Jane Fonda? I always get those rich bitches mixed up.
posted by Mack Twain at 6:48 AM on August 29, 2002


Mediareport: If you work heard, learn a lot, and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, you tend to meet a lot of interesting people that help you in their own individual and very interesting ways.

Note: Working hard and pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps does -not- mean rising to the rank of 'assistant manager' at the local McBurgerGrease. It means making a name for yourself in an industry, or going to a college and somehow rising above the rest of the people there to catch the notice of either the administrators or the local business community. From there, six degrees of separation takes over.
posted by SpecialK at 7:05 AM on August 29, 2002


It means making a name for yourself in an industry, or going to a college and somehow rising above the rest of the people there

Is that how it works? Oh, that's such a bother. Can I just be the son of someone who does all that for me?

From there, six degrees of separation takes over.

Yes, that part I like. Can I get all of my birthright now or do I have to wait? Come on, SpecialK. The point is that while Ripley's courage under that bridge in Vietnam was amazing (politics of the war aside), we don't have a clue how the folks in the story got to be so "well-connected."
posted by mediareport at 7:23 AM on August 29, 2002


Why can't you accept that he knew more people than you and got the fruits of his connections?

Why do you assume he 'knew more people than me'? Working in a newspaper office means that you 'know' people through people, whether it's via the staff writers' address books or the contact database that the editor inadvertently leaves open to all-comers. Fortunately, the NHS means that when my liver packs in (a hazard of the job, some might say) I won't be calling in favours at taxpayer expense.

I just find it funny that the American ideal of self-advancement turns out, in practice, to be not so different from the English 'old school tie' nepotism that gets regularly derided from the other side of the pond. And that you're all quite happy to admit it. Ripley didn't get his liver quick-o smart-o because he was a national hero; it was because his Marine friends knew the president of a university, among other things, and had the authority to pull strings. That's a totally arbitrary decision. I'm not so naive to know the role of six degrees in life; but then again, I don't come from a country that peddles a myth that says you're rewarded for your abilities and effort.

And as I said, to see libertarians cheering this on, who've been loudly trumpeting the idea of individuated, subscription-based public services -- from the horse's mouth, "I think people should pay for the services they wish to receive" -- smacks of the worst sort of hypocrisy.

mediareport: that the facilities are stretched is beside the point. The difference here is quite clear: as the order is issued to close doors to veterans (or at least close the shutters to make it look as if no-one's at home) we have an example of other doors being opened on an ad hoc basis.
posted by riviera at 7:29 AM on August 29, 2002


Tangent: People can't donate their liver the way one might give a kidney, we only have the one.

Living donor liver transplants are indeed possible. A lobe of the liver is transplanted. Apparently the donor's liver typically regenerates within a month or two. Not covered by all plans (quel suprise).
posted by cairnish at 8:01 AM on August 29, 2002


Stop it, cairnish!! Here's my post, anyway.

riveria: ('Donate' a liver while still alive? I think not.)

From
shareyourlife.org, we find this quote: "Other organs that can be donated include partial liver..."

You can donate part of a liver, while alive. It is one of the few organs that regenerate, which is an amazing bit of science in itself. Having said that....

I disagree that Ripley's hero status had little to nothing to do with the speed of his organ transport -- the article explicity says that the vehicles were authorized because of his status, and authorized by the CO after Ripley's son called: "The commandant considered this an official lifesaving mission for a retired Marine still valuable to the Corps as a living symbol of pride."
posted by dwivian at 8:14 AM on August 29, 2002


is that as Bush's underlings

Since when is this about this administration? The VA has been floundering for years and I think the $0.50 deduction on our LES (leave and earings statement) for the VA hospitals is too little. I wish they would increase it. I wouldn't mind paying a few more dollars to see an increase in benefits for them. Its really sad that a lot of marine veterans are homeless because, well, the marines and the military are all they know and they can't adjust very well. However, recently, life has been getting better for those of us who serve our time and get out, and hopefully, with support, it will catch up with those prior.

Yeah, some people get special treatment due to who they know. It happens. Some of time, especially in the military this is due to your sense of duty.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:54 AM on August 29, 2002


Ah, I love the smell of indignant liberal outrage in the morning...

what a great feeling, the smug self-satisfaction of looking down your nose at those around you. am I right or what?
posted by mcsweetie at 9:00 AM on August 29, 2002


Great story. Heartwarming, even. And yes...golden PR for the Marine Corps. Don't you think that if one of those anonymous vets in the VA hospitals (you know, the ones that aren't "living symbols of pride") called up the commandant's office that they'd put him on hold so they wouldn't hear him laughing?

And SpecialK: I don't necessarily define "success" as making a name for oneself or rising above others. What's wrong with doing one's job well, being a good person, and helping out where you think you can make a difference? You can be successful without necessarily having a network of influential people in high places. (And to imply that someone isn't worth helping because they DON'T have such a network seems...I dunno...elitist or something.) There are lots of heroes out there...but most of their stories aren't flashy and don't make the news.

(Wrong service, I know, but is anyone else having trouble with reconciling the Rangers' credo of "leave no man behind" with the Army recruiting slogan "an Army of one"?)
posted by Vidiot at 9:01 AM on August 29, 2002


whoops, make that "put him on hold so HE wouldn't hear THEM laughing."

Sorry, but liberal indignant rage sometimes causes the ol' typing skills to break down.
posted by Vidiot at 9:03 AM on August 29, 2002


And as I said, to see libertarians cheering this on, who've been loudly trumpeting the idea of individuated, subscription-based public services -- from the horse's mouth, "I think people should pay for the services they wish to receive" -- smacks of the worst sort of hypocrisy.



I was not cheering this on. A few people out of alignment do not invalidate the whole idea. The libertarian ideal is not any more hypocritical than any other political style people adopt, and probably less so.

The partial liver thing has been discussed, so I need not mention it.
posted by thirteen at 9:08 AM on August 29, 2002


If you haven't served in the military, then perhaps you have less understanding of how the wheels get greased for officers.
If you haven't been to the VA hospital for care, then you have no idea how underfunded they truly are.

The VA's problems have been handed from one administration to the next, with little ever done to improve things.

Things change, things stay the same.
posted by a3matrix at 9:25 AM on August 29, 2002


You people need to chill. No, really. This is a story about people using resources efficiently to accomplish a mission in a critical situation, motivated by personal sentiment, which is what the military is supposed to be about. It's a pity that this can't happen more often, but that's just life. Talking about preferential treatment, unfairness, etc. with connection to this story is utterly irrelevant.

I have deep respect for those who stand and deliver in situations like this - under that bridge or on that chopper. I am not interested in riviera's or f&m's opinions on how horrible this is.
posted by azazello at 9:30 AM on August 29, 2002


azazello: Talking about preferential treatment, unfairness, etc. with connection to this story is utterly irrelevant.

You may not agree with those comments but these topics are perfectly relevant. Nice attempt to dismiss some perfectly good critical points about the rhetoric in this article and in this thread.
posted by skallas at 10:04 AM on August 29, 2002


This is a story about people using resources efficiently to accomplish a mission in a critical situation, motivated by personal sentiment, which is what the military is supposed to be about.

There is more than one way to read this one. I see this as a story about people using cronyism and favour-pulling to get access to military resources (aka taxpayer funded resources) to accomplish a mission which almost no one else would be able to accomplish, regardless of how critical their situation, motivated by personal sentiment which was entertained at others' expense. That's not what our military or our society is supposed to be about, if you ask me.

It would be absolutely beyond unimaginable for this kind of effort to be taken for a run of the mill vet, even if they were as critically ill. As connected as one may be, I doubt that there are many people who could get the Corps Commandant, a Marine One chopper and officers from multiple police departments working in their behalf without some kind of graft involved.

From the article: Marine lawyers instantly approved the use of military materiel for Ripley, including nearly three hours on a helicopter that costs up to $6,000 an hour to operate.

$18,000 to get him this organ, while normal procedure states that if an organ cannot make it to the first priority recepient in enough time to ensure viability, then it goes to someone further down on the priority list, but who is geographically close enough that transportation would not be an issue. Sometimes that means that the first priority patient dies. I wonder if there wasn't someone in Philadelphia who could've used this organ, but didn't get it because someone had exceptional influence that enabled it to be routed Ripley's way.

I have seen the inefficient, limited, stretched-thin VA system firsthand, thanks to my husband (Gulf War vet Marine officer) and grandfather (WWII and Korean War naval officer) and I've been horrified. I watched as my combat-decorated grandfather (who left half of a foot in Korea) died in a facility that couldn't even keep working, intact blinds on the windows or a box of tissues next to the patients' beds. From those experiences, I feel strongly that most vets simply will never get anything remotely approaching this kind of special string-pulling.

We constantly hear about how unfair it is that the poor and uninsured in this nation get care at a far lower standard than the rich or well-covered. Health care ought not be, the argument goes, doled out on a sliding scale based on the patient's bank balance. Shouldn't it also not be doled out on a sliding scale based on the patient's ability to get others to go to extraordinary, costly measures?
posted by Dreama at 10:11 AM on August 29, 2002


Preach on, Dreama.
posted by beth at 10:59 AM on August 29, 2002


Even if this is an example of someone using connections unavailable to most of the population, can anyone really fault Col. Ripley for doing so? He was dying, and saw a way to possibly avoid that (well, delay). Most people in a life-or-death situation would use any connections they had available to them.

I don't think the problem is that the USMC was able to give such preferential treatment to Col. Ripley, I think the real problem is that our government doesn't see giving adequate, much less equivalent, treatment to all vets as a high enough priority.
posted by Kellydamnit at 1:23 PM on August 29, 2002


That sounds a more on target, Kellydamnit.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:39 PM on August 29, 2002


Indeed Kellydamnit. I don't begrudge Col. Ripley his liver. I pray for his continued recovery. But I do wish that a balance could be found between helicopters on Georgetown's playing fields and vets getting medical care without sitting in a clinic waiting room for six hours every time or dying in places where they can't blow their noses.
posted by Dreama at 5:24 PM on August 29, 2002


Vidiot: I didn't say that defined success, I said that it was something that usually comes along with success. Example: The father of one of my friends was a regional sales manager. He was in charge of the NW for an automaker. When his son was in an auto accident, he couldn't come up from So. California that quickly... airplanes and driving distance and all that. But within fifteen minutes of finding out about the accident, one of the dad's former dealers (in other words, a customer of his!) was at the son's bedside in the hospital, and smoothed the progress of the accident investigation through his police contacts, got him a good room in the hospital because the ward head was a dirtbiking buddy of the dealer's son, etc. so on so forth. The dealer and my friend's dad were both successful people with influence. The son had an easier time because of that influence. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so.

Whoever said that the US was a meritocracy, you're totally wrong. Some people have that perception... and not to stereotype, but those people are typically very liberal. Personally, I know that it's all in who you know. I used to work for a newspaper... I was the business manager, but I'd still get excellent stories because I'd take time to meet and cultivate people. There were times that I knew about things (like the president of the local college going into retirement early) before any press releases or PR people were notified, because I took time to cultivate people... in that case, the president's secretary.

You can say that the world should be completely egalitarian and everyone should have the same abilities, results, and treatement. That's a nice idea, but it goes completely against human nature. Human nature is to secure the best possible conditions for yourself and your family and friends. This is an example of that happening. My friend and his father and the dealer is a good example. Using the 'old buddy' network to get news scoops is an example of that. After Col. Ripley has his liver taken care of, THEN maybe his son and the other people involved in that will think of the thousands of anonymous vets who also need care. I don't see what's wrong with that... but I also use that 'old buddy' system to my advantage, so I suppose I'm a little biased. Can someone enlighten me?
posted by SpecialK at 8:06 PM on August 29, 2002


After post: I agree with Kellydammit.
posted by SpecialK at 8:06 PM on August 29, 2002


what a great feeling, the smug self-satisfaction of looking down your nose at those around you. am I right or what?

More right than you can possibly imagine...
posted by JollyWanker at 9:15 PM on August 29, 2002


All I see from the fawners of the Hallmark Christmas Special is precisely the same type of emotional substance as a liberal's plea for the children of Iraq or the harvesters of American fields or the. . . . . .

Except one thing stands way out. And it's the selectiveness of compassion. Indeed, encapsulated in the idealism of the garden variety liberal, is precisely the sympathy, selflessness and valor that Marines supposedly, in an inordinate frequency shower on their borthers. And if indeed the very existence of the Marines is to protect America and its citizens, why don't more Marine brothers come out in support of the socialization of all that is today, very publically used and financed, but privately profitted from? Why can't homey G get the same act of patriotic beneficence from the Marines or his own brothers? Well shit, you just gotta earn that. If this story is so darned heartwarming, why don't we see a democracy that reflects that oh so generous nature of America?
posted by crasspastor at 9:44 PM on August 29, 2002


Since everything else has been said already, my final note on the subject is:

The Navy (or perhaps the military in general) is downright socialistic.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 4:39 AM on August 30, 2002


Crass - Why? As I said before - that's not the way the world really works. Nice idea and all that wot, but just ain't real. They tried what you suggest; it was called communism.
posted by SpecialK at 10:56 AM on August 30, 2002


I think I can conclude from my time here that riviera is either an insouciant troll or a bored Guardian reporter playing devils advocate (yes, I know thats a false analogy-doohickey)
posted by insomnyuk at 10:46 PM on September 2, 2002


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